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Author Topic: Which church is more open to reuniting??  (Read 14647 times) Average Rating: 0
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Shanghaiski
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« Reply #675 on: April 19, 2012, 07:40:54 PM »

I did express it in an albeit cynic sort of way, however, being serious, I think that 1204 was approximately the time when the schism was really set in stone.

Alright, I can see what you mean about setting in stone. The thing is, it wasn't really a schism then, but a lack of communion.

Is this a peculiarly Roman Catholic way of defining schism? To the Orthodox, if there's no communion, there is schism.

So, if I understand your use of the word, St. John Chrysostom was in a state of schism for part of his life, right?

You're referring to his time in Antioch under Meletios, which was, on the episcopal level (which is important to note) in schism from Paulinus (who was recognized only by Rome) or when he was unlawfully deposed and excommunicated (?) by the New Jezebel and the impious Synod of the Oak? Because, that time, he was in communion with all but the misguided Theophilus of Alexandria.
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« Reply #676 on: April 19, 2012, 08:03:12 PM »

We Orthodox like to state that we know where God's grace is but we dont know where it isnt.

This is often taken too far as if it's a dogmatic or even patristic point, when really it doesn't predate the late 20th century.

Are you saying that that is not an accurate characterization of Orthodox thinking?

Well, are we to be agnostic on sacramental grace operating amongst Mormons? I think not.

Is that saying supposed to pertain to the sacraments? And what is meant by God's grace? I thought that God's grace could operate anywhere, including among Mormons. But maybe I don't have a good grasp of what grace is.
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« Reply #677 on: April 19, 2012, 08:39:44 PM »

What then would you give as the exact date of the East West Schism?

In the strong sense of the word schism, I would have to say not until the Council of Florence.

I'd say more around 1204 when your kind invaded and sacked Constantinople; there are still Greeks I know to this day who have not gotten over that.
Does it matter that just previous to this event "your kind" massacred the Latins who lived in Constantinople? Just curious.

No. That was political, and due to the fact that "your kind" was fond of making trouble for "our kind" when the Emperor would not give those greedy Italians what they wanted.

Like I've said before - 'our kind' - 'your kind' === they are long both 'one kind' - dead men.

We do not inherit blood guilt - sometimes I think these discussions enrage passion to the point where both Orthodox and Catholic posters forget that - and forget what that horrific concept led to in the 20th century.
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« Reply #678 on: April 19, 2012, 08:40:50 PM »

I wonder what point it was when, according to strict Orthodox ecclesiology, the Catholics lost sacramental grace?
I don't think there is a unified answer

We Orthodox like to state that we know where God's grace is but we dont know where it isnt.

This is often taken too far as if it's a dogmatic or even patristic point, when really it doesn't predate the late 20th century.

Are you saying that that is not an accurate characterization of Orthodox thinking?

On line or here in our North American seminaries?  Smiley

Oh.  I forgot that we're in the twilight zone here  laugh laugh.

But seriously---anywhere there is serious Orthodox thinking by people whose opinions "count" and are respected by their peers internationally and at least some kind of plurality of Orthodox worshipers. 

"On-line" I don't think really counts as seriously representing something resembling a consensus of Orthodox thinking, does it?

There are lots of respected heretics with high degrees. They even made popular songs and won over much of the world. Surely, we should believe them over some ignorant peasant.

I am not suggesting that, but ignorance is not bliss.
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« Reply #679 on: April 19, 2012, 11:20:28 PM »

Does it matter that just previous to this event "your kind" massacred the Latins who lived in Constantinople? Just curious.

Does it matter that the Venetians destroyed the Genoese quarters in Constantinople first, had been at war with Constantinople and had supported the Serb uprisings who had been responsible for the siege of Ancona?

Hmmm ... I'll be interested to see how many posters agree with you.

I did express it in an albeit cynic sort of way, however, being serious, I think that 1204 was approximately the time when the schism was really set in stone.
At this point in history, I don't think it realy matter who killed who hundreds of years ago. I just think it's silly that EOs keep bringing it up when their predecessors are guilty of the exact same thing.

I find this attitude irritating given that: 1. it treats history as somehow irrelevant to either the present or the future--and to identity itself
-is OUTRAGE!-a history teacher.
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« Reply #680 on: April 20, 2012, 01:39:57 AM »

I did express it in an albeit cynic sort of way, however, being serious, I think that 1204 was approximately the time when the schism was really set in stone.

Alright, I can see what you mean about setting in stone. The thing is, it wasn't really a schism then, but a lack of communion.

Is this a peculiarly Roman Catholic way of defining schism? To the Orthodox, if there's no communion, there is schism.

So, if I understand your use of the word, St. John Chrysostom was in a state of schism for part of his life, right?

You're referring to his time in Antioch under Meletios, which was, on the episcopal level (which is important to note) in schism from Paulinus (who was recognized only by Rome) or when he was unlawfully deposed and excommunicated (?) by the New Jezebel and the impious Synod of the Oak? Because, that time, he was in communion with all but the misguided Theophilus of Alexandria.

Was he out of communion with Theophilus? Theophilus had him deposed (and exiled) and St. John accepted the synodical sentence--but deposition does not equal excommunicated. In fact the canonical standard is that a deposed cleric is not excommunicated as that would be 'double punishment'. He's deposed for his crimes (or supposed crimes in some cases) but remains in communion. (Barring subsequent activity as a layman which leads to a second punishment). I know things aren't always carried out according to the canons, but as far as I'm aware the Synod of the Oak didn't lead to anyone being out of communion with anyone else.
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« Reply #681 on: April 20, 2012, 09:48:00 AM »

We Orthodox like to state that we know where God's grace is but we dont know where it isnt.

This is often taken too far as if it's a dogmatic or even patristic point, when really it doesn't predate the late 20th century.

Are you saying that that is not an accurate characterization of Orthodox thinking?

Well, are we to be agnostic on sacramental grace operating amongst Mormons? I think not.

Is that saying supposed to pertain to the sacraments? And what is meant by God's grace? I thought that God's grace could operate anywhere, including among Mormons. But maybe I don't have a good grasp of what grace is.

This is just my personal opinion, but I don't think that God's grace operates through the sacraments of non-Orthodox churches--as in the grace that cannot be taken away. But it is possible for God's grace to work in spite of heterodoxy, on a personal level, for the salvation of a soul.
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« Reply #682 on: April 20, 2012, 09:50:07 AM »

I did express it in an albeit cynic sort of way, however, being serious, I think that 1204 was approximately the time when the schism was really set in stone.

Alright, I can see what you mean about setting in stone. The thing is, it wasn't really a schism then, but a lack of communion.

Is this a peculiarly Roman Catholic way of defining schism? To the Orthodox, if there's no communion, there is schism.

So, if I understand your use of the word, St. John Chrysostom was in a state of schism for part of his life, right?

You're referring to his time in Antioch under Meletios, which was, on the episcopal level (which is important to note) in schism from Paulinus (who was recognized only by Rome) or when he was unlawfully deposed and excommunicated (?) by the New Jezebel and the impious Synod of the Oak? Because, that time, he was in communion with all but the misguided Theophilus of Alexandria.

Was he out of communion with Theophilus? Theophilus had him deposed (and exiled) and St. John accepted the synodical sentence--but deposition does not equal excommunicated. In fact the canonical standard is that a deposed cleric is not excommunicated as that would be 'double punishment'. He's deposed for his crimes (or supposed crimes in some cases) but remains in communion. (Barring subsequent activity as a layman which leads to a second punishment). I know things aren't always carried out according to the canons, but as far as I'm aware the Synod of the Oak didn't lead to anyone being out of communion with anyone else.

I really doubt that Theophilus would have concelebrated with St. John, so in that sense, they were not in communion.
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« Reply #683 on: April 20, 2012, 09:57:31 AM »

I wonder what point it was when, according to strict Orthodox ecclesiology, the Catholics lost sacramental grace?
I don't think there is a unified answer

We Orthodox like to state that we know where God's grace is but we dont know where it isnt.

This is often taken too far as if it's a dogmatic or even patristic point, when really it doesn't predate the late 20th century.

Are you saying that that is not an accurate characterization of Orthodox thinking?

Well, are we to be agnostic on sacramental grace operating amongst Mormons? I think not.

How does that answer my question? 

Or, let me put it another way--what precisely *is* an accurate characterization of Orthodox thinking about this, as elucidated in statements and documents (that can be referenced) and accepted by at least a majority of Orthodox patriarchs, synods, and individual bishops worldwide?
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« Reply #684 on: April 20, 2012, 10:00:23 AM »

We Orthodox like to state that we know where God's grace is but we dont know where it isnt.

This is often taken too far as if it's a dogmatic or even patristic point, when really it doesn't predate the late 20th century.

Are you saying that that is not an accurate characterization of Orthodox thinking?

Well, are we to be agnostic on sacramental grace operating amongst Mormons? I think not.

Is that saying supposed to pertain to the sacraments? And what is meant by God's grace? I thought that God's grace could operate anywhere, including among Mormons. But maybe I don't have a good grasp of what grace is.

It's an interesting question, because Mormonism didn't exist until the 19th Century. The Fathers didn't address it, because it didn't exist in their time. Still, I think they would have rejected it.
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« Reply #685 on: April 20, 2012, 10:08:33 AM »

I wonder what point it was when, according to strict Orthodox ecclesiology, the Catholics lost sacramental grace?
I don't think there is a unified answer

We Orthodox like to state that we know where God's grace is but we dont know where it isnt.

This is often taken too far as if it's a dogmatic or even patristic point, when really it doesn't predate the late 20th century.

Are you saying that that is not an accurate characterization of Orthodox thinking?

On line or here in our North American seminaries?  Smiley

Oh.  I forgot that we're in the twilight zone here  laugh laugh.

But seriously---anywhere there is serious Orthodox thinking by people whose opinions "count" and are respected by their peers internationally and at least some kind of plurality of Orthodox worshipers. 

"On-line" I don't think really counts as seriously representing something resembling a consensus of Orthodox thinking, does it?

There are lots of respected heretics with high degrees. They even made popular songs and won over much of the world. Surely, we should believe them over some ignorant peasant.

 Huh

I'm afraid you lost me on that one.
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« Reply #686 on: April 20, 2012, 10:32:22 AM »

Quote
The Fathers didn't address it, because it didn't exist in their time
Piece meal they did address it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monophysitism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arianism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nontrinitarian

I could go on but......

PP
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« Reply #687 on: April 20, 2012, 10:38:54 AM »

We Orthodox like to state that we know where God's grace is but we dont know where it isnt.

This is often taken too far as if it's a dogmatic or even patristic point, when really it doesn't predate the late 20th century.

Are you saying that that is not an accurate characterization of Orthodox thinking?

Well, are we to be agnostic on sacramental grace operating amongst Mormons? I think not.

Is that saying supposed to pertain to the sacraments? And what is meant by God's grace? I thought that God's grace could operate anywhere, including among Mormons. But maybe I don't have a good grasp of what grace is.

God's Grace is His Energies and is certainly present everywhere at all times, and, being God, He can certainly do anything He wants. However 'sacramental Grace' is specifically referring to that subset of God's activity where God has made (or has empowered the apostles and bishops of the Church in His name to make, to 'bind and loose',) specific promises that if man does x,  He will do y.

Thus, for example, Christ saved the thief on the Cross by simple fiat. But He has also made a promise that if an individual undergoes the sacrament of Baptism, He will cleanse their sins and unite them to the Church. We cannot assume that God won't save others in the same way as He did the thief if He chooses to do so, but we also cannot assume that He *will* choose to do so, and no individual should *expect* or can demand of God that they be saved in this way. By contrast, God has made a commitment with regard to baptism, and so we can be certain that if we receive this sacrament, we will receive the promised works of Grace (remission of sins, addition to the Church). And the same goes for the Grace associated with Chrismation, Ordination, Confession, etc--and most particularly the Mystery of Communion with its transformation of common bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ Himself.

'Sacramental Grace', accordingly, is not present everywhere at all times, because the commitment of this Grace was given to and through the Church. Just because someone (pagan, heterodox or even Orthdoox layman) picks up bread and wine and says the words of Institution over them does not set any requirement on God to respond by actually transforming the items. On the other hand if a properly ordained minister of the Church performs the sacrament, God has made the commitment that He will perform the transformation.

Thus, one of the points of discussion that comes up in discussing schism is at what point schismatics lose 'sacramental Grace'--not that they ever lose access to God's free offerings of Grace, but in separating from the Church they do lose the promises of specific Grace possessed by the Church.
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« Reply #688 on: April 20, 2012, 11:33:04 AM »

We Orthodox like to state that we know where God's grace is but we dont know where it isnt.

This is often taken too far as if it's a dogmatic or even patristic point, when really it doesn't predate the late 20th century.

Are you saying that that is not an accurate characterization of Orthodox thinking?

Well, are we to be agnostic on sacramental grace operating amongst Mormons? I think not.

Is that saying supposed to pertain to the sacraments? And what is meant by God's grace? I thought that God's grace could operate anywhere, including among Mormons. But maybe I don't have a good grasp of what grace is.

God's Grace is His Energies and is certainly present everywhere at all times, and, being God, He can certainly do anything He wants. However 'sacramental Grace' is specifically referring to that subset of God's activity where God has made (or has empowered the apostles and bishops of the Church in His name to make, to 'bind and loose',) specific promises that if man does x,  He will do y.

Thus, for example, Christ saved the thief on the Cross by simple fiat. But He has also made a promise that if an individual undergoes the sacrament of Baptism, He will cleanse their sins and unite them to the Church. We cannot assume that God won't save others in the same way as He did the thief if He chooses to do so, but we also cannot assume that He *will* choose to do so, and no individual should *expect* or can demand of God that they be saved in this way. By contrast, God has made a commitment with regard to baptism, and so we can be certain that if we receive this sacrament, we will receive the promised works of Grace (remission of sins, addition to the Church). And the same goes for the Grace associated with Chrismation, Ordination, Confession, etc--and most particularly the Mystery of Communion with its transformation of common bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ Himself.

'Sacramental Grace', accordingly, is not present everywhere at all times, because the commitment of this Grace was given to and through the Church. Just because someone (pagan, heterodox or even Orthdoox layman) picks up bread and wine and says the words of Institution over them does not set any requirement on God to respond by actually transforming the items. On the other hand if a properly ordained minister of the Church performs the sacrament, God has made the commitment that He will perform the transformation.

Thus, one of the points of discussion that comes up in discussing schism is at what point schismatics lose 'sacramental Grace'--not that they ever lose access to God's free offerings of Grace, but in separating from the Church they do lose the promises of specific Grace possessed by the Church.

Well said, witega! 

What you wrote, though, does raise a couple more questions for me.  You say, "...but in separating from the Church they do lose the promises of specific Grace possessed by the Church."  Please pardon my lack of knowledge, but would you mind providing some references for that? 

It also raises the question, which has been beaten, re-beaten, and beaten to death here, of "What *is* the Church, and who constitutes it?"  Seems Catholics and Orthodox have somewhat different answers to that, which is the source of much of the tension around the whole issue of where sacramental Grace is and is not.  Or so it seems to me.  I can't help but think that only God will be able to resolve that, in His own "time".

What you say also leaves unanswered my question to Shanghaiski, but it *was* addressed to him and not to you specifically.  If you'd care to address it, great!  If not, also great!  Wink
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« Reply #689 on: April 20, 2012, 11:45:29 AM »

I wonder what point it was when, according to strict Orthodox ecclesiology, the Catholics lost sacramental grace?
I don't think there is a unified answer

We Orthodox like to state that we know where God's grace is but we dont know where it isnt.

This is often taken too far as if it's a dogmatic or even patristic point, when really it doesn't predate the late 20th century.

Are you saying that that is not an accurate characterization of Orthodox thinking?

Well, are we to be agnostic on sacramental grace operating amongst Mormons? I think not.

How does that answer my question? 

Or, let me put it another way--what precisely *is* an accurate characterization of Orthodox thinking about this, as elucidated in statements and documents (that can be referenced) and accepted by at least a majority of Orthodox patriarchs, synods, and individual bishops worldwide?

Well, St. Basil the Great, whom I fairly certain is a person "whose opinions 'count' and are respected by not only his peers internationally but also by non-sainted hierarchs, says of those in schism:
Quote
those who had apostatized from the Church had no longer on them the grace of the Holy Spirit, for it ceased to be imparted when the continuity was broken.  The first separatists had received their ordination from the Fathers, and possessed the spiritual gift by the laying on of their hands.  But they who were broken off had become laymen, and, because they are no longer able to confer on others that grace of the Holy Spirit from which they themselves are fallen away, they had no authority either to baptize or to ordain."St. Basil's First Canonical letter
And then the 7th Ecumenical Council, whose decisions are accepted by "at least a majority of Orthodox patriarchs, synods, and individual bishops worldwide" made this epistle ecumenically authoritative.

I find that if you eliminate the personal opinions that don't account for this fact (or the fact that there have always been and are now synods which receive *all* converts via Baptism even as we confess "One Baptism" at every recitation of the Creed), since they are clearly not "serious Orthodox thinking", the confusion goes away fairly quickly.


Note: I was typing this up while you were making your last post, but I believe it addresses your request for a reference about the loss of sacramental grace among schismatics.
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« Reply #690 on: April 20, 2012, 12:01:08 PM »

I wonder what point it was when, according to strict Orthodox ecclesiology, the Catholics lost sacramental grace?
I don't think there is a unified answer

We Orthodox like to state that we know where God's grace is but we dont know where it isnt.

This is often taken too far as if it's a dogmatic or even patristic point, when really it doesn't predate the late 20th century.

Are you saying that that is not an accurate characterization of Orthodox thinking?

Well, are we to be agnostic on sacramental grace operating amongst Mormons? I think not.

How does that answer my question? 

Or, let me put it another way--what precisely *is* an accurate characterization of Orthodox thinking about this, as elucidated in statements and documents (that can be referenced) and accepted by at least a majority of Orthodox patriarchs, synods, and individual bishops worldwide?

Well, St. Basil the Great, whom I fairly certain is a person "whose opinions 'count' and are respected by not only his peers internationally but also by non-sainted hierarchs, says of those in schism:
Quote
those who had apostatized from the Church had no longer on them the grace of the Holy Spirit, for it ceased to be imparted when the continuity was broken.  The first separatists had received their ordination from the Fathers, and possessed the spiritual gift by the laying on of their hands.  But they who were broken off had become laymen, and, because they are no longer able to confer on others that grace of the Holy Spirit from which they themselves are fallen away, they had no authority either to baptize or to ordain."St. Basil's First Canonical letter
And then the 7th Ecumenical Council, whose decisions are accepted by "at least a majority of Orthodox patriarchs, synods, and individual bishops worldwide" made this epistle ecumenically authoritative.

I find that if you eliminate the personal opinions that don't account for this fact (or the fact that there have always been and are now synods which receive *all* converts via Baptism even as we confess "One Baptism" at every recitation of the Creed), since they are clearly not "serious Orthodox thinking", the confusion goes away fairly quickly.


Note: I was typing this up while you were making your last post, but I believe it addresses your request for a reference about the loss of sacramental grace among schismatics.

Okay, thanks for that.  It goes some way towards answering my question(s), but I'll need to chew on it a little longer.

The first thing that strikes me is that St. Basil uses the word "apostatized", which, to me implies a complete rejection of the faith or one's religion, rather than being in schism.  Maybe they're the same, but it doesn't seem that way to me.  Okay, now I'll go chew... Wink.

By the way, thanks for your level-headed, well-considered posts!

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« Reply #691 on: April 20, 2012, 12:42:48 PM »

Thanks Shanghaiski and witega for your explanations about sacramental grace versus grace freely offered. That distinction helps.

Well, St. Basil the Great, whom I fairly certain is a person "whose opinions 'count' and are respected by not only his peers internationally but also by non-sainted hierarchs, says of those in schism:
Quote
those who had apostatized from the Church had no longer on them the grace of the Holy Spirit, for it ceased to be imparted when the continuity was broken.  The first separatists had received their ordination from the Fathers, and possessed the spiritual gift by the laying on of their hands.  But they who were broken off had become laymen, and, because they are no longer able to confer on others that grace of the Holy Spirit from which they themselves are fallen away, they had no authority either to baptize or to ordain."St. Basil's First Canonical letter
And then the 7th Ecumenical Council, whose decisions are accepted by "at least a majority of Orthodox patriarchs, synods, and individual bishops worldwide" made this epistle ecumenically authoritative.

What would this mean if a schism is healed--be it between Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Catholics? If those who have broken off have become laymen, would their apostolic succession be invalid even once the Church has been unified? Would they have to start from scratch, or would they be able to maintain the line of succession they always held? If they have to start from scratch, wouldn't it mean that someone would have to admit that it was their Church that has fallen away?
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« Reply #692 on: April 20, 2012, 12:48:19 PM »

Thanks Shanghaiski and witega for your explanations about sacramental grace versus grace freely offered. That distinction helps.

Well, St. Basil the Great, whom I fairly certain is a person "whose opinions 'count' and are respected by not only his peers internationally but also by non-sainted hierarchs, says of those in schism:
Quote
those who had apostatized from the Church had no longer on them the grace of the Holy Spirit, for it ceased to be imparted when the continuity was broken.  The first separatists had received their ordination from the Fathers, and possessed the spiritual gift by the laying on of their hands.  But they who were broken off had become laymen, and, because they are no longer able to confer on others that grace of the Holy Spirit from which they themselves are fallen away, they had no authority either to baptize or to ordain."St. Basil's First Canonical letter
And then the 7th Ecumenical Council, whose decisions are accepted by "at least a majority of Orthodox patriarchs, synods, and individual bishops worldwide" made this epistle ecumenically authoritative.

What would this mean if a schism is healed--be it between Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Catholics? If those who have broken off have become laymen, would their apostolic succession be invalid even once the Church has been unified? Would they have to start from scratch, or would they be able to maintain the line of succession they always held? If they have to start from scratch, wouldn't it mean that someone would have to admit that it was their Church that has fallen away?

Again, the word "apostatized" is used by St. Basil, not "schism".  I don't equate the two, but I am nobody.

One other thing--no disrespect whatsoever to St. Basil, but what do others have to say about it?

By the way, great question!! 

Oh yeah...who decides who is in schism?  Or, if we are in schism with each other, doesn't that make us both schismatics?
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« Reply #693 on: April 20, 2012, 12:51:51 PM »

Quote from: J Michael
Again, the word "apostatized" is used by St. Basil, not "schism".  I don't equate the two, but I am nobody.

One other thing--no disrespect whatsoever to St. Basil, but what do others have to say about it?

By the way, great question!! 

Oh yeah...who decides who is in schism?  Or, if we are in schism with each other, doesn't that make us both schismatics?

You say tomato, I say schismatic, let's call the whole thing off!  Wink Cheesy angel
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« Reply #694 on: April 20, 2012, 01:04:57 PM »

Quote from: J Michael
Again, the word "apostatized" is used by St. Basil, not "schism".  I don't equate the two, but I am nobody.

One other thing--no disrespect whatsoever to St. Basil, but what do others have to say about it?

By the way, great question!! 

Oh yeah...who decides who is in schism?  Or, if we are in schism with each other, doesn't that make us both schismatics?

You say tomato, I say schismatic, let's call the whole thing off!  Wink Cheesy angel

From your lips (ok, keyboard) to God's ears!!
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« Reply #695 on: April 20, 2012, 01:38:39 PM »

Thanks Shanghaiski and witega for your explanations about sacramental grace versus grace freely offered. That distinction helps.

Well, St. Basil the Great, whom I fairly certain is a person "whose opinions 'count' and are respected by not only his peers internationally but also by non-sainted hierarchs, says of those in schism:
Quote
those who had apostatized from the Church had no longer on them the grace of the Holy Spirit, for it ceased to be imparted when the continuity was broken.  The first separatists had received their ordination from the Fathers, and possessed the spiritual gift by the laying on of their hands.  But they who were broken off had become laymen, and, because they are no longer able to confer on others that grace of the Holy Spirit from which they themselves are fallen away, they had no authority either to baptize or to ordain."St. Basil's First Canonical letter
And then the 7th Ecumenical Council, whose decisions are accepted by "at least a majority of Orthodox patriarchs, synods, and individual bishops worldwide" made this epistle ecumenically authoritative.

What would this mean if a schism is healed--be it between Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Catholics? If those who have broken off have become laymen, would their apostolic succession be invalid even once the Church has been unified? Would they have to start from scratch, or would they be able to maintain the line of succession they always held? If they have to start from scratch, wouldn't it mean that someone would have to admit that it was their Church that has fallen away?

The same letter contains St. Basil's discussion of 'economy'--in Gr. literally, the 'law (i.e., administration) of the house'. The idea behind economy is that the bishops, as successors of the apostles and inheritors of their authority 'to bind and to loose', have the authority to administer the household of God (the Church), including making decisions about the dispensation of Sacramental Grace for the sake of salvation of all. So for example, in the East, the literal laying on of hands by an Apostle or bishop for the 'seal of the Holy Spirit' following baptism was converted into the Sacrament of Chrismation so that it could be performed without a bishop's physical presence as Church growth made that less and less practical. In the same way, as part of their economic authority, the bishops may choose to reunite those separated from the Church without demanding that they 'start from scratch'. It is the same Holy Spirit, and the same Grace that works in all the sacraments. So in uniting to the Church those who have some form of the basics (even if it only the form), the bishops can decide not to make them 'start from scratch' but to rather restore the full work of sacramental Grace through Chrismation or Confession or simply by re-opening Communion.

There is some debate within Orthodoxy about 'how much' of that 'some form of the basics' should be present before the bishops exercise their economy, and as I mentioned there have always been synods which have chosen not to exercise such economy at all but to baptize all converts. But the principle itself is well-established. Indeed, St. Basil himself discusses a disagreement between himself and some other bishops about whether a certain group of heretics should be accepted this way or not--St. Basil did not feel their baptism should 'be accepted' in any way, but certain other bishops were receiving them via chrismation, and St. Basil states that as he recognizes their episcopacy, he must recognize those they had received. (Or in other words, if one of those heretics converted in one of St. Basil's parishes, they would have been received by baptism, but if one of them converted in another diocese where they were received by chrismation and then came into St. Basil's diocese, he would receive them in full communion).

So to get back to your question, if a reunion were to be effected with a group maintaing the traditional sacramental forms, it would be within the authority of the Orthodox epicopacy to effect this reunion by the offering of communion--and in doing so offering a full return of 'sacramental Grace' without requiring that the reuniting body 'start from scratch' for everything from baptism to ordinations.
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« Reply #696 on: April 20, 2012, 01:45:27 PM »

Thanks Shanghaiski and witega for your explanations about sacramental grace versus grace freely offered. That distinction helps.

Well, St. Basil the Great, whom I fairly certain is a person "whose opinions 'count' and are respected by not only his peers internationally but also by non-sainted hierarchs, says of those in schism:
Quote
those who had apostatized from the Church had no longer on them the grace of the Holy Spirit, for it ceased to be imparted when the continuity was broken.  The first separatists had received their ordination from the Fathers, and possessed the spiritual gift by the laying on of their hands.  But they who were broken off had become laymen, and, because they are no longer able to confer on others that grace of the Holy Spirit from which they themselves are fallen away, they had no authority either to baptize or to ordain."St. Basil's First Canonical letter
And then the 7th Ecumenical Council, whose decisions are accepted by "at least a majority of Orthodox patriarchs, synods, and individual bishops worldwide" made this epistle ecumenically authoritative.

What would this mean if a schism is healed--be it between Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Catholics? If those who have broken off have become laymen, would their apostolic succession be invalid even once the Church has been unified? Would they have to start from scratch, or would they be able to maintain the line of succession they always held? If they have to start from scratch, wouldn't it mean that someone would have to admit that it was their Church that has fallen away?

Again, the word "apostatized" is used by St. Basil, not "schism".  I don't equate the two, but I am nobody.

Actually, I only quoted part of St. Basil's letter, but I linked the whole so you could have gone and seen that St. Basil uses the two words (schism and apostasy) as synonyms. The part leading up to what I originally quoted is:
Quote
The Cathari are schismatics; but it seemed good to the ancient authorities, I mean Cyprian and our own Firmilianus, to reject all these, Cathari, Encratites, and Hydroparastatæ by one common condemnation, because the origin of separation arose through schism, and those who had apostatized from the Church had no longer on them the grace of the Holy Spirit, ...
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« Reply #697 on: April 20, 2012, 02:28:08 PM »

Thanks Shanghaiski and witega for your explanations about sacramental grace versus grace freely offered. That distinction helps.

Well, St. Basil the Great, whom I fairly certain is a person "whose opinions 'count' and are respected by not only his peers internationally but also by non-sainted hierarchs, says of those in schism:
Quote
those who had apostatized from the Church had no longer on them the grace of the Holy Spirit, for it ceased to be imparted when the continuity was broken.  The first separatists had received their ordination from the Fathers, and possessed the spiritual gift by the laying on of their hands.  But they who were broken off had become laymen, and, because they are no longer able to confer on others that grace of the Holy Spirit from which they themselves are fallen away, they had no authority either to baptize or to ordain."St. Basil's First Canonical letter
And then the 7th Ecumenical Council, whose decisions are accepted by "at least a majority of Orthodox patriarchs, synods, and individual bishops worldwide" made this epistle ecumenically authoritative.

What would this mean if a schism is healed--be it between Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Catholics? If those who have broken off have become laymen, would their apostolic succession be invalid even once the Church has been unified? Would they have to start from scratch, or would they be able to maintain the line of succession they always held? If they have to start from scratch, wouldn't it mean that someone would have to admit that it was their Church that has fallen away?

Again, the word "apostatized" is used by St. Basil, not "schism".  I don't equate the two, but I am nobody.

One other thing--no disrespect whatsoever to St. Basil, but what do others have to say about it?

By the way, great question!! 

Oh yeah...who decides who is in schism?  Or, if we are in schism with each other, doesn't that make us both schismatics?

Seriously I have heard it expressed from both 'sides' that we are 'in schism from/with each other.' Not sure that makes any sense though. Heck being called a 'schismatic' beats 'heretic' or 'apostate' on the 'kindness while using epithets scale', doesn't it?
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« Reply #698 on: April 20, 2012, 02:31:09 PM »

Thanks Shanghaiski and witega for your explanations about sacramental grace versus grace freely offered. That distinction helps.

Well, St. Basil the Great, whom I fairly certain is a person "whose opinions 'count' and are respected by not only his peers internationally but also by non-sainted hierarchs, says of those in schism:
Quote
those who had apostatized from the Church had no longer on them the grace of the Holy Spirit, for it ceased to be imparted when the continuity was broken.  The first separatists had received their ordination from the Fathers, and possessed the spiritual gift by the laying on of their hands.  But they who were broken off had become laymen, and, because they are no longer able to confer on others that grace of the Holy Spirit from which they themselves are fallen away, they had no authority either to baptize or to ordain."St. Basil's First Canonical letter
And then the 7th Ecumenical Council, whose decisions are accepted by "at least a majority of Orthodox patriarchs, synods, and individual bishops worldwide" made this epistle ecumenically authoritative.

What would this mean if a schism is healed--be it between Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Catholics? If those who have broken off have become laymen, would their apostolic succession be invalid even once the Church has been unified? Would they have to start from scratch, or would they be able to maintain the line of succession they always held? If they have to start from scratch, wouldn't it mean that someone would have to admit that it was their Church that has fallen away?

Again, the word "apostatized" is used by St. Basil, not "schism".  I don't equate the two, but I am nobody.

Actually, I only quoted part of St. Basil's letter, but I linked the whole so you could have gone and seen that St. Basil uses the two words (schism and apostasy) as synonyms. The part leading up to what I originally quoted is:
Quote
The Cathari are schismatics; but it seemed good to the ancient authorities, I mean Cyprian and our own Firmilianus, to reject all these, Cathari, Encratites, and Hydroparastatæ by one common condemnation, because the origin of separation arose through schism, and those who had apostatized from the Church had no longer on them the grace of the Holy Spirit, ...


I'll go and read the whole letter when I get a chance.  Thanks for posting the link.

I think I'm a little stuck on the language, as I mentioned before.  If he was writing in Greek, is the Greek word for "apostasy"  the same as for "schism"?  I ask because in English they are quite different and if cross-referenced in a thesaurus, neither refers to or is mentioned by the other, indicating to me that they are not the same.  It may be a small thing, but as you know, language can be incredibly powerful, uniting us or dividing us by a single word sometimes--just look at "filioque"  Wink.  Could it be that he is incorrectly using the words interchangeably, or that they were mistranslated?
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« Reply #699 on: April 20, 2012, 02:34:14 PM »

Thanks Shanghaiski and witega for your explanations about sacramental grace versus grace freely offered. That distinction helps.

Well, St. Basil the Great, whom I fairly certain is a person "whose opinions 'count' and are respected by not only his peers internationally but also by non-sainted hierarchs, says of those in schism:
Quote
those who had apostatized from the Church had no longer on them the grace of the Holy Spirit, for it ceased to be imparted when the continuity was broken.  The first separatists had received their ordination from the Fathers, and possessed the spiritual gift by the laying on of their hands.  But they who were broken off had become laymen, and, because they are no longer able to confer on others that grace of the Holy Spirit from which they themselves are fallen away, they had no authority either to baptize or to ordain."St. Basil's First Canonical letter
And then the 7th Ecumenical Council, whose decisions are accepted by "at least a majority of Orthodox patriarchs, synods, and individual bishops worldwide" made this epistle ecumenically authoritative.

What would this mean if a schism is healed--be it between Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Catholics? If those who have broken off have become laymen, would their apostolic succession be invalid even once the Church has been unified? Would they have to start from scratch, or would they be able to maintain the line of succession they always held? If they have to start from scratch, wouldn't it mean that someone would have to admit that it was their Church that has fallen away?

Again, the word "apostatized" is used by St. Basil, not "schism".  I don't equate the two, but I am nobody.

One other thing--no disrespect whatsoever to St. Basil, but what do others have to say about it?

By the way, great question!! 

Oh yeah...who decides who is in schism?  Or, if we are in schism with each other, doesn't that make us both schismatics?

Seriously I have heard it expressed from both 'sides' that we are 'in schism from/with each other.' Not sure that makes any sense though. Heck being called a 'schismatic' beats 'heretic' or 'apostate' on the 'kindness while using epithets scale', doesn't it?

Too right!

Call me schismatic and I can laugh at (and maybe with) you.  Call me a heretic I'll just get mad.  Call me an apostate and you'll have to go to confession for lying  laugh laugh.
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« Reply #700 on: April 20, 2012, 06:28:34 PM »

If he was writing in Greek, is the Greek word for "apostasy"  the same as for "schism"?

The etymologies of those two english words are greek. "Apostasy" meaning "to forsake" and "schism" meaning "division".
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« Reply #701 on: April 20, 2012, 06:34:07 PM »

If he was writing in Greek, is the Greek word for "apostasy"  the same as for "schism"?

The etymologies of those two english words are greek. "Apostasy" meaning "to forsake" and "schism" meaning "division".

Schism does not inherently mean a loss of Apostolic Succession.
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« Reply #702 on: April 20, 2012, 07:05:49 PM »

Apostasy is a word that should be used lightly.  As an example, no matter how much I disagree with Roman Catholics, I can neither call them true heretics nor can I call them apostates.  Since most of the RC that I have known have never been anything other than RC, where was the apostasy?  They have never known anything else, so how can they have known the Truth and then rejected it.  Heresy also does not fit because most RC that I know sincerely believe what they teach.  They have never really "rejected" the Truth (as EO know it) because most have never really been effectively confronted with it.  These terms may be appropriate at some individual levels, but I cannot see them as totally accurate in the big scheme of things.
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« Reply #703 on: April 20, 2012, 07:23:38 PM »

Apostasy is a word that should be used lightly.  As an example, no matter how much I disagree with Roman Catholics, I can neither call them true heretics nor can I call them apostates.  Since most of the RC that I have known have never been anything other than RC, where was the apostasy? 

Just so. I haven't any plan to join the Orthodox Church, but that doesn't mean that I would leave it if I were in it.
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« Reply #704 on: April 21, 2012, 12:17:29 AM »

Thanks Shanghaiski and witega for your explanations about sacramental grace versus grace freely offered. That distinction helps.

Well, St. Basil the Great, whom I fairly certain is a person "whose opinions 'count' and are respected by not only his peers internationally but also by non-sainted hierarchs, says of those in schism:
Quote
those who had apostatized from the Church had no longer on them the grace of the Holy Spirit, for it ceased to be imparted when the continuity was broken.  The first separatists had received their ordination from the Fathers, and possessed the spiritual gift by the laying on of their hands.  But they who were broken off had become laymen, and, because they are no longer able to confer on others that grace of the Holy Spirit from which they themselves are fallen away, they had no authority either to baptize or to ordain."St. Basil's First Canonical letter
And then the 7th Ecumenical Council, whose decisions are accepted by "at least a majority of Orthodox patriarchs, synods, and individual bishops worldwide" made this epistle ecumenically authoritative.

What would this mean if a schism is healed--be it between Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Catholics? If those who have broken off have become laymen, would their apostolic succession be invalid even once the Church has been unified? Would they have to start from scratch, or would they be able to maintain the line of succession they always held? If they have to start from scratch, wouldn't it mean that someone would have to admit that it was their Church that has fallen away?

Again, the word "apostatized" is used by St. Basil, not "schism".  I don't equate the two, but I am nobody.

Actually, I only quoted part of St. Basil's letter, but I linked the whole so you could have gone and seen that St. Basil uses the two words (schism and apostasy) as synonyms. The part leading up to what I originally quoted is:
Quote
The Cathari are schismatics; but it seemed good to the ancient authorities, I mean Cyprian and our own Firmilianus, to reject all these, Cathari, Encratites, and Hydroparastatæ by one common condemnation, because the origin of separation arose through schism, and those who had apostatized from the Church had no longer on them the grace of the Holy Spirit, ...


I'll go and read the whole letter when I get a chance.  Thanks for posting the link.

I think I'm a little stuck on the language, as I mentioned before.  If he was writing in Greek, is the Greek word for "apostasy"  the same as for "schism"?  I ask because in English they are quite different and if cross-referenced in a thesaurus, neither refers to or is mentioned by the other, indicating to me that they are not the same.  It may be a small thing, but as you know, language can be incredibly powerful, uniting us or dividing us by a single word sometimes--just look at "filioque"  Wink.  Could it be that he is incorrectly using the words interchangeably, or that they were mistranslated?

I think we need to be careful about reading modern English usage of the word back into the original Greek. English usage, after all, has spent the last 5 centuries developing in an explicitly pluralistic society. Indeed in many Protestant denominations, including those which make up the majority of American English-speaking Christians, it is possible for a congregation to have 'a schism' in which both the resulting factions still consider themselves, and are considered by others, to be full members of their particular denomination.  As such, a very clear gap has appeared in English usage between 'schismatic'--one who splits from a Church body, although not necessarily from the larger denomination, much less from Christianity as a whole-- and 'apostate'--one who leaves his faith completely.

I don't believe this gap can be read back into the Fathers. I've already quoted St. Basil. In that section he is speaking specifically of the Cathari, by which he means what we today call the Novatian schism. The Novatian schism was pretty much a purely political schism. Other than the issue of who should have become Roman bishop after the martyrdom of St. Fabian and a more rigorous position about what should be demanded of the lapsed before they were returned to communion (probably adopted by Novatian as grounds for his case that he should have been made bishop rather than St. Cornelius), the Novatians shared all the doctrines and practices of the Catholic Church. And St. Basil starts off by specifically identifying them as schismatics. But when he speaks of those who started the schism, he quite clearly uses the word apostasy. If there's a difference between schism and apostacy for St. Basil, it would seem to only be that those who create the initial schism are apostate and schismatic, while those who come after, who were never members of anything but the schismatic group are only schismatic.

I am certain I have seen this usage elsewhere in the Fathers with a wide assortment of heretics and schismatics referred to as apostates, and not just a figure like the Emperor Julian who left Christianity completely. Indeed, I'm fairly certain I've seen Roman sources from the 15th and 16th centuries that call Luther an 'apostate'. But since I don't have time to go through the entirety of Migne, I'll offer one other example--canons 1 and 2 of the 3rd Ecumenical council which refer to Nestorius and any one who sided with him against the decisions of Ephesus as 'apostates'. By the modern definition that doesn't fit at all--Nestorius and his supporters didn't 'leave' the Church, and they certainly never renounced Christianity as a whole or even their former beliefs. Rather they were kicked out of the Church when they refused to acknowledge that their existing beliefs were heresy and renounce them.

Or in other words, I can understand why the word 'apostasy' might hang you up. And I'm actually in full agreement about the use of the word 'apostate' in modern contexts. But between St. Basil's own position as one of the great hierarchs and teachers of Orthodoxy and the imprimatur the letter received from an Ecumenical Council, I don't think it makes much sense to try to argue that St. Basil misused the term when he applied it to those who start a schism. We simply need to recognize that the usage is different.
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« Reply #705 on: April 21, 2012, 01:25:10 AM »

Thanks Shanghaiski and witega for your explanations about sacramental grace versus grace freely offered. That distinction helps.

Well, St. Basil the Great, whom I fairly certain is a person "whose opinions 'count' and are respected by not only his peers internationally but also by non-sainted hierarchs, says of those in schism:
Quote
those who had apostatized from the Church had no longer on them the grace of the Holy Spirit, for it ceased to be imparted when the continuity was broken.  The first separatists had received their ordination from the Fathers, and possessed the spiritual gift by the laying on of their hands.  But they who were broken off had become laymen, and, because they are no longer able to confer on others that grace of the Holy Spirit from which they themselves are fallen away, they had no authority either to baptize or to ordain."St. Basil's First Canonical letter
And then the 7th Ecumenical Council, whose decisions are accepted by "at least a majority of Orthodox patriarchs, synods, and individual bishops worldwide" made this epistle ecumenically authoritative.

What would this mean if a schism is healed--be it between Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Catholics? If those who have broken off have become laymen, would their apostolic succession be invalid even once the Church has been unified? Would they have to start from scratch, or would they be able to maintain the line of succession they always held? If they have to start from scratch, wouldn't it mean that someone would have to admit that it was their Church that has fallen away?

Again, the word "apostatized" is used by St. Basil, not "schism".  I don't equate the two, but I am nobody.

One other thing--no disrespect whatsoever to St. Basil, but what do others have to say about it?

By the way, great question!! 

Oh yeah...who decides who is in schism?  Or, if we are in schism with each other, doesn't that make us both schismatics?

Seriously I have heard it expressed from both 'sides' that we are 'in schism from/with each other.' Not sure that makes any sense though. Heck being called a 'schismatic' beats 'heretic' or 'apostate' on the 'kindness while using epithets scale', doesn't it?

Too right!

Call me schismatic and I can laugh at (and maybe with) you.  Call me a heretic I'll just get mad.  Call me an apostate and you'll have to go to confession for lying  laugh laugh.

Well you used to be Eastern Orthodox and are now in communion with the Roman church of your own free will, so you would qualify as a schismatic, a heretic and an apostate.
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« Reply #706 on: April 21, 2012, 09:23:11 AM »

Thanks Shanghaiski and witega for your explanations about sacramental grace versus grace freely offered. That distinction helps.

Well, St. Basil the Great, whom I fairly certain is a person "whose opinions 'count' and are respected by not only his peers internationally but also by non-sainted hierarchs, says of those in schism:
Quote
those who had apostatized from the Church had no longer on them the grace of the Holy Spirit, for it ceased to be imparted when the continuity was broken.  The first separatists had received their ordination from the Fathers, and possessed the spiritual gift by the laying on of their hands.  But they who were broken off had become laymen, and, because they are no longer able to confer on others that grace of the Holy Spirit from which they themselves are fallen away, they had no authority either to baptize or to ordain."St. Basil's First Canonical letter
And then the 7th Ecumenical Council, whose decisions are accepted by "at least a majority of Orthodox patriarchs, synods, and individual bishops worldwide" made this epistle ecumenically authoritative.

What would this mean if a schism is healed--be it between Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Catholics? If those who have broken off have become laymen, would their apostolic succession be invalid even once the Church has been unified? Would they have to start from scratch, or would they be able to maintain the line of succession they always held? If they have to start from scratch, wouldn't it mean that someone would have to admit that it was their Church that has fallen away?

Again, the word "apostatized" is used by St. Basil, not "schism".  I don't equate the two, but I am nobody.

One other thing--no disrespect whatsoever to St. Basil, but what do others have to say about it?

By the way, great question!! 

Oh yeah...who decides who is in schism?  Or, if we are in schism with each other, doesn't that make us both schismatics?

Seriously I have heard it expressed from both 'sides' that we are 'in schism from/with each other.' Not sure that makes any sense though. Heck being called a 'schismatic' beats 'heretic' or 'apostate' on the 'kindness while using epithets scale', doesn't it?

Too right!

Call me schismatic and I can laugh at (and maybe with) you.  Call me a heretic I'll just get mad.  Call me an apostate and you'll have to go to confession for lying  laugh laugh.

Well you used to be Eastern Orthodox and are now in communion with the Roman church of your own free will, so you would qualify as a schismatic, a heretic and an apostate.

I think you missed witega's points by making that statement.
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« Reply #707 on: April 21, 2012, 10:03:26 AM »

Thanks Shanghaiski and witega for your explanations about sacramental grace versus grace freely offered. That distinction helps.

Well, St. Basil the Great, whom I fairly certain is a person "whose opinions 'count' and are respected by not only his peers internationally but also by non-sainted hierarchs, says of those in schism:
Quote
those who had apostatized from the Church had no longer on them the grace of the Holy Spirit, for it ceased to be imparted when the continuity was broken.  The first separatists had received their ordination from the Fathers, and possessed the spiritual gift by the laying on of their hands.  But they who were broken off had become laymen, and, because they are no longer able to confer on others that grace of the Holy Spirit from which they themselves are fallen away, they had no authority either to baptize or to ordain."St. Basil's First Canonical letter
And then the 7th Ecumenical Council, whose decisions are accepted by "at least a majority of Orthodox patriarchs, synods, and individual bishops worldwide" made this epistle ecumenically authoritative.

What would this mean if a schism is healed--be it between Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Catholics? If those who have broken off have become laymen, would their apostolic succession be invalid even once the Church has been unified? Would they have to start from scratch, or would they be able to maintain the line of succession they always held? If they have to start from scratch, wouldn't it mean that someone would have to admit that it was their Church that has fallen away?

Again, the word "apostatized" is used by St. Basil, not "schism".  I don't equate the two, but I am nobody.

One other thing--no disrespect whatsoever to St. Basil, but what do others have to say about it?

By the way, great question!!  

Oh yeah...who decides who is in schism?  Or, if we are in schism with each other, doesn't that make us both schismatics?

Seriously I have heard it expressed from both 'sides' that we are 'in schism from/with each other.' Not sure that makes any sense though. Heck being called a 'schismatic' beats 'heretic' or 'apostate' on the 'kindness while using epithets scale', doesn't it?

Too right!

Call me schismatic and I can laugh at (and maybe with) you.  Call me a heretic I'll just get mad.  Call me an apostate and you'll have to go to confession for lying  laugh laugh.

Well you used to be Eastern Orthodox and are now in communion with the Roman church of your own free will, so you would qualify as a schismatic, a heretic and an apostate.


Before I was Orthodox I was Catholic.  I realized my error, repented, and returned to the Catholic Church.  All of my own free will.  I am home.  I am...........Catholic.  Feel free to call me anything else  you like.  God and I and my Church know what I am and what I am not.   Wink

But...this isn't about me.  Nor is it about any particular identified individual here.  Let's try to not make it personal.  My previous comment was made jokingly--hence the smileys.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2012, 10:12:42 AM by J Michael » Logged

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« Reply #708 on: April 21, 2012, 10:12:07 AM »


Or in other words, I can understand why the word 'apostasy' might hang you up. And I'm actually in full agreement about the use of the word 'apostate' in modern contexts. But between St. Basil's own position as one of the great hierarchs and teachers of Orthodoxy and the imprimatur the letter received from an Ecumenical Council, I don't think it makes much sense to try to argue that St. Basil misused the term when he applied it to those who start a schism. We simply need to recognize that the usage is different.

I am sure, by this, you mean a "formal" schism where one group is ejected from the parent Church for trying to lead the flock down a pathway that is heretical and destructive of the truths of revelation and the good working order of the Body of Christ.

You would not be, I am sure, thinking of those times in history where people were annoyed and made up things about another group, misread them badly, rendered it as fact, and then said "Anathema!"...

This latter would be a material schism and not a formal schism.

One of the ways to check on a formal schism is to see if the group that is outside was driven out or if the loss of communion happened over a long time with great bitterness and half-hearted separation that never really solidifies into any formal declaration of heresy by all of the parent Church.

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« Last Edit: April 21, 2012, 10:13:08 AM by elijahmaria » Logged

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« Reply #709 on: April 21, 2012, 01:33:25 PM »

I am sure, by this,

I have no idea, based on the authorities I have quoted or the reasoning I have adduced from them, where you gain this certainty.

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« Reply #710 on: April 21, 2012, 03:26:37 PM »

Thanks Shanghaiski and witega for your explanations about sacramental grace versus grace freely offered. That distinction helps.

Well, St. Basil the Great, whom I fairly certain is a person "whose opinions 'count' and are respected by not only his peers internationally but also by non-sainted hierarchs, says of those in schism:
Quote
those who had apostatized from the Church had no longer on them the grace of the Holy Spirit, for it ceased to be imparted when the continuity was broken.  The first separatists had received their ordination from the Fathers, and possessed the spiritual gift by the laying on of their hands.  But they who were broken off had become laymen, and, because they are no longer able to confer on others that grace of the Holy Spirit from which they themselves are fallen away, they had no authority either to baptize or to ordain."St. Basil's First Canonical letter
And then the 7th Ecumenical Council, whose decisions are accepted by "at least a majority of Orthodox patriarchs, synods, and individual bishops worldwide" made this epistle ecumenically authoritative.

What would this mean if a schism is healed--be it between Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Catholics? If those who have broken off have become laymen, would their apostolic succession be invalid even once the Church has been unified? Would they have to start from scratch, or would they be able to maintain the line of succession they always held? If they have to start from scratch, wouldn't it mean that someone would have to admit that it was their Church that has fallen away?

Again, the word "apostatized" is used by St. Basil, not "schism".  I don't equate the two, but I am nobody.

One other thing--no disrespect whatsoever to St. Basil, but what do others have to say about it?

By the way, great question!!  

Oh yeah...who decides who is in schism?  Or, if we are in schism with each other, doesn't that make us both schismatics?

Seriously I have heard it expressed from both 'sides' that we are 'in schism from/with each other.' Not sure that makes any sense though. Heck being called a 'schismatic' beats 'heretic' or 'apostate' on the 'kindness while using epithets scale', doesn't it?

Too right!

Call me schismatic and I can laugh at (and maybe with) you.  Call me a heretic I'll just get mad.  Call me an apostate and you'll have to go to confession for lying  laugh laugh.

Well you used to be Eastern Orthodox and are now in communion with the Roman church of your own free will, so you would qualify as a schismatic, a heretic and an apostate.


Before I was Orthodox I was Catholic.  I realized my error, repented, and returned to the Catholic Church.  All of my own free will.  I am home.  I am...........Catholic.  Feel free to call me anything else  you like.  God and I and my Church know what I am and what I am not.   Wink

This is why I cannot say that you are not the three epithets above. Unlike most Catholics, you have in fact consciously entertained Orthodoxy and rejected it, even calling it an 'error' of which you have 'repented' (which is incredibly asinine considering this is an Orthodox board). So, yes, you are a schismatic, heretic and apostate.

Quote
But...this isn't about me.  Nor is it about any particular identified individual here.  Let's try to not make it personal.  My previous comment was made jokingly--hence the smileys.

If you don't want people to talk about you, don't gloat about how you somehow can apostasize from Orthodoxy without being an apostate and how people who think you are are an apostate are liars.
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Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. - Matt. 5:24
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« Reply #711 on: April 21, 2012, 04:19:55 PM »

Thanks Shanghaiski and witega for your explanations about sacramental grace versus grace freely offered. That distinction helps.

Well, St. Basil the Great, whom I fairly certain is a person "whose opinions 'count' and are respected by not only his peers internationally but also by non-sainted hierarchs, says of those in schism:
Quote
those who had apostatized from the Church had no longer on them the grace of the Holy Spirit, for it ceased to be imparted when the continuity was broken.  The first separatists had received their ordination from the Fathers, and possessed the spiritual gift by the laying on of their hands.  But they who were broken off had become laymen, and, because they are no longer able to confer on others that grace of the Holy Spirit from which they themselves are fallen away, they had no authority either to baptize or to ordain."St. Basil's First Canonical letter
And then the 7th Ecumenical Council, whose decisions are accepted by "at least a majority of Orthodox patriarchs, synods, and individual bishops worldwide" made this epistle ecumenically authoritative.

What would this mean if a schism is healed--be it between Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Catholics? If those who have broken off have become laymen, would their apostolic succession be invalid even once the Church has been unified? Would they have to start from scratch, or would they be able to maintain the line of succession they always held? If they have to start from scratch, wouldn't it mean that someone would have to admit that it was their Church that has fallen away?

Again, the word "apostatized" is used by St. Basil, not "schism".  I don't equate the two, but I am nobody.

One other thing--no disrespect whatsoever to St. Basil, but what do others have to say about it?

By the way, great question!!  

Oh yeah...who decides who is in schism?  Or, if we are in schism with each other, doesn't that make us both schismatics?

Seriously I have heard it expressed from both 'sides' that we are 'in schism from/with each other.' Not sure that makes any sense though. Heck being called a 'schismatic' beats 'heretic' or 'apostate' on the 'kindness while using epithets scale', doesn't it?

Too right!

Call me schismatic and I can laugh at (and maybe with) you.  Call me a heretic I'll just get mad.  Call me an apostate and you'll have to go to confession for lying  laugh laugh.

Well you used to be Eastern Orthodox and are now in communion with the Roman church of your own free will, so you would qualify as a schismatic, a heretic and an apostate.


Before I was Orthodox I was Catholic.  I realized my error, repented, and returned to the Catholic Church.  All of my own free will.  I am home.  I am...........Catholic.  Feel free to call me anything else  you like.  God and I and my Church know what I am and what I am not.   Wink

This is why I cannot say that you are not the three epithets above. Unlike most Catholics, you have in fact consciously entertained Orthodoxy and rejected it, even calling it an 'error' of which you have 'repented' (which is incredibly asinine considering this is an Orthodox board). So, yes, you are a schismatic, heretic and apostate.

Quote
But...this isn't about me.  Nor is it about any particular identified individual here.  Let's try to not make it personal.  My previous comment was made jokingly--hence the smileys.

If you don't want people to talk about you, don't gloat about how you somehow can apostasize from Orthodoxy without being an apostate and how people who think you are are an apostate are liars.

Did it cross your mind that perhaps the "error" he "repented" of was leaving Catholicism, and not Orthodoxy itself? You know what I find incredibly asinine? Seventeen year old inquirers raining down pejoratives on people on the internet during Bright Week. Why not just finish off your post with "Anathema, anathema, anathema!"?

I swear, nothing turns me off to Orthodoxy more than internet Orthodox... because if that^ is what it's about, count me out. I think I need a break from this.
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« Reply #712 on: April 21, 2012, 04:43:44 PM »

Thanks Shanghaiski and witega for your explanations about sacramental grace versus grace freely offered. That distinction helps.

Well, St. Basil the Great, whom I fairly certain is a person "whose opinions 'count' and are respected by not only his peers internationally but also by non-sainted hierarchs, says of those in schism:
Quote
those who had apostatized from the Church had no longer on them the grace of the Holy Spirit, for it ceased to be imparted when the continuity was broken.  The first separatists had received their ordination from the Fathers, and possessed the spiritual gift by the laying on of their hands.  But they who were broken off had become laymen, and, because they are no longer able to confer on others that grace of the Holy Spirit from which they themselves are fallen away, they had no authority either to baptize or to ordain."St. Basil's First Canonical letter
And then the 7th Ecumenical Council, whose decisions are accepted by "at least a majority of Orthodox patriarchs, synods, and individual bishops worldwide" made this epistle ecumenically authoritative.

What would this mean if a schism is healed--be it between Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Catholics? If those who have broken off have become laymen, would their apostolic succession be invalid even once the Church has been unified? Would they have to start from scratch, or would they be able to maintain the line of succession they always held? If they have to start from scratch, wouldn't it mean that someone would have to admit that it was their Church that has fallen away?

Again, the word "apostatized" is used by St. Basil, not "schism".  I don't equate the two, but I am nobody.

One other thing--no disrespect whatsoever to St. Basil, but what do others have to say about it?

By the way, great question!!  

Oh yeah...who decides who is in schism?  Or, if we are in schism with each other, doesn't that make us both schismatics?

Seriously I have heard it expressed from both 'sides' that we are 'in schism from/with each other.' Not sure that makes any sense though. Heck being called a 'schismatic' beats 'heretic' or 'apostate' on the 'kindness while using epithets scale', doesn't it?

Too right!

Call me schismatic and I can laugh at (and maybe with) you.  Call me a heretic I'll just get mad.  Call me an apostate and you'll have to go to confession for lying  laugh laugh.

Well you used to be Eastern Orthodox and are now in communion with the Roman church of your own free will, so you would qualify as a schismatic, a heretic and an apostate.


Before I was Orthodox I was Catholic.  I realized my error, repented, and returned to the Catholic Church.  All of my own free will.  I am home.  I am...........Catholic.  Feel free to call me anything else  you like.  God and I and my Church know what I am and what I am not.   Wink

This is why I cannot say that you are not the three epithets above. Unlike most Catholics, you have in fact consciously entertained Orthodoxy and rejected it, even calling it an 'error' of which you have 'repented' (which is incredibly asinine considering this is an Orthodox board). So, yes, you are a schismatic, heretic and apostate.

Quote
But...this isn't about me.  Nor is it about any particular identified individual here.  Let's try to not make it personal.  My previous comment was made jokingly--hence the smileys.

If you don't want people to talk about you, don't gloat about how you somehow can apostasize from Orthodoxy without being an apostate and how people who think you are are an apostate are liars.

As much as I dislike seeing Orthodoxy being called an error, I don't think such harsh language is warranted.
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« Reply #713 on: April 21, 2012, 06:10:08 PM »

Thanks Shanghaiski and witega for your explanations about sacramental grace versus grace freely offered. That distinction helps.

Well, St. Basil the Great, whom I fairly certain is a person "whose opinions 'count' and are respected by not only his peers internationally but also by non-sainted hierarchs, says of those in schism:
Quote
those who had apostatized from the Church had no longer on them the grace of the Holy Spirit, for it ceased to be imparted when the continuity was broken.  The first separatists had received their ordination from the Fathers, and possessed the spiritual gift by the laying on of their hands.  But they who were broken off had become laymen, and, because they are no longer able to confer on others that grace of the Holy Spirit from which they themselves are fallen away, they had no authority either to baptize or to ordain."St. Basil's First Canonical letter
And then the 7th Ecumenical Council, whose decisions are accepted by "at least a majority of Orthodox patriarchs, synods, and individual bishops worldwide" made this epistle ecumenically authoritative.

What would this mean if a schism is healed--be it between Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Catholics? If those who have broken off have become laymen, would their apostolic succession be invalid even once the Church has been unified? Would they have to start from scratch, or would they be able to maintain the line of succession they always held? If they have to start from scratch, wouldn't it mean that someone would have to admit that it was their Church that has fallen away?

Again, the word "apostatized" is used by St. Basil, not "schism".  I don't equate the two, but I am nobody.

One other thing--no disrespect whatsoever to St. Basil, but what do others have to say about it?

By the way, great question!!  

Oh yeah...who decides who is in schism?  Or, if we are in schism with each other, doesn't that make us both schismatics?

Seriously I have heard it expressed from both 'sides' that we are 'in schism from/with each other.' Not sure that makes any sense though. Heck being called a 'schismatic' beats 'heretic' or 'apostate' on the 'kindness while using epithets scale', doesn't it?

Too right!

Call me schismatic and I can laugh at (and maybe with) you.  Call me a heretic I'll just get mad.  Call me an apostate and you'll have to go to confession for lying  laugh laugh.

Well you used to be Eastern Orthodox and are now in communion with the Roman church of your own free will, so you would qualify as a schismatic, a heretic and an apostate.


Before I was Orthodox I was Catholic.  I realized my error, repented, and returned to the Catholic Church.  All of my own free will.  I am home.  I am...........Catholic.  Feel free to call me anything else  you like.  God and I and my Church know what I am and what I am not.   Wink

This is why I cannot say that you are not the three epithets above. Unlike most Catholics, you have in fact consciously entertained Orthodoxy and rejected it, even calling it an 'error' of which you have 'repented' (which is incredibly asinine considering this is an Orthodox board). So, yes, you are a schismatic, heretic and apostate.

Quote
But...this isn't about me.  Nor is it about any particular identified individual here.  Let's try to not make it personal.  My previous comment was made jokingly--hence the smileys.

If you don't want people to talk about you, don't gloat about how you somehow can apostasize from Orthodoxy without being an apostate and how people who think you are are an apostate are liars.

Did it cross your mind that perhaps the "error" he "repented" of was leaving Catholicism, and not Orthodoxy itself? You know what I find incredibly asinine? Seventeen year old inquirers raining down pejoratives on people on the internet during Bright Week. Why not just finish off your post with "Anathema, anathema, anathema!"?

I swear, nothing turns me off to Orthodoxy more than internet Orthodox... because if that^ is what it's about, count me out. I think I need a break from this.

Hmm...a vociferous attack complaining of insulting language.  If leaving Catholicism was an error, when he left it for Orthodoxy, it stands to reason that Orthodoxy is an error in his mind.  Consequently, he is certainly - from the point of view of Orthodoxy - a heretic and a schismatic, though whether or not he is an apostate is open to interpretation (personally, I think the term should only be used for those who leave any sort of Christianity, for instance Christians who become Sikhs).
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« Reply #714 on: April 21, 2012, 06:17:13 PM »

Just trying to make an ecclesiological point, everyone. I wouldn't have used those words if J Michael hadn't used them himself.

Anathema!
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« Reply #715 on: April 21, 2012, 08:59:09 PM »

Thanks Shanghaiski and witega for your explanations about sacramental grace versus grace freely offered. That distinction helps.

Well, St. Basil the Great, whom I fairly certain is a person "whose opinions 'count' and are respected by not only his peers internationally but also by non-sainted hierarchs, says of those in schism:
Quote
those who had apostatized from the Church had no longer on them the grace of the Holy Spirit, for it ceased to be imparted when the continuity was broken.  The first separatists had received their ordination from the Fathers, and possessed the spiritual gift by the laying on of their hands.  But they who were broken off had become laymen, and, because they are no longer able to confer on others that grace of the Holy Spirit from which they themselves are fallen away, they had no authority either to baptize or to ordain."St. Basil's First Canonical letter
And then the 7th Ecumenical Council, whose decisions are accepted by "at least a majority of Orthodox patriarchs, synods, and individual bishops worldwide" made this epistle ecumenically authoritative.

What would this mean if a schism is healed--be it between Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Catholics? If those who have broken off have become laymen, would their apostolic succession be invalid even once the Church has been unified? Would they have to start from scratch, or would they be able to maintain the line of succession they always held? If they have to start from scratch, wouldn't it mean that someone would have to admit that it was their Church that has fallen away?

Again, the word "apostatized" is used by St. Basil, not "schism".  I don't equate the two, but I am nobody.

One other thing--no disrespect whatsoever to St. Basil, but what do others have to say about it?

By the way, great question!!  

Oh yeah...who decides who is in schism?  Or, if we are in schism with each other, doesn't that make us both schismatics?

Seriously I have heard it expressed from both 'sides' that we are 'in schism from/with each other.' Not sure that makes any sense though. Heck being called a 'schismatic' beats 'heretic' or 'apostate' on the 'kindness while using epithets scale', doesn't it?

Too right!

Call me schismatic and I can laugh at (and maybe with) you.  Call me a heretic I'll just get mad.  Call me an apostate and you'll have to go to confession for lying  laugh laugh.

Well you used to be Eastern Orthodox and are now in communion with the Roman church of your own free will, so you would qualify as a schismatic, a heretic and an apostate.


Before I was Orthodox I was Catholic.  I realized my error, repented, and returned to the Catholic Church.  All of my own free will.  I am home.  I am...........Catholic.  Feel free to call me anything else  you like.  God and I and my Church know what I am and what I am not.   Wink

This is why I cannot say that you are not the three epithets above. Unlike most Catholics, you have in fact consciously entertained Orthodoxy and rejected it, even calling it an 'error' of which you have 'repented' (which is incredibly asinine considering this is an Orthodox board). So, yes, you are a schismatic, heretic and apostate.

Quote
But...this isn't about me.  Nor is it about any particular identified individual here.  Let's try to not make it personal.  My previous comment was made jokingly--hence the smileys.

If you don't want people to talk about you, don't gloat about how you somehow can apostasize from Orthodoxy without being an apostate and how people who think you are are an apostate are liars.

Did it cross your mind that perhaps the "error" he "repented" of was leaving Catholicism, and not Orthodoxy itself? You know what I find incredibly asinine? Seventeen year old inquirers raining down pejoratives on people on the internet during Bright Week. Why not just finish off your post with "Anathema, anathema, anathema!"?

I swear, nothing turns me off to Orthodoxy more than internet Orthodox... because if that^ is what it's about, count me out. I think I need a break from this.

Hmm...a vociferous attack complaining of insulting language.  If leaving Catholicism was an error, when he left it for Orthodoxy, it stands to reason that Orthodoxy is an error in his mind.  Consequently, he is certainly - from the point of view of Orthodoxy - a heretic and a schismatic, though whether or not he is an apostate is open to interpretation (personally, I think the term should only be used for those who leave any sort of Christianity, for instance Christians who become Sikhs).

I'm nothing if not vociferous.  Wink

In seriousness: J Michael has always been kind and pleasant in his interactions with posters here from what I have seen, and for someone to come along and tell him that he is the Ultimate Trifecta of Doom really rubbed me the wrong way.

I probably could have reacted better, and that's my bad for posting while angry, so I am sorry for that much at least.
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« Reply #716 on: April 21, 2012, 09:07:52 PM »

Thanks Shanghaiski and witega for your explanations about sacramental grace versus grace freely offered. That distinction helps.

Well, St. Basil the Great, whom I fairly certain is a person "whose opinions 'count' and are respected by not only his peers internationally but also by non-sainted hierarchs, says of those in schism:
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those who had apostatized from the Church had no longer on them the grace of the Holy Spirit, for it ceased to be imparted when the continuity was broken.  The first separatists had received their ordination from the Fathers, and possessed the spiritual gift by the laying on of their hands.  But they who were broken off had become laymen, and, because they are no longer able to confer on others that grace of the Holy Spirit from which they themselves are fallen away, they had no authority either to baptize or to ordain."St. Basil's First Canonical letter
And then the 7th Ecumenical Council, whose decisions are accepted by "at least a majority of Orthodox patriarchs, synods, and individual bishops worldwide" made this epistle ecumenically authoritative.

What would this mean if a schism is healed--be it between Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Catholics? If those who have broken off have become laymen, would their apostolic succession be invalid even once the Church has been unified? Would they have to start from scratch, or would they be able to maintain the line of succession they always held? If they have to start from scratch, wouldn't it mean that someone would have to admit that it was their Church that has fallen away?

Again, the word "apostatized" is used by St. Basil, not "schism".  I don't equate the two, but I am nobody.

One other thing--no disrespect whatsoever to St. Basil, but what do others have to say about it?

By the way, great question!!  

Oh yeah...who decides who is in schism?  Or, if we are in schism with each other, doesn't that make us both schismatics?

Seriously I have heard it expressed from both 'sides' that we are 'in schism from/with each other.' Not sure that makes any sense though. Heck being called a 'schismatic' beats 'heretic' or 'apostate' on the 'kindness while using epithets scale', doesn't it?

Too right!

Call me schismatic and I can laugh at (and maybe with) you.  Call me a heretic I'll just get mad.  Call me an apostate and you'll have to go to confession for lying  laugh laugh.

Well you used to be Eastern Orthodox and are now in communion with the Roman church of your own free will, so you would qualify as a schismatic, a heretic and an apostate.


Before I was Orthodox I was Catholic.  I realized my error, repented, and returned to the Catholic Church.  All of my own free will.  I am home.  I am...........Catholic.  Feel free to call me anything else  you like.  God and I and my Church know what I am and what I am not.   Wink

This is why I cannot say that you are not the three epithets above. Unlike most Catholics, you have in fact consciously entertained Orthodoxy and rejected it, even calling it an 'error' of which you have 'repented' (which is incredibly asinine considering this is an Orthodox board). So, yes, you are a schismatic, heretic and apostate.

Quote
But...this isn't about me.  Nor is it about any particular identified individual here.  Let's try to not make it personal.  My previous comment was made jokingly--hence the smileys.

If you don't want people to talk about you, don't gloat about how you somehow can apostasize from Orthodoxy without being an apostate and how people who think you are are an apostate are liars.

Did it cross your mind that perhaps the "error" he "repented" of was leaving Catholicism, and not Orthodoxy itself? You know what I find incredibly asinine? Seventeen year old inquirers raining down pejoratives on people on the internet during Bright Week. Why not just finish off your post with "Anathema, anathema, anathema!"?

I swear, nothing turns me off to Orthodoxy more than internet Orthodox... because if that^ is what it's about, count me out. I think I need a break from this.

Hmm...a vociferous attack complaining of insulting language.  If leaving Catholicism was an error, when he left it for Orthodoxy, it stands to reason that Orthodoxy is an error in his mind.  Consequently, he is certainly - from the point of view of Orthodoxy - a heretic and a schismatic, though whether or not he is an apostate is open to interpretation (personally, I think the term should only be used for those who leave any sort of Christianity, for instance Christians who become Sikhs).

I'm nothing if not vociferous.  Wink

In seriousness: J Michael has always been kind and pleasant in his interactions with posters here from what I have seen, and for someone to come along and tell him that he is the Ultimate Trifecta of Doom really rubbed me the wrong way.

I probably could have reacted better, and that's my bad for posting while angry, so I am sorry for that much at least.

We've obviously had very different experiences with J Michael. But I'll just leave it at that.
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« Reply #717 on: April 21, 2012, 11:00:58 PM »

But...this isn't about me.  Nor is it about any particular identified individual here.  Let's try to not make it personal.  My previous comment was made jokingly--hence the smileys.

If you don't want people to talk about you, don't gloat about how you somehow can apostasize from Orthodoxy without being an apostate and how people who think you are are an apostate are liars.

For the sake of fairness you should also consider J Michael's view of conversions from Catholicism to Orthodoxy. To quote myself:

Quote
I've spoken with an RC priest.  He said "it should be easy for you."

Frankly I can't believe how many people will say that to someone who's thinking of leaving Orthodoxy for Catholicism, or vice versa.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I would never consider becoming Orthodox; but I'm saying it could never be an "easy" thing for me to do, as it would mean leaving Catholicism.

How difficult can it be to go to confession and recite the Profession of Faith?

I think you may have just proven my point.
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« Reply #718 on: April 21, 2012, 11:12:39 PM »

For goodness sake, leave the 'anathemas' to the Church. No individual has any right or dignity to proclaim this most onerous of juridical determination of our Church. As to who is a heretic versus a schismatic - ask your priest because most of you are mixing English terms, Greek terms, Slavonic terms in a most injudicious, hurtful manner. If your priest is possessed of any wisdom, he will tell you to mind your own salvation and not worry so much about your neighbor.
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« Reply #719 on: April 22, 2012, 12:56:19 PM »

Those of you engaged in the personal bickering--you know who you are--knock it off right now so we can get this thread back on topic.
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