OrthodoxChristianity.net
October 25, 2014, 11:51:25 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1 2 3 All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Autoeroticism and the Fathers: RC POV  (Read 6020 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
jordanz
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic
Posts: 203


« on: March 29, 2011, 08:08:16 PM »

Just to put you at ease: correct forum, and a well-stated question.

In the Roman context (yes, that OT in itself), even the most morally orthodox priests will say that masturbation is one issue that should be strictly pastoral and sacramental.  That is, each case is different and should be discussed confidentially or under the seal of the confessional.  Intent and habit are also considerations.  For example, one Roman priest has told me (in general) that there's a difference between mutual masturbation to avoid pregnancy, and compulsive masturbation many times a day.  These are just two examples.  Someone who is struggling with an addiction, any addiction, might not be as culpable for his or her actions as a person who commits a sin to avoid the natural effects of a disordered act, or wishes to cause scandal, etc.  Masturbation, depending on certain contexts such as addiction, might not necessarily be an impediment to the reception of Holy Communion.

Are Orthodox priests given similar discretion both in a pastoral and penitential setting?  Fr. George, if you can talk about this without breaking the confession seal or confidentiality, I would be interested to get your take on the issue.    

Since this is a patristics thread, maybe it would be interesting to ask how patristics influences modern-day Orthodox pastoral care of people struggling with sexual issues.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 08:12:38 PM by jordanz » Logged
jordanz
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic
Posts: 203


« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2011, 04:06:38 PM »

Btw, part of that health-related aspects includes fertility: studies have shown that it boosts fertility after leaving it on the shelf for a while to clear it out first.

What if sometime in the near future, multiple thirty-year longitudinal studies will convincingly prove that men should masturbate for prostate health and to keep the sperm count high and viable.  Could a theologian plausibly contend that the suppression of fertility (the thwarting of a natural good) is a necessary consequence of obeying Christian morality?
« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 04:08:05 PM by jordanz » Logged
Schultz
Christian. Guitarist. Zymurgist. Librarian.
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,481


Scion of the McKeesport Becks.


WWW
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2011, 04:15:51 PM »

Btw, part of that health-related aspects includes fertility: studies have shown that it boosts fertility after leaving it on the shelf for a while to clear it out first.

What if sometime in the near future, multiple thirty-year longitudinal studies will convincingly prove that men should masturbate for prostate health and to keep the sperm count high and viable.  Could a theologian plausibly contend that the suppression of fertility (the thwarting of a natural good) is a necessary consequence of obeying Christian morality?

That definitely sounds like something only the most scholastic of theologians would even think about, let alone posit as a theorem to solve Wink

Logged

"Hearing a nun's confession is like being stoned to death with popcorn." --Abp. Fulton Sheen
jordanz
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic
Posts: 203


« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2011, 04:22:42 PM »

That definitely sounds like something only the most scholastic of theologians would even think about, let alone posit as a theorem to solve Wink

This is what happens when you let Roman Catholic academics loose on OC.net! ;-)   

In all seriousness, I don't think that sexual questions are the area of lay speculation.  These questions are best left to one's spiritual advisor or confessor.  That's not to say that Christians shouldn't encourage one another to witness to the faith in the best way they can.  Sometimes, the tough questions are best left to those with the right training. 
Logged
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,963



« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2011, 04:41:32 PM »

That definitely sounds like something only the most scholastic of theologians would even think about, let alone posit as a theorem to solve Wink

This is what happens when you let Roman Catholic academics loose on OC.net! ;-)   

In all seriousness, I don't think that sexual questions are the area of lay speculation.  These questions are best left to one's spiritual advisor or confessor.  That's not to say that Christians shouldn't encourage one another to witness to the faith in the best way they can.  Sometimes, the tough questions are best left to those with the right training. 

Neither lay Orthodox theologians nor married clergy are an oddity in Orthodoxy.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,963



« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2011, 04:42:30 PM »

Btw, part of that health-related aspects includes fertility: studies have shown that it boosts fertility after leaving it on the shelf for a while to clear it out first.

What if sometime in the near future, multiple thirty-year longitudinal studies will convincingly prove that men should masturbate for prostate health and to keep the sperm count high and viable.  Could a theologian plausibly contend that the suppression of fertility (the thwarting of a natural good) is a necessary consequence of obeying Christian morality?

You mean monasticism?
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
jordanz
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic
Posts: 203


« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2011, 04:54:33 PM »

You mean monasticism?

No, I am referring to masturbation and conjugal sexuality in marriage.  Procreation is definitely a "natural end" for marriage (as we Latins say).
I understand that the Orthodox theology of the mystery of marriage is different than the Roman theology of the marriage sacrament.  Romans (well, up until recently) stressed procreation.  The question I posed earlier is a quintessentially Roman scholastic question precisely because it privileges procreation over the unitive aspects of marriage.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 04:55:34 PM by jordanz » Logged
orthonorm
Warned
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,523



« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2011, 04:56:08 PM »

Btw, part of that health-related aspects includes fertility: studies have shown that it boosts fertility after leaving it on the shelf for a while to clear it out first.

What if sometime in the near future, multiple thirty-year longitudinal studies will convincingly prove that men should masturbate for prostate health and to keep the sperm count high and viable.  Could a theologian plausibly contend that the suppression of fertility (the thwarting of a natural good) is a necessary consequence of obeying Christian morality?

You mean monasticism?

I've been a practicing onanastic for years.
Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
jordanz
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic
Posts: 203


« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2011, 04:58:34 PM »

Lust (I have ialmisry's definition of lust here in mind: using someone else as an instrument for masturbation, if I can paraphrase) and masturbation do not have to coincide, no matter how much they typically might.

I really don't see how a man could masturbate without lust.  I couldn't do it.  Interestingly, the CCC condemns masturbation without lustful thoughts more strongly than masturbation with lustful thoughts!  huh?
Logged
orthonorm
Warned
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,523



« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2011, 04:58:40 PM »

You mean monasticism?

No, I am referring to masturbation and conjugal sexuality in marriage.  Procreation is definitely a "natural end" for marriage (as we Latins say).
I understand that the Orthodox theology of the mystery of marriage is different than the Roman theology of the marriage sacrament.  Romans (well, up until recently) stressed procreation.  The question I posed earlier is a quintessentially Roman scholastic question precisely because it privileges procreation over the unitive aspects of marriage.

How are masturbation and procreation at odds with one another?
Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
orthonorm
Warned
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,523



« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2011, 05:04:00 PM »

Lust (I have ialmisry's definition of lust here in mind: using someone else as an instrument for masturbation, if I can paraphrase) and masturbation do not have to coincide, no matter how much they typically might.

I really don't see how a man could masturbate without lust.  I couldn't do it.  Interestingly, the CCC condemns masturbation without lustful thoughts more strongly than masturbation with lustful thoughts!  huh?

How frank we gonna get here? Some men are capable of ejaculation with the slightest of contact and time. And any man knows that arousal doesn't have to come from sexual stimulation. From infancy on, males have erections.

Those men mentioned, especially when younger basically ejaculate within moments upon waking without much effort. It is practically mechanical. They are also often plagued by the "problem" of extreme "premature" ejaculation when engaging in sex.

MODS, I dunno how you all handle frank, adult, clinical discussions surrounding sex. As always feel free to mod and my apologies if I have caused offense.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 05:04:22 PM by orthonorm » Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
orthonorm
Warned
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,523



« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2011, 05:05:53 PM »

Lust (I have ialmisry's definition of lust here in mind: using someone else as an instrument for masturbation, if I can paraphrase) and masturbation do not have to coincide, no matter how much they typically might.

I really don't see how a man could masturbate without lust.  I couldn't do it.  Interestingly, the CCC condemns masturbation without lustful thoughts more strongly than masturbation with lustful thoughts!  huh?

Yeah, this was brought up before obliquely and I snickered. This is what happens when thinking everything through goes too far, IMHO.
Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,963



« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2011, 05:48:20 PM »

You mean monasticism?

No, I am referring to masturbation and conjugal sexuality in marriage.  Procreation is definitely a "natural end" for marriage (as we Latins say).
I understand that the Orthodox theology of the mystery of marriage is different than the Roman theology of the marriage sacrament.  Romans (well, up until recently) stressed procreation.  The question I posed earlier is a quintessentially Roman scholastic question precisely because it privileges procreation over the unitive aspects of marriage.

So, monasticism doesn't suppress procreation?

This is the dilema of natural law justifications of marriage to privilege procreation, is that it leaves no excuse for monasticism.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,963



« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2011, 05:50:09 PM »

Lust (I have ialmisry's definition of lust here in mind: using someone else as an instrument for masturbation, if I can paraphrase) and masturbation do not have to coincide, no matter how much they typically might.

I really don't see how a man could masturbate without lust.  I couldn't do it.  Interestingly, the CCC condemns masturbation without lustful thoughts more strongly than masturbation with lustful thoughts!  huh?
What section is that?
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
jordanz
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic
Posts: 203


« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2011, 09:14:13 PM »

MODS, I dunno how you all handle frank, adult, clinical discussions surrounding sex. As always feel free to mod and my apologies if I have caused offense.

Sorry, I didn't know I was getting too explicit.  Look, my mom was an ICU nurse for decades.  Our "sex talk" was about as exciting as talking about geriatric renal failure.  

----------------

You mean monasticism?

No, I am referring to masturbation and conjugal sexuality in marriage.  Procreation is definitely a "natural end" for marriage (as we Latins say).

I understand that the Orthodox theology of the mystery of marriage is different than the Roman theology of the marriage sacrament.  Romans (well, up until recently) stressed procreation.  The question I posed earlier is a quintessentially Roman scholastic question precisely because it privileges procreation over the unitive aspects of marriage.

So, monasticism doesn't suppress procreation?

This is the dilema of natural law justifications of marriage to privilege procreation, is that it leaves no excuse for monasticism.

Good point.  You've tripped over one of the most contradictory points in Christianity: the irreconcilable conflict between "eunuchs for the kingdom" and the need to propagate and perpetuate life and the Faith.  It is paradoxical to exalt the sexless monk or nun for his or her sublimation of the sexual drive towards the "more pure" state of celibate life, and the exhortation that married couples practice the less privileged sexual state to produce life.  St.Paul couldn't get a bead on Stoicism, neither St. Augustine; and the Eastern Fathers also struggled with the potential, passion, and power of the libido.  Perhaps it's best to say that the juxtaposition of celibacy and marital procreation produces not only status and caste in Christianity, but also a tension that rightly channels all human desires towards consensual and ethical sexuality.

-----------------------
  
I really don't see how a man could masturbate without lust.  I couldn't do it.  Interestingly, the CCC condemns masturbation without lustful thoughts more strongly than masturbation with lustful thoughts!  huh?

What section is that?

CCC 2352.  Scroll down.  The javascript isn't working, so I couldn't directly link.

Don't know where the heck I heard that not having fantasies was worse than having fantasies. CCC doesn't say that.  However the CCC does say that masturbation is foremost a pastoral issue, so its a moot point really.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 09:14:50 PM by jordanz » Logged
deusveritasest
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: None
Jurisdiction: None
Posts: 7,528



WWW
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2011, 09:32:18 PM »

and compulsive masturbation many times a day.

Is masturbating many times a day viewed significantly differently than, say, once a week?
Logged

I stopped posting here in August 2011 because of stark disagreement with the policies of the administration and moderating team of the forums. If you desire, feel free to PM me, message me on Facebook (link in profile), or email me: cddombrowski@gmail.com
deusveritasest
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: None
Jurisdiction: None
Posts: 7,528



WWW
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2011, 09:34:09 PM »

Btw, part of that health-related aspects includes fertility: studies have shown that it boosts fertility after leaving it on the shelf for a while to clear it out first.

What if sometime in the near future, multiple thirty-year longitudinal studies will convincingly prove that men should masturbate for prostate health and to keep the sperm count high and viable.  Could a theologian plausibly contend that the suppression of fertility (the thwarting of a natural good) is a necessary consequence of obeying Christian morality?

This is a question I have tried to ask in the forum before but it was deemed too "risque" and my thread was deleted.

And BTW, I started it on the basis that there is already science to indicate that regular usage of the prostate is connected to prevention of prostate cancer.
Logged

I stopped posting here in August 2011 because of stark disagreement with the policies of the administration and moderating team of the forums. If you desire, feel free to PM me, message me on Facebook (link in profile), or email me: cddombrowski@gmail.com
deusveritasest
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: None
Jurisdiction: None
Posts: 7,528



WWW
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2011, 09:36:13 PM »

Btw, part of that health-related aspects includes fertility: studies have shown that it boosts fertility after leaving it on the shelf for a while to clear it out first.

What if sometime in the near future, multiple thirty-year longitudinal studies will convincingly prove that men should masturbate for prostate health and to keep the sperm count high and viable.  Could a theologian plausibly contend that the suppression of fertility (the thwarting of a natural good) is a necessary consequence of obeying Christian morality?

You mean monasticism?

Possibly causing sterility through lack of sexual exercise is a problem much easier to digest that possibly causing prostate cancer through lack of sexual exercise. That is why I try to focus on the latter to render the question more potent.
Logged

I stopped posting here in August 2011 because of stark disagreement with the policies of the administration and moderating team of the forums. If you desire, feel free to PM me, message me on Facebook (link in profile), or email me: cddombrowski@gmail.com
deusveritasest
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: None
Jurisdiction: None
Posts: 7,528



WWW
« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2011, 09:39:21 PM »

Lust (I have ialmisry's definition of lust here in mind: using someone else as an instrument for masturbation, if I can paraphrase) and masturbation do not have to coincide, no matter how much they typically might.

I really don't see how a man could masturbate without lust.  I couldn't do it.  Interestingly, the CCC condemns masturbation without lustful thoughts more strongly than masturbation with lustful thoughts!  huh?

If one does not have an active imagination (I will include myself in this group; I do not do a lot of sexual fantasizing and have a low libido), the sexual system will eventually (at less frequent intervals, say perhaps every few days) generate arousal on its own to test its functionality, exercise the system, and release stress. This is how masturbation can and does occur without lust.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 09:39:56 PM by deusveritasest » Logged

I stopped posting here in August 2011 because of stark disagreement with the policies of the administration and moderating team of the forums. If you desire, feel free to PM me, message me on Facebook (link in profile), or email me: cddombrowski@gmail.com
jordanz
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic
Posts: 203


« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2011, 09:52:23 PM »

Is masturbating many times a day viewed significantly differently than, say, once a week?

That's between you and your priest.  Can't help you there.

And BTW, I started it on the basis that there is already science to indicate that regular usage of the prostate is connected to prevention of prostate cancer.

Possibly causing sterility through lack of sexual exercise is a problem much easier to digest that possibly causing prostate cancer through lack of sexual exercise. That is why I try to focus on the latter to render the question more potent.

Remember, it's not conclusively proven that not masturbating will render a man infertile or less fertile.  Who knows?  The effects of masturbating or not masturbating probably differs with each individual man.  A doctor friend of mine once remarked that half or more of the sperm that men produce daily are "dead" or non-viable.  Conception's a miracle, really, considering that the male body does a pretty poor job making useful gametes.

I'm chill about all this since I've chosen not to reproduce.  Completely non-religious reason: I'm an insane genetic cul-de-sac, so bringing rugrats into the world to perpetuate the horror isn't that civic-minded.  Seriously, none of these questions are important, especially at a young age.  If you've got concerns, see a doctor.  Prostate cancer is often slow-growing and effectively treated in old age.  All of this is really nothing to worry about.    
« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 09:56:01 PM by jordanz » Logged
orthonorm
Warned
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,523



« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2011, 09:59:01 PM »

MODS, I dunno how you all handle frank, adult, clinical discussions surrounding sex. As always feel free to mod and my apologies if I have caused offense.

Sorry, I didn't know I was getting too explicit.  Look, my mom was an ICU nurse for decades.  Our "sex talk" was about as exciting as talking about geriatric renal failure.  

jordanz,

I hope you don't think I was rebuking you. I dunno the rules around here about this sorta stuff. This is all vanilla to me.

I was just pointing out the MODs that I meant no offense, if I happened to be stepping over some line.
Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
orthonorm
Warned
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,523



« Reply #21 on: March 30, 2011, 10:00:42 PM »

And BTW, I started it on the basis that there is already science to indicate that regular usage of the prostate is connected to prevention of prostate cancer.

Your "science" here ain't science.

Not that it might not be truth. But usually this stuff is from meta analysis, and thus sketchy at best.

Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
deusveritasest
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: None
Jurisdiction: None
Posts: 7,528



WWW
« Reply #22 on: March 30, 2011, 10:00:57 PM »

That's between you and your priest.  Can't help you there.

You seemed to describe the frequency in your example "compulsively masturbating many times a day", for a reason. So I was asking more trying to learn about your reasoning. If you can't answer the question, it would seem to suggest that you didn't have any such intent in defining the frequency, which leaves me confused.

Remember, it's not conclusively proven that not masturbating will render a man infertile or less fertile.  Who knows?  The effects of masturbating or not masturbating probably differs with each individual man.  A doctor friend of mine once remarked that half or more of the sperm that men produce daily are "dead" or non-viable.  Conception's a miracle, really, considering that the male body does a pretty poor job making useful gametes.

I'm chill about all this since I've chosen not to reproduce.  Completely non-religious reason: I'm an insane genetic cul-de-sac, so bringing rugrats into the world to perpetuate the horror isn't that civic-minded.  Seriously, none of these questions are important, especially at a young age.  If you've got concerns, see a doctor.  Prostate cancer is often slow-growing and effectively treated in old age.  All of this is really nothing to worry about.    

That's not what I am talking about. Fertility and sperm is a different issue from the health of the prostate and risk of prostate cancer.
Logged

I stopped posting here in August 2011 because of stark disagreement with the policies of the administration and moderating team of the forums. If you desire, feel free to PM me, message me on Facebook (link in profile), or email me: cddombrowski@gmail.com
jordanz
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic
Posts: 203


« Reply #23 on: March 30, 2011, 10:02:20 PM »

jordanz,

I hope you don't think I was rebuking you. I dunno the rules around here about this sorta stuff. This is all vanilla to me.

I was just pointing out the MODs that I meant no offense, if I happened to be stepping over some line.

No, it's all good.  Mature adults can talk about these things without matters getting out of hand.  I got to watch it though -- I've only been here a week and I've already been squashed by a mod once.  

Also, my humor is sort of strange, so maybe I should tone that down.  Some people here are mad serious.
Logged
orthonorm
Warned
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,523



« Reply #24 on: March 30, 2011, 10:06:05 PM »

jordanz,

I hope you don't think I was rebuking you. I dunno the rules around here about this sorta stuff. This is all vanilla to me.

I was just pointing out the MODs that I meant no offense, if I happened to be stepping over some line.

No, it's all good.  Mature adults can talk about these things without matters getting out of hand.  I got to watch it though -- I've only been here a week and I've already been squashed by a mod once.  

Also, my humor is sort of strange, so maybe I should tone that down.  Some people here are mad serious.

With you there.

Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
jordanz
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic
Posts: 203


« Reply #25 on: March 30, 2011, 10:09:10 PM »

That's between you and your priest.  Can't help you there.

You seemed to describe the frequency in your example "compulsively masturbating many times a day", for a reason. So I was asking more trying to learn about your reasoning. If you can't answer the question, it would seem to suggest that you didn't have any such intent in defining the frequency, which leaves me confused.

What I meant is this: the Roman consensus is that issues such as sex addiction are best left to confidential pastoral care and confession.  I suspect it's the same model in the Orthodox tradition.  It's up to a confessor to determine the gravity of a penitent's sins.  This thread shouldn't be about our personal problems or questions.  Some things should be kept private and discussed one-on-one with a priest or maybe even in the context of therapy.  
« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 10:09:56 PM by jordanz » Logged
orthonorm
Warned
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,523



« Reply #26 on: March 30, 2011, 10:12:28 PM »

That's between you and your priest.  Can't help you there.

You seemed to describe the frequency in your example "compulsively masturbating many times a day", for a reason. So I was asking more trying to learn about your reasoning. If you can't answer the question, it would seem to suggest that you didn't have any such intent in defining the frequency, which leaves me confused.

What I meant is this: the Roman consensus is that issues such as sex addiction are best left to confidential pastoral care and confession.  I suspect it's the same model in the Orthodox tradition.  It's up to a confessor to determine the gravity of a penitent's sins.  This thread shouldn't be about our personal problems or questions.  Some things should be kept private and discussed one-on-one with a priest or maybe even in the context of therapy.  

Sounds like quality advice to me.
Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
Sleeper
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Posts: 1,265

On hiatus for the foreseeable future.


« Reply #27 on: March 30, 2011, 11:52:15 PM »

Just to throw another aspect out there, how are we to understand nocturnal emissions in light of all this? Is it "okay" because the person didn't will it to happen, but it happened on its own? Is a sexual dream that causes a release different than fantasizing and making it happen on your own, because of being conscious?
Logged
orthonorm
Warned
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,523



« Reply #28 on: March 30, 2011, 11:58:06 PM »

Just to throw another aspect out there, how are we to understand nocturnal emissions in light of all this? Is it "okay" because the person didn't will it to happen, but it happened on its own? Is a sexual dream that causes a release different than fantasizing and making it happen on your own, because of being conscious?

This has been dealt with here. I believe the consensus including Patristic sources found this to be a non issue. If I weren't just getting ready to sleep, I would google-fu it for you. If I get a minute at work tomorrow and no one has provided the sources again, I will give it a whirl.
Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 7,034


"My god is greater."


« Reply #29 on: March 31, 2011, 12:17:05 AM »

Just to throw another aspect out there, how are we to understand nocturnal emissions in light of all this? Is it "okay" because the person didn't will it to happen, but it happened on its own? Is a sexual dream that causes a release different than fantasizing and making it happen on your own, because of being conscious?

Thus I have read- If it happens the night before communion, one must refrain from communion that day OR one can get up, say Psalm 50, and do a certain number of metanies (I forget the number.)
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
jordanz
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic
Posts: 203


« Reply #30 on: March 31, 2011, 01:11:48 PM »

Thus I have read- If it happens the night before communion, one must refrain from communion that day OR one can get up, say Psalm 50, and do a certain number of metanies (I forget the number.)

I don't get this.  Nocturnal emission is an involuntary psychosomatic function.  How could something that can't be controlled be a sin and require penance?  I don't see any issues of volition here.

Y'know, a lot of these penitential manuals &c. were written at a time when psychosomatism and affective states were unknown.  Augustine thought the same as the confessor cited above.  I'm not a priest so I can't say, but I can't see why a penance would need to be assigned for a bodily function that is probably on a par with renal voiding.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2011, 01:13:05 PM by jordanz » Logged
Schultz
Christian. Guitarist. Zymurgist. Librarian.
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,481


Scion of the McKeesport Becks.


WWW
« Reply #31 on: March 31, 2011, 01:16:11 PM »

Thus I have read- If it happens the night before communion, one must refrain from communion that day OR one can get up, say Psalm 50, and do a certain number of metanies (I forget the number.)

I don't get this.  Nocturnal emission is an involuntary psychosomatic function.  How could something that can't be controlled be a sin and require penance?  I don't see any issues of volition here.

Y'know, a lot of these penitential manuals &c. were written at a time when psychosomatism and affective states were unknown.  Augustine thought the same as the confessor cited above.  I'm not a priest so I can't say, but I can't see why a penance would need to be assigned for a bodily function that is probably on a par with renal voiding.

In the Orthodox Church, sin isn't necessarily something that we will to happen.  It's something that's part and parcel of being a broken human.  Indeed, one of our most oft-repeated prayers asks God for forgiveness of sins "voluntary or involuntary, committed in knowledge or in ingnorance". 
Logged

"Hearing a nun's confession is like being stoned to death with popcorn." --Abp. Fulton Sheen
Wyatt
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Posts: 2,395


« Reply #32 on: March 31, 2011, 01:17:48 PM »

In the Orthodox Church, sin isn't necessarily something that we will to happen.  It's something that's part and parcel of being a broken human.  Indeed, one of our most oft-repeated prayers asks God for forgiveness of sins "voluntary or involuntary, committed in knowledge or in ingnorance". 
So a nocturnal emission is a sin?
Logged
Schultz
Christian. Guitarist. Zymurgist. Librarian.
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,481


Scion of the McKeesport Becks.


WWW
« Reply #33 on: March 31, 2011, 01:23:14 PM »

I am given to understanding (and I want to stress that I may be wrong) that yes, it is, in so far as were we to have complete control of our bodies as the good Lord intended before the Fall, we would not have such things happen.
Logged

"Hearing a nun's confession is like being stoned to death with popcorn." --Abp. Fulton Sheen
jordanz
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic
Posts: 203


« Reply #34 on: March 31, 2011, 01:31:34 PM »

In the Orthodox Church, sin isn't necessarily something that we will to happen.  It's something that's part and parcel of being a broken human.  Indeed, one of our most oft-repeated prayers asks God for forgiveness of sins "voluntary or involuntary, committed in knowledge or in ingnorance". 

Wow, Schultz -- thanks.  Your statement unlocks a lot of questions I've had about sin and penance in Orthodoxy.

It seems to me that nocturnal emission is not "sin of omission".  If, say, someone is being discriminated against and an observer does not speak up about the injustice, the observer could have committed a sin of omission.  Psychosomatism isn't omission, since there's no reflection (unless one thinks that dream thoughts are consciously reflexive.)  I don't, so I would say that psychosomatic acts outside of the "natural order" are neither sins of commission or omission. 

So Orthodoxy has a third "fallen-ness" that's outside of commission or omission?  This reminds me of certain commandments of observant Judaism, specifically niddah (commandments that concern the interaction of menstruating women with other people).  Today we know empirically that menstruation is not pathological.  Still, observant Jews observe the rabbinical social protocols that concern menstruation even if the rabbinical commentary or the Mosaic prohibition contradict current empirical knowledge.

Is the Orthodox evaluation of involuntary emission of semen akin to niddah?  Is the production of a life-generating substance outside of life-generation the occasion for penance?  Or, is this a matter of ritual purity?  Fascinating topic.     
« Last Edit: March 31, 2011, 01:32:16 PM by jordanz » Logged
elijahmaria
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 6,473



WWW
« Reply #35 on: March 31, 2011, 02:22:56 PM »

In the Orthodox Church, sin isn't necessarily something that we will to happen.  It's something that's part and parcel of being a broken human.  Indeed, one of our most oft-repeated prayers asks God for forgiveness of sins "voluntary or involuntary, committed in knowledge or in ingnorance". 

Wow, Schultz -- thanks.  Your statement unlocks a lot of questions I've had about sin and penance in Orthodoxy.

It seems to me that nocturnal emission is not "sin of omission".  If, say, someone is being discriminated against and an observer does not speak up about the injustice, the observer could have committed a sin of omission.  Psychosomatism isn't omission, since there's no reflection (unless one thinks that dream thoughts are consciously reflexive.)  I don't, so I would say that psychosomatic acts outside of the "natural order" are neither sins of commission or omission. 

So Orthodoxy has a third "fallen-ness" that's outside of commission or omission?  This reminds me of certain commandments of observant Judaism, specifically niddah (commandments that concern the interaction of menstruating women with other people).  Today we know empirically that menstruation is not pathological.  Still, observant Jews observe the rabbinical social protocols that concern menstruation even if the rabbinical commentary or the Mosaic prohibition contradict current empirical knowledge.

Is the Orthodox evaluation of involuntary emission of semen akin to niddah?  Is the production of a life-generating substance outside of life-generation the occasion for penance?  Or, is this a matter of ritual purity?  Fascinating topic.     

I am wondering of Schultz is not, at the moment, pondering the law of unintended consequences?
Logged

Shanghaiski
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 7,973


Holy Trinity Church of Gergeti, Georgia


« Reply #36 on: March 31, 2011, 03:49:04 PM »

In the Orthodox Church, sin isn't necessarily something that we will to happen.  It's something that's part and parcel of being a broken human.  Indeed, one of our most oft-repeated prayers asks God for forgiveness of sins "voluntary or involuntary, committed in knowledge or in ingnorance". 

Wow, Schultz -- thanks.  Your statement unlocks a lot of questions I've had about sin and penance in Orthodoxy.

It seems to me that nocturnal emission is not "sin of omission".  If, say, someone is being discriminated against and an observer does not speak up about the injustice, the observer could have committed a sin of omission.  Psychosomatism isn't omission, since there's no reflection (unless one thinks that dream thoughts are consciously reflexive.)  I don't, so I would say that psychosomatic acts outside of the "natural order" are neither sins of commission or omission. 

So Orthodoxy has a third "fallen-ness" that's outside of commission or omission?  This reminds me of certain commandments of observant Judaism, specifically niddah (commandments that concern the interaction of menstruating women with other people).  Today we know empirically that menstruation is not pathological.  Still, observant Jews observe the rabbinical social protocols that concern menstruation even if the rabbinical commentary or the Mosaic prohibition contradict current empirical knowledge.

Is the Orthodox evaluation of involuntary emission of semen akin to niddah?  Is the production of a life-generating substance outside of life-generation the occasion for penance?  Or, is this a matter of ritual purity?  Fascinating topic.     

There are rules governing menstruation and emissions and Holy Communion, and as well one often avoids communion if bleeding or if there is a possibility of vomiting.

There is a prayer rule for what to do after emissions, which may or may not result "from habit, thoughts, immoderation in hurtful things or food and drink, or overbearing presumption."

As for masturbation, it is a sin, is penanced in the Examologitarion, and one instance is considered an impediment to ordination as a loss of spiritual virginity. Obviously, it is at the same time a pastoral issue, but no one should say it is not a serious sin. If one reads the Desert Fathers, one finds they struggled mightily against this.
Logged

Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,963



« Reply #37 on: March 31, 2011, 03:51:40 PM »

I am given to understanding (and I want to stress that I may be wrong) that yes, it is, in so far as were we to have complete control of our bodies as the good Lord intended before the Fall, we would not have such things happen.
I often wonder if those who speculate on what life would be without the Fall have decided if women would  or would not menstruate (another issue of grave concern to some). Sort of like, in another threa, where we have been told that man wouldn't have to eat and wouldn't defecate.

The point at issue, however, may have another dimension-how involunatry is it, breaking the fast etc.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,963



« Reply #38 on: March 31, 2011, 03:55:51 PM »

In the Orthodox Church, sin isn't necessarily something that we will to happen.  It's something that's part and parcel of being a broken human.  Indeed, one of our most oft-repeated prayers asks God for forgiveness of sins "voluntary or involuntary, committed in knowledge or in ingnorance".  

Wow, Schultz -- thanks.  Your statement unlocks a lot of questions I've had about sin and penance in Orthodoxy.

It seems to me that nocturnal emission is not "sin of omission".  If, say, someone is being discriminated against and an observer does not speak up about the injustice, the observer could have committed a sin of omission.  Psychosomatism isn't omission, since there's no reflection (unless one thinks that dream thoughts are consciously reflexive.)  I don't, so I would say that psychosomatic acts outside of the "natural order" are neither sins of commission or omission.  

So Orthodoxy has a third "fallen-ness" that's outside of commission or omission?  This reminds me of certain commandments of observant Judaism, specifically niddah (commandments that concern the interaction of menstruating women with other people).  Today we know empirically that menstruation is not pathological.  Still, observant Jews observe the rabbinical social protocols that concern menstruation even if the rabbinical commentary or the Mosaic prohibition contradict current empirical knowledge.

Is the Orthodox evaluation of involuntary emission of semen akin to niddah?  Is the production of a life-generating substance outside of life-generation the occasion for penance?  Or, is this a matter of ritual purity?  Fascinating topic.      

There are rules governing menstruation and emissions and Holy Communion, and as well one often avoids communion if bleeding or if there is a possibility of vomiting.

There is a prayer rule for what to do after emissions, which may or may not result "from habit, thoughts, immoderation in hurtful things or food and drink, or overbearing presumption."

As for masturbation, it is a sin, is penanced in the Examologitarion, and one instance is considered an impediment to ordination as a loss of spiritual virginity. Obviously, it is at the same time a pastoral issue, but no one should say it is not a serious sin. If one reads the Desert Fathers, one finds they struggled mightily against this.
They were monks.  They were struggling a lot of things normal in life. IIRC, most of their writings talk about gluttony, far, far, FAR more than topics of this sort. Not that gluttony is normal, but eating is.

It is about as serious as drinking.

Btw, as to the Examologitarion, it is based on the canons of St. John the Faster, which, although St. Nikodemus the Athonite was fond of them, never received Ecumenical authority, something I recall the English translator and commentator (an Old Calendar type before the Calendar became an issue) being quite apopletic about: his comments on this topic are quite amusing too.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2011, 03:59:39 PM by ialmisry » Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
Schultz
Christian. Guitarist. Zymurgist. Librarian.
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,481


Scion of the McKeesport Becks.


WWW
« Reply #39 on: March 31, 2011, 04:07:09 PM »

I am given to understanding (and I want to stress that I may be wrong) that yes, it is, in so far as were we to have complete control of our bodies as the good Lord intended before the Fall, we would not have such things happen.
I often wonder if those who speculate on what life would be without the Fall have decided if women would  or would not menstruate (another issue of grave concern to some). Sort of like, in another threa, where we have been told that man wouldn't have to eat and wouldn't defecate.


And I wonder the same thing.  In the end, such speculation is NOT for the good of my soul so I rarely indulge in it. 

Quote
The point at issue, however, may have another dimension-how involunatry is it, breaking the fast etc.

Agreed.

Logged

"Hearing a nun's confession is like being stoned to death with popcorn." --Abp. Fulton Sheen
elijahmaria
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 6,473



WWW
« Reply #40 on: March 31, 2011, 04:11:59 PM »

The catechism of the Catholic Church indicates that masturbation is a sin.  The same text indicates that some sins are mitigated by the spiritual maturity of the person engaging in the behaviors.  Again it is something for discussion with ones confessor.  It's hardly the worst of all possible voluntary acts.

Just adding this to justify the topic being under the heading here.
Logged

elijahmaria
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 6,473



WWW
« Reply #41 on: March 31, 2011, 04:15:03 PM »

Btw, part of that health-related aspects includes fertility: studies have shown that it boosts fertility after leaving it on the shelf for a while to clear it out first.

What if sometime in the near future, multiple thirty-year longitudinal studies will convincingly prove that men should masturbate for prostate health and to keep the sperm count high and viable.  Could a theologian plausibly contend that the suppression of fertility (the thwarting of a natural good) is a necessary consequence of obeying Christian morality?



That definitely sounds like something only the most scholastic of theologians would even think about, let alone posit as a theorem to solve Wink



Ghandi spent a good bit of time thinking about the benefits of the Vedic practice of conservation of sperm.

http://www.arunachala-ramana.org/forum/index.php?topic=5682.0
« Last Edit: March 31, 2011, 04:16:09 PM by elijahmaria » Logged

Schultz
Christian. Guitarist. Zymurgist. Librarian.
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,481


Scion of the McKeesport Becks.


WWW
« Reply #42 on: March 31, 2011, 04:17:21 PM »

The catechism of the Catholic Church indicates that masturbation is a sin.  The same text indicates that some sins are mitigated by the spiritual maturity of the person engaging in the behaviors.  Again it is something for discussion with ones confessor.  It's hardly the worst of all possible voluntary acts.

Just adding this to justify the topic being under the heading here.

Agreed, and yet people freak out about it. 
Logged

"Hearing a nun's confession is like being stoned to death with popcorn." --Abp. Fulton Sheen
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,963



« Reply #43 on: March 31, 2011, 04:24:03 PM »

The catechism of the Catholic Church indicates that masturbation is a sin.  The same text indicates that some sins are mitigated by the spiritual maturity of the person engaging in the behaviors.  Again it is something for discussion with ones confessor.  It's hardly the worst of all possible voluntary acts.

Just adding this to justify the topic being under the heading here.

Agreed, and yet people freak out about it. 
Indeed, there are those who argue how it is worse than adultery.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,963



« Reply #44 on: March 31, 2011, 04:26:58 PM »

Btw, part of that health-related aspects includes fertility: studies have shown that it boosts fertility after leaving it on the shelf for a while to clear it out first.

What if sometime in the near future, multiple thirty-year longitudinal studies will convincingly prove that men should masturbate for prostate health and to keep the sperm count high and viable.  Could a theologian plausibly contend that the suppression of fertility (the thwarting of a natural good) is a necessary consequence of obeying Christian morality?



That definitely sounds like something only the most scholastic of theologians would even think about, let alone posit as a theorem to solve Wink



Ghandi spent a good bit of time thinking about the benefits of the Vedic practice of conservation of sperm.

http://www.arunachala-ramana.org/forum/index.php?topic=5682.0

LOL. Ending with this bit of wisdom:
Quote
"A wise man should avoid married life as if it were a burning pit of live coals...
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
CBGardner
Site Supporter
High Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 618


Ask w/ tears, seek w/ obedience, knock w/ patience


« Reply #45 on: March 31, 2011, 04:28:00 PM »

I am given to understanding (and I want to stress that I may be wrong) that yes, it is, in so far as were we to have complete control of our bodies as the good Lord intended before the Fall, we would not have such things happen.

This has been my understanding. That it shows an entrenched sin in your soul that still needs dealing with. Or even that your flesh is being fueled by over eating, drinking, etc. It shows a lack of peace within someone.


The catechism of the Catholic Church indicates that masturbation is a sin.  The same text indicates that some sins are mitigated by the spiritual maturity of the person engaging in the behaviors.  Again it is something for discussion with ones confessor.  It's hardly the worst of all possible voluntary acts.

Just adding this to justify the topic being under the heading here.

Agreed, and yet people freak out about it.  

It is a dangerous step to start ranking sins; all sin results in death.
Logged

Authentic zeal is not directed towards anything but union in Christ, or against anything but our own fallenness.

"Beardliness is next to Godliness."- Asteriktos
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,963



« Reply #46 on: March 31, 2011, 04:30:50 PM »

I am given to understanding (and I want to stress that I may be wrong) that yes, it is, in so far as were we to have complete control of our bodies as the good Lord intended before the Fall, we would not have such things happen.

This has been my understanding. That it shows an entrenched sin in your soul that still needs dealing with. Or even that your flesh is being fueled by over eating, drinking, etc. It shows a lack of peace within someone.

LOL. One's wife, perhaps?

The catechism of the Catholic Church indicates that masturbation is a sin.  The same text indicates that some sins are mitigated by the spiritual maturity of the person engaging in the behaviors.  Again it is something for discussion with ones confessor.  It's hardly the worst of all possible voluntary acts.

Just adding this to justify the topic being under the heading here.

Agreed, and yet people freak out about it.  

It is a dangerous step to start ranking sins; all sin results in death.


Ranking, and ranking it among the worst, is part of the freaking out.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
CBGardner
Site Supporter
High Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 618


Ask w/ tears, seek w/ obedience, knock w/ patience


« Reply #47 on: March 31, 2011, 04:38:32 PM »

I am given to understanding (and I want to stress that I may be wrong) that yes, it is, in so far as were we to have complete control of our bodies as the good Lord intended before the Fall, we would not have such things happen.

This has been my understanding. That it shows an entrenched sin in your soul that still needs dealing with. Or even that your flesh is being fueled by over eating, drinking, etc. It shows a lack of peace within someone.

LOL. One's wife, perhaps?

Haha  Cheesy


Ranking, and ranking it among the worst, is part of the freaking out.

Being raised a protestant I was taught sin is sin is sin; there is no ranking or better/worse. Is this the Orthodox viewpoint? Sorry I'm just confused by the exchange.
Logged

Authentic zeal is not directed towards anything but union in Christ, or against anything but our own fallenness.

"Beardliness is next to Godliness."- Asteriktos
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,096


Goodbye for now, my friend


« Reply #48 on: March 31, 2011, 04:42:52 PM »

Being raised a protestant I was taught sin is sin is sin; there is no ranking or better/worse. Is this the Orthodox viewpoint? Sorry I'm just confused by the exchange.

There are degrees of sin, but generally Orthodox these days don't rank them, and are even uncomfortable with the concept (perhaps wrongly thinking it's some type of Catholic innovation).
Logged

Paradosis ≠ Asteriktos ≠ Justin
CBGardner
Site Supporter
High Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 618


Ask w/ tears, seek w/ obedience, knock w/ patience


« Reply #49 on: March 31, 2011, 04:46:29 PM »

Being raised a protestant I was taught sin is sin is sin; there is no ranking or better/worse. Is this the Orthodox viewpoint? Sorry I'm just confused by the exchange.

There are degrees of sin, but generally Orthodox these days don't rank them, and are even uncomfortable with the concept (perhaps wrongly thinking it's some type of Catholic innovation).

By degrees do you mean there is a process to sinning and you can find yourself in different moments? Or that some sins are actually looked at as not as bad as others?
Logged

Authentic zeal is not directed towards anything but union in Christ, or against anything but our own fallenness.

"Beardliness is next to Godliness."- Asteriktos
Paisius
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Wherever the wind blows......
Posts: 1,105


Scheherazade


« Reply #50 on: March 31, 2011, 04:52:13 PM »

Being raised a protestant I was taught sin is sin is sin; there is no ranking or better/worse. Is this the Orthodox viewpoint? Sorry I'm just confused by the exchange.

We don't rank them in the sense of putting sin X in the mortal column and sin Y in the venial column. That being said, some sins are certainly more grave than others. Also, even though we don't use a formal ranking system like Catholics in practice we are very similar. For example, if you commit adultery you certainly shouldn't present yourself for Communion until you have confessed; but if you were selfish with the TV remote last night it probably doesn't prevent you from communing, just confess it next time you have confession. 
Logged

"Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else." - Frédéric Bastiat
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,096


Goodbye for now, my friend


« Reply #51 on: March 31, 2011, 05:01:08 PM »

Being raised a protestant I was taught sin is sin is sin; there is no ranking or better/worse. Is this the Orthodox viewpoint? Sorry I'm just confused by the exchange.

There are degrees of sin, but generally Orthodox these days don't rank them, and are even uncomfortable with the concept (perhaps wrongly thinking it's some type of Catholic innovation).

By degrees do you mean there is a process to sinning and you can find yourself in different moments? Or that some sins are actually looked at as not as bad as others?

Well, let me put it this way, I've read in Church Fathers the idea that sometimes we need to pick "lesser evils". It's not that people want to say "Oh, that's a little sin". There are no little sins, just perhaps worse choices when you're stuck between two bad choices. Here are some quotes that illustrate what I mean...

Quote
It is better both to attain the good and to keep the purification. But if it be impossible to do both it is surely better to be a little stained with your public affairs than to fall altogether short of grace; just as I think it better to undergo a slight punishment from father or master than to be put out of doors; and to be a little beamed upon than to be left in total darkness. And it is the part of wise men to choose, as in good things the greater and more perfect, so in evils the lesser and lighter. Wherefore do not overmuch dread the purification. For our success is always judged by comparison with our place in life by our just and merciful Judge; and often one who is in public life and has had small success has had a greater reward than one who in the enjoyment of liberty has not completely succeeded; as I think it more marvellous for a man to advance a little in fetters, than for one to run who is not carrying any weight; or to be only a little spattered in walking through mud, than to be perfectly clean when the road is clean. To give you a proof of what I have said: Rahab the harlot was justified by one thing alone, her hospitality, though she receives no praise for the rest of her conduct; and the Publican was exalted by one thing, his humility, though he received no testimony for anything else; so that you may learn not easily to despair concerning yourself. - St. Gregory the Theologian, Oration 40, 19 

"But fornication, and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as becometh saints." He has spoken of the bitter passion, of wrath; he now comes to the lesser evil: for that lust is the lesser evil, hear how Moses also in the law says, first, "Thou shalt do no murder" (Ex. 20:13), which is the work of wrath, and then, "Thou shalt not commit adultery" (Ex. 20:14), which is of lust. For as "bitterness," and "clamor," and "all malice," and "railing," and the like, are the works of the passionate man, so likewise are "fornication, uncleanness, covetousness," those of the lustful; since avarice and sensuality spring from the same passion. But just as in the former case he took away "clamor" as being the vehicle of "anger," so now does he "filthy talking" and "jesting" as being the vehicle of lust; for he proceeds, Ver. 4. "Nor filthiness, nor foolish talking, or jesting, which are not befitting; but rather giving of thanks." - John Chrysostom, Homily 17 on Ephesians

Moreover, when he blames dissensions and schisms, which undoubtedly are evils, he immediately adds heresies likewise. Now, that which he subjoins to evil things, he of course confesses to be itself an evil; and all the greater, indeed, because he tells us that his belief of their schisms and dissensions was grounded on his knowledge that "there must be heresies also." For he shows us that it was owing to the prospect of the greater evil that he readily believed the existence of the lighter ones; - Tertullian, The Prescription Against Heresies, 5

Some members we can dispense with and yet live: without others life is an impossibility. Some offences are light, some heavy. It is one thing to owe ten thousand talents, another to owe a farthing. We shall have to give account of the idle word no less than of adultery; but it is not the same thing to be put to the blush, and to be put upon the rack, to grow red in the face and to ensure lasting torment. Do you think I am merely expressing my own views?Hear what the Apostle John says: "He who knows that his brother sinneth a sin not unto death, let him ask, and he shall give him life, even to him that sinneth not unto death. But he that hath sinned unto death, who shall pray for him?" You observe that if we entreat for smaller offences, we obtain pardon: if for greater ones, it is difficult to obtain our request: and that there is a great difference between sins. - St. Jerome, Against Jovinianus, 2, 30

…in the case of Cain, what was done was not a murder only, but worse than even many murders; for it was not a stranger, but a brother, whom he slew; and a brother who had not done but suffered wrong; not after many murderers, but having first originated the horrid crime: so here too that which was perpetrated was not murder only. For it was no ordinary man that did it, but a prophet: and he slays not him that had done wrong, but him that had suffered wrong; for indeed he had been mortally wronged, by the forcing away his wife: nevertheless after that he added this also. - Saint John Chrysostom, Homily 26 on Matthew

For although, as far as a man's own conscience is concerned, it is a greater evil to deceive than to be deceived, nevertheless it is a far less evil to tell a lie in regard to matters that do not relate to religion, than to be led into error in regard to matters the knowledge and belief of which are essential to the right worship of God. To illustrate this by example: suppose that one man should say of some one who is dead that he is still alive, knowing this to be untrue; and that another man should, being deceived, believe that Christ shall at the end of some time (make the time as long as you please) die; would it not be incomparably better to lie like the former, than to be deceived like the latter? and would it not be a much less evil to lead some man into the former error, than to be led by any man into the latter? - St. Augustine, The Enchiridion, 18

Jn. 19:11 might be a scriptural example of this concept as well.
Logged

Paradosis ≠ Asteriktos ≠ Justin
deusveritasest
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: None
Jurisdiction: None
Posts: 7,528



WWW
« Reply #52 on: March 31, 2011, 05:07:47 PM »

Thus I have read- If it happens the night before communion, one must refrain from communion that day OR one can get up, say Psalm 50, and do a certain number of metanies (I forget the number.)

I don't get this.  Nocturnal emission is an involuntary psychosomatic function.  How could something that can't be controlled be a sin and require penance?  I don't see any issues of volition here.

Y'know, a lot of these penitential manuals &c. were written at a time when psychosomatism and affective states were unknown.  Augustine thought the same as the confessor cited above.  I'm not a priest so I can't say, but I can't see why a penance would need to be assigned for a bodily function that is probably on a par with renal voiding.

In the Orthodox Church, sin isn't necessarily something that we will to happen.  It's something that's part and parcel of being a broken human.  Indeed, one of our most oft-repeated prayers asks God for forgiveness of sins "voluntary or involuntary, committed in knowledge or in ingnorance". 

I can understand involuntary acts being sinful in that way, but I can't understand Confessing them/asking for forgiveness for them, something which to me seems inherently tied up with guilt and wrongfulness.
Logged

I stopped posting here in August 2011 because of stark disagreement with the policies of the administration and moderating team of the forums. If you desire, feel free to PM me, message me on Facebook (link in profile), or email me: cddombrowski@gmail.com
CBGardner
Site Supporter
High Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 618


Ask w/ tears, seek w/ obedience, knock w/ patience


« Reply #53 on: March 31, 2011, 05:14:44 PM »

Being raised a protestant I was taught sin is sin is sin; there is no ranking or better/worse. Is this the Orthodox viewpoint? Sorry I'm just confused by the exchange.

There are degrees of sin, but generally Orthodox these days don't rank them, and are even uncomfortable with the concept (perhaps wrongly thinking it's some type of Catholic innovation).

By degrees do you mean there is a process to sinning and you can find yourself in different moments? Or that some sins are actually looked at as not as bad as others?

Well, let me put it this way, I've read in Church Fathers the idea that sometimes we need to pick "lesser evils". It's not that people want to say "Oh, that's a little sin". There are no little sins, just perhaps worse choices when you're stuck between two bad choices. Here are some quotes that illustrate what I mean...

Quote
It is better both to attain the good and to keep the purification. But if it be impossible to do both it is surely better to be a little stained with your public affairs than to fall altogether short of grace; just as I think it better to undergo a slight punishment from father or master than to be put out of doors; and to be a little beamed upon than to be left in total darkness. And it is the part of wise men to choose, as in good things the greater and more perfect, so in evils the lesser and lighter. Wherefore do not overmuch dread the purification. For our success is always judged by comparison with our place in life by our just and merciful Judge; and often one who is in public life and has had small success has had a greater reward than one who in the enjoyment of liberty has not completely succeeded; as I think it more marvellous for a man to advance a little in fetters, than for one to run who is not carrying any weight; or to be only a little spattered in walking through mud, than to be perfectly clean when the road is clean. To give you a proof of what I have said: Rahab the harlot was justified by one thing alone, her hospitality, though she receives no praise for the rest of her conduct; and the Publican was exalted by one thing, his humility, though he received no testimony for anything else; so that you may learn not easily to despair concerning yourself. - St. Gregory the Theologian, Oration 40, 19 

"But fornication, and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as becometh saints." He has spoken of the bitter passion, of wrath; he now comes to the lesser evil: for that lust is the lesser evil, hear how Moses also in the law says, first, "Thou shalt do no murder" (Ex. 20:13), which is the work of wrath, and then, "Thou shalt not commit adultery" (Ex. 20:14), which is of lust. For as "bitterness," and "clamor," and "all malice," and "railing," and the like, are the works of the passionate man, so likewise are "fornication, uncleanness, covetousness," those of the lustful; since avarice and sensuality spring from the same passion. But just as in the former case he took away "clamor" as being the vehicle of "anger," so now does he "filthy talking" and "jesting" as being the vehicle of lust; for he proceeds, Ver. 4. "Nor filthiness, nor foolish talking, or jesting, which are not befitting; but rather giving of thanks." - John Chrysostom, Homily 17 on Ephesians

Moreover, when he blames dissensions and schisms, which undoubtedly are evils, he immediately adds heresies likewise. Now, that which he subjoins to evil things, he of course confesses to be itself an evil; and all the greater, indeed, because he tells us that his belief of their schisms and dissensions was grounded on his knowledge that "there must be heresies also." For he shows us that it was owing to the prospect of the greater evil that he readily believed the existence of the lighter ones; - Tertullian, The Prescription Against Heresies, 5

Some members we can dispense with and yet live: without others life is an impossibility. Some offences are light, some heavy. It is one thing to owe ten thousand talents, another to owe a farthing. We shall have to give account of the idle word no less than of adultery; but it is not the same thing to be put to the blush, and to be put upon the rack, to grow red in the face and to ensure lasting torment. Do you think I am merely expressing my own views?Hear what the Apostle John says: "He who knows that his brother sinneth a sin not unto death, let him ask, and he shall give him life, even to him that sinneth not unto death. But he that hath sinned unto death, who shall pray for him?" You observe that if we entreat for smaller offences, we obtain pardon: if for greater ones, it is difficult to obtain our request: and that there is a great difference between sins. - St. Jerome, Against Jovinianus, 2, 30

…in the case of Cain, what was done was not a murder only, but worse than even many murders; for it was not a stranger, but a brother, whom he slew; and a brother who had not done but suffered wrong; not after many murderers, but having first originated the horrid crime: so here too that which was perpetrated was not murder only. For it was no ordinary man that did it, but a prophet: and he slays not him that had done wrong, but him that had suffered wrong; for indeed he had been mortally wronged, by the forcing away his wife: nevertheless after that he added this also. - Saint John Chrysostom, Homily 26 on Matthew

For although, as far as a man's own conscience is concerned, it is a greater evil to deceive than to be deceived, nevertheless it is a far less evil to tell a lie in regard to matters that do not relate to religion, than to be led into error in regard to matters the knowledge and belief of which are essential to the right worship of God. To illustrate this by example: suppose that one man should say of some one who is dead that he is still alive, knowing this to be untrue; and that another man should, being deceived, believe that Christ shall at the end of some time (make the time as long as you please) die; would it not be incomparably better to lie like the former, than to be deceived like the latter? and would it not be a much less evil to lead some man into the former error, than to be led by any man into the latter? - St. Augustine, The Enchiridion, 18

Jn. 19:11 might be a scriptural example of this concept as well.

I see. Its like the recovery from a lesser sin is easier so it would be beneficial to take that road instead.
Logged

Authentic zeal is not directed towards anything but union in Christ, or against anything but our own fallenness.

"Beardliness is next to Godliness."- Asteriktos
elijahmaria
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 6,473



WWW
« Reply #54 on: March 31, 2011, 05:34:26 PM »

Being raised a protestant I was taught sin is sin is sin; there is no ranking or better/worse. Is this the Orthodox viewpoint? Sorry I'm just confused by the exchange.

We don't rank them in the sense of putting sin X in the mortal column and sin Y in the venial column. That being said, some sins are certainly more grave than others. Also, even though we don't use a formal ranking system like Catholics in practice we are very similar. For example, if you commit adultery you certainly shouldn't present yourself for Communion until you have confessed; but if you were selfish with the TV remote last night it probably doesn't prevent you from communing, just confess it next time you have confession. 

I see no difference here between the Roman rite teaching on mortal and venial sins.  One of the things that gets argued in the Catholic Church is whether or not habitual small sins eventually lead to the death of the soul.  I follow the teachings of the reformed Carmelite saints and others who say that indeed a habit of small sins is just as deadly to the soul as a masterfully willful mortal sin...a sin that is of the gravest matter.

The great sins must be confessed.  A periodic lesser sin can be healed by receiving the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Logged

jordanz
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic
Posts: 203


« Reply #55 on: March 31, 2011, 07:59:38 PM »

I see no difference here between the Roman rite teaching on mortal and venial sins.  One of the things that gets argued in the Catholic Church is whether or not habitual small sins eventually lead to the death of the soul.  I follow the teachings of the reformed Carmelite saints and others who say that indeed a habit of small sins is just as deadly to the soul as a masterfully willful mortal sin...a sin that is of the gravest matter.

One of my strange meditative practices is to recite the Confiteor* very quietly and continuously for a hour or two.  I often do this when I want to meditate in public but not be seen with a rosary.  In this way I am continuously conscious of my need for sacramental repentance.  I view it as a very long term examination of conscience between confessions.

* The Confiteor is the confession of sin said at the beginning of the Mass and just before the administration of Holy Communion.  It is a remission of venial sin, but is also meant to strengthen those in grace as they prepare to participate in the Holy Sacrifice and receive the sacrament.     
Logged
elijahmaria
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 6,473



WWW
« Reply #56 on: March 31, 2011, 08:11:07 PM »

I see no difference here between the Roman rite teaching on mortal and venial sins.  One of the things that gets argued in the Catholic Church is whether or not habitual small sins eventually lead to the death of the soul.  I follow the teachings of the reformed Carmelite saints and others who say that indeed a habit of small sins is just as deadly to the soul as a masterfully willful mortal sin...a sin that is of the gravest matter.

One of my strange meditative practices is to recite the Confiteor* very quietly and continuously for a hour or two.  I often do this when I want to meditate in public but not be seen with a rosary.  In this way I am continuously conscious of my need for sacramental repentance.  I view it as a very long term examination of conscience between confessions.

* The Confiteor is the confession of sin said at the beginning of the Mass and just before the administration of Holy Communion.  It is a remission of venial sin, but is also meant to strengthen those in grace as they prepare to participate in the Holy Sacrifice and receive the sacrament.     

That is a very beautiful habit, Peter. 

You hit on something here that is often overlooked...and that is the blessing of graces coming from the sacraments of Penance and Eucharist that should help keep us from sinning again. 

You also hit on another favorite of mine which is the practice of "useless"  Smiley repetitions.
Logged

elijahmaria
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 6,473



WWW
« Reply #57 on: March 31, 2011, 08:15:19 PM »

Thus I have read- If it happens the night before communion, one must refrain from communion that day OR one can get up, say Psalm 50, and do a certain number of metanies (I forget the number.)

I don't get this.  Nocturnal emission is an involuntary psychosomatic function.  How could something that can't be controlled be a sin and require penance?  I don't see any issues of volition here.

Y'know, a lot of these penitential manuals &c. were written at a time when psychosomatism and affective states were unknown.  Augustine thought the same as the confessor cited above.  I'm not a priest so I can't say, but I can't see why a penance would need to be assigned for a bodily function that is probably on a par with renal voiding.

In the Orthodox Church, sin isn't necessarily something that we will to happen.  It's something that's part and parcel of being a broken human.  Indeed, one of our most oft-repeated prayers asks God for forgiveness of sins "voluntary or involuntary, committed in knowledge or in ingnorance". 

I can understand involuntary acts being sinful in that way, but I can't understand Confessing them/asking for forgiveness for them, something which to me seems inherently tied up with guilt and wrongfulness.

Back to the note I just sent in response to Peter.  The most important aspect of penitential confession and absolution are the graces not to repeat our sinfulness.  It is not a matter of guilt as much as it is a matter of working to align ourselves with God's will...in our voluntary acts, and in our involuntary acts as well.  I would think I would be in perhaps greater need of help to avoid those things I rarely consider, but do in any event.
Logged

deusveritasest
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: None
Jurisdiction: None
Posts: 7,528



WWW
« Reply #58 on: March 31, 2011, 08:55:16 PM »

Back to the note I just sent in response to Peter.  The most important aspect of penitential confession and absolution are the graces not to repeat our sinfulness.  It is not a matter of guilt as much as it is a matter of working to align ourselves with God's will...in our voluntary acts, and in our involuntary acts as well.  I would think I would be in perhaps greater need of help to avoid those things I rarely consider, but do in any event.

What I don't understand is why this grace to avoid involuntary acts cannot be received through Holy Communion without Confession. And I also don't understand how it would be appropriate to bar a person from Holy Communion for an involuntary act.
Logged

I stopped posting here in August 2011 because of stark disagreement with the policies of the administration and moderating team of the forums. If you desire, feel free to PM me, message me on Facebook (link in profile), or email me: cddombrowski@gmail.com
elijahmaria
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 6,473



WWW
« Reply #59 on: March 31, 2011, 09:06:30 PM »

Back to the note I just sent in response to Peter.  The most important aspect of penitential confession and absolution are the graces not to repeat our sinfulness.  It is not a matter of guilt as much as it is a matter of working to align ourselves with God's will...in our voluntary acts, and in our involuntary acts as well.  I would think I would be in perhaps greater need of help to avoid those things I rarely consider, but do in any event.

What I don't understand is why this grace to avoid involuntary acts cannot be received through Holy Communion without Confession. And I also don't understand how it would be appropriate to bar a person from Holy Communion for an involuntary act.

You would not be barred from communion for an involuntary act.  One should not be barred from communion for being too immature or underdeveloped in some way to know right from left.  

But for those of us who know right from left and who know that we have these little knee-jerk habits that we know are not good...even if they are not very very bad....it is a necessary thing for us to admit to that fact, ask pardon for our ignorance and hope for the best since that is what He has promised to us.

And for these small things that we scuffle with in life we are indeed forgiven by communion and blessed with the graces to become more aware of our habits of heart and mind, thought word and deed.

Howzzat?
« Last Edit: March 31, 2011, 09:07:22 PM by elijahmaria » Logged

Wyatt
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Posts: 2,395


« Reply #60 on: April 01, 2011, 12:12:15 PM »

I am given to understanding (and I want to stress that I may be wrong) that yes, it is, in so far as were we to have complete control of our bodies as the good Lord intended before the Fall, we would not have such things happen.
I would agree that something such as a nocturnal emission may be a defect introduced by the fall, yet I would disagree that it is a sin in and of itself because it is involuntary.
Logged
elijahmaria
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 6,473



WWW
« Reply #61 on: April 01, 2011, 12:24:53 PM »

I am given to understanding (and I want to stress that I may be wrong) that yes, it is, in so far as were we to have complete control of our bodies as the good Lord intended before the Fall, we would not have such things happen.
I would agree that something such as a nocturnal emission may be a defect introduced by the fall, yet I would disagree that it is a sin in and of itself because it is involuntary.

I think sometimes we fail to distinguish between evil, or the privation of a due good, and sin.

Involuntary sins, I have always understood as something that is objectively evil that is outside of our control.
Logged

Wyatt
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Posts: 2,395


« Reply #62 on: April 01, 2011, 12:56:56 PM »

I am given to understanding (and I want to stress that I may be wrong) that yes, it is, in so far as were we to have complete control of our bodies as the good Lord intended before the Fall, we would not have such things happen.
I would agree that something such as a nocturnal emission may be a defect introduced by the fall, yet I would disagree that it is a sin in and of itself because it is involuntary.

I think sometimes we fail to distinguish between evil, or the privation of a due good, and sin.

Involuntary sins, I have always understood as something that is objectively evil that is outside of our control.
Can one really be culpable for an action that is 100% involuntary and out of their control? I cannot imagine confessing a nocturnal emission as if I personally am to blame for such a thing.
Logged
Schultz
Christian. Guitarist. Zymurgist. Librarian.
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,481


Scion of the McKeesport Becks.


WWW
« Reply #63 on: April 01, 2011, 01:05:32 PM »

I am given to understanding (and I want to stress that I may be wrong) that yes, it is, in so far as were we to have complete control of our bodies as the good Lord intended before the Fall, we would not have such things happen.
I would agree that something such as a nocturnal emission may be a defect introduced by the fall, yet I would disagree that it is a sin in and of itself because it is involuntary.

And this is because you* may view sin as something that you "do" (or even "don't do") as opposed to the sickness we all have due to the consequence of the Fall.


* please note I'm not trying to be accusatory or even inflammatory by using the word "you". 
Logged

"Hearing a nun's confession is like being stoned to death with popcorn." --Abp. Fulton Sheen
elijahmaria
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 6,473



WWW
« Reply #64 on: April 01, 2011, 01:09:07 PM »

I am given to understanding (and I want to stress that I may be wrong) that yes, it is, in so far as were we to have complete control of our bodies as the good Lord intended before the Fall, we would not have such things happen.
I would agree that something such as a nocturnal emission may be a defect introduced by the fall, yet I would disagree that it is a sin in and of itself because it is involuntary.

I think sometimes we fail to distinguish between evil, or the privation of a due good, and sin.

Involuntary sins, I have always understood as something that is objectively evil that is outside of our control.
Can one really be culpable for an action that is 100% involuntary and out of their control? I cannot imagine confessing a nocturnal emission as if I personally am to blame for such a thing.

That's it.  It is more like bearing the burden of evil because of a personal sin, rather than bearing the personal sin itself.  That is why, even with the Catholic teaching on the "stain" of original sin, it is possible to also truthfully assert that we do not teach that we bear the guilt for the personal sin of Adam.

The burden of evil that we carry till our Baptism, the stain if you will, is a darkened intellect and a weakened will.  That darkness is what is laved away by the waters of Baptism.  That is why Baptism is referred to as an illumination in both east and west.  The **intellect is illumined as a result of our baptism, and the will against evil is strengthened.  However we are still burdened by other aspects of the ancestral curse which include death and corruption, and so even after Baptism, we die, we suffer, we bear the burden of evil.

**The intellect [nous] carries not only the secular meaning of the capacity for knowledge and understanding, memory and recall,  but also the meaning of the intersection of the human capacity for these things and the Indwelling Trinity.  The illumination comes from the Trinity Indwelling at Baptism, and though we sin thereafter the Indwelling remains with us because of our Baptism.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2011, 01:20:11 PM by elijahmaria » Logged

Wyatt
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Posts: 2,395


« Reply #65 on: April 01, 2011, 04:22:09 PM »

And this is because you* may view sin as something that you "do" (or even "don't do") as opposed to the sickness we all have due to the consequence of the Fall.


* please note I'm not trying to be accusatory or even inflammatory by using the word "you". 
So since Eastern Orthodoxy views sin as only a sickness (we use that description too but we also see it as offenses we commit as well because of the sickness), does that mean that an Eastern Orthodox Christian would be obligated to confess a nocturnal emission? Should an Eastern Orthodox Christian abstain from the Eucharist if they have a nocturnal emission the night before and do not go to confession first?

Actually...now that I think about it, I am not sure if we see sin itself as "the sickness." The sickness for us, as Catholics, would be concupiscence, or the tendency to sin due to a weakened, imperfect will caused by the fall of Adam and Eve. Sins are a result of the sickness of not being in perfect communion with God anymore, but as far as whether we see the sickness itself as sin I do not know. It seems to me that if we believed the spiritual sickness itself is sin then we, too, would say that a nocturnal emission is a sin, but we do not.
Logged
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,963



« Reply #66 on: April 01, 2011, 04:27:10 PM »

And this is because you* may view sin as something that you "do" (or even "don't do") as opposed to the sickness we all have due to the consequence of the Fall.


* please note I'm not trying to be accusatory or even inflammatory by using the word "you". 
So since Eastern Orthodoxy views sin as only a sickness (we use that description too but we also see it as offenses we commit as well because of the sickness), does that mean that an Eastern Orthodox Christian would be obligated to confess a nocturnal emission? Should an Eastern Orthodox Christian abstain from the Eucharist if they have a nocturnal emission the night before and do not go to confession first?

Actually...now that I think about it, I am not sure if we see sin itself as "the sickness." The sickness for us, as Catholics, would be concupiscence, or the tendency to sin due to a weakened, imperfect will caused by the fall of Adam and Eve. Sins are a result of the sickness of not being in perfect communion with God anymore, but as far as whether we see the sickness itself as sin I do not know. It seems to me that if we believed the spiritual sickness itself is sin then we, too, would say that a nocturnal emission is a sin, but we do not.

I would think that if it were possible to confess in the morning before DL, the confession would not affect preparation for communion anymore than if one confessed that they had eaten breakfast.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
Wyatt
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Posts: 2,395


« Reply #67 on: April 01, 2011, 04:30:35 PM »

And this is because you* may view sin as something that you "do" (or even "don't do") as opposed to the sickness we all have due to the consequence of the Fall.


* please note I'm not trying to be accusatory or even inflammatory by using the word "you". 
So since Eastern Orthodoxy views sin as only a sickness (we use that description too but we also see it as offenses we commit as well because of the sickness), does that mean that an Eastern Orthodox Christian would be obligated to confess a nocturnal emission? Should an Eastern Orthodox Christian abstain from the Eucharist if they have a nocturnal emission the night before and do not go to confession first?

Actually...now that I think about it, I am not sure if we see sin itself as "the sickness." The sickness for us, as Catholics, would be concupiscence, or the tendency to sin due to a weakened, imperfect will caused by the fall of Adam and Eve. Sins are a result of the sickness of not being in perfect communion with God anymore, but as far as whether we see the sickness itself as sin I do not know. It seems to me that if we believed the spiritual sickness itself is sin then we, too, would say that a nocturnal emission is a sin, but we do not.

I would think that if it were possible to confess in the morning before DL, the confession would not affect preparation for communion anymore than if one confessed that they had eaten breakfast.
So you do not require confession before receiving the Eucharist, or is it just certain sins that require confession before receiving? Are nocturnal emissions confession worthy or is it not worth mentioning?
Logged
jordanz
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic
Posts: 203


« Reply #68 on: April 01, 2011, 09:03:37 PM »

I would think that if it were possible to confess in the morning before DL, the confession would not affect preparation for communion anymore than if one confessed that they had eaten breakfast.

Fr. Bob Levis of EWTN fame once said that if a layperson came to him exactly one hour before Mass (the Roman fast) and told him that he had finished eating a ham sandwich just when the clock struck one hour before, Fr. Bob would tell the layperson that it'd be okay to go receive Communion.

So, there are three steps behind your statement.  First, there's the presumption that the layman has had a nocturnal emission and that this is evident of "spiritual sickness". Fr. Bob might well judge nocturnal emission not relevant to the reception of communion, as he's a Roman priest. Your priest might think otherwise. 

Nocturnal emission is a deviation from the prelapsarian state before ancestral sin (i.e. "spiritual sickness"), but it is not a sin of volition.  The question of whether Adam and Eve had Wheaties for breakfast is irrelevant.  Breaking the Eucharistic fast is a conscious decision that is a bar to the reception of the Eucharist and is quite relevant, but in a different sense.

Your statement that a nocturnal-emission befallen layman could be absolved soon before the DL in the same way as a person who broke fast could be absolved and admitted to the Eucharist presents a legalistic view of confession, and not "physician of souls" view of confession.  The legalism of a quick confession as a "wipe away" of two distinct questions of human frailty equates spiritual sickness to the level of an act of volition (eating cereal before heading out to temple).  At this point the Orthodox use of confession and the Roman use of confession are no different.  The Orthodox notion of "spiritual sickness" is compromised.   
« Last Edit: April 01, 2011, 09:05:29 PM by jordanz » Logged
deusveritasest
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: None
Jurisdiction: None
Posts: 7,528



WWW
« Reply #69 on: April 01, 2011, 09:18:36 PM »

Back to the note I just sent in response to Peter.  The most important aspect of penitential confession and absolution are the graces not to repeat our sinfulness.  It is not a matter of guilt as much as it is a matter of working to align ourselves with God's will...in our voluntary acts, and in our involuntary acts as well.  I would think I would be in perhaps greater need of help to avoid those things I rarely consider, but do in any event.

What I don't understand is why this grace to avoid involuntary acts cannot be received through Holy Communion without Confession. And I also don't understand how it would be appropriate to bar a person from Holy Communion for an involuntary act.

You would not be barred from communion for an involuntary act.  One should not be barred from communion for being too immature or underdeveloped in some way to know right from left.  

But for those of us who know right from left and who know that we have these little knee-jerk habits that we know are not good...even if they are not very very bad....it is a necessary thing for us to admit to that fact, ask pardon for our ignorance and hope for the best since that is what He has promised to us.

And for these small things that we scuffle with in life we are indeed forgiven by communion and blessed with the graces to become more aware of our habits of heart and mind, thought word and deed.

Howzzat?

What you are saying is correct. But I feel it still hasn't addressed the issue.

"Wet dreams" seem to me to neither be something that we do out of immaturity devoid of responsibility or through habit that can be controlled by conscious effort. So where do they fit in?
Logged

I stopped posting here in August 2011 because of stark disagreement with the policies of the administration and moderating team of the forums. If you desire, feel free to PM me, message me on Facebook (link in profile), or email me: cddombrowski@gmail.com
deusveritasest
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: None
Jurisdiction: None
Posts: 7,528



WWW
« Reply #70 on: April 01, 2011, 09:19:36 PM »

I am given to understanding (and I want to stress that I may be wrong) that yes, it is, in so far as were we to have complete control of our bodies as the good Lord intended before the Fall, we would not have such things happen.
I would agree that something such as a nocturnal emission may be a defect introduced by the fall, yet I would disagree that it is a sin in and of itself because it is involuntary.

In your own theological language, I have only ever heard mortal sin being defined as necessarily voluntary.
Logged

I stopped posting here in August 2011 because of stark disagreement with the policies of the administration and moderating team of the forums. If you desire, feel free to PM me, message me on Facebook (link in profile), or email me: cddombrowski@gmail.com
deusveritasest
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: None
Jurisdiction: None
Posts: 7,528



WWW
« Reply #71 on: April 01, 2011, 09:24:37 PM »

So since Eastern Orthodoxy views sin as only a sickness (we use that description too but we also see it as offenses we commit as well because of the sickness),

No, you've totally inverted the statement he was making. He was saying that all in is sickness but not all sin is moral offense, but that you saying that you refuse to call nocturnal emission a sin was indicative of a lack of understanding of a type of sin that is only sickness. And at that I agree with him; if you understand some sin to qualify only as sickness, your refusal to recognize nocturnal emission as sinful because of lack of culpability betrayed that understanding.

does that mean that an Eastern Orthodox Christian would be obligated to confess a nocturnal emission? Should an Eastern Orthodox Christian abstain from the Eucharist if they have a nocturnal emission the night before and do not go to confession first?

This is what I am still confused about. Iconodule seemed to express a need for penance in response to a nocturnal emission. I do not understand this attitude.
Logged

I stopped posting here in August 2011 because of stark disagreement with the policies of the administration and moderating team of the forums. If you desire, feel free to PM me, message me on Facebook (link in profile), or email me: cddombrowski@gmail.com
elijahmaria
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 6,473



WWW
« Reply #72 on: April 01, 2011, 09:31:57 PM »

Back to the note I just sent in response to Peter.  The most important aspect of penitential confession and absolution are the graces not to repeat our sinfulness.  It is not a matter of guilt as much as it is a matter of working to align ourselves with God's will...in our voluntary acts, and in our involuntary acts as well.  I would think I would be in perhaps greater need of help to avoid those things I rarely consider, but do in any event.

What I don't understand is why this grace to avoid involuntary acts cannot be received through Holy Communion without Confession. And I also don't understand how it would be appropriate to bar a person from Holy Communion for an involuntary act.

You would not be barred from communion for an involuntary act.  One should not be barred from communion for being too immature or underdeveloped in some way to know right from left.  

But for those of us who know right from left and who know that we have these little knee-jerk habits that we know are not good...even if they are not very very bad....it is a necessary thing for us to admit to that fact, ask pardon for our ignorance and hope for the best since that is what He has promised to us.

And for these small things that we scuffle with in life we are indeed forgiven by communion and blessed with the graces to become more aware of our habits of heart and mind, thought word and deed.

Howzzat?

What you are saying is correct. But I feel it still hasn't addressed the issue.

"Wet dreams" seem to me to neither be something that we do out of immaturity devoid of responsibility or through habit that can be controlled by conscious effort. So where do they fit in?

I expanded on my comments on reply #64 in this thread...see if that helps.
Logged

Papist
Patriarch of Pontification
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Byzantine
Posts: 12,266


Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #73 on: April 04, 2011, 01:03:01 PM »

I am given to understanding (and I want to stress that I may be wrong) that yes, it is, in so far as were we to have complete control of our bodies as the good Lord intended before the Fall, we would not have such things happen.
I would agree that something such as a nocturnal emission may be a defect introduced by the fall, yet I would disagree that it is a sin in and of itself because it is involuntary.

In your own theological language, I have only ever heard mortal sin being defined as necessarily voluntary.
Wrong. Mortal Sin is 1. A sin of serious matter, 2. committed with full knowledge, and 3. Full consent of the will. A venial sin is a sin missing any of three. Venial sin can still be committed with full knowledge and full consent if it's not a sin of serious matther.
Logged

Note Papist's influence from the tyrannical monarchism of traditional papism .
elijahmaria
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 6,473



WWW
« Reply #74 on: April 04, 2011, 01:58:58 PM »

I am given to understanding (and I want to stress that I may be wrong) that yes, it is, in so far as were we to have complete control of our bodies as the good Lord intended before the Fall, we would not have such things happen.
I would agree that something such as a nocturnal emission may be a defect introduced by the fall, yet I would disagree that it is a sin in and of itself because it is involuntary.

In your own theological language, I have only ever heard mortal sin being defined as necessarily voluntary.
Wrong. Mortal Sin is 1. A sin of serious matter, 2. committed with full knowledge, and 3. Full consent of the will. A venial sin is a sin missing any of three. Venial sin can still be committed with full knowledge and full consent if it's not a sin of serious matther.

Dear Papist,

I was going to allow this to pass but I think it is important to note:  Sin by western definition occurs primarily by volition, so that to be called sin, an act must have knowledge and consent.  If there is a lessening of either one or the other or both, it is by degree and not by elimination of one or the other.

I am sure you grasp this idea quite well but the way you've said it makes it seem as though you could drop knowledge and still have consent of the will.  That would make no sense of course. 

Serious matter has always seemed to me to be the determining characteristic between greater and lesser sins.

Habits are also volitional but they may not consist of acts that are forbidden outright,  but are acts that when repeated set up a situation where sin is inherent in the perpetuation of the habit.

And then involuntary acts can be a more profound habit that occurs without conscious thought.  These things too can be extremely dangerous to the soul and so are not sinful by definition but can be equally lethal.

Sorry if I am a drone here.

Mary
Logged

Wyatt
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Posts: 2,395


« Reply #75 on: April 04, 2011, 02:25:25 PM »

Did anyone ever answer my question about whether a nocturnal emission would be something one would be required to bring to confession in Eastern Orthodoxy?
Logged
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,096


Goodbye for now, my friend


« Reply #76 on: April 04, 2011, 02:33:34 PM »

Did anyone ever answer my question about whether a nocturnal emission would be something one would be required to bring to confession in Eastern Orthodoxy?

I usually dislike when people say "ask your priest"... but this is one of those times when I think you have to say: ask your priest. Wink It is to the priest that you are confessing, it is the priest that is watching out for your soul (Heb. 13:17). The priest has a responsibility to guard the chalice, but likewise does he have a responsibility to guard the integrity of the other sacraments. He is the person who can best answer the question for each person's situation. Apart from perhaps the bishop, he is the only person who has authority to answer, IMO.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2011, 02:33:57 PM by Asteriktos » Logged

Paradosis ≠ Asteriktos ≠ Justin
Wyatt
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Posts: 2,395


« Reply #77 on: April 04, 2011, 06:47:48 PM »

Did anyone ever answer my question about whether a nocturnal emission would be something one would be required to bring to confession in Eastern Orthodoxy?

I usually dislike when people say "ask your priest"... but this is one of those times when I think you have to say: ask your priest. Wink It is to the priest that you are confessing, it is the priest that is watching out for your soul (Heb. 13:17). The priest has a responsibility to guard the chalice, but likewise does he have a responsibility to guard the integrity of the other sacraments. He is the person who can best answer the question for each person's situation. Apart from perhaps the bishop, he is the only person who has authority to answer, IMO.
I can't imagine having to confess such a thing. It would be like having to confess hiccups. Hopefully most EO priests wouldn't require it.
Logged
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,096


Goodbye for now, my friend


« Reply #78 on: April 04, 2011, 08:45:54 PM »

I can't imagine having to confess such a thing. It would be like having to confess hiccups. Hopefully most EO priests wouldn't require it.

Fwiw, I agree with you on all three points. If it was an issue I'd just ask anyway so that things were clear and I knew where I stood.
Logged

Paradosis ≠ Asteriktos ≠ Justin
Hermogenes
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 493



« Reply #79 on: April 11, 2011, 04:03:12 PM »

Btw, part of that health-related aspects includes fertility: studies have shown that it boosts fertility after leaving it on the shelf for a while to clear it out first.

What if sometime in the near future, multiple thirty-year longitudinal studies will convincingly prove that men should masturbate for prostate health and to keep the sperm count high and viable.  Could a theologian plausibly contend that the suppression of fertility (the thwarting of a natural good) is a necessary consequence of obeying Christian morality?

Many urologists already think this.
Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,683


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #80 on: April 11, 2011, 04:20:54 PM »

Btw, part of that health-related aspects includes fertility: studies have shown that it boosts fertility after leaving it on the shelf for a while to clear it out first.

What if sometime in the near future, multiple thirty-year longitudinal studies will convincingly prove that men should masturbate for prostate health and to keep the sperm count high and viable.  Could a theologian plausibly contend that the suppression of fertility (the thwarting of a natural good) is a necessary consequence of obeying Christian morality?

Many urologists already think this.
Many urologists already think what? That men should masturbate for prostate health or that they should obey Christian morality?
Logged
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,096


Goodbye for now, my friend


« Reply #81 on: April 11, 2011, 04:21:56 PM »

Btw, part of that health-related aspects includes fertility: studies have shown that it boosts fertility after leaving it on the shelf for a while to clear it out first.

What if sometime in the near future, multiple thirty-year longitudinal studies will convincingly prove that men should masturbate for prostate health and to keep the sperm count high and viable.  Could a theologian plausibly contend that the suppression of fertility (the thwarting of a natural good) is a necessary consequence of obeying Christian morality?

Many urologists already think this.
Many urologists already think what? That men should masturbate for prostate health or that they should obey Christian morality?

The two need not be mutually exclusive  angel
Logged

Paradosis ≠ Asteriktos ≠ Justin
Hermogenes
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 493



« Reply #82 on: April 11, 2011, 04:31:27 PM »

Btw, part of that health-related aspects includes fertility: studies have shown that it boosts fertility after leaving it on the shelf for a while to clear it out first.

What if sometime in the near future, multiple thirty-year longitudinal studies will convincingly prove that men should masturbate for prostate health and to keep the sperm count high and viable.  Could a theologian plausibly contend that the suppression of fertility (the thwarting of a natural good) is a necessary consequence of obeying Christian morality?

Many urologists already think this.
Many urologists already think what? That men should masturbate for prostate health or that they should obey Christian morality?

The former. A friend, a celibate monk, has chronic prostatitis. He is constantly being told he should masturbate for prostate health, as though a healthy prostate is so much more important than honoring his vow.
Logged
Hermogenes
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 493



« Reply #83 on: April 11, 2011, 04:36:23 PM »

Did anyone ever answer my question about whether a nocturnal emission would be something one would be required to bring to confession in Eastern Orthodoxy?

I usually dislike when people say "ask your priest"... but this is one of those times when I think you have to say: ask your priest. Wink It is to the priest that you are confessing...

This is specifically not the Orthodox view. We are confessing to God. The priest is standing as a witness to that act. The preparatory prayers make that clear.
Logged
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,096


Goodbye for now, my friend


« Reply #84 on: April 11, 2011, 04:38:32 PM »

God forgives through the priest, he's not just some schlub standing there as a witness. I doubled checked the prayers the priest says after confession, at least in the Antiochian tradition.
Logged

Paradosis ≠ Asteriktos ≠ Justin
zekarja
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 745


O Holy Prophet Zechariah, intercede to God for us!


« Reply #85 on: April 11, 2011, 08:19:19 PM »

God forgives through the priest, he's not just some schlub standing there as a witness. I doubled checked the prayers the priest says after confession, at least in the Antiochian tradition.

You are right. The 12th edition of the Antiochian "Service Book" says,

"Priest: God it was who forgave David through Nathan the Prophet, when he confessed his sins, and Peter weeping bitterly for his denial, and the sinful woman in tears at his feet, and the Publican, and the Prodigal Son: May that same God forgive thee all things, through me a sinner, both in this present world, and in that which is to come, and set thee uncondemmed before his dread Judgement Seat. And now, having no further care for the sins which thou hast declared, depart in peace."

Some relevant quotes:

Matthew 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

John 20:23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

"Did you commit sin? Enter the Church, repent for your sin, for here is the physician, not the judge. Here one is not investigated; one receives remission of sins." - St John Chrysostomos

"Just as in the Old Testament the priest makes the leper clean or unclean, so in the New Testament the bishop and presbyter binds or looses not those who are innocent or guilty, but by reason of their office, when they have heard various kinds of sins, they know who is to be bound and who loosed." St Jerome


As-Salamu alaykum,
zekarja
« Last Edit: April 11, 2011, 08:20:06 PM by zekarja » Logged

ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,963



« Reply #86 on: April 11, 2011, 08:23:29 PM »

Did anyone ever answer my question about whether a nocturnal emission would be something one would be required to bring to confession in Eastern Orthodoxy?

I usually dislike when people say "ask your priest"... but this is one of those times when I think you have to say: ask your priest. Wink It is to the priest that you are confessing...

This is specifically not the Orthodox view. We are confessing to God. The priest is standing as a witness to that act. The preparatory prayers make that clear.
Actually my priest says he is paraclete, counsel for the defense.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
Jonathan Gress
Warned
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOC/HOTCA
Posts: 3,493


« Reply #87 on: April 11, 2011, 10:15:27 PM »

Read St Nicodemus' Exomologetarion. You will see that the distinction between mortal and venial (forgivable) sin is Orthodox, not just RC. You'll also see that both voluntary and involuntary sins exist, but that the voluntary ones are usually the only ones that earn a penance (epitimia). But there are involuntary sins that earn a penance: nocturnal emissions, menstruation, and even drinking wine into which an unclean thing, like a dead mouse, has fallen!

There is also a distinction in the gravity of different sins. Otherwise, why would St John the Faster penance certain sins more severely than others? Dying in mortal sin will prevent you from attaining Paradise, but even then the severity of your sins will determine the severity of your future punishments.

In Orthodoxy, sin is a transgression but it's also an illness. We don't rely exclusively on one metaphor or the other. You can call it a moral sickness; the moral aspect of it involves transgressing a law, but the effect it has upon the soul is like a bodily disease.
Logged
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,963



« Reply #88 on: April 11, 2011, 10:59:48 PM »

Read St Nicodemus' Exomologetarion. You will see that the distinction between mortal and venial (forgivable) sin is Orthodox, not just RC. You'll also see that both voluntary and involuntary sins exist, but that the voluntary ones are usually the only ones that earn a penance (epitimia). But there are involuntary sins that earn a penance: nocturnal emissions, menstruation, and even drinking wine into which an unclean thing, like a dead mouse, has fallen!

There is also a distinction in the gravity of different sins. Otherwise, why would St John the Faster penance certain sins more severely than others? Dying in mortal sin will prevent you from attaining Paradise, but even then the severity of your sins will determine the severity of your future punishments.

In Orthodoxy, sin is a transgression but it's also an illness. We don't rely exclusively on one metaphor or the other. You can call it a moral sickness; the moral aspect of it involves transgressing a law, but the effect it has upon the soul is like a bodily disease.
Can you cite something that predates the Western Captivity, rather than something in the midst of it?

I am tempted to say that the idea of penancing menstruation as a sin, even involuntary, is the sure sign of the Vatican's influence, but I don't think I can blame them for such a silly notion.

Since Pope St. Athanasius the Great's canons do not penance nocturnal emissions etc., and were confirmed by the Ecumenical Councils, in contrast to the canons of St. John, which were not, I'm not sure St. John's reasoning mean much, except for you to make a historical argument that Orthodoxy has the scholastic moral/venial categories of sin.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
Jonathan Gress
Warned
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOC/HOTCA
Posts: 3,493


« Reply #89 on: April 11, 2011, 11:39:54 PM »

Read St Nicodemus' Exomologetarion. You will see that the distinction between mortal and venial (forgivable) sin is Orthodox, not just RC. You'll also see that both voluntary and involuntary sins exist, but that the voluntary ones are usually the only ones that earn a penance (epitimia). But there are involuntary sins that earn a penance: nocturnal emissions, menstruation, and even drinking wine into which an unclean thing, like a dead mouse, has fallen!

There is also a distinction in the gravity of different sins. Otherwise, why would St John the Faster penance certain sins more severely than others? Dying in mortal sin will prevent you from attaining Paradise, but even then the severity of your sins will determine the severity of your future punishments.

In Orthodoxy, sin is a transgression but it's also an illness. We don't rely exclusively on one metaphor or the other. You can call it a moral sickness; the moral aspect of it involves transgressing a law, but the effect it has upon the soul is like a bodily disease.
Can you cite something that predates the Western Captivity, rather than something in the midst of it?

I am tempted to say that the idea of penancing menstruation as a sin, even involuntary, is the sure sign of the Vatican's influence, but I don't think I can blame them for such a silly notion.

Since Pope St. Athanasius the Great's canons do not penance nocturnal emissions etc., and were confirmed by the Ecumenical Councils, in contrast to the canons of St. John, which were not, I'm not sure St. John's reasoning mean much, except for you to make a historical argument that Orthodoxy has the scholastic moral/venial categories of sin.

1 John 5:16-17

St Nicodemus gives plenty of citations from earlier Orthodox sources for the mortal/venial distinction. Read the sections devoted to mortal and venial sins in the Confessional (pp 79-84 in my edition, Uncut Mountain Press, 2006). You'll find that there are different ways to define the distinction, but the distinction is definitely there.

And please define the period of "Western Captivity". And no, you can't simply use it as a garbage bin in which to put every Orthodox authority you disagree with.

And St Nicodemus gives three other authorities for penancing nocturnal emissions.
Logged
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,963



« Reply #90 on: April 12, 2011, 12:01:21 AM »

Read St Nicodemus' Exomologetarion. You will see that the distinction between mortal and venial (forgivable) sin is Orthodox, not just RC. You'll also see that both voluntary and involuntary sins exist, but that the voluntary ones are usually the only ones that earn a penance (epitimia). But there are involuntary sins that earn a penance: nocturnal emissions, menstruation, and even drinking wine into which an unclean thing, like a dead mouse, has fallen!

There is also a distinction in the gravity of different sins. Otherwise, why would St John the Faster penance certain sins more severely than others? Dying in mortal sin will prevent you from attaining Paradise, but even then the severity of your sins will determine the severity of your future punishments.

In Orthodoxy, sin is a transgression but it's also an illness. We don't rely exclusively on one metaphor or the other. You can call it a moral sickness; the moral aspect of it involves transgressing a law, but the effect it has upon the soul is like a bodily disease.
Can you cite something that predates the Western Captivity, rather than something in the midst of it?

I am tempted to say that the idea of penancing menstruation as a sin, even involuntary, is the sure sign of the Vatican's influence, but I don't think I can blame them for such a silly notion.

Since Pope St. Athanasius the Great's canons do not penance nocturnal emissions etc., and were confirmed by the Ecumenical Councils, in contrast to the canons of St. John, which were not, I'm not sure St. John's reasoning mean much, except for you to make a historical argument that Orthodoxy has the scholastic moral/venial categories of sin.

1 John 5:16-17

If any one sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those whose sin is not mortal. There is sin which is mortal; I do not say that one is to pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not mortal.

Eating, for instance, is not sinful, and overeating only moderately so, but gluttony makes it a sin unto death. It is not its nature (which is the same), but its hold.

Quote
St Nicodemus gives plenty of citations from earlier Orthodox sources for the mortal/venial distinction. Read the sections devoted to mortal and venial sins in the Confessional (pp 79-84 in my edition, Uncut Mountain Press, 2006). You'll find that there are different ways to define the distinction, but the distinction is definitely there.
If there are so many ways of defining, it should tell you something.  What are some of these "ways."?

Quote
And please define the period of "Western Captivity". And no, you can't simply use it as a garbage bin in which to put every Orthodox authority you disagree with.

LOL. Hardly, there are plenty of Eastern authorities I disagree with.  But if you want dates, the 13th century to the 20th century. It did not hold every Orthodox of that period, and indeed it lives on in some since the 20th century.

Quote
And St Nicodemus gives three other authorities for penancing nocturnal emissions.
Any that trump Pope St. Athanasius the Great and the Fathers of the Ecumenical Councils who confirmed his canons?

Btw, what's the penance for menstruation?

I forgot to mention that the Romans ate mice, and I don't recall a single Christian condemning them for it.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2011, 12:02:42 AM by ialmisry » Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
podkarpatska
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: ACROD
Posts: 8,601


Pokrov


WWW
« Reply #91 on: April 12, 2011, 09:24:24 AM »

Read St Nicodemus' Exomologetarion. You will see that the distinction between mortal and venial (forgivable) sin is Orthodox, not just RC. You'll also see that both voluntary and involuntary sins exist, but that the voluntary ones are usually the only ones that earn a penance (epitimia). But there are involuntary sins that earn a penance: nocturnal emissions, menstruation, and even drinking wine into which an unclean thing, like a dead mouse, has fallen!

There is also a distinction in the gravity of different sins. Otherwise, why would St John the Faster penance certain sins more severely than others? Dying in mortal sin will prevent you from attaining Paradise, but even then the severity of your sins will determine the severity of your future punishments.

In Orthodoxy, sin is a transgression but it's also an illness. We don't rely exclusively on one metaphor or the other. You can call it a moral sickness; the moral aspect of it involves transgressing a law, but the effect it has upon the soul is like a bodily disease.
Can you cite something that predates the Western Captivity, rather than something in the midst of it?

I am tempted to say that the idea of penancing menstruation as a sin, even involuntary, is the sure sign of the Vatican's influence, but I don't think I can blame them for such a silly notion.

Since Pope St. Athanasius the Great's canons do not penance nocturnal emissions etc., and were confirmed by the Ecumenical Councils, in contrast to the canons of St. John, which were not, I'm not sure St. John's reasoning mean much, except for you to make a historical argument that Orthodoxy has the scholastic moral/venial categories of sin.

1 John 5:16-17

If any one sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those whose sin is not mortal. There is sin which is mortal; I do not say that one is to pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not mortal.

Eating, for instance, is not sinful, and overeating only moderately so, but gluttony makes it a sin unto death. It is not its nature (which is the same), but its hold.

Quote
St Nicodemus gives plenty of citations from earlier Orthodox sources for the mortal/venial distinction. Read the sections devoted to mortal and venial sins in the Confessional (pp 79-84 in my edition, Uncut Mountain Press, 2006). You'll find that there are different ways to define the distinction, but the distinction is definitely there.
If there are so many ways of defining, it should tell you something.  What are some of these "ways."?

Quote
And please define the period of "Western Captivity". And no, you can't simply use it as a garbage bin in which to put every Orthodox authority you disagree with.

LOL. Hardly, there are plenty of Eastern authorities I disagree with.  But if you want dates, the 13th century to the 20th century. It did not hold every Orthodox of that period, and indeed it lives on in some since the 20th century.

Quote
And St Nicodemus gives three other authorities for penancing nocturnal emissions.
Any that trump Pope St. Athanasius the Great and the Fathers of the Ecumenical Councils who confirmed his canons?

Btw, what's the penance for menstruation?

I forgot to mention that the Romans ate mice, and I don't recall a single Christian condemning them for it.

The world is going to hell in a basket, the Church is seemingly less and less a part of solving some of this world's moral problems and we are in the midst of a 'discussion' in which menstruation and drinking from a cup in which a mouse fell into are 'actions' which apparently some feel merit penance? Many Saints wrote many books during their lives. Their sainthood does not make their writings infallible. Hospodi Pomiluj!
Logged
Jonathan Gress
Warned
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOC/HOTCA
Posts: 3,493


« Reply #92 on: April 12, 2011, 12:51:51 PM »

One authority said the sin unto death was any sin that was punished with death under the Law of Moses (Metrophanes of Smyrna). Another said it was the sin that was not repented of (Mark the Ascetic). Another says the distinction is between knowing and unknowing sins (Anastasius of Sinai).

So there's a distinction between sins that unto death (mortal), and sins that are not (venial, or forgivable). The fact that there are different ways to distinguish them doesn't meant the distinction isn't there, it just means the distinction operates in several dimensions. The definition given in the traditional RC catechisms is that the distinction depends on the gravity of the action itself, the degree to which consent is given, and the degree to which circumstances aggravate or mitigate the sin. This seems perfectly sensible in itself, and corresponds with George Koressios' explanation that St Nicodemus cites approvingly, and also Gennadius Scholarius (hardly a Western captive). But I remember as a RC that these guidelines did not necessarily help much in determining whether a particular sin was mortal or not. You could never be sure just how much you consented, or just how grave the action was. So, the general principle in confession is to confess everything that's on one's conscience, and let your confessor determine which sins are serious and which are not, right?

Isn't it convenient for you renovationists that seven centuries of Orthodox history and tradition can be dismissed out of hand as being "Western Captivity"? You're now free to interpret the era of the Early Church in your own way, without the tiresome need to obey unbroken tradition. How exactly is your attitude different from Protestantism?

Authorities for penancing nocturnal emission: Canon 4 of Dionysius, Letter of Athanasius to Ammoun, Letter 12 of Timothy.

Quote
There appears to be a contradiction between Athanasius the Great and Basil the
heavenly. For Athanasius declares here that the natural emission which occurs during
sleep is not a sin, whereas Basil, in his Epitomized Definition No. 309 insists that it
is a sinful impurity. Yet both men state the truth and are in agreement with each other.
For Athanasius means that discharge which takes place without any recognizable
cause, or, in other words, excessive eating or excessive drinking or excessive sleeping
and repose, or any preceding pleasurable and passionate desire of any person,
which would be especially apt to prepare the way for such a discharge. I mean any
such discharge of the seminal fluid as does not result from any such cause, but, on the
contrary, is a natural excretion, just as are also those other phenomena which the Saint
enumerates and does not regard as anything bad. Hence he does not say generally that
an emission is not a sin, but says so with the proviso that it is a natural emission, or,
at any rate, that one that is spontaneous and only occurs as a sort of excrementitious
discharge is not bad, because it is a natural consequence of a natural body, which latter,
being a creature of a good Creator, cannot help being good. But St. Basil the Great
does not call every emission in general that occurs during sleep an impurity, but that
which results from a pleasurable indulgence of the imagination, from a daytime titillation,
which is the same as saying that which occurs as a result of passionate love; for
such an emission is not a pollution of the body alone, but also of the soul, and much
more so of the soul antecedently in that the latter was the first to suffer and bethink
itself of the evil, while thence the ailment descended upon the body as a pollution,
Note, however, that in spite of the fact that Athanasius the Great, does not call the
discharge of semen unclean, he did not add that victims thereof might commune, but
kept silent on this point
; and see c. IV of Dionysius.
Logged
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 7,034


"My god is greater."


« Reply #93 on: April 12, 2011, 12:59:55 PM »

One authority said the sin unto death was any sin that was punished with death under the Law of Moses (Metrophanes of Smyrna). Another said it was the sin that was not repented of (Mark the Ascetic). Another says the distinction is between knowing and unknowing sins (Anastasius of Sinai).

So there's a distinction between sins that unto death (mortal), and sins that are not (venial, or forgivable). The fact that there are different ways to distinguish them doesn't meant the distinction isn't there, it just means the distinction operates in several dimensions. The definition given in the traditional RC catechisms is that the distinction depends on the gravity of the action itself, the degree to which consent is given, and the degree to which circumstances aggravate or mitigate the sin. This seems perfectly sensible in itself, and corresponds with George Koressios' explanation that St Nicodemus cites approvingly, and also Gennadius Scholarius (hardly a Western captive). But I remember as a RC that these guidelines did not necessarily help much in determining whether a particular sin was mortal or not. You could never be sure just how much you consented, or just how grave the action was. So, the general principle in confession is to confess everything that's on one's conscience, and let your confessor determine which sins are serious and which are not, right?

Isn't it convenient for you renovationists that seven centuries of Orthodox history and tradition can be dismissed out of hand as being "Western Captivity"? You're now free to interpret the era of the Early Church in your own way, without the tiresome need to obey unbroken tradition. How exactly is your attitude different from Protestantism?

Authorities for penancing nocturnal emission: Canon 4 of Dionysius, Letter of Athanasius to Ammoun, Letter 12 of Timothy.

Quote
There appears to be a contradiction between Athanasius the Great and Basil the
heavenly. For Athanasius declares here that the natural emission which occurs during
sleep is not a sin, whereas Basil, in his Epitomized Definition No. 309 insists that it
is a sinful impurity. Yet both men state the truth and are in agreement with each other.
For Athanasius means that discharge which takes place without any recognizable
cause, or, in other words, excessive eating or excessive drinking or excessive sleeping
and repose, or any preceding pleasurable and passionate desire of any person,
which would be especially apt to prepare the way for such a discharge. I mean any
such discharge of the seminal fluid as does not result from any such cause, but, on the
contrary, is a natural excretion, just as are also those other phenomena which the Saint
enumerates and does not regard as anything bad. Hence he does not say generally that
an emission is not a sin, but says so with the proviso that it is a natural emission, or,
at any rate, that one that is spontaneous and only occurs as a sort of excrementitious
discharge is not bad, because it is a natural consequence of a natural body, which latter,
being a creature of a good Creator, cannot help being good. But St. Basil the Great
does not call every emission in general that occurs during sleep an impurity, but that
which results from a pleasurable indulgence of the imagination, from a daytime titillation,
which is the same as saying that which occurs as a result of passionate love; for
such an emission is not a pollution of the body alone, but also of the soul, and much
more so of the soul antecedently in that the latter was the first to suffer and bethink
itself of the evil, while thence the ailment descended upon the body as a pollution,
Note, however, that in spite of the fact that Athanasius the Great, does not call the
discharge of semen unclean, he did not add that victims thereof might commune, but
kept silent on this point
; and see c. IV of Dionysius.

If it's not "western captivity" it's "crypto-gnosticism". There is no shortage of excuses for those who regard themselves as infallible. I wouldn't waste my time if I were you.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2011, 01:00:24 PM by Iconodule » Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
Tags:
Pages: 1 2 3 All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.339 seconds with 121 queries.