Author Topic: Convert to Catholicism  (Read 14797 times)

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Offline Daniel

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Convert to Catholicism
« on: January 02, 2003, 04:29:47 PM »
Hello Christian brothers.  Like Dustin "Anastasios" Hudson, your moderator, I was raised Lutheran (Mo. Synod).  But in my youth, due to divorce of my parents, I ceased church worship.  Once I started down the path of Christian worship again (while in the Army) I joined the OCA.  But in time, with the disunity of Orthodox Churches (not "one holy Catholic and apostolic" as we recite the Creed) I entered the Byzantine Catholic Church, embracing unity to the Pope of Rome and the *one* Catholic Church.  One big thing that was the clincher for me was the truth of the Immaculate Conception doctrine, which I wrote a lengthy defense paper on.  I invite all to read it at web-site www.praiseofglory.com (or .org)..  Click on "thy Father's love" and then "That they may all be one" to find it.    

I pray that we will all be in unity eventually. and we stand united against the threat of Islam & the lure of satan's evils (like abortion, homosexuality, fornication, etc).  

Your friend in Christ Jesus,  
Daniel Joseph Barton, US Army Retired
Byzantine Catholic & Knight of Columbus
                 
PS:  See you-all at the Rally & March for Life in DC?  We Catholics and the Evangelicals dominate it..  I urge you-all to come to it, as the 25 or so Orthodox who show up are just too tiny to properly be representative of Orthodox Christianity in USA.
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Re:Convert to Catholicism
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2003, 04:56:47 PM »
Excuse me, Daniel, but aren't you the same Gerard Serafin, the RC ex-priest (there's a note about you from the RC Archdiocese of Baltimore published in the Baltimore newspapers that I have seen online), former member of this forum, who is *again* spamming us with RC-ism?

This is an ORTHODOX forum, Gerard.  This section of the forum is for converts to Orthodoxy or those interested in converting to Orthodoxy, *not* a forum for RC proselytization.

If I am wrong in identifying you with the RC ex-priest Gerard Serafin and his "blog" to which you posted a hyperlink, Daniel, I apologize.

Hypo-Ortho
« Last Edit: January 02, 2003, 05:12:02 PM by Hypo-Ortho »

Offline JoeS

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Re:Convert to Catholicism
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2003, 04:58:24 PM »
That was a nice story Daniel, Im glad you found what you were looking for.

In Christ,

JoeS

Offline The young fogey

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Re:Convert to Catholicism
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2003, 05:58:19 PM »
For fairness’ sake: Daniel is not Gerard Serafin.

The Orthodox presence at the March for Life is small but impressive: a whole cassocked contingent from St Tikhon’s Seminary and a very visible bishop or two, such as Metropolitan Herman of the OCA.

ISTM the only visible Orthodox presence in prolife is 1) converts or 2) people who a few generations ago were Catholic: namely the OCA and ACROD.

Nobody else seems to care, as if it doesn’t matter ’cos they’re not ______ (fill in the ethnic group) babies being killed.

Orthodox or Byzantine Catholic? It’s a tough call and worthy of discussion here. There are Catholics here such as Dan Lauffer, a member of a fine Ruthenian church (one of the rare Orthodox-oriented ones?), who are worthy of every respect.

It makes sense for there to be one Church, not several jurisdictions trying to blackguard each other.

Another big selling point: not selling out on artificial contraception. The Pope wins that one.

Regarding the Immaculate Conception, the answer the Eastern Catholics here will give people like Daniel is m, ‘it does not apply’ in the Orthodox theological setup. Both sides believe she is immaculate (-+-Ç-¦-+-¦-+-+-Ç-+-ç-+-¦-Ã…) but the wording of the IC is bound up in the Roman theological school’s view of original sin. The Orthodox tradition doesn’t need it.

But Catholics themselves admit the current setup with the Eastern Catholic churches is not the way to go forward with East-West rapprochement.

The Orthodox Churches are acknowledged by nearly everyone as the legitimate heirs of the Byzantine tradition.

The history of Eastern Catholics has been contradictory: a stack of papal documents IIRC says not to latinize but in most cases the Eastern Catholics latinized themselves, becoming little more than hybridized ritual appendages of the Roman Church. The ethnic rank and file don’t identify with the Orthodox and demographically are disappearing through death of old members and the assimilation of the young into the Roman and American mainstreams.* The conservative refugees get dissed by some snotty ethnic members who are really AmChurch wannabes, and Orthodox-minded converts end up just passing through — they get fed up and ’dox.

Can anyone honestly wish the great and holy Russian Orthodox Church, for example, to be reduced to the pitiful state (in general, and the Eastern Catholics here know what I mean, so no offence), to give another example, of the Ruthenian Catholic Church? (Given the attrition mentioned above and the utter lack of vocations, it’s not crazy to predict it will be gone in a generation.)

The day one of the Byzantine Catholic groups prints and promotes one of its own who has the same anti-prelest’, anti-modernity message of Fr Seraphim (Rose)**, or even dares to defy the Novus Ordo overlords and prints and promotes messages of Fr S himself rather than parochial news and cut-and-paste Roman wire-service reporting dominating its house organs such as eparchial newspapers, then I’ll be impressed. I’m not holding my breath.

*To be fair, there is similar attrition among ethnic second-, third- and fourth-generation Orthodox. Orthodoxy in America will survive thanks to the mini-windfall of conversions but will be small.

**To be fair, I’ve met a Russian Catholic (they’re almost all converts and are much like the Orthodox-oriented refugees/converts among the Ruthenian, Ukrainian and Melkite groups) who has told me he thinks Fr S is a saint. Fr S was fallible (and the group he started, which after his death through the ’80s and ’90s bragged it was a last bastion of true Orthodoxy, basically has fallen apart) but he had a lot of good and true things to say.
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Offline sinjinsmythe

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Re:Convert to Catholicism
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2003, 06:29:56 PM »

The Orthodox presence at the March for Life is small but impressive: a whole cassocked contingent from St Tikhon’s Seminary and a very visible bishop or two, such as Metropolitan Herman of the OCA.

ISTM the only visible Orthodox presence in prolife is 1) converts or 2) people who a few generations ago were Catholic: namely the OCA and ACROD.

Nobody else seems to care, as if it doesn’t matter ’cos they’re not ______ (fill in the ethnic group) babies being killed.

I have a bone to pick here.  I think all Orthodox should be more vocal in prolife.  To say it is only converts or people who were Catholic a few generations ago are the only ones involved in the prolife movement is naive because I am sure there are cradle born Orthodox involved...we just don't see them or really notice them.

Quote
Another big selling point: not selling out on artificial contraception. The Pope wins that one.

Can someone tell me of an Orthodox bishop who has publicly sold out on this issue?  I have heard rumors that the Greek church has sold out on this but then again the ones I hear this from are the same ones who claim the Ecumenical Patriarch is a mason.

Quote
*To be fair, there is similar attrition among ethnic second-, third- and fourth-generation Orthodox. Orthodoxy in America will survive thanks to the mini-windfall of conversions but will be small.

Orthodoxy will survive in America by the cradle born and their descendants who keep and chose to live the faith and converts.  I am surprised at how bias you seem to be against the cradle born..because there are devout practicing cradle born Orthodox here in the US(I am one of them).  I don't believe that converts alone will keep Orthodoxy alive in America.  In fact, I know one convert who maintains that Orthodoxy in America will go the way of the Episcopalians.

Quote
**To be fair, I’ve met a Russian Catholic (they’re almost all converts and are much like the Orthodox-oriented refugees/converts among the Ruthenian, Ukrainian and Melkite groups) who has told me he thinks Fr S is a saint. Fr S was fallible (and the group he started, which after his death through the ’80s and ’90s bragged it was a last bastion of true Orthodoxy, basically has fallen apart) but he had a lot of good and true things to say.

Wasn't St. Herman Monastery a part of ROCOR for a while?  How has that monastery fallen apart?  It publishes some of the best books on Orthodoxy and its way of life.
Life is just one disappointment after another.

Hypo-Ortho

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Re:Convert to Catholicism
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2003, 07:06:34 PM »
Serge: I'm glad to hear from you that Daniel is *not* Gerard Serafin.  I just hope that Gerard does not indirectly worm his way back into this forum by anyone innocently (or otherwise) posting hyperlinks to Gerard's "blog."

Daniel: Once more, to clear the air, I apologize to you for thinking you were the RC ex-priest Gerard Serafin, who caused so much dissension and discord in this forum in the not too recent past.  My sincere welcome to the OrthodoxChristianity.net family!

Hypo-Ortho

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Re:Convert to Catholicism
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2003, 07:17:13 PM »
As a matter of public record, the Orthodox Church in America, at its All-American Council three years ago, strongly endorsed membership in "Orthodox Christians for Life" for the faithful of the OCA.  The OCA also observes an annual Respect for Human Life Sunday in January on the Sunday nearest to the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, by a decision of this same All-American Council.  

Now all the Hierarchs and clergy of the OCA, and not only His Beatitude, Metropolitan HERMAN, who has been a faithful pro-lifer for years, need to translate the pro-life decisions of that All-American Council into effective action for their faithful by their leadership--and not something that just remains on paper.  Let's see some of the same type of leadership by the Hierarchs and clergy of the other Orthodox jurisdictions, including the ROCOR, also.  And let's see less laxity and sheer laziness on the part of the Orthodox faithful when it comes to active participation in pro-life activities.

Hypo-Ortho
« Last Edit: January 02, 2003, 07:31:57 PM by Hypo-Ortho »

Offline sinjinsmythe

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Re:Convert to Catholicism
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2003, 09:02:16 PM »
As a matter of public record, the Orthodox Church in America, at its All-American Council three years ago, strongly endorsed membership in "Orthodox Christians for Life" for the faithful of the OCA.  The OCA also observes an annual Respect for Human Life Sunday in January on the Sunday nearest to the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, by a decision of this same All-American Council.  

Now all the Hierarchs and clergy of the OCA, and not only His Beatitude, Metropolitan HERMAN, who has been a faithful pro-lifer for years, need to translate the pro-life decisions of that All-American Council into effective action for their faithful by their leadership--and not something that just remains on paper.  Let's see some of the same type of leadership by the Hierarchs and clergy of the other Orthodox jurisdictions, including the ROCOR, also.  And let's see less laxity and sheer laziness on the part of the Orthodox faithful when it comes to active participation in pro-life activities.

Hypo-Ortho

Hypo I could not have said it any better myself.  Right on.
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Offline The young fogey

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Re:Convert to Catholicism
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2003, 09:25:46 PM »
St Herman’s Monastery was in ROCOR to begin with but left in 1988, a few years after Fr Seraphim died in 1982. It was in a vagante group for most of the 1990s but now is in the Serbian Church.

The monastery itself didn’t fall apart; it still exists, though I understand many monks left when it quit ROCOR. I was thinking more of the group with which the monastery merged at that time, the former New Age group the Holy Order of MANS, now the Christ the Saviour Brotherhood. This combined group is now split up among the OCA, the Serbian Church and the Bulgarian Church.

Quote
I have a bone to pick here.  I think all Orthodox should be more vocal in prolife.

And they’re not, which is my point.

Quote
To say it is only converts or people who were Catholic a few generations ago are the only ones involved in the prolife movement is naive because I am sure there are cradle born Orthodox involved...we just don't see them or really notice them.

Right, we don’t see them, which is why I wrote:

Quote
ISTM the only visible Orthodox presence in prolife is 1) converts or 2) people who a few generations ago were Catholic: namely the OCA and ACROD.

Nobody else seems to care, as if it doesn’t matter ’cos they’re not ______ (fill in the ethnic group) babies being killed.

Quote
As a matter of public record, the Orthodox Church in America, at its All-American Council three years ago, strongly endorsed membership in "Orthodox Christians for Life" for the faithful of the OCA.  The OCA also observes an annual Respect for Human Life Sunday in January on the Sunday nearest to the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, by a decision of this same All-American Council.

Like I said, a few generations ago the OCA people were Catholic. And they are in prolife today.  

Quote
Now all the Hierarchs and clergy of the OCA, and not only His Beatitude, Metropolitan HERMAN, who has been a faithful pro-lifer for years, need to translate the pro-life decisions of that All-American Council into effective action for their faithful by their leadership--and not something that just remains on paper.  Let's see some of the same type of leadership by the Hierarchs and clergy of the other Orthodox jurisdictions, including the ROCOR, also.  And let's see less laxity and sheer laziness on the part of the Orthodox faithful when it comes to active participation in pro-life activities.

But they don’t, which is my point.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2003, 11:06:08 PM by Serge »
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Offline JoeS

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Re:Convert to Catholicism
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2003, 10:02:56 PM »
Serge,
I agree with most of your post here but I have to comment on the below by saying that even if the Metropolitans came out with a strict proclamation condeming artificial contraception, they would unfortunately, have the same results as the Pope gets when he issues such statements.  Many women of western Europe and North America who are RC, like it or not, have made up their own minds concerning whether or not to comply with these rules.

<<Another big selling point: not selling out on artificial contraception. The Pope wins that one.>>

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Offline Orthodoc

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Re:Convert to Catholicism
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2003, 10:08:03 PM »
[But in time, with the disunity of Orthodox Churches (not "one holy Catholic and apostolic" as we recite the Creed) I entered the Byzantine Catholic Church, embracing unity to the Pope of Rome and the *one* Catholic Church.]

Let me get this straight.  You left the OCA because of what you call the 'jurisdictional disunity' within Orthodoxy?  And you left to join the 'Byzantine Catholic Church'  because of what you call the 'Catholic' unity under the Pope?

If there is such unity within the Eastern Rite Papal Catholic Church, why are there so many jurisdictions here within the Byzantine tradition?  Why are  there separate Byzantine Catholic, Ukrainian Catholic, Russian Catholic, Melkite Catholic, Romanian Catholic, etc. jurisdictions if there is such unity under Papal authority?  Shouldn't they all be under ONE jurisdictional authority?   And, how is this so different from the various counter jurisdictions  within Orthodox Catholicity that you see us as being disunited but your new allegiance as united and the *one* Catholic Church?

As far as the Immaculate Conception.  The buzz word is 'CONCEPTION'.  If the Theotokos was  conceived without 'original sin' then she should have remained  immortal and as such, a higher breed human as Eve was before she sinned and became mortal.  As such, Christ would no longer be Human and divine but  a high bred human and divine.


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Offline The young fogey

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Re:Convert to Catholicism
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2003, 10:18:57 PM »
Quote
I agree with most of your post here but I have to comment on the below by saying that even if the Metropolitans came out with a strict proclamation condeming artificial contraception, they would unfortunately, have the same results as the Pope gets when he issues such statements.  Many women of western Europe and North America who are RC, like it or not, have made up their own minds concerning whether or not to comply with these rules.

But the real argument isn’t about results but rather about who is upholding the apostolic faith on this issue.

Quote
If there is such unity within the Eastern Rite Papal Catholic Church, why are there so many jurisdictions here within the Byzantine tradition?  Why are  there separate Byzantine Catholic, Ukrainian Catholic, Russian Catholic, Melkite Catholic, Romanian Catholic, etc. jurisdictions if there is such unity under Papal authority?  Shouldn't they all be under ONE jurisdictional authority?  And, how is this so different from the various counter jurisdictions  within Orthodox Catholicity that you see us as being disunited but your new allegiance as united and the *one* Catholic Church?

The same reason there have been overlapping ethnic jurisdictions among the Orthodox in America since the Russian Revolution: the territorial divisions of the Old World were brought over.
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Offline Orthodoc

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Re:Convert to Catholicism
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2003, 10:41:17 PM »
[The same reason there have been overlapping ethnic jurisdictions among the Orthodox in America since the Russian Revolution: the territorial divisions of the Old World were brought over.}

Serge:  I know that, and you know that, but apparently Daniel doesn't.  So your reply does not answer my question. Which is -  Why does he see the multiple jurisdictions amongst Byzantine Orthodox as disunity but NOT AMONGST BYZANTINE CATHOLICS?

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Re:Convert to Catholicism
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2003, 10:58:27 PM »
<snips>
ISTM the only visible Orthodox presence in prolife is 1) converts or 2) people who a few generations ago were Catholic: namely the OCA and ACROD.
<snip>
Like I said, a few generations ago the OCA people were Catholic. And they are in prolife today.  

A few flaws in the above argument, Serge.  While a few generations ago the ACROD may have been entirely Slavonic-Greek-Catholic (Ruthenian), not so the OCA, the former American Metropolia of the Moscow Patriarchate.

The OCA's Russian Orthodox Diocese of Alaska was never Uniate Catholic.  Neither were the OCA's Albanian, Romanian and Bulgarian Dioceses.  The OCA's Diocese of the West, even today, is largely descended from ethnic "Great" Russian "cradle" Orthodox, not Uniate Catholics.  The OCA's Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania and Archdiocese of Western Pennsylvania could arguably, however, have been mostly Uniate Catholic a few generations ago, as well as the OCA's Diocese of the Midwest.  The Diocese of New England, though, is a mix of ethnic Belorussians, Ukrainians and some Great Russians in its ancestry, with just a small number of Carpatho-Rusyns (most of them went to the ACROD), so few Uniate Catholics.  The Diocese of New York/New Jersey has its share of Great Russians in its ethnic mix also.  The Archdiocese of Canada seems to have a large share of Ukrainians in its ethnic mix--these could have been either "cradle" Orthodox or Uniate Catholics a few generations ago.

Hypo-Ortho
« Last Edit: January 02, 2003, 11:12:31 PM by Hypo-Ortho »

Offline The young fogey

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Re:Convert to Catholicism
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2003, 11:19:46 PM »
Quote
:  I know that, and you know that, but apparently Daniel doesn't.  So your reply does not answer my question. Which is -  Why does he see the multiple jurisdictions amongst Byzantine Orthodox as disunity but NOT AMONGST BYZANTINE CATHOLICS?

Perhaps because he sees the spectacle on the Internet of people in groups like HOCNA denouncing ‘world Orthodoxy’ as graceless, the two uncanonical churches in Ukraine competing with the Moscow Patriarchate (both these first two examples are really irrelevant since the troublemakers are outside the Orthodox communion and therefore are non-Orthodox), the rift between Moscow and Constantinople a few years ago over Estonia and the continuing rifts between ROCOR and the MP and between ROCOR and the OCA today. (About which one can point out to Daniel similar confusion in western Catholic history, like in the Middle Ages when at one point there were three alleged Popes.)

Quote
The OCA's Russian Orthodox Diocese of Alaska was never Uniate Catholic.  Neither were the OCA's Albanian, Romanian and Bulgarian Dioceses.  The OCA's Diocese of the West, even today, is largely descended from ethnic "Great" Russian "cradle" Orthodox, not Uniate Catholics.


I know. But 60% of the OCA were. Most OCA congregations are in Pennsylvania and that’s what they were. And they’re the ones who show up in Washington.

Quote
The OCA's Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania and Archdiocese of Western Pennsylvania could arguably, however, have been mostly Uniate Catholic a few generations ago, as well as the OCA's Diocese of the Midwest.

See above.
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Offline Mexican

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Re:Convert to Catholicism
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2003, 03:54:06 AM »
Daniel:

It is not my purpose to attack the venerable Roman Church here, but i think it is convenient to answer to your post because almost all the arguments are full of falseness.

I wonder why people are now attacking Orthodoxy claimimng that "it's liberal" when contraception and divorce are accepted in some extreme cases.

You should attend a modern Mass here and you'll see what liberalism is! ;D

You say "we should stand united against the threat of Islam & the lure of satan's evils (like abortion, homosexuality, fornication, etc)".  My friend you should see what Roman priests and even Bishops preach here, not only about contraception and divorce, but about the probable ordaination of women. There are also approved masses for gays and lesbians. Last week the cardinal of Mexico City said that clonation is not dangerous for the human race!! ??? And what Orthodox leader has kissed the Qur'an or visited Sudan while hundreds of christians are being muredered and martyred??? Who supports Ecumenical Meetings like Assisi with jews, muslims and Protestants?

It is true that there have been abuses about divorce in the Orthodox Church, but what about the marriage anullments in the RC??? and the blessings and masses given to divorced couples???

You say that the Orthodox Churches are in a state of dis-unity and this may be true in administrative terms, it is very sad that this happens, but at least there's a unity in the faith, a unity in faith and worship which is the most important thing. You can always expect that the services will be celebrated reverently and that people are truly receiving the blood and body of Jesus Christ. There's a true stability.

What unity can be found in the Roman church nowadays, almost every parish has a different mass, no two celebrations of the modern mass are alike, in some places new elements have appeared (masses for children, masses for young people, clown masses, rock masses, charismatic masses...) is that unity??? :-X
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Re:Convert to Catholicism
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2003, 09:51:05 AM »
Daniel,

If you are still looking in...I think Remie makes some good points.  While my own congregation is fairly well oriented toward Orthodoxy, though we miss some parts, I wonder about our continued communion with a Church that has so many serious problems.  

But...just when I'm tempted to dispair methinks I'm giving too knee jerk American Protestant reaction to the problems of both Churches.  I've occasionally worshipped in both Orthodox, not in communion with Rome, and in Roman Catholic Churches since converting to Byzantine Catholicism.  I find I have less in common with the Roman's as they express their worship today than I do with the Orthodox.  

I will stay where I am but with some knawing reservations about the Roman Catholic Church and our continued communion with her.

I wish there was a way to be in communion with both.

Dan Lauffer

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Re:Convert to Catholicism
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2003, 03:54:14 PM »
Dear Eastern Christian brothers on this net,  blessed Theophany (or Ephiphany) to you!  Well, I did not expect to see so many replies, and it is not my intention to enter this talk-show with persons that hide their real names and email addresses.  First, let me explain once again that I am not *Gerard Serafin Bugge*, but *Daniel Joseph Barton.*
 
Also, someone suggested, in wishing to refute the Immaculate Conception doctrine of Blessed Mary, that "Eve was a higher breed of human" until she sinned under her own free-will...well, I have never heard that suggestion!  What could that mean...a "higher breed of human?"  One whom had not sinned, nor had "original sin?"  Then Jesus' humanity was not really our humanity because He was a "higher breed of human?"  Which of the Fathers or Councils teaches that Jesus' humanity was a "higher breed?"

Again, I suggest that anyone who wishes to read my lengthy defense of the Immaculate Conception doctrine to go to www.praiseofglory.com (or org) and click on "Thy Father's Love," then go to "That they all may be one" and scan down the listing.  

Another person suggested that the fact of varying Eastern Catholic Churches here in USA mimics the varying Eastern Orthodox Churches here in the USA.  Maybe.  But all of our Eastern Catholic Churches are in communion with each other...the Orthodox cannot claim such.  Our unity centers around the keys of Peter, ie. that all the Eastern Catholic Churches are in unity and communion to the See of Peter, and Pope of Rome.  That central unity keeps us from having, for instance, a break in communion & unity between Constantinople and Moscow...nor excommunications like Constantinople did to Jerusalem.   Nor public hurling of invectives and scheming against each other as between Jerusalem and Antioch.  Nor parallel jurisdictions such as exists in Ukraine, Greece, Romania, Russia, up-to-recently Bulgaria, et al (ie. "new" calendar vs. "old" calendar).  Our strength is our unity, upon the Rock of Peter.  Granted that we Eastern Catholics are only 30 million strong world-wide, and granted our brother Roman Catholics (1 billion world-wide) are often ignorant of us and our customs...but think how wonderful an Eastern Christian witness we Easterners could be to the Westerners if you 250 million Eastern Orthodox, and 50 million Oriental Orthoodox, and 1/2 million Assyrians were in communion with us to Rome?  The Pope has asked the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchs to discuss papal primacy with him...but none took it up!  Seems the Eastern Orthodox are more interested in persecuting and being "un-Christian" towards us Catholics (whether Eastern or Roman) in their so-called "territorial lands" (to wit: Russia, Ukraine, Belorus, Romania).  And quite frankly, due to Orthodox animosity and persecutions (esp. under the communists) is it any wonder that Eastern Catholics took on latinizations to show their pride in being "Catholics"?  
Granted the Catholic Church isn't perfect, by virtue of its sinful members, but the same applies to all Churches and Christian communities.  

As to the pro-life issue, I have yet to find one Orthodox parish that puts pro-life issues in their bulletins, or publishes info about the Marches for Life.  As a former OCA member, I remember being shocked that contraceptives were considered okay by the Orthodox Churches, and angry that abortion & homosexuality were rarely even discussed (however, a big kudos to the newspaper from the Carpatho-Rusyn Orthodox Church in USA for their regular articles against abortion, and occasionally against homosexuality).  I just wish that more Orthodox would be at the Wash DC Rally & March for Life (22 Jan - starts noon).
And yes, I have marched part of the route with the Orthodox contingent and Metropolitan Herman who has been a stalwart in leading his small contingent!  Also in attendance on a few occasions has been the Archbishop
of the Carpatho-Rusyn Orthodox Church.  But I have never seen a Ukrainian prelate, nor Russian prelate, nor Antiochian prelate, nor a Greek prelate, and I have been going for some years now.

Again, it was not my intention to start word battles by posting my original post.  The board said "converts" and since I am one, I thought to post it.  And since my Byzantine Catholic brother, Dustin Hudson, is your moderator, I didn't think it would rile people.   It seems that persons of this board, minus Dan Laufer and Dustin Hudson, are all Orthodox...

I am willing to correspond privately with anyone on these issues, as the person sees fit.  And if you'd like, I will send you my St. Maron KofC Council's newsletter!  

Daniel Joseph Barton (daniel.j.barton@us.army.mil)
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Offline Mexican

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Re:Convert to Catholicism
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2003, 04:49:11 PM »
Daniel, but have you realized that your Church is also part of the same body that permits scandalous liberalisms? And that you're in communion with all the modernist and liberal Bishops of the Roman Church who no longer hold the principles, and the doctrine of the venerable Catholic Church? is that a true unity?
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Re:Convert to Catholicism - Reply To Daniel (1)
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2003, 05:53:00 PM »
Dear Daniel:

Those of us who know you from other Orthodox Discussion groups are quite aware of your intentions to post here.  They are the same as they have been elsewhere - to troll and cause as much disention as possible.  So lets at least be honest about why you are here. "By their deeds they shall be known".

To address some of your insightful statements -

[Also, someone suggested, in wishing to refute the Immaculate Conception doctrine of Blessed Mary, that "Eve was a higher breed of human" until she sinned under her own freewill...well, I have never heard that suggestion! What could that mean...a "higher breed of human?"]

Reread your Old testament my friend.  Adam and Eve were created by God to be IMMORTAL (in case you don't know what that means, it means to live forever. Or, in other words, not capable of dying).  They were created to  reside forever in the Garden of Eden.  The one thing God asked was that they not eat from the 'tree of life'.  When they disobeyed God,  they were punished and not only were banished  from the Garden of Eden but their immortality was taken from them.  They were now capable of dying.  It came about as the result of their 'original sin'.  We, as their children,  inherit this result of their 'original sin'  and  hence,  do not live forever.  
Are you following me so far Daniel?  Because I'm trying to explain it as best I can by using the simpliest of terms.  
A being that is Created by God with immortality (whose parts never run out)  is certainly on a higher level than one that is created by God whose life span is geared  to the amount of time it takes for its components to wear out.  
So, if the Immaculate Conception of the Theotokos were true, then Christ was the result of  a union between God and a higher level of human than we are since she should have been immortal by her immaculate conception.  Hence, Christ was not really both human (as we are)  and Divine but a high bred human and  Divine.
Guess this is why the Papal Catholic Church does not celebrate the "Dormition of the Theotokos'.  Only her Assumption.  They kind of backed themselves into a corner with the 'Immaculate Conception'.

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Re:Convert to Catholicism - Reply to Daniel (2)
« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2003, 05:56:09 PM »
 [But all of our Eastern Catholic Churches are in communion with each other...]

Really!  Are you all in communion with a bogus group that calls itself  'The Byzantine Catholic Church, Inc.?'

http://members.tripod.com/~Mark1x1/index.html
 
Are you in communion with the SPPX, Transalpine Redemptiorists?  How about Archbishop Marcel LeFebvre?

You have your off shoots and splinter groups too my friend.  People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

[Our strength is our unity, upon the Rock of Peter.]

What unity?  Are you, are are you not, part of the Papal Catholic Church?  Is not that the same Church that is responsible for the creation of over 37,000 splintering Christian sects and still growing?  The common name for all of them is 'Protestants'.  But, using the same criteria that your Church now uses to identify itself as 'Orthodox In Communion with Rome' I like to refer to all 37,000 of them as 'Roman Catholics not in communion with Rome'.  Because, apparently amongst your own criteria one's identity is based upon whether one is in communion with Rome or not, and where ones origins can be traced to.  What one is required to believe no longer seems to be either important or required.

 [Seems the Eastern Orthodox are more interested in persecuting and being "un-Christian" towards us Catholics (whether Eastern or Roman) in their so-called "territorial lands" (to wit: Russia, Ukraine, Belorus, Romania).]

Ever read the real reason the Unia was created in the first place?  Ever read the 33 articles  contained in the 'Union of Brest'?  Ever ask yourself  why the following articles were required if their was such freedom, non-persecution, and Christian acts towards the Orthodox when they came under Polish Roman Catholic rule? -

12. So that our authority whould be greater and we should govern our
faithful with greater respect, we ask seats in the Senate of the King's Grace for the Metropolitain and the bishops. We ask this for many reasons for we have the same office and hierarchal dinity as the Roman Bishops.

17. Inasmuch as we have lost the possession of many ecclesiastical
properties, some of which our predecessors alienated by rights other than the free administration of these goods during their personal lives, so that we find ourselves in such want and poverty that we cannot provide satisfactorily for the needs of the churches, and indeed we ourselves scarcely have the means of subsisitence, we require that these properties be returned to our churches. If anyone has legitimately aquired the lifetime unsufruct of any ecclesiastical benefice, let him be obliged to pay an annual rent to the Church, and upon his death let the benefice revert to the Church. Such a benefice shalll not be granted to anyone without the consent of the bishop and his chapter. Every benefice to which the Church presently has title is to be recorded in the Gospel Books, even if the Church does not exercise any control over some benefices. In that way they will at least belong indisputable to the Church. With this accomplished, the Church can then undertake to regain those benefices which have been alienated at an earlier time.

22. That the Romans should not forbid us to ring bells in our churches on
Good Friday, both in the cities and everywhere else.

23. That we should not be forbidden to visit the sick with the Most Holy
Mysteries, publicly, with the lights and vestments, according to our rubrics.

24. That without any interference we might be free to hold processions, as many as are required, on holdy days, according to our custom.

25. That our Rus' monasteries and churches should not be changed into Roman Catholic churches. And if any Roman Catholic has damaged or destroyed one of our churches or monasteries, in his territory, he shall be obliged to repair it or build a new one for the exclusive use of the Rus' people.

Orthodoc



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Re:Convert to Catholicism
« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2003, 06:06:39 PM »
Quote
What unity?  Are you, are are you not, part of the Papal Catholic Church?  Is not that the same Church that is responsible for the creation of over 37,000 splintering Christian sects and still growing?  The common name for all of them is 'Protestants'.  But, using the same criteria that your Church now uses to identify itself as 'Orthodox In Communion with Rome' I like to refer to all 37,000 of them as 'Roman Catholics not in communion with Rome'.  Because, apparently amongst your own criteria one's identity is based upon whether one is in communion with Rome or not, and where ones origins can be traced to.  What one is required to believe no longer seems to be either important or required.

A very intersting point, as I have always wondered the double standard.  The "East" (gotta love the vague terms anti-Orthodox use) is said to be shattered into "endless schisms" yet when one looks at the West there are a plethora of groups whose beleifs have little to nothing in common.  At least with various Orthodox churches in outward schism they hold the same faith.  


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Re:Convert to Catholicism
« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2003, 07:09:13 PM »
Over the years, I've seen the number of "Protestant Sects" grow from 10,000 to 20,000 to here 37,000.  Where is this number coming from?
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Re:Convert to Catholicism
« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2003, 08:04:33 PM »
Over the years, I've seen the number of "Protestant Sects" grow from 10,000 to 20,000 to here 37,000.  Where is this number coming from?


From the Protestant sects themselves as the keep splitting off of each other.
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Re:Convert to Catholicism
« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2003, 08:51:07 PM »
[Over the years, I've seen the number of "Protestant Sects" grow from 10,000 to 20,000 to here 37,000.  Where is this number coming from? ]

In Frankie Schaffers book - "Dancing Alone" published in 1994 it was sated there were already 23,000 Protestant  sects.  The reference used the 1989 United Nations statistics on Protestant denominations in the world.  World Census of Religious Activities ( U.N. Information Center, N.Y. 1989)

I don't remember if it was in this book or elsewhere that where I read the estimate was that there were from five to ten new ones created all over the world on a weekly basis.  If this is true then it would mean that there are currently some where between 26380 to 29760.

On page 76 Schaeffer states -

Barely eighty years after the beginning of the so called 'Reformation', the Protestant sects had already divided into more than 280 denminations.

Orthodoc
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Re:Convert to Catholicism
« Reply #25 on: January 06, 2003, 12:35:38 AM »
[The Pope has asked the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchs to discuss papal primacy with him...but none took it up! ]

You know, I always have to laugh when I hear this little bit of Roman Catholic propaganda posted on RC sites.  Because, that is exactly what it is.  With all the Papal Catholic/Orthodox  consultations going on, doesn't it seems strange that no one has ever gotten back to the Pope?  Yet the replies are posted in the book and elsewhere within Orthodox Catholic resources!

There is a wonderful new book out enitled 'Orthodoxy in Conversation' by Emmanneul Clapsis regarding Orthodox Ecumenical  Engagements.  It can be obtained at St Vlads bookstore.  Perhaps one of you Papal Catholics can obtain a copy for the Pope.  Since, if what you say has any truth to it (which I doubt) it means the Popes own people are not getting back to him on what has already been discussed and is printed in this book.  In the section regarding conversations on papal Primacy the following statements appear -

Page 106:  "The Church is the communion of believers living in Jesus Christ with the Father.  It has its origins and prototype in the Trinity in which there is both  distinction of persons BASED ON LOVE, NOT SUBORDINATION."

Page 107:  If primacy is defined as a form of power, then we encounter the question on whether in the Orthodox Church there is a power superior  to that of a bishop, i.e. a power OVER the bishop, and hence the church of which he is the head.  Theologically and ecclesiologically THE ANSWER MUST BE AN UNCONDITIONAL NO: THERE IS NO POWER OVER THE BISHOP AND HIS CHURCH.  In the canonical and historical life of the Church, however, such supreme power not only exists but is conceived as the foundation of the Church; it is the basis of its canonical system.

Page 108-109:  The famous 34 Apostolic Canon states:  "The bishops of every nation must acknowledge him who is first among them and account him as their head, and do nothing of consequence without his consent...BUT NEITHER LET HIM (WHO IS FIRST) DO ANYTHING WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF ALL:  FOR SO THERE WILL BE UNANIMITY..."  From this canon, it is thus evident that the REGIONAL PRIMACY CAN BE CONCEIVED NOT AS A POWER OR JURISDICTION BUT ONLY AS AN EXPRESSION OF THE UNIY AND UNANIMITY OF ALL THE BISHOPS AND CONSEQUENTLY OF ALL THE CHURCHES, OF AN AREA.

We must understand the universal primacy of the Roman Church similarly.  Based on Christian tradition, it is possible to affirm the validity of the church of Rome's claims of universal primacy.  ORTHODOXY THEOLOGY, HOWEVER, OBJECTS TO THE IDENTIFICATION OF THIS PRIMACY AS 'SUPREME POWER' TRANSFORMING ROME INTO THE PRINCIPUM RADIX ET ORIGIO OF THE UNITY OF THE CHURCH AND THE CHURCH ITSELF.  The Church from the first days of its existence undeniably possessed and ecumenical centre of unity and agreement.  In the apstolic and Judaeo-Christian period this centre was first the church of Jerusalem and later the church of Rome - "presiding in agape" according to St Ignatios of Antioch.

In summary, Orthodoxy does not reject Roman primacy as such, but simply a particuar way of understanding that primacy.  WITHIN A REINTEGRATED CHRISTENDOM THE BISHOP OF ROME WILL BE CONSIDERED PRIMUS INTERPARES (AS HE WAS PREVIOUSLY) SERVING THE UNITY OF GOD'S CHURCH IN LOVE.  HE CANNOT BE ACCEPTED AS SET UP OVER THE CHURCH AS A RULER WHOSE DIAKONIA IS CONCEIVED THROUGH LEGALISTIC CATEGORIES OF POWER OF JURISDICTION.  HIS AUTHORITY MUST BE UNDERSTOOD, NOT ACCORDING TO STANDARDS OF EARTHLY AUTHORITY AND DOMINATION, BUT ACCORDING TO TERMS OF LOVING MINISTRY AND HUMBLE SERVICE (Matt. 20:25-27).

Page 110:  IN A REINTEGRATED CHRISTENDOM, WHEN THE POPE TAKES HIS PLACE ONCE AGAIN AS PRIMUS INTER PARES WITHIN THE ORTHODOX CATHOLIC COMMUNION, THE BISHOP OF ROME WILL HAVE THE INITIATIVE TO SUMMON A SYNOD OF THE WHOLE CHURCH. THE BISHOP OF ROME WILL, OF COURSE PRESIDE OVER SUCH A SYNOD AND HIS OFFICE MAY COORDINATE THE LIFE AND WITNESS OF THE ORTHODOX CATHOLIC CHURCH AND IN TIMES OF NEED BE ITS SPOKESMAN.  THE ROLE OF ACTING AS THE VOICE OF THE CHURCH IS NOT, HOWEVER, TO BE RESTRICTED TO ANY HIERACHAL ORDER WITHIN THE CHURCH, STILL LESS TO A SINGLE SEE.  IN PRINCIPLE, ANY BISHOP, PRIEST, OR LAYMAN MAY BE CALLED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT TO PROCLAIM THE TRUE FAITH.

This will be the second time that I will request that someone pass it along to the Pope.

The issue is not now, nor has it ever been 'primacy'.  The issue is, and always has been, 'supremac'.

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Re:Convert to Catholicism
« Reply #26 on: January 06, 2003, 12:44:40 AM »
Catholicism AFAIK teaches that the papacy is of the esse of the Church. OK, if that’s so, then why, when western Catholic theology decided on seven as the nunber of the sacraments, is not the making of the Pope a sacrament?
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Offline Mexican

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Re:Convert to Catholicism
« Reply #27 on: January 06, 2003, 02:28:19 AM »
I think it's unfair to compair Archbishop Lefebvre with the "Mar Markus" pseudo-church and the modernists of Vatican II. I think that Lefebvre did the correct thing when he refused to accep that new religion, and I think that under the present situation, communion of the Orthodox Church with Rome, is impossible
« Last Edit: January 06, 2003, 02:31:36 AM by Remie »
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Re:Convert to Catholicism
« Reply #28 on: January 06, 2003, 09:51:35 AM »
I think it's unfair to compair Archbishop Lefebvre with the "Mar Markus" pseudo-church and the modernists of Vatican II. I think that Lefebvre did the correct thing when he refused to accep that new religion, and I think that under the present situation, communion of the Orthodox Church with Rome, is impossible

S'praznidkom!  Joy of the Feast to you, Remie!

I may be wrong (and if I am, I'm sure that someone will quickly correct me), but didn't Abp. Marcel Lefebvre reconcile himself with the Pope before he died and go back into communion with Rome?  His Lefebvreite followers, however, AFAIK, did not all follow their leader back to Rome, and some Lefebvrite seminaries may still be extant.  If they haven't, one wonders why they wouldn't have merged with the SSPX, with whom they appear, at least exteriorly, to have so much in common.

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Re:Convert to Catholicism
« Reply #29 on: January 06, 2003, 11:11:05 AM »
Quote
I think it's unfair to compair Archbishop Lefebvre with the "Mar Markus" pseudo-church and the modernists of Vatican II.

Agreed. His followers are in roughly the same position in the Catholic Church as ROCOR is in the Orthodox one.

Quote
I may be wrong (and if I am, I'm sure that someone will quickly correct me), but didn't Abp. Marcel Lefebvre reconcile himself with the Pope before he died and go back into communion with Rome?

AFAIK no.

Quote
I think that Lefebvre did the correct thing when he refused to accep that new religion, and I think that under the present situation, communion of the Orthodox Church with Rome, is impossible

Archbishop Lefebvre was a great man.

As for the Orthodox, nearly everybody agrees that the model of the Eastern Catholics isn't the way to go, but nobody has come up with a better, fair solution yet.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2003, 11:38:08 AM by Serge »
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Offline Mexican

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Re:Convert to Catholicism
« Reply #30 on: January 06, 2003, 07:04:52 PM »
Thank you hypo-Ortho, have a happy feast too!

It is my understanding that ArchBishop Lefebvre was excommunicated and his followers too (all the SSPX), after he consacrated four Bishops without permission from the Vatican. Disident priests who thought he had gone too far with the consacrations, formed the Fraternity of St. Peter supported by Rome and under an indult.

About the ROCOR and the SSPX, yeah, their possitions on many things are very similar, it's very curious but the language I've seen in some documents and the vocabulary to condemn modernism and ecumenism has a lot in common. ;D
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Re:Convert to Catholicism
« Reply #31 on: January 06, 2003, 11:36:27 PM »
[Over the years, I've seen the number of "Protestant Sects" grow from 10,000 to 20,000 to here 37,000.  Where is this number coming from? ]

In Frankie Schaffers book - "Dancing Alone" published in 1994 it was sated there were already 23,000 Protestant  sects.  The reference used the 1989 United Nations statistics on Protestant denominations in the world.  World Census of Religious Activities ( U.N. Information Center, N.Y. 1989)

I don't remember if it was in this book or elsewhere that where I read the estimate was that there were from five to ten new ones created all over the world on a weekly basis.  If this is true then it would mean that there are currently some where between 26380 to 29760.

On page 76 Schaeffer states -

Barely eighty years after the beginning of the so called 'Reformation', the Protestant sects had already divided into more than 280 denminations.

Orthodoc

Ah.  So it's an estimate; the real number is not known.  But larger and larger numbers get put forth, without any real count but stated as truth.  To what purpose, besides making others look bad?

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Re:Convert to Catholicism
« Reply #32 on: January 07, 2003, 04:01:46 AM »

Ah.  So it's an estimate; the real number is not known.  But larger and larger numbers get put forth, without any real count but stated as truth.  To what purpose, besides making others look bad?

 
Ebor, you misunderstand. The protestant church has been splintering at an exponential rate, so that estimate of 26380 to 29760 is very, very conservative indeed. I think the numbers that are quoted are drawn from the most recent census materials available. They are not guesses or made up figures to make the protestant churches look bad. Alas the truth is bad enough as it is without any embellishment.

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Re:Convert to Catholicism
« Reply #33 on: January 07, 2003, 06:28:22 AM »
Daniel, greetings in the Lord!

You said that it is "not your intention to enter this talk-show with persons that hide their real names and email addresses". Firstly, I'm sorry that you consider this forum to be a talk-show, however your posts thus far certainly demonstrate your belief as such. Try to show a little more respect towards others and avoid making posts that demonstrate your ignorance on matters and you may find a nice home on this board. Secondly, I'm sure if you sent a private message to individuals asking for their real names and email addresses, they would be more than happy to oblige, in private. My own name is John Wilson and my email address is not hidden. I'm pleased to make your acquaintance.

I read through your article http://praiseofglory.com/danbimmaculate.htm (which you could have easily linked directly to) and I have to admit that one bit made me chuckle:
Quote
Mary's perpetual-virginity is defined dogmatically for the Catholic Church at the Third Ecumenical Council of Constantinople of AD 681, when Eastern Orthodox Christians were still in union to the Pope, ...
I haven't noticed any other obvious grammatical errors in the text so I have to conclude that this is intentional. Obviously, you can't say "still subject to the Pope" since early patristics do not support the eastern churches ever being subject to Rome (nor do later patristics for that matter), and you don't want to say "still in union with the Pope" since that would be an admission of the afore mentioned fact which is contrary to your belief. Thus, to get around this difficulty you mangle the english language and provide my wife with examples of poor usage for her English students. You said basically the same thing in your last post on this thread:
Quote
Our unity centers around the keys of Peter, ie. that all the Eastern Catholic Churches are in unity and communion to the See of Peter, and Pope of Rome.
BTW, you are aware are you not that Jesus did not give the "keys to the kingdom of heaven" exclusively to Peter. In Matthew 18:18 Jesus says again to all his disciples "whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

Anyway, regarding your article, you must understand that orthodox only disagree with the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary with regards to the RC understanding of original sin. What you call original sin is not what we call original sin. We do not inherit guilt, no one is punished for the sins of their father, but that does not mean we do not suffer the consequences of our father's sin. We are misusing the resources of the earth, polluting the soil, water and atmosphere. Will not our children suffer because of that? Does that make them responsible? Of course not! Thus, orthodox understand that Mary was not born carrying the guilt of sin, no one is! She was born with the same human nature that we are and indeed her Son Jesus Christ was. If he was not born in that same human nature that we have inherited from our father Adam, then Jesus did not take our fallen nature to the grave and we are still without hope. Because if it was Adam's nature before the fall that Jesus took on Himself, nailed to the cross, took to the grave and rose to new life in glory, then our fallen nature has not been touched. Where then is the Gospel? BTW, do not misunderstand "fallen" nature to mean "sinful" nature. A better understanding I think would be a predisposition towards sin without implying that sinning is inevitable. Our fallen nature is not sinful in and of itself, we also have the capacity to obey God. However, we must also remember that strict adherence to God's law cannot save us. Only through the whole of our Lord's incarnation can we be saved, that is, through His conception, birth, life and teachings, death on the cross and his resurrection and ascension, all of which are present in the liturgy we take part in each week.

I hope I have been helpful and look forward to further constructive discussion with you in the future.

May the blessings of our Lord Jesus Christ be upon you.
John.

<edit> To all and sundry, if I have made any errors in my posts, please feel free to rip me a new one. I am here primarily to learn, since I can hardly presume to teach. I will try to give a good defence of the orthodox faith but know that I will more often speak with my own "wisdom" than that of the church (I still carry a lot of protestant baggage which is proving difficult to shed).
« Last Edit: January 07, 2003, 07:57:18 AM by prodromos »

Offline SamB

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Re:Convert to Catholicism
« Reply #34 on: January 07, 2003, 08:20:16 AM »
Two points I care to mention:  there is no need to reiterate that the I.C. doctrine speaks of Original Sin from an Augustinian standpoint, and does not imply what is meant when the Eastern definition of O.S. is used.  The I.C. essentially involves the Holy Spirit's grace of which St. Mary was the recepient (the "retroactive baptism" Serge and I brought to mention on a previous thread), not the elevated nature of our first progenitors.  The strawman therefore becomes a redundant setup.

It has always been my understanding that Christ inherited our fallen nature regarding what is known as the blameless passions.  I came across Orthodoxinfo's review of Bishop Kallistos' book, and surprisingly, the site claims that Christ was born with our unfallen nature*, but accepted the physical infirmities of fallen man through His Will, and not through the compulsion brought about by the nature of the humanity He took for Himself.  An interesting view I had not heard of before.  And this unfallen nature clearly has nothing to do with the I.C.'s alleged implications towards the humanity of the Mother of God.

*and moreso, asserts that this in no way dimishes his likeness to us, on the understanding that sin is not part of human nature but a disease, which I think therefore implies that human nature, pre and post-Fall, is the same, except that the latter suffers an affliction.

Comments welcome.

In IC XC
Samer
« Last Edit: January 07, 2003, 09:56:28 AM by SamB »

Offline prodromos

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Re:Convert to Catholicism
« Reply #35 on: January 08, 2003, 05:40:43 AM »
Samer, I'm glad you brought up that second point as it does seem that I am in error in that regard. On monachos.net in a response to a question on free will, one forum member gave a summary of St. Maximos' explanation regarding Christ's human and divine wills. I'll just quote the pertinant bits. (Here is the full post BTW.)
Quote
St Maximos held that will belongs to nature and, upholding the theological tradition of Chalcedon, that Christ must have two wills which He maintains in a united but unconfused way. What is not assumed is not healed, and it is our will which, above all, needs healed, as it was the place where we lost the battle in the first place. So Christ had a human will which always submitted to the divine will.
Quote
For St Maximos, however, real freedom does not have to do with the question of choice at all, but rather with the ability of the creature to walk in harmony with God's will. In other words, while free will is part of human nature, the situation of having to choose is not. It is a result of the fall. And freedom and choice are not synonyms or corollaries.
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...this condition of having to choose the good out of a confusing swirl of alternatives is our lot. This is what St Maximos calls gnome, or the gnomic will.
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the gnomic will is NOT part of our nature, but as I said, a condition of the fall; i.e. part of the fragmentation that occurs with it. It is, in other words, part of our fallen mode of existence, not part of our natural mode of existence. It relates then, not to our nature and our natural mode of life, but to the sub-natural, fallen, mode we live as humans after the fall. Christ, therefore, was free of it, because, while He condescended to experience those effects of the fall which are not blameworthy (such as hungering, thirsting, even dying), never at any time was He "fallen." He allowed Himself, that is, to experience some of the effects of the fall without ever participating in the fall.
:( Forgive me for presuming to have knowledge and wisdom which I obviously lack.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2003, 05:45:05 AM by prodromos »

Offline Ebor

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Re:Convert to Catholicism
« Reply #36 on: January 08, 2003, 11:56:38 PM »
Quote

Ebor, you misunderstand. The protestant church has been splintering at an exponential rate, so that estimate of 26380 to 29760 is very, very conservative indeed. I think the numbers that are quoted are drawn from the most recent census materials available. They are not guesses or made up figures to make the protestant churches look bad. Alas the truth is bad enough as it is without any embellishment.

It is hardly conservative. If one assumes that any Christian body spins off sects at a steady rate, then they are all splintering exponentially, Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant alike. The issue from that perspective is largely one of definition; Orthodox and Catholic authorities simply define away their schisms. From a Protestant perspective all the various vagantes and the like are all "Orthodox" by descent if not by doctrine or political relationship.

The other side of the coin is destruction of sects. A lot of baptist polity groups simply die out; in the mainlines the pattern has been consolidation and reunion.

The only reasonable source for the 20,000 number comes from one person. My recollection of examining his data is that he counts every different Orthodox group as a sect too, and all the different Anglican churches as sects, and so forth, which severely distorts the picture. The image of 25000 different feuding groups is spurious. When you combine cooperating national churches and so forth, what you find is that (not surprisingly) in each tradition there is one huge dominant group, maybe one or two competitors, and a cloud of tiny groups wih no real future. Even then, it's not clear that it's meaningful to count as different the mass of baptist polity churches which don't see a need to form larger bodies. Labelling each of these as a "sect" is bogus.

Franky Schaeffer is an apologist, not a statistician. What he writes on the subject is propaganda. One wants to ask him how many different patristic denominations there were in 300 AD.
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Offline prodromos

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Re:Convert to Catholicism
« Reply #37 on: January 09, 2003, 06:22:10 AM »
Quote
The image of 25000 different feuding groups is spurious
No one presented such an image. Obviously there can't be that many variations of protestant faith so if you were able to group them based on each one's statement of faith, you would probably find the number of different groups to be on the order of hundreds. The thing is though, when a group splits off from a church due to holding different beliefs (or due to a clash of personalities in the leadership), they don't seek out an existing church holding to the same beliefs, they form their own. Instead of humbly seeking out The Church and uniting themselves with her, they are proudly declaring by their action that they have the truth and they are the true (or truest) church.

However, what you say makes good sense. We have some idea of the number of new churches being registered but little idea as to how many of those have since died a natural death. You have a much more balanced view of this issue than I have. I still think it is reasonable to quote the number of new groups forming each week, regardless of how long they last, because it demonstrates the fruit of the spirit within those churches. Each individual is Pope in his own right, with the ability and the right to interpret scripture and truth.

Offline Seraphim Reeves

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Prodromos
« Reply #38 on: January 09, 2003, 09:03:48 PM »
Prodromos

Quote
Anyway, regarding your article, you must understand that orthodox only disagree with the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary with regards to the RC understanding of original sin. What you call original sin is not what we call original sin. We do not inherit guilt, no one is punished for the sins of their father, but that does not mean we do not suffer the consequences of our father's sin.

Forgive me friend, but this line of argument bothers me quite a bit, since it seems to fail to understand what Roman Catholics mean by "original sin."

AFAIK, it is different from "personal sin", with which there is some kind of guilt associated.  "Original sin" in RC teaching is entirely unique, since it's not a personal matter, but pertains to one's relationship to Adam.  Men are not born in a state of justice, and this is because of Adam's sin; thus there is an "infusion of grace" at baptism, restoring men to that justice, and thus remitting "something".  And what is that "something"?  It's "original sin."

While I understand the point that many contemporary Orthodox try to make with regard to "Augustinian" teaching on original sin and the Immaculate Conception, I think it's an argument over nothing.  If I remember correctly, the Oecumenical Patriarchate's rejection of the papal declaration that dogmatized the "Immaculate Conception" had nothing to do with a supposedly "different" Orthodox view of original sin, but rather with the Pope simply having no right to unilaterally define such a thing.

Quote
Thus, orthodox understand that Mary was not born carrying the guilt of sin, no one is! She was born with the same human nature that we are and indeed her Son Jesus Christ was.

This seems a bit revisionistic.  Christ was born like us in regard to all things but "sin"; the Pslamist says that he was born in sin.  Christ's humanity has nothing to do with a participation in our "falleness".  That's the import of a lot of what I hear in some quarters these days, and it's rubbish.

The idea that the Mother of God never sinned is found in the Fathers, but so is the contrary.  It simply wasn't a primary matter in ancient Christianity, since it's bearing on Christology is only indirect (and very much so.)

As for the "guilt" issue, once again (as stated before) a gross simplification of RC teaching.  It does no good to over-state these things.

Quote
If he was not born in that same human nature that we have inherited from our father Adam, then Jesus did not take our fallen nature to the grave and we are still without hope.

Christ was not born "fallen"; that would have implied He deserved His death, that there was nothing "unfair" about it.  Rather He humbled Himself to death, which is something different than being "fallen" along with us.

Quote
BTW, do not misunderstand "fallen" nature to mean "sinful" nature.

Perhaps not in the Calvinist way (which views the actual human nature itself as having turned evil, and not simply lost it's splendour and justice), but in a manner of speaking it is "sinful" (at least now having a propensity for sin.)

Quote
A better understanding I think would be a predisposition towards sin without implying that sinning is inevitable.

Very good.  And I don't reply the RC's believing something different in that regard; they anathematized Calvin and the Protestants, after all.

Quote
Our fallen nature is not sinful in and of itself, we also have the capacity to obey God.

...by God's grace, of course (a necessary addition; please keep in mind, St.Augustine was right, not Pelagius.)

Seraphim

Offline prodromos

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Re:Convert to Catholicism
« Reply #39 on: January 10, 2003, 06:41:54 AM »
Seraphim,

Thankyou for setting me straight on this and may everyone forgive me for presuming to speak for the church on this issue. I have been receiving confirmation of my errors from a number of fronts recently and I am slowly (may God have mercy on me in the meantime) coming to understand that I should be extremely cautious about posting anything regarding orthodox doctrine when it is becoming increasingly obvious that I know nothing.

As a convert from evangelical protestantism, I have spent a lot of time reading a great deal of material on our faith without first having acquired the dicsipline of effectively storing that information away. The result is that the more I read, the more I consequently forget, and those things that remain are not, it seems, always clearly understood.

I am currently struggling through the first of a series of books by monk Paisios of Mt. Athos (died 1993-4 ?). Struggling, because it is in greek which I am still far from fluent in. Otherwise he writes in plain simple language which is probably the only reason I can read his work. One of the things he suggests for those with a western mindset (myself) is not to spend time studying theology and doctrine, but rather to focus on true christian practice by reading the lives of the saints. I can't go into any more detail as to how that helps rid myself of my western mindset as I don't have the book in front of me, however I am becoming increasingly aware of my great need to do so.

To quote that renowned ascetic Yoda: "You must unlearn what you have learned".

Daniel,

forgive me for presuming to answer you regarding the RC doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. I do not have the depth of knowledge and understanding to  give your article any kind of fair response and responded purely out of intellectual pride and not out of love, something I seem particularly prone to doing. I hope we can move past this and continue discussion regarding RC'ism and Orthodoxy, although I think I will have to take a more subdued and cautious approach for my part in the future.

May we all grow in holiness and unity of (true) faith.
John (full of worthless pride) Wilson.