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Author Topic: Orthodox and SSPX question...  (Read 1883 times) Average Rating: 0
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ByzantineSerb
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« on: August 15, 2004, 06:37:43 PM »

  First of all, this is my first time back since before May, so pardon any hazziness on my behalf.

  Second, I have a question to my Orthodox brethern (or Orthodox in certain groups) concerning the SSPX.

  I am a Catholic who largely sympathizes with this wonderful group of traditionalists (who, btw, are not 'schizophrenic'- the pray for the Pope and profess filial loyalty to him, but reject modern errors).

  On the discussion concerning the SSPX located in "Christian News", several people made obvious the fact/belief that the SSPX should retrogress further and convert to Orthodoxy. To certain groups of Orthodox I ask this question: If the Ecumenical Patriarch has lessoned his credibility or completely invalidated himself by his ecumenical gestures and ;adventures', why should the SSPX even convert themselves to Orthodoxy?

  I await the responses. Pax Christi.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2004, 06:39:39 PM by ByzantineSerb » Logged

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amnesiac99
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« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2004, 08:42:12 PM »

The only reason one should convert to the Orthodox faith is because one becomes convinced that it is true in and of itself, not because it is closer to something that you believe than something else.

Regarding the Ecumenical Patriarchate: it is true that they, since Meletios, have been leading the Orthodox Church down what many believe to be a dangerous path, and many concessions have been made with respect to Church discipline -- but not dogma. Yes, the EP has lost some credibility, but it is not invalid or somehow in apostacy.

Perhaps a useful link:
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/rome_orth.aspx
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ByzantineSerb
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« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2004, 09:45:55 PM »

  Ok, now after a few more traditionalists manifest their viewpoints, I'd like to see what "mainstream" Orthodox have to say.

  Atleast you folks don't have to concern yourselves over liturgy debates such as the "Roman" Church does.

   Pax Christi.
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« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2004, 10:22:17 PM »

The SSPX would never become "Orthodox". I think this is like the kissof death for the SSPX and GoodCatholics to give up fidelity to the Holy See.
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amnesiac99
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« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2004, 12:29:27 AM »

I suppose the problem I see with traditionalist Catholics is that they, on the one hand, say, "The Pope is supreme and infallible," yet simultaneously contend, "The present pope is a liberal who has corrupted the faith." If one patriarch is infallible with respect to dogma and church discipline, I fail to see how he can be criticized for anything that he does concering such fields.

Now, I understand that SSPX (according to their web site) professes filial devotion and loyalty to Pope John Paul II, but the larger point about Catholic traditionalism remains.
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« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2004, 07:55:18 AM »

Quote
I suppose the problem I see with traditionalist Catholics is that they, on the one hand, say, "The Pope is supreme and infallible," yet simultaneously contend, "The present pope is a liberal who has corrupted the faith." If one patriarch is infallible with respect to dogma and church discipline, I fail to see how he can be criticized for anything that he does concering such fields.

Now, I understand that SSPX (according to their web site) professes filial devotion and loyalty to Pope John Paul II, but the larger point about Catholic traditionalism remains.

Not a contradiction if one understands what the RC Church really teaches. It doesn't say he never makes mistakes or is sinless - a lot of people think it does. Infallibility means defining doctrine - in this case speaking from his throne (ex cathedra). In his prudential judgement, which covers everything the SSPX object to, he is as fallible as anybody else. John Paul II goes to Confession often - why would he do that if ex officio he's sinless? And he can't predict the weather or the outcome of the World Cup (otherwise Poland or Italy would win all the time).

Both the RCs and Eastern Orthodox hold that a bishop by himself is fallible (RC: except the Pope ex cathedra but that's rarely used) but the church as a whole speaking doctrinally (such as in a general council) is infallible.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2004, 07:56:32 AM by Serge » Logged

ByzantineSerb
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« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2004, 04:36:18 PM »

   You are greatly misunderstanding the dogma (or respectively in Orthodox terms, fanciful idea) of Infallibility. see http://newadvent.org (Catholic Encyclopedia ) for papal infallibility.

   

   What the SSPX contests largely are non-ex cathedral actions of Jean-Paul Deux- Assisi I & II [sic], kissing the Koran, kissing the Abp. of Canterbury's ring, and so many other unneccessary, and plain wrong, actions.

   For those of my Orthodox brethern who think the SSPX are "schizophrenic", may I bring to the table a noble group of religious known as the "26 Venerable Martyrs of Zographou".

    Apparently (and this info came from an Orthodox site),  Byzantine Emperor Michael Palaeologus forged a Unia with Rome at Lyons, France. The Monks of Mt. Athos, always a beacon of Orthodoxy, sent an epistle to the emperor and said, "We see clearly, that thou art a heretic, but we implore thee: leave all this and abide in that teaching which thou hast received. Reject the unholy, new teachings of false knowledge, which adds conjectures to the faith*."

    They declared him a heretic (technically not in the authority of priests or lay people, atleast in the western Church), but they did not break with Emperor Michael or the main Church. Do we consider these courageous men "schizophrenic"?

    Pax Christi.

* http://www.stjohndc.org/saints/9610c.htm

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If we live as people of God, there will be room for all nations in the Balkans and in the world. If we liken ourselves to Cain who killed his brother Abel, then the entire earth will be too small even for two people. The Lord Jesus Christ teaches us to be
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« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2004, 07:46:34 PM »

Byzantine Serb,

Nostalgia for something seemingly lost or disappearing may be the last reason to become Orthodox. Fr Andrew Phillips on his Orthodox England site has a good and balanced article addressed to converts and those contemplating converting, which may address your question(s).

I have met some Latin Catholic so-called traditionalists, from various groupings - including the Alpine Redemptorists. Being in my late fifties and Irish I remember both Catholic and protestants in very different forms to their comtemporary presentations. Most Latin traditionalists appear to be almost a parody or caricature of what was, based on what I have seen. To be honest, neither the 'new' or the so-called 'traditionalists' appear as something I recall. One is a stranger and I have no idea what they are talking about and the other is like something that never was. Some protestants are the same. I still remember various forms of Methodism or Wesleyans, congregationalists and presbyterians. Even Ian Paisley's lot are a recent innovation.

My point, dear Friend, is what are you looking for. The Truth, or a nostalgic trip to the past. If it is the second, you are probably doomed to disappointment because the past 'groupings' were not made up of a small group of like minded folk trying to re-kindle something passed. It was a living and continuous entity, although I see it even then as something moving further and further away from The Truth.
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ByzantineSerb
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« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2004, 10:09:34 PM »

Nostalgia for something seemingly lost or disappearing may be the last reason to become Orthodox. Fr Andrew Phillips on his Orthodox England site has a good and balanced article addressed to converts and those contemplating converting, which may address your question(s).

   Nostolgia has nothing to do with this; these pressing issues have to do with 2 Thess. 2:14. "Therefore, brethren, stand fast: and hold the traditions, which you have learned, whether by word or by our epistle." It is not nostolgia, for instance, that draws a growing crowd of youger generations to the Traditional Latin Mass, but a true sense of religion and faith, and orthodoxy (from a Catholic perspective- none-the-less, Orthodox dispute such).

   I myself am but two months shy of 18, so I cannot compare, or claim to retain some knowledge of, Catholics to what they once were (same for Protestants). Ergo, I am very limited in my world view, though I try to read and educate myself.

   But as for nostolgia, what is your opinion towards Old Believers and Old Calendarists?

   Pax Christi.
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If we live as people of God, there will be room for all nations in the Balkans and in the world. If we liken ourselves to Cain who killed his brother Abel, then the entire earth will be too small even for two people. The Lord Jesus Christ teaches us to be
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« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2004, 11:21:49 PM »

SSPX are Latin heretics like all the rest of them... Tongue
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« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2004, 05:22:58 PM »

Byzantine Serb,

I am relieved that nostalgia is not the motivator. Nevertheless I do recommend you read Fr Andrew's essay on Converts and converting. It may answer better than I your question.

In your second post your ask what my opinion is of the 'Old Believers' and 'Old Calendarists'. My opinion as an individual has little importance but rather the 'mind' of the Church does. First, may I reverse the order?

There is in the Orthodox Church a Church calendar, and an innovation going back to 1920, the Revised Julian calendar plus in Finland simply the Julian calendar. The Church of Greece introduced the innovation of the Revised Julian calendar in 1924. The sad story of this rendering of liturgical unity within the Orthodox community is complex, and unedifying. You can find more on this and the fruits of the 'calendar question' elsewhere. My sense of it is there are those who adhere to the Church calendar and there are those who do not, i.e. there are no Old Calendarists. Sadly, on either side some and only some who taken up entrenched positions. Others preen themselves with the knowledge that they are 'canonical' but appear only to use those same canons metaphorically to lay into traditionalists, in their ecumenism and other activities the canons seem forgotten. Others see themselves and only them as a last faithful remnant. Between are those who may differ on the 'calendar question' but struggle to follow Him.

The 'Old Believer' schism is one of the saddest parts of the history of the Russian Church - a Church which has produced more martyrs than any other in history. The easy answer would be to say the Old Believers were right to treasure their Old mode of veneration, but erred in not following their bishops and adjusting to the 'reforms' of Patriarch Nikon. I have met some believers who follow the Old Rite, but within the Russian Church, having been received back. The Russian Church has consecrated a bishop for this community and both he and his congregation appear truly to follow a life of Christian ascetic struggle.

In one sense I see looking back through this response to your post I have perhaps not answered. And maybe others might answer far better than I. In trying I am reminded of a discussion once with a very learned but modest priest-monk. I volunteered my wish to visit some placed of pilgrimage or associated with great Saints. The priest-monk was very quiet for a time and then, dryly, asked, "Why?" My answers were the usual. But he quietly said, "You have everything here, a bishop and his congregation. There is nowhere more holy, more catholic, but your struggle is here within you".

In a sense if he was here I feel he might say, these are not the questions.
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