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Offline Jehanne

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Understanding Eastern Orthodoxy.
« on: July 27, 2013, 08:26:19 PM »
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  • Are there Eastern Orthodox Churches which are not in communion with each other?  That regard each other as heretics and not the "One True Church"?  (Eastern Orthodox Christians, of course, regard Catholic Christians as being in heresy and/or error.)  What's their views on the Coptic Church?  How do they explain the fact that the universal Church has not had a "valid" (in their view) ecumenical Council in over 1,000 years?

    I have been trying to read some of their writings (just trying to understand their POV), but these aspects of their theology does not seem clear to me.  The do believe in the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff, but only when he is sitting in an ecumenical Council, which means that they believe that the universal Church is no longer in a position to exercise its infallibility, as there can be no future ecumenical councils until the Bishop of Rome recants his "errors."

    Offline Anthony Benedict

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    Understanding Eastern Orthodoxy.
    « Reply #1 on: July 27, 2013, 08:34:35 PM »
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  • Excerpt From "Christian Order"

    http://www.christianorder.com/features/features_2007/features_apr07.html

    April 2007

    Eastern Orthodoxy Unveiled
       
    JAMES LARSON

    We tend to think of Eastern Orthodoxy as a branch of Christianity whose form of worship and religious symbolism may seem rather strange to us, and we are also ready to admit that the one really important Catholic doctrine which they have rejected is the Primacy of the Pope (we tend to mistakenly think of their rejection of the Filioque - the doctrine that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son - as being a rather marginal issue), but most of us are not prepared to consider that Orthodoxy is something radically different, and even opposed, to Catholicism.

    However, such is the case. The extraordinary fact is that virtually any serious Orthodox writer will be the first to make precisely this claim: namely, that Orthodoxy and Eastern Spirituality represent a faith and spirituality which in many ways are in profound opposition to the Latin Tradition. And this, despite the fact that his counterpart in the West is usually expending a good deal of effort in attempting to prove that the differences are minimal and inconsequential.
    Dionysisus and the "Palamite" tradition
    I want to begin our analysis of Eastern Orthodox theology and spirituality with a series of quotes which I hope will shock the reader into a state of acute watchfulness. It is, of course, always possible to distort a writer’s thought by taking quotations out of context. We will therefore be discussing their full meaning in relationship to Eastern theology and spirituality as we proceed in our discussion. For the present, however, I would like the reader to try to conceive of any context in which the following statements might be acceptable. They are all taken from authors writing in what certainly must be considered the dominant Orthodox tradition.
    Two of the writers are of ancient tradition. Dionysisus the Areopagite was considered until relatively recent times to be of apostolic origins. In his writings he disingenuously portrays himself as a contemporary of the apostles, and to have witnessed the solar eclipse at the Crucifixion. It is now known for certain that he lived somewhere around the year 500 A.D. We should also note that the writings of Dionysisus are of immense importance to Orthodox tradition, and have also probably been the primary source of Neoplatonic contamination of Western theology.

    Gregory of Palamas (1296-1359) is considered by the Eastern Church to be a Saint (proclaimed to be so by a Synod in Constantinople in 1368), and the greatest theologian in the Eastern Orthodox tradition. A series of Eastern Councils in the 14th century endorsed his theology as being the doctrinal basis for Orthodox Christianity.

    The two other writers, Vladimir Lossky and John Meyendorff, are probably considered the most respected explicators and apologists for this tradition (the "Palamite" tradition) in the twentieth century. I would therefore ask the reader to carefully consider all the following quotes:

    1. "The cult of the humanity of Christ, is foreign to Eastern tradition….The way of the imitation of Christ is never practiced in the spiritual life of the Eastern Church." (Vladimir Lossky, Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, 243

    2. "The Eastern tradition knows nothing of ‘pure nature’ to which grace is added as a supernatural gift. For it, there is no natural or ‘normal’ state, since grace is implied in the act of creation itself." (Lossky, 101)

    3. "The notion of a state of grace of which the members of the Church can be deprived, as well as the distinction between venial and mortal sins, are foreign to Eastern tradition." (Lossky, 180)

    4."The notion of merit is foreign to Eastern tradition." (Losski, 197)

    5."The essence of God is everywhere, for, as it is said, ‘the Spirit fills all things’, according to essence. Deification is likewise everywhere, ineffably present in the essence and inseparable from it, as its natural power. But just as one cannot see fire, if there is no matter to receive it, nor any sense organ capable of perceiving its luminous energy, in the same way one cannot contemplate deification if there is no matter to receive the divine manifestation. But if with every veil removed it lays hold of appropriate matter, that is of any purified rational nature, freed from the veil of manifold evil, then it becomes itself visible as a spiritual light, or rather it transforms these creatures into spiritual light." (Gregory Palamas, The Triads, p. 89)


    Offline Sigismund

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    Understanding Eastern Orthodoxy.
    « Reply #2 on: July 28, 2013, 12:05:37 PM »
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  • Quote from: Jehanne
    Are there Eastern Orthodox Churches which are not in communion with each other?  That regard each other as heretics and not the "One True Church"?  (Eastern Orthodox Christians, of course, regard Catholic Christians as being in heresy and/or error.)  What's their views on the Coptic Church?  How do they explain the fact that the universal Church has not had a "valid" (in their view) ecumenical Council in over 1,000 years?

    I have been trying to read some of their writings (just trying to understand their POV), but these aspects of their theology does not seem clear to me.  The do believe in the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff, but only when he is sitting in an ecumenical Council, which means that they believe that the universal Church is no longer in a position to exercise its infallibility, as there can be no future ecumenical councils until the Bishop of Rome recants his "errors."


    Most Orthodox now are coming to the conclusion that the Coptic and Ethiopian Orthodox Churches are not really heretical so much ans misunderstood.  It appears that the Copts and those in communion with them rejected the council of Chalcedon because they thought it was advocating Nestorianism, which of course it did not.  The was due to a problem with language, not theology.  As I understand it, The Vatican has reached a similar conclusion.  Copts are generally welcome at the Alter in Orthodox churches, and vice versa.  Some Orthodox churches have fallen out of communion with others.  The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia was not in communion with the Moscow patriarchate for years because it was under the thumb of Communist Soviets.  This communion was restored a few years ago.  

    The Orthodox believe that they are in every sense the one and only true church, and could call a valid ecumenical council at any time.  The are just confident that things that need to be addressed by a council have been, and that there has been no real need for one since the Seventh Council.  
    Stir up within Thy Church, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the Spirit with which blessed Josaphat, Thy Martyr and Bishop, was filled, when he laid down his life for his sheep: so that, through his intercession, we too may be moved and strengthen by the same Spir

    Offline jerm

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    Re: Understanding Eastern Orthodoxy.
    « Reply #3 on: February 04, 2021, 01:43:38 PM »
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  • I apologize for responding here so late, and for coming back after being rude to many people here, but I figure sharing my experience with Orthodoxy could help some people and make a good discussion.

    I left Catholicism for Orthodoxy towards the beginning of 2020. I was certain it was the truth thanks to apologetics from Jay Dyer and people like him. I went through my catechumenate and became active on Orthodox social media, but over time, I started to discover more and more cracks in the foundation. There were the True Orthodox, who claimed they could not be in communion with the rest of the synods due to heresy. There were some synods within the True Orthodox that claimed the other True Orthodox synods were in heresy, and so made their own bodies. There were universalists, who claimed that it was certain everyone would be saved, and that Orthodoxy had taught this (or at least not condemned it as heresy). There were the Oriental Orthodox, who claimed that only the first three ecumenical councils were legitimate, and so made their own churches. Then, there were certain people- one of whom was particularly nasty and prideful- who practically made their own doctrine. Jay Dyer is one of those people, but he isn't the one I'm referring to here. Simply put, he's not very important- many people in Orthodox call him a heretic, and he calls them heretics. So it goes.

    It was talking to one person, a so-called "True Orthodox" inquirer, that made me realize that Orthodoxy is based on pride; it is a religion of private judgment no different than the Protestants, but simply with canons, Patristics, and your own personal reasoning. This person was clearly wrong on a bevy of issues and wouldn't even talk to his priest about it. He would have massive debates with people online, trying to prove himself right over everyone else, and never let anyone else have the last word. When given a Patristic quote that blatantly contradicted him, he would conform it to what he already believed rather than change his mind to fit the Fathers. I asked him, "Millions of people believe they have the truth and are wrong. You aren't special; in fact, you've certainly been wrong on things before. What makes you think that you're right now?" His response was that he could figure he was right by his own reasoning. When I asked how he knew that reasoning was right, he said he used further reasoning. I told him it was certainly possible for him to be wrong, and that it was a stretch to say that he was definitively right in any of his reasoning. After all, we all make mistakes, and when it comes to our views on things in the world (be it financial statements, a trial, or religious opinions), it's always possible that there is some information we haven't considered, some other factor that we aren't considering, or we're just flat out wrong. Yet, he said there was no possibility about this, because he had reasoned about this. He really believe there was no epistemic possibility for doubt of him being wrong. This is the same thing that everyone in Orthodoxy believes: that their reasoning is infallible, that they understand everything about what the Fathers said, and that everyone who disagrees is wrong- most of the time, so wrong that their beliefs warrant damnation.

    This is the basis of Eastern Orthodoxy, and all Orthodox faiths: your own private judgmejnt and pride. It's the same reason why people like Richard Ibranyi exist. It's because of this that I'm trying to reconnect with my Catholic friends again, and attend an Eastern Catholic church that uses the Byzantine rite. The Papacy and Papal infallibility are the only ways to solve this issue; otherwise, we are forever left with religious skepticism... we cannot know for sure that we are reasoning correctly on religious matters if we just use our own intelligence. Orthodox people deny they do this, yet this is the sole basis for their beliefs. We have to actually have faith.

    Please forgive me, all of you, and be cautious with the Eastern Orthodox. Please pray for me, too, that I may return to Catholicism and stay this time.

    Offline Viva Cristo Rey

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    Re: Understanding Eastern Orthodoxy.
    « Reply #4 on: February 04, 2021, 08:14:11 PM »
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  • I will pray for you, Jerm.  These are tough times for all of us.  

    To live with the Saints in Heaven is all bliss and glory....To live with the saints on Earth is just another story!  (unknown)


    Offline XavierSem

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    Re: Understanding Eastern Orthodoxy.
    « Reply #5 on: February 05, 2021, 02:04:46 AM »
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  • God bless you, Jerm. We are glad you have returned. We will pray for you, that you return to regular Sacramental life within the Catholic Church, perhaps in the Eastern Catholic Church, and that you find peace in your soul and the full Truth of Christ in His Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

    Edit: Please sesee this article on Filioque. I hope it helps you. From early Fathers, early Popes, early Councils etc. 

    https://onepeterfive.com/filioque-separated-east/
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    Offline Nadir

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    Re: Understanding Eastern Orthodoxy.
    « Reply #6 on: February 05, 2021, 05:51:23 AM »
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  • This may be of interest to you.

    I will pray for your intentions.

    January 23, 2021
    Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, 
    A Blessed New Year to you all, especially our many new members. 
    This month’s Study Guide # 20 centers upon St. Peter Damian’s Letter 91, dated 1062, on the burning issue of the Filioque – the Latin word/clause “and the Son,” – which was inserted intothe Western version of the Nicene Creed to reaffirm the doctrine of the procession of the Holy Ghost from the Son as well as from the Father
     
    In his Letter 91, Peter Damian comes down in favor of the Western Church on the issues of the Filioque and the issue of the magisterial primacy granted by God, universally and for all time, to Peter and his successors. Both issues, as we know, were key factors in the Great Schism of 1054.
     
    Please remember, as we celebrate the start of the third year of the League of Saint Peter Damian, that January remains the first and only month that we ask for a $25.00 donation from our founding members. Contributions from other patrons who wish to support the League’s work and our website at www.stpeterdamian.com are also welcome. Please see page 8 for details.
    Saint Peter Damian Pray for Us,                                                                                                                       Randy Engel, Director
     

     

     
     
     
     
     
    STUDY GUIDE #20 January 23, 2021
            Saint Peter Damian’s Letter 91 - On The Filioque
    Introduction
     
    To Sir Lichoudes, the most blessed patriarch, the monk Peter the sinner offers his servitude.
    (2The devout bishop of the church at Forlimpopoli related to me that he had heard from the lips of the most reverend Dominic [Marango], patriarch of Grado, that you had posed a question of great importance for the Catholic faith in your letter to the  Apostolic See, and that with vigilance becoming  the episcopal office, you had requested of Pope Alexander [II] that it be resolved with unimpeachable evidence from the testimonies of the Scriptures. This question was: Why do Latins say that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, while the Greeks believe that he proceeds only from the Father?(italics added). I now make bold to demonstrate what I think about this question with the help of the same Holy Spirit here under discussion. It is not that I have been put under obligation by you in this matter, or that it was commanded by the authority of the Roman pontiff. For why would he deign to assign such a weighty subject to an unskilled person, when it cannot be doubted that there are so many holy and skilled men always at his side? But even though I am a slothful and useless servant in the household of my Lord Jesus, since it is inconvenient for them to accept his request, I am pleased to undertake the task, and no one has seen fit to challenge me. 
    (3) Your Holiness is to be exalted for his laudable prudence, with deserved acclamation, that in resolving this question about the Holy Spirit you came to not just anyone, but specifically to Peter, whom you undoubtedly recognize as having the keys of wisdom and power. Nor was it proper that you, a man of such dignity  and wisdom, should seek  out from any other, the hidden things of heavenly mystery, but from him  especially, whom flesh and blood could not instruct, but to whom God himself saw fit to reveal his secrets directly. Simon, son of Jonah,” he said, “blessed are you because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.” For the Creator of the world chose him in preference to all other mortals on earth, and granted to him for all time the privilege of magisterial primacy within the Church, so that anyone who wishes to know anything profound about God might have recourse to the divine pronouncements and doctrine of this teacher (italics added). ...
    (7) First of all, therefore, let me explain the source of this ignorance that allows almost all the Greeks and some Latins to maintain that the Holy Spirit does not proceed from the Son, but only from the Father. This they assert from  the words of the Lord by which he says, “For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.”And again, “Behold, I send to you the promise of my Father.” And this statement, “But when the Advocate has come, whom I will send to you from the Father  the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father – he will bear witness about me.” Again the Lord says of him, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you forever – the Spirit of Truth.” And elsewhere he says, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name will teach you everything.” And again, “If you , then, though you are bad, know how to give your children what is good for them, how much more will your heavenly Father give the good Spirit to those who ask him.”
    (8) Citing these texts, therefore, and the like, not only from the Gospels but from other scriptural evidence as well, they assert that the Holy Spirit in no way proceeds from the Son, but only from the Father. Some such statements which seem to agree with this opinion are often found even in the doctors who use the Latin language. Clearly blessed Jerome, in his explanation of the faith sent to the bishops Alippius and Augustine, says among other things, “We believe also in the Holy Spirit, true God, who proceeds from the Father, equal in all things to the Father and to the Son.” Augustine also, inveighing against Maximus the heretic, Says, “The Son is from the Father, the Holy Spirit is from the Father.” …
    (9) Yet these and similar testimonies from the Scriptures or the words of the holy doctors are not prejudicial to the Catholic faith, by which, just as we believe that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, so we maintain nonetheless that he proceeds from the Son as well (italics added). For while both the Lord himself and the holy doctors of the Church agree in asserting that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, never do they hold that he does not proceed from the Son (emphasis added). Rather, when the Holy Spirit is said to proceed  from the Father, it must be believed that he proceeds also from the Son, because there is no doubt that the Father and the Son are of one and the same substance. For when the Son says, “The Father and I are one,” how can the Holy Spirit both proceed and not proceed from that which is one?
    (10) But something ineffable, which cannot be conceived by any natural capacity of human reason and cannot be discerned by any insight or application of the mind, must be gathered only from statements found in the Word of God.  …For how can human insight attain to the knowledge of how the Father ineffably begets the Son, of how the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father or from both,  unless almighty God  reveals it to mortal men through the instrumentality of the prophets or through his Incarnate Word? “For faith,” as the Apostle says, “is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” …
    (11) Moreover, neither among the Greeks nor among the Latins is there any question that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father. Nor need one cite evidence for this, since the texts we quoted above declare this very thing. But that he proceeds from the Father, and at the same time, from the Son, which is the question we are addressing, we learn from the authority of the Gospels, for the Lord says, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything (italics added) And elsewhere, “When the Advocate has come whom I will send you from the Father.” Since, therefore, the Father sends the Advocate in the name of the Son, and the Son sends him from the Father, it is evident that because he is sent by both who are undoubtedly one, he also surely proceeds from both. And since he is often called the Spirit of Truth, and since Christ is the Truth, he who is the Spirit of Truth is undoubtedly the Spirit of the Son. And so elsewhere the Lord says, “He will glorify me, because he will receive from what is mine.” He will indeed receive from what is mine, because he is also in me. Thus also in Isaiah the voice of the Father said to the Son, “My Spirit which is in you and my words which I have put in the mouth of your descendants forever.” This same Spirit is the power that went out from him, as we read in the Gospel, and cured them all. …
    (13) Therefore, just as when we speak of the Spirit of the Son or of Christ, it does not immediately follow that we can disunite him from the Father, so too when we call him the Spirit of the Father, we cannot separate him from the Son. … But that the Son sent the same Spirit upon the disciples is stated by Peter in the Acts of the Apostles, when he says, “Exalted thus at God’s right hand, he received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father and then poured out this gift, which you see and hear.” And so it was that when he had risen from the dead and had appeared to the disciples, that he might clearly show that the Spirit proceeded from him, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
    (14) Nor must we think that this bodily breathing , which then disturbed the air, was the Holy Spirit, but by this apt figure  he fitly indicated that the Holy Spirit proceeded from him. … But the sound that proceeds from his mouth is the Holy Spirit, who resounded in a marvelous fashion as he came forth from the Son, and with a sudden noise, speaking in a variety of tongues, descended upon the apostles. “And suddenly,” we read, “there came from the sky a sound like that of a wind arriving in great vehemence.”
    Among the Church Fathers of the West, Peter Damian selected Saint Ambrose, Saint Augustine,and Saint Jerome, and from the Greeks he selected Saint Athanasius and Saint Cyril.
    (18) So let us hear what Blessed Ambrose says about the procession of the Holy Spirit in the sixth book On the Faith that he sends to emperor Gratian. “It is not,” he says, “as if the Spirit is sent from some place, or as if he proceeds from some place, when he proceeds from the Son.” … Just as the Father is in the Son, and the Son is in the Father, thus the Spirit of God is both in the Father and in the Son.”
    … Although throughout almost the entire work he composed on the holy Trinity Augustine asserts on countless occasions that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and at the same time from the Son, I will cite at least one of his statements , lest I appear to have neglected  him and completely passed him by. “In this holy Trinity,” he says, “there is one Father who alone from himself essentially begot one Son, and the one Son who alone is born essentially of the one Father, and one Holy Spirit who alone essentially proceeds from the Father and the Son.
    Jerome also is said to have written the following, “The Spirit who proceeds from the Father and from the Son is coeternal and in all things coequal to the Father and the Son. This is the holy Trinity. That is, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit: it is one deity and power, one essence, that is, the Father who has begotten, the Son who is begotten, and the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father and the Son.”
    (19) But if, on the other hand, those who are acquainted only with Greek and know no Latin should say that doctors in the Roman tongue do not suffice for them, unless I also use Greek-speaking Fathers, let them hear what blessed Athanasius states in the book he wrote against Arius. “I believe,” he said, “that the Son is in the Father, and the Father in the Son, and also that the Spirit, the Advocate who proceeds from the Father, is of the Son as well as of the Father, because he proceeds from the Son, as it is written in the Gospel that by breathing upon them he gave the Holy Spirit to his disciples.
    Also blessed Cyril says of this same procession of the Spirit in writing against Nestorius, “For even though in his substance he is his Spirit, and it is understood to have his own personality in that he is the Spirit and not the Son, still he is not alien to him. For he is called the Spirit of the Truth, and the Truth is Christ. Hence in like manner he proceeds from him, just as proceeds from God the Father.”
    (23) I could gather still further texts from the Scriptures, nor would it be impossible to use [other] outstanding defenders of the Catholic faith along with their arguments in support of my contention. … Therefore may Your Holiness, venerable father, even though fully and lavishly  refreshed by the food of God’s word, hunger more and more for the truth, and in the meantime not despise this meager appetizer from a poor little man, so that afterwards you may enjoy the delights of a royal banquet from the hands of our lord pope, as though through the prophet Habakkuk, or even through an angel.
    2
     

    Offline SimpleMan

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    Re: Understanding Eastern Orthodoxy.
    « Reply #7 on: February 05, 2021, 07:26:32 AM »
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  • I couldn't help noticing the name "Sir Lichoudes", and the first thing that occurred to me, was the similarity to the surname "Likoudis", as in James and Paul.


    Offline Mercyandjustice

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    Re: Understanding Eastern Orthodoxy.
    « Reply #8 on: May 30, 2021, 12:57:36 AM »
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  • Well, Constantinople and Moscow are currently not in communion. They've been is schism with each other since 2018, and were also out of communion back in 1996 for a few months. The Macedonia Orthodox Church is also in schism. It is not recognized by the other orthodox churches and hasn't been recognized for several decades now.

    2018 Moscow–Constantinople schism - Wikipedia

    Macedonian Orthodox Church – Ohrid Archbishopric - Wikipedia
    Christians who preach their doctrine with bitterness and sarcasm don't preach out of love for God or souls, but only to assert dominance over others; out of pride.

    Offline ByzCat3000

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    Re: Understanding Eastern Orthodoxy.
    « Reply #9 on: May 30, 2021, 07:06:52 AM »
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  • Well, Constantinople and Moscow are currently not in communion. They've been is schism with each other since 2018, and were also out of communion back in 1996 for a few months. The Macedonia Orthodox Church is also in schism. It is not recognized by the other orthodox churches and hasn't been recognized for several decades now.

    2018 Moscow–Constantinople schism - Wikipedia

    Macedonian Orthodox Church – Ohrid Archbishopric - Wikipedia
    The C'ple vs Moscow schism only affects the clergy in their church, Russian clergy and Greek clergy can't offer sacraments together, but the laity from the Greek church are still allowed to commune in the Russian Church and vice versa.  I think the Russian church asks its members not to commune at Greek churches without approval from their priests or something like that.

    HOWEVER, both Moscow and Constantinople are in communion with all of the other EO patriarchs, so its arguably not a full blown schism.  

    I've seen EO apologists argue that partial schisms of this sort have happened before, usually citing the Melatian schism, which is something I want to learn more about.

    Offline SimpleMan

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    Re: Understanding Eastern Orthodoxy.
    « Reply #10 on: May 30, 2021, 08:37:32 AM »
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  • I apologize for responding here so late, and for coming back after being rude to many people here, but I figure sharing my experience with Orthodoxy could help some people and make a good discussion.

    I left Catholicism for Orthodoxy towards the beginning of 2020. I was certain it was the truth thanks to apologetics from Jay Dyer and people like him. I went through my catechumenate and became active on Orthodox social media, but over time, I started to discover more and more cracks in the foundation. There were the True Orthodox, who claimed they could not be in communion with the rest of the synods due to heresy. There were some synods within the True Orthodox that claimed the other True Orthodox synods were in heresy, and so made their own bodies. There were universalists, who claimed that it was certain everyone would be saved, and that Orthodoxy had taught this (or at least not condemned it as heresy). There were the Oriental Orthodox, who claimed that only the first three ecumenical councils were legitimate, and so made their own churches. Then, there were certain people- one of whom was particularly nasty and prideful- who practically made their own doctrine. Jay Dyer is one of those people, but he isn't the one I'm referring to here. Simply put, he's not very important- many people in Orthodox call him a heretic, and he calls them heretics. So it goes.

    It was talking to one person, a so-called "True Orthodox" inquirer, that made me realize that Orthodoxy is based on pride; it is a religion of private judgment no different than the Protestants, but simply with canons, Patristics, and your own personal reasoning. This person was clearly wrong on a bevy of issues and wouldn't even talk to his priest about it. He would have massive debates with people online, trying to prove himself right over everyone else, and never let anyone else have the last word. When given a Patristic quote that blatantly contradicted him, he would conform it to what he already believed rather than change his mind to fit the Fathers. I asked him, "Millions of people believe they have the truth and are wrong. You aren't special; in fact, you've certainly been wrong on things before. What makes you think that you're right now?" His response was that he could figure he was right by his own reasoning. When I asked how he knew that reasoning was right, he said he used further reasoning. I told him it was certainly possible for him to be wrong, and that it was a stretch to say that he was definitively right in any of his reasoning. After all, we all make mistakes, and when it comes to our views on things in the world (be it financial statements, a trial, or religious opinions), it's always possible that there is some information we haven't considered, some other factor that we aren't considering, or we're just flat out wrong. Yet, he said there was no possibility about this, because he had reasoned about this. He really believe there was no epistemic possibility for doubt of him being wrong. This is the same thing that everyone in Orthodoxy believes: that their reasoning is infallible, that they understand everything about what the Fathers said, and that everyone who disagrees is wrong- most of the time, so wrong that their beliefs warrant damnation.

    This is the basis of Eastern Orthodoxy, and all Orthodox faiths: your own private judgmejnt and pride. It's the same reason why people like Richard Ibranyi exist. It's because of this that I'm trying to reconnect with my Catholic friends again, and attend an Eastern Catholic church that uses the Byzantine rite. The Papacy and Papal infallibility are the only ways to solve this issue; otherwise, we are forever left with religious skepticism... we cannot know for sure that we are reasoning correctly on religious matters if we just use our own intelligence. Orthodox people deny they do this, yet this is the sole basis for their beliefs. We have to actually have faith.

    Please forgive me, all of you, and be cautious with the Eastern Orthodox. Please pray for me, too, that I may return to Catholicism and stay this time.
    As indeed I shall.  I have been turned off from Orthodoxy by its seeming denial of any worth whatsoever of the theological and liturgical traditions of the West --- we do not dismiss the East in that fashion! --- its bitter polemics against Rome in general (they tend towards the triumphalistic), its emphasis (as a practical matter) upon ethnicity and national churches, the way they use economia to permit divorce (and, now, contraception), and the fact that they run fasting entirely into the groundI'm all for penitential fasting, and fasting as a hidden source of spiritual power, but they come across --- even if they don't mean to --- as making fasting into an end in itself.  (And I doubt that the Orthodoxy worry too much about "how they come across".  Might be a lesson for us there.)

    From what you say, it might be fair to describe Orthodoxy as "Protestantism with liturgy, seven sacraments, and patristic theology".  Just saying...


    Offline Cryptinox

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    Re: Understanding Eastern Orthodoxy.
    « Reply #11 on: May 30, 2021, 01:37:57 PM »
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  • As indeed I shall.  I have been turned off from Orthodoxy by its seeming denial of any worth whatsoever of the theological and liturgical traditions of the West --- we do not dismiss the East in that fashion! --- its bitter polemics against Rome in general (they tend towards the triumphalistic), its emphasis (as a practical matter) upon ethnicity and national churches, the way they use economia to permit divorce (and, now, contraception), and the fact that they run fasting entirely into the ground.  I'm all for penitential fasting, and fasting as a hidden source of spiritual power, but they come across --- even if they don't mean to --- as making fasting into an end in itself.  (And I doubt that the Orthodoxy worry too much about "how they come across".  Might be a lesson for us there.)

    From what you say, it might be fair to describe Orthodoxy as "Protestantism with liturgy, seven sacraments, and patristic theology".  Just saying...
    Some Eastern Orthodox will even claim that fasting on days not designated as fast days is "prideful."

    Offline Matthew

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    Re: Understanding Eastern Orthodoxy.
    « Reply #12 on: May 30, 2021, 02:59:06 PM »
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  • Eastern Orthodox are schismatics. Period.

    We must distinguish from the EASTERN RITES and the ORTHODOX. The Orthodox are schismatics and those seeking salvation should have nothing to do with them. Under any circumstances.
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    Offline ByzCat3000

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    Re: Understanding Eastern Orthodoxy.
    « Reply #13 on: May 30, 2021, 04:20:19 PM »
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  • As indeed I shall.  I have been turned off from Orthodoxy by its seeming denial of any worth whatsoever of the theological and liturgical traditions of the West --- we do not dismiss the East in that fashion! --- its bitter polemics against Rome in general (they tend towards the triumphalistic), its emphasis (as a practical matter) upon ethnicity and national churches, the way they use economia to permit divorce (and, now, contraception), and the fact that they run fasting entirely into the ground.  I'm all for penitential fasting, and fasting as a hidden source of spiritual power, but they come across --- even if they don't mean to --- as making fasting into an end in itself.  (And I doubt that the Orthodoxy worry too much about "how they come across".  Might be a lesson for us there.)

    From what you say, it might be fair to describe Orthodoxy as "Protestantism with liturgy, seven sacraments, and patristic theology".  Just saying...
    To be clear I'm not being subjectivist about things when I say this, but I guess it depends on how you define Protestantism.  To me, and I think ultimately to all the Protestants I grew up with and went to school with, the essence of Protestantism is the five solae, particularly sola scriptura and sola fide.  The EO might have private judgment with some things, but they don't believe in sola scriptura, and their national churches aren't really akin to Protestant "denominations" with different theology depending on where you go.  True, some national churches seem to be more traditional than others, but that seems more akin to the differences between Roman Catholic priestly orders than it does, say, the differences between Lutherans and Baptists.

    I personally don't consider anyone who rejects Sola Scriptura to be a Protestant.  That doesn't mean they're in a good place, it just means that I don't think everything wrong should be called "Protestant."


    Triumphalism seems to go both ways too, for better or for worse.  

    Offline ByzCat3000

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    Re: Understanding Eastern Orthodoxy.
    « Reply #14 on: May 30, 2021, 04:20:53 PM »
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  • Eastern Orthodox are schismatics. Period.

    We must distinguish from the EASTERN RITES and the ORTHODOX. The Orthodox are schismatics and those seeking salvation should have nothing to do with them. Under any circumstances.
    Is it wrong to want to understand someone that we don't agree with?  I mean how else can we convince them to join The Church?


     

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