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Confronting the Claim of Eastern Orthodoxy to be the True Church
hprweb ^ | January 1, 2012 | JAMES LIKOUDIS

Posted on 02/04/2012 2:26:35 PM PST by NYer

Understanding the conflicting claims of Catholicism versus Eastern Orthodoxy

Among the lapsed from the Catholic Church in the turbulent post-conciliar period are those Catholics who became so disenchanted with the liturgical disarray and doctrinal unrest evident in Western Catholicism that they became converts to Eastern Orthodoxy. They found themselves influenced by the Eastern Orthodox claim to preserve the doctrinal, sacramental, and liturgical heritage of the ancient Church, and in fact, to be the historical continuation of the true Church of Jesus Christ. Those defecting from the Catholic Church found comforting Eastern Orthodoxy’s professing the doctrine of the first seven ecumenical Councils, its possession of the seven sacraments, and its sacramental and liturgical system revolving around a splendid and beautiful celebration of the Holy Divine Liturgy. Eastern Orthodoxy’s ancient hierarchical fabric of rule by patriarchs and Bishops, and its principles of the religious and monastic life characterized by ancient asceticism appeared to be further evidence of its identity with the ancient Church of the first Millennium.

It is distressing that some Catholic bishops and priests have expressed little concern that some of their flock have embraced schism, and even heresy, in defecting from Catholic Communion. Objectively speaking, both schism and heresy constitute serious sins against the Unity of the Church (cf. The Catechism of the Catholic Church §817). Moreover, it has not been unusual for some Eastern Orthodox (and even Protestants), seeking to become Catholics, to be told by some Catholic priests to “stay where they are” in order to serve the cause of ecumenism. This is, assuredly, not what the Church means by the “New Evangelization,” and reveals little or no zeal for the salvation of souls. It would appear that such reluctant or hesitant priests think that “a very close communion in matters of faith” between the Catholic Church and the separated Eastern Churches, suffices for the salvation of souls. Did they feel that Catholics and Orthodox were already so one in faith that there was no need to expound and defend the fullness of revealed truth confided to the “one and only Church of Jesus Christ,” the Catholic Church? (cf. Vatican II’s Lumen Gentium §8 and 17)

There is need for Catholics, especially priests, to engage in a convincing Apologetics when confronted by Catholics tempted to become Eastern Orthodox, or by members of the Eastern Orthodox Churches claiming to represent the orthodoxy of the Church before the tragic Schism between East and West, developing after 1054 A.D. Certainly, well-informed Catholics are able to present formidable arguments drawn from the Scriptures, Fathers, and Councils in favor of the Roman Pontiff’s universal authority in the Church, the legitimacy of the doctrine of the Filioque, purgatory, and the Immaculate Conception, not to mention other doctrines questioned or denied by Eastern Orthodox, who assume they constitute the “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church,” signified in the Nicene-Constantinople Creed of 381 A.D., indulglng themselves with the repeated assertion made to Catholics.

The question arises: Is there an easy resolution to the conflicting claims of Catholics and Orthodox? The ordinary layman can become bewildered by the study of the complex argument and counter-argument drawn from the appeal to history, and diverse interpretations of Scripture, Fathers, and Councils presented by Catholic and Orthodox writers. As one Orthodox, seeking to end his intellectual agony, stated, “I just keep bouncing back and forth from Catholic to Orthodox and Orthodox to Catholic, feeling myself unable to resolve the dogmatic issues. I do not know Latin or Greek, or much history, who is right and who is wrong.” There must be a simpler and easier way for the ordinary person, who is not a scholar of Church history and patristic theology, and who is confronted by similar Catholic and Orthodox claims—to resolve the question of which is the true Church.

It should be noted that in this matter between Catholics and Orthodox, there is, fortunately, much common ground by which to resolve the issue. In this matter, those seeking the one true Church would obviously hold that there are only two plausible contenders to be the “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.” Both hold that the property of visibility is essential to the true Church. Both Catholics and Orthodox agree that Christian doctrine is something taught by the one, visible Church, not something the individual determines for himself in Protestant fashion, and teaches the Church. Both agree on an objective, visible criterion that served in the first millennium to identify the true Church, i.e., the Church’s necessary rule by Bishops, who are the legitimate successors of the Apostles, and guided by the Holy Spirit, to correctly interpret the Holy Scriptures and apostolic tradition. The great St. Cyprian had already noted in the third century that the Church is essentially built on the bishops: “Does he fancy himself to be with Christ who acts against the Bishops of Christ?” (On the Unity of the Catholic Church §17)

The key question then comes down to this : Which communion of Bishops (Catholic or Eastern Orthodox) constitutes that hierarchy of the Church, founded by Christ to “make disciples of all nations” Matt. 28:19)? To which hierarchy, claiming to represent the dogmatic continuation of the apostolic college of bishops during the first ten centuries do the words of Our Lord, apply? “Who hears you, hears Me; he who despises you, despises Me, and despises Him who sent Me” (Luke 10: 16). The burning question posed the seeker of truth, therefore, is how to identify, easily and without laborious scholarship, that ecclesiastical communion of bishops with their faithful who truly constitute the Mystical Body of Christ, and the one Virgin Bride of Jesus Christ in this fallen world—“My dove, My spotless one is but one; she is the only one of her mother, elect of her that bare her” (Cant. 6:8).

Therefore, both Catholics and Orthodox are in fundamental agreement that Our Lord’s visible Church is ruled by bishops who are essential to her existence. Both claim to constitute the “undivided Church” of the first millennium. The slightest acquaintance with Church history, however, witnesses to the fact that the presence of bishops is not an adequate criterion for discerning the true Church of the apostolic succession amidst conflicting episcopal bodies. Who could be ignorant of the scandalous reality of bishops at dogmatic odds with one another for centuries? Bishops against bishops. Councils against councils. Who can not readily acknowledge that every major schism and heresy throughout history has been promoted by bishops who invariably claimed to defend Tradition and orthodoxy? This is certainly true of those bishops who followed the patriarchs of Constantinople in breaking communion with the Church’s “first throne,” that of “Elder Rome.”

It is, therefore, easily realized by the average person seeking the “undivided Church” founded by Christ that having bishops as rulers and judges of the faith cannot be, and never was regarded as, a sufficient criterion for the Church’s preservation of the apostolic doctrine in its fullness (catholicity). How does one explain an “undivided Church” that remains undivided in the face of the defection of bishops marking the troubled pilgrimage of the Church in history? The truth is that an undivided oneness characterizing the external hierarchical unity of the earthly Church is simply unintelligible unless there be an indefectible center of unity that safeguards the visible unity of the Church. A mere spiritual union among a plurality of bishops does not amount to real organic and visible Unity. The ecclesiastical communion of many heads of particular churches cannot identify Christ’s one visible Church unless there is yet another objective, and visible criterion, that anyone can see results in the corporate unity and solidarity of the Church’s one Episcopate. That visible criterion is the Episcopate’s possession of a visible head who serves as the hierarchical Church’s immoveable and indivisible center of unity. Simply put, the true Church on earth is identified in history by her adherence to a visible head, whose supreme authority uniquely marks and distinguishes it as the one apostolic body of bishops charged to teach and safeguard the orthodox faith in all its integrity. It is obvious that the only credible claimant to the visible headship of, and supreme authority in the entire Church of East and West, has been the Bishop of Rome, who sits on Peter’s Chair in the Eternal City.

The above reflection shows the profound depth of meaning contained in the ancient axiom of St. Ambrose: “Where Peter is, there is the Church” (Commentary on the Psalms, 40.30). The true Church, that “one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Churchof the Creed, against which the gates of hell can never prevail, is thus easily identified by both the unlearned and learned, on observing which communion of bishops (Catholic or Eastern Orthodox) adheres to the successor of that Peter, on whom the entire Church was built as on a perduring Rock. The Orthodox, themselves, lament their fragmentation into national-ethnic churches, and may speak much about an “undivided Church,” but the term, as noted, has no meaning in the absence of an indefectible visible center of unity. It is that indispensable, indefectible, and indivisible center of unity in the person of the Successor of Peter which is lacking for them. As Vatican II declared, summing up the witness of the Scriptures and apostolic tradition:

Christ willed that the successors of the Apostles, namely the bishops, should be the shepherds in his Church until the end of the world. In order that the episcopate itself, however, might be one and undivided, he put Peter at the head of the other Apostles, and in him he set up a lasting and visible source and foundation of the Unity of both faith and communion…the Roman Pontiff, as the successor of Peter, is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful” (Lumen Gentium, §18, 23).

For any Orthodox engaged in the search for truth, there is a fatal consequence to the denial of “Where Peter is, there is the Church.” He is not only left with no easily ascertained objective and visible mark by which the true Church can be easily identified, but the very visibility of the Church becomes obscured. It is her Catholic unity which distinguishes the Catholic Church from all other ecclesiastical bodies, for she uniquely possesses unity and Catholicity, as visible marks characterizing its presence throughout the world. Orthodox theologians’ inability to identify the Church-as-institution’s infallible teaching authority, external to the individual, puts the Church in grave danger of dissolving into a vague mysticism. The philosopher Vladimir Soloviev, acclaimed as the “Russian Newman,” has referred to his countrymen most opposed to reunion, as the “Anti-Catholic Orthodox”. In attempting to justify their rejection of Catholic doctrines, and adherence to the infallible Petrine office of the Bishop of Rome, they inevitably fall victim to all the vagaries of religious subjectivism and spiritual illuminism.

This last issue is seen, also, in the case of Catholics who have abandoned the Barque of Peter to adhere to the Orthodoxy of Constantinople and Moscow. Interestingly, their adherence to an ancient schism will be found to be less grounded in rational argument than in aesthetic feelings, love of liturgical ritual and ceremony, and the prideful pretension that dissident Orthodoxy possesses a superior spirituality than does the Catholic Church. Where intellectual arguments are offered, these former Catholics, like Protestants, are seen to engage in the private interpretation of Scripture (adding also their own reading of Church history and Tradition) to justify their defection from Catholic unity. It is not, however, the proper role of private judgment to determine the content of the doctrines of Christianity. It is rather to identify the true Church, which alone possesses the divine authority from Christ to be the teacher of truth (i.e., all the doctrines belonging to the deposit of faith). As noted, that true Church must at least claim to possess the attribute of infallibility. What should be stressed to any Catholic tempted to jump ship to Orthodoxyt is that infallibility cannot possibly be the possession of an ecclesiastical body that has no identifiable visible, supreme authority acknowledged by its members as an infallible teacher of faith and morals. The patriarchs of Constantinople and Moscow, nor any other grouping of Orthodox bishops, pretend to possess the charism of infallibility. How could anyone be certain that in adhering to their ecclesiastical communion, one has embraced the fullness of orthodoxy? The Catholic Church is easily grasped to be the one infallible teacher of Christian doctrine precisely because she actually possesses a visible supreme head and center of unity essential to the undivided unity of the teaching episcopate. The “world, the flesh, and the devil” are all too aware of the Bishop of Rome, and his claim as successor of Peter, chief and head of the Apostles, to exercise in every age a Petrine office of universal authority, to feed all the lambs and sheep of Christ with sound doctrine.

Those, therefore, tempted to defect from Catholic unity must be encouraged to reflect on the truth that the oneness of the Church must be manifested in the hierarchical structure of the episcopate itself. This logically demands of those who would be truly Orthodox the acceptance of the Petrine Primacy of the Pope, which makes concrete the headship of Christ, and his supreme authority in the Church. If Christ be in truth, and not merely verbally, the head of the Church, his headship of the visible Church Militant, cannot be a purely spiritual and invisible affair. The seekers of the true Church must be brought to see the impossibility of the visible body of the Church being without a supreme visible head, and that a visible body without a visible head simply has no meaning. The truth is that Christ’s headship of the entire Church is disclosed in the supreme and universal authority granted Peter and his successors, the Bishops of Rome, who were considered in the first millennium to be the sole heir of Peter’s singular privileges as Rock, bearer of the keys of the Kingdom, confirmer of the brethren, and chief pastor of the flock, and, thus, rendered infallible in the teaching of faith and morals to the entire Church. Lastly, those considering leaving the Catholic Church should think seriously on the malice of schism, so often denounced by the Fathers of the Church: “There is nothing more grievous than the sacrilege of schism…To start a schism from the unity of Christ, or to be in schism, is an immense evil” (St.. Augustine, Contra Cresconium, II.15). There should also be meditation on the grave words of the most recent Ecumenical Council: “The one Christ is Mediator and the Way of salvation. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and baptism (cf. Mk 16: 16; Jn 3:5), and thereby, affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter as through a door. Hence, they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse to enter her, or to remain within her” (Lumen Gentium §14).


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Ecumenism; Orthodox Christian
KEYWORDS: brokencaucus; catholicism; christianity; orthodoxy; theology

1 posted on 02/04/2012 2:26:43 PM PST by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...

Catholic ping!


2 posted on 02/04/2012 2:27:35 PM PST by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: NYer

bttt.


3 posted on 02/04/2012 2:34:59 PM PST by deweyfrank
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To: NYer

Why only Catholics? There are many Christians of many faith.


4 posted on 02/04/2012 2:40:53 PM PST by NoGrayZone (Jim "Firebrand" Robinson endorses Newt...with EPIC call to action!!)
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To: NYer
Oops, sorry, didn't realize I was in the RF. Different rules here apply. If I broke any, I apologize.
5 posted on 02/04/2012 2:43:46 PM PST by NoGrayZone (Jim "Firebrand" Robinson endorses Newt...with EPIC call to action!!)
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To: NYer
Oh, my goodness. Yes, I read it all but as I suspected the writer gave away his ambition (accept Papal primacy/supremacy) in the first paragraph.

No suspense at all, but interesting none the less.

The reason I read it was to see if the writer could argue that point without also establishing a strawman "Protestant" who single handedly sets out to interpret the scriptures and deal directly with the Holy Spirit.

He couldn't.

Now look, guys, way back when Carvajal in Spain traded away Schism between Spain and Rome for full authority to send priests and brothers in all the orders to the New World as missionaries, they could argue their way through the who struck johns without referencing the Protestants.

Else, there'd been a Spanish Reformed Church!

Interesting that it took that little to avoid Schism! And that was in a time when Protestants and Catholics were all the rage in neighboring France, duking it out on the battlefield!

Writing has gone downhill since those days ~

A Lutheran friend of mine once reminded me that if the Catholic church didn't exist, they'd had to invent it just to make their own theological positions make sense. Reading this piece I am now convinced it's going both ways eh!

6 posted on 02/04/2012 2:45:23 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: NYer

Can of worms, meet Opener. Opener, Can of Worms.


7 posted on 02/04/2012 2:49:13 PM PST by vladimir998
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To: NYer

I am Russian Orthodox. I married a Catholic. During our conversations on this topic we have come to this understanding: they are both the true church because they are of the same past ( before the Schism). My church decided to go in one direction, his in another. They share the same history so the answer is either both are, or neither. A little simple, but sometimes simple is best (at least for us).


8 posted on 02/04/2012 2:49:33 PM PST by marstegreg
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To: NYer

I am Russian Orthodox. I married a Catholic. During our conversations on this topic we have come to this understanding: they are both the true church because they are of the same past ( before the Schism). My church decided to go in one direction, his in another. They share the same history so the answer is either both are, or neither. A little simple, but sometimes simple is best (at least for us).


9 posted on 02/04/2012 2:49:57 PM PST by marstegreg
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To: muawiyah

There was no Spanish Reformed Sect because the Spanish Inquisition was up to the task (Thank God!).


10 posted on 02/04/2012 2:52:24 PM PST by vladimir998
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To: vladimir998

At last something about which we might agree!


11 posted on 02/04/2012 2:53:31 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: NYer

I attended Catholic grammar and high schools. The high school, run by an Italian based order of priests and brothers (Salesians of Don Bosco), would often invite the local Greek Orthodox church to celebrate Mass in our school. I always enjoyed those services, and didn’t see much difference between either (save married Orthodox priests.)


12 posted on 02/04/2012 3:02:48 PM PST by Forty-Niner (The barely bare, berry bear formerly known as..........Ursus Arctos Horribilis.)
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To: vladimir998
The Spanish Inquisition focused entirely too much on recent (forced) converts to have helped in the avoidance of Schism.

Remember, Protestantism started at THE TOP, not the bottom of both Spanish and French society.

Carvajal had the power, but he made a deal on behalf of having a full array of missionaries. You might look him up in the Catholic Encyclopedia. If you recall that his Uncle refused last rights before his execution by the new governor of Peru, you get an idea of just how close Protestant ideas were to the Cardinal himself.

13 posted on 02/04/2012 3:11:48 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: vladimir998
There was no Spanish Reformed Sect because the Spanish Inquisition was up to the task (Thank God!).

That's because no one expected the Spanish Inquisition.

14 posted on 02/04/2012 3:13:02 PM PST by Ken H (Austerity is the irresistible force. Entitlements are the immovable object.)
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To: muawiyah

You wrote:

“The Spanish Inquisition focused entirely too much on recent (forced) converts to have helped in the avoidance of Schism.”

False.
1) They focused on whomever they believed needed it.
2) It is simply untrue that the Conversos were all forced to convert.
3) There was no schism is Spain.

“Remember, Protestantism started at THE TOP, not the bottom of both Spanish and French society.”

I have no idea what that is supposed to mean. The Spanish Inquisition put “Lutherans” (which was actually a catchall for those who seemed to be heretics infected with Protestantism) on trial.

“Carvajal had the power, but he made a deal on behalf of having a full array of missionaries. You might look him up in the Catholic Encyclopedia.”

Do you mean the cardinal, the religious poet, or the conquistador?

“If you recall that his Uncle refused last rights before his execution by the new governor of Peru, you get an idea of just how close Protestant ideas were to the Cardinal himself.”

Uh, no I don’t since the one has nothing to do with the other. We talked about this before and you terribly embarrassed yourself when you failed - utterly failed - to document any evidence at all that the “Uncle” was a Protestant (actually all evidence shows he was a Catholic his whole life). Remember that? Yeah, it was just as bad a disaster for you as when you claimed their were Vikings in Russia in 1700!


15 posted on 02/04/2012 3:21:15 PM PST by vladimir998
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To: Ken H

Nor the comfy chairs and pillows!


16 posted on 02/04/2012 3:22:30 PM PST by vladimir998
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To: NYer

I would respectfully suggest that the writer of the article go and enroll in an inter-denominational Christian missionary endeavor in some remote back woods in the world, and, after keeping to that call for a decade or more, serving G-d with Christians from different confessions, come back and tell us how serious this question is to them, as a Christian.


17 posted on 02/04/2012 3:44:10 PM PST by Wuli
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To: Forty-Niner
The high school, run by an Italian based order of priests and brothers (Salesians of Don Bosco), would often invite the local Greek Orthodox church to celebrate Mass in our school.

While I do not question your recollection of that liturgy, that a Catholic religious community would invite an Orthodox Church to celebrate their liturgy for catholic school children, sounds highly improbably. More than likely, that liturgy was celebrated by a Greek Catholic Community, like the Melkites. My Catholic High School invited an Armenian priest to celebrate that liturgy in our school.


Catholic Church

Although it is not widely known in our Western world, the Catholic Church is actually a communion of Churches. According to the Constitution on the Church of the Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, the Catholic Church is understood to be "a corporate body of Churches," united with the Pope of Rome, who serves as the guardian of unity (LG, no. 23). At present there are 22 Churches that comprise the Catholic Church. The new Code of Canon Law, promulgated by Pope John Paul II, uses the phrase "autonomous ritual Churches" to describe these various Churches (canon 112). Each Church has its own hierarchy, spirituality, and theological perspective. Because of the particularities of history, there is only one Western Catholic Church, while there are 21 Eastern Catholic Churches. The Western Church, known officially as the Latin Church, is the largest of the Catholic Churches. It is immediately subject to the Roman Pontiff as Patriarch of the West. The Eastern Catholic Churches are each led by a Patriarch, Major Archbishop, or Metropolitan, who governs their Church together with a synod of bishops. Through the Congregation for Oriental Churches, the Roman Pontiff works to assure the health and well-being of the Eastern Catholic Churches.

While this diversity within the one Catholic Church can appear confusing at first, it in no way compromises the Church's unity. In a certain sense, it is a reflection of the mystery of the Trinity. Just as God is three Persons, yet one God, so the Church is 22 Churches, yet one Church.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church summarizes this nicely:

"From the beginning, this one Church has been marked by a great diversity which comes from both the variety of God's gifts and the diversity of those who receive them... Holding a rightful place in the communion of the Church there are also particular Churches that retain their own traditions. The great richness of such diversity is not opposed to the Church's unity" (CCC no. 814).

Although there are 22 Churches, there are only eight "Rites" that are used among them. A Rite is a "liturgical, theological, spiritual and disciplinary patrimony," (Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, canon 28). "Rite" best refers to the liturgical and disciplinary traditions used in celebrating the sacraments. Many Eastern Catholic Churches use the same Rite, although they are distinct autonomous Churches. For example, the Ukrainian Catholic Church and the Melkite Catholic Church are distinct Churches with their own hierarchies. Yet they both use the Byzantine Rite.

To learn more about the "two lungs" of the Catholic Church, visit this link:

CATHOLIC RITES AND CHURCHES

The Vatican II Council declared that "all should realize it is of supreme importance to understand, venerate, preserve, and foster the exceedingly rich liturgical and spiritual heritage of the Eastern churches, in order faithfully to preserve the fullness of Christian tradition" (Unitatis Redintegrato, 15).

A Roman rite Catholic may attend any Eastern Catholic Liturgy and fulfill his or her obligations at any Eastern Catholic Parish. A Roman rite Catholic may join any Eastern Catholic Parish and receive any sacrament from an Eastern Catholic priest, since all belong to the Catholic Church as a whole. I am a Roman Catholic practicing my faith at a Maronite Catholic Church. Like the Chaldeans, the Maronites retain Aramaic for the Consecration. It is as close as one comes to being at the Last Supper.

18 posted on 02/04/2012 3:47:44 PM PST by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: vladimir998
You can kid yourself all night if you want ~ they tossed his parts into the fields for wild dogs to eat.
19 posted on 02/04/2012 3:47:44 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: Wuli
I would respectfully suggest that the writer of the article go and enroll in an inter-denominational Christian missionary endeavor in some remote back woods in the world, and, after keeping to that call for a decade or more, serving G-d with Christians from different confessions, come back and tell us how serious this question is to them, as a Christian.

James Likoudis has written three books dealing with Eastern Orthodoxy. Still available is his book, The Divine Primacy of the Bishop of Rome, and, Modern Eastern Orthodoxy: Letters to a Greek Orthodox on the Unity of the Church.

20 posted on 02/04/2012 3:50:32 PM PST by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: muawiyah

Jesus way is clear and understandable, like the US Constitution. To me, the catholic church explanations always bring to mind the US Tax code.


21 posted on 02/04/2012 3:56:28 PM PST by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office)
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To: muawiyah

Jesus way is clear and understandable, like the US Constitution. To me, the catholic church explanations always bring to mind the US Tax code.


22 posted on 02/04/2012 3:56:56 PM PST by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office)
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To: NYer
To learn more about the "two lungs" of the Catholic Church..

I have great respect for our Eastern Orthodox brothers Many giants of early Church theology were of course from the East. So many greats and classic works such as the Paschal Sermon of St. John Chrysostom. I just finished a brief summary of the differences between mystics and monasticism in the East and West. Very interesting, like different personalities with one body. Two lungs, same body, I think is a great way to express it.

Thanks...

23 posted on 02/04/2012 3:59:39 PM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: muawiyah

You wrote:

“You can kid yourself all night if you want ~ they tossed his parts into the fields for wild dogs to eat.”

So what?


24 posted on 02/04/2012 4:03:02 PM PST by vladimir998
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To: D-fendr

A good way to look at it. Really all the differences mostly revolve around which human is ‘in charge’. But protestant, catholic, and orthodox all have salvation available.


25 posted on 02/04/2012 4:05:05 PM PST by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office)
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To: DesertRhino

You wrote:

“Jesus way is clear and understandable, like the US Constitution.”

So we don’t need a Supreme Court, right?


26 posted on 02/04/2012 4:05:05 PM PST by vladimir998
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To: DesertRhino

Thanks for your reply.

Theology aside, there is a consistency, dignity and history to the Catholic Church.

The Ecumenical Councils, the Nicene Creed, the Chalcedon definition... the fundamentals of the small ‘o’ orthodox Christian Faith.


27 posted on 02/04/2012 4:11:30 PM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: NYer

“James Likoudis has written three books dealing with Eastern Orthodoxy. Still available is his book, The Divine Primacy of the Bishop of Rome, and, Modern Eastern Orthodoxy: Letters to a Greek Orthodox on the Unity of the Church.”

I think you missed the argument hidden, in plain sight, in my point. I do not take seriously, and I don’t think Christians should take seriously, EITHER SIDE of the issue.


28 posted on 02/04/2012 4:13:41 PM PST by Wuli
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To: NYer

I wish the caucus designation was respected.

Although most Orthodox posters seem to have left this site, I was still hoping for an interesting discussion.

It seems unlikely that there will be one now.


29 posted on 02/04/2012 4:16:12 PM PST by WPaCon
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To: vladimir998

Not in the form we have today. And just as the USSC grabbed authority they were not given in the constitution,, the roman church has also done so in the christian world. The point is, catholics are saved and belong to jesus. But they are never his sole representative on earth,, thats all.
For example, the inquisition you so admire. The records state that 3 to 5k were murdered for heresy. (depending how you count) Yes, yes,, we know that was the civil authorities (wink wink,, nudge nudge) But torture, theft, and murder done in jesus name is insane. Those SOBs were satanic.
But also, blaming the modern church for what those guys did makes as much sense as blaming todays Porsche for building tanks for nazis.


30 posted on 02/04/2012 4:18:58 PM PST by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office)
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To: WPaCon

The original story made derisive comments about protestants. So therefore,, protestants might decide to comment.


31 posted on 02/04/2012 4:24:36 PM PST by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office)
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To: DesertRhino

I forgot about the brief mentions of Protestants.

It sucks how it voids the caucus label, since it is not a key part of the article.


32 posted on 02/04/2012 4:43:01 PM PST by WPaCon
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To: vladimir998

As the advertisement goes “Don’t be buried in unconsecrated ground” ~ that “so what”.


33 posted on 02/04/2012 4:49:16 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: DesertRhino

Not sure they “grabbed” anything. Even the Orthodox recognize the bishop of Rome as Patriarch of the West. All of Britain, Most of Europe west of Russia, was converted by missionaries loyal to Rome. Ditto most of Latin America. Beginning with the Reformation, the rulers of many of these countries seized control of the church and its properties.The Roman emperors based in Constantinople, exercised similar control over the Church from Constantine onwards. The final collapse of the Empire in 1453 left the eastern Church under the rule of the Turkish Sultan. Efforts by Latins to extent papal authority to the Greeks was resisted. After the fall of Constantinople, Russia became the main Orthodox power with its emperor -Tsar—as head of the Church.


34 posted on 02/04/2012 4:54:11 PM PST by RobbyS (Christus rex.)
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To: DesertRhino

Not sure they “grabbed” anything. Even the Orthodox recognize the bishop of Rome as Patriarch of the West. All of Britain, Most of Europe west of Russia, was converted by missionaries loyal to Rome. Ditto most of Latin America. Beginning with the Reformation, the rulers of many of these countries seized control of the church and its properties.The Roman emperors based in Constantinople, exercised similar control over the Church from Constantine onwards. The final collapse of the Empire in 1453 left the eastern Church under the rule of the Turkish Sultan. Efforts by Latins to extent papal authority to the Greeks was resisted. After the fall of Constantinople, Russia became the main Orthodox power with its emperor -Tsar—as head of the Church.


35 posted on 02/04/2012 4:54:26 PM PST by RobbyS (Christus rex.)
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To: muawiyah

You wrote:

“As the advertisement goes “Don’t be buried in unconsecrated ground” ~ that “so what”.”

No, it’s still “so what?” because what you just posted proves nothing.

“The Carvajal family in Spain had it’s most immediate origins in Brittany.”

Irrelevant.

“Many of their members went to Spain to serve in the Reconquista.”

Irrelevant.

“Apparently a number of them did quite well.”

Irrelevant.

“Toward the last quarter of the 16th century the Protestant Reformation in Brittany (which was not entirely at one with the Reformation in France) settled down without a clear cut victory in the nobility except in the rural areas where nobles actually made a living by running very large plantations dedicated to luxury products.”

Irrelevant.

“The Bretons ended up mostly Roman Catholic ~ in so far as the peasants and nobles in the cities were concerned,leaving only disaffected and politically isolated Protestant nobles in the countryside.”

Irrelevant.

“Not unaccountably the several great magnate families centered on the Carvajal nobles began agitating for a separation of Britanny, except for the Nantes area, to the Hapsburgs ~ to wit, Philip I/II of Spain.”

Irrelevant.

“Currently I’m trying to figure out what their political relationship to Philip was. He didn’t get that sort of respect out of the Catholic nobles in Brittany and maybe he thought they’d return to the church.”

Irrelevant.

“Your reference to Cardinal Carvajal in the mix with a commoner is startling ~ but it does reveal you don’t know these people. By the early 1600s the Breton Protestant nobility, again centered on the Carvajal family, had relocated in substantial strength to the Swedish Empire. It was an easy jump from there to America. A few lines remain in Eastern Europe.”

Irrelevant.

“Someday you might take a look at the authors of the Catholic encyclopedia.”

I bet I know it better than you do. Nothing you posted proves any of your claims - once again. You repeatedly fail to prove your assertions. Why?


36 posted on 02/04/2012 4:59:26 PM PST by vladimir998
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To: DesertRhino

You wrote:

“And just as the USSC grabbed authority they were not given in the constitution,, the roman church has also done so in the christian world.”

Nope. Christ gave the Catholic Church its authority.

“The point is, catholics are saved and belong to jesus. But they are never his sole representative on earth,, thats all.”

The point is Christ founded one Church - and that’s the Catholic Church.

“For example, the inquisition you so admire. The records state that 3 to 5k were murdered for heresy.”

They were not murdered. They were tried and exceuted for crimes.

“(depending how you count) Yes, yes,, we know that was the civil authorities (wink wink,, nudge nudge) But torture, theft, and murder done in jesus name is insane. Those SOBs were satanic.”

Nope. Torture was common in Western society until recently. Confiscation of criminals’ property is not theft. And executions were not murders.


37 posted on 02/04/2012 5:07:02 PM PST by vladimir998
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To: DesertRhino

A supreme court is necessary, and this is what was instituted in Scripture, but the real issue is infallibly defined assured infallibility, esp with assurance of the nature of a pronouncement being by conformity with an infallibly defined scope and subject based formula.

But this and unity has been the subject of many an open forum, even recently, as here (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2834651/posts?page=1167#1167 http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2841954/posts?page=122#122) and will be (just wait a bit) and contention is not sppsd to be part of caucus threads.


38 posted on 02/04/2012 7:58:57 PM PST by daniel1212 (Trust in the Lord Jesus to save you as a contrite damned+morally destitute sinner + be forgiven+live)
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To: NYer

The caucus label will be removed because the article mentions Protestant beliefs and therefore the Protestants have an interest in speaking for themselves.


39 posted on 02/04/2012 8:47:57 PM PST by Religion Moderator
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To: NYer

“the ‘two lungs’ of the Catholic Church”

Just heard this same term not long ago from John Michael Talbot at a local Catholic church. He was explaining the origin and meaning of the so-called Jesus prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner,” which he said was from the traditions of the Eastern Church, and explicitly citing John Paul 2 in urging everyone to breathe thus from both lungs. Then he encouraged everyone to become active participants in what he called the new monasticism.

I have seldom heard a more convoluted and confusing talk (2 hours!) about Christianity in my life.

Regarding JMT himself, great voice, wonderful guitar, but horribly muddled and confusing theology.


40 posted on 02/04/2012 10:09:44 PM PST by Belteshazzar (We are not justified by our works but by faith - De Jacob et vita beata 2 +Ambrose of Milan)
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To: Belteshazzar

It doesn’t get any simpler than the Jesus Prayer.

Pray always...


41 posted on 02/05/2012 1:15:03 AM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: NYer

“I do not question your recollection of that liturgy, that a Catholic religious community would invite an Orthodox Church to celebrate their liturgy for catholic school children, sounds highly improbably.”

...But your post does question it. Sorry to disappoint you, but it is true in all respects.

The Catholic Church in the US is dominated by an Irish based clergy. Their attitudes and teachings are much more restrictive (and I think highly bigoted) than Italian based Roman Catholic clergy.

Your point about the Catholic Church being a “community of Churches” is absolutely true, and goes to illustrate that my point about the Salesians being more open and accepting of other liturgies is valid.

I have an example of an Irish/Italian couple who met while working as engineers in South America on a power project, who returned to her native Ireland to get married among her parents, family, and friends.

The local Irish priest refused to marry them or, for that matter, even to publish the bands (evidentially because the groom was not Irish). After months of haggling with the local “Catholic clergy,” the prospective groom said “screw em.” They traveled back to his native Italy where they were married within the month at the Vatican. (His uncle was a Cardinal there...I understand that some choice words were spoken by the Cardinal about his opinion of the Irish Catholics.)

So yes I’m sure that an Irish Catholic dominated school would not have allowed an Orthodox service despite Vactican II, but I can assure you that the Salesians of that era did, and on more than one occassion. They were more open, accepting and Christ-like than many of the other so-called “Catholic/Christian” denominations.


42 posted on 02/05/2012 9:01:20 PM PST by Forty-Niner (The barely bare, berry bear formerly known as..........Ursus Arctos Horribilis.)
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