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Sacred Heart devotion and charges of Nestorianism

Wandile

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I want to hear the best reasoning as to why some Eastern Orthodox consider the Sacred Heart devotion to be Nestorian as I have witnessed that charge made quite a few times from some Eastern Orthodox.
 

Ainnir

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On here or somewhere else?
 

WPM

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Don't know why but I sometimes say the Sacred Heart prayers.
 

Tzimis

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Well, I can see that singling out a body part and giving it substance can be a type of nestorianism. 
 
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I have no idea, never really understood it, seems strange ( no disrespect), seems like a problem for an Orthodox believer, although respect the intent of its Catholic devotees.
 

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I'm not sure how worshipping any particular part of Jesus' body would be Nestorian, unless you decided to cease acknowledging his divinity in the process.
 

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There is ancient canonical rule that forbids venerating parts of Christ, i am saying this out of memory, not sure if i can find the exact quote.
 

noahzarc1

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Wandile said:
I want to hear the best reasoning as to why some Eastern Orthodox consider the Sacred Heart devotion to be Nestorian as I have witnessed that charge made quite a few times from some Eastern Orthodox.
I am going to assert this claim, if it is made, is due to the fact Nestorius attempted to separate the honor paid to Christ’s humanity from that offered His Divinity. As you can see from some of the replies already, if one assumes Catholics separate out a particular body part of Christ, i.e. the heart, then one would naturally make the claim the Sacred Heart devotion is Nestorian because Catholics, like Nestorius, give the heart a separate honor from that of Christ's Divinity.  Claiming the devotion is Nestorian would ignore first of all the fact that the Catholic and Orthodox Churches agree on the hypostatic union. A claim of Nestorianism related to this devotion, i.e. "you worship the heart, the liver, etc," is akin to the attacks Catholics hear from Protestants, "you worship Mary," "you worship bread," etc. Pope's have written on this and Pope Pius XII clarified it in the encyclical Haurietis Aquas. In his encyclical on this very topic, starting at paragraph 42 and on, Pope Pius XII talks about the hypostatic union, quotes from the fathers and is quite clear in defining the practice of devotion to the sacred heart while also dispelling any notions of Nestorian error in the practice.
 

Vanhyo

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Pope's have written on this and Pope Pius XII clarified it in the encyclical Haurietis Aquas. In his encyclical on this very topic, starting at paragraph 42 and on, Pope Pius XII talks about the hypostatic union, quotes from the fathers and is quite clear in defining the practice of devotion to the sacred heart while also dispelling any notions of Nestorian error in the practice.
Sure, sort of reminds me of pope francis's pachamama worship service excuse - when cornered to explain himself on why this was done, his reply was "it was done without idolatrus intend"
 

Xavier

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Happy Easter to those celebrating it, and happy Holy Week to those celebrating it.

The Sacred Heart is anti-Nestorian, and worship of the Sacred Heart is the antidote to Nestorianism. Nestorius believed Jesus was simply a man in whom God dwelt in a special way; we believe Jesus is God Incarnate in the Flesh; thus we adore His Body and His Blood in the Blessed Sacrament, for it is the True Body and the True Blood of God Incarnate, and we adore His Sacred Heart with the same adoration - for it is the True Heart of God Incarnate. The Sacred Devotion is also kept in Western Orthodoxy, and thus cannot be wrong.
 

WPM

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We also do the Blessed Sacrament.
 

Michael Seraphim

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To me when one says that one is devoted to the Heart of Jesus, then he is taking and considering His Heart in exclusion to the rest of Him, as if to reify a part of Him

This mindset smacks of thinking that parts can be taken and considered and stand on their own each by itself, in exclusion of the rest of Him. I'm guessing that this is what perhaps some of the people whom you said to charge it of Nestorianism are trying to convey
 

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Yes, you re right: Catholic devotion to the Scared Heart has been compared by some to Crypto-Nestorians or neo-Nestorian.

As for the comment bout the scared liver - see the this well known quote (at least in ROCOR circles) from the late Metr. Antoni Kraphovitsky in his correspondence with the late Eastern Catholic Metr. A. Sheptytsky before WW1, over 100 years go.



“Several times at the outset of his activity in the See of Volyn”, Vladika Anthony exchanged correspondence with the …Metropolitam of Lvov (sic), Count Andrei Sheptytsky. In one of his letters, the …metropolitan (Andrei Sheptytsky) wrote that he was then occupied with the introduction of veneration to the “Sacred Heart of Jesus” among the Galicians…When Vladika took exception to this Catholic devotion, the …metropolitan asked: “Really, how can one possibly object to the veneration of the Sacred Heart, when our Lord Jesus Christ suffered for us with His heart , and when His heart suffered most of all, throbbing with pain?” To this Vladika replied that during Christ’s sufferings, as is well know, He experienced much pain, not only in his heart, but in other internal organs of His body, as for example, the liver, the kidneys, etc. It would then follow that one could venerate these other internal organs as well …To this remark there was no response.”

p. 26, Orthodox Life, No. 4, 1979
p. 26, Orthodox Life, No. 4, 1979

To the Orthodox, there is something unnatural in the separation of the heart from the general bodily nature of the Lord for the purpose of prayer, contrition and worship before Him.
The realism of the painting g of the Scared Heart just does not appeal to us Orthodox: notice that in canonical Orthodox iconography there is an absence of a realistic, crucified Christ writhing in pain with His tortured eyes rolled back, or a dead Christ with head slumped down as if defeated and His body hanging very low that you can see in Roman Catholic religious paintings. The triumph of the victory over the cross/ death versus the suffering of the cross is theme in Orthodox iconography of the crucifixion.
 

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Veneration is accorded to person. When we venerate, for example, the skull of the Baptist, we are venerating his person through his skull, namely his Relics

But when you separate the Heart of Christ and venerate that, certainly not directing your veneration to other Parts of Him which are not His Heart, then in effect this looks as if you are making a distinct person out of His Body Parts

And yes. Why not have Sacred Kidney, Sacred Eyelash, Sacred Larynx, Sacred Duodenum devotions? The thing quickly becomes ridiculous. But the mindset behind the notion, which thinks it possible to isolate a body part and offer devotion to it, is what smacks as 'Nestorianism' = dividing the Person, since the Person is the Object of Veneration
 

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Do Easterners not believe that even the smallest aspect of Christ is the full body, blood soul and divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ?

I simply see criticism of the Sacred Heart devotion as akin to criticism of the real presence in the Eucharist. It’s the same underlying theology for both. The smallest aspect of Christ is fully him. Thus, it’s just as appropriate to worship and venerate one crumb of the Eucharist as it is to venerate his heart, or hair or any body part for that matter.
 

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This article explains it very well:


THE ERROR OF THE SACRED HEART DEVOTION
— Monk Aidan Keller
(c) 2008 St. John Cassian Press

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a popular thing in the Roman Catholic Church of today. Frequently we see depictions of the Heart, and in Roman Catholic prayer books there are prayers to it, and consecrations of persons and places to the Heart. It is being called “God’s gift for our age.” What is this gift? [...]
 

Thetruthisgod

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This article explains it very well:

Father Aiden is a friend of mine! Weird seeing him referenced here.
 

Wandile

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I read that article hey and honestly it does nothing to answer the issue with the devotion IMO.

Again I haven’t met anyone who still can answer the difference between the theology of the scared heart devotion and that of the real presence. If you understand why even a crumb of the Eucharist must be worshiped then you understand why the heart of Christ can be venerated and worshiped.

This honestly seems to me the age old case of what isn’t Byzantine isn’t correct or what’s western must automatically be wrong (even when there isn’t a valid basis for why it’s believed to be wrong).
 

Katechon

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I read that article hey and honestly it does nothing to answer the issue with the devotion IMO.

Again I haven’t met anyone who still can answer the difference between the theology of the scared heart devotion and that of the real presence. If you understand why even a crumb of the Eucharist must be worshiped then you understand why the heart of Christ can be venerated and worshiped.
A crumb of the Eucharist is still sacred because it still contains the WHOLE Christ within it. As in, the whole person. That's not the case when we talk about worshipping a body part SEPERATELY to the person of Christ. Which is a thing explicitly condemned at the Council of Ephesus. I think this passage in the article is key:

Fr. Aidan said:
The apologists argued they worshipped the Heart for the sake of its union with the Godhead. What they forgot is that Nestorius himself, when cornered at the Council of Ephesus, also claimed he “adored what was visible for the sake of that which was hidden.”
Wandile said:
This honestly seems to me the age old case of what isn’t Byzantine isn’t correct or what’s western must automatically be wrong (even when there isn’t a valid basis for why it’s believed to be wrong).
Na dude, you are trying to frame this as a cultural issue when it really is not. As the article shows, this devotion was unheard of for 1600 years in the Christian world. If your understanding of MUH WESTAN CULTCHA is the whacky apparitionism of the post-reformation Vatican, you clearly don't know what you are talking about. Katechon: There's nothing wrong with the points you are making. But please try to be a little more polite. Thank you. Pravoslavbob, Section Moderator.



THIS is "Western culture", if you want to use that idolized term. And it is also curiously a witness to the Orthodoxy of the West pre-schism.
 
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Wandile

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A crumb of the Eucharist is still sacred because it still contains the WHOLE Christ within it. As in, the whole person. That's not the case when we talk about worshipping a body part SEPERATELY to the person of Christ. Which is a thing explicitly condemned at the Council of Ephesus.
The Eucharist is the flesh and blood of Christ as per scripture (properly the body, blood soul and divinity of Christ). When we consume the Eucharist we are eating chunks of his flesh and blood not his whole body yet we worship the Eucharist. In fact according to tradition in the west the Eucharist is actually from the heart of the Christ and Eucharistic miracles have confirmed this when those turned into flesh proved to be from heart tissue when examined by medical professionals investigating the Eucharistic miracles.

If for arguments sake we ate his whole body as you implied then a crumb is a piece of that whole body yet it is given due worship and veneration too as the whole host which is his whole body so even from this perspective the criticism of the sacred heart devotion doesn’t hold water.
 
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Xavier

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"
The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus: Taken From Paraliturgical Devotions of the Western Church and Their Role in Orthodoxy 1992
The devotion to the Sacred Heart also is rooted in intuitions of the early Church and even in the Old Testament. Fundamentally, it is a recollection of the sacrificial love of Christ as witnessed in His Incarnation, passion, and death. It includes also, the fullness of Divine love for mankind which is evidenced throughout the history of our race and is fulfilled in Christ’s act for the salvation of man.

The Biblical focus of all of this is the piercing of Jesus’ side with a lance at the Crucifixion. Many Church Fathers see this as the symbolic origin of the Church as the New Eve from the side of the New Adam. Symbolic interpretation is also given in that as Christ suffered spiritually in His passion, this is symbolized by the physical wounding of his heart. Therefore, the act of piercing Christ’s side represents all that he endured for his love of man, both physical and spiritual. ”Truly, the wounds of the flesh showed forth the wounds of the spirit.” This is from the Office for the feast of the Sacred Heart."

Excerpt from: https://journal.orthodoxwestblogs.c...tern-church-and-their-role-in-orthodoxy-1992/
 

PorphyriosK

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I read that article hey and honestly it does nothing to answer the issue with the devotion IMO.

Again I haven’t met anyone who still can answer the difference between the theology of the scared heart devotion and that of the real presence. If you understand why even a crumb of the Eucharist must be worshiped then you understand why the heart of Christ can be venerated and worshiped.

This honestly seems to me the age old case of what isn’t Byzantine isn’t correct or what’s western must automatically be wrong (even when there isn’t a valid basis for why it’s believed to be wrong).
It's not anti-West or Byzantine-onlyism to recognize that a great many later Catholic devotions are rooted in visions and romantic mystical fantasies of emotionally unstable women rather than having any solid patristic foundation. Especially given that they were often banned by your own hierarchy as being spiritually delusional and dangerous, only to be later overturned by popular opinion.
 
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Wandile

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It's not anti-West or Byzantine-onlyism
It is if there isn’t any theological basis for criticism. Then, what exists is the act of attacking something purely for the sake of it being different.

I mean, I’ve even seen Eastern Orthodox attack the practice of Eucharist adoration (Which logically flows from believing in the real presence) which kind of explains their attack on the scared heart devotion. There exists , not in EOy as a whole but amongst some of its members, a defective and infantile Eucharistic theology. This is mostly prominent, unsurprisingly, amongst former Protestant western converts to Eastern Orthodoxy.

to recognize that a great many later Catholic devotions are rooted in visions and romantic mystical fantasies of emotionally unstable women rather than having any solid patristic foundation.
Lord have mercy. Truly. I’m pretty sure the saints always seem crazy to nonbelievers. Fools for Christ is a very appropriate name for the saints blessed with such graces.

Especially given that they were often banned by your own hierarchy as being spiritually delusional and dangerous, only to be later overturned by popular opinion.
Almost any new popular order or practice is initially banned and then later allowed. It follows the process of skepticism until the order or practice is vetted. It’s literally the teaching of St John.
 

Katechon

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It's not anti-West or Byzantine-onlyism...
That is btw one of the most silly strawmen I usually see employed by RCs when arguing topics like that. Most RCs from the Americas for example seem to think that "Western culture" is the 100 years old neo gothic church down the road (which itself is a romanticist projection into the past).

As someone from mainland Europe let me tell you: you can make a case for the truth of Orthodoxy solely by visiting the pre-schism churches over here. And no, I am not only talking about those Italian ones erected when Italy was part of the exarchate of Ravenna, but about the ones I find here in Germany, even in Norway and Sweden. That's what the photo I posted earlier was getting at. They all look and feel like "Byzantine" churches, to use this denouncing term, and you can even see the obvious theological and iconographic break in the later additions forced onto- and into them.
 

PorphyriosK

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That is btw one of the most silly strawmen I usually see employed by RCs when arguing topics like that. Most RCs from the Americas for example seem to think that "Western culture" is the 100 years old neo gothic church down the road (which itself is a romanticist projection into the past).

As someone from mainland Europe let me tell you: you can make a case for the truth of Orthodoxy solely by visiting the pre-schism churches over here. And no, I am not only talking about those Italian ones erected when Italy was part of the exarchate of Ravenna, but about the ones I find here in Germany, even in Norway and Sweden. That's what the photo I posted earlier was getting at. They all look and feel like "Byzantine" churches, to use this denouncing term, and you can even see the obvious theological and iconographic break in the later additions forced onto- and into them.
Also interesting to note that pre-Schism Latin chant sounded very "Byzantine":

They must have been infiltrated by some Byzantine-onlist invaders!
 

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Lord have mercy. Truly. I’m pretty sure the saints always seem crazy to nonbelievers. Fools for Christ is a very appropriate name for the saints blessed with such graces.
Actual Fools for Christ avoid appearing pious in the eyes of men, while these female Catholic mystics endlessly describe their romantic and sentimental dialogues with Christ where He showers them with praise for their holiness and virtue. It's not the same.
 

Pravoslavbob

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It's not anti-West or Byzantine-onlyism to recognize that a great many later Catholic devotions are rooted in visions and romantic mystical fantasies of emotionally unstable women rather than having any solid patristic foundation. Especially given that they were often banned by your own hierarchy as being spiritually delusional and dangerous, only to be later overturned by popular opinion.
It is if there isn’t any theological basis for criticism. Then, what exists is the act of attacking something purely for the sake of it being different.

I mean, I’ve even seen Eastern Orthodox attack the practice of Eucharist adoration (Which logically flows from believing in the real presence) which kind of explains their attack on the scared heart devotion.
This whole business concerning Eucharistic adoration has been explored in a couple of other threads in which you participated. A variety of points of view were shared about whether or not the Orthodox could accept Eucaristic adoration, under what circumstances they might, and the theological reasons why they don't practice it in a paraliturgical setting, as well as reasons against it or for it. It's as if you hadn't even read these threads.

There exists , not in EOy as a whole but amongst some of its members, a defective and infantile Eucharistic theology.
I just don't know how to respond to this. I read it in stunned disbelief. Do you genuinely believe that Roman Catholic Christians hold to a uniformly mature and perfect Eucharistic theology? Seriously, what is the point in posting something like this? How does insulting the Orthodox contribute to discussion between Christians in order to facilitate a better understanding between them?
 
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PorphyriosK

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There exists , not in EOy as a whole but amongst some of its members, a defective and infantile Eucharistic theology.
I'd really love to know which of these two Eucharistic assemblies you think is defective and infantile.
 

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Actual Fools for Christ avoid appearing pious in the eyes of men, while these female Catholic mystics endlessly describe their romantic and sentimental dialogues with Christ where He showers them with praise for their holiness and virtue. It's not the same.
Almost all their lives are shrouded with complete and saintly humility and they document their experiences normally on the advice of someone else like a spiritual advisor and even then it’s documented in that person’s diary and only later revealed after death. This is the normal trend so yes fools for Christ is the true name for them. They look foolish to those who don’t believe. If you’re going to criticize them, at least be honest about them.
 

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I'd really love to know which of these two Eucharistic assemblies you think is defective and infantile.
Bad practice and bad belief are two different things. If an Eastern Orthodox Christian attends the highest and most aesthetically pleasing liturgy celebrated by all bishops and patriarchs but still believes that Eucharistic adoration and the sacred heart devotion are wrong; well that person has a defective and infantile Eucharistic theology. I’m sorry to break to to you but grandeur in liturgical practice doesn’t automatically mean right belief. It just means grandeur. Even some heretics have beautiful liturgies.

Now if a catholic attends such a liturgy where there are various abnormalities but holds to the true doctrine on real presence and the logical belief in Eucharistic adoration then regardless of liturgical deficiencies (which can be fixed) that persons faith in the Eucharist is based on sound and orthodox theology.
 

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This whole business concerning Eucharistic adoration has been explored in a couple of other threads in which you participated. A variety of points of view were shared about whether or not the Orthodox could accept Eucaristic adoration, under what circumstances they might, and the theological reasons why they don't practice it in a paraliturgical setting, as well as reasons against it or for it. It's as if you hadn't even read these threads.
I’m sorry but a Catholics experience of the Eastern Orthodox attack on western customs is not limited to this forum.

Secondly the fact that there even threads discussing the acceptability and validity of Eucharistic adoration are problematic enough on their own. You might as well start threads on the acceptability of believing in the real presence or not. To answer your last remark, in my time here I have seen quite a few and they leave a lot to be desired and only solidify my remark.

I just don't know how to respond to this. I read it in stunned disbelief. Do you genuinely believe that Roman Catholic Christians hold to a uniformly mature and perfect Eucharistic theology? Seriously, what is the point in posting something like this? How does insulting the Orthodox contribute to discussion between Christians in order to facilitate a better understanding between them?
I’m speaking about those orthodox who happily, with a figurative sword of perceived righteousness, attack valid customs purely on the basis of them being Latin and western despite no real and sound theological basis for doing so. These kinds are not in short supply either. I’m sorry but what I said is true about them.

The difference between this kind of EO person and a Catholic person who hold errors in Eucharistic theology is that the catholic is holding an unacceptable position in terms of catholic theology which is clearly defined on this matter while the EO person holds a tolerable and acceptable position in his communion. That is the big issue and why I’m so impatient with these kinds. Their position isn’t even considered heretical in the EO communion (although it really should be) despite the basis for attacking these Latins practices being unpatristic and theologically inconsistent.
 
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When it comes to the Eucharist, I just believe it is a miracle & gift from the Lord and take Him at His word for it. It is a mystery and how mysterious it may seem I guess varies among individuals. As long as His word is not redefined or rejected ( for ex. John 6:41-59 etc.) should be what our understanding is bound to.

How the Eucharist is understood by the non Orthodox is different & varied. While these understandings need not be vilified, they are not ours. I think if we all hold to our understandings of how we receive the Lord’s body & blood & keep His commandments towards each other will work to our mutual salvation.
 

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If an Eastern Orthodox Christian... believes that Eucharistic adoration and the sacred heart devotion are wrong; well that person has a defective and infantile Eucharistic theology.
Dude, just stop. There is no way to even seriously respond to this. The only thing defective and infantile here is your understanding of Orthodoxy.
 
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I think all groups have know it all’s who monopolize the truth & automatically judge others as deceivers or dupes. We all at times get exasperated in trying to sort out problems while also trying to see the big picture. I am not directing this at anyone in this discussion but just as a generality.
 

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Dude, just stop. There is no way to even seriously respond to this. The only thing defective and infantile here is your understanding of Orthodoxy.
You can try deflect all you want but if you believe in the real presence you can’t deny the sacred heart devotion or Eucharistic adoration with a straight face at the same time if you want to be taken seriously. There is just no two ways around it. It’s the same underlying theology in all cases.
 

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Bad practice and bad belief are two different things. If an Eastern Orthodox Christian attends the highest and most aesthetically pleasing liturgy celebrated by all bishops and patriarchs but still believes that Eucharistic adoration and the sacred heart devotion are wrong; well that person has a defective and infantile Eucharistic theology.
Lmao you are now at the bargaining stage of cope.
 

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defective and infantile (etc)
Ok, I will go ahead and attempt a more serious response to this.

I imagine most Orthodox have no issue with Catholics participating in Adoration outside the Liturgy or worshipping the Sacred Heart since these are later Roman Catholic devotions, and Catholics are obviously free to do as they wish. Having said that, we as Orthodox also adore Christ in the Eucharist during the Liturgy and worship the whole Christ. The issue is with your claim that without incorporating these later Catholic devotions, our Eucharistic theology has somehow become defective. Tell me, was the theology of the Church of Rome in the first millennium "defective and infantile"? Because that is the implication.

And herein lies the problem with the Catholic concept of "development", which believes that the early Church and the Fathers held a "primitive" theology (which the scholastics later improved upon), and that each succeeding age of the Church and each living magisterium
improves and develops a superior theology and understanding of the Faith than that which came before. This is why serious patristic studies within Roman Catholicism are seen as non-essential, being more of a niche field of interest for the scholar or historian, and more importantly, this is why Roman Catholics believe dogmas can be revealed two millennia after Pentecost and that the Faith never stops evolving. The tragedy being that this whole erroneous concept of development is the very root of the spread of modernism and the crisis within Catholicism.

The Orthodox Church believes that the Faith was understood the most clearly by the Apostles, who received it directly from Christ Himself and by direct revelation and illumination of the Holy Spirit. After them the holy Fathers received their Apostolic teaching and fleshed out the dogmas of the Faith through the Councils. Would the Fathers say that the Apostles held a more primitive "infantile" understanding than themselves? No, in fact they would say the opposite. That is the difference. Orthodoxy takes pains to carefully transmit what has been handed down and understood "at all times, everywhere, and by all." (St. Vincent). Post-Schism Catholicism takes pains to constantly update and add to what has been revealed, as if it is in need of improvement. Before you know it you have a Popes who believe they are living oracles of the Faith, able to singularly declare dogmas about their own office, or radically alter the liturgy at will, etc.
 
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