Other orthodoxies


#1

I was wondering about the past orthodoxies, I’m swaying in my catholic faith a bit, but please don’t think this is a going back to protestantism, I know with all my heart and knowledge that protestantism can never be the true christianity. But I was wondering what are the evaluations and histories of these other orthodoxs???


#2

Val, could you be specific, please? “Other” orthodoxies?


#3

[quote=mercygate]Val, could you be specific, please? “Other” orthodoxies?
[/quote]

Greek Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Eastern Orthodox…

The only three there are I guess…


#4

If I understand them correctly, Greek, Russian, etc Orthodox fall under Eastern Othordox. No idea what Oriential Orthodox is.

If you’re Eastern Orthodox, the Catholic Church broke off from you in 1054. If you’re a Catholic, the EO broke off from you in 1054.

EO is a lot like Catholicism-it has all seven sacraments, believes in the Marian dogmas, doesn’t ordain women, etc.

Its biggest differences include the rejection of the primacy of the Pope, the lack of belief in purgatory, priests can marry, and thats all I can think of at the moment. The differences really aren’t all that big, and could possibly be settleable…if thats a word.


#5

[quote=Valtiel]I was wondering about the past orthodoxies, I’m swaying in my catholic faith a bit, but please don’t think this is a going back to protestantism, I know with all my heart and knowledge that protestantism can never be the true christianity. But I was wondering what are the evaluations and histories of these other orthodoxs???
[/quote]

Val,

From my extremely limited understanding of church history in the first several centuries or so, I have heard that the Eastern churches would fall into various heresies (Arianism, iconoclasm, and so on) and would come to Rome to get straightened out. Then around the tenth century they decided that they had had enough of it and the two halves of Christendom split. The Eastern churches took the name “Orthodox” while the Western (Roman) church took the name “Catholic.”

Would somebody with greater knowledge of what actually happened please correct me?

  • Liberian

#6

Val,

Would you like to tell us what’s causing you to waver? You may find the other orthodoxies present the same problems to your faith.

NotWorthy


#7

[quote=NotWorthy]Val,

Would you like to tell us what’s causing you to waver? You may find the other orthodoxies present the same problems to your faith.

NotWorthy
[/quote]

I’m not really wavering so much as I am just curious and exploring, before my I have my faith in catholicism weakened…


#8

[quote=Valtiel]I’m not really wavering so much as I am just curious and exploring, before my I have my faith in catholicism weakened…
[/quote]

Is there a Byzantine Catholic Church or a Greek Catholic Church near you? There are something like 23 Churches in Communion with Rome. The Latin Church is only one of them. If you approach the Eastern Churches, you will get a very clear picture of the Orthodox traditions (including the languages – Ukranians, for example, still use Old Church Slavonic) and spirituality.

Beautiful! Some of our Forum members are Eastern. ByzCath comes to mind. Irish Melkite is another. You might PM them.

These traditions are rich and varied, truly magnificent flowers in the bouquet . . . They are critical to the Body of Christ – the “second lung” as JP-2 called them.

I suggest approaching this from inside the Church because occasionally some of the Eastern Churches may tend to be rabidly anti-Roman. A Greek Orthodox priest once told me that the Roman Church is “an apostate Church whose hands are dripping with blood.”


#9

First the Eastern Orthodox:

The Eastern Orthodox (Byzantine Christians) are most similar to Catholics. They uphold all canons of the first seven ecumenical councils. The differ from us due to their rejection of the the universal juridstiction and infallibility of the bishop of Rome, Papacy as sign/guarantee of unity & collegiality. As evidence of his fallibility (or heterodox teachings) they cite:

  1. Western Trinitatian theology (Filloque - Spirit proceeds from Father & Son)
  2. Original sin (perhaps)

…and that’s pretty much it. Hardliners (in what I believe is an insatiable anti-ecumenical quest to assert the superiority of Eastern Christianity) preserve a few others historical pointsof controversy, including:

  1. Western stress of substitutionary atonement, not stressing theosis (divinization) as much as in the East
  2. The Concept of Created Grace
  3. The dogmatization of transubtantiation, immaculate conception, assumption (all issues related to papal inflalibility, the first especially linked to the scholastic method, the second related also to original sin)
  4. The Scholastic Method (Philosophy & Theology, Reason)

Rarer still…
6) Western use of unleavened Communion bread
7) Use of pouring
8) 3-D images (only the most radical Orthodox bring this one up)
9) Validity of sacramens not administered within the true Church (which they assume ids the Orthodox Church)
10) Validity of ecumenical councils called by pope rather than an Emperor

A Catholic perpective:

  • Most of the above controversies are rather meaningless to Catholics. Most issues above may simply be expressed as different Christian thological/ritual traditions within Catholcism, rather than communion dividing issues. The differences in Trinitarian theology are a little more complex, but i believe the Filloque is perfectly orthodox. Really the most delicate issue today (and the real decisive one) is papal primacy… that’s a tougher nut to crack.

The real answer: LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of apologizing. Renewed discussion inbrotherly love, openness.


#10

Oriental Orthodox:
(Eastern Christians that have had historical dissent regarding one or more of the first 7 ecumeical councils, and were not “Byzantinzed”)

This gets tricky:

  • Coptic, Syrian, Syro-Indian, Armenian:

Pretty much Orthodox, but will not accept definition of Leo’s Tome, or the Council of Chalcedon not so much for doctrinal isues, but probably for wording, expression, etc. Linguistic issues, ancent rivalries (as is the case with the Eastern Orthodox), and variant theological emphases disturbed communion. Thus, they do not share the legacy of the 4th-7th Ecumenical Councils, athough they are more inclined today to accept them as orthodox… its a process) They are accepted as Orthodox by most ecumenical-conscious Eastern Orthodox Christans today (hence, free intermarriage, exchange of seminary professors/students, etc.) to the outrage of hardliners.

  • Ethiopic:

Same issues (daughter of the CopticChurch). Alleged use of spiritism in the liturgy may be an issue (or so I’ve vaguely heard). Additional Jewish practices (circumcision, Sabbathkeeing) should pose less of an issue, as they do not view them as necessities, but cultural/religious traditions. Issues here are really historical/cultural (they were an isolated segment of Christianity after the original expansion of Islam separated them from the Mediterranen, diminishing heir contact with the Apostolic patriarchates.)

  • Assyrians:

Pretty much orthodox, but they have a Nestoian-like-accent in their theology/liturgy which, while not necessarily heretical, needs clarification to ensure that they are in agreement with the Catholic-Orthodox world. Though they are sometimes considered Nestorian, it may be better said that they share many of Nestorius’ concerns (and an Aniochene Christology), though if pressed against the wall, most modern theologians agree they’re pretty much saying the same things Chalcedon was (as well as the 5th-7th councils), though they have issue regardng the wording and alleged vagueness of the 3rd council (Ephesus), which is the balance-point to Chalcedon. The largest issues have always been linguistic; Syriac theological vocabulary not readily compatible withour Greek/Latin vocabulary (leads to much misunderstanding).


#11

…Oops, one more important Orthodox issue… moment of Eucharistic consecration (epiklesis v. words of institution). In reality, another issue dependent on ritual variance.


#12

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