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Author Topic: Worshiping a different Christ/different Trinity (EO vs. RC)?  (Read 7769 times) Average Rating: 0
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Peter J
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« Reply #45 on: May 31, 2011, 03:19:40 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.

Ah yes, I thought it must have been a misunderstanding.
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« Reply #46 on: May 31, 2011, 03:25:21 PM »

  • 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.

I'm afraid I'm having a dickens of a time trying to understand what you mean by "I didn't think theological opinions were barriers". I think I know you well enough to say that you don't mean that literally, but that's about as far as I can get. Help!
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« Reply #47 on: May 31, 2011, 03:28:17 PM »

  • 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.

I'm afraid I'm having a dickens of a time trying to understand what you mean by "I didn't think theological opinions were barriers". I think I know you well enough to say that you don't mean that literally, but that's about as far as I can get. Help!
What I mean is, the explanation that the Holy Spirit is "the love shared by Father and Son" is not, to my knowledge, a dogma of the Church. It would fall under theological opinion just like limbo of the infants. Because of that, I don't think that teaching would be a barrier to Catholic-Orthodox unity. That is not to say that there are not many other real barriers, because there are. I just don't think this is one of them.
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« Reply #48 on: May 31, 2011, 05:00:58 PM »

Hi again. My last post was a little rushed. Maybe I can explain my question a little better.

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.

Taken one way, your statement is saying that theological opinions are never barriers, which is clearly not true.

But the only other way I can think of to interpret your statement is as an obvious statement that no one would disagree with -- something along the lines of "Legitimate theological opinions are legitimate."
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« Reply #49 on: May 31, 2011, 05:20:23 PM »

Basically, what I'm saying is that the notion that the Holy Spirit is the love between Father and Son should not be a barrier. It's not a doctrine or a dogma of the Catholic Church as far as I know. Only doctrines and dogmas are binding.
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Peter J
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« Reply #50 on: May 31, 2011, 05:21:09 PM »

P.S. There was a rather, shall we say, "peculiar" claim made some time ago. It was that Ineffabilis Deus did not require anyone to believe in the Immaculate Conception, but rather only prohibited people from calling it a heresy.

Quote
The proscription contained in the Decree Ineffabilis Deus is not a proscription against denial of the IC. Rather, it is a proscription against obstinately opposing the teaching authority of the Church on the matter. So if you believe it is a theologoumenon (an acceptable teaching, though not a dogma), you would not be under the proscription of the Decree. The Decree on the IC accommodates the notion, “well I believe it, but I don’t believe it should be imposed on others,” for you would not be obstinately opposing the Church’s teaching. The Decree on the IC even accommodates the notion, “I’m not sure if it is true, I need to study it more and let the Holy Spirit guide me,” for you would not be obstinately opposing the Church’s teaching. The only thing that the Decree prohibits is the notion, “This is a heresy. There is absolutely no way it can be true.”

Quote taken from http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,30219.msg477626.html#msg477626
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« Reply #51 on: May 31, 2011, 05:22:24 PM »

Basically, what I'm saying is that the notion that the Holy Spirit is the love between Father and Son should not be a barrier. It's not a doctrine or a dogma of the Catholic Church as far as I know. Only doctrines and dogmas are binding.

Please re-read my question.
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« Reply #52 on: May 31, 2011, 05:44:47 PM »

As regards the Orthodox, it would probably depend on how strident the particular Orthodox Christian feels about the filioque

Christ is Risen!

Dear Alcuin,

The last official statement from the Orthodox Church on the filioque was the Encyclical of the Four Eastern Patriarchs, 1848   

~ "A Reply to the Epistle of Pope Pius IX, "to the Easterns"

You can read what they write about the filioque in message 212
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http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,27651.msg438126.html#msg438126
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Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #53 on: May 31, 2011, 05:54:15 PM »

P.S. There was a rather, shall we say, "peculiar" claim made some time ago. It was that Ineffabilis Deus did not require anyone to believe in the Immaculate Conception, but rather only prohibited people from calling it a heresy.

The proscription contained in the Decree Ineffabilis Deus is not a proscription against denial of the IC.[/b] Rather, it is a proscription against obstinately opposing the teaching authority of the Church on the matter. So if you believe it is a theologoumenon (an acceptable teaching, though not a dogma), you would not be under the proscription of the Decree. The Decree on the IC accommodates the notion, “well I believe it, but I don’t believe it should be imposed on others,” for you would not be obstinately opposing the Church’s teaching. The Decree on the IC even accommodates the notion, “I’m not sure if it is true, I need to study it more and let the Holy Spirit guide me,” for you would not be obstinately opposing the Church’s teaching. The only thing that the Decree prohibits is the notion, “This is a heresy. There is absolutely no way it can be true.”

/\

That is really scary.  Lord, deliver us from 'theologians' with such minds. 
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Peter J
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« Reply #54 on: May 31, 2011, 05:58:03 PM »

As regards the Orthodox, it would probably depend on how strident the particular Orthodox Christian feels about the filioque

Christ is Risen!

Dear Alcuin,

The last official statement from the Orthodox Church on the filioque was the Encyclical of the Four Eastern Patriarchs, 1848   

~ "A Reply to the Epistle of Pope Pius IX, "to the Easterns"

You can read what they write about the filioque in message 212
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,27651.msg438126.html#msg438126

Ah, I get what you're saying: Orthodoxy was just as bad in the 19th century as it is today.

Wink

But seriously...

P.S. There was a rather, shall we say, "peculiar" claim made some time ago. It was that Ineffabilis Deus did not require anyone to believe in the Immaculate Conception, but rather only prohibited people from calling it a heresy.

The proscription contained in the Decree Ineffabilis Deus is not a proscription against denial of the IC.[/b] Rather, it is a proscription against obstinately opposing the teaching authority of the Church on the matter. So if you believe it is a theologoumenon (an acceptable teaching, though not a dogma), you would not be under the proscription of the Decree. The Decree on the IC accommodates the notion, “well I believe it, but I don’t believe it should be imposed on others,” for you would not be obstinately opposing the Church’s teaching. The Decree on the IC even accommodates the notion, “I’m not sure if it is true, I need to study it more and let the Holy Spirit guide me,” for you would not be obstinately opposing the Church’s teaching. The only thing that the Decree prohibits is the notion, “This is a heresy. There is absolutely no way it can be true.”

/\

That is really scary.  Lord, deliver us from 'theologians' with such minds. 

I agree.
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« Reply #55 on: May 31, 2011, 06:03:16 PM »

Hi again. My last post was a little rushed. Maybe I can explain my question a little better.

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.

Taken one way, your statement is saying that theological opinions are never barriers, which is clearly not true.

But the only other way I can think of to interpret your statement is as an obvious statement that no one would disagree with -- something along the lines of "Legitimate theological opinions are legitimate."

Theological opinions shouldn't be barriers since they are opinions. Opinion indicates that one is free to reject it if they have a differing opinion. I'm not sure what you're having trouble understanding about that. Taking issue with the opinion that the Holy Spirit is the love between Father and Son is as absurd as one taking issue with Catholicism over limbo. Of course it happens occasionally but it shouldn't. Neither idea is dogmatic and binding.
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« Reply #56 on: May 31, 2011, 06:10:49 PM »


Quote
P.S. There was a rather, shall we say, "peculiar" claim made some time ago. It was that Ineffabilis Deus did not require anyone to believe in the Immaculate Conception, but rather only prohibited people from calling it a heresy.

The proscription contained in the Decree Ineffabilis Deus is not a proscription against denial of the IC.[/b] Rather, it is a proscription against obstinately opposing the teaching authority of the Church on the matter. So if you believe it is a theologoumenon (an acceptable teaching, though not a dogma), you would not be under the proscription of the Decree. The Decree on the IC accommodates the notion, “well I believe it, but I don’t believe it should be imposed on others,” for you would not be obstinately opposing the Church’s teaching. The Decree on the IC even accommodates the notion, “I’m not sure if it is true, I need to study it more and let the Holy Spirit guide me,” for you would not be obstinately opposing the Church’s teaching. The only thing that the Decree prohibits is the notion, “This is a heresy. There is absolutely no way it can be true.”

/\

That is really scary.  Lord, deliver us from 'theologians' with such minds. 

I agree.


Well some people do need a more legalistic approach to the truths of revelation than others.
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« Reply #57 on: May 31, 2011, 06:18:32 PM »

Hi again. My last post was a little rushed. Maybe I can explain my question a little better.

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.

Taken one way, your statement is saying that theological opinions are never barriers, which is clearly not true.

But the only other way I can think of to interpret your statement is as an obvious statement that no one would disagree with -- something along the lines of "Legitimate theological opinions are legitimate."

Theological opinions shouldn't be barriers since they are opinions. Opinion indicates that one is free to reject it if they have a differing opinion. I'm not sure what you're having trouble understanding about that.

Thank you for clarifying. I see now that you and I aren't as similar as I thought we were.
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« Reply #58 on: May 31, 2011, 06:20:13 PM »

Hi again. My last post was a little rushed. Maybe I can explain my question a little better.

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.

Taken one way, your statement is saying that theological opinions are never barriers, which is clearly not true.

But the only other way I can think of to interpret your statement is as an obvious statement that no one would disagree with -- something along the lines of "Legitimate theological opinions are legitimate."

Theological opinions shouldn't be barriers since they are opinions. Opinion indicates that one is free to reject it if they have a differing opinion. I'm not sure what you're having trouble understanding about that.

Thank you for clarifying. I see now that you and I aren't as similar as I thought we were.
What did I say that you find so wrong?
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« Reply #59 on: May 31, 2011, 06:22:37 PM »

Taking issue with the opinion that the Holy Spirit is the love between Father and Son is as absurd as one taking issue with Catholicism over limbo. Of course it happens occasionally but it shouldn't. Neither idea is dogmatic and binding.

I would never claim that there is no such thing as a legitimate opinion. Some opinions are legitimate and some aren't.

The historical case of the immaculate conception illustrates both: at one point in time (e.g. Aquinas' day) it was legitimate to believe in it or to not believe in it. But it is also clear that nowadays the IC is not a matter of opinion; that is to say, believing that Mary was not immaculately conceived is not an acceptable opinion nowadays.
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« Reply #60 on: May 31, 2011, 06:24:14 PM »

Taking issue with the opinion that the Holy Spirit is the love between Father and Son is as absurd as one taking issue with Catholicism over limbo. Of course it happens occasionally but it shouldn't. Neither idea is dogmatic and binding.

I would never claim that there is no such thing as a legitimate opinion. Some opinions are legitimate and some aren't.

The historical case of the immaculate conception illustrates both: at one point in time (e.g. Aquinas' day) it was legitimate to believe in it or to not believe in it. But it is also clear that nowadays the IC is not a matter of opinion; that is to say, believing that Mary was not immaculately conceived is not an acceptable opinion nowadays.
That's not what I was claiming. I was claiming that as long as it still retains the status of "opinion" and not "dogma" it is not binding upon the entire Church. Your failure to recognize this indicates ignorance of Catholic teaching.
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« Reply #61 on: May 31, 2011, 06:25:20 PM »

Hi again. My last post was a little rushed. Maybe I can explain my question a little better.

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.

Taken one way, your statement is saying that theological opinions are never barriers, which is clearly not true.

But the only other way I can think of to interpret your statement is as an obvious statement that no one would disagree with -- something along the lines of "Legitimate theological opinions are legitimate."

Theological opinions shouldn't be barriers since they are opinions. Opinion indicates that one is free to reject it if they have a differing opinion. I'm not sure what you're having trouble understanding about that.

Thank you for clarifying. I see now that you and I aren't as similar as I thought we were.
What did I say that you find so wrong?

When I said "I see now that you and I aren't as similar as I thought we were" I meant that you believe that theological opinions shouldn't be barriers, whereas I believe they should be in some cases.
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« Reply #62 on: May 31, 2011, 06:32:50 PM »

Hi again. My last post was a little rushed. Maybe I can explain my question a little better.

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.

Taken one way, your statement is saying that theological opinions are never barriers, which is clearly not true.

But the only other way I can think of to interpret your statement is as an obvious statement that no one would disagree with -- something along the lines of "Legitimate theological opinions are legitimate."

Theological opinions shouldn't be barriers since they are opinions. Opinion indicates that one is free to reject it if they have a differing opinion. I'm not sure what you're having trouble understanding about that.

Thank you for clarifying. I see now that you and I aren't as similar as I thought we were.
What did I say that you find so wrong?

When I said "I see now that you and I aren't as similar as I thought we were" I meant that you believe that theological opinions shouldn't be barriers, whereas I believe they should be in some cases.
But who is to decide which theological opinions should be barriers and which should not be? The Church? If the Church decided then they would no longer be just "opinions."
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« Reply #63 on: May 31, 2011, 06:35:41 PM »

As regards the Orthodox, it would probably depend on how strident the particular Orthodox Christian feels about the filioque

Christ is Risen!

Dear Alcuin,

The last official statement from the Orthodox Church on the filioque was the Encyclical of the Four Eastern Patriarchs, 1848  

~ "A Reply to the Epistle of Pope Pius IX, "to the Easterns"

You can read what they write about the filioque in message 212
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,27651.msg438126.html#msg438126

Well, I respectfully disagree with the Four Eastern Patriarchs. I don't think there is anything in Aquinas' exposition of the Trinity, to which I subscribe, which fits any of the charges they lay out.
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« Reply #64 on: May 31, 2011, 06:38:34 PM »

As regards the Orthodox, it would probably depend on how strident the particular Orthodox Christian feels about the filioque

Christ is Risen!

Dear Alcuin,

The last official statement from the Orthodox Church on the filioque was the Encyclical of the Four Eastern Patriarchs, 1848  

~ "A Reply to the Epistle of Pope Pius IX, "to the Easterns"

You can read what they write about the filioque in message 212
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,27651.msg438126.html#msg438126

Well, I respectfully disagree with the Four Eastern Patriarchs. I don't think there is anything in Aquinas' exposition of the Trinity, to which I subscribe, which fits any of the charges they lay out.

There isn't and it has become more apparent over the ensuing century and a half or more that the east has badly misunderstood and misrepresented 'filioque' over the centuries.

It has yet to be admitted fully and the fall-back position is that it should no longer be in the Creed...at least.

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« Reply #65 on: May 31, 2011, 07:39:36 PM »

Taking issue with the opinion that the Holy Spirit is the love between Father and Son is as absurd as one taking issue with Catholicism over limbo. Of course it happens occasionally but it shouldn't. Neither idea is dogmatic and binding.

I would never claim that there is no such thing as a legitimate opinion. Some opinions are legitimate and some aren't.

The historical case of the immaculate conception illustrates both: at one point in time (e.g. Aquinas' day) it was legitimate to believe in it or to not believe in it. But it is also clear that nowadays the IC is not a matter of opinion; that is to say, believing that Mary was not immaculately conceived is not an acceptable opinion nowadays.

That's not what I was claiming. I was claiming that as long as it still retains the status of "opinion" and not "dogma" it is not binding upon the entire Church. Your failure to recognize this indicates ignorance of Catholic teaching.


Yes, Wyatt, you have a point, and one we as Orthodox often forget.

1.  The Orthodox receive their faith through the transmission of the sacred Tradition which takes a variety of forms.   Bishops, priests and laity alike are all guardians of the Traditon and must be obedient to it.

2.  Catholics on the other hand are expected to be submissive to the Magisterium and to its official Magisterial teachings.  Whatever of their traditon has not been codified into a Magisterial teaching is really nothing more than what the Orthodox might call theologoumena-opinion.  Up until the Bull Munificentissimus Deus Catholics were quite entitled to deny that Mary the Mother of God was assumed into heaven, just as they had been able to deny she was immaculately conceived.  Ditto for the Pope's infallibility - until 1870 nobody really knew if he were infallible or not.

I have learnt this major difference between our Churches in the way we approach the faith the hard way.   I instinctively fall into the error of thinking that Catholics are subject to Tradition and I have often written of their traditional beliefs as if they are a certain part of their faith.  In the absence of a magisterial teaching they are not.  They are only an interim belief/opinion on which you cannot place much reliance.

I think I have written about this here previously?  Teachings which have been taught and believed for centuries as part of Tradition within Catholicism may be annulled and superseded by subsequent teachings and definitions.

There actually is a great gulf between our Churches on this matter.  The certainty of our faith is grounded in our Tradition,.  The certainty of the Roman Catholic faith is grounded in magisterial statements.  In other words, the faith is effectively taken out of the hands of the Church as a whole.  The faithful are disenfranchised and the faith is posited in the hands of a small elite group known as the "Magisterium."  I frankly would not wish to be in communion with a Church which has this disjunct between its upper echelon and the great majority of its members.
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« Reply #66 on: May 31, 2011, 07:57:21 PM »

Don't pay any attention to this.  It is sheer and utter nonsense.

Father plays the legalist when it suits him and the non-legalist when it suits him.

It is a lose-lose proposition for Catholics to even talk to him when he's like this. 

Best to just leave it alone...she said talking to the wall.

Taking issue with the opinion that the Holy Spirit is the love between Father and Son is as absurd as one taking issue with Catholicism over limbo. Of course it happens occasionally but it shouldn't. Neither idea is dogmatic and binding.

I would never claim that there is no such thing as a legitimate opinion. Some opinions are legitimate and some aren't.

The historical case of the immaculate conception illustrates both: at one point in time (e.g. Aquinas' day) it was legitimate to believe in it or to not believe in it. But it is also clear that nowadays the IC is not a matter of opinion; that is to say, believing that Mary was not immaculately conceived is not an acceptable opinion nowadays.

That's not what I was claiming. I was claiming that as long as it still retains the status of "opinion" and not "dogma" it is not binding upon the entire Church. Your failure to recognize this indicates ignorance of Catholic teaching.


Yes, Wyatt, you have a point, and one we as Orthodox often forget.

1.  The Orthodox receive their faith through the transmission of the sacred Tradition which takes a variety of forms.   Bishops, priests and laity alike are all guardians of the Traditon and must be obedient to it.

2.  Catholics on the other hand are expected to be submissive to the Magisterium and to its official Magisterial teachings.  Whatever of their traditon has not been codified into a Magisterial teaching is really nothing more than what the Orthodox might call theologoumena-opinion.  Up until the Bull Munificentissimus Deus Catholics were quite entitled to deny that Mary the Mother of God was assumed into heaven, just as they had been able to deny she was immaculately conceived.  Ditto for the Pope's infallibility - until 1870 nobody really knew if he were infallible or not.

I have learnt this major difference between our Churches in the way we approach the faith the hard way.   I instinctively fall into the error of thinking that Catholics are subject to Tradition and I have often written of their traditional beliefs as if they are a certain part of their faith.  In the absence of a magisterial teaching they are not.  They are only an interim belief/opinion on which you cannot place much reliance.

I think I have written about this here previously?  Teachings which have been taught and believed for centuries as part of Tradition within Catholicism may be annulled and superseded by subsequent teachings and definitions.

There actually is a great gulf between our Churches on this matter.  The certainty of our faith is grounded in our Tradition,.  The certainty of the Roman Catholic faith is grounded in magisterial statements.  In other words, the faith is effectively taken out of the hands of the Church as a whole.  The faithful are disenfranchised and the faith is posited in the hands of a small elite group known as the "Magisterium."  I frankly would not wish to be in communion with a Church which has this disjunct between its upper echelon and the great majority of its members.
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« Reply #67 on: May 31, 2011, 07:57:58 PM »

Since there is no mechanism by which the Orthodox can affirm that say, the Fifth Council of Constantinople, was 'officially' ecumenical, do you believe that Orthodox are 'quite free' to be Barlaamists and regard Palamas as a heretic? Probably not.

So why would you assume the same about Catholics for doctrines that haven't as yet been officially denied? The document is not, in itself, the teaching.
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« Reply #68 on: May 31, 2011, 09:11:13 PM »

Taking issue with the opinion that the Holy Spirit is the love between Father and Son is as absurd as one taking issue with Catholicism over limbo. Of course it happens occasionally but it shouldn't. Neither idea is dogmatic and binding.

I would never claim that there is no such thing as a legitimate opinion. Some opinions are legitimate and some aren't.

The historical case of the immaculate conception illustrates both: at one point in time (e.g. Aquinas' day) it was legitimate to believe in it or to not believe in it. But it is also clear that nowadays the IC is not a matter of opinion; that is to say, believing that Mary was not immaculately conceived is not an acceptable opinion nowadays.

That's not what I was claiming. I was claiming that as long as it still retains the status of "opinion" and not "dogma" it is not binding upon the entire Church. Your failure to recognize this indicates ignorance of Catholic teaching.


Yes, Wyatt, you have a point, and one we as Orthodox often forget.

1.  The Orthodox receive their faith through the transmission of the sacred Tradition which takes a variety of forms.   Bishops, priests and laity alike are all guardians of the Traditon and must be obedient to it.

2.  Catholics on the other hand are expected to be submissive to the Magisterium and to its official Magisterial teachings.  Whatever of their traditon has not been codified into a Magisterial teaching is really nothing more than what the Orthodox might call theologoumena-opinion.  Up until the Bull Munificentissimus Deus Catholics were quite entitled to deny that Mary the Mother of God was assumed into heaven, just as they had been able to deny she was immaculately conceived.  Ditto for the Pope's infallibility - until 1870 nobody really knew if he were infallible or not.

I have learnt this major difference between our Churches in the way we approach the faith the hard way.   I instinctively fall into the error of thinking that Catholics are subject to Tradition and I have often written of their traditional beliefs as if they are a certain part of their faith.  In the absence of a magisterial teaching they are not.  They are only an interim belief/opinion on which you cannot place much reliance.

I think I have written about this here previously?  Teachings which have been taught and believed for centuries as part of Tradition within Catholicism may be annulled and superseded by subsequent teachings and definitions.

There actually is a great gulf between our Churches on this matter.  The certainty of our faith is grounded in our Tradition,.  The certainty of the Roman Catholic faith is grounded in magisterial statements.  In other words, the faith is effectively taken out of the hands of the Church as a whole.  The faithful are disenfranchised and the faith is posited in the hands of a small elite group known as the "Magisterium."  I frankly would not wish to be in communion with a Church which has this disjunct between its upper echelon and the great majority of its members.

While I can appreciate the thought that you put into this post, it seems to me that its connection to this thread is extremely tenuous. For starters, the statement you're responding to, to wit 'as long as it still retains the status of "opinion" and not "dogma" it is not binding upon the entire Church', was something I never disagreed with.
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« Reply #69 on: May 31, 2011, 09:19:37 PM »

To me, the issue is the statement that "theological opinions shouldn't be barriers". To my mind, the only way for that to make sense is if one understands "opinions" to mean "legitimate opinions" (or "allowable opinions" the something along those lines). But then the statement "[legitimate] theological opinions shouldn't be barriers" becomes a completely obvious statement with which no reasonable person would disagree.
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« Reply #70 on: May 31, 2011, 09:25:21 PM »

To me, the issue is the statement that "theological opinions shouldn't be barriers". To my mind, the only way for that to make sense is if one understands "opinions" to mean "legitimate opinions" (or "allowable opinions" the something along those lines). But then the statement "[legitimate] theological opinions shouldn't be barriers" becomes a completely obvious statement with which no reasonable person would disagree.


Well I am particularly dim witted, and so happy you've finally explained yourself.  Trying to understand your objection was driving me crazy...short putt.   Smiley
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« Reply #71 on: May 31, 2011, 10:00:59 PM »

To me, the issue is the statement that "theological opinions shouldn't be barriers". To my mind, the only way for that to make sense is if one understands "opinions" to mean "legitimate opinions" (or "allowable opinions" the something along those lines). But then the statement "[legitimate] theological opinions shouldn't be barriers" becomes a completely obvious statement with which no reasonable person would disagree.
Well a theological opinion probably wouldn't gain popularity and thus become well-known enough to be known as a "theological opinion" if it didn't at least have legitimacy in the eyes of some. My whole point was that if we have a theological opinion that is quite popular and widely accepted within the Catholic Church (but is not a doctrine or a dogma), but many if not all in the Orthodox Church reject it, that should not be a barrier to unity because the simple fact that it is only an opinion means it is not required to be believed.
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« Reply #72 on: May 31, 2011, 10:06:11 PM »

To me, the issue is the statement that "theological opinions shouldn't be barriers". To my mind, the only way for that to make sense is if one understands "opinions" to mean "legitimate opinions" (or "allowable opinions" the something along those lines). But then the statement "[legitimate] theological opinions shouldn't be barriers" becomes a completely obvious statement with which no reasonable person would disagree.
Well a theological opinion probably wouldn't gain popularity and thus become well-known enough to be known as a "theological opinion" if it didn't at least have legitimacy in the eyes of some. My whole point was that if we have a theological opinion that is quite popular and widely accepted within the Catholic Church (but is not a doctrine or a dogma), but many if not all in the Orthodox Church reject it, that should not be a barrier to unity because the simple fact that it is only an opinion means it is not required to be believed.

And how do we tell the difference between a doctrinal truth that remains undefined that has every bit as much weight as something that has been defined, therefore requiring assent, and these pious beliefs?
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« Reply #73 on: May 31, 2011, 10:09:19 PM »

To me, the issue is the statement that "theological opinions shouldn't be barriers". To my mind, the only way for that to make sense is if one understands "opinions" to mean "legitimate opinions" (or "allowable opinions" the something along those lines). But then the statement "[legitimate] theological opinions shouldn't be barriers" becomes a completely obvious statement with which no reasonable person would disagree.
Well a theological opinion probably wouldn't gain popularity and thus become well-known enough to be known as a "theological opinion" if it didn't at least have legitimacy in the eyes of some. My whole point was that if we have a theological opinion that is quite popular and widely accepted within the Catholic Church (but is not a doctrine or a dogma), but many if not all in the Orthodox Church reject it, that should not be a barrier to unity because the simple fact that it is only an opinion means it is not required to be believed.

And how do we tell the difference between a doctrinal truth that remains undefined that has every bit as much weight as something that has been defined, therefore requiring assent, and these pious beliefs?
I don't know. Do you think limbo of the infants is a doctrine? Do you believe the Holy Spirit being the love between Father and Son is a doctrine? I would say things that are born out of theologians using their imaginations to describe something that will always be a mystery is probably safe to be called an opinion.
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« Reply #74 on: May 31, 2011, 10:17:48 PM »

To me, the issue is the statement that "theological opinions shouldn't be barriers". To my mind, the only way for that to make sense is if one understands "opinions" to mean "legitimate opinions" (or "allowable opinions" the something along those lines). But then the statement "[legitimate] theological opinions shouldn't be barriers" becomes a completely obvious statement with which no reasonable person would disagree.
Well a theological opinion probably wouldn't gain popularity and thus become well-known enough to be known as a "theological opinion" if it didn't at least have legitimacy in the eyes of some. My whole point was that if we have a theological opinion that is quite popular and widely accepted within the Catholic Church (but is not a doctrine or a dogma), but many if not all in the Orthodox Church reject it, that should not be a barrier to unity because the simple fact that it is only an opinion means it is not required to be believed.

And how do we tell the difference between a doctrinal truth that remains undefined that has every bit as much weight as something that has been defined, therefore requiring assent, and these pious beliefs?
I don't know. Do you think limbo of the infants is a doctrine? Do you believe the Holy Spirit being the love between Father and Son is a doctrine? I would say things that are born out of theologians using their imaginations to describe something that will always be a mystery is probably safe to be called an opinion.

Well...is there an underlying truth concerning Limbo?  Are there things we should not let go of or forget it we are told that we don't need to believe or teach something called Limbo?  I would think those truths that Limbo was proposed to illuminate and protect and teach are rather important and need to be believed in any event.

What are some other things that have not been defined but are true nonetheless and supportive of all of the dogmatic Christological truths. 

I think you are right about the imagery of the love between the Father and the Son:  Maybe.  But it is a venerable imagery and tells a powerful truth.  So maybe we don't need the imagery, but we surely need to look for the truth that rests beneath the specific image or impress of the act of divine caritas called Trinity, on our intellects.
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« Reply #75 on: May 31, 2011, 10:35:15 PM »

Well...is there an underlying truth concerning Limbo?  Are there things we should not let go of or forget it we are told that we don't need to believe or teach something called Limbo?  I would think those truths that Limbo was proposed to illuminate and protect and teach are rather important and need to be believed in any event.
Perhaps. What truths do you think are illuminated, protected, and taught by Limbo that cannot stand on their own? The necessity of Baptism? I don't need to believe in Limbo to believe that Baptism is necessary. For one thing, Christ was Baptized and Christ is our perfect example. Secondly, we receive a life-giving outpouring of the Holy Spirit at the moment of our Baptism. It is an absolutely crucial Sacrament. I don't need the threat of Limbo to understand the importance of the Sacrament of Baptism. I also don't need Limbo to explain the fate of unbaptized infants. One can simply trust in the mercy of God as far as that goes.

What are some other things that have not been defined but are true nonetheless and supportive of all of the dogmatic Christological truths.
I don't know. Do you have some examples?

I think you are right about the imagery of the love between the Father and the Son:  Maybe.  But it is a venerable imagery and tells a powerful truth.  So maybe we don't need the imagery, but we surely need to look for the truth that rests beneath the specific image or impress of the act of divine caritas called Trinity, on our intellects.
For what it's worth, I really like that imagery as well. I just think we should be mindful to not get so infatuated with certain imagery that we let it drive yet another wedge between us and our Eastern Orthodox brethren. If an Orthodox Christian told me that they rejected this and thought it sounded heretical, I certainly would not tell him/her that they must believe it. We, as Catholics, aren't even required to believe it.
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« Reply #76 on: May 31, 2011, 10:39:05 PM »

To me, the issue is the statement that "theological opinions shouldn't be barriers". To my mind, the only way for that to make sense is if one understands "opinions" to mean "legitimate opinions" (or "allowable opinions" the something along those lines). But then the statement "[legitimate] theological opinions shouldn't be barriers" becomes a completely obvious statement with which no reasonable person would disagree.
Well a theological opinion probably wouldn't gain popularity and thus become well-known enough to be known as a "theological opinion" if it didn't at least have legitimacy in the eyes of some. My whole point was that if we have a theological opinion that is quite popular and widely accepted within the Catholic Church (but is not a doctrine or a dogma), but many if not all in the Orthodox Church reject it, that should not be a barrier to unity because the simple fact that it is only an opinion means it is not required to be believed.

I believe I understand what you're saying, but I have a question. What if it's (if you will) the other way around? That is to say, what if a theological opinion is held by many in the Orthodox Church without being a doctrine or a dogma, but Catholics reject it? Could that be a barrier to unity?
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« Reply #77 on: May 31, 2011, 10:44:01 PM »

Or, if I might pile on another question, what if it weren't the Orthodox but (say) the Anglicans? If a theological opinion is held by many Anglicans without being a doctrine or a dogma, but Catholics reject it, could that be a barrier to unity?

Sometimes there can be a fine line between ecumenism and ecumania.
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« Reply #78 on: May 31, 2011, 10:47:38 PM »

To me, the issue is the statement that "theological opinions shouldn't be barriers". To my mind, the only way for that to make sense is if one understands "opinions" to mean "legitimate opinions" (or "allowable opinions" the something along those lines). But then the statement "[legitimate] theological opinions shouldn't be barriers" becomes a completely obvious statement with which no reasonable person would disagree.
Well a theological opinion probably wouldn't gain popularity and thus become well-known enough to be known as a "theological opinion" if it didn't at least have legitimacy in the eyes of some. My whole point was that if we have a theological opinion that is quite popular and widely accepted within the Catholic Church (but is not a doctrine or a dogma), but many if not all in the Orthodox Church reject it, that should not be a barrier to unity because the simple fact that it is only an opinion means it is not required to be believed.

I believe I understand what you're saying, but I have a question. What if it's (if you will) the other way around? That is to say, what if a theological opinion is held by many in the Orthodox Church without being a doctrine or a dogma, but Catholics reject it? Could that be a barrier to unity?
I don't think it would be a barrier to unity. I believe a good example of this is toll houses. As far as I know that is not a doctrine or dogma of the Orthodox Church, but rather a theological opinion. It shouldn't clash with our doctrine of Purgatory because, while we are required to believe in Purgatory, we are not required to believe in any specifics concerning the nature of Purgatory (e.g. whether it is a place or just a state, what it is like to go through purgation, etc.). So, it seems that the two would be compatible. However, I don't think Catholics rejecting toll houses would be bad either because of the fact that belief in them is not required.

Or, if I might pile on another question, what if it weren't the Orthodox but (say) the Anglicans? If a theological opinion is held by many Anglicans without being a doctrine or a dogma, but Catholics reject it, could that be a barrier to unity?
It shouldn't be. The fact that it is opinion means it is not binding, so our acceptance or rejection of it should not be a stumbling block to unity. Do you have any in mind or are you just speculating?
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« Reply #79 on: May 31, 2011, 11:22:01 PM »

To me, the issue is the statement that "theological opinions shouldn't be barriers". To my mind, the only way for that to make sense is if one understands "opinions" to mean "legitimate opinions" (or "allowable opinions" the something along those lines). But then the statement "[legitimate] theological opinions shouldn't be barriers" becomes a completely obvious statement with which no reasonable person would disagree.
Well a theological opinion probably wouldn't gain popularity and thus become well-known enough to be known as a "theological opinion" if it didn't at least have legitimacy in the eyes of some. My whole point was that if we have a theological opinion that is quite popular and widely accepted within the Catholic Church (but is not a doctrine or a dogma), but many if not all in the Orthodox Church reject it, that should not be a barrier to unity because the simple fact that it is only an opinion means it is not required to be believed.

I believe I understand what you're saying, but I have a question. What if it's (if you will) the other way around? That is to say, what if a theological opinion is held by many in the Orthodox Church without being a doctrine or a dogma, but Catholics reject it? Could that be a barrier to unity?
I don't think it would be a barrier to unity. I believe a good example of this is toll houses. As far as I know that is not a doctrine or dogma of the Orthodox Church, but rather a theological opinion. It shouldn't clash with our doctrine of Purgatory because, while we are required to believe in Purgatory, we are not required to believe in any specifics concerning the nature of Purgatory (e.g. whether it is a place or just a state, what it is like to go through purgation, etc.). So, it seems that the two would be compatible. However, I don't think Catholics rejecting toll houses would be bad either because of the fact that belief in them is not required.

Or, if I might pile on another question, what if it weren't the Orthodox but (say) the Anglicans? If a theological opinion is held by many Anglicans without being a doctrine or a dogma, but Catholics reject it, could that be a barrier to unity?
It shouldn't be. The fact that it is opinion means it is not binding, so our acceptance or rejection of it should not be a stumbling block to unity.

Alright.

On a side note, I recall someone a few years ago posting something very similar to what you said in #71 -- or perhaps I should it sounds very similar initially, because I'm pretty sure that for him it only goes in one direction.

Do you have any in mind or are you just speculating?

That's a good question, but I think I'd best wait till tomorrow morning to answer it.
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« Reply #80 on: May 31, 2011, 11:33:58 PM »

I think you are right about the imagery of the love between the Father and the Son:  Maybe.  But it is a venerable imagery and tells a powerful truth.  So maybe we don't need the imagery, but we surely need to look for the truth that rests beneath the specific image or impress of the act of divine caritas called Trinity, on our intellects.
If the image that the Spirit is the love between the Father and the Son "tells a powerful truth" for Catholics, then this is completely irreconcilable with Orthodox Christianity. If God is Love, then Love is Uncreated, so if you say that the Spirit is the mutual Love between the Father and the Son, then you are saying that the Spirit eternally proceeds from both the Father and the Son.
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« Reply #81 on: May 31, 2011, 11:37:23 PM »

I think you are right about the imagery of the love between the Father and the Son:  Maybe.  But it is a venerable imagery and tells a powerful truth.  So maybe we don't need the imagery, but we surely need to look for the truth that rests beneath the specific image or impress of the act of divine caritas called Trinity, on our intellects.
If the image that the Spirit is the love between the Father and the Son "tells a powerful truth" for Catholics, then this is completely irreconcilable with Orthodox Christianity. If God is Love, then Love is Uncreated, so if you say that the Spirit is the mutual Love between the Father and the Son, then you are saying that the Spirit eternally proceeds from both the Father and the Son.
Does the notion that the Spirit either is the love between Father and Son or transmits love between the Father and Son necessarily have to be synonymous with the Spirit proceeding from Father and Son? I'm honestly asking because I don't know.

I think the imagery of the Holy Spirit being the love between Father and Son is beautiful because, the way I heard it explained, it is the Spirit's descent upon the Church at Pentecost that allowed us to receive the love of God and quite literally become connected to the love of God as it exists amongst the Three Persons of the Trinity.
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« Reply #82 on: May 31, 2011, 11:55:17 PM »

I think you are right about the imagery of the love between the Father and the Son:  Maybe.  But it is a venerable imagery and tells a powerful truth.  So maybe we don't need the imagery, but we surely need to look for the truth that rests beneath the specific image or impress of the act of divine caritas called Trinity, on our intellects.
If the image that the Spirit is the love between the Father and the Son "tells a powerful truth" for Catholics, then this is completely irreconcilable with Orthodox Christianity. If God is Love, then Love is Uncreated, so if you say that the Spirit is the mutual Love between the Father and the Son, then you are saying that the Spirit eternally proceeds from both the Father and the Son.
Does the notion that the Spirit either is the love between Father and Son or transmits love between the Father and Son necessarily have to be synonymous with the Spirit proceeding from Father and Son? I'm honestly asking because I don't know.

I think the imagery of the Holy Spirit being the love between Father and Son is beautiful because, the way I heard it explained, it is the Spirit's descent upon the Church at Pentecost that allowed us to receive the love of God and quite literally become connected to the love of God as it exists amongst the Three Persons of the Trinity.
God is Love, so God's Love is an Uncreated Energy. If you want to believe that the Spirit "transmits Uncreated Energy between the Father and the Son", your belief again is irreconcilable with Orthodox Christianity. In this "beautiful image" as you call it of the Spirit being God's Love descending at Pentecost you have been taught, you are equating the Uncreated Energies with the Spirit (which is exactly what St. Gregory Palamas said was an error). This is completely irreconcilable to Orthodox Christianity. Your understanding of who the Person's of the the Trinity are and how they relate to one another and to us are completely different to Orthodox Christianity.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2011, 11:55:51 PM by ozgeorge » Logged

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« Reply #83 on: June 01, 2011, 12:00:05 AM »

I think you are right about the imagery of the love between the Father and the Son:  Maybe.  But it is a venerable imagery and tells a powerful truth.  So maybe we don't need the imagery, but we surely need to look for the truth that rests beneath the specific image or impress of the act of divine caritas called Trinity, on our intellects.
If the image that the Spirit is the love between the Father and the Son "tells a powerful truth" for Catholics, then this is completely irreconcilable with Orthodox Christianity. If God is Love, then Love is Uncreated, so if you say that the Spirit is the mutual Love between the Father and the Son, then you are saying that the Spirit eternally proceeds from both the Father and the Son.
Does the notion that the Spirit either is the love between Father and Son or transmits love between the Father and Son necessarily have to be synonymous with the Spirit proceeding from Father and Son? I'm honestly asking because I don't know.

I think the imagery of the Holy Spirit being the love between Father and Son is beautiful because, the way I heard it explained, it is the Spirit's descent upon the Church at Pentecost that allowed us to receive the love of God and quite literally become connected to the love of God as it exists amongst the Three Persons of the Trinity.
God is Love, so God's Love is an Uncreated Energy. If you want to believe that the Spirit "transmits Uncreated Energy between the Father and the Son", your belief again is irreconcilable with Orthodox Christianity. In this "beautiful image" as you call it of the Spirit being God's Love descending at Pentecost you have been taught, you are equating the Uncreated Energies with the Spirit (which is exactly what St. Gregory Palamas said was an error). This is completely irreconcilable to Orthodox Christianity. Your understanding of who the Person's of the the Trinity are and how they relate to one another and to us are completely different to Orthodox Christianity.
So would this not even be allowed to exist as a theological opinion within the Eastern Orthodox Church?
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« Reply #84 on: June 01, 2011, 12:07:41 AM »

I think you are right about the imagery of the love between the Father and the Son:  Maybe.  But it is a venerable imagery and tells a powerful truth.  So maybe we don't need the imagery, but we surely need to look for the truth that rests beneath the specific image or impress of the act of divine caritas called Trinity, on our intellects.
If the image that the Spirit is the love between the Father and the Son "tells a powerful truth" for Catholics, then this is completely irreconcilable with Orthodox Christianity. If God is Love, then Love is Uncreated, so if you say that the Spirit is the mutual Love between the Father and the Son, then you are saying that the Spirit eternally proceeds from both the Father and the Son.
Does the notion that the Spirit either is the love between Father and Son or transmits love between the Father and Son necessarily have to be synonymous with the Spirit proceeding from Father and Son? I'm honestly asking because I don't know.

I think the imagery of the Holy Spirit being the love between Father and Son is beautiful because, the way I heard it explained, it is the Spirit's descent upon the Church at Pentecost that allowed us to receive the love of God and quite literally become connected to the love of God as it exists amongst the Three Persons of the Trinity.
God is Love, so God's Love is an Uncreated Energy. If you want to believe that the Spirit "transmits Uncreated Energy between the Father and the Son", your belief again is irreconcilable with Orthodox Christianity. In this "beautiful image" as you call it of the Spirit being God's Love descending at Pentecost you have been taught, you are equating the Uncreated Energies with the Spirit (which is exactly what St. Gregory Palamas said was an error). This is completely irreconcilable to Orthodox Christianity. Your understanding of who the Person's of the the Trinity are and how they relate to one another and to us are completely different to Orthodox Christianity.
So would this not even be allowed to exist as a theological opinion within the Eastern Orthodox Church?
No it would not be permitted in Orthodox Christianity even as a theological opinion. And sadly, it seems to be more than simply a theological opinion in Catholicism.
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« Reply #85 on: June 01, 2011, 12:11:07 AM »

I think you are right about the imagery of the love between the Father and the Son:  Maybe.  But it is a venerable imagery and tells a powerful truth.  So maybe we don't need the imagery, but we surely need to look for the truth that rests beneath the specific image or impress of the act of divine caritas called Trinity, on our intellects.
If the image that the Spirit is the love between the Father and the Son "tells a powerful truth" for Catholics, then this is completely irreconcilable with Orthodox Christianity. If God is Love, then Love is Uncreated, so if you say that the Spirit is the mutual Love between the Father and the Son, then you are saying that the Spirit eternally proceeds from both the Father and the Son.
Does the notion that the Spirit either is the love between Father and Son or transmits love between the Father and Son necessarily have to be synonymous with the Spirit proceeding from Father and Son? I'm honestly asking because I don't know.

I think the imagery of the Holy Spirit being the love between Father and Son is beautiful because, the way I heard it explained, it is the Spirit's descent upon the Church at Pentecost that allowed us to receive the love of God and quite literally become connected to the love of God as it exists amongst the Three Persons of the Trinity.
God is Love, so God's Love is an Uncreated Energy. If you want to believe that the Spirit "transmits Uncreated Energy between the Father and the Son", your belief again is irreconcilable with Orthodox Christianity. In this "beautiful image" as you call it of the Spirit being God's Love descending at Pentecost you have been taught, you are equating the Uncreated Energies with the Spirit (which is exactly what St. Gregory Palamas said was an error). This is completely irreconcilable to Orthodox Christianity. Your understanding of who the Person's of the the Trinity are and how they relate to one another and to us are completely different to Orthodox Christianity.
So would this not even be allowed to exist as a theological opinion within the Eastern Orthodox Church?
No it would not be permitted in Orthodox Christianity even as a theological opinion. And sadly, it seems to be more than simply a theological opinion in Catholicism.
How so?
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Maria
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« Reply #86 on: June 01, 2011, 12:21:16 AM »

I took a course at a Catholic university on Grace.

Catholics believe that Sanctifying Grace is created.
Orthodox believe that Grace is uncreated and is part of the Divine Energies of God.

If Grace is a participation in the Divine Life of God, then it must be uncreated and part of God's Divine Energies.
Through theosis, we are transformed through Grace and become like God, not in God's Essence, but through His Divine Energies.

This is a profound difference.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2011, 12:22:13 AM by Maria » Logged

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« Reply #87 on: June 01, 2011, 12:26:04 AM »

Catholics believe that Sanctifying Grace is created.
This part I doubt because of the way I heard Grace explained by my priest. A friend of mine recently joined the Catholic Church, and during his journey into the Catholic faith I attended quite a few RCIA classes, and I remember my priest defining Grace as "the life of Jesus Christ" within us. The life of Jesus Christ cannot be created because we know Christ (God the Son) is eternal, so I would say that we do not accept the idea of created Grace.
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« Reply #88 on: June 01, 2011, 12:33:24 AM »

Catholics believe that Sanctifying Grace is created.
This part I doubt because of the way I heard Grace explained by my priest. A friend of mine recently joined the Catholic Church, and during his journey into the Catholic faith I attended quite a few RCIA classes, and I remember my priest defining Grace as "the life of Jesus Christ" within us. The life of Jesus Christ cannot be created because we know Christ (God the Son) is eternal, so I would say that we do not accept the idea of created Grace.

Unfortunately, my Orthodox Priest asked me to donate my Roman Catholic theology book where it was mentioned that the Catholic Church teaches that Sanctified Grace is created. This college text predated the CCC and was written while Vatican II was still in session. So, yes it is outdated. Perhaps now this teaching has been changed under the influence of the Melkites who had a large part to play in writing the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Note that the Melkite Eastern Catholics hold to Orthodoxy in this area and believe what St. Palamas taught.
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« Reply #89 on: June 01, 2011, 09:11:02 AM »

I took a course at a Catholic university on Grace.

Catholics believe that Sanctifying Grace is created.
Orthodox believe that Grace is uncreated and is part of the Divine Energies of God.

If Grace is a participation in the Divine Life of God, then it must be uncreated and part of God's Divine Energies.
Through theosis, we are transformed through Grace and become like God, not in God's Essence, but through His Divine Energies.

This is a profound difference.

I am so surprised that you were not taught better than this Maria.  It is no wonder you left the Church.  You never even got a good chance to know it in reality.

What you have said here is nothing but superficial inaccuracies.  It is very unfortunate and a scandal within the Catholic Church that ANYONE would be so poorly taught.
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