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Author Topic: High Church Anglican seeking advise.  (Read 3641 times) Average Rating: 0
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JohnofDorset
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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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JohnofDorset
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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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JohnofDorset
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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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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)
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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.

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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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FatherGiryus
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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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JohnofDorset
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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.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2011, 07:00:59 PM by JohnofDorset » Logged
pasadi97
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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.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2011, 11:21:21 PM by pasadi97 » Logged
Ebor
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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
« Last Edit: September 22, 2011, 01:46:29 PM by Ebor » Logged

"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

The Katana of Reasoned Discussion

For some a world view is more like a neighborhood watch.
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