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Reunion amongst Orthodox & non-Orthodox Eastern Christians

Linus7

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countrymouse said:
Right, I forgot, it's all Luther's fault. Wow, was he ever amazing! He managed to ruin things even before he was born!
Well, the verse you quoted was not meant as the negation of all authority, but rather as a counsel to kindness, humility, and service.

And it was seriously overused and misapplied during the Reformation, just as it is today whenever anyone uses it as a prooftext to deny the authority of bishops.

I did not mention Luther. I would not do such a thing so early in the morning.
 

Linus7

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+æ-ü+¦-â-ä+++¦+++«-é said:
I am not going to argue with you Linus7. You know well from the past threads I allow a special place to Rome - a place never held the same everywhere as the by everyone, but a special primacy nonetheless. But in no way was that early 'honor', 'role', 'job', 'duty', or whatever one wants to call it the same as what the popes began to assert in the 5th century and which assertions sundered the Church by the 9th in reality.

Demetri
Okay. I know you are familiar with Church history, and we have been through the whole papacy thing many times before.

I do disagree with you about one thing: I don't think the fifth century popes were saying or doing anything out of line.

The problems started later, in my opinion.




 

countrymouse

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Linus7 said:
Well, the verse you quoted was not meant as the negation of all authority, but rather as a counsel to kindness, humility, and service.

And it was seriously overused and misapplied during the Reformation, just as it is today whenever anyone uses it as a prooftext to deny the authority of bishops.

I did not mention Luther. I would not do such a thing so early in the morning.
Well, Linus, I'm not using it as a prooftext to deny the authority of bishops. Jesus clearly gave St. Peter the keys, but if we want to know how his successors should wield that authority, all we have to do is look at St. Peter's example in the Acts of the Apostles.

Let me share with you a little story I heard. There was a tourist visiting the British Isles who had to stop along the road for a herd of sheep to cross. He noticed that the man herding the sheep was behind the flock, shouting and hitting them with a stick. He got out of the car and commented to the man, "I though that shepherds led the sheep." The man replied, "I'm not the shepherd, I'm the butcher!"

With that, I'm out of the discussion. Carry on.
 

Mor Ephrem

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Linus7 said:
St. Athanasius was probably a Roman citizen; at the very least he lived within the confines of the Roman Empire. It is inaccurate to say he was not under Roman authority.
I think what Stavro meant was that Athanasius was never under papal authority; he wasn't talking about civil Roman authority.

Liberius was no Arian.

And St. Athanasius was no Monophysite either.
Some time ago, you accused Peter Farrington of introducing negative ideas regarding Chalcedon into threads in which they had no relevance to the topic at hand (the one about Orthodoxy in Britain comes to mind), but here you are introducing "Monophysitism" into a thread which has nothing to do with it, and in response to a poster who replied discussing Arianism and Saint Athanasius only; since it wasn't brought up in this thread until now, and since you addressed it to a Copt whom you regard as a Monophysite heretic, I am having a hard time seeing your remark as anything other than a jab taken when you felt the opportunity presented itself. You are free to believe that Oriental Orthodox are heretics, but I really think your problem with them is becoming unhealthy.
 

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Linus7 said:
Okay. I know you are familiar with Church history, and we have been through the whole papacy thing many times before.

I do disagree with you about one thing: I don't think the fifth century popes were saying or doing anything out of line.

The problems started later, in my opinion.
No disagreement here. 476 marked a finite point in history when all of mainland 'Italy' including Rome had been overrun by Arians, the See of Rome was a captive see (We, Greeks, Arabs, AND Slavs know what that's like) and Rome was in danger of becoming a rump or minor see. So it marks the beginning as I stated. When Justinian recovered Rome the problems began between the Pope and The Emperor (not necessarily the Bishop of Constantinople who was however used too often by the emperor against Rome). It was Rome's issues with the imperial throne that were the catalyst for it's efforts at seeking power - both temporal and clerical - to the detriment of the undivided Church.

Demetri
 

Linus7

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Mor Ephrem said:
I think what Stavro meant was that Athanasius was never under papal authority; he wasn't talking about civil Roman authority. Some time ago, you accused Peter Farrington of introducing negative ideas regarding Chalcedon into threads in which they had no relevance to the topic at hand (the one about Orthodoxy in Britain comes to mind), but here you are introducing "Monophysitism" into a thread which has nothing to do with it, and in response to a poster who replied discussing Arianism and Saint Athanasius only; since it wasn't brought up in this thread until now, and since you addressed it to a Copt whom you regard as a Monophysite heretic, I am having a hard time seeing your remark as anything other than a jab taken when you felt the opportunity presented itself. You are free to believe that Oriental Orthodox are heretics, but I really think your problem with them is becoming unhealthy.
Well, if you read Stavro's post again, you will see that he was responding to a remark about Monophysitism and Arianism (a remark, BTW, not made by me). He cited St. Athanasius as an example of a champion of Nicene orthodoxy (which he was) who came from Egypt and was Patriarch of Alexandria. It seemed to me he was implying that, as a resident of Egypt, St. Athanasius was a forerunner of the Non-Chalcedonian Copts.

Frankly, I think your remark about my attitude toward the so-called Oriental Orthodox is an ad hominem attack, since you say that it is becoming "unhealthy," meaning by it that I am somehow unbalanced.

Since Farrington's departure I have refrained from commenting on the whole Monophysite thing.

I don't have "a problem" with the so-called Oriental Orthodox except when they post partisan falsehood and no one else answers it.

Let me know when it is no longer okay here to assert that St. Athanasius was not a Monophysite.

One more comment: when I was engaged in debate with Farrington and some of the other Non-Chalcedonians I and at least one other person noticed their penchant for personal attacks.

Most unhealthy.
 

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The Caffeinator writes:

[Your post doesn't answer why time after time, the east looked to Rome for "clarifications."]


Reply: When the RCC was still in union with the OCC, our churches did consider the Roman Church to have a position of primacy. But what kind of primacy? The Church, east and west did not consider the pope to be ruler of the universal church.

--------
(*) Canon 4 of the Council of Sardica decided that any bishop deposed by a synod of his own province has a right to appeal to Rome, who will judge and render a decision. But beyond this, the Church never considered the pope's jurisdiction (his authority to govern and legislate) to extend into the east. He did not have any power to interfere in the internal affairs of the other churches. The pope in the early centuries was considered primus inter pares (first amongst equals) in relation to the other patriarchs. Until the late 7th century nothing more than this type of primacy was claimed by the popes.

----------
A pope could not summon Ecumenical Councils (which alone decided controversies); he had to petition the emporer to do so. It was not the pope's right to preside over them in person or by a representative. The pope's signature was not required to validate their decrees. Councils regarded as ecumenical (binding) by East and West alike, were convened and issued their degrees without submitting them to the supreme or final approval of the pope.

In the earliest years there were three controversaries between Churches (one about Easter [Pascha], one about heretical baptism, and one other) in which the popes were unable to carry out their own will and practice, and the othere Churches kept their different usage without its leading to any permanent division. The pope's authority did not extend beyond his own territory, and certainly not into the East. The early Church COULD NOT have considered the pope's authority to extend over all the world; otherwise the wordlwide Church would not have decided at its (**) council of Chalcedon (canon 28) to recognize Constantinople as a patriarchate of the highest level, second to Rome in rank but EQUAL TO ROME IN RIGHTS. (The Council explicity says it recognizes these two positions only because Rome, and later Constantinople, was the capital of the Roman empire.

=========================

Canons of The Orthodox Church -

http://aggreen.net/canons/canons.html

(*)

Sardica was the first synod which asserted, in some sense, Roman primacy in the Church

(Greek Verion)

BISHOP HOSIUS said: Decreed, that if any bishop is accused, and the bishops of the same region assemble and depose him from his office, and he appealing, so to speak, takes refuge with the most blessed bishop of the Roman church, and he be willing to give him a hearing, and think it right to renew the examination of his case, let him be pleased to write to those fellow-bishops who are nearest the province that they may examine the particulars with care and accuracy and give their votes on the matter in accordance with the word of truth. And if any one require that his case be heard yet again, and at his request it seem good to move the bishop of Rome to send presbyters a latere, let it be in the power of that bishop, according as he judges it to be good and decides it to be right--that some be sent to be judges with the bishops and invested with his authority by whom they were sent. And be this also ordained. But if he think that the bishops are sufficient for the examination and decision of the matter let him do what shall seem good in his most prudent judgment.

The bishops answered: What has been said is approved.

(Latin Version)

BISHOP HOSIUS said: Further decreed, that if a bishop is accused, and the bishops of that region assemble and depose him from his office, if he who has been deposed shall appeal and take refuge with the bishop of the Roman church and wishes to be given a hearing, if he think it right that the trial or examination of his case be renewed, let him be pleased to write to those bishops who are in an adjacent and neighbouring province, that they may diligently inquire into all the particulars and decide according to the word of truth. But if he who asks to have his case reheard, shall by his entreaty move the Bishop of Rome to send a presbyter a latere it shall be in the power of that bishop to do what he shall resolve and determine upon; and if he shall decide that some be sent, who shall be present and be judges with the bishops invested with his authority by whom they were appointed, it shall be as he shall choose. But if he believe that the bishops suffice to give a final decision, he shall do what he shall termine upon in his most wise judgment.


selected from Henry R. Percival, ed.,The Seven Ecumenical Councils of the Undivided Church, Vol XIV of Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers, 2nd series, edd. Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, (repr. Edinburgh: T&T Clark; Grand Rapids MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1988) p. 419

----------

(**)

The bishop of New Rome shall enjoy THE SAME HONOR as the bishop of Old Rome ON ACCOUNT OF THE REMOVAL OF THE EMPIRE. For this reason the Metropolitans of Pontus, of Asia, and of Thrace, as well as the barbarian bishops shall be ordained by the bishop of Constantinople.

==========

I have read the following claim in both RC sites as well as its sui juris churches -

"The pope has consistly asked the Orthodox how they would perceive his role in a reunited church and THE ORTHODOX FAIL TO RESPOND!"

Nothing could be further from the truth. We Orthodox Catholics have consistently responded to the pope on this matter. From a book called 'Orthodoxy In Conversation - Orthodox Ecumenical Engagements' by Emmaneul Clapsis here is the Orthodox response for all to read:

++++++++++

Based on Christian tradition, it is possible to affirm the validity of the church of Rome's claim of universal primacy. Orthodox theology, however, objects to the identification of this primacy as "supreme power" transforming Rome into the principium radix et origio of the unity of the Church and the Church itself. The Church from the first days of its existence undeniably possesed an ecumenical centre of unity and agreement. In the apostolic and judeao-Christian period this centre of first the church of Jerusalem and later the church of Rome --"presiding in Agape" according to St Ignatios of Antioch. FOR THE ORTHODOX, THE ESSENCE AND PURPOSE OF THIS PRIMACY IS TO EXPRESS AND PRESERVE THE UNANIMINTY OF ALL CHURCHES: TO KEEP THEM FROM ISOLATING THEMSELVES INTO ECCLESIASTICAL PROVINCIALISM,LOSING THE CATHOLICITY, SEPARATING THEMSELVES FROM THE UNITY OF LIFE. IT MEANS ULTIMATELY TO ASSUME THE CARE, THE SOLLICITUDO OF THE CHURCHES SO THAT EACH ONE OF THEM CAN ABIDE IN THAT FULLNESS WHICH IS ALWAYS PART OF THAT WHOLE CATHOLIC TRADITION AND NOT ANY ONE "PART" OF IT.

{THE IDEA OF PRIMACY THUS EXCLUDES THE IDEA OF JURISDICTION BUT IMPLIES THAT OF AN "ORDER" OF CHURCH WHICH DOES NOT SUBORDINATE ONE CHURCH TO ANOTHER, BUT WHAT MAKES IT POSSIBLE FOR ALL CHURCHES TO LIVE TOGETHER THIS LIFE OF ALL IN EACH AND OF EACH IN ALL.}

In summary, Orthodoxy does not reject Roman Primacy as such, but simply a particular way of understanding that primacy. WITHIN A REINTEGRATED CHRISTENDOM THE BISHOP OF ROME WILL BE CONSIDERED PRIMUS INTER PARES SERVING THE UNITY OF GOD'S CHURCH IN LOVE. HE CANNOT BE ACCEPTED AS OVER THE CHURCH AS RULER WHOSE DIAKONIA IS CONCEIVED THROUGH LEGALISTIC CATEGORIES OF POWER AND JURISDICTION. HIS AUTHORITY MUST BE UNDERSTOOD, NOT ACCORDING TO STANDARDS OF EARTHLY AUTHORITY AND DOMINATION, BUT ACCORDING TO TERMS OF LOVING MINISTRY AND HUMBLE SERVICE Matt. 20:25-27).

<snipe>

In a reintergrated Christendom, when the pope takes his place once more as primus inter parus within the Orthodox Catholic communion, THE BISHOP OF ROME WILL HAVE THE INITIATIVE TO SUMMON A SYNOD OF THE WHOLE CHURCH. THE BISHOP OF ROME WILL OF COURSE PRESIDE OVER SUCH A SYNOD AND HIS OFFICE MAY COORDINATE THE LIFE AND THE WITNESS OF THE ORTHODOX CATHOLIC CHURCH AND IN TIMES OF NEED BE ITS SPOKESMAN. THE ROLE OF ACTING AS THE VOICE OF THE CHURCH IS NOT, HOWEVER, TO BE RESTRICTED TO ANY HIERACHAL ORDER WITHIN THE CHURCH, STILL LESS TO A SINGLE SEE. IN PRINCIPLE, ANY BISHOP, PRIEST OR LAYMAN MAY BE CALLED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT TO PROCLAIM THE TRUE FAITH.

In 1974 our consultation stated: "The Church is the communion of believers living in Jesus Christ with the Father. It has its origins and prototype in the Trinity IN WHICH THERE IS BOTH DISTINCTION OF PERSONS AND UNITY BASED ON LOVE, NOT SUBORDINATION."

==========

Orthodoc



 

Brendan03

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Ach, yet another drawn out debate about old issues. My own $0.02 is:

1. The role of the Pope was the main issue in 1054 and remains the main issue in 2004. It is arguably a bigger issue today than it was then, because thanks to Vatican I/II the Catholic position has become a part of Catholic "dogma", which was simply not the case in 1054.

2. The other theological issues are less significant. Filioque? Almost solved ... if it's good enough for Bishop John Zizioulas, it's good enough for me. IC? Permitted theologoumenon, and I think that the Catholics will go for that in the context of a resolution of other issues. What else is there in terms of "dogma"? Not much, it seems. The rest could probably coexist as two separate ways of looking at the same thing, if we both could agree to be more tolerant of the other perspective and not seek to univeralize our own.

3. I think that the Orthodox model is much closer to the early church, with all due respect, Fr. Lance. In the early church it is clear that the various regional Patriarchates did not always agree and did not always get along. That is nothing new in the church. What we Orthodox have lost is the ability to resolve these differences as a practical matter ... yes, the answer is "in council", but we need someone to call the council and to chair it. Historically this was either the Pope or the Emperor, and now one is defunct and the other is outside the Orthodox communion. The EP simply does not have that legitimacy, even within Orthodoxy, as we all know. So, in a sense, we need the Pope in order for the conciliar system to work as intended ... but we need him on our own terms, on terms that are more or less equal to what his role was during the first millenium, and not in terms of how his communion views his role today. But is there a real willingness within the Catholic communion to embrace conciliarity in a true way? My own sense is that this is not the opportune time for that in Catholicism, or at least is not perceived as such by many within Catholicism for fear of what the results of that would be ... but ultimately it seems to me that the resolution of this issue will require a willingness on the part of the Orthodox to accept a real chairman role for the Pope (not a figurehead, but not papal supremacy either) combined with a willingness on the part of the Catholics to accept a real conciliarity (and not a rubber stamp process controlled by the Vatican). We will have some time to wait before this happens, but with some grace and luck it will happen, I think.

4. In the meantime we can work on issues of trust between the two communions. There is much good work being done here, but more progress needs to be made. There is much fear within Orthodoxy of the Catholic Church based on history ... fear and loathing. Many/most Catholics do not understand this and say that the Orthodox should just "get over it", or, in a more clever variant as Fr. Taft has done, point to Orthodox misdeeds and say "see, you've got bad history too, so get over it". Well, I think that in general there is much more fear and loathing on the Orthodox side about Catholicism than there is vice versa because to Catholics we are really not the problem, Protestants are the problem and so we are viewed more neutrally. The reality isk, whatever Fr. Taft and others like to point out, this psychological factor within Orthodoxy needs to be addressed by Catholicism itself, and in a way more productively than throwing Orthodox misdeeds back in the face of Orthodoxy, which is what Taft has tried to do, because ultimately that will not change the attitude of the Orthodox who reflexively fear and/or dislike Catholicism.

Brendan
 

Orthodoc

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[2. The other theological issues are less significant. Filioque? Almost solved ... if it's good enough for Bishop John Zizioulas, it's good enough for me. IC? Permitted theologoumenon, and I think that the Catholics will go for that in the context of a resolution of other issues. What else is there in terms of "dogma"? Not much, it seems. The rest could probably coexist as two separate ways of looking at the same thing, if we both could agree to be more tolerant of the other perspective and not seek to univeralize our own.]

Couldn't disagree with you more. Contrary to what Bishop Kallistos writes in his latest edition regarding the above two dogmas of the RCC, nothing could be further from the truth. He is probably the only Orthodox bishop who would agree with you (well maybe one other Ukrainian one who graduated from Yeshiva academy)!

Orthodoc
 

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Dear Brendan03:

Because of its practicality, your "solution" could be acceptable to both parties.

I am keenly interested in how you propose to flesh out the hierarchical details.

As a starting point, the Catholic communion now views our separation as a "mutual estrangement," not one in "schism" from the other, or vice versa.

Can the Orthodox "admit" such a view?

Amado
 

Brendan03

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Orthodoc --

Greetings. I think that Metr. John (Zizioulas) of Pergamon would agree with his own statements relating to the Vatican's clarification of the filioque .. where he basically said that this was almost there in terms of being acceptable, and as one of our finer theological minds alive these days, that is good enough for me. As for the IC, I think that there are others who agree with Bishop Kallistos. Have you ever read anything written by Bishop Seraphim (Sigrist) of Canada?

Brendan
 

JoeZollars

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Logic demands that if there is one true Christ, that there be one True Church. Logic demands that this Church will never have changed its officially held doctrines and would have a visible, living continuance of hte Early Church. the Orthodox Church is the only church which fulfills this.

When Rome left Orthodoxy, and it did leave, they "clarified" their doctrines into different meanings. The Orthdox Church has maintained the same positions doctrinally since the begining. Thus looking at history, it is plain to see that the Orthodox Church is the orginal deal and therefore the One True Church. Therefore the reunion will come when the Romans repent and recant and join the Orthodox Church.

just my two rubles.

Joe Zollars
 

Brendan03

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Hi Amado --

"As a starting point, the Catholic communion now views our separation as a "mutual estrangement," not one in "schism" from the other, or vice versa.

Can the Orthodox "admit" such a view?"

I think in the context of a reconcilation anything is possible. Some of the answer to your question will depend upon the resolution of other issues. If Orthodoxy can become comfortable about the Catholic theological positions on issues where they differ from Orthodox views, perhaps this kind of viewpoint would be more palatable. From the perspective of Orthodox ecclesiology, if Orthodoxy were to conclude that there is no doctrinal heresy in Catholicism, and Catholic theology were to be accepted as "orthodox" if not Byzantine, then there would be no more ecclesiological reason to continue to view Catholicism as "in schism" because the Catholic churches would each then be fully "Church" as are the Orthodox churches.

The practical issue, however, is that the Orthodox won't get to that point without a resolution of the papal issues, because while these were always issues of ecclesiology, today they are also formally issues of dogma for Catholicism and are not recognized as such by Orthodoxy. So while a part of the papal issue involves pragmatism, a part of it involves dogmatic ecclesiology as well, and until the stage is reached that the Orthodox and Catholics come to an understanding about the role of the pope in pragmatics as well as dogmatics, I don't think that the Orthodox can accept the Catholics as being of the "Church" because of the dogmatic difference.

This sounds mean as compared with the Catholic view, but I think that the Catholic view has its own limitations. In Dominus Iesus, the CDF basically clarified the Catholic view that while the Catholics accept the "churchiness" of the Orthodox Churches, that nevertheless they are not "fully" so because they do not accept all Catholic dogmas (and reference was made to the papal dogmas). So what we have is the introduction of a new ecclesiological concept ... the not-full church. Clearly, CDF was trying to grapple with the reality that Catholicism does accept Orthodoxy as the Church, but still trying to reserve the right of Catholicism to claim that all of its dogmas are both true and necessary, and that is a somewhat contradictory view, because one is free to wonder what could possibly be missing from a church that has sacramental communion with God in terms of salvific effect for its members? In other words, if the Orthodox Church is full enough to be fully in communion with God (which Catholicism seems to accept by recognition of our sacramental life), how can Catholicism say anything of importance is missing from us, or are there other things that are possibly more important than the living communion with God? So there are contradictions in the Catholic view here as well. The Orthodox view is more simple and less nuanced and is simply that until there is at least dogmatic unity we can't speak of being one church, estranged or not, because this creates ecclesiological confusion (from the Orthodox perspective).

B
 

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[As for the IC, I think that there are others who agree with Bishop Kallistos.]

Can you name a few Orthodox bishops who agree with what Bishop Kallistos writes concerning the Immaculate Conception?

[ Have you ever read anything written by Bishop Seraphim (Sigrist) of Canada?]

No I haven't. What is his take on the two Roman Catholic dogmas you reference?

Orthodoc
 

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Hi Orthodoc --

I will look when I have access to my books at home. I do believe that the good Bishop Kallistos is not a loner in his views, even if he has chosen to be more public about them than others may have.

As for Bishop Seraphim, I will dust off his volume "Theology of Wonder" ... I do not think that he directly addresses the dogmatic issues, but his views expressed there transcend them. I'll try to remember to look at the book later today.

B
 

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Brilliant, simply brilliant discussion, I will drink to this very enlightening thread.

Speaking for myself, of course.

james
 

Mor Ephrem

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Linus7 said:
Well, if you read Stavro's post again, you will see that he was responding to a remark about Monophysitism and Arianism (a remark, BTW, not made by me). He cited St. Athanasius as an example of a champion of Nicene orthodoxy (which he was) who came from Egypt and was Patriarch of Alexandria. It seemed to me he was implying that, as a resident of Egypt, St. Athanasius was a forerunner of the Non-Chalcedonian Copts.
Dear Linus,

I've taken your advice and re-read Stavro's original post. It is true he was responding to a remark about both Monophysitism and Arianism that wasn't made by you. It is true that Saint Athanasius, Pope of Alexandria was a champion of Orthodoxy. What I cannot understand is how from these things you can draw the conclusion that Stavro "was implying that, as a resident of Egypt, St. Athanasius was a forerunner of the Non-Chalcedonian Copts." I personally don't see anything in his post that I think would lead to that sort of conclusion.

Frankly, I think your remark about my attitude toward the so-called Oriental Orthodox is an ad hominem attack, since you say that it is becoming "unhealthy," meaning by it that I am somehow unbalanced.
I would like to apologise if you thought my remarks were a personal attack. They're not.

Let me know when it is no longer okay here to assert that St. Athanasius was not a Monophysite.
It is fine to assert that he was not a Monophysite. I just question the relevance of mentioning that when it is not being discussed. I would think it strange if someone posted a remark like "We all know that St. Athanasius defended the Orthodox faith with great power against the Arian heretics plaguing the Church: and he certainly wasn't Korean."

One more comment: when I was engaged in debate with Farrington and some of the other Non-Chalcedonians I and at least one other person noticed their penchant for personal attacks.

Most unhealthy.
I think the whole discussion got most unhealthy after a while because on both sides, there were people who forgot how to discuss things as Christians.
 

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I think the whole discussion got most unhealthy after a while because on both sides, there were people who forgot how to discuss things as Christians.

Since the majority of the forum is fasting, I have taken it upon myself to taste, sample and drink for those who cannot partake (fasting) as my penance.

The quote from Phil is indeed worth a ounce of Patron.

james :p
 

Linus7

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Mor Ephrem: It is fine to assert that he was not a Monophysite. I just question the relevance of mentioning that when it is not being discussed. I would think it strange if someone posted a remark like "We all know that St. Athanasius defended the Orthodox faith with great power against the Arian heretics plaguing the Church: and he certainly wasn't Korean."
Not a valid analogy.

Stavro was responding to a remark about Arians and Monophysites. He belongs to a group which stems from those who, rightly or wrongly, received the latter apellation, a group which regularly claims Sts. Athanasius and Cyril as its own.

He cited St. Athanasius as a champion of Orthodoxy against the Arians, without addressing the Monophysite portion of the remark.

The implication was clear: St. Athanasius was a Copt like us, and he opposed the Arians, so don't class us with them.

My reply was not even remotely like your Korean example above.

Mor Ephrem: I think the whole discussion got most unhealthy after a while because on both sides, there were people who forgot how to discuss things as Christians.
I did not engage in the same sorts of ad hominem attacks that were inflicted on me.

I argue history and doctrine, not personalities.

As I said before, since Farrington's departure, I have not pursued discussions on the NC forum.

In this case I likewise did not begin the discussion of Monophysitism, nor is the post to which you referred primarily about Monophysitism (it's not about Monophysitism at all really); it is primarily about St. Athanasius' appeal to Pope Julius for succor and about the difficulties of Pope Liberius.

Since most of the Non-Chalcedonians I have encountered here maintain that they are not Monophysites, why should my comment that St. Athanasius was not a Monophysite bother anyone?





 

Stavro

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You are not trying to assert some sort of Alexandrian primacy, are you?
Search for Primacy is pure Chalcedonian.
We follow the Lord Jesus Christ who taught us to be humble.

Yet, should the Orthodox Faith be threatened, like in the case of Eusebius of Necodemia and later Patriarch of Constantinople, or Macedonius , Patriarch of Constantinople, or Nestorios, Patriarch Of Constantinople, the christian world was calling upon the ALexadrian Fathers like St.Athanasius, St.Cyril and the greatest theologian of the World to fight the heathen.
We kept the Church christian.
"Celestine who played a support role to St.Cyril" ?
Yes. Blessed Celestine is praised for his role in support of Pope Cyril, in the time Rome was Orthodox.
St. Cyril appealed to Pope Celestine in his dispute with Nestorius and acted as Celestine's representative at the Council of Ephesus.
St.Cyril was Pope of Alexandria and acted as the Chair of the Coucil, presenting the Coptic Orthodox Church and personifying the Whole Orthodox Church.
The only difference in Rome's position was its Orthodoxy, so St.Cyril acted on the behalf of Rome as well, but not as subordinate to Rome.
The fundamental teachings about Primacy began with Leo.
Pope Liberius never "succumbed to Arianism." He signed a compromise document that is no longer extant, but which was probably semi-Arian at worst, containing the compromise term homoiousios - "of like substance" - and capable of Nicene interpretation.
Nicea was about confirming the divinity of Christ, and a phrase denying the divinity or a word, even close in pronouciation but very far from confirming this truth, is rejected. and not capable of interpretation by Nicea.
Give your audience some credit.
Liberius was no Arian.
;D ;D :). Again, he is caught in the same state of contradiction. Signing an arian document but not being Arian ???
St. Athanasius himself sought common cause with the so-called semi-Arians, those conservatives who disliked Arianism but were hesitant to adopt the term homoousios.
Bring them back to Orthodoxy, yes. Compromise, no, never and will never happen on part of the Coptic Orthodox Church and its Non-CHalcedonian sister churches.
In your zeal to tarnish the Coptic Orthodox Church reputation, and maybe the whole Coptic Race, and downplay its role in history, you should at least save St.Athanasius from your remarks. In current day christian world, only the Jehova Witness and Advantists would make such remarks against St.Athanasius the Apostolic. Don;t know which church you follow , so can't judge.
St. Athanasius and other trinitarians had to flee to Pope Julius of Rome for protection when the apparent majority of the bishops of the East, ever eager to please their emperor, went Arian.
Pope St.Athanasius went to Rome , true, and that is why blessed Julius is to be highly praised for his role in supporting St.Athanasius.
In his stay in Rome, Rome was fascinated by St.Athanasius and St.Ammounius, his disciple, who was asked to be Bishop in Italy, and Rome got to know about St.Anthony and monastisicm, a Copt in case you don't know.
We praise Blessed Julius, Bishop of Rome, for his role which brought Rome face to face with St.Athanasius and the fruits of this blessed visit to Rome.
And St. Athanasius was no Monophysite either.
No, he was not, nor was he Chalcedonian or Nestorian.

Peace,
Stavro
 

Stavro

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Peace Mor Ephrem,
I think what Stavro meant was that Athanasius was never under papal authority; he wasn't talking about civil Roman authority.
Exactly,and thanks for clarifying on my behalf.
You are free to believe that Oriental Orthodox are heretics, but I really think your problem with them is becoming unhealthy.
Maybe just too Nestorian to understand Orthodoxy.

Peace,
Stavro
 

Stavro

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you will see that he was responding to a remark about Monophysitism and Arianism (a remark, BTW, not made by me).
The whole intention behind posting in this forum was to clarify the fact the St.Athanasius is the one who should be given credit, with the grace of God, for fighting Arianism.
As such, I used a quote by RomanByzantine. Not to misquote him, I brought the whole sentence and addressed the issue I wanted.

If you want to discuss Monophysism, you are most welcome, but I wonder whether you educated yourself on the subject. You could not produce one single acceptable argument in our last discussion about the subject when you tried to accuse Non-Chalcedonian of Monophysism and you resorted to intimidation techniques.

Peace,
Stavro

 

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Stavro was responding to a remark about Arians and Monophysites. He belongs to a group which stems from those who, rightly or wrongly, received the latter apellation, a group which regularly claims Sts. Athanasius and Cyril as its own.
St.Athanasius and St.Cyril are our own, because they were our Popes, our champions of Faith and simply, Coptic by Race and Alexandrian by education.
But most importantly, and that is why all Non-Chalcedonian can claim them as their Fathers, is because they confirmed the Orthodox Faith.
The implication was clear: St. Athanasius was a Copt like us, and he opposed the Arians, so don't class us with them.
Pretty clever conclusion.... ;D ;D.
We don't have to answer to Arianism. Those who accuse St.Athanasius with semi-Arianism are the one who have to answer for it.

Peace,
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Caffeinator,

I have a question for Orthodox on this board, and I present it with humility and respect. If the Eastern Orthodox Church is infallible, why did EOx bishops look to Rome to save them from heresy after heresy? If the Holy Father was only first among equals, why call on him to settle disputes? And it is not his role only, but the result of his primacy that needs to be analyzed. EOxy would be in hot water were it not for papal clarifications! (as we so love to call them).
Before getting into the question of whether or not the ancient Eastern Churches were Roman dependencies (which is the current ecclessiastical framework of the Roman Catholic Church, and which up until recently, it has insisted upon for the East as well), I think it needs to be said that this is an extremely anachronistic view of early (first millenium) Christendom. Even Rome wasn't this "Roman"/Popish, nor was western Christendom, during the period we're discussing. There were no "directives from above", received without question, that could settle doctrinal controversies - that phenomenon did not even becoming a reality in the west until the centuries after the schism.

Let us take the issue of Chalcedon you bring up. It is true, St.Leo (Pope of Rome) sent a letter via his legates to the Council, which stated Rome's position. This letter would prove decisive to the victory of Orthodoxy at the Council. I can see how this, without further elaboration, could be taken as a support for later, more explicit Papal claims.

The problem of course, is that you'd have to leave out a lot of the story, to come to that "pro-Papal" conclusion. While there is little doubt that Rome by this time had aggrandized claims which were met with mixed responses throughout the rest of Christendom (more favourably in the west; in the east, they tended to be received in what I hate to admit was a rather pragmatic way - if the Pope was being helpful, he was honoured with the floral praises Byzantium became famous for), the question is not so much what Rome was increasingly thinking of herself, but how others understood the matter.

It is instructive to note that the Tome of Leo was only accepted by the Council after much debate. There were no illusions on the part of the Council Fathers, that the text was simply to be received with docility - yet this is the position of modern RCC regarding the papal magisterium. In short, St.Leo would be held as a champion, because he was right - the Council Fathers found his articulation sound, and stuck to it.

Furthermore, I believe that the biblical basis for the doctrine of Papal Infallibility was ALWAYS taught.
Always taught? I think that's over stating the case, since it was still a much debated theologenum in the west well after the schism.

Perhaps this is simply because I can't imagine it being taught any other way. Can you show me a concensus of Western fathers who believed that the revelant passages were to be interpretted another way? If so, what was the concensus?
I'll admit I don't have the time or interest to delve into an indepth patristic study on this issue. However, I do know that the consensus of the Fathers in general is that "key passages" like St.Matthew chapter 16 refer primarily to the faith of St.Peter (Orthodox faith), with the idea of it signalling a unique Papal dynasty being a much later (and uniquely western) idea.

The closest the East comes to a "pro Papal" view, is in symbolic/iconographic terms. The Apocalypse of St.John portrays the Holy Apostles as being the pillars of the Heavenly Jerusalem; thus they are a spiritual presence/reality limited not simply to one limited historical period (first century A.D.), but an enduring one. With that said, the episcopate (descending from the Apostles) as a whole embodies these Twelve - given this, it's not much of a stretch to argue for the pre-eminance, and "firstness" (this is how the Scriptures describe St.Peter - "the first") for one of these Bishops, when speaking on a global, pan-Orthodox level. That kind of thinking is what has guided Eastern Christian conduct in general - whether it be one of a body of local Bishops presiding under some arch-pastoral title (ex. Metropolitan), or later Patriarchal titles. Given this, when the east lauded Orthodox Latin Popes as being "Petrine", they had something very different in mind than what it appears the Romans themselves would eventually formulate (though admittedly, that "dynastic Petrine descent" idea began to appear in Rome by the late fourth century - though it's conspicuously absent from anything coming out of Rome in the earliest period, such as the Epistle of St.Clement.)

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Caffeinator,

Where is all this in the Fathers? This no-popery theology is pretty elaborate...surely it is in there somewhere?
It is a little much to expect a full fledged apology against something which did not in fact exist in the early Christian age (full fledged "Papism".) Indeed, it wasn't until the close of the first millenium, that you find Eastern Christendom becoming truly aware of just how different a place Western Christendom was becoming in terms of faith and praxis (which explains why it is in this period you see several blow outs between Rome and Constantinople.)

What is better (though perhaps not as clearly conclusive) is to look at what the Fathers taught about ecclessiology in general. Two important figures in that discussion would be St.Ignatios (martyr) of Antioch, and St.Cyprian of Carthage. I would also recommend St.Gregory the Great (Pope of Rome), who while certainly positioning in favor of Rome's privileges, also expressed clear misgivings about the idea of an "uber Bishop", and rather taught the basic equality of all Bishops.

If you're looking for clearly "anti-Papal" views, you'll only find those towards the close of the first millenium, precisely because this had not become an issue beforehand - try the writings of St.Photios the Great for more on this.

Ultimatly ecclessiological issues/teachings boil down to the primary aim of the Church - the salvation of souls. Thus, if something is beneficial to that salvation, it can become a matter of day to day life - say, a strong, centralized Patriarchal See. The problem though, is when such a pragmatic, practical thing becomes a tool for heterodoxy; the matter becoming all the worse when it protects it's right to enforce falsehood under the guise of "divine right."

Seraphim
 
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