Orthodox priest on differences between RC and Orthodoxy
#11
(11-28-2011, 04:09 PM)ImpyTerwilliger Wrote: As an Orthodox Christian, my chief problem with Fr. Akzoul's article is his denial of the sinlessness of the Mother of God.  That's not Orthodox, and it was disingenuous of him to present the opinion of a tiny minority as the teaching of the Orthodox Church.  Yes, some do deny it -- as some in the Roman Catholic Church once denied the Immaculate Conception (such as Thomas Aquinas). 

This is a disputed matter. Theologians (even before Vatican II) were split about St. Thomas's opinion of the Immaculate Conception. He may have formally denied it since it was not yet a defined dogma, but he did deny it's possibility, and his Mariology provides the foundation for asserting the Immaculate Conception. His Mariology certainly doesn't preclude the possiblity of the Immaculate Conception, and it is 100% clear that he believed her to be free of actual sin for the duration of her life.
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#12
The frustrating thing with many Orthodox (and I'm exaggerating here, but only slightly) is the attitude that if we do it, it's fine, because it's "within the Orthodox tradition", but if others do it, then they're innovators under demonic influence (e.g. Devotion to the Sacred Heart is sick and twisted because we don't do it, crossing from left to right is wrong...because it just is, the Greek Church being looser and more liberal than the others is just an "unfortunate development", but the Catholic Church's recent rash of liberalism is evidence of intrinsic error, etc. etc.). Because, you know, only the Orthodox consider demons and discern properly, since they have their own term for it, "prelest", while the other traditions are blind to the effects of spiritual pride and delusion. Of course, Catholics are plenty guilty of this type of thinking with regards to the Protestants, but it seems like Internet Orthodoxy is more prone to wheeling out over and over the same boilerplate criticisms, pious myths and half-truths.
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#13


As with most Orthodox analysis of Catholicism, the bulk of it is caricature. How interesting that  most of these items were never listed as issues in 1054, or after Lyons II, or after Florence. They continue to manufacture distinctions to justify their schism.
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#14
(11-28-2011, 11:47 PM)McNider Wrote: As with most Orthodox analysis of Catholicism, the bulk of it is caricature. How interesting that  most of these items were never listed as issues in 1054, or after Lyons II, or after Florence. They continue to manufacture distinctions to justify their schism.

This is a good point. A lot of the problems that the Orthodox talk about today weren't even issues until the late 19th and 20th centuries. For example, the way in which many Orthodox paint St. Augustine as some sort of arch-villain of Western theology is pretty recent.
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#15
Caricature indeed.  This man does not understand Catholicism at all.
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#16
(11-28-2011, 11:57 PM)Crusading Philologist Wrote:
(11-28-2011, 11:47 PM)McNider Wrote: As with most Orthodox analysis of Catholicism, the bulk of it is caricature. How interesting that  most of these items were never listed as issues in 1054, or after Lyons II, or after Florence. They continue to manufacture distinctions to justify their schism.

This is a good point. A lot of the problems that the Orthodox talk about today weren't even issues until the late 19th and 20th centuries. For example, the way in which many Orthodox paint St. Augustine as some sort of arch-villain of Western theology is pretty recent.

The really funny thing about that is the growing evidence that Gregory Palamas was highly influenced by Augustine:

http://popinainteasy.blogspot.com/2009/0...inian.html
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#17
(11-28-2011, 03:53 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote: Whilst Fr. Azkoul makes some good points, points that any right-thinking Catholic could also make, his text nevertheless reeks with the typical superstitious thinking so prevalent among the Orthodox that exaggerates the importance of mere customs (leavened-unleavened; beard-beardless, etc.), something that reminds me of the tragedy of the Old Believers in Russia, persecuted for refusing to make the sign of the cross with three fingers, instead of two.

I agree very much with this sentiment.  Great post.

(11-28-2011, 03:56 PM)sarahraphael Wrote: Well like i said, lots of error in it, clearly! But the things I bolded are what stood out to me as particularly interesting coming from someone outside of the church, particularly on the 'development of dogma.'

Especially interesting since there is such a push to unite the Orthodox to the RC church- through ecumenism.

And this was great to post!  No need to apologize, Sarah.  You identified the critical point, that is despite the massive jetisoning of traditional aspects of the Faith, the 'dividends' supposedly to be reaped are non-existent
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#18
It does seem they have invented new reasons for division which were not considered divisive issues in the past. Along those lines, Orthodox tend to believe their current church is unchanged and undeveloped, but they have actually gone through some major developments and reversions themselves. They appear to not have to such an extent because they dumped a ton of stuff in the late 19th and early 20th centuries during their period known as their exodus from "Western Captivity."

For example, nowadays a modern EO apologist will claim that we err with our understanding of original sin, when it was not an issue pre-schism and when they themselves taught the same understanding at the pan-Orthodox Council of Jerusalem in 1672 (along with citing St. Augustine, definitively numbering the sacraments at 7, using the word "transubstantiation," teaching the Catholic understanding of temporal punishment after death, mortal sins, the Catholic canon of Scripture, etc., etc.--they practically plagiarized the Council of Trent). This pronouncement was used as a binding profession of faith for those who wished to be in communion with the Orthodox Church as late as 1721.

Similarly, they now call indulgences heretical when they issued them and even confirmed their validity at the pan-Orthodox Council of Constantinople in 1727. Furthermore, the pan-Orthodox Council of Constantinople in 1838 condemned their use for enrichment--but not the practice, which continued until as late as the 1950s in the Greek Church. See here:
http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/7185.htm

Not to mention, of course, their repudiation of the reunion Councils on the pretext of their novel idea that the decisions of a Council must first be tested and accepted over centuries by the faithful--tell that to the folks who immediately rejected one or more of the first seven Councils and were excommunicated forthwith.

Just to add, as another pretext for division, they like to bring up the sins of Latin Catholic against them in the Crusades, and they are right to condemn these actions. But the Easterners committed similar atrocities against Latins too. See here:
http://www.davidmacd.com/catholic/orthod...nopole.htm

I don't have time to go through and fisk all the arguments in the OP, but one jumped out at me. In his argument against the development of doctrine, he impugns the idea of a seed growing and ripening--an analogy which comes directly from St. Vincent de Lerins's 5th century Commonitorium--the seminal (pun intended) treatise on the importance of Tradition and resisting novelty:

St. Vincent Wrote:Therefore, whatever has been sown by the fidelity of the Fathers in this husbandry of God's Church, the same ought to be cultivated and taken care of by the industry of their children, the same ought to flourish and ripen, the same ought to advance and go forward to perfection. For it is right that those ancient doctrines of heavenly philosophy should, as time goes on, be cared for, smoothed, polished; but not that they should be changed, not that they should be maimed, not that they should be mutilated.
----
[The Church of Christ] keeps this one object carefully in view,— if there be anything which antiquity has left shapeless and rudimentary, to fashion and polish it, if anything already reduced to shape and developed, to consolidate and strengthen it, if any already ratified and defined, to keep and guard it. Finally, what other object have Councils ever aimed at in their decrees, than to provide that what was before believed in simplicity should in future be believed intelligently, that what was before preached coldly should in future be preached earnestly, that what was before practised negligently should thenceforward be practised with double solicitude? This, I say, is what the Catholic Church, roused by the novelties of heretics, has accomplished by the decrees of her Councils,— this, and nothing else,— she has thenceforward consigned to posterity in writing what she had received from those of olden times only by tradition, comprising a great amount of matter in a few words, and often, for the better understanding, designating an old article of the faith by the characteristic of a new name.
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3506.htm
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#19
Sadly the Catholic Church has fallen so far from grace since Vatican II and is so confusing as to what it really teaches anymore that those outside the Church like the Orthodox see no real reason to take it seriously. Heck even some Catholics don't know what the Catholic Church teaches because things have been so muddled since Vatican II. The new Catechism pretty much is in line with the Orthodox on Original sin in that it doesn't mention the guilt of Adam. In fact I saw an Orthodox website use the quote from the new Catechism to pretty much say "now Rome teaches what we teach." Also, with JPII saying the filioque can be dropped for the Eastern Rites it looks (to outsiders and to people who just don't really spend much time thinking about such things) that Rome has changed her theology. Today Rome has become a laughingstock and some Orthodox see it as such. There is no real unity of faith whatsoever and no leadership to set things straight. No wonder they remain in schism. Why come into this mess?
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#20
Is it me or does anytime the eastern orthodox come up it seems that we have been having the same conversation for a thousand years?  Grin
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