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Author Topic: Converts from Orthodox Church to Catholic or Protestant Churches, Please Share  (Read 14915 times) Average Rating: 0
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sprtslvr1973
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« on: November 29, 2012, 07:28:13 AM »

If there are any people on these boards who used to attend an Orthodox church and consciously changed to another, but still keeps in touch with their Orthodox roots in one method or another, I would like to hear how and why you left.
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« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2012, 08:56:14 AM »

How's visiting those other churches working out for you?
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« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2012, 11:07:43 AM »

I am moving from a Baptist background to Orthodox, but my aunt's husband is moving from Orthodox to Evangelical.  Kind of like two ships passing I suppose.  I have spoken about it with him, he was in the Serbian Orthodox Church and he complains be cause his parish only preaches what he calls "Serbianism" and never talks about God.  I have never attended his parish, so I don't know if it is true or not.  He also has developed very strong ideas about the end times which are quite apocalyptic.  He is big into John Hagee. He has told me how wrong he thinks it is that the Orthodox Church has never told him about the "rapture" and other "end time events".  I have tried to explain that John Hagee's ideas are a bit wacko, and encourage him to look at another parish that might be more vibrant, but he seems to have written off Orthodoxy.  It's sad to see him as a cradle Orthodox with a whole lifetime of opportunity to learn about his faith, but never took up the opportunity actually learn about the Church and its teaching.  Instead, he chases after the very things that I have fled.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2012, 11:08:14 AM by TheTrisagion » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2012, 01:39:05 PM »

How's visiting those other churches working out for you?

If you're asking me and referring to the time I mentioned floating and independent study, it's OK and I believe where I belong right this very moment. I was blessed to visit my old OCA church last weekend and may go back again Sunday, but not sure
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« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2012, 10:52:43 PM »

If there are any people on these boards who used to attend an Orthodox church and consciously changed to another, but still keeps in touch with their Orthodox roots in one method or another, I would like to hear how and why you left.
Peace

There are probably threads in which one or more ex-Orthodox discuss such things ... but I'm not sure the best way to go about finding those threads.

Alternatively, have you considered making your question more specific?
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« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2012, 11:06:56 PM »

Interesting. As someone who's seriously considering converting to orthodox, it's hard for me to imagine going the other way. I was raised in mixed types of protestant churches. On my own I started with dispensationalism evangelicalism but quickly evolved away from that to more Reformed. I could see an OCA person possibly somewhat enjoying or at least being comfortable with a good, formal liturgical Presbyterian service (a setting that I still love, but have certain issues with as well). I can't see someone going from orthodox to fringe evangelical like that. I never even see Reformed people move that far out. I've only seen migration the other way.
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« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2012, 08:33:07 AM »

Interesting. As someone who's seriously considering converting to orthodox, it's hard for me to imagine going the other way.

As a non-Orthodox who hasn't decided to convert to Orthodoxy, I think many people just assume that if I were in Orthodoxy I would leave it.
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« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2012, 09:29:53 AM »

I am moving from a Baptist background to Orthodox, but my aunt's husband is moving from Orthodox to Evangelical.  Kind of like two ships passing I suppose.  I have spoken about it with him, he was in the Serbian Orthodox Church and he complains be cause his parish only preaches what he calls "Serbianism" and never talks about God.  I have never attended his parish, so I don't know if it is true or not.  He also has developed very strong ideas about the end times which are quite apocalyptic.  He is big into John Hagee. He has told me how wrong he thinks it is that the Orthodox Church has never told him about the "rapture" and other "end time events".  I have tried to explain that John Hagee's ideas are a bit wacko, and encourage him to look at another parish that might be more vibrant, but he seems to have written off Orthodoxy.  It's sad to see him as a cradle Orthodox with a whole lifetime of opportunity to learn about his faith, but never took up the opportunity actually learn about the Church and its teaching.  Instead, he chases after the very things that I have fled.

While I can empathize with your uncle's displeasure with the Serbian church's ethnocentric,  one of the things I never like about Hagee was his religious nationalism concerning the US.
Two sides of the same coin to me.
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« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2012, 10:25:09 AM »

There's no denying that in many ways, Orthodoxy is hard. All that standing and fasting, for instance. Also, you have the responsibility and obligation to face yourself and your sins honestly, and strive to the best of your ability to overcome them.

Also the culture in many Orthodox parishes is literally "foreign" to Protestant Americans.

Often it's like being the new in-law at the family reunion. You don't know the relationships, the food or the inside family jokes.

Many, if not most, Protestant churches are much more comfortable and easy.

Only problem is, they don't have the Faith, in fullness and in truth.
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« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2012, 10:30:16 AM »

There's no denying that in many ways, Orthodoxy is hard. All that standing and fasting, for instance. Also, you have the responsibility and obligation to face yourself and your sins honestly, and strive to the best of your ability to overcome them.

Also the culture in many Orthodox parishes is literally "foreign" to Protestant Americans.

Often it's like being the new in-law at the family reunion. You don't know the relationships, the food or the inside family jokes.

Many, if not most, Protestant churches are much more comfortable and easy.

Only problem is, they don't have the Faith, in fullness and in truth.


Excellent points. Continuing the "easy" line of thought, Islam is far easier yet; this might explain why it's grows apparently.
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« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2012, 10:51:08 AM »

There's no denying that in many ways, Orthodoxy is hard. All that standing and fasting, for instance. Also, you have the responsibility and obligation to face yourself and your sins honestly, and strive to the best of your ability to overcome them.

Also the culture in many Orthodox parishes is literally "foreign" to Protestant Americans.

Often it's like being the new in-law at the family reunion. You don't know the relationships, the food or the inside family jokes.

Many, if not most, Protestant churches are much more comfortable and easy.

Only problem is, they don't have the Faith, in fullness and in truth.


Excellent points. Continuing the "easy" line of thought, Islam is far easier yet; this might explain why it's grows apparently.
To be fair, they do have the ramadan.
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« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2012, 11:04:02 AM »

There's no denying that in many ways, Orthodoxy is hard. All that standing and fasting, for instance. Also, you have the responsibility and obligation to face yourself and your sins honestly, and strive to the best of your ability to overcome them.

Also the culture in many Orthodox parishes is literally "foreign" to Protestant Americans.

Often it's like being the new in-law at the family reunion. You don't know the relationships, the food or the inside family jokes.

Many, if not most, Protestant churches are much more comfortable and easy.

Only problem is, they don't have the Faith, in fullness and in truth.


Excellent points. Continuing the "easy" line of thought, Islam is far easier yet; this might explain why it's grows apparently.
To be fair, they do have the ramadan.

Given that I've had more than one Muslim colleague tell me that they were glad they only had Ramadan and didn't need to fast like we do, I think that still counts as easy. From my perspective, fasting during the day and feasting at night simply doesn't seem much of a difficulty. Where Islam looks hard to me is in its complete prohibition of pork and alcohol. I come from German stock - can't imagine life without sausages and beer.

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« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2012, 09:38:54 AM »

There's no denying that in many ways, Orthodoxy is hard. All that standing and fasting, for instance. Also, you have the responsibility and obligation to face yourself and your sins honestly, and strive to the best of your ability to overcome them.

Also the culture in many Orthodox parishes is literally "foreign" to Protestant Americans.

Often it's like being the new in-law at the family reunion. You don't know the relationships, the food or the inside family jokes.

Many, if not most, Protestant churches are much more comfortable and easy.

Only problem is, they don't have the Faith, in fullness and in truth.


Excellent points. Continuing the "easy" line of thought, Islam is far easier yet; this might explain why it's grows apparently.

I wouldn't say so. Like conservative Baptists and Jews they have some very strict prohibitions. Personally, I alwayc considered the ban on pork, beer, and miniskirts to be 'works-based salvation'.
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« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2012, 02:49:05 PM »

Given that I've had more than one Muslim colleague tell me that they were glad they only had Ramadan and didn't need to fast like we do, I think that still counts as easy. From my perspective, fasting during the day and feasting at night simply doesn't seem much of a difficulty. Where Islam looks hard to me is in its complete prohibition of pork and alcohol. I come from German stock - can't imagine life without sausages and beer.
They also have to perform ritual prayers 5 times per day, every day of the year and every prayer requires ritual ablutions beforehand that include washing the arms to the elbows, the feet up to the ankles, etc. While the required purity may be maintained between prayer times it is invalidated by bleeding however slight, by sex, shitting, pissing, farting, etc., etc..  So in practice they have to perform ablutions before each of 5 daily prayers and this has to happen at least twice during the time most people are at work! Their annual month of fasting also includes sex, smoking, and consuming food and liquids of any kind and it's the thirst that is most difficult. Just try it and see.  As their fasts are defined between sun up and sun down this becomes even more difficult in locations with significant seasonal variations in length of days. In comparison I'd say Orthodox fasting is simply "meal planning" in comparison and is more of an inconvenience than a hardship.  This in no way implies they are better in any way, just that the average observant muslim is no less austere than the average observant Orthodox - if anything I'd say it's the opposite.
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« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2012, 07:03:02 PM »

I came from a mixed Evangelical background--which, I have to admit, is actually quite strange. Both of my parents--being Mexicans--were raised Roman Catholic, but never really took it seriously and were pretty much lapsed. I was never Baptised in the RC Church--which is strange, because I still vaguely remember attending a Mass or two with my mother and grandmother when I was like 2. Anyhow, afterward, they just gradually became more and more Protestant, constantly Church hopping between different Churches--all of Evangelical stock. The longest they stayed at a Church was for three years--and that was because it was also a Private School that my father worked at. I had to go to school there from 6-8th grade and that's where I got most of my exposure to Evangelical Protestantism--which is actually what drove me into an odd atheist-pseudo Buddhist phase for about two years until I gradually returned back to Protestantism and then Orthodoxy. Anyhow, I honestly cannot imagine attending ANY Church other than an Orthodox Church. It all seems so wrong, foreign and not-right to me. Being honest, I've never even heard of an Orthodox Christian converting to Evangelical Christianity for any legitimate reason other than economic support in the Old Country. It's always the other way around. Evangelical folks move up to more liturgical, traditional forms of Christianity and then finally make their way to Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2012, 11:51:39 PM »

  I was an Orthodox catechumen...

  Now I attend an Episcopalian church.  I spent a year and a half trying to live as a Buddhist and dealing with a brain tumor.  I've returned to some Christian faith, at least attempting to do so, after finding Buddhism marginal spiritually.  I can't say it was worthless though, Buddhists were my friends when I had nobody else and I was alone.

  I like Episcopalians and Anglicans, I feel sad at one time I had contempt for them in my quest to find a "pure church".    In my heart I know my feelings were ugly and sinful, but my desire to have the correct ecclessiology and ideology blinded me to being a loving human being.  In the time, I've realized that right religion is not so simple, and I've come to realize the pride that motivates this triumphalism.   I have only begun to repent of this sin.  I also delt with anger at the Orthodox Church, and I realized it was something I needed help to overcome, the anger had spilled over into a gradual contempt for Christian community.  Contempt is truely blinding, easy to hide behind piety.  For several weeks I would not receive the Eucharist at the cathedral, only a blessing from a priest, because I realized my sins would render the Mystery empty of value.

  I do not agree with the average Orthodox Christian's views of gay and transgender people though, and I find the Anglicans more hospitable.  Honestly I have encountered the spirit of Jesus more there than I have in Orthodox churches.  It is a gentle, welcomming religion, something I missed in Orthodoxy sometimes with the focus on fasting and asceticism.  I especially like the Episcopalians Eucharistic practices.  Even when I tried to be a faithful Orthodox Christian, I found the Orthodox approach to the Eucharist offputting, my intuition told me this is not what the Lord Jesus really wanted, it was far too "demanding" in tone.

  I still like icons and the Orthodox way to pray, the candles and images, and saints (St. Martin is one of my favorites).  I am a spiritual mongrel but the dean of the local Episcopalians told me that God can work with that.

  God may have answered a prayer I had during my darkest hour, when I felt myself slowly giving up on faith in God and all alone.   I'm not sure a moralistic EO churchman would understand, but I got a unique friend and she is my girlfriend now and we are very close.   Though she is a Christian, she feels hurt alot by Christians h due to her identification with the LGBT movement, and rejection she received due to who she is.    Maybe eventually we will be married, or not, but we both are commited to each other as much as we can in our brokenness.  I prayed to God that I would not be alone forever, I wanted a partner, male or female.  Sometimes we go to the cathedral together but she has more of a pentecostal/charismatic background.
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« Reply #16 on: December 25, 2012, 06:57:48 AM »

Sorry, I could smell a gay slant to where this ^ post was going before the end of the second sentence.
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« Reply #17 on: December 25, 2012, 05:17:13 PM »

Sorry, I could smell a gay slant to where this ^ post was going before the end of the second sentence.

     I had many reasons for leaving Orthodoxy.  My status as a queer person was just one.  Honestly, I was seriously contemplating a life of celibacy as a monastic, and unafraid to do that. What genuinely bothered me was the conviction that I would stand before the Dread Judgement Seat of Christ and realize that Jesus probably would not agree with what Orthodox priests had to say about gays, and the fact this seems to bother few Orthodox Christians is genuinely disturbing.    I've met many gay people deeply wounded by organized religion, and it should bother more Christians.  Its a sin, frankly.   Many people hide their homophobia and ignorance behind religion- even if homosexuality were sinful, the effort most Christians give to combatting this "vice" is inordinate and reflects more on the fear, closed-mindedness, and even misogyny and sexism (women are lesser, hence men that act effeminate are debased) than genuine love for truth.

  I also believe women can and should be priests and bishops if they are called to do so.  Anything less is to deny that Christ saves them in their humanity, the way I see it.   Nor should baby girls be kept away from the altar.

  Having said that, leaving Orthodoxy was heartbreaking, and I've done some things in the meantime that I feel are genuinely sinful because I gave in to despair (however, comming out and getting involved in the LGBT community is not one of them, neither is being honest and open about my feelings and attractions).   For all its faults, Orthodoxy has many truths and now I'm trying to learn to look with discernment at more things, without assuming things are merely "all good" or "all bad".  However, Orthodoxy also really weakened my personal belief in God's love, because it really attacked this idea that God personally loved me, instead God tended to feel more and more mediated through my priest and the clergy.  I love the rituals and liturgy of Orthodoxy, but not the sacerdotal mindset.  Priests aren't infallible, neither are bishops, they are just men (and maybe in the future, women too).  Life is a messy business, truth is always seen through a glass darkly, and the world needs more love, compassion, and humility in response, not more triumphalism.

  Merry Christmas.
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« Reply #18 on: December 25, 2012, 06:23:51 PM »

Fine, you've many other reasons not to be Orthodox as well.
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« Reply #19 on: December 25, 2012, 06:27:01 PM »

Daedelus1138, is your problem the mysticism or the fasting and asceticism, or both, or neither? Or one at one time and one at another?
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« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2012, 04:45:18 PM »

    What genuinely bothered me was the conviction that I would stand before the Dread Judgement Seat of Christ and realize that Jesus probably would not agree with what Orthodox priests had to say about gays, and the fact this seems to bother few Orthodox Christians is genuinely disturbing.    

  I also believe women can and should be priests and bishops if they are called to do so.  Anything less is to deny that Christ saves them in their humanity, the way I see it.  

Yes, with those convictions and beliefs I suppose TEC would be the place for you. 
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« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2012, 05:04:57 PM »

There's no denying that in many ways, Orthodoxy is hard. All that standing and fasting, for instance. Also, you have the responsibility and obligation to face yourself and your sins honestly, and strive to the best of your ability to overcome them.

Also the culture in many Orthodox parishes is literally "foreign" to Protestant Americans.

Often it's like being the new in-law at the family reunion. You don't know the relationships, the food or the inside family jokes.

Many, if not most, Protestant churches are much more comfortable and easy.

Only problem is, they don't have the Faith, in fullness and in truth.


Excellent points. Continuing the "easy" line of thought, Islam is far easier yet; this might explain why it's grows apparently.

I wouldn't say so. Like conservative Baptists and Jews they have some very strict prohibitions. Personally, I alwayc considered the ban on pork, beer, and miniskirts to be 'works-based salvation'.

How could it possibly be any more than Christian fasting? Christianity recognizes that food influences us, so does Islam - Christianity says take a break from some things some times, Islam says just abstain from the altogether.
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« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2012, 05:40:42 PM »

Honestly I have encountered the spirit of Jesus more there than I have in Orthodox churches.  It is a gentle, welcoming religion, something I missed in Orthodoxy sometimes with the focus on fasting and asceticism.

Jesus never struck me as very welcoming or hospitable. Kind of demanding and inconsiderate in many instances throughout the New Testament.
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« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2012, 05:44:01 PM »

      I also believe women can and should be priests and bishops if they are called to do so.  Anything less is to deny that Christ saves them in their humanity, the way I see it.  

There are some arguments that can be made for women's ordination. Unfortunately, this is not one of them. It makes no sense, and seems to be an example of sloppy thinking and even sloppier theology. IMHO, of course.
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« Reply #24 on: December 27, 2012, 06:07:10 PM »

Honestly I have encountered the spirit of Jesus more there than I have in Orthodox churches.  It is a gentle, welcoming religion, something I missed in Orthodoxy sometimes with the focus on fasting and asceticism.

Jesus never struck me as very welcoming or hospitable. Kind of demanding and inconsiderate in many instances throughout the New Testament.

I agree.. Jesus was pretty strict and demanded a lot and wasn't sorry about it. When people talk about "gentle, welcoming" Jesus I think they're actually thinking of an archetypal ideal of their own culture, which happens to be middle class well to do Midwestern boy of German/Scandinavian/Victorian England background.
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« Reply #25 on: December 27, 2012, 06:43:14 PM »

When people talk about "gentle, welcoming" Jesus I think they're actually thinking of an archetypal ideal of their own culture, which happens to be middle class well to do Midwestern boy of German/Scandinavian/Victorian England background.

Please do elaborate as it may give me something to say in response to the OP.
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« Reply #26 on: December 27, 2012, 10:34:08 PM »

There are some arguments that can be made for women's ordination. Unfortunately, this is not one of them. It makes no sense, and seems to be an example of sloppy thinking and even sloppier theology. IMHO, of course.

   Do women bear the image of God?   Can they stand in place of Christ, be icons of Christ?  Why just pick on the sex/gender bit  of women as breaking the "icon" of Christ?  Maybe only Jews should be priests, or perhaps only men with beards?    I mean this with the deepest respect to the Orthodox faith but the idea that women should not be priests because they cannot be icons of Christ reduces Christ's essential characteristics to his biological sex, hardly what I think Christians want to say about the Incarnation.  The Bible says "God is love" not "God is male".
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« Reply #27 on: December 27, 2012, 10:40:15 PM »

I agree.. Jesus was pretty strict and demanded a lot and wasn't sorry about it. When people talk about "gentle, welcoming" Jesus I think they're actually thinking of an archetypal ideal of their own culture, which happens to be middle class well to do Midwestern boy of German/Scandinavian/Victorian England background.

  Christ's harshest words were reserved for the pious and religious, not for the despised outcasts of society.   I don't think Jesus welcoming attitude is overstated, in fact this is precisely what his opponets accused him of doing, being unseemingly friendly with "sinners", not having proper ascetic discpilne, and so forth.     Jesus promises his burden is light, and he rebukes people that place demands on people before they can have a relationship with God and know God's love (the rabbi's that travel far to get a proselyte, only to make them a son of Hell even more than themselves).
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« Reply #28 on: December 27, 2012, 10:42:01 PM »

 Maybe only Jews should be priests, or perhaps only men with beards?

Traditionally Orthodox would agree with you about the bearded bit...
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« Reply #29 on: December 28, 2012, 09:37:59 AM »

I'm sorry you had a bad experience in the Orthodox Church, but my experience has been just the opposite.  There has been very little judgementalism and a very loving approach to those struggling with same sex feelings as with any other sin.  That is not to say that the Orthodox will glorify those feelings and praise them.  If you are offended that the Orthodox Church calls it a sin, that is more of personal issue, not an issue with the Church.  If a Church is going to not take any stands for fear of offending someone, it isn't much of a belief system then, its just a social club.  I don't agree with those who have said that Jesus was demanding or unkind.  Some of his actions may not necessarily translate well into modern social constructs, but there is a reason that Jesus is the most famous individual ever to walk the surface of the earth, He revolutionized how mankind relates to each other.  Even most non-believers will admit that much.
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« Reply #30 on: December 28, 2012, 10:35:51 AM »

There are some arguments that can be made for women's ordination. Unfortunately, this is not one of them. It makes no sense, and seems to be an example of sloppy thinking and even sloppier theology. IMHO, of course.

   Do women bear the image of God?   Can they stand in place of Christ, be icons of Christ?  Why just pick on the sex/gender bit  of women as breaking the "icon" of Christ?  Maybe only Jews should be priests, or perhaps only men with beards?    I mean this with the deepest respect to the Orthodox faith but the idea that women should not be priests because they cannot be icons of Christ reduces Christ's essential characteristics to his biological sex, hardly what I think Christians want to say about the Incarnation.  The Bible says "God is love" not "God is male".


More sloppy thinking, I'm afraid. Consider, if you will, why God chose to be incarnate as a human man? Does that reduce the Incarnation to His "biological sex"? Btw, it has nothing to do with whether or not women are worthy - no one is worthy of the priesthood.
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« Reply #31 on: December 28, 2012, 10:37:22 AM »

I agree.. Jesus was pretty strict and demanded a lot and wasn't sorry about it. When people talk about "gentle, welcoming" Jesus I think they're actually thinking of an archetypal ideal of their own culture, which happens to be middle class well to do Midwestern boy of German/Scandinavian/Victorian England background.

  Christ's harshest words were reserved for the pious and religious, not for the despised outcasts of society.   I don't think Jesus welcoming attitude is overstated, in fact this is precisely what his opponets accused him of doing, being unseemingly friendly with "sinners", not having proper ascetic discpilne, and so forth.     Jesus promises his burden is light, and he rebukes people that place demands on people before they can have a relationship with God and know God's love (the rabbi's that travel far to get a proselyte, only to make them a son of Hell even more than themselves).


Missed the whole "take up your cross" thing, huh?
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« Reply #32 on: December 28, 2012, 11:28:28 AM »

Ah yes, the Episcopal Church. They're so tolerant and easy-going. Wide is the gate and broad is the road...
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« Reply #33 on: December 28, 2012, 11:45:03 AM »

Ah yes, the Episcopal Church. They're so tolerant and easy-going. Wide is the gate and broad is the road...

  I'd rather be damned for being tolerant and easy going than rigid and intolerant.

I'm sorry you had a bad experience in the Orthodox Church, but my experience has been just the opposite.  There has been very little judgementalism and a very loving approach to those struggling with same sex feelings as with any other sin.  That is not to say that the Orthodox will glorify those feelings and praise them.  If you are offended that the Orthodox Church calls it a sin, that is more of personal issue, not an issue with the Church.  

 What was really hurtful was when my priest told me, after I approached him seeking chrismation, that I he wished to see more enthusiasm from me.  Despite the fact I'd duitifully attended Vespers, Mattens, and the Divine Liturgy for months and was very knowledgeable about the Orthodox life and Christianity in general.  I was in the process of being diagnosed with adult autism and apply for disability, and then later the priest started asking questions about me, suspicious that I might be gay, so I came out to him about my feelings about the LGBT community (I never came out as LGBT myself, but I think it didn't matter).  When I told him about my autism months later, he gave me his sympathies, but there was no attempt to accomodate me as a person into the Church.  I felt abandoned.  After a mental breakdown during Holy Week that landed me up in the county mental clinic, I decided I had a duty to the people that loved me to stay sane, and I would abandon the heavy, abusive demands of my religion after Easter.  I needed less penance and contrition in my life and more hope and genuine community caring about me in my suffering.  Easter Vigil two years ago was the last time I went to an Orthodox church.  

    A few months later I was told I had a brain tumor by a neurosurgeon, and I delt with the fears and worrries of cancer for a year, feeling abandoned by a religion I had alot of "enthusiasm" for, but I guess didn't show.   In the end I even started to feel abandoned by God as God became more and more distant in my life, and I developed fibromyalgia, the worst pain I have ever felt in my life, and often times it left me unable to sleep.  Life became all about pain, and I was left a sad, hurting person.

  When I went to the Episcopal cathedral months after leaving the Orthodox Church, Dean Clarke answered my questions and attempted to comfort me as best he could, even though in the end I think he knew I was deeply hurt.  I told him I was not ready to go back to a church, but I thank him for his time, and for the book he gave me on an Anglican monastery in Michigan (I'd expressed interest in monasticism).  Rev. Clarke said it would be OK for me to attend his church and receive the sacraments even though I was openly bisexual (note, that doesn't mean "unchaste") and involved in LGBT community groups, making friends there, and I supported gay rights, and he did his best to answer my frustrations with some words of wisdom from experience, not church dogma (but officially, I know, the diocese here doesn't bless same sex unions, but they do have gay and lesbian couples in the churches).  He explained my religious confusion as something that God could work with, it didn't require enthusiasm, just a willingness to start participating.  This made a huge difference to me, and I wish my Orthodox priest could have handled my situation in a similar way, by treating me as a human being that God loved instead of a pastoral problem.

  I visisted a massage therapist a few months ago to deal with some of my pain, and she turned out to be Greek Orthodox (not a convert) and she said that at her church, she knew of several people that were openly gay and tolerated, and didn't understand why it would be an issue at other Orthodox churches.  I suspect the attitudes to gay people vary alot in different jurisdictions     My OCA priest was a convert from Presbyterianism ten years before, and I'm not sure he really had internalized a good, healthy spiritual life, nor did he really understand how to help me and still keep his integrity in his beliefs.
  
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« Reply #34 on: December 28, 2012, 12:05:33 PM »

Ah yes, the Episcopal Church. They're so tolerant and easy-going. Wide is the gate and broad is the road...

  I'd rather be damned for being tolerant and easy going than rigid and intolerant.

I'm sorry you had a bad experience in the Orthodox Church, but my experience has been just the opposite.  There has been very little judgementalism and a very loving approach to those struggling with same sex feelings as with any other sin.  That is not to say that the Orthodox will glorify those feelings and praise them.  If you are offended that the Orthodox Church calls it a sin, that is more of personal issue, not an issue with the Church. 

 What was really hurtful was when my priest told me, after I approached him seeking chrismation, that I he wished to see more enthusiasm from me.  Despite the fact I'd duitifully attended Vespers, Mattens, and the Divine Liturgy for months and was very knowledgeable about the Orthodox life and Christianity in general.  I was in the process of being diagnosed with adult autism and apply for disability, and then later the priest started asking questions about me, suspicious that I might be gay, so I came out to him about my feelings about the LGBT community (I never came out as LGBT myself, but I think it didn't matter).  When I told him about my autism months later, he gave me his sympathies, but there was no attempt to accomodate me as a person into the Church.  I felt abandoned.  A few months later I was told I had a brain tumor by a neurosurgeon, and I delt with the fears and worrries of cancer for a year, feeling abandoned by a religion I had alot of "enthusiasm" for, but I guess didn't show.   In the end I even started to feel abandoned by God as God became more and more distant in my life, and I developed fibromyalgia, the worst pain I have ever felt in my life, and often times it left me unable to sleep.  Life became all about pain, and I was left a sad, hurting person.

  When I went to the Episcopal cathedral months after leaving the Orthodox Church, Dean Clarke answered my questions and attempted to comfort me as best he could, even though in the end I think he knew I was deeply hurt.  I told him I was not ready to go back to a church, but I thank him for his time, and for the book he gave me on an Anglican monastery in Michigan (I'd expressed interest in monasticism).  Rev. Clarke said it would be OK for me to attend his church and receive the sacraments even though I was openly bisexual (note, that doesn't mean "unchaste") and involved in LGBT community groups, making friends there, and I supported gay rights, and he did his best to answer my frustrations with some words of wisdom from experience, not church dogma (but officially, I know, the diocese here doesn't bless same sex unions, but they do have gay and lesbian couples in the churches).  He explained my religious confusion as something that God could work with, it didn't require enthusiasm, just a willingness to start participating.  This made a huge difference to me, and I wish my Orthodox priest could have handled my situation in a similar way, by treating me as a human being that God loved instead of a pastoral problem.

  I visisted a massage therapist a few months ago to deal with some of my pain, and she turned out to be Greek Orthodox (not a convert) and she said that at her church, she knew of several people that were openly gay and tolerated, and didn't understand why it would be an issue at other Orthodox churches.  I suspect the attitudes to gay people vary alot in different jurisdictions     My OCA priest was a convert from Presbyterianism ten years before, and I'm not sure he really had internalized a good, healthy spiritual life, nor did he really understand how to help me and still keep his integrity in his beliefs.
 

 I do not agree with the average Orthodox Christian's views of gay and transgender people though, and I find the Anglicans more hospitable.  Honestly I have encountered the spirit of Jesus more there than I have in Orthodox churches.  It is a gentle, welcomming religion, something I missed in Orthodoxy sometimes with the focus on fasting and asceticism.  I especially like the Episcopalians Eucharistic practices.  Even when I tried to be a faithful Orthodox Christian, I found the Orthodox approach to the Eucharist offputting, my intuition told me this is not what the Lord Jesus really wanted, it was far too "demanding" in tone.

  I still like icons and the Orthodox way to pray, the candles and images, and saints (St. Martin is one of my favorites).  I am a spiritual mongrel but the dean of the local Episcopalians told me that God can work with that.

  God may have answered a prayer I had during my darkest hour, when I felt myself slowly giving up on faith in God and all alone.   I'm not sure a moralistic EO churchman would understand, but I got a unique friend and she is my girlfriend now and we are very close.   Though she is a Christian, she feels hurt alot by Christians h due to her identification with the LGBT movement, and rejection she received due to who she is.    Maybe eventually we will be married, or not, but we both are commited to each other as much as we can in our brokenness.  I prayed to God that I would not be alone forever, I wanted a partner, male or female.  Sometimes we go to the cathedral together but she has more of a pentecostal/charismatic background.

I find that such issue are rather tricky to deal with, in practice.

An example: you'll remember a year or so ago there was that incident where a college guy made a video of his gay roommate having sex, which apparently later was a contributing factor in the latter committing suicide. Anyhow, when I was at mass shortly after the news broke, the priest referred to that incident in his homily -- mostly in a way I didn't think at all offensive, except for one comment that he slipped into it, that "he killed himself because his sin became known". I found that inappropriate, but I'm a little afraid to say so because a liberal hearing it might say "I agree. What right has he to call it a sin?" which isn't what I'm saying. (And, on the other hand, a conservative hearing it might say "Well, if you think that comment was inappropriate, then that must mean that you don't consider gay sex to be sinful!")
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« Reply #35 on: December 28, 2012, 12:12:24 PM »

More sloppy thinking, I'm afraid. Consider, if you will, why God chose to be incarnate as a human man? Does that reduce the Incarnation to His "biological sex"? Btw, it has nothing to do with whether or not women are worthy - no one is worthy of the priesthood.

  Maybe God becoming a man is a condescension to the social realities of the day and not some kind of generalized statement about the role of men and women?

  "No one is worthy of the priesthood" sounds nonsensical.  If no one were worthy, why make anybody at all a priest?  Obviously some people are found worthy by other people, the question is why men and not women?  I submit it is just prejudice masked as truth.
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« Reply #36 on: December 28, 2012, 12:22:50 PM »

"No one is worthy of the priesthood" sounds nonsensical. 

How telling.
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« Reply #37 on: December 28, 2012, 12:30:32 PM »

More sloppy thinking, I'm afraid. Consider, if you will, why God chose to be incarnate as a human man? Does that reduce the Incarnation to His "biological sex"? Btw, it has nothing to do with whether or not women are worthy - no one is worthy of the priesthood.

  Maybe God becoming a man is a condescension to the social realities of the day and not some kind of generalized statement about the role of men and women?

  "No one is worthy of the priesthood" sounds nonsensical.  If no one were worthy, why make anybody at all a priest?  Obviously some people are found worthy by other people, the question is why men and not women?  I submit it is just prejudice masked as truth.



I earnestly advise you to think these things through. This is the usual kind of stuff (propaganda, IMHO) that is trotted out when women's ordination is discussed. God, in deciding to become Incarnate as a human being, chose to become a human man. That was certainly not something that was a social reality of the day.

No one is worthy to be a priest. Who could be worthy to be a priest, according to the Orthodox understanding of the priesthood. God calls unworthy men to the priesthood according to His will.

(And, just fyi, not everyone who disagrees with you is prejudiced. They may be right or wrong or simply disagree.)
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« Reply #38 on: December 28, 2012, 01:37:10 PM »

I was born Mormon, then because I was fairly liberal at the time I became Episcopalian for a couple years. However, I found their theology to be sloppy and based upon weak arguments. As I studied Christian history and philosophy I became more conservative and inclined towards Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy. After 6 months or so in RCIA I left and became an inquirer at an Antiochian Orthodox parish. For a year I read hours and hours almost every day the works of Pelikan, Meyendorff, Hopko, Ware, etc.

I can't remember exactly when it happened, but one day I scrutinized why I was converting to Orthodoxy. Was it because I believed it? Was it because I thought they offered a superior case for being the Church established by Christ? From here I realized  hadn't ever really given the Roman Catholic Church a fair chance. Thus I began to research both side by side. I considered both arguments for and against the papacy, and then rebuttals. As a result of my studies, I have returned to RCIA. I have a great deal of respect for Orthodoxy, and plan on staying in touch with the friends I made, but in the end I found myself convinced that the RCC is where I should be, in spite of all its flaws.

That is my story. I was never a baptized Orthodox Christian, but I consider myself someone who took a good hard look at it and then made way to other pastures.

P.S. Concerning women priests, I find this article to be a good case for the exclusively male priesthood:

http://peterkreeft.com/topics-more/sexual-symbolism.htm

"Advocates of women's ordination usually misunderstand sexual symbolism because they misunderstand symbolism itself as radically as they misunderstand authority. They think of symbols as man-made and artificial. They do not see that there are profound and unchangeable natural symbols, that things can be signs. Saint Thomas Aquinas based his multiple method of scriptural exegesis on this eminently sound but tragically forgotten principle. He writes: "The author of Holy Writ is God, in whose power it is to signify His meaning, not by words only (as man also can do) but also by things themselves. So whereas in every other science things are signified by words, this science [sacred science] has the property that the things signified by the words [of Scripture] have themselves a signification. Therefore that first signification, whereby words signify things, belongs to the first sense, the historical or literal. That signification whereby things signified by words have themselves a signification is called the spiritual sense, which is based on the literal and presupposes it."
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« Reply #39 on: December 31, 2012, 05:24:33 PM »

There are many things that I don't particularly "like" about the Orthodox Church, but what my preferences are ought not come into the equation about what I ought to do.  My own studies have led me to the conclusion that Orthodoxy is the only entity that is has the fullness of Truth.  That means I follow the Church even though there are teachings that I don't "like". If I could make my own religion, I would have one where no one is condemned, everyone was nice to each other and anyone got to do whatever they felt lead to do.  There wouldn't be any discussion of sin because that would lead to condemnation and fasting would be eliminated.  Unfortunately, that is not how things work and I just have to trust that God knew what he was doing when He made the world.

There are many foolish priests out there.  I have an excellent one that is very sensitive to each individuals needs in our parish, but I know that not all priests are like that.  It does no good to dismiss an entire church because of one bad priest.
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« Reply #40 on: December 31, 2012, 07:00:59 PM »

Here's something I've thought about before, from what I heard in a college class (full warning: I graduated from an RCC school). The reason that priests are chosen from men is that the priest is emblematic of God's Fatherly qualities. (Or, things that were called fatherly because they put one in mind of the ancient traditions surrounding fatherhood.) Yes, the Hebrew and Greek texts sometimes use masculine adjectives to describe something that God does, and at other times, feminine adjectives. Does this mean that God is "both a girl and a boy"? No, He is beyond all that; but women in the ancient world could indeed reflect God's "motherly" qualities by, here's a shock, being mothers. Women may not have been priests who served in the altar, but the mother in the family had been called, by a Jewish writer (I'm sorry I forget whom), "the priestess of the home." It was her task in those times to raise the children.  (The word "matrimony" borrows part of itself from the word "mater," after all.) A daunting task, and a sacred one too. As it is to this day.
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« Reply #41 on: December 31, 2012, 07:17:39 PM »

Daedalus,

I understand many of the reasons why you chose to join the Episcopal Church. I have also struggled with many of those reasons, including the stance on LGBT issues. I have simply come to the conclusion that if something was good and pure, then it shall always be so. Marriage in its proper role is a sacrament of the Church and cannot be limited to merely a secular institution.  I have often wondered if marriages outside of the Church, are really "marriages" even between heterosexual couples?

When you said he gave no attempts to accommodate you into the Church, do you mean because of your views or were there other circumstances? It sounds to me that you also were in need of a healthy relationship with a priest, as I have been. Given that you were a catechumen, were there any other Orthodox parishes in your area? The only thing I would do in such a situation is to continue to pray, and read the Bible and ask God to help me forgive those who I had felt wronged me in one way or another.  It is no easy task, but you do seem to have had a painful experience from what you write.  I hope that things are going better for you now.  Smiley

Just remember that we're all sinners in need of a Savior.  Everyone makes mistakes or offends someone without realizing it, even members of clergy.. it doesn't mean they were personally against you though.  Smiley
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« Reply #42 on: January 03, 2013, 03:46:47 PM »

 When you said he gave no attempts to accommodate you into the Church, do you mean because of your views or were there other circumstances?

  I have adult autism and I felt my priest judged me harshly because I didn't show "enthusiasm", despite frequent attendance at Divine Liturgy and feeling the pain of not being included fully into the life of the Church, which was my desire.  This happened before my views of homosexuality even came up.  I am just not an emotionally expressive person, that doesn't mean I don't have commitment or faith.

  Deep down I believed that the Orthodox Church was the Church Christ founded, I simply did not go along with the authoritarian assertions of particular bishops or laity and felt a duty to my conscience to be open to LGBT people and to NOT engage in the "culture wars".  But I still had an ear listening to the Church, I simply refused to turn off my brain or my heart to my fellow human beings.  I strongly believe this is what Jesus Christ asked of me.

 At this point I'm not sure how the priest and I can be reconciled.  What he did was wrong and I doubt he would want to admit to that, and I have no leverage over him to press the issue. In some ways the Episcopalian Church is a compromise for me, while it has many things I recognize as Christian in the same sense as Eastern Orthodoxy, it was heavily influenced by Calvinism which in my mind is decidedly Gnostic spirituality.

Quote
 Given that you were a catechumen, were there any other Orthodox parishes in your area? The only thing I would do in such a situation is to continue to pray, and read the Bible and ask God to help me forgive those who I had felt wronged me in one way or another.  It is no easy task, but you do seem to have had a painful experience from what you write.  

   I'm in a commited non-marital relationship to a woman, and she is not Orthodox and not even a churchgoer anymore (she used to be Pentecostal).. Maybe an Orthodox clergy would want to dissuade me from my relationship to her, but I do not know this for certain.   I don't want to listen to peoples judgementalism on my life, as far as I'm concerned my relationship is a prayer answered, not sin.  So, I am not sure what to think.  I miss the Orthodox Church, but I doubt the Orthodox Church misses me.  I do not miss the scared ex-Protestants who were using Orthodoxy as an excuse to hide from moral complexity, though.
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« Reply #43 on: January 03, 2013, 03:54:09 PM »

So you're convinced that the EO is the Church Christ founded but you prefer a compromise?
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« Reply #44 on: January 03, 2013, 03:59:49 PM »

 I have adult autism and I felt my priest judged me harshly because I didn't show "enthusiasm", despite frequent attendance at Divine Liturgy and feeling the pain of not being included fully into the life of the Church, which was my desire.  This happened before my views of homosexuality even came up.  I am just not an emotionally expressive person, that doesn't mean I don't have commitment or faith.
So because one man made a mistake (perhaps because he didn't fully understand your particular condition), you leave the Church, even though
Quote
 Deep down I believed that the Orthodox Church was the Church Christ founded


While I'm willing to accept as a theoretical possibility that you were asked by the Orthodox Church to turn off your brain or your heart to your fellow human beings (this is your testimony, after all), this is not my observation or experience of the Orthodox Church. In fact, I have been challenged by the Church and its clergy to be less selfish, more attentive to others and more rigorous theologically.

Quote
At this point I'm not sure how the priest and I can be reconciled.  What he did was wrong and I doubt he would want to admit to that, and I have no leverage over him to press the issue.
So you are willing to forgive and overlook some sins but not others?
  
Quote
I'm in a commited non-marital relationship to a woman...No doubt an Orthodox clergy would want to dissuade me from my relationship to her, but I do not know this for certain.
Possibly he would. But perhaps it would be because he knows how this kind of relationship can be detrimental to both of you, and he would want you to experience Orthodox marriage.

Quote
  I don't want to listen to peoples judgementalism on my life, as far as I'm concerned my relationship is a prayer answered, not sin.  
Of course you don't - nobody does. We don't like to hear what might be the truth or to have to give up doing the things we want to do, simply because they might be harmful to ourselves and other people.
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« Reply #45 on: January 03, 2013, 04:05:44 PM »

I'm in a commited non-marital relationship to a woman, and she is not Orthodox and not even a churchgoer anymore (she used to be Pentecostal).. Maybe an Orthodox clergy would want to dissuade me from my relationship to her, but I do not know this for certain.   I don't want to listen to peoples judgementalism on my life, as far as I'm concerned my relationship is a prayer answered, not sin.  So, I am not sure what to think.  I miss the Orthodox Church, but I doubt the Orthodox Church misses me.  I do not miss the scared ex-Protestants who were using Orthodoxy as an excuse to hide from moral complexity, though.
Just going to ask, but before you dismiss the criticism of others - have you read 1 Corinthians 5? Not trying to equate the behavior to the example in the text, but the Church is actually supposed to judge - and punish/expel - those within herself.
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« Reply #46 on: January 03, 2013, 08:24:40 PM »

  I have adult autism and I felt my priest judged me harshly because I didn't show "enthusiasm", despite frequent attendance at Divine Liturgy and feeling the pain of not being included fully into the life of the Church, which was my desire.  This happened before my views of homosexuality even came up.  I am just not an emotionally expressive person, that doesn't mean I don't have commitment or faith.
So because one man made a mistake (perhaps because he didn't fully understand your particular condition), you leave the Church, even though
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Deep down I believed that the Orthodox Church was the Church Christ founded

I find it a tad strange you say "leave the Church" given that "the Church" that Daedelus1138 left wasn't Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #47 on: January 05, 2013, 09:07:50 AM »

So you're convinced that the EO is the Church Christ founded but you prefer a compromise?

  Yes, I believe the faith Orthodox Christians have is the same faith of the apostles.  Does this mean I believe other Christians are automaticly not part of that faith ("heretics")?  No. 

  The institutional aspects of Eastern Orthodoxy are ugly (as are many Christian religious bodies), and I can point to things I see as weaknesses.  But I don't see anything wrong, in essence, with the faith of Orthodox Christians, and I'd rather affirm that, than alot of what passes as Protestantism.  I believe it speaks a number of truths that are either absent or downplayed in other Christian communions.
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« Reply #48 on: January 05, 2013, 09:16:42 AM »

So you are willing to forgive and overlook some sins but not others?  

  I pray to God to be able to forgive him.  The issue is not with me, it is with him.  I don't think he will reflect on his behavior and judge it lacking.
  
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Possibly he would. But perhaps it would be because he knows how this kind of relationship can be detrimental to both of you, and he would want you to experience Orthodox marriage.  

      Does this mean I should approach my relationship as something bad?  No, I don't think so.  In fact I reject that.  This kind of relationship could only be detrimental to me in some kind of idealized world.  Of course I'm sure you know we live in an imperfect, un-ideal world.   The priest "knows" these kinds of relationships are bad in some kind of generalized sense, one that would fail to account for my individual needs as a human being.  Or maybe I need to give him the benefit of the doubt, I don't know.  EIther way, I just know the guilt-motivating moralism won't work on me.  Yes, my life doesn't measure up to some Christian ideals, but it is a good life full of good things and the imperfections in my life don't detract from that.   I for one intend to celebrate what I have, not mourn.

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« Reply #49 on: January 05, 2013, 11:48:12 AM »

I pray to God to be able to forgive him.  The issue is not with me, it is with him.  I don't think he will reflect on his behavior and judge it lacking.

''God, I thank you that I am not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this Orthodox priest. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get....''
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« Reply #50 on: January 06, 2013, 09:55:18 PM »

''God, I thank you that I am not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this Orthodox priest. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get....''

   I don't think you understand.    His behavior being wrong does not discount me being a sinner in need of grace (after all, that was the reason I wanted to be in the Church).  He represents Christ, deciding who can or cannot receive the sacrament of Chrismation, yet Christ tells the world that if you are weary he provides rest, and that children should be honored because they are closer to God.  Frankly, his behavior doesn't seem Christ-like really, because those things do describe what it is like to be living with autistic conditions.  There is a struggle with loneliness and weariness, and our minds are often naive in their own ways and we are used to being last, much like a child.   

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« Reply #51 on: January 06, 2013, 11:30:55 PM »

I don't think you understand.    His behavior being wrong does not discount me being a sinner in need of grace (after all, that was the reason I wanted to be in the Church).  He represents Christ, deciding who can or cannot receive the sacrament of Chrismation, yet Christ tells the world that if you are weary he provides rest, and that children should be honored because they are closer to God.  Frankly, his behavior doesn't seem Christ-like really, because those things do describe what it is like to be living with autistic conditions.  There is a struggle with loneliness and weariness, and our minds are often naive in their own ways and we are used to being last, much like a child.  
I think the more pertinent question is this: why did you give up on Orthodoxy after a mishap with a single priest? I don't mean this offensively, either.
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« Reply #52 on: January 07, 2013, 12:05:35 AM »

I pray to God to be able to forgive him.  The issue is not with me, it is with him.  I don't think he will reflect on his behavior and judge it lacking.

''God, I thank you that I am not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this Orthodox priest. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get....''

Not that anyone asked me, but I don't like this post either.
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« Reply #53 on: January 07, 2013, 11:13:57 AM »

 I pray to God to be able to forgive him.  The issue is not with me, it is with him.  I don't think he will reflect on his behavior and judge it lacking.
Of course the issue is with you. Just think about it for a moment. You give his behavior as one of the reasons for rejecting Orthodoxy, even though you admit that it is the faith of the Apostles.
It seems fairly obvious that you have not forgiven him, when you don't know his heart and whether or not he is even aware of what he has done. He made a mistake, possibly because he did not fully understand your condition or because he felt unable to effectively deal with it. Have you never made a mistake and hurt someone unintentionally by your actions? Didn't you hope and pray that they would forgive you?

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     Does this mean I should approach my relationship as something bad?  No, I don't think so.  In fact I reject that.  
It means that you should attempt to look at it from another pov.

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This kind of relationship could only be detrimental to me in some kind of idealized world.  Of course I'm sure you know we live in an imperfect, un-ideal world.
Where relationships are often detrimental to the spiritual health of the people involved. And we, experiencing the heady chemicals of love, are not always paying attention!

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  The priest "knows" these kinds of relationships are bad in some kind of generalized sense, one that would fail to account for my individual needs as a human being. 
Or because he has seen the destruction in other peoples' lives.

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Or maybe I need to give him the benefit of the doubt, I don't know.
You do need to give him the benefit of the doubt.

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  EIther way, I just know the guilt-motivating moralism won't work on me.  Yes, my life doesn't measure up to some Christian ideals, but it is a good life full of good things and the imperfections in my life don't detract from that.   I for one intend to celebrate what I have, not mourn.
False dichotomy. First of all, pointing out to someone that their choices or behavior may not be healthy or may not be the best course of action, based on one's own experience and observation is not guilt-inducing moralism. If your priest noticed that you were about to step off the curb in front of a semi, would you want him to assume that you knew best, or would you want him to yell at you to watch out or grab you and haul you back? Anyway, I think guilt often gets a bad rap. If we do something wrong that hurts ourselves or others, what's wrong with feeling bad about it?
Also, the whole point of the Christian life is to become better. We are called to become saints.


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« Reply #54 on: January 07, 2013, 11:32:09 AM »

Also, the whole point of the Christian life is to become better.

(This might eventually lead to a new thread.)

Your statement appears to conflict with one of Fr. Stephen Freeman's mantras: "Jesus did not come to make bad men good; He came to make dead men live." It may not, though, so I'll just ask, "Better at what?"
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« Reply #55 on: January 07, 2013, 12:56:40 PM »

Also, the whole point of the Christian life is to become better.

(This might eventually lead to a new thread.)

Your statement appears to conflict with one of Fr. Stephen Freeman's mantras: "Jesus did not come to make bad men good; He came to make dead men live." It may not, though, so I'll just ask, "Better at what?"

Better at being who (or what) God created us to be. Read the next sentence. We are called to be saints.
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« Reply #56 on: January 07, 2013, 01:28:22 PM »

I do not agree with the average Orthodox Christian's views of gay and transgender people though

Neither do I. I subscribe to the (Orthodox) Church's teaching though. I hope you realize there is some difference between those two.
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« Reply #57 on: January 07, 2013, 04:59:46 PM »

I do not agree with the average Orthodox Christian's views of gay and transgender people though

Neither do I. I subscribe to the (Orthodox) Church's teaching though. I hope you realize there is some difference between those two.

That's sounds about right to me too. (Then again, I don't know well enough what "the average Orthodox Christian's views of gay and transgender people" is, to say with absolute certainty that I disagree with it.)
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« Reply #58 on: January 07, 2013, 05:32:08 PM »

Then again, I don't know well enough what "the average Orthodox Christian's views of gay and transgender people" is, to say with absolute certainty that I disagree with it.

Exactly. Good point.
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« Reply #59 on: January 07, 2013, 05:49:16 PM »

Also, the whole point of the Christian life is to become better.

(This might eventually lead to a new thread.)

Your statement appears to conflict with one of Fr. Stephen Freeman's mantras: "Jesus did not come to make bad men good; He came to make dead men live." It may not, though, so I'll just ask, "Better at what?"

Better at being who (or what) God created us to be. Read the next sentence. We are called to be saints.

Okay. How?
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« Reply #60 on: January 08, 2013, 01:00:53 AM »

It seems fairly obvious that you have not forgiven him, when you don't know his heart and whether or not he is even aware of what he has done. He made a mistake, possibly because he did not fully understand your condition or because he felt unable to effectively deal with it. Have you never made a mistake and hurt someone unintentionally by your actions? Didn't you hope and pray that they would forgive you?  

 I contacted the priest today and talked about my issues, and how much the things he said had hurt me (which I did not do before in a clear manner, i was trying to be respectful before, but I ended up not respecting myself), and he said he would be interested in receiving me into Orthodoxy.  I replied in E-Mail that I would like to discuss these issues more, but that I am interested in talking  to him.  It has been a year since I said anything to him.

  To your first point, what is the faith of the Apostles?  Agreement with specific moral commandments?  I don't think Jesus Christ came into the world to give an exhaustive list of moral absolutes for every single human being about how they should live their lives.  Life is messy and I think he assumed we would have alot to work out, but that is part of being an authentic human being.

Quote
   
Where relationships are often detrimental to the spiritual health of the people involved. And we, experiencing the heady chemicals of love, are not always paying attention!  

  "Heady chemicals of love"... that could easily dismiss religious knowledge too, since both are experiences in the human psyche.  Be careful what terms you throw around here.  I think ordinary human love can reflect something very spiritual and it can require real discipline to forgive people in a relationship.  I know my current relationship has challenged me to be less selfish but it has been very rewarding.

Quote
 
Or because he has seen the destruction in other peoples' lives.  

  Yes, I heard a similar remark from him and other conservative Christians (though the Orthodox articulation I generally heard was alot less extreme), that losing ones virginity was often horrible and made people feel cheap.  Well, I have news... it wasn't bad for me and doesn't seem to destroy my soul- certainly the regrets I may have wil pale in comparison to the regrets of being a moral coward hiding behind religious prohibitions.  Maybe because there's a huge difference between losing ones virginity at 16 and losing it at age 36, the advice is just not the same.    I will never be spotless like the Theotokos or the Lord Jesus Christ, at least this side of heaven.  But then, I am not the Lord Jesus Christ- I'm really just an ordinary sinner with alot of challenges that are extraordinary.  That doesn't mean that God doesn't love me.


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False dichotomy. First of all, pointing out to someone that their choices or behavior may not be healthy or may not be the best course of action, based on one's own experience and observation is not guilt-inducing moralism.  

... We are called to become saints.


  I agree, but too often religion presents people with moral advice clothed in a false certainty.    You can't make certain predictions based on generalizations.  Just because a scientist sees only white swans, doesn't mean a black swan cannot exist.   And when filtered through religious biases, its easy to self-confirm what evidence the devout will accept.

  If this all sounds paradoxical, that I am deeply critical of "religion" and yet believe in Jesus Christ all the more, consider what sort of people conspired in his death.  It is a mistake to think that this error somehow is exempt from Christians.  Religion cannot exist for its own sake as a bunch of rules that merely serve to help us to be more religious, if God is indeed the Philanthropos, then religion must be the same.  And the current world we live in is weary of "Thou Shalt Not", as William Blake put it in one poem, because it often kills the beauty and goodness in this world, and replaces it with an ethic based on fear and joylessness.
 
   We may all be called to be saints but every one of us will struggle with living in a broken world till we die, a world broken yet also redeemed (I can even see good things happening from me not being taken into the Orthodox church years ago).  How is this reconciled with your unrealistic expectations of perfection?    The Beatitudes are not a list of "Shoulds" delivered from a demanding God. Jesus shows us a way beyond merely being a victim, and I believe it is summed up in forgiveness, not in moral perfection.



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« Reply #61 on: January 08, 2013, 01:11:26 AM »

Daedelus1138,

God guide you and bless you Smiley
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« Reply #62 on: January 08, 2013, 01:13:46 AM »



  Maybe God becoming a man is a condescension to the social realities of the day and not some kind of generalized statement about the role of men and women?

  "No one is worthy of the priesthood" sounds nonsensical.  If no one were worthy, why make anybody at all a priest?  Obviously some people are found worthy by other people, the question is why men and not women?  I submit it is just prejudice masked as truth.


So were the apostles wrong not to ordain female Bishops and priests?
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« Reply #63 on: January 08, 2013, 01:19:02 AM »

Your statement appears to conflict with one of Fr. Stephen Freeman's mantras: "Jesus did not come to make bad men good; He came to make dead men live." It may not, though, so I'll just ask, "Better at what?"

  I like this quote, it fits my experiences better than this idea I got in my head a long time ago that somehow, through theosis, I would become a better person as measured against some "objective" standard.  That was not the case.  It allowed me to focus on the wrong thing- my own petty need to be in control and to never be vulnerable, to live life afraid of breaking rules.    I'm glad this didn't last very long for me before i "deconverted", realizing how life-denying this ethic was, and how it was unlike the fearlessness of Jesus Christ in his life.    Some people are never cured of this.   And I cannot imagine spending eternity with somebody like that.  Probably why Jesus said tax collectors and prostitutes will enter before many of his critics.

  I am not aiming to become socially acceptable, let alone a "better person", but my attitude is rather like what Peter said, "Teacher, where will we go?  You have the words of eternal life".  
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« Reply #64 on: January 08, 2013, 12:14:10 PM »

Also, the whole point of the Christian life is to become better.

(This might eventually lead to a new thread.)

Your statement appears to conflict with one of Fr. Stephen Freeman's mantras: "Jesus did not come to make bad men good; He came to make dead men live." It may not, though, so I'll just ask, "Better at what?"

Better at being who (or what) God created us to be. Read the next sentence. We are called to be saints.

Okay. How?

Prayer, confession, repentance, the sacramental life, fasting, studying Scripture, acts of charity etc. etc.
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« Reply #65 on: January 08, 2013, 12:33:22 PM »

 I am not aiming to become socially acceptable, let alone a "better person", but my attitude is rather like what Peter said, "Teacher, where will we go?  You have the words of eternal life".  

You seem to be attributing to me all sorts of things that I didn't say, and opinions or attitudes that I don't have. These mistaken assumptions are almost too numerous to mention. (To take one small example, I didn't say that our goal as Christians is to become more socially acceptable.) That, and the inevitable limitations of this kind of communication, makes conversation between us difficult and unprofitable. I earnestly hope and pray that you will find peace of mind and heart, and understand that He does have the words of eternal life, but not necessarily according to your own religion that you have developed.
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« Reply #66 on: January 08, 2013, 02:12:01 PM »

First of all, I am a wretched sinner and have neither the authority, nor the high moral ground to presume to preach or teach anybody anything. Yet this is how I see these things:   

  "Heady chemicals of love"... that could easily dismiss religious knowledge too, since both are experiences in the human psyche.  Be careful what terms you throw around here.   

If there is only subjective religious experience, and no objective religious truth (Creation, Incarnation, Resurrection) - Christianity is all a huge fraud, we have believed in vain and are the most miserable of all people.

I think ordinary human love can reflect something very spiritual and it can require real discipline to forgive people in a relationship.

Same goes for any relationship - spiritual ones included. You seem to agree that love needs some kind of discipline.

I'm really just an ordinary sinner with alot of challenges that are extraordinary.  That doesn't mean that God doesn't love me.

If God loves me anyway, why bother with virtue at all? If he loves sinners best, "shan't we continue in sin, that grace may abound?"

  I agree, but too often religion presents people with moral advice clothed in a false certainty.    You can't make certain predictions based on generalizations.  Just because a scientist sees only white swans, doesn't mean a black swan cannot exist.   And when filtered through religious biases, its easy to self-confirm what evidence the devout will accept.

The black swans have been observed and dealt with in Christianity's long ascetic and canonical tradition. An individual outside this tradition may be spiritually short-sighted, so as not to see his own "sin" and foresee its ultimate consequences.

 
If this all sounds paradoxical, that I am deeply critical of "religion" and yet believe in Jesus Christ all the more, consider what sort of people conspired in his death.  It is a mistake to think that this error somehow is exempt from Christians.  Religion cannot exist for its own sake as a bunch of rules that merely serve to help us to be more religious, if God is indeed the Philanthropos, then religion must be the same.  And the current world we live in is weary of "Thou Shalt Not", as William Blake put it in one poem, because it often kills the beauty and goodness in this world, and replaces it with an ethic based on fear and joylessness.

"There are three things I cannot take in: nondogmatic faith, nonecclesiological Christianity and nonascetic Christianity. These three - the church, dogma, and asceticism - constitute one single life for me." (Elder Sophrony Saharov of Essex)

This is the Orthodox deal - you either take it all in, or reject it.

Love is demanding. If you care at all about somebody, you cannot be indifferent about the bad choices he/she makes for his/her life and stand by watching how they make a mess of it. If you try to help them discern right from wrong (St. Augustine speaks of ordinata caritas - ordered and disordered love), it doesn't necessarily mean that you are imposing your will on them, dictating what they should do, 'micro-managing their lives', being a tyrant. If that were the case, if all laws, rules and prescriptions were by their very nature dictatorial, then the Sermon of the Mount, which transcends and maximizes them all, would be the summit of tyrannical propaganda.

There is a "yoke of Christ", and it is far more light than the "freedom" of "I live how I choose & I decide what's best for me". The paradox is: "All things are lawful (permitted) unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any" (1 Cor. 6, 12). The Christian is not supposed to be bound by narrow-minded legalism, but his freedom in Christ should make him free from sin, not give him license to persevere in it.

The aim of Christian asceticism is killing evil passions, not people or their bodies. 

Christ forgave the adulteress, but commanded her to sin no more.   
 
Rules and regulations are always just the beginning, never an end in themselves:

"We are, therefore, about to found a school of the Lord's service, in which we hope to introduce nothing harsh or burdensome. But even if, to correct vices or to preserve charity, sound reason dictateth anything that turneth out somewhat stringent, do not at once fly in dismay from the way of salvation, the beginning of which cannot but be narrow. But as we advance in the religious life and faith, we shall run the way of God's commandments with expanded hearts and unspeakable sweetness of love; so that never departing from His guidance and persevering in His doctrine till death, we may by patience share in the sufferings of Christ, and be found worthy to be coheirs with Him of His kingdom." (Prologue of the Rule of St. Benedict)
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« Reply #67 on: January 08, 2013, 02:44:59 PM »


If God loves me anyway, why bother with virtue at all? If he loves sinners best, "shan't we continue in sin, that grace may abound?"  

   Virtue should be sought for its own sake, but  I simply don't see moralism and legalism as a virtue.   They are spiritual defects.  St. Paul also writes a good deal about the liberty of a Christian.     I really do tend to agree with the Protestant perspective that our good works "pleasing to God" have to come from our freedom, not religious compulsion.   Great saints like Martin of Tours or Francis of Assisi were motivated to their works of love because they saw Christ in their fellow human beings, not because they were afraid for their own spiritual health.  Indeed, many of them became "fools for Christ".    

Quote
The black swans have been observed and dealt with in Christianity's long ascetic and canonical tradition. An individual outside this tradition may be spiritually short-sighted, so as not to see his own "sin" and foresee its ultimate consequences.  

  You're still dealing in sweeping statements about human nature that erase the individual uniqueness of persons.   I doubt very much you, or anybody in the Orthodox Church, understands all there is to the richness and variety of what it means to be human.  I am 36 years old and still learning and I meet people all the time that are still learning (and no, it is not merely due to my autism, there is such a diversity of human beings under the surface of the fragile personas people wear in their social lives).

Quote
 Love is demanding. If you care at all about somebody, you cannot be indifferent about the good/bad choices he/she makes for his life. If you try to help them discern right from wrong (St. Augustine speaks of ordinata caritas - ordered and disordered love), it doesn't necessarily mean that you are imposing your will on them, dictating what they should do  

  God is omniscient, its one thing for him to love me and guide me, its another thing for a human being who doesn't really know the depths of my soul to pretend to be able to do that.  And it's potentially very heavy-handed to just go in and start trying to judge somebody's spiritual health- the only time I give such advice is when I feel my own integrity would be compromised in a relationship.  Otherwise I try to respect other people more than just giving advice, which is often profoundly disrespectful to do.

    Frankly, I think the history of the West teaches us that we've had a fair amount of authoritarians telling us to do things for our own good, and  armed with ulterior motives or worse, ignorance.   On the other hand, many Orthodox Christians come from countries where the state controlled too much and people had no freedom, and sometimes religion was used to oppress people (serfdom).  I respect the Orthodox spirituality a great deal, but not everything Western is garbage.

Quote
 If that were the case, if all laws, rules and prescriptions were by their very nature dictatorial, then the Sermon of the Mount, which transcends and maximizes them all, would be the the summit of tyrannical propaganda. There is a "yoke of Christ", and it is far more light than the "freedom" of "I live how I choose & I decide what's best for me".  

  Whether you want to admit it or not, we all do this.  We all choose what is best for us.   Maybe you are just naive to modernity and post-modernity, or sadly perhaps you live in a country without personal freedom and autonomy.   This autonomy doesn't mean I don't listen to my friends and people that I trust ,it does mean though I don't bend the knee to every authority that comes along.  To do so is unjust and shows a lack of respect for Truth.

 

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« Reply #68 on: January 08, 2013, 02:56:58 PM »

Hi Daedelus. Earlier, I had hoped that this conversation might provide you the opportunity to revise some of your views; but now I feel like it is more likely that, if anything, you will be pushed even further away by encountering some (if you will) "high horse" attitudes. Hopefully that won't happen, but even so I feel like this conversation has become fairly pointless (I should probably just stop reading it).
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« Reply #69 on: January 08, 2013, 03:59:41 PM »

I really do tend to agree with the Protestant perspective that our good works "pleasing to God" have to come from our freedom, not religious compulsion.  

That is the Orthodox understanding as well. Things that you do under compulsion/obligation have no moral value whatsoever. In fact, all our good deeds are like filthy rags unto God - that's Holy Writ for us also.

Great saints like Martin of Tours or Francis of Assisi were motivated to their works of love because they saw Christ in their fellow human beings, not because they were afraid for their own spiritual health.  Indeed, many of them became "fools for Christ".

Love casts out fear. But the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. If we pretend to begin with the end, we're just deceiving ourselves.    

You're still dealing in sweeping statements about human nature that erase the individual uniqueness of persons.   I doubt very much you, or anybody in the Orthodox Church, understands all there is to the richness and variety of what it means to be human.  I am 36 years old and still learning and I meet people all the time that are still learning (and no, it is not merely due to my autism, there is such a diversity of human beings under the surface of the fragile personas people wear in their social lives).

I never said black swans were not natural or that they should turn white. I merely suggested that one cannot presume that in 2000 years the whole Church didn't manage to "understand anything about the richness and variety of what it means to be human."
  
 God is omniscient, its one thing for him to love me and guide me, its another thing for a human being who doesn't really know the depths of my soul to pretend to be able to do that.  And it's potentially very heavy-handed to just go in and start trying to judge somebody's spiritual health- the only time I give such advice is when I feel my own integrity would be compromised in a relationship.  Otherwise I try to respect other people more than just giving advice, which is often profoundly disrespectful to do.

There is such a thing as an authority that God gave certain people in the Church to bind and loose people's sins. He surely didn't intend them to become fearful moralistic judges or to sell forgiveness (indulgences), but in fact - as Chrysostom puts it - he arranged for humans and not angels to receive our confessions, precisely because they share our nature and have more understanding for human weakness and frailty. The ideal priest is more like a doctor and less like a judge.

When one goes to a priest for conversion/confession, one generally asks for advice or is at least open for it.

(I hope you don't think that I am giving you any personal advice - I'm not and, as I said, that is not my intention.)

 Frankly, I think the history of the West teaches us that we've had a fair amount of authoritarians telling us to do things for our own good, and  armed with ulterior motives or worse, ignorance.   On the other hand, many Orthodox Christians come from countries where the state controlled too much and people had no freedom, and sometimes religion was used to oppress people (serfdom).

This is also why Westerners are over-sensitive in this respect and tend to reject all authority. It's not all about oppression and political supremacy, you see. Spiritual authority is an altogether different matter - one is always free to reject it. You don't see Our Lord running after those who found his requirements too harsh to "impose" his yoke on them. The rich young man, the Pharisees, even the disciples were always free to walk away. He only gave personal advice when asked for it.  

I respect the Orthodox spirituality a great deal, but not everything Western is garbage.

I agree. So would most Orthodox who are somewhat familiar with Western theology and spirituality.
 

  Whether you want to admit it or not, we all do this.  We all choose what is best for us.  

We do. Some of us, however, turn to the Church for guidance and validation. When you're an organ in a larger body, you can't be self-sufficient and rely solely on your own lights and better judgement.
 
Maybe you are just naive to modernity and post-modernity, or sadly perhaps you live in a country without personal freedom and autonomy.

Now that sounds a bit condescending. I don't have any higher authority dictating to me what to write here, if that's any comfort.  Cheesy    

This autonomy doesn't mean I don't listen to my friends and people that I trust ,it does mean though I don't bend the knee to every authority that comes along.  To do so is unjust and shows a lack of respect for Truth.

In the OC, we actually get to choose our spiritual father/confessor. No one is expected to bow the knee to any 'authority that comes along'. We're commanded not to "believe every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God", you see.

Forgive me.
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« Reply #70 on: January 08, 2013, 04:03:34 PM »

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« Reply #71 on: January 09, 2013, 12:13:48 AM »

lsion/obligation have no moral value whatsoever. In fact, all our good deeds are like filthy rags unto God - that's Holy Writ for us also.    

  Sometimes the impression I got in my catechumen classes was alot of the senior people there felt that Orthodoxy was about religious obligations to the community of believers, and the priest did little to correct them.  This was confusing because I had read enough elsewhere that seemed to contradict this. In time, it just seemed to gradually erode my feeling of an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, a dialogue between myself and God, and replaced it with a feeling of going through religious motions.  The lives of saints that used to spur me to a deeper commitment, just became shallow religious images.

I had a deep need to please other people and be "accepted", and I still do.    This feeling can become a crushing sense of inadequacy.  Due to alot of therapy and just learning to trust in myself and my own values, I am letting go of that.  It's easy being very introverted, which is mostly how my condition shows up, to internalize negative perceptions.  To his credit, my priest did pray for me two years ago when I broke down in tears after a service and told him about my disappoint in life and my faltering faith.   But I never had the courage to really be open to him about how much his initial perception of me hurt my feelings, because I felt it wasn't acecptable in the Orthodox church to complain.

Quote from: Daedelus1138 link=topic=48304.msg861571#msg861571
Love casts out fear. But the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. If we pretend to begin with the end, we're just deceiving ourselves.    

  I'm still not sure I understand what exactly people mean by the "fear of the Lord", it can seem to mean so many different things.  Certainly, a respect for the truth above mere pragmatism is a good thing, and that's my take on it.  But dread?  No, I don't believe in an "angry God" anymore.  I believe this is an idol created by a broken, wounded psyche that finds unconditional love terrifying.

  Incidentally, most people with Asperger's, such as myself, have a strong sense of justice, fairness, and unconventional compassion.  Often to a fault.  On the positive side, they are the least likely to share popular prejudices and bigotries.

Quote
This is also why Westerners are over-sensitive in this respect and tend to reject all authority. It's not all about oppression and political supremacy, you see. Spiritual authority is an altogether different matter - one is always free to reject it.  

  Spiritual authority should be self-evident, it doesn't require a hierarchy affirming it.    Maybe it sounds like I am overreacting, but the western world is really, in my estimation, recovering from a thousand years of spiritual abuse at the hands of medieval popes and a top-heavy church hierarchy, monarchs, protestant "reformers", and so on.

Quote
We do. Some of us, however, turn to the Church for guidance and validation. When you're an organ in a larger body, you can't be self-sufficient and rely solely on your own lights and better judgement.  

  I agree we all need guidance in our life, and its impoverishing to decide moral issues all on your own.  What I resist is the idea that a religious institution absolves a person of moral responsibility.   I know in my own case, a drift towards Orthodoxy was partially fuelled by a desire to avoid moral ambiguity that is happening in the Anglican world - it was only later I began to appreciate many aspects of Orthodox theology and worship on their own merits.  However, I think the damage had been done and that's why I'm approaching my priests offer to accept me into the Orthodox Church with prayer and discernment.

Quote
 
Now that sounds a bit condescending. I don't have any higher authority dictating to me what to write here, if that's any comfort.  Cheesy    

  I know a few people that are Orthodox from "the old country", some are rather bizarre combinations, like a lesbian woman that no longer goes to church but still likes Russian authoritarian leaders.  That is the sort of thing I am talking about, and frankly in those countries the church is doing a disservice to people.  Perhaps you aren't like that, if so I apologize.  I believe its a real problem in Orthodox countries, they confuse centuries of political oppression with "God's will".

Quote
In the OC, we actually get to choose our spiritual father/confessor. No one is expected to bow the knee to any 'authority that comes along'. We're commanded not to "believe every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God", you see.  

  That's good.  In the US in many jurisdictions you are expected to use your priest as your confessor and spiritual advisor, which sounds like a poor compromise, to be honest.   Being able to work with somebody you can trust seems crucial, and those sorts of relationships are deeply personal and individual, and a particular priest may be gitfted in some areas and not in others.   I know working with secular psychotherapists, trust is very important and it is very much a relationship without alot of hard rules.
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« Reply #72 on: January 09, 2013, 12:41:44 AM »

If there are any people on these boards who used to attend an Orthodox church and consciously changed to another, but still keeps in touch with their Orthodox roots in one method or another, I would like to hear how and why you left.
Peace

I was.  I do keep in some touch with my Orthodox roots.

I left first hand because I felt betrayed by ecumenism.

Later, I feel that the church pulled a blanket over my head, hiding the true history of the church, which was written mostly by "them" the victors.  Shunning off old tradition and formulating new stuff.  Some preservation exists, and new bizarre practices that do not even come close to the early church exists (of course with full ""apologetics"").

The true original church 33 A.D - 133 A.D) (A full 100 YEARS) did not have:
1) Icons (prove it if you think so, show me! - I want to SEE IT)
2) An iconostasis
3) A discos
4) A spear for the prosfora
5) Table of Oblation
6) A chalice
7) Byzantine king garb
Cool Fanatical repetition of prayer (Jesus prayer) - held with prostrations
9) Confession only to priests
10) Processions

The original church:
Honored the Sabbath and kept it Holy, and held much worship on the Sabbath.

Lies about other Christian groups:
Groups such as the Ebionites are just considered (chaff), when they are as old as EO.
Nazarite Christians, just as old.


Those are a small list of reasons I don't go anymore.  Sorry if these things bug people, but they are true.  Not here to debate on this thread, just stating my reasons.

Today I normally attend both home church with my children & wife, and we visit my wife's family church which is moderately conservative Mennonite.  I have a lot of respect for Messianic Jews and the history of the Jewish culture, which works awesomely with the scripture.
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« Reply #73 on: January 09, 2013, 02:22:35 AM »

In fact, all our good deeds are like filthy rags unto God - that's Holy Writ for us also.
I don't agree because Matthew 25 indicates that our good deeds are appreciated and rewarded?
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« Reply #74 on: January 09, 2013, 03:11:06 AM »

lsion/obligation have no moral value whatsoever. In fact, all our good deeds are like filthy rags unto God - that's Holy Writ for us also.    

  Sometimes the impression I got in my catechumen classes was alot of the senior people there felt that Orthodoxy was about religious obligations to the community of believers, and the priest did little to correct them.

Did you bring up your concerns to your Priest?  An appropriate comeback would have been, "how am I responsible for someone else's salvation?"
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« Reply #75 on: January 09, 2013, 05:02:44 AM »


1) Icons (prove it if you think so, show me! - I want to SEE IT)



2) An iconostasis

So what?

3) A discos

So where did they put the Eucharist if not in a diskos?

Quote
4) A spear for the prosfora

 Huh

Quote
5) Table of Oblation

They often used the graves of the martyrs for that, and I'm pretty sure they had altars as well.

Quote
6) A chalice

LOL. Where do you think they put the sacramental wine?

Quote
7) Byzantine king garb

Why would that be even remotely important?

Quote
Cool Fanatical repetition of prayer (Jesus prayer) - held with prostrations

"Pray without ceasing"

Confession only to priests

Nobody stops you from confessing to everyone, you just need to confess in the presence of the priest to be absolved. "Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained."

10) Processions

Hard to do when you're being persecuted.

Honored the Sabbath and kept it Holy, and held much worship on the Sabbath.
We've been through this already. Sunday, the day of the Resurrection, has always been the liturgical day.

Lies about other Christian groups:

Really?

Groups such as the Ebionites are just considered (chaff), when they are as old as EO.

Actually, the NT isn't that nice to the Ebionite heretics either.
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« Reply #76 on: January 09, 2013, 05:08:35 AM »

In fact, all our good deeds are like filthy rags unto God - that's Holy Writ for us also.
I don't agree because Matthew 25 indicates that our good deeds are appreciated and rewarded?

Good deeds do matter for us, humans, and our salvation - they are the natural consequences ('fruits') of our faith and God's grace. But to imagine that they are intrinsically important to God or that he cannot do without us/them is complete nonsense. That's what Isaiah and St. Paul are saying - and there really is no contradiction between them and Matthew 25 or the Epistle of St. James.
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« Reply #77 on: January 09, 2013, 06:07:13 AM »

Later, I feel that the church pulled a blanket over my head, hiding the true history of the church, which was written mostly by "them" the victors.  Shunning off old tradition and formulating new stuff.  Some preservation exists, and new bizarre practices that do not even come close to the early church exists (of course with full ""apologetics"").

Theology and liturgy naturally develop and change in time. They always have. They did so in ancient Israel as well (from the stone altars of the Patriarchs to the Temple worship of Jerusalem and then the synagogues in Babylon and Palestine). Do you think God intended to 'freeze' things as they were in the in the community of Jerusalem, 1st century AD, and that is the only right way to worship until the end of time? What of St. Paul's churches then? The Trinity? The Councils?

Historically, there is no community, Orthodox or otherwise, no faithful remnant (shearit Israel/ 'The true original Church' ®), that preserved things exactly the way they were back then. Some Protestants later developed a fetish for the Biblical past and the Early Church, but their reconstructions were bound to be artificial, arbitrary and inconsistent, reflecting more their own fantasies and prejudices and less the spirit of Early Christianity. Recent 'Messianic' Christianity is a curious hybrid of Judaism (rabbinical/pharisaic or karaite) and evangelical Protestantism.   

Sure the Eucharist shrank from probably basketfuls of bread and large ampullae of wine to what we receive nowadays. St. Paul was already asking people not to confuse the table of the Lord with an ordinary meal. Hence the variation in size and shape of liturgical vessels, vestments and so on. Then, if you look at Acts, you see that Christian worship took place Saturday evening (maybe after a Temple/synagogue service) and lasted until early Sunday morning to begin with.     

To feel that natural and organic developments in the Church are all about corruption and betrayals of the Early Christian ideal is ... well, just naive and ridiculous. There is no evil genius who duped Christians into changing Biblical 'truth'. Otherwise God must have stood by and watched as he prevailed.   
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« Reply #78 on: January 09, 2013, 08:15:28 AM »

Some preservation exists, and new bizarre practices that do not even come close to the early church exists (of course with full ""apologetics"").

1) Icons
2) An iconostasis

I once heard somebody explain why those who reject icons don't really understand what Christianity is all about like this: God who's had his back turned on us in the Old Testament (see the revelation to Moses on Sinai), turns around 180o and shows us his face in Christ. All the exuberant Orthodox iconography is the natural and logical consequence of this shift from invisible to visible (the Incarnation of God's Word).

The living Church changes organically and adapts (to a certain extent) to accomodate different cultures and eras. Your fascination is with amber fossil communities who idealize some particular past: Ebionites, Amish, Old Believers, Mennonites. That would rather be the sectarian than the catholic approach.
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« Reply #79 on: January 10, 2013, 09:36:38 AM »



Lies about other Christian groups:
Groups such as the Ebionites are just considered (chaff), when they are as old as EO.
Nazarite Christians, just as old.


How do you know they are lies about the Ebionites?  The only fragments of writings we have from the Ebionites originate in the 3rd century, which according to you, everything was poisoned by then.  The early Church Fathers that wrote against them could be 100% accurate or 0% accurate for all we know.  I would lean towards them being fairly accurate because it doesn't make too much sense to argue against positions that don't actually exist.

My biggest issue with Protestantism is that I don't understand how they can get past the Church being the Pillar of Truth.  How can an ambiguous group of individuals who have a general agreement that Christ was a good guy, some believing he was God but denying Trinitarian doctrine, some believing he was a god, others believing in traditional Trinitarian doctrine, be considered the Pillar of Truth?  Of course, they will each argue that their specific denomination is the only one that is holding the truth, but when your denomination starts in the 1500's or later, it is hard to take that claim seriously.
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« Reply #80 on: January 10, 2013, 04:14:24 PM »

How can an ambiguous group of individuals who have a general agreement that Christ was a good guy, some believing he was God but denying Trinitarian doctrine, some believing he was a god, others believing in traditional Trinitarian doctrine, be considered the Pillar of Truth?  ...

  "Protestantism" is no a monolithic entity, rather it is an historical movement spanning centuries, often at odds with itself.  Some forms of Protestantisms have given thought to ecclessiology and matters of authority and accountability to other Christians outside ones congregation.    Do not equivocate "Protestant" with "Baptist".

  If you think Orthodoxy is potentially immune from criticism of its ecclessiology, I have only one word for you: "Caesaropapism".  As I delved into Orthodoxy I realized the apologetics for it based on the ecclessiology were often triumphalistic and uncritical.   This type of thinking, in fact, is not spiritually edifying.  There are good reasons to join the Orthodox church, "Not being Protestant" is not one of them.   One must be careful with any  apologetics, while it may win arguements and converts, it can also disfigure ones soul.
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« Reply #81 on: January 10, 2013, 05:37:58 PM »

If there are any people on these boards who used to attend an Orthodox church and consciously changed to another, but still keeps in touch with their Orthodox roots in one method or another, I would like to hear how and why you left.
Peace

I was.  I do keep in some touch with my Orthodox roots.

I left first hand because I felt betrayed by ecumenism.

Later, I feel that the church pulled a blanket over my head, hiding the true history of the church, which was written mostly by "them" the victors.  Shunning off old tradition and formulating new stuff.  Some preservation exists, and new bizarre practices that do not even come close to the early church exists (of course with full ""apologetics"").

The true original church 33 A.D - 133 A.D) (A full 100 YEARS) did not have:
1) Icons (prove it if you think so, show me! - I want to SEE IT)
2) An iconostasis
3) A discos
4) A spear for the prosfora
5) Table of Oblation
6) A chalice
7) Byzantine king garb
Cool Fanatical repetition of prayer (Jesus prayer) - held with prostrations
9) Confession only to priests
10) Processions

Interesting. Sounds a lot like arguments made by Orthodox against us Catholics, but taken a step further.
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« Reply #82 on: January 10, 2013, 11:17:28 PM »

Theology and liturgy naturally develop and change in time. They always have.
I thought that this was more the Catholic view than the Orthodox view?
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« Reply #83 on: January 10, 2013, 11:45:21 PM »

Theology and liturgy naturally develop and change in time. They always have.
I thought that this was more the Catholic view than the Orthodox view?

Surely no one could seriously claim that liturgy is static.
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« Reply #84 on: January 10, 2013, 11:48:34 PM »

Surely no one could seriously claim that liturgy is static.

Otherwise travelers by air would be pretty unfortunate.
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« Reply #85 on: January 11, 2013, 12:21:47 AM »

Surely no one could seriously claim that liturgy is static.

Otherwise travelers by air would be pretty unfortunate.

Nice one.
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« Reply #86 on: January 11, 2013, 08:17:23 AM »

Theology and liturgy naturally develop and change in time. They always have.
I thought that this was more the Catholic view than the Orthodox view?
It's really the Orthodox view too, although Orthodox polemicists may speak as though it isn't.
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« Reply #87 on: January 11, 2013, 08:28:27 AM »

Theology and liturgy naturally develop and change in time. They always have.
I thought that this was more the Catholic view than the Orthodox view?

It's common sense.
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« Reply #88 on: January 11, 2013, 09:38:01 AM »

How can an ambiguous group of individuals who have a general agreement that Christ was a good guy, some believing he was God but denying Trinitarian doctrine, some believing he was a god, others believing in traditional Trinitarian doctrine, be considered the Pillar of Truth?  ...

  "Protestantism" is no a monolithic entity, rather it is an historical movement spanning centuries, often at odds with itself.  Some forms of Protestantisms have given thought to ecclessiology and matters of authority and accountability to other Christians outside ones congregation.    Do not equivocate "Protestant" with "Baptist".

  If you think Orthodoxy is potentially immune from criticism of its ecclessiology, I have only one word for you: "Caesaropapism".  As I delved into Orthodoxy I realized the apologetics for it based on the ecclessiology were often triumphalistic and uncritical.   This type of thinking, in fact, is not spiritually edifying.  There are good reasons to join the Orthodox church, "Not being Protestant" is not one of them.   One must be careful with any  apologetics, while it may win arguements and converts, it can also disfigure ones soul.

I never said anything about Baptist, although the person I was responding to did state he now has moved to an Anabaptist faith community.  The Protestant viewpoint is anyone who believes in Jesus is a Christian and the collective of those people is the church.  They see it as an invisible entity, not a corporal body.  This is one of the view opinions that Protestants do agree on whether they be Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist or other.  Obviously, some Protestants have a more restrictive view on what “believe in Jesus” means and some have a more expansive view, but that is not the point.  The point is, you cannot take an invisible entity comprised of people with innumerable personal spiritual opinions and call it the Pillar of Truth.

I am not quite clear what your reference to Caesaropapism has to do with anything as that has never been taught or advocated by the Orthodox Church.  Have some members of the Church advocated it?  Unfortunately, yes, but that does not mean it is a teaching of the Church.   I also am not quite sure why you think I argued that “not being Protestant” was a reason for joining the Orthodox Church.  I was attracted to the Orthodox Church because my studies convinced me it was the True Church, not because I have any axe to grind with any other faith community.  That doesn’t prevent me from pointing out weaknesses that I see in an argument.
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« Reply #89 on: January 11, 2013, 10:37:10 AM »

@ yeshuaisiam

"Christians are distinguished from other men neither by country, nor language, nor the customs which they observe. For they neither inhabit cities of their own, nor employ a peculiar form of speech, nor lead a life which is marked out by any singularity. The course of conduct which they follow has not been devised by any speculation or deliberation of inquisitive men; nor do they, like some, proclaim themselves the advocates of any merely human doctrines. But, inhabiting Greek as well as barbarian cities, according as the lot of each of them has determined, and following the customs of the natives in respect to clothing, food, and the rest of their ordinary conduct, they display to us their wonderful and confessedly striking method of life. They dwell in their own countries, but simply as sojourners. As citizens, they share in all things with others, and yet endure all things as if foreigners. Every foreign land is to them as their native country, and every land of their birth as a land of strangers. They marry, as do all [others]; they beget children; but they do not destroy their offspring. They have a common table, but not a common bed. They are in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh. They pass their days on earth, but they are citizens of heaven. They obey the prescribed laws, and at the same time surpass the laws by their lives. They love all men, and are persecuted by all. They are unknown and condemned; they are put to death, and restored to life. They are poor, yet make many rich; they are in lack of all things, and yet abound in all; they are dishonoured, and yet in their very dishonour are glorified. They are evil spoken of, and yet are justified; they are reviled, and bless; they are insulted, and repay the insult with honour; they do good, yet are punished as evil-doers. When punished, they rejoice as if quickened into life; they are assailed by the Jews as foreigners, and are persecuted by the Greeks; yet those who hate them are unable to assign any reason for their hatred.
To sum up all in one word - what the soul is in the body, that are Christians in the world."

From the Letter to Diognetus (around 200 AD), chapter 5. Chapters 3 and 4 (on the observances and 'superstitions' of the Jews) might be interesting to read: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/diognetus-roberts.html
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« Reply #90 on: January 11, 2013, 10:44:57 AM »

I also am not quite sure why you think I argued that “not being Protestant” was a reason for joining the Orthodox Church.

Few people, if any, would ever actually say that. But one of the most prevalent undercurrents of Orthodox posts is pointing out similarities between protestantism and Catholicism (in a "suggestive" way).
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« Reply #91 on: January 11, 2013, 11:31:14 AM »

But one of the most prevalent undercurrents of Orthodox posts is pointing out similarities between protestantism and Catholicism (in a "suggestive" way).

It doesn't even have to be "suggestive." It's a fairly common belief amongst the Orthodox that protestantism and Catholicism are "two sides of the same coin." I've read this more than once - and not in Orthodox posts, but in standard works on Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #92 on: January 11, 2013, 04:02:00 PM »

I also am not quite sure why you think I argued that “not being Protestant” was a reason for joining the Orthodox Church.

Few people, if any, would ever actually say that. But one of the most prevalent undercurrents of Orthodox posts is pointing out similarities between protestantism and Catholicism (in a "suggestive" way).

Just comparing faiths does not mean that one is joining a faith to avoid being another faith. I don't think most people who convert to Orthodoxy do it as a reaction against Protestantism, they do it because they see something in Orthodoxy that is unique. I'm guessing that converts to Catholic/Orthodox/SDA/Mormon/Luthern/etc have similar reasons for converting.  There is something in that faith community that "clicks" with them. If I wanted to just "not be Protestant", I could be atheist, which is a heck of alot easier than the struggle towards theosis. How did Catholicism get in this convo btw? I don't recall anyone even mentioning that. 
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« Reply #93 on: January 11, 2013, 05:08:06 PM »

It's a fairly common belief amongst the Orthodox that protestantism and Catholicism are "two sides of the same coin." I've read this more than once - and not in Orthodox posts, but in standard works on Orthodoxy.

It's equally true that Protestants would view Orthodoxy and Roman-Catholicism as the two sides of the same coin ("rituals, hierarchy, idol worship, Mary worship," etc.), while Catholics would see both the Orthodox and the Protestants as dissidents from Rome (albeit for different reasons).
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« Reply #94 on: January 11, 2013, 06:50:33 PM »

But one of the most prevalent undercurrents of Orthodox posts is pointing out similarities between protestantism and Catholicism (in a "suggestive" way).

It doesn't even have to be "suggestive." It's a fairly common belief amongst the Orthodox that protestantism and Catholicism are "two sides of the same coin." I've read this more than once - and not in Orthodox posts, but in standard works on Orthodoxy.

That's always seemed hilarious to me, given that many Protestant and Catholic countries actually had wars because they hated each other so much.
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« Reply #95 on: January 12, 2013, 11:49:18 AM »

There's a good adage for describing the similarities between protestants and Catholics: "Fools seldom differ."

Of course, if we were talking about similarities between Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox, then the appropriate adage would be: "Great minds think alike."

Wink
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« Reply #96 on: January 12, 2013, 12:36:34 PM »

Hahaha. Well sure, Peter, but wouldn't Catholics say the same (the second saying, not the first one) about what they perceive as similarities between Catholicism and Orthodoxy? In my time in the RCC, it was very common to hear people present the two as two sides of the same coin, similar to how Catholicism and Protestantism are often presented in EO apologetics.
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« Reply #97 on: January 12, 2013, 12:55:44 PM »

Hahaha. Well sure, Peter, but wouldn't Catholics say the same (the second saying, not the first one) about what they perceive as similarities between Catholicism and Orthodoxy?

Well ... yes. And the Orthodox routinely roll their eyes in reply.
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« Reply #98 on: January 12, 2013, 01:03:09 PM »

So you can see where we're coming from (and vice versa, I suppose). Wink
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« Reply #99 on: January 12, 2013, 04:30:15 PM »

So you can see where we're coming from (and vice versa, I suppose). Wink

You could say that.

I guess for us it would be more like, the similarities between Orthodox and Catholics illustrate "Great minds think alike" whereas the similarities between Anglicans and Lutherans illustrate "Fools seldom differ."
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« Reply #100 on: April 21, 2013, 03:59:07 AM »

Some preservation exists, and new bizarre practices that do not even come close to the early church exists (of course with full ""apologetics"").

1) Icons
2) An iconostasis

I once heard somebody explain why those who reject icons don't really understand what Christianity is all about like this: God who's had his back turned on us in the Old Testament (see the revelation to Moses on Sinai), turns around 180o and shows us his face in Christ. All the exuberant Orthodox iconography is the natural and logical consequence of this shift from invisible to visible (the Incarnation of God's Word).

The living Church changes organically and adapts (to a certain extent) to accomodate different cultures and eras. Your fascination is with amber fossil communities who idealize some particular past: Ebionites, Amish, Old Believers, Mennonites. That would rather be the sectarian than the catholic approach.
So you are blaming the sectarian for being sectarian?

Jesusisiam thinks we should all look exactly like our baby picture, diapers and all.
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« Reply #101 on: April 21, 2013, 04:00:27 AM »

So you can see where we're coming from (and vice versa, I suppose). Wink

You could say that.

I guess for us it would be more like, the similarities between Orthodox and Catholics illustrate "Great minds think alike" whereas the similarities between Anglicans and Lutherans illustrate "Fools seldom differ."
LOL.  The Anglicans differ a lot, amongst themselves.
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« Reply #102 on: April 23, 2013, 05:17:37 PM »

But one of the most prevalent undercurrents of Orthodox posts is pointing out similarities between protestantism and Catholicism (in a "suggestive" way).

It doesn't even have to be "suggestive." It's a fairly common belief amongst the Orthodox that protestantism and Catholicism are "two sides of the same coin." I've read this more than once - and not in Orthodox posts, but in standard works on Orthodoxy.

That's always seemed hilarious to me, given that many Protestant and Catholic countries actually had wars because they hated each other so much.

Ergo it would be stupid of the Orthodox to pass up an opportunity to play off our fears of Protestantism, by calling the post-VII mass "protestantized" etc.

:scratches chin thoughtfully:
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« Reply #103 on: April 24, 2013, 08:27:12 AM »

But one of the most prevalent undercurrents of Orthodox posts is pointing out similarities between protestantism and Catholicism (in a "suggestive" way).

It doesn't even have to be "suggestive." It's a fairly common belief amongst the Orthodox that protestantism and Catholicism are "two sides of the same coin." I've read this more than once - and not in Orthodox posts, but in standard works on Orthodoxy.

That's always seemed hilarious to me, given that many Protestant and Catholic countries actually had wars because they hated each other so much.

Ergo it would be stupid of the Orthodox to pass up an opportunity to play off our fears of Protestantism, by calling the post-VII mass "protestantized" etc.

:scratches chin thoughtfully:

I've never attended a post VII mass so I can't comment personally, but my RC friends have complained to me that it is "protestantized".  My general experience w/ protestant services have been lots of handwaving and swaying during feel-good music that is played by second rate guitar and drum players and then followed by a long sermon on whatever the pastor felt was important on that particular day. I hope post-VII mass has not gone down that road.
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« Reply #104 on: May 08, 2013, 03:13:47 AM »

Quote
Ergo it would be stupid of the Orthodox to pass up an opportunity to play off our fears of Protestantism, by calling the post-VII mass "protestantized" etc.

No need for us to do that:
http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2013/03/dear-cardinals-think-ecumenically.html
This and a long list of other traditional Roman Catholic blogs and periodicals will do that for us!

Sometimes the best criticism comes from inside from those who know and love it most.

Quote
"Metropolitan Hilarion, head of the Department of External Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate. ... "I hope that the new Pope is a traditionalist," he concluded. [Italian news agency ANSA]"

When Met. Hilarion says that, the faithful roman catholics cheer him on!


Quote
My general experience w/ protestant services have been lots of handwaving and swaying during feel-good music that is played by second rate guitar and drum players and then followed by a long sermon on whatever the pastor felt was important on that particular day. I hope post-VII mass has not gone down that road.
<-Yes, most catholic university "campus ministry" masses have gone down this route (as have "lifeteen masses" at parishes), the one near me even had their second hand guitarist guy (in this case he was nominated for some important music award) eventually become a seminarian. I occasionally wonder if he'll consider his guitar strumming part of the tradition of the mass for the future when he is a priest (if he makes it that far). Sometimes these types of priests even write their own hymns and play them on their guitar at mass or EWTN tv shows. People who go with the trends of the times are only too happy to be accepted by the RC diocesan vocations offices. The people uncomfortable with the trends who prefer the 12th century timelessness have to search far and wide for the seminary who will accept them. Though thankfully, the searching is easier every year. Back in the 1980's it was much harder.
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« Reply #105 on: May 10, 2013, 06:23:01 PM »

Quote
  Do women bear the image of God?   Can they stand in place of Christ, be icons of Christ?  Why just pick on the sex/gender bit  of women as breaking the "icon" of Christ?  Maybe only Jews should be priests, or perhaps only men with beards?    I mean this with the deepest respect to the Orthodox faith but the idea that women should not be priests because they cannot be icons of Christ reduces Christ's essential characteristics to his biological sex, hardly what I think Christians want to say about the Incarnation.  The Bible says "God is love" not "God is male".

With all due respect my dear brother, the interpretation of scripture to the phenomena of women in the priesthood is a bit illogical. Because scripture never explicit takes stand to the question, rather we need a outside source except our own feelings to determine its answer.  The biggest ambassador of Christ is our venerable Lady the Theotokos, our beloved one who gave her entire life to support the ministry of Gods son. Would you in any way interpret Gods grace through Mary as a harassment to men not being able to give birth to a Christ? This question is nothing that would even pop up in the church in the year 200-500. When i say that the tradition has always been that men have been priest, does that mean anything to you? Because if you reject the orthodox stand point on this question, you´re rejecting a very very very old position in favor for a idea that didn´t exist prior to the 20th century. And we can´t give ourselves authority in Gods name to utter anything. The apostles were given authority to preach and spread the church. They didn´t have a feeling and then went on from there. The same standard must be used today, only the church from Christs time can utter authority on these questions. If we break this one single authoritative source, we open the market place for everyone to come with ideas more sophisticated than just women being priests.

Ephesians 5:22-24
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

This verse does not in any meaning imply that God breaks his image with women. Every single part of Gods creation got different ways of playing their role here on earth. As people would like women to become priest, how would it sound if men started to cry out to God that they wanted to breastfeed babies, our else God is breaking his "equal" image to his creation. The image of God on men and women are very very very equal indeed, in any aspect, but takes expression through different roles.

Please forgive me if i wronged you in any way dear brother, please.

But as a Christian we always need to praise God for the way he works in his true church. Without any kind of authority on earth, people would justify masturbation because the word does not pop up in scripture once :S But the church always said no to women being priests, for several good reasons. Aswell as no to masturbation because it is interpreted as a sin through the church only. Exclude the true authoritative church and we may end with many problems that we both would agree being sinful. Just with our own beings interpreting the bible how we want it.
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« Reply #106 on: May 10, 2013, 06:32:03 PM »

My only honest response to any one would be, don´t do your own race on the bible or the faith. Because we had 1 Christ and 12 apostles doing it for us, and held the faith once delievered to this day:D


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Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.

The faith was delivered to us, not that we today 2000 years later needs to figure something out. Our faith is delivered for us to recieve, the question is whether we want the faith delivered through the apostles or the one we make up ourselves?
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« Reply #107 on: May 10, 2013, 06:59:44 PM »

Quote
The true original church 33 A.D - 133 A.D) (A full 100 YEARS) did not have:
1) Icons (prove it if you think so, show me! - I want to SEE IT)
2) An iconostasis
3) A discos
4) A spear for the prosfora
5) Table of Oblation
6) A chalice
7) Byzantine king garb
Cool Fanatical repetition of prayer (Jesus prayer) - held with prostrations
9) Confession only to priests
10) Processions

With a loving heart for you brother, I struggled with these things in my early orthodox life as well. The solution i found out was though much more necessary.

Remember that the orthodox church does not in any way keep the idea that, just because something is old, it´s true. Authority was given, and was used to further develop the church, and is today used to spread Gods grace through it.

For example, just the bible would not get through your list. Believe me the bible as a collection of Gods true scriptures came in the year around 400, a lot after 33 A.D. The trinity, you probably need to profess it by your list in the things in 33 A.D won´t allow it. Without the church and its authority, who can explain the validity of scriptures? Don´t take for granted that all things were sorted out within the lives of the apostles. The ground was firmly established...

As i said before dear brother, the church was given authority to just do what it did. Define the trinity in terms, so that we in Gods grace through his church could develop it.

The question is never about something old, but rather of the authority given then, to be used over time. When you exclude the church and its authority as a working hand of the Holy spirit, then you exclude everything. You can´t even give yourself authority, as if you were a apostle in the year 33 A.D, to say that something has to be old to be true. You need to be given that authority, the orthodox church is that living organism until this day. That´s why every single ecumenical council ended with the words:

It´s seems right to us THROUGH AND WITH the Holy Spirit to etc.

Whatever the church you would chose to attend to, remember this. That TRUE church need some kind of authority, or else Gods people would, and will be hurting a lot in the free open market place of ideas nowadays.

The question you ask to anyone who utters a single interpretation or word of the bible is simply this:

Who gave you authority to even interpret this verse or idea this way rather than the other?

Believe me, the orthodox, apostolic and catholic church is the only one who firmly can answer with, Christ gave us that authority 2000 years ago. It has been passed through until this day.

The issue is not old versus young, rather that the church lived out its authority in many different ways. It always used icons and can with its authority chose to stop using them.

The question is rather what authority one have to say that icons, veneration, apostolic succession, Confession only to priests, Processions, Fanatical repetition of prayer(Jesus prayer) and the entire list is wrong.


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« Reply #108 on: May 10, 2013, 07:20:38 PM »

Christ is risen!
The true original church 33 A.D - 133 A.D) (A full 100 YEARS) did not have:
1) Icons (prove it if you think so, show me! - I want to SEE IT)
1) The Bible (prove it if you think so, show me! - I want to SEE IT)
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« Reply #109 on: May 10, 2013, 07:37:36 PM »

Christ is risen!
How can an ambiguous group of individuals who have a general agreement that Christ was a good guy, some believing he was God but denying Trinitarian doctrine, some believing he was a god, others believing in traditional Trinitarian doctrine, be considered the Pillar of Truth?  ...

  "Protestantism" is no a monolithic entity, rather it is an historical movement spanning centuries, often at odds with itself.  Some forms of Protestantisms have given thought to ecclessiology and matters of authority and accountability to other Christians outside ones congregation.    Do not equivocate "Protestant" with "Baptist".

  If you think Orthodoxy is potentially immune from criticism of its ecclessiology, I have only one word for you: "Caesaropapism".
LOL.

That's rich coming from an Episcopalian.


Btw, Caesaropapism is an invention of Max Weber, and describes his Protestantism quite well, the Vatican and its apologists joining him.
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« Reply #110 on: May 10, 2013, 07:45:20 PM »

Christ is risen!
Theology and liturgy naturally develop and change in time. They always have.
I thought that this was more the Catholic view than the Orthodox view?
It's really the Orthodox view too, although Orthodox polemicists may speak as though it isn't.
Not quite.  Not our fault that your apologists can't distinguish between puberty and a sex change.
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« Reply #111 on: May 10, 2013, 07:46:57 PM »

Christ is risen!
I also am not quite sure why you think I argued that “not being Protestant” was a reason for joining the Orthodox Church.

Few people, if any, would ever actually say that. But one of the most prevalent undercurrents of Orthodox posts is pointing out similarities between protestantism and Catholicism (in a "suggestive" way).
now, now.  Your sibling rivalry is showing.

Not to mention your log: I've seen more apologists of the Vatican try to equate Orthodoxy with Protestantism than I can shake a stick at.
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« Reply #112 on: May 10, 2013, 09:46:13 PM »

There are good reasons to join the Orthodox church, "Not being Protestant" is not one of them.

Is wanting to not have a disease not a good reason to see a doctor?
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« Reply #113 on: May 10, 2013, 10:34:54 PM »

I am curious why so few posts actually addressed the OP.  If you are a person who left Orthodoxy for say, Catholicism, or know someone who did and they explained why, or spent a lot of time researching Orthodoxy and decided to not join, please share.  I would be very curious to know the reasons.  For those who few who already did, thank you!
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« Reply #114 on: May 11, 2013, 01:06:15 AM »

There are good reasons to join the Orthodox church, "Not being Protestant" is not one of them.

Is wanting to not have a disease not a good reason to see a doctor?

Sorry, William - false analogy, working off the assumption that the Orthodox Church IS the doctor, on which you and I agree, but not Daedalus
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« Reply #115 on: May 11, 2013, 01:16:46 AM »

Christ is risen!
There are good reasons to join the Orthodox church, "Not being Protestant" is not one of them.

Is wanting to not have a disease not a good reason to see a doctor?

Sorry, William - false analogy, working off the assumption that the Orthodox Church IS the doctor, on which you and I agree, but not Daedalus
Daedalus doesn't think anyone needs to see the doctor and take his medicine.
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« Reply #116 on: May 11, 2013, 01:24:29 AM »

Christ is risen!
There are good reasons to join the Orthodox church, "Not being Protestant" is not one of them.

Is wanting to not have a disease not a good reason to see a doctor?

Sorry, William - false analogy, working off the assumption that the Orthodox Church IS the doctor, on which you and I agree, but not Daedalus
Daedalus doesn't think anyone needs to see the doctor and take his medicine.

I don't really follow.  In any case, it is obvious that Daedalus meant that MERELY not being Protestant is not a good enough reason to be Orthodox, with which I agree, since one must be convinced that Orthodoxy is the truth, not only that another sect is not.
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« Reply #117 on: May 14, 2013, 10:52:17 PM »

I don't really follow.  In any case, it is obvious that Daedalus meant that MERELY not being Protestant is not a good enough reason to be Orthodox, with which I agree, since one must be convinced that Orthodoxy is the truth, not only that another sect is not.

  Right... I'm not persuaded by the polemics about apostolicity, icons, and lots of prayer and fasting as being things above what Protestantism presents.

  I am in a dialogue with Orthodox Christians in RL with the OCA and I'm still open to converting if I feel lead to do so.  But I'm not sold on the idea that the Byzantine tradition has a monopoly on the Gospel.  It may be where I need to be, then again maybe not.  It is a good thing to keep an open mind, though.
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« Reply #118 on: May 18, 2013, 09:13:10 PM »

I've seen more apologists of the Vatican try to equate Orthodoxy with Protestantism than I can shake a stick at.

Sadly, the Catholic Church has a lot of bad apologists.  Embarrassed  Cry

But I take comfort in the fact that she also has a lot of good apologists (many of whom are in positions of leadership IRL, like the papacy). Smiley
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« Reply #119 on: May 18, 2013, 09:15:39 PM »

I've seen more apologists of the Vatican try to equate Orthodoxy with Protestantism than I can shake a stick at.

Sadly, the Catholic Church has a lot of bad apologists.  Embarrassed  Cry

But I take comfort in the fact that she also has a lot of good apologists (many of whom are in positions of leadership IRL, like the papacy). Smiley

If it weren't for RC apologists showing me the defects with Protestantism, I probably wouldn't have discovered Orthodoxy, so I will always have a soft spot in my heart toward the RC for that.
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« Reply #120 on: May 20, 2013, 06:59:43 AM »

I've seen more apologists of the Vatican try to equate Orthodoxy with Protestantism than I can shake a stick at.

Sadly, the Catholic Church has a lot of bad apologists.  Embarrassed  Cry

But I take comfort in the fact that she also has a lot of good apologists (many of whom are in positions of leadership IRL, like the papacy). Smiley

If it weren't for RC apologists showing me the defects with Protestantism, I probably wouldn't have discovered Orthodoxy, so I will always have a soft spot in my heart toward the RC for that.

Smiley
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« Reply #121 on: May 20, 2013, 07:00:48 AM »

There are good reasons to join the Orthodox church, "Not being Protestant" is not one of them.

Is wanting to not have a disease not a good reason to see a doctor?

So "Not being Protestant" is a good reason to join the Orthodox Church?

:scratch chin:
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« Reply #122 on: May 20, 2013, 08:18:35 AM »

There are good reasons to join the Orthodox church, "Not being Protestant" is not one of them.

Is wanting to not have a disease not a good reason to see a doctor?

So "Not being Protestant" is a good reason to join the Orthodox Church?

:scratch chin:


lol,  If I just wanted to escape protestantism, I sure as heck would pick an easier faith than Orthodoxy.  Maybe Buddhism.  They always seemed kinda chill.  Or UU, that is the definition of an easy religion. Cheesy
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« Reply #123 on: May 20, 2013, 08:20:04 AM »

I've seen more apologists of the Vatican try to equate Orthodoxy with Protestantism than I can shake a stick at.

Sadly, the Catholic Church has a lot of bad apologists.  Embarrassed  Cry

But I take comfort in the fact that she also has a lot of good apologists (many of whom are in positions of leadership IRL, like the papacy). Smiley

If it weren't for RC apologists showing me the defects with Protestantism, I probably wouldn't have discovered Orthodoxy, so I will always have a soft spot in my heart toward the RC for that.

Same here.
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« Reply #124 on: May 20, 2013, 09:54:45 AM »

Hahaha. Well sure, Peter, but wouldn't Catholics say the same (the second saying, not the first one) about what they perceive as similarities between Catholicism and Orthodoxy? In my time in the RCC, it was very common to hear people present the two as two sides of the same coin, similar to how Catholicism and Protestantism are often presented in EO apologetics.
While there are genuine differences, traditional Catholicism and Orthodoxy have quite a bit in common. Catholics and Orthodox are much closer to one another than either are protestants. Comparing Catholics to protestants is nothing more than a polemical game.
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« Reply #125 on: June 26, 2013, 02:34:12 AM »

My 16-year trip through Orthodoxy. I respect but disagree with those who join for principled theological reasons; I wasn't there for good reasons. A refuge, not a real conversion; trying to camouflage my conservative Catholicism in Orthodox guise to look cool. Now I don't give a rip what secular folks think of it. I wish you well. It's not perfect here (Vatican II stunk) but my conscience is clear.
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« Reply #126 on: June 26, 2013, 02:42:33 AM »

There are good reasons to join the Orthodox church, "Not being Protestant" is not one of them.

Is wanting to not have a disease not a good reason to see a doctor?

So "Not being Protestant" is a good reason to join the Orthodox Church?

:scratch chin:

Yes. Triumphalism, exclusivism and strident polemical rhetoric are good things which we should embrace and not feebly mock.
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« Reply #127 on: July 04, 2013, 09:49:45 AM »

Triumphalism, exclusivism and strident polemical rhetoric are good things which we should embrace and not feebly mock.



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« Reply #128 on: July 05, 2013, 03:28:03 AM »

My 16-year trip through Orthodoxy. I respect but disagree with those who join for principled theological reasons; I wasn't there for good reasons. A refuge, not a real conversion; trying to camouflage my conservative Catholicism in Orthodox guise to look cool. Now I don't give a rip what secular folks think of it. I wish you well. It's not perfect here (Vatican II stunk) but my conscience is clear.
Here's a question for you. Did the Church before the schism in 1054 accept the universal jurisdiction of Rome? If so, how do you explain the fact that when Cerularius was excommunicated, all of the Eastern bishops and Patriarchs remained in communion with Cerularius? If they thought that Rome was supreme or had jurisdiction over the East, why wouldn't they have wanted to stay in communion with Rome instead?
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« Reply #129 on: July 05, 2013, 03:49:36 AM »

My 16-year trip through Orthodoxy. I respect but disagree with those who join for principled theological reasons; I wasn't there for good reasons. A refuge, not a real conversion; trying to camouflage my conservative Catholicism in Orthodox guise to look cool. Now I don't give a rip what secular folks think of it. I wish you well. It's not perfect here (Vatican II stunk) but my conscience is clear.
Here's a question for you. Did the Church before the schism in 1054 accept the universal jurisdiction of Rome? If so, how do you explain the fact that when Cerularius was excommunicated, all of the Eastern bishops and Patriarchs remained in communion with Cerularius? If they thought that Rome was supreme or had jurisdiction over the East, why wouldn't they have wanted to stay in communion with Rome instead?

Rome never had universal jurisdiction prior to the schism. Universal jurisdiction of one patriarchate over all the others contradicts the conciliar tradition of the Church held from the beginning. Christ appointed twelve apostles, not just one, and gave them all, not just one, the authority to bind and loose. First among equals does not mean supreme over all.
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« Reply #130 on: July 05, 2013, 07:15:34 AM »

Most readers know about Catholic development of doctrine and of course most here don't believe in it. That the papacy looked more or less the same as far back as 1054 bolsters the papal claims. The Catholic Church is so big that the Pope couldn't micromanage you even if he wanted to (certainly true for most of history, with poor communication and travel), so we're puzzled when non-Catholics complain about papal power. Usually, from other Westerners, it really means they want him to have more power, to change the church into what they want: divorce and remarriage, birth control, abortion, homosexual pseudo-marriage, and women clergy. His office can't change those things. (Development of doctrine can't.) They're not mad at him for universal jurisdiction but for being Catholic. With Orthodox ethnics it's not really about egalitarianism among the apostles but asserting their own now-outmoded claims to empire (Byzantium and tsarist Russia); they saw Rome as a rival and threat and still do. (The Orthodox communion is not so much a close family of apostolic equals as an aggregation of churches very little to do with each other.) The self-loathing easternizing American converts have simply brought over their anti-papalism from Protestantism. I like the East but I don't hate the West, and can't believe God would leave his true church basically landlocked in Eastern Europe. (Catholicism has fulfilled the Great Commission.) So I'm happy being Catholic.
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« Reply #131 on: July 05, 2013, 07:30:19 AM »

I like the East but I don't hate the West, and can't believe God would leave his true church basically landlocked in Eastern Europe. (Catholicism has fulfilled the Great Commission.)

A few weeks ago I was, among other places, in Macedonia. Not very surprisingly, there was no Roman Catholic parish around. Why is it so hard to believe that the true Church was landlocked in the east for centuries while the Roman Catholic Church still is mostly limited to the west?

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« Reply #132 on: July 05, 2013, 07:37:04 AM »

With Orthodox ethnics it's not really about egalitarianism among the apostles but asserting their own now-outmoded claims to empire (Byzantium and tsarist Russia); they saw Rome as a rival and threat and still do.

Nonsense. While there are phyletists in the Orthodox world, this sweeping generalization is wildly inaccurate. I've been Orthodox for 50 years, across several ethnicities and jurisdictions, and talk of resurrecting the glories of Byzantium or imperial Russia has been practically non-existent. After more than 40 years, the Greeks continue to refuse restoring a monarchy in Greece itself, so you think they're remotely interested in a Byzantine renaissance?

(The Orthodox communion is not so much a close family of apostolic equals as an aggregation of churches very little to do with each other.)

More nonsense. The glue which most visibly binds the Orthodox churches together, and expresses apostolic conciliarity is their liturgical and iconographic integrity and commonality. Lex orandi, lex credendi.
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« Reply #133 on: July 05, 2013, 07:39:17 AM »

More nonsense. The glue which most visibly binds the Orthodox churches together, and expresses apostolic conciliarity is their liturgical and iconographic integrity and commonality. Lex orandi, lex credendi.

Western rite?
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« Reply #134 on: July 05, 2013, 07:41:37 AM »

I like the East but I don't hate the West, and can't believe God would leave his true church basically landlocked in Eastern Europe. (Catholicism has fulfilled the Great Commission.)

A few weeks ago I was, among other places, in Macedonia. Not very surprisingly, there was no Roman Catholic parish around. Why is it so hard to believe that the true Church was landlocked in the east for centuries while the Roman Catholic Church still is mostly limited to the west?

You know my answer: we claim you as an estranged part of us, which upsets you like when an Anglican claims us as a branch of his church.

Macedonia, for example, being the universe for a Macedonian is traditional and understandable, but with Western converts it's an affectation; they know better.
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« Reply #135 on: July 05, 2013, 07:44:09 AM »

More nonsense. The glue which most visibly binds the Orthodox churches together, and expresses apostolic conciliarity is their liturgical and iconographic integrity and commonality. Lex orandi, lex credendi.

Western rite?

WR is a very recent experiment, and a very small-scale one at that, though I'd expect its liturgical content conforms with established Orthodox teaching.
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« Reply #136 on: July 05, 2013, 08:58:24 AM »

WR is a very recent experiment, and a very small-scale one at that, though I'd expect its liturgical content conforms with established Orthodox teaching.

There's the rub.

Just consider the differences between Eastern Catholics and Western[-Rite] Orthodox ... I'm not suggesting that there should be no differences; but consider how, any time Rome makes an unpopular decision regarding Eastern Catholics, Orthodox will point to it and say "See! That's how they would treat us if we were in communion!" and then try to imagine Catholics pointing to WRO and saying "See! That's how they would treat us if we were in communion!"

I know, I know, Trip Larson says no one ever solved anything with a run-on sentence. (cf Luann Platter)
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« Reply #137 on: July 05, 2013, 10:02:14 AM »

WR is a very recent experiment, and a very small-scale one at that, though I'd expect its liturgical content conforms with established Orthodox teaching.

There's the rub.

Just consider the differences between Eastern Catholics and Western[-Rite] Orthodox ... I'm not suggesting that there should be no differences; but consider how, any time Rome makes an unpopular decision regarding Eastern Catholics, Orthodox will point to it and say "See! That's how they would treat us if we were in communion!" and then try to imagine Catholics pointing to WRO and saying "See! That's how they would treat us if we were in communion!"

I know, I know, Trip Larson says no one ever solved anything with a run-on sentence. (cf Luann Platter)

1. The history of the Eastern Catholics goes back over 500 years. The treatment of them by Rome is a matter of historical record.

2. WRO is not, and never has been, "Orthodox in communion with Rome". Therefore your comparison of them with the Eastern Catholics is a false one.
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« Reply #138 on: July 05, 2013, 11:09:20 AM »

WR is a very recent experiment, and a very small-scale one at that, though I'd expect its liturgical content conforms with established Orthodox teaching.

There's the rub.

Just consider the differences between Eastern Catholics and Western[-Rite] Orthodox ... I'm not suggesting that there should be no differences; but consider how, any time Rome makes an unpopular decision regarding Eastern Catholics, Orthodox will point to it and say "See! That's how they would treat us if we were in communion!" and then try to imagine Catholics pointing to WRO and saying "See! That's how they would treat us if we were in communion!"

I know, I know, Trip Larson says no one ever solved anything with a run-on sentence. (cf Luann Platter)

1. The history of the Eastern Catholics goes back over 500 years. The treatment of them by Rome is a matter of historical record.

I'm well aware. As an EC I've spent a considerable amount of time complaining about it.

2. WRO is not, and never has been, "Orthodox in communion with Rome". Therefore your comparison of them with the Eastern Catholics is a false one.

Yes, I understand the differences. (I made a point of saying "I'm not suggesting that there should be no differences [between WRO and EC].") I'm talking about Orthodox who leverage their complaints against Rome by pointing to Eastern Catholicism and saying "See! That's how they would treat us if we were in communion!" and the like.
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« Reply #139 on: July 05, 2013, 11:33:20 AM »

2. WRO is not, and never has been, "Orthodox in communion with Rome". Therefore your comparison of them with the Eastern Catholics is a false one.

Actually, I think it's an excellent comparison. Cool

I have seen, many times on this very Forum, RC devotions made fun of (i.e. the Sacred Heart "you pray to a Body Part? ha ha  Roll Eyes stupid Catholics!") only to have some brave soul point out that the WRO also use that particular devotion. To which the inevitable response is, "Well, they don't count, they're only an experiment!" or "Oh yeah? What's their bishop's name? I'm writing a sternly worded letter!  police "

So whenever I see that "RC treats the ECs so so badly, evil evil!" mantra beginning, I just say, "Father Pot, meet Pa[triarch] Kettle".

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« Reply #140 on: July 05, 2013, 04:01:49 PM »

Quote
Quote from: The young fogey on Today at 07:15:34 AM
(The Orthodox communion is not so much a close family of apostolic equals as an aggregation of churches very little to do with each other.)

Even when I was in communion with Rome I found such claims insulting. As it does apply equally well to those Eastern Churches that are in communion with Rome. I remember the RC parish priest in Front Royal, Virginia saying such things as a reason to consider the Orthodox Church as a joke and quite unserious in legitimacy.

I could say that the Roman Catholic Church is an artificially centralized cult designed to convert Orthodox christians into pseudo protestants who no longer believe in the "real presence" of Our Lord in the Eucharist, no longer believe in the Divine right of Christ the King over secular rulers, denies the necessity of converting all peoples to Christ and eliminates their individual cultures to replace them with a universal franco-english individuality to encourage obedience.

But wouldn't that be an exaggeration too??


Let us be a bit kinder toward each other perhaps?

Nothing much is gained by overly polemical anti-western and anti-eastern bias.

For every weakness and sin pointed out there is a virtue and and strength I believe, in both RC and Orthodox Churches.

Because we believe one to be true, does not allow us to deny the other as having profound merit, or is my moderate position impossible to be condoned? Am I infected with the heresy of false ecumenism?
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« Reply #141 on: July 05, 2013, 10:00:28 PM »

Most readers know about Catholic development of doctrine and of course most here don't believe in it. That the papacy looked more or less the same as far back as 1054 bolsters the papal claims. The Catholic Church is so big that the Pope couldn't micromanage you even if he wanted to (certainly true for most of history, with poor communication and travel), so we're puzzled when non-Catholics complain about papal power. Usually, from other Westerners, it really means they want him to have more power, to change the church into what they want: divorce and remarriage, birth control, abortion, homosexual pseudo-marriage, and women clergy. His office can't change those things. (Development of doctrine can't.) They're not mad at him for universal jurisdiction but for being Catholic. With Orthodox ethnics it's not really about egalitarianism among the apostles but asserting their own now-outmoded claims to empire (Byzantium and tsarist Russia); they saw Rome as a rival and threat and still do. (The Orthodox communion is not so much a close family of apostolic equals as an aggregation of churches very little to do with each other.) The self-loathing easternizing American converts have simply brought over their anti-papalism from Protestantism. I like the East but I don't hate the West, and can't believe God would leave his true church basically landlocked in Eastern Europe. (Catholicism has fulfilled the Great Commission.) So I'm happy being Catholic.
The question I had was whether  in 1054 the Eastern part of the Catholic Church believed that the Roman Pope had supreme jurisdiction over them? I don't see it because all of the Eastern bishops remained with Cerularius and not Rome. As you know, Vatican I says that: The Roman Pontiff "does not only have the office of inspection and direction," but enjoys "full and supreme power of jurisdiction, not only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and governance of the Church dispersed throughout the world".
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« Reply #142 on: July 05, 2013, 10:03:57 PM »

Most readers know about Catholic development of doctrine and of course most here don't believe in it. That the papacy looked more or less the same as far back as 1054 bolsters the papal claims. The Catholic Church is so big that the Pope couldn't micromanage you even if he wanted to (certainly true for most of history, with poor communication and travel), so we're puzzled when non-Catholics complain about papal power. Usually, from other Westerners, it really means they want him to have more power, to change the church into what they want: divorce and remarriage, birth control, abortion, homosexual pseudo-marriage, and women clergy. His office can't change those things. (Development of doctrine can't.) They're not mad at him for universal jurisdiction but for being Catholic. With Orthodox ethnics it's not really about egalitarianism among the apostles but asserting their own now-outmoded claims to empire (Byzantium and tsarist Russia); they saw Rome as a rival and threat and still do. (The Orthodox communion is not so much a close family of apostolic equals as an aggregation of churches very little to do with each other.) The self-loathing easternizing American converts have simply brought over their anti-papalism from Protestantism. I like the East but I don't hate the West, and can't believe God would leave his true church basically landlocked in Eastern Europe. (Catholicism has fulfilled the Great Commission.) So I'm happy being Catholic.
The question I had was whether  in 1054 the Eastern part of the Catholic Church believed that the Roman Pope had supreme jurisdiction over them? I don't see it because all of the Eastern bishops remained with Cerularius and not Rome. As you know, Vatican I says that: The Roman Pontiff "does not only have the office of inspection and direction," but enjoys "full and supreme power of jurisdiction, not only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and governance of the Church dispersed throughout the world".

Stanley, Rome never had supreme authority over the other patriarchates before the schism. I thought I made that clear in my earlier post.
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« Reply #143 on: July 06, 2013, 01:04:29 AM »

Quote
The question I had was whether  in 1054 the Eastern part of the Catholic Church believed that the Roman Pope had supreme jurisdiction over them? I don't see it because all of the Eastern bishops remained with Cerularius and not Rome. As you know, Vatican I says that: The Roman Pontiff "does not only have the office of inspection and direction," but enjoys "full and supreme power of jurisdiction, not only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and governance of the Church dispersed throughout the world". - stanley123

In 1198, the Catholicos of Sis, Grigor VI Apirat, proclaimed a union between the Armenian Church and the Roman Catholic Church; however, this had no notable effect, as the local clergy and populace was strongly opposed to such a union. The Western Church sent numerous missions to Cilician Armenia to help with rapprochement, but had limited results. The Franciscans were put in charge of this activity. John of Monte Corvino himself arrived in Cilician Armenia in 1288.

Het'um II became a Franciscan monk after his abdication. The Armenian historian Nerses Balients was a Franciscan and an advocate of union with the Latin Church. The papal claim of primacy did not contribute positively to the efforts for unity between the Churches. Mkhitar Skewratsi, the Armenian delegate at the council in Acre in 1261, summed the Armenian frustration in these words:

    Whence does the Church of Rome derive the power to pass judgment on the other Apostolic sees while she herself is not subject to their judgments? We ourselves [the Armenians] have indeed the authority to bring you [the Catholic Church] to trial, following the example of the Apostles, and you have no right to deny our competency.[
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« Reply #144 on: July 06, 2013, 01:35:48 AM »

The self-loathing easternizing American converts have simply brought over their anti-papalism from Protestantism.
I haven't met any American converts to Orthodoxy who hate themselves.

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« Reply #145 on: July 06, 2013, 08:40:23 AM »

2. WRO is not, and never has been, "Orthodox in communion with Rome". Therefore your comparison of them with the Eastern Catholics is a false one.

Actually, I think it's an excellent comparison. Cool

I have seen, many times on this very Forum, RC devotions made fun of (i.e. the Sacred Heart "you pray to a Body Part? ha ha  Roll Eyes stupid Catholics!") only to have some brave soul point out that the WRO also use that particular devotion. To which the inevitable response is, "Well, they don't count, they're only an experiment!" or "Oh yeah? What's their bishop's name? I'm writing a sternly worded letter!  police "

So whenever I see that "RC treats the ECs so so badly, evil evil!" mantra beginning, I just say, "Father Pot, meet Pa[triarch] Kettle".



Thanks and .

And I'd like to add, I think one of the biggest problems is the one-size-fits-all approach to ECism (or at least GCism). As represented, for example, by blanket generalizations I've heard a million times like "When Catholics and Orthodox reunite, some of the Greek Catholics will join the corresponding Orthodox church."
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« Reply #146 on: July 06, 2013, 10:58:44 AM »

2. WRO is not, and never has been, "Orthodox in communion with Rome". Therefore your comparison of them with the Eastern Catholics is a false one.

Actually, I think it's an excellent comparison. Cool

I have seen, many times on this very Forum, RC devotions made fun of (i.e. the Sacred Heart "you pray to a Body Part? ha ha  Roll Eyes stupid Catholics!") only to have some brave soul point out that the WRO also use that particular devotion. To which the inevitable response is, "Well, they don't count, they're only an experiment!" or "Oh yeah? What's their bishop's name? I'm writing a sternly worded letter!  police "

So whenever I see that "RC treats the ECs so so badly, evil evil!" mantra beginning, I just say, "Father Pot, meet Pa[triarch] Kettle".



Please stop making sense. It's not allowed around here.
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« Reply #147 on: July 06, 2013, 11:44:11 AM »

2. WRO is not, and never has been, "Orthodox in communion with Rome". Therefore your comparison of them with the Eastern Catholics is a false one.

Actually, I think it's an excellent comparison. Cool

I have seen, many times on this very Forum, RC devotions made fun of (i.e. the Sacred Heart "you pray to a Body Part? ha ha  Roll Eyes stupid Catholics!") only to have some brave soul point out that the WRO also use that particular devotion. To which the inevitable response is, "Well, they don't count, they're only an experiment!" or "Oh yeah? What's their bishop's name? I'm writing a sternly worded letter!  police "

So whenever I see that "RC treats the ECs so so badly, evil evil!" mantra beginning, I just say, "Father Pot, meet Pa[triarch] Kettle".



It isn't quite the same. I would argue that the WR is often poorly executed. It should, instead of being sort of a middle road, rather be a step for Roman Catholics to go back to pre-schism Roman practice and belief. This would exclude the Sacred Heart, Immaculate Conception, Assumption, Original Sin etc...

Plus, keep in mind that much of the WRO falls under Antioch, whose own Metropolitan isn't all that "orthodox" in his practices or behavior (and its under him most WRO entered).
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« Reply #148 on: July 06, 2013, 12:00:45 PM »

It isn't quite the same.

No, Greek Catholics, for the most part, aren't much like WRO-in-reverse.

However, it is rather amazing that those few Greek Catholics who are like WRO-in-reverse are the Greek Catholics who are criticized the most harshly. (Lest anyone think that I've have easy answers to provide, let me confess that I've done some of that criticizing myself.)
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« Reply #149 on: July 06, 2013, 03:22:23 PM »

It isn't quite the same. I would argue that the WR is often poorly executed. It should, instead of being sort of a middle road, rather be a step for Roman Catholics to go back to pre-schism Roman practice and belief. This would exclude the Sacred Heart, Immaculate Conception, Assumption, Original Sin etc...

Plus, keep in mind that much of the WRO falls under Antioch, whose own Metropolitan isn't all that "orthodox" in his practices or behavior (and its under him most WRO entered).

So even though the Western Orthodox Rite is Orthodox, it's not "really" Orthodox because the branch of Orthodoxy it's in isn't completely Orthodox.

Got it.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #150 on: July 06, 2013, 03:49:41 PM »

It isn't quite the same. I would argue that the WR is often poorly executed. It should, instead of being sort of a middle road, rather be a step for Roman Catholics to go back to pre-schism Roman practice and belief. This would exclude the Sacred Heart, Immaculate Conception, Assumption, Original Sin etc...

Plus, keep in mind that much of the WRO falls under Antioch, whose own Metropolitan isn't all that "orthodox" in his practices or behavior (and its under him most WRO entered).

So even though the Western Orthodox Rite is Orthodox, it's not "really" Orthodox because the branch of Orthodoxy it's in isn't completely Orthodox.


It's Devin.
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« Reply #151 on: July 06, 2013, 04:23:59 PM »

It's Devin.

Was theme music supposed to play? (I think my speakers my be acting up.)
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« Reply #152 on: July 06, 2013, 04:55:05 PM »

Plus, keep in mind that much of the WRO falls under Antioch, whose own Metropolitan isn't all that "orthodox" in his practices or behavior (and its under him most WRO entered).

Hmm...
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« Reply #153 on: July 06, 2013, 07:17:35 PM »

Plus, keep in mind that much of the WRO falls under Antioch, whose own Metropolitan isn't all that "orthodox" in his practices or behavior (and its under him most WRO entered).

Hmm...
I thought ROCOR has most of the WR?
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« Reply #154 on: July 06, 2013, 09:30:43 PM »

It isn't quite the same. I would argue that the WR is often poorly executed. It should, instead of being sort of a middle road, rather be a step for Roman Catholics to go back to pre-schism Roman practice and belief. This would exclude the Sacred Heart, Immaculate Conception, Assumption, Original Sin etc...

Plus, keep in mind that much of the WRO falls under Antioch, whose own Metropolitan isn't all that "orthodox" in his practices or behavior (and its under him most WRO entered).

So even though the Western Orthodox Rite is Orthodox, it's not "really" Orthodox because the branch of Orthodoxy it's in isn't completely Orthodox.

Got it.  Roll Eyes
Also, keep in mind that the Antioch metropolitan is not all that "orthodox"?
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« Reply #155 on: July 06, 2013, 09:36:52 PM »

Plus, keep in mind that much of the WRO falls under Antioch, whose own Metropolitan isn't all that "orthodox" in his practices or behavior (and its under him most WRO entered).

Hmm...
I thought ROCOR has most of the WR?

There are approximately 26 ROCORWRV parishes in the USA according to this.
There are approximately 27 AWRV parishes in the USA according to this.

Both websites might be slightly out of date, but it seems they're relatively equal parish-wise although that's not a comment on the actual sizes of said parishes. Maybe someone else knows more about the statistics.
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« Reply #156 on: July 06, 2013, 11:45:12 PM »

It isn't quite the same. I would argue that the WR is often poorly executed. It should, instead of being sort of a middle road, rather be a step for Roman Catholics to go back to pre-schism Roman practice and belief. This would exclude the Sacred Heart, Immaculate Conception, Assumption, Original Sin etc...

Plus, keep in mind that much of the WRO falls under Antioch, whose own Metropolitan isn't all that "orthodox" in his practices or behavior (and its under him most WRO entered).

So even though the Western Orthodox Rite is Orthodox, it's not "really" Orthodox because the branch of Orthodoxy it's in isn't completely Orthodox.

Got it.  Roll Eyes

It is Orthodox, but it because the congregations and sacred art typically hasnt matured to a point comparable to either the Byzantine rite or the traditional Latin rite RC type churches of the SSPX or FSSP (not to say all their sacred art is fully ideal, but musically, usually they are), it can give the impression of to being in a more limited primitive state.

Yes, I will agree with this particular comment, that it is often not executed as well as is ideal, but over time, as it grows larger, I believe it will be. Certain parishes are more ideal than others. For instance one can't walk into most western rite Orthodox churches and hear the original elaborate gregorian chant proper melodies from the 12th century being sung very often, whereas more of the latin masses within the RC do achieve that result with greater frequency. Often that is because it has fewer members in what are most often between a few months to few years old "missions". Amongst fewer people, there are fewer abilities or fewer people confident enough to learn the ancient melodies.

However, I sometimes wonder if I am the only one here who actually studies the historic lectionaries, graduals , latin rite liturgy and theological books from the 8th to 15th century.

The Assumption and Original Sin are clearly present and deeply entrenched part of the Latin Tradition from long before 1100.
They are also present in the byzantine tradition.

Catholic theologian Ludwig Ott stated,
Quote
"The idea of the bodily assumption of Mary is first expressed in certain transitus-narratives of the fifth and sixth centuries....The first Church author to speak of the bodily assumption of Mary, in association with an apocryphal transitus B.M.V., is St. Gregory of Tours."

The Sacred Heart originates as an outgrowth of the Five Holy Wounds.
Quote
"When consecrating an altar a number of Christian churches anoint it in five places, indicative of the Five Holy Wounds. Eastern Orthodox churches will sometimes have five domes on them, symbolizing the Five Holy Wounds, along with the alternate symbolism of Christ and the Four Evangelists."

Quote
"The revival of religious life and the zealous activity of St. Bernard and St. Francis in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, together with the enthusiasm of the Crusaders returning from the Holy Land, gave a rise to devotion to the Passion of Jesus Christ and particularly to practices in honour of the Sacred Wounds."

I've never understood the harm in devotion to the sacred heart which seems to show the God's philanthropic love toward mankind.
One can argue that the Latins in the later middle ages had more focus on the suffering humanity of Christ that was necessary, but that seems to be easy to resolve and balance today. Abandonment of the "Sacred Heart" is not necessary.

It is true that the it was not on any calendar until the 17th century.
Personally I am not deeply concerned whether it is officially on the calendar or in the propers or office books we use, but I would definitely be amazed if anything was theologically wrong with it.

The only harm I see is in the particular image chosen at a very late date to represent it.
That is easily solved by adopting earlier images for it, such as perhaps the "man of sorrows" or perhaps a crucifixion.

(post-schism RC) Saint Bonaventura of Bagnoregio (1221 circa – Lione, 15 luglio 1274)
in his treatise "On the Tree of Life" says:

Quote
"So that the Church might be formed from Christ as he slept, it was allowed by divine dispensation that one of the soldiers should pierce that sacred side with a spear, and that, in the tide of blood and water, the price of our salvation should be poured forth. This tide, flowing from the secret fountain of the Heart, was to provide the power for the Church's Sacraments for the conferring of the life of grace; and to all who would live in Christ that draught was to be a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

   Arise, therefore, O soul that lovest Christ, and be ye like to a nesting bird: be ye like to the sparrow who has found her an house, and watch without ceasing: be ye like to the swallow, and lay here the young of thy chaste love: place here thy mouth, that thou mayest draw water from the wells of the Saviour. For this is the river that went out of Eden and was parted into four heads, for streaming out of that Sacred Heart, it irrigates the whole world and makes it fertile."

It is probable that the mysticism of the Sacred Heart of Our Lord confuses those who are newly disposed to the concept. (Unless I am the one confused?). It appears to have enough roots and continuity with pre-1054 mysticism, so that I do not know why it would be in error.
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« Reply #157 on: July 07, 2013, 03:21:32 AM »

Stanley, Rome never had supreme authority over the other patriarchates before the schism. I thought I made that clear in my earlier post.
How then does one explain the Slavonic Nomocanon which comments on a letter  written to Empress Pulcheria?
As you know, Pope Leo wrote in his letter to Pulcheria: "As for agreements of bishops opposed to the rules of the holy canons established at Nicea... by the authority of Blessed Peter we declare them utterly null and void by an all-embracing definition." [Ep. 105. PL 54: 1000]
And according to the text of  the Slavonic Nomocanon: ".. It is not true, as this canon says, that the holy Fathers gave the primacy to Old Rome because it was capital of the Empire; it is rather from on high, from divine grace, that this primacy originated... Peter, highest of the apostles, heard these words from our Lord Jesus Christ himself: "Peter, lovest thou me? Feed my sheep." That is why Rome holds the pre-eminent place and first See among hierarchs. This is why the privileges of Old Rome are eternally immovable. Because her bishop presides over all the churches, he is not bound to go to all the holy ecumenical councils; but without his participation, manifested by sending legates, no ecumenical council exists, for it is he who presides in the council. If anybody wishes to deny the truth of what we say, let him refer to... Leo’s letters to Marcian and to Pulcheria of blessed memory, and also what he wrote to the above-mentioned bishop of Constantinople [Anatolius], and he will be convinced that this really is the case." [Vizantiiskii Vremennik 4 (1897), 150-2. Tr. DTC 13: 364]
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« Reply #158 on: July 07, 2013, 07:19:03 AM »

Stanley, Rome never had supreme authority over the other patriarchates before the schism. I thought I made that clear in my earlier post.
How then does one explain the Slavonic Nomocanon which comments on a letter  written to Empress Pulcheria?
As you know, Pope Leo wrote in his letter to Pulcheria: "As for agreements of bishops opposed to the rules of the holy canons established at Nicea... by the authority of Blessed Peter we declare them utterly null and void by an all-embracing definition." [Ep. 105. PL 54: 1000]
And according to the text of  the Slavonic Nomocanon: ".. It is not true, as this canon says, that the holy Fathers gave the primacy to Old Rome because it was capital of the Empire; it is rather from on high, from divine grace, that this primacy originated... Peter, highest of the apostles, heard these words from our Lord Jesus Christ himself: "Peter, lovest thou me? Feed my sheep." That is why Rome holds the pre-eminent place and first See among hierarchs. This is why the privileges of Old Rome are eternally immovable. Because her bishop presides over all the churches, he is not bound to go to all the holy ecumenical councils; but without his participation, manifested by sending legates, no ecumenical council exists, for it is he who presides in the council. If anybody wishes to deny the truth of what we say, let him refer to... Leo’s letters to Marcian and to Pulcheria of blessed memory, and also what he wrote to the above-mentioned bishop of Constantinople [Anatolius], and he will be convinced that this really is the case." [Vizantiiskii Vremennik 4 (1897), 150-2. Tr. DTC 13: 364]


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« Reply #159 on: July 07, 2013, 07:25:56 AM »

The self-loathing easternizing American converts have simply brought over their anti-papalism from Protestantism.
I haven't met any American converts to Orthodoxy who hate themselves.

Anti-Western Westerners.

My impression is most of the few WRO are in the Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate. Non-Catholic but not at all anti-Catholic. Either sincere old-school Old Catholic (St Augustine's, Denver, a former vagante parish) or '50s high Episcopal, both very much like my pre-conciliar Catholicism. They draw on Catholicism's living tradition, minus the Catholic claims about the papacy, rather than archaeolology/rewriting history. Some byzantinization. They're understandably suspect in Orthodoxy's anti-Western atmosphere (understandably defensive being a smaller church alongside the Catholic Church in America); the Greeks, America's biggest Orthodox church, want nothing to do with them, and the biggest Slavic Orthodox church in America, the OCA, has no Western Rite parishes.

ROCOR is so anti-Western*, its Western Rite so artificial and byzantinized, I don't know why they bother. I understand the purism, reflected by some on this board (nothing post-schism Catholic). ROCOR's Western Rite is 'anything but Rome': 1) recently written, cobbled-together services using material from classical Anglicanism, and/or 2) archaeology/rewriting history/trying to revive dead rites (their heavily byzantinized Gallican liturgies and their version of the Roman Rite, pruned of post-schism Catholic content and, on top of that, byzantinized).

In both cases, while I like the first group, the AWRV, I'm not interested in joining an imitation of Catholicism or a would-be competitor to it.

*Or rather, anti-Catholic, since the 19th-century Russian culture they identify with is very westernized in a way unhip in modern Western culture, including Orthodox anti-Westernism: the choral music, the westernized icons and architecture, and the scholastic theology. In a lot of ways a would-be Catholic Church, a rival.
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« Reply #160 on: July 07, 2013, 07:37:20 AM »

1) recently written, cobbled-together services using material from classical Anglicanism, and/or 2) archaeology/rewriting history/trying to revive dead rites (their heavily byzantinized Gallican liturgies and their version of the Roman Rite, pruned of post-schism Catholic content and, on top of that, byzantinized).

Spot on.
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« Reply #161 on: July 07, 2013, 07:45:13 AM »

The self-loathing easternizing American converts have simply brought over their anti-papalism from Protestantism.
I haven't met any American converts to Orthodoxy who hate themselves.

Anti-Western Westerners.

My impression is most of the few WRO are in the Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate. Non-Catholic but not at all anti-Catholic. Either sincere old-school Old Catholic (St Augustine's, Denver, a former vagante parish) or '50s high Episcopal, both very much like my pre-conciliar Catholicism. They draw on Catholicism's living tradition, minus the Catholic claims about the papacy, rather than archaeolology/rewriting history. Some byzantinization. They're understandably suspect in Orthodoxy's anti-Western atmosphere (understandably defensive being a smaller church alongside the Catholic Church in America); the Greeks, America's biggest Orthodox church, want nothing to do with them, and the biggest Slavic Orthodox church in America, the OCA, has no Western Rite parishes.

ROCOR is so anti-Western*, its Western Rite so artificial and byzantinized, I don't know why they bother. I understand the purism, reflected by some on this board (nothing post-schism Catholic). ROCOR's Western Rite is 'anything but Rome': 1) recently written, cobbled-together services using material from classical Anglicanism, and/or 2) archaeology/rewriting history/trying to revive dead rites (their heavily byzantinized Gallican liturgies and their version of the Roman Rite, pruned of post-schism Catholic content and, on top of that, byzantinized).

In both cases, while I like the first group, the AWRV, I'm not interested in joining an imitation of Catholicism or a would-be competitor to it.

*Or rather, anti-Catholic, since the 19th-century Russian culture they identify with is very westernized in a way unhip in modern Western culture, including Orthodox anti-Westernism: the choral music, the westernized icons and architecture, and the scholastic theology. In a lot of ways a would-be Catholic Church, a rival.

Since you're talking about "anti-western", I'd like to ask your opinion on the term "easternist". Specifically, do you see that as just another way of saying "anti-western" (tomato, tomato) or is there a slight difference?
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« Reply #162 on: July 07, 2013, 07:50:51 AM »

From me at byzcath.org:

There are vostochnyky (easternists) and there are vostochnyky. From what I remember of Fr Serge including in person, from my point of view he was one of the good guys. Restoring the Orthodox heritage of Greek Catholicism was part of his life's calling. Easternizing doesn't necessarily mean being self-hating (most vostochny Greek Catholics are born Westerners), anti-Western, or un-Catholic. It seems to me he was Catholic. He was what Rome always wanted Greek Catholics to be.

Then there are the anti-Western and anti-Catholic including self-hating converts, even a few in the Catholic Church, who think the traditional Latin Mass is for idiots; liberal snobs in Orthodox drag.
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« Reply #163 on: July 07, 2013, 07:52:49 AM »

Fr Serge was a born Roman Catholic turned Russian Orthodox priest turned longtime Greek Catholic priest who died recently.
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« Reply #164 on: July 07, 2013, 08:10:48 AM »

I like the East but I don't hate the West, and can't believe God would leave his true church basically landlocked in Eastern Europe. (Catholicism has fulfilled the Great Commission.)

A few weeks ago I was, among other places, in Macedonia. Not very surprisingly, there was no Roman Catholic parish around. Why is it so hard to believe that the true Church was landlocked in the east for centuries while the Roman Catholic Church still is mostly limited to the west?

You know my answer: we claim you as an estranged part of us, which upsets you like when an Anglican claims us as a branch of his church.


So you agree with the branch theory?
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« Reply #165 on: July 07, 2013, 09:17:33 AM »

Not as the Anglicans believe. There's only one church but you're an estranged part of it.
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« Reply #166 on: July 07, 2013, 09:28:00 AM »

What's the difference between your branch theory and that of the Tractarians?
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« Reply #167 on: July 07, 2013, 12:00:56 PM »

What's the difference between your branch theory and that of the Tractarians?

Mine/Catholicism's is not really a branch theory.

The Tractarians believed that everybody claiming apostolic succession is equally part of a divided true church ('Rome's good but in error'; we're a little better, being Englishmen and all that). They didn't think they were an estranged part of Catholicism but rather that the true church was equally divided. Which of course neither Catholicism nor Orthodoxy believes, because logically it would mean there's no church.

We believe Catholicism's the church but that the other pre-'Reformation' churches – you guys – have apostolic succession and thus real sacraments too, and are not personally guilty of schism. So you're not a separate church to us but an estranged part of us. So we sort of have our cake and eat it too: we include you but maintain an undivided true-church claim.

Protestants are different. They're Christians too but they're not churches. No bishop = no Mass = no church.
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« Reply #168 on: July 07, 2013, 05:34:53 PM »

The self-loathing easternizing American converts have simply brought over their anti-papalism from Protestantism.
I haven't met any American converts to Orthodoxy who hate themselves.
Anti-Western Westerners. ...Or rather, anti-Catholic
I'm not sure how you are defining "ANTI-RC," "self-loathing," or even "anti-Western."

These labels fairly characterize all American converts to Orthodoxy in your view?

Is anyone who simply "isn't" RC, in your view, "an ANTI-Roman Catholic", or are there other specific characteristics one must have to merit such an appellation? If so what exactly are those?

Your descriptions of "American converts" seem to me pretty broad brush, perhaps even dipped in the juice of sour grapes, than an accurate portrayal of any American convert to Orthodoxy I have personally met.


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« Reply #169 on: July 07, 2013, 05:41:08 PM »

Most American converts join because of marriage and have no axe to grind.
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« Reply #170 on: July 07, 2013, 05:46:19 PM »

We have had hundreds of American converts to Orthodoxy locally fairly recently; very few because of marriage.

There are many parishes almost entirely composed of converts in America. How is this reducible to "most everyone joins because of marriage?"

Our family, for example, just sponsored a couple who were former Wiccans. I have not heard an "anti-RC" peep out of either of them.

Please provide documentation and please answer the questions of my previous post.
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« Reply #171 on: July 07, 2013, 06:03:33 PM »

Of all the other converts I've met IRL, I must say I've only met one that I'd begin to characterize as "anti-Catholic."
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« Reply #172 on: July 07, 2013, 09:37:26 PM »

Stanley, Rome never had supreme authority over the other patriarchates before the schism. I thought I made that clear in my earlier post.
How then does one explain the Slavonic Nomocanon which comments on a letter  written to Empress Pulcheria?
As you know, Pope Leo wrote in his letter to Pulcheria: "As for agreements of bishops opposed to the rules of the holy canons established at Nicea... by the authority of Blessed Peter we declare them utterly null and void by an all-embracing definition." [Ep. 105. PL 54: 1000]
And according to the text of  the Slavonic Nomocanon: ".. It is not true, as this canon says, that the holy Fathers gave the primacy to Old Rome because it was capital of the Empire; it is rather from on high, from divine grace, that this primacy originated... Peter, highest of the apostles, heard these words from our Lord Jesus Christ himself: "Peter, lovest thou me? Feed my sheep." That is why Rome holds the pre-eminent place and first See among hierarchs. This is why the privileges of Old Rome are eternally immovable. Because her bishop presides over all the churches, he is not bound to go to all the holy ecumenical councils; but without his participation, manifested by sending legates, no ecumenical council exists, for it is he who presides in the council. If anybody wishes to deny the truth of what we say, let him refer to... Leo’s letters to Marcian and to Pulcheria of blessed memory, and also what he wrote to the above-mentioned bishop of Constantinople [Anatolius], and he will be convinced that this really is the case." [Vizantiiskii Vremennik 4 (1897), 150-2. Tr. DTC 13: 364]


Stanley, you impress me. That is an excellent quote, I agree that it represents the authentic teaching and faith of the Orthodox Church.
Rome's supreme authority of that time, is not however identical to what it is now, your quote is in fact a referring to a more limited form of power than he currently appears to have according to the RC - as far as I know.

The quote from the nomocanon seems to not be harmonious with the 1870's dogma that the pope has universal, immediate, ordinary jurisdiction over the entire Church; so decreed Vatican I, in Chapter 3 of Pastor aeternus:

Quote
    2. Wherefore we teach and declare that, by divine ordinance, the Roman Church possesses a pre-eminence of ordinary power over every other Church, and that this jurisdictional power of the Roman Pontiff is both episcopal and immediate. Both clergy and faithful, of whatever rite and dignity, both singly and collectively, are bound to submit to this power by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, and this not only in matters concerning faith and morals, but also in those which regard the discipline and government of the Church throughout the world.

    9. So, then, if anyone says that the Roman Pontiff has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole Church, and this not only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the Church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the Churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful: let him be anathema.

Celebrated Catholic theologian Dr. Ludwig Ott explains what is meant by the definition in his monumental Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Book Four, Part 2, Chapter 2, Section 7:

Quote
    In consonance with this declaration, the Primatial power is:

    a) A true power of jurisdiction that is, a true governing power, not merely a warrant of supervision or direction, such as, for example, belongs to the president of a political party, or a society, or of a conference. As a governmental power, it embraces the full power of legislation, administration of justice (disputed and voluntary jurisdiction) and of its execution. Corresponding to it on the part of the subjects is the duty of subordination and of obedience.

    b) A universal power, that is, it extends personally to the pastors (bishops) and to the faithful, totally and individually, of the whole Church. Materially it refers, not merely to matters of faith and morals (teaching office), but also to Church discipline and government (pastoral office).

    c) Supreme power in the Church, that is, there is no jurisdiction possessing a greater or equally great power. The power of the Pope transcends both the power of each individual bishop and also of all the other bishops together. The bishops collectively (apart from the Pope), therefore, are not equal to or superior to the Pope.

    d) A full power, that is, the Pope possesses of himself alone, the whole fullness of the Church power of jurisdiction and not merely a greater share than the other bishops taken individually or conjointly. Thus the Pope can rule independently on any matter which comes under the sphere of the Church's jurisdiction without the concurrence of the other bishops or of the rest of the Church.

    e) An ordinary power, that is, it is connected with the office, by virtue of divine ordinance, and is not delegated from a higher possessor of jurisdiction. Thus it can be exercised at any time, i.e., not merely in exceptional cases, e.g., where the bishops neglect their pastoral duties in their territories (Febronius, Eybel).

    f) A truly episcopal power, that is, the Pope is just as much a "universal bishop" of the whole Church, as he is bishop of his diocese of Kome ("Episcopus Urbis et Orbis"; Jacob of Viterbo). Thus, the Papal power, like any other episcopal power, embraces the legislative, the juridical and the punitive power.

    g) An immediate power, that is, the Pope can exercise his power, without the intervention of an intermediary, over the bishops and the faithful of the whole Church.



On June 27th, 2013 user A"GMMF" stated this the rorate-caeli blog:
Quote
The ignorance and exaggerations are saddening, as at least Fellay seemed to have bene moving away from such things in more recent times. For example, the Magsiterium teaching in a pastoral way is not new, but has existed as long as the Church has existed and as long as bishops have been pastors (this was formalized as the episcopal pastoral letter). The Church has never only defined truths in the abstract, but has always applied them to concrete circumstances in attempts to achieve the greatest good for the flock and all men. The supreme authority of the Chuch has done this frequently especially since the time of Leo XIII. The times when the supreme authority would only intervene to definitively judge doctrinal questions ended centuries and centuries ago.


According to  Archbishop Stylianos Harkianakis in his book "The Infallibility of the Church in Orthodox Theology":

Quote
The (Second Vatican) Council, however, did not wish to admit this view consistently and unreservedly. It tried to characterise the Ecumenical Synod as the highest authority in the Church, even though it was clearly placed under the absolute jurisdiction and governance of the pope, who alone had the right to convene, preside and validate. The assembly of bishops therefore have no power whatsoever over against the pope, but only with him and under him. Thus, it is truly inconceivable for an impartial researcher to perceive how the Council dared to characterize the action of the bishops in the Church under such terms and limitations as actions performed in the own right (plenipotentiary). However, the reader can note these incsonsistences in the following text of the (Second Vatican Council) Constitutio:

"In it (that is this college), the bishops faithfully recognizing the primacy and pre-eminence of their head, exercise their own authority for the good of their own faithful, and indeed of the whole Church... The supreme power in the universal Church, which the college enjoys, is exercised in a solemn way in an ecumenical council. A council is never ecumenical unless it is confirmed or at least accepted as such by the Successor of Peter, and it is the prerogative of the Roman Pontiff to convoke these councils, to preside over them and to confirm them."

Therefore no gathering of bishops or any common action that undertake (irrespective, of course, of their number or whether this action is faithfully carried out according to Tradition and the true teaching of the Church) has power against the pope nor can it be called their collective action, unless it is approved explicitly by the Roman pontiff:

This same collegiate power can be exercised together with the pope by bishops living in all parts of the world, provided that he head of the college calls them to collegiate action, or at least approves of or freely accepts the united action of the scattered bishops, so that it is thereby made a colllegiate act.
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« Reply #173 on: July 07, 2013, 09:59:11 PM »

^ Those quotes were interesting to read, as I'd never read much into Papacy-related documents.
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« Reply #174 on: July 07, 2013, 10:02:15 PM »

ROCOR is so anti-Western*, its Western Rite so artificial and byzantinized, I don't know why they bother. I understand the purism, reflected by some on this board (nothing post-schism Catholic). ROCOR's Western Rite is 'anything but Rome': 1) recently written, cobbled-together services using material from classical Anglicanism, and/or 2) archaeology/rewriting history/trying to revive dead rites (their heavily byzantinized Gallican liturgies and their version of the Roman Rite, pruned of post-schism Catholic content and, on top of that, byzantinized).

http://www.allmercifulsavior.com/Liturgy/SarumMassLatin2011c.pdf
http://www.theorthodoxchurch.org/files/SarumMass2011c.pdf

I only wonder if young forgey would consider this to be a dead rite?

If the majority of the elements in Sarum use of the Roman rite from 1534 are identical to that of the Dominican use of the Roman rite before until 1969, how can this be called a dead rite?
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« Reply #175 on: July 07, 2013, 10:13:47 PM »

Most American converts join because of marriage and have no axe to grind.

I encounter this situation often. In Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America parishes, that seems to be true.

In the Antiochian, ROCOR and OCA jurisdictions , I do not find it to be true. In those jurisdictions, I find the majority of those not born into Orthodoxy convert based upon their own individual decision, without other incentive, such as to have a more content "non-mixed" marriage.  (Being that mixed marriages are harder and less traditional, that seems to me to be a good decision! I would do the same!)
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« Reply #176 on: July 07, 2013, 10:35:09 PM »

Sarum re-enactments are nice. Both Catholics and Anglicans sometimes do them. But yes, the 'Reformation' killed Sarum and the other medieval English versions of the Roman Rite.

Right, most non-Greeks with the Greeks are marriage converts, and most American Orthodox are Greeks.
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« Reply #177 on: July 07, 2013, 11:39:46 PM »

Well, I'm in a Greek parish, and the majority of converts here -there are A LOT of them- are absolutely not converts because of marriage.

But for the sake of keeping my original question on track, I'll reword it. (next post)









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« Reply #178 on: July 07, 2013, 11:40:31 PM »

The self-loathing easternizing American converts have simply brought over their anti-papalism from Protestantism.
I haven't met any American converts to Orthodoxy who hate themselves.
Anti-Western Westerners. ...Or rather, anti-Catholic
I'm not sure how you are defining "ANTI-RC," "self-loathing," or even "anti-Western."

These labels fairly characterize all American converts to Orthodoxy [not "marrying into the faith"] in your view?

Is anyone who simply "isn't" RC, in your view, "an ANTI-Roman Catholic", or are there other specific characteristics one must have to merit such an appellation? If so what exactly are those?

Your descriptions of "American converts" [except those who marry into Orthodoxy] seem to me pretty broad brush, perhaps even dipped in the juice of sour grapes, than an accurate portrayal of any American convert to Orthodoxy [the majority in our parish who are not marrying into the faith] I have personally met.
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« Reply #179 on: July 08, 2013, 03:53:50 AM »

Sarum re-enactments are nice.

So are Tridentine Mass re-enactments too.  Grin
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« Reply #180 on: July 08, 2013, 03:57:40 AM »

I was wondering if anyone was actually going to speak about the OP.
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« Reply #181 on: July 08, 2013, 05:24:46 AM »

I was wondering if anyone was actually going to speak about the OP.

There probably aren't many such people here. Some have left Orthodoxy and become agnostic or atheist; one left to become a Jew, one to become a buddhist, etc. None of those would seem to be what the OP is asking about. And the number who left to become a Catholic or Protestant can probably be counted on one hand, and not all of those are even active posters nowadays.
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« Reply #182 on: July 08, 2013, 07:46:47 AM »

The self-loathing easternizing American converts have simply brought over their anti-papalism from Protestantism.
I haven't met any American converts to Orthodoxy who hate themselves.
Anti-Western Westerners. ...Or rather, anti-Catholic
I'm not sure how you are defining "ANTI-RC," "self-loathing," or even "anti-Western."

These labels fairly characterize all American converts to Orthodoxy [not "marrying into the faith"] in your view?

Is anyone who simply "isn't" RC, in your view, "an ANTI-Roman Catholic",

Is anyone who isn't Orthodox, in your view, anti-Orthodox?
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« Reply #183 on: July 08, 2013, 08:03:20 AM »

And I'd like to add, I think one of the biggest problems is the one-size-fits-all approach to ECism (or at least GCism). As represented, for example, by blanket generalizations I've heard a million times like "When Catholics and Orthodox reunite, some of the Greek Catholics will join the corresponding Orthodox church."

Although, for the record, the aforementioned idea (to wit "When Catholics and Orthodox reunite, the Greek Catholics will join the corresponding Orthodox church.") even if understood as a blanket generality with no exceptions, is easier for me to accept than the idea that, when Catholics and Orthodox reunite, WRO will join the Latin Church. The latter idea was baffling to me when I first heard, and I fear I still haven't been able to wrap my head around it.
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« Reply #184 on: July 08, 2013, 12:57:13 PM »

Most American converts join because of marriage and have no axe to grind.
I have only met one person IRL that joined the Church because of marriage, and I don't think even he would say he joined because of marriage. I'm pretty sure he would say that through marriage he was allowed to be exposed to it for the first time.

Antecdotal to be sure, but I haven't seen any stats from TYF to the contrary.
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« Reply #185 on: July 08, 2013, 01:01:50 PM »

easier for me to accept than the idea that, when Catholics and Orthodox reunite, WRO will join the Latin Church. The latter idea was baffling to me when I first heard, and I fear I still haven't been able to wrap my head around it.

Perhaps because the Eastern Catholics have their own sui iuris churches, whereas the WRO don't? Interesting to note that while "Eastern Rite Catholic" is generally a misnomer, "Western Rite Orthodox" isn't as much.
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« Reply #186 on: July 08, 2013, 01:32:02 PM »

Most American converts join because of marriage and have no axe to grind.
I have only met one person IRL that joined the Church because of marriage, and I don't think even he would say he joined because of marriage. I'm pretty sure he would say that through marriage he was allowed to be exposed to it for the first time.

Antecdotal to be sure, but I haven't seen any stats from TYF to the contrary.

To continue the anecdotal data- I've met plenty of people who joined the Church because of marriage- but with the exception of one (and she converted a year after their marriage with little to no pressure from her spouse to do so) they've all been converts from around my parents' generation or before and all have attended the various Greek parishes I've gone to. For people around my age or younger, converts who aren't converting because they believe the Orthodox Church to be the One True Church have as their reason a desire to reconnect with their x ethnic roots.
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« Reply #187 on: July 08, 2013, 01:55:11 PM »

The self-loathing easternizing American converts have simply brought over their anti-papalism from Protestantism.
I haven't met any American converts to Orthodoxy who hate themselves.
Anti-Western Westerners. ...Or rather, anti-Catholic
I'm not sure how you are defining "ANTI-RC," "self-loathing," or even "anti-Western."

These labels fairly characterize all American converts to Orthodoxy [not "marrying into the faith"] in your view?

Is anyone who simply "isn't" RC, in your view, "an ANTI-Roman Catholic", or are there other specific characteristics one must have to merit such an appellation? If so what exactly are those?

Your descriptions of "American converts" [except those who marry into Orthodoxy] seem to me pretty broad brush, perhaps even dipped in the juice of sour grapes, than an accurate portrayal of any American convert to Orthodoxy [the majority in our parish who are not marrying into the faith] I have personally met.

Is anyone who isn't Orthodox, in your view, anti-Orthodox?
No.

But I'm not the one that seems to be generalizing on and on and on about all or most American converts to Orthodoxy who do not convert simply to marry being  "anti-RC," "anti-Western," "anti-papalist," "self-loathing," & etc. etc.  I really just want to know exactly what is being claimed (if it is not simply some sort of xenophobia).

I'd also like to know if and how in the final analysis it is meaningfully distinct from something like "not RC and willing to say why."

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« Reply #188 on: July 08, 2013, 02:06:34 PM »

It's one thing to say (and I do say) that the Melkite Catholic Church, for example, doesn't have any western-rite parishes and isn't going to create any; but to say that, if Catholics and Orthodox came into full communion, then the already-existing WRO parishes in the Antiochian Orthodox Church would go into the Latin Church? I'm just not seeing it.

easier for me to accept than the idea that, when Catholics and Orthodox reunite, WRO will join the Latin Church. The latter idea was baffling to me when I first heard, and I fear I still haven't been able to wrap my head around it.

Perhaps because the Eastern Catholics have their own sui iuris churches, whereas the WRO don't? Interesting to note that while "Eastern Rite Catholic" is generally a misnomer, "Western Rite Orthodox" isn't as much.

I'm not sure I see the argument you're making.
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« Reply #189 on: July 08, 2013, 02:21:00 PM »

It's one thing to say (and I do say) that the Melkite Catholic Church, for example, doesn't have any western-rite parishes and isn't going to create any; but to say that, if Catholics and Orthodox came into full communion, then the already-existing WRO parishes in the Antiochian Orthodox Church would go into the Latin Church? I'm just not seeing it.

easier for me to accept than the idea that, when Catholics and Orthodox reunite, WRO will join the Latin Church. The latter idea was baffling to me when I first heard, and I fear I still haven't been able to wrap my head around it.

Perhaps because the Eastern Catholics have their own sui iuris churches, whereas the WRO don't? Interesting to note that while "Eastern Rite Catholic" is generally a misnomer, "Western Rite Orthodox" isn't as much.

I'm not sure I see the argument you're making.

I wasn't trying to make an argument. I was just postulating about why the two mergers in question (e.g. Melkite > Antiochian; WRO > Latin) don't seem too analogous, and the one seems "baffling" as you put it.
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« Reply #190 on: July 08, 2013, 05:35:33 PM »

If Catholics and Orthodox ever do reunite, I'll join the Spiritualists, because at least they would have a "ghost" of a chance of surviving!  Grin
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« Reply #191 on: July 08, 2013, 05:41:19 PM »

It's one thing to say (and I do say) that the Melkite Catholic Church, for example, doesn't have any western-rite parishes and isn't going to create any; but to say that, if Catholics and Orthodox came into full communion, then the already-existing WRO parishes in the Antiochian Orthodox Church would go into the Latin Church? I'm just not seeing it.

easier for me to accept than the idea that, when Catholics and Orthodox reunite, WRO will join the Latin Church. The latter idea was baffling to me when I first heard, and I fear I still haven't been able to wrap my head around it.

Perhaps because the Eastern Catholics have their own sui iuris churches, whereas the WRO don't? Interesting to note that while "Eastern Rite Catholic" is generally a misnomer, "Western Rite Orthodox" isn't as much.

I'm not sure I see the argument you're making.

Fr. Joseph Gingrich (of St. Mary of Egypt WR ROCOR Church in Indiana) has said that his impression of what the future would hold, would be that the Western rite vicariate would quite likely become a part of one of the Anglican use ordinariates of the Roman Catholic Church if there were to be a formal intercommunion again. Whatever happened, it would almost certainly retain a similar status to what already has and not be folded into any regular latin rite diocese.

However, that being said, my own view is that by the time there were a formal intercommunion again (assuming this isn't a complete fantasy!!!) we would imagine that the average Latin rite diocese would have to be far more traditional and far more harmonious with that of the Orthodox (or Eastern Catholic) byzantine rite dioceses. So than again, theoretically, it shouldn't necessarily be a problem being part of a regular latin rite diocese.  Pope Benedict was forced to create the Anglican use ordinariates as a separate diocesan entity because the majority of the Latin rite dioceses bishops were hostile to even allowing the anglican use parishes to exist within the regular latin rite dioceses. Such hostility toward Tradition amongst the mainstream of the RC is the ultimate problem that must be overcome.

There was a Melkite greek catholic priest who will remain anonymous who privately favoured the theoretical concept of a Western rite existing within the Melkite church. (A number of Melkite clergy have traditional latin rite RC background.)

The two main problems with it were:

#1 - that the Melkites have their hands full simply preserving the Byzantine rite (they only have forty churches in the USA) and quite likely would run into accusations of latinization or confusion through adopting or allowing this.

#2 - the Latin Church would most likely protest such a move and it may test the limits Melkites being able to maintain their intercommunion with Rome.
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« Reply #192 on: July 10, 2013, 09:49:40 PM »

I was forgetting about this thread. Then I remembered it (obviously).

It's one thing to say (and I do say) that the Melkite Catholic Church, for example, doesn't have any western-rite parishes and isn't going to create any; but to say that, if Catholics and Orthodox came into full communion, then the already-existing WRO parishes in the Antiochian Orthodox Church would go into the Latin Church? I'm just not seeing it.

easier for me to accept than the idea that, when Catholics and Orthodox reunite, WRO will join the Latin Church. The latter idea was baffling to me when I first heard, and I fear I still haven't been able to wrap my head around it.

Perhaps because the Eastern Catholics have their own sui iuris churches, whereas the WRO don't? Interesting to note that while "Eastern Rite Catholic" is generally a misnomer, "Western Rite Orthodox" isn't as much.

I'm not sure I see the argument you're making.

I wasn't trying to make an argument. I was just postulating about why the two mergers in question (e.g. Melkite > Antiochian; WRO > Latin) don't seem too analogous, and the one seems "baffling" as you put it.

OIC. Smiley
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« Reply #193 on: July 11, 2013, 04:05:33 AM »

Forgive me if this question is naïve but:

What possible reason could there be for Melkite Greek-Catholics in the West have Western Rite parishes? If you're in communion with Rome and want the Western Rite...why not go to the Latin Church, the historic keeper of the Western Rites and the dominant sui iuris Catholic Church in the area?  Huh
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« Reply #194 on: July 11, 2013, 05:11:44 AM »

Forgive me if this question is naïve but:

What possible reason could there be for Melkite Greek-Catholics in the West have Western Rite parishes?

We don't.
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