Patriarch of Constantinople: Catholic-Orthodox Re-Union now inevitable?
#61
(01-25-2020, 10:03 AM)Augustinian Wrote:
(01-25-2020, 06:36 AM)formerbuddhist Wrote: Orthodoxy isn't tied to any particular bishop or contingent on being in communion with one.  RC's tend to read their ecclesiology into Orthodoxy even though it's very different.  

ROCOR is already compromised according to some due to their reunion with the MP, a church set up by Stalin that did a lot to persecute Christians during Soviet times, to say nothing of the sketchy era of Peter I, Catherine I and Nikon. As Dr. MRJ has said many times, Russian Orthodox have yet to seriously look at the history of the MP back to the 18th century.  The MP still looks at Peter and Catherine as "right believing monarchs" even though history says otherwise and both did A LOT to hurt Orthodoxy and Russian culture. 

For Old Rite guys like me, even the mainstream Russian Church has fallen in many ways since the time of Nikon and the illegitimate non Orthodox psuedo tsar Peter I who tortured and killed most the bishops in Russia and set up his own cronies in places of power in the 18th century.  See above. 

That being said,  grace is NOT necessarily tied to any one bishop or any one particular national church or "jurisdiction". There were and are good and holy men in all the various Orthodox churches out there, as there have been for centuries. 

My ecclesiology is more Old Believer and Slavophile, based on "Sobornost". God knows who belongs to Him.  It's the content of the Faith that counts.  If you believe and pray in an Orthodox manner than you recieve grace, since grace is always present and part of the uncreated energies of God, it's not only present at the hands of "correct" bishops in "correct" jurisdictions.  

Regarding the EP, I would hope those under him would reject completely any reunion with Rome simply because we Orthodox and Roman Catholics fo NOT share the same faith.  We are NOT the same in terms of theology, ecclesiology or praxis. If you are honest and spend even a small amount of time reading and reflecting on things there's no way you could believe we share the same faith.

It is very clear to me that we are not the same in ecclesiology simply because, based upon the information you've just provided, the EO seem to determine their own ecclesiology. You say ROCOR is compromised, based on PorphyriosK's remarks the EP is apparently some sort of heretic (along with the entire Greek orthodox church), and you personally adhere to some sort of Slavic orthodoxy based on the old calendar, yes?

So, as you say, God simply knows who is His. I don't disagree with this, only God ultimately knows who will be saved and who will be damned.  It sounds to me like a sort of cafeteria Orthodoxy where you fit together whatever you deem to be truth, rather than adhering to a single cohesive tradition?

I ask these questions because I'm trying to get to the truth of the matter here. And each and every time I try to comprehend just what EO is, I'm given one person's interpretation rather than a coherent idea of how this is anything more than a coalition of nationalized churches. And then there's things like rebellion against the papacy or the filioque or essence/energies theology which are all thrown in to mystify rather than explain just why anyone should be Orthodox. I've spent more time than I should looking into Orthodoxy, even to the detriment of my own faith, and have still come away with no coherent image of just what you all believe.

Yet I can look at the Catholic Church, see a definitive structure, see a long, globe-spanning evangelical mission, a systematized magisterium with clear teachings on what to believe, a sound theology; and yet somehow that is not the true Church. And based on what you are saying, throwing "Sobornost" into the works, I am apparently just supposed to follow some sort of sola scriptura-sola patres, cafeteria tradition. I'm sorry, but I don't buy it.

Sure, we can start harping on Vatican II; but honestly, what resulted from that council was a chaotic, synodal ecclesiology akin to what our brothers in Orthodoxy have had for a millennium.

God love you for your response, but I just do not see how I am lying to myself when all I see everytime I look into Orthodoxy is really just heterodoxy.
It took me close to ten years of investigating this stuff to really get comfortable with it to be honest, so take your time with it.  You may never be comfortable with Orthodoxy.  To understand Essence/Energies start with David Bradshaw's Aristotle East and West, then read John of Damascus "On the Orthodox Faith" and the book from SUNY "An Orthodox vs. A Barlaamite". They are very helpful.  For me the key was seeing that in Catholicism, especially in its official scholastic teachings,  God is basically an IT, an Essence or Being to which Persons are just tacked on as an afterthought. 

With ABS nature and persons collapse into an inconceivable monad, and all distinctions are "virtual" oe "nominal", that is to say,  not real.  As Jay and reading and pondering those books points out, even though Catholicism talks as if that's not the case, the logic of Absolute Divine Simplicity necessitates those conclusions. 

John of Damascus starts his talk of God with the Person of the Father, there's no going from some abstract "Prime Mover" to some possibility for a Trinity,  God reveals Himself to us first.  There's no place whatsoever for natural theology as its conceived of in Catholicism.  That's a HUGE difference between the starting point between Rome and Orthodoxy, and it's very important.  

Personally I don't see ANY unity or coherent tradition in the RCC either, if I'm perfectly honest.  What was once believed and taught is believed and taught in some places but not others, and today there are seemingly just as many ways to be RC as there are RC's, with seemingly the only one given being an almost obsessive and tenacious clinging to some idea of the pope as the source of unity and the final word on everything.  I reject that the RCC has a coherent definable tradition.  At least I've never seen one, especially after Vatican II, or perhaps even earlier if you count the liturgical meddling of Pius X and Pius XII. Vatican II is considered magisterial, and it contradicts (blatantly)  much of what went before it.  Even decades ago books like Romano Amerio's "Iota Unum" pointed this out.  Lex Orandi,Lex Credendi. How you pray is how you believe.  The proof is all around, or at least to me it is.

In Orthodoxy we learn through reading the Father's, praying the Divine Services and learning from the lives of Saints.  It's vague in places and not for everyone, but for me it sure beats trying to believe there are no contradictions in 2000 years of teaching yet really not believing it or feeling it, or trying to pretend (as I did as a Catholic) that the papacy was some solid rock of Tradition when literally nothing in the last 100 plus years gives that impression. At least not to me. 

To me the biggest strong point to Orthodoxy is its decentralized nature.  The fact that it's often national, and takes account of people's ethnic and national particularities while baptizing them is another strong point, as is not having one single source for laying down rules.  Jurisdictions, individual bishops and even whole national churches can fall away, but the Faith remains for those who keep it,  who pray as they always have and who keep alive the teachings of the saints, the fathers and the Councils.  

I know you and most RC's will not agree, but at least for me I've found peace in Orthodoxy.  I do not have any temptation back to Catholicism.  It's taken years and years of prayer and study to get here but at heart I feel right about it, and I'm genuinely happy.  The cognitive dissonance no longer exists because even if, say, the EP falls away it doesn't effect me, it's irrelevant.  

It has been a very long, very tumultuous journey for me though.  As I've told people in private, one of the thorns in my flesh has been my almost fanatical NEED to know, to have answers to matters of theology and philosophy.  I can't just take people's word for it, I must read, pray and ponder it on my own.  At the end of this journey was Orthodoxy.  I can't say you'll come to the same conclusions though.  Why we are drawn to a certain faith or way is as mystery.  

I hope there's no hard feelings, as it's not my intention.
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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