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!Can you cite something that predates the Western Captivity, rather than something in the midst of it?
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.
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.
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."?
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.
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.