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Author Topic: Seriously considering Orthodoxy.....  (Read 6565 times) Average Rating: 0
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Steel*Faith
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« on: April 26, 2011, 04:18:13 AM »

*Please be patient with me*

I have been studying Orthodoxy for nearly 7 months now, but I seem to be going around in circles in regards to some issues; when I seem to resolve an issue, a few new ones pop up to create more stumbling blocks for me.  For 7 years of my life I was a Muslim; I then discovered Christianity through the Bible and professed faith in Christ. Then for another 6 years I had considered myself a Christian without any denomination, but that always bothered me that the Protestants were all so divided and contradicting of one another. So i've come to a certain conclusion (for many reasons) that Protestantism is actually anti-christian. So i'm now praying that Christ will deliver me to His one true Church - which is the Catholic faith - but which one?

Right now my biggest issue is who's claim to be the original Church is legitimate - Roman Catholicism or Orthodox Catholicism? From my understanding, the Archbishop of Rome (the Pope) was universally recognized to be the leader of the Church. So why did the Eastern churches deny his authority, which seemed to have existed ever since St.Peter? The Folioque is another issue as well ,and to be honest it's not an issue I find easy to make a decision on; both sides can make convincing arguments on the matter - so i'd rather focus on who has the true authority to make a final decision.

Orthodox claims to have continued on a straight path ever since the day of Pentecost, but I see so many schisms in it's history. The Coptic Orthodox schism in particular seems very ridiculous to me, seeing how both the Eastern Orthodox and Coptics both believe in the same exact thing (with different phrasing). Yet it's taken hundreds upon hundreds of years, and they're now just starting to slowly resolve the issues. It just seems to me that the Church has grown overly bureaucratic and prideful; whereas Christ would want the Church to humble itself and make amends with each other quickly - as unresolved conflict amongst brethren is quite the serious sin according to the Bible.

 Then there's the matter of evangelism. When you look at the Apostles and early christians, they were constantly striving to deliver the good news of Christ to the world. If Orthodoxy is the true Church, and it alone holds the Holy Sacraments and other powers of the Holy Spirit, then why isn't the Orthodox Church making greater effort to spread the truth to the world - particularly America? If all the Patriarchates are in full communion with one another - why don't they make more attempt to work together and spread the gospel and do the good works of Christ on a united front? Most Orthodox churches i've seen in America seem to get together for the occasional Greek Festival, or celebration of a particular holy day, but never get together to fullfill the Great Commission or unleash the gifts of the Holy Spirit upon the earth.

Then there's the issue of the local Churches I been visiting. When I walk into the first Antiochian church I ever been to, I see the "One Eye" centered in the middle of all the Holy Icons and Tabernacle. From my experience, this is an occult symbol associated with Masonry. From what I have read, Orthodoxy prohibits membership to Free Masonry. So is my association of the "One Eye" with Free Masonry wrong do you think, or is this an ancient Christian symbol? From my research thus far, I am leery of infiltration in the Church (ex: Soviet infiltration nearly wiped Orthodoxy off the planet in the USSR).

So my viewpoint thus far, is that Roman Catholics seem to be in better communion globally, and pool their resources toward evangelism more effectively. So i'd like to know if my viewpoint wrong - if so why? I have many other issues to discuss (Roman & Orthodox views of homosexually, Marriage, the "many paths that lead to the same God" lie, and others) but will delay them for another time. I know some of the things i've said might offend, but they're serious issues I believe we all must be honest with ourselves; my mind is open to listen to anything you all might have to say. I thank you in advance for helping me with these questions.

Lord Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on us - sinners!
« Last Edit: April 26, 2011, 04:29:24 AM by Steel*Faith » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2011, 05:48:29 AM »

I've been in something of a similar position for a while now as well. I am Roman Catholic attending an Eastern Catholic church and figuring out the one true church bit has been really hard for me. I have tackled all the questions you brought up and then some. What I have finally come down to is the Gregorian Reform. I have realized that if the Gregorian Reform was legitimate then Roman Catholicism is the true church despite its HUGE current problems. If the Gregorian Reform was heresy, then Orthodoxy is right.
It is too late at night for me to tackle the issues you brought up one by one, but none of them are insurmountable when you are looking at the True Church. There will always be imperfections (at least until Christ comes again) because the Church is made up of imperfect humans.
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« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2011, 07:28:06 AM »

many people have prepared their PhD theology theses on this issue, but i'll try to be short!
in my opinion both the catholic and orthodox churches have apostolic authority, and have passed on many useful traditions which the protestants lack. (i became orthodox from being protestant 2 years ago after a few years of research).

the catholic church has added dogma with the issue of inherited sinfulness (saint augustine) and, subsequent to that theory, the special conception without inherited sinfulness on the virgin saint mary.
i found the argument (based on ezekiel 44:2) that her virginity was perpetual very convincing, and of course, she is the most honoured saint, but it seems to me that the extra dogma from the catholic church is unnecessary. i asked a catholic priest if it was ok to become catholic without believing this, but he was really shocked at the suggestion!

as for the corruption of churches, this seems to me to be linked with the church having too close a relationship with the state, and the suffering churches (of all denominations) seem to have less corruption.
so i would recommend an orthodox church of a juristiction where humility and poverty are valued, and where there seem to be more people going to worship God than to run a good business deal within their community. it will vary from place to place, so you can never say 'greek churches are better than russian', for example, as the people in the church (and the priests) are different in each place. i joined a coptic church as there was one near me, rather than because of the history of martyred saints (although this was a positive thing). we have corruption too sometimes in our church!

above all, you are on a spiritual journey, lead by God, and it's more important to grow spiritually by learning to follow His leadership and learning to forsake suffering, than to find the perfect church. indeed, if you do find a perfect church, you may spoil it!
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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2011, 08:43:17 AM »

Me thinks you should make an appointment to have a cup of coffee and a nice long discussion with the Orthodox priest of the parish you've been visiting, so he can answer all of your questions.

I'm not trying to blow you off, but truly, this would be the best course of action to take.
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« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2011, 09:00:12 AM »

*Please be patient with me*

I have been studying Orthodoxy for nearly 7 months now, but I seem to be going around in circles in regards to some issues; when I seem to resolve an issue, a few new ones pop up to create more stumbling blocks for me. 

Welcome to the forum, and thank you for sharing with us your journey and the questions that you are struggling with as you search for the true Church of Christ.  May God enlighten you and help you to understand as you continue to seek the answers to your questions!  Those here may attempt to address some or all of what you have asked, but many pages would be needed to do justice to each question, and most likely you will simply have to keep praying, reading, and seeking in order for these obstacles and questions to be resolved.  Seven months of studying Orthodoxy is really not all that long, and so I do encourage you to keep studying, keep praying, attend services as much as possible, speak to priests, and do not make a hasty decision.

Many of your concerns are related to the human side of the Orthodox Church, and from this perspective the members of the Orthodox Church on this earth are very flawed, including myself.  However, one must not be distracted by the apparent deficiencies one sees among Orthodox Christians (inefficient use of resources, the failure of some to live according to the standards of the Orthodox faith, bad iconography in some places, etc.).  From a spiritual point of view, the Orthodox Church is the spotless and unblemished body of Christ.  To see this, one has to look at its contemporary and ancient saints, and the teaching and way of life of the contemporary and ancient saints.  See their continuity, the same spirit, the same understanding, which is found in true Orthodox Christians from Apostolic times.  This same spirit and same understanding is the mind of Christ.  See the continuity – theological, liturgical, spiritual, etc.  See how the grace of God works through the contemporary saints of Orthodoxy as was the case in the Acts of the Apostles, etc.  For instance, read of the wonderful early 20th century St. Nektarios of Aegina, and how at the time of his repose, when a piece of his clothing was removed and placed upon the bed of a paralyzed man in the hospital by him, how the paralyzed man was instantly healed, just as people were healed by the shadow of St. Peter in the book of Acts.  Look not only at the miracles, but also the spirit and the content of the faith.  When you see the continuity between contemporary and ancient saints of the Orthodox Church, see what the contemporary Orthodox saints say about Roman Catholicism and “Non-Chalcedonian Orthodoxy” (Copts, etc.).  Do not be deceived by contemporary political correctness or the clever speech of seminary or university professors, even if they are Orthodox priests, who claim various divisions are not important.  For the saints, they are important and have eternal ramifications, and for the Orthodox Church, it is the witness of the saints and Fathers that matters, whereas the opinions of mere professors are useless.  According to Orthodox ecclesiology, the ancient “schisms” did not divide the Church, which cannot be divided, but some have left the Church and started their own faith based on their pride and persistence in error.  Where there is such lasting contradiction, two separated parties cannot both be right. 

Regarding authority, see the Seven Ecumenical Councils for the irrelevancy of Papal claims.  If the Pope was truly the final authority on dogmatic issues, there would be no need for such councils, as a letter from the Pope resolving all such issues would have been all that was required.

Regarding Evangelism and administrative dysfunction, read about the history of the Orthodox Church, particularly what the Greeks suffered under the Ottomans and what the Russian and other Slavic churches suffered under Communism.  Under the Ottomans, the Russian Church was still free to evangelize, but much of the administrative chaos today was a result of the subjugation of the Russian Church under Communism and the inability of bishops abroad who were under the Russian Church to remain in contact with the Russian Church.  Since the fall of Communism, it looks as though these administrative problems are on the verge of being resolved, but it will take much time, much prayer, and much humility from all sides.  Read the life of St. Herman of Alaska, St. Innocent of Alaska, or more recently the life of the Apostle to Zaire Fr. Cosmas for examples of Orthodox evangelism.  Also, see Ancient Faith Radio in this country, which does have support from the various Orthodox jurisdictions represented here.

Regarding the “All-Seeing-Eye”, this is an unfortunate corruption of Orthodox iconography, but one probably attributable to Western or Latin influence than Masonic influence.  The Masons adopted this symbol in the 18th century, I believe, but the symbol itself has much more ancient origin, particularly from Egypt (as is the case with much Masonic symbolism).  The Western or Latin influence on Orthodox iconography can particularly be seen in 18th-19th century Russian iconography, which is likely when this symbol crept in, but one can find this symbol even in monasteries on Mt. Athos in Greece.  The following website indicates that the use of the Eye in the triangle appeared in Catholic art in the 16th century, which would predate Masonry (http://www.catholicreference.net/index.cfm?id=33496).  The use of the image is not acceptable according to the rules of Orthodox iconography, but it should not be feared that the aberration is from Masonic influence, or that the symbol indicates a Masonic influence in Orthodoxy.  There may be those claiming to be Orthodox who are Masons, just as one can formally be a member of the Orthodox Church while actually being a criminal, adulterer, murderer, etc.; but the Orthodox Church has repeatedly condemned Freemasonry.

This certainly will not resolve your questions, but hopefully it may help, at least a little bit.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2011, 09:26:08 AM by jah777 » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2011, 11:13:13 AM »

Welcome Steel*faith, I felt that I should comment regarding the eye. The All seeing eye has a very Christian triangle around the eye depicting the trinity. While some don't like the symbol. I personally don't see anything wrong with it. It seems perfectly christian to me. Fundamentalist protestants usually try to brand Orthodox and RC as Masons. What they seem to forget is that Masonry is an innovation which has it's origins in Protestant countries and that the eye predates Masonry. Protestants like to cherry pick symbols. They seem to not have a problem with symbols in general because I see them use the ΙΧΘΥΣ symbol on their cars. I also see the same symbol with the Darwin name on it. Am I to assume that Darwinism predates the ΙΧΘΥΣ? Or are the followers of Darwinism using the symbol and re-badge it to mean something else? Food for thought. Just as Masons tried to do. To me it's an obvious tactic for protestants to steal or detour prospective parishioners. The main thing to remember is that our own state of sinfulness is what usually determines what we see in an image.
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« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2011, 11:40:33 AM »

From my understanding, the Archbishop of Rome (the Pope) was universally recognized to be the leader of the Church. So why did the Eastern churches deny his authority, which seemed to have existed ever since St.Peter?
Have you looked into the difference between Papal Primacy and Papal Supremacy?

The Orthodox accepted the former, but reject the latter, which is a later innovation. You might also look up the term "Primus inter Pares". The Roman Catholic Church also claims the Pope is infallible when speaking ex cathedra on matters of faith and dogma, but the pope Honorius spoke authoritatively on a matter for which he was declared a heretic even by his successor Popes; this leads to a "no true scotsman fallacy" as to what constitutes ex cathedra and what does not, essentially allowing modern Catholics to determine retroactively what was an infallible declaration and what was not.

Orthodox claims to have continued on a straight path ever since the day of Pentecost, but I see so many schisms in it's history. The Coptic Orthodox schism in particular seems very ridiculous to me...
This schism occurred before the schism between the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church; therefore, the schism also happened to the Roman Catholic Church because east and west were one at the time.

I agree it is an unfortunate schism.

whereas Christ would want the Church to humble itself and make amends with each other quickly - as unresolved conflict amongst brethren is quite the serious sin according to the Bible.
Reconciliation attempts continued in the centuries following the schism. However, two centuries or so after the schism, Mohammad's muslim hordes arose out of Arabia and engulfed Egypt and the middle east. The Copts were cut off from their RCC and EO conterparts by an oppressive foreign regime that lasted until the fall of the Ottoman Empire and still continues in some capacity to this day. This is the main reason, IMO, why serious reconciliation attempts are only resuming now.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2011, 11:51:25 AM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2011, 11:44:25 AM »

I've been in something of a similar position for a while now as well. I am Roman Catholic attending an Eastern Catholic church and figuring out the one true church bit has been really hard for me. I have tackled all the questions you brought up and then some. What I have finally come down to is the Gregorian Reform. I have realized that if the Gregorian Reform was legitimate then Roman Catholicism is the true church despite its HUGE current problems. If the Gregorian Reform was heresy, then Orthodoxy is right.

Which Gregorian Reform in particular are you having trouble with?
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« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2011, 12:56:03 PM »

Christ is risen!
*Please be patient with me*

I have been studying Orthodoxy for nearly 7 months now, but I seem to be going around in circles in regards to some issues; when I seem to resolve an issue, a few new ones pop up to create more stumbling blocks for me.  For 7 years of my life I was a Muslim; I then discovered Christianity through the Bible and professed faith in Christ. Then for another 6 years I had considered myself a Christian without any denomination, but that always bothered me that the Protestants were all so divided and contradicting of one another. So i've come to a certain conclusion (for many reasons) that Protestantism is actually anti-christian. So i'm now praying that Christ will deliver me to His one true Church - which is the Catholic faith - but which one?

Right now my biggest issue is who's claim to be the original Church is legitimate - Roman Catholicism or Orthodox Catholicism? From my understanding, the Archbishop of Rome (the Pope) was universally recognized to be the leader of the Church. So why did the Eastern churches deny his authority, which seemed to have existed ever since St.Peter? The Folioque is another issue as well ,and to be honest it's not an issue I find easy to make a decision on; both sides can make convincing arguments on the matter - so i'd rather focus on who has the true authority to make a final decision.

Orthodox claims to have continued on a straight path ever since the day of Pentecost, but I see so many schisms in it's history. The Coptic Orthodox schism in particular seems very ridiculous to me, seeing how both the Eastern Orthodox and Coptics both believe in the same exact thing (with different phrasing). Yet it's taken hundreds upon hundreds of years, and they're now just starting to slowly resolve the issues. It just seems to me that the Church has grown overly bureaucratic and prideful; whereas Christ would want the Church to humble itself and make amends with each other quickly - as unresolved conflict amongst brethren is quite the serious sin according to the Bible.

 Then there's the matter of evangelism. When you look at the Apostles and early christians, they were constantly striving to deliver the good news of Christ to the world. If Orthodoxy is the true Church, and it alone holds the Holy Sacraments and other powers of the Holy Spirit, then why isn't the Orthodox Church making greater effort to spread the truth to the world - particularly America? If all the Patriarchates are in full communion with one another - why don't they make more attempt to work together and spread the gospel and do the good works of Christ on a united front? Most Orthodox churches i've seen in America seem to get together for the occasional Greek Festival, or celebration of a particular holy day, but never get together to fullfill the Great Commission or unleash the gifts of the Holy Spirit upon the earth.

Then there's the issue of the local Churches I been visiting. When I walk into the first Antiochian church I ever been to, I see the "One Eye" centered in the middle of all the Holy Icons and Tabernacle. From my experience, this is an occult symbol associated with Masonry. From what I have read, Orthodoxy prohibits membership to Free Masonry. So is my association of the "One Eye" with Free Masonry wrong do you think, or is this an ancient Christian symbol? From my research thus far, I am leery of infiltration in the Church (ex: Soviet infiltration nearly wiped Orthodoxy off the planet in the USSR).

So my viewpoint thus far, is that Roman Catholics seem to be in better communion globally, and pool their resources toward evangelism more effectively. So i'd like to know if my viewpoint wrong - if so why? I have many other issues to discuss (Roman & Orthodox views of homosexually, Marriage, the "many paths that lead to the same God" lie, and others) but will delay them for another time. I know some of the things i've said might offend, but they're serious issues I believe we all must be honest with ourselves; my mind is open to listen to anything you all might have to say. I thank you in advance for helping me with these questions.

Lord Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on us - sinners!
I haven't finished my first cup of coffee yet, so I'll have to return to this, but in the meantime, what type of Muslim background are you from, if I may ask?

Also, remember that Orthodoxy is the right religion, it is just given to the wrong people.  The Church is the only institution dedicated to those who shouldn't be in it.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2011, 01:13:04 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2011, 01:16:47 PM »

Christ is risen!!

You should have a double.  Cheesy  Who are the right people?
« Last Edit: April 26, 2011, 01:19:01 PM by Tzimis » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2011, 01:59:25 PM »

*Please be patient with me*

I have been studying Orthodoxy for nearly 7 months now, but I seem to be going around in circles in regards to some issues; when I seem to resolve an issue, a few new ones pop up to create more stumbling blocks for me.  For 7 years of my life I was a Muslim; I then discovered Christianity through the Bible and professed faith in Christ. Then for another 6 years I had considered myself a Christian without any denomination, but that always bothered me that the Protestants were all so divided and contradicting of one another. So i've come to a certain conclusion (for many reasons) that Protestantism is actually anti-christian. So i'm now praying that Christ will deliver me to His one true Church - which is the Catholic faith - but which one?
That was an issue that eventually got me. There has to be some point of authority in the Church, we can't just have everyone picking and choosing and all being correct.

Quote
Right now my biggest issue is who's claim to be the original Church is legitimate - Roman Catholicism or Orthodox Catholicism? From my understanding, the Archbishop of Rome (the Pope) was universally recognized to be the leader of the Church. So why did the Eastern churches deny his authority, which seemed to have existed ever since St.Peter? The Folioque is another issue as well ,and to be honest it's not an issue I find easy to make a decision on; both sides can make convincing arguments on the matter - so i'd rather focus on who has the true authority to make a final decision.
We deny the late first-century western innovation that the Bishop of Rome is the supreme bishop, and the canons of the Church back this up quite strongly (Rome was not the first bishopric to attempt to supress another, they deal with the issue). We accept that Rome had a primacy, however she lost this by her heretical desire for power.
Quote
Orthodox claims to have continued on a straight path ever since the day of Pentecost, but I see so many schisms in it's history. The Coptic Orthodox schism in particular seems very ridiculous to me, seeing how both the Eastern Orthodox and Coptics both believe in the same exact thing (with different phrasing). Yet it's taken hundreds upon hundreds of years, and they're now just starting to slowly resolve the issues. It just seems to me that the Church has grown overly bureaucratic and prideful; whereas Christ would want the Church to humble itself and make amends with each other quickly - as unresolved conflict amongst brethren is quite the serious sin according to the Bible.
The unfortunate schism with the copts, as has been pointed out, occured between what is now the Oriental Orthodox, and the Churches that comprise the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox communions. That said there has been an agreement between the two Orthodox communions that we do share a faith, I'm unaware of anything similar with the Roman Catholics. That said if you're going to judge based on the number of Schisms, the Roman Catholics should be right out. In fact I'd go with the Assyrians, I'm only aware of two in their history.
Quote
Then there's the matter of evangelism. When you look at the Apostles and early christians, they were constantly striving to deliver the good news of Christ to the world. If Orthodoxy is the true Church, and it alone holds the Holy Sacraments and other powers of the Holy Spirit, then why isn't the Orthodox Church making greater effort to spread the truth to the world - particularly America? If all the Patriarchates are in full communion with one another - why don't they make more attempt to work together and spread the gospel and do the good works of Christ on a united front? Most Orthodox churches i've seen in America seem to get together for the occasional Greek Festival, or celebration of a particular holy day, but never get together to fullfill the Great Commission or unleash the gifts of the Holy Spirit upon the earth.
There certainly are missionary efforts, however I'll grant you that a lot more certainly should be done. I don't think centralization of the Church has much to do with it, since individual protestant churches are able to do quite a bit on their own. Still, we do what we can.
Quote
So my viewpoint thus far, is that Roman Catholics seem to be in better communion globally, and pool their resources toward evangelism more effectively. So i'd like to know if my viewpoint wrong - if so why? I have many other issues to discuss (Roman & Orthodox views of homosexually, Marriage, the "many paths that lead to the same God" lie, and others) but will delay them for another time. I know some of the things i've said might offend, but they're serious issues I believe we all must be honest with ourselves; my mind is open to listen to anything you all might have to say. I thank you in advance for helping me with these questions.
Being able to pool their resources is certainly a plus, but it does not tell us whether or not they are the true Church. Evangelism is important, but going back to your comment that you're a former Muslim, I've personally seen more Muslim evangelism in the past few years than I have of any single Christian denomination or Juristiction. Does that prove that Islam is the true religion? Not at all. It just shows they've put more resources into it than others.
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Amen.
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« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2011, 02:08:06 PM »

We deny the late first-century western innovation that the Bishop of Rome is the supreme bishop
Woa woa woa, first century?

I think you may be misinterpreting a poetic reference or a reference to the orthodoxy of Rome/primus inter pares as meaning supremacy. What first century text were you referring to?
« Last Edit: April 26, 2011, 02:08:19 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2011, 02:08:52 PM »

Indeed He is risen!
Christ is risen!!

You should have a double.  Cheesy  Who are the right people?

but that's how they end up.
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« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2011, 02:10:33 PM »

Christ is risen!
We deny the late first-century western innovation that the Bishop of Rome is the supreme bishop
Woa woa woa, first century?

I think you may be misinterpreting a poetic reference or a reference to the orthodoxy of Rome/primus inter pares as meaning supremacy. What first century text were you referring to?
Probably the Epistle of St. Clement.  However, St. Clement in it writes as any patriarch to a suffragan see. And Corinth was in the Patriarchate of Rome until the 8th/9th century.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2011, 02:15:35 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.
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« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2011, 06:26:08 PM »

Quote
...what type of Muslim background are you from, if I may ask? Also, remember that Orthodoxy is the right religion, it is just given to the wrong people.  The Church is the only institution dedicated to those who shouldn't be in it.

I am aware of that, and I always try to be mindful of that. I apologize if I sounded like I was judging the Orthodox, but i'm just trying to relate things from my (flawed) perspective. I was never considered myself to be apart of any particular denomination in Islam. Although, I learned primarily under Wahabi and Sunni muslims Imams. I've always wanted to follow God's path in its purest form, which has lead me to Christ Jesus. Narrow is the road to Salvation!

Quote
What I have finally come down to is the Gregorian Reform. I have realized that if the Gregorian Reform was legitimate then Roman Catholicism is the true church despite its HUGE current problems.

Here's an example of one of the countless issues that keep arising as I delve deeper into the faith. Now i'm very interested in learning more about this Gregorian Reform and what you're talking about.

Quote
When you see the continuity between contemporary and ancient saints of the Orthodox Church, see what the contemporary Orthodox saints say about Roman Catholicism and “Non-Chalcedonian Orthodoxy” (Copts, etc.)
For the saints, they are important and have eternal ramifications, and for the Orthodox Church, it is the witness of the saints and Fathers that matters, whereas the opinions of mere professors are useless.


I completely agree with you. Could you please provide me with any links or resources where I can read about what previous Saints have said in regards to the issues I have brought up? I'd particularly like to read what the Saints said directly concerning the Schism of 1054, and the Coptic/ Orthodox Schism.

Quote
Also, remember that Orthodoxy is the right religion, it is just given to the wrong people.

But how do I know if Roman Catholicism is the true form of Christianity,  and not Orthodoxy?
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« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2011, 08:36:55 PM »

We deny the late first-century western innovation that the Bishop of Rome is the supreme bishop
Woa woa woa, first century?

I think you may be misinterpreting a poetic reference or a reference to the orthodoxy of Rome/primus inter pares as meaning supremacy. What first century text were you referring to?

Sorry, late first millenium.  Shocked
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« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2011, 11:50:48 AM »

We deny the late first-century western innovation that the Bishop of Rome is the supreme bishop
Woa woa woa, first century?

I think you may be misinterpreting a poetic reference or a reference to the orthodoxy of Rome/primus inter pares as meaning supremacy. What first century text were you referring to?

Sorry, late first millenium.  Shocked

Ah, ok!  laugh
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if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

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« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2011, 12:32:19 PM »

Could you please provide me with any links or resources where I can read about what previous Saints have said in regards to the issues I have brought up? I'd particularly like to read what the Saints said directly concerning the Schism of 1054, and the Coptic/ Orthodox Schism.
 

Regarding the Orthodox Church’s historic position on Roman Catholicism and Non-Chalcedonians, as found in the historical proclamations of local churches, Pan-Orthodox Councils, and in the teachings of the Orthodox saints, you can start with the following on Roman Catholicism:

St. Mark of Ephesus and the attempted false union with Rome in Florence
http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/stmark.aspx

The recently glorified St. Justin (Popovich) on Roman Catholicism
http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/papism.aspx

The 1848 Encyclical of the Eastern Patriarchs to Pope Pius the IX
http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/encyc_1848.aspx

The Patriarchal Encyclical of 1895
http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/encyc_1895.aspx

Regarding the Non-Chalcedonians, one of the best works on the subject is the work “The Non-Chalcedonian Heretics” written by the Gregoriou Monastery on Mt. Athos.  It can be found here:

http://www.easternchristiansupply.biz/-#books/c88517/42018

This work provides a very important examination of Non-Chalcedonian Christology based on the Fathers, and particularly on the Christology of St. Cyril of Alexandria, who they misquote and distort to support their false teachings.  Regarding St. Cyril, read the following:

http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/mono_history.aspx

The following article covers the Orthodox S. John of Damascus on the Non-Chalcedonians:

http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/zisis.pdf

John Moschos’ Spiritual Meadow, written around the time of Chalcedon when there was much confusion regarding the Christological dispute, is likewise a valuable read:

http://www.amazon.com/Spiritual-Meadow-Spirituale-Cistercian-Studies/dp/0879075392

This should at least get you started.




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« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2011, 02:05:23 PM »

Here's an important question I never received a strong answer on from an Orthodox Catholic; likely because most Christians are so worried about offending people nowadays .

Does the Orthodox Church teach and believe that a Muslim (or any non-christian) can go to Heaven without Christ?

The answer I received thus far has been very wishy washy. I've been told that yes they can if they never heard or knew of the gospel, and have lived a "good" life. Well that it utter non-sense put plainly. I was a Muslim, and ever Muslim has to deny the deity of Christ, accept that the true Word of God is corrupt and a lie, deny all the history and teachings of the Saints and Apostles, and the Qur'an even specifically mocks Christ's death on the cross. . If you believe in the Qur'an, you must deny Christ because it teaches and tells you you must.

Based on what i've read in the Vatican II documents though, it says this...

Quote
“But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Mohammedans, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind. Nor is God far distant from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, for it is He who gives to all men life and breath and all things, and as Saviour wills that all men be saved. Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience."

Now tell me this isn't a disgusting betrayal of our Lord and Savior? These are the teachings of an "infallible" servant of God? Everything in me tells me this, among many other things, shows how far the Roman Catholic Church has fallen from grace.

So i'm hoping the official Orthodox Catholic position is that Christ is the only way to the Father and his Kingdom. I realize that a Christian should be careful to judge others. Although, it is our responsibility as Christians to go out into the world, expose the lies of Satan, and bring truth to those without it - yes? I would like some official statements from the Orthodox leadership and Saints about this if someone would kindly supply me with the information. Thank you for your help so far everyone!

Edit: I wanted to add this...
Quote
if you live in a country where nobody is Catholic and you had been raised up in different religious views but you live a good life, loving and helping others, not committing mortal sins, then Jesus will save you. At least this is what our priest told us only few weeks ago on my confirmation class

This is what I always here from Roman Catholics. Well if you stop and think about this, how is this even possible? "Not committing" mortal sins? The only persons to exist who haven't committed mortal sins have been Christ and the Queen Mother. So this becomes the Islamic view of salvation, that our good works erase our bad deeds, and salvation is not by grace but by good works first and foremost.
Quote
Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Quote
Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.

Can our Lord make it any more clear than this?
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« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2011, 02:37:36 PM »

Here's an important question I never received a strong answer on from an Orthodox Catholic; likely because most Christians are so worried about offending people nowadays .
Does the Orthodox Church teach and believe that a Muslim (or any non-christian) can go to Heaven without Christ?
It teaches that nobody can go to heaven without Christ. But do not forget that disembodied heaven is not our final destination.

The answer I received thus far has been very wishy washy. I've been told that yes they can if they never heard or knew of the gospel, and have lived a "good" life. Well that it utter non-sense put plainly. I was a Muslim, and ever Muslim has to deny the deity of Christ, accept that the true Word of God is corrupt and a lie
Christ is the true Word of God. Anything else other than the Holy Spirit merely testifies to that Word.


Edit: I wanted to add this...
Quote
if you live in a country where nobody is Catholic and you had been raised up in different religious views but you live a good life, loving and helping others, not committing mortal sins, then Jesus will save you. At least this is what our priest told us only few weeks ago on my confirmation class

This is what I always here from Roman Catholics. Well if you stop and think about this, how is this even possible? "Not committing" mortal sins? The only persons to exist who haven't committed mortal sins have been Christ and the Queen Mother. So this becomes the Islamic view of salvation, that our good works erase our bad deeds, and salvation is not by grace but by good works first and foremost.
And salvation by Grace doesn't come from saying a formulaic prayer or performing a magical action. It comes from the Mercy of God that rises even above faith. There is a pious folk teaching in the EO that those who never heard the true Gospel will have the chance to receive it from John the Baptist or Christ at their death. In reality we don't know, but trust in the Mercy of God. He will have mercy on whom he will have mercy.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2011, 02:40:47 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

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« Reply #20 on: April 27, 2011, 03:02:38 PM »

Does the Orthodox Church teach and believe that a Muslim (or any non-christian) can go to Heaven without Christ?

One can only be saved by Christ, and there is one path to salvation and that is found only in the Orthodox Church, the Ark of Salvation.  To say that a Muslim, Buddhist, Roman Catholic, Protestant, etc. can find salvation outside of the Orthodox Church is to give them false hope and dissuade them from the one path of salvation.  However, God is the final judge of all, and if He decides to save individual Muslims, Buddhists, Roman Catholics, Protestants, etc., *despite* the fact that they may repose outside of the Orthodox Church, God is God and can do as He pleases for reasons that He alone knows.  While we know that narrow is the way that leads to life and few there are that find it, we have to at least hope for the salvation of all. 

Not all Orthodox will be saved, for not all who are formal members of the Orthodox Church will strive to walk according to the way of salvation given to them.  Similarly, we have to at least hope that God will save many who were never able to enter the Orthodox Church and did not know of its existence.   However, to say that God *will* definitely save a Muslim, Buddhist, Catholic, and Protestant if he/she does X, Y, or Z is to claim to know the unsearchable mind of God.  We know that if one lives according to the teachings of the Orthodox Church, within the Orthodox Church, they will be saved.  God has revealed to the Church that many Orthodox saints have already been glorified in Paradise.  No such revelation has been given to the Church regarding the non-Orthodox.  The best we can do is pray that the non-Orthodox will enter the Orthodox Church, and then entrust the salvation of all (both Orthodox and non-Orthodox) to God, while struggling to save our own souls.
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« Reply #21 on: April 27, 2011, 03:12:46 PM »

So i'm hoping the official Orthodox Catholic position is that Christ is the only way to the Father and his Kingdom.

Christ is the only way. Absolutely. Only by Christ's grace.

However, you have to realize that some are being saved without realizing that they are being saved by and through Christ. This can include a Muslim, but here I admit that I am mostly thinking of a cultural Muslim rather than one who vehemently denies Christ as God and the Son of God crucified. This applies to all non-Christians, at least in that all men are created by Christ and every breath comes through Him. The law of God is written on the hearts of every human, and Christ is the light that illumines all mankind. So those who follow the law on their heart will dully embrace Christ whenever the behold Him in glory. They will say "Yes, Lord Jesus, you are who I have been looking for and who has been saving me all of this time."

The ones who are damned are the ones who do not want Him or His salvation, and there are many of those, trust me.
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« Reply #22 on: April 27, 2011, 03:44:40 PM »

Well I understand what you're all saying, but I posted a couple quotations from Christ himself, and he puts things very clear and straight to us. I am not going to try and limit Christ's power and ability to save to the confines of what I can understand though. The New Testament also speaks about how Christ went to the "spirits in prison" to preach of them of his salvation. These people were clearly physically dead, and Christ went to them to offer His grace to them. So I trust in Christ's judgment, and not my own.

Quote
To say that a Muslim, Buddhist, Roman Catholic, Protestant, etc. can find salvation outside of the Orthodox Church is to give them false hope and dissuade them from the one path of salvation.

Why do you put the Roman Catholics in this group though? Don't they still receive the Eucharist; have the full Word of God; and have valid Sacraments still?

The primary issue i'm trying to research and turn to God about, concerns the Papacy right now. If the Pope has always existed, and had a state of Primacy over the Church, then why would the Orthodox deny the position now? Orthodox claim that in 1054 AD the Pope tried to assert himself as supreme ruler of the Church - correct? If this were the case though, then why does the Roman Catholic Church still continue to have councils of Elders across the world? I don't see how the Pope is the dictator? Obviously when it comes to big issues (such as confronting heresies) there has to be a final decision made. Isn't Orthodoxy the same in this regard with it's Patriarchs?

The flaw I see with the Patriarchate is this, if two Patriarchs have a disagreement over an issue, this could potentially lead to a separation the body of Christ; which has happened and is happening, correct. Whereas with the Papacy, final decision is made by him to ensure the Church stays intact and matters of doctrine are settled. How can the Church have any heads, except but one?
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« Reply #23 on: April 27, 2011, 03:57:04 PM »

Why do you put the Roman Catholics in this group though? Don't they still receive the Eucharist; have the full Word of God; and have valid Sacraments still?

That's a tricky question. There is no one answer but many theologians and Saints say that they don't.

Quote
If the Pope has always existed, and had a state of Primacy over the Church, then why would the Orthodox deny the position now? Orthodox claim that in 1054 AD the Pope tried to assert himself as supreme ruler of the Church - correct?

It was the Rome who changed  the approach, not us.

Quote
Obviously when it comes to big issues (such as confronting heresies) there has to be a final decision made. Isn't Orthodoxy the same in this regard with it's Patriarchs?

No, we have Ecumenical Councils.

Quote
The flaw I see with the Patriarchate is this, if two Patriarchs have a disagreement over an issue, this could potentially lead to a separation the body of Christ; which has happened and is happening, correct. Whereas with the Papacy, final decision is made by him to ensure the Church stays intact and matters of doctrine are settled.

How can you be sure that Pope won't make mistakes?

Quote
How can the Church have any heads, except but one?

We have one - Christ.
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« Reply #24 on: April 27, 2011, 03:58:44 PM »

Why do you put the Roman Catholics in this group though? Don't they still receive the Eucharist; have the full Word of God; and have valid Sacraments still?

No, perhaps you could say that the ancient sacramental forms may continue to be employed, but sacramental grace exists only in the Church, and their can only be One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

The primary issue i'm trying to research and turn to God about, concerns the Papacy right now. If the Pope has always existed, and had a state of Primacy over the Church, then why would the Orthodox deny the position now?

As long as the Pope of Rome was Orthodox in his teaching and part of the Church, he was given the place of highest honor, but this was a primacy *in* the Church and never a primacy *over* the Church.  See the Seven Ecumenical Councils to understand the role (or lack thereof) of the Pope in resolving the theological disputes which arose in the Church from the 4th-8th centuries.

The flaw I see with the Patriarchate is this, if two Patriarchs have a disagreement over an issue, this could potentially lead to a separation the body of Christ; which has happened and is happening, correct. Whereas with the Papacy, final decision is made by him to ensure the Church stays intact and matters of doctrine are settled. How can the Church have any heads, except but one?

The Church does have one head, Christ.  The Patriarchates have not endlessly divided over the ages, and neither do they continue to.  Rome went its way and the Patriarchates of Constantinople, Jerusalem, Antioch, and Alexandria remained together and united in the one Apostolic Faith.
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« Reply #25 on: April 27, 2011, 04:03:40 PM »



Why do you put the Roman Catholics in this group though? Don't they still receive the Eucharist; have the full Word of God; and have valid Sacraments still?


The Orthodox Church tends not to try and define "validity" especially outside the bounds of the Orthodox Church.  Type "valid" and "Roman" into the search engine on this site and grab a bowl of popcorn.

Quote

The primary issue i'm trying to research and turn to God about, concerns the Papacy right now. If the Pope has always existed, and had a state of Primacy over the Church, then why would the Orthodox deny the position now? Orthodox claim that in 1054 AD the Pope tried to assert himself as supreme ruler of the Church - correct? If this were the case though, then why does the Roman Catholic Church still continue to have councils of Elders across the world? I don't see how the Pope is the dictator? Obviously when it comes to big issues (such as confronting heresies) there has to be a final decision made. Isn't Orthodoxy the same in this regard with it's Patriarchs?


In Orthodoxy, as well as in the Church before the Roman Schism, when heresy pops up it is a Church synod that convenes and makes the final decision.  The Patriarch of the region is responsible for calling the Synod together, the decision making is done by the Synod.  For a heresy that threatens the entirety of the Church we have the Ecumenical Synods.

Quote
The flaw I see with the Patriarchate is this, if two Patriarchs have a disagreement over an issue, this could potentially lead to a separation the body of Christ; which has happened and is happening, correct.

The schisms that have happened within the Orthodox Church since the Roman Schism have more been along the lines of a select group disagreeing with it's Patriarch (e.g. the Old Believers schism in Russia or any of the Old Calendarist/True Church schisms of the past century), not two Patriarchs disagreeing with each other.

Quote
Whereas with the Papacy, final decision is made by him to ensure the Church stays intact and matters of doctrine are settled. How can the Church have any heads, except but one?

The Church does have one head: Our Lord Jesus Christ.  The Papacy has done a poor job of making sure the Roman Church stays "intact", starting with the East-West Schism, going on through the Protestant Reformation, then to the Old Catholics of the 19th century, then the traditionalists who broke away after Vatican II.
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« Reply #26 on: April 27, 2011, 04:31:58 PM »

What specific Ecumenical council can I study that responded to the Great Schism and the roles of Church leadership and authority?

Also, what does Orthodoxy teach concerning this biblical verse?

Quote
And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.

Why haven't Orthodox theologians translated one Bible for all the Orthodox to use though? I know the Orthodox Church primarily uses the original Septuagint (which is best), but what about all the millions of non-scholars who want to study and know the Bible? Roman Catholics have the Douay-Rheims Bible, which I consider to be the best Bible translation, and don't use or rely on the Protestant translations (NKJV for instance).

Thanks again for your continued help - Christ bless you!
« Last Edit: April 27, 2011, 04:32:52 PM by Steel*Faith » Logged
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« Reply #27 on: April 27, 2011, 04:46:00 PM »

Orthodox claim that in 1054 AD the Pope tried to assert himself as supreme ruler of the Church - correct? If this were the case though, then why does the Roman Catholic Church still continue to have councils of Elders across the world? I don't see how the Pope is the dictator?
The Roman Empire still held Senate meetings and had local governors, even though the Emperor dictated things. Autocrats have never had a problem with conciliarity at levels below them, as long as they get the final word.

What specific Ecumenical council can I study that responded to the Great Schism and the roles of Church leadership and authority?
You don't hold a council or make a decision to respond to those who are outside the Church. The Church has no jurisdiction over those outside her.

The primary issue i'm trying to research and turn to God about, concerns the Papacy right now. If the Pope has always existed, and had a state of Primacy over the Church, then why would the Orthodox deny the position now?
There is a difference between Primacy and Supremacy. Think of the difference between the President of the European Union and the Emperor of Rome.

Quote
And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.
The Patriarchate of Antioch was founded by St. Peter. I guess that means that the Patriarch of Antioch is the supreme head of the church, right?

Did you read my post here, by the way?

From my understanding, the Archbishop of Rome (the Pope) was universally recognized to be the leader of the Church. So why did the Eastern churches deny his authority, which seemed to have existed ever since St.Peter?
Have you looked into the difference between Papal Primacy and Papal Supremacy?

The Orthodox accepted the former, but reject the latter, which is a later innovation. You might also look up the term "Primus inter Pares". The Roman Catholic Church also claims the Pope is infallible when speaking ex cathedra on matters of faith and dogma, but the pope Honorius spoke authoritatively on a matter for which he was declared a heretic even by his successor Popes; this leads to a "no true scotsman fallacy" as to what constitutes ex cathedra and what does not, essentially allowing modern Catholics to determine retroactively what was an infallible declaration and what was not.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2011, 05:00:11 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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« Reply #28 on: April 27, 2011, 04:46:53 PM »

Here's an important question I never received a strong answer on from an Orthodox Catholic; likely because most Christians are so worried about offending people nowadays .

Does the Orthodox Church teach and believe that a Muslim (or any non-christian) can go to Heaven without Christ?

The answer I received thus far has been very wishy washy. I've been told that yes they can if they never heard or knew of the gospel, and have lived a "good" life. Well that it utter non-sense put plainly. I was a Muslim, and ever Muslim has to deny the deity of Christ, accept that the true Word of God is corrupt and a lie, deny all the history and teachings of the Saints and Apostles, and the Qur'an even specifically mocks Christ's death on the cross. . If you believe in the Qur'an, you must deny Christ because it teaches and tells you you must.

Based on what i've read in the Vatican II documents though, it says this...

Quote
“But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Mohammedans, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind. Nor is God far distant from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, for it is He who gives to all men life and breath and all things, and as Saviour wills that all men be saved. Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience."

Now tell me this isn't a disgusting betrayal of our Lord and Savior? These are the teachings of an "infallible" servant of God? Everything in me tells me this, among many other things, shows how far the Roman Catholic Church has fallen from grace.

So i'm hoping the official Orthodox Catholic position is that Christ is the only way to the Father and his Kingdom. I realize that a Christian should be careful to judge others. Although, it is our responsibility as Christians to go out into the world, expose the lies of Satan, and bring truth to those without it - yes? I would like some official statements from the Orthodox leadership and Saints about this if someone would kindly supply me with the information. Thank you for your help so far everyone!

Edit: I wanted to add this...
Quote
if you live in a country where nobody is Catholic and you had been raised up in different religious views but you live a good life, loving and helping others, not committing mortal sins, then Jesus will save you. At least this is what our priest told us only few weeks ago on my confirmation class

This is what I always here from Roman Catholics. Well if you stop and think about this, how is this even possible? "Not committing" mortal sins? The only persons to exist who haven't committed mortal sins have been Christ and the Queen Mother. So this becomes the Islamic view of salvation, that our good works erase our bad deeds, and salvation is not by grace but by good works first and foremost.
Quote
Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Quote
Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.

Can our Lord make it any more clear than this?

Christ = God

Heaven = Closeness to God

Hell = Distance from God

No God = No Heaven
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« Reply #29 on: April 27, 2011, 04:50:32 PM »

Why haven't Orthodox theologians translated one Bible for all the Orthodox to use though?
There have been a few. Catholics use several bibles as well; the New American Bible, the NRSV with apocrypha, etc. According to EWTN.com, "There is only one English text currently approved by the Church for use in the United States. This text is the one contained in the Lectionaries approved for Sundays & Feasts and for Weekdays by the USCCB and recognized by the Holy See. These Lectionaries have their American and Roman approval documents in the front. The text is that of the New American Bible with revised Psalms and New Testament"

http://www.orthodoxanswers.org/eob/
http://www.amazon.com/Orthodox-New-Testament-Translated-Leatherette/dp/0944359256/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1303938210&sr=8-2
http://www.amazon.com/Septuagint-Apocrypha-Greek-English/dp/0913573442/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1303938252&sr=8-3


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« Reply #30 on: April 27, 2011, 05:10:21 PM »

What specific Ecumenical council can I study that responded to the Great Schism and the roles of Church leadership and authority?


Orthodoxy didn't feel the need to call an Ecumenical council to respond to the Great Schism.  A papal legate overstepping his bounds by excommunicating the Eastern Church when the Pope he answered to was dead and buried doesn't require an Ecumenical Council to point out what's wrong.  That would be swatting a gnat with a sledge-hammer.  As for the roles of Church leadership and authority, those had been settled quite nicely at the previous seven (and eighth, for us, which is not the same as eighth for you.  Eight for us says there is no filioque in the creed, something the Pope signed on to.  In retrospect we should have probably included a clause next to his signature that said "no take backsies") Ecumenical Councils.



Also, what does Orthodoxy teach concerning this biblical verse?

Quote
And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.


That Christ is referring to the power given to all Bishops, of which St Peter is the prototype.  Really, Petrine Primacy isn't going to get you far with us, we have not one but three Patriarchs who can legitimately claim succession from St Peter, one of which predates Rome (Antioch).

Quote
Why haven't Orthodox theologians translated one Bible for all the Orthodox to use though? I know the Orthodox Church primarily uses the original Septuagint (which is best), but what about all the millions of non-scholars who want to study and know the Bible? Roman Catholics have the Douay-Rheims Bible, which I consider to be the best Bible translation, and don't use or rely on the Protestant translations (NKJV for instance).

We have.  We've even invented entire alphabets in order to translate the Bible and Liturgy into the native tongues of nations.  We've been a little slow on the English translation, sure, but until recently the vast majority of Orthodox in English-speaking countries didn't speak English.  As far as not relying on a translation like the NKJV, why not use a pre-existing translation, correcting it where needed?  Translation takes several years, it took over a decade after the publication of the OSB NT/Psalms edition for the OSB Septuagint to be translated (and that's only a matter of substituting the LXX translation where it differed with the NKJV!).

Why did it take the Roman Church five centuries after Wycliffe to realize that there might be some worth in translating the Bible from the Vulgate into native tongue?
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« Reply #31 on: April 27, 2011, 05:26:48 PM »

Here's an example of one of the countless issues that keep arising as I delve deeper into the faith. Now i'm very interested in learning more about this Gregorian Reform and what you're talking about.


I'm sorry. My laptop fell and screen smashed shortly after I posted to you so I won't be able to complete a big response for a few days as I can barely read what I'm typing. I'm not referring to any one of the particular reforms of Pope Gregory VII, but the truly revolutionary change in thinking that he introduced. Even Catholic scholars will usually refer to it as the first reform of the Church. I highly recommend Pottmeyer's book Toward A Papacy In Communion and perhaps as soon as I get my screen figured out I can write a better explanation.
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« Reply #32 on: April 27, 2011, 05:32:43 PM »

2 points:
1. while i agree with jah777's points about salvation (is it through Jesus Christ alone), i would like to point out that both eastern orthodox (chalcedonians) and oriental orthodox (non-chalcedonians) have written wrong things about each other over the centuries.
serious scholars who have read the original articles and made sense of the really really complicated situation in 451AD (which was heavily influenced by power games and politics) agree that both sides were saying more or less the same thing, but that the reporting of events was heavily influenced by the roman empire and other people's desire to resist it.
in 1990, in switzerland, representatives of all the EO and OO churches met together to agree a common statement and to confirm that all were orthodox. there are many resources on the internet about this, such as 'orthodoxunity' (i think it's dot org or dot com).

2. there is a great Bible out there; the orthodox study Bible, published by thomas nelson publishing. it's published by EO bishops and priests, but many of us in the OO churches love it too! we all agree our Lord Jesus Christ was fully human and fully divine and died and rose from the dead to lead us to salvation. i really recommend you start with that (the writers of the study notes quote many great church fathers such as saint john chrysostom) and read a lot of it before getting too caught up with church politics  Smiley
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« Reply #33 on: April 27, 2011, 10:07:56 PM »

1. while i agree with jah777's points about salvation (is it through Jesus Christ alone), i would like to point out that both eastern orthodox (chalcedonians) and oriental orthodox (non-chalcedonians) have written wrong things about each other over the centuries.
serious scholars who have read the original articles and made sense of the really really complicated situation in 451AD (which was heavily influenced by power games and politics) agree that both sides were saying more or less the same thing, but that the reporting of events was heavily influenced by the roman empire and other people's desire to resist it.
in 1990, in switzerland, representatives of all the EO and OO churches met together to agree a common statement and to confirm that all were orthodox. there are many resources on the internet about this, such as 'orthodoxunity' (i think it's dot org or dot com).

This is all very nice, and it would be great to think it was all one big misunderstanding, but this is impossible.  I provided sufficient relevant links in my former posts on this thread, regarding the actual teachings of St. Cyril of Alexandria, for instance.  In the Orthodox Church, we follow the saints, the Fathers, and the Seven Ecumenical Councils, not the clever conclusions of mere professors and scholars, even if they are considered "serious".  We believe in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, not two or three or four.

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« Reply #34 on: April 27, 2011, 10:47:06 PM »

Christos Voskrese!
1. while i agree with jah777's points about salvation (is it through Jesus Christ alone), i would like to point out that both eastern orthodox (chalcedonians) and oriental orthodox (non-chalcedonians) have written wrong things about each other over the centuries.
serious scholars who have read the original articles and made sense of the really really complicated situation in 451AD (which was heavily influenced by power games and politics) agree that both sides were saying more or less the same thing, but that the reporting of events was heavily influenced by the roman empire and other people's desire to resist it.
in 1990, in switzerland, representatives of all the EO and OO churches met together to agree a common statement and to confirm that all were orthodox. there are many resources on the internet about this, such as 'orthodoxunity' (i think it's dot org or dot com).

This is all very nice, and it would be great to think it was all one big misunderstanding, but this is impossible.  I provided sufficient relevant links in my former posts on this thread, regarding the actual teachings of St. Cyril of Alexandria, for instance.  In the Orthodox Church, we follow the saints, the Fathers, and the Seven Ecumenical Councils, not the clever conclusions of mere professors and scholars, even if they are considered "serious".  We believe in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, not two or three or four.
So, 1922-2007, where was ROCOR?

You don't have to be a professor or scholar to conclude that when the Fathers of the Sixth Ecumenical Council stated that the Fathers at Chalcedon anathematized Pope Dioscoros as a heretic that the Fathers of Constantinople III were mistaken. One need only read the Acts of the Fathers of Chalcedon.
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« Reply #35 on: April 27, 2011, 11:12:49 PM »

Christ is risen!
What specific Ecumenical council can I study that responded to the Great Schism and the roles of Church leadership and authority?
The Pan-Orthodox Council of Constantinople IV (879) is the most on point.  Since it was the Vatican that changed, and we continued on as before, there was no great need for us to deal with issues of Church authority.  It is as it was.

Also, what does Orthodoxy teach concerning this biblical verse?

Quote
And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.
Lots of things.

Just to skim off the top, like the vast majority of the Fathers (the stats of the various patristics interpretations are here somewhere), the identification of the Rock is with the Confession of Faith.

We also agree with the "Catholic Encyclopedia"
Quote
It is comparatively seldom that the Fathers, when speaking of the power of the keys, make any reference to the supremacy of St. Peter. When they deal with that question, they ordinarily appeal not to the gift of the keys but to his office as the rock on which the Church is founded. In their references to the potestas clavium, they are usually intent on vindicating against the Montanist and Novatian heretics the power inherent in the Church to forgive. Thus St. Augustine in several passages declares that the authority to bind and loose was not a purely personal gift to St. Peter, but was conferred upon him as representing the Church.
Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08631b.htm

Then a personal favorite of mine:
This has been dealt with a lot (including on St. Chrysostom's words on St. James and St. John, in addition to St. Peter). For an example:
Witega, you seem to say the Fathers often understood references to Peter as meaning the whole group of Apostles.  Does that apply here with Chrysostom's quote?

I found this quote, on the topic of it not only applying to the whole group of Apostles, but also to the lowly bishop of a rural town way down in the stix of Upper Egypt:

Due to the ongoing debate on the Fourth Council, I by chance was reaquainted with a text I thought appropriate here.  It is from the "Life of Shenoute" by his disciple St. Besa.  St. Shenoute's writings were the examplar of Coptic literature, but his chief claim to fame was cracking his staff over Nestorius' head at the Council of Ephesus.  In one episode, "One day," Besa says, "our father Shenoute and our Lord Jesus were sitting down talking together" (a very common occurance according to the Vita) and the Bishop of Shmin came wishing to meet the abbot.  When Shenoute sent word that he was too busy to come to the bishop, the bishop got angry and threatened to excommunicate him for disobedience:

Quote
The servant went to our father [Shenouti] and said to him what the bishop had told him.  But my father smiled graciously with laughter and said: "See what this man of flesh and blood has said! Behold, here sitting with me is he who created heaven and earth! I will not go while I am with him." But the Savior said to my father: "O Shenoute, arise and go out to the bishop, lest he excommunicate you. Otherwise, I cannot let you enter [heaven] because of the covenant I made with Peter, saying 'What you will bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and what you will loose on earth will be loosed in heaven' [Matthew 16:19].  When my father heard these words of the Savior, he arose, went out to the bishop and greeted him.

 Besa, Life of Shenoute 70-72 (trans. Bell). On the context of this story see Behlmer 1998, esp. pp. 353-354. Gaddis, There is No Crime for those who have Christ, p. 296
http://books.google.com/books?id=JGEibDA8el4C

Now this dates not only before the schism of East-West, and the Schism of Chalcedon, but nearly the Schism of Ephesus.  Now Shmin is just a town in southern Egypt, and the bishop there just a suffragan of Alexandria.  So it would seem to be odd if the Vatican's interpretation of Matthew 16:19 were the ancient one why this would be applied to a bishop far from Rome, in a land where St. Peter never founded any Church.  But it makes perfect sense from the Orthodox interpretation of Matthew 16:19, and indeed, according to "the Catholic Encyclopedia," the overwhelming consensus of the Fathers.


Why haven't Orthodox theologians translated one Bible for all the Orthodox to use though? I know the Orthodox Church primarily uses the original Septuagint (which is best), but what about all the millions of non-scholars who want to study and know the Bible? Roman Catholics have the Douay-Rheims Bible, which I consider to be the best Bible translation, and don't use or rely on the Protestant translations (NKJV for instance).

Thanks again for your continued help - Christ bless you!
As someone pointed out we have, although the demand in English is relatively recent.
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« Reply #36 on: April 27, 2011, 11:45:36 PM »

Christ is risen!
Well I understand what you're all saying, but I posted a couple quotations from Christ himself, and he puts things very clear and straight to us. I am not going to try and limit Christ's power and ability to save to the confines of what I can understand though. The New Testament also speaks about how Christ went to the "spirits in prison" to preach of them of his salvation. These people were clearly physically dead, and Christ went to them to offer His grace to them. So I trust in Christ's judgment, and not my own.

Quote
To say that a Muslim, Buddhist, Roman Catholic, Protestant, etc. can find salvation outside of the Orthodox Church is to give them false hope and dissuade them from the one path of salvation.

Why do you put the Roman Catholics in this group though? Don't they still receive the Eucharist; have the full Word of God; and have valid Sacraments still?

The primary issue i'm trying to research and turn to God about, concerns the Papacy right now. If the Pope has always existed, and had a state of Primacy over the Church, then why would the Orthodox deny the position now? Orthodox claim that in 1054 AD the Pope tried to assert himself as supreme ruler of the Church - correct? If this were the case though, then why does the Roman Catholic Church still continue to have councils of Elders across the world? I don't see how the Pope is the dictator? Obviously when it comes to big issues (such as confronting heresies) there has to be a final decision made. Isn't Orthodoxy the same in this regard with it's Patriarchs?

The flaw I see with the Patriarchate is this, if two Patriarchs have a disagreement over an issue, this could potentially lead to a separation the body of Christ; which has happened and is happening, correct. Whereas with the Papacy, final decision is made by him to ensure the Church stays intact and matters of doctrine are settled. How can the Church have any heads, except but one?
While you are studying the Vatican papacy, don't forget it in all its glory;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Western_Schism

And no, the "Pope" has not always existed. One, the title was originally conferred on the Patriarch of Alexandria (who still bears it) in the 3rd century. Rome didn't take it until centuries later.  The first instance of a bishop of Rome trying to exercise authority outside his patriarchate, "Pope" St. Victor at the end of the second century, he was "rebuked by the entire Church."  The Fifth Ecumenical Council was held over the opposition of the Pope of Rome, who was struck from the diptychs, and the Sixth anathematized Pope Honorius of Rome.

Btw, on heads, the Vatican has 3 (used to be 4) Patriarchs of Antioch, and 2 (used to be 3) Patriarchs (not Popes, they are not allowed. The Vatican's ecclesiastical community is not big enough for two popes) of Alexandria.
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« Reply #37 on: April 28, 2011, 12:55:44 AM »

Bi-'Khristos af-ton-f!
Could you please provide me with any links or resources where I can read about what previous Saints have said in regards to the issues I have brought up? I'd particularly like to read what the Saints said directly concerning the Schism of 1054, and the Coptic/ Orthodox Schism.
 
This work provides a very important examination of Non-Chalcedonian Christology based on the Fathers, and particularly on the Christology of St. Cyril of Alexandria, who they misquote and distort to support their false teachings.

Speaking of misquoting and distorting to support slander, if not false teachings:

Regarding St. Cyril, read the following:

http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/mono_history.aspx
Quote
457: Timothy Ailouros (another Monophysite "saint") condemns Saint Cyril on account of the agreements:

"Cyril... having excellently articulated the wise proclamation of Orthodoxy, showed himself to be fickle and is to be censured for teaching contrary doctrine: after previously proposing that we should speak of one nature of God the Word, he destroyed the dogma that he had formulated and is caught professing two Natures of Christ" [Timothy Ailouros, "Epistles to Kalonymos," Patrologia Graeca, Vol LXXXVI, Col. 276; quoted in The Non Chalcedonian Heretics, p. 13].
This not the Epistle of Timothy: it is what his opponent Leontius of Jerusalem/Constantinople says he says, without it being clear which are Timothy's words, and which are the ones Leontius is putting in his mouth.
Quote
499: Philoxenos of Hierapolis convenes a synod in Constantinople and deposes the Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch (Flavian), and Severos, a Disciple of Timothy Ailouros (and another Monophysite "saint") is installed in his place [Ibid., p 14].

Severos also condemns St. Cyril's Agreements:

"The formulae used by the Holy Fathers concerning two Natures united in Christ should be set aside, even if they be Cyril's" [Patrologia Graeca, Vol. LXXXIX, Col. 103D. Saint Anastasios of Sinai preserves this quote of Severos in his works; quoted in The Non-Chalcedonian Heretics, p. 12].
Somewhat problematic, as St. Anastasios openly advocating forging proof texts.

The time line is also missing some things:
Quote
433: St. Cyril explicitly accepts two natures after the hypostatic union in his "Epistle to John of Antioch" (the Agreements of 433):

"With regard to the Evangelical and Apostolic expressions concerning the Lord, we know that men who are skilled in theology make some of them common to the one Person, while they divide others between the two Natures, ascribing those that are fitting to God to Divinity of Christ, and those that are lowly to His Humanity. On reading these sacred utterances of Yours, and finding that we ourselves think along the same lines—for there is one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism—, we glorified God the Saviour of all" [John Karmiris, Dogmatic and Creedal Statements of the Orthodox Church, Vol. 1 [Athens:1960]. p. 154], quoted in The Non-Chalcedonian Heretics, p 11]

Saint Cyril replies to extremists who questioned the Agreements:

"We have not gone so mad as to anathematize our own views; but we abide by what we have written and by our way of thinking" [Epistle XXXVII, to Theognostos, Patrologia Graeca, Vol. LXXVII, Col. 169C; quote in The Non-Chalcedonian Heretics, p. 12].

448: The Permanent Synod of Constantinople under Patriarch Flavian condemns Eutyches who rejects St. Cyrils Agreements.

449: Dioscoros presides over the Robber Synod and exonerates Eutyches, and deposes St. Flavian (who is beaten to death and replaced by an Alexandrian), and condemns all who accept the Agreements and anathematizes all who confess two natures [Fr. Geoges Florovsky, The Byzantine Fathers of the Fifth Century (Thessaloniki:1992), p 470; referenced in The Non-Chalcedonian Heretics, p. 13].
449: Dioscoros and the Synod depose Theodoret for reading Nestorianism into St. Cyril's writings, and depose Ibas for writing a letter claiming that St. Cyril adopted Nestorianism in St. Cyrils Agreements.

Quote
451: The Fourth Ecumenical Synod adopts all the teachings of St. Cyril, and condemns those who selectively choose some of them and reject others as heretical. St. Flavian is vindicated and the Robber Synod Annulled.
451 The Fourth Ecumenical Synod restores Theodoret and Ibas, and does not condemn their writings.

553 The Fifthe Ecumenical Synod anathematizes Theodoret's anti-Cyrillian writings, and the letter attributed to Ibas.

The following article covers the Orthodox S. John of Damascus on the Non-Chalcedonians:

http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/zisis.pdf
Very little citation of St. John in it, and some of that is just plain wrong:Eutyches was not Egyptian, so the heresy of Monophysitism couldn't have orginated in Egypt.  Nor was Dioscoros deposed for heresy, a fact the article does try to get around. And it seems to not know that Pope Dioscoros did anathematize Eutyches and his heresy.

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« Reply #38 on: April 28, 2011, 01:17:22 AM »

Could you please provide me with any links or resources where I can read about what previous Saints have said in regards to the issues I have brought up? I'd particularly like to read what the Saints said directly concerning the Schism of 1054, and the Coptic/ Orthodox Schism.
 

Regarding the Orthodox Church’s historic position on Roman Catholicism and Non-Chalcedonians, as found in the historical proclamations of local churches, Pan-Orthodox Councils, and in the teachings of the Orthodox saints, you can start with the following on Roman Catholicism:

St. Mark of Ephesus and the attempted false union with Rome in Florence
http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/stmark.aspx

The recently glorified St. Justin (Popovich) on Roman Catholicism
http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/papism.aspx

The 1848 Encyclical of the Eastern Patriarchs to Pope Pius the IX
http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/encyc_1848.aspx

The Patriarchal Encyclical of 1895
http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/encyc_1895.aspx

Regarding the Non-Chalcedonians, one of the best works on the subject is the work “The Non-Chalcedonian Heretics” written by the Gregoriou Monastery on Mt. Athos.  It can be found here:

http://www.easternchristiansupply.biz/-#books/c88517/42018

This work provides a very important examination of Non-Chalcedonian Christology based on the Fathers, and particularly on the Christology of St. Cyril of Alexandria, who they misquote and distort to support their false teachings.  Regarding St. Cyril, read the following:

http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/mono_history.aspx

The following article covers the Orthodox S. John of Damascus on the Non-Chalcedonians:

http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/zisis.pdf

John Moschos’ Spiritual Meadow, written around the time of Chalcedon when there was much confusion regarding the Christological dispute, is likewise a valuable read:

http://www.amazon.com/Spiritual-Meadow-Spirituale-Cistercian-Studies/dp/0879075392

This should at least get you started.






Both orthodoxinfo.com and the book The Non-Chalcedonian Heretics are notorious for misstating what the Oriental Orthodox believe.  As Isa indicated, they are not worth reading if someone wants actual facts on the matters our new member is asking about.
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« Reply #39 on: April 28, 2011, 01:26:39 AM »

Steel*Faith,

Welcome to the forum.   Smiley

If I were you, I would not get too caught up in historical debates and polemics.  These are things that focus on the weakness of men, rather than the greatness of God.

I would continue to explore the Orthodox Churches that are near you, see which one you feel the most comfortable in, and just immerse yourself in prayer.  Someone suggested that you meet with a priest and ask him your questions.  I think that is a good idea also. 

Here on OCnet there are thousands of threads you can explore and learn from, but I would suggest you not take it too seriously when we argue with each other over historical issues.  We are human, after all.  You have to realize that most of these issues are things that the majority of Orthodox Christians never bother themselves about outside of the internet.   Smiley

The best thing you can do is just start attending liturgies and pray.
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« Reply #40 on: April 28, 2011, 01:42:10 AM »

Steel*Faith,

Welcome to the forum.   Smiley

If I were you, I would not get too caught up in historical debates and polemics.  These are things that focus on the weakness of men,
LOL. Is that a comment from the female side of the aisle on the testosterone prone?
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« Reply #41 on: April 28, 2011, 01:53:21 AM »

Totally.   Smiley
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« Reply #42 on: April 28, 2011, 01:53:30 AM »

@FormerReformer: Why are you referring to me as "you" and treating me like i'm on the Roman Catholic side? I'm trying to make sense of all this and comparing the different positions the Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox hold. So I don't know why this has to be a "you" vs. "us"?

I'm getting kinda confused here. So the Bishop of Rome always has had a primacy, but he wasn't considered the Father of the Church? That doesn't make much sense to me. I need to definitely have the facts and history to decide what the truth is here, because it's impossible to try to know the truth when Roman Catholics say one thing, and Orthodox Christians say another. What a tragedy this is, really, very sad.

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A papal legate overstepping his bounds by excommunicating the Eastern Church when the Pope he answered to was dead and buried doesn't require an Ecumenical Council to point out what's wrong.  That would be swatting a gnat with a sledge-hammer.

So having a MAJOR Schism separating the body of Christ (a spiritual divorce) is considered no serious issue? Am I misunderstanding the purpose of an Ecumenical Council?

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Btw, on heads, the Vatican has 3 (used to be 4) Patriarchs of Antioch, and 2 (used to be 3) Patriarchs (not Popes, they are not allowed. The Vatican's ecclesiastical community is not big enough for two popes) of Alexandria.

You lost me here ialmisry.

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The best thing you can do is just start attending liturgies and pray.

Which I have been doing for years (praying), and I have been attending Orthodox liturgies for months now. I moved earlier this year, so the priest that was meeting with me regularly isn't there for me to talk with anymore. So i'm trying to find one in my new location to speak with. I also plan on meeting with a Roman Catholic priest as well so I can get "both sides of the story". Ultimately though, God is going to have to direct me and reveal truth to me - i've learned (and still learning) not to trust my own understanding of this world - but to rely on God for my direction.  

If I am to be Christian though, I must find the one true Church. Both the Orthodox and Roman Churches claim to be the original Church. So this is a serious matter for me, and for everyone really. So I can't rest until I know. I need to start receiving the Eucharist, confession, all the sacraments, knowledge, and everything I can from the Church as soon as I can. How can I survive in this world, and hope for salvation without these things? Am I to attend Mass, or Orthodox Liturgy? There's a difference.


« Last Edit: April 28, 2011, 02:06:47 AM by Steel*Faith » Logged
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« Reply #43 on: April 28, 2011, 03:44:56 AM »

I'm getting kinda confused here. So the Bishop of Rome always has had a primacy, but he wasn't considered the Father of the Church? That doesn't make much sense to me. I need to definitely have the facts and history to decide what the truth is here, because it's impossible to try to know the truth when Roman Catholics say one thing, and Orthodox Christians say another. What a tragedy this is, really, very sad.
The Orthodox have had no problem referring to the Pope as a "father" figure. In fact, Pope means "papa" an endearing term for a father. The problem is that Primacy (first to speak at councils, the ability to call extraordinary councils, a "voice" to those outside the church, a respected guide and pillar of Orthodoxy) does not translate into Supremacy; that is, universal jurisdiction over each and every christian on earth, with the ability to appoint or depose any bishop anywhere, having an office not only senior to, but ontologically superior to all other Bishops. It also does not translate into the ability to infallibly declare new doctrines, especially without a conciliar council. I implore you, research the 1870's doctrine of Papal Infallibility, then research popes that other popes declared to be heretics (Honorius). You will see that such doctrines are illogical and blasphemous!

So having a MAJOR Schism separating the body of Christ (a spiritual divorce) is considered no serious issue? Am I misunderstanding the purpose of an Ecumenical Council?
You are misunderstanding the Eastern Orthodox view of the Great Schism. The Body of Christ was not separated or "divorced". From the Orthodox perspective, Rome left the Body of Christ, while the Orthodox Church remained the intact, complete, One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. If Rome leaves the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, how can the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church dictate to Rome with an Ecumenical Council? Rome has put itself outside the authority of the Church.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2011, 03:51:52 AM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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« Reply #44 on: April 28, 2011, 07:45:18 AM »

Christos Voskrese!
1. while i agree with jah777's points about salvation (is it through Jesus Christ alone), i would like to point out that both eastern orthodox (chalcedonians) and oriental orthodox (non-chalcedonians) have written wrong things about each other over the centuries.
serious scholars who have read the original articles and made sense of the really really complicated situation in 451AD (which was heavily influenced by power games and politics) agree that both sides were saying more or less the same thing, but that the reporting of events was heavily influenced by the roman empire and other people's desire to resist it.
in 1990, in switzerland, representatives of all the EO and OO churches met together to agree a common statement and to confirm that all were orthodox. there are many resources on the internet about this, such as 'orthodoxunity' (i think it's dot org or dot com).

This is all very nice, and it would be great to think it was all one big misunderstanding, but this is impossible.  I provided sufficient relevant links in my former posts on this thread, regarding the actual teachings of St. Cyril of Alexandria, for instance.  In the Orthodox Church, we follow the saints, the Fathers, and the Seven Ecumenical Councils, not the clever conclusions of mere professors and scholars, even if they are considered "serious".  We believe in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, not two or three or four.
So, 1922-2007, where was ROCOR?

You don't have to be a professor or scholar to conclude that when the Fathers of the Sixth Ecumenical Council stated that the Fathers at Chalcedon anathematized Pope Dioscoros as a heretic that the Fathers of Constantinople III were mistaken

Where does the 6th Ecumenical Council say this?
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« Reply #45 on: April 28, 2011, 09:37:31 AM »

@FormerReformer: Why are you referring to me as "you" and treating me like i'm on the Roman Catholic side? I'm trying to make sense of all this and comparing the different positions the Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox hold. So I don't know why this has to be a "you" vs. "us"?

Merely a shorthand.  Since you're approaching the questions here from the Roman Catholic end of things it makes it easier to use "you" and "we" as opposed to typing out "The Roman Catholic Church" and "The Eastern Orthodox Church".

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I'm getting kinda confused here. So the Bishop of Rome always has had a primacy, but he wasn't considered the Father of the Church?

Of course not, just as the Church has one head, our Lord Jesus Christ, so She also has one Father, God the Father.  As far as the term "pope" or "papa" to refer to the Bishop of Rome this term came to be applied much later in history and closer to  the Schism.  Originally the only Pope in the Church was the Bishop of Alexandria.

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That doesn't make much sense to me. I need to definitely have the facts and history to decide what the truth is here, because it's impossible to try to know the truth when Roman Catholics say one thing, and Orthodox Christians say another. What a tragedy this is, really, very sad.
The historical fact is that the Bishop of Rome had a lot of power over the Western Church, not so much over the Eastern Church.  It was not unusual for an Eastern hierarch to disagree with him, and also not unusual for an Eastern hierarch to have to "put him in his place" as it were.  This goes back to St Polycarp and the Asian Church's practice of keeping the Pascha.  Keep in mind as well that the Canons of the Nicea I placed Rome in a position of primacy because Rome was the capital of the empire, not because of any claims of authority descending from St Peter.

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A papal legate overstepping his bounds by excommunicating the Eastern Church when the Pope he answered to was dead and buried doesn't require an Ecumenical Council to point out what's wrong.  That would be swatting a gnat with a sledge-hammer.

So having a MAJOR Schism separating the body of Christ (a spiritual divorce) is considered no serious issue? Am I misunderstanding the purpose of an Ecumenical Council?
NicholasMyra gives a good response to this a few posts above.  I will add to it this- it is not the purpose of an Ecumenical Council to argue the same thing over and over again.  The issues Cardinal Humbert had with the Orthodox Church had previously been settled at the IV Council of Constantinople (Greek IV Council, not the earlier council that was later accepted by the Roman Church as having been the ecumenical one).  It should be noted as well that there was no "Schism" in the sense that there was a clear point when the East and West divided, it wasn't until the Fourth Crusade when the crusaders said, "Y'know, Palestine's just too far.  Oooh, Constantinople!  Shiny!" that it was evident just how much of a rift there was.

I feel I should point out the later reunion attempts between Rome and Constantinople, if only because they illustrate something very important about the issue of "primacy" and how it is handled by the Church.  At the Council of Florence all but one of the Eastern bishops attending accepted papal supremacy, purgatory, and the filioque clause, only to get back East and told by the people to take a long walk off a short pier (the Emperor, however, was not one of those people).    A council can only be considered Ecumenical if it is accepted by the whole of the Church, as is evidenced by the "robber councils" that were rejected in the pre-schism times.

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Which I have been doing for years (praying), and I have been attending Orthodox liturgies for months now. I moved earlier this year, so the priest that was meeting with me regularly isn't there for me to talk with anymore. So i'm trying to find one in my new location to speak with. I also plan on meeting with a Roman Catholic priest as well so I can get "both sides of the story". Ultimately though, God is going to have to direct me and reveal truth to me - i've learned (and still learning) not to trust my own understanding of this world - but to rely on God for my direction.  

If I am to be Christian though, I must find the one true Church. Both the Orthodox and Roman Churches claim to be the original Church. So this is a serious matter for me, and for everyone really. So I can't rest until I know. I need to start receiving the Eucharist, confession, all the sacraments, knowledge, and everything I can from the Church as soon as I can. How can I survive in this world, and hope for salvation without these things? Am I to attend Mass, or Orthodox Liturgy? There's a difference.




Sounds like you're doing fine in this regard, though I can't speak enough about the value of patience.  "Ask and it shall be answered unto you", yes, but some replies can go on for quite some time.  One of the hardest things about my own conversion to Orthodoxy was realizing that I would have to stop receiving the sacraments from my background and go perhaps several years before I could receive in the Eastern Orthodox faith.

PS if you give us a general idea of what area you live in someone here might be able to point you in the direction of an Orthodox priest.  There's also the parish locator at http://www.scoba.us/directory.html?parish=&clergy=&city=&state=16&searchType=parish
« Last Edit: April 28, 2011, 09:42:59 AM by FormerReformer » Logged

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« Reply #46 on: April 28, 2011, 10:50:42 AM »



Christos Voskrese!
We believe in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, not two or three or four.
So, 1922-2007, where was ROCOR?

ROCOR was, and is, part of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.  The subjugation of the Church in Russia under the Soviets, and various unilateral innovations adopted by some local Churches during this period, certainly created strained relations between ROCOR and some local Churches, but ROCOR was never cut off from the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.     



Speaking of misquoting and distorting to support slander, if not false teachings:

Do you consider it false or slander that St. Cyril affirmed the two Natures of Christ as Chalcedon affirmed, and that the Non-Chalcedonians reject St. Cyril’s teaching to this effect, as presented in his epistle to John of Antioch?

http://www.monachos.net/content/patristics/patristictexts/136-cyril-of-alexandria-epistle-to-john-of-antioch-regarding-peace


 
The time line is also missing some things:

The time line consists of excerpts from a work intended to highlight some important events and was not intended to be comprehensive or exhaustive.

The following article covers the Orthodox S. John of Damascus on the Non-Chalcedonians:

http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/zisis.pdf
Very little citation of St. John in it

Surely you are familiar with the writings of St. John Damascus on the subject.  One could also learn of St. Maximus the Confessor and his struggle against the Monothelite heresy, which the Non-Chalcedonians also embrace.  Here are a few excerpts from St. John of Damascus’ “Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith.”   

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ST. JOHN OF DAMASCUS, EXACT EXPOSITION OF THE ORTHODOX FAITH

BOOK III, CHAPTER III
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf209.iii.iv.iii.iii.html

For the two natures were united with each other without change or alteration, neither the divine nature departing from its native simplicity, nor yet the human being either changed into the nature of God or reduced to non-existence, nor one compound nature being produced out of the two. For the compound nature cannot be of the same essence as either of the natures out of which it is compounded, as made one thing out of others: for example, the body is composed of the four elements, but is not of the same essence as fire or air, or water or earth, nor does it keep these names. If, therefore, after the union, Christ’s nature was, as the heretics hold, a compound unity, He had changed from a simple into a compound nature, and is not of the same essence as the Father Whose nature is simple, nor as the mother, who is not a compound of divinity and humanity. Nor will He then be in divinity and humanity: nor will He be called either God or Man, but simply Christ: and the word Christ will be the name not of the subsistence, but of what in their view is the one nature.

We, however, do not give it as our view that Christ’s nature is compound, nor yet that He is one thing made of other things and differing from them as man is made of soul and body, or as the body is made of the four elements, but hold that, though He is constituted of these different parts He is yet the same.  For we confess that He alike in His divinity and in His humanity both is and is said to be perfect God, the same Being, and that He consists of two natures, and exists in two natures.  Further, by the word “Christ” we understand the name of the subsistence, not in the sense of one kind, but as signifying the existence of two natures. For in His own person He anointed Himself; as God anointing His body with His own divinity, and as Man being anointed. For He is Himself both God and Man. And the anointing is the divinity of His humanity. For if Christ, being of one compound nature, is of like essence to the Father, then the Father also must be compound and of like essence with the flesh, which is absurd and extremely blasphemous.

How, indeed, could one and the same nature come to embrace opposing and essential differences? For how is it possible that the same nature should be at once created and uncreated, mortal and immortal, circumscribed and uncircumscribed?

But if those who declare that Christ has only one nature should say also that that nature is a simple one, they must admit either that He is God pure and simple, and thus reduce the incarnation to a mere pretence, or that He is only man, according to Nestorius. And how then about His being “perfect in divinity and perfect in humanity”? And when can Christ be said to be of two natures, if they hold that He is of one composite nature after the union? For it is surely clear to every one that before the union Christ’s nature was one.

But this is what leads the heretics astray, viz., that they look upon nature and subsistence as the same thing.  For when we speak of the nature of men as one, observe that in saying this we are not looking to the question of soul and body. For when we compare together the soul and the body it cannot be said that they are of one nature. But since there are very many subsistences of men, and yet all have the same kind of nature: for all are composed of soul and body, and all have part in the nature of the soul, and possess the essence of the body, and the common form: we speak of the one nature of these very many and different subsistences; while each subsistence, to wit, has two natures, and fulfils itself in two natures, namely, soul and body.

But a common form cannot be admitted in the case of our Lord Jesus Christ. For neither was there ever, nor is there, nor will there ever be another Christ constituted of deity and humanity, and existing in deity and humanity at once perfect God and perfect man. And thus in the case of our Lord Jesus Christ we cannot speak of one nature made up of divinity and humanity, as we do in the case of the individual made up of soul and body. For in the latter case we have to do with an individual, but Christ is not an individual. For there is no predicable form of Christlihood, so to speak, that He possesses. And therefore we hold that there has been a union of two perfect natures, one divine and one human; not with disorder or confusion, or intermixture, or commingling, as is said by the God-accursed Dioscorus and by Eutyches and Severus, and all that impious company: and not in a personal or relative manner, or as a matter of dignity or agreement in will, or equality in honour, or identity in name, or good pleasure, as Nestorius, hated of God, said, and Diodorus and Theodorus of Mopsuestia, and their diabolical tribe: but by synthesis; that is, in subsistence, without change or confusion or alteration or difference or separation, and we confess that in two perfect natures there is but one subsistence of the Son of God incarnate; holding that there is one and the same subsistence belonging to His divinity and His humanity, and granting that the two natures are preserved in Him after the union, but we do not hold that each is separate and by itself, but that they are united to each other in one compound subsistence. For we look upon the union as essential, that is, as true and not imaginary. We say that it is essential, moreover, not in the sense of two natures resulting in one compound nature, but in the sense of a true union of them in one compound subsistence of the Son of God, and we hold that their essential difference is preserved. For the created remaineth created, and the uncreated, uncreated: the mortal remaineth mortal; the immortal, immortal: the circumscribed, circumscribed: the uncircumscribed, uncircumscribed: the visible, visible: the invisible, invisible. “The one part is all glorious with wonders: while the other is the victim of insults.”

Moreover, the Word appropriates to Himself the attributes of humanity: for all that pertains to His holy flesh is His: and He imparts to the flesh His own attributes by way of communication in virtue of the interpenetration of the parts one with another, and the oneness according to subsistence, and inasmuch as He Who lived and acted both as God and as man, taking to Himself either form and holding intercourse with the other form, was one and the same. Hence it is that the Lord of Glory is said to have been crucified, although His divine nature never endured the Cross, and that the Son of Man is allowed to have been in heaven before the Passion, as the Lord Himself said.  For the Lord of Glory is one and the same with Him Who is in nature and in truth the Son of Man, that is, Who became man, and both His wonders and His sufferings are known to us, although His wonders were worked in His divine capacity, and His sufferings endured as man. For we know that, just as is His one subsistence, so is the essential difference of the nature preserved. For how could difference be preserved if the very things that differ from one another are not preserved? For difference is the difference between things that differ. In so far as Christ’s natures differ from one another, that is, in the matter of essence, we hold that Christ unites in Himself two extremes: in respect of His divinity He is connected with the Father and the Spirit, while in respect of His humanity He is connected with His mother and all mankind. And in so far as His natures are united, we hold that He differs from the Father and the Spirit on the one hand, and from the mother and the rest of mankind on the other. For the natures are united in His subsistence, having one compound subsistence, in which He differs from the Father and the Spirit, and also from the mother and us.


BOOK III, CHAPTER XIII
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf209.iii.iv.iii.xiii.html

Confessing, then, the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, to be perfect God and perfect man, we hold that the same has all the attributes of the Father save that of being ingenerate, and all the attributes of the first Adam, save only his sin, these attributes being body and the intelligent and rational soul; and further that He has, corresponding to the two natures, the two sets of natural qualities belonging to the two natures: two natural volitions, one divine and one human, two natural energies, one divine and one human, two natural free-wills, one divine and one human, and two kinds of wisdom and knowledge, one divine and one human. For being of like essence with God and the Father, He wills and energises freely as God, and being also of like essence with us He likewise wills and energises freely as man. For His are the miracles and His also are the passive states


Book IV, CHAPTER V
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf209.iii.iv.iv.v.html

The subsistence of God the Word before the Incarnation was simple and uncompound, and incorporeal and uncreate: but after it became flesh, it became also the subsistence of the flesh, and became compounded of divinity which it always possessed, and of flesh which it had assumed: and it bears the properties of the two natures, being made known in two natures: so that the one same subsistence is both uncreate in divinity and create in humanity, visible and invisible. For otherwise we are compelled either to divide the one Christ and speak of two subsistences, or to deny the distinction between the natures and thus introduce change and confusion.


Book IV, CHAPTER VII
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf209.iii.iv.iv.vii.html

But if our interrogators should hint that He Who is begotten of the holy Mother of God is two natures, we reply, “Yea! He is two natures: for He is in His own person God and man. And the same is to be said concerning the crucifixion and resurrection and ascension. For these refer not to nature but to subsistence. Christ then, since He is in two natures, suffered and was crucified in the nature that was subject to passion. For it was in the flesh and not in His divinity that He hung upon the Cross. Otherwise, let them answer us, when we ask if two natures died. No, we shall say. And so two natures were not crucified but Christ was begotten, that is to say, the divine Word having become man was begotten in the flesh, was crucified in the flesh, suffered in the flesh, while His divinity continued to be impassible.”

These are just a few such quotes, but the Orthodox Faith, the Seven Ecumenical Councils, and the teachings of the Orthodox saints are clear, unambiguous, and unerring regarding the two natures of Christ upheld at Chalcedon.  If the Non-Chalcedonians claim to have the same faith as the Orthodox, they would embrace all Seven Ecumenical Councils, and then we could more realistically hope for a union between the Orthodox Church and the current Non-Chalcedonians. 

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« Reply #47 on: April 28, 2011, 11:29:16 AM »

Welcome to the forum, Steel*Faith Smiley I'd just echo what Salpy said above:

Steel*Faith,

Welcome to the forum.   Smiley

If I were you, I would not get too caught up in historical debates and polemics.  These are things that focus on the weakness of men, rather than the greatness of God.

I would continue to explore the Orthodox Churches that are near you, see which one you feel the most comfortable in, and just immerse yourself in prayer.  Someone suggested that you meet with a priest and ask him your questions.  I think that is a good idea also. 

Here on OCnet there are thousands of threads you can explore and learn from, but I would suggest you not take it too seriously when we argue with each other over historical issues.  We are human, after all.  You have to realize that most of these issues are things that the majority of Orthodox Christians never bother themselves about outside of the internet.   Smiley

The best thing you can do is just start attending liturgies and pray.
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« Reply #48 on: April 28, 2011, 12:16:55 PM »

Christ is risen!
Quote
Btw, on heads, the Vatican has 3 (used to be 4) Patriarchs of Antioch, and 2 (used to be 3) Patriarchs (not Popes, they are not allowed. The Vatican's ecclesiastical community is not big enough for two popes) of Alexandria.

You lost me here ialmisry.

Rome, and then the Vatican's meddling in other patriarchs brought disunity.  Not much of a "font of unity."

In Antioch, Rome backed a Paulinus to replace Pat. St. Meletius as patriarch of Antioch. Antioch, however, held firm to St. Meletius, and he opened the Second Ecumenical Council.  St. Meletius had offered to Paulinus that when one of them died, the survivor would succeed as sole Patriarch, a irenic deal characteristic of St. Meletius that characteristically Paulinus backed by Rome rejected (btw, Paulinus was the one who  ordained St. Jerome.  St. Meletius ordained SS. John Chyrsostom, Basil and others when Rome denounced him (Meletius) as a heretic).  When St. Meletius fell asleep at the Council, the Council elected St. Flavian to succeed.  Rome now tried to insist on the deal it rejected, and declared Constantinople and Antioch in schism and not in communion with Rome. Since Rome, however, was not the head of neither Constantinople nor Antioch, neither they nor Alexandria payed any attention to the Roman interedict. During that time Constantinople, Alexandria and Antioch held the Second Ecumenical Council and set their seal on the Creed, and then St. John Chrysostom became archbishop of  New Rome and eventually patched things up with Old Rome.  In the meantime, Paulinus and his episcopal line died out.

When the Crusaders came in, they set up a Latin Patriarch of Constantinople, and latter took the Monothelites of Syria under their wing (they had previously approached the Nestorian Catholicos, the darling of the time of the caliphs).  When the Vatican, as a result of the Crusaders, goaded the emperor into trying to force the Orthodox to submit to the claims of Ultramontanism, the Patriarch of Antioch was safe in Damascus out of reach, but the Monothelites were induced to formally renounce their heresy, and went on to claim unbroken communion with the Vatican, setting up the Maronite Patriarchate of Antioch which for the first time in history had a non-Latin patriarch in the East receive the pallium from the Vatican.  This was in addition to the line of Latin Patriarchs of Antioch, now titular and resident in Rome. When the Phanar began to act like the Ottoman Vatican, the Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch followed the example of the Maronite Patriarch, and submitted to the afar off Roman Vatican in 1727 to escape Phanariot control.  The Orthodox bishops of the Holy Synod of Antioch and the Phanar replaced him with an Orthodox Greek, but the Vatican sponsered Patriarch created the third Patriarchate of Antioch set up under Vatican aupsices. Between the Latins, Maronites and Melkites (as the former Orthodox identified themselves) they managed to induce the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch to join in 1781, who set up the fourth patriarchate of Antioch for that font of unity, the Vatican's supreme pontiff.

Of course, unity didn't stop there: the Crusaders, after setting up the rival Latin Patriarchate in Antioch, set one up in Jerusalem and named one for Alexandria (who never set foot in Egypt due to Christian and Muslim opposition), both of which returned to the Vatican when the Crusaders were expelled and continued as titular sees. When the Vatican revived the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem by Pat. Giuseppe Valerga "the Butcher" (as his erstwhile flock called him), a father of Vatican I, the natives turned to the Melkite Patriarch, who organized the Melkite Patriarch of Jerusalem, and then the Melkite Patriarchate of Alexandria, in personal union with him.  The Copts in Palestine were induced to submit to the Vatican, and eventually it resulted in a Coptic Patriarchate of Alexandria, the third for that see (which ranks right after the Vatican supreme pontiff in its ecclesiastical community) under the Vatican's auspices.  Not one of the three, however, are allowed (unlike all other usurpers that the Vatican sets up in Eastern sees) to have the traditional title of the see: Pope.

So during Vatican I and its declaration of its supreme pontiff as the font of Catholic unity, its ecclesiastical community had 4 different patriarchates of Antioch (all 4 of which, btw, claimed their episcopal lineage through Pat. St. Meletius, and not Paulinus), 3 different patriarchates of Alexandria, and 2 different patriarchates of Jerusalem.  Some unity.  Now, at present us Orthodox have our problems with overlapping jurisdictions, but we all (minus the indifferent and ethnocentric) see this as abnormal and something to be remedied (hence the Episcopal Assemblies). The Vatican sees this multiplication of patriarchates, even ancient patriarchates, as perfectly normal, even to the point of modiying its canons to fit such an ecclesiology.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2011, 12:19:07 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #49 on: April 28, 2011, 01:36:27 PM »

Christos Voskrese!
We believe in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, not two or three or four.
So, 1922-2007, where was ROCOR?
ROCOR was, and is, part of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.  The subjugation of the Church in Russia under the Soviets, and various unilateral innovations adopted by some local Churches during this period, certainly created strained relations between ROCOR and some local Churches, but ROCOR was never cut off from the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
   
Pagans, Zoroastrians, Muslims-none are ever used to excuse schism from a Mother Church. Only in the case of ROCOR is persecusion taken as a green light to act as a free agent.
Speaking of misquoting and distorting to support slander, if not false teachings:
Do you consider it false or slander that St. Cyril affirmed the two Natures of Christ as Chalcedon affirmed, and that the Non-Chalcedonians reject St. Cyril’s teaching to this effect, as presented in his epistle to John of Antioch?
http://www.monachos.net/content/patristics/patristictexts/136-cyril-of-alexandria-epistle-to-john-of-antioch-regarding-peace
I consider is false and slander, as did Pope Dioscoros and the synod he held at Ephesus, that Pope St. Cyril's "Twelve Chapters" as Ephesus "proclaimed and confirmed" then, "are contrary to the true faith," and that Pope St. Cyril rejected the teaching of Ephesus, as presented in the epistle to Maris the Persian, and the Fathers of Chalcedon, in failing to condemn the letter to Maris attributed to Ibas, something the Fathers at the next Ecumenical Council remedied.

The time line is also missing some things:
The time line consists of excerpts from a work intended to highlight some important events and was not intended to be comprehensive or exhaustive.
That Pope Dioscoros, his synod at Ephesus, and the non-Chalcedonians condemned the Three Chapters when the Fathers of Chalcedon failed to do so and the Fathers of Constantinople II had to, is not a minor omission. In fact, it is quite a deliberate omission. As is omitting the fact that Pope Dioscoros and the non-Chalcedonians anathematized Eutyches and his monophysitism, their rehabilitation of Eutyches at Ephseus (which it does mention) being no different from the rehabilitation of Theodoret and Ibas at Chalcedon (which it passes over in silence). It also has an odd sense of highlighing, picking out some obscure, unimportant and questionable citations to represent the Miaphysites. Also, not a word about the Heonitikon.  Very selective indeed.

The following article covers the Orthodox S. John of Damascus on the Non-Chalcedonians:
http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/zisis.pdf
Very little citation of St. John in it

Surely you are familiar with the writings of St. John Damascus on the subject

Indeed. I'm also familiar with the non-Chalcedonian Orthodox writings on the subject.

One could also learn of St. Maximus the Confessor and his struggle against the Monothelite heresy, which the Non-Chalcedonians also embrace.
You might do better sticking to one topic at a time.


Here are a few excerpts from St. John of Damascus’ “Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith.”
 
The only paragraph on point here is
Quote
But a common form cannot be admitted in the case of our Lord Jesus Christ. For neither was there ever, nor is there, nor will there ever be another Christ constituted of deity and humanity, and existing in deity and humanity at once perfect God and perfect man. And thus in the case of our Lord Jesus Christ we cannot speak of one nature made up of divinity and humanity, as we do in the case of the individual made up of soul and body. For in the latter case we have to do with an individual, but Christ is not an individual. For there is no predicable form of Christlihood, so to speak, that He possesses. And therefore we hold that there has been a union of two perfect natures, one divine and one human; not with disorder or confusion, or intermixture, or commingling, as is said by the God-accursed Dioscorus and by Eutyches and Severus, and all that impious company: and not in a personal or relative manner, or as a matter of dignity or agreement in will, or equality in honour, or identity in name, or good pleasure, as Nestorius, hated of God, said, and Diodorus and Theodorus of Mopsuestia, and their diabolical tribe: but by synthesis; that is, in subsistence, without change or confusion or alteration or difference or separation, and we confess that in two perfect natures there is but one subsistence of the Son of God incarnate; holding that there is one and the same subsistence belonging to His divinity and His humanity, and granting that the two natures are preserved in Him after the union, but we do not hold that each is separate and by itself, but that they are united to each other in one compound subsistence. For we look upon the union as essential, that is, as true and not imaginary. We say that it is essential, moreover, not in the sense of two natures resulting in one compound nature, but in the sense of a true union of them in one compound subsistence of the Son of God, and we hold that their essential difference is preserved. For the created remaineth created, and the uncreated, uncreated: the mortal remaineth mortal; the immortal, immortal: the circumscribed, circumscribed: the uncircumscribed, uncircumscribed: the visible, visible: the invisible, invisible. “The one part is all glorious with wonders: while the other is the victim of insults.”
Can you provide quotes of Pope Dioscoros teaching commingling, mixture or confusion? Pat. Severus?  As St. John unfortunately could not, nor did he recognize that Pope Dioscoros and Pat. Severus anathematized Eutyches' teaching, and that the Chalcedonians had to catch up to the non-Chalcedonians in condemning Diodorus, Theodoros of Mopsuestia, the anti-Cyril writing of Theodoret, and the Letter to Maris attributed to Ibas.

These are just a few such quotes, but the Orthodox Faith, the Seven Ecumenical Councils, and the teachings of the Orthodox saints are clear, unambiguous, and unerring regarding the two natures of Christ upheld at Chalcedon.
Unfortunately the Fathers at Chalcedon introduced ambuiguity, laid aside clarity, and allowed error by failing to condemn the Three Chapters as Pope Dioscoros did at his synod at Ephesus and the non-Chalcedonians did ever since, something the Fathers at the Fifth Ecumenical Council joined them in Constantinople II.


If the Non-Chalcedonians claim to have the same faith as the Orthodox, they would embrace all Seven Ecumenical Councils, and then we could more realistically hope for a union between the Orthodox Church and the current Non-Chalcedonians.
And when the Vatican tells you to recognize its supreme pontiff as preeminent primate of the Orthdox Church as at the Seven Ecumenical Councils, what say you?
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« Reply #50 on: April 28, 2011, 02:01:16 PM »

Quote
You are misunderstanding the Eastern Orthodox view of the Great Schism. The Body of Christ was not separated or "divorced". From the Orthodox perspective, Rome left the Body of Christ, while the Orthodox Church remained the intact, complete, One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. If Rome leaves the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, how can the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church dictate to Rome with an Ecumenical Council? Rome has put itself outside the authority of the Church.

The Catholic Church split and both sides lost a great deal - which is why I used to term "divorce" - as that was essentially what it was. After the Protestant Reformation, the Catholic Church held the Ecumenical Council of Trent to reaffirm Catholic doctrine - which is absolutely necessary considering the confusion and turmoil that was growing. What i'm saying is this; Orthodoxy was being lead by Roman Primacy for many years - then all the sudden it is gone; millions of Christians were separated from fellowship with one another (even to this day), and i'm sure many Christians even then were confused as to which was the true Catholic Church. So why wouldn't the Orthodox Church hold some kind of council to reaffirm Orthodox doctrine?

The Schism of 1054 was the result of the Eighth Ecumenical Council — Constantinople IV. Here's a summary of what happened according to a RC website.

Quote
In 1054 the Greek schism was actually consummated by Michael Cerularius, the Patriarch of Constantinople at that time. PHOTIUS attacked enforced clerical celibacy, the addition by the West of the “FILIOQUE” to the Creed, and the crowning of Charlemagne in the West. CERULARIUS (about 200 years later) closed the churches of the Latins in Constantinople, had the Blessed Sacrament cast out and trodden underfoot as invalid, and persisted in refusing to see the three delegates sent by Pope Leo IX (1049-1054). On 16 July, 1054, they publicly placed on the altar of Saint Sophia the document containing his excommunication.

So this raises a lot of new questions for me. Photius is portrayed terribly (almost demonically) by the Roman Catholics, while the Orthodox view him as a Saint (quite the conflicting viewpoint). Also, what Orthodox Saints were against the Filioque?
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« Reply #51 on: April 28, 2011, 02:40:32 PM »

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You are misunderstanding the Eastern Orthodox view of the Great Schism. The Body of Christ was not separated or "divorced". From the Orthodox perspective, Rome left the Body of Christ, while the Orthodox Church remained the intact, complete, One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. If Rome leaves the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, how can the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church dictate to Rome with an Ecumenical Council? Rome has put itself outside the authority of the Church.

The Catholic Church split and both sides lost a great deal - which is why I used to term "divorce" - as that was essentially what it was.
How can it be a divorce? Although, of course, there were many contributing factors, the fact remains that a papal legate acting on behalf of a pope who was already dead placed the bull of excommunication on the altar of Hagia Sophia. Even when the deacons ran after him to beg him to take it back, he wouldn't. If it was a divorce, who divorced whom?

Quote
So why wouldn't the Orthodox Church hold some kind of council to reaffirm Orthodox doctrine?
No need. There was no "new" doctrine to affirm.

Quote
In 1054 the Greek schism was actually consummated by Michael Cerularius, the Patriarch of Constantinople at that time. PHOTIUS attacked enforced clerical celibacy, the addition by the West of the “FILIOQUE” to the Creed, and the crowning of Charlemagne in the West.
All additions, you will note, unilateral changes by the bishop of Rome, without consultation with his brother bishops, which, btw, was also a change in the way the Church had operated and governed itself for a thousand years.

Quote
Also, what Orthodox Saints were against the Filioque?
All. The filioque was not part of the Nicene Creed. While there may be interesting theological arguments to be made, the point is that the bishop of Rome took it upon himself to unilaterally change the ancient Creed, without council or consultation. As I noted above, this was also a change in the way the Church governed itself. Some historians say to placate Charlemagne et. al.
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« Reply #52 on: April 28, 2011, 02:55:59 PM »

Pagans, Zoroastrians, Muslims-none are ever used to excuse schism from a Mother Church. Only in the case of ROCOR is persecusion taken as a green light to act as a free agent.

The Patriarchs of Constantinople, Jerusalem, Serbia, etc. recognized and supported the actions of ROCOR’s hierarchs while the Church in Russia was under Soviet subjugation.  The circumstances were certainly unusual and very unfortunate, but ROCOR was blessed with a number of truly holy hierarchs to lead its fledgling flock during this very difficult period.  Your attitude towards ROCOR does not reflect the view of the rest of the Church on the matter, particularly in the early decades after the Revolution.      


Do you consider it false or slander that St. Cyril affirmed the two Natures of Christ as Chalcedon affirmed, and that the Non-Chalcedonians reject St. Cyril’s teaching to this effect, as presented in his epistle to John of Antioch?
http://www.monachos.net/content/patristics/patristictexts/136-cyril-of-alexandria-epistle-to-john-of-antioch-regarding-peace

I consider is false and slander, as did Pope Dioscoros and the synod he held at Ephesus, that Pope St. Cyril's "Twelve Chapters" as Ephesus "proclaimed and confirmed" then, "are contrary to the true faith," and that…..

You didn’t answer my question.  Cyril’s “two natures” teaching was a clarification, and not a denial, of the “Twelve Chapters”.  


Can you provide quotes of Pope Dioscoros teaching commingling, mixture or confusion? Pat. Severus?  As St. John unfortunately could not
.

I do not have these writings.  That St. John did not quote them does not mean that he could not provide such quotes, he just did not provide these quotes, perhaps not thinking it necessary to give examples to prove what was already understood and accepted by the Orthodox Church.


, nor did he recognize that Pope Dioscoros and Pat. Severus anathematized Eutyches' teaching, and that the Chalcedonians had to catch up to the non-Chalcedonians in condemning Diodorus, Theodoros of Mopsuestia, the anti-Cyril writing of Theodoret, and the Letter to Maris attributed to Ibas.

It does not matter that the Orthodox Church condemned these writings after the Non-Chalcedonians.


Unfortunately the Fathers at Chalcedon introduced ambuiguity, laid aside clarity, and allowed error by failing to condemn the Three Chapters as Pope Dioscoros did at his synod at Ephesus and the non-Chalcedonians did ever since, something the Fathers at the Fifth Ecumenical Council joined them in Constantinople II.

They did not introduce ambiguity by failing to condemn the Three Chapters earlier, though the failure to condemn the Three Chapters earlier seemed to result in enough ambiguity to warrant condemnation at the Fifth Ecumenical Council.  If you are saying, then, that the Fourth and Fifth Ecumenical Councils are equally acceptable to Non-Chalcedonians, however, then the Sixth and Seventh Councils can be embraced by them as well.  Why would they not do so if we supposedly share the same faith?


And when the Vatican tells you to recognize its supreme pontiff as preeminent primate of the Orthdox Church as at the Seven Ecumenical Councils, what say you?

This is a different matter entirely.  If the Non-Chalcedonians and the Orthodox claim to have the same faith with different terminology (as you assert), then the Non-Chalcedonians can accept the Seven Ecumenical Councils without a problem, something they refuse to do.  The Orthodox do not claim to have the same faith as the Roman Catholics, so the Roman Catholic Church would have to lay aside its many heresies before such a union with the Orthodox could take place.  With the Non-Chalcedonians, it is claimed that only the Christological formula of Chalcedon stands in the way of a reunion.  If this indeed is a matter of mere confusion, misunderstanding, and terminological differences, then the way to union is very easy.  With the Roman Catholics, there is a great deal more that would have to be dealt with than simply “Papal Primacy”.  
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« Reply #53 on: April 28, 2011, 02:56:58 PM »

I'm going to read everything that was posted by all of you recently. So my response and questions to your newer posts will be delayed. I'm really going to need to find a Priest to speak to about all these issues though.

Quote
PS if you give us a general idea of what area you live in someone here might be able to point you in the direction of an Orthodox priest.

I live in Rhode Island. The closest Orthodox Church is being built, and it's a Coptic Orthodox. The closest OCA Church is about 30-40 minutes from me, and is quite small. I have been going irregularly to St.Mary's Antiochian Orthodox Church in Pawtucket, but as I mentioned earlier there were some issues that were making me uncomfortable with going there. Some of you responded to me about the One Eye symbolism - and jah777 mentioned that it isn't an approved icon. The other issue I had with the church was that the congregation doesn't seem to take much seriously. The people start talking loudly in the middle of the Liturgy at times, and it gets very distracting to me and makes me upset. One one occasion I was there, the Priest was performing a memorial service for Orthodox people who recently died, and the congregation were just nonchalantly talking and weren't even paying attention or praying - I felt like I was about to snap like Jesus did in his return to the Temple. There's other issues as well.

Compared to St.Symeon's in Birmingham, Alabama - I haven't seen a church that can compare to it yet. It is a personal miracle to me that the first time I ever even hear about Orthodoxy, and go to one of it's churches, I find one that is devout and strict in it's practice of ancient tradition, and is full of warm and loving Christians, lead by a humble and wise Priest. The other amazing thing about it is that it's in the most unlikely place I would ever expect to find an Orthodox Church - Alabama! It was amazing to me to see a Church with no pews, and Christians that actually prostrate and submit themselves to God physically and spiritually. Which showed me how Islam stole so much from the original Church in practice.

Quote
No need. There was no "new" doctrine to affirm.

The Ecumenical Councils weren't about reaffirming a "new" doctrine, but about ones that already existed. From my understanding, the Church would defend the position that it had in response to a heresy or conflict within the Church. For instance, was the use of Icons a "new" practice created at the 7th Ecumenical council? No, it was reaffirming that practice that had already existed previously before. Even the Nicean Creed reaffirmed the common believe that existed in Christianity before the council even took place.

It seems bizarre that the remaining 4 Patriarchates wouldn't have convened to rally the Church after such a massive split. If the Church splits, this is a very serious issue for multiple reasons. Not only should both sides be fearful of the Judgment of God for this terrible occurrence, but the Church is going to suffer in result. So why wouldn't the Orthodox Church rally and reaffirm the position of the Catholic Church for the Christians across the globe? Don't you think millions of Christians (including myself) would struggle to make sense of all this and know who to follow? You have the Western Church saying it holds the true Tradition and Apostolic Succession, and the East saying the same thing.

Edit: I understand that there were individual Popes that did evil. Although if you look at the individual Prophets of God, one by one, you will also see that they were a mixed crowd as well; so even the highest ranking men in God's Kingdom are capable of falling or making error. Thing is though, when I look at Biblical history, God has always had one earthly leader to lead the believers. Christ giving Peter the keys to the Kingdom, and creating a new covenant, seemed like an echo of the old covenant that God joined with Abraham. So i'm still unsure as to what the Roman Catholic view is of it's own institution and Papal authority.
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« Reply #54 on: April 28, 2011, 03:15:07 PM »

Quote
You are misunderstanding the Eastern Orthodox view of the Great Schism. The Body of Christ was not separated or "divorced". From the Orthodox perspective, Rome left the Body of Christ, while the Orthodox Church remained the intact, complete, One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. If Rome leaves the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, how can the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church dictate to Rome with an Ecumenical Council? Rome has put itself outside the authority of the Church.

The Catholic Church split and both sides lost a great deal - which is why I used to term "divorce" - as that was essentially what it was. After the Protestant Reformation, the Catholic Church held the Ecumenical Council of Trent to reaffirm Catholic doctrine - which is absolutely necessary considering the confusion and turmoil that was growing. What i'm saying is this; Orthodoxy was being lead by Roman Primacy for many years - then all the sudden it is gone; millions of Christians were separated from fellowship with one another (even to this day), and i'm sure many Christians even then were confused as to which was the true Catholic Church. So why wouldn't the Orthodox Church hold some kind of council to reaffirm Orthodox doctrine?

katherineofdixie answer this quite well in her post, so I will just tack on to that this- "Roman Primacy".  What does it mean and what doesn't it mean?  Roman primacy would be all well and good if it were merely a matter of taking into account the Roman position on a matter, as was the case with Chalcedon, it means that when a Council is held in Rome (which it never was) that Rome would get the top chair, and possibly that if the Roman bishop attended a council (which none ever did, they just sent legates) that he would also get the top chair, and it also meant that in cases where a two bishops were having a disagreement that they could appeal to Rome to call a synod.  What it did not, ever, mean was that the Roman bishop got to dictate to the other Patriarchs or the Churches under the jurisdiction of the other Patriarchs.  Roman primacy didn't "suddenly" disappear- it got lost to claims of "supremacy" from the Roman See.

The Schism of 1054 was the result of the Eighth Ecumenical Council — Constantinople IV. Here's a summary of what happened according to a RC website.

Quote
In 1054 the Greek schism was actually consummated by Michael Cerularius, the Patriarch of Constantinople at that time. PHOTIUS attacked enforced clerical celibacy, the addition by the West of the “FILIOQUE” to the Creed, and the crowning of Charlemagne in the West. CERULARIUS (about 200 years later) closed the churches of the Latins in Constantinople, had the Blessed Sacrament cast out and trodden underfoot as invalid, and persisted in refusing to see the three delegates sent by Pope Leo IX (1049-1054). On 16 July, 1054, they publicly placed on the altar of Saint Sophia the document containing his excommunication.

So this raises a lot of new questions for me. Photius is portrayed terribly (almost demonically) by the Roman Catholics, while the Orthodox view him as a Saint (quite the conflicting viewpoint). Also, what Orthodox Saints were against the Filioque?

Of course St Photius is portrayed terribly- consider the source.  I happen to know from Catholic Encyclopedia that Martin Luther had absolutely no redeeming qualities whatsoever, that he was a glutton and a drunkard (not to mention lustful), and that he liked to roll kindergartners for their lunch money.  Meanwhile, no one who ever argued with Martin Luther ever did anything wrong, was always even tempered and well spoken, downright eloquent really, and required no less than three angels to polish their halos at night.

For research into this particular area you're going to have to find as many primary sources (even if just translation) as possible, there is no way to get an objective view from either the Roman Catholics or us (but, in defense of the claims against St Photius- The filioque shouldn't have been added,as the Creed had been defined by two ecumenical councils; clerical celibacy was never the norm for the Church outside of the Roman diocese [save for bishops after the Quinsext canons]; and Charlemagne was a barbarian Frank who would go on to found a culture that gave us bad philosophy, the eurotrash stereotype, over-hyped cuisine, and the guillotine).
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« Reply #55 on: April 28, 2011, 03:24:04 PM »

The closest OCA Church is about 30-40 minutes from me, and is quite small.

Sounds perfect.. Many people here drive 30 to 40 minutes. Sundays the roads are clear.

The OCA is a very good choice for converts.

Small is better sometimes. I also belong to a small mission Church. It's usually "all hands on deck".. so soon enough you will be baking prosporha, cleaning the Church on your hands and knees and greeting newbies like you own the place.

Go forth and conquer.
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« Reply #56 on: April 28, 2011, 03:38:05 PM »

Obviously this all can get overwhelming, so I need to focus on the essentials.

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The filioque shouldn't have been added,as the Creed had been defined by two ecumenical councils; clerical celibacy was never the norm for the Church outside of the Roman diocese

This right here is pretty solid evidence in favor of the Orthodox. First off, Christ himself says that celibacy is a choice and not mandatory in the Gospels - end of story, because no man overrules Christ's own words in the scripture. Secondly, I strongly agree that the Nicean Creed was perfect because the Holy Spirit inspired it. Changing it is clearly an error of the West.

Is there an Orthodox website similar to the RC one (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/)? I like that website because I can easily read the writings of the early Church. Although it's heavily biased to the Roman Catholic views in it's articles.
Quote
Sounds perfect.. Many people here drive 30 to 40 minutes. Sundays the roads are clear.

The OCA is a very good choice for converts.

Small is better sometimes.

I agree, the first Orthodox Church I discovered was small, but full of spiritual quality. I hope this OCA Church here in RI will be of a similar nature.
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« Reply #57 on: April 28, 2011, 03:39:49 PM »


It seems bizarre that the remaining 4 Patriarchates wouldn't have convened to rally the Church after such a massive split. If the Church splits, this is a very serious issue for multiple reasons. Not only should both sides be fearful of the Judgment of God for this terrible occurrence, but the Church is going to suffer in result. So why wouldn't the Orthodox Church rally and reaffirm the position of the Catholic Church for the Christians across the globe? Don't you think millions of Christians (including myself) would struggle to make sense of all this and know who to follow? You have the Western Church saying it holds the true Tradition and Apostolic Succession, and the East saying the same thing.


It's even more serious than just an East/West split.  You also have all the Oriental Orthodox Churches to take into consideration, as well.  FWIW when I was trying to make this determination several years ago, it was the fact that despite the differences on the 4th Council and the 1000 years separating Oriental Churches in India from the Eastern Churches in Russia and Greece the ecclesiology looked almost exactly the same.  After that it was a question of Chalcedonian or non.

The closest OCA Church is about 30-40 minutes from me, and is quite small.

Sounds perfect.. Many people here drive 30 to 40 minutes. Sundays the roads are clear.

The OCA is a very good choice for converts.

Small is better sometimes. I also belong to a small mission Church. It's usually "all hands on deck".. so soon enough you will be baking prosporha, cleaning the Church on your hands and knees and greeting newbies like you own the place.

Go forth and conquer.

I will agree with Marc here.  When I lived in TN my parish was about 45 minutes away (also an Antiochian, but much more respectful than the one you described).  I currently attend a small OCA parish myself, it's about 20 minutes away.  (Pawtucket apparently also has a Greek parish in town, have you checked that one out yet?)
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« Reply #58 on: April 28, 2011, 03:46:13 PM »

What i'm saying is this; Orthodoxy was being lead by Roman Primacy for many years - then all the sudden it is gone
Not exactly. Primacy had been shifting over from Rome to Constantinople (New Rome) for several centuries prior to the Schism, a natural result of the collapse of the West and the growth of the new Christian capital city. Also, it wasn't as if Orthodox in Antioch, Jerusalem or Alexandria thought that the Pope was the primate of their churches-- he wasn't, just as a German recognizes his Prime Minister as the leader of his country and not the president of the EU.

Quote
The filioque shouldn't have been added,as the Creed had been defined by two ecumenical councils; clerical celibacy was never the norm for the Church outside of the Roman diocese

This right here is pretty solid evidence in favor of the Orthodox. First off, Christ himself says that celibacy is a choice and not mandatory in the Gospels - end of story, because no man overrules Christ's own words in the scripture. Secondly, I strongly agree that the Nicean Creed was perfect because the Holy Spirit inspired it. Changing it is clearly an error of the West.
You should also look into Papal Infallibility. That's critical to understanding the modern Papacy.

The Ecumenical Councils weren't about reaffirming a "new" doctrine, but about ones that already existed. From my understanding, the Church would defend the position that it had in response to a heresy or conflict within the Church.
That's a key phrase. WITHIN THE CHURCH. The Roman Church does not fall into that category. You talk about how confused most Christians would have been, but they probably weren't affected much at all. They still had their primates, all that changed was some far off bishop in the West broke off from the Church. Imagine if someone told you the presiding authority of the western territory's coca cola bottling plants split off and created his own cola company. Does it affect your coca cola in the eastern territory? Does it suddenly taste different?

And the Council of Trent was called to address Protestantism, not the Great Schism. However, I can see that this answer is not satisfactory, so I hope this will help: The EO have held several councils after the 7 Official Ecumenical councils that EO consider authoritative. This video may be of interest to you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZFIrB8Jz1o

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« Reply #59 on: April 28, 2011, 04:12:38 PM »

Thanks Nicholas, i'm aware of his videos, and they're quite good. Although I cam across a comment David had made in that video you posted...

Quote
"Do you take the Eucharist from a spoon? Then you have been condemned by the Sixth Ecumenical Council! Have you ever attended a play? Then you have been condemned by the Fifth Ecumenical Council! Of course this is nonsense -- these canons are no longer in the same force as contexts have changed -- the Church has adapted."

Can someone tell me what he is talking about? Where in those Ecumenical councils does it condemn these things?
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« Reply #60 on: April 28, 2011, 04:15:50 PM »

Christ is risen!
Pagans, Zoroastrians, Muslims-none are ever used to excuse schism from a Mother Church. Only in the case of ROCOR is persecusion taken as a green light to act as a free agent.
The Patriarchs of Constantinople, Jerusalem, Serbia, etc. recognized and supported the actions of ROCOR’s hierarchs while the Church in Russia was under Soviet subjugation.  The circumstances were certainly unusual and very unfortunate, but ROCOR was blessed with a number of truly holy hierarchs to lead its fledgling flock during this very difficult period.  Your attitude towards ROCOR does not reflect the view of the rest of the Church on the matter, particularly in the early decades after the Revolution
nor does yours after the early decades (really, decade).  The very fact of a Church by definition existing outside of its canonical territory conflicted with the ueber-jurisdiction self-definition that Constantinople adopted around the same time (and the rest of the Greek Church, including Jerusalem, thereafter), as shown by the formation of its Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe and its coopting of Russian clergy from the nascent ROCOR.

The circumstances were very unfortunate, but not unusual at all: Rome, Constantinople, Alexanrdria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Georgia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Albania, Poland and the Czech Lands and Slovakia all had passed through (or still remain(ed) in) similar circumstances. Serbia would pass under nearly exact circumstances, and they (the ones you were in communion with) did not recognize their version of ROCOR until their  own act of canonical communion in the 90's).

I'm interested in the attitude of Alexandria and Antioch towards the non-Chalcedonians reflected in the views of the rest of the Church on the matter, particularly in last two decades.

Do you consider it false or slander that St. Cyril affirmed the two Natures of Christ as Chalcedon affirmed, and that the Non-Chalcedonians reject St. Cyril’s teaching to this effect, as presented in his epistle to John of Antioch?
http://www.monachos.net/content/patristics/patristictexts/136-cyril-of-alexandria-epistle-to-john-of-antioch-regarding-peace
I consider is false and slander, as did Pope Dioscoros and the synod he held at Ephesus, that Pope St. Cyril's "Twelve Chapters" as Ephesus "proclaimed and confirmed" then, "are contrary to the true faith," and that…..
You didn’t answer my question.  Cyril’s “two natures” teaching was a clarification, and not a denial, of the “Twelve Chapters”.
 
Yes, I did answer your question. Pope Dioscoros and his synod at Ephesus were right in explicitely taking the Twelve Chapters as the standard of Orthodoxy, and the Fathers at Chalcedon were negligent and the rest of us tardy in not doing so explicitely until Constantinople II.

Can you provide quotes of Pope Dioscoros teaching commingling, mixture or confusion? Pat. Severus?  As St. John unfortunately could not
.
I do not have these writings.
The writings of Pope Dioscoros, Pat. Severus, etc. are easy enough to obtain.  Them saying "commingling, mixture or confusion of the natures," that's a different story, as are most non-existent things.

That St. John did not quote them does not mean that he could not provide such quotes
No, he could not provide such quotes.
he just did not provide these quotes, perhaps not thinking it necessary to give examples to prove what was already understood and accepted by the Orthodox Church.
Although it is hard to argue with or from silence, I'll say it was because no such quotes existed, except for those put in there mouths. As I pointed out, his claim that monophysitism/Eutychianism originated in Egypt, despite being so understood and accepted by him, is simply 100% factually in error. It is not even, given the embrace of Pope St. Cyrils writings, open to interpretation.

, nor did he recognize that Pope Dioscoros and Pat. Severus anathematized Eutyches' teaching, and that the Chalcedonians had to catch up to the non-Chalcedonians in condemning Diodorus, Theodoros of Mopsuestia, the anti-Cyril writing of Theodoret, and the Letter to Maris attributed to Ibas.
It does not matter that the Orthodox Church condemned these writings after the Non-Chalcedonians.
that the heart of the Non-Chalcedonians objections to Chalcedon lay in its failure to condemn the Three Chapters, it matters a great deal.

Unfortunately the Fathers at Chalcedon introduced ambuiguity, laid aside clarity, and allowed error by failing to condemn the Three Chapters as Pope Dioscoros did at his synod at Ephesus and the non-Chalcedonians did ever since, something the Fathers at the Fifth Ecumenical Council joined them in Constantinople II.
They did not introduce ambiguity by failing to condemn the Three Chapters earlier,
That they rehabilitated at Chalcedon authors whose writings reaked of Nestorianism already condemned, yeah, it created confusion.

though the failure to condemn the Three Chapters earlier seemed to result in enough ambiguity to warrant condemnation at the Fifth Ecumenical Council.  If you are saying, then, that the Fourth and Fifth Ecumenical Councils are equally acceptable to Non-Chalcedonians, however, then the Sixth and Seventh Councils can be embraced by them as well.  Why would they not do so if we supposedly share the same faith?
Why don't you ask them? Do you object to them speaking for themselves?

And when the Vatican tells you to recognize its supreme pontiff as preeminent primate of the Orthdox Church as at the Seven Ecumenical Councils, what say you?
This is a different matter entirely.[/quote]
LOL. You'd like to think so.
If the Non-Chalcedonians and the Orthodox claim to have the same faith with different terminology (as you assert), then the Non-Chalcedonians can accept the Seven Ecumenical Councils without a problem, something they refuse to do.  The Orthodox do not claim to have the same faith as the Roman Catholics, so the Roman Catholic Church would have to lay aside its many heresies before such a union with the Orthodox could take place.
 
Quote
Wonderful Leo

Through the Council of Chalcedon He Pulled the East Back in Line

By Rev. Ray Ryland

,,,,So go the efforts of anti-papal apologists. They can never explain away the hard fact that from the first century onward the popes exercised universal jurisdiction over the kingdom whose keys Jesus Christ had entrusted to St. Peter and all his successors.
http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/1999/9902fea2.asp

With the Non-Chalcedonians, it is claimed that only the Christological formula of Chalcedon stands in the way of a reunion.  If this indeed is a matter of mere confusion, misunderstanding, and terminological differences, then the way to union is very easy.  With the Roman Catholics, there is a great deal more that would have to be dealt with than simply “Papal Primacy”.  
And the Vatican parted company from us only have as long as we have been seperated from the Non-Chalcedonian Orthodox.
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« Reply #61 on: April 28, 2011, 04:18:34 PM »

Thanks Nicholas, i'm aware of his videos, and they're quite good. Although I cam across a comment David had made in that video you posted...

Quote
"Do you take the Eucharist from a spoon? Then you have been condemned by the Sixth Ecumenical Council! Have you ever attended a play? Then you have been condemned by the Fifth Ecumenical Council! Of course this is nonsense -- these canons are no longer in the same force as contexts have changed -- the Church has adapted."

Can someone tell me what he is talking about? Where in those Ecumenical councils does it condemn these things?
I'm not sure. His point is that Orthodoxy addresses the problems of the day, and the problems of the day aren't always the problems of tomorrow.

In those days, a "play" could be a pagan rite, involve pagan sacrifices, or a young lady producing doves from her... well... let's just say that they were quite obscene and pornographic. So to attend a play would be like us today attending a strip club or MDMA-filled rave. St. John Chrysostom also condemns the use of makeup, which was in vogue among the rich and among infant-murdering prostitutes.

Regarding the Eucharist, there was some sort of abuse in how the Eucharist was being received that merited a stricter regulation that was unnecessary in later times.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2011, 04:21:13 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

Quote from: Orthonorm
if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

"You are philosophical innovators. As for me, I follow the Fathers." -Every heresiarch ever
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« Reply #62 on: April 28, 2011, 04:27:28 PM »

Christ is risen!
What i'm saying is this; Orthodoxy was being lead by Roman Primacy for many years - then all the sudden it is gone
Not exactly. Primacy had been shifting over from Rome to Constantinople (New Rome) for several centuries prior to the Schism, a natural result of the collapse of the West and the growth of the new Christian capital city. Also, it wasn't as if Orthodox in Antioch, Jerusalem or Alexandria thought that the Pope was the primate of their churches-- he wasn't, just as a German recognizes his Prime Minister as the leader of his country and not the president of the EU.
Nor was Orthodoxy being led by Roman Primacy. During the Council of Nicea I, Abp. St. Sylvester of Rome was a cipher, wheras Pope St. Athanasius of Alexandria led the Orthodox charge.  Rome played no role in settled the Creed at Constantinople, which was led by SS. Meletius, Gregory Nazianzus, Flavian, Nektarius-in fact it was the Ecumenical Council attemded by the most glorified saints-who were not in communion with Rome at the time.  Pope St. Cyril led the charge against Nestorius. Pope Vigilius tried to obstruct the condemnation of the Three Chapters by the Fifth Ecumenical Council.  Pat. Sophronius held the only Orthodox Patriachate in the height of Monotheletism, when even Rome succumbed.

As Rome's interference in the Meletian schism in Antioch shows, it had no standing over the other patriarchs authority in their own patriarchates.

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« Reply #63 on: April 28, 2011, 05:39:30 PM »

Quote
No need. There was no "new" doctrine to affirm.

The Ecumenical Councils weren't about reaffirming a "new" doctrine, but about ones that already existed. From my understanding, the Church would defend the position that it had in response to a heresy or conflict within the Church...It seems bizarre that the remaining 4 Patriarchates wouldn't have convened to rally the Church after such a massive split. If the Church splits, this is a very serious issue for multiple reasons. Not only should both sides be fearful of the Judgment of God for this terrible occurrence, but the Church is going to suffer in result. So why wouldn't the Orthodox Church rally and reaffirm the position of the Catholic Church for the Christians across the globe?
The Church didn't split. Or divorce. The One True Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, the Body of Christ, remains. What happened was that, to reduce it to its simplest terms, people made up some new teachings and said that everyone had to follow them. Other people said thanks very much, but that they would continue to follow the historic praxis and teachings of the Church. The first group then left, saying it was the Church, and not those other guys. However, the Church remained the Church, intact. The others who added new doctrines and practices and who left the Church were...well, if not heretics, at least, not the Church.

Quote
You have the Western Church saying it holds the true Tradition and Apostolic Succession, and the East saying the same thing.
Two questions:
Who changed the doctrine of the Church, the Nicene Creed, unilaterally?
Who left whom?

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« Reply #64 on: April 28, 2011, 05:46:43 PM »

Quote
So go the efforts of anti-papal apologists. They can never explain away the hard fact that from the first century onward the popes exercised universal jurisdiction over the kingdom whose keys Jesus Christ had entrusted to St. Peter and all his successors.

Here's a quote from the link you posted ialmisry. Quite the statement, but do they have the evidence to support it? Roman Catholics do claim they can trace the succession of each Pope all the way back to Peter. I'd like to see if this is true.
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« Reply #65 on: April 28, 2011, 06:16:33 PM »

Quote
So go the efforts of anti-papal apologists. They can never explain away the hard fact that from the first century onward the popes exercised universal jurisdiction over the kingdom whose keys Jesus Christ had entrusted to St. Peter and all his successors.

Here's a quote from the link you posted ialmisry. Quite the statement, but do they have the evidence to support it? Roman Catholics do claim they can trace the succession of each Pope all the way back to Peter. I'd like to see if this is true.

LOL

I don't think that one was intended for you, but for ialmisry's little side debate with jah777 regarding the difference between accepting the OO into communion with EO and the particularly sticky history of jah777's own jurisdiction, which reunited with it's Mother Church (Moscow) in 2007 after being separated since the Russian Revolution of 1917.

FWIW St Peter doesn't pop up in the list of Roman popes until St Jerome.  St Irenaeus lists St Linus as the first bishop of Rome, appointed by Sts Paul and Peter, the Apostolic Constitutions list Linus as being appointed by St Paul and St Clement being appointed after Linus and Anicletus.  Eusebius seems to follow St Irenaeus' list for the most part.

Of course, this still means that the Bishop of Rome, were he still in the succession in the Orthodox view (which states that one can only have Apostolic succession if one keeps the Orthodox faith), would still have an Apostolic succession from Sts Peter and Paul, just as Sts Timothy and Titus succeed St Paul (Ephesus and Crete, respectively, though Ephesus also has succession from St John).  In the Orthodox view there is not just one bishop who can trace his succession back to St Peter, and the Patriarchs of Antioch, Alexandria, and Jerusalem can all do so.
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« Reply #66 on: April 28, 2011, 06:36:44 PM »

http://www.stuardtclarkesrome.com/pontiffs.html

Well here's the list of Popes with complete and perfect dates of succession. So how can this be disputed?
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« Reply #67 on: April 28, 2011, 06:42:00 PM »

http://www.stuardtclarkesrome.com/pontiffs.html

Well here's the list of Popes with complete and perfect dates of succession. So how can this be disputed?
Nobody's disputing it. You can do the same thing with Antioch, too:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Patriarchs_of_Antioch

The issue isn't succession from Peter. The issue is whether or not the apostles Peter and Paul were actually considered Bishops in the communities they founded in the Pentarchy.

It appears that they technically weren't, but rather appointed the first bishops. Thus St. Peter wasn't the first Bishop of Rome, he and Paul appointed the first.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2011, 06:46:47 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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« Reply #68 on: April 28, 2011, 08:01:00 PM »

Christ is risen!
http://www.stuardtclarkesrome.com/pontiffs.html

Well here's the list of Popes with complete and perfect dates of succession. So how can this be disputed?
Actually, no.  The list is doctored.  There are several "antipopes" who were so designated only after the fact, and struck from the list, Around the time of the Cadaver Synod, there is a succession of popes who anathematized and nullified the acts of their predecessors, making it very difficult to harmonize a succession for the period. A couple centuries earlier, Pope Discoros was canonically elected to succeed Pope Felix IV, but P. Felix had uncanonically designated Pope Boniface II to succeed him.  Pope Boniface nullified anathematized the election of Pope Dioscoros once he died, and issued an "Apostolic constituion" naming Pope Vigilius his successor, but he was forced to nullify it, and when Pope Agapetus succeeded his successor, he burnt and nullified Pope Boniface anathema against Pope Dioscoros.  Pope Vigilius later succeeded anyways. Then there are problems like Pope Stephen II who was elected Pope but died without being consecrated bishop, and the even bigger problem of Pope Adrian V, who was elected pope and abolished the rules for electing a pope but died before getting consecrated a bishop and issuing new rules.  There is Pope Sylvester III, whom some consider an antipope (the Vatican, characteristically, refusing to issue an official list) having been excommunicated by his predecessor and successor, Pope Benedict IX, the one who sent Card. Umbert to excommunicate the EP for omitting Rome from the diptychs and refusing the filioque. Pope John XXIII was in limbo for centuries until Pope John XXIII of 1958 took his name and so made his predecessor anti-pope.  There's more problems, but you get the idea.

We have several derailed threads on the lack of smooth succession of the supreme pontificate of the Vatican.
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« Reply #69 on: April 28, 2011, 08:12:55 PM »

It's strange to me why Catholics have these Doctrines of Papal Supremacy. The Vatican II and Novus Ordo seem to have completely changed the faith - this seems to be a dead give away of the danger of their Infallibility doctrine.

In fact, this reminds of the logic of protestants use to determine if someone is "saved". So the Pope is infallible, but if he turns out to be an evil anti-christ, he never was truly a Pope and the "infallibility" goes out the window. Very bizarre. 
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« Reply #70 on: April 28, 2011, 08:14:03 PM »

http://www.stuardtclarkesrome.com/pontiffs.html

Well here's the list of Popes with complete and perfect dates of succession. So how can this be disputed?
Nobody's disputing it. You can do the same thing with Antioch, too:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Patriarchs_of_Antioch

The issue isn't succession from Peter. The issue is whether or not the apostles Peter and Paul were actually considered Bishops in the communities they founded in the Pentarchy.

It appears that they technically weren't, but rather appointed the first bishops. Thus St. Peter wasn't the first Bishop of Rome, he and Paul appointed the first.
There is the problem that Linus, the first bishop of Rome, now called the first (or rather, second) pope, may have predeceased St. Peter.
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« Reply #71 on: April 28, 2011, 08:23:03 PM »

Christ is risen!
Quote
So go the efforts of anti-papal apologists. They can never explain away the hard fact that from the first century onward the popes exercised universal jurisdiction over the kingdom whose keys Jesus Christ had entrusted to St. Peter and all his successors.

Here's a quote from the link you posted ialmisry. Quite the statement, but do they have the evidence to support it? Roman Catholics do claim they can trace the succession of each Pope all the way back to Peter. I'd like to see if this is true.
I'm afraid that Fr. Ryland is, well, an ignoramus, making statements like this that withstand no scrutiny.  Case in point on Chalcedon, which is what he was talking about (and FormerReformer is right, I was answering Jah in his folly). The record shows that Pope St. Leo wanted the Council to be held in Italy presided by him.  Such did not happen.  Pope St. Leo wanted his condemnation of Pope Dioscoros to be rubber stamped.  Such did not happen, and at first Pope Dioscoros was even seated as a delegate. Pope St. Leo wanted the Ecumenical Council to accept his Tome as its definition.  Not only did not this happen, but the Council set up a commission of 200 bishops to examin the Tome for its Orthodoxy, and though they found it Orthodox, they issued their own definition.  Pope Leo claimed to annull canon 28.  He latter had to admit that even his own suffragans ignored his nullification and followed canon 28.
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« Reply #72 on: April 28, 2011, 08:25:05 PM »

http://www.stuardtclarkesrome.com/pontiffs.html

Well here's the list of Popes with complete and perfect dates of succession. So how can this be disputed?
Nobody's disputing it. You can do the same thing with Antioch, too:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Patriarchs_of_Antioch

The issue isn't succession from Peter. The issue is whether or not the apostles Peter and Paul were actually considered Bishops in the communities they founded in the Pentarchy.

It appears that they technically weren't, but rather appointed the first bishops. Thus St. Peter wasn't the first Bishop of Rome, he and Paul appointed the first.
There is the problem that Linus, the first bishop of Rome, now called the first (or rather, second) pope, may have predeceased St. Peter.
Interesting. Rome loves to point out the supposed "rivalries" in Jerusalem, Antioch and Alexandria, but doesn't like to look at its own historical multiplicity of patriarchs in the Papacy and in those same cities.
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« Reply #73 on: April 28, 2011, 08:26:10 PM »

It's strange to me why Catholics have these Doctrines of Papal Supremacy. The Vatican II and Novus Ordo seem to have completely changed the faith - this seems to be a dead give away of the danger of their Infallibility doctrine.

In fact, this reminds of the logic of protestants use to determine if someone is "saved". So the Pope is infallible, but if he turns out to be an evil anti-christ, he never was truly a Pope and the "infallibility" goes out the window. Very bizarre.  
No TRUE pope can be a heretic Wink

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« Reply #74 on: April 28, 2011, 09:03:22 PM »

Christ is risen!

My $0.02, and I think someone else has already mentioned this, avoid the polemics. Look at Orthodoxy without pitting it against other traditions. Just take Orthodoxy for Orthodoxy. And when you look at Roman Catholicism, do the same and then ask the questions. The polemics at this time won't do you any good. You are in my prayers.

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #75 on: April 28, 2011, 09:23:38 PM »

Christ is risen!

My $0.02, and I think someone else has already mentioned this, avoid the polemics. Look at Orthodoxy without pitting it against other traditions. Just take Orthodoxy for Orthodoxy. And when you look at Roman Catholicism, do the same and then ask the questions. The polemics at this time won't do you any good. You are in my prayers.

In Christ,
Andrew
But then people won't be able to argue about the same topics over and over again.

(Sorry Andrew, I quite agree with you. I'm just being very cheeky tonight.)
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« Reply #76 on: April 28, 2011, 10:00:33 PM »

But then people won't be able to argue about the same topics over and over again.

What's your take on pews?   Grin

Steel*Faith, I really do understand your perspective on this, but I think that Salpy and others have provided wonderful advice.  If you are looking for a 100%, closed case determination, I don't think you will find it.  It doesn't mean you shouldn't continue investigating this, but I think other factors are tremendously important and should be considered.  View the true practitioners of each faith today.  Who inspires you?  Who do you consider wise, learned, and having that indescribable calm passion?  What theology and worship resonates with you the most? 

I'm not implying that it's all about 'feelings', your personal take, or that you have neglected these other considerations.  You've already stated that you believe the RCC erred in changing the Creed and adding the Filioque, which in itself indicates significant holes in your belief of their doctrine, including infallibility. 

I'm also with FormerReformer, in conducting my search (including Patristics, writings of Elders, etc.), the choice narrowed itself quickly to within Orthodoxy.

Best wishes that you find what you are searching for!
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« Reply #77 on: April 28, 2011, 10:49:55 PM »

Thank you Shlomlokh, your prayers are greatly appreciated!

Some things I been pondering about....

Quote
The Orthodox Church does not endorse the view that the teachings of Christ have changed from time to time; rather that Christianity has remained unaltered from the moment that the Lord delivered the Faith to the Apostles (Matt. 28: 18-20). She affirms that "the faith once delivered to the saints" (Jude 3) is now what it was in the beginning. Orthodox of the twentieth century believe precisely what was believed by Orthodox of the first, the fifth, the tenth, the fifteenth centuries.

I tend to agree with the Orthodox view to an extent. Although, If you look at the entire history and development of God's plan for human kind, it has continually developed and changed ever since Adam and Eve. For instance, when you compare the faith, worship, and practices of Old Covenant Jews to Messianic spiritual Jews (aka Christians) of the New Testament, you can see many similarities, but also some big differences as well. Compare the life and teachings of Christ to the Old Testament, and you can see some obvious changes (not contradictions).

Quote
Following the philosophical spirit of the time (and the lead of Cardinal Henry Newman), Roman Catholic theologians began to define and teach the idea that Christ only gave us an "original deposit" of faith, a "seed," which grew and matured through the centuries. The Holy Spirit, they said, amplified the Christian Faith as the Church moved into new circumstances and acquired other needs.

So when you look at the complete picture from the beginning of creation, up to now - it makes sense that God has been cultivating a seed that was planted ever since he created us. Anyone who reads the Bible can see that the shift from Old to New Testament has it's major differences though. The Bible and truth itself was revealed over a period of time, and not all at once either. I'm not endorsing any particular Roman Catholic doctrines necessarily - as I don't know if the "Immaculate Conception", "Papal Infallibility", "Transubstantiation" (ect) are true or not?

The other thing I been thinking about for quite awhile now actually, is the Novus Ordo and the changes of Vatican II Council. Right now there seems to be a division of traditionalist Catholics growing and turning against the Novus Ordo Liberal Catholics. The Novus Ordo is clearly a heresy, so why do the Traditionalist Catholics still hold to the view of Papal Infallibility?

In regards to infallibility though, do the Orthodox apply this doctrine in any way? For instance, the writers of the scripture were protected by infallibility in their writings; same goes for Ecumenical Councils. So why couldn't this apply to the "Vicar" of Christ?

Quote
I'm not implying that it's all about 'feelings', your personal take, or that you have neglected these other considerations.  You've already stated that you believe the RCC erred in changing the Creed and adding the Filioque, which in itself indicates significant holes in your belief of their doctrine, including infallibility.  

True, but i'm cautious of myself because my own ignorance and understanding is deceiving (Lord help me). When I was a Muslim and Protestant, I thought I "knew" the truth but I was wrong. so I know that just because I see something a certain way, doesn't mean i'm grievously in error. Which is why i'm seeking to be held accountable by the authority of the Church, because the Holy Spirit works through His church and clergy.

I was reading the book "Jesus of Nazareth" by Pope Benedict XVI yesterday; I was surprised at his level of scholarship and insight. I thought to myself that if Christians had a leader, inspired by the Holy Spirit, to teach them, guide them, and help to protect them from error and sin, it would be an amazingly wonderful gift. Do the Orthodox have anyone they can turn to like this? Besides their local priest, who do the Orthodox turn to for higher guidance, learning, and theology?

I know that Satan has a tremendous insight into scripture, history, and the workings of the universe - so scholarship and knowledge alone don't sway me. I frequently ask the Holy Spirit himself to teach me, and he has, but I know he is trying to teach me to submit myself to Church authority to receive what i'm looking for right now. Protestantism has damaged me severely, so I need to relearn and humble myself greatly to regenerate.
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« Reply #78 on: April 28, 2011, 11:22:47 PM »

So when you look at the complete picture from the beginning of creation, up to now - it makes sense that God has been cultivating a seed that was planted ever since he created us. Anyone who reads the bible though can see that the shift from Old to New Testament has it's major differences though.
It does make sense, especially in the Old v New Testament context, but it also seems to require minimizing Christ's presence and message as full and true.  I think it's somewhat strange (and somewhat arrogant of the RCC) to assume that the current RCC has a better understanding of the faith than say, St. Ignatius of Antioch or St. Polycarp of Smyrna.  After all, they were only disciples of St. John the Theologian, what would they know?  

Again, I personally believe that this claim to be refining and better cultivating the "seed of faith" is an attempt to justify a faith that has taken significant steps away from the initial Apostolic Christianity.

The Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church (primarily before Rome split off), on the other hand, limited most of their definitions of faith/doctrine to further clarifying points.  The Trinity is a perfect example of this, as it was not a term that was used amongst the earliest of Christians, but it is not an understanding that would have proved contradictory.

Quote
The other thing I been thinking about for quite awhile now actually, is the Novus Ordo and the changes of Vatican II Council. Right now there seems to be a division of traditionalist Catholics growing and turning against the Novus Ordo Liberal Catholics. The Novus Ordo is clearly a heresy, so why do the Traditionalist Catholics still hold to the view of Papal Infallibility?

Stubbornness?  I strongly believe that VC-I put the RCC in an extraordinarily difficult position on matters such as these.

Quote
In regards to infallibility though, do the Orthodox apply this doctrine in any way? For instance, the writers of the scripture were protected by infallible in their writings; same goes for Ecumenical Councils. So why couldn't this apply to the "Vicar" of Christ?

My understanding of the Orthodox position isn't that infallibility couldn't apply to a "Vicar" of Christ, but rather that it didn't and doesn't.
Of course, this is a massive debate in itself, but for me, the fact that all of these various presbyters and bishops throughout the world were formulating theology, leading and participating in councils from the beginning of Christianity invalidates the claim that this current understanding of the RCC view is an ancient one.  Had that been the case from the beginning, wouldn't they have just asked Il Pope and waited patiently for his infallible proclamations on matters of faith.

I suppose this was another imperfection of Christ's Church that had to be improved upon by the RCC.

...I'm cautious of myself because my own ignorance and understanding is deceiving (Lord help me). When I was a Muslim and Protestant, I thought I "knew" the truth but I was wrong. so I know that just because I see something a certain way, doesn't mean i'm grievously in error. Which is why i'm seeking to be held accountable by the authority of the Church, because the Holy Spirit works through His church and clergy.
Perfectly understandable, and what I realized needed to be done as well.  

Quote
I was reading the book "Jesus of Nazareth" by Pope Benedict XVI yesterday; I was surprised at his level of scholarship and insight. I thought to myself that if Christians had a leader, inspired by the Holy Spirit, to teach them, guide them, and help to protect them from error and sin, it would be an amazingly wonderful gift. Do the Orthodox have anyone they can turn to like this? Besides their local priest, who do the Orthodox turn to for higher guidance, learning, and theology?

I'm a bit puzzled by this.  Just because we Orthodox don't have a supreme, uber, magesterium of awesomeness, doesn't mean that we don't have extraordinarily talented, insightful people who write books or provide guidance.  Yes, Orthodox turn to their local priests for much guidance and explanation, but there are countless numbers of authors, theologians, elders, etc. who we turn to and who we believe are very clearly guided by the Holy Spirit.  

In terms of theology, I do think Orthodox tend to look further back, i.e. read early Patristic writings, to explain the faith, but there are current people who have done a wonderful job of further explaining or contextualizing those writings for us.

I don't deny that the papacy has been remarkable in leading and unifying the RCC, but that doesn't mean I believe it's the correct model to follow or that they've done so as part of the true Church.  Hyper-Centralized organization certainly has its benefits, but when it is not natural to the God created institution, I don't support it.

Quote
I know that Satan has a tremendous insight into scripture, history, and the workings of the universe - so scholarship and knowledge alone don't sway me. I frequently ask the Holy Spirit himself to teach me, and he has, but I know he is trying to teach me to submit myself to Church authority to receive what i'm looking for right now. Protestantism has damaged me severely, so I need to relearn and humble myself greatly to regenerate.

Again, I hope you are able to receive what you are looking for.
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« Reply #79 on: April 28, 2011, 11:57:32 PM »

Quote
but there are countless numbers of authors, theologians, elders, etc. who we turn to and who we believe are very clearly guided by the Holy Spirit.

Thanks for your reply Cognomen! Would you be able to tell me any modern day Saints, Theologians, and Church leaders I could learn about and study their teachings?

I just read that the RCC doesn't give wine with the Eucharist. This was something I never even realized, and just assumed that they did. This is a really serious issue to me, and I can't believe that in the New Testament anyone can clearly read that we ALL must receive both the bread and the wine. This might seem like a small issue, but that is pretty much the nail in the coffin for the RCC in my book.
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« Reply #80 on: April 28, 2011, 11:58:59 PM »

This might seem like a small issue, but that is pretty much the nail in the coffin for the RCC in my book.

I don't believe it is small.
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« Reply #81 on: April 28, 2011, 11:59:42 PM »


I just read that the RCC doesn't give wine with the Eucharist. This was something I never even realized, and just assumed that it did. This is a really serious issue to me, and I can't believe that in the New Testament anyone can clearly read that we ALL must receive both the bread and the wine. This might seem like a small issue, but that is pretty much the nail in the coffin for the RCC in my book.
Mmm...do you mean at the same time? There are separate lines for both the bread and the wine, but in my church, it was implicitly discouraged for younger children to partake in the wine.

(And I'm talking RCC here, not Orthodox.)
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« Reply #82 on: April 29, 2011, 12:12:35 AM »

Quote
but there are countless numbers of authors, theologians, elders, etc. who we turn to and who we believe are very clearly guided by the Holy Spirit.

Thanks for your reply Cognomen! Would you be able to tell me any modern day Saints, Theologians, and Church leaders I could learn about and study their teachings?

I've never read him myself, but I have heard many people say they find the writings of Fr. Seraphim Rose inspiring.  Maybe someone can recommend one of his books.
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« Reply #83 on: April 29, 2011, 12:12:47 AM »

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However, we further believe that if one receives the Eucharist in only one form (under the appearance of bread or wine) as in some Catholic parishes, he has received both the body and the blood of the Lord.

That was a reply from the Catholic forum, but these following quotations are the damning evidence.

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Although Christ instituted this venerable sacrament after a meal and ministered it to his apostles under the forms of both bread and wine, nevertheless and notwithstanding this, the praiseworthy authority of the sacred canons and the approved custom of the church have and do retain that this sacrament ought not to be celebrated after a meal nor received by the faithful without fasting…although this sacrament was received by the faithful under both kinds in the early church, nevertheless later it was received under both kinds only by those confecting it, and by the laity only under the form of bread…it should be held as a law which nobody may repudiate or alter at will without the church's permission (Council of Constance, Session 13).

Quote
If any one saith, that, by the precept of God, or, by necessity of salvation, all and each of the faithful of Christ ought to receive both species of the most holy sacrament not consecrating; let him be anathema (Council of Trent, Session 21, Canon 1).

RCC is insane.....

"And taking the chalice, he gave thanks, and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this. For this is my blood of the New Testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymz3b6Lq3n8&feature=related

Would anyone be able to tell me what this prayer is? I listen to this often in meditation, but i'd like to know the meaning of the words.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUF4i4WvaZ4&feature=channel_video_title

I'm also praying I will find out what Monastery Choir this is. I've contacted the user who uploaded the video, but haven't received a reply. Orthodox hymns and music is the most beautiful I've ever heard, and is divine for sure.

Lord have mercy on us and save us from dominion of the evil one.
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« Reply #84 on: April 29, 2011, 12:52:06 AM »

I tend to agree with the Orthodox view to an extent. Although, If you look at the entire history and development of God's plan for human kind, it has continually developed and changed ever since Adam and Eve. For instance, when you compare the faith, worship, and practices of Old Covenant Jews to Messianic spiritual Jews (aka Christians) of the New Testament, you can see many similarities, but also some big differences as well. Compare the life and teachings of Christ to the Old Testament, and you can see some obvious changes (not contradictions).
As another mentioned, this is true; however, the fullness of the faith and the final, perfect revelation of who God is to mankind came in Christ. That doesn't mean that there is no more *prophecy*, but there is no new prophecy that reveals who God is. God became man, that is what we truly need.

So Anno Domini really does follow different rules. The Prototype has come, and all types revealed.
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« Reply #85 on: April 29, 2011, 12:53:52 AM »

Quote
but there are countless numbers of authors, theologians, elders, etc. who we turn to and who we believe are very clearly guided by the Holy Spirit.

Thanks for your reply Cognomen! Would you be able to tell me any modern day Saints, Theologians, and Church leaders I could learn about and study their teachings?

Certainly, and I would be glad to, although there are many on here who are far more qualified to do so.

I'm not entirely sure what sort of works would benefit you, but I've personally found St. Justin Popovich to be very helpful.  He's one of those rare thinkers who, in my opinion, is able to combine somewhat complex intellectual/philosophical thought without obfuscating meaningful insight.  Man and the God-Man and The Struggle for Faith (the latter also including writings of St. Nikolai Velimirovich) are excellent collections of his work.

I'm assuming you've read some works of Met. Kallistos (Timothy) Ware, including his Orthodox Church and Orthodox Way.  The Way, in particular provides a concise overview of what Orthodox Christianity is.  

I believe, for very accessible and practical teachings, Fr. Alexander Shmemann's works are excellent.  He crafts his teachings within the context of current life, and does a good job of explaining why Christ's Way is still relevant to us.

For deeply profound, yet very "stream of conscious" style insight, Elder Cleopa of Romania's The Truth of Our Faith set of interviews is remarkable.  For as humble and flowing as his responses are, it is genuinely amazing how frequently he references scripture or the Holy Fathers without clumsiness or artificial formulations.  

Of course, many of these modern teachers, theologians, and ascetics will claim that they are not presenting new teachings, but rather showing their understanding of an already established and explained faith.  Again, most will frequently cite Scripture, Fathers, and Saints, but do so in a way that is not solely academic in nature, if that makes sense.

I honestly have not read enough of Fr. Seraphim Rose's work to give a qualified opinion, but I know that he has inspired many by his explanations and understanding of the faith.  That said, he is not without controversy, and I have received advice that it may be best for inquirers to avoid delving into his works too thoroughly.  I'm not taking sides.

This is just a very small sampling of the works that are out there.  Of course there are now plenty of English translated texts from earlier periods available.  It's certainly not as if the modern have contributed, but they will frequently be drawing on this ancient and Orthodox understanding.

Hope this is of some help and that others correct me or contribute their own recommendations.
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« Reply #86 on: April 29, 2011, 12:55:45 AM »

...The fullness of the faith and the final, perfect revelation of who God is to mankind came in Christ. That doesn't mean that there is no more *prophecy*, but there is no new prophecy that reveals who God is. God became man, that is what we truly need.

So Anno Domini really does follow different rules. The Prototype has come, and all types revealed.

Stated far better than I did. Thank you.
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« Reply #87 on: April 29, 2011, 11:12:22 AM »

True, but i'm cautious of myself because my own ignorance and understanding is deceiving (Lord help me). When I was a Muslim and Protestant, I thought I "knew" the truth but I was wrong. so I know that just because I see something a certain way, doesn't mean i'm grievously in error. Which is why i'm seeking to be held accountable by the authority of the Church, because the Holy Spirit works through His church and clergy.
And this is why, IMHO, the mode of church governance from the Jerusalem Council in Acts til the present, is conciliar. One individual can run off the rails - unilaterally - but it's less likely when there are councils who consider things (not forgetting the "ratification" by the laity, so to speak).

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« Reply #88 on: May 11, 2011, 02:17:21 AM »

Hello everyone. Just giving you all an update; i'm meeting with a Priest from the OCA tomorrow morning. God willing much wisdom and knowledge will be revealed to me.

I wanted to ask a question here though. What is the official Orthodox teaching on the veil for women in prayer? I know in 1 Corinthians it speak s of women wearing a veil in prayer, but i'd like to know what the Saints have said about it over the centuries.

I was speaking a a friend tonight, and his wife got involved with our conversation. She was somewhat confrontational toward me, and said she grew up with an Orthodox mother, and she would make her wear a veil in prayer, and would make her go to confession to a priest before taking the Eucharist. Her Mother sounds like she instructed her daughter well, so i'm not sure what she was so upset about? I even showed her multiple Bible verses that supported these Christian practices clearly.

I'd like to hear all your views on this though.
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« Reply #89 on: May 11, 2011, 04:24:09 AM »



And taking the chalice, he gave thanks, and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this. For this is my blood of the New Testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins."



                                            RCC is insane.....

 

    
           I Have to Agree  Roll Eyes..... Grin
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« Reply #90 on: May 11, 2011, 09:25:17 AM »

What is the official Orthodox teaching on the veil for women in prayer? I know in 1 Corinthians it speak s of women wearing a veil in prayer, but i'd like to know what the Saints have said about it over the centuries.
There is no "official" Orthodox teaching on this. However it is a pious custom and practice for many Orthodox women, especially in some traditionally Orthodox countries. Our priest encourages but does not compel.

Quote
Her Mother sounds like she instructed her daughter well, so i'm not sure what she was so upset about?
Me either, though I'd be willing to guess (just a WAG, mind you) that it has something to do with mother/daughter issues, rather than theological ones.
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« Reply #91 on: May 11, 2011, 05:40:19 PM »

in most churches, you have to wear a veil (as a woman) before taking Holy Communion, and it is recommended during liturgy. some churches have loose lacy veils, others have complete veils that cover head and neck (esp. ethiopian and eritrean churches) and most of us are somewhere in between.
if you are not orthodox, or if you are brought up orthodox but are now unsure, and are not communing, it is certainly not necessary to wear a veil. it's fine for visitors and enquirers not to veil.
i agree with katherine of dixie, presumably there is some culture clash or generation clash with your friend and her mum.
if elders insist on keeping all the small rules and traditions but are bad at the big things (love, forgiveness etc) then it can leave people hating the tradition. i used to think i hated all tradition.
then i found the orthodox church and found the right tradition brings real peace  Smiley
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« Reply #92 on: May 12, 2011, 09:43:12 AM »

in most churches, you have to wear a veil (as a woman) before taking Holy Communion, and it is recommended during liturgy. some churches have loose lacy veils, others have complete veils that cover head and neck (esp. ethiopian and eritrean churches) and most of us are somewhere in between.
if you are not orthodox, or if you are brought up orthodox but are now unsure, and are not communing, it is certainly not necessary to wear a veil. it's fine for visitors and enquirers not to veil.
i agree with katherine of dixie, presumably there is some culture clash or generation clash with your friend and her mum.
if elders insist on keeping all the small rules and traditions but are bad at the big things (love, forgiveness etc) then it can leave people hating the tradition. i used to think i hated all tradition.
then i found the orthodox church and found the right tradition brings real peace  Smiley

When we were visitors and catechumens, I wore a headcovering out of respect, because that seemed to be the prevailing custom in the parish. I don't want to sound weird, but now I do so because the wearing of it seems to help me focus. It's kind of like wearing my cross: I don't wear a cross to show other people I'm Christian - I wear it to remind myself that I'm Christian, and to try to act accordingly.
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