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Author Topic: Moscow to Rome: Yes to cooperation, no to communion  (Read 9332 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #90 on: April 19, 2011, 11:34:15 PM »


Thank you for your answer.



I think you can see from my response that even if there were the resumption of communion tomorrow, I would not be in favor of a recklessly open-door policy.  Not at all.  If you do not know the traditions and have not lived liturgically in any particular Church for a time, then one should not simply expect to walk up to communion simply because they feel like it.  There would have to be sufficient desire to want become part of the local community first, know the customs, rites and rituals, and only then, communion.

M.

Communion should be because of oneness of faith.
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« Reply #91 on: April 19, 2011, 11:39:06 PM »

I have gone to communion in over a dozen local Churches and in the WRO, and had no problem because no matter the difference in custom, rites and rituals we all confess the SAME Orthodox Faith of the Catholic Church.  If you are prepared, yes, you should simply expect to walk up to commune to any Orthodox priest.

*thumbs up*
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« Reply #92 on: April 20, 2011, 12:02:17 AM »

As someone who has been under Rome and just recently got out from under that, erm...union, I can say with no anti-Roman sentiment that I did not leave one communion just to join another that is "basically" the same as it is. If you think the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox church are so similar as to be basically the same, then that says far more negative things about the prospect of reunion than even most hardcore anti-Roman position could say.

As for Slavophilia or Convertitis, I think this is massively overblown (though, yes, I will admit I have seen it too). What about those of us who would join the Oriental Orthodox, who have no Slavic component? What are we, then? Crypto-Ethiopians? Coptologists in the making? Pseudo-Syrians? Get outta here with that!
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« Reply #93 on: April 20, 2011, 12:07:15 AM »

What about those of us who would join the Oriental Orthodox, who have no Slavic component? What are we, then? Crypto-Ethiopians? Coptologists in the making? Pseudo-Syrians? Get outta here with that!

 Grin
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« Reply #94 on: April 20, 2011, 04:47:58 AM »


The problem is, the Filioque isn't just semantics. Christianity isn't just about spreading love and peace. It's about worshiping God and entering into communion with him, and helping others enter communion with him. He has given us his Church, and his very Body and Blood. We must protect both, and when someone denies the true God, we have to protect them and the gifts. This means that unfortunately, when one changes the faith that God himself has given us, we cannot commune them anymore. That is the simple fact, it may be sad, but so is all sin. Excommunication isn't some kind of punishment, just as hell isn't some kind of punishment. It's a consequence of sin.

Christianity isn't, and never has been about feeling good and being lovey-dovey with everyone around us. It's consisted of both faith and works, you can't have one without the other. If you truly love, you will have faith, if you have faith, you will love and do good. Reducing Christianity to just "loving" and spreading "peace" is (honestly) insulting to not just our faith, but to God himself.

He walked in the heat of day, on gray dusty roads,
walking He taught us to love and forgive,
He ate with publicans, He did not know, who was an enemy,
He bowed before those who needed His help

My Teacher, before is my road,
which I have to walk just like you,
My Master, all around me are people,
whom I must love just like Thee

Your emphasis on solely worshipping God is pagan at best. Your Christianity, Devin, is a state religion, where the police are used to bring the bedbound to church, so as to fulfill the legal obligation. Your Christianity is not  the Christian martyrs, who did not want Christianity to become the religion of the Antichrist, the Roman civic religion.
Christianity is love. Christianity is not the power of the state used to punish heretics. Christianity is love.
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« Reply #95 on: April 20, 2011, 04:49:09 AM »

Your emphasis on solely worshipping God is pagan at best. Your Christianity, Devin, is a state religion, where the police are used to bring the bedbound to church, so as to fulfill the legal obligation. Your Christianity is not  the Christian martyrs, who did not want Christianity to become the religion of the Antichrist, the Roman civic religion.
Christianity is love. Christianity is not the power of the state used to punish heretics. Christianity is love.

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« Reply #96 on: April 20, 2011, 06:09:58 AM »


The problem is, the Filioque isn't just semantics. Christianity isn't just about spreading love and peace. It's about worshiping God and entering into communion with him, and helping others enter communion with him. He has given us his Church, and his very Body and Blood. We must protect both, and when someone denies the true God, we have to protect them and the gifts. This means that unfortunately, when one changes the faith that God himself has given us, we cannot commune them anymore. That is the simple fact, it may be sad, but so is all sin. Excommunication isn't some kind of punishment, just as hell isn't some kind of punishment. It's a consequence of sin.

Christianity isn't, and never has been about feeling good and being lovey-dovey with everyone around us. It's consisted of both faith and works, you can't have one without the other. If you truly love, you will have faith, if you have faith, you will love and do good. Reducing Christianity to just "loving" and spreading "peace" is (honestly) insulting to not just our faith, but to God himself.

He walked in the heat of day, on gray dusty roads,
walking He taught us to love and forgive,
He ate with publicans, He did not know, who was an enemy,
He bowed before those who needed His help

My Teacher, before is my road,
which I have to walk just like you,
My Master, all around me are people,
whom I must love just like Thee

Your emphasis on solely worshipping God is pagan at best. Your Christianity, Devin, is a state religion, where the police are used to bring the bedbound to church, so as to fulfill the legal obligation. Your Christianity is not  the Christian martyrs, who did not want Christianity to become the religion of the Antichrist, the Roman civic religion.
Christianity is love. Christianity is not the power of the state used to punish heretics. Christianity is love.

I think you misunderstand me greatly. This is my Christianity:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WosgwLekgn8
http://youtu.be/sAlCze3ZFjA

I love others, but that love is not the limits of my faith. To limit Christianity to love and good deeds is something I have found all too often in Protestant Christianity. It's to ignore Christ himself, not to mention his holy pure Church and it's Saints.

Christianity is far more than just faith, and is far more than just works, it is both faith and works, and it's even more. We cannot limit it to one or the other.

I love and pray for the return of the Church of Rome and her members. But even the Prodigal Son had a conversion experience and experienced metanoia, deep repentance. Our Church will always be hoping, praying, and watching for those who come running home. But we cannot forsake our own household to achieve that reunion.
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« Reply #97 on: April 20, 2011, 10:00:51 AM »


The problem is, the Filioque isn't just semantics.

The real problem for me and many others is that, for most all of the contested doctrine, what Orthodox say the Catholic Church teaches, I've only ever heard it from Orthodox believers.  My Church does not teach what you all say it teaches.

That is a major reason that I can not "convert" to Orthodoxy.  I can't teach Catholic doctrine Orthodox style.  It makes no sense to me at all. 
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« Reply #98 on: April 20, 2011, 10:10:12 AM »

So, what does your church teach?

No Filioque?  No papal infallibility?  No Immaculate Conception? No indulgences, purgatory, etc?

....because that would be interesting.

You stated that it is "what the Orthodox say the Catholic Church teaches".  Does the Catholic Church not teach these things?
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« Reply #99 on: April 20, 2011, 10:22:13 AM »

So, what does your church teach?

No Filioque?  No papal infallibility?  No Immaculate Conception? No indulgences, purgatory, etc?

....because that would be interesting.

You stated that it is "what the Orthodox say the Catholic Church teaches".  Does the Catholic Church not teach these things?


Meaning.  The meaning of the teaching is not the same when delivered to me by my Church and when delivered to me by Orthodoxy.  You don't tell me accurately what my Church means.

That's why we continue to dialogue...or so it seems to me.

To me, Palamas, St. Gregory is a good example of what I am talking about only in the other direction.

I still argue with Catholics who think that St. Gregory is a heretic because he entirely separates the essence of God from the energies of God in his teaching.  Thankfully I have the homilies in English now to work with as well as the Triads, because the Homilies clarify certain things that are not precisely clear in the Triads.

I COULD simply go along with my fellow Catholics and think of St. Gregory as a good monk but a lousy theologian who taught heresy.  

I decided to look more closely.

Apparently the favor is very rarely returned.
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« Reply #100 on: April 20, 2011, 11:16:48 AM »

So, what does your church teach?

No Filioque?  No papal infallibility?  No Immaculate Conception? No indulgences, purgatory, etc?

....because that would be interesting.

You stated that it is "what the Orthodox say the Catholic Church teaches".  Does the Catholic Church not teach these things?


Meaning.  The meaning of the teaching is not the same when delivered to me by my Church and when delivered to me by Orthodoxy.  You don't tell me accurately what my Church means.

That's why we continue to dialogue...or so it seems to me.

To me, Palamas, St. Gregory is a good example of what I am talking about only in the other direction.

I still argue with Catholics who think that St. Gregory is a heretic because he entirely separates the essence of God from the energies of God in his teaching.  Thankfully I have the homilies in English now to work with as well as the Triads, because the Homilies clarify certain things that are not precisely clear in the Triads.

I COULD simply go along with my fellow Catholics and think of St. Gregory as a good monk but a lousy theologian who taught heresy.  

I decided to look more closely.

Apparently the favor is very rarely returned.
I think that many of us Latins are with you there on St. Gregory, with the addition that there are times when he needs to be a little more careful with his theological language, but heck, the same could be said of St. Augustine who is a doctor of the Church.
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« Reply #101 on: April 20, 2011, 11:28:27 AM »


I think that many of us Latins are with you there on St. Gregory, with the addition that there are times when he needs to be a little more careful with his theological language, but heck, the same could be said of St. Augustine who is a doctor of the Church.

I don't see that.  I think many Latins read and have read him as though he is using certain words the way Aquinas used them. He isn't, so you have to look for meaning in context rather than words in black and white.  These teachers that are referenced here are exceptionally careful with words.  More than most of us.
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« Reply #102 on: April 20, 2011, 11:44:55 AM »


I think that many of us Latins are with you there on St. Gregory, with the addition that there are times when he needs to be a little more careful with his theological language, but heck, the same could be said of St. Augustine who is a doctor of the Church.

I don't see that.  I think many Latins read and have read him as though he is using certain words the way Aquinas used them. He isn't, so you have to look for meaning in context rather than words in black and white.  These teachers that are referenced here are exceptionally careful with words.  More than most of us.
I understand that you and I differ a bit on this, but I don't have a problem with that, as we are both Catholic and share the same faith. I just think that its dangerous for St. Gregory to say that God's essence transcends His energies infinitely, and an infinte number of times. Such language sorta of reduces his energies to psuedo divine status, and reflects an over dependence on Neo-Platonic thought. I see what St. Gregory was trying to do, and I don't think he is a ditheist heretic. I just think that such language is a bit dangerous.
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« Reply #103 on: April 20, 2011, 11:49:20 AM »

I don't see that.  I think many Latins read and have read him as though he is using certain words the way Aquinas used them. He isn't, so you have to look for meaning in context rather than words in black and white.  These teachers that are referenced here are exceptionally careful with words.  More than most of us.

Just curious. What would you say about Will R. Huysman's approach towards St. Gregory Palamas and Palamism? If you are not familiar with his writings on this topic:
- http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2011/02/palamas-patristics-1.html
- http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2011/02/palamas-patristics-2.html
- http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2009/09/orthodoxy-of-st-gregory-palamas.html
- http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2008/10/thomism-and-palamism-compared.html
- http://www.google.pl/search?q=palamas+OR+palamism+site%3Athebananarepublican.blogspot.com
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« Reply #104 on: April 20, 2011, 12:19:45 PM »

I don't see that.  I think many Latins read and have read him as though he is using certain words the way Aquinas used them. He isn't, so you have to look for meaning in context rather than words in black and white.  These teachers that are referenced here are exceptionally careful with words.  More than most of us.

Just curious. What would you say about Will R. Huysman's approach towards St. Gregory Palamas and Palamism? If you are not familiar with his writings on this topic:
- http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2011/02/palamas-patristics-1.html
- http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2011/02/palamas-patristics-2.html
- http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2009/09/orthodoxy-of-st-gregory-palamas.html
- http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2008/10/thomism-and-palamism-compared.html
- http://www.google.pl/search?q=palamas+site%3Athebananarepublican.blogspot.com

I think that Will's are some of the best short treatises on the Internet.  I don't always agree with him but there's meat there on the bones.  He is right when he suggests that St. Gregory does not have the philosophical subtlety that is in evidence in the writings of the two Gregorys of Cappadocia, but he misses something in all of that.  He misses the fact that St. Gregory is not meeting a metaphysical analysis with another metaphysical analysis.  He is meeting a very negative critique of praxis and an existential phenomena with a theo-logical and practical explanation of that phenomena that is in some ways unique to him and to his monks in that moment...the explanation, not the experience.  He is working much closer to the ground than the Cappadocians were doing in their Trinitarian writings.

We'd have to look more specifically for me to say much more.  I don't think Will's heart is in the wrong place.  He's not nearly as sympathetic as I am, for example, and much more abstract in his thinking and writing...in terms of living a monastic or eremitic existence...but I sure would not put him or his work out with the trash!  Nor would I see him as someone who would not or could not adjust his thinking.

M.
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« Reply #105 on: April 20, 2011, 12:22:34 PM »

I don't see that.  I think many Latins read and have read him as though he is using certain words the way Aquinas used them. He isn't, so you have to look for meaning in context rather than words in black and white.  These teachers that are referenced here are exceptionally careful with words.  More than most of us.

Just curious. What would you say about Will R. Huysman's approach towards St. Gregory Palamas and Palamism? If you are not familiar with his writings on this topic:
- http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2011/02/palamas-patristics-1.html
- http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2011/02/palamas-patristics-2.html
- http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2009/09/orthodoxy-of-st-gregory-palamas.html
- http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2008/10/thomism-and-palamism-compared.html
- http://www.google.pl/search?q=palamas+site%3Athebananarepublican.blogspot.com

I think that Will's are some of the best short treatises on the Internet.  I don't always agree with him but there's meat there on the bones.  He is right when he suggests that St. Gregory does not have the philosophical subtlety that is in evidence in the writings of the two Gregorys of Cappadocia, but he misses something in all of that.  He misses the fact that St. Gregory is not meeting a metaphysical analysis with another metaphysical analysis.  He is meeting a very negative critique of praxis and an existential phenomena with a theo-logical and practical explanation of that phenomena that is in some ways unique to him and to his monks in that moment...the explanation, not the experience.  He is working much closer to the ground than the Cappadocians were doing in their Trinitarian writings.

We'd have to look more specifically for me to say much more.  I don't think Will's heart is in the wrong place.  He's not nearly as sympathetic as I am, for example, and much more abstract in his thinking and writing...in terms of living a monastic or eremitic existence...but I sure would not put him or his work out with the trash!  Nor would I see him as someone who would not or could not adjust his thinking.

M.

Thank you, Mary.
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« Reply #106 on: April 20, 2011, 12:47:24 PM »

I don't see that.  I think many Latins read and have read him as though he is using certain words the way Aquinas used them. He isn't, so you have to look for meaning in context rather than words in black and white.  These teachers that are referenced here are exceptionally careful with words.  More than most of us.

Just curious. What would you say about Will R. Huysman's approach towards St. Gregory Palamas and Palamism? If you are not familiar with his writings on this topic:
- http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2011/02/palamas-patristics-1.html
- http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2011/02/palamas-patristics-2.html
- http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2009/09/orthodoxy-of-st-gregory-palamas.html
- http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2008/10/thomism-and-palamism-compared.html
- http://www.google.pl/search?q=palamas+site%3Athebananarepublican.blogspot.com

I think that Will's are some of the best short treatises on the Internet.  I don't always agree with him but there's meat there on the bones.  He is right when he suggests that St. Gregory does not have the philosophical subtlety that is in evidence in the writings of the two Gregorys of Cappadocia, but he misses something in all of that.  He misses the fact that St. Gregory is not meeting a metaphysical analysis with another metaphysical analysis.  He is meeting a very negative critique of praxis and an existential phenomena with a theo-logical and practical explanation of that phenomena that is in some ways unique to him and to his monks in that moment...the explanation, not the experience.  He is working much closer to the ground than the Cappadocians were doing in their Trinitarian writings.

We'd have to look more specifically for me to say much more.  I don't think Will's heart is in the wrong place.  He's not nearly as sympathetic as I am, for example, and much more abstract in his thinking and writing...in terms of living a monastic or eremitic existence...but I sure would not put him or his work out with the trash!  Nor would I see him as someone who would not or could not adjust his thinking.

M.

Thank you, Mary.

Welcome!  If you want to start a new thread after Bright Week, it would be a good thing to discuss on the way to Pentecost...

Christ is Risen!

M.
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« Reply #107 on: April 20, 2011, 01:11:56 PM »

I COULD simply go along with my fellow Catholics and think of St. Gregory as a good monk but a lousy theologian who taught heresy. 

I decided to look more closely.

Apparently the favor is very rarely returned.

There are, of course, those Orthodox that have taken more than just a “close look” at Roman Catholic teaching, particularly among those patristic scholars such as Fr. Gabriel (Bunge) and Fr. Placide (Deseille), who entered Orthodoxy after years of wrestling with the Orthodox-Catholic differences to an extent that few have.  Many Orthodox who I have seen refer to Roman Catholic teaching tend to go to the sources of these teachings in either particular Roman Catholic councils where the teachings were established, or in the Roman Catholic Catechism.  Sure, on forums such as this one you may encounter a lot of people who have never taken a very close look at Roman Catholic or Orthodox teaching, but rather prefer to just share opinions and thoughts rather than take the time to carefully examine authoritative documents of either faith.  On such forums you will likely see many misconceptions, particularly among the Orthodox laity, but to take the opinions expressed by anonymous Orthodox on Internet forums as a basis for determining how Roman Catholicism is understood by the Orthodox, would be a big mistake I think. 

Regarding the “returning of favors”, if Roman Catholics admire and highly respect something in Orthodoxy, and if Orthodox do not see anything worthwhile in post-schism Roman Catholicism, this should not be thought of in terms of a lack of charity on the part of the Orthodox.  It could very well be a matter of conviction that follows from careful examination, a sincere conviction that Orthodoxy is the true Church in all its fullness and glory.  What can be added to or taken away from “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15) or the “fullness of him that filleth all in all” (Eph 1:23)?
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« Reply #108 on: April 20, 2011, 01:22:01 PM »

I COULD simply go along with my fellow Catholics and think of St. Gregory as a good monk but a lousy theologian who taught heresy. 

I decided to look more closely.

Apparently the favor is very rarely returned.

There are, of course, those Orthodox that have taken more than just a “close look” at Roman Catholic teaching, particularly among those patristic scholars such as Fr. Gabriel (Bunge) and Fr. Placide (Deseille), who entered Orthodoxy after years of wrestling with the Orthodox-Catholic differences to an extent that few have.  Many Orthodox who I have seen refer to Roman Catholic teaching tend to go to the sources of these teachings in either particular Roman Catholic councils where the teachings were established, or in the Roman Catholic Catechism.  Sure, on forums such as this one you may encounter a lot of people who have never taken a very close look at Roman Catholic or Orthodox teaching, but rather prefer to just share opinions and thoughts rather than take the time to carefully examine authoritative documents of either faith.  On such forums you will likely see many misconceptions, particularly among the Orthodox laity, but to take the opinions expressed by anonymous Orthodox on Internet forums as a basis for determining how Roman Catholicism is understood by the Orthodox, would be a big mistake I think. 


There's more to the Father Placide story than meets the eye...or I'll eat my shoes.  There's no way to prove it but I've been around a long time and there's a bitterness there that is not just a mid-life discovery that the Catholic Church is in error.

And with Father Gabriel there is no indication that he left the Catholic Church for doctrinal reasons at all, and he's done two long interviews where if that were the case he could have made that very plain in all its detail...and he did not.  In fact his silence on the issue of doctrine, thundered.

And I am not looking at Orthodox on the Internet for my grasp of Orthodoxy's misrepresentations of Catholic teaching.  I am looking first and foremost at parish experience on the ground and then at scholar-monks and priests whose work I can access in English....and THEN I see these things echoed here on the Internet.

M.
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« Reply #109 on: April 20, 2011, 01:22:53 PM »

So, what does your church teach?

No Filioque?  No papal infallibility?  No Immaculate Conception? No indulgences, purgatory, etc?

....because that would be interesting.

You stated that it is "what the Orthodox say the Catholic Church teaches".  Does the Catholic Church not teach these things?


Meaning.  The meaning of the teaching is not the same when delivered to me by my Church and when delivered to me by Orthodoxy.  You don't tell me accurately what my Church means.

That's why we continue to dialogue...or so it seems to me.

To me, Palamas, St. Gregory is a good example of what I am talking about only in the other direction.

I still argue with Catholics who think that St. Gregory is a heretic because he entirely separates the essence of God from the energies of God in his teaching.  Thankfully I have the homilies in English now to work with as well as the Triads, because the Homilies clarify certain things that are not precisely clear in the Triads.

I COULD simply go along with my fellow Catholics and think of St. Gregory as a good monk but a lousy theologian who taught heresy.  

I decided to look more closely.

Apparently the favor is very rarely returned.
Au contraire, it is very common.
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« Reply #110 on: April 20, 2011, 01:29:24 PM »

There's more to the Father Placide story than meets the eye...or I'll eat my shoes.  There's no way to prove it but I've been around a long time and there's a bitterness there that is not just a mid-life discovery that the Catholic Church is in error.

And with Father Gabriel there is no indication that he left the Catholic Church for doctrinal reasons at all, and he's done two long interviews where if that were the case he could have made that very plain in all its detail...and he did not.  In fact his silence on the issue of doctrine, thundered.

So, why did they leave then?
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« Reply #111 on: April 20, 2011, 01:41:26 PM »

There's more to the Father Placide story than meets the eye...or I'll eat my shoes.  There's no way to prove it but I've been around a long time and there's a bitterness there that is not just a mid-life discovery that the Catholic Church is in error.

And with Father Gabriel there is no indication that he left the Catholic Church for doctrinal reasons at all, and he's done two long interviews where if that were the case he could have made that very plain in all its detail...and he did not.  In fact his silence on the issue of doctrine, thundered.

So, why did they leave then?

I have no idea in reality.  I have a better idea with Father Bunge.  I cannot fathom Father Placide at all, but there is more there than meets the eye, I am sure.  You'll never see the kind of screed against the Catholic Church come from Father Bunge that you see from Father Placide and his followers.

Father Bunge lived in the sort of liminal space that I live in and finally he went to the place where people understood him best, and where he could be most at home liturgically and spiritually and habitually.  That is what I believe.

M.
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« Reply #112 on: April 20, 2011, 01:44:10 PM »

V
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« Reply #113 on: April 20, 2011, 01:45:06 PM »

And with Father Gabriel there is no indication that he left the Catholic Church for doctrinal reasons at all, and he's done two long interviews where if that were the case he could have made that very plain in all its detail...and he did not.  In fact his silence on the issue of doctrine, thundered.
 

So you are suggesting that two mature monastics who are renowned for their patristic scholarship make such a serious decision to leave the Roman Catholic Church to be received by the Orthodox Church, and this decision had nothing to do with doctrinal reasons?  Now, that is a tough one to swallow.  Regarding Fr. Gabriel’s silence on doctrinal issues following his conversion, perhaps he is simply attempting to show some discretion.  There are still very many Roman Catholics who are close to him and respect him, and at this time the quiet witness of his conversion may be of more help to them in coming to understand why he made such a decision, whereas a loud denunciation of “Latin heresies” may only serve to alienate and further anger those Roman Catholics who may be shocked or confused about such a major decision.

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« Reply #114 on: April 20, 2011, 01:52:27 PM »

And with Father Gabriel there is no indication that he left the Catholic Church for doctrinal reasons at all, and he's done two long interviews where if that were the case he could have made that very plain in all its detail...and he did not.  In fact his silence on the issue of doctrine, thundered.
 

So you are suggesting that two mature monastics who are renowned for their patristic scholarship make such a serious decision to leave the Roman Catholic Church to be received by the Orthodox Church, and this decision had nothing to do with doctrinal reasons?  Now, that is a tough one to swallow.  Regarding Fr. Gabriel’s silence on doctrinal issues following his conversion, perhaps he is simply attempting to show some discretion.  There are still very many Roman Catholics who are close to him and respect him, and at this time the quiet witness of his conversion may be of more help to them in coming to understand why he made such a decision, whereas a loud denunciation of “Latin heresies” may only serve to alienate and further anger those Roman Catholics who may be shocked or confused about such a major decision.



Yes.  I am strongly suggesting that in both cases there was more to it than doctrine.  That is exactly what I am suggesting.  I am also suggesting that there will probably be a better opportunity to find out if I am right or just blind from Father Gabriel than from Father Placide.

And I see here on this very Forum that the idea of shocking Latins is the LAST thing on the list of no-no's...That is not real to my ears.  I believe Father Gabriel is a much more honest man than that.
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« Reply #115 on: April 20, 2011, 02:26:47 PM »


Yes.  I am strongly suggesting that in both cases there was more to it than doctrine.  That is exactly what I am suggesting.  I am also suggesting that there will probably be a better opportunity to find out if I am right or just blind from Father Gabriel than from Father Placide.
 

I suppose that to say there “was more to it than doctrine” may be a valid claim, since there is more in general to the Church than doctrine alone.  However, it is impossible that the decision of these two fathers to be received into the Orthodox Church was made without seriously considering the doctrine of both faiths. 

Have you read Archimandrite Placide’s story, found in English under the title “Stages of a Pilgrimage” and published in the book “The Living Witness of the Holy Mountain: Contemporary Voices from Mount Athos” by Hieromonk Alexander (Golotzin)?  If not, I would highly recommend it.  Below are a few excerpts regarding the “doctrinal” aspect of his journey, though the complete story should be read and considered carefully.  I must say that I find no bitterness, anger, or resentment in this account, but rather a clear and thorough account which helps to understand the issues Fr. Placide wrestled with for so many years, and why he eventually entered the Orthodox Church.  His thought is so clearly laid out that there seems little room for speculating on “hidden motives” or “more to the story”.

Again, here are a few relevant excerpts from Fr. Placide’s journey:


Quote
I was thus led to reflect on the religious history of the West, and especially on the profound changes that one sees in almost all areas between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries.  At that time the institutions of the Church were altered (notably the understanding of the papacy with the Gregorian reform), and so were the rites of the sacraments (the abandonment of baptism by immersion, of communion under both kinds, of the deprecative formula of absolution, etc.), and doctrine (the introduction of the filioque in the Creed and the development of the scholastic method of theology).  One may note simultaneously the appearance of a new religious art, naturalistic, which breaks with the traditional canons of Christian art as elaborated over the course of the era of the Fathers.

This fact, moreover, is recognized by Catholic historians.  As Father Yves Congar has written: “The great shift is located at the hinge of the eleventh and twelfth centuries.  But the shift takes place only in the West.  Between the ends of the eleventh and thirteenth centuries everything changes.  This did not affect the East where, in so many ways, Christian practices remain today as they were – and as they were with us – before the end of the eleventh century.  The more one understands these things, the more this observation is confirmed; and it is a very serious matter since it points us back precisely to the moment when the schism became a fact which, up to now, has found no real cure.  It is impossible that this coincidence should be purely accidental and external.”  Still more recently, another historian has confirmed these views: “It is certainly not accidental that the break between Rome and Constantinople became definitive in 1054, at the very moment when, under the influence of the reform movement, the papacy and the Western Church had chosen to travel religious paths that were altogether new.”

For Father Congar, certainly, this mutation does not bear on the essentials of the faith.  Nevertheless, it is a fact that both sides felt the divergences that had thus appeared between the two Churches necessarily entailed a break in communion.  Thus there was schism, and even heresy, since dogmatic principles were affirmed on the one side and denied on the other.  And history, so it seemed to me, made it quite clear that the initiative for the rupture had come from the Church of the West.

In order to justify her internal evolution the Roman Church appeals to the doctrine of the development of dogma, and to the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff.  Seen this way, the various changes appear as stages in a legitimate process of growth, and the definition of new dogmas as a transition from the implicit to the explicit.  The new forms are contained in the old as the oak tree is in the acorn.  The sole definitive criterion permitting one to discern with certainty a legitimate development from a distortion or corruption of the Tradition is communion with the Roman Pontiff, and the guarantee of his doctrinal infallibility.  The essential identity between the two successive stages of development can thus be affirmed, even if it should escape the observer, provided it be admitted by the pope.

It was thus that solely the doctrine of papal primacy and infallibility could reassure me of the identity of the present-day Roman Church with the Early Church, in spite of the historical facts pointing to the contrary and what my own inner sense suggested to me concerning matters of the faith.

But on this point again, familiarity with the Fathers of the Church and the study of history exposed me to the fragility of the Roman position.  Admittedly, the popes claimed a primacy of divine right from very early on, though without making a “dogma” of it as would later be the case.  But this demand was never unanimously accepted in the Early Church.  Quite the contrary, one can say that the present dogma of the Roman primacy and infallibility is opposed to the spirit and general practice of the Church during the first ten centuries.  The same is true of other doctrinal differences, particularly the filioque, which appeared very early in the Latin Church, but which was never received by the rest of the Christian world as part of the deposit of faith (this is why its definition as dogma can only be considered by the Orthodox Church as an error in matters of faith).

I observed that the analysis of Catholic historians agreed, in great part, with that of Orthodox theologians, even if they did not draw identical conclusions form the facts – the former’s main concern being often to discern in the distant past some faint indications of subsequent developments.  Even so Mgr. Batiffol, for example, wrote concerning the idea of the Pope as successor of Saint Peter: “Saint Basil does not mention it, neither does Saint Gregory Nazianzus or Saint John Chrysostom.  The authority of the bishop of Rom is one of the first importance, but in the East it was never seen as an authority by divine right.”

Concerning the infallibility of the Pope, Father F. W. De varies, speaking of the formula, “Peter has spoken through Agathon!” which was used by the Fathers of the VIth Ecumenical Council, acknowledges that: “This formula is nothing other than a solemn affirmation, made after a thorough examination of Agathon’s letter, that Agathon (the pope at the time) was in accordance with the witness of Saint Peter.  This exclamation in no way means that Agathon must be right since he possesses the authority of Peter…Another indication of the non-recognition by the Council of the absolute authority of the Pope in matters of doctrine is the very fact that Honorius – rightly or wrongly, it makes no difference – was condemned by the Council as a heretic, and that Pope Leo II made no objection to the fact that a Council had done so.  The phrase of the Codex juris canonici:  ‘Prima sedes a nemine judicatur (‘The first See is judged by no one)’ was not therefore at that time recognized in an absolute sense even in Rome.  In any case, a similar condemnation of a Pope would be unthinkable today.  One must thus admit that there has been an evolution.”

Quote
It was only very gradually that I came to the conclusion that the Orthodox Church is the Church of Christ in her fullness, and that the Roman Catholic Church is a member separated from her.  Such a trek would doubtless have been easier for younger men, or for men less integrated that I was into the Roman Church.  For a Catholic of my generation, the idea of papal primacy was deeply rooted.  Besides, in my earliest years as the Trappist monastery I had known the Latin tradition in one of its purest forms, well-preserved until very recently.  I had also known monks, nuns, and fervent Christians who had shone with a deep spiritual life.  I was familiar with the lives of many Catholic saints; to me their sanctity seemed to be beyond doubt, and close to that of Orthodox saints.  I was aware of and loved everything there was of authentic Christianity – which now I would tend to call genuine Orthodox survivals – among Roman Catholics…

But how could we remain loyal members of the Catholic Church, and so continue to profess outwardly all her dogmas, when inwardly we were convinced that certain of these dogmas had departed from the Tradition of the Church?  How could we continue to share in the same Eucharist while aware of our differences regarding the Faith?  How could we remain outside the Orthodox Church, outside of which there could be no salvation and life in the Spirit for those who, having recognized her as the Church of Christ, refused to join her for human motives?  To give in to considerations of ecumenical diplomacy, opportunity, and personal convenience would, in our case, have been to seek to please men rather than God, and to lie both to men and to God.  Nothing could have justified such duplicity.






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« Reply #116 on: April 20, 2011, 02:40:33 PM »



But how could we remain loyal members of the Catholic Church, and so continue to profess outwardly all her dogmas, when inwardly we were convinced that certain of these dogmas had departed from the Tradition of the Church?  How could we continue to share in the same Eucharist while aware of our differences regarding the Faith?  How could we remain outside the Orthodox Church, outside of which there could be no salvation and life in the Spirit for those who, having recognized her as the Church of Christ, refused to join her for human motives?  To give in to considerations of ecumenical diplomacy, opportunity, and personal convenience would, in our case, have been to seek to please men rather than God, and to lie both to men and to God.  Nothing could have justified such duplicity.

This is a very personal story and one that, if systemically accurate, would have resulted in many many more such stories as men and women monastics had opportunity to experience documents not available to the average layman or woman.









[/quote]
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« Reply #117 on: April 20, 2011, 02:45:25 PM »



But how could we remain loyal members of the Catholic Church, and so continue to profess outwardly all her dogmas, when inwardly we were convinced that certain of these dogmas had departed from the Tradition of the Church?  How could we continue to share in the same Eucharist while aware of our differences regarding the Faith?  How could we remain outside the Orthodox Church, outside of which there could be no salvation and life in the Spirit for those who, having recognized her as the Church of Christ, refused to join her for human motives?  To give in to considerations of ecumenical diplomacy, opportunity, and personal convenience would, in our case, have been to seek to please men rather than God, and to lie both to men and to God.  Nothing could have justified such duplicity.

This is a very personal story and one that, if systemically accurate, would have resulted in many many more such stories as men and women monastics had opportunity to experience documents not available to the average layman or woman.
Ah, that secret gnostic experience open only to the elite.

"experience" a document?
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« Reply #118 on: April 20, 2011, 03:06:16 PM »



But how could we remain loyal members of the Catholic Church, and so continue to profess outwardly all her dogmas, when inwardly we were convinced that certain of these dogmas had departed from the Tradition of the Church?  How could we continue to share in the same Eucharist while aware of our differences regarding the Faith?  How could we remain outside the Orthodox Church, outside of which there could be no salvation and life in the Spirit for those who, having recognized her as the Church of Christ, refused to join her for human motives?  To give in to considerations of ecumenical diplomacy, opportunity, and personal convenience would, in our case, have been to seek to please men rather than God, and to lie both to men and to God.  Nothing could have justified such duplicity.

This is a very personal story and one that, if systemically accurate, would have resulted in many many more such stories as men and women monastics had opportunity to experience documents not available to the average layman or woman.
Ah, that secret gnostic experience open only to the elite.

"experience" a document?

He does seem to have had one doesn't he....

I would not criticize anyone's editing or use of English if I were you...I don't think that is a can of worms you really want to open with me  Tongue
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« Reply #119 on: April 20, 2011, 03:06:53 PM »

I am not a monastic, nor have I had access to any special documents not available to the layperson (you too can buy a Bible, an Agpeya, and a copy of the sayings of the Desert Fathers; heck you can buy them all at the same place, since you are on the internet. It has never been more possible.). Yet that story, while acted out in many different people according to their level of spiritual development, strikes me as the least personal, or most communal, and dare I say it (if anything in the experience of God can be put in this way) average story imaginable. Why? Because it's my story, too. And it's the story of many ex-Catholic (and ex-Muslim, ex-Atheist, ex-___) friends. And it's the story surely of many who are now priests in the Orthodox Church. It's the story of still many more who are hundreds upon hundreds of miles away from any Byzantine history or Orthodox ecclesiastical structure, but live out their faith in an immigrant church that came to them in much the same way as the faith had come to King Ezana of Axum, or Coptic Egypt by the work of St. Mark, or Armenia by the work of St. Gregory the Illuminator. You think the people in these places had tons of documents available to them to peruse and then make some sort of intellectual decision? And the people of Mt. Lebanon, likewise? And the Indians? And the Slavs? And the Romanians? I think that is a ridiculous reduction of the living history of the Church and its real witness, wherein faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Please do not depreciate the work of the Holy Spirit, who is God and the guidance of the churches. When others are led to Rome instead points East, do you likewise take such a hands-off approach, insisting that one individual's story is numerically insignificant, and hence explainable by some other, peculiar means? I would think not. Or at least I hope not.

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« Reply #120 on: April 20, 2011, 03:10:39 PM »


Please do not depreciate the work of the Holy Spirit, who is God and the guidance of the churches. When others are led to Rome instead points East, do you likewise take such a hands-off approach, insisting that one individual's story is numerically insignificant, and hence explainable by some other, peculiar means? I would think not. Or at least I hope not.



 Cheesy  Oh!! I don't ever do that.  In fact I am also pretty sure that is how we find ex-Orthodox in the Catholic Church... Cheesy

I am just teasing but it is true.  Those doors swing both ways.  What is most important is what our respective confessions actually teach and how we understand one another formally...or not...as the case may be.

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« Reply #121 on: April 20, 2011, 03:14:42 PM »

I personally don't believe that Roman Catholics believe in the Filioque as a doctrine, and that (most) Catholics do affirm pretty much the same thing about it that we do as Orthodox, in that instance, it is semantics. HOWEVER, the simple fact that the Filioque is in the Creed in the Roman Church is still an error and reunion cannot ever take place until it is removed.

The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, and through the Son. From what I've read, the Roman Church was affirming the same thing, but the language differences caused a huge misunderstanding. However, the addition of Filioque alone is wrong and warranted excommunication. I do also believe that the Filioque has led to a minimalization of the Holy Spirit in much of Western Theology. Even if it's just semantics, it still had a wider effect on Western Theology.

Now, if we understand that the doctrine is semantics, then the Roman Church should have no problem acknowledging that the Holy Spirit proceeds only from the Father, but that he proceeds through the Son. And if it is semantics, then the Roman Church should also have no problem removing Filioque from the Creed, considering it was an error in the first place.
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« Reply #122 on: April 20, 2011, 03:20:35 PM »



Now, if we understand that the doctrine is semantics, then the Roman Church should have no problem acknowledging that the Holy Spirit proceeds only from the Father, but that he proceeds through the Son. And if it is semantics, then the Roman Church should also have no problem removing Filioque from the Creed, considering it was an error in the first place.

The filioque is fine as it is.  There's no need to remove it and no need for Orthodoxy to continue to insist after all these centuries IF it is not really heresy...and in terms of what the Church understands it to mean, it is not.
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« Reply #123 on: April 20, 2011, 03:30:01 PM »

Your emphasis on solely worshipping God is pagan at best. Your Christianity, Devin, is a state religion, where the police are used to bring the bedbound to church, so as to fulfill the legal obligation. Your Christianity is not  the Christian martyrs, who did not want Christianity to become the religion of the Antichrist, the Roman civic religion.
Christianity is love. Christianity is not the power of the state used to punish heretics. Christianity is love.

LOL. Nice trolling.
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« Reply #124 on: April 20, 2011, 03:31:37 PM »


The problem is, the Filioque isn't just semantics.

The real problem for me and many others is that, for most all of the contested doctrine, what Orthodox say the Catholic Church teaches, I've only ever heard it from Orthodox believers.  My Church does not teach what you all say it teaches.

That is a major reason that I can not "convert" to Orthodoxy.  I can't teach Catholic doctrine Orthodox style.  It makes no sense to me at all. 

We have shown you again and again that you don't realize (conveniently, as you would have to realize that your church is heretical if you did) what your church actually teaches on the matter.
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« Reply #125 on: April 20, 2011, 03:33:08 PM »



Now, if we understand that the doctrine is semantics, then the Roman Church should have no problem acknowledging that the Holy Spirit proceeds only from the Father, but that he proceeds through the Son. And if it is semantics, then the Roman Church should also have no problem removing Filioque from the Creed, considering it was an error in the first place.

The filioque is fine as it is.  There's no need to remove it and no need for Orthodoxy to continue to insist after all these centuries IF it is not really heresy...and in terms of what the Church understands it to mean, it is not.

Then there can never be any reunion. It was added to the Creed without any Ecumenical Council, and an Ecumenical Council IS needed to add ANYTHING to the Creed. It's unilateral addition by the Roman Church to the Creed was an act that denied the validity/importance of the Ecumenical Councils and was indeed a symptom of the larger problem of the fact that the Roman Church had begun to think they had an authority over the other Churches. (which they didn't in fact have, and we told it so, and so the Roman Church took it's ball to play elsewhere)

Again, I mourn the separation of the Roman Church from the One Holy Catholic, Apostolic Church, but I would much rather prefer that schism remain than for us to sacrifice the traditions and faith handed down to us from Christ himself.
If it is the case that the Roman Church refuses to recant, then I mourn it's choice to remain in schism. It is the one that is making the choice, not us. All it takes is some repentance and rejection of it's innovations. I mourn for the fact that the Roman Church remains in it's sins & errors. Hopefully some day it will return to Holy Orthodoxy, on that day, we will rejoice. But until then, the Orthodox Church will continue preserving the faith of Christ & his Apostles...
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« Reply #126 on: April 20, 2011, 03:33:16 PM »



But how could we remain loyal members of the Catholic Church, and so continue to profess outwardly all her dogmas, when inwardly we were convinced that certain of these dogmas had departed from the Tradition of the Church?  How could we continue to share in the same Eucharist while aware of our differences regarding the Faith?  How could we remain outside the Orthodox Church, outside of which there could be no salvation and life in the Spirit for those who, having recognized her as the Church of Christ, refused to join her for human motives?  To give in to considerations of ecumenical diplomacy, opportunity, and personal convenience would, in our case, have been to seek to please men rather than God, and to lie both to men and to God.  Nothing could have justified such duplicity.

This is a very personal story and one that, if systemically accurate, would have resulted in many many more such stories as men and women monastics had opportunity to experience documents not available to the average layman or woman.
Ah, that secret gnostic experience open only to the elite.

"experience" a document?

He does seem to have had one doesn't he....
Don't have a decoder ring for that sentence.

I would not criticize anyone's editing or use of English if I were you...I don't think that is a can of worms you really want to open with me  Tongue
I tremble.

You use "experience" and its permutations in a myriad of odd and contorted ways, so I don't think it is an issue of English usage. It seems to be a term of art for you.
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« Reply #127 on: April 20, 2011, 03:34:12 PM »

So, what does your church teach?

No Filioque?  No papal infallibility?  No Immaculate Conception? No indulgences, purgatory, etc?

....because that would be interesting.

You stated that it is "what the Orthodox say the Catholic Church teaches".  Does the Catholic Church not teach these things?


Meaning.  The meaning of the teaching is not the same when delivered to me by my Church and when delivered to me by Orthodoxy.  You don't tell me accurately what my Church means.

That's why we continue to dialogue...or so it seems to me.

To me, Palamas, St. Gregory is a good example of what I am talking about only in the other direction.

I still argue with Catholics who think that St. Gregory is a heretic because he entirely separates the essence of God from the energies of God in his teaching.  Thankfully I have the homilies in English now to work with as well as the Triads, because the Homilies clarify certain things that are not precisely clear in the Triads.

I COULD simply go along with my fellow Catholics and think of St. Gregory as a good monk but a lousy theologian who taught heresy.  

I decided to look more closely.

Apparently the favor is very rarely returned.

Actually, we do. You assume that directly studying your doctors will logically lead to their acquittal of heresy, but that's not necessarily the case.
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« Reply #128 on: April 20, 2011, 03:37:36 PM »



Now, if we understand that the doctrine is semantics, then the Roman Church should have no problem acknowledging that the Holy Spirit proceeds only from the Father, but that he proceeds through the Son. And if it is semantics, then the Roman Church should also have no problem removing Filioque from the Creed, considering it was an error in the first place.

The filioque is fine as it is.  There's no need to remove it and no need for Orthodoxy to continue to insist after all these centuries IF it is not really heresy...and in terms of what the Church understands it to mean, it is not.
of course not: it is a heretical creed for a heretical church.  Thus is it fine as it is: it lets the Orthodox know who the heretics are, and avoid them accordingly. Hence why we fault its ommission by those in union with the heretics who teach it.

Truth in advertising.
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« Reply #129 on: April 20, 2011, 03:41:49 PM »


Please do not depreciate the work of the Holy Spirit, who is God and the guidance of the churches. When others are led to Rome instead points East, do you likewise take such a hands-off approach, insisting that one individual's story is numerically insignificant, and hence explainable by some other, peculiar means? I would think not. Or at least I hope not.



 Cheesy  Oh!! I don't ever do that.  In fact I am also pretty sure that is how we find ex-Orthodox in the Catholic Church... Cheesy

I am just teasing but it is true.  Those doors swing both ways.  What is most important is what our respective confessions actually teach and how we understand one another formally...or not...as the case may be.



What do you mean by understanding one another "formally"? As opposed to what, exactly? I take it you mean the kinds of discussions that go on here to be the "informal" ones, but I don't understand why they are not as important or illuminating.
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« Reply #130 on: April 20, 2011, 03:42:40 PM »

The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, and through the Son. From what I've read, the Roman Church was affirming the same thing, but the language differences caused a huge misunderstanding.

Are you taking into account the definitions of the 13th-16th centuries? These definitely do not sound to me like they are saying the same thing regarding Trinitarian theology.
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« Reply #131 on: April 20, 2011, 03:46:31 PM »

The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, and through the Son. From what I've read, the Roman Church was affirming the same thing, but the language differences caused a huge misunderstanding.

Are you taking into account the definitions of the 13th-16th centuries? These definitely do not sound to me like they are saying the same thing regarding Trinitarian theology.

nah I haven't read them, I'm mainly going off what I read in Sir Steven Runciman's book, "The Great Church in Captivity". As well as conversations I've had with Roman Catholics.
It could be a case that in recent centuries they have changed their beliefs.
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dzheremi
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« Reply #132 on: April 20, 2011, 03:47:08 PM »



Now, if we understand that the doctrine is semantics, then the Roman Church should have no problem acknowledging that the Holy Spirit proceeds only from the Father, but that he proceeds through the Son. And if it is semantics, then the Roman Church should also have no problem removing Filioque from the Creed, considering it was an error in the first place.

The filioque is fine as it is.  There's no need to remove it and no need for Orthodoxy to continue to insist after all these centuries IF it is not really heresy...and in terms of what the Church understands it to mean, it is not.
of course not: it is a heretical creed for a heretical church.  Thus is it fine as it is: it lets the Orthodox know who the heretics are, and avoid them accordingly. Hence why we fault its ommission by those in union with the heretics who teach it.

Truth in advertising.

When I tired of the Latins and tried to be a happy Catholic with the Ukrainians, I was shocked and honestly upset to find that I was the only one in the congregation who did NOT recite the filioque in the Creed. I had naturally assumed that it would not be there. When I asked the priest after the conclusion of the liturgy, he was ashamed and admitted that they had a long way to go to properly return to their spiritual tradition. ECism was not the "other lung" I had been told it would be...unless we conceptualize the church as a very sick man.
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elijahmaria
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« Reply #133 on: April 20, 2011, 03:51:23 PM »


Please do not depreciate the work of the Holy Spirit, who is God and the guidance of the churches. When others are led to Rome instead points East, do you likewise take such a hands-off approach, insisting that one individual's story is numerically insignificant, and hence explainable by some other, peculiar means? I would think not. Or at least I hope not.



 Cheesy  Oh!! I don't ever do that.  In fact I am also pretty sure that is how we find ex-Orthodox in the Catholic Church... Cheesy

I am just teasing but it is true.  Those doors swing both ways.  What is most important is what our respective confessions actually teach and how we understand one another formally...or not...as the case may be.



What do you mean by understanding one another "formally"? As opposed to what, exactly? I take it you mean the kinds of discussions that go on here to be the "informal" ones, but I don't understand why they are not as important or illuminating.

The teaching authority in the Church rests with our bishops...When you hear me referring to "formal" and "informal" teaching with respect to Orthodoxy or the Catholic Church that is my reference.  Sorry for not making that more clear earlier!

M.
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Peter J
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« Reply #134 on: April 20, 2011, 04:01:49 PM »



Now, if we understand that the doctrine is semantics, then the Roman Church should have no problem acknowledging that the Holy Spirit proceeds only from the Father, but that he proceeds through the Son. And if it is semantics, then the Roman Church should also have no problem removing Filioque from the Creed, considering it was an error in the first place.

The filioque is fine as it is.  There's no need to remove it and no need for Orthodoxy to continue to insist after all these centuries IF it is not really heresy...and in terms of what the Church understands it to mean, it is not.
of course not: it is a heretical creed for a heretical church.  Thus is it fine as it is: it lets the Orthodox know who the heretics are, and avoid them accordingly. Hence why we fault its ommission by those in union with the heretics who teach it.

Truth in advertising.

Ah. I had wondered why that was.

So, to make sure I understand you correctly, you would also fault Pope Leo III in the same way, right? (Since he said the creed in its original form, and also affirmed the correctness of the statement "the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son".)
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