Author Topic: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage  (Read 15963 times)

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Offline Papist

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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #180 on: September 10, 2015, 06:16:56 PM »

why would God allow us to muck it up so badly when it is something as important as a sacrament of His church?

Upon thinking about it more, I think could make sense of the Orthodox approach if I thought of it as a sort of dispensation from the obligations of married life based on mercy and compassion, similar to how priests can receive dispensation from holy orders.

Is it very different to ask why God would allow anyone to mess up his/her own salvation?  God allows us free will.  I assume some priest someplace has messed up while saying Mass or Divine Liturgy.  When people get involved, things can get messed up.

The dispensation idea is interesting, but does it fully apply?  A Roman Catholic can legally divorce a spouse for good cause and remain in good standing.  Which is something of a dispensation from the married life, I suppose.  Could one take it further to say fidelity to the spouse is no longer required?  Seems like a 2nd marriage would then be somewhat polygamous.  But I am not familiar with the concept of dispensation from holy orders.   

You are correct in saying civil divorce is acceptable in the Catholic Church. The couple, if the marriage is valid, would be expected to remain celibate thereafter since marriage is indissoluble. I also agree that a 2nd marriage would seem to be committing bigamy if marriage is indissoluble. Marriage either is or isn't indissoluble. That is why the Orthodox position doesn't make complete sense to me. They claim that marriage as a sacrament is forever, but by the same token also say marriages can "die"? I understand that "practically" it seems not to work out to not allow divorce, but that does not make the sanctioning of sin okay.
Would you rather a person die in his sins, or that the Church would exercise its authority of binding and loosing to forgive a person of the sin of divorce so that that person can get a second chance?

Please understand that this is not an attack on your Church. I think what Luthien is trying to understand is something that I am confused about as well in regard to EO teaching on the matter. How can there be salvation without repentance, and how can there be repentance when a person is persisting in sin? Again, please understand that I am not attacking the EO Church, but along with Luthien, seeking to understand.
How is one "persisting in sin" by remarrying after divorce when the Church recognizes the divorce and forgives the divorcee? To assert that one is "persisting in sin" in this scenario is to imply that the Church is powerless to forgive sins (i.e., the sin of divorce).
It seems that the person is persisting in sin by continually engaging in an act of which he or she has not repented. If I say I am sorry for lying, and then have every intention of continuing to lie, have I really repented?
Are you even reading what I'm saying? ???

Perhaps there is some confusion rooted in the differences in how we are approaching marriage, divorce, et al.  As a Roman Catholic, the problem isn't necessarily the civil divorce (we don't have another kind available), but the second "marriage".  Getting a civil divorce isn't necessarily a sin.  For instance, one spouse is beating the other.  The sinning part is the second marriage since the first, presumably sacramental marriage, still exists.  Thus, for a Roman Catholic, to be forgiven one would need to separate from the second "spouse".  Approaching from a different angle, if one obtains an ecclesiastical divorce, the ending of the first marriage is the sin; once that is done and forgiven, the person is free to move on.  Or, that is what I am getting from this discussion. 

Hope I'm not cross-posting...I think my response is still on target.  :)

Proudnifi,

the fundamental difference is that Roman exegesis of the relevant verses ("What God joined togehter, let no man separate") are understood as statement of facts not as a commandment that should not, but has the potential to be broken.

Roman understanding from that verse is that it is similar to saying "You saw it, you can act as if you didn't (which would be sinful), but it's really impossible to unsee". "Once married, always married" stems from the same attachment to irreversibility, infallibility, inerrancy, indelibility that would grow to full maturity in the other Western concept of "once saved, always saved". The former is a weaker application of those principles, limited to a sacrament, while the latter is a stronger instance of the same principles.

Orthodox Catholic understanding, on the other hand, is that the verse is like the 10 commandments "That's how I planned it for you, don't disobey me", meaning, you should get married and stay married, just like you should honor your parents and never dishonor them. But people actually disobey both, and you have to deal with it somehow.

From another angle, Roman doctrine is unware that it states that breaking a marriage is a sin we are unable to practice. Under their doctrine the sin is the failure in noticing that you are still married. The only solution for a divorced person is to go back to the spouse or remain celibate if the spouse is just too violent. IMO, it's a way of rewarding violence and punishing innocence.

Orthodox Catholic doctrine says something different. Yes, you can actually commit the sin of breaking a marriage. An aggressive spouse, for example, is the one who commits the sin of breaking the marriage, and that's why the victim can go. Those ties were already broken by the other part with the first aggression. The lambs and sheep in this case - the wife and children - are protected and even allowed to have a real loving protector. The aggressor, if he repents and changes his ways, may also have a second chance (although, imo, if anyone should stay celibate as penitance it's this kind of person).

Or in a less drastic case, let's consider "simple" adultery. The adulterous person is the one who committed the sin actually destroying the marriage. The victim can go because the ties were already broken by the adulterer. The adulterer can repent and have a second chance. There's nothing to go back to, or to rescue. It was destroyed by sin and repetance consists in not doing it again.

That's the understanding I was getting.  Marriage isn't really permanent.  It's just supposed to be.   Does Baptism or Holy Orders work the same way?  Under Orthodox belief, can a priest lose his ability (not sure that is the correct term) to be a priest?  I don't mean lose permission, I mean lose the benefits of Holy Orders?
Yes, I believe this is true. The Orthodox Church, AFAIK, does not teach that ordination places upon the ordained an "indelible mark" that can never be removed. If I recall Orthodox doctrine correctly, a priest who is either defrocked or resigns his priesthood loses the grace of ordination and returns fully to the status of a layman.
Catholics don't believe that marriage creates an "indelible mark," just that it is a life-long union regardless of whether or not a person obtains a civil divorce.
"For, by its immensity, the divine substance surpasses every form that our intellect reaches. Thus we are unable to apprehend it by knowing what it is. Yet we are able to have some knowledge of it by knowing what it is not." - St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, I, 14.

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #181 on: September 10, 2015, 06:20:55 PM »

why would God allow us to muck it up so badly when it is something as important as a sacrament of His church?

Upon thinking about it more, I think could make sense of the Orthodox approach if I thought of it as a sort of dispensation from the obligations of married life based on mercy and compassion, similar to how priests can receive dispensation from holy orders.

Is it very different to ask why God would allow anyone to mess up his/her own salvation?  God allows us free will.  I assume some priest someplace has messed up while saying Mass or Divine Liturgy.  When people get involved, things can get messed up.

The dispensation idea is interesting, but does it fully apply?  A Roman Catholic can legally divorce a spouse for good cause and remain in good standing.  Which is something of a dispensation from the married life, I suppose.  Could one take it further to say fidelity to the spouse is no longer required?  Seems like a 2nd marriage would then be somewhat polygamous.  But I am not familiar with the concept of dispensation from holy orders.   

You are correct in saying civil divorce is acceptable in the Catholic Church. The couple, if the marriage is valid, would be expected to remain celibate thereafter since marriage is indissoluble. I also agree that a 2nd marriage would seem to be committing bigamy if marriage is indissoluble. Marriage either is or isn't indissoluble. That is why the Orthodox position doesn't make complete sense to me. They claim that marriage as a sacrament is forever, but by the same token also say marriages can "die"? I understand that "practically" it seems not to work out to not allow divorce, but that does not make the sanctioning of sin okay.
Would you rather a person die in his sins, or that the Church would exercise its authority of binding and loosing to forgive a person of the sin of divorce so that that person can get a second chance?

Please understand that this is not an attack on your Church. I think what Luthien is trying to understand is something that I am confused about as well in regard to EO teaching on the matter. How can there be salvation without repentance, and how can there be repentance when a person is persisting in sin? Again, please understand that I am not attacking the EO Church, but along with Luthien, seeking to understand.
How is one "persisting in sin" by remarrying after divorce when the Church recognizes the divorce and forgives the divorcee? To assert that one is "persisting in sin" in this scenario is to imply that the Church is powerless to forgive sins (i.e., the sin of divorce).
It seems that the person is persisting in sin by continually engaging in an act of which he or she has not repented. If I say I am sorry for lying, and then have every intention of continuing to lie, have I really repented?

Does the divorced person have every intention of continuing to get divorces?  :o  ;)

As we know, sin is missing the mark. The mark, in marriage, is to stay married. Divorce misses that mark. The Church exercises its Christ-given authority to forgive sins, and in the case of remarriage (not just remarriage after divorce, but remarriage after the death of a spouse as well) practices economy for the sake of the souls of those involved, so that they are not cut off from the life of the Church. But even this economy is not limitless- you will not get approval to remarry as often as you'd like. This, to me, is a much more logical system that respects Christ's teachings on marriage than the complicated contortionism of jumping through a myriad of legalistic hoops to pretend a marriage never happened in the first place for reasons as simple as one of the parties not understanding what "the nature of marriage" is, or you thought the person possessed a quality it turns out they didn't, etc. And this you can do infinity times!

I know that comes across as snarky, and for that I'm sorry, but the entire Catholic stance (and superiority-complex exhibited by some) on this issue is really baffling to me.

I don't feel superior on the issue - I simply don't understand EO and OO reasoning in regard to this matter. If a man has every intention of having sex with a woman after abandoning his wife, how can he be repentant?

If he abandoned her, she is no longer his wife. His sin consists in having abandoned her, thus destroying the marriage. His repetance consists in not doing it again in case he remarries, or avoiding new marriages altogether if he finds he is unable to stand up for that role.
But if Christ says that to remarry is to commit adultery, and adultery is the sin of a married person having sex with someone who is not his wife, doesn't it follow that the the remarried person is still married to his first wife in Christ's eyes?
Jesus also stated that the Church has the keys to the Kingdom, that whatever the Church binds on earth is bound in heaven, and whatever the Church looses on earth is loosed in heaven. Does the Church, then, not have the authority to interpret the words of Christ on divorce and remarriage? Does the Church not have the authority to loosen the rules when needed so that as many persons as possible may be saved, as even Christ Himself did on many occasions. (This is why I said earlier to someone else that while your church focuses on sin, our Church focuses on salvation.)
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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #182 on: September 10, 2015, 06:21:36 PM »

why would God allow us to muck it up so badly when it is something as important as a sacrament of His church?

Upon thinking about it more, I think could make sense of the Orthodox approach if I thought of it as a sort of dispensation from the obligations of married life based on mercy and compassion, similar to how priests can receive dispensation from holy orders.

Is it very different to ask why God would allow anyone to mess up his/her own salvation?  God allows us free will.  I assume some priest someplace has messed up while saying Mass or Divine Liturgy.  When people get involved, things can get messed up.

The dispensation idea is interesting, but does it fully apply?  A Roman Catholic can legally divorce a spouse for good cause and remain in good standing.  Which is something of a dispensation from the married life, I suppose.  Could one take it further to say fidelity to the spouse is no longer required?  Seems like a 2nd marriage would then be somewhat polygamous.  But I am not familiar with the concept of dispensation from holy orders.   

You are correct in saying civil divorce is acceptable in the Catholic Church. The couple, if the marriage is valid, would be expected to remain celibate thereafter since marriage is indissoluble. I also agree that a 2nd marriage would seem to be committing bigamy if marriage is indissoluble. Marriage either is or isn't indissoluble. That is why the Orthodox position doesn't make complete sense to me. They claim that marriage as a sacrament is forever, but by the same token also say marriages can "die"? I understand that "practically" it seems not to work out to not allow divorce, but that does not make the sanctioning of sin okay.
Would you rather a person die in his sins, or that the Church would exercise its authority of binding and loosing to forgive a person of the sin of divorce so that that person can get a second chance?

The later Father Alexander Schmemann wrote that no matter how many times a priest were to  pray the prayer of absolution over a person, if that person were not truly repentant, he/she would not be forgiven. It is God who forgives, not the priest. True, the priest is an Alter Christus, so he acts in the name of Christ, but ultimately a person's sins cannot be forgiven if they have not experienced a deep metanoia (love of God, desire to change their lifestyle, and sorrow for their sins). One can lie to a priest, but one cannot lie to God, Whom the priest represents.


« Last Edit: September 10, 2015, 06:27:28 PM by Maria »
The memory of God should be treasured in our hearts like the precious pearl mentioned in the Holy Gospel. Our life's goal should be to nurture and contemplate God always within, and never let it depart, for this steadfastness will drive demons away from us. - Paraphrased from St. Philotheus of Sinai
Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart,
Translated from the Russian by E. Kadloubovksy and G.E.H. Palmer, Faber and Faber, London, Boston, 1992 printing.

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #183 on: September 10, 2015, 06:22:21 PM »

why would God allow us to muck it up so badly when it is something as important as a sacrament of His church?

Upon thinking about it more, I think could make sense of the Orthodox approach if I thought of it as a sort of dispensation from the obligations of married life based on mercy and compassion, similar to how priests can receive dispensation from holy orders.

Is it very different to ask why God would allow anyone to mess up his/her own salvation?  God allows us free will.  I assume some priest someplace has messed up while saying Mass or Divine Liturgy.  When people get involved, things can get messed up.

The dispensation idea is interesting, but does it fully apply?  A Roman Catholic can legally divorce a spouse for good cause and remain in good standing.  Which is something of a dispensation from the married life, I suppose.  Could one take it further to say fidelity to the spouse is no longer required?  Seems like a 2nd marriage would then be somewhat polygamous.  But I am not familiar with the concept of dispensation from holy orders.   

You are correct in saying civil divorce is acceptable in the Catholic Church. The couple, if the marriage is valid, would be expected to remain celibate thereafter since marriage is indissoluble. I also agree that a 2nd marriage would seem to be committing bigamy if marriage is indissoluble. Marriage either is or isn't indissoluble. That is why the Orthodox position doesn't make complete sense to me. They claim that marriage as a sacrament is forever, but by the same token also say marriages can "die"? I understand that "practically" it seems not to work out to not allow divorce, but that does not make the sanctioning of sin okay.
Would you rather a person die in his sins, or that the Church would exercise its authority of binding and loosing to forgive a person of the sin of divorce so that that person can get a second chance?

Please understand that this is not an attack on your Church. I think what Luthien is trying to understand is something that I am confused about as well in regard to EO teaching on the matter. How can there be salvation without repentance, and how can there be repentance when a person is persisting in sin? Again, please understand that I am not attacking the EO Church, but along with Luthien, seeking to understand.
How is one "persisting in sin" by remarrying after divorce when the Church recognizes the divorce and forgives the divorcee? To assert that one is "persisting in sin" in this scenario is to imply that the Church is powerless to forgive sins (i.e., the sin of divorce).
It seems that the person is persisting in sin by continually engaging in an act of which he or she has not repented. If I say I am sorry for lying, and then have every intention of continuing to lie, have I really repented?
Are you even reading what I'm saying? ???

Perhaps there is some confusion rooted in the differences in how we are approaching marriage, divorce, et al.  As a Roman Catholic, the problem isn't necessarily the civil divorce (we don't have another kind available), but the second "marriage".  Getting a civil divorce isn't necessarily a sin.  For instance, one spouse is beating the other.  The sinning part is the second marriage since the first, presumably sacramental marriage, still exists.  Thus, for a Roman Catholic, to be forgiven one would need to separate from the second "spouse".  Approaching from a different angle, if one obtains an ecclesiastical divorce, the ending of the first marriage is the sin; once that is done and forgiven, the person is free to move on.  Or, that is what I am getting from this discussion. 

Hope I'm not cross-posting...I think my response is still on target.  :)

Proudnifi,

the fundamental difference is that Roman exegesis of the relevant verses ("What God joined togehter, let no man separate") are understood as statement of facts not as a commandment that should not, but has the potential to be broken.

Roman understanding from that verse is that it is similar to saying "You saw it, you can act as if you didn't (which would be sinful), but it's really impossible to unsee". "Once married, always married" stems from the same attachment to irreversibility, infallibility, inerrancy, indelibility that would grow to full maturity in the other Western concept of "once saved, always saved". The former is a weaker application of those principles, limited to a sacrament, while the latter is a stronger instance of the same principles.

Orthodox Catholic understanding, on the other hand, is that the verse is like the 10 commandments "That's how I planned it for you, don't disobey me", meaning, you should get married and stay married, just like you should honor your parents and never dishonor them. But people actually disobey both, and you have to deal with it somehow.

From another angle, Roman doctrine is unware that it states that breaking a marriage is a sin we are unable to practice. Under their doctrine the sin is the failure in noticing that you are still married. The only solution for a divorced person is to go back to the spouse or remain celibate if the spouse is just too violent. IMO, it's a way of rewarding violence and punishing innocence.

Orthodox Catholic doctrine says something different. Yes, you can actually commit the sin of breaking a marriage. An aggressive spouse, for example, is the one who commits the sin of breaking the marriage, and that's why the victim can go. Those ties were already broken by the other part with the first aggression. The lambs and sheep in this case - the wife and children - are protected and even allowed to have a real loving protector. The aggressor, if he repents and changes his ways, may also have a second chance (although, imo, if anyone should stay celibate as penitance it's this kind of person).

Or in a less drastic case, let's consider "simple" adultery. The adulterous person is the one who committed the sin actually destroying the marriage. The victim can go because the ties were already broken by the adulterer. The adulterer can repent and have a second chance. There's nothing to go back to, or to rescue. It was destroyed by sin and repetance consists in not doing it again.

That's the understanding I was getting.  Marriage isn't really permanent.  It's just supposed to be.   Does Baptism or Holy Orders work the same way?  Under Orthodox belief, can a priest lose his ability (not sure that is the correct term) to be a priest?  I don't mean lose permission, I mean lose the benefits of Holy Orders?
Yes, I believe this is true. The Orthodox Church, AFAIK, does not teach that ordination places upon the ordained an "indelible mark" that can never be removed. If I recall Orthodox doctrine correctly, a priest who is either defrocked or resigns his priesthood loses the grace of ordination and returns fully to the status of a layman.
Catholics don't believe that marriage creates an "indelible mark," just that it is a life-long union regardless of whether or not a person obtains a civil divorce.
But I wasn't talking about marriage in the post you just quoted. I was answering a question about our view of ordination and whether its charism can be lost.
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Offline Papist

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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #184 on: September 10, 2015, 06:23:47 PM »

why would God allow us to muck it up so badly when it is something as important as a sacrament of His church?

Upon thinking about it more, I think could make sense of the Orthodox approach if I thought of it as a sort of dispensation from the obligations of married life based on mercy and compassion, similar to how priests can receive dispensation from holy orders.

Is it very different to ask why God would allow anyone to mess up his/her own salvation?  God allows us free will.  I assume some priest someplace has messed up while saying Mass or Divine Liturgy.  When people get involved, things can get messed up.

The dispensation idea is interesting, but does it fully apply?  A Roman Catholic can legally divorce a spouse for good cause and remain in good standing.  Which is something of a dispensation from the married life, I suppose.  Could one take it further to say fidelity to the spouse is no longer required?  Seems like a 2nd marriage would then be somewhat polygamous.  But I am not familiar with the concept of dispensation from holy orders.   

You are correct in saying civil divorce is acceptable in the Catholic Church. The couple, if the marriage is valid, would be expected to remain celibate thereafter since marriage is indissoluble. I also agree that a 2nd marriage would seem to be committing bigamy if marriage is indissoluble. Marriage either is or isn't indissoluble. That is why the Orthodox position doesn't make complete sense to me. They claim that marriage as a sacrament is forever, but by the same token also say marriages can "die"? I understand that "practically" it seems not to work out to not allow divorce, but that does not make the sanctioning of sin okay.
Would you rather a person die in his sins, or that the Church would exercise its authority of binding and loosing to forgive a person of the sin of divorce so that that person can get a second chance?

Please understand that this is not an attack on your Church. I think what Luthien is trying to understand is something that I am confused about as well in regard to EO teaching on the matter. How can there be salvation without repentance, and how can there be repentance when a person is persisting in sin? Again, please understand that I am not attacking the EO Church, but along with Luthien, seeking to understand.
How is one "persisting in sin" by remarrying after divorce when the Church recognizes the divorce and forgives the divorcee? To assert that one is "persisting in sin" in this scenario is to imply that the Church is powerless to forgive sins (i.e., the sin of divorce).
It seems that the person is persisting in sin by continually engaging in an act of which he or she has not repented. If I say I am sorry for lying, and then have every intention of continuing to lie, have I really repented?

Does the divorced person have every intention of continuing to get divorces?  :o  ;)

As we know, sin is missing the mark. The mark, in marriage, is to stay married. Divorce misses that mark. The Church exercises its Christ-given authority to forgive sins, and in the case of remarriage (not just remarriage after divorce, but remarriage after the death of a spouse as well) practices economy for the sake of the souls of those involved, so that they are not cut off from the life of the Church. But even this economy is not limitless- you will not get approval to remarry as often as you'd like. This, to me, is a much more logical system that respects Christ's teachings on marriage than the complicated contortionism of jumping through a myriad of legalistic hoops to pretend a marriage never happened in the first place for reasons as simple as one of the parties not understanding what "the nature of marriage" is, or you thought the person possessed a quality it turns out they didn't, etc. And this you can do infinity times!

I know that comes across as snarky, and for that I'm sorry, but the entire Catholic stance (and superiority-complex exhibited by some) on this issue is really baffling to me.

I don't feel superior on the issue - I simply don't understand EO and OO reasoning in regard to this matter. If a man has every intention of having sex with a woman after abandoning his wife, how can he be repentant?

If he abandoned her, she is no longer his wife. His sin consists in having abandoned her, thus destroying the marriage. His repetance consists in not doing it again in case he remarries, or avoiding new marriages altogether if he finds he is unable to stand up for that role.
But if Christ says that to remarry is to commit adultery, and adultery is the sin of a married person having sex with someone who is not his wife, doesn't it follow that the the remarried person is still married to his first wife in Christ's eyes?
Jesus also stated that the Church has the keys to the Kingdom, that whatever the Church binds on earth is bound in heaven, and whatever the Church looses on earth is loosed in heaven. Does the Church, then, not have the authority to interpret the words of Christ on divorce and remarriage? Does the Church not have the authority to loosen the rules when needed so that as many persons as possible may be saved, as even Christ Himself did on many occasions. (This is why I said earlier to someone else that while your church focuses on sin, our Church focuses on salvation.)
"What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." - Mark 10:9
I guess we just view the keys differently. Not an attack, just an observation.
"For, by its immensity, the divine substance surpasses every form that our intellect reaches. Thus we are unable to apprehend it by knowing what it is. Yet we are able to have some knowledge of it by knowing what it is not." - St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, I, 14.

Offline Papist

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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #185 on: September 10, 2015, 06:25:23 PM »
And no, I wouldn't want the person to go to hell.  I would want the person to repent and be saved, even if that repentance means living as brother and sister with his new "wife."

Not a dis on your Church, just an observation of the different understandings we have on this issue. Probably an irreconcilable difference.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2015, 06:27:00 PM by Papist »
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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #186 on: September 10, 2015, 06:33:29 PM »
And no, I wouldn't want the person to go to hell.  I would want the person to repent and be saved, even if that repentance means living as brother and sister with his new "wife."

Not a dis on your Church, just an observation of the different understandings we have on this issue. Probably an irreconcilable difference.

Papist,

Even within Orthodoxy, priests would rather that divorced persons and those who are widowed not seek new spouses. They would also prefer that those women who are post-menopausal not seek a spouse, or that older married couples would live as brothers and sisters.

This may come as a shock to some, but those are the preferences of both the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Church in earlier times, but modernism has ushered in the new sexual revolution. Nuf said.
The memory of God should be treasured in our hearts like the precious pearl mentioned in the Holy Gospel. Our life's goal should be to nurture and contemplate God always within, and never let it depart, for this steadfastness will drive demons away from us. - Paraphrased from St. Philotheus of Sinai
Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart,
Translated from the Russian by E. Kadloubovksy and G.E.H. Palmer, Faber and Faber, London, Boston, 1992 printing.

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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #187 on: September 10, 2015, 06:34:54 PM »
That's the understanding I was getting.  Marriage isn't really permanent.  It's just supposed to be.   Does Baptism or Holy Orders work the same way?  Under Orthodox belief, can a priest lose his ability (not sure that is the correct term) to be a priest?  I don't mean lose permission, I mean lose the benefits of Holy Orders?

If a priest is just suspended he is still a priest but for some reason not permitted to celebrate the Liturgy.

If he is defrocked he really is no longer a priest. There is no such a thing as indelible marks.

Right there you can see a major difference in the understanding of the sacraments that is related to the Roman/Orthodox theologies about God Himself.

In Orthodox Catholicsm God has many energies (His Presence, Glory, Grace, etc). Sacraments, or Mysteries, are expressions of these energies which are Himself just like my presence is myself and one cannot be apart from the other. We can participate in these energies with our own, so to speak, so, when I put my presence in the Presence of God, they are in synergy, united. If I could put all my presence in His Presence with perfect attention and fully open heart, I would be fully sanctified. If I retrieved my presence from His, I would revet to my wretched state. The Virgin Mary, for example, was always 100% in His Presence, all her mind, all her heart, all her attention, hence, "Full of Grace".

So, I can participate in the Sacramental Grace of Matrimony or break this participation with my sin. I can participate in the Sacramenal Grace of the Holy Order, or, being defrocked, be sent away from it.

Rome, unfortunately, abandoned this holy teaching, and treat Grace as something created, not God Himslf, but action in the world. Feeling the Presence of God is not an objective experience of His objectively real presence, but a created perception. A good comparison between Orthodox and Roman concepts of grace and energies is that when Moses talks about the Presence of God in the Tabernacle, an Orthodox would understand that God Himself was literally there, in Person, while a Roman would say that it was more like a video-message. The real Person remained somewhere apart, and although the "image" seen there accurately represents Him, it was but a construction, different from God as pixels are from human flesh.

The consequence of that perspective is that when God acts in the world, for Romans, He has to actually be changing the world itself and these changes cannot be reversed because His decisions are perfect. It shortcircuits the whole thing in a way imposing into the mutable created world an immutability that belongs to God alone just because Romans, fundamentally, do not believe that God can really be manifest in the world beyond the Person of Jesus Christ; in other words, despite all the good will, their fundamental assumptions imply they do not believe in an actual Church as the Body of Christ with His real Spirit in it just like my spirit is in my body. The Church is just another grace created from outside the world with no inner order (because the world has no inner order). And that's why, in their perspective, it also needs a source of order in the world, a pope or a bible. God is not there, "for real", He just made it from outside as a watchmaker and now and then He performs other fiats known as miracles to show the direction.

All that is to say, for Romans, when God "makes a priest", it means that He went to that clay "doll" changed it to the new form of priest, and because He only takes perfect decisions and being perfect cannot change, the new form will never revert to its previous form. The same goes for marriage, who is the first-among-equals, etc etc.

For us Orthodox Catholics, when a priest is ordained, it's like he is brought to the spot on stage where the light of priesthood (God's grace) is shining. When you see the priest "in flames" because of God, it's actually God's light and not the priest's new form, that you're seeing. If the man is defrocked or even excomunicated, it means that the immutable light remains right there where it always stood, but the man was taken out of it. The light of priesthood is no longer on him.


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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #188 on: September 10, 2015, 06:39:20 PM »

why would God allow us to muck it up so badly when it is something as important as a sacrament of His church?

Upon thinking about it more, I think could make sense of the Orthodox approach if I thought of it as a sort of dispensation from the obligations of married life based on mercy and compassion, similar to how priests can receive dispensation from holy orders.

Is it very different to ask why God would allow anyone to mess up his/her own salvation?  God allows us free will.  I assume some priest someplace has messed up while saying Mass or Divine Liturgy.  When people get involved, things can get messed up.

The dispensation idea is interesting, but does it fully apply?  A Roman Catholic can legally divorce a spouse for good cause and remain in good standing.  Which is something of a dispensation from the married life, I suppose.  Could one take it further to say fidelity to the spouse is no longer required?  Seems like a 2nd marriage would then be somewhat polygamous.  But I am not familiar with the concept of dispensation from holy orders.   

You are correct in saying civil divorce is acceptable in the Catholic Church. The couple, if the marriage is valid, would be expected to remain celibate thereafter since marriage is indissoluble. I also agree that a 2nd marriage would seem to be committing bigamy if marriage is indissoluble. Marriage either is or isn't indissoluble. That is why the Orthodox position doesn't make complete sense to me. They claim that marriage as a sacrament is forever, but by the same token also say marriages can "die"? I understand that "practically" it seems not to work out to not allow divorce, but that does not make the sanctioning of sin okay.
Would you rather a person die in his sins, or that the Church would exercise its authority of binding and loosing to forgive a person of the sin of divorce so that that person can get a second chance?

Please understand that this is not an attack on your Church. I think what Luthien is trying to understand is something that I am confused about as well in regard to EO teaching on the matter. How can there be salvation without repentance, and how can there be repentance when a person is persisting in sin? Again, please understand that I am not attacking the EO Church, but along with Luthien, seeking to understand.
How is one "persisting in sin" by remarrying after divorce when the Church recognizes the divorce and forgives the divorcee? To assert that one is "persisting in sin" in this scenario is to imply that the Church is powerless to forgive sins (i.e., the sin of divorce).
It seems that the person is persisting in sin by continually engaging in an act of which he or she has not repented. If I say I am sorry for lying, and then have every intention of continuing to lie, have I really repented?

Does the divorced person have every intention of continuing to get divorces?  :o  ;)

As we know, sin is missing the mark. The mark, in marriage, is to stay married. Divorce misses that mark. The Church exercises its Christ-given authority to forgive sins, and in the case of remarriage (not just remarriage after divorce, but remarriage after the death of a spouse as well) practices economy for the sake of the souls of those involved, so that they are not cut off from the life of the Church. But even this economy is not limitless- you will not get approval to remarry as often as you'd like. This, to me, is a much more logical system that respects Christ's teachings on marriage than the complicated contortionism of jumping through a myriad of legalistic hoops to pretend a marriage never happened in the first place for reasons as simple as one of the parties not understanding what "the nature of marriage" is, or you thought the person possessed a quality it turns out they didn't, etc. And this you can do infinity times!

I know that comes across as snarky, and for that I'm sorry, but the entire Catholic stance (and superiority-complex exhibited by some) on this issue is really baffling to me.

I don't feel superior on the issue - I simply don't understand EO and OO reasoning in regard to this matter. If a man has every intention of having sex with a woman after abandoning his wife, how can he be repentant?

If he abandoned her, she is no longer his wife. His sin consists in having abandoned her, thus destroying the marriage. His repetance consists in not doing it again in case he remarries, or avoiding new marriages altogether if he finds he is unable to stand up for that role.
But if Christ says that to remarry is to commit adultery, and adultery is the sin of a married person having sex with someone who is not his wife, doesn't it follow that the the remarried person is still married to his first wife in Christ's eyes?
Jesus also stated that the Church has the keys to the Kingdom, that whatever the Church binds on earth is bound in heaven, and whatever the Church looses on earth is loosed in heaven. Does the Church, then, not have the authority to interpret the words of Christ on divorce and remarriage? Does the Church not have the authority to loosen the rules when needed so that as many persons as possible may be saved, as even Christ Himself did on many occasions. (This is why I said earlier to someone else that while your church focuses on sin, our Church focuses on salvation.)
"What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." - Mark 10:9
I guess we just view the keys differently. Not an attack, just an observation.
When the Church exercises her God-given authority to bind and to loose, is it merely the human members of the Church who are acting, or is it Christ Who is acting through His Body the Church?
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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #189 on: September 10, 2015, 06:42:49 PM »
That's the understanding I was getting.  Marriage isn't really permanent.  It's just supposed to be.   Does Baptism or Holy Orders work the same way?  Under Orthodox belief, can a priest lose his ability (not sure that is the correct term) to be a priest?  I don't mean lose permission, I mean lose the benefits of Holy Orders?

If a priest is just suspended he is still a priest but for some reason not permitted to celebrate the Liturgy.

If he is defrocked he really is no longer a priest. There is no such a thing as indelible marks.

Right there you can see a major difference in the understanding of the sacraments that is related to the Roman/Orthodox theologies about God Himself.

In Orthodox Catholicsm God has many energies (His Presence, Glory, Grace, etc). Sacraments, or Mysteries, are expressions of these energies which are Himself just like my presence is myself and one cannot be apart from the other. We can participate in these energies with our own, so to speak, so, when I put my presence in the Presence of God, they are in synergy, united. If I could put all my presence in His Presence with perfect attention and fully open heart, I would be fully sanctified. If I retrieved my presence from His, I would revet to my wretched state. The Virgin Mary, for example, was always 100% in His Presence, all her mind, all her heart, all her attention, hence, "Full of Grace".

So, I can participate in the Sacramental Grace of Matrimony or break this participation with my sin. I can participate in the Sacramenal Grace of the Holy Order, or, being defrocked, be sent away from it.

Rome, unfortunately, abandoned this holy teaching, and treat Grace as something created, not God Himslf, but action in the world. Feeling the Presence of God is not an objective experience of His objectively real presence, but a created perception. A good comparison between Orthodox and Roman concepts of grace and energies is that when Moses talks about the Presence of God in the Tabernacle, an Orthodox would understand that God Himself was literally there, in Person, while a Roman would say that it was more like a video-message. The real Person remained somewhere apart, and although the "image" seen there accurately represents Him, it was but a construction, different from God as pixels are from human flesh.

The consequence of that perspective is that when God acts in the world, for Romans, He has to actually be changing the world itself and these changes cannot be reversed because His decisions are perfect. It shortcircuits the whole thing in a way imposing into the mutable created world an immutability that belongs to God alone just because Romans, fundamentally, do not believe that God can really be manifest in the world beyond the Person of Jesus Christ; in other words, despite all the good will, their fundamental assumptions imply they do not believe in an actual Church as the Body of Christ with His real Spirit in it just like my spirit is in my body. The Church is just another grace created from outside the world with no inner order (because the world has no inner order). And that's why, in their perspective, it also needs a source of order in the world, a pope or a bible. God is not there, "for real", He just made it from outside as a watchmaker and now and then He performs other fiats known as miracles to show the direction.

All that is to say, for Romans, when God "makes a priest", it means that He went to that clay "doll" changed it to the new form of priest, and because He only takes perfect decisions and being perfect cannot change, the new form will never revert to its previous form. The same goes for marriage, who is the first-among-equals, etc etc.

For us Orthodox Catholics, when a priest is ordained, it's like he is brought to the spot on stage where the light of priesthood (God's grace) is shining. When you see the priest "in flames" because of God, it's actually God's light and not the priest's new form, that you're seeing. If the man is defrocked or even excomunicated, it means that the immutable light remains right there where it always stood, but the man was taken out of it. The light of priesthood is no longer on him.

"If he is defrocked he really is no longer a priest. There is no such a thing as indelible marks."

Not really. Let's say a priest is defrocked because of his alcoholism.
He repents and becomes sober.
His bishop need not ordain him anew.
His bishop can simply grant him absolution and reinstate him.

Not going to name names, but there have been priests who have committed adultery.
Now, normally, those priests would have been defrocked, but these priests were wanted and needed for their pastoral skills.
They repented, and were reinstated by the bishop, but only IF their wives accepted them.

If "indelible marks" were somehow erased, then defrocked priests would have to be re-ordained.
The memory of God should be treasured in our hearts like the precious pearl mentioned in the Holy Gospel. Our life's goal should be to nurture and contemplate God always within, and never let it depart, for this steadfastness will drive demons away from us. - Paraphrased from St. Philotheus of Sinai
Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart,
Translated from the Russian by E. Kadloubovksy and G.E.H. Palmer, Faber and Faber, London, Boston, 1992 printing.

Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #190 on: September 10, 2015, 06:42:53 PM »
But if Christ says that to remarry is to commit adultery, and adultery is the sin of a married person having sex with someone who is not his wife, doesn't it follow that the the remarried person is still married to his first wife in Christ's eyes?

It's a commandment, not a statement of fact. If you kill someone (or a marriage) the person (or the marriage) stays dead. Repetance consists in not killing the next person (or marriage).

If you abandon your wife, if you commit adultery to her, if you hurt her, you're no longer her husband.

And I will ask again. God unites us to Him in Baptism and the Eucharist. Can man separate what God joined there by becoming a heretic or an apostate? Or are the ties between man and woman stronger than those of God and the Church?

Many Energies, 3 Persons, 2 Natures, 1 God, 1 Church, 1 Baptism, and 1 Cup. The Son begotten only from the Father, the Spirit proceeding only from the Father, Each glorifying the Other. The Son sends the Spirit, the Spirit Reveals the Son, the Father is seen in the Son. The Spirit spoke through the Prophets and Fathers and does so even today.

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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #191 on: September 10, 2015, 07:13:36 PM »
But if Christ says that to remarry is to commit adultery, and adultery is the sin of a married person having sex with someone who is not his wife, doesn't it follow that the the remarried person is still married to his first wife in Christ's eyes?

It's a commandment, not a statement of fact. If you kill someone (or a marriage) the person (or the marriage) stays dead. Repetance consists in not killing the next person (or marriage).

If you abandon your wife, if you commit adultery to her, if you hurt her, you're no longer her husband.

And I will ask again. God unites us to Him in Baptism and the Eucharist. Can man separate what God joined there by becoming a heretic or an apostate? Or are the ties between man and woman stronger than those of God and the Church?
We do believe that Baptism leaves an indelible mark.
"For, by its immensity, the divine substance surpasses every form that our intellect reaches. Thus we are unable to apprehend it by knowing what it is. Yet we are able to have some knowledge of it by knowing what it is not." - St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, I, 14.

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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #192 on: September 10, 2015, 07:15:39 PM »
But if Christ says that to remarry is to commit adultery, and adultery is the sin of a married person having sex with someone who is not his wife, doesn't it follow that the the remarried person is still married to his first wife in Christ's eyes?

It's a commandment, not a statement of fact. If you kill someone (or a marriage) the person (or the marriage) stays dead. Repetance consists in not killing the next person (or marriage).

If you abandon your wife, if you commit adultery to her, if you hurt her, you're no longer her husband.

And I will ask again. God unites us to Him in Baptism and the Eucharist. Can man separate what God joined there by becoming a heretic or an apostate? Or are the ties between man and woman stronger than those of God and the Church?
We do believe that Baptism leaves an indelible mark.

What then happens if someone apostasizes to another faith? Does the RCC still regard such people as Christian, despite their conversion to another faith?
« Last Edit: September 10, 2015, 07:16:18 PM by LBK »
Am I posting? Or is it Schroedinger's Cat?

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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #193 on: September 10, 2015, 07:15:57 PM »
Thank you all for your patience in explaining what the EO Church teaches on the better. We definitely approach the issue from different paradigms, and that is what made it difficult for me to understand your perspective. While I passionately disagree with you, I am grateful for the opportunity to learn.
"For, by its immensity, the divine substance surpasses every form that our intellect reaches. Thus we are unable to apprehend it by knowing what it is. Yet we are able to have some knowledge of it by knowing what it is not." - St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, I, 14.

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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #194 on: September 10, 2015, 07:17:15 PM »
But if Christ says that to remarry is to commit adultery, and adultery is the sin of a married person having sex with someone who is not his wife, doesn't it follow that the the remarried person is still married to his first wife in Christ's eyes?

It's a commandment, not a statement of fact. If you kill someone (or a marriage) the person (or the marriage) stays dead. Repetance consists in not killing the next person (or marriage).

If you abandon your wife, if you commit adultery to her, if you hurt her, you're no longer her husband.

And I will ask again. God unites us to Him in Baptism and the Eucharist. Can man separate what God joined there by becoming a heretic or an apostate? Or are the ties between man and woman stronger than those of God and the Church?
We do believe that Baptism leaves an indelible mark.

What then happens if someone apostasizes to another faith?
The mark is still there, and so apostasy is worse than never having believed in the first place. It would be like a sort of spiritual adultery against Christ - interestingly that is how the OT prophets described unfaithfulness to God.
"For, by its immensity, the divine substance surpasses every form that our intellect reaches. Thus we are unable to apprehend it by knowing what it is. Yet we are able to have some knowledge of it by knowing what it is not." - St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, I, 14.

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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #195 on: September 10, 2015, 07:19:24 PM »
Papist, I edited my post to clarify it.  :)
Am I posting? Or is it Schroedinger's Cat?

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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #196 on: September 10, 2015, 07:19:29 PM »
But if Christ says that to remarry is to commit adultery, and adultery is the sin of a married person having sex with someone who is not his wife, doesn't it follow that the the remarried person is still married to his first wife in Christ's eyes?

It's a commandment, not a statement of fact. If you kill someone (or a marriage) the person (or the marriage) stays dead. Repetance consists in not killing the next person (or marriage).

If you abandon your wife, if you commit adultery to her, if you hurt her, you're no longer her husband.

And I will ask again. God unites us to Him in Baptism and the Eucharist. Can man separate what God joined there by becoming a heretic or an apostate? Or are the ties between man and woman stronger than those of God and the Church?
We do believe that Baptism leaves an indelible mark.

What then happens if someone apostasizes to another faith?
The mark is still there, and so apostasy is worse than never having believed in the first place. It would be like a sort of spiritual adultery against Christ - interestingly that is how the OT prophets described unfaithfulness to God.

Exactly. Hosea comes to mind.
The memory of God should be treasured in our hearts like the precious pearl mentioned in the Holy Gospel. Our life's goal should be to nurture and contemplate God always within, and never let it depart, for this steadfastness will drive demons away from us. - Paraphrased from St. Philotheus of Sinai
Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart,
Translated from the Russian by E. Kadloubovksy and G.E.H. Palmer, Faber and Faber, London, Boston, 1992 printing.

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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #197 on: September 10, 2015, 07:21:55 PM »
Papist, I edited my post to clarify it.  :)
I see that, and to be honest, I don't have an informed answer. I would lean towards saying "yes" since the mark is indelible, but I would qualify that by saying that such an individual is a sort of "spiritual adulterer." BUT, I could very easily be wrong on this point, and I would need to research the question a bit more.
"For, by its immensity, the divine substance surpasses every form that our intellect reaches. Thus we are unable to apprehend it by knowing what it is. Yet we are able to have some knowledge of it by knowing what it is not." - St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, I, 14.

Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #198 on: September 10, 2015, 07:32:01 PM »
See this case, which is very common actually.

The Case: John betrays Mary. He does not repent from his values that it is ok to cheat, but eventually gets married to Jen, who happens to be 20 years younger than Mary. This marriage to Jen obviously does not occur in a Roman or Orthodox Church, for no bishop from either of them would accept that. He abandons Mary with 3 children and go live with Jen in another city. Mary requests a divorce because of the fornication and abandonment of her former husband who destroyed the marriage that once existed. Four years later, Jen leaves John for a younger partner. Left alone, he spends a year of solitude where he comes to understand the nature of his mistake. He confesses his sin and finds out that Mary has moved on with her life and married Peter. John finds a more suitable partner with Sally and they live together and faithful to the end of their lives.

Roman assessment of this situation: It's a total trainwreck. Everybody is sinning, John never really repented and is living in adultery with Sally, Mary is committing a sin with Peter (despite the fact that Mary filed a divorce even under the qualifications of Jesus that John committed fornication). The "solution" at this point would be for Mary and John to break their current "non-marriages" and go back together forgiving each other. Maybe John being the head of the couple and a virtuous man should even insist with Mary to leave her non-husband and go back with him, giving the example first of living his second non-wife.

Orthodox Catholic assessment: Only John sinned. Mary never committed adultery, she was the victim of adultery, so she could under the qualification that Jesus ordained, move on with her life. Out of discernment about the character of John, she knew it would be impossible to know if he would ever repent. If she was saint with foresight of the future, maybe she could have chosen to wait, but that was not the case. She enters a second marriage with the blessing of her bishop and gets a second chance in achieving that which John almost made impossible with *his* sin. John, on the other hand, learns his lesson, but too late. Mary is already in a new marriage, and because he requested a second chance with a contrite heart, his bishop allows him to marry Sally. *Because* he repented from abandoning wives, he would *never* think of abandoning his new wife. *Because* he repented from those values, he would never *think* of suggesting to Mary to abandon her new husband for himself. He would accept with penitance and contrition the fact that his sin destroyed what he had with Mary in a irreversible manner, that there are consequences to his actions and try to make it better this time with Sally.

IMO, the second assessment expects a spiritually and psychologically more mature person accepting the consequences of his sin, while the expectations for John in the first assessment is that he is still to repeat his mistakes and bring havock to marriages and trying to live as other people should pay for the consequences of his actions.

In short, taking God's words for the commandment to not separate out of context of concrete situations force people to go against the spirit of the commandment. And again, the problem is that Rome thinks it's a statement of fact (they are married, period!) instead of a commandment (that's what you should do).

In fact there is another analogy. Do you believe that in case of just wars all soldiers (or knights) have been sent to hell because they broke the commandment not to kill (which is far more serious than adultery)? And in the case of self-defense, when you kill the person who was trying to kill you? Or if you kill the person who was trying to kill your children or wife?

Is killing less serious than adultery? You can also think (I certainly can) of many cases where divorce is a kind of just self-defense or where the bishop who grants it acts like a father protecting his children from a thief.

Again, I believe the fundamental mistake of Rome is the belief in indellibles, irreversibles, infallibles, thought to preserve God's immutability and honor (God does not go back on His word), but which do the precise opposite by immanentizing His Energies and making Him some sort of uncompassionate literalist unable to assess real situations.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2015, 07:58:13 PM by Fabio Leite »
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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #199 on: September 10, 2015, 07:45:32 PM »
But if Christ says that to remarry is to commit adultery, and adultery is the sin of a married person having sex with someone who is not his wife, doesn't it follow that the the remarried person is still married to his first wife in Christ's eyes?

It's a commandment, not a statement of fact. If you kill someone (or a marriage) the person (or the marriage) stays dead. Repetance consists in not killing the next person (or marriage).

If you abandon your wife, if you commit adultery to her, if you hurt her, you're no longer her husband.

And I will ask again. God unites us to Him in Baptism and the Eucharist. Can man separate what God joined there by becoming a heretic or an apostate? Or are the ties between man and woman stronger than those of God and the Church?
We do believe that Baptism leaves an indelible mark.

What then happens if someone apostasizes to another faith?
The mark is still there, and so apostasy is worse than never having believed in the first place. It would be like a sort of spiritual adultery against Christ - interestingly that is how the OT prophets described unfaithfulness to God.

Exactly. Hosea comes to mind.

And what did God use to do with those who persisted in adultery in the OT? What did Jesus inform us He will say to those who insist on "cheating" on Him?

To preserve the few who remain faithful He does get rid of the unfaithful ones. They are always, somehow, *separated forever* to allow God's will to happen. Not that God does that with pleasure or as a casual measure. He does try to avoid it by all means, but there is always a limit.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2015, 07:46:22 PM by Fabio Leite »
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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #200 on: September 10, 2015, 08:01:30 PM »
But if Christ says that to remarry is to commit adultery, and adultery is the sin of a married person having sex with someone who is not his wife, doesn't it follow that the the remarried person is still married to his first wife in Christ's eyes?

It's a commandment, not a statement of fact. If you kill someone (or a marriage) the person (or the marriage) stays dead. Repetance consists in not killing the next person (or marriage).

If you abandon your wife, if you commit adultery to her, if you hurt her, you're no longer her husband.

And I will ask again. God unites us to Him in Baptism and the Eucharist. Can man separate what God joined there by becoming a heretic or an apostate? Or are the ties between man and woman stronger than those of God and the Church?
We do believe that Baptism leaves an indelible mark.

What then happens if someone apostasizes to another faith?
The mark is still there, and so apostasy is worse than never having believed in the first place. It would be like a sort of spiritual adultery against Christ - interestingly that is how the OT prophets described unfaithfulness to God.

Exactly. Hosea comes to mind.

And what did God use to do with those who persisted in adultery in the OT? What did Jesus inform us He will say to those who insist on "cheating" on Him?

To preserve the few who remain faithful He does get rid of the unfaithful ones. They are always, somehow, *separated forever* to allow God's will to happen. Not that God does that with pleasure or as a casual measure. He does try to avoid it by all means, but there is always a limit.

In Hosea, God instructed the prophet to be faithful to his wife, even if she were not faithful to him. This is how God loves us.
The memory of God should be treasured in our hearts like the precious pearl mentioned in the Holy Gospel. Our life's goal should be to nurture and contemplate God always within, and never let it depart, for this steadfastness will drive demons away from us. - Paraphrased from St. Philotheus of Sinai
Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart,
Translated from the Russian by E. Kadloubovksy and G.E.H. Palmer, Faber and Faber, London, Boston, 1992 printing.

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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #201 on: September 10, 2015, 08:46:14 PM »
But if Christ says that to remarry is to commit adultery, and adultery is the sin of a married person having sex with someone who is not his wife, doesn't it follow that the the remarried person is still married to his first wife in Christ's eyes?

It's a commandment, not a statement of fact. If you kill someone (or a marriage) the person (or the marriage) stays dead. Repetance consists in not killing the next person (or marriage).

If you abandon your wife, if you commit adultery to her, if you hurt her, you're no longer her husband.

And I will ask again. God unites us to Him in Baptism and the Eucharist. Can man separate what God joined there by becoming a heretic or an apostate? Or are the ties between man and woman stronger than those of God and the Church?
We do believe that Baptism leaves an indelible mark.

What then happens if someone apostasizes to another faith?
The mark is still there, and so apostasy is worse than never having believed in the first place. It would be like a sort of spiritual adultery against Christ - interestingly that is how the OT prophets described unfaithfulness to God.

Exactly. Hosea comes to mind.

And what did God use to do with those who persisted in adultery in the OT? What did Jesus inform us He will say to those who insist on "cheating" on Him?

To preserve the few who remain faithful He does get rid of the unfaithful ones. They are always, somehow, *separated forever* to allow God's will to happen. Not that God does that with pleasure or as a casual measure. He does try to avoid it by all means, but there is always a limit.

In Hosea, God instructed the prophet to be faithful to his wife, even if she were not faithful to him. This is how God loves us.

God in His loving kindness is willing to forgive and accept us back into His Kingdom provided that we repent, change our ways, and keep struggling.



adding to post as OC.net went offline, and I could not edit it in time..
« Last Edit: September 10, 2015, 08:47:26 PM by Maria »
The memory of God should be treasured in our hearts like the precious pearl mentioned in the Holy Gospel. Our life's goal should be to nurture and contemplate God always within, and never let it depart, for this steadfastness will drive demons away from us. - Paraphrased from St. Philotheus of Sinai
Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart,
Translated from the Russian by E. Kadloubovksy and G.E.H. Palmer, Faber and Faber, London, Boston, 1992 printing.

Offline ZealousZeal

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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #202 on: September 10, 2015, 09:34:09 PM »
Thank you all for your patience in explaining what the EO Church teaches on the better. We definitely approach the issue from different paradigms, and that is what made it difficult for me to understand your perspective. While I passionately disagree with you, I am grateful for the opportunity to learn.

Papist, I think you are correct. We are approaching this issue from traditions that approach the faith itself differently. That's not a knock against Western Christianity, but clearly, as you say, our paradigms are different. I don't think that our paradigms are all that different in some ways when we talk about sin (for instance, we Orthodox may not use the terms "mortal" or "venial" but we do have a concept of serious sins that cut you off from communion), but in other ways, they are. I think this is one such instance when those different approaches to sin (and the concept of economy) are really showing up.

Another issue I recently mentioned elsewhere, is that for all of our talk about annulments vs. divorce, the theological underpinnings we each have about the sacrament of matrimony are different, too (who ministers the sacrament, for one. For another, marriage after the death of a spouse for us is economy, too. See Emperor Leo VI). In many ways, I think we talk past each other.

Basically, there's a lot going on here. :P
« Last Edit: September 10, 2015, 09:36:15 PM by ZealousZeal »
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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #203 on: September 10, 2015, 10:46:14 PM »
But if Christ says that to remarry is to commit adultery, and adultery is the sin of a married person having sex with someone who is not his wife, doesn't it follow that the the remarried person is still married to his first wife in Christ's eyes?

It's a commandment, not a statement of fact. If you kill someone (or a marriage) the person (or the marriage) stays dead. Repetance consists in not killing the next person (or marriage).

If you abandon your wife, if you commit adultery to her, if you hurt her, you're no longer her husband.

And I will ask again. God unites us to Him in Baptism and the Eucharist. Can man separate what God joined there by becoming a heretic or an apostate? Or are the ties between man and woman stronger than those of God and the Church?I
We do believe that Baptism leaves an indelible mark.

What then happens if someone apostasizes to another faith? Does the RCC still regard such people as Christian, despite their conversion to another faith?

Please leave such to the will of our loving Father. Please speak with your priest, if such worries remain persistent.

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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #204 on: September 10, 2015, 10:51:24 PM »
But if Christ says that to remarry is to commit adultery, and adultery is the sin of a married person having sex with someone who is not his wife, doesn't it follow that the the remarried person is still married to his first wife in Christ's eyes?

It's a commandment, not a statement of fact. If you kill someone (or a marriage) the person (or the marriage) stays dead. Repetance consists in not killing the next person (or marriage).

If you abandon your wife, if you commit adultery to her, if you hurt her, you're no longer her husband.

And I will ask again. God unites us to Him in Baptism and the Eucharist. Can man separate what God joined there by becoming a heretic or an apostate? Or are the ties between man and woman stronger than those of God and the Church?I
We do believe that Baptism leaves an indelible mark.

What then happens if someone apostasizes to another faith? Does the RCC still regard such people as Christian, despite their conversion to another faith?

Please leave such to the will of our loving Father. Please speak with your priest, if such worries remain persistent.

I was asking Papist a question relevant to the topic at hand as to what his church teaches on the matter. I have no need to speak to a priest about it.
Am I posting? Or is it Schroedinger's Cat?

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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #205 on: September 10, 2015, 10:57:49 PM »
But if Christ says that to remarry is to commit adultery, and adultery is the sin of a married person having sex with someone who is not his wife, doesn't it follow that the the remarried person is still married to his first wife in Christ's eyes?

It's a commandment, not a statement of fact. If you kill someone (or a marriage) the person (or the marriage) stays dead. Repetance consists in not killing the next person (or marriage).

If you abandon your wife, if you commit adultery to her, if you hurt her, you're no longer her husband.

And I will ask again. God unites us to Him in Baptism and the Eucharist. Can man separate what God joined there by becoming a heretic or an apostate? Or are the ties between man and woman stronger than th
ose of God and the Church?I
We do believe that Baptism leaves an indelible mark.

What then happens if someone apostasizes to another faith? Does the RCC still regard such people as Christian, despite their conversion to another faith?

Please leave such to the will of our loving Father. Please speak with your priest, if such worries remain persistent.

I was asking Papist a question relevant to the topic at hand as to what his church teaches on the matter. I have no need to speak to a priest about it.

Please  speak to your Priest. God is in control. Be well LBK.



orthonorm, over the past few weeks you have...


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Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #206 on: September 10, 2015, 11:01:07 PM »
Please  speak to your Priest. God is in control. Be well LBK.

With Norm's posts today, I don't think he's trolling. I think he's gonna off himself. Don't do it Norm.

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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #207 on: September 11, 2015, 08:33:24 AM »
That's the understanding I was getting.  Marriage isn't really permanent.  It's just supposed to be.   Does Baptism or Holy Orders work the same way?  Under Orthodox belief, can a priest lose his ability (not sure that is the correct term) to be a priest?  I don't mean lose permission, I mean lose the benefits of Holy Orders?

If a priest is just suspended he is still a priest but for some reason not permitted to celebrate the Liturgy.

If he is defrocked he really is no longer a priest. There is no such a thing as indelible marks.

Right there you can see a major difference in the understanding of the sacraments that is related to the Roman/Orthodox theologies about God Himself.

In Orthodox Catholicsm God has many energies (His Presence, Glory, Grace, etc). Sacraments, or Mysteries, are expressions of these energies which are Himself just like my presence is myself and one cannot be apart from the other. We can participate in these energies with our own, so to speak, so, when I put my presence in the Presence of God, they are in synergy, united. If I could put all my presence in His Presence with perfect attention and fully open heart, I would be fully sanctified. If I retrieved my presence from His, I would revet to my wretched state. The Virgin Mary, for example, was always 100% in His Presence, all her mind, all her heart, all her attention, hence, "Full of Grace".

So, I can participate in the Sacramental Grace of Matrimony or break this participation with my sin. I can participate in the Sacramenal Grace of the Holy Order, or, being defrocked, be sent away from it.

Rome, unfortunately, abandoned this holy teaching, and treat Grace as something created, not God Himslf, but action in the world. Feeling the Presence of God is not an objective experience of His objectively real presence, but a created perception. A good comparison between Orthodox and Roman concepts of grace and energies is that when Moses talks about the Presence of God in the Tabernacle, an Orthodox would understand that God Himself was literally there, in Person, while a Roman would say that it was more like a video-message. The real Person remained somewhere apart, and although the "image" seen there accurately represents Him, it was but a construction, different from God as pixels are from human flesh.

The consequence of that perspective is that when God acts in the world, for Romans, He has to actually be changing the world itself and these changes cannot be reversed because His decisions are perfect. It shortcircuits the whole thing in a way imposing into the mutable created world an immutability that belongs to God alone just because Romans, fundamentally, do not believe that God can really be manifest in the world beyond the Person of Jesus Christ; in other words, despite all the good will, their fundamental assumptions imply they do not believe in an actual Church as the Body of Christ with His real Spirit in it just like my spirit is in my body. The Church is just another grace created from outside the world with no inner order (because the world has no inner order). And that's why, in their perspective, it also needs a source of order in the world, a pope or a bible. God is not there, "for real", He just made it from outside as a watchmaker and now and then He performs other fiats known as miracles to show the direction.

All that is to say, for Romans, when God "makes a priest", it means that He went to that clay "doll" changed it to the new form of priest, and because He only takes perfect decisions and being perfect cannot change, the new form will never revert to its previous form. The same goes for marriage, who is the first-among-equals, etc etc.

For us Orthodox Catholics, when a priest is ordained, it's like he is brought to the spot on stage where the light of priesthood (God's grace) is shining. When you see the priest "in flames" because of God, it's actually God's light and not the priest's new form, that you're seeing. If the man is defrocked or even excomunicated, it means that the immutable light remains right there where it always stood, but the man was taken out of it. The light of priesthood is no longer on him.

Fabio Leite, I think in general your ideas about the differences between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches seem right. I was recently listening to a podcast about the divergence of East and West before the Great Schism.

The priest was talking about how it is most probably because of the filioque. I never understood why filioque mattered so much beyond the fact it changed the Creed. I learned that there was the allowed addition of filioque in Spain to combat Arianism, which is not heresy...but, later the Frankish Christians really started pushing a theology of filioque. That is the real problem which accounts for a great deal in the gulf between East and West. 

Essentially, Catholics, like you said, don't believe God is really present in this world outside of the second person, Jesus Christ. There is no idea of the suffusion of creation with God's Energies. This is why it is so necessary for the Spirit to proceed from the Son also. They don't believe in the idea of the Essence/ Energies distinction. Latin theology very much stresses the oneness of God's Essence and puts Essence before Personhood. The very idea of God's Energies would threaten the focus on his absolute Oneness.  Some Catholic thinkers, (and I have seen them accuse Orthodox of this in reality)say the Orthodox are approaching pantheism!

This effects SO much. For instance, the papacy, to the Latin mind, is necessary because the Holy Spirit cannot literally suffuse the Church in the way Orthodox believe it does. The Pope becomes the Alter Christus (so does every priest during the Mass), His vicar on Earth, through whom the Holy Spirit acts. The Mass itself is seen as a divine drama, a re-enactment of sorts.  Now, this idea makes no sense to the Orthodox who believe that God truly is capable of preserving the unity of His Church because of His energies. I guess in many things, the Roman Catholic Church has tended further and further through history toward centralization in many matters. In doing so, God has become increasingly distant from his creation.

There is a book I want to purchase that was mentioned in the podcast about this very subject and from which this theory originates. For those with a mind to think about these questions a lot, it would probably benefit either side in the debate quite well.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Greek-East-Latin-West/dp/9607120043


The author postulates that the differences in theology ultimately stem from divergence on the reliance on certain Greek philosophers, particularly the East's rejection of Plato and the West's almost total reliance on Augustine (a neo-Platonist in many respects).

In my heart, I agree fully with the Orthodox view on almost everything (especially the theology as mentioned above). I do believe the Roman Catholic Church has veered away long ago from a correct understanding of many things. Divorce and contraception are the main stumbling blocks to me in converting to Orthodoxy. Perhaps it is indoctrination, as I am sure most are familiar that these issues take precedence for Catholics at the present.

I still have a hard time understanding how Orthodox seemingly waffle about the sacraments. As a previous poster said, to Catholics, sacraments are indelible marks. There can be no argument in the Catholic Church about who is or isn't baptized or married. You either are or you are not. Orthodox take the marriage sacrament into eternity, and yet, they say the Church can dissolve a marriage. I don't understand that at all. All reputable sources on Orthodox sacramental theology I have read do say that marriage is indissoluble. How, then, can some be married sacramentally twice? Would that not be bigamy?
« Last Edit: September 11, 2015, 08:35:32 AM by Luthien »

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #208 on: September 11, 2015, 08:36:16 AM »
But if Christ says that to remarry is to commit adultery, and adultery is the sin of a married person having sex with someone who is not his wife, doesn't it follow that the the remarried person is still married to his first wife in Christ's eyes?

It's a commandment, not a statement of fact. If you kill someone (or a marriage) the person (or the marriage) stays dead. Repetance consists in not killing the next person (or marriage).

If you abandon your wife, if you commit adultery to her, if you hurt her, you're no longer her husband.

And I will ask again. God unites us to Him in Baptism and the Eucharist. Can man separate what God joined there by becoming a heretic or an apostate? Or are the ties between man and woman stronger than those of God and the Church?I
We do believe that Baptism leaves an indelible mark.

What then happens if someone apostasizes to another faith? Does the RCC still regard such people as Christian, despite their conversion to another faith?

Please leave such to the will of our loving Father. Please speak with your priest, if such worries remain persistent.
Blessings onorm. Your words of encouragement are much appreciated!
God bless!

Offline Papist

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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #209 on: September 11, 2015, 10:30:01 AM »
Thank you all for your patience in explaining what the EO Church teaches on the better. We definitely approach the issue from different paradigms, and that is what made it difficult for me to understand your perspective. While I passionately disagree with you, I am grateful for the opportunity to learn.

Papist, I think you are correct. We are approaching this issue from traditions that approach the faith itself differently. That's not a knock against Western Christianity, but clearly, as you say, our paradigms are different. I don't think that our paradigms are all that different in some ways when we talk about sin (for instance, we Orthodox may not use the terms "mortal" or "venial" but we do have a concept of serious sins that cut you off from communion), but in other ways, they are. I think this is one such instance when those different approaches to sin (and the concept of economy) are really showing up.

Another issue I recently mentioned elsewhere, is that for all of our talk about annulments vs. divorce, the theological underpinnings we each have about the sacrament of matrimony are different, too (who ministers the sacrament, for one. For another, marriage after the death of a spouse for us is economy, too. See Emperor Leo VI). In many ways, I think we talk past each other.

Basically, there's a lot going on here. :P
In the Byzantine Catholic tradition, the Priest, not the marrying couple, is the minister of the sacrament.
"For, by its immensity, the divine substance surpasses every form that our intellect reaches. Thus we are unable to apprehend it by knowing what it is. Yet we are able to have some knowledge of it by knowing what it is not." - St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, I, 14.

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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #210 on: September 11, 2015, 10:40:16 AM »

Essentially, Catholics, like you said, don't believe God is really present in this world outside of the second person, Jesus Christ. There is no idea of the suffusion of creation with God's Energies. This is why it is so necessary for the Spirit to proceed from the Son also. They don't believe in the idea of the Essence/ Energies distinction. Latin theology very much stresses the oneness of God's Essence and puts Essence before Personhood. The very idea of God's Energies would threaten the focus on his absolute Oneness.  Some Catholic thinkers, (and I have seen them accuse Orthodox of this in reality)say the Orthodox are approaching pantheism!



This is essentially inaccurate. First, as St. Augustine teaches, God is nearer to us than we are to ourselves, and this is because we believe that we only exist by participating in God's existence. Second, while the west may not have a well-fleshed out doctrine of the essence/energies distinction, Latins still believe that salvation/sanctification comes about as a result of the participation in the Divine Nature. In fact, St. Thomas himself teaches that we are only sanctified by divinization since only "fire produces fire," or something like that. Third, while the west emphasizes the oneness of God, St. Thomas's teaching on the non-synonymous nature of the Divine Names reflects something real in God, a way of interacting with the world that is not all that different from St. Gregory Palamas's view of the essence/energies distinction. One must keep in mind that St. Gregory did not believe that the essence/existence distinction entailed that God is composed of parts.

Finally, the Catholic thinkers who accuse the Orthodox of pantheism are quite misguided and fail to understand their own Catholic theological tradition. If they actually read what St. Thomas and St. Gregory taught about God's oneness and his interaction with the world, these Catholic critics would have to revisit their objection to Palamite tradition. St. Gregory was quite right oppose the confused Latins with whom he contended, Latins who didn't even understand their own Catholic faith properly. 
"For, by its immensity, the divine substance surpasses every form that our intellect reaches. Thus we are unable to apprehend it by knowing what it is. Yet we are able to have some knowledge of it by knowing what it is not." - St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, I, 14.

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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #211 on: September 11, 2015, 10:44:37 AM »
In reference to my previous post, here is an excellent article from a Catholic philosopher on the relationship between the Thomistic and Palamite views on the essence/energies distinction:

http://www.thomist.org/jourl/explore.htm See Vol 76, July

LOST IN TRANSLATIO? DIAKRISIS KAT’EPINOIAN AS A
MAIN ISSUE IN THE DISCUSSIONS BETWEEN
FOURTEENTH-CENTURY PALAMITES AND THOMISTS


"AS IS WELL KNOWN, the emphasis of the disciples of St.
Gregory Palamas on the distinction between essence and
energy in God poses a stumbling block for Western
theologians. When the latter point to the fact that such a
distinction would entail composition in God, the former answer
that this distinction does not exclude God’s utter simplicity. To
the question, why there is no contradiction in assuming a real
distinction in the midst of God’s simplicity?, it is generally
answered that this is not a contradiction, but an antinomy which
the ratiocinating Western mind is simply incapable of grasping.1
Usually, the discussion ends with more or less courteous..."
"For, by its immensity, the divine substance surpasses every form that our intellect reaches. Thus we are unable to apprehend it by knowing what it is. Yet we are able to have some knowledge of it by knowing what it is not." - St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, I, 14.

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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #212 on: September 11, 2015, 10:45:12 AM »
But if Christ says that to remarry is to commit adultery, and adultery is the sin of a married person having sex with someone who is not his wife, doesn't it follow that the the remarried person is still married to his first wife in Christ's eyes?

It's a commandment, not a statement of fact. If you kill someone (or a marriage) the person (or the marriage) stays dead. Repetance consists in not killing the next person (or marriage).

If you abandon your wife, if you commit adultery to her, if you hurt her, you're no longer her husband.

And I will ask again. God unites us to Him in Baptism and the Eucharist. Can man separate what God joined there by becoming a heretic or an apostate? Or are the ties between man and woman stronger than th
ose of God and the Church?I
We do believe that Baptism leaves an indelible mark.

What then happens if someone apostasizes to another faith? Does the RCC still regard such people as Christian, despite their conversion to another faith?

Please leave such to the will of our loving Father. Please speak with your priest, if such worries remain persistent.

I was asking Papist a question relevant to the topic at hand as to what his church teaches on the matter. I have no need to speak to a priest about it.

Please  speak to your Priest. God is in control. Be well LBK.

Orthonorm, pray for us.
"For, by its immensity, the divine substance surpasses every form that our intellect reaches. Thus we are unable to apprehend it by knowing what it is. Yet we are able to have some knowledge of it by knowing what it is not." - St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, I, 14.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #213 on: September 11, 2015, 11:34:13 AM »
And no, I wouldn't want the person to go to hell.  I would want the person to repent and be saved, even if that repentance means living as brother and sister with his new "wife."

Not a dis on your Church, just an observation of the different understandings we have on this issue. Probably an irreconcilable difference.

Papist,

Even within Orthodoxy, priests would rather that divorced persons and those who are widowed not seek new spouses. They would also prefer that those women who are post-menopausal not seek a spouse, or that older married couples would live as brothers and sisters.
you mean, engage in sibling rivalry?

Btw, those who have such a preference for post-menopausal women have the same preference for pre-menopausal women. And many aren't very concerned with the woman's preference at all.
This may come as a shock to some, but those are the preferences of both the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Church in earlier times, but modernism has ushered in the new sexual revolution. Nuf said.
a bit of Stoicism that Clement didn't wash off in the baptismal font, and has been sticking ever since.
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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #214 on: September 11, 2015, 12:43:45 PM »
Thank you all for your patience in explaining what the EO Church teaches on the better. We definitely approach the issue from different paradigms, and that is what made it difficult for me to understand your perspective. While I passionately disagree with you, I am grateful for the opportunity to learn.

Papist, I think you are correct. We are approaching this issue from traditions that approach the faith itself differently. That's not a knock against Western Christianity, but clearly, as you say, our paradigms are different. I don't think that our paradigms are all that different in some ways when we talk about sin (for instance, we Orthodox may not use the terms "mortal" or "venial" but we do have a concept of serious sins that cut you off from communion), but in other ways, they are. I think this is one such instance when those different approaches to sin (and the concept of economy) are really showing up.

Another issue I recently mentioned elsewhere, is that for all of our talk about annulments vs. divorce, the theological underpinnings we each have about the sacrament of matrimony are different, too (who ministers the sacrament, for one. For another, marriage after the death of a spouse for us is economy, too. See Emperor Leo VI). In many ways, I think we talk past each other.

Basically, there's a lot going on here. :P
In the Byzantine Catholic tradition, the Priest, not the marrying couple, is the minister of the sacrament.

But ultimately, it is God who joins the couple.
The memory of God should be treasured in our hearts like the precious pearl mentioned in the Holy Gospel. Our life's goal should be to nurture and contemplate God always within, and never let it depart, for this steadfastness will drive demons away from us. - Paraphrased from St. Philotheus of Sinai
Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart,
Translated from the Russian by E. Kadloubovksy and G.E.H. Palmer, Faber and Faber, London, Boston, 1992 printing.

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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #215 on: September 11, 2015, 12:44:18 PM »
Thank you all for your patience in explaining what the EO Church teaches on the better. We definitely approach the issue from different paradigms, and that is what made it difficult for me to understand your perspective. While I passionately disagree with you, I am grateful for the opportunity to learn.

Papist, I think you are correct. We are approaching this issue from traditions that approach the faith itself differently. That's not a knock against Western Christianity, but clearly, as you say, our paradigms are different. I don't think that our paradigms are all that different in some ways when we talk about sin (for instance, we Orthodox may not use the terms "mortal" or "venial" but we do have a concept of serious sins that cut you off from communion), but in other ways, they are. I think this is one such instance when those different approaches to sin (and the concept of economy) are really showing up.

Another issue I recently mentioned elsewhere, is that for all of our talk about annulments vs. divorce, the theological underpinnings we each have about the sacrament of matrimony are different, too (who ministers the sacrament, for one. For another, marriage after the death of a spouse for us is economy, too. See Emperor Leo VI). In many ways, I think we talk past each other.

Basically, there's a lot going on here. :P
In the Byzantine Catholic tradition, the Priest, not the marrying couple, is the minister of the sacrament.

But ultimately, it is God who joins the couple.
Agreed.
"For, by its immensity, the divine substance surpasses every form that our intellect reaches. Thus we are unable to apprehend it by knowing what it is. Yet we are able to have some knowledge of it by knowing what it is not." - St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, I, 14.

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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #216 on: September 11, 2015, 12:50:08 PM »
Can anyone recommend a book on the history of divorce in the EO Church?
"For, by its immensity, the divine substance surpasses every form that our intellect reaches. Thus we are unable to apprehend it by knowing what it is. Yet we are able to have some knowledge of it by knowing what it is not." - St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, I, 14.

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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #217 on: September 11, 2015, 12:51:38 PM »
Can anyone recommend a book on the history of divorce in the EO Church?

Living the Faith by Stanley Samuel Harakas

1992, Light and Life Publishing
The memory of God should be treasured in our hearts like the precious pearl mentioned in the Holy Gospel. Our life's goal should be to nurture and contemplate God always within, and never let it depart, for this steadfastness will drive demons away from us. - Paraphrased from St. Philotheus of Sinai
Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart,
Translated from the Russian by E. Kadloubovksy and G.E.H. Palmer, Faber and Faber, London, Boston, 1992 printing.

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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #218 on: September 11, 2015, 01:33:44 PM »

why would God allow us to muck it up so badly when it is something as important as a sacrament of His church?

Upon thinking about it more, I think could make sense of the Orthodox approach if I thought of it as a sort of dispensation from the obligations of married life based on mercy and compassion, similar to how priests can receive dispensation from holy orders.

Is it very different to ask why God would allow anyone to mess up his/her own salvation?  God allows us free will.  I assume some priest someplace has messed up while saying Mass or Divine Liturgy.  When people get involved, things can get messed up.

The dispensation idea is interesting, but does it fully apply?  A Roman Catholic can legally divorce a spouse for good cause and remain in good standing.  Which is something of a dispensation from the married life, I suppose.  Could one take it further to say fidelity to the spouse is no longer required?  Seems like a 2nd marriage would then be somewhat polygamous.  But I am not familiar with the concept of dispensation from holy orders.   

You are correct in saying civil divorce is acceptable in the Catholic Church. The couple, if the marriage is valid, would be expected to remain celibate thereafter since marriage is indissoluble. I also agree that a 2nd marriage would seem to be committing bigamy if marriage is indissoluble. Marriage either is or isn't indissoluble. That is why the Orthodox position doesn't make complete sense to me. They claim that marriage as a sacrament is forever, but by the same token also say marriages can "die"? I understand that "practically" it seems not to work out to not allow divorce, but that does not make the sanctioning of sin okay.
Would you rather a person die in his sins, or that the Church would exercise its authority of binding and loosing to forgive a person of the sin of divorce so that that person can get a second chance?

The later Father Alexander Schmemann wrote that no matter how many times a priest were to  pray the prayer of absolution over a person, if that person were not truly repentant, he/she would not be forgiven. It is God who forgives, not the priest. True, the priest is an Alter Christus, so he acts in the name of Christ, but ultimately a person's sins cannot be forgiven if they have not experienced a deep metanoia (love of God, desire to change their lifestyle, and sorrow for their sins). One can lie to a priest, but one cannot lie to God, Whom the priest represents.
Why do you conflate the Church with the ordained priesthood within the Church? I didn't say anything about a priest forgiving sins. I spoke only of the authority of the Church, the Body of Christ, to forgive sins.
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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #219 on: September 11, 2015, 01:37:05 PM »
That's the understanding I was getting.  Marriage isn't really permanent.  It's just supposed to be.   Does Baptism or Holy Orders work the same way?  Under Orthodox belief, can a priest lose his ability (not sure that is the correct term) to be a priest?  I don't mean lose permission, I mean lose the benefits of Holy Orders?

If a priest is just suspended he is still a priest but for some reason not permitted to celebrate the Liturgy.

If he is defrocked he really is no longer a priest. There is no such a thing as indelible marks.

Right there you can see a major difference in the understanding of the sacraments that is related to the Roman/Orthodox theologies about God Himself.

In Orthodox Catholicsm God has many energies (His Presence, Glory, Grace, etc). Sacraments, or Mysteries, are expressions of these energies which are Himself just like my presence is myself and one cannot be apart from the other. We can participate in these energies with our own, so to speak, so, when I put my presence in the Presence of God, they are in synergy, united. If I could put all my presence in His Presence with perfect attention and fully open heart, I would be fully sanctified. If I retrieved my presence from His, I would revet to my wretched state. The Virgin Mary, for example, was always 100% in His Presence, all her mind, all her heart, all her attention, hence, "Full of Grace".

So, I can participate in the Sacramental Grace of Matrimony or break this participation with my sin. I can participate in the Sacramenal Grace of the Holy Order, or, being defrocked, be sent away from it.

Rome, unfortunately, abandoned this holy teaching, and treat Grace as something created, not God Himslf, but action in the world. Feeling the Presence of God is not an objective experience of His objectively real presence, but a created perception. A good comparison between Orthodox and Roman concepts of grace and energies is that when Moses talks about the Presence of God in the Tabernacle, an Orthodox would understand that God Himself was literally there, in Person, while a Roman would say that it was more like a video-message. The real Person remained somewhere apart, and although the "image" seen there accurately represents Him, it was but a construction, different from God as pixels are from human flesh.

The consequence of that perspective is that when God acts in the world, for Romans, He has to actually be changing the world itself and these changes cannot be reversed because His decisions are perfect. It shortcircuits the whole thing in a way imposing into the mutable created world an immutability that belongs to God alone just because Romans, fundamentally, do not believe that God can really be manifest in the world beyond the Person of Jesus Christ; in other words, despite all the good will, their fundamental assumptions imply they do not believe in an actual Church as the Body of Christ with His real Spirit in it just like my spirit is in my body. The Church is just another grace created from outside the world with no inner order (because the world has no inner order). And that's why, in their perspective, it also needs a source of order in the world, a pope or a bible. God is not there, "for real", He just made it from outside as a watchmaker and now and then He performs other fiats known as miracles to show the direction.

All that is to say, for Romans, when God "makes a priest", it means that He went to that clay "doll" changed it to the new form of priest, and because He only takes perfect decisions and being perfect cannot change, the new form will never revert to its previous form. The same goes for marriage, who is the first-among-equals, etc etc.

For us Orthodox Catholics, when a priest is ordained, it's like he is brought to the spot on stage where the light of priesthood (God's grace) is shining. When you see the priest "in flames" because of God, it's actually God's light and not the priest's new form, that you're seeing. If the man is defrocked or even excomunicated, it means that the immutable light remains right there where it always stood, but the man was taken out of it. The light of priesthood is no longer on him.

"If he is defrocked he really is no longer a priest. There is no such a thing as indelible marks."

Not really. Let's say a priest is defrocked because of his alcoholism.
He repents and becomes sober.
His bishop need not ordain him anew.
His bishop can simply grant him absolution and reinstate him.

Not going to name names, but there have been priests who have committed adultery.
Now, normally, those priests would have been defrocked, but these priests were wanted and needed for their pastoral skills.
They repented, and were reinstated by the bishop, but only IF their wives accepted them.

If "indelible marks" were somehow erased, then defrocked priests would have to be re-ordained.
I'm not sure how this "corrective" does anything to prove the Latin concept of an "indelible mark", a concept that, AFAIK, is totally foreign to Orthodox doctrine on ordination.
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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #220 on: September 11, 2015, 02:14:53 PM »
This thread has been a good discussion. Good work, you all!
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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #221 on: September 13, 2015, 11:46:42 PM »
Thank you all for your patience in explaining what the EO Church teaches on the better. We definitely approach the issue from different paradigms, and that is what made it difficult for me to understand your perspective. While I passionately disagree with you, I am grateful for the opportunity to learn.

Papist, I think you are correct. We are approaching this issue from traditions that approach the faith itself differently. That's not a knock against Western Christianity, but clearly, as you say, our paradigms are different. I don't think that our paradigms are all that different in some ways when we talk about sin (for instance, we Orthodox may not use the terms "mortal" or "venial" but we do have a concept of serious sins that cut you off from communion), but in other ways, they are. I think this is one such instance when those different approaches to sin (and the concept of economy) are really showing up.

Another issue I recently mentioned elsewhere, is that for all of our talk about annulments vs. divorce, the theological underpinnings we each have about the sacrament of matrimony are different, too (who ministers the sacrament, for one. For another, marriage after the death of a spouse for us is economy, too. See Emperor Leo VI). In many ways, I think we talk past each other.

Basically, there's a lot going on here. :P
In the Byzantine Catholic tradition, the Priest, not the marrying couple, is the minister of the sacrament.

Really? That's interesting... so how does that jive with the annulment system?
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Offline Deacon Lance

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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #222 on: September 13, 2015, 11:51:38 PM »
Thank you all for your patience in explaining what the EO Church teaches on the better. We definitely approach the issue from different paradigms, and that is what made it difficult for me to understand your perspective. While I passionately disagree with you, I am grateful for the opportunity to learn.

Papist, I think you are correct. We are approaching this issue from traditions that approach the faith itself differently. That's not a knock against Western Christianity, but clearly, as you say, our paradigms are different. I don't think that our paradigms are all that different in some ways when we talk about sin (for instance, we Orthodox may not use the terms "mortal" or "venial" but we do have a concept of serious sins that cut you off from communion), but in other ways, they are. I think this is one such instance when those different approaches to sin (and the concept of economy) are really showing up.

Another issue I recently mentioned elsewhere, is that for all of our talk about annulments vs. divorce, the theological underpinnings we each have about the sacrament of matrimony are different, too (who ministers the sacrament, for one. For another, marriage after the death of a spouse for us is economy, too. See Emperor Leo VI). In many ways, I think we talk past each other.

Basically, there's a lot going on here. :P
In the Byzantine Catholic tradition, the Priest, not the marrying couple, is the minister of the sacrament.

Really? That's interesting... so how does that jive with the annulment system?
The unimpeded consent of the couple is still considered an essential element for validity.
My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.

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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #223 on: September 13, 2015, 11:55:49 PM »
Thank you all for your patience in explaining what the EO Church teaches on the better. We definitely approach the issue from different paradigms, and that is what made it difficult for me to understand your perspective. While I passionately disagree with you, I am grateful for the opportunity to learn.

Papist, I think you are correct. We are approaching this issue from traditions that approach the faith itself differently. That's not a knock against Western Christianity, but clearly, as you say, our paradigms are different. I don't think that our paradigms are all that different in some ways when we talk about sin (for instance, we Orthodox may not use the terms "mortal" or "venial" but we do have a concept of serious sins that cut you off from communion), but in other ways, they are. I think this is one such instance when those different approaches to sin (and the concept of economy) are really showing up.

Another issue I recently mentioned elsewhere, is that for all of our talk about annulments vs. divorce, the theological underpinnings we each have about the sacrament of matrimony are different, too (who ministers the sacrament, for one. For another, marriage after the death of a spouse for us is economy, too. See Emperor Leo VI). In many ways, I think we talk past each other.

Basically, there's a lot going on here. :P
In the Byzantine Catholic tradition, the Priest, not the marrying couple, is the minister of the sacrament.

Really? That's interesting... so how does that jive with the annulment system?
The unimpeded consent of the couple is still considered an essential element for validity.

What of the many marriages where unimpeded consent was given at the time of the ceremony, but the marriage failed later, and an annulment was obtained?
« Last Edit: September 13, 2015, 11:56:25 PM by LBK »
Am I posting? Or is it Schroedinger's Cat?

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Re: Tradition vs EO 2nd and 3rd marriage
« Reply #224 on: September 14, 2015, 12:53:10 AM »
Thank you all for your patience in explaining what the EO Church teaches on the better. We definitely approach the issue from different paradigms, and that is what made it difficult for me to understand your perspective. While I passionately disagree with you, I am grateful for the opportunity to learn.

Papist, I think you are correct. We are approaching this issue from traditions that approach the faith itself differently. That's not a knock against Western Christianity, but clearly, as you say, our paradigms are different. I don't think that our paradigms are all that different in some ways when we talk about sin (for instance, we Orthodox may not use the terms "mortal" or "venial" but we do have a concept of serious sins that cut you off from communion), but in other ways, they are. I think this is one such instance when those different approaches to sin (and the concept of economy) are really showing up.

Another issue I recently mentioned elsewhere, is that for all of our talk about annulments vs. divorce, the theological underpinnings we each have about the sacrament of matrimony are different, too (who ministers the sacrament, for one. For another, marriage after the death of a spouse for us is economy, too. See Emperor Leo VI). In many ways, I think we talk past each other.

Basically, there's a lot going on here. :P
In the Byzantine Catholic tradition, the Priest, not the marrying couple, is the minister of the sacrament.

Really? That's interesting... so how does that jive with the annulment system?
The unimpeded consent of the couple is still considered an essential element for validity.

What of the many marriages where unimpeded consent was given at the time of the ceremony, but the marriage failed later, and an annulment was obtained?
Give me your definition of unimpeded consent.  The Catholic Church considers consent impeded for various reasons.  Undisclosed mental illness, undisclosed physical illness for that matter, lack of intention to have children or remain faithful to one's spouse. 
My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.