Author Topic: Why has Orthodoxy been traditionally more accepting of schism than Catholics?  (Read 1136 times)

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Offline Griffith

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I saw this post.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Christianity/comments/4jy9ou/in_the_us_why_are_catholics_more_likely_to/

Later I came across this comment.

https://www.reddit.com/r/DebateReligion/comments/4vfpgp/in_the_usa_why_are_roman_catholics_more_likely_to/dbevhgw/

So I am inquisitive. Being a former Roman Catholic who's considering Orthodoxy this is one issue I cannot understand.

I am curious why are Orthodox far more tolerants of schisms, spin-offs and foreign versions of the faith? I mean a Romanian Orthodox can easily going into a Greek Orthodox Church without any problem other than language (but he wouldn't be violating the tenants of his church). Even during the times when Russian Orthodoxy held a monopoly and did inquisitions against minority faiths including other Christian sects, they often left off other Orthodox Christians such as the Serbian Church alone. If someone created a new Orthodox Church say representing Turkish speaking minorities, there wouldn't be an outcry for not using the Greek Bible but a Turkish language in contrast to how Roman Catholics required mass and existing Bibles to be in Latin.

Roman Catholics don't even accept spinoffs that kept every tradition the Roman Church does and even are supportive of Pope but merely don't believe the Pope is infallible and are not in full communion as a result.

How come orthodoxy-who often carry out the most vicious persecution of other Christian sects today (often government sponsored) able to be far more liberal than the Roman Catholic Church has been in modern times in regards to subsects of Orthodox Christianity?

I mean for example if France decided to split off and create its own "French Catholic Church" they'd be branded as heretics and anyone attending this new church would be excommunicated. There has been at least one incident where someone was burned at stake for translating the Bible into English. Even a strictly Roman Church can be excommunicated for something as petty as allowing Feng Shui books in a local Church's library (and stuff like this happened in the past before the Vatican II council).

How come Orthodox developed this tradition while Catholics didn't? I'd go as far as saying Eastern Orthodox are even more liberal in this regard than a number of Protestant sects! I mean just look at the bickering between fundamentalist Baptists who share the exact same belief but merely want to remain independent rather than team up together!

« Last Edit: May 26, 2017, 10:14:21 PM by Griffith »

Offline Porter ODoran

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Is this a joke?
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Rohzek

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There is a distinction between autocephalous/autonomous Orthodox churches and those that go into schism. Romanian and Greek Orthodox churches are not in schism from one another. They are merely separate autocephalous churches part of the unified Orthodox Church.
"Il ne faut imaginer Dieu ni trop bon, ni méchant. La justice est entre l'excès de la clémence et la cruauté, ainsi que les peines finies sont entre l'impunité et les peines éternelles." - Denise Diderot, Pensées philosophiques 1746

Offline Porter ODoran

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The Western church is divided into thousands, some studies say tens of thousands, of pieces. The East has a handful of persistent schisms. The schisms of the East are matters of difference in a point or two. The matters of difference of belief tolerated even within the Roman church are legion -- swearing to the Pope sometimes almost seems all that's required -- while the variety and extremity of doctrine in Rome's Protestant offspring beggar all description.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2017, 10:41:38 PM by Porter ODoran »
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline rakovsky

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I mean a Romanian Orthodox can easily going into a Greek Orthodox Church without any problem other than language (but he wouldn't be violating the tenants of his church).
What I can't understand is why you think that the Romanians are "schismated" from the Greeks. They have a mutual agreement that they are two separate jurisdictions under their own leaders with communion with each other.

Are the Eastern Catholics in Ukraine "schismated" from the Melkite Catholics in Syria?
No, because they have an agreement that they are both Catholic and in communion.

Same thing with Orthodoxy. There is no need to go illogical.
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20


Offline RaphaCam

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The "Romanian Orthodox Church" and the "Russian Orthodox Church" are one Church, there's no schism. There are local churches, sometimes organised as separate institutions from each other, but holding to the same exact faith and sharing the same chalice.
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Offline Porter ODoran

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The concept that the East is woefully fragmented is a Papist apologetic I grew weary of hearing when I lived near Fordham and sat near young Knights of Columbus - types at coffee shops and diners. "It's obvious which is the true church, us or them, because they have no Head." O depths of irony in such an argument (Eph 4:14-16).
« Last Edit: May 27, 2017, 01:15:52 AM by Porter ODoran »
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Asteriktos

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It's interesting, because it could be said that the case of one of the most important schisms shows the opposite. It is much more often Orthodox who make a big deal about the 'Great Schism' between east and west, and Roman Catholicism who plays down differences, talks of 'two lungs,' and in a word are more tolerant and accepting of the schism between Orthodox and Catholics. Also fwiw, here's something on a related topic by an Orthodox theologian that I had posted a while back:

Father Congar's book Divided Christendom, though very remarkable in many respects, remains, despite all his striving after objectivity, subject, in those pages which he devotes to the Orthodox Church, to certain preconceived notions. 'Where the West,' he says, 'on the basis at once developed and narrow of Augustinian ideology, claimed for the Church independence in life and organization, and thus laid down the lines of a very definite ecclesiology, the East settled down in practice, and to some extent in theory, to a principle of unity which was political, non-religious, and not truly universal.' To Father Congar, as to the majority of Catholic and Protestant writers who have expressed themselves on this subject, Orthodoxy represents itself under the form of a federation of national churches, having as its basis a political principles--the state-church.

One can venture upon such generalizations as these only by ignoring both the canonical groundwork and the history of the Eastern Church. The view which would base the unity of a local church on a political, racial or cultural principle is considered by the Orthodox Church as a heresy, specifically known by the name of philetism. It is the ecclesiastical territory, the area of sanctified by more or less ancient Christian tradition which forms the basis of a metropolitan province, administered by an archbishop or metropolitan, with the bishops from every diocese coming together from time to time in synod. If metropolitan provinces are grouped together to form local churches under the jurisdiction of a bishop who often bears the title of patriarch, it is still the community of local tradition and of historical destiny (as well as convenience in calling together a council from many providence), which determines the formation of these large circles of jurisdiction, the territories of which do not necessarily correspond to the political boundaries of a state.

(Footnote: Thus the Patriarchate of Moscow includes the dioceses of N. America and that of Tokyo beyond the frontiers of Russia. By contrast, the Catholicate of Georgia, though within the bounds of the U.S.S.R., does not form part of the Russian Church. The territories of the Patriarchates of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jurusalem are politically dependent on many different powers.)

The Patriarch of Constantinople enjoys a certain primacy of honour, arbitrating from time to time in disputes, but without exercising a jurisdiction over the whole body of the oecumenical Church. The local churches of the East had more or less the same attitude towards the apostolic patriarchate of Rome--first see of the Church before the separation, and symbol of her unity. Orthodoxy recognizes no visible heard of the Church. The unity of the Church expresses itself through the communion of the heads of local churches, among themselves, by the agreement of all the churches in regard to a local council--which thus acquires a universal import; finally, in exceptional cases, it may manifest itself through a general council.

(Footnote: The name Oecumenical Council given in the East to the first seven general synods corresponds to a reality of a purely historical character. These are the councils of the 'oecumenical' territories, that is to say of the Byzantine Empire which extended (theoretically, at least) throughout the Christian world. In later epochs the Orthodox Church had known general councils which, without bearing the title of 'oecumenical' were neither smaller nor less important.)

The catholicity of the Church, far from being the privilege of any one see or specific centre, is realised rather in the richness and multipolicity of the local traditions which bear witness unanimously to the single Truth: to that which is preserved always, everywhere and by all. Since the Church is catholic in all her parts, each one of her members--not only the clergy, but also each layman--is called to confess and to defend the truth of tradition; opposing even the bishops should they fall into heresy. A Christian who has received the gift of the Holy Spirit in the sacrament of the Holy Chrism must have a full awareness of his faith: he is responsible for the Church. Hence the restless and sometimes agitated character of the ecclesiastical life of Byzantium, or Russia, and of other countries in the Orthodox world.

This, however, is the price paid for a religious vitality, an intensity of spiritual life which penetrates the whole mass of believers, united in the awareness that they form a single body with the hierarchy of the Church. From this, too, comes the unconquerable energy which enables Orthodoxy to go through all trials, all cataclysms and upheavals, adopting itself continually to the new historical reality and showing itself stronger than outward circumstances. The persecutions of the faithful in Russia, the systematic fury of which has not been able to destroy the Church, are the best witness to a power which is not of this world.

-- Vladimir Lossky (d. 1958), The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, pp. 14-16

Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Okay, first of all, I just have to say that their present avatars being what they are, I love it when Rohzek posts directly after Porter.  :)

Secondly, yeah, Griffith, see Rohzek's post.  If church B receives autocephaly or autonomy from church A and they remain in full communion, that is not a schism.  They're just administratively independent jurisdictions within one Church.  Get it?
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.