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ntra-ecclesial online brawls on doctrinal matters are now spreading among Christians in the East. A drift that the Maronite Church is now trying to counter with a singular initiative: a doctrinal handbook, with pastoral instructions, which paradoxically is directed not to those who approach Christianity for the first time, but to all those - priests, religious, self-proclaimed experts and “insiders”, internet “gurus”, and lay “militants” belonging some ecclesial acronym or gang - who on traditional media and social networks are turning the contents of the Catholic faith into a relentless battlefield. 
 
The document, signed by the Maronite Patriarch Béchara Boutros Raï, is entitled “The truth that liberates and unites”: it was released on Monday 9 April, and presented as a doctrinal compendium to which all those who speak or debate on questions and issues concerning the Catholic faith and the teaching of the Church must adhere. 
 


http://www.lastampa.it/2018/04/16/vatica...agina.html
One of the declared objectives of the patriarchal pronouncement is to neutralize the spiral of controversy, personal attacks, poisonous doctrinal accusations launched against priests, bishops through small virtual doctrinal tribunals that are now multiplying even in the Maronite blogosphere, often using fake social media accounts. The patriarchal text tries to “set things straight” by claiming the magisterial function of ecclesiastical authority, represented “in the person of the Patriarch and the bishops”. The document calls on members of the clergy and religious communities to deal with doctrinal and ethical issues in the media only after obtaining the authorization of their own bishop or superior; it reminds all “web communicators” the canonical dispositions that would eventually affect those who misuse the media to transmit ideas and contents that are not compatible with the teaching of the Church, or those who slander others by acting far from any spirit of “fraternal correction”.  

 
http://www.lastampa.it/2018/04/16/vatica...agina.html
The trolling inquisitors  

The case of Ramzi Jreige was the tip of this alarming iceberg of these emerging “virtual pulpits” exploited to strike attacks on doctrinal matters. Jreige was a priest who got targeted with heavy accusations after he had broadcasted an episode on Marian devotion on his own tv show on a network not linked to the Church. The internet swarms with videos against bishops, while around single figures - who claim themselves guarantors of doctrinal orthodoxy - small “online churches” made up of fanatical followers are joining together to hunt down heretics and “enemies”.


http://www.lastampa.it/2018/04/16/vatica...agina.html
The doctrinal Handbook  
As the Maronite bishops realized that the ferocity of the attacks online along with the endless controversy on doctrinal issues was sowing confusion and bewilderment among the baptized, many faithful have turned to the Patriarch and the bishops to ask for action, which took form in the six chapters document, a sort of doctrinal “handbook” aimed at proposing anew the official teaching of the Church on the issues and themes most often used as a pretext to fuel intra-ecclesial brawls and ad personam attacks on social media.  
 


http://www.lastampa.it/2018/04/16/vatica...agina.html
The list of topics covered by the patriarchal document is more than eloquent. Among other things, the Patriarch is called to clarify and repeat that the divine public Revelation was fully accomplished with Jesus and is considered to have ended with the death of the last of the Apostles, and that private revelations do not add content to the Depositum fidei. The Patriarch reiterates that the truths of faith are not subject to revision and correction in their content because they are based on divine Revelation, but at the same time the Holy Spirit enlightens the Church and guides her in deepening her knowledge of the Mystery. About Hell, the Patriarch echoes the Catechism of the Catholic Church that describes it as a “state” of permanent self-exclusion from communion with God, and not a physical place; he also repeats that the Church rejects the Apocatastasis doctrine, according to which at the end of time, all creatures, including Satan, will be reintegrated into the fullness of the divine. On the worshipping of Mother Mary and the saints, the document repeats that their intercession is based on the sole mediation of Christ, the one and only Saviour. And regarding the devil, chapter V of the document rejects the theories and conceptions that attribute him absolute power over the world, arriving at conceiving him as a “bad divinity” capable of competing with the omnipotence of God. The document also calls for sobriety and moderation in the prayers and healing rites, recalling that exorcism practices must also be carried out under the supervision of the bishop, avoiding every kind of media spectacularization. 


http://www.lastampa.it/2018/04/16/vatica...agina.html
(04-22-2018, 12:12 AM)Poche Wrote: [ -> ]About Hell, the Patriarch echoes the Catechism of the Catholic Church that describes it as a “state” of permanent self-exclusion from communion with God, and not a physical place...

That's very odd since the CCC 1034 and 1035 describe Hell as a place where body and soul will go/descend if unconverted at death....not to mention the references to Hell as a place in the scriptures.  I think the most vivid demonstration of Hell as a physical place is shown when the earth opens on the families of Dathan and Abiron, and all of them descended into Hell alive.  So, perhaps this brief description of the publication does not accurately represent what the Patriarch published?
(04-22-2018, 12:53 AM)yablabo Wrote: [ -> ]
(04-22-2018, 12:12 AM)Poche Wrote: [ -> ]About Hell, the Patriarch echoes the Catechism of the Catholic Church that describes it as a “state” of permanent self-exclusion from communion with God, and not a physical place...

That's very odd since the CCC 1034 and 1035 describe Hell as a place where body and soul will go/descend if unconverted at death....not to mention the references to Hell as a place in the scriptures.  I think the most vivid demonstration of Hell as a physical place is shown when the earth opens on the families of Dathan and Abiron, and all of them descended into Hell alive.  So, perhaps this brief description of the publication does not accurately represent what the Patriarch published?

I think that this is really a question of semantics rather than substance. The eastern theology appears to place more emphasis on the state of being rather than a physical location for Heaven and Hell. I read that the Coptic Orthodox rejects the notion of original sin for example. But then when you ask, 'why have baptism?' The reply that I read was that prior to and after baptism the it is more a question of a state of being of the soul rather than the soul having a 'mark' on it prior to baptism that would have to be erased by baptism.
(04-23-2018, 12:09 AM)Poche Wrote: [ -> ]
(04-22-2018, 12:53 AM)yablabo Wrote: [ -> ]
(04-22-2018, 12:12 AM)Poche Wrote: [ -> ]About Hell, the Patriarch echoes the Catechism of the Catholic Church that describes it as a “state” of permanent self-exclusion from communion with God, and not a physical place...

That's very odd since the CCC 1034 and 1035 describe Hell as a place where body and soul will go/descend if unconverted at death....not to mention the references to Hell as a place in the scriptures.  I think the most vivid demonstration of Hell as a physical place is shown when the earth opens on the families of Dathan and Abiron, and all of them descended into Hell alive.  So, perhaps this brief description of the publication does not accurately represent what the Patriarch published?

I think that this is really a question of semantics rather than substance. The eastern theology appears to place more emphasis on the state of being rather than a physical location for Heaven and Hell. I read that the Coptic Orthodox rejects the notion of original sin for example. But then when you ask, 'why have baptism?' The reply that I read was that prior to and after baptism the it is more a question of a state of being of the soul rather than the soul having a 'mark' on it prior to baptism that would have to be erased by baptism.

It would be a conversation of semantics if the article proposed that the Patriarch published in accordance with the CCC that hell is a "state".  It's not semantics to include "not a physical place."  That's a plain, explicit denial both of scripture and tradition, as well as what the CCC contains.
Pastoral instructions  

In Chapter VI, the one containing pastoral indications, the Maronite Patriarch reaffirms that those who use social media, writings, teaching and any other activity to spread content incompatible with the doctrine of the Church are sinning against Christ, “who taught the truth and handed it over to the Church”. In this regard, the document reiterates that under “Church laws and special Maronite law”, members of diocesan and religious clergy who wish to use the media to present programs or deal with matters of faith must obtain special permission from the bishops of their dioceses and superiors. 


http://www.lastampa.it/2018/04/16/vatica...agina.html
Global contamination  

Already in June 2017, during their annual synod - as Fides Agency reports - the Maronite bishops had requested the drafting of a theological-pastoral compendium that would also serve as a reference tool to attempt to regulate online disputes over doctrinal issues. On that occasion, Patriarch Béchara Boutros Raï denounced the weakening of the “theological, dogmatic and spiritual preparation” of the clergy, which he linked to the phenomenon of priests committed to self-applauding for their presence on the media.


http://www.lastampa.it/2018/04/16/vatica...agina.html
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