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Dis-illusionment and letting go

Serge

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In another thread one of the many converts in this forum was being kind saying that losing your faith in your birth church and in God as it understands him is painful. I just wanted to say I've done that. I was born Episcopal, so before I became Catholic I had to be shocked by the reality of Episcopalianism and let go of a vision of it I had really believed in. (I really wanted Catholicism; Episcopalianism is at heart Protestant.) So my non-acceptance of Orthodoxy isn't based on a reluctance to let go.
 

augustin717

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When Matthew Heimbach is busy saving Western Civilization, the accusation of anti-Westernism is a tad bit unfair.
 

Rohzek

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augustin717 said:
When Matthew Heimbach is busy saving Western Civilization, the accusation of anti-Westernism is a tad bit unfair.
This man is a fat loser who'd lose a battle of wits with Terri Schiavo as she stared him down from her hospital bed. He's clueless.

The young fogey said:
Mor Ephrem said:
The young fogey said:
I love participating in the East but I don't buy anti-Westernism.
We aren't selling it.
Sorry but that's not what I see.
In response to the OP though, it's true that EO has a weird relationship with Western culture in general (human rights, the Enlightenment, Latin theology/saints even from the first millennium, etc.). But do note that Orthodoxy comes in many different shapes and sizes. Can anyone honestly think that Metropolitan Ware is anti-Western? As for OC-net tho, dude, you have flat-earthers here who think calling the Earth a planet is the gateway drug to heresy. Idk what you're expecting.

If it's any consolation, I'm not anti-Western at least. This will probably land me in some hot water, but honestly, I think this big-to-do over how horrible Novus Ordo is, is completely blown out of proportion. There are aspects of NO that I prefer compared the St. John Chrysostom's Divine Liturgy. As for why WR hasn't expanded, I'd wager because it has no central organized effort behind it. It's a sparse item amidst a sea of various jurisdictions throughout the West, who often fight with one another over jurisdictional rights or are always in competition with one another. My question is this though, if NO had failed to take root as much as it has done, would you consider it just as false as WR?
 

NicholasMyra

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The young fogey said:
I was born Episcopal, so before I became Catholic I had to be shocked by the reality of Episcopalianism and let go of a vision of it I had really believed in.
Is it that, or is it that your side lost a fight because your side didn't fight very well?
 

Serge

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Thanks, guys.

Obviously, but you err.
You see the true church; I see something petty that doesn't consider my baptism valid in itself because we are of a different culture when we are really the same faith. Us: Orthodox doctrine is Catholic doctrine limited to the definitions of our first seven councils (you've never officially taught heresy), and you have real bishops and the Mass. You: we're heretics about the Holy Spirit, our ecclesiology is wrong, unless one converts, one's sacraments are in themselves void, and our phronema is satanic—I'm exaggerating but not much. Orthodox opinion about divorce and remarriage (I know it's pre-schism but I'm still not buying) and now contraception are wrong. (The Orthodox have never officially taught heresy.) Before the 1900s, almost all the teachings on sex that are now considered Catholic were simply Christian.

When Matthew Heimbach is busy saving Western Civilization, the accusation of anti-Westernism is a tad bit unfair.
I get the sarcasm of course but seriously, I think the Russians are a shining example of Western civilization. I hope Putin is another Constantine. I can't pretend that only they are and the Germans et al. aren't.

But do note that Orthodoxy comes in many different shapes and sizes.
I know that; thanks. But at heart what I wrote above is true.

As for why WR hasn't expanded, I'd wager because it has no central organized effort behind it.
Orthodoxy has no central organized effort behind it; there's no Pope. To which I'll add that ROCOR obviously doesn't want Western rites, which partly explains the crackdown on Bishop Jerome (Shaw), fired not for heresy but alleged insubordination, and the shutting down of that vicariate (I understand it tolerates its WR parishes). The main Orthodox jurisdictions in America besides the Antiochians—the Greeks and the OCA—barely put up with it, not allowing it themselves.

The comparison to Eastern Catholicism is always at hand but I tried to be fair by meeting you on neutral ground, a comparison to a successful example of an only century-old church vs. WRO that neither of us believes in, the Polish National Catholic Church. It is a low-grade success. It hasn't really expanded but it's generational. Why isn't WRO?

It's a sparse item amidst a sea of various jurisdictions throughout the West, who often fight with one another over jurisdictional rights or are always in competition with one another.
How Orthodoxy in the West is, as you know.

My question is this though, if NO had failed to take root as much as it has done, would you consider it just as false as WR?
That's a different issue, because although I don't like the Novus Ordo or writing new services even though, thanks to liturgical studies, we now know how, it's not against our teachings, so even if it failed it would not be false. But now I see what you mean, and had it not been thoroughly imposed so most people didn't use it, it would be something like what you wrote.

Is it that, or is it that your side lost a fight because your side didn't fight very well?
Point taken; there are converts who are really still fighting battles in their old churches, which Orthodox priests complain about. I'm not one of them. I've been friendly with some Episcopalians online, even a woman priest, because I don't give the Episcopal Church a second thought. That's because I accept it for what it is, not what Anglo-Catholics thought it was: a Protestant denomination, obvious to most people.

I love participating in the East
How do we get to points in our lives where the above quote makes any sort of sense, smh
I know the Orthodox don't accept it, so for example I don't say I'm Orthodox.
 

Iconodule

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The young fogey said:
Orthodox opinion about divorce and remarriage (I know it's pre-schism but I'm still not buying) and now contraception are wrong.
As has been proven many, many times, the Catholic church allows both divorce and contraception, just under the veil of sophistry.
 

Iconodule

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augustin717 said:
When Matthew Heimbach is busy saving Western Civilization, the accusation of anti-Westernism is a tad bit unfair.
Nice.
 

LivenotoneviL

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The young fogey said:
Thanks, guys.

Obviously, but you err.
You see the true church; I see something petty that doesn't consider my baptism valid in itself because we are of a different culture when we are really the same faith. Us: Orthodox doctrine is Catholic doctrine limited to the definitions of our first seven councils (you've never officially taught heresy), and you have real bishops and the Mass. You: we're heretics about the Holy Spirit, our ecclesiology is wrong, unless one converts, one's sacraments are in themselves void, and our phronema is satanic—I'm exaggerating but not much. Orthodox opinion about divorce and remarriage (I know it's pre-schism but I'm still not buying) and now contraception are wrong. (The Orthodox have never officially taught heresy.) Before the 1900s, almost all the teachings on sex that are now considered Catholic were simply Christian.

When Matthew Heimbach is busy saving Western Civilization, the accusation of anti-Westernism is a tad bit unfair.
I get the sarcasm of course but seriously, I think the Russians are a shining example of Western civilization. I hope Putin is another Constantine. I can't pretend that only they are and the Germans et al. aren't.

But do note that Orthodoxy comes in many different shapes and sizes.
I know that; thanks. But at heart what I wrote above is true.

As for why WR hasn't expanded, I'd wager because it has no central organized effort behind it.
Orthodoxy has no central organized effort behind it; there's no Pope. To which I'll add that ROCOR obviously doesn't want Western rites, which partly explains the crackdown on Bishop Jerome (Shaw), fired not for heresy but alleged insubordination, and the shutting down of that vicariate (I understand it tolerates its WR parishes). The main Orthodox jurisdictions in America besides the Antiochians—the Greeks and the OCA—barely put up with it, not allowing it themselves.

The comparison to Eastern Catholicism is always at hand but I tried to be fair by meeting you on neutral ground, a comparison to a successful example of an only century-old church vs. WRO that neither of us believes in, the Polish National Catholic Church. It is a low-grade success. It hasn't really expanded but it's generational. Why isn't WRO?

It's a sparse item amidst a sea of various jurisdictions throughout the West, who often fight with one another over jurisdictional rights or are always in competition with one another.
How Orthodoxy in the West is, as you know.

My question is this though, if NO had failed to take root as much as it has done, would you consider it just as false as WR?
That's a different issue, because although I don't like the Novus Ordo or writing new services even though, thanks to liturgical studies, we now know how, it's not against our teachings, so even if it failed it would not be false. But now I see what you mean, and had it not been thoroughly imposed so most people didn't use it, it would be something like what you wrote.

Is it that, or is it that your side lost a fight because your side didn't fight very well?
Point taken; there are converts who are really still fighting battles in their old churches, which Orthodox priests complain about. I'm not one of them. I've been friendly with some Episcopalians online, even a woman priest, because I don't give the Episcopal Church a second thought. That's because I accept it for what it is, not what Anglo-Catholics thought it was: a Protestant denomination, obvious to most people.

I love participating in the East
How do we get to points in our lives where the above quote makes any sort of sense, smh
I know the Orthodox don't accept it, so for example I don't say I'm Orthodox.

I should say that many of the problems you state are applicable to Roman Catholicism in it's view on Orthodoxy as well, no matter how friendly the ecumenical language can be.

The Orthodox Church is a "schismatic" group on the sole fact that, according to the Roman church, the communion to Peter has been lost - which is necessary for salvation. One simply needs to read the Encyclical of Pius IX to the Eastern Churches (which provoked a response by the Ecumenical Patriarch, dismantling the argument). The flowery language has been "separated brethren" or "imperfect communion" but the the Orthodox are still seen as schismatics.

I should also point out that Cardinal Humbert anathematized the Orthodox on the grounds that the Church removed the "filioque" from the Creed.

And, considering that there is no salvation outside the Church (which the Orthodox believe as well - although today they really do adhere to it more than Roman Catholics do), should it matter whether or not the sacraments are valid or not?

One even comes to the logical deduction with sacrament validity that the Orthodox are in a worse state than the Anglicans, because they "commit sacrilege" by receiving communion in a state of mortal sin.

As it pertains to Baptism, the approach of mainstream Orthodox Churches has been viewing heterodox baptism as "insufficient" but through "economia" it is made full, and their Christian experience in their past experience is made full. I consider this a much better approach than simply stating "oh, your baptism was valid. Carry on!"

Now, contraception and divorce - the Orthodox Church in the case of divorce, it is still seen as morally unacceptable and not right, but the system in place of "three divorces" is a much better system than the infamous annulment system, where one could theoretically dissolve an infinite amount of marriages. Contraception being allowed and promulgated in the Orthodox Church is misunderstood on the basis that the Orthodox Church isn't as legalistic. What if someone (a woman) needs contraception for a medical reason? Should she be denied that? Contraception is seen as morally wrong, and it is a grave sin unless permitted by the priest for a reason like the one mentioned. It is wrong on the basis that it disfigured the intended gift of God - but it can get kind of murky as previously described. Of course, every once in a while you get some Orthodox priest who has no problem with contraception - but the same can be said about Roman Catholic priests.

Even Tolstoy in Anna Karenina recognized how contraception was immoral.

I recommend finding an Orthodox priest to talk to, even if - at the very least - to be more objective.

Also, the "no centralized structure" - I actually find this better than having one, because you can't just infect one organization with heresy and expect the entire organization to implode (as has happened in the Roman church) - if you do that with one of the Churches in Orthodoxy, the rest of the Churches can retaliate and tell you to get your stuff back together.
 

Iconodule

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NicholasMyra said:
The young fogey said:
How do we get to points in our lives where the above quote makes any sort of sense, smh
I know the Orthodox don't accept it, so for example I don't say I'm Orthodox.
I mean the thought of "participating in the east/west" is bizarre, regardless of denomination.
I like participating in Italy when I order pizza.
 

Mor Ephrem

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YF,

I'm going to pass on addressing "divorce and remarriage" because there's no point.  If you concede it is pre-schism (and, I would add, not schism-provoking in all that time) but reject it because you don't like it, that's hardly a dogmatic issue.  If anything, it's "discipline and culture". 

The young fogey said:
Obviously, but you err.
You see the true church; I see something petty that doesn't consider my baptism valid in itself because we are of a different culture when we are really the same faith. Us: Orthodox doctrine is Catholic doctrine limited to the definitions of our first seven councils (you've never officially taught heresy), and you have real bishops and the Mass. You: we're heretics about the Holy Spirit, our ecclesiology is wrong, unless one converts, one's sacraments are in themselves void, and our phronema is satanic—I'm exaggerating but not much.
Your "Us" perspective is an exaggeration of its own kind. 

Until fairly recently (e.g., Vatican II), Catholic doctrine regarding the "Eastern schismatics" may have regarded them as having a real priesthood and real sacraments, but the lack of communion/submission to Rome meant that each time ordinations or other priestly acts were performed they were all schismatic acts, and as such at least gravely illicit and causing participants to be guilty of mortal sin, which means that every new performance also added sacrilege to the list of committed sins. 

Catholics would have described our rejection of Filioque as heretical (in fact, some RC apologists on this forum have done so, which suggests this is still an acceptable view in your Church). 

Obviously our ecclesiology is wrong if it doesn't accept your teaching on the role of the Pope (at least one Catholic priest has told me I'm going to hell simply for not submitting to the Pope, so it's not like the stakes aren't high). 

If you follow certain "conservative/traditional" Catholic circles, our tolerance for divorce/remarriage is billed as a rejection of the doctrine of the indissolubility of marriage, while in other more "pastoral" circles, it is viewed as a non-sacramental loophole (granted legitimacy by our general fidelity to tradition) allowing otherwise sinful people to not be totally alienated from the Church...in either case, we're doing something wrong, but our traditions are being appealed to in order to fight culture wars in your Church (and not just with regard to marriage and family).

While lip service is paid to the disciplinary nature of clerical celibacy and therefore the legitimacy of the Orthodox practice, there is all sorts of material out there about the reasons why our practice is wrong (e.g., because our clergy are not bound to perpetual continence upon ordination).  "It's just discipline" seems like a technicality, the real truth is something quite different. 

And I think that's true about a lot of Catholic opinion about Orthodoxy, which is not limited to the preceding few points.  It has changed in terms of how it's expressed and acted upon, as if it was a disciplinary matter, but a lot of the substance of past opinion remains to this day.  But you ignore that and make Catholicism out to be generous to Orthodoxy while we do not return the favour, and you forget that your own Church has had and essentially still does have identical or similar charges to levy against Orthodoxy.  It is disingenuous for you to paint us as bigots.  Many of these charges, on both sides of the schism, are essentially about matters of faith and morals, they are not an elevation of local cultures to dogmatic status or whatever other bogus claims you make.  We can disagree about them, but we can't say they are just tribalism on our side and catholic liberality on yours.   
 

Iconodule

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Mor Ephrem said:
YF,

I'm going to pass on addressing "divorce and remarriage" because there's no point.  If you concede it is pre-schism (and, I would add, not schism-provoking in all that time) but reject it because you don't like it, that's hardly a dogmatic issue.  If anything, it's "discipline and culture". 
Yes, quite a concession to make, and an important one, as it shows that YF's feigned inclusivity of local Christian traditions still fits under the umbrella of Latin chauvinism.

But you ignore that and make Catholicism out to be generous to Orthodoxy while we do not return the favour, and you forget that your own Church has had and essentially still does have identical or similar charges to levy against Orthodoxy.  It is disingenuous for you to paint us as bigots.  Many of these charges, on both sides of the schism, are essentially about matters of faith and morals, they are not an elevation of local cultures to dogmatic status or whatever other bogus claims you make.  We can disagree about them, but we can't say they are just tribalism on our side and catholic liberality on yours. 
Right. And it's a pretty weird line of argument, as if sacramental liberality were a mark of the true church. If that were the case, we should all be Methodists or something.
 

minasoliman

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Iconodule said:
NicholasMyra said:
The young fogey said:
How do we get to points in our lives where the above quote makes any sort of sense, smh
I know the Orthodox don't accept it, so for example I don't say I'm Orthodox.
I mean the thought of "participating in the east/west" is bizarre, regardless of denomination.
I like participating in Italy when I order pizza.
I like participating right smack dab in the middle of the east when I have my kababs!
 

Serge

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Well, but you were always very reluctant to let your Westernness go, this is obvious from following you up.
This lets the cat out of the bag: to be in the putative true church you have to stop being Western, adopting a foreign phronema. I think I understand the phronema, so I explain the sacramentology as I know it (in which our baptisms aren't valid in themselves; they have to be validated by becoming Orthodox but never mind; just receive through baptism), not as I might like it. And I say no to that phronema.

As has been proven many, many times, the Catholic church allows both divorce and contraception, just under the veil of sophistry.
The Episcopalians, who now have same-sex weddings, say the same regarding gay Catholics and gay Orthodox alike.

I mean the thought of "participating in the east/west" is bizarre, regardless of denomination.
I get it but maintain just as Westerners can be called to move east, one can be functionally biritual. I've gotten flak about this from well-meaning Eastern Catholics who defend their church homes from dilettantes playing with religion; it's true that a rite should be a home, not a playground. For me it's like being born in one country and living there, but having lived in another for a long time and keeping a literal second home there.

I'm going to pass on addressing "divorce and remarriage" because there's no point.  If you concede it is pre-schism (and, I would add, not schism-provoking in all that time) but reject it because you don't like it, that's hardly a dogmatic issue.  If anything, it's "discipline and culture". 

Latin chauvinism.
No. Logic. Non-contradiction.

Until fairly recently (e.g., Vatican II), Catholic doctrine regarding the "Eastern schismatics" may have regarded them as having a real priesthood and real sacraments, but the lack of communion/submission to Rome meant that each time ordinations or other priestly acts were performed they were all schismatic acts, and as such at least gravely illicit and causing participants to be guilty of mortal sin, which means that every new performance also added sacrilege to the list of committed sins.
Similar to what I understand the traditional Catholic view is but not quite. Here you allude to the truth that while we believe Orthodox bishops are real, we don't believe Orthodox clergy normally have jurisdiction (they do in an emergency so a dying Catholic may ask an Orthodox priest for the sacraments if there is no Catholic priest). We can't say if anyone is in mortal sin. Mortal sin consists of grave matter (such as setting up altar against altar, against the church's lawful bishops), sufficient reflection, and full consent of the will. I don't say that born Orthodox, acting in good faith, are personally guilty of schism (reflection and the will aren't involved). That squares with our doctrine, and if it doesn't agree with traditionalist opinion, I don't care. If something one has done involves grave matter, we require absolution in case there is mortal sin.

Catholics would have described our rejection of Filioque as heretical (in fact, some RC apologists on this forum have done so, which suggests this is still an acceptable view in your Church).
 

They don't speak for the church. We have never declared the Orthodox heretics because the Orthodox have never dogmatized anything heretical.

If you follow certain "conservative/traditional" Catholic circles...
I share their practice but don't care what they think; I only care about the gospel and our doctrine.

It is disingenuous for you to paint us as bigots.
There are Eastern Catholics who are entirely unlatinized. Where are the unbyzantinized WRO? In theory they're entirely possible and would impress me.

Right. And it's a pretty weird line of argument, as if sacramental liberality were a mark of the true church. If that were the case, we should all be Methodists or something.
Ha ha; yes. That's not an end in itself. If I wanted high liturgics and high theology but open Communion with all Christians I'd still be an Episcopalian; they do that now.
 

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The young fogey said:
You see the true church; I see something petty that doesn't consider my baptism valid in itself because we are of a different culture when we are really the same faith.
It's not the same faith. You know very well what Orthodox Christians say about RC doctrine.
Also, Christ himself said that we should know them by their fruits. Guitar and clown masses are not fruits of the same faith, I am sorry.
 

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Gorazd said:
You know very well what Orthodox Christians say about RC doctrine.
Right, so I'm not Orthodox.

Gorazd said:
Also, Christ himself said that we should know them by their fruits. Guitar and clown masses are not fruits of the same faith, I am sorry.
That's confusing culture with doctrine. I don't want guitars but don't mind if someone else does, as long as he accepts our teachings and doesn't try to take my forms of worship away. Clown Masses are an overused, outdated synecdoche for liturgical abuse.
 

augustin717

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Gorazd said:
The young fogey said:
You see the true church; I see something petty that doesn't consider my baptism valid in itself because we are of a different culture when we are really the same faith.
It's not the same faith. You know very well what Orthodox Christians say about RC doctrine.
Also, Christ himself said that we should know them by their fruits. Guitar and clown masses are not fruits of the same faith, I am sorry.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=__atHXt2SDg
 

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augustin717 said:
Gorazd said:
The young fogey said:
You see the true church; I see something petty that doesn't consider my baptism valid in itself because we are of a different culture when we are really the same faith.
It's not the same faith. You know very well what Orthodox Christians say about RC doctrine.
Also, Christ himself said that we should know them by their fruits. Guitar and clown masses are not fruits of the same faith, I am sorry.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=__atHXt2SDg
LOL what on earth is this? A reenactment of Christ entering into Jerusalem?
 

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The young fogey said:
That's confusing culture with doctrine. I don't want guitars but don't mind if someone else does, as long as he accepts our teachings and doesn't try to take my forms of worship away. Clown Masses are an overused, outdated synecdoche for liturgical abuse.
My point is that having the right faith is inseparable from right worship. As you know, the Greek term can mean both.

If Roman Catholicism had the right faith, there wouldn't be such a universality of liturgical abuse. There would be a sense of holiness instead.
And whereas clown masses may be "overused", I can say that a majority of NOMs I have been to omitted the creed or replaced it by a song that merely confessed a general belief in God, rather than the specific points of faith that matter. Only a minority of NOMs I saw contained a creed, usually the so-called Apostles' creed.
 

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The young fogey said:
In another thread one of the many converts in this forum was being kind saying that losing your faith in your birth church and in God as it understands him is painful. I just wanted to say I've done that.
No, you haven't. You seem rather proud of your baptism in the church of John Shelby Spong and Gene Robinson, and your real issue with Orthodoxy seems to be that we consider that one to be somewhat incomplete.
 

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I feel about Episcopalianism largely how many of the former Catholics on this board say they feel about Catholicism. I'm grateful for what it gave me, including a real baptism, but it has none of my support; I don't follow its current doings.
 

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The young fogey said:
I feel about Episcopalianism largely how many of the former Catholics on this board say they feel about Catholicism. I'm grateful for what it gave me, including a real baptism, but it has none of my support; I don't follow its current doings.
Why is it so important for you to consider that Episcopalianism gives real baptisms?
 

augustin717

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RobS said:
augustin717 said:
Gorazd said:
The young fogey said:
You see the true church; I see something petty that doesn't consider my baptism valid in itself because we are of a different culture when we are really the same faith.
It's not the same faith. You know very well what Orthodox Christians say about RC doctrine.
Also, Christ himself said that we should know them by their fruits. Guitar and clown masses are not fruits of the same faith, I am sorry.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=__atHXt2SDg
LOL what on earth is this? A reenactment of Christ entering into Jerusalem?
The faith once delivered to the saints.
Jesus rode in a donkey not on an apostle.
 

Alpha60

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minasoliman said:
Iconodule said:
NicholasMyra said:
The young fogey said:
How do we get to points in our lives where the above quote makes any sort of sense, smh
I know the Orthodox don't accept it, so for example I don't say I'm Orthodox.
I mean the thought of "participating in the east/west" is bizarre, regardless of denomination.
I like participating in Italy when I order pizza.
I like participating right smack dab in the middle of the east when I have my kababs!
Indeed, in my experience, zereshk polo with a side of tadiq, and with doogh as your drink, a Persian kebab preparation, is best, which I suppose by this peculiar argument would lead to the alarming suggestion that I routinely and with gusto participate in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
 

Serge

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It's logical, Gorazd. The church accepts any baptism with the right matter, form, and intent (to do what the church does), no matter who does it. My feelings about the Episcopal Church, whatever they may be, don't come into it.

Careful, Alpha60. I thought you were ignoring me. Talking about me is the same as talking to me. Before you know it, you'll be considering Catholicism. Seriously, I was expecting this. I know the Orthodox don't accept what I do, just like they don't accept canonical Byzantine Catholics.
 

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The young fogey said:
The church accepts any baptism with the right matter, form, and intent (to do what the church does), no matter who does it.
Sounds like a cooking recipe. This is what I meant be wrong phronima. How can an act of the Church be done outside the Church? For Rome, TEC is not even a church body, as per Apostolicae curae (1896).

But anyway, my question was not why Roman Catholic theology considers it to be valid, but what makes it so important to you to believe in this. I really feel that what you like most about Rome is that they believe you to have been fully and validly baptized as a child. Why is it so hard to accept that baptism is an act of the Church and its fullness must thus happen within the Church?
 

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Sounds like a cooking recipe. This is what I meant by wrong phronema. How can an act of the Church be done outside the Church? For Rome, TEC is not even a church body, as per Apostolicae curae (1896).
God founded the church but isn't limited to it. There's a similar saying by an Orthodox popular with some, that we know where the church is but can't say where it isn't. A lot like Vatican II: the church "subsists in" the Catholic Church but others, born outside, are connected to it by varying degrees.

Your intent to do what the church does is why we accept your orders and your Eucharist but not the Anglicans'.

But anyway, my question was not why Roman Catholic theology considers it to be valid, but what makes it so important to you to believe in this. I really feel that what you like most about Rome is that they believe you to have been fully and validly baptized as a child. Why is it so hard to accept that baptism is an act of the Church and its fullness must thus happen within the Church?
That the Catholic Church recognizes the Episcopal Church's baptisms isn't the main reason I'm Catholic. The reason is it has everything good the Orthodox have (the doctrine of the first seven councils, sacraments and sacramentals such as images, a traditional liturgy, and ascesis) plus it's not limited to one set of cultures and it makes sense; it took the best of Aristotle and explained the faith of the Jews completed by Christ. As a Catholic you can live entirely like the Orthodox if you want to (I don't and don't claim to, but have a foot standing in that); you can't really live like a Western Catholic as an Orthodox. The AWRV comes close. I like them but understand the Orthodox' suspicion of all that post-schism Catholic stuff. ROCOR's WR had potential to be a sort of early-medieval, truly Western but nonpapal thing but ROCOR's Russian chauvinism (hardwired into ROCOR's culture; it is by nature a Russian-exile church) did it in, worsened by enthusiastic, well-meaning converts russifying, betraying the words of John of Shanghai and San Francisco: "you don't have to become foreign to become Orthodox," but everybody who becomes Orthodox pretends to be foreign to some degree. I participate in the culture too but don't feel compelled to disown my own as heresy, so I say I'm not pretending. That's why I'm Catholic.

The Protestant view of the church is too broad and ultimately self-refuting (mainline denominations having intercommunion); the Orthodox too narrow. Catholicism makes sense.
 

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The young fogey said:
The Protestant view of the church is too broad and ultimately self-refuting (mainline denominations having intercommunion); the Orthodox too narrow. Catholicism makes sense.
 

Serge

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Not our teachings and not the rules of the new Mass. An abuse. There's inculturation and there are syncretism and indifferentism. This looks like the latter.
 

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The young fogey said:
but everybody who becomes Orthodox pretends to be foreign to some degree.
I'm curious about ways someone like me, a convert, may be pretending to be foreign? By way of background, I was raised Lutheran, becoming Orthodox about six years ago. My family heritage is Scandinavian. I do enjoy learning common phrases like "Lord, have mercy" or "Christ is Risen" in as many languages as I can and I certainly enjoy the great variety of foods from all over the world that show up at my parish's coffee hour. What led me to convert, however, is just how thoroughly the message of the Gospel permeates every service in a way that I had not experienced anywhere else (the food and the cultural stuff was a pleasant bonus).
 
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