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.