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Author Topic: The Myth of Schism  (Read 15283 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: June 04, 2011, 12:08:27 AM »

In a short, but brilliant article, entitled The Myth of Schism, Orthodox theologian David Bentley Hart shared some interesting thoughts, with his characteristic sharpness and wit. I thought it might generate some interesting discussion.

Some excerpts, regarding both sides:

As regards my own communion, I must reluctantly report that there are some Eastern Christians who have become incapable of defining what it is to be Orthodox except in contradistinction to Roman Catholicism; and among these are a small but voluble number who have (I sometimes suspect) lost any rationale for their Orthodoxy other than their profound hatred, deranged terror, and encyclopaedic ignorance of Rome. For such as these, there can never be any limit set to the number of grievances that need to be cited against Rome, nor any act of contrition on the part of Rome sufficient for absolution. There was something inherently strange in the spectacle of John Paul asking pardon for the 1204 sack of Constantinople and its sequel; but there is something inherently unseemly in the refusal of certain Eastern polemicists to allow the episode to sink back to the level of utter irrelevancy to which it belongs. (In any event, I eagerly await the day when the Patriarch of Constantinople, in a gesture of unqualified Christian contrition, makes public penance for the brutal mass slaughter of the metic Latin Christians of Byzantium - men, women and children - at the rise of Andronicus I Comnenus in 1182, and the sale of thousands of them into slavery to the Turks. Frankly, when all is said and done, the sack of 1204 was a rather mild recompense for that particular abomination, I would think).

Thus, when a certain kind of militantly conservative Catholic priest is heard to claim that the celibate priesthood was the universal practice of the early Church, established by Christ in his apostles, and that therefore even married Catholic priests of the Eastern rites possess defective orders, the historically astute among us should recognize that such a delusion is possible only for a person having no understanding of the priesthood more sophisticated than his pristine boyish memories of Fr O’Reilly’s avuncular geniality, and the shining example of his contented bachelorhood, and the calm authority with which he presided over the life of the parish of St Anne of Green Gables. And when this same priest ventures theological or ecclesiological opinions, it is almost certain that what he takes to be apostolic Catholicism will turn out to be a particular kind of post-Tridentine Baroque Catholicism, kept buoyantly afloat upon ecclesiological and sacramental principles of an antiquity no hoarier than 1729.

Similarly, when a certain kind of Greek Orthodox anti-papal demagogue claims that the Eastern Church has always rejected the validity of the sacraments of the “Latin schismatics,” or that the real church schism dates back to the eight century when the Orthodox Church became estranged from the Roman over the latter’s “rejection” of the (14th-century) distinction between God’s essence and energies, the historically literate among us should recognize that what he takes to be apostolic Orthodoxy is in fact based upon ecclesiological and sacramental principles that reach back only to 1755, and upon principles of theological interpretation first enunciated in 1942, and upon an interpretation of ecclesiastical history that dates from whenever the prescriptions for his medications expired.


In truth, the most unpleasant aspect of the current state of the division between East and West is the sheer inventiveness with which those ardently committed to that divisoin have gone about fabricating ever profounder and more radical reasons for it. Our distant Christian forbears were content to despise one another over the most minimal of matters - leavened or unleavened Eucharistic bread, for instance, or veneration of unconsecrated elements - without ever bothering to suppose that these differences were symptomatic of anything deeper than themselves. Today, however, a grand mythology has evolved regarding the theological dispositions of the Eastern and Western Christendom, to the effect that the theologies of the Eastern and Western Catholic traditions have obeyed contrary logics and have in consequence arrived at conclusions inimical each to the other - that is to say, the very essence of what we believe is no longer compatible. I do not believe that, before the middle of the 20the century, claims were ever made regarding the nature of the division as radical as those one finds not only in the works of inane agitators like the altogether absurd and execrable John Romanides, but also in the works of theologians of genuine stature,  such as Dumitru Staniloae, Vladimir Lossky, or John Zizioulas in the East or Erich Przywara or Hans Urs von Balthasar in the West; and until those claims are defeated - as well they should be, as they are without exception entirely fanciful - we cannot reasonably hope for anything but impasse.

Some thoughts about the Orthodox:

Now, speaking only for my tradition, I think I can identify fairly easily where Orthodox theology has fallen prey to this mythology. Eastern Orthodox theology gained a great deal from the - principally Russian - neo-patristic and neo-Palamite revolution during the last century, and especially from the work of Vladimir Lossky. Indeed, in the wake of the Bolshevik revolution, the very fate of Orthodoxy had become doubtful to many, and so the energy with which Lossky applied himself to a new patristic synthesis that would make clear the inmost essence of Orthodoxy is certainly understandable; but the problems bequeathed to Orthodox scholarship by the “Russian revolution” in theology are many. And the price exacted for those gains was exorbitant. For one thing, it led to a certain narrowing of the spectrum of what many Eastern theologians are prepared to treat as either centrally or legitimately Orthodox, with the consequence that many legitimate aspects of the tradition that cannot be easily situated upon the canonical Losskian path from the patristic age to the Hesychastic synthesis of the 14th and subsequent centuries have suffered either neglect or denigration. But the most damaging consequence of Orthodoxy’s 20th-century pilgrimage ad fontes - ironically, I think - has been an increase in the intensity of Eastern theology’s anti-Western polemic, or at least in the confidence with which it is uttered. Nor is this only a problem for ecumenism: the anti-Western passion of Lossky and others has on occasion led to severe distortions of Eastern theology; and it has often made intelligent interpretations of Western Christian theology all but impossible for Orthodox thinkers. Neo-patristic Orthodox scholarship has usually gone hand in hand with some of the most excruciatingly inaccurate treatments of Western theologians one could imagine. The aforementioned John Romanides, for instance, has produced expositions of the thought of Augustine and Thomas Aquinas that are almost miraculously devoid of one single correct statement; and while this might be comical if such men spoke only for themselves, it becomes tragic when instead they influence the way great numbers of their fellows view other Christians.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2011, 12:12:36 AM by Sleeper » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2011, 12:23:25 AM »

Bold claims. I guess debates need polars on both sides...

I still maintain that what a theologian or philosopher actually taught during their lifetime is often irrelevant when discussing their legacies (augustine, aquinas).
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« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2011, 12:39:28 AM »

Does Mr Hart enjoy street cred among the Orthodox?.  A google.com search indicates that his preferred milieu, his studies and his employment history, are essentially with the Roman Catholics.
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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2011, 12:48:38 AM »

I don't think he does, to be honest, but possibly because he challenges the false pop narrative that so much of contemporary North American Orthodoxy seems to be bent on building itself upon?  Grin
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« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2011, 12:53:48 AM »

I find his article painfully honest.

http://books.google.com/books?id=R78YXOLQR-UC&pg=PA95&lpg=PA95&dq=%22the+myth+of+schism%22&source=bl&ots=wWX118zdvt&sig=n-7O_O2SUyk1n33w--cjuG6Bn5M&hl=en&ei=xBC9SvSpFZLkswPF1bRS&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2#v=onepage&q=%22the&f=false
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« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2011, 12:57:15 AM »

Thanks for providing the link, Azurestone, (and I agree).
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« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2011, 01:26:10 AM »

This guy isn't brilliant and neither is his article.
He lives in his head.
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« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2011, 01:49:49 AM »

This guy isn't brilliant and neither is his article.
He lives in his head.


"The wise man’s eyes are in his head, But the fool walks in darkness." Ecc. 2:14 Wink
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« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2011, 02:07:37 AM »

This guy isn't brilliant and neither is his article.
He lives in his head.


"The wise man’s eyes are in his head, But the fool walks in darkness." Ecc. 2:14 Wink
Whatever. Enjoy your latest Staretz. Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2011, 02:17:36 AM »

I don't think he does, to be honest, but possibly because he challenges the false pop narrative that so much of contemporary North American Orthodoxy seems to be bent on building itself upon?  Grin
Not like the Old World has any grievance against the Vatican.  Did Lossky ever set foot in North America?
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« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2011, 04:27:57 AM »

In a short, but brilliant article, entitled The Myth of Schism, Orthodox theologian David Bentley Hart shared some interesting thoughts, with his characteristic sharpness and wit. I thought it might generate some interesting discussion.

I see a lot of assertions and ad hominem. I don't see a single piece of evidence adduced to actually support those assertions so I'm not sure what you think is worth discussing. Whether you agree or disagree with him (and I personally do think there is plenty to criticize in his work), at least Fr. Romanides supplies copious references to actual facts and documents to back up his arguments. This, on the other hand, appears to be simply a more verbose version of "I'm right and you stink" that you can hear on any playground.
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« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2011, 09:38:08 AM »

I don't think he does, to be honest, but possibly because he challenges the false pop narrative that so much of contemporary North American Orthodoxy seems to be bent on building itself upon?  Grin
Not like the Old World has any grievance against the Vatican.  Did Lossky ever set foot in North America?

I'm not sure, Isa, and I was mainly being facetious Smiley But wouldn't you agree that Lossky's influence was pretty substantial?

I see a lot of assertions and ad hominem. I don't see a single piece of evidence adduced to actually support those assertions so I'm not sure what you think is worth discussing. Whether you agree or disagree with him (and I personally do think there is plenty to criticize in his work), at least Fr. Romanides supplies copious references to actual facts and documents to back up his arguments. This, on the other hand, appears to be simply a more verbose version of "I'm right and you stink" that you can hear on any playground.

To be fair, it's a brief article, more in line with a reflection or meditation rather than a scholarly journal. Aside from ad hominems, which points did you dispute or think are factually unsupportable?
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« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2011, 09:42:14 AM »

Sounds like an academic really straining for recognition.

As for Lossky being "pop"... please.
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« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2011, 10:10:16 AM »


I suspect that it would be no surprise for me to concur with Azurestone since I constantly link to the papers of the consultation.

Myth is often dear to our hearts and separating it from history, hard facts and reality is a most difficult endeavor in that most of us have a profound and unstated inward fear that if we separate pious mythology from our faith, we may challenge the very underpinnings of our faith.

One thing this, and other forums have taught me, is that the diversity of practice and thought within our Orthodox Church is much wider than I imagined but very much more shallow than I ever could have envisioned. In other words, we have to move first beyond external manifestations within our own home before we can move on.

All in all, a good article.
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« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2011, 11:02:35 AM »

Of course, if we would all just read more Florovsky, all would be well. Fortunately, several projects are in the works to make his voluminous writings more accessible and better understood.
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« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2011, 11:12:49 AM »

Christ is ascended!
I don't think he does, to be honest, but possibly because he challenges the false pop narrative that so much of contemporary North American Orthodoxy seems to be bent on building itself upon?  Grin
Not like the Old World has any grievance against the Vatican.  Did Lossky ever set foot in North America?

I'm not sure, Isa, and I was mainly being facetious Smiley But wouldn't you agree that Lossky's influence was pretty substantial?
Sure, but then I love Lossky.  But he isn't a North American phenomenon.
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« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2011, 11:22:04 AM »

Strikes me me as a sophomoric exercise in displaying one's ability to use a thesaurus.  The essay is saturated with rather risible phrases such as "interminably pullulating vines of theological legend."   The impression is of someone trying far too hard to impress the grown ups and it does not come across as a serious scholarly study.

If you can bear to read any more of it...

http://www.scribd.com/doc/54260555/David
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« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2011, 11:36:15 AM »

Christ is ascended!
Quote
The division between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches-officially almost a millenium old, but in many ways far older-has often been characterized as the ineluctable effect of one or another irreconcilable and irreducible difference:....even 'ontological'-to cite the somewhat hermetic language once employed by the Oecumenical Patriarch. (I hope that this last was a case of mistranslation,  I must note, as I should be inconsolable if I discovered that we do not even now have being in common)
Finding consolation in fantasy usually ends up badly.  We don't share being: the Vatican derives itself from a "petrine ministry" that it has created for itself to justify its existence as it is, and the Catholic Church receives her being from the Orthodox confession of St. Peter.

Besides the Orthodox episcopate of the Catholic Church, the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church has no "petrine ministry." So when it is asked "how can the petrine ministry serve the Church," the answer is "it can't, because it is not of the Church."  To say otherwise is to say that the bishops and their flocks in the Orthodox diptychs of the Catholic Church at some time ceased to be the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, i.e. to accept Ultamontanist claims.

The papacy of Rome, let alone that of the Vatican, is of ecclesiastical, not divine, origin.  Anything that claims otherwise is not the Faith delievered once and for all to the saints.
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« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2011, 11:37:58 AM »

Christ is ascended!
Strikes me me as a sophomoric exercise in displaying one's ability to use a thesaurus.  The essay is saturated with rather risible phrases such as "interminably pullulating vines of theological legend."   The impression is of someone trying far too hard to impress the grown ups and it does not come across as a serious scholarly study.

If you can bear to read any more of it...

http://www.scribd.com/doc/54260555/David
He also had better be a member of Her Britannic Majesty's Commonwealth if he is spelling Ecumenical "Oecumenical."
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« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2011, 11:46:58 AM »

This guy isn't brilliant and neither is his article.
He lives in his head.

I don't know; he may not be and he may be.  But, he studied at Cambridge and Virginia and taught at Duke which are pretty good indicators of scholarship.  The articles is worth considering such as I've seen it, and that's probably all it is meant to do given its length.

Of course, I have a niece who studied at the Harvard Divinity School - and when I mentioned it to a friend, he said, "Oh, so she's an atheist."   Grin Scholarship may mean different things.
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« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2011, 12:23:12 PM »

I think that most schism is a myth.
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« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2011, 02:25:41 PM »

Of course, if we would all just read more Florovsky, all would be well. Fortunately, several projects are in the works to make his voluminous writings more accessible and better understood.

Do you recommend any of his works in particular?
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« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2011, 03:29:21 PM »

Looks well worth a read to me.
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« Reply #23 on: June 04, 2011, 03:58:01 PM »

This guy isn't brilliant and neither is his article.
He lives in his head.


Agreed! 
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« Reply #24 on: June 04, 2011, 09:53:17 PM »

Sounds like an academic really straining for recognition.

As for Lossky being "pop"... please.

I've heard him called a modernist by some Orthodox believers.
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« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2011, 10:04:52 PM »

Of course, if we would all just read more Florovsky, all would be well. Fortunately, several projects are in the works to make his voluminous writings more accessible and better understood.

Do you recommend any of his works in particular?

Several:

Here are some things to look at...I am still looking for the one I had in mind first:

http://www.eighthdayinstitute.com/Florovsky_Texts.html

http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/fathers_florovsky_4.htm


Here's the one I was really looking for and my favorite.  Bible Church Tradition:

http://www.bulgarian-orthodox-church.org/rr/lode/florovsky1.pdf
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« Reply #26 on: June 05, 2011, 01:42:07 AM »

Does Mr Hart enjoy street cred among the Orthodox?.  A google.com search indicates that his preferred milieu, his studies and his employment history, are essentially with the Roman Catholics.

Strikes me me as a sophomoric exercise in displaying one's ability to use a thesaurus.  The essay is saturated with rather risible phrases such as "interminably pullulating vines of theological legend."   The impression is of someone trying far too hard to impress the grown ups and it does not come across as a serious scholarly study.

If you can bear to read any more of it...

http://www.scribd.com/doc/54260555/David

Father,

If I may, I noticed that both your posts do not actually discuss the content of the article. Rather, the first is a criticism of the author's Orthodoxy by means of whom he appears to be associated with, to you via Google.

The second is simply an insult of his writing style.

Don't really know how to point it out any other way.
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« Reply #27 on: June 05, 2011, 02:50:48 AM »

Does Mr Hart enjoy street cred among the Orthodox?.  A google.com search indicates that his preferred milieu, his studies and his employment history, are essentially with the Roman Catholics.

Strikes me me as a sophomoric exercise in displaying one's ability to use a thesaurus.  The essay is saturated with rather risible phrases such as "interminably pullulating vines of theological legend."   The impression is of someone trying far too hard to impress the grown ups and it does not come across as a serious scholarly study.

If you can bear to read any more of it...

http://www.scribd.com/doc/54260555/David

Father,

If I may, I noticed that both your posts do not actually discuss the content of the article. Rather, the first is a criticism of the author's Orthodoxy by means of whom he appears to be associated with, to you via Google.

The second is simply an insult of his writing style.

Don't really know how to point it out any other way.

1.  I dislike what I see as a very sententious style of writing

2.  I dislike what I see as his constant accusation that the Orthodox are acting only out of bad faith and are incapable of conducting a dialogue.
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« Reply #28 on: June 05, 2011, 04:25:34 AM »

All in all, a good article.
I enjoyed reading the article. From the tone of the article, it is clear that there are Eastern Orthodox theologians who are working seriously to promote reconciliation between East and West. Obviously, there is also a whole lot of work to be done on the RC side, before a reconciliation could ever take place.
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« Reply #29 on: June 05, 2011, 12:02:23 PM »

2.  I dislike what I see as his constant accusation that the Orthodox are acting only out of bad faith and are incapable of conducting a dialogue.
If the shoe fits.......
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« Reply #30 on: June 05, 2011, 12:50:01 PM »

2.  I dislike what I see as his constant accusation that the Orthodox are acting only out of bad faith and are incapable of conducting a dialogue.
If the shoe fits.......

But it doesn't fit and David Hart's argumentation is unbalanced.

 1.  There have been 12 Meetings of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church.  This was established by the Holy See and the 14 autocephalous Orthodox Churches.

2.   There have been 21 Meetings of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation.
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« Reply #31 on: June 05, 2011, 12:57:42 PM »

2.  I dislike what I see as his constant accusation that the Orthodox are acting only out of bad faith and are incapable of conducting a dialogue.
If the shoe fits.......

But it doesn't fit and David Hart's argumentation is unbalanced.

 1.  There have been 12 Meetings of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church.  This was established by the Holy See and the 14 autocephalous Orthodox Churches.

2.   There have been 21 Meetings of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation.

 Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley

Which of course many here, if not most, say are wastes of time and their conclusions are meaningless...in point of fact.

So you seem to be out of balance with your usual approach to these useless meetings.
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« Reply #32 on: June 05, 2011, 02:14:48 PM »

So you seem to be out of balance with your usual approach to these useless meetings.
He's willing to flip-flop if doing so makes it easier to oppose us. Wink
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« Reply #33 on: June 05, 2011, 04:15:39 PM »

2.  I dislike what I see as his constant accusation that the Orthodox are acting only out of bad faith and are incapable of conducting a dialogue.
If the shoe fits.......

But it doesn't fit and David Hart's argumentation is unbalanced.

 1.  There have been 12 Meetings of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church.  This was established by the Holy See and the 14 autocephalous Orthodox Churches.

2.   There have been 21 Meetings of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation.

Quite true and the North Americans are meeting this week for their spring sessions at SVS under the chairmanship of Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh, GOA. I know the Metropolitan and he would take great exception to the theory that the Orthodox members of this group are only acting in bad faith.
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« Reply #34 on: June 05, 2011, 05:53:00 PM »

Does Mr Hart enjoy street cred among the Orthodox?.  A google.com search indicates that his preferred milieu, his studies and his employment history, are essentially with the Roman Catholics.

Strikes me me as a sophomoric exercise in displaying one's ability to use a thesaurus.  The essay is saturated with rather risible phrases such as "interminably pullulating vines of theological legend."   The impression is of someone trying far too hard to impress the grown ups and it does not come across as a serious scholarly study.

If you can bear to read any more of it...

http://www.scribd.com/doc/54260555/David

Father,

If I may, I noticed that both your posts do not actually discuss the content of the article. Rather, the first is a criticism of the author's Orthodoxy by means of whom he appears to be associated with, to you via Google.

The second is simply an insult of his writing style.

Don't really know how to point it out any other way.

1.  I dislike what I see as a very sententious style of writing

2.  I dislike what I see as his constant accusation that the Orthodox are acting only out of bad faith and are incapable of conducting a dialogue.

Well, then do you think that you could discuss what he has written and not merely launch personal attacks against him?
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« Reply #35 on: June 05, 2011, 06:01:30 PM »

I agree with Hart to the extent that a lot of EO, including those in the TOC, seem to find it inordinately important to make various historical grievances the cornerstone of Orthodox identity. Hence the trend to throw out any theological concepts that could conceivably be interpreted as Western (e.g. original sin, atonement), even if many EO theologians have professed the same ideas. Hence also the excessive emphasis on Orthodox suffering at the hands of the West, which sometimes begs the question of whether it is really Orthodox to see suffering for the faith in such a negative light. If many Orthodox died for the faith in 1204, isn't that technically a good thing, rather than a bad thing?

But in the end Hart completely passes over the real reason for traditionalist opposition to rapprochement with the Vatican. It's not about historical grievances or victimhood politics, much as that kind of thing regrettably plays a role in Orthodox rhetoric. It's about doctrine tout simple. The RC church has not renounced its heresies, so how can they expect us to agree to union?
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« Reply #36 on: June 05, 2011, 06:52:50 PM »

I think you're correct, by and large, Jonathan, but I think Hart's point is that much of what we *think* are real differences, are often merely both "sides" talking past one another. What I gathered is that he thinks the main issues of focus should be the Papacy and the filioque, other things of which could rightly be relegated to the sphere of theologumena.
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« Reply #37 on: June 05, 2011, 07:01:27 PM »

Christ is ascended!
2.  I dislike what I see as his constant accusation that the Orthodox are acting only out of bad faith and are incapable of conducting a dialogue.
If the shoe fits.......
....why don't you wear it?
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« Reply #38 on: June 05, 2011, 07:39:51 PM »

I think you're correct, by and large, Jonathan, but I think Hart's point is that much of what we *think* are real differences, are often merely both "sides" talking past one another. What I gathered is that he thinks the main issues of focus should be the Papacy and the filioque, other things of which could rightly be relegated to the sphere of theologumena.

All right. I would agree those two are among, if not the the most important reasons. But others could include use of unleavened bread in the Eucharist and omission of the epiclesis of the Holy Spirit in the consecration. Does he think those are theologoumena also? This gets into the thorny topic of just what counts as "doctrine".

I also happen to think his smug tone about "ignorant" zealots on either side annoying and detracting from the overall force of his argument. I happen to respect genuinely felt faith, however misguided, vastly more than the false self-assurance of clever and well-read academics who have never actually had to stand up or risk their lives for their beliefs. If a RC priest really did manage to preserve his chastity throughout his adolescence and young adulthood and maintain it throughout his priesthood, and thereby derive some personal confirmation of the RC church's false doctrine of universal clerical celibacy, I respect him for it more than some quite probably incontinent secularist scoffing at the RC practice, secretly knowing that he would never personally have been able to live up to that exacting standard, even if technically the secularist is correct on this point. The criticism has more force coming from an EO priest who preserved his purity until marriage, and afterwards, or better still an EO monk.
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« Reply #39 on: June 05, 2011, 07:51:03 PM »

All right. I would agree those two are among, if not the the most important reasons. But others could include use of unleavened bread in the Eucharist and omission of the epiclesis of the Holy Spirit in the consecration. Does he think those are theologoumena also? This gets into the thorny topic of just what counts as "doctrine".

Yes.

I also happen to think his smug tone about "ignorant" zealots on either side annoying and detracting from the overall force of his argument. I happen to respect genuinely felt faith, however misguided, vastly more than the false self-assurance of clever and well-read academics who have never actually had to stand up or risk their lives for their beliefs. If a RC priest really did manage to preserve his chastity throughout his adolescence and young adulthood and maintain it throughout his priesthood, and thereby derive some personal confirmation of the RC church's false doctrine of universal clerical celibacy, I respect him for it more than some quite probably incontinent secularist scoffing at the RC practice, secretly knowing that he would never personally have been able to live up to that exacting standard, even if technically the secularist is correct on this point. The criticism has more force coming from an EO priest who preserved his purity until marriage, and afterwards, or better still an EO monk.

Huh?
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« Reply #40 on: June 05, 2011, 08:25:07 PM »

Does Mr Hart enjoy street cred among the Orthodox?.  A google.com search indicates that his preferred milieu, his studies and his employment history, are essentially with the Roman Catholics.

I agree!
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« Reply #41 on: June 05, 2011, 08:32:53 PM »

I don't think he does, to be honest, but possibly because he challenges the false pop narrative that so much of contemporary North American Orthodoxy seems to be bent on building itself upon?  Grin

It's not false! I've been reading the early church fathers and christian witnesses of the first 4 to 5 centuries for 14 years now and most of that time was back when I was still protestant. I agree with Fr. John Rominades and all the other Orthodox names that Bently Hart hates and is fighting against.

Rominades and the others are faithful witnesses to Eastern Christian Patristics while Bently Hart is not. If Bently Hart wants to be Roman Catholic then why doesn't he just jump ship?


Bently Hart just made it to my "ignore list" or "someone to attack list". Now, I like Roman Catholics, but I'm not gonna favor Rome against the Eastern Christian tradition. The Eastern Christian tradition needs to be protected at all costs!
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« Reply #42 on: June 05, 2011, 08:43:18 PM »

This guy isn't brilliant and neither is his article.
He lives in his head.

I agree! Hey, there needs to be a thank you button on this forum
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« Reply #43 on: June 05, 2011, 08:50:17 PM »

I don't think he does, to be honest, but possibly because he challenges the false pop narrative that so much of contemporary North American Orthodoxy seems to be bent on building itself upon?  Grin
Not like the Old World has any grievance against the Vatican.  Did Lossky ever set foot in North America?

I'm not sure, Isa, and I was mainly being facetious Smiley But wouldn't you agree that Lossky's influence was pretty substantial?

I see a lot of assertions and ad hominem. I don't see a single piece of evidence adduced to actually support those assertions so I'm not sure what you think is worth discussing. Whether you agree or disagree with him (and I personally do think there is plenty to criticize in his work), at least Fr. Romanides supplies copious references to actual facts and documents to back up his arguments. This, on the other hand, appears to be simply a more verbose version of "I'm right and you stink" that you can hear on any playground.

To be fair, it's a brief article, more in line with a reflection or meditation rather than a scholarly journal. Aside from ad hominems, which points did you dispute or think are factually unsupportable?

Do you read the Early Church Fathers and Christian Witnesses? Especially the Eastern ones? Read them for yourself then read Fr. Romanides and Lossky and maybe then you will understand why we favor them over those who want us to be Augustinian, Thomistic and any other ism in the western tradition.
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« Reply #44 on: June 05, 2011, 10:01:53 PM »

Christ is ascended!
2.  I dislike what I see as his constant accusation that the Orthodox are acting only out of bad faith and are incapable of conducting a dialogue.
If the shoe fits.......
....why don't you wear it?
Not my size. Wink
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