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Author Topic: Do we have alot in common?  (Read 8593 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: October 15, 2006, 11:31:32 PM »

As will be the case across most of the United States - even in my diocese of Lansing, Michigan.  The bishops in the U.S. have never shown any propensity to follow what the Vatican wants so why should they now.  Certainly, the approval of the indult is a great thing but it is nothing more than hot air and will never become a widespread practice.

Rob
I think with regard to this matter, Rome will be putting alot of pressure on the Bishops and the traditional Catholics will be pushing equally hard. I think the Bishops will not want to fight this fight.
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« Reply #46 on: October 15, 2006, 11:36:39 PM »

The question remains. DO WE HAVE THAT MUCH IN COMMON?
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« Reply #47 on: October 15, 2006, 11:37:14 PM »

I am sorry but your conclusion does not follow from your premise. At least having a Peterine ministry allows us to know what is and what is not orthodoxy. In my opinion, the Eastern Orthodox have no way of determining what is orthodoxy and have gone into comoplete heresy on certain matters such as the use of artificial birth control and divorce. No, I am sorry my friend, your conclusion does not follow.
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Considering that we had our teaching on divorce centuries before the schism, that is a bit hard to swallow.  If you want to debate that I'd suggest you dig up an old thread on divorce and see where Catholics have not done a good job here debating us, and let's have a go at it! Smiley

As to your point, I think that the conclusion of Nektarios does follow the premise. What good is having an office that says what is and isn't heresy if hardly anyone recognizes its authority to make such pronouncments unilaterally? An office should exist for a purpose, not just exist even though it is not serving the function it is intended for.  For instance, the papacy is supposed to be able to teach infallibly, yet there is confusion as to when a document is itself infallible, c.f. the debate even on Catholic sites surrounding Ordinatio Sacerdotalis in 1994. Infallible or not?  Roman Catholicism seems to be authority based: we possess a certain office, so we have a right to teach this and that and you must obey.  For Orthodox, it's clearly the opposite: those who are holy because they have become close to Christ are the most likely to be Orthodox and by demonstrating their Orthodoxy they are made bishops. It doesn't always happen but more often than not it does work that way.

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« Reply #48 on: October 15, 2006, 11:39:04 PM »

The question remains. DO WE HAVE THAT MUCH IN COMMON?
Well I think that we have a lot in common but given the fact that we have to have everything (dogmatically) in common to be in communion, what is the point of celebrating our closeness? Until you are baptized in the Church of Christ or such time as your bishops repent and are restored in their orders into Orthodoxy if that is how the Church decides to handle things, from our POV you are not in the Church and from your POV we are schismatics and possibly heretics so in the end, so what?  Sure let's cooperate on social issues and make a stand against secularism, but that's about it.

A.
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« Reply #49 on: October 15, 2006, 11:40:03 PM »

Considering that we had our teaching on divorce centuries before the schism, that is a bit hard to swallow.  If you want to debate that I'd suggest you dig up an old thread on divorce and see where Catholics have not done a good job here debating us, and let's have a go at it! Smiley

As to your point, I think that the conclusion of Nektarios does follow the premise. What good is having an office that says what is and isn't heresy if hardly anyone recognizes its authority to make such pronouncments unilaterally? An office should exist for a purpose, not just exist even though it is not serving the function it is intended for.  For instance, the papacy is supposed to be able to teach infallibly, yet there is confusion as to when a document is itself infallible, c.f. the debate even on Catholic sites surrounding Ordinatio Sacerdotalis in 1994. Infallible or not?  Roman Catholicism seems to be authority based: we possess a certain office, so we have a right to teach this and that and you must obey.  For Orthodox, it's clearly the opposite: those who are holy because they have become close to Christ are the most likely to be Orthodox and by demonstrating their Orthodoxy they are made bishops. It doesn't always happen but more often than not it does work that way.

Anastasios
The good of the office is that I can always know what I should or should not believe. Whenever the Pope teaches in any kind of official capacity, whenever he is defining or clarifying dogma for all the faithful, then I am bound to that teaching. Very simple. Very useful.
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« Reply #50 on: October 15, 2006, 11:44:38 PM »

I know what I should or should not beleive because God gave me a conscience and I can test the objective criteria he has given me: both personal because if I am believing an error it pricks my conscience and I suffer increased sinfulness.  If I am living in Christ, I do not believe or accept errors, and public because the Church has gone through this on a large scale via thousands of fathers and mothers of the church being divinized and united to Christ over thousands of years, who bear witness via writings.  Those who are heretics have as a root of their heresy personal sin; there are no holy heretics, despite the appearence to the contrary (by heretic in this case I mean those who are born Orthodox and create their own heterodox opinions).

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« Reply #51 on: October 15, 2006, 11:51:56 PM »

Well I think that we have a lot in common but given the fact that we have to have everything (dogmatically) in common to be in communion, what is the point of celebrating our closeness? Until you are baptized in the Church of Christ or such time as your bishops repent and are restored in their orders into Orthodoxy if that is how the Church decides to handle things, from our POV you are not in the Church and from your POV we are schismatics and possibly heretics so in the end, so what?  Sure let's cooperate on social issues and make a stand against secularism, but that's about it.

A.
And that is how I see it as well. From my POV until your bishops repent and seek communion with the Catholic Church, then we are not in communion. From your POV, we need to repent. So, what I am saying, is that those who engage in this whole "sister church" nonsense should drop it. One of the two Churches is the body of Christ and the other is not. We can pray together, and work towards Christianizing (is that a word? LOL) society but that is it.
Many blessings in Christ.
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« Reply #52 on: October 15, 2006, 11:53:31 PM »

I know what I should or should not beleive because God gave me a conscience and I can test the objective criteria he has given me: both personal because if I am believing an error it pricks my conscience and I suffer increased sinfulness.  If I am living in Christ, I do not believe or accept errors, and public because the Church has gone through this on a large scale via thousands of fathers and mothers of the church being divinized and united to Christ over thousands of years, who bear witness via writings.  Those who are heretics have as a root of their heresy personal sin; there are no holy heretics, despite the appearence to the contrary (by heretic in this case I mean those who are born Orthodox and create their own heterodox opinions).

A.
This whole, "I know the truth because my conscience tells me so" turns every individual Christian in to his very own Pope. If this idea is true, I get to decide what is true. And no one can tell me otherwise. I would much rather trust an objective criteria than my own conscience.
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« Reply #53 on: October 16, 2006, 12:43:10 AM »

To emphasize what Anastasios said, we do not follow our conscience as mere individuals but under the guidance of a spiritual father who is in communion with the entire church.  While you accuse us of lack of unity and falling into heresies because we don't have a pope - I'd encourage you to read Orthodox sources and see for yourself.  Despite 1000 years sinces the schism, Orthodoxy operating in multiple languages and cultures, hundreds of years of Islamic rule in the heartland of Orthodoxy, almost a century of communism: Orthodoxy is remarkably intact and unified.  On the other hand, do a straw poll of lay Catholics (or even clergy for that matter) on whether Ordinatio Sacerdotalis is infallible or not - count how many clergy and prominent laity ignore or flat out state they believe Humana Vitae to be in error.  Obviously something isn't working as planned.  The whole argument that without the Petrine office the church would denegrate into chaos doesn't hold up with North America and Europe - the Catholic Church is in chaos and neither Pope John Paul II nor Pope Benedict really seem to be doing anything about it. 

As for having a lot in commom (and it is a lot not alot)... on an official level we do - the major Trinitarian, Christological, sacramental beliefs etc.  Less and less do we share the same ethos.  To be honest, I think 95% + of Orthodox parishes in the United States border on pathetic, but the insanity that is commonplace in your typical Catholic parish in this nation would revolt most Orthodox people.  Slowly, I think American Orthodoxy is reforming itself whereas American Catholicism is growing crazier and crazier (the few times I've been back to (American) Catholic  Churches in the past couple of years are always more and more shocking) - hence the divide on a cultural level will only grow.  On a positive note, I did get the chance to visit a couple of Catholic churches of mostly Hungarian population which were very solid this summer.  Then again I had some negative experiences at a couple of Catholic parishes in Germany (i.e think of a congregation full of OC.net's very own Matthew777).  Perhaps some isolated pockets in Europe are better, but by and large - I don't see there being that much in common between the average Catholic and the average Orthodox person.     
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« Reply #54 on: October 16, 2006, 12:58:23 AM »

To emphasize what Anastasios said, we do not follow our conscience as mere individuals but under the guidance of a spiritual father who is in communion with the entire church.  While you accuse us of lack of unity and falling into heresies because we don't have a pope - I'd encourage you to read Orthodox sources and see for yourself.  Despite 1000 years sinces the schism, Orthodoxy operating in multiple languages and cultures, hundreds of years of Islamic rule in the heartland of Orthodoxy, almost a century of communism: Orthodoxy is remarkably intact and unified.  On the other hand, do a straw poll of lay Catholics (or even clergy for that matter) on whether Ordinatio Sacerdotalis is infallible or not - count how many clergy and prominent laity ignore or flat out state they believe Humana Vitae to be in error.  Obviously something isn't working as planned.  The whole argument that without the Petrine office the church would denegrate into chaos doesn't hold up with North America and Europe - the Catholic Church is in chaos and neither Pope John Paul II nor Pope Benedict really seem to be doing anything about it. 

As for having a lot in commom (and it is a lot not alot)... on an official level we do - the major Trinitarian, Christological, sacramental beliefs etc.  Less and less do we share the same ethos.  To be honest, I think 95% + of Orthodox parishes in the United States border on pathetic, but the insanity that is commonplace in your typical Catholic parish in this nation would revolt most Orthodox people.  Slowly, I think American Orthodoxy is reforming itself whereas American Catholicism is growing crazier and crazier (the few times I've been back to (American) Catholic  Churches in the past couple of years are always more and more shocking) - hence the divide on a cultural level will only grow.  On a positive note, I did get the chance to visit a couple of Catholic churches of mostly Hungarian population which were very solid this summer.  Then again I had some negative experiences at a couple of Catholic parishes in Germany (i.e think of a congregation full of OC.net's very own Matthew777).  Perhaps some isolated pockets in Europe are better, but by and large - I don't see there being that much in common between the average Catholic and the average Orthodox person.     
I did not say that you are not united in your faith. What I did say is that Eastern Orthodox have no way of determining what is true or not true anymore.
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« Reply #55 on: October 16, 2006, 01:11:55 AM »

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What I did say is that Eastern Orthodox have no way of determining what is true or not true anymore.

That is a charge leveled against the Orthodox frequently, but it is not entirely accurate.  The entire Palamite controversy occured after the schism and was settled within Orthodoxy.  Various other heresies and schisms have came about and have been dealt with in the Orthodox world.  Is it a slow and often times messy process?  Indeed!  But, the first seven councils were a mess as well and the Church survived without an infallible pope to guide.  If you are interested, please read some of the theologians and fathers of the post-schism Orthodox Church - then you could see first hand that the Orthodox do have their own methodology of obeying Holy Tradition from the scriptures, councils, fathers, bishops etc.
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« Reply #56 on: October 16, 2006, 08:24:52 AM »

This whole, "I know the truth because my conscience tells me so" turns every individual Christian in to his very own Pope. If this idea is true, I get to decide what is true. And no one can tell me otherwise. I would much rather trust an objective criteria than my own conscience.

No, it's not internal though! My point is that any choice we make has a result that can be measured by ourselves AND OTHERS. We don't trust ourselves--that's why we have spiritual fathers--but nevertheless it can be measured that if we are heretics, our spiritual life basically falls apart.

A.
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« Reply #57 on: October 16, 2006, 11:26:53 AM »

That is a charge leveled against the Orthodox frequently, but it is not entirely accurate.  The entire Palamite controversy occured after the schism and was settled within Orthodoxy.  Various other heresies and schisms have came about and have been dealt with in the Orthodox world.  Is it a slow and often times messy process?  Indeed!  But, the first seven councils were a mess as well and the Church survived without an infallible pope to guide.  If you are interested, please read some of the theologians and fathers of the post-schism Orthodox Church - then you could see first hand that the Orthodox do have their own methodology of obeying Holy Tradition from the scriptures, councils, fathers, bishops etc.
They may think they have setteled the issue but, still, I do not see any objective criteria in Eastern Orthodoxy for determining truth. They say Scripture and Tradition, but how do they  determine what is true Tradtion?
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« Reply #58 on: October 16, 2006, 11:56:55 AM »

They may think they have setteled the issue but, still, I do not see any objective criteria in Eastern Orthodoxy for determining truth. They say Scripture and Tradition, but how do they  determine what is true Tradtion?

Is the Church of Rome so far removed from its Orthodox roots that the concept of concilarity and the role of bishops as guardians has been lost?
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« Reply #59 on: October 16, 2006, 12:34:20 PM »

Is the Church of Rome so far removed from its Orthodox roots that the concept of concilarity and the role of bishops as guardians has been lost?
No of course not. But you guys have no way of determining which bishops are within the Church and which are not. No way to know which councils are binding on the Church and which are not. We do: the Pope.
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« Reply #60 on: October 16, 2006, 12:50:45 PM »

Hmmm. Looks like we have gotten way off topic. Don't you love forums! Grin
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« Reply #61 on: October 16, 2006, 01:09:25 PM »

We are indeed blessed...Papist and Orthodoc, opposite sides of one coin...good grief Charlie Brown...

james
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« Reply #62 on: October 16, 2006, 01:30:28 PM »

No of course not. But you guys have no way of determining which bishops are within the Church and which are not. No way to know which councils are binding on the Church and which are not. We do: the Pope.

I thought so. You have no knowledge or understanding of the role of the Ecumenical Patriarch who DOES fill the function once enjoyed by Rome, "all rights and priviledges". Communion with the EP is tantamount to being 'in' the Church. This is not a requirement in western-style legalistic sense, but a simple fact.
Perhaps you are thinking of the few small local churches not-in-communion? You've got them too.
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« Reply #63 on: October 16, 2006, 02:10:32 PM »

Hearsay.  I've never heard this.  Provide evidence or I have no reason to believe that you are nothing but a troll.  This better be something from the past decade too.

Elisha have you ever been to Russia? Do you have actual Russian friends who arent "nice and middle class"? Are you that much cut off from reality of contemporary Russian life that you have never heard this? Try actually living in Russia as opposed to visting as a tourist or on some ROCOR FSB-junket.

My first reaction was not to respond to what you have written given that those who wish to believe what they will about the MP in mine and other experiances cannot be made to see the reality no matter how much evidence is placed infront of them. Your references to "trolls" and "tin hats" show you have a sarcastic spirit which seems to accompany the resistance to truth.

There is no way that I will be so foolish as to engage in a discourse with you.

You are however, in my wretched prayers.

Theophan.
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« Reply #64 on: October 16, 2006, 02:36:16 PM »

Please take ROCOR and MP debates elsewhere.  This has no place in this thread nor in this section.  i have cut off the new thread and moved it to Free-for-All.  The title shouldn't be too hard to miss. 
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« Reply #65 on: October 16, 2006, 08:33:28 PM »

I thought so. You have no knowledge or understanding of the role of the Ecumenical Patriarch who DOES fill the function once enjoyed by Rome, "all rights and priviledges". Communion with the EP is tantamount to being 'in' the Church. This is not a requirement in western-style legalistic sense, but a simple fact.
Perhaps you are thinking of the few small local churches not-in-communion? You've got them too.
No. I know about the EP, the Patriarch of Constantinople. Some of the people I have discussed the EP with have really down played his role. For example, one Christian I have talked to from the ROCOR almost made it sound as if the Patriarch of Moscow, Alexy II, should have more authority than the EP. Second, what is the theological justification for having an EP? Third, why do the Eastern Orthodox not look to a petrine see as the first among equals such as Alexandria or Antioch? Can you help me to understand the situation? Fourth, why does the Eastern Orthodox Church select an Eastern Orthodox Bishop of Rome? Can you help me understand all of this? Thank you. Many blessings in Christ.
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« Reply #66 on: October 17, 2006, 01:03:00 AM »

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They may think they have setteled the issue but, still, I do not see any objective criteria in Eastern Orthodoxy for determining truth. They say Scripture and Tradition, but how do they  determine what is true Tradtion?

We use the same methodology as the Church did for the first seven councils.  The controversies then did not get settled quickly - and there was no infallible pope to step in.  And actually... there have been times where even with a papacy things aren't cut and dried http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Schism  then there is the situation that in the United States, at least, a great many clergy will tell their flock to ignore things like Humana Vitae

To really answer your question of how do we determine what Holy Tradition actually is - I'd ask you how many Orthodox sources have you read (and not internet polemics!)?  For example, a great many works on dogmatic theology were produced in Russia before the revolution - one of the best being Fr. Michael Pmozansky's "Orthodox Dogmatic Theology" which has been translated into English.  The more important writings of Metr. Hierotheos Vlachos are also translated into English.  For a good general intoduction try Timothy Ware's The Orthodox Church - which most public libraries have.  If you intend to debate with Orthodox people over apologetics you really should understand where they are coming from - using primary sources.  In the same way, I find it laughable with Orthodox apologists seem to know nothing of the ethos of Roman Catholicism, none of her modern saints, classical writings or spirituality - these two types can do nothing more than simply talk past eachother and repeat their own preconcieved notions of what the other confession is. 
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« Reply #67 on: October 17, 2006, 01:06:10 AM »

We use the same methodology as the Church did for the first seven councils.  The controversies then did not get settled quickly - and there was no infallible pope to step in.  And actually... there have been times where even with a papacy things aren't cut and dried http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Schism  then there is the situation that in the United States, at least, a great many clergy will tell their flock to ignore things like Humana Vitae

To really answer your question of how do we determine what Holy Tradition actually is - I'd ask you how many Orthodox sources have you read (and not internet polemics!)?  For example, a great many works on dogmatic theology were produced in Russia before the revolution - one of the best being Fr. Michael Pmozansky's "Orthodox Dogmatic Theology" which has been translated into English.  The more important writings of Metr. Hierotheos Vlachos are also translated into English.  For a good general intoduction try Timothy Ware's The Orthodox Church - which most public libraries have.  If you intend to debate with Orthodox people over apologetics you really should understand where they are coming from - using primary sources.  In the same way, I find it laughable with Orthodox apologists seem to know nothing of the ethos of Roman Catholicism, none of her modern saints, classical writings or spirituality - these two types can do nothing more than simply talk past eachother and repeat their own preconcieved notions of what the other confession is. 
I agree.
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« Reply #68 on: October 17, 2006, 01:10:44 AM »

Lo and behold the powers of google:

http://www.intratext.com/X/ENG0824.HTM

If you skim around here fairly large excerpts of his books are offered http://www.vic.com/~tscon/pelagia/htm/index.htm

And for good measure - http://www.westernorthodox.com/khomiakov
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« Reply #69 on: October 17, 2006, 01:20:55 AM »

Last but not least for the evening, a huge chunk of the afore mentioned book by Timothy (now Bishop Kallistos) Ware: http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/orthodoxy.aspx

As a word of warning, the other things from that website I'd be careful about.... the vast majority is very good and the webmaster has taken great care to put up some wonderful material, but it tends to be a little extreme in its views on some issues. 
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« Reply #70 on: October 17, 2006, 02:07:21 AM »

To really answer your question of how do we determine what Holy Tradition actually is - I'd ask you how many Orthodox sources have you read (and not internet polemics!)?  For example, a great many works on dogmatic theology were produced in Russia before the revolution - one of the best being Fr. Michael Pmozansky's "Orthodox Dogmatic Theology" which has been translated into English.

Father Michael Pomazansky's work was not produced before the revolution, but in the 1960's.  Personally, I don't know why some people on this forum like this book.  From what I've seen, it's anti-intellectual, ahistorical,  and at times a plug for "tradition" instead of "Tradition."
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« Reply #71 on: October 17, 2006, 02:22:05 AM »

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Father Michael Pomazansky's work was not produced before the revolution, but in the 1960's.  Personally, I don't know why some people on this forum like this book.  From what I've seen, it's anti-intellectual, ahistorical,  and at times a plug for "tradition" instead of "Tradition."

Right, I mispoke about the dating of Fr. Pmazansky's work, but he was hismelf a product of the pre-revolutionary seminary system.  For the purposes I mentioned, such as describing authority and how we interpret what is actually Holy Tradition - there is nothing "anti-intellectual, ahistorical,  and at times a plug for "tradition" instead of "Tradition."" about Orthodox Dogmatic Theology. 
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« Reply #72 on: October 17, 2006, 02:30:35 AM »

For the purposes I mentioned, such as describing authority and how we interpret what is actually Holy Tradition - there is nothing "anti-intellectual, ahistorical,  and at times a plug for "tradition" instead of "Tradition."" about Orthodox Dogmatic Theology. 

Is too.  (Standing by to receive your "is not."  Wink)
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« Reply #73 on: October 17, 2006, 02:46:40 AM »

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Is too.  (Standing by to receive your "is not."  )

Actually if you make a strong allegation like that, it is usually done so with an explanation and evidence for your position.  Even assuming you are correct - I gave a very wide range of sources, so it can be assumed that the defects in any one of them will most likely be made up for in the others. 
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« Reply #74 on: October 17, 2006, 07:37:54 AM »

No. I know about the EP, the Patriarch of Constantinople. Some of the people I have discussed the EP with have really down played his role. For example, one Christian I have talked to from the ROCOR almost made it sound as if the Patriarch of Moscow, Alexy II, should have more authority than the EP. Second, what is the theological justification for having an EP? Third, why do the Eastern Orthodox not look to a petrine see as the first among equals such as Alexandria or Antioch? Can you help me to understand the situation? Fourth, why does the Eastern Orthodox Church select an Eastern Orthodox Bishop of Rome? Can you help me understand all of this? Thank you. Many blessings in Christ.

1) Why a "petrine see"?
2) Meaning NOt select? We're stupid and are still waiting for Rome to come to its senses.
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« Reply #75 on: October 17, 2006, 08:22:02 AM »

and at times a plug for "tradition" instead of "Tradition."

The fact that you make such a distinction already reveals why you wouldn't like that book Wink
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« Reply #76 on: October 17, 2006, 09:25:07 AM »

1) Why a "petrine see"?
2) Meaning NOt select? We're stupid and are still waiting for Rome to come to its senses.
1) Do the Eastern Orthodox not believe that Peter was the first among equals?
2) yeah, that's what I meant.
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« Reply #77 on: October 17, 2006, 11:59:58 AM »

The Petrine See opened the "windows of the Church" and what happened...35 years of wandering and confusion...Rome fell asleep at the wheel and is too afraid to make the nescessary corrections...upsetting the laity...I fear the Almighty not the laity.

I don't see these events happening in Orthodoxy...

james
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« Reply #78 on: October 17, 2006, 12:11:48 PM »

The Petrine See opened the "windows of the Church" and what happened...35 years of wandering and confusion...Rome fell asleep at the wheel and is too afraid to make the nescessary corrections...upsetting the laity...I fear the Almighty not the laity.

I don't see these events happening in Orthodoxy...

james
Birthcontrol, divorce, hmmm.
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« Reply #79 on: October 17, 2006, 12:27:22 PM »

1) Do the Eastern Orthodox not believe that Peter was the first among equals?
2) yeah, that's what I meant.

Saint Peter, yes.

Popes in error, no.
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« Reply #80 on: October 17, 2006, 12:31:18 PM »

Second, what is the theological justification for having an EP?

Theological justification? All Bishops are "equal," but someone has to hold the presidency of a large Synod or liturgical gathering. Rome is no longer in communion with the East, thus the bishop who held the second place of honor according to canons from Ecumenical Councils and long-standing tradition fills the gap (See Canon 3 of the Second Ecumenical Council (eventually accepted as such by Rome) and Canon 28 of the Fourth Ecumenical Council).

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Third, why do the Eastern Orthodox not look to a petrine see as the first among equals such as Alexandria or Antioch?

Because after the First Ecumenical Council, no one in the Church did, including Rome. The Canons of the following Ecumenical Councils and the practice of the Universal Church recognized Constantinople as the second See of the Empire, despite the history and apostolicity of Alexandria, Jerusalem and Antioch (which, of course, is older than Rome herself!). These things are obviously fluid, or Rome wouldn't have supplanted her Mother Churches.

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Can you help me to understand the situation?

This is a complicated subject. Church governance is highly fluid within the first five centuries and not at all as clear as apologists of yore have made it seem. For example, even Leo Donald Davis (noted Roman Catholic historian of the Ecumenical Councils) admits that Ossius of Cordoba presided over the First Ecumenical Council. While he was from the West, he was not a papal legate. He was, in the words of Jorg Ulrich, "the theological adviser and 'court bishop' of the emperor, and as such he had the chairmanship in the council and a hand in its proceedings and agenda." [Jorg Ulrich, "Nicaea and the West" Vigiliae Christianae, Vol. 51., No. 1 (Mar., 1997), pp. 10-24]. And, yet, how far did Ossius' perogatives extend? Well, the first to speak was an Eastern Bishop -- probably the Patriarch of Antioch, according to Davis. So, who's "in charge"? What does "being in charge" mean? Unfortunately, we don't have many records from the First Ecumenical Council. But we do have substantial records (including minutes) by the time of the Fourth Ecumenical Council. And who presides there? The imperial commissioners -- not even an imperially appointed bishop.

Some things to consider: As Francis Dvornik has written, even at the time of the New Testament, letters were addressed to the churches in the capitals of the provinces, and these "capital" churches were then charged with spreading the word to the rest of the province [Francis Dvornik (1966) Byzantium and the Roman Primacy]. In other words, the Church (very naturally) mirrored the existing structure of the State. Thus, the pre-Imperial model of Church government was assuredly eparchial by the start of the fourth century, meaning that each eparchy (or region, as definited by the State) of the Empire had its own "Metropolitan Bishop" and possibly even a Synod (cf. Canon 4 of Nicaea I). It is not suprisingly that this form of Church government, since it is itself determined by the boundaries of the State, began to change with the Empire. In fact, we see within the canons of Nicea some indication that the "autocephaly" of each eparchial Metropolitanate was not entirely uniform: Canon 6 speaks of Alexandria, Antioch and Rome as having some sort of supra-metropolitan status because of "ancient custom." What exactly this ancient custom is -- if it comes from an ecclesial tradition, in that all three Sees are Apostolic, or if it comes from the fact that all three cities held long-time positions of importance in the diocesan structure of the Empire -- is not clear. Regardless, Canon 6 of Nicea goes on to emphasize that this "ancient custom" should not be seen as an infringement upon the continued validity of provincial independence elsewhere. Thus, Nicea leaves us with a somewhat confused picture of the Church, wherein it is not easy to determine with certainty exactly where ecclesial criteria end and Imperial influence begins.

In general, this trend is what Dvornik termed the principle of "accommodation" (vis-à-vis that of apostolicity). Dvornik argues that the Church, from its earliest days, "conformed itself, for the organization of its ecclesiastical administration, to the political divisions of the Roman Empire.” [Francis Dvornik (1966), p. 29.] This made sense for reasons of practicality, administration and efficiency. With the advent of a Christian State, however, this process of accommodation took on a new ethos and developed its own sort of theological justification. Furthermore, the creation of a new capital in Constantinople created a kind of magnificent anomaly in the Empire's civil administration: Byzantium had not even been the capital of its province, much less its diocese (a secular term, remember!), and so, under the principle of accommodation, its Bishop had been a suffragan to the See of Heraclea. Byzantium's new status as an Imperial city, however, obviously exempted it from such subordination in the civil realm, but what of its ecclesial status? Constantine could name a small town after himself and transform it into an Imperial city, but could he re-make the shape of the Church as well? It turns that he could not -- at least not overnight. The rise of Constantinople in both civil and ecclesiastical authority was a gradual process, a process that got its first major jumpstart at the Second Ecumenical Council of Constantinople in 381, especially from its third canon, the first official attempt to secure an ecclesiastical place worthy of the capital's bishop. We should not forget that it was Meletius of Antioch who presided at Constantinople I, that there were no Roman legates, and that only about 150 Bishops from Thrace, Asia Minor and Egypt were in attendance. [F. Dvornik (1966) Byzantium and the Roman Primacy, pp. 44-45.] And, yet, both the Orthodox and Roman Churches now recognize the council as Ecumenical!

It is hardly surprising that at such a council we should find a canon that speaks about the presbeia of Constantinople. Canon 3, as it has typically been translated, reads: "The Bishop of Constantinople shall have the Primacy of honour after the Bishop of Rome, because Constantinople is New Rome." [J. Stevenson (1978) Creeds, Councils and Controversies, p. 148.]  However, as Peter L'Huillier has indicated, "Primacy of honour" is a rather inadequate translation of ta presbeia tis timis, which actually means "the prerogatives of honor." [P. L'Huillier (1996) The Church of the Ancient Councils, p. 122.] This error seems to date back to the earliest Latin translations of the canon – a fact that may have influenced Rome's dislike for the canon, particularly after Chalcedon (the Fourth Ecumenical Council). While the canons of Constantinople I do not explicitly establish a principle of "territorial accommodation," they are the first canons to employ the term "dioceses" and to adopt this secular category for the Church (still in use today). In fact, the canons of Constantinople I go so far as to make sure that the ecclesial divisions of the Church accurately reflect the most current political events: Canon 2 mentions that Egypt should be considered a separate "synod" from the "East" – even though Egypt had not been made into its own diocese until 380, only one year before the council. [A.H.M Jones (1964) The Later Roman Empire, p. 46.]

Anyway, these are just some initial thoughts. Things are fluid in all periods of Church history -- and influenced by a variety of factors -- even in the modern period of the Roman Catholic Church. Fr. John Erikson, an Orthodox scholar, reminds us:

Quote
The good news from among Catholics is that developments in ecclesiology from Vatican II onward have helped to place the question of papal primacy in a new light. Particularly significant was the council's rediscovery of episcopacy as a true and proper order, "that by episcopal consecration is conferred the fullness of the sacrament of orders." [Lumen Gentium 21]   In principle, therefore, it is now recognized that the jurisdiction of the bishops, and not just their "power of orders," is derived directly from Christ through sacramental ordination rather than by delegation from the Pope.  Equally important was discovery of the collegial nature of the episcopate and the beginnings of a more satisfactory way of accounting for the pope's place within the episcopal college.  Theologians like Rahner, Congar, McBrien, Semmelroth and others can argue that "there is only one subject of supreme authority in the Church:  the episcopal college under papal leadership which can operate in two ways:  through a strictly collegial act [e.g., a general council] or through a personal act of the pope as head of the college." [Patrick Granfield, The Limits of the Papacy (New York: Crossroads, 1990) 85.]   Seen in this perspective, every primatial action in principle is collegial in nature.  Primatial ministry in principle is situated within the episcopal college, not outside it or over it, and the exercise of this ministry must be evaluated accordingly.


Anyway, In case you haven't already seen these articles, you'll find much more information about this (especially what comes during the fifth century and on) here:

The Origins and Authority of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Orthodox Church by Demetrios J. Constantelos

http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article8148.asp

Constantinople and Rome: A Survey of the Relations between the Byzantine and the Roman Churches, by Milton V. Anastos

http://www.myriobiblos.gr/texts/english/milton1_6.html

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Fourth, why does the Eastern Orthodox Church select an Eastern Orthodox Bishop of Rome?

There is no Eastern Orthodox Bishop of Rome, nor has there been one since the Schism. The first Eastern Orthodox Bishop to take up residence in Italy was elected a titular Bishop with a seat in Naples in November of 1970. He now has the title "Metropolitan of Italy" -- specifically NOT "Metropolitan of Rome."

That said, there are MANY Roman Catholics hierarchs who have been set up by the Vatican as competing Metropolitans and even Patriarchs of traditional Eastern Orthodox Sees, including the Roman Catholic Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, established by the Latin Crusaders; the various Melkite Catholic Patriarchs of Antioch and Alexandria -- not to mention the equally Catholic (yet somehow still distinct Catholic bishop of the same city), the Maronite Patriarch of Antioch, who has the title "Patriarch of Antioch and All the East." And one shouldn't forget the other Catholic Patriarchs of Alexandria and Antioch, i.e. the COPTIC Catholic Patriarch of Alexandria and the Syrian Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, nor the Catholic Archbishop-Major of Kiev-Halych and All Rus, whom the Vatican has considered giving the title "Patriarch of All Rus." Astounding!

Phew! I'm getting a headache just trying to figure it all out.
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« Reply #81 on: October 17, 2006, 12:35:27 PM »

Elisha have you ever been to Russia? Do you have actual Russian friends who arent "nice and middle class"? Are you that much cut off from reality of contemporary Russian life that you have never heard this? Try actually living in Russia as opposed to visting as a tourist or on some ROCOR FSB-junket.

My first reaction was not to respond to what you have written given that those who wish to believe what they will about the MP in mine and other experiances cannot be made to see the reality no matter how much evidence is placed infront of them. Your references to "trolls" and "tin hats" show you have a sarcastic spirit which seems to accompany the resistance to truth.

There is no way that I will be so foolish as to engage in a discourse with you.

You are however, in my wretched prayers.

Theophan.

It doesn't matter that I haven't been to Russian and have only been around middle-class Russian-Americans.  I wasn't the one who threw out a deliberately inflammatory claim of "Icons of Stalin".  I stand by my troll remark until I see some evidence of these so called "Icons".  Even then, I don't think it is as grave as you think. 
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« Reply #82 on: October 17, 2006, 12:39:47 PM »

I actually did a google search and found an icon of stalin on a russian nationalist website but since I don't read Russian I have no idea if it is supposed to be real or just a photoshop job LOL
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« Reply #83 on: October 17, 2006, 03:22:45 PM »

Saint Peter, yes.

Popes in error, no.
I wasn't asking about Popes. But the reason why I ask is because if Peter was the first among equals, why is the EP not a petrine see like Antioch or Alexandria?
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« Reply #84 on: October 17, 2006, 03:45:01 PM »

I wasn't asking about Popes. But the reason why I ask is because if Peter was the first among equals, why is the EP not a petrine see like Antioch or Alexandria?

since when was the throne of Alexandria founded on Peter? It was Mark., who founded that throne.
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« Reply #85 on: October 17, 2006, 04:11:04 PM »

since when was the throne of Alexandria founded on Peter? It was Mark., who founded that throne.
My mistake, many blessings in Christ
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« Reply #86 on: October 17, 2006, 04:16:46 PM »

I wasn't asking about Popes. But the reason why I ask is because if Peter was the first among equals, why is the EP not a petrine see like Antioch or Alexandria?

Looks like you must read the Fourth Ecumenical Council (which the RCC finally accepted in its entirety in the 13th Century AFTER installing a Latin patriarch in Constantinople) for your answer.
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« Reply #87 on: October 17, 2006, 05:35:17 PM »

Looks like you must read the Fourth Ecumenical Council (which the RCC finally accepted in its entirety in the 13th Century AFTER installing a Latin patriarch in Constantinople) for your answer.
Seems like the cannon concerning constantinople is more of a diciplinary one and not a dogmatic one. Furthermore, it seems to have been done for political reasons and not for theological ones.
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« Reply #88 on: October 17, 2006, 08:22:51 PM »

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Birthcontrol, divorce, hmmm.

IME Orthodoxy has always encouraged large families.  We simply don't play word games and pretend that NFP isn't birth control.  As a practical matter Humana Vitae is almost entirely ignored in the Catholic world. 

As for allowing second marriages out of economy, it isn't any different in practice than the way in which annulments work in this country.  Marriages that have been years in legnth and produced children are annulled - is that reasonable? 
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« Reply #89 on: October 17, 2006, 08:25:56 PM »

IME Orthodoxy has always encouraged large families.  We simply don't play word games and pretend that NFP isn't birth control.  As a practical matter Humana Vitae is almost entirely ignored in the Catholic world. 

As for allowing second marriages out of economy, it isn't any different in practice than the way in which annulments work in this country.  Marriages that have been years in legnth and produced children are annulled - is that reasonable? 
Not the same thing and you know it. NFP has to do with practicing self control and AFB has to do with sex on demand. As for annullments: If they were never truely marriages in the first place, then yes, it is very reasonable.
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