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Author Topic: Traditional Catholic in Anguish  (Read 1963 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: January 08, 2013, 03:53:42 PM »

This is a long introduction. Please bear with me.

I've been lurking for a while. I'm a Roman Catholic, of the traditionalist persuasion. I've been giving Orthodoxy a second and third look recently because I am finding my traditional Catholic beliefs to be almost untenable in the modern  Church. Paul VI is likely going to be beatified, the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith says that those who view Vatican II as a rupture (traditionalist or liberal) are heretics... and I'm left even more uncomfortable than ever. The beatification process of Paul VI has me really squirming.

Vatican I clearly gives the Pope SUPREMACY over the Church, including the liturgy. I've always accepted this and held to the teaching of Dietrich Von Hildebrand (who Pope Pius XII called Hildebrand a 20th century Doctor of the Church) that in questions of reforming the liturgy our obedience but by no means is our approval necessary. Paul VI used that authority to wage war against the traditional liturgy. Now they wan't to canonize him.

I don't believe that Vatican II was ever intended to be infallible, the Nota Praevia of Lumen Gentium makes that clear. But then they tell us that even though its fallible and does not require the assent of faith, a religious submission of the mind and will is required. I've always interpreted that as our respectful consent, unless there is a grave reason to object, which I believe there is, so I try to object charitably and without polemics. But how long can we do that and keep our intellectually honesty? After 50 years of epic failure the hierarchy still insists that its perfect continuity with what came before, when its almost a word for word contradiction in some places.

I read on a Western Rite Orthodox blog that someone converted to Orthodoxy from Catholicism and said, "When I was a Roman Catholic I was always defending the Church. Now that I'm Orthodox the Church defends me." Reading that stirred up all sorts of emotions I'm still trying to process.

Here's my problem. I still have this sliver of hope that a glorious Pope will come along and clean up this mess. In my mind, I can justify the chaos reigning in the Church as some sort of Divine chastisement. There is a ton of pre-20th century Marian prophecy predicting an upheaval like this and an eventual restoration... but how long O Lord? How long?

I find many Catholic devotions that the Orthodox eschew very moving and beautiful. I also look at certain enduring miracles from Catholic history (Our Lady of Guadalupe) as confirmations of grace and orthodoxy (with a small 'o'.)I am also still convinced that the Primacy of Rome in the early Church is strong grounds for Papal supremacy/infallibility, albeit in an embryonic stage. I know we differ on development of doctrine, but it appears to me that communion with the See of Rome was largely looked upon as a guarantee of orthodoxy and something essential for the Church's unity.

So I might ask some questions in the coming weeks. They aren't intended to be polemical. I'm working things out for myself. I repeat something covered in an old thread, bear with me, am really tired of searching through old threads and church fathers on my own.

From the Orthodox side I've reads lots of stuff online and Michael Whelton's "Popes and Patriarchs."

From the Catholic side recently I've read Adrian Fortescue's "The Early Papacy" and several works by Dom John Chapman.


Pray for me.

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« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2013, 04:00:00 PM »

From the Orthodox side I've reads lots of stuff online and Michael Whelton's "Popes and Patriarchs."

From the Catholic side recently I've read Adrian Fortescue's "The Early Papacy" and several works by Dom John Chapman.

Read Fr. John Meyendorff's compilation of essays, The Primacy of Peter.  It has 5 different essays from different contemporary Orthodox theologians who analyze the primacy of Peter and how it relates to the Popes from the early Church to today.  Very good read and you can see that they would even call out the polemics from the Orthodox side.  While they never affirmed Papal Supremacy and Infallibility, you can see they have this desire to be honest about the topic instead of just being overtly apologetic of the Orthodox belief.

Pray for me.

You are in my prayers.
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2013, 04:14:55 PM »

This is a long introduction. Please bear with me.

I've been lurking for a while. I'm a Roman Catholic, of the traditionalist persuasion. I've been giving Orthodoxy a second and third look recently because I am finding my traditional Catholic beliefs to be almost untenable in the modern  Church. Paul VI is likely going to be beatified, the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith says that those who view Vatican II as a rupture (traditionalist or liberal) are heretics... and I'm left even more uncomfortable than ever. The beatification process of Paul VI has me really squirming.

Vatican I clearly gives the Pope SUPREMACY over the Church, including the liturgy. I've always accepted this and held to the teaching of Dietrich Von Hildebrand (who Pope Pius XII called Hildebrand a 20th century Doctor of the Church) that in questions of reforming the liturgy our obedience but by no means is our approval necessary. Paul VI used that authority to wage war against the traditional liturgy. Now they wan't to canonize him.

I don't believe that Vatican II was ever intended to be infallible, the Nota Praevia of Lumen Gentium makes that clear. But then they tell us that even though its fallible and does not require the assent of faith, a religious submission of the mind and will is required. I've always interpreted that as our respectful consent, unless there is a grave reason to object, which I believe there is, so I try to object charitably and without polemics. But how long can we do that and keep our intellectually honesty? After 50 years of epic failure the hierarchy still insists that its perfect continuity with what came before, when its almost a word for word contradiction in some places.

I read on a Western Rite Orthodox blog that someone converted to Orthodoxy from Catholicism and said, "When I was a Roman Catholic I was always defending the Church. Now that I'm Orthodox the Church defends me." Reading that stirred up all sorts of emotions I'm still trying to process.

Here's my problem. I still have this sliver of hope that a glorious Pope will come along and clean up this mess. In my mind, I can justify the chaos reigning in the Church as some sort of Divine chastisement. There is a ton of pre-20th century Marian prophecy predicting an upheaval like this and an eventual restoration... but how long O Lord? How long?

I find many Catholic devotions that the Orthodox eschew very moving and beautiful. I also look at certain enduring miracles from Catholic history (Our Lady of Guadalupe) as confirmations of grace and orthodoxy (with a small 'o'.)I am also still convinced that the Primacy of Rome in the early Church is strong grounds for Papal supremacy/infallibility, albeit in an embryonic stage. I know we differ on development of doctrine, but it appears to me that communion with the See of Rome was largely looked upon as a guarantee of orthodoxy and something essential for the Church's unity.

So I might ask some questions in the coming weeks. They aren't intended to be polemical. I'm working things out for myself. I repeat something covered in an old thread, bear with me, am really tired of searching through old threads and church fathers on my own.

From the Orthodox side I've reads lots of stuff online and Michael Whelton's "Popes and Patriarchs."

From the Catholic side recently I've read Adrian Fortescue's "The Early Papacy" and several works by Dom John Chapman.


Pray for me.



Welcome to the fray, er...forum  Cheesy!

Have you discussed any of this with a priest or spiritual director?  If so, I'd be curious to hear what he may have said, if you feel like sharing.  If not, you might want to consider it.

May God guide you and bless you abundantly!

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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2013, 04:20:52 PM »

A glorious pope may come and clean up some things, but if you look at recent history, Pope Pius X did a lot to correct certain things, and his reforms only lasted a little while. Thing is, once reformations start (and arguably the first universal Western reformation was that often termed the Gregorian under Pope Gregyory VII and his immediate predecessors starting in the mid 11th century--the time of the east-west schism), its hard to go back to the old more stable way when changes were localized and happened not as part of a large program, per se. Also, as you probably know, for all the lay involvement after Vatican II, the problem of RC clericalism has not been solved. There is perhaps even less accountability of the clergy to the people now than there was before, say, even John XXIII. They keep going further and further and people just stop going to church--like most of France did after Vatican II.
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2013, 04:22:15 PM »

Thanks for the welcome, both of you.

 Michael, I have discussed traditionalist issues with priest friends, pastors, and my spiritual director, but the consideration of Orthodoxy is a new development... and I'm a bit embarrassed to bring it up, but I'm going to soon. The priests I usually talk with are very conservative if not traditionalist, and have never been upset with me for my questions, criticisms, or ideas. They either sympathize or agree most of the time. I'll let you know how it goes when I share my consideration of Orthodoxy.
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http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/the-banished-heart-9780567442208/
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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2013, 04:29:14 PM »

Thanks for the welcome, both of you.

 Michael, I have discussed traditionalist issues with priest friends, pastors, and my spiritual director, but the consideration of Orthodoxy is a new development... and I'm a bit embarrassed to bring it up, but I'm going to soon. The priests I usually talk with are very conservative if not traditionalist, and have never been upset with me for my questions, criticisms, or ideas. They either sympathize or agree most of the time. I'll let you know how it goes when I share my consideration of Orthodoxy.

You may also want to talk to an Orthodox priest and see what he has to say.  I would love to say that Orthodox priests won't proselytize you because the priest I spoke with did not, but that doesn't mean there are none out there.  But even with that possibility in mind, it is also good to hear the side of Orthodoxy for your questions about them.  You don't want a Catholic telling you about Orthodoxy the same way you don't want an Orthodox telling you about Catholicism.
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2013, 04:37:48 PM »

Thanks for the welcome, both of you.

 Michael, I have discussed traditionalist issues with priest friends, pastors, and my spiritual director, but the consideration of Orthodoxy is a new development... and I'm a bit embarrassed to bring it up, but I'm going to soon. The priests I usually talk with are very conservative if not traditionalist, and have never been upset with me for my questions, criticisms, or ideas. They either sympathize or agree most of the time. I'll let you know how it goes when I share my consideration of Orthodoxy.

Do they offer you anything other than sympathy or agreement?  You know, like...guidance, direction, suggestions for reading and/or prayer, etc. that can help you come to terms with these issues? 

I would second Choy's suggestion of talking with an Orthodox priest but would add that you may want to discuss these things, too, with an Eastern Catholic priest, if there's a parish near you.  (Yes, I would prefer you to stay in the Catholic Church--I *am* Catholic, after all  Wink.  But if the Holy Spirit leads you to Orthodoxy, then that's where He wants you.)
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2013, 04:55:28 PM »

There's some sympathy and some direction, but there's mostly sympathy. On some of these issues they frankly admit that I've read more about it than they have.

I intend to speak with an Eastern Rite priest friend before talking to an Orthodox priest.

J Michael, may I ask why you choose to be Eastern Catholic as opposed to Orthodox? And are you familiar with the "traditionalists" questions at all?
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http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/the-banished-heart-9780567442208/
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« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2013, 05:10:48 PM »

There's some sympathy and some direction, but there's mostly sympathy. On some of these issues they frankly admit that I've read more about it than they have.

I intend to speak with an Eastern Rite priest friend before talking to an Orthodox priest.

J Michael, may I ask why you choose to be Eastern Catholic as opposed to Orthodox? And are you familiar with the "traditionalists" questions at all?

Okay, great!

The short version is that I was (and still am) a Jew.  I converted to Eastern Catholicism for a number of reasons, two of which were: that's where the Holy Spirit led me, and it's my wife's faith.  We tried Orthodoxy for a while and it wasn't right.  Lots of reasons, not for public comment more than has already been seen on this board.  If you want a little more detail, and are patient, you can pm me.  So, we returned to the Church of our baptism.  The Holy Spirit had His hand in that, too.

I have a passing and probably vague familiarity with what you call "traditionalists questions".
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« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2013, 06:10:40 PM »

I was (am?) also a Catholic of the traditional persuasion and had the same questions that you are having. I realized that, sure, a great Pope might come along and fix everything. But, that doesn't change the fact that multiple popes are largely responsible for necessitating that. Yeah, I could drive 3 hours on Sunday for a TLM and "traditional" Catholicism, but I have to pass dozens of "mainline" Catholic Churches along the way. Something is off about this... Anyway, pray about it and study the history and the doctrine and things will become clearer over time.

I likewise recommend the Primacy of Peter book that choy recommended.

Also, it is cliche on this board to say this, but it is absolutely the best thing I did in my questioning: go speak with an Orthodox priest.
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« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2013, 07:45:08 PM »

I've only spoken in depth with an Orthodox priest once, and I have to say it was turn off. He was a perfectly kind person, but his theology seemed wacky, and I thought for sure he couldn't represent authentic Orthodoxy (He was Western Rite - Antiochan). Then I found out what I thought was weird wasn't totally off the mark, though I'm still not sure if its universally accepted in Orthodoxy. Here are the things I thought were strange:

1. He didn't seem to believe in Hell. He was saying that when we all die, we all end up eternally immersed in the fire of God's love, and its joy for the saints, and its not for the unrepentant. He also indicated that its a purifying fire for the unrepentant, basically (though he didn't say this) his conception of hell was the Roman Catholic equivalent of purgatory. It sounded a lot like Origen. Apparently Bishop Kallistos Ware has this view?

2. He was obsessed with St. Anselm's soteriology being heresy or at least confused. I'm not totally familiar with St. Anselm, but basically he interpreted it as the origins of Protestantism. Now as a Catholic I've never seen God as angry and vengeful demanding blood, but he did die in atonement for sin did he not?

"Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins." Hebrews 9:22

"But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." Hebrews 9:26

I just got the impressions this priest ignored the idea of Christ making atoning for our sins as Protestant, or worse that Paul was Protestant.

Any thoughts?

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http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/the-banished-heart-9780567442208/
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« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2013, 09:42:53 PM »

I've only spoken in depth with an Orthodox priest once, and I have to say it was turn off. He was a perfectly kind person, but his theology seemed wacky, and I thought for sure he couldn't represent authentic Orthodoxy (He was Western Rite - Antiochan). Then I found out what I thought was weird wasn't totally off the mark, though I'm still not sure if its universally accepted in Orthodoxy. Here are the things I thought were strange:

1. He didn't seem to believe in Hell. He was saying that when we all die, we all end up eternally immersed in the fire of God's love, and its joy for the saints, and its not for the unrepentant. He also indicated that its a purifying fire for the unrepentant, basically (though he didn't say this) his conception of hell was the Roman Catholic equivalent of purgatory. It sounded a lot like Origen. Apparently Bishop Kallistos Ware has this view?

2. He was obsessed with St. Anselm's soteriology being heresy or at least confused. I'm not totally familiar with St. Anselm, but basically he interpreted it as the origins of Protestantism. Now as a Catholic I've never seen God as angry and vengeful demanding blood, but he did die in atonement for sin did he not?

"Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins." Hebrews 9:22

"But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." Hebrews 9:26

I just got the impressions this priest ignored the idea of Christ making atoning for our sins as Protestant, or worse that Paul was Protestant.

Any thoughts?



You're right to be concerned. I've been Orthodox for the better part of 50 years, and, if you've correctly reported what this priest said, I'd say he's not quite there. Go and talk to another priest, one with years of experience.
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« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2013, 10:04:07 PM »

but he did die in atonement for sin did he not?

Not in the Orthodox view.  Even when you read "On the Incarnation of the Word" by St. Athanasius, he says that forgiveness of sins is not enough to save us because God could have done that without becoming man.  Christ did not die to pay for a price that God the Father demands, rather he shared completely in our humanity even death, so that by His immortality we may share in life everlasting.

I may not be giving it justice, give it a read.  It is one of the essential "to-read" for any Christian.
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« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2013, 10:07:36 PM »

Were you able to ask follow-up questions of this priest? I think maybe be was simply not very good at explaining because he seems to have just jumbled some ideas together...

For example, I found this on hell: "For those who love the Lord, His Presence will be infinite joy, paradise and eternal life. For those who hate the Lord, the same Presence will be infinite torture, hell and eternal death." https://oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith/spirituality/the-kingdom-of-heaven/heaven-and-hell

Perhaps someone with more knowledge than I have will supply more information about the state of the soul after death and before the general judgment... That sounds to me to the area where your priest might have been confused or given a confusing answer.
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« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2013, 10:20:26 PM »

but he did die in atonement for sin did he not?

Not in the Orthodox view.  Even when you read "On the Incarnation of the Word" by St. Athanasius, he says that forgiveness of sins is not enough to save us because God could have done that without becoming man.  Christ did not die to pay for a price that God the Father demands, rather he shared completely in our humanity even death, so that by His immortality we may share in life everlasting.

I may not be giving it justice, give it a read.  It is one of the essential "to-read" for any Christian.

So, what was the point of the animal sacrifice in the Old Testament? I recognize 'theosis' and coming to share in the divine nature as the predominant or even fundamental reason for the incarnation, but was there not an element of atonement in his death on the cross? Isn't that what the animal sacrifice prefigured? Isn't that a major theme of St. Paul's epistles?
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http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/the-banished-heart-9780567442208/
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« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2013, 10:26:41 PM »

Were you able to ask follow-up questions of this priest? I think maybe be was simply not very good at explaining because he seems to have just jumbled some ideas together...

For example, I found this on hell: "For those who love the Lord, His Presence will be infinite joy, paradise and eternal life. For those who hate the Lord, the same Presence will be infinite torture, hell and eternal death." https://oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith/spirituality/the-kingdom-of-heaven/heaven-and-hell

Perhaps someone with more knowledge than I have will supply more information about the state of the soul after death and before the general judgment... That sounds to me to the area where your priest might have been confused or given a confusing answer.

He invited me to come to Mass at his church for follow up, but I never went. Our conversion was over lunch and dinner, it was a long sort of strange story how I ended up visiting his family, haha. I haven't read the link yet, but yeah, that's sort of what he was getting at. But he also was talking about an eventual restoration of all things in Christ.... Apocatastasis, I believe.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apocatastasis




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« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2013, 10:32:33 PM »

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« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2013, 10:34:19 PM »

Well, there is the idea of an eventual restoration of the original, intended order in Catholic teaching as well. What was lost in the fall is to be restored in Christ.

Here is an article I found on the subject of Christ's redemptive work: http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/christcross.aspx.

Another link particularly discussing Anselmian soteriology (check out the comments too): http://eirenikon.wordpress.com/2009/07/09/fr-reardon-on-anselmian-soteriology/

Your question about this aspect of soteriology is also something I am having trouble understanding about Orthodox theology. I hope this link helps you as it answered some of my questions.

Edited to add second link.
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« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2013, 10:47:05 PM »

"... those who find themselves in hell will be chastised by the scourge of love. How cruel and bitter this torment of love will be! For those who understand that they have sinned against love, undergo no greater suffering than those produced by the most fearful tortures. The sorrow which takes hold of the heart, which has sinned against love, is more piercing than any other pain. It is not right to say that the sinners in hell are deprived of the love of God… But love acts in two ways, as suffering of the reproved, and as joy in the blessed!" (St. Isaac of Syria, Mystic Treatises)

I don't disagree with the above quote, that's the greatest pain of hell. But as a traditional Catholic I don't deny other torments probably exist and that hell is a distinctly different "place." That just seems obvious from scripture.

But I will shew you whom you shall fear: fear ye him, who after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell. Yea, I say to you, fear him. -Luke 12:5

And Abraham said to him: Son, remember that thou didst receive good things in thy lifetime, and likewise Lazareth evil things, but now he is comforted; and thou art tormented. And besides all this, between us and you, there is fixed a great chaos: so that they who would pass from hence to you, cannot, nor from thence come hither. -Luke 16:25

And whosoever was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the pool of fire. -Revelation 20:15


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« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2013, 10:53:55 PM »

1. He didn't seem to believe in Hell. He was saying that when we all die, we all end up eternally immersed in the fire of God's love, and its joy for the saints, and its not for the unrepentant. He also indicated that its a purifying fire for the unrepentant, basically (though he didn't say this) his conception of hell was the Roman Catholic equivalent of purgatory. It sounded a lot like Origen. Apparently Bishop Kallistos Ware has this view?
I can't speak regarding Bishop Kallistos Ware, but Orthodoxy is slightly varied regarding the afterlife. Some ascribe to the idea that hell is a state of actual torture/punishment, but others (maybe a minority?) understand it as the unrepentant's regret, disconnectedness from God, or responding different from the saint's response of God's love/fire/grace/etc. Any idea that the unrepentant are slowly but surely being purified is something that I've never heard of, as universalism is strictly condemned. We have the hope that all will repent (here or later) and be saved, but we cannot absolutely say that all will be saved whether they repent or not.

Quote
2. He was obsessed with St. Anselm's soteriology being heresy or at least confused. I'm not totally familiar with St. Anselm, but basically he interpreted it as the origins of Protestantism. Now as a Catholic I've never seen God as angry and vengeful demanding blood, but he did die in atonement for sin did he not?
He may not understand Anselm's theology, but if he does then he simply disagrees with it. To put it simply, Anselm taught a Satisfaction theory of the atonement through which Christ offered himself as a sacrifice on behalf of all to the Father - who found it satisfying (to his honor, etc.). It posits that the atonement also effects a change in the God-humanity relationship on God's side as well, whereas most Orthodox tend to focus (sometimes exclusively) to the change that happens on humanity's side. This may be part of why he rejects Anselm.

Or he may, as is commonly mistaken, think that Anselm is closer to Calvin's penal substitution theory than it actually is. Calvin did similarly teach a theory of the atonement that focused on God's end of the God-humanity relationship, and so sometimes they're lumped together when they shouldn't be since Calvin's is radically different.
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« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2013, 12:08:27 PM »

The problem with Anselm's theory of the atonement (from the Orthodox perspective) is that he draws the conclusion that God must punish sins because He is perfectly just and holy, and then justifies it using some weird logic where the creature in disobeying takes honor from God which must be restored by satisfaction, and if the creature does not do this, then God takes satisfaction  by punishing the creature. The objection is that drawing inferences about God like this from what we experience God to be is invalid reasoning. Just like Eunomius could not deduce validly that the Son is a creature because God is ingenerate, so too is Anselm's logic invalid. There is no objection to the atonement, just to satisfaction theories.
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« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2013, 01:59:37 PM »

'It' doesn't draw that conclusion, per se. The conclusion is drawn from Old Testament theology to include the atonement of sins of the Israeli people at the temple. If God doesn't change, then sins must still be atoned. Christ, then, is that atonement.
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« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2013, 02:22:14 PM »

'It' doesn't draw that conclusion, per se. The conclusion is drawn from Old Testament theology to include the atonement of sins of the Israeli people at the temple. If God doesn't change, then sins must still be atoned. Christ, then, is that atonement.

If the animal sacrifices were sufficient to atone for sins, why did God have to become man and offer Himself up?
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« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2013, 03:19:09 PM »

Metropolitan Kallistos, not Bishop Kallistos since a while. He should be referred that way per forum rules.
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« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2013, 03:48:02 PM »

Metropolitan Kallistos, not Bishop Kallistos since a while. He should be referred that way per forum rules.

Well, it is not as bad.  A Metropolitan is a bishop.  What is bad is if he is referred to as "Father".
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« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2013, 04:07:46 PM »

Metropolitan Kallistos, not Bishop Kallistos since a while. He should be referred that way per forum rules.

My apologies.
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« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2013, 04:09:45 PM »

There is no objection to the atonement, just to satisfaction theories.

So, what is the difference between atonement and satisfaction?
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« Reply #27 on: January 09, 2013, 05:26:56 PM »

Metropolitan Kallistos, not Bishop Kallistos since a while. He should be referred that way per forum rules.
I apologize - I saw him referred to as "Bishop" and repeated it without thinking.
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« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2013, 07:12:52 PM »

There is no objection to the atonement, just to satisfaction theories.

So, what is the difference between atonement and satisfaction?

Satisfaction theories (following Anselm) rely on the proposition that God must necessarily punish sins. Other theories of the atonement do not.
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« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2013, 07:22:54 PM »

There is no objection to the atonement, just to satisfaction theories.

So, what is the difference between atonement and satisfaction?

Satisfaction theories (following Anselm) rely on the proposition that God must necessarily punish sins. Other theories of the atonement do not.

"God must necessarily punish sins?" OR alternatively that WE must necessarily atone for them?
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« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2013, 07:29:00 PM »

There is no objection to the atonement, just to satisfaction theories.

So, what is the difference between atonement and satisfaction?

Satisfaction theories (following Anselm) rely on the proposition that God must necessarily punish sins. Other theories of the atonement do not.

"God must necessarily punish sins?" OR alternatively that WE must necessarily atone for them?

The former. The latter is nothing more than Pelagianism. We cannot atone for our sins without grace and Christ.
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« Reply #31 on: January 09, 2013, 07:33:15 PM »

There is no objection to the atonement, just to satisfaction theories.

So, what is the difference between atonement and satisfaction?

Satisfaction theories (following Anselm) rely on the proposition that God must necessarily punish sins. Other theories of the atonement do not.

"God must necessarily punish sins?" OR alternatively that WE must necessarily atone for them?

The former. The latter is nothing more than Pelagianism. We cannot atone for our sins without grace and Christ.

That's not Pelagian nor a rejection of God, at all. Pre-incarnation Israel atoned for their sins at the Temple through God. You cannot reject pre-incarnation atonement to support a theological theory.
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« Reply #32 on: January 09, 2013, 07:36:53 PM »

There is no objection to the atonement, just to satisfaction theories.

So, what is the difference between atonement and satisfaction?

Satisfaction theories (following Anselm) rely on the proposition that God must necessarily punish sins. Other theories of the atonement do not.

"God must necessarily punish sins?" OR alternatively that WE must necessarily atone for them?

The former. The latter is nothing more than Pelagianism. We cannot atone for our sins without grace and Christ.

That's not Pelagian nor a rejection of God, at all. Pre-incarnation Israel atoned for their sins at the Temple through God. You cannot reject pre-incarnation atonement to support a theological theory.

But they still were subject to death. No matter the offerings we make we cannot without Christ be truly reconciled with God, and made immortal. Their sacrifices were not for the purpose of the atonement in the sense of the atonement accomplished by sacrifice offered by Christ.
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« Reply #33 on: January 09, 2013, 07:44:19 PM »

There is no objection to the atonement, just to satisfaction theories.

So, what is the difference between atonement and satisfaction?

Satisfaction theories (following Anselm) rely on the proposition that God must necessarily punish sins. Other theories of the atonement do not.

"God must necessarily punish sins?" OR alternatively that WE must necessarily atone for them?

The former. The latter is nothing more than Pelagianism. We cannot atone for our sins without grace and Christ.

That's not Pelagian nor a rejection of God, at all. Pre-incarnation Israel atoned for their sins at the Temple through God. You cannot reject pre-incarnation atonement to support a theological theory.

But they still were subject to death. No matter the offerings we make we cannot without Christ be truly reconciled with God, and made immortal. Their sacrifices were not for the purpose of the atonement in the sense of the atonement accomplished by sacrifice offered by Christ.

Somewhat irrelevant due to the nature of the theology at hand. The atonement of Christ became the spotless sacrifice that atones for our sins AND destroyes death. The intention of the previous atonement was not for the second purpose.
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« Reply #34 on: January 09, 2013, 09:13:08 PM »

There is no objection to the atonement, just to satisfaction theories.

So, what is the difference between atonement and satisfaction?

Satisfaction theories (following Anselm) rely on the proposition that God must necessarily punish sins. Other theories of the atonement do not.

"God must necessarily punish sins?" OR alternatively that WE must necessarily atone for them?

The former. The latter is nothing more than Pelagianism. We cannot atone for our sins without grace and Christ.

That's not Pelagian nor a rejection of God, at all. Pre-incarnation Israel atoned for their sins at the Temple through God. You cannot reject pre-incarnation atonement to support a theological theory.

But they still were subject to death. No matter the offerings we make we cannot without Christ be truly reconciled with God, and made immortal. Their sacrifices were not for the purpose of the atonement in the sense of the atonement accomplished by sacrifice offered by Christ.

Somewhat irrelevant due to the nature of the theology at hand. The atonement of Christ became the spotless sacrifice that atones for our sins AND destroyes death. The intention of the previous atonement was not for the second purpose.

What was the efficacy of these sacrifices if they did not destroy death or undo sin?
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« Reply #35 on: January 09, 2013, 09:14:09 PM »

There is no objection to the atonement, just to satisfaction theories.

So, what is the difference between atonement and satisfaction?

Satisfaction theories (following Anselm) rely on the proposition that God must necessarily punish sins. Other theories of the atonement do not.

"God must necessarily punish sins?" OR alternatively that WE must necessarily atone for them?

The former. The latter is nothing more than Pelagianism. We cannot atone for our sins without grace and Christ.

That's not Pelagian nor a rejection of God, at all. Pre-incarnation Israel atoned for their sins at the Temple through God. You cannot reject pre-incarnation atonement to support a theological theory.

But they still were subject to death. No matter the offerings we make we cannot without Christ be truly reconciled with God, and made immortal. Their sacrifices were not for the purpose of the atonement in the sense of the atonement accomplished by sacrifice offered by Christ.

Somewhat irrelevant due to the nature of the theology at hand. The atonement of Christ became the spotless sacrifice that atones for our sins AND destroyes death. The intention of the previous atonement was not for the second purpose.

What was the efficacy of these sacrifices if they did not destroy death or undo sin?

They did undo sin.
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« Reply #36 on: January 09, 2013, 09:16:05 PM »

They did undo sin.

Then why did we need a savior? If it undid sin, then the law should have been sufficient.
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« Reply #37 on: January 09, 2013, 09:35:33 PM »

Got Hebrews?
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« Reply #38 on: January 09, 2013, 10:21:32 PM »

Hebrews 7
Quote
   [26] For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. [27] He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. [28] For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever.
(Hebrews 7:26-28 ESV)

Hebrews 9
Quote
   [12] he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. [13] For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, [14] how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
(Hebrews 9:12-14 ESV)
Quote
   [22] Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
   [23] Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. [24] For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. [25] Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, [26] for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. [27] And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, [28] so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
(Hebrews 9:22-28 ESV)

Quote
   [8] When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), [9] then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. [10] And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
(Hebrews 10:8-10 ESV)
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« Reply #39 on: January 09, 2013, 11:22:56 PM »

Hebrews 7
Quote
   [26] For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. [27] He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. [28] For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever.
(Hebrews 7:26-28 ESV)

And as the fathers taught, the old testament sacrifices had no true efficacy, beyond being a type of the one and only sacrifice at the cross, which as St. John Chrysostom writes, accomplished what the types could not.

Quote
This then he hints at here, and also the greatness of the sacrifice, if being [but] one, and having been offered up once only, it affected that which all [the rest] were unable to do. But he does not yet [treat] of these points.

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/240213.htm

Hebrews 9
Quote
   [12] he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. [13] For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, [14] how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
(Hebrews 9:12-14 ESV)

And the cleansing of the blood shed under the Old Testament, according both to St. Paul and St. John Chrysostom is only a cleansing of the body, while the cleansing of the blood of Christ cleanses the soul.

Quote
For (he says) if "the blood of bulls" is able to purify the flesh, much rather shall the Blood of Christ wipe away the defilement of the soul. For that you may not suppose when you hear [the word] "sanctifies," that it is some great thing, he marks out and shows the difference between each of these purifyings, and how the one of them is high and the other low. And says it is [so] with good reason, since that is "the blood of bulls," and this "the Blood of Christ."

Nor was he content with the name, but he sets forth also the manner of the offering. "Who" (he says) "through the Holy Spirit offered Himself without spot to God," that is, the victim was without blemish, pure from sins. For this is [the meaning of] "through the Holy Spirit," not through fire, nor through any other things.

"Shall purge your conscience" (he says) "from dead works." And well said he "from dead works"; if any man touched a dead body, he was polluted; and here, if any man touch a "dead work," he is defiled through his conscience. "To serve" (he says) "the Living and true God." Here he declares that it is not [possible] while one has "dead works to serve the Living and true God," for they are both dead and false; and with good reason [he says this].

6. Let no man then enter in here with "dead works." For if it was not fit that one should enter in who had touched a dead body, much more one that has "dead works": for this is the most grievous pollution. And "dead works" are, all which have not life, which breathe forth an ill odor. For as a dead body is useful to none of the senses, but is even annoying to those who come near it, so sin also at once strikes the reasoning faculty, and does not allow the understanding itself to be calm, but disturbs and troubles it.

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/240215.htm

Quote
   [22] Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
   [23] Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. [24] For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. [25] Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, [26] for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. [27] And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, [28] so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
(Hebrews 9:22-28 ESV)

As St. John Chrysostom teaches, the remission given by these sacrifices is imperfect, and furthermore, these sacrifices were performed (as types) for the one sacrifice of Christ on the cross.

Quote
"Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood, and without shedding of blood is no remission." Why the "almost"? Why did he qualify it? Because those [ordinances] were not a perfect purification, nor a perfect remission, but half-complete and in a very small degree. But in this case He says, "This is the blood of the New Testament, which is shed for you, for the remission of sins." (Matthew 26:28)

Where then is "the book"? He purified their minds. They themselves then were the books of the New Testament. But where are "the vessels of the ministry"? They are themselves. And where is "the tabernacle"? Again, they are; for "I will dwell in them," He says, "and walk in them." (2 Corinthians 6:16)

But they were not sprinkled with "scarlet wool," nor yet "with hyssop." Why was this? Because the cleansing was not bodily but spiritual, and the blood was spiritual. How? It flowed not from the body of irrational animals, but from the Body prepared by the Spirit. With this blood not Moses but Christ sprinkled us, through the word which was spoken; "This is the blood of the New Testament, for the remission of sins." This word, instead of hyssop, having been dipped in the blood, sprinkles all. And there indeed the body was cleansed outwardly, for the purifying was bodily; but here, since the purifying is spiritual, it enters into the soul, and cleanses it, not being simply sprinkled over, but gushing forth in our souls. The initiated understand what is said. And in their case indeed one sprinkled just the surface; but he who was sprinkled washed it off again; for surely he did not go about continually stained with blood. But in the case of the soul it is not so, but the blood is mixed with its very substance, making it vigorous and pure, and leading it to the very unapproachable beauty.

Henceforward then he shows that His death is the cause not only of confirmation, but also of purification. For inasmuch as death was thought to be an odious thing, and especially that of the cross, he says that it purified, even a precious purification, and in regard to greater things. Therefore the sacrifices preceded, because of this blood. Therefore the lambs; everything was for this cause.

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/240216.htm

Quote
   [8] When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), [9] then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. [10] And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
(Hebrews 10:8-10 ESV)

And as St. John Chrysostom taught, the practice of animal sacrifice was not efficacious, not only after the coming of the Messiah, but even before His coming.

Quote
In what has gone before he had shown that the sacrifices were unavailing for perfect purification, and were a type, and greatly defective. Since then there was this objection to his argument, If they are types, how is it that, after the truth has come, they have not ceased, nor given place, but are still performed? He here accordingly labors at this very point, showing that they are no longer performed, even as a figure, for God does not accept them. And this again he shows not from the New [Testament], but from the prophets, bringing forward from times of old the strongest testimony, that it [the old system] comes to an end, and ceases, and that they do all in vain, "alway resisting the Holy Ghost." (Acts 7:51)

And he shows over and above that they cease not now [only], but at the very coming of the Messiah, nay rather, even before His coming: and how it was that Christ did not abolish them at the last, but they were abolished first, and then He came; first they were made to cease, and then He appeared. That they might not say, Even without this sacrifice, and by means of those, we could have been well pleasing unto God, He waited for these sacrifices to be convicted [of weakness], and then He appeared; for (He says) "sacrifice and offering You would not." Hereby He took all away; and having spoken generally, He says also particularly, "In burnt-offerings and [sacrifice] for sin You had no pleasure." But "the offering" was everything except the sacrifice. "Then said I, Lo! I come." Of whom was this spoken? Of none other than the Christ.

Here he does not blame those who offer, showing that it is not because of their wickednesses that He does not accept them, as He says elsewhere, but because the thing itself has been convicted for the future and shown to have no strength, nor any suitableness to the times. What then has this to do with the "sacrifices" being offered "oftentimes"? Not only from their being "oftentimes" [offered] (he means) is it manifest that they are weak, and that they effected nothing; but also from God's not accepting them, as being unprofitable and useless. And in another place it is said, "If You had desired sacrifice I would have given it." (Psalm 51:16) Therefore by this also he makes it plain that He does not desire it. Therefore sacrifices are not God's will, but the abolition of sacrifices. Wherefore they sacrifice contrary to His will.

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/240218.htm
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« Reply #40 on: January 09, 2013, 11:36:45 PM »

Even Chrysostrom doesn't reject the sacrificial atonement of Jesus. He merely expresses that the animal sacrifice of the Law was imperfect to the perfectness that was Jesus.

So... Jesus was still a sacrificial atonement.
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« Reply #41 on: January 09, 2013, 11:42:19 PM »

Even Chrysostrom doesn't reject the sacrificial atonement of Jesus. He merely expresses that the animal sacrifice of the Law was imperfect to the perfectness that was Jesus.

So... Jesus was still a sacrificial atonement.

Did you not read the several points in this thread where I said the Orthodox objection is only to satisfaction theories of the atonement, and not the concept of the atonement itself? Now you are just being dense.
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« Reply #42 on: January 09, 2013, 11:49:50 PM »

Even Chrysostrom doesn't reject the sacrificial atonement of Jesus. He merely expresses that the animal sacrifice of the Law was imperfect to the perfectness that was Jesus.

So... Jesus was still a sacrificial atonement.

Did you not read the several points in this thread where I said the Orthodox objection is only to satisfaction theories of the atonement, and not the concept of the atonement itself? Now you are just being dense.

What was the Old Testament sacrifice for? What was Jesus, the perfection of that sacrifice, then?

Just as in Hebrews, he fulfills the need for a blood sacrifice.

Why was there a need for a blood sacrifice? This must be where we disagree?

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« Reply #43 on: January 10, 2013, 12:05:24 AM »

Even Chrysostrom doesn't reject the sacrificial atonement of Jesus. He merely expresses that the animal sacrifice of the Law was imperfect to the perfectness that was Jesus.

So... Jesus was still a sacrificial atonement.

Did you not read the several points in this thread where I said the Orthodox objection is only to satisfaction theories of the atonement, and not the concept of the atonement itself? Now you are just being dense.

What was the Old Testament sacrifice for? What was Jesus, the perfection of that sacrifice, then?

Just as in Hebrews, he fulfills the need for a blood sacrifice.

Why was there a need for a blood sacrifice? This must be where we disagree?

The sacrifices of the Old Testament were types of the one sacrifice. They need to be understood in the context of the Law, which Christ also fulfills. The Law and the sacrifices of the Old Testament were not in themselves efficacious, because man cannot save himself (as Pelagius taught), but instead man needs a savior to fulfill what the Law was meant to prepare us for, but itself could not accomplish.
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« Reply #44 on: January 10, 2013, 12:16:51 AM »

Even Chrysostrom doesn't reject the sacrificial atonement of Jesus. He merely expresses that the animal sacrifice of the Law was imperfect to the perfectness that was Jesus.

So... Jesus was still a sacrificial atonement.

Did you not read the several points in this thread where I said the Orthodox objection is only to satisfaction theories of the atonement, and not the concept of the atonement itself? Now you are just being dense.

What was the Old Testament sacrifice for? What was Jesus, the perfection of that sacrifice, then?

Just as in Hebrews, he fulfills the need for a blood sacrifice.

Why was there a need for a blood sacrifice? This must be where we disagree?

The sacrifices of the Old Testament were types of the one sacrifice. They need to be understood in the context of the Law, which Christ also fulfills. The Law and the sacrifices of the Old Testament were not in themselves efficacious, because man cannot save himself (as Pelagius taught), but instead man needs a savior to fulfill what the Law was meant to prepare us for, but itself could not accomplish.

I reject that sacrifices are Pelagian because a Pelagian would have no need for a sacrifice. A sacrifice is to atone for a crime, to atone for a slight of honor, to atone for straying, etc. If one could save himself (Pelagian), he wouldn't need to atone to God. He would... save himself. A pelagian would create purity within his own power and achieve sainthood.

The sacrifices weren't efficacious because they weren't enough.
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« Reply #45 on: January 10, 2013, 12:37:11 AM »

Even Chrysostrom doesn't reject the sacrificial atonement of Jesus. He merely expresses that the animal sacrifice of the Law was imperfect to the perfectness that was Jesus.

So... Jesus was still a sacrificial atonement.

Did you not read the several points in this thread where I said the Orthodox objection is only to satisfaction theories of the atonement, and not the concept of the atonement itself? Now you are just being dense.

What was the Old Testament sacrifice for? What was Jesus, the perfection of that sacrifice, then?

Just as in Hebrews, he fulfills the need for a blood sacrifice.

Why was there a need for a blood sacrifice? This must be where we disagree?

The sacrifices of the Old Testament were types of the one sacrifice. They need to be understood in the context of the Law, which Christ also fulfills. The Law and the sacrifices of the Old Testament were not in themselves efficacious, because man cannot save himself (as Pelagius taught), but instead man needs a savior to fulfill what the Law was meant to prepare us for, but itself could not accomplish.

I reject that sacrifices are Pelagian because a Pelagian would have no need for a sacrifice. A sacrifice is to atone for a crime, to atone for a slight of honor, to atone for straying, etc. If one could save himself (Pelagian), he wouldn't need to atone to God. He would... save himself. A pelagian would create purity within his own power and achieve sainthood.

The sacrifices weren't efficacious because they weren't enough.

I did not say that sacrifices are Pelagian, I said that teaching that sacrifices were efficacious or necessary for our salvation (outside of their place in the economy of salvation) would be Pelagian, because it would deny the need for grace. Neither did I argue that there was no need for sacrifice to be made to atone us to God, only that there was no need for us to sacrifice, because man's sacrifice could not bring life and atonement as the sacrifice on the Cross could. Again, there's no objection to the need for a sacrifice, only to idea that God's justice needs to be satisfied either by punishment or by penance.
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« Reply #46 on: January 10, 2013, 01:01:34 AM »

Subscribed! My density is greater than the mass of a star.
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« Reply #47 on: January 10, 2013, 01:45:49 AM »

Subscribed! My density is greater than the mass of a star.

That's no moon... 

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« Reply #48 on: January 10, 2013, 01:57:49 AM »

Even Chrysostrom doesn't reject the sacrificial atonement of Jesus. He merely expresses that the animal sacrifice of the Law was imperfect to the perfectness that was Jesus.

So... Jesus was still a sacrificial atonement.

Did you not read the several points in this thread where I said the Orthodox objection is only to satisfaction theories of the atonement, and not the concept of the atonement itself? Now you are just being dense.

What was the Old Testament sacrifice for? What was Jesus, the perfection of that sacrifice, then?

Just as in Hebrews, he fulfills the need for a blood sacrifice.

Why was there a need for a blood sacrifice? This must be where we disagree?

The sacrifices of the Old Testament were types of the one sacrifice. They need to be understood in the context of the Law, which Christ also fulfills. The Law and the sacrifices of the Old Testament were not in themselves efficacious, because man cannot save himself (as Pelagius taught), but instead man needs a savior to fulfill what the Law was meant to prepare us for, but itself could not accomplish.

I reject that sacrifices are Pelagian because a Pelagian would have no need for a sacrifice. A sacrifice is to atone for a crime, to atone for a slight of honor, to atone for straying, etc. If one could save himself (Pelagian), he wouldn't need to atone to God. He would... save himself. A pelagian would create purity within his own power and achieve sainthood.

The sacrifices weren't efficacious because they weren't enough.

I did not say that sacrifices are Pelagian, I said that teaching that sacrifices were efficacious or necessary for our salvation (outside of their place in the economy of salvation) would be Pelagian, because it would deny the need for grace. Neither did I argue that there was no need for sacrifice to be made to atone us to God, only that there was no need for us to sacrifice, because man's sacrifice could not bring life and atonement as the sacrifice on the Cross could. Again, there's no objection to the need for a sacrifice, only to idea that God's justice needs to be satisfied either by punishment or by penance.

I was amused at the bolded part. Sacrifice was necessary because  [Heb 9:22] "Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins."

But I don't think that's the real issue. I think the difference is that Grace is not (objective to a generally conceptual god) necessarily 'Free'. We believe as Christians that it is, and is made possible because of Jesus Christ. However, during the Old Testament Grace is still desired, yet it must be earned. According to the Law, it is earned through atonement by blood.

When Jesus came, he atoned with his blood in the perfect sacrifice and taught that Grace is now freely given to the repentent. The Eucharist then becoming the 'eternal' sacrifice for us.


Therefore, animal sacrifice wasn't Pelagian in any means. It was an act to REgain favor, REgain Grace from God after losing it through sin. Remember, the Resurrection hadn't happened.
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« Reply #49 on: January 10, 2013, 03:15:16 AM »

I was amused at the bolded part. Sacrifice was necessary because  [Heb 9:22] "Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins."

A sacrifice that could not be made with the initiative of man, but with the initiative of God by the Incarnation. It cannot be necessary that man offer up sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins, because such a thing was impossible. It was necessary that a sacrifice be offered on our behalf, but not that we offer one, because our own sacrifices (unlike that of Christ God) are worthless.

But I don't think that's the real issue. I think the difference is that Grace is not (objective to a generally conceptual god) necessarily 'Free'. We believe as Christians that it is, and is made possible because of Jesus Christ. However, during the Old Testament Grace is still desired, yet it must be earned. According to the Law, it is earned through atonement by blood.

Grace cannot be earned. That is a serious misunderstanding of the doctrine of synergy.

When Jesus came, he atoned with his blood in the perfect sacrifice and taught that Grace is now freely given to the repentent. The Eucharist then becoming the 'eternal' sacrifice for us.

Grace was not given under the Law. Paul makes it clear that the Law leads only to death and sin.

Therefore, animal sacrifice wasn't Pelagian in any means. It was an act to REgain favor, REgain Grace from God after losing it through sin. Remember, the Resurrection hadn't happened.

Surely you jest. I never said animal sacrifice was Pelagian. I said teaching that animal sacrifice was efficacious (beyond its being a type of the crucifixion) would be Pelagian, because it would be tantamount to teaching that a Savior was not necessary, and that man could work his way to salvation, absent of grace.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2013, 03:23:11 AM by Cavaradossi » Logged

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« Reply #50 on: January 10, 2013, 03:18:16 AM »

Subscribed! My density is greater than the mass of a star.

That's no moon... 

Tongue

Forgive my insensitivity.
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« Reply #51 on: January 18, 2013, 11:22:08 PM »

I finally had a long talk with my parish priests. I'm so thankful I did, and very sorry I didn't sooner. I have decided that I am still a Roman Catholic. I'm thankful for the doubts though, because I learned quite a bit, and ultimately my faith is stronger for it. I'm going to continue studying the Church Fathers and the early Councils, which I neglected before this little faith crisis. I did myself a great disservice by only becoming acquainted with them in a superficial way. I have learned a lot about Orthodoxy in the past weeks, and I respect it tremendously. I see a strong patristic argument for both the Catholic and the Orthodox perspective on the papacy. For now I have concluded that the infallibility/supremacy of the Pope are a legitimate development of doctrine, with a strong foundation scripturally and in the writings of (some) of the Fathers. I think there is a need for an immovable source of Catholic unity, and that the Primal See of Rome is that source.

My original reasons for doubting Catholicism in the first place have been mostly cleared up. All the things that I found to be problematic with the Second Vatican Council are not matters of dogma, but ultimately matters of non-infallible discipline. As for Venerable or even a Saint Pope Paul VI, well, that's a big pill for me to swallow. I disagree with a lot of his decisions, but I won't venture to judge his personal holiness.

I would offer this word of advice to Catholics of a traditional persuasion who may be considering converting to Orthodoxy. When I was discerning a vocation to the priesthood I was told to make sure that I was considering a vocation in order to run to embrace Christ, not just to flee the world and its problems. I think this can be applied in this situation as well. If you convert to Orthodoxy, make sure you're doing it because you really and truly believe it is the true Church. You would do yourself and the Orthodox Church a great disservice if you convert merely to escape the problems and scandals of the modern Roman Catholic Church. I would ask you to pray to Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Peter for the guidance of the Holy Spirit before making any definitive moves. 

I would like to thank everyone in this forum for being charitable and informative in their responses to my inquiries. I don't think I'll be posting here regularly, as my normal schedule won't allow for it, but I may drop in from time to time. It has been a truly edifying experience participating in this forum, which is more than I can say for some others which will go unnamed.  Wink

Please pray for me, a sinner.

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« Reply #52 on: January 18, 2013, 11:25:31 PM »

Be assured of my prayers for you. Please pray for me.
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« Reply #53 on: January 19, 2013, 10:11:47 PM »

Hi gueranger. I'm a late-comer to this thread.

Oddly enough, I've done the reverse of what you described: that is, I first had a great appreciation for Eastern Orthodoxy, and that led me to better appreciation of traditionalist Catholicism. (Even now, I wouldn't exactly call myself a traditionalist Catholic. Although I do believe that traditionalist Catholicism is very good at pointing out certain problem with "neo-conservative Catholicism".)
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« Reply #54 on: January 19, 2013, 10:16:29 PM »

I intend to speak with an Eastern Rite priest friend before talking to an Orthodox priest.

Since you brought that up, are there any Eastern Catholic parishes near you? (Apologies if you have already answered that question.)
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« Reply #55 on: January 20, 2013, 07:18:11 AM »

"neo-conservative Catholicism"

What's that?

Btw, don't you get tired with all that kind of labels? Why it is necessary to be something else than just "Catholic"?
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« Reply #56 on: January 20, 2013, 09:02:24 AM »

Btw, don't you get tired with all that kind of labels?

No. At least, I wouldn't it would say that in such a generalized fashion. Yes, sometimes it is tiresome, but there are also times when having a 'handle' for something actually makes it less tiresome.

(Just think how it would be if we didn't use the label "protestants", and how tiresome it would be to always say instead "Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodist, Presbyterians, Baptists, Pentecostals, etc." Although I guess after a while you could just say ALMPBPs.)

"neo-conservative Catholicism"

What's that?

Good question. Let me give you my standard answer:

Father Ambrose, if you're unhappy with your dialogue with neo-conservative Catholics, perhaps you should give a thought to us traditional Catholics.
What's the difference between neo-conservative Catholics and traditional Catholics?

To my mind, the different is enormous.

As I told someone else recently ...

Quote
Peter W. Miller calls them "'conservative' Catholics". Here's his definition:

Quote
As the heretics of yesterday have become the liberals of today, the liberals of yesterday now lay claim to the title "conservative". Consequentially the conservatives came to be known as "traditionalists". Unfortunately, these terms are no longer completely accurate descriptions. So for the purposes of this essay, I will use the following general definitions to delineate the differences between traditionalists and "conservatives":

TRADITIONALIST: One who challenges the novel practices and teachings of Catholics (including bishops and priests) which appear to contradict the prior teaching of the Church. A traditionalist questions the prudence of new pastoral approaches and holds the belief that those things generally deemed objectively good or evil several decades ago remain so today.

"CONSERVATIVE": One who upholds and defends the current policies and positions of the Church hierarchy regardless of their novelty. A "conservative" extends the definitions of "infallibility" and "Magisterium" to include most every action and speech of the Pope and those Cardinals around him, but may exclude those Cardinals and bishops outside of Rome. A "conservative's" opinion is also subject to change depending on the current actions of the Holy Father. "Conservative" will be used it in quotation marks to avoid the misleading connotation of being diametrically opposed to liberalism or on the far right of the spectrum. Also since there only exists a desire to "conserve" only those traditions and practices of the past deemed appropriate at any given time by the present Pope. The quotation marks will also ensure a proper dissociation between the actual conservatives active prior to and during Vatican II (Ottaviani, Lefebvre, Fenton, etc.).

Both traditionalists and "conservatives" acknowledge the existence of problems in the Church but disagree as to their nature, extent, causes and remedies.

"Conservatives" see it as an "illness" — an incidental problem like a gangrene limb. In the English-speaking world, this problem may be limited to the actions of certain American bishops. "Conservatives" see the novelties of Vatican II and the New Mass as natural and acceptable developments in the course of the Church, but take issue with those seeking to expand upon those novelties, or take them to their next logical progression. They see the crisis in the Church as a societal issue that would have happened regardless of what actions the Church leadership had taken. Their solution is to return to Vatican II and embark on another attempt to "renew" the Church.

Traditionalists see the illness as a widespread cancer affecting the whole body put most particularly and critically the heart. They question the prudence of making significant changes in the Mass and the Church's pastoral orientation. They attribute the destruction to liberal and Modernist ideals given a certain degree of acceptability once the Church decided to stop fighting them with extreme vigilance. They see the Church leadership as sharing in the responsibility for the crisis due to its governance (or lack thereof). Their solution is not another attempt at a reform that may be "more in line with the 'spirit' of Vatican II" (shudder), but a return to the practices and beliefs of the Church that sustained it for hundreds of years prior.

- A Brief Defense of Traditionalism
Peter W. Miller
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« Reply #57 on: January 21, 2013, 10:52:21 AM »

Well, it is not as bad.  A Metropolitan is a bishop.  What is bad is if he is referred to as "Father".

Especially if it's in earshot of a fundamentalist protestant.

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« Reply #58 on: January 23, 2013, 05:21:36 AM »

I finally had a long talk with my parish priests. I'm so thankful I did, and very sorry I didn't sooner. I have decided that I am still a Roman Catholic. I'm thankful for the doubts though, because I learned quite a bit, and ultimately my faith is stronger for it. I'm going to continue studying the Church Fathers and the early Councils, which I neglected before this little faith crisis. I did myself a great disservice by only becoming acquainted with them in a superficial way. I have learned a lot about Orthodoxy in the past weeks, and I respect it tremendously. I see a strong patristic argument for both the Catholic and the Orthodox perspective on the papacy. For now I have concluded that the infallibility/supremacy of the Pope are a legitimate development of doctrine, with a strong foundation scripturally and in the writings of (some) of the Fathers. I think there is a need for an immovable source of Catholic unity, and that the Primal See of Rome is that source.

My original reasons for doubting Catholicism in the first place have been mostly cleared up. All the things that I found to be problematic with the Second Vatican Council are not matters of dogma, but ultimately matters of non-infallible discipline. As for Venerable or even a Saint Pope Paul VI, well, that's a big pill for me to swallow. I disagree with a lot of his decisions, but I won't venture to judge his personal holiness.

I would offer this word of advice to Catholics of a traditional persuasion who may be considering converting to Orthodoxy. When I was discerning a vocation to the priesthood I was told to make sure that I was considering a vocation in order to run to embrace Christ, not just to flee the world and its problems. I think this can be applied in this situation as well. If you convert to Orthodoxy, make sure you're doing it because you really and truly believe it is the true Church. You would do yourself and the Orthodox Church a great disservice if you convert merely to escape the problems and scandals of the modern Roman Catholic Church. I would ask you to pray to Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Peter for the guidance of the Holy Spirit before making any definitive moves. 

I would like to thank everyone in this forum for being charitable and informative in their responses to my inquiries. I don't think I'll be posting here regularly, as my normal schedule won't allow for it, but I may drop in from time to time. It has been a truly edifying experience participating in this forum, which is more than I can say for some others which will go unnamed.  Wink

Please pray for me, a sinner.



Just don't be an Ultramontanist and you'll be fine. One of the few good results (I suppose I'd call it a silver lining) of Vatican II is that it brought that facade all crashing down. Papolatry is not traditionalist.

Slowly but steadily, God through His imperfect instruments is straightening the Mothership out.
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« Reply #59 on: January 23, 2013, 06:36:51 AM »

Slowly but steadily, God through His imperfect instruments is straightening the Mothership out.

LOL. I'm going to steal that.
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