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Author Topic: Catholic (Universal) vs. Orthodox (Authentic)  (Read 2849 times) Average Rating: 0
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Michael12
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« on: July 14, 2013, 08:49:19 PM »

I am still somewhat on the border between Catholicism and Orthodoxy, and I think the dilemma for me lies in the meaning of the two names. I like the Catholic Church because of its influence of European history, cohesiveness, organization, size, and lack of ethnic divisions. I think this all can relate back to the universality of the Catholic Church in history as well as modern society. However, I disagree with them on several points of theology, i.e. Immaculate Conception, purgatory, papal infallibility. The Orthodox Church does not have these theological problems, and they have stayed more authentic by said pure theology (hence Orthodox). However, they have been more obscure since the Schism, they are divided on ethnic boundaries, and especially the non-ethnic Orthodox denominations (i.e. OCA) are not at all well organized episcopally. My main dilemma comes down to whether I want a church that is more influential, universal, and organized or more pure, true, and limited. Any thoughts?
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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2013, 09:24:44 PM »

My 2 cents based on the "one, holy, catholic, and apostolic" thing, though this is based on positive elements and doesn't touch on the negatives or perceived problems...

Catholics
- More centralization, more apparent unity across levels of administration and types of groups, a clearer transparency of administration.
- More allowance for elaborate institutional or organized approaches to holiness, based around lay groups or schools or monastic orders or such.
- More universally known and widespread, a fullness of thought in the sense of diversity
- Words that come to mind: breadth, cohesion, sophistication, understanding, organization

Orthodox
- More collegial, more flexible and in theory more open to change of administrative approaches, less clear and transparent methods for church governance.
- More emphasis on individualized holiness, which is intertwined with the Church through more invisible/mystical and less outward attachments
- More whole in terms of unchanging purity or some such thing
- Words that come to mind: depth, mystery, collegiality, grass-roots, piety
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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2013, 10:13:41 PM »

I am still somewhat on the border between Catholicism and Orthodoxy, and I think the dilemma for me lies in the meaning of the two names. I like the Catholic Church because of its influence of European history, cohesiveness, organization, size, and lack of ethnic divisions. I think this all can relate back to the universality of the Catholic Church in history as well as modern society. However, I disagree with them on several points of theology, i.e. Immaculate Conception, purgatory, papal infallibility. The Orthodox Church does not have these theological problems, and they have stayed more authentic by said pure theology (hence Orthodox). However, they have been more obscure since the Schism, they are divided on ethnic boundaries, and especially the non-ethnic Orthodox denominations (i.e. OCA) are not at all well organized episcopally. My main dilemma comes down to whether I want a church that is more influential, universal, and organized or more pure, true, and limited. Any thoughts?
You can't tell the difference between a "Mexican Catholic," an "Irish Catholic," an "Italian Catholic" or a "Polish Catholic"?

What good is an influential heretical church?

More obscure?  Where?  The Orthodox remained the most widespread until the Western European Age of Discovery and Conquest.  The Orthodox Russian Empire was the largest Christian society in the world until its fall.

Christ said He the Way, the Truth and the Life, not popularity, power and influence.  In fact, He said the opposite-He made no promises of popularity, power or influence to His followers.
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« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2013, 10:32:41 PM »


Christ said He the Way, the Truth and the Life, not popularity, power and influence.  In fact, He said the opposite-He made no promises of popularity, power or influence to His followers.

You honestly touched my heart with this. Thank you! Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2013, 10:43:39 PM »

Shouldn't the main question you ask yourself instead be "which of the two paths will lead me to salvation...?"
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« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2013, 12:06:33 AM »

The title of our Church is, "The Holy Orthodox Catholic Church".
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« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2013, 12:32:38 AM »

I like the Catholic Church because of its influence of European history, cohesiveness, organization, size, and lack of ethnic divisions. I think this all can relate back to the universality of the Catholic Church in history as well as modern society.

Don't confuse centralisation with a lack of ethnic divisions.  The Roman Catholic Church is much more centralised than the Orthodox Church, which means that you don't have "the American Catholic Church", but the Roman Catholic Church in the US (though they don't even add anything like "of the US" in their name).  That said, the ethnic "divisions" are certainly there.  In a reasonable distance from my home town and in the same county, there are Hispanic, Albanian, Slovak, Italian, Polish, and Korean parishes or ethnic ministry groups within more generic parishes.  Go a little further, and you get many more of many other ethnicities.  And that's not at all counting the Eastern Catholics.

Because the Orthodox are more decentralised, you get the impression of "national Churches" along ethnic lines, but this isn't accurate.  There's no Rome to run everything for us as there is in the Roman Catholic Church (while her dioceses and national bishops' conferences do a lot of their own administration, they can't do anything major without approval from Rome, they are required to personally report to Rome every five years, etc.), and so we administer ourselves regionally.  Those regions may coincide with ethnic divisions, but that's not necessarily the case or, if it is, it's not usually by intention. 

It's important to have the correct understanding of what "universality" means when we use it as a mark of the Church.  Even for the RC's, universality is not a matter of "We've got people from every nation under the sun, so we are the true Church".  Universality is "This message (the gospel) and this community (the Church, the Body of Christ) is for everyone, male and female, Jew and Gentile".  The Church was universal (catholic) when it was just over a hundred Jews locked up in an upper room in a house in Jerusalem fifty days after Jesus' resurrection.  On the surface, you don't get more ethnic and "closed in" than that, but it was truly universal because it was meant for all.  The gift of the Holy Spirit demonstrated that powerfully, but it demonstrated what was already the case, not what it was supposed to be somewhere down the line.       

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« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2013, 12:40:09 AM »

1st welcome to the forum.

Shouldn't the main question you ask yourself instead be "which of the two paths will lead me to salvation...?"
I would think.

I am still somewhat on the border between Catholicism and Orthodoxy, ... I like the Catholic Church...However, I disagree with them on several points of theology, i.e. Immaculate Conception, purgatory, papal infallibility.

The Orthodox Church does not have these theological problems, and they have stayed more authentic by said pure theology (hence Orthodox)...

My main dilemma comes down to whether I want a church that is more influential, universal, and organized or more pure, true, and limited. Any thoughts?
So let me modify an illustration I heard in a sermon somewhere once. There's two batches of cookies. One is a little over done crumbly doesn't look the best. The other looks great, smells wonderful, made from all the best ingredients except one of the eggs had a little salmonella in it. Which ones are you going to eat?
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« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2013, 12:47:53 AM »

I don't know if that's the best example...if it was me, the salmonella threat would gross me out, and the crumbly, over done, ugly cookies would just turn me off on dessert.  I'd go eat a burger.  Tongue
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« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2013, 01:03:06 AM »

 laugh Frankly I'd prefer the burger in the first place myself.
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« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2013, 01:21:58 AM »

If Catholicism and Orthodoxy are two types of cookie, what religion is the burger?   Shocked
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« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2013, 01:22:52 AM »

Perhaps I did leave out a detail. Let us assume that the first batch despite its appearance tastes great.
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« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2013, 01:27:36 AM »

If Catholicism and Orthodoxy are two types of cookie, what religion is the burger?   Shocked
Protestant.  I has a lot of different ingredients. Wink
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« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2013, 01:28:29 AM »

If Catholicism and Orthodoxy are two types of cookie, what religion is the burger?   Shocked
Hmmm... I think .... the burger is... the burger is just good food. Toi bad there's no burger munching smiley.
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« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2013, 01:29:11 AM »

If Catholicism and Orthodoxy are two types of cookie, what religion is the burger?   Shocked
Protestant.  I has a lot of different ingredients. Wink
lol good night.   Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2013, 08:06:31 AM »

I guess then the question becomes whether Catholicism impedes salvation. Part of my perspective on this issue is that my grandfather is the most religious man I have ever met. He goes to mass daily, is in some kind of position at the church, reads the bible frequently, and prays often. He also claimed to have seen a vision of Jesus a few years back, and they talked together.
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« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2013, 08:07:04 AM »

And he is a Catholic.
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« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2013, 08:14:01 AM »

There's a lot true in the generalizations in the original post. But the real issues in my opinion aren't the Immaculate Conception, purgatory, and papal infallibility. (In short, Orthodoxy teaches that Mary is all-holy and it prays for the dead, in effect just like Catholicism, and papal infallibility is a rarely used aspect of church infallibility, which both Catholicism and Orthodoxy claim. So those are red herrings.) Universality vs. authenticity has a point, especially since Vatican II when American Catholicism came to resemble modern Methodism with a few quirks (still anti-abortion and anti-birth control, ethnic peculiarities like Marian devotions, and celibate clergy) while the Orthodox to their credit have largely remained what they were in the '50s, with only minor, natural changes, not rewrites (switching to English and the Gregorian calendar).

That said, look at Catholicism's authenticity, in decades of American history with the Tridentine Mass, which has never disappeared. The manifest holiness of Catholic saints, and stories like Michael12's.

In addition to Orthodoxy's relative obscurity, one word regarding authenticity: contraception. (The salmonella in the analogy above.) Who changed?

By the way, most ethnic Orthodox are deafeningly indifferent to abortion.
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« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2013, 08:37:45 AM »

By the way, most ethnic Orthodox are deafeningly indifferent to abortion.

Growing up in an 'ethnic Catholic' family and among other 'ethnic Catholics', I'd say the same about them. And there are polls, not mere anecdotes, which would back it up.
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« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2013, 08:51:30 AM »

By the way, most ethnic Orthodox are deafeningly indifferent to abortion.

Growing up in an 'ethnic Catholic' family and among other 'ethnic Catholics', I'd say the same about them. And there are polls, not mere anecdotes, which would back it up.

Good point. I was going to say that while the anti-abortion cause is true, because of the void that Vatican II caused, for a number of devout Catholics, it's become a substitute for traditional Catholic religion. Natural traditionalists might not be obsessive about it. And a lot of ethnics, Catholic and Orthodox, are neither catechized nor devout. They go along with the herd, with the mainstream. That said, I was thinking of catechesis. The lack of it regarding these issues among the Orthodox is astounding.

Having no magisterium is a bug, not a feature. Like with Protestants, every Orthodox priest is sort of his own Pope, from the easygoing ethnic with the contracepting, etc. couples in his parish who are 'in the family' (of the ethnicity) to the cult fanatic trying to keep track of his parishioners' menstrual cycles for ritual purity.

The little Orthodox involvement in pro-life is largely: 1) a few ex-evangelicals and 2) a few bishops trying to impress their Catholic counterparts (Metropolitan Herman of the OCA trying to impress Bishop Timlin).
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« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2013, 09:04:16 AM »

Quote
... one word regarding authenticity: contraception. (The salmonella in the analogy above.) Who changed?

By the way, most ethnic Orthodox are deafeningly indifferent to abortion.
reductio ad vaginam religion.
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« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2013, 09:11:41 AM »

By the way, most ethnic Orthodox are deafeningly indifferent to abortion.

Growing up in an 'ethnic Catholic' family and among other 'ethnic Catholics', I'd say the same about them. And there are polls, not mere anecdotes, which would back it up.

Good point. I was going to say that while the anti-abortion cause is true, because of the void that Vatican II caused, for a number of devout Catholics, it's become a substitute for traditional Catholic religion. Natural traditionalists might not be obsessive about it. And a lot of ethnics, Catholic and Orthodox, are neither catechized nor devout. They go along with the herd, with the mainstream. That said, I was thinking of catechesis. The lack of it regarding these issues among the Orthodox is astounding.

Again, right back at you. There's a Catholic priest in my family who, when I mentioned the second ecumenical council, thought I was talking about Vatican II. He also believes hell isn't real. And it's easier to find Catholics conflating immaculate conception with the virgin birth than those who know what the IC really is.

Quote
Having no magisterium is a bug, not a feature.

The fact that, for example, the Melkites can openly deny Catholic dogmas (such as papal infalliblity/ supremacy), without any repercussions, shows that the Catholics don't have a magisterium either. They may have a number of bodies and documents which are supposed to fill that role, but on the ground it makes little difference.

The Orthodox Church maintains the Catholic faith the same as always: through its common prayers/ hymns, the teaching of the bishops, the writings of the Fathers, etc. Understanding and proper application will vary between locales, but slapping the magic word "magisterium" onto all this will change nothing.

Re: contraception, the Catholic Church endorses contraception in the form of NFP. Despite all the logical contortions made to say otherwise, most of the Fathers who spoke against contraception considered any sexual act not intended for procreation to be sinful. Also, inflating this question into a deal-breaker of where the true church is, is rather bizarre.

Quote
The little Orthodox involvement in pro-life is largely: 1) a few ex-evangelicals and 2) a few bishops trying to impress their Catholic counterparts (Metropolitan Herman of the OCA trying to impress Bishop Timlin).

The American pro-life movement is a joke which has little to do with Christianity. The less our clergy are involved in it, the better.
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« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2013, 09:48:36 AM »

Quote
reductio ad vaginam religion.

The American pro-life movement is a joke which has little to do with Christianity. The less our clergy are involved in it, the better.

These could have come from anywhere in the now-mainstream left, including the mainline Protestants, and including Catholic dissenters. It's not how the true church, putative or not, talks. If this is mainstream in American Orthodoxy (and I've heard ethnic Orthodox in person talk like this), you've got serious problems, the better liturgy and strong family/ethnic ties notwithstanding. Mainstream society won't harass you, because they already own you. Just like mainline Protestantism.

Quote
Again, right back at you. There's a Catholic priest in my family who, when I mentioned the second ecumenical council, thought I was talking about Vatican II. He also believes hell isn't real. And it's easier to find Catholics conflating immaculate conception with the virgin birth than those who know what the IC really is.

Without a doubt. Lots of Catholics are dumb or ignorant. So are lots of born Orthodox. Or, in the case of that priest and hell, doubters, not bad in itself as long as he doesn't preach his error as church teaching. That priest obviously isn't used to talking about the early church or maybe he wasn't really listening to you. In his world (not the real teaching of the church), Vatican II's the only ecumenical council he hears about.

Quote
The fact that, for example, the Melkites can openly deny Catholic dogmas (such as papal infalliblity/ supremacy), without any repercussions, shows that the Catholics don't have a magisterium either. They may have a number of bodies and documents which are supposed to fill that role, but on the ground it makes little difference.

'The Melkites' as a particular/ritual church in Catholicism of course can't dissent from Catholic doctrine. That there are individual dissenters (the weird, arrogant 'Orthodox in communion with Rome' who thumb their noses at Catholicism but don't join the Orthodox) shows 1) as I like to say, the church is not a cult; for all its consistency and authority in teaching, it doesn't micromanage billions of members, and 2) the OicwRs are microscopic (perspective: all Eastern Catholics are only 2% of all Catholics; OicwRs are a tiny part of that 2%) so Rome probably doesn't bother with them.

Quote
Re: contraception, the Catholic Church endorses contraception in the form of NFP. Despite all the logical contortions made to say otherwise, most of the Fathers who spoke against contraception considered any sexual act not intended for procreation to be sinful. Also, inflating this question into a deal-breaker of where the true church is, is rather bizarre.

I'm fine being 'bizarre' and consistent in Catholicism.
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« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2013, 09:50:26 AM »

In addition to Orthodoxy's relative obscurity, one word regarding authenticity: contraception. (The salmonella in the analogy above.) Who changed?
The Roman Penitentiary: by advocating the rhythm method (and a poorly constructed one, btw IIRC) over withdrawal, it overturned the very Patristics your "magisterium" depends on now to defend the position of Humanae Vitae (what it uses to defend HV, mind you, not the Patristrics in HV as it contains none-besides that which it tries to bolster the 19th century creation-the "Magisterium.").

As to obscurity, it is relative to whether one's place on globe: are you in a place the Vatican or its minions conquered or not.

By the way, most ethnic Orthodox are deafeningly indifferent to abortion.
And this is different from the Vatican's ethnic flock how?
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« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2013, 09:54:25 AM »

Before the Anglicans changed in 1930, no Christians resorted to this sophistry to defend contraception. All other Christians still agreed with Catholicism on contraception, abortion, and homosexuality.
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« Reply #25 on: July 15, 2013, 10:03:08 AM »

Before the Anglicans changed in 1930, no Christians resorted to this sophistry to defend contraception.
Yes, I know the mantra.
No, it does not pick up any historical accuracy with each repetition.

All other Christians still agreed with Catholicism on contraception, abortion, and homosexuality.
Noonan points out the irony that the Vatican in HV set its blessing on the one form of contraception the Fathers it depends on condemned explicitly.
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« Reply #26 on: July 15, 2013, 10:08:03 AM »

Before the Anglicans changed in 1930, no Christians resorted to this sophistry to defend contraception. All other Christians still agreed with Catholicism on contraception, abortion, and homosexuality.
What do you mean by "defend" ? "cause people didn't need a church stamp on whatever they were doing. I have reliable family memories from the thirties. Abortion-often botched etc- were by no means rare in an otherwise  ethnically and religiously monolithic society. I think your line about how the Orthodox changed while the RC heroically resisted is  merely a simplistic apologetic trick. That they didn't resort to sophistry to defend it I agree. Most don't resort to sophistry to defend it to this day. just practice it as they see it fit. Catholics included.
And talking about sophistry, there is plenty of it backing the  NFP method.
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« Reply #27 on: July 15, 2013, 10:17:10 AM »

Before the Anglicans changed in 1930, no Christians resorted to this sophistry to defend contraception. All other Christians still agreed with Catholicism on contraception, abortion, and homosexuality.
What do you mean by "defend" ? "cause people didn't need a church stamp on whatever they were doing. I have reliable family memories from the thirties. Abortion-often botched etc- were by no means rare in an otherwise  ethnically and religiously monolithic society. I think your line about how the Orthodox changed while the RC heroically resisted is  merely a simplistic apologetic trick. That they didn't resort to sophistry to defend it I agree. Most don't resort to sophistry to defend it to this day. just practice it as they see it fit. Catholics included.

'Hold the presses!' (I used to be a newspaperman.) Oh, wait; that's not news. Frank Sinatra's mom, Dolly, was the neighborhood abortionist.

The point remains: the Catholic Church takes a public stand on this and mainstream American society attacks it. The Orthodox Church doesn't.
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« Reply #28 on: July 15, 2013, 10:20:36 AM »

I hear a lot of people say "catholic" means universal, but I've never seen the evidence that backs up such claim.

Resorting to etymology, though, catholic comes from Greek "kata holos" meaning "according to the whole" as in contrast to "according to Paul, according to Peter" as St. Paul mentions in his epistle.

As I understand it, it means that the Holy Spirit governs the Church through all of its elements: authorities, clergy, lay people, historical events, angels, miracles, relics, traditions, etc. The visible symbol of unity being the same correct (orthodox) faith coming from all these elements. Catholic is the opposite of catameric, according to one part only. In our context, according to one part of the Church.

In putting pope or bible as the single source of unity or authority in the Church, one is, by that very act, denying the catholicity of the Church in favor of a catamerism. In case of Rome, a catapapism, in case of Protestants, a catabiblioism.
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« Reply #29 on: July 15, 2013, 10:30:06 AM »

I hear a lot of people say "catholic" means universal, but I've never seen the evidence that backs up such claim.

Resorting to etymology, though, catholic comes from Greek "kata holos" meaning "according to the whole" as in contrast to "according to Paul, according to Peter" as St. Paul mentions in his epistle.

As I understand it, it means that the Holy Spirit governs the Church through all of its elements: authorities, clergy, lay people, historical events, angels, miracles, relics, traditions, etc. The visible symbol of unity being the same correct (orthodox) faith coming from all these elements. Catholic is the opposite of catameric, according to one part only. In our context, according to one part of the Church.

In putting pope or bible as the single source of unity or authority in the Church, one is, by that very act, denying the catholicity of the Church in favor of a catamerism. In case of Rome, a catapapism, in case of Protestants, a catabiblioism.

As I understand it, it means that the Holy Spirit governs the Church through all of its elements: authorities, clergy, lay people, historical events, angels, miracles, relics, traditions, etc.

I agree 100%.

The visible symbol of unity being the same correct (orthodox) faith coming from all these elements.

Pretty much.

Non-Catholic apologists claim that Catholicism sets the Pope above scripture and the rest of tradition (the Orthodox are right that scripture is part of tradition); not so. He can't change anything in Holy Tradition (as Orthodoxy calls it), be it scripture, past defined doctrine, the matter of the sacraments, or morals (contraception and abortion). Doctrines develop and are defined, but they can't change. There will never be a papal decree or church council acting like a mainline denomination's synod or convention, revoking the creeds or approving women clergy, gay marriage, or contraception.
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« Reply #30 on: July 15, 2013, 10:32:07 AM »

Vladimir Lossky wrote something similar to the last two posts, although I do not remember right now which book he wrote it in.
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« Reply #31 on: July 15, 2013, 12:09:43 PM »

I guess then the question becomes whether Catholicism impedes salvation. Part of my perspective on this issue is that my grandfather is the most religious man I have ever met. He goes to mass daily, is in some kind of position at the church, reads the bible frequently, and prays often. He also claimed to have seen a vision of Jesus a few years back, and they talked together.

I don't think Catholicism impedes salvation, in the sense that salvation is God's work, and he can't be impeded by anything. 

But with all due respect to your grandfather, who I'm sure is as devout as you say, his holiness may have nothing to do with Catholicism per se.  My neighbours back home are Sikhs.  The father wakes up at 3am, gets ready for work, leaves the house at 4am to go to his temple and spend time in prayer before eating and going to work at 7 or 8am.  After work, he goes back to the temple for more prayer, goes home, spends some time with his family, but also spends time reading their scriptures, and retires early.  The rest of the family isn't as strict, but they are all devout.  In all honesty, they resemble the descriptions of the first Christians in the book of Acts, holier than the vast majority of Christians I know (though they only have five in their home, they make food for eight, and always bring some over to my mom so that she doesn't have to cook). 

When people have a hunger for God, they seek God, and our God says they'll find him, that he'll come to them.  But I wouldn't say that's because of Catholicism or Sikhism or whatever, but perhaps in spite of them (though certainly "systems" with Christ are, from our POV, better than those without).   
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« Reply #32 on: July 15, 2013, 12:23:09 PM »

I guess then the question becomes whether Catholicism impedes salvation. Part of my perspective on this issue is that my grandfather is the most religious man I have ever met. He goes to mass daily, is in some kind of position at the church, reads the bible frequently, and prays often. He also claimed to have seen a vision of Jesus a few years back, and they talked together.

I don't think Catholicism impedes salvation, in the sense that salvation is God's work, and he can't be impeded by anything. 

But with all due respect to your grandfather, who I'm sure is as devout as you say, his holiness may have nothing to do with Catholicism per se.  My neighbours back home are Sikhs.  The father wakes up at 3am, gets ready for work, leaves the house at 4am to go to his temple and spend time in prayer before eating and going to work at 7 or 8am.  After work, he goes back to the temple for more prayer, goes home, spends some time with his family, but also spends time reading their scriptures, and retires early.  The rest of the family isn't as strict, but they are all devout.  In all honesty, they resemble the descriptions of the first Christians in the book of Acts, holier than the vast majority of Christians I know (though they only have five in their home, they make food for eight, and always bring some over to my mom so that she doesn't have to cook). 

When people have a hunger for God, they seek God, and our God says they'll find him, that he'll come to them.  But I wouldn't say that's because of Catholicism or Sikhism or whatever, but perhaps in spite of them (though certainly "systems" with Christ are, from our POV, better than those without).   

Right. It's a valid opinion in Eastern Christianity that people outside the church can be good, maybe even better than individuals in the church, but that doesn't contradict the true-church claim. Just like Catholicism, but Catholicism defines the degrees of separation from the church, from 'sacramentally the same as us' (Eastern Christianity) to 'not Christian'.
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« Reply #33 on: July 15, 2013, 12:26:53 PM »

I guess then the question becomes whether Catholicism impedes salvation. Part of my perspective on this issue is that my grandfather is the most religious man I have ever met. He goes to mass daily, is in some kind of position at the church, reads the bible frequently, and prays often. He also claimed to have seen a vision of Jesus a few years back, and they talked together.

I don't think Catholicism impedes salvation, in the sense that salvation is God's work, and he can't be impeded by anything. 

But with all due respect to your grandfather, who I'm sure is as devout as you say, his holiness may have nothing to do with Catholicism per se.  My neighbours back home are Sikhs.  The father wakes up at 3am, gets ready for work, leaves the house at 4am to go to his temple and spend time in prayer before eating and going to work at 7 or 8am.  After work, he goes back to the temple for more prayer, goes home, spends some time with his family, but also spends time reading their scriptures, and retires early.  The rest of the family isn't as strict, but they are all devout.  In all honesty, they resemble the descriptions of the first Christians in the book of Acts, holier than the vast majority of Christians I know (though they only have five in their home, they make food for eight, and always bring some over to my mom so that she doesn't have to cook). 

When people have a hunger for God, they seek God, and our God says they'll find him, that he'll come to them.  But I wouldn't say that's because of Catholicism or Sikhism or whatever, but perhaps in spite of them (though certainly "systems" with Christ are, from our POV, better than those without).   
Mark 9:41.
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« Reply #34 on: July 15, 2013, 12:37:45 PM »

Before the Anglicans changed in 1930, no Christians resorted to this sophistry to defend contraception. All other Christians still agreed with Catholicism on contraception, abortion, and homosexuality.
What do you mean by "defend" ? "cause people didn't need a church stamp on whatever they were doing. I have reliable family memories from the thirties. Abortion-often botched etc- were by no means rare in an otherwise  ethnically and religiously monolithic society. I think your line about how the Orthodox changed while the RC heroically resisted is  merely a simplistic apologetic trick. That they didn't resort to sophistry to defend it I agree. Most don't resort to sophistry to defend it to this day. just practice it as they see it fit. Catholics included.

'Hold the presses!' (I used to be a newspaperman.) Oh, wait; that's not news. Frank Sinatra's mom, Dolly, was the neighborhood abortionist.

The point remains: the Catholic Church takes a public stand on this and mainstream American society attacks it. The Orthodox Church doesn't.

The Orthodox Church is the Catholic Church, and she does take a public stand on this:
http://oca.org/search/results/9e62e22bd4b2e07869df6fca03b1c483/
http://www.assemblyofbishops.org/news/2011/remember-the-victims-of-abortion
http://www.assemblyofbishops.org/news/2013/jan-22-roe-vs-wade-anniversary
http://www.assemblyofbishops.org/news/2012/protest-against-hhs
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« Reply #35 on: July 15, 2013, 12:41:30 PM »

I hear a lot of people say "catholic" means universal, but I've never seen the evidence that backs up such claim.

Resorting to etymology, though, catholic comes from Greek "kata holos" meaning "according to the whole" as in contrast to "according to Paul, according to Peter" as St. Paul mentions in his epistle.

As I understand it, it means that the Holy Spirit governs the Church through all of its elements: authorities, clergy, lay people, historical events, angels, miracles, relics, traditions, etc. The visible symbol of unity being the same correct (orthodox) faith coming from all these elements. Catholic is the opposite of catameric, according to one part only. In our context, according to one part of the Church.

In putting pope or bible as the single source of unity or authority in the Church, one is, by that very act, denying the catholicity of the Church in favor of a catamerism. In case of Rome, a catapapism, in case of Protestants, a catabiblioism.

As I understand it, it means that the Holy Spirit governs the Church through all of its elements: authorities, clergy, lay people, historical events, angels, miracles, relics, traditions, etc.

I agree 100%.

The visible symbol of unity being the same correct (orthodox) faith coming from all these elements.

Pretty much.

Non-Catholic apologists claim that Catholicism sets the Pope above scripture and the rest of tradition (the Orthodox are right that scripture is part of tradition); not so. He can't change anything in Holy Tradition (as Orthodoxy calls it), be it scripture, past defined doctrine, the matter of the sacraments, or morals (contraception and abortion).
And yet he has.

"Pastor Aeternus" and "Lumen Gentium" are more about creating an aura of infallibility rather than demonstrating it.

IOW "yes so."


Doctrines develop and are defined, but they can't change. There will never be a papal decree or church council acting like a mainline denomination's synod or convention, revoking the creeds or approving women clergy, gay marriage, or contraception.
just the filioque, mandated clerical celibacy, annulments, the Immaculate Conception and papal infallibility.  And that's just for starters.
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« Reply #36 on: July 15, 2013, 12:51:20 PM »

I wrote earlier: The little Orthodox involvement in pro-life is largely: 1) a few ex-evangelicals and 2) a few bishops trying to impress their Catholic counterparts (Metropolitan Herman of the OCA trying to impress Bishop Timlin). Thanks for the stand against abortion. The Catholic Church is mainstream society's target on all these matters but the Orthodox Church is not. Because it's not a threat. Besides being small, it's been compromised.

Clerical celibacy's not doctrine and everybody here knows the difference of opinion between the two sides over post-schism Catholic doctrine.
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« Reply #37 on: July 15, 2013, 12:56:44 PM »

In addition to Orthodoxy's relative obscurity, one word regarding authenticity: contraception. (The salmonella in the analogy above.) Who changed?

Everyone changed, unless you're content to keep your eyes focused on documents and not look at the people in the pews communing with you--then you can say that the RC's remained authentic.  But even if you only look at documents, I don't know of any document with the same weight in Orthodoxy that HV has/had in the RCC which made an official change.  

What I see, in Orthodoxy, is an acknowledgement that this is a pastoral and not a dogmatic issue.  The way some Catholics go on about it, the condom (as with all "artificial" birth control) is more of an intrinsic moral evil than the atomic bomb because at least that could theoretically be used in a "just" war, but there's no justification ever for a rubber.  Only Roman Catholics could take prophylactics and build a theology around them.  That's why comments like "reductio ad vaginam religion", even if they seem distasteful or "mainstream left", aren't entirely off the mark.  

Anyway, there are a lot of "one words" regarding authenticity that could be lobbed at the RCC.  Your appeal to the decades of American Catholic history with the Tridentine Mass (with its post-Vatican II abrogation, allowance, and then retroactive non-abrogation allowing one to say it "never disappeared", again, all on paper) as opposed to the post-Vatican II situation (which you admit seems to argue against authenticity to a degree) is, in a way, an admission of guilt.        

Quote
By the way, most ethnic Orthodox are deafeningly indifferent to abortion.

Most of the ethnic Catholics I know are similarly indifferent.  It has to do with being "ethnic" in a foreign (adopted) country.  

Ethnic people, in my experience, care about working hard to provide themselves and their children with a better life.  Political activism, pro-life, hobbies, sports, etc. all get sidelined in favour of this main goal.  When I was young, I was never allowed to play sports, take music classes, or become a scout because that would require parental involvement that would conflict with their work schedules (and they weren't uninterested in such things as others clearly were).  Now, if I have children, I can see the value in providing those experiences for them, but my parents were too busy to provide those for me: they were trying to give me a better life than I would've had in what most Americans would consider "the jungle".  As important as it might be, you're not going to get a lot of ethnic people interested in pro-life activism when they're exercising their own form of pro-life activism--pro-their-own-family-life activism--which is not always and everywhere equal to selfishness.  

That said, I know personally of a case where an "ethnic" couple (the guy was Catholic, the girl was Orthodox) were having twins, and something went wrong at ~20 weeks.  The doctors were recommending terminating the pregnancy, and so was the guy's very Catholic family.  The girl's Orthodox family basically laid out all the options for them and told them to pray about it, that only they could make that decision, and they'd have the family's support either way.  They decided not to terminate, to the consternation of the Catholics.  One baby boy died a week after delivery, and the other is about five now, and he has made progress his doctors consider miraculous considering how underdeveloped he was when he was born.  His parents went on to have one healthy child and another on the way.  It was the support, moral but also real life assistance, of the Orthodox family that gave the couple the strength to go through with having the twins in spite of the dangers.  If the Catholics in this situation had their way, the now-five-year-old boy would be dead too.    

Life is a lot more complicated than your easy stereotypes.        
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« Reply #38 on: July 15, 2013, 01:08:27 PM »

'Survey says' is another tactic of the mainstream left, not worthy of a practicing Eastern Christian. Recently one came out saying most American Catholics now support gay marriage.

Political activism, pro-life, etc. can be pretty bourgeois. Point taken.

I don't doubt that individual Orthodox can and do outclass individual Catholics. See my answer to you above.
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« Reply #39 on: July 15, 2013, 01:32:08 PM »

I'm fine being 'bizarre' and consistent in Catholicism.

Except you're not consistent. The "rhythm method" is condemned by the Fathers cited against contraception, but endorsed by the Catholic magisterium.
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« Reply #40 on: July 15, 2013, 01:52:15 PM »

I wrote earlier: The little Orthodox involvement in pro-life is largely: 1) a few ex-evangelicals and 2) a few bishops trying to impress their Catholic counterparts (Metropolitan Herman of the OCA trying to impress Bishop Timlin).
Yes, I saw that crap before.  Like most crap I see, I didn't step in it on my way.

Thanks for the stand against abortion. The Catholic Church is mainstream society's target on all these matters but the Orthodox Church is not.
The Orthodox Church is the Catholic Church.

As for the Vatican, the mainstream has their guns on the Evangelicals as well.  We are a smaller target.

Because it's not a threat. Besides being small, it's been compromised.

Clerical celibacy's not doctrine and everybody here knows the difference of opinion between the two sides over post-schism Catholic doctrine.
Do clarify the memo with EWTN and Relevant Radio. Those who got the memo are at pains to bury it.
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« Reply #41 on: July 15, 2013, 03:09:23 PM »

Quote
The Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church officially endorsed the “One of Us” campaign, according to the initiatives executive coordinator, Ana del Pino. The "One of Us" campaign is a European citizen's initiative that is seeking "juridical protection of the dignity, the right to life and of the integrity of every human being from conception in the areas of EU competence in which such protection is of particular importance."
http://www.byzcath.org/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/396763/Romanian_Patriarchate_Expresse#Post396763
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« Reply #42 on: July 15, 2013, 04:24:58 PM »

That is a circular argument.

If the Pope establishes a heresy ex cathedra, as is the case with the Immaculate Conception, Romans "know" it is Holy Tradition because the Pope confirmed it and the Pope confirmed it because it is Holy Tradition. Since, from the very fact that an ex cathedra proclamation is necessary in order to clarify an issue that was previously a theological opinion, he is de facto, establishing doctrine and may be commiting a mistake in it, a possibility that is shielded by the infallibility heresy.  Which, in face of the many historical ambiguities, Romans consider to be true because the Pope established it and he established it because it was Holy Tradition, although that was, again, the very issue at discussion.


What the innovations of ex cathedra infallible proclamations on morality and dogma de facto establish is that the Pope *is* indeed above all tradition as judge. It is a lack of faith and hope in the governance of the Holy Spirit, a mistrust of the words of Christs that the Holy Spirit blows where He wills. Nowhere did He say: "The Spirit blows where He wills but on issues of doctrine and morality it is only through official proclamations of the successors of Peter in Rome only; never mind the ones in Alexandria or Antioch."

I hear a lot of people say "catholic" means universal, but I've never seen the evidence that backs up such claim.

Resorting to etymology, though, catholic comes from Greek "kata holos" meaning "according to the whole" as in contrast to "according to Paul, according to Peter" as St. Paul mentions in his epistle.

As I understand it, it means that the Holy Spirit governs the Church through all of its elements: authorities, clergy, lay people, historical events, angels, miracles, relics, traditions, etc. The visible symbol of unity being the same correct (orthodox) faith coming from all these elements. Catholic is the opposite of catameric, according to one part only. In our context, according to one part of the Church.

In putting pope or bible as the single source of unity or authority in the Church, one is, by that very act, denying the catholicity of the Church in favor of a catamerism. In case of Rome, a catapapism, in case of Protestants, a catabiblioism.

As I understand it, it means that the Holy Spirit governs the Church through all of its elements: authorities, clergy, lay people, historical events, angels, miracles, relics, traditions, etc.

I agree 100%.

The visible symbol of unity being the same correct (orthodox) faith coming from all these elements.

Pretty much.

Non-Catholic apologists claim that Catholicism sets the Pope above scripture and the rest of tradition (the Orthodox are right that scripture is part of tradition); not so. He can't change anything in Holy Tradition (as Orthodoxy calls it), be it scripture, past defined doctrine, the matter of the sacraments, or morals (contraception and abortion). Doctrines develop and are defined, but they can't change. There will never be a papal decree or church council acting like a mainline denomination's synod or convention, revoking the creeds or approving women clergy, gay marriage, or contraception.
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« Reply #43 on: July 15, 2013, 05:57:39 PM »

Shouldn't the main question you ask yourself instead be "which of the two paths will lead me to salvation...?"

In response to the OP, this post is really the only one worth paying attention to. ^
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« Reply #44 on: July 15, 2013, 06:10:15 PM »

Shouldn't the main question you ask yourself instead be "which of the two paths will lead me to salvation...?"

In response to the OP, this post is really the only one worth paying attention to. ^

IMO that's way too vague principle. That could mean just about anything.
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