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Author Topic: Orthodox misunderstandings of Catholic teachings  (Read 3676 times) Average Rating: 0
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elijahmaria
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« Reply #90 on: March 21, 2012, 05:44:40 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.      

There is clearly still a punitive aspect to the process of repentance and redemption. I also think that if we read the holy fathers there is one to be found in Orthodoxy as well.

 I don't deny that but to suggest that there is no healing model in the Catholic Church is wrong and more to the point to suggest that the punitive model has no element of healing and charity at the very core of that teaching is grossly misleading...and I suggest that is precisely what happens more often than not and it comes from those who are not deeply immersed in Catholic tradition.

I do not wish to argue with you either.  I do think you could give what I say here some thought.  I have not pulled these thoughts and comments out of my hat.

M.

PS: I know very little about St. Catherine of Genoa. 
« Last Edit: March 21, 2012, 05:46:43 PM by elijahmaria » Logged

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« Reply #91 on: March 21, 2012, 06:47:01 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...



Likewise, we need to understand the influence of the Eastern Fathers on Aquinas. He qutoes extensively from Dyonsisius (spelling?), St. John of Damascus, and St. John Chrystotmos (spelling?). His concept of God not being a being, is highly Eastern in my understanding.
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« Reply #92 on: March 21, 2012, 06:54:42 PM »

With reference to the punitive measure of redemption, the Catholic Church often returns to the this reference to the teaching from Matthew 5:25-26 as one of the instances where justice is punitive.  Again the Latin root for punishment [poena] means loss, which is then expanded to deal with the loss of freedom that man engenders when he becomes a slave to sin.  You cannot adequately read Catholic teaching about the wages of sin, unless you have this very basic understanding of punishment.

The Didache

The Lord's Teaching Through the Twelve Apostles to the Nations.
Chapter 1. The Two Ways and the First Commandment. There are two ways, one of life and one of death, but a great difference between the two ways. The way of life, then, is this: First, you shall love God who made you; second, love your neighbor as yourself, and do not do to another what you would not want done to you. And of these sayings the teaching is this: Bless those who curse you, and pray for your enemies, and fast for those who persecute you. For what reward is there for loving those who love you? Do not the Gentiles do the same? But love those who hate you, and you shall not have an enemy. Abstain from fleshly and worldly lusts. If someone strikes your right cheek, turn to him the other also, and you shall be perfect. If someone impresses you for one mile, go with him two. If someone takes your cloak, give him also your coat. If someone takes from you what is yours, ask it not back, for indeed you are not able. Give to every one who asks you, and ask it not back; for the Father wills that to all should be given of our own blessings (free gifts). Happy is he who gives according to the commandment, for he is guiltless. Woe to him who receives; for if one receives who has need, he is guiltless; but he who receives not having need shall pay the penalty, why he received and for what. And coming into confinement, he shall be examined concerning the things which he has done, and he shall not escape from there until he pays back the last penny. And also concerning this, it has been said, Let your alms sweat in your hands, until you know to whom you should give.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2012, 06:55:39 PM by elijahmaria » Logged

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« Reply #93 on: March 21, 2012, 07:11:06 PM »

Again the Latin root for punishment [poena] means loss, which is then expanded to deal with the loss of freedom that man engenders when he becomes a slave to sin.  You cannot adequately read Catholic teaching about the wages of sin, unless you have this very basic understanding of punishment.

I had intended to mention here in particular that it is impossible to read Anselm's Cur Deus Homo without this understanding of punishment: the loss of and return to original justice.  Anslem not only deals with the debt of gratitude man owes to God, but also understands that debt and its repayment as the restoration of the goodness of creation:  the goodness of creation being original justice.

Then one moves to the restoration of original justice being more than man can accomplish so that the whole discussion rests in the idea that we are participants in the redemptive and salvific actions of our Lord and Savior Jesus, the Christ.

The idea of purgatorial fire was much of a piece with the burning bush in the Old Testament.  Purifying fire was that which burned but did not consume.  

None of this fits with the contemporary overlay of horror we seem to have developed for having to pay the penalty of our actions, including going to jail, or being tortured for our high crimes and misdemeanors.  

These are, all, a very human part of the imaginary and are not a part of any divine plan.

God's justice is not established to inflict pain.  If man experiences pain for his sins then it is clear that it is self-inflicted.  

Again without these ideas well established as part of our understanding of Catholic teaching, it is impossible to read Cur Deus Homo with any profit whatsoever.

M.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2012, 07:12:47 PM by elijahmaria » Logged

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« Reply #94 on: March 21, 2012, 07:36:43 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...



Likewise, we need to understand the influence of the Eastern Fathers on Aquinas. He qutoes extensively from Dyonsisius (spelling?), St. John of Damascus, and St. John Chrystotmos (spelling?). His concept of God not being a being, is highly Eastern in my understanding.

His concept of "being" is Eastern as all things are in most Christian writers as they are students of Plato and Aristotle first and foremost, unfortunately. Or I should say often poor students.
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« Reply #95 on: March 21, 2012, 07:37:37 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...



Likewise, we need to understand the influence of the Eastern Fathers on Aquinas. He qutoes extensively from Dyonsisius (spelling?), St. John of Damascus, and St. John Chrystotmos (spelling?). His concept of God not being a being, is highly Eastern in my understanding.

His concept of "being" is Eastern as all things are in most Christian writers as they are students of Plato and Aristotle first and foremost, unfortunately. Or I should say often poor students.
You are always so positive.  Smiley
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« Reply #96 on: March 21, 2012, 07:38:43 PM »

His concept of "being" is Eastern as all things are in most Christian writers as they are students of Plato and Aristotle first and foremost, unfortunately. Or I should say often poor students.

Plato pwns Moses!
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« Reply #97 on: March 21, 2012, 07:46:39 PM »

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« Reply #98 on: March 21, 2012, 07:47:08 PM »


How on earth did you come up with this so quickly?  Cheesy
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« Reply #99 on: March 21, 2012, 08:02:54 PM »

His concept of "being" is Eastern as all things are in most Christian writers as they are students of Plato and Aristotle first and foremost, unfortunately. Or I should say often poor students.

Plato pwns Moses!

I've heard he totally learned the Torah and based his whole philosophy on it.

Seriously.

Worse, some people, even odox, call him the Moses to the Greeks.

*sigh*
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« Reply #100 on: March 21, 2012, 08:05:09 PM »

His concept of "being" is Eastern as all things are in most Christian writers as they are students of Plato and Aristotle first and foremost, unfortunately. Or I should say often poor students.

Plato pwns Moses!

I've heard he totally learned the Torah and based his whole philosophy on it.

Seriously.

Worse, some people, even odox, call him the Moses to the Greeks.

*sigh*
And you consider yourself the Moses to the geeks?
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« Reply #101 on: March 21, 2012, 08:09:10 PM »

I've heard he totally learned the Torah and based his whole philosophy on it.

Seriously.

Indeed, even Church Fathers spoke of him learning from Moses. This makes it infallibly truly accurate! I'm sure you're dying to read more about it, so... you can find more in the 1st volume on the Catholic Tradition that Jaroslav Pelikan did. Don't say I never did anything for you.
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« Reply #102 on: March 21, 2012, 08:17:09 PM »

His concept of "being" is Eastern as all things are in most Christian writers as they are students of Plato and Aristotle first and foremost, unfortunately. Or I should say often poor students.

Plato pwns Moses!

I've heard he totally learned the Torah and based his whole philosophy on it.

Seriously.

Worse, some people, even odox, call him the Moses to the Greeks.

*sigh*
And you consider yourself the Moses to the geeks?

Really, do you think they need to know about a burning bush? I think they are safe.
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« Reply #103 on: March 21, 2012, 08:19:02 PM »

I've heard he totally learned the Torah and based his whole philosophy on it.

Seriously.

Indeed, even Church Fathers spoke of him learning from Moses. This makes it infallibly truly accurate! I'm sure you're dying to read more about it, so... you can find more in the 1st volume on the Catholic Tradition that Jaroslav Pelikan did. Don't say I never did anything for you.

It's actually one of the few things I would like to read that I haven't.

I remember reading some Pelikan they had the seminary I was staying in. I didn't care about any of this stuff in any personal way. And I found his writing to be quite good, enough to remember him for years later.
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« Reply #104 on: March 21, 2012, 08:22:56 PM »

Goofballs...alla yz!!

Must be the fast. 

I had curried potatoEs and sweet peppers, and broccoli with onions for supper....and hot tea...with bergamot.

 Smiley
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« Reply #105 on: March 21, 2012, 08:26:18 PM »

Goofballs...alla yz!!

Must be the fast. 

I had curried potatoEs and sweet peppers, and broccoli with onions for supper....and hot tea...with bergamot.

 Smiley

Glutton!
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« Reply #106 on: March 21, 2012, 08:34:17 PM »

Goofballs...alla yz!!

Must be the fast. 

I had curried potatoEs and sweet peppers, and broccoli with onions for supper....and hot tea...with bergamot.

 Smiley

Glutton!


Oh no!!!...you saw me putting the golden raisins in the curry didn't you...ahhhh...[im]pure pleasure!!
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« Reply #107 on: March 21, 2012, 10:03:02 PM »


How on earth did you come up with this so quickly?  Cheesy
All his typing on his computer have made his fingers quite dexterous.

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« Reply #108 on: March 22, 2012, 08:37:42 AM »

Goofballs...alla yz!!

Must be the fast. 

I had curried potatoEs and sweet peppers, and broccoli with onions for supper....and hot tea...with bergamot.

 Smiley

Glutton!


Oh no!!!...you saw me putting the golden raisins in the curry didn't you...ahhhh...[im]pure pleasure!!

Oh yeah? I garnished my soup with whole olives the other day, and sinfully enjoyed their rich and complex flavor. Beat that! Tongue
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« Reply #109 on: March 26, 2012, 01:20:49 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.
This is a very important point, and I think highlights a common misunderstanding/paranoia that the Eastern Orthodox have about us. I rarely if ever give the Pope any thought. That doesn't mean that I don't think he is important or that his role in the Church isn't significant, but there are more pressing things to think about. I would guess that the majority of Catholics don't think about the Pope that often either. The only time I really do think about him is during those few seconds at Mass when we pray for the Pope, which is a very small portion of the Liturgy.
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