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Author Topic: Orthodox-Catholic Reunification - a few proposals  (Read 5414 times) Average Rating: 0
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Shanghaiski
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« Reply #270 on: June 01, 2013, 09:35:55 PM »

Praying with heretics and schismatics is condemned a few times here and there.

Is it really condemned for an Orthodox Christian to say a prayer with a Roman Catholic? How serious a crime is it? Will an Orthodox Christian go to hell for that, if he does not repent of this sin? Is the rule still in effect today, or has it been thrown out, so that it is no longer regarded as a sin?

It is in the Apostolic Canons, IIRC. Either way, it's a canon also recognized by the Roman Catholics. As canons go, they need to be enforced. So, if a priest goes and prays with heretics or schismatics, it would lie with his bishop to discipline him. If a bishop, with the synod. As for the spiritual consequences, the canon IIRC says that clergy should be deposed and laymen excommnicated. However, canons do not, I don't think, enforce themselves. An ecclesiastical trial would need to be held. And for a trial, there must be some kind of accusation of wrongdoing. And for an accusation, there must be some kind of common understanding--of the holy canons, or propriety, of ecclesiology, etc.


Oh my !! I guess I am a deep pile of trouble in light of the fact that my wife is Roman Catholic and I am Eastern Orthodox and we pray with one another.  This kind of crap is the type of thing that is enough for me to throw up my arms in despair and be done with organized religion and just go into the woods and worship God as best as I can.  Thank heavens no one enforces this kind of thing any longer.

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Dude, calm down. I think if you actually examined the context you would see it refers to religious services.
So there is nothing wrong with an Orthodox Christian praying privately with a Roman Catholic?

"Nothing wrong" is one of those kind of statements which creates all kinds of difficulties when applied to many things.
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« Reply #271 on: June 01, 2013, 09:37:27 PM »

Whether we, Catholics and Orthodox, like it or not it is essential for the sake of the Church that the East and West reunite.

Essential that we jettison the teachings of the one true faith just so that we can say we're one when in actuality we are nothing but?  Yeah, right.

Yeah. "For the sake of the Church?" The Orthodox Church? The Roman Catholic Church? Or that weird body which has two lungs in separate bodies but exist mentally in the heads of those who don't know ecclesiology?

I don't see the urgency here.
Whether it is 'urgent' in your mind or not, you should see the importance of at least fostering good relationships with other Christians for the sake of unity, even if that unity never is actualized in the form of full communion.

No, I don't see the importance of that at all. I see a lot of touchy-feeliness and some sinister opportunism, and a lot of disconnection with tradition.

Questions like "Should we proselytize among the Orthodox?" don't seem touchy-feely to me.

Except that was not the question.
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« Reply #272 on: June 01, 2013, 10:26:15 PM »

However, if churches believe that Mary sinned then Inthink that would be enough to halt any reunion proposal if and when that would come about.
Thoughts on the following?

"Greek Fathers (..St. Basil. St. John Chrysostom, St. Cyril of Alexander) taught that Mary suffered from personal faults, such as ambition and vanity, doubt about the message of the Angel, and lack of faith under the Cross." -From Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Roman Catholic Dogma.

"...even after she gave birth to the Son of God, Mary was not exempted of less serious sins. St. John Chrysostom attributes to Mary the sin of vanity, in the context of the first miracle of Christ in Cana of Galilee. Mary was also saved by her Son, for her God is her savior (Luke 1:47) as well. It is unfortunate that the Roman Catholic Church promulgated the doctrine of the so-called "Immaculate Conception" in 1854, which contradicts the traditional doctrine of the Church concerning Mary." -Bishop Maximos Aghiorgoussis, The Dogmatic Tradition of the Orthodox Church)

We do, of course, emphasize the Theotokos is "spotless" (achrantos), "completely blameless" (panamomos), "all holy" (panagia), and similiarly. but there is no dogma as to when or how; the Holy Spirit descending upon her, and the liturgical tradition of the purifying fire of the burning bush within her womb are examples, i.e. as a function of her theosis, the fact of her *physically* carrying the One who was also more spacious than the heavens, and the fact that no one has ever been so close to the Son of God as she.

Cf. also Fr. Laurent Cleenewerck's remarks at Orthodox Answers: "ctually, there is no such dogma in Orthodoxy as expressed in the recognized Ecumenical Councils and the consensus of the saints - both recent and modern as we shall see. This is also connected to the somewhat vague concept of "sinlessness" when assigned to the Theotokos. There is certainly a general preference for what can be called the "prudent option" - which is to say that Mary never committed any action or sin that would have placed her under the authority of the Devil. This prudent option is connected with the sense that the Theotokos is the New Ark and New Eve, and that is would be unwise to assign any actual sin to her. Within Orthodoxy, there is also the idea of relative sinlessness (a form of being maximally righteous and blameless before God as in the case of Zachariah and Elizabeth) - which is not quite the complete or absolute sinlessness of Jesus Christ."

Certainly Orthodox reject Augustine's notion of hereditary guilt which was related to the perceived necessity of the idea that Mary was conceived by her own mother immaculately within the RC tradition.
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« Reply #273 on: June 01, 2013, 10:30:05 PM »

I personally believe and was taught as a catechumen that our Lady never committed a personal sin, even though she was born in a fallen state like the rest of us, I believe the saying goes "she is the great example, not the great exception".
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« Reply #274 on: June 01, 2013, 10:38:11 PM »

Along with St. John Chrysostom and St. Basil (who both presented to our Church two of our Liturgies), modern Orthodox saints like St. John Maximovitch of San Francisco, and prominent Orthodox authors like Fr. John Meyerendorff, Fr. John Behr, Fr. Thomas Hopko, and many others of unquestioned Orthodoxy have denied the idea that Mary never committed personal sins.

The notion is affirmed by others within our Churches, but we have no dogma to that effect. There are many threads on that topic here, e.g. http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,45852.msg777423.html#msg777423

It seems to me that if it was suddenly insisted upon as a dogma for the sake of potential union with RC that could lead to schism within our tradition.
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« Reply #275 on: June 01, 2013, 10:46:32 PM »

Our Lady is all-pure, immaculate, incorrupt, etc. because of her giving birth to Christ God.
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« Reply #276 on: June 01, 2013, 10:59:15 PM »

A council may not have declared it dogma but it is not absent from Patristic teachings St. Ambrose of Milan once said, "Mary, a Virgin not only incorrupt [incorrupta], but a Virgin whom grace has made inviolate, free from every stain of sin [per gratiam ab omnia incorrupta labe peccati]."
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« Reply #277 on: June 01, 2013, 11:15:59 PM »

"Nothing wrong" is one of those kind of statements which creates all kinds of difficulties when applied to many things.
I am somewhat confused here. Do you know if it is it wrong or is it all right for an Orthodox and a Roman Catholic to pray together privately? 
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« Reply #278 on: June 01, 2013, 11:18:08 PM »

"Nothing wrong" is one of those kind of statements which creates all kinds of difficulties when applied to many things.
I am somewhat confused here. Do you know if it is it wrong or is it all right for an Orthodox and a Roman Catholic to pray together privately? 
According to the cannons it is wrong, economia allows it to an extent.
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« Reply #279 on: June 01, 2013, 11:27:44 PM »

"Nothing wrong" is one of those kind of statements which creates all kinds of difficulties when applied to many things.
I am somewhat confused here. Do you know if it is it wrong or is it all right for an Orthodox and a Roman Catholic to pray together privately? 
According to the cannons it is wrong, economia allows it to an extent.
So the canons of the Orthodox Church do not allow an Orthodox Christian and a Roman Catholic to pray together, whether it be privately or publicly in a religious setting? How seriously is an Orthodox Christian supposed to take the canons of the Church? Are they something that Orthodox have to worry about or can they more or less apply leniency and effectively ignore them? For example, in another thread on homeschooling, someone mentioned that his son went to a Roman school and he crossed himself in the Eastern fashion from right to left at the beginning and end of the prayers. Now would this be a violation of the canons of the Orthodox Church, where an Orthodox  pupil in a Roman school prays with the Catholics there? Would this sin have to be confessed?
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« Reply #280 on: June 01, 2013, 11:34:44 PM »

This is never something I've understood, I converted from Catholicism, my whole family is still Catholic, I just graduated from a Catholic school and I pray with Catholics, I go to Mass(school, family events, and occasionally  with my grandmother because she asks) and I have never been told not to the only thing my priest has told me not to do other than receive Communion is not to recite the creed, even though cannons forbid it economia allows it in my position(as my priest has told me). 
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« Reply #281 on: June 01, 2013, 11:39:18 PM »

"Nothing wrong" is one of those kind of statements which creates all kinds of difficulties when applied to many things.
I am somewhat confused here. Do you know if it is it wrong or is it all right for an Orthodox and a Roman Catholic to pray together privately? 
According to the cannons it is wrong, economia allows it to an extent.
So the canons of the Orthodox Church do not allow an Orthodox Christian and a Roman Catholic to pray together, whether it be privately or publicly in a religious setting? How seriously is an Orthodox Christian supposed to take the canons of the Church? Are they something that Orthodox have to worry about or can they more or less apply leniency and effectively ignore them? For example, in another thread on homeschooling, someone mentioned that his son went to a Roman school and he crossed himself in the Eastern fashion from right to left at the beginning and end of the prayers. Now would this be a violation of the canons of the Orthodox Church, where an Orthodox  pupil in a Roman school prays with the Catholics there? Would this sin have to be confessed?

I don't think many people on these forums (well, at least not me) are qualified to make that call. From what I understand, the canons are always effective (i.e. they don't "expire"), they're just not always enforced for reasons of economia.

I know a couple who is Orthodox/Catholic and they obviously pray together on a regular daily basis. The Orthodox man is a recent convert, so I'm sure if this was an issue, it would have come up during his conversion. Also, I've heard from a priest that the only thing verboten, is, of course, participating in the sacraments.

Of course, the above are all isolated examples that in no way explain how we are to properly enact these canons.

(Personally, I don't see we could feasibly uphold these canons nowadays. We have so many mixed marriages and believing friends who are not Orthodox.)
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« Reply #282 on: June 02, 2013, 12:03:14 AM »

"Nothing wrong" is one of those kind of statements which creates all kinds of difficulties when applied to many things.
I am somewhat confused here. Do you know if it is it wrong or is it all right for an Orthodox and a Roman Catholic to pray together privately?  

I believe it was earlier in this thread that this was discussed. Some Orthodox believe the canons regarding prayer apply to all prayer with non-Orthodox, public and private. Others interpret, or at least apply, the canons to only apply to public prayer and thus allow private prayer with non-Orthodox.

Honestly, I'd imagine most Orthodox (in the West, perhaps?) would allow for private prayer. Speakers on AFR and such I've heard have allowed for it, and my priest most certainly does.
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« Reply #283 on: June 02, 2013, 01:21:52 AM »

His All Holiness recited the Nicene Creed with the Pope of Rome (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6LF5b9ZlfY), I seriously doubt that prayer between Orthodox and Catholic individuals is forbidden. I also just read in the newspaper of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North & South America that the Metropolitan of Boston prayed with the Catholic Metropolitan Bishop of the area at a memorial service for the dead of the Boston Marathon Bombings.
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« Reply #284 on: June 02, 2013, 02:23:57 AM »

His All Holiness recited the Nicene Creed with the Pope of Rome (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6LF5b9ZlfY), I seriously doubt that prayer between Orthodox and Catholic individuals is forbidden. I also just read in the newspaper of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North & South America that the Metropolitan of Boston prayed with the Catholic Metropolitan Bishop of the area at a memorial service for the dead of the Boston Marathon Bombings.
The very important thing to point out about their Holinesses reciting the creed together is that it was in its original form without the filioque!
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« Reply #285 on: June 02, 2013, 06:30:30 AM »

"Nothing wrong" is one of those kind of statements which creates all kinds of difficulties when applied to many things.
I am somewhat confused here. Do you know if it is it wrong or is it all right for an Orthodox and a Roman Catholic to pray together privately? 

I believe it was earlier in this thread that this was discussed. Some Orthodox believe the canons regarding prayer apply to all prayer with non-Orthodox, public and private. Others interpret, or at least apply, the canons to only apply to public prayer and thus allow private prayer with non-Orthodox.

Honestly, I'd imagine most Orthodox (in the West, perhaps?) would allow for private prayer. Speakers on AFR and such I've heard have allowed for it, and my priest most certainly does.

A related question: with regard to allowing/disallowing "prayer with heretics", do you guys generally lump "heretics" all together? Or would, say, prayer with a Calvinist be treated as a separate category than, say, prayer with Catholics or LCMS?
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« Reply #286 on: June 02, 2013, 06:45:14 AM »

However, if churches believe that Mary sinned then Inthink that would be enough to halt any reunion proposal if and when that would come about.
Thoughts on the following?

"Greek Fathers (..St. Basil. St. John Chrysostom, St. Cyril of Alexander) taught that Mary suffered from personal faults, such as ambition and vanity, doubt about the message of the Angel, and lack of faith under the Cross." -From Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Roman Catholic Dogma.

I've seen this claim before but have not seen where the Fathers actually say this in their writings. Some of it seems to be about doubt or sorrow at the Passion which is not really a personal sin (unless Christ personally sinned in Gethsemane). Could you point me to where these Fathers say Mary sinned?
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« Reply #287 on: June 02, 2013, 07:11:32 AM »

Along with St. John Chrysostom and St. Basil (who both presented to our Church two of our Liturgies), modern Orthodox saints like St. John Maximovitch of San Francisco, and prominent Orthodox authors like Fr. John Meyerendorff, Fr. John Behr, Fr. Thomas Hopko, and many others of unquestioned Orthodoxy have denied the idea that Mary never committed personal sins.

St. John Maximovitch never said that Mary personally sinned. He did speak very strongly against the idea that she did not personally sin because of some special grace of God. He said instead that she is glorified because she faced temptations like the rest of us and overcame all of them, and that she "resisted every impulse of sin". He also quoted St. Ambrose, saying she was a "stranger to any fall into sin."

http://preachersinstitute.com/2010/06/24/the-error-of-the-immaculate-conception/
http://www.stmaryofegypt.org/files/library/st_john/on_veneration_of_the_theotokos.htm
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« Reply #288 on: June 02, 2013, 07:14:07 AM »

Specifically, from the Orthodox POV,  is it a sin for an Orthodox Christian lay person to say a prayer with a Roman Catholic (today)?

This is going to vary. An Orthodox priest on AFR was fine with praying alongside non-Orthodox (private prayer), and only enforced the canon as preventing participation in non-Orthodox worship services (public/corporate prayer). I think my priest is somewhere along these lines too; he only forbade me from saying the Creed when I end up at a Catholic service, but permitted me to say the Lord's Prayer. So I also assume he doesn't have a problem with me praying with non-Orthodox in private prayer.

OTOH, some Orthodox don't even participate in private prayer with non-Orthodox if it's not being lead by an Orthodox.

Could you link the podcast?
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« Reply #289 on: June 02, 2013, 08:37:01 AM »

However, if churches believe that Mary sinned then Inthink that would be enough to halt any reunion proposal if and when that would come about.
Thoughts on the following?

"Greek Fathers (..St. Basil. St. John Chrysostom, St. Cyril of Alexander) taught that Mary suffered from personal faults, such as ambition and vanity, doubt about the message of the Angel, and lack of faith under the Cross." -From Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Roman Catholic Dogma.

I've seen this claim before but have not seen where the Fathers actually say this in their writings. Some of it seems to be about doubt or sorrow at the Passion which is not really a personal sin (unless Christ personally sinned in Gethsemane). Could you point me to where these Fathers say Mary sinned?

AFAIR, St. John claimed she sinned at Kana when she was ordering Jesus to make wine (telling God what to do etc.).
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« Reply #290 on: June 02, 2013, 08:39:43 AM »

IMO historical examples are irrelevant since the idea of sinlessness of Mary is fairly stable now. We shouldn't allow other kind of opinions now that it is settled.
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« Reply #291 on: June 02, 2013, 08:53:29 AM »

IMO historical examples are irrelevant since the idea of sinlessness of Mary is fairly stable now. We shouldn't allow other kind of opinions now that it is settled.

I'm not saying we should.
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« Reply #292 on: June 02, 2013, 10:50:05 AM »

This is going to vary. An Orthodox priest on AFR was fine with praying alongside non-Orthodox (private prayer), and only enforced the canon as preventing participation in non-Orthodox worship services (public/corporate prayer). I think my priest is somewhere along these lines too; he only forbade me from saying the Creed when I end up at a Catholic service, but permitted me to say the Lord's Prayer. So I also assume he doesn't have a problem with me praying with non-Orthodox in private prayer.

OTOH, some Orthodox don't even participate in private prayer with non-Orthodox if it's not being lead by an Orthodox.

Could you link the podcast?

It was the recent "Who Is A Christian" episode from Ancient Faith Today. The priest was Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick.

Here's a couple of the relevant parts:

Quote
Then the question really arises: what does it mean “pray with them”? Generally speaking, when the canons talk about praying together with these other people, what they have in mind is celebrating Church services together.

[...]

These canons continue to get applied, and they’re being applied in ways [that] affirm that basic sense that these divisions matter and that we can’t pretend like they don’t exist. They really do exist, but in most cases simply praying over a meal at home together with non-Orthodox people, I wouldn’t see a problem there. I imagine there are probably some who would, but I simply don’t see a problem in that case and in most cases.
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« Reply #293 on: June 02, 2013, 11:44:11 AM »

However, if churches believe that Mary sinned then Inthink that would be enough to halt any reunion proposal if and when that would come about.
Thoughts on the following?

"Greek Fathers (..St. Basil. St. John Chrysostom, St. Cyril of Alexander) taught that Mary suffered from personal faults, such as ambition and vanity, doubt about the message of the Angel, and lack of faith under the Cross." -From Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Roman Catholic Dogma.

I've seen this claim before but have not seen where the Fathers actually say this in their writings. Some of it seems to be about doubt or sorrow at the Passion which is not really a personal sin (unless Christ personally sinned in Gethsemane). Could you point me to where these Fathers say Mary sinned?

AFAIR, St. John claimed she sinned at Kana when she was ordering Jesus to make wine (telling God what to do etc.).

Do you know in which work of his?
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« Reply #294 on: June 02, 2013, 01:23:21 PM »

However, if churches believe that Mary sinned then Inthink that would be enough to halt any reunion proposal if and when that would come about.
Thoughts on the following?

"Greek Fathers (..St. Basil. St. John Chrysostom, St. Cyril of Alexander) taught that Mary suffered from personal faults, such as ambition and vanity, doubt about the message of the Angel, and lack of faith under the Cross." -From Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Roman Catholic Dogma.

I've seen this claim before but have not seen where the Fathers actually say this in their writings. Some of it seems to be about doubt or sorrow at the Passion which is not really a personal sin (unless Christ personally sinned in Gethsemane). Could you point me to where these Fathers say Mary sinned?

AFAIR, St. John claimed she sinned at Kana when she was ordering Jesus to make wine (telling God what to do etc.).

Wow, that's the first I've heard of that.
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« Reply #295 on: June 02, 2013, 03:50:12 PM »

However, if churches believe that Mary sinned then Inthink that would be enough to halt any reunion proposal if and when that would come about.
Thoughts on the following?

"Greek Fathers (..St. Basil. St. John Chrysostom, St. Cyril of Alexander) taught that Mary suffered from personal faults, such as ambition and vanity, doubt about the message of the Angel, and lack of faith under the Cross." -From Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Roman Catholic Dogma.

I've seen this claim before but have not seen where the Fathers actually say this in their writings. Some of it seems to be about doubt or sorrow at the Passion which is not really a personal sin (unless Christ personally sinned in Gethsemane). Could you point me to where these Fathers say Mary sinned?

AFAIR, St. John claimed she sinned at Kana when she was ordering Jesus to make wine (telling God what to do etc.).

Do you know in which work of his?

Not really. Try google.
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« Reply #296 on: June 02, 2013, 07:39:45 PM »

However, if churches believe that Mary sinned then Inthink that would be enough to halt any reunion proposal if and when that would come about.
Thoughts on the following?

"Greek Fathers (..St. Basil. St. John Chrysostom, St. Cyril of Alexander) taught that Mary suffered from personal faults, such as ambition and vanity, doubt about the message of the Angel, and lack of faith under the Cross." -From Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Roman Catholic Dogma.

I've seen this claim before but have not seen where the Fathers actually say this in their writings. Some of it seems to be about doubt or sorrow at the Passion which is not really a personal sin (unless Christ personally sinned in Gethsemane). Could you point me to where these Fathers say Mary sinned?

AFAIR, St. John claimed she sinned at Kana when she was ordering Jesus to make wine (telling God what to do etc.).

Do you know in which work of his?

Not really. Try google.

I found the references in this post: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,7032.msg92472.html#msg92472
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« Reply #297 on: June 02, 2013, 08:37:07 PM »

His All Holiness recited the Nicene Creed with the Pope of Rome (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6LF5b9ZlfY), I seriously doubt that prayer between Orthodox and Catholic individuals is forbidden. I also just read in the newspaper of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North & South America that the Metropolitan of Boston prayed with the Catholic Metropolitan Bishop of the area at a memorial service for the dead of the Boston Marathon Bombings.
Who ultimately decides questions like this. One side says the canons of the Church forbids prayer with Roman Catholics; the other side says it is allowed.
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« Reply #298 on: June 02, 2013, 08:48:44 PM »

Who ultimately decides questions like this. One side says the canons of the Church forbids prayer with Roman Catholics; the other side says it is allowed.

An infallible decree ex cathedra by His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Vicar of Christ and sovereign head of all Orthodox churches, by way of his immediate and universal jurisdiction.
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« Reply #299 on: June 02, 2013, 10:19:27 PM »

An infallible decree ex cathedra by His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Vicar of Christ and sovereign head of all Orthodox churches, by way of his immediate and universal jurisdiction.

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« Reply #300 on: June 02, 2013, 11:44:18 PM »

Who ultimately decides questions like this. One side says the canons of the Church forbids prayer with Roman Catholics; the other side says it is allowed.

Behind every canon is some core "truth", an unwavering principle which, then, gets applied to a particular situation in order to show how to resolve it.  With regard to "prayer with heretics", I think what the canon is trying to prevent is any sort of "mixing" that would corrupt Orthodox faith.  As Orthodox, we believe that the way we pray is the way we believe, and what and how we believe is reflected in what and how we pray.  And when we pray in common with others, we, in a sense, become "one mouth and one heart" with our fellows.  When we join in prayer with non-Orthodox, it can "corrupt" Orthodoxy: it doesn't have to if the Orthodox people involved are strong enough in their faith, but it can and does happen. 

This is what I believe the canon is really trying to address.  Now, that means that participating in other Churches' sacraments is definitely a no-no, for to do that would imply that you are one in faith with them.  But what about worshiping with them?  I believe if someone makes a habit of prayerfully participating in another Church's worship services, that'll eventually have an effect on your faith, because any attempt at actual prayer will involve the body, the mind, and the heart working together.  For that reason, I think it's better to avoid it (I wouldn't say it's a prohibition on attending, per se, but there's a difference between respectfully attending and participating).  What about praying with individuals?  Opportunities for this can present themselves in mixed families, among friends, or in other circumstances.  I've seen plenty of situations where even this can lead to the Orthodox person(s) getting weaker in the faith, or thinking that everything is the same, or even getting more and more interested in the other faith.  At the same time, it would be pretty bad, perhaps unnecessarily bad, to alienate your family, in-laws, whatever by not joining in the prayer before meals or something like that.  So personally, I think you need to use some common sense.  When the prayer is a set formula (e.g., the Lord's Prayer) or is extemporaneously offered by someone you consider trustworthy enough not to go full-blown heretical, it's probably OK to join in.  If you don't know what you're getting yourself into and can't find out in advance, or if you know it's going to be an issue, it's probably best to find a way to avoid it.

Ultimately, it is the bishop who applies the canons for those under his jurisdiction, and typically his priests will know his interpretation of things like this.  So I think "ask your priest" should suffice in most cases where one is not sure what to do, and if he's in any doubt, he'll know how to clear that up.           
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« Reply #301 on: June 03, 2013, 12:18:10 AM »

Who ultimately decides questions like this. One side says the canons of the Church forbids prayer with Roman Catholics; the other side says it is allowed.

The bishop in communion with the Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #302 on: June 03, 2013, 01:38:57 AM »

Who ultimately decides questions like this. One side says the canons of the Church forbids prayer with Roman Catholics; the other side says it is allowed.

Behind every canon is some core "truth", an unwavering principle which, then, gets applied to a particular situation in order to show how to resolve it.  With regard to "prayer with heretics", I think what the canon is trying to prevent is any sort of "mixing" that would corrupt Orthodox faith.  As Orthodox, we believe that the way we pray is the way we believe, and what and how we believe is reflected in what and how we pray.  And when we pray in common with others, we, in a sense, become "one mouth and one heart" with our fellows.  When we join in prayer with non-Orthodox, it can "corrupt" Orthodoxy: it doesn't have to if the Orthodox people involved are strong enough in their faith, but it can and does happen.  

This is what I believe the canon is really trying to address.  Now, that means that participating in other Churches' sacraments is definitely a no-no, for to do that would imply that you are one in faith with them.  But what about worshiping with them?  I believe if someone makes a habit of prayerfully participating in another Church's worship services, that'll eventually have an effect on your faith, because any attempt at actual prayer will involve the body, the mind, and the heart working together.  For that reason, I think it's better to avoid it (I wouldn't say it's a prohibition on attending, per se, but there's a difference between respectfully attending and participating).  What about praying with individuals?  Opportunities for this can present themselves in mixed families, among friends, or in other circumstances.  I've seen plenty of situations where even this can lead to the Orthodox person(s) getting weaker in the faith, or thinking that everything is the same, or even getting more and more interested in the other faith.  At the same time, it would be pretty bad, perhaps unnecessarily bad, to alienate your family, in-laws, whatever by not joining in the prayer before meals or something like that.  So personally, I think you need to use some common sense.  When the prayer is a set formula (e.g., the Lord's Prayer) or is extemporaneously offered by someone you consider trustworthy enough not to go full-blown heretical, it's probably OK to join in.  If you don't know what you're getting yourself into and can't find out in advance, or if you know it's going to be an issue, it's probably best to find a way to avoid it.

Ultimately, it is the bishop who applies the canons for those under his jurisdiction, and typically his priests will know his interpretation of things like this.  So I think "ask your priest" should suffice in most cases where one is not sure what to do, and if he's in any doubt, he'll know how to clear that up.            

I think that sounds the most sensical between the two extremes of walling ourselves off from heretics and taking their communion because we think we're the same. I think I'm going to use this model from now on.


An infallible decree ex cathedra by His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Vicar of Christ and sovereign head of all Orthodox churches, by way of his immediate and universal jurisdiction.

You know, I got really scared for a second and then I felt quite silly after about a minute when I realised you were being more than 100% tongue-in-cheek. I think it's time for bed when I can't tell a joke from a fact, and it takes me more than one try to spell the word "tongue"!
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« Reply #303 on: June 03, 2013, 08:52:41 AM »

... So personally, I think you need to use some common sense.  When the prayer is a set formula (e.g., the Lord's Prayer) or is extemporaneously offered by someone you consider trustworthy enough not to go full-blown heretical, it's probably OK to join in.  If you don't know what you're getting yourself into and can't find out in advance, or if you know it's going to be an issue, it's probably best to find a way to avoid it.

You just made me think of something ... a few years back my family (including some protestant relatives) were at a mass together. At the end the priest invited everyone to join in a certain prayer that the parish had adopted. I refrained -- not that I have any objections to praying with my fellow Catholics of course, but I could see that it was much too long to read through it silently first. I noticed, though, that a protestant relative standing next to me "plunged right in" with apparently no concern about what might be contained in the prayer -- but seemed (I thought) to grow a tad uncomfortable a few minutes into the prayer.

(I don't remember precisely what the relevant parts of the prayer were -- probably some political parts, and maybe a prayer for all Christians to humbly submit to the pope.)
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« Reply #304 on: June 03, 2013, 08:54:27 AM »

Who ultimately decides questions like this. One side says the canons of the Church forbids prayer with Roman Catholics; the other side says it is allowed.

An infallible decree ex cathedra by His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Vicar of Christ and sovereign head of all Orthodox churches, by way of his immediate and universal jurisdiction.

I knew it!

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« Reply #305 on: June 09, 2014, 12:51:17 PM »

It seems that it may be more nuanced than that.

I don't know what this means. There's not a lot of room for nuance in "we do not agree with you".

Quote
For example, is it against Orthodoxy to be in communion with Rome if she said that infallibility is only exercised by the college of bishops in an ecumenical council in the future united Church while not renouncing exercises of infallibility during schism?


What? You don't have infallible bishops, and neither do the Orthodox. No bishop or other person is infallible in Orthodoxy. And "not renouncing exercises of infallibility during schism"...why would when they are argued to have happened even matter? If one side says "this thing has never existed", then there's no point in saying "okay, fine...but we will still say it did in the past, now let's move on and not focus on it, for the sake of unity" or whatever. That's ridiculous. Your bishop was never infallible. Not in the first century, not in the fourth, not in the eleventh, not ever.

Quote
This is why I said that really intricate matters like this do not appear to be clearly defined nor even discussed yet. I hope that clarifies.

We don't need to spend any time discussing something that does not exist. This is not a controversial or intricate matter.
Yeah, well that's where we disagree. I do believe that the bishop of Rome and His Church have been entrusted by Christ through Peter to never err theologically when speaking ex Cathedra on matters of faith. It appears, then, that the hold up on both sides has more to do with this issue than others. It seems that the problem very well may be insoluble since I, for one, as an RC would be unwilling to deny that the fullness of truth resides in the Catholic Church and that, moreover, infallibility has been exercised properly.
Then may I ask you, why act so high and anointed when we as Christians, western Catholic and Orthodox Eastern Catholics, are supposed to be humble?  That is why our Patriarchs have no infallibility.  The bishop of Rome is not infallible.  I support reunification, but without the myth of infallibility for the bishops of our Church.
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« Reply #306 on: June 09, 2014, 12:54:04 PM »

Who ultimately decides questions like this. One side says the canons of the Church forbids prayer with Roman Catholics; the other side says it is allowed.

An infallible decree ex cathedra by His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Vicar of Christ and sovereign head of all Orthodox churches, by way of his immediate and universal jurisdiction.

I knew it!
It was a joke...if you think the Patriarch of Constantinople has an unlimited jurisdiction, then you are sorely misinformed.

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