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Author Topic: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?  (Read 13837 times) Average Rating: 0
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J Michael
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« Reply #45 on: January 13, 2012, 11:37:09 AM »

My answer, too, is "Yes" (but then, it would be, wouldn't it  Wink?).

To our Orthodox posters: given that some of you have answered with an unqualified "no", saying that *that* is the truth, and others have answered "yes", each side quoting Scripture and the Fathers, how do we actually know what the truth of the matter is according to the Orthodox Church?  Or, is it a matter of opinion, informed by a greater or lesser degree of spiritual maturity and knowledge of  Scripture and the Fathers, not to mention the cultural context in which one lives?  Or....... is it something that is only actually knowable once we depart this life?

Furthermore, how do we know, as jah777 states, that theosis "...is not possible for the unbaptized."?  Do we know what happens to the unbaptized after death? 

If "salvation" is possible for the unbaptized (or those of us in communion with Rome), then why would "theosis" not be possible, too?  (Perhaps someone could explain the difference between salvation and theosis for this ignorant old slob  Embarrassed Grin.)

 
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« Reply #46 on: January 13, 2012, 11:56:48 AM »

To our Orthodox posters: given that some of you have answered with an unqualified "no", saying that *that* is the truth, and others have answered "yes", each side quoting Scripture and the Fathers, how do we actually know what the truth of the matter is according to the Orthodox Church? 

Please share the quotes from the Fathers which indicate that theosis is possible for the non-Orthodox.  I don't recall ever seeing such quotes.
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« Reply #47 on: January 13, 2012, 12:04:06 PM »

For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
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« Reply #48 on: January 13, 2012, 12:09:14 PM »

To our Orthodox posters: given that some of you have answered with an unqualified "no", saying that *that* is the truth, and others have answered "yes", each side quoting Scripture and the Fathers, how do we actually know what the truth of the matter is according to the Orthodox Church? 

Please share the quotes from the Fathers which indicate that theosis is possible for the non-Orthodox.  I don't recall ever seeing such quotes.

Are they not scattered through the thread?  If not, my mistake and apologies!  I somehow thought they were.  Darn, wrong again??

If I were to delete "each side quoting..." and substitute something like "some quoting Scripture and the Fathers..." would you then more easily be able to address my questions? 
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« Reply #49 on: January 13, 2012, 01:04:22 PM »

For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2012, 01:05:39 PM by Jetavan » Logged

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« Reply #50 on: January 13, 2012, 01:12:38 PM »

For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.

Okay.  Can you explain how one could live in God's presence for eternity *without* "becoming more and more in union with" Him?  Serious question, by the way, because *I* sure don't know.
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« Reply #51 on: January 13, 2012, 01:47:11 PM »

For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.

Okay.  Can you explain how one could live in God's presence for eternity *without* "becoming more and more in union with" Him?
Isn't eternal damnation actually living eternally in God's Presence -- a Presence which is felt in a painful way, because of one's resistance to God?
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« Reply #52 on: January 13, 2012, 01:56:22 PM »

To our Orthodox posters: given that some of you have answered with an unqualified "no", saying that *that* is the truth, and others have answered "yes", each side quoting Scripture and the Fathers, how do we actually know what the truth of the matter is according to the Orthodox Church? 

Please share the quotes from the Fathers which indicate that theosis is possible for the non-Orthodox.  I don't recall ever seeing such quotes.

Are they not scattered through the thread?  If not, my mistake and apologies!  I somehow thought they were.  Darn, wrong again??

If I were to delete "each side quoting..." and substitute something like "some quoting Scripture and the Fathers..." would you then more easily be able to address my questions? 


um. I just went back through the thread and could not find a single example of anyone on the 'yes' side quoting a Father or Scripture that backed up their position. Seriously, if I'm overlooking something, please point it out.

Otherwise the only honest way to phrase your question is "one side quoting Scripture and Fathers."

(And yes, that would make it easier to answer your or any other question if there is a clear Patristic and Scriptural concensus)
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« Reply #53 on: January 13, 2012, 01:56:54 PM »

For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.

Okay.  Can you explain how one could live in God's presence for eternity *without* "becoming more and more in union with" Him?
Isn't eternal damnation actually living eternally in God's Presence -- a Presence which is felt in a painful way, because of one's resistance to God?

Yes, that is how some have described it.  However, you said that *salvation* is living in God's presence.  I take it, by what you've just written, that it would be living in His presence without "resistance", as you put it.  And my question still stands, with one addition/qualification--Assuming one is living in God's presence voluntarily or without resistance (your term), can you explain how one could do that for eternity *without* "becoming more and more in union with" Him?
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« Reply #54 on: January 13, 2012, 02:02:51 PM »

To our Orthodox posters: given that some of you have answered with an unqualified "no", saying that *that* is the truth, and others have answered "yes", each side quoting Scripture and the Fathers, how do we actually know what the truth of the matter is according to the Orthodox Church? 

Please share the quotes from the Fathers which indicate that theosis is possible for the non-Orthodox.  I don't recall ever seeing such quotes.

Are they not scattered through the thread?  If not, my mistake and apologies!  I somehow thought they were.  Darn, wrong again??

If I were to delete "each side quoting..." and substitute something like "some quoting Scripture and the Fathers..." would you then more easily be able to address my questions? 


um. I just went back through the thread and could not find a single example of anyone on the 'yes' side quoting a Father or Scripture that backed up their position. Seriously, if I'm overlooking something, please point it out.

Otherwise the only honest way to phrase your question is "one side quoting Scripture and Fathers."

(And yes, that would make it easier to answer your or any other question if there is a clear Patristic and Scriptural concensus)

um.  Okay.  I've already acknowledged and apologized for my lapse--see reply #48 above.  I have no problem whatsoever rephrasing the question, substituting for "both sides", either "one side" or "some" (which, btw, actually is as accurate, but do we need to keep picking the same nit over and over  Wink?).  The substance of the questions remains the same, and no one's addressed them yet.  They are sincere and serious questions.
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« Reply #55 on: January 13, 2012, 02:09:37 PM »

For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.

Okay.  Can you explain how one could live in God's presence for eternity *without* "becoming more and more in union with" Him?
Isn't eternal damnation actually living eternally in God's Presence -- a Presence which is felt in a painful way, because of one's resistance to God?

Yes, that is how some have described it.  However, you said that *salvation* is living in God's presence.  I take it, by what you've just written, that it would be living in His presence without "resistance", as you put it.  And my question still stands, with one addition/qualification--Assuming one is living in God's presence voluntarily or without resistance (your term), can you explain how one could do that for eternity *without* "becoming more and more in union with" Him?
It would seem that there are different degrees of resistance to God even amongst the "saved", otherwise there would be no possibility of growth into deeper and deeper levels of oneness with God, or growth into lesser and lesser degrees of resistance to God. Didn't Paul speak of different levels of heaven?
« Last Edit: January 13, 2012, 02:10:36 PM by Jetavan » Logged

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« Reply #56 on: January 13, 2012, 02:22:10 PM »

For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.

Ok, what you've said here (and since this post) does make sense to me. I guess where I'm struggling is that I've always considered theosis to be synonymous with salvation, such that I wouldn't say (if I were phrasing things) that someone can't experience theosis, but rather that they don't experience it in the same manner, or to the same extent, or perhaps haven't worked out their salvation in the same way.
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« Reply #57 on: January 13, 2012, 02:25:03 PM »

For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.

Okay.  Can you explain how one could live in God's presence for eternity *without* "becoming more and more in union with" Him?
Isn't eternal damnation actually living eternally in God's Presence -- a Presence which is felt in a painful way, because of one's resistance to God?

Yes, that is how some have described it.  However, you said that *salvation* is living in God's presence.  I take it, by what you've just written, that it would be living in His presence without "resistance", as you put it.  And my question still stands, with one addition/qualification--Assuming one is living in God's presence voluntarily or without resistance (your term), can you explain how one could do that for eternity *without* "becoming more and more in union with" Him?
It would seem that there are different degrees of resistance to God even amongst the saved, otherwise there would be no possibility of growth into deeper and deeper levels of oneness with God, or growth into lesser and lesser degrees of resistance to God.


So, if what you write is true (and I'm *not* saying it isn't!), at what point does theosis kick in?  (I know that's very clumsily worded, but I'm not sure how else to phrase it at the moment-sorry!)  Or must one be *totally* free of *all* "resistance" in order to start or continue experiencing theosis?
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« Reply #58 on: January 13, 2012, 02:54:36 PM »

For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.

Okay.  Can you explain how one could live in God's presence for eternity *without* "becoming more and more in union with" Him?
Isn't eternal damnation actually living eternally in God's Presence -- a Presence which is felt in a painful way, because of one's resistance to God?

Yes, that is how some have described it.  However, you said that *salvation* is living in God's presence.  I take it, by what you've just written, that it would be living in His presence without "resistance", as you put it.  And my question still stands, with one addition/qualification--Assuming one is living in God's presence voluntarily or without resistance (your term), can you explain how one could do that for eternity *without* "becoming more and more in union with" Him?
It would seem that there are different degrees of resistance to God even amongst the saved, otherwise there would be no possibility of growth into deeper and deeper levels of oneness with God, or growth into lesser and lesser degrees of resistance to God.


So, if what you write is true (and I'm *not* saying it isn't!), at what point does theosis kick in?  (I know that's very clumsily worded, but I'm not sure how else to phrase it at the moment-sorry!)  Or must one be *totally* free of *all* "resistance" in order to start or continue experiencing theosis?
Theosis/Salvation kicks in as soon as you are baptized, when you are full of resistance. Some of us may have more of an intention to sacrifice our resistance to God -- those are the one's who fall faster into theosis; whereas those with a bit less intention (but who are nonetheless "saved") are also "theosizing" but not as quickly perhaps.
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« Reply #59 on: January 13, 2012, 02:56:52 PM »

For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.

Ok, what you've said here (and since this post) does make sense to me. I guess where I'm struggling is that I've always considered theosis to be synonymous with salvation, such that I wouldn't say (if I were phrasing things) that someone can't experience theosis, but rather that they don't experience it in the same manner, or to the same extent, or perhaps haven't worked out their salvation in the same way.
I would agree. Salvation is theosis, but theosis occurring at a slower "speed".
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« Reply #60 on: January 13, 2012, 03:12:07 PM »

For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.

Ok, what you've said here (and since this post) does make sense to me. I guess where I'm struggling is that I've always considered theosis to be synonymous with salvation, such that I wouldn't say (if I were phrasing things) that someone can't experience theosis, but rather that they don't experience it in the same manner, or to the same extent, or perhaps haven't worked out their salvation in the same way.
I would agree. Salvation is theosis, but theosis occurring at a slower "speed".

So.....if "Salvation is theosis, but theosis occurring at a slower "speed"." and, if salvation is possible for the unbaptized (or Catholics  Grin), does it not follow that theosis is, indeed, possible for those in communion with Rome, just that it's at "a slower speed"?
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« Reply #61 on: January 13, 2012, 03:23:55 PM »

To our Orthodox posters: given that some of you have answered with an unqualified "no", saying that *that* is the truth, and others have answered "yes", each side quoting Scripture and the Fathers, how do we actually know what the truth of the matter is according to the Orthodox Church? 

Please share the quotes from the Fathers which indicate that theosis is possible for the non-Orthodox.  I don't recall ever seeing such quotes.

Are they not scattered through the thread?  If not, my mistake and apologies!  I somehow thought they were.  Darn, wrong again??

If I were to delete "each side quoting..." and substitute something like "some quoting Scripture and the Fathers..." would you then more easily be able to address my questions? 


um. I just went back through the thread and could not find a single example of anyone on the 'yes' side quoting a Father or Scripture that backed up their position. Seriously, if I'm overlooking something, please point it out.

Otherwise the only honest way to phrase your question is "one side quoting Scripture and Fathers."

(And yes, that would make it easier to answer your or any other question if there is a clear Patristic and Scriptural concensus)

um.  Okay.  I've already acknowledged and apologized for my lapse--see reply #48 above.  I have no problem whatsoever rephrasing the question, substituting for "both sides", either "one side" or "some" (which, btw, actually is as accurate, but do we need to keep picking the same nit over and over  Wink?).  The substance of the questions remains the same, and no one's addressed them yet.  They are sincere and serious questions.

Actually, I thought I did answer your question (the one in the quoted post, not the ones in your ongoing discussion with Jetavan which is far too hypothetical for my taste, I'll go with St. Theophan and shanghaiski's responses for those) in the last sentence of my previous post.

If multiple Fathers, particularly multiple Fathers scattered over time, say one thing, and no Fathers (or councils) disagree with them, then that one thing is clearly the Patristic consensus and therefore the teaching of the Orthodox Church whatever personal opinions individuals may have.
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« Reply #62 on: January 13, 2012, 03:35:09 PM »

To our Orthodox posters: given that some of you have answered with an unqualified "no", saying that *that* is the truth, and others have answered "yes", each side quoting Scripture and the Fathers, how do we actually know what the truth of the matter is according to the Orthodox Church? 

Please share the quotes from the Fathers which indicate that theosis is possible for the non-Orthodox.  I don't recall ever seeing such quotes.

Are they not scattered through the thread?  If not, my mistake and apologies!  I somehow thought they were.  Darn, wrong again??

If I were to delete "each side quoting..." and substitute something like "some quoting Scripture and the Fathers..." would you then more easily be able to address my questions? 


um. I just went back through the thread and could not find a single example of anyone on the 'yes' side quoting a Father or Scripture that backed up their position. Seriously, if I'm overlooking something, please point it out.

Otherwise the only honest way to phrase your question is "one side quoting Scripture and Fathers."

(And yes, that would make it easier to answer your or any other question if there is a clear Patristic and Scriptural concensus)

um.  Okay.  I've already acknowledged and apologized for my lapse--see reply #48 above.  I have no problem whatsoever rephrasing the question, substituting for "both sides", either "one side" or "some" (which, btw, actually is as accurate, but do we need to keep picking the same nit over and over  Wink?).  The substance of the questions remains the same, and no one's addressed them yet.  They are sincere and serious questions.

Actually, I thought I did answer your question (the one in the quoted post, not the ones in your ongoing discussion with Jetavan which is far too hypothetical for my taste, I'll go with St. Theophan and shanghaiski's responses for those) in the last sentence of my previous post.

If multiple Fathers, particularly multiple Fathers scattered over time, say one thing, and no Fathers (or councils) disagree with them, then that one thing is clearly the Patristic consensus and therefore the teaching of the Orthodox Church whatever personal opinions individuals may have.

Yes, I thought shanghaiski's post was excellent, too.  And, I, too prefer things less hypothetical, on the whole.

But, what was the op? "Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?"   If (I know, that nasty little "if"  Grin) salvation is possible for the unbaptized and salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then, as I wrote theosis is, indeed, possible for those in communion with Rome.  Now, if you disagree that salvation is possible for the unbaptized (or Catholics); if you disagree that salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then I guess we have another discussion.
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« Reply #63 on: January 13, 2012, 03:50:52 PM »

But, what was the op? "Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?"   If (I know, that nasty little "if"  Grin) salvation is possible for the unbaptized and salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then, as I wrote theosis is, indeed, possible for those in communion with Rome.  Now, if you disagree that salvation is possible for the unbaptized (or Catholics); if you disagree that salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then I guess we have another discussion.

What I am hearing is that if salvation is possible for the unbaptized (and it is) then the corollary has to be that people such as the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, the Grand Rabbi of Jerusalem are also in the process of divinisation just as all the baptized are.

I find that illogical.  Why are you supporting it?  You're basically saying that the entire human race is undergoing theosis.
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« Reply #64 on: January 13, 2012, 03:54:01 PM »

You're basically saying that the entire human race is undergoing theosis.

Is it not?  Huh Some may resist, but is not God working on everyone?
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« Reply #65 on: January 13, 2012, 04:01:16 PM »

Yes, I thought shanghaiski's post was excellent, too.  And, I, too prefer things less hypothetical, on the whole.

But, what was the op? "Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?"  

Oh, the op was too theoretical *and* undefined for my taste. I don't believe I've made a single post trying to actually answer it--it's been more a case of following the discussion out of curiosity and commenting on those aspects of the conversation that strike me (like your question about how tells what the Orthodox position is).
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« Reply #66 on: January 13, 2012, 04:08:57 PM »

You're basically saying that the entire human race is undergoing theosis.

Is it not?  Huh Some may resist, but is not God working on everyone?

God "wills all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth."
1 Timothy 2:4

Does that equate to the Holy Spirit taking up his dwelling in all men and divinising them all?  If we look at what Saint Peter says, he is speaking of participation in the divine nature only for Christians....

"Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature..."
2 Peter 1:2-4
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« Reply #67 on: January 13, 2012, 04:10:59 PM »

But, what was the op? "Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?"   If (I know, that nasty little "if"  Grin) salvation is possible for the unbaptized and salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then, as I wrote theosis is, indeed, possible for those in communion with Rome.  Now, if you disagree that salvation is possible for the unbaptized (or Catholics); if you disagree that salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then I guess we have another discussion.

What I am hearing is that if salvation is possible for the unbaptized (and it is) then the corollary has to be that people such as the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, the Grand Rabbi of Jerusalem are also in the process of divinisation just as all the baptized are.

I find that illogical.  Why are you supporting it?  You're basically saying that the entire human race is undergoing theosis.

I would heartily agree with what you say the corollary is.  I'm no academic, much less a logician, but it would seem to me that the premise is only "illogical", as you say, if theosis is *not* in some way identical with salvation.  If I'm wrong about that, I'm happy to be corrected.  And if I am wrong, can you clarify for me the difference between theosis and salvation?  Some here have identified the two as being more or less the same.
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« Reply #68 on: January 13, 2012, 04:15:37 PM »

But, what was the op? "Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?"  If (I know, that nasty little "if"  Grin) salvation is possible for the unbaptized and salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then, as I wrote theosis is, indeed, possible for those in communion with Rome.  Now, if you disagree that salvation is possible for the unbaptized (or Catholics); if you disagree that salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then I guess we have another discussion.

What I am hearing is that if salvation is possible for the unbaptized (and it is) then the corollary has to be that people such as the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, the Grand Rabbi of Jerusalem are also in the process of divinisation just as all the baptized are.

I find that illogical.  Why are you supporting it?  You're basically saying that the entire human race is undergoing theosis.

I would heartily agree with what you say the corollary is.  I'm no academic, much less a logician, but it would seem to me that the premise is only "illogical", as you say, if theosis is *not* in some way identical with salvation.  If I'm wrong about that, I'm happy to be corrected.  And if I am wrong, can you clarify for me the difference between theosis and salvation?  Some here have identified the two as being more or less the same.
 

Since you are a Catholic the best person to answer your question and provide a satisfactory Catholic answer is another Catholic, of the Eastern rite.  Mary is well trained in both Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic theology.  Mary, over to you... help a brother Catholic.
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« Reply #69 on: January 13, 2012, 04:27:52 PM »

But, what was the op? "Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?"  If (I know, that nasty little "if"  Grin) salvation is possible for the unbaptized and salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then, as I wrote theosis is, indeed, possible for those in communion with Rome.  Now, if you disagree that salvation is possible for the unbaptized (or Catholics); if you disagree that salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then I guess we have another discussion.

What I am hearing is that if salvation is possible for the unbaptized (and it is) then the corollary has to be that people such as the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, the Grand Rabbi of Jerusalem are also in the process of divinisation just as all the baptized are.

I find that illogical.  Why are you supporting it?  You're basically saying that the entire human race is undergoing theosis.

I would heartily agree with what you say the corollary is.  I'm no academic, much less a logician, but it would seem to me that the premise is only "illogical", as you say, if theosis is *not* in some way identical with salvation.  If I'm wrong about that, I'm happy to be corrected.  And if I am wrong, can you clarify for me the difference between theosis and salvation?  Some here have identified the two as being more or less the same.
 

Since you are a Catholic the best person to answer your question and provide a satisfactory Catholic answer is another Catholic, of the Eastern rite.  Mary is well trained in both Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic theology.  Mary, over to you... help a brother Catholic.

I eagerly await Mary's response, and trust her answer will be well thought out and true to Catholic teaching!  In the meantime, however, while we're waiting, what would the answer be from *your* Orthodox  perspective?  I'm quite sure it will be as true to Orthodox teaching as Mary's will be to Catholic.
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« Reply #70 on: January 13, 2012, 04:41:59 PM »

But, what was the op? "Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?"  If (I know, that nasty little "if"  Grin) salvation is possible for the unbaptized and salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then, as I wrote theosis is, indeed, possible for those in communion with Rome.  Now, if you disagree that salvation is possible for the unbaptized (or Catholics); if you disagree that salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then I guess we have another discussion.

What I am hearing is that if salvation is possible for the unbaptized (and it is) then the corollary has to be that people such as the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, the Grand Rabbi of Jerusalem are also in the process of divinisation just as all the baptized are.

I find that illogical.  Why are you supporting it?  You're basically saying that the entire human race is undergoing theosis.

I would heartily agree with what you say the corollary is.  I'm no academic, much less a logician, but it would seem to me that the premise is only "illogical", as you say, if theosis is *not* in some way identical with salvation.  If I'm wrong about that, I'm happy to be corrected.  And if I am wrong, can you clarify for me the difference between theosis and salvation?  Some here have identified the two as being more or less the same.
 

Since you are a Catholic the best person to answer your question and provide a satisfactory Catholic answer is another Catholic, of the Eastern rite.  Mary is well trained in both Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic theology.  Mary, over to you... help a brother Catholic.

I eagerly await Mary's response, and trust her answer will be well thought out and true to Catholic teaching!  In the meantime, however, while we're waiting, what would the answer be from *your* Orthodox  perspective?  I'm quite sure it will be as true to Orthodox teaching as Mary's will be to Catholic.

Theosis is closely entwined with salvation.  But they are not iidentical.  A man baptized this weekend has attained salvation.  There is no doubt of that. He has not attained theosis.

God is leading Roman Catholics to salvation.  In my mind this does not equate to divinisation.  I would guess that this commences for Catholics after death.

I do hope Mary will step in and clarify things for you.  As a Catholic you will find her much more trustworthy.
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« Reply #71 on: January 13, 2012, 04:43:24 PM »

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



What I am hearing is that if salvation is possible for the unbaptized (and it is) then the corollary has to be that people such as the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, the Grand Rabbi of Jerusalem are also in the process of divinisation just as all the baptized are.

I find that illogical.  Why are you supporting it?  You're basically saying that the entire human race is undergoing theosis.

So you rather say that the clear miracles performed and spoken of by these folks in the past are from their own human efforts and not give the glory to God? I would say this, when push comes to shove, folks outside the Church have access to theosis, however since we have all accepted theosis as a gradual process, folks outside a Sacramental relationship are obviously moving at a mercilessly slow pace, so we can still accept that our Church is the mechanism of Salvation, and yet not have to condemn God to be stuck exclusively in the Church.

Lets be very mechanical about this.  Theosis is to get closer to God, sin pushes us away from God.  The Grace of God present in the Mysteries sanctifies us away from Sin and brings us closer in Theosis. Sin pushes us away hence the need to Confess and Repent and further for Theosis to be a gradual process instead of some kind of instant becoming.  Realistically then, this is Law vs Grace isn't it? The Dhali Lama or Chief Rabbi or Imam are legalists, and they are trying to stop sinning solely by their own efforts by following their respective Laws.  We know only Grace can achieve this. So what I would suggest is that perhaps theosis is obtainable outside of the Church, but Grace to free us from inevitable Sin is not, and therefore folks outside the Church can get closer to God by theosis however their own sins will continually push back and away.

This is why I again asked the very specific and unanswered question, as to what do the Fathers define theosis and prayer as and are these separate according to the Fathers?

I can accept either verdict.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #72 on: January 13, 2012, 04:50:57 PM »

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



What I am hearing is that if salvation is possible for the unbaptized (and it is) then the corollary has to be that people such as the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, the Grand Rabbi of Jerusalem are also in the process of divinisation just as all the baptized are.

I find that illogical.  Why are you supporting it?  You're basically saying that the entire human race is undergoing theosis.

So you rather say that the clear miracles performed and spoken of by these folks in the past are from their own human efforts and not give the glory to God? I would say this, when push comes to shove, folks outside the Church have access to theosis, however since we have all accepted theosis as a gradual process, folks outside a Sacramental relationship are obviously moving at a mercilessly slow pace, so we can still accept that our Church is the mechanism of Salvation, and yet not have to condemn God to be stuck exclusively in the Church.

Lets be very mechanical about this.  Theosis is to get closer to God, sin pushes us away from God.  The Grace of God present in the Mysteries sanctifies us away from Sin and brings us closer in Theosis. Sin pushes us away hence the need to Confess and Repent and further for Theosis to be a gradual process instead of some kind of instant becoming.  Realistically then, this is Law vs Grace isn't it? The Dhali Lama or Chief Rabbi or Imam are legalists, and they are trying to stop sinning solely by their own efforts by following their respective Laws.  We know only Grace can achieve this. So what I would suggest is that perhaps theosis is obtainable outside of the Church, but Grace to free us from inevitable Sin is not, and therefore folks outside the Church can get closer to God by theosis however their own sins will continually push back and away.

This is why I again asked the very specific and unanswered question, as to what do the Fathers define theosis and prayer as and are these separate according to the Fathers?

I can accept either verdict.

stay blessed,
habte selassie

I would not accept the idea that divinisation can take place without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  If you wish to say it is possible,  you have a serious obligation to show us this from the teachings of the holy Fathers.

I know that you would not count Saint Seraphim but he is specific in his conversation with Motovilov that theosis and its effects  are impossible for the non-Orthodox.
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« Reply #73 on: January 13, 2012, 05:05:18 PM »

This is why I again asked the very specific and unanswered question, as to what do the Fathers define theosis and prayer as and are these separate according to the Fathers?

I am not able to provide any patristic witness that the Fathers understood theosis and prayer as the same thing.  Maybe I am not understanding your question?
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« Reply #74 on: January 13, 2012, 05:11:29 PM »

This is why I again asked the very specific and unanswered question, as to what do the Fathers define theosis and prayer as and are these separate according to the Fathers?

I am really interested to know the problem in the Oriental Orthodox Church with theosis.  I know the dispute between Pope Shenouda and Fr Matta el Meskeen was so bitter and so prolonged that it destroyed their relationship.  Fr Matthew had been the Pope's spiritual father.  Such a relationship would not be sacrificed except for very serious reasons.
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« Reply #75 on: January 13, 2012, 05:15:34 PM »

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

This is why I again asked the very specific and unanswered question, as to what do the Fathers define theosis and prayer as and are these separate according to the Fathers?

I am not able to provide any patristic witness that the Fathers understood theosis and prayer as the same thing.  Maybe I am not understanding your question?

No, you understand it just fine Smiley

Its just that I am also having trouble finding the specific reference, maybe somebody out there can help us both out.

This is why I again asked the very specific and unanswered question, as to what do the Fathers define theosis and prayer as and are these separate according to the Fathers?

I am really interested to know the problem in the Oriental Orthodox Church with theosis.  I know the dispute between Pope Shenouda and Fr Matta el Meskeen was so bitter and so prolonged that it destroyed their relationship.  Fr Matthew had been the Pope's spiritual father.  Such a relationship would not be sacrificed except for very serious reasons.

I am not familiar with this aside from gossip.



stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #76 on: January 13, 2012, 05:16:54 PM »

For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.

Ok, what you've said here (and since this post) does make sense to me. I guess where I'm struggling is that I've always considered theosis to be synonymous with salvation, such that I wouldn't say (if I were phrasing things) that someone can't experience theosis, but rather that they don't experience it in the same manner, or to the same extent, or perhaps haven't worked out their salvation in the same way.
I would agree. Salvation is theosis, but theosis occurring at a slower "speed".

So.....if "Salvation is theosis, but theosis occurring at a slower "speed"." and, if salvation is possible for the unbaptized (or Catholics  Grin), does it not follow that theosis is, indeed, possible for those in communion with Rome, just that it's at "a slower speed"?
Yes. Then again, I'm not Orthodox. Shocked
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« Reply #77 on: January 13, 2012, 05:21:54 PM »

But, what was the op? "Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?"  If (I know, that nasty little "if"  Grin) salvation is possible for the unbaptized and salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then, as I wrote theosis is, indeed, possible for those in communion with Rome.  Now, if you disagree that salvation is possible for the unbaptized (or Catholics); if you disagree that salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then I guess we have another discussion.

What I am hearing is that if salvation is possible for the unbaptized (and it is) then the corollary has to be that people such as the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, the Grand Rabbi of Jerusalem are also in the process of divinisation just as all the baptized are.

I find that illogical.  Why are you supporting it?  You're basically saying that the entire human race is undergoing theosis.

I would heartily agree with what you say the corollary is.  I'm no academic, much less a logician, but it would seem to me that the premise is only "illogical", as you say, if theosis is *not* in some way identical with salvation.  If I'm wrong about that, I'm happy to be corrected.  And if I am wrong, can you clarify for me the difference between theosis and salvation?  Some here have identified the two as being more or less the same.
 

Since you are a Catholic the best person to answer your question and provide a satisfactory Catholic answer is another Catholic, of the Eastern rite.  Mary is well trained in both Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic theology.  Mary, over to you... help a brother Catholic.

I eagerly await Mary's response, and trust her answer will be well thought out and true to Catholic teaching!  In the meantime, however, while we're waiting, what would the answer be from *your* Orthodox  perspective?  I'm quite sure it will be as true to Orthodox teaching as Mary's will be to Catholic.

Theosis is closely entwined with salvation.  But they are not iidentical.  A man baptized this weekend has attained salvation.  There is no doubt of that. He has not attained theosis.

God is leading Roman Catholics to salvation.  In my mind this does not equate to divinisation.  I would guess that this commences for Catholics after death.

I do hope Mary will step in and clarify things for you.  As a Catholic you will find her much more trustworthy.

My understanding of theosis is that it is an ongoing, eternal process.  That being the case, of course the man baptized this weekend will not have attained theosis as in reaching some final destination.  None of us has.

I find it somewhat curious that you say "I would guess that this [theosis/divinization] commences for Catholics after death".  It's more than possible that I've misunderstood things but I thought that the process of theosis begins for all of us at some point in this life and continues after death.  Perhaps Mary will clarify that.  In the meantime, I would ask, why would theosis commence for Catholics after death and commence for Orthodox before death?  Does commencement of the process depend on whether one is Catholic or Orthodox or Oriental Orthodox?

While I certainly find Mary quite trustworthy, why would I find you, as an Orthodox priest, any less so?  I would be most interested in your explanation of how theosis and salvation are intertwined yet somehow not the same.

By the way, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, #460 states: "The Word became flesh to make us "partakers of the divine nature":78 "For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God."79 "For the Son of God became man so that we might become God."80 "The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.""
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« Reply #78 on: January 13, 2012, 05:24:44 PM »


I am really interested to know the problem in the Oriental Orthodox Church with theosis.  I know the dispute between Pope Shenouda and Fr Matta el Meskeen was so bitter and so prolonged that it destroyed their relationship.  Fr Matthew had been the Pope's spiritual father.  Such a relationship would not be sacrificed except for very serious reasons.

I am not familiar with this aside from gossip.


It is more than gossip.

“In brief, H.H. Pope Shenouda wrote about 30 articles to refute the errors in his books [Father Matthew the Poor’s books]. “

Message 7
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http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=5978.0
“Does the Oriental Orthodox Church affirm theosis?"
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« Reply #79 on: January 13, 2012, 05:36:20 PM »

Quote
I find it somewhat curious that you say "I would guess that this [theosis/divinization] commences for Catholics after death".  It's more than possible that I've misunderstood things but I thought that the process of theosis begins for all of us at some point in this life and continues after death.  Perhaps Mary will clarify that.  In the meantime, I would ask, why would theosis commence for Catholics after death and commence for Orthodox before death?  Does commencement of the process depend on whether one is Catholic or Orthodox or Oriental Orthodox?

Nobody is experiencing divinisation unless he or she has received the internal indwelling of the Holy Spirit by virtue of the Sacraments of Illumination.  Without these initiatory Sacraments there is no theosis because the Spirit has not been received.

For those who are not baptized and chrismated there is no theosis on this earthly plane.   I am assuming that for such people it kicks off at death since the afterlife is, for those who are saved, an eternal theosis, an eternal movement into deeper participation.

So my answer is:

1. Baptism and Chrismation initiate theosis

2.  If not baptized and chrismated, theosis will commence in the afterlife.
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« Reply #80 on: January 13, 2012, 05:52:31 PM »

Quote
I find it somewhat curious that you say "I would guess that this [theosis/divinization] commences for Catholics after death".  It's more than possible that I've misunderstood things but I thought that the process of theosis begins for all of us at some point in this life and continues after death.  Perhaps Mary will clarify that.  In the meantime, I would ask, why would theosis commence for Catholics after death and commence for Orthodox before death?  Does commencement of the process depend on whether one is Catholic or Orthodox or Oriental Orthodox?

Nobody is experiencing divinisation unless he or she has received the internal indwelling of the Holy Spirit by virtue of the Sacraments of Illumination.  Without these initiatory Sacraments there is no theosis because the Spirit has not been received.

For those who are not baptized and chrismated there is no theosis on this earthly plane.   I am assuming that for such people it kicks off at death since the afterlife is, for those who are saved, an eternal theosis, an eternal movement into deeper participation.

So my answer is:

1. Baptism and Chrismation initiate theosis

2.  If not baptized and chrismated, theosis will commence in the afterlife.


Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  Wink).

By the way, thanks for your answer!
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« Reply #81 on: January 13, 2012, 06:15:45 PM »

[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  Wink).

Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 
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« Reply #82 on: January 13, 2012, 06:19:31 PM »

[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  Wink).

Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 
Do Roman Catholics also say Orthodox sacraments are invalid? I really dont know.

PP
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« Reply #83 on: January 13, 2012, 06:23:52 PM »

[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  Wink).
  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 

I have no idea if the Catholic Church has a teaching on that or what it is.  Besides, I thought this was an "Orthodox-Catholic" discussion forum.  Did I hit a wrong tab or something?  Grin
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"May Thy Cross, O Lord, in which I seek refuge, be for me a bridge across the great river of fire.  May I pass along it to the habitation of life." ~St. Ephraim the Syrian
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« Reply #84 on: January 13, 2012, 06:24:52 PM »

[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  Wink).
  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 

I have no idea if the Catholic Church has a teaching on that or what it is.  Besides, I thought this was an "Orthodox-Catholic" discussion forum.  Did I hit a wrong tab or something?  Grin

2 words.....rabbit...trail

Tongue

PP
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"I confidently affirm that whoever calls himself Universal Bishop is the precursor of Antichrist"
Gregory the Great

"Never, never, never let anyone tell you that, in order to be Orthodox, you must also be eastern." St. John Maximovitch, The Wonderworker
J Michael
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« Reply #85 on: January 13, 2012, 06:26:50 PM »

[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  Wink).

Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 
Do Roman Catholics also say Orthodox sacraments are invalid? I really dont know.

PP

I really did *not* mean for this to devolve into a discussion of who recognizes who or what with regards to Sacraments.  To the very best of my knowledge, though, the Catholic Church considers Orthodox sacraments to be valid.  Maybe we can just leave it at that, for this thread anyway?
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"May Thy Cross, O Lord, in which I seek refuge, be for me a bridge across the great river of fire.  May I pass along it to the habitation of life." ~St. Ephraim the Syrian
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« Reply #86 on: January 13, 2012, 06:27:42 PM »

[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  Wink).
  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 

I have no idea if the Catholic Church has a teaching on that or what it is.  Besides, I thought this was an "Orthodox-Catholic" discussion forum.  Did I hit a wrong tab or something?  Grin

2 words.....rabbit...trail

Tongue

PP

Looks like 2 words and a bunch of rabbit droppings  Tongue
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Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #87 on: January 13, 2012, 06:27:57 PM »

Here is the teaching from Saint Basil the Great ...this is in the 4th century, after the Church had emerged from its 300 long years of persecution under the Roman Empire.  His teaching was later incorporated into the canon law of the Catholic Church at an Ecumenical Council.

(Notice the typical balance of the Church Fathers - while the principle of no Sacraments and no Apostolic Succession outside the Church is clearly enunciated, Saint Basil also states very clearly that for the sake of the good of the Church "economy" may beused if it is thought necessary in the case of Baptism.)


Epistle to Amphilochius (of which the "First Canon" of Saint Basil is a shorter
version)

---- "It seemed best to the ancients-I refer to Cyprian and our own
Firmilian-to subject all of these (Cathari, and Encratites, and Hydroparastatae)
to one vote of condemnation, because the beginning of this separation arose
through schism, and those who had broken away from the Church no longer had in
them the grace of the Holy Spirit, for the imparting of it failed because of the
severance of continuity.

"For those who separated first had ordination from the Fathers, and
through the imposition of their hands possessed the spiritual gift; but those
who had been cut off, becoming laymen, possessed the power neither of baptizing
nor of ordaining, being able no longer to impart to others the grace of the Holy
Spirit from which they themselves had fallen away. Therefore they commanded
those who had been baptized by them, as baptized by laymen, to come to the
Church and be purified by the true baptism of the Church.


"But since on the whole it has seemed best to some of those in Asia
that, by economy for the sake of the many, their baptism be accepted, let it be
accepted."
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« Reply #88 on: January 13, 2012, 06:28:32 PM »

The question boils down to - do bishops exist outside the Church and out of communion with the Church?. I believe that the episcopate -the College of the Apostles- cannot exist outside the Church. Without the episcopate there can be no Sacraments. Do you know the writings of Fr Justin Popovich? - I tend to be a follower of his.

Have a look at message 37
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25542.msg401052.html#msg401052
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« Reply #89 on: January 13, 2012, 06:31:26 PM »

[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  Wink).

Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 
Do Roman Catholics also say Orthodox sacraments are invalid? I really dont know.

PP

I really did *not* mean for this to devolve into a discussion of who recognizes who or what with regards to Sacraments..............  Maybe we can just leave it at that, for this thread anyway?


Since theosis cannot commence without the Sacraments of Baptism and Chrismation, the validity of these Sacraments in the Catholic Church has direct relevance to the OP.
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