Patriarch of Constantinople: Catholic-Orthodox Re-Union now inevitable?
#41
(11-30-2019, 10:13 PM)PorphyriosK Wrote: Orthodoxy is not "returning to Catholicism".  Orthodoxy is Catholicism.

I know you don't believe it, and maybe we are wrong.  But this is a Catholic forum. The general understanding here is going to be that the church affiliated with Rome is the true Catholic Church.  By identifying as Orthodox, we know what you believe without you having to say it.  Saying Orthodoxy is the real Catholicism without any follow up is going to have the same effect here as if I were to go over to orthodoxchristianity.net and say the Catholic Church headed by the Pope of Rome is the True Holy Orthodoxy: a bunch of eye rolls and people more likely to think I'm being pretentious.
I have resigned myself to the reality that I shall have no peace or joy should I continue to exist for eternity.  The question of deism or Christianity no longer matters.  I hope that Christianity is a farce, and that when I die, my consciousness will cease to exist.  In the meantime, I ask the Theotokos to be at my side at my judgement and ask her to intercede to, as I beg, Christ to have mercy on me and to allow me to cease to exist when I die.
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#42
(12-01-2019, 04:22 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(11-30-2019, 10:13 PM)PorphyriosK Wrote: Orthodoxy is not "returning to Catholicism".  Orthodoxy is Catholicism.

I know you don't believe it, and maybe we are wrong.  But this is a Catholic forum. The general understanding here is going to be that the church affiliated with Rome is the true Catholic Church.  By identifying as Orthodox, we know what you believe without you having to say it.  Saying Orthodoxy is the real Catholicism without any follow up is going to have the same effect here as if I were to go over to orthodoxchristianity.net and say the Catholic Church headed by the Pope of Rome is the True Holy Orthodoxy: a bunch of eye rolls and people more likely to think I'm being pretentious.
I don’t think the meaning I intended in that statement is the meaning you took from it. It was not meant to be triumphal.  I just meant Orthodoxy isn’t NOT Catholicism.  It is.  I didn’t mean that Orthodoxy is Catholicism and the RC Church is not.  I believe the RC Church retains true Apostolic succession, priesthood, sacraments.  Rome hasn’t subtracted anything from the Catholic faith, but added to it.  All that is needed is to trim away the excess.  


I hold the RC Church and its prospects in much higher esteem than you may think.  In fact I believe the trimming away of some of that excess I just mentioned has already begun.  The RC faithful are awakening to the errors of Papal maximalism and ultramontanism and realizing their own important role in recognizing and preserving Tradition.  They are realizing that Tradition trumps papacy.  That is a big step toward Orthodoxy.
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#43
(12-01-2019, 01:19 PM)Florus Wrote:
(12-01-2019, 11:51 AM)formerbuddhist Wrote: But like Jay Dyer has correctly pointed out, there is a broad spectrum of RC thought and theology BUT the official teachings laid out in Trent, Vatican I and Denzinger's are almost exclusively of the Thomist/Counter Reformation variety.  It can certainly appear as if officially there's no room for anything else since Rome has pretty much dogmatized and thought in that style for so long.

 There was plenty of variety but it's ultimately irrelevant since the official dogmas of Rome are couched in scholastic counter reformation language with the assumptions of Thomism behind them. 

Personally I think Dyer is right that many of the Greek Fathers taught something like the Essence/Energies distinction and that one cannot read Thomist metaphysics back into the Fathers. I tend to think that Gregory Palamas was not necessarily coming up with something novel but taking up what was already taught in John of Damascus and Basil the Great at least in part 

 Like St. John of Damascus states in his "On the Orthodox Faith", our conception of God starts with the Father, not with an abstract, absolutely simple Essence whose distinctions are only virtual (i.e. not real).

Another thing I find particularly damning is that after Vatican II the theological milieu of official Catholicism seemingly changed again.  Thomism and the Counter Reformation were dropped, and a bizarre concoction of pseudo patristics wed to modernism was put in its place,  and yet the official teachings for centuries were couched in Thomist/Scholastic assumptions and metaphysics.  It's as if Rome no longer really knows what it believes or teaches at all.


I am a huge fan of a lot of the early Western saints, histories and practices (stuff from the pre Norman British isles,  Bede,Cuthbert,Guthlac,Brendan the Navigator,Benedict Biscop, Benedict of Nursia and his emphasis on the Office etc.) but it's not much of a living tradition anymore aside from in the hearts and minds of scattered eccentrics.

I'd argue that the attempt to exalt Thomism over every other form of thought was a recent phenomena that didn't have much staying power. 

I really can't comment on Gregory Palamas since I've never read him nor the relevant passages of Basil, but I am eager to learn. Any recommendations for reading?

I don't think anyone would disagree that our conception of God begins with the Father, but why can't we reason about his attributes? This is what both John of Damascus and Thomas do, and many of Thomas' arguments come straight from John's Exposition, he didn't think of himself an innovator.

I agree with your last point though, I think it's a sad reality. The modern worldview kills religion, our Western society is set up in a way that will destroy every ancient living tradition. We ourselves are victims of this since we have to really examine our practices and beliefs if we are to be Christians, in earlier times people just unconsciously did what society mandated, but these societies were built upon centuries of tradition and religion, now if you do the same you have nothing but soulless consumer culture.
The hard part is what you mentioned in the last paragraph.  Our current cultural paradigms (and let's not kid ourselves,  this "free market,  consumerist,  cosmopolitan" culture is everywhere, including once Orthodox regions)  is one of the deadliest enemies to any kind of restoration or even preservation of our Traditions.  The destruction of national, ethnic, linguistic and ancient liturgical Tradition is a deadly enemy, both in East and West. Us Orthodox cannot gloat either, as there has been much modernism within Orthodoxy for a long time and its growing, not to mention the various jurisdictional in fighting and schisms are shameful and embarrassing to say the least. 

As far as Palamas goes,  the 4th Book of the Philokalia has some of his stuff, and SUNY put out a great book  called "Dialogue Between an Orthodox and a Barlaamite" that is really good.  There's also an edition of the Triads you can read.  It's difficult stuff but they are good.  Basil's Letter 234 touches upon the Essence/Energies distinction, as does John of Damascus in his On the Orthodox Faith. I don't remember the exact part offhand, as I'm at an airport right now and not in front of my books. 

I don't personally dislike trads. I have a lot of love for the best of the Western Tradition, and unlike some Orthodox I don't think almost everything Western is bad. I still prefer Gregorian Chant to modern post Petrine Russian "high church opera" music,  and will always have a deep love of and respect for the traditional Benedictine and Pre Pius X Roman Breviary.
Walk before God in simplicity, and not in subtleties of the mind. Simplicity brings faith; but subtle and intricate speculations bring conceit; and conceit brings withdrawal from God. -Saint Isaac of Syria, Directions on Spiritual Training


"It is impossible in human terms to exaggerate the importance of being in a church or chapel before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. I very seldom repeat what I say. Let me repeat this sentence. It is impossible in human language to exaggerate the importance of being in a chapel or church before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. That sentence is the talisman of the highest sanctity. "Father John Hardon
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#44
(12-01-2019, 07:28 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote: As far as Palamas goes,  the 4th Book of the Philokalia has some of his stuff, and SUNY put out a great book  called "Dialogue Between an Orthodox and a Barlaamite" that is really good.  There's also an edition of the Triads you can read.  It's difficult stuff but they are good.  Basil's Letter 234 touches upon the Essence/Energies distinction, as does John of Damascus in his On the Orthodox Faith. I don't remember the exact part offhand, as I'm at an airport right now and not in front of my books. 
.
"The energies are various, and the essence simple, but we say that we know our God from His energies, but do not undertake to approach near to His essence.  
His energies come down to us, but His essence remains beyond our reach."

-St. Basil the Great
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#45
(12-01-2019, 01:47 AM)Florus Wrote:
(11-30-2019, 11:12 PM)PorphyriosK Wrote: I never said it was a slam dunk or that they believed everything exactly as we do, but yes Orthodoxy and Catholicism do have very different concepts of Tradition and place different levels of emphasis on Patristics.  We emphasize the Fathers while you tend to emphasize Thomism, Trent & Counter-Reformation, Vatican I, and the Popes of the 19th-early 20th century.  Most Catholics view Patristics as more of a niche field of study for those who are inclined to it. 

Yeah fair. I was mainly using your point for broader observation, since I have seen so many Orthodox act as if just because our tradition isn't straight out of the great Greek fathers that it is inferior.

That is true about Catholicism of a certain tendency, but the reality is broader. I think of the Medieval commentators, the Renaissance Platonists, and Franciscan school scholastics. Catholic thought isn't limited to either Thomism or Patristics (and these two are not as sharply opposed as many think). I would say that your categorization of Catholic theology to be correct of you only look at the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
This is what really sucks about the broader community of armchair theologians and Catholic internet personalities. Everything is Thomism or bust, without much room for other valid Catholic positions. And I think this has much to do with the Thomist position being the easy entrance into Catholic theology due to the structure of the Summa.

My own theological views have begun to lean more toward the Franciscan/Patristic end of things, with some more emphasis on Platonism. This doesn't mean I reject Thomism, I agree with all the key points, but get a better understanding of theology out of the Fathers and Franciscans than I do with Thomism. Plus, I think a heavy, hair-splitting Aristotelian emphasis is what got us into the whole mess with nominalism.
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'Vanity of vanities, said Ecclesiastes: vanity of vanities, and all is vanity.' - Ecclesiastes 1:2

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#46
(12-01-2019, 07:28 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote: The hard part is what you mentioned in the last paragraph.  Our current cultural paradigms (and let's not kid ourselves,  this "free market,  consumerist,  cosmopolitan" culture is everywhere, including once Orthodox regions)  is one of the deadliest enemies to any kind of restoration or even preservation of our Traditions.  The destruction of national, ethnic, linguistic and ancient liturgical Tradition is a deadly enemy, both in East and West. Us Orthodox cannot gloat either, as there has been much modernism within Orthodoxy for a long time and its growing, not to mention the various jurisdictional in fighting and schisms are shameful and embarrassing to say the least. 

As far as Palamas goes,  the 4th Book of the Philokalia has some of his stuff, and SUNY put out a great book  called "Dialogue Between an Orthodox and a Barlaamite" that is really good.  There's also an edition of the Triads you can read.  It's difficult stuff but they are good.  Basil's Letter 234 touches upon the Essence/Energies distinction, as does John of Damascus in his On the Orthodox Faith. I don't remember the exact part offhand, as I'm at an airport right now and not in front of my books. 

I don't personally dislike trads. I have a lot of love for the best of the Western Tradition, and unlike some Orthodox I don't think almost everything Western is bad. I still prefer Gregorian Chant to modern post Petrine Russian "high church opera" music,  and will always have a deep love of and respect for the traditional Benedictine and Pre Pius X Roman Breviary.

Thanks man. We really are an uprooted people, and I have respect for anyone's attempt to regain something of the way of life that has been lost to modernity.
"If your heart comes to feel a natural hatred for sin, it has defeated the causes of sin and freed itself from them. Keep hell’s torments in mind; but know that your Helper is at hand. Do nothing that will grieve Him, but say to Him with tears: ‘Be merciful and deliver me, O Lord, for without Thy help I cannot escape from the hands of my enemies.’ Be attentive to your heart, and He will guard you from all evil."

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#47
There has been some theological progress in recent times to recognize that "from the Father and the Son" (the Latin Fathers' preferred way of expressing the dogma) and "from the Father through the Son (the mode of expression preferred by the Greek Fathers) ultimately acknowledge the same mystery together. I wrote an article on the subject a few months ago: https://onepeterfive.com/filioque-separated-east/

"The solution adopted by Greek and Latin bishops and theologians from a few decades ago was this:
Quote:The Father only generates the Son by breathing (proballein in Greek) through him the Holy Spirit and the Son is only begotten by the Father insofar as the spiration (probolh in Greek) passes through him. The Father is Father of the One Son only by being for him and through him the origin of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit does not precede the Son, since the Son characterizes as Father the Father from whom the Spirit takes his origin, according to the Trinitarian order. But the spiration of the Spirit from the Father takes place by and through (the two senses of dia in Greek) the generation of the Son, to which it gives its Trinitarian character.
And thus, the solution to both the dogmatic and disciplinary difficulties should be clear. The only question now is whether the will to reunite is present or not."

The text from theologians that was being cited is also online here: https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library...pirit-2349

We welcome our Orthodox Brethren to come to Council with the Catholic Church, as was done at Lyons II and at Florence, and hopefully, this time, by the Grace of God, by the Prayers of the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, and of the Faithful, full corporate re-union will be the result. If only the Pope and the Bishops would do what Heaven Commanded at Fatima, the Victory would come soon.
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