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Author Topic: What do Orthodox think when people say the Pope is the antichrist?  (Read 2792 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: June 24, 2013, 09:41:48 PM »

The question is above Smiley

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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2013, 10:23:48 PM »

Can't speak for others, but I roll my eyes and move on.
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« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2013, 10:27:03 PM »

When my patron saint says it I nod respectfully, though in embarrassment. Otherwise I just shake my head.  police
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« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2013, 10:48:47 PM »

I laugh.  I do this because it keeps me from crying about the growing ignorance of the human race.  Then I ask, "Which one?"
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« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2013, 11:45:37 PM »

I start praying for those people.

Most of those who think that the Pope is the antichrist are those Protestants who are anxiously awaiting the Rapture.
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« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2013, 12:00:18 AM »

I don't think because they're obviously not.  I just smile and try to approximate the expression of that Willy Wonka meme. 
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« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2013, 12:28:57 AM »

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« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2013, 12:57:37 AM »

Most of those who think that the Pope is the antichrist are those Protestants who are anxiously awaiting the Rapture.
Not just "Rapture Christians" (Dispensationalists); notably Martin Luther held the pope was the antichrist; the Missouri Synod still affirms this while e.g. the Ohio Synod has categorized it as an "open question." http://www.wels.net/about-wels/doctrinal-statements/antichrist (though note they still remain shy of openly rejecting Luther!).

I regard Luther's actual argument as having been completely undermined by later historical scholarship in his key assumption that the early bishops of Rome looked more or less like the later papacy in the same manner that many amateur RC apologists still presume,[1] but which presumption is completely lacking historical basis for the earliest centuries of the undivided Church.

The Missouri Synod, combining biblical inerrancy with a firm conviction that Martin Luther rightly interpreted the scriptures is for that reason a hair's breadth from regarding Luther as being inerrant, though confidence in Luther theologically has completely disintegrated among all major Pauline scholars e.g. on law, merit etc. http://katachriston.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/did-luther-get-it-wrong-most-major-contemporary-pauline-scholars-say-yes/

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[1]
Luther woodcut depicting the whore of Babylon with papal tiara. Other Reformers, e.g. Calvin and Knox, also held the pope was the whore of Babylon.
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« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2013, 01:01:43 AM »

I start praying for those people.

Most of those who think that the Pope is the antichrist are those Protestants who are anxiously awaiting the Rapture.
I disagree with this statement, but this is not the thread to delve deep into the topic.  I will simply say a lot of people who are not Rapturists  think the Pope is evil and many who are do not feel the Pope is a bad person at all.
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« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2013, 03:25:39 AM »

Which Orthodox say the Pope is the Antichrist?

You can speak of "antichrists" with a small "a" to mean precursors of Antichrist with a big "A". The Pope (all of them since the schism) would be "antichrists"; they aren't the real thing, but they foreshadow it.
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« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2013, 03:47:17 AM »

Which Orthodox say the Pope is the Antichrist?

You can speak of "antichrists" with a small "a" to mean precursors of Antichrist with a big "A". The Pope (all of them since the schism) would be "antichrists"; they aren't the real thing, but they foreshadow it.
With "the" ahead of anitchrist, I assume it meant the main one.
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« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2013, 03:55:28 AM »

Here's a thread on it: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,31294.0/viewResults.html

It's a bit more complex than "lolno."
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« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2013, 04:44:43 AM »

Which Orthodox say the Pope is the Antichrist?

You can speak of "antichrists" with a small "a" to mean precursors of Antichrist with a big "A". The Pope (all of them since the schism) would be "antichrists"; they aren't the real thing, but they foreshadow it.
With "the" ahead of anitchrist, I assume it meant the main one.

Yes. "The" ahead of "antichrist" is pretty much assumed to mean the "Beast" from the Apocalypse of St John.

What I found funny about that as a very young Evangelical was that in all the other Apocalyptic literature in the Bible (the prophecies of Daniel, specifically) any time a "beast" is referred to, the usual reference means an entire empire rather than one person.
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« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2013, 04:47:03 AM »

Not sure there is a difference...
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« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2013, 05:04:48 AM »

Not sure there is a difference...

The difference between Ceasar (referring to all from Julius to St. Constantine and beyond) and Nero.
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« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2013, 10:34:20 AM »

Most of those who think that the Pope is the antichrist are those Protestants who are anxiously awaiting the Rapture.

To complement xariskai's post, the Seventh-day Adventists also tend to have strong feelings about the Papacy. They believe the Roman Church to be (at least part of) the Whore of Babylon, and often teach (even if unofficially) that the Pope has been/is/or will be a/the antichrist(s), and that the RC will help usher in the end times through enforcing "Sunday-worship laws" throughout the world to make the good "remnant church" that observes the Sabbath come into the Sunday fold. A bit simplified maybe, but makes sense doesn't it? angel
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« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2013, 11:30:17 AM »

St. Gregory the Great said:
Quote
“Whoever calls himself universal bishop, or desires this title, is, by his pride, the precursor to the Antichrist.”

The Pope is a precursor to the Antichrist, and the Antichrist will occupy a similar position in the universal religion of the future that the Pope of Rome occupies in the Roman Catholicism of today.  Whether or not the Antichrist will actually be a Catholic Pope, however, is a different question.  Since Vatican II, Roman Catholicism has taken on more and more of the appearance of a "universal religion" that places obedience to a single human figure over dogmatic fidelity and dogmatic unity.  This can be seen in the Eastern Rite where one can be Orthodox in theology and disagree with Roman Catholic teaching as long as one doesn't express their disagreement vocally and as long as they remain "under the head".  Also, since Vatican II, there has been an increasing involvement of Roman Catholic "religious" (monastics) in Eastern non-Christian mysticism so that we have Jesuits who are Zen Roshis, Benedictine Abbots who have ashrams in India and try to adopt the philosophy of the Advaita Vedanta of Hinduism, where Trappist abbots invite Zen Buddhists to teach their Catholic monks how to do zazen, etc., etc.  There have already been many spiritual leaders within Roman Catholicism, such as Fr. Bede Griffiths in India, who have spoken of the "complementarity" of religions and advocated a perhaps sophisticated form of religious syncretism.  This universalism will open up to, and is preparing for, the universal religion of the Antichrist; but it is hard to know exactly how things will develop to this point.  The Antichrist will be recognized by all religions, and the Jews will consider him to be their Messiah.  He will also be an earthly ruler, a Jew himself, of the tribe of Dan, and will rule from Jerusalem.  So, will he also be a Roman Catholic Pope?  Or, will the Pope of that time defer to the authority of the Antichrist?  Will Roman Catholicism still exist in any meaningful way?  It remains to be seen, but the Pope of Rome is in some way a type and precursor of the Antichrist as St. Gregory the Great said. 
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« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2013, 11:35:24 AM »

St. Gregory the Great said:
Quote
“Whoever calls himself universal bishop, or desires this title, is, by his pride, the precursor to the Antichrist.”

The Pope is a precursor to the Antichrist, and the Antichrist will occupy a similar position in the universal religion of the future that the Pope of Rome occupies in the Roman Catholicism of today.  Whether or not the Antichrist will actually be a Catholic Pope, however, is a different question.  Since Vatican II, Roman Catholicism has taken on more and more of the appearance of a "universal religion" that places obedience to a single human figure over dogmatic fidelity and dogmatic unity.  This can be seen in the Eastern Rite where one can be Orthodox in theology and disagree with Roman Catholic teaching as long as one doesn't express their disagreement vocally and as long as they remain "under the head".  Also, since Vatican II, there has been an increasing involvement of Roman Catholic "religious" (monastics) in Eastern non-Christian mysticism so that we have Jesuits who are Zen Roshis, Benedictine Abbots who have ashrams in India and try to adopt the philosophy of the Advaita Vedanta of Hinduism, where Trappist abbots invite Zen Buddhists to teach their Catholic monks how to do zazen, etc., etc.  There have already been many spiritual leaders within Roman Catholicism, such as Fr. Bede Griffiths in India, who have spoken of the "complementarity" of religions and advocated a perhaps sophisticated form of religious syncretism.  This universalism will open up to, and is preparing for, the universal religion of the Antichrist; but it is hard to know exactly how things will develop to this point.  The Antichrist will be recognized by all religions, and the Jews will consider him to be their Messiah.  He will also be an earthly ruler, a Jew himself, of the tribe of Dan, and will rule from Jerusalem.  So, will he also be a Roman Catholic Pope?  Or, will the Pope of that time defer to the authority of the Antichrist?  Will Roman Catholicism still exist in any meaningful way?  It remains to be seen, but the Pope of Rome is in some way a type and precursor of the Antichrist as St. Gregory the Great said. 

Looks like its time to look into Orthodoxy then!
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« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2013, 01:36:28 PM »

There have already been many spiritual leaders within Roman Catholicism, such as Fr. Bede Griffiths in India, who have spoken of the "complementarity" of religions and advocated a perhaps sophisticated form of religious syncretism. 

Perhaps this is a topic for another thread, but I don't know how fair it is to lump people like Griffiths together with Trappists in Kentucky interested in Buddhism.  For all the syncretist and even heretical excesses to which Catholics are prone in their attempts at inculturation in India, I believe their starting point is basically a good one--it's basically how St Paul approached the Athenians.  They're not doing it like St Paul, to be sure: they could look to the Orthodox Church for clues on how better to inculturate (heck, they could've simply not destroyed us back in the 1600's and they would've seen 1500 years' worth of inculturation in practice), but the basic idea is not a bad one. 

That's different from Western monastics in the West exploring non-Christian Eastern monastic traditions from the outside because it's "hip" and Latin's boring.   
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« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2013, 01:53:39 PM »

For all the syncretist and even heretical excesses to which Catholics are prone in their attempts at inculturation in India, I believe their starting point is basically a good one--it's basically how St Paul approached the Athenians.

But now you forgot the first rule of Orthodox internet discussion: It's good when we do it but bad when the others do it.
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« Reply #20 on: June 25, 2013, 02:01:00 PM »

Orthodox Pope St. Gregory the Great, wrote that anyone who calls himself universal bishop is the precursor to the Antichrist.

Wink

For all the syncretist and even heretical excesses to which Catholics are prone in their attempts at inculturation in India, I believe their starting point is basically a good one--it's basically how St Paul approached the Athenians.

But now you forgot the first rule of Orthodox internet discussion: It's good when we do it but bad when the others do it.
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« Reply #21 on: June 25, 2013, 02:17:09 PM »

I don't deny their statement, but I find it rather humorous and at the same time saddening, since they are just as deluded by heresy.
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« Reply #22 on: June 25, 2013, 02:23:49 PM »

Orthodox Pope St. Gregory the Great, wrote that anyone who calls himself universal bishop is the precursor to the Antichrist.

Wink

For all the syncretist and even heretical excesses to which Catholics are prone in their attempts at inculturation in India, I believe their starting point is basically a good one--it's basically how St Paul approached the Athenians.

But now you forgot the first rule of Orthodox internet discussion: It's good when we do it but bad when the others do it.

I think if you took it in its proper context he is talking about other Bishops claiming his title in their patriachate.
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« Reply #23 on: June 25, 2013, 03:20:07 PM »

I did read the whole letter and I'm aware of the context. Nothing there suggests that. Pretty bluntly Saint Gregory is scandalized by the title per se, not about any usurpation.

Orthodox Pope St. Gregory the Great, wrote that anyone who calls himself universal bishop is the precursor to the Antichrist.

Wink

For all the syncretist and even heretical excesses to which Catholics are prone in their attempts at inculturation in India, I believe their starting point is basically a good one--it's basically how St Paul approached the Athenians.

But now you forgot the first rule of Orthodox internet discussion: It's good when we do it but bad when the others do it.

I think if you took it in its proper context he is talking about other Bishops claiming his title in their patriachate.
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« Reply #24 on: June 25, 2013, 03:57:07 PM »

Could be a perpetuated myth, not really sure.
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« Reply #25 on: June 25, 2013, 04:08:41 PM »

 Poll 
Question: Is the Papacy anti-Christ?

Yes!!!!  2 (3.6%)
Maybe...  10 (18.2%)
Nope  14 (25.5%)
Oh Please, Do we really have to go over this again???!!!  29 (52.7%)
 
Total Voters: 55

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=31294.0
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« Reply #26 on: June 25, 2013, 04:14:35 PM »

There have already been many spiritual leaders within Roman Catholicism, such as Fr. Bede Griffiths in India, who have spoken of the "complementarity" of religions and advocated a perhaps sophisticated form of religious syncretism. 

Perhaps this is a topic for another thread, but I don't know how fair it is to lump people like Griffiths together with Trappists in Kentucky interested in Buddhism.  For all the syncretist and even heretical excesses to which Catholics are prone in their attempts at inculturation in India, I believe their starting point is basically a good one--it's basically how St Paul approached the Athenians.  They're not doing it like St Paul, to be sure: they could look to the Orthodox Church for clues on how better to inculturate (heck, they could've simply not destroyed us back in the 1600's and they would've seen 1500 years' worth of inculturation in practice), but the basic idea is not a bad one. 

That's different from Western monastics in the West exploring non-Christian Eastern monastic traditions from the outside because it's "hip" and Latin's boring.   

Yes, I would lump Dom Bede Griffiths in India with Trappists in Kentucky interested in Buddhism.  It is true that Fr. Bede initially went to India with the belief in Christ as the fulfillment of all religions, much in the same way as Fr. Damascene and Fr. Seraphim of Platina have written (i.e. Fr. Damascene’s “Christ the Eternal Tao”).  He was not properly prepared spiritually to encounter the non-Christian East with its own mystical traditions and various phenomena.  The result is that he began to see something deeper and more “spiritual” in Eastern non-Christian experience than what he had experienced from his own spiritually barren monastic formation as a Roman Catholic Benedictine.  Being formed under scholastic theology with imaginative prayer (i.e. Ignatian Exercises), having no exposure to or understanding of the patristic hesychastic tradition of Orthodoxy, he saw the drastic contrast between his rational and cerebral approach to prayer and the more contemplative experience of Hinduism.  Feeling somewhat betrayed by the poverty of his own formation, he tried to create a Hindu-Christian synthesis, adopting as much Hindu mysticism as he could while maintaining at least formal allegiance to a Christianity of his own making.  This left him with a Christian theology which was subservient to the Hindu experience and essentially antithetical to the hesychastic tradition of Orthodoxy.

Similarly, since you mentioned Kentucky, the Trappist monk Thomas Merton became increasingly dissatisfied with the spiritually arid formation he had received and began looking to the non-Christian East to fill the void.  He associated his Roman Catholicism with “Christianity”, and not finding fulfillment there, looked outside of Christianity for that fulfillment.   This led him to a growing interest in Zen Buddhism and eventually he went to Tibet seeking tantric initiation by a Buddhist Lama, after which he died a rather frightful and untimely death.

Fr. Thomas Keating, another Trappist, when abbot of St. Joseph’s Abbey in Massachusetts invited a Zen Buddhist to teach zazen meditation to his monks.  This was not because of some fad, but because of the spiritual aridity of Roman Catholic monastic tradition and the same dissatisfaction experienced by Bede Griffiths and Thomas Merton before him.  

Like Bede Griffiths, the Jesuit missionary priest Robert Kennedy and many other Catholic religious have gone to Japan, perhaps with good intentions initially.  Yet, like others, they did not have the spiritual formation to understand what appeared to be the “spiritual” depth of Zen Buddhism.  The consequence is that, while retaining formal ties to Roman Catholicism, many like Robert E. Kennedy have also become Zen Roshis and their teachings are mostly Zen with Christian terms thrown in here and there, or Christian terms with a worldview that renders Christian dogma and theology subservient to the experience of zazen.  

You also have those like Dom Bede Griffiths who started off as an Augustinian, left the religious order, met a Swami, learned mantra meditation with the Swami, became a Benedictine monk, and later began to spread the Swami’s teaching on meditation using Christian terminology as “Christian meditation”.  Again, this is not out of a fad, but because he experienced something “deeper” with the Swami than what he knew in his Roman Catholic religious experience.  Similarly, his teaching on “Christian Meditation” is essentially Hindu in worldview and in experience of God (mistaking one’s own created spirit of the Uncreated God), yet clothed in Christian terminology that is made subservient to the mantra meditation experience of Hinduism.

Of course, many similar examples could be provided, but what we are speaking of is not the intention of these people, but rather the spiritual ramification of the Great Schism, which itself is the result of Papism (belief in the centrality of the Pope above theological/dogmatic continuity and unity).  With Papism came the Great Schism, and with both came the separation of the West from the patristic and hesychastic experience.  Roman Catholic religious, associating their Roman Catholic formations with “Christianity”, have not had the spiritual preparation or phronema (patristic worldview) to understand and encounter the mysticism of the non-Christian East.  As a consequence, upon encountering the non-Christian East, many sense the poverty of their own tradition and begin to open up to the “spiritual treasures” of non-Christian mysticism.  In doing so, they open themselves up to spiritual delusion, dogmatic relativism, and syncretism.  These movements attempt to leave behind dogma, which is associated with scholastic rationalism, and emphasize instead the Hindu “experience of the Absolute”, which is not the experience of the Uncreated God but rather the contemplation of the apparent boundlessness of one’s own created spirit.  As Elder Sophrony of Essex says, mistaking this experience of one’s own created spirit for the Uncreated God is a greater obstacle to knowing the true God than the grossest passions.  One ends up contemplating their own created spiritual beauty and falling into delusion, following the path of Lucifer.

The mystical traditions of all non-Christian religions share this similar experience of the created human spirit, but only in Orthodoxy has been preserved the experience of the Uncreated Energies of God and the hesychastic method.  The various religions, exalting this experience of the Absolute above dogma and theology, will easily unite into a universal religion along with the Christians whose Christianity has become subservient to non-Christian mystical experience.  Only in the patristic and hesychastic tradition of Orthodoxy is there the sober understanding of true and false spiritual experience and the difference between true and demonic spirituality.  The place of the Pope in Roman Catholicism provides the structural foundation for the Antichrist, allegiance to a single head over dogmatic continuity and dogmatic unity; and the spiritual aridity and increasing syncretism found in contemporary Roman Catholicism provides the spiritual foundation for a syncretistic universal religion of the Antichrist which would absolutize some kind of spiritual experience that is accessible to all over adherence to dogmatic teaching.    
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« Reply #27 on: June 25, 2013, 04:15:43 PM »

Orthodox Pope St. Gregory the Great, wrote that anyone who calls himself universal bishop is the precursor to the Antichrist.
I think if you took it in its proper context he is talking about other Bishops claiming his title in their patriachate.
Please provide documentation for your ludicrous assertion, Fatima.

I did read the whole letter and I'm aware of the context. Nothing there suggests that. Pretty bluntly Saint Gregory is scandalized by the title per se, not about any usurpation.
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« Reply #28 on: June 25, 2013, 04:28:32 PM »

There have already been many spiritual leaders within Roman Catholicism, such as Fr. Bede Griffiths in India, who have spoken of the "complementarity" of religions and advocated a perhaps sophisticated form of religious syncretism. 

Perhaps this is a topic for another thread, but I don't know how fair it is to lump people like Griffiths together with Trappists in Kentucky interested in Buddhism.  For all the syncretist and even heretical excesses to which Catholics are prone in their attempts at inculturation in India, I believe their starting point is basically a good one--it's basically how St Paul approached the Athenians.  They're not doing it like St Paul, to be sure: they could look to the Orthodox Church for clues on how better to inculturate (heck, they could've simply not destroyed us back in the 1600's and they would've seen 1500 years' worth of inculturation in practice), but the basic idea is not a bad one. 

That's different from Western monastics in the West exploring non-Christian Eastern monastic traditions from the outside because it's "hip" and Latin's boring.   

Yes, I would lump Dom Bede Griffiths in India with Trappists in Kentucky interested in Buddhism.  It is true that Fr. Bede initially went to India with the belief in Christ as the fulfillment of all religions, much in the same way as Fr. Damascene and Fr. Seraphim of Platina have written (i.e. Fr. Damascene’s “Christ the Eternal Tao”).  He was not properly prepared spiritually to encounter the non-Christian East with its own mystical traditions and various phenomena.  The result is that he began to see something deeper and more “spiritual” in Eastern non-Christian experience than what he had experienced from his own spiritually barren monastic formation as a Roman Catholic Benedictine.  Being formed under scholastic theology with imaginative prayer (i.e. Ignatian Exercises), having no exposure to or understanding of the patristic hesychastic tradition of Orthodoxy, he saw the drastic contrast between his rational and cerebral approach to prayer and the more contemplative experience of Hinduism.  Feeling somewhat betrayed by the poverty of his own formation, he tried to create a Hindu-Christian synthesis, adopting as much Hindu mysticism as he could while maintaining at least formal allegiance to a Christianity of his own making.  This left him with a Christian theology which was subservient to the Hindu experience and essentially antithetical to the hesychastic tradition of Orthodoxy.

Similarly, since you mentioned Kentucky, the Trappist monk Thomas Merton became increasingly dissatisfied with the spiritually arid formation he had received and began looking to the non-Christian East to fill the void.  He associated his Roman Catholicism with “Christianity”, and not finding fulfillment there, looked outside of Christianity for that fulfillment.   This led him to a growing interest in Zen Buddhism and eventually he went to Tibet seeking tantric initiation by a Buddhist Lama, after which he died a rather frightful and untimely death.

Fr. Thomas Keating, another Trappist, when abbot of St. Joseph’s Abbey in Massachusetts invited a Zen Buddhist to teach zazen meditation to his monks.  This was not because of some fad, but because of the spiritual aridity of Roman Catholic monastic tradition and the same dissatisfaction experienced by Bede Griffiths and Thomas Merton before him.  

Like Bede Griffiths, the Jesuit missionary priest Robert Kennedy and many other Catholic religious have gone to Japan, perhaps with good intentions initially.  Yet, like others, they did not have the spiritual formation to understand what appeared to be the “spiritual” depth of Zen Buddhism.  The consequence is that, while retaining formal ties to Roman Catholicism, many like Robert E. Kennedy have also become Zen Roshis and their teachings are mostly Zen with Christian terms thrown in here and there, or Christian terms with a worldview that renders Christian dogma and theology subservient to the experience of zazen.  

You also have those like Dom Bede Griffiths who started off as an Augustinian, left the religious order, met a Swami, learned mantra meditation with the Swami, became a Benedictine monk, and later began to spread the Swami’s teaching on meditation using Christian terminology as “Christian meditation”.  Again, this is not out of a fad, but because he experienced something “deeper” with the Swami than what he knew in his Roman Catholic religious experience.  Similarly, his teaching on “Christian Meditation” is essentially Hindu in worldview and in experience of God (mistaking one’s own created spirit of the Uncreated God), yet clothed in Christian terminology that is made subservient to the mantra meditation experience of Hinduism.

Of course, many similar examples could be provided, but what we are speaking of is not the intention of these people, but rather the spiritual ramification of the Great Schism, which itself is the result of Papism (belief in the centrality of the Pope above theological/dogmatic continuity and unity).  With Papism came the Great Schism, and with both came the separation of the West from the patristic and hesychastic experience.  Roman Catholic religious, associating their Roman Catholic formations with “Christianity”, have not had the spiritual preparation or phronema (patristic worldview) to understand and encounter the mysticism of the non-Christian East.  As a consequence, upon encountering the non-Christian East, many sense the poverty of their own tradition and begin to open up to the “spiritual treasures” of non-Christian mysticism.  In doing so, they open themselves up to spiritual delusion, dogmatic relativism, and syncretism.  These movements attempt to leave behind dogma, which is associated with scholastic rationalism, and emphasize instead the Hindu “experience of the Absolute”, which is not the experience of the Uncreated God but rather the contemplation of the apparent boundlessness of one’s own created spirit.  As Elder Sophrony of Essex says, mistaking this experience of one’s own created spirit for the Uncreated God is a greater obstacle to knowing the true God than the grossest passions.  One ends up contemplating their own created spiritual beauty and falling into delusion, following the path of Lucifer.

The mystical traditions of all non-Christian religions share this similar experience of the created human spirit, but only in Orthodoxy has been preserved the experience of the Uncreated Energies of God and the hesychastic method.  The various religions, exalting this experience of the Absolute above dogma and theology, will easily unite into a universal religion along with the Christians whose Christianity has become subservient to non-Christian mystical experience.  Only in the patristic and hesychastic tradition of Orthodoxy is there the sober understanding of true and false spiritual experience and the difference between true and demonic spirituality.  The place of the Pope in Roman Catholicism provides the structural foundation for the Antichrist, allegiance to a single head over dogmatic continuity and dogmatic unity; and the spiritual aridity and increasing syncretism found in contemporary Roman Catholicism provides the spiritual foundation for a syncretistic universal religion of the Antichrist which would absolutize some kind of spiritual experience that is accessible to all over adherence to dogmatic teaching.    


It's unfair to say that Thomas Merton merely looked to "the East" to fill a void.

I think he looked to a particular person to the same end with more successful results.

In any case, Gethsemane is a nice place to visit.
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« Reply #29 on: June 25, 2013, 04:55:41 PM »

Yes, I would lump Dom Bede Griffiths in India with Trappists in Kentucky interested in Buddhism.  It is true that Fr. Bede initially went to India with the belief in Christ as the fulfillment of all religions, much in the same way as Fr. Damascene and Fr. Seraphim of Platina have written (i.e. Fr. Damascene’s “Christ the Eternal Tao”).  He was not properly prepared spiritually to encounter the non-Christian East with its own mystical traditions and various phenomena.  The result is that he began to see something deeper and more “spiritual” in Eastern non-Christian experience than what he had experienced from his own spiritually barren monastic formation as a Roman Catholic Benedictine.  Being formed under scholastic theology with imaginative prayer (i.e. Ignatian Exercises), having no exposure to or understanding of the patristic hesychastic tradition of Orthodoxy, he saw the drastic contrast between his rational and cerebral approach to prayer and the more contemplative experience of Hinduism.  Feeling somewhat betrayed by the poverty of his own formation, he tried to create a Hindu-Christian synthesis, adopting as much Hindu mysticism as he could while maintaining at least formal allegiance to a Christianity of his own making.  This left him with a Christian theology which was subservient to the Hindu experience and essentially antithetical to the hesychastic tradition of Orthodoxy.

In other words, he wasn't Orthodox, that poor SOB, it's no wonder he went off the deep end.  Stupid Catholics.   

Western people always misunderstand India.  I give Griffiths credit for trying to inculturate Christianity in an Indian context, even if I think he eventually "got it wrong".  I give him the benefit of the doubt that he wasn't simply trying to supplement his allegedly arid Catholic scholastic formation with Hindu mysticism because of what he tried to accomplish.  He came as a Roman and eventually became an Eastern Catholic because that tradition was already more inculturated.  What he did after this was more of an attempt at a genuinely Indian Christianity, not something that is ritually Antiochene or Roman, but Indian.  If anything, he made the mistake of thinking that there is one phenomenon called "Indian", a typically Western mistake, and that led to a lot of the syncretistic stuff.  Christianity was already inculturated in India for 75% of Christian history, what killed that was the Catholics and later the Protestants.  And the way they (Western Christians) tried to "fix" the problem also aggravated things, but at least they saw that there was a "problem", even if it wasn't as dire as they thought, even if the problem they saw wasn't the actual problem.           

Quote
Similarly, since you mentioned Kentucky, the Trappist monk Thomas Merton...

I brought up Trappists in KY not as a jab at Merton, whom I like a lot, but as a convenient "stereotype".  I think at that time there was an openness to the "exotic" East because of how different its spiritual tradition was from that of the Christian West.  They would've been better served, IMO, if they had gone back to the sources of their own tradition, because that would've led them past "arid scholasticism" et. al. and toward the Orthodox Catholicism of the pre-schism West. 

But again, that's a different matter from trying to understand India in order to bring Christ to India in a more Indian way.  If Christianity is really to take hold in India, this kind of engagement needs to happen.  We've been there for two thousand years, we know how challenging it is, and we were always there.  Now that Christianity is often labelled a "foreign" religion, it's that much worse, and it's considered by these people a foreign religion because of the aggression of the colonialists who divided and conquered the native Church and replaced it with something else.     
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« Reply #30 on: June 25, 2013, 05:31:53 PM »

Antichrist, antichrist, maybe antichrist, precursor to antichrist, mini antichrist.....
There is no answer other than the subjective opinion of others with this.
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« Reply #31 on: June 25, 2013, 06:43:11 PM »

In Koine Greek the word antichrist is a compound word combining the prefix αντί- (anti) with the word Χριστός (Christos). Αντί- can mean "instead of" or "in place of" as well as "against."

Since the term "vicar" (from the Latin vicarius, "substitution") carries the former meaning of the Greek prefix αντί- it is literally correct to say that Roman Catholicism itself teaches the pope is the anti- ("instead-of") Christ,[1] but not that the pope is the anti- ("against" or "opposed to") Christ.

Commentators are unsure which meaning of αντί- is intended in NT usage of the compound αντίxριστός.

Orthodox Christians have, of course, traditionally rejected the Roman Catholic doctrine that their pope is the Vicar of Christ; humorously (*ducks head in case others do not see the humor*) we can also consider this an explicit Orthodox denial of the Roman Catholic pope as the antichrist in the former sense of the prefix αντί- where Roman Catholic doctrine affirms it.
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[1] Cf. also "Vicar of Christ," New Advent http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15403b.htm

"In virtue of his office, that is as Vicar of Christ and pastor of the whole Church, the Roman Pontiff has full, supreme and universal power over the Church. And he is always free to exercise this power. The order of bishops, which succeeds to the college of apostles and gives this apostolic body continued existence, is also the subject of supreme and full power over the universal Church, provided we understand this body together with its head the Roman Pontiff and never without this head." -Vatican II/ Dogmatic Constitution of the Church Lumen Gentium, November 21, 1964  http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19641121_lumen-gentium_en.html

“For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered.” CCC, 882

“...our Divine Redeemer also governs His Mystical Body in a visible and normal way through His Vicar on earth...He rules it visibly, through him who is His representative on earth... They, therefore, walk in the path of dangerous error who believe that they can accept Christ as the Head of the Church, while not adhering loyally to His Vicar on earth. They have taken away the visible head, broken the visible bonds of unity and left the Mystical Body of the Redeemer so obscured and so maimed, that those who are seeking the haven of eternal salvation can neither see it nor find it... the person of Jesus Christ is represented by the Supreme Pontiff... Above all, it is absolutely necessary that the Supreme Head, that is, the Vicar of Jesus Christ on earth, be visible to the eyes of all, since it is He who gives effective direction to the work which all do in common in a mutually helpful way towards the attainment of the proposed end..." -Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi, June 29, 1943
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« Reply #32 on: June 25, 2013, 08:19:16 PM »

Well, it's a silly statement.

First off, which pope? Will a pope be the actual antichrist? Probably not. But by usurping a supremacy over all the churches, as St. Gregory the Great alludes, he makes himself a forerunner of Antichrist. He is a sort of type. But there are many types.
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« Reply #33 on: June 25, 2013, 08:22:35 PM »

Orthodox Pope St. Gregory the Great, wrote that anyone who calls himself universal bishop is the precursor to the Antichrist.

Wink

For all the syncretist and even heretical excesses to which Catholics are prone in their attempts at inculturation in India, I believe their starting point is basically a good one--it's basically how St Paul approached the Athenians.

But now you forgot the first rule of Orthodox internet discussion: It's good when we do it but bad when the others do it.

I think if you took it in its proper context he is talking about other Bishops claiming his title in their patriachate.

Nope. St. Gregory never called himself an ecumenical patriarch either.
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« Reply #34 on: June 26, 2013, 04:57:50 AM »

Orthodox Pope St. Gregory the Great, wrote that anyone who calls himself universal bishop is the precursor to the Antichrist.

Wink

For all the syncretist and even heretical excesses to which Catholics are prone in their attempts at inculturation in India, I believe their starting point is basically a good one--it's basically how St Paul approached the Athenians.

But now you forgot the first rule of Orthodox internet discussion: It's good when we do it but bad when the others do it.

I think if you took it in its proper context he is talking about other Bishops claiming his title in their patriachate.

Nope. St. Gregory never called himself an ecumenical patriarch either.

It is funny if not even somewhat ironic, that the very see which Pope St. Gregory rebuked for what he thought to be a pretension to power simply contented itself with taking the title while never becoming what the title might imply, while the very Roman See of Pope St. Gregory would go on never to take such a title, but to become what Pope St. Gregory feared Constantinople was attempting to become.
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« Reply #35 on: June 26, 2013, 09:42:59 AM »

I thought the Pope was Jesus Christ on earth. It depends on the Pope. One thing is sure there is no Patriarch like the Pope.
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« Reply #36 on: June 26, 2013, 09:43:47 AM »

I thought the Pope was Jesus Christ on earth. It depends on the Pope. One thing is sure there is no Patriarch like the Pope.

Wut?
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« Reply #37 on: June 26, 2013, 09:45:45 AM »

I thought the Pope was Jesus Christ on earth. It depends on the Pope. One thing is sure there is no Patriarch like the Pope.

Wut?

What?
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« Reply #38 on: June 26, 2013, 10:17:16 AM »

St. Gregory the Great said:
Quote
“Whoever calls himself universal bishop, or desires this title, is, by his pride, the precursor to the Antichrist.”

The Pope is a precursor to the Antichrist, and the Antichrist will occupy a similar position in the universal religion of the future that the Pope of Rome occupies in the Roman Catholicism of today.  Whether or not the Antichrist will actually be a Catholic Pope, however, is a different question.  Since Vatican II, Roman Catholicism has taken on more and more of the appearance of a "universal religion" that places obedience to a single human figure over dogmatic fidelity and dogmatic unity.  This can be seen in the Eastern Rite where one can be Orthodox in theology and disagree with Roman Catholic teaching as long as one doesn't express their disagreement vocally and as long as they remain "under the head".  Also, since Vatican II, there has been an increasing involvement of Roman Catholic "religious" (monastics) in Eastern non-Christian mysticism so that we have Jesuits who are Zen Roshis, Benedictine Abbots who have ashrams in India and try to adopt the philosophy of the Advaita Vedanta of Hinduism, where Trappist abbots invite Zen Buddhists to teach their Catholic monks how to do zazen, etc., etc.  There have already been many spiritual leaders within Roman Catholicism, such as Fr. Bede Griffiths in India, who have spoken of the "complementarity" of religions and advocated a perhaps sophisticated form of religious syncretism.  This universalism will open up to, and is preparing for, the universal religion of the Antichrist; but it is hard to know exactly how things will develop to this point.  The Antichrist will be recognized by all religions, and the Jews will consider him to be their Messiah.  He will also be an earthly ruler, a Jew himself, of the tribe of Dan, and will rule from Jerusalem.  So, will he also be a Roman Catholic Pope?  Or, will the Pope of that time defer to the authority of the Antichrist?  Will Roman Catholicism still exist in any meaningful way?  It remains to be seen, but the Pope of Rome is in some way a type and precursor of the Antichrist as St. Gregory the Great said. 

Looks like its time to look into Orthodoxy then!
LOL.
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« Reply #39 on: June 26, 2013, 10:37:48 AM »

St. Gregory the Great said:
Quote
“Whoever calls himself universal bishop, or desires this title, is, by his pride, the precursor to the Antichrist.”

The Pope is a precursor to the Antichrist, and the Antichrist will occupy a similar position in the universal religion of the future that the Pope of Rome occupies in the Roman Catholicism of today.  Whether or not the Antichrist will actually be a Catholic Pope, however, is a different question.  Since Vatican II, Roman Catholicism has taken on more and more of the appearance of a "universal religion" that places obedience to a single human figure over dogmatic fidelity and dogmatic unity.  This can be seen in the Eastern Rite where one can be Orthodox in theology and disagree with Roman Catholic teaching as long as one doesn't express their disagreement vocally and as long as they remain "under the head".  Also, since Vatican II, there has been an increasing involvement of Roman Catholic "religious" (monastics) in Eastern non-Christian mysticism so that we have Jesuits who are Zen Roshis, Benedictine Abbots who have ashrams in India and try to adopt the philosophy of the Advaita Vedanta of Hinduism, where Trappist abbots invite Zen Buddhists to teach their Catholic monks how to do zazen, etc., etc.  There have already been many spiritual leaders within Roman Catholicism, such as Fr. Bede Griffiths in India, who have spoken of the "complementarity" of religions and advocated a perhaps sophisticated form of religious syncretism.  This universalism will open up to, and is preparing for, the universal religion of the Antichrist; but it is hard to know exactly how things will develop to this point.  The Antichrist will be recognized by all religions, and the Jews will consider him to be their Messiah.  He will also be an earthly ruler, a Jew himself, of the tribe of Dan, and will rule from Jerusalem.  So, will he also be a Roman Catholic Pope?  Or, will the Pope of that time defer to the authority of the Antichrist?  Will Roman Catholicism still exist in any meaningful way?  It remains to be seen, but the Pope of Rome is in some way a type and precursor of the Antichrist as St. Gregory the Great said. 

Looks like its time to look into Orthodoxy then!
LOL.
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« Reply #40 on: June 26, 2013, 11:14:09 AM »

THe only people who say this are hard-core Lutherans who believe every word Martin Luther ever said.  Since I know only a few hard-core Lutherans of this variety, I just smile politely and walk away.
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« Reply #41 on: June 26, 2013, 12:43:24 PM »

That's what I believe. Every messianic figure, from sect leaders to individual manipulators in daily life to governments that put themselves in the messianic role are types of antichrist.


Well, it's a silly statement.

First off, which pope? Will a pope be the actual antichrist? Probably not. But by usurping a supremacy over all the churches, as St. Gregory the Great alludes, he makes himself a forerunner of Antichrist. He is a sort of type. But there are many types.
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« Reply #42 on: June 26, 2013, 01:33:58 PM »



True story (I don't know why).
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« Reply #43 on: July 02, 2013, 09:56:16 AM »

The Pope is a precursor to the Antichrist, and the Antichrist will occupy a similar position in the universal religion of the future that the Pope of Rome occupies in the Roman Catholicism of today.  Whether or not the Antichrist will actually be a Catholic Pope, however, is a different question.  Since Vatican II, Roman Catholicism has taken on more and more of the appearance of a "universal religion" that places obedience to a single human figure over dogmatic fidelity and dogmatic unity.  This can be seen in the Eastern Rite where one can be Orthodox in theology and disagree with Roman Catholic teaching as long as one doesn't express their disagreement vocally and as long as they remain "under the head".  

Right, right. Because, as we all know, the Union of Brest and the Union of Uzhhorod happened at Vatican II.
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« Reply #44 on: July 02, 2013, 10:38:28 AM »

My answer - BS. Worry less about when the Bridegroom comes, for we know He is coming,  always be prepared. That is the real lesson of the Gospels.

Too many waste their time looking for signs. Scripture and the fathers elaborate on that as well with the parable of the Rich Man Lazarus.
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