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Author Topic: Did the Pope miss this passage?  (Read 14945 times) Average Rating: 0
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DennyB
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« on: December 05, 2004, 08:56:23 PM »

 1 Peter 5:1-4

The Elders who are among you I exort you,I who am a FELLOW ELDER and a witness of the sufferings of Christ,and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you,serving as overseers,not by compulsion but willingly not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being LORDS over those entrusted to you,but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears,you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.

 Even if I believed in the Papal Supremecy,why would I want to submit to someone who wasn't like the Elder mentioned above. This is the Greatest err of the Roman Rite that I can think of. All of their doctrinal "Speculations" stem from this one error.

If we ever have a pope who will repent of these grave errors,He would be one who's authority I would gladly submit too.
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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2004, 09:21:16 PM »


 Although I am Orthodox, I respect the Pope and think he is a holy man.  It always rather makes me cringe when I hear a layman demanding that the Pope "repent his errors" Smiley  It is just rather silly and at worst , a little like Ian Paisley railing '"Antichrist" as he did to the Pope at the European Parliament several years ago.

    As for the Pope acting as a "Lord" or "lording it over others", indeed Popes in the past have done that but I believe our Orthodox objections to Papal Infallibility rest on stronger grounds then just a fear of "papal monarchy"   We hold to the ancient view of the Church in Council being infallible.
 I think this Pope certainly lives up to one of his titles "Servus Servorum Dei"
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« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2004, 10:28:47 PM »

Doesn't the very Idea of Papal Monarcy rest in Papal Infallibility,ands its assertion on the Faithful?


I'm just calling it like I see it,I would be the last one to tell the Pope He needs to Repent.
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« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2004, 11:41:44 PM »

Quote
Even if I believed in the Papal Supremecy,why would I want to submit to someone who wasn't like the Elder mentioned above. This is the Greatest err of the Roman Rite that I can think of. All of their doctrinal "Speculations" stem from this one error.

If we ever have a pope who will repent of these grave errors,He would be one who's authority I would gladly submit too.

Yes, indeed the Pope is a fellow elder among the other bishops.  But it is a non-sequitur to then go on to claim that the pope is not the visible head of the church on earth.
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« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2004, 12:08:59 AM »

And it is not only the Popes who have imitated the monarchic model; the patriarchs of the East have done so, too. The Patriarch  of Constantinople, for instance, during the rule of the Ottoman Empire, which recognized him as practically the Emporer of the Christians, adopted many of the trappings of  the Byzantine imperial court.
We really should be able, at this point, to distinguish  the cultural trappings from the essential theological elements. Surely this Pope has shown that he understands both the limits and the inherent power of the papacy.
-Daniel
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« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2004, 12:36:30 AM »

Surely this Pope has shown that he understands both the limits and the inherent power of the papacy.

Well, I'm not so sure about that.   It seems to me that he still clings to dogmas about papal supremacy.   He seems quite intransigent on some issues.   On the other hand, I think he's  gone further in reaching out to the Orthodox than anyone thought he would.  It's hard to deny his obviously sincere intentions.  My thought is that his hands are often tied by the curial bureaucracy around him, which does not, from my POV, have the same sincere intentions.   I think he wants to do even more, but it is politically difficult for him.  I really admire him, like others who have posted here.  I wonder, will the next Pope be as willing to reach out as much as he has?
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« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2004, 04:11:17 AM »

The big question is can the Latin's go back the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church which is the Orthodox Church?

The fact of the matter is that they still have not returned to that which they used to believe in accordance with the Orthodox Churches teachings. They have different teachings on several things that are significant that they could work on changing but have not changed to date. My sincere hope is that as time goes by they will come to understand the serious errors of their ways and distorted teachings that they have learned to continue to rationalize. I have noticed some that seem to be opposed to the liturgical changes but only goes so far as to say that they would like to go back to the way things had been with the Latins 40 years ago or so. They think things had been fine then, at least it looked and seemed better at that time.

They hold fast to that which is detrimental to many even when basic common sense strongly suggests otherwise. I'm not optimistic about it at all, for when the sexual abuse thing came out the idea of a married clergy was looked at and seems to have been quickly dismissed as an inappropriate possibility by means of claims along the lines of the Latin clergy are typically and traditionally not married. The faithful remain subject to the error of Latin thinking even as children are abused. Some traditions are ok to change and some are not. Married clergy-No however liturgical changes-Yes. I don't mean to sound too harsh now as I' holding back but with children being abused and other wrong things one has to think well why is the married clergy thing so terrible? I'm the son of an Orthodox Priest and I can say without reservation that we don't have those problems anywhere near the degree that the Latins do.

It wasn't very long ago when the Latins began to Latinize the uniates as they removed the Icons from the uniated and thus attacked the tradition. The uniates had placed or allowed or had been deceived into placing a sacred tradition into the hands of either the ignorant or arrogant or cunning. This sort of behavior is also the result of arrogance and ignorance and when they are combined Orthodox Christianity continues to groan from the heart. As long as they arrogantly believe in Papal Infallibility Supremacy and too many other distortions for me to list they will continue refuse to accept the teachings of the Holy Orthodox Church we will continue to see the sorry effects. It is important to mention that prior to the Latins embracing Papal Infallibility and Supremacy of today and so many other heresies the Bishop of Rome defended the Orthodox faith including our beloved iconography. There is a relationship between that which people believe and that which people do. Orthodoxy can't accept that which is heretical. These things are done right in front of our eyes which we can see with and our ears which we can hear with. The Latins have removed much within their liturgy because they have distorted much within their theology. They will continue to go their way and the Orthodox Church will remain faithful to our Holy traditions including the correct understanding of the words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Matthew 28: 18-20

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen

We may notice that as the eleven disciples heard these words Christ the Son of God did not say that all authority has been given to Peter and to observe all things that Peter has commanded you and that Peter is with you always.

In Christ,

Matthew Panchisin
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« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2004, 06:02:14 PM »

Well Matthew, your approach is most inimical to reunion or even constructive dialogue: calling people heretics and insisting that they denounce those things with which you disagree, etc. I'd like to set you in a room with a couple of die-hard Latin traditionalists and sit back and watch the fireworks.
Rome is not about to apologize for its doctrines or admit error. She can, though, frame those doctrines in ways that are less triumphalistic, more nuanced and charitable. The essence of a doctrine is not identical to the ways it is expressed in particular cultural contexts, and sometimes can be reframed and expressed in other ways. And sometimes, beneath the disagreements a deeper unity can be discerned. Note that some of the Oriental Churches are no longer estranged from the Catholic Church. Often in polemical exchange both sides hardern their hearts and their viewpoints. I believe that this has happened between East and West too often.  There are people on this forum that continue in this hardness of head and heart, and there are those who proceed in a more irenic, charitable mode.
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« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2004, 06:15:53 PM »

[Rome is not about to apologize for its doctrines or admit error. She can, though, frame those doctrines in ways that are less triumphalistic, more nuanced and charitable. ]

You mean like double talk?  Example:   Even though we say AND the Son we really mean THROUGH the Son.  So since we are making you aware of this we will continue to say AND to save face  rather than omit it.  So  when we say AND you can think THOUGH and we'll all be happy and can convince ourselves we believe the same thing even though we express it differently?

Either we all are of one mind or we're not.  The papal Catholic word game will never be acceptable to Orthodoxy.  That's why we are Orthodox.

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« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2004, 08:26:52 PM »

Dear Daniel,

I think you are confusing much like hardness of head and heart with love of the Orthodox faith and the Truth. If a delegation of Papal supporters showed up at an Orthodox Church to remove our Icons or mess around with our Liturgy such an action would be opposed not out of lack of charity or hardness of heart but respect for our traditions and love of the Orthodox Church. If we experienced the scandal that the Latins have suffered we would not just listen to some nice words, we would appropriately demand that everything that is possible be done to protect our innocent children from the hands of the abusers. While you would like to see me "in a room with a couple of die-hard Latin traditionalists and sit back and watch the fireworks" I would like to see you embrace the Orthodox faith and not pretend to be something you are not. I admit that I'm firm in believing what the Orthodox Church teaches even though I fail often in many ways. You know Daniel, I and others here don't spend our free time going out to pet stores and buying cardinals and giving them names like Papist and heretic and then begin feeding them to pet snakes for kicks.

You think that "Rome is not about to apologize for its doctrines or admit error" you are right they are more likely to write more contradictions which the uniated will have no problem accepting since that is what they are while the Orthodox will remain faithful to the faith of our Holy traditions including the correct understanding of the words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. You may call that being uncharitable or hard hearted or headed I call it obedience to the Spirit of Truth. There is a strange thing that often happens to the Orthodox when stating what we believe. We are often accused of slander or lacking love or charity by the Latins for they want to negotiate that which can not be negotiated, namely the Orthodox faith. The unia is an insult to the Orthodox faith, that is why they remain such an obstacle even in the most simple talks, hence I think it is best for the Latins and the Orthodox that the uniates remain excluded from discussions. For some of the Latins deep down inside know they have "boxed" themselves in many odd and strange positions and the Orthodox are well aware of this and understand that repentance is available to all of them including the Bishop of Rome. When heresy is not recognized it is accepted and continues to be promoted by the Latins. Repentance is not possible as long as the Latins believe that heresy is truth. The Bishop of Rome is only a mere man. We know Papal infallibility not to be so for the Orthodox Church correctly believes that the Latins remain in heresy. If you believe that I'm being uncharitable by using the heresy word and not sugar coating it I can understand why it would not taste good. For me if you had been granted your expressed desire which I hope is not of your heart "I'd like to set you in a room with a couple of die-hard Latin traditionalists and sit back and watch the fireworks." you would have been greatly disappointed for it wouldn't be much of a show because what they believe also contradicts Holy Writ and the correct Orthodox understanding of Holy Writ hence their words would be easy for me to dismiss as yours are. Perhaps a less uncharitable response would have been more acceptable to you, but charity is not just a word uttered from the mouth it comes from the heart. I know that I do not have a golden mouth or heart but I believe and know that the Orthodox faith is the "pearl of great price".

In Christ,

Matthew Panchisin
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« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2004, 09:00:02 PM »

Matthew- fortunately for both our Churches there are many Orthodox who do not see it as black and white as you do. Of course, to you they are not True Orthodox, even if they are Patriarchs. Dialogue can only proceed from mutual respect; as you obviously have nothing but scorn for the Catholic Church, I really don't see the point in conversing with you.
My comment about setting you in a room with a couple diehard Latin trads was not a serious proposal to see you in battle; it was a humorous suggestion that it might be funny observing the Only True Catholics arguing with the Only True Orthodox. Actually, I hope I never have to see such a sad exchange...
peace, Daniel the Byzantine Papist
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« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2004, 09:03:42 PM »

it was a humorous suggestion that observing the Only True Catholics arguing with the Only True Orthodox. Actually, I hope I never have to see such a sad exchange...
peace, Daniel the Byzantine Papist

When that happened the Greek Catholics rejected their schism and became TRUE Catholics[according to your definition].

Now, y'all better don't tell me that Fr.Peter Skarga SJ[he was one of the planners of the Union of Brest] called the Orthodox a brother or sister church or separated brethren.. Now the Unia Of Brest was true dialogue
If you call the Orthodox schismatics one more time, I will personally ban you for life. Ok?
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« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2004, 09:11:52 PM »

Dear Daniel,

You are putting words in my mouth and saying things that are not so for your conclusions are very inaccurate.

Be advised that your below statements are incorrect.

"Of course, to you they are not True Orthodox, even if they are Patriarchs."

"as you obviously have nothing but scorn for the Catholic Church"

In Christ,

Matthew Panchisin
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« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2004, 10:28:47 PM »

Matthew- that is the impression you give. So then: what do you think of the more ecumenical Orthodox, who think that Peter did have primacy in the Church, and that this was passed on to his successors? What do you think of the Ecumenical Patriarch [God grant him many years] and his approach to Rome, considerably friendlier than yours? And what is it that you admire about the Roman Church? What gifts does it bring to the wider Church?
And Eagle: if they allow you to continue to post here, they are very charitable and tolerant. You seem determined to offend...
-Daniel
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« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2004, 10:58:45 PM »

Daniel, since you are contrasting Matthew to His Holiness Patriarch Bartholemew, I thought you would like to hear the Patriarch in his own words; he is very polished and very friendly but he is very clear that Orthodox dogma is true because it is that which has been shown to be true by experience and is not the possession of men to change.  This speach totally shockedthe likes of Fr Richard John Nehaus and others. I got it off of the webpage

http://www.geocities.com/trvalentine/orthodox/bartholomew_phos.html

...and it is also referenced in Clark Carlton's book The Truth.  A priest I know was also there at the time:
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Address Of His All Holiness
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
Phos Hilaron
(Joyful Light)
Georgetown University, Washington, DC
21 October 1997

Your Eminences, Your Excellencies and Graces, Father O'Donovan, President of this University, Honored Guests, Beloved children in the Lord:

It is a special honor that this distinguished University confers the title of Honorary Doctor upon my Modesty. This is an opportunity for us to approach one another and communicate in the spirit of brotherhood. Although we proclaim that we worship the one and same Lord Jesus Christ, whose name we bear as Christians, we seek in common the causes of our divergence.

In the distant past, great attempts have been made by both sides to prove, and motivated by a different spirit, each side has judged the other as being divergent from the true faith.

This deeply rooted conviction of our divergence has led us to a thousand years of separate and autonomous courses. We confirm not with unexpected astonishment, but neither with indifference, that indeed the divergence between us continually increases and the end point to which our courses are taking us, foreseeably, are indeed different. Our heart is opposed to the specter of an everlasting separation. Our heart requires that we seek again our common foundations, and the original starting point that we share. So that, retrospectively we can discover the point and the reasons for our divergence that led to separate courses, and be able, by lifting blame, to proceed thereafter on the same road leading to the same common goal.

Assuredly our problem is neither geographical nor one of personal alienation. Neither is it a problem of organizational structures, nor jurisdictional arrangements. Neither is it a problem of external submission, nor absorption of individuals and groups. It is something deeper and more substantive.

The manner in which we exist has become ontologically different.
Unless our ontological transfiguration and transformation toward one common model of life is achieved, not only in form but also in substance, unity and its accompanying realization become impossible.

No one ignores the fact that the model for all of us is the person of the Theanthropos (God-Man) Jesus Christ. But which model? No one ignores the fact that the incorporation in Him is achieved within His body, the Church. But whose church?

Because of the varying responses to these basic questions, we marched on divergent courses. This is easily understood and unavoidable. For whether we comprehend this or not, our existence is ontologically shaped in symphony and harmony with our inner self. According to the description of our Lord, in Matthew 15:11, not what goes into the mouth defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth. This means that our essence is in continuous transformation [Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 3:18] by the renewing of your mind, and in the reflected glory of the Lord.

A characteristic detail, that cannot be understood without special attention, just as is described in the Old Testament, is that Jacob succeeded in having his flock bear multicolored lambs by placing before them multicolored rods [Genesis 30:37-43]. In a similar way, the Apostle Paul writing to the Corinthians says that we are being transformed into the likeness of the image of the glory of the Lord, which we reflect. Consequently the glory of the Lord, which we see, as in a mirror, is that which transforms us. This glory is that to which we are likened. The reflection of the divine glory recreates or otherwise regenerates us into something other or different in essence than our previous nature. Therefore, transformation into the image of the Lord and the image of His body becomes the fundamental pursuit of our life, accomplished in essence by the intervention of the Holy Spirit.

Therefore we do not engage in idle talk and discuss intellectual concepts which do not influence our lives. We discuss the essence of the Being who truly is, to whom we seek to become assimilated by the grace of God, and because of the inadequacy of human terms, we call this the image of the glory of the Lord. Based on this image, and in the likeness of this image, we become partakers of the divine nature [2 Peter 1:4]. We are truly changed, although neither earth, nor voice, nor custom distinguish us from the rest on mankind. [To Diognetos 2, P.G. 2,1173]

This change, which is bestowed on us from the right hand of the Most High, remains hidden, secret and mystical to many. And thus, a life which is directed toward Him is called mystical. That which leads to divine grace are called mysteries. The entire change of both language and intellect is beyond comprehension and when directed by God leads to unspeakable mysteries.

However, the change of man's essence, theosis by grace, is a fact that is tangible for all the Orthodox faithful. Grace is not only obtained through the transformed relics of the saints, which is totally inexplicable without acceptance of the divine. Grace also radiates from living Saints who are truly in the likeness of the Lord [Luke 8:46]. This change is also obtained through Holy Baptism which through grace transforms the neophyte. The transformation may only be grasped and discerned by the senses of those, who have been baptized, and who are receptive to it without external persuasion. According to the trustworthy testimony of devout Christians, divine grace even infuses the inanimate. This too, is discerned by those who are sensitive and pure of heart. Grace can also be obtained by the presence of the Saints who have influenced and sanctified, and to a degree transformed, natural objects and places.

Therefore, the Orthodox Christian does not live in a place of theoretical and conceptual conversations, but rather in a place of an essential and empirical lifestyle and reality as confirmed by grace in the heart [Hebrews 13:9]. This grace cannot be put in doubt either by logic or science or other type of argument.

Our conception of Holy Tradition moves upon the same track. Holy Tradition for the Orthodox Christian is not just some collection of teachings, texts outside the Holy Scriptures and based on their oral tradition within the Church. It is this, but not only this. First and foremost, it is a living and essential imparting of life and grace, namely, it is an essential and tangible reality, propagated from generation to generation within the Orthodox Church. This transmittal of the faith, like the circulation of the sap of life from the tree to the branch, from the body to the member, from the Church to the believer, presumes that one is grafted to the fruitful olive tree [Romans 11:23-25], the embodiment in the body (Romans 12:5; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17, 12:12-27).

Membership in the Church is not an act of cataloging a person as a member of a group but it is the true rebirth of this person in a new world, the world of grace. From that moment forward, he or she is nourished and grows a new body which is of different substance than the body of the flesh, and is joined with the body of Christ through baptism.

The relevant baptismal Hymn, Whoever is baptized in Christ, has been clothed in Christ is not simply symbolism or a poetic allegory. It is a real fact that brings change in the substance of the human being.

Those baptized as infants, whose Orthodox parents grafted them into the body of the Church, are unable to express in words the change that took place in them, but they feel it. However, those present at the moment of baptism who have purity of heart see the grace that surrounds them. Those baptized at a more mature age and with depth of faith are able to describe the liberating feeling of renouncing the devil and joining Christ.

This ontological view of the life in Christ entails a substantial element of the experience of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The glow of its light illumines all facets of our ecclesiastical and personal life in the Church and disposes of the need for foolish inquires. The Master himself knocks on the door, and seeks that we open to him the door of our entire being, so that he may enter and break bread with us. This is the foundational issue and posture for us as Orthodox. Understanding this opens the door for communication and makes dialogue possible.

The same ontological position of the Orthodox Church brings us to the difficult issues before us.

Let us look at some:

Regarding Dogma, the Orthodox Church maintains an apparently opposing position. On the one hand, Orthodoxy has never started a dogmatic dialogue, on the other hand, the Church has never neglected one. And let me explain why.

As we have said, the Orthodox faithful awaits and desires to become the reflection of the glory of God and through the grace of the Holy Spirit he becomes an image of our Lord Jesus Christ. He desires, in other words, to immediately know one person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ, and through him the remaining two, the unapproachable person of the Father, and through the Son alone, the person of the Holy Spirit. The Orthodox Christian strives towards purity of Heart for the visitation of grace, and having been fulfilled, is able to behold the sought-after glory of God. Being thus transformed, from glory to glory, the Orthodox Christian approaches God. On the spiritual journey a dogmatic description of the manifestation of the Lord and his Body, the Church, is not required because our experienced guide at every moment protects us from deception, and allows us to accept the Glory of the Lord in any appearance it takes. Therefore, experiencing the Dogma of the Church is not something that is taught through intellectual teachings, but it is learned through the example of him who, through incarnation, joined Himself to us. To this point, dogma is life and life is the expression of dogma. However, a mere theoretical discussion on the meaning of life and dogma is unnecessary.

However, the evil opponent of man tries to interject between the enlightened faithful and the illuminating glory, his own distorted filter, that is a doctrine, a false glory, so that he might deceive the faithful as being the same. In this case, the Church, like a good shepherd, hurries to guide the faithful towards right glory. The entire body of the Church rises and vigorously warns that the said doctrine is false and that, by embracing it, it separates us from the true glory of God, leads us off the track resulting in the loss of our desired goal. The Church therefore, to protect the faithful from missing the mark, battles the distortions of the glory of God, that cunning spirits continuously plant.

Consequently, this difference in dogmatic theory does not lend itself to systematic analysis. Because, a systematic exposure of this dogmatic teaching could be understood only spiritually and therefore could harm the purity of the pure vision that the faithful has, by the voluntary import of all distortions. That is, immediate empirical and living knowledge of the only true glory of God and not the epistemological enumeration of a multitude of false imitations. This is summarized in the recognition that for those who have an immediate personal knowledge of the Lord, any description of him is rendered needless. For those that are on the road to knowing him, but still do not, a correct presentation of the basic elements of His glory is useful to have and particularly as much as it is necessary so that they do not engage in false beliefs.

Concerning those that have freely chosen to shun the correct Glory of God, the Orthodox Church follows the Apostle Paul's recommendation which is a man that is a heretic after the first and second admonition, reject (Titus 3,10). The same, of course, does not hold true for those who ask you a reason for the hope that is in you with meekness and fear (1 Peter 3:15). Therefore the Orthodox Church is always open for every good-faith dialogue but declines to partake in planted squabbles, because there is always a danger to be misunderstood in such a context.

If time and your kindness permit, let us examine one such case so you can better discern our position.

The nature of the Church, viewed in the light of the Orthodox Faith, is a reality which is recognized spiritually and not descriptively. Each one of us knows the members of his own body not because he has been taught about them or because they have been described in detail by anyone. He knows them, in a special way, because of the direct and living bond with them, even if he does not understand this scientifically.

The Church is our body. As a result of the existence of its Head, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, before all time, and before creation, the Church co-exists with Him before all time. The Church is not an imaginary entity, is not a legal entity, a mere gathering of the faithful, or a worldly establishment or creation. The Church is Christ and those that He chooses, in one body with him for all ages.

The comprehension of the meaning of this, as much as is possible, assumes living this reality fully. That is, what our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life (1 John 1:1), without exception, a sense of the union of all things in Christ, in Whom all things surmised, not pantheistically, but christologically.

All this leads to the conclusion that the organization, the goals, the functions and all aspects of the life of the Church are not determined by human judgment, but the real and unchanging nature of the Church. Thus, the steadfastness of the Orthodox Church on ecclesiastical assumptions of every type is not the product of any narrow perception, but the natural result of our living ecclesiastical experience. We are not talking about an object, subjected to our free manipulation, but of an existence independent of our desires and directed by him who governs all things and Who bestowed upon us limited responsibility or ministry. The starting point of the occasionally misunderstood position of the Orthodox Church concerning ecclesiological matters is rediscovered in the essence of this ministry in this real body directed by its head, the Lord Jesus Christ.

So much for this.

Time is passing and the subject cannot be exhausted. However, in these few words your judgment is expected regarding my thoughts about our hope, a hope starting from a living experience rather than an intellectual conception.

We thank you for your patience and attention. Our love towards you is warm. Let not the simplicity of my words cloud your judgment regarding their truth. You are able to understand the words of the divine Logos through the uttering of human words. Let us always hear the words of the divine Logos so that His grace may always be with us. For this indeed is our wish for you.

Thank you.

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« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2004, 11:01:34 PM »

If the Catholic Church is unwilling to reform its papal teachings, we can meet each other in brotherly love and work together for common Christian causes but there can be no ecclesiastical communion between the two Churches.  The Catholic Church ultimately says similar about Orthodoxy. It's better to give up utopian dreams of "church union" and rather work for unity on a personal level between one person and the next.

Anastasios
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« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2004, 02:44:24 AM »

Thank you very much for this post, Anastasios.  I think you've uncovered the key here.  His Holiness expresses succinctly here, I think, and really, in great charity and love as well, all the agony and the frustration experienced by the Orthoodox in attempting to dialogue with the West. 

"The manner in which we exist has become ontologically different."

Ironically, Cardinal Congar voiced very similar sentiments years ago when he said something to the effect that the faith was the same in the East and the West, but "we have become different men."  (Not that I agree that the faith was the same, mind you.)

I think that this is a challenge issued in love that no Western Christian who is truly honest and thoughtful can refuse to respond to, if s/he truly seeks some kind of rapprochement with the Orthodox.

Bob
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« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2004, 01:11:54 PM »

[Matthew- that is the impression you give. So then: what do you think of the more ecumenical Orthodox, who think that Peter did have primacy in the Church, and that this was passed on to his successors? ]
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The Orthodox Catholic Church has never denied a 'primacy'  to either Peter or the church of Rome.  The problem occurred when the Pope was no longer was satisfied with 'primacy' and opted for 'supremacy'!

Contrary to claims made by papal Catholics both here and elsewhere that we Orthodox Catholics refuse to answer the Popes question on how we would invision his role in a reintegrated Church, we have been very clear  in our response.  From a book called 'Orthodoxy In Conversation',  here are some of the Orthodox responses regarding 'papal primacy' -

"The  Church is the communion of believers living in Jesus Christ with the Father.  It has its origins and prototype in the Trinity in which there is both distinction of persons and unity based on love, NOT SUBORDINATION."

In summary, Orthodoxy does not reject Roman primacy as such, but simply a particular way of understanding that primacy.  Within a reintegrated Christiandom the bishop of Rome will be considered as primus inter pares serving the unity of the church in love.  HE CANNOT BE ACCEPTED AS SET UP OVER THE CHURCH AS A RULER whose diakonia is conceived through legalistic categories of power of jurisdiction.  His authority must be understood , not acccording to standards of  earthly authority and domination, but according to terms of loving ministry and humble service (Matt. 20:25-27).

In a reintegrated Christiandom, when the pope takes his place once more as primus inter pares  within the Orthodox Catholic communion, the bishop of Rome will have the initiative to summon a synod of the whole church.  The bishop of Rome, will of course, preside over such a synod and his office may coordinate the life and the witness of the Orthodox Catholic Church and in times of need be its spokesman.  The role of acting as the voice of the Church is not, however, to be restricted to any hierachal order within the Church, still less to a single see.  In principle, any bishop, priest or layman may be called by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the true faith.

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« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2004, 01:19:28 PM »

Perhaps a bit of a tangent, but if this reintegration did happen, what would happen to the many Councils held without the Orthodox Church?  Wouldn't the Roman Church have to deny them as being ecumenical?
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« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2004, 01:28:36 PM »

[Perhaps a bit of a tangent, but if this reintegration did happen, what would happen to the many Councils held without the Orthodox Church?  Wouldn't the Roman Church have to deny them as being ecumenical? ]

Yes.

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« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2004, 01:31:21 PM »

If the Roman Catholic Church were reintegrated, theoretically those councils that did not contradict Orthodoxy could be accepted as local councils in the west perhaps, but councils such as Vatican I well there's no way that can be integrated.

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« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2004, 04:32:25 PM »



When that happened the Greek Catholics rejected their schism and became TRUE Catholics[according to your definition].

Now, y'all better don't tell me that Fr.Peter Skarga SJ[he was one of the planners of the Union of Brest] called the Orthodox a brother or sister church or separated brethren.. Now the Unia Of Brest was true dialogue
If you call the Orthodox schismatics one more time, I will personally ban you for life. Ok?
Okay i'll only use Orthodox or separated brethren next time.
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« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2004, 04:44:32 PM »


Okay i'll only use Orthodox or separated brethren next time.

That will work. Thank you for your cooperation.

Anastasios
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« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2004, 06:14:19 PM »

Perhaps a bit of a tangent, but if this reintegration did happen, what would happen to the many Councils held without the Orthodox Church? Wouldn't the Roman Church have to deny them as being ecumenical?

The only way to resolve it would be an ecumenical council with the bishops from both sides present.
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« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2004, 08:54:54 PM »

I think before any council of the nature you are speaking of was to be called much preliminary work would be required. For starters if the bishop of Rome called a council for his see alone and that council went through a complete list of the issues that separate the Latins from the Orthodox and Peter spoke from the chair and renounced all of those things except Papal infallibility and then after reonouning all those things finally spoke from the chair and even renounced Papal infallibility there would still be much work to be done. Such an action of course would be laden with contradictions but a strong enough statement that the Orthodox would be obligated to embrace the humility behind such an action and east and west would still not be one. That is because any power coming out of any contradiction is limited. The reason for that is indicated in the speech conveyed by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at Georgetown University that Anastasioshas presented. It is a matter of Orthodox praxis or the living out of the Orthodox life. I and many others would find many things difficult to accept like Fatima and much more. A simple example would be the movie the Passion of Christ, the way that the Passion is concentrated on in the West is not done in the East and the effects are different. I watched the movie with an good Orthodox friend at my home a few weeks ago and about half the way through it he said turn it off. I did and agreed not because we don't realize that the crucifixion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was not brutal but because we don't share in the Corpus way of looking at the crucifixion. We look at the humility of the Son of God and in a different way that is more of a way that boggles the minds of mere men.Orthodoxy really does have a different perspective on many things but part of that perspective and life includes following tradition in accordance with our Patristic reliance. There simply is not as much free thinking or speculation with ideas of a very serious nature that are encouraged in the Latin way of thinking. However, both east and west know that forgiveness is certainly a common virtue among the Orthodox and Roman Catholics as well.

If you read the words of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at Georgetown University that Anastasios has posted in this thread you will hear the living grace filled words of an Orthodox Patriarch. I'm reminded of the Epistle;  

"The Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will."

I don't believe that the Orthodox have served the evil one by promoting a schism because the Latins used to share the same faith and the pearl of a great price, but they believe in a developing sort of a way of looking at things that is not the way that we who are Orthodox look at things, hence our differences.

I hope that you and others are not offended by what I have said my words fall well short of the above Epistle and hence it's best that I remain silent for a season.

In Christ,

Matthew Panchisin
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« Reply #25 on: December 14, 2004, 01:41:02 AM »

.... His Holiness Patriarch Bartholemew, I thought you would like to hear the Patriarch in his own words...

I really meant it when I said that I thought that His Holiness's words were a challenge issued in love to those in communion with Rome and others.  I think he really puts forward the Orthodox feelings on dialogue without mincing words here.  In all humility, I do wish that those in the West and those in communion with Rome would try to understand his words and respond to them on this board and elsewhere.  Thank you.

Bob
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« Reply #26 on: December 14, 2004, 11:34:27 PM »

If the Roman Catholic Church were reintegrated, theoretically those councils that did not contradict Orthodoxy could be accepted as local councils in the west perhaps, but councils such as Vatican I well there's no way that can be integrated.

Anastasios
How about those councils are reconvened? Trent 2004, Latern I- V 2005!!
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« Reply #27 on: December 15, 2004, 12:15:47 AM »

I think Ware said in The Orthodox Church that Ecumenical Councils can not be reopened.  I would assume to do so the group would have to deny that first council as truly being Ecumenical.  Can I assume the RCC perspective is the same as well?
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« Reply #28 on: December 16, 2004, 03:53:21 PM »

I think before any council of the nature you are speaking of was to be called much preliminary work would be required. For starters if the bishop of Rome called a council for his see alone and that council went through a complete list of the issues that separate the Latins from the Orthodox and Peter spoke from the chair and renounced all of those things except Papal infallibility and then after reonouning all those things finally spoke from the chair and even renounced Papal infallibility there would still be much work to be done. Such an action of course would be laden with contradictions but a strong enough statement that the Orthodox would be obligated to embrace the humility behind such an action and east and west would still not be one. That is because any power coming out of any contradiction is limited. The reason for that is indicated in the speech conveyed by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at Georgetown University that Anastasios has presented. It is a matter of Orthodox praxis or the living out of the Orthodox life. I and many others would find many things difficult to accept like Fatima and much more. A simple example would be the movie the Passion of Christ, the way that the Passion is concentrated on in the West is not done in the East and the effects are different. I watched the movie with an good Orthodox friend at my home a few weeks ago and about half the way through it he said turn it off. I did and agreed not because we don't realize that the crucifixion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was not brutal but because we don't share in the Corpus way of looking at the crucifixion. We look at the humility of the Son of God and in a different way that is more of a way that boggles the minds of mere men. Orthodoxy really does have a different perspective on many things but part of that perspective and life includes following tradition in accordance with our Patristic reliance. There simply is not as much free thinking or speculation with ideas of a very serious nature that are encouraged in the Latin way of thinking. However, both east and west know that forgiveness is certainly a common virtue among the Orthodox and Roman Catholics as well.

If you read the words of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at Georgetown University that Anastasios has posted in this thread you will hear the living grace filled words of an Orthodox Patriarch. I'm reminded of the Epistle;   

"The Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will."

I don't believe that the Orthodox have served the evil one by promoting a schism because the Latins used to share the same faith and the pearl of a great price, but they believe in a developing sort of a way of looking at things that is not the way that we who are Orthodox look at things, hence our differences.

I hope that you and others are not offended by what I have said my words fall well short of the above Epistle and hence it's best that I remain silent for a season.

In Christ,

Matthew Panchisin

I realize that reunion and reconciliation isn't something you favor, short of the Catholic Church becoming Orthodox.  What I was doing was replying to a question pertaining to what the mechanics of such a reconciliation and reunion might involve.
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« Reply #29 on: December 16, 2004, 03:55:59 PM »

I think Ware said in The Orthodox Church that Ecumenical Councils can not be reopened. I would assume to do so the group would have to deny that first council as truly being Ecumenical. Can I assume the RCC perspective is the same as well?

Well, you can't reopen ecumenical councils, no.  But Vatican II is considered to be a continuation, in a way, of Vatican I.  And subsequent concils can expand on and clarify previous councils.
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« Reply #30 on: December 16, 2004, 05:34:01 PM »

Dear Jack,

I think the first preliminary mechanical element would be for Rome to express the desire to return to the Orthodox faith. I think love of the Truth of the Catholic Orthodox faith which the Latins used to share with the Orthodox would be a good thing to develop. As indicated below by Pope Leo III regarding the filoque. 

These words I, Leo, have set down for love and as a safeguard of the orthodox faith (Haec Leo posui amore et cautela fidei orthodoxa).8  Pope Leo III  809

In Christ,

Matthew Panchisin

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« Reply #31 on: December 17, 2004, 02:47:14 AM »

Dear Jack,

You are right I'm not for reunion now, aside from the many serious theological matters I would have many other serious concerns.

Would you be in a hurry for reunion with this sort of stuff happening in a predominantly Catholic nation?

Pope defrocks two priests
By Shawn Pogatchnik in Dublin
December 17, 2004

POPE John Paul II has defrocked two Catholic priests convicted of sexually abusing children in Ireland, an unprecedented move in this predominantly Catholic nation, church officials confirmed today.

"The diocese confirms that two priests, previously convicted of child sexual abuse, have been dismissed from the clerical state," said the Reverand John Carroll, spokesman for Ireland's southeast Ferns diocese, which has been particularly hard hit by sex abuse scandals.

The church declined to identify either man, but only two priests from the Ferns diocese have been convicted of such abuse: Donal Collins and James Doyle. Collins received a four-year sentence in 1998 for abusing several boys, while Doyle received a one-year suspended sentence in 1990 for abusing one boy.

The church rarely defrocks priests, even those found guilty of crimes. But announcements of defrockings have been on the rise since 2002 in the United States, where bishops have suffered the greatest public pressure to crack down on those who abuse children.

While bishops have the power to suspend priests from duty - a much more common practice - only the pope has the power to remove them from the priesthood. The Vatican provides no global statistics on the number of priests it has dismissed.

In this case, Ferns Bishop Eamonn Walsh sent a file to the Vatican requesting the two men's dismissal, a request granted last month by the pope in what Carroll called "a supreme decision" that cannot be appealed.

The announcement came shortly before the government's expected publication of an investigation into how state agencies and church leaders mishandled abuse allegations in Ferns from the 1970s to 1990s.

In the most prominent case, the Reverand Sean Fortune committed suicide in 1999 while awaiting trial on 66 criminal counts of molesting and raping boys over nearly two decades.

Ferns' previous bishop, Brendan Comiskey, resigned in 2002 after admitting he had done too little to stop the abuse being committed by Fortune and about a half-dozen other priests.

Sex-abuse scandals have taken their toll on the Catholic Church from Canada to Australia. But nowhere has been harder hit than Ireland, which specialised in exporting priests worldwide until the 1980s.

The church's moral standing, Mass attendance and enrollments to the priesthood have plummeted in Ireland since 1994, when the first major scandal involving a paedophile priest triggered the collapse of the government of then-Prime Minister Albert Reynolds.

Since then, both church and state have struggled to come to terms with the scale of abuse being committed by parish priests and in church-run schools, orphanages and workhouses.

Prime Minister Bertie Ahern in 2001 apologised on behalf of the state for its failure to oversee church-run institutions adequately and opened a system for victims to claim financial compensation.

The Residential Institutions Redress Board, which is investigating claims of physical and sexual abuse from the 1940s to the 1980s, said last month it has paid nearly 2000 claimants an average Gé¼77,000 ($135,444) each. The board estimated it could eventually face up to 7000 claims and pay out Gé¼650 million ($1.14 billion).

As part of a controversial 2001 deal, the church is paying a maximum Gé¼127 million ($223.4 million), much of it in properties donated to the state, while taxpayers pick up the bulk of the bill.

But the deal doesn't cover the cost of lawsuits being pursued by hundreds of alleged victims against parish priests and their superiors. In Ferns, Bishop Walsh last month said the diocese and its insurers had paid out nearly Gé¼2.8 million ($4.93 million) to settle 17 cases, but several more are pending.
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« Reply #32 on: December 17, 2004, 02:53:59 AM »

Matthew, but couldn't someone just as easily post www.pokrov.org?
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« Reply #33 on: December 17, 2004, 10:28:10 AM »

Matthew, but couldn't someone just as easily post www.pokrov.org?

Exactly. While the incidence of child sexual abuse may be lower amongst the Orthodox clergy, it still exists. People in glass houses...

I think it should also be noted that the Pope did exactly what he should have done...defrocked the priests in question, as should be done for every priest convicted of such a crime.  The same goes for any bishop guilty of covering such an act up, as well.
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« Reply #34 on: December 17, 2004, 12:06:19 PM »

Dear Anastasios,

Yes, someone could post pokrov.org. However the suggestion from such a posting would be very inaccurate. Pokrov.org is a site from a group of people who seek to limit or cut the relationship with the Ecumenical Patriarchate. They have just been denied an appeal regarding a case they lost. It is very pathetic as they are capable of many gross distortions to get what they want.

I will tell you a little about the glass house. I'm the son of an Orthodox Priest and have known very well some of the individuals mentioned by pokrov.org since my youth which was quite some time ago. For instance Metropolitan Isaiah was a very close friend with my father for many years and I know him very well, I don't know of a more compassionate and fair minded person on the planet so the accusations thrown at him by pokrov are way out there.

I asked my mother a while ago how many pedophile Orthodox Priests she has known in her life. She mentioned that she thinks she has known somewhere around a few hundred and not one that's right zero had been pedophiles. Those Matushka's and Presvytera's are on the telephone quite a bit and see what is happening in the glass house, if fact they will clean it particularly if children are at risk. She did mention that in some monasteries she has heard of problems but usually it is homosexuality. My point being that pedophiles are not comfortable around married men with children who would protect their families from any aggressor, they are comfortable around other pedophiles. I remember when we used to have the Orthodox Christian Clergy picnic at our Church when I was a teenager. When usually around 20 to 35 Priests and their families would get together for a day. I can tell you the married Orthodox clergy are normal. Anyone suggesting that there is an accurate comparison between the behavior of the married Orthodox clergy and the Latins who are not married in this regard is not addressing things from a realistic perspective.

In Christ,

Matthew Panchisin
 

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« Reply #35 on: December 17, 2004, 12:37:21 PM »

Matthew,

I appreciate your thoughts & openess on this sin that has no boundaries, I think there needs to be a marriage/celibate option for priests in the Latin Church. Offenders & ones that try to cover/veil these sins should be immediately be confined to a monastery or expelled from the Church if warranted.

james
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« Reply #36 on: December 17, 2004, 01:24:53 PM »

Matthew,

I agree that the incidents in the Orthodox Church are less frequent.  However, I think we all have to be on guard and also have to be aware that there are priests who are sick in the Orthodox Church--even if they are few and far between.

I also share your disdain for certain political machinations of the Pokrov group.

Anastasios
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« Reply #37 on: December 17, 2004, 06:15:20 PM »

Dear Jack,

You are right I'm not for reunion now, aside from the many serious theological matters I would have many other serious concerns.

Would you be in a hurry for reunion with this sort of stuff happening in a predominantly Catholic nation?

Pope defrocks two priests
By Shawn Pogatchnik in Dublin
December 17, 2004

POPE John Paul II has defrocked two Catholic priests convicted of sexually abusing children in Ireland, an unprecedented move in this predominantly Catholic nation, church officials confirmed today.

"The diocese confirms that two priests, previously convicted of child sexual abuse, have been dismissed from the clerical state," said the Reverand John Carroll, spokesman for Ireland's southeast Ferns diocese, which has been particularly hard hit by sex abuse scandals.

The church declined to identify either man, but only two priests from the Ferns diocese have been convicted of such abuse: Donal Collins and James Doyle. Collins received a four-year sentence in 1998 for abusing several boys, while Doyle received a one-year suspended sentence in 1990 for abusing one boy.

The church rarely defrocks priests, even those found guilty of crimes. But announcements of defrockings have been on the rise since 2002 in the United States, where bishops have suffered the greatest public pressure to crack down on those who abuse children.

While bishops have the power to suspend priests from duty - a much more common practice - only the pope has the power to remove them from the priesthood. The Vatican provides no global statistics on the number of priests it has dismissed.

In this case, Ferns Bishop Eamonn Walsh sent a file to the Vatican requesting the two men's dismissal, a request granted last month by the pope in what Carroll called "a supreme decision" that cannot be appealed.

The announcement came shortly before the government's expected publication of an investigation into how state agencies and church leaders mishandled abuse allegations in Ferns from the 1970s to 1990s.

In the most prominent case, the Reverand Sean Fortune committed suicide in 1999 while awaiting trial on 66 criminal counts of molesting and raping boys over nearly two decades.

Ferns' previous bishop, Brendan Comiskey, resigned in 2002 after admitting he had done too little to stop the abuse being committed by Fortune and about a half-dozen other priests.

Sex-abuse scandals have taken their toll on the Catholic Church from Canada to Australia. But nowhere has been harder hit than Ireland, which specialised in exporting priests worldwide until the 1980s.

The church's moral standing, Mass attendance and enrollments to the priesthood have plummeted in Ireland since 1994, when the first major scandal involving a paedophile priest triggered the collapse of the government of then-Prime Minister Albert Reynolds.

Since then, both church and state have struggled to come to terms with the scale of abuse being committed by parish priests and in church-run schools, orphanages and workhouses.

Prime Minister Bertie Ahern in 2001 apologised on behalf of the state for its failure to oversee church-run institutions adequately and opened a system for victims to claim financial compensation.

The Residential Institutions Redress Board, which is investigating claims of physical and sexual abuse from the 1940s to the 1980s, said last month it has paid nearly 2000 claimants an average Gé¼77,000 ($135,444) each. The board estimated it could eventually face up to 7000 claims and pay out Gé¼650 million ($1.14 billion).

As part of a controversial 2001 deal, the church is paying a maximum Gé¼127 million ($223.4 million), much of it in properties donated to the state, while taxpayers pick up the bulk of the bill.

But the deal doesn't cover the cost of lawsuits being pursued by hundreds of alleged victims against parish priests and their superiors. In Ferns, Bishop Walsh last month said the diocese and its insurers had paid out nearly Gé¼2.8 million ($4.93 million) to settle 17 cases, but several more are pending.

Yep.  We've got some serious housecleaning to do here.  Matthew, this, at least, is a reason for not wanting reunion that makes sense to me.  The theological gymnastics do not make sense to me.  But if you're saying that you don't want to be part of something that lets itself get infiltrated by perverts, I don't really have a response except to say that the present scandal involves only a miniscule fraction of Church history, and that safeguards have been put in to, hopefully, prevent this sort of thing from happening again, at least on this scale.
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« Reply #38 on: December 18, 2004, 12:56:12 AM »

Dear Jack,

Let us leave the pervesion matter aside as the theological matters are not just gymnastics as I find them very serious as well. Since children are relevant to this subject matter and not just in a involving only a miniscule fraction of Church history, do keep in mind that in the Latin traditon children are denied the Eucharist and that has not changed for quite some time. Somethings are very serious.

It's very simple is it not? I tend to think so especially if one is a parent.

John 21:16
He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

Matthew 19
13 Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.
14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
15 And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.

Matthew 26

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body."
27: Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you.

In Christ,

Matthew Panchisin

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« Reply #39 on: December 18, 2004, 04:08:14 PM »

"The erroneous beliefs and unlawful customs of the Latins and the other heretics we ought to abhor and shun. But if there be something in them that is correct and verified by the Canons of the holy Councils, this we ought not to abhor." Saint Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain." Eortodromion, Venice, 1836, p. 584.

The Church is rightly often likened to a hospital, and an encounter with our Bishop, priest or confessor likened to the encounter of one who sick with his or her physician. Which of us were we to be aware that a dear one one was attending a hospital or physician who had strayed from the right practice of medicine would not speak up? Would doing so be an act of love, of regard for their health. Yet, here while the Latins have strayed far many would have us be silent. Why? Because it undiplomatic or unfriendly. As a clinician I had a responsibility if one of my colleagues were to stray, a responsibility to act in the interests of others and toward him or her. If I had such a responsibility in that, why do I or others have a lesser responsibility in this the most important element in our eathly lives?

"Your soul seeks true life and its natural food. The food of the mind is truth; the food of the heart is peace, and blessedness; the food of the will is lawfulness. Go to the Church; she will give you all this in plenty, for she possesses it superabundantly. She is 'the pillar and ground of the truth' (1 Tim 3, 15), because in her is the Word of God, manifesting the origin of all things --- the origin of the human race, how man was created after the image and likeness of God, how he fell, and has been restored through the Redeemer of mankind; in her also is revealed the means of salvation, faith, hope and love. She affords us peace and blessedness through her divine service, above all through the sacraments. She calls us: 'Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11, 28). She teaches us the true way which leads to eternal life --- they way of God's commandments."

Spiritual Counsels of Father John of Kronstadt, edited by W Jardine Grisbrooke, London 1966, p. 73

The Church is not sundered, nor is some of the Word of God found in one and some in the other. She is 'the pillar and ground of the truth' to this very day. Love demands sometimes we address painful and difficult issues. To address them openly and with candour. (Without taking Dr Ian Paisley as a model either).

'Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.' (Matthew 10, 34-36)

The Blessed Theophylact interpretes this as follows:

Harmony is not always a good thing, while speration sometimes is. The sword, then, is the word faith which severs our bond to our families and relatives when they hinder our piety towards God. For He does not tell simply to seperate ourselves from them, but only when they will not come with us, and especially when they hinder us in faith.

If this be true of our mother or father, who gave us life itself how much more so when it one who is so far from us, such a the Pope or any other? For our we not bound to love God first and all others second? This seperation is exceedingly painful, even bitter. It is not about as was written previously geography, history, ecclesiastical jurisdiction, status whether real or imagined but about clinging to that 'pillar and ground of truth'.


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« Reply #40 on: December 18, 2004, 08:08:34 PM »

Dear Jack,

Let us leave the pervesion matter aside as the theological matters are not just gymnastics as I find them very serious as well. Since children are relevant to this subject matter and not just in a involving only a miniscule fraction of Church history, do keep in mind that in the Latin traditon children are denied the Eucharist and that has not changed for quite some time. Somethings are very serious.

It's very simple is it not? I tend to think so especially if one is a parent.

John 21:16
He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

Matthew 19
13 Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.
14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
15 And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.

Matthew 26

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body."
27: Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you.

In Christ,

Matthew Panchisin



Well by saying that the current priest scandal is a miniscule portion of Church history, I'm not minimizing the importance of the scandal by any means.  As a parent myself I am outraged by the whole matter.  What I'm saying is that this isn't what the Catholic Church has been doing for 2000 years, and whereas it is good grounds for being outraged by the behavior of some of the bishops (not to mention the pedophile priests), it is not grounds for rejecting the Catholic Church.

What I mean by theological gymnastics is that, frankly, I often read on this site distinctions between the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church that literally make no sense to me at all.  I don't mean that I disagree with them.  I mean that they make no sense to me.  For example, I have often read that even if all the doctrinal differences were ironed out there still would be no basis for reunion because there is some undefined way of being that exists in Orthodoxy.  I can never respond to that because I don't know what it means.

As for children taking communion, I actually agree with the Orthodox position on that.  Jesus said, "Let the children come to me."  How can I argue with that?
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« Reply #41 on: December 18, 2004, 11:15:57 PM »

Dear Jack,

We all know that the Roman Catholic Church believes and teaches that such matters are a terrible sin and that people sin.

I did not mean to sound overly harsh in my last post it is nevertheless a valid concern.  To be quite frank, I think that if the Latins move towards conservative Orthodox theology the door would begin to open for the undefined way of being that exists in Orthodoxy.

Your friend,

Matthew who very much respects your opinions.
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« Reply #42 on: December 20, 2004, 05:58:50 AM »

I have some grave concern about bringing into this thread the matter of abuse by Latin clergy of children. There are many differences of great import between us, and these should be addressed. However, how does bringing these matters help save to confuse matters?

The terrible problem of the abuse of the innocent has been with us from earliest times, and Our Lord spoke out unequivocally concerning it. In the Orthodox tradition instructive tales specifically tell of such events concerning monks or priests and using their fates as a warning. None of us should be quick to caste a stone on this issue.

I speak with some feeling having worked with those abused, and less willingly those who abused.

In Ireland there continues to run a deeply wounding and troubling scandal. The actions or failure to act of some is indefensible. However I sense at times the machinations of some, like pariahs, who are driven by a hatred of Christianity or any established religion who welcome this and use it as a golden opportunity to attack. Their target today is the Roman Catholic church. And whom tomorrow?

The matter between us is one of standing for Truth and Faith, not of a contest as amongst men trying to demonstrate which of us is better or more correct than the other. We all share one thing, our imperfection in all its forms.
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« Reply #43 on: December 20, 2004, 12:21:12 PM »

Dear gphadraig,

You are right, I of all men shouldn't even dare to consider casting any stone. Rather pathetic on my part to mine boulders for a collective throw at our Latin
freinds.

Sorry. Thanks for the heads up.

In Christ,

Matthew Panchisin

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« Reply #44 on: December 20, 2004, 01:42:56 PM »

Dear brother in Christ Matthew Panchism,

God forgives.......... May I remember this.
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« Reply #45 on: December 20, 2004, 02:28:36 PM »

As I remind myself and my family & friends, their are deceivers, betrayers, slanderers etc amongst us always, and at times we are those wandering into the darkness & shadows, sometimes intentionaly and unintentionaly, hopefully the latter. There are no boundaries for this human condition.

The Lord and Apostles suffered the same.(not them, but those around them, except- Judas)

Just philosophiizeing a bit without the aid of chemicals or beverage

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« Reply #46 on: December 21, 2004, 09:38:19 PM »

Dear Jack,

We all know that the Roman Catholic Church believes and teaches that such matters are a terrible sin and that people sin.

I did not mean to sound overly harsh in my last post it is nevertheless a valid concern. To be quite frank, I think that if the Latins move towards conservative Orthodox theology the door would begin to open for the undefined way of being that exists in Orthodoxy.

Your friend,

Matthew who very much respects your opinions.

That wasn't harsh, and I wasn't offended.  After all, I'm the one that comes to this Orthodox site to argue for something that most of the participants are against: reunion of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.  If I couldn't withstand a little bluntness, what would that say for my position?  But you may notice that my postings have become less frequent.  This is because all of my arguments for reunion have been met with the irrefutable "but we don't want to."  What can I say to that but "you don't have to"?
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« Reply #47 on: December 21, 2004, 10:19:55 PM »

Dear Jack,

Oh that our SSPX contributors could return to the good old days when the but "you don't have to"? was not an option. We might with Galileo have been the recipients of a decree of the inquisition to help us along in our understandings and unity would be achieved.

In Christ,

Matthew Panchisin
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« Reply #48 on: December 22, 2004, 12:22:38 PM »

............and if we repented be offered the opportunity to purchase an indulgence sparing us from all that time we had clocked up in 'purgatory'. "Will that be cash or card, my son?"
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« Reply #49 on: December 22, 2004, 02:05:02 PM »

Matthew and gphadraig, who agrees with those things now (even though the Galileo affair was more complicated than your making it)?  I'm not going to get into a debate about who has the most historical screw ups.  After all, until Reggie Jackson came along Babe Ruth held the record for the most lifetime strike outs.  Dialogue between us, to be meaningful, should focus on events that can be remembered by people who have yet to pass on.
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« Reply #50 on: December 22, 2004, 02:09:02 PM »

Ditto brother Jack.

james
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« Reply #51 on: December 22, 2004, 02:35:05 PM »

I am Orthodox, and I believe in the Orthodox Church's teaching regarding Church governance and the Ecumenical Councils. But one thing I've realized in my studies, which we Orthodox must never forget, is that during the major Christological controversies of the first several centuries AD the Patriarch of Rome always came down on the side of Orthodoxy (give or take a couple of blips, later corrected). Indeed, he was often the key figure in the debate (e.g., Pope Leo's Tome).

A lot of water under the bridge since then, of course....

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« Reply #52 on: December 22, 2004, 04:51:54 PM »

But you may notice that my postings have become less frequent. This is because all of my arguments for reunion have been met with the irrefutable "but we don't want to." What can I say to that but "you don't have to"?

Speaking personally, I do want union; I simply am not sure that the method you propose is the way to go about it. 
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« Reply #53 on: December 22, 2004, 05:24:36 PM »



Speaking personally, I do want union; I simply am not sure that the method you propose is the way to go about it.

What would you propose?
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« Reply #54 on: December 22, 2004, 05:45:42 PM »

Dealing with the divisive issues before union.  It is certainly going to be an uphill struggle, but less fraught with danger than pursuing union first and then dealing with issues.   
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« Reply #55 on: December 22, 2004, 07:02:36 PM »

I have a nice poker table & assorted beverages & cigars to have a ecumenical discussion, of course its a BYO prayer & music selections.

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« Reply #56 on: December 23, 2004, 01:43:23 PM »

Dealing with the divisive issues before union. It is certainly going to be an uphill struggle, but less fraught with danger than pursuing union first and then dealing with issues.

I can go with that, as long as it's done in a real ecumenical council, as opposed to joint statements, subcomittees and the like.  In other words, I want something done that will make it happen, not another statement that we share much in common, "but unfortunately...."
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« Reply #57 on: December 23, 2004, 02:20:37 PM »

What would you regard as a "real ecumenical council"?
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« Reply #58 on: December 23, 2004, 05:00:33 PM »

What would you regard as a "real ecumenical council"?

The bishops from the Catholic, Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox Churches coming together in one place and agreeing to iron out the disputes, not leaving until an agreement is reached, amd concluding with a proclamation of unity.
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« Reply #59 on: December 23, 2004, 05:09:09 PM »



The bishops from the Catholic, Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox Churches coming together in one place and agreeing to iron out the disputes, not leaving until an agreement is reached, amd concluding with a proclamation of unity.

Never happen.
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« Reply #60 on: December 23, 2004, 05:40:30 PM »



Never happen.

Says who?
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« Reply #61 on: December 23, 2004, 05:41:41 PM »

Unfortunately, I think Tom might be on to something.  I wouldn't oppose such an effort, I just think you're gonna need to start some kind of "Apostolic Taliban" to make sure it happens.  Wink
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« Reply #62 on: December 23, 2004, 05:54:42 PM »

Unfortunately, I think Tom might be on to something. I wouldn't oppose such an effort, I just think you're gonna need to start some kind of "Apostolic Taliban" to make sure it happens. Wink

I concur with TomS and Mor E; ecumenical councils are not negotiating sessions.

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« Reply #63 on: December 23, 2004, 06:14:28 PM »

Perhaps this has already been mentioned (I have not read all the posts in this thread) but Meyendorff in one of his books shows that at the Council of Florence, communion was restored BEFORE the Council between East and West because the idea was that one had to be in union to have a council together (of course that council bombed but...)

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« Reply #64 on: December 23, 2004, 09:05:36 PM »

Meyendorff shows in a book? Or asserts? I have learnt to approach his writings with some caution, could you expand on the point you were making Anastasios?
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« Reply #65 on: December 23, 2004, 10:04:27 PM »

I was responding to Mor Ephrem's suggestion that diffferences should be ironed out before reunion takes place, and telling him how I think it would work.  I realize that many are against the idea of reunion.  Also I was responding to Tom's "never happen" remark.  My response was "says who?" which was a way of asking whether he means that he thinks the bishops would never do it, or that he was opposed to such an idea.


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« Reply #66 on: December 23, 2004, 10:07:21 PM »



I concur with TomS and Mor E; ecumenical councils are not negotiating sessions.

Demetri

Of course they are.  Bishops come to the council with differing views and, hopefully, leave with the same view.  That's what ecumenical councils do--they resolve questions.
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« Reply #67 on: December 23, 2004, 11:28:56 PM »

Also I was responding to Tom's "never happen" remark. My response was "says who?" which was a way of asking whether he means that he thinks the bishops would never do it, or that he was opposed to such an idea.

I certainly am not opposed to the idea. I just believe that it will never happen because the age of kings and pontifs has passed. We now live in the "age of enlightenment" and freedom and rights of the individual. The days when any one individual holds the level of power and respect needed to force an agreement of a council has passed.



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« Reply #68 on: December 24, 2004, 12:17:15 AM »

I realize that many are against the idea of reunion.

I'm not sure if that is true.  There are many who don't want a certain kind of reunion, but if the opportunity for a genuine reunion presented itself, I am not sure that the voices of those against would outweigh those in favour.  Maybe I'm naive, but I wouldn't see the point in that.   
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« Reply #69 on: December 24, 2004, 12:39:18 AM »

OK, just for the sake of argument, what do you suppose would be on the "plates" of both the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic bishops should a council ever be called? And since agreements usually require some compromises, what would be their compromises?

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« Reply #70 on: December 24, 2004, 01:09:17 AM »



Of course they are. Bishops come to the council with differing views and, hopefully, leave with the same view. That's what ecumenical councils do--they resolve questions.

Perhaps that is the Latin view, Jack. But this supports why TomS's "never happen" is true. Ecumenical councils are not political Give & Take compromise sessions but a meetings of the guardians of the Church to discern what has been believed in all places at all times specific to an issue or heresy. Bishops may discuss issues, but they do not introduce, in the Orthodox Catholic Church, innovations. One only needs to look at the failed councils of 1271 and 1439 to see that folly. Or am I wrong?

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« Reply #71 on: December 24, 2004, 03:30:23 AM »

Meyendorff shows in a book? Or asserts? I have learnt to approach his writings with some caution...

Why, may I ask?
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« Reply #72 on: December 24, 2004, 05:50:33 AM »

The days when any ne individual holds the level of power and respect needed to force an agreement of a council has passed.


I don't agree Tom. It was the Holy Spirit then and it will be the Holy Spirit again if such a council ever occurs. +æ-ü+¦-â-ä+++¦+++«-é last post is spot on.

John.
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« Reply #73 on: December 24, 2004, 09:03:06 AM »

Ecumenical councils are not political Give & Take compromise sessions but a meetings of the guardians of the Church to discern what has been believed in all places at all times specific to an issue or heresy. Bishops may discuss issues, but they do not introduce, in the Orthodox Catholic Church, innovations. One only needs to look at the failed councils of 1271 and 1439 to see that folly. Or am I wrong?

Perhaps we are speaking past each other, but I am not sure if Jack would disagree with this.  A general council is not summoned for the sake of having one, but is called to respond to some problem(s) which cannot be resolved without it.  Bishops discuss issues precisely because they have differing opinions on what has been believed "in all places at all times", but they discern what truly that is, and make their decisions.  There is no question of "innovation" or "compromising the truth" in this, and the reception of a council as ecumenical is testimony to that fact.     
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« Reply #74 on: December 24, 2004, 10:05:40 AM »

In a sense I think Tom is right, but perhaps not in precisely the way he says it.

In a sense, general councils have been impossible since Chalcedon, because the various septs of the church have been able to maintain their political integrity in the face of condemnation. Therefore, they in a sense get conducted by those ecumenist Protestant theologians who go back and evaluate the various arguments from the various sides and come up with a consensus. The score thus far: Nicea yes, Chalcedon and Ephesus yes-sort-of, Trullo right out.
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« Reply #75 on: December 24, 2004, 11:02:09 AM »

Pravoslavbob,

A fair question and one that needs something other than an off the cuff response. I will come after St Spyridon's day.......

To everyone who celebrates Christmas or the Nativity of Our Lord tomorrow, may I wish God's blessings upon on the day and throughtout the coming (civil) new year....... And to those who are working, seperated from family and friends - especially servicemen and women - and those who are volunteers giving of their time to others a special thought.
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« Reply #76 on: December 24, 2004, 12:37:21 PM »

Meyendorff shows in a book? Or asserts? I have learnt to approach his writings with some caution, could you expand on the point you were making Anastasios?

They celebrated liturgy together first, there is evidence on this.  I will cite it when I get back from my vacation. I agree on your point of caution though.

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« Reply #77 on: December 26, 2004, 09:04:45 PM »



I'm not sure if that is true.  There are many who don't want a certain kind of reunion, but if the opportunity for a genuine reunion presented itself, I am not sure that the voices of those against would outweigh those in favour.  Maybe I'm naive, but I wouldn't see the point in that.   

I'm not saying that most people are against reunion.  But whenever I talk about it at this site it seems that there are many who are against the idea except in the sense that they would welcome the Catholic Church's submission to Orthodoxy.  Now, of course, that is a most unlikely prospect.  When one side says we'll have reunion as soon as the other side admits that they are wrong and we are right, indeed, that we won't even meet with the other side until that happens, I surmise that the one side isn't really interested in reunion.  I suspect that is because the one side believes that they are complete in themselves, and that the other side lacks a measure of validity.  On that last point I have seen the position posted at this site that it cannot be said with certainty that the sacraments I receive at my Catholic parish are true sacraments.  If that is the Orthodox consensus, it is hard to see how the Orthodox could consider Catholics as equal partners in discussions directed toward unity.

Now I don't want to put words in your mouth as to what "genuine" reunion would constitute.  Many at this site have said that genuine reunion would require that both sides come to an agreement on a number of what I suppose they consider essential points, though I've not seen a complete list, and I imagine that different people would have different lists.  On the essential points that have been mentioned it has been said that that the Catholics would have to agree with the Orthodox position.  But, if truth be told, I am certain that the Catholics would demand that the Orthodox come to agree with the Catholic position on many points.  Perhaps this is a situation where an emperor would come in handy, to force everyone to the table at the point of a sword, and maybe TomS is right when he says that that's what it would take to bring about a general council.  But I hope for better from us and our bishops.

I know I have my own ideas of what would constitute "genuine" reunion.  But I know that my ideas are, ultimately, unimportant.  What is important is what the Holy Spirit wants.  I believe in my Catholic faith.  But I am not afraid of having all bishops in apostolic succession convening in a general council to let the Holy Spirit speak through them.  I am afraid of letting the scandal of our continued separation continue to be a spectacle before the world to the detriment of the spread of the gospel.

Why do I talk about these things at this site?  Because I think that if enough laypeople agree that reunion is important, that it may become important to our respective hierarchies.
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« Reply #78 on: December 26, 2004, 09:11:35 PM »

OK, just for the sake of argument, what do you suppose would be on the "plates" of both the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic bishops should a council ever be called? And since agreements usually require some compromises, what would be their compromises?

JoeS 8



Although the point I am about to make has met with some derision in the past, I'll say it anyway.  I firmly believe that if all sides submitted to the Holy Spirit and met in an ecumenical council they would find out that the disagreements were more imagined than real.
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« Reply #79 on: December 26, 2004, 09:14:28 PM »



Perhaps we are speaking past each other, but I am not sure if Jack would disagree with this.  A general council is not summoned for the sake of having one, but is called to respond to some problem(s) which cannot be resolved without it.  Bishops discuss issues precisely because they have differing opinions on what has been believed "in all places at all times", but they discern what truly that is, and make their decisions.  There is no question of "innovation" or "compromising the truth" in this, and the reception of a council as ecumenical is testimony to that fact.     

I agree entirely with your post, Mor Ephrem.
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« Reply #80 on: December 26, 2004, 11:35:49 PM »


I'm not saying that most people are against reunion. But whenever I talk about it at this site it seems that there are many who are against the idea except in the sense that they would welcome the Catholic Church's submission to Orthodoxy. Now, of course, that is a most unlikely prospect. When one side says we'll have reunion as soon as the other side admits that they are wrong and we are right, indeed, that we won't even meet with the other side until that happens, I surmise that the one side isn't really interested in reunion. I suspect that is because the one side believes that they are complete in themselves, and that the other side lacks a measure of validity. On that last point I have seen the position posted at this site that it cannot be said with certainty that the sacraments I receive at my Catholic parish are true sacraments. If that is the Orthodox consensus, it is hard to see how the Orthodox could consider Catholics as equal partners in discussions directed toward unity.


Dear Jack,
I do not believe that submission is the proper word to use above. We Orthodox do not expect a submission by the Church of Rome, but a return to Orthodoxy, its Orthodoxy - that which it had and upheld in the past. On the other hand, Orthodoxy's accepting Rome's positions WOULD be a submission. And it won't happen.
Sorry for my toughts being so simplistic, but they are what they are.

Demetri
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« Reply #81 on: December 27, 2004, 12:16:12 AM »

[I do not believe that submission is the proper word to use above. We Orthodox do not expect a submission by the Church of Rome, but a return to Orthodoxy, its Orthodoxy - that which it had and upheld in the past. On the other hand, Orthodoxy's accepting Rome's positions WOULD be a submission. And it won't happen.
Sorry for my toughts being so simplistic, but they are what they are.]

Exactly!  Rather than submission, all the Orthodox Catholic Church expects of the Church of Rome is a return to that which it once was.  To the time when we both shared the same faith.  The faith of the basically undivided church of the first millenium and the seven Ecumenical Councils.

It isn't expecting it to accept new or changed doctrines or anything that it never believed before.

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« Reply #82 on: December 28, 2004, 03:22:38 PM »

As I previously wrote I would give an answer as to my reservations regarding the writings of the late Father John Meyendorf.

He was a professor of Patristics at St Vladimir's Seminary and wrote extensively. For many non-Orthodox and for those who had grown up in an eastern Europe where religion had long been suppressed he was a window on the Orthodox Church. For this he is owed a debt, which I am happy to acknowledge.

However, he was a modernist and his writings distort our understanding of Orthodoxy. Indeed he appears to have been greatly influenced by western understanding, thinking and ecumenism. This is not simply my view but has been written or said of him by others.

Recently there were reports of the (Russian Orthodox) Bishop of Yekaterinburg ordering students in a school to burn all books by the the heretical writers, Alexander Schmemann, John Meyendorf and Alexander Menn. Of the three I have no knowledge of the writings of the third but have read some of the writings of the first two. Most recently were some of those of the late Father Alexander Schemann. While I tend to stick warning labels in books that deviate from Orthodoxy, where appropriate in my library of books, book burning is not my fort+¬.

Such are my reservations. I do not intend to get into some debate on this. If others want to and are so minded, fine.
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« Reply #83 on: December 28, 2004, 04:02:02 PM »

Oy,

I agree with much of Orthodoc's last post ? I'm OK...I think

checking my pulse & vitals

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« Reply #84 on: December 28, 2004, 04:46:00 PM »

When one side says we'll have reunion as soon as the other side admits that they are wrong and we are right...I suspect that is because the one side believes that they are complete in themselves, and that the other side lacks a measure of validity.

You suspect right.

Quote
If that is the Orthodox consensus, it is hard to see how the Orthodox could consider Catholics as equal partners in discussions directed toward unity.

We don't.

Quote
I am afraid of letting the scandal of our continued separation continue to be a spectacle before the world to the detriment of the spread of the gospel.

It is embarassing for Christian confessions to be at odds w/one another.  But to say that our doctrinal differences aren't to be taken seriously enough to acknowledge a schism?  That's the primary reason why so many mainline Protestant denominations, determined precisely not to "stick to their guns," are losing members by the millions.  No thanks.

Quote
Why do I talk about these things at this site?  Because I think that if enough laypeople agree that reunion is important, that it may become important to our respective hierarchies.

We agree that reunion is important.  We just so happen also to agree with our heirarchs' conditions of said reunion.

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« Reply #85 on: December 28, 2004, 05:15:06 PM »

Thanks Pedro,

But as soon as this anxiety is over, some smarty pants will hit me with New or Old calendar issue !

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« Reply #86 on: December 29, 2004, 01:07:09 AM »

As I previously wrote I would give an answer as to my reservations regarding the writings of the late Father John Meyendorf.

He was a professor of Patristics at St Vladimir's Seminary and wrote extensively. For many non-Orthodox and for those who had grown up in an eastern Europe where religion had long been suppressed he was a window on the Orthodox Church. For this he is owed a debt, which I am happy to acknowledge.

However, he was a modernist and his writings distort our understanding of Orthodoxy. Indeed he appears to have been greatly influenced by western understanding, thinking and ecumenism. This is not simply my view but has been written or said of him by others.

Recently there were reports of the (Russian Orthodox) Bishop of Yekaterinburg ordering students in a school to burn all books by the the heretical writers, Alexander Schmemann, John Meyendorf and Alexander Menn. Of the three I have no knowledge of the writings of the third but have read some of the writings of the first two. Most recently were some of those of the late Father Alexander Schemann. While I tend to stick warning labels in books that deviate from Orthodoxy, where appropriate in my library of books, book burning is not my fort+¬.

Such are my reservations. I do not intend to get into some debate on this. If others want to and are so minded, fine.

Dear gphadraig,

If you don't want to debate these questions, then perhaps you shouldn't post your opinions here at all. This board is precisely such a place to discuss these issues. The statements you make here are very provocative to some of us, and you do not back up your claims with many arguments, except to say that one bishop and other people who are not named call Schmemann and Meyendorff heretics or close to it. I have quite a different view, and consider them to be articulate and creative spokesmen for Orthodoxy.

"He was a modernist." Says who? It's so easy to dismiss someone by throwing out this term indiscriminately, and I see nothing in his writings to support this. Of course, he interracted with the West and western thinkers. Some people who do this sometimes go too far, I am sure. In today's western academic world, it is very difficult to remain isolated and to not interact with your western colleauges, and I am sure that it is possible that he may have fallen into the temptation of interracting too much at some points.  For myself, I wish that we Orthodox in the West had stronger monastic communities present to keep us closer to the straight and narrow path.   You yourself are interracting with the West by posting things on this website that people of western communions read and respond to. Should I therefore now accuse you of ecumenism? I suppose your thoughts expressed here may mean that you consider me and all of my ilk to be "modernist." This makes me sad. Of course, I would also criticize things written by Schmemann and Meyendorff. They are not perfect, far from it. Neither, I am sure, are any of the theologians that you may care to champion, since all of us humans fall short of the glory of God.

If you could tell me why you think such things about Meyendorff or Schmemann, I might even agree with you on some points. Please do correct me if I am wrong, but the message I am getting from your post is that me and others like me are beyond discussing things with, since we are somehow less than Orthodox in your estimation, and have nothing of any intrinsic value to say. If this is truly your attitude, perhaps you should only post on traditionalist web sites, where all the other posters will reflect your views.

I consider myself no less traditionalist than anyone of one of the traditionalist groups who post here. I am not a "modernist", and I would frankly resent being styled as such by those who are unwilling to even deign to discuss issues with me or others.

Sincerely In Christ,

Bob
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« Reply #87 on: December 29, 2004, 01:56:57 PM »



Dear Jack,
I do not believe that submission is the proper word to use above. We Orthodox do not expect a submission by the Church of Rome, but a return to Orthodoxy, its Orthodoxy - that which it had and upheld in the past. On the other hand, Orthodoxy's accepting Rome's positions WOULD be a submission. And it won't happen.
Sorry for my toughts being so simplistic, but they are what they are.

Demetri

Well, to me it would be submission.  For example, I am persuaded, for reasons that I've posted before, that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.  I am also persuaded, for reasons that I haven't posted as thoroughly, that the Pope is more than first in honor among the bishops.  My acquiescence in the Orthodox position on these points would, therefore, have to be a kind of submission.  When one side says that the other side must agree on all points before the Eucharist will be shared they are asking for a kind of submission.  I'm not saying that's a bad thing in itself.  But it does thwart any ecumenical dialogue.
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« Reply #88 on: December 29, 2004, 02:00:49 PM »

[I do not believe that submission is the proper word to use above. We Orthodox do not expect a submission by the Church of Rome, but a return to Orthodoxy, its Orthodoxy - that which it had and upheld in the past. On the other hand, Orthodoxy's accepting Rome's positions WOULD be a submission. And it won't happen.
Sorry for my toughts being so simplistic, but they are what they are.]

Exactly!  Rather than submission, all the Orthodox Catholic Church expects of the Church of Rome is a return to that which it once was.  To the time when we both shared the same faith.  The faith of the basically undivided church of the first millenium and the seven Ecumenical Councils.

It isn't expecting it to accept new or changed doctrines or anything that it never believed before.

Orthodoc

We Catholics would say the same thing.  Hence, the impasse.
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« Reply #89 on: December 29, 2004, 02:37:40 PM »



You suspect right.



We don't.



It is embarassing for Christian confessions to be at odds w/one another.  But to say that our doctrinal differences aren't to be taken seriously enough to acknowledge a schism?  That's the primary reason why so many mainline Protestant denominations, determined precisely not to "stick to their guns," are losing members by the millions.  No thanks.



We agree that reunion is important.  We just so happen also to agree with our heirarchs' conditions of said reunion.

==================
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Respira, hermano.  BREATHE.  It'll pass, I promise.   Wink

So, you see Pedro, if that's the Orthodox position then we're at an impasse as far as reunion goes.  But you'll understand if I say that reunion cannot be important to the Orthodox in that case.  What the Orthodox Church must want is conversion to Orthodoxy.  That's a legitimate position to hold, but it is not legitimate to say that you want reunion when what you really want is conversion.

Moreover, since given your position we are actually different religions, there can be no objection to Catholics seeking converts in Russia.  Nor can there be an objection to the presence of Eastern Catholic churches in that region (provided, of course, that there is full disclosure).  Why would you expect us to recognize patriarchal territories if those territories have no more to do with us than they do with a Presbyterian or even a Buddhist?

I have immense respect for the Orthodox Church.  I admire its respect for tradition, its free thinking mysticism, and its liturgy.  I think the Orthodox Church has the correct position on confirmation and communion for infants.  But the Orthodox will have to decide whether we Catholics are part of the same religion or a different one.  You cannot have it both ways.
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« Reply #90 on: December 29, 2004, 04:32:02 PM »

We Catholics would say the same thing. Hence, the impasse.

In that case, you Catholics still do not understand.
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« Reply #91 on: December 29, 2004, 04:38:26 PM »


 But the Orthodox will have to decide whether we Catholics are part of the same religion or a different one. You cannot have it both ways.

Actually, Jack, this is an astute observation. Many Greek clerics do in fact maintain that ALL western Christianity, including the Church of Rome, is indeed another religion. A hint at how far the west has moved.

If I add with respect, you still do not undertand what Orthodoxy is. It is YOU as YOU used to be and Catholic as we still are.

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« Reply #92 on: December 29, 2004, 07:07:51 PM »

Actually, Jack, this is an astute observation. Many Greek clerics do in fact maintain that ALL western Christianity, including the Church of Rome, is indeed another religion. A hint at how far the west has moved.

Aw, come on. It's just poltical posturing. There are bigger differences among conservative Anglicans than there are between Constantinople and Rome.
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« Reply #93 on: December 30, 2004, 12:03:17 AM »



Aw, come on. It's just poltical posturing. There are bigger differences among conservative Anglicans than there are between Constantinople and Rome.


...shows an Anglican's lack of understanding Orthodoxy to be sure. As to differences among Anglicans, who cares?
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« Reply #94 on: December 30, 2004, 09:46:01 AM »

Well, maybe you should care. After all, it's possible that Anglicans may split up in a way that cuts off the supply of already-priested theologically conservative men who bring in and lead all those convert parishes.

Christianity is a religion. Catholicism and Orthodoxy are major traditions/denominations/your-favorite-subdivision-heres within it. This is the division that everyone who doesn't have a dog in the fight sees, and those who see otherwise? They're spinning the fight for their dog.
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« Reply #95 on: December 30, 2004, 10:59:29 AM »

Well, maybe you should care. After all, it's possible that Anglicans may split up in a way that cuts off the supply of already-priested theologically conservative men who bring in and lead all those convert parishes.

Irrelevant

Quote
Christianity is a religion. Catholicism and Orthodoxy are major traditions/denominations/your-favorite-subdivision-heres within it. This is the division that everyone who doesn't have a dog in the fight sees, and those who see otherwise? They're spinning the fight for their dog.

Perhaps you have mistaken me as a believer in denominationism.
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« Reply #96 on: December 30, 2004, 11:03:07 AM »

Pravoslavbob,

Sorry that you found my post or is it my posts inadequate in terms of having a debate. And I guess you may too have a point in suggesting I should not post here. There again how many times do I, and others, have to put up with those who also quip or quibble and do not 'back up' their point of view and/or are less than polite? As I recall I provide quite a lot of 'evidence' in the round of things, but those of a contrary view, perhaps, might wish I did not post that 'evidence' either.

My intention is not to cause any offence but to call attention to an Orthodox world-view and not one that may be fashionable, easy or diplomatic but misleading.

As for evidence, I cite Bishop Nikon of Yekatierinburg ordering students to burn the books of these three ......... as reported in the London Times and on METAPHRASIS Religious News Service. (Bishop Nikon later was required to retire under a cloud).

Sorry if this is not adequate - as I am sure it will not be - but I have more pressing matters occupying me.
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« Reply #97 on: December 30, 2004, 11:25:27 AM »

What the Orthodox Church must want is conversion to Orthodoxy.  That's a legitimate position to hold, but it is not legitimate to say that you want reunion when what you really want is conversion.

Well, when the word "reunion" is used only in the way you're using it, then no, we don't want "reunion."  Choice of words, I guess.

Quote
Moreover, since given your position we are actually different religions, there can be no objection to Catholics seeking converts in Russia.  Nor can there be an objection to the presence of Eastern Catholic churches in that region (provided, of course, that there is full disclosure).
 

Provided that, yes.  But that's a big provision, and one that hasn't been made for the most part.  Many RC efforts in Russia are of the whole "just Orthodox in communion with Rome" deal, making the claim that it's no different, really...just a switch of which heirarch they commemorate in Liturgy.  With that being the case, we most certainly DO object to their efforts.

Quote
Why would you expect us to recognize patriarchal territories if those territories have no more to do with us than they do with a Presbyterian or even a Buddhist?

Again, provided that our territories are recognized as a distinct and separate faith (which they're not, at present), there would be much less outrage, I think...much of the Orthodox indignation at efforts in Russia is due to what is perceived to be a less-than-up-front MO; many Russians and Ukranians are told that they are "Orthodox in communion w/Rome" now, when in reality, they have ceased, in our eyes, to be Orthodox at all.
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« Reply #98 on: December 30, 2004, 11:37:17 AM »

Perhaps you have mistaken me as a believer in denominationism.

Denominations and divisions within Christianity exist objectively, with or without your approval. What you seem to be is a believer in definitionalism: the notion that you can change reality by "changing" the meaning of words. But you can't even do that, because no man or woman has that kind of control over language.
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« Reply #99 on: December 30, 2004, 12:04:44 PM »

[What the Orthodox Church must want is conversion to Orthodoxy. That's a legitimate position to hold, but it is not legitimate to say that you want reunion when what you really want is conversion.]

No.  Once again all we want is a return to the faith that we both shared when we were still one entitity.  We are not asking or requiring you to believe anything you have not believed or upheld in the past.  Which is what you are requiring of us. 

We haven't changed the faith.  You have.  It's as simple as that.

Orthodoc

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« Reply #100 on: December 30, 2004, 12:09:46 PM »



Denominations and divisions within Christianity exist objectively, with or without your approval. What you seem to be is a believer in definitionalism: the notion that you can change reality by "changing" the meaning of words. But you can't even do that, because no man or woman has that kind of control over language.


By YOUR definition of Christianity, I assume
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« Reply #101 on: December 30, 2004, 12:13:47 PM »

http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/dogmatics/krehel_orthodox_catholic_faith.htm

This may help explain the Orthodox Catholic Faith.

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« Reply #102 on: December 30, 2004, 12:27:28 PM »

Another good source:

http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/church_tradition_florovsky.htm#n1

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« Reply #103 on: December 30, 2004, 12:43:53 PM »

In that case, you Catholics still do not understand.

I have to agree with +æ-ü+¦-â-ä+++¦+++«-é here.

We haven't changed the faith. Roman Catholics have . It's as simple as that.

Yep. Have to also agree with Orthodoc on this.

Although, as you all know, I think that the Orthodox have "pushed the envelope" with some of the traditions of the Church, the Roman Catholics have gone totally wacky and have just about created a new religion with the Christ as the beginning, but not the end.
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« Reply #104 on: December 30, 2004, 01:03:37 PM »

Pardon me, it seems to me that if Our Lord wants the Church of Rome to rejoin it's historical brethern then it will happen. While personally I think reunification would destroy the Roman Church, if I live to see the day reunification happens, I'd rejoice.
But before the time of our two churches sitting down and working things out, maybe the Roman Church should be more concerned about eliminating influences from Protestantism. When I read about the Roman Church's new Rite of Exorcism, my heart sank. It made me feel like the Roman Church has relegated the evil one to a psychological concept. If this is in fact the case, then the evil one has free reign with your believers since why should anyone be afraid of a make-believe monster? I'll wrap up now with an apology in advance if my opinion isn't explained sufficiently.
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« Reply #105 on: December 30, 2004, 04:02:56 PM »

Surfacing from my sabbatical , and being a RC , I must agree, the Church of Rome has stumbled(my issues are mine, though some share the same), but with this to the side, is it not the responsiblity of all TO PRAY for THEM, and not just stating where they stumbled, words are words, statements are statements, but where are your WORKS my brothers.

Back your statements of error, stumbling and rebuke with words of prayer my brothers/sisters/brethern.

Back to study & alot of prayer,

james
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« Reply #106 on: December 30, 2004, 04:25:07 PM »

Good reason to break your cyber-fast, James.
Thanks
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« Reply #107 on: December 30, 2004, 05:55:06 PM »



In that case, you Catholics still do not understand.

No, I understand fine.  Unfortunately, a full blown debate regarding Catholicism versus Orthodoxy from the Catholic point of view is not permitted or appropriate at this site.  Do not confuse my acceptance of the rules with an inability to respond.  If you can suggest a neutral forum, or want to contact me via e-mail, we can take up the discussion there.
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« Reply #108 on: December 30, 2004, 05:58:01 PM »



Actually, Jack, this is an astute observation. Many Greek clerics do in fact maintain that ALL western Christianity, including the Church of Rome, is indeed another religion. A hint at how far the west has moved.

If I add with respect, you still do not undertand what Orthodoxy is. It is YOU as YOU used to be and Catholic as we still are.

Demetri


See my response to your previous post.
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« Reply #109 on: December 30, 2004, 06:03:21 PM »



Again, provided that our territories are recognized as a distinct and separate faith (which they're not, at present), there would be much less outrage, I think...much of the Orthodox indignation at efforts in Russia is due to what is perceived to be a less-than-up-front MO; many Russians and Ukranians are told that they are "Orthodox in communion w/Rome" now, when in reality, they have ceased, in our eyes, to be Orthodox at all.

And why don't you object to me calling myself Catholic, since you believe yourself to be Catholic as well?
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« Reply #110 on: December 30, 2004, 06:04:21 PM »

By YOUR definition of Christianity, I assume

I don't define the word-- the other billion-plus English speakers of the world do.
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« Reply #111 on: December 30, 2004, 06:08:01 PM »


Although, as you all know, I think that the Orthodox have "pushed the envelope" with some of the traditions of the Church....


Forgive me, Tom, but what could you possibly mean by this statement? Or do I really want to know?

Bob
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« Reply #112 on: December 30, 2004, 06:14:26 PM »

[What the Orthodox Church must want is conversion to Orthodoxy. That's a legitimate position to hold, but it is not legitimate to say that you want reunion when what you really want is conversion.]

No.  Once again all we want is a return to the faith that we both shared when we were still one entitity.  We are not asking or requiring you to believe anything you have not believed or upheld in the past.  Which is what you are requiring of us. 

We haven't changed the faith.  You have.  It's as simple as that.

Orthodoc



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« Reply #113 on: December 30, 2004, 06:26:46 PM »

Forgive me, Tom, but what could you possibly mean by this statement?  Or do I really want to know?

Hoo boy...Bob, you and Tom are better off taking that one to PMs or emails.

Just a thought from a mod.
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« Reply #114 on: December 30, 2004, 06:33:19 PM »

And why don't you object to me calling myself Catholic, since you believe yourself to be Catholic as well?

Because that is the more common, "generic" term for your church.  When people, even most of us, hear the word "Catholic," we think RC.  Likewise the term "Orthodox" usually brings up images of those eastern churches not in communion with Rome.  See the title of this subforum to see what I mean.

At any rate, use of this or that term is not the important thing here.  You all may use whichever term you like, even call yourselves Orthodox this and that, or whatever.  The point, my friend, is that the efforts to proselytize are done with the (imo) lie that the change from Catholic to Orthodox is not really any kind of conversion at all, just a "switch of bishops," as if this ultimately changed nothing.  To us, however, it changes everything.

Like I said, use whatever words you like to describe yourself, as will we.  But please don't put us in the same boat as you, because we don't do the same.
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« Reply #115 on: December 30, 2004, 07:02:48 PM »



I don't define the word-- the other billion-plus English speakers of the world do.


Typical western heterodox statement. Meaningless to us.
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« Reply #116 on: December 30, 2004, 07:05:19 PM »



Forgive me, Tom, but what could you possibly mean by this statement?  Or do I really want to know?

Bob

Bob, You don't want to know. Tom forgot what he promised about Holy Tradiition at his Chrismation; or perhaps it was in Greek and he did not know what he agreed to. But, he tries...

Demetri
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« Reply #117 on: December 30, 2004, 07:20:21 PM »

Pedro and Demetri,

Okay, well.... thanks for your advice. Nothing personal, Tom, but I take back the question! Smiley

Bob
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« Reply #118 on: December 30, 2004, 07:50:17 PM »

Many RC efforts in Russia are of the whole "just Orthodox in communion with Rome" deal, making the claim that it's no different, really...just a switch of which heirarch they commemorate in Liturgy. With that being the case, we most certainly DO object to their efforts.

...

Again, provided that our territories are recognized as a distinct and separate faith (which they're not, at present), there would be much less outrage, I think...much of the Orthodox indignation at efforts in Russia is due to what is perceived to be a less-than-up-front MO; many Russians and Ukranians are told that they are "Orthodox in communion w/Rome" now, when in reality, they have ceased, in our eyes, to be Orthodox at all.

Pedro,

I would have sworn that I replied to this point earlier, but I can't find the post ... so ...

To say that many RC efforts in Russia are directed at bringing currently RO faithful into the status of "Orthodox in communion with Rome" isn't really accurate as that presupposes bringing them into the Russian Greek-Catholic Church (RGCC), as opposed to the Latin Church. The RGCC is, at best, one of Rome's most neglected stepchildren among the Byzantine Catholic sui iuris Churches, having been without a hierarch since the death in a Soviet prison, more than a half-century ago, of Blessed Father Archimandrite Kliment Sheptitsky, the last incumbent of the Apostolic Exarchate of Moscow, the sole Russian GCC jurisdiction in Russia.

Despite multiple and recurring requests that the RGCC See, which is extant, though sede vacante, be reactivated, Rome has taken no action on the matter. The four (I think) Catholic canonical jurisdictions in Russia that were recently elevated to the status of dioceses were all Latin jurisdictions, not RGCC. Informed speculation as to the motivation behind Rome's apparent decision to limit its focus in Russia to the Latin jurisdictions is that doing so is not seen as threatening to its rapport with the MP, while any move to enhance or strengthen the RGCC status would be looked upon as a potential move toward prosletyzing the RO faithful.

Many years,

Neil
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« Reply #119 on: December 30, 2004, 07:55:29 PM »

Nothing personal, Tom, but I take back the question!   Smiley

'sokay - I take nothing personally on an internet board.
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« Reply #120 on: December 30, 2004, 08:05:36 PM »



No, I understand fine. Unfortunately, a full blown debate regarding Catholicism versus Orthodoxy from the Catholic point of view is not permitted or appropriate at this site. Do not confuse my acceptance of the rules with an inability to respond. If you can suggest a neutral forum, or want to contact me via e-mail, we can take up the discussion there.
No, Jack,  I don't think you do. In April I sent you to a link at Prof. C.J. Bailey's orlapubs website detailing, categorized, the innovations in Latin Catholicism not found in Orthodoxy (which at one point Rome did hold). You cannot possibly have STUDIED that listing and still state you understand. I am willing to provide a private email address so we can carry on off-forum; but not until you've exhausted that webpage's content will I do this.

Demetri
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« Reply #121 on: December 30, 2004, 08:07:17 PM »

Pravoslavbob,

Sorry that you found my post or is it my posts inadequate in terms of having a debate. And I guess you may too have a point in suggesting I should not post here. There again how many times do I, and others, have to put up with those who also quip or quibble and do not 'back up' their point of view and/or are less than polite? As I recall I provide quite a lot of 'evidence' in the round of things, but those of a contrary view, perhaps, might wish I did not post that 'evidence' either.

My intention is not to cause any offence but to call attention to an Orthodox world-view and not one that may be fashionable, easy or diplomatic but misleading.

As for evidence, I cite Bishop Nikon of Yekatierinburg ordering students to burn the books of these three ......... as reported in the London Times and on METAPHRASIS Religious News Service. (Bishop Nikon later was required to retire under a cloud).

Sorry if this is not adequate - as I am sure it will not be - but I have more pressing matters occupying me.

gphadraig,

Thank you for your apology. You show character for admitting to what may have been an error in judgment.

You are entitled to your opinions about Meyendorff. As you know, I do not agree with you and do not find his opinions to be "fashionable, easy, or diplomatic." If someone were to tell me why they really thought that Meyendorff or Schmemann were wrong, and give balanced arguments of intellectual substance to show this, I would honestly be more than willing to listen.  IMHO, I have never seen arguments that are convincing on this scale. Those who advocate burning books immediately place themselves outside the realm of those who consider a balanced consideraton of the facts, as far as I am concerned.  Such appeals to "tradition" seem to me to be at best blatant appeals to emotionalism that has nothing to do with spiritual reality.

The fact that you have posted this reply in and of itself means that you are not impolite. Others should certainly endeavour to be polite to you.  But I think that this is somewhat beside the point. However, the (possible) implication that myself or others like me may be somehow less than Orthodox because of our views might be very much at issue.

(BTW, it may or may not interest you to know that I do not regard the writings or opinions of Fr. Thomas Hopko to be on the same level as those of Schmemann or Meyendorff. Although I find many of his writings to be useful and Othodox in outlook, I find that he will occassionally say something that is erroneous. And I have it on good authority that he used to say very strange things while teaching in the classroom. Whether this has recently been true, I do not know.)

Thank you again.

Bob


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« Reply #122 on: December 30, 2004, 08:57:36 PM »

Quote
When I read about the Roman Church's new Rite of Exorcism, my heart sank. It made me feel like the Roman Church has relegated the evil one to a psychological concept. If this is in fact the case, then the evil one has free reign with your believers since why should anyone be afraid of a make-believe monster? I'll wrap up now with an apology in advance if my opinion isn't explained sufficiently.

I heard about that as well Columba and I felt the same reaction as you did.

Scary stuff!  Shocked

In Christ,
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« Reply #123 on: December 31, 2004, 12:49:50 AM »

Many RC efforts in Russia are of the whole "just Orthodox in communion with Rome" deal, making the claim that it's no different, really...just a switch of which heirarch they commemorate in Liturgy. With that being the case, we most certainly DO object to their efforts.

Dear Pedro,

I am a bit of a late-comer to this conversation but this point is of interest to me. The old maxim is "the exception proves the rule" meaning if it can be done as an exception then it can be done.

When the Greek Catholics of Eastern and Central Europe were forcibly reunited with the MP in '45-'50 (I am thinking of Ukraine [then part of the USSR] and Czechoslovakia in particular) not much was done. Oh, they were provided with new sluzhebniks but in reality all that changed was the name of the bishop that they had to commemorate.

Now, we can say "well, we're right and they're wrong." Yes we can, and I would say yes we are. But, in a modern civilized world triumphalism doesn't really win many friends or converts. This pattern of just changing allegiance is old and has been emlpoyed by Catholics and Orthodox.

I am just wondering. How can a Church which engaged in the same thing now hold that position?

TonyS
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« Reply #124 on: December 31, 2004, 01:06:20 AM »

At any rate, use of this or that term is not the important thing here. You all may use whichever term you like, even call yourselves Orthodox this and that, or whatever. The point, my friend, is that the efforts to proselytize are done with the (imo) lie that the change from Catholic to Orthodox is not really any kind of conversion at all, just a "switch of bishops," as if this ultimately changed nothing. To us, however, it changes everything.

Again, isolating this point.  It seems that the MP followed the pattern established by Rome.  I understand (very well I think) that these people were Orthodox to start with.  Yet in 1950 when the forced reunion with the MP took place hey had accepted the Immaculate Conception, et al, and their ritual life had certainly changed as well as their own self perception.  No mass (re)baptisms, no Chrismation, no profession of faith, oh I guess they were received by confession. 
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« Reply #125 on: December 31, 2004, 02:18:42 AM »

TonyS,

You bring up a valid point; the changes wrought by the mass conversions to Orthodoxy were similar in scope, liturgically speaking, as those made by Catholics in their missionary endeavors.  But scope of liturgical change, as important as it is, isn't what concerns me.

What concerns me is the cavalier attitude that many Catholic missionaries to Russia have had towards their efforts, portraying the conversion as a mere "switching of bishops," with no ultimate ecclesiastical ramifications -- they can still call themselves "Orthodox," in other words, as if nothing had changed.  My understanding is that the MP made no effort to try and "sugarcoat" the move -- "Don't worry!  You're still Catholics; you're just Catholics in communion with Moscow now," iow -- it was made very clear that they had moved from one Christian confession to a different one, though the outward appearance changed very little.
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« Reply #126 on: December 31, 2004, 05:46:27 AM »

You bring up a valid point; the changes wrought by the mass conversions to Orthodoxy were similar in scope, liturgically speaking, as those made by Catholics in their missionary endeavors. But scope of liturgical change, as important as it is, isn't what concerns me.

What concerns me is the cavalier attitude that many Catholic missionaries to Russia have had towards their efforts, portraying the conversion as a mere "switching of bishops," with no ultimate ecclesiastical ramifications -- they can still call themselves "Orthodox," in other words, as if nothing had changed. My understanding is that the MP made no effort to try and "sugarcoat" the move -- "Don't worry! You're still Catholics; you're just Catholics in communion with Moscow now," iow -- it was made very clear that they had moved from one Christian confession to a different one, though the outward appearance changed very little.

Pedro,

It seems to me that, in postulating that a translation of the faithful from Orthodoxy to Catholicism (or vice versa) was orchestrated with such chicanery and accomplished so seamlessly that they were lulled into thinking that no change had occurred, other than in the diptychs, you seriously denigrate the intelligence of the Russian peoples.

Many years,

Neil
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« Reply #127 on: December 31, 2004, 10:30:03 AM »

Typical western heterodox statement. Meaningless to us.

While you are using this "western heterodox" language (that is, English) you should use "dismissed out of hand" instead of "meaningless". Even the word "heterodox" is an empty pejorative the way you're using it, because the omitted word in your name-calling is heterodox Christian.
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« Reply #128 on: December 31, 2004, 10:53:46 AM »



While you are using this "western heterodox" language (that is, English) you should use "dismissed out of hand" instead of "meaningless". Even the word "heterodox" is an empty pejorative the way you're using it, because the omitted word in your name-calling is heterodox Christian.


Thank you, Mister Pedant. However my post was worded exactly as I intended.
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« Reply #129 on: December 31, 2004, 12:08:06 PM »

TonyS,

It would seem to me that the Orthodox were merely being pragmatic when they took in the Greek Catholics.  They knew that many of them didn't want to come over so if they would have tried to force themselves on them it might have been a big diisaster. As you know, in the years from 1950 onwards, an Orthodox identity was formed in the minds and hearts of many, those being the large number of people in Galicia who refused to convert back to the Greek Catholic Church in 1990 when given the chance.

I also don't think that just because someone did x it "can be done."  I know of a Catholic priest who received a Oneness Pentacostal by confirmation.  Was this a real reception? Of course not--and it was fixed later by another Catholic priest.  It happened, but it wasn't "real."

Anastasios
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« Reply #130 on: December 31, 2004, 12:24:12 PM »

TonyS,

It would seem to me that the Orthodox were merely being pragmatic when they took in the Greek Catholics. They knew that many of them didn't want to come over so if they would have tried to force themselves on them it might have been a big diisaster. As you know, in the years from 1950 onwards, an Orthodox identity was formed in the minds and hearts of many, those being the large number of people in Galicia who refused to convert back to the Greek Catholic Church in 1990 when given the chance.

I also don't think that just because someone did x it "can be done." I know of a Catholic priest who received a Oneness Pentacostal by confirmation. Was this a real reception? Of course not--and it was fixed later by another Catholic priest. It happened, but it wasn't "real."

Anastasios

Anastasios,

Regarding what one RC priest did, I don't think it is a particularly useful comparison.  The actions of one RC priest compared to that of a patriarchate seems a bit unbalanaced. 

I agree that the way the people were received (that is what really happened) was more pragmatic than idealistic.  Further the conditions would not allow anything else I am sure, as you mention.  I am told such things happened in the 19th century during the life of St. Maksim Sandovich when the borders moved.  Again, it follows the pattern established in the initial unions.  I have stated here on this board my thoughts on that and I will now on this.  The people had no choice.  They didn't the first time they didn't under communism.

What remains is that the people changed churches.  This happened by a mere change of bishop.

TonyS
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« Reply #131 on: December 31, 2004, 12:35:06 PM »

What concerns me is the cavalier attitude that many Catholic missionaries to Russia have had towards their efforts, portraying the conversion as a mere "switching of bishops," with no ultimate ecclesiastical ramifications -- they can still call themselves "Orthodox," in other words, as if nothing had changed. My understanding is that the MP made no effort to try and "sugarcoat" the move -- "Don't worry! You're still Catholics; you're just Catholics in communion with Moscow now," iow -- it was made very clear that they had moved from one Christian confession to a different one, though the outward appearance changed very little.

Pedro,

Well this "you can still call yourselves Orthodox" is from the initial unions. It was my understanding that such a modus operandi was rejected by Rome, perhaps I am mistaken. That being said if someone wishes to become Russian GC he/she/they should be allowed, as they should be allowed to become anything they want confessionally.

I think in the 40s and 50s there was no sugarcoating of the move as you mention but it should also be noted that it was the government who enforced this, the same government that was besieging the ROC in general. While the ROC profited from the numbers it has had a lasting impact on what some view as its integrity. As I noted a new sluzhebnik was printed and apparently distributed but there was no enforcement, at least that is what I was told my a friend who is a GC priest whose dad was an Orthodox priest in the time.

Off topic: In Slavonic the response to the Christmas greeting is in the plural, I noticed on metropolitan HERMAN's pastoral letter it is as you have it sans punctuation. However when the greeting is exchanged even between individuals it remains in the plural. It seems then it should be "glorifiquenle" in order to be an accurate translation.

TonyS
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« Reply #132 on: December 31, 2004, 03:48:33 PM »



Because that is the more common, "generic" term for your church.  When people, even most of us, hear the word "Catholic," we think RC.  Likewise the term "Orthodox" usually brings up images of those eastern churches not in communion with Rome.  See the title of this subforum to see what I mean.

At any rate, use of this or that term is not the important thing here.  You all may use whichever term you like, even call yourselves Orthodox this and that, or whatever.  The point, my friend, is that the efforts to proselytize are done with the (imo) lie that the change from Catholic to Orthodox is not really any kind of conversion at all, just a "switch of bishops," as if this ultimately changed nothing.  To us, however, it changes everything.

Like I said, use whatever words you like to describe yourself, as will we.  But please don't put us in the same boat as you, because we don't do the same.

You've got a deal.
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« Reply #133 on: December 31, 2004, 04:40:40 PM »


No, Jack,  I don't think you do. In April I sent you to a link at Prof. C.J. Bailey's orlapubs website detailing, categorized, the innovations in Latin Catholicism not found in Orthodoxy (which at one point Rome did hold). You cannot possibly have STUDIED that listing and still state you understand. I am willing to provide a private email address so we can carry on off-forum; but not until you've exhausted that webpage's content will I do this.

Demetri

I printed it out again.  Where would you like to start?
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« Reply #134 on: December 31, 2004, 05:06:56 PM »

I tried to find that topic at orlapubs yesterday alot of the links did not work, got a direct link to the said topic from that site ?

james
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« Reply #135 on: December 31, 2004, 07:53:53 PM »



'sokay - I take nothing personally on an internet board.

You're a good sport, Tom.  Afro
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« Reply #136 on: December 31, 2004, 09:48:36 PM »

I tried to find that topic at orlapubs yesterday alot of the links did not work, got a direct link to the said topic from that site ?

james
Surely Iakovos,

Main list-  http://www.orlapubs.com/AR/TOC.html

What Jack needs to understand and answer (not just print out) - http://www.orlapubs.com/AR/R9.html
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« Reply #137 on: January 01, 2005, 12:31:37 AM »

Grazie for the links. Now it will take a little time & a few views to start digesting it, though I have no concerns regarding the primacy issue, original sin etc.

Roman/Latin thought & Greek/Eastern thought is like apples & oranges, gotta understand the presentation.

I'm getting close... patience, Rome/Constantinople was'nt built in a day.

May 2005 be better for all,
james
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« Reply #138 on: January 01, 2005, 12:39:06 AM »

TonyS,

I'm sorry (as in lo siento, not disculpe) that you misunderstood me.  I don't think for a moment that the slavic peoples that were basically herded from one church into another by governmental decree bought into the idea that nothing had changed.  Many knew that a real change had happened, even if, externally speaking, it was done in a very superficial manner.  My point in all that I posted was that, even though all that happened externally was just a "bishop switch," they were no longer Orthodox Christians...they were part of another Church...a fact of which many were no doubt aware...but my mentioning of this to Jack in the first place was due to his attempt to blur the significance of conversions from Orthodoxy to Catholicism and thus justify them.  That was all.

That being said if someone wishes to become Russian GC he/she/they should be allowed, as they should be allowed to become anything they want confessionally.

I agree.  And many have remained Orthodox, in spite of the fact that it would be relatively easy to become Catholic, or "Orthodox in communion with Rome," as some Eastern Catholics refer to themselves.

Quote
Off topic:  In Slavonic the response to the Christmas greeting is in the plural, I noticed on metropolitan HERMAN's pastoral letter it is as you have it sans punctuation.  However when the greeting is exchanged even between individuals it remains in the plural.  It seems then it should be "glorifiquenle" in order to be an accurate translation.

Huh.  Makes sense...all the people saying it to one another...glorif+¡quenle, todos ustedes en vez de "glorif+¡cale, t+¦"...-+y qui+¬n ser+í "t+¦"?  -+El sacerdote, no m+ís?  Me gusta m+ís tu versi+¦n de la contestaci+¦n.
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« Reply #139 on: January 01, 2005, 09:04:40 AM »


Off topic:  In Slavonic the response to the Christmas greeting is in the plural, I noticed on metropolitan HERMAN's pastoral letter it is as you have it sans punctuation.  However when the greeting is exchanged even between individuals it remains in the plural.  It seems then it should be "glorifiquenle" in order to be an accurate translation. 

TonyS

Equally off topic, the response in Greek is in the plural also.  Afro
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« Reply #140 on: January 01, 2005, 01:57:08 PM »

TonyS,

I'm sorry (as in lo siento, not disculpe) that you misunderstood me. I don't think for a moment that the slavic peoples that were basically herded from one church into another by governmental decree bought into the idea that nothing had changed. Many knew that a real change had happened, even if, externally speaking, it was done in a very superficial manner. My point in all that I posted was that, even though all that happened externally was just a "bishop switch," they were no longer Orthodox Christians...they were part of another Church...a fact of which many were no doubt aware...but my mentioning of this to Jack in the first place was due to his attempt to blur the significance of conversions from Orthodoxy to Catholicism and thus justify them. That was all.



I agree. And many have remained Orthodox, in spite of the fact that it would be relatively easy to become Catholic, or "Orthodox in communion with Rome," as some Eastern Catholics refer to themselves.



Huh. Makes sense...all the people saying it to one another...glorif+¡quenle, todos ustedes en vez de "glorif+¡cale, t+¦"...-+y qui+¬n ser+í "t+¦"? -+El sacerdote, no m+ís? Me gusta m+ís tu versi+¦n de la contestaci+¦n.

Pedro,

I do not buy into the story that the mases in 1596 and 1646 either all agreed or even knew what was happening.  Certainly where there was communication people knew, but that was very limited outside of the cities.  Someone once IIRC argued that the people would have not gone to the (now) GC parish...well, how would they not have?  Catch the bus to the next parish, ride in a car down the freeway to the local Orthodox parish?  Anyway, I am not sure what the whole point is or was.  I merely wanted to address the issue that for some indeed it has been merely a change of bishop and apparently that has been judged adequate. 

Regarding the response, it is not my version.  It is what those who use Slavonic (and I would imagine any modern Slavic language response in the vernacular) use, apparently as Aristokles notes that is also the pattern in Greek.

You may check the metropolitan's letter in Russian.  In modern Ukrainian the usage seems to be the hortative first person plural, but the form may be the same as the indicative, someone who knows Ukrainian better should pronounce on that.   The Romanian appears to be in the plural as well.  The Polish is in the hortative/imperative, 1st person plural.  You can check out the other languages in which the letter is made available.

Similarly, when the greeting "Christ is among us" is used in Slavonic even between two it is in the first person plural, not dual.   It would make sense to be in the singular when it is exchanged among two but I have not seen that pattern except in the version you used as presented on the OCA site.   The fact that it lack even proper punctuation (which would be an exclamation point [!]) leads me to think it is a typo.

TonyS
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« Reply #141 on: January 01, 2005, 07:10:10 PM »


Surely Iakovos,

Main list-  http://www.orlapubs.com/AR/TOC.html

What Jack needs to understand and answer (not just print out) - http://www.orlapubs.com/AR/R9.html

I love it when you play rough Aristokles.  Can you point out something in particular that you think I don't understand, as opposed to a whole website that makes many points?
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« Reply #142 on: January 01, 2005, 08:25:35 PM »

On the other hand, I'm sorry, Demetri, about not getting back to you months ago after you kindly referred me to the website.  To be honest, I got busy with other things and forgot.  But when I looked at the site before, and as I examine it again, I do not see anything at the site that should keep Catholics and Orthodox from reunion with a little benevolent discussion.  The website is way too big for me to respond to point by point.  But let's start with the idea that the western Church does not properly appreciate the distinction between the essence and energies of God.

Originally, the idea goes back to the Cappadocian Fathers.  Certainly the Catholic Church does not reject St. Basil the Great who said that we know God from his energies, but that we cannot draw near to his essence.  But the doctrine was further developed in the Orthodox Church after the schism by St. Gregory Palamas.  The occasion was his defense of the Hesychasts who were attacked by one Barlaam the Calabrian, who rejected the Hesychasts' claim to attain a vision of the Divine and Uncreated Light. 

One part that we western Christians aren't supposed to get is the idea that grace is not just a gift, but a manifestation of God, and a personal encounter with him.  But it's not that we don't get it.  It's just that we never had to defend the Hesychasts, and so the doctrine was never developed in the west to the extent that it was in the east.  And because St. Gregory Palamas taught after the schism, little or none of his teaching permeated over.  Now there may be some Catholics that reject St. Gregory's doctrine, I don't know.  But it is certainly not contrary to Catholicism. 

I think this situation is a lot like the controversy surrounding the Assumption.  The Orthodox Church never formulated a dogma in this area to the same extent the Catholic Church did.  I submit that the reason for that is that the Orthodox Church never had to confront Protestants to the same extent the Catholic Church did.

Historical situations give rise to historical developments.  It was inevitable that there would be different developments once we decided to have separate histories.  That is why Pope John Paul II has suggested that we hae reunion talks based on the circumstances when the Church was undivided.
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« Reply #143 on: January 01, 2005, 08:39:47 PM »

I appreciate your optimism, Jack; but I'm way too tired this evening to properly digest your comments. I did anticipate your Hesychast points in advance, however.
As we are still in the "discovery" phase, counselor, anything else stirke you as a post-schism Orthodox development?

I'll spend more time tomorrow afternoon after church on this.

Demetri
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« Reply #144 on: January 03, 2005, 08:54:47 AM »

One part that we western Christians aren't supposed to get is the idea that grace is not just a gift, but a manifestation of God, and a personal encounter with him. But it's not that we don't get it. It's just that we never had to defend the Hesychasts, and so the doctrine was never developed in the west to the extent that it was in the east. And because St. Gregory Palamas taught after the schism, little or none of his teaching permeated over. Now there may be some Catholics that reject St. Gregory's doctrine, I don't know. But it is certainly not contrary to Catholicism.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia regarding Hesychasm;

Hesychasm... an obscure speculation,... the wildest form of mystic extravagance....

... The likeness of this process of auto-suggestion to that of fakirs, Sunnyasis, and such people all over the East is obvious."

... the grossly magic practices of the later Hesychasts

... a system of auto-suggestion

... strong element of the pantheism that so often accompanies mysticism in the fully developed Hesychast system

... Hesychasm was the famous real distinction between essence and attributes (specifically one attribute -- energy) in God. This theory, fundamentally opposed to the whole conception of God in the Western Scholastic system

... a significant witness of the decay of a lost cause
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« Reply #145 on: January 03, 2005, 09:41:45 AM »

Thank you, prodromos, I found similar anti-hesychast statements in a book - not immediately to hand - by a Baptist writer.Will try to root round and find it.........
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« Reply #146 on: January 03, 2005, 10:18:02 AM »

If you do a search in the Catholic Encyclopedia onJohn of the Cross you will find that the commentary about him is very good. Now from what I understand Saint John of the Cross was a practioner of hesycasm and very Eastern in his writings. So there we have it denounce the "system" but honor the practioner of "the wildest form of mystic extravagance" in fact Saint him, if he is in communion with the Bishop of Rome. Surely we can all see how strange such notions are. The sad reality is that what is read in the aforemention Enpyhcopedia is believed to be true by many Latins who turn to it for understanding various Latin positions.

How do those in the unia overlook statement of that nature?

Here is a comment by Anthony Dragani. "The theological writings of St. Theresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross, for instance, are remarkably similar to Eastern theology. And both of these Western saints are revered as doctors of the Church, even though their theology is as mystical as that of any hesychast."

In Christ,

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« Reply #147 on: January 03, 2005, 11:30:03 AM »

Hmm, John of the Cross was canonised by the Catholic Church in 1726 and the Catholic Encyclopaedia edition is from 1910. Good point Matthew.

John

FTR, I must credit Father Ambrose with digging up that polemic on hesychasm
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« Reply #148 on: January 03, 2005, 02:41:58 PM »

TonyS,

but my mentioning of this to Jack in the first place was due to his attempt to blur the significance of conversions from Orthodoxy to Catholicism and thus justify them. 


If I'm not mistaken, what I was trying to point out was what I perceive as an inconsistency between the claim that Catholicism is a different religion than Orthodoxy and the objection to its proselytism in Russia, assuming full disclosure.  I don't remember trying to blur anything, unless you're referring to my underlying premise that Catholicism and Orthodoxy are, in the last analysis, the same religion.
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« Reply #149 on: January 03, 2005, 03:15:57 PM »



From the Catholic Encyclopaedia regarding Hesychasm;

Hesychasm... an obscure speculation,... the wildest form of mystic extravagance....

... The likeness of this process of auto-suggestion to that of fakirs, Sunnyasis, and such people all over the East is obvious."

... the grossly magic practices of the later Hesychasts

... a system of auto-suggestion

... strong element of the pantheism that so often accompanies mysticism in the fully developed Hesychast system

... Hesychasm was the famous real distinction between essence and attributes (specifically one attribute -- energy) in God. This theory, fundamentally opposed to the whole conception of God in the Western Scholastic system

... a significant witness of the decay of a lost cause

First of all, the Catholic Encyclopedia, while an invaluable resource, is not a debate stopping authority regarding the teachings of the Catholic Church.  Secondly, I read the article, and the tenor of the whole, while not favorable to Hesychasm, is less rabid than the quotes would suggest.  Moreover, as MatthewPanchisin points out, we have our own mystics.  And, yes, I'll bet that in days gone by Catholic writers would have gauged their sympathies to alignments, just as I'll bet that Orthodox writers have done the same.

I won't argue about whether Hesychasm is contrary to Aristotelianism.  But we, like you, are not followers of Aristotle; we are followers of Christ.  Aristotle, through St. Thomas Aquinas, has certainly had more influence on the western Church than in the east.  And the Catholic Church has certainly used Aristotelian terminology to explain her doctrines.  That doesn't mean that we think that those doctrines must be explained in that way, or even that they are best explained in that way.  If I'm not mistaken, in the material Demetri submitted for my consideration, the author suggests that the categories communicated by the Greek language are the best for communicating Christian doctrine, and that a lack of understanding those categories results in error.  I don't know if that is the position of the Orthodox Church as a whole, but the Catholic Church has no parallel position.

In any event, the distinction between the essence and energies of God originates, as far as I know, with the Cappadocian Fathers, so I can't imagine that the Catholic Church would dismiss it out of hand.  It is true, however, that it is not an article of faith.  Actually, I think most Catholic mystics (not necessarily the famous ones) are the crass materialists that Barlaam the Calabrian objected to.  I by no means qualify as a mystic.  I sometimes can't even tell if I'm hungry.  But when I have experienced the presence of God I have never bothered with the question of whether I am experiencing essence or energy.  Indeed, I wonder aloud if God is really so stand offish as to not let us experience his essence.
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« Reply #150 on: January 03, 2005, 03:22:00 PM »

Hmmm, I don't know, I think the differences between Rome and the rest of the Patriarchial Sees have been well documented by both parties. Now I for one, would love for the bishops of both churches to sit down and talk things out. The problem lies in the fact that we would be there for different reasons. The Church of Rome would be there to negotiate and compromise. The Orthodox would be there to make Rome see it's errors and try to bring the Roman Church back to it's original state, one of Orthodoxy. I don't see the Church of Rome reversing 951 years of doctrinal and dogmatic changes to the Faith any time soon. We, the Orthodox, are called to be patient, loving, and prayerful for our brethern from Rome. In the end, it won't be the Hierarchies of our churches which will bring us back together, in my own opinion, it will be the laity. In forums like this, where we sit down and talk to one another and try to come to a mutual understanding if nothing else.
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« Reply #151 on: January 06, 2005, 05:39:25 AM »

I appreciate your optimism, Jack; but I'm way too tired this evening to properly digest your comments. I did anticipate your Hesychast points in advance, however.
As we are still in the "discovery" phase, counselor, anything else stirke you as a post-schism Orthodox development?

I'll spend more time tomorrow afternoon after church on this.

Demetri

Let's just eat the elephant one bite at a time.
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« Reply #152 on: January 07, 2005, 01:54:23 PM »

Let's just eat the elephant one bite at a time.

Well, Jack, my friend, despite the fast being concluded, elephant is not a meat on my menu. So too, neither is ecumenical dialogue. As I said, I do not intend to debate you as if this is a corporate negotiation or a plea-bargain session. It is not surprising to me that an attorney can take a 29 (should be 30) point enumeration of issues and quickly dismiss it as 'workable'. Therein lies the rub. While I do not denigrate your church, I feel no particular pull at unity for the sake of unity. Perhaps you could take the list, digest it as you will, and offer your brief to the Vatican. Your good  intentions are noted here.
I see that in some posts you aver that we did not face a Reformation and that your councils after 7 were mostly in response to that later schism. Unfortunately, we Orthodox (at least some of us) see the Church of Rome as a Reformation church and as such many of our local synods after 7th are motivated in kind.
It also does not surprise me that Pope John Paul II (for whom I have stated my respect here before) wishes to start 'dialogue' at the far end when we were together. He has no choice. The problem is that path is doomed to failure. Why? In my personal opinion the schism cracks began in the mid-5th century, deepened in the 9th, became most evident in the 11th, tempered in hardness in the 13th, and FINAL in 1870. I know this is not the Orthodox 'take', but prior to Vatican I, reunion was possible. Since, simply. No.
If ending the schism is to happen, it will only be done by rolling it back up, not by starting all over again.
I am impressed, BTW; it took me 14 months to study the orlapub site. You assimilated it in days  Afro

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« Reply #153 on: January 20, 2005, 02:35:24 PM »


 Although I am Orthodox, I respect the Pope and think he is a holy man. It always rather makes me cringe when I hear a layman demanding that the Pope "repent his errors" Smiley It is just rather silly and at worst , a little like Ian Paisley railing '"Antichrist" as he did to the Pope at the European Parliament several years ago.

  As for the Pope acting as a "Lord" or "lording it over others", indeed Popes in the past have done that but I believe our Orthodox objections to Papal Infallibility rest on stronger grounds then just a fear of "papal monarchy"  We hold to the ancient view of the Church in Council being infallible.
 I think this Pope certainly lives up to one of his titles "Servus Servorum Dei"


Out of all the religions that I have been to...most people had their own perspective of the pope which was usually negative and others really anti......you are the first I have encountered who I can accept and respect this view....I remember growing up...I had so many misconceptions of the RCC and the Pope...of course what was I thinking to believe a non catholic (anti catholic at that) over the source...

I totally totally respect your answer here....
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« Reply #154 on: February 01, 2005, 01:02:52 AM »


<<Pokrov.org is a site from a group of people who seek to limit or cut the relationship with the Ecumenical Patriarchate. They have just been denied an appeal regarding a case they lost. It is very pathetic as they are capable of many gross distortions to get what they want.>>

Excuse me, but you appear to have pokrov.org confused with some other group. Pokrov has not instituted legal action against anyone. Accordingly we have neither lost a case nor an appeal.

I would also have to disagree that pedophilia and other forms of abuse are unknown among Orthodox priests. Clergy abuse is not about sex, it is about power. Whether or not a priest has a wife is no guarantee that he is not a sexual predator. Abusers are no more hampered by marriage vows than they are by vows of celibacy. While I'm fairly sure that there are fewer Orthodox predators in terms of sheer numbers, I'm also pretty positive that the percentage of abusive priests would be very comparable.

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« Reply #155 on: February 01, 2005, 04:07:52 AM »


Excuse me, but you appear to have pokrov.org confused with some other group. Pokrov has not instituted legal action against anyone. Accordingly we have neither lost a case nor an appeal.


I must have missed Matthew's earlier post. It certainly sounds like he confused pokrov with OCL

John.
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