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Author Topic: How do you imagine the structure of the united Church?  (Read 6065 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: November 01, 2005, 02:12:45 PM »

Well, let's say for a while that all these talks about Orthodox-Catholic reunion end up the way we all want: in total reunion.

How do you think the structure of the Church would be? In the Roman Catholic type, the Orthodox type, a mixture of both?

I for instance, would definitely consider the idea of a united Church with the Pope being the "Ecumenical Patriarch" instead of the Patriarch of Constantinople, and the Pope of Orthodoxy instead of the Patriarch of Alexandria. Although I'm not pretty sure the Catholics would want such a type of Church.
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« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2005, 02:17:23 PM »

Unfortunately, every bone in the R.C. skeletal system is made of Papal Supremacy.  Any union based on Patriarchal mutual equality is simply impossible.  Rome will simply never budge.  Period.
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« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2005, 02:41:26 PM »

Quote
Unfortunately, every bone in the R.C. skeletal system is made of Papal Supremacy.  Any union based on Patriarchal mutual equality is simply impossible.  Rome will simply never budge.  Period.

Not even if the Pope would be both EP and Pope?

Well, I mean this would be like both hierarchical and spiritual supremacy.
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« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2005, 02:45:09 PM »

Well.....the title "Ecumenical Patriarch" for the See of Constantinople dates back way before the Schism...so that wouldn't be the problem.  Teh problem would be that the Pope of Rome would never allow other Patriarchs to be his equal.  The R.C. would have to undo almost 1000 years of innovations.  They wouldn't do it.
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« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2005, 02:56:25 PM »

Beavis,

There are many within the Church of Rome who do not agree with Papal Supremacy as previously thought of...Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI were/are rethinking this sticky topic...so don't lump all into one camp.

PAX,
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« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2005, 08:38:26 PM »

I don't think reunion will come from the official talks.  That's been tried before and failed several times in the past because the people didn't want it.  I think reunion would probably come from the laity and local clergy, and the higher echelons would simply ratify the work that the Holy Spirit would have completed among the people of the Church.  What the structure would be, I have no idea.  But, the general tone of both Catholic and Orthodox would have to be markedly different: both would need to become humble and loving towards each other. 
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« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2005, 02:43:31 AM »



How do you think the structure of the Church would be? In the Roman Catholic type, the Orthodox type, a mixture of both?

.

Traditional eastern type. The bishop of Rome and patriarch of all the west will be the first among equal patriarches and the chairman of the meetings of the church leaders.
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« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2005, 04:29:59 AM »

Traditional eastern type. The bishop of Rome and patriarch of all the west will be the first among equal patriarches and the chairman of the meetings of the church leaders.
After 1000 years of separation and theological un-orthodoxy, the bishop of Rome needs 1000 years of recuperation and humility.ÂÂ  No way do I see him as being the head of the Church.
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« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2005, 10:50:10 AM »

After 1000 years of separation and theological un-orthodoxy, the bishop of Rome needs 1000 years of recuperation and humility.ÂÂ

But the Bishop of Rome is not a thousand years old.
Is a convert to Orthodoxy from Catholicism made to be a neophyte for a thousand years before they can be considered "fully Orthodox"?
St. Cyprian was a Sorcerer before becoming a Christian, and was ordained to the priesthood a year after he was baptised, and became a bishop soon after that.
If former Sorcerers and practitioners of witchcraft can become Orthodox Bishops, I'm sure that former Roman Catholics can also Wink
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« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2005, 11:07:23 AM »


But the Bishop of Rome is not a thousand years old.
Is a convert to Orthodoxy from Catholicism made to be a neophyte for a thousand years before they can be considered "fully Orthodox"?


I think what Irish Hermit is getting at, and I agree with him, is that if Rome came back into communion as a church it would not be as first among equals. It enjoyed a reputation for being staunchly orthodox in the early centuries and was held in high esteem and honour as a result, however it no longer enjoys such a reputation and can no longer assume the role it once had.

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« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2005, 04:59:00 PM »

ROFL! I mean, COME ON... Not even first among equals?
Once again, I shall not reply as a Church father already did:

UBI PETRUS IBI ECCLESIA.
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« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2005, 05:23:45 PM »

ROFL! I mean, COME ON... Not even first among equals?
Once again, I shall not reply as a Church father already did:

UBI PETRUS IBI ECCLESIA.

The Orthodox Catholic Church has never denied a 'primacy'  to either Peter or the church of Rome.  The problem occurred when the Pope was no longer was satisfied with 'primacy' and opted for 'supremacy'!

Contrary to claims made by papal Catholics both here and elsewhere that we Orthodox Catholics refuse to answer the Popes question on how we would invision his role in a reintegrated Church, we have been very clear  in our response.  From a book called 'Orthodoxy In Conversation',  here are some of the Orthodox responses regarding 'papal primacy' -

"The  Church is the communion of believers living in Jesus Christ with the Father.  It has its origins and prototype in the Trinity in which there is both distinction of persons and unity based on love, NOT SUBORDINATION."

In summary, Orthodoxy does not reject Roman primacy as such, but simply a particular way of understanding that primacy.  Within a reintegrated Christiandom the bishop of Rome will be considered as primus inter pares serving the unity of the church in love.  HE CANNOT BE ACCEPTED AS SET UP OVER THE CHURCH AS A RULER whose diakonia is conceived through legalistic categories of power of jurisdiction.  His authority must be understood , not acccording to standards of  earthly authority and domination, but according to terms of loving ministry and humble service (Matt. 20:25-27).

In a reintegrated Christiandom, when the pope takes his place once more as primus inter pares  within the Orthodox Catholic communion, the bishop of Rome will have the initiative to summon a synod of the whole church.  The bishop of Rome, will of course, preside over such a synod and his office may coordinate the life and the witness of the Orthodox Catholic Church and in times of need be its spokesman.  The role of acting as the voice of the Church is not, however, to be restricted to any hierachal order within the Church, still less to a single see.  In principle, any bishop, priest or layman may be called by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the true faith.

Orthodoc




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« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2005, 06:17:00 PM »

In a reintegrated Christiandom, when the pope takes his place once more as primus inter paresÂÂ  within the Orthodox Catholic communion, the bishop of Rome will have the initiative to summon a synod of the whole church.ÂÂ  The bishop of Rome, will of course, preside over such a synod and his office may coordinate the life and the witness of the Orthodox Catholic Church and in times of need be its spokesman.ÂÂ  The role of acting as the voice of the Church is not, however, to be restricted to any hierachal order within the Church, still less to a single see.ÂÂ  In principle, any bishop, priest or layman may be called by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the true faith.
I doubt whether the faithful will accept such a role for the bishop of Rome if he is integrated back into the Church and if they don't then no amount of theological dialogue and Agreed Catholic-Orthodox Statrements will be able to force it upon them.  Academic theologians may wish to believe we can return to a Church where Rome holds her ancient position of the first millennium; the pleroma of the Church may not accept that.





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« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2005, 07:12:50 PM »

Irish Hermit,

Sad, but true; very, very true.
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« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2005, 10:42:41 AM »

 
Taken from a post in Byzcath.org.


On behalf of the Pope of Rome and the Patriarchates of the One Holy Apostolic Orthodox and Catholic Church, we do here announce a full communion between these two Ancient Churches, renewing the union as it existed prior to the lamentable Schism of 1054 AD.

Further to this, we proclaim that:

1) the Nicene Creed shall be herewith used by all Christians without the Filioque;

2) That an Epiclesis shall become part of each Liturgy and that a panel Committee shall be established to study further the theology of the Mysteries/Sacraments with the view to understanding its role;

3) That Mariology/Theotokology of both of our traditions shall affirm that the Most Holy Mother of God was sanctified by the Holy Spirit from her Conception in the womb of her mother, St Ann and that she was taken up into heaven, body and soul, at the end of her days on earth. The Western doctrines pertaining to this shall remain local forms of expression of the Latin Catholic Church, having no bearing on the Churches of the East, who have always affirmed the singularly high position of the Mother of God in salvation history.

4) That our eschatology shall be referred for further study, as will our converging views on Original Sin as both of our traditions have always taught that earnest prayer for the reposed is to be made so that they may be loosed from their sins.

5) That the Seven Ecumenical Councils of the undivided Orthodox and Catholic Church of the first millennium is the universal norm for all Churches. A committee shall further examine the relation of the Oriental and Assyrian Churches on this score. All later Latin and Eastern Councils are to be considered "Local" but a future Ecumenical Council certainly has the freedom to enact specific canons of any of these for universal acceptance.

6) That the Pope of Rome shall enjoy primacy of honour among all the Churches, especially at Ecumenical Councils. That the Pope of Rome can be asked by any Eastern Church to act as arbiter in disputes or difficulties only after he has been invited to do so by the respective hierarchies of the Eastern Church - he shall otherwise not exercise immediate jurisdiction over any Church other than his own Patriarchate. The Pope of Rome may also hear the case of any theologian or cleric of the East who chooses to call on the Pope of Rome in this respect to issue a judgement. And that when the Pope of Rome, together with the Patriarchs and Bishops of the world, ratify the decisions of an Ecumenical Council, then, and only then, can he be said to be pronouncing infallibly (apart from the canonization of saints).

7) The Eastern Catholic Churches are to return immediately to their respective Mother Orthodox Churches, with sincerest apologies, once again, from Rome. The Congregation for the Eastern Catholic Churches is to be suppressed.

Cool That each Church is to continue as before in perfect freedom and in the love of Christ, obeying His command to preach His Gospel of Peace to all mankind . . .



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« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2005, 11:22:37 AM »

[quote author=Αριστοκλής link=topic=7493.msg97387#msg97387 date=1130973170]
Irish Hermit,

Sad, but true; very, very true.
[/quote]

Marching together forward separately!

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« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2005, 12:10:44 AM »

I imagine that besides the Pope having to accept his status as F.A.E, and minus the Filioque, Purgatory...well unless we have that 2 (earial toll houses?), immaculate conception,

Vatican III should take place to undo what Vatican II did. It basically deadened the Catholic church. Once the Catholic church used to symbolize the epitome of Tradition and holiness to millions of Western Europeans by its unchanged prayers, and customs. Now, one day its a clown mass, the next a rock mass...
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« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2005, 09:08:57 PM »

Quote
On behalf of the Pope of Rome and the Patriarchates of the One Holy Apostolic Orthodox and Catholic Church, we do here announce a full communion between these two Ancient Churches, renewing the union as it existed prior to the lamentable Schism of 1054 AD.

Further to this, we proclaim that:

1) the Nicene Creed shall be herewith used by all Christians without the Filioque;

2) That an Epiclesis shall become part of each Liturgy and that a panel Committee shall be established to study further the theology of the Mysteries/Sacraments with the view to understanding its role;

3) That Mariology/Theotokology of both of our traditions shall affirm that the Most Holy Mother of God was sanctified by the Holy Spirit from her Conception in the womb of her mother, St Ann and that she was taken up into heaven, body and soul, at the end of her days on earth. The Western doctrines pertaining to this shall remain local forms of expression of the Latin Catholic Church, having no bearing on the Churches of the East, who have always affirmed the singularly high position of the Mother of God in salvation history.

4) That our eschatology shall be referred for further study, as will our converging views on Original Sin as both of our traditions have always taught that earnest prayer for the reposed is to be made so that they may be loosed from their sins.

5) That the Seven Ecumenical Councils of the undivided Orthodox and Catholic Church of the first millennium is the universal norm for all Churches. A committee shall further examine the relation of the Oriental and Assyrian Churches on this score. All later Latin and Eastern Councils are to be considered "Local" but a future Ecumenical Council certainly has the freedom to enact specific canons of any of these for universal acceptance.

6) That the Pope of Rome shall enjoy primacy of honour among all the Churches, especially at Ecumenical Councils. That the Pope of Rome can be asked by any Eastern Church to act as arbiter in disputes or difficulties only after he has been invited to do so by the respective hierarchies of the Eastern Church - he shall otherwise not exercise immediate jurisdiction over any Church other than his own Patriarchate. The Pope of Rome may also hear the case of any theologian or cleric of the East who chooses to call on the Pope of Rome in this respect to issue a judgement. And that when the Pope of Rome, together with the Patriarchs and Bishops of the world, ratify the decisions of an Ecumenical Council, then, and only then, can he be said to be pronouncing infallibly (apart from the canonization of saints).

7) The Eastern Catholic Churches are to return immediately to their respective Mother Orthodox Churches, with sincerest apologies, once again, from Rome. The Congregation for the Eastern Catholic Churches is to be suppressed.

Cool That each Church is to continue as before in perfect freedom and in the love of Christ, obeying His command to preach His Gospel of Peace to all mankind . . .


Would this be real news or just speculations?
It would look to me like the triumph of the Eastern Orthodox standing of christianity, if so.
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« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2005, 09:12:51 PM »

Timos: Yes, aerial toll houses are real.  And yes, the Immaculate Conception is real, though we don't put it in the transducianist terms that the Latins do.
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« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2005, 03:27:32 AM »

I would be thankful to anyone who could inform me on how the union talks are going.  Smiley

And of course what the chances are, that a single Church could be forged of the two.
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« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2005, 03:44:18 AM »

Timos: Yes, aerial toll houses are real.ÂÂ  And yes, the Immaculate Conception is real, though we don't put it in the transducianist terms that the Latins do.

Who is WE?  Certainly not WE Orthodox Catholics!

Orthodoc
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« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2005, 11:23:27 AM »

Would this be real news or just speculations?
It would look to me like the triumph of the Eastern Orthodox standing of christianity, if so.


This is speculation.  This was written as a desire.  The topic of this thread is "How do you imagine the structure of the united Church?"

No one but God knows exactly how that structure will be.

In ICXC,

Brad
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« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2005, 02:47:44 PM »

Orthodoc: I will respond when i have the time.  In the meantime, may I suggest "The Soul After Death" by Fr. Seraphim Rose (aerial toll-houses), and "The Pillar and Ground of the Truth" by Fr. Pavel Florensky (for a look at so-called "angelic humans" and its relation to the Orthodox conception of the Immaculate Conception)?
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« Reply #23 on: November 09, 2005, 06:02:32 PM »

Orthodoc: I will respond when i have the time.ÂÂ  In the meantime, may I suggest "The Soul After Death" by Fr. Seraphim Rose (aerial toll-houses)
My favourite part of the toll house teaching is that only the Orthodox will have the privilege of going through them.  All the rest of mankind, those who have not had an Orthodox baptism, are taken to hell by the demons the moment they die.
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« Reply #24 on: November 09, 2005, 06:04:08 PM »

uhhhhh....really?...you sure about that?
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« Reply #25 on: November 09, 2005, 06:52:39 PM »

uhhhhh....really?...you sure about that?
Oh yes,  It is a part of the teaching of one of the major toll house documents, "The Aerial Jouney of Saint Theodora Through The Toll Houses."  The "Aerial Journey" was incorporated into a book "How Our Departed Ones Live And How We Shall Live After Death, According to the Teaching of the Orthodox Church" and this was endorsed by the Holy Governing Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church in 1897 to be taught in all seminaries and schools.  It teaches that none but the Orthodox are saved and none but the Orthodox encounter the toll houses.  Those without an Orthodox baptism are taken to hell at the moment of death.
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« Reply #26 on: November 09, 2005, 07:02:14 PM »

That's strange, since other people accuse the Russian Church of being too cozy with westerners (Anglicans and Catholics in particular). Both sides could be right, I guess; maybe it's just one of those crazy bits of illogic we Orthodox allow ourselves to fall in. Smiley Do you have more information on this?
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« Reply #27 on: November 09, 2005, 09:12:19 PM »

Well....Seraphim Rose himself, in his book, relates a story of how an atheist DOES, in fact, run the proverbial gauntlet through the toll-houses....and then comes back to life, by the grace of God.....to become an Orthodox Christian
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« Reply #28 on: November 09, 2005, 09:17:53 PM »

Well....Seraphim Rose himself, in his book, relates a story of how an atheist DOES, in fact, run the proverbial gauntlet through the toll-houses....and then comes back to life, by the grace of God.....to become an Orthodox Christian
Fr Seraphim had his own very selective belief in the toll houses and rejected some of the traditional beliefs taught in the Russian Church while retaining others.ÂÂ  Had he lived in pre-revolutionary Russia he would probably have been put on the carpet for some of his eccentricities.

As an example of his own slant on things - you'll notice in his book that he says the toll houses are situated in the air above our heads and those of us with enlightened spiritual eyes can actually see them.

Btw, is the story about the atheist on the web somewhere?  My copy of his book is out on loan.
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« Reply #29 on: November 09, 2005, 09:33:27 PM »

The traditional Russian Church can believe what they want to believe.  this doesn't change the empirical fact that this man had this experience.
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« Reply #30 on: November 09, 2005, 09:49:00 PM »

The traditional Russian Church can believe what they want to believe.ÂÂ  this doesn't change the empirical fact that this man had this experience.
Whether he genuinely had such an experience or not, I don't know.ÂÂ  But the teaching is clear that non-Orthodox do not experience the toll houses but go straight to hell.

Here is what God, through His angels, revealed to Saint Theodora.ÂÂ  This was revealed by her in a dream to Gregory of Thrace, a disciple as was Saint Theodora of Saint Basil the new.ÂÂ  This was subsequently written down by Saint Basil the New.ÂÂ  This was officially taught in seminaries before the Russian Revolution.

  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  "Only those enlightened by the faith and holy baptism can rise and
be tested in the stations of torment, that is, the toll-houses. The
unbelievers do not come here. Their souls belong to hell even before they
part from their bodies. When they die, the devils take their souls with no
need to test them. Such souls are their proper prey, and they take them down
to the abyss."


So we see that all of mankind, the great majority which does not have the Orthodox faith and Baptism, does not even make it to the toll houses for testing.ÂÂ  After death they are immediately taken down into the abyss of hell.ÂÂ  This includes both my parents, two of my brothers, and all my grandparents and every single other member of my family back into the mists of time.ÂÂ  I daresay that all converts on this List will be similarly distressed to learn from the angels that all of their non-Orthodox family members are already in hell or, if still alive, cannot escape hell.

Only the baptized Orthodox have the "privilege" of getting to be tested at the toll houses, and of them we can assume that a great number are taken off to hell by the demons.


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« Reply #31 on: November 09, 2005, 09:56:31 PM »



  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  "Only those enlightened by the faith and holy baptism



But whoever said that only those who are brought up in the Byzantine Tradition are "those enlightened by the faith and holy baptism"?  This quote is open to interpretation.
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« Reply #32 on: November 09, 2005, 10:06:41 PM »

But whoever said that only those who are brought up in the Byzantine Tradition are "those enlightened by the faith and holy baptism"?ÂÂ  This quote is open to interpretation.
This divine revelation took place in the early 10th century.  Saint Basil the New died in 940.  So at that time the Latin Church of the West was still "enlightened by the faith and holy baptism."  ÃƒÆ’‚ It was still Orthodox.
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« Reply #33 on: November 09, 2005, 10:26:46 PM »

But being Orthodox and having an ecclesiastically valid Baptism are two different things.  All Baptisms are valid if done in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, irrespective of the person performing it, in accordance with the decrees of the Council of Carthage in 411 AD.
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« Reply #34 on: November 09, 2005, 11:01:11 PM »

But being Orthodox and having an ecclesiastically valid Baptism are two different things.ÂÂ  All Baptisms are valid if done in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, irrespective of the person performing it, in accordance with the decrees of the Council of Carthage in 411 AD.
Carthage 411 upheld the Augustinian view on baptism by heretics and this came to hold sway in the Western Church.ÂÂ  The Orthodox hold to the earlier views of another Carthage man, Saint Cyprian, who developed an uncompromising theology of "extra ecclesiam nulla sacramenta" - no sacraments outside the Church.ÂÂ  With exceptions for the exercise of economia in the reception of some heretics this is still the base teaching of the Orthodox today.
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« Reply #35 on: November 09, 2005, 11:14:10 PM »

But this presents a problem.  Allow me to demonstrate:

Say you have 3 Western Bishops who lived in the year 1054.  They ordain 3 more bishops in Arles, France exactly one minute before the Bull of Excommunication is smacked on the table at Hagia Sophia.  These Bishops in turn ordain 3 Bishops, who also, in turn, do the same.  Eventually these Bishops (or ones further down teh line) will ordain Priests, who themselves will administer Baptism to catechumenates.  Essentially, what "extra ecclesiam nulla sacramenta" is claiming is that the act of Papal legates in Constantinople will somehow retro-actively "de-grace" the ecclesiastical functions of Bishops in France who had nothing to do with the Schism.  This "de-gracing" effect will filter down through the centuries and render invalid all Sacraments that were descended from these bishops.......thus, Joan of Arc and Francis of Assissi are now suffering unspeakably in infernal hell because of what some jerk Papal Legates did at Hagia Sophia.  This is, as my grandfather used to say, 'queer'...in the least.
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« Reply #36 on: November 09, 2005, 11:28:09 PM »

......or another take:  Let's say that the validity of Sacraments is contingent upon the beliefs or personal life of the person administering them.  But then how do I know that the Priest who chrismated me wasn't really a closet Apollinarian or a pervert who snuck the altar boys into his personal chamber every once in a while?  Should I then await Judgment Day in full confidence, only to be assigned with the proverbial goats to my lot of slithering serpents and sulphuric simmering because I didn't possess the telepathy to foresee that the Priest was a heretic and a pedophile?  And what about the countless monks, priests, deacons, and Bishops who suffered in Soviet labor camps who probably received Holy Orders from a Communist Puppet for a Patriarch?  ....i guess they're screwed too, huh?


I'm sorry....but this teaching simply makes no sense.
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« Reply #37 on: November 09, 2005, 11:33:50 PM »

But this presents a problem.ÂÂ  Allow me to demonstrate:

Say you have 3 Western Bishops who lived in the year 1054.ÂÂ  They ordain 3 more bishops in Arles, France exactly one minute before the Bull of Excommunication is smacked on the table at Hagia Sophia.ÂÂ  These Bishops in turn ordain 3 Bishops, who also, in turn, do the same.ÂÂ  Eventually these Bishops (or ones further down teh line) will ordain Priests, who themselves will administer Baptism to catechumenates.ÂÂ  Essentially, what "extra ecclesiam nulla sacramenta" is claiming is that the act of Papal legates in Constantinople will somehow retro-actively "de-grace" the ecclesiastical functions of Bishops in France who had nothing to do with the Schism.ÂÂ  This "de-gracing" effect will filter down through the centuries and render invalid all Sacraments that were descended from these bishops.......thus, Joan of Arc and Francis of Assissi are now suffering unspeakably in infernal hell because of what some jerk Papal Legates did at Hagia Sophia.ÂÂ  This is, as my grandfather used to say, 'queer'...in the least.
All Orthodox Churches will receive Roman Catholics by Baptism, from the most liberal such as Constantinople to the most conservative (Jerusalem?) ÂÂ Some will do it most of the time and some will do it not so often (in other words they apply economia frequently.) ÂÂ  

Some on this Forum may remember the reception of the French Cistercian patristic scholar Fr Placide Deseille.  He and about 8 of his monks were received into Orthodoxy by Baptism and then re-ordained by the Patriarchate of Constantinople.  I mention this incident because it was famous (infamous?) throughout Western Europe and the Cardinal Archbishop of Paris slapped a ban on Catholics attending any Services of these French (Orthodox) monks!

None of this means that either Il Poverello or the Maid of Orleans are burning in hell though.  Heaven forbid!  Their eternal fate, like that of all of us, is in the hands of an infinitely loving God.
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« Reply #38 on: November 09, 2005, 11:38:45 PM »

......or another take:ÂÂ  Let's say that the validity of Sacraments is contingent upon the beliefs or personal life of the person administering them.ÂÂ
It's not dependent on the moral virtues or failings of the clergy.  It is dependent solely on the grace of the Church.  Within the Church bishops and clergy administer the Mysteries and while they are "in good standing" (not defrocked or deposed for either heresy or immorality) their Mysteries convey mysteriological grace.
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« Reply #39 on: November 09, 2005, 11:47:58 PM »

I'm confused Huh.....didn't you just say, a few posts ago, that all people not baptized Orthodox will be pulled immediately into hell at their death?
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« Reply #40 on: November 10, 2005, 12:13:37 AM »

I'm confused Huh.....didn't you just say, a few posts ago, that all people not baptized Orthodox will be pulled immediately into hell at their death?
I apologise.  I was quoting what is contained in the toll house belief.  Myself, I am a non toller.  I don't believe.  The toller belief is a mish mash of all sorts of things, almost like a mini smorgasbord and people who believe pick and choose what they want. 
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« Reply #41 on: November 10, 2005, 02:34:15 AM »

All Orthodox Churches will receive Roman Catholics by Baptism



Well, the Finnish orthodox church (autonomy under EP) don´t: only the confession is necessary...
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« Reply #42 on: November 10, 2005, 03:42:49 AM »

Well, the Finnish orthodox church (autonomy under EP) don´t: only the confession is necessary...
.
I would imagine that the option for Baptism remains open?
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« Reply #43 on: November 10, 2005, 07:19:13 AM »

Well....Seraphim Rose himself, in his book, relates a story of how an atheist DOES, in fact, run the proverbial gauntlet through the toll-houses....and then comes back to life, by the grace of God.....to become an Orthodox Christian

If I remember correctly, the Athiest had actually been baptised as an infant.
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« Reply #44 on: November 11, 2005, 06:01:20 AM »

.
I would imagine that the option for Baptism remains open?

Well, the option may remain open, but in practice (economia) at least they don´t baptise lutheran and catholic converts. Lutherans recieve ofcourse "confirmation" - catholics only confession...
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« Reply #45 on: November 11, 2005, 10:03:01 AM »

The Orthodox hold to the earlier views of another Carthage man, Saint Cyprian, who developed an uncompromising theology of "extra ecclesiam nulla sacramenta" - no sacraments outside the Church.  With exceptions for the exercise of economia in the reception of some heretics this is still the base teaching of the Orthodox today.

Except for the fact that the canons perscribe means other than baptism for the reception of certain converts (like Arians, etc.) - so it's not always "economia" to receive non-Orthodox without baptism!  Sometimes it is the prescribed method!
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« Reply #46 on: November 11, 2005, 10:10:41 AM »

I would imagine that the option for Baptism remains open? 

So we leave it up to the individual, and not the grace of the Church as expressed through the synods, through the local bishop, through the consciousness of the Church, as to whether or not baptism is necessary?  In a hospital, they don't let someone with the common cold get medication to fight organ rejection just because they want to; in the same way, in the "hospital of the soul" which is the Church, we're not supposed to allow people to "decide for themselves" whether or not they "want" baptism if the Church has determined that baptism is unneccesary.  Not to say that someone who has been allowed to make the decision has done something wrong, but it exhibits (on the part of the priest/bishop) a wrong understanding of the nature of the sacraments and the relationship of the person to the Church.
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« Reply #47 on: November 12, 2005, 10:07:33 AM »

Ntinos,

Quote
How do you think the structure of the Church would be? In the Roman Catholic type, the Orthodox type, a mixture of both?

First, I'd like to express the sentiment that while re-union on proper terms is desirable, I doubt it will happen in the near future if circumstances (in general) remain as they are in the world.

The Latin Church is very troubled, more than ever.  It is mired by corruption, and massive widespread heterodoxy of a very extreme kind, far beyond the long standing doctrinal disputes between it and the Orthodox Church.  Even the liturgical life of the Latins has suffered tremendously - I just cannot see Orthodox Christians seeing anything in common between their Divine Liturgy and the "New Mass" as it is typically celebrated in most parts of the world (and I'm not speaking only of the worst examples of it's celebration here, but how it is normally celebrated).  Such basic, practical matters of ecclessiastical life are now an added obstical to reconciliation (where as they were not before - though alien, there is relatively little about the old Latin Roman Mass which was contrary to the Orthodox ethos.)

This is not to say that there are not some big problems in the Orthodox world as well - hardly!    It is simply that our corrupt bishops and bad pastors of souls have not managed to do quite the amount of damage to our Church that those in the Latin fold have done to their own.

However, with all of those legitimate doubts about the possibility of re-union aside, I would think (being a nobody, this is just my personal opinion) the following scenario would be "workable".

1) All Roman Catholic "Ecumenical Councils" which took place after the great schism have to be officially demoted to the level of "local synods", and explicitly qualified as being (due to their lack of ecumenicity) "open to revision".  That revision can be the work of ages - a large part of it,  I would think, would simply involve any offending documents being dropped, or reduced in Latin-speak to "theological opinions" lacking a binding, universal character.  This would also be a relatively painless (in so far as such is possible) of undoing the damage caused by the multiplication of erroneous propositions on the part of the Latins, and would allow them to "save face" as much as possible (without violating truth, of course.)

2) The Pope would retain his position as Patriarch of the Latin Church.  If it was in the best interest of the Latin Church to remain heavily centralized, much like the Coptic Church is, so be it.  However his juristiction would have a canonical basis, and would not go beyond his particular Church.

3) Liturgically, some changes would be necessary.  The Latins would have to return to something along the lines of the old Tridentine Missal.  Obviously if they wanted to keep vernacular in part or in full that would be fine.  Changing from unleavened to leavened bread, and guaranteeing the administration of Holy Communion under both kinds would also be prudent, so as to avoid any scandal or controversy (even if the Latins don't think their contrary practices in this regard are really a "big deal" - besides, their current official catechism explicitly states the practice of communion in "both kinds" better manifests the significance of the rite).  Also, going back to the use of threefold immersion in their baptismal rite would be a good idea; after all, the universal practice of "baptism by pouring" amongst westerners is relatively new.

4) Another Ecumenical Council would have to be called to sort much of this out.  At it, I suspect the rights and extent of the Patriarchal Sees would have to be re-stated.  This is necessary not only for Rome's sake, but also for the sake of See's which did not exist when earlier Ecumenical Councils met.  The role of Moscow would have to be clarified, for example.  Also, barring a big shake-up in Turkey, I think the Ecumenical Patriarchate would have to be encouraged/pressured to move from what is now (sadly) Istanbul to somewhere else - perhaps Athens.  It would there function as a "Patriarchate of Constantinople in exile", much like how the Patriarch of Antioch has operated for some time.  If they refuse to do this, the EP ought to be "demoted" - they're simply not in a position to excercize that kind of influence in Orthodox affairs - since any refusal to re-locate for the time being, shows their domination under the influence of Turkish authorities, who are without doubt, the enemies of God and His Church.

5) Another fruit of such a Council would be a brief catechism - really just a plainly stated, long credal formula.  It would include the original creedal formulas of the original Seven Councils, as well as solid statements about such issues as the sacraments, basic matters of Christian ethics (married life, life issues, etc.)  Such would be a moment of grace for the Orthodox Churches, I think, because in the west at least there's been some funny business as of late on issues of married life, in particular the whole business of contraception.  While it is true that the principle of economia tends to be more indulgent of sinners than the Latin position in theory allows for (and I think in this the Orthodox approach is better), a line has obviously been crossed in the popular consciousness of many Orthodox (both laity and clergy/prelates) here in the "diaspora" in regard to the issue of "family planning" - since if you go the old world, Bishops, clergy, and monastic fathers will tell you quite plainly that in principle, the use of contraceptives is sinful.

6) While much will have to be put in order before there can be any official "re-union", I also think that many on the "Orthodox side" will have to be patient afterward, and realize that this will be a work-in-progress for some time.  Just as recently Christened pagan peoples have to be given time to assimilate the Orthodox faith and in turn be assimilated, the same will be true of re-united Latins.  Historically Orthodox peoples cannot be so snotty and impatient as to believe incorrect ways of thinking will be undone overnight.  Goodness, to this day you can still see certain peculiar, pagan ways of thinking and behaving amonst particular Orthodox peoples.  In other words, there has to be a humble recogition that we are all sinners working toward a certain ideal (Christ Jesus), and that perhaps the Latins will have, at least for a couple of generations, a little more problematic stuff to "undo".  And they would deserve our prayer and support in that effort.  Symbolically, the restoration of Mt.Athos, with the inclusion of western-rite monastics would be a good start in that direction (and perhaps with time, the disemination of Athonite Benedictines throughout the western world would do a lot of good.)

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« Reply #48 on: November 12, 2005, 10:34:17 AM »

Irish Hermit,

Quote
Carthage 411 upheld the Augustinian view on baptism by heretics and this came to hold sway in the Western Church.ÂÂ  The Orthodox hold to the earlier views of another Carthage man, Saint Cyprian, who developed an uncompromising theology of "extra ecclesiam nulla sacramenta" - no sacraments outside the Church.ÂÂ  With exceptions for the exercise of economia in the reception of some heretics this is still the base teaching of the Orthodox today.

This topic is not nearly as simple as you're representing it.ÂÂ  To state that St.Cyprian's view is the "Orthodox view" is also not factual.ÂÂ  The reality is, when all is said and done, that there is not a single Orthodox intepretation of just what does/does not happen when heterodox/schismatic bodies administer baptisms under a proper form.

What is known, and can be stated without doubt, is that the Orthodox Church is the Church of Christ.ÂÂ  It is in that continuity, She administers valid Sacraments.ÂÂ  When people fall from this fullness of truth, or when they splinter from this visible unity, just what it is they are doing is ultimatly known by God.ÂÂ  To say absolutely and in every case that there "is no grace" is a presumption, and one which sometimes is demonstrated to be wrong by historical fact - for example, when through misunderstanding and political circumstance, two parties which later history will recognize as both being Orthodox have been separated from one another, even to the point of enmity (this happened many times during the Arian and other early Christological controversies.)ÂÂ  Of course, those are things determined by hindsight.

Both the Augustinian and Cyprianic opinions are interpretations of available information - they are educated, and important opinions on what happens when canonical boundaries are broken.ÂÂ  The Cyprianic view takes canonical boundaries at face value, and says when you trespass this, all bets are off.ÂÂ  This makes sense to an extent, but history shows it is not an infallible measure either (that the canons can always accurately describe reality).ÂÂ  It also goes without saying that St.Cyprians views about how non-Orthodox Christians need to be received into the Church (by Baptism only) has never been considered an absolute norm - in fact, the contrary is true.ÂÂ  As for the Augustinian opinion, while it is more penetrating and takes a larger number of things into consideration, it fails to be 100% comprehensive for other reasons - like for example, what about schisms based totally on malice & stupidity; if as St.Augustine teaches, sacraments administered in suct sects are valid but not fruitful, why on earth would they be valid at all?ÂÂ  The objection of Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky earlier in the 20th century makes perfect sense here - is there such a thing as "half grace" - why would God grant that the bread and wine would transform into His Body and Blood, only to be taken sacreligiously by malicious sectarians?

My understanding is the canons deal with what can be known.ÂÂ  Thus why, generally, most Orthodox do accept the opinion of the compiler of canons, St.Nikodemos the Hagiorite, that the Church can and does accept certain types of heretics and schismatics without "repeating" certain sacraments, because if something is lacking, She can "fill" that in by receiving them.ÂÂ  OTOH, the Church can also "repeat" sacraments so administered, if necessary, precisely because the circumstances allow that wherever there is doubt, this can happen for the sake of peace.ÂÂ  For example, if there is real doubt that someone raised Orthodox was in fact baptized properly (lack of certificates, witnesses, etc.), he can be Baptized - even if it's also quite possible this would be a "second baptism".

Generally, unless there is some serious doubt that the form was administered properly, most Orthodox Bishops outside of Greece or Jerusalem (this includes Bishops of many ethnicities and immediate loyalties, not simply Slavs) will not receive Roman Catholics and most confessional Protestants via Baptism.  Though the practice differs (and the Americas there seems to be some confusion on the matter - though in Europe this is less often the case), generally Roman/Uniate Catholics, Non-Chalcedonians, etc. will be received via repentence, confession, and profession of faith - and certain Protestants (generally of the continental/confessional variety that maintain the practice of threefold baptism, even if it is by pouring) by Chrismation.

Receiving converts from Roman Catholicism by Baptism is a complicated matter.  A lot of it hinges not so much upon the fact they're separated from the canonical unity of the Church, but upon the form; pouring.  The Greek answer to this was generally that it did not count - in Greece, Mt.Athos, and the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, this is generally how it's remained.  The EP did take this posture, but has reconsidered it in recent decades.  I'm inclined to think the argument in favour of this practice is poor.  In effect, the Greek Churches that keep this practice do not accept the old reasoning for it - since they remain in communion with the rest of the Orthodox world which do not insist that Churches need to receive all heterodox and schismatics only by Baptism.

The Russians went back and forth on this for a little while, after it became common for Latins to baptize only by pouring (which you have to remember is a relatively recent thing - before that they used threefold immersion, and when this was the case, none of this was an issue).  However for centuries now, it's been a very firm matter of discipline, that Roman Catholics are only received via confession (or if they haven't been Confirmed, via Chrismation.)

The only time Latin converts are received via Baptism outside of the exceptions I mentioned, is either by clergy who have problems with obedience (they think they know better than their Bishops or Synod), or to assuage the consciences of very scupelous converts - or in some cases, when there are doubts that the convert from Catholicism was in fact given the proper form of baptism (ex. baptismal papers cannot be produced.)

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« Reply #49 on: November 12, 2005, 04:04:27 PM »

Irish Hermit,

This topic is not nearly as simple as you're representing it.ÂÂ  To state that St.Cyprian's view is the "Orthodox view" is also not factual.
Of course it is not as simple as I presented it but one can hardly offer something equivalent to the Church of Greece's cleric Prof George Metallinos' work on Baptism on this Forum.

Here is something more concise than Metallinos, an interesting article by a priest of the Orthodox Church in America, Fr Daniel Degyansky, New York.

Ecumenism and the Ecclesiology of Saint Cyprian of Carthage


"Saint Cyprian of Carthage developed with fearless consistency a doctrine of the complete absence of Grace in every sect which had separated itself from the True Church. His doctrine is one of the basic foundation blocks of Orthodox ecclesiology and it stands in direct opposition to the presuppositions of the ecumenical movement. Moreover, his warnings about the enemies of the Church have traditionally guided Orthodox in their response to those outside Her fold...."

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/stcyprian_eccles.aspx
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« Reply #50 on: November 12, 2005, 04:25:25 PM »

a line has obviously been crossed in the popular consciousness of many Orthodox (both laity and clergy/prelates) here in the "diaspora" in regard to the issue of "family planning" - since if you go the old world, Bishops, clergy, and monastic fathers will tell you quite plainly that in principle, the use of contraceptives is sinful.
I come from the Old World and do not find your statement in accord with the facts.  In Greece, contraception is allowed to the faithful.

The Serbian Church permits contraception, keeping in mind that one of the outcomes of any marriage and of the love between a man and a woman is children. But there may be circumstances (illness, etc.) which allow the couple to postpone or to "space" their children. But, the utter refusal to have children at all is sinful and, indeed, grounds for divorce.

The Russian Orthodox Church allows contraception and speaks of it in its major Millennial Statement issued by the Synod of Bishops in August 2000.

BASES OF THE SOCIAL CONCEPT OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH

XII. 3. Among the problems which need a religious and moral assessment is that of contraception. Some contraceptives have an abortive effect, interrupting artificially the life of the embryo on the very first stages of his life. Therefore, the same judgements are applicable to the use of them as to abortion. But other means, which do not involve interrupting an already conceived life, cannot be equated with abortion in the least. In defining their attitude to the non-abortive contraceptives, Christian spouses should remember that human reproduction is one of the principal purposes of the divinely established marital union (see, X. 4). The deliberate refusal of childbirth on egoistic grounds devalues marriage and is a definite sin.


At the same time, spouses are responsible before God for the comprehensive upbringing of their children. One of the ways to be responsible for their birth is to restrain themselves from sexual relations for a time. However, Christian spouses should remember the words of St. Paul addressed to them: «Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency» (1 Cor. 7:5). Clearly, spouses should make such decisions mutually on the counsel of their spiritual father. The latter should take into account, with pastoral prudence, the concrete living conditions of the couple, their age, health, degree of spiritual maturity and many other circumstances. In doing so, he should distinguish those who can hold the high demands of continence from those to whom it is not given (Mt. 19:11), taking care above all of the preservation and consolidation of the family.


http://web.archive.org/web/20041009220122/http://www.russian-orthodox-church.org.ru/sd00e.htm

and here

http://www.incommunion.org/articles/the-orthodox-church-and-society/introduction


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« Reply #51 on: December 16, 2005, 06:47:47 PM »

Thank you for your extensive answer, Augustine.
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« Reply #52 on: January 02, 2006, 11:26:27 PM »

Who is WE?ÂÂ  Certainly not WE Orthodox Catholics!

Orthodoc

This may refer to the Orthodox belief that all are born the same way including our Blessed Mother ie without the stain and guilt of original sin but the effects of Adams fall: death.

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