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Looking Eastward - IS THERE HOPE FOR CATHOLIC-ORTHODOX REUNION?
New Oxford Review ^ | November 2003 | Charles A. Coulombe

Posted on 04/25/2006 4:47:30 PM PDT by NYer

Much of my teenage years were spent in the San Fernando Valley of California, at that time (the mid-70s) a religious and cultural wasteland. Apart from the outlets described in that article, another appeared; I discovered the Eastern Rites of the Church, and the Orthodox Churches.

My father, Guy, first stimulated my interest in this area, as in so many others. His tales of valiant Christians maintaining their faith and traditions under Muslim and Communist domination fired the imagination. My freshman year at Daniel Murphy High School (during our last year in Hollywood, before the move north to suburbia) resulted in the discovery, in that school's library, of Donald Attwater's classic two-volume study, The Christian Churches of the East. Up to this point, my knowledge of these matters was all theoretical.

This changed in 1976, when I discovered St. Andrew's Russian Catholic Church in El Segundo, Calif. Its pastor, Fr. Feodor Wilcock, S.J., came from an old Lancashire Recusant family. The last of his clan of gentry, Fr. Wilcock had answered the call of the Holy Father to enter the Russicum in 1922, when the supply of Russian Catholic priests ran out (thanks to Lenin's agents). Sent to Russia with an American companion, he was speedily seized; as a British subject, he was expelled -- his colleague vanished into the gulag, never to return. Fr. Wilcock was then sent to run a school and parish in Shanghai, China, among the Russian refugees. He was interned with his flock by the Japanese during World War II; he then fled with them after the fall of the city to the Chinese Communists in 1949; successively they went to the Philippines and Brazil. In 1956 he was transferred to New York, where he founded the John XXIII Russian Center at Fordham University. In 1971 he had come to St. Andrew's to offer the Funeral Liturgy for its pastor; to his surprise, many of the parishioners were old members of his congregation from Shanghai. At their request he was reassigned, and remained there until his death in 1983.

This was the man who became my confessor after the incapacitation of James Francis Cardinal McIntyre, who had had that dubious honor up to that point. From Fr. Wilcock I learned firsthand the beauties of the Byzantine Rite; I also learned about the Episcopi Vagantes, but that is another story. At any rate, given the state of the Latin Rite, my visits to St. Andrew's were stops at an oasis. In subsequent years, thanks to the cosmopolitan nature of southern California, I've been able to assist at Ruthenian, Ukrainian, Romanian, Melkite, Maronite, Syrian, Chaldean, Coptic, and Malankaran Catholic liturgies.

These experiences have left their trace on my prayer life: When I try to employ my five senses in meditating on the Blessed Sacrament, they come back vividly. Sight, of course, brings the elevation of the Host and pictures of the Holy Grail to mind; hearing evokes the strains of Panis Angelicus and Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence; smell conjures incense; and touch the feel of wooden pews. But taste will always be given over to the crouton-soaked-in-wine texture of Byzantine Communion.

So it is that matters Eastern will always claim my attention. I have spent my time with many an Eastern Catholic, and many an Orthodox. It has certainly struck me that ecumenism, properly defined, must have the reconciliation of the entire East with Rome as its aim. Whatever one thinks of the gatherings at Assisi and such like doings, one can only applaud John Paul II's efforts in this regard. Certainly, relations between Rome and certain of the Eastern Patriarchates have never been so warm. The handing over of churches in Rome and Ravenna to the Patriarch of Constantinople were noble gestures to be sure; certainly, the Pope's 1999 visit to Romania was an unmitigated triumph. (As a side note, on that occasion I was delivering a lecture at the National Art Museum in Bucharest, situated in that city's Royal Palace. At its conclusion, none of us was allowed to leave, because the Pope was offering the Mass immediately outside; since then it has been my boast that I was held prisoner by John Paul II in the Romanian Royal Palace!)

But one grave risk in this ecumenism is the apparent betrayal of the Eastern Catholics, best known in the West as "Uniates." The heirs of past partial reunions, these folk have withstood much oppression at the hands of Communists and Orthodox. In Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, they still face harassment.

But worse still is harassment at the hands of the clergy (something their Latin brothers are familiar with). In days gone by, this consisted of forced Latinization; so bad did this become that successive pontiffs, starting with Benedict XIV, forbade it under pain of excommunication. Today, however, hapless Eastern layfolk in many places face just as odious a forced "de-Latinization."

Part of this is a result (especially in North America) of sending candidates for the priesthood to Orthodox seminaries; other portions of this program stem from the desire of the highest authorities to prove to the Orthodox hierarchs that communion with Rome does not mean a loss of Byzantine heritage. But the problem here lies with lay sensibilities. Among Ukrainians, Ruthenians, and Romanians, for example, many Latin customs have been "inculturated"; thus, iconic Stations of the Cross, use of the Rosary, Latin-style altars (albeit behind iconostasises), devotion to certain Western saints, and the observance (in Byzantine fashion) of such feasts as Corpus Christi and the Sacred Heart have sprung up. Since the liberation of the East from Communism, many Eastern Catholic clerics have given themselves over to purging these practices from the life of their churches.

The problem here is twofold. One is that often enough the practices under attack were adopted at lay insistence precisely to show their allegiance to Rome. More deeply, they answered a religious need in the given people. Corpus Christi became popular in the Latin West precisely because the devotion of the people and their realization of the Blessed Sacrament demanded it; so it has happened among those Byzantines who adopted it. To take it from them is clerical hubris of the worst sort. Moreover, the sharing of liturgical and devotional customs -- when it is a natural process -- inevitably happens among different rites that are in communion with one another. One thinks of how impoverished the Latin Rite would be if it disposed of the Kyrie and the Agios O Theos (of the Good Friday Service), and the feasts of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption, purely because of their Eastern origins. Their incorporation into the religious life of the West came about because they answered a devotional need; so too Orthodox prize the Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified, even though it was composed by Pope St. Gregory the Great.

So too, although the Holy See has permitted Easterners to dispense with the filioque so long as they believe in the doctrine it represents, many Eastern Catholic priests (especially among the Melkites) reject the belief as well as the word -- a result of the aforementioned practice of sending them to Orthodox seminaries.

Most obnoxiously, however, there has been little outcry among Catholic "anti-Latinizers" against attempts in North American Byzantine circles to impose lay Eucharistic ministers, and female lectors and altar servers. To date these have foundered upon lay opposition, and little else. The turning around of altars in American Eastern Catholic churches can be placed in the same file.

One must not be too surprised that in Ukraine and elsewhere, a movement has arisen among Eastern Catholics which, rejecting such de-Latinizing alterations, has allied itself in many places with the Society of St. Pius X.

But what about the Orthodox themselves, for whom so much is being done? Well, it must be said of their clergy that a more argumentative bunch would be hard to find. As a rule, Orthodox clerics are quite ingenious for finding causes for battle. They will, inevitably, speak of a deep-seated unity among them which transcends the need for structural unity, as evidenced under the papal "tyranny." But their squabbles are dizzying: "Old Calendarists" versus "New Calendarists," ROCOR versus OCA, Constantinople versus Moscow (most recently over Estonia), to name a few. When one brings up questions of nationality, it gets frightening indeed: The Macedonian Orthodox are recognized by few other Orthodox Churches; the Greek Orthodox in Albania struggle against the Albanian Orthodox; in Ukraine and Belarus, one finds a three-sided struggle between Autonomists, Autocephalists, and Muscovites (and the existence of Ukrainian and Belarus Byzantine Catholics complicates things further).

The Orthodox clergy will claim an unchanging adherence to the Church Fathers, eschewing all post-schism doctrinal development in the West as "innovation." But many, if not most, tend now to equate Orthodoxy with the post-schism teachings of Gregory Palamas, a 14th-century theologian. His speculations on the nature of grace and the light of Mt. Tabor, as well as his system of "Hesychasm," have achieved quasi-dogmatic status in the East.

The Orthodox clergy's knowledge of the Church Fathers is often, to say the least, sketchy. Orthodox charges against the Latins of "legalism" as regards grace would be hard to maintain, for example, if they studied St. John Chrysostom. So too with their critiques of the papacy: The tendency of non-papal Christians to convert after making exhaustive studies of the question in pre-schism Conciliar decrees and Patristic writings is almost proverbial.

Married to this poor theological background is even poorer historical knowledge. Every Orthodox priest I have ever contended with has brought up the sack of Constantinople by Western Crusaders in 1203; almost to a man, however, they have been ignorant of the subsequent excommunication of the leaders of that expedition by Innocent III. No Catholic will deny the grievances suffered by Easterners at the hands of Latins; but amnesia engulfs the Orthodox mind with regard to the reverse. None, for example, seems to remember the kidnapping and abuse of two popes by Emperor Justinian I (a saint in their calendar); by the same token, they do not remember that monarch's seeking forgiveness and subscribing to papal primacy. Equally glossed over is the bloody, forced incorporation of Byzantine Catholics into the Orthodox Church by Tsar Nicholas I and Stalin (the Orthodox, despite their professed hatred of the latter, have been extremely reluctant to return the churches Stalin stole). Nor (although they have canonized him) do they recall the acceptance of that primacy by Constantine XII, last Emperor of the East, or the part papal opponents played in weakening Constantine's position, in the face of the Turkish menace. One recalls the Grand Admiral of the Empire, Lukas Notaras, who declared that he "preferred the turban of the Sultan to the tiara of the Pope." He must have recalled his words bitterly when the conquering Sultan Mohammed ordered him to present his sons as concubines; refusing, Notaras was forced to watch their execution before being put to death himself. One cannot resist contrasting this with the action of Paul VI, who, in hopes of safeguarding Greek lives and property in Turkey during the 1965 Cyprus crisis, returned the banners captured from the Sultan's fleet at Lepanto. For that matter, the same Pontiff gave the head of St. Andrew back to the Orthodox Diocese of Patras.

That same Turkish Sultan, anxious to break the union with Rome, appointed Gennadios II as Patriarch. From that time until 1922, the patriarchs were appointed by the sultans. Our current schism dates not from 1054, but from 1456; it owes its origin not to Pope St. Leo IX and Michael Caerularius, but to the Turks.

Yet this background undergirds the combative spirit earlier referred to. Orthodox controversialists will justify the continuance of the schism, understandably, not by appeal to the authority of the Sultan, but by manufacturing causes. They will cite cultural differences (such as the wearing of beards by clergy, or the use of unleavened bread) as though they were doctrinal. Filioque is of course trumpeted, ignoring past accords on the question. Despite the Eastern origins of the liturgical feasts of the Assumption and Immaculate Conception, because Rome has defined them as dogmas many Eastern theologians have denied them. But the major cathedral in Moscow retains its title of "Cathedral of the Assumption." In recent years, some Orthodox theologians have begun to question the seven-fold number of the Sacraments, claiming that it is a "Western innovation." If the aversion of any respected Orthodox writer to these points is brought up, it will be asserted that said writer was at best "not a theologian," at worst "not truly Orthodox."

My best Russian Orthodox friend (an educated layman) and I were discussing the difference between our two Churches, when he said, "your Church is too intrusive in personal lives." My rejoinder was that, "I suppose you mean about sexual morality. But apart from divorce, there is nothing my Church forbids that yours condones. If you ask any of your priests if abortion, artificial contraception, fornication, or homosexuality is not a sin, they will assert that it is. But they will not preach it to you publicly, out of what can only be called cowardice." To be fair, much the same could be said for many Catholic priests, but even so the average Catholic layman knows the Church's teaching on these points better than his Orthodox brother.

This touches upon a point that is very important for understanding Eastern Orthodoxy. The gap between a primarily schismatic clergy and their laity (despite such noble exceptions as the martyred Fr. Alexander Men) is enormous. Palamasism and the various other delights of the Orthodox theologians are unknown to the majority of Orthodox laity. The words of the Russian Orthodox Vladimir Soloviev a century ago are still true today:

This difficulty [what "Orthodoxy" really is] does not exist for those folk who are really Orthodox in all good conscience and in the simplicity of their heart. When questioned intelligently about their religion, they will tell you that to be Orthodox is to be baptised a Christian, to wear a cross or some holy image on your breast, to worship Christ, to pray to the Blessed Virgin most immaculate and to all the saints represented by images and relics, to rest from work on all festivals and to fast in accordance with traditional custom, to venerate the sacred office of bishops and priests, and to participate in the holy sacraments and divine worship. That is the true Orthodoxy of the Russian people, and it is ours also. But it is not that of our militant patriots. It is obvious that true Orthodoxy contains nothing particularist and can in no way form a national or local attribute separating us in any sense from the Western peoples; for the greater part of these peoples, the Catholic part, has precisely the same religious basis that we have. Whatever is holy and sacred for us is also holy and sacred for them. To indicate only one essential point: not only is devotion to the Blessed Virgin one of the characteristic features of Catholicism -- generally practiced by Russian Orthodoxy, but there are even special miraculous images venerated in common by Roman Catholics and Russian Orthodox (for example, the holy Virgin of Czestochowa in Poland). If "piety" is indeed the distinctive characteristic of our national genius, the fact that the chief emblems of that piety are common to us and the Westerns compels us to recognise our oneness with them in what we regard as the most essential thing of all. As regards the profound contrast between the contemplative piety of the East and the active religion of the Westerns, this contrast being purely human and subjective has nothing to do with the divine objects of our faith and worship; so far from being a good reason for schism it should rather bring the two great parts of the Christian world into a closer and mutually complementary union. (Russia and the Universal Church., p. 47)

The truth of this assertion can be seen in the recent flap over the Pope's visit to Greece. At first, the Archbishop of Athens's refusal to accept a papal trip was couched in terms all too drearily familiar to those versed in Orthodox controversy. But, after repeated polls showed that the vast majority of Greeks saw little difference between Catholicism and Orthodoxy, the Archbishop was forced to relent, and co-hosted John Paul II with the Greek government.

Still ringing in my ears as I write this is the conversation I had several years ago with an old Serbian lady. Upon discovering my identity, she posed me several questions. "Mr. Coulombe," she asserted, "when I was a little girl in Serbia, the priests [pronounced with disdainful relish] told us that the Pope was Antichrist. But in the Liturgy, it said that [Pope] St. Leo the Great was head of Church. If he was," she asked, "how could his successor not be?" She continued, "And another thing! The priests say there is no such place as Purgatory! But they pray for the dead! If there is no Purgatory, who are they praying for? The saints in Heaven? They don't need it! The damned in Hell? Don't do them no good! So who are they praying for?"

Here, then, is an important point. The mutual excommunications between pope and patriarch covered only those hierarchs, not their followers; in any case, these were lifted in 1964, when Paul VI met Athenagoras II on the Mount of Olives. So where does that leave us now? It would seem to me that many an Orthodox layman is Catholic in all but name. It would behoove us as Catholics to get to know our long lost Eastern family, both Catholic and Orthodox, as well as we possibly can. Not simply does charity demand this, but our own situation. For a non-schismatically minded Orthodox layman is as much a prisoner of his clergy as many of us Latins are of our own more or less heretically minded clergy. In what way, I wonder, does a Vladimir Soloviev, living under a Russian hierarchy which hated the pope, differ from a Catholic whose cardinal denies Transubstantiation? It is here, perhaps, that real ecumenism may one day take its root.

It could be said that the Great Schism (and for that matter the Nestorian and Monophysite heresies which produced the Lesser Eastern Churches -- Nestorian, Armenian, Coptic, Syrian, Ethiopian, and Indian) owes its roots to clerical pride and jealousy, both Eastern and Western. Hardship and persecution have brought Catholics and the Lesser Churches just named very close in today's Middle East; the same is true to a degree of Eastern Orthodox in those areas. Communism and Islam have done much to break down Eastern pride -- certainly the presence of so many KGB or local equivalent personnel among their clergy has made its mark. But without a doubt, neo-Modernism has done the same for the Latins. As the world grows ever more secular and anti-Christian, we may hope that true believers in the East and West will grow ever closer -- and from that closeness shall result true unity.



TOPICS: Activism; Apologetics; Catholic; Current Events; Ecumenism; General Discusssion; History; Ministry/Outreach; Orthodox Christian; Prayer; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics; Theology; Worship
KEYWORDS: byzantine; catholic; greek; maronite; melkite; orthodox; reunion; russian; ruthenian; ukrainian
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Charles A. Coulombe is author of Vicars of Christ: A History of the Popes.


1 posted on 04/25/2006 4:47:35 PM PDT by NYer
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To: sandyeggo; Pyro7480; Cronos; Siobhan; Father; tlRCta; Convert from ECUSA; visualops; JoAnka; ...

Though published 3 years ago, before the death of JPII, this aricle truly addresses the dilemnas faced by both Catholic and Orthodox and is worth the read.


2 posted on 04/25/2006 4:50:24 PM PDT by NYer (Discover the beauty of the Eastern Catholic Churches - freepmail me for more information.)
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To: NYer

Rather a pity that the reunion didn't happen in 1450, it could have saved Constantinopolos from the sack, rape, and murder by Muslim scum.

Not that all Muslims are scum, mind you. Just the ones who sack, rape, and murder entire cities.


3 posted on 04/25/2006 5:00:45 PM PDT by Donald Meaker (A Turk is always a Turk, but you don't know WHAT a Christian will do.)
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To: NYer

"Looking Eastward - IS THERE HOPE FOR CATHOLIC-ORTHODOX REUNION?"

Not this side of the Second Coming.


4 posted on 04/25/2006 5:15:25 PM PDT by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: sitetest; NYer
With all due respect, I have to disagree.

Through God and with God, anything is possible, right?

5 posted on 04/25/2006 5:46:32 PM PDT by rzeznikj at stout (This Space For Rent. Call 555-1212 for more info.)
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To: NYer

Why did you bother to ping me with this garbage?


6 posted on 04/25/2006 5:48:04 PM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: rzeznikj at stout

Dear rzeznikj at stout,

It goes without saying that with the direct, divine, supernatural, and miraculous intervention of God, it may be accomplished.

But I don't believe that the human paths of the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches otherwise converge, even given God's ordinary grace.


sitetest


7 posted on 04/25/2006 5:54:04 PM PDT by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: sitetest
I believe it can happen, eventually.

In the practical and real-world sense, I agree--there is a lot that would need to be hashed out and reconciled--it will be a while.

With anything there is hope--and that is key.

There is hope for the healing of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There is hope for the abolition of abortion and euthanasia. There is hope for the American Church, regardless of how liberal it has become. And there is hope for the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches to reconcile.

If anything, you and I may just simply disagree on this one, that's all...;)

8 posted on 04/25/2006 6:06:01 PM PDT by rzeznikj at stout (This Space For Rent. Call 555-1212 for more info.)
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To: NYer

IS THERE HOPE FOR CATHOLIC-ORTHODOX REUNION?

I don't think it will happen in my lifetime, at least in the sense that the author of this article seems to define reunion: formal reunion between the Orthodox and Catholic churches.


9 posted on 04/25/2006 6:13:26 PM PDT by RKBA Democrat (Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.)
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To: NYer

At this time of year, I always have ringing in my ears the troparion of the Resurrection: "Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death and upon those in the tombs bestowing life." (or close to it).

Which brings to mind a great story that I like to believe is true:

When the Communists finally reached into the Russian villages in the early 1920's, a commissar came to one such place and called all the poeple together to harangue them on atheist materialism and such like. Finally the priest asked meekly if he could say something. "Make it brief," replied the commissar, "your thought is not relevant any longer here."

So the priest simply turned to the people and said:

"Brothers, Christ is Risen!"
"Indeed He is Risen!" came the reply.

And turning to the commissar, the priest said, "that is all I need to say."


10 posted on 04/25/2006 6:19:21 PM PDT by Theophane
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To: NYer

"Today, however, hapless Eastern layfolk in many places face just as odious a forced "de-Latinization."

What is he talking about? Last I checked, there weren't roving mobs of fanatical eastern Catholics running around out there. The "Kalachi Liberation Front" is not pounding down the doors of eastern Catholics who are seen carrying a Rosary.


11 posted on 04/25/2006 6:23:29 PM PDT by RKBA Democrat (Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.)
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To: NYer
After reading through the threads on this piece I'd suggest that Catholic reconciliation is definitely on the agenda AFTER Baptist reconciliation.

Oh, yes indeed!

12 posted on 04/25/2006 6:38:52 PM PDT by muawiyah (-)
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To: Donald Meaker

Yeah like those jerks in 1204 did.


13 posted on 04/25/2006 6:45:59 PM PDT by x5452
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To: Kolokotronis

Its an interesting pic for an eccumenical article considering what the Latins did last time they were in that building.


14 posted on 04/25/2006 6:46:58 PM PDT by x5452
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To: Donald Meaker

In 1450 the Eccumenical Patriarch and the Metropolitan of Kiev were puppets of a puppet-emperor. When the Eastern representatives at the council insisted that they must ratify any statement in Synod form in Greece, the Latins ignored it, publshed the statement anyway and sent them packing. (Even NewAdvent catholic encyclopedia admits this much).

It would be interesting to see what would have happened if they had been allowed to convene in Synodal form, but seeing as the Latins pre-empted this in an attempt to unilaterally decree a decision, it is on the Latins for destroying any chance at union.

About a century latter Rome again tried this, but dispensed with any pretense of there being a mutual union. After the Union of Brest any Orthodox were arrested or killed, many tortured.


15 posted on 04/25/2006 6:50:43 PM PDT by x5452
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To: x5452

I supposed that the joys of Islamic conquest would make Latin conquest look tame by comparison. But I understand the resentment. Genoans also ferried the Turks across to Europe.

Note my tagline.


16 posted on 04/25/2006 6:59:02 PM PDT by Donald Meaker (A Turk is always a Turk, but you don't know WHAT a Christian will do.)
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To: Donald Meaker

For the record the Muslims only raped and pilaged for 3 days, and the crusaders 4.

Still the crusaders arrived to a fresh kill, they had a lot more looting to do.


17 posted on 04/25/2006 7:05:12 PM PDT by x5452
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To: x5452

Myself, I have no dog in this fight. I am not a Christian. I guess that the Latins thought that whey were in a better position to bargain than the Orthodox. I sure agree, it is bad manners, at least, to demand rudely what you could get by willing cooperation.

I also don't care for the very foundation of the Post Constantine empire: One G-d, One Empire, one Emperor. The Coptics were so oppressed by the Romanai that they welcomed the Muslims. Alas, the Muslim tolerance did not last.

The Crusades did not workout either, though Richard I of England carried the cresent and star (symbol of Diana, a patron of the ancient city of Byzos, and the star of the Virgin Mary added after Constantine) his support for Constantinopolos) on his crest while on Crusade.


18 posted on 04/25/2006 7:07:29 PM PDT by Donald Meaker (A Turk is always a Turk, but you don't know WHAT a Christian will do.)
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To: rzeznikj at stout
Dear rzeznikj at stout,

"In the practical and real-world sense, I agree--there is a lot that would need to be hashed out and reconciled--it will be a while."

No, nothing will be hashed out satisfactorily to enable reconciliation. The two sides will not reunite because they come together in peace and good will. There will not be reunion resulting from sweetness and light between Catholic and Orthodox, there will not be a mutual respect that eventually results in mutual recognition of mutual brotherhood, and recognition of mutual membership in the One Church. That just isn't in the cards.

If there is reunion, it will occur because the Holy Spirit Himself will visit His Fire on the recalcitrants, or the recalcitrance. Disunion will be swept away in the Fire, causing many to panic and scatter. Cataclysm will destroy the verities held dear by many; they will only sincerely seek God's Will in this once they are broken. Only then will there be again a reunited Church.


sitetest
19 posted on 04/25/2006 7:08:41 PM PDT by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: NYer
Thanks for posting this very personal evaluation of the issues. While written a few years ago, this article, were it written today, would see that the intervening years have only added stranger twists in all quarters.
20 posted on 04/25/2006 7:15:22 PM PDT by Maeve (Chaplet of the Divine Mercy)
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To: Kolokotronis

I have some turpentine left over if you need any.


21 posted on 04/25/2006 7:41:48 PM PDT by monkfan (What consumes your thoughts controls your life)
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Comment #22 Removed by Moderator

To: Lord Washbourne

Must have been nice, I mean after fellow latins had raped, commited murder, stolen anything with gold, and pranced bloddy warhorses through there, all whilst a prostitute sat dancing on the throne of the patriarch, for a latin to serve mass there.

the activities of the eastern empire prior to 1204 do not even come close to the attrocities the latins commited, but i guess an eye for an eye is still the law of the latin rite.


23 posted on 04/25/2006 8:41:03 PM PDT by x5452
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Comment #24 Removed by Moderator

Comment #25 Removed by Moderator

To: Lord Washbourne

You seem to have a real lack of having read the writings of Robert of Clari a Roman Crusader disgusted by the evil perpetrated by the Latins in Constantinople.


26 posted on 04/25/2006 8:59:12 PM PDT by x5452
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To: Lord Washbourne

That's funny considering as locally the Latin church did a line item veto of all the original councils.


27 posted on 04/25/2006 9:00:08 PM PDT by x5452
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To: x5452; Lord Washbourne
Discuss the issues all you want - but do not make it personal!
28 posted on 04/25/2006 9:02:41 PM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: Religion Moderator; Lord Washbourne

Chapter 72: HOW THE BISHOPS ASSURED THE PILGRIMS YET AGAIN THAT IT WAS A WORK OF MERIT TO FIGHT THE GREEKS

When the pilgrims saw these things they were sore distressed and exceeding sad, and they went back to their lodgings on the other side of the harbour. And when the barons were come back and had disembarked from their ships, then they gathered together; and they were much cast down and said that it was because of their sin that they had been able to do nothing nor had wrought any mischief on the city. But at last the bishops and the clerks of the host spoke together and adjudged that the battle was a righteous one, and that they ought in sooth to attack the Greeks; for in olden time they of the city had been obedient to the religion of Rome, but now were they disobedient thereto, since they said that the religion of Rome was of none account, and that all they who believed in it were dogs. And the bishops said that for this reason the Greeks ought to be attacked, and that this was no sin, but rather was it a good work and of great merit.



Chapter 73: HOW SERMONS WERE PREACHED THROUGHOUT THE HOST; AND HOW THE EVIL WOMEN WERE DRIVEN OUT

Then was it cried throughout the host that all should come to the sermons - both Venetians and all and sundry - on Sunday, in the morning. And so did they. Then did the bishops preach sermons throughout the host - the Bishop of Soissons, the Bishop of Troyes, the Bishop of Halberstadt, Master John Faicete, and the Abbot of Loos - and they showed the pilgrims that the battle was a righteous one, for that the Greeks were traitors and murderers, and that they were faithless, since they had murdered their lawful lord, and that they were worse than Jews. And the bishops said that they absolved, in the name of God and of the Pontiff, all those that should attack the Greeks. And the bishops commanded the pilgrims all to confess themselves and freely to partake of the sacrament; and let them not be at all afraid to attack the Greeks, for these were God's enemies. And an order was given that they should seek out and remove all the light women from the host, and send them very far away from the host; so they caused all these to he nut into a chin anal sent away far from the host.

http://www.deremilitari.org/RESOURCES/SOURCES/clari3.htm


29 posted on 04/25/2006 9:17:22 PM PDT by x5452
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To: Donald Meaker

"Not that all Muslims are scum, mind you. Just the ones who sack, rape, and murder entire cities."

So, could we expect from the others to present their apologies and repentance for the 14 past centuries of conquest, and not to use the sword and any other coercive measure anymore to spread their faith?


30 posted on 04/25/2006 9:39:33 PM PDT by Patrick_k
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To: Lord Washbourne
Just like "never forgive, never forget" is the motto of "Orthodox" people

God forgives, we try not to forget. :-)

31 posted on 04/25/2006 10:42:51 PM PDT by MarMema (Buy Danish, support freedom)
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To: Theophane

Great story! Thanks for sharing it.


32 posted on 04/26/2006 5:46:00 AM PDT by NYer (Discover the beauty of the Eastern Catholic Churches - freepmail me for more information.)
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To: RKBA Democrat
"Today, however, hapless Eastern layfolk in many places face just as odious a forced "de-Latinization."
What is he talking about?

I don't believe he is referring to mob mentality so much as the restoration of authentic customs. To cite an example, in looking over some parish photos from the early 80s, I was surprised to see the children holding felt banners as they entered the church to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. Someone explained that for a while the Church tried to emulate the Latin Church. They have now restored the practice of Chrismation at the time of Baptism.

33 posted on 04/26/2006 6:01:08 AM PDT by NYer (Discover the beauty of the Eastern Catholic Churches - freepmail me for more information.)
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To: x5452
Its an interesting pic for an eccumenical article considering what the Latins did last time they were in that building.

I know what you mean, but "the last time the Latins were in that building" was when Pope Paul VI visited there in the 1960's. He stopped in front of a fresco of the Theotokos and said a prayer.

The current (majority) inhabitants of the area were most displeased. ;-)

34 posted on 04/26/2006 7:14:54 AM PDT by Campion ("I am so tired of you, liberal church in America" -- Mother Angelica, 1993)
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To: Kolokotronis
The only obstacle this article seems to dwell on is that the Orthodox are arrogant and stupid. Is Likoudis using a pen-name?

Most obnoxiously, however, there has been little outcry among Catholic "anti-Latinizers" against attempts in North American Byzantine circles to impose lay Eucharistic ministers, and female lectors and altar servers. To date these have foundered upon lay opposition, and little else. The turning around of altars in American Eastern Catholic churches can be placed in the same file.

If they keep pushing the Uniates to abandon their traditions in favor of modern alterations, they may be quite surprised by the results.

35 posted on 04/26/2006 7:15:01 AM PDT by FormerLib ("...the past ten years in Kosovo will be replayed here in what some call Aztlan.")
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To: MarMema
God forgives, we try not to forget. :-)

But God does both, and we are both called to follow His example.

36 posted on 04/26/2006 7:15:56 AM PDT by Campion ("I am so tired of you, liberal church in America" -- Mother Angelica, 1993)
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To: Campion

I rather wish the international community would evict said inhabitants and deport them across the golden horn.


37 posted on 04/26/2006 7:18:55 AM PDT by x5452
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To: FormerLib
If they keep pushing the Uniates to abandon their traditions in favor of modern alterations, they may be quite surprised by the results.

I think what he's saying is that adopting legitimate, traditional, and orthodox customs of the Latin Rite is vigorously opposed, but adopting dumb, recently-invented, and banal "customs" doesn't meet nearly as much opposition.

My only Eastern Catholic experience that might tend to confirm that was when I heard Divine Liturgy from a young Ukrainian priest who couldn't seem to use the word "father" -- "our ancestor among the saints, John Chrysostom" and the like. I felt like giving him a good dressing-down, but he being a priest and me being a Latin Rite visitor, I let it slide.

38 posted on 04/26/2006 7:21:09 AM PDT by Campion ("I am so tired of you, liberal church in America" -- Mother Angelica, 1993)
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To: NYer

This article is most insightful (almost comically so) given some of the responses I've seen posted.

What's the CV of the Orthodox Theologian quoted, do you know?


39 posted on 04/26/2006 7:43:58 AM PDT by Cheverus
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To: Cheverus
This article is most insightful

I thought so too.

What's the CV of the Orthodox Theologian quoted, do you know?

No .. I do not.

40 posted on 04/26/2006 12:22:54 PM PDT by NYer (Discover the beauty of the Eastern Catholic Churches - freepmail me for more information.)
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To: Maeve

Glad you enjoyed it. Good to see you back in the forum. Best regards to your mom!


41 posted on 04/26/2006 12:26:24 PM PDT by NYer (Discover the beauty of the Eastern Catholic Churches - freepmail me for more information.)
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To: NYer

I did an internet search and he appears to be well thought of, but I also thought Meyendorff was well thought of as well and I am apparently wrong.

I think maybe he would be one of those "not truly Orthodox" fellows which the article references.

Here's just one brief bio, the web is loaded with his stuff.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Solovyov_(philosopher)


42 posted on 04/26/2006 12:37:23 PM PDT by Cheverus
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To: Campion

Don't worry, dear Campion, on the selfsame issue I've stomped on a young Ukrainian Greek-Catholic priest so hard I'm sure it must have been for the both of us.


43 posted on 04/26/2006 1:33:42 PM PDT by Maeve (Chaplet of the Divine Mercy)
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To: FormerLib
"Is Likoudis using a pen-name?"

Nah. The excerable Likoudis knows his Byzantine history; that's why he's so good at putting a Roman spin on it to spread hate and discord. The boob who wrote this article doesn't even know who the last emperor was, the emperor when The City fell in 1453! I just love it when a half educated but ever so self assured polemicist says something like,
"Married to this poor theological background is even poorer historical knowledge." and makes an utter fool of himself eight lines later. Unfortunately, there is an even more uneducated group who will read this foolishness and swallow it whole.

A couple of weeks ago I spoke with one of the theologians involved with the dialog now ongoing with Rome. I commented to him that there seemed to be quite a contingent among some vocal Latins which seemed at great pains to insist on a renewal, or perhaps a maintenance, of the old medieval papal supremacy (read everybody must "submit") arguments while at the same time denigrating Orthodox theology and praxis. I asked him if he had noticed such a thing and if so what his reaction was. He said that he hadn't mentioned it until one of his Latin Rite interlocutors had spoken about it and expressed some concern as these sorts seem to be getting quite vocal. Apparently the Roman delegation is not at all happy about this and are worried that this talk will lead to a break down in the dialog. Unfortunately it may well lead to that as there are Orthodox who are very leery of any rapprochement with Rome (though actually on account of discipline type matters and what those Orthodox see as a sort of secular humanistic syncretism in Western Catholicism. The question has been asked if Rome really does want a reestablishment of communion or merely submission. The writings of persons like the author of this piece and especially of the Likoudis types lead me to believe that intercommunion on a Church-wide basis is highly unlikely and probably highly undesirable at this point in history.
44 posted on 04/26/2006 6:10:42 PM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: NYer

Rome has reunified with some of the Eastern Christians; I think that's about as far as it will go. The remaining Orthodox will never submit to the Eastern (Catholic) Patriarchs, and Rome certainly couldn't expect the Eastern Patriarchs to submit to the Orthodox hierarchy.

I don't think unification is all that critical. If 8 in 10 Russian pregnancies results in an abortion, you have to wonder about the future of Christianity in some of those countries anyway.


45 posted on 04/26/2006 7:48:49 PM PDT by Carlos Martillo II
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To: Carlos Martillo II
If 8 in 10 Russian pregnancies results in an abortion...

Care to cite a modern & reputable source on that?

46 posted on 04/26/2006 8:05:08 PM PDT by FormerLib ("...the past ten years in Kosovo will be replayed here in what some call Aztlan.")
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To: Theophane

One of my favorite stories!


47 posted on 04/26/2006 8:18:02 PM PDT by Straight Vermonter (The Stations of the Cross in Poetry ---> http://www.wayoftears.com)
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To: x5452

Is it really helpful to still be caught up in events that happened nearly a millennium ago? Everything you say about the sack is true. That is why the participants were excommunicated. The question now is what could the Latin Church do to assuage your anger?

I assure you that many of us in the Latin rite would crawl on our knees from Rome to Constantinople if it would bring about a reunion.


48 posted on 04/26/2006 8:30:45 PM PDT by Straight Vermonter (The Stations of the Cross in Poetry ---> http://www.wayoftears.com)
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To: FormerLib

All sources seem to say it is actually about 60%. Which is heart breaking enough.

http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=en&lr=lang_en&q=russia+abortion+rate


49 posted on 04/26/2006 8:36:36 PM PDT by Straight Vermonter (The Stations of the Cross in Poetry ---> http://www.wayoftears.com)
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To: Straight Vermonter

The poles were still opressing the Orthodox in the last 80 years.


50 posted on 04/26/2006 9:07:19 PM PDT by x5452
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