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Author Topic: Seriously considering Orthodoxy.....  (Read 6511 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.
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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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« 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.
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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!
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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.
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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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Pray for the Christians of Iraq and Syria.


« 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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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 #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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