Skip to comments.What would the Orthodox have to do to have unity? (Catholic/Orthodox unity)
Posted on 09/09/2006 3:04:19 PM PDT by Calvin Coollidge
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You are certainly entitled to your opinion, as is the Roman Catholic Church.
However, I see no problem with a viable form of birth control that doesn't destroy a life. (Condoms, Birth Control Pills, EXCLUDING the infamous "Morning After")
If it PREVENTS fertilization, there is no destroying of a human life. Which in your opinion is the greatest sin? preventing conception, or poor couples having too many children, which they can't feed or support, etc?
Take a look at these good "RC" Third-World Countries, and their population of dying, disease-ridden little ones, and tell me which is the greater evil!
Dear friend, you skim, skip and avoid all of the direct points I make and revert to spirituality. How can spirituality be lived out in a world intent on destroying it! I have the utmost regard for my Orthodox brothers and sisters but I fail to comprehend how you can assuage your consciences by avering that "the bishop said it was okay to practice artificial birth control", when, in your hearts, you know it is not. Taking hormonal pills that interfere with the woman's natural cycle, works against the Divine plan. It is far more convenient than NFP but totally against the laws of nature. And, who set those laws in motion?
48 years ago, Pope Paul VI "got it right" and some catholics left the church, because its policy on birth control, "wasn't convenient". Those hormonal treatments have lasting effects; you and I both know it. Yet, today, medical science stands by its commitment to provide women with a dangerous cocktail of artificial hormones in order that she and her partner ( I have now dropped the word husband since, as Pope Paul VI pointed out, "a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman". )
One of the most obvious examples is our fasting rule,
The Catholic Church has addressed the "rules of fasting" from the perspective of non enforcement. Abiding by such 'rules' must come from the heart, or they are meaningless.
another is the practice of seeking forgiveness from those we have offended before going to communion,
K, you are not up on catholic liturgy. The Sign of Peace which we celebrate before communion, is our mutual affirmation of forgiveness to each other for errors and sins. It is a treasure we celebrate each and every week at Mass.
but there is a whole litany of "rules" which govern our day to day lives and actually make us look at life differently from those who do not have an Orthodox phronema.
What are your rules on IVF and stem cell research using pre-borm human embryos? And who established these rules? Are these consistent throughout Orthodoxy, and valid for ALL bishops in ALL branches of Orthodoxy?
I have posed this question several times and not one of the Orthodox members of this forum has give me a direct response.
Where are the Patriarchs on Islam? Today, Pope Benedict delivered a scathing address to the Muslims. In November, he will risk his life to enter Turkey, a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism, and where the topic of the #1 selling book is the assassination of the pope. He goes there at the invitation of the Turkish president and to honor those catholics whose lives have been sacrificed by radical Muslims.
We live our lives according to the ancient teachings of The Church
So do we but, guided by the successor of St. Peter. We continue to evolve in our response to modern society, addressing scientific advances that challenge the "ancient teachings".
As I understand it, K, pope Benedict XVI and the Patriarchs of the Orthodox Churches, are working together to "join their voices" and speak out against abortion, euthanasia and the rapid decline of western society. When we speak together, our voices are louder and carry greater weight.
I intentionally included you on the above post that cites Pope Paul VI's Encyclical Humanae Vitae. Judging from your response, I can only conclude that you did not take the time to read it through, or you would not have given this response.
People who reject the Churchs teaching on contraception, by and large, do so not because they understand and disagree with it, but largely because their commitment to a certain life-style prevents them from giving the Church a fair hearing. Nonetheless, they do offer reasons for dismissing Church teaching. They often accuse the Church of being excessively idealistic, or simply unrealistic, or out of step with the modern world, or lacking compassion for the economic and psychological hardships couples must undergo in having and raising children.
The Church teaching concerning contraception is not primarily negative, but based on a most positive understanding of marriage, sexuality, and God. Marriage, in the truest sense, is not an arbitrary arrangement, but an institution established by Christ (Mt. 19: 3 ff.; Mk. 10: 2 ff.) Marriage, therefore, is divinely instituted. This lofty, exalted understanding of marriage is nowhere better realized than in sexual union where the human act of husband and wife comes into intimate relationship with the creative act of God. Sexual union between husband and wife take place on holy ground, as it were, since it is the place where Gods creation and the married couples procreation of new life intersect.
It is most fitting, when in the presence of God, or in a holy place, to show appropriate signs of reverence. Just as God asked Moses to remove his shoes when he was standing in the Divine presence, and just as people kneel when they come into Church, it is also appropriate for married couples not to defile the holy ground which is their sexual union and intimacy with God , with the employment of contraceptive devices.
The essential purpose of contraception is to prevent the initiation of new life. The use of contraception, therefore, represents a choice that is essentially contralife. Moreover, since God is the Creator of new life, contraception is not only contralife but contra-God-the-creator.
"How can spirituality be lived out in a world intent on destroying it!"
Orthodoxy has been doing that, with a hiatus at the peak of the Empire, since its founding on Pentecost, NYer. Roman Catholics, except maybe the Irish, have absolutely no historical memory of living under the heel of Islamic/pagan tyrants as Orthodoxy now has in most of its traditional regions for most of its existence. And we have preserved The Faith inviolate!
"I have the utmost regard for my Orthodox brothers and sisters but I fail to comprehend how you can assuage your consciences by avering that "the bishop said it was okay to practice artificial birth control", when, in your hearts, you know it is not."
My heart knows no such thing...nor do the hearts of a majority of Roman Catholics, apparently, who use birth control at a slightly higher level than people of other churches or ecclesial assemblies. I have on occassion remarked that in Orthodoxy, no dogma of any kind is true dogma until it is accepted and lived out by the People of God. It is clear that +Paul VI's Humanae Vitae has been rejected by the People of God since they do not live it out.
"The Catholic Church has addressed the "rules of fasting" from the perspective of non enforcement. Abiding by such 'rules' must come from the heart, or they are meaningless."
To what level does the Latin Church teach the virtues of fasting, not just on Fridays, but Wednesdays, during Great Lent and all the other lents of the Liturgical year? You know the answer, at virtually no level. Of course fasting must come from the heart! Why don't Latins have "the heart" for it? Your Eastern Rite people do!
"The Sign of Peace which we celebrate before communion, is our mutual affirmation of forgiveness to each other for errors and sins. It is a treasure we celebrate each and every week at Mass."
Yeah, right! I've seen those performances! I mean actually going to your spouse, your children, your co-workers, your neighbors and with bowed head ask them to forgive you. There is nothing stylized or "affirming" or "celebratory" about it. The Eastern Rites do it. Orthodoxy does it. It is the ancient practice of The Church. Why don't Latins do it?
" What are your rules on IVF and stem cell research using pre-borm human embryos? And who established these rules? Are these consistent throughout Orthodoxy, and valid for ALL bishops in ALL branches of Orthodoxy?
I have posed this question several times and not one of the Orthodox members of this forum has give me a direct response."
I believe you have already been given links to the positions of the OCA and the GOA which fully answer your questions. That said, why would any Christian need an ecclesiastical dictator to tell him or her that, for example, stem cell research on embryos is wrong?
"Where are the Patriarchs on Islam? Today, Pope Benedict delivered a scathing address to the Muslims."
Well good for the Pope. Its easy for him sitting in Rome to say such things.
"In November, he will risk his life to enter Turkey, a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism, and where the topic of the #1 selling book is the assassination of the pope. He goes there at the invitation of the Turkish president and to honor those catholics whose lives have been sacrificed by radical Muslims."
He may well be risking his life. The EP, the Patriarch of Antioch, the Patriarch of Alexandria, the Patriarch or Jerusalem, the Melkite Patriarch and the Maronite Patriarch do that 24/7. I can't speak to the Melkite and Maronite Patriarchs through history, but the Turks slaughtered a number of the Orthodox Patriarchs through the centuries. You expect any of us Orthodox to be impressed? He is going to be with the EP on the patronal feast of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, to which he was invited last year. The Turks forbade his visit because he hadn't gotten his invitation from the Turk regime, rather it came from his brother, the EP.
"We continue to evolve in our response to modern society, addressing scientific advances that challenge the "ancient teachings"."
You mean like the Episcopalians with their "The Holy Spirit is doing a new thing" to justify the ordaining of a non celibate sodomite to the Episcopacy? That's what you get from "evolving" theology. Better to simply teach your people the ancient Faith, conduct your liturgies in accordance with the ancient forms because lex orandi, lex credendi, and trust that the people, because they will live their faith, will want to become like God and change their lives, than threaten them with hell if they break the rules.
"As I understand it, K, pope Benedict XVI and the Patriarchs of the Orthodox Churches, are working together to "join their voices" and speak out against abortion, euthanasia and the rapid decline of western society."
Well of course they are! Would you expect otherwise with this pope?
I must respectfully, disagree with that belief.
I believe marriage is sacred, but wouldn't call it defiling to use one's reproductive capabilities responsibly.
To finish reading later.
I tried to seperate the various elements of the Petrine doctrine. At least part of it was indeed mentioned at Ephesus:
No one doubts, but rather it has been known to all generations, that the holy and most blessed Peter, chief and head of the Apostles, the pillar of the faith, the foundation stone of the Catholic church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ the Savior and Redeemer of the human race, and that the power of binding and loosing sins was given to him, who up to this moment and always lives in his successors, and judges.I am not implying that the fullness of the Petrine doctrine is included here, but it does include:
1. Peter was chief and head of the Apostles;
2. received a unique office through the granting of the keys;
3. this Petrine office continues in his successors.
Whether the Church in the West believed all that is unknown to me.
Do I have to list all the quotes that demonstrate this? We have covered this ground before. Again, I am not here saying that the entire Church accepted this, but is was generally accepted in the West.
But I am pretty sure the rest of the Church did not, individual Fathers notwithstanding.
I am not here claiming that it did; only that it was generally held in the West. But my point is that as a corollary: it may have been rejected by the Greeks, but it was not rejected by the whole Church. Given this, we could not properly say that there was a Church consensus either way.
But I think you have it backwards. I will appeal to Kolokotronis and invoke the concept the presumption of innocence. Before the schism Latins and Greeks were in one church, recognizing each other's bishops. With the schism the Greeks declared that the Latins were heretical and no longer of the one Church. But by the very canons that the Orthodox invoke denying that the pope has any jurisdiction over the eastern bishops, the bishops in the East have no jurisdiction over those of the West. If then any of the bishops in the East suspected a bishop in the West of heresy, the proper recourse (according to Orthodox ecclesialogy) would be to accuse him before his own synod. If they suspected that the entire synod was heretical then they should have taken the charge before a synod of the entire Church, an ecumenical council. Failing that, the Greeks must admit that the Latin bishops are the true and proper bishops over the Western church. As such, they, and they alone, have the jurisdiction and right to pass judgment on the orthodoxy of their teaching and the validity of their sacraments.
I will also point out that there is a difference between mere error and heresy. Heresy is the obstinate denial of some truth of the faith. If error alone were to exclude one from the Church, I doubt that any of us could claim membership. Since (from an Orthodox point of view) the entire Church has not ruled on the disputes between the Latins and the Greeks, Catholics cannot be charged with heresy; at best only with error. Thus, again from an Orthodox point of view, this cannot be characterized as a dispute between Catholics and the one Church but as one between brother bishops within the one Church.
Very nicely reasoned.
Some jurisdictions have adopted a very narrow interpretation of the rule that the Mysteries do not exist outside the Church and firmly reject any grace in Roman Catholic and all other heterodox sacraments.It is also what I perceive from some Orthodox that post on here.
Sorry, that should have read post #76.
God bless you for posting this. God bless Father Hopko. He is a good man working for Mercy between all Christians, but NOT Mercy at the price of compromising on the Truth that Christ came to reveal. I am a Catholic. It would be indescribably magnificent for the reunification of our churches to occur: a sign of the power of God’s Love and Mercy working through our people for all the world to see. I believe that Mercy is the only power that heal the divisions in the body of Christ, yet not a false Mercy that tolerates error with regard to the Truths that Christ came to bring. I believe that both Catholic and Orthodox churches will ultimately, with humility and a SINCERE commitment to unity, do whatever it takes to reunite once they awake to realise that they MUST unite against Satan or risk the virtual destruction of our civilisation. Satan’s plan, from the beginning, has been the oldest one in the book: divide and conquer. He has successfully played that game for 2 millenia and is now trying to break apart the very basic building block of society: the family. The weapon against Satan: I believe it is the Divine Mercy Message and Devotion revealed to Saint Faustina Kowalska as documented in her diary “Divine Mercy in My Soul”. Jesus says: “My Mercy will triumph in the end”. I believe this.
A unity based on Christian love and humility is so important to achieve. If we could only start by unifying the dates of Easter!
Please visit www.onedate.org and sign the petition for all of us to celebrate the Feast of Easter on one date.
Peace, Love, Unity
A unity based on Christian love and humility is so important to acheive. If we could only start by unifying the dates of Easter!
Please visit www.onedate.org and sign the petition to celebrate the Feast of Easter on one date.
Peace, Love and Unity
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