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Author Topic: Praying to post-schism saints  (Read 644 times) Average Rating: 0
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anthony1054
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« on: February 01, 2013, 07:15:57 PM »

I was raised Roman Catholic and then converted to Eastern Orthodoxy and although I have the basic tenets of our faith down, there are still plenty of things I'm learning. Now I asked my priest if it was still OK to venerate the Roman Catholic saints and he basically told me, in a nutshell that a saint, is a saint. I may not venerate all but some I still do such as St. Anthony of Padua, who's name I was given at my baptism, and a few others. I want to make sure I'm doing whats right and would love to know more about this.
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« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2013, 07:22:39 PM »

I was raised Roman Catholic and then converted to Eastern Orthodoxy and although I have the basic tenets of our faith down, there are still plenty of things I'm learning. Now I asked my priest if it was still OK to venerate the Roman Catholic saints and he basically told me, in a nutshell that a saint, is a saint. I may not venerate all but some I still do such as St. Anthony of Padua, who's name I was given at my baptism, and a few others. I want to make sure I'm doing whats right and would love to know more about this.

I, and I'm sure many others, would regard this priest's advice to be in error.
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« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2013, 07:30:09 PM »

There are plenty of Orthodox Anthonys out there (Wikipedia's chronological list lists five before the one you mentioned, who is the first belonging only to the heterodox). I would think that renouncing belief in heterodox saints would come part and parcel with renouncing all false beliefs as part of your baptism (assuming that OO baptism and EO do not differ in this regard; I remember having to do this), so it would probably be best to avoid maintaining a devotion to saints from outside of your own communion (with notable exceptions like St. Isaac of Nineveh proving that it's not wrong to wonder such things, I guess Smiley).
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« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2013, 07:34:35 PM »

Some Orthodox privately venerate post-schism saints, but many do not. Those that do venerate them do so on case-by-case basis, as you mentioned, while taking into consideration their theology, spirituality, etc.

That said it may be less confusing for you, as an (recent I assume) ex-RC, to just forego RC saint veneration for now while you get your bearings in Orthodoxy, and just worry about private veneration of the non-Orthodox later in the future.
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anthony1054
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« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2013, 07:40:28 PM »

Well I've been Orthodox now for 4 years so I guess you could say I'm somewhat new but me personally, I just think that it shouldn't matter whether the saint is Roman Catholic or not. My Anthony in particular has come through for me and my mother many times and I would hate to cease venerating him after all that.
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« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2013, 07:42:48 PM »

I don't see why private veneration is any issue.  The same thing happens when someone beloved and percieved to be holy Orthodox person dies, eventually there is private veneration which at times would lead to the formal recognition and public veneration of said person as a Saint.  Why would it be any different with someone who is Catholic?  As I have heard from many Orthodox along my journey to Orthodoxy, the Orthodox Church has no monopoly on holiness.  Certainly there are good and holy people outside of the Orthodox Church.  We can't venerate them Liturgically, but I don't see why we can't privately if we do see virtue and holiness from that person.
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« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2013, 07:47:01 PM »

Forgive me, I thought the issue was with the priest's advice that "a saint is a saint is a saint", not whether or not private veneration is possible? I would think you can affirm the latter without necessarily agreeing with the former.
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anthony1054
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« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2013, 07:53:57 PM »

I don't see why private veneration is any issue.  The same thing happens when someone beloved and percieved to be holy Orthodox person dies, eventually there is private veneration which at times would lead to the formal recognition and public veneration of said person as a Saint.  Why would it be any different with someone who is Catholic?  As I have heard from many Orthodox along my journey to Orthodoxy, the Orthodox Church has no monopoly on holiness.  Certainly there are good and holy people outside of the Orthodox Church.  We can't venerate them Liturgically, but I don't see why we can't privately if we do see virtue and holiness from that person.


Thats how I feel! If they have been elevated to holiness, then it should not matter whether they are Catholic or Eastern Orthodox
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« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2013, 07:57:16 PM »

Perhaps it boils down to one's definition of a "saint". If it simply means "someone who I privately believe made it into Heaven", that's different than "someone who's been officially declared a saint by my church".
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« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2013, 07:57:42 PM »

I don't see why private veneration is any issue.  The same thing happens when someone beloved and percieved to be holy Orthodox person dies, eventually there is private veneration which at times would lead to the formal recognition and public veneration of said person as a Saint.  Why would it be any different with someone who is Catholic?  As I have heard from many Orthodox along my journey to Orthodoxy, the Orthodox Church has no monopoly on holiness.  Certainly there are good and holy people outside of the Orthodox Church.  We can't venerate them Liturgically, but I don't see why we can't privately if we do see virtue and holiness from that person.


Thats how I feel! If they have been elevated to holiness, then it should not matter whether they are Catholic or Eastern Orthodox

Just make sure that your devotion to St. Anthony is not against your Orthodox spirituality.
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anthony1054
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« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2013, 08:02:13 PM »

I don't see why private veneration is any issue.  The same thing happens when someone beloved and percieved to be holy Orthodox person dies, eventually there is private veneration which at times would lead to the formal recognition and public veneration of said person as a Saint.  Why would it be any different with someone who is Catholic?  As I have heard from many Orthodox along my journey to Orthodoxy, the Orthodox Church has no monopoly on holiness.  Certainly there are good and holy people outside of the Orthodox Church.  We can't venerate them Liturgically, but I don't see why we can't privately if we do see virtue and holiness from that person.


Thats how I feel! If they have been elevated to holiness, then it should not matter whether they are Catholic or Eastern Orthodox

Just make sure that your devotion to St. Anthony is not against your Orthodox spirituality.

I don't think it would be though I will definitely seek more info from our new priest.
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« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2013, 08:03:56 PM »

I don't see why private veneration is any issue.  The same thing happens when someone beloved and percieved to be holy Orthodox person dies, eventually there is private veneration which at times would lead to the formal recognition and public veneration of said person as a Saint.  Why would it be any different with someone who is Catholic?  As I have heard from many Orthodox along my journey to Orthodoxy, the Orthodox Church has no monopoly on holiness.  Certainly there are good and holy people outside of the Orthodox Church.  We can't venerate them Liturgically, but I don't see why we can't privately if we do see virtue and holiness from that person.


Thats how I feel! If they have been elevated to holiness, then it should not matter whether they are Catholic or Eastern Orthodox

Just make sure that your devotion to St. Anthony is not against your Orthodox spirituality.

I don't think it would be though I will definitely seek more info from our new priest.

This is just me, but I am becoming suspicious of Novenas.  Make sure that is not against Orthodox spirituality if you are doing that.
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anthony1054
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« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2013, 08:33:55 PM »

I don't see why private veneration is any issue.  The same thing happens when someone beloved and percieved to be holy Orthodox person dies, eventually there is private veneration which at times would lead to the formal recognition and public veneration of said person as a Saint.  Why would it be any different with someone who is Catholic?  As I have heard from many Orthodox along my journey to Orthodoxy, the Orthodox Church has no monopoly on holiness.  Certainly there are good and holy people outside of the Orthodox Church.  We can't venerate them Liturgically, but I don't see why we can't privately if we do see virtue and holiness from that person.


Thats how I feel! If they have been elevated to holiness, then it should not matter whether they are Catholic or Eastern Orthodox

Just make sure that your devotion to St. Anthony is not against your Orthodox spirituality.

I don't think it would be though I will definitely seek more info from our new priest.

This is just me, but I am becoming suspicious of Novenas.  Make sure that is not against Orthodox spirituality if you are doing that.
Ah I'm glad you mentioned those! I stopped doing Novenas before I even converted. If you really step back and examine them, they are pretty much just attempts to bargain. I have a book on Novenas and nice as they seem, they seem to really overdo it in that you have to pray them a certain amount of times in a row, at the exact hour, day etc.

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« Last Edit: February 01, 2013, 11:12:55 PM by Michał Kalina » Logged
choy
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« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2013, 08:44:31 PM »

I don't see why private veneration is any issue.  The same thing happens when someone beloved and percieved to be holy Orthodox person dies, eventually there is private veneration which at times would lead to the formal recognition and public veneration of said person as a Saint.  Why would it be any different with someone who is Catholic?  As I have heard from many Orthodox along my journey to Orthodoxy, the Orthodox Church has no monopoly on holiness.  Certainly there are good and holy people outside of the Orthodox Church.  We can't venerate them Liturgically, but I don't see why we can't privately if we do see virtue and holiness from that person.


Thats how I feel! If they have been elevated to holiness, then it should not matter whether they are Catholic or Eastern Orthodox

Just make sure that your devotion to St. Anthony is not against your Orthodox spirituality.

I don't think it would be though I will definitely seek more info from our new priest.

This is just me, but I am becoming suspicious of Novenas.  Make sure that is not against Orthodox spirituality if you are doing that.

Ah I'm glad you mentioned those! I stopped doing Novenas before I even converted. If you really step back and examine them, they are pretty much just attempts to bargain. I have a book on Novenas and nice as they seem, they seem to really overdo it in that you have to pray them a certain amount of times in a row, at the exact hour, day etc.

I don't mind praying at exact times of the day, there are prayer rules and The Hours which also demand as such.  But you are right about the "bargaining" part.  What I learned and liked about Orthodoxy is the focus on spiritual growth and savlation and less of the "ask God through the saints for earthly stuff".

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« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2013, 11:35:39 PM »

Private veneration and private opinion should still not go against the Church's teaching.

In the case of an Orthodox holy person who is not an official saint, it is very different to venerate that person than a non-Orthodox saint, because the Orthodox person still has the potential to be glorified, whereas the non-Orthodox saint did not die in communion with the Church. We would be exceeding the bounds of what has been revealed to us to say that that non-Orthodox person is really a saint.
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« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2013, 01:18:16 AM »

Private veneration and private opinion should still not go against the Church's teaching.

In the case of an Orthodox holy person who is not an official saint, it is very different to venerate that person than a non-Orthodox saint, because the Orthodox person still has the potential to be glorified, whereas the non-Orthodox saint did not die in communion with the Church. We would be exceeding the bounds of what has been revealed to us to say that that non-Orthodox person is really a saint.

This.
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« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2013, 03:16:33 AM »

Private veneration and private opinion should still not go against the Church's teaching.

In the case of an Orthodox holy person who is not an official saint, it is very different to venerate that person than a non-Orthodox saint, because the Orthodox person still has the potential to be glorified, whereas the non-Orthodox saint did not die in communion with the Church. We would be exceeding the bounds of what has been revealed to us to say that that non-Orthodox person is really a saint.

This.

What about St. Isaac of Niniveh?
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don't even go there!


« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2013, 11:27:29 AM »

So even if you privately believe your non-Orthodox grandmother was the holiest person you ever knew, and she died a long time ago, and now that you've become Orthodox and believe in the intercession of saints, you want to ask her to pray for you, because she was the first one to talk to you about God and taught you to pray - Orthodoxy forbids you to do this?

Is that the officially teaching of Orthodoxy or is that your own personal interpretation?
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« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2013, 11:40:46 AM »

So even if you privately believe your non-Orthodox grandmother was the holiest person you ever knew, and she died a long time ago, and now that you've become Orthodox and believe in the intercession of saints, you want to ask her to pray for you, because she was the first one to talk to you about God and taught you to pray - Orthodoxy forbids you to do this?

Is that the officially teaching of Orthodoxy or is that your own personal interpretation?

So far as I understand, it's personal interpretation, taking what is generally (but not always) a sensibly conservative position. As it so happens, I think of my deceased RC grandfather exactly as you mentioned in your example ("holiest person you ever knew").
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« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2013, 12:29:26 PM »

Whatever happened to simply recommending a.convert to listen to his spiritual father?
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« Reply #20 on: February 02, 2013, 01:17:03 PM »

Whatever happened to simply recommending a.convert to listen to his spiritual father?

That only happens when the hope is that the person's Priest tows the party line around here.
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« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2013, 10:15:26 PM »

Whatever happened to simply recommending a.convert to listen to his spiritual father?

That only happens when the hope is that the person's Priest tows the party line around here.
Pastoral care should be left to those who are qualified, not pompous, do-gooder, armchair theologians that think they always know better than the priests on the front line.

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« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2013, 11:42:54 PM »

The Church, in the canons of the Seven Councils, has decreed that it is not permissible for an Orthodox Christian to enter the martyria of martyrs for Christ who were not Orthodox. It is not permitted to enter, or to pray, or to leave an offering.

The gist seems to clearly be: Veneration of non-Orthodox saints is not permitted.

That is not to say that the Church presumes to decide the fate of the sincere Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, or other Christian "saints" and heroes, or the sincere Buddhist and Hindu "saints" with all their signs of holiness and godliness. God will decide and there's no need for us to presume. It's enough that we look to our own sins and not worry about other people's saints. God loves them and will show mercy on them as He wishes.
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