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Author Topic: Autoeroticism and the Fathers: RC POV  (Read 5773 times) Average Rating: 0
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ialmisry
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« 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

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« 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!
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« 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.
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Iconodule
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« 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

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