Catholic-Orthodox Debates

I’ve read, but rarely participate the endless Catholic-EO debates I see on the NCR forums here. What interests me is, what I see anyway, as the apparent built-in anamosity that seems to exist. I’ve asked my wife about this Before she converted, my wife used to go to a Syrian Orthodox Church. I’ve asked her if they diplayed any of the behaviors I have seen online.
Never, in her experience. They went to Mass and then got together for tabouli and kibbe with grape leaves. If you asked them about the filoque, they would probably have looked in the fridge to see if they had any left. :wink:
So, is this apparent anamosity an online phenominon? Because I myself have never seen this in the “outside world”.
Don’t turn this into a flame war. I am truly curious.

**If you asked them about the filoque, they would probably have looked in the fridge to see if they had any left. :wink: ** :rotfl:

As for the rest, I think some of the harsh debates that at times occur between Lutherans and Catholics here are limited to the boards. One doesn’t see it on the outside, or at church on Sunday morning. I would think the same is true between Orthodox and Catholics. My guess also is that our leaders and clergy get along much better than apologists do.

Jon

I have to agree that since I came to CAF, it seems to me that that is a lot of animosity when it comes to debates about what is believed. Its hard sometimes for me to understand why one can not just have a nice debate and try and learn something about what the other believes and also the history of why one believes as they do. I have seen it among the various Churches whether CC,OO,EO, and Protestants of whatever denominations. Maybe one of these days the debates will be better in that it will be about learning about each others beliefs rather than trying to put one up on the other.

I definitely agree that on all counts, be it Catholic-Orthodox or Catholic-Lutheran or any kind of protestant or what have you, the kind of stuff that happens on here does not happen amoung clergy or most people. People don’t go around shouting “You have invalid sacraments!” or "You can’t account for history!’.

Thats not to say there is no serious discussion. But its often a lot more level headed.

Do you mean Syriac Orthodox, or Antiochian (Greek/EO) Orthodox? Not to paint my Antiochian friends in a bad light, but the Oriental Orthodox communion of which the Syriac Orthodox constitute one particular tradition generally have less to argue about with Catholics because they have spent about 600 years less time being in communion with Rome in the first place, so they (and all the OO) missed out on things like the Filioque (which didn’t exist until 589, long after the Syriacs were out of the picture) and other medieval developments that so irk the Greeks.

Just one idea, from someone who is in communion with the Syriacs. :slight_smile: [My own Church is similar in this way; what do we have against Rome that we didn’t have in 451? The standard stuff that we agree with the EO about aren’t really things that we feel terribly passionate about in a lot of cases, since Rome was off our radar so much earlier than it was for the Greeks. Traditionally, we have looked at the Latins and the Greeks as being one Church, and in many ways we still do. It’s why I ultimately couldn’t be a Byzantine any easier than I could be a Latin. It’s simply not in me/my way of thinking.]

Refresh my memory, but isn’t the only thing that is keeping EO and RCC from reuniting is the Filaque (hope I spelled that right?).

I am grateful that we still acknowledge each other as it relates to seven Sacraments, apostolic succession, the title of Mary as Theotokos and Transubstantiation.

On the outside of these boards, the main sentiments that I have encountered with Orthodox in person mainly dealt with their anti-pope sentiments, all other issues are tabled.

I thoroughly enjoyed the back and forth discussions with the Orthodox. It works when one is not trying to convert (make one latin or make one orthodox) one another to another’s Rite.

The sad thing is from what I learned from the debates here, is that the Orthodox refuse to grasp at Catholic theology to the point of rejectiing that never lends itself to understanding. Once they do come to grips of Catholic Western theology, they will find they have nothing to fear, because it never parts from the Apostolic Traditions, Scripture and practced faith.

The Orthodox who maintain the mode of rejecting all Catholic theology, makes it difficult for them to understand what is being translated or interpreted from Catholic theology that never conflicts with their theology and at times magnifies the 7 councils findings which they hold to.

St.Augustine said it best about the Orthodox; “We (in the west) say three persons” when discussing the Trinity, “the Orthodox say three substances”. St. Augustine reveals the main obstacle and stumbling block that prevents true understandings from both camps.

Today the Orthodox have added the “rejection of learning and understanding Catholic theology” with a demeaner that can never grasp at an understanding of Catholic Latin language that is expressed from thought in Catholic theology expressed in Catholic faith.

There is a language, cultural and theological barrier to overcome duriing the debates. Yet when one is never willing to learn and understand the other’s view of expressing that theology leads to the fire storms and simply the no-response, or run away from the breaking of the barriers. This I personally experienced here on the boards.

My point; I have yet to see an Orthodox define infallibility, Immaculate Conception, Purgatory, filioque in the same way Catholics express these defined doctrines of the Catholic Church.

Peace be with you

No, but that is a favored excuse. It all boils down to the Pope.

I could not have said this better! Very nice and thoughtful post. Thank you!

A rather remarkable assertion to make, considering that I know several converts who received degrees in theology or philosophy at Roman Catholic Universities. If anything, I would say that certain popular apologetic presentations of some Roman Catholic dogmas often depart a good deal from how those dogmas are taught and presented in an academic setting, and certainly depart from how those dogmas were taught just six or seven decades ago. But ultimately, I suppose it comes down to a problem of hermeneutics—a problem of whether we are authorized to take the words of our Christian forefathers and to interpret them differently now than how they were interpreted in the past. If we possess such authority, then I suppose that your claim could be justifiable, but only at the cost of admitting that the proper interpretation of certain definitions is to a certain extent mutable and arbitrary.

That is hardly a charitable assessment of the situation. Indeed, if we commemorate liturgically several saints who denied the filioque and fought vehemently against it, and continue to uphold the anathemas against the filioque enacted in 1583—which proclaims that all who do not maintain that the Spirit proceeds essentially and hypostatically from the Father alone are cut off from the Church—as well as in previous years, such as the anathematisms passed by the Council of Blachernae, then if what you claim is true, the Orthodox would be hypocrites and liars, who do one thing publicly but do not believe in it privately. But I, having seen the genuine faith of many pious Orthodox Christians, have good reason to believe that such a conclusion would be false, which means that (perhaps to the dismay of some who would rather wish that we were all insincere in our beliefs), when we publicly commemorate saints who opposed the filioque and uphold anathemas passed against this doctrine, we actually mean it.

Hmm. And what of us ‘Papal Orthodox’…? :wink: What’s our favored excuse? We love the Pope.

Also, I don’t mean to mix posters here, but I find the statement “I have yet to see an Orthodox define infallibility, Immaculate Conception, Purgatory, filioque in the same way Catholics express these defined doctrines of the Catholic Church” to be exceedingly strange. It could just as easily be said that I have yet to see Catholics express the essence-energies distinction as the Eastern Orthodox most thoroughly do (instead they say that He is simple…), but I’m at a loss as to what that’s supposed to mean.

OP…It only occurs on-line? No my friend this is far from accurate.

All the time on-line specific points are addressed, in the community you may be having nothing more than a casual conversation. History clearly indicates the “live” conversations have been pretty much the same when points are focused on.

“There has always been a lot of tension between the different christian groups running the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, but a few days ago a large fist fight broke out between the Greek Orthodox and the Armenian Orthodox priests. This news episode explains why. So much for turning the other cheek”

videosift.com/video/Priests-fighting-in-the-Church-of-the-Holy-Sepulchre

I encourage you to read the question to which I replied.

My wife says it was Antiocian. The Mass was in Arabic except for the Kyrie which is in Greek. The lady who heads up our RCIA here is married to a Syrian Catholic who grew up in an Antiocian Parish.

The only group I have observed that their online/offline behavior is the same is among fundamentalist groups, and most times thier “real world” behavior is far worse. Included in that would be “fundamentalist” Catholics of the more traditional bent.
But, in the “real world”, among mainline Protestants, Lutherans, Methodists and such, no. Orthodox, no.

Cavaradossi;11734572]A rather remarkable assertion to make, considering that I know several converts who received degrees in theology or philosophy at Roman Catholic Universities

.

Hello Cavaradossi, good to hear from you, it’s been a while.

Truly I have come across many of these converts, who have revealed to me their opinions of Catholicism that is never practiced or understood in the way they misunderstood or practiced.

Simply put, Jesus choose simple lambs who heard their Shepherds voice, rather than theological giants of the time.

If anything, I would say that certain popular apologetic presentations of some Roman Catholic dogmas often depart a good deal from how those dogmas are taught and presented in an academic setting, and certainly depart from how those dogmas were taught just six or seven decades ago

.

Let’s not confuse academic theological commentaries with doctrine. It is your academic theological professors or teachers who touch and go from the doctrines. The doctrines themselves cannot be moved. Rock is what Jesus built His Church revealed from faith not theological expressions and commentaries.

But ultimately, I suppose it comes down to a problem of hermeneutics—a problem of whether we are authorized to take the words of our Christian forefathers and to interpret them differently now than how they were interpreted in the past.

There is no difference when the “forefathers” counciled to change, define and clarify what became binding for all (doctrine) what the original apostles handed to them. In order to protect and defend the divine revelations from heretics.

Our “forefather’s” lived an new era of thinking and circumstances different from the Apostles, that required new words, definitions clarified to a people who can understand them in these diversed historical times in need of them.

They may appear to be interpreted differently to the new world from the original due to language, cultural understandings, but the doctrine or apostolic faith has never changed within the Latin Catholic Church from the original revelations handed down. Clarified, yes to a new era of new languages and understanding with cultural differences so that nothing is lost in the interpretation. In each the full deposit of faith is poured out to these.

If we possess such authority, then I suppose that your claim could be justifiable, but only at the cost of admitting that the proper interpretation of certain definitions is to a certain extent mutable and arbitrary

.

Man never gives the Church any authority to do anything, it was Jesus himself who gave the Church to bind and loose heretics, heresies and the commission to Peter to feed and tend the flock of Jesus Christ. So yes, such divine authority exist in the body of Christ on earth from our Head who is Christ Jesus Amen.

Peace be with you

Hi Gabriel of 12: I have been reading your posts on this thread and think it great!!! You made a lot of sense in what you said. As I understand it doctrines do not change, only the understanding of it, IOW’s doctrines are or can be better understood by how one presents them in a way that makes clearer the doctrine.

What a strange thing for St Augustine to say, considering that there was no “Catholic” nor “Orthodox” church at the time of his writing, just one Church.

Ah. Thank you for clarifying. For future reference, “Syrian Orthodox” is generally used in English to refer to the non-Chalcedonian (‘Oriental’) Orthodox Church whose current Patriarch is HH Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas. Even though several years ago this Church officially changed its name (only in English) to “Syriac Orthodox” to avoid confusion with the Arab-aligned country of Syria, it is still common to find “Syrian” instead. The Chalcedonian ‘Syrian’ (Arab) Greeks are generally known in English as “Antiochian Orthodox”.

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