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Author Topic: Re: Cooperation and Fraternal Love =Branch Theory?  (Read 4247 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: June 01, 2011, 09:29:15 AM »

James, I am not sure why you keep repeating the same thing, especially on the OO board.

What if I choose not to consider that the EO is alone the true Church?

The Church has very clearly been divided in a human sense a great many times and has healed itself. Which part of the Church was the true Church during the Acacian Schism for instance? Or did the Georgian Church cease to be the Church because it was not in communion with the Byzantines?

You do need to read Church History more carefully. Whenever separated parts of the Church have been reconciled they have not treated the other as not having been part of the Church. What you are repeatedly proposing is a modern novelty.

In the 1850's when the Greek Church of Alexandria was planning to be reunited with the Coptic Orthodox Church to exist as one communion there was no consideration of one part not being the Church. In the present times the Antiochian and Syrian Orthodox have published synodal statements which allow for inter-communion and sharing of sacraments. The Greek and Coptic Orthodox Church in Alexandria allow for sharing of sacraments. None of this would be possible if in fact it was considered that only one party was the true Church.

Father Peter Farrington

I would have no problem whatsoever with you not considering the EO to be the true Church.  In fact, I expect people shouldn't consider a Church they are not part of to be the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.  As to why I keep saying what I do, it is because that is my opinion, that the OO are not the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.  However, I always want to clarify when I say you are in schism by saying I do not think your church is 'bad' and unholy and you are all heretical and damned, because that is not what I believe.  I just do not understand how someone can speak of ONE Church, and of the Church being the Body of Christ, if they say that two groups who are not in communion with each other are both the Body of Christ.  The only way that makes any sense is if Christ either has two bodies, or if Christ has somehow had a limb separated. 

Was the Georgian Church the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, I would probably say no it was not when it was not in communion with the EO Churches.  As to the Acacian Schism, I wil just say that if anyone insists on being in communion with heretics,  Ido not understand how they can be considered as part of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church because they are essentially saying that both the heretical belief and the true belief are equally valid.

Whether or not a group that was separated from the Church has been treated as having been, can quite likely be a case of economia, as opposed to an endorsement of the group. 

Let me ask you this, if the OO and EO are together the One Church, do you allow any and all EO faithful to partake of your chalice when you serve?

To me, the idea that two groups can both be the True Church is essentially the Anglican Branch Theory.  I know of no Orthodox bishop who endorses Branch Theory - something it would seem you do, just redefining it from the Anglican Church, Roman Church, and Orthodox Church as the Branches of the Church to the EO and OO as the Branches.
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« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2011, 09:47:03 AM »

You're just saying the same thing, and ignoring history.

The Jerusalem and Romanian Churches are not in communion. Which one is the true Church? ROCOR and the MP have not been in communion, which one is the true Church?

All you are doing is surely elevating your opinion above the history and practice of the Church, in a protestant manner, and then accusing me, while I simply approve the practice of the Church through 2000 years, of being an heretic?

And you are not even Orthodox.

Of course EO are communed in OO churches around the world, and OO are communed by EO around the world. As I stated, the Antiochian and Syrians allow mutual communion, as do the Greeks and Coptic Orthodox in Egypt, and the same thing happens in many and most places around the world.

I know many EO bishops who commune, and have offered to commune, members of the OO, and vice-versa. I even know ROCOR priests who have communed OO.

If two bishops become separated due to all manner of reasons there is no division at all in the spiritual reality of the Church. This is NOT the brach theory. To suggest it is is no more than throwing around insults to avoid addressing the real issues.

i. There have been countless divisions in the unity of the Church which have been dealt with without treating one group as having ceased to be the Church.

ii. I cannot think of an example of such reconciliation where the word 'economia' was used in relation to the reconciliation.

iii. I can think of a great many explicit statements of various church leaders through the past millenia which consider the other party in a division to be the Church but in error.

If you are not able to consider how it is possible for members of the Church to be separated then I encourage you to read a lot more Church history and be slower to assert that various Orthodox Christians are not part of the Church because YOU cannot work out how that is possible.
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« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2011, 10:04:57 AM »

Let me just ask you this, as I don't have the time right now to answer to the whole post.  Can you point to two or three EO Bishops and two or three OO Bishops who would agree with your position that the OO and EO are both fully the Church?
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« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2011, 10:06:11 AM »

Oh, and if both are the Church, then would you concelebrate with EO priests?
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« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2011, 10:19:51 AM »

All of the Holy Synods of the OO have agreed that the EO are Orthodox.

The Romanian Synod has agreed that the OO are Orthodox, as has the Antiochian.

I will not name individual EO bishops who I know commune OO.

I am not permitted to concelebrate with EO priests, but that does not mean that they are not considered Orthodox priests. Jerusalem and Romanian priests and bishops are not able to concelebrate at the moment, does that mean that they consider the others not to be Orthodox? The Antiochian and Syrian Orthodox have agreed that concelebration may take place. The Coptic Orthodox are prepared for concelebration to take place.

There are countless examples of the same situations through Church history. For any reconciliation to take place it is the case that before the reconciliation is formalised there must be a state where the other party is considered Orthodox but with broken relationships.

With respect, you are not Orthodox. I do not think that you are best placed to decide who should be doing what or who may be considered the Church or not.

You are insisting that in the case where two bishops disagree on some matter and fall out of communion it is a necessity that one party must cease to be part of the Body of Christ, and therefore cease to be Christian. This is not supported by the practice or history of the Church at all. You are then insisting that when these two bishops reconcile it may be on the basis of one party being treated as if it was part of the Body of Christ, even though it was not. This again is not supported by the practice or history of the Church. You are also insisting that all the laity belonging to the jurisdiction of a bishop who separates from another bishop must also be considered to have ceased to be part of the Body of Christ. None of these opinions are based on any historical evidence whatsoever.

When the Greek Patriarch left Egypt for business in the 1850's he left his Church in the care of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate. He was prepared to become a Metropolitan within the Coptic Orthodox Church and unite his community with the Coptic Orthodox. Due to the manouvering of the British in Egypt the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch was murdered by the Muslims before this union could come about. In the present days the two Orthodox communities in Egypt accept each others sacraments and therefore consider each other to be THE Church.

Father Peter Farrington
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« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2011, 11:18:51 AM »

I split this off from the original thread because I want to keep that other thread on topic.  I'll keep this here as long as it is civil.  Otherwise, it will get kicked into the ugly depths of the private forum.
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« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2011, 12:22:20 PM »

All of the Holy Synods of the OO have agreed that the EO are Orthodox.

The Romanian Synod has agreed that the OO are Orthodox, as has the Antiochian.

I will not name individual EO bishops who I know commune OO.

I am not permitted to concelebrate with EO priests, but that does not mean that they are not considered Orthodox priests. Jerusalem and Romanian priests and bishops are not able to concelebrate at the moment, does that mean that they consider the others not to be Orthodox? The Antiochian and Syrian Orthodox have agreed that concelebration may take place. The Coptic Orthodox are prepared for concelebration to take place.

There are countless examples of the same situations through Church history. For any reconciliation to take place it is the case that before the reconciliation is formalised there must be a state where the other party is considered Orthodox but with broken relationships.

With respect, you are not Orthodox. I do not think that you are best placed to decide who should be doing what or who may be considered the Church or not.

You are insisting that in the case where two bishops disagree on some matter and fall out of communion it is a necessity that one party must cease to be part of the Body of Christ, and therefore cease to be Christian. This is not supported by the practice or history of the Church at all. You are then insisting that when these two bishops reconcile it may be on the basis of one party being treated as if it was part of the Body of Christ, even though it was not. This again is not supported by the practice or history of the Church. You are also insisting that all the laity belonging to the jurisdiction of a bishop who separates from another bishop must also be considered to have ceased to be part of the Body of Christ. None of these opinions are based on any historical evidence whatsoever.

When the Greek Patriarch left Egypt for business in the 1850's he left his Church in the care of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate. He was prepared to become a Metropolitan within the Coptic Orthodox Church and unite his community with the Coptic Orthodox. Due to the manouvering of the British in Egypt the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch was murdered by the Muslims before this union could come about. In the present days the two Orthodox communities in Egypt accept each others sacraments and therefore consider each other to be THE Church.

Father Peter Farrington
Our bishop, Metropolitan Joseph of the Bulgarian Diocese of the USA and Canada, said he would commune OO as long as they had the blessing of their bishop.

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2011, 12:35:55 PM »

Father, let me just preface by saying I hadn't really intended or desired a debate with my original post in the other thread, and so I don't really have the desire for an in depth debate.  However, I will say that I see a clear distinction between the Romanians and Jerusalemites (does anyone happen to know the actual adjective for the Jerusalem Patriarchate?) falling out of communion and what has occured between the EO and the OO.  This distinction being of course that the Romanian Patriarchate and the Jerusalem Patriarchate are both in total communion with Moscow, Constantinople,  Alexandria, Antioch, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece, etc. whereas the OO fell out of communion with all of the EO Churches, and the Copts only remained in communion with (and vice versa) the Armenians, the Syrians, the Ethiopians, and (for a time) the Georgians.  Another distinction would be that the OO/EO schism has lasted for over a thousand years, whereas the Romanian/Jerusalem dispute will likely not last for two, if that.

As well Father, while all of the OO Holy Synods may well have declared the EO to be Orthodox (you would certainly know more about this than me, as I do not keep up with OO Synod declarations), this does not mean that they have endorsed your view that we are one Church, it merely means that they recognize the OO and EO as holding to the same faith, something I would agree with, as would - it would seem - most OO and EO.  It does not mean that one group is not schismatic (in my view, the OO, and I would assume any OO who don't view both groups as one Church, the would view the EO as the schismatics).  I know that many EO do in fact view the OO as schismatics, and I have read in many places that many OO view the EO as schismatics (especially the Ethiopians).

Do you mind telling me why you won't name EO bishops who commune OO?  Is it perhaps because their Synods have told them not to as the Eastern Orthodox Church does not view the OO as being part of the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church?  If it is not, I do not know why you won't divulge this information.

Could you please point me to where the Antiochians and the Syrians say concelebration may take place?  I know that they have said inter-communion can happen, as the Antiochians have said about the Melkites, IIRC (though, I am under the impression that in every instance where the Antiochians have said that someone who is not EO may commune in an Antiochian Church, and vice-versa, this is meant to be in an extraordianry circumstance, not a common thing).

I realize I am not Orthodox, but that has no bearing on whether or not my opinion is correct.  As well, I am in the process of becoming Orthodox.  I could just as easily say you are not EO and so cannot claim to have any idea about whether or not the EO consider the OO to be one church with them.

I will perhaps get around to responding to the rest of your post(s) later.  

Andrew, can you please point to a document saying this?
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« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2011, 12:55:49 PM »

Father, let me just preface by saying I hadn't really intended or desired a debate with my original post in the other thread, and so I don't really have the desire for an in depth debate.  However, I will say that I see a clear distinction between the Romanians and Jerusalemites (does anyone happen to know the actual adjective for the Jerusalem Patriarchate?) falling out of communion and what has occured between the EO and the OO.  This distinction being of course that the Romanian Patriarchate and the Jerusalem Patriarchate are both in total communion with Moscow, Constantinople,  Alexandria, Antioch, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece, etc. whereas the OO fell out of communion with all of the EO Churches, and the Copts only remained in communion with (and vice versa) the Armenians, the Syrians, the Ethiopians, and (for a time) the Georgians.  Another distinction would be that the OO/EO schism has lasted for over a thousand years, whereas the Romanian/Jerusalem dispute will likely not last for two, if that.

As well Father, while all of the OO Holy Synods may well have declared the EO to be Orthodox (you would certainly know more about this than me, as I do not keep up with OO Synod declarations), this does not mean that they have endorsed your view that we are one Church, it merely means that they recognize the OO and EO as holding to the same faith, something I would agree with, as would - it would seem - most OO and EO.  It does not mean that one group is not schismatic (in my view, the OO, and I would assume any OO who don't view both groups as one Church, the would view the EO as the schismatics).  I know that many EO do in fact view the OO as schismatics, and I have read in many places that many OO view the EO as schismatics (especially the Ethiopians).

Do you mind telling me why you won't name EO bishops who commune OO?  Is it perhaps because their Synods have told them not to as the Eastern Orthodox Church does not view the OO as being part of the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church?  If it is not, I do not know why you won't divulge this information.

Could you please point me to where the Antiochians and the Syrians say concelebration may take place?  I know that they have said inter-communion can happen, as the Antiochians have said about the Melkites, IIRC (though, I am under the impression that in every instance where the Antiochians have said that someone who is not EO may commune in an Antiochian Church, and vice-versa, this is meant to be in an extraordianry circumstance, not a common thing).

I realize I am not Orthodox, but that has no bearing on whether or not my opinion is correct.  As well, I am in the process of becoming Orthodox.  I could just as easily say you are not EO and so cannot claim to have any idea about whether or not the EO consider the OO to be one church with them.

I will perhaps get around to responding to the rest of your post(s) later.  

Andrew, can you please point to a document saying this?
I can't because I'm just going by what my priest has said, even though my priest is not sure if the OO are Orthodox (though I believe they are) he is just obeying His Eminence's policy.

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2011, 01:03:31 PM »

Thank you anyways Andrew, and it's not that I distrusted you, I just like to know exactly what's said when a bishop is said to have said something outside the norm (I wonder if I can fit one more 'said' into this sentence?), you know what I'm saying (is that close enough?)?  I might go looking for his statement later.
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« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2011, 01:22:01 PM »

You're just saying the same thing, and ignoring history.

The Jerusalem and Romanian Churches are not in communion. Which one is the true Church? ROCOR and the MP have not been in communion, which one is the true Church?


I understand what you are trying to convey, Fr. Peter, but I’m sure you realize that the subject of communion between ROCOR and the MP during Soviet times, and between Romania and Jerusalem in the present time, are quite different than the situation between EO and OO.  St. Basil in his first canon refers to schisms due to “remediable causes” (sometimes called administrative schisms) in which both parties remain part of the Church, and schisms of course are distinguished from heresies.  In the case of ROCOR and the MP, while they did not concelebrate together and were not directly in communion, both ROCOR and the MP remained in communion with the rest of the Church, and were recognized by the rest of the Orthodox Church (ROCOR at least by Serbia and Jerusalem).  In the case of Romania and Jerusalem, the rest of the Orthodox Church recognizes both as Orthodox and is in communion with both, there is just no direct communion or concelebration by the clergy and bishops until the issue is resolved that prompted the breaking of communion in the first place.  In the case of ROCOR and the MP, communion was broken for perhaps 80 yrs, and between Romania and Jerusalem it has been a few weeks.  No Orthodox bishops in the entire world concelebrate or are in communion with Non-Chalcedonian bishops, however, nor have they been for about 1,500 yrs.  I’m sure you realize there is a difference in these situations.  

Now, as to whether OO should be regarded by EO as merely in schism due to a “remediable cause” (for 1,500 yrs!) as opposed to a being in schism and heresy, obviously the professors and academicians seem to be saying there is no difference in faith, but we have yet to have any saints or holy elders confirm this.  The Church is led by its saints and Fathers, not by academic symposiums or doctoral dissertations.  It very well could be that a Council will occur whereby all of the differences are resolved and the EO will officially state that the OO are fully Orthodox (and vice versa) and communion can be established.  It very well may be that after such an event the faithful will see that this Council was guided by the Holy Spirit and acted in a manner pleasing to God.  At such a time, EO bishops may receive OO bishops as fully Orthodox, or there will simply be the entering into communion of two equal parties, and this will be sealed by concelebration.  Until that time, though, just because past schisms have been healed when both parties recognize each other as part of the Church, this does not imply that the present division will be resolved in such a manner.  Also, we have to show some respect, I think, for how the division between EO and OO differs from every other schism that has been resolved in the past.  I am all for reunion if done properly, but at the same time I think both sides may exhibit a lack of respect for their own saints and fathers by considering this division to be “no big deal” or due to a “mere misunderstanding.”

Out of curiosity, do you have OO saints and Fathers who have said that the EO are fully Orthodox?

Now, after saying this, the OP’s question is focused on what relationship EO and OO can have in working towards such a reunion.  Personally, I have no idea and would rather leave this matter to God, trusting that God will make this happen through the bishops if such a thing is pleasing to God.  Personally, I would welcome a friendship with an OO priest or layperson just to learn more about their history and tradition and in order to better understand where the differences and similarities are to be found.  However, I would not be comfortable with any form of joint prayer until communion is established.  
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« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2011, 01:31:36 PM »


Now, as to whether OO should be regarded by EO as merely in schism due to a “remediable cause” (for 1,500 yrs!) as opposed to a being in schism and heresy, obviously the professors and academicians seem to be saying there is no difference in faith, but we have yet to have any saints or holy elders confirm this.

Just off the top of my head, St. John the Merciful and John the Faster (the first Patriarch of Constantinople to use the title Ecumenical Patriarch) come to mind.  Then of course there is St. Theodora who was herself Non-Chalcedonian.  There may be others.


Quote
Out of curiosity, do you have OO saints and Fathers who have said that the EO are fully Orthodox?

St. Nerses Shnorhali ("The Gracefilled") entered into dialogue with the Greeks during the 1100's and came to the conclusion that we both have the same Christology.

In other words, this isn't just a modern day thing.
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« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2011, 01:42:26 PM »

There is a great amount of history which shows that the EO and OO have always considered themselves to be essentially the same Church though divided.

The Non-Orthodox OP may well feel able to determine who is and who is not Orthodox, but I don't accept or trust his judgement and consider him to lack a thorough knowledge of Church history. I don't mean that in a derogatory manner but as a matter of fact.

The OO have always considered that the EO could be received as Orthodox, and the EO always considered that the OO could be received as Orthodox. When one rather ugly EO patriarch decided that he would reordain OO clergy his views were universally treated as scandalous and the emperor insisted that he stop the practice. Every single restoration of communion between EO and OO, and there have been many, was always on the basis of the reconciliation of members of the Church and never on the basis of the submission of one party as being outside the Church.

I know of too many instances where EO and OO laity are mutually communed by bishops who consider that we are one Church. The issue of concelebration is entirely different and is a red herring.

The idea that ROCOR remained Orthodox because it was in tenuous communion with some and not most others is entirely a non-Orthodox ecclesiology. It remained Orthodox because it was Orthodox not because it was in communion with anyone. If everyone in the world had repudiated ROCOR it would not have denied ROCOR its nature as part of the Church. The view that Orthodoxy is determined by communion is generally a modern RC influenced view, and it is often associated with the idea that Orthodoxy is determined by being in communion with the EP. This is all false. Orthodoxy is determined by being Orthodox. Orthodox bishops SHOULD be in communion with one another, but if they choose not to be then this does not divide the Church nor take way the Orthodoxy of a diocese or archdiocese or patriarchate if it remains Orthodox. 
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« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2011, 02:04:50 PM »

So, Father, would it then be your position that if, say, the OCA decided to break off communion with every Orthodox bishop, and stayed that way for 1,500 years, it would still be the Church, despite the fact that it has no communion with anyone, so long as it doesn't change its faith?
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« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2011, 02:15:32 PM »

Of course.

But we are not talking about a single church but HALF of the church.

And we are talking about a huge amount of historical and documentary evidence showing that both parties always considered the other party to be Orthodox even if defective in some point of view.

The Orthodoxy of a local church is not determined by the views of others but by whether or not that Church remains Orthodox.

In the Acacian schism did Rome cease to be Orthodox in your view just because it was left on its own? Does a church cease to be Orthodox if it remains in communion only with one other group, or two, or how many?

Such a view is not Orthodox ecclesiology.

It is said the world woke up and found itself Arian, does this mean the Orthodox bishops ceased to be Orthodox because the majority voted against them? Did St Athanasius remain Orthodox only because he found someone else to be in communion with, or because he remained Orthodox? If you became Orthodox and were sent on a space mission where you entered a worm hole and were lost to all human knowledge would you cease to be Orthodox because you were not in communion with anyone?
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« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2011, 04:52:05 PM »

Two documents worth reading in the context of this post:
1) Statement on the Relations between the Syriac Orthodox (OO) and the Greek Orthodox (EO) Patriarchate of Antioch (Antiochians)
http://www.orthodoxunity.org/state13.php
2) Official statement between Coptic Orthodox (OO) and Greek Orthodox (EO) Patriarchates of Alexandria (2001)
http://www.orthodoxunity.org/state05.php

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« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2011, 03:33:22 AM »

Let me just ask you this, as I don't have the time right now to answer to the whole post.  Can you point to two or three EO Bishops and two or three OO Bishops who would agree with your position that the OO and EO are both fully the Church?
Might i add the fifth ecumenical councils decision?

"VIII.

IF anyone uses the expression "of two natures," confessing that a union was made of the Godhead and of the humanity, or the expression "the one nature made flesh of God the Word," and shall not so understand those expressions as the holy Fathers have taught, to wit: that of the divine and human nature there was made an hypostatic union, whereof is one Christ; but from these expressions shall try to introduce one nature or substance [made by a mixture] of the Godhead and manhood of Christ; let him be anathema. For in teaching that the only-begotten Word was united hypostatically [to humanity] we do not mean to say that there was made a mutual confusion of natures, but rather each [nature] remaining what it was, we understand that the Word was united to the flesh. Wherefore there is one Christ, both God and man, consubstantial with the Father as touching his Godhead, and consubstantial with us as touching his"

 This is not OO teaching so according to the decision the OO theological understanding is acceptable... just my two cents however Fr. Farrington please correct me if i am wrong!

*edit* i posted this not reading all of the posts so im not sure if it really fits in well bt i still think it goes to show that the theology of the OO is orthodox and as Fr. Farrington said that makes them orthodox...
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« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2011, 01:15:07 PM »

It doesn't really apply to my argument - which is that the Body of Christ cannot be divided into two parts, therefore the OO and the EO cannot both be the Church.  It does not have to do with the faith of the OO, but rather with a believe that where the Bishop is, there is the Church.
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« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2011, 01:29:54 PM »

But the OO and the EO all have bishops and have faithful gathered around their bishops. If the bishops have not ceased to hold the Orthodox Faith then in what sense can any have ceased to be members of the Church simply because one bishop chooses not to recognise another.

Your argument is false. It assumes that the Church is simply a businesslike organisation that requires a visible unity at all times. If you study the history of the Church you will see that it has often been riven by schism without ceasing to be One Church, and has almost always considered the others (EO or OO) to be of the Church even if subject to error or sin.

If there were two bishops and dioceses on a remote planet who fell out with each other without either ceasing to hold to the Orthodox Faith then at which point in time would either cease to be the Church?

The Body of Christ is not divided but quite clearly the visible Church has often been divided. It is part of the rose tinted presentation of Orthodoxy on all sides which suggests there has never been division, but there has always been division, weakness and sin, because the Church is both human and divine.
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« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2011, 02:13:59 PM »

from what i am understanding its like is someone who practices Karate, Two schools may fall out of favor with one another but if they both practice the same art,  unaltered, they are both practicing karate. The simple fact that both communions are practicing Orthodox practice MAKES them Orthodox.
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« Reply #20 on: June 08, 2011, 03:18:13 PM »

from what i am understanding its like is someone who practices Karate, Two schools may fall out of favor with one another but if they both practice the same art,  unaltered, they are both practicing karate. The simple fact that both communions are practicing Orthodox practice MAKES them Orthodox.
I think that's a great analogy. Thanks for sharing!

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« Reply #21 on: June 08, 2011, 03:44:31 PM »

But the OO and the EO all have bishops and have faithful gathered around their bishops. If the bishops have not ceased to hold the Orthodox Faith then in what sense can any have ceased to be members of the Church simply because one bishop chooses not to recognise another.

Your argument is false. It assumes that the Church is simply a businesslike organisation that requires a visible unity at all times. If you study the history of the Church you will see that it has often been riven by schism without ceasing to be One Church, and has almost always considered the others (EO or OO) to be of the Church even if subject to error or sin.

If there were two bishops and dioceses on a remote planet who fell out with each other without either ceasing to hold to the Orthodox Faith then at which point in time would either cease to be the Church?

The Body of Christ is not divided but quite clearly the visible Church has often been divided. It is part of the rose tinted presentation of Orthodoxy on all sides which suggests there has never been division, but there has always been division, weakness and sin, because the Church is both human and divine.

Father, a lovely post. Especially that last paragraph. This point happily has been made on more than occasion and by more than one EO priest to me. 
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« Reply #22 on: June 08, 2011, 04:12:12 PM »

from what i am understanding its like is someone who practices Karate, Two schools may fall out of favor with one another but if they both practice the same art,  unaltered, they are both practicing karate. The simple fact that both communions are practicing Orthodox practice MAKES them Orthodox.

Except that your analogy separates Orthodoxy from the Orthodox Church.  Someone could, at least theoretically, teach themselves karate and become an expert in it, and then open a karate school.  One cannot teach oneself Orthodoxy and then declare yourself a bishop and open an Orthodox Church.  Karate is just forms, it is not the structure.  Christ, on the other hand, came to Earth and established a SINGLE Church, he did not just teach stuff and then tell the Apostles "OK, go your own way and just tell everyone what I told you, don't worry about people setting up their own shop, it's perfectly a ok by me."

Father Peter, the reason I am not responding to your post is because my goal in responding to this thread was not to reignite the debate, but rather to tell Seafra that his argument doesn't really address mine, and now to show how his analogy is faulty.
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« Reply #23 on: June 08, 2011, 04:17:46 PM »

You may not wish to respond to my post, but you are still asserting, as a non-Orthodox, what Orthodox must believe, when clearly we do not and have never done so.

The fact that EO and OO do not rebaptise each other, or reordain each other, or consider each other not to have been the Church when reconciliation takes place shows that your opinion is not supported by history or Tradition.

Indeed you are suggesting that your views, as a non-Orthodox, are superior to that of Orthodox bishops. The fact a Serbian priest has just been received as Orthodox into the Coptic Orthodox Church shows the view which is actually held. The fact in my own community an Antiochian priest received a canonical transfer to the Coptic Orthodox Church from his own bishop to my own bishop shows the view which is actually held.
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« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2011, 04:25:18 PM »

The fact in my own community an Antiochian priest received a canonical transfer to the Coptic Orthodox Church from his own bishop to my own bishop shows the view which is actually held.

Father,

Not to inquire too far into the details, but I am unsure of implications without some.

Was the Antiochian Priest transferred to the Coptic Orthodox Church, because he wanted to "become" part of the COC and thus leaving the EOC? Or was it a "cooperative" agreement between the Bishops to meet some pastoral need?

I apologize if my question is not very clear and for all the scare quotes, I am just not sure of the correct terms to use here. I hope you understand what I am asking.

What is implied as I (mis)understand the statement is that the relationship between the EOC and OOC is closer than I thought.
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« Reply #25 on: June 08, 2011, 04:35:27 PM »

The Antiochian priest wished to become a priest of the COC and ceased practicing as a priest in the EOC. After 7 or 8 years his personal circumstances changed and he returned to the EOC where he continued to practice as a priest, this time as one in the EOC rather than the COC. So I guess that his EOC priesthood was recognised in the COC and then his continuing status as a priest was recognised back in the EOC.
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« Reply #26 on: June 08, 2011, 04:38:30 PM »

Father,

Thank you for the clarification.
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« Reply #27 on: June 08, 2011, 04:39:50 PM »

You may not wish to respond to my post, but you are still asserting, as a non-Orthodox, what Orthodox must believe, when clearly we do not and have never done so.

The fact that EO and OO do not rebaptise each other, or reordain each other, or consider each other not to have been the Church when reconciliation takes place shows that your opinion is not supported by history or Tradition.

Indeed you are suggesting that your views, as a non-Orthodox, are superior to that of Orthodox bishops. The fact a Serbian priest has just been received as Orthodox into the Coptic Orthodox Church shows the view which is actually held. The fact in my own community an Antiochian priest received a canonical transfer to the Coptic Orthodox Church from his own bishop to my own bishop shows the view which is actually held.

I am not Orthodox yet, you are right.  However, you are not Eastern Orthodox, yet assert that the EO Church believes what you do.  Many, many, many clergy and laity and bishops in the past and today, of the Eastern Orthodox Church, believe that you are a monophysite (I am not saying you are, I am saying many believe as such), and many also say that you are NOT a part of the Church.  As well, when a decent number of Nestorians joined the Russian Church, their priests were received by vesting, does this mean that the Nestorians are Orthodox as well and part of the Church (at least according to this article http://www.roca.org/bishop_john.htm)?

If the EO and the OO are the same Church, then why do you need to receive them at all?  Why allow them to become a Coptic Priest, when they are already a part of the Church?  Also, the fact that you admit he wanted to become a priest of your church and "ceased practicing as a priest in the EOC" sugguests that the Eastern Orthodox don't view you as the Church.
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« Reply #28 on: June 08, 2011, 04:49:36 PM »

You really are persistent in imposing your view of Church Tradition. Lol!

In Orthodoxy a priest is under a particular bishop. He is not a freelance minister who can do what he likes. He therefore serves in the area of ministry of a particular bishop. When this priest became a priest of the COC he had a service within the jurisdiction of the COC and under the authority of my own bishop. To become a Coptic priest means to become a minister within a particular jurisdiction. If I wanted to become an Armenian priest, for instance, this would not mean that I did not consider myself a priest before, but that I had formally been transferred to a different jurisdiction.

The fact that the EO bishop provided a canonical release shows that he did believe that he was transferring one of his priests to another Orthodox jurisdiction. I know the priest in any case. He certainly believed that he was not leaving one Church and joining a different one, meaning that one was not Orthodox, rather that he was indeed changing jurisdictions not Churches.

I do not think you understand how priests operate under the authority of a bishop. I 'belong' to my bishop. I can't just go where I like. I have to be released to the service of another Orthodox bishop. This is what took place in this case.

Many in the past may well have considered all manner of things. My own Orthodox Fathers also had their own views about the Chalcedonians. But at no time, even while considering the Chalcedonians to be in error, did the OO consider them not to be a deficient part of the One Church. It is rather irrelevant what the EO think in the context of this particular exchange, though they have not ever treated reconciling groups as being non-Orthodox and in 1851 the Greek Patriarch of Alexandria was prepared to enter into communion with the Coptic Patriarch, and today the Greek and Coptic Patriarchates accept each others sacraments, and the Antiochian and Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate also accept each others sacraments. You are on the OO Forum stating that the OO cannot consider the EO to be Orthodox. You are wrong.
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« Reply #29 on: June 08, 2011, 04:56:37 PM »

I do not think you understand how priests operate under the authority of a bishop. I 'belong' to my bishop. I can't just go where I like. I have to be released to the service of another Orthodox bishop. This is what took place in this case.

James this is correct. My Priest (OCA), for example, when he wanted to serve Liturgy in a parish underneath another OCA Bishop's jurisdiction, he received permission from his Bishop and the Bishop of the other jurisdiction to do so.

This clearly the case.
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« Reply #30 on: June 08, 2011, 05:16:00 PM »

I suppose I should have been more clear on this point.  I didn't mean to suggest that a priest can just go wherever he pleases, but, at the same time, my point was this: why should the Coptic Church be bringing in priests from the EO if they consider the EO to be the same Church? 

" You are on the OO Forum stating that the OO cannot consider the EO to be Orthodox. You are wrong."  I have NEVER said this, it is a lie to say that I have.  I am saying that you cannot be claiming to be the expert on the EO's position.  I do not care what you think the OO believe, I care that you keep saying the EO believe you to be part of the Church.

"Many in the past may well have considered all manner of things. My own Orthodox Fathers also had their own views about the Chalcedonians. But at no time, even while considering the Chalcedonians to be in error, did the OO consider them not to be a deficient part of the One Church."

Yes, in the past many believed all sorts of things.  You ignored the "and today" part of my comment though.  There are countless EO preists, laity, and bishops who do not think you are the Church.  Do you think this irrelevant?
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« Reply #31 on: June 08, 2011, 05:26:23 PM »

James,

I like to press the pause button in threads. What is your point here? If it is to say that you do not think the OOC is not Orthodox, then we get it.

If it is to try to find a consensus of the board on the issue, well the thread is now boiled down to basically two members who obviously disagree with each other.

If you are trying to convince Father Peter to change his position, I fail to see that happening.

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« Reply #32 on: June 08, 2011, 05:36:51 PM »

Then why are you here on the OO forum? Do you think that we need a non-Orthodox to insist that we are not Orthodox?

Do you want me to list all the EO bishops who I know think that the OO are part of the One Church?

I know one Russian bishop who offered communion to an entire OO congregation when their church was suddenly unavailable for Pascha - though the offer did not need to be accepted in the end. I know one Russian bishop who communes Armenians in his congregation. I know a ROCOR priest who has communed Copts. I know Russian bishops who have agreed that their faithful can receive communion in the Coptic Church. I know Belorussian clergy who believe I am Orthodox. I know that the Greek Patriarchate of Alexandria accepts all of the sacraments of the Coptic Patriarchate. I know that in 1851 the Greek Patriarch of Alexandria was preparing to enter union with the Coptic Church. I know that the Russian Church of the mid-19th century wished to take the OO of the Middle East into its care. I know many EO bishops and priests personally around the world who consider me Orthodox. I know the Romanian, Antiochian, Alexandrian and Ecumenical Patriarchates consider me Orthodox. All of those bishops representing a wide variety of EO communities who have participated in various discussions with the OO consider me Orthodox.

What is it to you what a particular priest does, here in the UK or in Australia. The particular circumstances of at least two priests have led them to serve in the COC as priests. The COC is not 'bringing in priests'. If there is a pastoral need then lots of things happen that are not for you to know or criticise. The fact is that they were received as Orthodox in the COC, and certainly in the case known personally to me, were allowed to come to the COC as being transferred to an Orthodox jurisdiction.

There are Greek priests who have joined the Russian Church, does that mean that you will be asking.. why should the Russian Church be bringing in priests from the Greeks if they consider the Greeks to be the same Church?
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« Reply #33 on: June 08, 2011, 05:42:49 PM »

James,

I like to press the pause button in threads. What is your point here? If it is to say that you do not think the OOC is not Orthodox, then we get it.

If it is to try to find a consensus of the board on the issue, well the thread is now boiled down to basically two members who obviously disagree with each other.

If you are trying to convince Father Peter to change his position, I fail to see that happening.



My purpose is to correct misunderstandings of my position, so that those who might read this thread in the future will have a better idea of where I stood.  I don't have any hope of convincing Father Peter to change his position, I don't think he will.

And Father Peter, I don't see why you seem to insist on, in every other post, pointing out the fact that I am not Orthodox.  I am in the process of joining the Orthodox Church, and from the perspective of many, YOU are not Orthodox.
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« Reply #34 on: June 08, 2011, 05:45:13 PM »

I'd like the tone of this thread to cool down a bit.  Please don't make me post a link to the Barney Song.
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« Reply #35 on: June 08, 2011, 05:49:58 PM »

Then let me ask again, why are you here?

You are entitled to your position, but on this forum you are not entitled to keep presenting it on the OO section. It would be better if you found a thread in another section where others agreed with you that I am not Orthodox.
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« Reply #36 on: June 08, 2011, 05:58:46 PM »

Salpy, I apologize for letting my posts get somewhat heated and I will try and keep them a bit cooler in the future.

Father Peter, I am here to - as I said - correct misunderstandings in my posts.  And what do you mean I am "not entitled to keep presenting" my view in this forum?  All I had been doing was, when I would comment in a thread where I felt it was necessary in my post to assert that I didn't think you were the actual Church, added an addendum to it saying that while I think your church is schismatic, I don't think it heretical.  You are the one who kept making a fuss about my post and who started a debate.  Not me.
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« Reply #37 on: June 08, 2011, 05:59:50 PM »

Oh, and I find it funny how you complained about Monachos not being welcoming to OO, and then here you are basically telling me to shut up (which, I presume, was also the point of repeatedly saying I am not Orthodox - something anyone who looks to the left of my posts will see).
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« Reply #38 on: June 08, 2011, 06:17:38 PM »

Here is the problem james... You are on a forum specifically for the OO saying that they are not orthodox... If nothing else it is disrespectful you made your point but no one gere adheres with you so to continue does not and won't make you look any better to future readers... As they will probably be OO and disagree with you
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« Reply #39 on: June 08, 2011, 06:19:18 PM »

OK, here we go:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vzo0iHrivVQ

Don't say I didn't warn you guys.

James,

While it doesn't specifically break any rules for you to state for the record your own opinion of our Church, and the fact that there are many EO's who consider us heretics, to repeatedly do so does get a little polemical-sounding.  For the sake of keeping the peace, I would like you to not push that issue.

I'm sure that Father Peter will do his own part in keeping the peace by not pointing out anymore that you have not yet joined any Orthodox Church.

I'd like to thank you both for your anticipated cooperation.
  Smiley

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« Reply #40 on: June 08, 2011, 06:23:57 PM »

OK, here we go:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vzo0iHrivVQ

Don't say I didn't warn you guys.

James,

While it doesn't specifically break any rules for you to state for the record your own opinion of our Church, and the fact that there are many EO's who consider us heretics, to repeatedly do so does get a little polemical-sounding.  For the sake of keeping the peace, I would like you to not push that issue.

I'm sure that Father Peter will do his own part in keeping the peace by not pointing out anymore that you have not yet joined any Orthodox Church.

I'd like to thank you both for your anticipated cooperation.
  Smiley


LOL do you realize the irony in that so... Lol I'm sure it wasn't intended
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« Reply #41 on: June 08, 2011, 06:28:44 PM »

Here is the problem james... You are on a forum specifically for the OO saying that they are not orthodox... If nothing else it is disrespectful you made your point but no one gere adheres with you so to continue does not and won't make you look any better to future readers... As they will probably be OO and disagree with you

I will just make this one more post and then am done with the thread.  Seafra, no one may agree, and that is fine.  However, I have only continued this because other people have responded to my posts, usually misunderstanding what I am saying.

Salpy, I can certainly understand how I may have sounded polemical, and I apologize to anyone who I have offended by doing so.
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« Reply #42 on: September 09, 2011, 04:28:55 PM »

While I did find this thread interesting, I must say, I really don't think it is appropriate for Chalcedonians to post on OUR fora about how we Orthodox (AKA 'OO') are schismatic. One thing I dislike about the dialogue between the Orthodox and the Chalcedonians is that the Orthodox are almost capitulating to the other side. We have done so many things which contradict the memory of our own God-bearing Orthodox Fathers and many Chalcedonians can't even show us enough respect on an Internet forum not to call us schismatic! I am sorry for resurrecting such an old thread, but I had to say this. Please do not take offence to this post.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2011, 04:57:26 PM by Severian » Logged

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." -Jesus Christ (Cf. St. John 16:33)
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« Reply #43 on: September 20, 2011, 04:56:34 PM »

Oh, and I find it funny how you complained about Monachos not being welcoming to OO, and then here you are basically telling me to shut up (which, I presume, was also the point of repeatedly saying I am not Orthodox - something anyone who looks to the left of my posts will see).

Why don't you ask a parish priest near you? It's one thing to "understand" Orthodoxy via the internet or reading. Try living the Orthodox life, and you'll see what compels us to recognize the OO as Orthodox.

Also, I recommend this podcast from Dr. Clark Carlton: http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/carlton/theological_language_ecumenical_dialogue_and_evangelism_part_iii

Here's a typed excerpt:
Quote
I think a more pragmatic and fruitful method (toward union) would be to convene a conference of seasoned Athonite monks and seasoned Coptic monks. Have them gather, and instead of discussing historical theology and who did what to whom in the fifth century, have them talk about how they pray, and how they fast, and how they try to acquire the virtues. If that happened, I think both sides would be able to gauge accurately just how close or how far apart we really are. I suspect the monks on Athos might come away from such a meeting surprised.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 05:03:56 PM by samkim » Logged

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Saint Severus of Antioch - the Eloquent Mouth

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« Reply #44 on: September 20, 2011, 05:19:00 PM »

^That may be a good idea (though I doubt it would ever happen), but I don't necessarily think our Monks worry too much about who did what during the fifth century. It could very well distract them from their true purpose, living their lives as Monastics.

St Jacob of Serug says:

"This is why the discerning soul should abandon the debate [over Christ] and be filled [instead] with the wonder of Christ. Let it be filled with the wonder Who is Christ! Whoever pries into the unsearchably Begotten [of the Father] no longer has wonder, and this is to say that he no longer has Christ in himself. If some investigation has set him off in search of wonder, this is because he has lost that wonder...Therefore, O soul, make haste rather to wonder, and take care to love. Be ready to worship. Keep yourself in a state of wonder...Open the door of your spirit to wonder."

In any case, the Athonites clearly don't know a thing about OO history or theology. I mean have you read their book "The Non-Chalcedonians Heretics"?! They totally misrepresent us in that book.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 05:19:36 PM by Severian » Logged

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." -Jesus Christ (Cf. St. John 16:33)
Tags: ecumenism unity branch theory Never mind! No offense! No Thanks! schism 
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