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Author Topic: Eighth Ecumenical Council - 21st Century  (Read 2556 times) Average Rating: 0
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wanderer22
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« on: October 18, 2010, 06:10:51 PM »

Hey all.

I've recently heard talk of the Orthodox Church holding the first Ecumenical Council in over a millennium. I can't really find much regarding this online.

What can you guys tell me?

Thanks!
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« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2010, 07:43:01 PM »

Hey all.

I've recently heard talk of the Orthodox Church holding the first Ecumenical Council in over a millennium. I can't really find much regarding this online.

What can you guys tell me?

I believe they first strated working on the idea of this council in the early 1960's, and it has been in the process of gathering since then. This, of course, is in stark contrast to how Councils were called in Orthodoxy previously. If I remember correctly, this would not to be a Council about dogma, or even doctrine really, but would be about administrative and pastoral matters. Thus, I doubt anyone could seriously defend that it was an Ecumenical Council (people can't agree on what exactly an Ecumenical Council was to begin with). Several Orthodox have spoken against the Council, for various reasons (e.g. St. Justin Popovich). It seems to me that it would be--politically speaking--a hard thing to pull off at this point.
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« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2010, 07:52:06 PM »

Technically it could not be considered an Ecumenical Council unless it was named that by a later council. And it's hard to say whether this council would be the eighth. Many Orthodox consider the council of 879-880 to be the Eighth Ecumenical Council, and the one in 1351 to be the Ninth.

Being that as it may, this modern "Great and Holy Council", as they're calling it, is in the works, and the rumor is that it is going to be officially called in 2012 or 2013. One of the main topics of discussion is to straighten out the administration in not traditionally Orthodox regions which suffer from uncanonical jurisdictional situations.

But there is also a lot of doubt as to whether an ecumenical synod is necessary. I try to stay out of it, but there is strong feeling on both sides.
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« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2010, 07:59:51 PM »

Hey, don't forget about  the fourth and fifth councils of Constantinople, and the Synod of Jerusalem!
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« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2010, 08:01:36 PM »

I honestly do not believe that the council will attempt to call itself Ecumenical, and I do not believe it needs to be Ecumenical to be universally binding or accepted (let's face it - if most Orthodox bishops are there and they all accept it, then it's accepted in each Church, since all the synods will likely be represented).  I would like to see it formally call what many of us call the Eighth and Ninth as "Ecumenical," a role I definitely think it could/should play.
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« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2010, 08:08:01 PM »

Hey all.

I've recently heard talk of the Orthodox Church holding the first Ecumenical Council in over a millennium. I can't really find much regarding this online.

What can you guys tell me?

Several Orthodox have spoken against the Council, for various reasons (e.g. St. Justin Popovich). It seems to me that it would be--politically speaking--a hard thing to pull off at this point.

Seven Councils have given us the Faith.  They are the Seven Pillars of Wisdom.  They have guided the Church for more than 1000 years.  Many of us fear that the 8th will be the Council of the Antichrist, the beginning of the Great Apostasy (if it has not begun already).
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« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2010, 09:49:48 PM »

Can we have an ecumenical council since the schism of 1054?
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« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2010, 09:56:20 PM »

Can we have an ecumenical council since the schism of 1054?

There are those who will argue that we cannot; I do not fall in that camp.  The Church does not need those who are outside of it in order to hold an Ecumenical Council.
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« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2010, 10:02:16 PM »

Some treat it as if it was Nicaea I and some view it as the "abomination that maketh desolate."  Most people are somewhere in the middle.  Anyone on the extreme end or anywhere near the extreme end concerns me.  I remain CAUTIOUSLY optimistic.  I have concerns that modernism will reign, but I also know that the Holy Spirit "will guide you into all truth."  Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2010, 10:07:15 PM »

I honestly do not believe that the council will attempt to call itself Ecumenical, and I do not believe it needs to be Ecumenical to be universally binding or accepted (let's face it - if most Orthodox bishops are there and they all accept it, then it's accepted in each Church, since all the synods will likely be represented).  I would like to see it formally call what many of us call the Eighth and Ninth as "Ecumenical," a role I definitely think it could/should play.

I agree on the latter part.  The Pan-Orthodox Encyclical of 1848 already recognized the 8th.   However, it also gave primacy to the first 7 as the "7 pillars of Wisdom."  I don't think that this primacy of the first 7 will every fade, even though there be other Ecumenical Councils.   But both the 8th and 9th (Palamite) also referred to themselves as "Ecumenical."   There were ones that called themselves "Ecumenical" received as such, others that called themselves the same that were rejected, and still others whose decisions were received "ecumenically" into the Synodikon, for example, but not listed on par with the 7.   If the one in 1012-13 refers to itself as such, or if it refers to itself as "great" or meizon-enlarged, what of it?   But I do think it needs to officially proclaim the 8th and 9th (4th and 5th Constantinople--Photian and Palamite) as Ecumenical.   Rome itself recognized the 8th (Photian) before it changed its mind and "switched" the 8th to the anti-Photian council, so there is even record of it as received even by Rome before the Schism.  
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« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2010, 10:08:19 PM »

Can we have an ecumenical council since the schism of 1054?

There are those who will argue that we cannot; I do not fall in that camp.  The Church does not need those who are outside of it in order to hold an Ecumenical Council.

I agree.   
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« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2010, 03:02:19 AM »


I agree on the latter part.  The Pan-Orthodox Encyclical of 1848 already recognized the 8th. 


The only Orthodox support for Eight Councils comes from the 1848 reply of
some of the Orthodox Patriarchs to Pope Pius IX's letter.

In other words there is a 1000 year gap when the idea of 8 or
even 9 Councils seems to have been unknown in the Church.

Now that one example from 1848 does not count for too much - and it is even less
substantial when one reads the letter and see that there is internal
confusion. The letter contains EIGHT references to SEVEN Ecumenical Councils
and TWO references to EIGHT Councils.

This is quite a discrepancy in the letter and those who support Eight Councils
need to account for it.  They also need to account for not the slightest
mention of a Ninth Council.

Here are all the references compiled from the 1848 Encyclical:

SEVEN: "For being the miserable cogitations and devices of miserable men,
both one and the other, struck with the thunderbolt of the anathema of the
seven Ecumenical Councils, shall vanish away, though they may last a
thousand years;"

SEVEN: "The new doctrine, that "the Holy Ghost proceedeth from the Father
and the Son," is contrary to the memorable declaration of our LORD,
emphatically made respecting it: which proceedeth from the Father (John xv.
26), and contrary to the universal Confession of the Catholic Church as
witnessed by the seven Ecumenical Councils.."

SEVEN: "It reproaches the Fathers of the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and
seventh Ecumenical Councils,

EIGHT: "It was subjected to anathema, as a novelty and augmentation of the
Creed, by the eighth Ecumenical Council, congregated at Constantinople for
the pacification of the Eastern and Western Churches."

EIGHT: "by his letter to the holy Photius at the eighth Ecumenical
Council.."

SEVEN: "But if his Holiness had sent us statements concordant and in unison
with the seven holy Ecumenical Councils.."

SEVEN: "..and by the seven Ecumenical Councils, and in obedience to the
Truth."

SEVEN: "This same anathema the Seven Ecumenical Councils and the whole choir
of God-serving fathers pronounced..."

SEVEN: "..taught in the Gospel from the mouth of our LORD, witnessed by the
holy Apostles, by the seven sacred Ecumenical Councils, preached throughout
the world

SEVEN: "The august Ecumenical Councils, those seven pillars of the house of
Wisdom, were organized in it and among us."
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« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2010, 03:08:43 AM »

We also have a problem because our iconographic and liturgical traditions bear witness AGAINST any 8th and 9th Councils.    Icons do not exist.  These Councils are not commemorated in our Church Calendar nor in our hymnography.  While certainly important Councils they are simply absent, as Ecumencial Councils, from the major sources of our holy Tradition.

Here is Dionysius the Wise and the Seven Ecumenical Councils


Museum of Dionysius' Frescoes
The Virgin Nativity Cathedral

The First Ecumenical Council
http://www.dionisy.com/eng/museum/117/307/index.shtml

The Second Ecumenical Council
http://www.dionisy.com/eng/museum/117/308/index.shtml

The Third Ecumenical Council
http://www.dionisy.com/eng/museum/117/306/index.shtml

The Fourth Ecumenical Council
http://www.dionisy.com/eng/museum/124/345/index.shtml


The Fifth Ecumenical Council
http://www.dionisy.com/eng/museum/124/349/index.shtml

The Sixth Ecumenical Council
http://www.dionisy.com/eng/museum/118/275/index.shtml

The Seventh Ecumenical Council
http://www.dionisy.com/eng/museum/118/276/index.shtml
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« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2010, 04:16:02 AM »

^ And yet, we shall know them by their fruits: the theology expounded by the 8th & 9th are universally accepted (heck, every Sunday of Orthodoxy we read a Synodikon from a non-Ecumenical Council - that's a pretty universal acceptance of the point, isn't it?), and they are considered councils which resolved dogmatic and other disputes.  The thus-far non-proclamation in iconography and hymnography may be deliberate; or, it may be an opportunity for the Church at present to make such a commission.  Despite my belief that those two are Ecumenical Synods, I will defer to the decision of the Church (whatever it may ultimately be), which is guided by the Spirit.
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« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2010, 04:56:23 AM »

Patriarch [Metropolitan] Bartholomew gave an interview to the Roman Catholic newspaper National Catholic Reporter, expressing the renovationist aims of the future Council...

"Our aims are the same an John's (Pope John XXIII): to update the Church and promote Christian unity...
The Council will also signify the opening of the Orthodox Church to non-Christian religions, to humanity as a whole.
This means a new attitude toward Islam, toward Buddhism, toward contemporary culture, toward aspirations for
brotherhood free from racial discrimination... in other words, it will mark the end of twelve centuries of isolation
of the Orthodox Church."

This interview was done by Desmond O'Grady and appeared in the January 21, 1977 issue of The National Catholic Reporter. The article was titled, "Council Coming for Orthodox." The entire quote reads as follows:

"Our faithful feel the need for renovation. They want more accessible ways to live their faith. For instance, the prescription of 40 days fast before Easter and Christmas is scarcely feasible today outside of monasteries. We feel the need to strengthen our links with other Christians.

"By the grace of God, all Orthodox churches now favor ecumenism. Ecumenism has advanced in the past decade even though there has not been a succession of striking events, such as the 1964 meeting between Pope Pail and Patriarch Athenagoras in Jerusalem. That demonstration of refound fraternity provided fine journalistic copy. The theological exploration which followed was less spectacular, but nevertheless fruitful—the convocation of the council is proof of that. It will review our bilateral talks with Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, Old Catholics and the non-Chalcedonian church. It is sure to give impetus to ecumenism. The council will also signify an opening of the Orthodox church to non-Christian religions, to humanity as a whole. This means a new attitude to Islam, to Buddhism, to contemporary culture, to aspirations for a fraternal society free of racial discrimination... In other words, it will mark the end of 12 centuries of isolation of the Orthodox Church."

Source:
"Towards the "Eighth" Ecumenical Council"
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/towards.aspx
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« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2010, 07:34:59 AM »

The only Orthodox support for Eight Councils comes from the 1848 reply of
some of the Orthodox Patriarchs to Pope Pius IX's letter.

So the fact that some of the most prominent and respected Greek theologians of the last 100 years hold to the idea that there was more than 7 Ecumenical Councils is worth nothing more than a pinch of salt?
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« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2010, 08:00:45 AM »

The only Orthodox support for Eight Councils comes from the 1848 reply of
some of the Orthodox Patriarchs to Pope Pius IX's letter.

So the fact that some of the most prominent and respected Greek theologians of the last 100 years hold to the idea that there was more than 7 Ecumenical Councils is worth nothing more than a pinch of salt?

Who, aside from Fr. John Romanides and his followers, are doing this today? Romanides is respectable but certainly had some odd ideas.
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« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2010, 08:06:52 AM »

The only Orthodox support for Eight Councils comes from the 1848 reply of
some of the Orthodox Patriarchs to Pope Pius IX's letter.

So the fact that some of the most prominent and respected Greek theologians of the last 100 years hold to the idea that there was more than 7 Ecumenical Councils is worth nothing more than a pinch of salt?

Who, aside from Fr. John Romanides and his followers, are doing this today? Romanides is respectable but certainly had some odd ideas.

I would concede that Fr. Romanides isn't always exactly in the mainstream of Orthodox thought. I was also thinking primarily of Met. Hierotheos, who it seems to me is very well respected, and also Fr. George Metallinos, Fr. George Dragas, and others (I used to have a wordpad document with quotes and references on this, but when my old computer died I didn't pull the info off the hard drive).

Please, use the proper titles - Michał Kalina.
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« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2010, 10:31:34 AM »

Patriarch [Metropolitan] Bartholomew gave an interview to the Roman Catholic newspaper National Catholic Reporter, expressing the renovationist aims of the future Council...

"Our aims are the same an John's (Pope John XXIII): to update the Church and promote Christian unity...
The Council will also signify the opening of the Orthodox Church to non-Christian religions, to humanity as a whole.
This means a new attitude toward Islam, toward Buddhism, toward contemporary culture, toward aspirations for
brotherhood free from racial discrimination... in other words, it will mark the end of twelve centuries of isolation
of the Orthodox Church."

This interview was done by Desmond O'Grady and appeared in the January 21, 1977 issue of The National Catholic Reporter. The article was titled, "Council Coming for Orthodox." The entire quote reads as follows:

"Our faithful feel the need for renovation. They want more accessible ways to live their faith. For instance, the prescription of 40 days fast before Easter and Christmas is scarcely feasible today outside of monasteries. We feel the need to strengthen our links with other Christians.

"By the grace of God, all Orthodox churches now favor ecumenism. Ecumenism has advanced in the past decade even though there has not been a succession of striking events, such as the 1964 meeting between Pope Pail and Patriarch Athenagoras in Jerusalem. That demonstration of refound fraternity provided fine journalistic copy. The theological exploration which followed was less spectacular, but nevertheless fruitful—the convocation of the council is proof of that. It will review our bilateral talks with Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, Old Catholics and the non-Chalcedonian church. It is sure to give impetus to ecumenism. The council will also signify an opening of the Orthodox church to non-Christian religions, to humanity as a whole. This means a new attitude to Islam, to Buddhism, to contemporary culture, to aspirations for a fraternal society free of racial discrimination... In other words, it will mark the end of 12 centuries of isolation of the Orthodox Church."

Source:
"Towards the "Eighth" Ecumenical Council"
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/towards.aspx

I had to choke back a little vomit reading this. There are many more pressing needs to address in the Church than the advancement of the failed policy of ecumenism. Attitude and dialogue might be in vogue amongst ecclesial elites, but the Gospel is the same and it speaks to everyone on earth in every generation. No amount of introspection, get-togethers, dialogue, etc. will change that.
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« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2010, 10:55:44 AM »

The only Orthodox support for Eight Councils comes from the 1848 reply of
some of the Orthodox Patriarchs to Pope Pius IX's letter.

So the fact that some of the most prominent and respected Greek theologians of the last 100 years hold to the idea that there was more than 7 Ecumenical Councils is worth nothing more than a pinch of salt?
Who, aside from Fr. John Romanides and his followers, are doing this today? Romanides is respectable but certainly had some odd ideas.

I would concede that Fr. Romanides isn't always exactly in the mainstream of Orthodox thought. I was also thinking primarily of Met. Hierotheos, who it seems to me is very well respected, and also Fr. George Metallinos, Fr. George Dragas, and others (I used to have a wordpad document with quotes and references on this, but when my old computer died I didn't pull the info off the hard drive).

Please, use the proper titles - Michał Kalina.

I don't know about Fr. Metallinos or Fr. Dragas, but Met. Hierotheos certainly relies heavily on Romanides. And, while I find much value in his writings, the opinion of a single theologian or a handful of theologians isn't enough to make a council ecumenical. There's tons of precedent for recognizing 7 ecumenical councils- hymns, catechetical works, patristic writings, etc. The precedent for 9 or 10 is shaky, sparse, and contradictory. In the end, though, it doesn't really matter, since all of these councils are authoritative.

Please, use the proper titles - Michał Kalina.
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« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2010, 12:45:48 PM »

^ And yet, we shall know them by their fruits: the theology expounded by the 8th & 9th are universally accepted (heck, every Sunday of Orthodoxy we read a Synodikon from a non-Ecumenical Council - that's a pretty universal acceptance of the point, isn't it?), and they are considered councils which resolved dogmatic and other disputes.  The thus-far non-proclamation in iconography and hymnography may be deliberate; or, it may be an opportunity for the Church at present to make such a commission.  Despite my belief that those two are Ecumenical Synods, I will defer to the decision of the Church (whatever it may ultimately be), which is guided by the Spirit.

I concur.   
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« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2010, 12:47:47 PM »

Quote
the 1848 reply of some of the Orthodox Patriarchs


The Encyclical of 1848 was signed not only by the Patriarchs but by the entire Synods of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. 
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« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2010, 02:20:25 PM »

Quote
the 1848 reply of some of the Orthodox Patriarchs


The Encyclical of 1848 was signed not only by the Patriarchs but by the entire Synods of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. 

Did any Slavic Churches sign?
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« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2010, 03:09:51 PM »

Quote
the 1848 reply of some of the Orthodox Patriarchs

The Encyclical of 1848 was signed not only by the Patriarchs but by the entire Synods of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. 
  Did any Slavic Churches sign? 

Not but it was received by them.   But these were the only Patriarchal Synods at this time.   As you recall, the Patriarchate of Russia was non-existent at this time, and none of the other Churches were autocephalous synodical Patriarchates at this time.  Here are the signatures: 

+ ANTHIMOS, by the Mercy of God, Archbishop of Constantinople, new Rome, and Ecumenical Patriarch, a beloved brother in Christ our God, and suppliant.

+ HIEROTHEUS, by the Mercy of God, Patriarch of Alexandria and of all Egypt, a beloved brother in Christ our God, and suppliant.

+ METHODIOS, by the Mercy of God, Patriarch of the great City of God, Antioch, and of all Anatolia, a beloved brother in Christ our God, and suppliant.

+ CYRIL, by the Mercy of God, Patriarch of Jerusalem and of all Palestine, a beloved brother in Christ our God, and suppliant.

 

The Holy Synod in Constantinople:

+ PAISIUS OF CAESAREA

+ ANTHIMUS OF EPHESUS

+ DIONYSIUS OF HERACLEA

+ JOACHIM OF CYZICUS

+ DIONYSIUS OF NICODEMIA

+ HIEROTHEUS OF CHALCEDON

+ NEOPHYTUS OF DERCI

+ GERASIMUS OF ADRIANOPLE

+ CYRIL OF NEOCAESAREA

+ THEOCLETUS OF BEREA

+ MELETIUS OF PISIDIA

+ ATHANASIUS OF SMYRNA

+ DIONYSIUS OF MELENICUS

+ PAISIUS OF SOPHIA

+ DANIEL OF LEMNOS

+ PANTELEIMON OF DEYINOPOLIS

+ JOSEPH OF ERSECIUM

+ ANTHIMUS OF BODENI

 

The Holy Synod in Antioch:

+ ZACHARIAS OF ARCADIA

+ METHODIOS OF EMESA

+ JOANNICIUS OF TRIPOLIS

+ ARTEMIUS OF LAODICEA

 

The Holy Synod in Jerusalem:

+ MELETIUS OF PETRA

+ DIONYSIUS OF BETHLEHEM

+ PHILEMON OF GAZA

+ SAMUEL OF NEAPOLIS

+ THADDEUS OF SEBASTE

+ JOANNICIUS OF PHILADELPHIA

+ HIEROTHEUS OF TABOR

http://orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/encyclicals/eastern_patriarchs_reply_to_PopePius.htm
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« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2010, 03:18:10 PM »

The issue is that the 8th and 9th councils have all the requirements for an ecumenincal councils *except* formal acknowledgment of that. Such acknowledgment has not happened because the last 500 years have been of isolation between the institutional bodies of the Church. As soon as the isolation started to fall, acknowledgement start to be suggested.

The coming council could be the vehicle for that, even confirming other local councils that proclaimed western heresies. *Even* if they do have a focus on ecumenism and "union", a synodal acknowledgement of the true dogmatic diferences would be a necessary step for reconciliation.

It could be done under the name of "heterodoxy" to prevent the bad conotations of "heresy", which is basically, today, little more than a name-calling word for most people.
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« Reply #25 on: October 19, 2010, 03:31:21 PM »

It could be done under the name of "heterodoxy" to prevent the bad conotations of "heresy", which is basically, today, little more than a name-calling word for most people.

Really?  I thought this was so only among the politically correct.
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« Reply #26 on: October 19, 2010, 03:41:58 PM »

There *is* a certain political correctness to it. But, at the same time, "heretical" has acquired some new meanings that we really don't attribute to those who are heretic, due to Europe's religious wars. To call someone "heretical" sometimes means a "threat". "Watch your back, vermin. If it were not for the laws, we'd burn you at a stake."

There are some words that could be used instead of "heresy" as well: cacadoxy, or as I prefer it, the catameric churches (from "kata meros", "according to a part" as in contrast to "kata holos", "according to the whole"). Truly the churches who believe infallibility is manifest not in the Holy Spirit in the whole but in an element of the church exclusively (the primate or the Scriptures) are not "catholic" but "catameric": cataproton and catabiblios, respectively.
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« Reply #27 on: October 19, 2010, 05:23:33 PM »

There *is* a certain political correctness to it. But, at the same time, "heretical" has acquired some new meanings that we really don't attribute to those who are heretic, due to Europe's religious wars. To call someone "heretical" sometimes means a "threat". "Watch your back, vermin. If it were not for the laws, we'd burn you at a stake."

There are some words that could be used instead of "heresy" as well: cacadoxy, or as I prefer it, the catameric churches (from "kata meros", "according to a part" as in contrast to "kata holos", "according to the whole"). Truly the churches who believe infallibility is manifest not in the Holy Spirit in the whole but in an element of the church exclusively (the primate or the Scriptures) are not "catholic" but "catameric": cataproton and catabiblios, respectively.

The problem that I have is that this waters down the Truth.  The Church has declared, through its Councils, teachings that are heretical.  Organizations that hold to these heretical teachings are heretical.  Heterodox is a different term all together.  It is used for teachings that are not necessarily Orthodox, but have not been condemned as Heresy.  Churches who do not follow the Doctrine espoused in the Creed are Heretical.  Those that say Christ has one Nature are Heretical.  Those who say that Christ did not die on the Cross, or who say that He did not rise physically from the dead, or who say that He was not born of a Virgin are Heretical.  Those who are Iconoclasts are Heretical.  To call them any less is to deny the Saints of the Councils that declared them such.  And why?  So we can be buddy-buddy with them?  God forbid!  We are to avoid the heretics, not seek dialogue with them.  There are no new meanings for these words.  They were written and preserved in languages that are well known and have not changed.  The only ones who take offense at them are those to whom they apply.  To change the Truth to avoid hurting the feelings of heretics is not love, it is the worst form of hate.  Rather than confront them with Truth, and pray for their repentance and reconciliation with the Church, we coddle them and reduce our Truths to tokens that can be bartered.  We will never convert the heretics.  If they are to be converted, it will be by the power of the Holy Spirit of the God and Lover of Mankind that made them with His own hands, and loves them in a perfect way that we will never be able to understand.  Our mission is to preserve the Truth so that when the Holy Spirit acts on their hearts, they see us as the bastion of Truth, and not something slightly better than what they believe now. 

Perhaps I am overly fervent about this.  However, I almost left the Orthodox Church and went back to my heresy as a dog returns to its vomit.  Why?  Not because I was confronted with the harsh Truth, but because I saw a Church so lax and so far from its roots that many of the heretics were more fervent toward God than those who claim to “correctly teach” and “correctly worship”.  I found people that apparently believed that as long as you were in communion with a See enslaved by the Turks, you could do whatever you want and believe however you want and still be “Orthodox”.  Thankfully, God in His mercy did not let me return, but brought me to people who were not afraid to speak the Truth, even if it made me uncomfortable, and even if it meant not gathering with those who “say they are Jews, but are not”.
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« Reply #28 on: October 19, 2010, 05:24:59 PM »


So the fact that some of the most prominent and respected Greek theologians of the last 100 years hold to the idea that there was more than 7 Ecumenical Councils is worth nothing more than a pinch of salt?

Pretty much.  Fr Romanides and Metropolitan Vlachos do not a Council make! 

What makes a Council Ecumenical is its universal embrace and proclamation as such by the pleroma of the universal Church.   This is not the case.  The Church has had 1100 years to acclaim 879AD as Ecumenical.  It has not done so.

Likewise the Church has had nearly 700 years to acclaim 1341 and 1351 as Ecumenical.  It has not done so.

Please see message 11 at

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,23652.msg483096.html#msg483096

(We have two threads going on this question.)
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« Reply #29 on: October 19, 2010, 05:25:48 PM »

Please, use the proper titles - Michał Kalina.

Sorry about that! Smiley

I don't know about Fr. Metallinos or Fr. Dragas, but Met. Hierotheos certainly relies heavily on Romanides. And, while I find much value in his writings, the opinion of a single theologian or a handful of theologians isn't enough to make a council ecumenical. There's tons of precedent for recognizing 7 ecumenical councils- hymns, catechetical works, patristic writings, etc. The precedent for 9 or 10 is shaky, sparse, and contradictory. In the end, though, it doesn't really matter, since all of these councils are authoritative.

Ok, good points there.
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« Reply #30 on: October 19, 2010, 05:51:57 PM »

There *is* a certain political correctness to it. But, at the same time, "heretical" has acquired some new meanings that we really don't attribute to those who are heretic, due to Europe's religious wars. To call someone "heretical" sometimes means a "threat". "Watch your back, vermin. If it were not for the laws, we'd burn you at a stake."

There are some words that could be used instead of "heresy" as well: cacadoxy, or as I prefer it, the catameric churches (from "kata meros", "according to a part" as in contrast to "kata holos", "according to the whole"). Truly the churches who believe infallibility is manifest not in the Holy Spirit in the whole but in an element of the church exclusively (the primate or the Scriptures) are not "catholic" but "catameric": cataproton and catabiblios, respectively.

The problem that I have is that this waters down the Truth.  The Church has declared, through its Councils, teachings that are heretical.  Organizations that hold to these heretical teachings are heretical.  Heterodox is a different term all together.  It is used for teachings that are not necessarily Orthodox, but have not been condemned as Heresy.  Churches who do not follow the Doctrine espoused in the Creed are Heretical.  Those that say Christ has one Nature are Heretical.  Those who say that Christ did not die on the Cross, or who say that He did not rise physically from the dead, or who say that He was not born of a Virgin are Heretical.  Those who are Iconoclasts are Heretical.  To call them any less is to deny the Saints of the Councils that declared them such.  And why?  So we can be buddy-buddy with them?  God forbid!  We are to avoid the heretics, not seek dialogue with them.  There are no new meanings for these words.  They were written and preserved in languages that are well known and have not changed.  The only ones who take offense at them are those to whom they apply.  To change the Truth to avoid hurting the feelings of heretics is not love, it is the worst form of hate.  Rather than confront them with Truth, and pray for their repentance and reconciliation with the Church, we coddle them and reduce our Truths to tokens that can be bartered.  We will never convert the heretics.  If they are to be converted, it will be by the power of the Holy Spirit of the God and Lover of Mankind that made them with His own hands, and loves them in a perfect way that we will never be able to understand.  Our mission is to preserve the Truth so that when the Holy Spirit acts on their hearts, they see us as the bastion of Truth, and not something slightly better than what they believe now. 

Perhaps I am overly fervent about this.  However, I almost left the Orthodox Church and went back to my heresy as a dog returns to its vomit.  Why?  Not because I was confronted with the harsh Truth, but because I saw a Church so lax and so far from its roots that many of the heretics were more fervent toward God than those who claim to “correctly teach” and “correctly worship”.  I found people that apparently believed that as long as you were in communion with a See enslaved by the Turks, you could do whatever you want and believe however you want and still be “Orthodox”.  Thankfully, God in His mercy did not let me return, but brought me to people who were not afraid to speak the Truth, even if it made me uncomfortable, and even if it meant not gathering with those who “say they are Jews, but are not”.



Punch,

what they are has not changed. But words do change. Sometimes to keep the *meaning* of a word the Fathers used, but which has changed its meaning, we have to use a new word.

A good example is "apathy". The Fathers proclaim it as a great thing, the very result of Theosis. But that is not what "apathy" means today. Trying to force people to accept "apathy" as something good, is simply to create an extra unnecessary obstacle.

With the word "heresy" the situation is not so extreme. But we *do* have to remember that the Fathers used it to merely express that something or someone is outside the Church, while today, it also can mean "you freakin' idiot!". If we are to use the word "heresy" we *do* have to also say, at some point, what we do *not* mean by it.
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« Reply #31 on: October 19, 2010, 06:05:31 PM »

what they are has not changed. But words do change. Sometimes to keep the *meaning* of a word the Fathers used, but which has changed its meaning, we have to use a new word.

A good example is "apathy". The Fathers proclaim it as a great thing, the very result of Theosis. But that is not what "apathy" means today. Trying to force people to accept "apathy" as something good, is simply to create an extra unnecessary obstacle.

With the word "heresy" the situation is not so extreme. But we *do* have to remember that the Fathers used it to merely express that something or someone is outside the Church, while today, it also can mean "you freakin' idiot!". If we are to use the word "heresy" we *do* have to also say, at some point, what we do *not* mean by it.

The members of this forum are generally well educated and well read and would have the correct understanding of the word "heresy" and its use.  We should be able to take it for granted.  If we can't I may be guilty of overestimating their intelligence.   laugh Grin Cheesy
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« Reply #32 on: October 19, 2010, 06:36:36 PM »

what they are has not changed. But words do change. Sometimes to keep the *meaning* of a word the Fathers used, but which has changed its meaning, we have to use a new word.

A good example is "apathy". The Fathers proclaim it as a great thing, the very result of Theosis. But that is not what "apathy" means today. Trying to force people to accept "apathy" as something good, is simply to create an extra unnecessary obstacle.

With the word "heresy" the situation is not so extreme. But we *do* have to remember that the Fathers used it to merely express that something or someone is outside the Church, while today, it also can mean "you freakin' idiot!". If we are to use the word "heresy" we *do* have to also say, at some point, what we do *not* mean by it.

The members of this forum are generally well educated and well read and would have the correct understanding of the word "heresy" and its use.  We should be able to take it for granted.  If we can't I may be guilty of overestimating their intelligence.   laugh Grin Cheesy


Yes, but we are talking about the possibility of using it in a Pan-Orthodox Synod that would issue declarations not only for the Church, but for everybody to read. If they asked me (and I know they will not), I would recommend to make a strict delimitation of the Church is and what is not, which is typical and traditional in such synods (see the anathemas). But because we are no longer in the 1st millenium amidst a Romaic (byzantine) literary tradition where the more hyperbolic the style, the better, I would recommend to use the literary tradition of our own time and either define in an explicit way what we mean by "heresy" and "heretic" or use synonims devoid of the bad connotations the European religious wars gave it.
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