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Author Topic: POPE AGAIN PROPOSES ONE EASTER DATE FOR ALL CHRISTIANS  (Read 9235 times) Average Rating: 0
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Deacon Lance
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« on: April 12, 2004, 11:40:47 AM »

http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=45522
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« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2004, 11:58:08 AM »

How nice!
But we already have one  Grin

Demetri
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« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2004, 12:05:13 PM »

How nice!
But we already have one  Grin

Ne! Then katalaveno?
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« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2004, 12:09:08 PM »

I think it would be perfectly lovely if the western schismatic communions decided to return to the Christian Practice of having Pascha after the old Pascha instead of up to five weeks before.

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« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2004, 12:14:36 PM »

This is one Catholic who would love to see that happen!

What are the differing criteria?  I can never remember the difference between the two.  Are the calendrical (is that a word?) differences a part of the reason for the usual distance between the two dates of Pascha?
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« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2004, 12:30:29 PM »

I am in favor of a common calendar.  I would propose we determine it as suggested by the emperor's letter after Nicea I.  IOW, the first Sunday following the first full moon following the vernal equinox as long as that Sunday is after Passover.

One problem with the Orthodox calendar is that it ignores the vernal equinox and uses March 21st on the Julian Calendar.  Eventually, the vernal equinox on the Julian calendar will slide out to coincide with the summer solstice.

The problem with the papal reckoning of Easter is that sometimes it precedes the occurence of Passover.
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« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2004, 12:33:38 PM »

That is exactly my problem with it as well.  The symbolism of having the new Pascha come right after the old is immense.

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« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2004, 12:57:43 PM »

ARe there years where the Julian Easter does not occur after Passover?
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« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2004, 01:11:25 PM »

-Ñ-Ç-+-ü-é-+-ü-è -¦-+-ü-¦-Ç-¦-ü-¦.

Quote
Are there years where the Julian Easter does not occur after Passover?

No. It and the Julian vs. Gregorian calendar difference are why the Orthodox date usually is later. An ancient church law says it can't be before or coincide with Passover.
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« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2004, 01:30:34 PM »

The date of Pascha/Easter should be the most exact date that can be determined, using the "Jewish" celebration as a excuse not to be exact is rubbish.

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« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2004, 01:36:07 PM »

Insisting that Easter always come after Passover isn't what pushes Orthodox Easter later most years. ISTM it's as Moronikos said - using April 3 as the date for the vernal equinox.
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« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2004, 01:37:16 PM »

I'm Catholic.  Not that I have any say in the matter, but I'll go along with the Orthodox date for Easter.  In exchange, the Eastern Church will go with the Western date for Christmas.  What say?  I guess there would be a problem with different calendars, but that could probably be ironed out.  This should be easy to do in the West.  It would be hard for us to do it the other way, since Christmas is a civil holiday in the West.
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« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2004, 02:00:08 PM »

well most Orthodox in this country already do use the western date for everything (except Pascha).  There will be several who will not go along with the western date for Christmas come hades or high water.  This can easily be understood as it is such a part of the culture of traditionally Orthodox countries like Russia.  Personally, I would want to follow either all Gregorian reckonings or all Julian reckonings, as the Apstles fast is often severly shortened on the new calander, and I have seen several times, when Radonitsa falls during great lent.  It doesn't make sense to me to use a Gregorian daily reckoning and then a Julian Paschalion.  It should be all one or all the other in my opinion.

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« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2004, 02:19:59 PM »

Well, Joe, you're probably right as to one calendar or the other.  It's all right with me if everyone uses their own calendar (not that anything needs to be all right with me).  But Easter is the big holy day.  It would be nice if we could all do it together.  Now that I think about it further, I wouldn't mind going to the Eastern date for Easter, with nothing in exchange.

I have a deep and abiding conviction that east and west have to unify.  We can't do it if both sides just sit back and demand that the other makes all the movements.  Rather, we should be following the instruction of St. Paul and try to outdo each other in making concessions.
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« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2004, 02:42:53 PM »

Making concessions?  Hmm, that will not go over well with either Catholicism or Orthodoxy.  Perhaps finding common ground ... but concessions?

I think that the dating issue is regrettable.  The part of it that relates to the Julian dating of the vernal equinox seems more or less mutable to me ... that is, even though a council fixed this as the dating, I don't think that was any kind of theological pronouncement, but simply based on the best reckoning of the day.  It may be useful to change it, given what we know now about the astronomical innacuracies inherent in the Julian reckoning.  But the Orthodox will always react with distaste to the Gregorian calendar because it was adopted by the Pope and not the entire Church (see, notice how *most* issues between us come doen, sooner or later, to the issue what the scope of the Pope's authority properly is), and that this is not possible given that the initial formulation was made by an Ecumenical Council.  In my own view, I don't share this revulsion, and I would be open to revising the reckoning of the equinox to a more astronomically accurate system ... perhaps one that is more accurate than the Gregorian formulation as well.

As concerns the other condition relating to the Jewish Pesach, I would not toss this so lightly.  The text, IIRC, of the council referred to not celebrating Pascha together with those who celebrate Pesach, because of the tradition that the events of Christian Pascha took place after the jewish feast of Pesach.  This to me seems a sensible correction to the reckoning, and only results in one week being tacked on (ie, Easter/Pascha falls one week later than it would based on the reckoning following the determination of the date of the equinox).  

So I would personally see a solution as workable that would involve an updating (done by the whole church, not just Rome) of the date of the equinox calculation coupled with an agreement that this would be adjusted, if needed, to ensure that the feast falls after the conclusion of Jewish Pesach.  Sadly, I doubt this would be supported by some Orthodox for whom the calendar has become a critically important issue.

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« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2004, 02:53:10 PM »

I could be wrong but next year Easter according to the Gregorian calendar is celebrated almost a month after Passover.  How can you have Passover AFTER Easter?  Dosnt make sense to me.  

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« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2004, 03:09:40 PM »

Joe --

The issue is that sometimes in the West Easter falls before the conclusion of the Jewish feast of Pesach/Passover.  In the East, when the equinox-based calculation produces a date that falls before the conclusion of the Jewish feast, the date is moved forward a week so that Pascha falls after the conclusion of Pesach.

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« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2004, 03:22:12 PM »

Christ is Risen!

Question about Pascha and Passover:  this year, didn't Passover start only about 5 days before Pascha?  So was passover completely over by the time we celebrated Pascha yesterday?
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« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2004, 03:23:53 PM »

Brendan, I guess I have to stick with the word "concessions," since there is no other course possible when two sides that differ with one another are convinced that they are right and the other is wrong.  In such cases, common ground is not possible, because there is no common ground.

The only way to avoid the concession route is to have another ecumenical council.  That way the Holy Spirit can be the judge.  Obviously, there can be no preconditions for such a council, e.g., 'I won't meet with you unless you agree that...."  That doesn't apply to matters of procedure, of course.  Every bishop will get an equal vote, and they can all go home after everybody agrees on everything.  It's not impossible.  After all, we get unanimous juries all the time, and the Holy Spirit will be running things.
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« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2004, 03:26:55 PM »

Jack --

I don't disagree in substance, but I think that neither the Catholics nor the Orthodox would like to view what they are discussing as "compromises", because they believe that they are in the right.  There may be a gradual convincing, or a gradual growing together or meeting of the minds over time, and yes, I think that we need an other ecumenical council to resolve things.  I'm not sure that Orthodoxy would agree to one bishop one vote because then we are automatically outnumbered.  Perhaps one bishop one vote for each side and then each side's votes are tallied separately?

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« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2004, 03:28:20 PM »

Christ is Risen!

Question about Pascha and Passover:  this year, didn't Passover start only about 5 days before Pascha?  So was passover completely over by the time we celebrated Pascha yesterday?

THis is a good question.  Does anyone know the answer?

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« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2004, 03:32:48 PM »

Brendan,

With my proposal it wouldn't matter that the Orthodox bishops are outnumbered because every decision would have to be unanimous, just like the Council of Jerusalem.  Every bishop would have an effective veto.
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« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2004, 03:36:48 PM »

However, is not the Pascha must be after Passover rule nothing more than an expression of the anti-Judaism present in the Church at the time of the ruling?  Today we supply theological reasons after the fact, but at the time the rule was adopted it was simply so that Pascha was not celebrated at the same time as the Jewish people, in rejection of them and also the Quartodecimans. Add to this the fact that the Resurrection did itself occur within the Jewish Passover, I don't see what all the trouble about finding a date that everbody can agree upon is.  In fact since Christ probably celebrated the Passover according to the Essene solar calendar and not the Temple lunar calendar making the detemination depend on the lunar calendar looks a bit silly.

What was the objection to the proposed common calculation a few years back which many Orthodox where behind?

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« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2004, 03:50:45 PM »

"Question about Pascha and Passover:  this year, didn't Passover start only about 5 days before Pascha?  So was passover completely over by the time we celebrated Pascha yesterday?"

No, the last day of Passover was Tues, Apr. 13.  Of course the Jewish people have adjusted and reformed their calendar since Nicea, but to be in exact compliance with the canons the Julian date Churches should have added a week.  Why didn't they is a better question?  ALl this does is point to the silliness of the continued seperate dates.

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« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2004, 05:27:41 PM »

To be more precise, the "first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox" date that the various Easter formulae are supposed to be calculating would guarantee that Easter would always fall with the week of Passover if everyone work from astronomical calculations-- but never on the first day of Passover.
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« Reply #25 on: April 12, 2004, 06:04:43 PM »

Why should we care when the Heterodox celebrate Pascha?
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« Reply #26 on: April 12, 2004, 07:08:10 PM »

Why should we care when the Heterodox celebrate Pascha?

anastasio... with that statement of yours and we westerness are called arrogant.!

Don't you think that it is petty to fight over a date of when easter will be celebrated. The important thing is that it is celebrated.
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« Reply #27 on: April 12, 2004, 07:09:52 PM »

anastasio... with that statement of yours and we westerness are called arrogant.!

Don't you think that it is petty to fight over a date of when easter will be celebrated. The important thing is that it is celebrated.

Heterodox just means non-Orthodox. It's a neutral term.  And that's my point, why fight over the date. Roman Catholics can celebrate when they want to, and Orthodox can when they want to.  No point trying to fight over it or come to agreements.  We will do it they way we have always done it and you can do it the way you have done it since 1582.

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« Reply #28 on: April 12, 2004, 09:12:55 PM »

I agree with Anastasios completely.

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« Reply #29 on: April 12, 2004, 09:45:29 PM »

I agree with Anastasios completely.

Joe Zollars

agreed! you do it the eastern way and we do it the western way. just lest not forget that when the church was united we were very different then and expressed the faith along these two traditions.

As polycratesm bishop of ephesus told Victor in regards to easter: " ancient traditions of local usages of asia as equally valid with those of rome".
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« Reply #30 on: April 13, 2004, 12:14:34 PM »

In my judgment, the only thing that is heterodox is the position that the Church can legitimately remain divided.
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« Reply #31 on: April 13, 2004, 01:33:13 PM »

In my judgment, the only thing that is heterodox is the position that the Church can legitimately remain divided.

Jack --

The thing is that the Orthodox don't really see the Church as divided, they see Rome as outside, at least formally so, the Church.  Orthodox differ about how far outside ... ranging from almost inside to rather far outside, but I don't think any Orthodox really agrees that the Church is "divided".  I don't think that the Catholic Church views it this way either, preferring to characterize things more or less in terms of degrees of communion, and stating that some form of imperfect communion exists between Rome and the Orthodox churches (I think that the Catechism says that there is little that is lacking to make this communion full and complete).

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« Reply #32 on: April 13, 2004, 01:55:11 PM »

Brendan,

My point is, I am unaware of any general excommunications from either side.  The Church consists of all the apostolic churches.  In the book of Revelation, the wall of the New Jerusalem has twelve foundations with the names of the twelve apostles in them.  The Church isn't divided into east and west (and oriental).  We just think it is.  Catholics who think that the Orthodox are not part of the Church are wrong, and vice versa.
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« Reply #33 on: April 13, 2004, 03:40:20 PM »

In my judgment, the only thing that is heterodox is the position that the Church can legitimately remain divided.

The Church isn't divided.  Some have separated from the Church, but the Church itself cannot be separated. Even the Catholic Church teaches this (cf. Dominus Iesus).

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« Reply #34 on: April 13, 2004, 03:42:09 PM »

Brendan,

My point is, I am unaware of any general excommunications from either side.  The Church consists of all the apostolic churches.  In the book of Revelation, the wall of the New Jerusalem has twelve foundations with the names of the twelve apostles in them.  The Church isn't divided into east and west (and oriental).  We just think it is.  Catholics who think that the Orthodox are not part of the Church are wrong, and vice versa.

Jack,

I used to think this way, and it is a noble ideal.  But in reality, it goes against everything that both Churches teach and ends up watering down both Churches.

The Catholic Church falls under the condmenation of the Council of St Sophia (879) which was co-signed by Pope John VIII, for teaching the filioque, which was also condemned at the COuncil of Blachernae in 1285 (cf. Crisis in Byzantium by Aristeides Papadakis.

In Christ,

Anastasios
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« Reply #35 on: April 13, 2004, 04:57:41 PM »

Jack,

I used to think this way, and it is a noble ideal.  But in reality, it goes against everything that both Churches teach and ends up watering down both Churches.

The Catholic Church falls under the condmenation of the Council of St Sophia (879) which was co-signed by Pope John VIII, for teaching the filioque, which was also condemned at the COuncil of Blachernae in 1285 (cf. Crisis in Byzantium by Aristeides Papadakis.

In Christ,

Anastasios
The Council of St. Sophia may have condemned the filioque, but if Pope John VIII co-signed it I can't imagine it condemned the Catholic Church.  Of course, no ecumenical council has ever condemned one side or the other because, by definition, an ecumenical council would require participation by all the bishops.

Now the filioque controversy is a good example of how misunderstandings arise where there are language and cultural barriers (and the irony is that we are discussing in English a misunderstanding that arose between those who spoke Greek and Latin).

As those who are much more knowledgeable than I am about history have been saying on this string, the western churches underwent a sort of filioque creep in their recitation of the creed.  For awhile, the popes resisted it.  

Now someone who would argue that the Holy Spirit also proceeds from the Son (as I would) might point to John 20:22-23, where, after his resurrection, Jesus breathed on the apostles and said to them, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them, and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained."  Now that looks like the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Son to me.  

On the other hand, one who would argue the opposite position would point to Jesus' words at the Last Supper, where he says, "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me...." (John 15:26)  Here it looks like the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father only, and the Son only sends him.

Both scriptures are there, and it looks like there's proceeding and then there's proceeding.  Technically, proceeding qua proceeding seems to happen only from the Father.  But the Spirit comes from the Son too.  What might be the genesis of the confusion is the fact that the western churches developed for awhile without much knowledge of Greek.  I think the same cause is responsible for the confusion that seems to have existed, for a time, between Gehenna and Hades.  In English, I would say that the Spirit proceeds from the Son, but this question has to be addressed in Greek where the rubber hits the road so to speak.

The place where it should be addressed is in an ecumenical council, at least insofar as recitation of the creed during the liturgy is concerned.  This will require all the bishops from both sides, and will further require unanimous agreement among them.  But nobody is authorized to simply say, "Unless you agree with me, you're not in the Church."  Christ didn't set it up that way.

In order for the eastern and western churches to comprise two separate Churches, there would have to be an ecumenical council authorizing the split.  That has never happened.
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« Reply #36 on: April 13, 2004, 05:13:53 PM »

Anastasios' point, I believe, was that the Roman Church no longer lived up to the teachings of the Council of Sophia which was cosigned by the Pope of the 1st Rome (thus indicating that to affirm Papal infallibility is to deny the filioque).

Of course the heresies now taught by the roman church are many other than just the filioque (which I understand is possibly on the way back out--thank God).

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« Reply #37 on: April 13, 2004, 05:31:44 PM »

Anastasios' point, I believe, was that the Roman Church no longer lived up to the teachings of the Council of Sophia which was cosigned by the Pope of the 1st Rome (thus indicating that to affirm Papal infallibility is to deny the filioque).

Of course the heresies now taught by the roman church are many other than just the filioque (which I understand is possibly on the way back out--thank God).

Joe Zollars

On re-reading Anastasio's posting, I think you're right about what he meant.

I must humbly submit, Joe, that your statement regarding Papal infallibility manifests a misunderstanding of that doctrine.  Catholics don't believe everything the Pope says is infallible.  The truth is, we have no clear idea of when he makes an infallible statement, but there have only been two such statements since Vatican I that are generally recognized.

Also, isn't 'heresy' a bit strong for the filioque?  I think the western churches mean something different by it than the eastern churches would mean if they said it.  If we insist on looking at each other in the worst possible light, it is inevitable that we're not going to think very much of each other.

But...I'll bite.  What are the heresies that we Catholics believe in?
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« Reply #38 on: April 13, 2004, 05:32:51 PM »

Heterodox just means non-Orthodox. It's a neutral term.  And that's my point, why fight over the date. Roman Catholics can celebrate when they want to, and Orthodox can when they want to.  No point trying to fight over it or come to agreements.  We will do it they way we have always done it and you can do it the way you have done it since 1582.

Well, you know, within the last five years attempts have been made to put everyone on the same date. But it seems that it is the Orthodox who are the holdouts. And I see people referring to the Council of Nicaea when I can see the canons for myself and see that they don't constrain anyone to use the Julian calendar. It is hard not to conclude that the calendar is and is intended to remain a sign of Orthodox condemnation of the west.
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« Reply #39 on: April 13, 2004, 05:45:29 PM »

According to roman theology and the delclerations of Vatican I, the Pope is infallable when speaking in terms of faith or morals.  I think the creed certainly falls within this area.  Also, from the perspective of Roman theology, Papal infallability was always there, and acted upon--it just wasn't proclaimed until Vatican I.  leaving aside the issue of papal infallability, in and of itself a great heresy, one can see that from a Roman perspective, the pope was acting infallably at the council of sophia when he condemned the Filioque (not to mention that Rome holds the councils to be infallable in and of themselves).  

Also, any alteration of the creed is certainly heresy.  Whether or not the filioque clause is true, the heretical and schismatic act comes in altering the creed against the expressed wishes of hte universal Church.

As for the heresies of Rome in general, there is an infinite amount of material out on this (for instance the Vatican Dogma in the texts section of oc.net), and having just recently left Romanism, I do not feel it proper that I address this issue at this time.   Besides others here are much more wise than I.

Joe Zollars
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« Reply #40 on: April 13, 2004, 05:46:55 PM »

See Ott's Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma for a clear definition of the Roman perspective of Papal infallability.  This book is available from tanbooks.com

Joe Zollars
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« Reply #41 on: April 13, 2004, 05:49:53 PM »

Well, you know, within the last five years attempts have been made to put everyone on the same date. But it seems that it is the Orthodox who are the holdouts. And I see people referring to the Council of Nicaea when I can see the canons for myself and see that they don't constrain anyone to use the Julian calendar. It is hard not to conclude that the calendar is and is intended to remain a sign of Orthodox condemnation of the west.

I take issue with your conclusion.  It' s more a matter of the Orthodox no-longer holding to a single calendar anymore, with some churches using new calendar, and others using the old calendar.   The one date which we agree on in common is pascha.  I don't see all of the Orthodox jurisdictions easily chucking the old date, especially some of the old calendar churches.  I think a pan-orthodox council would be necessary to resolve this issue.
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« Reply #42 on: April 13, 2004, 05:50:50 PM »

indeed.

Joe Zollars
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« Reply #43 on: April 13, 2004, 06:20:31 PM »

Why brother Joe,

You have indeed shown growth in wisdom, 6 months ago you would have taken another tone towards your previous Roman association, I am impressed.

james
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« Reply #44 on: April 14, 2004, 09:08:17 AM »

I don't think that a break in communion requires an ecumenical council.  Even in the time of the councils, breaks in communion happened on a more local or regional level without the "sanction" of an ecumenical council.

But, even so, aren't all Orthodox anathematized by the terms of the declaration of the First Vatican Council?

Brendan
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