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Author Topic: Does the Orthodox Church view St Augustine as a 'bad' influence?  (Read 3282 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: December 10, 2010, 12:18:49 AM »

I was watching a book review on Fr John S Romandies' book on the franks and it seems that alot of the things St Augustine had were put more in a negative light when regarding the Orthodox Church, and it seemed that the Franks saw things with an "Augustinian" lense.

Also if the Orthodox look down on St Augustine, would that mean I shouldn't hold too much weight on his works, like the "City of God"?
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2010, 12:23:27 AM »

I was watching a book review on Fr John S Romandies' book on the franks and it seems that alot of the things St Augustine had were put more in a negative light when regarding the Orthodox Church, and it seemed that the Franks saw things with an "Augustinian" lense.

Also if the Orthodox look down on St Augustine, would that mean I shouldn't hold too much weight on his works, like the "City of God"?
What makes you think we allow Fr. John Romanides that much influence?
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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2010, 12:41:50 AM »

I was watching a book review on Fr John S Romandies' book on the franks and it seems that alot of the things St Augustine had were put more in a negative light when regarding the Orthodox Church, and it seemed that the Franks saw things with an "Augustinian" lense.

Also if the Orthodox look down on St Augustine, would that mean I shouldn't hold too much weight on his works, like the "City of God"?
What makes you think we allow Fr. John Romanides that much influence?

Maybe because many Orthodox Christians do allow him that much influence? 
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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2010, 12:43:09 AM »

Peter is here something I should know about Fr Romanides?

What is the Orthodox view on St. Augustine?
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« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2010, 12:43:59 AM »

To answer your question:

I have never read the City of God, but I do know that we do not put much weight on his formal theology.  I like his Confessions though.  He is a saint of the Church, so he isn't a heretic or anything of that nature.  
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« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2010, 12:44:37 AM »

I was watching a book review on Fr John S Romandies' book on the franks and it seems that alot of the things St Augustine had were put more in a negative light when regarding the Orthodox Church, and it seemed that the Franks saw things with an "Augustinian" lense.

Also if the Orthodox look down on St Augustine, would that mean I shouldn't hold too much weight on his works, like the "City of God"?
IMHO St. Jerome is a far worse influence.

St Augustine has a lot of good things to say, but not without his problems.  IIRC he is commended by the Fathers of the Third Ecumenical Council.

It is not that his so bad, but that he is not so overwhelming. We Orthodox place him among several Fathers, not towering over them.
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« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2010, 12:47:07 AM »

I was watching a book review on Fr John S Romandies' book on the franks and it seems that alot of the things St Augustine had were put more in a negative light when regarding the Orthodox Church, and it seemed that the Franks saw things with an "Augustinian" lense.

Also if the Orthodox look down on St Augustine, would that mean I shouldn't hold too much weight on his works, like the "City of God"?
IMHO St. Jerome is a far worse influence.

St Augustine has a lot of good things to say, but not without his problems.  IIRC he is commended by the Fathers of the Third Ecumenical Council.

It is not that his so bad, but that he is not so overwhelming. We Orthodox place him among several Fathers, not towering over them.

Thanks for your responses Ionnis and ialmisry.

I have a further question, who determines which saint is more theologically sound above the other one? What I mean is who determines the correct theological implications of certain things, the Holy Spirit?
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« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2010, 01:07:52 AM »

I have a further question, who determines which saint is more theologically sound above the other one? What I mean is who determines the correct theological implications of certain things, the Holy Spirit?

The Synods of the Church. They are of greater authority than any one Church Father.
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« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2010, 01:08:13 AM »

IMHO St. Jerome is a far worse influence.

How so?
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« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2010, 01:10:16 AM »

I was watching a book review on Fr John S Romandies' book on the franks and it seems that alot of the things St Augustine had were put more in a negative light when regarding the Orthodox Church, and it seemed that the Franks saw things with an "Augustinian" lense.

Also if the Orthodox look down on St Augustine, would that mean I shouldn't hold too much weight on his works, like the "City of God"?
IMHO St. Jerome is a far worse influence.

St Augustine has a lot of good things to say, but not without his problems.  IIRC he is commended by the Fathers of the Third Ecumenical Council.

It is not that his so bad, but that he is not so overwhelming. We Orthodox place him among several Fathers, not towering over them.

Thanks for your responses Ionnis and ialmisry.

I have a further question, who determines which saint is more theologically sound above the other one? What I mean is who determines the correct theological implications of certain things, the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit in the Church speaking through the consensus of the Fathers.  For instance, St. Augustine expresses thoughts which are not found elsewhere among the Fathers, and do not fit with other parts of the Tradition.
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« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2010, 01:13:55 AM »

The Holy Spirit in the Church speaking through the consensus of the Fathers.  For instance, St. Augustine expresses thoughts which are not found elsewhere among the Fathers, and do not fit with other parts of the Tradition.

You said it better than I.
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« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2010, 08:37:31 AM »

I was watching a book review on Fr John S Romandies' book on the franks and it seems that alot of the things St Augustine had were put more in a negative light when regarding the Orthodox Church, and it seemed that the Franks saw things with an "Augustinian" lense.

Also if the Orthodox look down on St Augustine, would that mean I shouldn't hold too much weight on his works, like the "City of God"?
IMHO St. Jerome is a far worse influence.

St Augustine has a lot of good things to say, but not without his problems.  IIRC he is commended by the Fathers of the Third Ecumenical Council.

It is not that his so bad, but that he is not so overwhelming. We Orthodox place him among several Fathers, not towering over them.

Thanks for your responses Ionnis and ialmisry.

I have a further question, who determines which saint is more theologically sound above the other one? What I mean is who determines the correct theological implications of certain things, the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit in the Church speaking through the consensus of the Fathers.  For instance, St. Augustine expresses thoughts which are not found elsewhere among the Fathers, and do not fit with other parts of the Tradition.

Perhaps you could elucidate which part of his teachings are not in step with the patristic consensus?
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« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2010, 11:06:53 PM »

This is a question I have given much thought to over the past year.  Augustine's Confessions were fundamental to my own conversion from atheism to Christianity, but not necessarily to Orthodoxy.  I have always felt a special connection with him, and I am considering Augustine as my Baptismal name when I am baptized on the Feast of Theophany.  Thus, the controversy surrounding him in the Orthodox Church gives me much sadness.

As regards the controversy (which I am in no way an expert on but which I have looked into to some extent), it appears that some Orthodox are wary of Augustine's formulation of and influence on the Western doctrine of Original Sin.  This doctrine is sometimes touted as one aspect of Augustine's theology that should not be taken too seriously by Orthodox.  I would reply that in large part Augustine's writings on Original Sin appear as a response to the spreading heresy of Pelagianism, which said that Man can be saved by his own nature and outside God's grace. In response, Augustine emphasized the fallen nature of Man in the world and our reliance on God's mercy.  Augustine would later also have a great influence on Calvinism and the heretic doctrines held by that movement.

Despite this, most Orthodox who are familiar with him have great love and respect for Augustine.  There are few texts more beautifully and heartfully written than the Confessions. I hope that someday there will be a greater understanding of Augustine among modern Orthodox Christians.
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« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2010, 02:29:33 AM »

I wouldn't say that he isn't considered an important saint in the OC, but his ideas simply did not contribute to the theological development of the church as much as others did.
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« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2010, 03:49:39 AM »

Anti-Augustine polemics are modern nonsense. No Orthodox before 19th century was thinking that there is something dubious in St. Augustine. He was (and is still!) just one of the Orthodox Fathers and was treated as such. In order to get more balanced view you could read The Place of Blessed Augustine in the Orthodox Church by Fr Seraphim Rose and Orthodox Readings of Augustine which was edited by George Demacopoulos and Aristotle Papanikolaou. There's more in St. Augustine than just his Confessions. Through the prayers of St. Augustine may Lord have mercy on us all.

Btw, what would be the troparion to St. Augustine?
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« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2010, 12:47:11 PM »

I was watching a book review on Fr John S Romandies' book on the franks and it seems that alot of the things St Augustine had were put more in a negative light when regarding the Orthodox Church, and it seemed that the Franks saw things with an "Augustinian" lense.

Also if the Orthodox look down on St Augustine, would that mean I shouldn't hold too much weight on his works, like the "City of God"?

It really depends on the topic:
A few of his middle works aren't that bad, Some of his early works before 396A.D. aren't that bad. But he wrote something in 396A.D that is bad, and most of his latter works towards the end of his life were bad. Now when I say bad I am mainly talking about his deterministic views. The ideas that pretty much lead to Calvinism. You can find 4 out of the 5 points in Saint Augustine.

Here are some things you can listen to:
At the 15 minute mark
http://ancientfaith.com/specials/2010_missions_and_evangelism_conference/fr._wilbur_ellsworth_-_the_christian_reformed_who_are_they (The Christian Reformed: Who are they?)



http://orthodoxchurchhistory.com/uploads/16-AugustineF_LQ_WEB.mp3 (St. Augustine of Hippo 385-430 AD)

There are a number of others as well.
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« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2010, 12:48:51 PM »

Anti-Augustine polemics are modern nonsense. No Orthodox before 19th century was thinking that there is something dubious in St. Augustine. He was (and is still!) just one of the Orthodox Fathers and was treated as such. In order to get more balanced view you could read The Place of Blessed Augustine in the Orthodox Church by Fr Seraphim Rose and Orthodox Readings of Augustine which was edited by George Demacopoulos and Aristotle Papanikolaou. There's more in St. Augustine than just his Confessions. Through the prayers of St. Augustine may Lord have mercy on us all.

Btw, what would be the troparion to St. Augustine?


It's not nonsense! All you have to do is read Saint Augustine for yourself! I haven't read all of his works, but I read a good chunk of it! A real good chunk of it! Read most of his later works, then compare that to the Eastern Fathers and what they said, then you will see that the anti-Augustinianism isn't nonsense!

In reading Augustine for myself I saw how Calvinists were able to say much of what they had to say. John Calvin quoted him word for word in alot of his own writings, and some of the Calvinistic cliches that one hears come straight from Saint Augustine! All you have to do is read him!

It's not nonsense!

You are making it seem as if there is no conflict between him and the Eastern Fathers....let alone the early western ones. There is conflict in certain areas!
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« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2010, 01:01:17 PM »

I was watching a book review on Fr John S Romandies' book on the franks and it seems that alot of the things St Augustine had were put more in a negative light when regarding the Orthodox Church, and it seemed that the Franks saw things with an "Augustinian" lense.

Also if the Orthodox look down on St Augustine, would that mean I shouldn't hold too much weight on his works, like the "City of God"?
IMHO St. Jerome is a far worse influence.

St Augustine has a lot of good things to say, but not without his problems.  IIRC he is commended by the Fathers of the Third Ecumenical Council.

It is not that his so bad, but that he is not so overwhelming. We Orthodox place him among several Fathers, not towering over them.

Thanks for your responses Ionnis and ialmisry.

I have a further question, who determines which saint is more theologically sound above the other one? What I mean is who determines the correct theological implications of certain things, the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit in the Church speaking through the consensus of the Fathers.  For instance, St. Augustine expresses thoughts which are not found elsewhere among the Fathers, and do not fit with other parts of the Tradition.

I agree 100%ly!
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« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2010, 01:10:52 PM »

Anti-Augustine polemics are modern nonsense. No Orthodox before 19th century was thinking that there is something dubious in St. Augustine. He was (and is still!) just one of the Orthodox Fathers and was treated as such. In order to get more balanced view you could read The Place of Blessed Augustine in the Orthodox Church by Fr Seraphim Rose and Orthodox Readings of Augustine which was edited by George Demacopoulos and Aristotle Papanikolaou. There's more in St. Augustine than just his Confessions. Through the prayers of St. Augustine may Lord have mercy on us all.

Btw, what would be the troparion to St. Augustine?
Augustiniamism is far, far, far a greater problem that St. Augustine ever was.


It's not nonsense! All you have to do is read Saint Augustine for yourself! I haven't read all of his works, but I read a good chunk of it! A real good chunk of it! Read most of his later works, then compare that to the Eastern Fathers and what they said, then you will see that the anti-Augustinianism isn't nonsense!

In reading Augustine for myself I saw how Calvinists were able to say much of what they had to say. John Calvin quoted him word for word in alot of his own writings, and some of the Calvinistic cliches that one hears come straight from Saint Augustine! All you have to do is read him!

It's not nonsense!

You are making it seem as if there is no conflict between him and the Eastern Fathers....let alone the early western ones. There is conflict in certain areas!
Augustinianism is a far, far, far greater problem than St. Augustine ever was or will be. Especially since a lot of St. Augustine is quite good.
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« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2010, 01:30:55 PM »

In reading Augustine for myself I saw how Calvinists were able to say much of what they had to say. John Calvin quoted him word for word in alot of his own writings, and some of the Calvinistic cliches that one hears come straight from Saint Augustine! All you have to do is read him!

Care to show an example where he sound like a Calvinist?

Quote
You are making it seem as if there is no conflict between him and the Eastern Fathers....let alone the early western ones.

I didn't say that there isn't conficts between Augustine and other Orthodox Fathers. Only thing I said was that he was and still is one of our Holy Fathers and should be treated us such and that he wasn't deemed more dubious than any other Holy Father before 19th Century. See Orthodox Readings of Augustine which I mentioned in my previous message. He might have said something wrong but he wouldn't be the first Father who was wrong on something.

Actually, an idea that he erred on various issues makes me rather hopeful. If a Father like Augustine can err on many things and still attain Kingdom of Heaven, maybe I too have still hope. Smiley
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« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2010, 01:52:35 PM »

Anti-Augustine polemics are modern nonsense. No Orthodox before 19th century was thinking that there is something dubious in St. Augustine. He was (and is still!) just one of the Orthodox Fathers and was treated as such. In order to get more balanced view you could read The Place of Blessed Augustine in the Orthodox Church by Fr Seraphim Rose and Orthodox Readings of Augustine which was edited by George Demacopoulos and Aristotle Papanikolaou. There's more in St. Augustine than just his Confessions. Through the prayers of St. Augustine may Lord have mercy on us all.

Btw, what would be the troparion to St. Augustine?
Augustiniamism is far, far, far a greater problem that St. Augustine ever was.


It's not nonsense! All you have to do is read Saint Augustine for yourself! I haven't read all of his works, but I read a good chunk of it! A real good chunk of it! Read most of his later works, then compare that to the Eastern Fathers and what they said, then you will see that the anti-Augustinianism isn't nonsense!

In reading Augustine for myself I saw how Calvinists were able to say much of what they had to say. John Calvin quoted him word for word in alot of his own writings, and some of the Calvinistic cliches that one hears come straight from Saint Augustine! All you have to do is read him!

It's not nonsense!

You are making it seem as if there is no conflict between him and the Eastern Fathers....let alone the early western ones. There is conflict in certain areas!
Augustinianism is a far, far, far greater problem than St. Augustine ever was or will be. Especially since a lot of St. Augustine is quite good.

Even in his own day, Augustine had detractors.  Prosper of Aquitaine, who was a defender of Augustine and an adviser to Pope Leo the Great, wrote a book in defense of Augustine's viewpoints.  http://www.amazon.com/32-St-Prosper-Aquitaine-Augustine/dp/0809102633

I've read parts of it and it's interesting how Prosper answers charges made against Augustine. 
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« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2010, 02:56:24 PM »

Our parish priest informed me in person (& e-mail),"Blessed Augustine was using the commentary from Ambrosiaster on Romans in which the Latin test read, "in quo" - in whom- all have sinned. That is the difference which makes sin in one-Adam- in whom all humanity has sinned and is therefore condemned- the massa damnata." He used to be an RC priest in Latin & Byzantine rites.
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« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2010, 03:20:33 PM »

In reading Augustine for myself I saw how Calvinists were able to say much of what they had to say. John Calvin quoted him word for word in alot of his own writings, and some of the Calvinistic cliches that one hears come straight from Saint Augustine! All you have to do is read him!

Care to show an example where he sound like a Calvinist?

Quote
You are making it seem as if there is no conflict between him and the Eastern Fathers....let alone the early western ones.

Well said. Many of us tend to forget this.

I didn't say that there isn't conficts between Augustine and other Orthodox Fathers. Only thing I said was that he was and still is one of our Holy Fathers and should be treated us such and that he wasn't deemed more dubious than any other Holy Father before 19th Century. See Orthodox Readings of Augustine which I mentioned in my previous message. He might have said something wrong but he wouldn't be the first Father who was wrong on something.

Actually, an idea that he erred on various issues makes me rather hopeful. If a Father like Augustine can err on many things and still attain Kingdom of Heaven, maybe I too have still hope. Smiley
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« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2010, 10:03:25 PM »

In reading Augustine for myself I saw how Calvinists were able to say much of what they had to say. John Calvin quoted him word for word in alot of his own writings, and some of the Calvinistic cliches that one hears come straight from Saint Augustine! All you have to do is read him!

Care to show an example where he sound like a Calvinist?

Quote
You are making it seem as if there is no conflict between him and the Eastern Fathers....let alone the early western ones.

I didn't say that there isn't conficts between Augustine and other Orthodox Fathers. Only thing I said was that he was and still is one of our Holy Fathers and should be treated us such and that he wasn't deemed more dubious than any other Holy Father before 19th Century. See Orthodox Readings of Augustine which I mentioned in my previous message. He might have said something wrong but he wouldn't be the first Father who was wrong on something.

Actually, an idea that he erred on various issues makes me rather hopeful. If a Father like Augustine can err on many things and still attain Kingdom of Heaven, maybe I too have still hope. Smiley

I'm currently writing a paper that talks about the issue in passing. A number of my Calvinistic friends posted stuff from this website (look at part 4)
http://www.pbministries.org/books/gill/gills_archive.htm#5 (Gill's Archive)

 to show me that the Greek Fathers before Augustine were either proto-Calvinists or at least made Calvinistic statements. They said this because I said that much of their theology begins with Saint Augustine.

When I'm done with the paper I will re-post it on here for you to see.


But if you want to know when Saint Augustine started to change his mind, and departed from everyone else on the issue of free will and other things related to it.....well, it begins with this piece right here. It was written around 396 A.D....shortly after he was ordained.
http://www.romancatholicism.org/jansenism/augustine-simplician.htm (Augustine of Hippo To Simplician – On Various Questions)


In his middle years he tends to be a bit moderate(I personally agree with Saint Augustine in his middle years, one of my favorites is a work called "On the spirit and the letter") , but in his later years his views in this area (of what he said back in 396 A.D.) tends to harden. Most Calvinists tend to quote what he said in his later years.
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« Reply #24 on: September 30, 2011, 11:40:15 PM »

I know that Augustine is in some Orthodox Calendars as a saint (though my understanding is that he was included at a relatively late date), but I have read that he was canonized in 1303 by Pope Boniface VIII, which would have been some 250 years after the Great Schism of 1054.  How then could he have been considered a saint in the Orthodox Church?  Was he canonized at some earlier date by a local Bishop or synod?  I just don't understand why the Church would add someone to the calendar who was canonized after the schism.  That would be like the RCC adding St. Seraphim of Sarov to the Latin calendar.

Of course I realize the analogy is weak, since St. Seraphim belonged to the Orthodox Church after the schism, but did any Orthodox body ever glorify Augustine, or did those churches that added his name to their calendars later just except the RCC's canonization?  
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« Reply #25 on: September 30, 2011, 11:54:19 PM »

I know that Augustine is in some Orthodox Calendars as a saint (though my understanding is that he was included at a relatively late date), but I have read that he was canonized in 1303 by Pope Boniface VIII, which would have been some 250 years after the Great Schism of 1054.  How then could he have been considered a saint in the Orthodox Church?  Was he canonized at some earlier date by a local Bishop or synod?  I just don't understand why the Church would add someone to the calendar who was canonized after the schism.  That would be like the RCC adding St. Seraphim of Sarov to the Latin calendar.

Of course I realize the analogy is weak, since St. Seraphim belonged to the Orthodox Church after the schism, but did any Orthodox body ever glorify Augustine, or did those churches that added his name to their calendars later just except the RCC's canonization? 

He is listed among the Fathers of the Church by the 5th ecumenical council:

We further declare that we hold fast to the decrees of the four Councils, and in every way follow the holy Fathers, Athanasius, Hilary, Basil, Gregory the Theologian, Gregory of Nyssa, Ambrose, Theophilus, John (Chrysostom) of Constantinople, Cyril, Augustine, Proclus, Leo and their writings on the true faith.

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Augustine_of_Hippo

The system of canonization was not fully developed at this point in time, and saints were mostly "canonized" by popular acclamation. That the West felt some need to do a formal canonization in the 1300s has no bearing on St Augustine's holiness.

His feast is June 15:

http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsViewer.asp?SID=4&ID=1&FSID=101736
http://www.goarch.org/chapel/dateceleb_view?m=6&d=15&y=2011
http://www.antiochian.org/node/17840
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« Reply #26 on: October 01, 2011, 12:17:45 AM »

I know that Augustine is in some Orthodox Calendars as a saint (though my understanding is that he was included at a relatively late date), but I have read that he was canonized in 1303 by Pope Boniface VIII, which would have been some 250 years after the Great Schism of 1054.  How then could he have been considered a saint in the Orthodox Church?  Was he canonized at some earlier date by a local Bishop or synod?  I just don't understand why the Church would add someone to the calendar who was canonized after the schism.  That would be like the RCC adding St. Seraphim of Sarov to the Latin calendar.

Of course I realize the analogy is weak, since St. Seraphim belonged to the Orthodox Church after the schism, but did any Orthodox body ever glorify Augustine, or did those churches that added his name to their calendars later just except the RCC's canonization?  

He is listed among the Fathers of the Church by the 5th ecumenical council:

We further declare that we hold fast to the decrees of the four Councils, and in every way follow the holy Fathers, Athanasius, Hilary, Basil, Gregory the Theologian, Gregory of Nyssa, Ambrose, Theophilus, John (Chrysostom) of Constantinople, Cyril, Augustine, Proclus, Leo and their writings on the true faith.

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Augustine_of_Hippo

The system of canonization was not fully developed at this point in time, and saints were mostly "canonized" by popular acclamation.

His feast is June 15:

http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsViewer.asp?SID=4&ID=1&FSID=101736
http://www.goarch.org/chapel/dateceleb_view?m=6&d=15&y=2011

Thank you.  I have read that the list from the 5th council may not be accurate.  Granted that this is from a website that I do not support due to its (in my opinion) extreme views:

http://www.trueorthodoxy.org/heretics_roman_catholics_augustine_refutation_veneration.shtml

While I understand the popular acclaim you mention, where is there a record of such acclaim in our Church?  Are there any parishes in the Orthodox nations dedicated to Augustine?  There may well be some, but I have never heard of any (outside of the Western Rite in the west).

Regardless of popular acclaim, there is still a process of Glorification/Canonization that our Church follows, otherwise I could refer to Fr. Seraphim Rose as St. Seraphim of Platina.  If Augustine was not formally canonized until after the schism, and then only by the RCC, how then is he a saint of the Church?

If our Church were to canonize a pre-schism person next week, would the RCC add him to their calendar?

As I stated, I do not support the website that I cited on most of its stances (for instance it condemns my Church, the Serbian, of "ecumenism"), however the article on Augustine has some useful information I feel.  There was no Feast of St. Augustine in any of the ancient Orthodox Church calendars as far as I am aware.  I have the Serbian Church calendar and Augustine is not listed.
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« Reply #27 on: October 01, 2011, 12:25:47 AM »

I rather like Fr. Patrick Reardon's statement in regards to those who complain about Blessed Augustine (paraphrase): "Rejecting St. Augustine is like rejecting an entire hotel building just because there's a broken doorknob on the 13th floor."

He has also said, "There is also no explicit recognition that the defining pattern of Orthodox Christology was formulated in the West before Chalcedon. Pope Leo’s distinctions are already very clear in Augustine decades before Chalcedon. Yet, Orthodox treatises on the history of Christology regularly ignore Augustine. Augustine tends to be classified as a Scholastic, which he most certainly was not. But Western and Scholastic are bad words with these folks."

Anyway, Achronos, I wouldn't put much stock in Romanides, at least in this area. Orthodox theologian David Bentley Hart puts it well, "The aforementioned John Romanides, for instance, has produced expositions of the thought of Augustine and Thomas Aquinas that are almost miraculously devoid of one single correct statement; and while this might be comical if such men spoke only for themselves, it becomes tragic when they instead influence the way great numbers of their fellows view other Christians."

Taylor, St. Augustine is an absolutely wonderful choice for a patron saint!
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« Reply #28 on: October 01, 2011, 12:37:02 AM »

I hope that I have not come across as too harsh regarding Augustine.  I respect that he was a devout Christian and wrote much of value.  Origen as well wrote much that we find useful today.  

With Augustine the problem is that so much of what he wrote is problematic that separating the wheat from the chaff is difficult enough for theologians, let alone the laity.

Our Church has enough problems in the modern world without having to deal with Augustine's patrimony.  We have more than enough saints to study and to emulate without the baggage that following Augustine entails.    
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« Reply #29 on: October 01, 2011, 12:45:40 AM »

While I understand the popular acclaim you mention, where is there a record of such acclaim in our Church?  Are there any parishes in the Orthodox nations dedicated to Augustine?  There may well be some, but I have never heard of any (outside of the Western Rite in the west).

I don't believe St Stephen the Protomartyr has ever been formally canonized, and I am not aware of any churches dedicated to him, and yet he is a saint.

Regardless of popular acclaim, there is still a process of Glorification/Canonization that our Church follows, otherwise I could refer to Fr. Seraphim Rose as St. Seraphim of Platina.  If Augustine was not formally canonized until after the schism, and then only by the RCC, how then is he a saint of the Church?

There was no process in the fifth century. I don't know exactly how the process arose, but all of our early saints were "glorified" through popular acclaim.

Fr. Seraphim would indeed have to be formally glorified, but today we have that tradition. In the past, they did not. There was never a time where we went back and vetted and glorified all the early saints.

If our Church were to canonize a pre-schism person next week, would the RCC add him to their calendar?

I am not precisely sure that's what happened, though. Why would we add someone to the calendar just because Rome did?

As I stated, I do not support the website that I cited on most of its stances (for instance it condemns my Church, the Serbian, of "ecumenism"), however the article on Augustine has some useful information I feel.  There was no Feast of St. Augustine in any of the ancient Orthodox Church calendars as far as I am aware.

There is no feast of St John of Shanghai on any calendar except ROCOR, but nobody doubts his sanctity. Perhaps St Augustine was not considered important in any of the Eastern Churches. Perhaps there were questions about his theology. What is unquestionable is his holiness and his repentance, and that is ultimately all that matters.

I think the uber-traditionalist Orthodox do have important things to say, but their words should be taken with a grain of salt. At least four Churches have St Augustine on their calendar, and whenever he was added, I am sure that our bishops have vetted him and are satisfied. We don't accept his theology for the most part, but that does not disqualify him from sanctity or veneration.

I have the Serbian Church calendar and Augustine is not listed.

Really? St Nikolai lists him in the Prolog. He acknowledges "extremes" in his writing, but again, lists him among the saints for his repentance.
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« Reply #30 on: October 01, 2011, 12:47:27 AM »

I'm glad to see St. Augustine being loved and venerated more here.  It wasn't too long ago when he was being attacked.

I respect Fr. John Romanides as a theologian, but he seemed to have crossed the line with his strong anti-Latin rhetoric, especially when doing so with St. Augustine.  However, at least we know that with St. Augustine, while there are mistakes, he is far more inspiring in his spiritual and pastoral life.
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« Reply #31 on: October 01, 2011, 01:00:29 AM »

Thank you Bogdan,

I appreciate you opinions and perspective.

P.S.  Our priest mentions St. John of Shanghai with several other saints at the conclusion of each liturgy.
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« Reply #32 on: October 01, 2011, 01:04:56 AM »

Thank you Bogdan,

I appreciate you opinions and perspective.

P.S.  Our priest mentions St. John of Shanghai with several other saints at the conclusion of each liturgy.

You're welcome!
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« Reply #33 on: October 01, 2011, 01:05:45 AM »

Our Church has enough problems in the modern world without having to deal with Augustine's patrimony.  We have more than enough saints to study and to emulate without the baggage that following Augustine entails.    

That's not the way it works. People are not glorified or not glorified based on a calculation like that. They either are or aren't saints. As for my thoughts (ie. defence) on him, it's old but still essentially what I'd say today...

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,4585.msg64180.html#msg64180
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« Reply #34 on: October 01, 2011, 01:30:20 AM »

Our Church has enough problems in the modern world without having to deal with Augustine's patrimony.  We have more than enough saints to study and to emulate without the baggage that following Augustine entails.    

That's not the way it works. People are not glorified or not glorified based on a calculation like that. They either are or aren't saints. As for my thoughts (ie. defence) on him, it's old but still essentially what I'd say today...

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,4585.msg64180.html#msg64180

Thank you for this reference.  It is a shame that Fr. Seraphim is best known for his controversial writings rather than for his piety (which I am aware of and greatly respect).  Whether toll-houses, Augustine, Creationism, or "the Religion of the Future," Fr. Seraphim produced a number of writings that have stirred-up considerable controversy in the Church. 

If he was simply writing about what Orthodox already knew and believed, then no controversy would exist.  That is simply a statement of fact.  Dozens, if not hundreds, of books are published each year by Orthodox writers that have not received the same attention. 

Fr. Seraphim is a very controversial figure because of his writings, which his advocates claim are simply stating eternal Orthodox teachings that may have been forgotten by most Orthodox, while his detractors say that he was promulgating either minority views or his own personal views.

It will be interesting to see what his legacy is in the future. 
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« Reply #35 on: October 01, 2011, 03:50:47 AM »

There is an Ukrainian Bishop from Lviv called Augustine. I doubt his named after the Saint from Canterbury.
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« Reply #36 on: October 01, 2011, 06:20:01 AM »

According to Fr. Seraphim Rose, "in the official calendar of one of the 'Old-Calendarist' Greek Churches," Augustine is called "'Saint Augustine the Great" (Emphasis mine).

I wonder which church is this and whether "the Great" is a traditional title for him?
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