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Author Topic: Seeking guidance - All Catholics welcome for discussion  (Read 1594 times) Average Rating: 0
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Steel*Faith
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« on: October 02, 2011, 03:32:44 PM »

Hello brother and sisters,

Let me be very frank by saying that right now I'm in a state of confusion, uncertainty, and great sadness. I have always been 100% certain and strong in my faith of Christ Jesus ever since He saved me from the bondage of Islam - Praise Him - although I've never had a certainty about His Church on earth. I'm really not sure what to do at this point in my search for the "True Church". I am certain that I need to be apart of the unified Catholic and Apostolic Church - yet I am faced with three large Churches - all of which have claim to being apart the original Church (RC, EO, OO).
 
I've tried reading through the theological debates on this forum and all it's done is spin my mind in circles. Hearing people endlessly debate and repeat themselves over issues, such as Christ's nature, really starts to irritate me because all I'm seeing is that the belief is the same, but the language differs. I'm not understanding how there can be any legitimate reason why the Church should be in schism when we all know how serious of a matter this will be; Christ is going to hold us responsible for our actions, and the leaders of the Church will be held to an even higher standard. How can we even tolerate the condition the Church is in right now? I often think about what would happen if Christ and the Apostles were here right now, how they would deal with us - I'm sure if more Christians realized we are being observed right now, and the Judge is standing at the door, we would be doing everything we can to resolve our disputes and differences ASAP because our very souls are on the line!

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Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:1-6)

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Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door. (James 5:7-9)

We read over and over again in the Bible of God's humility and willingness to serve, even though He is the very essence and giver of life, law, and substance in this existence. Is The Catholic Church living by this example right now? I mean, I don't know how the Church leaders can not be trembling in fear right now with the condition the Church is in right now - it makes me question if their real motives are for the cares of this World and themselves, and not for the Kingdom of God? I question this because when you look at history we see how we've had many "wolves and sheeps clothing" infiltrate the Church in order to destroy it - this can be experienced in every part of the Catholic Church - and are we really vigilant about this as parishioners? Or are we just going along with the routines of the services, and in a tunnel vision of what is really happening around us AND inside of us?

If I wanted to go to an Oriental Orthodox Church, why would Eastern Orthodox view me as a heretic? Or in on the other hand, if I wanted to go to a EO Church, why would the OO view me as a heretic? I'm not seeing any good reason for this. Currently I've been attending an OCA Church here in RI infrequently, and I'm considering going to the new OO Church that just opened close to where I live. I've never been able to speak with a OO priest, and would like to hear from one soon.

I wanted to ask, why did the EO replace the Patriarchate of Alexandria, but didn't replace the Patriarchate of Rome? EO Christians will tell me because they are leaving that position open for Rome, hoping they would come back into union with the Church - yet why wouldn't they do the same with Alexandria? I just don't see how Christ can be viewing any of this without feeling grief, sadness, and anger toward the behavior of His children. Lord Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on us - sinners!

There's much more on my mind, but it's too much to put into this introductory post. I hope I can receive some genuinely heart felt and wise replies from anyone willing to discuss these matters in the Spirit of love and peace.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10OSFBKmuOI&feature=channel_video_title

PS could a good brother or sister please tell me what Hymn this is, and/or provide the lyrics are for me? I often listen to this to help me meditate on the grace and love of Mary for her Son and all the Church. I'm so thankful for the Arab and Coptic Christians for providing the Body of Christ with so many divine chants and hymns to strengthen the spirit. Fraction to the Son is another very dear hymns that touch my heart daily and help me grow closer to my Lord Jesus.
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NicholasMyra
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« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2011, 03:43:43 PM »

I wanted to ask, why did the EO replace the Patriarchate of Alexandria
The EO didn't "replace" the Patriarch of Alexandria. The Patriarchate of Alexandria split into EO and OO. Today, the two patriarchs, I hear, get along quite nicely together.

why did the EO replace the Patriarchate of Alexandria, but didn't replace the Patriarchate of Rome? EO Christians will tell me because they are leaving that position open for Rome, hoping they would come back into union with the Church - yet why wouldn't they do the same with Alexandria?

The EO you've spoken to are misinformed, Steel*Faith. There IS an Orthodox Bishop of Rome today. There was no Orthodox Bishop of Rome for several hundred years because the Roman Catholics, when in power, would obviously not permit any Orthodox Bishoprics in Italy. Today they are no longer the same political power and just own a tiny little part of a city.

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Gennadios_(Zervos)_of_Italy_and_Malta
« Last Edit: October 02, 2011, 03:48:43 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2011, 04:26:25 PM »

That's not true because there isn't an Orthodox Patriarch of Rome. A Bishop is not the same position as a Patriarch. Catholicism has always had a Patriarch of Rome which existed there from the beginning. I've heard the Russians say that they think of themselves as the successors and replacement of Rome, but that is an invalid statement I feel - Rome is a very distinct and unique part of the Church and can't be replaced by a different country and culture.

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Today, the two patriarchs, I hear, get along quite nicely together.

So is there talks of the two Churches coming back into union with one another then? I'm already aware that the OO and EO Copts are in good relations today compared to how they used to be, and I'm really happy that they are because they need to be if they are going to survive in a Muslim dominated part of the world. Although, what is really preventing these two Churches from coming into full communion with one another again? Is it theological differences? Or is it economic and bureaucratic issues that either side are unwilling to compromise on or loose?
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NicholasMyra
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« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2011, 04:32:13 PM »

That's not true because there isn't an Orthodox Patriarch of Rome. A Bishop is not the same position as a Patriarch. Catholicism has always had a Patriarch of Rome which existed there from the beginning. I've heard the Russians say that they think of themselves as the successors and replacement of Rome, but that is an invalid statement I feel - Rome is a very distinct and unique part of the Church and can't be replaced by a different country and culture.
You are mistaken.

Rome had a bishop/archbishop from the beginning.

There were no Patriarchs until Justinian I in the 6th Century. A Patriarch was originally the name for the bishop/archbishop of one of the Pentarchy, a model created by St. Justinian I in the 6th Century. A Metropolitan is the bishop/archbishop of a Metropolis, that is, the largest city in a region. The difference is one of honor but not despotism. You have confused these titles with some sort of super-episcopal chrism.

Catholicism has always had a Patriarch of Rome
The Roman Catholics removed the title "Patriarch of the West" from the Pope. You can look this up. He is no longer the Patriarch of Rome, anyway.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2011, 04:36:55 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2011, 04:33:44 PM »

So is there talks of the two Churches coming back into union with one another then? I'm already aware that the OO and EO Copts are in good relations today compared to how they used to be, and I'm really happy that they are because they need to be if they are going to survive in a Muslim dominated part of the world. Although, what is really preventing these two Churches from coming into full communion with one another again? Is it theological differences? Or is it economic and bureaucratic issues that either side are unwilling to compromise on or loose?
Theological differences and conservative monastics on both sides.
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« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2011, 04:49:14 PM »

The EO and OO are not communion (and probably never will be, for better or for worse) for the following reasons:

-The EO accept seven councils as having ecumenical status (Nicea, Constantinople, Ephesus, Chalcedon, Constantinople II, Constantinople III, and Nicea II)
-The OO accept only the first three of the above mentioned councils, they believe that Chalcedon carried Nestorian connotations with it
-The EO venerate Pope Leo of Rome as a "pillar of right faith", they believe that his Tome, which was accepted at Chalcedon, was an orthodox document
-The EO consider Pope Dioscorus of Alexandria and Patriarch Severus of Antioch to be "God-hated" heresiarchs
-The OO, in contrast, venerate Patr. Severus and Pope Dioscorus as "Teachers of Orthodoxy"
-The OO consider the language contained in the Tome of Leo to be unacceptable
-In order for reunion to take place, the EO have insisted that the OO accept all councils which the former group considers ecumenical
-Some EO, of a more traditionalist bent, would also require the OO to anathematize Pope Timothy Aelurus, Pope Dioscorus, and Patr. Severus
-The OO are far more "relaxed" when it comes to prerequisites for reunion, but they still persistently reject the latter four councils of the EOs as having ecumenical status
-Some OO, of a more traditionalist bent (myself included), would also be apprehensive to lift Pope Leo's anathema
-In order for reunion to take place 1500 years of mutual condemnations would have to be lifted, on both sides
-Thus, some argue that reunion between these two churches would involve undermining over 1500 years of tradition

My advise to you would be to pray and discern which Church you believe is the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

I hope this (grossly oversimplified) explanation helps,
Severian
« Last Edit: October 02, 2011, 05:18:01 PM by Severian » Logged

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Steel*Faith
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« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2011, 04:54:45 PM »

Rome has always had a primacy from the beginning. Peter was clearly the leader of the Church and had a primacy in leadership, and so did the following Church leaders of Rome over the Church world - I know that even the EO acknowledge this. There's no longer a position like this that exists in the EO Church in Rome since the Great Schism, so what is the debate about? I'm not debating about Supremacy vs Primacy. I've heard this even from Eastern Orthodox Priests, so I guess they're the ones that are misinformed as you said?

Even though this is topic is kinda getting off track, I might as well ask this question. The Roman Catholics seem to be reaching out to the Orthodox and trying to humble themselves and reconcile the differences between the Catholic world. I've seen Pope Benedict making great attempts at trying to find common ground and peaceful resolution with the Orthodox world. They've even allowed the Orthodox to receive communion in the Church - which seems to me to be a great act of love - but what is the Orthodox Church doing towards reaching unification? I'm genuinely asking this question, please don't take this as an attack.
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NicholasMyra
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« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2011, 04:58:31 PM »

Rome has always had a primacy from the beginning. Peter was clearly the leader of the Church and had a primacy in leadership, and so did the following Church leaders of Rome over the Church world - I know that even the EO acknowledge this. There's no longer a position like this that exists in the EO Church in Rome since the Great Schism, so what is the debate about?
The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople holds this position now in the EO Church.
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« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2011, 05:00:34 PM »

Rome has always had a primacy from the beginning. Peter was clearly the leader of the Church and had a primacy in leadership, and so did the following Church leaders of Rome over the Church world - I know that even the EO acknowledge this. There's no longer a position like this that exists in the EO Church in Rome since the Great Schism, so what is the debate about? I'm not debating about Supremacy vs Primacy. I've heard this even from Eastern Orthodox Priests, so I guess they're the ones that are misinformed as you said?
Do you acknowledge that Rome having a Patriarch from the beginning and Rome having a Primacy from the beginning are completely unrelated in every single way possible, and that you thus completely misunderstood my post in every single way possible?
« Last Edit: October 02, 2011, 05:00:54 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2011, 05:02:31 PM »

The EO and OO are not communion (and probably never will be, for better or for worse) for the following reasons:
But most people don't care about those reasons enough to fight about them, Severian. We share the curse of caring.   Grin
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« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2011, 05:05:06 PM »

The EO and OO are not communion (and probably never will be, for better or for worse) for the following reasons:
But most people don't care about those reasons enough to fight about them, Severian. We share the curse of caring.   Grin
What? Plenty of people, on both sides, care about these issues. If they didn't care about these issues we would probably be in communion already.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2011, 05:05:28 PM by Severian » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2011, 05:07:00 PM »

What? Plenty of people, on both sides, care about these issues. If they didn't care about these issues we would probably be in communion already.
With God all things are possible.
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« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2011, 05:10:54 PM »

What? Plenty of people, on both sides, care about these issues. If they didn't care about these issues we would probably be in communion already.
With God all things are possible.
Of course, if it is His will, may it be done. I am all for a reunion based on truth, but I think there is a lot of false ecumenical tendencies on both sides which need to be done away with. If anyone is interested in what I think are prerequisites for reunion, send me a PM as I don't want to derail this topic.
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« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2011, 05:11:01 PM »

They've even allowed the Orthodox to receive communion in the Church - which seems to me to be a great act of love
From our perspective it is a spiritual assassination attempt.
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« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2011, 05:11:20 PM »

What? Plenty of people, on both sides, care about these issues. If they didn't care about these issues we would probably be in communion already.
With God all things are possible.
Of course, if it is His will, may it be done. I am all for a reunion based on truth, but I think there is a lot of false ecumenical tendencies on both sides which need to be done away with. If anyone is interested in what I think are prerequisites for reunion, send me a PM as I don't want to derail this topic.

I like Fr. Peter's suggestions so far.

-The OO are far more "relaxed" when it comes to prerequisites for reunion, but they still persistently reject the latter four councils of the EOs as having ecumenical status
If the OO acknowledged them as Orthodox, even if they weren't considered ecumenical before, they would automatically become ecumenical, would they not?
« Last Edit: October 02, 2011, 05:13:33 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2011, 05:12:02 PM »

What? Plenty of people, on both sides, care about these issues. If they didn't care about these issues we would probably be in communion already.
With God all things are possible.
Of course, if it is His will, may it be done. I am all for a reunion based on truth, but I think there is a lot of false ecumenical tendencies on both sides which need to be done away with. If anyone is interested in what I think are prerequisites for reunion, send me a PM as I don't want to derail this topic.

I like Fr. Peter's suggestions so far.
Yes, as do I.
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« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2011, 05:46:10 PM »

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Do you acknowledge that Rome having a Patriarch from the beginning and Rome having a Primacy from the beginning are completely unrelated in every single way possible, and that you thus completely misunderstood my post in every single way possible?

No because Apostle Peter was the the head leader of the Church from the very beginning; then Saint Clement I of Rome succeeded him, and the succession of power continues from there - it's all documented historically. It's a fact that Rome held the position of power in the Church - I don't believe a Roman Emperor has any right or authority to change how the Church is governed - so the decision to move the capital of the Empire from Rome to Constantinople seems irrelevant to me. There's even historical account of the Saints acknowledging the position of the Pope of Rome.

Interestingly enough, if God wanted Constantinople to be the Capital of the Christian world, then why is it gone? Christ Himself says that the Gates of Hades will not prevail over His Church. Despite the incredible hardships and changes Rome has endured throughout it's lifetime, it still is there as the center of the Roman Catholic Church.

So no, I'm not understanding what you're saying because it's not making sense to me.

Quote
From our perspective it is a spiritual assassination attempt.

I felt the same way as a Muslim before I came to Christ. I'm sure the Jews in Israel felt in a similar way when Jesus and the Apostles came preaching the Gospel as well. Our perspectives are flawed. All I know is, I see Pope Benedict doing things that I can greatly respect and admire in regards to reaching out to the Christian world. I'm starting to see why Christ instituted the structure of the Church and appointed Peter as the Rock. Christ said Judge them based on their fruits, and I see Pope Benedict as a very special and unique man right now, willing to humble himself and realize how important unification of the Church is.

These videos particularly caught my attention, as well as some of writings I've been reading from Pope Benedict.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2MChixSMnM
« Last Edit: October 02, 2011, 05:54:13 PM by Steel*Faith » Logged
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« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2011, 06:35:54 PM »

They've even allowed the Orthodox to receive communion in the Church - which seems to me to be a great act of love
From our perspective it is a spiritual assassination attempt.
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« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2011, 06:59:43 PM »

Quote
Do you acknowledge that Rome having a Patriarch from the beginning and Rome having a Primacy from the beginning are completely unrelated in every single way possible, and that you thus completely misunderstood my post in every single way possible?

No because Apostle Peter was the the head leader of the Church from the very beginning; then Saint Clement I of Rome succeeded him, and the succession of power continues from there - it's all documented historically. It's a fact that Rome held the position of power in the Church - I don't believe a Roman Emperor has any right or authority to change how the Church is governed - so the decision to move the capital of the Empire from Rome to Constantinople seems irrelevant to me. There's even historical account of the Saints acknowledging the position of the Pope of Rome.

Interestingly enough, if God wanted Constantinople to be the Capital of the Christian world, then why is it gone? Christ Himself says that the Gates of Hades will not prevail over His Church. Despite the incredible hardships and changes Rome has endured throughout it's lifetime, it still is there as the center of the Roman Catholic Church.
Ok, bro, look. A Patriarch is the leader of a Patriarchate which is either one of the Pentarchy established by St. Justinian, or a later addition.

The title Patriarch does not have to do with whether or not Rome has or had a primacy. Okay? They are completely unrelated. I agree that the Bishop of Rome had a primacy in the early church. But there was no title "Patriarch" until the 6th century. In John Chrysostom's lifetime he was called the Archbishop of Constantinople, not the Patriarch of Constantinople. Linus was Bishop of Rome, not Patriarch of Rome!

Interestingly enough, if God wanted Constantinople to be the Capital of the Christian world, then why is it gone? Christ Himself says that the Gates of Hades will not prevail over His Church. Despite the incredible hardships and changes Rome has endured throughout it's lifetime, it still is there as the center of the Roman Catholic Church.
God doesn't want any city in this fallen age to be the Capital for Christians. Even Catholics today surely affirm this. Also, Constantinople fell after the Pseudo-Union of Florence, so if God really favored Rome, he would have preserved Constantinople immediately.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2011, 07:00:40 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2011, 08:27:52 PM »

Unfortunately I can't contribute much to this 1000+ year old discussion/problem.  However, I will say one person you might want to talk to is Marduk.  He is Coptic Catholic (formerly Coptic Orthodox) and is/was fairly active here and on Catholic Answers (username mardukm).  His conversion was recent (1-2 years ago) and is quite detailed on CAF.
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« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2011, 08:32:00 PM »

Unfortunately I can't contribute much to this 1000+ year old discussion/problem.  However, I will say one person you might want to talk to is Marduk.  He is Coptic Catholic (formerly Coptic Orthodox) and is/was fairly active here and on Catholic Answers (username mardukm).
I by no means wish to berate Scotty as I say this, but...

Do NOT look to Marduk on this issue. He has an obvious bias and his grasp on OO theology is (to say the least) very warped. I would recommend you speak to Priests from all three traditions and then decide for yourself.
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« Reply #21 on: October 02, 2011, 08:35:03 PM »


Do NOT look to Marduk on this issue. He has an obvious bias and his grasp on OO theology is (to say the least) very warped.

Well yeah, he converted to Catholicism.

I know he isn't well liked by most on here, but he is a person and is about the only Coptic Catholic I've ever encountered.  But, I trust what you say.  If there was not a thing as theological bias there would not be divisions within the Church. 
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« Reply #22 on: October 02, 2011, 08:46:07 PM »


Do NOT look to Marduk on this issue. He has an obvious bias and his grasp on OO theology is (to say the least) very warped.

Well yeah, he converted to Catholicism.

I know he isn't well liked by most on here, but he is a person and is about the only Coptic Catholic I've ever encountered.  But, I trust what you say.  If there was not a thing as theological bias there would not be divisions within the Church. 
Thank you for giving me the benefit of the doubt. Smiley It is not his conversion from Coptic Orthodoxy to Coptic Catholicism per se which causes me to distrust him (though, I do believe he has jeopardized his salvation by doing so), but I think that he tries to prove that Latin and Oriental theology are the same when they are not. If he were still active on OC.net I would show him patristic quotes from OO fathers and Hierarchs to disprove his theses.
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« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2011, 09:03:19 PM »

Thank you for giving me the benefit of the doubt. Smiley

You're quite welcome!  Its quite a gift, eh?
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« Reply #24 on: October 02, 2011, 11:28:23 PM »

While not trying to start a new battle over papal primacy, have any posters here been following the CAF discussion started by Marduk concerning the Absolutist/High/Low Petrine understanding of the role of Rome?  Since I am new to the OC forum and haven't been around for most of the epic battles...., I used the search function, coming up with only a few threads referring to the A/H/L Petrine views but not a direct discussion.  Do his thoughts on this subject carry any weight or has there been a discussion that I missed?  To my untrained eye, the three distinctions seem to make some sense.  Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
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« Reply #25 on: October 02, 2011, 11:48:13 PM »

If he were still active on OC.net I would show him patristic quotes from OO fathers and Hierarchs to disprove his theses.

Perhaps that's why he's no longer active on OC.net  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #26 on: October 03, 2011, 12:14:07 AM »

Quote
Do you acknowledge that Rome having a Patriarch from the beginning and Rome having a Primacy from the beginning are completely unrelated in every single way possible, and that you thus completely misunderstood my post in every single way possible?

No because Apostle Peter was the the head leader of the Church from the very beginning; then Saint Clement I of Rome succeeded him, and the succession of power continues from there - it's all documented historically.
No, it is not. Quite the opposite actually.  For one thing, no one, including the Vatican, thinks St. Clement I succeeded St. Peter: there is the problem that St. Peter consecrated St. Linus, and the Vatican takes the latter as the second "supreme pontiff" but he predeceased St Peter.
It's a fact that Rome held the position of power in the Church
as did Alexandria (the see of the original Pope), Antioch, Jerusalem...

- I don't believe a Roman Emperor has any right or authority to change how the Church is governed - so the decision to move the capital of the Empire from Rome to Constantinople seems irrelevant to me.
That's nice, and if you were important, we might care.  It was, however, important to the Church Fathers, as they wrote quite a bit on it and its implications, and we go with what they had to say.

There's even historical account of the Saints acknowledging the position of the Pope of Rome.
Oh?  What specific quote trawl, doctored to this use, are you refering to?

Interestingly enough, if God wanted Constantinople to be the Capital of the Christian world, then why is it gone?
If we were living in 1310, what would your answer be when we asked that quetion of you on Rome?  btw, have you read St. Augustine's "the City of God"?

Christ Himself says that the Gates of Hades will not prevail over His Church. Despite the incredible hardships and changes Rome has endured throughout it's lifetime, it still is there as the center of the Roman Catholic Church.
Not, according to the Vatican itself, was it 1309-1376. And then there was this

btw, the Ecumenical Patriarch is still in Constantinople, so I don't know what your point was.

So no, I'm not understanding what you're saying because it's not making sense to me.
take the Vatican goggles off. You will see better.

Quote
From our perspective it is a spiritual assassination attempt.

I felt the same way as a Muslim before I came to Christ. I'm sure the Jews in Israel felt in a similar way when Jesus and the Apostles came preaching the Gospel as well. Our perspectives are flawed. All I know is, I see Pope Benedict doing things that I can greatly respect and admire in regards to reaching out to the Christian world. I'm starting to see why Christ instituted the structure of the Church and appointed Peter as the Rock. Christ said Judge them based on their fruits, and I see Pope Benedict as a very special and unique man right now, willing to humble himself and realize how important unification of the Church is.

These videos particularly caught my attention, as well as some of writings I've been reading from Pope Benedict.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2MChixSMnM
how about this rock, his predecessor

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Stephen_(VI)_VII
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadaver_Synod
that is some pretty rotten fruit

Submission of the Church to the Vatican and unification of the Church and her lost sheep are not the same thing.
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« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2011, 02:07:35 AM »

Rome has always had a primacy from the beginning.
Actually from the beginning Jerusalem was the most important center of Christianity. As Christianity was accepted by the Emperor, naturally the center or gravity shifted to the most important city with in the Empire, Rome.
Peter was clearly the leader of the Church and had a primacy in leadership, and so did the following Church leaders of Rome over the Church world
I am sure you know that Bishops (Patriarchs) of Antioch also are successors of Peter; as he established the Episcopate in Antioch as well. So successors of Peter is not something that Rome alone can claim.

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« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2011, 02:12:48 AM »

Apostle Peter was the the head leader of the Church from the very beginning; then Saint Clement I of Rome succeeded him, and the succession of power continues from there - it's all documented historically

Someone could make the argument that St. Peter was the leader of the Church from the beginning; then St. Evodius 67-68  succeded him in Antioch and then..St. Ignatios of Antioch (the Illuminator) 68-107 ... its all documented historically.  
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« Reply #29 on: October 03, 2011, 08:30:44 AM »

Hello brother and sisters,

Let me be very frank by saying that right now I'm in a state of confusion, uncertainty, and great sadness. I have always been 100% certain and strong in my faith of Christ Jesus ever since He saved me from the bondage of Islam - Praise Him - although I've never had a certainty about His Church on earth. I'm really not sure what to do at this point in my search for the "True Church". I am certain that I need to be apart of the unified Catholic and Apostolic Church - yet I am faced with three large Churches - all of which have claim to being apart the original Church (RC, EO, OO).
 


Dear Steel*Faith,
     How wonderful you found Christianity and a strong love and faith in Christ Jesus.   Your conversion story must be very interesting, and when you have time, many (like myself!) would be interested in hearing how you left Islam and what led you to love and trust in Christ.

   It sounds like you have such a burning desire and love for God, that you want to be 100% sure you are in the right church right this moment so you can love and honor God in the fullest capacity.  May I just suggest patience and to let God lead you there.  It may take some time for the right person or the right situation to come your way to really illuminate your path.   I know it is hard to see the dis-unity between the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches.   Every pope or patriarch has to undergo the same daily conversion that we all have to experience, and to struggle with historical events, and to overcome normal human tendencies such as pride.   We see this in the Bible, with Peter denying Christ,  apostles arguing about who will be the first, Martha complaining about Mary because Mary is sitting there listening to Jesus while Martha is doing all the work.  What is reassuring is the desire is there to come together.  The Bishops all know this is not what was intended, the Christian church should be one family.  The key is we are a family, and all families have squabbles and times of difficulty.   I wouldn't let the debates on this message board discourage you.  It might be better to find someone you can talk with in person.

God Bless you on your journey!
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« Reply #30 on: October 03, 2011, 11:31:51 AM »

While not trying to start a new battle over papal primacy, have any posters here been following the CAF discussion started by Marduk concerning the Absolutist/High/Low Petrine understanding of the role of Rome?

That terminolgy....and the theology connected with it.....was invented by mardukm.  That is why it is recommended not to go to him for answers.
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« Reply #31 on: October 03, 2011, 12:53:49 PM »

All this reminds me of what Michael Davies said about the "fantasies of the Greeks," meaning religious historians. Some people seem to reason that things can't have been a certain way, because that's not the way they would have done it.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #32 on: October 03, 2011, 03:04:04 PM »

Seems to me that you are leaning slightly more towards the Catholic Church than either the EOC or the OOC.  (And who am I to try to guide you away from that?)  But, be that as it may, someone else suggested talking to priests from all three.  I would heartily second that.  In addition it would benefit you greatly to attend Mass/Liturgy a number of times at all three.  Then pray that the Holy Spirit, rather than posters on various internet fora (a number of whom have axes to grind, and a number of whom are long on "knowledge" but short on love and charity), guide you in love in the right direction. 

Please do not take what you read on this or other internet discussion fora as any kind of authoritative or "official" theology, dogma, or doctrine--for *any* of the Churches.  Instead, go to the Churches themselves and their official documents and sources for that. 

I, too, would be interested in your conversion story from Islam to Christianity, should you be willing to share that here.

May God grant you peace and guide you on your journey!

In Christ,
JM
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« Reply #33 on: October 03, 2011, 03:12:01 PM »

If he were still active on OC.net I would show him patristic quotes from OO fathers and Hierarchs to disprove his theses.

Perhaps that's why he's no longer active on OC.net  Roll Eyes
Why are you rolling your eyes at me? Or are you rolling them at Marduk?
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« Reply #34 on: October 03, 2011, 03:15:57 PM »

Rather than comfort and prayerful reflection on this poster's struggles, we get snippy replies, defensive posturing, maps and a painting of the Cadaver Synod.
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« Reply #35 on: October 03, 2011, 03:21:54 PM »

Rather than comfort and prayerful reflection on this poster's struggles, we get snippy replies, defensive posturing, maps and a painting of the Cadaver Synod.

Welcome to internet Wink
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« Reply #36 on: October 03, 2011, 05:48:45 PM »

This is what I concluded after several years of interactions with the man. OP: Trust the priests and bishops of the churches you are looking into, not strangers on the internet.

While not trying to start a new battle over papal primacy, have any posters here been following the CAF discussion started by Marduk concerning the Absolutist/High/Low Petrine understanding of the role of Rome?

That terminolgy....and the theology connected with it.....was invented by mardukm.  That is why it is recommended not to go to him for answers.
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« Reply #37 on: October 04, 2011, 07:18:57 AM »

This is what I concluded after several years of interactions with the man. OP: Trust the priests and bishops of the churches you are looking into, not strangers on the internet.

While not trying to start a new battle over papal primacy, have any posters here been following the CAF discussion started by Marduk concerning the Absolutist/High/Low Petrine understanding of the role of Rome?

That terminolgy....and the theology connected with it.....was invented by mardukm.  That is why it is recommended not to go to him for answers.

I will second that, This is not the place to look for finding the right church for you.

This forum is good if you have questions regarding orthodoxy and there traditions.

if you want to ask questions regarding the RCC I would not recommend Catholic Answers, but this forum where they will give you proper answers. http://forums.catholic-convert.com/index.php.

Go to the different churches a few times, talk with the priests, God will help you decide.

As some others have said, I would love to hear your conversion story from Islam.

Peace in Christ.
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« Reply #38 on: October 04, 2011, 08:50:10 PM »

If he were still active on OC.net I would show him patristic quotes from OO fathers and Hierarchs to disprove his theses.

Perhaps that's why he's no longer active on OC.net  Roll Eyes
Why are you rolling your eyes at me? Or are you rolling them at Marduk?

No, I'm just rolling them at the Internet and the world in general.  Cool
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« Reply #39 on: October 04, 2011, 08:57:18 PM »

^I see...
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« Reply #40 on: October 05, 2011, 01:54:26 AM »

Steel*Faith:

If theological debate is not your cup of tea (and you're by no means alone in that, it's just that such people are less likely to gravitate to Internet religious forums), then my suggestion would be that you find parishes of the respective churches in your area and attend each for a while (sequentially, not concurrently). Talk to the priest. Experience the worship. Interact with the flock face-to-face, in real time.

Secondly (particularly if you're in an area with a limited EO or OO presence), you list RC/EO/OO as if they are currently equidistant. Simplify your search by deciding first between RC and either strain of Orthodoxy. Yes, the EO and OO are divided, but we both agree that we are far closer to each other than either of us is to the RC's. It's like the EO and OO are debating what to have for dinner while the RC's are off in another room debating what to watch on TV. It's just a separate conversation.
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« Reply #41 on: October 05, 2011, 02:55:53 AM »

The EO you've spoken to are misinformed, Steel*Faith. There IS an Orthodox Bishop of Rome today. There was no Orthodox Bishop of Rome for several hundred years because the Roman Catholics, when in power, would obviously not permit any Orthodox Bishoprics in Italy. Today they are no longer the same political power and just own a tiny little part of a city.

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Gennadios_(Zervos)_of_Italy_and_Malta

That bishop has his seat in Venice,  even though he has jurisdiction over Rome.
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« Reply #42 on: October 05, 2011, 04:56:02 PM »


That bishop has his seat in Venice,  even though he has jurisdiction over Rome.
Good enough for me.
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« Reply #43 on: October 05, 2011, 08:24:10 PM »

I wanted to ask, why did the EO replace the Patriarchate of Alexandria
The EO didn't "replace" the Patriarch of Alexandria. The Patriarchate of Alexandria split into EO and OO. Today, the two patriarchs, I hear, get along quite nicely together.

why did the EO replace the Patriarchate of Alexandria, but didn't replace the Patriarchate of Rome? EO Christians will tell me because they are leaving that position open for Rome, hoping they would come back into union with the Church - yet why wouldn't they do the same with Alexandria?

The EO you've spoken to are misinformed, Steel*Faith. There IS an Orthodox Bishop of Rome today. There was no Orthodox Bishop of Rome for several hundred years because the Roman Catholics, when in power, would obviously not permit any Orthodox Bishoprics in Italy. Today they are no longer the same political power and just own a tiny little part of a city.

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Gennadios_(Zervos)_of_Italy_and_Malta
He's not the bishop of Rome, even if he serves the separated Greek Rite Christians in Italy.

If you think he has actual jurisdiction that supersedes the authority of "unbaptized layman Joseph Ratzinger", then your brethren in Moscow need to stop complaining about our bishops in Russia who minister to the Latin Rite Catholics.
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« Reply #44 on: October 06, 2011, 04:43:35 AM »

He's not the bishop of Rome, even if he serves the separated Greek Rite Christians in Italy.
[/quote]

No, he is a Bishop in Italy (alongside a few others).
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