I'm still not sure what the problem with indulgences is. As long as it is not tied to money, I don't see how doing penance, repenting from sins, practicing pious devotions, etc. is blasphemous.
I could very well be wrong, but I think the "problem with indulgences", at least *here*, is that it is "Catholic", not "Orthodox", and that there were, unfortunately, abuses associated with the practice of granting them. That has provided ammunition for those who love to take pot-shots at fellow Christians.
I'm quite sure that *no* abuses of *any* Orthodox doctrine or practice has *ever* occurred. Ever.
Of course the Orthodox have had abuses. However, this topic is on indulgences. If you want to start a conversation about abuses concerning the Orthodox Church (like I happen to have a big problem with the Russian Church during Communism) then the new topic button is on the top right.
I know what the topic is. But thanks for reminding me, anyway
You have entirely missed my point. Or you've just chosen to misunderstand it.
I have no interest whatsoever in denigrating a faith that I find much in, and love. As a Catholic, it is not my place to discuss Orthodox "dirty laundry" apart from just reminding some that it exists, a fact that it seems some would like to ignore, as they try to wave Catholic dirty laundry in our faces.
can you tell us of dirty laundry that the Orthodox have declared-and still hold-as the "deposit of Faith"?
If *you* want to discuss that, why don't you start a thread about that? I already said I have no interest in discussing dirty laundry of the Orthodox variety, and I won't be participating in it.
I would have put this in the Faith issues forum, but, given the constraints in that-denial of the Orthodox Church as the Catholic Church is frowned upon if not a no-no-I thought it might be easier for those who have Orthodox dirty laundry to air, to pin it up on the clothesline here. Hopefully it won't get personal, and end up in the private fora.
This gets thrown up at us a lot, as defense of the indefensible dogmas of the Vatican (not so much the Protestants, who seem to mostly stick to the party line that we are corrupted by syncrenism with paganism, maybe with some characterization-or rather, caricaturization-as the white washed facade of the tomb of state), as if we should be silenced by it.
J Michael by far is NOT the worse offender in that, he just gave me the idea. (In fact, by and large, I find J Michael's posts rational and backed up by something substantial. That doesn't prevent them from being wrong, but that is the Vatican's fault, not his: he can only work with what it has given him).
I just got a fine example, however, from this interchange:
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.
Venuleius/Gabrielcf. John 18:15-27 (it is, after all, the most popular Petrine pericope of the Evangelists).
I think the Catholic position remains that the Petrine office (Papacy) was vested by Christ as His representative (vicar) (cf. John 21:16-17)
Other than the Orthodox episcopate of the Catholic Church, there is no such thing as any “petrine office.” “He who was visible as our Redeemer has now passed into the Sacraments”-so said Pope St. Leo the Great. Christ remains the sole high priest, the only possessor of priesthood, in Whom the episcopate subsists as fonts of the Holy Mysteries, manifesting in that union the Catholic Church, and not in the submission to some “vicar.”
“The lesser is always blessed by the greater.” So Hebrews tells us. But if a “petrine office” is “vested” in His “vicar,” then how is it transmitted? Not by the college of cardinals-according to the Vatican’s rejection of the conciliar nature of the Church since the council of Siena, no council is equal to a supreme pontiff. Not by the previous pontiff-the canons have long forbidden a bishop from consecrating his successor. No sacrament to bestow those charisms that Pastor Aeternus claims the bishop of Rome has.
Venuleius/GabrielThat, and “Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be;even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.”
It seems that they take their bearings from St. Ignatius’ now-famous decree concerning the bishops standing in the place of God.
Venuleius/GabrielYes, crushing the episcopate-indeed, the whole of the Church-into the singularity of of one bishop causes serious problems.
It’s the “unitary” take of Rome which causes all of the fuss.
Venuleius/GabrielSo that is why the papacy is so popular with your Protestant siblings, the simple fact that Christ’s earthly existence and ministry, His role as mediator, is so much more popular in their thought? That is why the English had so little problem proclaiming the king head of the Church (God –> King –> man), and he had no problem retaining the title the pope of Rome gave him “Defender of the Faith”?
As a matter of historical-ecclesial consciousness, I suspect that an earthly representative of Christ is easier to digest in the Catholic West for the simple fact that Christ’s earthly existence and ministry — which includes His role as a mediator before the Father — is so much more pronounced in popular thought.
Back East in Palestine, where we are surrounded by reminders of earthly existence and ministry, the earthly representative of Christ-the Patriarch of Jerusalem, successor of St. James the Brother-of-God sitting on the Davidic throne, the cathedra of Holy Sion-is very pronounced in popular thought, as is the Pope of Alexandria in Egypt, the place of His refuge, the Patriarch of Antioch in the Levant, the mission field of His Apostles, etc., and the icon of Christ vested as a bishop on every bishop’s throne in every Church (and not just his cathedral)but I’m guessing that is not what you are thinking of
Venuleius/GabrielAre you sure it isn’t your speculaton more than anything else? The historical accident you are refering to, would that be the collapse of the Empire of the West, and the assumption of the archbishop of Rome of the role of the emperor of Rome?
Also, for reasons of historical accident more than anything else, it seems (I’m speculating here).
Venuleius/GabrielNo, we dealt decisively with Nestorianism a long, long time ago, and Orthodox piety brings the choir of angels down from Heavens to Christ’s position on earth. Hence the flanking of the Gospel Book and Chalice by representations of the Seraphim, the iconography of angels holding Christ’s robes for Him as He goes down to the JordanChrist administerting communion to the Apostles from a Church altar, assisted by angelsthe angels swarming, in hymns and iconography, around the “King of Glory”-so labeled-on the Cross, etc., which show that Heaven is where He is, even on earth. As for the Cosmic Christ you speak of, as we of the Constantinopolitan rite say every Divine Liturgy:
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.
“In the tomb with the body
in Hell with the soul
in Paradise with the thief
sitting on the Throne with the Father and the Spirit
were you, O Christ! filling all things
you yourself alone uncircumscribed.”
So your “positioning” is off, and not that of Orthodox piety.
besides Venuleius/Gabriel's responses (which I deal with over there), we had this little suckerfish response, in extreme form, what I am talking about the threat of Orthodox dirty laundry:
Oh Isa, you have convinced me! Orthodoxy can do no wrong, whereas Catholicism does everything wrong. Your shee-att don’t stink, but ours smelleth. Y’all are perfect in every way. Why, you say so yourself!
And through it all your charity shines like a beacon, beckoning me toward the Bosphorus!
How can I resist?
Sheesh, and I thought that the following applied to Teena. Teena is brimming with ecumenical bonhomie compared with this Isa character, lol.
Over the Catholic boards!
Though “free” from Rome,
We froth and foam
At clueless papist hordes.
Never let up a smidgen!
We’d rather bait
The Church we hate
Than practice our own religion!
The more you invade Catholic venues in order to prove how wrong we are and how right you are, the more you sound like you’re just desperately trying to convince yourself.
(the trolling at "Catholic boards" amuzed me. The blogger in question just recently reverted to the Vatican months ago, leaving the Orthodox Church after several years, information he has posted on his blog (started when he was Orthodox last November:his conversion announcement was made in April. He does have a witty line that he considers that he was "Far Eastern Catholic" for those years), the mention of which drove him here for a drive by. I am sure that the Bosphoros line will amuze many here who know me).http://venuleius.wordpress.com/2011/10/17/doxological-misunderstandings/
So, I'm very curious, what are the logs preventing me from seeing? What skeletons in our closet can silence the Orthodox from combating heterodoxy? What scandal of Dan Brown proportions does the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church of Christ keep under wraps that endangers it from proclaiming the Orthodox Faith?
As to the proximate cause of this post: on indulgences, during the Turkocratia some Orthodox hierarchs got it into their head that they could avail themselves of these revenue enhancements:
While some of these certificates were connected with any patriarch's decrees lifting for the living or the dead some serious ecclesiastical penalty, including excommunication, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, with the approval of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, had the sole privilege, because of the expense of maintaining the Holy Places and paying the many taxes levied on them, of distributing such documents in large numbers to pilgrims or sending them elsewhere, sometimes with a blank space for the name of the beneficiary, living or dead, an individual or a whole family, for whom the prayers would be read.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indulgences#Eastern_Orthodox_Church
Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Dositheos Notaras (1641–1707) wrote: "It is an established custom and ancient tradition, known to all, that the Most Holy Patriarchs give the absolution certificate (συγχωροχάρτιον – synchorochartion) to the faithful people … they have granted them from the beginning and still do."
(not in the mood nor have the time to get something more substanstial out, though I have a lot on file in conection with the transference of the Metropolia of Kiev back to the Patriarchate of Moscow, as this fleecing was one of the real issues of why many Phanariots protested that).http://anemi.lib.uoc.gr/search/?dtab=m&search_type=simple&search_help=detail&display_mode=detail&wf_step=init&show_hidden=0&number=1&keep_number=10&cclterm1=&cclterm2=&cclterm3=&cclterm4=&cclterm5=&cclterm6=&cclterm7=&cclterm8=&cclfield1=&cclfield2=&cclfield3=&cclfield4=&cclfield5=&cclfield6=&cclfield7=&cclfield8=&cclop1=&cclop2=&cclop3=&cclop4=&cclop5=&cclop6=&cclop7=&isp=&search_coll%5Bmetadata%5D=1&&stored_cclquery=creator%3D(%CE%9D%CE%BF%CF%84%CE%B1%CF%81%CE%AC%CF%82%2C+%CE%94%CE%BF%CF%83%CE%AF%CE%B8%CE%B5%CE%BF%CF%82%2C)&skin=&rss=0&offset=1&srfile=/metadata/c/1/8/metadata-155-0000072.tkl
(if anyone expresses an interest, I might get around someday-though not some day soon-to go through and translate this (despite its Slavonic apperence, it is in Romanian).
All the while bishops were deposed for simony (which is what these "absolution certificates" are) all the time. As Oscar Wilde (someone I'm not one to quote, but give the devil his due) said "hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue, and Pat. Dositheus' justification was never embraced, and was severely condemned in his own day (in particular by the Russian Church, which is one reason why Pat. Dositheos railed againt the reunification of Kiev with the rest of All Rus').
So, aside from looking at the "absolution certificates" not as "an abuse," but simony pure and simple, the Orthodox Church has no defense of them, nor tries to defend them, any more than it defends the Caesaropapism of the Palaelogoi Emperors dragging Orthodox bishops off to submit to the Vatican. IOW, no Orthodox apologist or catechist is going to waste time and effort on teaching on the correct use of "absolution certificates," as no such thing exists. The Vatican devotes much time and effort to the "correct use" of indulgences.
So I intend to have this thread as a handy reference, so that whenever the "Orthodox dirty laundry" card is played, it can be refered here for "argument," and in the meantime the player can remain on point on the original thread.