Do Byz rite Catholics have different teachings?


#21

Thank you Hesychios for your post.

I need to do some additional reading on pre-Vatican II conceptions of the Orthdox Church in relation to post-Vatican II conceptions of that Church.

I have recently read the large chunk of the Catechism that deals with Catholic doctrine. I have especially paid close attention to the idea that the Catholic Church subsists in Christ’s Church, and that any individual (Catholic or not) baptized according to the Trinitarian formula, is imperfectly a member of the Church. This, um, I am having difficulties with. It’s a happy thought that those who are not formal members of the Church are nontheless in some way connected to the Church, but I am having trouble reconciling what the Catholic Church taught during and before the Reformation days and what it now teaches according to Vatican II.

Personally I cannot see how someone can “imperfectly” be inside the Ark (the Church). Either one is outside and drowns, or one is fully inside the Ark and does not drown. Heretics and schismatics, from what I understand, are not fully inside the Ark.

Anyhow, I have much more to read before fully understanding the situation.


#22

[quote=ByzCath]Michael addressed this partially in post #15 but I must say this.

Genesis315, can you tell me one dogma that we Eastern Catholics reject?

The “Just War Doctrine” is not dogma.

I do not even believe that Purgatory is an actual dogma. Now that we undergo a purgative process after death is what I believe the actual dogma is and that is held by Eastern Catholics.

As for the Immaculate Conception, we have never had this Holy Day, we celebrate the Conception of St Anne. Our view of Original Sin does not make this dogma necessary, so we have always believed that Mary was sinless and was concieved so.
[/quote]

Someone above mentioned the Immaculate Conception. Purgatory is a dogma, but like you said, the Church does not say whether it is a place or process or how much time one spends there. I think it does say fire is involved however. I was just confused. I wouldn’t say you guys reject Purgatory then. Since Purgatory is just the name of the purging process or place, whatver it may be. All cleared up. Thanks for the clarification.


#23

[quote=Scott Waddell]ByzCath said this:

I find this odd. Could you elaborate? Any other teachings in the Latin rite that Byzantines don’t have?

Scott
[/quote]

There are teachings the Byzantines don’t have, but that does not mean that they do not believe them to be true. One example is transubstantiation.


#24

Just a note on purgatory. Of course, it’s not a place! How can it be when it is “occupied” by bodiless souls and will “disappear” at the universal resurrection?

Just because Eastern Catholics don’t use the word purgatory does not mean they believe everyone goes straight to heaven.

As for original sin, the concept dates from St. Augustine in the 5th Century during controversies with heretics. . Eastern Theology rightly holds that we have inherited the consequences of Adam and Eve’s transgression but not the actual sin that Adam committed. In the expression “original sin” the word “sin” is used analogically, because it can be “removed” by baptism. Eastern theology, following St. Paul, emphasizes our “death” (symbolized by the dunking in baptism) and our “resurrection” (symbolized by the coming out from under the water).

Verbum


#25

Thank you Verbum and Jimmy, for some nice clarifications.

Greetings all my Latin brothers and sisters,
As has been stated before by others, just because an Eastern church does not teach a certain Latin theological construct, that is no reason the think that the Eastern Catholics believe it to be a false teaching.

What it means is that we don’t understand perhaps, or it just doesn’t “fit” in our way of thinking. If we thought a Latin teaching was absolutely of no merit, or if we knew that a Latin teaching was definately contrary to the Truth, we wouldn’t remain in the Catholic communion, we would return to our mother churches.

Eastern Catholics have no need to justify themselves for their beliefs. We are Catholics whether we are understood by others or not, our presence here is mostly to share an understanding of the East in concert with the Holy Father’s wish that the church learn to breathe with both lungs. We would like to step out of the shadows and margins of Catholicism and into the full light of day where we can be known and understood by our co-religionists of the West.

Eastern Catholics are always made to feel on the defensive, it’s like a Grand Inquisition sometimes, and it can make one feel that it is pointless to remain in the Catholic communion in an atmosphere of suspicion! We are Catholics too, we had better get used to each other for the sake of Christ!

Let me ask my Latin brothers and sisters these questions:
Do you believe that the Divine Essence is unknowable and that we can only know God through His Uncreated Energies?

Do you understand and believe that we are called to be deified? Do you accept the theological basis for Theosis?

Do you agree with us that the First Sin of Adam does not attach upon us the stain of guilt?

These are not just quaint parochial ideas, easy to dismiss, they are fundamental to what we believe.

If you do not agree with these am I to suspect that you are a heretic, and beyond hope of salvation? Or should I, in Christian charity accept the fact that the way you understand things may be different than I, yet potentially of great merit in it’s own way?

I prefer to think that if you do not understand Eastern theological constructs, it is unfortunate but no sin. I feel that if you don’t recognize these teachings you just don’t know, too bad for you but I will not assume that you automatically deny the Truth in them just because they are unfamiliar to you!

In closing let me say we need to focus on our commonalities, and present a united witness to the world which is rapidly evolving into a God-denying mess. I hope and pray that you have as holy and fruitful a Christian life as can be had, and that we soon will be together in the Light of God.

Pray for me as I will pray for you all.


#26

Thank you Hesychios for your well-thought and well-written post.

Originally Quoted by Hesychios:

If you do not agree with these am I to suspect that you are a heretic, and beyond hope of salvation? Or should I, in Christian charity accept the fact that the way you understand things may be different than I, yet potentially of great merit in it’s own way?

I prefer to think that if you do not understand Eastern theological constructs, it is unfortunate but no sin. I feel that if you don’t recognize these teachings you just don’t know, too bad for you but I will not assume that you automatically deny the Truth in them just because they are unfamiliar to you!

In closing let me say we need to focus on our commonalities, and present a united witness to the world which is rapidly evolving into a God-denying mess. I hope and pray that you have as holy and fruitful a Christian life as can be had, and that we soon will be together in the Light of God.

Pray for me as I will pray for you all.

The only problem I see in this is the danger of relatavism in regards to Truth. Why not accept Reformed and Anglican views as simply other ways of approaching the Truth? As long as the belief is focused on Jesus as Lord, right? I agree that some flexibility is practical and good, but there must be limits as to what are the requirements for having an accpetable approach to Truth. Not so much a criticism, just a comment. :cool:


#27

I think these problems are related, and they both come from the same confusion of faith with belief in a set of rational propositions. What makes someone faithful is not that his belief is correct, but that his willingness is correct within his human limitations. “In” is measured in terms of heart, not in terms of knowledge, and it’s an individual phenomenon based on the measure of grace given to that person and what is done with what the person has been given.

In the case of the differences between Eastern and Western theology, however, there is no question of a difference in truth. Any differences are based on speculations in areas that have not been solemnly defined by the Church. Thus, they are solely matters of individual theological opinion. Unlike differences between Catholics and, e.g., Reformed Christians and Anglicans, there is always a common truth affirmed by the Tradition that is shared among Eastern and Western Catholics.


closed #28

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