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Roman Catholic view of Orthodox Church

deusveritasest

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Rafa999 said:
Theodore of Mopsuestia is anathematized; I see no reason to regard those who follow him as outside of the Church.
So is Cyril and Dioscorus. Your own EO pals call Dioscorus a cursed heretic who beat a patriarch to death!
How is Cyril anathematized?

I don't recognize the EOC's decisions against Dioscorus.
 

deusveritasest

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ignatius said:
Personally, I've learned a great deal from my exposure to Orthodoxy and I am well pleased. I hope to one day enter Holy Orthodoxy but I will never don the 'orthodox team shirt' and sit around and blast the West or the Western Church.
Just as long as you understand the dogmatic divergences, there is no necessity to attack them.
 

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Rafa999 said:
What sectarian garbage. The COE views orthodoxy and RCC differences as merely political.
Unfortunately, though, from what we are reading on this thread, the Orthodox do not see things that way.
 

deusveritasest

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stanley123 said:
Rafa999 said:
What sectarian garbage. The COE views orthodoxy and RCC differences as merely political.
Unfortunately, though, from what we are reading on this thread, the Orthodox do not see things that way.
Neither the EO nor the OO for that matter.
 

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deusveritasest said:
stanley123 said:
Rafa999 said:
What sectarian garbage. The COE views orthodoxy and RCC differences as merely political.
Unfortunately, though, from what we are reading on this thread, the Orthodox do not see things that way.
Neither the EO nor the OO for that matter.
Who cares, my church which is older or founded at the same time and reads the New Testament in Jesus's language says its so.

Oriental Orthodox= founded by the Oriental Orthodox emperors of Byzantium. So who cares what the sees the Greeks control have to say. The true oriental Church of the East says everything is ok.
 

deusveritasest

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Rafa999 said:
deusveritasest said:
stanley123 said:
Rafa999 said:
What sectarian garbage. The COE views orthodoxy and RCC differences as merely political.
Unfortunately, though, from what we are reading on this thread, the Orthodox do not see things that way.
Neither the EO nor the OO for that matter.
Who cares, my church which is older or founded at the same time and reads the New Testament in Jesus's language says its so.

Oriental Orthodox= founded by the Oriental Orthodox emperors of Byzantium. So who cares what the sees the Greeks control have to say. The true oriental Church of the East says everything is ok.
You actually think anyone else here cares anywhere near as much as you what the ACE has to say?
 

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Rafa999 said:
deusveritasest said:
stanley123 said:
Rafa999 said:
What sectarian garbage. The COE views orthodoxy and RCC differences as merely political.
Unfortunately, though, from what we are reading on this thread, the Orthodox do not see things that way.
Neither the EO nor the OO for that matter.
Who cares, my church which is older or founded at the same time and reads the New Testament in Jesus's language says its so.
Are you trotting out this old canard AGAIN? ???  You keep on saying this as if it somehow proves the correctness of whatever point of view you want to advance, but you have yet to counter the evidence others have brought out to refute this.
 

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You actually think anyone else here cares anywhere near as much as you what the ACE has to say?
Yes, I absolutely do since everybody on this board knows the ACE is the only Apostolic church outside the pentarchy created by Justinian "Epiphanes". The Church with the oldest liturgy, which was once called the Nazarenes (that should tell you something), the church which according to the papacy has true jurisdiction over the entire East, the church which reads Aramaic (Jesus's language), the Church which did not participate in robber synods and allow non-Chalcedonians to tamper with scripture introducing heresies, the church which has always held to a strict rules in interpretation of scripture (plain scripture first), the church which never made anybody convert using force, and the church with the most martyrs (because it never had a Constantine to save it).


MODERATION:  Forbidden "m" word replaced with more acceptable alternative  - PtA
You've been warned before (see http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,9572.msg388515.html#msg388515) that if you use the epithet "Monophysite" again on the public boards without clarifying whom you mean to call monophysite, the forbidden term would be removed from your post and you would be given a formal warning.  Consider this your warning, which will last for the next three weeks.  Continued disregard for our policy forbidding the use of the label "Monophysite" in reference to the Oriental Orthodox on the public boards will land you on Post Moderation, a status where every one of your posts will need to be reviewed by a moderator before it will appear on the forum.

If you think this warning unfair, feel free to appeal it to [blue]Veniamin[/blue], the Global Moderator in charge of overseeing this section.  If you wish to have access to the Private Forum, where such polemical language is permitted, please send Fr. Chris a private message to request this access.

- PeterTheAleut
 

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GregoryLA said:
Thank you for the info.  That was very enlightening!  :)

I have two questions, which either you or anyone else who knows could answer perhaps. 

1) Is there really no conversion process necessary to go from Orthodox to Catholic?  No chrismation, confirmation, etc.?  Is there not even supposed to be?

2) What is AFAIC an acronym for?  Haha.  I've seen it many times but never bothered to ask.

Thanks again!
GregoryLA,

You're quite welcome.  AFAIC stands for "As Far As I'm Concerned".  As for the first question you asked in the post quoted above.......well let's step back a little bit.  From the point of view of the churches in union with Rome:

1. The liturgical life of those churches in the communion called Orthodox is as venerable as anyone else's, and through their ecclesial life expressed in the Holy Mysteries they authentically bring the God into the lives of their church (i.e. their sacraments "valid").

2. each local church (i.e. the bishop) in the communion called Orthodox is an "authentic" local church because they have established by and maintain unity with sees which can unambiguously trace their origin back to authentic churches.  Though there are other local churches the fullness of the Church is expressed in each union of bishop-clergy-people.  (i.e. they have "apostolic succession"). 

3. those who are part of a church in the communion called Orthodox may freely come and participate in the full ecclesiastical life of a church in union with Rome. 

Given the above, what would anyone need to "covert" to?  Protestants need to be chrismated because they either deny "non-biblical" sacraments or because their ecclesial communities (note I didn't call the churches) generally deny them.  The only "defect" in Orthodox churches is, as repeated in Vatican statements, they're not in union with Rome. [I happen to disagree with that view - such a statement doesn't take into account that they have IMO reasonable doubts about Rome's orthodoxy - but that's a separate issue].   

[and sorry for this long-winded "communion called Orthodox" and "church in union with Rome" stuff.  I'm writing it out longwindedly because I hope that this will make a bit more sense to you.  I don't mean, with any of these words, to question the orthodoxy of the Orthodox Church]




To give my opinion on your other question below, it would depend on what you mean by "anti-Catholic" saints.  One example: Saint Photius died in communion with Rome and I believe he was canonized when Constantinople was in union with Rome.  If the second is true, then AFAIC there's no way anyone in union with Rome can argue against his sanctity [at the time, there was no formal centralized process to discern whether someone was a saint or not the way they do it today, and the canonization process took place in the local church.  And either way, note that God and the saint always makes the saint.  The present centralization of this process in Rome is supposed to only meant to ensure that due diligence is done during the discernment process.].

Moreover, whether one is pro- or anti-Rome has no bearing on whether or not one is a saint.  A saint is merely one who after death is among the elect (i.e. someone who has "gone to heaven").  Since one can always (privately) pray to someone who you believe is in heaven, there's nothing "wrong" with praying to "anti-Catholic" saints.  And I do know of Catholics who venerate Saint Mark of Ephesus - speaking personally, I'm open to it since again one "becomes a saint" by being faithful to one's initiation into Christianity (baptism, chrismation) and struggle to live an orthodox life.  But it's not a high priority and I would prefer to do original source research on the topic, using an academically sound edition of his complete writings, before I do so. 

[side note: I don't view St. Gregory Palamas as "anti-Catholic".  Even though Barlaam, an Italo-Greek like myself, became bishop of one or another Italo-Greek see when he returned to Italy, plenty of people who could be considered heretics or nonreligious were made bishop among those churches in union with Rome back then because of the way medieval western Church-state relations were. 

The way I understand it, Barlaam -like many other intellectuals back then - argued essentially that no one can have any experience of God beyond simple factual knowledge because God's essence is unknowable.  This implies that the sacraments are meaningless, and that God cannot/will not reveal himself to you. 

I cannot swallow that idea, and I have to stand with Saint Gregory on this: God can directly reveal himself to us, not only in this sacraments but also directly to us through his "energies", his "acts", or whatever you want to call them.  I stand with the Hagioritic Tome when I say that I couldn't have communion with someone who holds the opposite position.  The Melkite Greek Catholic Church stopped venerating him in the mid-1800s, basically because of the ultramontanist tendencies which were popping up all over the Catholic Church in response to contemporary challenges, as well as because his theology were not generally understood.  Today, he's back on the 2nd Sunday in Lent (with Vatican approval for those who are concerned about such things).  I consider that to be an essential part of "Byzantine" spiritual life, and if he was kicked out the door again I'd follow him]
 

deusveritasest

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Rafa999 said:
You actually think anyone else here cares anywhere near as much as you what the ACE has to say?
Yes, I absolutely do since everybody on this board knows the ACE is the only Apostolic church outside the pentarchy created by Justinian "Epiphanes". The Church with the oldest liturgy, which was once called the Nazarenes (that should tell you something), the church which according to the papacy has true jurisdiction over the entire East, the church which reads Aramaic (Jesus's language), the Church which did not participate in robber synods and allow non-Chalcedonians to tamper with scripture introducing heresies, the church which has always held to a strict rules in interpretation of scripture (plain scripture first), the church which never made anybody convert using force, and the church with the most martyrs (because it never had a Constantine to save it).


MODERATION:  Forbidden "m" word replaced with more acceptable alternative  - PtA
That didn't really answer my question.
 

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Dear deusveritasest,
the attitude you show on this thread proves what I wrote before: that Roman Catholics are more disposed to dialogue then many Easteners (except for minor cases--- Papist shows to be more vehement then many other Catholics on this thread, but I forgive him as too zealous, as st. Peter and the Boanerges were in life). You also show too much hatred for too many Christians of different apostolic confessions. We should battle the true heresies with that zeal - and by that I mean Protestantism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormonism, and all forms of cafeteria religion and new-age relativistic hyppie pseudoreligions. Don't you see the similarities between Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodox Church? don't you see that your reasonings are boomerangs against you? You attack our brother Rafa999 for his belief in the supremacy of the Aramaic language in faith, yet you do the same in discriminating Latin in favour of Greek. God speaks to the hearts of men, and not to our ears - the barriers of language don't mean anything to God! All of us are tempted to do EXACTLY what happened at the Tower of Babel: building a common empire under one language - ours. No, God wants us to share the same faith and to proclaim it according to our languages and cultures, agreeing on what is common. We all believe in the Trinity; we all preserve the sacraments and male-only priesthood; we all acknowledge Tradition as our guide in reading the Bible; we all pray for the dead in hope for their delivery from the prison of hades (whatever we might mean by that word); we all hope in our sanctification and theosis; we all know God is our creator and bless His name even in the glory of the saints, and especially the Most Blessed Mother of our Lord, God in the flesh; we all battle in defence of life against abortion and euthanasia; we all struggle for a world purified of sexual immorality based on the sanctified Mystery of Matrimony!!! Our reciprocal battles won't help in solving the problems of this world. The more we battle each other, the more the Gospel is suffocated by the power of Satan. We should be lamps shining in darkness, but we behave like Satan in an egotistic fashion. All this destructive hatred makes me feel disgusted.

I'm sorry for this assault. You aren't the only one this critic is addressed. I have so often been a victim of this hatred myself in the past (and even now, at times, but I manage to calm myself) that I can't stand this anymore.

Forgive me for my attack, I didn't mean to offend anybody. Pray for me, the king of sinners.

In Christ,   Alex
 

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ignatius said:
AlexanderOfBergamo said:
You appear to conflate... judgment, discernment and condemnation. What do you think Judgment is? Define what you mean by it?
Judgment means to condemn somebody as sinner. Discernment, means to distinguish the good from the evil, even in the same person. Condemnation, is judgment for the wicked as inacted by God. This is my understanding, but that's linked to the fact that I translate in Italian "judgment" as "giudizio" and some words in English might sound differently in your language as it does in mine.
Good, we both agree that as Christians we are to exercise 'discernment' and that such does not 'judge' or 'condemn' but it does allow one to 'know' error in others and to avoid it in our own lives. This is good.

Far too many Christians in our own day think that when we are instructed 'not to judge' that we are actually not to exercise any discernment of other's error. Well that is clearly not the case.
I entirely agree with you. Your right. Well, we were both right XD
Anyway, in case you don't know, I've stepped back in the Roman Catholic Church, but as I made it clear, I'm the greatest appreciator of Orthodoxy and Oriental Christianity the Latin church has ever found. I don't feel both sides are so different... they should just look for a common theological language - not Greek, not Latin, not Aramaic, not Copt, not Ethiopian, not Hebrew, not any modern language, but the language of heart!

In Christ,    Alex
 

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Irish Hermit said:
deusveritasest said:
It seems that you're being sarcastic anyway.
I am following through with the comments of Papist about the extermination of heretics which he sees as a future possibility and not something in the remote past.  If the Russian State is twitchy about imposing the death penalty becasus of the EU, I am sure the Brown Shirts could be asked to take care of removing heretics.  Putin has a good relationship with them and they are dedicated to the purity of Russia, freeing it from Western influences.

Hello Fr.Ambrose  are you by any chance referring to the organization called Nashi in Russia....Id love to see a chapter of it in Serbia God willing....
 

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MarkosC said:
side note: I don't view St. Gregory Palamas as "anti-Catholic".  Even though Barlaam, an Italo-Greek like myself, became bishop of one or another Italo-Greek see when he returned to Italy, plenty of people who could be considered heretics or nonreligious were made bishop among those churches in union with Rome back then because of the way medieval western Church-state relations were. 

The way I understand it, Barlaam -like many other intellectuals back then - argued essentially that no one can have any experience of God beyond simple factual knowledge because God's essence is unknowable.  This implies that the sacraments are meaningless, and that God cannot/will not reveal himself to you. 

I cannot swallow that idea, and I have to stand with Saint Gregory on this: God can directly reveal himself to us, not only in this sacraments but also directly to us through his "energies", his "acts", or whatever you want to call them.  I stand with the Hagioritic Tome when I say that I couldn't have communion with someone who holds the opposite position.  The Melkite Greek Catholic Church stopped venerating him in the mid-1800s, basically because of the ultramontanist tendencies which were popping up all over the Catholic Church in response to contemporary challenges, as well as because his theology were not generally understood.   Today, he's back on the 2nd Sunday in Lent (with Vatican approval for those who are concerned about such things).  I consider that to be an essential part of "Byzantine" spiritual life, and if he was kicked out the door again I'd follow him]
Barlaam isn't that significant.

Palamas' theology contradicts Thomas Aquinas'. That fact more so establishes him as anti-Romanist.
 

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AlexanderOfBergamo said:
You also show too much hatred for too many Christians of different apostolic confessions.
Where have I showed hatred towards anyone?

AlexanderOfBergamo said:
We should battle the true heresies with that zeal - and by that I mean Protestantism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormonism, and all forms of cafeteria religion and new-age relativistic hyppie pseudoreligions.
Romanism/Thomism and Theodoreanism are true heresies. All of these should be battled.

AlexanderOfBergamo said:
Don't you see the similarities between Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodox Church?
Yes, I do. But apparently my understanding of the similarities and their weight in comparison to their divergences is different from most Romanists.

AlexanderOfBergamo said:
don't you see that your reasonings are boomerangs against you?
I don't understand your figure of speech.

AlexanderOfBergamo said:
You attack our brother Rafa999 for his belief in the supremacy of the Aramaic language in faith, yet you do the same in discriminating Latin in favour of Greek.
No, I'm not a Hellenic supremacist. That reasoning doesn't even really work all that well for someone disposed to OOy rather than EOy.

AlexanderOfBergamo said:
God speaks to the hearts of men, and not to our ears - the barriers of language don't mean anything to God!
I don't think language creates any inherent barrier to theosis. But certain heresies appear to have developed in connection to a certain language. It's sort of a given that people of the same language group will be inclined to believe the teachings of their prominent leaders.

AlexanderOfBergamo said:
We all believe in the Trinity;
I don't know that I would go that far. The filioque has perverted the doctrine of the Trinity.

AlexanderOfBergamo said:
we all preserve the sacraments
Just because you preserve the same form of ordinance as in the original church doesn't necessarily mean that you have them as Sacraments/Sacred Mysteries.

AlexanderOfBergamo said:
and male-only priesthood;
Some EO/OO are not so convinced that the priesthood absolutely should be male-only. I'm among them.
 

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I'd be interested in knowing official statements by the Oriental Orthodox Church and Eastern Orthodox Church where it is said that priesthood should be female-inclusive. The fact that you, and some theologians, think of a possible inclusion of female priesthood, doesn't mean that this is the doctrine of your Church (considering that there are no women priests, and that the Church Fathers and Councils technically ruled out the possibility for 2000 years as a part of our Tradition).
When you say that filioque perverts the meaning of the Trinity, you support Hellenism implicitly. "to proceed" and "ekpourenai" are entirely different word. Would you excommunicate Ambrose of Milan or Cyril of Alexandria for using it? Considering that in two subsequent chapters Thomas Aquinas defends both visions ("and" the Son and "through" the Son) I don't see how filioque and Thomism could be equated as heresies. Also, Thomism is NOT an official part of the Catholic doctrines, I mean that the category of created grace has found no place in the Councils of the Roman Church, and the fact that Eastern Catholics are free to venerate Gregory Palamas as a saint is a symptome of this openness. Now, the fact that some Catholics, such as Papist, regard Thomism as the only reading of the Catholic doctrine of grace DOESN'T mean that he is expressing infallible doctrine. Go and look to the recent thread on grace where a wonderful webpage discussing this topic will fade away all doubts: Palamism stresses on the origin of grace (grace as divine energy!) while Thomism stresses on the destination of grace (grace as a transformation of the habitus). If you have a bridge linking city A with city B, you could say "the bridge belongs to city A" and I could say "No, it belongs to city B", yet it is de facto of both. The intelligent observer would look from far enough to see the entire bridge and acknowledge it belongs to both, but divided as we are by our egotism, we tend to see only half of the bridge...
Unknowingly Thomas Aquinas might be saying that we see that part of God's Essence which is His energies. In Latin theology, the risk of separating the simplicity of God's nature implies the necessity to strengthen its unity; in Palamite theology, the risk of mingling God with the inferior created world implies the necessity to distinguish between the transcendental "core" of God (His essence) and His immanent "wrapping" (His energies). This is the same kind of dispute as for the two natures of Christ which has divided Chalcedonians and Non-Chalcedonians... don't repeat the same error!

In Christ,  Alex

 

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AlexanderOfBergamo said:
In Latin theology, the risk of separating the simplicity of God's nature implies the necessity to strengthen its unity
I just heard a recent Orthodox speaker talk about how divine simplicity is an import from Greek philosophy into Latin theology and not a part of Orthodoxy.  He also said this gave rise to the Latin heresy of created grace.
 

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GregoryLA said:
AlexanderOfBergamo said:
In Latin theology, the risk of separating the simplicity of God's nature implies the necessity to strengthen its unity
I just heard a recent Orthodox speaker talk about how divine simplicity is an import from Greek philosophy into Latin theology and not a part of Orthodoxy.  He also said this gave rise to the Latin heresy of created grace.
As I've stepped backwards to Roman Catholicism for the very same reason (i.e. the idea that I feel both Latin and Greek theology to be partial theories and not definitive solutions, at least on the matter of Grace) I don't see how that could affect me personally. Exactly for this reason, I don't feel fool when I consider myself a person devoted specifically both to st. Thomas Aquinas and st. Gregory Palamas!

In Christ,  Alex
 

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deusveritasest said:
Some EO/OO are not so convinced that the priesthood absolutely should be male-only. I'm among them.
Dear Deus,

Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) has expressed a wish to explore the possibility of ordaining women to the priesthood.   I think he stands alone in this among Eastern Orthodox bishops, very much the odd man out?

I see you are an enquirer into the Oriental Orthodox and about them I know very little.   Could you say something about them and how their bishops view a female priesthood and, presumably, episcopate?
 

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GregoryLA said:
AlexanderOfBergamo said:
In Latin theology, the risk of separating the simplicity of God's nature implies the necessity to strengthen its unity
I just heard a recent Orthodox speaker talk about how divine simplicity is an import from Greek philosophy into Latin theology and not a part of Orthodoxy.  He also said this gave rise to the Latin heresy of created grace.
The writings of Fr Adrian Fortescue, some of which are scattered through the Catholic Encyclopedia reject the idea of uncreated grace because the West sees it as introducing  distortion into the divine simplicity.  He speaks of this briefly in his article on hesychasm in the Catholic Encyclopedia.

The "rediscovery" of uncreated grace in the West commenced in the late 1930s and the 1940s with the writings of the eminent Catholic theologian Karl Rahner, a Jesuit theologian who died about 20 years ago.  He moved Catholicism away from its scholastic approach and closer to the patristic approach of earlier centuries. Rahner was the most noteworthy and influential Roman Catholic theologian of the 20th century. His theology and his approach to theology had a decisive effect on the Second Vatican Council.

However as far as I am aware his ideas on uncreated grace remain a matter of opinion within theological circles and have not been proclaimed as official Roman Catholic doctrine.

More recently we have the writings of the erstwhile Jesuit George Maloney in which he shows that uncreated grace is compatible with Latin theology.

Hesychasm only 'works' if we accept the distinction between God's Essence and God's Energies and the teaching that grace is uncreated. In the past Catholic theologians have not been willing to do this and have termed us heretical on this point. I am not sure if they now accept Orthodox theology on this point but without the theology hesychasm is a dead thing.

George Maloney has written a lot on this, and I think that his writings may be having an effect on Roman Catholic acceptance of the theology underpinning hesychasm but to be honest, I am not sure how 'mainstream' he is or if he is more like Anthony de Mello and his writings.Fr Maloney puts aside the Catholic vs. Orthodox polemics of past centuries and presents a better understanding of Orthodox theology.  (Fr Maloney died a few years back, having been received into the Orthodox Church..)


"Uncreated Energy: A Journey into the Authentic Sources of Christian Faith"
by George A. Maloney S.J.
ISBN: 0916349209

"Theology of Uncreated Energies of God"
(Pere Marquette Lecture Ser.)
by George S. Maloney S.J.
ISBN: 0874625165
 

AlexanderOfBergamo

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Irish Hermit said:
GregoryLA said:
AlexanderOfBergamo said:
In Latin theology, the risk of separating the simplicity of God's nature implies the necessity to strengthen its unity
I just heard a recent Orthodox speaker talk about how divine simplicity is an import from Greek philosophy into Latin theology and not a part of Orthodoxy.  He also said this gave rise to the Latin heresy of created grace.
The writings of Fr Adrian Fortescue, some of which are scattered through the Catholic Encyclopedia reject the idea of uncreated grace because the West sees it as introducing  distortion into the divine simplicity.  He speaks of this briefly in his article on hesychasm in the Catholic Encyclopedia.

The "rediscovery" of uncreated grace in the West commenced in the late 1930s and the 1940s with the writings of the eminent Catholic theologian Karl Rahner, a Jesuit theologian who died about 20 years ago.  He moved Catholicism away from its scholastic approach and closer to the patristic approach of earlier centuries. Rahner was the most noteworthy and influential Roman Catholic theologian of the 20th century. His theology and his approach to theology had a decisive effect on the Second Vatican Council.

However as far as I am aware his ideas on uncreated grace remain a matter of opinion within theological circles and have not been proclaimed as official Roman Catholic doctrine.

More recently we have the writings of the erstwhile Jesuit George Maloney in which he shows that uncreated grace is compatible with Latin theology.

Hesychasm only 'works' if we accept the distinction between God's Essence and God's Energies and the teaching that grace is uncreated. In the past Catholic theologians have not been willing to do this and have termed us heretical on this point. I am not sure if they now accept Orthodox theology on this point but without the theology hesychasm is a dead thing.

George Maloney has written a lot on this, and I think that his writings may be having an effect on Roman Catholic acceptance of the theology underpinning hesychasm but to be honest, I am not sure how 'mainstream' he is or if he is more like Anthony de Mello and his writings.Fr Maloney puts aside the Catholic vs. Orthodox polemics of past centuries and presents a better understanding of Orthodox theology.  (Fr Maloney died a few years back, having been received into the Orthodox Church..)


"Uncreated Energy: A Journey into the Authentic Sources of Christian Faith"
by George A. Maloney S.J.
ISBN: 0916349209

"Theology of Uncreated Energies of God"
(Pere Marquette Lecture Ser.)
by George S. Maloney S.J.
ISBN: 0874625165
Which proves that a Palamite reading of God's Essence has never been condemned, and is even allowed as a theological opinion in the Roman Catholic Church. I don't think Maloney might be of any interest in the dispute, while I consider Rahner the best testimony in favour of the Essence-Energy relationship.
As for what regards the refusal of Scholasticism to embrace Palamism there's the explicit affirmation of the simplicity of the Divine Essence. Without an official Papal or Conciliar stand on the matter, supporting such a doctrine is risky, or better was risky in the days of Inquisition. Now that the doors of theology are more open in Catholicism, there's a greater approach to the Church Fathers as sources of the deposit of faith, and this is essential in solving the dispute. Rahner is but one example of this open dialogue with Eastern theology within the boundaries of Catholic theology. Whether one day the Catholic Church will discuss the matter directly, this is not a question I can answer... what I know, is that the Magisterium must find some kind of "balance" where Palamism is absorbed and at the same time divine simplicity is safeguarded. The latter is in fact a dogma of the Catholic Church since the Fourth Lateran Council. I find the study of Dr. Liccione a good way to face the matter without contradicting the deposit of faith (quote is from Wikipedia, but the sources can be verified):
Dr. Liccione says that Divine simplicity and the distinction between the Divine Essence and the Divine Energies would be contradictory if Divine Essence is taken "to mean God as what He eternally is" because "God is actus purus, and thus has no unrealized potentialities." However, if we define God's essence as what "He necessarily is apart from what He does," then God's "essence is incommunicable" and communication would necessitate Divine actions, or Energies. Thus there is a real distinction between God's Essence, what "He necessarily is apart from what He does," and His Energies, "God as what He eternally does."
On the article on Tabor Light from Wikipedia we also have a reference to John Paul II having addressed in positive words to Eastern theology as an enrichment for the whole Church: http://rumkatkilise.org/byzpope.htm this webpage will give you some hints on the matter. It is curious how God put on the chair of Peter a man suspended by birth between West and East, between the Latin and Slavic worlds, right in the time when the Roman Catholic Church and politically the world needed this the most.
Especially relevant to this discussion are this words of His Holiness:
The hesychast controversy marked another distinctive moment in Eastern theology. In the East, hesychasm means a method of prayer characterized by a deep tranquility of the spirit, which is engaged in constant contemplation of God by invoking the name of Jesus. There was no lack of tension with the Catholic viewpoint on certain aspects of this practice. However, we should acknowledge the good intentions which guided the defense of this spiritual method, that is, to emphasize the concrete possibility that man is given to unite himself with the Triune God in the intimacy of his heart, in that deep union of grace which Eastern theology likes to describe with the particularly powerful term of "theosis", "divinization".
I hope this might help to maintain a greater respect for each other, following the steps of John Paul II who so highly esteemed Eastern theology as complementary to Latin theology.

May God grant us unity and peace.

In Christ,  Alex
 

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Irish Hermit said:
deusveritasest said:
Some EO/OO are not so convinced that the priesthood absolutely should be male-only. I'm among them.
Dear Deus,

Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) has expressed a wish to explore the possibility of ordaining women to the priesthood.   I think he stands alone in this among Eastern Orthodox bishops, very much the odd man out?
There have been rumblings in Alexandria of all places.  IIRC Pope Parthenius made off hand remarks about it, and recently the Pope and Holy Synod had to issue a statement against a bishop in South Africa who raised the issue. We have a thread on that somewhere here.
 

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Irish Hermit said:
Dear Deus,
My birth name is Christopher. I'm usually called Chris. My (EO) Baptismal name is Cyril. Feel free to call me any of these names.

Irish Hermit said:
I see you are an enquirer into the Oriental Orthodox and about them I know very little.   Could you say something about them and how their bishops view a female priesthood and, presumably, episcopate?
Honestly, the only perspective on female ordination to the priesthood I can think of off the top of my head is Pope Shenouda III's, which is highly negative. Supposedly he even called the fellows at Nashota House heretics for allowing females to serve as acolytes.
 

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AlexanderOfBergamo said:
I'd be interested in knowing official statements by the Oriental Orthodox Church and Eastern Orthodox Church where it is said that priesthood should be female-inclusive. The fact that you, and some theologians, think of a possible inclusion of female priesthood, doesn't mean that this is the doctrine of your Church (considering that there are no women priests, and that the Church Fathers and Councils technically ruled out the possibility for 2000 years as a part of our Tradition).
Who said that there were official "female-inclusive to the priesthood" statements?

And who said that this was clearly doctrine of the Church?

It doesn't appear that it was me.

AlexanderOfBergamo said:
When you say that filioque perverts the meaning of the Trinity, you support Hellenism implicitly. "to proceed" and "ekpourenai" are entirely different word. Would you excommunicate Ambrose of Milan or Cyril of Alexandria for using it?
I think you may have misunderstood me. I didn't necessarily suggest that the filioque as used by Ambrose of Milan or Cyril of Alexandria was heretical. And while I regard the clause itself as a violation of the Creed, I don't necessarily view it as a violation of the doctrine of the Trinity. I certainly think that the Latins should come up with a better terminology to use in the Creed that better expresses the original Greek meaning such that the clause is naturally ruled out. What I was referring to was the filioque in so far as it concerns modern day Romanists. The phrasing "the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son as from one principle" is part of the current dogmatic tradition of Rome. This is where I see the doctrine of the Trinity being clearly violated.

AlexanderOfBergamo said:
Also, Thomism is NOT an official part of the Catholic doctrines, I mean that the category of created grace has found no place in the Councils of the Roman Church, and the fact that Eastern Catholics are free to venerate Gregory Palamas as a saint is a symptome of this openness. Now, the fact that some Catholics, such as Papist, regard Thomism as the only reading of the Catholic doctrine of grace DOESN'T mean that he is expressing infallible doctrine.
I've heard numerous Romanist sources claim that the Summa Theologica is the second most authoritative text in your tradition second only to the Bible. Also, I've been told that the Summa has been officially recognized by the Vatican. If this is true, I see some aspects of the Summa as inherently contradictory to Palamism.

AlexanderOfBergamo said:
This is the same kind of dispute as for the two natures of Christ which has divided Chalcedonians and Non-Chalcedonians...
As someone who was formerly EO and is now exploring OOy out of a rejection of Chalcedon, I would suggest that we not even go there, at least not here.
 

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Irish Hermit said:
The writings of Fr Adrian Fortescue, some of which are scattered through the Catholic Encyclopedia reject the idea of uncreated grace because the West sees it as introducing  distortion into the divine simplicity.  He speaks of this briefly in his article on hesychasm in the Catholic Encyclopedia.
A clarification and correction needs to be made here.  The Catholic Church has never rejected uncreated grace and cannot reject uncreated grace.  The Catholic Church has always taught that God communicates himself to the baptized.  In the Holy Spirit God indwells the souls of the faithful; through this indwelling the faithful partakes of the divine nature.  In its primary meaning the word grace signifies not a created reality but God in his self-donation to creature.  We love God only because the Spirit, who is Love, inhabits our hearts.  This is the teaching of St Augustine and is the foundation of all Latin theological reflection on divine grace. 

Scholastic theologians would later develop the notion of created grace to "explain" how it was possible for human creatures to participate in the divine being.  The whole point of the gift of created grace is to make possible the gift of uncreated grace and the inhabitation of the Holy Spirit, as is made clear even in Irish Hermit's favorite Catholic publication, the traditional Catholic Encyclopedia

Irish Hermit:
The "rediscovery" of uncreated grace in the West commenced in the late 1930s and the 1940s with the writings of the eminent Catholic theologian Karl Rahner, a Jesuit theologian who died about 20 years ago.  He moved Catholicism away from its scholastic approach and closer to the patristic approach of earlier centuries. Rahner was the most noteworthy and influential Roman Catholic theologian of the 20th century. His theology and his approach to theology had a decisive effect on the Second Vatican Council.  However as far as I am aware his ideas on uncreated grace remain a matter of opinion within theological circles and have not been proclaimed as official Roman Catholic doctrine.
Post-Tridentine scholasticism does appear to have so emphasized created grace that the gift of uncreated grace was pushed out of theological view.  But the fundamental understanding of grace as the indwelling of the Holy Spirit was preserved in the writings of individual theologians (Petau, Scheeben, Newman) but most importantly in the teachings and experience of the mystics.  Thus the famous prayer of St Catherine of Siena:
"O unfathomable depth! O Deity eternal! O deep ocean! What more could You give me than to give me Yourself? You are an ever-burning Fire; You consume and are not consumed. By Your fire, you consume every trace of self-love in the soul. You are a Fire which drives away all coldness and illumines minds with its light, and with this light You have made known Your truth. Truly this light is a sea which feeds the soul until it is all immersed in You, O peaceful Sea, eternal Trinity! The water of this sea is never turbid; it never causes fear, but gives knowledge of the truth. This water is transparent and discloses hidden things; and a living faith gives such abundance of light that the soul almost attains to certitude in what it believes.

You are the supreme and infinite Good, good above all good; good which is joyful, incomprehensible, inestimable; beauty exceeding all other beauty; wisdom surpassing all wisdom, because You are Wisdom itself. Food of angels, giving Yourself with fire of love to men! You are the garment which covers our nakedness; You feed us, hungry as we are, with Your sweetness, because You are all sweetness, with no bitterness. Clothe me, O eternal Trinity, clothe me with Yourself, so that I may pass this mortal life in true obedience and in the light of the most holy faith with which You have inebriated my soul.
And again:
O inestimable charity! Even as You, true God and true Man, gave Yourself entirely to us, so also You left Yourself entirely for us, to be our food, so that during our earthly pilgrimage we would not faint with weariness, but would be strengthened by You, our celestial Bread. O man, what has your God left you? He has left you Himself, wholly God and wholly Man, concealed under the whiteness of bread. O fire of love! Was it not enough for You to have created us to Your image and likeness, and to have recreated us in grace through the Blood of Your Son, without giving Yourself wholly to us as our Food, O God, Divine Essence? What impelled You to do this? Your charity alone. It was not enough for You to send Your Word to us for our redemption; neither were You content to give Him us as our Food, but in the excess of Your love for Your creature, You gave to man the whole Divine essence.
Whatever the limitations of medieval and post-medieval scholastic theology may have been, these limitations do not ultimately limit and constrain the spiritual experience of the saints. 

Irish Hermit accurately observes that 20th century Catholic theologians have corrected the excessive theologial attention given to created grace and have restored the decisive centrality of the gift of uncreated gift.  As noted, Karl Rahner's contributions have been extremely influential but not only Rahner but many others (de Lubac, Balthasar, Congar).  I personally find Rahner difficult to understand and thus prefer other Catholic writers on this topic.  One of my favorite books is Robert W. Gleason, Grace (1962).     
 

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Papist said:
ignatius said:
Papist said:
ignatius said:
Grace and Peace,

This line of thinking really raises the question with regards to Saints... are 'all' our Saints truly worthy of imitation or have we allowed cultural and historical biases to enter into the values of the Church?
I think Aquinas is certainly worthy of veneration.
But is he worth imitation? We don't veneration Saints other than they are worth imitation as they were imitators of Christ. Would Christ say we should kill the Pharisees? I don't think so. So we must ask ourselves if he is truly worthy of imitation. I feel the same way about many of the 'Pious' Emperors of the Eastern Empire. Eastern Imperial Culture was not necessarily 'worthy' of imitation from a Christian perspective. The acts of those Emperors were not necessarily 'worthy' of Christian imitation either. So we have the ask the question... why are they venerated as Saints? Was it simply 'cultural' pride of the times?
I think that if we were living in a Christian country with Catholicism as the state Church, and we had due process, it would be appropriate to execute men like Arius.
"For Christians above all men are forbidden to correct the stumblings of sinners by force...it is necessary to make a man better not by force but by persuasion. We neither have authority granted us by law to restrain sinners, nor, if it were, should we know how to use it, since God gives the crown to those who are kept from evil, not by force, but by choice." -St. John Chrysostom, Six Books on the Priesthood

I suppose one could argue though that restraining sinners and restraining heretics bent on corrupting the Church are two different balls of wax though?
 

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Dear Chris,
I think you may have misunderstood me. I didn't necessarily suggest that the filioque as used by Ambrose of Milan or Cyril of Alexandria was heretical. And while I regard the clause itself as a violation of the Creed, I don't necessarily view it as a violation of the doctrine of the Trinity. I certainly think that the Latins should come up with a better terminology to use in the Creed that better expresses the original Greek meaning such that the clause is naturally ruled out. What I was referring to was the filioque in so far as it concerns modern day Romanists. The phrasing "the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son as from one principle" is part of the current dogmatic tradition of Rome. This is where I see the doctrine of the Trinity being clearly violated.
I suggest you read on the subject the many discussions of Pope John Paul II in his dialogue with Orthodoxy, specifically on the Filioque clause. Anyway, in what is eternal (God) it is impossible to have a temporary procession as you suppose. The "one spiration" source is the Father; the Holy Spirit abides in the Son and inherits (this always in eternity) a secondary procession from the Son. Augustine expresses this saying that the Spirit proceeds "from the Father principaliter" i.e. by principle. And in the Summa, the same Thomas Aquinas defends both definitions in two different chapters of his work:
Therefore, because the Son receives from the Father that the Holy Ghost proceeds from Him, it can be said that the Father spirates the Holy Ghost through the Son, or that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father through the Son, which has the same meaning.
and then he adds (and this is the difference you evidence in your post):
As the begetting of the Son is co-eternal with the begetter (and hence the Father does not exist before begetting the Son), so the procession of the Holy Ghost is co-eternal with His principle. Hence, the Son was not begotten before the Holy Ghost proceeded; but each of the operations is eternal.
For the rest, I agree with you that the Catholic Church should find a new way to express this concepts, I hope for a day when all Catholics, both Western and Eastern, should sing together in their languages "who proceedth from the Father through the Son" overcoming all differences, but I don't think the form "from the Father" is complete enough for the Latin understanding of the Creed.

Yet, this is just a secondary part of the topic, so I'll pass to the second point. You wrote:
I've heard numerous Romanist sources claim that the Summa Theologica is the second most authoritative text in your tradition second only to the Bible. Also, I've been told that the Summa has been officially recognized by the Vatican. If this is true, I see some aspects of the Summa as inherently contradictory to Palamism.
First of all, authoritative isn't the same as infallible. Only the Magisterium, in Roman Catholic theology, can express infallible and unchangeable dogmas, and the Magisterium is made of the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils and the "ex cathedra" of the Pope. A proof that the Summa can't be seen as dogmatic or entirely infallible and "official" is the explicit denial of the Immaculate Conception contained in it. Check it yourself if you want. St. Thomas Aquinas denied the Immaculate Conception, or better, he denied that Mary was immaculate since her conception, as he supported the hypothesis that Mary became Immaculate only at birth or after the 2nd month from conception, as many Scholastics held that the rational aspect of the soul developped only at that time, and that sin is a lack of justice (thus, a partially darkened rational soul). Anyway, this reflects the clear fact that the Summa, as good and profitable for Catholics might be, is still a work-in-progress in the theological growth of some doctrines by the Latin Church during the 12th and 13th century, and not a work endowed with infallibility despite its official recognition. If you want, you can compare its contents to the Synod of Jerusalem of 1666-1667 in the Orthodox Church, which is said to contain errors and thus being fallible despite its canons are perceived as useful instruments against Calvinism.
The only documents on the matter of grace being dogmatic are the necessity to preserve Divine Simplicity which is a dogma clearly sanctioned at the Lateran Councils and at Trent (a question which, it seems, can easily be safeguarded by saying that the distinction of Essence and Energies doesn't affect divine simplicity), and that grace - understood in the terms of the Council of Trent, i.e. as the individual "state of grace" of a faithful - is to be identified in LATIN theology with the transformation of the habitus of an individual and can thus be called "created grace". The voice of Pope John Paul II, as I have already said, opened a door to appreciation for Gregory Palamas who was explicitly called "Saint Gregory Palamas" by His Holiness during a conference with a mixed Orthodox-Catholic commission of theologians. You can verify it yourself on the book "How Not To Say Mass" by Father Dennis C. Smolarski. It is said, in the source I read (an official Melkite source) that this recognition came in the few months after Ali Agca's assassination attempt on the Pope's life. The entire matter is briefly mantioned on this webpage (which underlines the controversy on Palamas' figure and the way he was canonized and officially recognized in the Melkite Calendar): http://www.mliles.com/melkite/stgregorypalamas.shtml

On the matter of female priesthood, I must beg pardon. I evidently read too much in your affirmations. On the Chalcedonian/Non-Chalcedonian matter, I didn't mean to move the topic to that subject: I was just parallelling the two situations where different expressions in different languages can convey similar theologies despite all possible misunderstandings.

In Christ,   Alex
 

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"Homilies Against the Jews"

Wow!  Reading some of this made me realize that we truly do live in a different age then that of the Fathers.  Who then should we follow?  Modern society which calls us all to live in peace and brotherhood with our fellow men regardless of religion, or writings such as these?

After reading these disturbing homilies, I'm more inclined to favor the position of those theologians who want to re interpret the Fathers by the light of our modern understanding.
 

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Robb said:
"Homilies Against the Jews"

Wow!  Reading some of this made me realize that we truly do live in a different age then that of the Fathers.  Who then should we follow?  Modern society which calls us all to live in peace and brotherhood with our fellow men regardless of religion, or writings such as these?

After reading these disturbing homilies, I'm more inclined to favor the position of those theologians who want to re interpret the Fathers by the light of our modern understanding.
It is interesting that Chrysostom admits that there were Christians of his day who found his foul words against the Jews excessive.

"Many, I know, respect the Jews and think that their present way of life is a venerable one. This is why I hasten to uproot and tear out this deadly
opinion."

Proof from Chrysostom himself that his opinions about the Jews were not universally held by Christians.



 

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Robb said:
"Homilies Against the Jews"

Wow!  Reading some of this made me realize that we truly do live in a different age then that of the Fathers.  Who then should we follow?  Modern society which calls us all to live in peace and brotherhood with our fellow men regardless of religion, or writings such as these?

After reading these disturbing homilies, I'm more inclined to favor the position of those theologians who want to re interpret the Fathers by the light of our modern understanding.
Fwiw, some would argue that St. John was exaggerating for the sake of making a point. If this was so, it wouldn't be proper to take his words at face value any more than you would someone engaging in satire, or someone who was "venting". That is not to say that I would ignore everything uncharitable that he says, only that I would think about whether he meant it to be taken in a woodenly literal way.
 

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Asteriktos said:
Robb said:
"Homilies Against the Jews"

Wow!  Reading some of this made me realize that we truly do live in a different age then that of the Fathers.  Who then should we follow?  Modern society which calls us all to live in peace and brotherhood with our fellow men regardless of religion, or writings such as these?

After reading these disturbing homilies, I'm more inclined to favor the position of those theologians who want to re interpret the Fathers by the light of our modern understanding.
Fwiw, some would argue that St. John was exaggerating for the sake of making a point. If this was so, it wouldn't be proper to take his words at face value any more than you would someone engaging in satire, or someone who was "venting". That is not to say that I would ignore everything uncharitable that he says, only that I would think about whether he meant it to be taken in a woodenly literal way.
I believe that the future Saint wrote these eight homilies Against the Jews, deplorable and hatefilled pieces of psogogical rhetoric calling for the slaughter of the Jews while he was still a young man and not ordained and he was very angry about the role played by the Jews in the persecution of Christians throughout the Roman Empire.  In other words the homilies against the Jews do not represent the mature theologian and saintly bishop which Chrysostom later became.
 

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Irish Hermit said:
I feel sure that the influence of the Patriarch and Holy Synod could deal with that in the specific case of the Catholic bishops and priests spreading heresy and sedition.   They are waging war upon the soul of Russia.
In what exact way our they spreading sedition?
 

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Does the Roman Catholic Church view Eastern Orthodox confession as valid?  In other words, if someone confesses to an Eastern Orthodox priest does the RC consider his sins absolved?  Are RCs allowed to confess to EO priests?
 

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GregoryLA said:
Does the Roman Catholic Church view Eastern Orthodox confession as valid?  In other words, if someone confesses to an Eastern Orthodox priest does the RC consider his sins absolved?  Are RCs allowed to confess to EO priests?
Yes, it is a valid sacrament but a Catholic can only confess to an EO priest if there is no Catholic priest available.
 

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GregoryLA said:
Papist said:
ignatius said:
Papist said:
ignatius said:
Grace and Peace,

This line of thinking really raises the question with regards to Saints... are 'all' our Saints truly worthy of imitation or have we allowed cultural and historical biases to enter into the values of the Church?
I think Aquinas is certainly worthy of veneration.
But is he worth imitation? We don't veneration Saints other than they are worth imitation as they were imitators of Christ. Would Christ say we should kill the Pharisees? I don't think so. So we must ask ourselves if he is truly worthy of imitation. I feel the same way about many of the 'Pious' Emperors of the Eastern Empire. Eastern Imperial Culture was not necessarily 'worthy' of imitation from a Christian perspective. The acts of those Emperors were not necessarily 'worthy' of Christian imitation either. So we have the ask the question... why are they venerated as Saints? Was it simply 'cultural' pride of the times?
I think that if we were living in a Christian country with Catholicism as the state Church, and we had due process, it would be appropriate to execute men like Arius.
"For Christians above all men are forbidden to correct the stumblings of sinners by force...it is necessary to make a man better not by force but by persuasion. We neither have authority granted us by law to restrain sinners, nor, if it were, should we know how to use it, since God gives the crown to those who are kept from evil, not by force, but by choice." -St. John Chrysostom, Six Books on the Priesthood

I suppose one could argue though that restraining sinners and restraining heretics bent on corrupting the Church are two different balls of wax though?
How is that consistent with Chrysostom's seeming involvement in the destruction of a number of pagan temples?
 

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deusveritasest said:
How is that consistent with Chrysostom's seeming involvement in the destruction of a number of pagan temples?
Do you think that the destruction of temples is akin to physically correcting the stumbling of sinners?  Destroying a pagan temple does not end paganism, you know; it just prevents public space (as it was at that time) from being used for that end.
 

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Fr. George said:
deusveritasest said:
How is that consistent with Chrysostom's seeming involvement in the destruction of a number of pagan temples?
Do you think that the destruction of temples is akin to physically correcting the stumbling of sinners?  Destroying a pagan temple does not end paganism, you know; it just prevents public space (as it was at that time) from being used for that end.
Lacking public space for worship would probably lead a number of people to abandon their religion. It seems at least to be a form of coercion, if not "force".
 

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Papist said:
GregoryLA said:
Does the Roman Catholic Church view Eastern Orthodox confession as valid?  In other words, if someone confesses to an Eastern Orthodox priest does the RC consider his sins absolved?  Are RCs allowed to confess to EO priests?
Yes, it is a valid sacrament but a Catholic can only confess to an EO priest if there is no Catholic priest available.
There is one other condition to which the Church almost always yields:

"For the salvation of my soul."

IF, in idealized circumstances, a Catholic found an Orthodox confessor who was a perfect fit for their spiritual health and well being and appealed to both a Catholic and an Orthodox bishop for permission to confess regularly to the Orthodox priest "For the salvation of my soul"  I would bet Kansas that both bishops would give that long hard consideration...maybe even now....

Mary
 

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GregoryLA said:
Does the Roman Catholic Church view Eastern Orthodox confession as valid?  In other words, if someone confesses to an Eastern Orthodox priest does the RC consider his sins absolved?  Are RCs allowed to confess to EO priests?
My understanding of it is that first of all the Catholic must tell the Orthodox priest that he is a Catholic. Once he is given permission by the priest to confess, then the confession is valid and the sins do not have to be reconfessed to a Catholic priest.
 
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