Author Topic: Is the Roman Catholic church ever going to turn its altar tables back around?  (Read 38354 times)

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Offline Kizzy

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That is true but I don't think Kizzy would agree with you that because they separated themselves from the Church that their Mysteries became invalid.

Thanks Sabbas.  The Apostles clearly did not hand down any tradition for women... they ignored them in what they handed down, which was simply the culture of the time and not 'out of the ordinary'.   However, Scripture states that  in God's Kingdom there is no distinction between male or female...but the church never pulled this into it's structure.   Women had to do  it on their own...and if they were the first to offer 'liturgy' at their dinner table 'in hiding' from the Romans, then their mysteries were valid in the eyes of God.  In the end, it is always between oneself and God...

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Offline yBeayf

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But church tradition includes alot of things that are considered unacceptable today, such as slavery,

Which there is nothing intrinsically wrong with.

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we can still remember how the Taliban treated their women. This was their 'holy tradition'.

Actually, their "holy tradition" only dates back to certain Arabian scholars of about 400 years ago who are widely considered errant in their beliefs.

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if they were the first to offer 'liturgy' at their dinner table 'in hiding' from the Romans, then their mysteries were valid in the eyes of God.

But it has not yet been established that they did in fact offer up the Divine Liturgy at any point.

Offline Pravoslavbob

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Sorry, Kizzy, but your reasoning is very flawed and simplistic.  There is NO evidence that women were EVER priests in the Orthodox Church.  Please don't cite people like Elaine Pagels as an authority on this or any other subject.  She gets a lot of attention from the media, but she is not viewed by the vast majority of scholars as being anywhere near mainstream in her views, and does not seem to have credible evidence to back up her assertions. 

Your Pauline rationale that in the Kingdom of Heaven "there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female" is the basis for the reasoning used by Elizabeth Behr-Siegel and a TINY contingent of Orthodox scholars that women should be priests.  The fact is, most Orthodox schloars disagree with this line of thinking.  They believe that a sexual difference of some kind will persist into the next age, and that male and female differences form part of the innate nature of the person. 

It's true that there has been a lot of sexism, clericalism, and other wrong things throughout history.  This by itself does not mean that women should be priests.  Have you ever read what Deborah Belonick has written about the lot of women in the world today and the issue of female ordination?

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Offline Jakub

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Amazing, from altar tables to women & ordination. Only in American cyber space.

By the way, there is nothing within Vat II changing altars, communion rails etc, it was "someone's" innovation in 1969.

Google > The Mass of Vatican II, Rev. Joseph Fessio

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Offline emmanuelmelo

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Kizzy,

As a fellow Greek Orthodox Christian, I must say that I am surprised at your attitude towards women's ordination.  Women deacons were used in the early church to prepare females for baptism.  To say that the apostles "ignored" women is an insult to our holy faith.  These God-bearing men are the pinnacle of our Faith.  Perhaps you should read a more diverse backgrouned of literature- especially that of the holy fathers- before you make such rash statements.  Women are an indispensable part of the Church, but to simply create a role for women out of political correctness would be contrary to Orthodoxy.  You might want to check out statements from the Church of Greece, which has recently encouraged the revival of deaconesses- in accord with their historical role- that of catechists and those who assist with the social mission of the Church.

God Bless

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Offline Kizzy

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Sorry, Kizzy, but your reasoning is very flawed and simplistic. There is NO evidence that women were EVER priests in the Orthodox Church. Please don't cite people like Elaine Pagels as an authority on this or any other subject. She gets a lot of attention from the media, but she is not viewed by the vast majority of scholars as being anywhere near mainstream in her views, and does not seem to have credible evidence to back up her assertions.

Your Pauline rationale that in the Kingdom of Heaven "there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female" is the basis for the reasoning used by Elizabeth Behr-Siegel and a TINY contingent of Orthodox scholars that women should be priests. The fact is, most Orthodox schloars disagree with this line of thinking. They believe that a sexual difference of some kind will persist into the next age, and that male and female differences form part of the innate nature of the person.

It's true that there has been a lot of sexism, clericalism, and other wrong things throughout history. This by itself does not mean that women should be priests. Have you ever read what Deborah Belonick has written about the lot of women in the world today and the issue of female ordination?

Bob

Bob, I did not say they were priests in the Orthodox church - in fact I said the opposite. Nor did I say they should be priests in the OC.  They were not accepted as priests by the Orthodox Church - that point is clear.(Although it appears they were deacons.) That does not mean that they did not perform priestly duties which were simply unaccepted.. Eliz. Rogers is doing much of the research in the area, I believe more that Pagels. This is a challenge for the Orthodox scholar.. as Orthodox tend to focus exclusively on that 'within the church' rather than research and question what is the church practice, for the sake of understanding...However, thank you for mentioning Deborah Belonick.. She is one of the few Orthodox researcher/trailblazers on the topic. I note she is female...which seems to be a prerequisite for interest in the subject...


I have read some of her articles and interviews, from which this quote is taken: "When I began to study the history of women in the Church, I discovered the early Christian women were much more emancipated than women in our parishes today. In the face of cultural taboo, they became missionaries, evangelists, prophetesses, teachers, and counselors. I discovered the illustrious history of women in the diaconate. Because my Master of Divinity thesis at Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Seminary was a comparative study between feminist theology and traditional Orthodox theology, I was given several opportunities to speak to women's groups, both Orthodox and non-Orthodox. Amidst these groups, I heard harrowing tales of how these Christian women had been degraded in their own parishes, all in the name of Christianity. Some were denied reading the Scripture in church. Many were made to feel dirty because of their menstrual cycles. Many were denied positions on church councils or teaching positions. This is not Orthodox, and it shows an ignorance of our history.Do we know, for example, that Saint Gorgonia, sister of Saint Gregory, bishop of Nazianzus, once entered the altar area to be healed of a malignant disease? Holding fast to the altar table, she prayed and cried all night, proclaiming she would not loose her hold until she had been cured. And she was. All these "thou shalt nots" regarding women in the Orthodox Church are nothing but cultural or Pharisaical or Western influences. The feminist movement has at least interested us in excavating the truth about women in the Orthodox Church, and for that we should be grateful."

Excavating the truth about women... that is an interesting way to describe the task..and according to Matushka Belonick, more remains to be done here. Maybe someday women will be promoted to sextons and get to organize and clean behind the altar...

In XC, Kizzy

 
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Offline Kizzy

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Kizzy,

As a fellow Greek Orthodox Christian, I must say that I am surprised at your attitude towards women's ordination. Women deacons were used in the early church to prepare females for baptism. To say that the apostles "ignored" women is an insult to our holy faith. These God-bearing men are the pinnacle of our Faith. Perhaps you should read a more diverse backgrouned of literature- especially that of the holy fathers- before you make such rash statements. Women are an indispensable part of the Church, but to simply create a role for women out of political correctness would be contrary to Orthodoxy. You might want to check out statements from the Church of Greece, which has recently encouraged the revival of deaconesses- in accord with their historical role- that of catechists and those who assist with the social mission of the Church.

God Bless

Emmanuel

Manny, It's amazing that some readers took a  big leap from  a statement on history to  an assumption of my personal belief on ordination...one thing has nothing to do with the other.  I recognize women  had a role in the early church, recognize the societal norms of the time, but also  recognize the tradition for the priesthood as Orthodox.     I have also  read scripture and writings of the Holy Fathers... and it is the attitude toward women expressed  in  the writing that is  concerning, not what is stated. Saying that women were 'ignored' is not intended as an insult, but a recognition of what the norm of the age was.     Both men and women were a pinnacles of our Faith. Wealthy women financed efforts of the disciples to spread the faith...this is not often spoken of. And women started the practice of linking the church with orphanages and the needy.    But the statements on women, as expressed in scripture and canon,  have been misconstrued over the years to create a very negative attitude within some parishes today towards women in many of the other roles in the church - from reading Scripture to Parish council ... see the quote from Matushka Belonick in my other post on this thread. It explains  that  this attitude is 'non-Orthodox'... So why does this attitude and misunderstanding exist? From the attitude used in statements about women in the scripture...

In XC, Kizzy
   
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Besides the topic of priestesses which is an unfortunate heretical fantasy of some ultra-feminist historical revisionists, which I will hold my tongue from saying anything further, I must say something about the term "female deacons".

Deaconesses were not female deacons, they did have a catechetical role for the women catechumens housed on church property and had a role in holding up a sheet (for modesty's sake in not having the priest see here unclothed since all were Baptized naked back then) and assisting to make sure the woman was completely submerged 3 times at Baptism. When we misuse terms like "female deacons" we only give the ultra-feminist historical revisionists more straws to grasp at. So, please, can we use the term deaconess, which while not a "female deacon" was a very important role for single or widowed women of character over 40 in the early Church.
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Offline Kizzy

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Which there is nothing intrinsically wrong with.



Actually, their "holy tradition" only dates back to certain Arabian scholars of about 400 years ago who are widely considered errant in their beliefs.



But it has not yet been established that they did in fact offer up the Divine Liturgy at any point.

if you think there is nothing wrong with slavery, think again.. Only God owns people..one cannot serve a master to do however he wishes and serve God... The essence of slavery is complete giving up of all personal choice to that of the master.  And while you may think the Taliban were following scholars 'errant' in their beliefs, they didn't think so. They thought they were orthodox muslims.     As to women offering D.L. it depends on what you mean... in an Orthodox church, they did not, in their home, before the churches were built and the church clergy financed and 'free', they did... it was after all their kitchen, and they had responsibility for the bread and wine.  So if you lived back then, you would have been without 'the Gifts', unless you took them in secret at  a home at the dinner table,  where women were in charge.  Remember Orthodoxy doesn't claim it represents all of Christianity in the early Church... some of what was practiced it did not accept.. and that is a point to be recognized.

In XC, Kizzy

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Offline Kizzy

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An excellent article by Matushka Belonick from Jacob's Well on the difference between Tradition and Traditionalism.

http://www.jacwell.org/Spring_Summer%2099/belonick.htm

Kizzy
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Offline prodromos

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As to women offering D.L. it depends on what you mean... in an Orthodox church, they did not, in their home, before the churches were built and the church clergy financed and 'free', they did... it was after all their kitchen, and they had responsibility for the bread and wine.


I've yet to see any evidence supporting this claim Kizzy. Providing the bread and wine is a far cry from consecrating the bread and wine. I would be extremelyy surprised to learn that families were having private divine liturgies in their homes. Everything I've read regarding the times of persecution seems to state the opposite, that the believers always celebrated Divine Liturgy as a body.

BTW, it is a fact that most of the bread and wine used for the Eucharist in the Orthodox church is still provided by the women of the church.

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Offline Augustine

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Sabbas,

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I was not aware that there were Catholic priest with beards before Vatican II. Still I am almost positive I was told that up to the twentieth century there were canons against RC priests having facial hair and that these canons were strictly enforced.

I'm not sure what the state of "the rules" is now (since the RCC re-did it's entire canon law schemata in 1983), but I know previously (at least in the Latin rite) Priests were required to shave.  The only exceptions I'm aware of were certain religious congregations, and missionary priests - for whatever reasons (I believe part of it had to do with the fact many cultures esteem men with beards more), they were allowed to grow beards.  For example, I've seen photos of bishops, priests, etc. with beards in Africa back in the day.

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To my knowledge clergy were required to shave because of the issue of cleanliness but I am not sure. I am also unsure how closely these canons were followed throughout history. There were Popes who had beards during the Counter-Reformation but as far as I know the norm in the West by the 9th century was for clergy to be without facial hair and the majority of popes that I have seen pictures of were without facial hair.

I don't know what the origin of the clean-shaven thing was, but I suspect it had something to do with the "neo-classicism" (so to speak) of the Franks, who were fond of anything classically Roman (as in pre-Christian, pagan Roman).  That's just a guess.


Offline Augustine

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Kizzy,

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  But church tradition includes alot of things that are considered unacceptable today, such as slavery, and ill treatment of women- Slavery is still a practice in some cultures and so is ill treatment of women  (In some cultures genital mutilation is still a practice- and Orthodoxy might find a hard way to teach against it with the subservient role women have via Holy tradition. and we can still remember how the Taliban treated their women. This was their 'holy tradition'.)

You're mixing up all sorts of things here, and confusing matters.

First, I was unaware that there was a "Church Tradition" of keeping slaves.  What there was though, was a tolerance of such - in cultures where slaves were kept, the Church only insisted that they be treated properly.   The idea that owning slaves is inherently immoral is an outgrowth of modern humanism - it's actually a difficult idea to defend on the basis of the Scriptures, or even reason.

What the Taliban or what have you do to women, is frankly, irreleven to the discussion of Christianity.  Also, I think you're really stretching to confound the abuse of women with denying they have access to every sort of vocation in life.  That a woman cannot be made a Hierarch or a Presbyter who ministers in the Altar, is no more an injustice than the fact that I cannot give birth.

As an aside, I think something else needs to be said about historical hardships endured by women.  Did they exist?  Of course, of course they did.  But what the politicized debates on these topics forget (and it is made worse by other delusions often inherent to such debates - such as rabid egalitarianism, or the implicit denial of gender by denying the real differences between the sexes), is that historically life was rought for everyone, or at least almost everyone, save the men and women who often sat at the top of the "food chain" in any given societal context.  Life has often been cruel and short, in many a pagan land (and depending on the times, even in many Christian ones.)  I think it'd be hard to insist that women historically were the only ones being dumped on, when you consider who it was who got stuck in the mines, pushed into fighting wars (often of no interest to themselves, but only to their rulers who typically behaved like ceremonially glorified gangsters), etc.

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So the 'tradition' answer is a bit of a weak response in this day and age  because in puts the Orthodox church on a level with other such 'traditions', rather than elevating it, as it should be.

Umm...I don't see the parity between the traditions of the Theandric Body of Christ and those of heretics, infidels, and pagans.

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When we consider that in history women were either pregnant, giving birth, post partum, hemmoraghing, lactating, or dying from any of these- all the time, no wonder they had the treatment they did throughout history in all cultures...  It was  in the early church, before the hierarchy became well established and 'public' via Constantine I, that women lead the services  in the home- which was their exclusive domain.   If one looks at iconography in the early days, one will see Christ depicted as a 'peer' common folk, and not as a King on a throne as in the days of Constantine I.

This is just nonsense.  Did St.Constantine write the Bible too?  Because in there, it's quite clear that Christ, as God-Man is now seated in glory.

There is absolutely no history of Orthodox female Hierarchs or Presbyters.  We keep hearing about this, yet all we seem to get are ambiguous references to presbyteras (which btw., still exist - just go to a Greek Church, as for "Presbytera", and someone will bring you to the Priest's wife!), and not once to a Hierarch (Bishop - Episkopos - Overseer).

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To write in canons  that women could not be clergy is indication that it was an issue to be addressed.  So the home remained their domain... and the men were recognized in the church.

Where on earth are you getting this stuff?

The fact is, heretics do and say lots of things - they also had wild orgies, called the "God of the Old Testament" a demon and a "lesser god", possibly practiced cannibalism, etc. etc.  I don't see how an honest, moderatly informed person can fail to understand this, and see that it ultimatly doesn't have any bearing on normative, Orthodox Christianity.

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We need  to recognize that men have been playing 'game sealed' in all aspects of life and religion and justifying it with the word 'tradition'.  The Disciples and Church Fathers were not immune to this culture- they were after all, still human and male and the Orthodox Church has that within it.  However, we know that S. MMag. and the Theotokos are hard to 'dispute' in terms of their role.. but one is hard pressed to find much on either of them written in the Holy Bible...but what little their is, is highly significant.

Actually we know quite abit about both the Theotokos and St.Mary Magdalene.  Yes, a lot of it is not from the Scriptures - but then again, we don't know much about the lives of any of the Holy Apostles, early Hierarchs, Holy Martyrs, etc. from the pages of Scripture either!  The only account of martyrdom that we in fact have of any of the Apostles is that of St.James in the book of Acts, and a prophetic allusion to that of St.Peter.

And guess what - in all of this, not a word about either being a Priest!  If the Priesthood were about worthiness, either would qualify - St.Mary Magdalene was a Saint, and the Mother of God is more exalted than even the Seraphim and Cherubim.

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The Apostles clearly did not hand down any tradition for women... they ignored them in what they handed down, which was simply the culture of the time and not 'out of the ordinary'.

When people say things like this, it indicates to me a total lack of comprehension of just who the Apostles were, and what the source of their knowledge was.  The same goes for those who throw scorn upon the authority of the Saints, in particular the Fathers, when their sayings contradict the conventional wisdom of the practical atheists who we can thank for the "modern west" and it's many phillosphical/moral assumptions.

I don't mean by "lack of comprehension" a kind of "how dare you?!" horror, because the Apostles knew Christ personally, having walked with Him and witnessed His miracles and His Ressurection, etc.  Rather, I mean by this, their spiritual insight - the fact they, and all Saints (and certainly all of the genuine Fathers of the Church, which we recognize as such, were Saints) have a purged and cleansed spiritual vision, which thus gives them confirmation and knowledge of such things.  This is not to say that there is no kind of ignorance in Saints, or that they don't express things in different words, or that they were always Saints (they weren't born that way!), etc. etc.  But to just simply dismiss the towering fact that in none of them (including the female ones!) will you find evidence of "Priestesses", or any pining for women to be admitted into the Altar as sacrificing Priests, demonstrates an astounding lack of understanding about Orthodox Christianity, period, let alone this particular topic.  Theology is not a game of philosophers (heterodox misunderstanding of it) or a sport for the clever, but is ultimatly the articulation of personal revelation, tested against that which has come before that.  The real theologians, are ones who speak of God and holy things out of the fullness of their experience (once again, measured against what was taught beforehand, in all places, in all tmes).  What westerners (and many of us today in Orthodox Christianity) understand to be "theology" is at best, the pious repetition by lesser men of what real God-bearers knew for a fact (which is what academic theology ought to be), at worst, the philosophical/innovationist enterprise which occupies all manner of "Christian" modernists, ecumenists, revisionists, etc.

If one will not take the Holy Fathers (and Mothers!) of the Church seriously, but dismiss them as slaves of culture (which is odd, since we know them as Saints precisely because we believe they overcame the world, and were slaves to none save Christ), then frankly I don't know who is worth listening to, ever.  That includes fallen heterodox nuns with obvious agendas, or other "scholars" who I cannot fathom being any less "victims of cultural indoctrination", particularly given the fact they are manifestly not God-bearing Saints.

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However, Scripture states that  in God's Kingdom there is no distinction between male or female...but the church never pulled this into it's structure.

St.Paul also said there was neither free man nor slave...yet he recognized the rights of masters over their servants, even commanding a runaway slave to return to his master.  The point?  Sanctity is an equal opportunity venture - in the world to come there will be ruddy poor children who were fed to lions for Christ's sake, who will be "closer to the Throne" than pious Christian Emperors who died contrite and in the grace of God.  Indeed, we're told explicitly that the "pillars" of the Heavenly city, will be twelve poor Jews, who for the most part were probably void of formal education and worldly status.

Yet, the reality is that in this world, not only due to the opression of sin, but also because of the economy/arrangement of things according to God's design there exists not only an order of things, but real inequalities.  Commoners may not resist their Sovereigns willy nilly, children must obey their parents, wives must obey their husbands, husbands must be able to provide for their families (or die trying) and cherish their wives as Christ does His Church, etc. etc.  All sorts of inequalities, all sorts of examples of one person have authority over another.  All by the will of God.

IOW, you're making the Scriptures inchorent and wrending them out of context.

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if you think there is nothing wrong with slavery, think again.. Only God owns people..one cannot serve a master to do however he wishes and serve God... The essence of slavery is complete giving up of all personal choice to that of the master.

See, here you go again confusing things.  There is a marked difference between having slaves, and being a sadist.  A huge difference.

Using your logic, because it's possible for an employer to ask someone to do immoral, dangerous things, that means there is some tension between showing up to work 8 hrs a day under any circumstances.

Human life is filled with examples of one person having rights over another - whether it be spouses, parents and children, children and parents, Kings and subjects, etc.

A slave is fundamentall someone who is subject to permanent servitude.  That is not inherently immoral.  What is immoral, is when people act immorally in this context.  Now if you were to say that given fallen nature there is a tendency to abuse this situation, and that the tendency of Christianized civilizations is to move away from this situation, that would be one thing.  But to say any possible example of slave ownership is immoral in and of itself, is indefensible.

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And while you may think the Taliban were following scholars 'errant' in their beliefs, they didn't think so.

Ok, "good" for them.  I could also find you a wino on a streetcorner who thinks he's Napolean.

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As to women offering D.L. it depends on what you mean... in an Orthodox church, they did not, in their home, before the churches were built and the church clergy financed and 'free', they did... it was after all their kitchen, and they had responsibility for the bread and wine.

This is just baloney.  That women have helped in making prophora in various times and places is hardly shocking.  That the Divine Eucharist was celebrated in homes isn't a shock either (I'll let you in on something - it still is, where a lack of funds or persecutin prevents a public, dedicated Church ediface from being built.)  But the idea that the Eucharist was ever some casual brunch is just an assumption aped off of the Protestants, and unsurprising when mouthed by secular scholars who are usually atheistic in their assumptions on such matters.

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So if you lived back then, you would have been without 'the Gifts', unless you took them in secret at  a home at the dinner table,  where women were in charge.

You're making this up, or whoever you read this from is just making this up.  The fact of the matter is that people often went through great pains to transport the Holy Gifts to people who couldn't make it to the gatherings for the Holy Eucharist, precisely because no one believed "just anyone" save a right believing Bishop or one of authorized Presbyters, could preside over the celebration of the Holy Oblation.  A woman could no more preside in such an affair fruitfully than I could.

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Remember Orthodoxy doesn't claim it represents all of Christianity in the early Church... some of what was practiced it did not accept.. and that is a point to be recognized.

See, you say this, but then go on as if it's an insignificant point.  Or perhaps you are even more profoundly confused than I'd imagined - since Orthodoxy is Christianity.  Yes, there are heretics who call themselves "Christians", just as there are men who will call themselves "women", and get into drag.  But that does not make what they say true, does not make them authentically what they claim to be, and ought to make us consider what they do or say to be of little or no consequence.  And that is where you're confusing things - because you believe what heretics and schismatics do does matter, that they do have something to say to the Church, and that we'd better be all ears.


Offline Kizzy

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I've yet to see any evidence supporting this claim Kizzy. Providing the bread and wine is a far cry from consecrating the bread and wine. I would be extremelyy surprised to learn that families were having private divine liturgies in their homes. Everything I've read regarding the times of persecution seems to state the opposite, that the believers always celebrated Divine Liturgy as a body.

BTW, it is a fact that most of the bread and wine used for the Eucharist in the Orthodox church is still provided by the women of the church.

Christos Anesti! Christ is Risen!
John
When I say'early church' I am referring to within the first three centuries. During that time, from place to place, services were 'fluid'... not written down, performed either as a public service in the Jewish temple and also as a private service in the home... by the Jews/with the Jews - who always had prayer services in the home... And while we speak of 'word of mouth' as a way things were communicated across wide geographies, there were variations on the theme. This is what makes the later role of St. Constantine so important... because it was through his efforts that the church became 'standardized' across his Empire, we have the emergence of the D.L's of both S.Basil and S. J.C. , in written form.
The point is, the original comment on this thread implied that women should not be handing out the 'host' in the Catholic church. I see no issue with this- assuming they are of the diaconate -as in the early church. For that one can turn to the research of Matushka Belonick at SVS. But you see, even today people take the role of the male priesthood, for which I agree, and leap straight to the conclusion that eveything must be done by males....which is not Orthodox at all, but a confusion of our history...and Matushka points that out very well.

I think this quote from her article in Jacob's Well on Tradition is very interesting:
 "As Orthodox Christians we realize the canons are given to us, not to restrict us, but to guide us as disciplinary decrees regulating our institutional life. There are many ways in which they have been reinterpreted and sometimes misinterpreted throughout the centuries.7 As an example, take St. Olympias [A.D. 361 to A.D. 408] , a contemporary of St. John Chrysostom, who was ordained as a deaconess before age 35 [A.D. 397].8 The age of admission to this ministry had been fixed by Tertullian at sixty years (De Vel. Virg. Cap.ix), and only changed to age forty by Canon IX of the Council of Chalcedon in A.D. 451.9 It is clear that St. Olympia, perhaps because of her outstanding piety, was granted entry into the rank of deaconesses outside the traditional custom of the Church. Further, consider Canon XIV of the Quinisext Council in A.D. 692 which sets the minimum ages for ordination of a priest at thirty, of a deacon at twenty-five, and of a deaconess at forty.10 Many bishops today would be guilty of breaking this canon. However, as Orthodox, we practice economia ,11 recognizing the freedom of the movement of the Holy Spirit."

 
 In XC, Kizzy
 
In XC, Kizzy

Offline jmbejdl

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Kizzy,

I note that you appear (from your postings here at least) to believe that there were no church buildings prior to the time of St. Constantine. This might sound convincing to a low church Protestant, but surely as an Orthodox Christian you now this to be nonsense? There was not a permanent three centuries long persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire, you know, and sources from both secular and Church history clearly show that there were indeed churches built prior to he 4th century.

If this were not the case, how could one of Diocletian's edicts be that churches should be destroyed? How come Eusebius talks at great length of a re-built church? And how could St. Constantine decree that Christian places of worship that had been taken from them should be returned? Surely you don't believe all these refer to house churches? It seems to me that you are swallowing the usual Protestant line with regards to the state and worship of the early Church and particularly when you seem to be suggesting that women must have served the Liturgy because it was performed in houses rather than churches.

St. Constantine and the Council of Nicea did not change the Church into something different from what it previously was (contrary to Protestant and, perhaps, your belief) but merely reaffirmed the practices and beliefs previously held. Women were never priests or bishops, nor were they even deacons, the role of the deaconess being quite different as others have pointed out. And this was true both before, during and after St. Constantine's reign.

James
We owe greater gratitude to those who humble us, wrong us, and douse us with venom, than to those who nurse us with honour and sweet words, or feed us with tasty food and confections, for bile is the best medicine for our soul. - Elder Paisios of Mount Athos

Offline yBeayf

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Kizzy, are you claiming that women served the Divine Liturgy or not? If yes, you still haven't given any evidence. If no, why did you say they did, and that they were priests?

Offline Kizzy

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See, here you go again confusing things. There is a marked difference between having slaves, and being a sadist. A huge difference.

Using your logic, because it's possible for an employer to ask someone to do immoral, dangerous things, that means there is some tension between showing up to work 8 hrs a day under any circumstances.

There is this tension.. that is why there are laws at least in the USA to protect the employee from this. A slave is not an employee- an employee is someone who can leave 'at will'... a slave has no rights.. and if the master believes it is his right to 'use' his female slave as mistress, how can she practice the tenets of Christian morality? Tell me please that moral treatment of slaves in keeping with '''Christian tradition' is written somewhere in Scripture or canon... somewhere is it written that slaves may be kept, but their rights to Christian worship and practices (i.e. abstinence) is to be obeyed. Is it written anywhere in Scripture that sadistic treatment of slaves is wrong?

 
See, you say this, but then go on as if it's an insignificant point. Or perhaps you are even more profoundly confused than I'd imagined - since Orthodoxy is Christianity.


Orthodoxy is Christianity but, Orthodoxy also teaches that it does not render judgement on the salvation of non-Orthodox Christians. Nor can it state whether Christ is present in the Eucharist of other denominations. It only states it is present in Orthodoxy.  This was discussed at length on another thread.. I don't remember which one.
In XC, Kizzy
In XC, Kizzy

Offline Jakub

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I think a new thread is warranted, y'all way off topic, unless I missed something in the 1st post.

james
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Offline yBeayf

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Is it written anywhere in Scripture that sadistic treatment of slaves is wrong?

"Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven." Col. 4:1.

Offline Fr. David

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.. and if the master believes it is his right to 'use' his female slave as mistress, how can she practice the tenets of Christian morality?

Augustine's already dealt with this: the ABuse (which is not right use) of slaves is wrong.

Tell me please that moral treatment of slaves in keeping with '''Christian tradition' is written somewhere in Scripture or canon... somewhere is it written that slaves may be kept, but their rights to Christian worship and practices (i.e. abstinence) is to be obeyed. Is it written anywhere in Scripture that sadistic treatment of slaves is wrong?

Sure is:

Col. 3:22-4:1:

22Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism.

Colossians 4
  1Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.

I think it'd help if you remember this: slavery is one thing; cruelty--which CAN go along with it but doesn't always HAVE to--is quite another. The former had a place in the first Christian society; the latter never has.
 

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Orthodoxy is Christianity but, Orthodoxy also teaches that it does not render judgement on the salvation of non-Orthodox Christians. Nor can it state whether Christ is present in the Eucharist of other denominations. It only states it is present in Orthodoxy.  This was discussed at length on another thread.. I don't remember which one.

Nor can it state that Christ IS DEFINITELY present in heterodox groups (we are not a denomination ourselves, after all) or that those in heterodox groups DEFINITELY WILL be saved. The other side is there, too.
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Offline catholickid

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I am glad to see you go so far back to tradition to defend the Novus Ordo Liturgy. For consistency sake I hope you would publicly advocate that your priests be allowed to marry, as were most of those who attended "the first mass" were.

In all honesty, you know your question is a phantom question....as "the first mass" was also done without vestments, microphones, pews, altar girls, etc., etc.....

The Liturgy developed very carefully and the Fathers were very conscious of its connection to the Temple, synagogue worship, and the Last Supper.

Those are all very good points. I just want to stress the fact that any mass celebrated with reverence is good.   

Celibacy is a good thing, no one is forced into it. If the Roman Church wants to require that of men seeking the priesthood, Amen so be it. I think it makes the Roman Rite unique, and adds a beautiful element to it... just like the Eastern Churches (Orthodox and Catholic) have things that make them unique and beautiful.

Altar girls... my diocese does not allow that. I share negative sentiments with you about that, the 2diocese in America which don't allow them have an abundance of new vocations. However the diocese that allow it, and aren't full of lunatic modernists, have an abundance of vocations to the contemplative life, Poor Clares especially are numerous in Alabama.

I am thankful to the Church Fathers for protecting and safegaurding the sacred mysteries to the tiniest details. You will find that any Novus Ordo mass celebrated with Reverence is beautiful.

There have been many years with poor catechisis and their was an era in the last century where the faith was dying, but along came John Paul II. He inspired youth, and demanded the Bishops and priests focus on teaching them the unabridged faith. These were seeds he planted. I feel I am one of them. In the years to come, I think the Catholic Church will flourish. The "John Paul Generation" will renew the Catholic Church. It will be beautiful. :)


Offline Kizzy

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To my knowledge clergy were required to shave because of the issue of cleanliness but I am not sure. I am also unsure how closely these canons were followed throughout history. There were Popes who had beards during the Counter-Reformation but as far as I know the norm in the West by the 9th century was for clergy to be without facial hair and the majority of popes that I have seen pictures of were without facial hair.

The issue of hygiene may have been a big factor.  It is known that within the laity in Western Europe the wealthy had shaved heads and used powdered wigs to cover their heads. This was to prevent human parasitic lice infestation. (Still the only real treatment for lice by the way other than picking out the nits one by one and cleaning everything in the house -vacuuming all upholstery, sealing stuffed things in plastic bags for any nits to die.) In general long hair was associated with the spread of illness and pests... and that is true even today. When there is a school lice outbreak the boys sometimes shave their heads and the girls tie up their hair so nothing is 'hanging'.  Due to the role clergy played in meeting with multitudes of people, long hair would have been a magnet for lice and body crabs from the populace- both infestations were rampant.  In those days both of these parasites lead to serious skin infection and illness.  Probably was a good idea to protect the clergy from these.

 In XC, Kizzy
In XC, Kizzy

Offline catholickid

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This group of Franciscans encourage friars and priests to have beards. (The big bushy kind) I think they all have them.

http://www.franciscanfriars.com/frontpagefriars.htm
« Last Edit: May 18, 2005, 02:10:43 PM by catholickid »

Offline Kizzy

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I think a new thread is warranted, y'all way off topic, unless I missed something in the 1st post.

james

James, this topic was in reference to a negative statement concerning a modern RC practice of lay men and women dispensing the Host in the RC mass. A discussion on the role of women in the church evolved. Matushka Belonick is an Orthodox scholar from SVS and has written how common practices making women feel 'unclean' due to menses, or banning women from certain church duties such as parish council and reading Holy Scripture- as some churches do - she has stated that these are not based in church Tradition but in misunderstanding it and are definitely not Orthodox.
In my GO parish, women assist the priest during HC, holding the cloth for parishioners, and they also do the Bible readings. We are a small parish, so the work is spread around. In a neighboring large parish the priest brings both infant boys and girls behind the altar during their 40 day churching. I did not ask him at the time when he did that for my daughter.. but I suspect it may have been due to some of the things that scholars like M.Belonick are surfacing concerning females.
 

In XC, Kizzy
 

 
In XC, Kizzy

Offline Carpatho-Rusyn

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I just want to stress the fact that any mass celebrated with reverence is good.  

You will find that any Novus Ordo mass celebrated with Reverence is beautiful.

There have been many years with poor catechisis and their was an era in the last century where the faith was dying, but along came John Paul II. He inspired youth, and demanded the Bishops and priests focus on teaching them the unabridged faith. These were seeds he planted. I feel I am one of them. In the years to come, I think the Catholic Church will flourish. The "John Paul Generation" will renew the Catholic Church. It will be beautiful. :)


As a former Roman Catholic I must disagree with you here. While a Novus Ordo Liturgy reverently celebrated may be 'good' or 'beautiful', it does not make it valid. Place any pre-Vatican Council II Roman Catholic liturgical text side by side with the Novus Ordo and you will find omissions so glaring as to cast doubt on the validity of the consecration itself. The savaging of the offertory, the confusing placement of a 'proclamation' after the 'mystery of faith', which by the way is the consecration, not the banal proclamations that follow, and the mis-translation of 'pro multis' as 'for all', are indications that the Novus Ordo is what Cardinal Bugnini wanted it a be...just a 'service' that would be palatable to protestants and prgressives. And we all know where he ended up.

Re: the John Paul generation, sadly what I observed was a man who was very popular almost to the point hysteria for many. He had superstar status, but was he relevant? He was like the kindly old uncle who everyone loved but no one really listened to. Just look at US stats on complicance with your church's birth control stance and Roman Catholic belief in the "Real Presence" for example. The most disappointing aspect of his pontificate was the failure to take any direct action in the priest sex-abuse scandal and the promotion of two of the most scandal ridden bishops, Egan and Law. The sheer joy exhibited by conservative catholics on the election of Ratzinger speaks volumes. it says, we loved John Paul but now Benedict XVI will take action. That says more about the real feelings many had about John Paul than any calls for "Santo Subito". Overall, if I were catholic, I would consider it a most disappointing pontificate. I think what you'll get from the John Paul generation is enthusiasm without content and reverence without meaning. That is why I am curious to se what the new Pope wil do.

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Offline SeanMc

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I am thankful to the Church Fathers for protecting and safegaurding the sacred mysteries to the tiniest details. You will find that any Novus Ordo mass celebrated with Reverence is beautiful.

There have been many years with poor catechisis and their was an era in the last century where the faith was dying, but along came John Paul II. He inspired youth, and demanded the Bishops and priests focus on teaching them the unabridged faith. These were seeds he planted. I feel I am one of them. In the years to come, I think the Catholic Church will flourish. The "John Paul Generation" will renew the Catholic Church. It will be beautiful.

Yes, the John Paul Generation is also quite smitten with the innovations of the Second Vatican Council, which stepped far outside the bounds of Tradition. The Novus Ordo Missae is likewise an abberation which falls outside of tradition, considering it was created by "liturgical experts" in cooperation with Protestant observers. You can read a full, yet short critique of the new Mass called the Ottaviani Intervention (made by 2 Cardinals and some theologians) http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1969ottoviani.html.

It seems that Pope John Paul II was either oblivious on many occasion or he had no real principles. For example, whilst the Vatican says No to giving communion to pro-abortion politicians, Pope John Paul II gave communion to pro-abortion, Anglican politician Tony Blair. That speaks volumes. This case is also exemplified, as brought out by CR, by the sexual abuse scandal. He did basically nothing. Now because of his and his predecessors inaction, dioceses are going bankrupt. Indeed, the Diocese of St. George, in Newfoundland, is selling ALL of its churches and mission and parish halls to pay for sexual abuse settlements.

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I think what you'll get from the John Paul generation is enthusiasm without content and reverence without meaning.

I agree, look at any World Youth Day. Its not how a Christian should behave.

Offline TomS

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Women are an indispensable part of the Church, ....

Well of course they are. Who else could have babies and bake all the pastries for the Greek Festival?

Offline Augustine

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Sean,

I agree, that alot of the "John Paul II, we love you" stuff is just hype.  I cringe whenever I hear "say-it-enough-and-it'll-be-so" neo-conservative Roman Catholics speaking of "John Paul the Great".  Yes, they put him in the same category as a St.Leo or St.Gregory... one gave us the great tome which kept the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon on the straight and narrow of Orthodox moderation (neither falling into the errors of Nestorianism or Monophysitism), the other a great dialogist, codifier of western sacred chant and liturgy, and composer of a service used in the Orthodox world to the present day (Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts.)  Oh yes, and both undoubtedly Saints, in the pre-pop-culture understanding of such things.

John Paul II, gave us World-Youth-Day, and basically more of what the world was offering us already - the cult of youth, the glorification of enthusiasm, irenicism to the point of saying nothing of substance, etc. etc...

He flip-flopped on what little "traditionalism" he had...institutionalized abuse was given his blessing, in the name of "local custom", even where it violated centuries old customs.  It's also worth noting that he only excommunicated six Latin bishops in his many years on the Papal Throne.  Six in an ocean of craziness, where you have men like Baloney Mahoney in Los Angelas being promoted to metropolitan see's, and given the red hat, etc.  The worst part though, was who these six were - yes, you guessed it, the "Lefebvre Bishops".  In that ocean of queer clerical pederastry (and seminaries so bad, that they developed reputations for being "gay brothels" and acquired names like "the Pink Palace", etc.), neo-pagan "nuns", "clown Masses", creative catechesis, bishops inviting Buddhists to chant in their sanctuaries, etc. etc... in all of that filth, I guess a bunch of dinosaurs who (gasp) just wanted to keep on using the pre-Vatican II services, were the biggest threat on the planet.

If that isn't a condemnation of modern Catholicism, I don't know what is.

This is not to say that there are not problems with even the pre-Vatican II Latin services (particularly from an Orthodox perspective, since they did change somewhat in the centuries after the Great-Schism), and obviously with pre-Vatican II dogmatics.  I do not want to put on rose colour glasses with such things.  And certainly while I feel great sympathy for the pickle that the Lefebvrists find themselves in, I know they're not friends of Orthodoxy either (they hold to the slightly more consistant, but obviously objectionable opinion that Orthodox Christians are "schismatics" and heterodox on some points!).  I wish that they'd come to realize that their struggle to follow Tradition, as opposed to the whims of the Pope, is not a new tension - it's precisely what caused the Eastern Patriarchs to cease commemorating the Pope in their Diptychs, and then in a series of pan-Orthodox Synods condemn the key errors advanced by the Popes and those under them.


Offline jmbejdl

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It seems that Pope John Paul II was either oblivious on many occasion or he had no real principles. For example, whilst the Vatican says No to giving communion to pro-abortion politicians, Pope John Paul II gave communion to pro-abortion, Anglican politician Tony Blair. That speaks volumes.

Really? I thought Roman Catholicism, like Orthodoxy, refused the Eucharist to those outside the church? If this is true then either a.) marrying a Catholic somehow makes you Catholic too in the eyes of the Pope (Cherie Blair is RC) or b.) Politicians don't have to follow the rules. Somehow, given the Vatican's love of worldly politics, I'd guess the latter.

James
We owe greater gratitude to those who humble us, wrong us, and douse us with venom, than to those who nurse us with honour and sweet words, or feed us with tasty food and confections, for bile is the best medicine for our soul. - Elder Paisios of Mount Athos

Offline Sabbas

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James, this topic was in reference to a negative statement concerning a modern RC practice of lay men and women dispensing the Host in the RC mass.  A discussion on the role of women in the church evolved.  Matushka Belonick is an Orthodox scholar from SVS and has written how common practices making women feel 'unclean' due to menses, or  banning women from certain church duties such as parish council and reading Holy Scripture- as some churches do - she has stated that these are not based in church Tradition but in misunderstanding it and are definitely not Orthodox.
In my GO  parish, women assist the priest during HC, holding the cloth for parishioners, and they also do the Bible readings. We are a small parish, so the work is spread around.  In a neighboring large parish the priest brings both infant boys and girls behind the altar during their 40 day churching.  I did not ask him at the time when he did that for my daughter.. but I suspect it may have been due to some of the things that scholars like M.Belonick are surfacing concerning females.
 

In XC, Kizzy
I am sad such things are actually happening in the Orthodox Church. Women should definitely not be helping with the serving of Communion.

Quote
In a neighboring large parish the priest brings both infant boys and girls behind the altar during their 40 day churching.  I did not ask him at the time when he did that for my daughter.. but I suspect it may have been due to some of the things that scholars like M.Belonick are surfacing concerning females.
Actually Kizzy I highly doubt that this has anything to do with a priest taking it upon himself to make his parish like what M.Belonick imagines early-Church parishes were like. St.John of San Francisco would take the little girls present into the Sanctuary on the Feast of the Presentation at the Temple, for obvious reasons. Why the priest at your neighboring parish has decided to take the infant girls into the sanctuary I don't know but I definitely don't think it is related to caving in to Feminist theology.

Quote
He flip-flopped on what little "traditionalism" he had...institutionalized abuse was given his blessing, in the name of "local custom", even where it violated centuries old customs.  It's also worth noting that he only excommunicated six Latin bishops in his many years on the Papal Throne.  Six in an ocean of craziness, where you have men like Baloney Mahoney in Los Angelas being promoted to metropolitan see's, and given the red hat, etc.  The worst part though, was who these six were - yes, you guessed it, the "Lefebvre Bishops".  In that ocean of queer clerical pederastry (and seminaries so bad, that they developed reputations for being "gay brothels" and acquired names like "the Pink Palace", etc.), neo-pagan "nuns", "clown Masses", creative catechesis, bishops inviting Buddhists to chant in their sanctuaries, etc. etc... in all of that filth, I guess a bunch of dinosaurs who (gasp) just wanted to keep on using the pre-Vatican II services, were the biggest threat on the planet.

If that isn't a condemnation of modern Catholicism, I don't know what is.
Thank you for saying what is going through the minds of anyone from a traditional Catholic background!
If you go to pockets of 'conservative' Catholics like in Northeast Iowa Vatican II did not have the devastating affect it had elsewhere. At Dyersville Basilica the Latin Mass is still said. There is a monastery that follows the 'old ways.' In many ways these people were able to resist the evil and maintain their traditional way of life. Of course for others active resistance had to be taken and that is why SSPX was founded. For a long time, both as an adolescent, and for a while as an inquirer into Orthodoxy, I seriously wanted to or was considering going to a traditional Latin Mass church and be a loyal son of the Roman church like many of relatives. Aside from coming to the conclusion that Roman Catholicism had deviated from Church doctrine in many serious areas it was also this underlying feeling that something is very wrong when you believe that the Pope is the supreme arbiter of tradition but in order to save tradition in this trying time you have to actively resist him and the reforms he has instituted or upholds.

As for the 1988 excommunication of Lefebvre the bishops he consecrated: nothing really saddens me more about Pope John Paul II's reign. Excommunicate the loyal sons of the church but not those pushing for further radical reforms. 

Quote
This is not to say that there are not problems with even the pre-Vatican II Latin services (particularly from an Orthodox perspective, since they did change somewhat in the centuries after the Great-Schism), and obviously with pre-Vatican II dogmatics.  I do not want to put on rose colour glasses with such things.  And certainly while I feel great sympathy for the pickle that the Lefebvrists find themselves in, I know they're not friends of Orthodoxy either (they hold to the slightly more consistant, but obviously objectionable opinion that Orthodox Christians are "schismatics" and heterodox on some points!).  I wish that they'd come to realize that their struggle to follow Tradition, as opposed to the whims of the Pope, is not a new tension - it's precisely what caused the Eastern Patriarchs to cease commemorating the Pope in their Diptychs, and then in a series of pan-Orthodox Synods condemn the key errors advanced by the Popes and those under them.
Of course I completely agree and yes they do refer to the Orthodox as schismatics but that actually makes me like them more. They actually care enough about what they believe to say others are wrong. what is interesting is that in talking with my sister and others who are in SSPX I have found it easier to talk about the differences between Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism than in talking with Ecumenists who just want to white wash everything.
As for traditionalist Catholics being jostled into seeing the light of Orthodoxy by reflecting on all the ills in the Roman church now, I know this was the case with Hieromonk Ambrose, formerly Fr.Alexey Young, the first Orthodox priest I met, and you Augustine and I think it is possible with others. But the biggest impediment to their becoming Orthodox is the attachment to the Latin Mass. The beauty of the Gregorian Canon and hearing the prayers in Latin just seems an almost unbearable thing to have to give up considering that is what they are fighting for in SSPX.

For anyone interested I found this SSPX seminary website's info interesting http://www.stas.org/apologetics/index.shtml
www.hungersite.com  Ãƒâ€šÃ‚  www.freedonation.com you can donate up to 20 times at freedonation.  http://www.pomog.org/ has online 1851 Sir Lancelot C.L. Brenton English translation of Septuagint.http://www.cnrs.ubc.ca/greekbible/ Original Koine Septuagint and New Testament.

Offline SeanMc

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But the biggest impediment to their becoming Orthodox is the attachment to the Latin Mass. The beauty of the Gregorian Canon and hearing the prayers in Latin just seems an almost unbearable thing to have to give up considering that is what they are fighting for in SSPX.

I think thats a major problem. I've been looking around at the Orthodox parishes available in my area (a large, Canadian city) and the closest Divine Liturgy in English is around 1h30m away. Most are either in European languages that are too foreign for me (French, I can handle) or half and half. I've been to a Melkite Liturgy that was supposedly half-English, but it was mainly in Arabic and Greek (for the readings).

I don't know about anyone else, but as a Classicist, I can understand Latin alot more than Arabic or Ukranian.

I'm a bit ignorant, but what kind of things are considered 'deficient' in the Latin Mass?

Offline yBeayf

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I'm a bit ignorant, but what kind of things are considered 'deficient' in the Latin Mass?

As has been shown by several saints of the Russian church, among them St. Tikhon and St. John Maximovich, the only thing that is missing is an explicit epiclesis. Once that is added, it's perfectly ok for Orthodox use -- even ROCOR has not one but two Western rite monasteries, and at one time had an entire diocese. If certain elements among the Orthodox were not so insistent that everybody follow the Byzantine rite, there would be no impediment in this area.

Offline SeanMc

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The epiclesis in the Roman Canon looks pretty specific: "Which oblation do Thou, O God, vouchsafe to bless+, approve+, ratify+, make worthy and acceptable: that it may become for us the Body + and Blood + of Thy most beloved Son our Lord Jesus Christ." This is the pre-schism epiclesis that likely originated from the first Roman Canon, as we can see the same epiclesis in the Stowe Missal and the Sarum Missal.

Although, as contained in the Sarum Missal, there is a second epiclesis after the words of institution, which the pre-Vatican II Roman Canon does not contain. Of course, in the copies of the Sarum Ordo Missae that I've seen, it says that the second epiclesis has been "recently added."

The first one looks clear to me, but I'll be the first to admit that I'm a theological idiot.

Offline yBeayf

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The epiclesis in the Roman Canon looks pretty specific: "Which oblation do Thou, O God, vouchsafe to bless+, approve+, ratify+, make worthy and acceptable: that it may become for us the Body + and Blood + of Thy most beloved Son our Lord Jesus Christ." This is the pre-schism epiclesis that likely originated from the first Roman Canon, as we can see the same epiclesis in the Stowe Missal and the Sarum Missal.

St. Nicholas Cabasilas argued that the Hanc igitur was the actual epiclesis:
Quote
Most humbly we implore You, Almighty God, bid these offerings to be brought by the hands of Your Holy Angel to Your altar above, before the face of Your Divine Majesty. And may those of us who by sharing in the Sacrifice of this altar shall receive the Most Sacred + Body and + Blood of Your Son, be filled with every grace and heavenly blessing, Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

I tend to this same view, but St. Tikhon, St. John, and the Synod of the Russian Church decided that it needed an explicit descending epiclesis as well. It doesn't really matter much to me, but I like the approach taken by St. Petroc's monastery of inserting a descending epiclesis that was taken from an old Gothic liturgy book, so that even though it's inserted, it's still Western.

Offline Tikhon29605

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banning women from certain church duties such as parish council and reading Holy Scripture- as some churches do - she has stated that these are not based in church Tradition but in misunderstanding it and are definitely not Orthodox.


I think we need to clear up something here about parish councils and readers.  First, parish councils:  parish councils are NOT part of the apostolic ministry. They were not instituted by Christ. In fact, the parish council exists at the pleasure of the diocesan bishop. And at least in the OCA, the bishop has to approve the people elected to the parish council BEFORE they can serve.  If a bishop wants to allow women on the parish council, he certainly can. That is his perogative as the diocesan hierarch. However, if a bishop doesn't want to allow women on the parish council, that is his perogative too.  I also know of instances where a parish council got rebellious and insubordinate with the priest, and began to act as if it were the hierarch appointed OVER the parish priest. In such cases, it is not unheard of for the diocesan bishop to suspend the parish council and have the parish ruled by the priest alone.  I am sure this really must shock and horrify us as Americans because we are so used to egalitarian ideas and are raised with the attitude that "you are no better than me." But honestly, we do NOT have to have parish councils. The bishop may permit them, but they are in no way required by Orthodox eccelisology.
   In regard to women readers, let me say this. NO ONE in the Orthodox Church has a "right" to demand to be a reader, whether it be a man or a woman. Reading the Holy Scriptiures in the Divine Liturgy is not something that people do merely because they want to, or enjoy. It certainly is not anyone's "right" to do it. The Orthodox Church has always considered reading the Scriptures in Church to be a PRIVILEDGE, not a "right." And this priviledge is not bestowed on everyone, but on those whom the bishop sees fit to do it. Historically, as far as I know, the Orthodox Church has never had tonsured female readers. I will admit I might be wrong, but I have never read or heard of any.  However, in America, some bishops (by no means all) permit women to read the Schriptures in the Divine Liturgy. Often this is done where no tonsured readers are available. But to view reading the Scriptures as a "right" that women are being "denied" by chauvinist men is just absurd. That's the wrong way to look at it. It is taking a secular, worldly feminist viewpoint and bringing it into the Church. NO ONE has an inherent right to read the Scriptures aloud at the Divine Liturgy. The Church, rather, BLESSES, some individuals to do this as a priviledge and an honor.

Offline Kizzy

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I am sad such things are actually happening in the Orthodox Church. Women should definitely not be helping with the serving of Communion.

 I have seen women hold the cloth under the chin for people  in many parishes. Normally the person is on the PC and the duty is rotated among members of the PC in parishes where there is no deacon.  Sometimes they hold the basket of antidoron.  This is also true for staffing the pangari, and passing the basket. 

Actually Kizzy I highly doubt that this has anything to do with a priest taking it upon himself to make his parish like what M.Belonick imagines early-Church parishes were like. St.John of San Francisco would take the little girls present into the Sanctuary on the Feast of the Presentation at the Temple, for obvious reasons. Why the priest at your neighboring parish has decided to take the infant girls into the sanctuary I don't know but I definitely don't think it is related to caving in to Feminist theology.

This is interesting Sabbas because there is a common perception that females are not allowed behind the altar for any reason. Perhaps the reason for my daughter was in rememberance of the same thing.  The service you describe sounds wonderful.
 In XC, Kizzy
In XC, Kizzy

Offline SeanMc

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I am sad such things are actually happening in the Orthodox Church. Women should definitely not be helping with the serving of Communion.

I don't think its about who should not be allowed to serve the Eucharist, but who should. In Roman tradition, only priests and deacons were allowed to do this until Vatican II. And there was a specific minor order (I forget which one, acolyte?) which was also allowed to do this and bring Viaticum to people.

However, I do feel it is legitimate to examine whether the exlusion of women in the early Church and subsequent centuries was more due to cultural rather than doctrinal reasons.

Offline Nacho

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However, I do feel it is legitimate to examine whether the exlusion of women in the early Church and subsequent centuries was more due to cultural rather than doctrinal reasons.

Well, Christ chose 12 men as his successors, do we need anymore proof than that? I'm sure if women were meant to be priest or bishops he  would have included them, but he didn't.
"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."--Mere Christianity

Offline SeanMc

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Well, Christ chose 12 men as his successors, do we need anymore proof than that? I'm sure if women were meant to be priest or bishops he  would have included them, but he didn't.

Sorry, I should've been clearer, I wasn't talking about Holy Orders, just things like distributing the Eucharist. We shouldn't become Pharasaic in our traditions (little 't') or customs.

Offline Augustine

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Sean,

Aside from concerns about the descending, explicit epiklesis (which according to the respectiable, pre-Vatican II Roman Catholic liturgical scholars I've read, certainly once was part of the Roman Rite), other possible concerns would involve the following points (all of varying degrees of importance)...

- return to the use of leavened bread and giving Holy Communion "under both kinds"
- the question of kneeling/genuflections vs. prostrations, and the whole "no kneeling on Sunday" issue (though this is something of a controversy in some Orthodox parishes as well). The same goes for the presence of pews...but once again, this is an untraditional blot upon many North American Orthodox parishes as well (you rarely find them in the "old world").
- return to Orthodox fasting rules (and the observance of Wednesday as well as Friday).
- clerical grooming (while long hair is more an extension of monastic piety, Orthodoxy has been pretty consistant about the beard thing, for those who could grow them obviously...and that once included western clergy as well.) And once again, here in the west, some Orthodox fudge on this too (clean shaven Orthodox Priests, who are by no means "Western Rite").

I know not all of those directly have to do with the Missal itself, but they're related. Other possible changes, depending on who you ask, may include removal of any references to the "merits" of saints, or things like this.

I'm kind of "in the middle" on the topic of Western Rite parishes - generally favorable, if they're using some form of the Sarum or corrected Tridentine Rite, disfavorable toward the "Anglican Use", and on the whole not convinced of the western rite's necessity for the mission of the Orthodox Church, particularly to already unchurched or Protestant westerners (or even most modern Roman Catholics for that matter.) I think the normative Divine Liturgy of St.John Chrysostom, translated into English works for westerners as well as anyone else. However, I think if it'll help some people, or if it could ever be a vehicle to bringing more souls to the Orthodox faith, then obviously I think it can be a good thing.


Offline yBeayf

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Aside from concerns about the descending, explicit epiklesis (which according to the respectiable, pre-Vatican II Roman Catholic liturgical scholars I've read, certainly once was part of the Roman Rite),

It's a debatable point; to my knowledge there's not enough hard evidence either way to make a definitive statement.

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- return to the use of leavened bread and giving Holy Communion "under both kinds"

I agree that this is an issue.

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the question of kneeling/genuflections vs. prostrations, and the whole "no kneeling on Sunday" issue (though this is something of a controversy in some Orthodox parishes as well). The same goes for the presence of pews...but once again, this is an untraditional blot upon many North American Orthodox parishes as well (you rarely find them in the "old world").

The rule against kneeling on Sundays has never been as hard-and-fast as some think it is. The Old Believers to this day always perform a prostration after the megalynarion, even on Sundays during Paschaltide, and they see no contradiction between this and the prohibition on Sunday kneeling. The rule against kneeling on Sunday is meant to prohibit kneeling as a penitential gesture; if the kneeling is part of a long-standing tradition of showing reverence rather than penitence, there is no contradiction with the point of the canon.

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return to Orthodox fasting rules (and the observance of Wednesday as well as Friday).

This would be a good thing as well; however, traditional Western fasting rules have always differed from those in the East; for example, fish has always been allowed on fast days. Even the Celtic monks, who were notoriously strict fasters, permitted this.

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clerical grooming (while long hair is more an extension of monastic piety, Orthodoxy has been pretty consistant about the beard thing, for those who could grow them obviously...and that once included western clergy as well.)  And once again, here in the west, some Orthodox fudge on this too (clean shaven Orthodox Priests, who are by no means "Western Rite").

Again, this has been far from a universal rule through all time. While for the past thousand years or so it has been normative for Byzantine clergy to be bearded, during the heydey of Byzantium there were plenty of clergy with close-cropped and shaven faces, in both East and West.

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I'm kind of "in the middle" on the topic of Western Rite parishes - generally favorable, if they're using some form of the Sarum or corrected Tridentine Rite, disfavorable toward the "Anglican Use", and on the whole not convinced of the western rite's necessity for the mission of the Orthodox Church, particularly to already unchurched or Protestant westerners (or even most modern Roman Catholics for that matter.)

The Byzantine rite has a completely different feel than the Western rites. The latter are much more formal, quiet, sober, and spartan. While the Byzantine rite is fine for those who like it, I see the Orthodox Church's insistence on the Byzantine rite ++ber alles to be one of the big hindrances to making great headway in the West. I personally don't mind the Byzantine rite, though there are times when I wish the choir would shut up for a while, but I've known people who would gladly become Orthodox if only a Western rite were provided. If there were a Western-rite parish near me, believe me, I'd abandon the Byzantine rite in the twinkling of an eye. I don't mind the Byzantine rite, but I love the Western rites, and they move me in a way the Byzantine rite never has.

Offline Tikhon29605

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Here's my two cents on the Western Rite:
     In short, I don't like it and feel that while it is valid, it is rather divisive for Orthodox life here in the USA where we already have a multitude of bickering and feuding jurisdictions. The last thing we need is to add a Western Rite to this chaos.
     I was received into Orthodoxy in a Western Rite parish of the Antiochian Archdiocese ten years ago. While the priest and the parishioners there were lovely, warm people, I felt like I had to become ANGLICAN first before I could become Orthodox. In fact, I daresay the "feel" of that parish was that it was "Anglicans in Communion with Orthodox" rather than simply Western Rite Orthodox. 
    I found a LOT of liturgical inconsistencies in that Western Rite parish. They CLAIMED to represent "pre-Schism Western Rite usage."  If that had really been true, it would have been wonderful.  The reality was that they represented the Anglican Missal usage with a Byzantine Epiclesis added on and supplemented by hymns from the Protestant Episcopal Church.  They kept a LOT of post-schism Western customs, they even kept a few Protestant customs from the Episcopal Church from whence they sprang.  If I had not had a good knowledge of Western liturgical history, their practices probably would not have bothered me.  But I was a raised a conservative traditional Lutheran and I knew that the Episcopal Church was not the only Protestant church with a liturgical tradition. You can imagine my shock in going from a traditional Lutheran Church where the Eucharist was received on the tongue (in good old pre-Vatican Roman Catholic style) to a "Western Rite Orthodox" parish where it was placed in my hand as Thomas Cranmer insisted and Episcopalians have done ever since. Somehow they manage to excuse that. Then there were the delightful "icon veils" that they covered everything for two weeks before Easter.  Veiling crosses, artwork and the whole chancel is a very very late medieval custom, certainly not pre-schism, and it completely contradicts the Orthodox view of icons as windows into heaven. Rather is a 100% rationalistic Western viewpoint that views icons as "mere art" that should be "covered up" during the rather "Spartan" Lent so that everything can be properly "decorated" at Easter.  In addition, there were organs, pews and much kneeling (practically the whole "Mass" was celebrated kneeling). Again, none of that is pre-Schism Western usage either. The Roman Catholic Church had no pews until AFTER the Protestant reformation. The pre-schism Western Church, while it did make use of the organ in a limited way (mainly outside the Liturgy), stilll sang most of the Liturgy a capella. And the posture in the pre-schism Church during Mass was standing, except for the Consecration when everyone would kneel. Kneeling throughout the Mass was only introduced after pews were introduced.
     In short, those are my problems with the so-called "Western Rite." It really isn't all that old or even "Western". We ought to be honest and call it the Anglican Rite.  And I highly doubt that this "Western Rite" is going to attract anyone to Orthodoxy. People that convert to Orthodoxy want the real thing. They want normal, standard Orthodox worship, and, for good or for bad, that means the Byzantine Rite.  All the people that are going to leave the Episcopal Church have left ALREADY. We aren't going to get anymore of them. And the Western Rite is not going to attract them.  And as far as Roman Catholics go, I think we Orthodox are deceiving ourselves if we think any mere RITE is going to attract Roman Catholics to Orthodoxy.  Most Roman Catholics are very attached to the Papacy and have a strong sense of loyalty to their church, even if they are irregular in their attendance.  Worshipping in Elizabethan English like Anglo-Catholics is NOT going to attract them either. In fact, all the Roman Catholic converts I know, LOVE the Byzantine Rite. They don't view it as some cultural "barrier" at all.
     I hope I don't offend the Western Rite people too much. I just wish the Western Rite would go the way of the dinosaur.

Offline yBeayf

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I found a LOT of liturgical inconsistencies in that Western Rite parish. They CLAIMED to represent "pre-Schism Western Rite usage."

I agree that many Western Rite commentators need to stop claiming this. The pre-schism West is gone, and no amount of archaeology is going to get it back. Rather, what should be focused on is taking the post-schism rites, eliminating what is erroneous (which really isn't that much), and baptizing them for Orthodox use. The Byzantine rite is not necessary to Orthodoxy; indeed, it was only by virtue of the might of the Byzantine empire that the Byzantine rite spread as far as it did, supplanting earlier rites that have been maintained by the non-Chalcedonians. Orthodoxy is defined by adherence to the scriptures, councils, and fathers, not what anaphora the priest prays or what chant the choir sings.

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You can imagine my shock in going from a traditional Lutheran Church where the Eucharist was received on the tongue (in good old pre-Vatican Roman Catholic style) to a "Western Rite Orthodox" parish where it was placed in my hand as Thomas Cranmer insisted and Episcopalians have done ever since.

The same as is done in the Liturgy of St. James as celebrated today in the Byzantine rite?

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Veiling crosses, artwork and the whole chancel is a very very late medieval custom, certainly not pre-schism, and it completely contradicts the Orthodox view of icons as windows into heaven.

But it doesn't contradict the Western view, held before the schism, that icons were primarily for the edification of the faithful. The elaborate theology of the icon found in the East never developed in the West.

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practically the whole "Mass" was celebrated kneeling

But in the Western rite, kneeling is a sign of reverence, so there is no contradiction with the spirit of a canon that only makes literal sense in the context of a rite in which kneeling is a sign of penitence only.

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The pre-schism Western Church, while it did make use of the organ in a limited way (mainly outside the Liturgy), stilll sang most of the Liturgy a capella.

The West also had the idea that the organ, as it produces sound through the vibration of a fipple or reed through air pressure, was functionally equivalent to the human voice and so did not fall under the prohibition of liturgical instruments.

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In short, those are my problems with the so-called "Western Rite." It really isn't all that old or even "Western". We ought to be honest and call it the Anglican Rite

There are, though, WR parishes that follow the Sarum and Roman rites; it's only among the Antiochians that the heavy Anglo-philia seems to have taken hold.

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And as far as Roman Catholics go, I think we Orthodox are deceiving ourselves if we think any mere RITE is going to attract Roman Catholics to Orthodoxy.

You'd be surprised at the number of Catholics who have no great attachment to the Papacy per se, or to the dogmas of infallibility and universal jurisdiction, and would be thrilled to have a Church in which they can worship according to the rite of their ancestors, without being either morally adrift like the Episcopalians or isolated and wingnutty like the various Catholic traditionalist sects.

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In fact, all the Roman Catholic converts I know, LOVE the Byzantine Rite. They don't view it as some cultural "barrier" at all.

Well, now you've met one who disagrees.

Offline SeanMc

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In fact, all the Roman Catholic converts I know, LOVE the Byzantine Rite. They don't view it as some cultural "barrier" at all.

Well, for me the cultural barrier is great with Orthodoxy. ALL of the Divnie Liturgies within an 1h30min distance are half-English/half-Eastern European (or Arabic) language, or no English at all.

The Western rite has always seen as more universal, especially considering how the Easterns could not expand East because of the expansion of Islam and West because of the Patriarch of Rome. Whereas the Western rite has taken hold of all over the world.

The Western liturgy is based upon the Roman Canon, which is the oldest Canon of them all. The liturgy of Rome is built upon blood of the martyrs of Rome, indeed the main martyrs of Rome are honoured at each Mass.

Ask yourself, should Orthodoxy be Eastern Orthodoxy, or should it be the one, holy, universal, and apostolic Church.

The Apostle tells us to "hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good." Indeed, we have seen Christians throughout the ages adapting this principle to pagan culture (ex., the use of a halo in pre-Christian Greek culture, did not signify holiness as it does with saints, but deity; Christians incorporated this artistic feature into icons to show the holiness of saints). If Christians can accept the ideas of pagan culture in a Christian sense, what sense is there in not accepting the traditions, especially liturgical, of schismatics who have the orthodox teaching on what is important to the liturgy (that Christ is truly present in the mysteries and that we pay homage to the Holy Trinity).

I have to say, I am attracted to Orthodox theology, but not the ethnicity that has sunk into every detail of Orthodox life. How can the Orthodox claim to be universal, when they are so deeply divided along ethnic lines? I don't mean to offend anyone, but this is the impression I've been getting, hopefully it's not true for the majority (of course, most laity couldn't care less).

Offline ozgeorge

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How can the Orthodox claim to be universal, when they are so deeply divided along ethnic lines?

Iv'e been hearing such statements for years with absolutely no evidence provided. Now I just switch off to them the same way I do with Leonard Cohen.
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