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« Reply #45 on: September 20, 2013, 05:05:57 PM »

But of course the Lord also controlled the message completely by inspiring the New Testament authors to write only what He wanted written for the salvation of souls. Pope Francis does not have that kind of power over the mainstream media.  Cheesy

I don't know about all that. Isn't the "oldest" Gospel dated as being written as late as 50 years after the Lord's ascension into heaven? The Council of Carthage that determined the Biblical canon didn't happen until the 4th Century.

Don't kid yourself that editorial boards didn't exist back then as well. Smiley

The Magdalene Papyrus (fragments of St. Matthew) are dated to 50AD
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« Reply #46 on: September 20, 2013, 05:08:02 PM »

I suppose if Pope Francis breaks through the caricatures and defies stereotypes, then perhaps the closest we can hope to come in the here and now is to simply better understand each other in terms of the significant beliefs we share and accept the ones which rightly keep our communion separate.
This sounds possible.
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« Reply #47 on: September 20, 2013, 05:33:38 PM »

I'm not referring only to the current Roman Pope, but rather a tendency in the Latin Church overall that predates him. The fact that they even have "liberal" and "conservative" wings, with different liturgical standards observed by each (and some might say different theologies, ecclesiologies, etc.) is illustrative of a major problem in that communion that stems (I believe) from exactly the phenomenon I described earlier, wherein the Roman communion and its Pope try to be all things to all people. It doesn't work.  

I would agree.  But I would also contend that it's foolish to believe that Orthodoxy doesn't have similar divides.  The liturgical life of the Church is, in some ways, the great equaliser, but still, we have our liberal and conservative factions.  Perhaps that is seen more in some regions or local Churches than in others, but it is there in spite of our Church not "being all things to all people".  


The important difference is that the liberal and conservative factions within the Roman Catholic Church have much greater distance between them compared to those factions within the Orthodox Church.

What is "liberal" or "modernist" within the Roman Catholic Church context is much more heretical than anything of the equivalent with the Eastern Orthodox Churches.

Read this article if you want to see the point illustrated. To my knowledge, there is no local Orthodox Church existing that is tempted to be as heretical as this one in Rochester, NY, which is typical for liberal RC's.
http://www.cleveland.com/religion/index.ssf/2011/04/breakaway_catholic_flock_flour.html
""Everyone is welcome at God's table," this is the line they love to give.

(The picture above is of Pope Francis in the Italian prison last April 2013)
"Everyone is welcome at God's table" - the same idea perpetuated !

So when I see Pope Francis wash the feet of women and do some of the same things some of the liberal "so-called Roman Catholics" like to do, I have great concern that he is giving fuel to their fire, whether or not he truly agrees with them - at times his actions speak louder than his words. It's all very bizarre, it's the culmination of the worst excesses of vatican II. It can't possibly last, it is clearly a trend of the time, yet it will take the death of the baby boomer generation to finally eliminate the antics that generation typically tendd to perpetetuate within the RC Church. Except for the ones in the neocatechumenal way, I feel the younger generations of clergy take the traditional teachings and liturgy the most seriously and dont harbor any preconceived prejudice against it, they are the hope for the future of RC Church. One in four newly ordained priests in France celebrates the traditional latin mass exclusively.


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"and for all who are Orthodox, and who hold the Catholic and Apostolic Faith, remember, O Lord, thy servants" - yet the post-conciliar RC hierarchy is tolerant of everyone and everything... except Catholic Tradition, for modernists are as salt with no taste, to be “thrown out and trampled under foot
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« Reply #48 on: September 20, 2013, 05:46:21 PM »

When the controversy was raging about Pope Francis' modernist reinterpretation of the Holy Thursday pedilavium rite, I said the following:

. . .  The Pedilavium rite within the context of the Great and Holy Thursday liturgy is not commemorating "service in general," but the institution of priestly service by Christ in commissioning His apostles to serve the people of God. Quite frankly the Roman Church does not need more liturgical innovation, and it most certainly does not need to be even more ritually Low Church than it is already.

I have not changed my views since writing the above post last April. As far as washing the feet of women (including Muslim women) outside of the liturgy is concerned, Pope Francis can wash the feet of every person living in the city of Rome if he wants. I would be completely fine with that, but he should not alter the liturgical rites to suit his own peculiar tastes.
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« Reply #49 on: September 21, 2013, 01:09:20 PM »

Mor and Jerm, the Pope ain't talking about you guys anyway. See the subject.

I don't think the Pope sees it that way, but who cares what he thinks, right?  Tongue
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« Reply #50 on: September 21, 2013, 01:12:12 PM »

The Magdalene Papyrus (fragments of St. Matthew) are dated to 50AD

Our Church dates the arrival of the Apostle Thomas in South India to the year 52, and our tradition is that he brought with him a Hebrew copy of St Matthew's Gospel.  I've never fully bought into the scholarly opinion that St Mark's was the first Gospel (because of such traditional "facts"), and maybe that opinion is being adjusted.   
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« Reply #51 on: September 21, 2013, 01:15:06 PM »

The important difference is that the liberal and conservative factions within the Roman Catholic Church have much greater distance between them compared to those factions within the Orthodox Church.

What is "liberal" or "modernist" within the Roman Catholic Church context is much more heretical than anything of the equivalent with the Eastern Orthodox Churches.

Read this article if you want to see the point illustrated.

No need.  I studied within the geographic bounds of the RC Diocese of Albany, NY.  I'm quite aware of the chasm that exists between "liberal" and "conservative" in places like that, and even the chasm that exists between "liberal" and "liberal".  Tongue
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« Reply #52 on: September 21, 2013, 01:50:00 PM »

We do not disagree or break down into liberal/conservative factions concerning the liturgy, theology, ecclesiology, etc. of the Church. As you say, the liturgical life of the Church is the great equalizer in many ways.

The liturgical life of the Church is the equaliser in the sense that it prevents much of the "division" between "liberal" and "conservative" from becoming a chasm (as it is in the RCC...I agree with you and others on that) but don't underestimate the power of human beings to ignore, twist, etc., even within a heavily traditional liturgical framework.  I've seen it at all levels of multiple jurisdictions of variable "ethnicity".   

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The RCC situation creates a context in which conservative and liberal wings are instead reinforced, such that now there are "Traditionalist" Catholics versus...other Catholics, I suppose.

...

Well, people are people everywhere, of course. That doesn't vary according to jurisdiction. But my point is more that while such things are not emphasized or reinforced in Orthodoxy, they are in the Roman communion, precisely because of a theological or philosophical belief held by many in the Latin Church that, for instance, Byzantines and Latins and all manner of Syriacs, Copts, etc. can coexist under one banner ("Catholic"), so long as they submit to Roman ecclesiology (you will notice, I hope, that "Catholicity" across that communion is defined by communion with the Roman Pope and submission to his ultimate universal authority and jurisdiction, rather than Rome's communion with its various Eastern compatriots; this is an ecclesiological and in some sense theological matter for them, while it is heresy to the Orthodox). This is what I mean when I write negatively against Rome's attempt to be all things to all people.

...

In more modern times it has also grown to include many who do not affirm Christ at all...but that's probably a subject for another discussion. My point is that the impulse is the same in any case: We can all be in communion with Rome, since Rome subsumes many different theologies, political views, etc. and simply declares them to be compatible with one another.

I agree 100%, and have made similar points elsewhere on this forum and in real life.  The authority of the Roman Pontiff is, functionally if not really, the only non-negotiable teaching of Roman Catholicism.  Submit to that, even in name only, and rebel against anything else all you want.  Reject that, and no matter how much you uphold the rest of the "traditional" faith, you're scum.     

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I think that as concerns Rome specifically, they have been separated from Orthodoxy for long enough that we are actually looking at ontological differences that divide us. Even a very reverent and traditional (whatever that means in a Latin context; I'll let them fight that out amongst themselves) Latin liturgy is unacceptable for the various doctrinal innovations added to it, even though it might be nicer to listen to or observe or whatever.

I agree with you more than I disagree, but this is one instance in which, at least from an OO point of view, I think you're overstating the case.  The Roman Catholics certainly hold heretical beliefs, and we don't regard them as a part of the Orthodox Church.  But when our Churches implicitly (or in some cases, explicitly) accept the validity of their sacraments, I don't think you can say that their liturgy is "unacceptable for the various doctrinal innovations added to it".  Either those innovations are not considered by our Church to be something that invalidates the entire liturgy and priesthood, or our Church is mistakenly generous in their view of Roman Catholicism.  Make the latter case if you want (it would be an interesting discussion), but that's a separate thread and not as an open and shut a case as you might want it to be. 

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Though I agree that taste generally is a subjective matter, beauty is not.
 

Really? I'm not in agreement with that as a general principle, though I think within the context in which you're probably thinking of it (based on what I've read in your other posts), I can at least see where you're coming from. This Pope is probably not spending much time watching the Kardashians or reading Twitter or whatever. He has refined tastes that speak to a certain depth of character compared to the sort of base mass culture that most people have been inculcated to accept as normative. (Am I close? I'm really trying to see how this means something/why I should care.)

Do you reject the idea that beauty is an objective thing, or is it always "in the eye of the beholder"?  I affirm the latter in terms of "taste", but I think as Christians we would also affirm that beauty is objective.  It is of God, reveals something of God, and directs us toward God.  It is no less objective than truth.  But this also is an entirely different discussion.     

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At any rate, where I disagree, if I am reading you correctly, is that by virtue of making such statements, he is de facto moving towards Orthodoxy. We will perhaps wait and see, but I am of the opinion as of today that nothing said in the interview substantiates such hope.

No, I agree with you.  I don't think the comments, on their own, indicate that he is moving towards Orthodoxy in any substantially meaningful way.  But they're also a far cry from Pius IX.  I don't think it's wrong to recognise that and applaud it, even if it's not enough on its own to get one across the finish line. 

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That just means you're not spiritually schizophrenic.  Tongue

Well that's a relief. Can I get that on some sort of frameable certificate?

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« Reply #53 on: September 21, 2013, 02:20:47 PM »

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I think that as concerns Rome specifically, they have been separated from Orthodoxy for long enough that we are actually looking at ontological differences that divide us. Even a very reverent and traditional (whatever that means in a Latin context; I'll let them fight that out amongst themselves) Latin liturgy is unacceptable for the various doctrinal innovations added to it, even though it might be nicer to listen to or observe or whatever.

I agree with you more than I disagree, but this is one instance in which, at least from an OO point of view, I think you're overstating the case.  The Roman Catholics certainly hold heretical beliefs, and we don't regard them as a part of the Orthodox Church.  But when our Churches implicitly (or in some cases, explicitly) accept the validity of their sacraments, I don't think you can say that their liturgy is "unacceptable for the various doctrinal innovations added to it".  Either those innovations are not considered by our Church to be something that invalidates the entire liturgy and priesthood, or our Church is mistakenly generous in their view of Roman Catholicism.  Make the latter case if you want (it would be an interesting discussion), but that's a separate thread and not as an open and shut a case as you might want it to be.  

I don't think I'm overstating my case at all. Maybe things are different in the Indian Orthodox view (in fact, they'd have to be for you to post what you have here), but I have received no indication from our priests here in ABQ that we do or should accept the "validity" of Roman Catholic sacraments. Quite the opposite, in fact. I know that my previous RC baptism was not accepted, for instance, as I was baptized according to the norms of the Coptic Orthodox Church, in accordance with the decision of the synod that Roman Catholic converts be received via the full rite of baptism, not just charismation as in the case of EO converts. So maybe this is a difference between our churches. I know the Armenians are more open in some matters than we are, e.g., marriage (Copts cannot marry outside of the communion, but I've been told by Armenians that they are allowed to marry Catholics and maybe some other mainstream, non-Orthodox Christians), but I don't know about recognizing "validity" of RC sacraments. It is my understanding that we in the COC, anyway, do not make such proclamations (despite many of my RC friends, including some who used to be Orthodox, trying to convince me otherwise via various "agreed statements" with the RCC that have been signed by our hierarchs).

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Do you reject the idea that beauty is an objective thing, or is it always "in the eye of the beholder"?  I affirm the latter in terms of "taste", but I think as Christians we would also affirm that beauty is objective.  It is of God, reveals something of God, and directs us toward God.  It is no less objective than truth.  But this also is an entirely different discussion.


Well, I agree that it's another discussion, yes. Smiley I reject the idea, as it was originally brought up (to say something regarding the Pope's seriousness), that we can look at the Roman Pope's (or anyone's) taste in media or literature or whatever and say anything about corresponding theological or philosophical leanings. Beauty may be of God, but since what is considered beautiful is inherently variable (I am still shocked that apparently some people from church do not find Tewahedo mezmur beautiful as I do, but instead boring), I don't think we can say that it necessarily directs us toward God by virtue of our estimation of its beauty. Many of the converts to Islam who I know have been converted to it from Christianity (in at least one case, from Orthodox Christianity) and assert that they find a beauty in it that was lacking in their previous faith. Is that 'beauty' directing them toward God, or taking them further away?    

Quote
No, I agree with you.  I don't think the comments, on their own, indicate that he is moving towards Orthodoxy in any substantially meaningful way.  But they're also a far cry from Pius IX.  I don't think it's wrong to recognise that and applaud it, even if it's not enough on its own to get one across the finish line.

Okay. I agree.

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God-willing, may it be so. Er...I mean...thanks.
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« Reply #54 on: September 21, 2013, 02:40:51 PM »

I don't think I'm overstating my case at all. Maybe things are different in the Indian Orthodox view (in fact, they'd have to be for you to post what you have here), but I have received no indication from our priests here in ABQ that we do or should accept the "validity" of Roman Catholic sacraments. Quite the opposite, in fact.

There are threads in the OO section where this was discussed.  It's not just the Indian Orthodox view, it's the "all non-African OO Churches" view.  I'd love for it to be an Indian quirk so that I could dismiss it and appear to be more enlightened, but it is not so.   

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It is my understanding that we in the COC, anyway, do not make such proclamations (despite many of my RC friends, including some who used to be Orthodox, trying to convince me otherwise via various "agreed statements" with the RCC that have been signed by our hierarchs).

I believe the Syrians and the Armenians have made agreed statements with the RCC in which sacraments are mutually recognised (the Syrians definitely did this, and even allowed inter-communion under certain circumstances).  The Indian Church hasn't made a similar agreement with Rome formally, but will unofficially piggy-back off the Syrians for this sort of thing from time to time.  And, at least if my understanding of the British Orthodox position is accurate, the Coptic "strictness" with regard to RC's is a more recent development, and the earlier policy was more like what the Syrians and Armenians hold today.     

I don't necessarily agree fully on all points in the agreed statements (I've raised questions before in the aforementioned threads, IIRC), but my only reason for bringing it up is that the OO position is more nuanced than "RC's are ontologically different and their liturgy is unacceptable".  To my knowledge, the African OO Churches have not officially complained against the content of these agreed statements, even if they don't make such statements themselves.  If they are truly heterodox agreements, Alexandria and Ethiopia have a responsibility, at the very least, to discuss this with Antioch and Etchmiadzin.  Since no such thing has happened (to my knowledge), I think the only thing we can say for certain is that our position re: RCism is not as black and white as we might prefer.
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« Reply #55 on: September 21, 2013, 02:44:21 PM »

. . . I know that my previous RC baptism was not accepted, for instance, as I was baptized according to the norms of the Coptic Orthodox Church, in accordance with the decision of the synod that Roman Catholic converts be received via the full rite of baptism, not just charismation as in the case of EO converts. So maybe this is a difference between our churches. I know the Armenians are more open in some matters than we are, e.g., marriage (Copts cannot marry outside of the communion, but I've been told by Armenians that they are allowed to marry Catholics and maybe some other mainstream, non-Orthodox Christians), but I don't know about recognizing "validity" of RC sacraments. It is my understanding that we in the COC, anyway, do not make such proclamations (despite many of my RC friends, including some who used to be Orthodox, trying to convince me otherwise via various "agreed statements" with the RCC that have been signed by our hierarchs).
A Catholic friend of mine who converted to Orthodoxy a few years ago was - if my memory serves me - baptized upon entering the OCA. So I think even some Eastern Orthodox Churches do not recognize the validity of Roman Catholic sacraments.

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« Reply #56 on: September 21, 2013, 02:47:45 PM »

What percentage of Oriental Orthodox live outside of Africa?
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« Reply #57 on: September 21, 2013, 02:59:44 PM »

A lot of these agreed statements seem to be documents with no real meaning, because they are often ignored by those who signed them. It is like the Ravenna Document signed by the representatives of the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodox Church in their international dialogue. The Roman Church has posted the document on the Vatican website with the disclaimer quoted below:

"The following is the original English text of the 'Ravenna Document' which was discussed and unanimously approved by the members of the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church during the tenth plenary session of the Commission held in Ravenna from 8-14 October 2007. Thus, the document represents the outcome of the work of a Commission and should not be understood as an official declaration of the Church's teaching. The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity has provided translations of the text in Italian, French and German."

Seems like a waste of time to work on a document, sign it, and then say it does not have any kind of official status in the Church.
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« Reply #58 on: September 21, 2013, 03:11:05 PM »

There are threads in the OO section where this was discussed.  It's not just the Indian Orthodox view, it's the "all non-African OO Churches" view.  I'd love for it to be an Indian quirk so that I could dismiss it and appear to be more enlightened, but it is not so.

I see. So it's the Copts and Habesha who are the odd the churches out in this matter. Okay.  

Quote
I believe the Syrians and the Armenians have made agreed statements with the RCC in which sacraments are mutually recognised (the Syrians definitely did this, and even allowed inter-communion under certain circumstances).  The Indian Church hasn't made a similar agreement with Rome formally, but will unofficially piggy-back off the Syrians for this sort of thing from time to time.  And, at least if my understanding of the British Orthodox position is accurate, the Coptic "strictness" with regard to RC's is a more recent development, and the earlier policy was more like what the Syrians and Armenians hold today.

Yes, I remember that from a recent thread on the BOC. If I recall that thread correctly, the thinking was that in earlier eras the Chalcedonians were treated the same regardless of whether they were Byzantines or Latins, so we ought to return to that way of thinking. I'm still not sure how that works, in the sense that I don't know of any sustained contact between the Latins and the Copts for many hundreds of years, whereas having such a policy as concerns the Byzantines at least makes sense with regard to the fact that they were already in Egypt as their own church at least since the aftermath of Chalcedon. Of course, by the time the Latins or other westerners arrived in Egypt their faith was miles away from that of the Byzantines, even though they both still affirm Chalcedon. So I am not sure what to make of this, but I trust that the BOC are correct with regards to the historical record. Even so, it is obviously far beyond me to do anything against what my own particular church has decided, so...I guess the best I can do is see what, if anything, happens in the wake of HH Pope Tawadros II's recent visit to his Roman counterpart. I do not expect to see any change.

Quote
I don't necessarily agree fully on all points in the agreed statements (I've raised questions before in the aforementioned threads, IIRC), but my only reason for bringing it up is that the OO position is more nuanced than "RC's are ontologically different and their liturgy is unacceptable".  To my knowledge, the African OO Churches have not officially complained against the content of these agreed statements, even if they don't make such statements themselves.  If they are truly heterodox agreements, Alexandria and Ethiopia have a responsibility, at the very least, to discuss this with Antioch and Etchmiadzin.  Since no such thing has happened (to my knowledge), I think the only thing we can say for certain is that our position re: RCism is not as black and white as we might prefer.


Absolutely it's not. I thought it was clear I was stating my own opinion (I think I prefaced my statement on ontological differences between us with "I think"; if I didn't, I meant to...I am by no means an expert on the history of OO-RC relations), not some sort of official OO stance (which apparently isn't as black and white as we might prefer, either, if there is a difference in approach between the African OO and the other OO in this regard). My opinion is shaped by having been RC myself, which is not generally the case with most Coptic Orthodox people. Smiley If, in that, I find my own position to be at variance with the rest of the OO churches, I don't know what to say other than that it happens to be in concord at some level with the position of the Coptic Orthodox Church as it has been taught to me (we don't say RC sacraments are "valid" or not, and neither do I), so I have not thus far worried about it. If that position itself is at variance with our history, we should reevaluate it so as to figure out if there is reason to change the current approach. It appears that the BOC are already doing that. There's no reason why we couldn't or shouldn't do the same. (With the caveat, as presented above, that I think there are other issues that separate the RCC from Orthodoxy that do not necessarily separate the EO and OO, and that any reevaluation of the RCC on the part of our leaders should keep those in mind, too.)
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« Reply #59 on: September 21, 2013, 03:39:56 PM »

What percentage of Oriental Orthodox live outside of Africa?

The largest particular Oriental Orthodox church is that of the Ethiopians, which numbers roughly 45 million. They do have a growing diaspora (as do all OO churches) which I have seen different numbers on. We could add to that a probably conservative 5 million Copts (the number of Copts seems to fluctuate wildly according the source, but recent research I have seen puts them at 5-6 million in Egypt). The Eritrean Orthodox are roughly 3 million, which would give us a very rough estimate of approximately 53 million African OO (not counting missions). The figures I've seen online (from Wiki; a bad source in general, but I don't know where else to find such numbers) suggests that there may be as many as 6 million Syriac Orthodox if we take the Indians and the Middle Easterners together (this number seems high to me, but I don't know), and Armenians, who are 90+% Orthodox, number between 8 and 9 million, most of whom are outside of Armenia proper. So that's 53 million African Oriental Orthodox versus maybe 15 million others.
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« Reply #60 on: September 21, 2013, 08:00:38 PM »

Yes, I remember that from a recent thread on the BOC. If I recall that thread correctly, the thinking was that in earlier eras the Chalcedonians were treated the same regardless of whether they were Byzantines or Latins, so we ought to return to that way of thinking. I'm still not sure how that works, in the sense that I don't know of any sustained contact between the Latins and the Copts for many hundreds of years, whereas having such a policy as concerns the Byzantines at least makes sense with regard to the fact that they were already in Egypt as their own church at least since the aftermath of Chalcedon. Of course, by the time the Latins or other westerners arrived in Egypt their faith was miles away from that of the Byzantines, even though they both still affirm Chalcedon. So I am not sure what to make of this, but I trust that the BOC are correct with regards to the historical record. Even so, it is obviously far beyond me to do anything against what my own particular church has decided, so...I guess the best I can do is see what, if anything, happens in the wake of HH Pope Tawadros II's recent visit to his Roman counterpart. I do not expect to see any change.

It's not that we need to "return" to that way of thinking, though it might be a "return" from a Coptic perspective.  That way of thinking has been maintained by the non-African Churches for ages.  In its Syriac manifestation, it goes right back to St Severus of Antioch.  The relevant canons address how to receive back Chalcedonians into Orthodoxy, not Byzantines or Latins, and so both EO and RC have been treated as the same thing, not just treated in the same way.

Should that be updated somehow to reflect real divergences between RC and EO that should be taken into account when receiving them back into the Church?  IMO, absolutely (we have already done such, for example, when it comes to the method of receiving Anglicans and other "Chalcedonian" Protestants).  But so far, that hasn't been done, and even if it was, I'm not sure the Church would take the view that RC sacraments were de facto invalid or take an agnostic position on the matter.  But a new evaluation needs to be made, IMO, even if it reaffirms the current discipline. 

My understanding is that the Coptic tendency to treat RC sacraments as invalid is a later development.  Perhaps it is the correct one (the Church needs to determine that) or it is wiser (in terms of claiming ignorance), but it is later and not necessarily shared by the others historically or currently.  But I could be wrong about this aspect of Coptic practice, I'm still learning.
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« Reply #61 on: September 21, 2013, 08:26:24 PM »

Okay. Just for clarification's sake, when I wrote about "returning" it was in a strictly Coptic (and I suppose Habesha, since they're like us in this regard, according to you) context, since we're apparently the ones who are not holding to our own earlier tradition, whereas the other OO churches have not developed such a strictness with regard to RC sacraments. I'm glad to see that we agree that this is a matter requires further investigation.
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« Reply #62 on: September 21, 2013, 10:28:22 PM »

Okay. Just for clarification's sake, when I wrote about "returning" it was in a strictly Coptic (and I suppose Habesha, since they're like us in this regard, according to you) context, since we're apparently the ones who are not holding to our own earlier tradition, whereas the other OO churches have not developed such a strictness with regard to RC sacraments. I'm glad to see that we agree that this is a matter requires further investigation.

I guess "Habesha" is another word for Ethiopian?  Never heard it before.  Anyway, I presume the Ethiopians and Eritreans side with the Copts on these matters, but I can't say with certainty.
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« Reply #63 on: September 21, 2013, 11:30:24 PM »

Habesha people are the South Semitic people of East Africa, so it's a convenient way to talk about the Ethiopians and Eritreans using one word, though there are of course groups in both countries that don't fit the strict definition (like Rashaida in Eritrea, who are descended from Arabs who arrived in the country in the 19th century and don't speak a South Semitic language, or the Oromo who are not Semites but are of course native Ethiopians, being the largest single ethnic group in that country). Most Tewahedo Orthodox Christians of either church are Habesha (Amharas and Triginya-Tigray people in Ethiopia, as well as some Gurage; Tigrinya in Eritrea), though as a cultural identifier it carries a wider meaning than just religion or even language, e.g., Hiwot once told a nice story on this board about meeting a Sudanese man who identified as Habesha despite only speaking Arabic, not Amharic or any other Ethiopian Semitic language. But most people will use it to mean Ethiopians and Eritreans in general. That's how Ethiopians and Eritreans seem to use it, and other peoples (Arabs, Somalis, etc.) as well. The Ethiopian liturgy that used to be performed in Arabic in the Coptic Orthodox Church was called al-Qiddas al-Habashi (القداس الحبشى), for instance.
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« Reply #64 on: September 22, 2013, 02:04:35 AM »

Abortion is the greatest moral and human rights issue of our time, and Pope Francis should be unequivocal in his denunciation of this intolerant, inhumane, and unjust practice. To imply that it is an error to talk about abortion too much bothers me.

Here is what Pope Francis actually said in the interview:
“This is also the great benefit of confession as a sacrament: evaluating case by case and discerning what is the best thing to do for a person who seeks God and grace. The confessional is not a torture chamber, but the place in which the Lord’s mercy motivates us to do better. I also consider the situation of a woman with a failed marriage in her past and who also had an abortion. Then this woman remarries, and she is now happy and has five children. That abortion in her past weighs heavily on her conscience and she sincerely regrets it. She would like to move forward in her Christian life. What is the confessor to do?

“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time."

The preceding (and following paragraph which I did not post) put into context what the pope is saying. I do not see where he says that is an error to talk to much about abortion. Talking about these issues in context with the Gospel of Christ or the life of the Church does more for people than listing a set of don'ts outside of any sort of context.

I do not see the Orthodox speaking about abortion outside of any context like I see many Catholics do. Quantity is not always better than quality. An inordinate amount of speaking against abortion divorced from the life of the Church is not a good thing.

So if Pope Francis wants the Church to be truly relevant for this day and age, if he wants the Church to truly be a compassionate Mother for all human beings, then he should not be hesitant to identify the unborn as the poorest of the poor and the very “least of these.” In every address he gives, in every interview he offers, he should articulate Christ’s redemptive love for all those who are damaged and destroyed by the evil of abortion. Until humanity is liberated from the holocaust of legal abortion, nobody will be truly free. As long as the violence of abortion is tolerated by society, then all talk of peace and tolerance rings hollow.

[emphasis mine]

"In every address he gives, in every interview he offers" do the Orthodox bishops "articulate Christ’s redemptive love for all those who are damaged and destroyed by the evil of abortion"? Seriously, people would stop listening to the pope if he did that. The Apostles did not go around listing grave sins of injustice in every address that they made.

With respect, read the Didache. The apostles did not hesitate to call abortion "murder." They also listed other specific grave sins. So let's not try to be more nuanced and more "culturally relative" than the holy apostles.


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« Reply #65 on: September 22, 2013, 02:16:00 AM »

With respect, read the Didache. The apostles did not hesitate to call abortion "murder." They also listed other specific grave sins. So let's not try to be more nuanced and more "culturally relative" than the holy apostles.

Selam
Yes, the Didache contrasts the "way of life" with the "way of death." It presents an ancient catechetical approach and one that the Church would do well to embrace again.
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« Reply #66 on: September 22, 2013, 01:08:06 PM »

When can we resume shunnings and stoning? 
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« Reply #67 on: September 22, 2013, 01:43:22 PM »

When can we resume shunnings and stoning? 
You can do that whenever you want. I will simply continue to speak the truth in season and out of season by opposing immorality wherever it is promoted.
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« Reply #68 on: September 22, 2013, 02:07:28 PM »

When can we resume shunnings and stoning?  
You can do that whenever you want. I will simply continue to speak the truth in season and out of season by opposing immorality wherever it is promoted.

If Ephesians 4.15 is to be trusted, you're missing something that is not in conflict with your goal.    
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« Reply #69 on: September 22, 2013, 02:07:56 PM »

Abortion is the greatest moral and human rights issue of our time, and Pope Francis should be unequivocal in his denunciation of this intolerant, inhumane, and unjust practice. To imply that it is an error to talk about abortion too much bothers me.

Here is what Pope Francis actually said in the interview:
“This is also the great benefit of confession as a sacrament: evaluating case by case and discerning what is the best thing to do for a person who seeks God and grace. The confessional is not a torture chamber, but the place in which the Lord’s mercy motivates us to do better. I also consider the situation of a woman with a failed marriage in her past and who also had an abortion. Then this woman remarries, and she is now happy and has five children. That abortion in her past weighs heavily on her conscience and she sincerely regrets it. She would like to move forward in her Christian life. What is the confessor to do?

“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time."

The preceding (and following paragraph which I did not post) put into context what the pope is saying. I do not see where he says that is an error to talk to much about abortion. Talking about these issues in context with the Gospel of Christ or the life of the Church does more for people than listing a set of don'ts outside of any sort of context.

I do not see the Orthodox speaking about abortion outside of any context like I see many Catholics do. Quantity is not always better than quality. An inordinate amount of speaking against abortion divorced from the life of the Church is not a good thing.

So if Pope Francis wants the Church to be truly relevant for this day and age, if he wants the Church to truly be a compassionate Mother for all human beings, then he should not be hesitant to identify the unborn as the poorest of the poor and the very “least of these.” In every address he gives, in every interview he offers, he should articulate Christ’s redemptive love for all those who are damaged and destroyed by the evil of abortion. Until humanity is liberated from the holocaust of legal abortion, nobody will be truly free. As long as the violence of abortion is tolerated by society, then all talk of peace and tolerance rings hollow.

[emphasis mine]

"In every address he gives, in every interview he offers" do the Orthodox bishops "articulate Christ’s redemptive love for all those who are damaged and destroyed by the evil of abortion"? Seriously, people would stop listening to the pope if he did that. The Apostles did not go around listing grave sins of injustice in every address that they made.

With respect, read the Didache. The apostles did not hesitate to call abortion "murder." They also listed other specific grave sins. So let's not try to be more nuanced and more "culturally relative" than the holy apostles.


Selam

I have read the Didache. You have given one instance where the apostles spoke against abortion. St Paul does not condemn abortion in every one of his epistles. Abortion should be condemned, however, it does not have to be condemned every time a hierarch opens his mouth.

What does 'not hesitate to call abortion "murder"', have to do with the pope's comment? He does not hesitate to call abortion murder. Two days ago the pope condemned the murder of babies when he met with a group of Catholic gynecologists.

Again, the Orthodox hierarchs do not speak against abortion every time they speak.
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« Reply #70 on: September 22, 2013, 02:11:04 PM »

Again, the Orthodox hierarchs Jesus do did not speak against abortion every time they speak he spoke.

And we all know how soft he was. 
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« Reply #71 on: September 22, 2013, 02:12:12 PM »

When can we resume shunnings and stoning? 
You can do that whenever you want. I will simply continue to speak the truth in season and out of season by opposing immorality wherever it is promoted.

If Ephesians 4.15 is to be trusted, you're missing something that is not in conflict with your goal.   
If I remember correctly the idea of shunning people comes from Christ. Give them warnings but if they refuse to repent it is better to shake the dust off your feet. But maybe you're more interested in the sugar-coated mainline Protestant Christ. I can't always tell from your posts.
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« Reply #72 on: September 22, 2013, 02:13:26 PM »

Again, the Orthodox hierarchs Jesus do did not speak against abortion every time they speak he spoke.

And we all know how soft he was. 
Jesus' message is the message of life, and so it is always opposed to abortion (and any other form or murder).
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« Reply #73 on: September 22, 2013, 02:22:52 PM »

My conversion to Catholicism took eight years, but I finally converted when it became absolutely clear to me that the message of Christ was not being fully proclaimed in the Methodist Church of my youth, or in the Episcopal Church of my early twenties. Perhaps Pope Francis is pushing me to re-evaluate that 25 year old spiritual decision. I will have to do some soul searching, and pray for divine guidance. May God be merciful to me a sinner.
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« Reply #74 on: September 22, 2013, 02:58:05 PM »

If I remember correctly the idea of shunning people comes from Christ. Give them warnings but if they refuse to repent it is better to shake the dust off your feet. But maybe you're more interested in the sugar-coated mainline Protestant Christ. I can't always tell from your posts.

That says more about you than it does about me, but I don't expect you to agree.  No worries.  Smiley   
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« Reply #75 on: September 22, 2013, 03:01:12 PM »

Again, the Orthodox hierarchs Jesus do did not speak against abortion every time they speak he spoke.

And we all know how soft he was. 
Jesus' message is the message of life, and so it is always opposed to abortion (and any other form or murder).

Any other form?  Or just any other form that results in a stopped heart, physical dismemberment, brain death, etc.? 
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« Reply #76 on: September 22, 2013, 03:40:37 PM »

Again, the Orthodox hierarchs Jesus do did not speak against abortion every time they speak he spoke.

And we all know how soft he was. 
Jesus' message is the message of life, and so it is always opposed to abortion (and any other form or murder).

Any other form?  Or just any other form that results in a stopped heart, physical dismemberment, brain death, etc.? 

Yes. Any other form of killing of the innocent.
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« Reply #77 on: September 22, 2013, 03:45:31 PM »

Back in 2006 a doctor told me that we did not have to aggressively treat my mother's pneumonia, because after all she was terminally ill with emphysema. My response was that I wanted my mother's pneumonia treated with the best and most powerful antibiotics available, and that I wanted her put on a ventilator until she was strong enough to breathe again on her own. She was treated, and she got better, and lived another six years. A joyful six years. I thank God I did not listen to the doctor who basically wanted to euthanize my mother. In all I do I try to live the Gospel of Life. Christ is Life.
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« Reply #78 on: September 22, 2013, 06:37:54 PM »

I ask how Pope Francis envisions the future unity of the church in light of this response. He answers: “We must walk united with our differences: there is no other way to become one. This is the way of Jesus.”
It is an interesting comment, but what exactly does he mean?

Yeah, I'm wondering that myself. I'm afraid that the answer could be anything, everything, or nothing at all.  

If I remember correctly, someone here (Mor?) recently wrote that he likes that the Pope's comments force people to really consider what he is saying, since they could be taken many different ways (as though this is a rhetorical device he is using). This is one of Pope Francis' less-appealing qualities, as far as I am concerned. Riddles and cryptic remarks would be fine if he were writing fortune cookies or horoscopes, but honestly I'm disappointed to read so much from Pope Francis today and still come away scratching my head about things it should be possible to put in simple terms. If he's going to be as revolutionary as some people seem to think he is, he could at least cut down on the Vaticanese. It seems like everything is one way, then it's the other, or maybe it's both at the same time (depending on how many hours one wants to spend 'contemplating' things...you know the Latins and their contemplative lifestyles! Grin). Maybe I'm just not smart or deep enough to get it, but I dunno. It's at best annoying, and at worst makes me not want to listen to him or those who take him as a spiritual leader of Christianity.
Hence why Pastor Aeternus and section 25 of Lumen Gentium provide no basis for the much touted "magisterium," which we are supposedly missing.

If you have something to say, especially from that vantage point, spit it out.
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« Reply #79 on: October 01, 2013, 06:27:38 PM »

. . . I know that my previous RC baptism was not accepted, for instance, as I was baptized according to the norms of the Coptic Orthodox Church, in accordance with the decision of the synod that Roman Catholic converts be received via the full rite of baptism, not just charismation as in the case of EO converts. So maybe this is a difference between our churches. I know the Armenians are more open in some matters than we are, e.g., marriage (Copts cannot marry outside of the communion, but I've been told by Armenians that they are allowed to marry Catholics and maybe some other mainstream, non-Orthodox Christians), but I don't know about recognizing "validity" of RC sacraments. It is my understanding that we in the COC, anyway, do not make such proclamations (despite many of my RC friends, including some who used to be Orthodox, trying to convince me otherwise via various "agreed statements" with the RCC that have been signed by our hierarchs).
A Catholic friend of mine who converted to Orthodoxy a few years ago was - if my memory serves me - baptized upon entering the OCA. So I think even some Eastern Orthodox Churches do not recognize the validity of Roman Catholic sacraments.



Interestingly enough, I was received into the OCA via Chrismation with my Episcopalian Baptismal Certificate 1940, but my "Conditional" RC Baptism was ignored. 
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