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Author Topic: Catholic and Orthodox: Appeal to Teaching Authority  (Read 11013 times) Average Rating: 5
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elijahmaria
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« on: August 11, 2010, 02:32:12 PM »

Father Al Kimel wrote the following in another discussion thread and I thought he was correct to say that it deserves a topic all its own:

Father Al Kimel:

The question of the continuity of present teaching with the teaching of the past is not of course irrelevant to Catholics--quite the contrary. But for purposes of this discussion, it is absolutely critical that the question "What is the present teaching of the Catholic Church on purgatory?" be separated from "Has the Catholic Church 'changed' its teaching on purgatory?" I understand why the latter question is of such polemical interest to folks like Fr Ambrose; but until Fr Ambrose and others like him cease to arrogate to themselves the authority of the Catholic Magisterium, there can be no fruitful discussion. Catholics are rightly insulted when non-Catholics keep imposing upon them their polemical reconstructions and caricatures of Catholic belief. 

But the point you raise, FormerReformer, is of great interest and deserves its own thread, because it touches on what may be an important difference between Catholic and Orthodox understandings of ecclesial authority. Orthodoxy appeals to the consensual teaching of the Church Fathers and Ecumenical Councils. When doctrinal disagreement occurs, Orthodox theologians ask, "What did the Church Fathers teach?" As we know, faithful Christians will often disagree in their identification and interpretation of the consensual teaching of the patristic Church. How are such differences authoritatively resolved?

The Catholic, on the other hand, looks to the present teaching of the Church to resolve, if not definitively then at least reliably, the question "What did the Apostles teach?" and "What did the Fathers teach?" The Catholic does this because he trusts that the Holy Spirit is guiding the pastors of the Church. Hence the provocative words of Henry Cardinal Manning in his book The Temporal Mission of the Holy Ghost (1881):

Quote
As soon as I perceived the Divine fact that the Holy Spirit of God has united Himself indissolubly to the mystical body, or Church of Jesus Christ, I saw at once that the interpretations or doctrines of the living Church are true because Divine, and that the voice of the living Church in all ages is the sole rule of faith, and infallible, because it is the voice of a Divine Person. I then saw that all appeals to Scripture alone, or to Scripture and antiquity, whether by individuals or by local churches, are no more than appeals from the Divine voice of the living Church, and therefore essentially rationalistic. (p. 44)

The doctrines of the Church in all ages are primitive. It was the charge of the Reformers that the Catholic doctrines were not primitive, and their pretension was to revert to antiquity. But the appeal to antiquity is both a treason and a heresy. It is a treason because it rejects the Divine voice of the Church at this hour, and a heresy because it denies that voice to be Divine. How can we know what antiquity was except through the Church? No individual, no number of individuals can go back through eighteen hundred years to reach the doctrines of antiquity. We may say with the woman of Samaria, “Sir, the well is deep, and thou hast nothing to draw with.” No individual mind now has contact with the revelation of Pentecost, except through the Church. Historical evidence and biblical criticism are human after all, and amount at most to no more than opinion, probability, human judgment, human tradition. (p. 227)

From the Catholic perspective, the Orthodox appeal to patristic consensus looks very similar to the Protestant appeal to the plain teaching of Scripture. Both appear to be appeals to antiquity and thus ultimately appeals to the private judgment of clerics, historians, and theologians. From the Orthodox perspective, the Catholic appeal to the contemporary teaching of the Magisterium looks like advocacy of progressive, and even new, revelation. How can the present-day teaching of the Catholic Church on purgatory, for example, be essentially identical to the teaching of the medieval Catholic Church when it appears to be so different? Of course, the positions of both Churches are far more nuanced than what I have here simplistically stated; but this is, I think, a matter worthy of substantive, patient, and charitable discussion.
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« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2010, 02:57:30 PM »

This is indeed an interesting difference between Catholics and Orthodox. What puzzles me is that when looking for an answer, the Orthodox believe all they can do is look back on previous teachings by the Church Fathers or by doctrines defined at Ecumenical Councils. It is almost as if they believe that the Holy Spirit only guided the Church for a certain time, from the time of the Apostles and Early Church Fathers up until the seventh Ecumenical Council. The Catholic Church believes it possesses the same teaching authority that the Church has always had going back to antiquity. If the Holy Spirit guided the Church then and was able to produce definitive orthodox doctrine, then surely now the Church has that same authority. This is what the Catholic Church believes. I am puzzled as to why the Orthodox Church doesn't believe that the Church still possesses teaching authority by virtue of the Holy Spirit, or that the Holy Spirit is not able to bring the Church into a fuller understanding of truths. That the Orthodox are uncomfortable with this concept is made evident when they scoff at our Magisterium, which is the teaching authority of the Catholic Church guided by the Holy Spirit.

Our understanding of doctrinal teachings certainly does change even if the Truths themselves cannot and do not change. I'm sure most Orthodox would agree that our understanding of the Trinity after the First Council of Nicea was a lot clearer than it was before Nicea. However, this is not to say that the Church changed its view and created the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, but simply that over time the Holy Spirit brought the Church into a deeper understanding of it.
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mike
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« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2010, 03:05:35 PM »

The Orthodox always look in the past when looking for an answer to whether the question was not been resolved. Making a new answer if there is already the one for the same question is pointless. New answer (under the guidance of Holy Spirit) are worked out only when the problems did not appear in the past.

The RCC on the other hand doesn't bother to check whether the Church has opinion on anything (or they chack and say the opinion is wrong) and when the question appears (no matter how many time did it appear before) it creates a new answer best suitable (according to them) to the present situation.
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« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2010, 03:08:41 PM »

The Orthodox always look in the past when looking for an answer to whether the question was not been resolved. Making a new answer if there is already the one for the same question is pointless. New answer (under the guidance of Holy Spirit) are worked out only when the problems did not appear in the past.

The RCC on the other hand doesn't bother to check whether the Church has opinion on anything (or they chack and say the opinion is wrong) and when the question appears (no matter how many time did it appear before) it creates a new answer best suitable (according to them) to the present situation.
This is not entirely correct. The Catholic Church has never changed doctrine outright, it can't, know does it believe it can. Adjusting the way we describe Purgatory (which is a spiritual thing) by describing it using different physical metaphors than before doesn't mean we changed the doctrine, as the precise nature of Purgatory was never doctrinally defined.
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« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2010, 03:09:29 PM »

The Orthodox Church does not have the Roman Catholic concept of the development of doctrine.
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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2010, 03:13:34 PM »

The Orthodox always look in the past when looking for an answer to whether the question was not been resolved. Making a new answer if there is already the one for the same question is pointless. New answer (under the guidance of Holy Spirit) are worked out only when the problems did not appear in the past.

The RCC on the other hand doesn't bother to check whether the Church has opinion on anything (or they chack and say the opinion is wrong) and when the question appears (no matter how many time did it appear before) it creates a new answer best suitable (according to them) to the present situation.
This is not entirely correct. The Catholic Church has never changed doctrine outright, it can't, know does it believe it can. Adjusting the way we describe Purgatory (which is a spiritual thing) by describing it using different physical metaphors than before doesn't mean we changed the doctrine, as the precise nature of Purgatory was never doctrinally defined.

Which brings us to the problem plaguing the other threads:  At what point does the Roman Catholic Church consider a doctrine "defined"?  Ecumenical Council?  Papal pronouncement?  Inclusion in the Catachesis?
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« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2010, 03:13:46 PM »

The Orthodox always look in the past when looking for an answer to whether the question was not been resolved. Making a new answer if there is already the one for the same question is pointless. New answer (under the guidance of Holy Spirit) are worked out only when the problems did not appear in the past.

The RCC on the other hand doesn't bother to check whether the Church has opinion on anything (or they chack and say the opinion is wrong) and when the question appears (no matter how many time did it appear before) it creates a new answer best suitable (according to them) to the present situation.

Mike,

Your reply here made me think that perhaps it would be helpful if you could give and example of what you see happening with the Catholic Church...or an example from Orthodoxy that we could then compare and contrast the way of examining things?

Also I think we are going to need a good working explanation for "patristic consensus"...What is it?  How do we determine if we've got it? What happens if it we cannot find a decisive patristic majority position?  Etc.

Actually the Catholic Church also has to explain what she means by and how she employs patristic consensus in her teaching and doctrinal documents now and through history.  

There are no formal Catholic documents that are not explicitly grounded in some way in the long historical view of tradition.

M.
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« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2010, 03:16:18 PM »

The Orthodox always look in the past when looking for an answer to whether the question was not been resolved. Making a new answer if there is already the one for the same question is pointless. New answer (under the guidance of Holy Spirit) are worked out only when the problems did not appear in the past.

The RCC on the other hand doesn't bother to check whether the Church has opinion on anything (or they chack and say the opinion is wrong) and when the question appears (no matter how many time did it appear before) it creates a new answer best suitable (according to them) to the present situation.
This is not entirely correct. The Catholic Church has never changed doctrine outright, it can't, know does it believe it can. Adjusting the way we describe Purgatory (which is a spiritual thing) by describing it using different physical metaphors than before doesn't mean we changed the doctrine, as the precise nature of Purgatory was never doctrinally defined.

Which brings us to the problem plaguing the other threads:  At what point does the Roman Catholic Church consider a doctrine "defined"?  Ecumenical Council?  Papal pronouncement?  Inclusion in the Catachesis?

In many ways, teaching and legitimate doctrinal development is like the soul...a work always in progress.

Councils establish some parts of a given doctrine, but always leave room for the spirit to move...room and time.

The bishops have the authority to formulate doctrine and the laity are charged with its protection.

Mary
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« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2010, 03:31:20 PM »

This is not entirely correct. The Catholic Church has never changed doctrine outright, it can't, know does it believe it can.

Really?

Quote from: Council of Florence
It firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the catholic church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the catholic church before the end of their lives; that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is of such importance that only for those who abide in it do the church's sacraments contribute to salvation and do fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militia produce eternal rewards; and that nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed his blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and the unity of the catholic church.

source

Quote from: II Council of Vatican
Even in the beginnings of this one and only Church of God there arose certain rifts,(19) which the Apostle strongly condemned. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions made their appearance and quite large communities came to be separated from full communion with the Catholic Church-for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame. The children who are born into these Communities and who grow up believing in Christ cannot be accused of the sin involved in the separation, and the Catholic Church embraces upon them as brothers, with respect and affection. For men who believe in Christ and have been truly baptized are in communion with the Catholic Church even though this communion is imperfect.

source
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« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2010, 03:40:38 PM »

This is not entirely correct. The Catholic Church has never changed doctrine outright, it can't, know does it believe it can.

Really?

Quote from: Council of Florence
It firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the catholic church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the catholic church before the end of their lives; that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is of such importance that only for those who abide in it do the church's sacraments contribute to salvation and do fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militia produce eternal rewards; and that nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed his blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and the unity of the catholic church.

source

Quote from: II Council of Vatican
Even in the beginnings of this one and only Church of God there arose certain rifts,(19) which the Apostle strongly condemned. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions made their appearance and quite large communities came to be separated from full communion with the Catholic Church-for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame. The children who are born into these Communities and who grow up believing in Christ cannot be accused of the sin involved in the separation, and the Catholic Church embraces upon them as brothers, with respect and affection. For men who believe in Christ and have been truly baptized are in communion with the Catholic Church even though this communion is imperfect.

source

That is a wonderful question.  Is every word of every council infallible?

Mary
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« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2010, 03:44:11 PM »

We say - yes.

I have another one wonderful question: What is the purpose of Ecumenical Councils if they don't precise the Church's doctrine?
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« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2010, 03:53:36 PM »

We say - yes.

I have another one wonderful question: What is the purpose of Ecumenical Councils if they don't precise the Church's doctrine?

They can be for pastoral guidance as well as legitimate doctrinal development.

Does Orthodoxy teach that none are saved outside the Orthodox Church?

M.
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« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2010, 04:02:03 PM »

Yes, but Christ can save anyone He wants.
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« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2010, 04:04:10 PM »

Yes, but Christ can save anyone He wants.

Well then consider Florence the Yes and the Second Vatican the But.....

I'm not really joking there.  Someone mentioned that Orthodoxy does things in her own time and it was none of my business really to question it....well....there it is.

M.
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« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2010, 04:11:19 PM »

We say - yes.

I have another one wonderful question: What is the purpose of Ecumenical Councils if they don't precise the Church's doctrine?

Catholics do not say that every word written in a conciliar document is irreformable.

M.
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« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2010, 04:17:55 PM »

Christ is higher authority than any Council or Consensus Patrum. He does what he wants.

Vatican II isn't the complacement of Florence, it's its negation.

Florence says that those out of communion with Pope won't achieve salvation because they are outside the Church. Vatican II says that those out of communion with Pope are truly baptised, therefore they can achieve salvation. Two equal authorities proclaimed statements that contradict each other. Which one is true? The latter one superceded the previous one? Is it possible for one Ecumenical Council to change the doctrinal teachings defined in the previous Council?

We, the Orthodox, say - no.

We say - yes.

I have another one wonderful question: What is the purpose of Ecumenical Councils if they don't precise the Church's doctrine?

Catholics do not say that every word written in a conciliar document is irreformable.

M.

You have mentioned pastoral rules - they can be changed. The doctrinal statements cannot.
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« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2010, 04:24:22 PM »

Christ is higher authority than any Council or Consensus Patrum. He does what he wants.

Vatican II isn't the complacement of Florence, it's its negation.

Florence says that those out of communion with Pope won't achieve salvation because they are outside the Church. Vatican II says that those out of communion with Pope are truly baptised, therefore they can achieve salvation. Two equal authorities proclaimed statements that contradict each other. Which one is true? The latter one superceded the previous one? Is it possible for one Ecumenical Council to change the doctrinal teachings defined in the previous Council?

We, the Orthodox, say - no.

We say - yes.

I have another one wonderful question: What is the purpose of Ecumenical Councils if they don't precise the Church's doctrine?

Catholics do not say that every word written in a conciliar document is irreformable.

M.

You have mentioned pastoral rules - they can be changed. The doctrinal statements cannot.

Florence says that no one outside the Church will achieve salvation...

In those centuries being outside the Church meant being without Baptism or being a heretic or one who outright rejected the Church and her sacraments and tenets of belief....

Vatican II says that anyone outside the Church who is baptized may be saved and that there is even the possibility of a baptism of desire...but she says nothing about heretics being saved...

Your rendition of Florence has said things that are not there in the document...I guess you needed to add that to make your argument work.

M.
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« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2010, 04:26:28 PM »

Christ is higher authority than any Council or Consensus Patrum. He does what he wants.

Vatican II isn't the complacement of Florence, it's its negation.

Florence says that those out of communion with Pope won't achieve salvation because they are outside the Church. Vatican II says that those out of communion with Pope are truly baptised, therefore they can achieve salvation. Two equal authorities proclaimed statements that contradict each other. Which one is true? The latter one superceded the previous one? Is it possible for one Ecumenical Council to change the doctrinal teachings defined in the previous Council?

We, the Orthodox, say - no.

We say - yes.

I have another one wonderful question: What is the purpose of Ecumenical Councils if they don't precise the Church's doctrine?

Catholics do not say that every word written in a conciliar document is irreformable.

M.

You have mentioned pastoral rules - they can be changed. The doctrinal statements cannot.

Florence says that no one outside the Church will achieve salvation...

In those centuries being outside the Church meant being without Baptism....

Vatican II says that anyone outside the Church who is baptized may be saved and that there is even the possibility of a baptism of desire...

Your rendition of Florence has said things that are not there in the document...I guess you needed to add that to make your argument work.

M.

so does this mean that those who lived in those centuries w/o baptism are damned outright while those who have the fortune to be born post 1969 may be saved?
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« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2010, 04:27:19 PM »

Christ is higher authority than any Council or Consensus Patrum. He does what he wants.

Without the church, ex ecclesia, how do you know what is Christ's authority and what is man's delusion?

M.
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« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2010, 04:32:20 PM »


so does this mean that those who lived in those centuries w/o baptism are damned outright


I am sure it means that there were some who believed that to be true, but there were others who did not and I don't have the citations immediately before me but there is a history of those who took a very strict and rigid view of, ex ecclesia, and those who did not.  Vatican II was only the culmination of centuries of internal and informal dialogue, prayer and study.

So what would be said now is that without the Church, there is no salvation...and we would say that with an entire long tradition of understanding of the Church as the Body of Christ and the Mystical Body of Christ and all that entails in terms of the spiritual life in Christ....for those who are baptised in water and the Spirit and those who we can only pray be saved by the grace of Christ.

M.

PS: You do realize, in Latin, "without the Church" and "outside the Church" can both be translated "ex ecclesia"...
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« Reply #20 on: August 11, 2010, 04:51:13 PM »

In those centuries

You have just stated that the RCC can change its doctrinal teachings. I'm sorry but you are wrong:

Quote from: Council of Vatican
This doctrine is to be believed and held by all the faithful in accordance with the ancient and unchanging faith of the whole Church.

source

What means that in three Councils the RCC issued two contradictory teachings and stated that it's unchangeable. That's tricky  Tongue

In those centuries being outside the Church meant being without Baptism or being a heretic or one who outright rejected the Church and her sacraments and tenets of belief

Way out again. Have you heard of Dictatus Papae?

Quote
That he who is not at peace with the Roman church shall not be considered catholic.

source

Christ is higher authority than any Council or Consensus Patrum. He does what he wants.

Without the church, ex ecclesia, how do you know what is Christ's authority and what is man's delusion?

M.

God guides the Church and makes the Church to establish rules but He's above that rules.
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« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2010, 05:04:37 PM »

Christ is higher authority than any Council or Consensus Patrum. He does what he wants.

Vatican II isn't the complacement of Florence, it's its negation.

Florence says that those out of communion with Pope won't achieve salvation because they are outside the Church. Vatican II says that those out of communion with Pope are truly baptised, therefore they can achieve salvation. Two equal authorities proclaimed statements that contradict each other. Which one is true? The latter one superceded the previous one? Is it possible for one Ecumenical Council to change the doctrinal teachings defined in the previous Council?

We, the Orthodox, say - no.

We say - yes.

I have another one wonderful question: What is the purpose of Ecumenical Councils if they don't precise the Church's doctrine?

Catholics do not say that every word written in a conciliar document is irreformable.

M.

You have mentioned pastoral rules - they can be changed. The doctrinal statements cannot.

Florence says that no one outside the Church will achieve salvation...

In those centuries being outside the Church meant being without Baptism or being a heretic or one who outright rejected the Church and her sacraments and tenets of belief....

Vatican II says that anyone outside the Church who is baptized may be saved and that there is even the possibility of a baptism of desire...but she says nothing about heretics being saved....
So, a heretic will definitively not be saved?
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« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2010, 05:07:17 PM »

Some of this post I can't follow so I will respond to what I can understand:

I have no idea of the underlying premises of your logic that the Church contradicted herself from Florence to Vatican II.  I realize it is an assertion by you and others but the logic is not clear to me and I've never been able to have anyone explain it to me so that it came clear without simply repeating the assertion.

Also I really am aware that God is above the rules of the Church but he is not "above" his own Word for he is the Word.

What I was really asking you was, ex ecclesia, how do YOU know what is God's Word or what is revealed Truth,  and what is human delusion?  How do you determine that?

Mary
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« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2010, 05:10:02 PM »

Christ is higher authority than any Council or Consensus Patrum. He does what he wants.

Vatican II isn't the complacement of Florence, it's its negation.

Florence says that those out of communion with Pope won't achieve salvation because they are outside the Church. Vatican II says that those out of communion with Pope are truly baptised, therefore they can achieve salvation. Two equal authorities proclaimed statements that contradict each other. Which one is true? The latter one superceded the previous one? Is it possible for one Ecumenical Council to change the doctrinal teachings defined in the previous Council?

We, the Orthodox, say - no.

We say - yes.

I have another one wonderful question: What is the purpose of Ecumenical Councils if they don't precise the Church's doctrine?

Catholics do not say that every word written in a conciliar document is irreformable.

M.

You have mentioned pastoral rules - they can be changed. The doctrinal statements cannot.

Florence says that no one outside the Church will achieve salvation...

In those centuries being outside the Church meant being without Baptism or being a heretic or one who outright rejected the Church and her sacraments and tenets of belief....

Vatican II says that anyone outside the Church who is baptized may be saved and that there is even the possibility of a baptism of desire...but she says nothing about heretics being saved....
So, a heretic will definitively not be saved?

By all natural lights...most likely not....since a heretic is defined as one who tries to destroy the Body of Christ in some manner...but that surely does not preclude an act of God...a deathbed conversion...or the act of a loved one who prays in faith to a God who responds, for the soul whose fate is questionable...eh?

M.
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« Reply #24 on: August 11, 2010, 05:37:17 PM »

This is not entirely correct. The Catholic Church has never changed doctrine outright, it can't, know does it believe it can.

Really?

Quote from: Council of Florence
It firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the catholic church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the catholic church before the end of their lives; that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is of such importance that only for those who abide in it do the church's sacraments contribute to salvation and do fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militia produce eternal rewards; and that nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed his blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and the unity of the catholic church.

source

Quote from: II Council of Vatican
Even in the beginnings of this one and only Church of God there arose certain rifts,(19) which the Apostle strongly condemned. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions made their appearance and quite large communities came to be separated from full communion with the Catholic Church-for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame. The children who are born into these Communities and who grow up believing in Christ cannot be accused of the sin involved in the separation, and the Catholic Church embraces upon them as brothers, with respect and affection. For men who believe in Christ and have been truly baptized are in communion with the Catholic Church even though this communion is imperfect.

source

Florence declared that no one outside the Church can attain salvation, which the Catholic Church still believes. Vatican II clarified what being inside the Church means, and that not everyone who is not in Full Communion with the Catholic Church is necessarily outside the Church.
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« Reply #25 on: August 11, 2010, 05:38:42 PM »

The Orthodox Church does not have the Roman Catholic concept of the development of doctrine.
So Nicaea wasn't a development? You believe that the understanding of the Trinity was as developed before Nicaea as it was after? If so, what was the purpose of Nicaea in the first place? I'm really having a difficult time understanding what the Orthodox think the purpose of an Ecumenical Council is if our understanding of teachings doesn't develop over time. After all, even the earliest Ecumenical Council took place around 300 years after Christ. Isn't that pretty late in the game for any teachings to be pronounced if you believe everything was taught once and for all by Christ and the Apostles?
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« Reply #26 on: August 11, 2010, 05:42:51 PM »

Christ is higher authority than any Council or Consensus Patrum. He does what he wants.

Vatican II isn't the complacement of Florence, it's its negation.

Florence says that those out of communion with Pope won't achieve salvation because they are outside the Church. Vatican II says that those out of communion with Pope are truly baptised, therefore they can achieve salvation. Two equal authorities proclaimed statements that contradict each other. Which one is true? The latter one superceded the previous one? Is it possible for one Ecumenical Council to change the doctrinal teachings defined in the previous Council?

We, the Orthodox, say - no.

We say - yes.

I have another one wonderful question: What is the purpose of Ecumenical Councils if they don't precise the Church's doctrine?

Catholics do not say that every word written in a conciliar document is irreformable.

M.

You have mentioned pastoral rules - they can be changed. The doctrinal statements cannot.

Florence says that no one outside the Church will achieve salvation...

In those centuries being outside the Church meant being without Baptism or being a heretic or one who outright rejected the Church and her sacraments and tenets of belief....

Vatican II says that anyone outside the Church who is baptized may be saved and that there is even the possibility of a baptism of desire...but she says nothing about heretics being saved....
So, a heretic will definitively not be saved?

I have a question for you...several:

Is it too late to pray for the souls of Origen and Arius?

If not why not?

How do you know?

M.
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« Reply #27 on: August 11, 2010, 05:51:28 PM »

Christ is higher authority than any Council or Consensus Patrum. He does what he wants.

Vatican II isn't the complacement of Florence, it's its negation.

Florence says that those out of communion with Pope won't achieve salvation because they are outside the Church. Vatican II says that those out of communion with Pope are truly baptised, therefore they can achieve salvation. Two equal authorities proclaimed statements that contradict each other. Which one is true? The latter one superceded the previous one? Is it possible for one Ecumenical Council to change the doctrinal teachings defined in the previous Council?

We, the Orthodox, say - no.

We say - yes.

I have another one wonderful question: What is the purpose of Ecumenical Councils if they don't precise the Church's doctrine?

Catholics do not say that every word written in a conciliar document is irreformable.

M.

You have mentioned pastoral rules - they can be changed. The doctrinal statements cannot.

Florence says that no one outside the Church will achieve salvation...

In those centuries being outside the Church meant being without Baptism or being a heretic or one who outright rejected the Church and her sacraments and tenets of belief....

Vatican II says that anyone outside the Church who is baptized may be saved and that there is even the possibility of a baptism of desire...but she says nothing about heretics being saved....
So, a heretic will definitively not be saved?

I have a question for you...several:

Is it too late to pray for the souls of Origen and Arius?

If not why not?

How do you know?

M.
I'm not Orthodox.  Smiley
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« Reply #28 on: August 11, 2010, 06:05:08 PM »

Christ is higher authority than any Council or Consensus Patrum. He does what he wants.

Vatican II isn't the complacement of Florence, it's its negation.

Florence says that those out of communion with Pope won't achieve salvation because they are outside the Church. Vatican II says that those out of communion with Pope are truly baptised, therefore they can achieve salvation. Two equal authorities proclaimed statements that contradict each other. Which one is true? The latter one superceded the previous one? Is it possible for one Ecumenical Council to change the doctrinal teachings defined in the previous Council?

We, the Orthodox, say - no.

We say - yes.

I have another one wonderful question: What is the purpose of Ecumenical Councils if they don't precise the Church's doctrine?

Catholics do not say that every word written in a conciliar document is irreformable.

M.

You have mentioned pastoral rules - they can be changed. The doctrinal statements cannot.

Florence says that no one outside the Church will achieve salvation...

In those centuries being outside the Church meant being without Baptism or being a heretic or one who outright rejected the Church and her sacraments and tenets of belief....

Vatican II says that anyone outside the Church who is baptized may be saved and that there is even the possibility of a baptism of desire...but she says nothing about heretics being saved....
So, a heretic will definitively not be saved?

I have a question for you...several:

Is it too late to pray for the souls of Origen and Arius?

If not why not?

How do you know?

M.
I'm not Orthodox.  Smiley

Quite!  Missed that clean!

I suppose you might have some thoughts on it from your own perspective...in any event.

M.
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« Reply #29 on: August 11, 2010, 07:47:51 PM »

This is indeed an interesting difference between Catholics and Orthodox. What puzzles me is that when looking for an answer, the Orthodox believe all they can do is look back on previous teachings by the Church Fathers or by doctrines defined at Ecumenical Councils.

Actually, it really comes down to our differences on the matter of "development of doctrine". We believe that our doctrine cannot be "developed" and must be one with the Church of the past, and thus must be judged on the basis of the doctrine of the Church of the past. All that the Church has authority to do is define, formulate, and clarify the doctrine of the Apostles; it has no authority to in any way edit it. This does not mean that we no longer have teaching authority: we certainly do still have authority to define, formulate, and clarify the Apostolic doctrine. This is why we look back to the Church of the past, because our doctrine today must be one with it and we must be judged by their doctrine.

There is a quote I heard from a theologically conservative Episcopalian professor at the local seminary in Berkeley: "I do not judge the Creed, but rather the Creed judges me." Of course, he was meaning something rather different by it; that the revisionist trend in the Episcopal church to pick and choose what we feel is reasonable amongst the parts of the Creed is erroneous. However, I think it points to this reality, however. We hesitate to view ourselves as judges of the Tradition of the Church past, as this runs the risk of the revisionism you see in your own tradition. Rather we first look to conform ourselves to former doctrinal formulations, for the safe sake of being one in doctrinal substance.

I do not think that this approach is really different from that of the Fathers. Yes, it is true that they did significantly more formulating than we have since then. But there is certainly a reason for this. They did not yet have the formulaic structure to fall back on like we do today. When faced with heresies, they were forced to extricate formulas from the substantial doctrine of the Church that they knew. Heresies over time have become more and more recycled. As time passes on, we have more and more of a formulaic basis to fall on to fight heresies rather than trying to introduce new formulas. So the Fathers did more formulating because they had to. But I do not think that they had a distinct perspective from us about "doctrinal development". I think they very well recognized that the Church only had authority to define, refine, formulate, and clarify doctrine, not to edit it in any way. I think that they saw their formulas as either particular rephrasings of doctrine that had already been presented to the Apostles. And I think they came up with these formulas looking highly to those who had come before them, knowing that their formulations had to be judged by the doctrine of their predecessors. For instance, it is quite clear that Saint Cyril of Alexandria did not view his formulation of the hypostatic union as some new doctrine or a "doctrinal development", but rather simply the proper phrasing and implication of the doctrine of his revered Father Saint Athanasius who taught that the Lord Christ is one in substance with the Father; how else could that be possible without the hypostatic union?

On the other hand, we most certainly see that you believe you have the authority to develop doctrine and that you have authority in and of yourselves to define doctrine in a way we do not see ourselves as having. The filioque is a great example. What had been the apparent reality to us since Apostolic times is that the Holy Spirit is ontologically spirated particularly from the Father and that the Father alone is the fountainhead or source in the Godhead. Your church came along and began to say that the Son ontologically spirates the Holy Spirit along with the Father. You would say, via the infallibility of the Pope, that you had the authority to define this doctrine. We, on the other hand, judged this doctrine on the basis of what we say preceding it and found it contradictory to the Apostolic doctrine.

So no, it is not a matter of us thinking that Church authority terminated at some point, but rather that, in a lack of confidence in our individual teachings, that our doctrine must be judged on the basis of that which in the Church past is known to have been authoritative.
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« Reply #30 on: August 11, 2010, 07:47:51 PM »

The Catholic Church has never changed doctrine outright, it can't,

Precisely why we do not believe that you are the Catholic Church.
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« Reply #31 on: August 11, 2010, 10:26:41 PM »

This is not entirely correct. The Catholic Church has never changed doctrine outright, it can't, know does it believe it can.

Really?

Quote from: Council of Florence
It firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the catholic church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the catholic church before the end of their lives; that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is of such importance that only for those who abide in it do the church's sacraments contribute to salvation and do fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militia produce eternal rewards; and that nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed his blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and the unity of the catholic church.

source

Quote from: II Council of Vatican
Even in the beginnings of this one and only Church of God there arose certain rifts,(19) which the Apostle strongly condemned. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions made their appearance and quite large communities came to be separated from full communion with the Catholic Church-for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame. The children who are born into these Communities and who grow up believing in Christ cannot be accused of the sin involved in the separation, and the Catholic Church embraces upon them as brothers, with respect and affection. For men who believe in Christ and have been truly baptized are in communion with the Catholic Church even though this communion is imperfect.

source

That is a wonderful question.  Is every word of every council infallible?

Mary

What does it matter whether it is or not? Every statement of every council ought to be analyzed and verified as orthodox before being ratified. A council that has been ratified by a church ought to be understood as fully representing their beliefs. To ratify a council without believing that it was wholly orthodox without exception is irresponsible and an abuse of the baptismal vows. Therefore, we ought to assume that a church believes every doctrinal definition of a council that it subscribes to, lest it be hypocritical or inconsistent.
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« Reply #32 on: August 11, 2010, 10:26:42 PM »

Does Orthodoxy teach that none are saved outside the Orthodox Church?

Well, it is usually taught in the Christian East that there is no redeeming grace outside the one visible communion that is the Church. And that most likely means that none will receive redeeming grace if not in union with the Church. However, I think it would be accurate to say that God is working to direct people towards redemption, namely through union with the Church. I think it is possible that many more than those that are now in visible union with the Church will eventually be united in the Church. Whether they could eventually be redeemed otherwise is unknown.
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« Reply #33 on: August 11, 2010, 10:26:42 PM »

Vatican II says that anyone outside the Church who is baptized may be saved and that there is even the possibility of a baptism of desire...but she says nothing about heretics being saved...

That is a highly confusing statement.
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« Reply #34 on: August 11, 2010, 10:26:42 PM »

and that not everyone who is not in Full Communion with the Catholic Church is necessarily outside the Church.

This seems to suggest that the Church is not visibly one.
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« Reply #35 on: August 11, 2010, 10:26:42 PM »

So Nicaea wasn't a development?

Christ being one in substance with the Father was not a new doctrine like the dual procession of the Holy Spirit or the Immaculate Conception of Mary but rather a particular formulation of something Christ had already told us: "I and the Father are one".

You believe that the understanding of the Trinity was as developed before Nicaea as it was after?

Not with respect to formula. But there's a difference between doctrinal formulation and doctrinal substance. For instance, Jesus being one in substance with the Father and being one in hypostasis with the Logos are different formulations explaining different dimensions of a doctrine but they are none the less the same doctrine.

The doctrinal formulation on the Trinity was more developed after Nicaea I and then even more so after Constantinople I, but they simply clarified, defined, and formulated a pre-existent doctrine.

If so, what was the purpose of Nicaea in the first place?

To formulate the doctrine of the Church for the purpose of more sufficiently excluding Arianism.

I'm really having a difficult time understanding what the Orthodox think the purpose of an Ecumenical Council is if our understanding of teachings doesn't develop over time.

I don't want to even get started on the "Ecumenical Council" business again.

Anyway, the purpose of a doctrinal church council is to linguistically clarify the Apostolic doctrine for the purpose of excluding heterodox doctrines.

Isn't that pretty late in the game for any teachings to be pronounced if you believe everything was taught once and for all by Christ and the Apostles?

The Apostles didn't have to deal with Arianism so they had no need for the homoousios formula. But they none the less believed the same doctrine that Christ is the Only-Begotten Son of the Father.
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« Reply #36 on: August 12, 2010, 03:27:23 AM »

What I was really asking you was, ex ecclesia, how do YOU know what is God's Word or what is revealed Truth,  and what is human delusion?  How do you determine that?

Mary

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« Reply #37 on: August 12, 2010, 04:08:18 AM »

This is not entirely correct. The Catholic Church has never changed doctrine outright, it can't, know does it believe it can.

Really?

Quote from: Council of Florence
It firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the catholic church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the catholic church before the end of their lives; that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is of such importance that only for those who abide in it do the church's sacraments contribute to salvation and do fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militia produce eternal rewards; and that nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed his blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and the unity of the catholic church.

source


I think that it is taught now that a Jew can be saved even if he does not convert to Catholicism.
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« Reply #38 on: August 12, 2010, 04:29:28 AM »

[
Does Orthodoxy teach that none are saved outside the Orthodox Church?


... the words of the holy Metropolitan Philaret who was the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad when I was a young man and a very conservative theologian.  He is here speaking of salvation of heterodox Christians but I would think he would say the same about Jews and others:


"It is self evident, however, that sincere Christians who are Roman
Catholics, or Lutherans, or members, of other non-Orthodox
confessions, cannot be termed renegades or heretics—i.e. those who
knowingly pervert the truth... They have been born and raised and are
living according to the creed which they have inherited, just as do
the majority of you who are Orthodox; in their lives there has not
been a moment of personal and conscious renunciation of Orthodoxy. The
Lord, "Who will have all men to be saved" (I Tim. 2:4) and "Who
enlightens every man born into the world" (Jn. 1.43), undoubtedly is
leading them also towards salvation In His own way."


N.B:  "The Lord...undoubtedly is leading them also towards salvation
In His own way."

And we have the words of St. Theophan the Recluse to guide us into a correct Orthodox understanding:


"You ask, will the heterodox be saved... Why do you worry about them?
They have a Saviour Who desires the salvation of every human being.
He will take care of them. You and I should not be burdened with such
concern. Study yourself and your own sins... I will tell you one thing, however:
should you, being Orthodox and possessing the Truth in its fullness, betray
Orthodoxy, and enter a different faith, you will lose your soul forever
."

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« Reply #39 on: August 12, 2010, 08:16:58 AM »


Father Al Kimel:

From the Catholic perspective, the Orthodox appeal to patristic consensus looks very similar to the Protestant appeal to the plain teaching of Scripture.


Commenting upon the words of St. Paul (2 Thess. 2:14), St. John Chrysostom (hom. iv. in 2 Thess.) says: "It is evident that the Apostles did not communicate all in writing, but much without writing. Both deserve equal faith . . . It is tradition; ask no more."


Here is something simply expressed which I took from a Greek
Orthodox catechism
http://www.goholycross.org/studies/studies_doctrine.html#Dogma

**Please pay particular attention to the LAST  PARAGRAPH.**

-oOo-


Source & Basis of Dogma:

* Revelation- God's self revelation to His Creation

* Holy Tradition- that which is given over within the Church from the time
of Christ's apostles to the present day

* The Bible- the Old Testament & the New Testament

* The Liturgy- the gathering and work of the people

* The Councils- a gathering of bishops who representing the body of the
Church

* The Fathers- saints who were theologians and spiritual teachers who
defended and explained the doctrines of the Christian Faith

* The Saints- those who share the holiness of God

* The Canons- a rule or norm or measure of judging

* Church Art- comprised of the artistic expressions of man and the blessings
and inspirations of God

Formulation:

The Orthodox Church recognizes two distinct sorts of dogmas : those
perpetually preached and believed by the fullness of the Church as included
in various dogmatic and symbolic tests and the writings of the Fathers, and
those proclaimed and ratified by the seven ancient ecumenical councils and
those local councils which were ratified by them.
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« Reply #40 on: August 12, 2010, 08:38:21 AM »

What I was really asking you was, ex ecclesia, how do YOU know what is God's Word or what is revealed Truth,  and what is human delusion?  How do you determine that?

Mary

Reception of the Royal Priesthood (laity).

Again what meaning does the Royal Priesthood have, ex ecclesia?
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« Reply #41 on: August 12, 2010, 08:41:34 AM »

[
Does Orthodoxy teach that none are saved outside the Orthodox Church?


... the words of the holy Metropolitan Philaret who was the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad when I was a young man and a very conservative theologian.  He is here speaking of salvation of heterodox Christians but I would think he would say the same about Jews and others:


"It is self evident, however, that sincere Christians who are Roman
Catholics, or Lutherans, or members, of other non-Orthodox
confessions, cannot be termed renegades or heretics—i.e. those who
knowingly pervert the truth... They have been born and raised and are
living according to the creed which they have inherited, just as do
the majority of you who are Orthodox; in their lives there has not
been a moment of personal and conscious renunciation of Orthodoxy. The
Lord, "Who will have all men to be saved" (I Tim. 2:4) and "Who
enlightens every man born into the world" (Jn. 1.43), undoubtedly is
leading them also towards salvation In His own way."


N.B:  "The Lord...undoubtedly is leading them also towards salvation
In His own way."

And we have the words of St. Theophan the Recluse to guide us into a correct Orthodox understanding:


"You ask, will the heterodox be saved... Why do you worry about them?
They have a Saviour Who desires the salvation of every human being.
He will take care of them. You and I should not be burdened with such
concern. Study yourself and your own sins... I will tell you one thing, however:
should you, being Orthodox and possessing the Truth in its fullness, betray
Orthodoxy, and enter a different faith, you will lose your soul forever
."



As you pointed out to me in the discussion on purgation....these are some pretty modern sources for "ex ecclesia" in Orthodoxy.  And the latter one of the is pretty suspect to me since his major life work was to swipe the spiritual teachings of a Roman.

I'll bet we both could find some ancient ones, many in fact, that are one heck of a lot stricter.

When did Orthodoxy change her doctrine of "ex ecclesia"?

M.
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« Reply #42 on: August 12, 2010, 08:48:13 AM »


Father Al Kimel:

From the Catholic perspective, the Orthodox appeal to patristic consensus looks very similar to the Protestant appeal to the plain teaching of Scripture.


Commenting upon the words of St. Paul (2 Thess. 2:14), St. John Chrysostom (hom. iv. in 2 Thess.) says: "It is evident that the Apostles did not communicate all in writing, but much without writing. Both deserve equal faith . . . It is tradition; ask no more."


Here is something simply expressed which I took from a Greek
Orthodox catechism
http://www.goholycross.org/studies/studies_doctrine.html#Dogma

**Please pay particular attention to the LAST  PARAGRAPH.**

-oOo-


Source & Basis of Dogma:

* Revelation- God's self revelation to His Creation

* Holy Tradition- that which is given over within the Church from the time
of Christ's apostles to the present day

* The Bible- the Old Testament & the New Testament

* The Liturgy- the gathering and work of the people

* The Councils- a gathering of bishops who representing the body of the
Church

* The Fathers- saints who were theologians and spiritual teachers who
defended and explained the doctrines of the Christian Faith

* The Saints- those who share the holiness of God

* The Canons- a rule or norm or measure of judging

* Church Art- comprised of the artistic expressions of man and the blessings
and inspirations of God

Formulation:

The Orthodox Church recognizes two distinct sorts of dogmas : those
perpetually preached and believed by the fullness of the Church as included
in various dogmatic and symbolic tests and the writings of the Fathers, and
those proclaimed and ratified by the seven ancient ecumenical councils and
those local councils which were ratified by them.


This is not a negative criticism.  It is an inquiry!!:

The one thing that the Catholic Church does that I appreciate and learn from is that when they do something like the last paragraph here...they include Scripture and the relationship of the Word to the Body...the relationship of Scripture, Councils and the tradition of the fathers.

This triple interaction is something that I very often find lacking in Orthodox texts...not that Orthodoxy ignores Scripture but I don't remember being struck by Orthodox writers who speak of consensus of the fathers and the councils also including Scripture and the relationship of all three together.

Are there documents or texts or authors where I could find not just mention but also explanations and descriptions of that triple interaction?



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« Reply #43 on: August 12, 2010, 08:55:21 AM »


Father Al Kimel:

From the Catholic perspective, the Orthodox appeal to patristic consensus looks very similar to the Protestant appeal to the plain teaching of Scripture.


Orthodox are far less concerned with the question of "who holds the authority?"   It honestly seems to me that this search for "authority" is excessive within Roman Catholicism but it is no doubt an outgrowth of the papal system.

The sources of Orthodox teaching are those things listed above. They are the authority, for bishops and for laymen,  Altogether they comprise the Tradition of the Church.  (I am sure that people know that the Orthodox see even the Bible as included in Tradition and not as something separate to it.)

Now in our times the Tradition is fairly settled and unchallenged and has been for over a millennium.  There was a time from the 4th to 8th centuries when the Church was rocked by serious heresies and so it called into temporary existence 7 great Councils to address them, to put down the false teaching and to formally clarify the true and orthodox teaching.  These Councils did not concern themselves with an attempt to act as an over-arching teaching authority nor to formulate doctrine in general.  They addressed the aspects of the faith -trinitarian, christological, pneumatological- which were currently in danger from heretical teachings.

Having dealt with the heresy threatening the Church the Councils dissolved,.  They are extraordinary irruptions from the other world into the life of the Church, the work of the Spirit, in safeguarding the teaching of Christ and His path to salvation.

For the last 1200 years the Church has had no need to call further Councils.  Heresies which have come along have been localised and have been dealt with by local Synods and local Churches.

So, the teaching authority of the Church -which is the Tradition and the Spirit who flows within it- has flowed on quietly for centuries since the last Great Council in 787.

If we should be faced by a new church-wide heresy, then the Church will probably combat it again by convening an Ecumenical Council.  And probably God will be pleased to give us such superb and staunchly orthodox individuals as Athanasius and Maximus the Confessor to protect our holy faith.  For the "authority" to protect the faith is not the exclusive provenance of bishops but it can be given by God even to laymen and monastics.


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« Reply #44 on: August 12, 2010, 09:08:55 AM »


Father Al Kimel:

From the Catholic perspective, the Orthodox appeal to patristic consensus looks very similar to the Protestant appeal to the plain teaching of Scripture.


Commenting upon the words of St. Paul (2 Thess. 2:14), St. John Chrysostom (hom. iv. in 2 Thess.) says: "It is evident that the Apostles did not communicate all in writing, but much without writing. Both deserve equal faith . . . It is tradition; ask no more."


Here is something simply expressed which I took from a Greek
Orthodox catechism
http://www.goholycross.org/studies/studies_doctrine.html#Dogma

**Please pay particular attention to the LAST  PARAGRAPH.**

-oOo-


Source & Basis of Dogma:

* Revelation- God's self revelation to His Creation

* Holy Tradition- that which is given over within the Church from the time
of Christ's apostles to the present day

* The Bible- the Old Testament & the New Testament

* The Liturgy- the gathering and work of the people

* The Councils- a gathering of bishops who representing the body of the
Church

* The Fathers- saints who were theologians and spiritual teachers who
defended and explained the doctrines of the Christian Faith

* The Saints- those who share the holiness of God

* The Canons- a rule or norm or measure of judging

* Church Art- comprised of the artistic expressions of man and the blessings
and inspirations of God

Formulation:

The Orthodox Church recognizes two distinct sorts of dogmas : those
perpetually preached and believed by the fullness of the Church as included
in various dogmatic and symbolic tests and the writings of the Fathers, and
those proclaimed and ratified by the seven ancient ecumenical councils and
those local councils which were ratified by them.


This is not a negative criticism.  It is an inquiry!!:

The one thing that the Catholic Church does that I appreciate and learn from is that when they do something like the last paragraph here...they include Scripture and the relationship of the Word to the Body...the relationship of Scripture, Councils and the tradition of the fathers.

This triple interaction is something that I very often find lacking in Orthodox texts...not that Orthodoxy ignores Scripture but I don't remember being struck by Orthodox writers who speak of consensus of the fathers and the councils also including Scripture and the relationship of all three together.

Are there documents or texts or authors where I could find not just mention but also explanations and descriptions of that triple interaction?


I do not entirely understand.  The writings of the Church Fathers and the monastic Fathers are saturated with scriptural references.

But if you mean modern writings from the 20th century then I do not know.  The advent of "academic theologians" is something new to the Orthodox world and in general I tend to not be too fussed with "theologians" who are my own age.  laugh The Western trend to flood the universe with theological writings has not been common with the Orthodox Churches  - even Meyendorff and Schmemman seemed to have found their own verbosity a bit of a shock to themselves.  They wrote that they would refrain from so much theologizing and explication because they were trivialising the mystery - rather as Bernard of Clairvaux accused the Schoolmen of "peeling the onion" -so that in the end you are left with nothing in your hand.

But if you want to move back a century to the books of Ignaty Brianchaninov, Theophan the Recluse, etc., their writings are beautifully related to scripture and intertwined with it.
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« Reply #45 on: August 12, 2010, 09:15:01 AM »

As you pointed out to me in the discussion on purgation....these are some pretty modern sources for "ex ecclesia" in Orthodoxy.  And the latter one of the is pretty suspect to me since his major life work was to swipe the spiritual teachings of a Roman.

I'll bet we both could find some ancient ones, many in fact, that are one heck of a lot stricter.

When did Orthodoxy change her doctrine of "ex ecclesia"?


I do not understand what you mean by "ex ecclesia'?

If you desire a much older source for this teaching. there is a reliable 1st century one - the epistle of Saint Paul to the Romans, chaper 2, verses 14-16.
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« Reply #46 on: August 12, 2010, 09:20:16 AM »

Quote
This triple interaction is something that I very often find lacking in Orthodox texts...not that Orthodoxy ignores Scripture but I don't remember being struck by Orthodox writers who speak of consensus of the fathers and the councils also including Scripture and the relationship of all three together.

Are there documents or texts or authors where I could find not just mention but also explanations and descriptions of that triple interaction?

elijahmaria, the "triple interaction" of which you speak is found most easily, and very profusely, in Orthodox hymnography and iconography. These are the clearest and most accessible sources of the consensus patrum.

It's no cliche to say that if one attends as many Orthodox services (not just the Divine Liturgy, but Vespers, Matins, akathists and supplicatory canons, and sacramental services such as baptism, matrimony, burial, unction, etc) as possible over a year, and keeps his eyes and ears diligently open and receptive, one can learn practically all that is necessary and useful about the faith. Of course, this is only the beginning of a lifelong "education" in the faith for those who continue this diligence. I must also add that there are also countless prayers written by saints and Fathers which are stuffed full of scripture and references from other sources of Holy Tradition.

A question that's often crossed my mind: Does the hymnography of the Roman Catholic church hold the same status in that church?
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« Reply #47 on: August 12, 2010, 09:24:57 AM »


Father Al Kimel:

From the Catholic perspective, the Orthodox appeal to patristic consensus looks very similar to the Protestant appeal to the plain teaching of Scripture.


Commenting upon the words of St. Paul (2 Thess. 2:14), St. John Chrysostom (hom. iv. in 2 Thess.) says: "It is evident that the Apostles did not communicate all in writing, but much without writing. Both deserve equal faith . . . It is tradition; ask no more."


Here is something simply expressed which I took from a Greek
Orthodox catechism
http://www.goholycross.org/studies/studies_doctrine.html#Dogma

**Please pay particular attention to the LAST  PARAGRAPH.**

-oOo-


Source & Basis of Dogma:

* Revelation- God's self revelation to His Creation

* Holy Tradition- that which is given over within the Church from the time
of Christ's apostles to the present day

* The Bible- the Old Testament & the New Testament

* The Liturgy- the gathering and work of the people

* The Councils- a gathering of bishops who representing the body of the
Church

* The Fathers- saints who were theologians and spiritual teachers who
defended and explained the doctrines of the Christian Faith

* The Saints- those who share the holiness of God

* The Canons- a rule or norm or measure of judging

* Church Art- comprised of the artistic expressions of man and the blessings
and inspirations of God

Formulation:

The Orthodox Church recognizes two distinct sorts of dogmas : those
perpetually preached and believed by the fullness of the Church as included
in various dogmatic and symbolic tests and the writings of the Fathers, and
those proclaimed and ratified by the seven ancient ecumenical councils and
those local councils which were ratified by them.


This is not a negative criticism.  It is an inquiry!!:

The one thing that the Catholic Church does that I appreciate and learn from is that when they do something like the last paragraph here...they include Scripture and the relationship of the Word to the Body...the relationship of Scripture, Councils and the tradition of the fathers.

This triple interaction is something that I very often find lacking in Orthodox texts...not that Orthodoxy ignores Scripture but I don't remember being struck by Orthodox writers who speak of consensus of the fathers and the councils also including Scripture and the relationship of all three together.

Are there documents or texts or authors where I could find not just mention but also explanations and descriptions of that triple interaction?


I do not entirely understand.  The writings of the Church Fathers and the monastic Fathers are saturated with scriptural references.

But if you mean modern writings from the 20th century then I do not know.  The advent of "academic theologians" is something new to the Orthodox world and in general I tend to not be too fussed with "theologians" who are my own age.  laugh The Western trend to flood the universe with theological writings has not been common with the Orthodox Churches  - even Meyendorff and Schmemman seemed to have found their own verbosity a bit of a shock to themselves.  They wrote that they would refrain from so much theologizing and explication because they were trivialising the mystery - rather as Bernard of Clairvaux accused the Schoolmen of "peeling the onion" -so that in the end you are left with nothing in your hand.

But if you want to move back a century to the books of Ignaty Brianchaninov, Theophan the Recluse, etc., their writings are beautifully related to scripture and intertwined with it.

I understand Father.  That's not what I'm asking about.  There's no doubt that there are Catholic and Orthodox writers who, as you say, saturate and ground their own work in Scripture.  There is no dearth of all kinds of beautiful examples of that kind of writing in all of the ages of the Church!

Don't worry.  It's not important.

M.
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« Reply #48 on: August 12, 2010, 09:30:49 AM »

Mary asked: "Are there documents or texts or authors where I could find not just mention but also explanations and descriptions of that triple interaction?"

I am not aware of any.  It seems an abstruse topic, the type which might suit a Ph.D dissertation by a university graduate, rather than a necessary study for the life of the Church.
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« Reply #49 on: August 12, 2010, 09:36:31 AM »

Quote
This triple interaction is something that I very often find lacking in Orthodox texts...not that Orthodoxy ignores Scripture but I don't remember being struck by Orthodox writers who speak of consensus of the fathers and the councils also including Scripture and the relationship of all three together.

Are there documents or texts or authors where I could find not just mention but also explanations and descriptions of that triple interaction?

elijahmaria, the "triple interaction" of which you speak is found most easily, and very profusely, in Orthodox hymnography and iconography. These are the clearest and most accessible sources of the consensus patrum.

It's no cliche to say that if one attends as many Orthodox services (not just the Divine Liturgy, but Vespers, Matins, akathists and supplicatory canons, and sacramental services such as baptism, matrimony, burial, unction, etc) as possible over a year, and keeps his eyes and ears diligently open and receptive, one can learn practically all that is necessary and useful about the faith. Of course, this is only the beginning of a lifelong "education" in the faith for those who continue this diligence. I must also add that there are also countless prayers written by saints and Fathers which are stuffed full of scripture and references from other sources of Holy Tradition.

A question that's often crossed my mind: Does the hymnography of the Roman Catholic church hold the same status in that church?

Absolutely!  Liturgy in Orthodoxy is the principle expression of the interaction which takes us directly to worship, which is our primary purpose as Catholics.

I was looking for other kinds of explanatory prose texts....but not so that one could ignore liturgy...and you've given me an idea.  I should look more carefully at Orthodox liturgical theology to see if I can find what I am looking for.  

It is difficult to find this interaction, for the moment, expressed as obviously in liturgy in the Roman rite as it is in the eastern rites...UNLESS you pray the hours as well.   It is still there but without a proper catechesis, it is far more difficult to see now than it has ever been since the 1962 Missal became the exceptional liturgy and not the norm.

That is not the case with eastern Catholic liturgies, but it is the case in the Latin rite and it is part of what is slowly being restored.  The disruption of the committee work in the aftermath of the Second Vatican is going to take much longer to repair that it took to dismantle the liturgy.  Had they kept the small "repetitive" prayers and the chant as the Council envisioned, they would not be in that particular mess today.  Of course many of them don't think it is a mess and they are fighting the restorations tooth and tong!!

Mary
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« Reply #50 on: August 12, 2010, 09:40:52 AM »

Mary asked: "Are there documents or texts or authors where I could find not just mention but also explanations and descriptions of that triple interaction?"

I am not aware of any.  It seems an abstruse topic, the type which might suit a Ph.D dissertation by a university graduate, rather than a necessary study for the life of the Church.


Not really, Father.

The Catholic Church has conciliar documents that do what I am thinking of that are quite pastoral and beautiful, spiritually moving.

And some of our most subtle and complex holy men and women, our saints, have taken up those themes over the centuries.

LBK has give me a good idea for looking in Orthodox texts and in exploring the writings of Orthodox holy men and women.  I am sure it will bring out what I am seeking.

Thanks for your efforts.

M.
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« Reply #51 on: August 12, 2010, 09:42:17 AM »

The Orthodox always look in the past when looking for an answer to whether the question was not been resolved. Making a new answer if there is already the one for the same question is pointless. New answer (under the guidance of Holy Spirit) are worked out only when the problems did not appear in the past.

The RCC on the other hand doesn't bother to check whether the Church has opinion on anything (or they chack and say the opinion is wrong) and when the question appears (no matter how many time did it appear before) it creates a new answer best suitable (according to them) to the present situation.
LOL. The problem is that the RCC create problems where they do not exist, and then invents ingenious solutions to them, the IC being a chief, but not sole, example. Their forensic approach to the Faith causes a lot of this.
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« Reply #52 on: August 12, 2010, 09:50:08 AM »

Mary asked: "Are there documents or texts or authors where I could find not just mention but also explanations and descriptions of that triple interaction?"

I am not aware of any.  It seems an abstruse topic, the type which might suit a Ph.D dissertation by a university graduate, rather than a necessary study for the life of the Church.


Not really, Father.

The Catholic Church has conciliar documents that do what I am thinking of that are quite pastoral and beautiful, spiritually moving.
.

Sorry, I did not understand you as asking for examples of works which evidence an interaction of these three elements.  You asked for writings which provide "explanations and descriptions of that triple interaction."

Are there in fact conciliar documents which provide "explanations and descriptions of that triple interaction"?  If there are do you know their names and I can look for them on vatican.va.

Thanks.

PS:  You have not explained what you mean by "ex ecclesia"
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« Reply #53 on: August 12, 2010, 09:53:28 AM »

Mary asked: "Are there documents or texts or authors where I could find not just mention but also explanations and descriptions of that triple interaction?"

I am not aware of any.  It seems an abstruse topic, the type which might suit a Ph.D dissertation by a university graduate, rather than a necessary study for the life of the Church.


Not really, Father.

The Catholic Church has conciliar documents that do what I am thinking of that are quite pastoral and beautiful, spiritually moving.
.

Sorry, I did not understand you as asking for examples of works which evidence an interaction of these three elements.  You asked for writings which provide "explanations and descriptions of that triple interaction."

Are there in fact conciliar documents which provide "explanations and descriptions of that triple interaction"?  If there are do you know their names and I can look for them on vatican.va.

Thanks.

That's ok, Father.  Thanks very much for all your help.  I have what I need and its really not important and frankly I am weary of playing Twister with you for the time being.  I don't have the time actually.

LBK set me off on the right track.

So maybe later.

M.
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« Reply #54 on: August 12, 2010, 09:53:45 AM »

The Orthodox Church does not have the Roman Catholic concept of the development of doctrine.
So Nicaea wasn't a development? You believe that the understanding of the Trinity was as developed before Nicaea as it was after? If so, what was the purpose of Nicaea in the first place? I'm really having a difficult time understanding what the Orthodox think the purpose of an Ecumenical Council is if our understanding of teachings doesn't develop over time. After all, even the earliest Ecumenical Council took place around 300 years after Christ. Isn't that pretty late in the game for any teachings to be pronounced if you believe everything was taught once and for all by Christ and the Apostles?
Still haven't read the post?
I think you mean sewn up. Look at my post above, about the antibodies.

Op cit. Viz supra. The inability of the Vatican to see clearly on the issue is a very large part of its problem.
If you mean that the Church is a stagnant organization that has no use for the Holy Spirit because everything has already been revealed and needs no further clarification, of course the Vatican isn't going to "see" that because that notion is false.
Didn't read my post above, did you?

Now I look like my baby picture, despite I'm taller, weight more, right now have a 5 o'clock (actually more) shadow. That's development.

I also have a cross tattoo on my wrist which you will search in vain for on my baby pictures.  You call that developement but its not quite that: no matter how old I got, that tattoo wasn't going to appear until I had them apply it with the needle.

My best friend has four kidnies, from two kidney transplants. Not quite development there either.  He looks like his baby picture, though, too.

I have my doubts about those who have a "sex change," that they resemble their baby picture in specific ways, but I concede that their faces are probably the same.  You would have to get plastic surgery to change that, like Michael Jackosn.

I remember when he married Miss Presley, someone said they would believe it when she had a baby that looked like he used to look. Not like this:


But that's the problem: ya'll at the Vatican can't make a distinction between growing and radical plastic surgery, because it's all change=development.  So you appropriate it as a license to attribute the most outlandish things to the "deposit of Faith."

I'm going to repost something long (yeah, I know, suprise) but may not have the time to comment more.  I originally argued this against Sola Scriptura for the only source of the Faith.  I'll adapt it to the OP.

An example of what happens when Sola Scriptura runs against Apostolic Tradition:
Joshua Joshua 22:10 And when they came to the region about the Jordan, that lies in the land of Canaan, the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manas'seh built there an altar by the Jordan, an altar of great size. 11 And the people of Israel heard say, "Behold, the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manas'seh have built an altar at the frontier of the land of Canaan, in the region about the Jordan, on the side that belongs to the people of Israel." 12 And when the people of Israel heard of it, the whole assembly of the people of Israel gathered at Shiloh, to make war against them. 13 Then the people of Israel sent to the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manas'seh, in the land of Gilead, Phin'ehas the son of Elea'zar the priest, 14 and with him ten chiefs, one from each of the tribal families of Israel, every one of them the head of a family among the clans of Israel. 15 And they came to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manas'seh, in the land of Gilead, and they said to them, 16 "Thus says the whole congregation of the LORD, 'What is this treachery which you have committed against the God of Israel in turning away this day from following the LORD, by building yourselves an altar this day in rebellion against the LORD? 17 Have we not had enough of the sin at Pe'or from which even yet we have not cleansed ourselves, and for which there came a plague upon the congregation of the LORD, 18 that you must turn away this day from following the LORD? And if you rebel against the LORD today he will be angry with the whole congregation of Israel tomorrow. 19 But now, if your land is unclean, pass over into the LORD's land where the LORD's tabernacle stands, and take for yourselves a possession among us; only do not rebel against the LORD, or make us as rebels by building yourselves an altar other than the altar of the LORD our God. 20 Did not Achan the son of Zerah break faith in the matter of the devoted things, and wrath fell upon all the congregation of Israel? And he did not perish alone for his iniquity.'"

21 Then the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manas'seh said in answer to the heads of the families of Israel, 22 "The Mighty One, God, the LORD! The Mighty One, God, the LORD! He knows; and let Israel itself know! If it was in rebellion or in breach of faith toward the LORD, spare us not today 23 for building an altar to turn away from following the LORD; or if we did so to offer burnt offerings or cereal offerings or peace offerings on it, may the LORD himself take vengeance. 24 Nay, but we did it from fear that in time to come your children might say to our children, 'What have you to do with the LORD, the God of Israel ? 25 For the LORD has made the Jordan a boundary between us and you, you Reubenites and Gadites; you have no portion in the LORD.' So your children might make our children cease to worship the LORD. 26 Therefore we said, 'Let us now build an altar, not for burnt offering, nor for sacrifice, 27 but to be a witness between us and you, and between the generations after us, that we do perform the service of the LORD in his presence with our burnt offerings and sacrifices and peace offerings; lest your children say to our children in time to come, "You have no portion in the LORD."' 28 And we thought, If this should be said to us or to our descendants in time to come, we should say, 'Behold the copy of the altar of the LORD, which our fathers made, not for burnt offerings, nor for sacrifice, but to be a witness between us and you.' 29 Far be it from us that we should rebel against the LORD, and turn away this day from following the LORD by building an altar for burnt offering, cereal offering, or sacrifice, other than the altar of the LORD our God that stands before his tabernacle!"

30 When Phin'ehas the priest and the chiefs of the congregation, the heads of the families of Israel who were with him, heard the words that the Reubenites and the Gadites and the Manas'sites spoke, it pleased them well. 31 And Phin'ehas the son of Elea'zar the priest said to the Reubenites and the Gadites and the Manas'sites, "Today we know that the LORD is in the midst of us, because you have not committed this treachery against the LORD; now you have saved the people of Israel from the hand of the LORD." 32 Then Phin'ehas the son of Elea'zar the priest, and the chiefs, returned from the Reubenites and the Gadites in the land of Gilead to the land of Canaan, to the people of Israel, and brought back word to them. 33 And the report pleased the people of Israel; and the people of Israel blessed God and spoke no more of making war against them, to destroy the land where the Reubenites and the Gadites were settled. 34 The Reubenites and the Gadites called the altar Witness; "For," said they, "it is a witness between us that the LORD is God."

Now, note the following:

The Sola Scriptura folks were quite correct: the Law given to Moses had restricted sacrifices to one altar before the one Tabernacle. Btw, the tribes living on the East of the Jordan was a deviation from what God had commanded, revealed in His Word, and to which the Prophet Moses objected (Numbers 32, especially verses 6-15). Sort of like the innovation of the monarchy (I Kingdoms/Samuel 8, esp. verses 6-7), but we go a Messiah out of that (I Chronicles 17). Yet it is those who add Tradition to the mix who save Israel that day, as the chiefs of the Assembly/Congregation (we would say "Church") of Israel admit.

However, the Sola Scriptura first accuse the Eastern tribes of rebelling against God's Word, setting something that they see in addition to, and hence in opposition to (in their mind) in order to supplant God's Word, and replacing the Word of God with the traditions of men. And their solution? Just stick to the text and cross over to us.

The Eastern tribes had the foresight to see that, people being people, and sin being sin, that the Books of Moses were not going to suffice to stop Israel from sin. Those on the West Bank would focus on the literal promises to Abraham (which said nothing of the East Bank) and would interpret it in a manner which suited their sense of sensibilities: the Promised Land should fit our idea of the Land of Canaan (sort of like the idea of eating Body and Blood). Acting on this, they would exclude the Easterners, leading them to sin.

So the solution? Set up an interpretation of the letter of the law that preserved an indisputable indication of its spirit. And this they did.

A Melkite priest gave the best one word definition of Chrsitianity: witness.

Now, the problem most Protestants have with Tradition is the idea that the Church which set it up has tried to suppliment, and hence oppose, in order to supplant, Scripture.

We do not believe in, say, the Real Presense because St. Ignatius of Antioch, whom the Aposles ordained themselves as successor of St. Peter in the place where the disciples were first called Christians, writes in c. 105:
Let no man deceive himself. Both the things which are in heaven, and the glorious angels, and rulers, both visible and invisible, if they believe not in the blood of Christ, shall, in consequence, incur condemnation. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it. Let not [high] place puff any one up: for that which is worth all is faith and love, to which nothing is to be preferred. But consider those who are of a different opinion with respect to the grace of Christ which has come unto us, how opposed they are to the will of God. They have no regard for love; no care for the widow, or the orphan, or the oppressed; of the bond, or of the free; of the hungry, or of the thirsty. They abstain from the Eucharist and from the prayer, because they will not confess that the Eucharist is the self same flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again. Those, therefore, who speak against this gift of God, incur death in the midst of their disputes. But it were better for them to treat it with respect, that they also might rise again. It is fitting, therefore, that you should keep aloof from such persons, and not to speak of them either in private or in public, but to give heed to the prophets, and above all, to the Gospel, in which the passion [of Christ] has been revealed to us, and the resurrection has been fully proved. But avoid all divisions, as the beginning of evils. See that you all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as you would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate a love-feast; but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid.

we believe in the Real Presence because He said, "This is My Body," "This is My Blood." Rising, He appeared and was known to the Apostles in the breakding of the bread that first Pascha (Luke 24:13-36 NOT btw, in His opening of the scriptures, though that did make their heart burn). Those who continued steadfast in the Apostles' doctrines communed in the breaking of bread in the prayers of the DL every Sunday from the Resurrection until June 7, 2009 (Acts 2:42, 20:7), which we received, delievered to us by the Apostles from the Lord (I Cor. 11:23. btw. when these words were written, the Church had been gathering on the first day of the week to break bread (Acts 20:7) for over two decades).

Now, the Aposles weren't doing this because of the verses quoted. Rather the verses were written to record what the Apostles did, what they were doing, believing, teaching, whether by word or letter (I Thess. 2:15) so those who followed could stand fast and hold these traditions, and withdraw (I Thes. 3:6) from those who refused to walk according to the traditions which they delievered and which we received.

St. Ignatius stood fast and held that tradition, and did not neglect that gift that was given him by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the Apostles, guarding what was committed to him. (I Tim. 4:14, 6:20) St. Ignatius set in order bishops in every city as the Aposltes commanded, to hold fast the faithful word as it had been taught, by word or letter, to both exhort and convict by sound doctrine those of a different opinion (heresia) who contradicted, and refused to walk according to that tradition. (cf. Titus 1:5-9). As the letters show, strong in the grace of Christ Jesus, he was committing these traditions he heard by word from the Apostles to the Faithful to teach others. (2 Tim. 2:1-2), that the Catholic Church continue in breaking the bread, the communion of the self same Body of Christ (I Cor. 10:16).

We do not believe in the Real Presence because St. Ignatius says so: he received the same Faith we received, and he stands as a Witness that God has erected between the Apostles and us, as a sign post as to whether we walk according to the Tradition of the Apostles or not. "Lo! I am with you always (Greek: "all the days") even unto the end of the age." Those were His parting words. And so He has: rather than standing gazing, the Church has raised up witnessses to that same Faith, who stand as witnesses between us and the Apostles. We have not abandoned the Bible for the Fathers (and Mothers!). Rather surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, we are able to point to the Witness, like the Eastern Tribes to the altar on the Jordan, to show that we are right in our interpretation of Scripture, including the Words of Institution (themselves written in the Gospels to reflect Church practice). Every generation, we can document, from the Apostles to this day, those who, if they lived in our day, would come to OUR Church and commune with us (of course, closed communion is part of that Apostolic Tradition). Their Faith is our Faith, and that is the value of their words, not that they replace the Bible. Rather they preserve the full import of the Bible.

Tradition is giving our ancestors, our Fathers, the ones who passed down the Faith and copied and preserved the Bible, a vote.

Catechesis means "echo," and Christ's Word has roared throughout the generations through Apostolic Tradition.

As our priest says, if you come up with an interpretation of Scripture that no one else has, be cautious and ask yourself if you are wrong. If it contradicts what has gone before, YOU ARE DEFINITELY WRONG.

How to interpret Acts 8:31? The believers of sola scriptura cannot tell us. They have no one to guide them.
Title of the thread confused the Consensus Patrum as a Source of Faith: the Consensus does not provide the Source of Faith, it reflects it.

There is only one soure of the Faith, Christ.  How that one source is transmitted, and how its transmition is verified, is what is at issue.

The Faith is transitted in the Holy Mysteries: as the Fathers say, Christ has passed into the Holy Mysteries, the signs of Christ's life within His Body, the Church.  When the Church acts as the Body of Christ, as a Body, in unity with her Head, then she speaks infallibly.  That is why the assent of the Faithful is needed, for instance, for the Ecumenicity of a Council.

There is, for no instance, no objective criteria on which to base the canon of the Bible.  Authorship by an Apostle does not determine the canon of the NT: St. Luke, strictly speaking, is not an Apostle-he does not include himself in the company of eyewitness and ministers of the Word from the beginning (Luke 1:2, cf. Acts 1:21-2). Yet there is no question of it being in the Orthodox canon.  St. Clement's first epistle (I'll leave aside the question of the second) which was reckoned as Scripture: after Clement received his doctrine directly from the Apostles, and not as an eyewitness of Christ, the same way  St. Luke received his doctrine.  Clement's epistles are approved by the Apostolic Canons (85), but yet St. Luke is canonized and St. Clement is not.  If an archaeologist dug up St. Paul's missing Epistles or when they dug up the Gospels that record Acts 20:35, or the Jesus seminar could prove that St. Thomas wrote the Gospel named after him, none were or would be accepted into the canon.  The Church has spoken.  Many Fathers and Churches deemed Reveltion spurious, but the Church accepted it into the canon, and even if textual criticism would able to prove that St. John did not write it, it would remain in the canon as the Church has received it as an expression of her Faith in the return of her Bridegroom.

And that is why the Bible is canonized: it is not that the Church collected documents that the Apostles wrote.  Rather, they looked at what the Faithful had produced in the bosom of the Church, recognized herself in it, and adopted it as her self revelation.  Sort of like when parents see themselves in their children, and leave them as their legacy.  The Bible is not like the America Constitution, which brought a new government into order which is derived from that constition: it is like the Canadian Constitution, which merely codifies the system of government in place.  When St. Paul refers to Christ's life, he is not teaching history. He is appealing to an audience who already knows His life. Case in point: St. Paul's account of the Mystical Supper predates all the Gospels' accounts of it.  But he is not telling the Corinthians nothing that they do not already know (I Corin. 11:23)  In fact the ongoing Great Canon of the DL helped shape the Gospels' account.

That is why Sola Scriptura doesn't work: it is like owning the manuel, but not owning the car.

St. Theophan deals with the issue of why we say prayers written by the saints.  It is not because they are a replacement for Scripture nor for our own words.  But as we do not know how to pray as we ought, we look to those who did.  The saints we know (because they have been glorified, and their words consecrated by the usage of the Church) had reached the stage where the Holy Spirit spoke within them at prayer.  In that state, they composed in human language their thoughts in that state.  Using these words as guideposts, we are trying to follow them into the state where the Holy Spirit gives utterance to our prayers.  As the lesson of the Samaritan woman shows: the Samaritans came because of what she told them, but they reached a point at which they believed from knowing Him for themselves (John 4:43).

So too the Liturgy: the Church gathered as the Body of Christ so that He made be in their midst have put that experience into words.  The Church as a whole has adopted the Liturgy as the public expression of that experience, hence the appeal of liturgical texts for dogma: lex credendi, lex orandi.  But in that order: we do not believe that Christ is in the Eucharist because the DL says so, rather because we believe so, and experience Him in the Eucharist, that the DL so says.

So too the Dogmatic Definitions of the Ecumenical Councils.  The Faith cannot be added too.  No development of doctrine, if it was not in the Apostles' preaching it cannot be in the Dogma of the Church.  When heresy infected the Body of Christ, the Body of Christ, as a Body, mustered its antibodies, the Fathers and developed an immunity, the Dogmatic Definitions, to the heresy.  They did not add to the Faith: as the body already has the antibody proteins but only puts them to work to form a defense against the foreign pathogen, so too the Fathers only erect from pre-existing materials a boundary marker which the Orthodox may not move.  The Fathers confessed the same Faith, but in different words to ensure it remained the same Faith.  The expression of Faith changes only so that the Faith can remain the same, something litrugists should keep in mind.

The iconography writes an icon only when he follows the canon the Church has laid down for the visual expression of her Faith. Otherwise he is a forger and a counterfeiter (like our deluded friend Lentz).  The icon is the expression of the Church, not personal agendas, and just like a counterfeiter tries to make his money look real but it has no value, so too the icongrapher who oversteps the Church's bounds.  That is why we appeal to the icons when we are asked about what we believe, because they are backed by the full Faith and Credit of the Church.

No Church Father is infallible: only Christ is infallible, and the Church's infallibility flows from her being His Body.  But that flows only when she acts as a Body, like in Ecumenical Council.  Any individual member cannot act infallibility, so why the claim of the alleged "visible head" to speak infallibly cannot be accepted.  So too, no one should expect every word of an individual Father to be infallible.  It is only in as much as they reflect the common Faith, between us and them and lived in the Church now, that they constitute the Consensus Patrum.  What they served, as I pointed out in my OP, as a witness between us and heretics, so when they claim that the Real Presence is an innovation, that we point to St. Ignatius etc.: they witenss to the Faith as we witness to the Faith.

Which is the point of my OP to the OP: merely extended Sola Scriptura to included Ecumenical Councils and certain Fathers misses the point.  These are not the source of Faith: they are witnesses, like the altar on the Jordan, to make sure we have kept the Faith.
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« Reply #55 on: August 12, 2010, 09:56:51 AM »

Mary asked: "Are there documents or texts or authors where I could find not just mention but also explanations and descriptions of that triple interaction?"

I am not aware of any.  It seems an abstruse topic, the type which might suit a Ph.D dissertation by a university graduate, rather than a necessary study for the life of the Church.


Not really, Father.

The Catholic Church has conciliar documents that do what I am thinking of that are quite pastoral and beautiful, spiritually moving.
.

Sorry, I did not understand you as asking for examples of works which evidence an interaction of these three elements.  You asked for writings which provide "explanations and descriptions of that triple interaction."

Are there in fact conciliar documents which provide "explanations and descriptions of that triple interaction"?  If there are do you know their names and I can look for them on vatican.va.

Thanks.

That's ok, Father.  Thanks very much for all your help.  I have what I need and its really not important and frankly I am weary of playing Twister with you for the time being.  I don't have the time actually.

LBK set me off on the right track.

So maybe later.

M.

It would surely not take 1 minute to name the conciliar documents to which you refer.
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« Reply #56 on: August 12, 2010, 10:09:30 AM »

As you pointed out to me in the discussion on purgation....these are some pretty modern sources for "ex ecclesia" in Orthodoxy.  And the latter one of the is pretty suspect to me since his major life work was to swipe the spiritual teachings of a Roman.

I'll bet we both could find some ancient ones, many in fact, that are one heck of a lot stricter.

When did Orthodoxy change her doctrine of "ex ecclesia"?


I have cudgelled my brains but do not understand the question.  I do not know what the Orthodox "doctrine of "ex ecclesia'" is, let alone when we changed it.

Please say more.

Or maybe somebody else knows what doctrine Mary has in mind and can explain it?
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« Reply #57 on: August 12, 2010, 11:26:26 AM »

As you pointed out to me in the discussion on purgation....these are some pretty modern sources for "ex ecclesia" in Orthodoxy.  And the latter one of the is pretty suspect to me since his major life work was to swipe the spiritual teachings of a Roman.

I'll bet we both could find some ancient ones, many in fact, that are one heck of a lot stricter.

When did Orthodoxy change her doctrine of "ex ecclesia"?


I have cudgelled my brains but do not understand the question.  I do not know what the Orthodox "doctrine of "ex ecclesia'" is, let alone when we changed it.

Please say more.

Or maybe somebody else knows what doctrine Mary has in mind and can explain it?

Father, I found this article:
http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=5115

Quote
4. Ecclesial communion is at the same time both invisible and visible. As an invisible reality, it is the communion of each human being with the Father through Christ in the Holy Spirit, and with the others who are fellow sharers in the divine nature,12 in the passion of Christ,"13 in the same faith,"14 in the same spirit."15  In the Church on earth, there is an intimate relationship between this invisible communion and the visible communion in the teaching of the apostles, in the sacraments and in the hierarchical order. By means of these divine gifts, which are very visible realities, Christ carries out in different ways in history his prophetic, priestly and kingly functions for the salvation of mankind.16 This link between the invisible and visible elements of ecclesial communion constitutes the Church as the sacrament of salvation. From this sacramentality it follows that the Church is not a reality closed in on herself. Rather, she is permanently open to missionary and ecumenical endeavor, for she is sent to the world to announce and witness, to make present and spread the mystery of communion which is essential to her, and to gather together all people and all things into Christ17 so as to be for all an "inseparable sacrament of unity."18

//

9. In order to grasp the true meaning of the analogical application of the term communion  to the particular Churches taken as a whole, one must bear in mind above all that the particular Churches, insofar as they are "part of the one Church of Christ,"38 have a special relationship of "mutual interiority"39  with the whole, that is, with the universal Church, because in every particular Church "the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church of Christ is truly present and active."40 For this reason, "the universal Church cannot be conceived as the sum of the particular Churches or as a federation of particular Churches."41 It is not the result of the communion of the Churches, but in its essential mystery it is a reality ontologically and temporally prior to every individual particular Church. Indeed, according to the Fathers, ontologically, the Church-mystery, the Church that is one and unique, precedes creation,42  and gives birth to the particular Churches as her daughters. She expresses herself in them; she is the mother and not the offspring of the particular Churches. Furthermore, the Church is manifested, temporally, on the day of Pentecost in the community of the one hundred and twenty gathered around Mary and the twelve apostles, the representatives of the one unique Church and the founders-to-be of the local Churches, who have a mission directed to the world. From the first the Church speaks all languages.43  From the Church, which in its origins and its first manifestation is universal, have arisen the different local Churches, as particular expressions of the one unique Church of Jesus Christ. Arising within and out of the universal Church, they have their ecclesiality in her and from her. Hence the formula of the Second Vatican Council: "The Church in and formed out of the Churches (Ecclesia in et ex Ecclesiis),44 is inseparable from this other formula, the Churches in and formed out of the Church (Ecclesiae in et ex Ecclesia)."45  Clearly the relationship between the universal Church and the particular Churches is a mystery and cannot be compared to that which exists between the whole and the parts in a purely human group or society.

10. Every member of the faithful, through faith and Baptism, is inserted into the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. He does not belong to the universal Church in a mediate way, through belonging to a particular Church, but in an immediate way, even though entry into and life within the universal Church are necessarily brought about in a particular Church. From the point of view of the Church understood as communion, the universal communion of the faithful and the communion of the Churches are not consequences of one another but constitute the same reality seen from different viewpoints. Moreover, one's belonging to a particular Church never conflicts with the reality that in the Church no one is a stranger:46 Each member of the faithful, especially in the celebration of the Eucharist, is in his Church, in the Church of Christ, regardless of whether or not he belongs, according to canon law, to the diocese, parish or other particular community where the celebration takes place. In this sense, without impinging on the necessary regulations regarding juridical dependence,47 whoever belongs to one particular Church belongs to all the Churches, since belonging to the communion, like belonging to the Church, is never simply particular, but by its very nature is always universal.48
...

A bit lengthy, however, I tried to grab what I thought to be pertinent. I did provide the link, if you desire to read the whole thing. It's not very long.
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« Reply #58 on: August 12, 2010, 11:29:27 AM »

[
Does Orthodoxy teach that none are saved outside the Orthodox Church?


... the words of the holy Metropolitan Philaret who was the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad when I was a young man and a very conservative theologian.  He is here speaking of salvation of heterodox Christians but I would think he would say the same about Jews and others:


"It is self evident, however, that sincere Christians who are Roman
Catholics, or Lutherans, or members, of other non-Orthodox
confessions, cannot be termed renegades or heretics—i.e. those who
knowingly pervert the truth... They have been born and raised and are
living according to the creed which they have inherited, just as do
the majority of you who are Orthodox; in their lives there has not
been a moment of personal and conscious renunciation of Orthodoxy. The
Lord, "Who will have all men to be saved" (I Tim. 2:4) and "Who
enlightens every man born into the world" (Jn. 1.43), undoubtedly is
leading them also towards salvation In His own way."


N.B:  "The Lord...undoubtedly is leading them also towards salvation
In His own way."

And we have the words of St. Theophan the Recluse to guide us into a correct Orthodox understanding:


"You ask, will the heterodox be saved... Why do you worry about them?
They have a Saviour Who desires the salvation of every human being.
He will take care of them. You and I should not be burdened with such
concern. Study yourself and your own sins... I will tell you one thing, however:
should you, being Orthodox and possessing the Truth in its fullness, betray
Orthodoxy, and enter a different faith, you will lose your soul forever
."


This is essentially saying the same thing that Vatican II proclaimed in terms of the salvation of those outside the physical, canonical boundaries of the Church. So why is it so scandalous when the Roman Catholic Church proclaims that it is possible for salvation without being a literal member of the Church but it is okay when the Orthodox say it?
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« Reply #59 on: August 12, 2010, 11:33:16 AM »

As you pointed out to me in the discussion on purgation....these are some pretty modern sources for "ex ecclesia" in Orthodoxy.  And the latter one of the is pretty suspect to me since his major life work was to swipe the spiritual teachings of a Roman.

I'll bet we both could find some ancient ones, many in fact, that are one heck of a lot stricter.

When did Orthodoxy change her doctrine of "ex ecclesia"?


I have cudgelled my brains but do not understand the question.  I do not know what the Orthodox "doctrine of "ex ecclesia'" is, let alone when we changed it.

Please say more.

Or maybe somebody else knows what doctrine Mary has in mind and can explain it?

 laugh  No mystery.  Just a short cut.  An abbreviation.  Etc.
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« Reply #60 on: August 12, 2010, 12:25:26 PM »

[
Does Orthodoxy teach that none are saved outside the Orthodox Church?


... the words of the holy Metropolitan Philaret who was the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad when I was a young man and a very conservative theologian.  He is here speaking of salvation of heterodox Christians but I would think he would say the same about Jews and others:


"It is self evident, however, that sincere Christians who are Roman
Catholics, or Lutherans, or members, of other non-Orthodox
confessions, cannot be termed renegades or heretics—i.e. those who
knowingly pervert the truth... They have been born and raised and are
living according to the creed which they have inherited, just as do
the majority of you who are Orthodox; in their lives there has not
been a moment of personal and conscious renunciation of Orthodoxy. The
Lord, "Who will have all men to be saved" (I Tim. 2:4) and "Who
enlightens every man born into the world" (Jn. 1.43), undoubtedly is
leading them also towards salvation In His own way."


N.B:  "The Lord...undoubtedly is leading them also towards salvation
In His own way."

And we have the words of St. Theophan the Recluse to guide us into a correct Orthodox understanding:


"You ask, will the heterodox be saved... Why do you worry about them?
They have a Saviour Who desires the salvation of every human being.
He will take care of them. You and I should not be burdened with such
concern. Study yourself and your own sins... I will tell you one thing, however:
should you, being Orthodox and possessing the Truth in its fullness, betray
Orthodoxy, and enter a different faith, you will lose your soul forever
."


This is essentially saying the same thing that Vatican II proclaimed in terms of the salvation of those outside the physical, canonical boundaries of the Church. So why is it so scandalous when the Roman Catholic Church proclaims that it is possible for salvation without being a literal member of the Church but it is okay when the Orthodox say it?

I won't speak for Fr. Ambrose, but the problem I see with it is that it is a very stark contrast to Boniface VIII's Unam Sanctam. The problem that I and some other Orthodox have with this is the about face in doctrine that the Church of Rome has made. In the mid 1500's Luther and his doctrines were anathematized. Is that still the case? Would the modern RCC go back and "de-anathematize" certain heretics and heresiarchs such as Arius and Pope Honorius saying that they really are a part of the church but are 'separated brethren?'

It makes me very uncomfortable to see Rome's problem with being able to stick to its guns. Its sort of like a girl that won't date a guy who is indecisive and can't commit to anything. When will this flip-flopping of doctrine cease in modern Roman Catholicism? Please understand that I don't say this with any malice or derision intended at all.

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #61 on: August 12, 2010, 12:32:10 PM »

[
Does Orthodoxy teach that none are saved outside the Orthodox Church?


... the words of the holy Metropolitan Philaret who was the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad when I was a young man and a very conservative theologian.  He is here speaking of salvation of heterodox Christians but I would think he would say the same about Jews and others:


"It is self evident, however, that sincere Christians who are Roman
Catholics, or Lutherans, or members, of other non-Orthodox
confessions, cannot be termed renegades or heretics—i.e. those who
knowingly pervert the truth... They have been born and raised and are
living according to the creed which they have inherited, just as do
the majority of you who are Orthodox; in their lives there has not
been a moment of personal and conscious renunciation of Orthodoxy. The
Lord, "Who will have all men to be saved" (I Tim. 2:4) and "Who
enlightens every man born into the world" (Jn. 1.43), undoubtedly is
leading them also towards salvation In His own way."


N.B:  "The Lord...undoubtedly is leading them also towards salvation
In His own way."

And we have the words of St. Theophan the Recluse to guide us into a correct Orthodox understanding:


"You ask, will the heterodox be saved... Why do you worry about them?
They have a Saviour Who desires the salvation of every human being.
He will take care of them. You and I should not be burdened with such
concern. Study yourself and your own sins... I will tell you one thing, however:
should you, being Orthodox and possessing the Truth in its fullness, betray
Orthodoxy, and enter a different faith, you will lose your soul forever
."


This is essentially saying the same thing that Vatican II proclaimed in terms of the salvation of those outside the physical, canonical boundaries of the Church. So why is it so scandalous when the Roman Catholic Church proclaims that it is possible for salvation without being a literal member of the Church but it is okay when the Orthodox say it?

I won't speak for Fr. Ambrose, but the problem I see with it is that it is a very stark contrast to Boniface VIII's Unam Sanctam. The problem that I and some other Orthodox have with this is the about face in doctrine that the Church of Rome has made. In the mid 1500's Luther and his doctrines were anathematized. Is that still the case? Would the modern RCC go back and "de-anathematize" certain heretics and heresiarchs such as Arius and Pope Honorius saying that they really are a part of the church but are 'separated brethren?'

It makes me very uncomfortable to see Rome's problem with being able to stick to its guns. Its sort of like a girl that won't date a guy who is indecisive and can't commit to anything. When will this flip-flopping of doctrine cease in modern Roman Catholicism? Please understand that I don't say this with any malice or derision intended at all.

In Christ,
Andrew

I think... lol

I see it as a separation of politics from faith. The church proclaims that within itself is the fullness of Christ's teaching and understanding. All those outside of it are apart from it. However, we are not to presume that God will turn his back on a man for which church he belongs, IF he still lives according to God's intention.

My understanding is that most Orthodox hold a similar view.
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« Reply #62 on: August 12, 2010, 12:53:13 PM »

This is not entirely correct. The Catholic Church has never changed doctrine outright, it can't, know does it believe it can.

Really?

Quote from: Council of Florence
It firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the catholic church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the catholic church before the end of their lives; that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is of such importance that only for those who abide in it do the church's sacraments contribute to salvation and do fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militia produce eternal rewards; and that nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed his blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and the unity of the catholic church.

source


I think that it is taught now that a Jew can be saved even if he does not convert to Catholicism.
Not only the Jew, but also the Muslim, the Buddhist, the Hindu -- indeed, all humankind.
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« Reply #63 on: August 12, 2010, 01:10:49 PM »

I've been thinking about something that I think is pertinent to this thread and would like to hear your opinions on it.

Orthodox folk say that the faith has not been added to nor subtracted from since it was once and for all handed down to the Church from the time of the Apostles.  Catholics seem to be a little bit looser with this with their ideas of the development of doctrine.  The Orthodox approach makes more sense to me and is more appealing.

One thing that has given me much to chew on and has been brought up in this thread though is the fact that the definitions of the Holy Councils were, in some sense, "added" to the faith.  I understand completely that they were really just defining what the Church already believed in a more precise and unambiguous manner, but in a sense that too seems to be an addition.  I'm having trouble expressing it and maybe I'm not quite clear in my own thinking but it seems that "three hypostases in one ousia" was not part of the faith prior to Nicea I- at least not in those words.  And even now I would imagine there are good Orthodox Christians who are not really familiar with the terms "hypostasis" and "ousia".  So my question is, is the terminology of three hypostases in one ousia really binding?  

I know that the Trinity is a dogma of the Faith and I see that in the writings of the Fathers, the Scriptures and the life of the early Church, but what about the specific Trinitarian formulation "three hypostases in one ousia"?  I see that IF we're going to express the Trinity that this is the formula that has been handed down to us.  

I don't really know if what I'm trying to say is getting across but I'll just leave it at that.  I'm just trying to figure out how we can say that nothing was added to the Faith even though clearly certain formulations were added even if what those formulations are pointing at was always there...  Maybe that's the best way to put it.  Are the formulations which are like signposts towards the mystery as much a part of the Faith as the mystery itself?  

At the risk of being misunderstood I'll leave it at that. Perhaps someone can comment and then I can clarify myself further.  

Thanks! Grin
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« Reply #64 on: August 12, 2010, 01:19:42 PM »

I've been thinking about something that I think is pertinent to this thread and would like to hear your opinions on it.

Orthodox folk say that the faith has not been added to nor subtracted from since it was once and for all handed down to the Church from the time of the Apostles.  Catholics seem to be a little bit looser with this with their ideas of the development of doctrine.  The Orthodox approach makes more sense to me and is more appealing.

One thing that has given me much to chew on and has been brought up in this thread though is the fact that the definitions of the Holy Councils were, in some sense, "added" to the faith.  I understand completely that they were really just defining what the Church already believed in a more precise and unambiguous manner, but in a sense that too seems to be an addition.  I'm having trouble expressing it and maybe I'm not quite clear in my own thinking but it seems that "three hypostases in one ousia" was not part of the faith prior to Nicea I- at least not in those words.  And even now I would imagine there are good Orthodox Christians who are not really familiar with the terms "hypostasis" and "ousia".  So my question is, is the terminology of three hypostases in one ousia really binding?  

I know that the Trinity is a dogma of the Faith and I see that in the writings of the Fathers, the Scriptures and the life of the early Church, but what about the specific Trinitarian formulation "three hypostases in one ousia"?  I see that IF we're going to express the Trinity that this is the formula that has been handed down to us.  

I don't really know if what I'm trying to say is getting across but I'll just leave it at that.  I'm just trying to figure out how we can say that nothing was added to the Faith even though clearly certain formulations were added even if what those formulations are pointing at was always there...  Maybe that's the best way to put it.  Are the formulations which are like signposts towards the mystery as much a part of the Faith as the mystery itself?  

At the risk of being misunderstood I'll leave it at that. Perhaps someone can comment and then I can clarify myself further.  

Thanks! Grin

I would not say that the Catholic Church is "looser"...I would say that the Catholic Church is less inclined to try to hide the fact that there is such a thing as legitimate development of doctrine.

What you are running into are the very cases in Orthodoxy where the words don't match the realities.

...but if you insist on saying the Catholics are "loose" and you prefer the "tighter" Orthodox...well hey!!  laugh  who am I to say 'no'...

M.

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« Reply #65 on: August 12, 2010, 01:25:26 PM »

I've been thinking about something that I think is pertinent to this thread and would like to hear your opinions on it.

Orthodox folk say that the faith has not been added to nor subtracted from since it was once and for all handed down to the Church from the time of the Apostles.  Catholics seem to be a little bit looser with this with their ideas of the development of doctrine.  The Orthodox approach makes more sense to me and is more appealing.

One thing that has given me much to chew on and has been brought up in this thread though is the fact that the definitions of the Holy Councils were, in some sense, "added" to the faith.  I understand completely that they were really just defining what the Church already believed in a more precise and unambiguous manner, but in a sense that too seems to be an addition.  I'm having trouble expressing it and maybe I'm not quite clear in my own thinking but it seems that "three hypostases in one ousia" was not part of the faith prior to Nicea I- at least not in those words.  And even now I would imagine there are good Orthodox Christians who are not really familiar with the terms "hypostasis" and "ousia".  So my question is, is the terminology of three hypostases in one ousia really binding?  

I know that the Trinity is a dogma of the Faith and I see that in the writings of the Fathers, the Scriptures and the life of the early Church, but what about the specific Trinitarian formulation "three hypostases in one ousia"?  I see that IF we're going to express the Trinity that this is the formula that has been handed down to us.  

I don't really know if what I'm trying to say is getting across but I'll just leave it at that.  I'm just trying to figure out how we can say that nothing was added to the Faith even though clearly certain formulations were added even if what those formulations are pointing at was always there...  Maybe that's the best way to put it.  Are the formulations which are like signposts towards the mystery as much a part of the Faith as the mystery itself?  

At the risk of being misunderstood I'll leave it at that. Perhaps someone can comment and then I can clarify myself further.  

Thanks! Grin

I would not say that the Catholic Church is "looser"...I would say that the Catholic Church is less inclined to try to hide the fact that there is such a thing as legitimate development of doctrine.

What you are running into are the very cases in Orthodoxy where the words don't match the realities.

...but if you insist on saying the Catholics are "loose" and you prefer the "tighter" Orthodox...well hey!!  laugh  who am I to say 'no'...

M.



Oh, I didn't mean to be insulting!  Hopefully that's not the way you took it.  What you just said was exactly what I was trying to say essentlially.
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« Reply #66 on: August 12, 2010, 02:00:15 PM »

I have cudgelled my brains but do not understand the question.  I do not know what the Orthodox "doctrine of "ex ecclesia'" is, let alone when we changed it.

Please say more.

Or maybe somebody else knows what doctrine Mary has in mind and can explain it?

Given the context, I would say she is referring to "extra ecclesiam nulla salus."
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« Reply #67 on: August 12, 2010, 02:00:29 PM »

I've been thinking about something that I think is pertinent to this thread and would like to hear your opinions on it.

Orthodox folk say that the faith has not been added to nor subtracted from since it was once and for all handed down to the Church from the time of the Apostles.  Catholics seem to be a little bit looser with this with their ideas of the development of doctrine.  The Orthodox approach makes more sense to me and is more appealing.

One thing that has given me much to chew on and has been brought up in this thread though is the fact that the definitions of the Holy Councils were, in some sense, "added" to the faith.  I understand completely that they were really just defining what the Church already believed in a more precise and unambiguous manner, but in a sense that too seems to be an addition.  I'm having trouble expressing it and maybe I'm not quite clear in my own thinking but it seems that "three hypostases in one ousia" was not part of the faith prior to Nicea I- at least not in those words.  And even now I would imagine there are good Orthodox Christians who are not really familiar with the terms "hypostasis" and "ousia".  So my question is, is the terminology of three hypostases in one ousia really binding?  

I know that the Trinity is a dogma of the Faith and I see that in the writings of the Fathers, the Scriptures and the life of the early Church, but what about the specific Trinitarian formulation "three hypostases in one ousia"?  I see that IF we're going to express the Trinity that this is the formula that has been handed down to us.  

I don't really know if what I'm trying to say is getting across but I'll just leave it at that.  I'm just trying to figure out how we can say that nothing was added to the Faith even though clearly certain formulations were added even if what those formulations are pointing at was always there...  Maybe that's the best way to put it.  Are the formulations which are like signposts towards the mystery as much a part of the Faith as the mystery itself?  

At the risk of being misunderstood I'll leave it at that. Perhaps someone can comment and then I can clarify myself further.  

Thanks! Grin

I would not say that the Catholic Church is "looser"...I would say that the Catholic Church is less inclined to try to hide the fact that there is such a thing as legitimate development of doctrine.

What you are running into are the very cases in Orthodoxy where the words don't match the realities.

...but if you insist on saying the Catholics are "loose" and you prefer the "tighter" Orthodox...well hey!!  laugh  who am I to say 'no'...

M.



Oh, I didn't mean to be insulting!  Hopefully that's not the way you took it.  What you just said was exactly what I was trying to say essentlially.

Good Lord, no!!...really.  

But there's no NEW doctrine in the Catholic Church.  There is legitimate development of doctrine in the Catholic Church.

There is legitimate development of doctrine with Orthodoxy.

How that works is what this thread was supposed to be about in some measure.

M.

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« Reply #68 on: August 12, 2010, 02:31:50 PM »

I won't speak for Fr. Ambrose, but the problem I see with it is that it is a very stark contrast to Boniface VIII's Unam Sanctam. The problem that I and some other Orthodox have with this is the about face in doctrine that the Church of Rome has made. In the mid 1500's Luther and his doctrines were anathematized. Is that still the case? Would the modern RCC go back and "de-anathematize" certain heretics and heresiarchs such as Arius and Pope Honorius saying that they really are a part of the church but are 'separated brethren?'

It makes me very uncomfortable to see Rome's problem with being able to stick to its guns. Its sort of like a girl that won't date a guy who is indecisive and can't commit to anything. When will this flip-flopping of doctrine cease in modern Roman Catholicism? Please understand that I don't say this with any malice or derision intended at all.

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The [Roman] Catholic Church makes a distinction between people like Luther and Arius and modern day Protestants. The difference is both Luther and Arius are guilty of the sin of heresy. They were the ones who actually broke away form Christian orthodoxy. Even though people who belong to Protestant denominations today are indeed embracing heterodox teachings, they cannot be held accountable the way Arius or Luther can since they were raised in those religions. So they profess heresy through no fault of their own since it is all they've ever known. This is why we consider them "separated brethren" rather than heretics. Luther and Arius were exposed to the full truth, but denied it. Modern day Protestants never had it. That is the difference.
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« Reply #69 on: August 12, 2010, 02:47:39 PM »

I won't speak for Fr. Ambrose, but the problem I see with it is that it is a very stark contrast to Boniface VIII's Unam Sanctam. The problem that I and some other Orthodox have with this is the about face in doctrine that the Church of Rome has made. In the mid 1500's Luther and his doctrines were anathematized. Is that still the case? Would the modern RCC go back and "de-anathematize" certain heretics and heresiarchs such as Arius and Pope Honorius saying that they really are a part of the church but are 'separated brethren?'

It makes me very uncomfortable to see Rome's problem with being able to stick to its guns. Its sort of like a girl that won't date a guy who is indecisive and can't commit to anything. When will this flip-flopping of doctrine cease in modern Roman Catholicism? Please understand that I don't say this with any malice or derision intended at all.

In Christ,
Andrew
The [Roman] Catholic Church makes a distinction between people like Luther and Arius and modern day Protestants. The difference is both Luther and Arius are guilty of the sin of heresy. They were the ones who actually broke away form Christian orthodoxy. Even though people who belong to Protestant denominations today are indeed embracing heterodox teachings, they cannot be held accountable the way Arius or Luther can since they were raised in those religions. So they profess heresy through no fault of their own since it is all they've ever known. This is why we consider them "separated brethren" rather than heretics. Luther and Arius were exposed to the full truth, but denied it. Modern day Protestants never had it. That is the difference.
What if someone grew up Methodist, believing in the Trinity, but later become a member of the Mormon church, which doesn't believe in the traditional doctrine of the Trinity. Would that person be a heretic, even from the Catholic perspective, since he or she clearly broke away from Christian orthodoxy?
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« Reply #70 on: August 12, 2010, 03:06:21 PM »

What if someone grew up Methodist, believing in the Trinity, but later become a member of the Mormon church, which doesn't believe in the traditional doctrine of the Trinity. Would that person be a heretic, even from the Catholic perspective, since he or she clearly broke away from Christian orthodoxy?
I'm not sure if the Catholic Church addresses such a situation specifically, though in my personal opinion that has the potential of being a grave situation for the person's soul since they would be breaking away from a Christian sect in favor of a non-Christian one.
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« Reply #71 on: August 12, 2010, 03:25:01 PM »

I've been thinking about something that I think is pertinent to this thread and would like to hear your opinions on it.

Orthodox folk say that the faith has not been added to nor subtracted from since it was once and for all handed down to the Church from the time of the Apostles.  Catholics seem to be a little bit looser with this with their ideas of the development of doctrine.  The Orthodox approach makes more sense to me and is more appealing.

One thing that has given me much to chew on and has been brought up in this thread though is the fact that the definitions of the Holy Councils were, in some sense, "added" to the faith.  I understand completely that they were really just defining what the Church already believed in a more precise and unambiguous manner, but in a sense that too seems to be an addition.  I'm having trouble expressing it and maybe I'm not quite clear in my own thinking but it seems that "three hypostases in one ousia" was not part of the faith prior to Nicea I- at least not in those words.  And even now I would imagine there are good Orthodox Christians who are not really familiar with the terms "hypostasis" and "ousia".  So my question is, is the terminology of three hypostases in one ousia really binding?  

I know that the Trinity is a dogma of the Faith and I see that in the writings of the Fathers, the Scriptures and the life of the early Church, but what about the specific Trinitarian formulation "three hypostases in one ousia"?  I see that IF we're going to express the Trinity that this is the formula that has been handed down to us.  

I don't really know if what I'm trying to say is getting across but I'll just leave it at that.  I'm just trying to figure out how we can say that nothing was added to the Faith even though clearly certain formulations were added even if what those formulations are pointing at was always there...  Maybe that's the best way to put it.  Are the formulations which are like signposts towards the mystery as much a part of the Faith as the mystery itself?  

At the risk of being misunderstood I'll leave it at that. Perhaps someone can comment and then I can clarify myself further.  

Thanks! Grin

It is like the antibody and antigen analogy I made above.

It'sl like driving: you adjust to road conditions, but you do not change your course.

The Councils do not map out your route, nor paint dahes down the middle of the road. Rather, they draw lines on the sides of the road, so you are warned not to get off of it.
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« Reply #72 on: August 12, 2010, 04:05:50 PM »

As you pointed out to me in the discussion on purgation....these are some pretty modern sources for "ex ecclesia" in Orthodoxy.  And the latter one of the is pretty suspect to me since his major life work was to swipe the spiritual teachings of a Roman.

I'll bet we both could find some ancient ones, many in fact, that are one heck of a lot stricter.

When did Orthodoxy change her doctrine of "ex ecclesia"?


I have cudgelled my brains but do not understand the question.  I do not know what the Orthodox "doctrine of "ex ecclesia'" is, let alone when we changed it.

Please say more.

Or maybe somebody else knows what doctrine Mary has in mind and can explain it?

 laugh  No mystery.  Just a short cut.  An abbreviation.  Etc.

You cannot explain what you mean. I suspected that. laugh  Do you know much Latin?
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« Reply #73 on: August 12, 2010, 04:15:58 PM »


I would not say that the Catholic Church is "looser"...I would say that the Catholic Church is less inclined to try to hide the fact that there is such a thing as legitimate development of doctrine.

What you are running into are the very cases in Orthodoxy where the words don't match the realities.


In the last few days Fr Kimel has sent me some harsh messages about how unsuitable it is and how incompetent I am to speak for Roman Catholicism but you do the reverse all the time and always only to denigrate the Orthodox.  What is your agenda?  Do you write here to sow doubts among the Orthodox?  Some sort of covert proselytizing maybe?  Naughty Mary!  laugh
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« Reply #74 on: August 12, 2010, 04:21:52 PM »

I've been thinking about something that I think is pertinent to this thread and would like to hear your opinions on it.

Orthodox folk say that the faith has not been added to nor subtracted from since it was once and for all handed down to the Church from the time of the Apostles.  Catholics seem to be a little bit looser with this with their ideas of the development of doctrine.  The Orthodox approach makes more sense to me and is more appealing.

One thing that has given me much to chew on and has been brought up in this thread though is the fact that the definitions of the Holy Councils were, in some sense, "added" to the faith.  I understand completely that they were really just defining what the Church already believed in a more precise and unambiguous manner, but in a sense that too seems to be an addition.  I'm having trouble expressing it and maybe I'm not quite clear in my own thinking but it seems that "three hypostases in one ousia" was not part of the faith prior to Nicea I- at least not in those words.  And even now I would imagine there are good Orthodox Christians who are not really familiar with the terms "hypostasis" and "ousia".  So my question is, is the terminology of three hypostases in one ousia really binding?  

I know that the Trinity is a dogma of the Faith and I see that in the writings of the Fathers, the Scriptures and the life of the early Church, but what about the specific Trinitarian formulation "three hypostases in one ousia"?  I see that IF we're going to express the Trinity that this is the formula that has been handed down to us.  

I don't really know if what I'm trying to say is getting across but I'll just leave it at that.  I'm just trying to figure out how we can say that nothing was added to the Faith even though clearly certain formulations were added even if what those formulations are pointing at was always there...  Maybe that's the best way to put it.  Are the formulations which are like signposts towards the mystery as much a part of the Faith as the mystery itself?  

These are very good questions!  In what sense do dogmatic definitions belong to the apostolic deposit of the faith?  Clearly the Apostles did not have an explicit understanding of three hypostases and one ousia, at least not in the sense as held by, say, Gregory of Nyssa or Athanasius the Great.  And yet on the other hand we want to insist that the later doctrinal formulations do not add to the deposit of faith but rather clarify it.  Or as John Henry Newman put it, "The Church does not know more than the Apostles knew." 

Newman's Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine is essential reading at this point.  That doctrine "develops" seems too obvious to argue.  All one needs to do is read Jaroslav Pelikan's multi-volume The Christian Tradition.  The question is not whether doctrine develops.  The question is whether specific developments remain faithful to, and essentially one with, the faith once given to the saints.  And here, of course, is where the Churches divide.

Mike is wrong when he writes:  "The RCC on the other hand doesn't bother to check whether the Church has opinion on anything (or they chack and say the opinion is wrong) and when the question appears (no matter how many time did it appear before) it creates a new answer best suitable (according to them) to the present situation."  The Catholic Church is not now and never has been so relativistic.  Fidelity to the apostolic revelation is decisive for all doctrinal reflection, as well evidenced by Vatican II's document Dei verbum.   The Church does not sit in judgment upon the revelation given in Christ nor does it receive new revelation.  The Church, rather, exposits the revelation that was delivered to the Apostles.  At least that is the theory.   

But the Catholic and Orthodox approach to doctrinal development is different, though perhaps not so easy to specify as some believe.  As I mentioned in my comment that was quoted to inaugurate this thread, Catholics tend to look to the teaching office of the Church, whereas Orthodox tend to look to the consensual teachings of the Church Fathers and the proclaimed dogmas of the Ecumenical Councils.  But this formulation is too simplistic.  For the Catholic, the teaching office of the Church is totally dependent upon the Scriptures, the Church Fathers, and the Ecumenical Councils.  The Church does not make up doctrine as it goes along.  The Church articulates doctrine in fidelity to the Tradition.  For the Orthodox, the appeal to Holy Tradition is so much more than looking backwards to the Church Fathers.  The age of the Fathers did not end in the 8th century.  Tradition is a living reality, embodied in the fullness of the Church. 

So precisely where is the difference to be located?  I suppose it comes back to the Pope. 

 
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« Reply #75 on: August 12, 2010, 05:04:37 PM »

These are very good questions!  In what sense do dogmatic definitions belong to the apostolic deposit of the faith? 

......But the Catholic and Orthodox approach to doctrinal development is different, though perhaps not so easy to specify as some believe. 

......So precisely where is the difference to be located?  I suppose it comes back to the Pope. 
 

The words of our holy father Saint Vincent of Lerins are the perfect expression of the Orthodox approach to doctrine, its clarification, ecumenical councils....

But the Church of Christ, the careful and watchful guardian of the doctrines deposited in her charge, never changes anything in them, never diminishes, never adds, does not cut off what is necessary, does not add what is superfluous, does not lose her own, does not appropriate what is another's, but while dealing faithfully and judiciously with ancient doctrine, keeps this one object carefully in view,--if there be anything which antiquity has left shapeless and rudimentary, to fashion and polish it, if anything already reduced to shape and developed, to consolidate and strengthen it, if any already ratified and defined to keep and guard it.

Finally, what other object have Councils ever aimed at in their decrees, than to provide that what was before believed in simplicity should in future be believed intelligently, that what was before preached coldly should in future be preached earnestly, that what was before practised negligently should thenceforward be practised with double solicitude? This, I say, is what the Catholic Church, roused by the novelties of heretics, has accomplished by the decrees of her Councils,--this, and nothing else,--she has thenceforward consigned to posterity in writing what she had received from those of olden times only by tradition, comprising a great amount of matter in a few words, and often, for the better understanding, designating an old article of the faith by the characteristic of a new name.

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« Reply #76 on: August 12, 2010, 05:26:26 PM »

These are very good questions!  In what sense do dogmatic definitions belong to the apostolic deposit of the faith? 

......But the Catholic and Orthodox approach to doctrinal development is different, though perhaps not so easy to specify as some believe. 

......So precisely where is the difference to be located?  I suppose it comes back to the Pope. 
 

The words of our holy father Saint Vincent of Lerins are the perfect expression of the Orthodox approach to doctrine, its clarification, ecumenical councils....

But the Church of Christ, the careful and watchful guardian of the doctrines deposited in her charge, never changes anything in them, never diminishes, never adds, does not cut off what is necessary, does not add what is superfluous, does not lose her own, does not appropriate what is another's, but while dealing faithfully and judiciously with ancient doctrine, keeps this one object carefully in view,--if there be anything which antiquity has left shapeless and rudimentary, to fashion and polish it, if anything already reduced to shape and developed, to consolidate and strengthen it, if any already ratified and defined to keep and guard it.

Finally, what other object have Councils ever aimed at in their decrees, than to provide that what was before believed in simplicity should in future be believed intelligently, that what was before preached coldly should in future be preached earnestly, that what was before practised negligently should thenceforward be practised with double solicitude? This, I say, is what the Catholic Church, roused by the novelties of heretics, has accomplished by the decrees of her Councils,--this, and nothing else,--she has thenceforward consigned to posterity in writing what she had received from those of olden times only by tradition, comprising a great amount of matter in a few words, and often, for the better understanding, designating an old article of the faith by the characteristic of a new name.



So if it is not in one of the ecumenical councils then it is not binding on universal Orthodoxy?

Are there any important discrepancies between local synods?

Mary
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« Reply #77 on: August 12, 2010, 05:36:26 PM »

These are very good questions!  In what sense do dogmatic definitions belong to the apostolic deposit of the faith? 

......But the Catholic and Orthodox approach to doctrinal development is different, though perhaps not so easy to specify as some believe. 

......So precisely where is the difference to be located?  I suppose it comes back to the Pope. 
 

The words of our holy father Saint Vincent of Lerins are the perfect expression of the Orthodox approach to doctrine, its clarification, ecumenical councils....

But the Church of Christ, the careful and watchful guardian of the doctrines deposited in her charge, never changes anything in them, never diminishes, never adds, does not cut off what is necessary, does not add what is superfluous, does not lose her own, does not appropriate what is another's, but while dealing faithfully and judiciously with ancient doctrine, keeps this one object carefully in view,--if there be anything which antiquity has left shapeless and rudimentary, to fashion and polish it, if anything already reduced to shape and developed, to consolidate and strengthen it, if any already ratified and defined to keep and guard it.

Finally, what other object have Councils ever aimed at in their decrees, than to provide that what was before believed in simplicity should in future be believed intelligently, that what was before preached coldly should in future be preached earnestly, that what was before practised negligently should thenceforward be practised with double solicitude? This, I say, is what the Catholic Church, roused by the novelties of heretics, has accomplished by the decrees of her Councils,--this, and nothing else,--she has thenceforward consigned to posterity in writing what she had received from those of olden times only by tradition, comprising a great amount of matter in a few words, and often, for the better understanding, designating an old article of the faith by the characteristic of a new name.



So if it is not in one of the ecumenical councils then it is not binding on universal Orthodoxy?


Now where on earth do you get that impression?   Bang goes the Real Presence and the Assumption, for starters!     I am sure there have been discussions here previously on Orthodox Tradition and its various sources - Scripture, Fathers, Councils, Liturgy, Iconography.

Your confusion may stem from the intense Roman Catholic culture of "authority" which desires to be able to point to specific authority and magisterial teaching. You won't encounter this driving need in Orthodoxy.  We live by the Tradition we have received, from many sources.
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« Reply #78 on: August 12, 2010, 05:39:53 PM »

These are very good questions!  In what sense do dogmatic definitions belong to the apostolic deposit of the faith? 

......But the Catholic and Orthodox approach to doctrinal development is different, though perhaps not so easy to specify as some believe. 

......So precisely where is the difference to be located?  I suppose it comes back to the Pope. 
 

The words of our holy father Saint Vincent of Lerins are the perfect expression of the Orthodox approach to doctrine, its clarification, ecumenical councils....

But the Church of Christ, the careful and watchful guardian of the doctrines deposited in her charge, never changes anything in them, never diminishes, never adds, does not cut off what is necessary, does not add what is superfluous, does not lose her own, does not appropriate what is another's, but while dealing faithfully and judiciously with ancient doctrine, keeps this one object carefully in view,--if there be anything which antiquity has left shapeless and rudimentary, to fashion and polish it, if anything already reduced to shape and developed, to consolidate and strengthen it, if any already ratified and defined to keep and guard it.

Finally, what other object have Councils ever aimed at in their decrees, than to provide that what was before believed in simplicity should in future be believed intelligently, that what was before preached coldly should in future be preached earnestly, that what was before practised negligently should thenceforward be practised with double solicitude? This, I say, is what the Catholic Church, roused by the novelties of heretics, has accomplished by the decrees of her Councils,--this, and nothing else,--she has thenceforward consigned to posterity in writing what she had received from those of olden times only by tradition, comprising a great amount of matter in a few words, and often, for the better understanding, designating an old article of the faith by the characteristic of a new name.



So if it is not in one of the ecumenical councils then it is not binding on universal Orthodoxy?


Now where on earth do you get that impression?   Bang goes the Real Presence and the Assumption, for starters!     I am sure there have been discussions here previously on Orthodox Tradition and its various sources - Scripture, Fathers, Councils, Liturgy, Iconography.

Your confusion may stem from the intense Roman Catholic culture of "authority" which desires to be able to point to specific authority and magisterial teaching. You won't encounter this driving need in Orthodoxy.  We live by the Tradition we have received, from many sources.

Your answer to Father Al is what confused me...thanks.

M.
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« Reply #79 on: August 12, 2010, 07:55:30 PM »


I would not say that the Catholic Church is "looser"...I would say that the Catholic Church is less inclined to try to hide the fact that there is such a thing as legitimate development of doctrine.

What you are running into are the very cases in Orthodoxy where the words don't match the realities.


In the last few days Fr Kimel has sent me some harsh messages about how unsuitable it is and how incompetent I am to speak for Roman Catholicism but you do the reverse all the time and always only to denigrate the Orthodox.  What is your agenda?  Do you write here to sow doubts among the Orthodox?  Some sort of covert proselytizing maybe?  Naughty Mary!  laugh

Father!
That's Actually what crossed my mind a few times and more,is she here to scatter the Orthodox Fold, By Sowing Confusion, She Claims she's Eastern Catholic But defends and preaches Roman Catholic Heresies.....Plus she doesn't show you respect,she gets down right rude with you...


In the Other thread She took it upon her self to interpet a post  Fr. Kimel addressed to you ...Her Interpretation was that he didn't give a rats rump what you thought about what catholics believe...She's disrespectful ... Angry


Mary and Fr. Kimel why are you here, if you don't care what Holy Orthodoxy Thinks....
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ГОСПОДЕ ГОСПОДЕ ,ПОГЛЕДАЈ СА НЕБА ,ДОЂИ И ПОСЕТИ ТВОЈ ВИНОГРАД ТВОЈА ДЕСНИЦА ПОСАДИЛА АМИН АМИН.
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« Reply #80 on: August 12, 2010, 08:06:16 PM »

This is not entirely correct. The Catholic Church has never changed doctrine outright, it can't, know does it believe it can.

Really?

Quote from: Council of Florence
It firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the catholic church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the catholic church before the end of their lives; that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is of such importance that only for those who abide in it do the church's sacraments contribute to salvation and do fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militia produce eternal rewards; and that nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed his blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and the unity of the catholic church.

source


I think that it is taught now that a Jew can be saved even if he does not convert to Catholicism.

What is their means of salvation?
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« Reply #81 on: August 12, 2010, 08:06:17 PM »

but it seems that "three hypostases in one ousia" was not part of the faith prior to Nicea I- at least not in those words.

You've got your councils mixed up. At Nicaea I, hypostasis and ousia were synonymous, and thus any confession of ousia or hypostasis being anything other than one was anathematized (you can see it right in the 325 creed). At the 362 council of Alexandria, the Old Nicene party engaged with the Neo-Nicene party on their use of three hypostases and learned that they were not using hypostasis synonymously with ousia but rather were uses it to indicate subsistence (individuations of a substance); on this basis they permitted the use of the formula "three hypostases of one ousia". It was at Constantinople I in 381 when the formula was finally made official.
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« Reply #82 on: August 12, 2010, 09:55:42 PM »


I think that it is taught now that a Jew can be saved even if he does not convert to Catholicism.

What is their means of salvation?

Their means of salvation is the compassionate judgement of Christ when all men must be judged by Him at the time of the General Resurrection.  Will He say to the Jew - stand on my left with the goats and you are judged for hell fire, or will He say -stand on my right with the sheep and come into the Kingdom of my Father.  Saint Paul speaks in Romans (2:14-16) of the manner by which the Saviour will judge non-Christians.
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« Reply #83 on: August 12, 2010, 09:59:34 PM »

A question that's often crossed my mind: Does the hymnography of the Roman Catholic church hold the same status in that church?
That is a good question. I thought that the Gregorian chant did, but with the more modern post Vatican II rock and folk type guitar music, I am not so sure about that.
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« Reply #84 on: August 12, 2010, 10:04:25 PM »

But there's no NEW doctrine in the Catholic Church.  There is legitimate development of doctrine in the Catholic Church.
I think that the Latin Mass SSPX group is contesting that in their discussions for reconciliation. The latest report I have seen from an SSPX bishop  is that these discussions are going nowhere.
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« Reply #85 on: August 12, 2010, 10:25:44 PM »

A question that's often crossed my mind: Does the hymnography of the Roman Catholic church hold the same status in that church?
That is a good question. I thought that the Gregorian chant did, but with the more modern post Vatican II rock and folk type guitar music, I am not so sure about that.

Stanley, I think you've misunderstood my question: by hymnography, I am not referring to the musical style, but to what is read, chanted and sung in church, over the entire and various liturgical cycles, as well as akathists and other prayers which are frequently used in private devotions. In other words, the liturgical deposit.
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« Reply #86 on: August 12, 2010, 11:12:52 PM »


I won't speak for Fr. Ambrose, but the problem I see with it is that it is a very stark contrast to Boniface VIII's Unam Sanctam. The problem that I and some other Orthodox have with this is the about face in doctrine that the Church of Rome has made. In the mid 1500's Luther and his doctrines were anathematized. Is that still the case? Would the modern RCC go back and "de-anathematize" certain heretics and heresiarchs such as Arius and Pope Honorius saying that they really are a part of the church but are 'separated brethren?'

It makes me very uncomfortable to see Rome's problem with being able to stick to its guns. Its sort of like a girl that won't date a guy who is indecisive and can't commit to anything. When will this flip-flopping of doctrine cease in modern Roman Catholicism? Please understand that I don't say this with any malice or derision intended at all.

Andrew, what modern doctrinal flip-floppings do you have in mind?  Are you objecting to all restatements of doctrine?  Are you objecting to all clarifications, refinements, and corrections of theological teaching?  Are there specific doctrines that you have in mind? 

You cite Pope Boniface's bull Unam Sanctam, but this is not a helpful example, since the teaching of this papal bull was never fully received into the teaching of the Catholic Church.  As you know, the Catholic Church does not teach that the Bishop of Rome is infallible in all of his utterances.  Not only is Unam Sanctam not recognized by most Catholic theologians as containing a binding dogmatic definition, but it is studied precisely as an example of a papal encyclical that does not fulfill the conditions of infallibility.

You also cite the 16th century condemnation of Luther.  I presume that you believe that you object to the doctrinal convergences between Lutheranism and Catholicism, as represented by the Joint Declaration on Justification.  Is your concern that the Joint Declaration represents an embrace of heresy?  Or is it that you object to the present ecumenical stance of the Catholic Church and would prefer the Catholic Church to have maintained a more hostile attitude to non-Catholic Churches? 
   
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« Reply #87 on: August 12, 2010, 11:25:09 PM »


You cite Pope Boniface's bull Unam Sanctam, but this is not a helpful example, since the teaching of this papal bull was never fully received into the teaching of the Catholic Church.  As you know, the Catholic Church does not teach that the Bishop of Rome is infallible in all of his utterances.  Not only is Unam Sanctam not recognized by most Catholic theologians as containing a binding dogmatic definition, but it is studied precisely as an example of a papal encyclical that does not fulfill the conditions of infallibility.
I  think that Papal Encyclicals are authoritative and part of the ordinary magisterium of the RCC.
For example, Pope Pius XII in Humani Generis said that Papal Encyclicals are sufficiently authoritative to end theological debate on a particular question:"It is not to be thought that what is set down in Encyclical letters does not demand assent in itself, because in this the popes do not exercise the supreme power of their magisterium. For these matters are taught by the ordinary magisterium, regarding which the following is pertinent: “He who heareth you, heareth Me.” (Luke 10:16); and usually what is set forth and inculcated in Encyclical Letters, already pertains to Catholic doctrine. But if the Supreme Pontiffs in their acts, after due consideration, express an opinion on a hitherto controversial matter, it is clear to all that this matter, according to the mind and will of the same Pontiffs, cannot any longer be considered a question of free discussion among theologians."
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« Reply #88 on: August 13, 2010, 12:34:07 AM »

As we both know it is a stock in trade of online Catholic apologists to appeal to de fide statements when they find themselves having to justify a change in Catholic teachings.  It means that the great majority of the Catholic faith is in a very unstable condition and only de fide (infallible) statements have any certainty.   What has not been defined as de fide may be discarded tomorrow as erroneous, never mind that it has been taught for centuries past.  But wait a moment - is that true?   Are only a handful of de fide statements the truth of the Catholic faith?

Let's look at what is taught by Vatican II and the Pope in Lumen Gentium....

Whether they qualify as technically de fide or not by reason of the "we believe, state, proclaim and define... to the whole Church", papal statements still cannot be denied by Catholics.

There is a requirement to give assent to the teachings of the Pope, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra.  I find that quite interesting. 
 
"This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will.”
~Dogmatic Constitution on the Church #25

Now Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, is one of the principal documents of the Second Vatican Council. The Constitution was promulgated by Pope Paul VI on November 21, 1964, following approval by the assembled bishops by a vote of 2,151 to 5. 

Whether one posits infallibility in Ecumenical Councils or Popes or both, this document is ungainsayable on all counts, and the Pope was most certainly exercising his magisterial authority.  In other words, Catholics must give assent of mind and will to all papal teachings.
 
 
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« Reply #89 on: August 13, 2010, 01:33:19 AM »



You cite Pope Boniface's bull Unam Sanctam, but this is not a helpful example, since the teaching of this papal bull was never fully received into the teaching of the Catholic Church.  As you know, the Catholic Church does not teach that the Bishop of Rome is infallible in all of his utterances.  Not only is Unam Sanctam not recognized by most Catholic theologians as containing a binding dogmatic definition, but it is studied precisely as an example of a papal encyclical that does not fulfill the conditions of infallibility.


OK, it is easy for Catholic apologists to poke fun at UNAM  SANCTAM and CANTATE DOMINO and say their teaching is irregular and that Peter had a momentary lapse of sanity.

But - wait for it!  laugh - here is the Quote Mine of papal teachings through the centuries which shows that UNAM SANCTAM and CANTATE DOMINO are in fact the rock solid teaching of the Vicar of Christ



Fourth Lateran Council (1215): "There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved."

Pope Boniface VIII, Bull "Unam sanctam" (1302): "We are compelled in virtue of our faith to believe and maintain that there is only one holy Catholic Church, and that one is apostolic. This we firmly believe and profess without qualification. Outside this Church there is no salvation and no remission of sins, the Spouse in the Canticle proclaiming: 'One is my dove, my perfect one. One is she of her mother, the chosen of her that bore her' (Canticle of Canticles 6:Cool; which represents the one mystical body whose head is Christ, of Christ indeed, as God. And in this, 'one Lord, one faith, one baptism' (Ephesians 4:5). Certainly Noah had one ark at the time of the flood, prefiguring one Church which perfect to one cubit having one ruler and guide, namely Noah, outside of which we read all living things were destroyed… We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff."

Pope Eugene IV, "Cantate Domino" (1441): "The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the "eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:41), unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church."

Pope Sylvester II, Profession of Faith, June AD 991: "I believe that in Baptism all sins are forgiven, that one which was committed originally as much as those which are voluntarily committed, and I profess that outside the Catholic Church no one is saved."

Pope Innocent III (1198–1216), Profession of Faith prescribed for the Waldensians: "With our hearts we believe and with our lips we confess but one Church, not that of the heretics, but the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church, outside which we believe that no one is saved" (Denzinger 792).

Pope Clement VI, Letter "Super Quibusdam" (to Consolator the Catholicos of Armenia), September 20, 1351: "In the second place, we ask whether you and the Armenians obedient to you believe that no man of the wayfarers outside of the faith of this Church, and outside the obedience of the Pope of Rome, can finally be saved… In the ninth place, if you have believed and do believe that all who have raised themselves against the faith of the Roman Church and have died in final impenitence have been damned and have descended to the eternal punishments of hell."

Pope Leo XII (1823–1829), Encyclical "Ubi Primum": "It is impossible for the most true God, who is Truth Itself, the best, the wisest Provider, and rewarder of good men, to approve all sects who profess false teachings which are often inconsistent with one another and contradictory, and to confer eternal rewards on their members. For we have a surer word of the prophet, and in writing to you We speak wisdom among the perfect; not the wisdom of this world but the wisdom of God in a mystery. By it we are taught, and by divine faith we hold, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and that no other name under heaven is given to men except the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth in which we must be saved. This is why we profess that there is no salvation outside the Church… For the Church is the pillar and ground of the truth. With reference to those words Augustine says: 'If any man be outside the Church he will be excluded from the number of sons, and will not have God for Father since he has not the Church for mother.'"

Pope Gregory XVI (1831–1846), Encyclical "Summo Jugiter Studio" (on Mixed marriages), 5-6, May 27, 1832: "You know how zealously Our predecessors taught that very article of faith which these dare to deny, namely the necessity of the Catholic faith and of unity for salvation. The words of that celebrated disciple of the Apostles, martyred Saint Ignatius, in his letter to the Philadelphians are relevant to this matter: 'Be not deceived, my brother; if anyone follows a schismatic, he will not attain the inheritance of the kingdom of God.' Moreover, Saint Augustine and the other African bishops who met in the Council of Cirta in the year 412 explained the same thing at greater length: 'Whoever has separated himself from the Catholic Church, no matter how laudably he lives, will not have eternal life, but has earned the anger of God because of this one crime: that he abandoned his union with Christ' (Epsitle 141). Omitting other appropriate passages which are almost numberless in the writings of the Fathers, We shall praise Saint Gregory the Great, who expressly testifies that this is indeed the teaching of the Catholic Church. He says: 'The holy universal Church teaches that it is not possible to worship God truly except in her and asserts that all who are outside of her will not be saved' (Moral. in Job, 16.5). Official acts of the Church proclaim the same dogma. Thus, in the decree on faith which Innocent III published with the synod of the Lateran IV, these things are written: 'There is one universal Church of the faithful outside of which no one at all is saved.' Finally, the same dogma is expressly mentioned in the profession of faith proposed by the Apostolic See, not only that which all Latin churches use (Creed of the Council of Trent), but also that which the Greek Orthodox Church uses (cf. Gregory XIII, Profession 'Sanctissimus') and that which other Eastern Catholics use (cf. Benedict XIV, Profession 'Nuper ad Nos')… We are so concerned about this serious and well known dogma, which has been attacked with such remarkable audacity, that We could not restrain Our pen from reinforcing this truth with many testimonies."

Pope Pius IX (1846–1878), Allocution "Singulari Quadem", December 9, 1854: "Not without sorrow we have learned that another error, no less destructive, has taken possession of some parts of the Catholic world, and has taken up its abode in the souls of many Catholics who think that one should have good hope of the eternal salvation of all those who have never lived in the true Church of Christ. Therefore, they are wont to ask very often what will be the lot and condition of those who have not submitted in any way to the Catholic faith, and, by bringing forward most vain reasons, they make a response favorable to their false opinion. Far be it from Us, Venerable Brethren, to presume on the limits of the divine mercy which is infinite; far from Us, to wish to scrutinize the hidden counsel and "judgements of God" which are "a great abyss" (Ps. 35.7) and cannot be penetrated by human thought. But, as is Our Apostolic Duty, we wish your episcopal solicitude and vigilance to be aroused, so that you will strive as much as you can to drive form the mind of men that impious and equally fatal opinion, namely, that the way of eternal salvation can be found in any religion whatsoever. May you demonstrate with skill and learning in which you excel, to the people entrusted to your care that the dogmas of the Catholic faith are in no wise opposed to divine mercy and justice.

"For, it must be held by faith that outside the Apostolic Roman Church, no one can be saved; that this is the only ark of salvation; that he who shall not have entered therein will perish in the flood; but, on the other hand, it is necessary to hold for certain that they who labor in ignorance of the true religion, if this ignorance is invincible, will not be held guilty of this in the eyes of God. Now, in truth, who would arrogate so much to himself as to mark the limits of such an ignorance, because of the nature and variety of peoples, regions, innate dispositions, and of so many other things? For, in truth, when released from these corporeal chains 'we shall see God as He is' (1 John 3.2), we shall understand perfectly by how close and beautiful a bond divine mercy and justice are united; but as long as we are on earth, weighed down by this mortal mass which blunts the soul, let us hold most firmly that, in accordance with Catholic teaching, there is "one God, one faith, one baptism" (Eph. 4.5); it is unlawful to proceed further in inquiry.


"But, just as the way of charity demands, let us pour forth continual prayers that all nations everywhere may be converted to Christ; and let us be devoted to the common salvation of men in proportion to our strength, 'for the hand of the Lord is not shortened' (Isa. 9.1) and the gifts of heavenly grace will not be wanting to those who sincerely wish and ask to be refreshed by this light."[4]

Pope Pius IX (1846–1878), Encyclical "Singulari Quidem" March 17, 1856): "Teach that just as there is only one God, one Christ, one Holy Spirit, so there is also only one truth which is divinely revealed. There is only one divine faith which is the beginning of salvation for mankind and the basis of all justification, the faith by which the just person lives and without which it is impossible to please God and come to the community of His children (Romans 1; Hebrews 11; Council of Trent, Session 6, Chapter Cool. There is only one true, holy, Catholic Church, which is the Apostolic Roman Church. There is only one See founded on Peter by the word of the Lord (St. Cyprian, Epistle 43), outside of which we cannot find either true faith or eternal salvation. He who does not have the Church for a mother cannot have God for a father, and whoever abandons the See of Peter on which the Church is established trusts falsely that he is in the Church (ibid, On the Unity of the Catholic Church). ... Outside of the Church, nobody can hope for life or salvation unless he is excused through ignorance beyond his control."[5]

Pope Pius IX (1846–1878), Encyclical "Quanto conficiamur moerore", August 10, 1863: "And here, beloved Sons and Venerable Brothers, We should mention again and censure a very grave error in which some Catholics are unhappily engaged, who believe that men living in error, and separated from the true faith and from Catholic unity, can attain eternal life. Indeed, this is certainly quite contrary to Catholic teaching. It is known to Us and to you that they who labor in invincible ignorance of our most holy religion and who, zealously keeping the natural law and its precepts engraved in the hearts of all by God, and being ready to obey God, live an honest and upright life, can, by the operating power of divine light and grace, attain eternal life, since God who clearly beholds, searches, and knows the minds, souls, thoughts, and habits of all men, because of His great goodness and mercy, will by no means suffer anyone to be punished with eternal torment who has not the guilt of deliberate sin. But, the Catholic dogma that no one can be saved outside the Catholic Church is well-known; and also that those who are obstinate toward the authority and definitions of the same Church, and who persistently separate themselves from the unity of the Church, and from the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter, to whom 'the guardianship of the vine has been entrusted by the Savior,' (Council of Chalcedon, Letter to Pope Leo I) cannot obtain eternal salvation. The words of Christ are clear enough: 'And if he will not hear the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican' (Matthew 18:17); 'He that heareth you, heareth Me; and he that dispeth you, despiseth Me; and he that dispiseth Me, despiseth Him that sent Me' (Luke 10:16); 'He that believeth not shall be condemned' (Mark 16:16); 'He that doth not believe, is already judged" (John 3:18); 'He that is not with Me, is against Me; and he that gathereth not with Me, scattereth' (Luke 11:23). The Apostle Paul says that such persons are 'perverted and self-condemned' (Titus 3:11); the Prince of the Apostles calls the 'false prophets… who shall bring in sects of perdition, and deny the Lord who bought them: bringing upon themselves swift destruction' (2 Peter 2:1)."[6]

Pope Pius IX The "Syllabus of Errors", attached to Encyclical Quanta Cura, 1864: [The following are prescribed errors:] "16. Men can, in the cult of any religion, find the way of eternal salvation and attain eternal salvation. - Encyclical Qui pluribus, November 9, 1846.
"17. One ought to at least have good hope for the eternal salvation of all those who in no way dwell in the true Church of Christ. - Encyclical Quanto conficiamur moerore, August 10, 1863, etc."

Pope Leo XIII (1878–1903), Encyclical Annum Ingressi Sumus: "This is our last lesson to you; receive it, engrave it in your minds, all of you: by God's commandment salvation is to be found nowhere but in the Church."

idem, Encyclical "Sapientiae Christianae": "He scatters and gathers not who gathers not with the Church and with Jesus Christ, and all who fight not jointly with Him and with the Church are in very truth contending against God."

Pope St. Pius X (1903–1914), Encyclical "Jucunda Sane":  "It is our duty to recall to everyone great and small, as the Holy Pontiff Gregory did in ages past, the absolute necessity which is ours, to have recourse to this Church to effect our eternal salvation."

Pope Benedict XV (1914–1922), Encyclical "Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum": "Such is the nature of the Catholic faith that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole, or as a whole rejected: This is the Catholic faith, which unless a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved."

Pope Pius XI (1922–1939), Encyclical "Mortalium Animos": "The Catholic Church alone is keeping the true worship. This is the font of truth, this is the house of faith, this is the temple of God; if any man enter not here, or if any man go forth from it, he is a stranger to the hope of life and salvation… Furthermore, in this one Church of Christ, no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors."

Pope Pius XII (1939–1958), Encyclical "Humani Generis", August 12, 1950: "Some reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church in order to gain eternal salvation."

Pope Pius XII (1939–1958), Allocution to the Gregorian University (17 October 1953): "By divine mandate the interpreter and guardian of the Scriptures, and the depository of Sacred Tradition living within her, the Church alone is the entrance to salvation: She alone, by herself, and under the protection and guidance of the Holy Spirit, is the source of truth."
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« Reply #90 on: August 13, 2010, 01:36:12 AM »


I think that it is taught now that a Jew can be saved even if he does not convert to Catholicism.

What is their means of salvation?

Their means of salvation is the compassionate judgement of Christ when all men must be judged by Him at the time of the General Resurrection.  Will He say to the Jew - stand on my left with the goats and you are judged for hell fire, or will He say -stand on my right with the sheep and come into the Kingdom of my Father.  Saint Paul speaks in Romans (2:14-16) of the manner by which the Saviour will judge non-Christians.

If the Jew still refuses to worship and serve Him as the Lord God, yes, I think He will tell him to stand on the left with the goats.
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« Reply #91 on: August 13, 2010, 01:41:55 AM »


I won't speak for Fr. Ambrose, but the problem I see with it is that it is a very stark contrast to Boniface VIII's Unam Sanctam. The problem that I and some other Orthodox have with this is the about face in doctrine that the Church of Rome has made. In the mid 1500's Luther and his doctrines were anathematized. Is that still the case? Would the modern RCC go back and "de-anathematize" certain heretics and heresiarchs such as Arius and Pope Honorius saying that they really are a part of the church but are 'separated brethren?'

It makes me very uncomfortable to see Rome's problem with being able to stick to its guns. Its sort of like a girl that won't date a guy who is indecisive and can't commit to anything. When will this flip-flopping of doctrine cease in modern Roman Catholicism? Please understand that I don't say this with any malice or derision intended at all.

Andrew, what modern doctrinal flip-floppings do you have in mind?  Are you objecting to all restatements of doctrine?  Are you objecting to all clarifications, refinements, and corrections of theological teaching?  Are there specific doctrines that you have in mind? 

You cite Pope Boniface's bull Unam Sanctam, but this is not a helpful example, since the teaching of this papal bull was never fully received into the teaching of the Catholic Church.  As you know, the Catholic Church does not teach that the Bishop of Rome is infallible in all of his utterances.  Not only is Unam Sanctam not recognized by most Catholic theologians as containing a binding dogmatic definition, but it is studied precisely as an example of a papal encyclical that does not fulfill the conditions of infallibility.

You also cite the 16th century condemnation of Luther.  I presume that you believe that you object to the doctrinal convergences between Lutheranism and Catholicism, as represented by the Joint Declaration on Justification.  Is your concern that the Joint Declaration represents an embrace of heresy?  Or is it that you object to the present ecumenical stance of the Catholic Church and would prefer the Catholic Church to have maintained a more hostile attitude to non-Catholic Churches? 
   
Greetings Father,

The main thing I am concerned with is the past doctrine of extra ecclesiam nulla salus. I understand the modern revision of it, but I cannot wrap my head around why it was changed for any other reasons besides ecumenical: reaching out to Protestant sectarians, if you will, and of course courting the Orthodox. First all the "Greeks" are damned for not being in union with Rome. Now we are "separated brethren" with "valid sacraments." I know that you and other Catholics will say that Unam Sanctam was not an infallible teaching, yet it appears that it was not contested until this past century, "reevaluated", "clarified" or what have you. The current Catechism is vague in its descriptions of Jews and Muslims to the point that many Roman Catholics see their church as approving of the idea that Jews and Muslims have no need for baptism. This is spiritual schizophrenia on the part of Rome, IMHO, and it does the church of Rome no good.

Why have Bernard of Clairvaux, Thomas Aquinas, Catherine of Siena, et alia not been removed as being Doctors of your church for their fierce fight against the belief in the Immaculate Conception? I'm rather surprised that they haven't, although I do realize that many Roman Catholics (at least in my online encounters, although in real life, too) like to censor, ignore and/or skim over their Doctors' opposition to it. What started out as a somewhat isolated theologoumenon in the late Middle Ages has become a dogma that apparently carries the weight of anathema over those who disbelieve in it. The same with Papal Infallibility. Where does it end, Father, where does it end?!

What I would prefer from Rome, as someone from the outside, would be to see her have some sort of stability and make up her mind on who she is and where she stands on things. I applaud the current view on artificial contraception, but how much longer will it be the current view and later become antiquated and outdated? Today the RCC says women cannot be priestesses, what is to stop them from doing an about face tomorrow after some "enlightening" or "revision" or "clarification." After all, people could cite Pope John Paul II's encyclical about women in the priesthood and say that it does not matter because it was not an infallible statement.

The church of Rome's indecisiveness is rather telling. Sad The reason I mentioned Luther, was because I am waiting for the day when it is decided by Rome that he was really not a heretic after all, and meant well, and well you know the rest. Surely you understand how troubling this is for an outsider looking at Rome, much less someone who abandoned Rome for Holy Orthodoxy such as myself.

I suppose one could view these changes of opinion, revisions in view, enlightenment or whatever other label people want to stick on it, as Rome seriously evaluating her past and making amends. If this is the case, I still find it rather dangerous, given all the upheaval that came with Vatican II in the 60s, but somewhat hopeful that maybe she will abandon Papal Infallibility and Supremacy, nix the filioque and among other things. One can dream! Wink

I believe that Rome should tread carefully, lest she end up like her Anglican brethren, and should make up her mind about what she believes once and for all. Returning to Orthodoxy would be a good start. Please know that in no way do I bear any grudges, hatred or any such things against the church of Rome, but I am very concerned at her direction and could no longer support it. I sympathize with those SSPX and other groups within and without your church struggling to hold onto the traditions that had been given to them. I pray that they will come to Orthodoxy as I pray that you and others in your situation will as well.

Please pray for me, a sinner.

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #92 on: August 13, 2010, 02:05:16 AM »

As we both know it is a stock in trade of online Catholic apologists to appeal to de fide statements when they find themselves having to justify a change in Catholic teachings.  It means that the great majority of the Catholic faith is in a very unstable condition and only de fide (infallible) statements have any certainty.   What has not been defined as de fide may be discarded tomorrow as erroneous, never mind that it has been taught for centuries past.  But wait a moment - is that true?   Are only a handful of de fide statements the truth of the Catholic faith?

That to which you refer is not a matter of online apologetics but rather is the way Catholics approach doctrine.  Not all teachings of the Church enjoy the same level of certainty.  In the pre-Vatican II days, theologians distinguished between de fide, sententia fidei proxima, sententia communis, sententia probabilis, etc. 

Does this mean that the great majority of Catholic faith is in an unstable condition?  I doubt it, particularly as pertains to the core and essential doctrines; but it does mean that those teachings that have not been definitively and irreformably promulgated are open, at least potentially, to being respectfully questioned and perhaps corrected.   

Quote
Let's look at what is taught by Vatican II and the Pope in Lumen Gentium....

Whether they qualify as technically de fide or not by reason of the "we believe, state, proclaim and define... to the whole Church", papal statements still cannot be denied by Catholics.

There is a requirement to give assent to the teachings of the Pope, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra.  I find that quite interesting. 
 
"This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will.”
~Dogmatic Constitution on the Church #25

Now Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, is one of the principal documents of the Second Vatican Council. The Constitution was promulgated by Pope Paul VI on November 21, 1964, following approval by the assembled bishops by a vote of 2,151 to 5. 

Whether one posits infallibility in Ecumenical Councils or Popes or both, this document is ungainsayable on all counts, and the Pope was most certainly exercising his magisterial authority.  In other words, Catholics must give assent of mind and will to all papal teachings.

Fr Ambrose, you are interpreting the text in ultra-Montanist fashion, but this is not how most Catholics understand it, and it's certainly not what the bishops intended.  It simply is not the case that every papal utterance deserves from the Faithful full and unconditional assent of mind and will.  Catholic theologians make all kinds of distinctions and qualifications.  There's papal teaching and then there's papal teaching.  There's assent and then there's assent.  This is a complicated and much controverted subject.  The literature is vast.     

A few years after the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council, the young Joseph Ratzinger wrote the following: 

Quote
Criticism of papal pronouncements will be possible and even necessary, to the degree that they lack support in Scripture and the Creed, that is, in the faith of the whole Church.  When neither the consensus of the whole Church is had, nor clear evidence from the sources available, a definitive decision is not possible.  Were one formally to take place, while conditions for such an act were lacking, the question would have to be raised concerning its legitimacy.

The point, Fr Ambrose, is that you cannot simply lift texts from magisterial documents and assume that they mean what you think they mean.  Context is everything.   Magisterial texts do not exist all by themselves: they belong to a much wider community of discourse, and it is only within this community that they can be rightly interpreted. 
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« Reply #93 on: August 13, 2010, 04:23:40 AM »


The point, Fr Ambrose, is that you cannot simply lift texts from magisterial documents and assume that they mean what you think they mean.  Context is everything.   Magisterial texts do not exist all by themselves: they belong to a much wider community of discourse, and it is only within this community that they can be rightly interpreted.  


I have been familiar with such texts for years.  I believe I am sufficiently acquainted to be able to select sections, evaluate them and present them -in extract- without distortion of the meaning intended by the papal writer.

Father, this much repeated contention that none but a Catholic in submission to the Pope is capable of understanding papal and magisterial writings is becoming tedious.  Presumably you must have been rather gormless about them until the day you made your submission to the Pope, and hey bingo, a light went on and things you were incapable of understanding before were suddenly accessible to your intellect.   laugh  
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« Reply #94 on: August 13, 2010, 05:02:51 AM »


The point, Fr Ambrose, is that you cannot simply lift texts from magisterial documents and assume that they mean what you think they mean.  Context is everything.   Magisterial texts do not exist all by themselves: they belong to a much wider community of discourse, and it is only within this community that they can be rightly interpreted.  


I have been familiar with such texts for years.  I believe I am sufficiently acquainted to be able to select sections, evaluate them and present them -in extract- without distortion of the meaning intended by the papal writer.

Father, this much repeated contention that none but a Catholic in submission to the Pope is capable of understanding papal and magisterial writings is becoming tedious.  Presumably you must have been rather gormless about them until the day you made your submission to the Pope, and hey bingo, a light went on and things you were incapable of understanding before were suddenly accessible to your intellect.   laugh  

When I asked if RC hymnography had the same importance in encapsulating and proclaiming RC doctrine and theology as Orthodox hymnography does to Orthodox doctrine and theology, indeed the very consensus patrum of the Orthodox Church, I encountered misunderstanding and confusion. It seems I now have the answer to my question.

I'm happy to be corrected if I'm wrong. But, please, RC folks, spare any obfuscations.  Wink
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« Reply #95 on: August 13, 2010, 10:21:38 AM »

In order to fill out the WHOLE discussion of salvation in the Catholic Church, can you show us the clear and formal conciliar statement where it is said that God cannot choose to save who He wills?

When I asked how Orthodoxy treated salvation outside the Church I was told in paraphrase:

YES Orthodoxy teaches that outside the Church there is no salvation: BUT Jesus can save who He wills.

And I said to that person and to all here,  then think of the Council of Florence [and other councils supporting Florence] as the YES in the Catholic Church and Vatican II was the clarification of the BUT....

So unless you can pull a conciliar negation of the assertion on the part of the Catholic Church that Jesus can save who He wills...I don't think any other position carries much truth in it.

I need a conciliar negation of the Pauline truth that Jesus can save who He wills because to say that Jesus cannot save who He wills goes against Scripture and would indeed be an heretical statement.  So I will not accept, nor would the Church, any personal opinion that Jesus cannot save who He will as the formal teaching of the Catholic Church.

Mary
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« Reply #96 on: August 13, 2010, 10:25:36 AM »


The point, Fr Ambrose, is that you cannot simply lift texts from magisterial documents and assume that they mean what you think they mean.  Context is everything.   Magisterial texts do not exist all by themselves: they belong to a much wider community of discourse, and it is only within this community that they can be rightly interpreted.  


I have been familiar with such texts for years.  I believe I am sufficiently acquainted to be able to select sections, evaluate them and present them -in extract- without distortion of the meaning intended by the papal writer.

Father, this much repeated contention that none but a Catholic in submission to the Pope is capable of understanding papal and magisterial writings is becoming tedious.  Presumably you must have been rather gormless about them until the day you made your submission to the Pope, and hey bingo, a light went on and things you were incapable of understanding before were suddenly accessible to your intellect.   laugh  

This is laughable indeed.

Pope Ambrose of Next Door to Down Under speaks!!

I keep telling you that we need to get you to the Vatican to explain to all those dead heads what their faith REALLY means!!

Papa Prooftext!!  Viva Papa Prooftext!!

 laugh
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« Reply #97 on: August 13, 2010, 10:34:52 AM »


The point, Fr Ambrose, is that you cannot simply lift texts from magisterial documents and assume that they mean what you think they mean.  Context is everything.   Magisterial texts do not exist all by themselves: they belong to a much wider community of discourse, and it is only within this community that they can be rightly interpreted.  


I have been familiar with such texts for years.  I believe I am sufficiently acquainted to be able to select sections, evaluate them and present them -in extract- without distortion of the meaning intended by the papal writer.

Father, this much repeated contention that none but a Catholic in submission to the Pope is capable of understanding papal and magisterial writings is becoming tedious.  Presumably you must have been rather gormless about them until the day you made your submission to the Pope, and hey bingo, a light went on and things you were incapable of understanding before were suddenly accessible to your intellect.   laugh  

I am sorry Father but you really cannot claim this in any truly meaningful way.

Particularly after having spread all over the Internet that the Catholic Church is a dire enemy of Orthodoxy.

As I have said before your audience is already confused Catholics and Orthodox who have no way of knowing better or are of the same mind that you are.

Mary
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« Reply #98 on: August 13, 2010, 10:36:40 AM »

Father Ambrose:

Unless you can respond to this specifically and directly without deflecting the request for data, then I think this specific part of this discussion thread is pretty much concluded.

Mary

In order to fill out the WHOLE discussion of salvation in the Catholic Church, can you show us the clear and formal conciliar statement where it is said that God cannot choose to save who He wills?

When I asked how Orthodoxy treated salvation outside the Church I was told in paraphrase:

YES Orthodoxy teaches that outside the Church there is no salvation: BUT Jesus can save who He wills.

And I said to that person and to all here,  then think of the Council of Florence [and other councils supporting Florence] as the YES in the Catholic Church and Vatican II was the clarification of the BUT....

So unless you can pull a conciliar negation of the assertion on the part of the Catholic Church that Jesus can save who He wills...I don't think any other position carries much truth in it.

I need a conciliar negation of the Pauline truth that Jesus can save who He wills because to say that Jesus cannot save who He wills goes against Scripture and would indeed be an heretical statement.  So I will not accept, nor would the Church, any personal opinion that Jesus cannot save who He will as the formal teaching of the Catholic Church.

Mary

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« Reply #99 on: August 13, 2010, 10:48:29 AM »


The point, Fr Ambrose, is that you cannot simply lift texts from magisterial documents and assume that they mean what you think they mean.  Context is everything.   Magisterial texts do not exist all by themselves: they belong to a much wider community of discourse, and it is only within this community that they can be rightly interpreted.  


I have been familiar with such texts for years.  I believe I am sufficiently acquainted to be able to select sections, evaluate them and present them -in extract- without distortion of the meaning intended by the papal writer.

Father, this much repeated contention that none but a Catholic in submission to the Pope is capable of understanding papal and magisterial writings is becoming tedious.  Presumably you must have been rather gormless about them until the day you made your submission to the Pope, and hey bingo, a light went on and things you were incapable of understanding before were suddenly accessible to your intellect.   laugh  

When I asked if RC hymnography had the same importance in encapsulating and proclaiming RC doctrine and theology as Orthodox hymnography does to Orthodox doctrine and theology, indeed the very consensus patrum of the Orthodox Church, I encountered misunderstanding and confusion. It seems I now have the answer to my question.

I'm happy to be corrected if I'm wrong. But, please, RC folks, spare any obfuscations.  Wink

I offered you a very clear and honest response to your inquiry which have thus far ignored.

Mary
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« Reply #100 on: August 13, 2010, 11:22:07 AM »

The point, Fr Ambrose, is that you cannot simply lift texts from magisterial documents and assume that they mean what you think they mean.  Context is everything.   Magisterial texts do not exist all by themselves: they belong to a much wider community of discourse, and it is only within this community that they can be rightly interpreted. 
Well, the swords surrounding the various "unions" (the Melkite, and the whose who apostacized from the OO excepted) to force us into  that "community of discourse" pretty much gave us all the context we needed to understand what submission to the Vatican meant.  In the Ministry of Truth, the cenosored interpretation is always right. Until the new party line.
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« Reply #101 on: August 13, 2010, 02:27:50 PM »

I was reading the posts and a few things came to mind:
1. Do the Orthodox teach that there is no salvation outside of the Orthodox Church?
2. There are a very small number of Catholics, called Feeneyites, centered in the Boston area, who have been reconciled with the RCC (under JPII), but who still adhere to the literal interpretation of there is no salvation outside the CC.
3. I think it is taught today in the RCC that Orthodox are in an imperfect union with the RCC, so technically, my guess is that, since the OO and EO have valid Sacraments and priesthood with the Apostolic succession,  the OO and EO would not qualify as being (completely) *outside* the CC, from the RCC POV.
4. One of the papal encyclicals mentions the mitigating factor of ignorance. Ignorance is a bad word in a sense, and it is not PC to say someone is ignorant,  but I don;t think it implies anything bad in this context. It only means that those who do not understand the RCC POV and are outside the RCC can still be saved. With that interpretation, it is only those who remain outside the RCC, but who are certain and convinced and believe that the RCC is the one, true Church, who will have a problem according to RCC teaching.
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« Reply #102 on: August 13, 2010, 02:29:15 PM »

The point, Fr Ambrose, is that you cannot simply lift texts from magisterial documents and assume that they mean what you think they mean.  Context is everything.   Magisterial texts do not exist all by themselves: they belong to a much wider community of discourse, and it is only within this community that they can be rightly interpreted. 
Well, the swords surrounding the various "unions" (the Melkite, and the whose who apostacized from the OO excepted) to force us into  that "community of discourse" pretty much gave us all the context we needed to understand what submission to the Vatican meant.  In the Ministry of Truth, the cenosored interpretation is always right. Until the new party line.
My view is that any union between Orthodox and Catholic is going to have to look at how the Church was one before 1054.
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« Reply #103 on: August 13, 2010, 03:29:05 PM »


When I asked how Orthodoxy treated salvation outside the Church I was told in paraphrase:

YES Orthodoxy teaches that outside the Church there is no salvation: BUT Jesus can save who He wills.


In the great compassion of God of which we understand not even a small fraction nobody is doomed except those who doom themselves.

Our Saviour tells us that we cannot be saved without faith in Him.

He tells us that we cannot be saved unless we have been baptized and received the Spirit.

Our Saviour also tells us that we cannot be saved unless we "eat His flesh and drink His blood."  This would damn Anglicans and all other Christians and indeed almost all the human race.

And yet Saint Paul, inspired by God, tell us in Romans 2 how people will be saved, without Baptism and without Holy Communion.

So we have, from the words of Christ Himself:

No faith = no salvation
No Baptism = no salvation
No Communion = no salvation

and yet

Salvation *is* possible without Baptism and Communion according to the inspired Scriptures.

The Church has never resolved this paradox. We are able to live with it and trust in the mercy of God who "wills all men to be saved."


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« Reply #104 on: August 13, 2010, 03:41:11 PM »

This is laughable indeed.

Pope Ambrose of Next Door to Down Under speaks!!

I keep telling you that we need to get you to the Vatican to explain to all those dead heads what their faith REALLY means!!

Papa Prooftext!!  Viva Papa Prooftext!!

 laugh


Laugh if you please, but as LBK noted (if I may paraphrase), Fr Kimel gives the impression that you are burdened with a Papa Protestantis!  His posts are, in effect, proclaiming a kind of papal protestantism, where doctrine can be altered according to papal decree. Additions and subtractions - additions like purgatory and immaculate conception, subtractions such as "limbo is no longer part of Catholic teaching".  Papa Commutabilis!   Roll Eyes
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« Reply #105 on: August 13, 2010, 03:44:04 PM »


When I asked how Orthodoxy treated salvation outside the Church I was told in paraphrase:

YES Orthodoxy teaches that outside the Church there is no salvation: BUT Jesus can save who He wills.


In the great compassion of God of which we understand not even a small fraction nobody is doomed except those who doom themselves.

Our Saviour tells us that we cannot be saved without faith in Him.

He tells us that we cannot be saved unless we have been baptized and received the Spirit.

Our Saviour also tells us that we cannot be saved unless we "eat His flesh and drink His blood."  This would damn Anglicans and all other Christians and indeed almost all the human race.

And yet Saint Paul, inspired by God, tell us in Romans 2 how people will be saved, without Baptism and without Holy Communion.

So we have, from the words of Christ Himself:

No faith = no salvation
No Baptism = no salvation
No Communion = no salvation

and yet

Salvation *is* possible without Baptism and Communion according to the inspired Scriptures.

The Church has never resolved this paradox. We are able to live with it and trust in the mercy of God who "wills all men to be saved."


This seems to be so much simpler a way of saying it, but perhaps it looks too Catholic for some:

    "Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus. All the categorical strength and point of this aphorism lies in its tautology. Outside the Church there is no salvation, because salvation is the Church" (G. Florovsky, "Sobornost: the Catholicity of the Church", in The Church of God, p. 53). Does it therefore follow that anyone who is not visibly within the Church is necessarily damned? Of course not; still less does it follow that everyone who is visibly within the Church is necessarily saved. As Augustine wisely remarked: "How many sheep there are without, how many wolves within!" (Homilies on John, 45, 12) While there is no division between a "visible" and an "invisible Church", yet there may be members of the Church who are not visibly such, but whose membership is known to God alone. If anyone is saved, he must in some sense be a member of the Church; in what sense, we cannot always say.
    —Bishop Kallistos Ware

Edited for the proper clergy addressing - mike.
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« Reply #106 on: August 13, 2010, 03:56:26 PM »


The point, Fr Ambrose, is that you cannot simply lift texts from magisterial documents and assume that they mean what you think they mean.  Context is everything.   Magisterial texts do not exist all by themselves: they belong to a much wider community of discourse, and it is only within this community that they can be rightly interpreted. 


I have been familiar with such texts for years.  I believe I am sufficiently acquainted to be able to select sections, evaluate them and present them -in extract- without distortion of the meaning intended by the papal writer.

Father, this much repeated contention that none but a Catholic in submission to the Pope is capable of understanding papal and magisterial writings is becoming tedious.  Presumably you must have been rather gormless about them until the day you made your submission to the Pope, and hey bingo, a light went on and things you were incapable of understanding before were suddenly accessible to your intellect.   laugh 

I am sorry Father but you really cannot claim this in any truly meaningful way.

Particularly after having spread all over the Internet that the Catholic Church is a dire enemy of Orthodoxy.

As I have said before your audience is already confused Catholics and Orthodox who have no way of knowing better or are of the same mind that you are.


Your claim is a bit of a non sequitur.  Because I believe that Roman Catholicism is hostile to Orthodoxy does not mean I have become unable to comprehend Catholic teachings.

Nobody who is reasonably acquainted with the history of the contact between Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy will doubt that the desire of Catholicism for centuries past has been the extinction of Orthodoxy.   You have had a mere 40 years since Vatican II when you have adopted a different tack, but is 40 years enough to convince the Orthodox that the leopard has changed its spots?  It did not convince Metropolitan Anthony Bloom of London, 30 years after Vatican II..

Yes, we partake of the doubt and suspicion described by Metropolitan Anthony in his summation of the Catholic-Orthodox dialogue.   What he said is worth noting since he was a Russian hierarch who had actively participated for decades in the ecumenical dialogue between the Orthodox and Catholics. 

He was unable to attend the annual Synod in Moscow in 1997 and he made a written report to the Patriarch and Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church and in part his report reads:

"Our relationship with Roman Catholicism

"It is time we realised that Rome is only interested in extinguishing Orthodoxy.
Theological encounters and 'accords' on the basis of texts lead us up a blind alley,
for behind them there looms a firm resolve of the Vatican to swallow up the Orthodox Church."


The whole thing is in "Sourozh" the diocesan magazine of the UK Russian diocese:
Metr. Anthony of Sourozh, "A Letter to Patriarch Alexis of Moscow and All
Russia", SOUROZH, 69 (August 1997), 17-22.

[/quote]
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« Reply #107 on: August 13, 2010, 03:59:14 PM »


This seems to be so much simpler a way of saying it, but perhaps it looks too Catholic for some:

    "Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus. All the categorical strength and point of this aphorism lies in its tautology. Outside the Church there is no salvation, because salvation is the Church" (G. Florovsky, "Sobornost: the Catholicity of the Church", in The Church of God, p. 53). Does it therefore follow that anyone who is not visibly within the Church is necessarily damned? Of course not; still less does it follow that everyone who is visibly within the Church is necessarily saved. As Augustine wisely remarked: "How many sheep there are without, how many wolves within!" (Homilies on John, 45, 12) While there is no division between a "visible" and an "invisible Church", yet there may be members of the Church who are not visibly such, but whose membership is known to God alone. If anyone is saved, he must in some sense be a member of the Church; in what sense, we cannot always say.
    —Bishop Kallistos Ware



Edited for the proper clergy addressing - mike.
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« Reply #108 on: August 13, 2010, 04:05:37 PM »


This seems to be so much simpler a way of saying it, but perhaps it looks too Catholic for some:

    "Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus. All the categorical strength and point of this aphorism lies in its tautology. Outside the Church there is no salvation, because salvation is the Church" (G. Florovsky, "Sobornost: the Catholicity of the Church", in The Church of God, p. 53). Does it therefore follow that anyone who is not visibly within the Church is necessarily damned? Of course not; still less does it follow that everyone who is visibly within the Church is necessarily saved. As Augustine wisely remarked: "How many sheep there are without, how many wolves within!" (Homilies on John, 45, 12) While there is no division between a "visible" and an "invisible Church", yet there may be members of the Church who are not visibly such, but whose membership is known to God alone. If anyone is saved, he must in some sense be a member of the Church; in what sense, we cannot always say.
    —Bishop Kallistos Ware


I think that Khomiakov says it much more simply than the bishop:

'Inasmuch as the earthly and visible Church is not the fullness and completeness of the whole Church which the Lord has appointed to appear at the final judgment of all creation, she acts and knows only within her own limits; and ... does not judge the rest of mankind, and only looks upon those as excluded, that is to say, not belonging to her, who exclude themselves. The rest of mankind, whether alien from the Church, or united to her by ties which God has not willed to reveal to her, she leaves to the judgment of the great day' ("The Church is One")


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« Reply #109 on: August 13, 2010, 04:10:37 PM »


This seems to be so much simpler a way of saying it, but perhaps it looks too Catholic for some:

    "Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus. All the categorical strength and point of this aphorism lies in its tautology. Outside the Church there is no salvation, because salvation is the Church" (G. Florovsky, "Sobornost: the Catholicity of the Church", in The Church of God, p. 53). Does it therefore follow that anyone who is not visibly within the Church is necessarily damned? Of course not; still less does it follow that everyone who is visibly within the Church is necessarily saved. As Augustine wisely remarked: "How many sheep there are without, how many wolves within!" (Homilies on John, 45, 12) While there is no division between a "visible" and an "invisible Church", yet there may be members of the Church who are not visibly such, but whose membership is known to God alone. If anyone is saved, he must in some sense be a member of the Church; in what sense, we cannot always say.
    —Bishop Kallistos Ware


I think that Khomiakov says it much more simply than the bishop:

'Inasmuch as the earthly and visible Church is not the fullness and completeness of the whole Church which the Lord has appointed to appear at the final judgment of all creation, she acts and knows only within her own limits; and ... does not judge the rest of mankind, and only looks upon those as excluded, that is to say, not belonging to her, who exclude themselves. The rest of mankind, whether alien from the Church, or united to her by ties which God has not willed to reveal to her, she leaves to the judgment of the great day' ("The Church is One")


Ya...The Invisible Church.

I guess that's the way the fellows do things over at the WCC.  

The Visible and Invisible Church of Jesus Christ.

That's always how the protestants have done it.

M.

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« Reply #110 on: August 13, 2010, 04:12:25 PM »

And then there is God's way of saying it, through the lips of the divinely inspired chosen Apostle Paul

Saint Paul has already given the apostolic teaching quite cogently and told us how it occurs that the non-Christians may be saved:

  "...for when Gentiles, who do not have the law,
  by nature do the things in the law, these, although
  not having the law, are a law to themselves, who
  show the work of the law written in their hearts,
  their conscience also bearing witness, and between
  themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing
  them in the day when God will judge the secrets of men
  by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel."
 
~ Romans 2:14-16
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« Reply #111 on: August 13, 2010, 04:15:20 PM »


This seems to be so much simpler a way of saying it, but perhaps it looks too Catholic for some:

    "Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus. All the categorical strength and point of this aphorism lies in its tautology. Outside the Church there is no salvation, because salvation is the Church" (G. Florovsky, "Sobornost: the Catholicity of the Church", in The Church of God, p. 53). Does it therefore follow that anyone who is not visibly within the Church is necessarily damned? Of course not; still less does it follow that everyone who is visibly within the Church is necessarily saved. As Augustine wisely remarked: "How many sheep there are without, how many wolves within!" (Homilies on John, 45, 12) While there is no division between a "visible" and an "invisible Church", yet there may be members of the Church who are not visibly such, but whose membership is known to God alone. If anyone is saved, he must in some sense be a member of the Church; in what sense, we cannot always say.
    —Bishop Kallistos Ware


I think that Khomiakov says it much more simply than the bishop:

'Inasmuch as the earthly and visible Church is not the fullness and completeness of the whole Church which the Lord has appointed to appear at the final judgment of all creation, she acts and knows only within her own limits; and ... does not judge the rest of mankind, and only looks upon those as excluded, that is to say, not belonging to her, who exclude themselves. The rest of mankind, whether alien from the Church, or united to her by ties which God has not willed to reveal to her, she leaves to the judgment of the great day' ("The Church is One")


Ya...The Invisible Church.

I guess that's the way the fellows do things over at the WCC.  

The Visible and Invisible Church of Jesus Christ.

That's always how the protestants have done it.


And yet you quoted with approval the writing of Bishop Kallistos!   Or perhaps it was not with approval but you were too polite to say he is propagating a Protestant view?

Edited for the proper clergy addressing - mike.
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« Reply #112 on: August 13, 2010, 05:02:19 PM »


This seems to be so much simpler a way of saying it, but perhaps it looks too Catholic for some:

    "Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus. All the categorical strength and point of this aphorism lies in its tautology. Outside the Church there is no salvation, because salvation is the Church" (G. Florovsky, "Sobornost: the Catholicity of the Church", in The Church of God, p. 53). Does it therefore follow that anyone who is not visibly within the Church is necessarily damned? Of course not; still less does it follow that everyone who is visibly within the Church is necessarily saved. As Augustine wisely remarked: "How many sheep there are without, how many wolves within!" (Homilies on John, 45, 12) While there is no division between a "visible" and an "invisible Church", yet there may be members of the Church who are not visibly such, but whose membership is known to God alone. If anyone is saved, he must in some sense be a member of the Church; in what sense, we cannot always say.
    —BishopKallistos Ware


I think that Khomiakov says it much more simply than the bishop:

'Inasmuch as the earthly and visible Church is not the fullness and completeness of the whole Church which the Lord has appointed to appear at the final judgment of all creation, she acts and knows only within her own limits; and ... does not judge the rest of mankind, and only looks upon those as excluded, that is to say, not belonging to her, who exclude themselves. The rest of mankind, whether alien from the Church, or united to her by ties which God has not willed to reveal to her, she leaves to the judgment of the great day' ("The Church is One")


Ya...The Invisible Church.

I guess that's the way the fellows do things over at the WCC.  

The Visible and Invisible Church of Jesus Christ.

That's always how the protestants have done it.


And yet you quoted with approval the writing of Bishop Kallistos!   Or perhaps it was not with approval but you were too polite to say he is propagating a Protestant view?

Ware says explicitly that there is no "visible" and "invisible" Church, to avoid that protestant trap,  while Khomiakov does not make that distinction and in fact speaks clearly:  "Inasmuch as the earthly and visible Church is not the fullness and completeness of the whole Church which the Lord has appointed to appear at the final judgment of all creation..."   So he goes so far as to say that visible Orthodoxy is NOT the fullness of the whole Church...which is NOT what the Catholic Church teaches either, by the way.

This is not an argument I've made up in fact I've seen this discussion of Khomiakov's assertion here on Orthodox venues, rather than Catholic ones.

So no, Khomiakov and Bishop Ware are not at all saying the same thing.

Mary

No matter what your opinion on particular Hierarch is I ask you to address them with their titles - mike "Night Watchman" Moderator

All right.  I will try to remember to retain the formalities.  I certainly do not disrespect either one of them and have read both with benefit over the years.  So my clipping their names in reference was not meant to clip their importance or their human or clerical worth!!

Mary
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« Reply #113 on: August 13, 2010, 05:15:33 PM »


This seems to be so much simpler a way of saying it, but perhaps it looks too Catholic for some:

    "Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus. All the categorical strength and point of this aphorism lies in its tautology. Outside the Church there is no salvation, because salvation is the Church" (G. Florovsky, "Sobornost: the Catholicity of the Church", in The Church of God, p. 53). Does it therefore follow that anyone who is not visibly within the Church is necessarily damned? Of course not; still less does it follow that everyone who is visibly within the Church is necessarily saved. As Augustine wisely remarked: "How many sheep there are without, how many wolves within!" (Homilies on John, 45, 12) While there is no division between a "visible" and an "invisible Church", yet there may be members of the Church who are not visibly such, but whose membership is known to God alone. If anyone is saved, he must in some sense be a member of the Church; in what sense, we cannot always say.
    —Bishop Kallistos Ware


I think that Khomiakov says it much more simply than the bishop:

'Inasmuch as the earthly and visible Church is not the fullness and completeness of the whole Church which the Lord has appointed to appear at the final judgment of all creation, she acts and knows only within her own limits; and ... does not judge the rest of mankind, and only looks upon those as excluded, that is to say, not belonging to her, who exclude themselves. The rest of mankind, whether alien from the Church, or united to her by ties which God has not willed to reveal to her, she leaves to the judgment of the great day' ("The Church is One")


Ya...The Invisible Church.

I guess that's the way the fellows do things over at the WCC.  

The Visible and Invisible Church of Jesus Christ.

That's always how the protestants have done it.


And yet you quoted with approval the writing of Bishop Kallistos!   Or perhaps it was not with approval but you were too polite to say he is propagating a Protestant view?

Ware says explicitly that there is no "visible" and "invisible" Church, to avoid that protestant trap,  while Khomiakov does not make that distinction and in fact speaks clearly:  "Inasmuch as the earthly and visible Church is not the fullness and completeness of the whole Church which the Lord has appointed to appear at the final judgment of all creation..."   So he goes so far as to say that visible Orthodoxy is NOT the fullness of the whole Church...which is NOT what the Catholic Church teaches either, by the way.

This is not an argument I've made up in fact I've seen this discussion of Khomiakov's assertion here on Orthodox venues, rather than Catholic ones.

So no, Khomiakov and Bishop Ware are not at all saying the same thing.

Mary

Right, thank you for explaining it to me.  You are correct and Khomiakov is expounding the Protestant heresy of an invisible Church.  Khomiakov is a heretic, and on a major matter.  I shall cease recommending him.

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« Reply #114 on: August 13, 2010, 05:25:14 PM »


Right, thank you for explaining it to me.  You are correct and Khomiakov is expounding the Protestant heresy of an invisible Church.  Khomiakov is a heretic, and on a major matter.  I shall cease recommending him.

I only pointed it out because I think it is an important distinction and Khomiakov makes it so patently clear what he means at least on the surface!!  There is no question at some level but I have always wanted to be able to ask him "Did you really MEAN to say that?"...Who knows what we might find if he were here to interrogate!!

I have benefited from reading Khomiakov over the years and so I'd not dump the baby with the bath water, just steer clear of getting soap in your eyes!!

M.
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« Reply #115 on: August 13, 2010, 05:33:59 PM »


I only pointed it out because I think it is an important distinction and Khomiakov makes it so patently clear what he means at least on the surface!!  There is no question at some level but I have always wanted to be able to ask him "Did you really MEAN to say that?"...Who knows what we might find if he were here to interrogate!!


Dear Mary,

Khomiakov was a member of the Orthodox faith community, and writing within that community.  As Fr Kimel has intimated, it can only be within his own community and by his own community that he can be rightly interpreted.  Your attempts to understand will always fall short.

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« Reply #116 on: August 13, 2010, 05:41:20 PM »


I only pointed it out because I think it is an important distinction and Khomiakov makes it so patently clear what he means at least on the surface!!  There is no question at some level but I have always wanted to be able to ask him "Did you really MEAN to say that?"...Who knows what we might find if he were here to interrogate!!


Dear Mary,

Khomiakov was a member of the Orthodox faith community, and writing within that community.  As Fr Kimel has intimated, it can only be within his own community and by his own community that he can be rightly interpreted.  Your attempts to understand will always fall short.



That's fine, Father.  But that never stops me from trying, in good faith, to understand.  It's why I keep asking questions and looking for opportunities to talk to Orthodox authors, when I get the opportunity.  I even will write sometimes if I find something that is of real interest.  I find that Orthodox clergy and bishops are very wonderful about responding to serious inquiry.  If we are going to be in communion it is best that we know what we have to say about our respective praxis and doctrine, don't you think?

Mary
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« Reply #117 on: August 13, 2010, 05:46:40 PM »


I only pointed it out because I think it is an important distinction and Khomiakov makes it so patently clear what he means at least on the surface!!  There is no question at some level but I have always wanted to be able to ask him "Did you really MEAN to say that?"...Who knows what we might find if he were here to interrogate!!


Dear Mary,

Khomiakov was a member of the Orthodox faith community, and writing within that community.  As Fr Kimel has intimated, it can only be within his own community and by his own community that he can be rightly interpreted.  Your attempts to understand will always fall short.



That's fine, Father.  But that never stops me from trying, in good faith, to understand.  It's why I keep asking questions and looking for opportunities to talk to Orthodox authors, when I get the opportunity.  I even will write sometimes if I find something that is of real interest.  I find that Orthodox clergy and bishops are very wonderful about responding to serious inquiry.  If we are going to be in communion it is best that we know what we have to say about our respective praxis and doctrine, don't you think?

"If we are going to be in communion...."

Have I missed some announcement?   From Zenit?   laugh
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« Reply #118 on: August 13, 2010, 05:47:55 PM »


I only pointed it out because I think it is an important distinction and Khomiakov makes it so patently clear what he means at least on the surface!!  There is no question at some level but I have always wanted to be able to ask him "Did you really MEAN to say that?"...Who knows what we might find if he were here to interrogate!!


Dear Mary,

Khomiakov was a member of the Orthodox faith community, and writing within that community.  As Fr Kimel has intimated, it can only be within his own community and by his own community that he can be rightly interpreted.  Your attempts to understand will always fall short.



That's fine, Father.  But that never stops me from trying, in good faith, to understand.  It's why I keep asking questions and looking for opportunities to talk to Orthodox authors, when I get the opportunity.  I even will write sometimes if I find something that is of real interest.  I find that Orthodox clergy and bishops are very wonderful about responding to serious inquiry.  If we are going to be in communion it is best that we know what we have to say about our respective praxis and doctrine, don't you think?

"If we are going to be in communion...."

Have I missed some announcement?   From Zenit?   laugh

One of my greatest hopes is that you live to see the day.

Mary
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« Reply #119 on: August 13, 2010, 05:51:46 PM »


I only pointed it out because I think it is an important distinction and Khomiakov makes it so patently clear what he means at least on the surface!!  There is no question at some level but I have always wanted to be able to ask him "Did you really MEAN to say that?"...Who knows what we might find if he were here to interrogate!!


Dear Mary,

Khomiakov was a member of the Orthodox faith community, and writing within that community.  As Fr Kimel has intimated, it can only be within his own community and by his own community that he can be rightly interpreted.  Your attempts to understand will always fall short.



That's fine, Father.  But that never stops me from trying, in good faith, to understand.  It's why I keep asking questions and looking for opportunities to talk to Orthodox authors, when I get the opportunity.  I even will write sometimes if I find something that is of real interest.  I find that Orthodox clergy and bishops are very wonderful about responding to serious inquiry.  If we are going to be in communion it is best that we know what we have to say about our respective praxis and doctrine, don't you think?

"If we are going to be in communion...."

Have I missed some announcement?   From Zenit?   laugh

One of my greatest hopes is that you live to see the day.


I don't believe that Papa Rimski has even begun to contemplate the changes necessary to bring his Church into communion with us.    But you never know... Papa Commutablis and all that...
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« Reply #120 on: August 13, 2010, 07:59:59 PM »


I only pointed it out because I think it is an important distinction and Khomiakov makes it so patently clear what he means at least on the surface!!  There is no question at some level but I have always wanted to be able to ask him "Did you really MEAN to say that?"...Who knows what we might find if he were here to interrogate!!


Dear Mary,

Khomiakov was a member of the Orthodox faith community, and writing within that community.  As Fr Kimel has intimated, it can only be within his own community and by his own community that he can be rightly interpreted.  Your attempts to understand will always fall short.



That's fine, Father.  But that never stops me from trying, in good faith, to understand.  It's why I keep asking questions and looking for opportunities to talk to Orthodox authors, when I get the opportunity.  I even will write sometimes if I find something that is of real interest.  I find that Orthodox clergy and bishops are very wonderful about responding to serious inquiry.  If we are going to be in communion it is best that we know what we have to say about our respective praxis and doctrine, don't you think?

"If we are going to be in communion...."

Have I missed some announcement?   From Zenit?   laugh

One of my greatest hopes is that you live to see the day.


I don't believe that Papa Rimski has even begun to contemplate the changes necessary to bring his Church into communion with us.    But you never know... Papa Commutablis and all that...

What you have failed to contemplate is the possibility that there may not be nearly as many "changes" on any one side or the other, as you would insist upon if you were king.

M.
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« Reply #121 on: August 13, 2010, 09:25:35 PM »

"What you have failed to contemplate is the possibility that there may not be nearly as many "changes" on any one side or the other, as you would insist upon if you were king.

M. "
 

I would be interested in your understanding of how such a thing could happen. Seems it would be a convergence of two different faiths... are we talking about a least common denominator approach?
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« Reply #122 on: August 13, 2010, 09:32:44 PM »

"What you have failed to contemplate is the possibility that there may not be nearly as many "changes" on any one side or the other, as you would insist upon if you were king.

M. "
 

I would be interested in your understanding of how such a thing could happen. Seems it would be a convergence of two different faiths... are we talking about a least common denominator approach?


What would have to go on there would be that the hierarchs of two confessions would concur that there are not sufficient core differences in the faith to warrant schism, and that the differences that ARE there are either disciplinary or of a nature that is one that can be accepted as different without being heretical, or in warrant of schism...the same way we managed to remain in communion for the first 1000 years.

And I see a strong likelihood of that happening IF Orthodox and Catholic hierarchs can manage to sort out the jurisdictional and governance issues.

Mary

PS: And there are none who know me who would say that I am a minimalist...liturgically, spiritually, or doctrinally!!
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« Reply #123 on: August 13, 2010, 11:01:40 PM »

1. Do the Orthodox teach that there is no salvation outside of the Orthodox Church?

Of course. I've even heard a number describe "extra ecclesium nulla salus" as a dogma. That meaning that there is no "sanctifying grace" (IrishHermit objected to this phrase, but I don't yet understand why) outside of the one visible communion that is the Church.
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« Reply #124 on: August 13, 2010, 11:01:40 PM »


This seems to be so much simpler a way of saying it, but perhaps it looks too Catholic for some:

    "Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus. All the categorical strength and point of this aphorism lies in its tautology. Outside the Church there is no salvation, because salvation is the Church" (G. Florovsky, "Sobornost: the Catholicity of the Church", in The Church of God, p. 53). Does it therefore follow that anyone who is not visibly within the Church is necessarily damned? Of course not; still less does it follow that everyone who is visibly within the Church is necessarily saved. As Augustine wisely remarked: "How many sheep there are without, how many wolves within!" (Homilies on John, 45, 12) While there is no division between a "visible" and an "invisible Church", yet there may be members of the Church who are not visibly such, but whose membership is known to God alone. If anyone is saved, he must in some sense be a member of the Church; in what sense, we cannot always say.
    —Bishop Kallistos Ware


I think that Khomiakov says it much more simply than the bishop:

'Inasmuch as the earthly and visible Church is not the fullness and completeness of the whole Church which the Lord has appointed to appear at the final judgment of all creation, she acts and knows only within her own limits; and ... does not judge the rest of mankind, and only looks upon those as excluded, that is to say, not belonging to her, who exclude themselves. The rest of mankind, whether alien from the Church, or united to her by ties which God has not willed to reveal to her, she leaves to the judgment of the great day' ("The Church is One")


Ya...The Invisible Church.

I guess that's the way the fellows do things over at the WCC.  

The Visible and Invisible Church of Jesus Christ.

That's always how the protestants have done it.

M.

Edited for the proper clergy addressing - mike.

I actually do agree with your criticism of that quote. Saying that the Invisible Church extends beyond the Visible Church is quite a bizarre statement.
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« Reply #125 on: August 13, 2010, 11:38:03 PM »

Actually (I don't know whether this is heretical or not and I am actually on the fence about it), I tend towards the opposite extreme in affirming that the Church does not extend beyond the bounds of the one visible communion but that not all parts of that seeming visible communion are truly of the faith and thus not really part of the Church because they don't satisfy the invisible aspect. They receive the Communion to their condemnation and thus do not really properly "receive" it; they not actually "in communion".
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« Reply #126 on: August 14, 2010, 12:01:05 AM »


This seems to be so much simpler a way of saying it, but perhaps it looks too Catholic for some:

    "Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus. All the categorical strength and point of this aphorism lies in its tautology. Outside the Church there is no salvation, because salvation is the Church" (G. Florovsky, "Sobornost: the Catholicity of the Church", in The Church of God, p. 53). Does it therefore follow that anyone who is not visibly within the Church is necessarily damned? Of course not; still less does it follow that everyone who is visibly within the Church is necessarily saved. As Augustine wisely remarked: "How many sheep there are without, how many wolves within!" (Homilies on John, 45, 12) While there is no division between a "visible" and an "invisible Church", yet there may be members of the Church who are not visibly such, but whose membership is known to God alone. If anyone is saved, he must in some sense be a member of the Church; in what sense, we cannot always say.
    —Bishop Kallistos Ware


I think that Khomiakov says it much more simply than the bishop:

'Inasmuch as the earthly and visible Church is not the fullness and completeness of the whole Church which the Lord has appointed to appear at the final judgment of all creation, she acts and knows only within her own limits; and ... does not judge the rest of mankind, and only looks upon those as excluded, that is to say, not belonging to her, who exclude themselves. The rest of mankind, whether alien from the Church, or united to her by ties which God has not willed to reveal to her, she leaves to the judgment of the great day' ("The Church is One")


Ya...The Invisible Church.

I guess that's the way the fellows do things over at the WCC.  

The Visible and Invisible Church of Jesus Christ.

That's always how the protestants have done it.

M.

Edited for the proper clergy addressing - mike.

I actually do agree with your criticism of that quote. Saying that the Invisible Church extends beyond the Visible Church is quite a bizarre statement.

Khomiakov does not speak of an existing "Invisible Church."   He speaks of the "fullness and completeness" of the Church which will appear "at the final judgement of creation."

If one wishes to maintain that only those in the Church can be saved, then reason dictates that at that final moment something will occur which will bring those not in the Church into the Church.

The alternative is that the millions upon millions of Roman Catholic are damned, along with all the Anglicans, Muslims, etc.

I do not want to admit it but I fear Fr Kimel may have a point - those outside the faith community have limited perception and are unable to arrive at an accurate interpretation.    

 
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« Reply #127 on: August 14, 2010, 12:13:54 AM »

"What you have failed to contemplate is the possibility that there may not be nearly as many "changes" on any one side or the other, as you would insist upon if you were king.

M. "
 

I would be interested in your understanding of how such a thing could happen. Seems it would be a convergence of two different faiths... are we talking about a least common denominator approach?


What would have to go on there would be that the hierarchs of two confessions would concur that there are not sufficient core differences in the faith to warrant schism, and that the differences that ARE there are either disciplinary or of a nature that is one that can be accepted as different without being heretical, or in warrant of schism...the same way we managed to remain in communion for the first 1000 years.

And I see a strong likelihood of that happening IF Orthodox and Catholic hierarchs can manage to sort out the jurisdictional and governance issues.

Mary

PS: And there are none who know me who would say that I am a minimalist...liturgically, spiritually, or doctrinally!!
You may not be a minimalist nor was i suggesting so. But how do you reconcile the differences? Orthodox will not accept anything more than a primacy of honor, no universal jusridction and no infallibilty. So do we agree to disagree? So that the roman parish believes in it but the Orthodox parish next door does not but we still share our sacraments? The Orthodox will not accept the filioque, IC, Purgatory as we understand rome's position right now.
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« Reply #128 on: August 14, 2010, 12:20:30 AM »

"What you have failed to contemplate is the possibility that there may not be nearly as many "changes" on any one side or the other, as you would insist upon if you were king.

M. "
 

I would be interested in your understanding of how such a thing could happen. Seems it would be a convergence of two different faiths... are we talking about a least common denominator approach?


What would have to go on there would be that the hierarchs of two confessions would concur that there are not sufficient core differences in the faith to warrant schism, and that the differences that ARE there are either disciplinary or of a nature that is one that can be accepted as different without being heretical, or in warrant of schism...the same way we managed to remain in communion for the first 1000 years.

And I see a strong likelihood of that happening IF Orthodox and Catholic hierarchs can manage to sort out the jurisdictional and governance issues.

Mary

PS: And there are none who know me who would say that I am a minimalist...liturgically, spiritually, or doctrinally!!
You may not be a minimalist nor was i suggesting so. But how do you reconcile the differences? Orthodox will not accept anything more than a primacy of honor, no universal jusridction and no infallibilty. So do we agree to disagree? So that the roman parish believes in it but the Orthodox parish next door does not but we still share our sacraments? The Orthodox will not accept the filioque, IC, Purgatory as we understand rome's position right now.

In the situation you describe, infallibility would die a natural death.  In order for a papal statement to be infallible, it must be addressed to the entire Church and be binding on the entire Church.  If a major segment of the Church is exempt from receiving it, it just ain't infallible.

The same would happen with universal jurisdiction.  If a major segment of the Church is exempt from the universal jurisdiction of the Pope, then by definition he does not have universal jurisdiction.

Well, that has disposed of infallibility and universal jurisdiction.  laugh
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« Reply #129 on: August 14, 2010, 01:59:01 AM »

"What you have failed to contemplate is the possibility that there may not be nearly as many "changes" on any one side or the other, as you would insist upon if you were king.

M. "
 

I would be interested in your understanding of how such a thing could happen. Seems it would be a convergence of two different faiths... are we talking about a least common denominator approach?


What would have to go on there would be that the hierarchs of two confessions would concur that there are not sufficient core differences in the faith to warrant schism, and that the differences that ARE there are either disciplinary or of a nature that is one that can be accepted as different without being heretical, or in warrant of schism...the same way we managed to remain in communion for the first 1000 years.


Orthodox bishops would go on offering the sacrament of marriage to those who are divorced and go on permitting contraception.   In a united Church this would end the claimed prerogative of the Archbishop of Rome to have the last word on morality and theology.  And presumably he would be tucked in somewhere low in the diptychs.  I have heard it suggested that he be fitted in between the Churches of Greece and Poland.  I think that brings him in as number 13.
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« Reply #130 on: August 14, 2010, 10:45:05 AM »

"What you have failed to contemplate is the possibility that there may not be nearly as many "changes" on any one side or the other, as you would insist upon if you were king.

M. "
 

I would be interested in your understanding of how such a thing could happen. Seems it would be a convergence of two different faiths... are we talking about a least common denominator approach?


What would have to go on there would be that the hierarchs of two confessions would concur that there are not sufficient core differences in the faith to warrant schism, and that the differences that ARE there are either disciplinary or of a nature that is one that can be accepted as different without being heretical, or in warrant of schism...the same way we managed to remain in communion for the first 1000 years.


Orthodox bishops would go on offering the sacrament of marriage to those who are divorced and go on permitting contraception.   In a united Church this would end the claimed prerogative of the Archbishop of Rome to have the last word on morality and theology.  And presumably he would be tucked in somewhere low in the diptychs.  I have heard it suggested that he be fitted in between the Churches of Greece and Poland.  I think that brings him in as number 13.

The actions of many Orthodox hiearchs toward the Pope already belie this little gem of a prognostication.

But it is always good to know the lay of the opposition, in any event.

M.

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« Reply #131 on: August 14, 2010, 10:51:55 AM »

"What you have failed to contemplate is the possibility that there may not be nearly as many "changes" on any one side or the other, as you would insist upon if you were king.

M. "
 

I would be interested in your understanding of how such a thing could happen. Seems it would be a convergence of two different faiths... are we talking about a least common denominator approach?


What would have to go on there would be that the hierarchs of two confessions would concur that there are not sufficient core differences in the faith to warrant schism, and that the differences that ARE there are either disciplinary or of a nature that is one that can be accepted as different without being heretical, or in warrant of schism...the same way we managed to remain in communion for the first 1000 years.


Orthodox bishops would go on offering the sacrament of marriage to those who are divorced and go on permitting contraception.   In a united Church this would end the claimed prerogative of the Archbishop of Rome to have the last word on morality and theology.  And presumably he would be tucked in somewhere low in the diptychs.  I have heard it suggested that he be fitted in between the Churches of Greece and Poland.  I think that brings him in as number 13.

The actions of many Orthodox hiearchs toward the Pope already belie this little gem of a prognostication.

But it is always good to know the lay of the opposition, in any event.


Are you saying that the Roman Catholics expect the Orthodox to make all the concessions and the doctrinal changes?

Good to know what we are faced with!   Sad
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« Reply #132 on: August 14, 2010, 11:12:35 AM »

"What you have failed to contemplate is the possibility that there may not be nearly as many "changes" on any one side or the other, as you would insist upon if you were king.

M. "
 

I would be interested in your understanding of how such a thing could happen. Seems it would be a convergence of two different faiths... are we talking about a least common denominator approach?


What would have to go on there would be that the hierarchs of two confessions would concur that there are not sufficient core differences in the faith to warrant schism, and that the differences that ARE there are either disciplinary or of a nature that is one that can be accepted as different without being heretical, or in warrant of schism...the same way we managed to remain in communion for the first 1000 years.


Orthodox bishops would go on offering the sacrament of marriage to those who are divorced and go on permitting contraception.   In a united Church this would end the claimed prerogative of the Archbishop of Rome to have the last word on morality and theology.  And presumably he would be tucked in somewhere low in the diptychs.  I have heard it suggested that he be fitted in between the Churches of Greece and Poland.  I think that brings him in as number 13.

The actions of many Orthodox hiearchs toward the Pope already belie this little gem of a prognostication.

But it is always good to know the lay of the opposition, in any event.


Are you saying that the Roman Catholics expect the Orthodox to make all the concessions and the doctrinal changes?

Good to know what we are faced with!   Sad

That's your calamity howling. 

Most likely will have nothing to do with reality.

M.
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« Reply #133 on: August 14, 2010, 11:17:06 AM »



The actions of many Orthodox hiearchs toward the Pope already belie this little gem of a prognostication.

There is a belief abroad among the Orthodox that Met Zizioulas and Cardinal Kasper are engaged in an attempt to derail traditional Orthodox ecclesiology - at the last two Plenary Sessions, at Belgrade and Ravenna. We cannot judge what happened last October on Cyprus since there has been no information released - this is because the Orthodox bishops clamped down on the dialogue and are insisting that no statements may be released without synodal approval from the various Orthodox Churches.  Specifically, the concern centres on Met Zizioulas' and Cardinal Kasper's attempt to impose a "Global Protos" or "Universal Primus" on Orthodoxy which will bring Orthodox ecclesiology into line with the Roman and make an eventual union so much easier to accomplish.

It won't fly. It is simply too alien to Orthodox tradition. Those who perceive this have an obligation from above to speak out and not fear such shameful threats as this Metropolitan wrote last year against the bishops of the Church of Greece.  It is to the great credit of the bishops that they are now moving to take control of the dialogue and will not leave it in the hands of a few people with their own agendas.

The awakening of the bishops of Greece before the Cyprus meeting to the Metropolitan's agenda moved them into action and the Metropolitan felt so rattled by their new interest and their statements and their demand for involvement that he actually wrote a letter to the Greek bishops threatening them!!!!

I am not sure where that letter can be read but it will be on

http://www.oodegr.com/

or

http://www.impantokratoros.gr/

The Orthodox bishops are now alert to the threat to authentic Orthodox ecclesiology which the more papally inclined representatives at the bi-lateral dialogue have been quietly fostering. 
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« Reply #134 on: August 14, 2010, 11:24:19 AM »

"What you have failed to contemplate is the possibility that there may not be nearly as many "changes" on any one side or the other, as you would insist upon if you were king.

M. "
 

I would be interested in your understanding of how such a thing could happen. Seems it would be a convergence of two different faiths... are we talking about a least common denominator approach?


What would have to go on there would be that the hierarchs of two confessions would concur that there are not sufficient core differences in the faith to warrant schism, and that the differences that ARE there are either disciplinary or of a nature that is one that can be accepted as different without being heretical, or in warrant of schism...the same way we managed to remain in communion for the first 1000 years.


Orthodox bishops would go on offering the sacrament of marriage to those who are divorced and go on permitting contraception.   In a united Church this would end the claimed prerogative of the Archbishop of Rome to have the last word on morality and theology.  And presumably he would be tucked in somewhere low in the diptychs.  I have heard it suggested that he be fitted in between the Churches of Greece and Poland.  I think that brings him in as number 13.

The actions of many Orthodox hiearchs toward the Pope already belie this little gem of a prognostication.

But it is always good to know the lay of the opposition, in any event.


Are you saying that the Roman Catholics expect the Orthodox to make all the concessions and the doctrinal changes?

Good to know what we are faced with!   Sad

That's your calamity howling. 

Most likely will have nothing to do with reality.

So the only acceptable prognostications are yours?  laugh All the changes must be in Rome's favour and our bishops must kiss the papal toe (is that still done or has the Pope abolished it?)  You are so far out of touch with the mileau of Orthodoxy if you think the actions of Metropolitan Zizioulas and a few others like him are acceptable to our bishops and faithful.
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« Reply #135 on: August 14, 2010, 11:29:09 AM »



The actions of many Orthodox hiearchs toward the Pope already belie this little gem of a prognostication.

There is a belief abroad among the Orthodox that Met Zizioulas and Cardinal Kasper are engaged in an attempt to derail traditional Orthodox ecclesiology - at the last two Plenary Sessions, at Belgrade and Ravenna. We cannot judge what happened last October on Cyprus since there has been no information released - this is because the Orthodox bishops clamped down on the dialogue and are insisting that no statements may be released without synodal approval from the various Orthodox Churches.  Specifically, the concern centres on Met Zizioulas' and Cardinal Kasper's attempt to impose a "Global Protos" or "Universal Primus" on Orthodoxy which will bring Orthodox ecclesiology into line with the Roman and make an eventual union so much easier to accomplish.

It won't fly. It is simply too alien to Orthodox tradition. Those who perceive this have an obligation from above to speak out and not fear such shameful threats as this Metropolitan wrote last year against the bishops of the Church of Greece.  It is to the great credit of the bishops that they are now moving to take control of the dialogue and will not leave it in the hands of a few people with their own agendas.

The awakening of the bishops of Greece before the Cyprus meeting to the Metropolitan's agenda moved them into action and the Metropolitan felt so rattled by their new interest and their statements and their demand for involvement that he actually wrote a letter to the Greek bishops threatening them!!!!

I am not sure where that letter can be read but it will be on

http://www.oodegr.com/

or

http://www.impantokratoros.gr/

The Orthodox bishops are now alert to the threat to authentic Orthodox ecclesiology which the more papally inclined representatives at the bi-lateral dialogue have been quietly fostering. 


Perhaps Met. John will be the "Saint Mark" of the restoration of communion and the ending of the schism...or maybe Metropolitan Hilarion?....

Certainly Orthodoxy does not run on majority rule!!  History shows that. 

Doctrine is set by the minority, or so it appears.

Mary
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« Reply #136 on: August 14, 2010, 11:42:00 AM »



The actions of many Orthodox hiearchs toward the Pope already belie this little gem of a prognostication.

There is a belief abroad among the Orthodox that Met Zizioulas and Cardinal Kasper are engaged in an attempt to derail traditional Orthodox ecclesiology - at the last two Plenary Sessions, at Belgrade and Ravenna. We cannot judge what happened last October on Cyprus since there has been no information released - this is because the Orthodox bishops clamped down on the dialogue and are insisting that no statements may be released without synodal approval from the various Orthodox Churches.  Specifically, the concern centres on Met Zizioulas' and Cardinal Kasper's attempt to impose a "Global Protos" or "Universal Primus" on Orthodoxy which will bring Orthodox ecclesiology into line with the Roman and make an eventual union so much easier to accomplish.

It won't fly. It is simply too alien to Orthodox tradition. Those who perceive this have an obligation from above to speak out and not fear such shameful threats as this Metropolitan wrote last year against the bishops of the Church of Greece.  It is to the great credit of the bishops that they are now moving to take control of the dialogue and will not leave it in the hands of a few people with their own agendas.

The awakening of the bishops of Greece before the Cyprus meeting to the Metropolitan's agenda moved them into action and the Metropolitan felt so rattled by their new interest and their statements and their demand for involvement that he actually wrote a letter to the Greek bishops threatening them!!!!

I am not sure where that letter can be read but it will be on

http://www.oodegr.com/

or

http://www.impantokratoros.gr/

The Orthodox bishops are now alert to the threat to authentic Orthodox ecclesiology which the more papally inclined representatives at the bi-lateral dialogue have been quietly fostering. 


Perhaps Met. John will be the "Saint Mark" of the restoration of communion and the ending of the schism...or maybe Metropolitan Hilarion?....

Metropolitan Hilarion is totally opposed to the papacy, so any union achieved under his influence would certainly do away with it.

Quote

Certainly Orthodoxy does not run on majority rule!!  History shows that. 

Doctrine is set by the minority, or so it appears.

The truth comes to us from the Spirit of Truth, Holy Spirit.  Examine the dynamics of the Ecumenical Councils before throwing out such unsupported generalisations.

("Doctrine is set by the minority, or so it appears"  -- do you have Humanae Vitae and contraception in mind?)
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« Reply #137 on: August 14, 2010, 12:08:51 PM »



The actions of many Orthodox hiearchs toward the Pope already belie this little gem of a prognostication.

There is a belief abroad among the Orthodox that Met Zizioulas and Cardinal Kasper are engaged in an attempt to derail traditional Orthodox ecclesiology - at the last two Plenary Sessions, at Belgrade and Ravenna. We cannot judge what happened last October on Cyprus since there has been no information released - this is because the Orthodox bishops clamped down on the dialogue and are insisting that no statements may be released without synodal approval from the various Orthodox Churches.  Specifically, the concern centres on Met Zizioulas' and Cardinal Kasper's attempt to impose a "Global Protos" or "Universal Primus" on Orthodoxy which will bring Orthodox ecclesiology into line with the Roman and make an eventual union so much easier to accomplish.

It won't fly. It is simply too alien to Orthodox tradition. Those who perceive this have an obligation from above to speak out and not fear such shameful threats as this Metropolitan wrote last year against the bishops of the Church of Greece.  It is to the great credit of the bishops that they are now moving to take control of the dialogue and will not leave it in the hands of a few people with their own agendas.

The awakening of the bishops of Greece before the Cyprus meeting to the Metropolitan's agenda moved them into action and the Metropolitan felt so rattled by their new interest and their statements and their demand for involvement that he actually wrote a letter to the Greek bishops threatening them!!!!

I am not sure where that letter can be read but it will be on

http://www.oodegr.com/

or

http://www.impantokratoros.gr/

The Orthodox bishops are now alert to the threat to authentic Orthodox ecclesiology which the more papally inclined representatives at the bi-lateral dialogue have been quietly fostering.  


Perhaps Met. John will be the "Saint Mark" of the restoration of communion and the ending of the schism...or maybe Metropolitan Hilarion?....

Metropolitan Hilarion is totally opposed to the papacy, so any union achieved under his influence would certainly do away with it.

Quote

Certainly Orthodoxy does not run on majority rule!!  History shows that.  

Doctrine is set by the minority, or so it appears.

The truth comes to us from the Spirit of Truth, Holy Spirit.  Examine the dynamics of the Ecumenical Councils before throwing out such unsupported generalisations.

("Doctrine is set by the minority, or so it appears"  -- do you have Humanae Vitae and contraception in mind?)

I don't see where Metropolitan Hilarion is opposed to the papacy.  He has simply said over time that there's no precedent for it in Slavic Orthodoxy.  I am sure if he meant to rule out any kind of recognition of the papacy he has the verbal skills to do that...and the courage, it seems to me.

You always take his words much further than he does but you have that habit in any event when you want to make your points, not worrying about much else.

I had a number of things in mind when I was musing about majority/minority kinds of claims that I've heard from Orthodox faithful over the years.  I had not reached the comparison stage with my thoughts.  Still haven't.  Still musing.

Mary
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« Reply #138 on: August 14, 2010, 01:32:35 PM »

"What you have failed to contemplate is the possibility that there may not be nearly as many "changes" on any one side or the other, as you would insist upon if you were king.

M. "
 

I would be interested in your understanding of how such a thing could happen. Seems it would be a convergence of two different faiths... are we talking about a least common denominator approach?


What would have to go on there would be that the hierarchs of two confessions would concur that there are not sufficient core differences in the faith to warrant schism, and that the differences that ARE there are either disciplinary or of a nature that is one that can be accepted as different without being heretical, or in warrant of schism...the same way we managed to remain in communion for the first 1000 years.

And I see a strong likelihood of that happening IF Orthodox and Catholic hierarchs can manage to sort out the jurisdictional and governance issues.

Mary

PS: And there are none who know me who would say that I am a minimalist...liturgically, spiritually, or doctrinally!!
You may not be a minimalist nor was i suggesting so. But how do you reconcile the differences? Orthodox will not accept anything more than a primacy of honor, no universal jusridction and no infallibilty. So do we agree to disagree? So that the roman parish believes in it but the Orthodox parish next door does not but we still share our sacraments? The Orthodox will not accept the filioque, IC, Purgatory as we understand rome's position right now.

You don't know this to be true of universal Orthodoxy.

You don't accept what you mention here, most of which is badly understood in Orthodoxy in the first place, and there may be some Orthodox bishops who don't either.

But I am afraid I've been around too long to simply buy these presumptions and assertions as fully representative of all Orthodox faithful and hierarchs.   Our bishops have come a long way down the road toward better understanding.

So I think this kind of predicting based on all kinds of bad and false assumptions concerning what would be the role of the pope in a united Church is just not going to be too successful in predicting any future reality, any more than it is useful in describing present Catholic teaching.

Mary
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« Reply #139 on: August 14, 2010, 03:36:50 PM »

Well I still find it hard to believe that there is any sizable amount among the Orthodox that will budge on any of these issues. It would be a betrayal of who we are and what we believe. Having lived in the bosom of the Orthodox Church and having been a member and or friend/supporter of Churches all across the USA I can't say that I have met any of these people. Obviously I cannot speak for Orthodox in other lands. I do find it hilarious that you would compare auxiliary Metropolitan John, who as a theologian was against the very idea of having auxiliaries only to accept that which he taught against, to Saint Mark.
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« Reply #140 on: August 14, 2010, 03:48:49 PM »

Well I still find it hard to believe that there is any sizable amount among the Orthodox that will budge on any of these issues. It would be a betrayal of who we are and what we believe. Having lived in the bosom of the Orthodox Church and having been a member and or friend/supporter of Churches all across the USA I can't say that I have met any of these people. Obviously I cannot speak for Orthodox in other lands. I do find it hilarious that you would compare auxiliary Metropolitan John, who as a theologian was against the very idea of having auxiliaries only to accept that which he taught against, to Saint Mark.

I thought that comparison would amuse you.

I am sorry you've not met Orthodox faithful who have a more positive approach to the resumption of communion without asserting that the Catholic Church needs to convert to Orthodoxy...

Mary
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« Reply #141 on: August 14, 2010, 04:31:28 PM »

"What you have failed to contemplate is the possibility that there may not be nearly as many "changes" on any one side or the other, as you would insist upon if you were king.

M. "
 

I would be interested in your understanding of how such a thing could happen. Seems it would be a convergence of two different faiths... are we talking about a least common denominator approach?


What would have to go on there would be that the hierarchs of two confessions would concur that there are not sufficient core differences in the faith to warrant schism, and that the differences that ARE there are either disciplinary or of a nature that is one that can be accepted as different without being heretical, or in warrant of schism...the same way we managed to remain in communion for the first 1000 years.

And I see a strong likelihood of that happening IF Orthodox and Catholic hierarchs can manage to sort out the jurisdictional and governance issues.

Mary

PS: And there are none who know me who would say that I am a minimalist...liturgically, spiritually, or doctrinally!!
You may not be a minimalist nor was i suggesting so. But how do you reconcile the differences? Orthodox will not accept anything more than a primacy of honor, no universal jusridction and no infallibilty. So do we agree to disagree? So that the roman parish believes in it but the Orthodox parish next door does not but we still share our sacraments? The Orthodox will not accept the filioque, IC, Purgatory as we understand rome's position right now.

You don't know this to be true of universal Orthodoxy.

You don't accept what you mention here, most of which is badly understood in Orthodoxy in the first place, and there may be some Orthodox bishops who don't either.

But I am afraid I've been around too long to simply buy these presumptions and assertions as fully representative of all Orthodox faithful and hierarchs.   Our bishops have come a long way down the road toward better understanding.

So I think this kind of predicting based on all kinds of bad and false assumptions concerning what would be the role of the pope in a united Church is just not going to be too successful in predicting any future reality, any more than it is useful in describing present Catholic teaching.

Mary

What was it that Fr. Kimel was talking about? Did it have something to do with those outside of Catholicism having no authority to accurately represent it? Could the same be said for Orthodoxy?

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #142 on: August 14, 2010, 05:06:08 PM »

"What you have failed to contemplate is the possibility that there may not be nearly as many "changes" on any one side or the other, as you would insist upon if you were king.

M. "
 

I would be interested in your understanding of how such a thing could happen. Seems it would be a convergence of two different faiths... are we talking about a least common denominator approach?


What would have to go on there would be that the hierarchs of two confessions would concur that there are not sufficient core differences in the faith to warrant schism, and that the differences that ARE there are either disciplinary or of a nature that is one that can be accepted as different without being heretical, or in warrant of schism...the same way we managed to remain in communion for the first 1000 years.

And I see a strong likelihood of that happening IF Orthodox and Catholic hierarchs can manage to sort out the jurisdictional and governance issues.

Mary

PS: And there are none who know me who would say that I am a minimalist...liturgically, spiritually, or doctrinally!!
You may not be a minimalist nor was i suggesting so. But how do you reconcile the differences? Orthodox will not accept anything more than a primacy of honor, no universal jusridction and no infallibilty. So do we agree to disagree? So that the roman parish believes in it but the Orthodox parish next door does not but we still share our sacraments? The Orthodox will not accept the filioque, IC, Purgatory as we understand rome's position right now.

You don't know this to be true of universal Orthodoxy.

You don't accept what you mention here, most of which is badly understood in Orthodoxy in the first place, and there may be some Orthodox bishops who don't either.

But I am afraid I've been around too long to simply buy these presumptions and assertions as fully representative of all Orthodox faithful and hierarchs.   Our bishops have come a long way down the road toward better understanding.

So I think this kind of predicting based on all kinds of bad and false assumptions concerning what would be the role of the pope in a united Church is just not going to be too successful in predicting any future reality, any more than it is useful in describing present Catholic teaching.

Mary

What was it that Fr. Kimel was talking about? Did it have something to do with those outside of Catholicism having no authority to accurately represent it? Could the same be said for Orthodoxy?

In Christ,
Andrew

I'd say there's apples and oranges here. 

I am giving you my opinion.

Father Ambrose was proposing to tell one and all just what the Catholic Church teaches formally...and God help anyone who contradicted him...eh?

Mary
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« Reply #143 on: August 14, 2010, 05:21:23 PM »


What was it that Fr. Kimel was talking about? Did it have something to do with those outside of Catholicism having no authority to accurately represent it? Could the same be said for Orthodoxy?

I'm thinking not so much of authority as of linguistic competence.  Understanding any religious community requires, I think, the attainment of a real measure of fluency in the language, as well as a deep acquaintance with the culture of the community.  The grammar of faith needs to be internalized precisely so that the words can be understood as the speakers of the language intend.   It's never just a matter of reading words from the pages of a book, as one might do in a first year Spanish class. 
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« Reply #144 on: August 14, 2010, 05:53:43 PM »


What was it that Fr. Kimel was talking about? Did it have something to do with those outside of Catholicism having no authority to accurately represent it? Could the same be said for Orthodoxy?

I'm thinking not so much of authority as of linguistic competence.  Understanding any religious community requires, I think, the attainment of a real measure of fluency in the language, as well as a deep acquaintance with the culture of the community.  The grammar of faith needs to be internalized precisely so that the words can be understood as the speakers of the language intend.   It's never just a matter of reading words from the pages of a book, as one might do in a first year Spanish class. 

This is not a correction directed at you Father Kimel since I know you are aware, but it is a definition offered to indicate that your use of "authority" was perfectly appropriate in this case.  I realize that you are adjusting for a rather narrow usage here but I thought I'd offer this and suggest to those who are interested that they check out the PRIMARY meaning of authority to see that you were right in your lexical usage in the first place:

Main Entry: au·thor·i·ty
Pronunciation: \ə-ˈthär-ə-tē, ȯ-, -ˈthȯr-\
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural au·thor·i·ties
Etymology: Middle English auctorite, from Anglo-French auctorité, from Latin auctoritat-, auctoritas opinion, decision, power, from auctor
Date: 13th century

1 a (1) : a citation (as from a book or file) used in defense or support (2) : the source from which the citation is drawn b (1) : a conclusive statement or set of statements (as an official decision of a court) (2) : a decision taken as a precedent (3) : testimony c : an individual cited or appealed to as an expert
2 a : power to influence or command thought, opinion, or behavior b : freedom granted by one in authority : right
3 a : persons in command; specifically : government b : a governmental agency or corporation to administer a revenue-producing public enterprise <the transit authority>
4 a : grounds, warrant <had excellent authority for believing the claim> b : convincing force <lent authority to the performance>
synonyms see influence, power
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« Reply #145 on: August 14, 2010, 06:05:29 PM »


What was it that Fr. Kimel was talking about? Did it have something to do with those outside of Catholicism having no authority to accurately represent it? Could the same be said for Orthodoxy?

I'm thinking not so much of authority as of linguistic competence.  Understanding any religious community requires, I think, the attainment of a real measure of fluency in the language, as well as a deep acquaintance with the culture of the community.  The grammar of faith needs to be internalized precisely so that the words can be understood as the speakers of the language intend.   It's never just a matter of reading words from the pages of a book, as one might do in a first year Spanish class. 

It seems to me, that the linguistic competence you speak of here is, in the case of doctrinal teaching, is heavily invested in and dependent upon those who bear the authority [bishops] to teach the truths of revelation,  primarily because their authority is divinely given, as is then the related ability to receive and defend the teaching.

This is not meant to be some sort of exhaustive comment, but an introductory one and I would include liturgy as the principle vehicle for the teaching authority.

What do you think?

M.
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« Reply #146 on: August 14, 2010, 06:23:10 PM »


What was it that Fr. Kimel was talking about? Did it have something to do with those outside of Catholicism having no authority to accurately represent it? Could the same be said for Orthodoxy?

I'm thinking not so much of authority as of linguistic competence.  Understanding any religious community requires, I think, the attainment of a real measure of fluency in the language, as well as a deep acquaintance with the culture of the community.  The grammar of faith needs to be internalized precisely so that the words can be understood as the speakers of the language intend.   It's never just a matter of reading words from the pages of a book, as one might do in a first year Spanish class. 
Or the CCC?
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« Reply #147 on: August 14, 2010, 06:27:59 PM »



The actions of many Orthodox hiearchs toward the Pope already belie this little gem of a prognostication.

There is a belief abroad among the Orthodox that Met Zizioulas and Cardinal Kasper are engaged in an attempt to derail traditional Orthodox ecclesiology - at the last two Plenary Sessions, at Belgrade and Ravenna. We cannot judge what happened last October on Cyprus since there has been no information released - this is because the Orthodox bishops clamped down on the dialogue and are insisting that no statements may be released without synodal approval from the various Orthodox Churches.  Specifically, the concern centres on Met Zizioulas' and Cardinal Kasper's attempt to impose a "Global Protos" or "Universal Primus" on Orthodoxy which will bring Orthodox ecclesiology into line with the Roman and make an eventual union so much easier to accomplish.

It won't fly. It is simply too alien to Orthodox tradition. Those who perceive this have an obligation from above to speak out and not fear such shameful threats as this Metropolitan wrote last year against the bishops of the Church of Greece.  It is to the great credit of the bishops that they are now moving to take control of the dialogue and will not leave it in the hands of a few people with their own agendas.

The awakening of the bishops of Greece before the Cyprus meeting to the Metropolitan's agenda moved them into action and the Metropolitan felt so rattled by their new interest and their statements and their demand for involvement that he actually wrote a letter to the Greek bishops threatening them!!!!

I am not sure where that letter can be read but it will be on

http://www.oodegr.com/

or

http://www.impantokratoros.gr/

The Orthodox bishops are now alert to the threat to authentic Orthodox ecclesiology which the more papally inclined representatives at the bi-lateral dialogue have been quietly fostering. 


Perhaps Met. John will be the "Saint Mark" of the restoration of communion and the ending of the schism...or maybe Metropolitan Hilarion?....

Certainly Orthodoxy does not run on majority rule!!  History shows that. 

Doctrine is set by the minority, or so it appears.

Mary
Truth is not up for a vote.

And maybe Met. John will be the Cardinal Bessarion....If so, may he have the same end.
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« Reply #148 on: August 14, 2010, 06:39:20 PM »

As I mentioned, in my original comment I was not thinking of magisterial authority but rather of linguistic competence, the kind of competence that can only be acquired through deep immersion both in the theological discourse of the community but also in its liturgical and ascetical practices.  One must learn the language from the inside, if you will.  Those standing outside the Catholic Church will often misunderstand its theological statements, precisely because they encounter these statements divorced from their proper liturgical and communal context.  One cannot, for example, understand Aquinas's formulation of transubstantiation if one has never experienced the Mass in the way that Aquinas experienced it.  Similarly, one cannot understand John Damascene's teaching on icons if one has never experienced the veneration of icons as the Damascene experienced it.

Hence, I suggest, the need for humility.  It is dangerous for an outsider to claim, "This is what the Catholic Church believes" or "This is what the Orthodox Church believes" or "This is what the Lutheran Church believes."  More often than not, the outsider is clueless.  He may well be able to quote authoritative "texts," but because he has never been formed by the community that generated these texts and keeps them alive, he simply lacks the competence to interpret the texts accurately.  Like a parrot, he can speak the words, but he does not comprehend.  He thinks he knows what the words mean, because he assumes they mean what he would mean if he were to speak them.  But he is mistaken.  Meaning does not exist in dictionaries.  Meaning exists in shared community.

This does not mean that I think it is impossible for an Orthodox Christian to understand Catholicism or that I think it is impossible for a Catholic Christian to understand Orthodoxy.  But I think it requires great effort and sympathy.    

  
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« Reply #149 on: August 14, 2010, 07:03:47 PM »

As I mentioned, in my original comment I was not thinking of magisterial authority but rather of linguistic competence, the kind of competence that can only be acquired through deep immersion both in the theological discourse of the community but also in its liturgical and ascetical practices.  One must learn the language from the inside, if you will.  Those standing outside the Catholic Church will often misunderstand its theological statements, precisely because they encounter these statements divorced from their proper liturgical and communal context.  One cannot, for example, understand Aquinas's formulation of transubstantiation if one has never experienced the Mass in the way that Aquinas experienced it.  Similarly, one cannot understand John Damascene's teaching on icons if one has never experienced the veneration of icons as the Damascene experienced it.

Hence, I suggest, the need for humility.  It is dangerous for an outsider to claim, "This is what the Catholic Church believes" or "This is what the Orthodox Church believes" or "This is what the Lutheran Church believes."  More often than not, the outsider is clueless.  He may well be able to quote authoritative "texts," but because he has never been formed by the community that generated these texts and keeps them alive, he simply lacks the competence to interpret the texts accurately.  Like a parrot, he can speak the words, but he does not comprehend.  He thinks he knows what the words mean, because he assumes they mean what he would mean if he were to speak them.  But he is mistaken.  Meaning does not exist in dictionaries.  Meaning exists in shared community.

This does not mean that I think it is impossible for an Orthodox Christian to understand Catholicism or that I think it is impossible for a Catholic Christian to understand Orthodoxy.  But I think it requires great effort and sympathy.    

  

I guess where you and I seem to diverge is that I see all of what you describe here as part of the auctoritas of the magisterial charge which includes bishops and the laity inspired by the Holy Spirit...and so the authority displays through immersion in the liturgical, sacramental, and public devotional life of the Church, and the spiritual lives of the faithful...but the immersion [praxis] cannot really be separated from the auctoritas [grace].

That is why I erred in thinking that I was not contradicting you.

Mary

M.
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« Reply #150 on: August 14, 2010, 07:26:27 PM »

If one wishes to maintain that only those in the Church can be saved, then reason dictates that at that final moment something will occur which will bring those not in the Church into the Church.

Yes. I am inclined to believe that is how it will happen. I don't really see how one could be understood as redeemed without being united with the Church.

I do think Khomiakov's statements are dangerous. For one thing, to speak of the earthly visible Church as not the fullness of the Church in any sense is inherently dangerous, if not erroneous in every context. For another thing, to point out that the current earthly and visible communion is not the extent of the entire Church doesn't just apply to the future, but even to now, given the existent of the "Church Triumphant". So I don't know how relevant the point is. And it certainly doesn't seem to address the current nature of the Church.
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« Reply #151 on: August 14, 2010, 07:30:24 PM »

More often than not, the outsider is clueless. 
My guess is that Orthodox Christians understand what the Orthodox Church teaches. Now if more often than not, the Orthodox Christian is clueless as to what the RCC teaches, would it not be a whole lot better for there to be no reunion of the two Churches, and for the Orthodox Christian to remain in the E. Orthodox Church which he understands?
 Those standing outside the Catholic Church will often misunderstand its theological statements, precisely because they encounter these statements divorced from their proper liturgical and communal context.  One cannot, for example, understand Aquinas's formulation of transubstantiation if one has never experienced the Mass in the way that Aquinas experienced it.  .... It is dangerous for an outsider to claim, "This is what the Catholic Church believes" or "This is what the Orthodox Church believes" or "This is what the Lutheran Church believes."  More often than not, the outsider is clueless.  He may well be able to quote authoritative "texts," but because he has never been formed by the community that generated these texts and keeps them alive, he simply lacks the competence to interpret the texts accurately.  Like a parrot, he can speak the words, but he does not comprehend.  He thinks he knows what the words mean, because he assumes they mean what he would mean if he were to speak them.  But he is mistaken.  Meaning does not exist in dictionaries.  
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« Reply #152 on: August 14, 2010, 08:01:35 PM »

]
My guess is that Orthodox Christians understand what the Orthodox Church teaches. Now if more often than not, the Orthodox Christian is clueless as to what the RCC teaches, would it not be a whole lot better for there to be no reunion of the two Churches, and for the Orthodox Christian to remain in the E. Orthodox Church which he understands?

I think the charity requires to give the "insider" the benefit of the doubt.  By all means let us assume, until evidence suggests otherwise, that the Orthodox we meet truly understand the faith their Church teaches and lives, and by all means let us assume, until evidence suggests otherwise, that the Catholics we meet truly understand the faith their Church teaches and lives. 

As far as reunion of the Churches, What is God's will?  But the way that you formulated your sentence intimates that the Catholic Church believes that the Orthodox should abandon their Churches and becomes Latin Christians.  This is not how the Catholic Church understands the ecumenical call to unity. 
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« Reply #153 on: August 14, 2010, 11:52:13 PM »

Quote
But the way that you formulated your sentence intimates that the Catholic Church believes that the Orthodox should abandon their Churches and becomes Latin Christians.  This is not how the Catholic Church understands the ecumenical call to unity.  


"Orthodoxy in communion with Rome", as per the Byzantine Catholic model? Forget it.
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« Reply #154 on: August 15, 2010, 12:31:12 AM »


I don't see where Metropolitan Hilarion is opposed to the papacy.  He has simply said over time that there's no precedent for it in Slavic Orthodoxy.  I am sure if he meant to rule out any kind of recognition of the papacy he has the verbal skills to do that...and the courage, it seems to me.



Mary, take off those papal blinkers, Stop making it up as you go.  Really, I could swear that you work for Zenit.  Start trying to see the Church through the spectacles of Byzantine Catholicism.

Primacy on a regional level and at the level of Local Churches is catered for in the canons. The Orthodox do not dispute that. But primacy on a global level does not exist.  If you can find even half a canon in the Ecumenical Councils which deals with universal primacy, I'll eat my kamilavka.  It is just not there, it was a concept completely alien to the Church of the first millennium.

Here are the words of Cardinal Kasper on Ravenna 2007:

"But the real breakthrough, he said, was that "the Orthodox agreed to speak
about the universal level -- because before there were some who denied that
there could even be institutional structures on the universal level. The
second point is that we agreed that at the universal level there is a
primate. It was clear that there is only one candidate for this post, that
is the Bishop of Rome, because according to the old order -- "taxis" in
Greek -- of the Church of the first millennium the see of Rome is the first
among them."



Here is the response of the Orthodox Church of Russia. This is Bishop Hilarion, speaking to "Inside The Vatican", 15 November 2007:

"We do not have any theology of the Petrine office on the level of the
Universal Church. Our ecclesiology does not have room for such a concept.
This is why the Orthodox Church has for centuries opposed the idea of the
universal jurisdiction of any bishop, including the Bishop of Rome.

"We recognize that there is a certain order in which the primates of the
Local Churches should be mentioned. In this order the Bishop of Rome
occupied the first place until 1054, and then the primacy of order in the
Orthodox Church was shifted to the Patriarch of Constantinople, who until
the schism had been the second in order. But we believe that all primates of
the Local Churches are equal to one another, and none of them has
jurisdiction over any other."


From
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1925822/posts

So, do you see any parenthetical clauses in there of "of course we may accept the papacy and universal jurisdiction sometime in the future.   We are not obliged to be faithful to our understanding of the Ecumenical Councils."
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« Reply #155 on: August 15, 2010, 12:39:17 AM »

Well I still find it hard to believe that there is any sizable amount among the Orthodox that will budge on any of these issues. It would be a betrayal of who we are and what we believe. Having lived in the bosom of the Orthodox Church and having been a member and or friend/supporter of Churches all across the USA I can't say that I have met any of these people. Obviously I cannot speak for Orthodox in other lands. I do find it hilarious that you would compare auxiliary Metropolitan John, who as a theologian was against the very idea of having auxiliaries only to accept that which he taught against, to Saint Mark.

I thought that comparison would amuse you.

I am sorry you've not met Orthodox faithful who have a more positive approach to the resumption of communion without asserting that the Catholic Church needs to convert to Orthodoxy...

It is the normative position of all Orthodox, even the most ecumenically minded, that to achieve union with Orthodoxy the Roman Catholic Church must bring its doctrines into full conformity with Orthodoxy.

It is also the normative position, even of the most ecumenically minded of the Orthodox, that there are no doctrines in Orthodoxy which must be altered.

This is not arrogance.  This is simply an unshakeable belief that the promises of Christ to send the Holy Spirit to safeguard the truth within the Church are unfailing promises.

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« Reply #156 on: August 15, 2010, 12:45:12 AM »


What was it that Fr. Kimel was talking about? Did it have something to do with those outside of Catholicism having no authority to accurately represent it? Could the same be said for Orthodoxy?

I'm thinking not so much of authority as of linguistic competence.  Understanding any religious community requires, I think, the attainment of a real measure of fluency in the language, as well as a deep acquaintance with the culture of the community.  The grammar of faith needs to be internalized precisely so that the words can be understood as the speakers of the language intend.   It's never just a matter of reading words from the pages of a book, as one might do in a first year Spanish class. 

Linguistic competence?  As Mary has said, all formal teachings within Roman Catholicism must be promulgated in Latin.  My Latin is fluent.
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« Reply #157 on: August 15, 2010, 03:37:21 AM »


I am sorry you've not met Orthodox faithful who have a more positive approach to the resumption of communion without asserting that the Catholic Church needs to convert to Orthodoxy...

Dear Mary,

It just occurred to me that there is an excellent explanation of why there cannot be communion with the Roman Catholic Church until they have adopted the teachings of the Orthodox faith.

Keep an eye out for Bp Kallistos Ware's "Communion and Intercommunion".  It is only a small booklet but it will provide some enlightenment why even such a "liberal" as Bishop Kallistos cannot contemplate communion without Catholicism's full return to orthodox doctrine.
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