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» Ship of Fools   » Ship's Locker   » Limbo   » Purgatory: First E. Orthodox Ecumenical Council in over 1200 years (Page 1)

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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: First E. Orthodox Ecumenical Council in over 1200 years
stonespring
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Oh it's just that the Eastern Orthodox Church in 2016 is going to hold its first Ecumenical Council, which by the way is INFALLIBLE although the Orthodox don't usually use that word, since the time of the split with Rome. No big deal. It's going to be held in the Hagia Sophia!

Is this for real? Orthodoxen, please give context!

I think the council might focus mostly on settling conflicts if jurisdiction and disputes over autocephaly. However, I as a non-Orthodox have two worries.

1. It will be irresistible to anathematize the liberal views on Dead Horses for all time. These are pretty conservative bishops.

2. Russia dominates the Eastern Orthdox communion in its Church's size and power. Even if decisions are made by consensus, Russia will have a huge influence on any decision, and the ROC's cozy relationship with the Russian government worries me.

[ 28. June 2014, 09:52: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]

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Zach82
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The article says it's to be held at Hagia Irene.

I hope they settle on celebrating Easter with the West, though perhaps that's an outside chance.

Otherwise, don't really have a pony in this race.

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ken
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The notion of the churches holding a council in Hagia Sophia in the current state of affairs in Turkey is a bit far-fetched. About as likely as the Republican Party National Convention being moved to Tianamen Square.

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The Silent Acolyte

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Leave it to a "Latin" news outlet to have the up-to-the-minute news faster and more authoritative than any one of the "Greeks".

The Orthodox call it a Great and Holy Council, not an ecumenical one.

And, while we're at it: let's just say Orthodox, not eastern.

[ 10. March 2014, 21:29: Message edited by: The Silent Acolyte ]

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The Silent Acolyte

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Oops. That makes me a fool for posting something from 1977.
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stonespring
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quote:
Originally posted by Zach82:
The article says it's to be held at Hagia Irene.

I hope they settle on celebrating Easter with the West, though perhaps that's an outside chance.

Otherwise, don't really have a pony in this race.

Yeah. My idiocy strikes again. You expect me to actually read carefully what I post on? Posh posh! [Smile] thanks for pointing that out.

It's very possible that this will in fact turn out to be just a pan-Orthodox council (ie, not on the same level as the 7-8 Orthodox ecumenical Councils of yore). Or that they try to pull a Vatican II by saying they won't be issuing any infallible canons or anathemas and will only draft pastoral statements and settle non-theological, non-personal-morality disputes.

I do have a third reason for being wary of the consequences of such a council, and that is that it might seriously damage the chances of a reunion of East and West like Vatican I did.

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mousethief

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Councils are declared ecumenical in retrospect.

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quote:
Originally posted by ken:
The notion of the churches holding a council in Hagia Sophia in the current state of affairs in Turkey is a bit far-fetched. About as likely as the Republican Party National Convention being moved to Tianamen Square.

Haiga Irene, not Haiga Sophia. Different church. According to wiki it was used as an armoury after the Conquest and never converted into a mosque, so that should make it acceptable in Muslim eyes.

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IngoB

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quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
However, I as a non-Orthodox have two worries.
1. It will be irresistible to anathematize the liberal views on Dead Horses for all time. These are pretty conservative bishops.

Your worries, my hope. It's unlikely, though. Economy drives economia...

quote:
Originally posted by mouse thief:
2. Russia dominates the Eastern Orthdox communion in its Church's size and power. Even if decisions are made by consensus, Russia will have a huge influence on any decision, and the ROC's cozy relationship with the Russian government worries me.

This gets it the wrong way around entirely. It is the Russians who insisted on "full consensus only", effectively granting them a veto on any decision. Just imagine that the council would try to grant the EcuPat some actual governing authority over the Russian church. Oh noes. Or if they condemned the Russian state aggression in the Ukraine. Oh noes. But not to worry, without Russian consensus nothing can happen now.

quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
Councils are declared ecumenical in retrospect.

By whom and how? Ok, the answer is "By the pope solemnly promulgating its declarations." But I somehow doubt that the Orthodox will send to Rome. So what then, actually?

Also apparently the Antiochian and Czech & Slowak Orthodox Churches did not attend this preparatory meeting, in the usual demonstration of Orthodox unity. Now, what happens if they also do not attend the potential Ecumenical Council? For RCs, the situation is clear: if you don't follow the call of the pope to council, then that is your problem. The Ecumenicalness ultimately flows from Rome's approval, not from universal attendance. But what would be required now? Full representative attendance of all autocephalous churches in the Orthodox communion?

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stonespring
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quote:
Originally posted by IngoB:

Also apparently the Antiochian and Czech & Slowak Orthodox Churches did not attend this preparatory meeting, in the usual demonstration of Orthodox unity. Now, what happens if they also do not attend the potential Ecumenical Council? For RCs, the situation is clear: if you don't follow the call of the pope to council, then that is your problem. The Ecumenicalness ultimately flows from Rome's approval, not from universal attendance. But what would be required now? Full representative attendance of all autocephalous churches in the Orthodox communion?

IngoB, I'm pretty sure the Orthodox know that no Ecumenical Council and not even the Council of Nicaea was attended by every bishop in Christendom or even by every non-heretic bishop in Christendom. The way that an ecumenical council becomes recognized after the fact as ecumenical (and therefore infallible) for all time is pretty complicated but Orthodoxy in general is so I don't think they think that that is a bad thing. An ecumenical council in the past for Orthodox leaders is like pornography was for whatever US Judge said this "They know it when they see it." (no comparison intended between Church councils and pornography! Although that would be the best gay porn film ever (the priest porn that is actually made is SO lame)...God forgive me [Smile] )
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The Man with a Stick
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Pedant hat on.

Can this be an Ecumenical Council, it not having been called by an Emperor? Is it not, actually, a Pan-Orthodox Synod?

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Augustine the Aleut
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quote:
Originally posted by The Man with a Stick:
Pedant hat on.

Can this be an Ecumenical Council, it not having been called by an Emperor? Is it not, actually, a Pan-Orthodox Synod?

There are two anointed Orthodox sovereigns still breathing (Constantine of Greece and Michael of Romania) but given that neither are spring chickens any summonsing will have to happen fairly soon. Unless, of course, Charles will swim the Bosphorus after his accession....
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Beeswax Altar
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What about Simeon II of Bulgaria?

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Gamaliel
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As far as I understand it, an Emperor doesn't have to call an Ecumenical Council. Also, I've heard an Orthodox priest say that, strictly speaking, a Council can't be fully Ecumenical in the true sense unless old Rome is involved and until the recommendations/decisions are taken on board and ratified by the faithful within all the participating autocephalous churches.

So, as Rome won't be at this one, other than as an observer, presumably, it isn't as epoch-making a Council as all that. Still an impressive achievement, though, to pull one together after 1200 years. Those Orthodox are certainly getting their skates on ...

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The Man with a Stick
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
As far as I understand it, an Emperor doesn't have to call an Ecumenical Council.

Being a good Anglican, I note our official position on such matters is set out in Article XXI.

I just used the 39 Articles in support of a point. I feel dirty now... [Two face]

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Augustine the Aleut
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quote:
Originally posted by Beeswax Altar:
What about Simeon II of Bulgaria?

Not anointed, so in the minds of a few theologians (whose lives must be enriched by writing about this), he doesn't count. In practical terms, I think he would have the same relevance as the other two. Every account I've heard of the ecumenical councils requires that they be convoked by the emperor or nearest equivalent. There are apparently some Russian canonists who feel that President Putin is the closest that can be had, but I don't know if they are eccentrics, sycophants, or trial-balloon raisers.

Fans of the XXXIX can easily recite Article XXI on this.

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Beeswax Altar
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I see. Constantine is only 73. With access to good health care, he could be around for a long time.

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stonespring
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To what extent does the Pope and RCC have anything to do with the oikoumene for the Orthodox? Did the Syriac, Coptic, and Armenian bishops have to come to the later of the 7 ecumenical councils in order for them to be ecumenical? Rome may have been one of the historical five Patriarchates and first in honor among them to the Orthodox, but to what extent is the Pope still the Patriarch of Rome to the global Orthodox Church. The Ecumenical Patriarch may recognize the Pope as the Patriarch of Rome and thereby, I assume, recognize Roman bishops as valid but how true is this in other parts of Orthodoxy? In Russia? On Mount Athos?

Couldn't there be an argument that since Rome fell into schism and heresy from Orthodoxy and since Rome has not since been under the jurisdiction of an Orthodox emperor who could have restored an Orthodox patriarchy there, that the Patriachate of Rome is vacant and now after so much time cannot be restored? Some Orthodox are against the use of the Roman Canon by the Western Rite or any liturgy that lost its links with Orthodoxy long ago through schism. (The Liturgy of St Basil is different because it want schism that stopped its use for a long time) Can't you make a similar argument about the Patriarchate of Rome and all Bishops under it?

Even if the Orthodox on the whole recognize the Pope as the Patriarch of Rome and his bishops as valid (do they?), since they have been in schism and heresy for about 1000 years why should they be needed for an ecumenical council?

In an unrelated question, is it possible for Orthodoxy to re-establish jurisdictions in Italy comprising a Patriarchate of Rome? You wound up with Melkite (as in Orthodox) and Coptic Patriarchs in Alexandria and Melkite (as in Orthodox) and Syriac Patriarchs in Antioch after those schisms (I know Melkite means something Eastern Catholic now) - why can't this happen in Rome with the explanation that barbarians in political power prevented it from happening earlier?

As for the Council of Florence, the orthodox are pretty united in anathematizing those who agreed to union with Rome there, so I'm not sure if that council implies that the Orthodox Church (and not just the heretics or opportunists who went to that council) even recognize the Pope and RCC as successors of their place in the early Ecumenical Councils.

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stonespring
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quote:
Originally posted by The Man with a Stick:
Pedant hat on.

Can this be an Ecumenical Council, it not having been called by an Emperor? Is it not, actually, a Pan-Orthodox Synod?

How has Orthodoxy reconciled Caesaropapism with long periods of rule by Muslims (or Latins and Communist atheists), republicanism, the split of the Byzantine Empire into multiple (even if Orthodox) countries and Autocephalous Churches, etc? If they can wrap their theology around those issues in all kinds of other areas, why can't they do it for an ecumenical council? There is no Byzantine emperor and there probably never will be one ever again. I don't think that would prevent an Ecumenical council, but I'm not Orthodox!
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IngoB

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Since Rome didn't give a damn about Orthodox opinion in declaring 21 Ecumenical Councils so far, most of which after the Great Schism, I don't see why the Orthodox schismatics should be particularly bothered about the opinion of Rome in this matter.

But I repeat my previous question: What happens if representation of at least one of the Orthodox autocephalous churches is missing at the council? This question is entirely realistic, given the ongoing history of hostilities within the Orthodox communion, which has led to the absence of Antioch and the Czech & Slowaks in the preparatory council. Can they nevertheless have an Ecumenical Council, and by whose authority will it be reckoned as that in the absence of unanimity? Or will this council fail to be ecumenical unless all the Orthodox can manage to stop quarrelling for at least its duration?

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Planeta Plicata
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There have been councils that at least a prominent subset of the Orthodox have recognized as ecumenical as recently as 700 years ago. Why is this one likely to be any different?

[ 13. March 2014, 17:36: Message edited by: Planeta Plicata ]

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by IngoB:
Since Rome didn't give a damn about Orthodox opinion in declaring 21 Ecumenical Councils so far, most of which after the Great Schism, I don't see why the Orthodox schismatics should be particularly bothered about the opinion of Rome in this matter.

I thought it was Rome that was schismatic - when it introduced an extra word in the Creed.

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Augustine the Aleut
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Stonespring asks 427 questions and, although I'm not among the Orthodox, I'll hazard a guess at one or two of them.

It would seem to me that, while there might be a rationale to electing/imposing Orthodox hierarchs on (say) Italian sees, the Orthodox approach seems to be that the Italian churches have fallen out of communion temporarily and can easily fall back in with a bit of doctrinal clarity. There are Orthodox bishops in (I think) Milan and Venice to supervise diasporic congregations but, as I noted, they seem to regard this as a temporary pastoral measure. Greetings from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to Cardinal Martini, late Abp of Milan, referred to him as the successor of S Ambrose so it would appear that there is a recognition of continuity. Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras notably greeted Paul VI as the successor of S Peter and IIRC at least two Patriarchs of Antioch made similar references (as Antioch was the other see founded by S Peter).

While there are occasionally fulminations against all-things-western among a few Greek writers (and some convert North American Orthodox), western liturgical rites have been used as Orthodox in recent times. The western rite churches in France and the Antiochian vicariate have authorized versions of the Gregorian missal in use. As well, there is an Orthodoxified version of the ECUSA BCP, known as the rite of S Tikhon.

But Stonespring raises a very interesting question about the Oriental Orthodox, given that there have been at least two agreed statements on the issues raised at Chalcedon. I haven't seen any discussion on this. Yet.

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IngoB

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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
I thought it was Rome that was schismatic - when it introduced an extra word in the Creed.

The root cause of the Great Schism was the aggressive political power play of the formerly unimportant diocese of Heraclea, which used the Emperor of the East to catapult itself into a Patriarchate from zero historical basis, then proceeded to vassalise the other Eastern Patriarchs and finally realised its dream of the primacy of "New Rome" at all costs. If you are talking about the "filioque": while the pre-schism of Photius of 867-9 mentioned this among other things (in order to get rid of the lawful bishop who had refused communion to the regent Bardas over his open incest...), Caerularius in 1053-4 actually did not include that item in his accusations of heresy against Rome. But he invented a new one, the use of unleavened bread (azymes, or if you wish, matzah). So there you go, the "filioque" was not part of the trumped up charges of the Great Schism, if you date that to 1054. But don't worry, since you are likely an unrepentant Azymite that Great Schism has been declared officially against your ongoing heresy concerning the sacramental matter. Shame on us Judaizing Azymites in the West and our matzah hosts. Shame.

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Sober Preacher's Kid

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It makes Presbyterianism look positively enlightened and civil.... [Roll Eyes]

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CL
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quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
To what extent does the Pope and RCC have anything to do with the oikoumene for the Orthodox? Did the Syriac, Coptic, and Armenian bishops have to come to the later of the 7 ecumenical councils in order for them to be ecumenical? Rome may have been one of the historical five Patriarchates and first in honor among them to the Orthodox, but to what extent is the Pope still the Patriarch of Rome to the global Orthodox Church. The Ecumenical Patriarch may recognize the Pope as the Patriarch of Rome and thereby, I assume, recognize Roman bishops as valid but how true is this in other parts of Orthodoxy? In Russia? On Mount Athos?

Couldn't there be an argument that since Rome fell into schism and heresy from Orthodoxy and since Rome has not since been under the jurisdiction of an Orthodox emperor who could have restored an Orthodox patriarchy there, that the Patriachate of Rome is vacant and now after so much time cannot be restored? Some Orthodox are against the use of the Roman Canon by the Western Rite or any liturgy that lost its links with Orthodoxy long ago through schism. (The Liturgy of St Basil is different because it want schism that stopped its use for a long time) Can't you make a similar argument about the Patriarchate of Rome and all Bishops under it?

Even if the Orthodox on the whole recognize the Pope as the Patriarch of Rome and his bishops as valid (do they?), since they have been in schism and heresy for about 1000 years why should they be needed for an ecumenical council?

In an unrelated question, is it possible for Orthodoxy to re-establish jurisdictions in Italy comprising a Patriarchate of Rome? You wound up with Melkite (as in Orthodox) and Coptic Patriarchs in Alexandria and Melkite (as in Orthodox) and Syriac Patriarchs in Antioch after those schisms (I know Melkite means something Eastern Catholic now) - why can't this happen in Rome with the explanation that barbarians in political power prevented it from happening earlier?

As for the Council of Florence, the orthodox are pretty united in anathematizing those who agreed to union with Rome there, so I'm not sure if that council implies that the Orthodox Church (and not just the heretics or opportunists who went to that council) even recognize the Pope and RCC as successors of their place in the early Ecumenical Councils.

Orthodoxy has never formally declared the Roman Communion to have fallen into heresy; schism yes, heresy no. Neither did we do the same to them. And the schism itself tended to be manifest only at the top level up, and even then inconsistently, until the 18th century. It took over two centuries for the Russian Church to follow the Greeks and break communion with the Latins; Orthodox and Catholic alike shared the altar at Hagia Sophia on the eve of Constantinople's fall; even today the Melkites and Antiochians are in practice essentially one Church with two hierarchies.

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stonespring
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quote:
Originally posted by CL:
quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
To what extent does the Pope and RCC have anything to do with the oikoumene for the Orthodox? Did the Syriac, Coptic, and Armenian bishops have to come to the later of the 7 ecumenical councils in order for them to be ecumenical? Rome may have been one of the historical five Patriarchates and first in honor among them to the Orthodox, but to what extent is the Pope still the Patriarch of Rome to the global Orthodox Church. The Ecumenical Patriarch may recognize the Pope as the Patriarch of Rome and thereby, I assume, recognize Roman bishops as valid but how true is this in other parts of Orthodoxy? In Russia? On Mount Athos?

Couldn't there be an argument that since Rome fell into schism and heresy from Orthodoxy and since Rome has not since been under the jurisdiction of an Orthodox emperor who could have restored an Orthodox patriarchy there, that the Patriachate of Rome is vacant and now after so much time cannot be restored? Some Orthodox are against the use of the Roman Canon by the Western Rite or any liturgy that lost its links with Orthodoxy long ago through schism. (The Liturgy of St Basil is different because it want schism that stopped its use for a long time) Can't you make a similar argument about the Patriarchate of Rome and all Bishops under it?

Even if the Orthodox on the whole recognize the Pope as the Patriarch of Rome and his bishops as valid (do they?), since they have been in schism and heresy for about 1000 years why should they be needed for an ecumenical council?

In an unrelated question, is it possible for Orthodoxy to re-establish jurisdictions in Italy comprising a Patriarchate of Rome? You wound up with Melkite (as in Orthodox) and Coptic Patriarchs in Alexandria and Melkite (as in Orthodox) and Syriac Patriarchs in Antioch after those schisms (I know Melkite means something Eastern Catholic now) - why can't this happen in Rome with the explanation that barbarians in political power prevented it from happening earlier?

As for the Council of Florence, the orthodox are pretty united in anathematizing those who agreed to union with Rome there, so I'm not sure if that council implies that the Orthodox Church (and not just the heretics or opportunists who went to that council) even recognize the Pope and RCC as successors of their place in the early Ecumenical Councils.

Orthodoxy has never formally declared the Roman Communion to have fallen into heresy; schism yes, heresy no. Neither did we do the same to them. And the schism itself tended to be manifest only at the top level up, and even then inconsistently, until the 18th century. It took over two centuries for the Russian Church to follow the Greeks and break communion with the Latins; Orthodox and Catholic alike shared the altar at Hagia Sophia on the eve of Constantinople's fall; even today the Melkites and Antiochians are in practice essentially one Church with two hierarchies.
I'm pretty sure most Orthodox bishops would call the Filioque, Papal Infallibility, and the Immaculate Conception of Mary heresy.
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stonespring
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quote:
Originally posted by Augustine the Aleut:
Stonespring asks 427 questions and, although I'm not among the Orthodox, I'll hazard a guess at one or two of them.

It would seem to me that, while there might be a rationale to electing/imposing Orthodox hierarchs on (say) Italian sees, the Orthodox approach seems to be that the Italian churches have fallen out of communion temporarily and can easily fall back in with a bit of doctrinal clarity. There are Orthodox bishops in (I think) Milan and Venice to supervise diasporic congregations but, as I noted, they seem to regard this as a temporary pastoral measure. Greetings from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to Cardinal Martini, late Abp of Milan, referred to him as the successor of S Ambrose so it would appear that there is a recognition of continuity. Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras notably greeted Paul VI as the successor of S Peter and IIRC at least two Patriarchs of Antioch made similar references (as Antioch was the other see founded by S Peter).

While there are occasionally fulminations against all-things-western among a few Greek writers (and some convert North American Orthodox), western liturgical rites have been used as Orthodox in recent times. The western rite churches in France and the Antiochian vicariate have authorized versions of the Gregorian missal in use. As well, there is an Orthodoxified version of the ECUSA BCP, known as the rite of S Tikhon.

But Stonespring raises a very interesting question about the Oriental Orthodox, given that there have been at least two agreed statements on the issues raised at Chalcedon. I haven't seen any discussion on this. Yet.

The Ecumenical Patriarchs have been among the most pro-reconciliation with Rome Orthodox bishops for decades. The Russian Orthodox Church (by which I mean in Russia, not the Russian diaspora), much less so. And Mount Athos won't stop going on about the Pan-Heresy of ecumenism. I'm not sure there isn't a sizable number of Orthdox bishops who don't think the RCC has any place in an Ecumenical Council of the Universal Church. There may very well be Roman non-voting observers, probably at Constantinople's insistence. But the very fact that they're having this ecumenical council without Rome's voting participation must mean that they don't think it is necessary.
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mousethief

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I seem to remember that the ban of excommunication slapped on the altar in the Church of the Holy Wisdom by Cardinal Humbert specifically mentioned that the Greeks were heretical for using leavened bread. So it's not as if this is something that only the Orthodox cared about. As far as I know, Humbert wasn't Orthodox. Indeed far from it.

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Mockingbird

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Analysis here:

http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/3001/the_fragile_promise_of_the_panorthodox_council.aspx#.UyO0Nyj8El4

The thread title should be changed. The synod, assuming it ever meets, is not intended to be an ecumenical council, and probably never will be considered one. Indeed I doubt it will accomplish much of anything.

Here are the agenda items as they are circulating on Orthodoxchristianity.net:
quote:
1. Changes to fasting regulations
2. Impediments to marriage
3. The calendar
4. What to do about overlapping jurisdictions in the diaspora
5. Relations with other Christian churches such as Roman Catholics, Old Catholics, Oriental Orthodox, and Anglicans
6. When and how a church receives autonomy
7. Participation in the World Council of Churches
8. Witness to the world on ethical and moral concerns



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Forþon we sealon efestan þas Easterlican þing to asmeagenne and to gehealdanne, þaet we magon cuman to þam Easterlican daege, þe aa byð, mid fullum glaedscipe and wynsumnysse and ecere blisse.

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Triple Tiara

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
I seem to remember that the ban of excommunication slapped on the altar in the Church of the Holy Wisdom by Cardinal Humbert specifically mentioned that the Greeks were heretical for using leavened bread. So it's not as if this is something that only the Orthodox cared about. As far as I know, Humbert wasn't Orthodox. Indeed far from it.

Not quite. There was no objection from the Latin Church to the use of leavened bread in the east. Indeed, the Latin approach was that both were equally valid. The Council of Florence re-iterated this position.

Humbert's deposition stated:
quote:
Furthermore, when we, the Pope's ambassadors, wanted to eliminate the causes of such great evils in a reasonable way, he denied us his presence and conversation, forbid churches to celebrate Mass, just as he had earlier closed the churches of the Latins and, calling them "azymites," had persecuted the Latins everywhere in word and deed. Indeed, so much [did he persecute them] that among his own children, he had anathematized the apostolic see and against it he still writes that he is the ecumenical patriarch.
The issue in contention was that Michael Cærularius forbade the latin rite and its use of unleavened bread, not that the eastern rite used leavened bread.

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Gamaliel
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quote:
Originally posted by Sober Preacher's Kid:
It makes Presbyterianism look positively enlightened and civil.... [Roll Eyes]

Yes, the Presbyterians are enlightened and civil. They rarely make the headlines, though. At least, not around here they don't ...

I'm reminded of what the original advertising slogan for Vick's Vapor Rub is said to have been, 'Rub it on, sniff it up. It does you good, it's made by Presbyterians ...'

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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SeraphimSarov
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quote:
Originally posted by Sober Preacher's Kid:
It makes Presbyterianism look positively enlightened and civil.... [Roll Eyes]

But also quite boring [Yipee]

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PaulTH*
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quote:
Originally posted by The Silent Acolyte:
And, while we're at it: let's just say Orthodox, not eastern .

I use the term Eastern Orthodox, not out of any disrespect, but to distinguish from the Monophysite, or more accuartely Miaphysite Oriental Orthodox Churches. These churches, which have been out in the cold from the rest of christendom since the Council of Chalcedon, are amongst the world's most persecuted Christians, and their pedigree is truly ancient. St Mark is traditionally the founder of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

quote:
Originally posted by Mockingbird:
5. Relations with other Christian churches such as Roman Catholics, Old Catholics, Oriental Orthodox, and Anglicans

This is something the Orthodox Church has dealt with very poorly in the past, and it can be hoped that this might change. Relations with the Oriental Orthodox should be a priority IMO. It's my understanding that a Miaphysite believes that Christ has one nature, both human and divine, the analogy being water and wine mixed in a glass. The post Chalcedonians believe He has two natures, one human and one divine, the analogy being water and oil mixed in a glass. I wouldn't have a clue which of these is more accurate, as I can't see into the mind of God, but I'm sure a formula of words which harmonises what is really a matter of semantics could be found. There isn't a whisker of difference between the practices of Oriental and Eastern Orthodox Christianity, the Orientals need the support of the whole of christendon in their struggle to survive, and their devotion, example and witness should be an inspiration to all of us. But by all means, lets hope that Orthodox Christianity enagages with ecumenism and the hope of ending millennia of schism.

quote:
Originally posted by Mockingbird:
3. The calendar

I've long believed, as an ecumenist who believes Christians should be ONE, that the West should drop the filioque from the creed. Again, I don't claim to understand the mind of God well enough to know if it should be there or not, and I've seen theological arguements both ways. But it's certainly an unhistorical addition inserted without the consideration or even respect of the Eastern Patriarchs. The declaration Dominus Iesus contains the creed sans filioque, and the present Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby was installed without it. This proves that both the Catholic and Anglican Churches can live without it, wheras the Orthodox Church can't live with it, as it's the defining statement of the Great Schism.This would be a grand ecumenical gesture by the West. IMO, the Orthodox should respond by changing its calendar to conform to the majority of the world. I accept that the Julian Calendar is older, but the point is that the world uses another calendar, and it's time to move on.

I'm living in cloud cuckoo land with allof this. Even if the Ecumenical Patriarch is in favour of some sort of compromise, as he's shown in the past, the much more numerically powerful Russian Orthodox Church is less likely to be flexible, and most of the Mt Athos community would see hell freeze over before they'd concede anything. But it's good that these topics will at least be on the table.

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Yours in Christ
Paul

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Enoch
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Wasn't there an Orthodox Synod of Jerusalem sometime in the C17? What's the status of that?

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Zach82:


I hope they settle on celebrating Easter with the West, though perhaps that's an outside chance.

I wish the West would settle Easter with the Jews and restore the commemoration and celebration of the passion and resurrection at its rightful place at Passover.

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
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Basilica
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quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
This is something the Orthodox Church has dealt with very poorly in the past, and it can be hoped that this might change. Relations with the Oriental Orthodox should be a priority IMO. It's my understanding that a Miaphysite believes that Christ has one nature, both human and divine, the analogy being water and wine mixed in a glass. The post Chalcedonians believe He has two natures, one human and one divine, the analogy being water and oil mixed in a glass. I wouldn't have a clue which of these is more accurate, as I can't see into the mind of God, but I'm sure a formula of words which harmonises what is really a matter of semantics could be found. There isn't a whisker of difference between the practices of Oriental and Eastern Orthodox Christianity, the Orientals need the support of the whole of christendon in their struggle to survive, and their devotion, example and witness should be an inspiration to all of us. But by all means, lets hope that Orthodox Christianity enagages with ecumenism and the hope of ending millennia of schism.

There was a dialogue between the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox fairly recently, in the last 15 years I think. It came to pretty much exactly the same conclusion that you have here: that the division over the Chalcedonian formula was not a substantial difference in theology, but a difference in semantics.

It hasn't resulted in union "on the ground", though. My Oriental (Armenian) Orthodox friend attributes this (a) to churches have often defined themselves against the other church, so losing that definition is hard; and (b) to the difficulty in harmonising the authority of tradition: which ecumenical councils are authoritative for the reconciled churches?

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Gee D
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PaulTH*, there is also the question of the direction in which the glass of wine sand water is stirred - clockwise, counterclockwise, or in random movements. Schisms, anathemas, wars and assassinations are based on such vital differences.

I agree with you about the filioque. It crept in via Spain, where it was said for a particular purpose and somehow came to be generally adopted in the West. There are major theological discussions for and against its inclusion; that much I understand. I don't understand the arguments though, and I suspect that all but a handful of theologians don't either. What I do understand is that there has been no Council of the whole of the Church which has adopted it as a doctrine. And AIUI, the filioque is not said in the Eastern Uniate churches, nor the Maronite either - that suggests that its inclusion is not really vital doctrine at all.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
IMO, the Orthodox should respond by changing its calendar to conform to the majority of the world. I accept that the Julian Calendar is older, but the point is that the world uses another calendar, and it's time to move on.

Sadly, "time to move on" is not in the Orthodox lexicon. I'm all for moving the equinox back to the equinox, but even then there is a difference in the calculation methods, so that there is discrepancy between the two methods, even before the calendars grew so far apart. As witness King Oswiu and the Council of Whitby.

quote:
most of the Mt Athos community would see hell freeze over before they'd concede anything.
There's the rub. They were chiefly responsible, it is said, for putting the kybosh on the talks we had of late with the Oriental Orthodox. Speaking of which, keep saying "Eastern Orthodox" to distinctify us from the Oriental Orthodoxen all you want -- cavilling against that is as silly and absurd as Caffix who get their knickers knotted over "Roman" Catholic.

quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
I wish the West would settle Easter with the Jews and restore the commemoration and celebration of the passion and resurrection at its rightful place at Passover.

When was it ever celebrated thus? Is that in the Didache?

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Augustine the Aleut
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quote:
Originally posted by SeraphimSarov:
quote:
Originally posted by Sober Preacher's Kid:
It makes Presbyterianism look positively enlightened and civil.... [Roll Eyes]

But also quite boring [Yipee]
Perhaps now, but 150 years ago they were far from it. The splits in Canada between the Kirk (which wasn't a national church here), Free Kirk, the Wee Frees etc etc, were pretty dramatic. Aficionadi of church archives and genealogy will still happily hold forth on the nightmares this causes them (usually sipping on the second-division local craft beers). I refer people to Richard Sage Sutherland's Scenes of Highland Clerical Life for details of catechetical fisticuffs.

In terms of OO/EO union, it seems to happen on the ground to a certain extent. The local OCA parish has got a number of Ethiopian and Eritrean parishioners, most of whom arrived before the Ethiopian parish was set up about 10 years ago. They can also be found at the Coptic parish (which uses Anglican facilities) which also has several Coptic Catholics, who have no priest in town and for whom rite trumps other factors. Intermarriage (a favourite recreation of Canadians) has also established small Armenian and Coptic enclaves in the city's two Constantinopolitan churches. Local clergy seem to take it in stride but I think that Athonite resistance (change!!?? change???!!!) will likely derail any attempt at a formal settlement for some time.

The impact of population movements of Xn Syrians will take some time to be felt, but several of the very ancient churches there are quickly disappearing into refugee camps, but will somehow emerge into Europe and North America, and a coherent response from church authorities there would help with settlement and establishment efforts.

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Mockingbird

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# 5818

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
I wish the West would settle Easter with the Jews and restore the commemoration and celebration of the passion and resurrection at its rightful place at Passover.

When was it ever celebrated thus? Is that in the Didache?
It's in the Didascalia Apostolorum that Easter should fall within the Jewish days of Unleavened Bread. This practice lasted longest in Syria, and was the one deprecated at Nicea. Henceforward Christians were to calculate their own "month of 'Abib", which the LXX translated as "month of new [grain]," with its own Week of Unleavened Bread and set Easter to the Sunday falling within that week. The point was to do independent computations, so accidental coincidence of the Jewish and Christian 'Abib or Week of Unleavened Bread was not considered a problem.

[ 16. March 2014, 12:52: Message edited by: Mockingbird ]

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Forþon we sealon efestan þas Easterlican þing to asmeagenne and to gehealdanne, þaet we magon cuman to þam Easterlican daege, þe aa byð, mid fullum glaedscipe and wynsumnysse and ecere blisse.

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Mockingbird

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
I'm all for moving the equinox back to the equinox,

What about moving the "full moon" back to the full moon?

quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
but even then there is a difference in the calculation methods, so that there is discrepancy between the two methods, even before the calendars grew so far apart. As witness King Oswiu and the Council of Whitby.

The Gregorian and Julian paschalions are very similar in construction. The main difference is that the Gregorian is more accurate. If your side would simply delete 13 solar days and 4 lunar days, the two systems would agree far more often than now.

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Forþon we sealon efestan þas Easterlican þing to asmeagenne and to gehealdanne, þaet we magon cuman to þam Easterlican daege, þe aa byð, mid fullum glaedscipe and wynsumnysse and ecere blisse.

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Enoch
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Does the Orthodox calendar calculate Easter on the same day as the one we used until 1752? That one was then 11 days out with the one we use now, but would now be 13 days out because 1800 and 1900 would have been leap years under the old one, but not under the new one. Or does it also calculate Easter a different way?

Something I have never managed to discover is whether recusants in the UK celebrated festivals in the 17th and early 18th centuries according to the ordinary calendar that everyone else used around them, or the papal one.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Mockingbird:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
I wish the West would settle Easter with the Jews and restore the commemoration and celebration of the passion and resurrection at its rightful place at Passover.

When was it ever celebrated thus? Is that in the Didache?
It's in the Didascalia Apostolorum that Easter should fall within the Jewish days of Unleavened Bread. This practice lasted longest in Syria, and was the one deprecated at Nicea. Henceforward Christians were to calculate their own "month of 'Abib", which the LXX translated as "month of new [grain]," with its own Week of Unleavened Bread and set Easter to the Sunday falling within that week. The point was to do independent computations, so accidental coincidence of the Jewish and Christian 'Abib or Week of Unleavened Bread was not considered a problem.
Okay, so the Didascalia dates to 230 and Nicea was in 325. So for a glorious 95 years, we were getting it right? This doesn't strike me as a prime example of Vincent of Lerins' "always, everywhere, and by all."

According to the page linked below, the Jews changed the way they determined Passover sometime in late antiquity or the early middle ages. If that is true (and I haven't researched it myself so I am not defending or denying the possibility) then it is worthwhile to ask, why should we change it they way they have, rather than try to approximate what it was at the time of the actual Resurrection of Christ?

quote:
Originally posted by Mockingbird:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
I'm all for moving the equinox back to the equinox,

What about moving the "full moon" back to the full moon?

That works for me too. Things that were explicitly pegged to actual astronomical events should use those astronomical events, and not a proxy that is subject to getting dragged away from the astronomical event for irrelevant reasons.

quote:
Originally posted by Mockingbird:
If your side would simply delete 13 solar days and 4 lunar days, the two systems would agree far more often than now.

Struth.

quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Does the Orthodox calendar calculate Easter on the same day as the one we used until 1752? That one was then 11 days out with the one we use now, but would now be 13 days out because 1800 and 1900 would have been leap years under the old one, but not under the new one. Or does it also calculate Easter a different way?

This page sets out the history in what feels to me like a fairly even-handed manner. I don't know the exact details, or what, for example, the precise difference was between the "Celtic" and "Roman" methods that were debated at the Council of Whitby. I'd prefer everybody throw away the absurd calendar cycles and just base the date on raw astronomical data. But they never ask me.

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Mockingbird

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
]Okay, so the Didascalia dates to 230 and Nicea was in 325. So for a glorious 95 years, we were getting it right? This doesn't strike me as a prime example of Vincent of Lerins' "always, everywhere, and by all."

I think it possible that holding Easter on the Sunday of Unleavened Bread was the original practice. Sunday was a Christian festival from very early. Exactly one Sunday a year falls within the seven Scriptural days of Unleavened Bread, and this day, by minority interpretation of Leviticus 23.11, was the day of waving the barley sheaf. It would be surprising if at least a few Christians hadn't held this one Sunday a year in special esteem.

However that may be, certainly we now hold Easter on the Sunday of Unleavened Bread, but we calculate the week of Unleavened Bread ourselves, rather than according to our Jewish neighbors' calendar. In the Gregorian calendar, this year, 2014, the week of Unleavened Bread is April 15-21 inclusive. In the Julian calendar, it is April 19-25 (Gregorian) inclusive. The new-fangled move to independent computations approved at Nicea was controversial because it meant that the old, clear link of the Christian festival with the Jewish one was perceived by traditionalists to be broken.

quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
According to the page linked below, the Jews changed the way they determined Passover sometime in late antiquity or the early middle ages. If that is true (and I haven't researched it myself so I am not defending or denying the possibility) then it is worthwhile to ask, why should we change it they way they have, rather than try to approximate what it was at the time of the actual Resurrection of Christ?

The GOARCH article is mostly sound, though it has errors. On this point it is mostly right, though it doesn't tell the whole story. In the days of the Temple, the priests controlled the calendar, and Jewish communities who were in contact with Jerusalem were able to set their calendars accordingly. In those days, according to Josephus, Passover and Matzoth were held "when the sun in in Aries", which can reasonably taken to mean after the Spring equinox. After the Temple fell, Jewish communities had to set their calendars themselves, and in some places their calendar sometimes placed Passover and Matzoth before the Spring equinox. The move to independent computations was a reaction to this state of affairs. However, in later centuries the Rabbis developed a calendar that restored Matzoth to the Spring season, and this Rabbinic calendar is the one now in use by all who follow the Rabbinic teaching, but not by Karaites or Samaritans. The GOARCH article mentions the first of these transitions, from a centralized calendar controlled by the Jerusalem priests to a decentralized calendar set by each town for itself, but not the second, from the decentralized calendar to a unified, computed calendar. Also the article seems to presuppose that the Jewish calendar remained unified throughout the period in which it was not unified.

Moutthief's question, which can be paraphrased as "why should we follow the Jewish computations when they are in error?" is precisely the question that was asked at Nicea. It is a question we ask today, except that today, the Rabbinic calendar sometimes sets its month of 'Aviv too late, rather than too early. Traditionalists today--those who insist on the Julian paschalion-- insist, as traditionalists in the 3rd-4th centuries did, that we must take account of the Jewish computations even when they are wrong.

quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Does the Orthodox calendar calculate Easter on the same day as the one we used until 1752? That one was then 11 days out with the one we use now, but would now be 13 days out because 1800 and 1900 would have been leap years under the old one, but not under the new one. Or does it also calculate Easter a different way?

This page sets out the history in what feels to me like a fairly even-handed manner. I don't know the exact details, or what, for example, the precise difference was between the "Celtic" and "Roman" methods that were debated at the Council of Whitby. I'd prefer everybody throw away the absurd calendar cycles and just base the date on raw astronomical data. But they never ask me.
If Mousethief were in charge, the Eastern Orthodox churches would be happier places. [Biased]

The short answer to Enoch's question is: Yes. If England had not gone on the Gregorian calendar, the Church of England might well now be celebrating Easter with the Eastern churches, on the first Sunday after the 4-day waning gibbous moon after the 13th day after the Spring equinox.

The GOARCH article seems to presuppose that the West has always used an 84-year cycle. In fact an 84-year cycle has not been used anywhere in the West for over a thousand years. At the time of Nicea, according to our best information, Rome used an 84-year cycle (the Roman-84) while Alexandria used a 19-year cycle. Rome switched to a 19-year cycle (the Victorian) in the 5th century. Around the same time, the British Isles developed their own unique variant of the 84-year cycle (the Celtic-84). In the 6th century, Rome changed again to the Alexandrian 19-year cycle, but outside of Rome the Victorian and Celtic-84 continued in use in some places. By around the 10th century, though, all Christendom was using the Alexandrian 19-year cycle.

As a consequence of its notion that the West still uses an 84-year cycle, the GOARCH article fails to note that the Gregorian paschalion is a 19-year cycle, constructed largely on the same principles as the Julian paschalion but with a more up-to-date equinox and a more up-to-date age of the moon.

[ 16. March 2014, 18:07: Message edited by: Mockingbird ]

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Forþon we sealon efestan þas Easterlican þing to asmeagenne and to gehealdanne, þaet we magon cuman to þam Easterlican daege, þe aa byð, mid fullum glaedscipe and wynsumnysse and ecere blisse.

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Sober Preacher's Kid

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quote:
Originally posted by Augustine the Aleut:
quote:
Originally posted by SeraphimSarov:
quote:
Originally posted by Sober Preacher's Kid:
It makes Presbyterianism look positively enlightened and civil.... [Roll Eyes]

But also quite boring [Yipee]
Perhaps now, but 150 years ago they were far from it. The splits in Canada between the Kirk (which wasn't a national church here), Free Kirk, the Wee Frees etc etc, were pretty dramatic. Aficionadi of church archives and genealogy will still happily hold forth on the nightmares this causes them (usually sipping on the second-division local craft beers). I refer people to Richard Sage Sutherland's Scenes of Highland Clerical Life for details of catechetical fisticuffs.
Actually, the Church of Scotland had "establishment" rights in the British North American provinces. The Church of England was legally established in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, but the Church of Scotland got equal property and marriage rights. In Upper and Lower Canada (Ontario & Quebec) there was no "established" church and the Church of England, Church of Scotland and Roman Catholic Church had and have equal property and marriage rights.

This was one reason the United Church Act was passed both by the provinces and by the Federal Government.

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stonespring
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# 15530

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So it seems even Reuters (my link in the OP) got it wrong....or were the Orthodox themselves not sure for a while whether the new council is intended to be an Ecumenical Council or not? A lot of the pooh-poohing of the council and the importance of the decisions that might be reached there seems to be coming from Russia. Perhaps they don't want to be bothered with adhering to agreements reached by the global church when they seem to be just fine pushing around their weight as the biggest (by far) church in Orthodoxy? That explains their insistence on all decisions being reached by consensus, as was already noted here.

I thought that the Orthodox world was finally ready to lock themselves in a room and not leave until they had come to final and forever-binding decisions on who has jurisdiction where. It's laughable that I could have thought this, considering recent Orthodox history. It's still sad, though. One can always pray (greater unity in a part of the church other than one's own is a good thing, right?).

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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
So it seems even Reuters (my link in the OP) got it wrong....or were the Orthodox themselves not sure for a while whether the new council is intended to be an Ecumenical Council or not?

I feel like there is an impasse in communication here. You don't "intend" for a council to be ecumenical. That is decided in retrospect. If you ask again, I will say the same thing. I believe others have said the same thing right on this very thread. I believe a perusal of history will show this to be true. I need only mention the Council of Florence.

quote:
I thought that the Orthodox world was finally ready to lock themselves in a room and not leave until they had come to final and forever-binding decisions on who has jurisdiction where.
[Killing me]

quote:
It's laughable that I could have thought this, considering recent Orthodox history.
Ah, so you recognize the absurdity of this.

quote:
It's still sad, though.
Very. Downright pathetic. Human egos, years of growing apart, majoring in the minors, and the lustre of filthy lucre all play a part. Hopefully it will get sorted before the Parousia. But I'm going to continue respirating.

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Ad Orientem
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quote:
Originally posted by IngoB:
By whom and how? Ok, the answer is "By the pope solemnly promulgating its declarations." But I somehow doubt that the Orthodox will send to Rome. So what then, actually?

Also apparently the Antiochian and Czech & Slowak Orthodox Churches did not attend this preparatory meeting, in the usual demonstration of Orthodox unity. Now, what happens if they also do not attend the potential Ecumenical Council? For RCs, the situation is clear: if you don't follow the call of the pope to council, then that is your problem. The Ecumenicalness ultimately flows from Rome's approval, not from universal attendance. But what would be required now? Full representative attendance of all autocephalous churches in the Orthodox communion?

This is typical Roman historical revisionism in the light of Vatican I. Perhaps I should mention here the Council of Constantinople: essentially a council of local Eastern bishops.
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IngoB

Sentire cum Ecclesia
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quote:
Originally posted by Ad Orientem:
This is typical Roman historical revisionism in the light of Vatican I. Perhaps I should mention here the Council of Constantinople: essentially a council of local Eastern bishops.

It is not "historical revisionism" to state what has crystallised out as the proper procedure over time, just because the beginnings were less clearly organised. But anyway, which Council of Constantinople are you talking about, and why should it be an issue for the Roman view if an Ecumenical Council was held mainly by Eastern bishops? It is my very point that in RC understanding a Council becomes Ecumenical not by worldwide attendance, but by the recognition of the pope as applying to the Church throughout the whole world. The 1st Council of Constantinople in 381, for example, was summoned by Emperor Theodosius acting on the advice of Pope Damasus I, who also sent his legates to the proceedings. Due to its contentious Canon 3 establishing the Patriarchate of Constantinople, it was only recognised implicitly by Pope Vigilius accepting the 2nd Council of Constantinople in 553 by letter to the Patriarch Eutychius of Constantinople in the same year, and by the constitution "Dominus noster et Salvator" in 554.

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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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