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Author Topic: Catholic saints and orthodoxy  (Read 2712 times) Average Rating: 0
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Armando
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« on: August 16, 2005, 06:03:28 AM »

Catholic saints who's miracles have been known even in Greece such as St. Anthonhy of Padua (and the mule that kneeled before the catholic host) or St. Pio de Pietrelcina (had stigmata and he once was saw freezing in a hot day inside his room, later they found out he was confessing a man who was up on a mountain (snow-mountain) who was about to die...) or St. Francis of Assisi or even
the miracles of Fatima.

Could any of those saints be valid and truly be saints of God?
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« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2005, 06:27:56 AM »

Perhaps, in some cases, (I will place no limits on God) but they certainly can never be saints of the Orthodox Church. One thing I would be very wary of is anyone showing stigmata as that seems to be a peculiarly carnal 'miracle' and I would also point out that Francis of Assissi is pretty problematic for Orthodox for a number of reasons. He and many other Roman Catholic mystics pay all to much attention to visions and such and often seem to be suffering from the sorts of spiritual deception many Orthodox saints warn against (prelest (Russian), or plani (Greek)).

James
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« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2005, 07:37:43 AM »

But didn't Elder Paisios have visions similar to St Francis and St Pio?
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« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2005, 08:03:02 AM »

But didn't Elder Paisios have visions similar to St Francis and St Pio?

Having visions is not the problem, it's the attitude to those visions and the circumstances under which they occurred that causes concern (and I can't speak for Padre Pio here as I know little of him - except the 'stigmata' tend to make me extremely wary).

The following comparison between St. Seraphim of Sarov and Francis of Assisi will help explain the sorts of concerns I (and many other Orthodox) have about certain RC saints. And for the record, these are often the sorts of people I would find most admirable amongst RC saints - certain others, for instance Josaphat Kuntsevich, are so undeserving of sainthood as for me to find it difficult to even accept them as Christians at all.

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/francis_sarov.aspx

James
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« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2005, 12:39:47 PM »

My favorite RC story is the one where a guy claims to have met the Theotokos and she told him to build an alter to her (perhaps this is a typical story and there are dozens like it).

The problem is that the alter is to Her. Not to her Son. I don't think Mary would ever presume to have such arrogance and yet in the RC, this seems to be typical of their Marian worship. I'm not trying to change the subject but Mary is considered a Saint and there is a huge insurmountable fact that the EOC does not have the same experience nor visitations as such.
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« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2005, 09:55:02 PM »

jmbejdl:
 That is an awesome link!!  I love when Orthodox theology smashes the RC`s weak ass reasonings. Can`t get enough. Feel me , Armando?  Kiss
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« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2005, 02:14:15 PM »

Quote
Originally Quoted by jmbejdl:

Perhaps, in some cases, (I will place no limits on God) but they certainly can never be saints of the Orthodox Church. One thing I would be very wary of is anyone showing stigmata as that seems to be a peculiarly carnal 'miracle' and I would also point out that Francis of Assissi is pretty problematic for Orthodox for a number of reasons. He and many other Roman Catholic mystics pay all to much attention to visions and such and often seem to be suffering from the sorts of spiritual deception many Orthodox saints warn against (prelest (Russian), or plani (Greek)).

I have no doubt that one should not pay too much attention to visions and such.  They often prove to be false.  Even St. Francis of Assisi, before he became truly converted, had a vision of sorts in which he saw himself as a great knight.  He never did, however, become a knight.

I know that St. Seraphim of Sarov, among other Orthodox, take the attitude that, when one receives mystical visions, one should not look too deeply into them. 

What gets me, however, is that the Scripture is full of incidences in which dreams and visions have great importance and truth.  The characters in these stories do not, if my memory is correct, question the validity of these supernatural experiences, but they accept them at face value as graces of God.  For example, the dreams of Jacob, Joseph, the voice of God speaking to Samuel as he slept.  And, correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't God speak to Peter through a dream, correcting his views of what was all right and what was not all right to eat?  And was not the ressurrection a "carnal" miracle, granted that it was a glorified flesh?  To disregard certain miracles as being in the category of "carnal" seems a bit Mannichean to me.  Why is a "carnal" miracle such as this necessarily bad?  How is it any different from the "carnal" miracle of someone being cured of cancer, a limp, etc.  Huh   

I think that everyone should guard against spiritual deception, but I'm just wondering if it can be taken too far to the point of spiritual agnosticism in relation to "miracles" and "visions."   
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« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2005, 08:36:21 AM »

I have no doubt that one should not pay too much attention to visions and such.ÂÂ  They often prove to be false.ÂÂ  Even St. Francis of Assisi, before he became truly converted, had a vision of sorts in which he saw himself as a great knight.ÂÂ  He never did, however, become a knight.

I know that St. Seraphim of Sarov, among other Orthodox, take the attitude that, when one receives mystical visions, one should not look too deeply into them.ÂÂ  

What gets me, however, is that the Scripture is full of incidences in which dreams and visions have great importance and truth.  The characters in these stories do not, if my memory is correct, question the validity of these supernatural experiences, but they accept them at face value as graces of God.  For example, the dreams of Jacob, Joseph, the voice of God speaking to Samuel as he slept.  And, correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't God speak to Peter through a dream, correcting his views of what was all right and what was not all right to eat?  And was not the ressurrection a "carnal" miracle, granted that it was a glorified flesh?  To disregard certain miracles as being in the category of "carnal" seems a bit Mannichean to me.  Why is a "carnal" miracle such as this necessarily bad?  How is it any different from the "carnal" miracle of someone being cured of cancer, a limp, etc.  Huh  ÃƒÆ’‚  

I think that everyone should guard against spiritual deception, but I'm just wondering if it can be taken too far to the point of spiritual agnosticism in relation to "miracles" and "visions."  ÃƒÆ’‚  

I actually agree with you, believe it or not, except that you misunderstood what I meant by carnal. I did not mean to suggest that miracles involving the body such as, say, a miraculous cure are bad or suspect and i certainly wasn't trying to imply some Manichaean dualism. By carnal with reference to stigmata, I was actually referring to the fact that they always seem to come about after dwelling or meditating on the physical sufferings of Christ and, at least in all the accounts I have come across, a strong desire on the part of the mystic to suffer bodily as He did. This in my opinion is  dubious because it is a concentration on the carnal aspects of the Passion over and above the truly important spiritual aspects of the Crucifixion and Resurrection. Does that make my meaning any clearer?

I'd also end by noting that in all the RC miracles of this type that I have read accounts of, the visions were not tested to see if they were of God and this is a very grave error according to our Church Fathers. Taking all such visions at face value when we know that Satan can appear as an angel of light is downright dangerous. It is better to make an honest mistake and reject a vision truly of God than to accept one from the Devil, in my opinion.

James
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« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2005, 09:55:28 AM »

I actually agree with you, believe it or not, except that you misunderstood what I meant by carnal. I did not mean to suggest that miracles involving the body such as, say, a miraculous cure are bad or suspect and i certainly wasn't trying to imply some Manichaean dualism. By carnal with reference to stigmata, I was actually referring to the fact that they always seem to come about after dwelling or meditating on the physical sufferings of Christ and, at least in all the accounts I have come across, a strong desire on the part of the mystic to suffer bodily as He did. This in my opinion is dubious because it is a concentration on the carnal aspects of the Passion over and above the truly important spiritual aspects of the Crucifixion and Resurrection. Does that make my meaning any clearer?

What I think jmdedjl is saying here is that stigmata appears to be an outgrowth of the Roman Catholic concentration on the Crucifixion 'satisfying God for our signs' as opposed to Christ setting us free from bondage to Death.

An analogy is our respective churches in how we depict the Crucifixion. RC concentrates on the suffering and has an image of a bleeding and contorted Christ. EO has an image of a victorious Christ, and has Him looking more like He is sleeping after fighting a great battle.

At least, that's what I thought jmbedjl was saying, perhps I'm just putting words in his mouth and committing eisegesis.
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« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2005, 10:24:26 AM »

What I think jmdedjl is saying here is that stigmata appears to be an outgrowth of the Roman Catholic concentration on the Crucifixion 'satisfying God for our signs' as opposed to Christ setting us free from bondage to Death.

An analogy is our respective churches in how we depict the Crucifixion. RC concentrates on the suffering and has an image of a bleeding and contorted Christ. EO has an image of a victorious Christ, and has Him looking more like He is sleeping after fighting a great battle.

At least, that's what I thought jmbedjl was saying, perhps I'm just putting words in his mouth and committing eisegesis.

Don't worry, that sounds about right. Hopefully between the pair of us posting he will now have a better idea of what I had intended to write. Thanks.

James
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« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2005, 10:26:47 AM »

But the Catholic Church requires miracles after death to prove one's sainthood.
Aren't these miracles true? Besides, if someone is paying too much attention on suffering for the Lord,
it's the EO. Just look at all these people that go to Tinos island and walk about 4-5 km on their knees
hoping for a miracle.
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« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2005, 10:41:32 AM »

But the Catholic Church requires miracles after death to prove one's sainthood.
Aren't these miracles true? Besides, if someone is paying too much attention on suffering for the Lord,
it's the EO. Just look at all these people that go to Tinos island and walk about 4-5 km on their knees
hoping for a miracle.

Firstly,  I suspect the motivation of those people is to demonstrate humility, with suffering a side effect (unlike medieval RC flagellants, for instance). Secondly, the unhealthy attention in the RCC is on the suffering of the Lord not suffering for Him. Thirdly, whilst the post-mortem miracles associated with RC saints may be true, we have no way of knowing, it doesn't really demonstrate sanctity. Surely you don't believe God could only perform a miracle through a saint?

In any case, despite our not having the legalistic requirements of the RCC for canonisation, there are plenty of miracles associated with our saints and their relics. What makes you think that the RC's requirement for them is better? And, finally, given that a notorious mass murderer of Orthodox Christians has been canonised by the RCC (Josaphat Kuntsevich), how can you be sure that the rigid guidelines are either a.) adhered to or b.) proof of sanctity? I could never believe such a man to be a saint even if he came to me in a vision and told me himself, curing my myopia and astigmatism in the process. In fact, I'd go straight to the priest convinced I'd been the recipient of a demonic miracle.

James
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« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2005, 10:46:26 AM »

Well, Photius wasn't quite the humble saint type now, was he?
And I think that Kosmas Aitolos said the Pope was the Antichrist.
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« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2005, 10:47:27 AM »

Quote
a canonized Saint of the Catholic Church who has worked many miracles including the conversions of those who murdered him
 
from the Byzcath.org message board.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, do not hesitate to condemn a fellow Christian.
The biggest miracle in my life was my conversion to Catholicism. I was anti-Catholic
and I once hated the Papacy and the Pope himself. Now, I regret for my behaviour and
beg for forgiveness from Our Lord.
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« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2005, 04:40:34 AM »

Well, Photius wasn't quite the humble saint type now, was he?
And I think that Kosmas Aitolos said the Pope was the Antichrist.

No matter the flaws of those you named (and all men are flawed, let's face it) you are simply not comparing like to like here. Kuntsevich was responsible for Church burnings (often with their congregations inside) and massacres of Orthodox civillians. When did St. Photios ever do anything even remotely so evil? He didn't. Comparing oratorical hyperbole such as 'the Pope is an Antichrist' to mass murder is, frankly, sickening. Kuntsevich was killed, but he most certainly was not a martyr. He wasn't killed for his faith but thrown into a river by a mob of Orthodox who'd had enough of his terrorising them and wanted revenge for the murders he had committed. Their actions were undoubtedly wrong and non-Christian, but we never canonised them. The RCC, on the other hand, did canonise 'St' Josaphat Kuntsevich, an undoubted mass murderer.

James
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« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2005, 04:48:15 AM »

For that matter there is the now "Bl." Stepanic who supported the Croatian Ustashi (Nazi puppet government) in their genecide against the Serbs.  Does anyone really think he is a saint?
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« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2005, 04:59:02 AM »

For that matter there is the now "Bl." Stepanic who supported the Croatian Ustashi (Nazi puppet government) in their genecide against the Serbs.ÂÂ  Does anyone really think he is a saint?

A very good point. I just homed in on Kuntsevich because he's not exactly popular in north eastern Romania, where I started the journey to Orthodoxy. Even the local Roman Catholics have a hard time believing he's a saint and I doubt anyone but a Greek Catholic (as they're known there) would bother trying to defend him.

Of course, my only point in all this was that Armando appeared to be positing that the legalistic mechanism of canonisation in the RCC was superior to our more organic process but I find this hard to sustain when such undoubtedly monstrous characters manage make it through.

James
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« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2005, 06:31:39 AM »

Once again, I've been misunderstood... I didn't say the Catholic legalistic mechanism of canonisation is superior to the Orthodox. I just said that if it requires miracles and if we accept the Roman Catholics are heretics, well some of those "heretics" might have been saints of God. I hate comparing orthodox and catholic saints. It's just wrong... All saints have sinned in one way or another.
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« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2005, 07:12:54 AM »

And some of those "miracles" might very well have been the work of the Evil One.  Let's face it, no matter how holy you are, you can't be a saint outside of the Church.  Roman Catholicism is outside the Church.  I'll let you connect the dots...
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« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2005, 12:51:48 PM »

So have the mass murders that James and I menetion, have they "shined in one way or another?"
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« Reply #20 on: September 02, 2005, 01:41:27 PM »

To no one specifically...

Quote
Perhaps, in some cases, (I will place no limits on God) but they certainly can never be saints of the Orthodox Church.

What about St.Isaac the Syrian (aka. St.Isaac of Nineveh)?ÂÂ  He was undoubtedly not a part of the "canonical Orthodox Church", but was in fact a hierarch of the then anathematized Nestorian schism.ÂÂ  This of course doesn't stop people from praying to him, taking his patronage, studying his works as spiritual reading, etc.

Or perhaps the popular cultus amongst Greeks surrounding the last Emperor of Constantinople, Constantine XI Paleologus, despite the fact that he strictly speaking died in communion* with the Pope?

(* yes I know, some strain to show this was not the case, or conversly that he's not really an "Orthodox Saint"... but the Icons and popular cultus seem to disagree with that assessment.)

Quote
One thing I would be very wary of is anyone showing stigmata as that seems to be a peculiarly carnal 'miracle'


I fail to see how it would be any more "carnal", morbid, or what have you, than the veneration of skulls, "incorrupt corpses", encased bits of bone, etc.

Quote
and I would also point out that Francis of Assissi is pretty problematic for Orthodox for a number of reasons.

I know the article you're thinking of (from www.orthodoxinfo.com, which attempst to contrast St.Francis to St.Seraphim of Sarov), and while there was a time where I would have defended it's content, that time is past.ÂÂ  Simply put, the reasoning involved stank, most particularly for anyone familiar with the life of St.Seraphim and his "revelatory" experiences (such as one in which he see's St.John the Theologian and the Theotokos, and they say something to the effect "he is of our league") - supposedly those of St.Francis are "egotistical".

Quote
He and many other Roman Catholic mystics pay all to much attention to visions and such and often seem to be suffering from the sorts of spiritual deception many Orthodox saints warn against (prelest (Russian), or plani (Greek)).

Upon reflection, I realize that such a conclusion can be reached when one reads polemics about Latin saints, rather than their lives/hagiographies, writings, etc.

Quote
And for the record, these are often the sorts of people I would find most admirable amongst RC saints - certain others, for instance Josaphat Kuntsevich, are so undeserving of sainthood as for me to find it difficult to even accept them as Christians at all.

To be fair, I've read two very different accounts of just what he in fact did/didn't do.ÂÂ  Not that this should be surprising, nor does it mean either side is necessarily lying by default...far be it from Eastern Europeans to exagerate or let religion and politics mix, fueling passionate "massagings" of the truth (to put it diplomatically.)

Quote
My favorite RC story is the one where a guy claims to have met the Theotokos and she told him to build an alter to her (perhaps this is a typical story and there are dozens like it).

The problem is that the alter is to Her. Not to her Son. I don't think Mary would ever presume to have such arrogance and yet in the RC, this seems to be typical of their Marian worship. I'm not trying to change the subject but Mary is considered a Saint and there is a huge insurmountable fact that the EOC does not have the same experience nor visitations as such.

This is really unbecoming of Orthodox Christians, since it sounds so much like Protestant "Maria-phobia" - such as confusing the building of an altar in honour of the Mother of God (but which, duh, would obviously be used to offer the Holy Oblation to God, not the Mother of God...as if Latins are retarded pagans) with an act of "Marolatry".ÂÂ  In context such a practice of building shrine-altars is no different than naming a Church after (and placing it under the patronage) of any given Saint.

Quote
That is an awesome link!!ÂÂ  I love when Orthodox theology smashes the RC`s weak ass reasonings. Can`t get enough.

The theologians have spoken.

Quote
I know that St. Seraphim of Sarov, among other Orthodox, take the attitude that, when one receives mystical visions, one should not look too deeply into them.

They should be taken with a grain of salt - which in my reading, is pretty much what any traditional Roman Catholic priest or theologian would advise as well.

Quote
By carnal with reference to stigmata, I was actually referring to the fact that they always seem to come about after dwelling or meditating on the physical sufferings of Christ and, at least in all the accounts I have come across, a strong desire on the part of the mystic to suffer bodily as He did.

While it's certainly a different spirituality than what dominates the Orthodox Church of the East, it doesn't strike me as being any weirder/masochistic/whatever than what some of the early martyrs like St.Ignatios of Antioch wrote, about their desire to be martyred, St.Ignatios going out of his way to compare martyrdom in the circuses to the Sacrifice of the Eucharist.ÂÂ  In perspective, I don't see how a desire to identify with the principle of martyrdom (Christ Crucified) is really significantly different.

Quote
This in my opinion isÂÂ  dubious because it is a concentration on the carnal aspects of the Passion over and above the truly important spiritual aspects of the Crucifixion and Resurrection.

Wondering how "suffering" and "crucifixion" are clearly and totally distinct.

Quote
I'd also end by noting that in all the RC miracles of this type that I have read accounts of, the visions were not tested to see if they were of God and this is a very grave error according to our Church Fathers.

Then someone needs to read more, since this doesn't sound correct at all.

Quote
What I think jmdedjl is saying here is that stigmata appears to be an outgrowth of the Roman Catholic concentration on the Crucifixion 'satisfying God for our signs' as opposed to Christ setting us free from bondage to Death.

An analogy is our respective churches in how we depict the Crucifixion. RC concentrates on the suffering and has an image of a bleeding and contorted Christ. EO has an image of a victorious Christ, and has Him looking more like He is sleeping after fighting a great battle.

The thing is though, I don't know that either approach can be said to be invalid, since both involve analogy/paradigms drawn from the Scriptures - the judicialist one being just as much "Scriptural" as that of "Christus Victor".ÂÂ  The problem that few who doggedly hold to either one want to accept, is that the Scriptures (and hence the Fathers) present many different analogies and ways of speaking about the "feat of salvation".ÂÂ  For example, what many blame on St.Anselm of Canterbury, can be read in the writings of St.Gregory the Great, Pope of Rome (who is recognized by both Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christians.)

This is of course, because what we're dealing with are analogies - men (holy, enlightened me, yes...but men, speaking as men do) speaking about great mysteries, events of tremendous spiritual significance and depth.

Quote
Secondly, the unhealthy attention in the RCC is on the suffering of the Lord not suffering for Him.

Makes me wonder why one of the clearest prophecies of Christ (that of the Prophet Isaiah) is almost singularly concerned with His suffering, which he (the Prophet) says happens by the will of God.

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For that matter there is the now "Bl." Stepanic who supported the Croatian Ustashi (Nazi puppet government) in their genecide against the Serbs.ÂÂ  Does anyone really think he is a saint?

Again, an issue which (put nicely) is clouded by a lot of nationalist rhetoric on both sides.ÂÂ  Honestly, I've heard well stated arguments (with documentation) pointing to both scenarios.ÂÂ  According to some, Archbishop Stepanic was a nut - according to others, most of the charges leveled against him came from the hands of communists who'd proven their enmity toward the Church of Rome, precisely because it (at least up to the time of Pius XII) was militantly anti-communist.

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And some of those "miracles" might very well have been the work of the Evil One.ÂÂ  Let's face it, no matter how holy you are, you can't be a saint outside of the Church.ÂÂ  Roman Catholicism is outside the Church.ÂÂ  I'll let you connect the dots...

I've come to think reality doesn't allow one the luxury of oversimplification.ÂÂ  One need only read about ecclessiastical history in the first millenia A.D. to realize this annoying complication.

Some of the "devils handiwork" below...

http://www.livingmiracles.net/Images/Incorrupt/Guiliani.jpg

http://www.livingmiracles.net/Images/Incorrupt/Bernadette3.jpg

http://www.livingmiracles.net/Images/Incorrupt/dePaul4.jpg

http://www.kerygma.org/lee/vianney.jpg
« Last Edit: September 02, 2005, 01:42:44 PM by Augustine » Logged
Tags: Francis of Assisi 
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