The 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart have been translated into 238 languages (Wikipedia). We can choose whether or not to follow the 10 Commandments; Are the 12 Promises on the same level (e.g. one can freely abide by them or reject them outright)? If yes, that would be an addition....
I didn't know that about the 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart. Heck, I don't know what the 12 Promises are! Thanks for letting me know. Certainly, no one has to affirm or deny these points to be a Roman Catholic.
You're exaggerating this a bit. Yes, certain devotions (the Sacred Heart, the scapulars, the miraculous medal of Lourdes) have become almost like talismans for certain people. No one should give any of these items, sayings, promises etc. the same level of doctrinal or dogmatic certitude as the nature of Christ, the mystery of the Trinity, or the definition of the Sacraments. Popular 'folk' Roman Catholicism can get a bit out of hand. Unfortunately, this is what many non-Roman Catholics see about this faith. There is a place for popular devotions when put into perspective. Some people are not well catechized, however, and tend to confuse the peripheral for the essential. I am certain that this is the case for Orthodoxy and any religion, at that rate.
The Sacred Heart was an emphasis on the humanity of Jesus Christ. A focus on the humanity of Christ (without denying his equal all-divinity) was meant to combat errors about grace and salvation spread by the Jansenists. The Sacred Heart emphasizes that Jesus Christ desires all people to repent and trust in Him and his sacraments because his passion, death, and resurrection is the ultimate Love for humanity. This opposes the Jansenist notion of a distant, abstract God the Father with exaggerated transcendence.
As an Orthodox Christian, I agree with the bolded part. I do not agree or accept the necessity of its implementation via the Sacred Heart devotion.
That's chill. So long as we agree doctrinally, expression doesn't matter. Heck, even if we didn't agree doctrinally, or were of completely different religions, I wouldn't mind learning more. The Orthodox "folk" or popular devotions for these same doctrines and dogmas can be just as profound as the Roman devotions, or maybe even better suited for some people. I'd like to learn more.
There is nothing in the theological underpinnings of the Sacred Heart devotion that is not orthodox for both Roman Catholics and Orthodox. Some Roman Catholics have over-emphasized or even idolized the devotion, but that is beyond the teachings of the Church and indicative of the fallibility of individuals.
Which hasn't been corrected. No Saint has been uncanonized, to put it another way.
So? All of Roman Catholicism is suspect because certain saints have been canonized because of visions or apparitions? Certain pre-schism saints, such as the desert fathers of Egypt, likewise had visions, apparitions, or metaphorical struggles with Satan or unspecified devils. Should they be struck from the sanctoral cycle of both East and West?
To base the validity or invalidity of a belief system based on tertiary (at best) phenomena is a strange apologetic tactic, to say the least.
This Roman respects your right to exist as an Orthodox Christian separate from definition under Roman terms. Furthermore, you have an absolute right to believe that my faith is corrupt or even heretical. I understand the historical reasons for why Orthodox have an animus towards Western Christians. As I have said earlier, Western Christianity has dealt with different heresies and political situations than most of Orthodoxy. When Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy historically intersected, it was usually the Orthodox who "lost out" (Crusades, Polonization, the Hapsburgs, the Ottomans indirectly ...). Hence, I'm not that critical of those Orthodox who have an axe to grind with Catholicism. We have a hand in the historical muck also.
So many of our differences truly begin with political differences and not issues of doctrine. St. Mary Margaret Alacoque is merely a valence for much deeper, usually socio-cultural, historical, or political issues. Most of what the Easterners and Westerns believe is quite the same. Its the peripheral issues that are the wrench in the system.
It is also true that the typical manifestations of the Sacred Heart devotion offend Orthodox sensibilities by encouraging adoration of certain body parts or bodily aspects of Jesus Christ rather than the entirety of His Paschal Mystery, but that does not necessarily detract from the doctrinal objectives of the adoration of the human Jesus Christ.
I remember watching on PBS the history of Roman Catholic Church and seeing the origins of the excessive emphasis on Christ's suffering and bloodshed; This emphasis drives the devotions to the Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart and there are a lot of Roman Catholic Church buildings in my part of the world named for Sacred Heart or Immaculate Heart.
First off, what Roman Catholics call "Triduum" (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil) is also an act of veneration. This is especially true of the Good Friday presanctified liturgy.
It is true that medieval and early modern Western Christianity had an excessive focus on bodily suffering and the passion and crucifixion to the expense of the Resurrection. It must be remembered, however, that the East and West had to battle different heresies. The East had Arianism, monophysitism, and similar challenges to the dual nature of Christ and the Trinity. The West had to contend with heresies that attacked the nature of the Eucharist and the Mass. This is why Western theology is overtly concerned with the metaphysical mechanics of the Mass. It is also quite true that Trent over emphasized the propitiation of the Mass and de-emphasized (but never truly denied) its pneumatic element. This over-reaction was a compensation for the Protestant reformers that modified the apostolic doctrine of Real Presence into a non-apostolic doctrine (Calvin, Cramner, Luther), or denied real presence altogether (Zwingli).
Modern and post-modern Roman Catholic theology has restored much of what was overlooked in the rush to defend Catholicism against medieval heresy and Protestantism. See the new Catechism on the Catholic Church about the Eucharist, and you will find that Catholicism affirms both the Tridentine dogmatic definition of the Mass as a sacrifice of propitiation and the doctrine of Mass as the Paschal Mystery.
I agree that the doctrine of papal infallibility has caused certain acute problems for modern Roman Catholicism. Even so, the Sacred Heart devotion was never defined as an infallible dogma under papal infallibility.
Why do Roman Catholics have Annum Sacrum where the entire world (including Orthodox and non-Christians) was consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus?
To this twofold ground of His power and domination He graciously allows us, if we think fit, to add voluntary consecration. Jesus Christ, our God and our Redeemer, is rich in the fullest and perfect possession of all things: we, on the other hand, are so poor and needy that we have nothing of our own to offer Him as a gift. But yet, in His infinite goodness and love, He in no way objects to our giving and consecrating to Him what is already His, as if it were really our own; nay, far from refusing such an offering, He positively desires it and asks for it: "My son, give me thy heart."
I never saw the bolded text in any Gospel. I've seen references to sacrificing one's life for the Gospel; not one's heart.
How many Orthodox saints have preached the total sacrifice and subjection of the inherently sinful human being to the Holy Trinity and Mysteries?
Westerners and Easterners have different ways of explaining the same phenomena (i.e. Dormition versus Assumption: same event, focus on different aspects). The Sacred Heart message is similar to many aspects of Orthodox spirituality: we, all of us as sinners, are in desperate need of baptism, sacramental forgiveness (confession), and sacramental grace through all the sacraments. While I understand why the Orthodox have difficulty with the notion that discrete aspects of Jesus' body can be singled out for catechism and spiritual exercise, the underlying doctrinal concepts are the same. I also understand the political baggage behind the Sacred Heart. It is quite true that Western occupiers of Orthodox lands sometimes forced the Sacred Heart devotion on Eastern Christians as a false act of uniformity with the Roman Church. Nevertheless, it's important to look past these historical accidents towards the substantial doctrinal unity behind the affirmation of the humanity of Jesus. However, given the great temporal power of Roman Catholicism in history and today, it is very easy for a Roman to dismiss socio-political history and very difficult for an Orthodox Christian to do so. This is why I tend to tread lightly here.
It is still a pious devotion that one may choose or decline.
I didn't choose to have my heart consecrated to Jesus by a long-dead Roman Pontiff and his successors. Didn't the above Papal Bull take away my freewill by consecrating my heart to Jesus without my permission?
I don't think that contemporary Roman Catholicism would care if you were to privately (or even publicly) deny that you are bound by the consecration of the Sacred Heart. Even if every Orthodox Christian were to do so, Rome would (most likely) not lower her estimation of your apostolic faith. Again, you're aiming at the peripheral socio-political issues rather than doctrinal and dogmatic issues.