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Author Topic: Re: what is the "True Church"?  (Read 843 times) Average Rating: 0
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Fabio Leite
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« on: November 17, 2010, 03:52:56 PM »

The Orthodox and the RCs agree that the True Church has four marks: it's One (which means it can be only one group although having sub-groups; also it means it is undivided), Holy, Apostolic and Catholic.

Each group will define these words in more or less different manners. Protestants, on the other hand, have a wider more blurred concept of "True Church" where acceptance of Jesus Christ through an interpretation of His life in the Bible is the great unifier.

For the RC, One means primarily being one institution, which would guarantee that it would keep one faith. When something cannot be clearly defined philosophically or theologically, the highest institution in the church, that of the Pope, through its current pontifice can, ex cathedra, by inspiration of God, point, define and proclaim which of the diverging opinions is the true one, that none is, or what is right in each and form a new more perfect one. Ex Cathedra is a generic concept that means literally "from the throne" and in practice "based on the spiritual experience of the Church in this and all times". He can't say anything preposterous, but if it can be justified, even with the concept that it had been implicitily believed from the very beginning, it will do.

For the Orthodox, One means primarily the same faith, synthesized in the Symbol of Faith and expressed in a plethora of ways, since liturgical traditions,hymns, ascetic practices etc. The Orthodox not only allows but in fact leads to the existance of multiple eclesiastical institutions, which should be attached and more or less equivalent to social divisions: the local parish, the regional diocese (until here the RC agrees with us) the inter-regional or national archdiocese or metropolia, among which the most proeminent ecclesiastically and politically can become autocephalous (self-governing) and, if *very* proeminent and usually with a couple of centuries being Orthodox, receive the title of Patriarchate. For the RC, this lack of a global institutional unity is a sign that the Orthodox would lack this mark of being "One". For the Orthodox, as I said, unity resides in having one faith, not one institution. For the Orthodox the plethora of philosophies, of forms of the expression of faith in the RC is a sign that there is not "one faith", but that the RC would have changed the faith along the years, keeping the words and changing the meanings.

So, if you think that unity is primarily institutional and that the institution is what is necessary to preserve the faith, even if changing its outter forms, than you should become a RC. Papal supremacy is just a logical consequence, the Pope being the highest institution inside the institution.

But if you think that the content of the Faith is what constitutes unity, than you allow for much less change in its outter forms, and accept more different institutions with different forms of governing themselves, than you should become an Orthodox.

Institutional unity with multiplicity in form of faith = RC

Unity in form of faith with institutional multiplicity = Orthodox
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« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2010, 04:33:25 PM »

In my Church, the Catholic Church, there is no so-called institutional unity without the unity of Faith. 

In my Church, the Catholic Church, there is no infallibility of the papal office without the infallibility of the Church.

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« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2010, 05:48:13 PM »

Bob,

I listened to this series found on Ancient Faith Radio, and finally I really understood the difference of heretical belief and true belief.  Perhaps they will help you?  This is a podcast series (below) - I'm going to post the link to the page with all of the podcasts in the series.  I think there are seventeen.  You will have to go down to the bottom of the page and choose ALL in the pull down menu to get to the first podcast.  I recommend you listen to them, if you can, in order.

Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy
Orthodox Christianity vs. Non-Orthodox Doctrine
Discover how Orthodox Christianity and non-Orthodox doctrine differ and why it matters to your spiritual journey
http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/orthodoxyheterodoxy

Thanks, I appreciate everybody taking the time to respond.  I will listen to the sermons in the link.

Another question: Would it be reasonable to be Orthodox without sweating over these doctrine issues?  That is what I would like to do, because these doctrine issues seem to stir-up all my skepticism and intellectual indignation.
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« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2010, 08:27:30 PM »


Thanks, I appreciate everybody taking the time to respond.  I will listen to the sermons in the link.

Another question: Would it be reasonable to be Orthodox without sweating over these doctrine issues?  That is what I would like to do, because these doctrine issues seem to stir-up all my skepticism and intellectual indignation.

Bob, I think as a westerner, I tend toward the super analytical intellectualizing rationalization. . .**laughing** 'cause us westerners so GOOD at fixing things. . .or something like that.  I found that if I don't go looking for the information, the information I need comes to me in the time that I'm ready for it. . .and the Holy Spirit allows His peace and temperance.  At first I was looking for it and got myself all kinds of brained up.  (brained up. . .messed up. . .same same.  Undecided )  When I let it go and just let myself bump into the things. . .I found my self full of more joy than anything else - and relieved.  I found myself moving closer to Him as some of my misinformed pre-orthodox ideals fell away.  Everyone is different, though - but He is the same and loves us truly.  He's trustworthy.
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Fabio Leite
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« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2010, 11:25:18 AM »

In my Church, the Catholic Church, there is no so-called institutional unity without the unity of Faith. 

In my Church, the Catholic Church, there is no infallibility of the papal office without the infallibility of the Church.



*sigh* There are a number of threads for this. Deal with your insecurity issues there.
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Fabio Leite
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« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2010, 11:28:44 AM »

Bob,

I listened to this series found on Ancient Faith Radio, and finally I really understood the difference of heretical belief and true belief.  Perhaps they will help you?  This is a podcast series (below) - I'm going to post the link to the page with all of the podcasts in the series.  I think there are seventeen.  You will have to go down to the bottom of the page and choose ALL in the pull down menu to get to the first podcast.  I recommend you listen to them, if you can, in order.

Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy
Orthodox Christianity vs. Non-Orthodox Doctrine
Discover how Orthodox Christianity and non-Orthodox doctrine differ and why it matters to your spiritual journey
http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/orthodoxyheterodoxy

Thanks, I appreciate everybody taking the time to respond.  I will listen to the sermons in the link.

Another question: Would it be reasonable to be Orthodox without sweating over these doctrine issues?  That is what I would like to do, because these doctrine issues seem to stir-up all my skepticism and intellectual indignation.

The question is if these are the right tools to analyse this subject. One thing I can tell you now is that they are not the only tools to interact with the world and logical truths are not the only kind of truths there are.
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« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2010, 11:29:08 AM »

In my Church, the Catholic Church, there is no so-called institutional unity without the unity of Faith. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoghby_Initiative
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« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2010, 11:30:40 AM »

The Orthodox and the RCs agree that the True Church has four marks: it's One (which means it can be only one group although having sub-groups; also it means it is undivided), Holy, Apostolic and Catholic.

Each group will define these words in more or less different manners. Protestants, on the other hand, have a wider more blurred concept of "True Church" where acceptance of Jesus Christ through an interpretation of His life in the Bible is the great unifier.

For the RC, One means primarily being one institution, which would guarantee that it would keep one faith. When something cannot be clearly defined philosophically or theologically, the highest institution in the church, that of the Pope, through its current pontifice can, ex cathedra, by inspiration of God, point, define and proclaim which of the diverging opinions is the true one, that none is, or what is right in each and form a new more perfect one. Ex Cathedra is a generic concept that means literally "from the throne" and in practice "based on the spiritual experience of the Church in this and all times". He can't say anything preposterous, but if it can be justified, even with the concept that it had been implicitily believed from the very beginning, it will do.

For the Orthodox, One means primarily the same faith, synthesized in the Symbol of Faith and expressed in a plethora of ways, since liturgical traditions,hymns, ascetic practices etc. The Orthodox not only allows but in fact leads to the existance of multiple eclesiastical institutions, which should be attached and more or less equivalent to social divisions: the local parish, the regional diocese (until here the RC agrees with us) the inter-regional or national archdiocese or metropolia, among which the most proeminent ecclesiastically and politically can become autocephalous (self-governing) and, if *very* proeminent and usually with a couple of centuries being Orthodox, receive the title of Patriarchate. For the RC, this lack of a global institutional unity is a sign that the Orthodox would lack this mark of being "One". For the Orthodox, as I said, unity resides in having one faith, not one institution. For the Orthodox the plethora of philosophies, of forms of the expression of faith in the RC is a sign that there is not "one faith", but that the RC would have changed the faith along the years, keeping the words and changing the meanings.

So, if you think that unity is primarily institutional and that the institution is what is necessary to preserve the faith, even if changing its outter forms, than you should become a RC. Papal supremacy is just a logical consequence, the Pope being the highest institution inside the institution.

But if you think that the content of the Faith is what constitutes unity, than you allow for much less change in its outter forms, and accept more different institutions with different forms of governing themselves, than you should become an Orthodox.

Institutional unity with multiplicity in form of faith = RC

Unity in form of faith with institutional multiplicity = Orthodox

Thank you for that clear and concise answer.
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« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2010, 11:53:14 AM »

In my Church, the Catholic Church, there is no so-called institutional unity without the unity of Faith. 

In my Church, the Catholic Church, there is no infallibility of the papal office without the infallibility of the Church.



*sigh* There are a number of threads for this. Deal with your insecurity issues there.

I am permitted to correct.  I did that as briefly as possible.  Thank you.
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« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2010, 12:05:25 PM »

In my Church, the Catholic Church, there is no so-called institutional unity without the unity of Faith. 

In my Church, the Catholic Church, there is no infallibility of the papal office without the infallibility of the Church.



*sigh* There are a number of threads for this. Deal with your insecurity issues there.
Is it lonely up there on your high horse?
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« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2010, 12:11:21 PM »

Another question: Would it be reasonable to be Orthodox without sweating over these doctrine issues?  That is what I would like to do, because these doctrine issues seem to stir-up all my skepticism and intellectual indignation.

The real answer may be, "it depends on the doctrinal issues." If, for instance, you cannot believe in the Ever-Virginity of Mary or that the Orthodox Church is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, or in the Real Presence - big stuff like that - then you probably should not become Orthodox just yet. Some former evangelical friends of mine have related that there were some things (veneration of icons, for one) that were extremely difficult (if not impossible) for them to swallow. However, they took the leap into Orthodoxy, trusting that the Church "knew better," and that they might come to understand in the future.
For me, it was the issue of the all-male priesthood (since I was on my way to seminary and ordination when I ran head-on into Orthodoxy). My reasoning was similar. The Church had it right about so many other things that it was possible I simply didn't understand yet. It was I who needed to learn and not the Church.
The beginning of wisdom, it seems to me, is the ability to accept at least the theoretical possibility that you could be wrong about something. (or at least, that you're not nearly as smart as you think you are. There is real spiritual growth to be found when you realize that!)
On the one hand, the skepticism and intellectual indignation may indicate deeper problems that need to be worked through. On the other, you may be able to trust the Church and its teachings.
Oddly enough, it seems to be the struggle that is most useful and valuable. Go figure.
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Fabio Leite
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« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2010, 12:18:03 PM »

In my Church, the Catholic Church, there is no so-called institutional unity without the unity of Faith. 

In my Church, the Catholic Church, there is no infallibility of the papal office without the infallibility of the Church.



*sigh* There are a number of threads for this. Deal with your insecurity issues there.
Is it lonely up there on your high horse?

Funny. I'm an Orthodox in an Orthodox forum answering questions in the Convert Issues sub-forum, from people who want to know the Orthodox opinion about something. Our view of the Roman communion is widely known. In fact, it is an assumption behind the fact we are not RCs. Yet, when a person enters another house constantly bragging about how ignorant everybody is because they don't live on the house next door, how everybody in that house is always so wrong about just about everything that does not lead to submission to their own global leader, substitute of God on Earth, it is I who am on a high horse? Sorry, Papist, I don't storm into other faiths forum to teach them anything. I don't waste my time on other people's each thread to make infantile self-reassuring statements about how right my faith is, how wonderful my group is, my, my, my. It's all the more frustrating because elijahmaria now and then do come up with some real arguments that could lead to discussion, but she preffers the football supporter routine 90% of the time. There is no need to turn every thread into an orthdox-catholic debate, much less in the (Orthodox) Convert Issues.
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« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2010, 12:21:10 PM »

Another question: Would it be reasonable to be Orthodox without sweating over these doctrine issues?  That is what I would like to do, because these doctrine issues seem to stir-up all my skepticism and intellectual indignation.


The beginning of wisdom, it seems to me, is the ability to accept at least the theoretical possibility that you could be wrong about something. (or at least, that you're not nearly as smart as you think you are. There is real spiritual growth to be found when you realize that!)
On the one hand, the skepticism and intellectual indignation may indicate deeper problems that need to be worked through. On the other, you may be able to trust the Church and its teachings.
Oddly enough, it seems to be the struggle that is most useful and valuable. Go figure.

This is the most insightful observation that I have read in a long time.  Thanks!
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« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2010, 12:34:18 PM »

Another question: Would it be reasonable to be Orthodox without sweating over these doctrine issues?  That is what I would like to do, because these doctrine issues seem to stir-up all my skepticism and intellectual indignation.

The real answer may be, "it depends on the doctrinal issues." If, for instance, you cannot believe in the Ever-Virginity of Mary or that the Orthodox Church is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, or in the Real Presence - big stuff like that - then you probably should not become Orthodox just yet. Some former evangelical friends of mine have related that there were some things (veneration of icons, for one) that were extremely difficult (if not impossible) for them to swallow. However, they took the leap into Orthodoxy, trusting that the Church "knew better," and that they might come to understand in the future.
For me, it was the issue of the all-male priesthood (since I was on my way to seminary and ordination when I ran head-on into Orthodoxy). My reasoning was similar. The Church had it right about so many other things that it was possible I simply didn't understand yet. It was I who needed to learn and not the Church.
The beginning of wisdom, it seems to me, is the ability to accept at least the theoretical possibility that you could be wrong about something. (or at least, that you're not nearly as smart as you think you are. There is real spiritual growth to be found when you realize that!)
On the one hand, the skepticism and intellectual indignation may indicate deeper problems that need to be worked through. On the other, you may be able to trust the Church and its teachings.
Oddly enough, it seems to be the struggle that is most useful and valuable. Go figure.

Yes.  I hesitate to speak here but I must agree that Katherine has given you, by far, the best kind of advice you will find to help you in your journey in faith.  Faith is not just a set of beliefs.  It is a willingness to allow God to reveal, by being open and in prayer.  If you are really drawn to Orthodoxy, find a spiritual guide first and begin a prayer discipline...and allow the rest to follow.

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« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2010, 03:23:32 PM »

In my Church, the Catholic Church, there is no so-called institutional unity without the unity of Faith. 

In my Church, the Catholic Church, there is no infallibility of the papal office without the infallibility of the Church.



*sigh* There are a number of threads for this. Deal with your insecurity issues there.
Is it lonely up there on your high horse?

Funny. I'm an Orthodox in an Orthodox forum answering questions in the Convert Issues sub-forum, from people who want to know the Orthodox opinion about something. Our view of the Roman communion is widely known. In fact, it is an assumption behind the fact we are not RCs. Yet, when a person enters another house constantly bragging about how ignorant everybody is because they don't live on the house next door, how everybody in that house is always so wrong about just about everything that does not lead to submission to their own global leader, substitute of God on Earth, it is I who am on a high horse? Sorry, Papist, I don't storm into other faiths forum to teach them anything. I don't waste my time on other people's each thread to make infantile self-reassuring statements about how right my faith is, how wonderful my group is, my, my, my. It's all the more frustrating because elijahmaria now and then do come up with some real arguments that could lead to discussion, but she preffers the football supporter routine 90% of the time. There is no need to turn every thread into an orthdox-catholic debate, much less in the (Orthodox) Convert Issues.
Don't fall off.  You might have to hang the rest of us, you know, the unwashed masses.
All elijahmaria did was correct a sad misunderstanding of Catholicism that was brought up in this thread so that the EO's could have a fruitful conversation. Rather than offer your pretentious critique, should just thank her.
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« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2010, 03:58:51 PM »


Thanks, I appreciate everybody taking the time to respond.  I will listen to the sermons in the link.

Another question: Would it be reasonable to be Orthodox without sweating over these doctrine issues?  That is what I would like to do, because these doctrine issues seem to stir-up all my skepticism and intellectual indignation.

Bob, I think as a westerner, I tend toward the super analytical intellectualizing rationalization. . .**laughing** 'cause us westerners so GOOD at fixing things. . .or something like that.  I found that if I don't go looking for the information, the information I need comes to me in the time that I'm ready for it. . .and the Holy Spirit allows His peace and temperance.  At first I was looking for it and got myself all kinds of brained up.  (brained up. . .messed up. . .same same.  Undecided )  When I let it go and just let myself bump into the things. . .I found my self full of more joy than anything else - and relieved.  I found myself moving closer to Him as some of my misinformed pre-orthodox ideals fell away.  Everyone is different, though - but He is the same and loves us truly.  He's trustworthy.

Thanks for that advice and the other good advice from others.  I'm already Orthodox, but I didn't know very much when I converted (long story).  I'm going through the process backwards.
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« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2010, 04:08:29 PM »

In my Church, the Catholic Church, there is no so-called institutional unity without the unity of Faith.  

In my Church, the Catholic Church, there is no infallibility of the papal office without the infallibility of the Church.



*sigh* There are a number of threads for this. Deal with your insecurity issues there.
Is it lonely up there on your high horse?

Funny. I'm an Orthodox in an Orthodox forum answering questions in the Convert Issues sub-forum, from people who want to know the Orthodox opinion about something. Our view of the Roman communion is widely known. In fact, it is an assumption behind the fact we are not RCs. Yet, when a person enters another house constantly bragging about how ignorant everybody is because they don't live on the house next door, how everybody in that house is always so wrong about just about everything that does not lead to submission to their own global leader, substitute of God on Earth, it is I who am on a high horse? Sorry, Papist, I don't storm into other faiths forum to teach them anything. I don't waste my time on other people's each thread to make infantile self-reassuring statements about how right my faith is, how wonderful my group is, my, my, my. It's all the more frustrating because elijahmaria now and then do come up with some real arguments that could lead to discussion, but she preffers the football supporter routine 90% of the time. There is no need to turn every thread into an orthdox-catholic debate, much less in the (Orthodox) Convert Issues.
Don't fall off.  You might have to hang the rest of us, you know, the unwashed masses.
All elijahmaria did was correct a sad misunderstanding of Catholicism that was brought up in this thread so that the EO's could have a fruitful conversation. Rather than offer your pretentious critique, should just thank her.

Ok then. Since it is so important for you guys to have the nature of RC exposed once more, let's do it. I hope at least with this this clear sidetrack is moved to the proper sub-forum.

Elijahmaria's response occurred because she disagrees with what I stated above, that in the RC the unity of faith derives from the institutional unity of the Church. Let's see what other RC sources say about that:

Quote
Earlier on I referred to this service on behalf of the unity of the Church. The Pope has a very wide power in order to be able to serve in a supreme way the unity of the Church. He must use his authority whenever it is required and in the way it is required so as to serve the unity of faith and communion in the Church. Not to use it could constitute a serious fault; and to hinder its exercise is to hinder the supreme way which Christ has instituted for keeping his Church one.[39] On the other hand, if the Pope were to intervene with his supreme authority where it was not needed he would be making use of the power conferred on him by Christ in a way contrary to the meaning of that power which, in the whole Church, is for building up, not pulling down (2 Cor. 10:Cool and is 'for us men and for our salvation.' In the ministry of the Pope to build up and save is to care for the unity of faith and of communion among pastors and faithful.
(...)
According to divine revelation this is the formal meaning of the primacy of Peter: to be the perpetual and visible center and foundation of the community of Churches which is vivified by the Spirit of Christ. This is what, in a turbulent crisis of faith and unity, is felt by many who are outside the boat of Peter.

http://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/papab3.htm
EWTN Global Catholic Network

Quote
In the divine plan for the primacy as "the office that was given individually by the Lord to Peter, the first of the Apostles, and to be handed on to his successors",15 we already see the purpose of the Petrine charism, i.e., "the unity of faith and communion"
(...)
The Roman Pontiff - like all the faithful - is subject to the Word of God, to the Catholic faith, and is the guarantor of the Church's obedience;
(...)
The Successor of Peter is the rock which guarantees a rigorous fidelity to the Word of God against arbitrariness and conformism:


Here we have stated by Cardinal Ratzinger and by a Catholic Network the very concept I said: that in RC ecclesiology unity of faith derives from the Papacy. Without the papacy there wouldn't be unity.

Now for the second part, that because the "rock", so to speak, of the RC is the office of the Pope and not the content of the faith, here is Cardinal Ratzinger again:

Quote
the nucleus of the doctrine of faith concerning the competencies of the primacy cannot be determined by looking for the least number of functions exercised historically. Therefore, the fact that a particular task has been carried out by the primacy in a certain era does not mean by itself that this task should necessarily be reserved always to the Roman Pontiff, and, vice versa, the mere fact that a particular role was not previously exercised by the Pope does not warrant the conclusion that this role could not in some way be exercised in the future as a competence of the primacy.


And for the last part, that in face of this, it will be the "will to power" of the pope that will define things however he wants, Cardinal Ratzinger yet again:

Quote
it is clear that only the Pope (or the Pope with an Ecumenical Council) has, as the Successor of Peter, the authority and the competence to say the last word on the ways to exercise his pastoral ministry in the universal Church.


And to reassert what has been said elsewhere that for RC it is *through* the Pope that one reaches Christ according to RC doctrine, the current Pope once again:

Quote
We are all invited to trust in the Holy Spirit, to trust in Christ, by trusting in Peter.

The unity of the Church, which the ministry of Peter's Successor serves in a unique way, reaches its highest expression in the Eucharistic Sacrifice,(...)Every valid celebration of the Eucharist expresses this universal communion with Peter and with the whole Church, or objectively calls for it"

Everything, everything is this macabre doctrine full of hybris, even the very Body of Christ is at the service of papal supremacy.

Link to quotes above: http://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/cdfprima.htm
« Last Edit: November 18, 2010, 04:10:15 PM by Fabio Leite » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2010, 04:34:07 PM »


Thanks, I appreciate everybody taking the time to respond.  I will listen to the sermons in the link.

Another question: Would it be reasonable to be Orthodox without sweating over these doctrine issues?  That is what I would like to do, because these doctrine issues seem to stir-up all my skepticism and intellectual indignation.

Bob, I think as a westerner, I tend toward the super analytical intellectualizing rationalization. . .**laughing** 'cause us westerners so GOOD at fixing things. . .or something like that.  I found that if I don't go looking for the information, the information I need comes to me in the time that I'm ready for it. . .and the Holy Spirit allows His peace and temperance.  At first I was looking for it and got myself all kinds of brained up.  (brained up. . .messed up. . .same same.  Undecided )  When I let it go and just let myself bump into the things. . .I found my self full of more joy than anything else - and relieved.  I found myself moving closer to Him as some of my misinformed pre-orthodox ideals fell away.  Everyone is different, though - but He is the same and loves us truly.  He's trustworthy.

Thanks for that advice and the other good advice from others.  I'm already Orthodox, but I didn't know very much when I converted (long story).  I'm going through the process backwards.

Ahhh....then the advisement from Katherine is even more important for you!

Blessings, in Christ

M.
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« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2010, 04:35:58 PM »

In my Church, the Catholic Church, there is no so-called institutional unity without the unity of Faith.  

In my Church, the Catholic Church, there is no infallibility of the papal office without the infallibility of the Church.



*sigh* There are a number of threads for this. Deal with your insecurity issues there.
Is it lonely up there on your high horse?

Funny. I'm an Orthodox in an Orthodox forum answering questions in the Convert Issues sub-forum, from people who want to know the Orthodox opinion about something. Our view of the Roman communion is widely known. In fact, it is an assumption behind the fact we are not RCs. Yet, when a person enters another house constantly bragging about how ignorant everybody is because they don't live on the house next door, how everybody in that house is always so wrong about just about everything that does not lead to submission to their own global leader, substitute of God on Earth, it is I who am on a high horse? Sorry, Papist, I don't storm into other faiths forum to teach them anything. I don't waste my time on other people's each thread to make infantile self-reassuring statements about how right my faith is, how wonderful my group is, my, my, my. It's all the more frustrating because elijahmaria now and then do come up with some real arguments that could lead to discussion, but she preffers the football supporter routine 90% of the time. There is no need to turn every thread into an orthdox-catholic debate, much less in the (Orthodox) Convert Issues.
Don't fall off.  You might have to hang the rest of us, you know, the unwashed masses.
All elijahmaria did was correct a sad misunderstanding of Catholicism that was brought up in this thread so that the EO's could have a fruitful conversation. Rather than offer your pretentious critique, should just thank her.

Ok then. Since it is so important for you guys to have the nature of RC exposed once more, let's do it. I hope at least with this this clear sidetrack is moved to the proper sub-forum.

Elijahmaria's response occurred because she disagrees with what I stated above, that in the RC the unity of faith derives from the institutional unity of the Church. Let's see what other RC sources say about that:

Quote
Earlier on I referred to this service on behalf of the unity of the Church. The Pope has a very wide power in order to be able to serve in a supreme way the unity of the Church. He must use his authority whenever it is required and in the way it is required so as to serve the unity of faith and communion in the Church. Not to use it could constitute a serious fault; and to hinder its exercise is to hinder the supreme way which Christ has instituted for keeping his Church one.[39] On the other hand, if the Pope were to intervene with his supreme authority where it was not needed he would be making use of the power conferred on him by Christ in a way contrary to the meaning of that power which, in the whole Church, is for building up, not pulling down (2 Cor. 10:Cool and is 'for us men and for our salvation.' In the ministry of the Pope to build up and save is to care for the unity of faith and of communion among pastors and faithful.
(...)
According to divine revelation this is the formal meaning of the primacy of Peter: to be the perpetual and visible center and foundation of the community of Churches which is vivified by the Spirit of Christ. This is what, in a turbulent crisis of faith and unity, is felt by many who are outside the boat of Peter.

http://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/papab3.htm
EWTN Global Catholic Network

Quote
In the divine plan for the primacy as "the office that was given individually by the Lord to Peter, the first of the Apostles, and to be handed on to his successors",15 we already see the purpose of the Petrine charism, i.e., "the unity of faith and communion"
(...)
The Roman Pontiff - like all the faithful - is subject to the Word of God, to the Catholic faith, and is the guarantor of the Church's obedience;
(...)
The Successor of Peter is the rock which guarantees a rigorous fidelity to the Word of God against arbitrariness and conformism:


Here we have stated by Cardinal Ratzinger and by a Catholic Network the very concept I said: that in RC ecclesiology unity of faith derives from the Papacy. Without the papacy there wouldn't be unity.

Now for the second part, that because the "rock", so to speak, of the RC is the office of the Pope and not the content of the faith, here is Cardinal Ratzinger again:

Quote
the nucleus of the doctrine of faith concerning the competencies of the primacy cannot be determined by looking for the least number of functions exercised historically. Therefore, the fact that a particular task has been carried out by the primacy in a certain era does not mean by itself that this task should necessarily be reserved always to the Roman Pontiff, and, vice versa, the mere fact that a particular role was not previously exercised by the Pope does not warrant the conclusion that this role could not in some way be exercised in the future as a competence of the primacy.


And for the last part, that in face of this, it will be the "will to power" of the pope that will define things however he wants, Cardinal Ratzinger yet again:

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it is clear that only the Pope (or the Pope with an Ecumenical Council) has, as the Successor of Peter, the authority and the competence to say the last word on the ways to exercise his pastoral ministry in the universal Church.


And to reassert what has been said elsewhere that for RC it is *through* the Pope that one reaches Christ according to RC doctrine, the current Pope once again:

Quote
We are all invited to trust in the Holy Spirit, to trust in Christ, by trusting in Peter.

The unity of the Church, which the ministry of Peter's Successor serves in a unique way, reaches its highest expression in the Eucharistic Sacrifice,(...)Every valid celebration of the Eucharist expresses this universal communion with Peter and with the whole Church, or objectively calls for it"

Everything, everything is this macabre doctrine full of hybris, even the very Body of Christ is at the service of papal supremacy.

Link to quotes above: http://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/cdfprima.htm

We need to split this.  It does not belong here!!

EDITOR!!  EDITOR!!

 angel
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