Saturday, May 07, 2016

Another argument with ex-Catholic Orthodox

My Facebook posts have largely replaced my blog posts; I like the added privacy (you can narrowcast to friends). That and I've been busy with my job, taking care of my classic car (just got a buffer to wax her like a pro), and my first post-red pill romance (let him who reads that understand — long story short the manosphere is right about fallen feminine nature and it's a matter of us conservative Christians learning how to deal with that, modern mainstream relationship advice is trash, and "casual dating" and weird unnatural platonic opposite-sex relationships are both evil and connected to each other; I refuse both on principle and my girlfriend respects that as a sign of a real man, and by the way, we voted for Trump). Anyway, this story on the occasion of the church's second Easter last Sunday (I love shouting "Χριστὸς ἀνέστη!" to Christos and his crew at Colonial Kitchen this time of year) started yet another online argument, again with that rarity in real life, religious Catholics who leave the church for the estranged majority of Byzantine Riters, commonly called the Orthodox: Yes, well-meaning followers of Fr. Gruner and neocon idiots trying to revive the Cold War, Russia isn't Communist anymore. My Facebook post says:

1. Христосъ воскресе! 2. Hooray for Putin, the new Constantine. 3. Msgr. Kirill shows Pope Francis how to do liturgy.

A Catholic friend:
The Russian Orthodox know liturgy and do it well — and take it more seriously than some of us Catholics. I always enjoy watching the DL at Pascha and Christmas on RT or even YouTube. When you were Orthodox, did you attend a ROCOR or OCA parish? I remember that video you made praying in Slavonic.
You got that right. A big part of their appeal, and something they can reteach us, is they don't hate their past the way too many of us were forced to. My first traditional Catholic Mass in person was 30 years ago and Ukrainian, thanks to my meeting Ukrainian exiles. Thing is, after a while trying out the rite in the Catholic Church, I made the mistake the Orthodox do of thinking their culture is the church, so I left, but ultimately I admitted that wasn't true. Yes, I learned Russian and Slavonic; I love languages. I belonged to two parishes, neither of them OCA. My first parish, where I was received by confession, was OCA-like; descendants of Slavic ex-Catholics who schismed 100 years ago. It was Moscow Patriarchate; some parishes obeyed the Soviets after WWII and joined that. My second was ROCOR but that needs explaining. My experience wasn't really ROCOR. My parish priest there was an emotionally wounded traditional ex-Catholic grieving because of Vatican II (he spent time in a mental hospital then) and still very pro-Catholic. Which was good and bad. He provided a refuge but it delayed my return to the church. When he left, I came back.

Ex-Catholic Richard:
The "Slavic" ex-Catholics were former Uniates from western Ukraine. From Galicia.
Right, it was a split from the city's only Greek Catholic church at the time, which is Ruthenian. A Galician group left and formed an uncanonical parish. And three years later there was a split in the split when one group returned to the church to become the city's Ukrainian Catholic cathedral and the other group went to the Russians, being in the Metropolia, now the OCA, until the Soviets sent a bishop to New York right after WWII, who ordered the Russian churches in America to submit to him. This parish did; most didn't.
A mental hospital? John, how can you smear his memory in this way after he was so kind to you?
No smear, Richard; he told me and there oughtn't be a stigma to mental illness and treatment for it.
John, then keep it to yourself!
But it's an indictment of our own churchmen for Vatican II, not of Fr. A. That they caused that kind man so much suffering says it all.
John, you're living in a fantasy world. Buona fortuna.
One faith and one church acknowledging the good in both sides and not being limited to one rite or culture is not a fantasy world, Richard (I know you won't read this or answer), but the wondrous reality instituted by Christ: the Catholic Church.

Ex-Catholic Eric:
It baffles my mind how you can both praise and demean a whole Church and its Patriarch at the same time.
That's the whole paradox of schism, Eric. There's much to still praise and much to criticize. You know what I believe. In a way we still include them; because they have bishops and the Mass they are still a part of us. But they are not the church as they claim to be.

Their being in schism, and daring to call us graceless (which we don't teach about them) for not being in their countries and culture, is demeaning to themselves.
I think that considering not a single church canon of a pre-schism ecumenical council said anything about Roman supremacy, you have no right to call us schismatic.
If there is only one church as is only logical, then a head bishop is logical. He's a caretaker of the faith. It's not so much about one see's supremacy (although I explained that just now) but that the church is more than one culture or rite. I like the Byzantine Rite. I don't mistake it for the whole church (never mind the small, half-hearted Western Rite Orthodox experiment). I'm where I am based on which side is fairest to both sides (acknowledging we have essentially the same faith). That must be the church. The thing confusing a culture with the church is obviously not the church.

There is no such thing as the Orthodox Church. There is only one church, the Catholic Church, and there are Byzantine and some other bishops estranged from it.
There are canons in the early councils which contradict the Roman model of church government and support the Orthodox. It's not the same exact faith, sorry.
It reminds me of the Old Catholics many years later, Eric. Both groups of schismatics, they and the Orthodox, have plausible arguments on paper. As I like to say, alterna-Catholicisms such as these fascinate me because they have a point, often about Catholics' human failings; there's more than one legitimate way of looking at things apart from doctrine. If the Old Catholics really were the true Roman Catholic Church, it would be self-evident: in America you'd see thriving Old Catholic dioceses with schools and hospitals, and religious orders full of vocations, for example, while the Pope's church languished in obscurity. Likewise mostly estranged Byzantium, which has an impressive résumé. Real bishops, the Mass, and, unlike Protestants, all its defined doctrine is true (because it's the first seven councils of our doctrine). But the truth is self-evident: the church includes many rites and cultures, one message for all mankind. One alterna-Catholicism pretends its rite and cultures, even its states, are the same as the church so all outside are graceless (such as Westerners believing in the same God with the same sacraments), but it's really just an Eastern European backwater; the other is a Middle European rump sect, basically Episcopalians.
Where did Jesus say His church would have worldly success and would be huge?
Byzantium (including Russia) thought so. The true church includes (ideally) but is bigger than Byzantium.


  1. I agree that the Church should ideally include different ancient liturgical rites. However, the Orthodox Patriarchs should not sell out to Rome. As St. Paul instructed, withdrawal from those who depart from the tradition that has been handed down. He didn't say be fair to all sides. And notice that I said ANCIENT rites. Sadly the normal liturgy for the Roman church only dates back to 1969.
    Why should I believe that the Patriarchs of Jerusalem, Alexandria, Antioch and Constantinople were all wrong during the 11th century schism and only Rome was right? That does not seem plausible. Rome had already been changing tradition, and has continued to do so; up through the Reformation and even in recent times.
    I also agree that there is one Catholic Church, and it's the Orthodox Catholic Church, not the church of the Pope. The Orthodox Catholic Church remains the unchanging rock of the ages, despite having to suffer through difficult times in its history. The Holy Spirit has preserved the faith in the Orthodox Church, not letting any sultan or tsar or whomever alter doctrine. On the other hand, you have the Pope of Rome, who is now giving words of encouragement to sodomites by claiming that some aspects of homo sex relationships approximate the kind of virtues that characterize marriage. He also says that atheists can go to heaven, and that Jews don't have to convert to be saved. Evidently, a lot has changed in the Roman church since the times when they taught one had to submit to the Roman pope in order to be saved, thus giving the pope a soteriological role.

    1. I agree that the Church should ideally include different ancient liturgical rites.

      And, however imperfectly due to human failings, the Catholic Church does, including generational, real Eastern Christian communities such as the Ukrainian Catholics and the Melkites.

      However, the Orthodox Patriarchs should not sell out to Rome.

      On things not touching on doctrine, that's fine. The church usually doesn't tell the East to latinize, for example, but many/most Ukrainian Catholics have latinized themselves. (Priestly celibacy in America: the church has the authority to make such disciplinary decisions, which are not doctrine. But we really shouldn't have; the ACROD schism breaks my heart because it was our fault, completely unnecessary.) Both unlatinized and latinized Eastern forms have their place in the church. As I wrote in this post, those estranged from the church often remind us that our polity outside of doctrine isn't always the only possible way.

      As St. Paul instructed, withdrawal from those who depart from the tradition that has been handed down.

      Why I'm not in a denomination that signs off on contraception or divorce and remarriage, for example, nice ethnic cultures and traditional liturgy notwithstanding.

      He didn't say be fair to all sides.

      God is just.

      And notice that I said ANCIENT rites. Sadly the normal liturgy for the Roman church only dates back to 1969.

      As you know, I don't like the Novus Ordo either; I rarely go to it. But 1) it has the bare minimum for small-o orthodoxy, so I have no conscience problem with it, so 2) I won't fetishize Byzantium (denying that Western Catholicism is true) like some self-hating Westerner just because I think the Novus Ordo is inferior. Not to be confused with born Latin Catholics being called to the Christian East, which I believe is legitimate (I don't have that calling); Metropolitan Andrew (Sheptytsky), the Polish count who became the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, should be their patron saint.

      Why should I believe that the Patriarchs of Jerusalem, Alexandria, Antioch and Constantinople were all wrong during the 11th century schism and only Rome was right?

      The patriarchates of Jerusalem, Alexandria, Antioch, and Constantinople are the stomping grounds of Mohammed, for one thing.

      That does not seem plausible.

      It's plausible as is the position you're arguing for, but the latter isn't reality.

      Rome had already been changing tradition, and has continued to do so; up through the Reformation and even in recent times.

      There is Tradition and there are traditions as Msgr. Kallistos once wrote. Tradition: God, Trinity, hypostatic union, Mother of God, bishops, the Mass, and the option of images. See above about fetishizing a culture, even a good one, namely, putting it above the church; that's idolatry, and a form that gets old once an ethnicity has been in America for three generations. Byzantine churches, Catholic and schismatic, lose people like crazy because of that. I'd love it if American Catholicism were predominantly Byzantine but it's just not happening.

      I also agree that there is one Catholic Church, and it's the Orthodox Catholic Church, not the church of the Pope. The Orthodox Catholic Church remains the unchanging rock of the ages, despite having to suffer through difficult times in its history.

      Eastern backwater estranged from the church.

      The Holy Spirit has preserved the faith in the Orthodox Church, not letting any sultan or tsar or whomever alter doctrine.

      There is no such thing as the Orthodox Church spiritually (there is no such authority; these are Catholic bishops estranged from us) or practically (a loose communion of ethnic churches, little to do with each other).

      Pope Francis' opinions and off-the-cuff remarks aren't our doctrine. My faith isn't the personal cult of the man occupying the See of Peter.

    2. Eric, good old St Cyprian of Carthage, a Church Father no less, taught that you could not be saved apart from union with the See of Peter. This was waaaay before the Schism. Later he took this farther, declaring heretics' baptisms invalid. The popes opposed this extreme rigorism, and their views prevailed. As Father Jaki (a real scholar, not an EO polemicist) observed, this set the stage for later ecumenism. So blame St Cyprian. :) Personally I'll stick with the popes. For as another fairly famous early Father put it, "Ubi Petrus ibi Ecclesia."

    3. "Why should I believe that the Patriarchs of Jerusalem, Alexandria, Antioch and Constantinople were all wrong during the 11th century schism and only Rome was right?" This is an example of a false analogy. Only Constantinople is really a Byzantine Patriarchate; the others are Byzantine imperial constructs in the canonical areas that are Oriental Orthodox. Antioch and Jerusalem of the Syraic Orthodox Church, and Alexandria of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

      One may notice that the artificial Byzantine Patriarchates of these occupied sees are indeed called The GREEK Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria, Jerusalem, and Antioch.

      It is worth mentioning that none of the Greek Patriarchates of these sees celebrate in their ancient eastern traditions, they are indeed artificial, and to attempt to use this as an argument is truly bizarre.

    4. Hello Eric,

      I am only going to address one point in your long response to John. I see many Orthodox use the 4 patriachates versus 1 argument to prove that Orthodoxy was on the right side of the schism, whereas Catholicism was wrong. This is a specious argument. After Chalcedon, Alexandria and Antioch were basically majority Monophysite. The Byzantine Empire installed rump Chalcedonian patriarchates to replace the non-Chalcedonians. Of course they would eventually join with Constantinople, since they were controlled by their fellow Byzantines in the capital. As for Jerusalem, it was also controlled by Greeks and would follow Constantinople due to that. It would be no different than the Latin Patriarch of Constantinople following Rome. Furthermore when the Chalcedonian Patriarchate of Antioch synodically voted to enter communion with Rome, the Ottomans placed someone who would be anti-Rome as an alternate Patriach on the seat of Antioch. The legitimate Chslcedonian Patriarch of Antioch is therefore the one today in communion with Rome. These are just some reasons your 4 vs 1 argument has no merit. I would also add that the other 3 rump Byzantine Parriarchates didn't break with Rome during the initial schism of 1054. The schism only hardened after Crusades due to the Latins installing Patriachates of their own in those sees, making much of the schism political rather than doctrinal.


  2. I think the argument between the Catholics and Orthodox depends on "Energia." That at least was my impression from the little bit I looked into it. I am I admit Jewish so my opinion my not count to you, but still I thought the Orthodox approach made a lot of sense. But still on the shear merits of the argument I thought Aquinas was a more accurate interpretation of Aristotle.

    1. Shalom. I don't know much about the argument but I chalk it up to the fact that there are different schools of theological speculation in Catholicism; a lot of people don't realize that. It's really a non-issue between us and the estranged majority of Byzantine Christians.

  3. I only recall a tiny drop. But the main thing the Orthodox were interested in is what we would in fact call energy today--or Divine energy. There are other points but this one point seemed to me to be the major issue. The Orthodox were in part using Aristotle as support and that is in fact the very word Aristotle uses. Aquinas was however as far as I can see more on the mark as far as Aristotle is concerned. But the Orthodox I can imagine have other sources.
    And as for other Catholic sources, I admit I know nothing. My information was solely from Aquinas.

    1. I picked up somewhere that Palamism as a rallying point against Western Catholicism wasn't mainstream among the Orthodox rank and file for many years; it's essentially a modern myth from their (sometimes Protestant convert) apologists.

  4. Thanks for the information. It seems I still have a lot to learn

  5. I was wondering where you had gone off to. I've been reading your blog for a good ten years, and as someone who was once tempted by the Eastern Orthodox myself, I read your musings with much interest and was sad to see them fade away.

    1. Thank you! A reason I haven't officially ended this blog and will try to keep it going. At least one person has come into the church from the Eastern Orthodox partly from reading it. Who knows how many other readers have been dissuaded from leaving the church?

      A certain online type, a newb to Byzantium, be he a Latin Catholic fleeing the inanity and borderline heresy of the Novus Ordo or a Protestant reading history, wading into the church via high churchmanship like 1800s Anglicans, falls in love with the rite, understandably. It's gorgeous, and entirely Catholic as the late Archimandrite Serge (Keleher), a Catholic layman turned Orthodox priest turned Catholic priest, said. These people feel the pain of estrangement from the majority of Byzantine Christians (all those Greeks and Russians) and are frustrated as Greek Catholics trying to practice their rite unlatinized, encountering resistance from the ethnic rank and file and their bishops. As I like to say, the beauty of Byzantium is the Roman Empire became entirely Catholic. Its tragedy is it mistook its empire and culture for the church; that's Orthodoxy. The frustrated newb falls for that and, if Catholic, eventually leaves the church. What's more, as I've seen online repeatedly and as Fr. Serge observed, pretty soon they get dissatisfied with rank-and-file, rather mellow ethnic Orthodox and join strict splinter groups (Old Calendarists) including classic ROCOR; cults rabidly anti-Western (bigoted Easterners and weird self-hating Westerners) and generally insane. (As far as I can tell, Mount Athos is barking mad.) If that's the true church, God's one sick f*ck. A fever swamp. A dead end.

      That said, as I like to say, these alterna-Catholicisms exist because of our human failings as Catholics. In America, we let our own people down, hence the Toth and Chornock schisms (Slavs who left for their Russian cousins and the Greeks respectively). There is so much more we should do to promote and defend the Eastern rites, including their unlatinized forms. (I defend the ethnics' latinized forms too, a reason I'm persona non grata in online Byzantium.) You don't have to believe the current praxis with the Uniates is perfect in order to be Catholic! Consider dropping the Congregation for the Eastern Churches in Rome. Make Metropolitan Sviatoslav in the Ukraine a patriarch in name as well as fact. Let patriarchal churches canonize their own saints. Walk the talk about ordaining the married in America. Consider parish ownership of property and trusteeship.

      I'm not ethnically Eastern but having got to know the Byzantine Rite and some of these peoples very well (I still wear a three-bar crucifix, because the church includes that), this schism cuts me to the bone. I've been in one of ACROD's old churches in Pennsylvania's anthracite country and started grieving. None of that heartbreak was necessary.

      But even if we did everything right, my guess is Byzantium is self-limiting in America. Greek Catholics leave due to assimilation after three generations here; that's not just an Orthodox problem (they lose people like crazy). The Orthodox are hurting for vocations too; married priests aren't a cure-all. Eastern monasticism has never taken off in a big way on our shores.

      Yet with an entirely Catholic authentic tradition (vs. schismatic opinions fueled by understandable anger at us) including a rite that beats the Novus Ordo hands down, this deserves our understanding, support, and love.

      Catholic and schismatic, in the '60s they did what the Roman Rite should have done: don't write new services; just translate the old ones.

      Let's take a couple of steps back, talk, and work this thing out, both our sides.

  6. Diane, I find it very amusing that you would quote St. Cyprian, because while he said that there is no salvation outside the Church, he did not say one had to be under the Pope of Rome to be saved, and his writings show quite clearly that his understanding of ecclesiology contradicts papal authority.
    In his letter On the Unity of The Church he writes that, "Certainly the other apostles were what Peter was, endued with an EQUAL fellowship both of honor and power." Cyprian taught that all of the apostles were equal. Peter was, however, according to Cyprian, as a sign and type of unity in the apostolic college.
    In his controversy with Pope Stephen, Cyprian said that any bishop, whether in Rome or elsewhere, was included in Jesus' message to Peter. He understood Jesus' words to Peter as referring to the corporate body of bishops, and not just to Peter alone.
    The parable of the mustard seed that you mentioned refers to the Kingdom of heaven, or the Church Triumphant, and not the Church Militant here on earth. Likewise, the quote you referenced from Revelation also is talking about the Church Triumphant only and not the Church Militant. So, I don't see why you would mention those passages from the bible, unless you actually believe the only people in heaven were Roman Catholic while here on earth. Maybe your church taught that before Vatican II, but certainly not now. Vatican II declared that Muslims can be saved as "they worship the one true God." This, of course, is another example of contradiction, which is evidence against papal infallibility.
    If you want to stick with the popes, I recommend you read St. Gregory the Great, where he writes "if a Patriarch is called universal, this takes from all others the title of Patriarch" and that "anyone who calls himself Universal bishop is a pre-cursor to the anti-Christ."
    As for your comment about corruption in the church, I was talking about doctrinal and spiritual corruption. Of course there has always been corrupt Orthodox bishops, as well as Catholic bishops, but that wasn't my point. Although, I'm not sure anything can compare to your supposed "Vicar of Christ" sanctioning Inquisitions or the sale of Indulgences.
    As for Pope Francis going soft on homosexuality and possibly other moral issues, I would refer you to his latest apostolic exortation.

    1. eric, nor did he say that one had to be exclusively Byzantine to be saved either.

      I grant my strong dislike for Francis, but when one considers the openly pro-abortionist position of Bartholomew, I would be very careful in casting stones. Even when Kyrill of Russia appeared to state his supposed opposition recently to abortion, it was not as a moral imperative, but simply because of the drop in the Russian population. My dislike of Francis is precisely that he so closely resembles the Greeks and Russians in his moral platitudes.

      Also, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople historically has also behaved as if it has universal jurisdiction in the East; hence, the artificial constructs of the ancient Eastern Patriarchal sees as Greek/Byzantine incarnations.

    2. "I'm not sure anything can compare to your supposed "Vicar of Christ" sanctioning Inquisitions": I dunno, what sanctioned a six-hundred year inquisition against the Old Believers, in which thousands were burnt at the stake for making, gasp...horrors of horrors, the sign of the Cross with two fingers. It lasted from 1666 to 1906. Please this is not a serious debate on these issues.

      There are indeed serious division between Roman Catholicism and the Byzantine Church, but you have only bothered for forget the pole in your own eye and have simply hovered around secondary issues.

    3. A case can be made that the Chalcedonian ("Greek") Patriarchate of Jerusalem is the historical one, as it has had no non-Chlcedonian rival (real or merely titular) since the Sixth Century. In Alexandria, the patriarchate split into two rival lines in the 530s, a process that had been completed by the late 560s. The anti-Chalcedonians formed the overwhelming majority; indeed, after the Muslim Conquest ca. 642 the Chlacedonian Patriarch of Alexandria was a mere titular residing in Constantinople until returning to Alexandria (IIRC) in the 750s to a diminutive flock which in later centuries consisted mostly of Byzantine/Greeks. (One of the Nubian kingdoms to the south of Egypt embraced Chalcedonian Orthodoxy, while the other, together with the Axumite ancestor kingdom of modern Ethiopia, was anti-Chalcedonian, but I know nothing about the subsequent "conciliar allegiances" of these Nubian kingdoms, which in any case were destroyed by Muslims in the 13th/14th centuries, and their natives forcibly converted to Islam; I don't know whether the Byzantine patriarchate had any contacts with Nubia after its return to Egypt.)

      I am not so well acquainted with the history of the Patriarchate of Antioch, which in any case by the time of the Muslim Conquest has a substantial Chalcedonian minority, and in which there had since the activities of Jacob Baradeus in the mid-sixth-century been two lines of patriarchs,one Chalcedonian, the other anti-Chalcedonian. If I am not mistaken, the Chalcedonian patriarchs (ancestral to the contemporary Greek Orthodox and Melkite Catholic lines) resided in Constantinople for some decades, if not more, from shortly after the Muslim Conquest, which resulted, among other confusions, in the emergence of a rival Chalcedonian patriarchate which (maybe embracing Monothelitism for a time along the way (in the mid/late Seventh Century) and catering to a largely Syriac-speaking flock) eventually became the Maronites (who accepted papal authority and communion with Rome in the Twelfth Century).

      So it is hardly a case of "four patriarchs versus one" any more than of Rome, back in "the good old days," could claim, in return, "five patriarchs versus four," meaning Rome and its Eastern Catholic patriarchs of the Byzantine tradition versus the four Greek Orthodox eastern patriarchates. It seems more like the old script of New Rome versus Old Rome, with Third Rome rejecting the First and ambitious to displace the Second.

    4. Doctrinal and spiritual corruption? Are you serious? Like Theodora the Monophysite calling the shots? And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

      And you don't know what you're talking about WRT Cyprian. He absolutely defended union with the pope as essential to membership in the Church. Later he fell out with the pope, but he never rejected the papacy, and he died as a martyr in communion with Rome. (Why on earth do you think we Catholics consider him a saint? Would we do so if he had rejected union with Rome? As my sainted grandmother used to say, use the brains you were born with. Sheesh.)

      And again--on the rebaptism issue, Cyprian was wrong. The popes were right. That's why we have a Magisterium -- so we don't have to sort through dueling Fathers and competing theologians. The alternative is chaos.

    5. Diane, I never said St. Cyprian broke communion with the Pope or died out of communion with Rome, but it is clear from his writings that he did not hold the idea of papal supremacy. I provided some quotes; you can look them up yourself. If you know of a quote where he said union with the Pope is necessary to be part of the church, please provide it. Certainly, at the time, Rome was completely orthodox and even when Cyprian and the pope had that disagreement about re-baptism, they were still in communion with each other, but that's not the point. Did he believe Rome to be the only successor of St. Peter and supreme head of the church? His writings show that he clearly did not.
      What does Theodora have to do with our doctrine or spirituality? Did she, or any other emperor change any Church teachings? If not, it's pointless to mention her. I believe that Rome is corrupt doctrinally, with teachings like the Immaculate Conception of the BVM and papal infallibility, for example. Spiritually, I think devotions to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and even the Sacred Heart are unbalanced.
      Is it possible for you to post something without it including ad hominem attacks? Btw, who is your sainted grandmother?

    6. Eric, wrt my alleged ad hominems: I am not the one hanging out on the blogs of members of other communions in order to attack their cherished beliefs. Just sayin'.

      And no, the pope does not change doctrine. And Theodora had a heck of a lot more influence than you give her credit for.

      Sainted grandmother is an expression.

      Moreover, your revulsion toward the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts strikes me as unseemly and downright Protestant. There is a deeply fundamentalist strain on Convertodoxy, and you seem to have bought into it.

    7. Diane, I'm here to learn. The more comments I make, the more people respond to my comments, the more I learn. People like William and Anthony have made some good points, and I've learned from them, and that's what I want. I've known John for a long time, so his blog is the only one I stalk :) But is this blog necessarily a Catholic blog, or a blog run by a Catholic? It's not called a Catholic Blog for Peace, so why should only Catholics comment here?
      Anyway, If you think that I am incorrect in anything I say, then please show me where I am wrong.
      I don't think my views are just Convertodox. I think my comments about certain Latin devotions and dogmas represent the general Orthodox position. However, if you think I'm wrong, I would love to hear why you think I'm wrong.


    8. I would also like to add that I wouldn't say I have a "revulsion" to the Immaculate Heart of Mary or the Sacred Heart of Jesus. That is a stretch from what I said. I question their orthodoxy with a small "o" and there is nothing Protestant with me being uncomfortable with those devotions. Neither Orthodox nor Byzantine Catholics worship Jesus' Heart alone, nor venerate Mary's heart alone. We worship Jesus as a whole person, divinity and humanity together, and we venerate the Blessed Mother as a whole person.

    9. "You worship a heart" is just like "you worship a piece of bread and "you worship paintings": Protestant nonsense. That said, there are different schools of spirituality in the church, so somebody using an unlatinized form of an Eastern rite wouldn't use that devotion, and that's OK. I take that further to say the church allows images and their veneration; it doesn't require them de fide but only as a disciplinary rule in some rites. That is, one rite may use them, another not. The church has many cultures; it doesn't idolize one over the others.

  7. Anthony, thanks for your response. I am a little confused, however, because I can't find any information about the patriarchate of Antioch synodically agreeing to unite with Rome. I read that Patrirarch Cyril VI was considered to be too pro-Western, probably due to Latin missionaries in the Middle East, and so the Patriarch of Constantinople excommunicated him and replaced him with an anti-Roman one. Then five years later the Pope acknowledged Cyril VI as the legit patriarch of Antioch and they united. So their union with Rome happened after Cyril was already ex-communicated.
    I would also argue that the Chalcedonian Patriarch of Alexandria is the historical successor of that see, since during the council, Patriarch Dioscorus was deposed and exiled by the church and replaced by the pro-Chalcedonian St. Proterius, who was subsequently martyred by anti-Chalcedonians. St. Proterius' successors would be considered as the legit ones by both the Byzantine and Roman churches.
    I also agree with William that the Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem is the historical one for the reasons he gave. Thank you both for your responses, I am certainly learning from both of you.
    I also think it makes sense that, yes, of course the other three Eastern Patriarchs would side with Constantinople, considering they were all Greek Byzantine bishops.
    However, I believe it is pretty clear from the early councils of the church, that the model of ecclesiastical government that the early church had, continues in the Orthodox Church today. I know there were church Fathers who spoke very highly of the Pope of Rome, but I believe that this was due to the fact that he was the first ranking bishop in the church and the only apostolic see in the West, and was founded by Sts. Peter and Paul and was the capital of the empire. "All roads lead to Rome" as it was said. I believe that his rank as first bishop in the church was one of honor and love granted by the church and not divine right. If I'm wrong, then show me I'm wrong.

  8. "I would also argue that the Chalcedonian Patriarch of Alexandria is the historical successor of that see, since during the council, Patriarch Dioscorus was deposed and exiled by the church and replaced by the pro-Chalcedonian St. Proterius, who was subsequently martyred by anti-Chalcedonians."

    This is true, but I don't see the relevance of the martyrdom of St. Proterius to the question of which line of patriarchs is the "historical" one. From 457 to 482 there was a succession of (overlapping) pro-Chalcedonian and anti-Chalcedonian patriarchs. The last of the pro-Chalcedonians was John Talaia who, in response to the Emperor Zeno's "Henotikon," relinquished his see, fled to Italy, and eventually became Bishop of Nola there. All succeeding Patriarchs of Alexandria down to 536 were anti-Chalcedonians, and all of them accepted the Henotikon, at least until Emperor Justin I disowned it in 519; in 536 the Imperial Authorities withdrew their previous recognition of the newly-elected Theodosius I, whom, however, the anti-Chalcedonians, despite his imprisonment, continued to recognize as patriarch until his death in 567 - and upon his death elected Peter IV as his successor, from which succession stems the present Coptic patriarchal line. Meanwhile, a succession of four Chalcedonian patriarchs, recognized by almost nobody in Egypt but upheld by imperial authority and troops, ensued between 536 and 569, by which latter date two separate "lines" had fully emerged.


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