"Orthodox" Theology vs. Catholic Theology
#1
Peace in Christ.

What can the resident apologists tell me about this? Does this Orthodox priest know what he is talking about or is he telling falsehood? I'd ask on Catholic Answers but they're no help Protestants get on it and try to be trolls.

"The Fathers did not understand theology as a theoretical or speculative science, but as a positive science in all respects. This is why the patristic understanding of Biblical inspiration is similar to the inspiration of writings in the field of the positive sciences.

"Scientific manuals are inspired by the observations of specialists. For example, the astronomer records what he observes by means of the instruments at his disposal. Because of his training in the use of his instruments, he is inspired by the heavenly bodies, and sees things invisible to the naked eye. The same is true of all the positive sciences. However, books about science can never replace scientific observations. These writings are not the observations themselves, but about these observations.

"This holds true even when photographic and acoustical equipment is used. This equipment does not replace observations, but simply aids in the observations and their recordings. Scientists cannot be replaced by the books they write, nor by the instruments they invent and use.

"The same is true of the Orthodox understanding of the Bible and the writings of the Fathers. Neither the Bible nor the writings of the Fathers are revelation or the word of God. They are about the revelation and about the word of God.

"Revelation is the appearance of God to the prophets, apostles, and saints. The Bible and the writings of the Fathers are about these appearances, but not the appearances themselves. This is why it is the prophet, apostle, and saint who sees God, and not those who simply read about their experiences of glorification. It is obvious that neither a book about glorification nor one who reads such a book can never replace the prophet, apostle, or saint who has the experience of glorification.

"The writings of scientists are accompanied by a tradition of interpretation, headed by successor scientists, who, by training and experience, know w what their colleagues mean by the language used, and how to repeat the observations described. So it is in the Bible and the writings of the Fathers. Only those who have the same experience of glorification as their prophetic, apostolic, and patristic predecessors can understand what the Biblical and Patristic writings are saying about glorification and the spiritual stages leading to it. Those who have reached glorification know how they were guided there, as well as how to guide others, and they are the guarantors of the transmission of this same tradition.

"This is the heart of the Orthodox understanding of tradition and apostolic succession which sets it apart from the Latin and Protestant traditions, both of which stem from the theology of the Franks."

-Fr. John Romanides
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#2
The late Fr. John Romanides probably should not be considered to be entirely representative of "Eastern" thought.  He contended that the West fell into error when it was conquered by the barbarians, disrupting the "Roman Orthodox" consensus that previously existed, and creating the modern papacy.  He believed, therefore, that Orthodoxy and Catholicism are different and incompatible religions.  The present Patriarch of Constantinople  has been quoted as saying similar things.  Eastern Catholic thought, represented by such people as Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky and Vladimir Soloviev (despite the latter's strange "Sophiology") contends that Orthodoxy and Catholicism, properly understood, are fundamentally the same religion, and that you can be Eastern without being anti-Western.  There are many Orthodox who would not agree with Fr. Romanides.
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#3
In Central Europe there lived Eastern Orthodox people with very loose connection either to the schismatic Bizantine or Moskowite Churches.

The end of 16th and 17th Century were the 'cuius regio eius religio" centuries, the Kings / Czars decided about the religion (Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox) of their subject. They were disputed areas, the Russians wanted to force this above people under the Patriarch of Moscow.

Instead of that, they decided to be united with Rome. They had to accept the primacy and jurisdiction of the pope (under their own bishops),  the Filioque and the doctrine of Purgatory, and they could keep their liturgy, law, and their tradition to ordain Married men. There was no issue about the Biblical interpretation.
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#4
thanks much for your responses.
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#5
what are the good defenses against the beliefs of Mark of Ephesus?
http://www.ephesus.com/Orthodox/St.Mark-of-Ephesus.txt
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#6
Re: Mark of Ephesus. I didn't read the article so I'm figuring it's the standard orthodox polemic. For papal primacy, try the formula of hormisdas. For his views in general, he's been refuted by 2 councils agreed to by the East ( whether they want to admit it or not) - Lyons II and Florence. On a side note, when he was presented at the Council with texts from the ECFs that proclaimed the Filioque, his only real argument was that they had to have been forgeries since they disagreed with him.
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#7
Really that was his only comeback?
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