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Author Topic: Worshiping a different Christ/different Trinity (EO vs. RC)?  (Read 7668 times) Average Rating: 0
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Wyatt
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« on: May 30, 2011, 05:05:17 PM »

I have been told at various times on this forum that, since I am a Roman Catholic and presumably outside of the Body of Christ (since the consensus on here is, obviously, that the Orthodox Church is the True Church), that I worship a different Christ and/or a different Holy Trinity than what Orthodox Christians worship. I have several questions regarding this topic:

  • Is this actually the consensus amongst Orthodox Christians that all the non-Orthodox (heterodox) Christians are actually worshiping a false god rather than the One True God simply by having some doctrinal misunderstandings, or is this only the view of the minority that wish to be polemical?
  • If this is the Orthodox view, what is the fate of most of the heterodox if they remain heterodox? Are they more than likely going to hell or is it more likely that God will extend His mercy to them despite their flawed belief?
  • Does the Roman Catholic Church believe that all heterodox Christians are worshiping a different God simply by being outside the True Church?




« Last Edit: May 30, 2011, 05:05:55 PM by Wyatt » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2011, 06:35:32 PM »

Like most things, I doubt that there is a consensus.  I was taught that those who worship Christ incorrectly out of ignorance will be dealt with in God's mercy.  However, those that were exposed to the Truth of Orthodoxy and rejected it will be judged based on their rejection of the Truth.  My own beliefs are similar to the above.
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« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2011, 06:50:52 PM »

Like most things, I doubt that there is a consensus.  I was taught that those who worship Christ incorrectly out of ignorance will be dealt with in God's mercy.  However, those that were exposed to the Truth of Orthodoxy and rejected it will be judged based on their rejection of the Truth.  My own beliefs are similar to the above.

The only truths of Orthodoxy that I reject are those which falsely call the Catholic Church heretical, but I am not sure those accusations even fall under the heading of Truths of Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2011, 07:07:16 PM »

I would have to consider such a "Truth of Orthodoxy" or we would be in communion with the RC (and the Byzantine Catholics by extension).  But I stated that my personal beliefs are "similar" to what I was taught.  The big difference is that I do not believe that heretics, even those that reject Orthodoxy, are always damned.  I believe that God takes into consideration the reason for their rejection as well.  A person who rejects Orthodoxy because of the horrible withness he has seen would be judged far less harshly than one who simply rejects what was given him.  I know that this puts me in opposition to many conservatives, and not a few Church Fathers, but I am prepared to be judged based on that belief.

Like most things, I doubt that there is a consensus.  I was taught that those who worship Christ incorrectly out of ignorance will be dealt with in God's mercy.  However, those that were exposed to the Truth of Orthodoxy and rejected it will be judged based on their rejection of the Truth.  My own beliefs are similar to the above.

The only truths of Orthodoxy that I reject are those which falsely call the Catholic Church heretical, but I am not sure those accusations even fall under the heading of Truths of Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2011, 07:16:45 PM »

I would have to consider such a "Truth of Orthodoxy" or we would be in communion with the RC (and the Byzantine Catholics by extension). 

I am no longer convinced that is true actually.  I expect that is where we differ in the main.
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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2011, 07:24:38 PM »

Like most things, I doubt that there is a consensus.  I was taught that those who worship Christ incorrectly out of ignorance will be dealt with in God's mercy.  However, those that were exposed to the Truth of Orthodoxy and rejected it will be judged based on their rejection of the Truth.  My own beliefs are similar to the above.
Define "exposed." Does that mean anyone who has heard about Orthodoxy in any capacity, or only those who have been catechized in Orthodoxy or even only those who have been received into the Orthodox Church and then later abandon it?
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« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2011, 09:12:10 PM »

This probably includes those who have heard about Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2011, 09:41:38 PM »

I think it would require not just knowing of the existence of Orthodoxy but actually having a firm grasp on what Orthodoxy is about. Let me give you an example. For years I was a Protestant Christian, and for years I knew of the existence of the Roman Catholic Church. Obviously, as a Roman Catholic, I believe that the RCC is the true Church. However, I do not believe that all Protestants who reject it are automatically going to hell. As Punch pointed out, you have to take into consideration the reason why one rejects a certain faith. Obviously when it comes to the Catholic Church, many Protestants will never join it because they have been fed so much misinformation about it and never bother to actually study what the Catholic Church really teaches (rather than what their denomination alleges it teaches). I'm sure the same could be said of the Orthodox Church. There are many who never embrace Orthodoxy because of their misconceptions of the Eastern Orthodox faith. Surely, assuming that the Eastern Orthodox faith is the one true faith, God would be compassionate and merciful to those who do not join it and look at their reasoning behind not joining rather than just judging the action alone.
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« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2011, 09:52:16 PM »

I would say that I agree with Orthodox teaching, except for where they differ from what the Catholic Church teaches.
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« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2011, 09:53:41 PM »

I have been told at various times on this forum that, since I am a Roman Catholic and presumably outside of the Body of Christ (since the consensus on here is, obviously, that the Orthodox Church is the True Church), that I worship a different Christ and/or a different Holy Trinity than what Orthodox Christians worship.

This was a big topic on this forum back a few years ago.
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« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2011, 09:58:06 PM »

I would say that I agree with Orthodox teaching, except for where they differ from what the Catholic Church teaches.
I agree. I feel like, for the most part, my faith and that of the Orthodox are pretty close. The only thing is that those teachings which I would have to reject in order to become an Eastern Orthodox Christian I don't feel like I can give up. I can't make myself renounce something that I feel so strongly about. I do find it fascinating to hear about those people who moved from Catholicism to Orthodoxy, or from Orthodoxy to Catholicism, or even some that moved back and forth a few times.

I have been told at various times on this forum that, since I am a Roman Catholic and presumably outside of the Body of Christ (since the consensus on here is, obviously, that the Orthodox Church is the True Church), that I worship a different Christ and/or a different Holy Trinity than what Orthodox Christians worship.

This was a big topic on this forum back a few years ago.
Maybe that's where I heard it. I knew I thought I remembered someone or perhaps multiple people saying this before on this forum. Perhaps I was perusing old threads one day and saw it there as well.
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« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2011, 10:43:09 PM »

the One True God simply by having some doctrinal misunderstandings

This is how I see it.

Quote
If this is the Orthodox view, what is the fate of most of the heterodox if they remain heterodox? Are they more than likely going to hell or is it more likely that God will extend His mercy to them despite their flawed belief?

Does the Roman Catholic Church believe that all heterodox Christians are worshiping a different God simply by being outside the True Church?

It's like the parable of the talents. We're not judged on what we're given, but what we do with it.





[/quote]
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« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2011, 11:15:23 PM »

How does this thread keep getting a different subject heading?
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« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2011, 11:54:24 PM »

The (Roman) Catholic Church as explicitly affirmed that Protestants are Christians. As regards the Orthodox, it regards their sacraments as valid and allows the Orthodox to participate in them (encouraging them to take the proper cautions as regards the authority of their own communion), so the (Roman) Catholic Church definitely doesn't believe you're worshiping a different God just by being outside of it.

As regards the Orthodox, it would probably depend on how strident the particular Orthodox Christian feels about the Filioque. Many Orthodox are willing to concede that the Spirit proceeds through the Son, and in Aquinas' theology of the Trinity, which is often considered normative for Catholicism, and & through are held to be identical statements of the Catholic view, the first on the grounds that the Spirit can only be distinguished by opposite relation from the Father & Son collectively, the second on the grounds that it is through knowledge that the knower desires what is known. Of course, many Orthodox may simply disagree with Aquinas that and & through represent the same meaning.
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« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2011, 12:09:04 AM »

I would say that even Muslims, Jews, and Oneness Pentecostals all worship the same God as the Orthodox, however, they fundamentally fail to understand who God is.  Similarly, I would say that the Roman church and the Nestorians also worship the same God, but to one extent or another fail to understand exactly who He is (with your church of course being FAR closer than the Nestorians to getting it right).  However, I would say that groups like Hindus and Buddhists (at least the Buddhists who have any conception of a god) worship gods other than God (though I suppose some of them may be worshipping God in addition to their other gods, just misunderstanding Him in an extreme way).

As for the fate of the heterodox, I will just say that the closer you got to Orthodoxy (knowing that you were getting there, not just happening to decide that x position of the Orthodox Church is true without ever having heard of the Orthodox Church) before rejecting it, the less likely it is that you are going to be saved.  As such, someone who never hears of the Orthdoox Church is more likely to be saved that the one who hears about it and looks into it a little, but then decides it's not for them, is more likely to be saved than the one who becomes a regular attender, is more likely to be saved than the one who becomes a Catechuman, is more likely to be saved than the one who becomes Orthodox and leaves.  Of course, this in no way would ever give me justified reason to believe that anyone on the planet who dies is condemned to eternal suffering, even if they became a Patriarch and then leave even to santanism (though, I think I would be justified in saying that the chances of their salvation are very slim indeed).
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« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2011, 01:01:21 AM »


If this is the Orthodox view, what is the fate of most of the heterodox if they remain heterodox? Are they more than likely going to hell or is it more likely that God will extend His mercy to them despite their flawed belief?

Sometimes I have to wonder if I myself worship a different Christ!   You see, I believe in a Christ who actively desires the salvation of every person, a Christ who looks for every possible way to save a person.   Sometimes though we hear from the people in the Orthodox Church and in the Catholic Church who focus on "...narrow is the way and few are those who find it."    When such a focus makes me sad I re-read what was written by Saint Philaret of Moscow, by Khomiakov, and by our own sainted Philaret Metropolitan of New York and there is joy again in their optimistic view of the matter.
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« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2011, 03:02:00 AM »


If this is the Orthodox view, what is the fate of most of the heterodox if they remain heterodox? Are they more than likely going to hell or is it more likely that God will extend His mercy to them despite their flawed belief?

Sometimes I have to wonder if I myself worship a different Christ!   You see, I believe in a Christ who actively desires the salvation of every person, a Christ who looks for every possible way to save a person.   Sometimes though we hear from the people in the Orthodox Church and in the Catholic Church who focus on "...narrow is the way and few are those who find it."    When such a focus makes me sad I re-read what was written by Saint Philaret of Moscow, by Khomiakov, and by our own sainted Philaret Metropolitan of New York and there is joy again in their optimistic view of the matter.

Dear Father,

Please share the links to Saint Philaret, Khomiakov and St. Philaret of New York so that we may also experience joy.

Respectfully yours in Christ,
Maria
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« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2011, 03:23:36 AM »


If this is the Orthodox view, what is the fate of most of the heterodox if they remain heterodox? Are they more than likely going to hell or is it more likely that God will extend His mercy to them despite their flawed belief?

Sometimes I have to wonder if I myself worship a different Christ!   You see, I believe in a Christ who actively desires the salvation of every person, a Christ who looks for every possible way to save a person.   Sometimes though we hear from the people in the Orthodox Church and in the Catholic Church who focus on "...narrow is the way and few are those who find it."    When such a focus makes me sad I re-read what was written by Saint Philaret of Moscow, by Khomiakov, and by our own sainted Philaret Metropolitan of New York and there is joy again in their optimistic view of the matter.

Please share the links to Saint Philaret, Khomiakov and St. Philaret of New York so that we may also experience joy.


I think that Khomiakov says it nicely, without blurring the boundaries of the Church:

'Inasmuch as the earthly and visible Church is not the fullness and completeness of the whole Church which the Lord has appointed to appear at the final judgment of all creation, she acts and knows only within her own limits; and ... does not judge the rest of mankind, and only looks upon those as excluded, that is to say, not belonging to her, who exclude themselves. The rest of mankind, whether alien from the Church, or united to her by ties which God has not willed to reveal to her, she leaves to the judgment of the great day' ("The Church is One")

In the words of the holy Metropolitan Philaret who was the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad when I was a young man:

"It is self evident, however, that sincere Christians who are Roman Catholics, or Lutherans, or members, of other non-Orthodox confessions, cannot be termed renegades or heretics—i.e. those who knowingly pervert the truth... They have been born and raised and are living according to the creed which they have inherited, just as do the majority of you who are Orthodox; in their lives there has not been a moment of personal and conscious renunciation of Orthodoxy. The Lord, "Who will have all men to be saved" (I Tim. 2:4) and "Who enlightens every man born into the world" (Jn. 1.43), undoubtedly is leading them also towards salvation In His own way."

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/metphil_heterodox.aspx
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« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2011, 09:20:29 AM »

  • Is this actually the consensus amongst Orthodox Christians that all the non-Orthodox (heterodox) Christians are actually worshiping a false god rather than the One True God simply by having some doctrinal misunderstandings, or is this only the view of the minority that wish to be polemical?
I have no authority to speak for the Church, and no one person does. I can speak only what I believe.
The only way in which we can know anything about the Trinity is what the Trinity has revealed to us. We can't deduce anything about God, we can't conceptualize God, and we can't simply decide for ourselves what the nature, attributes, relationships etc of God is. Each Person of the Trinity has a unique relationship to each other Person of the Trinity, and God has a unique relation to each created thing, and the only way we can possibly know any of this is if God reveals it to us. God is Absolute, and therefore, the truth about God and His internal and external relationships is also Absolute- this truth cannot be relative. God is one, and the truth about Him and His relationships is also One, and what we know of these has been delivered once and for all through the Apostles and cannot be added to or subtracted from, and the Apostles declare that there is only "one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism". The little we know about the Transcendent Trinity we all once agreed upon. This includes the Truth that the Father is the Eternal Begettor of the Son, as well as the Eternal Source from which the Spirit proceeds. When the Latin Church added the Filioque to the Creed, the relationship between the Persons of the Holy Trinity came to be understood differently. This became even more compounded until Roman Catholics came to believe that the Holy Spirit was "the love between the Father and the Son". This is a different understanding of the Trinity to what Orthodox Christians hold. Now remember, the only way we can know anything about God is if He reveals it to us. So now we have two diverse opinions about the Trinity: one says that the Father is the Source and Begetter of the other two Persons, and the other opinion says that while the Father is the Begettor of the Son, the Spirit is the mutual Love between the Son and the Father and therefore is sourced from both of them. So which one is the revelation of God to humanity? They can't both be, since they disagree with each other. So one of them is the revelation of God, and the other is a creation of human thought and imagination. So one group of believers is worshipping God as He revealed Himself, and the other group of believers is worshipping a God which is a combination of God's revelation mixed with the projection of human imagination. The question "Are they different Gods?" is a tricky one, not for reasons of political correctness, but because we need to understand the implications of this difference. Let's say you invite me to your house for dinner, and I bring along a female companion. I introduce her to you by name and tell you that she and I live together. At some point we ring home to check on the baby sitter. You ask us how long we've been married and we tell you that we are not married. The following Sunday you see us both Communing in Church, and after Services, people ask you about us. What do you say to them if you must tell the truth? You say that we are not married but live together and have a child, and this spreads through the congregation and reaches the Priest. The following Sunday we arrive at Church and are refused Communion, and the Priest asks us to see him after Church. At the meeting we explain that she is my recently widowed sister and nephew who have moved in with me because she could not afford her rent. My sister, myself and my nephew were understood aa one thing and then understood as another. We as persons have not changed, but your understanding and of our personhood and relationship to us have changed- or as we say in common parlance: we are different people to what you thought we were.
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« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2011, 09:28:18 AM »

Now remember, the only way we can know anything about God is if He reveals it to us. So now we have two diverse opinions about the Trinity: one says that the Father is the Source and Begetter of the other two Persons, and the other opinion says that while the Father is the Begettor of the Son, the Spirit is the mutual Love between the Son and the Father and therefore is sourced from both of them.

Are you saying that source and cause are the same thing?  Because the Catholic Church explicitly says they are not.   The Catholic Church explicitly teaches as the Holy Fathers taught that the Father is the CAUSE of all divinity.

So the assertion that we are receiving two different revelations or understanding them in two vastly different ways is simply not settled yet.

It may be in your mind but in reality it is not.
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« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2011, 09:54:47 AM »

Are you saying that source and cause are the same thing? 
If I didn't say it why are you asking me whether I did?


Because the Catholic Church explicitly says
Let me get this straight, you are asking me whether I said something that I clearly didn't say so that you can tell me what your belief system is..... Roll Eyes
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« Reply #21 on: May 31, 2011, 10:34:30 AM »

Umm...Ozgeorge, doesn't your view conflict with the Creed's statement that the Spirit proceeds from the Father?
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« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2011, 10:37:01 AM »

Umm...Ozgeorge, doesn't your view conflict with the Creed's statement that the Spirit proceeds from the Father?
Why? I just read it again and that's what I said. Where's the conflict? Could you quote it please? Perhaps I made a typo, but I don't think I have.
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« Reply #23 on: May 31, 2011, 10:47:33 AM »

So which one is the revelation of God to humanity? They can't both be, since they disagree with each other.

Two statements that contradict each other cannot both be true, BUT that doesn't necessarily mean that one of them has to be a heresy.

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« Reply #24 on: May 31, 2011, 10:49:06 AM »

Umm...Ozgeorge, doesn't your view conflict with the Creed's statement that the Spirit proceeds from the Father?
Why? I just read it again and that's what I said. Where's the conflict? Could you quote it please? Perhaps I made a typo, but I don't think I have.

I'm also unclear on what JamesRottnek is referring to.
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« Reply #25 on: May 31, 2011, 10:50:55 AM »

Umm...Ozgeorge, doesn't your view conflict with the Creed's statement that the Spirit proceeds from the Father?
Why? I just read it again and that's what I said. Where's the conflict? Could you quote it please? Perhaps I made a typo, but I don't think I have.

I'm also unclear on what JamesRottnek is referring to.

Here is my answer... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-78WOi1LL8E&feature=related
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« Reply #26 on: May 31, 2011, 10:51:46 AM »

So which one is the revelation of God to humanity? They can't both be, since they disagree with each other.

Two statements that contradict each other cannot both be true, BUT that doesn't necessarily mean that one of them has to be a heresy.


Well, by definition, the untrue statement is a heresy. Heresy simply means "error". It is erroneous.
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« Reply #27 on: May 31, 2011, 10:58:33 AM »

So which one is the revelation of God to humanity? They can't both be, since they disagree with each other.

Two statements that contradict each other cannot both be true, BUT that doesn't necessarily mean that one of them has to be a heresy.


Well, by definition, the untrue statement is a heresy. Heresy simply means "error". It is erroneous.

I think there's a strong position to be made that the eastern and western teachings concerning filioque are not at all contradictory: I would say they are not even paradoxical.
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« Reply #28 on: May 31, 2011, 11:01:46 AM »

So which one is the revelation of God to humanity? They can't both be, since they disagree with each other.

Two statements that contradict each other cannot both be true, BUT that doesn't necessarily mean that one of them has to be a heresy.


Well, by definition, the untrue statement is a heresy. Heresy simply means "error". It is erroneous.

I think there's a strong position to be made that the eastern and western teachings concerning filioque are not at all contradictory: I would say they are not even paradoxical.

Yes, but the insertion of the clause into the Nicene Creed remains the problem. The Greek Catholics have pretty much removed it. If the Romans were to do so, that would go a long way. However, I suspect that many in the west would be scandalized and not accept this.
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« Reply #29 on: May 31, 2011, 11:04:24 AM »

So which one is the revelation of God to humanity? They can't both be, since they disagree with each other.

Two statements that contradict each other cannot both be true, BUT that doesn't necessarily mean that one of them has to be a heresy.


Well, by definition, the untrue statement is a heresy. Heresy simply means "error". It is erroneous.

I think there's a strong position to be made that the eastern and western teachings concerning filioque are not at all contradictory: I would say they are not even paradoxical.
As I pointed out in my post, there us no avoiding the contradiction now since you profess that the Spirit is the "love between the Father and the Son". The line has definitely been crossed and you can't go back without retracting that.
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« Reply #30 on: May 31, 2011, 11:08:56 AM »

So which one is the revelation of God to humanity? They can't both be, since they disagree with each other.

Two statements that contradict each other cannot both be true, BUT that doesn't necessarily mean that one of them has to be a heresy.
Well, by definition, the untrue statement is a heresy. Heresy simply means "error". It is erroneous.

Alright, so let's suppose that I said that St. Joseph died at the age of 50, and suppose Irish Hermit said that he died at age 52. Then one of those 2 statements would have to be heretical, right?
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« Reply #31 on: May 31, 2011, 11:15:03 AM »

So which one is the revelation of God to humanity? They can't both be, since they disagree with each other.

Two statements that contradict each other cannot both be true, BUT that doesn't necessarily mean that one of them has to be a heresy.


Well, by definition, the untrue statement is a heresy. Heresy simply means "error". It is erroneous.

I think there's a strong position to be made that the eastern and western teachings concerning filioque are not at all contradictory: I would say they are not even paradoxical.

Yes, but the insertion of the clause into the Nicene Creed remains the problem. The Greek Catholics have pretty much removed it. If the Romans were to do so, that would go a long way. However, I suspect that many in the west would be scandalized and not accept this.

I argue that it does not need to be removed from the western tradition at this late date:

1. Because of the truths contained in it.

2. Because it is now the longstanding tradition of the Roman rite.

++++++++++++

How can I argue for Orthodox and eastern Catholic traditions on one hand and deny the west her own?

Someone would be bound to notice!!

M.
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« Reply #32 on: May 31, 2011, 11:27:18 AM »

I was referring to this:

"Now remember, the only way we can know anything about God is if He reveals it to us. So now we have two diverse opinions about the Trinity: one says that the Father is the Source and Begetter of the other two Persons, and the other opinion says that while the Father is the Begettor of the Son, the Spirit is the mutual Love between the Son and the Father and therefore is sourced from both of them."

Which clearly says taht the Spirit is the mutual love of the Father and Son and therefore has its source in both of them.  There is also the possibility it means that the Spirit is not really a person as the Spirit is the love of the Father and Son for each other (but I'm not sure that is what is meant by it).

Compare this to the Creed:

"And I believe in the Holy Spirit...Who proceeds from the Father"

It makes NO mention of the Son.  I don't understand how you can say that the Spirit proceeds from the Father, but also has its source in the mutual love of the Father and Son.  As well, I recall, when reading Orthodox Dogmatic Theology by Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky, that what can be applied to two members of the Holy Trinity is applied to all three, which would mean that the Holy Spirit would have its source in the mutual love of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which makes no sense because it can't have its source in itself if it proceeds from the Father.


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« Reply #33 on: May 31, 2011, 11:38:42 AM »

I was referring to this:

"Now remember, the only way we can know anything about God is if He reveals it to us. So now we have two diverse opinions about the Trinity: one says that the Father is the Source and Begetter of the other two Persons, and the other opinion says that while the Father is the Begettor of the Son, the Spirit is the mutual Love between the Son and the Father and therefore is sourced from both of them."

Which clearly says taht the Spirit is the mutual love of the Father and Son and therefore has its source in both of them.  There is also the possibility it means that the Spirit is not really a person as the Spirit is the love of the Father and Son for each other (but I'm not sure that is what is meant by it).

Compare this to the Creed:

"And I believe in the Holy Spirit...Who proceeds from the Father"

It makes NO mention of the Son.  I don't understand how you can say that the Spirit proceeds from the Father, but also has its source in the mutual love of the Father and Son.  As well, I recall, when reading Orthodox Dogmatic Theology by Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky, that what can be applied to two members of the Holy Trinity is applied to all three, which would mean that the Holy Spirit would have its source in the mutual love of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which makes no sense because it can't have its source in itself if it proceeds from the Father.




Too... much... logic!

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« Reply #34 on: May 31, 2011, 11:48:18 AM »

I was referring to this:

"Now remember, the only way we can know anything about God is if He reveals it to us. So now we have two diverse opinions about the Trinity: one says that the Father is the Source and Begetter of the other two Persons, and the other opinion says that while the Father is the Begettor of the Son, the Spirit is the mutual Love between the Son and the Father and therefore is sourced from both of them."

Which clearly says taht the Spirit is the mutual love of the Father and Son and therefore has its source in both of them.  There is also the possibility it means that the Spirit is not really a person as the Spirit is the love of the Father and Son for each other (but I'm not sure that is what is meant by it).

Compare this to the Creed:

"And I believe in the Holy Spirit...Who proceeds from the Father"

It makes NO mention of the Son.  I don't understand how you can say that the Spirit proceeds from the Father, but also has its source in the mutual love of the Father and Son.  As well, I recall, when reading Orthodox Dogmatic Theology by Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky, that what can be applied to two members of the Holy Trinity is applied to all three, which would mean that the Holy Spirit would have its source in the mutual love of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which makes no sense because it can't have its source in itself if it proceeds from the Father.



I am actually comparing RC & Orthodox Christian teachings and  saying the RC teaching that the Spirit is "the love between the Father and the Son" is heresy. You obviously didn't read the earlier part where I say:
When the Latin Church added the Filioque to the Creed, the relationship between the Persons of the Holy Trinity came to be understood differently. This became even more compounded until Roman Catholics came to believe that the Holy Spirit was "the love between the Father and the Son". This is a different understanding of the Trinity to what Orthodox Christians hold.
What I don't understand is how you managed to miss this part which immediately precedes the part you quoted!
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« Reply #35 on: May 31, 2011, 11:48:54 AM »


Too... much... logic!

Must... look... at picture...of Pope!


Sorry! Froggy this morning...

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« Reply #36 on: May 31, 2011, 11:54:53 AM »

I was referring to this:

"Now remember, the only way we can know anything about God is if He reveals it to us. So now we have two diverse opinions about the Trinity: one says that the Father is the Source and Begetter of the other two Persons, and the other opinion says that while the Father is the Begettor of the Son, the Spirit is the mutual Love between the Son and the Father and therefore is sourced from both of them."

Which clearly says taht the Spirit is the mutual love of the Father and Son and therefore has its source in both of them.  There is also the possibility it means that the Spirit is not really a person as the Spirit is the love of the Father and Son for each other (but I'm not sure that is what is meant by it).

Compare this to the Creed:

"And I believe in the Holy Spirit...Who proceeds from the Father"

It makes NO mention of the Son.  I don't understand how you can say that the Spirit proceeds from the Father, but also has its source in the mutual love of the Father and Son.  As well, I recall, when reading Orthodox Dogmatic Theology by Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky, that what can be applied to two members of the Holy Trinity is applied to all three, which would mean that the Holy Spirit would have its source in the mutual love of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which makes no sense because it can't have its source in itself if it proceeds from the Father.




Too... much... logic!

Must... look... at picture...of Pope!

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Was that supposed to be funny? Because it isn't.
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« Reply #37 on: May 31, 2011, 11:58:51 AM »

  • Is this actually the consensus amongst Orthodox Christians that all the non-Orthodox (heterodox) Christians are actually worshiping a false god rather than the One True God simply by having some doctrinal misunderstandings, or is this only the view of the minority that wish to be polemical?
I have no authority to speak for the Church, and no one person does. I can speak only what I believe.
The only way in which we can know anything about the Trinity is what the Trinity has revealed to us. We can't deduce anything about God, we can't conceptualize God, and we can't simply decide for ourselves what the nature, attributes, relationships etc of God is. Each Person of the Trinity has a unique relationship to each other Person of the Trinity, and God has a unique relation to each created thing, and the only way we can possibly know any of this is if God reveals it to us. God is Absolute, and therefore, the truth about God and His internal and external relationships is also Absolute- this truth cannot be relative. God is one, and the truth about Him and His relationships is also One, and what we know of these has been delivered once and for all through the Apostles and cannot be added to or subtracted from, and the Apostles declare that there is only "one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism". The little we know about the Transcendent Trinity we all once agreed upon. This includes the Truth that the Father is the Eternal Begettor of the Son, as well as the Eternal Source from which the Spirit proceeds. When the Latin Church added the Filioque to the Creed, the relationship between the Persons of the Holy Trinity came to be understood differently. This became even more compounded until Roman Catholics came to believe that the Holy Spirit was "the love between the Father and the Son". This is a different understanding of the Trinity to what Orthodox Christians hold. Now remember, the only way we can know anything about God is if He reveals it to us. So now we have two diverse opinions about the Trinity: one says that the Father is the Source and Begetter of the other two Persons, and the other opinion says that while the Father is the Begettor of the Son, the Spirit is the mutual Love between the Son and the Father and therefore is sourced from both of them. So which one is the revelation of God to humanity? They can't both be, since they disagree with each other. So one of them is the revelation of God, and the other is a creation of human thought and imagination. So one group of believers is worshipping God as He revealed Himself, and the other group of believers is worshipping a God which is a combination of God's revelation mixed with the projection of human imagination. The question "Are they different Gods?" is a tricky one, not for reasons of political correctness, but because we need to understand the implications of this difference. Let's say you invite me to your house for dinner, and I bring along a female companion. I introduce her to you by name and tell you that she and I live together. At some point we ring home to check on the baby sitter. You ask us how long we've been married and we tell you that we are not married. The following Sunday you see us both Communing in Church, and after Services, people ask you about us. What do you say to them if you must tell the truth? You say that we are not married but live together and have a child, and this spreads through the congregation and reaches the Priest. The following Sunday we arrive at Church and are refused Communion, and the Priest asks us to see him after Church. At the meeting we explain that she is my recently widowed sister and nephew who have moved in with me because she could not afford her rent. My sister, myself and my nephew were understood aa one thing and then understood as another. We as persons have not changed, but your understanding and of our personhood and relationship to us have changed- or as we say in common parlance: we are different people to what you thought we were.
Thank you for the response. That makes a lot of sense to me and I tend to agree with you that a different understanding does not mean that you know an entirely different person.

I have a question about the differences between Catholic and Orthodox views on the Trinity which you brought up. Is the teaching that the Holy Spirit is the love between Father and Son an official doctrine or dogma of the Catholic Church? The reason I ask is I think, in both of our Churches, theologians sometimes use metaphors and formulate opinions in an attempt to explain mystery, yet it does not mean we are obliged to believe it. I admit that I have heard that explanation of the Trinity in my own parish before, but is it necessarily a stumbling block for unity? I mean, I didn't think theological opinions were barriers. As far as I am aware that's not a doctrine or dogma of my Church, but rather just the latest popular way theologians explain the Trinity.
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« Reply #38 on: May 31, 2011, 12:36:33 PM »



It makes NO mention of the Son.  I don't understand how you can say that the Spirit proceeds from the Father, but also has its source in the mutual love of the Father and Son.  As well, I recall, when reading Orthodox Dogmatic Theology by Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky, that what can be applied to two members of the Holy Trinity is applied to all three, which would mean that the Holy Spirit would have its source in the mutual love of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which makes no sense because it can't have its source in itself if it proceeds from the Father.


That phrasing of Father Michael is not fully comprehensible without knowing "what is WHAT"...If the "what" is essential in the divinity, then what Father says is absolutely accurate without qualification.

If the "what" is relational and hypostatic then Father Michael's phrasing cannot be accurate because it is clear that the Father and the Son have a very unique relationship that is highlighted throughout Scripture and Tradition.  Neither the Father and the Holy Spirit, nor the Son and the Holy Spirit have that kind of relationship...and it is the uniqueness of the relationship of the two hypostases, Father and Son, that is highlighted in the filioque.  By highlighting that relationship, it also indicates that the Holy Spirit stands on his own hypostatic merits as a person of the Trinity and not just some sub-set of the Son.  It also indicates that the Holy Spirit is caused from the Father by procession and not begetting because we know that the relationship of the Father and Son forms a spiration, one causal [the Father] and the other mediated [the Son].
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« Reply #39 on: May 31, 2011, 12:45:54 PM »

Quote from: JamesRottnek
It makes NO mention of the Son.  I don't understand how you can say that the Spirit proceeds from the Father, but also has its source in the mutual love of the Father and Son.  As well, I recall, when reading Orthodox Dogmatic Theology by Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky, that what can be applied to two members of the Holy Trinity is applied to all three, which would mean that the Holy Spirit would have its source in the mutual love of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which makes no sense because it can't have its source in itself if it proceeds from the Father.

We had a pretty good discussion about this recently in the thread 'Why Filioque is a Christological Error'. Aquinas presents the argument that since God is one Divine Essence, He can only be distinguished by opposite relation. He locates the Father-Son relation in the opposite principles of the rational principle (Paternity-Filiation), and the Spirit-Father-Son relation in the opposite relations of the appetitive principles (Spiration-Procession). He concludes (because it is necessary to know a thing in order to desire it) that the Spirit can only be distinguished by opposite relation from the Father and Son collectively, not the Father or Son individually, and therefore it is correct to say that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. Or, since it is through knowledge that the knower desires what is known, it is equally correct to say that the Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son. Thirdly, since it is through the Father that the Son possesses the power by which the Spirit proceeds from Him (both knowledge and desire are rooted in being), Aquinas says it can also be correct to simply say that the Spirit proceeds from the Father. Essentially Aquinas comes up seeing no necessary contradiction between the three formulations, and I more or less agree with him.

http://jtpaasch.blogspot.com/2008/12/aquinas-on-filioque.html

This author provides a helpful partial summary.
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« Reply #40 on: May 31, 2011, 12:50:17 PM »


Was that supposed to be funny? Because it isn't.

Well sor-ry!

I thought it was... but I guess if you say it wasn't - then it must not have been (not even a little).

Wait a minute... didn't I already pre-apologize for this?

Whatever... Thank you sir, may I have another?
 




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I'm pretty sure a good-natured little funny at the expense of the Catholics is not quite delving into playing with evil!

I was baptized RC, so I'm allowed.

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« Last Edit: May 31, 2011, 12:52:14 PM by Saint Iaint » Logged

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« Reply #41 on: May 31, 2011, 12:52:53 PM »

Just to put a bit of a finer point on this comment, why Aquinas does what Alcuin says that he does below is precisely because of what we know of the relationship of the Father and the Son which has no parallel elsewhere in the Persons of the Trinity.

Quote from: JamesRottnek
It makes NO mention of the Son.  I don't understand how you can say that the Spirit proceeds from the Father, but also has its source in the mutual love of the Father and Son.  As well, I recall, when reading Orthodox Dogmatic Theology by Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky, that what can be applied to two members of the Holy Trinity is applied to all three, which would mean that the Holy Spirit would have its source in the mutual love of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which makes no sense because it can't have its source in itself if it proceeds from the Father.

We had a pretty good discussion about this recently in the thread 'Why Filioque is a Christological Error'. Aquinas presents the argument that since God is one Divine Essence, He can only be distinguished by opposite relation. He locates the Father-Son relation in the opposite principles of the rational principle (Paternity-Filiation), and the Spirit-Father-Son relation in the opposite relations of the appetitive principles (Spiration-Procession). He concludes (because it is necessary to know a thing in order to desire it) that the Spirit can only be distinguished by opposite relation from the Father and Son collectively, not the Father or Son individually, and therefore it is correct to say that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. Or, since it is through knowledge that the knower desires what is known, it is equally correct to say that the Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son. Thirdly, since it is through the Father that the Son possesses the power by which the Spirit proceeds from Him (both knowledge and desire are rooted in being), Aquinas says it can also be correct to simply say that the Spirit proceeds from the Father. Essentially Aquinas comes up seeing no necessary contradiction between the three formulations, and I more or less agree with him.

http://jtpaasch.blogspot.com/2008/12/aquinas-on-filioque.html

This author provides a helpful partial summary.
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« Reply #42 on: May 31, 2011, 12:55:52 PM »


I was baptized RC, so I'm allowed.

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« Reply #43 on: May 31, 2011, 12:57:10 PM »

Ah yes, it does come from Father-Son. Aquinas lists three possible modes of relation for a being: Sensible (whereby things act upon it), appetitive (whereby it is drawn towards its good), and rational (Whereby it produces a similitude in the mind of being, and this similitude is knowledge). Aquinas argues that God has no sensible principle because nothing can act on Him, and He puts the Father-Son relation in the realm of the rational principle, keeping with tradition. Opposite relation leaves the appetitive principle for the Spirit.
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« Reply #44 on: May 31, 2011, 01:44:04 PM »

Ozgeorge, I am deeply sorry.  I should have went back and re-read your post, because I almost always agree with you, and have never disagreed with your posts as much as I thought I did.  I suppose I was tired or distracted, and I apologize.
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