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Author Topic: Is this the biggest obstacle to unity?  (Read 13369 times) Average Rating: 0
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Mor Ephrem
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« Reply #90 on: July 13, 2004, 02:36:41 PM »

I could be wrong, but that is my understanding, yes.
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« Reply #91 on: July 13, 2004, 04:27:11 PM »

Dear Mor Ephrem,

You are not wrong and your understanding is correct.

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« Reply #92 on: July 14, 2004, 01:21:00 PM »

"Keep in mind, I am not a theologian, but a simple believer."

Orthodox like to say that anyone who truly prays to God is a theologian...... from farmer to postal worker to attorney to bishop. You don't have to have a position at a seminary to be a theologian.
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« Reply #93 on: July 14, 2004, 01:52:45 PM »

"Keep in mind, I am not a theologian, but a simple believer."

Orthodox like to say that anyone who truly prays to God is a theologian...... from farmer to postal worker to attorney to bishop. You don't have to have a position at a seminary to be a theologian.

I'd like to qualify that by saying, not necessarily, but that CAN be correct.  An example of 'Yes' would be the Troparion of Pentecost referring to how the 'fisherman' were revealed as theologians (or maybe it was in some of the stichera, Dogmatikon, or Doxasticon of the the night before vespers).  They were revealed as theologians by their correct understanding of the teachings of Christ.  On the otherhand, a very pious yaya who has gone to church all her life and persevered to the end, but doesn't really understand the 'whys' of the faith, I don't think would qualify as a theologian.
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« Reply #94 on: July 14, 2004, 01:53:47 PM »

Of course, this is all academic anyways so who cares.

(But then, isn't much of our quibbling on this forum?  Grin)
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« Reply #95 on: August 20, 2004, 07:38:25 AM »

This is an interesting discussion!I'm new and attend and Eastern rite church. Byzcath.org discusses this issue often. Some feel that Christianity is under attack and that (growing Muslim population in much of Europe)eventually Christian churchs will be forced to unite for survival.

Others opine that, though theological discussions have their place, that when enough lay members show an interest in unity it will happen.

My thought is that once Christians start living,breathing and thinking like Christian saints, that will open the door for the Holy Spirit to make a way for unity and the resolution of doctrinal differences in ways that our carnal minds can't even conceive of.

Peace
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« Reply #96 on: August 23, 2004, 05:19:00 PM »

From whence comes understanding, from the intellect or the heart or both? The yaya whose tears, prayers, bows, almsgiving and humility may understand in her 'heart' much more than a university inhabitant who is a indifferent to Christ's commandments surely? There are many clever heretics and pagans but in what sense would a believer call them a theologian?

I would follow the yaya who truly believed, rather than the 1st class priest with his degrees and was indifferent; being careful to respect his presbytership.
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« Reply #97 on: August 29, 2004, 04:01:13 PM »

I also think the West's promoting the Synod of Orange to ecumenical council will have to be revoked.  When the West anathematized Cassian and Lerins as Semi-pelagians they also anathematized the entire East with them because the Eastern Churches rejected Augustine's teaching and followed Cassian's teaching.  

The Synod of Orange is an ecumenical council? WHen was it? I as a Roman Catholic have never heard of it. Was it before Trent or after?
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« Reply #98 on: September 03, 2004, 07:03:53 PM »

The biggest obstacle to to unity is TRUTH.  

JoeS   Smiley
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« Reply #99 on: May 24, 2005, 09:45:08 AM »





Indeed: if no one is right out there in religionland, God's left us to be orphans. We never will be able to know all truth confidently, as there's always a chance it could be wrong, or left to another "sister communion" to fill in our blank.

Doesn't sound like Christ's promise to us.

Intresting...
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« Reply #100 on: May 24, 2005, 11:12:10 PM »


Now isn't it interesting how the same cultural divide has been taken up by the Church? After Constantine, when Christianity became a means of social promotion, many people converted nominally, bringing with them the worldly perceptions they had no intention of giving up.

Now the world has Babel, and the Church has Pentecost. Babel is a place where people speak different languages, don't understand one another, and separate. But in Pentecost, the Holy Spirit overcomes the barriers, and unites humanity. Pentecost is the undoing of Babel. That is why I feel strongly that our separation is a serious wrong. To the extent that we continue with it, we are letting Babel win the war.

And how do we reverse it? By returning to Pentecost. Now Pentecost was not something that was negotiated. It was not achieved through making concessions or formal agreements. It was not something that was achieved at all. It was an act of the Holy Spirit. It was unplanned and unrehearsed, and made communication and unity possible where it was impossible before. The pilgrims to Jerusalem heard the disciples speaking in their own language. In a word, it was a miraculous event.

That is why I say unity first, then agreement. Trying to do it the other way will never work, because we are trying to overcome the effects of Babel throgh our own efforts. What do we plan to do, create unity through winning arguments? Or do we just let things stay the way they are until the next schism? Instead, let's follow the example of the first disciples:



Jack, I have been reading through your posts on this thread and am responding here, though I still haven't gotten to the end of this thread!.  In any case I find your points incredibily insightful.  I was thinking about what the EO  priest who married my husband and I said during our pre-marital meetings with him:  He said "when you have a disagreement and can't find your way through it  drop the issue first, hold hands, and work your way through the issue little by little."   In other words he said unity was the prerequisite to resolution. A married couple is united by the God through the Holy Spirit.  One cannot resolve an issue from the position of adversary.. at that point you are at war and this leads to a battle of 'might'.  I am Orthodox and know many EO and RC- some intermarried, some not.  Most all have said and believe that the division is despicable and fed by human ego. In many cases intermarried couples go to both churches and have 'united' them within the home. 

As you have written coming to the table together to discuss the issues at hand is the way.   I am of the opinion that both the EO church and the RC church must work together to find unity as Christ's last will on the cross requested otherwise the Church is incomplete... regardless of it's doctrine... it must live the totality of Christ's will...  Both groups are responsible for allowing the schism to remain.  Christ gave us a 'big picture' request... for all to be united.  Many people have trouble with the 'big picture' in anything however... people love to micromanage looking at how we are different... not how all who believe in Christ as our Savior and the Holy Trinity  can be united...

Unity must transcend cultural differences which account for different interpretations of the same thing.  Greek culture, Latin culture, American, Russian... all these are very different and the differences do lead to different understandings of the same text..and consequently different text to explain the understanding. After having lived my life as an Orthodox, read and read, participated in the church from council to choir to SS, I have come to a conclusion that while we go around in circles trying to understand and discuss doctrine, God is up there looking at all His children doing their best as imperfect humans and He loves us all despite the mess we've made of things ...


in XC, Kizzy

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« Reply #101 on: May 24, 2005, 11:19:27 PM »

The teaching of the Church is that the Orthodox church is solely the "one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church" that Christ established.  The reasons for the latins still being outside the church are not mutual schism but dogmatic disagreements over such issues as the filioque, the papacy and created grace.  Christ called us to worship Him in spirit and turth, and the saints clearly understood that seperation from Truth seperates us also from grace. 
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« Reply #102 on: May 24, 2005, 11:27:59 PM »


 
Here is an excellent short reference from a book written by Demetrios Constantelos.





Matthew, I have heard  Prof. Father Constantelos speak at our church.  He is  a very wise man, very knowledgeable.  It is interesting that he fundamentally believes that the church must work on unity and intercommunion with the RC church. 
In XC, Kizzy
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« Reply #103 on: May 26, 2005, 01:57:06 PM »

RC's, when they recite the Creed in Greek say it the way Orthodox do - to insert a filoque clause in Greek would make the Holy Spirit deriviative of the Son and that's not what it means to them in Latin (they use "proceed" more in terms of the "economy" or as an apologetic for Christ's divinity) - so I don't think the filioque is the big issue.

Collegiality of bishops vs. universal jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome (pope) is still a major difference well, THE difference really.

the Anselm/Augustinian view of salvation vs. Ancestral sin/theosis view is pretty big, but like the filioque, the Latins were always pragmatic and more attuned to process (how salvation takes place) and the Eastern Church more concerned with ontology (what is the nature of man first created and as saved through the Incarnation of Christ) - so perhaps these views could be reconciled over time.

Legalistic vs ascetic understandings of various Christian disciplines also could be reconciled, especially when the favorite RC spiritual writers have borrowed so much from the Eastern Church (Nouwen, Merton come immdiately to mind)

These issues seem to require the most movement from Rome toward the Eastern Church positon...

However...

Remember the Alamo! (oops- that was something else) Remember the sacking of Constantinople! Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Time on the Eastern side to forgive and forget.

Married clergy, leavened or unleavened bread in the Eucharist - alot of this leaves much more room for diversity

These are just some immediate thoughts
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« Reply #104 on: May 26, 2005, 02:05:11 PM »

"My thought is that once Christians start living,breathing and thinking like Christian saints, that will open the door for the Holy Spirit to make a way for unity and the resolution of doctrinal differences in ways that our carnal minds can't even conceive of."

Sorry I can't get the quote in the little blue box!

Anyway - this may be the best insight thus far. thank you for it. let us all pray toward that end.
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« Reply #105 on: May 26, 2005, 02:14:29 PM »

Someone mentioned Cassian and Lerins being condemned as semi-pelagians and that condemnation needing to be lifted. As someone with an affinity to Celtic saints, may they (RCC) go all the way and reform the distorted image of Pelagius. I have read that new information on P has come to light and he was essentially putting forth an Orthodox view of soteriology. But due to language difficulties (and the Celtic view of the inherent goodness of the Creation) he got misinterpreted in Rome and he was labled a heretic, when all he really was guilty of was a garbled explanation of Ancestral Sin.

That and they didn't like his hair and he was loud! There was some cultural prejudice there in Rome also working against the lad!
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« Reply #106 on: May 26, 2005, 02:19:35 PM »

The problem we have is that we have ecumenically minded Popes like Benedict XVI, who sincerely want to re-unite with their Orthodox Brethren, but they are caught behind dogmas which prevent this. I'm sure if Pope Benedict XVI over a hundred years ago, he would never have let Vatican I (1870) slide through. But now that such dogmas as Papal Infallibility and the Papal ratification of the Synod of Orange (which wasn't Ecumenical, but WAS ratified by the Pope {was it Pope Vigilius?....can't remember}) are "set in stone", so to speak, all future Popes must work their way around such dogmas in order to achieve a rapprochement with the East.

There are some tricks of ecclesiastical sleight-of-hand that they can use to achieve this, however. Pope Benedict XVI can put out an ex cathedra Bull saying that the decisions of Vatican I were temporarily dispensational, i.e. it was necessary given the Church's then-present condition, but no longer needed in this age.

.....that would be weird: an ex cathedra statement to end all ex cathedra statements.  Reminds of that old Greek riddle: Everything I say is a lie...."I am lying"....'cepting that it would be the opposite in this case: Everything I say is the truth....."From now on, everything I say is not necessarily the truth."
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« Reply #107 on: May 26, 2005, 02:40:51 PM »

Quote
the Papal ratification of the Synod of Orange
What is wrong with the Synod of Orange? http://www.creeds.net/ancient/orange.htm
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« Reply #108 on: May 26, 2005, 02:44:52 PM »

What is wrong with the Synod of Orange?

Canons 3 through 7 pose immense problems to the Faith as understood in the East.
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« Reply #109 on: May 29, 2005, 02:14:19 PM »

What is wrong with these canons?
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« Reply #110 on: May 29, 2005, 04:43:53 PM »

Sabbas,

I'm wondering the same thing.

Canons 3-7 seem to simply be insisting on the recognition of "God's half" of the synergy equation.

I may be totally misunderstanding this, but it would seem to me that if anything, these canons sit quite well with the Orthodox Church's emphasis upon "apophatic theology", and that God is uncreated and being so, completely unlike the created order, and that in essence He is unknowable but known through His purposeful self revelation (via His energies.)  That would mean then, quite clearly I'd think, that no amount of cleverness will lead one to anything save an idol - his fantasies about a "god" or something "bigger than himself".  OTOH, the Scriptures teach that God gives light to sinners, that He knocks on the door of all men's hearts, etc. and that the real issue is how we respond to that quiet "rapping".  St.John's Gospel says that we are given "grace for grace" or "grace on top of grace" depending on what translation you read, meaning that we're ascending a ladder - with each ascending rung being the result of our cooperation with the grace/light we've been given.

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