Author Topic: Dis-illusionment and letting go  (Read 9005 times)

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Offline Sharbel

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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #45 on: September 02, 2017, 02:40:53 PM »
My point is that having the right faith is inseparable from right worship. As you know, the Greek term can mean both.
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Offline Sharbel

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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #46 on: September 02, 2017, 02:45:26 PM »
"Logic" and "Non-contradiction" are so sacrosanct that they will violate the laws of physics to bend and twist and contort in order to demonstrate that nothing has changed.
Rome will twist and contort the events of history and the very words of Holy Scriptures to anachronically justify the indefensible corner that it has painted itself in.
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Offline Sharbel

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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #47 on: September 02, 2017, 02:48:41 PM »
... I was born Episcopal, so before I became Catholic I had to be shocked by the reality of Episcopalianism and let go of a vision of it I had really believed in. (I really wanted Catholicism; Episcopalianism is at heart Protestant.)
Were you an Anglo Catholic? 
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Offline The young fogey

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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #48 on: September 02, 2017, 09:31:58 PM »
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So why single out the WRO for a charge of bigotry?

As far as I know there are no unbyzantinized WRO.

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If someone leaves their box because they want to, that is not pretending; that is authentic.

But I can step out of my box without condemning the box.

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There are Eastern Catholics who are entirely unlatinized.

Being familiar with about half of the Eastern Catholic Churches, I feel inclined to infer that this is hard to believe.

Get to know the Melkites and the Russian Catholic Church. I've visited both; they along with the Orthodox are my model for behavior in the Byzantine Rite.

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Were you an Anglo-Catholic?

Not born A-C but one by the time I left. By the way, A-Cism comes in different versions, not all of them friendly to Rome. The Anglo-Papalists are would-be Catholics, believing in everything the church teaches. Of course these people are now joining our ordinariates for Anglican alumni. The Romanizers don't agree with us on everything but want to come back to us and see the Roman Rite as the basis for their reunion. (They often stop short of Catholicism because they're gay.) You see these two groups more in England than America. Other high churchmen believe something more like classic Anglicans, that theirs is the best "branch" of the church; they are implicitly the true church, at least the only lawful church in England and America. (Yes, some Episcopalians thought like that. 1950s American Anglo-Catholics copied our liturgics and spirituality but believed in something they thought was Anglicanism.) These churchmen are naturals for WRO. Now you have the liberal high-church people, credal, liturgical, and sacramental, still loving our culture, but they believe the church is fallible and they are on board with liberal Protestantism and the secular world on hot-button issues, from women clergy to same-sex marriage. Pretty much the Episcopal Church now. There are Episcopalians who use the Byzantine Rite. They're like me and the Russian Catholics. They love Orthodoxy but won't deny that their home church has grace. I guess I am assumed to hate them but when I see them online, they remind what a good rite it is.
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Offline Sharbel

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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #49 on: September 02, 2017, 10:52:40 PM »
Quote
Quote
There are Eastern Catholics who are entirely unlatinized.

Being familiar with about half of the Eastern Catholic Churches, I feel inclined to infer that this is hard to believe.

Get to know the Melkites and the Russian Catholic Church. I've visited both; they along with the Orthodox are my model for behavior in the Byzantine Rite.
I'm not familiar with the Russians, but the Melkites are much closer to home.  So much so to disagree with you.  For instance, the Melkite Cathedral of St. George in Caracas, Venezuela:


No iconostasis and versus populo.


Modern architecture.
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Offline The young fogey

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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #50 on: September 02, 2017, 11:00:23 PM »
Most Melkites aren't like that.
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #51 on: September 02, 2017, 11:16:29 PM »
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So why single out the WRO for a charge of bigotry?

As far as I know there are no unbyzantinized WRO.

There is no unbyzantinized Novus Ordo either.

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #52 on: September 02, 2017, 11:16:52 PM »
Most Melkites aren't like that.

"No true Melkite!"

Offline The young fogey

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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #53 on: September 03, 2017, 08:28:17 AM »
Academic, ecumenical types love to claim how attuned to the East the new Mass is vs. the old Mass, which they hate, simply because the new Mass has descending epicleses in the new Eucharistic prayers and sometimes has a few more deacons such as permanent ones and offers the chalice to the laity (in a very un-Eastern way). I think that's condescending to the East. Simply writing a new service is culturally un-Eastern (and historically un-Western for that matter, though it is allowable).

As you probably know, American Melkite clergy are serious about not being latinized.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2017, 08:29:58 AM by The young fogey »
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Offline Helladius

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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #54 on: September 03, 2017, 11:14:13 AM »

everybody who becomes Orthodox pretends to be foreign to some degree. I participate in the culture too but don't feel compelled to disown my own as heresy, so I say I'm not pretending. That's why I'm Catholic.

I can't quite see how this makes sense, theologically, as surely a culture can't be heretical - only doctrine can. And so you can belong to and participate in whatever culture you like insofar as it does not impel you to believe or act contrary to the doctrine of the Church. But, trying to make some sense of this, at least the idea that you put forward in this thread that Orthodoxy requires people to become "Eastern" and "foreign"...

I think, as other posters have argued well, it makes no sense to say that you have to become "Eastern" to become Orthodox, or even to group all Orthodox under the label of "Eastern" as if all Orthodox Churches and cultures were homogeneous and confined to a tiny geographical area in the (still nebulous) "East". Historic Orthodox Churches and cultures stretch from (for example) Alaska to India, and Russia to Ethiopia... these cannot all be lumped together as "Eastern"! But, presumably what you're actually saying is from an Anglo Saxon(???) viewpoint all Orthodox Churches and cultures feel foreign to you? Okay, that's a fair enough feeling. But why should that matter so much? IF it were true that to join the true Church you had to change your culture or join a different culture to some degree (which I am unconvinced about anyway, as explained in the first paragraph) then you should do it!

Christ tells us that we must put Him ahead of our mothers, fathers, and siblings, and even be prepared to be in opposition to them in order to follow Him. Undoubtedly, if our own flesh and blood must be sacrificed for Him if need be, then our cultural affinity must be too! And, indeed, St Paul in Philippians 3, having described a Jewish heritage which many would be proud of, goes on to say 'But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.' Which is not, of course, to say that being of Jewish heritage (or any other heritage) is actually only worth garbage, but rather that everything is worthless if Christ is not put first, and only through Christ is anything made of real worth.

In the early Church there must have been gentile converts and inquirers who complained about having to "become Jewish" to become Christian, just like you complain about becoming Eastern/foreign to become Orthodox. Very early Christianity had a strong Jewish ethos to it, and vocal groups within it who pushed for gentile converts to become as Jewish as possible. Yet it was still the Church! And those gentile converts had no choice but to join it if they wanted to be in the Church and to be saved. With time, the Church became more Hellenised and perhaps Jewish converts then felt that they had to lose their culture in order to join the Church. There are many similar examples, such as the forcible Romanisation of Celtic Christianity in Britain. I'm sure you would agree that, while the Celtic Christians' traditional culture and practices were to a degree Romanised, the right thing was nonetheless for them to stay inside the Church, not for them to leave it.

I think, in fact, over time Orthodoxy in England and America will feel less and less foreign. I have already been to quite a few Orthodox churches in Britain that feel very English (and no, they don't use the Western Rite). In such churches, most of the congregation is English, the languages of the service is King James Bible esque English, and the music is often broadly Russian style but sung in such a way that it sounds quite high Church Anglican. I personally couldn't care less how much Orthodox churches in England feel "English" nor what proportion of the congregation are English, and I like the thoroughly Greek churches I've been too here as much as the very English ones. But, if you want Anglo-Saxon-feeling Orthodoxy, it will become ever more common in the US and Britain with time, I think, as Orthodoxy slowly becomes more embedded into the native culture, as it has done elsewhere. (In fact, listening to Ancient Faith Radio, it already feels quite distinctively American to this Brit!) In any case, this whole foreign-feeling thing seems to me a bit absurd, as I am sure you would find attending a "Anglo-Saxon" church service from the first millenium (or probably even much later) far more foreign-feeling than attending an English-speaking Orthodox church service in present day America or Britain. National culture is always in flux, not a static entity. (I say this not to disparage my national culture, of which I am fond, but as a recognition that it is a likeable thing of this world rather than an eternal truth.)

So, I really can't see how Orthodoxy feeling foreign to you is of any real importance. What matters is where the Church is, not whether it fits comfortably with your cultural self-identity. If Orthodoxy is the Church, then whether it feels foreign or not, you should join it. If it is not the Church, then whether or not it feels foreign is really a matter of no importance.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2017, 11:15:25 AM by Helladius »
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Offline The young fogey

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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #55 on: September 03, 2017, 01:36:43 PM »
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I think, as other posters have argued well, it makes no sense to say that you have to become "Eastern" to become Orthodox.

The words of John of Shanghai and San Francisco.

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But why should that matter so much? IF it were true that to join the true Church you had to change your culture or join a different culture to some degree (which I am unconvinced about anyway, as explained in the first paragraph) then you should do it!

The mode in Orthodoxy so WR has beards, "matushki," crossing oneself right to left, and icons galore. Convert enthusiasm and insecurity, sure, but an Orthodox bishop who took John's words to heart would tell them to stop.

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Christ tells us that we must put Him ahead of our mothers, fathers, and siblings, and even be prepared to be in opposition to them in order to follow Him.

But my culture and, more important, church aren't heretical so that doesn't apply.

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I think, in fact, over time Orthodoxy in England and America will feel less and less foreign.

I think over time that Orthodoxy in England and America will go away, as it is now, because it's dropped by the time the descendants of the immigrants are fully English or American, often by the third generation. The same thing is happening to Eastern Catholics in the West. Too soon to tell for your convert boomlet.

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If Orthodoxy is the Church, then whether it feels foreign or not, you should join it. If it is not the Church, then whether or not it feels foreign is really a matter of no importance.

Right. I don't believe it's the church.
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Offline Gorazd

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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #56 on: September 03, 2017, 02:01:44 PM »
The mode in Orthodoxy so WR has beards
Again, I showed examples of unbearded WR priests.

And what about bearded RC NOM priests? I see a lot of those recently. How would you classify them?

Offline The young fogey

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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #57 on: September 03, 2017, 02:34:55 PM »
There have long been clean-shaven Orthodox priests in America (acculturation) and many bearded Roman Rite Catholic priests throughout history even though I understand it long wasn't normally allowed in the Roman Rite at least in some dioceses. At one point in the 1500s beards were fashionable in Italy; the saintly Reginald Cardinal Pole, English but long resident in Italy, had a large one. Capuchin Franciscan friars (the monkey is named after the hood of their habits because he has a fold of skin that looks like it) such as Padre Pio, before Vatican II, wear them. Archbishop Lefebvre had a beard much of his life.

But you know what I mean. If a man was clean-shaven or mustachio'd as an Episcopalian or evangelical but looks like Seraphim (Rose) six months after being chrismated, even though he's Western Rite, you don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to see what's going on.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2017, 02:35:15 PM by The young fogey »
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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #58 on: September 03, 2017, 03:50:17 PM »
There have long been clean-shaven Orthodox priests in America (acculturation) and many bearded Roman Rite Catholic priests throughout history even though I understand it long wasn't normally allowed in the Roman Rite at least in some dioceses. At one point in the 1500s beards were fashionable in Italy; the saintly Reginald Cardinal Pole, English but long resident in Italy, had a large one. Capuchin Franciscan friars (the monkey is named after the hood of their habits because he has a fold of skin that looks like it) such as Padre Pio, before Vatican II, wear them. Archbishop Lefebvre had a beard much of his life.

But you know what I mean. If a man was clean-shaven or mustachio'd as an Episcopalian or evangelical but looks like Seraphim (Rose) six months after being chrismated, even though he's Western Rite, you don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to see what's going on.
I wonder if people see my beard and think the same thing. Beards are very common in America now. I had a ten inch beard before even considering Orthodoxy. Why should WR churches not have tons of icons? The matushka thing is strange to me but they prefer it to being called mother so I don't think there is anything wrong with it. I would prefer to go to a WR if one were available to me and  I don't think these things are a problem. I did stand out at the sspx chapel because of the beard and my hair. It would not have bothered me to see icons there either.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2017, 03:51:05 PM by servulus »

Offline The young fogey

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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #59 on: September 03, 2017, 04:10:34 PM »
Quote
Why should WR churches not have tons of icons?

Because icons aren't Western. Some icons have made it into Western Catholic devotion and churches: Byzantine mosaics in old Sicilian churches and Our Lady of Perpetual Help come to mind. This, on the other hand, is insecure converts putting on the trappings of the Byzantine Riters over them.

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I did stand out at the SSPX chapel because of the beard and my hair.

I'm for "strict decorum in the sanctuary; the laity can come as they are." If I were the priest, you would have been welcome.

I "live in the '50s"; it's part of my own culture and I don't claim you have to do it to be Catholic.
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #60 on: September 03, 2017, 05:22:14 PM »
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Why should WR churches not have tons of icons?

Because icons aren't Western.

Byzantine cultural imperialism!

Offline The young fogey

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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #61 on: September 03, 2017, 05:40:15 PM »
As one wag, actually devout underneath, put it, "I like my superstitions good and old." Latinizations in some places don't bother me if they're old and they're less than half the practice (ACROD was like that for many years; the Greeks didn't force changes on them); I don't introduce them. There's natural crossover such as the Roman Rite getting things indirectly from the East through the Gallican Rite, and then there is affectation. Again, an Orthodox bishop serious about WR would tell these converts to cool it.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2017, 05:40:41 PM by The young fogey »
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Offline Sharbel

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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #62 on: September 03, 2017, 07:14:10 PM »
Academic, ecumenical types love to claim how attuned to the East the new Mass is vs. the old Mass, which they hate, simply because the new Mass has descending epicleses in the new Eucharistic prayers and sometimes has a few more deacons such as permanent ones and offers the chalice to the laity (in a very un-Eastern way). I think that's condescending to the East. Simply writing a new service is culturally un-Eastern (and historically un-Western for that matter, though it is allowable).
+1
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Offline Sharbel

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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #63 on: September 03, 2017, 07:21:34 PM »
Right. I don't believe it's the church.

Yet, it is the Church, imperfectly so, according to the Catholic Church:

Quote from: Dominus Iesus, 17
The Church of Christ is present and operative also in these Churches, even though they lack full communion with the Catholic Church.
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Offline Sharbel

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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #64 on: September 03, 2017, 07:50:57 PM »
Because icons aren't Western.
Nonsense:

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Offline The young fogey

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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #65 on: September 03, 2017, 08:11:05 PM »
The Orthodox churches are churches (with bishops and the Mass, vs. Protestants, who don't have churches; they're just gatherings of the baptized) in the same sense Catholic dioceses are except they're out of communion with us. They're not the church in the sense of the one true church founded by Christ.

Those examples of something like iconography are different from the Byzantine affectation you see everywhere among the all-convert WR.
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Offline Sharbel

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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #66 on: September 03, 2017, 08:18:48 PM »
Those examples of something like iconography are different from the Byzantine affectation you see everywhere among the all-convert WR.
For the obvious reason that, over time, the Western iconography became more realistic and sentimental, especially from the 14th century and on, limiting the availability of icons to the East.  But to say that icons are foreign to the West is erroneous.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2017, 08:19:33 PM by Sharbel »
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Offline The young fogey

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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #67 on: September 03, 2017, 08:29:02 PM »
Plenty of ethnic Orthodox copied Western painting styles, sometimes a cause for arguments between them and gung-ho converts. Fr. Seraphim (Rose) sided with the ethnics against these "super-correct." I don't like all religious art but I like much of ours that does not belong in the Byzantine Rite. My icon corner is all Byzantine Rite, with nothing particularly post-schism Catholic or Orthodox (three-bar crucifix, old-man Trinity icon from tsarist times, Jesus, Mary, St. Panteleimon, and a group icon card of a few pre-schism worthies).
« Last Edit: September 03, 2017, 08:29:59 PM by The young fogey »
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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #68 on: September 03, 2017, 09:40:39 PM »
Outside a few mentions of icons - that is religious images that were venerated with the understanding that they have some sort of connection with whom they are representing - there were never that many icons in the Latin West outside Italy. There is serious doubt that there were ever any in Gaul in the first millennium and the few mentions we have of them from this time are suspected to be practiced by Greek and Syriac communities in Gaul and the Narbonne. We have St. Augustine of Hippo make a mention or two of icons, so we definitely have some activity in the North African Church. But anywhere north of the Alps is highly doubtful, probably the Visigothic Church too. Given the Franks' response to II Nicaea, the spread of icons in the Latin West appears to have been quite limited in the first millennium - mostly to its communities of Greek and Syriac origin.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2017, 09:44:14 PM by Rohzek »
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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #69 on: September 12, 2017, 11:20:05 PM »
Plenty of ethnic Orthodox copied Western painting styles, sometimes a cause for arguments between them and gung-ho converts. Fr. Seraphim (Rose) sided with the ethnics against these "super-correct." I don't like all religious art but I like much of ours that does not belong in the Byzantine Rite. My icon corner is all Byzantine Rite, with nothing particularly post-schism Catholic or Orthodox (three-bar crucifix, old-man Trinity icon from tsarist times, Jesus, Mary, St. Panteleimon, and a group icon card of a few pre-schism worthies).

I think the underlying principle of why there is a hostility to "Western art" was that - at the most, from when statues were introduced in the West, at least, from the Renaissance onward, there is a massive theological shift in the West terms of liturgical art. The purpose of iconography is to serve two purposes - to teach us about the Gospel and the History of the Church and Her Saints, but also, and as important if not even more important, to focus our minds to the World To Come. The whole purpose of the Divine Liturgy is to recreate Heaven, which is why Liturgy is so ornate and beautiful - in addition to preparing the way for the King (who is literally present in every Divine Liturgy).


It's why iconoclasm was condemned as heresy in the Seventh Ecumenical Council.

In terms of symbolism, the icons of the Saints are theologically flat, lack any movement, and seem like they are outside time and space itself. They are ornate and beautiful in almost a Divine Manner loaded with symbolism (the Theotokos probably didn't walk around wearing bright red/maroon robes or bright blue robes - but these colors were symbols of royalty, and from what I read online, these two colors in different regions were the most expensive colors used - which is why in the West, she is predominantly blue, and in the East, she is predominantly red). She also didn't wear Byzantine-empress shoes or have a glowing halo around her head.

They are flat, and they look directly at another saint or at your soul. You'll also see gold as a predominant background color in most Eastern iconography, symbolic of light.

It's why icons are kissed and venerated - they are symbolic of the Saints in Heaven and when we kiss such icons, we believe that we are symbolically kissing the Saints themselves in a Mysterious way. It's why one will see people kissing the feet of Christ.

I recommend reading this article:
http://antiochian.org/content/no-graven-image-icons-and-their-proper-use

However, statues, being three dimensional intrinsically, already kind of fight against the idea of being "outside time and space" and stagnant, looking into your soul. They also aren't as capable of educating people while maintaining theological soundness, and thus - while I don't believe strictly forbidding, are often seen as inferior.

From the Renaissance onward, there is a HUGE theological change. Two focuses were introduced which still exist to this day - the first of which is a complete abandonment of Heaven and a direct focus of earthly life and materialism, the second of which is the adoration of corpses in art.

In the former category, there is a lot of "movement" captured in Western art. When one looks at a scene of Christ being tortured or the Crucifixion, or the Annunciation, the Saints or Christ is posed in such a way that they are reacting to something - almost like a photograph.
And the shift is away from theological symbolism to being "realistic;" that is, to solely being about the lives of the saints on earth. This kind of theological connection to the Heaven is completely lost, supposed to represent the disconnection from Earth, to a full embracing of Earth. The goal is not representing the Saints in Heaven, but representing memories of them. The prayer focus is lost too - the shift goes to not focusing on repentance and being in Heaven seeing the saints in God, but mere education about how people "felt." Thus, many feel it isn't appropriate to venerate such images.

Compare an Orthodox icon of the Annunciation to a Roman Catholic Painting, and look at the movement and symbolism in both.

https://www.easterngiftshop.com/media/ecom/prodlg/Annunciation%20Full%20Size%20flyer.jpg
http://images.metmuseum.org/CRDImages/ep/web-large/DT404.jpg

In the latter category, there is a huge adoration of corpses. In a funny manner, the shift went away from representing the "bodyless" saints in Heaven (besides Christ and the Virgin Mary) to a love of the human body. True, the human body is pretty - we are made in the image of God, and we are naturally attracted (due to our fallen nature) to such corpses. However, the use of such art in Liturgy is not only not appropriate due to the previously mentioned problems, but it is also problematic because in Renaissance artwork especially, there is such a focus on the detail and beauty of the corpses that it takes precedent completely in the artwork and the story of the saints. People began creating art that "stirs the passions" so to speak and incites lust, something that cannot be denied (which is why many Protestants poke fun at Renaissance artwork with "naked people in church."), even making images of Christ and saints whose sole focus is to make beautiful the corpse.

It also began introducing many pagan elements into the artwork itself - the most obvious example is Michaelangelo's "The Last Judgment," and even from the Annunciation painting shown above, the "bodyless" powers / Cherubim are portrayed as a naked Cupid baby. As an "instruction tool" and a "connector to Heaven," some works of art are even blasphemous for Liturgical use - Michaelangelo's "The Last Judgment," despite how pretty it is, is despicable for veneration and sinful.

I'll give some examples.
Orthodox Crucifixion Icon:
http://www.olgachristine.com/icons/OL_Crucifixion.jpg

Renaissance Painting:
https://i.pinimg.com/736x/e1/4e/7f/e14e7fb56a5f04a97ee9274e62ea9a58--pictures-of-jesus-classical-art.jpg

Last Judgment Icon:
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/91/79/bc/9179bcf70cb989df19fb98823dff731b.jpg
Painting:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/18/Last_Judgement_%28Michelangelo%29.jpg/1200px-Last_Judgement_%28Michelangelo%29.jpg

Theotokos praying icon:
https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1136/4188/products/1229__40537.1372976772.1000.1200_large.jpeg?v=1456618018

Painting:
https://images.fineartamerica.com/images/artworkimages/mediumlarge/1/madonna-at-prayer-il-sassoferrato.jpg

Theotokos and Child Icon:
https://ryanphunter.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/theotokos-11.jpg
Painting:
http://italianrenaissanceresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/RP_2311-1.jpg

Thus, there is a hesitancy, considering Roman "development," to just translate over modern Roman Catholic art into Orthodox Liturgy. If we had an endless amount of 13th / 12th century and before art that was widely available and didn't focus so much on three dimensional characteristics, and covered saints and ideas that are Eastern Orthodox so easily, it wouldn't be a problem - but hey, a Liturgically proper substitute is better than a blasphemous one.

For these reasons, contemporary Western art isn't really acceptable.

You might see it as "snobbish," but Traditions are precious and so is Theology.


I didn't really myself comprehend the importance and symbolism of iconography until I saw an icon of Yevgeny Rodionov.

He was a Russian soldier who was killed after some Islamic militants wanted him to remove his Cross, which he refused to do - and he is venerated by many in Russia as a martyr (although the Orthodox Church is hesitant to canonize him - you know, war and stuff).

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/e6/Yevgeny_Rodionov.gif

https://i.pinimg.com/736x/c9/bf/f7/c9bff717bd9aa0a2c1b2c35cd3752965--russian-icons-russian-orthodox.jpg

This icon still gives me goosebumps.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2017, 11:30:33 PM by LivenotoneviL »
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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #70 on: September 13, 2017, 02:27:18 AM »

Thus, there is a hesitancy, considering Roman "development," to just translate over modern Roman Catholic art into Orthodox Liturgy. If we had an endless amount of 13th / 12th century and before art that was widely available and didn't focus so much on three dimensional characteristics, and covered saints and ideas that are Eastern Orthodox so easily, it wouldn't be a problem - but hey, a Liturgically proper substitute is better than a blasphemous one.


I should also point out that undoubtedly in many Orthodox Churches, Western artwork has made its influence to a great extent - but not anywhere near the same extent as the Roman church has been filled with corpses and earthliness, and still represent the theological ideas previously represented. Even then, these more three dimensional icons tend to generate quite the controversy - even with famous ones (despite the miracle-working nature and history of quite a few of them :) )
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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #71 on: September 14, 2017, 07:30:35 PM »
However, statues ... aren't as capable of educating people while maintaining theological soundness, and thus - while I don't believe strictly forbidden, are often seen as inferior.

And we're back to this: pushing the culture not as simply good (obviously I agree!) but superior is exactly what turned me off Orthodoxy forever.
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Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #72 on: September 14, 2017, 08:00:21 PM »
However, statues ... aren't as capable of educating people while maintaining theological soundness, and thus - while I don't believe strictly forbidden, are often seen as inferior.

And we're back to this: pushing the culture not as simply good (obviously I agree!) but superior is exactly what turned me off Orthodoxy forever.

This is one reason I had to reject Catholicism. When I learnt how they used to paint Orthodox as uncouth barbarians because westerners were clean-shaven and Orthodox walked around looking like ZZ Top, well obviously I couldn't be a part of a Church whose missionaries had pushed such absurd culturally-based arguments for the supposed superiority of their church. Instead I went with the only group to have never made absurd arguments in favor of their side: the no-bodies.

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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #73 on: September 14, 2017, 08:18:51 PM »
However, statues ... aren't as capable of educating people while maintaining theological soundness, and thus - while I don't believe strictly forbidden, are often seen as inferior.

And we're back to this: pushing the culture not as simply good (obviously I agree!) but superior is exactly what turned me off Orthodoxy forever.
Seems like a goofy reason
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #74 on: September 14, 2017, 08:26:46 PM »
However, statues ... aren't as capable of educating people while maintaining theological soundness, and thus - while I don't believe strictly forbidden, are often seen as inferior.

And we're back to this: pushing the culture not as simply good (obviously I agree!) but superior is exactly what turned me off Orthodoxy forever.

Can you explain how I'm pushing culture around? I said I think statues are inferior because they don't capture the bodyless nature of Heaven and being outside time and space, which they are from that exact perspective. Can you deny that the saints, in statue form, are more limited in teaching the viewer about their life as well as giving the impression of being bodyless? Not to mention the absolute priority of some statues of being as realistic as possible, even some going so far to dress statues with real clothes.

The Roman Church introduced statues pre-Schism, and although it caused controversy, there was no problem or schism until Pope Nicholas tried deposing Saint Photius, and then there was reunion after the death of Pope Nicholas, until Pope Leo IX started forcing Byzantine Churches in Italy to use unleavened bread and forcing Patriarch Michael Cerularius to obey him, going so far to even say it was offensive for this Patriarch to call the Pope "brother" and not "father."

And do I need to remind you that this kind of "cultural superiority" is still seen in Roman Catholic circles, who view the use of leavened bread with a reluctant sigh (as they don't fully represent the "Passover") and view the Tridentine liturgy as the "purest" liturgy completely guided by the infallible Pope (even though, despite its theological innovations over time, is absolutely beautiful and dignified, and a treasure which has been lost)? Even in Our Lady of Guadalupe's FSSP seminary, beards are absolutely forbidden (I know some weird factoids).

Iconography nonetheless is important in Orthodoxy, which is why there have been martyrs over iconography as well as an entire Ecumenical Council over the matter. To remove iconography is to remove the Saints from our lives, which is why iconoclasm is a heresy.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 08:34:17 PM by LivenotoneviL »
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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #75 on: September 14, 2017, 10:13:15 PM »
Are some Catholics bigots? Sure. Do they represent our doctrine by being like that, to the Byzantine Rite, for example? No. The infallible Pope has only defended the essentials, which transcend all cultures: God, Christ, the Trinity, the hypostatic union, the Mother of God, bishops, the Mass, and the option of using images.

Rites can make rules. They're not the same as doctrine, which is universal. The Byzantine Rite can require an iconostasis; a traditional Roman Rite seminary that's not for the Capuchin friars can ban beards.
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Offline Alpha60

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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #76 on: September 14, 2017, 10:15:43 PM »
However, statues ... aren't as capable of educating people while maintaining theological soundness, and thus - while I don't believe strictly forbidden, are often seen as inferior.

And we're back to this: pushing the culture not as simply good (obviously I agree!) but superior is exactly what turned me off Orthodoxy forever.

The liturgical statues of the Catholic Church are one of the main contributors to Protestant iconoclasm.  They lit the fuse that resulted in the Calvinist bomb.
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Offline Sharbel

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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #77 on: September 14, 2017, 10:17:24 PM »
And we're back to this: pushing the culture not as simply good (obviously I agree!) but superior is exactly what turned me off Orthodoxy forever.
Because the Roman Catholic Church never foisted its theological speculations as dogma onto Eastern Catholic Churches, distorting their liturgy and traditions!
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Offline The young fogey

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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #78 on: September 14, 2017, 10:22:05 PM »
However, statues ... aren't as capable of educating people while maintaining theological soundness, and thus - while I don't believe strictly forbidden, are often seen as inferior.

And we're back to this: pushing the culture not as simply good (obviously I agree!) but superior is exactly what turned me off Orthodoxy forever.

The liturgical statues of the Catholic Church are one of the main contributors to Protestant iconoclasm.  They lit the fuse that resulted in the Calvinist bomb.

That's just more Byzantine chauvinism.

Guys, Byzantine Christianity in America's on life support. I don't wish it so; I participate in Byzantine Christianity. But it's still happening. It may well be gone here in a few more generations. Would you dare say there would then be no more real Christians left here? (To include the Copts et al., let's say all Eastern Christianity in America fades away in three generations. It does.)

Sharbel, you don't sound like a Catholic (anymore). We don't double-deal with doctrine; there is one set of doctrine but several expressions of it. I'm fine with Eastern methods that say Western methods aren't needed in them. I'm not fine with denying our doctrine.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 10:22:47 PM by The young fogey »
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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #79 on: September 14, 2017, 10:27:10 PM »
Sharbel, you don't sound like a Catholic (anymore). We don't double-deal with doctrine; there is one set of doctrine but several expressions of it. I'm fine with Eastern methods that say Western methods aren't needed in them. I'm not fine with denying our doctrine.
You're making my point.  Our Eastern doctrines can be shoved aside and remain unknown in the West, but the Western ones have to be affirmed in the East, even when they confuse our doctrines and liturgy.

Besides, I'm Catholic alright.  Just not a Roman Catholic.  But it's excusable for Roman Catholics to think that they are the only normative Catholics, for their Church preaches such cultural triumphalism.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 10:27:55 PM by Sharbel »
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Offline LivenotoneviL

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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #80 on: September 14, 2017, 10:38:02 PM »
However, statues ... aren't as capable of educating people while maintaining theological soundness, and thus - while I don't believe strictly forbidden, are often seen as inferior.

And we're back to this: pushing the culture not as simply good (obviously I agree!) but superior is exactly what turned me off Orthodoxy forever.

The liturgical statues of the Catholic Church are one of the main contributors to Protestant iconoclasm.  They lit the fuse that resulted in the Calvinist bomb.

That's just more Byzantine chauvinism.

Guys, Byzantine Christianity in America's on life support. I don't wish it so; I participate in Byzantine Christianity. But it's still happening. It may well be gone here in a few more generations. Would you dare say there would then be no more real Christians left here? (To include the Copts et al., let's say all Eastern Christianity in America fades away in three generations. It does.)

Sharbel, you don't sound like a Catholic (anymore). We don't double-deal with doctrine; there is one set of doctrine but several expressions of it. I'm fine with Eastern methods that say Western methods aren't needed in them. I'm not fine with denying our doctrine.

I haven't seen particular statistics on Orthodox Christianity - that is something that is hard to find data on; however, to say that Roman Catholicism isn't on life support and quote on quote "Byzantine Christianity" needs a resurgence via Rome is laughable.

In 10 years, Roman Catholics will become a minority in the United States due to the amount of people who either convert or lose faith entirely, and church attendance in Roman Catholicism constantly falls year by year.

There are like no new churches opening up at all, and churches are closed nonstop. In the Roman Catholic diocese of Cleveland, Bishop Lennon was infamous for how many churches he closed - he closed 30 churches, so much so that a priest committed schism with the RCC to keep his church open, and some parishioners actually got in contact with the Vatican to put a stop to it.

And this is not to mention the various heretical bishops (like Bishop Mahoney, Bishop Dolan, and Bishop Barron, who are all heretics) as well as the abundance of offensive liturgy (some going so far to be demonic in the Charismatic movement) which all cause people to lose faith when they see all of these contradictions, which only accentuates the process.

At least in Orthodox Christianity I'm constantly hearing news of Churches being opened in Western Europe and the United States, etc., and in the case of Russia, Orthodoxy is constantly growing.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 10:48:28 PM by LivenotoneviL »
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Offline Sharbel

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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #81 on: September 14, 2017, 10:45:21 PM »
Guys, Byzantine Christianity in America's on life support. I don't wish it so; I participate in Byzantine Christianity. But it's still happening. It may well be gone here in a few more generations...
I agree with you about Byzantine Catholicism, but, I'm my anecdotal experience, the ethnic Orthodox parishes seem to have a good retention of the younger generations and enjoy a much larger number of parishioners in areas which had a large influx of immigrants from majorly Orthodox countries.
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Offline The young fogey

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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #82 on: September 14, 2017, 11:37:13 PM »
In my anecdotal experience, the Greek Orthodox churches in the Philadelphia area are still around because of immigration; most of the old Slavic ones are dying (their old neighborhoods dispersed and assimilated) whilst others are like the Greeks, propped up by Russian immigration. Most of the grandkids leave. There are a couple of convert churches; from what I've been told the drift among the second generation is under way.

I never denied that the Roman Rite Catholic Church has falling numbers too, just that you can't pin Christianity's future in America on Byzantine or other Eastern Christianity.

Among Eastern Catholics in person, that is, their old ethnic rank and file with whom I worship once a month, I never find the negative attitude towards Rome that you do among online Eastern Catholics, who are usually converts on their way out of the church like one of this board's co-founders was.

Quote
But it's excusable for Roman Catholics to think that they are the only normative Catholics, for their Church preaches such cultural triumphalism.

I belong to a traditional Roman Rite parish and go to it most Sundays. We have coffee hour once a month. I have never heard this preached from the pulpit nor among our people.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 11:38:34 PM by The young fogey »
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Offline Velsigne

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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #83 on: September 15, 2017, 12:08:26 AM »
Well, just because you haven't personally heard it doesn't mean it's not a thing.

You are trolling.
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Offline Sharbel

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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #84 on: September 15, 2017, 01:33:12 AM »
I never denied that the Roman Rite Catholic Church has falling numbers too, just that you can't pin Christianity's future in America on Byzantine or other Eastern Christianity.
Christianity has no future in America.  America is Europe delayed by a generation.

Quote from: The young fogey
Quote
But it's excusable for Roman Catholics to think that they are the only normative Catholics, for their Church preaches such cultural triumphalism.

I belong to a traditional Roman Rite parish and go to it most Sundays. We have coffee hour once a month. I have never heard this preached from the pulpit nor among our people.
Read the Catechism of your Church lately?  8)
« Last Edit: September 15, 2017, 01:35:43 AM by Sharbel »
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Offline Lepanto

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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #85 on: September 15, 2017, 03:27:51 AM »
young fogey, leave it at that, it´s no use.
After all, this is an Orthodox echo chamber. People come here to get confirmation on what they are already convinced about.
Or they come here as they are on the verge of leaving the Catholic Church (like Sharbel), but still struggling somewhat,
and trying to gather more arguments, just to convince themselves.
Then the usual mumbo-jumbo about how icons are superior to statues as they lack (!) a dimension.
Cultural chauvinism, indeed. This is an advantage of our Church: We do not endorse in it so much.
We have a lot of icons in our home, patron saints of the family members, nativity, Kazanskaya and others.
They are beautiful indeed and I pray before them regularly.
We also have a statue of St. Joseph from a Catholic place of pilgrimage.
When I pray before the Kazanskaya, I beg the Theotokos to pray for our family.
When I pray before the statue of St. Joseph, I ask him the same.
The important thing is that both icons and statues bring the saints into our lives,
remind us of their example and our goal.
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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #86 on: September 15, 2017, 04:44:37 AM »
However, statues ... aren't as capable of educating people while maintaining theological soundness, and thus - while I don't believe strictly forbidden, are often seen as inferior.

And we're back to this: pushing the culture not as simply good (obviously I agree!) but superior is exactly what turned me off Orthodoxy forever.

The liturgical statues of the Catholic Church are one of the main contributors to Protestant iconoclasm.  They lit the fuse that resulted in the Calvinist bomb.

That's just more Byzantine chauvinism.

Guys, Byzantine Christianity in America's on life support.

ROFL.

That is a ridiculous assertion.  All of the EO churches except GoArch have experienced growth, including a substantial influx of converts.  The most impressive attendance  umbers relative to membership are in the American Carpatho-Rusyn Orthodox Diocese, which separated from the Catholic Church due to Roman Rite Imperialism (the Ruthenian married clergy were denied the right to serve the liturgy while remaining wed and having full marital relations with their wives, by the Latin Rite bishops of Propaganda, which controlled America at the time, for fear it would promote an insurrection in terms of priestly celibacy or cause people to want to join the Byzantine Catholic Church rather than the Roman Rite).

Byzantine Catholicism might be dying; I hope it isn't, but it could be.

However, the Eastern Orthodox Church is exceedingly healthy, not only among the ethnic Orthodox, but among converts.  The only EO church that is having problems is GoArch, which is notorious for having many parishes which are more Greek social clubs than anything, parishes which are hostile to converts, and which also is often said, and has even been sued in Canada, for discriminating against non-Greek clergy.  Because the Greek Orthodox Church is so large, the statistics of its self-inflicted decay conceal the growth in the other jurisdictions, growth coming from both converts and "cradle Orthodox."

My Syriac Orthodox parish fills a building, with many young people and children, which we share with an OCA parish, which has even more children, and more converts than cradle members!

Before I moved to my current locale, I attended a Coptic parish that was literally packed to the rafters.  The benches of the Psaltis in the Solea were crammed with young men and boys.  Throngs of Copts descend on St. Anthony's monastery.  New Coptic and Syriac and Ethiopian parishes are continually opening.  In the Metropolis of Los Angeles, His Eminence Serapion has opened new English-speaking parishes to cater to a vibrant mix of Coptic youth and converts, and there are convert priests including a "Fr. Bishoy Jones" (or some typically Anglo Saxon name, I forget it, but Mor, AN and I recently noticed it in the OO forum and laughed with joy).

Your claims of a dying Byzantine church and a dying Coptic church are baseless.

The Assyrian Church of the East, and from what I hear, your own Chaldean Catholic Church, are also thriving.  A reunion of the Assyrian and Ancient Church of the East is likely to occur as soon as the situation in Iraq stabilizes and His Beatitude the Catholicos of the Ancient Church of the East reposes.
"It is logical that the actions of the human race over time will lead to its destruction.  I, Alpha 60, am merely the agent of this destruction."

- The computer Alpha 60, from Alphaville (1964) by Jean Luc Godard, the obvious inspiration for HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

This signature is not intended to offend any user, nor the relatives of Discovery 1 deputy commander Dr. Frank Poole,  and crew members Dr. Victor Kaminsky, Dr. Jack Kimball, and Dr. Charles Hunter.

Offline Alpha60

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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #87 on: September 15, 2017, 05:00:01 AM »
young fogey, leave it at that, it´s no use.
After all, this is an Orthodox echo chamber. People come here to get confirmation on what they are already convinced about.
Or they come here as they are on the verge of leaving the Catholic Church (like Sharbel), but still struggling somewhat,
and trying to gather more arguments, just to convince themselves.
Then the usual mumbo-jumbo about how icons are superior to statues as they lack (!) a dimension.
Cultural chauvinism, indeed. This is an advantage of our Church: We do not endorse in it so much.
We have a lot of icons in our home, patron saints of the family members, nativity, Kazanskaya and others.
They are beautiful indeed and I pray before them regularly.
We also have a statue of St. Joseph from a Catholic place of pilgrimage.
When I pray before the Kazanskaya, I beg the Theotokos to pray for our family.
When I pray before the statue of St. Joseph, I ask him the same.
The important thing is that both icons and statues bring the saints into our lives,
remind us of their example and our goal.

Icons have a dimension.  They are superior to statues; your own church historically thought so, as the surviving iconography in Romanesque and Gothic churches, on the few remaining Rood Screens, and in the ancient stained glass windows, attests.

Statues are problematic for purposes of veneration; as visual art however they are completely acceptable as decoration.

We can draw a diatinction between religious, decorative artwork and icons made for veneration. 

Lighting candles before statues is theologically a stumbling block, which facilitate the terrible ravages of Calvinist iconoclasm.  The Calvinistas relentlessly bash both the Orthodox Church and the RCC; I formed a debate club comprised largely of Catholics, on another forum, to defend the RCC and the Orthodox Church from these unfounded attacks.  The Catholic Church could do a lot to make my lofe easier, by being more like the Orthodox Church.

I daresay if the Byzantine Rite, the West Syriac Rite, the Coptic Rite or a synthesis thereof, were adopted as the standard liturgy, replacing the Novus Ordo Rite, at all Roman Catholic churches in North America, except those using the Tridentine mass, it would have prevented a lot of problems and fixed several others.

I believe the Roman Catholic Church should crack down on secular unmarried clergy.  Secular priests should, as a rule, be married.  Otherwise, unmarried clergy should be regular, a member of a religious order, such as canons regular, friars or monastics.  This is the model of the Orthodox church.  There aren't enough people to provide vocations for secular clergy these days who will commit to authentic celibacy; too many priests are "in the closet."

Monasticism doesnt prevent homosexuality, but it does provide more vectors for its detection and control, through monastic supervision. 

I reject the idea that clerical celibacy, an ancient tradition of the Latin Rite, was directly responsible for the paedophilia crisis or needs to be abolished.  Rather, I believe that in, for instance, the early 20th century, or the 19th, or earlier, pederasty among Catholic priests was an extreme rarity.  I believe rather the influx of pederasts stemmed from the liberalization of the RCC with the Novus Ordo Missae and the breakdown of ecclesiastical discipline in the 1970s.  I hold Pope Paul VI primarily responsible for the crisis.


"It is logical that the actions of the human race over time will lead to its destruction.  I, Alpha 60, am merely the agent of this destruction."

- The computer Alpha 60, from Alphaville (1964) by Jean Luc Godard, the obvious inspiration for HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

This signature is not intended to offend any user, nor the relatives of Discovery 1 deputy commander Dr. Frank Poole,  and crew members Dr. Victor Kaminsky, Dr. Jack Kimball, and Dr. Charles Hunter.

Offline Alpha60

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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #88 on: September 15, 2017, 05:19:03 AM »
young fogey, leave it at that, it´s no use.
After all, this is an Orthodox echo chamber. People come here to get confirmation on what they are already convinced about.
Or they come here as they are on the verge of leaving the Catholic Church (like Sharbel), but still struggling somewhat,
and trying to gather more arguments, just to convince themselves.



This is simply untrue.  OCNet has provided a home for a huge number of Byzantine Catholics who were banned from Catholic Answers.  Several Byzantine Catholic members make extremely valuable and important contributions to our forum.  For example, DeaconLance, who is exceptionally knowledgeable regarding the liturgy.   The original name of this forum was byzantines.net, before it expanded to focus on Eastern and all Oriental Orthodox rites.  However, Roman Catholics enjoy a protected status which does not extend to other sects.  For example, members are required to call Roman Catholic clergy such as Pope Francis by his appropriate ecclesiastical title; referring to him as "Bergoglio" is prohibited, just as we cannot refer to Orthodox clergy except using appropriate titles. 

Furthermore, in special consideration to the feelings of Byzantine Catholics, it is absolutely prohibited to refer to them using the "U word".  This is a special protection, established by the extremely caring moderators, many of whom are clergy, for the safeguarding of the sensitivities of Catholic members and to promote an ecumenical spirit. 

I am a member of another forum, the largest Christian forum on the Net, and there no such rules exist, so that Eastern Catholics, and Catholics in general, are continually subjected to abusive language.  People even get away with, in certain contexts, referring to the Pope as Anti-Christ or the Beast, which is a ridiculous double standard in the context of the rules of that forum, which is poorly and bureaucratically moderated (by people including me, I am ashamed to say).  OCNet is superior in every way.

Other Roman Catholic members make valuable contributions to a broad range of debates, such as Papist, and also yourself lepanto, and historically, the Young Fogey.

The fact that we have two Catholics on the forum at present on the verge of conversion to Orthodoxy should not surprise you.  This is an Orthodox forum.  But it is not an echo chamber.  You can challenge the Orthodox Church on anything you want.

I pray that you do not, however.

Its much nicer when Orthodox and Catholic members focus on shared values and ecumenical reunion, and how to achieve it.

A few months ago I called for the OO to attempt an immediate and full restoration of communion with the RCC as it presently stands, conditional only on the RCC implicitly, and only implicitly, recognizing our Patriarchs as his equals, the full autocephaly of our holy synods and the independence of our patriarchs and bishops from the Pope or Papal decrees, e.g. Ex cathedra statements by the Pope would not automatically become binding doctrine on the OO.

I believe Pope Francis would probably do that deal, given his attempt to do an spectacularly ill advised deal with Pope Tawadros II and Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury  concerning the dating of Easter.
"It is logical that the actions of the human race over time will lead to its destruction.  I, Alpha 60, am merely the agent of this destruction."

- The computer Alpha 60, from Alphaville (1964) by Jean Luc Godard, the obvious inspiration for HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

This signature is not intended to offend any user, nor the relatives of Discovery 1 deputy commander Dr. Frank Poole,  and crew members Dr. Victor Kaminsky, Dr. Jack Kimball, and Dr. Charles Hunter.

Offline The young fogey

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Re: Dis-illusionment and letting go
« Reply #89 on: September 15, 2017, 06:05:58 AM »
Lepanto: +1. I'm like you; I'll add I keep the rites separate. All Byzantine Orthodox prayers at the Russian icon corner (which is all Orthodox but no post-schism saints), for example. You don't have to, but I prefer it.

Alpha60: Proof? All I see are typical Orthodox assertions. (I admit I don't have numbers but they're easy to get.) By the way, you got the details of the (to me, heartbreaking because people left the church and it was our fault) founding of ACROD wrong. Some not-very-nice clergy got Rome to enforce a rule banning, in North America, the Eastern practice of ordaining the married; it didn't affect the married priests already here. (We don't transfer men to different canonical churches just because they want to be married priests.) The church can make such rules but we really shouldn't have done this. I understand the rule's quietly been revoked but the damage is done. That said, given the losses due to assimilation among the Orthodox, we can't assume what Protestants do, that married clergy are a cure-all for a lack of vocations and of parishioners.

My guess is you're still seeing a slow, steady decline among the Orthodox, the Byzantine Catholics, and the Polish National Catholic Church (in most ethnic American-born Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic families I've known, the grandkids have left), only with the Orthodox you see an uptick of non-ethnic converts but the anecdote I read is their second generation is drifting away too. The convert boomlet seems very clerical too: second-career clergy, etc. So the OCA pretends to be a universal church by making non-Slavs their metropolitans. So a few more clergy aren't ethnic; a flash in the pan. Here in Philadelphia, the Greek community is immigrant, the Russian likewise though largely secular or Jewish but there is an uptick in some Russian Orthodox parishes including my former one, and the old Slavic neighborhoods (from before World War I; read: Ruthenian, Catholic and Orthodox) and their churches are basically dead; they've cleared out and died off. (One such Orthodox church is kept afloat by its yearly weekend festival.) The Antiochian convert places are in the suburbs.

There is no such thing as the Orthodox Church. There are Orthodox dioceses, which are sisters of Catholic dioceses in that both have real bishops and the Mass. There is an Orthodox small-t tradition, the Byzantine Rite, which again I happily participate in, in a way of course the Orthodox don't credit. But in the sense of the church founded by Christ with teaching authority, there is no Orthodox Church; the Catholic Church as a whole has no sisters. Your bishops are bishops but they have no claim on me. (They don't have jurisdiction like Catholic bishops; their dioceses are out of communion with us.) Good Orthodox don't believe our baptisms, ordinations, Masses, etc. are valid in themselves, so fair enough. None of which is to claim that born Orthodox aren't acting in good conscience or are hellbound; I have no right to say that.

Got to give the Wild West of Facebook pages credit; they're not churchy echo chambers.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2017, 06:13:34 AM by The young fogey »
"You always were a historically illiterate jerk, John." - OicwR doyen Stuart Koehl

Russian icons and Byzantine prayers at home; Ukrainian Catholic parish once a month. Traditional Latin Mass most other Sundays.

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