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Old 04-06-2018, 04:27 PM
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In the year 1054 A.D, the Great Schizm occurred which divided the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. It was one of many schizms which had occurred over the years, but which were eventually mended. However the Great Schizm was also complicated by the Crusades.

The First Crusade was called by Pope Urban II on November 27 of 1095 in response to a plea from the emperor of Byzantium, Alexius I Comnenus, to assist Byzantium in their fight against the invading Seldjuk Turks. The crusaders captured Jerusalem in 1099.

Events during and after the First Crusade literally saved Western Europe, however they also caused even greater division between East and West. These included the sack and destruction of Orthodox Churches and the killing of some monks, priests and faithful. It also included the theft of many artworks and Christian furnishings from the churches.

In 2004, Pope John Paul II formally apologized to Bartholomew I, Patriarch of Constantinople for the excesses of the Crusades - most particularly the 4th Crusade.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wor...e-in-1204.html

Since before that time and until the present day, Catholics and Orthodox Christians have remained divided by this historic split, and the two great Churches have endured throughout the ages, preserving the 7 Sacraments and the Apostolic Succession and the Holy Spirit which is their guarantor.

Discussions have continued since Vatican II with the aim of bridging our divisions and healing the rifts left by the schism.

Guided by the Holy Spirit, we look forward eagerly towards the day when the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church will renew the bonds of communion and truly serve both God and humanity as one body in Christ.

This discussion is for CATHOLICS and ORTHODOX ONLY! I've changed my mind again. DUE TO ABUSE OF MY PRIOR INVITATION TO CLOSELY RELATED PROTESTANT DENOMINATIONS, THE THREAD IS CLOSED TO ALL OUTSIDE THE CATHOLIC OR ORTHODOX FAITH. ANY ADDITIONAL INTRUSIONS WILL BE REPORTED Although everyone is invited to follow the conversation and learn about these two great ecclesial bodies.

For participants, please refrain from namecalling. It is my hope that we can peacefully discuss the beliefs of our faiths, however focus should be on the differences, since these are few, and the similarities are so numerous.
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Old 04-06-2018, 05:26 PM
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To start the ball rolling, I thought I would list some of the possible obstacles to reunification as I have heard them. My Orthodox brothers are welcome to respond with their own list which I have no doubt will be more complete

1. The Filioque Clause: This is a clause, a phrase in the Nicene Creed which is added in the Catholic Church and was never added in the Orthodox Church. It is a statement about the Holy Spirit: (the clause is in blue)

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father and the Son; Who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified; Who has spoken by the prophets.

2. The Pope: The Western or Catholic Church has always had a head, who serves as the vicar of Christ on Earth. He can speak authoritatively on matters of faith and morals only when speaking "ex cathedra" or formally from the Papal Throne and claiming the full authority of the Magisterium. When and ONLY when he does this, his pronouncements are Infallible. The last such pronouncement was made in 1950 about the Assumption.

The Orthodox have no Pope, but instead have several Ecumenical Patriarchs governing the various Autocephelous Patriarchies as equals. There is some discussion of the Pope being considered as equivalent to an Ecumenical Patriarch if the churches unify.

3. Mary: The Latin, or Roman Catholic Church, has made two pronouncements about Mary which are not completely shared by the Orthodox. One is the Immaculate Conception - which is the belief that Mary, through an act of grace, was preserved from the effects of original sin at the time she was conceived. This is a belief which depends on the Catholic definition and logic attached to "original sin." The second is that Mary is considered to have been, at the end of her life, assumed body and soul into Heaven. In Orthodoxy there is a similar tradition called the "dormition" of Mary.

4. Married Priests: In the Catholic Church, Deacons may marry, or may elect celibacy. Priests must swear celibacy and so must bishops. However it was not always so. Celibacy once was required only of bishops until an order from Pope Leo III to impose celibacy on the clergy in response to many abuses in Western Europe by bishops and priests of the Middle Ages. Married ministers from Protestant churches who become Catholic priests are allowed to be priests even though they are married.

In Orthodoxy, married men may become priests, but an unmarried priest may never marry. Orthodox bishops are always celibate.

5. Traditions: There are many other customs and traditions which have diverged in the course of almost a millennium. One of the biggest is the way the faithful receive the Holy Eucharist as Catholics or as Orthodox. Another is the way baptisms and confirmation and first communions are administered. And others are more minor, such as types of vestments worn, and art and music.

My own personal view is the items 1 and 2 are the only ones of major significance and can both be overcome. God willing.
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Old 04-06-2018, 08:26 PM
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I agree that items ##1 & 2 are the major obstacles to any reunification. The filioque has been downplayed in some threads as irrelevant, but it is a big problem since it directly contradicts the original Nicene Creed that was adopted as the Symbol of Our Faith at the First and Second Ecumenical Councils.

To use a secular term, the Eastern Orthodox Church has always been a "confederation" that is ruled by equal Patriarchs of the autocephalous Orthodox Churches. Aside from being unable to see the Pope give up his position of authority, I don't see how they would integrate the practical operation of the two Churches. What happens to the College of Cardinals??? Pardon the pun, but the concept of the College of Cardinals won't fly in the Orthodox Church.

Forget about doctrine and theology, the simpler matter of "traditions" is not so simple. Orthodox and Catholics don't even make the sign of the cross the same way when we bless ourselves.

I'm getting a headache thinking about this on an empty stomach. LOL I've hardly eaten all day due to the strict fast on Passion Friday. Carry on. This thread could get very interesting.
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Old 04-06-2018, 09:12 PM
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I think the reason some (including myself) have downplayed the difficulties posed by the filioque clause, is that Catholics (I assume) may not be as devoted to the current creed as the Orthodox. So it may be possible for the creed to be revised back to the original.

Personally I see Scriptural basis to write it either way, depending on where you take your quotes from. But to me, it is not so important that our way is right, as it is to re-establish what was broken.

No idea on what to do with the cardinals. I'd be interested to know how Ecumenical Patriarchs are chosen. There must be some process which could be explored.

Some have written that the Pope may be open to an agreement where he is not in authority over the Orthodox, but more on an equal footing. Don't know for sure, but I read that somewhere.
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Old 04-07-2018, 08:06 AM
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The GREATEST obstacle to reunification is the Imperial structure of Catholic Church.

This is a Church that became a (political) Empire and not just a church. If this Church is to unite with the Orthodox Church it needs to renounce the Empire it built in the last 1000 years. This starts with the power structure: The Pope needs to become a Patriarch in the country where it resides. Other Patriarchs need to be appointed in all countries where Catholic Church has congregations. because power should not be concentrated in the hands of a man, specially in matters of faith, and the whole system needs to be decentralized for good. Those Patriarchs need to be equal among themselves with the one from Rome and even equal in vote with their local bishops (because all are equal in the eyes of the Lord anyway). The entire Power structure needs to change and only then it will be easy to overcome Fllioque and other problems since they will be decided in a World "Ancient Church" Synod (a council of ALL bishops from all the world) that will present their theological and historical arguments. Then a vote will be held, then Filioque will be solved one way or the other.

So how will this reunification be done?

If I may take a parallel form political world Catholic Church is North Korea and Orthodox Church is South Korea. Under which system we will be able to unite? If anybody thinks that Orthodox will unite under the current power system in Catholic Church then they do not know the last 1500 years of history.

I would like to see a movement in the Catholic Church towards federalization, I think that will improve the Church more than all moves before that came form the center. Because let's face it: when do you think Kim Jong Un (the Pope and the popes in waiting - Cardinal College) will outlaw himself into a democracy?
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Old 04-07-2018, 11:13 AM
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I still would like to know what the process for choosing an Ecumenical Patricarch is.

The hierarchical structure of the Catholic Church is leftover from the days when it governed an actual country - the Papal States. Thus the Pope was recognized (and still is) as a head of state, equivalent to a King for world political purposes. He does not however currently possess or exercise the power of a King.

http://www.vatican.com/articles/pope...pal_states-a70

I see a few problems with what you're proposing. One is that the way the Latin Church has protected itself from serious error is to have a Pope - in effect, a referee. The Pope doesn't go around changing stuff on his own. He still is subject to councils, but he is the one who calls the councils, and he releases the final decisions. Although in this modern age, the councils often leak an unfinished document or two.

We also have several important governing bodies within the Vatican. One is the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. This is the group which prepared and published the new Catechism of the Catholic Church during JP II's pontificate. This is a bureaucracy which acts as sort of a court to decide questions of whether doctrine has been violated, and remedies to the problems. There is also a full diplomatic department, which works with other countries of the free world on a wide range of diplomatic initiatives.

Also, The Latin Church, as you know, has struggled, since about 1960, with secularist and Protestant influences. Politics are also now coming into play. So there needs to be some structure which can withstand the Liberalization of the Church.

Another factor to consider is that the Catholic Church is MUCH bigger than the Orthodox Church in sheer numbers of adherents. So how would one solve the problems of representation?

http://www.adherents.com/adh_rb.html
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Old 04-07-2018, 02:24 PM
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I still would like to know what the process for choosing an Ecumenical Patricarch is...
The candidates for Patriarch are picked by the permanent members of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in question who are Metropolitans. Then a vote is held among the delegates at a special council who are Metropolitans, Bishops, and, if I'm not mistaken, some lay people.

In 2009 after the death of Alexei II, Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church picked three candidates for Patriarch. In the past in the ROC the three candidates could have been instructed to draw lots and trust in the Holy Spirit to pick the new Patriarch. For whatever reason a special council was called and held in Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow where Metropolitan Kirill received 508 votes of the 700 delegates present.

In anticipation of questions regarding what a "Metropolitan" is I copied the explanation below from the OCA website:

"In Orthodoxy, the bishop is the leading church officer, and all bishops have exactly the same sacramental position in guiding the people of God.

A bishop of a large and important area of leadership (usually called a diocese) may be called archbishop or metropolitan, the latter meaning simply the bishop of a chief city, a metropolis.

The patriarch is the bishop of the most important city and diocese in a local church and is normally the leading bishop of a country (patria means country). This is especially the case when within the self-governing church of which the Patriarch is primate there are other bishops with metropolitan sees. For example, in Russia the bishop of Moscow is the patriarch; the bishops of Kiev and Leningrad are metropolitans; and there are other archbishops and bishops within the local church.

However, once again, it cannot be over stressed that all bishops, regardless of their title or the size and importance of their diocese, are identically equal with regard to their sacramental position. None is higher or greater than the other; none rules over another."


https://oca.org/questions/priesthood...se-titles-mean
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Old 04-07-2018, 04:37 PM
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Another important question is: Is it ever necessary to discipline a bishop or a metropolitan? If so, how? and if not, then how practically, (besides the power of the Holy Spirit) does the Orthodox Church preserve its integrity?

I think in the West, the Pope and the Vatican have served to correct errors in the past, and the limits on papal power serve to prevent him from changing the doctrine of the Church. However we again are seeing bishops in the West who are acting contrary to the moral teachings of the Church, and these kinds of bishops could never be trusted to self-administer a whole patriarchy.

It may be possible to replicate the Orthodox model in the West, however it also may be that cultural differences might require the more authoritarian structure of the Vatican. Your thoughts?
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Old 04-07-2018, 05:07 PM
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For 1,000 years the two Churches agreed that the Bishop in Rome was #1 Supreme Bishop
It was further agreed that the Bishop in Constantinople was Bishop #2
Pretty simple deal until the eastern apostates broke off.
Comparatively the Roman Cathloics dominate
With a billion more adherents
The eastern church should just fall back in line or continue on as a tiny splinter if that is unacceptable
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Old 04-07-2018, 06:57 PM
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The Orthodox probably regard us as apostates as much as any of us regard them that way.

You have to remember that the Roman Catholic Church was persecuted during the first 300 years or so, but since then, has experienced very little persecution.

The Orthodox Church, on the other hand, has almost suffered constant persecution, and are currently subject to genocide in the Holy Land. They are warriors for the Faith, and their Church is considered just as valid as our own.

Also I very much doubt that the Orthodox would care to be subject to our Pope. I'll leave it at that.
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Old 04-07-2018, 08:01 PM
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For 1,000 years the two Churches agreed that the Bishop in Rome was #1 Supreme BishopIt was further agreed that the Bishop in Constantinople was Bishop #2
Pretty simple deal until the eastern apostates broke off.
Comparatively the Roman Cathloics dominate
With a billion more adherents
The eastern church should just fall back in line or continue on as a tiny splinter if that is unacceptable
That's simply not true. Cite a legitimate source that backs up this "deal" on who is number one and who is number two.

By the 4th century the Eastern Christian Church was governed by the Bishops of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem which shared a common language (Greek) and cultural background. The Western Christian Church was governed by a single Bishop, i.e. the Bishop of Rome, where Latin was spoken and the culture was different from the East.

As far as being apostates, we were not the ones who made changes to the Nicene Creed. We also were not the ones who created the concept of purgatory and the Immaculate Conception, and forced parish priests to be celibate changing over a thousand years of the tradition of married priests. We excommunicated the West for these and other changes that could very well be used as evidence to say that the Catholic Church is the one that is apostate.

Contrary to your delusion that the Eastern Orthodox Church is a "tiny splinter group," it is the second largest Christian Church on the planet. With somewhere between 250 million and 300 million members it is three times larger than the largest mainstream Protestant Church. And, that doesn't include around 80 million members of the Oriental Orthodox Churches.

In any case, your negative attitude toward the Eastern Orthodox Church is very clear and not conducive to any constructive discussion between Orthodox and Catholic.
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Old 04-08-2018, 07:41 AM
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Well 1,000 years is an exaggeration, but when there were Councils it was agreed as stated. Also, you keep on saying how large the eastern church is, but there is a Roman Catholic for every eastern ortodox member and then a billion more on top of that. The Romam Catholic Church dwarfs the eastern church which is a tiny fraction in size.


Council of Nicaea (325)

Icon depicting the Emperor Constantine (centre) and the bishops of the First Council of Nicaea (325) holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381
After the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great legalized Christianity (with the Edict of Milan), he summoned the First Ecumenical Council at Nicaea in 325. The bishops at the council confirmed the position of the metropolitan sees of Rome and Alexandria as having authority outside their own province, and also the existing privileges of the churches in Antioch and the other provinces.[65] These sees were later called Patriarchates.[citation needed] These were given an order of precedence: Rome, as capital of the empire was naturally given first place, then came Alexandria and Antioch. In a separate canon the Council also approved the special honor given to Jerusalem over other sees subject to the same metropolitan.[66]

Icon depicting the Emperor Constantine (centre) and the bishops of the First Council of Nicaea (325) holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381
After the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great legalized Christianity (with the Edict of Milan), he summoned the First Ecumenical Council at Nicaea in 325. The bishops at the council confirmed the position of the metropolitan sees of Rome and Alexandria as having authority outside their own province, and also the existing privileges of the churches in Antioch and the other provinces.[65] These sees were later called Patriarchates.[citation needed] These were given an order of precedence: Rome, as capital of the empire was naturally given first place, then came Alexandria and Antioch. In a separate canon the Council also approved the special honor given to Jerusalem over other sees subject to the same metropolitan.[66]



First Council of Constantinople (381) Edit
Further information: Patriarchy
Roman dominate Emperor Theodosius I convened the second ecumenical council (Constantinople I) at the imperial capital city in 381. The council elevated the see of Constantinople, to a position ahead of the other chief metropolitan sees, except that of Rome thus raising it above the sees of Alexandria and Antioch.[b] This action has been described as sowing the seed for the ecclesiastical rivalry between Constantinople and Rome which was ultimately a factor leading to the schism between East and West.[68][69][c] It demarcated the territory within the praetorian prefecture of the East into five canonical territories corresponding to the five civil dioceses: Diocese of Egypt (metropolis in Alexandria), Diocese of the East (metropolis in Antioch), Diocese of Asia (Metropolis of Ephesus), Diocese of Pontus (metropolis in Caesarea Cappadociae), and Diocese of Thrace (metropolis in Heraclea, later under Constantinople);[citation needed][49][self-published source][71] The council mentioned the churches in the civil dioceses of Asia, Pontus, and Thrace, it decreed that the synod of each province should manage the ecclesiastical affairs of that province alone, except for the privileges already recognized for sees of Alexandria and Antioch.[71]

No Western bishops attended the council and no legate of the bishop of Rome was present.[72] The Latin Church recognized the council as ecumenical about 150 years later,[clarify][72] in the mid-6th century.[49][self-published source][70]

Chalcedon (451) Edit
Rome's Tome of Leo (449) was highly regarded, and formed the basis for the Council of Chalcedon formulation. But it was not universally accepted and was even called "impious" and "blasphemous" by those who condemned the council that approved and accepted it.[73] The next ecumenical council corrected a possible imbalance in Pope Leo's presentation. Although the Bishop of Rome was well respected even at this early date, the East holds that the concept of the primacy of the Roman See and Papal Infallibility were only developed much later.

The disputed[37][74] canon 28 of the Council of Chalcedon in 451, confirming the authority already held by Constantinople, granted its archbishop jurisdiction over Pontus and Thrace.[75]

The council also ratified an agreement between Antioch and Jerusalem, whereby Jerusalem held jurisdiction over three provinces,[76] numbering it among the five great sees.[77] As thus interpreted, there were now five patriarchs presiding over the Church within the Byzantine Empire, in the following order of precedence: the Patriarch of Rome, the Patriarch of Constantinople, the Patriarch of Alexandria, the Patriarch of Antioch and the Patriarch of Jerusalem.

Although Leo I, whose delegates were absent when this resolution was passed, recognized the council as ecumenical and confirmed its doctrinal decrees, he rejected its canon 28 on the ground that it contravened the sixth canon of Nicaea and infringed the rights of Alexandria and Antioch.[49][78] However, by that time Constantinople, the permanent residence of the emperor, had in reality enormous influence, and had it not been for the opposition of Rome, its bishop could easily have been given first place among all the bishops.[49]
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/East–West_Schism
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Old 04-08-2018, 09:05 AM
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Another important question is: Is it ever necessary to discipline a bishop or a metropolitan? If so, how? and if not, then how practically, (besides the power of the Holy Spirit) does the Orthodox Church preserve its integrity?
There are civil and criminal issues and dogmatic issues to deal with. As you know being in a country with civil laws any person no matter his religious function is to obey those laws under the penalties imposed by the state. Orthodox Bishops do not have the protection of another state (Vatican) so there is no possibilities to escape justice by appealing to another political entity. That in itself should tell you IT IS A BETTER system in itself.

As for dogmatic issues there is no possibility for a Orthodox Bishop, Metropolitan or even a Patriarch to propose, advance, teach a different teaching then the one that was established at the 7 Ecumenical Synods and by the majority of Orthodox Churches subsequent to that.

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I think in the West, the Pope and the Vatican have served to correct errors in the past, and the limits on papal power serve to prevent him from changing the doctrine of the Church.
Judge a tree by its fruits.
What came from the Catholic Church and Pope decision in 1054 to split from the Body of the Church?

Dogmatic errors upon dogmatic errors that moved it further away form a reconciliation with the Orthodox Church.

Protestant movement with 40000 denominations that came with old heresies and new heresies (and apostates in some cases) that are weakening the entire Christianity as a whole.

Now you are complaining about more Protestant influence in Catholic Church, and we see even bending to the Spirit of this World in certain issues.

In the future (as per the hints given by Pope Francis) you might see even abhorrent sin (homosexuality) being tolerated to some degree.

What are the fruits of Orthodoxy?

Never changed A THING from the old proven dogmatic.

Always being in the right on theological points and innovations.

Not having horrifying heresies split from it, so marvelous dogmatic protection.

The Orthodox Church as you acknowledged was protected by the Holy Spirit alone and DID NOT NEED a political power to protect it as you seem to require one (Vatican political power). The Orthodox survived all persecution up until modern days.The Church does not need political power, it actually hurts it in the long run. The Holy Spirit IS its protector.

A body of believers that in modern time are more protected and less deceived by the Spirit of this World (look Orthodox countries vs. Catholic countries on the issue traditional family protection movement, to name one issue).

A monastic life that is full of holiness and if you go the Mount Athos or in the monastic enclaves of Russia, Greece, Romania, and all other Orthodox countries (with the exception of the Middle East currently under Muslim oppression) in full growing mode.

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It may be possible to replicate the Orthodox model in the West, however it also may be that cultural differences might require the more authoritarian structure of the Vatican. Your thoughts?
Yes it is. And it is replicated. I know of entire monasteries that split from Catholic Church and went full Orthodox because in their research for early fathers sources they discovered that Catholics strayed too much form the Church.

This was a monastery of Monks researchers of Tradition (Early Fathers):

https://orthodoxwiki.org/Placide_(Deseille)

http://pemptousia.com/2018/01/pere-p...t-in-the-lord/

https://www.amazon.com/Nous-avons-vr...3196183&sr=1-1

https://www.amazon.com/spiritualite%...3196183&sr=1-2

Do you need your political power structure to live the faith? No. And that is where the Protestants were right to protest about. From a deviant center came indulgences and other forced errors that regular folks disliked and in doing so Protestantism is the fault of Catholic Church not the fault of some German self deceived Priest.

Catholics can become Orthodox and keep their main systems in place while decentralizing successfully from Vatican. Vatican is not your strength but your weakness. Vatican can become again the Seat of Church of Rome and not a country.

I invite all Catholics to wake up and smell the roses. The Catholic Church does not bear best fruits of the Faith. But the Orthodox did not broke the Nicene Creed and did not invented theological errors to suit their quest for political power and they thrive spiritually because of their reliance on spiritual power vs. political one.

Catholic Church will need soon to find its Orthodox roots or fade into more dissolution under the pressure of the Spirit of the World.
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Old 04-08-2018, 11:01 AM
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The Orthodox Church as you acknowledged was protected by the Holy Spirit alone and DID NOT NEED a political power to protect it as you seem to require one (Vatican political power). The Orthodox survived all persecution up until modern days.The Church does not need political power, it actually hurts it in the long run. The Holy Spirit IS its protector...
Excellent post, Cat. The above quote made me start thinking again if the 75 year persecution of the Russian Orthodox Church by the communist satan was a punishment for allowing itself to be exploited by secular political powers.

Up until the reign of Peter the Great the Russian Orthodox Church operated as a free religious entity that wielded enormous influence over the people of Russia. Peter looked upon the Church as a challenge to his power as Tsar. In 1700 when the Patriarch died Tsar Peter refused to allow the post to be filled. In 1721 he gave the Holy Synod the power to run the Church and himself the power to appoint the Metropolitans to the Holy Synod.

You get the picture. The Church was exploited as a tool of the Tsar. After the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 the Patriarchate was restored and the Church went through a 75 year period of massive persecutions which included the arrest and execution of clergy, the destruction of church buildings and property, etc. I sometimes wonder if the Soviet period of persecution was a penance for allowing Peter the Great to do what he did. But, that's not for me to judge.

CHRIST IS RISEN! ХРИСТОС ВОСКРЕС!
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Old 04-08-2018, 04:29 PM
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I don't know about the rest of Europe, but in England, the Catholic Church had similar problems to those with the Tsar and Russian Orthodoxy. The Kings of England, continued trying to exert pressure on the Catholic Church as did other European monarchs in their countries. In England it finally culminated with Henry XIII defying the Pope who had denied an annulment to the King.

Henry declared himself to be head of the English Church, and required all noblemen and all clergy to swear allegiance to him rather than the Pope. All signed the oath except for one man. Sir Thomas More. He was executed by beheading. Pope Benedict XVI declared him a Saint in a beatification ceremony performed in England during his formal state visit to the Queen in 2010. Thomas More is the subject of the play (and film) "A Man for All Seasons."

At the Vatican, there is a statue of Mary with the globe at her feet. Her big toe is being stubbed on England.
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Old 04-08-2018, 09:23 PM
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Today my I, my wife, my son and my father in law all went to a Tridentine Latin Mass. I had never been to one before. This was the way the Mass was done prior to 1970, and had been the Mass of the Roman Catholic Church since the time of Saint Gregory the Great.

Stepping into the church today was like entering an otherworldly dimension. The church was completely covered with artwork. From the tiled floor to the stained glass windows, the ceilings painted with the Saints and the Gospel writers, and angels everywhere.

All of the music was in Latin. The Mass was said in Latin, and everything except for the Homily (sermon) was also in Latin. The reverence and dignity of the Mass were profound, and I couldn't help wondering what ever possessed the Church to give this up. It truly felt as if we had stepped through a portal into Heaven today. I hope to return very soon. It was absolutely glorious, and a foretaste of the worship at Gods Heavenly throne.
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Old 04-08-2018, 09:56 PM
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The GREATEST obstacle to reunification is the Imperial structure of Catholic Church.

This is a Church that became a (political) Empire and not just a church. If this Church is to unite with the Orthodox Church it needs to renounce the Empire it built in the last 1000 years. This starts with the power structure: The Pope needs to become a Patriarch in the country where it resides. Other Patriarchs need to be appointed in all countries where Catholic Church has congregations. because power should not be concentrated in the hands of a man, specially in matters of faith, and the whole system needs to be decentralized for good. Those Patriarchs need to be equal among themselves with the one from Rome and even equal in vote with their local bishops (because all are equal in the eyes of the Lord anyway). The entire Power structure needs to change and only then it will be easy to overcome Fllioque and other problems since they will be decided in a World "Ancient Church" Synod (a council of ALL bishops from all the world) that will present their theological and historical arguments. Then a vote will be held, then Filioque will be solved one way or the other.

So how will this reunification be done?

If I may take a parallel form political world Catholic Church is North Korea and Orthodox Church is South Korea. Under which system we will be able to unite? If anybody thinks that Orthodox will unite under the current power system in Catholic Church then they do not know the last 1500 years of history.

I would like to see a movement in the Catholic Church towards federalization, I think that will improve the Church more than all moves before that came form the center. Because let's face it: when do you think Kim Jong Un (the Pope and the popes in waiting - Cardinal College) will outlaw himself into a democracy?
Power is still concentrated in regional churches.
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Old 04-09-2018, 08:13 AM
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There are civil and criminal issues and dogmatic issues to deal with. As you know being in a country with civil laws any person no matter his religious function is to obey those laws under the penalties imposed by the state. Orthodox Bishops do not have the protection of another state (Vatican) so there is no possibilities to escape justice by appealing to another political entity. That in itself should tell you IT IS A BETTER system in itself.
You must misunderstand the authority of the Catholic hierarchy; there is no authority within the Church that can contravene the civil authority of the country in which it resides. Catholic bishops don't have the protection of the Vatican from the laws in their respective countries.

If a Catholic bishop breaks the law in the U.S., he'll be tried in the U.S; all local, state, national, and international laws apply. The only way I see a Catholic being protected by the Vatican with regards to secular laws, is if he is a citizen of Vatican City - and can possibly be protected from extradition. This is no different than a citizen of Russia, however, or pretty much every country on the planet as far as I know.

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As for dogmatic issues there is no possibility for a Orthodox Bishop, Metropolitan or even a Patriarch to propose, advance, teach a different teaching then the one that was established at the 7 Ecumenical Synods and by the majority of Orthodox Churches subsequent to that.
This is the same in the Catholic Church: Dogmatic teachings don't (can't/won't) change. This is the very definition of dogma, after all, no matter what the secular media may try to convince its audience.

There can be bishops that introduce error - just as their was in the beginning of the Church in the instance of Arianism, for example (among others), which happened before the Great Schism.

This brings up a point which negates your argument, btw. If heresy can crop up before the Great Schism - and must be tamped down through a council of Bishops - than your assertion that a bishop in the Orthodox Church is incapable of heresy would logically require some protection that wasn't available in the Early Church generally, and before the Great Schism specifically.

What purpose did the first 7 ecumenical councils serve, after all, other than to challenge various heresies?

So the question still stands: What does the ROC have in place to counter possible heresy forwarded by its members?
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Old 04-09-2018, 08:21 AM
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Today my I, my wife, my son and my father in law all went to a Tridentine Latin Mass. I had never been to one before. This was the way the Mass was done prior to 1970, and had been the Mass of the Roman Catholic Church since the time of Saint Gregory the Great.

Stepping into the church today was like entering an otherworldly dimension. The church was completely covered with artwork. From the tiled floor to the stained glass windows, the ceilings painted with the Saints and the Gospel writers, and angels everywhere.

All of the music was in Latin. The Mass was said in Latin, and everything except for the Homily (sermon) was also in Latin. The reverence and dignity of the Mass were profound, and I couldn't help wondering what ever possessed the Church to give this up. It truly felt as if we had stepped through a portal into Heaven today. I hope to return very soon. It was absolutely glorious, and a foretaste of the worship at Gods Heavenly throne.
I cried during the Consecration of the first TLM I attended. It was truly a watershed moment, convicting my heart of Christ's presence in the Blessed Sacrament. I wish there was a TLM held closer than 4 hours from my home. It convinced me that tradition is the way of the future, and that I should do everything in my power to bring this beautiful and Extraordinary Form of the Mass back to its rightful place.

Every Mass is Extraordinary! It should be in the Extraordinary Form!
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Old 04-09-2018, 08:32 AM
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You must misunderstand the authority of the Catholic hierarchy; there is no authority within the Church that can contravene the civil authority of the country in which it resides. Catholic bishops don't have the protection of the Vatican from the laws in their respective countries.

If a Catholic bishop breaks the law in the U.S., he'll be tried in the U.S; all local, state, national, and international laws apply. The only way I see a Catholic being protected by the Vatican with regards to secular laws, is if he is a citizen of Vatican City - and can possibly be protected from extradition. This is no different than a citizen of Russia, however, or pretty much every country on the planet as far as I know.



This is the same in the Catholic Church: Dogmatic teachings don't (can't/won't) change. This is the very definition of dogma, after all, no matter what the secular media may try to convince its audience.

There can be bishops that introduce error - just as their was in the beginning of the Church in the instance of Arianism, for example (among others), which happened before the Great Schism.

This brings up a point which negates your argument, btw. If heresy can crop up before the Great Schism - and must be tamped down through a council of Bishops - than your assertion that a bishop in the Orthodox Church is incapable of heresy would logically require some protection that wasn't available in the Early Church generally, and before the Great Schism specifically.

What purpose did the first 7 ecumenical councils serve, after all, other than to challenge various heresies?

So the question still stands: What does the ROC have in place to counter possible heresy forwarded by its members?


As you noted above the Heresies came into Early Church before and during the 7 Councils. After the 7 Councils the heresies were sporadic and did not receive great audience until the Split of 1054. After the split quite fast in about 100 years Catholic Church was already so far out (Inquisition plus many other errors) that it was challenged by Wycliffe, then Jan Hus. They did not know how to deal with Jan Hus and killed him outright. Then it was Luther time and then it was conquest of the Americas. After that some scientists began to challenge the Catholic Church for a few hundred of years until the beginning of 20th century when all hell broke loose.

Orthodox Church after the 7 Councils stabilized and only Icons were challenged later on but it was quickly resolved.

So Orthodox did not spread heresies like a 30 mm Gatling Gun.

If we live in the modern Spirit of the World we are today this is because of the Catholic Church direct and indirect heresies (Protestantism+ Humanism) that spread from it and engulfed the whole world. The Apostates came from Catholic Church or the interaction with it.

Now the question is how to solve this? Should Catholic Church march forward as before or should it contract in a dogmatic state before 1054?

The dogma (the core of beliefs) are critical to the answer to the Spirit of the World, and Catholic Church changed too much and too wild since the days of the 7 Councils. I will suggest that the medicine is returning to those values not marching on innovations. For a true unity we need the Dogma resolved, but this will not happen because the Center (Vatican) wants power and not unity.
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