"I Left Eastern Orthodoxy for the Pope Francis Church"

Discussion in 'Non-Anglican Discussion' started by Religious Fanatic, Sep 2, 2019.

  1. Religious Fanatic

    Religious Fanatic Active Member

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  2. Rexlion

    Rexlion Active Member

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    Lovely spires. Anglican churches should get some of those.

    Timothy Flanders says he left the Orthodox Church for the Roman Church, because he feels the need for a unifying individual (specifically, the Pope) to tell him and all people what they should believe. He finds fault with reliance upon sola scriptura, and he finds fault with reliance upon scripture along with the interpretative influence of the early fathers, because this causes people to all come to different conclusions based upon their own reasoning and interpretations.

    Ironically, he arrives at his own decision by using his own reasoning and interpretations. :facepalm:

    This is what virtually everyone ends up doing, even the Roman Catholics. Being RC and having a Pope to say what's so is no assurance of unity. For example, more than one-half of Roman Catholics surveyed said that Holy Communion is only symbolic.... official RC doctrine notwithstanding.

    Ideally, every person would know his Bible 'inside and out' and would perfectly hear the Holy Spirit confirming the written Word to him and guiding him in perfect agreement with that written Word. But nobody's perfect (except Jesus), so we all must muddle along as best we can.

    Historically, popes haven't proven their ability to muddle along better than the rest of us (some have done so reasonably well, others not so much).
     
  3. Religious Fanatic

    Religious Fanatic Active Member

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    From what I understand, what is promised is not always what is delivered. There's a saying that comes from famous atheist nutcase Sigmund Freud (Or Jung, one of them) that goes, "It is easier to fight for principles than to live up to them." This coming from the failed fruit of idealistic atheist counseling via psychology. I too wonder about the Orthodox in the way that he does, but it does not mean that even if the popes manage to keep most of the church's beliefs consistent over time, that the theology contained in them is necessarily sound. I find some stuff rather irrational about their doctrines even if we assume, for instance, that they have been largely the same over the centuries or rather never overturned the moment a new one was brought in to play. All that is really complicated from a theological standpoint, as you know. I have met too many priests in person who always resort to some heresy to defend something in question that is technically even condemned from the catechism of the church. The people who are supposed to be learned in all this seem to be out of their minds at times.
     
  4. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    One of the issues I hear from some of my orthodox friends is that the Oecumenical Patriarch is acting like a Pope!

    Very good quote

    I quite like Francis and think he seems to be doing a hard job fairly well, but then I am not an rcc catholic so I have less invested. Most of the criticism I hear of him comes from within his own ranks. It often reminds me of Paul winning in Rome and Europe for the Church whilst having to maintain a rear guard action in Jerusalem.

    History is like that.
     
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  5. Religious Fanatic

    Religious Fanatic Active Member

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    Botolph, what do you think of this article he links to:
    https://erickybarra.org/2017/02/20/...ect-the-papalism-of-the-formula-of-hormisdas/
     
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  6. Jeffg

    Jeffg Member

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  7. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    It is a position he has come to, with some integrity I imagine. It is not a position I would come to, but then our journey is different.

    I really have no problem with the primacy of Rome, in the sense that it was expressed at the 1st Council of Constantinople, that is a first among equals, as against the notion of the universal sovereignty of Rome which I do not accept. The matter was not discussed at Nicaea 1 as Rome was the seat of Empire and the Bishop of Byzantium was not a Patriarch. At Constantinople the question was really about the position of the Patriarch of Constantinople, and the consensus was 2nd after Rome. The Patriarchs had authority in their own area, and in Council exercised authority over the whole Church. Ultimately the Pope in 1014 and the events following claimed an authority to act and override the decisions of the Councils, and require the subjection of the other Patriarchs. That is where it ceases to cut the mustard for me.

    Interesting, or maybe unlikely. There are 7 Patriarchs of Antioch, 2 of Alexandria, 1 of Moscow, 1 of Constantinople, 1 of Rome, and at the moment Moscow and Constantinople are playing no-speaks over the Ukraine, and many other things. And indeed it might be observed that the ABofC would be hard pressed to speak for all Anglicans in our current quandary.

    If Popes had acted less like Princes, Princes may have acted less like Popes.
     
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  8. Jeffg

    Jeffg Member

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    Interesting, or maybe unlikely. There are 7 Patriarchs of Antioch, 2 of Alexandria, 1 of Moscow, 1 of Constantinople, 1 of Rome, and at the moment Moscow and Constantinople are playing no-speaks over the Ukraine, and many other things. And indeed it might be observed that the ABofC would be hard pressed to speak for all Anglicans in our current quandary.

    If Popes had acted less like Princes, Princes may have acted less like Popes.
    [/QUOTE]
    I suspect that at some point Anglicans may need to search for a replacement for the See of Canterbury for a point of unity. Most of the newer Anglican churchs at least in the USA ( ACNA ACiA) etc who are not per say recognized by Canterbury may need/want to go some place else .Otherwise Anglicanism is just going to slowly disperse, like the Baptist or whoever have, and then things will head toward a Congregational form of ecclesiastical governance. Only other possibility is a whole lot of differant Bishops, and nobody working toward Christian unity.
     
  9. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    There is some parallel between the position of The ABofC as the 1st among equals in the Anglican Communion and the Bishop of Rome as 1st among Equals as understood in the 1st Council of Constantinople. The ABofC is the Bishop of one Diocese in One Church in the communion. To see it as his role to recognise other bodies rather misses the point. The issue is a matter of being in communion with Canterbury. Most of the newer Anglican churches are newer Anglican churches because they have chosen for a number of reasons to not be in communion with Canterbury, and indeed most of the founders of such bodies were at one stage in communion with Canterbury and, for reasons of integrity, have chosen to separate.

    I suspect he does recognise the newer Anglican churches in reality (he may reach for an aspirin as he does) however at the moment where do you put them? Do we create a desk in the oecumenical relations department, and set up an oecumenical dialogue? https://anglicancommunion.org/ecumenism/ecumenical-dialogues.aspx Or is it a matter for them to seek an invitation to Lambeth 2020? I think this is an exceedingly difficult area. Most of the criticism of successive holders of Augustine's Crozier has been less about what they have done and more about what they have failed to do in disciplining churches in the communion that have broken ranks with the historic faith and practices of the Anglican Tradition, most especially TEC. Those churches have in turn responded arguing that they need to do so to keep faith with the communities in which they serve.

    I just find the whole matter impossibly sad.
     
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  10. Rexlion

    Rexlion Active Member

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    I think we can see a pattern in the course of events within Jesus' invisible Church (His body of believers). A large number of believers group together and say, "let's be unified (one), like Christ prayed we would be." A hierarchical, bureaucratic structure forms. Over time, Satan worms his way into the bureaucratic hierarchy and it strays from the truth in some manner. The deviation from truth finally becomes great enough that some members can't stomach it, and they split off to preserve truth. They eventually form their own bureaucratic hierarchy. The cycle repeats. Over and over, it repeats.

    Each time, the parent group says, "It has been known for many years that we hold the truth. You are wrong to split off from us!"
    And the splinter group say, "No, you used to have the truth. Now we have it!"

    Christianity truly is like a vine (Christ) with many branches. The only real unity I think we'll ever have is in our being attached to the vine. I think that is as good as unity will ever get, this side of heaven or the 2nd Advent.
     
  11. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Active Member

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    Yes, this is true, and for reasons deriving from this, the Moscow Patriarchate has excommunicated him and forbidden Russian Orthodox and members of autonomous churches under their omophorion (UOC-MP, Latvian Orthodox, Estonian Orthodox (the real one, not the fake modernist schismatic group set up by the EP), the Japanese Orthodox, and ROCOR) to partake of the Eucharist in an EP parish. This includes any parishes of the Greek Orthodox churches except the Church of Greece, which is autocephalous, but only covers those territories which became Greek in the initial War of Independence, and not Crete, Thessalonika, Athos, Lesbos and so on, and of course also the autocephalous Greek Orthodox Churches of Jerusalem and Alexandria are completely unaffected by this decree, as is the Church of Cyprus, which has been autocephalous since before the fourth century; the other major EP jurisdictions are the Ukrainian Orthodox in North America, the American Carpatho Rusyn Orthodox Diocese (composed of Ruthenian Catholics who converted to Orthodoxy at a later date than the initial group led by St. Alexis Toth of Wilkes-Barre, which is part of the OCA, whose autocephaly the EP refuses to recognize), and the Finnish Orthodox Church, which has become the most liberal Orthodox jurisdiction, and the EP has done sweet nothing about it.

    I am not a huge fan of the Moscow Patriarchate as a man, but as a church the MP has more sincere piety than most of the EP. Personally, as patriarchs go, I prefer Patriarch John X Yazigi of Antioch, who has endured real persecution (including the abduction of his brother Peter, the Metropolitan of Aleppo, along with his Syriac Orthodox counterpart Archbishop Gregorios, in 2013, an event directly responsible for my conversion; they are still missing and I fear the worst).
     
  12. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    John X is one of the great unsung heroes of the church today.
     
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  13. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Active Member

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    I reject this model of heresiology and ecclesiology absolutely and in every detail; it contradicts Scripture, particularly the St. Paul’s Epistles 1 and Romans, and Matthew 16:18.

    There have only been two enduring schisms in the Christian Church, which is visible: the first between what became the Papist church and the Eastern churches, starting with the Oriental Orthodox in 451-530 and continuing with the Eastern Orthodox in 1054-1204, and the other between the Magisterial Protestants such as the Anglicans, Lutherans, and the original Moravians, who had corrected the main errors of the Papacy, and radical Restorationist sects like the Anabaptists, the Puritans, the Baptists, the Taborites (a schismatic offshoot of the Moravians) and the Seventh Day Adventists.

    The other schisms have all been transitory and fuzzy; the Oriental and Eastern churches and the Assyrian Church of the East aside from respecting each others antiquity have on many occasions been in communion since Ephesus and Chalcedon, and on other occasions in a very warm relationship; they have borrowed each others liturgies and venerate each others saints. In like manner, the Magisterial Protestants have always enjoyed a close relationship and tend to enter into communion with each other. And in the 18th and 19th centuries Orthodox bishops ordained Anglican clergy, ranging from secretly making John Wesley a bishop in 1763 to re-ordaining Anglo Catholics in the 19th century. And in the 20th century, St. Rafael Hawaheeny of Brooklyn, the first Antiochian Orthodox bishop in America, directed his flock of Syriac and Lebanese immigrants to take communion and worship at Episcopalian churches in the prevailing absence of Orthodox parishes. Lastly, ROCOR as recently as the 1940s regarded all Anglican orders as valid, and Byzantine icons adorn the Westminster Abbey.

    So really, the only major schism has ever been about the Pope. Every other permanent schism has consisted of a heretical sect like the Nicolaitans or the Cerinthians mentioned in Scripture, the Valentinians and other Gnostics, the Marcionites, the Arians, the Manicheans, the Muslims, the Mormons, the Spiritualists, the Unitarians, the Universalists, Christian Science and the J/Ws cutting themselves off of their own volition. And they are invariably and always the only people who dare to say “You used to have the truth, now we have it!” and accuse all of Christendom of apostasy.
     
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  14. Rexlion

    Rexlion Active Member

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    That's an interesting way to look at it. I don't agree, but it's interesting. :cool:
     
  15. Rexlion

    Rexlion Active Member

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    The example that quickly comes to my mind is that of the Anglican Communion, in which we now see some objectionable practices which have caused a number of parishes to leave and form the ACNA. Perhaps you might say it falls into the 'transitory and fuzzy' classification, but the folks who left certainly wouldn't. They felt it was a big enough deal that they were compelled to leave the Communion. Nor is the Communion eager to embrace the breakaway group. Each side thinks it is 'right' and 'best'. Each side thinks it has the truth on their side.

    Since I am in an ACNA church, I'm sure you can tell which side I think is right.

    This is the stuff that schisms are made of, and it has happened too many times in the past 2 millenia to count.

    But I certainly understand why an OO would view the situation from a drastically different perpective. :thumbsup:
     
  16. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I think that we do need to take care that schism is not taken lightly.

    ACNA in actuality did not schism from TEC. There is a narrative which involves ACNA separating from TEC that does not involve schism. Since we cannot allow schism to be normalized, the narrative goes like this: ACNA was initially formed out of Bishop Duncan and his Diocese of Pittsburgh. So the whole question revolves around that. Duncan and TEC: who took the essential step.

    In point of fact Duncan did not just choose to secede from TEC. He did not take any steps at all, other than affirm the orthodox faith. The Episcopal Church was the one who excommunicated him. Once he found himself outside of TEC, he was free to reorganize the new Anglican Province, outside of TEC’s control. Had TEC not excommunicated him, he would have been morally obligated to stay in TEC, in avoidance of the sin of schism.

    Repenting of schism is the only way of getting the whole Christian world under control. We have to subject ourselves under this yoke first. If schism is not a sin, then Jesus’s high priestly prayer has failed.
     
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  17. Rexlion

    Rexlion Active Member

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    What about the parishes that did remove themselves from TEC, to eventually become part of ACNA? I'm sure there are many of them. You're saying they are in sin for following their consciences?
     
  18. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Active Member

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    It would be absurd to accuse these most pious parishes of schism. The sin of schism always attaches to the heretic (in this case, their liberal Episcopalian bishops).
     
  19. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Once you have two provinces of equal authority, then choosing one over the other is not schism. Schism, it seems to me, revolves around the basic idea of setting yourself up as your own highest authority. If an authority already exists, and you merely pick I’ve over the other, that’s not schism, so no I don’t see those parishes as under any guilt.

    I’m in the REC, and I know all about our early history in the 1800s, how we bought into a foreign theology, how we split off from the (healthy) Episcopal Church ‘in good conscience’, how we decided to rewrite the articles of religion in our own image, etc. Those folks followed their conscience too, didn’t they? That can’t be enough.

    Conscience has been the excuse of Arius, Pelagius, Nestorius, wouldn’t you agree? The REC finally repented of our sin when we repented of schism and left our self-will and self-government by joining under Bishop Duncan in 2008. If not for that, I couldn’t in good conscience be a member, no matter what I wanted personally.

    I should add that in the Reformation, Martin Luther was not a schismatic. When he published the 95 theses that was not a declaration of separation. If we trace history, it was Rome that excommunicated him in 1520. They, again, took the essential step.

    Apart from my point about conscience above, I’ll add this. We need to recover the theology of suffering. By avoiding suffering in every case we may not be following the best course of action. If the Lord set up the table of the world in such a way that we will suffer in the process, then I don’t think avoiding pain in every case is the right course of action.
     
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  20. Jeffg

    Jeffg Member

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    I should add that in the Reformation, Martin Luther was not a schismatic. When he published the 95 theses that was not a declaration of separation. If we trace history, it was Rome that excommunicated him in 1520. They, again, took the essential step.

    I agree with this. As a cradle Lutheran, I've always thought that if Luther had NOT been excommunicated, things would have been differant. Luther simply wanted to reform some of the theological abuses that were occurring at the time. I suspect that the politics of the time wayed against Luther. The other reformers, Zwiglee etc might be considered schismatic. But Martin Luther did not leave the Catholic faith necessarilly by choice. Once they ex-communicated him, it opened up the floodwaters
     
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