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Author Topic: Eastern Catholicism and Orthodoxy  (Read 8422 times) Average Rating: 0
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drewmeister2
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« on: March 18, 2005, 10:04:26 PM »

Hi all,

Im kinda having difficulty with the issue that if I convert to Orthodoxy, it will feel like I have become Eastern Catholic.

Any advice?  Thanks! 
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« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2005, 10:59:10 PM »

Hi all,

Im kinda having difficulty with the issue that if I convert to Orthodoxy, it will feel like I have become Eastern Catholic.

Any advice? Thanks!

I'm not sure what you mean.  If you become Orthodox, you won't be Eastern Catholic because you won't be in communion with Rome.  You will be an Eastern Christian like the Eastern Catholics but that's it. 

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« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2005, 11:01:15 PM »

Yeah, I know that, but I guess Im afraid that since both EC and EO are Eastern, that because they share similar liturgies, etc., that it will "feel" like I have just become EC, and not EO. 
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« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2005, 11:10:40 PM »

Drew,

the Eastern Catholics use most of our customs, both Liturgically and Culturally, though you will find Orthodox Churches, generally, less influenced by the West (generally, this is by no means absolute). There are also a few minor theological differences, which I'm sure you're familiar with and are not asking about.

The Biggest issue is Communion with Rome, we are not in Communion with them, we are not comfortable with the Liturgical reforms of the West, and we generally have a more negative view of Western Culture and Western Customs. You really need to determine where you stand, are you loyal to Rome and happy with Scholasticism and simply want a change of Liturgical Custom? Or are you dissatisfied with the Liturgical and Theological Innovations of Rome, and want a Christian Church with stronger ties to their ancient roots? We'd love to have you in the Orthodox Church, but if it's just the former, perhaps you'd be happier with the Eastern Catholics; however, if it's the latter, you'd probably be better off in Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2005, 11:29:29 PM »

Thanks, both of you, for your repsonses, especially greekischristian Smiley  I realize now, also, that I must not convert only in my mind (which I have done for the most part), but also must convert my heart, which I havent done, and need to work on. 
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« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2005, 02:04:08 AM »

Yeah, I know that, but I guess Im afraid that since both EC and EO are Eastern, that because they share similar liturgies, etc., that it will "feel" like I have just become EC, and not EO.

Okay, I understand now.  I've never been officially EC but based on my experience there's a whole different 'feel' to being Orthodox than being EC.  The liturgy is the same (roughly - let's not forget their "reforms") but the feel of the parish is different.  For one thing, the Othodox priest will probably be married.  Second, as an Orthodox Christian there'll be less emphasis on rules but conversely more fasting.  You won't hear about catechisms or canon law but the priest will tell you that you can't receive communion unless you've fasted from midnight. 

It's hard to explain but I think once you've been to enough eastern lituriges you'll see the different approach. 

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« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2005, 08:40:26 PM »

Thanks for your reply, Jennifer!  Im stating to feel right now that I am not as "on-fire" with Orthodoxy in the past.  Have others out there had a similar experience in their conversion, where there were times where you were "on-fire" with Orthodoxy, and other times you werent?  Thanks. 
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« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2005, 09:14:03 PM »

drewmeister,

I was born and raised a Roman Catholic, and after learning a bit about Orthodoxy, I attended a Ruthenian church for about a year or so.  The Eastern Rite was something I admired so much and felt very much at home in.  It smelled and tasted of Orthodoxy, but in its essence, it was not (The priest was even married!).  Just as greekischristian said, if the change you want to make is asthetic, then attend an Eastern Catholic church.  But if you see the theological differences which separate us from Rome and agree with the Orthodox teachings as opposed to the Catholic ones (RC/EC) then attend an Eastern Orthodox church. 

To be able to distinguish yourself from the Eastern Catholics as a person who is Eastern Orthodox, you must understand the differences in beliefs, why the churches are separated.  Then there should be no confusion.

Kim/Anastasia
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« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2005, 10:41:29 PM »

Thanks for your reply, Jennifer! Im stating to feel right now that I am not as "on-fire" with Orthodoxy in the past. Have others out there had a similar experience in their conversion, where there were times where you were "on-fire" with Orthodoxy, and other times you werent? Thanks.

I think it's normal to be less 'enthusiastic' about religion at times.  We all go through emotional ups and downs.  I can't speak for anyone else but the catechumenate process is not without its frustrations.  You're not constantly on some emotional high.  You're going to have doubts.  Other times, you'll have spiritual dryness.  I'm experiencing a religioun 'overload' right now due to lent.  After all of these church services and fasting and praying, etc., the last thing I want to do is read spiritual books like I should during lent.  I think what' I'm going through is normal so I don't feel guilty about it. 

I've been at this religion 'thing' for about 8 years after coming back to the RC and my experience is that there ups and downs in our spiritual life.  There are times when we're really into it and other times when we have to make ourselves pray.  The great wisdom of catholicism is that it allows for those downs.  Frankly I think we get 'more' out of praying when we don't want to than when we're feeling 'holy.'  Doing it when we don't feel like doing it teaches us that our faith isn't about emotion.  I think for a lot of Christians, their faith is mostly emotion.  They have to keep manipulating their emotions to feel holy. Orthodoxy is deeper than that. 
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« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2005, 10:56:56 PM »

Thanks for both your replies!  I appreciate them!

For me right now, I feel like I want to be Catholic again, and not be Orthodox, even though in my mind I know Orthodoxy is true.  But by praying, would you say that God will help me realize that Orthodoxy is true, and to help me see beyond my emotions?  Thanks Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2005, 11:02:00 PM »

For me right now, I feel like I want to be Catholic again, and not be Orthodox, even though in my mind I know Orthodoxy is true. But by praying, would you say that God will help me realize that Orthodoxy is true, and to help me see beyond my emotions? Thanks Smiley

You just said that "in my mind I know Orthodoxy is true" so what more do you want?

I converted from a Protestant background (Baptist) and even though I also know that "Orthodoxy is true", that does not mean that I still do not wrestle with it's teachings at times. But that is MY weakness, not Orthodoxy's.

Let me say this - if you are looking for a sign, then you will not receive one.
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« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2005, 11:06:01 PM »

I know Orthodoxy is true in my mind, but my heart hasnt fully realized it yet, my heart is still with Catholicism, but I hoping through time and prayer, that my heart will also become Orthodox at heart too. 
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« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2005, 11:11:25 PM »

I know Orthodoxy is true in my mind, but my heart hasnt fully realized it yet, my heart is still with Catholicism, ...

Really? What parts of Catholicism?
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« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2005, 11:17:25 PM »

I know Orthodoxy is true in my mind, but my heart hasnt fully realized it yet, my heart is still with Catholicism, but I hoping through time and prayer, that my heart will also become Orthodox at heart too.

As someone converting from Roman Catholicism, I understand what kind of hold it can have on one's heart.  It's the faith of our childhood, of our parents and ancestors.  I had the same kind of emotional attachment to Rome.  What broke the 'attachment' was going cold turkey, i.e. start attending only Orthodox churches.  Pray as an Orthodox Christian, study Orthodox texts, attend the liturgies and you'll start to love Orthodoxy.  You'll gain that emotional attachment to Orthodoxy. 

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« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2005, 11:29:53 PM »

Thanks for the reply, Jennifer!  Unfortunately, I cant go to DL often, because my mom wont let me (Im 16) But in a few years, I can go every Sunday Smiley

I guess one thing I struggle with is this:
Sometimes, if someone says to me, I want to be a (whatever job they want to do, which is also the same job I want to do), I will think to myself, I dont want to be that job anymore, because he wants to be that job.  I calm down, and get over it though.  I dont know why I get these feelings.

The same with EC and EO.  Since EC has similar traditions as EO (even though Latinized), I say, if EC has it, then I wont be Orthodox. 

What should I do about this?  Im thinking prayer is the best. 
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« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2005, 12:51:46 AM »

drewmeister,

wow, I thought I was the youngest one here! I think I turned back to going to church at around 16, and I had the same problem you mentioned.  My family does not go to church and all looked at me funny when I wanted to go frequently.  I'm not sure what books you've been able to read, but if you can't get to talk to an Orthodox priest, books can be pretty helpful.  And of course, pray and know there are others praying for you as well.

Kim Anastasia
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« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2005, 02:00:04 AM »

Hi Andrew.
I can understand your emotions. Things will clear up for you when you finally work out that Orthodoxy IS the Catholic Church and that the Byzantine Cathoilcs are just another flavor of the Roman Catholic Church. Don't stress out too much.

Demetri
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« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2005, 03:20:01 AM »

drewmeister,

These are difficult and extremely serious issues you're dealing with, and it is only natural that it will take time to sort them out; the fact that you mother is opposed to Orthodoxy is simply an additional complication. You are absolutely correct in your statement that prayer is the best course of action at the time being. Orthodoxy is not simply an academic pursuit, but a way of life; salvation is not a one time event, but a process, one that you can start where you are, and will end where God wants it to. I would encourage you to read and study both Orthodoxy and Catholicism in the mean time, as well as various other academic pursuits outside of theology (you'd be surprised what light mathematics or poetry or philosophy can shed on theology). And when you have the opportunity, I would also encourage you to attend the Divine Liturgy and other Orthodox services, though I realize this may not be possible for a couple of years. The Orthodox Church has been around for 2000 years, and we will be here in two years from now, or in however many years you need to answer the questions that you are confronted with. The heart does not follow the mind instantly, and Orthodoxy does not allow for a discrepancy between the two; I converted to Orthodoxy from Protestantism, so the dichotomy was far more clear, but between the Orthodox and the Eastern Catholics it is not as clear, but just as present, thus a realization in your heart of what you believe in your mind can take more time and consideration. Pray, Study, and Seek the Direction of the Holy Spirit.
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« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2005, 04:29:40 PM »

Thank you so much, all of you, for your replies!

For me, I need to realize that even though EC and EO have similar liturgies, that they are two different churches, and even have differences in things like liturgies.  I need, which will take time, to let my heart also accept the teachings of Orthodoxy, and to reject Catholic teaching (which is hard, because for many years, I have embraced it). 

God bless, and thanks again!   
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« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2005, 05:51:04 PM »

Thank you so much, all of you, for your replies!

For me, I need to realize that even though EC and EO have similar liturgies, that they are two different churches, and even have differences in things like liturgies. I need, which will take time, to let my heart also accept the teachings of Orthodoxy, and to reject Catholic teaching (which is hard, because for many years, I have embraced it).

God bless, and thanks again!

Don't worry.  You have LOTS of time to sort all of this out.  Besides, no Orthodox priest would receive you into Orthodoxy against the wishes of your mother (or at least I hope none would). 

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« Reply #20 on: March 24, 2005, 07:53:36 PM »

Thanks for your your reply, Jennifer!

I guess another problem I have is seeing that the EC's are truly Catholics, not Orthodox.

Anyone have any suggestions to help me with this?  Thanks. 
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« Reply #21 on: March 24, 2005, 08:04:59 PM »

[I guess another problem I have is seeing that the EC's are truly Catholics, not Orthodox.

Anyone have any suggestions to help me with this?  Thanks.]

First you will have to tell us when, where, and how we Orthodox Catholics left the 'Catholic Churh' mentioned in he Creed.

Recommend you read "Catholicity And House Blend" at the following website -

http://www.orthodoxdetroit.com/orthodoxunity.htm

Orthodoc
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« Reply #22 on: March 24, 2005, 08:15:10 PM »

Thanks for the link!

I guess why I have such a problem with this is that every place I read something about EC's, they claim to be basically the same thing as Orthodox, except for recognizing the Pope.  I know there are other differences than this, but I still have trouble seeing the EC's as full Catholics. 
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« Reply #23 on: March 24, 2005, 08:40:22 PM »


I guess why I have such a problem with this is that every place I read something about EC's, they claim to be basically the same thing as Orthodox, except for recognizing the Pope.

Recognizing papal infallibility and supremacy is a big deal.  Putting aside the 'intellectual' matters, the best way to distinguish between Eastern Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy is to worship with each group.  Eastern Catholic churches have a different 'feel' than Orthodox churches.  It's hard to describe exactly what's different (putting aside the easy issues of Eucharistic Ministers, female altar servers and shortening the liturgy). 

Fasting is an example of the difference.  Roman Catholicism, as you know, has spells out the guidelines for fasting in canon law.  It's very minimal.  Some Eastern Catholic priests encourage their congregation to fast like the Orthodox but there's always that attitude of 'legalism' that you find amongst Catholics.  It's kind of like, fasting is a good thing but you don't really have to do it.  But fasting is 'huge' in Orthodoxy.  Orthodoxy is about using ascetic practices like prayer and fasting to 'cure' the soul in order to reach Theosis. 

Certainly some ECs fast and some (maybe a lot) of EOs don't fast.  But Orthodoxy would never set down in canon law exactly how one must fast so there's not the legalism.  Orthodoxy has guidelines for fasting as found in the Triduum which it would never water down like the RCs did. 

Quote
I know there are other differences than this, but I still have trouble seeing the EC's as full Catholics.

They're "full Catholics" even though their liturgy is different.  But they're hard to pin down.  The more 'eastern leaning' ones claim that they don't have to believe in western dogmas like the Immaculate Conception.  This confuses latin Rite Catholics to no end because when that dogma was promulgated, it wasn't qualified as only for western Catholics.  I maintain that Rome expects all Catholics to accept the Immaculate Conception which essentially requires all Catholics to be western.  Of course they don't see it that way. 

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« Reply #24 on: March 24, 2005, 10:09:02 PM »

[I guess why I have such a problem with this is that every place I read something about EC's, they claim to be basically the same thing as Orthodox, except for recognizing the Pope. I know there are other differences than this, but I still have trouble seeing the EC's as full Catholics. ]

The only thing they have in common with we Orthodox is similiar worship services. But their theology is that of the papal Catholic Church even though many of them aren't willing to admit it.

That is why so many of us react as we do to their claim of being 'Orthodox In Communion With Rome'. For it shows the general lack of knowledge they have of their faith and what they are required to accept by being 'in communion with Rome'. To claim they are 'Orthodox In Communion With Rome' is to base their very faith on tradition and worship rather than doctrine and dogma they accept as sui juris members of the papal Catholic Church.

I have debated with Ukrainian Greek Catholics who swear up and down they do not required to  believe in or accept the 'Immaculate Conception'. When I ask them why then, is their main Cathedral here in Philly, dedicated to the Immaculate Conception they never really answer.

There is more doctrinal unity within Orthodoxy than there is within the 22 sui juris churches that comprise the papal Catholic Church. Yet we are accused of being disunited.

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« Reply #25 on: March 25, 2005, 01:28:59 AM »

So when the EC's say that they are "Orthodox in Communion with Rome" and that they dont have to accept the IC, dont pay much attention to them? 
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« Reply #26 on: March 25, 2005, 03:49:42 AM »

So when the EC's say that they are "Orthodox in Communion with Rome" and that they dont have to accept the IC, dont pay much attention to them?

Careful...you're venturing into controversial topics.  Smiley 

It all comes down to the pope.  They say they're "Orthodox in communion with Rome" because true Orthodoxy believes in communion with Rome.  We say they're not "Orthodox in communion with Rome" because we believe a true Orthodox Church cannot be in communion with a church that dogmatizes false teachings. 

Like I wrote earlier, the best way to distinguish between ECs and EOs is to worship with both.  There's a whole different 'feel' to being Orthodox than Catholic.  It's hard to explain what that means.  They're trying to change 'back,' to get of the latinizations and revive their liturgical traditions.  Maybe one day they'll 'feel' more like us. 

Within Eastern Catholicism, there's always a 'tension' between the 'easternizers' and the 'status quo' folks.  The 'easternizers' follow the lead of people like that Melkite Patriarch whose name escapes me at the moment.  He said that they [the Melkites] believe everything the Antiochians believe.  Supposedly intercommunion between the Melkites and the Antiochians is commonplace in the middle east.  The problem being that Rome doesn't think of these 'western' dogmas as optional.  My experience with the 'easternizers' is that they're always relying on secret knowledge, e.g. some cardinal told them in secret that Rome will get rid of papal infallibility or something like that.  Within the Catholic world, no one thinks like them about whether the IC is optional or whether communion wth the pope is a very important part of being Catholic.  When I was exploring Eastern Catholicism, I ran a few things I read on the web by ECs past my former RC (conservative) confessor.  He told me outright that they were very confused about what it meant to be Catholic.  Now, this was an RC priest who didn't have much contact with the ECs but I think his POV is indicative of how Rome thinks about these things. 

Ultimately, putting aside theological issues, we have to the look at the 'effect' of the Eastern Catholic 'approach.'  Over the years, they lost a lot of their eastern traditions.  For example, you'll find saturday evening vigil liturgies at ECs churches.  And IMHO the 'easternizers' have an uphill battle against these 'latinizations' because the people will always say "they do it St. so-and-so" or "the rosary has this indulgence attached to and the akathist doesn't so it's better to say the Rosary."  What I've also noticed is that the folks who want to bring back the 'eastern' traditions end up 'doxing' in frustration eventually.  So the 'typical' EC parish is left with the ethnic folks and the RCs fleeing liturgical abuses.  Hence the different 'feel' to their churches. 

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« Reply #27 on: March 25, 2005, 06:45:48 AM »

I think Jennifers' last few posts on this topic are fairly accurate. We lack the ability to scientifically survey the EC's with their attitudes and beliefs but my undisciplined observations seem to agree.

I can only speak of the Slavic tradition parishes I have been exposed to, but one can definately see a layering, or stratifying of attitudes in regard to the Papacy and doctrines like the IC.

I think that it important to remember that the Slavic Greek Catholics were enticed or invited, (or possibly coerced)  into union with Rome before the definition of Papal Infallibility or the Immaculate Conception, and when this was winged on them  it must have seemed like a "bait and switch" maneuver. Not anticipated in the original union agreements.

 Clearly these two doctrines, along with Universal Jurisdiction, are completely Western in outlook and origin. At that time the Papacy was firmly convinced of the priority of the Latin rite, it was to be preferred praestantia latini ritus. This has always meant  that the official attitude to the "Eastern" traditions was more of a concession to the more stubborn or "set in their ways" easterners. Yet this was mostly at a superficial 'external' level as regarding liturgy and vestments, in many ways I have observed a western interior development of some lifelong EC's.

Today we are seeing a renewed interest in the authentic traditions of the eastern churches, prescribed reading is Greek Patristic and the available catechisms emphasize Eastern theology and spirituality. So,me individual priests are struggling mightily to reverse the damage of generations. But one must expect that a lot of the Nash are just not going for it, their families have been exposed Latin theology and piety for (in some cases) hundreds of years now and they tend to resent some of the changes they see in their parishes. Just as their great grandparents resisted latinizations, there are many who resist the restorations today. This is frustrating indeed for those who join the EC embracing the ideals of the restored Eastern churches and see progress is so slow.

As far as the IC is concerned, I cannot see how it is possible to believe the Greek, or Orthodox understanding of first sin and also embrace  the doctrine of Immaculate Conception as formulated. They just don't address the issue of what it means to be "immaculate" in the same way, coming from different basic assumptions entirely. EC's who care about the issue with a basic level of understanding can feel very conflicted, and they are  receiving little to no guidance from their own bishops.

Yes, many do not accept Papal Infallibiity and also many who do, there  have always been EC who never accepted the doctrine but remained loyal to their people and their church. This is an unending source of frustration to the RC who think of them as a "fifth column" (or "liberals" although they hardly fit such a definition) and are just as ready and eager to consign them to nether regions as some Orthodox seem to be.

I think that we should be pleased with the changes slowly manifesting themselves in the EC. If we ever have a hope that the Roman Catholic church conglomerate will return to Orthodoxy it will only happen if the Roman Catholics themselves embrace Orthodoxy, one person at a time, and bloom where they are planted! The EC can be a big help in that regard, if they are encouraged.

Likewise instead of condemning the EC we should be thanking them, they are a direct pipeline for some thinking individuals to Holy Orthodoxy. Many of the posters on this board have come through the Eastern Catholic churches, they can be considered a major resource for Orthodox evangelization! I myself spent several years worshipping as an Eastern Catholic and only recently have decided to become a catechuman in the Orthodox faith, there is some doubt that my faith journey would have led me here without their help.

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« Reply #28 on: March 25, 2005, 10:01:29 AM »

If many dont accept Papal Infallibility, then why did they become Catholic?  Why didnt they stay Orthodox? 
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« Reply #29 on: March 25, 2005, 12:23:07 PM »

If many dont accept Papal Infallibility, then why did they become Catholic?  Why didnt they stay Orthodox? 
Perhaps what they were keen to have is merely communion with Rome. Ideally they would have preferred to maintain communion with the Orthodox patriarchates as well, this is not possible even today, but may have been the goal.

I certainly don't want to oversimplify this, and some of what I have said is going to have to be speculative. After all, I wasn't around when the union agreements were made. Nevertheless the Byzantine-Slavic unions were agreed upon 350 to 400 years ago, depending upon locale. There was no definition of Papal Infallibility at that time. That is why I say that it seems like a bait and switch scheme, the difficult  doctrines were imposed later, and most Roman Catholics assume that the Eastern Catholics must simply submit. I think there have always been Eastern Catholics who never actually accepted these doctrines but kept their heads down.

I suspect that if there had been such a formal definition of Papal Infallibility in the 15th and 16th centuries, it would have been a deal-breaker. Something like a poison pill, the opponents of union would most likely have prevailed because the notions of Papal Infallibility and Universal Jurisdiction are alien to Orthodox.

Among Catholics of all types there is some kind of romantic notion about being in communion with Rome and this compels people to overlook some of the problems with Papal authority. In my opinion one currently has to exercise a lot of independent logic that seems really alien to both Orthodoxy and Catholicism in order to want communion with Rome and still reject Roman Supremacy.

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« Reply #30 on: March 25, 2005, 12:44:09 PM »

Thanks for your reply!

I was curious what the EC view of rejecting such dogmas, so I asked one. He said that if EC's reject such things, they are in error, possibly heretical. Im wondering if the EC's who claim such things are truly Catholic at all, but are rather there own heretical group.

Also, there is something from EWTN on this: http://www.ewtn.com/vexperts/showresult.asp?RecNum=302933&Forums=25&Experts=0&Days=3000&Author=&Keyword=have+to+accept&pgnu=1&groupnum=0

Thoughts?
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« Reply #31 on: March 25, 2005, 12:45:36 PM »

[If many dont accept Papal Infallibility, then why did they become Catholic? Why didnt they stay Orthodox? ]

One has to read the history of the Unia and how and why it came into being. You can start off by reading the 33 Articles included in the 'Union of Brest' and ask yourself why it was necessary to get guarantees from the RCC that these articles would be guaranteed before any union could take place -

You can find the document at -

http://www.ewtn.com/library/COUNCILS/TREATBR.HTM


And ask yourself why Articles such as 12, 13, 17, 22-25 were needed if this union was a result of a general desire for union with the RCC as claimed by some within that church and its sui juris appendage.

They had no other choice than to become one with the RCC or be labelled as Traitors in their own lands.

Over 400+ years have gone by since this union and the results have been a disasterfor their children who after all these years are still searching for an identity and are confused on exactly what they are or what they want to be. They don't want to be known as full fledged papal Catholics (which they are) but they don't want to be full fledged Orthodox either (which they aren't and haven't been since 1596). Some are being told and now think they are 'Orthodox In Communion With Rome' which shows just how much they comprehend regarding one's religious identity. As my grandmother used to say when asked why she returned to Orthodoxy -
'Dey are neider here nor dere. Dey neither fish nor foul'!

As far as the Immaculate Conception. The shortest and clearist definition of the Immaculate Conception from an Orthodox Catholic point of view is -

Immaculate Conception = A poor solution to a non existent problem.

Also the Ecumenical Patriarch gave an excellent response to the issue of the Immaculate Conception -

> In the interview that follows 30Days asks Bartholomew I, Ecumenic
Patriarch
> of Constantinople, to comment on the Immaculate Conception.
>
> Full text of interview at
> http://www.30giorni.it/us/articolo.asp?id=6794
>
> Interviewer: The Catholic Church this year celebrates the hundred
and
> fiftieth anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the
Immaculate
> Conception. How does the Eastern Christian and Byzantine Tradition
celebrate
> the Conception of Mary and her full and immaculate holiness?
>
> Bartholomew I: The Catholic Church found that it needed to
institute a new
> dogma for Christendom about one thousand and eight hundred years
after the
> appearance of the Christianity, because it had accepted a
perception of
> original sin - a mistaken one for us Orthodox - according to which
original
> sin passes on a moral stain or a legal responsibility to the
descendants of
> Adam, instead of that recognized as correct by the Orthodox faith -
> according to which the sin transmitted through inheritance the
corruption,
> caused by the separation of mankind from the uncreated grace of
God, which
> makes him live spiritually and in the flesh. Mankind shaped in the
image of
> God, with the possibility and destiny of being like to God, by
freely
> choosing love towards Him and obedience to his commandments, can
even after
> the fall of Adam and Eve become friend of God according to
intention; then
> God sanctifies them, as he sanctified many of the progenitors
before Christ,
> even if the accomplishment of their ransom from corruption, that
is their
> salvation, was achieved after the incarnation of Christ and
through Him.
>
> In consequence, according to the Orthodox faith, Mary the All-holy
Mother of
> God was not conceived exempt from the corruption of original sin,
but loved
> God above of all things and obeyed his commandments, and thus was
sanctified
> by God through Jesus Christ who incarnated himself of her. She
obeyed Him
> like one of the faithful, and addressed herself to Him with a
Mother's
> trust. Her holiness and purity were not blemished by the
corruption, handed
> on to her by original sin as to every man, precisely because she
was reborn
> in Christ like all the saints, sanctified above every saint.
>
> Her reinstatement in the condition prior to the Fall did not
necessarily
> take place at the moment of her conception. We believe that it
happened
> afterwards, as consequence of the progress in her of the action of
the
> uncreated divine grace through the visit of the Holy Spirit, which
brought
> about the conception of the Lord within her, purifying her from
every stain.
>
> As already said, original sin weighs on the descendants of Adam
and of Eve
> as corruption, and not as legal responsibility or moral stain. The
sin
> brought hereditary corruption and not a hereditary legal
responsibility or a
> hereditary moral stain. In consequence the All-holy participated
in the
> hereditary corruption, like all mankind, but with her love for God
and her
> purity - understood as an imperturbable and unhesitating
dedication of her
> love to God alone - she succeeded, through the grace of God, in
sanctifying
> herself in Christ and making herself worthy of becoming the house
of God, as
> God wants all us human beings to become. Therefore we in the
Orthodox Church
> honor the All-holy Mother of God above all the saints, albeit we
don't
> accept the new dogma of her Immaculate Conception. The non-
acceptance of
> this dogma in no way diminishes our love and veneration of the All-
holy
> Mother of God.
>
> http://www.30giorni.it/us/articolo.asp?id=6794



Orthodoc






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« Reply #32 on: March 25, 2005, 12:55:03 PM »

Thanks for the reply! I will read into that link.

Why does it say on EWTN (http://www.ewtn.com/vexperts/showresult.asp?RecNum=302933&Forums=25&Experts=0&Days=3000&Author=&Keyword=have+to+accept&pgnu=1&groupnum=0) that EC's are to follow all the same dogmas, if they supposedly reject them, according to what you and others have said? 
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« Reply #33 on: March 25, 2005, 01:04:14 PM »

First, you might want to ask your questions over on byzcath.org for the EC response. 

Second, remember that EWTN is not authoritative. 
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« Reply #34 on: March 25, 2005, 01:09:14 PM »

I see that you've already been over to Byzcath and got the "don't bother us" response. 

These are controversial issues and they're used to RCs telling them they've heretics because they don't in the IC, etc.  They're pretty insular, IMHO. 

Unfortunately you won't get an authoritative answer from anyone on these topics.  There are a broad range of opinions and every side claims the other side is wrong. 
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« Reply #35 on: March 25, 2005, 01:30:24 PM »

Wow, the EC's are confusing....
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« Reply #36 on: March 25, 2005, 01:48:37 PM »

>>>Wow, the EC's are confusing....

Yeah, you think this is bad, wait till you actually talk to one or (gasp) meet one.

Really.  Consider talking to one.  Or maybe even two.
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« Reply #37 on: March 25, 2005, 01:50:21 PM »

I talk to one every once in a while, he seems to follow all of the Catholic Church's teachings. 

I think, personally, that reject certain dogmas are more confusing, lol
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« Reply #38 on: March 25, 2005, 03:04:09 PM »

Orthodoc, you said: "The only thing they have in common with we Orthodox is similiar worship services.  But their theology is that of the papal Catholic Church even though many of them aren't willing to admit it."

My question is, if some EC reject things like Papal Infallibility and the IC, is their theology truly that of the Catholic Church? 
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« Reply #39 on: March 25, 2005, 03:27:34 PM »


My question is, if some EC reject things like Papal Infallibility and the IC, is their theology truly that of the Catholic Church?

Sorry, but there just isn't an easy answer to this one.  When discussing the EC Churches, things are never cut and dried.  Obviously they remain in communion with Rome testifying to their belief that it's important to be in communion with Rome. 

I think this kind of 'laundry list' Catholicism isn't helpful.  Conservative Catholics (especially e-apologist Catholics) want to reduce Catholicism to a list of beliefs that one must ascribe to.  If you don't cross and every T and dot every I, you're not Catholic.  That's silly.  The Immaculate Conception isn't important enough to chase people out of Catholicism.  That's why Rome doesn't come down hard on ECs who reject it.  The same with papal infallibility, IMHO.  Those who argue that it is that important just don't 'get' Catholicism. 
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« Reply #40 on: March 25, 2005, 05:51:08 PM »

So then why should I convert if I could just be an EC who rejects Papal Infallibility, IC, and other such things?  (All those who are Orthodox here, please dont take this question as offensive, Im just trying to work some things out right now in my faith).  Thanks. 
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« Reply #41 on: March 25, 2005, 06:10:23 PM »

So then why should I convert if I could just be an EC who rejects Papal Infallibility, IC, and other such things? (All those who are Orthodox here, please dont take this question as offensive, Im just trying to work some things out right now in my faith). Thanks.

People convert to Orthodoxy because they believe it's the true faith.  If you believe that the Roman Catholic Church is the Church, then you stay Catholic.  Those ECs who reject IC and papal infallibility stay EC because they believe that the Churches in communion with Rome make up the true Church.  Some of them also believe that Orthodoxy is the true Church.  But the difference between us and them is that we don't say, with absolute certainty, that they are the Church.  Make sense? 

Further, even if you don't believe those things as an EC you would in communion with people who believed those things.  Orthodoxy would say that one should not remain in communion with a Church that promulgates false teachings. 

A significant difference between ECs and EOs would be that the latter would say that IC and papal infallibility were heretical teachings.  While the former wouldn't go so far as to say they're heresy. 

So to answer your question, convert only if you believe Orthodoxy's claims that they are the true Church. 
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« Reply #42 on: March 25, 2005, 06:15:20 PM »

So the EC's, on the issue of IC and Infallibility, might say that its not heretical to believe it, that the Catholics who do believe it aren't heretical ones?
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« Reply #43 on: March 25, 2005, 06:28:25 PM »

So the EC's, on the issue of IC and Infallibility, might say that its not heretical to believe it, that the Catholics who do believe it aren't heretical ones?

I'm not and ever have been an EC so I can't speak for them.  But it seems to me that if they believed the IC and papal infallibility were heretical teachings, they couldn't in good conscience remain in communion with Rome.  So they'd probably say that it's heresy, just wrong.  Whereas we would say that it's wrong enough to justify breaking communion with Rome. 

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« Reply #44 on: March 25, 2005, 06:49:43 PM »



Sorry, but there just isn't an easy answer to this one. When discussing the EC Churches, things are never cut and dried. Obviously they remain in communion with Rome testifying to their belief that it's important to be in communion with Rome.

I think this kind of 'laundry list' Catholicism isn't helpful. Conservative Catholics (especially e-apologist Catholics) want to reduce Catholicism to a list of beliefs that one must ascribe to. If you don't cross and every T and dot every I, you're not Catholic. That's silly. The Immaculate Conception isn't important enough to chase people out of Catholicism. That's why Rome doesn't come down hard on ECs who reject it. The same with papal infallibility, IMHO. Those who argue that it is that important just don't 'get' Catholicism.


Sorry if my last post didnt make much sense. Sad  So, the EC's may not be required to believe such things because of their differences of belief of Original Sin, but that doesnt mean they call the IC and Papal Infallibility heretical? 
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« Reply #45 on: March 25, 2005, 06:57:12 PM »

[My question is, if some EC reject things like Papal Infallibility and the IC, is their theology truly that of the Catholic Church? ]

If you mean by the Catholic Church those under papal authority my opinion is a strong NO! To me it's the same as saying - 'I am in communion with, and under the authority of, a Bishop or Bishops who uphold and proclaim doctrines or dogmas that I neither accept or believe in. That is the same as saying 'I am knowingly under the authority of a Bishop I recognize as teaching and preaching false doctrines. Why would I want to be under their authority?

To relegate such things as papal infallibility, Filioque, Purgatory, Immaculate Conception, etc to 'theologomenia' is ridiculous. Either we believe it or we don't. If we think doctines and dogmas are nothing more than personal opinions than why not all become Protestants?

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« Reply #46 on: March 25, 2005, 07:11:26 PM »

To relegate such things as papal infallibility, Filioque, Purgatory, Immaculate Conception, etc to 'theologomenia' is ridiculous.  Either we believe it or we don't.  If we think doctines and dogmas are nothing more than personal opinions than why not all become Protestants?

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Just to be clear, Theologumena (or however it is spelled) means theological opinion - not Dogma.  For example, the Orthodox Church believes in the Bodily Assumption of Mary, but it is not required Dogma like in the RCC.
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« Reply #47 on: March 25, 2005, 07:12:31 PM »

oh, ok, thank you! 
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« Reply #48 on: March 25, 2005, 07:29:36 PM »

So, basically, another way to look at the situation between RC and EC is this: RC and EC are both different and separate jurisdictions of the Catholic Church.  While the EC's arent expected to follow the RC teachings of theology, the RC's aren't expected to follow the EC's theologies either.  But either way, both ways of theology are acceptable in the Catholic Church, thus making both equally Catholic.

Does that sound like a good way to view it?  Thanks. 
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« Reply #49 on: March 25, 2005, 08:11:41 PM »

So, basically, another way to look at the situation between RC and EC is this: RC and EC are both different and separate jurisdictions of the Catholic Church.  While the EC's arent expected to follow the RC teachings of theology, the RC's aren't expected to follow the EC's theologies either.  But either way, both ways of theology are acceptable in the Catholic Church, thus making both equally Catholic.

Does that sound like a good way to view it?  Thanks. 

That is the supposed rationalization.

The reality is that the more numerous RC's (generally laypeople) are not satisfied with this idea and browbeat the EC's continually. In my opinion they properly might have all split off from Rome by 1871 and finished with the abuse.

Likewise many Orthodox will not accept the RC theology under any circumstances and ridicule the EC's for what seems to them to be a type of religious relativism.

If you feel like a victim soul or desire a long slow martyrdom, try becoming an Eastern Catholic.

+T+
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« Reply #50 on: March 25, 2005, 10:10:53 PM »

[While the EC's arent expected to follow the RC teachings of theology, the RC's aren't expected to follow the EC's theologies either.  But either way, both ways of theology are acceptable in the Catholic Church, thus making both equally Catholic. ]

Kind of makes a mockery of the following Scriptural passage, doesn't it?  -

[Caps are mine]


I Corinthians 1:10 -  Now I plead with you brethern, by the name of Our Lord jesus Christ,  THAT YOU ALL SPEAK THE SAME THING, that there be no divisions among you, BUT YOU BE PERFECTLY JOINED TOGETHER IN THE SAME MIND AND IN THE SAME JUDGEMENT.

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« Reply #51 on: March 25, 2005, 11:31:16 PM »


The reality is that the more numerous RC's (generally laypeople) are not satisfied with this idea and browbeat the EC's continually. In my opinion they properly might have all split off from Rome by 1871 and finished with the abuse.


If I had a dollar for all of the idiotic things I've seen written by Catholic laypeople online about the eastern rites, I'd be rich (well maybe not rich but you get the idea!). 

First, the average RC has never even heard of the Eastern Catholic Churches.  I remember someone asking if Eastern Catholics were Catholics who lived on the east coast. 

Second, there is a feeling of superiority amongst most RCs that their rite/praxis/devotions, etc. are superior.  When pressed, they'll condescend towards the eastern rites but they're always insisting that their rite/praxis/devotions better capture the faith.  If you ask them about that point blank they'll usually deny they are RC triumphantists but what other conclusion can be made from their assertions that ECs would benefit from devotions like the Sacred Heart. 

I've seen posts from Roman Catholics insisting that the eastern way of allowing infants to receive communion isn't "reverent."  The same person absolutely refused to give the ECs enough credit by referring to them as Eastern Catholics instead of Eastern Rite Roman Catholics. 

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« Reply #52 on: March 26, 2005, 02:06:54 PM »

Ive been doing some reading on EWTN and other places, and it appears that the official teaching of EC is that they are to accept the Papal Infallibility.  I found also, though, that some EC's, like has been said before, reject it, but still feel that Catholicism is the true Church (otherwise they would have converted to Orthodoxy).  I find also that even some faithful RC's (ie not ones looking into conversion to Orthodoxy) reject Infallibility, but are still Catholic, and believe it to be the true Church.

I guess what my point is is that I need to base what Church Im in not by what individuals believe (because Im sure there are Orthodox who disbelieve certain teachings of their own church), but rather by what each church teaches. 

Does anyone agree with that?  Thanks for your opinions. 
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« Reply #53 on: March 26, 2005, 03:05:52 PM »

[I guess what my point is is that I need to base what Church Im in not by what individuals believe (because Im sure there are Orthodox who disbelieve certain teachings of their own church), but rather by what each church teaches. 

Does anyone agree with that?  Thanks for your opinions. ]

Exactly!  You have to judge it by the teachings of the specific Church.  You have to define for yourself what is meant by one's faith.  Which, to me are defined the doctrines and dogmas that church accepts as valid and necessary to proclaim the faith and salvation. 

It always amazes me when papal Catholics come in here and chide us about what they preceive as disunity within Orthodoxy.  Yet when we get into discussions regarding doctrine and dogma there is always much more uniformity within Orthodoxy than the papal church.  Especially when you include those within the 'eastern rites' under Romes authority.

You get the impression that what they believe is secondary to being under papal authority.

Orthodoc
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« Reply #54 on: March 26, 2005, 08:22:52 PM »

Thanks for all your help, Orthodoc!

Im curious though, because I found that there are some EC priests that reject Papal Infallibility because they say it didnt exist in the first millenium. Go here: http://www.ewtn.com/vexperts/showresult.as...nu=1&groupnum=0

Mr. Dragini also says that some RC's dont even accept Papal Infallibility. So for the EC's who reject it, why dont they become Orthodox? Or do they, even though they may reject infallibility, still see Catholicism as the True Church?

Any thoughts? 
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« Reply #55 on: March 27, 2005, 08:44:32 AM »

[So for the EC's who reject it, why dont they become Orthodox? Or do they, even though they may reject infallibility, still see Catholicism as the True Church?]

I have been trying to figure out questions like that for most of my 64 years and have yet to come up with an answer.  But then the Unia never made any sense to me to begin with.  It's like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

Some of them think that in spite of everything one's Christianity cannot be complete if one isn't 'in communion with' hence (under the authority of) the Pope.  However, these same people will get highly insulted if you try and remind them of this papal allegiance by calling them 'Roman' or 'papal'.  They consider it the greatest of insults.  Go figure!

As has been brought out here and elsewhere, some of them think they are already Orthodox.  But, to me, they are identifying themselves by their traditions and worship rather than their beliefs.  We orthodox identify ourselves by the very doctrines we have proclaimed, protected, and upheld UNCHANGED since the church was still basically united and of 'one mind' as mentioned in Scripture.  We are proud of the fact that we have not added to those doctrines (as the RC's have),  subtracted from those doctrines (as the Protestants have), or modified those doctrines (as both the RC's & Protestants have).  And, that's what makes us Orthodox.  Not our traditions and worship.  It just goes to show how far from Orthodoxy they have wandered in the 400+ years under papal authority.  They have lost the basic essence of what it means to be Orthodox.  Yet they go around proclaiming they are 'Orthodox In Communion With Rome'!

The Unia was never created to survive.  In those lands where it  developed through force and deception, it was created with the idea that with each generation they would become more latinized until they would eventually evolve into full fledged Roman Catholics.  The RCC knew the people had a strong Orthodox identity (many of them still do) and would never willingly or knowingly renounce Orthodoxy.  In 1596 people were still basically illerate.  They could neither read nor write.  So they based everything on what they saw or heard.  As long as everything looked the same and sounded the same they would never really comprehend what had taken place.  Then the gradual Latinization could begin ever so gently. 

When the union was signed the very next Sunday your average peasant went to Liturgy.  The Liturgy was exactly the same and the local Bishop was still commemorated.  The word 'Orthodox' was still mentioned in the Liturgy.  So the people had no way to know anything had changed.  The only place where the Popes name was mentioned was in the Cathedral.  People who questioned it were told the Pope had become Orthodox!

This was OK while the Unia remained localized within certain areas.  But history had other ideas and people began to immigrate to other area's for a variety of reasons.  So the deception became that much harder to maintain.  Hence, we have the rush to latinize here in the U.S.

I think that of all the replies I have read so far, (Post 27)  best explains their mentality.  They seem to be divided into three main groups...pro Orthodox, anti Orthodox, and pro Latinization.

Not to confuse you more but have you ever read the 'Melkite Initiative' that came out in 1995? 

 This initiative was the profession of faith made by the Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop Elias Zogby:

"They offer special thanks to Archbishop EliasZoghby whose 1995 Profession of Faith was the major force for reopening dialogue with the Orthodox brothers. Zoghby, the former archbishop of Baalbek and a long-time leader among the Melkite bishops, offered this brief statement in 1995 and it was subscribed to by 24 of the 26 bishops present at the 1995 Holy Synod:

1. I believe everything which Eastern Orthodoxy teaches.
2. I am in communion with the Bishop of Rome as the first among the bishops, according to the limits recognized by the Holy Fathers of the East during the first millennium, before the separation."

Based on this statement they wanted to establish communion with both Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism at the same time.  Needless to say, it was rejected by both.

One would also have to wonder why they wouldn't want to return to Orthodoxy when their profession of faith was Orthodox rather than Roman Catholic!

Orthodoc

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Oh Lord, Save thy people and bless thine inheritance.
Grant victory to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries.
And by virtue of thy Cross preserve thy habitation.
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