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Author Topic: Why Should the Orthodox Care About Catholicism?  (Read 2644 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: July 23, 2010, 08:15:23 PM »

We do not ask why Catholics and others are drawn to discuss Orthodoxy... We know why. Orthodoxy is interesting! And they love to spar. And we spar back! It's theological debate just like the used to have in the streets and marketplaces in the Byzantine Empire. Sort of.

On the other hand, I would contend that what happens in the Catholic Church (i.e. the "Cult of the Rosary" etc.) is of interest to the Orthodox. More than that. I think that we have a duty to understand all of the See of Rome's history, from the quaint to the grotesque since 1054.
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« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2010, 08:46:31 PM »

Is your entire purpose on this forum just to belittle Catholics while stroking your own ego?
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« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2010, 09:07:50 PM »

The Orthodox undeniably care about Catholicism.

I believe it is because we still feel the pain of the loss of one of our elder brothers.  We shared the family home and shared the same Bread and Chalice for 1000 years but one day our brother left and went off into a far country. We still yearn for his return.


The words of Saint Gregory of Nazianzen apply, I think, especially to our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters and also to our Oriental brothers and sisters:


"We seek not conquest but the return of our brethren,
whose separation from us is tearing us apart."
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« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2010, 09:23:35 PM »

Is your entire purpose on this forum just to belittle Catholics while stroking your own ego?

No other modern discourse has been so harmful to humanity as psychoanalysis. It is almost always used as a weapon.


But more to the point, do you know what Sedevacantism is? Are you familiar with its arguments? I am. Let me know when you are ready to talk about it.

There's lots of nifty film footage and photography that we can go through together as well. I don't really understand most what these guys thought they were doing, but maybe you can tell me. Benedict rolling his eyes through all of the repetitions while attending a Patriarchal liturgy at the Phanar is pretty interesting. Man, he looks really annoyed!!! He appears so different, delicate almost, when he and the Patriarch embrace though. Why is that? I really don't know.

I can't think of anything else right now, so I'm just gonna stop here.

So yeah, you know, I'd love to hash this stuff out with ya. Right? Let's "dialogue", you know? Here's the savvy winker for ya too Wink See?

I really do want to discuss Catholicism.
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« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2010, 11:43:13 PM »

Ask a blunt question; get a blunt answer.

Because the Roman Catholic Church is much bigger and, despite the epic fail of Vatican II, taken more seriously than you, which is why the media keep railing at the Pope every time he defends something traditionally Christian, like repeating that it's impossible for two men to marry each other.

Orthodoxy has a great liturgy but mainstream Western society dismisses it as small and just for certain ethnics.

That society's afraid of the RCC.

You have something like 90% of your religion in common with the RCC, along with an irreconcilable difference. The time may come when mainstream society stops patronising you and goes after you, right after they go after the faithful RCs. (The Niemöller quote: 'then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't care because I wasn't one... then they came for me and there was nobody to help me'.)

So yes, by all means, care.
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« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2010, 11:54:29 PM »


You have something like 90% of your religion in common with the RCC, along with an irreconcilable difference.


Exactly!  See message 83 here
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,28837.msg456923.html#msg456923
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« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2010, 12:50:40 AM »

Is your entire purpose on this forum just to belittle Catholics while stroking your own ego?

No other modern discourse has been so harmful to humanity as psychoanalysis. It is almost always used as a weapon.


In the world I live in, it is called discernment.

Any Catholic who engages you here does so at their own spiritual peril.

M.
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« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2010, 09:46:26 AM »

Is your entire purpose on this forum just to belittle Catholics while stroking your own ego?

No other modern discourse has been so harmful to humanity as psychoanalysis. It is almost always used as a weapon.


In the world I live in, it is called discernment.

Any Catholic who engages you here does so at their own spiritual peril.

M.

There's nothing really "perilous" about facts. I just want to look at what's really happening and compare it with the ideal--the ideal is what we all want, after all.

I would point out that it is pretty obvious that anti-propaganda efforts are successful when supported by truth. Where was the famous discernment the when Catholics charged so militantly that Orthodoxy approves of abortion? The truth is that abortion had been outlawed in Orthodoxy much, much longer than in the West! That's a first example. There is more to come. Stay away if you like, or you can, in the words of Met. Philip, "come home." You're obviously here courting "peril" for a reason, and that reason is probably that it isn't really "perilous" at all.  Cheesy
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« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2010, 10:03:49 AM »

Is your entire purpose on this forum just to belittle Catholics while stroking your own ego?

No other modern discourse has been so harmful to humanity as psychoanalysis. It is almost always used as a weapon.


In the world I live in, it is called discernment.

Any Catholic who engages you here does so at their own spiritual peril.

M.

There's nothing really "perilous" about facts. I just want to look at what's really happening and compare it with the ideal--the ideal is what we all want, after all.

I would point out that it is pretty obvious that anti-propaganda efforts are successful when supported by truth. Where was the famous discernment the when Catholics charged so militantly that Orthodoxy approves of abortion? The truth is that abortion had been outlawed in Orthodoxy much, much longer than in the West! That's a first example. There is more to come. Stay away if you like, or you can, in the words of Met. Philip, "come home." You're obviously here courting "peril" for a reason, and that reason is probably that it isn't really "perilous" at all.  Cheesy

In an effort to foster discussion, would you care to provide a source for this claim?

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« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2010, 10:17:01 AM »


 The truth is that abortion had been outlawed in Orthodoxy much, much longer than in the West! That's a first example.


Yes, you are right about that.  The West became entangled in arguments about when ensoulment / animation occurs, from roughly 40 days for a boy and up to 90 days for a girl.   Up until then the foetus was seen as not fully human, in fact more of a vegetative thing which progressed to an animal thing but still without a soul and not human.  So the West, although it did not approve of aborting this thing which had as yet no soul, was also quite lenient about aborting it.

In the Lives of the Irish Saints we find concrete examples of Saints procuring abortions without qualms because they did not believe ensoulment had yet taken place and so what was being aborted was not yet fully human.

In the East on the other hand abortion was outlawed from the moment of conception.  Eastern fathers such as Saint Basil the Great were quite aware of the Western Church's theory of ensoulment / animation but refused to allow it to mitigate the grave sin of abortion.

I suppose I can hunt this material out of the archives.
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« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2010, 10:23:44 AM »

visitor, the problem is a lot of us Catholics here are slowly in the process of finding out whether to become EO, and attitudes of derision and contempt towards the church we're in now put us on the defensive.    The RC may not be the best 'mother' but we still love her, warts and all - if for no other reason than this: she taught us about Christ.
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« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2010, 10:48:18 AM »

Is your entire purpose on this forum just to belittle Catholics while stroking your own ego?

No other modern discourse has been so harmful to humanity as psychoanalysis. It is almost always used as a weapon.


In the world I live in, it is called discernment.

Any Catholic who engages you here does so at their own spiritual peril.

M.

There's nothing really "perilous" about facts. I just want to look at what's really happening and compare it with the ideal--the ideal is what we all want, after all.

I would point out that it is pretty obvious that anti-propaganda efforts are successful when supported by truth. Where was the famous discernment the when Catholics charged so militantly that Orthodoxy approves of abortion? The truth is that abortion had been outlawed in Orthodoxy much, much longer than in the West! That's a first example. There is more to come. Stay away if you like, or you can, in the words of Met. Philip, "come home." You're obviously here courting "peril" for a reason, and that reason is probably that it isn't really "perilous" at all.  Cheesy

In an effort to foster discussion, would you care to provide a source for this claim?

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The Didache, 2nd century AD.
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« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2010, 10:52:59 AM »


 The truth is that abortion had been outlawed in Orthodoxy much, much longer than in the West! That's a first example.

The Roman Catholic Church and Abortion: An Historical Perspective

http://www.catholicculture.org/docs/...fm?recnum=3361


It is of interest that the Eastern (Orthodox) Fathers did not subscribe to the pro-abortion Western (Catholic) teaching which was based on the belief that a foetus "quickened" and became alive roughly 17 weeks after conception.. The Eastern Fathers knew of this Western argumentation but they dismissed it and insisted that a foetus was human and "quickened" from the first moment of conception.

St. Augustine (AD 354-430) said, "There cannot yet be said to be a live soul in a body that lacks sensation", and held that abortion required penance only for the sexual aspect of the sin.

He and other early Christian theologians believed, as had Aristotle centuries before, that "animation", or the coming alive of the fetus, occurred forty days after conception for a boy and eighty days after conception for a girl. The conclusion that early abortion is not homicide is contained in the first authoritative collection of canon law accepted by the [Catholic] church in 1140. As this collection was used as an instruction manual for priests until the new Code of Canon Law of 1917, its view of abortion has had great influence.

At the beginning of the 13th century, Pope Innocent III wrote that "quickening" "the time when a woman first feels the fetus move within her" was the moment at which abortion became homicide; prior to quickening, abortion was a less serious sin.

Pope Gregory XIV agreed, designating quickening as occurring after a period of 116 days (about 17 weeks). His declaration in 1591 that early abortion was not grounds for excommunication continued to be the abortion policy of the Catholic Church until 1869.

The tolerant approach to abortion which had prevailed in the Roman Catholic Church for centuries ended at the end of the nineteenth century. In 1869, Pope Pius IX officially eliminated the Catholic distinction between an animated and a nonanimated fetus and required excommunication for abortions at any stage of pregnancy.


The Orthodox Churches of the East never went through any period when abortion was considered less than a very grave sin, right from the moment of conception.

"A woman who deliberately destroys a fetus is answerable for murder. And any fine distinction as to its being completely formed or unformed is not admissible among us."

St. Basil the Great, Three Canonical Letters
This was then incorporated into the Canons of an Ecumenical Council, and additionally:

The 91st canon of the Quinisext Ecumenical Council (691 A.D.):

"Those who furnish drugs for the purpose of procuring abortion, and those who take fetus-killing poisons are subject to the penalty prescribed for murderers."
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« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2010, 11:00:29 AM »

Here is something on the early Irish Saints and abortion  You will find it odd and even a liitle unbelievable.  This is NOT a slash at the Roman Catholics since at this period we formed ONE Church and these are as much Orthodox Saints as Catholic Saints.

I like to take an interest in the Lives of the old Irish Saints and one of the very curious things one encounters is their strange attitude to abortion. Four of the Saints have Lives in which they are responsible for some sort of abortions: Saint Brigid, Saint Kieran of Saigir, Saint Aed of Killarien, and Saint Kenneth of Aghaboe.


In the case of Saint Kieran of Saigir, a local king named Dima abducted Bruinnech, a vowed virgin, from Kieran's monastery.

"Sanctus quoque Keranus, tanti facinoris immanitatem detestans ac remedium apponere cupiens, ad domum sacrilegi, quesiturus ab eo puellam, accessit. . . . Reverente vero vir Dei cum puella ad monasterium, confessa est puella se conceptum habere in utero. Tunc vir Dei, zelo iustitie ductus, viperium semen animari nolens, impresso venri eius signo crucis, fecit illud exinaniri."


Translation:
"St. Kieran, despising the enormity of such a crime and wishing to apply a cure, went to the house of sacrilege to seek the girl from there. . . . When the man of God returned to the monastery with the girl, she confessed that she was pregnant. Then the man of God, led by the zeal of justice, not wishing the serpent's seed to quicken, pressed down on her womb with the sign of the cross and forced her womb empty."

Notice a very interesting detail because it bears out what I posted earlier about the early Western (Catholic) theory of the distinction between a quickened (animated) and unquickened (not yet animated and therefore abortable) foetus -- Not wishing the serpent's seed to quicken -viperium semen animari nolens -

Saint Kieran did not believe he was causing the abortion of a live foetus. It had not yet "quickened" in his eyes and so it was not a sin for the Saint to bring about an abortion.


Bruinnech then resumes her previous status in the community until Dima returns to the monastery to abduct her again. The very sight of the king causes her to die, and in response Dima threatens Kieran with exile for killing his "wife." Kieran's holy power then causes two of Dima's sons to die, which thus removes Dima's threat to Bruinnech and Kieran's community. Kieran then restores the sons and Bruinnech back to life, and neither she nor Dima is mentioned again.

---
The two women who received such abortion services from Saint Aed of Killarien and Saint Kenneth of Aghaboe are not named, nor are the exact circumstances leading to the pregnancy detailed; they appear in the vitae exclusively as the occasion for
the saints to perform such a "miracle" upon them.

Saint Aed noticed that the womb of one of the consecrated virgins serving him

"grew quickly without food, as if it might flee from that place. Then the virgin confessed before all that she had sinned secretly and she did penance. St. Aed blessed her womb, and at once the baby in her womb disappeared as if it did not exist."


The Latin text for the above:
"...cito surrexit ille sine cibo, ut ab isto fugeret. Tunc illa coram omnibus confessa est quod occulte peccasset et penitentiam egit. Sanctus autem Aidus benedixit uterum eius, et statim infans in utero eius evanuit quasi non esset."

The virgin in Saint Kenneth's vita had "fornicated secretly," became pregnant, and asked Kenneth to bless her womb. When he did so, "at once the baby in her womb vanished without a trace."

"...occulte fornicavit . statim infans in utero eius non apparens evanuit."

There is not a hint in the hagiographies that the monk scribes found anything reprehensible in these saintly abortions. Indeed they are used as evidence of the miraculous powers of the Saints.
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« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2010, 11:01:00 AM »

Thank you, Fr. Ambrose, for the informative documentation.

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« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2010, 11:11:30 AM »

visitor, the problem is a lot of us Catholics here are slowly in the process of finding out whether to become EO, and attitudes of derision and contempt towards the church we're in now put us on the defensive.    The RC may not be the best 'mother' but we still love her, warts and all - if for no other reason than this: she taught us about Christ.

I agree. A devout Catholic knows how to desire Christ completely. Whether that believer's Church is delivering on dogma and sacraments is up to the conscience of the believer.

Catholic apologists often bring up a medieval saint by way of appeal. "Did St. Francis jump ship?" they say, and it is said frequently. I love this argument actually, but for my part is looks like an error in modality. The Church of Rome is nothing like what it was in Francis of Assisi's time. The Church that he had to rebuild was itself still essentially intact, a few sort of institutional, diplomatic, and administrative hangups aside. But the everyday realities of Italian Church were really more or less the same as they had been for a long, long time.

What a Catholic sees today is something that appears to have been permanently degraded. And it is not invective or propaganda from the "Schismatic East" that has brought it to their attention either. They notice on... their... own. Some Catholics respond to the realization that they are alienated from their own religion by adopting a critique, either to supplement doubts they have as they continue to attend, or to justify faction. Other Catholics become very uncomfortable but cannot face the truth, so they look for scapegoats. It's that pesky Lutheran/Anglican/Protestant influence, or Oh some troglodytes out there can't stand the fact that the Church is growing up, etc. Sometimes they freak out altogether and spend all of their energy championing the primacy of "Mary" and "Peter," often to the de facto exclusion of most Concilliar dogmas, in hopes that by believing more strongly they can convince themselves and others that there is no problem---kind of like Enron employees.

I take no pleasure in the situation, and things probably would have been better for the RCC if these changes were not made so suddenly and violently. Maybe they shouldn't have put tiles over the fresco of God pointing at you and covered the marble floor with shag carpetting at the same time as they removed the carved iconostasis from behind the altar and changed the liturgy and pastoral guidance... I am just talking about a local church where I live. I am not former Catholic or whatever, nor am I from this place; it was a Catholic who told me about it.

So you see, Catholics have many, many reasons to be defensive, intensely theological, angry, confused, etc. Whether they declare their loyalty to "Peter" here or not, they are in fact here looking for answers.

You are right about tone, though. We could all work on that. Me first.  Wink

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« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2010, 11:35:33 AM »


 The truth is that abortion had been outlawed in Orthodoxy much, much longer than in the West! That's a first example.


Yes, you are right about that.  The West became entangled in arguments about when ensoulment / animation occurs, from roughly 40 days for a boy and up to 90 days for a girl.   Up until then the foetus was seen as not fully human, in fact more of a vegetative thing which progressed to an animal thing but still without a soul and not human.  So the West, although it did not approve of aborting this thing which had as yet no soul, was also quite lenient about aborting it.


This, my old friend, is a myth.

I don't have the citations at hand and I am not going looking however St. Thomas, regardless of his ensoulment ideas, also made it clear that NO time is proper to kill child in the womb, soul or no soul.

So please stop perpetuating this myth.  I know you like to haul it out now and then but it is a disservice to all concerned...or all unconcerned for that matter <smile>

When I find the source again, and I will, I will send it to you.  I believe that point was made by several of the old theological historian on Irenikon.  I may find it there or in other notes.  But the ensoulment issue never was used to excuse abortions.   If you remeber the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and not to be defaced or defiled...even if and perhaps especially if it was waiting for divine animation...eh?

M.

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« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2010, 11:48:07 AM »


 The truth is that abortion had been outlawed in Orthodoxy much, much longer than in the West! That's a first example.


Yes, you are right about that.  The West became entangled in arguments about when ensoulment / animation occurs, from roughly 40 days for a boy and up to 90 days for a girl.   Up until then the foetus was seen as not fully human, in fact more of a vegetative thing which progressed to an animal thing but still without a soul and not human.  So the West, although it did not approve of aborting this thing which had as yet no soul, was also quite lenient about aborting it.


This, my old friend, is a myth.

I don't have the citations at hand and I am not going looking however St. Thomas, regardless of his ensoulment ideas, also made it clear that NO time is proper to kill child in the womb, soul or no soul.

So please stop perpetuating this myth.  I know you like to haul it out now and then but it is a disservice to all concerned...or all unconcerned for that matter <smile>

When I find the source again, and I will, I will send it to you.  I believe that point was made by several of the old theological historian on Irenikon.  I may find it there or in other notes.  But the ensoulment issue never was used to excuse abortions.   If you remeber the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and not to be defaced or defiled...even if and perhaps especially if it was waiting for divine animation...eh?

M.

M.

The erroneously propagated "myth" of the day is that Orthodoxy approves of abortion (I'm dodging the "to the person" argument here, but look at your own posts from last week). It's been in writing for 1800 years that that is not the case, and it was in oral tradition before that.
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« Reply #18 on: July 28, 2010, 11:54:03 AM »


Catholic apologists often bring up a medieval saint by way of appeal. "Did St. Francis jump ship?" they say, and it is said frequently. I love this argument actually, but for my part is looks like an error in modality.


I know two Italian Catholics who did jump ship and traveled to Russia to live an orthodox monastic life ..... Saint Anthony the Roman who died in 1147 and Saint Macarius the Roman who died in 1550

Here are their Lives in brief.

http://www.roca.org/OA/98-99/98k.htm

I have always had a special veneration for Saint Anthony the Roman and about 15 years ago a friend in Russia painted a beautiful icon of him. 
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« Reply #19 on: July 28, 2010, 12:06:45 PM »

[
This, my old friend, is a myth.

So please stop perpetuating this myth.  I know you like to haul it out now and then but it is a disservice to all concerned...or all unconcerned for that matter <smile>


This website on Canon Law run by Fr Jessie G. Somosierra agrees with me.

http://canonlawdictionary.blogspot.com/2008/10/abortion.html
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« Reply #20 on: July 28, 2010, 12:19:00 PM »


 The truth is that abortion had been outlawed in Orthodoxy much, much longer than in the West! That's a first example.


In the Lives of the Irish Saints we find concrete examples of Saints procuring abortions without qualms because they did not believe ensoulment had yet taken place and so what was being aborted was not yet fully human.


Having said what I said about St. Thomas and others who followed the ideas of ensoulment, the realities are very often not quite up to snuff with the principles.

I believe we ran into that situation when I said that I know Orthodox bishops and pastors who make exceptions for abortions that have nothing to do with double effect.

So I wonder that you feel free to do that here without qualification.

Praxis Praxis Praxis

Who were these Irish saints who promoted abortion and how widespread was their influence.  I know of none in Europe who openly did so in those times when the question of ensoulment was open for discussion?...Do you know of any?

M.
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« Reply #21 on: July 28, 2010, 12:38:17 PM »


Who were these Irish saints who promoted abortion and how widespread was their influence.  I know of none in Europe who openly did so in those times when the question of ensoulment was open for discussion?...

I am sure that you knew of none in Ireland either, until I mentioned these things.  And both of us are ignorant of the situation in continental Europe.  My interest has always been in Ireland and I have not looked at what was happening in Europe.
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« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2010, 01:05:24 PM »

visitor, the problem is a lot of us Catholics here are slowly in the process of finding out whether to become EO, and attitudes of derision and contempt towards the church we're in now put us on the defensive.    The RC may not be the best 'mother' but we still love her, warts and all - if for no other reason than this: she taught us about Christ.
Yes, I have to agree with this. Orthodox on the whole need to be better examples of Christian charity. We need to be more understanding of where people are at in their journey towards Orthodoxy. Sometimes we get more caught up with the "Orthodoxy of the mind" and being right than taking care of the "Orthodoxy of the heart," to paraphrase Blessed Seraphim of Platina. I'm convinced that on Judgment Day, God will not ask us how knowledgeable we were about certain Councils or canons or apologetical arguments, but how we cared for our soul and the souls of our brethren. Smiley

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« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2010, 02:20:02 PM »


Who were these Irish saints who promoted abortion and how widespread was their influence.  I know of none in Europe who openly did so in those times when the question of ensoulment was open for discussion?...

I am sure that you knew of none in Ireland either, until I mentioned these things.  And both of us are ignorant of the situation in continental Europe.  My interest has always been in Ireland and I have not looked at what was happening in Europe.

The context of the text you give above is so late barbarian!

Honestly, I have no idea what Byzantine law says, if anything, about abortion. Certain prescriptions were made for suicide, I know--it was permitted under certain defined circumstances etc.--but abortion... I don't know if that's mentioned.

It was known from the very beginning that [practicing] Christians did not expose their infants (to dispose of them, e.g. in remote places), but I don't know what that tells us about abortion in the west.

What we would be looking for would probably be a medical text (most likley a Latin translation from Arabic)... But then again, few physicians in the west were Christians in the first place. For a long time Jewish doctors were preferred because it was assumed that their knowledge of the black arts enabled them to either cause illness, or remedy it, by the same means. In other words, a woman seeking an abortion as a medical proceedure may as likely as not have gone to a non-Christian (i.e. a Jew, a wizard, etc.) for such a procedure anyway. Socially (and therefore religiously), the service itself would have been typed as a species of deviancy based upon the identity of the provider, even if it were only a cold or a headache that were being treated.

Again, in the east, the "procuring" of abortions was forbidden of course; apparently it wasn't necessary to tell Christians that they should not perform abortions... ?! Witchcraft was banned both by name and in many of its particulars. Jewish doctors may have been preferred in the east as well, but I find that a doubtful assertion to make without a heap of evidence to back it up. The first hospitals were founded by the Orthodox Church after all... Hmm.

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« Reply #24 on: July 28, 2010, 03:09:32 PM »

You know what? Thinking about it I am reminded that Jews were occasionally accused (and sometimes even punished!) for sacrificing and/or even devouring Christian children.

In modern times we tend to take such accounts at face value and assign them to the dustbin of false reports and blatant episodes of antisemitism. Rene Girard has reviewed the scapegoating of Jews in the middle ages as evidence of an internal need in human society to reaffirm its cohesiveness by blaming a certain class or group or person for any and all of society's ills, whether said party is actually guilty or not. --{Meaning sometimes the guilty are guilty, sometimes they are not. In the end it really doesn't matter either way, anthropologically speaking. What is "important" is the unity of society in the activity of collective violence. Oddly enough, we as a species seem to need to do that, according to Girard. He really feels that Christianity has the power to short circuit that cycle of collective violence, however, through the weekly celebration of the Passion. So there you go!}--

But looking a bit more closely at the phenomena of Jewish persecution over perceived crimes against children, one wonders if the myth that Jews sacrificed and devoured little Christians is itself an overinflated impression of a possible true fact about Jewish physic, viz. that certain Jewish doctors could, or did, or perhaps were simply presumed or expected to perform abortions.

I can't help noticing that abortion doctors today are pretty heavily demonized... It's almost as serious as the middle ages actually, in terms of the metaphors used.

Am I saying that I have solved the riddle? No. But at least I went to the trouble of doing the hermeneutics!
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« Reply #25 on: July 28, 2010, 03:37:25 PM »

Here is something on the early Irish Saints and abortion  You will find it odd and even a liitle unbelievable.  This is NOT a slash at the Roman Catholics since at this period we formed ONE Church and these are as much Orthodox Saints as Catholic Saints.


It is interesting that, in the case of abortion, almost universally the problem lies more in praxis and than in principle.  Everyone always agrees that it is a very very bad thing to do, and then begin the list of exceptions to that rule.  Apparently that has not changed much over time.

M.
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« Reply #26 on: July 28, 2010, 03:37:26 PM »

[
This, my old friend, is a myth.

So please stop perpetuating this myth.  I know you like to haul it out now and then but it is a disservice to all concerned...or all unconcerned for that matter <smile>


This website on Canon Law run by Fr Jessie G. Somosierra agrees with me.

http://canonlawdictionary.blogspot.com/2008/10/abortion.html

Things are a great deal more complicated than that I think.  Not everyone believed that there was a delay in ensoulment.  The following web site offers a far more complete picture for what was happening with respect to the discussions of abortion.  I do not believe the one line assertion about St. Thomas Aquinas is true at all, but I cannot document that yet ...And there were those throughout the centuries who taught it was murder without exception, as well.

Also after reading the text offered from the Apostolic Constitution, I believe they have read into it something which was not intended by the text.

Clearly this website has an agenda but the data here is more complete that the one from Father Jessie.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/abo_hist.htm

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« Reply #27 on: July 28, 2010, 03:37:26 PM »


Who were these Irish saints who promoted abortion and how widespread was their influence.  I know of none in Europe who openly did so in those times when the question of ensoulment was open for discussion?...

I am sure that you knew of none in Ireland either, until I mentioned these things.  And both of us are ignorant of the situation in continental Europe.  My interest has always been in Ireland and I have not looked at what was happening in Europe.

Apparently this saintly behavior is an exception rather than a rule.

M.
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« Reply #28 on: July 28, 2010, 03:37:26 PM »

Just a quick note to add to the discussion the reminder that abortion was treated as murder and the guilty one or ones were executed...So that the "easement" of yesteryears concerning ensoulment, when it was in place canonically, meant the difference between life and death for the mother and others and also allowed for a no-fault spontaneous abortion in the first six weeks of the life of the child, so that a woman would not be executed for something that she did not control.

M.
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« Reply #29 on: July 28, 2010, 03:39:46 PM »

Maybe I'm on a roll, but I'll roll it to a stop here.

I guess the point of that Girard stuff--what we can take away from it, I mean--is that if one is freaking out and blaming people for no reason (scapegoating), then one's Sunday morning experience really just isn't working. A real celebration of the Passion of Christ puts an end to the creative search for victims in the name of righteousness, and it makes us stop feeling alientated ourselves.

Ciao, Mary.
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« Reply #30 on: July 28, 2010, 07:17:06 PM »


Who were these Irish saints who promoted abortion and how widespread was their influence.  I know of none in Europe who openly did so in those times when the question of ensoulment was open for discussion?...

I am sure that you knew of none in Ireland either, until I mentioned these things.  And both of us are ignorant of the situation in continental Europe.  My interest has always been in Ireland and I have not looked at what was happening in Europe.

One of the things that is happening in this thread is that we are not saying that although early abortions were NOT always called murder, they certainly were called sin.

So your Irish saints were sinners...not a great shock mind you...but it was not a holy thing that they did, IF they did so, and they stood outside the teaching of the Church when they did.

So it is one thing to say that there were conflicting teachings concerning abortion and murder over time but there never was a question concerning the seriousness of the sin of the abortion no matter when it happened or why it happened.

M.
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« Reply #31 on: July 28, 2010, 07:17:06 PM »

Just a quick note to add to the discussion the reminder that abortion was treated as murder and the guilty one or ones were executed...So that the "easement" of yesteryears concerning ensoulment, when it was in place canonically, meant the difference between life and death for the mother and others and also allowed for a no-fault spontaneous abortion in the first six weeks of the life of the child, so that a woman would not be executed for something that she did not control.

M.

PS: Can't modify at the moment but needed to with this one.  I made it seem as though all who aborted or were caught aborting or having aborted were executed but there were egregious cases when that happened and also cases where women were punished for aborting because families demanded it, for a variety of reasons.

Forensics being what they were at the time it was very difficult to tell whether or not a spontaneous abortion was natural.

M.
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« Reply #32 on: July 28, 2010, 11:18:23 PM »


Who were these Irish saints who promoted abortion and how widespread was their influence.  I know of none in Europe who openly did so in those times when the question of ensoulment was open for discussion?...

I am sure that you knew of none in Ireland either, until I mentioned these things.  And both of us are ignorant of the situation in continental Europe.  My interest has always been in Ireland and I have not looked at what was happening in Europe.

The context of the text you give above is so late barbarian!

Honestly, I have no idea what Byzantine law says, if anything, about abortion. Certain prescriptions were made for suicide, I know--it was permitted under certain defined circumstances etc.--but abortion... I don't know if that's mentioned.

It was known from the very beginning that [practicing] Christians did not expose their infants (to dispose of them, e.g. in remote places), but I don't know what that tells us about abortion in the west.

What we would be looking for would probably be a medical text (most likley a Latin translation from Arabic)... But then again, few physicians in the west were Christians in the first place. For a long time Jewish doctors were preferred because it was assumed that their knowledge of the black arts enabled them to either cause illness, or remedy it, by the same means. In other words, a woman seeking an abortion as a medical proceedure may as likely as not have gone to a non-Christian (i.e. a Jew, a wizard, etc.) for such a procedure anyway. Socially (and therefore religiously), the service itself would have been typed as a species of deviancy based upon the identity of the provider, even if it were only a cold or a headache that were being treated.

Again, in the east, the "procuring" of abortions was forbidden of course; apparently it wasn't necessary to tell Christians that they should not perform abortions... ?! Witchcraft was banned both by name and in many of its particulars. Jewish doctors may have been preferred in the east as well, but I find that a doubtful assertion to make without a heap of evidence to back it up. The first hospitals were founded by the Orthodox Church after all... Hmm.


Dear Visitor,

I have to admit that I am still curious as to what you meant by

"The truth is that abortion had been outlawed in Orthodoxy much, much longer than in the West!"
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« Reply #33 on: July 28, 2010, 11:20:13 PM »

Here is something on the early Irish Saints and abortion  You will find it odd and even a liitle unbelievable.  This is NOT a slash at the Roman Catholics since at this period we formed ONE Church and these are as much Orthodox Saints as Catholic Saints.


It is interesting that, in the case of abortion, almost universally the problem lies more in praxis and than in principle.  Everyone always agrees that it is a very very bad thing to do, and then begin the list of exceptions to that rule.  Apparently that has not changed much over time.

M.

A disingenuous response to what I posted on the Irish Saints and early term abortion.
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« Reply #34 on: July 28, 2010, 11:41:59 PM »

Here is something on the early Irish Saints and abortion  You will find it odd and even a liitle unbelievable.  This is NOT a slash at the Roman Catholics since at this period we formed ONE Church and these are as much Orthodox Saints as Catholic Saints.


It is interesting that, in the case of abortion, almost universally the problem lies more in praxis and than in principle.  Everyone always agrees that it is a very very bad thing to do, and then begin the list of exceptions to that rule.  Apparently that has not changed much over time.

M.

A disingenuous response to what I posted on the Irish Saints and early term abortion.

I have no idea what you are talking about.  I am also getting tired of your "estimations" of what I write. 

Cunning, disingenuous?  Who are you?

The fact of the matter is that your good Irish saints acted in a manner that east or west would have considered  to be exceptionally sinful.  There was simply some question about whether or not it was murder.   You make it sound as though abortion was acceptable or holy simply because it was not murder...Well that is neither disingenuous nor cunning...

It's simply and wildly inaccurate.

It's also an aberration in the far grander scale of saintly behaviors!!

M.
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« Reply #35 on: July 29, 2010, 12:14:30 AM »


 The truth is that abortion had been outlawed in Orthodoxy much, much longer than in the West! That's a first example.


Yes, you are right about that.  The West became entangled in arguments about when ensoulment / animation occurs, from roughly 40 days for a boy and up to 90 days for a girl.   Up until then the foetus was seen as not fully human, in fact more of a vegetative thing which progressed to an animal thing but still without a soul and not human.  So the West, although it did not approve of aborting this thing which had as yet no soul, was also quite lenient about aborting it.


This, my old friend, is a myth.

I don't have the citations at hand and I am not going looking however St. Thomas, regardless of his ensoulment ideas, also made it clear that NO time is proper to kill child in the womb, soul or no soul.

So please stop perpetuating this myth
M.

You remind me of someone who once argued I should stop believing in Christ. The discussion went something like this.

Bob: You know, being all Christian isn't going to get you to heaven, since Jesus never even existed.
Me: Really? Even atheists and opponents usually achknowledge his existance, what makes you say something so radical?
Bob: I read a foolproof book that goes in depth explaining how Jesus was in fact multiple individuals, many of them actually fictitious. I can't recall the title or the author though and I think I lost the book.
Me: Great! you suggest I change my life around on the account of evidence you cannot provide me. That's not going to work!
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« Reply #36 on: July 29, 2010, 12:42:44 AM »


 The truth is that abortion had been outlawed in Orthodoxy much, much longer than in the West! That's a first example.


Yes, you are right about that.  The West became entangled in arguments about when ensoulment / animation occurs, from roughly 40 days for a boy and up to 90 days for a girl.   Up until then the foetus was seen as not fully human, in fact more of a vegetative thing which progressed to an animal thing but still without a soul and not human.  So the West, although it did not approve of aborting this thing which had as yet no soul, was also quite lenient about aborting it.


This, my old friend, is a myth.

I don't have the citations at hand and I am not going looking however St. Thomas, regardless of his ensoulment ideas, also made it clear that NO time is proper to kill child in the womb, soul or no soul.

So please stop perpetuating this myth
M.

You remind me of someone who once argued I should stop believing in Christ. The discussion went something like this.

Bob: You know, being all Christian isn't going to get you to heaven, since Jesus never even existed.
Me: Really? Even atheists and opponents usually achknowledge his existance, what makes you say something so radical?
Bob: I read a foolproof book that goes in depth explaining how Jesus was in fact multiple individuals, many of them actually fictitious. I can't recall the title or the author though and I think I lost the book.
Me: Great! you suggest I change my life around on the account of evidence you cannot provide me. That's not going to work!

Ok.   If you don't feel like giving me a chance to find evidence that Aquinas thought that all abortions were sins but not all abortions were murder...that's fine. 

Did you know that ensoulment was posited with respect to the human soul but all animated creatures were thought to have a soul.  So the issue was not was there a soul or not but what kind of soul.

What keeps you from going and looking for evidences...or is it more fun to take a poke at me  laugh

M.

M.
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« Reply #37 on: July 29, 2010, 12:35:08 PM »


Who were these Irish saints who promoted abortion and how widespread was their influence.  I know of none in Europe who openly did so in those times when the question of ensoulment was open for discussion?...

I am sure that you knew of none in Ireland either, until I mentioned these things.  And both of us are ignorant of the situation in continental Europe.  My interest has always been in Ireland and I have not looked at what was happening in Europe.

The context of the text you give above is so late barbarian!

Honestly, I have no idea what Byzantine law says, if anything, about abortion. Certain prescriptions were made for suicide, I know--it was permitted under certain defined circumstances etc.--but abortion... I don't know if that's mentioned.

It was known from the very beginning that [practicing] Christians did not expose their infants (to dispose of them, e.g. in remote places), but I don't know what that tells us about abortion in the west.

What we would be looking for would probably be a medical text (most likley a Latin translation from Arabic)... But then again, few physicians in the west were Christians in the first place. For a long time Jewish doctors were preferred because it was assumed that their knowledge of the black arts enabled them to either cause illness, or remedy it, by the same means. In other words, a woman seeking an abortion as a medical proceedure may as likely as not have gone to a non-Christian (i.e. a Jew, a wizard, etc.) for such a procedure anyway. Socially (and therefore religiously), the service itself would have been typed as a species of deviancy based upon the identity of the provider, even if it were only a cold or a headache that were being treated.

Again, in the east, the "procuring" of abortions was forbidden of course; apparently it wasn't necessary to tell Christians that they should not perform abortions... ?! Witchcraft was banned both by name and in many of its particulars. Jewish doctors may have been preferred in the east as well, but I find that a doubtful assertion to make without a heap of evidence to back it up. The first hospitals were founded by the Orthodox Church after all... Hmm.


Dear Visitor,

I have to admit that I am still curious as to what you meant by

"The truth is that abortion had been outlawed in Orthodoxy much, much longer than in the West!"

I figure the category of outlawry (moral or otherwise) is implied by the phrase "thou shalt not" (again, see the Didache). That's probably a bit Mosaic of me, but there you have it.

On another subject, I might point out that there still seems to be a desperate search for sacred victims going on in this thread; it's even gone archaeological now. All the abortions in the world, past, present, and future, don't amount to Calvary and never will.

What is really going on here is that a Pharisaical preoccupation with violence and moral economy is subverting the religion itself. The souls of both sinners and the unbaptized belong to God alone! Why the fixation!?

I might even remind folks, as an aside, that "mortal sins" as well as "sins that cry out to heaven" have been committed by an organized conspiracy of clergy even within the precincts of church buildings themselves. I'm not trying to change the subject, I'm simply saying that there really are sacred victims literally everywhere one looks. To select one group for prestige over another is to downplay and the violence done upon the unchosen group and amounts to suppressing the intrinsic worth of those arbitrarily placed behind a veil of silence by refusing to acknowledge their capacity to suffer or lose their souls.

Besides that, I really don't see how anything at all is accomplished by armchair theologians all arguing over and over again on the internet about how little they agree about a single type sin, when in fact they all substantively do agree about that single type sin.

So I'll say it again. A trillion abortions doesn't amount to Calvary. Someone's sunday is missing something crucial (mind the pun).



(Sorry about the wild digression that had nothing to do with you or your question, Irish Hermit.)
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« Reply #38 on: July 29, 2010, 02:16:44 PM »

As others with handheld devices have asked before, may I repeat the request to delete the multiple quotes from previous posters when replying? Very time-consuming to scroll thru rhe whole thread, over and over, on my handheld device. Thanks!
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« Reply #39 on: July 10, 2011, 03:22:41 AM »

Apologies.  I did not give references...

For Saint Kieran of Saigher please see Plummer's Vitae Sanctorum Hiberniae
For Saint Brigid please see the Triadis Thaumaturgae (The Triad of Miracle-Workers) by John Colgan (early 16th century.)
For Saint Kenneth of Kilkenny (Aghaboe)  see Bethada Naem nErenn (Lives of the Saints of Ireland.)


Here is something on the early Irish Saints and abortion  You will find it odd and even a liitle unbelievable.  This is NOT a slash at the Roman Catholics since at this period we formed ONE Church and these are as much Orthodox Saints as Catholic Saints.

I like to take an interest in the Lives of the old Irish Saints and one of the very curious things one encounters is their strange attitude to abortion. Four of the Saints have Lives in which they are responsible for some sort of abortions: Saint Brigid, Saint Kieran of Saigir, Saint Aed of Killarien, and Saint Kenneth of Aghaboe.


In the case of Saint Kieran of Saigir, a local king named Dima abducted Bruinnech, a vowed virgin, from Kieran's monastery.

"Sanctus quoque Keranus, tanti facinoris immanitatem detestans ac remedium apponere cupiens, ad domum sacrilegi, quesiturus ab eo puellam, accessit. . . . Reverente vero vir Dei cum puella ad monasterium, confessa est puella se conceptum habere in utero. Tunc vir Dei, zelo iustitie ductus, viperium semen animari nolens, impresso venri eius signo crucis, fecit illud exinaniri."


Translation:
"St. Kieran, despising the enormity of such a crime and wishing to apply a cure, went to the house of sacrilege to seek the girl from there. . . . When the man of God returned to the monastery with the girl, she confessed that she was pregnant. Then the man of God, led by the zeal of justice, not wishing the serpent's seed to quicken, pressed down on her womb with the sign of the cross and forced her womb empty."

Notice a very interesting detail because it bears out what I posted earlier about the early Western (Catholic) theory of the distinction between a quickened (animated) and unquickened (not yet animated and therefore abortable) foetus -- Not wishing the serpent's seed to quicken -viperium semen animari nolens -

Saint Kieran did not believe he was causing the abortion of a live foetus. It had not yet "quickened" in his eyes and so it was not a sin for the Saint to bring about an abortion.


Bruinnech then resumes her previous status in the community until Dima returns to the monastery to abduct her again. The very sight of the king causes her to die, and in response Dima threatens Kieran with exile for killing his "wife." Kieran's holy power then causes two of Dima's sons to die, which thus removes Dima's threat to Bruinnech and Kieran's community. Kieran then restores the sons and Bruinnech back to life, and neither she nor Dima is mentioned again.

---
The two women who received such abortion services from Saint Aed of Killarien and Saint Kenneth of Aghaboe are not named, nor are the exact circumstances leading to the pregnancy detailed; they appear in the vitae exclusively as the occasion for
the saints to perform such a "miracle" upon them.

Saint Aed noticed that the womb of one of the consecrated virgins serving him

"grew quickly without food, as if it might flee from that place. Then the virgin confessed before all that she had sinned secretly and she did penance. St. Aed blessed her womb, and at once the baby in her womb disappeared as if it did not exist."


The Latin text for the above:
"...cito surrexit ille sine cibo, ut ab isto fugeret. Tunc illa coram omnibus confessa est quod occulte peccasset et penitentiam egit. Sanctus autem Aidus benedixit uterum eius, et statim infans in utero eius evanuit quasi non esset."

The virgin in Saint Kenneth's vita had "fornicated secretly," became pregnant, and asked Kenneth to bless her womb. When he did so, "at once the baby in her womb vanished without a trace."

"...occulte fornicavit . statim infans in utero eius non apparens evanuit."

There is not a hint in the hagiographies that the monk scribes found anything reprehensible in these saintly abortions. Indeed they are used as evidence of the miraculous powers of the Saints.


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