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Author Topic: High Church Anglican seeking advise.  (Read 3745 times) Average Rating: 0
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JohnofDorset
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« on: August 30, 2011, 03:00:14 AM »

This topic is part a greeting and part a series of questions.

I'm an English Anglican, currently residing in Sydney Australia. My Anglicanism is very much High Church, what is sometimes called Anglo-Catholic; although I admire the Orthodox and Celtic Churches as much as, or more even, than the Roman Churches and I'm very much an admirer of the High Church Anglican tradition and not simply one of the Anglo-Catholics which just copies the modern Roman Church.

I have been coming to a growing understanding of my faith and of the history and 'thought'(I mean this in the broadest possible way.) of Christianity. I have been trying to, and continue to try to, absorb from the various different branches of the Church; Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Celtic, Roman Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran. I have certainly been coming to the conclusion that the Orthodox Church is the purest and most balanced form of Christianity. On the other hand it seems to me that there is a lot more in common between the Roman and Orthodox, and perhaps even High Church Anglican, Churches than divides them. In the various dissensions between Rome and the East it seems to me Rome is more wrong than right, but I cannot quite see Rome's errors(at least pre-Vatican II.) make it heterodox and heretical.

But that isn't my main point. I'm not completely certain yet, but I'm growing closer and closer to wishing to convert to Orthodoxy, however I'm a traditional Englishmen with a  certain soft-spot for the particular ambiance and history of the Church in England and Britain, in its traditional, 'catholic' guises, from the earliest times onwards.

So my main points are what is the opinion here of the British Orthodox Church?

And is it possible to integrate certain sensibilities of and admiration for British and Western Church figures(I mean only broadly orthodox figures like George Herbert), in their proper places, with membership of this Church?
« Last Edit: August 30, 2011, 03:01:39 AM by JohnofDorset » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2011, 03:48:33 AM »

Welcome!

I can't speak on behalf of the BOC, the perfect person would be Fr. Peter Farrington whom I hope sees this thread and contributes. If he doesn't contribute in a few days I'll send him a private message.

In regards to other figures in regards to admiration, I don't see the problem as long as you know their proper places. For example I am quite an admirer of Alvin Plantinga, whom is a Molinist which does come into conflict with tenets of the Orthodox faith (and certain philosophical objections), but while I admire his brilliance I must also place a limitation on how influential his theology is when compared to Orthodoxy. Same thing with RC saints like Fracis of Assisi and Thomas Aquinas, whom I do love but again must be viewed in a certain context if one is to be Orthodox.
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« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2011, 04:26:44 AM »

Welcome to the walk to God, the most important thing a religion should provide. May God help you in this trip and protect you since the sick angels would try to derail yourself . Eastern orthodox Church is the Church of the people in Heaven the Church established by Jesus where Jesus is high priest. Comming to Eastern orthodox Church is granted by God and is a result of good things done by you or by your family or you may have been praying for knowing the truth and your prayer was answered.. May God bless you and everybody.

If God would not want to, you won't have the understanding thjat EOC is the true Church and you will go to other denominations that would provide more or less truth however less than in EOC.
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« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2011, 04:49:53 AM »

So my main points are what is the opinion here of the British Orthodox Church?

The British Orthodox Church is an Oriental Orthodox autonomous Church so opinion on them will be based whether the poster is EO or OO.
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« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2011, 04:59:19 AM »

The Russian Orthodox Church has two priests who are Western Rite priests using a form of the BCP but they are active only in Hobart and Launceston Tasmania.  I imagine that is not much use to you.
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« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2011, 05:01:05 AM »

The British Orthodox Church is an Oriental Orthodox autonomous Church so opinion on them will be based whether the poster is EO or OO.

Is it really an autonomous church? I thought it was just a regular diocese within the Coptic church.
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« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2011, 05:02:37 AM »

There is a 'normal' Coptic Diocese in the GB.
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« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2011, 05:11:24 AM »

There is a 'normal' Coptic Diocese in the GB.

This wouldn't be the first time when an Orthodox church has several dioceses within the same geographical area.
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« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2011, 05:17:34 AM »

The British Orthodox Church is a Metropolitan diocese of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate. There are 3 other Coptic bishops in the UK serving mostly Egyptian immigrants. They consititute two diocesan bishops and one general bishop with responsibility for the patriarchal congregations.

The British Orthodox Church has a British Metropolitan and our mission is to especially reach British people and non-Egyptians in the UK. The BOC is not autonomous but has a reasonable degree of flexibility in engaging in our mission.

I am happy to answer any questions the OP might have.

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« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2011, 05:57:07 AM »

This topic is part a greeting and part a series of questions.

I'm an English Anglican, currently residing in Sydney Australia. My Anglicanism is very much High Church, what is sometimes called Anglo-Catholic; although I admire the Orthodox and Celtic Churches as much as, or more even, than the Roman Churches and I'm very much an admirer of the High Church Anglican tradition and not simply one of the Anglo-Catholics which just copies the modern Roman Church.

I have been coming to a growing understanding of my faith and of the history and 'thought'(I mean this in the broadest possible way.) of Christianity. I have been trying to, and continue to try to, absorb from the various different branches of the Church; Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Celtic, Roman Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran. I have certainly been coming to the conclusion that the Orthodox Church is the purest and most balanced form of Christianity. On the other hand it seems to me that there is a lot more in common between the Roman and Orthodox, and perhaps even High Church Anglican, Churches than divides them. In the various dissensions between Rome and the East it seems to me Rome is more wrong than right, but I cannot quite see Rome's errors(at least pre-Vatican II.) make it heterodox and heretical.

But that isn't my main point. I'm not completely certain yet, but I'm growing closer and closer to wishing to convert to Orthodoxy, however I'm a traditional Englishmen with a  certain soft-spot for the particular ambiance and history of the Church in England and Britain, in its traditional, 'catholic' guises, from the earliest times onwards.

So my main points are what is the opinion here of the British Orthodox Church?

And is it possible to integrate certain sensibilities of and admiration for British and Western Church figures(I mean only broadly orthodox figures like George Herbert), in their proper places, with membership of this Church?

Are there any High Church Anglican parishes/services left in Sydney?

The several Anglican services i've been to, had big screen singing, a band etc. Certainly not High Anglican.
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« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2011, 06:38:18 AM »

Thank you all for your replies.

Father Peter my basic question is whether the British Orthodox Church shares something of that 'ambiance' of the Church in England and Britain from the earliest times onwards, at least in its more traditional, 'catholic' guises, to which I have a soft spot as a traditional Englishman. I would very much prefer to choose an Orthodox denomination, if I make the leap or God decides for me to make the leap, that had something of this 'ambiance' or sensibility.

I'm also wondering if it would be okay, as a member of the British Orthodox Church, to admire and even spiritually draw from certain British, Celtic and Western spiritual sources(I mean broadly orthodox ones of course.), even those after the 1054 and 1533 such as the Saint Thomas Aquinas or George Herbert, as long as I keep them in their proper place?  Indeed as I understand your church is an Oriental one I suppose I could repeat this question for Eastern Orthodox figures as well.

Byron; Sydney is almost exclusively low-church and, what I find worse, Calvinist. However there are at least two High Church Anglican or Anglo-Catholic(to be honest I do not know whether there are set differences between these designations.) parishes in the metropolis.
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« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2011, 06:54:41 AM »

John, you can draw 100% from Eastern orthodox saints in England before 1000. All saints before 1000 actually.

Oriental Orthodox and Eastern orthodox are different. I am speaking about Eastern orthodox.

Today Eastern orthodoxy is Eastern, before 1000 it was Western and too.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2011, 07:13:33 AM by pasadi97 » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2011, 07:08:23 AM »

Thank you for your reply Pasadi. I once read that Harold II and Anglo-Saxon England had Orthodox leanings after 1054 and this was part of the reason for the Papal support of William the Conqueror. I'm not sure how much truth is in it though.
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« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2011, 07:11:50 AM »

Thank you for your reply Pasadi. I once read that Harold II and Anglo-Saxon England had Orthodox leanings after 1054 and this was part of the reason for the Papal support of William the Conqueror. I'm not sure how much truth is in it though.

I heard it too....just skimming through lecture however I can not confirm or deny it. It looked pretty convincing however to me.
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« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2011, 08:00:57 AM »

If you are planning to return to England you might find the ROCOR Western Rite Orthodox missions there interesting. Here is the link to the one in Dorset run by Dr Gildas Meal http://kentorthodox.blogspot.com/  The Wordpress link at the top is a bit outdated now but if you scroll down a little he has information about his regular services. They don't have a priest at the moment but we hope that will change soon. If you want to email me at nadiamargaret [at] yahoo [dot] com  I can give you the email address of the WRO administrator who will be able to give you more information about their forms of worship (seem very Anglican to me) and so forth.

Best wishes,
Margaret
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« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2011, 08:07:00 AM »

Hi John, and welcome.

Quote
In the various dissensions between Rome and the East it seems to me Rome is more wrong than right, but I cannot quite see Rome's errors(at least pre-Vatican II.) make it heterodox and heretical.

Take a look at a dogma like Papal supremacy. Is it true or not? If you don't think it's true, then how can dogmatizing something untrue not be heresy?

Quote
So my main points are what is the opinion here of the British Orthodox Church?

As I understand it, the BOC respects and reveres the British heritage but they use the Coptic rite. (I'm not sure if you were talking about rites or not).

Quote
And is it possible to integrate certain sensibilities of and admiration for British and Western Church figures(I mean only broadly orthodox figures like George Herbert), in their proper places, with membership of this Church?

Yes. I personally have great respect for Dante, Milton, George MacDonald, etc. Just ignore some of the more rabid anti-Western polemics which are loud and obnoxious but really represent a small niche in the Church.
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« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2011, 08:22:48 AM »

An interesting article..... after the Great Schism 0f 1054 and the Continental Norman invasion of Britain a few years later in 1066, many of the Anglo-Saxon and Scottish nobility and military fled as refugees to Constantinople... the Patriarch accepted them as Orthodox and assigned a church for their use where they would have celebrated (probably?) the Sarum Rite.

English Refugees in the Byzantine Armed Forces:  The Varangian Guard and Anglo-Saxon Ethnic Consciousness

 By Nicholas C.J. Pappas


Sam Houston State University

http://www.deremilitari.org/resources/articles/pappas1.htm


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« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2011, 08:27:59 AM »

Some of the royal family fled to Rus'. King Harold's daughter Githa married Prince Vladimir Monomakh.
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« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2011, 08:48:31 AM »

Thank you for your reply Pasadi. I once read that Harold II and Anglo-Saxon England had Orthodox leanings after 1054 and this was part of the reason for the Papal support of William the Conqueror. I'm not sure how much truth is in it though.

Hello, JohnofDorset.  Smiley I am Anglican living in the U.S.  However, I am joining in here on this point as I have an interest in the Anglo-Saxon period and studied it.  May I ask if you recall where you  read that, please? 

The political situation of England at that time was complicated by a number of different players and religion (looking at the original sources such as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles for example) does not come into the picture. Among those involved were, of course, King Edward, now called the Confessor, and his wife, Earl Godwin and his sons Harald and Tosti, (and other powerful Anglo-Saxon lords, too) Harald Hardrada, the king of Norway, and William of Normandy.   Power and land and wealth and control were the goals. 

I can recommend some books if you are interested.  Frank Barlow was an English Scholar who wrote several very good ones on the Godwins, English history of the period, and others.  The A-S Chronicle is also available to read on-line.

Welcome to the Forum.

 Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2011, 08:50:05 AM »

Some of the royal family fled to Rus'. King Harold's daughter Githa married Prince Vladimir Monomakh.

The adventures of refugees can be so fascinating........  my own family (O Maonaigh) fled Ireland around 1850 to escape the Great Famine and they went to Australia and later some moved to New Zealand.

A few years ago while searching for a source for icons from Russia I met a young man Ivan Voronev (Sean O Brien), very devoutly Orthodox, and was surprised that he was the organiser of the Moscow Celtic Reconstructionist Society and spoke Irish.   It turned out that while my family was moving down to the Pacific to escape the Famine his family (O Brien = Raven = russified to Voronev= Raven) had fled north to Russia.   
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« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2011, 09:04:23 AM »

An interesting article..... after the Great Schism 0f 1054 and the Continental Norman invasion of Britain a few years later in 1066, many of the Anglo-Saxon and Scottish nobility and military fled as refugees to Constantinople... the Patriarch accepted them as Orthodox and assigned a church for their use where they would have celebrated (probably?) the Sarum Rite.

English Refugees in the Byzantine Armed Forces:  The Varangian Guard and Anglo-Saxon Ethnic Consciousness

 By Nicholas C.J. Pappas


Sam Houston State University

http://www.deremilitari.org/resources/articles/pappas1.htm




Thank you for the link.  The question of how many went is one that is not easily answered.  However, it is certainly recorded that many of the Anglo-Saxons did not leave.  Indeed Edgar Atheling, whom many thought the rightful heir to King Edward as the last male of the line of Cerdic of Wessex, after becoming an adult in England and going on various ventures in such places as Sicily (Norman ventures), Scotland and Jerusalem died in England.  

I'm puzzled at the idea of the Scottish leaving since Scotland was at that time an independent country. Also as a side note Edgar's Sister married King Malcolm III and is now St. Margaret of Scotland. Her daughter Edith (aka Matilda) married Henry I of England.

/history geeking

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« Reply #21 on: August 30, 2011, 10:20:34 AM »

Dear John,

While I can't be of much help on the historical front, what I can say is that Australia does need to be evangelized by the Orthodox Church, and I think it can be acculturated (in Australia's case, this is in an Anglo direction).  I would suggest that you get in contact with the Orthodox communities in the UK for help.

If there is some way that you can also find others of like-mind with yourself that can for some kind of network, you may be able to draw enough numbers to form a community and thus be able to host a missionary priest of the Western Rite from one of the jurisdictions that practices the rite.

God be with you!
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« Reply #22 on: August 30, 2011, 10:24:19 AM »

Some of the royal family fled to Rus'. King Harold's daughter Githa married Prince Vladimir Monomakh.

The adventures of refugees can be so fascinating........  my own family (O Maonaigh) fled Ireland around 1850 to escape the Great Famine and they went to Australia and later some moved to New Zealand.

A few years ago while searching for a source for icons from Russia I met a young man Ivan Voronev (Sean O Brien), very devoutly Orthodox, and was surprised that he was the organiser of the Moscow Celtic Reconstructionist Society and spoke Irish.   It turned out that while my family was moving down to the Pacific to escape the Famine his family (O Brien = Raven = russified to Voronev= Raven) had fled north to Russia.   

Are you related by any chance to the Wild Colonial Boy?
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« Reply #23 on: August 30, 2011, 10:57:24 AM »

Judging by such websites as http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/30915.htm  the Greek Orthodox in Australia number 500,000 and the Russian 150,000.   Add in the Lebanese, Serbs and Romanians and it is probably touching around 900,000.

With a total population of 21,766,000 Australians, this means that 1 in every 24 persons is Orthodox.
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« Reply #24 on: August 30, 2011, 11:19:37 AM »

The two Western Rite communities in the UK were created in the last few years through the missionary work of an Australian, Fr Michael Mansbridge-Wood of Hobart Tasmania.  He was resident in the UK until February this year; now back home in Tasmania.  Father Michael was a traditionalist Continuing Anglican priest.  At the moment the UK groups lack a priest but they come under the Russian Orthodox Church and Metropolitan Hilarion of the Russian Church Abroad is sending Bishop Jerome (the Vicar Bishop for Western Rite in the States) to the UK later in the year where he may ordain a candidate for sacerdotal Orders.


There is a comprehensive website for this combined Australian-UK work  http://orthodoxwesternrite.wordpress.com/

If you wanted to contact Fr Michael in Tasmania you will find him at UTAS chaplaincy and his public e-mail is
m.wood  @   utas.edu.au

Addresses and telephones
http://directory.stinnocentpress.com/viewparish.cgi?Uid=321&lang=en
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« Reply #25 on: August 30, 2011, 11:34:05 AM »

Some of the royal family fled to Rus'. King Harold's daughter Githa married Prince Vladimir Monomakh.

The adventures of refugees can be so fascinating........  my own family (O Maonaigh) fled Ireland around 1850 to escape the Great Famine and they went to Australia and later some moved to New Zealand.

A few years ago while searching for a source for icons from Russia I met a young man Ivan Voronev (Sean O Brien), very devoutly Orthodox, and was surprised that he was the organiser of the Moscow Celtic Reconstructionist Society and spoke Irish.   It turned out that while my family was moving down to the Pacific to escape the Famine his family (O Brien = Raven = russified to Voronev= Raven) had fled north to Russia.   

Are you related by any chance to the Wild Colonial Boy?

That is a private matter between his mother and me!  laugh Grin Cheesy
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« Reply #26 on: August 30, 2011, 12:55:24 PM »

Judging by such websites as http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/30915.htm  the Greek Orthodox in Australia number 500,000 and the Russian 150,000.   Add in the Lebanese, Serbs and Romanians and it is probably touching around 900,000.

With a total population of 21,766,000 Australians, this means that 1 in every 24 persons is Orthodox.
when 25 in every 24 persons is Orthodox, we will rest easy, Father. Cheesy

Btw, if the figures are accurate, there are more Greek Orthodox than Greeks in Australia, which is good (nothing against Greeks-its the 4th most spoken language in AU after English, Chinese and Italian, but would be nice if the Faith wasn't bound by language).
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« Reply #27 on: August 30, 2011, 01:09:39 PM »

An interesting article..... after the Great Schism 0f 1054 and the Continental Norman invasion of Britain a few years later in 1066, many of the Anglo-Saxon and Scottish nobility and military fled as refugees to Constantinople... the Patriarch accepted them as Orthodox and assigned a church for their use where they would have celebrated (probably?) the Sarum Rite.

English Refugees in the Byzantine Armed Forces:  The Varangian Guard and Anglo-Saxon Ethnic Consciousness

 By Nicholas C.J. Pappas


Sam Houston State University

http://www.deremilitari.org/resources/articles/pappas1.htm




Thank you for the link.  The question of how many went is one that is not easily answered.  However, it is certainly recorded that many of the Anglo-Saxons did not leave.  Indeed Edgar Atheling, whom many thought the rightful heir to King Edward as the last male of the line of Cerdic of Wessex, after becoming an adult in England and going on various ventures in such places as Sicily (Norman ventures), Scotland and Jerusalem died in England.  

I'm puzzled at the idea of the Scottish leaving since Scotland was at that time an independent country. Also as a side note Edgar's Sister married King Malcolm III and is now St. Margaret of Scotland. Her daughter Edith (aka Matilda) married Henry I of England.

/history geeking

Ebor

modified to correct a spelling error
LOL. You answered your own question: Margaret got the "St." part by vigorously making the last remnants of Celtic traditions conform to the program dictated by the Vatican, which included Angliczation (she introduced English at court; cf. Pope Adrian IV and his papal bull Lauddabiliter http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laudabiliter and the Irish crusade).  Btw, it is interesting how much the "Gregorian Reforms" were involved with institutionalizing Ultramontanism and the schism from Orthodoxy throughout the Patriarchate of the West.  The old St. Joseph Missal goes mentions her "services" to the church in this, without specifying against whom and what was done.

Quote
When his wife died around 1069, he [King Malcom III of Scotland] married Margaret, Edgar Atheling’s sister. Edgar would have become King of England if William the Conqueror from Normandy had not invaded the country. They had six sons, three of them (Edgar, Alexander and David) would be kings.

Margaret introduced English customs and language into the Scottish court and also church procedure but she never learnt Gaelic, which was the language spoken by many Scots at that time.

Her son, Kind David I built a small church inside Edinburgh Castle which was dedicated to her memory; the church is known as St. Margaret’s Chapel and it’s the oldest building in the castle.


In 1071 Malcolm was forced to sign the Treaty of Abernethy; and his son Duncan became a hostage in England. This happened as a result of the large number of English exiles who gathered in the court and also due to Malcolm’s raids into Northumbria and Cumbria.

Despite the worries of the English king, Malcolm made two more raids into England in 1079 and 1091 and once more he lost and had to submit to the English king.

After the English had driven out the Scots from their hold on Cumbria, Malcolm headed a final incursion in 1093. This led to his defeat and death at Alnwick. His son and heir Edward died in the same battle and Queen Margaret died in Edinburgh Castle four days later. She was later canonized for her patronage of the church.
http://www.scotlandinargentina.com.ar/bio-malcolm3ing.htm
« Last Edit: August 30, 2011, 01:12:51 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #28 on: August 30, 2011, 01:18:29 PM »

Edgar Aetheling would not have become king if William had not invaded because we already had a king, Harold Godwinson.
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« Reply #29 on: August 30, 2011, 01:58:46 PM »

Replying to the OP.

The British Orthodox Church uses the Greek Liturgy of St James and the rites of the Coptic Orthodox Church for all other services and sacraments. I consider myself, as perhaps many here from different backgrounds and jurisdictions might do, as a Western Orthodox using an Eastern rite.  We use only English, although I am always seeking to learn various pieces of liturgical text in other languages so that I can welcome those from other ethnicities. I consider myself to be entirely English and I worship as an Englishman.

But clearly I do not use a Catholic rite, and certainly not an Anglican one. As has been said, we venerate the saints of the British Isles, and take a great interest in our Christian heritage. I am organising an important conference next year in London on the Saints of the British Isles. It is natural for us to worship at the shrines of British saints. But Orthodoxy is wider than any one ethnicity, even the English, and in some sense I am sure that we wish to have a certain universality about our Orthodoxy so that we do not exclude others, while also being rooted in a real Tradition.

I have an interest in Francis of Assisi, Brother Lawrence, and in the Non-Jurors, and in the Little Gidding community. But I am interested in these secondarily and after a proper interest in the Orthodox Fathers of East and West, of the past and the present. I am interested, for instance, in the Eastern influences on Francis of Assisi, and on his relations with Eastern Christians when he was in Egypt. I think that he has been mich maligned and misrepresented by some Eastern Christians, but I am not and would not be an 'Orthodox Franciscan'.

I am also not much interested in many aspects of Anglicanism. I was never an Anglican. I was a Plymouth Brother. I therefore have no sense within me in which I see Anglicanism as on a continuity with Orthodoxy. There are of course those who were Anglicans in the British Orthodox Church, but the BOC is not a Continuing Anglican Church at all, and my own experience of Anglican enquirers is that they have tended to want to remain Anglican at any cost rather than becoming genuinely Orthodox. I don't believe it is possible to be Anglican and Orthodox. I don't believe that Anglicanism is Western Orthodoxy, and I don't believe that Orthodoxy should be, or needs to be, Anglican in some sense to attract English people. Most English people never visit an Anglican Church, and Orthodox worship in English is no more difficult to comprehend for such people than High Church Anglicanism.

The British Orthodox Church is not opposed to a Western Rite, but it is not appropriate for a small diocese to have multiple rites, and we find our liturgical unity in the Liturgy of St James. I have also to say that having used the same Liturgy for 17 years means that we have avoided all those heated discussions which seem to take place around the choice of a Western Rite.

So I will second some of the suggestions already made here. You would be more than welcome to attend a British Orthodox liturgy and I hope that you would find it interesting and spiritual, but it is the Liturgy of St James, it is not either the Sarum or Gregorian rite. If the rite is very important to you then there are groups in the Eastern Orthodox who are seeking to use forms of Western Rite. But apart from the issue of liturgical texts and practices, we are as committed to venerating and preserving our own local Christian heritage as much as anyone else. My own patron saint is buried just 18 miles from where I am sitting.

God bless your interest in Orthodoxy.

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« Reply #30 on: August 30, 2011, 02:14:45 PM »

My own patron saint is buried just 18 miles from where I am sitting.


This is the lovely thing about the UK. Saints and wells everywhere, even a few rag trees still around. I live in Edinburgh and arguably the most famous thing about Edinburgh is the castle but five centuries before there was a castle there was a nunnery founded by a sixth century Irish nun called Modwenna.

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« Reply #31 on: August 30, 2011, 02:48:21 PM »

Edgar Aetheling would not have become king if William had not invaded because we already had a king, Harold Godwinson.

Edgar Atheling was 14 years old at the time of King Edward's death and Harald Godwinson was 1) an adult who had been in battles and was counted as one of, if not the most, powerful man in the kingdom after the monarch  2) present at the king's deathbed with his sister who was the queen.  Edgar was the closest male heir of the reigning house but other forces were brought to bear such that the Witanagemot agreed to Harald taking the crown.  Following the Battle of Hastings this "Meeting of Wise Men" did, in fact, have Edgar Atheling assume the throne for the short time until William took over. 

The point of so many Anglo-Saxon nobility leaving for eastern areas was what I was addressing on the matter of Margaret.  She was aka Margaret of Wessex and of the royal line. She did not go east but north and she was held to be a saint for her many charitable works.  I answered no question about the matter of any Scots leaving and I have seen no information or documentation that they did (except to go south to England for various battles at least on the part of Malcolm and his army).

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« Reply #32 on: August 30, 2011, 05:52:49 PM »

The other day Michal mentioned the St Aidan western rite Orthodox mission which apparently exists or existed around Darlinghurst, but I've had zero luck tracking it down.
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« Reply #33 on: August 30, 2011, 06:45:30 PM »

I therefore have no sense within me in which I see Anglicanism as on a continuity with Orthodoxy. There are of course those who were Anglicans in the British Orthodox Church, but the BOC is not a Continuing Anglican Church at all, and my own experience of Anglican enquirers is that they have tended to want to remain Anglican at any cost rather than becoming genuinely Orthodox. I don't believe it is possible to be Anglican and Orthodox. I don't believe that Anglicanism is Western Orthodoxy, and I don't believe that Orthodoxy should be, or needs to be, Anglican in some sense to attract English people. Most English people never visit an Anglican Church, and Orthodox worship in English is no more difficult to comprehend for such people than High Church Anglicanism.

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« Reply #34 on: August 30, 2011, 08:10:38 PM »

Thank you all for your replies.

Father Peter; I'm not sure if it is a continuation of  Anglicanism in Orthodoxy I'm looking. Except for a certain admiration for the strictly Cranmer-ian and traditional Anglican Church and particularly the beautiful common book of prayer and King James bible(jewels of the English language.) my loyalty to Anglicanism is more simply a loyalty to the Church in England, particularly in its medieval forms. I'm think there always has been a slight difference between it and say the churches of Italy or France of Spain. My interest in Anglican sages and saints otherwise only really extends to those few which seem to somehow continue to embody this medieval church in England such as some of the metaphysical poets, the Caroline divines, non-jurors and the Tractarians.

I am one of those individuals who likes to read a lot of old works from Saints and Fathers and Philosophers and indeed Poets, though I'm not sure how much I ever manage to comprehend. I just wanted to make sure that admiring the poetry and indeed spirituality of George Herbert wouldn't  be seen as too incongruous for a member of an Orthodox Church.

I did not know that there were other Western Rite Orthodox Churches in Britain. I had always consider the BOC as the natural choice, but I'm not quite sure about Oriental Orthodoxy for myself and what that entails today which differs in significant ways to Eastern Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #35 on: August 30, 2011, 11:52:46 PM »

I should make it clear that it is already the case that it is the Orthodox Fathers, East and West but particularly the Alexandrian and Cappadocian Fathers, that I look to most. It is certainly not the case now that I place Anglican or Roman Saints and Sages above Orthodox ones and obviously this would not change if I moved to an Orthodox Church.

Iconodule, I guess with the Papal Supremacy and that sort of thing I think the Roman Church is more wrong than right, but that it doesn't matter to the core of the faith. I'm far more concerned with the rationalism of later Schoolmen(perhaps to a degree even with the earlier ones.), nominalism, Cartesianism and such similar problems that have arisen in the Roman Church. I'm very much interested in holistic, symbolist, even mystical spirituality and metaphysics.

I suppose it would be a disputed view for many Orthodox and I do consider myself quite a traditionalist, but I do consider a lot of the divisions between the main, magisterial branches of the Church to be somewhat overblown.
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« Reply #36 on: August 31, 2011, 02:58:27 AM »

I had always consider the BOC as the natural choice
Because it has the name "British" in it?  Wink
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« Reply #37 on: August 31, 2011, 08:54:36 AM »

Iconodule, I guess with the Papal Supremacy and that sort of thing I think the Roman Church is more wrong than right, but that it doesn't matter to the core of the faith.

If it were merely a matter of opinion I would agree with you. Unfortunately the Roman Catholic Church has defined Papal supremacy as a dogma, thereby making it part of the "core of the faith" for them.
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« Reply #38 on: August 31, 2011, 09:11:47 AM »

I think it only really matters when they use it do wrong and we, and the members of the Roman Church within reason, have the right to reject it when they do. Otherwise I do not think it is central to the faith of their church. I personally think that focusing on it and not say rationalism, nominalism and renaissance humanism and such evils, let alone the big one of Vatican II which seems to have almost destroyed traditional Catholicism, that have grown up in the Roman Church, and not necessarily been completely dealt with, would be a mistake.
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« Reply #39 on: August 31, 2011, 09:18:06 AM »

I think it only really matters when they use it do wrong and we, and the members of the Roman Church within reason, have the right to reject it when they do. Otherwise I do not think it is central to the faith of their church. I personally think that focusing on it and not say rationalism, nominalism and renaissance humanism and such evils, let alone the big one of Vatican II which seems to have almost destroyed traditional Catholicism, that have grown up in the Roman Church, and not necessarily been completely dealt with, would be a mistake.

This is a seductive mode of reasoning, but I think Iconodule is ultimately correct: by elevating the notion of papal infallibility to the level of dogma, the Roman church has made it clear that the infallibility of the Roman pope is a truth of the same fundamental importance as even the Christological definitions of the early councils.

As much as it may seem like the Roman church has bigger doctrinal problems, this one is potentially more problematic than it might first seem.
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« Reply #40 on: August 31, 2011, 10:47:38 AM »

One must remember that 'infallibility' is a rather new term for them, but obviously the natural progression of the much earlier 'supremacy' argument.  The Christological and anthropological problems caused by the argument for infallibility has cause the Church of Rome to back away from it.

The larger concern is that of authority and inequality.  In the Orthodox Church, all Christians are equal, though God gifts them with different roles within the One Body.  This is why the canons generally speak of a person under discipline as having excommunicated himself rather than by a clergyman of whatever function.

The same is true of dogmatic proclamations: 'It seems good to the Holy Spirit and to us.'  It is a plurality that establishes authority, rather than being vested in an individual.  The ministry of a clergyman emanates from his bishop who in turn is united with a synod.  However, all are answerable to the entire Church, which is represented by all the bishops rather than one, or even a 'college' of higher-ranking bishops.  I believe it is ultimately this understanding of authority as top-down, rather than through the catholicity of the Body of Christ, that has harmed the Church of Rome.



I think it only really matters when they use it do wrong and we, and the members of the Roman Church within reason, have the right to reject it when they do. Otherwise I do not think it is central to the faith of their church. I personally think that focusing on it and not say rationalism, nominalism and renaissance humanism and such evils, let alone the big one of Vatican II which seems to have almost destroyed traditional Catholicism, that have grown up in the Roman Church, and not necessarily been completely dealt with, would be a mistake.

This is a seductive mode of reasoning, but I think Iconodule is ultimately correct: by elevating the notion of papal infallibility to the level of dogma, the Roman church has made it clear that the infallibility of the Roman pope is a truth of the same fundamental importance as even the Christological definitions of the early councils.

As much as it may seem like the Roman church has bigger doctrinal problems, this one is potentially more problematic than it might first seem.
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« Reply #41 on: August 31, 2011, 07:08:41 PM »

I know the topic of the Roman Church  tangential one, but has anyone read the work of Rama Coomaraswamy on Vatican II? The opening chapter is available online;

http://worldwisdom.com/public/viewpdf/default.aspx?article-title=The_Problem--Is_It_The_Same_Church_by_Rama_Coomaraswamy.pdf

Whatever the relatively problematic nature of certain earlier errors of the Roman Church, Vatican II has all but destroyed the traditional Roman Catholic Church. Coomaraswamy, who became a sedevacantist(someone who believes the Papacy has been unoccupied since 1958.) priest, I believe, shows, like the modern devastation in the Anglican and Lutheran Churches, the Roman Church has to sort out the mess of Vatican II out before it can fix older errors.

The doctrine of infallibility seems to be a natural outgrowth of the power of the bishop of Rome. Some figure or body must be, in effect if not in name, infallible. I prefer the conciliar organisation myself, but we must remember the Church is no democracy either, indeed one of Vatican II's errors was to introduce a much more democratic spirit into the Roman Church. The Truth, the Holy Spirit, is the infallible ruler of the Church and though each member of the Church has a duty to maintain the Truth, there has always been a hierarchical, on one level, nature to the Church as some men are more holy and wise than others and have the right, the Truth has its rights so speak, to be heard and to govern.

When it comes to doctrine, and this will no doubt sound very Platonist, I think it has an crucial role to play in leading men to Truth, through the Spirit. Without right doctrine there will be confusion in the Church and men will go their own way, away from Christ. However it must be remembered that the written and discursive formulations of doctrines are not the same thing as the intelligible truths, gateway and ladder to the Truth itself, they contain. To treat all doctrines, and therefore all errors, in a similar fashion would itself be a rationalist and legalistic error that forgets the hierarchic and ultimately non-discursive(ratio .) nature of the Truth. In my opinion the Tridentine Roman Church, at its best, embodied the Truth to a high degree and was filled with the Holy Spirit, not as much as the Orthodox Churches(as the Roman Church had to deal with errors like rationalism and humanism, although it did manage to keep these at bay quite often from Trent to Vatican II.), but it was still a very legitimate branch of the Universal Church. Rationalism, nominalism, Cartesianism et al are particularly worrying because they take you away from spirituality and receptivity to the Truth, Faith and Love of God. I don't think the role of the Papacy can directly cause the same sort of spiritual damage.

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« Reply #42 on: August 31, 2011, 07:37:07 PM »


The doctrine of infallibility seems to be a natural outgrowth of the power of the bishop of Rome. Some figure or body must be, in effect if not in name, infallible. I prefer the conciliar organisation myself,


Have a look at Bulgakov's words in message 17
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,39274.msg631611.html#msg631611

"The ecclesiastical fetishism which seeks an oracle speaking in the name of the Holy Spirit and which finds it in the person of a supreme hierarch, or in the Episcopal order and its assemblies — this fetishism is a terrible symptom of half-faith."

Let's not imprison ourselves within what is obviously a Roman Catholic fixation.  Try and stop focusing on "infallible" - the word doesn't really exist in Russian. They make use of "nepogreshimost" which means "impeccability."  

Councils do not claim to be infallible.  They have never made such a claim.  The search for "infallibility" is a peculiar fixation of the Western Church, probably only of the Roman Catholic Church.

What the Councils do do is proclaim that they are in conformity with the Scriptures, the Fathers and with preceding Councils. "As the Fathers have taught, so do we proclaim..."

Their genius is not "infallibility" but "faithfulness"  -  faithfulness to the mind of the Church.


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« Reply #43 on: August 31, 2011, 08:15:36 PM »

The Truth of the Spirit is infallible so to speak, in the sense that direct, Intellectual and Loving unitive knowledge of the Truth, as experienced by the Saints, sages and mystics is infallible and not in any sense uncertain or fallible, as the moderns would make all knowledge. C.S Lewis somewhere talks of this sort of Intellectual knowledge, which he calls by its medieval name of Intellectus, where one just sees the certain Truth, as the Angels do, and he compares it to ratio or reason, which is all modernism knows at its best, which is an indirect, discursive knowledge, deducing causes from effects.

What I meant in that passage though it was simply an echo of a point De Maistre made, that in effect there must be a human sovereignty or authority in the Church(and indeed he notes elsewhere, including the state.), though no doubt it is often guided by the Spirit, and that in effect this sovereignty is 'infallible' in the sense of being ultimate or absolute(in human terms.). The analogy of government is useful. Some people talk about the absolute governments of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries where the King was absolute(I'm generalising and simplifying here). But all workable governments are absolute, it is just that in a modern government it is not the King alone who is absolute but the various branches taken together; the legislative branch may not be absolute but combined with the executive and judicial branches it is. I suppose I used the term 'infallible' somewhat loosely though. One can clearly make different claims about the level of God-given power you have, but in effect, unless you want to allow open and general dissension, anyone making an authoritative claim must in practice act as if they are 'infallible'. I certainly do not agree that the bishop of Rome is quite correct in making the claims about the source and extent of his authority that he makes however.
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« Reply #44 on: August 31, 2011, 08:30:36 PM »


What I meant in that passage though it was simply an echo of a point De Maistre made, that in effect there must be a human sovereignty or authority in the Church(and indeed he notes elsewhere, including the state.), though no doubt it is often guided by the Spirit, and that in effect this sovereignty is 'infallible' in the sense of being ultimate or absolute(in human terms.).


Where can we posit this organ of infallibility in today's Church?

1.  It is not in any of our Patriarchs since none of them would make such a claim.

2.  Ecumenical Councils?   Certainly not today.  Certainly not as an ongoing vital organ in the Church.  We held 7 Councils in a brief 460 year period, from 325AD to 787AD.   For the last 1200 years we have not held any such Council.  So they obviously are not a continuing principle of infallibility in the life of the Church.

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« Reply #45 on: August 31, 2011, 08:41:14 PM »


What I meant in that passage though it was simply an echo of a point De Maistre made, that in effect there must be a human sovereignty or authority in the Church(and indeed he notes elsewhere, including the state.), though no doubt it is often guided by the Spirit, and that in effect this sovereignty is 'infallible' in the sense of being ultimate or absolute(in human terms.).


Where can we posit this organ of infallibility in today's Church?

1.  It is not in any of our Patriarchs since none of them would make such a claim.

2.  Ecumenical Councils?   Certainly not today.  Certainly not as an ongoing vital organ in the Church.  We held 7 Councils in a brief 460 year period, from 325AD to 787AD.   For the last 1200 years we have not held any such Council.  So they obviously are not a continuing principle of infallibility in the life of the Church.



Well the the hierarchy of the various branches themselves are 'infallible' in practice, just as a modern government is in practice as absolute as Louis XIV. They do not claim the same sort of extent of authority the Roman See does, just as a modern government does not claim the same sort of extent and source of powers that Louis XIV does(though they often wield more than he ever would have.). This is what marks out the Roman See and it is an error, I just do not see it as that important to the core faith and spirituality of the Roman Church as a whole.
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« Reply #46 on: August 31, 2011, 08:45:19 PM »



Well the the hierarchy of the various branches themselves are 'infallible' in practice, just as a modern government is in practice as absolute as Louis XIV.
Are they?
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« Reply #47 on: August 31, 2011, 08:51:14 PM »

Can you dissent from them with impunity? If I were a priest I would be expected to fulfill my role properly or face consequences from which, once any such process is exhausted, I could not 'appeal'(except to heaven, but we are talking in human terms.). Extreme Protestantism alone is largely without such claims and it is hence a shambles. Of course Orthodox Churches make slightly different claims for the extent and source of their authority than does the Roman See, which is where the real dispute lies.
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« Reply #48 on: August 31, 2011, 09:17:09 PM »


Can you dissent from them with impunity?



No, you can dissent from them only with punity and be ejected from the Church.  laugh   The clarifications of the essential Trinitarian, Christological and pneumatological understandings which took place in the early Church over a four century period in reaction to erroneous teachings are normative for the faith of the Orthodox.  They are the faithful expression of the apostolic faith.
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« Reply #49 on: August 31, 2011, 11:47:22 PM »


Can you dissent from them with impunity?



No, you can dissent from them only with punity and be ejected from the Church.  laugh   The clarifications of the essential Trinitarian, Christological and pneumatological understandings which took place in the early Church over a four century period in reaction to erroneous teachings are normative for the faith of the Orthodox.  They are the faithful expression of the apostolic faith.
With this I'm in general agreement.

I think it is important to realise that discursive and written doctrine is an edifice which helps us to climb to the truths it contains, indeed reflects, and through them to the Truth itself, with the help of the spirit. Like all complex edifices it is made up of numerous, diverse elements arranged in harmonious order. Some of the elements are more central and important than others. It would be foolish for most individuals, though 'the Spirit breatheth where it will 'of course, to try and rise to the Truth without the support of this edifice, but it would also be wrong to forget the limits of the edifice and the reason for its existence and therefore view every imperfection as equal and inexcusable, particularly in our degenerate, modern age.

Though no branch of the Universal Church has constructed this edifice perfectly at least after the Apostolic generations , though perhaps a few individuals within themselves have come close like the Alexandrian and Cappadocian Fathers , the Orthodox Churches have obviously succeeded better than any other except perhaps the tragically extinct Celtic Church(which you may well see as Orthodox anyway and one could define it that way.) and today you are master of all your survey, though you are not perhaps completely immune to the modern world either, with all the Western Churches having fallen into a dark age. But the Tridentine Church did manage to build a strong and beautiful structure, though it did not live up to your example or the archetype we are all seeking. There are times too when Anglicans and Lutherans have built similarly handsome structures, though they endured less than the Tridentine Church. Even Calvinists and Methodists and similar have built modest but stable structures in the past, not without a certain austere and stark beauty at times.
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« Reply #50 on: September 01, 2011, 05:18:24 PM »

hi, johnofdorset, it's great to hear from you.
to me (a coptic orthodox Christian who is used to the coptic liturgies of saint basil and saint gregory), the rite of saint james used by the british orthodox church sounds european and very interesting.
it does not sound asian or african, and the british orthodox are more likely to have biscuits after the liturgy than falafel.
i study arabic and was halfway into the coptic church before i heard of the british orthodox church, and after thinking about it carefully i continued in that direction. but i have good relations with the british orthodox church (mainly through father peter who was a bright beacon in my journey towards orthodoxy) and i share ethnicity with them, if not culture (i actually prefer falafel!)

margaret s is very knowledgeable about orthodoxy in scotland and in britain in general and i recommend you ask her if you have any historical questions. she is very lovely and helpful.

if you want to read about the OO/EO stuff, i recommend you go here:
www.orthodoxunity.org
which has lots of archived information (they don't update it often) which is very useful in understanding the differences.
the main point is that we agreed we are all orthodox in 1990 (that is ALL the patriarchs agreed that).
so join an orthodox church that makes sense to you, as God guides you, and it doesn't matter which 'side' you end up, as, God-willing, we will be in communion in our lifetime.
reading is very good, but to know more about orthodoxy, you need to experience it, so go and visit a church.
saturday vespers is often a good time as you can still go to your normal church on sunday.
if you want to be sure the service has not somehow been cancelled (people from non-european backgrounds and also from east and south european backgrounds do not always feel the need to keep the notice boards up to date) then go on a sunday morning.

may God guide you and bless you, and feel free to engage in lots of debate here and ask loads of questions.
 Smiley
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« Reply #51 on: September 01, 2011, 05:31:22 PM »


Can you dissent from them with impunity?



No, you can dissent from them only with punity and be ejected from the Church.  laugh   The clarifications of the essential Trinitarian, Christological and pneumatological understandings which took place in the early Church over a four century period in reaction to erroneous teachings are normative for the faith of the Orthodox.  They are the faithful expression of the apostolic faith.
With this I'm in general agreement.

I think it is important to realise that discursive and written doctrine is an edifice which helps us to climb to the truths it contains, indeed reflects, and through them to the Truth itself, with the help of the spirit. Like all complex edifices it is made up of numerous, diverse elements arranged in harmonious order. Some of the elements are more central and important than others. It would be foolish for most individuals, though 'the Spirit breatheth where it will 'of course, to try and rise to the Truth without the support of this edifice, but it would also be wrong to forget the limits of the edifice and the reason for its existence and therefore view every imperfection as equal and inexcusable, particularly in our degenerate, modern age.

Though no branch of the Universal Church has constructed this edifice perfectly at least after the Apostolic generations , though perhaps a few individuals within themselves have come close like the Alexandrian and Cappadocian Fathers , the Orthodox Churches have obviously succeeded better than any other except perhaps the tragically extinct Celtic Church(which you may well see as Orthodox anyway and one could define it that way.) and today you are master of all your survey, though you are not perhaps completely immune to the modern world either, with all the Western Churches having fallen into a dark age. But the Tridentine Church did manage to build a strong and beautiful structure, though it did not live up to your example or the archetype we are all seeking. There are times too when Anglicans and Lutherans have built similarly handsome structures, though they endured less than the Tridentine Church. Even Calvinists and Methodists and similar have built modest but stable structures in the past, not without a certain austere and stark beauty at times.

You may want to check out Father Alexander Schmemann's writings, which would give you a good sense of the centrality of the Divine Liturgy and all the other Holy Mysteries in the Orthodox Church. At a minimum, I recommend:

Great Lent: Journey to Pascha (1969)
For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy (1970)
Of Water and the Spirit: A Liturgical Study of Baptism (1974)

To give you a small flavor of his thinking, here is an excerpt from a short article that he wrote on the Western Rite proposed for Orthodox Churches in North America:

"The unity of rite in the Orthodox Church is comparatively a late phenomenon and the Church never considered liturgical uniformity a conditio sine qua non of her unity. No one who knows the history of Christian worship will deny the richness of the Western liturgical tradition, that especially of the old and venerable Roman liturgy. One may even ask whether the liturgical unification performed by Byzantium and which deprived the Orthodox East of the wonderful liturgies of Alexandria, Syria, Mesopotamia, etc. was in itself a wholly positive achievement. Last but not least, it is obvious that in case of an eventual return of the West to Orthodoxy, the western Church will have her own Western Liturgy and this will mean a tremendous enrichment of the Church Universal."

However,

"...have we not proclaimed time and again in all our encounters with our Western brothers that it is this "East" precisely that constitutes the common and the catholic heritage of the Church and can supply us with a common language which has been lost or distorted? The Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom or the Easter Canon of St. John of Damascus, are, I believe, much closer to that common and Catholic language of the Church than anything else in any Christian tradition. And I cannot think of any word or phrase in these services that would be "foreign" to a Western Christian and would not be capable of expressing his faith and his experience, if the latter would be genuinely Orthodox ."

"http://www.schmemann.org/byhim/westernrite.html"
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« Reply #52 on: September 01, 2011, 06:48:01 PM »


Some figure or body must be, in effect if not in name, infallible.


I am not clear as to why this is a "must be" situation.  Human beings are none of them perfect and can make errors.

Have you recalled where you read the idea of Harald Godwinson, by the way?

Ebor
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« Reply #53 on: September 01, 2011, 07:38:27 PM »


Some figure or body must be, in effect if not in name, infallible.


I am not clear as to why this is a "must be" situation.  Human beings are none of them perfect and can make errors.


I meant in the sense that any authority and sovereignty does not allow open and general dissent. I gave several explanations of the point above.

Quote
Have you recalled where you read the idea of Harald Godwinson, by the way?

Ebor
No, unfortunately.

Thank you everyone for your advise.
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« Reply #54 on: September 02, 2011, 07:51:31 AM »


Some figure or body must be, in effect if not in name, infallible.


I am not clear as to why this is a "must be" situation.  Human beings are none of them perfect and can make errors.


I meant in the sense that any authority and sovereignty does not allow open and general dissent. I gave several explanations of the point above.

That's not infallibility though- bishops and entire councils have been known to err. No, one could not dissent from them with impunity, but one had to dissent from them, just as one could not dissent from Emperor Nero with impunity but many did and paid the price. Infallibility has more to do with whether they can err in doctrinal teaching? (The RCC has narrowed, but not necessarily clarified, the limits of infallibility to "ex cathedra" statements).
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« Reply #55 on: September 02, 2011, 10:31:20 AM »

The Orthodox Church has never confirmed a single person or mechanism as 'infallible,' but rather recognizes the dogma as 'true.'

The problem with 'infallibility' has to do with the Orthodox position that all humans have a free will, which means that God does not force us to do what we do not want to do.  'Infallibility' naturally implies divine assistance and even compulsion from error.  After all, could not a person sinfully decide to speak 'ex cathedra?'  Infallibility prevents such a choice from being made in the first place.

If God were to interfere with, let's say, the Pope's free will, there would be one or the other problems:

1) God does interfere with human wills, which calls into question the entire notion of human free will along with Christ's free will offering of Himself at the Cross as our salvation, or

2) The Pope, or for that matter any other human claiming 'infallibility,' ceases to be human either temporarily or permanently at the moment of the pronouncement.

If you decide to plunge into the Orthodox Church, the matter of 'infallibility' really is not an issue.  The matter for us is the common recognition of truth rather than the mechanism by which the truth is first defined.  Universality and collegiality are the primary means of recognition.



Some figure or body must be, in effect if not in name, infallible.


I am not clear as to why this is a "must be" situation.  Human beings are none of them perfect and can make errors.


I meant in the sense that any authority and sovereignty does not allow open and general dissent. I gave several explanations of the point above.

That's not infallibility though- bishops and entire councils have been known to err. No, one could not dissent from them with impunity, but one had to dissent from them, just as one could not dissent from Emperor Nero with impunity but many did and paid the price. Infallibility has more to do with whether they can err in doctrinal teaching? (The RCC has narrowed, but not necessarily clarified, the limits of infallibility to "ex cathedra" statements).
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« Reply #56 on: September 02, 2011, 05:23:01 PM »


Some figure or body must be, in effect if not in name, infallible.


I am not clear as to why this is a "must be" situation.  Human beings are none of them perfect and can make errors.


I meant in the sense that any authority and sovereignty does not allow open and general dissent. I gave several explanations of the point above.

I read you posts and I apologize for being dense, but some modern governments do allow open and general dissent at least on some level. So they do not act in an 'infallible' manner.  


Quote
Quote
Have you recalled where you read the idea of Harald Godwinson, by the way?

Ebor
No, unfortunately.

I can dig out some of my books on Anglo-Saxon England to recommend titles if you're interested.

Ebor
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« Reply #57 on: September 02, 2011, 08:26:10 PM »

It depends what you mean by dissent I suppose. You cannot not pay taxes they say you owe or not keep its laws. The point is more that the disagreement is over claims for the extent and source of authority and not the authority itself.

According to that link I posted on Vatican II, from a sedevacantist, which claims;

'In order to enable His Church to teach in His Name, he left us, not written works,10 but rather a “living Magisterium” (“the Pope and the bishops in union with Him”) which He endowed with His authority and to which He promised His assistance. This function, the transmission of the “deposit of the faith,” constitutes Tradition (literally, “what is handed down”) and hence the true Church and the Magisterium are by their very nature traditional.11

'The Church teaches and has always taught that there is a divine Tradition, that is the sum of truths which have been divinely revealed to the Apostles, has been handed down without error through the genuine Magisterium of Pastors.12'

Before considering the nature of this teaching authority to which all Catholics owe assent, it is important to stress that it is dependent, not on man, but on God. It follows that the teaching of the Magisterium is infallibly true. If it is not, then it is Christ who has lied to us. Defenders of the post-Conciliar Church often state that the Magisterium of the Church resides “in the Pope and the Bishops in union with him.” Such a statement, while true, cannot be taken in isolation. Used to defend the changes in doctrine, rites, and laws that this new Church has introduced, it becomes a classical case of suppressio veri and suggestio falsi. The statement is true only when the Pope and the bishops in union with him have themselves, in their function as depositi custodies (guardians of the “deposit” of the faith as in 1 Tim. 6:20), in no way departed from or gone against that which was delivered to the Church by Christ and the Apostles.13
The Church has always taught that an individual Pope can stray from sound doctrine in his personal and public life.15 Should this be the case prior to his election, the election is deemed invalid;16 should he openly embrace doctrines that contradict this deposit after his election, and obstinately adhere to them, he would become a public heretic, and as such he would no longer be Pope.17 Such is only logical since, from the moment he publicly embraced heresy with obstinacy, he would cease to be a believing Catholic or the Pope, to say nothing of being Christ’s representative and a “Pontifex” or “bridge” between this world and the next. Th e oft-quoted maxim of St. Ambrose to the effect that “where Peter is, there is the Church” is valid only insofar as “Peter” remains rooted in orthodoxy or “pure faith and sound doctrine.”18 And when he is not, then as Cardinal Cajetan taught, “Neither is the Church in him, nor is he in the Church.”19 Cornelius Lapide, S.J., puts it bluntly:

Were the Pope to fall into public heresy, he would ipso facto cease to be
Pope, yea, even to be a Christian believer.20'

I do not think in the end it is that different from the Orthodox view. The two differences are over the organisation and relative power of the bishops versus the bishop of Rome and in the claim by the Pope to sometimes be technically infallible, as well as practically. However the one seems to follow the other really; if administration of the RCC is centralised in the Pope then when he really has to lay down doctrine he is supposed to simply be reiterating the ancient teachings of the Church, though presumably he may make what was implicit explicit and add what naturally follows from the ancient teaching, and says when this has been done you cannot dissent with impunity. Orthodox and the Anglican Churches do the same, we may just use synods more often rather than relying on our Primates. I think that the position of the Pope is not that big a deal, if his church wants to allow it that is their business and if it claims I need to recognise his 'full' authority then I will simply ignore it.

Whether one says the ancient doctrine is infallibly True and we are just laying it before you as a Council or Synod or a Bishop or the Pope is speaking infallibly, but in doing that he is just expounding the ancient doctrine of Christ and the Apostles, seems to be a matter of not that great a difference. One may of course say this is not how it has always worked in practice, because the Pope has added new doctrines, but that is a different issue.

FatherGiryus; I would disagree there are not kinds of knowledge above deductive reasoning which are certain, like what C.S Lewis calls Intellect(following Boethius.) and of course Imagination was it was once understood. To ignore these would be to ignore a big part of Christian philosophy and mystical thought and to fall into the modern error of viewing everything as more or less uncertain and relying on endless discursive thought. But yes, I'd agree that the Pope is not using this kind of knowledge necessarily, even when he speaks 'ex cathedra'. I do not think that certain knowledge and free will are necessarily in conflict.
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« Reply #58 on: September 03, 2011, 12:45:13 AM »

'Infallibility' has to do with the inability to make a mistake rather than mere access to truth.  When one encounters the truth, one has to choose to accept or reject it, hence it is a matter of will and the problem of error, either purposeful or accidental. 

As for what you are saying about deductive reasoning, you are getting way ahead of the main problem of accepting or rejecting truth.


FatherGiryus; I would disagree there are not kinds of knowledge above deductive reasoning which are certain, like what C.S Lewis calls Intellect(following Boethius.) and of course Imagination was it was once understood. To ignore these would be to ignore a big part of Christian philosophy and mystical thought and to fall into the modern error of viewing everything as more or less uncertain and relying on endless discursive thought. But yes, I'd agree that the Pope is not using this kind of knowledge necessarily, even when he speaks 'ex cathedra'. I do not think that certain knowledge and free will are necessarily in conflict.
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« Reply #59 on: September 03, 2011, 01:15:58 AM »

Yes, I was more just keen to guard the idea that we can have certain knowledge of the Truth.

I think, as I mentioned above, other than that the point about infallibility when it applies, or the Roman church claims it to apply to the Pope, depends upon the nuances of the RCC's position. I do not think they are suggesting the Pope is literally 'all-knowing', which seems to be the implication of how you are using the term, so that on everything he chooses to pronounce there is no chance of him being wrong. They are suggesting he has the right to lay down the ancient doctrine of the Church and reiterate it so as to demand adherence to it, but he is supposed to be bound by this doctrine, indeed he gets his infallibility because it is infallible as it is the teaching and Truth of Christ the Church has always taught(even if sometimes it is claimed it was taught in a less explicit way or it is claimed its natural consequences were not always made clear.). There is little but technical differences between this position and the position of the Orthodox or indeed Anglican Churches. This is best shown in the example of key doctrines like the Trinity or Incarnation; just because Orthodox Bishops are fallible, free human beings I would hope they do not cease to affirm these doctrines are certain Truths(at least on the level proper to written and discursive formulation.).

The 19th century affirmation of Infallibility seems to me to be more a gesture by Pius IX to say 'stop your bickering, this is the doctrine of the Church to which you must subscribe...no ifs, no buts, I do not care what the modernists, liberals and secularists think outside or even inside the Church.'. In the contexts of modernism and liberalism which had basically triumphed by then in the Western world, it is to be admired in its way.

 The real division is whether the bishop of Rome should wield this authority or the various primates and synods(and of course how each has used this authority - but that is a different topic.). I think the Orthodox ecclesiastical organisation is older and wiser, but I think the Roman one is not much of an error in itself. Let's not forget the circumstances of the growth of Papal sovereignty in the Western Church and its accompanying acts. The Papacy was left in a very precarious position with the decline of the Western half of the Roman empire, it was natural perhaps that it would development a certain independence and resilience. It has also true that whatever the spiritual aptitude in times and places, much of the Western side of the Roman empire and those areas which emerged from it have always had certain rationalistic, legalistic from their Latin inheritance which was not always beyond a rationionaling innovative spirit itself, but which also did not completely integrate the more spiritualist aptitudes of the Celts and Germans, so often causing unhealthy reactions and innovations on both sides. All things considered I think Tridentine and Medieval Catholicism did a not unremarkable job.
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« Reply #60 on: September 03, 2011, 09:26:23 AM »

That's a good way to put it.  Smiley
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« Reply #61 on: September 03, 2011, 10:44:05 AM »

/\ /\  That is most commendably charitable but is it also true?   I believe the truth of it lies with Saint Justin of Serbia:

"No heresy has ever raised up so radically and so completely against the God-Man Christ
and His Church as has the Papacy, with its dogma of the infallible Pope-man. There is no doubt:
this dogma is the heresy of heresies."


Archimandrite Justin Popovic, "Man and God-Man", Athens, 1987
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« Reply #62 on: September 03, 2011, 07:00:20 PM »

Well I suppose that is a peculiarly uncharitable, if not a slightly strange(the greatest heresy is not Gnosticism or Arianism or similar or even modernism and all it contains but the position of the Pope? Shocked), way of putting it.

I wouldn't worry though, traditional Roman Catholicism was all but destroyed, in quite a lasting way, at Vatican II. You'd probably get a lot more interest among Eastern Catholics and traditional Western ones if you worked upon that line of thinking, showing your churches as the best alternative.
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« Reply #63 on: September 03, 2011, 07:33:13 PM »

Well I suppose that is a peculiarly uncharitable, if not a slightly strange(the greatest heresy is not Gnosticism or Arianism or similar or even modernism and all it contains but the position of the Pope? Shocked), way of putting it.

I wouldn't worry though, traditional Roman Catholicism was all but destroyed, in quite a lasting way, at Vatican II. You'd probably get a lot more interest among Eastern Catholics and traditional Western ones if you worked upon that line of thinking, showing your churches as the best alternative.

The Orthodox are on to it.  laugh  There have been a large number of converts because of what you mention.  You can see it in action on such as the Byzantine Catholic Forum.
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« Reply #64 on: September 03, 2011, 09:53:18 PM »



I can dig out some of my books on Anglo-Saxon England to recommend titles if you're interested.

Ebor
Yes, very much so. Thank you.
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« Reply #65 on: September 04, 2011, 07:01:20 AM »

I had a meal tonight at a Serbian household and an Anglican priest (High Church) and his wife were there.  We talked about the Pope.   His view was that the Anglicans look for ways to integrate with the Pope and are happy to accommodate him with much of the dogmas of the last millennium concerning infallibility and universal Church oversight.

The Orthodox, on the other hand, have no interest in "integrating" either the Pope or the Papacy into their Church and will accept him back into their communion only on their own termns, which means in an inferior status.  By that he meant, and as an Orthodox priest I agree with him on this, that the errors of the Papacy of the last 1000 years will not allow its integration with the Orthodox in any primatial or global role.  The Orthodox simply do not trust Rome and Rome will need time to regain its health within the Church and rebuild trust.

I had to commend this fellow since we saw eye to eye on so many points. laugh
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« Reply #66 on: September 04, 2011, 06:55:36 PM »

My views on the Papacy have more to do with my general theological and philosophical position than Anglican. I'm not one of those 'Anglo-Catholics' who simply copies the current modern Roman Church or even the Counter-Reformation Church. You will not find me wishing to hang pictures of Benedict XVI and John Paul II in an Anglican Church. Nor do I wish to accept the Pope in the current position the Roman Church claims for him. But that doesn't mean I consider the Tridentine Church as literally heretical and beyond the pale, indeed far from it.
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« Reply #67 on: September 04, 2011, 11:20:59 PM »

The truth is that it does matter ONLY what God thinks about each and every one of Churches.
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« Reply #68 on: September 22, 2011, 01:45:21 PM »



I can dig out some of my books on Anglo-Saxon England to recommend titles if you're interested.

Ebor
Yes, very much so. Thank you.

Harold, the Last Anglo-Saxon King by Ian W. Walker is one book that I was recently reading for a paper.  

I had a bit of surgery this week so I'm rather slowed down at the moment.  But I will find the exact titles of Frank Barlow's books on the time and society that are very good as well.  Some of them are a bit hard to find as they're out of print, but I got some used or through inter-library loan.

Ebor
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