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Author Topic: Vatican seminar on Eastern Catholic churches  (Read 7849 times) Average Rating: 0
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Those who ignore history tend to repeat it.


« on: November 19, 2004, 12:06:36 PM »


Excerpt from the article below -

[Msgr. Krzysztof Nitkiewicz, an official at that Congregation,
remarked that Orientalum Ecclesiarum recognized the Eastern Catholic communities as "a bridge between the Orthodox world and the Catholic world." ]

Seems like they still don't get it.  Even after it has been explained to them and they agree that this is not the case and never will be.  And they agreed!





===============


http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=33524

Vatican seminar on Eastern Catholic churches

Vatican, Nov. 18 (CWNews.com) - The Vatican Congregation for Eastern
Churches has organized a two-day seminar in Rome, November 18- 19, to
mark the 40th anniversary of the Vatican II directive on Eastern
Catholicism, Orientalum Ecclesiarum.

The meeting-- co-sponsored by the Pontifical Oriental Institute--
brings together a dozen specialists on the Eastern churches. Cardinal
Ignace Moussa I Daoud, the prefect of the Congregation for Eastern
Churches, will chair the sessions.

Msgr. Krzysztof Nitkiewicz, an official at that Congregation,
remarked that Orientalum Ecclesiarum recognized the Eastern Catholic
communities as "a bridge between the Orthodox world and the Catholic
world." The Vatican II decree stressed that the Eastern churches
should carefully preserve their own identity, their liturgical and
spiritual traditions.

The practical problems facing the Eastern churches have changes
considerably in the years since the Vatican Council, Msgr. Nitkiewicz
observed. In 1964, Ukrainian and Romanian Catholics were still facing
brutal Communist persecution; today they are thriving under their
newfound freedom. At the same time, the immigration of Eastern-rite
Catholics into the Western world has caused new challenges, as the
Eastern churches struggle to maintain their traditions in countries
where they comprise only a small minority of the Catholic population.



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« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2004, 12:50:37 PM »

From the Balamand Agrrement:

16) The Eastern Catholic Churches, who have desired to re-establish full communion with the See of Rome and have remained faithful to it, have the rights and obligations which are connected with this communion. The principles determining their attitude towards Orthodox Churches are those which have been stated by the Second Vatican Council and have been put into practice by the Popes who have clarified the practical consequences flowing from these principles in various documents published since then. These Churches, then, should be inserted, on both local and universal levels, into the dialogue of love, in mutual respect and reciprocal trust found once again, and enter into the theological dialogue, with all its practical implications.

From the GOA website "Balamand Explained":

THE BALAMAND STATEMENT
The Balamand Statement expressed some very important new understandings arising out of the dialogue between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches. One of the reasons it caused heated discussions was that it looked at the Uniate/Eastern Catholic controversy in a new way.

Most readers of the Balamand Statement agree that it said three important things:

1) Uniatism as a way of achieving unity between the Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches is wrong and should be abandoned;

2) The existing Eastern Catholic Churches have a right to continue to exist and to pastorally serve their members;

3) The Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches in a special — though not fully defined — way remain "sister Churches" so that the goal of achieving unity between them does not mean the conversion of one to the other.

The U.S. Orthodox/Roman Catholic Consultation, in its Response, studied some ofthe questions Balamand raised. Here are some of issues it saw and how it answered them.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT BALAMAND
What was accomplished by the Balamand document?
The Balamand document said progress toward improved relations could be achieved "by excluding for the future all proselytism and all desire for expansion by Catholics at the expense of the Orthodox Church." If followed, this policy on the part of Roman Catholics would radically change the role of Uniatism with regard to the Orthodox. It is an important step in re-establishing trust between Orthodox and Roman Catholics. It can be understood as a step toward putting to an end Uniatism as a point of friction between the Orthodox and the Roman Catholics.

What does Balamand call for, practically?
The American Response summarized the practical implications of this new understanding of the Eastern Rite Churches:

reciprocal exchanges of information about various pastoral projects;
avoidance of those forms of philanthropic activity that might be construed as attempts to buy new adherents to the detriment of the other church;
open dialogue at the local level;
avoidance of all forms of violence;
mutual respect for each other's places of worship and even sharing of facilities when circumstances require;
respect for the spiritual life and sacramental discipline of the other church;
consultation before the establishment of new pastoral projects which might unnecessarily parallel or even undermine those of the other church in the same territory;
dissipation of inherited prejudicial readings of the historical record, especially in the preparation of future priests;
resolving differences through fraternal dialogue, thus avoiding recourse to the civil authorities or to merely legal principles when seeking solutions to property disputes or other pressing practical problems;
objectivity in the presentation of events and issues in the mass media.
What was the most important recommendation of the Balamand Statement?
The development of "a will to pardon." Both sides have complaints against the other. The Response says: "We are all aware that the history of relations between our two churches often has been a tragic one, filled with persecutions and sufferings, but we must not remain prisoners of this past ... the energies of our churches must be directed toward assuring that "the present and the future conform better to the will of Christ for his own." As for "whatever may have been the past, it must be left to the mercy of God."

How can our churches and our faithful truly acquire this will to pardon?
The Balamand Document offers a very helpful proposal: "It is necessary that the churches come together in order to express gratitude and respect towards all, known and unknown ... who suffered, confessed their faith, witnessed their fidelity to the Church, and in general, towards all Christians, without discrimination, who underwent persecutions."

In the past, both sides sometimes "rebaptized" persons joining their Church from the other. What does the Balamand Document say about this practice?
This practice should stop, wherever it is taking place, on the basis of ancient tradition in the Church. It has occurred in recent years as a result of theological misunderstanding and the emotions aroused by the inter-Church abuse.

What does Balamand say about proselytism?
Proselytism is the practice of deliberately seeking to make someone to become dissatisfied with their own Christian Church with the purpose of having them leave it and convert to one's own Church. Balamand rejects the practice of proselytism between and by the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches. It seeks to create a "serene atmosphere" for renewed progress in dialogue "toward the reestablishment of full communion" between the two Churches, especially in the light of the negative consequences of the method of "Uniatism."

How, after all these years, can such a change come about in the thinking of the churches about the Uniate/Eastern Catholic Church?
After the Roman Catholic Vatican II Council, thinking about the nature of the Church has changed significantly. From understanding the Church as a juridical (legal) body, the emphasis has come to understanding the Church on the basis of reality of communion. Communion is the relationship between Christ and the members of His body, the Church, and the relationship between the members of the Church, that comes from being members of the Body of Christ. In theological language this re-emphasis of the ancient Christian tradition about the nature of the Church is called "communion ecclesiology."

In what ways are the two Churches "Sister Churches?"
The use of this venerable term in modern Orthodox/Catholic dialogue has helped to place relations between our churches on a new footing. It is based on their common and shared thousand year experienced reality together. The concept of sister churches includes the notion of mutual respect for each other's pastoral ministry. As the Balamand Document states, "bishops and priests have the duty before God to respect the authority which the Holy Spirit has given to the bishops and priests of the other church and for that reason to avoid interfering in the spiritual life of the faithful of that church." The concept also includes the notion of the co-responsibility of our churches for "maintaining the Church of God in fidelity to the divine purpose, most especially in what concerns unity." Bishops are responsible not simply for the pastoral care of their own faithful but also for the good estate and upbuilding of the whole Church and for the evangelization of the world.

Doesn't the Balamand Statement support the continued existence of Uniatism?
This is a criticism raised by some Orthodox. Depending on what is understood by the word "Uniatism" the answer could be either "yes" or "no." If what is meant by "Uniatism" is the continued existence under the Pope of Rome of churches which use the Eastern liturgical, theological and spiritual traditions, Eastern Catholics would continue to exist until the time of the restoration of full communion between the Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches.

But in the negative sense of the word "Uniatism" which in the mind of the Orthodox is identified with proselytism, the Balamand document repudiates Uniatism so that if its conclusions are followed, Uniatism as a method designed to make Orthodox Christians members of the Roman Catholic Church will be ended.

If implemented, wouldn't the Eastern Catholic Church cease to exist?
Again the answer is "yes" and "no." The Eastern Catholic Church would cease to exist as a method of proselytizing Eastern Orthodox Christians either as individuals or as Church bodies away from the Orthodox Church into membership in the Roman Catholic Church. It would not, however, violate the self-identity of Eastern Catholics, formed over hundreds of years and affirmed by their experiences under the Communist regimes. Nevertheless, Eastern Catholicism would no longer function to the detriment of the Orthodox Church.

BALAMAND: A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
There is a good reason why the Balamand Document has opened up discussion and controversy. It has broken through some of the stereotypes Orthodox and Roman Catholics have had about themselves and about the other. It points both Churches to their common and shared history and seeks to help us recover the vision of an earlier tradition where local Churches understood their unity in terms of their communion in faith and sacraments with Christ and among themselves. For both Orthodox and Roman Catholics including Eastern Catholics, this demands a willingness to pardon and a willingness to overcome our disunity.

If Christians can allow the Christ's prayer "that all may be one" to move them to take gradual and tentative steps toward that visible unity, the Balamand document has served its purpose in eliminating a serious stumbling block in Orthodox - Roman Catholic relations.

The Balamand Document is a step in the right direction.


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« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2004, 01:19:53 PM »

While not going into the specifics of the Balamand statement, I find it interesting that as a Byzantine Catholic, I assumed that the type of Orthodox who signed the Balamand statement are the "normal" kind of Orthodox, and the kind of Orthodox that opposed the Balamand statement were some type of fanatical fringe.  Little did I know that the signers are the fringe, and the mainstream Orthodox by and large rejected the Balamand statement!

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« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2004, 01:28:17 PM »

"The Balamund Document is a step in the right direction"

....a step in the right direction to where? Over the centuries and in particular during the last 100 years the reality is that a gap between us has very sadly become a yawning chasm. The 'ecclesiastical diplomats' may produce reams of documents but the only thing not served by this document is Truth.

Some of us had hoped that an earlier Vatican council might be a turning point but instead it was just another signpost to Rome's relentless march further and further away from us. As with the doomed Ferrara-Florence council there are those today who will produce meaningless and misleading documents, who are, sadly, like salt that has lost its savour.

Balamund was a betrayal and like previous attempts born of the ecclesiastical 'diplomacy' so prevalent in such encounters and like them will be rejected by the Orthodox. Some may be captivated for a while but as before the scales, God willing, will fall from their eyes.

Writing thus gives me no pleasure. Our belief is not about denominationalism or rite, nor some real or imagined grudge about far off events but a fervent embrace of the God-man, Jesus Christ. It is not about branch theories or fantasies about co-existing 'churches' but The Way, The Truth and The Light......
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« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2004, 02:15:48 PM »

While not going into the specifics of the Balamand statement, I find it interesting that as a Byzantine Catholic, I assumed that the type of Orthodox who signed the Balamand statement are the "normal" kind of Orthodox, and the kind of Orthodox that opposed the Balamand statement were some type of fanatical fringe.  Little did I know that the signers are the fringe, and the mainstream Orthodox by and large rejected the Balamand statement!

Anastasios


============

This is true!

{Though the Balamand Agreement gave the Unia a right to exist it in no way condoned the papal Catholic concept that it was 'the bridge between papal Catholicism and Orthodox Catholicism'.  In fact, it stated just the opposite.  In other joint Commissions between the two churches it was even more explicit } -

http://www.russian-orthodox-church.org.ru/ve110771.htm

On the basis of jointly worked out documents, the International Joint Commission for the Theological Dialogue, at its sixth plenary session in Freising (Munich) on June 6 - 16, 1990, issued a Statement, saying, among other things, that

"Unia, as a method, failed - where it was introduced - to bring the Churches closer. On the contrary, it caused further disunity. The situation, as a whole, gave occasion to confrontation and pain which became imprinted in the historical memory of both Churches. Ecclesiological motives, too, call for some other methods to be found." Archbishop Ireney of Rovno and Ostrog and Professor Archpriest Nicholas Gundyaev took part in that session.

The Joint Commission reached another stage in its work at a meeting of the Coordinating Committee in Ariccia, Italy, (June 10-15, 1991). It produced the first draft of the joint statement with the title "Uniatism, Method of Union of the Past and the Present Search for Full Communion", which unambiguously affirmed that,

"Because of the way in which Catholics and Orthodox once again consider each other in their relationship to the mystery of the Church... this form of 'missionary apostolate"... which has been called 'uniatism', can no longer be accepted either as a method to be followed nor as a model...” (par.12). In addition to that, the document offers practical recommendations for overcoming the tension between the Orthodox and Greek Catholics on the local level, especially in Western Ukraine. It points out, that "...Pastoral activity in the Catholic Church.... no longer aims at having the faithful of one Church to pass over to the other; that is to say, it no longer aims at proselytizing... It aims at answering the spiritual needs of its own faithful (Greek Catholic - IB ed.)....Within this perspective, so that there will be no longer place for mistrust and suspicion" (par.22)

This text served as a basis for the Balamand Document, adopted on June 23, 1993 by representatives of the Roman Catholic Church and those of nine Local Orthodox Churches, except the Church of Jerusalem the Greek, Serbian, Bulgarian and Czechoslovak Churches. The Document excludes Uniatism as a method (par.4) and offers recommendations for overcoming tension in bilateral relations.

The Document adopted in Balamand, Lebanon, is of three parts, namely : Introduction, Ecclesiological Principles, and Practical Rules. Already the Introduction, referring to the texts worked out in Freising and in Ariccia, underlines that

we reject it (uniatism) as method for the search for unity because it is opposed to the common tradition of our Churches" (par.2) Under the Ecclesiological Principles the Document analyses theological teachings which have generated proselytism and Unia as methods of bringing back to the Church her "fallen-off" members. According to the Balamand Document, today's vision of each other by the Orthodox and Catholics is based on the concept of "sister Churches". This term was introduced in early 60s by the Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoros; later it found its way into the documents of Vatican II (Constitution "On Ecumenism").

At the same time, par.15 underlines, that "While the inviolable freedom of persons and their obligation to follow the requirements of their conscience remain secure, in the search for re-establishing unity there is no question of conversion of people from one Church to the other in order to ensure their salvation". In this regard, the document reminds of the joint statement issued by Pope John Paul II and the Ecumenical Patriarch Demetrios I on December 7, 1987, which, among other things said : "We reject any form of proselytism, any position which could be suggestive of non-respect."

Under the Practical Rules the document points out, that  

(*) "Religious liberty requires that, particularly in situations of conflict, the faithful are able to express their opinion and to decide without pressure from outside if they wish to be in communion either with the Orthodox Church or with the Catholic Church. Religious freedom would be violated when, under the cover of financial assistance, the faithful of one Church would be attracted to the other, by promises, for example, of education and material benefits that may be lacking in their own Church. In this context, it will be necessary that social assistance, as well as every form of philanthropic activity to be organized with common agreement so as to avoid creating new suspicions" (par.24)

The document encourages churches "to create joint local commissions or make effective those which already exist, for finding solutions to concrete problems and seeing that these solutions are applied in truth and love, in justice and peace. If agreement cannot be reached on the local level, the question should be brought to mixed commissions established by higher authorities" (par.26) The document continues: "It is necessary that Catholic and Orthodox bishops of the same territory consult with each other before establishing Catholic pastoral projects which traditionally form part of the jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church, in view to avoid parallel pastoral activities which would risk rapidly degenerating into rivalry or even conflict" (par. 29)

The above-mentioned examples make it absolutely clear that the Balamand Document is no mysterious "Unia"; on the contrary, it is intended to lessen the tension caused by the activities of the Greek Catholics.

This text is a provisional working document of the Joint Commission for the Theological Dialogue, and because of that it was not signed by representatives of the Churches. Hegumen Nestor Zhilyaev attended the Balamand meeting in 1993 as a representative of the Russian Orthodox Church; that is why his name is mentioned among the members of the Commission.

The document was published in Russian in 1995 in the 'Unity" collection (vol.II), a periodical issued by the monastery of the Nativity of the Theotokos in the Moscow diocese, along with other documents related to Orthodox-Catholic theological dialogue.

(*)  This agreement led to the Quadripartite Agree regarding those former Greek Catholic Churches in western Ukraine were to vote on whether they were to remain Orthodox or return to the UGCC.   After six weeks the UGCC turned their backs on the agreement and used force to retake the churches.  The Paope and the Vatican remained silent for two years while this was happening.

======
http://www.ecclesia.gr/English/EnHolySynod/committees/diorthodoxon_sxeseon/drastiriotites/d0003.html


ADDRESS
OF HIS EMINENCE, METROPOLITAN AMBROSIOS
OF KALAVRYTA AND AIGIALEIA
PRESIDENT OF THE
SYNODAL COMMITTEE ON INTER-ORTHODOX AND INTER-CHRISTIAN RELATIONS
TO HIS EMINENCE CARDINAL WALTER KASPER
(11.02.2003)

   

Excerpt:

9. These and other similar events constitute the obstacles rising out of Greek Orthodoxy’s martyric past. There are also contemporary obstacles as well. Let us enumerate a few:


ON THE PART OF THE ROMAN CATHOLICS:

a) the preservation and sustaining of the Unia in the Orthodox East. The Unia should be abolished, however difficult this may seem. As a first step, all proselytism should cease.

b) The preserving and sustaining of the Unia in Greece, in particular. Allow me to say, the abrogation of the Unia in our country in particular would constitute a very good basis for bridging our very many antitheses and differences and would inaugurate a new period of communication. The cost for Rome would be negligible while the benefits derived would greatly enhance her prestige among the Orthodox and on the course leading to Union.

c) The seizure of Orthodox churches in countries formally belonging to the soviet bloc.

d) The projection of Papal Primacy and Papal infallibility, to which “in season and out of season” it continually returns. At Balamand the representatives of the Roman Pontiff promised that the projection of this illogical and unhistorical claim would cease, yet nevertheless the provocation continues.

e) That which is stated concerning the Petrine Ministry in the Papal Encyclical: Ut Unum Sint, and concerning the One Church in the Papal Encyclical: Dominus Jesus.


ON THE PART OF THE ORTHODOX:

a) The negative stand and attitude taken by Monasteries of Mt. Athos and the monks in general, a portion of the Sacred Clergy, of University Professors and of the faithful of the Church of Greece, to which we must add the adherents to the old calendar, constitutes a factor inhibiting our communication. Opening our arms to the Roman Catholic Church, we face the danger of a new internal schism. Immediately after the prilgrimage-visit of His Holiness, the Pope of Rome, to Athens, we faced a storm of attacks on the part of clerical and lay theologians, among whom were certain Professors from the two Theological Schools in our Country.

b) As a consequence of the above, the negative stand of a portion of the so-called daily and periodical religious press also constitutes an obstacle.

c) The position taken by certain ecclesiastical representatives, sometimes by supreme leaders of Orthodoxy, who at times act either hastily or incorrectly, without taking into consideration the possible reaction on the part of a portion of the Church’s pleroma (e.g. The gathering of religious leaders at Assisi, the presence-participation? of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomaios in the panegyric Liturgy at St. Peter’s in Rome).

d) The volatile Mediterranean disposition of us Orthodox.

10. A. Despite these and other factors in our communication and the rapprochement between east and west, there are, at the same time, a sufficient number of positive factors on the part of the Roman Church, such as:

a) The handing over of Churches that lie within the geographical area of Europe and belong to the Roman Catholic Church to the Orthodox, either for use or for possession, in order to facilitate the spiritual and sacramental life of our migrants and our Brother Orthodox Bishops in Europe.

b) The warm reception accorded to Orthodox visitors, clergy and lay, to the Monasteries and Sacred Shrines within the canonical jurisdiction of Rome, originally initiated in the decade, 1960-1970, and which today constitutes a self-evident and well-established fact.

c) The progressively increasing return of sacred relics and heirlooms to our Land, from which at one time they were removed.

d) The manifest intention of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II to reinterpret his Primacy and the growing theological literature about this issue.


B. At the same time the Church of Greece has taken positive steps towards the rapprochement of the Church of Christ in east and west.

a) First of all, the elevation of His Beatitude, Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece, to the Archiepiscopal Throne marked a new opening of the Church of Greece towards Europe. A long period of introversion has already come to an end! The Church gazes as the world both within and beyond the borders of our country, converses with all and participates in the events of contemporary society on an all-European level.

b) This good disposition of Archbishop Christodoulos has been confirmed by a decision taken by the Holy Synod of the Hierarchy of the Church of Greece.

c) The establishment in Brussels of a permanent Office and Representation of our Church under His Grace, the Rt. Rev. Bishop Athanasios of Achaia, has in practice confirmed our intention to come out of the introversion of former times.

d) The warm reception accorded to His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, during his visit to Athens during May of 2001 and pilgrimage to the Areopagus, where St. Paul preached to the athenians.

e) The hosting and warm reception in Athens (Jan. 2000) of His Excellency, Mgr. Josef Homeyer, Bishop of Hildersheim, President of the Synod of Bishops’ Conferences in Europe (C.O.M.E.C.E) et al.

   
=======

Orthodoc



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« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2004, 02:42:45 PM »

Don't you just love the polemics and banter during Philips Fast and for others the approach of Advent ? Makes one proud, eh ?

"In the eyes of faith, nothing can justify the great schism between the Roman and the Orthodox Church, both of whom were summoned to create a united Church of Jesus Christ. One does not repair one schism by causing and creating others".

james, humbly offering my other cheek
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« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2004, 02:50:12 PM »

["In the eyes of faith, nothing can justify the great schism between the Roman and the Orthodox Church, both of whom were summoned to create a united Church of Jesus Christ. One does not repair one schism by causing and creating others".]

Nor does one repair a schism by saying or agreeing to one thing and doing another.

it's hard to understand exactly where the Vatican stands on any issue when they agree to one thing with the Orthodox and turn around and do the exact opposite.

Orthodoc

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« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2004, 02:56:11 PM »

Balamand is treason against the True Holy Faith of Rome,which is the True Apostolic Christian Faith and which have kept and protected the Faith since Christ's death, agianst the tides of the world.


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From the Balamand Agrrement:

16) The Eastern Catholic Churches, who have desired to re-establish full communion with the See of Rome and have remained faithful to it, have the rights and obligations which are connected with this communion. The principles determining their attitude towards Orthodox Churches are those which have been stated by the Second Vatican Council and have been put into practice by the Popes who have clarified the practical consequences flowing from these principles in various documents published since then. These Churches, then, should be inserted, on both local and universal levels, into the dialogue of love, in mutual respect and reciprocal trust found once again, and enter into the theological  Orthodox - Roman Catholic relations.

The Balamand Document is a step in the right direction.



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« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2004, 02:59:37 PM »

Orthodoc,

There are divisions on both sides of the fence, before any real progress can be considered or made, those in house divisions need to be resolved. One cannot take on the "large" one without resolving the smaller ones. I think in terms of building on a foundation of rock, we know what happens if it is on sand.

Rome and Orthodoxy need to prioritized their in house items, we need to fix our problems before trying to point out & repair our brothers, then look at the big picture.

Then again, its all those agendas.

Peace to you & family,

james
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« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2004, 03:02:18 PM »

...  Little did I know that the signers are the fringe, and the mainstream Orthodox by and large rejected the Balamand statement!

Anastasios

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« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2004, 03:32:47 PM »

"Little did I know that the signers are the fringe, and the mainstream Orthodox by and large rejected the Balamand statement!"

Baloney!  I have yet to meet an Orthodox in person, clergy or laity, that treated me as anything of than a brother Eastern Chrisitan of a Sister Church.  The only place I have seen polemic and hostile attitude is on the web.

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« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2004, 04:35:27 PM »

---"Baloney!  I have yet to meet an Orthodox in person, clergy or laity, that treated me as anything of than a brother Eastern Chrisitan of a Sister Church."

Dear Deacon Lance,

As a child of God you ought to be treated with love and respect. However, your church is not a "sister church" of the Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church is one and is not divided in terms of Its witness to Truth.

It is up to the Catholic Church to return to Orthodoxy.

Gregory
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« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2004, 04:37:55 PM »

Gregory,

I am sorry but your hierarchs do not agree with you as witnessed by many of their statements, Balamand being only one.

Fr. Deacon Lance
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« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2004, 04:56:44 PM »

Quote
I am sorry but your hierarchs do not agree with you as witnessed by many of their statements, Balamand being only one.

Fr Dn Lance,

Yes, some hierarchs, for whatever reasons, have given into these falsehoods for the sake of political correctness. I pray that these hierarchs agree on paper only and realize privately that it is wrong. It does not excuse them for being pc. And, thankfully, these hierarchs are not in the majority.

With that said, you are admitting that the Church of Christ is divided by adopting the views of Balamand. In your view, how is the Church divided?

Gregory
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« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2004, 05:13:46 PM »

Gregory,

I believe these hirearchs are in the majority, at least in those autocephalous Churches that signed Balamand or they would have abstained as did the Jerusalem Patriarchate or Church of Greece.

The Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church are not in communion with one another.  I view the Great Schism as a gradula estangement of East and West and do not consider that either has maintained what the Lord has taught perfectly for if they had the mutual schism from each other would not have been allowed to harden into the division we have today.

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« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2004, 05:21:01 PM »

"Little did I know that the signers are the fringe, and the mainstream Orthodox by and large rejected the Balamand statement!"

Baloney!  I have yet to meet an Orthodox in person, clergy or laity, that treated me as anything of than a brother Eastern Chrisitan of a Sister Church.  The only place I have seen polemic and hostile attitude is on the web.

Fr. Deacon Lance


You are mixing common courtesy with doctrinal synthesis.  I beleive you are a deacon of the Catholic Church and as such I will respect you and call  you Father. But you are not Orthodox.

Besides, since when is the situation in America normative?

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« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2004, 05:23:22 PM »

Which SYNODS of Orthodox actually accepted the Balamand Agreement, Fr Lance?  Theologians representing a Church are not that Church.

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« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2004, 05:25:29 PM »

Quote
The Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church are not in communion with one another.  I view the Great Schism as a gradula estangement of East and West and do not consider that either has maintained what the Lord has taught perfectly for if they had the mutual schism from each other would not have been allowed to harden into the division we have today.

Fr Dn Lance,

If this is true, then you will have to include all those who consider themselves Christians. In other words, all of the Protestant sects that broke away from Rome.

What is a mutual schism? Where did the Orthodox Church, during the years in which the Latin church left Orthodoxy, deviate from the teaching of the Apostles and Our Lord? The role of the Pope? Hardly. So, where did the Orthodox Church go astray?

Following your opinion of how Christ prayed that "all may be one", then you would have to conclude that there never was a Church of Christ nor will there be one until everyone is in communion.

Gregory
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« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2004, 05:47:29 PM »

"Little did I know that the signers are the fringe, and the mainstream Orthodox by and large rejected the Balamand statement!"

Baloney!  I have yet to meet an Orthodox in person, clergy or laity, that treated me as anything of than a brother Eastern Chrisitan of a Sister Church.  The only place I have seen polemic and hostile attitude is on the web.

Fr. Deacon Lance


Well I've yet to meet an Orthodox in person, clergy or laity, that accepted that the Catholic Church was a sister Church to the Orthodox Church.  

Of course I've never seen any rudeness in person either.  People tend to be much nicer to each other when speaking face to face than when discussing things on-line.  

But every single Orthodox priest I've talked to has said that Balamand is meaningless and the Roman Catholic Church is in schism from the Orthodox Church.  I've heard varying opinions about whether the Roman Church is truly a Church and has grace.  As one Orthodox priest explained to me, God wouldn't abandon 1 billion people.  But every Orthodox clery I've come across has agreed that the Orthodox Church was the true Church and that Rome was in schism.  

From the RC side, Balamand is pretty worthless as well.  Most RCs (clergy and laypeople) don't even know it exists.  When I've explained to latin Catholics that their Church teaches them that they are not to prosletize the Orthodox, they are shocked.  Which is an understandable response given that it's incompletey inconsistent with RC teachings.  Their vision of papacy is not shared by Rome herself which is why I've come to believe that the "Orthodox in Communion with Rome" party is 'deluded' about their relationship with Rome.  

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« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2004, 05:55:36 PM »

Gregory,

I believe these hirearchs are in the majority, at least in those autocephalous Churches that signed Balamand or they would have abstained as did the Jerusalem Patriarchate or Church of Greece.

The Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church are not in communion with one another.  I view the Great Schism as a gradula estangement of East and West and do not consider that either has maintained what the Lord has taught perfectly for if they had the mutual schism from each other would not have been allowed to harden into the division we have today.

Fr. Deacon Lance
The Orthodox are in schism and the Catholics are the True Christians. Diakon Lance, St.Josaphat did die for the Unity of the Holy Catholic Church. These modern Orthodox are the spiritual children of those who killed St.Josaphat. Those who killed St.Josaphat were the same ones who said that we Catholics, say we have apostasized from the Faith. Do the "Orthodox" still call us apostates,hereticks, and schimsatics? Yes they do.    Do they still after, the treachery of balamand,agree to treat Catholics as Fullfledged, true believing CHristians? No, they do not, look at us  that way. We still are heretics to them, who believe in a false God, because the filioque is held as a dogma of the Faith.. Schismatics were schismatics, and still are schimsatics
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« Reply #20 on: November 19, 2004, 06:16:02 PM »

Catholic Eagle,

And we Catholics are the spiritual children of those who killed St. Peter the Aleut.  Not all Orthodox, and I would say the majority do not share the views you present, nor do Catholics who follow the Church's teaching  believe the Orthodox are schismatic.  In any event I cannot allow the msitakes of others to define how  arespond to them or what I believe about them.  There is sin and fault abounding on both sides.  We are all schismatics.

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« Reply #21 on: November 19, 2004, 06:26:17 PM »

Anastasios,

Obviously when I refer to the Catholic and Orthodox Churches as Sister Churches I do not intend to infer doctrinal synthesis.  However, I believe both have grace and are vehicles of salvation.  Hierachal representatives of Churches are more than theologians.  Which Synods of Orthodox have ever excommunicated the Catholic Church?  At the least the MP has stated on its website that it accepts the sacraments of the Catholic Church as valid and views it as a Sister Church.

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« Reply #22 on: November 19, 2004, 06:32:20 PM »

Gregory,

Both sides erred thinking they did not need the other and both have suffered as a result.  Can you give a point when the Latin Church left Orthodoxy?  If it was the Filioques it was far before 1054 and yet communion was not ruptured.  Communion was restored and lost until the fall of Constantinople.  The true didividing issue of Infallibility was not defined until the 1800s.  The issues that divide Catholic and Protestant are far deeper and substantial than those that seperate Orthodox and Catholic, at least our hierarchs think so.

Fr. Deacon Lance
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« Reply #23 on: November 19, 2004, 06:35:56 PM »

Catholic Eagle,

And we Catholics are the spiritual children of those who killed St. Peter the Aleut.  Not all Orthodox, and I would say the majority do not share the views you present, nor do Catholics who follow the Church's teaching  believe the Orthodox are schismatic.  In any event I cannot allow the msitakes of others to define how  arespond to them or what I believe about them.  There is sin and fault abounding on both sides.  We are all schismatics.

Fr. Deacon Lance


I've been told many times by RCs that the Orthodox are schismatic.  I don't blame them given that their opinion is entirely consistent with historical RC teachings.  

If you don't believe me, I dare you go over to Steve Ray's board and ask if the Orthodox are in schism.  

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« Reply #24 on: November 19, 2004, 07:54:35 PM »

I've been told many times by RCs that the Orthodox are schismatic.  I don't blame them given that their opinion is entirely consistent with historical RC teachings.  

If you don't believe me, I dare you go over to Steve Ray's board and ask if the Orthodox are in schism.  


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« Reply #25 on: November 19, 2004, 07:58:56 PM »

There is one Church and one alone, nothing can stand against, as Our Lord promised. We pray for the union of all, however this is not some bidding for a 'ecumenical' joining together as some have interpreted it here and elsewhere. True, since the first century there have been sinners and those who have gone astray, Saint Paul's letters addresses whole local churches on a variety of issues and a similar need to reprove some continues up until the present time. This should not surprise as only one is perfect, the God-man Himself. However, there is no equivalence between the Orthodox on one hand and Rome on the other.

Courtesy does not mean more than that. I have witnessed many times heterodox dignitaries treated with care. And why not. Civic dignitaries too. I remember too an Archimandrite sent to England who decided to invite his neighbours in for tea. One man, who clearly was there only because his wife insisted, persistently behaving in an appalling and boorish way seeking to shock and outrage this 'holy' fool. He too was treated with great courtesy. It did not signify that the Orthodox Church accepts such behaviour as normative or acceptable. Bishop Raphael of Blessed Memory was invited by the Episcopalians to join with them a little more closely, having been a good 'neighbour' for some years. He then enquired more deeply into their beliefs and found them incompatible with Orthodoxy, and declined their offer. He did not do so to be difficult, superior or because of some latent desire to part of a fringe. No, rather to be faithful to the teachings and beliefs of the One, True, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

References to the 'fringe' are, I believe, unhelpful. At various points in the past both heretics and scismatics have apparently been overwhelming majorities but the Church is not a democracy. We do not have polls, and the paraphernalia that goes with them. The Church is not and cannot be divided. Indeed any local church where it's bishop together with his flock rightly divines the word of Truth contains the Catholicity, the fullness of the Church.

What has saddened me with this thread is how quickly it descended into the use of reductionist terminology. Why not accept that we do not want to join with you. If you really think you are closer to us than you are to the various protestant groups I feel you are greatly mistaken. Again and again I hear the observation that you share so much that it is hard sometimes to tell you apart. And I do not write this with any intention to offend. Indeed sometimes I feel closer to some of the more traditional protestants than I ever do to most Roman Catholics I meet. Even so, there is a gap between us.

Enough.
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« Reply #26 on: November 19, 2004, 08:02:18 PM »

Catholic Eagle,

And we Catholics are the spiritual children of those who killed St. Peter the Aleut.
Fr. Deacon Lance

It was the SPanish government that did this... Where does it say that this was church approved? This was not like St.Josaphat in which the schismatic bishop led the crowd in killing him.
Also, the Spanish government also severly mistreated Indians against the wishs of the Bishops and priests of New Spain.
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« Reply #27 on: November 19, 2004, 08:42:31 PM »

Sources I have looked at in the past said it was the Franciscans, as I recall.

I understand elsewhere in the Americas catholic clergy did oppose the killing and gross exploitation of some of the indigenous peoples.

In North America the Latin catholic bishops behaved so badly to their Uniate people and the clergy who tried to serve them, they left...............

The Hapsburgs actively persecuted Orthodox people and their clergy, although some have tried to deny this despite records and the testimony of those who lived through this.

However, what is accomplished by listing these grievances between us? It is the harm to our souls we must be concerned about. Ecumenism, inter-faithism, neo-gnosticism, neo-paganism and socio-political utopianism appear to be the fruits of much of what passes for Christianity today.

What puzzles me most of all is a similarity I see between some heterodox posters and poor animal husbandry. When we are complicit, do and say what is required, we are lovely. Nothings too good, our ears are scratched and honeyed words fall upon us. But if we show signs of non-compliance, reluctance or want to follow our own path, the abuse, irritation and worse follows.

Yes, we would love to welcome and share the good news together. However, this is not the world of 'real politik', and the tools and artifice that is a way of life there has no place among Christians.
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« Reply #28 on: November 19, 2004, 08:58:20 PM »

What confuses me is that a lot of the same people who will say that the non-Chalcedonians and the Chalcedonians are both Orthodox will change tunes and say "the Church is one" when it's RCism that's in question.  This seems inconsistent to me.
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« Reply #29 on: November 19, 2004, 10:32:32 PM »

Again and again I hear the observation that you share so much that it is hard sometimes to tell you apart. And I do not write this with any intention to offend. Indeed sometimes I feel closer to some of the more traditional protestants than I ever do to most Roman Catholics I meet. Even so, there is a gap between us.

Enough.

I'm sorry but as life-long Catholic who is converting to Orthodoxy, I always think it's silly to hear Orthodox people insist that we are so different.  We both believe in the sacraments and the need for apostolic succession.  We both love and honor the Theotokos and the saints.  We both have a liturgical worship.  We both have the Fathers.  

There are certainly differences but let's not exaggerate them.  

For example, I was discussing the Theotokos with a group of protestant converts to Orthodoxy.  They all agreed that the veneration shown the Theotokos was a major stumbling block to them becoming Orthodox.  They said that even today some of the hymnology sounds scandalous to them because it's too 'marian.'  Now I feel completely comfortable in an Orthodox Church.  The veneration of the saints and the Theotokos seems completely natural to me.
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« Reply #30 on: November 19, 2004, 11:27:22 PM »

[And we Catholics are the spiritual children of those who killed St. Peter the Aleut.
Fr. Deacon Lance]

[It was the SPanish government that did this... Where does it say that this was church approved?

Reply:

It says it in the history of St Peter the Aleut who was killed by the direct order of  Roman Catholic priests  because he refused to convert to Roman Catholicism -

When, therefore, Peter and his party of young fur trappers approached near Fort Ross, Spanish sailors captured them and took them to San Francisco for a mock trial. Roman Catholic priests in California tried to force the Aleut hunters to embrace Roman Catholicism. The prisoners answered, "We are Christians; we have been baptized," and they showed their baptismal crosses. "No, you are heretics and schismatics," replied one of the priests. "If you do not agree to take the Catholic Faith we will toruture you," and they were told to think it over.
Returning a while later, the priests found that the Aleuts again refused to renounce Orthodoxy. They took Peter and cut off a toe from each foot, but Peter simply repeated, "I am a Christian; I will not betray my Faith." The Spanish priest-inquisitor ordered a group of California Indians to cut off each finger of Peter's hands, one joint at a time, eventually cutting off his hands altogether. Finally, he ordered that Peter be disemboweled. Peter quickly died as a result of the tortures, witnessing to his Faith in God to his last breath.  Just as they were ready to start on the next Aleut, the Spaniards received an order to stop the proceedinggs. This eyewitness account of Peter's martyrdom is told by some of his comrades who were eventually released.
When the incident was reported to St. Herman, back on Kodiak Island, the monk turned to his icon, crossed himself and exclaimed, "Holy, new-martyr Peter, pray to God for us!" Peter the Aleut was formally glorified as a saint, as the "Martyr of San Francisco;" in 1980. His feast day is commemorated on September 24.

============

[This was not like St.Josaphat in which the schismatic bishop led the crowd in killing him.
Also, the Spanish government also severly mistreated Indians against the wishs of the Bishops and priests of New Spain.]

The so called Josephat was killed because of his unchristian acts towards his Orthodox Catholic brothers and sisters -

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/josaphat_malevolent.aspx


Worshippers were forced out of their Churches, many leaving only on the end of a bloody sword. When the Orthodox, in one instance, set up tents in which to worship, Josaphat encouraged his brigands to disrupt their services, set fire to the tents, and attack the clergy and believers. And with the help of the Latin civil authorities, Josaphat saw to it that Orthodox priests were exiled and that no new Orthodox Bishops were Consecrated. [2] His pogrom violently put down any resistance to the Brest "Union" and left the Orthodox ostensibly powerless to protest the loss of their Faith to Papal domination.In the final analysis, Josaphat's terror tactics were no more successful than those of other deranged despots. For his crimes against humanity, this most virulent apostate and pervert was beaten and stoned to death by outraged believers and dispatched to his just reward in 1623. His inhumane brutality earned him even the disdain of the Roman Catholic Chancellor of Lithuanian. [3] Moreover, Orthodox believers never really accepted the Unia or Josaphat's fellow apostate Bishops, who, despite their cowardly efforts to win such recognition, were also never accorded the political rights of their Latin counterparts. [4] In the end, millions of Orthodox returned to the Faith when border changes occurred in the nineteenth century, just as many Greek Catholics in America later embraced Orthodoxy with the help of the New Martyr Tikhon, then Administrator of the Russian Churches in the New World.The idea of the Unia as a bridge between Orthodoxy and Rome died with Josaphat and his violent, vulgar witness.

============

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« Reply #31 on: November 20, 2004, 01:23:05 AM »

Deacon Lance,

I'm with Gregory on this.  However, it doesn't mean that I think that the Catholic Church is without grace.  I too think that a phrase like "sister Church" is going too far.  It forces the Orthodox to adopt  the "playing field" of the Catholics.  For example, concepts like the "validity of sacraments" in another Church are really foreign to us, if we're honest about it.  How can we talk about the "validity" of something if to us the Church is the Orthodox Church?  It can only remain an open question to us, one that we really can't answer, even if we really want to be inclusive.

I really respect the Catholic Church.  It's played an important part in my life.  But I think the Orthodox Church is right in what it believes, and that's why I'm Orthodox.  

I think that the Orthodox hierarchs who signed Balamand were perhaps being too PC, or maybe they just got caught up in the good faith vibes that were being projected all around at the time.  Sure, it matters what our hierarchs think, but sometimes they make mistakes.  (BTW, there are lots of things in Balamand that I like, even though I don't accept it whole hog.)

Why can't we agree to disagree, and then work towards union from that standpoint?  I know that you respect the Orthodox Church, and I appreciate that.  But asking us to accept the notion of "sister Churches" is ultimately asking us to repudiate our ecclesiology.

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« Reply #32 on: November 20, 2004, 01:35:54 AM »

What confuses me is that a lot of the same people who will say that the non-Chalcedonians and the Chalcedonians are both Orthodox will change tunes and say "the Church is one" when it's RCism that's in question.  This seems inconsistent to me.

Eastern and Oriental Orthodox are much closer than Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism.

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« Reply #33 on: November 20, 2004, 01:38:09 AM »

Gregory,

Both sides erred thinking they did not need the other and both have suffered as a result.  Can you give a point when the Latin Church left Orthodoxy?  If it was the Filioques it was far before 1054 and yet communion was not ruptured.  Communion was restored and lost until the fall of Constantinople.  The true didividing issue of Infallibility was not defined until the 1800s.  The issues that divide Catholic and Protestant are far deeper and substantial than those that seperate Orthodox and Catholic, at least our hierarchs think so.

Fr. Deacon Lance

The filioque issue developed slowly due to poor communication.  It was solemnly anathematized by the entire Church in 879, but the Franks continued to push it until they took over the papacy in the 11th century. When the filioque was inserted in Rome, and Constantinople found out about it, the Roman popes were removed from the diptychs.

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« Reply #34 on: November 20, 2004, 01:42:02 AM »

Anastasios,

Obviously when I refer to the Catholic and Orthodox Churches as Sister Churches I do not intend to infer doctrinal synthesis.  However, I believe both have grace and are vehicles of salvation.  Hierachal representatives of Churches are more than theologians.  Which Synods of Orthodox have ever excommunicated the Catholic Church?  At the least the MP has stated on its website that it accepts the sacraments of the Catholic Church as valid and views it as a Sister Church.

Fr. Deacon Lance

1) The MP is wrong to say this on its website, in my opinion and the opinion of the traditional Greek Churches (c.f. the Oros of 1755).

2) Synods that condemned the heresies now employed by Rome would include:

a) The eight ecumenical council of St Sophia in 879
b) The Synod of Blachernae in 1285
c) The ninth ecumenical council consisting of the Hesychast synods of the 14th century
d) The Council of 1474 decreeing a separation from Catholicism
e) The Synod of Russia in the 17th century which decreed Latins must be baptized (which was overturned 30 years later)

That's what I can think of now.

Anastasios
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« Reply #35 on: November 20, 2004, 07:21:20 AM »

Ma'am, I  try never to be 'silly', and would like to explore one or two points made. Others have spoken of their respect for the 'Catholic' church. I cannot respect something that has so fallen into error and promotes the same. (This does not mean it is alright to go around being blatantly rude and aggressive). However, I do respect many, many individual Latins, Anglicans and protestants, including some whole local communities. Indeed the example of some is a real challenge to anyone, I believe.

Some suggest that liturgically and sacramentally Latins are closer to the Orthodox than protestants. I would not be the first Orthodox to make the observation protestants and Latins are closer to each other. Two sides of the same coin as Khomiakov wrote. A recent shared history and terminology reflect this. Latins and Orthodox sometimes use the same words but do not understand them in the same way.

I have read a lot by older Latins about the protestant elements 'flooding' in to the Mass. And sometimes the practices migrate the other way I am told. Indeed where are all the daily services that older Latins may recall? The Theotokos. Yes, this is a particular problem for protestants. However, I have experienced great problems and similar reactions to inkonography and fasting among a whole list of other things with South American Latins. Of course, some older Latins do find many echoes of things lost or disappearing from the previous church life in Orthodoxy. (That is providing the Orthodox church they visit does not simply provide a Sunday Liturgy, a sad but growing phenomena).

Anastasios suggests non-Chaldeans and the Orthodox are closer. Given their earlier and theologically significant seperation this should come as a surprise. A rich liturgical life, fasting (oh, and do some of them fast). I somewhat reluctantly concur. And recall an Ethiopian woman who attended an Orthodox church were I was. She was very pious and after a time wanted to receive communion. The priest consulted the bishop, who said if she gave an undertaking not to return to the non-Chaldeans and confessed she could receive communion. The same bishop would not have let a Latin or protestant be received so 'informally'.
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« Reply #36 on: November 20, 2004, 09:51:03 AM »

I'm sorry but as life-long Catholic who is converting to Orthodoxy, I always think it's silly to hear Orthodox people insist that we are so different.  We both believe in the sacraments and the need for apostolic succession.  We both love and honor the Theotokos and the saints.  We both have a liturgical worship.  We both have the Fathers.  

There are certainly differences but let's not exaggerate them.  

Amen.  We're closer than many Orthodox like to admit.  The key, I have come to believe, is psychological, and who the adherents of each church view as what I like to call their "relevant other", because this, in my view, determines which "differences" one finds most important or relevant.  For Catholics the relevant other is Protestantism, and in many ways Catholics define their faith over and against Protestantism (which is fair enough because there are many things that Protestants and Catholics disagree about) while missing or glossing over their common Western Christian heritage that can be a bridge of sorts between Catholics and at least some Protestants.  For Orthodox, Catholicism is our relevant other, for the most part, and so the differences between Catholicism and Orthodoxy are often highlighted (which is also fair enough given the history) while yet missing the bigger picture that Orthodox and Catholics share much, much more than Orthodox do with, say, most Protestant Christians.  So while Orthodox sometimes like to take the line of Khomiakov that Catholicism and Protestantism are two sides of the same coin, we have to realize, in my view, that while this statement has a grain of truth in it in the sense that these are both Western Christian traditions, it nevertheless overlooks the broader commonality between Catholicism and Orthodoxy that neither church shares with Protestant Christianity.

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« Reply #37 on: November 20, 2004, 11:00:00 AM »

Things have changed and the distance between the Orthodox on one hand and Latins on the other so much since the time Khomiakov penned his observation. So far indeed have this been the case that it is possible now to speak or write of the non-Chaldeans being closer.

A visit to a Latin church two years ago to admire the painted ceiling involved me witnessing a Mass. I frankly did not recognise it from the last I witnessed some 40 years ago, and would not have done but for knowing where I was. A recent conversation with a group of 'Transalpine Redemptorists' might have shed some light but they appeared to be fostering a caricature or parody of something of the past.

The social and psychological constructs you refer to, namely 'relevant other' and 'differences' appear to be irrelevant. There is no need to exaggerate anything given the increasing gulf between us. A matter of great regret. In individuals my personal experience is a little different, but whether that is because of or in spite of, it is impossible to say and probably not profitable to speculate about.

As Orthodox Christians the struggle is to adhere to the Truth, a life of Christian ascetic struggle. Not as an adherent of one among two, three or more denominations, 'churches' or communions.

Still one should have gotten used to others telling what we believe, how we do or don't worship and our supposed closer proximity to Anglicanism, Lutheranism, Rome or the Copts. And I have had enthusiastic proponents of all these and more as our natural nearest neighbour thrust upon me and my family many times. (Often without any of us even given a chance to open our mouths!).
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« Reply #38 on: November 20, 2004, 03:40:06 PM »



A visit to a Latin church two years ago to admire the painted ceiling involved me witnessing a Mass. I frankly did not recognise it from the last I witnessed some 40 years ago, and would not have done but for knowing where I was. A recent conversation with a group of 'Transalpine Redemptorists' might have shed some light but they appeared to be fostering a caricature or parody of something of the past.

How are the good Redemptorists a caricature of the past?
They are doing Our Lord's work
see here.
www.redemptorists.org.uk/red/eprog.htm
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« Reply #39 on: November 20, 2004, 04:28:22 PM »

[When ordained, these priests will work in the Ukraine, Belarus' and Russia bringing souls to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church: the Ark of Salvation.]

Perhaps one of the things that should be taught to these Redemptorists is the historical fact that the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church:  the Ark of Salvation has been in existence in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia for over a thousand plus years!

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« Reply #40 on: November 20, 2004, 07:54:53 PM »

[When ordained, these priests will work in the Ukraine, Belarus' and Russia bringing souls to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church: the Ark of Salvation.]

Perhaps one of the things that should be taught to these Redemptorists is the historical fact that the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church:  the Ark of Salvation has been in existence in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia for over a thousand plus years!

Orthodoc
Yes, but now the people who call themselves "Orthodox" have cut themselves of from the Ark of Salvation.
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« Reply #41 on: November 20, 2004, 09:15:49 PM »

I have met and stayed under the same roof with some 'Transalpine Redemptorists'. Yes, they are nice folks, decent men. But at my age I can remember what it is that they apparently are reaching back too. Frankly, it is not quite as it was.

Now both the Orthodox and the Latins do appear to have something in common, that I can see. Both have some who are very polite and seemingly warm to each other, addressing the other in brotherly terms. And both have those who are more open and direct, of which you and I might be respective examples. But the nub of the question is this. What is really believed by the Latins and by the Orthodox?

My understanding is clear. Orthodoxy is The Church, in its' fullness. There is no Apostolic succession and no Mysteries outside her. Seemingly you present a mirror position or do you?

The odd thing for me is I met the Transalpine Redemptorists in an Orthodox monastery where they stayed not once but several times. The monks there too are quite clear that Orthodoxy is as described above. But the two groups seem to really like each other. I admired their 'commitment', even if I disagreed with their ecclesiology. But does the Vatican share their interpretation?
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« Reply #42 on: November 20, 2004, 09:23:55 PM »

[Yes, but now the people who call themselves "Orthodox" have cut themselves of from the Ark of Salvation. ]

Really!  And, when pray tell did that happen?     
   
[Oh, fun - bookends!   ]

Yeh Serge, bookends which don't match.  One is an original the other a copy pretending to be an original.

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« Reply #43 on: November 20, 2004, 09:24:09 PM »

I have met and stayed under the same roof with some 'Transalpine Redemptorists'. Yes, they are nice folks, decent men. But at my age I can remember what it is that they apparently are reaching back too. Frankly, it is not quite as it was.

Now both the Orthodox and the Latins do appear to have something in common, that I can see. Both have some who are very polite and seemingly warm to each other, addressing the other in brotherly terms. And both have those who are more open and direct, of which you and I might be respective examples. But the nub of the question is this. What is really believed by the Latins and by the Orthodox?

My understanding is clear. Orthodoxy is The Church, in its' fullness. There is no Apostolic succession and no Mysteries outside her. Seemingly you present a mirror position or do you?

The odd thing for me is I met the Transalpine Redemptorists in an Orthodox monastery where they stayed not once but several times. The monks there too are quite clear that Orthodoxy is as described above. But the two groups seem to really like each other. I admired their 'commitment', even if I disagreed with their ecclesiology. But does the Vatican share their interpretation?
They did? When and where was this? Did the Redemptorists say Mass inside the Orthodox Monks' chapel/church?
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« Reply #44 on: November 20, 2004, 10:39:45 PM »

Quote
[Oh, fun - bookends!   ]

Yeh Serge, bookends which don't match.  One is an original the other a copy pretending to be an original.

Orthodoc

To the other people popping into this thread: Orthodoc's not imagining things; he's quoting a posting I changed my mind about and deleted. Thought it'd be better not to get involved but the message got through anyway - that was fast!

I was just digging the irony.

Quote
The odd thing for me is I met the Transalpine Redemptorists in an Orthodox monastery where they stayed not once but several times. The monks there too are quite clear that Orthodoxy is as described above. But the two groups seem to really like each other. I admired their 'commitment', even if I disagreed with their ecclesiology.


The two traditionalist groups 'get' each other - cool. I'm surprised, but that's still cool.

Quote
But does the Vatican share their interpretation?

Not exactly - the Vatican doesn't solicit born Orthodox to convert, working instead for corporate reunion in the long run. The TRs, and I base this on reading their stuff, solicit/proselytize in theory but for the most part I think they've just picked up a few confused, disgruntled Ukrainian Catholics in Galicia who think any change is bad, even if it's a move away from latinization, even though the Popes long before the present one told them not to latinize to begin with!

(Ironically the Ukrainian Catholics under the TRs insist on using Slavonic, which they share with the Russian Orthodox Church, whilst the official Ukrainian Catholic Church now uses modern Ukrainian liturgically.)
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« Reply #45 on: November 21, 2004, 06:18:01 PM »

The Transapline Redemptorists stayed at the ROCOR monastery at Brookwood in SE England. (The monastery is situated in a large cemetry). No, there was no 'ecclesiastical' shinnanegans. The ROCOR monks liked them as individuals who appeared to be ardent seekers after truth, even if they had taken a 'wrong turn', was my sense of it rather than approval of the TR thing. The Monks did not and do not agree with the TRs ecclesiology. Since then the TRs have acquired a base on a barren island off the far north of Scotland. A windy and cold spot.

Brookwood attracts visitors from a number of confessions and not necessarily those who hold a specifically 'traditional' outlook. (I am not sure that the two groups view of what 'tradition' means concur, anyway they are certainly different. The TRs almost magical belief in sacred amulets would have not struck a cord with their Orthodox hosts, I am sure. I have seen new calendarists, Armenians and an Ethiopian there too plus any number of Anglicans, ordinary Latins, protestants and don't knows.

I got the feeling that the TRs were more on Mel Gibson's wave length, regarding the present Pope and the Vatican as betraying Catholicism. But maybe I didn't listen carefully enough - I didn't go to an Orthodox monastery to get side-tracked into a purely Latin squabble. Although somehow this gulf between some 'Catholics' and the Pope came as a surprise. Had always assumed 'retro-Catholics' especially could not have an existence without the Pope? Came away confused on that score.

One possibility that struck me was that the TRs were interested in observing the services, given that the ROCOR monks have a cycle of services undertaken with some strictness. I know several old ladies visiting from Athens always were peering into the altar, and then coming away saying how 'correctly' and'properly' things were done there. (I was not aware of the TRs using both western and eastern forms of worship).

Orthodoc witty observation strikes a cord. For my part I would pray that the TRs become Orthodox at some point, God willing. They certainly seemed afraid neither of hard work or ascetism. Something they would have found at Brookwood...........
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« Reply #46 on: November 21, 2004, 06:28:48 PM »

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I got the feeling that the TRs were more on Mel Gibson's wave length, regarding the present Pope and the Vatican as betraying Catholicism.

That is probably because the Transalipine Redemptorists are associated with and if I am not mistaken, a branch of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX).

Quote
Had always assumed 'retro-Catholics' especially could not have an existence without the Pope?

This is not necessarily always the case, take the sedevacantists for an example.

Quote
For my part I would pray that the TRs become Orthodox at some point, God willing. They certainly seemed afraid neither of hard work or ascetism.

It would be nice, but doubtful that it would happen, due to the stance of traditionalist Catholics (and the Society of St. Pius X) that the Orthodox are schismatics and at the very worst, heretics. But, nothing is impossible with God - so who knows!

In Christ,
Aaron
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« Reply #47 on: November 21, 2004, 06:41:28 PM »

Forgive my ignorance but what on earth is a 'sedevacantist'?

I have come across all sorts of 'odd' little groups, some describing themselves as Old Catholics. These are usually almost all clergy with one or two lay folk in tow. And always seem 'odd' or 'flakey', but I ain't ever come across one of these critturs! That I know of......
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« Reply #48 on: November 21, 2004, 07:21:17 PM »

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Forgive my ignorance but what on earth is a 'sedevacantist'?

A sedevacantist is a traditionalist Roman Catholic who believes that the there has been no legitmate pope since Pope Pius XII and because of that the seat (sede) of St. Peter is vacant (vacante).

They reject all of the reforms of Second Vatican Council, including the Novus Ordo Mass, as well as all of the ordinations of anyone associated with the legitmate Roman Catholic Church after Vatican II. Basically anything to do with Roman Catholicism after Pope Pius XII is thrown out the window and they hope that one day a true Pope will magically appear and reform the Catholic Church.

Hutton Gibson (Mel's father) is a sedevacantist and he wrote some books (two, I believe) which basically elaborated on how un-catholic the RCC is and bad-mouths the legitmate Roman Catholic Church. Which is basically what all sedevacantists do.

They live in a romantic and delusional fantasy where Catholicism is the same as it was in the 1950's and it wasn't supposed to change and since it did, it should be rejected.

There are many conspiracy theories as to how the current RCC has become the seat of the anti-Christ, some include blaming the changes on Satan and the Masons amongst others.

They usually associate specifically with those who are of the same jurisdiction as them, believing that those outside of their brand of Catholicism are heretical on one point or the other.

If you're interested I could post some links to some various sedevacantist websites if you'd like to do some more research on your own, but I question the point of doing so on an Orthodox forum.

Hope this helps!

In Christ,
Aaron

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« Reply #49 on: November 21, 2004, 08:35:16 PM »

Quote
No, there was no 'ecclesiastical' shenanigans.

Thanks; I was going to say answering that question that I didn't think so.

The friendliness and mutual respect of these English monks of ROCOR and the TRs reminds me of:

1) C.S. Lewis in Letters to an American Lady in which he says, in the first or second letter, that he thinks the people in the heart of their traditions, the most observant, etc., are closest to each other than the fringes of those groups; and

2) The irony of RC-Orthodox dialogue: the most observant and fervent Orthodox, the ones with the most to admire and the most to offer the RCs in any reunion, are usually exactly the ones who don't want to talk! Whilst those who seem most friendly can be (but not always are!) fringe types who like the West for the wrong reasons (they like liberalism). Rather like some Muslims who say they want to read 'Christian' literature but mean Hustler!
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« Reply #50 on: November 21, 2004, 08:39:41 PM »

Aaron, my thanks for such a comprehensive reply. I see no spiritual profit in enquiring further into this phenomena of the 'vacant seat' group, so maybe you hesitancy in posting links matches my reservations. Thank you........
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« Reply #51 on: November 22, 2004, 03:07:41 AM »

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Aaron, my thanks for such a comprehensive reply.

Not a problem at all, glad to have been of service.   Cheesy

Quote
I see no spiritual profit in enquiring further into this phenomena of the 'vacant seat' group, so maybe you hesitancy in posting links matches my reservations.

I agree, so we'll just leave at that for now then.  Grin

We Orthodox have our own worries and problems to worry about, let alone focusing on issues with the Roman Catholic Church.

In Christ,
Aaron
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« Reply #52 on: November 22, 2004, 05:23:44 PM »

At the least the MP has stated on its website that it accepts the sacraments of the Catholic Church as valid and views it as a Sister Church.

Dear Deacon Lance,

Can you please provide a link to the page where the above is found?

Thanks!

Tony
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« Reply #53 on: November 22, 2004, 05:41:40 PM »

The Transapline Redemptorists stayed at the ROCOR monastery at Brookwood in SE England. (The monastery is situated in a large cemetry). No, there was no 'ecclesiastical' shinnanegans. The ROCOR monks liked them as individuals who appeared to be ardent seekers after truth, even if they had taken a 'wrong turn', was my sense of it rather than approval of the TR thing. The Monks did not and do not agree with the TRs ecclesiology. Since then the TRs have acquired a base on a barren island off the far north of Scotland. A windy and cold spot.

Brookwood attracts visitors from a number of confessions and not necessarily those who hold a specifically 'traditional' outlook. (I am not sure that the two groups view of what 'tradition' means concur, anyway they are certainly different. The TRs almost magical belief in sacred amulets would have not struck a cord with their Orthodox hosts, I am sure. I have seen new calendarists, Armenians and an Ethiopian there too plus any number of Anglicans, ordinary Latins, protestants and don't knows.

I got the feeling that the TRs were more on Mel Gibson's wave length, regarding the present Pope and the Vatican as betraying Catholicism. But maybe I didn't listen carefully enough - I didn't go to an Orthodox monastery to get side-tracked into a purely Latin squabble. Although somehow this gulf between some 'Catholics' and the Pope came as a surprise. Had always assumed 'retro-Catholics' especially could not have an existence without the Pope? Came away confused on that score.

One possibility that struck me was that the TRs were interested in observing the services, given that the ROCOR monks have a cycle of services undertaken with some strictness. I know several old ladies visiting from Athens always were peering into the altar, and then coming away saying how 'correctly' and'properly' things were done there. (I was not aware of the TRs using both western and eastern forms of worship).

Orthodoc witty observation strikes a cord. For my part I would pray that the TRs become Orthodox at some point, God willing. They certainly seemed afraid neither of hard work or ascetism. Something they would have found at Brookwood...........
Interesting...
What sacred amulets are you taling about?
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« Reply #54 on: November 22, 2004, 06:46:07 PM »

CatholicEagle,

As I recall some sort of 'scapular' I think it was called with a holy heart on it? If you died wearing it you skipped 'purgatory', or some such. It all sounded like magic or the occult to me, but again maybe I wasn't paying too much attention.

It was a little time ago but sort of stuck because I had never heard anything quite like this before!
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« Reply #55 on: November 22, 2004, 07:10:25 PM »

Quote
As I recall some sort of 'scapular' I think it was called with a holy heart on it? If you died wearing it you skipped 'purgatory', or some such. It all sounded like magic or the occult to me, but again maybe I wasn't paying too much attention.

What you're describing is the Brown Scapular, which in its full-size form is part of the Carmelite monk's habit, just like the -+-¦-Ç-¦-+-¦-+-è with symbols of the Passion embroidered on it that's worn by Orthodox monks of the great schema.

In its miniaturized form as worn by some laity, it doesn't necessary have the Immaculate Heart of Mary on it but it can.

The 'sabbatine privilege' you describe is problematic without the right kind of ’splaining. It says if one is a devoted (not a hypocritical) wearer of the scapular (Our Lady was speaking specifically to a Carmelite about Carmelites) then if one died and went to purgatory one would be freed from it the first Saturday (hence the name) after one's death.

But devotions analogous to the scapular indeed aren't foreign to the Orthodox - witness the strips of cloth with Ps. 90/91 written on them that Russian soldiers traditionally carry into battle on their persons, or the cloth icon of St Panteleimon (I have one of those), or indeed the cross or crucifix with '-í-+-¦-ü-+ -+ -ü-+-à -Ç-¦-+-+' (save and protect) written on the back.

The privilege if interpreted rightly isn't different to, say, making it safely through the particular judgement in the form of toll-houses, or, after that, safely out of the intermediate state as you understand it, thanks to practising some favourite devotion which disposed you towards God and not evil.

So if you're looking for a cudgel with which to beat on Western Catholicism, if you use this example you'll end up smashing your own tradition as well.
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« Reply #56 on: November 22, 2004, 07:19:53 PM »

Serge, I am not looking to beat anyone with anything much less lay about them with a cudgel. Given the very superficial explanation offered by the wearer, unprompted and unasked as I recall, it left me feeling I met someone who believed implicitly in magic. It seemed to make no sense at all and I kept my own counsel.
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« Reply #57 on: November 22, 2004, 08:31:39 PM »

SOME REMARKS ON ECUMENISM

by Archimandrite Georgios (Kapsanis)
Abbot of the Monastery Gregoriou

Ecumenism, that is, the movement for the union of the "Churches", as it is carried on today, manifestly has an anthropocentric (man-centered) character, not a theological and spiritual one. It puts aside the Faith (doctrines) and the Tradition of the Church. It vewis the Church chiefly as a human creation. for this reason, basic differences with  regard to the Faith, and to the history and conscience of the Church, are not seriously taken into consideration.

There is created by Ecumenism a mentality of diplomacy and compromising, whereby certain doctrinal and other differences me be settled by mutual concessions.

The ecclesiology which underlies Ecumenism is also erroneous. It does not recognize the Orthodox Church as the One, Holy, Universal (Katholik+¬) and Apostolic Church, but regards it as only a part or branch of the Universal Church. For this reason, many Orthodox view Ecumenism as an ecclesiological heresy. Ecumenism does not express Orthodoxy.

We regard Ecumenism as something that leads away from Union. The more it seems to bring union close, the more it does precisely the opposite.

We love the heterodox Christians, and for this reason we want a real and holy union with them. We do not want a mere co-existence with them, or a mere tolerance of the "variaties of faith." For this does not constitute true Christian love.

We cannot negotiate "on equal terms" with the "distorted Christs" of the West - of the Roman Catholics and the Protestants. Neither can we betray the person who aspires for his salvation from the true Christ. For this we may suffer, and we may die, but we cannot compromise.

In particular, as regards Papism, we feel what the Orthodox have always felf, that it distorts the Holy Trinity, puts aside Christ, does not manifest the Church as a Likeness of the Holy Trinity, but instead as a human creation ruled by a single person (monokratoria), and gives to the Holy Spirit only a decorative place. As a result, man is not helped and is not saved.

The Orthodox Ecumenists forget the above, and thus do great injustice to Western Christians, because they do not help them to preceive their unsound state. Also, by what they say they do not express the Faith and the mind-set (phr+¦nema) of the Orthodox Church.

Their justification that all these things are done "diplomatically" constitutes a spiritual fall. It is contrary to the demand of the Gospel that we "speak the truth in love" (Ephesians 4: 15) It manifests a yielding to the spirit of secularism.

These Ecumenists are neither holier nor wiser than our great Church Fathers, such as Saint Photios, Saint Gregory Palamas, Saint Cosmas Aitolos, and Saint Nicodemos the Hagiorite, to want to change the pious mind-set of the Church and confess another faith, reconciling things that are irreconcilable....

Together with my brethren here at the Holy Mountain of Athos, I humbly entreat the Orthodox Ecumenists not to disregard the voice of the monks of the Holy Mountain, not to proceed to innovations regarding the Faith and the relations with the heterodox, innovations that are contrary to the spirit of Orthodoxy, ignoring the "conscience of the Church".

Otherwise , all their efforts and struggles will have the same fate as similar previous efforts of the Ferrara-Florence type. And they will cause more divisions instead of union. For they will not express the Orthodox conscience. The apt remark has been made that if (the) Holy Mountain does not consent unforced to possible furture "union" or "synod", neither will Orthodoxy consent.

------------------

First appeared 'Orthodoxia kai Oumanism+¦s, Orthodoxia kai Papism+¦s, 2nd edition, Hagion Oros, 1995, pages 83-85, 125, 127

Taken here from Victories of Orthodoxy by Constantine Cavarnos, Institute for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, Belmont, Mass.

Father Georgis when writing this and referring to the Orthodox Ecumenists had in the mind the Orthodox participants at the pseudo-Synod at Balamand in Lebanon.
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