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Author Topic: Building Bridges Between Orthodox and Catholic Christians  (Read 10162 times) Average Rating: 0
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lovesupreme
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« on: May 02, 2013, 12:50:31 AM »

I told the Roman Catholic deacon I had been working with of my decision to be baptized into the Orthodox Church, and I'm very happy that he took the news well and is completely supportive. Today, he sent me an interview with Archimandrite Robert Taft, SJ, an Eastern Catholic theologian, who I was not familiar with before. The interview discusses Fr. Taft's views on the current state of Orthodox-Catholic relations.

An excerpt:

Quote
CWR: How could the papal claims of Rome be modified in a way that would be both acceptable to the Orthodox Churches and faithful to the tradition of the Catholic Church? Do you think the jurisdiction issue really is a hang-up for the Orthodox since they also practice cross-jurisdiction throughout Western Europe, the Americas, Australia, and East Asia?

Taft: The new Catholic “Sister Churches” ecclesiology describes not only how the Catholic Church views the Orthodox Churches. It also represents a startling revolution in how the Catholic Church views itself: we are no longer the only kid on the block, the whole Church of Christ, but one Sister Church among others. Previously, the Catholic Church saw itself as the original one and only true Church of Christ from which all other Christians had separated for one reason or another in the course of history, and Catholics held, simplistically, that the solution to divided Christendom consisted in all other Christians returning to Rome’s maternal bosom.

Vatican II, with an assist from those Council Fathers with a less naïve Disney-World view of their own Church’s past, managed to put aside this historically ludicrous, self-centered, self-congratulatory perception of reality. In doing so they had a strong assist from the Council Fathers of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church whose concrete experience of the realities of the Christian East made them spokesmen and defenders of that reality.

Read the full interview here

---

Now, I know I'm just a bright-eyed convert with dangerous ecumenical hopes, but I was very pleased to read some (but not all) of the things that Fr. Taft said. Just earlier today, I listened to a guest on a Catholic radio show tell listeners that the Eastern Orthodox Churches don't get along with each other, implying that they weren't even in communion. If anything, this article might have been God's gift to me, showing that there are certainly Catholic voices with a more nuanced understanding of the situation. Smiley
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« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2013, 06:46:48 AM »

I will come back and read the article, but very quickly I wanted to mention that for some reason the prayer 'union of all men' kept sticking out to me like a light beacon this past week. 

Who knows the mind of God, but can it be anything but GOOD?

Smiley 

My family remains RC - and for me, the hope is that we will be one before the judgement seat.  I love them.  Can love ask for anything less for ANY person who calls upon the Name of Christ?
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« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2013, 07:29:15 PM »

I was baptized and raised Greek Orthodox and I love my faith.

I have come to see though that all men are flawed and so are all the respective denominations, No disney fairy tail for me either.
Only God is Good so we all fail miserably, but Putting one church above another is the worst in my humble opinion.

If we despise another church and God dwells in it, we are despising God.

My prayers are that we can all be as one with Christ, because that is what he said we were to do, one nation of people of God , The Holy Spirit and Jesus.
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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2013, 10:14:42 PM »

# you need a starting place...............for unity.......'the only place i know of for orthodox thought is ; golgotha'.........and,..aaah?........ catholic thought ; most seem to think it's the pope, BUT......JohnPaul ll {a pope} it's, "those to whom Sts. Cyril & Methodius went"......latins don't keep up , it don't make no cents to them.....................how can you impart the ancient mysteries to some college edu cated can't remember what it was so they make a goofy guess to prove to people how special they are....................................//.................  [ i think an orthodox will get this  before catholic ]..........orth. looks at icon St. Cyril = monk , St.Methodius = bishop.......orth. thinks christ sent his apostles to all nations, baptizing them, ..christ is king of kings...god gave us the kingdom of his son...god is the god of our Fathers+.......................lati. looks at pope sees  mary....  lati. thinks.....pope.........,< there's not much different, no, congrurency >.........so what went wrong?...is something missing?.... .? ,.  &?.  ,.~.....~~~~......,,,,,,..........,,,,..?..your orthodox,so; Do priest evangelize priest?......... historically Sts.Cyril&Methodius were received by a royal house..[notpriests]...,lati.thinks(pope). ....=.so what did lati. thought do?  get this!....pope talks with queen of england......but. for 'those to whom Sts.Cyril&Methodius went'...pope talks to college edu.priests......so, Do priests evan. priests?....12THsnod.....*******........//...^^^^^.....   starting place  ; learn more about golgotha, (start w/dictionary's & maps) know the scripture...then maybe you can help the latins find continuity.
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2013, 10:18:20 PM »

Just earlier today, I listened to a guest on a Catholic radio show tell listeners that the Eastern Orthodox Churches don't get along with each other, implying that they weren't even in communion.

I don't get why this is a thing. My dad kind of thinks along the same lines. We were on a vacation and he found an Antiochian parish for us to visit because he said staying within one's own "fief" was important in Orthodoxy (he said this in a mocking way).
« Last Edit: May 13, 2013, 10:18:41 PM by William » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2013, 11:19:28 PM »

I told the Roman Catholic deacon I had been working with of my decision to be baptized into the Orthodox Church, and I'm very happy that he took the news well and is completely supportive. Today, he sent me an interview with Archimandrite Robert Taft, SJ, an Eastern Catholic theologian, who I was not familiar with before. The interview discusses Fr. Taft's views on the current state of Orthodox-Catholic relations.

An excerpt:

Quote
CWR: How could the papal claims of Rome be modified in a way that would be both acceptable to the Orthodox Churches and faithful to the tradition of the Catholic Church? Do you think the jurisdiction issue really is a hang-up for the Orthodox since they also practice cross-jurisdiction throughout Western Europe, the Americas, Australia, and East Asia?

Taft: The new Catholic “Sister Churches” ecclesiology describes not only how the Catholic Church views the Orthodox Churches. It also represents a startling revolution in how the Catholic Church views itself: we are no longer the only kid on the block, the whole Church of Christ, but one Sister Church among others. Previously, the Catholic Church saw itself as the original one and only true Church of Christ from which all other Christians had separated for one reason or another in the course of history, and Catholics held, simplistically, that the solution to divided Christendom consisted in all other Christians returning to Rome’s maternal bosom.

Vatican II, with an assist from those Council Fathers with a less naïve Disney-World view of their own Church’s past, managed to put aside this historically ludicrous, self-centered, self-congratulatory perception of reality. In doing so they had a strong assist from the Council Fathers of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church whose concrete experience of the realities of the Christian East made them spokesmen and defenders of that reality.

Read the full interview here

---

Now, I know I'm just a bright-eyed convert with dangerous ecumenical hopes, but I was very pleased to read some (but not all) of the things that Fr. Taft said. Just earlier today, I listened to a guest on a Catholic radio show tell listeners that the Eastern Orthodox Churches don't get along with each other, implying that they weren't even in communion. If anything, this article might have been God's gift to me, showing that there are certainly Catholic voices with a more nuanced understanding of the situation. Smiley
In his interview, Father Taft speaks of the bigotry of many of the Orthodox monastics and the idea that representatives of Orthodoxy  speak out of both sides of their mouth, saying one thing at ecumenical conferences, and something else for the consumption of Orthodox audiences. Somehow, I don’t see this as going over well with many of the Orthodox faithful.
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« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2013, 11:33:16 PM »

If Rome rejoins the Orthodox Church then I'm leaving. I don't want to be united to the Church that colonized my ancestors.
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« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2013, 11:42:24 PM »

That same Church colonized some of my ancestors, too, James. Sometimes you have to look at the big picture (beyond your feelings) to see what the best response is. If Rome embraces the Orthodox faith, then do we forgive her her former errors or not? I would like to think that the most Christian thing to do is always to forgive. Leaving the Church in a huff does not bring back your ancestors nor their pre-Christian religions (which are not always all that much better, I'm sorry to say; I'm pretty happy that there are no human sacrifices going on at Palenque or wherever these days...call me imperialista if you want).
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« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2013, 11:46:49 PM »

Well you can do that, but I'd rather leave. It's about pride.

EDIT: I guess I'd just join one of the Traditionalist Orthodox Churches
« Last Edit: May 13, 2013, 11:49:15 PM by JamesR » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2013, 12:02:19 AM »

Well you can do that, but I'd rather leave. It's about pride.

Pride - a deadly sin.  It's about the present and the future, not re-enacting the past.

EDIT: I guess I'd just join one of the Traditionalist Orthodox Churches

Their numbers are dwindling; many of them are in communion with themselves and very few (if any) others and their Bishops are dying off.
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« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2013, 12:12:57 AM »

If Rome rejoins the Orthodox Church then I'm leaving. I don't want to be united to the Church that colonized my ancestors.
1. I don't know if it is fair to place the blame entirely on the Church itself.
2. Severing ties with Orthodoxy because it unites with a Roman church with skeletons in its closet seems like de-friending your best friend because you find out his great great great great great grandfather mistreated your great great great great great grandfather. We aren't guilty for the sins of our predecessors.
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lovesupreme
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« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2013, 02:01:15 AM »

Well you can do that, but I'd rather leave. It's about pride.

EDIT: I guess I'd just join one of the Traditionalist Orthodox Churches

James, I pray that when and if there is reunion in your lifetime, you will be mature enough not to say such foolish things.

Why are we Orthodox? I would hope it's because we follow the True Church that Christ has established us, regardless of its members. I would hope that we would stay in the Church even if something that we didn't want happened, like a revised calendar, a new council, or the acceptance of a large group of people, such as Roman Catholics, back into the fold.

"If the Church doesn't do what I want... I'll just join the Church that does." Do you understand what sort of logic you're setting up? You're implying that membership in the Church is a matter of personal preference, and that if it no longer serves our needs or it makes us angry, we're free to hop somewhere else. And you would hop to a schismatic church, for the sole purpose of avoiding communion with many faithful men and women.

Maybe you were just joking, but I am genuinely concerned about the views that you have espoused, and the pride to which you have readily admitted. Pride is the mother of all sins, James. And I'm certainly not without it myself. Pray to God that He may heal you of this accursed affliction.
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« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2013, 04:24:59 AM »

If Rome rejoins the Orthodox Church then I'm leaving. I don't want to be united to the Church that colonized my ancestors.

The Orthodox Church colonised my ancestors. At least two times. What should I do?
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« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2013, 04:39:38 AM »

If Rome rejoins the Orthodox Church then I'm leaving. I don't want to be united to the Church that colonized my ancestors.

The Orthodox Church colonised my ancestors. At least two times. What should I do?

Honestly, I don't think any church ever colonised anyone's ancestors. Converted, yes (sometimes and regrettably forcefully) but not colonised. JamesR's ancestors were colonised by the Spaniards who happened to be Roman Catholic, they weren't colonised by the Roman Catholic church.

If we're to base our membership of churches on them having never been adhered to by peoples that colonised, oppressed or subjugated our ancestors, I guess I'm left having to leave Christianity altogether. I suppose I could go and role play worshipping Saxnot but I'd be forever worried that maybe the Saxons oppressed some even earlier ancestor I'm currently unaware of.

James
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« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2013, 06:24:56 AM »

Well you can do that, but I'd rather leave. It's about pride.

EDIT: I guess I'd just join one of the Traditionalist Orthodox Churches

James, I pray that when and if there is reunion in your lifetime, you will be mature enough not to say such foolish things.

Why are we Orthodox? I would hope it's because we follow the True Church that Christ has established us, regardless of its members. I would hope that we would stay in the Church even if something that we didn't want happened, like a revised calendar, a new council, or the acceptance of a large group of people, such as Roman Catholics, back into the fold.

"If the Church doesn't do what I want... I'll just join the Church that does." Do you understand what sort of logic you're setting up? You're implying that membership in the Church is a matter of personal preference, and that if it no longer serves our needs or it makes us angry, we're free to hop somewhere else. And you would hop to a schismatic church, for the sole purpose of avoiding communion with many faithful men and women.

Maybe you were just joking, but I am genuinely concerned about the views that you have espoused, and the pride to which you have readily admitted. Pride is the mother of all sins, James. And I'm certainly not without it myself. Pray to God that He may heal you of this accursed affliction.

Excellent comments and observations.
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« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2013, 11:59:15 AM »

I think there will be some kind of union either in this century or the next.

If it will be a true union where we put away sins that have been committed (mainly papal supremacy and infallibility on the Roman side, phyletism on the Orthodox side), I'll rejoice. If, on the other hand, it's some sort of "you can understand papal supremacy in any way you want but submitt to it" I'll glady stay in the Orthodox Catholic Church even if all patriarchs deflected to heresy.

While Rome enforces Unam Sanctam, Cum Simus Super and Pastor Aeternus, all "union" under explicitily relativistic terms will be a contract with spiritually lethal small print.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2013, 12:01:31 PM by Fabio Leite » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2013, 12:15:18 PM »

If Rome rejoins the Orthodox Church then I'm leaving. I don't want to be united to the Church that colonized my ancestors.
This is a silly post. I'm hispanic too, and my religious devotion has nothing to do with what happened to my ancestors. It has to do with what I believe to be true.
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« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2013, 12:15:18 PM »

Well you can do that, but I'd rather leave. It's about pride.

EDIT: I guess I'd just join one of the Traditionalist Orthodox Churches
You do realize that our ancestors (yours and mine) practiced human sacrifice before the Spanish Catholics arrived and put an end to this, right?
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« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2013, 12:15:18 PM »

If Rome rejoins the Orthodox Church then I'm leaving. I don't want to be united to the Church that colonized my ancestors.

The Orthodox Church colonised my ancestors. At least two times. What should I do?

Honestly, I don't think any church ever colonised anyone's ancestors. Converted, yes (sometimes and regrettably forcefully) but not colonised. JamesR's ancestors were colonised by the Spaniards who happened to be Roman Catholic, they weren't colonised by the Roman Catholic church.

If we're to base our membership of churches on them having never been adhered to by peoples that colonised, oppressed or subjugated our ancestors, I guess I'm left having to leave Christianity altogether. I suppose I could go and role play worshipping Saxnot but I'd be forever worried that maybe the Saxons oppressed some even earlier ancestor I'm currently unaware of.

James
BTW, being Mexican, James probably has some Spanish ancestors as well.
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« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2013, 12:36:55 PM »

Everybody's ancestor killed and tortured someone else's ancestor.

Basically a hates b because x killed z. Compensation and pride ideology is just silly.
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« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2013, 12:46:32 PM »

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If Rome rejoins the Orthodox Church then I'm leaving. I don't want to be united to the Church that colonized my ancestors.
"Too bad youth is wasted on the young."
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« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2013, 12:55:54 PM »

I don't have a problem with Rome ... Catholics can be doctrinally orthodox with a lowercase 'o' as compared the capital "O" in Orthodox.
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« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2013, 01:05:26 PM »

BTW, being Mexican, James probably has some Spanish ancestors as well.

Thank you! I wasn't going to say it, but I was thinking it pretty loudly after looking at James' avatar. Smiley

Just like in the USA (or Australia, or the Middle East, or anywhere, really), unless you're a 100% native/indigenous person, you're at least partially from somewhere else, and it's a wee bit incredibly hypocritical to choose to be outraged on behalf of whatever percentage of you actually belongs to the land you've probably never been to, or went to on vacation once, or otherwise have very little connection to. The vast majority of Mexicans are mestizo/mixed native and Spanish ancestry. This is the case with everyone in my family who is Mexican.

I mean, let's be real here: My grandmother came to this country from Mexico when she was very young. My great grandmother (who I don't remember; she died when I was two) apparently spoke no English for her entire life, despite coming here in her 20s or thereabouts with my grandmother. They had a hard life for a while, but it was still a heck of a lot better than it was or would have been back in the old country. Let's not romanticize Mexico or any place as being great before X (the Catholics, the Orthodox, the Mormons, the white people, the whatevers) showed up. Chances are if they hadn't, you wouldn't be who you are, and you might even be stuck living on some tiny plot of land, or no land at all, working essentially in serfdom and never being able to better your life at all. Go ahead and be mad at your chosen colonial symbol all you want, but don't let it cloud your perception of reality. The fact that you're getting mad 500 years after the fact on behalf of some long lost ancestor whose name you probably don't even know is already doing that enough for you. Live in now. Now is, by all accounts, pretty good.
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« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2013, 01:13:43 PM »

BTW, being Mexican, James probably has some Spanish ancestors as well.

Thank you! I wasn't going to say it, but I was thinking it pretty loudly after looking at James' avatar. Smiley

Just like in the USA (or Australia, or the Middle East, or anywhere, really), unless you're a 100% native/indigenous person, you're at least partially from somewhere else, and it's a wee bit incredibly hypocritical to choose to be outraged on behalf of whatever percentage of you actually belongs to the land you've probably never been to, or went to on vacation once, or otherwise have very little connection to. The vast majority of Mexicans are mestizo/mixed native and Spanish ancestry. This is the case with everyone in my family who is Mexican.

I mean, let's be real here: My grandmother came to this country from Mexico when she was very young. My great grandmother (who I don't remember; she died when I was two) apparently spoke no English for her entire life, despite coming here in her 20s or thereabouts with my grandmother. They had a hard life for a while, but it was still a heck of a lot better than it was or would have been back in the old country. Let's not romanticize Mexico or any place as being great before X (the Catholics, the Orthodox, the Mormons, the white people, the whatevers) showed up. Chances are if they hadn't, you wouldn't be who you are, and you might even be stuck living on some tiny plot of land, or no land at all, working essentially in serfdom and never being able to better your life at all. Go ahead and be mad at your chosen colonial symbol all you want, but don't let it cloud your perception of reality. The fact that you're getting mad 500 years after the fact on behalf of some long lost ancestor whose name you probably don't even know is already doing that enough for you. Live in now. Now is, by all accounts, pretty good.
Here in Albuquerque, NM, there is a funny little debate on whether or not native New Mexicans are Mexican or Spanish. The whole conversation is quite silly, since we are all probably both.
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« Reply #24 on: May 14, 2013, 01:16:35 PM »

Back in the days the Orthodox Church chopped down sacred Dutch trees.
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« Reply #25 on: May 14, 2013, 01:38:12 PM »

Here in Albuquerque, NM, there is a funny little debate on whether or not native New Mexicans are Mexican or Spanish. The whole conversation is quite silly, since we are all probably both.

Yes. I am not from here, so I cannot participate in it, but I have been privy to that debate due to my career choice. I think it's pretty interesting, actually. Once again, you essentially are what you say you are. It's funny to explain to people back home in N. California (which has its own Spanish -- as well as indigenous, Mexican, Russian, etc. -- heritage) how Albuquerque has a Hispanic majority thanks to all the white people claiming Hispanic ancestry (as the census does not differentiate between different Hispanic races; if I recall correctly, the category is "Hispanic (including white)", though there may be other, more fine-grained distinctions to be made within that). It seems to bug people that Hispanics/Latinos/whatever can be of any race.

For instance, all of these people are Mexicans:


(Euro-Mexican [Hungarian Jewish])


(Afro-Mexicans)


(Asian-Mexican)


(Arab-Mexican)

I think the real question is: Which half of these people gets to be upset and take their ball and go home? (And to where?)

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« Reply #26 on: May 14, 2013, 02:33:12 PM »

1. I don't know if it is fair to place the blame entirely on the Church itself.
2. Severing ties with Orthodoxy because it unites with a Roman church with skeletons in its closet seems like de-friending your best friend because you find out his great great great great great grandfather mistreated your great great great great great grandfather. We aren't guilty for the sins of our predecessors.

I'm just not going to accept the marks of colonialism. No Mexican is Roman Catholic because they "think it's true." They're Roman Catholic because they had it forced on them in the past and their parents forced it on them and so on. Then again, pretty much everyone who adheres to a religion (other than converts) are like that.
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« Reply #27 on: May 14, 2013, 02:33:40 PM »

Back in the days the Orthodox Church chopped down sacred Dutch trees.

You should demand that the EP plant you a new tree Smiley
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« Reply #28 on: May 14, 2013, 02:36:30 PM »

Well you can do that, but I'd rather leave. It's about pride.

EDIT: I guess I'd just join one of the Traditionalist Orthodox Churches
You do realize that our ancestors (yours and mine) practiced human sacrifice before the Spanish Catholics arrived and put an end to this, right?

That's questionable as nearly every Aztec document prior to the arrival of the Spanish was destroyed, and most of the sources we get this information from come from Spaniards who wanted to demonize the enemy for permission to exploit them for gold. And even if it did happen, so what? The Spanish didn't make it any better by bashing their heads against the trees after baptizing them and enslaving them at plantations. Europe was practicing imperialism for years and no one stopped them until the Ottomans gave them a run for their money.
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« Reply #29 on: May 14, 2013, 02:38:33 PM »

BTW, being Mexican, James probably has some Spanish ancestors as well.

German actually, which is rather rare.
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« Reply #30 on: May 14, 2013, 02:55:08 PM »

1. I don't know if it is fair to place the blame entirely on the Church itself.
2. Severing ties with Orthodoxy because it unites with a Roman church with skeletons in its closet seems like de-friending your best friend because you find out his great great great great great grandfather mistreated your great great great great great grandfather. We aren't guilty for the sins of our predecessors.

I'm just not going to accept the marks of colonialism. No Mexican is Roman Catholic because they "think it's true." They're Roman Catholic because they had it forced on them in the past and their parents forced it on them and so on. Then again, pretty much everyone who adheres to a religion (other than converts) are like that.

James, how are you to know the true motivations of every single Mexican man, woman, and child who has ever lived? It's reasonable to assert that there's a correlation between Roman Catholicism in Mexican populations and colonialism. It's absolutely unreasonable to assert that no Mexican has ever had a sincere belief in his faith, but accepts it merely because he was born into it, because his ancestors were at one point forced to accept it. Please, my friend, I implore you to have more faith in other people.
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« Reply #31 on: May 14, 2013, 03:31:44 PM »

Here in Albuquerque, NM, there is a funny little debate on whether or not native New Mexicans are Mexican or Spanish. 
It is easy to determine if someone is Mexican or Spanish. Have them say "gracias." Or ask them the word for computer. Is it a “computadora” or an “ordenador”.
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« Reply #32 on: May 14, 2013, 03:46:54 PM »

1. I don't know if it is fair to place the blame entirely on the Church itself.
2. Severing ties with Orthodoxy because it unites with a Roman church with skeletons in its closet seems like de-friending your best friend because you find out his great great great great great grandfather mistreated your great great great great great grandfather. We aren't guilty for the sins of our predecessors.

I'm just not going to accept the marks of colonialism. No Mexican is Roman Catholic because they "think it's true." They're Roman Catholic because they had it forced on them in the past and their parents forced it on them and so on. Then again, pretty much everyone who adheres to a religion (other than converts) are like that.
Because the human sacrificing religions of pre-christian mexico were soooooo much better.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #33 on: May 14, 2013, 03:46:54 PM »

Well you can do that, but I'd rather leave. It's about pride.

EDIT: I guess I'd just join one of the Traditionalist Orthodox Churches
You do realize that our ancestors (yours and mine) practiced human sacrifice before the Spanish Catholics arrived and put an end to this, right?

That's questionable as nearly every Aztec document prior to the arrival of the Spanish was destroyed, and most of the sources we get this information from come from Spaniards who wanted to demonize the enemy for permission to exploit them for gold. And even if it did happen, so what? The Spanish didn't make it any better by bashing their heads against the trees after baptizing them and enslaving them at plantations. Europe was practicing imperialism for years and no one stopped them until the Ottomans gave them a run for their money.
Its not debatable. Even Atzec and Mayan art testify to the practice of human sacrifice. Have you ever visited an ancient mayan or aztec city?
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« Reply #34 on: May 14, 2013, 03:46:54 PM »

BTW, being Mexican, James probably has some Spanish ancestors as well.

German actually, which is rather rare.
Wait... You are German and complaining about the atrocities committed by the Spanish??? Dude, your ancestry is a clear indication that everyone's ancestors have blood on their hands.
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« Reply #35 on: May 14, 2013, 03:46:54 PM »

1. I don't know if it is fair to place the blame entirely on the Church itself.
2. Severing ties with Orthodoxy because it unites with a Roman church with skeletons in its closet seems like de-friending your best friend because you find out his great great great great great grandfather mistreated your great great great great great grandfather. We aren't guilty for the sins of our predecessors.

I'm just not going to accept the marks of colonialism. No Mexican is Roman Catholic because they "think it's true." They're Roman Catholic because they had it forced on them in the past and their parents forced it on them and so on. Then again, pretty much everyone who adheres to a religion (other than converts) are like that.
You must must think that I don't exist, because I am Catholic because I think it's true. If I didn't think Catholicism was true, I'd be Orthodox.
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« Reply #36 on: May 14, 2013, 05:20:44 PM »

Well you can do that, but I'd rather leave. It's about pride.

EDIT: I guess I'd just join one of the Traditionalist Orthodox Churches
You do realize that our ancestors (yours and mine) practiced human sacrifice before the Spanish Catholics arrived and put an end to this, right?

That's questionable as nearly every Aztec document prior to the arrival of the Spanish was destroyed, and most of the sources we get this information from come from Spaniards who wanted to demonize the enemy for permission to exploit them for gold. And even if it did happen, so what? The Spanish didn't make it any better by bashing their heads against the trees after baptizing them and enslaving them at plantations. Europe was practicing imperialism for years and no one stopped them until the Ottomans gave them a run for their money.
Its not debatable. Even Atzec and Mayan art testify to the practice of human sacrifice. Have you ever visited an ancient mayan or aztec city?

Have you ever looked at that art with unbiased eyes that weren't influenced by Spanish documents? After all, someone could easily misinterpret this art as being something horrible and barbaric...







People used to think we were cannibals because of the Eucharist. I'm just saying, the Aztecs and other American civilizations aren't given a fair shake because so much of our perception on them is based off of Spanish propoganda. And even if they did practice human sacrifice, doesn't mean that the Spanish made it any better with how brutal they were.
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« Reply #37 on: May 14, 2013, 05:52:04 PM »

No one is saying the Spanish didn't behave brutally. But the brutality of the Spanish does not negate the brutality of the Mexicans. And I think you could make a case that at least the Spanish had a Church that frequently objected to this brutality (e.g. Father de las Casas); I am not aware of any movement within pre-Columbian Mexican culture that opposed human sacrifice or other barbarities.

And yes the Mexicans did practice human sacrifice; the archeological evidence for this is overwhelming on its own. Check out "1491" for the details (a book highly sympathetic to the natives, by the way, but it still reports the facts).

Also, even if the ancestors of today's Mexicans were forced to convert, that does not mean their current faith is inauthentic.
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« Reply #38 on: May 14, 2013, 06:12:16 PM »

Well you can do that, but I'd rather leave. It's about pride.

EDIT: I guess I'd just join one of the Traditionalist Orthodox Churches
You do realize that our ancestors (yours and mine) practiced human sacrifice before the Spanish Catholics arrived and put an end to this, right?

Yes and there was plenty of war and killing and slaves held by indigenous peoples before  the Spanish got there.
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« Reply #39 on: May 15, 2013, 03:14:14 AM »

If Rome rejoins the Orthodox Church then I'm leaving. I don't want to be united to the Church that colonized my ancestors.

The Orthodox Church colonised my ancestors. At least two times. What should I do?

Honestly, I don't think any church ever colonised anyone's ancestors. Converted, yes (sometimes and regrettably forcefully) but not colonised. JamesR's ancestors were colonised by the Spaniards who happened to be Roman Catholic, they weren't colonised by the Roman Catholic church.

If we're to base our membership of churches on them having never been adhered to by peoples that colonised, oppressed or subjugated our ancestors, I guess I'm left having to leave Christianity altogether. I suppose I could go and role play worshipping Saxnot but I'd be forever worried that maybe the Saxons oppressed some even earlier ancestor I'm currently unaware of.

James
BTW, being Mexican, James probably has some Spanish ancestors as well.

I know. I just thought that was too obvious to mention really and I was more interested in pointing out the idiocy in rejecting a religion because someone with that same religion did something terrible to some distant ancestor than I was in pointing out how ridiculously over simplistic JamesR's identification with his pre-Columbian ancestors was.

James
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« Reply #40 on: May 15, 2013, 04:05:36 AM »


(Asian-Mexican)I think the real question is: Which half of these people gets to be upset and take their ball and go home? (And to where?)



* ain't here, so I'll do it for him.

She does. His place.
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« Reply #41 on: May 15, 2013, 05:42:13 AM »

People used to think we were cannibals because of the Eucharist. I'm just saying, the Aztecs and other American civilizations aren't given a fair shake because so much of our perception on them is based off of Spanish propoganda. And even if they did practice human sacrifice, doesn't mean that the Spanish made it any better with how brutal they were.

The Eucharist didn't leave enormous piles of mutilated human skeletons (beheaded/rib cage opened) behind as your ancestors did at the bottom of their temple-pyramids.

Quote
According to these early accounts, some sacrificial victims were not eaten, such as children offered by drowning to the rain god, Tlaloc, or persons suffering skin diseases. But the overwhelming majority of the sacrificed captives apparently were consumed. A principal -- and sometimes only -- objective of Aztec war expeditions was to capture prisoners for sacrifice. While some might be sacrificed and eaten on the field of battle, most were taken to home communities or to the capital, where they were kept in wooden cages to be fattened until sacrificed by the priests at the temple-pyramids. Most of the sacrifices involved tearing out the heart, offering it to the sun and, with some blood, also to the idols. The corpse was then tumbled down the steps of the pyramid and carried off to be butchered. The head went on the local skull rack, displayed in central plazas alongside the temple-pyramids. At least three of the limbs were the property of the captor if he had seized the prisoner without assistance in battle. Later, at a feast given at the captor's quarters, the central dish was a stew of tomatoes, peppers, and the limbs of his victim. The remaining torso, in Tenochtitlán at least, went to the royal zoo where it was used to feed carnivorous mammals, birds, and snakes.

Recent archeological research leads support to conquistadores' and informants' vivid and detailed accounts of Aztec cannibalism. Mexican archeologists excavating at an Aztec sacrificial site in the Tlatelolco section of Mexico City between 1960 and 1969 uncovered headless human rib cages completely lacking the limb bones. Associated with these remains were some razor-like obsidian blades, which the archeologists believe were used in the butchering. Nearby they also discovered piles of human skulls, which apparently had been broken open to obtain the brains, possibly a choice delicacy reserved for the priesthood, and to mount the skulls on a ceremonial rack.
 
Through cannibalism, the Aztecs appear to have been attempting to reduce very particular nutritional deficiencies. Under the conditions of high population pressure and class stratification that characterized the Aztec state, commoners or lower-class persons rarely had the opportunity to eat any game, even the domesticated turkey, except on great occasions. They often had to content themselves with such creatures as worms and snakes and an edible lake-surface scum called "stone dung," which may have been algae fostered by pollution from Tenochtitlán. Preliminary research seems to indicate that although fish and waterfowl were taken from the lakes, most of the Aztec poor did not have significant access to this protein source and were forced to be near-vegetarians, subsisting mainly on domesticated plant foods such a maize and beans.  

Source
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« Reply #42 on: May 15, 2013, 06:19:13 AM »

I don't understand where the impetus to somehow disprove what the Aztecs and Mayans own writings say (and we have more of those than JamesR seems to think; while they are only a tiny fraction of what must've been produced before the Spanish arrived and burned most everything, the numerous codices, monumental inscriptions, and other examples of writing have long been the subject of study by Western philologists and linguists) comes from. I mean, I have relatives from some of those places, too, but I don't feel that they're beyond reproach just because Spaniards were brutal to the people sometimes. After my grandmother died a few years ago, we were going through her personal effects and I found some photos of what I assume to be a relative circa the Mexican Revolution, dressed up in the full military uniform of the counter-revolutionary forces, i.e., government forces loyal to Porfirio Diaz (my grandmother was born in the 1920s, and the effect of that conflict was apparently part of the reason her mother fled the country with her). That made me pretty sad, since I grew up with the standard view of Mexican history that they taught us in school: Benito Juarez (who had fought alongside Diaz to kick out the French before being elected president) was a hero, and Porfirio Diaz was a jerk and a dictator who turned on him and the Mexican people. Guess what? I still fricking think that, despite the clear evidence that at least one person in my family fought on his behalf. Your ancestors and relatives are not perfect people, and never have been, and since morality is not context-dependent (i.e., we cannot say "So what if X did something awful; so did Y/Y is not better!"), if you're really going to be upset about how badly some people treated a distant relative centuries before you were born, you ought to be just as upset by how badly some of your distant (or not so distant) relatives undoubtedly treated other people. No one is innocent; everyone is fallen. That is not an excuse for anyone to do anything terrible, and we should also not treat it as a free pass to complain as though the historical record is clear and the people in it were monoliths of pure evil/pure good. That's not even close to reality. That's just a reworking of the "noble savage" myth that, if it came from the keyboard of someone who didn't have all their "I'm Mexican" ducks in a row beforehand, would probably be a prime target for accusations of racism and colonializing mindset by some of our more politically-charged posters. (I swear I'm not usually one of them; the particular way that this topic is being discussed is just bothering me more than usual.)
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« Reply #43 on: May 15, 2013, 07:41:19 AM »

Well you can do that, but I'd rather leave. It's about pride.

EDIT: I guess I'd just join one of the Traditionalist Orthodox Churches
You do realize that our ancestors (yours and mine) practiced human sacrifice before the Spanish Catholics arrived and put an end to this, right?

That's questionable as nearly every Aztec document prior to the arrival of the Spanish was destroyed, and most of the sources we get this information from come from Spaniards who wanted to demonize the enemy for permission to exploit them for gold. And even if it did happen, so what? The Spanish didn't make it any better by bashing their heads against the trees after baptizing them and enslaving them at plantations. Europe was practicing imperialism for years and no one stopped them until the Ottomans gave them a run for their money.
Its not debatable. Even Atzec and Mayan art testify to the practice of human sacrifice. Have you ever visited an ancient mayan or aztec city?

Have you ever looked at that art with unbiased eyes that weren't influenced by Spanish documents? After all, someone could easily misinterpret this art as being something horrible and barbaric...







People used to think we were cannibals because of the Eucharist. I'm just saying, the Aztecs and other American civilizations aren't given a fair shake because so much of our perception on them is based off of Spanish propoganda. And even if they did practice human sacrifice, doesn't mean that the Spanish made it any better with how brutal they were.
Excuse me, but I remember watching a national geographic type documentary on the mayans several years back. One of the discoveries they discussed was ancient mayan art in a cave, depicting the mayan practice of human sacrifice.
I don't have a reference handy, so I'm calling Dr. Isa. Isa, do you have a reference on the practice of human sacrifice in ancient Mayan and Aztec cultures?
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« Reply #44 on: May 15, 2013, 08:08:59 AM »

Pre-Columbian Studies Online Publications

You might find something there - I haven't searched too deeply yet.

But I admit I'd pay for the sight of James in full Feathered Serpent regalia. Quetzalcoatl for President, compadres! Cheesy
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