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Author Topic: What Separates Catholics and Orthodox the Most  (Read 6934 times) Average Rating: 0
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Wyatt
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« Reply #45 on: October 25, 2010, 05:32:37 PM »

It's not really circular because he doesn't have unlimited power; he can't overrule past Popes on doctrine.

Not formally. But when "apparent" contradictions are found, the standard response is that what the previous popes meant by those words is what the current pope is saying. We know that he is right because he said it, and we know they meant what he is saying, because he said it.

What are these "apparent contradictions"?
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« Reply #46 on: October 25, 2010, 05:41:20 PM »

The filioque's been dealt with....

This is only your opinion.  Many Orthodox would not agree.

But that's only their opinion. Orthodoxy has very little defined doctrine: Trinity thus hypostatic union thus Mother of God thus icons, and you're done.

Only if your concept of tradition is just an expansion of sola scriptura to include the 7 Ecumenical Councils.
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« Reply #47 on: October 25, 2010, 07:12:33 PM »

I would say that what separates Catholics and Orthodox most is the understanding of the primacy of the Pope.  I really believe that the other issues are more a different in emphasis and expression that has hardened over the centuries for some people on both sides but are ultimately reconcilable.  For example, after studying the Filioque controversy and reading apologetics and historical treatments, I really think the Catholic dogma is different than I had thought it to be, and acceptable as a theologial opinion.  I had misinterpreted the Filioque as saying "the Holy Spirit has his eternal origin in the person of the Son", but found that this understanding is actually condemned by Catholic theology.  What Catholics are actually saying is that the Spirit shares in the essence of the Father and the Son, and affirm the absolute monarchy of the Father as the "source" of the Holy Trinity.  I could site other examples of misunderstandings if anyone would like.

On a practical level, there are other things that concern me about possible reunion however.  One, if the historical example of the Sui Uris Catholic Churches is an indication of what a Catholic/Orthodox reunion would look like, there are some significant problems.  Eastern Catholics complain frequently, and with good cause, that their churches have been Latinized, stripped of their historic rights, and treated with disdain by the Roman Catholic Church.  I dialogue at the Catholic Answer forums as well, and people site examples of this again and again.  I would not be willing to enter into reunion until I was certain this would not continue.  Two, the Catholic Church is fighting an enormous pedophilia scandal that makes me doubt its commitment to protecting its members from abuse, and frankly makes me concerned about the safety of my future children interacting with Roman Catholic priests.  The closest parish to my house had two priests removed for accusations of pedophilia, and the next closest had a priest arrested during a sting operation for trying to have sex with a teenager.  The thing that is most disturbing about this scandal is the cover ups that took place for so long with priests being relocated rather than removed from ministry.  I would like to believe that things have changed, but I would need to see more evidence of that.  Three, the liturgical culture of the Roman Catholic Church has in my experience become Protestantized and alien to Orthodoxy.  I realize that I wouldn’t be attending a Roman Catholic parish, but I doubt the wisdom of reunion when this attitude is so prevalent.  I’ve been attending services with my Catholic girlfriend, and was shocked at how contemporary most of them have been.  I fear that this might influence Orthodox parishes, or worse, that the Pope would impose liturgical reforms in the spirit of Vatican II on us as he did on the Roman churches.  The liturgy is a significant reason that Orthodoxy has remained so steadfast over the centuries, and any attack on liturgy is also an attack on its identity.

I would be interested in hearing any reactions to these concerns, particularly from Catholic members.
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« Reply #48 on: October 25, 2010, 08:35:45 PM »


Quote
As an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian, the horrific actions of the Italian invasion of Ethiopia done with the blessing of the Pope is a huge obstacle. The fact that such an evil act could be done with the Pope's "blessing" indicates to me that the Church of Rome cannot be the Church of Christ.

What about imperial Russia's track record going to war with other Christian countries? The Italian invasion of Ethiopia was nothing to do with theology (Mussolini was really an old lefty atheist who once in power made peace with the church to help his image and stay in power) and the Pope's alleged approval wasn't a matter or religious doctrine or discipline. No sale on your argument.


I'm not trying to sell you on anything my brother. I simply offered my own opinion on what I as an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian perceive to be serious barriers that separate the Catholic Church from our own. I cannot speak to the issues involving the Russian Orthodox Church; I can only speak as an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian. The Pope's approval was not "alleged," it was real. And regardless of whether or not it was theologically motivated does not diminish the evil of the actions perpetrated against the Ethiopian people.

http://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view?back=http%3A%2F%2Fimages.search.yahoo.com%2Fsearch%2Fimages%3Fp%3DPope%2Bblesses%2BMussolini%26ei%3DUTF-8%26vm%3Dr%26fr%3Dmy-myy&w=255&h=215&imgurl=www.abugidainfo.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2009%2F07%2Ffacist_italian.gif&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.abugidainfo.com%2F%3Fp%3D10473&size=15KB&name=Vatican+priest+b...&p=Pope+blesses+Mussolini&oid=ec66261b5efffa1103d6774da2ec0b06&fr2=&no=17&tt=39&sigr=113qpcrls&sigi=1217v35a8&sigb=12tv0cdtp


Selam
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« Reply #49 on: October 25, 2010, 09:45:07 PM »

Vatican Popes ,evil at it's core, thay came into Ethiopia and to other Orthodox Countries,  to destroy or fragment Holy Orthodxy ...To create  Lousy Clones of Holy Orthodoxy.... Grin








Quote
As an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian, the horrific actions of the Italian invasion of Ethiopia done with the blessing of the Pope is a huge obstacle. The fact that such an evil act could be done with the Pope's "blessing" indicates to me that the Church of Rome cannot be the Church of Christ.

What about imperial Russia's track record going to war with other Christian countries? The Italian invasion of Ethiopia was nothing to do with theology (Mussolini was really an old lefty atheist who once in power made peace with the church to help his image and stay in power) and the Pope's alleged approval wasn't a matter or religious doctrine or discipline. No sale on your argument.


I'm not trying to sell you on anything my brother. I simply offered my own opinion on what I as an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian perceive to be serious barriers that separate the Catholic Church from our own. I cannot speak to the issues involving the Russian Orthodox Church; I can only speak as an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian. The Pope's approval was not "alleged," it was real. And regardless of whether or not it was theologically motivated does not diminish the evil of the actions perpetrated against the Ethiopian people.

http://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view?back=http%3A%2F%2Fimages.search.yahoo.com%2Fsearch%2Fimages%3Fp%3DPope%2Bblesses%2BMussolini%26ei%3DUTF-8%26vm%3Dr%26fr%3Dmy-myy&w=255&h=215&imgurl=www.abugidainfo.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2009%2F07%2Ffacist_italian.gif&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.abugidainfo.com%2F%3Fp%3D10473&size=15KB&name=Vatican+priest+b...&p=Pope+blesses+Mussolini&oid=ec66261b5efffa1103d6774da2ec0b06&fr2=&no=17&tt=39&sigr=113qpcrls&sigi=1217v35a8&sigb=12tv0cdtp


Selam
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« Reply #50 on: October 25, 2010, 11:48:24 PM »

Three, the liturgical culture of the Roman Catholic Church has in my experience become Protestantized and alien to Orthodoxy.  I realize that I wouldn’t be attending a Roman Catholic parish, but I doubt the wisdom of reunion when this attitude is so prevalent.  I’ve been attending services with my Catholic girlfriend, and was shocked at how contemporary most of them have been.  I fear that this might influence Orthodox parishes, or worse, that the Pope would impose liturgical reforms in the spirit of Vatican II on us as he did on the Roman churches.  The liturgy is a significant reason that Orthodoxy has remained so steadfast over the centuries, and any attack on liturgy is also an attack on its identity.

I find myself thinking of the essay "Let's Keep Our Distance" by Frank Schaeffer:

Quote
Worship is the one area that should matter most to us. If the Orthodox were drawn into the liturgical chaos of the modernized Roman Church, it would be tragic.

The Roman liturgical tradition has disintegrated aesthetically, and as the beauty of worship disappears, so does awe. Prayer is a teacher, and minimized, modernized prayer fails to teach very much. It is our rich, historic, and theologically packed liturgical tradition that is the treasure of Orthodoxy. How might that change if we blended with a church that has rejected so many ancient traditions of Christian worship—fasts, rites, mystery, and poetry?

Eastern-Rite Catholics may be secure behind the doors of their buildings, but how does it impact them when their sister Roman Rite church down the street has jettisoned ancient tradition? What kind of theological or spiritual "bleed through" occurs? Could we Orthodox retain our fasts, vigils, and liturgies in communion with a body that for decades now has been thoroughly Protestantized and that has replaced a sense of the sacred with trivial entertainment values? Will we Orthodox be merely tolerated in an "I'm OK, you're OK" climate of liturgical relativism? Is there no right way to worship? If there is not, then why do we bother now to fast and pray as did our forefathers?
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« Reply #51 on: October 26, 2010, 01:06:39 AM »

Union with the RC as it is now is no union, but just falling from the Tree of Life.

For a union to be true, I have already suggested a list of attitude and punctual changes elsewhere. Here it is again:

What I would expect from a *true* union would be:

From the Orthodox:


Apologize for and a more outspoken condemnation of phyletism;

Acknowledgemnt that the multi-culturalism of RC is the traditional way;

Acknowledgment that the role of the primate is more than just honorific;

Abandon the idea of infallibility of Councils; councils can and have stated heresies, they can and have been reproached by other elements of the Church;

Use the expression "through the Son" after "proceeds from the Father" instead of nothing;

Deal with excessive anti-rationalism;

Translate traditional liturgical rites and use them instead of foreign language rites;

(Just added)Organize itself in canonical terms around the world: one city - one bishop; Archdioceses, Metropolias, Eparchies and Patriarchates are not the institutional church per se, but the local diocese is. Supra-diocesical institutions such as Archdioceses, Metropolias, Eparchies and Patriarchates have an *assistive* role for communication and organization of the local churches. The concept is that "The National Association of Hospitals" is a necessary important institution, but it is not a hospital. Each hospital has its own head-doctor and administrator who is the bishop. The Patriarch or Metropolitan is a head doctor of his own hospital, and the "President" of the "National Association", not a kind of "top-head-doctor" that can interfere in every hospital. His authority over the other head-doctors is while members of the National Association, not as head-doctors of their own hospitals.

From the Roman church:

Apologize for and abandon the concept of infallibility of the Pope; popes can and have stated heresies, they can and have been reproached by other elements of the Church;

Abandon the monarchical model of primacy. Even if it was fit for Modern West (Medieval to Pre-WW I period) it was unfit for the East during the same period. The primate did not act as archpastor if he chose a model that was fit to just half the Church;

Use the expression "through the Son" instead of "and of the Son" after "proceeds from the Father";

Acknowledge that the Immaculate Conception is a theologumen and not a dogma;

Deal with excessive rationalism and emotionalism;

Translate traditional liturgical rites to local languages and use them instead of "modern" rites;

Allow married men to become priests;

Give the Most Pure Blood of Christ in Communion to lay people as well;

Statues are not a problem per se; yet, church imagery is not just decoration, they are tools of healing and should follow some rules. Church art cannot be over expressive, it should not immitate the body realistically, etc. etc. Church statues should be 3D icons. The artistic depictions of the West though can and should be preserved and developed, but as art, not as the tools of the hospital that is the church;

(just added)Abandon the excessive formulation of "Co-Mediatrix";



From both sides:
Reasses their lists of saints and devotions;
Become more active in the world;
Emphasys on ascetic life as the proper Christian life;
Stop condescending with worldly fashionable ideologies;
Stop condescending with criminal and/or immoral clergy;
Nor separation, nor union with the State: symphony when the State is not Anti-Christian, and outright vocal opposition when it is, if not from the people oppressed under such regimes, but from their brothers elsewhere;
Focus on Christ above all and on saints above celebrities;
I would agree that this proposal is pretty good and should be implemented. Of course, I think that there are a few other things that would have to be ironed out.
Obviously, the primacy of the Pope would have to be set back to where it was and as it was in the early Church.
 Perhaps the Catholics should abandon altogether their bankrupt marriage annulment theory and simply accept the Orthodox teaching on divorce as the more reasonable solution in most cases as have come up in recent times.
The Catholic liturgy has to be firmed up somewhat. I know that there is supposed to be a revision coming in next year, which will hopefully improve things, but we will have to wait and see.
The Catholic discipline on fasting before reception of Holy Communion should be brought in line with the more serious Orthodox discipline.  Similarly, the Catholic discipline on Lenten fasting should be strengthened somewhat as it is clear that the Orthodox have a pretty serious fasting requirement for Lent.
I don’t know why Orthodox reject the idea of Purgatory. It just seems reasonable that God would not punish us for all eternity for lessor sins.  I don’t think that I would be willing to give up the teaching on Purgatory.
There should be setup various Catholic and Orthodox friendship and fellowship meetings where speakers could discuss various projects of mutual interest and people could get to know each other.

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« Reply #52 on: October 26, 2010, 04:14:36 AM »

Obviously, the primacy of the Pope would have to be set back to where it was and as it was in the early Church.

In your opinion, what would that mean?

Btw, I find it hard to understand why some Catholics seem to be so ready to diminish papacy if it helps to further ecumenical relations. If Catholic Church is the Body of Christ shouldn't the present form of papacy be result from the guidance of Holy Spirit?
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« Reply #53 on: October 26, 2010, 07:46:14 AM »

Obviously, the primacy of the Pope would have to be set back to where it was and as it was in the early Church.

In your opinion, what would that mean?

Btw, I find it hard to understand why some Catholics seem to be so ready to diminish papacy if it helps to further ecumenical relations. If Catholic Church is the Body of Christ shouldn't the present form of papacy be result from the guidance of Holy Spirit?

I know there are some Eastern Catholics who like to pretend they are living in the first millenium, and all the Papal "development" since then is just a local problem for Rome that they can ignore.
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« Reply #54 on: October 26, 2010, 07:57:44 AM »

Allow married men to become priests;

Out of curiosity, why is this a problem for you? After all, a celibate priesthood in the west was in place for centuries while Orthodox and Catholics were still together, and the Orthodox at the time seemed willing to accept it (e.g. I remember reading a letter from St. Photius to the Pope in which St. Photius mentions it not being an issue that would cause division).
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« Reply #55 on: October 26, 2010, 09:11:13 AM »

Allow married men to become priests;

Out of curiosity, why is this a problem for you? After all, a celibate priesthood in the west was in place for centuries while Orthodox and Catholics were still together, and the Orthodox at the time seemed willing to accept it (e.g. I remember reading a letter from St. Photius to the Pope in which St. Photius mentions it not being an issue that would cause division).

It's not a big problem. I'll explain where this is coming from.

I believe that both Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy have one big problem in common in terms of administration of their institutional side: they are out of line with modern management procedures. I know, I know, the Church is not a company, it's guided by the Holy Spirit and so on... but when the Church was first legalized and then adopted by the Roman Empire, Roman management strategies were implemented: dioceses, institutionalized schooling institutions for the clergy, archdioceses, metropolias, eparchies, archdeacons, archpriests, archbishops etc. These are all ancient Roman forms of management, not something essentially ecclesiastical. The Church thrived in the first millenium, among other things, because it managed itself with the best strategies there were at the time.

Today, there are enormous advancements in terms of human resources experience that allow to select and train people for specific tasks. There very effective technicques of management that would allow both sobriety in the use of financial and material resources while applying them effectively for the material well-being of the Church. Why, when we look at "The Ladder" we see that the Fathers didn't refrain from using a systematized rule based on the psychology of the time even to attain sainthood. I don't see why we couldn't use similar analogies and parables from modern project designs and so on.

Enter the married priest, even the married bishop. It is part of the solution of this problem and not the whole of it. Clerical celibacy is not a dogma. It was pastoral measure when this right was being abused. Evangelical recomendation from St. Paul is precisely that a man willing to be ordained has already proven himself, at least, as good steward of his own home. These men will bring the experience of their area of work into the clergy. It's a way where we can, not copy, but absorb, adapt and improve what we have best in the secular world. Plus, the married clergy does not forbid still having celibate clergy. I think it will be a richer pool of experience if we have both. Plus, I *do* think that clergy selection, preparation and accountability - let's call it clerical management - could use modern management best practices adapted to the objectives of the Church.
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« Reply #56 on: October 26, 2010, 09:54:24 AM »

Three, the liturgical culture of the Roman Catholic Church has in my experience become Protestantized and alien to Orthodoxy.  I realize that I wouldn’t be attending a Roman Catholic parish, but I doubt the wisdom of reunion when this attitude is so prevalent.  I’ve been attending services with my Catholic girlfriend, and was shocked at how contemporary most of them have been.  I fear that this might influence Orthodox parishes, or worse, that the Pope would impose liturgical reforms in the spirit of Vatican II on us as he did on the Roman churches.  The liturgy is a significant reason that Orthodoxy has remained so steadfast over the centuries, and any attack on liturgy is also an attack on its identity.

I find myself thinking of the essay "Let's Keep Our Distance" by Frank Schaeffer:

Quote
Worship is the one area that should matter most to us. If the Orthodox were drawn into the liturgical chaos of the modernized Roman Church, it would be tragic.

The Roman liturgical tradition has disintegrated aesthetically, and as the beauty of worship disappears, so does awe. Prayer is a teacher, and minimized, modernized prayer fails to teach very much. It is our rich, historic, and theologically packed liturgical tradition that is the treasure of Orthodoxy. How might that change if we blended with a church that has rejected so many ancient traditions of Christian worship—fasts, rites, mystery, and poetry?

Eastern-Rite Catholics may be secure behind the doors of their buildings, but how does it impact them when their sister Roman Rite church down the street has jettisoned ancient tradition? What kind of theological or spiritual "bleed through" occurs? Could we Orthodox retain our fasts, vigils, and liturgies in communion with a body that for decades now has been thoroughly Protestantized and that has replaced a sense of the sacred with trivial entertainment values? Will we Orthodox be merely tolerated in an "I'm OK, you're OK" climate of liturgical relativism? Is there no right way to worship? If there is not, then why do we bother now to fast and pray as did our forefathers?

Hear, hear! The elephant in the room that the libs don't talk about or maybe approve of. And again most Eastern-rite Catholics are like ethnic, superior (conservative) Novus Ordo too.
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« Reply #57 on: October 26, 2010, 09:56:23 AM »

Quote
Vatican Popes ,evil at it's core

We might as well all just stay at home on Sunday things like this are the fruit of our faith.
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« Reply #58 on: October 26, 2010, 04:00:16 PM »

Aside from the obvious issues of the Pope and the filoque, what issues or attitudes (coming from either side) do you feel separate Catholics and Orthodox the most, and prevent them from having a common faith.  Sometimes I feel attitudes are the bigger barrier and can be more of a hindrance than actual faith issues.

It's not really the Pope, per se, rather the fact that one man tried to claim jurisdiction over the whole Church when the Church had never been like that.

Now it really has a lot to do with different dogmas. While we believe essentially the same thing (There is one God, Jesus is His son and God, Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary etc), there is much that we do not agree on, such as the filioque, papal infallibility, the teaching of original sin, purgatory, use of 3D icons. I think the main view from the Orthodox side is that of Catholics being schismatic and any dialogue between uniting the two churches always has us losing some part (if not all of) our traditions and Traditions.

We should explore this more:

What does Orthdoxy have to give up in order to enter into a resumption of communion of the west?

Mary

Our entire ecclesiology.  The only way to be in communion with the West is to be in communion with Rome.  The only way to be in communion with Rome is to accept the pope as the Supreme Vicar of Christ, infallible ex cathedra, etc.  As Western history clearly shows, to give Rome such a strong central position is to open the Church to a hotbed of heresy and schism. 

Well I must say that I am happy to hear that, to date, eastern Christendom has not been plagued by heresy or schism.  You'll have to let us heterodox in on your little secret...

M.

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« Reply #59 on: October 26, 2010, 04:44:49 PM »

Our entire ecclesiology.  The only way to be in communion with the West is to be in communion with Rome.  The only way to be in communion with Rome is to accept the pope as the Supreme Vicar of Christ, infallible ex cathedra, etc.  As Western history clearly shows, to give Rome such a strong central position is to open the Church to a hotbed of heresy and schism. 

Well I must say that I am happy to hear that, to date, eastern Christendom has not been plagued by heresy or schism.  You'll have to let us heterodox in on your little secret...

M.

Calgon

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« Reply #60 on: October 26, 2010, 06:15:05 PM »

Allow married men to become priests;

Out of curiosity, why is this a problem for you? After all, a celibate priesthood in the west was in place for centuries while Orthodox and Catholics were still together, and the Orthodox at the time seemed willing to accept it (e.g. I remember reading a letter from St. Photius to the Pope in which St. Photius mentions it not being an issue that would cause division).

It's not a big problem. I'll explain where this is coming from.

I believe that both Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy have one big problem in common in terms of administration of their institutional side: they are out of line with modern management procedures. I know, I know, the Church is not a company, it's guided by the Holy Spirit and so on... but when the Church was first legalized and then adopted by the Roman Empire, Roman management strategies were implemented: dioceses, institutionalized schooling institutions for the clergy, archdioceses, metropolias, eparchies, archdeacons, archpriests, archbishops etc. These are all ancient Roman forms of management, not something essentially ecclesiastical. The Church thrived in the first millenium, among other things, because it managed itself with the best strategies there were at the time.

Today, there are enormous advancements in terms of human resources experience that allow to select and train people for specific tasks. There very effective technicques of management that would allow both sobriety in the use of financial and material resources while applying them effectively for the material well-being of the Church. Why, when we look at "The Ladder" we see that the Fathers didn't refrain from using a systematized rule based on the psychology of the time even to attain sainthood. I don't see why we couldn't use similar analogies and parables from modern project designs and so on.

Enter the married priest, even the married bishop. It is part of the solution of this problem and not the whole of it. Clerical celibacy is not a dogma. It was pastoral measure when this right was being abused. Evangelical recomendation from St. Paul is precisely that a man willing to be ordained has already proven himself, at least, as good steward of his own home. These men will bring the experience of their area of work into the clergy. It's a way where we can, not copy, but absorb, adapt and improve what we have best in the secular world. Plus, the married clergy does not forbid still having celibate clergy. I think it will be a richer pool of experience if we have both. Plus, I *do* think that clergy selection, preparation and accountability - let's call it clerical management - could use modern management best practices adapted to the objectives of the Church.
Yes. This makes a lot of sense.
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« Reply #61 on: October 27, 2010, 07:34:05 AM »

Allow married men to become priests;

Out of curiosity, why is this a problem for you? After all, a celibate priesthood in the west was in place for centuries while Orthodox and Catholics were still together, and the Orthodox at the time seemed willing to accept it (e.g. I remember reading a letter from St. Photius to the Pope in which St. Photius mentions it not being an issue that would cause division).

It's not a big problem. I'll explain where this is coming from.

I believe that both Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy have one big problem in common in terms of administration of their institutional side: they are out of line with modern management procedures. I know, I know, the Church is not a company, it's guided by the Holy Spirit and so on... but when the Church was first legalized and then adopted by the Roman Empire, Roman management strategies were implemented: dioceses, institutionalized schooling institutions for the clergy, archdioceses, metropolias, eparchies, archdeacons, archpriests, archbishops etc. These are all ancient Roman forms of management, not something essentially ecclesiastical. The Church thrived in the first millenium, among other things, because it managed itself with the best strategies there were at the time.

Today, there are enormous advancements in terms of human resources experience that allow to select and train people for specific tasks. There very effective technicques of management that would allow both sobriety in the use of financial and material resources while applying them effectively for the material well-being of the Church. Why, when we look at "The Ladder" we see that the Fathers didn't refrain from using a systematized rule based on the psychology of the time even to attain sainthood. I don't see why we couldn't use similar analogies and parables from modern project designs and so on.

Enter the married priest, even the married bishop. It is part of the solution of this problem and not the whole of it. Clerical celibacy is not a dogma. It was pastoral measure when this right was being abused. Evangelical recomendation from St. Paul is precisely that a man willing to be ordained has already proven himself, at least, as good steward of his own home. These men will bring the experience of their area of work into the clergy. It's a way where we can, not copy, but absorb, adapt and improve what we have best in the secular world. Plus, the married clergy does not forbid still having celibate clergy. I think it will be a richer pool of experience if we have both. Plus, I *do* think that clergy selection, preparation and accountability - let's call it clerical management - could use modern management best practices adapted to the objectives of the Church.
Yes. This makes a lot of sense.

Now how do we implement this under the archaic clerical administrative system.?
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« Reply #62 on: October 27, 2010, 07:41:40 AM »

It's not a big problem. I'll explain where this is coming from.

Interesting, thank you Smiley
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« Reply #63 on: October 27, 2010, 10:53:14 AM »

Now how do we implement this under the archaic clerical administrative system.?

First and foremost, we must keep this in mind:

Quote
Rebuke not an elder, but intreat {him} as a father; {and} the younger men as brethren;
1 Timothy 5:1

Remembering that, we should simply advocate the cause, not against the priests and bishops, but with them. All that we need, be it in RC or in Orthodoxy, is that a couple of good-willed bishops start implementing this idea. How? Following more or less these steps:

1) First, of course, leadership by example. So the bishop would have to make a humble and contricted assessment of his own behaviour. People *will* be willing to forgive. If he needs help in any issue whatsoever, to not fear or be ashamed of seeking assistance. Again, not only people will be willing to forgive, but even to stand by his side in any strugle he may have. Not only he will find unsuspected support, but even new and improved respect. Of course, laity has to show support even before the bishop takes this bold step. If when he looks outside the window what he sees is an angry mob, he will not come out. I wouldn't.

2) Also, still in this theme of leading by example and now more specifically for the managerial technical aspect, the bishop should take an MBA in Project Management, Human Resources or something in that line and in a good respected university. That would be very well invested donation money. But not only that. Everybody today works with the concept of "continuous education", always being up to date with the innovations in the area of management. Once the bishop gets into it, it will be a life-long part of his pastoral action.

3) After (or even during!) learning, he has to implement his learning. Reenginer if necessary the administrative processes, rethink the processes and projects in the diocese streamlining them with modern best practices, implement the best processes of human resources in the selection of staff in the process of hiring people to work directly in the diocese and, most importantly, in the selection, training and management of clergy. Implement transparency measures to build confidence of the laity, create clear, just and efficient accountability tools. Of course, having in mind that the final objective of the church and the measure of the success in its management, is not sheer quantity of faithful, it's not the amount of money in the account, it's not it's visibility in society, it's cultural influence (all good "second-level" objectives) but the fostering of holiness and education of saints.

4) After this is applied for 5-10 years, learning with mistakes, improving the techniques while they are adapted to ecclesiastical context, I'm sure a new branch of management would emerge: Church Management, and then we could even have MCMs, Masters of Church Management. Some of the topics and subjectes thus developed would then be included in ordinary undergraduate seminary level as part of pastoral studies.

As I said, if two or three good-willed bishops applied the four steps above, obviously adapting to the context of their reality, I'm sure it would grow like a snowball. If philosophy is the handmaiden of theology, professional management is the handmaiden of pastoral administration.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2010, 10:55:26 AM by Fabio Leite » Logged

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« Reply #64 on: October 27, 2010, 11:57:33 AM »

Now how do we implement this under the archaic clerical administrative system.?

First and foremost, we must keep this in mind:

Quote
Rebuke not an elder, but intreat {him} as a father; {and} the younger men as brethren;
1 Timothy 5:1

Remembering that, we should simply advocate the cause, not against the priests and bishops, but with them. All that we need, be it in RC or in Orthodoxy, is that a couple of good-willed bishops start implementing this idea. How? Following more or less these steps:

1) First, of course, leadership by example. So the bishop would have to make a humble and contricted assessment of his own behaviour. People *will* be willing to forgive. If he needs help in any issue whatsoever, to not fear or be ashamed of seeking assistance. Again, not only people will be willing to forgive, but even to stand by his side in any strugle he may have. Not only he will find unsuspected support, but even new and improved respect. Of course, laity has to show support even before the bishop takes this bold step. If when he looks outside the window what he sees is an angry mob, he will not come out. I wouldn't.

2) Also, still in this theme of leading by example and now more specifically for the managerial technical aspect, the bishop should take an MBA in Project Management, Human Resources or something in that line and in a good respected university. That would be very well invested donation money. But not only that. Everybody today works with the concept of "continuous education", always being up to date with the innovations in the area of management. Once the bishop gets into it, it will be a life-long part of his pastoral action.

3) After (or even during!) learning, he has to implement his learning. Reenginer if necessary the administrative processes, rethink the processes and projects in the diocese streamlining them with modern best practices, implement the best processes of human resources in the selection of staff in the process of hiring people to work directly in the diocese and, most importantly, in the selection, training and management of clergy. Implement transparency measures to build confidence of the laity, create clear, just and efficient accountability tools. Of course, having in mind that the final objective of the church and the measure of the success in its management, is not sheer quantity of faithful, it's not the amount of money in the account, it's not it's visibility in society, it's cultural influence (all good "second-level" objectives) but the fostering of holiness and education of saints.

4) After this is applied for 5-10 years, learning with mistakes, improving the techniques while they are adapted to ecclesiastical context, I'm sure a new branch of management would emerge: Church Management, and then we could even have MCMs, Masters of Church Management. Some of the topics and subjectes thus developed would then be included in ordinary undergraduate seminary level as part of pastoral studies.

As I said, if two or three good-willed bishops applied the four steps above, obviously adapting to the context of their reality, I'm sure it would grow like a snowball. If philosophy is the handmaiden of theology, professional management is the handmaiden of pastoral administration.

You know these are good ideas. I was under the impression that the Early Church, when confronted with this problem, appointed deacons. Indeed, in conciliar churches (where the structure is hierarchical without being monarchical) not only deacons but lay people are volunteering for and are being placed in managerial positions (they are simply called ministries). I think that the key is very simple: do not assume that the bishop  can do everything and use the talents of the people you have gotten--ordained or not, when it comes to ministries and "managerial" functions. Now, it may be that some bishops, priests and deacons may have come with managerial backgrounds or have the talent for it. That's like cherry on top--that is fine if you've got them but don't count on it.
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« Reply #65 on: October 27, 2010, 12:55:47 PM »

Now how do we implement this under the archaic clerical administrative system.?

First and foremost, we must keep this in mind:

Quote
Rebuke not an elder, but intreat {him} as a father; {and} the younger men as brethren;
1 Timothy 5:1

Remembering that, we should simply advocate the cause, not against the priests and bishops, but with them. All that we need, be it in RC or in Orthodoxy, is that a couple of good-willed bishops start implementing this idea. How? Following more or less these steps:

1) First, of course, leadership by example. So the bishop would have to make a humble and contricted assessment of his own behaviour. People *will* be willing to forgive. If he needs help in any issue whatsoever, to not fear or be ashamed of seeking assistance. Again, not only people will be willing to forgive, but even to stand by his side in any strugle he may have. Not only he will find unsuspected support, but even new and improved respect. Of course, laity has to show support even before the bishop takes this bold step. If when he looks outside the window what he sees is an angry mob, he will not come out. I wouldn't.

2) Also, still in this theme of leading by example and now more specifically for the managerial technical aspect, the bishop should take an MBA in Project Management, Human Resources or something in that line and in a good respected university. That would be very well invested donation money. But not only that. Everybody today works with the concept of "continuous education", always being up to date with the innovations in the area of management. Once the bishop gets into it, it will be a life-long part of his pastoral action.

3) After (or even during!) learning, he has to implement his learning. Reenginer if necessary the administrative processes, rethink the processes and projects in the diocese streamlining them with modern best practices, implement the best processes of human resources in the selection of staff in the process of hiring people to work directly in the diocese and, most importantly, in the selection, training and management of clergy. Implement transparency measures to build confidence of the laity, create clear, just and efficient accountability tools. Of course, having in mind that the final objective of the church and the measure of the success in its management, is not sheer quantity of faithful, it's not the amount of money in the account, it's not it's visibility in society, it's cultural influence (all good "second-level" objectives) but the fostering of holiness and education of saints.

4) After this is applied for 5-10 years, learning with mistakes, improving the techniques while they are adapted to ecclesiastical context, I'm sure a new branch of management would emerge: Church Management, and then we could even have MCMs, Masters of Church Management. Some of the topics and subjectes thus developed would then be included in ordinary undergraduate seminary level as part of pastoral studies.

As I said, if two or three good-willed bishops applied the four steps above, obviously adapting to the context of their reality, I'm sure it would grow like a snowball. If philosophy is the handmaiden of theology, professional management is the handmaiden of pastoral administration.

And it took nearly 2000 years for the final "solution" to all our ecclesial woes...to think of it is just stunning!!  Had God understood modern management techniques, why Jesus could still be alive and walking among us!!

M.
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« Reply #66 on: October 28, 2010, 05:18:30 PM »

"So the bishop would have to make a humble and contricted assessment of his own behaviour."

My Priest was extolling the virtues of humility the other day. I asked him if their were any Bishops/Archbishops that he knew of that were examples of this degree of humility. He said one. The Bishop of Korea. He qualified it though in saying he didn't really count because he was more of a monk.

The mitre and humility do not go well together. In fact I have often heard an arrogant Priest be tactfully referred to as having "the presence of a Bishop."

Your plan is good in theory. The practical reality is that if Bishops were humble we really would not need any reform in the first place.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2010, 05:24:37 PM by Dart » Logged
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« Reply #67 on: October 28, 2010, 05:46:15 PM »

"So the bishop would have to make a humble and contricted assessment of his own behaviour."

My Priest was extolling the virtues of humility the other day. I asked him if their were any Bishops/Archbishops that he knew of that were examples of this degree of humility. He said one. The Bishop of Korea. He qualified it though in saying he didn't really count because he was more of a monk.

The mitre and humility do not go well together. In fact I have often heard an arrogant Priest be tactfully referred to as having "the presence of a Bishop."

Your plan is good in theory. The practical reality is that if Bishops were humble we really would not need any reform in the first place.

All the fancy garb and jewelry certainly doesn't help. The humility attributed to the bishop of Korea is probably because of cultural influence more than anything.
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« Reply #68 on: October 28, 2010, 08:20:31 PM »

The practical reality is that if Bishops were humble we really would not need any reform in the first place.
All the fancy garb and jewelry certainly doesn't help.

Whatever. I don't know about you, but I would find it very humiliating (humbling) to have to don such an archaic and exotic costume during services. Some men might glory in it, but I think there are many humble bishops required to put this stuff on out of respect for the office they assume, not for vainglory.
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