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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: the primacy of the Pope and the Papacy
Callan
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Originally posted by Nunc Dimittis:

quote:
quote:
(Problem is lots of little Vatican monsignori forget that they are just stokers in the engine room of the barque of Peter, they are not Peter himself!)
Pot, meet kettle. Kettle, Pot.
Hosting

Nunc, if you want to take a pop at Triple Tiara I understand that there is a Hell thread available for the purposes.

Not in Purgatory, please.

Callan.

Hosting ends

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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Jenn.
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The problem with that argument as I see it andreas, is that it is like a game of chinese whispers. My friend tells me what his friend told him that his friend told him and so on. You can end up hearing a completely different message to the one that you began with. And that is without anyone deliberately adapting the message to make it more palatable to others. I am not saying that this has happened deliberatly in the Orthodox church, more in a chinese whispers/gossipy way.
But I'm probably wrong

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El Greco
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Yes, this could be the case! We can find out if this is the case, by reading the documents created by the people in the ancient Church many centuries ago. So, we can see if a specific thesis is historically consistent or it's a new development.

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Ξέρω εγώ κάτι που μπορούσε, Καίσαρ, να σας σώσει.

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GreyFace
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Again very Protestant, Andreas.

You and I might not agree with the outcome of the Reformers investigations necessarily, but that's what they attempted.

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El Greco
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No, it's not. They said "this is what we were brought up with, but we don't agree with you; let's discuss about it", rather than confessing the faith they received.

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Ξέρω εγώ κάτι που μπορούσε, Καίσαρ, να σας σώσει.

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Fuzzipeg
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I'm glad the Copts got a mention. I have my doubts about Chalcedon and the branding of the Armenians, Copts etc as monophysites because it is palpably not true.

Much of Orthodoxy would agree other than the conservatives on Mt Athos who I have been told are the major problem.

No doubt Mt Athos would be equally opposed to any rapprochement with Rome.

Primacy isn't really the issue, it is the exercising of it especially when we think of the increasing weakness of Constantinople and its possible extinction long-term.

As for papl Infallability etc Rome is very good at "redefining" things to make them more palatable. 1870 and Pio Nono must be a bit blushworthy 135 years later

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El Greco
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They were prejudiced against those that opposed their ideas; they didn't want to learn from the ancients. This is what I understand from their correspondence with the Orthodox.

[ETA] This was supposed to be one post; not two.

[ 22. February 2006, 15:15: Message edited by: andreas1984 ]

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Ξέρω εγώ κάτι που μπορούσε, Καίσαρ, να σας σώσει.

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GreyFace
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quote:
Originally posted by andreas1984:
No, it's not. They said "this is what we were brought up with, but we don't agree with you; let's discuss about it", rather than confessing the faith they received.

You seem to have forgotten that they received the faith as held by sixteenth-century Roman Catholics.

As you currently think Roman Catholcis are heretics I assume you would not object to their disagreeing with it?

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El Greco
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quote:
Originally posted by Fuzzipeg:
I'm glad the Copts got a mention. I have my doubts about Chalcedon and the branding of the Armenians, Copts etc as monophysites because it is palpably not true.

Right... We are saying we have a different faith from them, they are saying they have a different faith from us, yet it's all a misunderstanding because you say so?

Come on. I recall a few years ago a meeting about the issue. We were ready to sign a joint document when, at the last minute, it became apparent that the two churches used the same words with quite different meanings in mind.

And no boy from Athos took part in that meeting [Biased]

[ETA] TT, you are having an influence on my sense of humour, and that's not good [Razz]

[ 22. February 2006, 15:21: Message edited by: andreas1984 ]

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Ξέρω εγώ κάτι που μπορούσε, Καίσαρ, να σας σώσει.

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GreyFace
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Andreas, are you not aware of how frequently the arguments of the Reformers are based on the ECFs along with Holy Scripture?

The notion that they did not want to learn from the ancients is not credible and probably insulting to the majority of modern Protestant theologians.

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El Greco
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quote:
Originally posted by GreyFace:
As you currently think Roman Catholcis are heretics I assume you would not object to their disagreeing with it?

We are much closer with the Roman Catholics than one might think!

But it was supposed to be one post; not two... What I meant is that they said something like this: "this is what we believe, you [the Orthodox] ascribe to what we believe or you are bloody heretics like the Romans". (or words to that extent [Biased] )

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Ξέρω εγώ κάτι που μπορούσε, Καίσαρ, να σας σώσει.

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El Greco
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quote:
Originally posted by GreyFace:
Andreas, are you not aware of how frequently the arguments of the Reformers are based on the ECFs along with Holy Scripture?

They were misusing the church fathers, just like they misused the bible. But I don't want either to derail the thread, or to insult Protestant theologians.

If you are interested, you can check it for yourself, by reading the letters the Protestants exchanged with the Orthodox.

[ 22. February 2006, 15:28: Message edited by: andreas1984 ]

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Ξέρω εγώ κάτι που μπορούσε, Καίσαρ, να σας σώσει.

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GreyFace
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quote:
Originally posted by andreas1984:
We are much closer with the Roman Catholics than one might think!

It depends which 'one' you mean. If you mean me, I suspect you're mistaken - I think the West and the East are closer than you think, actually.

However, on the question of the Reformers, what you're saying is not consistent. Faced with a body of doctrine with which they did not wholly agree, you would ask them to make a historical investigation of theology in order to determine the point at which the West significantly diverged from Tradition. They did that, and determined that it was not at the point at which Orthodoxy determined it to have happened, nor at the point at which Roman Catholicism determined it to have happened (i.e. never).

However, the outcome of their investigation was not Orthodoxy but Protestantism. Your claim that they did not want to learn from the ancients is based on your assumption that sixteenth century Orthodoxy represents the teaching of the ancients, which would be disputed by the Protestants and so all you're actually saying is that they disagree with you. It's not Holy Tradition versus individual thought at all, it's Luther vs Andreas on the discernment of Holy Tradition - which incidentally does not make you wrong.

Your assumption seems to be that anyone who investigates the history will become Orthodox. Many people have studied Church history and not done so.

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GreyFace
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quote:
Originally posted by andreas1984:
But I don't want either to derail the thread

I don't think it is a derailment, because I'm trying to get at the root of the Orthodox objection to the Catholic doctrines regarding the Pope.
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Leetle Masha

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According to the late André Frossard, a French journalist and academician who wrote _Portrait of John Paul II_, Pope John Paul II thought that while Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism are close doctrinally, they are psychologically still very far apart.

Leetle M.

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eleison me, tin amartolin: have mercy on me, the sinner

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El Greco
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quote:
Originally posted by GreyFace:
They did that

My point is that many others before Luther did what he did. Your comments can apply to Arios or Pyrrhos for example.

Just like Arios misused the bible, just like Pyrrhos misused the fathers, Protestants came to their own conclusions which are not historically consistent.

Luther became a judge of the canon of the bible; one day he announced that the canon is this, the other he announced another canon. This is what the early Reformers did. Even Arios and Pyrrhos were more reverent of the holy scriptures!

All I am saying is that what you said is what e.g. Pyrrhos was saying for monothelitism. "We read the fathers and the scriptures and our conclusions are not the same with the Orthodox. Sorry!"

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Ξέρω εγώ κάτι που μπορούσε, Καίσαρ, να σας σώσει.

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Niënna

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quote:
Originally posted by Ian Climacus:
But I pray for unity. And pray. And pray. [Votive]

[Votive] [Tear] [Votive] Me too. I'm not even RC or Orthodox.

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[Nino points a gun at Chiki]
Nino: Now... tell me. Who started the war?
Chiki: [long pause] We did.
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GreyFace
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I'm giving up trying to explain, Andreas.
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PaulTH*
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Its impossible to separarte the Catholic view on papal primacy from today's gospel reading, commemorating St Peter's Chair at Antioch. Like St Peter's Chair at Rome (Jan 18th) in Matt 16.13-19, Christ specifically promises the keys of the kingdom of heaven to Peter and the power to bind and loose on earth which will be honoured in heaven. If one accepts the Popes as legitimate heirs of Peter it is difficult to deny them this Christ ordained authority.

Yet both the major schisms, that between East and West usually arbitrarily assigned to 1054, and the later Reformation centred on disputes revolving around Papal authority. So any hope of reconciliation depends on harmonisation of what one means by Petrine primacy. Its difficult to know if Pope Benedict XVI feel the same about this now as he did in 1988, but his comments quoted on this thread suggest to me that humility on both sides between Catholic and Orthodox coupled with a willingness for flexibility could form the basis for the opening of dialogue on this age old issue.

The question of Protestants is altogether more difficult. Protestantism by nature is anti-authority. Many, though by no means all, Anglicans would have no difficulty with the concept of the Pope as natural leader of world Christianity, but as Benedict in his previous incarnation as Cardinal Ratzinger realised, Rome has to move. His speech last year in which he confirmed that the Pope's position is more that od guardian of the faith rather than ultimate authority is, IMO a positive step. Bearing in mind that all Christians, in disobeying Christ's command that we should all be one, are in error, the opening of dialogue aimed at healing age old schisms should be seen as a divine command.

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Yours in Christ
Paul

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El Greco
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quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
and the power to bind and loose on earth which will be honoured in heaven.

The power to bind and loose is given to all the Apostles.

Peter: there are three petrine sees; not one!

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Ξέρω εγώ κάτι που μπορούσε, Καίσαρ, να σας σώσει.

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PaulTH*
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quote:
Originally posted by andreus 1984
The power to bind and loose is given to all the Apostles .

Perhaps, but tu es Petrus confers a special status on Peter. And how many seats he has doesn't seem relevant. The See of Rome is recognised the descendant of Peter. Fr Gregory indicated that Orthodox Christianity would be willing to acknowledge some form of primacy for the Bishop of Rome, but not on the present terms. The devil, as ever, lies in the detail.

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Yours in Christ
Paul

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El Greco
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The Sees of Rome, Alexandria and Antioch are recognised as the Sees of Peter.

Father Gregory said that we could recognise Rome's primacy. He didn't say anything about that primacy being in connection with the Petrine primacy.

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Ξέρω εγώ κάτι που μπορούσε, Καίσαρ, να σας σώσει.

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ken
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quote:
Originally posted by andreas1984:
if I understood right what you are saying, then my reply would be that one should read about the history of the church. Read as much as possible, from the acts of the councils, be it either local or ecumenical, read what the ancient Saints confessed as the faith they received from those that were before them, and you can reach to the understanding you are seeking for.

But there are millions of people who have done just that and come to the conclusion that the Catholics or the Protestants were right. And that there are anything from 4 to 20-something valid ecumenical councils.

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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El Greco
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ken, in the undivided Church, the priests could give absolution to the faithful for their sins. This is a fact. Do Protestants having read about Church history accept that the priests can give absolution?

It's not as simple as you present it to be.

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Ξέρω εγώ κάτι που μπορούσε, Καίσαρ, να σας σώσει.

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Lamb Chopped
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Whizzing over your slam at Luther, [Disappointed]

it might be worth noting that Lutherans (and Luther, natch) believe that priests can pronounce absolution. In fact, we believe that all Christians can do so, in their God-given authority as "the royal priesthood" of God's people.

Now whether you'd class us as Protestants, well, now, that's a different matter.....

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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El Greco
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Please note that I am not talking about Luther per se, but I'm responding to an argument ken made about people reading history and arriving to different conclusions...

In the case of general priesthood, I'd say that Luther can't have just read the history of the Church and decided that any believer could offer absolution! I mean, this is not what happened in the ancient Church!

ken, are you seeing that things are not like what you described?

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Ξέρω εγώ κάτι που μπορούσε, Καίσαρ, να σας σώσει.

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ken
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I never mentioned Luther, I was talking about millions of people.

You said that serious reading of history would lead people to recognise that the Greeks were right and the Latins wrong. But loads of people have not found that. There must be some other reason to choose Orthodoxy?

FWIW in our Protestant church the priest does pronounce abosolution. And the rest of us aren't allowed to.

My question to Andreas is simply this: what should a Christian who is not a member of any church - a new convert - do? How does that person find out which church they should join?

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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El Greco
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This doesn't work like that.

You are seeing it from the individual's point of view; I'm seeing it with God as the centre of things.

That seeker, if he has been called by God to the Church, then he will eventually find the apostolic faith and will bring forth fruit.

The question is whether he has been called by God to the Church or not.

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Ξέρω εγώ κάτι που μπορούσε, Καίσαρ, να σας σώσει.

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John Holding

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So all those faithful christians who are not in communion with Constantinople have not been called by God to His church? So what are they? -- pagans in disguise; damned because God didn't want them or love them enough to call them; or so irretrievably misguided that they have rejected God's call, and so damned again?

You might want to unpack that, Andreas. Otherwise what you are saying is [inappropriate comment for Purgatory] and highly insulting.

And if you can't see why this attitude is offensive, then I despair of any possibility that you might ever understand what anyone is saying who does not already agree with you.

John

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El Greco
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Oh dear.

John, you are right to be angry, and I apologize.

However, I do not change what I said, and I will explain why.

All these things you wrote, I disagree with them all. I do not believe that one that is not a member of the Church is less loved by God than one that is a member of the Church. I also don't believe that one that does not belong to the Church is damned.

I believe that different people have different callings. I believe that the Church has meaning only for those that have been called to Her and give forth fruit. If one does not give forth fruit, then I can't see why this man should stay in the Church.

Take the antiquity for example. Where the non-Jews damned? Or less loved than the Jews?

Didn't God say that He is the one behind the exodus of many ancient peoples?

So, God loves all people, and He will judge everyone according to their works. This has nothing to do with being a member of the Church though.

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Ξέρω εγώ κάτι που μπορούσε, Καίσαρ, να σας σώσει.

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PaulTH*
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quote:
Originally posted by andreus1984:
Father Gregory said that we could recognise Rome's primacy. He didn't say anything about that primacy being in connection with the Petrine primacy

Dear Andreus

I'm lost. Rome's primacy rests on the well founded assumption that Peter is buried in the bowels of Vatican City. And that his spiritual child still sits on the same throne. So where is this Roman primacy which you may recognise in any way different from the Petrine primacy which is ordained in Scripture? Please enlighten.

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Yours in Christ
Paul

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PaulTH*
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quote:
Originally posted by andreus 1984:
ken, in the undivided Church, the priests could give absolution to the faithful for their sins. This is a fact. Do Protestants having read about Church history accept that the priests can give absolution?

Can a priest give absolution? Or can he pronounce God's absolution when he is satisfied that the sinner has repented? One of Luther's 95 theses that he nailed to the door of Wittenburg Church was that Popes have no right to forgive sinners, only the right to pronounce God's forgiveness. I am highy confident that Pope Benedict XVI would readily concede that point.

So concepts such as forgiveness and absolution belong to God alone. He may engage helpers to help him along with this plan, but no-one may gainsay God's choice as to what to do with all of us.

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Yours in Christ
Paul

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IngoB

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My goodness, this has become another andreas1984 against the Western church thread. andreas1984, cease and desist, or Satan will bite you in the butt. I swear. [Biased] [Razz]

quote:
Originally posted by Father Gregory:
I did say BOTH sides. You have things about which you are as equally intransigent as ourselves. This isn't a competition as to who can be the least or the most intransigent. Progress is made by a genuine desire on both sides to seek God's will and apply oneself to the difficult task of convergence around that will and that truth.

My point, Fr Gregory, was a personal one. Please realize that as a priest - a priest with considerable online presence and a priest having grown up with "Western" thought - you are a powerful multiplier of attitudes of the Orthodox towards the West, in particular of Western converts to Orthodoxy. Every single article of yours I've ever read basically slammed Western theology in favor of Eastern one. All the links to other people's writings I can remember you posting, like the last one in the "filioque" thread, do likewise.

Now, since I assume that you are a honest and intelligent person, you must be believing that you are doing good with your efforts: spreading the truth of the true gospel or whatever. All I was trying to say, perhaps too flippantly, was this: please take a minute and reconsider the way in which you invest a lot of time, effort, and ink. If you still consider this to be the way forward, so be it. But I don't think it is. I do think that union is becoming possible when I see lots of Orthodox - and in particular people like you - starting to invest a lot of time, effort, and ink in showing the fundamental compatibility with RCism and how appreciating RCism can enrich the Orthodox faith. That's precisely what RCs have been increasingly saying about Orthodoxy for a couple of decades now... I was talking to you personally because I see you as multiplier, as mentioned, but also because I have hope that you could change. Some Orthodox have already switched gears, some never will, you - maybe.

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They’ll have me whipp’d for speaking true; thou’lt have me whipp’d for lying; and sometimes I am whipp’d for holding my peace. - The Fool in King Lear

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Lamb Chopped
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quote:
Originally posted by andreas1984:
In the case of general priesthood, I'd say that Luther can't have just read the history of the Church and decided that any believer could offer absolution!

No, he wasn't. He was reading the Scriptures.

But if you want to discuss this doctrine further, we'll have to take it to Kerygmania.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Father Gregory

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Dear Greyface

You said this earlier ...

quote:
Many people have studied Church history and not done so.
(ie., become Orthodox based on our historical claim).

I agree, but can they be accepting what they read or filtering out the unacceptable bits. The Non Jurors for example were NEARLY convinced that Orthodoxy was the RealThing™ but, whoops! .... they couldn't accept the veneration of the holy icons ... and this despite their knowledge of the Iconoclast controversy and the outcome of the 7th Ecumenical Council. So, I can only conclude that many people "pick and choose" from history from their own ideological base.

The Orthodox (listen please IngoB) have never denied the legitimacy of Rome's claim to primacy but this has always been interpreted as conditional on serving the Tradition received and not accruing to itself unilaterally the power to change and direct the whole Church along paths not hitherto travelled, (we can debate on a case by case basis the contested novelties).

Dear IngoB

.... and it is at this point IngbB that I must continue and respond to your criticism of my perceived anti-western bias ... that I am always rabbiting on about how awful St. Anselm was and how the west doesn't really get the resurrection.

I do not deny doing this; but there is a reason. Rome says, "just accept that you need us (as we need you), sign up and you can just carry on as you are provided that you accept the papacy as it is now."

The trouble is IngoB is that there are several incompatibilities between Rome and Orthodoxy right now and we need to see those clearly for what they are and resolve them as they stand BEFORE union. My intention is making clear the differences is to aid the task of resolving them that we might be one. I am not at all anti-ecumenical ... quite the reverse. What both Rome and Orthodoxy don't need right now is yet another "false union" that could set the clock back for another few hundred years.

Have you seen this?

"Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism Compared" by Fr. Gregory

Please don't miss all the nice things I say about what we share in common, nor indeed the personal statement in the Introduction.

[ 22. February 2006, 22:34: Message edited by: Father Gregory ]

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Triple Tiara

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quote:
Originally posted by Triple Tiara:
Oh, and by the way andreas, the Holy Spirit has not been on holiday in Rome - Rome is where he lives. [Biased]

I know you won't believe me on this one andreas, so I thought I would provide proof. Here is photographic evidence that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Holy Father..... [Biased]

Now if only those silly captions weren't there to give the game away!

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IngoB

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quote:
Originally posted by Father Gregory:
What both Rome and Orthodoxy don't need right now is yet another "false union" that could set the clock back for another few hundred years.

I'm entirely in agreement with this, indeed, it's basically what I wrote on the "filioque" thread.

quote:
Originally posted by Father Gregory:
Have you seen this?"Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism Compared" by Fr. Gregory

No, I hadn't seen that. It's much better than other stuff I've read from you. There's plenty there still to criticize about the factual content, of course. But more importantly, it's still not doing what is needed, IMHO. Just one example, the harmonization of the "Life after Death" section appears to me as rather straightforward and simple. But you don't attempt to do that at all. Much less then do you try to solve really difficult issues, like the whole "energy" thing. Once you, and people like you, start investing serious effort into active harmonization, then I'm sure that the union can't be too far off.

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They’ll have me whipp’d for speaking true; thou’lt have me whipp’d for lying; and sometimes I am whipp’d for holding my peace. - The Fool in King Lear

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Niënna

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quote:
Originally posted by Father Gregory:
Have you seen this?

"Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism Compared" by Fr. Gregory

If only one could be both RC and Orthodox [Waterworks] ! It tears my heart apart!

After reading your beautiful writting (no sarcasm! this is the best thing I have read by you to date), the only conclusion I came to was how beautiful RC and Orthodox are and what a shame about the Schism & other minor ( [Snigger] ) historical details.

It was very insightful about the Orthodox matters and I found your humility stirring. Thank you very much sharing it.

[ 23. February 2006, 02:42: Message edited by: Joyfulsoul ]

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Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
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Dear IngoB

This is NOT false modesty I assure you but I don't have the theological expertise to harmonise. I would probably end up trading things that couldn't be traded or stitching things together that had too many rough edges. Someone like Olivier Clement ("You are Peter") is much better equipped to do that.

[ 23. February 2006, 06:48: Message edited by: Father Gregory ]

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El Greco
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re PaulTH*: The fact that the Romans claim that their primacy stems from Peter, does not mean that we actually accept that! As far as I am concerned, there are historical reasons for the primacy of Rome, i.e. it was the capital city of the Roman Empire. This is the way I see things, with Constantinople being second and equal to Rome because it was the New Rome.

The Orthodox understanding of the primacy is for one to give the speech to those that want to talk in a council. This is why the primacy after the schism has been transfered to Constantinople. If the primacy was linked with Peter, then Constantinople could not be first in Orthodoxy.

Remember that Pope Gregory, upon taking his See in Rome, was taught (I cannot find a better word) by the Patriarch of Alexandria that there is one Petrine See in three Patriarchates, and Peter's primacy rests in the three acting harmoniously; not in Rome. Pope Gregory accepted what his brother of Alexandria told him. He wouldn't have done that if the petrine primacy rests in Rome alone.

re absolution: I am not debating the issue; I'm saying that these people who either reject absolution or apply it to general priesthood have not done so because of the Church history like Greyface and ken implied, but, like fr. Gregory said because they were picking in their reading of that history and chose what they wanted. In one word: they have already formed their opinions and seeked through the history for support, not in order to be taught.

re West: I have read the Pope saying that the Roman Church can get benefited to a great extent by the Eastern tradition. I concur. I just don't see how the Eastern Church can get benefited from the Roman Church. In fact, I think that She cannot get benefited, because she lacks nothing the Roman Church has. (Arguably, She lacks something the Western civilization has, but not something the Roman Church has by virtue of her being the Roman Church, i.e. the so-called later developments are not only unecessary, but also contrary to the eastern tradition.)

[ 23. February 2006, 07:34: Message edited by: andreas1984 ]

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FreeJack
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quote:
Originally posted by Father Gregory:
...
Have you seen this?
"Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism Compared" by Fr. Gregory

I thought this was excellent.
Assuming you are the very same Father Gregory ?

At my current rate of conversion to Orthodoxy you can book me in for a chrismation in about twenty years ! I am at least convinced that Orthodoxy is preferable to Roman Catholicism if one really must go that high up the candle.

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Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
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Dear Jonathan the Free

TANGENT >>>>

I am the same. It's actually part of a bigger site as I am sure you know now explaining Orthodoxy for beginners ...

Orthodox Christianity for Absolute Beginners

There is also a comparative page for Anglo Catholicism written by myself and one in preparation (by Fr. Michael Harper who has a charismatic evbangelical background before Orthodoxy) on Evangelicalism and Orthodoxy.

[ 23. February 2006, 08:53: Message edited by: Father Gregory ]

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Leprechaun

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quote:
Originally posted by Father Gregory:

There is also a comparative page for Anglo Catholicism written by myself and one in preparation (by Fr. Michael Harper who has a charismatic evbangelical background before Orthodoxy) on Evangelicalism and Orthodoxy.

Is this any different, Father G, to Gordon's resource for introducing RCs to evangelicalism, currently being debated so hotly on that other thread? [Snigger]

[ 23. February 2006, 08:55: Message edited by: Leprechaun ]

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Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
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Dear Andreas

I would be a lot more generous about what we could learn from Rome and the west generally. These are a few items ...

(1) It seems to me that the west generally, notwithstanding penal substitutionary atonement, take the human aspect of the Passion much more to heart than we do and that's something we need to correct. There is a danger of docetism in our handling of the suffering of Christ.

(2) The west and Rome in particular is much more committed to mission than we are. There are some outstanding examples of Orthodox evangelisation as this article of mine makes clear ...

Orthopdox Christian Mission

... but the Greeks (in particular) spent so long in Ottoman incarceration that, in my experience in the UK, they find the whole mission thing quite alien to their thinking. (Happily that is why I am with Antioch who have no such qualms or limitations).

(3) There is a flaw in our ecclesiology manifest after the fall of Byzantium and the degrading of East Roman Christianity to "Hellenism," and that concerns our global unity. I don't need to remind you or anyone else of the stupidity of our "turf wars" and the unedifying spectacle in recent times of the spats between Constantinople and Moscow over Estonia and the Ukraine and on the domestic front between Constantinople and Athens over the "shared" territories. Rome can teach us a thing or two about unity (without signing up to papal infallibility!).

There, I have probably shocked enough Orthodox for the time being. [Big Grin]

(I have not read the Gordon thread Leprechaun. I see Christian traditions as a set of Venn diagrams, overlaps and exclusivities.)

[ 23. February 2006, 09:10: Message edited by: Father Gregory ]

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El Greco
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Dear father

The crucifixion is meaningful because God was crucified. If we see the crucifixion from a human aspect, it is not something outstanding. Many people have been crucified before, many innocent people have been slaughtered. I do not understand your point. The entire tradition of the desert is built in the fact that God emptied Himself and the implications this fact has. If God empties Himself, if God gets subject to time and space and death, then we can meet with Him.

I don't understand what you are saying...

re Unity: IMHO it's not a matter of ecclesiology, but a matter of humans that want to excercise power. For example, when the Patriarch of Moschow asked to be the president of a council in the presence of the Patriarch of Constantinople, the Archbishop of Athens rebuked him, saying that when the Patriarch of Constantinople is present, nobody else presides. The Patriarch of Moscow understood his mistake and did not insist in his demand.

I say we let you preside. That way the Patriarch of Moscow will not enter into temptation [Biased]

Now, on what you said about Athens... The Patriarch is to be acknowledges by the so-called new countries. When the Archbishop of Athens went there, (according to what the bishop of Pireus, the spiritual father of the Archbishop of Athens, said privately to the Patriarch) a deacon made a mistake and named the Archbishop first. This led to a misunderstanding. The bishop of Pireus went to the Phanar to solve the misunderstanding; he promised that the Archbishop would do all the things the Patriarch asked him, and he said that it was a non-issue.

However, because metropolitan John intervened, things were not solved. The rest is history, but the result is that Greece obeyed to the order of the Church.

It's more about Church politics than ecclesiology. If they cannot understand that the Church is not offended when they have less power than they think it is proper for them, then problems arise.

I think that the Eastern Church has a great disadvantage, because She has not followed the Western stressing out the individual. We didn't do something similar (I'm not saying we should have done the same thing!), therefore we were surpassed by history. But that's not what you are talking about, right?

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Ξέρω εγώ κάτι που μπορούσε, Καίσαρ, να σας σώσει.

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GreyFace
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quote:
Originally posted by Father Gregory:
I agree, but can they be accepting what they read or filtering out the unacceptable bits. The Non Jurors for example were NEARLY convinced that Orthodoxy was the RealThing™ but, whoops! .... they couldn't accept the veneration of the holy icons ... and this despite their knowledge of the Iconoclast controversy and the outcome of the 7th Ecumenical Council. So, I can only conclude that many people "pick and choose" from history from their own ideological base.

I agree, but I do think that we all do this and being human and limited, it isn't possible to be wholly objective.

Seeking the truth informs and moulds our biases but without a conclusive and objective ability to identify the Church (or the truest manifestation thereof), the Catholics can say the same thing about the Orthodox.

So in these days of massively overlapping jurisdictions we're basically stuffed in terms of submission to the Church, because we have to identify true teaching before we can see where we think the truth is taught. On the other hand as soon as that is seen, we have to get down to rational argument as the basis for discussion rather than two or more intransigent groups certain they have the whole truth on everything, which gives me hope.

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Father Gregory

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Oh I could talk about a lot more, including that Andreas ... and "explaining away" the spats as "politics" not "ecclesiology" is fatuous nonsense. The politics multiply when the ecclesiology is flawed. Our ecclesiology at the moment is not Orthodox (phyletism), our commitment to mission is not Orthodox, our narrowmindedness is not Orthodox. It's no use making excuses and "dressing it up" ... these are indeed problems that we have. All these things can be corrected but to say that we can't learn from the strengths of others (including Rome) is an atrocious and dangerous sentiment.

As for the suffering and death of Christ it is fine to say "I have been crucified with Christ ..." and to construct a transformative asceticism from that but the humanity of Christ IS an operative factor in our salvation no less so in any aspect of his life or death as a human as well as God. Having been raised in the west where this aspect is emphasised perhaps I feel it more than you do.

Yes, folks, Orthodox do disagree!

[ 23. February 2006, 09:37: Message edited by: Father Gregory ]

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El Greco
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Dear Lord!

Father, you have to keep in mind that I live in Greece, BEFORE making a post that addresses things I said. I didn't have a clue what you were saying on ecclesiology, because I had in mind the ecclesia in Greece. You are talking about the ecclesia in England!

Now you make sense!

I agree with you.

Be more careful next time though, because we might be arguing for many pages, simply because we don't have the same things in mind.

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Ξέρω εγώ κάτι που μπορούσε, Καίσαρ, να σας σώσει.

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Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
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Dear Greyface

I basically agree but where it is clear from Church history that iconoclasm is so obviously and blatantly wrong (and settled as an issue) to demur on that is at best idiosyncratic and at worst, perverse.

If we ALL really made an extra strong effort to look at history without prejudice AND to ACT on that exploration ... we would all find ourselves radically changed.

What blocks this IMHO is ignorance and inertia and a misguided, overinflated sense of loyalty to "how things are done here and now in our tribe."

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Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
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No, Andreas ... I am talking about weaknesses in Orthodox ecclesiology EVERYWHERE. (I am going out soon so you had better be quick!). Anyway, let's get back to Rome, (easy IngoB! [Big Grin] ); I don't want to hijack this thread with my loyal dissent.

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