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Author Topic: How does the Catholic Church see Orthodox positions?  (Read 16344 times) Average Rating: 0
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BrotherAidan
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« Reply #90 on: March 20, 2006, 02:14:36 AM »

Personally, I think the Antiochians have gotten over alot of the ethnicity issues and are moving forward and are actually evangelizing and so they are lightning rods for criticism. All the parked cars can more easily take aim at the one that is moving.

Being OCA, I think gives me somewhat objectivity on this one. I really think that the Antiochians get bashed on OC.net more than any other Orthodox group (ROCOR being in second place). That's if you take Western Rite out of the equation.
The most shrill comments on OC.net are reserved for Western Rite.
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« Reply #91 on: March 20, 2006, 02:25:20 AM »

Quote
Personally, I think the Antiochians have gotten over alot of the ethnicity issues and are moving forward and are actually evangelizing and so they are lightning rods for criticism.

I'm not Antiochian either, FWIW.  But, at least from my (limited) experience they are NOT past the ethnicity issue.  I don't think we are at the point where we can say any jurisdiction is past the ethnicity isse - instead we can speak of individuals and parishes.  I know some GOA priests that are as missionary minded as you can get.... so stereotypes only go so far.  
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« Reply #92 on: March 20, 2006, 05:16:18 AM »

Not to sound repetitive, but...

forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Those who ignore the past are condemned to relive it.
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« Reply #93 on: March 20, 2006, 05:19:54 AM »

"put the nail in the coffin"

from the link you provided it appears there was some internal treachery by Greeks against Greeks and that the crusade had been usurped by continental european politial intrigue and was NOT ordered by the pope.
Never stated otherwise. The fact that there was internal divisions was not new to Constantinople politics. The crusaders exploiting divisions doesn't absolve them of responsibility.

Also, who's claimed that the Pope ordered it. Was it in my link?
so europeans attacked asia minor; it wasn't the Latins vs. the Greeks; it just so hapened that the europeans had a  Western Church affiliation
It was Latins vs. Greeks
to this day Christians put nationality over Church, even EO against EO (read the thread about Macedonia, if I have undestood it correctly)
This is true.
I think it is time to "get over" Constantinople 1204; it would be like Texans still taking "remember the Alamo" seriously against Mexico
It would be if the Catholic Church had merely left their attacks on Orthodoxy back then. They didn't. So, as noted above, those who ignore history are condemned to relive it.

But thanks for the Catholic apology.
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« Reply #94 on: March 20, 2006, 05:20:53 AM »

If so, why would the Patriarch move over from Constantinople to Nicea, and why would a latin Patriarch take his place?
Indeed. The Catholic church, even without Papal 'approval' set about to attack Orthodox religious communities (on Mt Athos) and replace Orthodox positions with Catholic ones.
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« Reply #95 on: March 20, 2006, 05:24:54 AM »

Personally, I think the Antiochians have gotten over alot of the ethnicity issues and are moving forward and are actually evangelizing and so they are lightning rods for criticism. All the parked cars can more easily take aim at the one that is moving.
I went to an Antiochian church in western Sydney boasting "English language services". I was the only one there of English-speaking background. After liturgy, the priest would nick off home and the people, those that hung around would all speak in Arabic, even when I was standing in their group.

Later that priest went on to do other things and a new priest was brought out from Syria, or Lebanon. He spoke poor English, and would do the homily entirely in Arabic, until another "Aussie" (a sub-deacon) came into the parish (he's now moved back to Newcastle); and then the sub-deacon would do the Homily.

Thus I have first-hand experience of the way Antiochians work. And this is after leaving another parish after being largely ignored by that priest (who NEVER sat down with me to discuss anything theological at all; a great help for those wishing to be chrismated).
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« Reply #96 on: March 20, 2006, 07:07:50 PM »

I am sorry that your experience with the Antiochians were negative, myself on the other hand have found them to be the warmest and most welcoming  of the jurisdictions I have had contact with.  I hope that your future connections with them will be more positive.

Thomas
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« Reply #97 on: March 20, 2006, 10:06:17 PM »

I am sorry that your experience with the Antiochians were negative, myself on the other hand have found them to be the warmest and most welcoming  of the jurisdictions I have had contact with.  I hope that your future connections with them will be more positive.

Thomas
I don't hold the whole church by their example. I'm convinced of Orthodoxy regardless of whom I meet.
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« Reply #98 on: April 18, 2006, 11:08:24 PM »

Brother Aidan --

I read with great interest your post regarding evangelizing (or actually the lack of it) in Orthodoxy. ÂÂ

I would second your emotion to ask "What's with THAT anyway?" ÂÂ  

When I found the Eastern Catholic Church (BTW -- St. Ann's where I go is really very "unlatinized" in comparison with others)  I found myself, after entering into the fullness of her worship, feeling a certain ...........aaaaaaaaaaaaa.....sheesh.....how do I put it

well, certainly not anger, but something perhaps close to it in wondering why no one ever spoke to me regarding the Eastern Faith. ÂÂ  I have a Serbian Orthodox customer who knew me for a couple of years before I converted and he never once asked me if I had ever been to an Orthodox Pascha, or had seen a Presanctified Liturgy or asked me how I viewed my relationship to Christ.

JW's,  Mormons, and Fundamentalists, on the other hand, are always around as thick as flies on.............uhhhhhh, yeah well, you get the picture don't you?  How's that anyway?  Why do those with the TRUTH sit on it as if it is their particular precious possession that they don't really want to share with the world?  I mean, that is really NOT how the Early Church grew, is it?  You think THEY were silent about the fact that Jesus had risen from the dead and made partaking of the divine nature (1 Peter 4: 1 -- theosis) a reality for mankind?

I even went as far as to develope a complete evangelization package for the parish, along with an apologetics course to be used in apolgia for the Evangelical Bible thumpers were would surely meet along the way.

I don't think B -17's over Dresden in WWII went down in flames as fast as that did!!  Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes

Great.

I spoke with Fr. Thomas Loya from Chicago when he was at a seminar in Gettysburg 3 years ago and this is what he said to me:

"Either the Byzantine Catholic Church in America learns to evangelize or it dies off in the next 40 years."

And I think he's right.  Will the same thing happen to Holy Orthodoxy?  Will Americans continue to see both as just ethnic abnormalities and consider Evangelicalism to be the true face of Christianity in America?  Time will tell, but I for one am not real positive for the future of ethnic parishes in this country.

With all the converts being pulled out of the Catholic (and sometimes Orthodox Faiths -- especially in Europe by American "missionaries" --aka heresy bearers) one would think that the two sides of the same apostolic coin would look to that as more of a threat than rehashing the Sack of Constantinople.  Of course, given the present state of the Catholic Church,  if I were Orthodox, I myself would be casting a very wary eye towards Rome until She repents of all the New Age, modernist, ecumenicism-with-pagans-and Protestants nonsense and comes back to a more clear defining of and obedience to those truths which the Lord left with His apostles some 2000 years ago.

Just my .02.

Ed -- great sinner
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« Reply #99 on: April 26, 2006, 03:26:11 PM »

Montalban,

Just some food for thought regarding your posts on this and many other threads where we've crossed paths.  This is not a post to comment on the substance of any of your posts; I really want to address your style.  You write with a lot of certitude (absolute conviction that you're right and that those who disagree with you just don't see the truth).  Maybe you're right.  Then again, maybe you're wrong.  I'm not calling your "correctness" into question.  My question to you is this: How do you know that you are right?

You quote the Fathers quite a bit to back up your arguments, but how do you know that you're not just quoting your own limited interpretation of the Fathers?  How do you know that you aren't just preaching a limited understanding of the Patristic Tradition?  To be honest, it just appears to me that you love to use prooftexts from the Holy Fathers, which is the best way I know to take Patristic teachings out of context.  "A prooftext taken out of context is only a pretext for a mistext."  How do you know that this isn't what you're doing?  You accuse other posters of "missing the point."  How do you know that you are not the one missing the point?  Do you even know what the real point is?

"Why is any of what you have to say important to the substance of our discussion?" you may want to ask me.  What I have to say has EVERYTHING to do with the substance of our discussion.  Your certitude insults people.  I have in the past tended to present my arguments with the same conviction of my correctness as you do on this forum.  People generally refused to listen to me because of my bluster.  I alienated them from the substance of my arguments because they thought me an arrogant b*****d.  I insulted them to the point that they just didn't think the substance of my arguments to be credible.  They actually thought my logic to be imbalanced because of my refusal to accept their points of view as being potentially equal in validity.  Present the substance of your arguments with a much more respectful, much less insulting style, and I think a lot more people will actually respect what you have to say.

- Peter
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« Reply #100 on: April 26, 2006, 03:35:08 PM »

Now back to the subject of this thread:

One Catholic (convert from Protestantism) friend told me many years ago that some of his objections to Orthodox Christianity are such as these:

  • Our Church's apparently more permissive attitude toward divorce and remarriage
  • Our Church's apparently more liberal attitude toward contraceptive birth control--I recognize that this is only true of some of our bishops, for many of our bishops are just as opposed to contraceptives as the papacy is.

What do we have to say to these charges?
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« Reply #101 on: April 27, 2006, 12:54:01 AM »

Peter

Even though I'm not Orthodox anymore, the arguments you listed are a bit of a pet peeve of mine, so I hope you will forgive me for rushing to Orthodoxy's defense!  As to why they are a pet peeve, it is because these are two of the main reasons that e-pologists like Dave Armstrong give for brushing aside Orthodoxy on their way to Catholicism. This, in my view (even as an agnostic) is downright strange (I'm trying to be nice!)

Quote
Our Church's apparently more permissive attitude toward divorce and remarriage

Indeed the Orthodox are. Or not. Depending on how you look at it. The Orthodox are more compassionate, in that they are willing to grant a divorce when one is obviously needed, rather than (like the RCC) making a person flip backwards through 10 hoops--for years on end, I might add--to get the Church to agree that they were never really married to begin with. I have talked to Catholic people who made a mistake when they were younger and married someone that they shouldn't have, and then had to wait, being made to feel guilty all the while, as they filled out all sorts of paper work about the intimate details of their lives for some cleric to read, and waited for years on end to finally be told that they could really get married (to someone different) now. ÂÂ

The Orthodox, while not as precisely following the letter of the words of Jesus, nonetheless follow the spirit of his teaching much better. If the Orthodox Church has deemed it proper to grant divorces for reasons other than adultery, and if the Orthodox Church really is part of the Church of Christ (one of the two lungs, in modern RC ecclesiology), and thus she is being led by the Holy Spirit, then why should she not be allowed to exercize economia (a dispensation) and grant divorces in more cases than are allowed for in Scripture? Certainly the Catholics do not limit themselves to Scriptural injunctions for their moral teachings and practices, but also rely on tradition, nature, and other authorities.

Quote
Our Church's apparently more liberal attitude toward contraceptive birth control--I recognize that this is only true of some of our bishops, for many of our bishops are just as opposed to contraceptives as the papacy is.

The funny thing about this argument is that Catholics always cite John Noonan's book on the subject... but if you read that book to the end, Mr. Noonan contradicts the traditional Catholic position! Noonan also believes that the Church's teachings on Contraception are based on Stoic philosophy (as opposed to, say, oral tradition). Thus, it makes me chuckle when conservative Catholics quote this book as though it's Gospel Truth. Noonan even points out more than once that NFP is not only contraception, but that the most important western theologian, Augustine, explicitly condemned it (well, the ancient version of it). Anyway, I think the contraception thing is a red herring.

First, as with divorce, the Church has the right to guide her flock as she wishes. If she wishes to let people go to a funeral at a Protestant Church, or see a Jewish doctor, or forbids her people from owning slaves, (all positions contradicting former canons/traditions) and so on, then she has a right to. The Catholics taunt Protestants as being unnecessarily bound to Scripture, but then the Catholics turn around and bind themselves to tradition unnecessarily. One day I hope that they develop a 'development of morality' doctrine to go along with their 'development of doctrine' belief. John Noonan, in his most recent book, A Church That Can and Cannot Change deals with this idea from a Catholic (albeit liberal Catholic) perspective.

The second reason that this argument is a red herring is because, as I already mentioned, the RCC herself allows contraception. It's called Natural Family Planning. Let them read Noonan and all the other books they want: the Church Fathers condemned the act of having sex while having the intention of avoiding pregnancy. It didn't matter to the fathers whether conception was avoided through "passive" or "active" means, or "unnatural" or "natural" means. They did not say "Potions are not ok, but the rythym method is," or anything of that sort. Those who spoke against contraception, spoke against all efforts to avoid conception. I might also add though that generally speaking, the Eastern Fathers were somewhat less concerned with this idea.

I mean, I don't want to play the East Vs. West card or anything, but I think that it's pretty clear from even a casual look at the topic of sexuality that the East was less strict than the west. This is clear not just when it comes to contraception, but also whether sexual pleasure is sinful, whether priests should be celibate, and so forth. I think that David Ford does a pretty good job at summarizing this in his book In Women and Men in the Early Church: The Full Views of St. John Chrysostom, which (apart from this debate) is probably also the best (and most practical) book on marriage that I've read.
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« Reply #102 on: April 27, 2006, 01:51:39 AM »

Peter

Even though I'm not Orthodox anymore, the arguments you listed are a bit of a pet peeve of mine, so I hope you will forgive me for rushing to Orthodoxy's defense!  

PLEASE DO!  I support the Orthodox positions on the two issues I just brought up.  I just offered them for discussion because of my own awareness of at least one Catholic who has voiced these objections to me.
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« Reply #103 on: April 27, 2006, 02:51:17 AM »

Peter,

I hope I didn't send the wrong message, I wasn't implying that you were questioning Orthodox thought. For that matter, I don't have a problem with your friend voicing his opinion either. The thing that gets me riled a bit are professional writers (ie. people who make money off of texts that they publish) who use these arguments to persuade people, especially since the sources they use are inconsistent at best. I think there is--or at least, should be--a different standard for people who are actually publishing material in "real world" form, as opposed to people talking by email or on a discussion board. I remember struggling with whether to become Orthodox or Catholic years ago, I don't mean to say that Catholicism is completely unable to make a case for herself, I just don't really find the case that many apologists/epologists make to be anywhere near persuasive. I was just in a chatroom the last few nights and heard Catholics using the same (IMO, bad) arguments as I heard the exact same people using 2 years ago. I know that people tend to recycle the arguments which have seemed to work in the past (I'm more guilty of that tendency than most), but sometimes a change in arguments can be a good thing! Smiley
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« Reply #104 on: April 27, 2006, 05:58:35 AM »

Montalban,

Just some food for thought regarding your posts on this and many other threads where we've crossed paths.  This is not a post to comment on the substance of any of your posts; I really want to address your style.  You write with a lot of certitude (absolute conviction that you're right and that those who disagree with you just don't see the truth).  Maybe you're right.  Then again, maybe you're wrong.  I'm not calling your "correctness" into question.  My question to you is this: How do you know that you are right?

You quote the Fathers quite a bit to back up your arguments, but how do you know that you're not just quoting your own limited interpretation of the Fathers?  How do you know that you aren't just preaching a limited understanding of the Patristic Tradition?  To be honest, it just appears to me that you love to use prooftexts from the Holy Fathers, which is the best way I know to take Patristic teachings out of context.  "A prooftext taken out of context is only a pretext for a mistext."  How do you know that this isn't what you're doing?  You accuse other posters of "missing the point."  How do you know that you are not the one missing the point?  Do you even know what the real point is?

"Why is any of what you have to say important to the substance of our discussion?" you may want to ask me.  What I have to say has EVERYTHING to do with the substance of our discussion.  Your certitude insults people.  I have in the past tended to present my arguments with the same conviction of my correctness as you do on this forum.  People generally refused to listen to me because of my bluster.  I alienated them from the substance of my arguments because they thought me an arrogant b*****d.  I insulted them to the point that they just didn't think the substance of my arguments to be credible.  They actually thought my logic to be imbalanced because of my refusal to accept their points of view as being potentially equal in validity.  Present the substance of your arguments with a much more respectful, much less insulting style, and I think a lot more people will actually respect what you have to say.

- Peter
How do I know I'm right? Well this particular section is about Orthodox-Catholic conversations so you, as an Orthodox ( ? ) asking me how I as an Orthodox believe the Orthodox church is correct seems puzzling - that I am 'convinced' of this even more so.

Yes, it's a strange man like me who actually cites Church Fathers as evidence. And well, citing a lot of them seems to be a greater sin. Shocked

Did this appear to confronting to you? Kiss
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« Reply #105 on: April 27, 2006, 05:59:47 AM »

Peter,

I hope I didn't send the wrong message, I wasn't implying that you were questioning Orthodox thought.

He does, but only when others argue with conviction.
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« Reply #106 on: April 27, 2006, 06:07:57 AM »

Montalban,
You quote the Fathers quite a bit to back up your arguments,

"This is the early Christians' wisdom, not mine. I hope not to say anything original. If I do, ignore it."
Mathewes-Gren, F (2001), "The Illuminated Heart: The Ancient Chrstian Path of Transformation", Paraclete Press; Brewster MA, p2.
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« Reply #107 on: April 27, 2006, 06:14:42 AM »

Actually I agree with his assessment of your writing style. You talk as though the Fathers talk right through you... hate to break it to you, but unless you've been working out your salvation in a very saintly way (like a Seraphim of Sarov level) for many decades, you're probably mixing a lot of your own bias in with the words of the Fathers. "Just quoting Fathers" is not any more unbiased than when Evangelical Protestants "just quote Scriptures". In fact, it's the exact same proof-texting mentality, and it is harmful in both cases. The selection of which quotes to use is, in itself, a manifestation of a person's bias. You can put up disclaimers about just wanting to repeat the Fathers, but if John of Damascus couldn't give a perfectly accurate representation of what the early Fathers believed (e.g., he included the Canons of the Holy Apostles in his New Testament canon!  cf Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, 4, 17), then I surely don't expect that you will either.
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« Reply #108 on: April 27, 2006, 07:58:24 AM »

"But if we are able to pluck anything profitable from outside sources, there is nothing to forbid that"
John of Damascus
Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith
Book IV Chapter XVII
http://www.balamand.edu.lb/theology/book_iv.htm

Actually I agree with his assessment of your writing style. You talk as though the Fathers talk right through you... hate to break it to you, but unless you've been working out your salvation in a very saintly way (like a Seraphim of Sarov level) for many decades, you're probably mixing a lot of your own bias in with the words of the Fathers. "Just quoting Fathers" is not any more unbiased than when Evangelical Protestants "just quote Scriptures". In fact, it's the exact same proof-texting mentality, and it is harmful in both cases. The selection of which quotes to use is, in itself, a manifestation of a person's bias. You can put up disclaimers about just wanting to repeat the Fathers, but if John of Damascus couldn't give a perfectly accurate representation of what the early Fathers believed (e.g., he included the Canons of the Holy Apostles in his New Testament canon!  cf Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, 4, 17), then I surely don't expect that you will either.

There's several problems with his (and it seems, your) attitude.
a) this 'criticism' is off-topic (and a month after my last posting on this topic anyway)
b) it is sailing both close to ad hom and strawman insofar as it is criticising me personally for being 'certain' and therefore 'rude' (rude, because of being certain, his novel idea!), and strawman which you here offer; to re-work my argument to a state of mere parroting church fathers... a la Protestants simply just quoting Scriptures. This false analysis of my arguments is terribly insulting and not very honest. Not only do I quote many Church Fathers in order to ascertain the mind-set of the Church I also cite other Church commentators and web-sites interpretations of those commentators, plus add my own reasons - which come last in an effort to be humble (as per Frederica Mathewes-Green above), which oddly you find as being more arrogant - to let the Church Fathers speak for themselves. I note in conjunction with this that he and you don't bother to actually address any of the quotes herein at all (preferring as you do to criticise my writing style). IF you felt I was misrepresenting any of them on any issue, you need only to address it, but that might involve a little more thought. I find you have things turned upside-down, and it is quite funny that you too should have such novel ideas on debating; such as to have certainty and conviction in what I write is something bad.

John of Damascus is a great church father, but just one man. In an argument I might choose to cite him, but I would prefer to ascertain what the whole church feels, and I would prefer to offer-up more than one Church Father. If you want to rely on his words alone, so be it (not that you've cited anything he's actually said - oddly you probably think that making a statement about what one Church Father might have said to be more weighty than me citing several fathers about what they actually did say). I find that quite incredible and awfully amusing.

And speaking of a Seraphim, Father Seraphim Rose (different one to whom you mention) is one commentator I have happily relied upon. Perhaps reliance upon the thoughts of others is for you to be arrogant.

I can't wait for your next off-topic criticism. Be sure to follow your own rules about rudeness and re-work my argument. Be sure not to be sure about what you're saying, lest you appear arrogant. Be sure also to only paraphrase or 'refer in passing' to what you think one Church Father said, instead of relying on direct quotes, or you might be accused of fudging evidence! I'm going to save your comments, in case your and/or mine are deleted as these ideas of yours are quite novel.
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« Reply #109 on: April 27, 2006, 11:41:43 AM »

 Roll Eyes
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« Reply #110 on: April 27, 2006, 12:00:17 PM »

My, my, montalban, now you're getting awefully defensive.  If someone can't take any criticism, how do you think that reflects on them?  I'm sure you could find many Church Fathers that address that issue as well.  Just because you quote many Fathers and others doesn't mean you can't work on your writing style - I know that I sure as heck can!
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« Reply #111 on: April 27, 2006, 01:12:55 PM »

In nomine Ieus I offer you all Peace,

Is it possible to be humble and confident? If so can someone give us an example?  Grin


Peace.
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« Reply #112 on: April 27, 2006, 03:06:30 PM »

In nomine Ieus I offer you all Peace,

Is it possible to be humble and confident? If so can someone give us an example?  Grin


Peace.


Maybe I'm not the best person to answer these questions because I'm still struggling to learn how to be humble and confident at the same time.  But let me at least try to communicate some of the things I've learned while trying to temper my own natural certitude with humility and charity.

The first thing I try to do is put aside my own preconceived notions and prejudices and just research the issues.  I try to research from many different angles and study many different authorities, especially those who disagree with each other.  I pay special attention to those authorities who disagree with my own preconceived ideas.  If it's necessary for me to draw my own conclusions, I do so only after finishing my research and comparing my findings against values that I've formed from previous study and life experience.  Usually, once I've drawn a conclusion in this way, I'm confident of the correctness of my conclusion and can articulate it with confidence to other people.

However, when discussing my opinions with other people, I try to remind myself that I still don't know everything there is to know about the subject and that those persons I engage in discussion may know other aspects that I haven't yet learned.  As such, I try to keep my mind open to learning from them.  Even so, I still have the responsibility to present my arguments with confidence and certainty, and I must seek to reveal flaws that I see in the logic and research of the other participants in our discussion, all while maintaining my great respect for what they know together with a willingness to submit to correction when I recognize that I am proven wrong.  I must not enter a discussion with the goal of proving myself right and all the other participants wrong, for this shows absolutely no respect for the varied knowledge, education, and experiences of the other participants.
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« Reply #113 on: April 27, 2006, 03:39:53 PM »

Maybe I'm not the best person to answer these questions because I'm still struggling to learn how to be humble and confident at the same time.  But let me at least try to communicate some of the things I've learned while trying to temper my own natural certitude with humility and charity.

The first thing I try to do is put aside my own preconceived notions and prejudices and just research the issues.  I try to research from many different angles and study many different authorities, especially those who disagree with each other.  I pay special attention to those authorities who disagree with my own preconceived ideas.  If it's necessary for me to draw my own conclusions, I do so only after finishing my research and comparing my findings against values that I've formed from previous study and life experience.  Usually, once I've drawn a conclusion in this way, I'm confident of the correctness of my conclusion and can articulate it with confidence to other people.

However, when discussing my opinions with other people, I try to remind myself that I still don't know everything there is to know about the subject and that those persons I engage in discussion may know other aspects that I haven't yet learned.  As such, I try to keep my mind open to learning from them.  Even so, I still have the responsibility to present my arguments with confidence and certainty, and I must seek to reveal flaws that I see in the logic and research of the other participants in our discussion, all while maintaining my great respect for what they know together with a willingness to submit to correction when I recognize that I am proven wrong.  I must not enter a discussion with the goal of proving myself right and all the other participants wrong, for this shows absolutely no respect for the varied knowledge, education, and experiences of the other participants.

In nomine Ieus I offer you continued Peace Brother PeterTheAleut,

I believe you offer some very honest suggestions here but if you recognize that your conclusion is not borne from a 'complete' analysis of the data are you not admitting that your arguments are going to 'lack' the objectivity to carry confidence and certainity on the subject matter in question? Or am I misunderstanding what you are saying here?

If one exercises humility does it necessitate a certain exercise of a willingness to 'lack' confidence in one's own grasp of the 'facts'?

Just asking...
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« Reply #114 on: April 27, 2006, 04:14:37 PM »

In nomine Ieus I offer you continued Peace Brother PeterTheAleut,

I believe you offer some very honest suggestions here but if you recognize that your conclusion is not borne from a 'complete' analysis of the data are you not admitting that your arguments are going to 'lack' the objectivity to carry confidence and certainity on the subject matter in question? Or am I misunderstanding what you are saying here?

I don't think it's absolutely possible for anyone's conclusions to be borne from a 'complete' analysis of the data; the research of even the experts will still be somewhat incomplete.  That's why education and learning are never-ending.

Also, I don't think anyone's arguments can possibly be totally objective, for no one can avoid putting somewhat of him/her-self into the research or the presentation.  Even the most 'complete' research is still the research of a particular person or group of persons.  This personal aspect of research just cannot be removed entirely, no matter how hard we try.

Even so, it's still possible for me to be confident in what little I do know from my study and at the same time be open to learning what others have learned from their studies.

Quote
If one exercises humility does it necessitate a certain exercise of a willingness to 'lack' confidence in one's own grasp of the 'facts'?

Just asking...

Sometimes, yes.
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« Reply #115 on: April 27, 2006, 04:29:17 PM »

I don't think it's absolutely possible for anyone's conclusions to be borne from a 'complete' analysis of the data; the research of even the experts will still be somewhat incomplete.  That's why education and learning are never-ending.

Also, I don't think anyone's arguments can possibly be totally objective, for no one can avoid putting somewhat of him/her-self into the research or the presentation.  Even the most 'complete' research is still the research of a particular person or group of persons.  This personal aspect of research just cannot be removed entirely, no matter how hard we try.

Even so, it's still possible for me to be confident in what little I do know from my study and at the same time be open to learning what others have learned from their studies.

In nomine Ieus I offer you continued Peace Brother PeterTheAleut,

God appears to have blessed you with an abnormal amount of wisdom on this matter. Be ever thankful and it shouldn't ever need to leave you.

Peace and Blessings.
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« Reply #116 on: April 27, 2006, 04:39:29 PM »

In nomine Ieus I offer you continued Peace Brother PeterTheAleut,

God appears to have blessed you with an abnormal amount of wisdom on this matter. Be ever thankful and it shouldn't ever need to leave you.

Peace and Blessings.

Now, if only I can live by that wisdom. {sigh}
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« Reply #117 on: April 28, 2006, 04:47:17 AM »

My, my, montalban, now you're getting awefully defensive.  If someone can't take any criticism, how do you think that reflects on them?  I'm sure you could find many Church Fathers that address that issue as well.  Just because you quote many Fathers and others doesn't mean you can't work on your writing style - I know that I sure as heck can!
You're a funny one too. You think it's defensive to retort someone who's off-topic, and ad hom, well I guess I should just roll over and take it. Note too that I stated the reasons why I think he's wrong.

Sure he can work on style, as you can post offering nothing constructive too. (Sorry if this sounds too defnsive Kiss)

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« Reply #118 on: April 28, 2006, 05:01:05 AM »

In nomine Ieus I offer you all Peace,

Is it possible to be humble and confident? If so can someone give us an example?  Grin


Peace.


I think one can. I think the style is summed up in the quote I cited earlier (in which I didn't spell her name correctly; mea culpa!)
"This is the early Christians' wisdom, not mine. I hope not to say anything original. If I do, ignore it."
Mathewes-Green, F (2001), "The Illuminated Heart: The Ancient Christian Path of Transformation", (Paraclete Press; Brewster MA), p2.

I think to cite Church Fathers (note plural) and other Orthodox commentators on those teachings is perfectly legitimate. I think also that it is the heart of Christianity to accept the truth of the Church with absolute certainty. The sin of Adam is to believe that one can, through their own abilities reason their way to truth. In the introduction to a book I'm just reading it says (in a slightly different emphasis being the education of Children) "Providing religious training for children in today's spiritually bankrupt society is not an easy task for parents or educators; yet it must be our primary goal. The consequences of neglecting a child's spiritual upbringing become (sic) more and more apparent as we see an ever-increasing number of Orthodox youth abandon the faith, or worse, attempt to combine it with popular world views that are irreconcilable with genuine Christianity (emphasis added)
White, E., (2004), "Walking in Wonder: Nurturing Orthodox Christian Virtues in Your Children", (Conciliar Press; Ben Lomond, Cal.), pp5-6

When one agrees to the Church Fathers over the alluring teachings of evolutionary science (or, materialism dressed up as science), one gets the type of comments seen on this thread, that's not even about such matters.
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« Reply #119 on: April 28, 2006, 06:47:57 AM »

How does the Catholic Church see Orthodox positions?

You mean, after they read this thread?
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« Reply #120 on: April 28, 2006, 07:33:57 AM »

You mean, after they read this thread?

Perhaps then they have a point in having a centralised authority.
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« Reply #121 on: April 28, 2006, 02:19:41 PM »

Perhaps then they have a point in having a centralised authority.

This is a little confusing. I know the church never STARTED out as having a centralized authority, and historically/geographically the Eastern churches never really needed a centralised authority because they looked to the Councils for authority.

Still, knowing that all priests and bishops of your church will (have to) teach the same thing (ie. as in the RCC) is really assuring.

I hate going to 3 different priests/elders/bishops, asking them the position on something like contraception etc, and getting 3 or more different answers. And then they say "seeee, I told you not to go to more than 1 person for spiritual advice because then you'll be confused from the different answers they give you." Whereas from the West, all you gotta do is pull out your catechism book. True many priests will give you their own lib, but thats not necessarily canonical on their part. In terms of faith and dogma, they are supposed to give you what is in the catechism/ what comes from Rome.

I'm not converting to western Catholicism any time soon (or ever), but its either we also need SOME centralised authority, we need a general pan-Orthodox council to adress these issues, or we need another Eumenical Council very very soon to set the issues aright.
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« Reply #122 on: April 28, 2006, 04:18:33 PM »

Quote
I hate going to 3 different priests/elders/bishops, asking them the position on something like contraception etc, and getting 3 or more different answers.
You ask two Orthodox priests a question, expect to get three answers. Smiley
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« Reply #123 on: April 28, 2006, 04:56:26 PM »

Timos
Well, one thing I think on the centralized theory is that for the most part you will see aggreement with Orthodox priests.  However, things such as modern birth control and its prevelance, technology, etc., etc., are very recent and are gradually being worked out.  Often there is a consistance and one can even find that, but sometimes some priests may deviate.  
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« Reply #124 on: April 28, 2006, 05:31:01 PM »

This is a little confusing. I know the church never STARTED out as having a centralized authority, and historically/geographically the Eastern churches never really needed a centralised authority because they looked to the Councils for authority.

Still, knowing that all priests and bishops of your church will (have to) teach the same thing (ie. as in the RCC) is really assuring.

I hate going to 3 different priests/elders/bishops, asking them the position on something like contraception etc, and getting 3 or more different answers. And then they say "seeee, I told you not to go to more than 1 person for spiritual advice because then you'll be confused from the different answers they give you." Whereas from the West, all you gotta do is pull out your catechism book. True many priests will give you their own lib, but thats not necessarily canonical on their part. In terms of faith and dogma, they are supposed to give you what is in the catechism/ what comes from Rome.

I'm not converting to western Catholicism any time soon (or ever), but its either we also need SOME centralised authority, we need a general pan-Orthodox council to adress these issues, or we need another Eumenical Council very very soon to set the issues aright.


In nomine Ieus I offer you Peace,

Does not your own Jurisdictional Authority offer this guidance (Metropolitan, Patriarch or ArchBishop, Bishop etc.)?

If one would characterize Orthodoxy without a centralized authority one could also characterize Catholicism without local authority. Trust me dear Brother the grass only 'appears' greener...

Peace.
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« Reply #125 on: April 28, 2006, 06:07:05 PM »


In nomine Ieus I offer you Peace,

Does not your own Jurisdictional Authority offer this guidance (Metropolitan, Patriarch or ArchBishop, Bishop etc.)?

If one would characterize Orthodoxy without a centralized authority one could also characterize Catholicism without local authority. Trust me dear Brother the grass only 'appears' greener...

Peace.


Yes our bishop does tell us what is right and wrong but I am talking about a basic inter-parochial level.

As for the Catholics, I know the official teachign is there, but I've heard some crazy things coming from Catholic priests like why rock masses are good, or why liturgical dancing is appropriate--things that most bishops are probably against.
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« Reply #126 on: April 28, 2006, 08:26:03 PM »

This is a little confusing. I know the church never STARTED out as having a centralized authority, and historically/geographically the Eastern churches never really needed a centralised authority because they looked to the Councils for authority.
I agree that it is not a part of dogma (because the structure of the church reflects the nature of God; unity in diversity).

I was speaking from a purely functional point of view because it seems that when I debate based on what the Church Fathers say, it is reduced by some to be 'my opinion of what the church Fathers say'. Whereas if we had some centralised body of scholarship that could say "The Church Fathers mean ...." it might help.

Of course it would be impossible to do so now, because on one group would be universally recognised as having that authority - though the monks of Mount Athos probably have a higher degree of respect in matters of this kind.
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« Reply #127 on: April 28, 2006, 11:22:19 PM »

How do I know I'm right? Well this particular section is about Orthodox-Catholic conversations so you, as an Orthodox ( ? ) asking me how I as an Orthodox believe the Orthodox church is correct seems puzzling - that I am 'convinced' of this even more so.

Yes, it's a strange man like me who actually cites Church Fathers as evidence. And well, citing a lot of them seems to be a greater sin.

Montalban,

I’m truly sorry that I failed to communicate what you needed to hear in a way that would not offend you.  I hope--now that you’ve decided to attack those such as Asteriktos, Elisha, and me who have only tried to help you see what you’re doing to others on this forum with your ‘know-it-all’ attitude--that you will allow me to offer a quote from one of your favorite modern Fathers to present to you what I tried to say before.

"The Patristic teaching on pain of heart," Fr. Seraphim wrote, "is one of the most important teachings for our days when 'head-knowledge' is so over-emphasized at the expense of the proper development of emotional and spiritual life....  The lack of this essential experience is what above all is responsible for the dilettantism, the triviality, the want of seriousness in the ordinary study of the Holy Fathers today; without it, one cannot apply the teachings of the Holy Fathers to one's own life.  One may attain to the very highest level of understanding with the mind of the teaching of the Holy Fathers, may have 'at one's fingertips' quotes from the Holy Fathers on every conceivable subject, may have 'spiritual experiences' which seem to be those described in the Patristic books, may even know perfectly all the pitfalls into which it is possible to fall in spiritual life--and still, without pain of heart, one can be a barren fig tree, a boring 'know-it-all' who is always 'correct,' or an adept in all the present-day 'charismatic' experiences, who does not know and cannot convey the true spirit of the Holy Fathers."1

I hope that what I’ve presented doesn’t come across as just another proof text, because I just don’t like playing that game.  I’m not into arguing to win debates because somebody always ends up getting hurt when I do, and I don’t like quoting the Scriptures or the Fathers just to prove the correctness of my points.  I struggle enough with pride already that I really just don’t want to be an ‘expert’ on the Holy Fathers.  If knowing the Fathers much less than I can with my intellect helps me to enter much more into the spirit of the Fathers with my heart, then I would much rather do this.  This just appears to me to be much more true to the Orthodox Faith than your head-knowledge.


1 - Hieromonk Damascene, Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works, Platina, CA: St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 2003 (work cited by Fr. Damascene: Father Seraphim Rose, "The Holy Fathers of Orthodox Spirituality: Introduction, III: How Not to Read the Holy Fathers," Orthodox Word, no. 65 (1975), p. 239)


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« Reply #128 on: April 29, 2006, 05:55:37 AM »

Montalban,
I’m truly sorry that I failed to communicate what you needed to hear in a way that would not offend you.
You're not sorry. And you haven't offended me. Both these statements are reconcilable in the fact you're attempting to avoid real argument and instead paint an emotive picture of two protagonists, you the painfully humble preacher, and me the bitterly irrational student, who just doesn't listen to your genuine pleas.
I hope--now that you’ve decided to attack those such as Asteriktos, Elisha, and me who have only tried to help you see what you’re doing to others on this forum with your ‘know-it-all’ attitude--that you will allow me to offer a quote from one of your favorite modern Fathers to present to you what I tried to say before.
You are not. You are peeved that I have defended a position you don't adhere to. If you were about humbly guiding me in my errors, you'd have PM'd me. But you brought this up in public on a thread that is about Catholic/Orthodox ideas, and you did so one month after my last comment on this thread. But it's nice to know that there's people out there still taking the moral high-ground. The further emotive call to join the majority is again another ploy that shows that you're through with evidential discussion.
I hope that what I’ve presented doesn’t come across as just another proof text, because I just don’t like playing that game.
That's exactly why you posted it. You found a quote that you believe suits your argument. It is in fact terrible insulting that you would make an assumption implied by such a quote; that I don't follow an Orthodox life. But then, with your own self-belief in your calling you'd need to paint me as such a protagonist. Even despite your insults, I am amused by your obvious lack of introspection. I still have dialogue with you. I still take an effort to discern where I think you are wrong. And, I also have enough sense of self to realise that this too, can be seen as me taking a moral high-ground. So too the belief that I am the one being honest in this discussion.
I’m not into arguing to win debates because somebody always ends up getting hurt when I do,
Again this is simply projecting an ideal onto me and it helps you maintain the moral high-ground, in your own mind. Any time I've responded you and others suggested that it's because I'm hurt, or that I'm just not willing to accept your gracious attempts at a lesson, gracefully. It's all terribly amusing.
and I don’t like quoting the Scriptures or the Fathers just to prove the correctness of my points.  I struggle enough with pride already that I really just don’t want to be an ‘expert’ on the Holy Fathers.  If knowing the Fathers much less than I can with my intellect helps me to enter much more into the spirit of the Fathers with my heart, then I would much rather do this.  This just appears to me to be much more true to the Orthodox Faith than your head-knowledge.
But to ascertain what the Fathers believe one must read them. If they (a large number) say one thing, if other commentators, like the later Fr. Seraphim Rose suggest one thing then it is not the type of argument that you insist that I am having. But still, I guess that too is part of the self-deception one gets when taking a emotive argument as you now wish to have
Yes, you do have permission to copy from this post to share it in private emails with your friends.

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Your permission is irrelevant. You post in a public forum. You post such laughably emotive argument in effort to 'teach' me humility. Even when you are attempting to be insulting, I still find time to see the funny side of your projections; the very fact you cite that particular quote without knowing anything about me is a terrible slight, for you make assumption about the lief I lead - the clear implication being that I don't follow an Orthodox life). And you are of course being hypocritical when in fact in public you crow about how humble you try to be in the face of just plain pig-headed people like me. The whole thread of yours is so laughable in an ironic sense. Does this appear to be angry to you? I'm sure you can post "Oh, well, at least I tied to teach you"

The problem with your argument here however goes deeper. You've thrown away all attempts at dialogue on the 'issues' by continuing to make your personal observations. (I find it odd that when I defend myself you see this as being hurt, or angry). The arguments you should be having are based on the issues. You should call upon proofs from the Church Fathers, or you are indeed ignoring a vital source of material for the church. You try a very post-modern idea now that no one can know the minds of the Church Fathers, or that one can't be certain. You've thrown away in an instant the value of Patristic teaching. I know having certainty is of little value to you. The basis of your argument is that quoting the Church Fathers, quoting Orthodox web-sites, and citing other commentators on the Church Fathers (such as Seraphim Rose) is of no use. But I guess that it is far easier to just dismiss this rather than come up with any real argument yourself.

The fact that several of the posters here feel the same way counts to naught, when all choose not to base their beliefs on the teachings of the church. I for one will accept the guidance of such eminent minds over my own abilities, even in the face of the temptations of bewildering heresies that the modern world throws up
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« Reply #129 on: April 29, 2006, 05:57:00 AM »

Yes our bishop does tell us what is right and wrong but I am talking about a basic inter-parochial level.

As for the Catholics, I know the official teachign is there, but I've heard some crazy things coming from Catholic priests like why rock masses are good, or why liturgical dancing is appropriate--things that most bishops are probably against.
They have singular sources, such as a Catechism of faith.
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« Reply #130 on: April 29, 2006, 06:21:57 AM »

Awwwww. Look! .......
A kitten!

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« Reply #131 on: April 29, 2006, 06:33:49 AM »

Awwwww. Look! .......
A kitten!

Go the cats!  Grin
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« Reply #132 on: April 29, 2006, 05:54:42 PM »

Peter

Even though I'm not Orthodox anymore, the arguments you listed are a bit of a pet peeve of mine, so I hope you will forgive me for rushing to Orthodoxy's defense!  As to why they are a pet peeve, it is because these are two of the main reasons that e-pologists like Dave Armstrong give for brushing aside Orthodoxy on their way to Catholicism. This, in my view (even as an agnostic) is downright strange (I'm trying to be nice!)

Asteriktos,

I love the detail you present in your defense of Orthodoxy against the Catholic complaints I've presented.  I wish I could articulate my views on the subject as clearly as you have.

I haven't done much in-depth study of how the RC church views a lot of issues, choosing to concentrate rather on deepening my knowledge of the Orthodox Faith, so don't look to me to speak as an expert on RC positions.  All I can say is that to me this whole discussion of RC objections to our handling of divorce and contraception boils down to Church authority.  Does the Pope have supreme authority to "bind and loose" within his own charism, or is this authority given to each and every bishop of the Church?

Since the EO and RC churches are not in communion with each other, it follows that the Orthodox owe no obedience to the Papacy's "supreme" authority.  Our Orthodox bishops have complete authority apart from Rome to guide each of the faithful to salvation as they see fit while discerning the mind of the Holy Spirit.  RC complaints about how our bishops exercise their pastoral authority to "bind and loose" regarding such specific life issues as divorce and contraception really mean nothing apart from their papacy's claims to supreme universal authority.  What these RC objections represent to me, then, is their desire that we should understand the Christian faith as they do and submit to the authority of Rome.
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #133 on: April 29, 2006, 05:57:31 PM »

Awwwww. Look! .......
A kitten!

I love that kitty!  Grin

I got a few giggles today out of watching a cat try to catch a butterfly.  (Just so long as they LEAVE MY HAMSTER ALONE!!!  Angry)
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montalban
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« Reply #134 on: April 29, 2006, 07:49:08 PM »

Asteriktos,

I love the detail you present in your defense of Orthodoxy against the Catholic complaints I've presented.  I wish I could articulate my views on the subject as clearly as you have.

I haven't done much in-depth study of how the RC church views a lot of issues, choosing to concentrate rather on deepening my knowledge of the Orthodox Faith, so don't look to me to speak as an expert on RC positions.  All I can say is that to me this whole discussion of RC objections to our handling of divorce and contraception boils down to Church authority.  Does the Pope have supreme authority to "bind and loose" within his own charism, or is this authority given to each and every bishop of the Church?

Since the EO and RC churches are not in communion with each other, it follows that the Orthodox owe no obedience to the Papacy's "supreme" authority.  Our Orthodox bishops have complete authority apart from Rome to guide each of the faithful to salvation as they see fit while discerning the mind of the Holy Spirit.  RC complaints about how our bishops exercise their pastoral authority to "bind and loose" regarding such specific life issues as divorce and contraception really mean nothing apart from their papacy's claims to supreme universal authority.  What these RC objections represent to me, then, is their desire that we should understand the Christian faith as they do and submit to the authority of Rome.
How do you determine the 'mind of the church'?
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