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Author Topic: De-Incarnated Christ of Orthodoxy?  (Read 13465 times) Average Rating: 0
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JLatimer
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« Reply #45 on: October 26, 2011, 05:59:08 PM »

Read the Christological threads here. It is obvious how serious some folks take Christ's Incarnation. Not very.

And I am out.

Yes; only you, NicholasMyra, and Fr. Thomas Hopko take the Incarnation seriously. How could I forget?



Honestly, I didn't expect you to respond after you declared yourself "out". I'm a bit disappointed. But I'll admit you've successfully discomfited me again with your reply.
What are you saying?

It's internetz zykologikals. Re-read my post and your response. I am backing off this stuff, until people start paying me.

Why would people do that?

Quote
My post was a crafted statement to illicit a response, which I no doubt knew you would give, to attempt to show you your own latent and obvious insecurities regarding your position on the subject.

If by insecurities you mean awareness of the possibility that I am insufficient in knowledge, and could be totally and completely wrong in my opinions, I've got plenty, and they're not latent.

Quote
It was vague and you filled in the blanks. Your blanks say more about how you stand than all those posts of yours in the threads.

And what do they say, exactly?

Quote
IOW, your response is a whole lot more telling than mine.

Of that I'm not so sure.

IOW, how convenient for you.

Quote
I am clear on why I find the subject upsetting. Are you?

FWIW, the real ink blots are in color.

I didn't say I found the subject upsetting.
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« Reply #46 on: October 26, 2011, 06:06:31 PM »

My post was a crafted statement to illicit a response,
Yes, your response is illicit (but valid), but that's a subject for another thread. Wink
« Last Edit: October 26, 2011, 06:06:55 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #47 on: October 26, 2011, 06:07:26 PM »

only through leaving behind the body and entering into pure contemplation can we transcend the fetters of materiality and become pure spirit beings in union with the One Who is by nature immaterial.
Keep that up and you could be the next Frederica when you grow some grey hairs!  police
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if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.
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« Reply #48 on: October 26, 2011, 06:11:46 PM »

Maybe he is upset that we do not share the Vatican's thirst for gore, the fetish for displaying body parts or the obsession to put His mother on a par with Him.  Oh, well. That's their problem, not ours.

I'm not sure I understand the part about body parts. Do we not also display "body parts"? I had a friend who was used to venerating little bones her in America but when he went to Mt. Athos, he was amazed that the monks would bring out hands, arms, and heads for veneration.







And the part about putting His Mother on par with Christ. I have not seen that. I think it is silly when former Protestant converts to Orthodoxy make up stories about how the Roman Catholic venerate the Mother of God too much. Have you never been to a Russian Church? I have been to an Akathist before the Kursk root icon, I have read my share of canons and akathists to the Mother of God as well. I would say that they way the Romans venerate her is no different than how Orthodox have. Just look at the lives of the Saints. Would you say St. Seraphim's devotion to the Mother of God was too much?

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« Reply #49 on: October 26, 2011, 06:15:43 PM »

Sure, but some people are deeply attached to the notion that "it's okay if the Orthodox do it, but if the Roman Catholics do the same thing, then it's bad."  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #50 on: October 26, 2011, 06:17:28 PM »

Maybe he is upset that we do not share the Vatican's thirst for gore, the fetish for displaying body parts or the obsession to put His mother on a par with Him.  Oh, well. That's their problem, not ours.

I'm not sure I understand the part about body parts. Do we not also display "body parts"?
I think Isa's talking about stuff like the Sacred Heart.
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« Reply #51 on: October 26, 2011, 06:28:05 PM »

Never mind that Orthodox think it's okay to pray in front of a crucifix. Even if Christ is not shown bleeding, you still know that's what He was doing at the time. That's okay, because it's Orthodox. A Roman Catholic crucifix, however, which usually doesn't show blood either (the giant wooden one behind the altar in my old parish didn't), is somehow wrong. Why? Because... we already covered that.  Huh
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« Reply #52 on: October 26, 2011, 06:29:54 PM »

Never mind that Orthodox think it's okay to pray in front of a crucifix. Even if Christ is not shown bleeding, you still know that's what He was doing at the time. That's okay, because it's Orthodox. A Roman Catholic crucifix, however, which usually doesn't show blood either (the giant wooden one behind the altar in my old parish didn't), is somehow wrong. Why? Because... we already covered that.  Huh

I haven't burnt the RC crucifix in my house for violating Orthodox anti-carnality laws, Biro.  Grin
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« Reply #53 on: October 26, 2011, 06:31:01 PM »

Gosh this is lame.

For something fun, listen to this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1cz7CS4vmY
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« Reply #54 on: October 26, 2011, 06:34:24 PM »

Ladies and Gentlemen,

My ears are burning and I have discovered the source.  I forgot that I had an account on here from "back in the day," otherwise I wouldn't have bothered to venture on here.  I won't respond to the "critiques" of my post/comments which have been posted on here, mainly because I find them intellectually uninteresting when they're not outright fabrications which attempt to get a read on why I write what I write.  If you really want to know, ask.  Or, better yet, engage the topics on my blog if you're that enthralled by them.  I can't make you, of course.  But putting up an entire thread dedicated to a handful of quotes from my blog strikes me as not only uncharitable, but childish.  Making snide remarks to my brother concerning the fact I am Catholic while he is Orthodox is contemptuous.

I once jested to my brother that if anyone ever asked him I was no longer Orthodox, he should respond swiftly with, "Because of people like you."  I am starting to reconsider the good humor in which I originally made it.  Perhaps that is the best and, in a way, most honest reply of all.

Contrary to popular opinion in these parts, I do not reject the undeniable truth that both Catholics and Orthodox profess a Christology which is thoroughly Chalcedonian.  Nor, for that matter, am I "anti-Orthodox" any more than I am "anti-Eastern Catholic."  (I was one prior to being Orthodox.)  The "point" of my post, if anyone bothered to read it, was to examine the Christ of popular Orthodox piety compared to the Christ of popular Catholic piety as reflected in each confession's liturgies (broadly understood to include, inter alia, iconography, hymnography, festal celebrations, etc.).  Those thoughts, like many of my various queries on "things Christian," are driven by my own academic (nerdy?) interest and little else.  I have noted elsewhere the occasional "ambiguities" surrounding Christ's divinity in certain forms of Western Christian devotion, though that fact has never for a moment raised any doubt in my mind that the Catholic Church professes what Orthodoxy professes.  If I am guilty of any great "heresy" it is this: I find the wall which separates East and West to be more illusory than real; and where it does exist, I see a very porous barrier.  I know there are many on each side of the divide who have a stake in the myth of rupture and, well, there's little I can do about that.  But whine or protest as you may, it won't change the orientation of my thinking or, for that matter, my blogging.

As for why I parted ways with Orthodoxy, there is something like an echo of truth in the facetious remarks I made which were quoted on here earlier.  I find that the mainline Orthodox consciousness can only conceive of such "apostasy" in the basest of terms.  That is to say, an Orthodox Christian is more likely to believe I left because I wanted to eat a giant bacon cheeseburger 15 minutes before Mass than because I believe the Roman Catholic Church is, in its fulness, the "one Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church" professed by both parties in the Creed.  For that reason (amongst others), I prefer to avoid the topic unless I am in the company of those Orthodox I call friends.  I suppose, though, if you scan my blog long enough, you'll get a sense of the details.  To say it wasn't due to seeing a light on the road to Damascus would be an understatement.

In closing, I couldn't care less if you read my blog, but if you do, man up and make your protests known over there.  I don't delete comments or close threads.  I try, when I find the circumstances so warrant, to respond to many of the remarks made over there.  But it is a blog, it's not an academic journal and, since I make not a shilling from it, I find I am under no compulsion to investment a moment more than what I have readily available dealing with it.  I would have left the remarks on here to the digital dustbin of history, but I do take offense when people want to be -- pardon my French -- rude to my brother.



We don't use such "French" here, so your "French" has been translated to a more acceptable English alternative.  -PtA
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« Reply #55 on: October 26, 2011, 08:52:03 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Re the OP -- personally, I am beyond pleased that our Divine Liturgy speaks of Christ as "our true God".

I think popular protestantism especially lacks this awareness of the Lord's divinity properly understood.

Actually I would argue quite the opposite.  In the past 200 hundred years of decentralized Protestant Christianity and the rise of denominationalism (even under the guise of supposed non-denominational churches Wink ) many of the heresies of the past have resurfaced from the same common, popular, and scholarly misconceptions which gave their initial rise in the first place. Christians generally understand Jesus Christ to be God Almighty, however it is His humanity they seem most to misunderstand. Most of these Christians then largely misunderstand the simple truths of the Creed, in that some believe Christ perhaps was not necessarily physical.  Others suppose He may have been a man, but not in the same kind of human body we all have naturally to humanity.  There are folks who profess that Christ is a man who became a God.  Others who say He is God who became a man.  Some churches teach that the Resurrection its a spiritual illusion, and not the deified physical body of Jesus Christ.  Some say the that in His Ascension He gave up His flesh as we do when we die, and that He sits at the right hand of the Father in Spirit.  Basically, about any way you could imagine Jesus Christ, there is a church for that full of people who agree with you.  Of course, this is all then a matter of imagination rather than Communionication.  If folks were in Communion with the Father, in the Son, through the Holy Spirit then they would be explained the Mysteries in their hearts by Grace and would not be so thoroughly confused and divided.  The Church is One, but as for these, who can say?

stay blessed,
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« Reply #56 on: October 26, 2011, 09:13:08 PM »

I would have left the remarks on here to the digital dustbin of history, but I do take offense when people want to be -- pardon my French -- rude to my brother.
Saying "you all must have some interesting conversations at Thanksgiving" is being rude...?  Huh



Profanity replaced with something more acceptable  -PtA
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« Reply #57 on: October 26, 2011, 09:17:02 PM »

Ladies and Gentlemen,

My ears are burning and I have discovered the source.  I forgot that I had an account on here from "back in the day," otherwise I wouldn't have bothered to venture on here.  I won't respond to the "critiques" of my post/comments which have been posted on here, mainly because I find them intellectually uninteresting when they're not outright fabrications which attempt to get a read on why I write what I write.  If you really want to know, ask.  Or, better yet, engage the topics on my blog if you're that enthralled by them.  I can't make you, of course.  But putting up an entire thread dedicated to a handful of quotes from my blog strikes me as not only uncharitable, but childish.  Making snide remarks to my brother concerning the fact I am Catholic while he is Orthodox is contemptuous.

I once jested to my brother that if anyone ever asked him I was no longer Orthodox, he should respond swiftly with, "Because of people like you."  I am starting to reconsider the good humor in which I originally made it.  Perhaps that is the best and, in a way, most honest reply of all.

Contrary to popular opinion in these parts, I do not reject the undeniable truth that both Catholics and Orthodox profess a Christology which is thoroughly Chalcedonian.  Nor, for that matter, am I "anti-Orthodox" any more than I am "anti-Eastern Catholic."  (I was one prior to being Orthodox.)  The "point" of my post, if anyone bothered to read it, was to examine the Christ of popular Orthodox piety compared to the Christ of popular Catholic piety as reflected in each confession's liturgies (broadly understood to include, inter alia, iconography, hymnography, festal celebrations, etc.).  Those thoughts, like many of my various queries on "things Christian," are driven by my own academic (nerdy?) interest and little else.  I have noted elsewhere the occasional "ambiguities" surrounding Christ's divinity in certain forms of Western Christian devotion, though that fact has never for a moment raised any doubt in my mind that the Catholic Church professes what Orthodoxy professes.  If I am guilty of any great "heresy" it is this: I find the wall which separates East and West to be more illusory than real; and where it does exist, I see a very porous barrier.  I know there are many on each side of the divide who have a stake in the myth of rupture and, well, there's little I can do about that.  But whine or protest as you may, it won't change the orientation of my thinking or, for that matter, my blogging.

As for why I parted ways with Orthodoxy, there is something like an echo of truth in the facetious remarks I made which were quoted on here earlier.  I find that the mainline Orthodox consciousness can only conceive of such "apostasy" in the basest of terms.  That is to say, an Orthodox Christian is more likely to believe I left because I wanted to eat a giant bacon cheeseburger 15 minutes before Mass than because I believe the Roman Catholic Church is, in its fulness, the "one Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church" professed by both parties in the Creed.  For that reason (amongst others), I prefer to avoid the topic unless I am in the company of those Orthodox I call friends.  I suppose, though, if you scan my blog long enough, you'll get a sense of the details.  To say it wasn't due to seeing a light on the road to Damascus would be an understatement.

In closing, I couldn't care less if you read my blog, but if you do, man up and make your protests known over there.  I don't delete comments or close threads.  I try, when I find the circumstances so warrant, to respond to many of the remarks made over there.  But it is a blog, it's not an academic journal and, since I make not a shilling from it, I find I am under no compulsion to investment a moment more than what I have readily available dealing with it.  I would have left the remarks on here to the digital dustbin of history, but I do take offense when people want to be -- pardon my French -- assholes to my brother.

Hey, welcome to the forums!  Grin Thanks for sharing your story.
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« Reply #58 on: October 26, 2011, 10:14:55 PM »

My post was a crafted statement to illicit a response,
Yes, your response is illicit (but valid), but that's a subject for another thread. Wink

Dude, and you didn't go for the Freudian slip?
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« Reply #59 on: October 26, 2011, 10:17:22 PM »

Ladies and Gentlemen,

My ears are burning and I have discovered the source.  I forgot that I had an account on here from "back in the day," otherwise I wouldn't have bothered to venture on here.  I won't respond to the "critiques" of my post/comments which have been posted on here, mainly because I find them intellectually uninteresting when they're not outright fabrications which attempt to get a read on why I write what I write.  If you really want to know, ask.  Or, better yet, engage the topics on my blog if you're that enthralled by them.  I can't make you, of course.  But putting up an entire thread dedicated to a handful of quotes from my blog strikes me as not only uncharitable, but childish.  Making snide remarks to my brother concerning the fact I am Catholic while he is Orthodox is contemptuous.

I once jested to my brother that if anyone ever asked him I was no longer Orthodox, he should respond swiftly with, "Because of people like you."  I am starting to reconsider the good humor in which I originally made it.  Perhaps that is the best and, in a way, most honest reply of all.

Contrary to popular opinion in these parts, I do not reject the undeniable truth that both Catholics and Orthodox profess a Christology which is thoroughly Chalcedonian.  Nor, for that matter, am I "anti-Orthodox" any more than I am "anti-Eastern Catholic."  (I was one prior to being Orthodox.)  The "point" of my post, if anyone bothered to read it, was to examine the Christ of popular Orthodox piety compared to the Christ of popular Catholic piety as reflected in each confession's liturgies (broadly understood to include, inter alia, iconography, hymnography, festal celebrations, etc.).  Those thoughts, like many of my various queries on "things Christian," are driven by my own academic (nerdy?) interest and little else.  I have noted elsewhere the occasional "ambiguities" surrounding Christ's divinity in certain forms of Western Christian devotion, though that fact has never for a moment raised any doubt in my mind that the Catholic Church professes what Orthodoxy professes.  If I am guilty of any great "heresy" it is this: I find the wall which separates East and West to be more illusory than real; and where it does exist, I see a very porous barrier.  I know there are many on each side of the divide who have a stake in the myth of rupture and, well, there's little I can do about that.  But whine or protest as you may, it won't change the orientation of my thinking or, for that matter, my blogging.

As for why I parted ways with Orthodoxy, there is something like an echo of truth in the facetious remarks I made which were quoted on here earlier.  I find that the mainline Orthodox consciousness can only conceive of such "apostasy" in the basest of terms.  That is to say, an Orthodox Christian is more likely to believe I left because I wanted to eat a giant bacon cheeseburger 15 minutes before Mass than because I believe the Roman Catholic Church is, in its fulness, the "one Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church" professed by both parties in the Creed.  For that reason (amongst others), I prefer to avoid the topic unless I am in the company of those Orthodox I call friends.  I suppose, though, if you scan my blog long enough, you'll get a sense of the details.  To say it wasn't due to seeing a light on the road to Damascus would be an understatement.

In closing, I couldn't care less if you read my blog, but if you do, man up and make your protests known over there.  I don't delete comments or close threads.  I try, when I find the circumstances so warrant, to respond to many of the remarks made over there.  But it is a blog, it's not an academic journal and, since I make not a shilling from it, I find I am under no compulsion to investment a moment more than what I have readily available dealing with it.  I would have left the remarks on here to the digital dustbin of history, but I do take offense when people want to be -- pardon my French -- assholes to my brother.

Man, we soooo need to hang!
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« Reply #60 on: October 26, 2011, 11:01:04 PM »

"Digital dustbin of history"

That is fantastic.
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« Reply #61 on: October 26, 2011, 11:28:41 PM »

This is somewhat "off topic" but pardon me for a second...

The various claims that there is a serious rupture between Orthodox and Catholic piety requires a high degree of substantiation which rarely, if ever, is offered.  The earlier remarks concerning the Mother of God are rich.  A brief scan of my old SJKP Liturgical Calendars, along with the ones issued by St. Herman's, reveals barely a day in the liturgical year when an icon of the Theotokos is not commemorated.  Also, if I recall correctly (I no longer have the books in front of me), the Slavonic Menaion contains nearly two-dozen full services to a Marian icon and the Slavonic Typikon has a specific order for those commemorations (which could, in theory, occur almost every day through recourse to the texts set forth in the General Menaion).  To call this "excessive" might be an understatement unless, of course, one happens to realize that devotion to Christ's Mother forms an integral part of the "ground level" piety of both confessions.  Moreover, I'm not sure how many people have sat down with some of the Menaion services or the many more Akathists which have been composed to the Theotokos (and her icons), but the devotional language is as strong, if not stronger, than what one finds in Catholic sources (say, the Rosary for instance or the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary which is still included in the 1962 Breviarium Romanum). 

As for the Immaculate Heart of Mary and its devotion, it has nothing to do with making Mary "on par" with Christ; it is a devotion which focuses on Mary's interior life -- ranging from her sorrows over the suffering of her Son to her deep love for all of humanity as exhibited by her constant intercession before God on our behalf.  (If you think this line of devotion is absent in Orthodoxy, then you've never read the original Akathist Hymn or, for that matter, spent 5 minutes with a pious Russian lady.)  The "Immaculate Heart" is a symbolic expression which engenders the experiences and love of Mary -- on which both Orthodox and Catholics revere as a model of Christian patience, hope, and love (i.e., key virtues).  To try and draw meaningless distinctions between this type of devotion and the popular devotions in Orthodoxy strikes me as gross (though not surprising).  As one person already noted, if the Catholics do what the Orthodox do, then it becomes "bad."  I would add to this that since Catholic devotion likely carries its own nuances (say, using a Latin word instead of a Greek word), then Orthodox, sadly, will pick up on this as critical.  But in the end, these are distinctions without a difference.

As for the "gore" of Catholicism, it may be there, but the Catholic Church is a big place: there's a lot there.  One could argue, I suppose, that the presence of "gore" is indicative of the incarnate understanding of Catholic Christianity: it doesn't dwell on attempts at a near-constant "otherworldliness"/quasi-Gnostic view of saintly existence (or, for that matter, Christ's existence).  I have nothing against icons, nor do I believe they are anything but beautiful expressions of the truth of the Christian Faith.  That a certain understanding of iconography can decay into the aformentioned pathologies is an unfortunate reality, though no more or less unfortunate than what can erupt out of the more "earthy" imaginings found in Western Christianity.  Both are subject to their excesses.  It's the absolutization which I find troubling (though it is one which, due to the tapestry of the West, isn't as problematic in Catholicism). 

I understand that it is difficult to raise these points given the strong triumphalist streak which runs through Orthodox conversion culture in America, but I wouldn't lose too much sleep over it.  My point is not to denigrate the East to hold up the West; I find both to be enriching fonts of a single Faith (though honesty compels me to affirm my view that it is the Orthodox East which is in Schism, but I wouldn't be a Catholic if I thought otherwise).  Of course there are concrete differences, including real divergences in theology which aren't easily reconciled.  But since I doubt most of this stuff is going to get sorted out in full before the Second Coming, I try not to lose too much sleep over it.  I am sorry if there is anyone out there who does.
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« Reply #62 on: October 27, 2011, 12:21:25 AM »

And the part about putting His Mother on par with Christ. I have not seen that. I think it is silly when former Protestant converts to Orthodoxy make up stories about how the Roman Catholic venerate the Mother of God too much. Have you never been to a Russian Church? I have been to an Akathist before the Kursk root icon, I have read my share of canons and akathists to the Mother of God as well. I would say that they way the Romans venerate her is no different than how Orthodox have. Just look at the lives of the Saints. Would you say St. Seraphim's devotion to the Mother of God was too much?

I don't think St. John the Wonderworker of San Francisco was a convert to Orthodoxy from Protestantism, though the fact that he was a bishop in ROCOR and served the Divine Liturgy daily indicates that he certainly did enter a Russian Church on a number of occasions.  In any case, in his book “Orthodox Veneration of Mary the Birthgiver of God”, he devotes an entire chapter to the subject of the Immaculate Conception and how Roman Catholicism perverted the veneration of the Mother of God.  As he demonstrates, even many of those whom the Papacy now venerates as saints did not accept the teaching regarding the Immaculate Conception, such as Thomas Aquinas and Bernard of Clairvaux who spoke against it.    Among other things, St. John the Wonderworker said:

Such a “vain deceit” is the teaching of the Immaculate Conception by Anna of the Virgin Mary, which at first sight exalts, but in actual fact belittles Her.  Like every lie, it is a seed of the “father of lies” (John 8:44), the devil, who has succeeded by it in deceiving many who do not understand that they blaspheme the Virgin Mary… all this is the fruit of vain, false wisdom which is not satisfied with what the Church has held from the time of the Apostles, but strives to glorify the Holy Virgin more than God has glorified Her.

Thus are the words of St. Epiphanius of Cyprus fulfilled:  “Certain senseless ones in their opinion about the Holy Ever-Virgin have striven and are striving to put Her in place of God” (St. Epiphanius, “Against the Antidikomarionites”).  But that which is offered to the Virgin in senselessness, instead of praise of Her, turns out to be blasphemy; and the All-Immaculate One rejects the lie, being the Mother of Truth (John 14:6).


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« Reply #63 on: October 27, 2011, 08:25:45 AM »

And the part about putting His Mother on par with Christ. I have not seen that. I think it is silly when former Protestant converts to Orthodoxy make up stories about how the Roman Catholic venerate the Mother of God too much. Have you never been to a Russian Church? I have been to an Akathist before the Kursk root icon, I have read my share of canons and akathists to the Mother of God as well. I would say that they way the Romans venerate her is no different than how Orthodox have. Just look at the lives of the Saints. Would you say St. Seraphim's devotion to the Mother of God was too much?

I don't think St. John the Wonderworker of San Francisco was a convert to Orthodoxy from Protestantism, though the fact that he was a bishop in ROCOR and served the Divine Liturgy daily indicates that he certainly did enter a Russian Church on a number of occasions.  In any case, in his book “Orthodox Veneration of Mary the Birthgiver of God”, he devotes an entire chapter to the subject of the Immaculate Conception and how Roman Catholicism perverted the veneration of the Mother of God.  As he demonstrates, even many of those whom the Papacy now venerates as saints did not accept the teaching regarding the Immaculate Conception, such as Thomas Aquinas and Bernard of Clairvaux who spoke against it.    Among other things, St. John the Wonderworker said:

Such a “vain deceit” is the teaching of the Immaculate Conception by Anna of the Virgin Mary, which at first sight exalts, but in actual fact belittles Her.  Like every lie, it is a seed of the “father of lies” (John 8:44), the devil, who has succeeded by it in deceiving many who do not understand that they blaspheme the Virgin Mary… all this is the fruit of vain, false wisdom which is not satisfied with what the Church has held from the time of the Apostles, but strives to glorify the Holy Virgin more than God has glorified Her.

Thus are the words of St. Epiphanius of Cyprus fulfilled:  “Certain senseless ones in their opinion about the Holy Ever-Virgin have striven and are striving to put Her in place of God” (St. Epiphanius, “Against the Antidikomarionites”).  But that which is offered to the Virgin in senselessness, instead of praise of Her, turns out to be blasphemy; and the All-Immaculate One rejects the lie, being the Mother of Truth (John 14:6).




Do you know the difference between an argument and an assertion, particularly an empty one?  This is invective, not an analysis.  Where is the explanation about how the Immaculate Conception is "demonic"?  How does it belittle the Mother of God?  And the words of St. Epiphanius don't even apply here -- or, at least, not without some substantial link.  No wonder Orthodox are accused of being ignorant and anti-intellectual.

"St." John may have lived a pious and ascetical life, but a first-rate thinker he was not.  This kind of inflammatory rubbish wouldn't earn a freshman a 'C' on his term paper and it won't convince a single soul that there is anything "off" about Catholic veneration and/or dogma concerning the Mother of God.  In short, it is not a serious objection, but the product of a prejudiced and small mind. 
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« Reply #64 on: October 27, 2011, 08:45:17 AM »

And the part about putting His Mother on par with Christ. I have not seen that. I think it is silly when former Protestant converts to Orthodoxy make up stories about how the Roman Catholic venerate the Mother of God too much. Have you never been to a Russian Church? I have been to an Akathist before the Kursk root icon, I have read my share of canons and akathists to the Mother of God as well. I would say that they way the Romans venerate her is no different than how Orthodox have. Just look at the lives of the Saints. Would you say St. Seraphim's devotion to the Mother of God was too much?

I don't think St. John the Wonderworker of San Francisco was a convert to Orthodoxy from Protestantism, though the fact that he was a bishop in ROCOR and served the Divine Liturgy daily indicates that he certainly did enter a Russian Church on a number of occasions.  In any case, in his book “Orthodox Veneration of Mary the Birthgiver of God”, he devotes an entire chapter to the subject of the Immaculate Conception and how Roman Catholicism perverted the veneration of the Mother of God.  As he demonstrates, even many of those whom the Papacy now venerates as saints did not accept the teaching regarding the Immaculate Conception, such as Thomas Aquinas and Bernard of Clairvaux who spoke against it.    Among other things, St. John the Wonderworker said:

Such a “vain deceit” is the teaching of the Immaculate Conception by Anna of the Virgin Mary, which at first sight exalts, but in actual fact belittles Her.  Like every lie, it is a seed of the “father of lies” (John 8:44), the devil, who has succeeded by it in deceiving many who do not understand that they blaspheme the Virgin Mary… all this is the fruit of vain, false wisdom which is not satisfied with what the Church has held from the time of the Apostles, but strives to glorify the Holy Virgin more than God has glorified Her.

Thus are the words of St. Epiphanius of Cyprus fulfilled:  “Certain senseless ones in their opinion about the Holy Ever-Virgin have striven and are striving to put Her in place of God” (St. Epiphanius, “Against the Antidikomarionites”).  But that which is offered to the Virgin in senselessness, instead of praise of Her, turns out to be blasphemy; and the All-Immaculate One rejects the lie, being the Mother of Truth (John 14:6).




Do you know the difference between an argument and an assertion, particularly an empty one?  This is invective, not an analysis.  Where is the explanation about how the Immaculate Conception is "demonic"?  How does it belittle the Mother of God?  And the words of St. Epiphanius don't even apply here -- or, at least, not without some substantial link.  No wonder Orthodox are accused of being ignorant and anti-intellectual.

"St." John may have lived a pious and ascetical life, but a first-rate thinker he was not.  This kind of inflammatory rubbish wouldn't earn a freshman a 'C' on his term paper and it won't convince a single soul that there is anything "off" about Catholic veneration and/or dogma concerning the Mother of God.  In short, it is not a serious objection, but the product of a prejudiced and small mind. 

Dude, seriously, when can we grab a drink together? I have some posts I would like to draft together with you. //:=)
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« Reply #65 on: October 27, 2011, 09:41:46 AM »

Do you know the difference between an argument and an assertion, particularly an empty one?  This is invective, not an analysis.  Where is the explanation about how the Immaculate Conception is "demonic"?  How does it belittle the Mother of God?  And the words of St. Epiphanius don't even apply here -- or, at least, not without some substantial link.  No wonder Orthodox are accused of being ignorant and anti-intellectual.

"St." John may have lived a pious and ascetical life, but a first-rate thinker he was not.  This kind of inflammatory rubbish wouldn't earn a freshman a 'C' on his term paper and it won't convince a single soul that there is anything "off" about Catholic veneration and/or dogma concerning the Mother of God.  In short, it is not a serious objection, but the product of a prejudiced and small mind. 

Wow. I don't think this kind of talk is called for.
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« Reply #66 on: October 27, 2011, 09:52:11 AM »

Do you know the difference between an argument and an assertion, particularly an empty one?  This is invective, not an analysis.  Where is the explanation about how the Immaculate Conception is "demonic"?  How does it belittle the Mother of God?  And the words of St. Epiphanius don't even apply here -- or, at least, not without some substantial link.  No wonder Orthodox are accused of being ignorant and anti-intellectual.

"St." John may have lived a pious and ascetical life, but a first-rate thinker he was not.  This kind of inflammatory rubbish wouldn't earn a freshman a 'C' on his term paper and it won't convince a single soul that there is anything "off" about Catholic veneration and/or dogma concerning the Mother of God.  In short, it is not a serious objection, but the product of a prejudiced and small mind. 

Wow. I don't think this kind of talk is called for.
[/quote]

I don't think running John of S.F.'s prejudices out here as some form of definitive proof that the Immaculate Conception or other forms of Catholic devotion to Mary is called for either.
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« Reply #67 on: October 27, 2011, 10:01:42 AM »

Do you know the difference between an argument and an assertion, particularly an empty one?  This is invective, not an analysis.  Where is the explanation about how the Immaculate Conception is "demonic"?  How does it belittle the Mother of God?  And the words of St. Epiphanius don't even apply here -- or, at least, not without some substantial link.  No wonder Orthodox are accused of being ignorant and anti-intellectual.

Please refer back to my message and see the statement that I was responding to, and you will see why I provided St. John’s concluding remarks from his chapter on the Immaculate Conception and did not develop or quote his entire argument.  The statement was essentially “I think it is silly when former Protestant converts to Orthodoxy make up stories about how the Roman Catholic venerate the Mother of God too much.”  It was then suggested that a person who would make this claim perhaps has “never been to a Russian Church.”  The concluding remarks from St. John were sufficient to show that it is not just “former Protestant converts” who have “never been to a Russian Church” that claim Roman Catholics have perverted the veneration of the Mother of God.  If you would like to read St. John’s entire argument, and not just his concluding remarks, I would recommend purchasing his book which is not very costly.
 
"St." John may have lived a pious and ascetical life, but a first-rate thinker he was not.  This kind of inflammatory rubbish wouldn't earn a freshman a 'C' on his term paper and it won't convince a single soul that there is anything "off" about Catholic veneration and/or dogma concerning the Mother of God.  In short, it is not a serious objection, but the product of a prejudiced and small mind. 

It is strange that without even reading St. John’s chapter on the subject, and basing yourself solely on a couple of concluding remarks from him, you proceed to give a scathing critique of his entire position, attempting to ridicule and insult one of the greatest saints of our times.  St. John’s position is carefully and thoroughly explained and developed, and it is rather the product of a “prejudiced and small mind” to so vehemently reject his conclusion without even reading what his conclusions were based on.  As far as “first-rate thinkers” go, for Orthodox Christians he is a “first rate thinker” because his thoughts and mental activity were energized by the grace of God which worked powerfully through his words, his prayers, his actions, etc.  That he would not be considered such a “first rate thinker” by Roman Catholics, however, is not surprising since for centuries Roman Catholic “theological” thought has pursued to its limits the working of human logic and reason apart from God’s illuminating and deifying grace.  To those who are “wise according to the world” with the barren and spiritually unfruitful “wisdom” of mere human logic and faithless skepticism, those who do not teach “with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God (2 Cor. 1:12)” will always appear ignorant and foolish.   
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« Reply #68 on: October 27, 2011, 10:02:30 AM »

This is somewhat "off topic" but pardon me for a second...

The various claims that there is a serious rupture between Orthodox and Catholic piety requires a high degree of substantiation which rarely, if ever, is offered.  The earlier remarks concerning the Mother of God are rich.  A brief scan of my old SJKP Liturgical Calendars, along with the ones issued by St. Herman's, reveals barely a day in the liturgical year when an icon of the Theotokos is not commemorated.  Also, if I recall correctly (I no longer have the books in front of me), the Slavonic Menaion contains nearly two-dozen full services to a Marian icon and the Slavonic Typikon has a specific order for those commemorations (which could, in theory, occur almost every day through recourse to the texts set forth in the General Menaion).  To call this "excessive" might be an understatement unless, of course, one happens to realize that devotion to Christ's Mother forms an integral part of the "ground level" piety of both confessions.  Moreover, I'm not sure how many people have sat down with some of the Menaion services or the many more Akathists which have been composed to the Theotokos (and her icons), but the devotional language is as strong, if not stronger, than what one finds in Catholic sources (say, the Rosary for instance or the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary which is still included in the 1962 Breviarium Romanum). 

As for the Immaculate Heart of Mary and its devotion, it has nothing to do with making Mary "on par" with Christ; it is a devotion which focuses on Mary's interior life -- ranging from her sorrows over the suffering of her Son to her deep love for all of humanity as exhibited by her constant intercession before God on our behalf.  (If you think this line of devotion is absent in Orthodoxy, then you've never read the original Akathist Hymn or, for that matter, spent 5 minutes with a pious Russian lady.)  The "Immaculate Heart" is a symbolic expression which engenders the experiences and love of Mary -- on which both Orthodox and Catholics revere as a model of Christian patience, hope, and love (i.e., key virtues).  To try and draw meaningless distinctions between this type of devotion and the popular devotions in Orthodoxy strikes me as gross (though not surprising).  As one person already noted, if the Catholics do what the Orthodox do, then it becomes "bad."  I would add to this that since Catholic devotion likely carries its own nuances (say, using a Latin word instead of a Greek word), then Orthodox, sadly, will pick up on this as critical.  But in the end, these are distinctions without a difference.

As for the "gore" of Catholicism, it may be there, but the Catholic Church is a big place: there's a lot there.  One could argue, I suppose, that the presence of "gore" is indicative of the incarnate understanding of Catholic Christianity: it doesn't dwell on attempts at a near-constant "otherworldliness"/quasi-Gnostic view of saintly existence (or, for that matter, Christ's existence).  I have nothing against icons, nor do I believe they are anything but beautiful expressions of the truth of the Christian Faith.  That a certain understanding of iconography can decay into the aformentioned pathologies is an unfortunate reality, though no more or less unfortunate than what can erupt out of the more "earthy" imaginings found in Western Christianity.  Both are subject to their excesses.  It's the absolutization which I find troubling (though it is one which, due to the tapestry of the West, isn't as problematic in Catholicism). 

I understand that it is difficult to raise these points given the strong triumphalist streak which runs through Orthodox conversion culture in America, but I wouldn't lose too much sleep over it.  My point is not to denigrate the East to hold up the West; I find both to be enriching fonts of a single Faith (though honesty compels me to affirm my view that it is the Orthodox East which is in Schism, but I wouldn't be a Catholic if I thought otherwise).  Of course there are concrete differences, including real divergences in theology which aren't easily reconciled.  But since I doubt most of this stuff is going to get sorted out in full before the Second Coming, I try not to lose too much sleep over it.  I am sorry if there is anyone out there who does.

Wecome!!

Thank you for this, and your earlier post.  You have expressed many of my own thoughts in a manner far more cohesive, erudite, and well thought out than I ever could.  

JM
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« Reply #69 on: October 27, 2011, 10:21:40 AM »

jah777,

Even if your summation of John of S.F.'s views were meant as a reply to my brother, they failed to accomplish what you set out to achieve.  My brother offered concrete example of Russian Orthodox devotions to the Mother of God which are on par with the Catholic devotion.  He wasn't denying that there are Orthodox out there that criticize the Catholic position.  Moreover, your use of John of S.F. focused solely on the dogma of the Immaculate Conception; it didn't touch on any devotional aspect of Catholic piety. 

I've actually read the book you are quoting, so I'm not just blasting his summation.  But if you are going to reach into the text, it would be helpful if you summarized the argument instead of taking a few inflammatory lines and parading them out here like a triumphalist.
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« Reply #70 on: October 27, 2011, 10:38:46 AM »

This is somewhat "off topic" but pardon me for a second...

The various claims that there is a serious rupture between Orthodox and Catholic piety requires a high degree of substantiation which rarely, if ever, is offered.  The earlier remarks concerning the Mother of God are rich.  A brief scan of my old SJKP Liturgical Calendars, along with the ones issued by St. Herman's, reveals barely a day in the liturgical year when an icon of the Theotokos is not commemorated.  Also, if I recall correctly (I no longer have the books in front of me), the Slavonic Menaion contains nearly two-dozen full services to a Marian icon and the Slavonic Typikon has a specific order for those commemorations (which could, in theory, occur almost every day through recourse to the texts set forth in the General Menaion).  To call this "excessive" might be an understatement unless, of course, one happens to realize that devotion to Christ's Mother forms an integral part of the "ground level" piety of both confessions.  Moreover, I'm not sure how many people have sat down with some of the Menaion services or the many more Akathists which have been composed to the Theotokos (and her icons), but the devotional language is as strong, if not stronger, than what one finds in Catholic sources (say, the Rosary for instance or the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary which is still included in the 1962 Breviarium Romanum). 

As for the Immaculate Heart of Mary and its devotion, it has nothing to do with making Mary "on par" with Christ; it is a devotion which focuses on Mary's interior life -- ranging from her sorrows over the suffering of her Son to her deep love for all of humanity as exhibited by her constant intercession before God on our behalf.  (If you think this line of devotion is absent in Orthodoxy, then you've never read the original Akathist Hymn or, for that matter, spent 5 minutes with a pious Russian lady.)  The "Immaculate Heart" is a symbolic expression which engenders the experiences and love of Mary -- on which both Orthodox and Catholics revere as a model of Christian patience, hope, and love (i.e., key virtues).  To try and draw meaningless distinctions between this type of devotion and the popular devotions in Orthodoxy strikes me as gross (though not surprising).  As one person already noted, if the Catholics do what the Orthodox do, then it becomes "bad."  I would add to this that since Catholic devotion likely carries its own nuances (say, using a Latin word instead of a Greek word), then Orthodox, sadly, will pick up on this as critical.  But in the end, these are distinctions without a difference.

As for the "gore" of Catholicism, it may be there, but the Catholic Church is a big place: there's a lot there.  One could argue, I suppose, that the presence of "gore" is indicative of the incarnate understanding of Catholic Christianity: it doesn't dwell on attempts at a near-constant "otherworldliness"/quasi-Gnostic view of saintly existence (or, for that matter, Christ's existence).  I have nothing against icons, nor do I believe they are anything but beautiful expressions of the truth of the Christian Faith.  That a certain understanding of iconography can decay into the aformentioned pathologies is an unfortunate reality, though no more or less unfortunate than what can erupt out of the more "earthy" imaginings found in Western Christianity.  Both are subject to their excesses.  It's the absolutization which I find troubling (though it is one which, due to the tapestry of the West, isn't as problematic in Catholicism). 

I understand that it is difficult to raise these points given the strong triumphalist streak which runs through Orthodox conversion culture in America, but I wouldn't lose too much sleep over it.  My point is not to denigrate the East to hold up the West; I find both to be enriching fonts of a single Faith (though honesty compels me to affirm my view that it is the Orthodox East which is in Schism, but I wouldn't be a Catholic if I thought otherwise).  Of course there are concrete differences, including real divergences in theology which aren't easily reconciled.  But since I doubt most of this stuff is going to get sorted out in full before the Second Coming, I try not to lose too much sleep over it.  I am sorry if there is anyone out there who does.

Wecome!!

Thank you for this, and your earlier post.  You have expressed many of my own thoughts in a manner far more cohesive, erudite, and well thought out than I ever could.  JM
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« Reply #71 on: October 27, 2011, 10:46:04 AM »

Greetings in that divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



No, there is no merit in this "critique." Just an agenda.

You called it Wink

Christ, in Orthodox thought (or, at least, a popularized articulation of Orthodox thought), possess [sic] a cosmic Kingship; He is the “brooding omnipresence in the dome” of any properly constructed Orthodox temple, which leaves sufficient room for a more apt “doxological” cry from the kliros: “We have no king but Caesar!” There is a strange, almost disturbing, inversion of what Eric Voegelin called the “cosmological empire”: Orthodox society (more imagined than real) is not structured as a reflection of the cosmos; the cosmos under Christ is structured like a Byzantine court, with an earthly ceremonial ritual transformed into a liturgy that is given, by title, a divine status.
...
Venuleius (blog author): I’ve toyed (and, really, that’s all this is — toying) with the thesis that Christ is effectively “de-Incarnated” in popularized Orthodox thought, piety, liturgics, etc. So to assert, as Catholicism does (or, at least, did until Vatican II), that Christ is King in this world is an almost incomprehensible assertion for the Orthodox. Christ is Heaven (“the dome”), not here on earth;
...
Also, for reasons of historical accident more than anything else, it seems (I’m speculating here) that Orthodox piety centralized a cosmic, transcendent Christ over an earthly, suffering Christ (who was also, paradoxically, kingly). It’s almost as if Christ’s Kingship can’t be understand when he was “just” leading the Apostles around Galilee or “just” enduring questioning, mockery, physical assault, etc. He had to be positioned in the Heavens, with a choir of angels and Saints, to be a King.

How would you respond to this assertion that Orthodoxy (as opposed to Catholicism) de-incarnates Christ, that we relegate Him to a 'mystical/cosmological' role detached from this world? Is there any merit to this critique? He makes some very provocative, to say the least, assertions: for example, the claim that the Orthodox stand in the position of the Jews exclaiming we have no king but Caesar.

Quote
Venuleius: The question of Christ’s humanity in Orthodox (popular) thought is a difficult one to unravel, though I thought Fr. Patrick Reardon’s recent lecture on the Orthodox Western Rite where he notes that the Liturgy of St. John reflects a pre-Chalcedonian Christology offers a clue into the different “emphases” one finds in Eastern and Western Christian piety and liturgics. I discussed this matter with a friend of mine, and he noted that the humanity of Christ only becomes “front and center” during the liturgical offices of Holy Week, but by Holy Saturday it’s pulled back. (On this point I keep thinking of the Byzatine icon of Christ simultaneously “in the Heavens” and “in the Tomb”; there’s a powerful demand that people never forget that Christ is still God, which is theologically correct, though one could argue that it detracts from the very real (human) suffering and death he endured.)
...
Francis: I hear you and remember one of Balthasars’ critiques of slavic Byzantine iconography being deincarnated.

Would you go so far as to say or see a functional Monophysitism?

 Shocked

Note how he admits that the demand to never forget the Divinity of Christ is "theologically" correct, but still seems uncomfortable with it. Hate to be facile and dismissive, but, well, you know, the N word...

We never separate His humanity from His divinity, and we rarely de-incarnate Christ, though many heresies in the past have.  This author is just misunderstanding our emphasis on the Divine.  We as Orthodox have already embraced the humanity of Christ by accepting His coming in the Incarnate form, however, we must continually reaffirm our experience of His Divinity because this is God Almighty!  We need God, and so we need the Divine!
Quote
]that Christ is King in this world is an almost incomprehensible assertion for the Orthodox.

This is nonsense because Christ is precisely King in this world because ALL of this world ONLY exists because of His  own divine authority, life-giving power, and creation sustaining force.  He is not tainted by our politics or socio-cultural baggage, true, rather He transcends these because of His Universal kingship, and when we cooperate with Him we to transcend our limited perspectives and join in not just in the Heavenly kingdom, but in manifesting the fullness of His kingship here on Earth in our present moments.

We accept Christ as King of both Heaven and Earth precisely by His Incarnation.  Does Christ sit on an earthly throne surrounded by an ethnic federation or kingdom? Not necessarily, but than again, Christ is the truly Universal King of all Creation, both in Heaven and in Earth.  We must therefore explicitly emphasize His kingship in Heaven, as this is as fundamentally important to us as any kingship on Earth. Further, as God Almighty, Christ is of course King in His Flesh, whether or not His crown is golden or of thorns, because as God Incarnate Christ perpetually and at every moment sustains all of His Creation.  The Universe is not self-existing, only God is self-existing, and so in His Incarnation Christ effectively demonstrates His earthly (i.e., physical dominion) kingship in that He is the One sustaining all of Creation, just God always has, however now not just from His Divine existence, but in an unimaginable physical form.  In this way, God expresses His kingly authority by physically sustaining the Universe, in being Himself a physical being, Jesus Christ the God-Man.

Our Divine liturgy is precisely that moment when the kingdoms of Heaven and Earth interact and unite by His Incarnation.  We are not merely transported to Heaven, as if separate from Earth, and going to worship a Christ whose Kingdom is also separated from Earth, rather the Kingdom of Heaven intrudes upon Earth, and we bridge the gap just as Christ does by His very own Flesh and Blood.  The Liturgy is not then orchestrated around the Byzantine Court, if anything, since the Liturgy is a glimpse into the Heavenly orders, the Byzantine courts (and indeed all Imperial Orthodox Courts, from Russia to Ethiopia and everywhere in between) were orchestrated around Heaven!
So we never think of Christ as only being a King in Heaven, even if He is sitting at the right hand of the Father as we pray in the Creed, because at the right hand of the Father He is sitting in His deified, resurrected, physical body, and as such is manifesting then His creative powers through His physical body, just as He always had through His spiritual hypostases as Father, Son the Word, and Holy Spirit.  Now that the Word is Incarnate, the Son expresses His Divine power through His physical hypostasis of His incarnate body.  So He is always an earthly King then in the sense that in  all of His actions He manifests them by His physical hypostasis, which is by definition earthly and interconnected with the physical realm of Earth by its very physicality.  How could He then be "detached" from the physical world when for all time and forever He remains a physical being by His eternal Incarnation?



He might say, as sacerdotium but not as regnum. His critique seems to be that the Orthodox Church acts a dispenser of sacraments, but does not image Christ's Kingship over creation. How do you address that? What is Christ's Kingship? How does it differ from earthly kingship? How is it similar? How does He exercise it? How does the Orthodox Church show it forth?


Christ's Kingship is the power of His Divinity which creates and sustains all moments of reality.  This kingship is expressed of course, by His Divinity as the Word, and yet become "earthly" because of the Incarnation.  God is King because He is all-powerful.  Jesus Christ is an earthly King because He is God in an earthly Form, manifesting the Immateriality of the Infinite Godhead's creative and sustaining faculties through His own human-divine hypostasis.  An earthly king expresses power and authority over his earthly dominion by his own existing body, which is the only way for humans to express their God-given agency.  Jesus Christ, as God, expresses His own Divine agency, also through His earthly Hypostasis, and therefore His Kingship, which is Divine, subsequently becomes Earthly as well.

I would say that this blog is simply clumsy and way to over-thinking it!

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Great critique, thorough and to the point. Thank you!
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« Reply #72 on: October 27, 2011, 10:49:34 AM »

Maybe he is upset that we do not share the Vatican's thirst for gore, the fetish for displaying body parts or the obsession to put His mother on a par with Him.  Oh, well. That's their problem, not ours.

I'm not sure I understand the part about body parts. Do we not also display "body parts"? I had a friend who was used to venerating little bones her in America but when he went to Mt. Athos, he was amazed that the monks would bring out hands, arms, and heads for veneration.





Nicholas of Myra has already answered for me, correctly.
Maybe he is upset that we do not share the Vatican's thirst for gore, the fetish for displaying body parts or the obsession to put His mother on a par with Him.  Oh, well. That's their problem, not ours.

I'm not sure I understand the part about body parts. Do we not also display "body parts"?
I think Isa's talking about stuff like the Sacred Heart.

And the part about putting His Mother on par with Christ. I have not seen that. I think it is silly when former Protestant converts to Orthodoxy make up stories about how the Roman Catholic venerate the Mother of God too much. Have you never been to a Russian Church? I have been to an Akathist before the Kursk root icon, I have read my share of canons and akathists to the Mother of God as well. I would say that they way the Romans venerate her is no different than how Orthodox have. Just look at the lives of the Saints. Would you say St. Seraphim's devotion to the Mother of God was too much?
I'll reply to your brother, here and there, unless you want me to address something to you personally on this.
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« Reply #73 on: October 27, 2011, 11:02:53 AM »

Do you know the difference between an argument and an assertion, particularly an empty one?  This is invective, not an analysis.  Where is the explanation about how the Immaculate Conception is "demonic"?  How does it belittle the Mother of God?  And the words of St. Epiphanius don't even apply here -- or, at least, not without some substantial link.  No wonder Orthodox are accused of being ignorant and anti-intellectual.

"St." John may have lived a pious and ascetical life, but a first-rate thinker he was not.  This kind of inflammatory rubbish wouldn't earn a freshman a 'C' on his term paper and it won't convince a single soul that there is anything "off" about Catholic veneration and/or dogma concerning the Mother of God.  In short, it is not a serious objection, but the product of a prejudiced and small mind. 

Wow. I don't think this kind of talk is called for.

Apparently there's more than one Orthodox believer on this forum who can "call a spade a spade"!!

M.
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« Reply #74 on: October 27, 2011, 11:46:41 AM »

jah777,

Even if your summation of John of S.F.'s views were meant as a reply to my brother, they failed to accomplish what you set out to achieve.  My brother offered concrete example of Russian Orthodox devotions to the Mother of God which are on par with the Catholic devotion.  He wasn't denying that there are Orthodox out there that criticize the Catholic position.  Moreover, your use of John of S.F. focused solely on the dogma of the Immaculate Conception; it didn't touch on any devotional aspect of Catholic piety. 

I've actually read the book you are quoting, so I'm not just blasting his summation.  But if you are going to reach into the text, it would be helpful if you summarized the argument instead of taking a few inflammatory lines and parading them out here like a triumphalist.
btw, pot, did you forget to change your "faith" profile?

Jah777, excellent post.

But back our "orthodox" friend: you brother made an assertion:
I think it is silly when former Protestant converts to Orthodoxy make up stories about how the Roman Catholic venerate the Mother of God too much. Have you never been to a Russian Church?
Jah777 accomplished what he set out to achieve, showing how particularly empty the assertion was, offering a concrete example of a Russian Orthodox, who was not "a convert to Orthodoxy from Protestantism, though the fact that he was a bishop in ROCOR and served the Divine Liturgy daily indicates that he certainly did enter a Russian Church on a number of occasions" and although devoted to the Mother of God, criticized the Vatican's devotions, as did the concrete example Jah gave of your St. Bernard of Clairveaux and your "Angelic doctor" (neither of which, given their hostility to Orthodoxy, Russian or other, I think ever entered a Russian Orthodox Church, but both of which shared the Vatican's protest against the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church), basing his criticism firmly on the Orthodox criticism of such Mariolatry by the Catholic Father St. Epiphanius (though, it should be recalled, that though he served in Cyprus, he was born and raised in Palestine, and well versed there in the Apostolic teachings of the Lord's family).  Criticism well founded.  Too bad the Vatican didn't listen to its own "doctors of the church."  I guess the physician can't heal itself.

Your brother didn't deny that there are Orthodox out there that criticize the Vatican's position, he denied that they did so without any basis, and tried to dismiss it as some Protestant baggage in Orthodoxy.  Jah exposed that fallacy, not only with an Orthodox whose family has confessed the Faith at least since the birth of his relative, St. John of Tobolsk, in 1651, but with the Vatican's own authorities: both examples can be infinitely multiplied-I've seen, heard and read Pope Shenoudah articulate how the Vatican has turned the Theotokos into a goddess (His Holiness' words) many a time, and I think HH's family has held to the Orthodox Faith since Diocletian and the Era of Martyrs; and your doctor Bonaventure also rejected the IC, and I don't think he was a Protestant convert to Orthodoxy either.

The Feast of the Conception of St. Anne stands nowhere near on a par with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.  Somewhere here we have a thread on how the Byzantine church, i.e. those who have gone into schism and submitted to the Vatican, have altered the liturgical texts of the former to reflect that latter.  "Didn't touch on any devotional aspect of Catholic piety"? "Such a “vain deceit” is the teaching of the Immaculate Conception by Anna of the Virgin Mary, which at first sight exalts, but in actual fact belittles her...deceiving many who do not understand that they blaspheme the Virgin Mary… all this is the fruit of vain, false wisdom which is not satisfied with what the Church has held from the time of the Apostles, but strives to glorify the Holy Virgin more than God has glorified Her". Yep, St. John touched on it.

At least Jah quoted some lines: all we have received from you is parading out your claim like a triumphalist to have read the book, and your inflammatory rubbish that St. John wasn't a "a first-rate thinker."  If you want to make such claims, take that log, start a fire with that rubbish, and by its light summarize your arguments against St. John and give us your summation, instead of your invective just accusing him of "prejudice."

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« Reply #75 on: October 27, 2011, 11:47:52 AM »

Do you know the difference between an argument and an assertion, particularly an empty one?  This is invective, not an analysis.  Where is the explanation about how the Immaculate Conception is "demonic"?  How does it belittle the Mother of God?  And the words of St. Epiphanius don't even apply here -- or, at least, not without some substantial link.  No wonder Orthodox are accused of being ignorant and anti-intellectual.

"St." John may have lived a pious and ascetical life, but a first-rate thinker he was not.  This kind of inflammatory rubbish wouldn't earn a freshman a 'C' on his term paper and it won't convince a single soul that there is anything "off" about Catholic veneration and/or dogma concerning the Mother of God.  In short, it is not a serious objection, but the product of a prejudiced and small mind. 

Wow. I don't think this kind of talk is called for.

Apparently there's more than one Orthodox believer on this forum who can "call a spade a spade"!!

M.
and another Ultramontanist fooled by what is put on the label.
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« Reply #76 on: October 27, 2011, 12:15:16 PM »

jah777,

Even if your summation of John of S.F.'s views were meant as a reply to my brother, they failed to accomplish what you set out to achieve.  My brother offered concrete example of Russian Orthodox devotions to the Mother of God which are on par with the Catholic devotion.  He wasn't denying that there are Orthodox out there that criticize the Catholic position.  Moreover, your use of John of S.F. focused solely on the dogma of the Immaculate Conception; it didn't touch on any devotional aspect of Catholic piety. 

I've actually read the book you are quoting, so I'm not just blasting his summation.  But if you are going to reach into the text, it would be helpful if you summarized the argument instead of taking a few inflammatory lines and parading them out here like a triumphalist.

The reference was made to the convert from Protestantism to Orthodoxy and the belief that Roman Catholics “venerate the Mother of God too much.”  You seem to be saying that this comment should remain exclusively within the focus of devotional forms and practices, however devotion cannot be separated from the dogmatic understanding regarding the one to whom worship (in the case of the Holy Trinity) or veneration/devotion (in the case of the Theotokos and the rest of the saints) is directed.  This is particularly emphasized in Orthodoxy where the word “Orthodoxy” means both right praise and right belief.  The teaching concerning the “Immaculate Conception” - that “Mary, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God, and in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the human race, was preserved free from every stain of original sin (as defined by Pope Pius IX)”; is a perverted, distorted, and novel teaching concerning the Mother of God which results in a perverted, distorted, and novel devotion to her.  Roman Catholics and Orthodox may both kiss the same icon of the Mother of God, but they do not have the same beliefs concerning the one to whom their devotion is directed.  While seeming to exalt the role of the Mother of God by speaking of a “singular grace and privilege of almighty God” that she received at conception, she is not further glorified but rather dishonored and denigrated in that she is considered to have only been able to attain such holiness by this “singular grace and privilege of almighty God”.  Since she alone received this “singular grace” at her conception which God never has and never will grant to another person, she becomes less like us in her humanity and less our Mother.  Not having been conceived with the same tendency to sin as us, and claiming that unlike all of humanity she was absolutely sinless from the beginning, we are left with one who is like a fourth person of the Holy Trinity. 

I do not have St. John’s book with me at the moment, but I believe he touched on these points slong with many others, quoting even Bernard of Clairvaux’s refutation of this distorted teaching.  If you have St. John’s book, you can re-read it and offer a thorough critique, perhaps in another thread, if you think it was so badly done and would like to liberate these “anti-intellectual” Orthodox from ignorance.   
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« Reply #77 on: October 27, 2011, 12:16:51 PM »

I'm sorry that I offended you by posting this, Venuleius.
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« Reply #78 on: October 27, 2011, 12:17:25 PM »

ialmisry,

First, my brother's remark was this: "I think it is silly when former Protestant converts to Orthodoxy make up stories about how the Roman Catholic venerate the Mother of God too much. Have you never been to a Russian Church?"  How on earth does one distill from this opinion the view that there is not a single Russian Orthodox Christian who objects to some element of Catholic Marian devotion or dogma?  Only if one is out sniffing for an opportunity to add to the mix could one take this rhetorical question as a challenge to find some inflammatory assertions from the Russians toward Catholic Marian devotion.

Second, you haven't provided a single example of "false" Marian devotion in Catholicism; instead you remain stuck on the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.  On that, however, the disputes which exist in the Catholic tradition over the precise meaning of the doctrine (including the objections of Ss. Thomas Aquinas and Bernard of Clairvaux) are not dispositive.  John of S.F's choice to bring Aquinas and Bernard into the debate is a rehash of the old Protestant polemic against the doctrine.  It doesn't carry much water unless you believe (which the Catholic Church does not) that any single thinker in her 2,000 year history is infallible.  Moreover, Aquinas does not fully reject the doctrine; his work offers an alternative understanding of Mary's sanctification prior to her birth (cf. ST III:27:4).  Catholicism has a realistic enough understanding of its own theological history to know that there is no such thing as a "uniform witness"; this myth -- which is paraded amongst some Orthodox with respect to its own tradition -- doesn't get one very far when trying to ascertain the defining of dogmas over the centuries.  I once thought it was a Protestant hangup, but it seems to have some traction amongst contemporary Orthodox as well.

Third, the arguments contained in John of S.F's book on Mary are primarily rehashes of Protestant objections.  So I suspect my brother may have been hinting at more than he knew.  But again, the Immaculate Conception doctrine is distinct from the type of Catholic practices vis-a-vis Mary that he was getting at.  It wasn't his intention, I suspect, to open up a doctrinal debate.  I am still waiting for an example, whether it comes from John of S.F. or not, of what Catholic devotions toward Mary are false and constitute putting her on par with Christ (which was the original charge made earlier in this thread.).

Fourth, I don’t recall ever stating that the Feast of the Immaculate Conception is identical with the Feast of the Conception.  This is a red herring.  My focus was on devotional practices, not doctrine (though I understand the two are linked to a certain extent).  How does the Immaculate Conception lead Catholics to do something which fundamentally deviates from what the Orthodox do?  Or, better yet, explain how the Immaculate Conception places Mary on par with Christ.  I’m all eyes.

Last, if you want to believe that John of S.F. was a “first rate thinker,” that’s your business.  I will stand by my judgment based on what I have read.  That he relies shopworn arguments against Catholic doctrine doesn’t instill me with a lot of confidence that he could do much more than parrot the party line.  If it’s enough to convince you, that’s fine.  
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« Reply #79 on: October 27, 2011, 12:37:30 PM »

I think I am going to close out my participation on this thread, but I wanted to make a few final points:

First, if the Catholic Church's position on the Immaculate Conception is rendered incoherent by the fact that some of its theologians in the past have criticized the doctrine (or, in the case of Aquinas, offered alternatives to it), is it not fair to say that Orthodoxy's view is also rendered incoherent by the fact that St. Dimitri of Rostov accepted it and, moreover, that there were devotional groups in Slavic Orthodoxy dedicated to it?  What's good for the goose is good for the gander, right?

Second, a convincing argument against Catholic veneration of Mary <I>would have</I> linked up the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception with some concrete practices, yet this simple point seems to have been missed by more than a few people on here.  Even absent this, no one has even tried to explain how the Immaculate Conception puts Mary on par with Christ, perhaps because that's not what the dogma actually implies?  The Orthodox objection to the dogma typically comes in two forms:  First, there are those who (I think rightly) see the dogma as retroactively affirming the Augustinian view of original sin and are therefore uncomfortable with it.  Then there is the second, "popular," objection which generally runs like this: If the Catholic Church did it after 1054 (the arbitrary schism date), then it must be wrong.  That folks like John of S.F. attempted to marshal concrete arguments against it is a point I won't deny; but those critiques ring hollow, particularly given the rather substantial literature which now exists from Catholics and non-Catholics alike concerning the dogma.  But if you really, really want to believe that old "St." John is offering up something the Catholic Church hasn't thought of before, you go ahead and do that.  It's not my job (nor any Catholic's job, I suppose) to do your intellectual footwork for you.  Just keep in mind that I don’t think anyone outside a few dozen American Orthodox have ever thought much of the man’s intellectual output, regardless of his pious life.

Third, I apologize for letting myself get sucked into this vortex of silliness because I think my responses lend the false impression that I take a bulk of what is being tossed around here seriously.  I offered an open invitation on my own web-log for any of you to venture over there and take issue what I write.  I still object to the willingness of some to impute motivations to me which are not my own.  I may, of course, misunderstand some aspect of Orthodoxy (just as I may misunderstand some aspect of Catholicism), but correction is always the key to self-improvement.  The problem is that I don’t find much on here which really gets to what I was analyzing in the first place.  If that’s due to a lack of clarity on my part, then so be it.  But given my blog’s track record of attracting thoughtful comments and criticism from many different camps, I am going to stick by my assumption that more times than not, it is clear what I am doing and, when it isn’t, such misunderstandings can be corrected through additional comments and/or posts.  

Last, no one on here has to read anything I write.  Given the weak constitutions present in some of you, I would suggest you avoid everything I say lest you find yourself all in a dither.  Go do some prostrations are language removed for content -username! section moderatoror whatever it is pious Orthodox do.  Or, in the case of one person commenting on here and on my blog, try not to show up at your local liturgy 5 minutes before the Eucharist and then spend the last 15 minutes rummaging your hands through the post-Communion bread as if you hadn’t had a meal in 5 days.  Orthodoxy is a small town in this part of the globe; some of you aren’t as anonymous as you think.

 You are hereby officially warned for two weeks for your comment and language that I removed.  While I know you are new to the forum please re-read the rules in the upper toolbar simply by clicking on the word 'Rules.'  Before you post please re-read and ask yourself, "Am I a little upset, should I post this, am I being offensive to anyone and saying phrases un-acceptable on an Orthodox Christian webiste?" 
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« Reply #80 on: October 27, 2011, 01:09:30 PM »

Do you know the difference between an argument and an assertion, particularly an empty one?  This is invective, not an analysis.  Where is the explanation about how the Immaculate Conception is "demonic"?  How does it belittle the Mother of God?  And the words of St. Epiphanius don't even apply here -- or, at least, not without some substantial link.  No wonder Orthodox are accused of being ignorant and anti-intellectual.

"St." John may have lived a pious and ascetical life, but a first-rate thinker he was not.  This kind of inflammatory rubbish wouldn't earn a freshman a 'C' on his term paper and it won't convince a single soul that there is anything "off" about Catholic veneration and/or dogma concerning the Mother of God.  In short, it is not a serious objection, but the product of a prejudiced and small mind. 

Wow. I don't think this kind of talk is called for.

Indeed it is not. To come onto our forums and insult one of our saints like this is completely uncalled for. Sad
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« Reply #81 on: October 27, 2011, 01:16:39 PM »

Do you know the difference between an argument and an assertion, particularly an empty one?  This is invective, not an analysis.  Where is the explanation about how the Immaculate Conception is "demonic"?  How does it belittle the Mother of God?  And the words of St. Epiphanius don't even apply here -- or, at least, not without some substantial link.  No wonder Orthodox are accused of being ignorant and anti-intellectual.

"St." John may have lived a pious and ascetical life, but a first-rate thinker he was not.  This kind of inflammatory rubbish wouldn't earn a freshman a 'C' on his term paper and it won't convince a single soul that there is anything "off" about Catholic veneration and/or dogma concerning the Mother of God.  In short, it is not a serious objection, but the product of a prejudiced and small mind. 

Wow. I don't think this kind of talk is called for.

Indeed it is not. To come onto our forums and insult one of our saints like this is completely uncalled for. Sad

In terms of reality, to say that St. John the Wonderworker was not a great thinker is not an insult.  I have his icon that was touched to his body by my bed and I petition the mediation of his holiness during compline.   But I would never think of him as a great theologian or ecclesial thinker. 

But I am a bit concerned by the tone of the poster.  IF he had actually been attacked, then I could see his defending himself but he has come here on the offensive and that does not speak well for Catholics when he does that.  It would be better that he withdraw if that is his only contribution to this Forum.

M.
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« Reply #82 on: October 27, 2011, 02:25:24 PM »

My post was a crafted statement to illicit a response,
Yes, your response is illicit (but valid), but that's a subject for another thread. Wink

Dude, and you didn't go for the Freudian slip?
What? Freud wore a slip?
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« Reply #83 on: October 27, 2011, 03:57:59 PM »

First, if the Catholic Church's position on the Immaculate Conception is rendered incoherent by the fact that some of its theologians in the past have criticized the doctrine (or, in the case of Aquinas, offered alternatives to it), is it not fair to say that Orthodoxy's view is also rendered incoherent by the fact that St. Dimitri of Rostov accepted it and, moreover, that there were devotional groups in Slavic Orthodoxy dedicated to it?  What's good for the goose is good for the gander, right?

No, your argument here is without foundation.  The Roman Catholic position is not “rendered incoherent by the fact that some of its theologians in the past have criticized the doctrine” because in Roman Catholicism all that matters is the “infallible” dogmatic declarations of your Popes, and Pope Pius the IX "ex cathedra" declared the Immaculate Conception as a dogma of the Roman Catholic faith and assigned to condemnation any and all who would think otherwise.  See the following:


Declaration of Pope Pius IX on the Immaculate Conception from Ineffabilis Deus
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius09/p9ineff.htm

Wherefore, in humility and fasting, we unceasingly offered our private prayers as well as the public prayers of the Church to God the Father through his Son, that he would deign to direct and strengthen our mind by the power of the Holy Spirit. In like manner did we implore the help of the entire heavenly host as we ardently invoked the Paraclete. Accordingly, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, for the honor of the Holy and undivided Trinity, for the glory and adornment of the Virgin Mother of God, for the exaltation of the Catholic Faith, and for the furtherance of the Catholic religion, by the authority of Jesus Christ our Lord, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own: ”We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful."

Hence, if anyone shall dare -- which God forbid! -- to think otherwise than as has been defined by us, let him know and understand that he is condemned by his own judgment; that he has suffered shipwreck in the faith; that he has separated from the unity of the Church; and that, furthermore, by his own action he incurs the penalties established by law if he should are to express in words or writing or by any other outward means the errors he think in his heart.


This declaration is both clear as to its message and to its binding authority for all followers of the Pope’s religion.  As for the opinions of St. Dimitri Rostov or any other Orthodox saint, in the Orthodox Church we do believe in patristic consensus and hold up as true only that which has been believed “everywhere, always, and by all.”  We also recognize that there have been periods in history when some Orthodox people and places came under an unacceptable degree of Roman Catholic influence.  Thankfully, these heretical influences have been fairly successfully eradicated thanks to the patristic revivals that have occurred in Russia starting with St. Paisius Velichkovsky (who equated Eastern Rite Catholics with unbelievers that have no hope of salvation) in the 18th century, and in other local Orthodox churches at different times.  Today, it appears that Orthodoxy stands on quite a solid patristic foundation thanks to the relative freedom of the Church at this time and the availability and accessibility of patristic writings.

Second, a convincing argument against Catholic veneration of Mary <I>would have</I> linked up the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception with some concrete practices, yet this simple point seems to have been missed by more than a few people on here.

“Convincing” is a subjective determination.  As I explained in a previous message, which you may not have read, you cannot separate devotion from the dogmatic teaching concerning the one to whom your devotion is expressed.  A deformed and distorted view of the Mother of God (such as is found in your dogma of the Immaculate Conception) results in a deformed and distorted veneration of her which dishonors rather than glorifies her.
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« Reply #84 on: October 27, 2011, 04:16:25 PM »

what is worse, de-incarnation or re-incarnation? To suggest either is heresy...
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« Reply #85 on: October 27, 2011, 04:27:44 PM »

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_Prepuce

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« Reply #86 on: October 27, 2011, 05:34:06 PM »

Lotta anger here in this thread. This is rather unchristian behavior.
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« Reply #87 on: October 27, 2011, 05:38:16 PM »

ialmisry,

First, my brother's remark was this: "I think it is silly when former Protestant converts to Orthodoxy make up stories about how the Roman Catholic venerate the Mother of God too much. Have you never been to a Russian Church?"
I think I read him correctly
I think it is silly when former Protestant converts to Orthodoxy make up stories about how the Roman Catholic venerate the Mother of God too much. Have you never been to a Russian Church?
I knew I had.
How on earth does one distill from this opinion the view that there is not a single Russian Orthodox Christian who objects to some element of Catholic Marian devotion or dogma?
You'll have to ask that distiller.  Neither Jah nor myself were drinking that moonshine, any more than we drink the Kool Aid.
I don't think St. John the Wonderworker of San Francisco was a convert to Orthodoxy from Protestantism, though the fact that he was a bishop in ROCOR and served the Divine Liturgy daily indicates that he certainly did enter a Russian Church on a number of occasions.  In any case, in his book “Orthodox Veneration of Mary the Birthgiver of God”, he devotes an entire chapter to the subject of the Immaculate Conception and how Roman Catholicism perverted the veneration of the Mother of God.  As he demonstrates, even many of those whom the Papacy now venerates as saints did not accept the teaching regarding the Immaculate Conception, such as Thomas Aquinas and Bernard of Clairvaux who spoke against it.  
Your brother didn't deny that there are Orthodox out there that criticize the Vatican's position, he denied that they did so without any basis, and tried to dismiss it as some Protestant baggage in Orthodoxy.  

Only if one is out sniffing for an opportunity to add to the mix
like I said, I stay away from the Kool Aid.

could one take this rhetorical question as a challenge to find some inflammatory assertions from the Russians toward Catholic Marian devotion.
No, it was intended to dismiss Orthodox arguments against the Mariolatry of the Vatican as "Protestant" baggage.  Pope Shenoudah, whose ancestors probably have confessed the Orthodox Faith from the Era of Martyrs under Diocletian, has often criticized the Vatican for turning the Holy Theotokos into some goddess (and rebuked the Protestants for treating her as an incubator); back West your Doctor Bonaventure would have nothing to do with that "foreign dogma" of the IC. Such examples can be multiplied, that have nothing to do with Protestants, converts, America, the Tea Party, or a host of other non sequiturs thrown in to throw the unwarry off track.

And the Russians have a right to fight the inflammotry assertions that they have to fulfill the hallucinations of Fatima.


Second, you haven't provided a single example of "false" Marian devotion in Catholicism; instead you remain stuck on the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.
More than false enough.  But no, that's not enough, we have to have your recently canonized Maximillian Kolbe preach the quasi-incarnation of the "Immaculata" (based explicitely in part on the "visions" of Lourdes: we get told here a lot that the Vatican doesn't base dogma on visions: if it did, what would it do differently?), and Dr. Mark Miravalle off in Stuebenville, the airwaves, the net etc. preaching in apocalyptic tones the pressing need to proclaim the "Fifth Marian Dogma," of which the IC was one step in the walk down the broad way through the wide gates that will not prevail against the Orthodox Church.
-on that note, I make my standard statement that at no time ever has the Orthodox Faith of the Catholic Church included a belief in a "coredemptrix mediatrix of all graces": I have to make that statement so it can be a witness when the Vatican goes down that rut that Ineffabilis Deus and Munificentissimus Deus carved out-we are always being told that we always believed in the IC until the Vatican made it infallible. We don't share its megalomania, as would be required for such an inflammatory assertion to contain any veracity.-

On that, however, the disputes which exist in the Catholic tradition over the precise meaning of the doctrine (including the objections of Ss. Thomas Aquinas and Bernard of Clairvaux) are not dispositive.  John of S.F's choice to bring Aquinas and Bernard into the debate is a rehash of the old Protestant polemic against the doctrine.
LOL. And so you return to the vomit you just said wasn't yours.

Your Doctor Bonaventure started the Angelus (a nice office, btw) by ringing bells to celebrate the Annunciation, a feast on the calender 9 months before the Nativity of Christmas, and as a biological event the Doctor Bernard shows his awareness precise enough that when they rejected celebration of the conception of St. Anne (note the title), it cannot be squared by any meaning of the IC.

The Protestant polemic can't be that old: 157 years isn't ancient history.

It doesn't carry much water unless you believe (which the Catholic Church does not) that any single thinker in her 2,000 year history is infallible.

The Vatican claims it has had about 266 (it refuses to issue an official list, and the ones in common use have been "revised" a la Winston Smith) infallible thinkers. The trick is knowing when they are infallible, a secret it is not telling. Btw, the length of its history only stretches about a 1,000 years back.
 
Moreover, Aquinas does not fully reject the doctrine; his work offers an alternative understanding of Mary's sanctification prior to her birth (cf. ST III:27:4).
"God made Him Who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God." I Cor. 5:21.  Aquinas seems to have missed that.  It could have saved him some trouble, seeing that his argument was needless. And he quotes St. John Chrysostom, so close but so far.
Quote
'I say nothing of what has gone before, that you have outraged Him, Him that had done you no wrong, Him that had done you good, that He exacted not justice, that He is first to beseech, though first outraged; let none of these things be set down at present. Ought ye not in justice to be reconciled for this one thing only that He has done to you now?' And what has He done? Him that knew no sin He made to be sin, for you. For had He achieved nothing but done only this, think how great a thing it were to give His Son for those that had outraged Him. But now He has both well achieved mighty things, and besides, has suffered Him that did no wrong to be punished for those who had done wrong. But he did not say this: but mentioned that which is far greater than this. What then is this? Him that knew no sin, he says, Him that was righteousness itself , He made sin, that is suffered as a sinner to be condemned, as one cursed to die. For cursed is he that hangs on a tree. Galatians 3:13 For to die thus was far greater than to die; and this he also elsewhere implying, says, Becoming obedient unto death, yea the death of the cross. Philippians 2:8 For this thing carried with it not only punishment, but also disgrace. Reflect therefore how great things He bestowed on you. For a great thing indeed it were for even a sinner to die for any one whatever; but when He who undergoes this both is righteous and dies for sinners; and not dies only, but even as one cursed; and not as cursed [dies] only, but thereby freely bestows upon us those great goods which we never looked for; (for he says, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him;) what words, what thought shall be adequate to realize these things? 'For the righteous,' says he, 'He made a sinner; that He might make the sinners righteous.'  Yea rather, he said not even so, but what was greater far; for the word he employed is not the habit, but the quality itself. For he said not made [Him] a sinner, but sin; not, 'Him that had not sinned' only, but that had not even known sin; that we also might become, he did not say 'righteous,' but, righteousness, and, the righteousness of God. For this is [the righteousness] of God when we are justified not by works, (in which case it were necessary that not a spot even should be found,) but by grace, in which case all sin is done away. And this at the same time that it suffers us not to be lifted up, (seeing the whole is the free gift of God,) teaches us also the greatness of that which is given. For that which was before was a righteousness of the Law and of works, but this is the righteousness of God.
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/220211.htm

Catholicism has a realistic enough understanding of its own theological history to know that there is no such thing as a "uniform witness";
The Catholic Church does have a uniform (=/=unanimous;monolithic) witness consensus of the Faithful everywhere at all times, but as for the Vatican, do tell your clergy: I keep hearing many on EWTN, Relevant Radio, etc. stating as the "proof" of their claims that all 266 (or whatever number they use) of those infallible pontiffs taught the same thing without exception.  I've never had the pleasure of seeing them exchange thoughts with the (mainly ex-Protestant convert) apologists who depend on "development of dogma."

this myth -- which is paraded amongst some Orthodox with respect to its own tradition
No, consistent standard. We reject the Vatican's heretical doctrinal development of the Trinity, like we rejected the Arians'.
It seems you reacted to the West the same way that the Arians reacted to the Church when the doctrine of the Trinity was formally defined.

I'm sure you see it that way.

I think you mean sewn up. Look at my post above, about the antibodies.
Yeah, I thought it was sewn after I posted it but wasn't sure. Good thing this is a theological discussion and not grammar class.  Wink

Op cit. Viz supra. The inability of the Vatican to see clearly on the issue is a very large part of its problem.
If you mean that the Church is a stagnant organization that has no use for the Holy Spirit because everything has already been revealed and needs no further clarification, of course the Vatican isn't going to "see" that because that notion is false.
Didn't read my post above, did you?

Now I look like my baby picture, despite I'm taller, weight more, right now have a 5 o'clock (actually more) shadow. That's development.

I also have a cross tattoo on my wrist which you will search in vain for on my baby pictures.  You call that developement but its not quite that: no matter how old I got, that tattoo wasn't going to appear until I had them apply it with the needle.

My best friend has four kidnies, from two kidney transplants. Not quite development there either.  He looks like his baby picture, though, too.

I have my doubts about those who have a "sex change," that they resemble their baby picture in specific ways, but I concede that their faces are probably the same.  You would have to get plastic surgery to change that, like Michael Jackosn.

I remember when he married Miss Presley, someone said they would believe it when she had a baby that looked like he used to look. Not like this:


But that's the problem: ya'll at the Vatican can't make a distinction between growing and radical plastic surgery, because it's all change=development.  So you appropriate it as a license to attribute the most outlandish things to the "deposit of Faith."

Then do not confirm the heretic in his heresy.
I agree, which is why I'll stay in Full Communion with the Roman Pontiff, thanks. Cheesy


So was cardinal umberto.
You will have to elaborate because I am unfamiliar with him.
The envoy pope Leo IX sent to impose the filioque on the One, Holy,Catholic and Apostolic Church in the East.

No, but then it wasn't claiming to "develop" anything, and wasn't enunciating things never heard before.
What was the purpose of the Council then if everything was already fully developed and known beforehand?
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20719.msg453992/topicseen.html#msg453992

-- doesn't get one very far when trying to ascertain the defining of dogmas over the centuries.  I once thought it was a Protestant hangup, but it seems to have some traction amongst contemporary Orthodox as well.
In the case of the IC, it would have to be contemporary: no one needed to bother with it much until the Vatican made it the immortal teaching of the Apostles in 1853.  The Vatican is quite up to date with these things: as has been brought up here many a time, the Anglo-Irish Cathechism +1870 Nihil obstat. Imprimatur, denied papal infallibility as "a Protestant invention: it is no article of the Catholic faith."  The next edition took the opportunity of "correcting" this:+Nihil Obstat. Winston Smith, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. + Cardinal O'Brien, Archbishop of Oceania.

Somewhere here I recently posted the tracks that traction left over poor Cardinal Hefele when it ran him down.

Third, the arguments contained in John of S.F's book on Mary are primarily rehashes of Protestant objections.  So I suspect my brother may have been hinting at more than he knew.

Can't comment, as I haven't read the book as far as I recall.

but again, I don't have to, to know the problems with the IC, the Quasi-Incarnation of the Immaculata, Fatima, Lourdes, the Immaculate Heart....

But again, the Immaculate Conception doctrine is distinct from the type of Catholic practices vis-a-vis Mary that he was getting at.
yes,well we Orthodox have a habit of peering behind the facade of the Potemkin basilica to see what's there, and not stick with the guided tour with the minder. And its not all that distinct: e.g. saying an akathist in front of this:

"Don't you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough?"  We have more than a bakers dozen here on the IC.


It wasn't his intention, I suspect, to open up a doctrinal debate.
 
I don't think so either, which is why I haven't opened one up with him.


I am still waiting for an example, whether it comes from John of S.F. or not, of what Catholic devotions toward Mary are false and constitute putting her on par with Christ (which was the original charge made earlier in this thread.).
LOL. If you were half as well read as you claim, you would recognize the IC (which St. John IIRC specifies) as one.



Your Doctor Bernard said it well enough
7. Wherefore, although it has been given to some, though few, of the sons of men to be born with the gift of sanctity, yet to none has it been given to be conceived with it. So that to One alone should be reserved this privilege, to Him who should make all holy, and coming into the world, He alone, without sin should make an atonement for sinners. The Lord Jesus, then, alone was conceived by the Holy Ghost, because He alone was holy before He was conceived. He being excepted, all the children of Adam are in the same case as he who confessed of himself with great humility and truth, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin hath my mother conceived me (Ps. li. 6).
too bad the Vatican refused to be innoculated, and instead became infected.

Fourth, I don’t recall ever stating that the Feast of the Immaculate Conception is identical with the Feast of the Conception.
You don't have to: if the Vatican's followers confuse what conception we are talking about (most of your correligionists confuse it with the Virgin Birth), we aren't confused. We're familiar with a similar transformation of the Meeting of the Lord into the Purficiation of the Virgin.  Top billing tells, one reason why St. Anne is named in the Feast in question, to restrain the exuberance from getting out of hand as happened in the IC.

This is a red herring.
No, that's a calendar.

My focus was on devotional practices, not doctrine (though I understand the two are linked to a certain extent).
We are aware how the lex orandi, lex credendi has fallen into abeyance with the Vatican accepting anyone as is, as long as they kiss the papal slipper, but we still say what we mean and mean what we say.  Though you may take the scholastic compartimentalization of the Church, we hold to her as a well articulated Body, not a pile of disjointed limbs and members.  As such, your focus doesn't limit our line of vision.

How does the Immaculate Conception lead Catholics to do something which fundamentally deviates from what the Orthodox do?
http://www.fifthmariandogma.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&layout=blog&id=23&Itemid=560
http://www.fifthmariandogma.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&layout=blog&id=18&Itemid=581

Or, better yet, explain how the Immaculate Conception places Mary on par with Christ.  I’m all eyes.
but can you see?
Quote
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION:
These words fell from the lips of the Immaculata herself. Hence, they must tell us in the most precise and essential manner who she really is.

In a 1933 Letter from Nagasaki, St. Maximilian explains further that in the name, “Immaculate Conception,” the Mother also gives us the secret of her very nature:
In her apparition at Lourdes she does not say: “I was conceived immaculately,” but “I am the Immaculate Conception.”  This points out not only the fact that she was conceived without original sin, but also the manner in which this privilege belongs to her. It is not something accidental; it is something that belongs to her very nature. For she is Immaculate Conception in [her very] person.

The uncreated Immaculate Conception and the created Immaculate Conception. The Divine Spirit and the human spouse perfected in His grace are united by an interior, essential union. Uncreated love conceives and dwells within the depths of her soul, and she becomes His quasi-incarnation. For this reason, as St. Maximilian tells us, Mary is also the Mediatrix of all graces and gifts of the Spirit.

“The Co-redemptrix” Because
“The Immaculate Conception”
The Immaculate Conception, the unparalleled prodigy of grace granted by the Eternal Father, is (along with her Divine Maternity), the foundation for all of the subsequent roles assigned her by the Trinity for the benefit of humanity.  
Indeed, the humble Virgin of Nazareth is the Coredemptrix not only because she is Mother of God, but also because she is the Immaculate Conception who presents our petitions to our Divine Judge and King.

Indulgenced Prayers in Relation to Mary Co-redemptrix
Lex orandi, lex credendi — as the Church prays, so she believes. The indulgences approved by the Holy See for prayers associated with the Immaculate conception also finds its parallel with the Co-redemptrix doctrine.  On June 26, 1913, the Holy Office issued a document expressing the Congregation’s satisfaction in adding the name of Mary to the name of Jesus in the indulgenced greeting, “Praised be Jesus and Mary” which is then responded to, “Now and forever.” The document then states: “There are those Christians whose devotion to the most favored among virgins is so tender as to be unable to recall the name of Jesus without the accompanying name of the Mother, our Co-redemptrix, the Blessed Virgin Mary."
Six months later, the same Holy Office granted a partial indulgence for the recitation of a prayer of reparation to the Blessed Virgin (Vergine benedetta). The prayer ends with the words: “I bless thy holy Name, I praise thine exalted privilege of being truly Mother of God, ever Virgin, conceived without stainof  sin, Coredemptrix of the human race.”

Imprimatur
Ernesto Cardinal Corripio Ahumada
http://www.voxpopuli.org/immaculate.pdf

pretty soon you will be accusing us of de-incarnating the Theotokos.


Last, if you want to believe that John of S.F. was a “first rate thinker,” that’s your business.
I haven't said a thing about what I believe about St. John as a thinker, though I will say here and now that he was/is a first rate pastor.  If I need to defend that, I am quite prepared to do so.  Since compliments are rarely a cause of slander, I don't think it necessary.

To dismiss his ideas as mere prejudice, attributing to him a small mind, label his writings inflammatory rubbish, daring to grade him and find him wanting, questioning his piety and asceticism ("may have...")-such invective not only fails as analysis, but consititute libel, counselor, if not substantiated.  Given St. John's Advocate in a supremer court than here, I should think there would be bigger concerns, but in the mundane world of the net, coming on an Orthodox forum and libeling not only an Orthodox saint, but a beloved one (not only of the Orthodox:St. John I'm sure will remember this EM) at that, something beyond taking your word on it is in order.  Unlike compliments, defamation usually causes problems.

I will stand fall by my judgment based on what I have read.
based on what we have read so far.

That he relies shopworn
LOL. Cliché much?
arguments against Catholic doctrine doesn’t instill me with a lot of confidence that he could do much more than parrot the party line.  If it’s enough to convince you, that’s fine.  
your parroting certainly isn't.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2011, 05:50:12 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #88 on: October 27, 2011, 06:10:18 PM »


Exactly. But we'll all be long gone and in our graves before anybody else admits it.
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« Reply #89 on: October 28, 2011, 05:19:47 AM »

What Holy Orthodoxy really think's about the Catholic Marian Delusional Apparitions.... Grin
Link.....http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/marian_apparitions.aspx



APART FROM WALSINGHAM in my distant Anglican days, the Marian shrines had never really interested me. I was of course aware of some of the most important ones—Lourdes, Fatima, and more recently Medjugorje—, and knew that while many people (the vast majority being Roman Catholics, of course) considered these apparitions a direct sign from Heaven, others (mainly Protestant) considered them some kind of hallucination or even demonic delusion. Not being a member of the Roman Catholic Church, I felt under no obligation or inclination to give them much thought. But learning that an Orthodox priest had been on pilgrimage to Lourdes, and that the wife of another Orthodox priest organized an annual visit by a group of Orthodox women to Lourdes, my interest was aroused, and I began to feel a strong compulsion to take a closer look at the Marian apparitions and their shrines.

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