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Author Topic: Re: Heresy?-Jurisdiction  (Read 8341 times) Average Rating: 0
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Mother Anastasia
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« on: May 02, 2006, 02:18:33 PM »

2) Dormition vs. Assumption: The standard Orthodox complaint is that the Catholic doctrine of the Assumption, as infallibly defined by Pope Pius XII, does not make it clear that Mary actually died before being assumed into heaven. This is quite troubling to Orthodox sensibilities, a fact that is only exacerbated by the fact that, at times, Catholic writings and popular piety include the belief that Mary did NOT die and, because she was Immaculately Conceived etc. etc., was assumed directly into heaven.

This is truly a shame, that the Catholic doctrine is not explicitly in union with Orthodoxy.  It leaves room for dissension and division which scandalizes little souls and divides the Holy Body of Christ that should be whole, healthy and seamless.  

How can such a sick body minister to a world full of sin?

Still it does not seem impossible, with humility, love and forgiveness, God can work wonders in the hearts of men, if they are willing.

Here is a quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Faith,  (Just below the doctrine of her assumption that is not explicit) "In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave the world, O Mother of God.."

For the peace and good of everyone, why are we focusing on disagreements that build walls and block grace?  Why do we insist on being correct and have everyone else bow to our correctness, or be labeled heretics?

Brothers, in Heaven, there will be no letter of the law!  Such wrinkles will get a good ironing out in the waiting rooms.

I am not implying that we should ignore abuses, rather I am saying that in all charity, we must make little of them so that we can work together.  So that walls that prevent salvation from flowing freely to the little ones and those afflicted with the cancers of this world can be healed.  How can we, who are eaten away inside with rancor and pride be of use to the Holy Spirit?

Irregardless of denominational-doctrinal bent,  a poor ignorant protestant who has loved God with all their heart and strength, and mind, and their neighbor as themselves,  will enter Heaven before the doctrinally correct that have totally ignored the heart of the law.

And for the "correct" who have sown division, and withstood the Holy Spirit in His work of bringing all men to  salvation,  there is good reason to fear that such as these will find themselves outside the gates where there is weeping, wailing and knashing of teeth.  Those who have lived by the law, will be judged by the law.  Those who have shown mercy and lived in charity, will be shown mercy and charity.  

Is there even one among us that is not in need of mercy and charity???
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« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2006, 02:35:17 PM »

    Oh good a debate about the trinity  Huh
Here is a classic example,  we are arguing over which part of the egg has precedence  over the other part of the egg.  Which part comes first, or directs the parts of the others?  Have you ever watched an egg develop?  All parts are there developing together.  Why are we spending so much time on this?  And this little dialogue is not even the tip of the iceberg, but merely a droplet in an ocean of theological debate going on right this minute all over the world!!!

In this minute,  who have we fed, that was hungry,  who have we clothed that was naked, who have we visited that was sick?  Who have we kept company and counseled who was truly struggling with painful issues of faith, not knowing that God loves them, cares for them, because of their life circumstance, how are we showing them Jesus? What monies, loaned to  us by God have we used to do these things,  what resources and time have we invested in the theological melting pot to feed our orthodox egos?

Do you think, do you really think,  even for one moment,  that if Christ returns in this hour our lamps will be trimmed and filled?



[/list]
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« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2006, 03:23:33 PM »

This is truly a shame, that the Catholic doctrine is not explicitly in union with Orthodoxy.  It leaves room for dissension and division which scandalizes little souls and divides the Holy Body of Christ that should be whole, healthy and seamless.  

How can such a sick body minister to a world full of sin?

Still it does not seem impossible, with humility, love and forgiveness, God can work wonders in the hearts of men, if they are willing.

Here is a quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Faith,  (Just below the doctrine of her assumption that is not explicit) "In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave the world, O Mother of God.."

For the peace and good of everyone, why are we focusing on disagreements that build walls and block grace?  Why do we insist on being correct and have everyone else bow to our correctness, or be labeled heretics?

Brothers, in Heaven, there will be no letter of the law!  Such wrinkles will get a good ironing out in the waiting rooms.

I am not implying that we should ignore abuses, rather I am saying that in all charity, we must make little of them so that we can work together.  So that walls that prevent salvation from flowing freely to the little ones and those afflicted with the cancers of this world can be healed.  How can we, who are eaten away inside with rancor and pride be of use to the Holy Spirit?

Irregardless of denominational-doctrinal bent,  a poor ignorant protestant who has loved God with all their heart and strength, and mind, and their neighbor as themselves,  will enter Heaven before the doctrinally correct that have totally ignored the heart of the law.

And for the "correct" who have sown division, and withstood the Holy Spirit in His work of bringing all men to  salvation,  there is good reason to fear that such as these will find themselves outside the gates where there is weeping, wailing and knashing of teeth.  Those who have lived by the law, will be judged by the law.  Those who have shown mercy and lived in charity, will be shown mercy and charity.  

Is there even one among us that is not in need of mercy and charity???

I appreciate your sentiment, but I disagree with it.  The theologies that divide RC's from the Church are indeed important issues that shape how RC's and the Church view the very essence of God and of salvation.  Preaching the right doctrine is vital to bringing people to salvation, otherwise the mercy and charity that you preach would be nothing more than social work that any charitable organization can perform.  I don't mean that we should not seek to feed the poor, or clothe the naked, or comfort the grieving, because Christ does indeed command us to do all these things.  I'm just saying that we should not abandon correct doctrine and correct worship for the sake of fulfilling our charitable responsibilities, as many so-called Christians actually encourage.

If the Orthodox and Catholic communions were merely two estranged branches of the One, Holy, Catholic Church as you express, then yes, our division over doctrinal issues would be petty and scandalous.  However, the Orthodox together with the Holy Fathers have always asserted that the Roman church deviated from doctrines that are of the core essence of the Apostolic Faith, and that this deviation marks the RC church as truly a heretic body.  Seeing the RC church in this way, the Orthodox CANNOT recognize the RC church as being part of the One Church of Christ, because the Church cannot be divided.  We can only recognize that the RC church is outside the Church of Christ because of her heresies.

I guess you can go ahead and call this argument over issues of manmade theologies, but we Orthodox would say that the REAL issue is Rome's departure from the Faith given us by Christ and His Holy Apostles.  We Orthodox CANNOT and WILL NOT follow down Rome's heretical path.


(tag on thought added after initial post)
Your least-common-denominator approach to union that dismisses our core theological differences is actually quite disrespectful to the staunch adherents of both the RC and EO traditions who each consider their differing theologies to be of central importance to how Christians are to understand salvation.  Are we to tell our most devoutly committed RC counterparts that their theological concerns are unimportant?  RC's have just as much reason to consider this attitude rude as do the Orthodox.
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« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2006, 04:12:42 PM »

We Orthodox CANNOT and WILL NOT follow down Rome's heretical path.  Quote from PetertheAluet #63

You're not getting it yet brother.

What Christ established on this earth was PURE & SIMPLE;  childlike you could easily say.  Without artifice, pomp and splendor, money, politics, theological prowess,  the very dynamics the Romans and Greeks used to exalt themselves above other nations.

Man has done with God's gift of the Faith, as he has done with the pristine purity of the Earth.  

Christ is coming to judge the institutions that have brutalized the innocent and shut up the gates of Heaven, to prevent them from entering in.

Personally,  I wouldn't want to be in any camp He is about to judge.
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« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2006, 04:26:07 PM »

We Orthodox CANNOT and WILL NOT follow down Rome's heretical path.  Quote from PetertheAluet #63

You're not getting it yet brother.

What Christ established on this earth was PURE & SIMPLE;  childlike you could easily say.  Without artifice, pomp and splendor, money, politics, theological prowess,  the very dynamics the Romans and Greeks used to exalt themselves above other nations.

Man has done with God's gift of the Faith, as he has done with the pristine purity of the Earth.  

Christ is coming to judge the institutions that have brutalized the innocent and shut up the gates of Heaven, to prevent them from entering in.

Personally,  I wouldn't want to be in any camp He is about to judge.

All I can say is that your opinion is part of a rather recent phenomenon that has no support in either traditional Catholicism or traditional Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2006, 04:27:26 PM »

We Orthodox CANNOT and WILL NOT follow down Rome's heretical path.  Quote from PetertheAluet #63

You're not getting it yet brother.

What Christ established on this earth was PURE & SIMPLE;  childlike you could easily say.  Without artifice, pomp and splendor, money, politics, theological prowess,  the very dynamics the Romans and Greeks used to exalt themselves above other nations.

Man has done with God's gift of the Faith, as he has done with the pristine purity of the Earth. ÂÂ

Christ is coming to judge the institutions that have brutalized the innocent and shut up the gates of Heaven, to prevent them from entering in.

Personally,  I wouldn't want to be in any camp He is about to judge.

That's an interesting, if unpopular, position to take.
 Grin
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« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2006, 04:30:42 PM »

I appreciate your sentiment, but I disagree with it.  The theologies that divide RC's from the Church are indeed important issues that shape how RC's and the Church view the very essence of God and of salvation.  Preaching the right doctrine is vital to bringing people to salvation, otherwise the mercy and charity that you preach would be nothing more than social work that any charitable organization can perform.  I don't mean that we should not seek to feed the poor, or clothe the naked, or comfort the grieving, because Christ does indeed command us to do all these things.  I'm just saying that we should not abandon correct doctrine and correct worship for the sake of fulfilling our charitable responsibilities, as many so-called Christians actually encourage.

If the Orthodox and Catholic communions were merely two estranged branches of the One, Holy, Catholic Church as you express, then yes, our division over doctrinal issues would be petty and scandalous.  However, the Orthodox together with the Holy Fathers have always asserted that the Roman church deviated from doctrines that are of the core essence of the Apostolic Faith, and that this deviation marks the RC church as truly a heretic body.  Seeing the RC church in this way, the Orthodox CANNOT recognize the RC church as being part of the One Church of Christ, because the Church cannot be divided.  We can only recognize that the RC church is outside the Church of Christ because of her heresies.

I guess you can go ahead and call this argument over issues of manmade theologies, but we Orthodox would say that the REAL issue is Rome's departure from the Faith given us by Christ and His Holy Apostles.  We Orthodox CANNOT and WILL NOT follow down Rome's heretical path.


(tag on thought added after initial post)
Your least-common-denominator approach to union that dismisses our core theological differences is actually quite disrespectful to the staunch adherents of both the RC and EO traditions who each consider their differing theologies to be of central importance to how Christians are to understand salvation.  Are we to tell our most devoutly committed RC counterparts that their theological concerns are unimportant?  RC's have just as much reason to consider this attitude rude as do the Orthodox.

It seems that the division itself is more important to you then what the division might be about.
I find that very sad but unsurprising.
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« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2006, 04:43:01 PM »

Be watchful and strengthen what is left, which is going to die,
 for God has not found your works complete.
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« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2006, 04:47:58 PM »

Be watchful and strengthen what is left, which is going to die,
 for God has not found your works complete.

You have been weigh in the Balence and found wonting?
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« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2006, 05:38:24 PM »

It seems that the division itself is more important to you then what the division might be about.
I find that very sad but unsurprising.


No, this is not what I had hoped to communicate.  I am committed to Truth, the fullness of which I find in Orthodoxy alone.  Frankly, our division saddens me, and I long for the day when the RC church and the Orthodox Church will be united again.  I am committed to doing what I can now by the grace of God to bring this about.  However, I do not believe that union can ever come about by us just ignoring our major theological differences and pursuing a union based on lowest-common-denominator relativism and/or the embrace of heresy.  This is really not respectful to either your tradition or mine.
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« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2006, 09:39:14 PM »

I would be crassly irresponsible to engage you and other RC's in dialog with the goal of lowest-common-denominator ecumenism that seeks to whitewash our differences and make them appear as if they don't exist.
Quote from Peter the Aluet

The issue is not whitewash.  The issue is scandalous division and immobilization of the Holy Spirit.  

It has been most painful for me to learn  how to work side by side with a devout protestant even though their denial of the role of Theotokos is a throbbing pain in my heart.  Someday they will know the truth.  It is after all a grace from God to see truth.  Man cannot discern truth apart from God.

When working with divisive elements who have been given and have received and are working with, the part of the truth entrusted to them,  I am a Mother to them,  not a victim of their deceptions and ignorance, rather a Mother.

They cannot see beyond the borders of their  sandbox.  The graces I must ask to be released on my behalf are patience, forbearance, wisdom and charity,  as we are both trying to exercise.  

But  if it should happen that you or I do have more of the truth because it has been given from above, then also with this comes the solemn responsibility to pray for their enlightenment, to do everything in our power not to turn them away.

Remember, it was not the prostitute that received the chastisement, but the Pharisee.  It was not the ignorant publican that went away unjustified, but the self righteous religious leader.   He was so bent on being correct that he completely missed the opportunity for repentance and grace.

When we show love and mercy, and the fruits of the Holy Spirit, we give grace time to work in those who are obstinate or blind, we endear ourselves to Almighty God, because we are laboring in union with His Heart, we prove to Him that we can be trusted with His graces.

 Maintaining this position of charity is a work of grace we cannot do on our own, but in time the truth will be revealed and it will be by our loving example that they will be drawn to the truth.   And we will not be a stumbling block by self righteous, hard hearted attitudes which will only drive them away.  I speak from experience.  Never should I create an environment of enmity and division that causes the little ones we are sent to serve, to be scandalized.  

What I am saying is that institutional churches even His churches have made a fine art out of straining at gnats and swallowing camels.

And He is coming to remove the corrupted part of both Catholic and Orthodox institutions, that what is left will be, One heart, One body, One mind with Him.

He who is the Eternal One and perfect in all His ways, will bring to perfection all who are willing.  

Are we willing?
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« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2006, 09:56:36 PM »

Here is a classic example,  we are arguing over which part of the egg has precedence  over the other part of the egg.  Which part comes first, or directs the parts of the others?  Have you ever watched an egg develop?  All parts are there developing together.  Why are we spending so much time on this?  And this little dialogue is not even the tip of the iceberg, but merely a droplet in an ocean of theological debate going on right this minute all over the world!!!
Excepting that you have said that one part of the egg is dependant upon the other two parts
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« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2006, 10:08:17 PM »

Excepting that you have said that one part of the egg is dependant upon the other two partsquoting montalban



Was that a tasty gnat Brother?
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« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2006, 10:40:26 PM »

The issue is not whitewash.
Actually, to most Orthodox and traditionalist Catholics, much of what passes for ecumenical dialogue today is indeed an attempt to whitewash our differences.  

Quote
The issue is scandalous division and immobilization of the Holy Spirit.
Now, what makes you qualified to know the working of the Holy Spirit where the Orthodox Church somehow does not?

Quote
It has been most painful for me to learn  how to work side by side with a devout protestant even though their denial of the role of Theotokos is a throbbing pain in my heart.  Someday they will know the truth.  It is after all a grace from God to see truth.  Man cannot discern truth apart from God.
AMEN!

Quote
When working with divisive elements who have been given and have received and are working with, the part of the truth entrusted to them,  I am a Mother to them,  not a victim of their deceptions and ignorance, rather a Mother.

They cannot see beyond the borders of their  sandbox.  The graces I must ask to be released on my behalf are patience, forbearance, wisdom and charity,  as we are both trying to exercise.  

But  if it should happen that you or I do have more of the truth because it has been given from above, then also with this comes the solemn responsibility to pray for their enlightenment, to do everything in our power not to turn them away.

Remember, it was not the prostitute that received the chastisement, but the Pharisee.  It was not the ignorant publican that went away unjustified, but the self righteous religious leader.   He was so bent on being correct that he completely missed the opportunity for repentance and grace.

When we show love and mercy, and the fruits of the Holy Spirit, we give grace time to work in those who are obstinate or blind, we endear ourselves to Almighty God, because we are laboring in union with His Heart, we prove to Him that we can be trusted with His graces.

 Maintaining this position of charity is a work of grace we cannot do on our own, but in time the truth will be revealed and it will be by our loving example that they will be drawn to the truth.   And we will not be a stumbling block by self righteous, hard hearted attitudes which will only drive them away.  I speak from experience.  Never should I create an environment of enmity and division that causes the little ones we are sent to serve, to be scandalized.  

What I am saying is that institutional churches even His churches have made a fine art out of straining at gnats and swallowing camels.
Yes, I agree that this is true.  Pharisaism is a very common temptation, and, sadly, I have seen much of it in the Protestantism I left and the Orthodoxy I joined.  I've even succumbed to this temptation at times.

Quote
And He is coming to remove the corrupted part of both Catholic and Orthodox institutions, that what is left will be, One heart, One body, One mind with Him.

He who is the Eternal One and perfect in all His ways, will bring to perfection all who are willing.  

Are we willing?
Many outside of the Orthodox Church will be saved, and many within the Orthodox Church will be condemned.

The one contention with which I disagree, though, is your apparent contention that all polemic debate of theologically divisive issues is automatically uncharitable straining after gnats.  We Orthodox believe--and I'm sure that many traditionalist Catholics believe the same--that one of the most charitable things we can do in dialog with the other side is to preach that our Church is the One Church that Christ established for our salvation and that it is necessary for our salvation to abandon our heresies and be reunited with this One true Church of Christ.  (Your belief that the Church is some mystical body that includes in some invisible way the faithful of the RC Church together with the faithful of the Orthodox Church is consistent with neither traditional Catholic nor Orthodox understanding of the Church.)

I'm absolutely certain that apologists on both sides will preach this fundamental teaching with total humility and love, for in so doing they will be obeying the Great Commission to preach what they believe is the very Gospel of Jesus Christ.  When I dialog with a Catholic who seeks to preach that I must become Catholic to enter into the fullness of the Way to salvation, I'm actually filled with joy that he loves me enough to do this, even though I disagree with him and am equally prepared to reciprocate the same preaching to him.  (I actually lived with a Catholic housemate with whom I had this kind of loving friendship.  We each preached to each other the truth of our churches and sometimes fell to the temptation to argue with each other, but we each respected what truth we saw in the other's tradition.)  This is the interfaith dialog that I call true ecumenism.
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« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2006, 12:19:56 AM »

Actually, to most Orthodox and traditionalist Catholics, much of what passes for ecumenical dialogue today is indeed an attempt to whitewash our differences.
 

What you say may be true, but I am not referring to ecumenical dialogue, I am speaking about institutionalised  theology that limits the ability of the Holy Spirit to bring all men to a knowledge of God,  it upholds its version of the Letter of the Law alright, and expects that on that day it will receive a round of applause from the Heavenly court for every time it set things straight, even when it did violence to innocent souls of a different understanding,  sending them away from religion and institution alike.  

This plague is in every church - Pentacostal, Assemblies of God,
Non-Denominational, this is not about Orthodoxy or Catholicism,  its about institutions that brutalize tender souls.

When a baby is just beginning to walk, and heading to the nearest coffee table for stability,  you encourage what is good and praise him.  You don't expect him to stand up and walk confidently into the middle of an empty room.  

I have observed that some of you on this forum are so set in your religious perspective that you cannot recognize the influence of the Holy Spirit on a soul when they are very tender and ignorant, or struggling within themselves to understand the plethora of religious doctrines they have encountered in their spiritual journey.  

Conversion is the work of the Holy Spirit.  He alone knows the true interior of souls and what path they must walk to reach the truth. You would like to show them right away.  God, a tender Father, sees that their hearts are not as yet ready for this, and so He waits and brings them around according to the level of their cooperation.   Along comes a strong, convincing personality,  with sharp criticisms about a direction they were moving in.   They are confused, shamed and withdraw.

There are former protestants on this forum that know exactly what I'm talking about.  And I myself had to go through many metamorphosis's to come to this understanding.

Now, what makes you qualified to know the working of the Holy Spirit where the Orthodox Church somehow does not?

God forgive you brother, I am an ordained Deaconess married to a Bishop.  I did not see fit to put myself in this position, knowing fully my unworthiness,  it was given me by God.  But I must add, that every one of us, no matter what their position in the Church, have the solemn obligation to cultivate an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit, and understand exactly what He is doing in their church.  And I never said that the Orthodox Church somehow does not,  the true Orthodox  Church knows exactly what He is up to.

St. Seraphim himself said, that the goal of the Christian life is the acquisition of the Holy Spirit.  If you are not passionately persuing this goal, you might want to step back and take another look at your direction.

Yes, I agree that this is true.  Pharisaism is a very common temptation, and, sadly, I have seen much of it in the Protestantism I left and the Orthodoxy I joined.  I've even succumbed to this temptation at times.

Let us pray for one another is this regard.

Many outside of the Orthodox Church will be saved, and many within the Orthodox Church will be condemned.

And the Lord does not leave us in the dark about how He will separate the sheep from the goats.  Let us strive to do good while there is still time.


The one contention with which I disagree, though, is your apparent contention that all polemic debate of theologically divisive issues is automatically uncharitable straining after gnats.  We Orthodox believe--and I'm sure that many traditionalist Catholics believe the same--that one of the most charitable things we can do in dialog with the other side is to preach that our Church is the One Church that Christ established for our salvation and that it is necessary for our salvation to abandon our heresies and be reunited with this One true Church of Christ.  (Your belief that the Church is some mystical body that includes in some invisible way the faithful of the RC Church together with the faithful of the Orthodox Church is consistent with neither traditional Catholic nor Orthodox understanding of the Church.)

You are in error about the Mystical Body of Christ.  Consider that the standard for confessing Christ and being a Christian is the Nicene Creed, and Baptism.  But even beyond that, "Who has known the Mind of God that he may counsel Him?" The Ethiopian Eunuch had a heart disposed to receive the truth, was he a Christian before God, before or after Baptism?

It is certainly a tragedy that they are missing the other empowering Sacraments and profound truths of our faith,  but that does not make them eligible for a brow beating or exclusion.   All who are Christian confess these truths.  Do we want to be in the same camp of those who lay up heavy burdens on the backs of Believers and refuse to lift a finger to help them?

We will not bring fellow Christians to the truth by these methods which are contrary to the ways of the Holy Spirit.  The far less glorious way, the harder way, and the most effective way,  is through prayer and fasting, that Almighty God may grant them the grace of conversion. It must come from conviction, from the inside out.

In the meantime,  there is a concern here for a "love of debate." It can become a lustful and worldly preoccupation leading us away from "love of God and neighbor."

We each preached to each other the truth of our churches and sometimes fell to the temptation to argue with each other, but we each respected what truth we saw in the other's tradition.)  This is the interfaith dialog that I call true ecumenism.  


I would agree that your dialogue with your brother was true ecumenism.  But what fruit did it produce?   Did he convert?   And after these sessions, did you feel humble and little,  or justified and self righteous?  Did your example cause him to love Christ and neighbor with greater zeal?   Or love the rush of a good debate.  What was the fruit?  

To quote St. Seraphim, "Teaching is like throwing stones down from the bellfry.  Whereas living it is like carrying the stones up to the bellfry."

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« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2006, 12:37:53 AM »

Now, what makes you qualified to know the working of the Holy Spirit where the Orthodox Church somehow does not?
God forgive you brother, I am an ordained Deaconess married to a Bishop.
Please forgive the uncharitable tone of what I am about to say.  You are arguing with the wrong person on the wrong forum.  For one, if you are married to a Bishop, then you are most clearly a member of an assembly that is most definitely NOT Orthodox and CANNOT be considered to be even remotely authoritative in the Orthodox Church.  In other words, I see no reason to continue this argument.
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« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2006, 12:52:13 AM »

Mother Anastasia,

May I ask who this bishop is?
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« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2006, 01:08:09 AM »

[quote author=PeterTheAleut link=topic=8922.msg118781#msg118781
Please forgive the uncharitable tone of what I am about to say.  You are arguing with the wrong person on the wrong forum.  For one, if you are married to a Bishop, then you are most clearly a member of an assembly that is most definitely NOT Orthodox and CANNOT be considered to be even remotely authoritative in the Orthodox Church.  In other words, I see no reason to continue this argument.
[/quote]

Does this seem so impossible to you from your religious perspective?

Was Peter married?   We were married before he was appointed a Bishop, living eremetical lives and supporting a house of prayer and skete.  And God saw fit to do this thing, with all rights of Apostolic Succession.   So would you stutter and stammer and call this unclean?  

Be careful brother, that you do not enter into presumption and call unholy
what God has made holy.  And as to our faith, clearly, we are pre-schism Orthodox.  Is this forum closed to our faith?
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« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2006, 07:35:11 AM »

{ASIDE - not relevant to the topic of the thread, but this post needs to be responded to}
(I will use "you" and "your" in the following discussion only in reference to the "church" that Mother Anastasia belongs to, not referring to her personally in any way)

Was Peter married?   We were married before he was appointed a Bishop, living eremetical lives and supporting a house of prayer and skete.  And God saw fit to do this thing, with all rights of Apostolic Succession.   So would you stutter and stammer and call this unclean?  

Whether or not Peter was married is moot in a discussion like this.  Saying that because Peter was married any bishop can be married denies the work of the Spirit in the Church, and the historical catholicity of the Church.  It was a pre-schism Ecumenical Decision to end the married episcopacy (only celibates, widowers, or men whose wives are away in monasteries for the rest of their lives).  So, as a member of a "pre-schism" Church, you are bound by this decree of the Synod until another Ecumenical Synod comes around to make it moot.  As for Apostolic Succession, it is not some mystical grace passed from one Bishop to another, but is rather a) a continuation of the teaching kerygma and administrative unity of the Apostles as passed from one generation to the Other (the individualistic aspect), and b) the solemn seal that the community and bishop together are in the spirit and teaching of the Apostolic Church, which is the Orthodox Church.  Since your group clearly does not fall into the group of point (b) since you have disregarded a valid and quite active decree of an Ecumenical Synod, then your qualifications under point (a) are useless.

If one is going to participate in an Orthodox board online of all places (not like there are non-online Orthodox boards), then one must be prepared, I hate to say it, to defend the Orthodoxy of their church, especially if the historical record questions their apostolicity or "orthodoxy."

{/ASIDE}
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« Reply #19 on: May 03, 2006, 07:46:03 AM »

{ASIDE cont...}
We were married before he was appointed a Bishop, living eremetical lives and supporting a house of prayer and skete.  And God saw fit to do this thing, with all rights of Apostolic Succession.   So would you stutter and stammer and call this unclean?  

Be careful brother, that you do not enter into presumption and call unholy
what God has made holy.  And as to our faith, clearly, we are pre-schism Orthodox.  Is this forum closed to our faith?
I don't believe anyone is calling you or anyone else unholy but there is shock based on your revelation. There is a saying that it is hard to see who is in the Church but very easy to see who is not in the Church. Here is have been talking about people trying to reduce things down to common denominators but yet you are part of a group that does that with Orthodoxy and yet is not Orthodox.

How do I know your group is not part of the Church? While you may call yourself Orthodox and claim Apostolic Succession this does not make one Orthodox, history has shown many Bishops have fallen away from the Church. What tells me that you are not an Orthodox group is first, that you are a Deaconess and yet you are married. The female Deaconate is a role that has been fulfilled by either monastic or widowed women who have reach an advanced age. I will not question your age but your claim of marriage makes the monastic or widowed part impossible. The second tell tale sign your group is not within the Church is that your husband is a Bishop. While historically there was a married episcopate there is not one now. I belong to a group where there are people (including some Bishops) who wish to open the discussion on if a married Episcopate could be brought back. Part of the discussion is that there does not seem to be any Theological problem with this but more of a practical problem. One of the key practical problems is that any group who would do this would fall into schism with the rest of the Church because the whole Church is not ready for this.

So please do not preach down to people about straining the gnats when you yourself have a camel sitting on you. Remove the log from your own eye before you try and remove the splinter from your brother.

You and your group are of course welcome to discuss topics on this board but represent yourself for who you are.
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« Reply #20 on: May 03, 2006, 12:49:17 PM »

Does this seem so impossible to you from your religious perspective?

Was Peter married? ÂÂ  We were married before he was appointed a Bishop, living eremetical lives and supporting a house of prayer and skete. ÂÂ And God saw fit to do this thing, with all rights of Apostolic Succession. ÂÂ  So would you stutter and stammer and call this unclean? ÂÂ

Be careful brother, that you do not enter into presumption and call unholy
what God has made holy.  And as to our faith, clearly, we are pre-schism Orthodox.  Is this forum closed to our faith?

We all must be reasonable here. Surely, any given person is entitled, according to the laws of the United States, to CLAIM they are a representative or clergyperson of any religious group they may care to imagine.

In fact, I could become an "Orthodox" Bishop with a theological "doctorate" in only a matter of hours, were I willing to fill out various online applications and, of course, pay an "appropriate" fee for such recognition from His Eminence The Metropolitan/Archbishop Dr. Chief Alexander Swift Eagle Justice, D.D., Ph.D., J.D. -Theologian, Academician, Metropolitan/Archbishop and Member of the Imperial Holy Orthodox Synod of the Holy Orthodox Church of All Russia and Appointed Chief Patriarch for United States of America - California, Mexico and for ALL Latin American Countries, Metropolitan/Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Native Americans and President of the College of Bishops of the Mexican National Catholic Church, Metropolitan/Archbishop of the Holy Orthodox Native American Catholic Archdiocese and Chief Patriarch of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Holy Orthodox Native American Catholic Church, Bishop of The National Pentecostal Overcoming Churches of the World Inc., whose Web site can be found here: http://www.education-1.net/chancellor.htm

HOWEVER, my CLAIM to such an office and such a Church would be a matter of SELF-DEFINITION. The question becomes, especially in a forum such as this, WHO ELSE EXACTLY recognizes such claims? Does the current Roman Catholic Pope of Rome? Does the current Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople? Does any Synod who is in communion with said Patriarch recognize my organization, ordination, et al.? Does the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria do so? And so on...

Hence, the honesty issue. One may claim anything. One has a legal right to self-definition. But one must also realize that other people have the same right, and definition often involves exclusion. I listed recognized Bishops of three major Christian communions: Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Coptic/Non-Chalcedonian Orthodox. All three types of Bishops, and their communicants, CLAIM they are members of the True Vine of Christ, but they should -- and do -- have the common courtesy and good sense to self-identify in a way that honestly accounts for the fact that they are still distinct from each other...

One should be forthcoming and clear about which Synod of Bishops one has submitted to.
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« Reply #21 on: May 03, 2006, 04:42:32 PM »

So, as a member of a "pre-schism" Church, you are bound by this decree of the Synod until another Ecumenical Synod comes around to make it moot.  As for Apostolic Succession, .....  Since your group clearly does not fall into the group of point (b) since you have disregarded a valid and quite active decree of an Ecumenical Synod, then your qualifications under point (a) are useless

For someone so difinitively knowledgeable....how could you be missing a few of these facts?

The Apostolic Canons, which follow Holy Scriptures, accept married Bishops. The local anti-mission council of Trullo (also called the Quinisext council) which opposed married Bishops was unratified at the time of the Great Schism of 1054. The Undivided Church rejected the idea of requiring all churches to elect only monks as Bishops. The only canons of Trullo which have ecumenical status are Canon 73 and 82 because they were the only canons read into the record of the Seventh Ecumenical Council. The Seventh Ecumenical Council resisted wholesale written approval of Trullo, and Trullo is not listed among the Councils accepted by the Seventh Ecumenical Council. One reason Trullo may have been rejected is that it states that valid Baptisms must be performed only in properly constructed church buildings. That is incorrect Sacramental Theology which would invalidate Baptisms by missionaries, or Baptisms in churches which are under persecution by the "State."

The Eastern custom of limiting candidacy for the office of Bishop to celibate clergy is only that: a custom like that of total clerical celibacy among the modern Roman Catholics. On that basis is it acceptable practice to require that Bishops in the Eastern churches be celibate. However, the claim that a married man cannot be Consecrated a Bishop is erroneous Sacramental Theology. It is a denial of the Holy Orders of present day Bishops because they are derived from the married Apostles and married Bishops of the early years of the Church. It is also a claim that what was once a valid practice of the Church is now heterodox. It is a claim that the fashion of the times and ethnic custom are the arbiters of what is proper in the Church. That is schismatic thinking. The fact that the local council which tried to impose this custom was itself rejected indicates the problematical nature of this question.

The case for married Bishops has Orthodox precedents. After all, eleven of the men that Christ chose as Apostles were married and many of the Bishops of the early Church were married. [St. Matthew 8:14.]
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« Reply #22 on: May 03, 2006, 05:02:33 PM »

We all must be reasonable here.

I would agree with that.  Just to clarify matters, Bishop Athanasius was chosen by his ArchBishop to be consecrated.  He did not commit the sin of Simony, buying his consecration. I hope I have made myself clear.

Second of all,  he is an Autocephalous Bishop who you will find listed in the next edition of Karl Pruger's Directory of Autocephalous Bishops of the Apostolic Succession.  He has both Western Rite Orthodox and Latin Rite, Utrecht Succession faculties.

The fact that he is not a member of YOUR particular religious institution,  does not make him unqualified, invalid, or lesser than any of your Bishops in the eyes of Almighty God.  The fact is, he was called by God,  whom You don't seem to recognize as the legitimate Authority of the Church.  Was not Paul an Apostle before he was recognized by Peter?

This is my problem with your thinking.  

You think as man thinks.

You think as Tradition thinks.

You think as the Greek Church thinks.  

You think as the Russian Church thinks.  

When will you start thinking as God thinks?

Don't you see that in your attempt to oppose and discredit the RCC and other branches of Orthodoxy,  you have become even worse in your arrogance?

When one worships God, living his true purpose, to know, to love, and to serve God,  one becomes like Him in His thinking.  

If I were a non believer coming into this forum, I would have to conclude that the purpose of life for many here is to know, to love, and to serve Tradition.


Strengthen what remains Brothers.

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« Reply #23 on: May 03, 2006, 05:39:59 PM »

I would agree with that.  Just to clarify matters, Bishop Athanasius was chosen by his ArchBishop to be consecrated.  He did not commit the sin of Simony, buying his consecration. I hope I have made myself clear.

Second of all,  he is an Autocephalous Bishop who you will find listed in the next edition of Karl Pruger's Directory of Autocephalous Bishops of the Apostolic Succession.  He has both Western Rite Orthodox and Latin Rite, Utrecht Succession faculties.

The fact that he is not a member of YOUR particular religious institution,  does not make him unqualified, invalid, or lesser than any of your Bishops in the eyes of Almighty God.  The fact is, he was called by God,  whom You don't seem to recognize as the legitimate Authority of the Church.  Was not Paul an Apostle before he was recognized by Peter?
No Canonical Orthodox Bishop on the planet recognizes your Bishop.  That's how we know.  Sorry, but that is the truth.

When will you start thinking as God thinks?
And how do we you know that you do?  I know that I sure as heck don't - much to my dismay.
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« Reply #24 on: May 03, 2006, 05:56:23 PM »

I would agree with that.  Just to clarify matters, Bishop Athanasius was chosen by his ArchBishop to be consecrated.  He did not commit the sin of Simony, buying his consecration. I hope I have made myself clear.

Second of all,  he is an Autocephalous Bishop who you will find listed in the next edition of Karl Pruger's Directory of Autocephalous Bishops of the Apostolic Succession.  He has both Western Rite Orthodox and Latin Rite, Utrecht Succession faculties.

The fact that he is not a member of YOUR particular religious institution,  does not make him unqualified, invalid, or lesser than any of your Bishops in the eyes of Almighty God.  The fact is, he was called by God,  whom You don't seem to recognize as the legitimate Authority of the Church.  Was not Paul an Apostle before he was recognized by Peter?

This is my problem with your thinking.  

You think as man thinks.

You think as Tradition thinks.

You think as the Greek Church thinks.  

You think as the Russian Church thinks.  

When will you start thinking as God thinks?

Don't you see that in your attempt to oppose and discredit the RCC and other branches of Orthodoxy,  you have become even worse in your arrogance?

When one worships God, living his true purpose, to know, to love, and to serve God,  one becomes like Him in His thinking.  

If I were a non believer coming into this forum, I would have to conclude that the purpose of life for many here is to know, to love, and to serve Tradition.


Strengthen what remains Brothers.



How dare you lecture anyone here about "true" Orthodoxy.  You are in a state of delusion and great pride and are CLEARLY vagante and NOT Orthodox.  I hope the moderators kick you off this forum.
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« Reply #25 on: May 03, 2006, 06:07:18 PM »

Thank you Mother Anastasia for being a generous, reasonable, and constructive contributor to this thread. I hope you do not desist now.

She's done nothing but continuously pass judgment upon every Orthodox poster in this thread, insinuated that she is holier than all others here, and claimed to know the mind of the Holy Spirit.  Is that what passes for "generous, reasonable, and constructive" contributions in Rome's eyes?
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« Reply #26 on: May 03, 2006, 06:10:30 PM »

No Canonical Orthodox Bishop on the planet recognizes your Bishop.  

Everyone simply claims the fulness of canonicity for his own position and, in the name of it, condemns and denounces as uncanonical the ecclesiastical status of others.

real motivations ..... have seldom anything to do with canonical convictions; what matters is victory. We live in the poisoned atmosphere of anathemas and excommunications, court cases and litigations, dubious consecrations of dubious bishops, hatred, calumny, lies! But do we think about the irreparable moral damage all this inflicts to our people?

We teach our children to be "proud" of Orthodoxy, we constantly congratulate ourselves about all kinds of historic events and achievements, our church publications distill an almost unbearable triumphalism and optimism, yet, if we were true to the spirit of our faith we ought to repent in "sackcloth and ashes," we ought to cry day and night about the sad, the tragical state of our Church. If "canonicity" is anything but a pharisaic and legalistic self-righteousness, if it has anything to do with the spirit of Christ and the tradition of His Body, the Church, we must openly proclaim that the situation in which we all live is utterly uncanonical regardless of all the justifications and sanctions that every one finds for his "position." For nothing can justify the bare fact: Our Church is divided.


Taken from "Problems of Orthodoxy in America" by Father Alexamder Schmenmann, OCA



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« Reply #27 on: May 03, 2006, 06:26:43 PM »

are CLEARLY vagante and NOT Orthodox.  

The actual word "Vagante" actually means, "A vagrant bishop without a See or diocese", etc.  And this came about in centuries past (before electricity, during the age of candle use for lighting, because of wars which caused for bishops to travel outside of their geographical areas as the war from invasions impacted the religious praxis and beliefs of the people by forced conversion or death to unchristian religions).

Later, after the United States of America was formed, the Roman Catholic Church, The Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox and others did much the same by coming to the shores of the U.S.A. and started their own diocese in much the same manner.  Even in these times, we see this happening by the Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, and other Churches.

 Yet, as with everything, while much good has come out of such vagante Episcopi, so it happens in that which is called the "Autocephalous" and "Independent Movement" groups who are not under the control of the Roman Pope or any one of the other Patriarchates, good and bad does follow too, no differently than in the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches.

The larger mega-churches such as those who belong to either the Vatican based Roman Church, or one of the Patriarchates; would have you believe that unless you belong to either one of the two Jurisdictions, you are not in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of truth.  This is unkind and not true whatsoever.  There are articles on this website which prove this point


http://www.apostle1.com/Vagante1.htm

The Roman Catholic Church and some of the Eastern Orthodox Churches take an arrogant, often elitist approach in which they do not necessarily believe that the Church is large enough to accommodate various philosophies, and even theologies, that are not diametrically opposed to the faith and morals taught by the Apostolic Church, forcing their own by actions of intimidation, and often through newsletters or notices to the faithful with untruthful claims and inaccurate statements about those not under them or one of the primary Patriarchs directly.




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« Reply #28 on: May 03, 2006, 07:05:45 PM »

Mother Anastasia,

Revieiwing your posts on this thread:
  • You admit your membership of a "pre-schism Orthodox" jurisdiction.
  • The faith of your institution you proclaim to be the true faith.  How else do you justify talking down to us and telling us we're wrong so consistently?
  • You feel it necessary to proselytize us away from our belief system, essentially labeling us as heretics.

Does the above NOT describe the very practice for which you judge us?  I'm afraid that in pointing your finger at us, you're only pointing three fingers back at yourself.
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« Reply #29 on: May 03, 2006, 07:14:48 PM »

Well, that is an interesting responce.  Roll Eyes

Well, one could describe your decision to call Mother Anastasia's contempt towards Orthodox "generous, reasonable, and constructive" as interesting, too.
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« Reply #30 on: May 03, 2006, 07:17:49 PM »

Thank you Mother Anastasia for being a generous, reasonable, and constructive contributor to this thread. I hope you do not desist now.

Peace be with you.  Kiss

you've got to be kidding  Undecided ...right?
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« Reply #31 on: May 03, 2006, 07:25:51 PM »

What is your problem?
Someone is nice to someone who isn't Orthodox and you have a problem with that?
Someone says Christian non-judgmental things and you have a problem?
Someone reminds you about not being judgmental and exclusionary for the sake of it and you have a problem?

What on earth is going on here?
I always seem to get this from Orthodox people on the net. Why?
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« Reply #32 on: May 03, 2006, 07:32:30 PM »

Mother Anastasia,

Quote
Was not Paul an Apostle before he was recognized by Peter?

Supposing that we are going according to the historical accounts in the New Testament...in a sense yes and in a sense no. Obviously he was "hand picked" and converted by God, unlike almost all other Christians. He was supposedly taught the Gospel directly from God, and at first did not go to the established Church (Gal. 1:12-17). However, even in his conversion story the Church is involved, because it was a member of the established Church who healed his blindness, and then baptized him (Acts 9:1-18). Following this, he spent time with the Christians who were in Damascus (Acts 9:19). When he went to Jerusalem a short time later, he again "joined himself to the disciples" (Acts 9:26-28). Then, fourteen years later, God told Paul to go to the Apostles and tell them what he had been preaching (Gal. 2:1-3; cf Acts 15 and 21).

Why? If the Gospel of Paul was directly from God, why did he have to tell the leaders in Jerusalem anything?  The answer is that he did not have to defend God or God's revelation, but rather that he had to demonstrate that what he was preaching was God's teaching. Likewise, surely God can speak through your husband, I don't think anyone here denies that. However, if he makes a claim to some position within the Church, or some authority, or revelation, then he has to expect that other Christians will test his beliefs. And this test will not be based on things like "God called me" (a claim anyone can make, but no one can prove), but will be based on things like doctrinal belief, orthodox practice, etc.
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« Reply #33 on: May 03, 2006, 07:36:58 PM »

What is your problem?

My problem is that someone comes here, begins judging and condemning the Orthodox posters in this thread, and you applaud it and hold it up as a good thing.  
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« Reply #34 on: May 03, 2006, 07:53:00 PM »

     The faith of your institution you proclaim to be the true faith.  How else do you justify talking down to us and telling us we're wrong so consistently?[/li
    • You feel it necessary to proselytize us away from our belief system, essentially labeling us as heretics.
    Quote




    "According to the grace of God given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it.


    But each one must be careful how he builds upon it, for no one can lay a foundation other than the one that is there, namely, Jesus Christ." I Corinthians, 3

    There is an absolute necessity for tradition.  But it should never become an end in itself.  There are parts of our belief system, when not exercised with Godly discretion, that can do violence to the Gospel and to the heart of the law.  When this happens we stand in opposition to God Himself, and are actively destroying what He is actively recreating.  

    "Brothers, I could not talk to you as spiritual people, but as fleshly people, as infants in Christ, fed you milk, not solid food, because you were unable to take it.  Indeed, you are not able, even now, for you are still of the flesh.  While there is jealousy and rivalry among you,are you not of the flesh and behaving in an ordinary human way?  Whenever someone says, "I belong to Paul,"  and another, "I belong to Apollos," are you not merely human? "  

    "For it has been reported to me about you, my brothers....that there are rivalries among you.

    "I mean that each of you is saying, "I belong to Paul," or "I belong to Apollos," or "I belong to Kephas," or I belong to Christ.

    Is Christ divided?  Was Paul crucified for you?  Or were you Baptized in the name of Paul?  

    "I urge you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose."


    May we of the Faith, learn to live on this earth, as the angels and saints are now living in Heaven.[/list]
    « Last Edit: May 03, 2006, 07:54:35 PM by Mother Anastasia » Logged

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    « Reply #35 on: May 03, 2006, 08:19:23 PM »

    Mother Anastasia,

     And this test will not be based on things like "God called me" (a claim anyone can make, but no one can prove), but will be based on things like doctrinal belief, orthodox practice, etc.

    What I was simply stating is that he never went out looking for someone to consecrate him.  He was already a priest and his Archbishop approached him about consecration.  After prayer and discernment,  he accepted.  Everything happened in a very orderly manner, according to OUR rite.   I cannot help it that OTHER rites do not recognize his
    legitimacy.  He was simply responding to what he perceived to be God's call, to him.

    Perhaps it would be helpful, for you to look at this page on our site:http://www.ourladylightofthewoods.org/holy_signs.php  to better understand our discernment process.

    If there is to be true unity between rites there needs to be more discernment and less knee jerk reaction.  More time spent before God in honest prayer, and being filled with love for oneanother, and less time in books trying to find more ways to divide.

    Understand that we may be newly Orthodox (officially),  but we are not new in the Sacramental Church, nor are we new to the Christian Faith.  Our mission is to strengthen what is alive, and  born of the Holy Spirit in the Sacramental Faith of the Apostles and to encourage Orthodox and Latin as well to make good use of the graces shed in both.  If others follow this example, true and uncompromising unity will not be far behind.

     
    « Last Edit: May 03, 2006, 08:20:16 PM by Mother Anastasia » Logged

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    « Reply #36 on: May 03, 2006, 08:30:22 PM »

    Mother Anastasia,

    When he went to Jerusalem a short time later, he again "joined himself to the disciples" (Acts 9:26-28).

    Brother, there is nothing we would like better than to do exactly that.

    The problem is that we cannot possibly join ourselves to those who are full of rancor, bitterness  and division. We have looked, and looked, and looked.  As well as weeping many tears.  

    Until the Almighty has mercy on us and brings us someone we can trust, someone whose fruits are of the Holy Spirit,  from his heart  to the outer parts of his institution, until such a one is sent to us by God, we have only the Saints and the angels and the Father's comforting shoulder to rest our heads upon.



    « Last Edit: May 03, 2006, 08:32:40 PM by Mother Anastasia » Logged

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    « Reply #37 on: May 03, 2006, 09:37:39 PM »

    A vagante simply put is a clergyman who claims apostolic succession but doesn't belong to a real church as that's commonly understood. (Not Eastern Orthodox, not Oriental, not Assyrian, not Roman Catholic, not Anglican, not Utrecht-communion Old Catholic - except one church in Canada there are none of these in North America! - and not Swedish Lutheran.)

    Most of them are former Roman Catholics or former Anglicans.

    In the Middle Ages in the West there were bishops who were disciplined by the church, deprived of their dioceses, for some reason or another, and some of them became travellers ('wanderers', hence the Latin name vagantes), uncanonically offering their services (such as ordinations) where they stayed.

    To the Orthodox churches, 'lines of succession' outside their communion at least functionally mean nothing, so as far as they're concerned, Mother Anastasia's husband isn't a bishop.

    Good rule of thumb: if you come across a church or cleric that uses some form of that expression a lot, run like hell.

    There are only two Orthodox churches in North America or the world for that matter that have Western Rite churches, the Antiochians and ROCOR, and neither has Western Rite bishops nor married bishops. (There's also a fringe group from the Ethiopian Church that claims a few Western Rite churches in America.)

    There is no such thing as an autocephalous Western Rite Orthodox church.

    Actually, Mother Anastasia, you and your husband are not Orthodox. He is a vagante bishop.

    And real Orthodox nuns aren't married.

    Presenting yourselves as such here is indeed offensive.
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    « Reply #38 on: May 03, 2006, 10:21:41 PM »

    Well said, Young Fogey!

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    « Reply #39 on: May 03, 2006, 11:54:47 PM »

    Mother Anastasia, Christ is Risen!

    I have looked at your website and find it interesting but not very clear as to who the Archbishop was who called your  husband to become a bishop according to your rite.

    There is an obvious second question that has not been asked.  Are you a nun with the title of Mother or  do you have title of Mother  from being a deaconess?

    If you are a nun and have sepeseparatedm your husband, the Bishop, and entered a monastery then  your relationship would not be much different than those of our Bishops who were married and their wives went into a monsamonasterylife so they may serve  in their calling as a Bishop.  If you are not a nun but a deaconess  and residing with your husband, then you would be like the Anglican Church in which many deaconesses and even female Priests are married and living with their husbands, not an acceptable practice in the Eastern Orthodox or Coptic Orthodox Churches. As communion indicates comunity, sadly their is no communion.

    It is obvious however, that your Rite is not one that we are in communion with and we would not be able to accept as historic Christianity due to its somewhat cafeteria approach to historic canonicity. I will of course continue to call you  Mother Anastasia as a courtesy just as I would call  an Epsicopal Episcopal by her appropriate Title, your Bishop as Bishop Athanasius, as a politeness and courtesy accorded  by political protocol throughout the world, without the recognition of his lineage=authority.

    Thank you in advance for answering my questions posed.

    In Christ,
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    « Reply #40 on: May 04, 2006, 02:31:36 AM »

    Mother Anastasia, Christ is Risen!

    I have looked at your website and find it interesting but not very clear as to who the Archbishop was who called your  husband to become a bishop according to your rite.
    I've also looked at your website.  While I saw a lot of spirituality there that I can admire as an Orthodox Christian, I am concerned by some of the things I saw there.  The first thing that strikes me is that the site presents an ecumenist belief that both the Eastern and Roman churches departed from traditional Christian faith.  This essentially implies that there was a third way that was at one time invisible.  If this is so, then why did neither of the two most important Christian bodies ever recognize this third way?  Why is it that this invisible way is making itself manifest as an institutional church with bishops, priests, and deacons just within the past few years?  Has Christ allowed BOTH halves of His Church (if indeed the Church could be divided into halves) to fall into hell so that a third new way is needed for our salvation?  Each of the RC and EO traditions have traditionally opposed any idea of a third way, seeing in itself alone the fullness of the Church of Christ.

    Even though the two sides have often opposed each other, their unanimous witness to the NON-existence of a third way should be convincing to any traditional Christian that there is no third way.  The fullness of Truth resides in either the Eastern Orthodox tradition or the Roman Catholic tradition; the task of every Christian pursuing Truth in traditional Christianity is to discern which one of these two traditions is right.  It is not wise to follow after some third way, because this would require that someone create a third way that never existed before.  This path is the essence of arrogance and disobedience.  I would rather people submit themselves to traditional Roman Catholicism than to a way that is recognized as neither traditional nor canonical by either the canonical Roman Catholic Church or the canonical Orthodox Church.

    (I guess that one could weave the above statements into the subject of this thread, seeing that the modern heresy of ecumenism is indeed a heresy that many Catholics have followed together with more than just a few Orthodox.  Many of the threads of modern ecumenism are indeed condemned unofficially as heresy by both traditionalist Catholics and the Orthodox, for such ecumenism is not faithful to the ecclesiology of either tradition.)
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    « Reply #41 on: May 04, 2006, 04:13:58 AM »

    Excepting that you have said that one part of the egg is dependant upon the other two partsquoting montalban



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    I go away for a day and come back to this positively perplexing post.
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    « Reply #42 on: May 04, 2006, 06:14:34 AM »

    There is no such thing as an autocephalous Western Rite Orthodox church.
    Actually, Mother Anastasia, you and your husband are not Orthodox. He is a vagante bishop.
    And real Orthodox nuns aren't married.
    Presenting yourselves as such here is indeed offensive.




    I sympathize with your perspective, Brother.

    And I forgive your ignorance.
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    « Reply #43 on: May 04, 2006, 06:20:58 AM »

    Well said, Young Fogey!

    And I sympathize with you too,  and forgive your ignorance as well. Smiley
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    « Reply #44 on: May 04, 2006, 06:42:11 AM »

    Mother Anastasia, Christ is Risen!
    There is an obvious second question that has not been asked.  Are you a nun with the title of Mother or  do you have title of Mother  from being a deaconess?
    f you are a nun and have seperated from your husband, the Bishop, and entered a monastery then  your relationship would not be much different than those of our Bishops who were married and their wives went into a monsatery for life so they may serve  in their calling as a Bishop.
     

    I was a professed, habited 3rd order Franciscan Sister before I met my husband.  He also was a 3rd order habited Brother.  It is permitted for the 3rd order to marry.
    The title "Mother" was given at my ordination.  I understand we do not share the same tradition, hopefully we can share our love for Christ and Souls.

    It is obvious however, that your Rite is not one that we are in communion with and we would not be able to accept as historic Christianity due to its somewhat cafeteria approach to historic canonicity. I will of course continue to call you  Mother Anastasia as a courtesy just as I would call  an Epsicopal Deaconess by her appropriate Title, your Bishop as Bishop Athanasius, as a politeness and courtesy accoded  by Political protocol throughout the world, without the recognition of his lineage=authority.

    I understand, thank you for your graciousness.

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    « Reply #45 on: May 04, 2006, 09:11:08 AM »

    Ignoring the bait, I'll humbly suggest, Mother Anastasia (using the title out of courtesy), that you should change your 'Jurisdiction' listing from 'Western Rite Orthodox', which you are provably not, to something like 'Independent Church', which you are. That's a matter of honesty and returning the respect that some Orthodox are showing you.
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    « Reply #46 on: May 04, 2006, 10:35:53 AM »

    And I sympathize with you too,  and forgive your ignorance as well. Smiley

    Please keep your sympathy---and your revisionist, twisted form of ecclesiology--to yourself.

    Also, please be accurate in your self-description, by indicating that you are an 'Independent Church'.
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    « Reply #47 on: May 05, 2006, 07:33:05 PM »

    1.  I have looked at your website and find it interesting but not very clear as to who the Archbishop was who called your  husband to become a bishop according to your rite.

    2.  It is obvious however, that your Rite is not one that we are in communion with
    Quote

    1.The reason our web site does not contain this information is because it about discernment, and not meant for those seeking jurisdictional correctness.

    2. Thank you for your pm explaining our position.  Based on the information you gave me, I see that we are, in the eyes of the institutional community,  Independent Catholic Orthodox, and judging from the young ones' response to that, Balaam's donkey would be better received.

    Perhaps now we can go on to discussing Orthodox/Catholic doctrines.  I would really enjoy learning more  about  your perspective, and  what viewpoints have wedged this One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church  apart.


    p.s. Has anyone considered how Theotokos is suffering in this moment?

    Does anyone care?

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    « Reply #48 on: May 06, 2006, 01:06:06 AM »

    I should have split these two topics a while back, as the topic on Mother Anastasia's jurisdiction has interferred with the main topic of the main thread.  The original topic of heresy will still be in the original thread, and this one is probably nearing it's end too.

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    « Reply #49 on: May 06, 2006, 02:59:49 AM »

    Mother Anastasia,


    The problem is that we cannot possibly join ourselves to those who are full of rancor, bitterness  and division. We have looked, and looked, and looked.  As well as weeping many tears. ÂÂ

    So you consider all Canonical Orthodox being full of rancor, bitterness and division??? In particular, all Orthodox hierarchs?
    Well, here in USA, I am aware about convert priests coming form different backgrounds. They looked, looked and have been accepted. In particular, a former Franciscan of the 3rd Order became an brilliant and extraordinary member of UOC-USA clergy, a format to all Orthodox.
    But all those people, actually clergy and laity, came to different Orthodox jurisdictions with a pure heart, with a strong belief in Orthodox Truth. They did not come up with any "third ways". As an Ecumenist, I found the creation of "third ways" especially dangerous, because this is the way from unity in truth, the "right" to break out from the Church and the attempt to create a heresy and to justify doing so.
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    « Reply #50 on: May 06, 2006, 08:25:13 AM »

    As Mother Anastasia (again, using the title out of courtesy), the deacon/nun married to a vagante bishop, has returned to play her game of arguing with real Orthodox that she's Orthodox when she's obviously not:

    Nobody is saying anything about the eternal salvation of this woman, her husband, the anecdotal poor Alaskan woman scandalised by the behaviour of church people, et al.

    No, most here are asking her to stop playing this game and admit she's not really Orthodox.

    The groups she cited in her postings so far this morning are vagantes like her church, not Orthodox, and don't prove anything. The Sobornopravna group in Cleveland looks more like the real Orthodox than her group but that doesn't mean anything.

    People have the right to be wrong. If Mother Anastasia and her husband, former Roman Catholics, want to play church by themselves in the desert, that's fine. The holiest Orthodox won't speculate whether they're hellbound; that's not for us on earth to know or decide. They will say, however, that they're not in the same church as them. Not just jurisdiction, church. So just don't call it Orthodox, and especially not in a place like this. If done knowingly, that's just arrogant, which I get a strong whiff of in her sweet-sounding prose.

    It's as rude as if I, a white man, went on an Indian reservation (any of them, regardless of tribe) dressed in buckskins, wearing braids and calling myself something like Big Eagle Feather, saying 'Hau!' to everybody I met.

    Dear, that's how you look to the Orthodox.

    P.S. Some of what her church's site has is true and sweet but overall it feels more like charismatic RCs on peyote than any actual Orthodox I've seen.
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    « Reply #51 on: May 06, 2006, 09:18:09 AM »

    Question: how can a Franciscan Tertiary be "pre-schism"?
    On second thoughts, never mind.
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    « Reply #52 on: May 06, 2006, 09:58:11 AM »

    Question: how can a Franciscan Tertiary be "pre-schism"?

    On second thought, never mind.

    Exactly. They're not a pre-schism reconstruction nor really Western Rite Orthodox (who aren't pre-schism re-enactors - they use things from Western Catholicism and Anglicanism and edit them to make them agree with Byzantine theology). They're former Roman Catholic Franciscan tertiaries... who are playing.

    Having run the name Old Catholic into the ground, vagantes who 1) themselves are ignorant about the real Orthodox, seeing the name and thinking it only means generally high-churchy but not under the Pope, which is what they want, and 2) know that most Westerners know just as little about the real Orthodox as they do, and so they can pass themselves off to the ignorant as Orthodox, have become fond lately of using this moniker.

    That's what's going on here.
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    « Reply #53 on: May 06, 2006, 11:56:02 AM »

    My major problem is that dear Mother here has used administrative/political stuff as a justification for the existence of her Church - which is not really a valid set of reasons per se to enter into schism.  The only justification for schism is Heresy on the part of one's bishop, in which case the Church blesses the separation of the people from that bishop.  But if all the justification is that a poor old woman (who, in my mind, should be blessed for her struggles, and her story is unfortunate) who is disillusioned with the institutional church, or some other widow who can't be buried because of dues, then the condemnation of the Fathers who say that schism is just as bad as heresy falls upon those who themselves divide the Body of Christ, while throwing stones at the body claiming it divided itself.
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    « Reply #54 on: May 06, 2006, 04:06:23 PM »

    I originally posted this in the "Heresy" thread from which this thread spun off.  I intended it to apply to the subject of this thread, as well, so I copied it here for the purpose of discussing how this excerpt from St. Irenaeus applies to this thread.

    From St. Irenaeus, Against the Heresies: Book III

    CHAP. IV.--THE TRUTH IS TO BE FOUND NOWHERE ELSE BUT IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, THE SOLE DEPOSITORY OF APOSTOLICAL DOCTRINE. HERESIES ARE OF RECENT FORMATION, AND CANNOT TRACE THEIR ORIGIN UP TO THE APOSTLES.

        1. Since therefore we have such proofs, it is not necessary to seek the truth among others which it is easy to obtain from the Church; since the apostles, like a rich man [depositing his money] in a bank, lodged in her hands most copiously all things pertaining to the truth: so that every man, whosoever will, can draw from her the water of life. For she is the entrance to life; all others are thieves and robbers. On this account are we bound to avoid them, but to make choice of the thing pertaining to the Church with the utmost diligence, and to lay hold of the tradition of the truth. For how stands the case? Suppose there arise a dispute relative to some important question among us, should we not have recourse to the most ancient Churches with which the apostles held constant intercourse, and learn from them what is certain and clear in regard to the present question? For how should it be if the apostles themselves had not left us writings? Would it not be necessary, [in that case,] to follow the course of the tradition which they handed down to those to whom they did commit the Churches?

        2. To which course many nations of those barbarians who believe in Christ do assent, having salvation written in their hearts by the Spirit, without paper or ink, and, carefully preserving the ancient tradition, believing in one God, the Creator of heaven and earth, and all things therein, by means of Christ Jesus, the Son of God; who, because of His surpassing love towards His creation, condescended to be born of the virgin, He Himself uniting man through Himself to God, and having suffered under Pontius Pilate, and rising again, and having been received up in splendour, shall come in glory, the Saviour of those who are saved, and the Judge of those who are judged, and sending into eternal fire those who transform the truth, and despise His Father and His advent. Those who, in the absence of written documents, have believed this faith, are barbarians, so far as regards our language; but as regards doctrine, manner, and tenor of life, they are, because of faith, very wise indeed; and they do please God, ordering their conversation in all righteousness, chastity, and wisdom. If any one were to preach to these men the inventions of the heretics, speaking to them in their own language, they would at once stop their ears, and flee as far off as possible, not enduring even to listen to the blasphemous address. Thus, by means of that ancient tradition of the apostles, they do not suffer their mind to conceive anything of the [doctrines suggested by the] portentous language of these teachers, among whom neither Church nor doctrine has ever been established.


    This excerpt extracted from this url: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/augustine/arch/irenaeus/advhaer3.txt


    (modifications added below to offer my own comments on the text)

    From the above excerpt from St. Irenaeus's writings, I offer the following:
    • There is but one Church of Christ.
    • This Church has by necessity made itself manifest as an "institution."
    • Christ and His Holy Apostles have bequeathed upon the Church Truth in all its fullness.  As such, those who will can draw from the Church the water of life.
    • We must adhere to the teachings of the Church, the Tradition of Truth.
    • Those who teach doctrines contrary to the doctrines of the great Church of Christ must be avoided as heretics.  I know that this statement is very unpopular in today's ecumenical climate, for many of today's ecumenists have all but thrown out the word heresy for the sake of [false] unity.  However, I hope you can see that St. Irenaeus considered the preservation of true doctrine and the articulation of truth against heresy to be one of the most important works of the Church.  Those who are members of the Church cannot be in [Sacramental] union with those who would mark themselves as heretics by perverting the truth.
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    « Reply #55 on: May 06, 2006, 04:42:46 PM »

    • Those who teach doctrines contrary to the doctrines of the great Church of Christ must be avoided as heretics.  I know that this statement is very unpopular in today's ecumenical climate, for many of today's ecumenists have all but thrown out the word heresy for the sake of [false] unity.  However, I hope you can see that St. Irenaeus considered the preservation of true doctrine and the articulation of truth against heresy to be one of the most important works of the Church.  Those who are members of the Church cannot be in [Sacramental] union with those who would mark themselves as heretics by perverting the truth.
    I don't want to be misunderstood, though.  The teaching of true doctrine and the expulsion of heretics is not the only task of the Church.  The full task of the Church ultimately boils down to love.

    Jesus said to him, "‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."
    (Matthew 22:37-40)

    "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."
    (John 15:12)

    "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’"
    (Matthew 25:37-40)

    "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing."
    (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)

    Therefore
         "If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
          If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
          For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head."

    (Romans 12:20)

    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, ....
    (Galatians 5:22)

    I suppose I couldn't even begin in the limited space of this post to exhaust the commandments of Christ and His Apostles to love God and to love our brothers and sisters.

    If, in performing our God-given task of preaching and teaching true doctrine and expelling heretics, we forget our calling to love God and neighbor (including our enemies) and to minister to those inside and outside the Church with acts of charity, then we will indeed become what Mother Anastasia has accused us of becoming.


    Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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    « Reply #56 on: May 06, 2006, 07:51:13 PM »

    Mother Anastasia,
    1.  So you consider all Canonical Orthodox being full of rancor, bitterness and division??? In particular, all Orthodox hierarchs?
    2.  Well, here in USA, I am aware about convert priests coming form different backgrounds. They looked, looked and have been accepted. In particular, a former Franciscan of the 3rd Order became an brilliant and extraordinary member of UOC-USA clergy, a format to all Orthodox.
    3.  But all those people, actually clergy and laity, came to different Orthodox jurisdictions with a pure heart, with a strong belief in Orthodox Truth. They did not come up with any "third ways". As an Ecumenist, I found the creation of "third ways" especially dangerous, because this is the way from unity in truth, the "right" to break out from the Church and the attempt to create 3a heresy and to justify doing so.

    1.  Not at all.  I don't know all Canonical Orthodox, we still hope to find those who are full of the fruits of the Holy Spirit.  We haven't given up.  We have had promising conversations that changed in tone when discussing other Christian faiths. (including RCC)  

    2.  I looked up UOC-USA, and was very encouraged by what I read.  I especially was roused to hope when I saw Fr. Mitch Pacwa's name on an article they linked to.  I will return to this site and go deeper.

    3.   But all those people, actually clergy and laity, came to different Orthodox jurisdictions with a pure heart, with a strong belief in Orthodox Truth.  This is very encouraging and it seems that the more consolidation and unification takes place with all the little
    jurisdictions coming together, the sooner we will accomplish this goal, as long as it does not turn into an institution that is sharply polarized against other Christians or the RCC.

    Our prayer and work revolves not around whitewashing issues,  but rather drawing all men to Christ and His Church, and the fullness of the graces that are available to the believer to aid in the work of sanctification and salvation.

    We could never be  yoked ,  to  those who are immoral, or those who do not defend the right to life, or support other issues against faith and morals. But we do have intercommunion with Catholics and Orthodox, and would never deny the Sacraments to such.  Nor do we allow any gossiping or disparaging of other Christians, which regretably I feel I have gone over the line in a couple of examples I gave.  It is not our practice to draw lines and criticize the faith practices of other Christians.    Rather we believe that if we live our lives to the fullest as God's grace supplies, all men will be drawn to the truth.  

    I would like to know how you deal with visitors who have a perspective similar to ours.  Would you allow them to receive communion, or would there jurisdictional irregularities, prevent them from the Lord's table.  If they mentioned that they had been attending an Orthodox Church, not in communion with you, how would you respond?  Would that too disqualify them from communion.

    Would you ever allow a disparaging word about another Christian body,  or say similar things to   the members of your Church, privately or publicly?

    What is the extent of your responsibility in bringing souls to the truth?  And what part do you leave to God?

    If someone came to you from a Christian Church, who believed in dreams and visions and speaking in tongues,  would you try to correct them,  saying that these are deceptions?  

    In the Forum on Medjugoria, there was a discrediting of Fatima as well.  Is this a common practice among the Canonical Orthodox?

    Thank you for considering my questions,  these are issues that trouble me and I would appreciate your clarification.

    By the way, we changed our description, to be more in accord with your definitions, but we still are embracing more and more Orthodox practices, while retaining the Western Rite liturgy, because for our people to do all the prostrations and stand during the entire liturgy, would not be conducive to their spiritual health, and entering into the worship of liturgy.
    « Last Edit: May 06, 2006, 08:00:48 PM by Mother Anastasia » Logged

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    « Reply #57 on: May 06, 2006, 08:04:25 PM »

    "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing."
    (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)



    Please forgive me, there have been times when I have not spoken in the Spirit of Love.
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    « Reply #58 on: May 06, 2006, 08:44:00 PM »


     But we do have intercommunion with Catholics and Orthodox, and would never deny the Sacraments to such.


    You do not have 'intercommunion' with the Orthodox. Any responsible Orthodox priest would not allow you to receive from the Chalice if he knew the background of the vagante group of which you are a member.

    Your description is still inaccurate, and needs to re-done again. May I suggest your Faith be listed as 'Christian' and your Jurisdiction be 'Independent'?

    These are perhaps the most neutral terms I can use for the group you are a part of.

    Additionally, any Orthodox person who somehow unwittingly, either through being deceived or their own regrettable inattention, received any 'sacrament' through your group would need to report this to their priest.

    « Last Edit: May 06, 2006, 08:47:33 PM by chris » Logged

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    « Reply #59 on: May 06, 2006, 09:48:30 PM »

    You do not have 'intercommunion' with the Orthodox. Any responsible Orthodox priest would not allow you to receive from the Chalice if he knew the background of the vagante group of which you are a member.

    Thank you! They're not in communion with Rome either. They're like Protestant churches that have open Communion. This doesn't mean the churches of the Roman Catholics or Orthodox they offer Communion to are in communion with them!
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    « Reply #60 on: May 06, 2006, 10:35:51 PM »

    To have intercommunion with non-Orthodox is to misunderstand what communion is.  To be in communion and to receive communion is to be in unity with the Church of Christ, her members and her beliefs.  If I am a member of Vladika Gregory of Colorodo's group then I cannot receive communion in any other church, because I have seperated myself from the Body of Christ.  If I am hold heretical beliefs then I cannot receive communion.  To receive communion also puts yourself mystically into communion with the entire body of Christ mystically.  This cannot happen if you do not believe what they believe.  I think this is one of the reason that some find the idea of SS Seraphim and Francis might commune with each other.  They dissagree as to what they hold as belief.  To not be Orthodox, but to commune at said Church is a lie and damaging.  IT would be going to a doctor with no intention of getting well, or as the case is more often disregarding the doctor's instructions and perscribing your own dosage.  
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    « Reply #61 on: May 06, 2006, 10:46:09 PM »

    Which is what both the Orthodox and Rome essentially believe and why neither will intercommune with Our Lady, Light of the Woods Church which Mother Anastasia belongs to.
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    « Reply #62 on: May 07, 2006, 02:06:47 AM »

    Which is what both the Orthodox and Rome essentially believe and why neither will intercommune with Our Lady, Light of the Woods Church which Mother Anastasia belongs to.

    To set the record straight, our Church title is, Church of the Fisherman, Catholic Orthodox Church,
    the description I gave was to help you grasp where we were coming from.  If you would like to call it by some other name, that is between you and God.

    Very simply Brother,  if Bishop Athanasius knew that you were a true Orthodox believer, (which would include an authentic love of God and Neighbor)  and you came to one of our liturgies, he would have no problem at all including you in our communioin. What you do under the direction of your Patriarch, is between you and God.

       
    « Last Edit: May 07, 2006, 02:08:58 AM by Mother Anastasia » Logged

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    « Reply #63 on: May 07, 2006, 02:14:53 AM »

    Also, if Saint Athanasius knew you were a true Orthodox believe he would commune you.  That also involved in rejecting Arianism, heresies, and their false church hierarchy.  To be a true Orthodox believe then you must ascribe to the teachings of the Church and the Church.  That's the literal meaning of Orthodox.  Otherwise you are simply heterodox.
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    « Reply #64 on: May 07, 2006, 02:26:25 AM »

    Also, if Saint Athanasius knew you were a true Orthodox believe he would commune you.  That also involved in rejecting Arianism, heresies, and their false church hierarchy.  To be a true Orthodox believe then you must ascribe to the teachings of the Church and the Church.  That's the literal meaning of Orthodox.  Otherwise you are simply heterodox.

    No one has asked me anything about ascribing to the teachings of the church on any subject other than jurisdiction and perhaps our policy of intercommunion....there is a great deal more to Christ's church than that, however since that seems to be the sole criteria here, there is no point in further discussion.

    Form without content has no value whatsoever, not here and certainly not in Eternity.
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    « Reply #65 on: May 07, 2006, 02:29:56 AM »

    Mother Anastasia,
    In responce to your reply #56 from 05/06/2006 at 19:51.
    Thank you for your reply.
    Actually, Chris, Young Fogey and Dantxny already provided excellent insights here. Great ideas, guys! The communion happens only within Orthodox church. So such vagante formations as Gregory of Colorado's group, Sobornopravna group, "Roman Orthodox" organization and others cannot be in communion with Canonical Orthodoxy. But that, of course, does not mean that they all cannot become Canonical Orthodox. As soon as they will come with pure hearts... There were examples in history. The communion takes place within all Jurisdictions of Canonical Orthodoxy. The postion about that is all the same, does not matter is that GOA, OCA, SOC, UOC-USA, AOA, etc.


    Would you ever allow a disparaging word about another Christian body, ÂÂ or say similar things to ÂÂ  the members of your Church, privately or publicly?

    Christians should be respectful to each other! And other Christians are our brothers and sisters in Christ! No doubt! I would love to see more cooperation between Christians. But in terms of a real unity, it should be based only on Truth. No doubt about it as well. Orthodox Church cannot not and will not compromise on dogmas.

    If someone came to you from a Christian Church, who believed in dreams and visions and speaking in tongues, ÂÂ would you try to correct them, ÂÂ saying that these are deceptions? ÂÂ  

    My personal opinion is that it looks like deceptions.

    In the Forum on Medjugoria, there was a discrediting of Fatima as well.  Is this a common practice among the Canonical Orthodox?

    Well, this one is a matter of theologumen. Some Canonical Orthodox accept Fatima. Others don't. Personally, I do accept it. And I respect points of view of others.

    Again, please let me emphasize that there is no justification for a schizm. Cleveland, who is also an expert (I am not), provided an exception, which does not apply to your group. Mother Anastasia, you are more then welcome to join Canonical Orthodoxy. In order to find an Orthodox Church, closest to you please look here:
    http://www.orthodoxyinamerica.org/sr2_0_0/locator.php

    Also, would you please make changes in description of your Faith and Jurisdiction. Chris provided a really valuable and reasonable recommendation.

    Edited for spelling only.
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    « Reply #66 on: May 07, 2006, 02:35:36 AM »

    To be a true Orthodox believe then you must ascribe to the teachings of the Church and the Church.  That's the literal meaning of Orthodox.  Otherwise you are simply heterodox.

    Exactly!
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    « Reply #67 on: May 07, 2006, 03:01:12 AM »

    I wrote earlier in this thread of our need as Orthodox Christians to love God and neighbor while at the same preserving the Truth of our Gospel.  I just want to look at this in a different way.

    Don't you find it rather interesting that the same Apostle John the Theologian who voiced in his Gospel and Epistles Christ's commandment that we love one another also spoke of false teachers with some of the harshest names possible, attaching even the name antichrist to these heretics?
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    « Reply #68 on: May 07, 2006, 03:19:12 AM »


    1.  My personal opinion is that it looks like deceptions.
    Well, this one is a matter of theologumen. Some Canonical Orthodox accept Fatima. Others don't.

    2.  Again, please let me emphasize that there is no justification for a schizm.
    In order to find an Orthodox Church, closest to you please look here:

    1.  Dear Brother, I take it that your personal opinions are based on your training within your church.  Given that, and the lack of coherence over Fatima, as well as other concerns that have surfaced on this forum,  I would not be interested in seeking out a church that is highly developed in the area of discerning canons, but is sorely lacking in experience in discerning the movements of the Holy Spirit within the personal life of a believer, as well as in the corporate life of the Body.

    If the Holy Spirit predominates within the Believer, there is life.

    But in these conversations, the canons have predominated.  I could never in good conscience exchange my relationship with Him to satisfiy man's need to define, control and compartmentalize this precious relationship,  according to their standards.

    2.  By your definition, I am in schism with you, because I have separated myself from you by virtue of the dictates of my conscience before God and what I believe.  

    However, I do not exclude you, and  I have not separated myself from you, I honor you as a member of His Church, because of your profession of the One True Apostolic Faith.  We do not agree on everything, such as dreams, visions, and legitimate appartitions, but we confess the same creed. Therefore, in all charity, we would accept you into communion.  You call Christians your brothers and sisters, in otherwords begotten of the Holy Sprit by God into one family, but you would not admit them to the table because of their other differences of belief.  This is what I would call schism.

    But by your particular conviction, and interpretation of canonicity, you have broken with me.

    I have not divided, I am trying to unite.
     

    « Last Edit: May 07, 2006, 03:19:51 AM by Mother Anastasia » Logged

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    « Reply #69 on: May 07, 2006, 03:30:58 AM »

    Don't you find it rather interesting that the same Apostle John the Theologian who voiced in his Gospel and Epistles Christ's commandment that we love one another also spoke of false teachers with some of the harshest names possible, attaching even the name antichrist to these heretics?
    His anger is directed at "the father of lies", not at people. There was one occassion in his life when St. John directed his anger at people and Our Lord rebuked him. This was when the Samaritan village would not receive Christ because He was headed for Jerusalem, "and when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, 'Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?' But He turned and rebuked them, and said, 'You do not know what manner of spirit you are of! For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.' And they went to another village." (Luke 9:54-56) I doubt that after such a sharp rebuke from the Lord that St. John would make the same mistake again!
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    « Reply #70 on: May 07, 2006, 06:52:39 AM »

    Dear Mother Anastasia,

    You know what I meant - obviously I used the name of your group's website.

    And the mainline Protestant churches near here would all say what you said about intercommuning an Orthodox, but that doesn't make them Orthodox themselves; so it is with your church.

    Thanks for modifying your profile information to be honest.

    Quote
    I would not be interested in seeking out a church that is highly developed in the area of discerning canons, but is sorely lacking in experience in discerning the movements of the Holy Spirit within the personal life of a believer, as well as in the corporate life of the Body.

    Which could be part of a vagante creed: 'We don' need no steenkin' rules'. (Or iin the States as the Outback steakhouse commercial says, 'No rules. Just right'.) Of course both the Orthodox and Rome wouldn't agree with your false contrast characterising their churches like that and say it's not a good reason why you're not really Orthodox... and why you've excommunicated yourselves from Rome. (Again, 'we'd commune them' doesn't mean anything. The local Episcopal church would say that but it doesn't put them in communion with Rome. Rome will not commune you unless you repent.)

    But in America, the happy hunting-ground of sectarianism, under the broad New Mexican desert skies, you're free to set up your own church or no church and do what you want. Just don't call it something it's not.

    I can respect as somehow real anything that has a real congregation, a real ministry, and better still, generational members, even if I don't agree with the group/would never join. Few vagante churches have those, but those that do are like the Protestant church down the road. If it calls itself something it's not, like 'Western Rite Orthodox', it forfeits some of that respect.

    Again, thanks for modifying your profile.
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    « Reply #71 on: May 07, 2006, 08:29:26 AM »

    If the Holy Spirit predominates within the Believer, there is life.

    But in these conversations, the canons have predominated.  I could never in good conscience exchange my relationship with Him to satisfiy man's need to define, control and compartmentalize this precious relationship,  according to their standards.

    Canons determined by the church in councils led by the same Holy Spirit you claim. If you refuse to abide by those canons then you are in effect in opposition to the working of the Holy Spirit.

    John
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    « Reply #72 on: May 07, 2006, 09:37:43 AM »

    In the Forum on Medjugoria, there was a discrediting of Fatima as well.  Is this a common practice among the Canonical Orthodox?
    While I don't question the sincerity of those who believe that Medjugore and Fatima are messages from God, no Orthodox Christian worthy of the name could ever possibly believe that God would ask us to "Make reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary."
    A) We don't "make reparation" for sin- we repent of it (metanoia) and seek God's mercy, and
    B) We certainly wouldn't "make reparation" to the "Immaculate Heart of Mary" for sin.
    The Orthodox who dabble in these things would have a difficult time reconciling it with Orthodoxy.

    Franciscan Tertiaries, "The Immaculate Heart", satisfaction for sin, Fatima, Medjugore.......your "pre-schism" church certainly seems to be filled with a lot of post-schism stuff.....including some post-Vatican-II stuff.
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    « Reply #73 on: May 07, 2006, 02:53:35 PM »

    Dear Mother Anastasia,

    I can respect as somehow real anything that has a real congregation, a real ministry, and better still, generational members, even if I don't agree with the group/would never join. Few vagante churches have those, but those that do are like the Protestant church down the road. If it calls itself something it's not, like 'Western Rite Orthodox', it forfeits some of that respect.

    Just to give you a little background, we were never formally excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Bishop when Father Bishop was ordained in the  Utrech succession, probaby because our Bishop was in communication with Rome seeking unity and one of the last obstacles was the married priesthood.  We have also attended the local Mass for funerals and weddings and were not denied communion even though everyone knows who we are.  

    We are not a church or congregation.  We are monastic, and support a house of prayer and private chapel, where people come at all hours of the day and night for Adoration and prayer,as well as counsel and confession by appointment. We provide food for forty poor families, especially single mothers,  every Thursday.

    We are not called to be a Church, and we have absolutely no interest in becoming a Church.  The name Church of the Fisherman Holy Orthodox Catholic Church, is our new Bishop's registered name in the state of California.  Our first Old Roman Bishop, being elderly asked us to in-cardinate under a Bishop he co-consecrated, who was ordained as a priest under an Orthodox Bishop, but responded to an invitation to work with him when the other Bishop passed away.  I'm not sure which Orthodox group he came from, but I am trying to find that out. (I seem to remember him being OCA)  Not that any of that would be acceptable to you any way, I am just trying to help you understand our position.

    We have remained on peaceful terms with the  local parish priests as they come and go according to modern day assignment practices. While the parish priest  does not agree with our decision but in all charity, does respect what we are doing in the community.  He has even sent us a donation,as well as the St. Vincent de Paul Association,  to help with our expenses.  

    We seek peace with all our non Christian and  Christian Brothers and Sisters (those who are baptised,  profess the creed and live a moral life), and while they are very antagonistic over our traditional beliefs, confession,  the true presence, purgatory, apostolic succession, our vow of poverty (we live solely on providence)  etc.etc.  We do not condemn them as heretics nor force ourselves upon them.  As far as apparition sites, dreams and visions, speaking in tongues, all is approved of by our former tradition,  however we ourselves are extremely cautious in all these areas.

    Rather than try to prove our beliefs to them, which we have found does not produce good fruit,  we try to keep our eyes on Jesus, love and serve Him, and pray that we will be a good example to them based on our fruits, without in any way compromising our orthodox beliefs.

    We have been very drawn to Orthodoxy through our Celtic roots,  and are interested in revitalizing early Church traditions.  The Celts were independent people who fought being stripped of their cultural identities (I am not speaking here of their pagan religions, but of their sensitivity to all of creation which is very Franciscan), and forced to adapt to Roman customs in their liturgy and monastic lives.  We are very similar to the Celts in some ways.

    The reason we call ourselves Western Rite Orthodox, is because our Bishop came from Orthodoxy and we are embracing more and more of the customs. We use the Latin Liturgy in English for our services, which is considered the standard Western Rite Liturgy.  

    Also, our first Bishop (now ArchBishop, the consecrate of Bishop +Athens,   has six lines of succession, 5 of them Orthodox in his lineage and was given a personal letter of full communion by the Metropolitan of Athens.

    I understand that nothing I have said here is of any significance to you, but I did want to clarify a few of your assumptions.


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    « Reply #74 on: May 07, 2006, 03:11:11 PM »

    Also, if Saint Athanasius knew you were a true Orthodox believe he would commune you.  That also involved in rejecting Arianism, heresies, and their false church hierarchy.  To be a true Orthodox believe then you must ascribe to the teachings of the Church and the Church.  That's the literal meaning of Orthodox.  Otherwise you are simply heterodox.

    I have no problem being part of a true church hierarchy, as long as they are substantially in conformity with the New Testament,  in their teachings and beliefs, living a truly Christian life, and  in matters of  administration,  behaving themselves as true followers of Jesus, without compromising in any way orthodox faith and morals, seeking peace without rancor.  We just simply have not found such a Church as yet.  But we are still hoping.

    I understand your heterodox/orthodox perspective.  

    Our main concern is that we are orthodox before God, whom we must some day give an accounting to.  We can't please everyone, but with His grace, we try to please Him.
    It is truly a sad thing, this division.
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    « Reply #75 on: May 07, 2006, 03:54:17 PM »

    Franciscan Tertiaries, "The Immaculate Heart", satisfaction for sin, Fatima, Medjugore.......your "pre-schism" church certainly seems to be filled with a lot of post-schism stuff.....including some post-Vatican-II stuff.

    The Holy Spirit is alive and well, able to navigate and teach in some branches of the canonical Church.  He never stopped creating, never stopped speaking to hearts, never stopped performing miracles, especially those that confirm doctrine.

    For instance, some canonical Orthodox  are not in agreement about the stain of original sin being cleansed through Baptism.  I believe that the Holy Spirit in His profound condescension and humility, provided a grace to help verify this doctrine.   When Theotokos appeared to Bernadette and called herself the "Immaculate Conception", those who were closed to Him would not accept it,  so they had to discredit Lourdes, even though to this day the body of Bernadette remains under glass for all to see, incorrupt.  And the miracles from Lourdes continue.

    Given the evidence,  it is apparent that this doctrine and manifestation have been testified to by God in His Divine and Miraculous Intervention and Providence.  If what I say here is factual, then all that oppose this doctrine and its repercussions, have not withstood the RCC, they have withstood God Himself, in His  merciful provision to bring the two Churches together in orthodox understanding.

    In conclusion, we do not segregate the miracles of God into Orthodox=valid,  RCC=invalid.
    We discern based on New Testament principles what is of God and what is of man.  Division, especially unwarranted, is of man.  Satan divides and conquers,  we must not allow ourselves to be instruments that divide, but instruments that reunite.

    Truth carries its own anointing, truth endures, the fruits of Truth are sweet and life giving, and enduring through time and every opposition, they are not bitter, harsh and cold, bringing condemnation, alienation and separation.


    We believe that wherever there is valid teaching and movement of the Spirit of God, in conformity with the New Testament, these things should be retained. In the case of Lourdes, Fatima and other visitations of God's grace, there was at first,  opposition and discrediting by heirarchies.

    Our position is that, if for no valid reason, church hierarchy tries to interfere with or discredit a valid supernatural manifestation, it is preferrable for the believer to follow his or her conscience on the matter even when it brings open disobedience.

                      "As a matter of conscience, I respectfully disobey."

    And in other Church matters, if East and West had adhered to this definition of obedience, perhaps the great schism might never have happened, the way it did.
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    « Reply #76 on: May 07, 2006, 04:09:42 PM »

    To have intercommunion with non-Orthodox is to misunderstand what communion is.  To be in communion and to receive communion is to be in unity with the Church of Christ, her members and her beliefs.  If I am a member of Vladika Gregory of Colorodo's group then I cannot receive communion in any other church, because I have separated myself from the Body of Christ.  


    I do not see the Holy Eucharist as a "divine notary seal"  on any man's particular adherence or departure from the canons in regard to affiliation with accepted Churches, that gives him permission to exclude those who are truly of the faith, fully believing in the true presence,  yet without such canonical approvals.  

    I see Him as the True Presence of Jesus physically present to us, as long as the consecration that takes place is from a male priest, of full apostolic succession, done in the proper form.

    It is the sick who need the physician not the healthy.
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    « Reply #77 on: May 07, 2006, 04:25:29 PM »

    Canons determined by the church in councils led by the same Holy Spirit you claim. If you refuse to abide by those canons then you are in effect in opposition to the working of the Holy Spirit.

    But your tradition does not accept certain councils that were also led by the Holy Spirit.  Doesn't that put your group in opposition to what others would call the legitimate working of the Holy Spirit in the formation of canons?

    Your Hierarchs have discerned that the Holy Spirit was not at work in Vatican II.  I believe that He was, but that men took liscense and advantage of certain changes and perverted certain intentions of God to make the Faith more accessable to the common man.  
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    « Reply #78 on: May 07, 2006, 06:41:31 PM »

    Quote
    Just to give you a little background...

    Thanks.

    Quote
    ...we were never formally excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Bishop when Father Bishop was ordained in the Utrecht succession...

    Y'all excommunicated yourselves from Rome by being ordained by these people, and you're not in the Utrecht communion. They have one church in North America, in Canada, and that's it. You're not Old Catholics.

    Quote
    ...probably because our Bishop was in communication with Rome seeking unity and one of the last obstacles was the married priesthood.


    Or probably because your Roman Catholic bishop didn't know you did it or couldn't be bothered to know.

    Quote
    We have also attended the local Mass for funerals and weddings and were not denied communion even though everyone knows who we are.

    That's because they're disobedient. It doesn't mean you're in communion with Rome.

    Quote
    We have remained on peaceful terms with the  local parish priests as they come and go according to modern day assignment practices. While the parish priest  does not agree with our decision but in all charity, does respect what we are doing in the community.  He has even sent us a donation,as well as the St. Vincent de Paul Association, to help with our expenses.

    As long as you don't try to have services in their churches or receive Communion at them, or Absolution without giving up your new religious enterprise, why wouldn't they be? If you're doing charitable work, that's great. That doesn't mean you're in communion with those priests.

    Quote
    Our first Old Roman Bishop, being elderly asked us to in-cardinate under a Bishop he co-consecrated, who was ordained as a priest under an Orthodox Bishop, but responded to an invitation to work with him when the other Bishop passed away.  I'm not sure which Orthodox group he came from, but I am trying to find that out. (I seem to remember him being OCA)  Not that any of that would be acceptable to you any way, I am just trying to help you understand our position.

    You're right, it's not.

    And according to the Orthodox none of this means anything. Their view is that the former Orthodox priest functionally stopped being a priest when he was no longer under an Orthodox bishop, and he's not a bishop.

    Quote
    We have been very drawn to Orthodoxy through our Celtic roots,  and are interested in revitalizing early Church traditions.  The Celts were independent people who fought being stripped of their cultural identities (I am not speaking here of their pagan religions, but of their sensitivity to all of creation which is very Franciscan), and forced to adapt to Roman customs in their liturgy and monastic lives.  We are very similar to the Celts in some ways.

    A vagante cliché. Which Celts? The Walloons? The Cornish? The Scots? The Irish? Or the Bretons? Usually the cliché-users mean Irish. Those people must be tired of New Agers projecting onto them. Thanks, spin again.

    Quote
    The reason we call ourselves Western Rite Orthodox, is because our Bishop came from Orthodoxy and we are embracing more and more of the customs.


    That doesn't make you Orthodox. That makes him a former Orthodox.

    Reminds me of the American Indian wannabes who loved Dances with Wolves, find out they're 1/32 Cherokee or something and suddenly think they're 'sensitive', 'nature-loving' bona-fide Indians (since they 'feel so Indian'), which just pisses off real Indians.

    Quote
    We use the Latin Liturgy in English for our services, which is considered the standard Western Rite Liturgy.

    OK, I'm curious. Is it the Novus Ordo Mass you came from or a form of the old Tridentine Mass that I like?

    Real Western Rite Orthodox sometimes use the latter and more often use an Orthodox edition of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer.

    Quote
    Also, our first Bishop (now ArchBishop, the consecrate of Bishop +Athens, has six lines of succession, 5 of them Orthodox in his lineage and was given a personal letter of full communion by the Metropolitan of Athens.

    One. More. Time. To the Orthodox, LINES OF SUCCESSION outside their church MEAN NOTHING.

    And the Orthodox see of Athens is headed by an archbishop, who heads the whole church in Greece, not a metropolitan.

    I don't think Archbishop Christodoulos would declare himself in full communion with a wayward priest who's joined some Western vagantes playing games.

    Quote
    I understand that nothing I have said here is of any significance to you...

    Correct. I'm just a big blue meanie that way.

    Ultimately the criterion of truth and grace, the final authority, in Mother Anastasia's religion is... Mother Anastasia.

    Thanks for playing.
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    « Reply #79 on: May 07, 2006, 07:09:12 PM »

    Thanks for playing.

    I just don't see Jesus in you anywhere, Brother.



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    « Reply #80 on: May 07, 2006, 07:17:36 PM »

    I just don't see Jesus in you anywhere, Brother.

    Far more conceited than anything I've written about you.
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    « Reply #81 on: May 07, 2006, 07:20:42 PM »

    Just as a side note...

    To use the "apparition" to Bernadette claiming to be "the immaculate conception" as a proof for the legitimacy of the novel doctrine of the immaculate conception is bad Roman Catholic theology!  Any good Catholic theologian will tell you that appartitions are considered private revelations and do not affect the deposit of the faith.  So if you are going to try to justify something like the Immaculate Conception, do so using the church fathers and scripture - but the more you try to justify the more likely you are to find that Aquinas was right on the immaculate conception.

    And amazingly enough Serge and I agree on something.  That calls for a drink of something!  
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    « Reply #82 on: May 07, 2006, 07:36:01 PM »

    His anger is directed at "the father of lies", not at people. There was one occassion in his life when St. John directed his anger at people and Our Lord rebuked him. This was when the Samaritan village would not receive Christ because He was headed for Jerusalem, "and when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, 'Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?' But He turned and rebuked them, and said, 'You do not know what manner of spirit you are of! For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.' And they went to another village." (Luke 9:54-56) I doubt that after such a sharp rebuke from the Lord that St. John would make the same mistake again!
    You are free to disagree with me, but AISI St. John really was referring to the false teachers as antichrists.

    Children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come; therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out, that it might be plain that they all are not of us. But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all know. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and know that no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.
    (1 John 2:18-22)

    You are correct, though, in asserting that he did not call down death and condemnation upon these false teachers as he tried to do in the Gospels.  St. John in his First Epistle merely called out the false teachers for what they were.
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    « Reply #83 on: May 07, 2006, 07:50:48 PM »

    The Holy Spirit is alive and well, able to navigate and teach in some branches of the canonical Church.  He never stopped creating, never stopped speaking to hearts, never stopped performing miracles, especially those that confirm doctrine.
    But how are we to discern the work of the Holy Spirit except in the Church, the "pillar and foundation of the truth." (1 Timothy 3:15)

    "Outside of the Church there is no salvation." (St. Cyprian of Carthage)

    We will not be presumptuous enough to believe that the Holy Spirit cannot or will not work outside of the canonical institution of the Church to bring men and women to salvation.  All we will say is what we've always said.  The Holy Spirit has chosen to work in the world after Christ's Ascension through the Church (see the Second Chapter of the Acts of the Apostles).  Any work of the Holy Spirit is truly the work of the Church, and any work that contradicts the work of the Church cannot be of the Holy Spirit.


    (For those who may ask: Yes, I do identify the Church solely with the canonical Orthodox churches.)
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    « Reply #84 on: May 07, 2006, 08:57:55 PM »

    Any work of the Holy Spirit is truly the work of the Church, and any work that contradicts the work of the Church cannot be of the Holy Spirit.[/b

    But not every work of the Church is of the Holy Spirit, as history has revealed,
    therefore, your second statement  "any work that contradicts the work of the Church cannot be of the Holy Spirit, cannot be true.
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    « Reply #85 on: May 07, 2006, 09:10:11 PM »

    [quote author=Νεκτάριος link=topic=8972.msg119754#msg119754 date=1147044042]
     To use the "apparition" to Bernadette claiming to be "the immaculate conception" as a proof for the legitimacy of the [/quote]

    I never used the word proof.  What I did say was that Lourdes was a testifying miracle to a doctrine that was already well established in the RCC tradition.
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    « Reply #86 on: May 07, 2006, 09:13:57 PM »

    But how are we to discern the work of the Holy Spirit except in the Church, the "pillar and foundation of the truth." (1 Timothy 3:15)


    And how are we to identify those who are truly adhering to the Church.

    By their canonicity and paperwork, or by their fruits?
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    « Reply #87 on: May 07, 2006, 09:15:24 PM »

    We will not be presumptuous enough to believe that the Holy Spirit cannot or will not work outside of the canonical institution of the Church to bring men and women to salvation.

    This is most encouraging, something I can agree with.
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    « Reply #88 on: May 07, 2006, 09:22:03 PM »

    1.  Dear Brother, I take it that your personal opinions are based on your training within your church.  Given that, and the lack of coherence over Fatima, as well as other concerns that have surfaced on this forum,  I would not be interested in seeking out a church that is highly developed in the area of discerning canons, but is sorely lacking in experience in discerning the movements of the Holy Spirit within the personal life of a believer, as well as in the corporate life of the Body.

    If the Holy Spirit predominates within the Believer, there is life.

    But in these conversations, the canons have predominated.  I could never in good conscience exchange my relationship with Him to satisfiy man's need to define, control and compartmentalize this precious relationship,  according to their standards.


    Please, please, please don't consider this forum "representative" of Orthodoxy. You don't really think that an online, e-board like this accurately reflects how even the people on the board act in real life, do you? Much less what the theologians, clergy or hierarchs of the Church teach from the pulpit and in writing? (I'm not being sarcastic...see, the difficulty of the written word! Where's Derrida when you need him!?  Wink ) I, for one, am not telling you this because I am trying to convince you to enter canonical Orthodoxy. You seem set in your ways. I am just rather surprised by how some people seem to take this board as authoritative...it's just a bunch of people, mainly arm-chair theologians, typing away.

    As far as "discerning the movements of the Holy Spirit" go: As all of the charismatic elders throughout the centuries have stressed, "discernment" involves plenty of spiritual sensitivity to that other great Spirit of Deception. The common tradition of the pre-Schism Church (as you are wont to call it) is to be very wary of personal visions and prophetic activities. While they happen frequently (and continue to happen within the canonical Church), they should always be approached with sober hesitancy and great caution.

    One other thing about the spiritual discernment of the Church: As I'm sure you know from St. John Climacus, the BEGINNING of the spiritual life is obedience. The cutting off of the will, the submission to spiritual Father, and, ultimately, submission to the Church's right-teaching hierarchy is an essential act of humility, an act that brings life-giving fruits of the Spirit.

    We may chase after amazing gifts and great ascetic feats, but unless we pass through the slow, patient road of submissive meekness, we're bound to mistake trinkets for treasure at some point in our self-guided spiritual life. This ascetic spirit of obedience, meekness and humility is the source that animates the Church's "canonicity" -- a canonicity that many great Fathers and spiritual elders upheld stringently, because they knew its spiritual value through firsthand experience.
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    « Reply #89 on: May 07, 2006, 09:24:20 PM »

    "Outside of the Church there is no salvation." (St. Cyprian of Carthage)


    And because salvation is taking place outside the walls you have erected,

    in this canonically correct Orthodox box, it is apparent that your idea of what

    constitutes The Church and God's idea of what constitutes His Church, are not in

    agreement.  Personally, I would spend more time studying to be approved by Him

    than by man.  
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    « Reply #90 on: May 07, 2006, 09:41:05 PM »

    Quote
    .it's just a bunch of people, mainly arm-chair theologians, typing away.

    Nah, we're about as authoritative you can get. You just don't get more correct than us Wink

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    « Reply #91 on: May 07, 2006, 09:47:50 PM »

    With all do respect, you seem to know God much better than most people I've met.  Roll Eyes

    Quote
    And because salvation is taking place outside the walls you have erected,
    How do you know this? How are you privy to who God is Saving?

    Also, have you ever read the Church Fathers?  Have you read St. Cyril of Alexandria's letters to Nesotrius or even a genearl idea of the patristic fathers?  For in every reading I have had of them it is quite evident that there is a structural Church.  You seem to be promiting a idea similar to Protestantism in that there is an invisible Church, which is contrary to the promises of Christ.  There is no invisible Church, rather the Church is visible and organized.  This is clearly visible even in the New Testament.  With all due respect, you seem to be approaching the structure of the Church in a man-made matter.  A man-made design that is remnant of Luther and in the vain of  a modernism  and non-Catholic or Orthodox thought that is divorced from God, but is based on man.  Just because someone does something nice, doesn't mean they're a good person.  Just because a group does something good, doesn't mean there the church.  That is a superficial understanding of Christianity.
    Rather, what I believe is upseting many of these posters is your desire to put together too polar opposites.  It is an insult to the churches and to the men to say that Gregory of Palamas and Thomas Aquinas, Seraphim and Francis, etc. all go hand in hand.  It is to reduce their arguments and beliefs to rubble and discount their persons.
    Rather, these dogmas and canons that you may view as trivial, have a reason and are based in tradition and customs.  They are good for the people.  Otherwise, Joe's Byzantine-Catholic Orthodox Roman Church, Inc. or the New York Patriarch can be set up anywhere and lead people astray.  When people are led astray then they cannot find Christ as well as they can with the blessings of THe Orthodox Church.  Under your idea of ecclesiology, there would be some people still around promiting Mosaic law for salvation.  It is not, of course.  That is what all these "laws" are for.  Like the Apostles before us, our "canons" and "churches" are set up to best lead those to Heaven and Christ.  
    This is the tradition that we cling to in the Orthodox Church.  Yet, under your own admissions, you do not accept such tradition from us or even the Roman Catholics.  Perhaps, the pride that you have accused us all of is closer to your doorstep than you are willing to admit.
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    « Reply #92 on: May 07, 2006, 09:53:10 PM »

    Nah, we're about as authoritative you can get. You just don't get more correct than us Wink

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    « Reply #93 on: May 07, 2006, 09:58:50 PM »

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    You may contact "Thomas" for our lineage.

    Your 'lineage' isn't legal tender here.
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    « Reply #94 on: May 07, 2006, 10:01:20 PM »

    Please, please, please don't consider this forum "representative" of Orthodoxy. You don't really think that an online, e-board like this accurately reflects how even the people on the board act in real life, do you?


    Well to be honest, yes.  When I see the name "High Elder" and hear authoritative discourses and heady theological quotes, it seems very convincing, that these people are authorized to speak for the Church.  I have become increasingly concerned about the future of the Church they represent, if they are to become clerics serving  the Church and  this is the formation they have recieved in canonically correct institutions.
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    « Reply #95 on: May 07, 2006, 10:06:31 PM »

    But not every work of the Church is of the Holy Spirit, as history has revealed,
    therefore, your second statement  "any work that contradicts the work of the Church cannot be of the Holy Spirit, cannot be true."
    Once again, I ask you, what makes you qualified to discern the work of the Holy Spirit where the Church has failed?  Maybe you need to learn that not all of what passes for the work of the Church is indeed the work of the Church.  Much of what you deride as the evil works of the Church is really nothing more than the works of sinful men and women within the Church.  This I will confess.  However, these evil works done within the Church are not the works of the Church.

    And because salvation is taking place outside the walls you have erected,
    in this canonically correct Orthodox box, ...
    But what constitutes salvation?

    Personally, I don't doubt that people are being saved outside of the canonical institution of the Orthodox Church.

    John said to him, "Teacher, we saw a man casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him, because he was not following us." But Jesus said, "Do not forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in My name will be able soon after to speak evil of Me. For he that is not against us is for us. For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ, will by no means lose his reward."
    (Mark 9:38-41)

    Neither will I deny that this is truly the work of the Holy Spirit.  However, I will assert that this is still in some invisible way the work of the Church.  What I will also assert, however, is that your continued refusal to submit to the authority of the canonical Church that Christ has established for our salvation is indeed opposition to the work of the Holy Spirit.
    « Last Edit: May 07, 2006, 10:10:43 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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    « Reply #96 on: May 07, 2006, 10:20:15 PM »

    Just my 2 cents.  Dude, Old Fogey you are being rude.  Of course you have a right to express things the way you want...but have a little common decency.  Why are you so threatened by what Mother Anastasia writes??  Do you feel you must personally discredit her vagante group because you are scared other Orthodox might agree with some of her sentiments??  She has explained that she belongs to no particular church but is a monastic.  Although I have only been Orthodox for a short time (which I believe is the One True Church), I can find much merit in Mother Anastasia's words.  I also find it suprising that some on this forum are quick to say that she is prideful and criticizing of cannonical Orthodoxy...when your words seems to be much harsher than hers.  We should be praying for each other and discussing these things with Christian respect for our fellow men.  Personally, I can have conversations with others who are not Orthodox and learn some things from them.  IMHO she is not trying to convert people here or be deceptive.  So let's keep things civil here and be respectful of other's opinions.
    Blessings,   ÃƒÆ’‚ Juliana
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    « Reply #97 on: May 07, 2006, 10:27:39 PM »

    It was a little harsh, Juliana, but you've got to understand the context. Mother Anastasia is trying to pick a fight - after being told for the umpteenth time that to the Orthodox, that is, in the context of this board, such 'lineage' ('my bishop used to be an Orthodox priest and he was consecrated by a guy with five lines of succession', etc.) is irrelevant, she continued that line into another posting. Seems passive-aggressive to me.

    Some of what she says is true and some of it sounds very sweet. But it's also true that she sounds prideful and like she's trying to bait the Orthodox here. That's known on the Internet as trolling and is offensive.

    Quote
    IMHO she is not trying to convert people here or be deceptive.

    I think she is trying to do the former, hence her digs at the church represented informally by this board, and she tried to do the latter - pass herself off as Orthodox - until I and others called her on it.

    Re-reading her stuff, beneath the sweet, broad-minded façade it strikes me as at least as narrow as the narrowest Old Calendarist group. She's not only trying to pass herself off on the Internet as Orthodox but as an example of The True Orthodox™. Even though their stances widely differ, both she and the Truest True Believers claim that neither Rome nor World Orthodoxy® are good enough and only they really know Jesus.
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    « Reply #98 on: May 07, 2006, 10:30:33 PM »

    Mother Anastasia,

    A very good text which explains the spiritual purpose of the Holy Canons is (appropriately enough) "Spiritual Dimensions of the Holy Canons" by Lewis Patsavos, Holy Cross Press. It is a very concise and inexpensive (12.95 I believe) introduction to what the Orthodox Church believes the canons have to do with spiritual progression.

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    « Reply #99 on: May 07, 2006, 10:35:10 PM »

    Quotes from pensateomnia

    Much less what the theologians, clergy or hierarchies of the Church teach from the pulpit and in writing?

    I have read some very lofty and inspiring things.  I have also read things that troubled me.


    I, for one, am not telling you this because I am trying to convince you to enter canonical Orthodoxy. .


    There is nothing we would love more than to be a part of the canonical Church, as long as it was approved by the Lord.  So far, He has not given His ok for any alliance, but we are hoping, believing, and waiting.

    You seem set in your ways

    There are many things that have been taught to us over the past twenty-seven years that we simply cannot dismiss.  They are proven in time, experience and fruit.  They are totally in keeping with the Scriptures, and do not contradict any article of faith.  They do however contradict the opinions of  some men who would replace genuine experience and discernment, summarily,  with a rulebook.   We are definitely set in our ways in this regard.  But we have so much to learn!  Everyday brings with it a new understanding, but never contradicting what has validly been taught to us.

    the BEGINNING of the spiritual life is obedience. The cutting off of the will, the submission to spiritual Father, and, ultimately, submission to the Church's right-teaching hierarchy is an essential act of humility, an act that brings life-giving fruits of the Spirit.

    In the RCC, the Bishop of St. Augustine, who defended our way of life as habited Franciscans, also asked us to submit to an examination by the Spiritual Director for the Diocese who specializes in discerning of spirits.  We got along with him beautifully, and he confirmed as authentic many of things we ourselves were insecure about.  Our first Bishop outside the RCC was a simple man, but we always submitted things to him and took him as our final authority, in complete obedience.

    As far as "discerning the movements of the Holy Spirit" go: As all of the charismatic elders throughout the centuries have stressed, "discernment" involves plenty of spiritual sensitivity to that other great Spirit of Deception. The common tradition of the pre-Schism Church (as you are wont to call it) is to be very wary of personal visions and prophetic activities. While they happen frequently (and continue to happen within the canonical Church), they should always be approached with sober hesitancy and great caution.

    I am including a link here to our website, on the teachings on discernment. I think that you will find that we are in close agreement, on many things.

    http://www.ourladylightofthewoods.org/discernment.php

    This ascetic spirit of obedience, meekness and humility is the source that animates the Church's "canonicity" -- a canonicity that many great Fathers and spiritual elders upheld stringently, because they knew its spiritual value through firsthand experience.

    I can see the truth in what you are saying, and I regret that in this regard we are orphans. But I also know that the authentic designs of God are not always apparent in the moment. He did after all,  have Rahab in the ancestral line He chose for His incarnation.
    « Last Edit: May 07, 2006, 10:46:23 PM by Mother Anastasia » Logged

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    « Reply #100 on: May 07, 2006, 10:47:50 PM »

    Once again, I ask you, what makes you qualified to discern the work of the Holy Spirit where the Church has failed?  


    "My sheep know My voice."
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    « Reply #101 on: May 07, 2006, 10:57:49 PM »

    Some historical context:

    Habited Franciscans leaving the institutional church and going off on a flight of fancy is nothing new.

    It happened in the Middle Ages with the 'Spiritual' Franciscan movement of Joachim of Fiore (IIRC), who thought 'the age of the church' was done and they were heralds of 'the age of the spirit'. I think it was mentioned in the plot of The Name of the Rose.

    And, Juliana, I'm not personally threatened but am appalled by such dishonesty.

    And thanks, Nektarios. We may have our differences but AFAIK I never make claims like hers and try to pass them off as Orthodoxy.

    P.S. For an 'umble sometime Franciscan this lady does seem to like the sound of her own voice an awful lot.
    « Last Edit: May 07, 2006, 11:01:10 PM by The young fogey » Logged

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    « Reply #102 on: May 07, 2006, 11:02:18 PM »


    "My sheep know My voice."
    Yes, but the Orthodox claim to be Christ's sheep.  Roman Catholics claim to be Christ's sheep.  Half a million different Protestant denominations claim to be Christ's sheep, and some of them are as exclusive of others as the Orthodox and pre-1960 Roman Catholics.  Even a lot of sects in schism from Rome or from canonical Orthodoxy claim to be Christ's sheep.  What makes you and your sect so special?
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    « Reply #103 on: May 07, 2006, 11:09:12 PM »

    Quoted from PeterTheAleut:  

    1.   However, these evil works done within the Church are not the works of the Church.

    I agree.  And those who have learned to discern the Shepherd's voice, bear witness against these abuses,  whether it seems canonically appropriate at the time or not.
    Jesus flew in the face of tradition, because the religious leaders made a fine art out of mutilating the heart of the law.  "How dare you heal on the Sabbath!" etc, etc.
    And they convened their own council to see to His crucifixtion.

    2.  Personally, I don't doubt that people are being saved outside of the canonical institution of the Orthodox Church.

    We should be asking ourselves why?  (they are outside of the Canonical Church)

    3.  Neither will I deny that this is truly the work of the Holy Spirit.  However, I will assert that this is still in some invisible way the work of the Church.  

    As I have said before, His Church boundaries, and yours do not correspond.

    4.  What I will also assert, however, is that your continued refusal to submit to the authority of the canonical Church that Christ has established for our salvation is indeed opposition to the work of the Holy Spirit.

    I have not refused to submit to any legitimate authority.  I am in full submission to my Bishop who is busy in this moment saying a Mass for this forum, as he has done every day since it began.

    And as far as a "canonical Church"  until the Lord sees fit to bring us one that suits His purpose, we are orphans, and waiting.
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    « Reply #104 on: May 07, 2006, 11:10:13 PM »


    Well to be honest, yes.  When I see the name "High Elder" and hear authoritative discourses and heady theological quotes, it seems very convincing, that these people are authorized to speak for the Church.  I have become increasingly concerned about the future of the Church they represent, if they are to become clerics serving  the Church and  this is the formation they have recieved in canonically correct institutions.

    The term "High Elder" does not refer to any position in the Church, ordained or otherwise. "High Elder" and all other such "titles" that you see on people's profiles are either self-given (usually as jokes) or simply a designation given to a member of this site depending on how many posts that person has written. I believe, in fact, that we have a certain "High Elder" or some such thing who is an Agnostic, and there are other "High Elders" who got that designation by posting lots of jokes or one-sentence posts.

    Again, Orthodoxchristianity.net is NOT an official Web site of any canonical or uncanonical Orthodox Church or Orthodox Church-related ministry. It is not blessed by any Bishop, nor is its content reviewed by anyone with priestly or hierarchal authority.

    This is not my opinion. It is simply a fact. This is a Web community, formed and maintained almost exclusively by lay people in a wide variety of Orthodox and heterodox jursidictions. The information and opinion you get here is only as good as the individual poster and the individual post, and it's not necessarily a reflection of any given jurisdiction's teaching, much less the Church as a whole.
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    « Reply #105 on: May 07, 2006, 11:15:14 PM »

    Quote
    I am in full submission to my Bishop who is busy in this moment saying a Mass for this forum...

    So is he doing the Novus Ordo like you had when you were Franciscans or a translation of the old Latin Mass? Or something completely different? Something newly written? By him and/or you, perhaps?

    Oh, yes, and since you brought it up, once again, which Celts exactly do you so strongly identify with? The Manx?
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    « Reply #106 on: May 07, 2006, 11:16:11 PM »

    The information and opinion you get here is only as good as the individual poster and the individual post, and it's not necessarily reflection of any given jurisdictions teaching, much less the Church as a whole.

    Thank you so much for clarifying this for me.

    I will do my very best to take it to heart.  

    It restores my hope to hear this.
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    « Reply #107 on: May 08, 2006, 12:21:53 AM »

    With all do respect, you seem to know God much better than most people I've met.  Roll Eyes
    [/color]

    The Groom speaks to His bride.  She does not always have to find things in books.


    Rather, what I believe is upseting many of these posters is your desire to put together too polar opposites.


    What God began as one, should not be polarized into opposites.  We need oneanother.

    It is an insult to the churches and to the men to say that Gregory of Palamas and Thomas Aquinas, Seraphim and Francis, etc. all go hand in hand.  It is to reduce their arguments and beliefs to rubble and discount their persons.


    Will you be insulted by God when you see them, joyfully free of contentions and disagreements,  together in Heaven?

    Rather, these dogmas and canons that you may view as trivial, have a reason and are based in tradition and customs.

    I do not believe they are trivial.   But I do believe that Tradition, dogmas, canons, etc. is to serve as the structure and backbone to protect the health of the Body to which Christ Himself is the Head,  and the movement of the Holy Spirit within the body.

    When tradition and canons are perverted by man's personal agenda, and become instead a threatening instrument of chastisement, to wedge the Body into a corner, and subdue the working of the Holy Spirit, they defeat their purpose.

    They are good for the people.  Otherwise, Joe's Byzantine-Catholic Orthodox Roman Church, Inc. or the New York Patriarch can be set up anywhere and lead people astray.

    I agree, that is why I believe that in a spirit of humble mindedness we need to closely examine what the Holy Spirit is doing in (non-canonical, sacramental) churches of all ethnic cultures as well, and, without disparaging them, come to an understanding that if they adhere to the same essential beliefs they should be incorporated into the canonical Church but without, brutalizing, submission tactics. (Isn't that exactly what Rome tried to do to you?)     Perhaps even given a grade for their orthodoxy.  A. Thoroughly Orthodox, very traditional. B. Orthodox with some differences, not compromising faith or morals. C. Reliable in matters of Faith and morals but difference in some liturgical practices.

    If this were done properly,  the people would bear witness to the true orthodoxy of the authorities,  not rightly percieve them as political jostling,  age old bitterness and revenge, but true and righteous judgement.  Those who are heretical would be exposed on the basis of their unorthodox beliefs.  

    Articles such as the RCC doctrines could be simply stated as, "In all basic articles of faith,  we are in agreement, with these exceptions.  (the list)  Since these disagreements are not vital to our salvation, you may intercommune."

    Then in another declaration:  Regretably, we have found serious errors in the theology of Joes New York Orthodox Church, and for your own protection we ask you not to participate in their liturgies, or speak in depth with them, unless you have mature theological knowledge and are fully prepared to defend the true faith.

    When people are led astray then they cannot find Christ as well as they can with the blessings of THe Orthodox Church.  

    All the more reason for us to beat our swords into ploughshares and unite on common
    ground without compromise.   The sooner the better.  Because as it stands now, there is
    a grand amound of confusion.  Those who are of orthodox belief in Catholicism and those who are off the wall in a psuedo religion are being lumped together by age old enmities and ego struggles.  How can anyone trust such discernment?  

    Under your idea of ecclesiology, there would be some people still around promiting Mosaic law for salvation.

    This conclusion is your own invention.  Consider how many times I have sited the New Testament and Faith of the Apostles.

    I could always be more humble Brother.


     


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    « Reply #108 on: May 08, 2006, 08:17:05 AM »

    Quote
    Since these disagreements are not vital to our salvation, you may intercommune.

    You've hit the crux of the matter. Orthodox do in fact believe that filioque, papal supreme jurisdiction, infallibility, rejection of hesychasm and "Palamism", etc, are detrimental to one's salvation.  The Church is not an institution that has people but a Body which is defined by the truth, a calling together of all people in one body; the addition of false doctrines and rejection of true doctrines by the RCC gives its faithful a view of the Church and Christ which is lacking.  This cannot but hurt their walk with Him.  He can save whom he wills, but he has established the Orthodox Church as the only Church (it's not the only one because it professes the right ideas but on the contrary, because it is the only body which correctly expresses the Tradition of Christ, it is therefore known as Orthodox. If any  local Orthodox Church began teaching a new teaching, it would instantly cease to be an Orthodox Church. So we are not talking legalism but merely identity).

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    « Reply #109 on: May 08, 2006, 09:41:11 AM »

    The Holy Spirit is alive and well, able to navigate and teach in some branches of the canonical Church.
    So, let me get this straight. The Holy Spirit is able to operate in "some branches" of the "Canonical Church", but not in others....and the Body of Christ is divided into "branches" which are not in Communion....
    Your ecclesiology seems to be quainter than a four-dollar note.

    For instance, some canonical Orthodox  are not in agreement about the stain of original sin being cleansed through Baptism.
    Citations? References? Evidence?

    I believe that the Holy Spirit in His profound condescension and humility, provided a grace to help verify this doctrine.   When Theotokos appeared to Bernadette and called herself the "Immaculate Conception", those who were closed to Him would not accept it,  so they had to discredit Lourdes, even though to this day the body of Bernadette remains under glass for all to see, incorrupt.  And the miracles from Lourdes continue.
    So, being "free from Original Sin", the Theotokos, and therefore Christ, were free from the consequences of the Fall. Why did They die then?
    And should we take the "Hindu Milk Miracle of September 29th 1995" that it would please God that we worship Ganesh?

    Given the evidence,  it is apparent that this doctrine and manifestation have been testified to by God in His Divine and Miraculous Intervention and Providence.  
    Well then, shouldn't you be worshipping a god with the head of an elephant? "Given the evidence" of the Hindu Milk Miracle, worshipping Ganesh has the Divine Stamp of Approval.


    In conclusion, we do not segregate the miracles of God into Orthodox=valid,  RCC=invalid.
    Neither do I. But "miracles" which teach false doctrines like Lourdes, Fatima, Garabandal and Medjugore may not actually be "Divine". Scripture wasn't actually talking about God when it says: "And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men" (Revelations 13:13).

    We discern based on New Testament principles what is of God and what is of man.  Division, especially unwarranted, is of man.  Satan divides and conquers,  we must not allow ourselves to be instruments that divide, but instruments that reunite.
    So, only "satan divides" people, and you base this on your discernment based on New Testament Principles? Well I hate to interrupt your "Love-in", but Who said: "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household." Matthew 10:34-36.

    Truth carries its own anointing, truth endures, the fruits of Truth are sweet and life giving, and enduring through time and every opposition, they are not bitter, harsh and cold, bringing condemnation, alienation and separation.
    So, if it feels good it must be true, and Christ was therefore lying when He sharply rebuked his disciples and when He rebukes six of the Seven Churches in the Book of Revelation.

    Our position is that, if for no valid reason, church hierarchy tries to interfere with or discredit a valid supernatural manifestation, it is preferrable for the believer to follow his or her conscience on the matter even when it brings open disobedience.
                      "As a matter of conscience, I respectfully disobey."
    And in other Church matters, if East and West had adhered to this definition of obedience, perhaps the great schism might never have happened, the way it did.
    Huh OK, let me get this straight. If I think a bishop is wrong, I must "respectfully disobey" him, and if only the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches had done this, there would not have been a schism? My dear deluded lady, they did do this- that why there was a schism.
    Perhaps the "Taos Hum" has got to you. Wink
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    « Reply #110 on: May 08, 2006, 01:25:50 PM »

    ozgeorge,

    Might I suggest that your latest post on this thread is short on substance, long on anger, and bordering on ad hominem?  This has been a rather heated thread already, even though, from what I see, most of us have tried to be civil and present a lot of substance to back up our position.  I don't see your hotheaded response doing anything put pouring fuel on the fire unnecessarily.  Please try to be a lot more respectful on this already smoldering thread.

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    « Reply #111 on: May 08, 2006, 02:13:38 PM »

    So, being "free from Original Sin", the Theotokos, and therefore Christ, were free from the consequences of the Fall. Why did They die then?

    In nomine Iesu I offer you all continued Peace,

    Frankly this is a 'really' great question and one that I believe could make for a very intriguing discussion of the early Church Fathers and their views on the Fall and the 'real' Nature of Death through Sin being physical or spiritual in nature.

    Although I do believe this would be distracting to the current thread it would be a nice topic.

    Peace and God Bless.
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    « Reply #112 on: May 09, 2006, 01:34:26 AM »

    The Church is not an institution that has people but a Body
    which is defined by the truth,

     
    I agree that the Church is not an institution. But I do not agree that it is a Body defined by the truth.

    I believe the Body of Christ, is a living spiritual body,  composed of souls who have been enlightened and animated towards holiness, by the Holy Spirit, and received Christ as their head, and are working to conform thier lives to the Scriptures. 

    " If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and will make Our abode with him."  John 14:23

    In refering to His word, His teachings, His commandments.  He has not put the added burden on simple souls to discern which canons of which Church are valid and which ordinations are licit.  He is calling for an adherence of the heart and mind to His words, and a living out of the Gospels.

    If the grace of salvation is given by God in the Baptist Church,  the soul's knowledge of the full truth,  and empowerment through the Sacraments will be incomplete.  But if the soul is committed to live the truth that has been revealed to him, with all his heart, and mind and strength, I believe he has become a member of the Body of Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit, working with other souls for the salvation of mankind.

    I also believe that if it would best serve the interests of that soul and the Body of Christ, for him to be led into the Full Truth, God will make him restless with what he has until he searches it out.  It may take many years of trial and error to reach his destination, but only God knows what lessons he must go through to make the right choices from the heart.  He may even die searching, but then he will see Face to face, what has only been reflected from a mirror darkly.  And because his will is well disposed, when he is shown the full truth he will readily accept it and be added to The Church.

    In the meantime, what do we do with all those who are in the Body of Christ but at different stages in the journey?  Do we accuse them of their errors or do we present the truth (only as they are ready to hear it, in a manner they can accept) and wait upon the Spirit of God to bring conviction?  In the meantime showing them Jesus by our behavior and conduct, which produces good fruit.

    Do we make them feel like second class citizens with a self righteous and smug attitude, or do we Mother and Father them, tenderly, making them feel welcomed into the Family of God.  "Who is my mother, my brother, my sister?"   Would you deny Mother Theresa  communion, because she is not in accord with every jot and tittle of the Truth?  If you would not deny her, then how could you  deny any devout Catholic believer.  And it would be a very sad testimony indeed of anyone's discernment to deny this saintly Bride of Christ, the nourishment she deserves.

    I do not believe the Lord wants us to use His Body as a seal of approval on a believer's way of thinking because finally,  he has attained complete agreement with our profound theological knowledge. 

    There are those who have the proper agreements, but their hearts are cold as stone, but these may readily commune.   There are others who are on fire with love of God and neighbor, but they haven't the right agreements, so they may not be nourished on His Body.  The Lord did not set this standard, and I do not believe we should either.

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    « Reply #113 on: May 09, 2006, 01:58:40 AM »

    So, being "free from Original Sin", the Theotokos, and therefore Christ, were free from the consequences of the Fall. Why did They die then?
    Frankly this is a 'really' great question

    Christ being true God and true Man, chose to subject Himself to the consequences of our sin, out of love, and to demonstrate that He is the resurrection and the life.

    Mary chose to fall asleep because she wanted to be fully conformed to her Son. 

    And just as she did not object to purification after the birth of Jesus,  in her humility she accepted what all mankind must ultimately accept.

    In her Assumption, she is the example to all the faithful,  of the reward they are  ultimately to receive,  and that is promised by Christ....

    just as in her Immaculate Conception, she received the grace of Baptism ahead of all humanity.

    These are a few that come to mind.

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    « Reply #114 on: May 09, 2006, 03:04:15 AM »

    You've hit the crux of the matter. Orthodox do in fact believe ...

    I understand the validity of Orthodox thinking,  but I am firmly persuaded that it is up to the Holy Spirit to bring a soul into complete agreement. 

    In the meantime, I do not believe it is right to separate over issues that are non-issues according to the examples given in the Scriptures. 

    From your perspective, theologically, all of the unOrthodox, non-Canonical believers are like the unclean creatures on the sheet that descended from Heaven,  when Peter fell into a trance, and the Lord told him to take up and eat.   (Acts 10:9)

    When Peter said, "Certainly not sir!  For never have I eaten anything profane or unclean."

    The Lord had to enlarge Peter's understanding to prepare him,  for the work he had undertaken, so He answered him,    "What God has made clean, you are not to call profane." and repeated the vision three times, just to make sure he got the message.


    Peter did not comprehend the significance of this event until a messenger arrived from the house of Cornelius, an unclean Roman Centurion, inviting him to his house.   The Lord admonished him,  "So get up, go downstairs, and accompany them without hesitation, because I have sent them."

    At Cornelius' house Peter exclaimed, "You know that it is unlawful for a Jewish man to associate with, or visit, a Gentile, but God has shown me that I should not call any person profane or unclean."

    Cornelius then relates a visitation of Christ to him while he was at prayer and Peter replies,   "In truth, I see that God shows no partiality.  Rather,  in every nation,  whoever fears Him and acts uprightly is acceptable to Him."

    And Peter began to instruct them, "but while he was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening .....circumcised believers who had accompanied Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit should have been poured out on the (uncircumcised)Gentiles also".......and Peter said,  "Can anyone withold the water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit even as we have?"

    The Holy Spirit had gone ahead of Peter, with conviction,  and prepared the hearts of these men.  Peter with his apostolic authority, was sent to confirm what God had already done,  and instruct them into the faith, not to impose circumcision and lengthly baptism classes, nor demand that they conform to teachings that were at the time far beyond them.

    Peter was an Apostle, he fasted and prayed and prepared his heart to receive.  And when God had something to tell him that was utterly against his Orthodox beliefs,  he received it in all humility.  He had true discernment, so no preconceived Orthodox ideas could stand in the way of the Holy Spirit, he was ready to cooperate with God, even against his previous convictions.

    If the Hierarchs on all sides, attain to this kind of humility and discernment, I don't see how schism can continue to exist."

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    « Reply #115 on: May 12, 2006, 01:16:21 AM »


    "My sheep know My voice."
    Yes, but the Orthodox claim to be Christ's sheep.  Roman Catholics claim to be Christ's sheep.  Half a million different Protestant denominations claim to be Christ's sheep, and some of them are as exclusive of others as the Orthodox and pre-1960 Roman Catholics.  Even a lot of sects in schism from Rome or from canonical Orthodoxy claim to be Christ's sheep.  What makes you and your sect so special?
    Seeing your consistency in preaching your message in other threads, I need to mention that you haven't answered my question yet (see quote above).
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    « Reply #116 on: May 13, 2006, 01:28:44 AM »

    Yes, but the Orthodox claim to be Christ's sheep.  Roman Catholics claim to be Christ's sheep.  Half a million different Protestant denominations claim to be Christ's sheep, and some of them are as exclusive of others as the Orthodox and pre-1960 Roman Catholics.  Even a lot of sects in schism from Rome or from canonical Orthodoxy claim to be Christ's sheep.  What makes you and your sect so special?

    I believe we all are His sheep, but in different stages of development. Some of us are much further along in some areas than others,  and some of us are totally ignorant in areas where others excel in experience and wisdom. The Lord would have us learn from one another in humility.
     
    I never said we were so special,  I only confessed what I believe, I am His sheep and I do hear His voice, although not always perfectly.  There is one thing I have heard perfectly though,  we as Christians must all work to lay down our weapons of division, because there is not one Christian; Protestant, Catholic, or Orthodox, that does not have something we need right now in this minute to grow in holiness and love for God, something we are underdeveloped in.   

    God fully knows who would profit from the gifts of another.  He longs to share these gifts with those who are lacking in them, but pride and arrogance have built insurmountable walls.

    What's worse, is that these gifts are needed by all to harvest the catch, not to harvest souls for Orthodoxy, Fundamentalism, Catholicism,  but for the Kingdom of Heaven.

    Each one of us has different treasures of wisdom and experience,  laid up in our souls, that have been placed there by the Holy Spirit,  to share.   But Satan, knowing man's propensity for fear and thus division, has found a way to wall off those graces and keep the rest of the Body from ever having access to them.  Namely, find fault with their practice, label them heretics,  then everyone will be fearful of drinking from their poisoned well.  Cornelius never could have received Baptism from Peter if he hadn't come to terms with his attitude, through true discernment.

    What I am saying is  that there are no shortcuts or substitutions for true discernment.

    Just because our predecessors carried the banners of division, does not mean that God is pleased with division or will allow it to continue forever, and it is guaranteed these attitudes will not be admitted into Heaven. 

    There are those who want to learn from us, what they can, but they won't get near us because they are afraid that we will attack their faith.  God may very well be drawing them to the Orthodox Faith, but they back away because graces they have received legitimately from God are labeled as demonic. 

    They are not totally ignorant, the Spirit of the Lord dwelling within them bears witness that this is not true.    And why are they being accused?  Because others within the Orthodox Faith, do not have solid experience with discernment and have been taught to be suspicious and dismissive, rather than being trained in these areas so they could judge with righteous and true judgement.

    And if those drawn to Orthodoxy do have serious error, they are not strong enough yet, by virtue of grace and understanding to renounce their error, they need to be taught by skilled teachers in a non threatening environment.  When I say skilled teachers, again I'm referring to discernment, the ability to see what God is trying to do with the soul and walk along side them supportively until they are ready to look at the error.  The Celts have the tradition of the Anamchara which we could learn much from.

    The Lord sowed division by confusing the language of those who were building the tower of Babel, so they could not continue to share and gain more knowledge, in the end harming themselves.

    Satan has sown division between legitimate Christian people, so they cannot share and gain more wisdom, in the end harming him, by snatching souls away from the kingdom of darkness.

    The Scribes and the Pharisees perceived Jesus as a sort of vagante teacher, a cult leader, and so they plotted against him.  They were lacking in true discernment, even though they were gifted and faithful in the law.  The people however, did have discernment, and were able to accept Him as the Messiah.

    I believe He is trying to prepare us for our heavenly homeland, a place of perfect peace, which we will someday  (if we remain faithful), enter into. But more importantly, there is a harvest, and He needs His army stepping in unison, not fighting within the ranks.

    There cannot be perfect peace without perfect charity, and this earth is our classroom,  if we are willing.





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