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What would an Orthodox Roman Church look like?

Rhinosaur

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If, sometime in the future, the Catholic Church were able to fully reunite with the Orthodox Church, how much would it change in terms of practice and appearance?  We all know the theological issues that need to be worked out as well as the need for the Novus Ordo Mass to be seriously reformed.  With that aside, what about things like:

- Vestments (priestly robes, headgear, collars).  From what I've seen, there's nothing all that scandalous about Catholic vestments.
- Practice for electing the pope (e.g., voting procedure, colored smoke)
- Official statements/events (e.g., Urbi et Orbi, World Youth Day)
- Architecture (Would classic Catholic architecture such as the Gothic style be alright?  What about more Protestant-looking buildings or modernist designs?)
- Beards for clergy (I understand that being bearded isn't required but would there be pressure on Roman clergy to become bearded?)
- Monastic orders (Dominicans, Franciscans, Jesuits, etc.)
- Stations of the Cross
- Sculpture as iconography and veneration of post-Schism saints (I understand this gets more into issues of theology and the saints issue is particularly thorny)
 

xOrthodox4Christx

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Rhinosaur said:
If, sometime in the future, the Catholic Church were able to fully reunite with the Orthodox Church, how much would it change in terms of practice and appearance?  We all know the theological issues that need to be worked out as well as the need for the Novus Ordo Mass to be seriously reformed.  With that aside, what about things like:

- Vestments (priestly robes, headgear, collars).  From what I've seen, there's nothing all that scandalous about Catholic vestments.
Some of the red vestments are a medieval innovation designed for the sole purpose of symbolizing the allegiance of the clergy to the Pope. For whatever it's worth.
 

Minnesotan

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Rhinosaur said:
If, sometime in the future, the Catholic Church were able to fully reunite with the Orthodox Church, how much would it change in terms of practice and appearance?  We all know the theological issues that need to be worked out as well as the need for the Novus Ordo Mass to be seriously reformed.  With that aside, what about things like:

- Vestments (priestly robes, headgear, collars).  From what I've seen, there's nothing all that scandalous about Catholic vestments.
Agreed, at least with regard to the more traditional ones (not the ones featured on the "Bad Vestments" website). The WRO use very similar ones.

Rhinosaur said:
- Practice for electing the pope (e.g., voting procedure, colored smoke)
A local (autocephalous) church has the right to decide how it wants to elects its hierarchs. The Coptic Church chooses their pope at random. Other jurisdictions all have their own rules.

Rhinosaur said:
- Official statements/events (e.g., Urbi et Orbi, World Youth Day)
Some of the stuff that goes on at World Youth Day events definitely wouldn't be okay.

Rhinosaur said:
- Architecture (Would classic Catholic architecture such as the Gothic style be alright?  What about more Protestant-looking buildings or modernist designs?)
There are Orthodox churches built in all three styles. The Gothic style dates back to before the schism and is perfectly fine. The latter two are not ideal, but there have been Orthodox churches built in both those styles as well, so while it's not ideal, it's not a deal-breaker either.

Rhinosaur said:
- Beards for clergy (I understand that being bearded isn't required but would there be pressure on Roman clergy to become bearded?)
Depends on if they're reuniting with the EO or the OO. There are quite a few EO, sadly, who seem to have made having a beard more important than it should be. The OO, on the other hand, have several jurisdictions where the clergy often don't have beards.

Rhinosaur said:
- Monastic orders (Dominicans, Franciscans, Jesuits, etc.)
Not sure either way.

Rhinosaur said:
- Stations of the Cross
Again, not sure.

Rhinosaur said:
- Sculpture as iconography and veneration of post-Schism saints (I understand this gets more into issues of theology and the saints issue is particularly thorny)
There were sculptures used before the schism (and not just in the west!) I suppose it also depends on the overall style of the sculpture, too (if it's overly realistic or "sensuous" in style, like Renaissance sculptures, that could present a problem, but if it resembles a 3D version of an Orthodox icon the answer might be different. Also, devotions to alleged miracle-working sculptures might have to be scrutinized).

Regarding the veneration of saints, there were other patriarchates in the East (such as Antioch) that broke communion with Rome later than Constantinople did, and as a result, there are some post-schism Western saints that were traditionally venerated there, albeit less commonly today. St. Francis was recognized by the Antiochians, if I'm not mistaken. This is an extremely complicated issue (due to the sheer number of saints) that might have to be examined on a case-by-case basis.
 

Volnutt

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Imo having access to non-contemplative orders would do a heck of a lot of good for Orthodoxy.
 

Peacemaker

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It would probably look like how the western church looked pre-schizm. Just look at picture (paintings) of the roman church when it was in Communion all the way up to 1054ad. Keep in mind that this whole east and west thing is, is just liturgical practices. When the Roman Church was in communion pre-1054 they still used statues and rosaries and all the stuff you see them using today because it was never a problem in the west, only the east.
 

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Volnutt said:
Imo having access to non-contemplative orders would do a heck of a lot of good for Orthodoxy.
The Dominicans, Jesuits, and Cistercians did contribute a lot to the development of science, technology, mathematics, etc., in the West. Some historians think that a lot of them may have had Asperger's Syndrome, although the diagnosis didn't exist at the time, which both would explain why they'd be attracted to monasticism (due to its regimented, predictable lifestyle), and why they'd be interested in such "nerdy" pursuits. The founder of modern genetics, Gregor Mendel, was a monk and is believed to have had it.

The lack of any analogous institutions in the East could be one reason why the Orthodox world (such as Russia) has always lagged so far behind in terms of social development.

It might not be necessarily to have orders of monks in the same sense that Roman Catholicism has orders, but certainly if monasteries were allowed to pursue a greater variety of vocations, as was always the case in the West (even before the schism) that'd probably be a good thing. It'd help tear down what my Reformed friends like to call the "sacred-secular divide", a particular weakness that was always more prevalent in the East than the West.
 

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Maybe they could starting using the mozarabic rite again.
 

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Minnesotan said:
The lack of any analogous institutions in the East could be one reason why the Orthodox world (such as Russia) has always lagged so far behind in terms of social development.
It’s hard to make a proper comparison, because the situation in the East was different from the West. For one thing, the West wasn’t under the Turks for five hundred years. Wasn’t the Byzantine empire more developed for a while?
 

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Rhinosaur said:
- Monastic orders (Dominicans, Franciscans, Jesuits, etc.)
There were no such thing as monastic orders in the Roman church pre-schism, the only form of monasticism prior to 1054 were the Benedictines.  Even the Carthusians were after 1054, they came about in 1084.
 

wgw

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juliogb said:
Maybe they could starting using the mozarabic rite again.
The Mozarabic Rite remains in use in about five parishes in Toledo and in a dedicated chapel in Toledo's stunning cathedral.  Additionally, it was adapted to serve as the basis for the liturgies of the Anglican churches of Spain, Portugal and Mexico, and the pre Novus Ordo Latin American marriage Rite is largely Mozarabic.  The Ambrosian and Carthsuaian rites are also thriving.  However the Sarum Rite is dead, I believe the Rite of Lyons has flown out of use, the Rite of Braga is criticially endangered, and the Dominican Rite is just beginning to make a comeback.  Also some traditionalist Carmelite monks are bringing back the Carmelite Rite in Wyoming.
 

mike

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juliogb said:
Maybe they could starting using the mozarabic rite again.
There is one ROCOR church in spain that uses Mozarabic rite. Not sure whether occasionally or on regular basis, though.
 

Fabio Leite

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- Vestments (priestly robes, headgear, collars).  From what I've seen, there's nothing all that scandalous about Catholic vestments.
I don't think they would have to change that. There might be a reinforcement of cassocks though.

- Practice for electing the pope (e.g., voting procedure, colored smoke)
No problem there.

- Official statements/events (e.g., Urbi et Orbi, World Youth Day)
No problem there. That's something we could have more of.

- Architecture (Would classic Catholic architecture such as the Gothic style be alright?  What about more Protestant-looking buildings or modernist designs?)
It would be a waste of money to change that. Just adapt it to West's own Orthodox traditions.

- Beards for clergy (I understand that being bearded isn't required but would there be pressure on Roman clergy to become bearded?)
That is not necessary.

- Monastic orders (Dominicans, Franciscans, Jesuits, etc.)
Many would have to be seriously reformed and that's one of the places major resistence would come from.  Some Roman monastic orders are about intellectual or educational vocations than anything Orthodox would call monastic vocation. And they would not like to not be called monks anymore, although for Orthodox standards they look more like consacrated lay people.

- Stations of the Cross
Not a major issue to press on.

- Sculpture as iconography and veneration of post-Schism saints (I understand this gets more into issues of theology and the saints issue is particularly thorny)
Iconographic sculpture could be made, but most of what Romans currently venerate is beautiful holy art but not proper for veneration in my opinion.
Post-Schism saints is another tough issue. Even if one recognizes their high piety and wisdom, they were outside the Church, despite believing they were in. Maybe some could be counted as saints just like non-baptized martyr cathecumens were.
 

juliogb

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Mozarabic rite remembers me armenian rite in some things.
 

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gavaisky said:
Minnesotan said:
The lack of any analogous institutions in the East could be one reason why the Orthodox world (such as Russia) has always lagged so far behind in terms of social development.
It’s hard to make a proper comparison, because the situation in the East was different from the West. For one thing, the West wasn’t under the Turks for five hundred years. Wasn’t the Byzantine empire more developed for a while?
Yes it was, as a matter of fact. Many of the Byzantine scientists and mathematicians were actually monks, too. But for whatever reason, the overall tone of Eastern monasticism then seems to have changed. Not sure why, but the Turkish yoke may well be one reason. Also, the Barlaamite controversy may have made some of the Eastern monastics overly-suspicious of anything too intellectual or not "mystical" enough.
 

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Peacemaker said:
Rhinosaur said:
- Monastic orders (Dominicans, Franciscans, Jesuits, etc.)
There were no such thing as monastic orders in the Roman church pre-schism, the only form of monasticism prior to 1054 were the Benedictines.  Even the Carthusians were after 1054, they came about in 1084.
Benedictines were a Western thing specifically. Monasteries in the East used different rules, if I'm not mistaken.
 

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Volnutt said:
Imo having access to non-contemplative orders would do a heck of a lot of good for Orthodoxy.
Our monks are supposed to be more than contemplatives. Read St. Basil.
 

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Peacemaker said:
Rhinosaur said:
- Monastic orders (Dominicans, Franciscans, Jesuits, etc.)
There were no such thing as monastic orders in the Roman church pre-schism, the only form of monasticism prior to 1054 were the Benedictines.  Even the Carthusians were after 1054, they came about in 1084.
I'm misunderstanding you or you're contradicting yourself. Are not the Benedictines a "monastic order"? (Benedict is a saint of ours too, by the way, and his Rule is considered to derive from similar sources to our own monks'. I am certain Benedictine monasticism would be quite untouched by a union.)
 

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Minnesotan said:
... the Orthodox world (such as Russia) has always lagged so far behind in terms of social development.
Now this -- I'm sorry -- is just prejudiced piffle.
 

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Fabio Leite said:
Iconographic sculpture could be made, but most of what Romans currently venerate is beautiful holy art but not proper for veneration in my opinion.
Since you're not the only person to have touched on this, I'll counter. Iconoclasm was not the issue within the Western Church it was in the Byzantine, and so the safeguards surrounding the resolution of that conflict would not have to be observed by them.

Post-Schism saints is another tough issue. Even if one recognizes their high piety and wisdom, they were outside the Church, despite believing they were in.
I'm afraid you don't understand schism nor its resolution.
 

Peacemaker

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Porter ODoran said:
Peacemaker said:
Rhinosaur said:
- Monastic orders (Dominicans, Franciscans, Jesuits, etc.)
There were no such thing as monastic orders in the Roman church pre-schism, the only form of monasticism prior to 1054 were the Benedictines.  Even the Carthusians were after 1054, they came about in 1084.
I'm misunderstanding you or you're contradicting yourself. Are not the Benedictines a "monastic order"? (Benedict is a saint of ours too, by the way, and his Rule is considered to derive from similar sources to our own monks'. I am certain Benedictine monasticism would be quite untouched by a union.)
I was just stating that the only monastic order pre-schism were the Benedictines. All the other monastic orders came later. Sadly the Benedictines have changed a lot since then. It would be nice to see if Rome ever went back to being Orthodox to stick to the order of Benedict. That's my own personal thought anyway.
 

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Porter ODoran said:
Volnutt said:
Imo having access to non-contemplative orders would do a heck of a lot of good for Orthodoxy.
Our monks are supposed to be more than contemplatives. Read St. Basil.
Fabio said it better than I could. There's a lot of Catholic orders that only put contemplation second place.
 

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Peacemaker said:
Porter ODoran said:
Peacemaker said:
Rhinosaur said:
- Monastic orders (Dominicans, Franciscans, Jesuits, etc.)
There were no such thing as monastic orders in the Roman church pre-schism, the only form of monasticism prior to 1054 were the Benedictines.  Even the Carthusians were after 1054, they came about in 1084.
I'm misunderstanding you or you're contradicting yourself. Are not the Benedictines a "monastic order"? (Benedict is a saint of ours too, by the way, and his Rule is considered to derive from similar sources to our own monks'. I am certain Benedictine monasticism would be quite untouched by a union.)
I was just stating that the only monastic order pre-schism were the Benedictines. All the other monastic orders came later. Sadly the Benedictines have changed a lot since then. It would be nice to see if Rome ever went back to being Orthodox to stick to the order of Benedict. That's my own personal thought anyway.
While Benedict was influenced by the Rules of Augustine, Pachomius, Basil, and the anonymous Master, he's not strictly speaking doing the same thing they were. And we don't even know what rule St. Anthony used. In the same way, Irish monasticism was not abolished by the Council of Whitby, it was just Romanized. I don't see why they'd have to "stick to the order of Benedict."

Granted, some orders would be harder to reform than others. The Carthusians would barely be effected. The Franciscans, on the other hand, barely qualify as monks by Orthodox standards. They might have to be called something different, but that's really more of a technicality than anything, isn't it?

The Carmelites would likely be the most difficult to make acceptable what with their order being so tied to heterodox apparitions and the doctrine of Purgatory.
 

Mor Ephrem

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Volnutt said:
While Benedict was influenced by the Rules of Augustine, Pachomius, Basil, and the anonymous Master, he's not strictly speaking doing the same thing they were.
How so?

And we don't even know what rule St. Anthony used.
The gospel.

The Franciscans, on the other hand, barely qualify as monks by Orthodox standards. They might have to be called something different, but that's really more of a technicality than anything, isn't it?

The Carmelites would likely be the most difficult to make acceptable what with their order being so tied to heterodox apparitions and the doctrine of Purgatory.
What are "monks by Orthodox standards"?  I would like to know what you are basing your judgements on because, if anything, I would've presumed that Carmelites are more "acceptable" than Franciscans.
 

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Volnutt said:
The Franciscans, on the other hand, barely qualify as monks by Orthodox standards.
I'd challenge this. First, but less importantly, because most Franciscans nowadays are conventual (cenobitic) and have been since the 1500s. Second, because my understanding of the life of the Orthodox monk in many parts of the world is that it has traditionally included going forth to serve among the people (the basic definition of friary is to live the Gospel among the people and not within monastery walls). I would suggest an Orthodox monk that spent some time as a "contemplative" and some time as a "friar," under his superior's direction, would not be in conflict with St. Basil or the other Fathers. However, my challenge is based on a limited understanding, and I hope those who really know the answer provide it.
 

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At any rate, I think some of us are cutting these issues too fine. It is not un-Orthodox to recognize that the Holy Spirit will work according to need, in some parts of the world somewhat differently than in other parts. The history of the West has simply been vastly different from other parts. Nor is it necessary to ascend to this level of theorizing to understand that negotiations of union would not touch on many of the issues raised here; such are the facts of diplomacy. The matter of the pope of Rome will precede anything else, and the disposal of most of the rest will naturally fall into place depending on that ...
 

wgw

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The principle aspect of Roman monastic praxis that is or at least appears counter to Orthodox approaches is the emphasis on ecstatic experiences and the imagination in prayer.  On fatheralexander.org and orthodoxinfo.com, admittedly both traditionalist sites opposed to any attempt at reconciliation (IMO the attempt itself is worthwhile, but reconciliation should be on our terms), there exist comparisons of the lives of Abba Sisoes and Francis of Assisi that are highly informative.  Romans are not sufficiently discerning of apparitions IMO; in their enthusiasm they seem so ready to accept them the church almost since the Great Schism, in retrospect, looks proto-Pentecostal.

Of course some who left the Orthodox Church in Russia fell into the same error and castrated or immolated themselves.  So the fact that the Catholics haven't done that (although they have burned others; there is this undercurrent one senses in commentaries among atheists on various discussion sites regarding sites about ISIL that the Christians in the Middle East have it coming because of what the Catholics did in the Inquisition, specifically I recall reading something along these lines in the comments on the Telegraph, which are never of a high quality, although Lord Tebbit alone of the major bloggers there engages with his commenters, often in a condescending manner made so much more awesome by his status as a Peer of the Realm, but I digress), to themselves, is good, but the self flagellation, even though it's mild, practiced even by John Paul II, is a worry.

For that matter I'm surprised no one has even mentioned the historic insistence on Absolute Divine Simplicity and the reference of the Essence/Energies distinction.  Ultimately for reunion to be affected much Scholastic theology must be repudiated, for Scholasticism is incompatible with Patristic Orthodoxy.  The very fact that the Romans demarcate an end of the Patristic age with St John Damascene, and admit a a distinction between the Fathers and the Schoolmen, shows that a rupture has occurred.  Another such rupture certainly occurred at Vatican II in which Scholastic theology was deprecated, although HH Benedict XVI made noble efforts to paper over these ruptures with his Hermeneutic of Continuity.  And such papering over does actually work in religion; in Christianity the interpretation of the Holy Scriptures has proven to be far more important than their content.  And in extinct religions, archaeologists have deciphered many texts that are utterly baffling because the interpretation has been lost.

One problem we face is that the traditionalists like Raymond Cardinal Burke who support the Tridentine mass and firm stances on women's ordination and human sexuality, who we should support over the liberals who would like the Roman church to look something like the Episcopal Church USA, are also deeply involve with Scholasticism.  They're also less likely to support Union with us on terms we want.

So I fear what our theologians who care about this must now do is take on the unenviable task of emgaging deeply with scholasticism and Roman ascetic and monastic disciple to separate the wheat from the chaff and present an Orthodox reconciliation of this material with Patriatic theology tied in with Benedict XVI's idea of the Hermeneutic of Continuity, and link that to the pro-reconciliation aspects of Vatican II.  This would also provide a roadmap as to what ascetic practices could have our blessing.  And one of the biggest sticking points in recent times, the Papal Infallibility, is already being "reinterpreted", I.e. Watered down by the traditionalists now that they have a very anti-Traditional Pope, Francis, who unlike his predecessors seems to want to pick up where Paul VI and Pius XII left off.  What is more, there are many who believe Vatican II was a mistake.  Well, if they believe that, and resolve to declare it a Robber Synod, perhaps if Francis is followed by another modernist, they might decide Vatican I wasn't such a great idea either.  Ultimately, all traditionalism must lead to the Fathers and Holy Tradition, because as the Protestants are finding out, Sola scriptura alone can't support traditional Biblical morality (although it comes close, it's vulnerable to a number of attacks first documented by St. Irenaeus), and as the Catholics are finding out, the Pope remains a mere mortal who cannot be counted on to uphold their interpretation of Tradition, and I suspect Scholasticism either won't hold under intense scrutiny, or will simply be ignored by the modernists.

But the biggest sticking point I feel will be the Rosary.  Not the prayer itself, which has the support of Ss. Seraphim of Sarov and his successors), but the practice of meditating on the mysteries.  However, a friend offered to me a possible solution: praying about the mystery rather than imagining it mentally.  I once wrote a full length kontakion with fifteen oikos (the old school form that led to the Canon) that was built around the mysteries of the Rosary intended as a sort of substitute for the dangerous meditation practices, but neither my priest confessor or I were able to say if it would actually work or if it might backfire and induce the undesired visualization, so I have shelved it for the moment.

Also, can the Orthodox in Union with Rome really suffer the superstitious use of the miraculous medal and the scapulars?  Again, a theologian would either have to reinterpret them, and then promulgate this reinterpretation through a papal encyclical, as symbols or prayers, or they would have to be suppressed, which would lead to grumbling especially among the traditionalists.  It's worth noting that Pope John Paul II and others managed to reinterpret Purgatory in a semi-Orthodox friendly manner, and I'm not sure if most Eastern Catholics even believe in it, but then you have traditionalists like the Rorate Caeli blog and Latin Mass priests starting up new Purgatorial Spcieties, already with thousands of souls "enrolled", and celebrating Requiem Masses on Nov 1 "for the poor forgotten souls" complete with black palls with frightening real human skulls and crossbones at the base (see Fr Zeds blog wdptrs), and this really seems unorthodox to me in the extreme.  Yes we pray for the dead, even those in Hell based on St. Macarius, but the specifics of purgatory and spooky requiem masses (although with lovely music and black vestments) seem in opposition to our approach towards this vital form of prayer, vital in that it benefits the living as much as those awaiting resurrection.
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
Volnutt said:
While Benedict was influenced by the Rules of Augustine, Pachomius, Basil, and the anonymous Master, he's not strictly speaking doing the same thing they were.
How so?
In that St. Benedict wrote his own rule instead of just copying one of there's.

Mor Ephrem said:
And we don't even know what rule St. Anthony used.
The gospel.
Well, yes.

Mor Ephrem said:
The Franciscans, on the other hand, barely qualify as monks by Orthodox standards. They might have to be called something different, but that's really more of a technicality than anything, isn't it?

The Carmelites would likely be the most difficult to make acceptable what with their order being so tied to heterodox apparitions and the doctrine of Purgatory.
What are "monks by Orthodox standards"?  I would like to know what you are basing your judgements on because, if anything, I would've presumed that Carmelites are more "acceptable" than Franciscans.
I don't know. I'm speaking out of my hat.

I thought Orthodox monasticism eschews going out among the world, but rather waiting for it to come to the monks. I guess I was wrong.
 

Mor Ephrem

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wgw said:
The principle aspect of Roman monastic praxis that is or at least appears counter to Orthodox approaches is the emphasis on ecstatic experiences and the imagination in prayer.  On fatheralexander.org and orthodoxinfo.com, admittedly both traditionalist sites opposed to any attempt at reconciliation (IMO the attempt itself is worthwhile, but reconciliation should be on our terms), there exist comparisons of the lives of Abba Sisoes and Francis of Assisi that are highly informative. 
Strictly speaking, the Franciscans are not a monastic order.  When considering "Roman monastic praxis", I'm not sure I see anything incompatible with Orthodox monasticism.  Liturgical prayer, work, fasting, silence, prayer of the heart, the spiritual father, etc. are all part of both forms of monasticism. 

Also, can the Orthodox in Union with Rome really suffer the superstitious use of the miraculous medal and the scapulars?
 

How are you defining superstition?

...then you have traditionalists like the Rorate Caeli blog and Latin Mass priests starting up new Purgatorial Spcieties, already with thousands of souls "enrolled", and celebrating Requiem Masses on Nov 1 "for the poor forgotten souls" complete with black palls with frightening real human skulls and crossbones at the base (see Fr Zeds blog wdptrs), and this really seems unorthodox to me in the extreme.  Yes we pray for the dead, even those in Hell based on St. Macarius, but the specifics of purgatory and spooky requiem masses (although with lovely music and black vestments) seem in opposition to our approach towards this vital form of prayer, vital in that it benefits the living as much as those awaiting resurrection.
Prayer for the departed, whether by name (when we have names) or without them, is also a part of our Orthodox tradition. 

What's wrong with Requiem Masses?
 

Mor Ephrem

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Volnutt said:
I thought Orthodox monasticism eschews going out among the world, but rather waiting for it to come to the monks. I guess I was wrong.
Orthodox monasticism has more than one form, even if it isn't regimented so strictly in the form of "orders". 
 

LenInSebastopol

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Discovered today, from this forum, thankfully, is the TLTR (to long to read) and a must read regarding some of the above:

https://mospat.ru/en/2015/02/08/news115201/
 

Volnutt

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wgw said:
The principle aspect of Roman monastic praxis that is or at least appears counter to Orthodox approaches is the emphasis on ecstatic experiences and the imagination in prayer.  On fatheralexander.org and orthodoxinfo.com, admittedly both traditionalist sites opposed to any attempt at reconciliation (IMO the attempt itself is worthwhile, but reconciliation should be on our terms), there exist comparisons of the lives of Abba Sisoes and Francis of Assisi that are highly informative.  Romans are not sufficiently discerning of apparitions IMO; in their enthusiasm they seem so ready to accept them the church almost since the Great Schism, in retrospect, looks proto-Pentecostal.
I think the Russians have the same issue with billions of apparitions, don't they?

wgw said:
Of course some who left the Orthodox Church in Russia fell into the same error and castrated or immolated themselves.  So the fact that the Catholics haven't done that (although they have burned others; there is this undercurrent one senses in commentaries among atheists on various discussion sites regarding sites about ISIL that the Christians in the Middle East have it coming because of what the Catholics did in the Inquisition, specifically I recall reading something along these lines in the comments on the Telegraph, which are never of a high quality, although Lord Tebbit alone of the major bloggers there engages with his commenters, often in a condescending manner made so much more awesome by his status as a Peer of the Realm, but I digress), to themselves, is good, but the self flagellation, even though it's mild, practiced even by John Paul II, is a worry.
St. Herman wore heavy iron chains. St. Benedict rolled naked in the briar patch. St. Simeon Stylites abused himself in a myriad of ways. I don't think the existence of mortification or the fact that JP II did it is a major issue as long as it gets toned down going forward.

wgw said:
For that matter I'm surprised no one has even mentioned the historic insistence on Absolute Divine Simplicity and the reference of the Essence/Energies distinction.  Ultimately for reunion to be affected much Scholastic theology must be repudiated, for Scholasticism is incompatible with Patristic Orthodoxy.  The very fact that the Romans demarcate an end of the Patristic age with St John Damascene, and admit a a distinction between the Fathers and the Schoolmen, shows that a rupture has occurred.  Another such rupture certainly occurred at Vatican II in which Scholastic theology was deprecated, although HH Benedict XVI made noble efforts to paper over these ruptures with his Hermeneutic of Continuity.  And such papering over does actually work in religion; in Christianity the interpretation of the Holy Scriptures has proven to be far more important than their content.  And in extinct religions, archaeologists have deciphered many texts that are utterly baffling because the interpretation has been lost.

One problem we face is that the traditionalists like Raymond Cardinal Burke who support the Tridentine mass and firm stances on women's ordination and human sexuality, who we should support over the liberals who would like the Roman church to look something like the Episcopal Church USA, are also deeply involve with Scholasticism.  They're also less likely to support Union with us on terms we want.

So I fear what our theologians who care about this must now do is take on the unenviable task of emgaging deeply with scholasticism and Roman ascetic and monastic disciple to separate the wheat from the chaff and present an Orthodox reconciliation of this material with Patriatic theology tied in with Benedict XVI's idea of the Hermeneutic of Continuity, and link that to the pro-reconciliation aspects of Vatican II.  This would also provide a roadmap as to what ascetic practices could have our blessing.  And one of the biggest sticking points in recent times, the Papal Infallibility, is already being "reinterpreted", I.e. Watered down by the traditionalists now that they have a very anti-Traditional Pope, Francis, who unlike his predecessors seems to want to pick up where Paul VI and Pius XII left off.  What is more, there are many who believe Vatican II was a mistake.  Well, if they believe that, and resolve to declare it a Robber Synod, perhaps if Francis is followed by another modernist, they might decide Vatican I wasn't such a great idea either.  Ultimately, all traditionalism must lead to the Fathers and Holy Tradition, because as the Protestants are finding out, Sola scriptura alone can't support traditional Biblical morality (although it comes close, it's vulnerable to a number of attacks first documented by St. Irenaeus), and as the Catholics are finding out, the Pope remains a mere mortal who cannot be counted on to uphold their interpretation of Tradition, and I suspect Scholasticism either won't hold under intense scrutiny, or will simply be ignored by the modernists.
Things like this might help http://www.amazon.com/Orthodox-Readings-Paradigms-Historical-Systematic/dp/0199650659/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1423948289&sr=1-1&keywords=Eastern+Orthodox+Aquinas

wgw said:
Also, can the Orthodox in Union with Rome really suffer the superstitious use of the miraculous medal and the scapulars?  Again, a theologian would either have to reinterpret them, and then promulgate this reinterpretation through a papal encyclical, as symbols or prayers, or they would have to be suppressed, which would lead to grumbling especially among the traditionalists.  It's worth noting that Pope John Paul II and others managed to reinterpret Purgatory in a semi-Orthodox friendly manner, and I'm not sure if most Eastern Catholics even believe in it, but then you have traditionalists like the Rorate Caeli blog and Latin Mass priests starting up new Purgatorial Spcieties, already with thousands of souls "enrolled", and celebrating Requiem Masses on Nov 1 "for the poor forgotten souls" complete with black palls with frightening real human skulls and crossbones at the base (see Fr Zeds blog wdptrs), and this really seems unorthodox to me in the extreme.  Yes we pray for the dead, even those in Hell based on St. Macarius, but the specifics of purgatory and spooky requiem masses (although with lovely music and black vestments) seem in opposition to our approach towards this vital form of prayer, vital in that it benefits the living as much as those awaiting resurrection.
*Shrug* The Catholics on here who responded to my thread on the Brown Scapular had a distinctly non-superstitious view of it. I think it can be salvaged. The official teaching has never been that it's a magic talisman.
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
Volnutt said:
I thought Orthodox monasticism eschews going out among the world, but rather waiting for it to come to the monks. I guess I was wrong.
Orthodox monasticism has more than one form, even if it isn't regimented so strictly in the form of "orders".
I was not aware of that.
 

Minnesotan

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Mor Ephrem said:
Also, can the Orthodox in Union with Rome really suffer the superstitious use of the miraculous medal and the scapulars?
Well, by those standards, there are a lot of "superstitious" practices that exist in old-world Orthodox countries too.
 

MalpanaGiwargis

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wgw said:
It's worth noting that Pope John Paul II and others managed to reinterpret Purgatory in a semi-Orthodox friendly manner, and I'm not sure if most Eastern Catholics even believe in it, but then you have traditionalists like the Rorate Caeli blog and Latin Mass priests starting up new Purgatorial Spcieties, already with thousands of souls "enrolled", and celebrating Requiem Masses on Nov 1 "for the poor forgotten souls" complete with black palls with frightening real human skulls and crossbones at the base (see Fr Zeds blog wdptrs), and this really seems unorthodox to me in the extreme.  Yes we pray for the dead, even those in Hell based on St. Macarius, but the specifics of purgatory and spooky requiem masses (although with lovely music and black vestments) seem in opposition to our approach towards this vital form of prayer, vital in that it benefits the living as much as those awaiting resurrection.
It's also worth noting that the spooky black vestments - like grim reapers standing atop skulls and different forms of head gear representing all of society - have been reprobated and forbidden for centuries. Sometimes the pious imagination gets a bit carried away, but the Roman Church has tried to rein some of that in, and not just since Vatican II.
 

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wgw said:
On fatheralexander.org and orthodoxinfo.com, admittedly both traditionalist sites opposed to any attempt at reconciliation (IMO the attempt itself is worthwhile, but reconciliation should be on our terms), there exist comparisons of the lives of Abba Sisoes and Francis of Assisi that are highly informative.
No, not "highly informative," merely pointless character assassination. Such sites comprise seeds of the spirit of schism, not of catholicity.
 

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Brown Scapular
Before we could presume to help Rome with her "follies," we'd have to ( a ) solve the schism and ( b ) clean our own houses.
 

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Volnutt said:
Granted, some orders would be harder to reform than others. The Carthusians would barely be effected. The Franciscans, on the other hand, barely qualify as monks by Orthodox standards. They might have to be called something different, but that's really more of a technicality.
The Franciscans don't qualify as monks by Catholic standards either because they are not a monastic order but a mendicant order whose purpose is to mobile and flexible and not tethered to a particular place.
 

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MalpanaGiwargis said:
wgw said:
It's worth noting that Pope John Paul II and others managed to reinterpret Purgatory in a semi-Orthodox friendly manner, and I'm not sure if most Eastern Catholics even believe in it, but then you have traditionalists like the Rorate Caeli blog and Latin Mass priests starting up new Purgatorial Spcieties, already with thousands of souls "enrolled", and celebrating Requiem Masses on Nov 1 "for the poor forgotten souls" complete with black palls with frightening real human skulls and crossbones at the base (see Fr Zeds blog wdptrs), and this really seems unorthodox to me in the extreme.  Yes we pray for the dead, even those in Hell based on St. Macarius, but the specifics of purgatory and spooky requiem masses (although with lovely music and black vestments) seem in opposition to our approach towards this vital form of prayer, vital in that it benefits the living as much as those awaiting resurrection.
It's also worth noting that the spooky black vestments - like grim reapers standing atop skulls and different forms of head gear representing all of society - have been reprobated and forbidden for centuries.
 

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Deacon Lance said:
Volnutt said:
Granted, some orders would be harder to reform than others. The Carthusians would barely be effected. The Franciscans, on the other hand, barely qualify as monks by Orthodox standards. They might have to be called something different, but that's really more of a technicality.
The Franciscans don't qualify as monks by Catholic standards either because they are not a monastic order but a mendicant order whose purpose is to mobile and flexible and not tethered to a particular place.
Shows how much I know, heh.

So, would mendicant orders be acceptable in Orthodoxy?
 
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