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Author Topic: One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic....  (Read 1303 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: July 25, 2014, 02:02:09 PM »

Can you Orthodox rebuttal this quote from a Catholic answers online tract please.

"I was running up against the rather obvious fact that Orthodoxy is, well, not exactly catholic. It lacks the cultural universality and openness, the capacity to provide a true and welcoming home for all the world’s tribes and nations, that is in fact one of the four marks of the true Church: one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. Every word of the liturgies I attended in Sydney—including the Scripture readings and preaching—was in Greek, of which I understood absolutely nothing. The thesis that Eastern Orthodoxy is the true religion was turning out to bear the practical corollary that, to share fully and fruitfully in the life of the Body of Christ, one would almost have to become a Greek. (Well, O.K., maybe a Russian, a Serb, a Syrian—but in any case the ethnic options would be very limited.) And this sort of very burdensome de facto addition to the Gospel was plainly foreign to the New Testament. On the contrary, its message stresses that in Christ there is no longer Jew, Gentile, Greek."

Here is the link to the original tract. Im sure the vast majority of you are familiar with this essay.

Thanks
http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/why-i-didn%E2%80%99t-convert-to-eastern-orthodoxy
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« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2014, 02:06:58 PM »

Tell it to the Apostles. They were speaking Aramaic and Greek, I am sure Latins wouldn't understand the liturgies that they offered to them.

I read Garry Wills' Why I am a Catholic yesterday, and he admits that it is unlikely that the first liturgy that St. Peter performed in Rome was in Latin, but likely in Greek.

I'm sure the Latin population wasn't complaining then about the "lack of catholicity" in the Catholic Church.

And I am familiar with that essay, I've looked all over for substantive arguments that challenge the Orthodox position for eons.
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« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2014, 02:14:19 PM »

When did "Catholic" come to mean "culturally everywhere" in RC apologetics? I mean, the original Church in Jerusalem  wouldn't even pass muster by many of these standards of what it means to be Catholic.

Not to mention the article in the OP is being selective about both history and the contemporary state of things.
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« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2014, 02:23:07 PM »

When did "Catholic" come to mean "culturally everywhere" in RC apologetics?

Certainly it was this way for Cardinal Gibbons, so at least 19th century?

Quote
I mean, the original Church in Jerusalem  wouldn't even pass muster by many of these standards of what it means to be Catholic.

Yes, a fact that is lost on them, but which I always make.  The Church was Catholic when it was just a handful of people still locked up in an upper room in a relatively unimportant corner of the Roman Empire. 

Quote
Not to mention the article in the OP is being selective about both history and the contemporary state of things.

Par for the course.
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« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2014, 02:31:33 PM »

Apparently, the Roman Catholic Church did not become Catholic until Francisco Pizzaro slaughtered the Incas and forced their conversion.  Thanks be to God for His mercy and completing the deliverance of the Good News of the Gospel to all the nations.
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« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2014, 02:33:13 PM »

Or until after the 60's when everyone could understand the Mass.
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« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2014, 05:54:29 PM »

Can you Orthodox rebuttal this quote from a Catholic answers online tract please.

"I was running up against the rather obvious fact that Orthodoxy is, well, not exactly catholic. It lacks the cultural universality and openness, the capacity to provide a true and welcoming home for all the world’s tribes and nations, that is in fact one of the four marks of the true Church: one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. Every word of the liturgies I attended in Sydney—including the Scripture readings and preaching—was in Greek, of which I understood absolutely nothing. The thesis that Eastern Orthodoxy is the true religion was turning out to bear the practical corollary that, to share fully and fruitfully in the life of the Body of Christ, one would almost have to become a Greek. (Well, O.K., maybe a Russian, a Serb, a Syrian—but in any case the ethnic options would be very limited.) And this sort of very burdensome de facto addition to the Gospel was plainly foreign to the New Testament. On the contrary, its message stresses that in Christ there is no longer Jew, Gentile, Greek."

Here is the link to the original tract. Im sure the vast majority of you are familiar with this essay.

Thanks
http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/why-i-didn%E2%80%99t-convert-to-eastern-orthodoxy

This is a faulty understanding of what it means to be catholic. According to the Catholic Church she proclaims accordingly that :

The Church is Catholic

830 The word "catholic" means "universal," in the sense of "according to the totality" or "in keeping with the whole." The Church is catholic in a double sense:

First, the Church is catholic because Christ is present in her. "Where there is Christ Jesus, there is the Catholic Church."307 In her subsists the fullness of Christ's body united with its head; this implies that she receives from him "the fullness of the means of salvation"308 which he has willed: correct and complete confession of faith, full sacramental life, and ordained ministry in apostolic succession. The Church was, in this fundamental sense, catholic on the day of Pentecost309 and will always be so until the day of the Parousia.

831 Secondly, the Church is catholic because she has been sent out by Christ on a mission to the whole of the human race:310



All men are called to belong to the new People of God. This People, therefore, while remaining one and only one, is to be spread throughout the whole world and to all ages in order that the design of God's will may be fulfilled: he made human nature one in the beginning and has decreed that all his children who were scattered should be finally gathered together as one. . . . The character of universality which adorns the People of God is a gift from the Lord himself whereby the Catholic Church ceaselessly and efficaciously seeks for the return of all humanity and all its goods, under Christ the Head in the unity of his Spirit.311
Each particular Church is "catholic" 

832 "The Church of Christ is really present in all legitimately organized local groups of the faithful, which, in so far as they are united to their pastors, are also quite appropriately called Churches in the New Testament. . . . In them the faithful are gathered together through the preaching of the Gospel of Christ, and the mystery of the Lord's Supper is celebrated. . . . In these communities, though they may often be small and poor, or existing in the diaspora, Christ is present, through whose power and influence the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church is constituted."312

833 The phrase "particular Church," which is first of all the diocese (or eparchy), refers to a community of the Christian faithful in communion of faith and sacraments with their bishop ordained in apostolic succession.313 These particular Churches "are constituted after the model of the universal Church; it is in these and formed out of them that the one and unique Catholic Church exists."314

834 Particular Churches are fully catholic through their communion with one of them, the Church of Rome "which presides in charity."315 "For with this church, by reason of its pre-eminence, the whole Church, that is the faithful everywhere, must necessarily be in accord."316 Indeed, "from the incarnate Word's descent to us, all Christian churches everywhere have held and hold the great Church that is here [at Rome] to be their only basis and foundation since, according to the Savior's promise, the gates of hell have never prevailed against her."317

835 "Let us be very careful not to conceive of the universal Church as the simple sum, or . . . the more or less anomalous federation of essentially different particular churches. In the mind of the Lord the Church is universal by vocation and mission, but when she put down her roots in a variety of cultural, social, and human terrains, she takes on different external expressions and appearances in each part of the world."318 The rich variety of ecclesiastical disciplines, liturgical rites, and theological and spiritual heritages proper to the local churches "unified in a common effort, shows all the more resplendently the catholicity of the undivided Church."319
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« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2014, 06:18:08 PM »

Or until after the 60's when everyone could understand the Mass.

+1
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« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2014, 06:38:11 PM »

Or until after the 60's when everyone could understand the Mass.

Off-topic, perhaps, but I actually suspect RC's understood the Mass much better when it was not in the vernacular.  Vernacular alone doesn't guarantee "understanding". 
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« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2014, 06:41:15 PM »

Or until after the 60's when everyone could understand the Mass.

Off-topic, perhaps, but I actually suspect RC's understood the Mass much better when it was not in the vernacular.  Vernacular alone doesn't guarantee "understanding". 
I wouldn't be surprised. From what I've heard/read, their catechesis was also remarkably better before the horror of the 60's.
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« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2014, 08:10:47 PM »

Or until after the 60's when everyone could understand the Mass.

Off-topic, perhaps, but I actually suspect RC's understood the Mass much better when it was not in the vernacular.  Vernacular alone doesn't guarantee "understanding". 
I wouldn't be surprised. From what I've heard/read, their catechesis was also remarkably better before the horror of the 60's.

Considering that the majority of Catholic countries after the Reformation were Latinate, I wouldn't be surprised.
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« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2014, 09:09:44 PM »

Can you Orthodox rebuttal this quote from a Catholic answers online tract please.

Others have, and I will try to help as well.

Quote
"I was running up against the rather obvious fact that Orthodoxy is, well, not exactly catholic. It lacks the cultural universality and openness, the capacity to provide a true and welcoming home for all the world’s tribes and nations, that is in fact one of the four marks of the true Church: one, holy, catholic, and apostolic.

The Orthodox Church is firmly established today, with fully self-governing Churches (albeit often persecuted ones), in nations as diverse as Russia, Syria, Egypt, Bulgaria, Armenia, Ethiopia, Japan, as well as large presences in places such as the United States, Canada, and Guatemala.  In each place we conduct services in the local language.  And when we first arrived in North America and began to minister to the natives, we converted them without killing them.  The Roman Catholic Church cannot make either of these two latter claims.  I'd say that we have a strong claim to have "the capacity to provide a true and welcoming home for all the world's tribes and nations."  The might of the papacy and the Islamic sword prevented our spread from being what it might otherwise have been during the past millennium.  Yet, in almost every place we went, we adapted to the local culture (rather than they to us).  I don't know how you could be more welcoming than that.  Just because the countries named are not traditionally "western ones" - we are not as strong there just as the Catholics are usually not as strong in the countries I've named - doesn't mean we are any less universal.

Quote
Every word of the liturgies I attended in Sydney—including the Scripture readings and preaching—was in Greek, of which I understood absolutely nothing. The thesis that Eastern Orthodoxy is the true religion was turning out to bear the practical corollary that, to share fully and fruitfully in the life of the Body of Christ, one would almost have to become a Greek. (Well, O.K., maybe a Russian, a Serb, a Syrian—but in any case the ethnic options would be very limited.)

That's simply not true.  Yes, there are parishes full of immigrants in the diaspora which hold services in the ancestral language.  But 100 years ago you also had Polish Catholic parishes, Italian Catholic parishes, Irish Catholic parishes, etc., in places of their diaspora.  And to some extent you still do today.  The only reason why the Catholics don't have the residual language problem as strongly as we do is because their parishes were uniformly serving the Mass in Latin until the 1960s.  Rather than accessible to the community, then accessible to some, as our services were at that time, their services were equally understandable by no one, except those who were highly educated.  The Orthodox Church actually has an emphasis on holding services in the vernacular.  At the time immigrants brought the faith to North America, the vernacular was the mother tongue of the homeland.  Unless there is continued immigration (some parishes do still have this), this gradually shifts to the native tongue of the place where the church now is. 
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« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2014, 09:39:25 PM »

Why then does it seem like the Orthodox were not as aggressive in their missionary efforts.It seems like the "great commission" was undertaken more seriously by the west. I have also been led to believe, as a Catholic, that the East was a bastion of heresy and strange doctrines from the early church til the schism, and Rome kept the faith unchanged. I have also read (in The Triumph by H. W. Crocker III) that the East constantly appealed to Rome to correct heretical teaching. are there any good resources online where I can read Orthodox affirming proof texts and arguments from an authoritative standpoint?
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« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2014, 09:48:20 PM »

Why then does it seem like the Orthodox were not as aggressive in their missionary efforts.It seems like the "great commission" was undertaken more seriously by the west. I have also been led to believe, as a Catholic, that the East was a bastion of heresy and strange doctrines from the early church til the schism, and Rome kept the faith unchanged. I have also read (in The Triumph by H. W. Crocker III) that the East constantly appealed to Rome to correct heretical teaching. are there any good resources online where I can read Orthodox affirming proof texts and arguments from an authoritative standpoint?

We were quite aggressive in missionary efforts until the 15th century, despite the fact that the Latin Church attacked our patriarchates after the Great Schism (during the crusades) and set up their own patriarchs in our cities to displace us for about a century during the 13th century.  Nevertheless, the Orthodox (excluding the Latin Church which was, at that time, Orthodox) are responsible for the conversion of all of North Africa, all of the Middle East, the Caucasus, and all of Eastern Europe.  We established missions in the Aleutians in the 18th century and in Japan in the 19th century.  The Oriental Orthodox in the 4th and 5th centuries had missionary efforts going on as far east as China.  The problem for us is that we had to deal with two things the Western Church really didn't face:  1.  The rise of Islam in the 7th century (well, Spain dealt with it directly, too, but they had major help fighting it back) as well as 2. The overrunning of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453.  Our "base" from which missionary efforts went out really disappeared, with the exception of the Slavic Churches, but they were dealing with problems of their own sort, although, as shown, the Russian Church did expand eastward during that time and into the North American continent.  The Western Church was filled with sea-faring nations who Christianized new conquests at the point of the sword.  We had none of that (probably fortunately, in retrospect).  When the Christianization of North America was going on, in particular, we were generally confined under a Muslim yoke or were preoccupied with the chaotic world of Slavic politics (some things never change).  But when our churches were free, we were on fire.  And that is coming back again.  The Ottoman Empire only fell in 1922.  Look at what we've done since.  And we did that with one arm tied behind our back, really, because at the same time Eastern Europe was dominated by a regime which was officially Atheist in character for 75 years.  Not much missionary effort could go out from there!  But yet we established a strong foothold in the Americas and indeed even in Western Europe during that time.

I'll leave your questions about the relationship between the East and the West to others who are more knowledgeable of the conciliar and theological disputes of the first millennium.  But broadly put that is not entirely the case.  For example, during the monothelite heresy of the 7th century, Pope Honorius and the Western Church fell into heresy, while Patriarch Sophronius of Jerusalem and probably the autocephalous Church of Georgia and perhaps others were the ones which preserved the true faith, along with heroes such as St. Maximus the Confessor, who was in Constantinople.
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« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2014, 09:56:46 PM »

I have also read (in The Triumph by H. W. Crocker III) that the East constantly appealed to Rome to correct heretical teaching. are there any good resources online where I can read Orthodox affirming proof texts and arguments from an authoritative standpoint?

That, my friend, is a singularly horrible book.  It is not history, it is propaganda meant to energise and rally a committed but discouraged base of faithful lay RC's flailing about in a sea of ambivalence. 
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« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2014, 09:57:52 PM »

I would add that it is indisputable from the canons and other historical evidence that, during the first millennium, the See of Rome enjoyed primacy among the autocephalous Churches, not due to its founding by St. Peter (Antioch and, indirectly, Alexandria, can also claim to be Petrine sees) but, as it is enumerated in the ancient conciliar decisions, because it was the traditional capital of the Empire, whose governance structure was the model for the Church.  It is therefore not surprising that the See of Rome was honored with arbitrating disputes among the other sees when such needed to occur.  Yet, we see that the Pope of Rome was never given the infallible deference which the Roman Catholic Church accords him post-Vatican I (and which, prior to that date, was strenuously denied, I believe, by the Anglo-Catholic Tractarians in their defense of Catholicism in England).  Rather, St. Cyril of Alexandria opposed the Pope of Rome and a council decided in favor of St. Cyril's view.  We also see that Pope St. Gregory the Great (whose Liturgy we still use during Presanctified Liturgies during Lent) specifically disclaimed, almost prophetically, the kind of primacy which would be asserted from his see.  And we also see the Pope of Alexandria, who was third in honor, given the title "Judge of the Universe" for his role in adjudicating disputes between the other patriarchates.  If Rome were to return to Orthodoxy, we would have no problem according her the honor of "First Among Equals" as well as the attendant honors associated with that primacy -- adjudicating certain disputes, etc., as it was during the First Millennium.  Indeed, as late as the 15th century, after the "Western Schism," when the Roman Catholic Church had three simultaneously reigning Popes, the leaders of that communion determined that reposing ultimate authority in a supreme pope was an unworkable situation, and sought to resurrect the supremacy of councils which had governed in the undivided church in the first millennium.  Alas, they did not quite understand how such councils were intended to function (to address specific crises in the church) and sought to maintain a perpetual or continuing council which ended in disaster by the mid-15th century.  That was, I believe, the last serious challenge to papal supremacy in the Roman Catholic Church (except by those who left her in the 16th century).
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« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2014, 10:24:51 PM »

Why then does it seem like the Orthodox were not as aggressive in their missionary efforts.It seems like the "great commission" was undertaken more seriously by the west. I have also been led to believe, as a Catholic, that the East was a bastion of heresy and strange doctrines from the early church til the schism, and Rome kept the faith unchanged. I have also read (in The Triumph by H. W. Crocker III) that the East constantly appealed to Rome to correct heretical teaching. are there any good resources online where I can read Orthodox affirming proof texts and arguments from an authoritative standpoint?

The Orthodox were under Islamic, Crusader and Communist (and Fascist) occupation. Can't really go around the world fulfilling the great commission when you're landlocked. The only reason the West "undertook" the great commission so greatly, was because they had imperial power and swords behind them. The Americas, Africa and Vietnam were all imperialized.

The East did have many heresies, and Rome did keep the faith pure. However, that doesn't mean that times cannot change.

Pope Honorius was brought up, Pope Vigilius and Liberius were Arian and Monothelite sympathizers.
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« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2014, 10:45:58 PM »

Some Roman Catholics are simply amazing. They purport to believe: "The Pope is infallible, the Church needs a Pope  etc...etc..." But many, including the author of the apologetic cited herein, apparently believe this only in theory. For example, the view of eastern Christianity as expressed by recent popes including (despite its bias) "Orientalum Lumen" written in 1995 by Pope St. John Paul II is - to say the least - at odds with the CAF point of view expressed in the OP' s cited post.

Also, the author apparently has little use in his universe for the Eastern Catholics in union with Rome either, but that is hardly surprising among Latinates.
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« Reply #18 on: July 25, 2014, 10:59:33 PM »

the East was a bastion of heresy and strange doctrines from the early church til the schism
IIRC, the Visigoth Kingdom in Western Europe was actually a bastion of Arianism for several centuries, which Rome produced the first Filioque in an attempt to combat. Weren't the Donatists and Novatianists also a Western phenomenon?
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« Reply #19 on: July 26, 2014, 01:08:17 AM »


And it did rally me...for a season. I feel like a bait and switch happened. The church I was promised through reading catholic apologists is not the church I experience. I may have waxed poetic in my intro post in the convert section, but dont let that spoil your impression of me. Im well aware of the complacency, hypocrisy, and luke-warmness in all christianity, and I am under no false pretension about Orthodoxy. I know it too has its stinkers.

I will say that the more I listen to media, and the more I read and interact, the more the Orthodox position makes better sense. I need to learn more about history by taking off my papal colored glasses.
Thanks for the help, again.

Also, can someone help me with a link to information on the difference between primacy and supremacy please. Im starting to understand how the East viewed the Papacy, but it seems like a primacy of honor is pointless. Always seemed like a dishonest way to squirm out of evidence that lends credibility to the claims of the Pope. Would the following quote be describing primacy only? Set over the entire universe would imply supremacy. Right?

"Peter, that leader of the choir, that Mouth of the rest of the Apostles, that Head of the brotherhood, that One set over the entire universe, that Foundation of the Church."
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« Reply #20 on: July 26, 2014, 01:13:10 AM »


And it did rally me...for a season. I feel like a bait and switch happened. The church I was promised through reading catholic apologists is not the church I experience. I may have waxed poetic in my intro post in the convert section, but dont let that spoil your impression of me. Im well aware of the complacency, hypocrisy, and luke-warmness in all christianity, and I am under no false pretension about Orthodoxy. I know it too has its stinkers.

I will say that the more I listen to media, and the more I read and interact, the more the Orthodox position makes better sense. I need to learn more about history by taking off my papal colored glasses.
Thanks for the help, again.

Also, can someone help me with a link to information on the difference between primacy and supremacy please. Im starting to understand how the East viewed the Papacy, but it seems like a primacy of honor is pointless. Always seemed like a dishonest way to squirm out of evidence that lends credibility to the claims of the Pope. Would the following quote be describing primacy only? Set over the entire universe would imply supremacy. Right?

"Peter, that leader of the choir, that Mouth of the rest of the Apostles, that Head of the brotherhood, that One set over the entire universe, that Foundation of the Church."
                                                                                               -John Chrysostom

Just because someone says something about "Peter" doesn't mean he's talking about the Bishop of Rome.
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« Reply #21 on: July 26, 2014, 01:16:36 AM »

Why then does it seem like the Orthodox were not as aggressive in their missionary efforts.It seems like the "great commission" was undertaken more seriously by the west. I have also been led to believe, as a Catholic, that the East was a bastion of heresy and strange doctrines from the early church til the schism, and Rome kept the faith unchanged. I have also read (in The Triumph by H. W. Crocker III) that the East constantly appealed to Rome to correct heretical teaching. are there any good resources online where I can read Orthodox affirming proof texts and arguments from an authoritative standpoint?

The Orthodox were under Islamic, Crusader and Communist (and Fascist) occupation. Can't really go around the world fulfilling the great commission when you're landlocked. The only reason the West "undertook" the great commission so greatly, was because they had imperial power and swords behind them. The Americas, Africa and Vietnam were all imperialized.

The East did have many heresies, and Rome did keep the faith pure. However, that doesn't mean that times cannot change.

Pope Honorius was brought up, Pope Vigilius and Liberius were Arian and Monothelite sympathizers.
Honorius always gets explained away when I bring him up. I cant even remember the excuse or explanation that catholic apologists give? Anybody know how the catholic church handles that one?
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« Reply #22 on: July 26, 2014, 01:34:23 AM »

Why then does it seem like the Orthodox were not as aggressive in their missionary efforts.It seems like the "great commission" was undertaken more seriously by the west. I have also been led to believe, as a Catholic, that the East was a bastion of heresy and strange doctrines from the early church til the schism, and Rome kept the faith unchanged. I have also read (in The Triumph by H. W. Crocker III) that the East constantly appealed to Rome to correct heretical teaching. are there any good resources online where I can read Orthodox affirming proof texts and arguments from an authoritative standpoint?

The Orthodox were under Islamic, Crusader and Communist (and Fascist) occupation. Can't really go around the world fulfilling the great commission when you're landlocked. The only reason the West "undertook" the great commission so greatly, was because they had imperial power and swords behind them. The Americas, Africa and Vietnam were all imperialized.

The East did have many heresies, and Rome did keep the faith pure. However, that doesn't mean that times cannot change.

Pope Honorius was brought up, Pope Vigilius and Liberius were Arian and Monothelite sympathizers.
Honorius always gets explained away when I bring him up. I cant even remember the excuse or explanation that catholic apologists give? Anybody know how the catholic church handles that one?

"None of the instances" fit "into the 1870 definition." (Karl Keating, Catholicism and Fundamentalism pp. 227)
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« Reply #23 on: July 26, 2014, 02:10:12 AM »

The church is at its best when it's the Church Local, so the Catholic Church welcomes Orthodox cultures, but it is only at its best when it is also part of the Church Universal.
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« Reply #24 on: July 26, 2014, 02:41:30 AM »


And it did rally me...for a season. I feel like a bait and switch happened. The church I was promised through reading catholic apologists is not the church I experience. I may have waxed poetic in my intro post in the convert section, but dont let that spoil your impression of me. Im well aware of the complacency, hypocrisy, and luke-warmness in all christianity, and I am under no false pretension about Orthodoxy. I know it too has its stinkers.

I will say that the more I listen to media, and the more I read and interact, the more the Orthodox position makes better sense. I need to learn more about history by taking off my papal colored glasses.
Thanks for the help, again.

Also, can someone help me with a link to information on the difference between primacy and supremacy please. Im starting to understand how the East viewed the Papacy, but it seems like a primacy of honor is pointless. Always seemed like a dishonest way to squirm out of evidence that lends credibility to the claims of the Pope. Would the following quote be describing primacy only? Set over the entire universe would imply supremacy. Right?

"Peter, that leader of the choir, that Mouth of the rest of the Apostles, that Head of the brotherhood, that One set over the entire universe, that Foundation of the Church."
                                                                                               -John Chrysostom

That quote would, according to St. Cyprian, apply to every Bishop (that quote doesn't make it into the Latin pile-o-quotes on the subject).  But if we were looking at founding, it certainly applies to Jerusalem and Antioch.  Also, Sts. Peter and Paul were founders of Ephesus (one of the elder Sees of the Patriarchate of Constantinople).

As already mentioned, we know that the earliest "Latin fathers" came from Africa, as the earliest apologists from Rome wrote in Greek and spoke in Greek.  We know that in Rome the Liturgy and even the Gospel was largely read in Greek until the 4th century.  To be fair, however, that is because most citizens of Rome actually spoke Greek until at least the middle of the 3rd century.  It was the language of trade and they had to know it to survive.  
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« Reply #25 on: July 26, 2014, 02:49:54 AM »

Why then does it seem like the Orthodox were not as aggressive in their missionary efforts.It seems like the "great commission" was undertaken more seriously by the west. I have also been led to believe, as a Catholic, that the East was a bastion of heresy and strange doctrines from the early church til the schism, and Rome kept the faith unchanged. I have also read (in The Triumph by H. W. Crocker III) that the East constantly appealed to Rome to correct heretical teaching. are there any good resources online where I can read Orthodox affirming proof texts and arguments from an authoritative standpoint?

"It seems..."  Not really.  The East beat the West to the punch in Bulgaria (a disputed territory), in Rus (which chose the East specifically), and many other European territories.  Rus' was the largest lasting missionary expansion of the Church in history.  When both Rome and Constantinople fell into Monotheletism, it was Orthodox Jerusalem that held the fort. 
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« Reply #26 on: July 26, 2014, 03:03:12 AM »


And it did rally me...for a season. I feel like a bait and switch happened. The church I was promised through reading catholic apologists is not the church I experience. I may have waxed poetic in my intro post in the convert section, but dont let that spoil your impression of me. Im well aware of the complacency, hypocrisy, and luke-warmness in all christianity, and I am under no false pretension about Orthodoxy. I know it too has its stinkers.


At this very moment, Orthodox Christians are dying for the Faith delivered once for all.  They will not recant.  At this very moment, Orthodox parishes are housing their enemies to protect these enemies from their enemies in support of their life and personhood. 

That being said, you make it sound like the Roman Church was in support of the local language all along.  We know that throughout history, it was the Orthodox who were in support of this.  When the Latins and the Orthodox East were battling for Bulgaria, the Orthodox supported Liturgy in the language of the people, and the folks from Rome supported Latin.  Now today we seem to have a reversal in the "new" lands.  But let's not pretend that this situation is the norm in the whole of history.  The Orthodox have always been the ones to support the use of local language until our modern "diaspora" times.  The Roman Catholics, until Vatican II, are the ones who imposed the "foreign language" in the name of universality.  Until the 1960's, only Orthodox had it in the language of the people (Arabic in Syria and Lebanon, Romanian in Romania, Serbian in Serbia, etc.). 
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« Reply #27 on: July 26, 2014, 04:52:55 AM »

Quote
Romanian in Romania, Serbian in Serbia, etc.

A correction, if I may: The liturgical languages in both these nations was Church Slavonic for centuries. Romanian superseded Slavonic in the 19th century, and, IIRC, Serbian was allowed for liturgical use only in the 20th.
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« Reply #28 on: July 26, 2014, 09:03:41 AM »

The premise of the original post is interesting from a historic perspective. Prior to its 2nd Vatican Council, the Roman Catholic Church's services in its parishes throughout the world were conducted exclusively in Latin--the ecclesiastical language of its primatial universal see, precisely so because of the Church's universal nature---anywhere a Roman Catholic attended a Mass, he or she would experience it in the same language.

Before Vatican II, liturgical language was traditionally one of the differences between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. The Orthodox Church celebrates in the language of the people. The noted missionaries and emissaries of the Ecumenical Patriarch St. Photios the Great, Sts. Cyrill and Methodios, in their 9th century mission to the Slavic people of Moravia, translated the Divine Liturgy into their native Slavic language. The tradition of serving the Divine Services in the languages of the people continues today, i.e. Greek within much of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, except for its Carpatho-Russian, Russian, and Ukrainian eparchies; Arabic within the Patriarchate of Antioch; Church Slavonic within the Patriarchate of Moscow; Romanian within the Patriarchate of Romania; Greek within the Churches of Greece and Cyprus; the Patriarchate of Alexandria is adopting liturgical texts to native languages in its African missions; the Orthodox Church in America's Russian Orthodox Diocese of Alaska uses the native tongs of the native population of Alaska where Alaskan natives are the dominant faithful, the texts having been initially so translated in the 18th century by St. Innocent, Metropolitan of Moscow and Enlightener of Alaska; and the missions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in the Far East are largely utilizing native languages liturgically.

I would submit that the parish in Sydney is celebrating in the language preference of the faithful in Sydney, who most likely are Greek and Cypriot immigrants. As has been occurring in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America since the mid-1960's, as the church becomes more entrenched in its adopted land and immigrant influence is less dominant, the liturgical language has been migrating to English.
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« Reply #29 on: July 26, 2014, 09:14:05 AM »

True of the Roman Rite generally, not of the Catholic Church (for example, Byzantine Catholics using the Orthodox liturgical languages), but not always: I think Slovenia and Croatia had the Glagolitic version of the Roman Missal: same Mass but in Slavonic.
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« Reply #30 on: July 26, 2014, 09:37:37 AM »

"Peter, that leader of the choir, that Mouth of the rest of the Apostles, that Head of the brotherhood, that One set over the entire universe, that Foundation of the Church."
                                                                                               -John Chrysostom

I wonder what word was used to mean "universe" in the original of this quote.  Was it oecumene?  This word also had a political meaning and referred to the extent of the Roman Empire as the "civilized world."  Even in the Gospels we see language suggesting that Caesar sent out a decree that all the world should be taxed.  The word used there is oecumenen, I believe, which referred to the extent of the civilized world, that is, the Roman Empire.  And the See of Rome, where Peter was martyred, did have primacy of place in the Empire, because it was the capital -- this is set forth in the text of the ecumenical councils.
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« Reply #31 on: July 26, 2014, 10:10:38 AM »

The Church is catholic ontologically; it can't not be catholic. Being catholic is not an ideal for which the Church strives, or some sort of measuring stick to see which one is the "real" Church. It is catholic (whole, complete) because it has Christ as it's Head and is His Body.

As has been pointed out, it was completely and utterly catholic when it was a handful of people in the Upper Room. I can't be any other way.
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« Reply #32 on: July 26, 2014, 10:23:34 AM »

I have also been led to believe, as a Catholic, that the East was a bastion of heresy and strange doctrines from the early church til the schism, and Rome kept the faith unchanged.
A three-fold answer which I'll expand upon below. (1) Many heresies arose in the early Christian West also. (2) From the Medieval Postmodern period, which is arguably when the RC trajectory has become distinctively what it is today, heresies have arisen in the Christian West in numbers completely without parallel in the Christian East. (3) Heresies arose even in the apostles' midst; the argument is invalid from the start.

1. Just naming a few early heresies arising in the West from the top of my head, many of the early Gnostics were centered around Rome. Valentinius founded his first heretical school in Rome. The heretic Marcion taught in Rome. Novatian, founder of Novatians was a Roman priest who became an early antipope. Sabellius lived in Rome, as I believe did also his followers Praxeus and Noetus. Donatism is from Augustine's region in the Roman province of West Africa. The Roman Catholic pope Honorius was a heretic condemned by both an Ecumenical Council and subsequent Roman Catholic popes. Pelagianism was centered in Gaul, Britain, and Ireland.

2. According to ancient usage "heresy" (lit. opinion, often in the NT trans. "faction") refers to the following of individual opinion as opposed to the mind of the Church. This is what happened in the West to a degree it never did in the East with, by one recent Protestant calculation (by Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary) over 45,000 denominations in the West since the Reformation. Since the East never experienced anything remotely comparable to this kind of fragmentation, and hasn't produced much in the way of new heresies for centuries, singling the East in the way Triumphalist Apologetics often does seems an instance of the pot calling the kettle black (not to mention underplaying early heresies that emerged in the West) Many cults have emerged from these trajectories. It does not seem unfair to mention I know of no Orthodox Christians who sacrifice chickens and practice voodoo though there are tens of thousands of practitioners of the Roman Catholic/African religion of Santeria in North and South America. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santer%C3%ADa

3. But lest we suppose the emergence of heresy from or within a traectory comporomises its "consistency" per se let us also not forget that many heresies emerged from the communities and regions established by the apostles themselves in the first century, e.g. Docetism, the Galatian heresy, the heresies mentioned by other books of Paul, the book of Acts, James, Jude, Peter, Revelation, and so on. Just because heresies came from their communities does not mean the Christianity which emerged there was iteslf inconsistent. Just because a region was lost for a time does not mean that either. Paul lamented that he had lost the whole of Asia to heretics: "You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes." -2 Tim 1:15

Can you Orthodox rebuttal this quote from a Catholic answers online tract please.

"I was running up against the rather obvious fact that Orthodoxy is, well, not exactly catholic. It lacks the cultural universality and openness, the capacity to provide a true and welcoming home for all the world’s tribes and nations, that is in fact one of the four marks of the true Church: one, holy, catholic, and apostolic.  Every word of the liturgies I attended in Sydney—including the Scripture readings and preaching—was in Greek

Hmm... It is not hard at all in English-speaking countries to find a parish where English is used.

As to the word 'Catholic' I would simply say it depends upon what one means by catholic, and that I can respect those who answer in a different manner than I will in good conscience according to their own faith and tradition, and I hope others can find it in their hearts to reciprocate even if disagreeing.

We are faced with two types of usage: the early patristic and etymological usage as wholeness, fullness, completeness [compare the Heb. word shalom/peace often with the meaning of wholeness] and the later historical usage with geographical emphasis, which has also come into common use in modern languages. Roman Catholics emphasize the latter; Orthodox often emphasize the former

The Greek word, καθόλου (katholou) is a composite of two other Greek words:
κατά meaning "according to," and
όλος meaning "whole."

Jordan Bajis's Common Ground contains a good discussion:
Quote from: Jordan Bajis
"The ancient Church understood catholicity to mean wholeness, fullness, integrity, and totality. This is the primary meaning of the Greek word katholou (καθόλου), catholic. Another popular misunderstanding of the word catholic is 'universal,'[1] as in 'the church which exists throughout the world. This was not at all the early Christian understanding of the word. The Church of the first centuries used the word catholic as a synonym for the fullness of Truth, not as a geographical description. For example, Ignatius of Antioch, 35-107 (the first Christian father to use the term in reference to the Church) states that the Church is catholic because in her assembly, the faithful welcome the presence of Christ in all His Truth. The idea of a universal Church as being constituted by all "churches" throughout the world, never occurred to Ignatius... Actually it was not until the 5th century  -and then only in the West- that catholicity began to take on a geographical emphasis.
For centuries 'catholicity' never implied the sum total of all individual local churches, but was a reference to the Church's inner being. Catholicity is a matter of the Church's inward unity in wholeness, not her outward administrative structure throughout the world...  If the Church is catholic in her very being, and not because of her existence as a world-wide structure, then it follows that the unity of the Church is realized through a shared Faith and a shared life, not just an shared administration.[2] The early Church did not believe that her doctrine was catholic because she existed everywhere, but because the very nature of Truth is catholic. Her unity was based on Truth, not on form or politics. The Church was one by virtue of her possessing the one, identical, and whole Faith of the Church, not because each Local Church submitted to a central bureaucratic structure" (Jordan Bajis, Common Ground, pp. 160f). [such central bureacratic structure would be an historical anachronism for the earliest centuries of the Church in any case despite amateur apologetic arguments to the contrary].
_______
[1]"In the West, it [the word Catholic] was generally understood as 'universal.' However if this was the meaning of the word, it is not quite clear... why the early Latin translators of the creeds [like the Nicene where it reads 'one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church'] kept in the text the Greek form catholica ecclesia instead of using universalis... The reason for this phenomenon is that the various translators were aware of the difficulty of translating katholike by a single word in any language. If katholikos is ever to be translated by 'universal' it still does not have a geographical but a philosophical connotation [where it would mean 'all inclusive']. As applied to the Church, 'catholic' first of all implies the idea of fullness; etymologically it derives from the adverb kathelon, 'on the whole,' opposed to kata meros, 'partially'" (John Meyerendorff, "The Orthodox Concept of the Church," St. Vladimir's Quarterly, Vol 6, No 2, p. 61).
[2]"The idea of the visible Church and its unity has been prominent in the East since the time of Victor of Rome (AD 190) when, having attempted to excommunicate the Churches of Asia for keeping Easter after their own reckoning, he was reproved by Irenaeus for introducing into the Church the idea that a rigid uniformity, rather than a common faith, was the bond of union. In the West, however, Cyprian's conception of the Church was dominant. Although he regarded the church as a spiritual entity, he approached it with a practical and legalistic attitude, 'owing much in analogies borrowed from Roman Law and conditioned by the problems created by the Novationist schism'" (Methodios Fouyas, Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, and Anglicanism (Oxford University Press, 1972), 117, citing J. N. D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines, p. 294).

If one as an Orthodox Christian affirms Orthodoxy truly contains the "fullness" of the faith, they are essentially claiming Orthodoxy is the true "catholic" faith (or fullness of the faith, same meaning). Roman Catholics will disagree, but I think a fair-minded Roman Catholic can at least give a nod to the idea that Orthodox Christians who affirm that are simply being true to their/our claim to the fullness of the faith (being true to their conscience). If we did not affirm that, we would not be Orthodox. In that sense, at least, we would not say that Roman Catholicism is the fullness of the faith (else we would probably not be Orthodox, but Roman Catholic).

No insult is intended to my/our Roman Catholic friends who disagree! As an Orthodox Christian I affirm Orthodoxy  the fullness (catholicity) of Christianity, and do not think of Roman Catholicism as possessing catholicity in the classical patristic and etymological sense of the word catholic. But I don't hesitate to use the appellation Roman Catholic for historical reasons and just plain to get along, though I also sometimes also use the term Latin Catholic (not in reference to rites etc., but in the literal geographical sense of Latium, i.e. Rome), again, never with disrespect intended.
[/quote]
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« Reply #33 on: July 26, 2014, 10:38:09 AM »

Or until after the 60's when everyone could understand the Mass.

Off-topic, perhaps, but I actually suspect RC's understood the Mass much better when it was not in the vernacular.  Vernacular alone doesn't guarantee "understanding".  

I Like your " N ".
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« Reply #34 on: July 26, 2014, 10:47:33 AM »

Why then does it seem like the Orthodox were not as aggressive in their missionary efforts.It seems like the "great commission" was undertaken more seriously by the west. I have also been led to believe, as a Catholic, that the East was a bastion of heresy and strange doctrines from the early church til the schism, and Rome kept the faith unchanged. I have also read (in The Triumph by H. W. Crocker III) that the East constantly appealed to Rome to correct heretical teaching. are there any good resources online where I can read Orthodox affirming proof texts and arguments from an authoritative standpoint?

The Orthodox were under Islamic, Crusader and Communist (and Fascist) occupation. Can't really go around the world fulfilling the great commission when you're landlocked. The only reason the West "undertook" the great commission so greatly, was because they had imperial power and swords behind them. The Americas, Africa and Vietnam were all imperialized.

The East did have many heresies, and Rome did keep the faith pure. However, that doesn't mean that times cannot change.

Pope Honorius was brought up, Pope Vigilius and Liberius were Arian and Monothelite sympathizers.
Honorius always gets explained away when I bring him up. I cant even remember the excuse or explanation that catholic apologists give? Anybody know how the catholic church handles that one?
Well there are two ways, the normal way and the sedevacantism justifying way.
The normal way: Pope Honorius never defined that monothelitism was the doctrine to be held by all the faithful; what he did was to ban writing the correct and incorrect doctrines and therefore he was condemned for not defending the Faith. Since he never solemnly defined incorrect doctrine papal infallibility was not compromised.
The sedevacantism justifying way: We admit that Honorius was a heretic. However heretics are not part of the Church, therefore Honorius was not actually Pope when he wrote those letters, the see was vacant, and papal infallibility was not compromised in any way...just like Vigilius, Liberius, and the last 5 at least "antipopes".  Wink
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« Reply #35 on: July 26, 2014, 12:36:04 PM »

Or until after the 60's when everyone could understand the Mass.

Off-topic, perhaps, but I actually suspect RC's understood the Mass much better when it was not in the vernacular.  Vernacular alone doesn't guarantee "understanding".  

I Like your " N ".

Holy Orthodoxy is : One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic........End of story.....back to standby mode.
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« Reply #36 on: July 26, 2014, 12:36:19 PM »

I have gotten that reply regarding heretical popes from Tim Staples. He sent me a whole 3 hour cd set on the papacy and in it, he explains that Honorius never infallibly defined his aberrant doctrine, therefore the orthodox argument in moot. He went on to explain how a pope can hold heretical views, as long as nothing is taught "from the chair". Thanks again everyone for the transparent answers. I have learned more in 3 days here than I have in 3 years at Catholic answers forum.(no offense to CAF)
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« Reply #37 on: July 26, 2014, 01:25:49 PM »

Tim Staples... sent me a whole 3 hour cd set on the papacy and in it, he explains that Honorius never infallibly defined his aberrant doctrine... as long as nothing is taught "from the chair".
It seems to me at best historically anachronistic to posit criteriological one way or the other for Honorius' day a concept like papal infallibility that no person in history had yet even thought of or would think of for centuries as admitted by all major academic historians including one Roman Catholic Cardinal. The whole notion of papal infallibility is an historical anachronism for the first millennium.

Even in Roman Catholic historiography one does not find papal infallibility dogmatically declared until 1870; prior to that date we, rather, have opposition to the notion of papal infallibility by earlier popes. With Vatican I those denying its truth are anathematized. It is not even a topic of discussion (or implied by any historical praxis) in the whole of the first millennium, as Roman Catholic Cardinal Yves Congar candidly admitted (Congar, an academic historian having been a specialist in this area) -not even the "germ" of what developed into the idea(!) existed before the Middle Ages (AD 1200's) according to Congar.

Roman Catholic Fr. Hans Kung (note: dissenting, but from an purely historical perspective on this point) observes:
"Historical research, notably that of Yves Congar, has shown that down to the twelfth century, outside Rome, the significance of the Roman church was not understood as a real teaching authority in the legal sense (magisterium)... No one in the whole of the first millennium regarded decisions of the pope as infallible. But historical research has also shown that the popes, particularly from the fifth century on, decisively extended their power with explicit forgeries. The freely invented legend of the holy Pope Silvester comes from the fifth/sixth centuries. In the eighth century it led to a highly influential forgery, the Donation of Constantine (shown to be a forgery in the fifteenth century), according to which Constantine left Rome and the Western half of the empire to Pope Silvester, allowed him the imperial insignia and garments (purple) and a court to match; and bestowed on him the primacy over all other churches, especially Antioch, Alexandria, Constantinople, and Jerusalem. In fact Constantine had left him only the Lateran palace and the new basilicas of the Lateran and St. Peter's" Fr. Hans Kung, The Catholic Church: A Short History (2001), pp. 60-61.

Brian Tierney, Origins of Papal Infallibility, 1150-1350: A Study on the Concepts of Infallibility, Sovereignty and Tradition in the Middle Ages, affirms "There is no convincing evidence that papal infallibility formed any part of the theological or canonical tradition of the church before the thirteenth century; the doctrine was invented in the first place by a few dissident Franciscans because it suited their convenience to invent it; eventually, but only after much initial reluctance, it was accepted by the papacy because it suited the convenience of the popes to accept it" (p. 281).

cf. also Bernhard Hasler, (Roman Catholic priest) How the Pope Became Infallible: Pius IX and the Politics of Persuasion (1981).

Vatican I had insisted it was a part of the faith of the Latin church from the beginning. The adamant denial that this is so by academic historians including Roman Catholic academics is sometimes explained theologically with reference to the paradigm of development defended by Cardinal John Henry Newman (cf. Hegelian dialectic) which became a prominent factor in Vatican II according to Pope John Paul who called it "Newman's Council." Arguments to the contrary notwithstanding it seems reasonable to suggest -if there is no trace of papal infallibility for a thousand years as many scholars argue- that the Latin church is susceptible to the same criticism Cardinal Newman in his Development of Christian Doctrine used to counter Protestantism:

"...this utter incongruity between Protestantism and historical Christianity is a plain fact, whether the latter be regarded in its earlier or in its later centuries. Protestants can as little bear its Ante-nicene as its Post-tridentine period. I have elsewhere observed on this circumstance: "So much must the Protestant grant that, if such a system of doctrine as he would now introduce ever existed in early times, it has been clean swept away as if by a deluge, suddenly, silently, and without memorial; by a deluge coming in a night, and utterly soaking, rotting, heaving up, and hurrying off every vestige of what it found in the Church, before cock-crowing: so that 'when they rose in the morning' her true seed 'were all dead corpses'—Nay dead and buried—and without grave-stone. 'The waters went over them; there was not one of them left; they sunk like lead in the mighty waters.' Strange antitype, indeed, to the early fortunes of Israel!—then the enemy was drowned, and 'Israel saw them dead upon the sea-shore.' But now, it would seem, water proceeded as a flood 'out of the serpent's mouth, and covered all the witnesses, so that not even their dead bodies lay in the streets of the great city.' Let him take which of his doctrines he will,... and let him consider how far Antiquity, as it has come down to us, will countenance him in it. No; he must allow that the alleged deluge has done its work; yes, and has in turn disappeared itself; it has been swallowed up by the earth, mercilessly as itself was merciless."



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« Reply #38 on: July 26, 2014, 01:31:03 PM »

Quote
Romanian in Romania, Serbian in Serbia, etc.

A correction, if I may: The liturgical languages in both these nations was Church Slavonic for centuries. Romanian superseded Slavonic in the 19th century, and, IIRC, Serbian was allowed for liturgical use only in the 20th.

Right, Serbia still uses it mixed with Slavonic.  That is not really a correction though, since my statement:
Quote
Until the 1960's, only Orthodox had it in the language of the people (Arabic in Syria and Lebanon, Romanian in Romania, Serbian in Serbia, etc.)
remains true exactly as worded.  For something to be a correction, there had to be some error in what was stated.

Romanian superseded Slavonic long before the 19th century.  Romanian liturgical texts, however, were already in use from 1663 onward, with the book of the Gospels and Apostles well circulated (and a partial Prophetologion), with the prophecies read in Slavonic where they didn't have Romanian (until 1688 when the Old Testament was fully available in Romanian).  Slavonic liturgical texts were not even made available by the Romanian Church after 1736, the last Slavonic publication from Wallachia.  In 1863, however, the Romanian Church went one step further mandating that only Romanian was to be used.    
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« Reply #39 on: July 26, 2014, 01:48:07 PM »

Why then does it seem like the Orthodox were not as aggressive in their missionary efforts.It seems like the "great commission" was undertaken more seriously by the west. I have also been led to believe, as a Catholic, that the East was a bastion of heresy and strange doctrines from the early church til the schism, and Rome kept the faith unchanged. I have also read (in The Triumph by H. W. Crocker III) that the East constantly appealed to Rome to correct heretical teaching. are there any good resources online where I can read Orthodox affirming proof texts and arguments from an authoritative standpoint?

"It seems..."  Not really.  The East beat the West to the punch in Bulgaria (a disputed territory), in Rus (which chose the East specifically), and many other European territories.  Rus' was the largest lasting missionary expansion of the Church in history.  When both Rome and Constantinople fell into Monotheletism, it was Orthodox Jerusalem that held the fort.  

Well... no. Even though St. Sophronius championed orthodoxy in Jerusalem during the early stages of the mothelitism, even Jerusalem eventually fell to monothelitism. The Roman Synod explicitly rejected monothelitism as a heresy. It was the only one of the 5 patriarchates whose official position was orthodox.
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« Reply #40 on: July 26, 2014, 02:04:48 PM »

The thesis that Eastern Orthodoxy is the true religion was turning out to bear the practical corollary that, to share fully and fruitfully in the life of the Body of Christ, one would almost have to become a Greek.
One can only wonder how a triumphalist apologetic that no "true religion" would ever be slow to implement the local vernacular (even eg. in a local parish initially established for immigrants in a foreign country who don't yet know the local language) understand historical instances of not only Roman Catholic slowness, but direct opposition to Liturgy in the vernacular during periods when Orthodoxy championed it.[1]

_____________
[1]Here is one instructive example, of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, from Bishop Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Church (full text online):

"One cannot overestimate the significance, for the future of Orthodoxy, of the Slavonic translations which Cyril and Methodius carried with them as they left Byzantium for the unknown north. Few events have been so important in the missionary history of the Church. From the start the Slav Christians enjoyed a precious privilege, such as none of the peoples of western Europe shared at this time: they heard the Gospel and the services of the Church in a tongue which they could understand. Unlike the Church of Rome in the west with its insistence on Latin, the Orthodox Church has never been rigid in the matter of languages; its normal policy is to hold services in the language of the people.

"In Moravia, as in Bulgaria, the Greek mission soon clashed with German missionaries at work in the same area. The two missions not only depended on different Patriarchates, but worked on different principles. Cyril and Methodius used Slavonic in their services, the Germans Latin; Cyril and Methodius recited the Creed in its original form, the Germans inserted the filioque. To free his mission from German interference, Cyril decided to place it under the immediate protection of the Pope. Cyril’s action in appealing to Rome shows that he did not take the quarrel between Photius and Nicholas too seriously; for him east and west were still united as one Church, and it was not a matter of primary importance whether he depended on Constantinople or Rome, so long as he could continue to use Slavonic in Church services. The brothers traveled to Rome in person in 868 and were entirely successful in the appeal. Hadrian II, Nicholas I’s successor at Rome, received them favorably and gave full support to the Greek mission, confirming the use of Slavonic as the liturgical language of Moravia. He approved the brothers’ translations, and laid copies of their Slavonic service books on the altars of the principal churches in the city.

"Cyril died at Rome (869), but Methodius returned to Moravia. Sad to say, the Germans ignored the Pope’s decision and obstructed Methodius in every possible way, even putting him in prison for more than a year. When Methodius died in 885, the Germans expelled his followers from the country, selling a number of them into slavery. Traces of the Slavonic mission lingered on in Moravia for two centuries more, but were eventually eradicated; and Christianity in its western form, with Latin culture and the Latin language (and of course the filioque), became universal. The attempt to found a Slavonic national Church in Moravia came to nothing. The work of Cyril and Methodius, so it seemed, had ended in failure.

"Yet in fact this was not so. Other countries, where the brothers had not themselves preached, benefited from their work, most notably Bulgaria, Serbia, and Russia. Boris, Khan of Bulgaria, as we have seen, wavered for a time between east and west, but finally accepted the jurisdiction of Constantinople. The Byzantine missionaries in Bulgaria, however, lacking the vision of Cyril and Methodius, at first used Greek in Church services, a language as unintelligible as Latin to the ordinary Bulgar. But after their expulsion from Moravia, the disciples of Methodius turned naturally to Bulgaria, and here introduced the principles employed in the Moravian mission. Greek was replaced by Slavonic, and the Christian culture of Byzantium was presented to the Bulgars in a Slavonic form which they could assimilate. The Bulgarian Church grew rapidly. Around 926, during the reign of Tsar Symeon the Great (reigned 893-927), an independent Bulgarian Patriarchate was created, and this was recognized by the Patriarchate of Constantinople in 927. The dream of Boris — an autocephalous Church of his own — became a reality within half a century of his death. Bulgaria was the first national Church of the Slavs.

"Byzantine missionaries went likewise to Serbia, which accepted Christianity in the second half of the ninth century, around 867-874. Serbia also lay on the dividing line between eastern and western Christendom, but after a period of uncertainty it followed the example of Bulgaria, not of Moravia, and came under Constantinople. Here too the Slavonic service books were introduced and a Slavonic-Byzantine culture grew up. The Serbian Church gained a partial independence under Saint Sava (1176-1235), the greatest of Serbian national saints, who in 1219 was consecrated at Nicaea as Archbishop of Serbia. In 1346 a Serbian Patriarchate was created, which was recognized by the Church of Constantinople in 1375.

"The conversion of Russia was also due indirectly to the work of Cyril and Methodius; but of this we shall speak further in the next section. With Bulgars, Serbs, and Russians as their "spiritual children," the two Greeks from Thessalonica abundantly deserve their title, "Apostles of the Slavs."

http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/history_timothy_ware_1.htm


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« Reply #41 on: July 26, 2014, 03:01:44 PM »

Why then does it seem like the Orthodox were not as aggressive in their missionary efforts.It seems like the "great commission" was undertaken more seriously by the west. I have also been led to believe, as a Catholic, that the East was a bastion of heresy and strange doctrines from the early church til the schism, and Rome kept the faith unchanged. I have also read (in The Triumph by H. W. Crocker III) that the East constantly appealed to Rome to correct heretical teaching. are there any good resources online where I can read Orthodox affirming proof texts and arguments from an authoritative standpoint?

"It seems..."  Not really.  The East beat the West to the punch in Bulgaria (a disputed territory), in Rus (which chose the East specifically), and many other European territories.  Rus' was the largest lasting missionary expansion of the Church in history.  When both Rome and Constantinople fell into Monotheletism, it was Orthodox Jerusalem that held the fort.  

Well... no. Even though St. Sophronius championed orthodoxy in Jerusalem during the early stages of the mothelitism, even Jerusalem eventually fell to monothelitism. The Roman Synod explicitly rejected monothelitism as a heresy. It was the only one of the 5 patriarchates whose official position was orthodox.

You cannot say "well...no" and then give a non sequitur .  I made the statement that "When both Rome and Constantinople fell into Monotheletism, it was Orthodox Jerusalem that held the fort."  So, I was speaking about that particular time period.  You then say "no," and then defend your "no" by talking about subsequent time periods.  The Roman Synod id not explicitly reject monotheletism at the time of Honorius, and the deacon Gaios was sent by Honorius and the Roman Synod to Cyprus in 634 to defend the monotheletic position.  It would be like me saying "when the Apostles were alive they had a council in Jerusalem," and you replying "no, there was no council in the year 167 in Jerusalem."  The latter, even if true, is not a refutation of the former.   
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« Reply #42 on: July 26, 2014, 03:10:38 PM »

so its safe to say that all the information I received from several different catholic apologists regarding uninterrupted orthodoxy from Rome, and countless amounts of heterodoxy from the "other" lungs is incorrect? How can there be so much certainty proposed from the Latin side when it appears that there is evidence to the contrary? Its even starting to make me question christianity in general, as everyone has a different opinion regarding the "truth" of history, and there is so much confusion and division.
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« Reply #43 on: July 26, 2014, 03:20:12 PM »

Why then does it seem like the Orthodox were not as aggressive in their missionary efforts.It seems like the "great commission" was undertaken more seriously by the west. I have also been led to believe, as a Catholic, that the East was a bastion of heresy and strange doctrines from the early church til the schism, and Rome kept the faith unchanged. I have also read (in The Triumph by H. W. Crocker III) that the East constantly appealed to Rome to correct heretical teaching. are there any good resources online where I can read Orthodox affirming proof texts and arguments from an authoritative standpoint?

"It seems..."  Not really.  The East beat the West to the punch in Bulgaria (a disputed territory), in Rus (which chose the East specifically), and many other European territories.  Rus' was the largest lasting missionary expansion of the Church in history.  When both Rome and Constantinople fell into Monotheletism, it was Orthodox Jerusalem that held the fort.  

Well... no. Even though St. Sophronius championed orthodoxy in Jerusalem during the early stages of the mothelitism, even Jerusalem eventually fell to monothelitism. The Roman Synod explicitly rejected monothelitism as a heresy. It was the only one of the 5 patriarchates whose official position was orthodox.

You cannot say "well...no" and then give a non sequitur .  I made the statement that "When both Rome and Constantinople fell into Monotheletism, it was Orthodox Jerusalem that held the fort."  So, I was speaking about that particular time period.  You then say "no," and then defend your "no" by talking about subsequent time periods.  The Roman Synod id not explicitly reject monotheletism at the time of Honorius, and the deacon Gaios was sent by Honorius and the Roman Synod to Cyprus in 634 to defend the monotheletic position.  It would be like me saying "when the Apostles were alive they had a council in Jerusalem," and you replying "no, there was no council in the year 167 in Jerusalem."  The latter, even if true, is not a refutation of the former.  

But father, Rome never accepted monothelitism at any point and that's the point. Rome was never monothelite. The official position of the Roman Church had never been monothelite whereas all other patriarchates fell one by one to the heresy. Even Honorius himself was not a monothelite and his is the single strongest case (in reality, a weak case, once facts are examined) of Roman support of monothelitism. But his letter to sergius which portions exist contains doctrinal statements which undermine and sometimes outright refute monothelitism. Nevermind the defense of honorius by figures such as Pope John IV, Pope Agatho in his letter to the Coumcil which claimed no Pope had taught heresy as well as the testimony of Abbot John, scribe of Honorius . Who testified to the true meaning of what Honorius and himself meant when they wrote the letter and said Christ  had one will (One will in Christs humanity , which the context of the letter even reveals)
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« Reply #44 on: July 26, 2014, 03:32:13 PM »

Why then does it seem like the Orthodox were not as aggressive in their missionary efforts.It seems like the "great commission" was undertaken more seriously by the west. I have also been led to believe, as a Catholic, that the East was a bastion of heresy and strange doctrines from the early church til the schism, and Rome kept the faith unchanged. I have also read (in The Triumph by H. W. Crocker III) that the East constantly appealed to Rome to correct heretical teaching. are there any good resources online where I can read Orthodox affirming proof texts and arguments from an authoritative standpoint?

The only reason there are more Roman Catholics than Orthodox is simply the fact that it was the state religion of the empires that settled the majority of the Americas and Africa.
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