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Author Topic: Orthodox misunderstandings of Catholic teachings  (Read 3320 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: March 20, 2012, 01:00:57 PM »

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When one bothers to read the spiritual leaders of the Church, the saints and doctors, it is clear that what is taught today is the ancient teaching of the Catholic Church
Except of course when they change their teachings. I can think of a few examples.

PP

I'll bet you thought we'd never ask what those examples are, right  Grin Grin?
Actually, the boss came around so I had to dip out Smiley

Filioque - That it should not be in the creed (Leo III) and that it should be (example really needed?)

Infallibility - bishops denied infallibility, also the first councils were affirmed as revered as the gospels because of universal consent, not because of the pope. This is no longer the case, obviously
Unam Sanctum - outside of her there is neither salvation nor the remission of sins. Now, Pope Pius states "Sincerely observing the natural law and its precepts inscribed by God on all hearts and ready to obey God, they live honest lives and are able to attain eternal life by the efficacious virtue of divine light and grace since God who clearly beholds, searches, and knows the minds, souls, thoughts, and habits of all men, because of His great goodness and mercy, will by no means suffer anyone to be punished with eternal torment who has not the guilt of deliberate sin". The catechism has also stepped back a tad bit from unam Sanctum as well.

PP

With re: Unum Sanctum there has always been the understanding that even those formally outside of the Body of Christ, IF they are saved or when they are saved, they are saved through the Body.
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« Reply #46 on: March 20, 2012, 01:11:09 PM »

But that is not what Unam Sanctum says. It is a very definitive statement.

Quote
Furthermore we declare, state, define, and pronounce that it is altogether necessary to salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman pontiff
It does not get any more cut and dry than that.

There is zero wiggle room in this statement. Softening this up changes the teaching.

PP
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« Reply #47 on: March 20, 2012, 01:56:39 PM »

^ From what I understand, the Church has always believed that it was possible for some non-Chritians to be saved. So this statement above must be understood in light of that.
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« Reply #48 on: March 20, 2012, 02:20:34 PM »

But that is not what Unam Sanctum says. It is a very definitive statement.

Quote
Furthermore we declare, state, define, and pronounce that it is altogether necessary to salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman pontiff
It does not get any more cut and dry than that.

There is zero wiggle room in this statement. Softening this up changes the teaching.

PP

Most of us here are guilty of taking things out of context and thereby losing, or distorting, or misrepresenting the meaning originally intended by whatever it is we have quoted or referred to.  Just as quotes do not exist totally outside of the context in which they were written originally, so too do documents not exist totally outside of the historical and cultural context in which they were written.  I say this not to justify anything, nor to excuse anything, nor to "soften" anything.  It's just a reminder that what we say and do (and what various Popes, bishops, church officials, etc. do) does not happen in a vacuum.  So, when we look at *any* church document, it would behoove us to remember that there's always a context out of which it arose and to try to remain cognizant of that context when discussing it.
Phew.... Wink

Having said that, I found this article that may be interesting for you to read, if you feel so inclined.  I haven't read it all yet (it's fairly lengthy), but it certainly looks interesting and appropriate.  Here it is: http://www.philvaz.com/apologetics/debate9.htm.  Hope it helps.

And having said *that*  Wink, Papist's statement is, I think, totally on the money.
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« Reply #49 on: March 20, 2012, 02:51:49 PM »

Which teachings of the Catholic Church do the Orthodox often misunderstand?  The following immediately come to mind:

1) Original Sin:  the Latin understanding of original sin is typically understood by the Orthodox as "original guilt," the idea being that God punishes us because of the sin of Adam.  But this is not the way original sin is presented in the Catholic Catechism.  Contemporary Latin theologians instead think of original sin as the privation of sanctifying grace, a condition into which all human beings are born. 

2)  Created grace:  the Latin understanding of grace is typically understood by the Orthodox as the bestowal of a created gift, i.e., created grace.  The Orthodox "misunderstanding" in fact reflects an imbalance in Latin reflection that in fact once existed.  For years Catholic theologians ignored the uncreated dimension of grace.  But this is no longer the case today, thanks to the important contributions of Henri de Lubac, Karl Rahner, and Piet Fransen. 

3)  Theosis:  because the Orthodox believe that Catholics believe the grace is solely a created phenomenon, they infer that Catholics cannot make room in their theology and spiritual life for supernatural participation in the divine life of the Trinity.  But this is most certainly not the case if one reads the the poetry and reflections of the great mystics of the Latin Church.  Latin theology is not restricted to the manuals.  It may be more difficult for Catholics to speak of theosis, given the absence within Latin theology of the essence/energies distinction; but the notion of divinization is certainly present.

4)  Purgatory:   in the past the purgatorial state was often presented by Catholics, especially at a popular level, as punishment imposed by the just God for the temporal consequences of sin.  But the juridical model of purgatory has been replaced by a therapeutic-purification model, thus bringing the Latin understanding of purgatory in line with the Eastern understanding of post-mortem purification.  See Pope Benedict's encyclical Spe salvi


   
Misunderstood, Father, or the Vatican has changed its position?

When one bothers to read the spiritual leaders of the Church, the saints and doctors, it is clear that what is taught today is the ancient teaching of the Catholic Church.  Most people, particularly Orthodox believers do not bother with much of anything post-schism.  So it is clear to me why you and others simply take this position and hold it.  It's wrong but you'll never admit to it.

M.

If so, wouldn't that mean that Leo III had papal infallability when he declared that the filoque in error?
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« Reply #50 on: March 20, 2012, 02:54:35 PM »

Which teachings of the Catholic Church do the Orthodox often misunderstand?  The following immediately come to mind:

1) Original Sin:  the Latin understanding of original sin is typically understood by the Orthodox as "original guilt," the idea being that God punishes us because of the sin of Adam.  But this is not the way original sin is presented in the Catholic Catechism.  Contemporary Latin theologians instead think of original sin as the privation of sanctifying grace, a condition into which all human beings are born. 

2)  Created grace:  the Latin understanding of grace is typically understood by the Orthodox as the bestowal of a created gift, i.e., created grace.  The Orthodox "misunderstanding" in fact reflects an imbalance in Latin reflection that in fact once existed.  For years Catholic theologians ignored the uncreated dimension of grace.  But this is no longer the case today, thanks to the important contributions of Henri de Lubac, Karl Rahner, and Piet Fransen. 

3)  Theosis:  because the Orthodox believe that Catholics believe the grace is solely a created phenomenon, they infer that Catholics cannot make room in their theology and spiritual life for supernatural participation in the divine life of the Trinity.  But this is most certainly not the case if one reads the the poetry and reflections of the great mystics of the Latin Church.  Latin theology is not restricted to the manuals.  It may be more difficult for Catholics to speak of theosis, given the absence within Latin theology of the essence/energies distinction; but the notion of divinization is certainly present.

4)  Purgatory:   in the past the purgatorial state was often presented by Catholics, especially at a popular level, as punishment imposed by the just God for the temporal consequences of sin.  But the juridical model of purgatory has been replaced by a therapeutic-purification model, thus bringing the Latin understanding of purgatory in line with the Eastern understanding of post-mortem purification.  See Pope Benedict's encyclical Spe salvi


   
Misunderstood, Father, or the Vatican has changed its position?

When one bothers to read the spiritual leaders of the Church, the saints and doctors, it is clear that what is taught today is the ancient teaching of the Catholic Church.  Most people, particularly Orthodox believers do not bother with much of anything post-schism.  So it is clear to me why you and others simply take this position and hold it.  It's wrong but you'll never admit to it.

M.

If so, wouldn't that mean that Leo III had papal infallability when he declared that the filoque in error?

What is your understanding of papal infallibility?
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« Reply #51 on: March 20, 2012, 02:57:24 PM »

Which teachings of the Catholic Church do the Orthodox often misunderstand?  The following immediately come to mind:

1) Original Sin:  the Latin understanding of original sin is typically understood by the Orthodox as "original guilt," the idea being that God punishes us because of the sin of Adam.  But this is not the way original sin is presented in the Catholic Catechism.  Contemporary Latin theologians instead think of original sin as the privation of sanctifying grace, a condition into which all human beings are born. 

2)  Created grace:  the Latin understanding of grace is typically understood by the Orthodox as the bestowal of a created gift, i.e., created grace.  The Orthodox "misunderstanding" in fact reflects an imbalance in Latin reflection that in fact once existed.  For years Catholic theologians ignored the uncreated dimension of grace.  But this is no longer the case today, thanks to the important contributions of Henri de Lubac, Karl Rahner, and Piet Fransen. 

3)  Theosis:  because the Orthodox believe that Catholics believe the grace is solely a created phenomenon, they infer that Catholics cannot make room in their theology and spiritual life for supernatural participation in the divine life of the Trinity.  But this is most certainly not the case if one reads the the poetry and reflections of the great mystics of the Latin Church.  Latin theology is not restricted to the manuals.  It may be more difficult for Catholics to speak of theosis, given the absence within Latin theology of the essence/energies distinction; but the notion of divinization is certainly present.

4)  Purgatory:   in the past the purgatorial state was often presented by Catholics, especially at a popular level, as punishment imposed by the just God for the temporal consequences of sin.  But the juridical model of purgatory has been replaced by a therapeutic-purification model, thus bringing the Latin understanding of purgatory in line with the Eastern understanding of post-mortem purification.  See Pope Benedict's encyclical Spe salvi


   
Misunderstood, Father, or the Vatican has changed its position?

When one bothers to read the spiritual leaders of the Church, the saints and doctors, it is clear that what is taught today is the ancient teaching of the Catholic Church.  Most people, particularly Orthodox believers do not bother with much of anything post-schism.  So it is clear to me why you and others simply take this position and hold it.  It's wrong but you'll never admit to it.

M.

Oh, please. Your own church acknowledges 'development of doctrine'. One can argue that such development has always been around (the pro-RC position) or that Rome had to invent it to justify the changes they had already introduced (the anti-RC position) but either way it's an explicit acknowledgment of what every legitimate RC scholar admits: the RC teaches things today that were unknown to the ancient teaching of the Church. Sometimes the motion of change is parabolic (i.e., the introduction of the filioque its growth up to Florence's 'single spiration' and then more recent attempts to move back towards the Orthodox position by somehow distinguishing the procession from the Father as 'Arche' from the procession from the Son), sometimes it's one way (the invention of new privileges and powers for the bishop of Rome), but either way has occurred and only those RC's who don't read anything pre-V2 can even pretend otherwise.
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« Reply #52 on: March 20, 2012, 03:47:22 PM »

Which teachings of the Catholic Church do the Orthodox often misunderstand?  The following immediately come to mind:

1) Original Sin:  the Latin understanding of original sin is typically understood by the Orthodox as "original guilt," the idea being that God punishes us because of the sin of Adam.  But this is not the way original sin is presented in the Catholic Catechism.  Contemporary Latin theologians instead think of original sin as the privation of sanctifying grace, a condition into which all human beings are born. 

2)  Created grace:  the Latin understanding of grace is typically understood by the Orthodox as the bestowal of a created gift, i.e., created grace.  The Orthodox "misunderstanding" in fact reflects an imbalance in Latin reflection that in fact once existed.  For years Catholic theologians ignored the uncreated dimension of grace.  But this is no longer the case today, thanks to the important contributions of Henri de Lubac, Karl Rahner, and Piet Fransen. 

3)  Theosis:  because the Orthodox believe that Catholics believe the grace is solely a created phenomenon, they infer that Catholics cannot make room in their theology and spiritual life for supernatural participation in the divine life of the Trinity.  But this is most certainly not the case if one reads the the poetry and reflections of the great mystics of the Latin Church.  Latin theology is not restricted to the manuals.  It may be more difficult for Catholics to speak of theosis, given the absence within Latin theology of the essence/energies distinction; but the notion of divinization is certainly present.

4)  Purgatory:   in the past the purgatorial state was often presented by Catholics, especially at a popular level, as punishment imposed by the just God for the temporal consequences of sin.  But the juridical model of purgatory has been replaced by a therapeutic-purification model, thus bringing the Latin understanding of purgatory in line with the Eastern understanding of post-mortem purification.  See Pope Benedict's encyclical Spe salvi


   
Misunderstood, Father, or the Vatican has changed its position?

When one bothers to read the spiritual leaders of the Church, the saints and doctors, it is clear that what is taught today is the ancient teaching of the Catholic Church.  Most people, particularly Orthodox believers do not bother with much of anything post-schism.  So it is clear to me why you and others simply take this position and hold it.  It's wrong but you'll never admit to it.

M.

If so, wouldn't that mean that Leo III had papal infallability when he declared that the filoque in error?
In order for us to properly analyze your argument, you are going to have to be much more specific. Can you provide a relevent passage, along with link to the document to which you are refering?
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« Reply #53 on: March 20, 2012, 04:45:09 PM »

Misunderstood, Father, or the Vatican has changed its position?

That, of course, is a separate question and a difficult question to answer, particularly given the Catholic understanding of the development of doctrine and the different levels of authoritative teaching.  In any case, the OP asked about which Catholic teachings are often misunderstood by the Orthodox.  Charity and fairness requires us to deal with Catholic teaching as it is presented today, not a hundred years ago.  And Catholics need to extend the same courtesy to we Orthodox.   We rightly protest when Catholics or Protestants seek to bind Orthodox teaching to the doctrinal formulations of, say, the 1662 Council of Jerusalem.     
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« Reply #54 on: March 20, 2012, 04:47:53 PM »

But that is not what Unam Sanctum says. It is a very definitive statement.

Quote
Furthermore we declare, state, define, and pronounce that it is altogether necessary to salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman pontiff
It does not get any more cut and dry than that.

There is zero wiggle room in this statement. Softening this up changes the teaching.

PP

The Orthodox are SO good at identifying political statements...the Union of Florence for example...but when confronted by political statements NOT of their liking...well...they fade.

M.
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« Reply #55 on: March 20, 2012, 04:49:30 PM »

Which teachings of the Catholic Church do the Orthodox often misunderstand?  The following immediately come to mind:

1) Original Sin:  the Latin understanding of original sin is typically understood by the Orthodox as "original guilt," the idea being that God punishes us because of the sin of Adam.  But this is not the way original sin is presented in the Catholic Catechism.  Contemporary Latin theologians instead think of original sin as the privation of sanctifying grace, a condition into which all human beings are born. 

2)  Created grace:  the Latin understanding of grace is typically understood by the Orthodox as the bestowal of a created gift, i.e., created grace.  The Orthodox "misunderstanding" in fact reflects an imbalance in Latin reflection that in fact once existed.  For years Catholic theologians ignored the uncreated dimension of grace.  But this is no longer the case today, thanks to the important contributions of Henri de Lubac, Karl Rahner, and Piet Fransen. 

3)  Theosis:  because the Orthodox believe that Catholics believe the grace is solely a created phenomenon, they infer that Catholics cannot make room in their theology and spiritual life for supernatural participation in the divine life of the Trinity.  But this is most certainly not the case if one reads the the poetry and reflections of the great mystics of the Latin Church.  Latin theology is not restricted to the manuals.  It may be more difficult for Catholics to speak of theosis, given the absence within Latin theology of the essence/energies distinction; but the notion of divinization is certainly present.

4)  Purgatory:   in the past the purgatorial state was often presented by Catholics, especially at a popular level, as punishment imposed by the just God for the temporal consequences of sin.  But the juridical model of purgatory has been replaced by a therapeutic-purification model, thus bringing the Latin understanding of purgatory in line with the Eastern understanding of post-mortem purification.  See Pope Benedict's encyclical Spe salvi


   
Misunderstood, Father, or the Vatican has changed its position?

When one bothers to read the spiritual leaders of the Church, the saints and doctors, it is clear that what is taught today is the ancient teaching of the Catholic Church.  Most people, particularly Orthodox believers do not bother with much of anything post-schism.  So it is clear to me why you and others simply take this position and hold it.  It's wrong but you'll never admit to it.

M.

Oh, please. Your own church acknowledges 'development of doctrine'.


Oh please.  If you really were honest you'd look at my Church's understanding of what that means and not try to impose your own definition.
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« Reply #56 on: March 20, 2012, 04:55:57 PM »



4)  Purgatory:   in the past the purgatorial state was often presented by Catholics, especially at a popular level, as punishment imposed by the just God for the temporal consequences of sin.  But the juridical model of purgatory has been replaced by a therapeutic-purification model, thus bringing the Latin understanding of purgatory in line with the Eastern understanding of post-mortem purification.  See Pope Benedict's encyclical Spe salvi

   

Any in depth reading of the spiritual masters in the Church...pre- and post-schism...will make it perfectly clear that the "fear" tactics found in some places concerning the particular judgment were limited and did NOT make their way into the formal religious and spiritual or doctrinal life of the Church.  It really isn't all that difficult to make out.  I am not criticizing you alone but you, personally, continue to make this kind of statement about this particular point and it is not at all valid.  I wonder why you persist.

M.
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« Reply #57 on: March 20, 2012, 11:57:19 PM »

But that is not what Unam Sanctum says. It is a very definitive statement.

Quote
Furthermore we declare, state, define, and pronounce that it is altogether necessary to salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman pontiff
It does not get any more cut and dry than that.

There is zero wiggle room in this statement. Softening this up changes the teaching.

PP

The Orthodox are SO good at identifying political statements...the Union of Florence for example...but when confronted by political statements NOT of their liking...well...they fade.

M.

I can only speak for myself, but my problem with the Unam Sanctam bull is that such a statement could potentially have been made with the charism of infallibility, so long as the Pope was acting as the supreme pastor of the Church (unless we are willing to engage in sophistry and say that such a statement does not in fact define that a dogma is to be held by the whole church). Of course this brings up a bigger problem for me, and that is that the decree of Vatican I seems rather vague, to the point where nobody seems to be sure of what it means.
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« Reply #58 on: March 21, 2012, 12:10:23 AM »

Oh please.  If you really were honest you'd look at my Church's understanding of what that means and not try to impose your own definition.

You should try that.
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« Reply #59 on: March 21, 2012, 09:49:52 AM »

But that is not what Unam Sanctum says. It is a very definitive statement.

Quote
Furthermore we declare, state, define, and pronounce that it is altogether necessary to salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman pontiff
It does not get any more cut and dry than that.

There is zero wiggle room in this statement. Softening this up changes the teaching.

PP

The Orthodox are SO good at identifying political statements...the Union of Florence for example...but when confronted by political statements NOT of their liking...well...they fade.

M.
Oh, so this is a political statement...well, Im sure there are quite a few that did not understnad that, especially since salvation was involved. Gimme a break. The fact is, this is an extraoridinary statement. I still state there is no wiggle room in this. However the Church is really backing away from it in modern days. I have given you 2 examples of the Church changing its teachings. Belittling what I, or Orthodox say wont change that M.

PP
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« Reply #60 on: March 21, 2012, 09:58:43 AM »

There would be no wiggle room in this if we didn't believe in interprating magesterial documents in light of past teaching.
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« Reply #61 on: March 21, 2012, 10:10:27 AM »

From my point of view, this discussion may be summarized by restating the hypothesis, which ought to be that both the Orthodox and Romans have fundamental misunderstandings regarding many, if not most, of the 'differences' which keep us apart. These are often based upon language, history and intellectual prejudice.

HOWEVER, the proverbial elephant in the room, is the Roman church's teachings regarding the institution of the Papacy and its role in the scheme of salvation and church administration.(This was made patently clear by the actions of Vatican I to which I can only note that they cast the die, so to speak.) The Orthodox fully understand the errors of Rome in this regard and unless a fundamental ground shift were to occur within the Roman Catholic church on this matter, I suspect that things will remain as they are for many more centuries - unless God wills it to change.

To me this does not mean that we ought to stop 'talking' to each other or that we ought not to treat each other with greater respect and understanding - at least as to those matters upon which we agree. But the restoration of Communion will remain an elusive goal given Rome's long-standing definition of the Papacy.
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« Reply #62 on: March 21, 2012, 11:20:47 AM »

But that is not what Unam Sanctum says. It is a very definitive statement.

Quote
Furthermore we declare, state, define, and pronounce that it is altogether necessary to salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman pontiff
It does not get any more cut and dry than that.

There is zero wiggle room in this statement. Softening this up changes the teaching.

PP

The Orthodox are SO good at identifying political statements...the Union of Florence for example...but when confronted by political statements NOT of their liking...well...they fade.

M.

I can only speak for myself, but my problem with the Unam Sanctam bull is that such a statement could potentially have been made with the charism of infallibility, so long as the Pope was acting as the supreme pastor of the Church (unless we are willing to engage in sophistry and say that such a statement does not in fact define that a dogma is to be held by the whole church). Of course this brings up a bigger problem for me, and that is that the decree of Vatican I seems rather vague, to the point where nobody seems to be sure of what it means.

I think that we have a better idea of what it means than we do of how it is to "work"...I have often said that the apostolic constitution can be read as a limiting document against the excesses and venal temptations that come with living the life in Christ in the world being endowed with power and authority.  It surely can be read that way and the ultramontanists of the day feared indeed that it would be read that way.  So far it has exceeded their fears, with John Paul II asking the eastern patriarchs to offer suggestions as to how it should work.

The message, as far as I am concerned, is that every primatial level has power and authority, but the popes and patriarchs have the ultimate levels of responsibility and care and must be the most humble of all or they will miss the whispering of the Holy Spirit.  Of course the Holy Spirit can act as He wills so I know my musings, on that score, are merely anthropomorphisms.  It is so easy to pop over the edge of Donatism.  However it does require heroic doses of humility to lead a Church.  Herding bishops is like herding cats...at least it looks that way from here.

And the Church has already indicated quite clearly that Unam Sanctam is not to be taken on the face of it.  So that problem is solved.

I find it amusing. When the Church explains her teachings in Orthodoxy it is called Wisdom, Catechesis, Evangelizing, Teaching, Theology...But when the Catholic Church does it, it is called Sophistry.

You all need to fix that for humility's sake... Wink

M

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« Reply #63 on: March 21, 2012, 11:42:57 AM »

Quote
I find it amusing. When the Church explains her teachings in Orthodoxy it is called Wisdom, Catechesis, Evangelizing, Teaching, Theology...But when the Catholic Church does it, it is called Sophistry
Well on a practical level, I doubt many Orthodox would listen if its teachings were called silliness, proseletyzation, stupidity, etc. Secondly, I think that both sides are to blame when attacking the other. There's enough blame to go around.

PP
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« Reply #64 on: March 21, 2012, 11:53:50 AM »

I dunno... I don't really have a dog in this fight, but it certainly seems to me that the RCC has nuanced its position over time from Unam Sanctum and other writings such as:

Quote
Pope Eugene IV, Cantate Domino (1441): "The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the "eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:41), unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church."

I understand the argument that those who are saved that aren't a part of the visible Body were saved through the Body- but I just really don't think that's what was meant in statements like the above or Unam Sanctum.  Undecided

I could be wrong, and it wouldn't be the first time. I hope I haven't offended anyone, just saying how it seems to me.
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« Reply #65 on: March 21, 2012, 12:19:22 PM »

I dunno... I don't really have a dog in this fight, but it certainly seems to me that the RCC has nuanced its position over time from Unam Sanctum and other writings such as:

Quote
Pope Eugene IV, Cantate Domino (1441): "The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the "eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:41), unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church."

I understand the argument that those who are saved that aren't a part of the visible Body were saved through the Body- but I just really don't think that's what was meant in statements like the above or Unam Sanctum.  Undecided

I could be wrong, and it wouldn't be the first time. I hope I haven't offended anyone, just saying how it seems to me.

Welcome to the fray, ZealousZeal!   laugh

I have two questions for you, if you don't mind:
1)  I see you are "torn between Rome and Byzantium"--is the Byzantium you refer to the Byzantium of the Eastern Catholic Church or the Byzantium of Orthodoxy?  Don't worry, it's not a trick question or a trap or anything like that--just me being curious is all  Wink.

2)  Are you familiar with the position of the Orthodox Church regarding salvation outside the Church?
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« Reply #66 on: March 21, 2012, 12:27:20 PM »

Hello!

1. The Byzantium of Orthodoxy. Wink

2. I am, but I am unaware of any Orthodox doctrines making it necessary for salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Ecumenical Patriarch. Wink Accepting apostolic Christianity (former Protestant) means accepting The Church, the ark of salvation, submission to my bishop... I know this. I don't even have an issue with the RCC's position expressed today about salvation for those outside the Church. What compelled me to leave the safety of lurkdom is that I don't think its understanding today is necessarily the same as expressed in the already- quoted passages. I'm not saying that it's bad or good, just that I feel that it is, indeed, different.

Blessings!
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« Reply #67 on: March 21, 2012, 12:37:30 PM »

Hello!

1. The Byzantium of Orthodoxy. Wink

2. I am, but I am unaware of any Orthodox doctrines making it necessary for salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Ecumenical Patriarch. Wink Accepting apostolic Christianity (former Protestant) means accepting The Church, the ark of salvation, submission to my bishop... I know this. I don't even have an issue with the RCC's position expressed today about salvation for those outside the Church. What compelled me to leave the safety of lurkdom is that I don't think its understanding today is necessarily the same as expressed in the already- quoted passages. I'm not saying that it's bad or good, just that I feel that it is, indeed, different.

Blessings!

How much Catholic history have you read? Also how deeply have you read in the saints and doctors of the Church and the spiritual masters both pre and post-schism? 

M.
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« Reply #68 on: March 21, 2012, 12:52:18 PM »

Hello!

1. The Byzantium of Orthodoxy. Wink

2. I am, but I am unaware of any Orthodox doctrines making it necessary for salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Ecumenical Patriarch. Wink Accepting apostolic Christianity (former Protestant) means accepting The Church, the ark of salvation, submission to my bishop... I know this. I don't even have an issue with the RCC's position expressed today about salvation for those outside the Church. What compelled me to leave the safety of lurkdom is that I don't think its understanding today is necessarily the same as expressed in the already- quoted passages. I'm not saying that it's bad or good, just that I feel that it is, indeed, different.

Blessings!

Okeedokee!  Thanks!

In response to your answer of question 2, I'd only say (at the risk of "stepping in it" and getting in over my head--I'm good at that  laugh), I'd tend to agree with you that the understanding of Unam Sanctam may be somewhat different, especially if we take into account the political, cultural, and theological contexts from which it arose.  Unfortunately, some Orthodox find this unacceptable and say that the Catholic Church dismisses this by invoking "development of doctrine" (which is seen negatively by Orthodoxy, as far as I can tell), not always understanding what *that* means (not that I pretend to fully understand everything my Church teaches, either Wink).  I wonder how many Orthodox understand all post-schism Orthodox documents (well, pre-schism too, for that matter) in exactly the same manner as they were understood at the time of writing?  It's only a question--I don't have examples in mind.
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« Reply #69 on: March 21, 2012, 12:52:57 PM »

Hello!

1. The Byzantium of Orthodoxy. Wink

2. I am, but I am unaware of any Orthodox doctrines making it necessary for salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Ecumenical Patriarch. Wink Accepting apostolic Christianity (former Protestant) means accepting The Church, the ark of salvation, submission to my bishop... I know this. I don't even have an issue with the RCC's position expressed today about salvation for those outside the Church. What compelled me to leave the safety of lurkdom is that I don't think its understanding today is necessarily the same as expressed in the already- quoted passages. I'm not saying that it's bad or good, just that I feel that it is, indeed, different.

Blessings!

How much Catholic history have you read? Also how deeply have you read in the saints and doctors of the Church and the spiritual masters both pre and post-schism? 

M.

Well, I've read the 7 Ecumenical Councils and the Didache, and am currently working my way through the ante-Nicene Fathers (which is a lot of reading!). I've read numerous books by apologists such as David Currie, Steve Ray, Scott Hahn, Karl Keeting, as well as more historical works such as Rome and the Eastern Churches by Aidan Nichols. I only just started The Orthodox Church by Metropolitan Kallistos Ware (who I am a huge fan of). This is hard to answer, because it's been over a year of study and reading for me at this point... Lots and lots of reading that I've lost track of. Lots of listening too... I really enjoy listening to the podcasts of the Orientale Lumen conferences (which reminds me of Archimandrite Robert Taft, another that I am a fan of).

Anyway, sorry to ramble. I guess in sum, I've read a lot, but not enough. The more I read and study, the more I realize with painful clarity how little I actually know.

I'm always open to recommendations though, if you have any you'd like to suggest. Smiley
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« Reply #70 on: March 21, 2012, 12:55:19 PM »

Hello!

1. The Byzantium of Orthodoxy. Wink

2. I am, but I am unaware of any Orthodox doctrines making it necessary for salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Ecumenical Patriarch. Wink Accepting apostolic Christianity (former Protestant) means accepting The Church, the ark of salvation, submission to my bishop... I know this. I don't even have an issue with the RCC's position expressed today about salvation for those outside the Church. What compelled me to leave the safety of lurkdom is that I don't think its understanding today is necessarily the same as expressed in the already- quoted passages. I'm not saying that it's bad or good, just that I feel that it is, indeed, different.

Blessings!

Okeedokee!  Thanks!

In response to your answer of question 2, I'd only say (at the risk of "stepping in it" and getting in over my head--I'm good at that  laugh), I'd tend to agree with you that the understanding of Unam Sanctam may be somewhat different, especially if we take into account the political, cultural, and theological contexts from which it arose.  Unfortunately, some Orthodox find this unacceptable and say that the Catholic Church dismisses this by invoking "development of doctrine" (which is seen negatively by Orthodoxy, as far as I can tell), not always understanding what *that* means (not that I pretend to fully understand everything my Church teaches, either Wink).  I wonder how many Orthodox understand all post-schism Orthodox documents (well, pre-schism too, for that matter) in exactly the same manner as they were understood at the time of writing?  It's only a question--I don't have examples in mind.

Interesting question. One I'm I'll-equipped to answer, I'm afraid, but perhaps someone with more knowledge would know.
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« Reply #71 on: March 21, 2012, 01:04:23 PM »

Hello!

1. The Byzantium of Orthodoxy. Wink

2. I am, but I am unaware of any Orthodox doctrines making it necessary for salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Ecumenical Patriarch. Wink Accepting apostolic Christianity (former Protestant) means accepting The Church, the ark of salvation, submission to my bishop... I know this. I don't even have an issue with the RCC's position expressed today about salvation for those outside the Church. What compelled me to leave the safety of lurkdom is that I don't think its understanding today is necessarily the same as expressed in the already- quoted passages. I'm not saying that it's bad or good, just that I feel that it is, indeed, different.

Blessings!

How much Catholic history have you read? Also how deeply have you read in the saints and doctors of the Church and the spiritual masters both pre and post-schism? 

M.

Well, I've read the 7 Ecumenical Councils and the Didache, and am currently working my way through the ante-Nicene Fathers (which is a lot of reading!). I've read numerous books by apologists such as David Currie, Steve Ray, Scott Hahn, Karl Keeting, as well as more historical works such as Rome and the Eastern Churches by Aidan Nichols. I only just started The Orthodox Church by Metropolitan Kallistos Ware (who I am a huge fan of). This is hard to answer, because it's been over a year of study and reading for me at this point... Lots and lots of reading that I've lost track of. Lots of listening too... I really enjoy listening to the podcasts of the Orientale Lumen conferences (which reminds me of Archimandrite Robert Taft, another that I am a fan of).

Anyway, sorry to ramble. I guess in sum, I've read a lot, but not enough. The more I read and study, the more I realize with painful clarity how little I actually know.

I'm always open to recommendations though, if you have any you'd like to suggest. Smiley

No recommendations at the moment.  But there's not much in your reading stable at the moment that would help you to put the document in question into context: neither political nor spiritual.

The fact of the matter is that there's a very specific political context for that document and the spiritual context, or the writings of the saints and doctors of the Church, would instruct you in much the same language and meaning that you would find today in the Catechism of the Catholic Church with regard to many things including the four last things and salvation.

So I think your estimations are pretty standard for people who are guessing based upon their own logic and not the life of the Church.

With respect to all the world needing to submit to the teachings of the Pope, meaning the teachings of the Catholic Church and the jurisdiction of the Church:  that is hardly a reach for people who believe that all who are and will be saved have and will be saved through the Body of Christ.

Orthodoxy may not say it quite so bluntly however the teaching is implicit in all that she does say.

M.

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« Reply #72 on: March 21, 2012, 01:11:27 PM »

Hello!

1. The Byzantium of Orthodoxy. Wink

2. I am, but I am unaware of any Orthodox doctrines making it necessary for salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Ecumenical Patriarch. Wink Accepting apostolic Christianity (former Protestant) means accepting The Church, the ark of salvation, submission to my bishop... I know this. I don't even have an issue with the RCC's position expressed today about salvation for those outside the Church. What compelled me to leave the safety of lurkdom is that I don't think its understanding today is necessarily the same as expressed in the already- quoted passages. I'm not saying that it's bad or good, just that I feel that it is, indeed, different.

Blessings!

How much Catholic history have you read? Also how deeply have you read in the saints and doctors of the Church and the spiritual masters both pre and post-schism? 

M.

Well, I've read the 7 Ecumenical Councils and the Didache, and am currently working my way through the ante-Nicene Fathers (which is a lot of reading!). I've read numerous books by apologists such as David Currie, Steve Ray, Scott Hahn, Karl Keeting, as well as more historical works such as Rome and the Eastern Churches by Aidan Nichols. I only just started The Orthodox Church by Metropolitan Kallistos Ware (who I am a huge fan of). This is hard to answer, because it's been over a year of study and reading for me at this point... Lots and lots of reading that I've lost track of. Lots of listening too... I really enjoy listening to the podcasts of the Orientale Lumen conferences (which reminds me of Archimandrite Robert Taft, another that I am a fan of).

Anyway, sorry to ramble. I guess in sum, I've read a lot, but not enough. The more I read and study, the more I realize with painful clarity how little I actually know.

I'm always open to recommendations though, if you have any you'd like to suggest. Smiley

No recommendations at the moment.  But there's not much in your reading stable at the moment that would help you to put the document in question into context: neither political nor spiritual.

The fact of the matter is that there's a very specific political context for that document and the spiritual context, or the writings of the saints and doctors of the Church, would instruct you in much the same language and meaning that you would find today in the Catechism of the Catholic Church with regard to many things including the four last things and salvation.

So I think your estimations are pretty standard for people who are guessing based upon their own logic and not the life of the Church.

With respect to all the world needing to submit to the teachings of the Pope, meaning the teachings of the Catholic Church and the jurisdiction of the Church:  that is hardly a reach for people who believe that all who are and will be saved have and will be saved through the Body of Christ.

Orthodoxy may not say it quite so bluntly however the teaching is implicit in all that she does say.

M.



Well, as I said, I could be wrong. It wouldn't be the first time and it won't be the last. Perhaps my assessment is way off, I obviously have a lot to learn. Probably the only thing going for me at this point is my awareness of my idiocy- and even then probably not to its full extent.  Grin
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« Reply #73 on: March 21, 2012, 01:17:30 PM »



Well, as I said, I could be wrong. It wouldn't be the first time and it won't be the last. Perhaps my assessment is way off, I obviously have a lot to learn. Probably the only thing going for me at this point is my awareness of my idiocy- and even then probably not to its full extent.  Grin

You're in good company!  Wink  But don't be too self-effacing or it will turn on you and become false pride.  

We all begin somewhere and not everyone begins with a conversion of the intellect.  Most of us begin with a conversion of the heart.  No matter what Church you choose, you will have to trust that you are learning the truth.  I would not suggest that Orthodoxy knows the truth about Catholic teaching, for example, but I would hesitate to say that she cannot teach you the truth of Orthodoxy.  I expect you could say the same in the other direction.  

Mary
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« Reply #74 on: March 21, 2012, 01:18:47 PM »

Hello!

1. The Byzantium of Orthodoxy. Wink

2. I am, but I am unaware of any Orthodox doctrines making it necessary for salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Ecumenical Patriarch. Wink Accepting apostolic Christianity (former Protestant) means accepting The Church, the ark of salvation, submission to my bishop... I know this. I don't even have an issue with the RCC's position expressed today about salvation for those outside the Church. What compelled me to leave the safety of lurkdom is that I don't think its understanding today is necessarily the same as expressed in the already- quoted passages. I'm not saying that it's bad or good, just that I feel that it is, indeed, different.

Blessings!

How much Catholic history have you read? Also how deeply have you read in the saints and doctors of the Church and the spiritual masters both pre and post-schism? 

M.

Well, I've read the 7 Ecumenical Councils and the Didache, and am currently working my way through the ante-Nicene Fathers (which is a lot of reading!). I've read numerous books by apologists such as David Currie, Steve Ray, Scott Hahn, Karl Keeting, as well as more historical works such as Rome and the Eastern Churches by Aidan Nichols. I only just started The Orthodox Church by Metropolitan Kallistos Ware (who I am a huge fan of). This is hard to answer, because it's been over a year of study and reading for me at this point... Lots and lots of reading that I've lost track of. Lots of listening too... I really enjoy listening to the podcasts of the Orientale Lumen conferences (which reminds me of Archimandrite Robert Taft, another that I am a fan of).

Anyway, sorry to ramble. I guess in sum, I've read a lot, but not enough. The more I read and study, the more I realize with painful clarity how little I actually know.

I'm always open to recommendations though, if you have any you'd like to suggest. Smiley

No recommendations at the moment.  But there's not much in your reading stable at the moment that would help you to put the document in question into context: neither political nor spiritual.

The fact of the matter is that there's a very specific political context for that document and the spiritual context, or the writings of the saints and doctors of the Church, would instruct you in much the same language and meaning that you would find today in the Catechism of the Catholic Church with regard to many things including the four last things and salvation.

So I think your estimations are pretty standard for people who are guessing based upon their own logic and not the life of the Church.

With respect to all the world needing to submit to the teachings of the Pope, meaning the teachings of the Catholic Church and the jurisdiction of the Church:  that is hardly a reach for people who believe that all who are and will be saved have and will be saved through the Body of Christ.

Orthodoxy may not say it quite so bluntly however the teaching is implicit in all that she does say.

M.



Well, as I said, I could be wrong. It wouldn't be the first time and it won't be the last. Perhaps my assessment is way off, I obviously have a lot to learn. Probably the only thing going for me at this point is my awareness of my idiocy- and even then probably not to its full extent.  Grin

Hey, don't feel bad--my own "idiocy" constantly unfolds before me like a never-ending Niagara Falls  laugh laugh.  Just read some of my posts here!
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« Reply #75 on: March 21, 2012, 01:28:50 PM »

Thank you both for the discussion and the welcome.

I don't feel bad, J Michael, just aware. I don't say that to be falsely modest either... A year and a half and still here I am in Limbo (if you'll pardon the term). Actually, one of the things that made me realize the necessity of Sacred Tradition was that Protestantism requires one to have a near encyclopedic knowledge of Scripture (not a bad thing, I guess) in order to interpret it. Widespread literacy being a relatively new phenomenon, it made me see that as a system, Protestantism could not be God's way.

However, now I must have a near encyclopedic knowledge of 2000 years of Church history and doctrine in order to make a decision on which Church to choose. There are certainly wiser, more well-learned, holier people than me on both sides of the argument. Where does that leave me? What if I choose wrong? Does God have a mercy clause for us post-schism converts? Which, I think, brings us full circle back to Unam Sanctum.  Wink
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« Reply #76 on: March 21, 2012, 01:36:06 PM »

Hello!

1. The Byzantium of Orthodoxy. Wink

2. I am, but I am unaware of any Orthodox doctrines making it necessary for salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Ecumenical Patriarch. Wink Accepting apostolic Christianity (former Protestant) means accepting The Church, the ark of salvation, submission to my bishop... I know this. I don't even have an issue with the RCC's position expressed today about salvation for those outside the Church. What compelled me to leave the safety of lurkdom is that I don't think its understanding today is necessarily the same as expressed in the already- quoted passages. I'm not saying that it's bad or good, just that I feel that it is, indeed, different.

Blessings!

How much Catholic history have you read? Also how deeply have you read in the saints and doctors of the Church and the spiritual masters both pre and post-schism?  

M.

Well, I've read the 7 Ecumenical Councils and the Didache, and am currently working my way through the ante-Nicene Fathers (which is a lot of reading!). I've read numerous books by apologists such as David Currie, Steve Ray, Scott Hahn, Karl Keeting, as well as more historical works such as Rome and the Eastern Churches by Aidan Nichols. I only just started The Orthodox Church by Metropolitan Kallistos Ware (who I am a huge fan of). This is hard to answer, because it's been over a year of study and reading for me at this point... Lots and lots of reading that I've lost track of. Lots of listening too... I really enjoy listening to the podcasts of the Orientale Lumen conferences (which reminds me of Archimandrite Robert Taft, another that I am a fan of).

Anyway, sorry to ramble. I guess in sum, I've read a lot, but not enough. The more I read and study, the more I realize with painful clarity how little I actually know.

I'm always open to recommendations though, if you have any you'd like to suggest. Smiley

No recommendations at the moment.  But there's not much in your reading stable at the moment that would help you to put the document in question into context: neither political nor spiritual.

The fact of the matter is that there's a very specific political context for that document and the spiritual context, or the writings of the saints and doctors of the Church, would instruct you in much the same language and meaning that you would find today in the Catechism of the Catholic Church with regard to many things including the four last things and salvation.

So I think your estimations are pretty standard for people who are guessing based upon their own logic and not the life of the Church.

With respect to all the world needing to submit to the teachings of the Pope, meaning the teachings of the Catholic Church and the jurisdiction of the Church:  that is hardly a reach for people who believe that all who are and will be saved have and will be saved through the Body of Christ.

Orthodoxy may not say it quite so bluntly however the teaching is implicit in all that she does say.

M.



I should mention that it is good to have you back!

I agree that the 'debate' between 'development of doctrine' and the Orthodox 'rejection' of this concept is often overblown and results from - mutual misunderstandings. I also agree that the time, place and manner of statements is relevant to coming to understand their continuing vitality centuries later - or their lack thereof.

I also agree that the need to submit to the teachings of the Church and her jurisdiction is a concept not foreign to Orthodox thinking and that Unam Sanctum needs to be addressed and studied within the context of the times in which it was promulgated. ( I doubt that any but the most frenzied anti-papists believe that temporal, secular power is the current goal of Pope Benedict!)  HOWEVER...Pastor Aeternus (http://www.fisheaters.com/pastoraeternus.html) is far closer to us and to lives actually in being than any of the ancient, patristic or medieval musings on the subject of the Papacy. Written as it were in the 1870 it's language is modern and its meaning is clear and concise - even to the non-theologian or canon lawyer.

At the risk of sounding somewhat 'snarky', if you were Orthodox, you COULD make the argument that while Pastor Aeternus was indeed agreed upon at what the western Church considers to be an Ecumenical Council it lacks the authority of accepted dogma and doctrine in that the majority of Catholic faithful across the planet fail to accept the concept of infallibility as defined. (The lay rejection of Humanae Vitae is but one example.) Other examples may be found in the lack of cohesion and adherence to various contemporary practices in the Church, especially post Vatican 2 by clergy and hierarchy alike. (The ordaining and assigning of married clergy in the United States and Canada by Eastern Catholic ordinaries comes to mind - clearly in violation of Ea Semper and Cum Data Fuerit - neither of which have ever expressly been countermanded by Rome.)The Vatican's mishandling of the clergy sexual abuse crisis is but another example of the obvious flaws inherent in such a centralized system of administration.

In other words, just as the Orthodox rejected Florence as a false council, you could argue that the promulgations of Vatican 1 regarding the institution and powers of the Papacy have failed to gain the approval of history and the entire corpus of the Church - thereby making them unworthy to be considered either as doctrine or dogma.

Of course Rome could not subscribe to such an analysis leaving us exactly where?
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« Reply #77 on: March 21, 2012, 01:37:32 PM »

Thank you both for the discussion and the welcome.

I don't feel bad, J Michael, just aware. I don't say that to be falsely modest either... A year and a half and still here I am in Limbo (if you'll pardon the term). Actually, one of the things that made me realize the necessity of Sacred Tradition was that Protestantism requires one to have a near encyclopedic knowledge of Scripture (not a bad thing, I guess) in order to interpret it. Widespread literacy being a relatively new phenomenon, it made me see that as a system, Protestantism could not be God's way.

However, now I must have a near encyclopedic knowledge of 2000 years of Church history and doctrine in order to make a decision on which Church to choose. There are certainly wiser, more well-learned, holier people than me on both sides of the argument. Where does that leave me? What if I choose wrong? Does God have a mercy clause for us post-schism converts? Which, I think, brings us full circle back to Unam Sanctum.  Wink

Only if you take counsel of your fears.  That is why I suggested reading some of the holy fathers and mothers of the Church rather than a document that was meant to send a message to the kings and princes of Europe.  What if you simply chose based upon your experience of liturgy and the spiritual life?  That is entirely possible...don't chose by rejection but by adoption and acceptance.
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« Reply #78 on: March 21, 2012, 01:40:52 PM »

Thank you both for the discussion and the welcome.

I don't feel bad, J Michael, just aware. I don't say that to be falsely modest either... A year and a half and still here I am in Limbo (if you'll pardon the term). Actually, one of the things that made me realize the necessity of Sacred Tradition was that Protestantism requires one to have a near encyclopedic knowledge of Scripture (not a bad thing, I guess) in order to interpret it. Widespread literacy being a relatively new phenomenon, it made me see that as a system, Protestantism could not be God's way.

However, now I must have a near encyclopedic knowledge of 2000 years of Church history and doctrine in order to make a decision on which Church to choose. There are certainly wiser, more well-learned, holier people than me on both sides of the argument. Where does that leave me? What if I choose wrong? Does God have a mercy clause for us post-schism converts? Which, I think, brings us full circle back to Unam Sanctum.  Wink

Only if you take counsel of your fears.  That is why I suggested reading some of the holy fathers and mothers of the Church rather than a document that was meant to send a message to the kings and princes of Europe.  What if you simply chose based upon your experience of liturgy and the spiritual life?  That is entirely possible...don't chose by rejection but by adoption and acceptance.

By the way, I absolutely agree with M that choosing not by 'knowledge' or 'rejection' or 'adoption' of any particular dogma, doctrine or theological methodology but rather by one's experience of Liturgy, the cycle of the Church and parish and by one's spiritual life is the route to follow in order to find peace in the fullness of faith. The other discussions are - for those of us not professionally invested in them - just fun in a way and part of our inherent intellectual curiosity. Over thinking though is a real danger!
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« Reply #79 on: March 21, 2012, 01:43:56 PM »

Any in depth reading of the spiritual masters in the Church...pre- and post-schism...will make it perfectly clear that the "fear" tactics found in some places concerning the particular judgment were limited and did NOT make their way into the formal religious and spiritual or doctrinal life of the Church.  It really isn't all that difficult to make out.  I am not criticizing you alone but you, personally, continue to make this kind of statement about this particular point and it is not at all valid.  I wonder why you persist.

Mary, I do not want to get into a debate with you, but I have to challenge you on this point.  You have made a grand generalization about the "spiritual masters in the Church," but you have not provided any evidence.  I do not want to discount the saints that you have in mind (St Catherine of Genoa?), but we are speaking here of what might be called mainstream Latin teaching.

I believe my central point stands.  The Latin tradition has popularly construed the purgatorial state as one of retributive punishment:  justice demands the punishment of transgression; if full satisfaction is not made in this life, it must be completed in the next.  This really isn't difficult to establish.  This is the whole point of "purgatorial fire," which was understood by most Latin writers quite literally (again easily established).  So whatever "spiritual masters" you have in mind, the fact remains that MANY Catholic bishops, theologians, and pastors, over a period of hundreds and hundreds of years, have taught a punitive model of purgatory and the expiatory remission of the temporal punishment of sin.  The whole notion of indulgences and the treasury of merit is predicated on the punitive model (see Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, p. 442). 

If you want to argue that this juridical/penal construal does not enjoy de fide authority or does not adequately express the full understanding of the Catholic Church, I will not object.  Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI appear to agree, as do most contemporary Catholic theologians.  But I don't see the point in pretending that the punitive model long dominated Catholic teaching (see, e.g., the article on purgatory in the Catholic Encyclopedia).  A development, or if you prefer, clarification, of doctrine has occurred on this topic within the Catholic Church.  The purgatorial remission of sin has simply become the healing of the sinner and his liberation from interior bondage and attachment to creaturely goods, not the infliction of deserved suffering but the sanctification and purification of the human being destined for glory.     
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« Reply #80 on: March 21, 2012, 01:45:59 PM »

Thank you both for the discussion and the welcome.

I don't feel bad, J Michael, just aware. I don't say that to be falsely modest either... A year and a half and still here I am in Limbo (if you'll pardon the term). Actually, one of the things that made me realize the necessity of Sacred Tradition was that Protestantism requires one to have a near encyclopedic knowledge of Scripture (not a bad thing, I guess) in order to interpret it. Widespread literacy being a relatively new phenomenon, it made me see that as a system, Protestantism could not be God's way.

However, now I must have a near encyclopedic knowledge of 2000 years of Church history and doctrine in order to make a decision on which Church to choose. There are certainly wiser, more well-learned, holier people than me on both sides of the argument. Where does that leave me? What if I choose wrong? Does God have a mercy clause for us post-schism converts? Which, I think, brings us full circle back to Unam Sanctum.  Wink

Only if you take counsel of your fears.  That is why I suggested reading some of the holy fathers and mothers of the Church rather than a document that was meant to send a message to the kings and princes of Europe.  What if you simply chose based upon your experience of liturgy and the spiritual life?  That is entirely possible...don't chose by rejection but by adoption and acceptance.

By the way, I absolutely agree with M that choosing not by 'knowledge' or 'rejection' or 'adoption' of any particular dogma, doctrine or theological methodology but rather by one's experience of Liturgy, the cycle of the Church and parish and by one's spiritual life is the route to follow in order to find peace in the fullness of faith. The other discussions are - for those of us not professionally invested in them - just fun in a way and part of our inherent intellectual curiosity. Over thinking though is a real danger!

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« Reply #81 on: March 21, 2012, 02:44:46 PM »

I recently got into a conversation with a fellow Catholic who says that Orthodox don't really reject Catholic teaching, but just don't understand them.

For example:

Quote from: Fone Bone 2001
Quote from: MariaGoretti88
Unless someone wants to explain to me why I (and all other Catholics here) would be refused the Sacraments if I refused to believe in the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin, but why our Orthodox brothers and sisters wouldn't be...

Because you're a Latin Catholic; if you deny it, we presume you know what you're talking about.

The Immaculate Conception was defined in an exclusively western way, so Christians of the Byzantine tradition often don't even understand it. I'm not saying it's only binding on the Latin Church - far from it! It is a universally binding dogma of the Catholic Church. But the terminology with which it was defined is meaningless in the East, which has a very different way of understanding original sin/ancestral sin.

As much as it infuriates some Orthodox... we simply don't believe them when they say they deny the Immaculate Conception. The sublime things they say about the Theotokos - even in their Divine Liturgy - simply belie that assertion.

Quote from: MariaGoretti88
Now do see the problem I'm having?

I do, and I agree with you in principle. It's just that you're mistaken about the Orthodox. The only error in their beliefs is the belief that we are heterodox (well, some of them have an inaccurate ecclesiology as well, but this is by no means universal throughout their church).

That, then, is or should be the only difference between an eastern Orthodox community and an eastern Catholic one: the latter realizes that the Latin Church is fully orthodox, and so they realize how insane it is not to be in communion with the bishop of Rome.

I know many of you here say that you know what you're talking about and do, in fact, disagree with Catholic teaching. But I'm not sure what to say to someone who thinks that you "just misunderstand". Any suggestions?
They/you define "Catholic" as being in communion with the bishop of Rome, whatever he says or does.  We say the bishop of Rome is Catholic only if he is in communion with the rest of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, and if he is not and not confessing the Faith of the Creed of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church it is insane (or rather, heretical, if you make the distinction) to be in communion with him.

We understand that quite well.

The IC, filioque etc. are not Latin defined dogmas, they are heretical dogmas.  The Latin Romanians have no problem defining Orthodoxy in Latin.  And they have no IC nor filioque.

They, and the rest of us Orthodox, reject them.  That does not obviate our understanding of them.  Indeed, we reject them because we understand them.
You must understand that when we say that to be Catholic is to be in communion with the Bishop of Rome, this is nothing more than a nomial definition. It is useful because if one accepts the entirety of the faith, one will be in communion with Rome, but it is not the essential definition of what it means to be a Catholic. To be a Catholic is to belong to One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, the bride of Christ, and the Universal Ark of Salvation. The use of the nominal definition, in communion with the Bishop of Rome, is only usded to distinguish Catholics from those other groups who also claim to be the Church of Christ. Most of us don't even think about the Pope from day to day. Our focus in our daily lives is on the Holy Trinity, and our communion with the Saints.
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« Reply #82 on: March 21, 2012, 02:46:54 PM »

Any in depth reading of the spiritual masters in the Church...pre- and post-schism...will make it perfectly clear that the "fear" tactics found in some places concerning the particular judgment were limited and did NOT make their way into the formal religious and spiritual or doctrinal life of the Church.  It really isn't all that difficult to make out.  I am not criticizing you alone but you, personally, continue to make this kind of statement about this particular point and it is not at all valid.  I wonder why you persist.

Mary, I do not want to get into a debate with you, but I have to challenge you on this point.  You have made a grand generalization about the "spiritual masters in the Church," but you have not provided any evidence.  I do not want to discount the saints that you have in mind (St Catherine of Genoa?), but we are speaking here of what might be called mainstream Latin teaching.

I believe my central point stands.  The Latin tradition has popularly construed the purgatorial state as one of retributive punishment:  justice demands the punishment of transgression; if full satisfaction is not made in this life, it must be completed in the next.  This really isn't difficult to establish.  This is the whole point of "purgatorial fire," which was understood by most Latin writers quite literally (again easily established).  So whatever "spiritual masters" you have in mind, the fact remains that MANY Catholic bishops, theologians, and pastors, over a period of hundreds and hundreds of years, have taught a punitive model of purgatory and the expiatory remission of the temporal punishment of sin.  The whole notion of indulgences and the treasury of merit is predicated on the punitive model (see Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, p. 442).  

If you want to argue that this juridical/penal construal does not enjoy de fide authority or does not adequately express the full understanding of the Catholic Church, I will not object.  Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI appear to agree, as do most contemporary Catholic theologians.  But I don't see the point in pretending that the punitive model long dominated Catholic teaching (see, e.g., the article on purgatory in the Catholic Encyclopedia).  A development, or if you prefer, clarification, of doctrine has occurred on this topic within the Catholic Church.  The purgatorial remission of sin has simply become the healing of the sinner and his liberation from interior bondage and attachment to creaturely goods, not the infliction of deserved suffering but the sanctification and purification of the human being destined for glory.      
I have to agree with Fr. Kimel, that the emphasis has changed. We now focus on the fact that punishment is truly medicinal, as all good discipline should be. That does not mean that we have changed the substance of our teaching, but we have changed the focus. Just as the EOs had a greater emphasis on a Latin understanding of the faith, as per the Council of Jerusalem.
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« Reply #83 on: March 21, 2012, 02:53:51 PM »

Ask him what makes him think we are misunderstanding the Catholic teachings and that he is not misunderstanding the Orthodox teachings?Tell him that his idea of us misunderstanding the Roman Catholic teaching could be drawned from him missunderstanding what the Orthodox Catholic Church is really teaching.

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« Reply #84 on: March 21, 2012, 02:59:43 PM »

Thank you both for the discussion and the welcome.

I don't feel bad, J Michael, just aware. I don't say that to be falsely modest either... A year and a half and still here I am in Limbo (if you'll pardon the term). Actually, one of the things that made me realize the necessity of Sacred Tradition was that Protestantism requires one to have a near encyclopedic knowledge of Scripture (not a bad thing, I guess) in order to interpret it. Widespread literacy being a relatively new phenomenon, it made me see that as a system, Protestantism could not be God's way.

However, now I must have a near encyclopedic knowledge of 2000 years of Church history and doctrine in order to make a decision on which Church to choose. There are certainly wiser, more well-learned, holier people than me on both sides of the argument. Where does that leave me? What if I choose wrong? Does God have a mercy clause for us post-schism converts? Which, I think, brings us full circle back to Unam Sanctum.  Wink

Only if you take counsel of your fears.  That is why I suggested reading some of the holy fathers and mothers of the Church rather than a document that was meant to send a message to the kings and princes of Europe.  What if you simply chose based upon your experience of liturgy and the spiritual life?  That is entirely possible...don't chose by rejection but by adoption and acceptance.
Not when the Church has rejected what is offered for adoption and acceptance.

Unam Sanctam is no different from In Terra Pax Hominibus
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,40800.0.html
which your supreme pontiff sent to the EP, the Archbishop of Ohrid/Bulgaria and hence to the rest of us on the Orthodox side of the Vatican's schism.

Given the Latinizations of the Eastern DL's by those who have submitted to the Vatican, the changes necessary in the Western Rites to be used by the Western Rite Orthodox, etc. just restricting yourself to "the experience of [divine] liturgy and the spirtual life" (not a bad thing), won't avoid facing the problem.
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« Reply #85 on: March 21, 2012, 03:07:52 PM »

Ask him what makes him think we are misunderstanding the Catholic teachings and that he is not misunderstanding the Orthodox teachings?Tell him that his idea of us misunderstanding the Roman Catholic teaching could be drawned from him missunderstanding what the Orthodox Catholic Church is really teaching.


Yes, I agree. The nuances of your theology are quite foreign to many Latin minded Catholics. I have been posting here for several years, and I still have many questions.
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« Reply #86 on: March 21, 2012, 03:23:14 PM »

Ask him what makes him think we are misunderstanding the Catholic teachings and that he is not misunderstanding the Orthodox teachings?Tell him that his idea of us misunderstanding the Roman Catholic teaching could be drawned from him missunderstanding what the Orthodox Catholic Church is really teaching.


Yes, I agree. The nuances of your theology are quite foreign to many Latin minded Catholics. I have been posting here for several years, and I still have many questions.

I think that the larger part of the struggle between East and West can be summed up in the distinction between the ability to accept nuance and the need to define all. The East has been comfortable with nuance - even though that will lead to a certain amount of ambiguity and the West has a need for definition which when carried to its logical extreme (such as in Rome's Code of Canon Law or the Federal Code of Rules and Regulations) leads to unsolvable contradictions and conundrums.

When one tries to be too 'rational' in attempting to understand the Faith one is naturally uncomfortable with ambiguity. Likewise when one is more 'experiential' in one's approach, you become impatient with contradiction.

I don't think,but for the need to understand and learn from the mistakes of history and those long dead so that they not be repeated, that any real purpose is served by hurling (good choice of words I might say! Wink ) wordy and grandiose pronouncements from the past. Each side can surely find their own share of ridiculous statements exchanged or published regarding them from the other 'side.'

Again, I am more interested in a contemporary Roman response to thoughtful Orthodox objections to Pastor Aeternus than I am to any vile invective that may have poisoned the past. Those who authored such tripe have long since had to explain themselves to a higher body than this forum.



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« Reply #87 on: March 21, 2012, 03:28:06 PM »

Ask him what makes him think we are misunderstanding the Catholic teachings and that he is not misunderstanding the Orthodox teachings?Tell him that his idea of us misunderstanding the Roman Catholic teaching could be drawned from him missunderstanding what the Orthodox Catholic Church is really teaching.


Yes, I agree. The nuances of your theology are quite foreign to many Latin minded Catholics. I have been posting here for several years, and I still have many questions.

I think that the larger part of the struggle between East and West can be summed up in the distinction between the ability to accept nuance and the need to define all. The East has been comfortable with nuance - even though that will lead to a certain amount of ambiguity and the West has a need for definition which when carried to its logical extreme (such as in Rome's Code of Canon Law or the Federal Code of Rules and Regulations) leads to unsolvable contradictions and conundrums.

When one tries to be too 'rational' in attempting to understand the Faith one is naturally uncomfortable with ambiguity. Likewise when one is more 'experiential' in one's approach, you become impatient with contradiction.

I don't think,but for the need to understand and learn from the mistakes of history and those long dead so that they not be repeated, that any real purpose is served by hurling (good choice of words I might say! Wink ) wordy and grandiose pronouncements from the past. Each side can surely find their own share of ridiculous statements exchanged or published regarding them from the other 'side.'

Again, I am more interested in a contemporary Roman response to thoughtful Orthodox objections to Pastor Aeternus than I am to any vile invective that may have poisoned the past. Those who authored such tripe have long since had to explain themselves to a higher body than this forum.




Well stated. Exposure to Byzantine Christianity has been very healthy for my faith life. I still believe everything that I did before (being the Thomist that I am), but the Eastern perspective helps me to see it in a new light. In fact, Byzantine Christianity has helped me to understand even Thomism in greater depth.
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« Reply #88 on: March 21, 2012, 03:36:37 PM »

Ask him what makes him think we are misunderstanding the Catholic teachings and that he is not misunderstanding the Orthodox teachings?Tell him that his idea of us misunderstanding the Roman Catholic teaching could be drawned from him missunderstanding what the Orthodox Catholic Church is really teaching.


Yes, I agree. The nuances of your theology are quite foreign to many Latin minded Catholics. I have been posting here for several years, and I still have many questions.

I think that the larger part of the struggle between East and West can be summed up in the distinction between the ability to accept nuance and the need to define all. The East has been comfortable with nuance - even though that will lead to a certain amount of ambiguity and the West has a need for definition which when carried to its logical extreme (such as in Rome's Code of Canon Law or the Federal Code of Rules and Regulations) leads to unsolvable contradictions and conundrums.

When one tries to be too 'rational' in attempting to understand the Faith one is naturally uncomfortable with ambiguity. Likewise when one is more 'experiential' in one's approach, you become impatient with contradiction.

I don't think,but for the need to understand and learn from the mistakes of history and those long dead so that they not be repeated, that any real purpose is served by hurling (good choice of words I might say! Wink ) wordy and grandiose pronouncements from the past. Each side can surely find their own share of ridiculous statements exchanged or published regarding them from the other 'side.'

Again, I am more interested in a contemporary Roman response to thoughtful Orthodox objections to Pastor Aeternus than I am to any vile invective that may have poisoned the past. Those who authored such tripe have long since had to explain themselves to a higher body than this forum.




Well stated. Exposure to Byzantine Christianity has been very healthy for my faith life. I still believe everything that I did before (being the Thomist that I am), but the Eastern perspective helps me to see it in a new light. In fact, Byzantine Christianity has helped me to understand even Thomism in greater depth.

Truth be told, Thomism has so influenced Western thought over the past centuries that all of us educated in the West, i.e. all of Europe (including Russia for goodness sake) and North America have been educated to think in such a construct - to one degree or another. Many thoughtful Orthodox realize that and try to use that to better understand Western Christianity while others try to deny the obvious and pretend that intellectual development in the East was never influenced by it. Oh well...


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« Reply #89 on: March 21, 2012, 05:35:43 PM »

It's funny, I read a little of St. Thomas Aquinas in college, but not all, and to this day people tell me I'm a scholasticist and a Thomist and whatnot. I hardly even know what that is. I can remember not understanding what he meant half the time.

Not everybody in the RCC swears by Aquinas. No matter what you've been told.  Roll Eyes Gotta love it when I'm told an entire hemisphere of the planet thinks the same way, because of him.
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