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Author Topic: Visiting a Estern Catholic church  (Read 3436 times) Average Rating: 0
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sprtslvr1973
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« on: March 17, 2012, 07:12:25 PM »

I just found an Eastern Catholic (Melkite) church close to my house. I am a little intrigued, and may go tomorrow. I have to say I like RCism less as an Orthodox than I did when I was Protestant. Still, I am considering a visit.

Anything you'd like to share or advice I should have?
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« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2012, 07:39:49 PM »

I would approach the Church in a brotherly manner, with an open mind and an open heart. Remembering that while they share much of our patrimony of the Eastern Church, their relationship with the Church of Rome puts them apart from the Orthodox. I would act as I would in my own Church, but for not partaking of the Eucharist should you attend Liturgy. I think you will find the Melkites to be friendly and they will welcome you as a brother in Christ.
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« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2012, 10:43:18 PM »

I just found an Eastern Catholic (Melkite) church close to my house. I am a little intrigued, and may go tomorrow. I have to say I like RCism less as an Orthodox than I did when I was Protestant. Still, I am considering a visit.

Anything you'd like to share or advice I should have?

i'd go during a weekly service and go to DL at your usual parish, especially since this is during lent.
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« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2012, 10:49:40 PM »

I do and don't have a regular parish. I am unfairly looking for perfect Orthodoxy, and of course will never find it
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« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2012, 11:10:08 PM »

I do and don't have a regular parish. I am unfairly looking for perfect Orthodoxy, and of course will never find it

No perfect orthodoxy doesn't exist, but i'd give preference to your local EO parish, wherever that may be, especially on a sunday during lent.
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« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2012, 10:47:20 AM »

I do and don't have a regular parish. I am unfairly looking for perfect Orthodoxy, and of course will never find it

The church is living and breathing.  It's not a museum or a theatrical performance.  The church wasn't better back "then" or will it be better if it suits individual needs.  To deny the church is less than your expectations is to say Christ lets you down.  The church is Christ.

I don't know what you are looking for but I'd say stick with the church you know people at and is closest to you.  After all that is the local Christian community and you are a part of it.  If everyone that drove by my church to go to another Orthodox church would just pull in my parking lot we'd have the community we once had again.  Now it's just 15 people.  We have a picture where there were 128 kids in the Sunday school picture. 
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« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2012, 11:13:58 AM »

Went there today; kind of a flop. First, I got times confused. I thought it started at 9:30, as it turns out it started at 9:00. During coffee hour I tried to 'talk catechism' with a couple of guys, but they did not seem to know what their church believed.
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« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2012, 11:36:35 AM »

Went there today; kind of a flop. First, I got times confused. I thought it started at 9:30, as it turns out it started at 9:00. During coffee hour I tried to 'talk catechism' with a couple of guys, but they did not seem to know what their church believed.

Because people go to church because it's a part of them not because they are theologians.
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« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2012, 11:43:04 AM »

Went there today; kind of a flop. First, I got times confused. I thought it started at 9:30, as it turns out it started at 9:00. During coffee hour I tried to 'talk catechism' with a couple of guys, but they did not seem to know what their church believed.

Because people go to church because it's a part of them not because they are theologians.

Don't make excuses for them...
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« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2012, 12:54:47 PM »

Went there today; kind of a flop. First, I got times confused. I thought it started at 9:30, as it turns out it started at 9:00. During coffee hour I tried to 'talk catechism' with a couple of guys, but they did not seem to know what their church believed.

Because people go to church because it's a part of them not because they are theologians.

Don't make excuses for them...


Exactly, if something is part of them they should know more about it. (1 Peter 3:15)
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« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2012, 01:20:23 PM »

Went there today; kind of a flop. First, I got times confused. I thought it started at 9:30, as it turns out it started at 9:00. During coffee hour I tried to 'talk catechism' with a couple of guys, but they did not seem to know what their church believed.

Because people go to church because it's a part of them not because they are theologians.

Don't make excuses for them...


Exactly, if something is part of them they should know more about it. (1 Peter 3:15)

do u know if they did the procession of the cross today?
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« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2012, 01:38:09 PM »

Went there today; kind of a flop. First, I got times confused. I thought it started at 9:30, as it turns out it started at 9:00. During coffee hour I tried to 'talk catechism' with a couple of guys, but they did not seem to know what their church believed.

Because people go to church because it's a part of them not because they are theologians.

Don't make excuses for them...


Exactly, if something is part of them they should know more about it. (1 Peter 3:15)

do u know if they did the procession of the cross today?

That was last week for the Greek Catholics.

And people are not theologians - nor are most parish priests - at least the successful ones in my experience. (If they are theologians, the smart ones don't let on.)
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« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2012, 01:47:58 PM »

Went there today; kind of a flop. First, I got times confused. I thought it started at 9:30, as it turns out it started at 9:00. During coffee hour I tried to 'talk catechism' with a couple of guys, but they did not seem to know what their church believed.

Because people go to church because it's a part of them not because they are theologians.

Don't make excuses for them...


Exactly, if something is part of them they should know more about it. (1 Peter 3:15)

do u know if they did the procession of the cross today?

That was last week for the Greek Catholics.

And people are not theologians - nor are most parish priests - at least the successful ones in my experience. (If they are theologians, the smart ones don't let on.)

I don't think everyone should strive to be theologians, but I think everyone should be held responsible for obtaining at least a basic understanding of their faith.
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« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2012, 04:16:08 PM »

So what constitutes a "basic understanding" in addition to what is outlined in the creed?
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« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2012, 04:29:03 PM »

Went there today; kind of a flop. First, I got times confused. I thought it started at 9:30, as it turns out it started at 9:00. During coffee hour I tried to 'talk catechism' with a couple of guys, but they did not seem to know what their church believed.

Because people go to church because it's a part of them not because they are theologians.

Don't make excuses for them...


Exactly, if something is part of them they should know more about it. (1 Peter 3:15)

do u know if they did the procession of the cross today?

That was last week for the Greek Catholics.

And people are not theologians - nor are most parish priests - at least the successful ones in my experience. (If they are theologians, the smart ones don't let on.)

I don't think everyone should strive to be theologians, but I think everyone should be held responsible for obtaining at least a basic understanding of their faith.

Of course they should, the problem is that some will always think that one has to have a D.Th. or Ph.D. in order to be versed in the faith or that a knowledge level that deep is necessary in order to practice the Faith.
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« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2012, 04:33:15 PM »

So what constitutes a "basic understanding" in addition to what is outlined in the creed?

Depends on the person...
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« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2012, 05:04:37 PM »

So what constitutes a "basic understanding" in addition to what is outlined in the creed?

stuff that a person would learn going through catechesis i think.
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« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2012, 05:14:19 PM »

So what constitutes a "basic understanding" in addition to what is outlined in the creed?

stuff that a person would learn going through catechesis i think.

And stuff that one would learn by keeping one's eyes and ears open during services. The bulk of what the Church teaches is in her hymnography and iconography.
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« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2012, 05:16:43 PM »

So what constitutes a "basic understanding" in addition to what is outlined in the creed?

stuff that a person would learn going through catechesis i think.

And stuff that one would learn by keeping one's eyes and ears open during services. The bulk of what the Church teaches is in her hymnography and iconography.

amen
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« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2012, 05:28:51 PM »

So what constitutes a "basic understanding" in addition to what is outlined in the creed?
stuff that a person would learn going through catechesis i think.

That can vary from person to person.

My catechesis was my priest asking me if I knew what the Church teaches about Mary and the saints and taking my word for it when I simply said "yes".
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« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2012, 05:29:46 PM »

And stuff that one would learn by keeping one's eyes and ears open during services. The bulk of what the Church teaches is in her hymnography and iconography.

I would agree with this.
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« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2012, 05:30:59 PM »

So what constitutes a "basic understanding" in addition to what is outlined in the creed?
stuff that a person would learn going through catechesis i think.

That can vary from person to person.

My catechesis was my priest asking me if I knew what the Church teaches about Mary and the saints and taking my word for it when I simply said "yes".

interesting. he must have known that you know your stuff Wink
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« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2012, 05:36:00 PM »

About a decade ago (I was still in grad school at the time) an Orthodox friend of mine learned that I attended a Melkite parish and expressed an interest in coming. Next thing you knew, he was there every week.
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« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2012, 08:06:05 PM »

About a decade ago (I was still in grad school at the time) an Orthodox friend of mine learned that I attended a Melkite parish and expressed an interest in coming. Next thing you knew, he was there every week.

why were his reasons for switching?
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« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2012, 09:20:13 PM »

I do and don't have a regular parish. I am unfairly looking for perfect Orthodoxy, and of course will never find it

If you are an Orthodox Christian, you should not be shopping around outside of the Church.  Please discuss this with a priest or trusted guide.
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« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2012, 09:25:34 PM »

About a decade ago (I was still in grad school at the time) an Orthodox friend of mine learned that I attended a Melkite parish and expressed an interest in coming. Next thing you knew, he was there every week.

why were his reasons for switching?

That's a perfectly good question, but not one I would answer on someone else's behalf.

One thing I want to clarify, since you said "switching", is that I didn't mean he swam the Tiber.
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« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2012, 07:26:53 AM »

I do and don't have a regular parish. I am unfairly looking for perfect Orthodoxy, and of course will never find it

If you are an Orthodox Christian, you should not be shopping around outside of the Church.  Please discuss this with a priest or trusted guide.

I wasn't really looking to leave the Orthodox church. When I mentioned looking for 'Perfect Orthodoxy', I was looking at other Orthodox churches. I just happened to go to the Eastern Catholic church out of curiosity.

As far as looking for an Orthodox church, I love my long time priest and fellow congregants at St. John the Wonder-worker OCA Church in Atlanta. However I hate certain liturgical aspects of the church. Why does the most prominent outdoor icon have to be of a 20th century bishop?HuhHuh It should be of the Lord. All icons of saints, etc should be very secondary. Being an Orthodox Christian, I do understand the importance and place of icons, and to display an icon of a man more prominently than that of Jesus Christ, really does border on absolute idolatry. Sorry, it does. It is things like this that make me look at other parishes. The point of frustration, and why I acknowledged the likely non-existance of 'perfect orthodoxy' is that other parishes have their own problems. Neither the other local OCA parish, nor the Antiochian parish I have gone to, have the liturgical handbook that St. John's does.
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« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2012, 07:46:38 AM »

Quote
Why does the most prominent outdoor icon have to be of a 20th century bishop?

Because he is the patron of the parish. It is an exceedingly common, widespread across all Orthodox lands, and centuries-old, custom for the icon of the parish's or monastery's patron saint or patronal feast to be placed above the entrance to the church.

Quote
All icons of saints, etc should be very secondary.

Why? We venerate all who are saints, these true imitators of Christ, who form the great cloud of witnesses who surround us and intercede for us. Do you object to the presence of the icon of the Mother of God high above the altar, and perhaps the most prominent icon within the walls of the church? Would you prefer a screen separating the nave from the altar which bears only an icon of Christ? And what of festal icons? Would you relegate feasts to a lower rank, or to abolish them altogether, so as not to draw attention away from Christ? What else would you like to do to reduce the emphasis of saints in Orthodox worship and devotion?
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« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2012, 09:19:15 AM »

I do and don't have a regular parish. I am unfairly looking for perfect Orthodoxy, and of course will never find it

If you are an Orthodox Christian, you should not be shopping around outside of the Church.  Please discuss this with a priest or trusted guide.

I wasn't really looking to leave the Orthodox church. When I mentioned looking for 'Perfect Orthodoxy', I was looking at other Orthodox churches. I just happened to go to the Eastern Catholic church out of curiosity.

As far as looking for an Orthodox church, I love my long time priest and fellow congregants at St. John the Wonder-worker OCA Church in Atlanta. However I hate certain liturgical aspects of the church. Why does the most prominent outdoor icon have to be of a 20th century bishop?HuhHuh It should be of the Lord. All icons of saints, etc should be very secondary. Being an Orthodox Christian, I do understand the importance and place of icons, and to display an icon of a man more prominently than that of Jesus Christ, really does border on absolute idolatry. Sorry, it does. It is things like this that make me look at other parishes. The point of frustration, and why I acknowledged the likely non-existance of 'perfect orthodoxy' is that other parishes have their own problems. Neither the other local OCA parish, nor the Antiochian parish I have gone to, have the liturgical handbook that St. John's does.


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« Reply #29 on: March 19, 2012, 01:48:51 PM »

Quote
Why does the most prominent outdoor icon have to be of a 20th century bishop?

Because he is the patron of the parish. It is an exceedingly common, widespread across all Orthodox lands, and centuries-old, custom for the icon of the parish's or monastery's patron saint or patronal feast to be placed above the entrance to the church.

Quote
All icons of saints, etc should be very secondary.

Why? We venerate all who are saints, these true imitators of Christ, who form the great cloud of witnesses who surround us and intercede for us. Do you object to the presence of the icon of the Mother of God high above the altar, and perhaps the most prominent icon within the walls of the church? Would you prefer a screen separating the nave from the altar which bears only an icon of Christ? And what of festal icons? Would you relegate feasts to a lower rank, or to abolish them altogether, so as not to draw attention away from Christ? What else would you like to do to reduce the emphasis of saints in Orthodox worship and devotion?

"Do you object to the presence of the icon of the Mother of God high above the altar, and perhaps the most prominent icon within the walls of the church?"
Answer: No, because every icon of the Theotokos that I have seen is in fact has her literally pointing or directing us to the Lord.

"Would you prefer a screen separating the nave from the altar which bears only an icon of Christ?"
Answer: Not sure I was going that way, but would that be bad? Whose Body and Blood do we receive at Communion?

"And what of festal icons? Would you relegate feasts to a lower rank, or to abolish them altogether, so as not to draw attention away from Christ?"
Answer: Every Festal Icon I have seen includes the Lord at the center. This includes icons of Pentecost; while His person is not seen, His spirit is. The same can be said icons based on parables (Prodigal Son)

"...would you like to do to reduce the emphasis of saints in Orthodox worship and devotion?"
Answer: Referring to the way I have seen their importance overemphasized, yes I would. If John the Wonder-worker was truly as devout as some will tell you, then he himself would hate to see a picture of himself alone for reverence or adoration.

Ultimately by biggest complaint about the icons in question is when they are given such a prominent position, that they can compete with the Lord for attention. Such is the case of the saint icon outside one of the churches I go to.





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« Reply #30 on: March 19, 2012, 01:53:22 PM »

Answer: No, because every icon of the Theotokos that I have seen is in fact has her literally pointing or directing us to the Lord.

The one of her Nativity too? Or the Eleusa type? Or the Oranta type?

Quote
but would that be bad?

It would be against the VII Ecumenical Council.

Quote
Answer: Every Festal Icon I have seen includes the Lord at the center. This includes icons of Pentecost; while His person is not seen, His spirit is. The same can be said icons based on parables (Prodigal Son)

What about the icon of the Nativity of the Theotokos, Annunciation, Entrance of the Theotokos to the Temple, Exaltation of the Cross...?

Quote
If John the Wonder-worker was truly as devout as some will tell you, then he himself would hate to see a picture of himself alone for reverence or adoration.

I doubt he was a Calvinist.
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« Reply #31 on: March 19, 2012, 02:02:36 PM »

When they have a saint, the patron of the parish, prominently displayed, that is a sign that he is the protector of that church. Same reason they name the church after a particular saint. Note that in the OT God often sent out angels to carry out missions on earth (such as protecting people or areas), this is no different except that now it is the saints (along with angels) entrusted with such tasks.

God is glorified in his saints!
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« Reply #32 on: March 19, 2012, 02:06:39 PM »

@sprtslvr1973 : Have you found iconoclasts in that Melkite Church?
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« Reply #33 on: March 19, 2012, 02:17:09 PM »

Answer: No, because every icon of the Theotokos that I have seen is in fact has her literally pointing or directing us to the Lord.

The one of her Nativity too? Or the Eleusa type? Or the Oranta type?

Quote
but would that be bad?

It would be against the VII Ecumenical Council.

Quote
Answer: Every Festal Icon I have seen includes the Lord at the center. This includes icons of Pentecost; while His person is not seen, His spirit is. The same can be said icons based on parables (Prodigal Son)

What about the icon of the Nativity of the Theotokos, Annunciation, Entrance of the Theotokos to the Temple, Exaltation of the Cross...?

Quote
If John the Wonder-worker was truly as devout as some will tell you, then he himself would hate to see a picture of himself alone for reverence or adoration.

I doubt he was a Calvinist.

Only Calvinists are humble??
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« Reply #34 on: March 19, 2012, 02:22:57 PM »

Only Calvinists are humble??

Calvinists are iconoclastic.
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« Reply #35 on: March 19, 2012, 02:33:47 PM »

Answer: No, because every icon of the Theotokos that I have seen is in fact has her literally pointing or directing us to the Lord.

The one of her Nativity too? Or the Eleusa type? Or the Oranta type?

Quote
but would that be bad?

It would be against the VII Ecumenical Council.

Quote
Answer: Every Festal Icon I have seen includes the Lord at the center. This includes icons of Pentecost; while His person is not seen, His spirit is. The same can be said icons based on parables (Prodigal Son)

What about the icon of the Nativity of the Theotokos, Annunciation, Entrance of the Theotokos to the Temple, Exaltation of the Cross...?

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If John the Wonder-worker was truly as devout as some will tell you, then he himself would hate to see a picture of himself alone for reverence or adoration.

I doubt he was a Calvinist.

Only Calvinists are humble??

Calvinists are iconoclasts by definition. Iconoclasm has no place whatsoever in Orthodoxy. The Quinisext and Seventh Ecumenical Councils, as well as so many iconodule Fathers such as St John of Damascus, have much to say about this.

As for your comment of "If John the Wonder-worker was truly as devout as some will tell you, then he himself would hate to see a picture of himself alone for reverence or adoration.", this betrays a lack of understanding of what iconography is and stands for.
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« Reply #36 on: March 19, 2012, 02:38:21 PM »

Excuse this Catholic for butting-in, but I thought saints' icons are secondary.  Huh
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« Reply #37 on: March 19, 2012, 02:39:55 PM »

Excuse this Catholic for butting-in, but I thought saints' icons are secondary.  Huh

There is no difference between an icon of a Saint (who is an icon of Christ) than the icon of Christ.
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« Reply #38 on: March 19, 2012, 02:43:10 PM »

I have heard that one of the few differences in the EC way of doing the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is that the ECs include the Pope in the litany. Everything else is supposed to be very similar.

I think you'll enjoy your visit.  Smiley
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« Reply #39 on: March 19, 2012, 02:44:02 PM »

Excuse this Catholic for butting-in, but I thought saints' icons are secondary.  Huh

There is no difference between an icon of a Saint (who is an icon of Christ) than the icon of Christ.

You beat me to it.  Smiley
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« Reply #40 on: March 19, 2012, 02:48:51 PM »

There is no difference between an icon of a Saint (who is an icon of Christ) than the icon of Christ.

Thank you!

Saints are not making Christ secondary. For God's sake, they're those who have become christs! Gods by grace! They are the work of God in action through the ages.

You seem to have absolutely an incorrect understanding of what idolatry is.
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« Reply #41 on: March 19, 2012, 03:01:35 PM »

... the ECs include the Pope in the litany.

Yes. See our "'imposed' latinizations" discussion here.
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« Reply #42 on: March 19, 2012, 03:37:43 PM »

Prepare to make loud noises during Filioque.
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« Reply #43 on: March 19, 2012, 03:39:29 PM »

Prepare to make loud noises during Filioque.

 Huh
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« Reply #44 on: March 19, 2012, 03:40:56 PM »

There is no difference between an icon of a Saint (who is an icon of Christ) than the icon of Christ.

Thank you!

Saints are not making Christ secondary. For God's sake, they're those who have become christs! Gods by grace! They are the work of God in action through the ages.

You seem to have absolutely an incorrect understanding of what idolatry is.

I hope you mean the Image of Christ and are not talking apotheosis
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