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Games and Gaming / Re: Word Association
« Last post by J Michael on Today at 04:05 pm »
high-capacity
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Hi peeps,

latest update: I haven't converted to Orthodoxy yet. I'm beginning to realize what a big thing this issue is and I will probably be better off if I just remain where I am and contemplate it for another year or two. I am currently reading the following books to understand the issue of Papal Primacy better: Meyendorff, J (ed.) (1992), The Primacy of Peter,  St Vladimir's Seminary Press and Schatz, K. (1996), Papal Primacy: from its origins to the present, the liturgical press.

I liked those points you made BC about old testament prophecy regarding Rome as the seat of Christianity. I'll have to look into this some more.

I have to disagree with GangGreen regarding his point that the Filioque controversy is overblown. One thing I have sensed from reading Protopresbyter Pomazansky's Orthodox Dogmatic Theology and from attending Divine Liturgy is that if the Roman Catholics are Trinitarian, Eastern Orthodoxy is Uber-trinitarian. There seems to be a much richer understanding of the Trinity in Eastern Orthodoxy. I have been left with a feeling that the Third Person of the Holy Trinity is not conveyed with the same richness that the Paraclete is in Eastern Orthodoxy. I can only chalk this down to the consequences of muddling the nature of the Holy Spirit in the filioque. I mean, the filioque is theologically orthodox in the narrow sense that Christ instructed the Apostles that he would send the Holy Spirit for them. But it is not true in the deeper sense that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father for all eternity. And the purpose of the Nicene Creed is to instruct the faithful about the nature of God and the church. So it is a failure.

And this sense of the inadequacy of the fleshing out of the nature of the Holy Spirit in Roman Catholic theology is echoed when I read Catholic Catechisms which account for the Holy Spirit as a person who emanates from the love between the Father and the Son. This is bad theology because it repeats the confusion in the filioque that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, and it undermines the personhood of the Holy Spirit. If the Paraclete is the love between the father and the son, or some product of this love, then the Holy Spirit is not a full person, but an emotion or energy flowing from this interaction of Father and Son. The upshot is that the Holy Spirit becomes a kind of leftover thing in Catholic theology without the fully articulated personhood that I think is present in Orthodox theology. So I am convinced that the 'hardliner' take on the filioque controversy in Eastern Orthodoxy is closer to the truth than the 'softliner' position that it's just a problem of semantics.

Nice to hear from you, Pacman!!  Good thinking to take your time.  Orthodoxy is not something that you leap into without it simmering around in your soul and infusing your spirit for some time.  It's not a 'Married At First Sight" kind of proposition, that is, unless you want to court disaster.  (All puns intended, btw  :grin: )

So, you're attending Divine Liturgy and doing some reading.  Good!  Are you in some kind of regular discussion/meeting with the priest, or attending a catechesis class?  If not, this is extremely important.  But, you probably knew that!

If, on a scale of 1-10, your level of seriousness about Orthodoxy is at least greater than 5, I have a suggestion, if I may:  Focus solely on Orthodoxy until it becomes clear to you to "convert" or to not convert, both in your liturgy attendance, your prayer life, and especially in your reading.  You learn to swim by immersing yourself in water, even if you start at the most shallow end of the pool, not by having one foot in the water and one foot on dry land.  Like I said...just a suggestion. :)
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Domestic Arts, Crafts, Child-rearing / American Heritage Lesson Plans
« Last post by slewi on Today at 03:53 pm »
Hello!

We just purchased a complete set of the American Heritage Illustrated History of the United States for my four kiddoes to use. Does anyone use these books as a supplement or main book for the teaching of American history?

We are looking for lesson plans to be used along with these books but have had no luck so far. Any recommendations?
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You're certainly correct, Paul.

I wonder further, though, how it can be that a man would dedicate his life to something and yet be some utterly ambivalent about it. I suppose they're in good faith, if we're giving them the benefit of the doubt. Or perhaps they are intellectually effeminate. Whatever the case, I don't understand their way of thinking.
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The SSPX either believe the Catholic Church is the Catholic Church or they don't.  If they do, to refuse hierarchical communion would be the very definition of the sin of schism.  It is my understanding that the SSPX has always maintained the position that they were unjustly excluded from and denied such hierarchical communion (and therefore in reality they were never really excluded from it), not that they didn't want to remain in it.  They are finally having the Church formally recognize that hierarchical communion they have always maintained to be the case.  As I said before, to affirmatively reject this would be schism.  The sins of others in the Church has never been an excuse for schism, even though it is always the greatest temptation to engage in it.

I don't think it is correct to say that the refusal of whatever proposition has been made necessarily involves a refusal of hierarchical communion, though. It certainly could mean that, of course. And I expect that is the leverage Francis and his people are using in these discussions. But, at this point, since the discussions are carried out as an internal discussion about canonical status, Rome would have to make an overt adjudication of schism following the deterioration of these discussions, should they not result in the SSPX becoming a prelature. In other words, the very fact that the discussions are proceeding as they are proves there is no schism. For the discussions to simply stagnate also doesn't lead to schism (again unless Rome formally makes that declaration).

But, it seems to me that Abp. Lefebvre considered the risks of being declared "schismatic" by Rome and decided it wasn't entirely problematic. Things in Rome are much worse than they were in his day. For my part, if Rome says our priests are in schism, I would have the same concern Abp. Lefebvre had -- a concern for Rome and not for our priests, the bishops of the SSPX, and the attached laity.
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It does make one wonder why the men of our time seem so intent on eroding legitimate differences. As FB says, this is like a sickness that has infected seemingly every Christian leader.

Because tolerance is the only virtue of the Enlightenment, or, perhaps, intolerance is the only sin. We've had almost 500 years now since the so-called Reformation, where people were told that we didn't need a Pope telling us how to interpret the Bible, that every man can be his own Pope and decide for himself what is true. And then if we don't need a pope, then we probably don't need a king, either, so let's pretend that authority comes from "the people" and do away with kings. Well, if law isn't based on the laws of God, but on the will of the people, then the people decide what is good and what is evil. And this Enlightenment philosophy is the basis of modern Western culture, where the main goal is "freedom" - freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion. And if everyone has their freedom, and that's the highest value - rather than truth being the most important - then treating those difference as worth fighting over goes against freedom. And now we're to the point where it goes even beyond tolerance, and if you don't actively accept whatever those who are the loudest want to screech about, then you're a racist/sexist/homophobe/misogynist/Islamophobe/all around horrible excuse for a human being, and they tend to get their way. People don't like being persecuted, and so they shut up and pretend that differences don't matter.
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Absolutely right. Well said, SaintSebastian.
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The SSPX either believe the Catholic Church is the Catholic Church or they don't.  If they do, to refuse hierarchical communion would be the very definition of the sin of schism.  It is my understanding that the SSPX has always maintained the position that they were unjustly excluded from and denied such hierarchical communion (and therefore in reality they were never really excluded from it), not that they didn't want to remain in it.  They are finally having the Church formally recognize that hierarchical communion they have always maintained to be the case.  As I said before, to affirmatively reject this would be schism.  The sins of others in the Church has never been an excuse for schism, even though it is always the greatest temptation to engage in it.   
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It does make one wonder why the men of our time seem so intent on eroding legitimate differences. As FB says, this is like a sickness that has infected seemingly every Christian leader.

The problem that I see is that this sort of ambivalence actually makes Islam an "attractive" option for a person with an innate religious sense (that is, every person). As a Mormon friend of mine once asked, "Who would want to belong to a religion that didn't claim to be the only true religion?" For all its tremendous flaws and deceptions, Islam sets itself up as monolithic in its claims, just as both Catholicism and Orthodoxy did in the past. People yearn to have something around which to order their lives -- ecumenism and relaxation of religious requirements doesn't fool anyone who is looking for the true religion since people expect thatt the true religion would claim itself to be just that and have specific requirements of faith and practice.

Interesting you should mention Islam.  I have been studying it intensively as of late and while  I firmly believe in Jesus Christ I have seen its depth and it's appeal. it's not a monolithic religion at all, but it's demands and it's claims are total and all encompassing. Prayer 5 times a day is mandatory,and making time for God is not optional.

I don't think I used "monolithic" correctly.  I meant something more like all-encompassing, considering especially the reasons you mentioned. I think that the dietary laws also force the adherents to be part of an insular sort of culture since they basically all need to know a Muslim butcher!
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Catholicism / Re: Book for Fishies: Defense of the Church in History
« Last post by Paul on Today at 03:16 pm »
Pity it can be shown to contain error in regard to faith and science. History is harmless, its gone, but faith and science is ongoing and without a proper understanding of it one can affect the other, putting souls at risk.

I'm not going to debate the heliocentrism issue here, but I disagree that history is harmless. False representations of history influence the present, and many people view the Church as evil because of these lies, thereby refusing to become Catholic and very possibly ending up in hell.
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