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 Post subject: Q about Orthodox-Catholic relations
PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 3:19 am 
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Do the Orthodox believe Catholics are in schism because we believe that the pope can be infallible? If a Catholic simply renounces the authority of the pope, can join the Orthodox Churches?


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 6:54 am 
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Yes, essentially. They never dogmatized about the status of the other side after the split (which is why western Catholicism doesn't seem them as heretical) so there's a range of opinion from 'you're the same as us, only estranged' to 'you're not even Christian'.

Most of the opinion from them you find online leans towards the negative extreme: calling you 'graceless heretics' and 'papists' (a lot of the online loudmouths are really byzantinized ex-Protestants) is sadly quite common.

As far as everything it positively teaches, all of its defined doctrine, Eastern Orthodoxy is Catholicism in 11th-century Greek theological language.

There is one body of Catholic dogma of which defined doctrines are expressions. Different rites have different expressions.

Although the Eastern Church Fathers wrote glowingly about Roman primacy, a lot of the modern teachings and opinions about the Pope were unknown in the first millennium A.D., something that Roman Catholic scholars acknowledge but cover for by saying that the doctrine 'developed' over the second millennium and that the seed for it was in the patristic writings I mentioned.

The real reason for the split was rivalry between the Pope (filling a power vacuum in the West after the fall of the western Roman Empire) and the emperor of the still-standing eastern Roman Empire (which historians lated called Byzantine) and later the Russian Empire. A final straw wasn't theological but when the Pope crowned a Western emperor, Charlemagne, which stepped on the toes of the Byzantine emperor who as Roman emperor still claimed Western Europe.

From the Easterners, 'you're not in our church' really meant 'you're not in our empire', a mentality that has persisted.

(As there is no Byzantine emperor or Russian one for that matter one might debate that the question is now moot.)

Also, the two sides have different opinions about 'validity' of sacraments outside themselves, the West agreeing with Pope St Stephen I and St Augustine that there can be valid sacraments even in schism (and in the cases of baptism and marriage, heresy) but the East is agnostic on the question. It often agrees with St Cyprian's opinion that 'outside our church (our empire) there's no sacramental grace'.

(Even the Church Fathers could have wrong opinions.)

That's why for example Rome accepts Orthodox bishops as real bishops but the Orthodox sometimes will decide to rebaptize somebody converting who already was baptized by a Western church. (That doesn't happen that often in the US, for example - some places do it if the person asks. But in theory according to their theology all of the Orthodox reserve the right to do it.)

Here's more on RC/Eastern Orthodox questions.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 8:20 am 
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The Orthodox do believe that that Catholics are in schism because of the papacy issue among several other things.

It is my understanding that a Catholic can't renounce the pope and immediately be accepted into Orthodoxy. There are quite a few other things that a Catholic would need to be educated on. From what I've heard, it's easier and quicker for a Catholic to go through the education process, but it still has to be done.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 8:28 am 
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I think this is a Lyceum topic.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 9:43 am 
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Quote:
which historians lated called Byzantine


Erm, that's later.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 10:40 am 
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On the other hand, Moscow Patriarch Alexy II is appealing for better Catholic-Orthodox relations because those biased Euro parliamentarians don't want Christians in their European Constitution. That means us Catholics and them Orthodox.

Read this recent ZENIT article:

Russian Patriarch Laments Anti-Christian Trends in Europe

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 5:48 pm 
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I think my question relates a bit. If a Roman Catholic "converted" to an eastern rite, would he be some sort of apostate? What would be the spiritual reprocussions of being an eastern rite catholic as opposed to western and roman catholic? I guess what I'm asking is, why is Roman Catholicism "more true" than the eastern catholics? I'm not asking to criticize, but simply because I'm surious. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 5:58 pm 
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Turbo wrote:
I think my question relates a bit. If a Roman Catholic "converted" to an eastern rite, would he be some sort of apostate? What would be the spiritual reprocussions of being an eastern rite catholic as opposed to western and roman catholic? I guess what I'm asking is, why is Roman Catholicism "more true" than the eastern catholics? I'm not asking to criticize, but simply because I'm surious. :)


It isn't. All Catholics are of the same 'truth' in that they all belong to the One Church.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 6:01 pm 
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So...why is there even a distinction? I know eastern rite don't believe in the same concepts about the Pope, but...what's the difference? I assume that somebody leaving the western church for an eastern church would be a dissapoinment at least, but why? *Is very confused*


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 6:15 pm 
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after rereading some of the above posts, I'm beginning to understand. So Catholicism in general (eastern and western) are the same Church? Gah, I'm still confused though, why is it "better" (quotations because I don't know of another word to use) to be Roman Catholic than to be eastern rite?


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 6:43 pm 
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Turbo, there's a lot to unpack in this topic so I understand your confusion!

First of all, as the page I linked to at the bottom of my first posting explains, there are Eastern Rite Catholics under Rome and then there are the Eastern Orthodox churches, Oriental churches (Copts, Armenians and Syrians) and the Assyrian (Iraqi) Church, which are not.

No one rite (theological system that follows the one body of Catholic dogma) is better than another - a lot of people under Rome, even a lot of Eastern Catholics, wrongly think that the Roman Rite is better but the Popes themselves have taught otherwise in their statements on the Christian East.

Not only is a Roman Catholic joining an Eastern Rite Catholic church not an apostate, but - and I think this is what you were trying to get at - one who joins one of the Eastern churches not under Rome isn't one either, or even a heretic. Technically he's a schismatic, says Rome.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 6:51 pm 
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there's eastern rite catholics under rome!? I don't want to hijack your thread, so could you link me a website or something? And thanks for your reply, it was very informative.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 7:19 pm 
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Turbo wrote:
there's eastern rite catholics under rome!? I don't want to hijack your thread, so could you link me a website or something? And thanks for your reply, it was very informative.

The Catholic Church holds in high esteem the institutions, liturgical rites, ecclesiastical traditions and the established standards of the Christian life of the Eastern Churches, for in them, distinguished as they are for their venerable antiquity, there remains conspicuous the tradition that has been handed down from the Apostles through the Fathers (1) and that forms part of the divinely revealed and undivided heritage of the universal Church. This Sacred Ecumenical Council, therefore, in its care for the Eastern Churches which bear living witness to this tradition, in order that they may flourish and with new apostolic vigor execute the task entrusted to them, has determined to lay down a number of principles, in addition to those which refer to the universal Church; all else is remitted to the care of the Eastern synods and of the Holy See.

The Holy Catholic Church, which is the Mystical Body of Christ, is made up of the faithful who are organically united in the Holy Spirit by the same faith, the same sacraments and the same government and who, combining together into various groups which are held together by a hierarchy, form separate Churches or Rites. Between these there exists an admirable bond of union, such that the variety within the Church in no way harms its unity; rather it manifests it, for it is the mind of the Catholic Church that each individual Church or Rite should retain its traditions whole and entire and likewise that it should adapt its way of life to the different needs of time and place.
ORIENTALIUM ECCLESIARUM

There are many different Eastern Catholic Churches. In America the largest is Ruthenian.

Try this site as well

http://www.east2west.org/

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 11:52 pm 
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Thanks for your help. But for the sake of organization, I've sort of extended my question to another thread:

http://forums.catholic-convert.com/view ... 630#583630


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2005 11:18 am 
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Turbo wrote:
there's eastern rite catholics under rome!? I don't want to hijack your thread, so could you link me a website or something? And thanks for your reply, it was very informative.


OK, there appears to be some confusion.

There is a difference between Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic.

http://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/cath ... urches.htm

Eastern Catholic are what are referred to as "Eastern Rite Catholic" - they have identical faith and morals to the latin Catholics (Roman rite) but they have practices that are identical to Eastern Orthodoxy.

If you are a Roman Rite Catholic, and switch rites to Eastern Catholic, you're still Catholic.

If you switch to Eastern Orthodoxy, you're not Catholic (and you're not an apostate either)

So be careful in your terminology.

Eastern Orthodoxy: not in union with Rome.
Eastern (or Eastern rite) Catholic: in union with Rome

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