the same thing

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God gave Miriam leprosy for seven days because she was not in line with ‘Rome’ - she disagreed with God that only Moses should be the head. There is only one head of God’s household - He said so to Moses - and He made “Peter” the head.

God bless you.

Elder Cleopa :

Elder Paisios :

I will try to find the others tomorrow. Never has a Glorified individual went on to support ecumenism. All those who witness the Divine Light are endowed with Truth - the Truth known by the Fathers and by the Apostles.

There are a number of problems with quoting such saintly men as Elder Paisios and Elder Cleopa, or the great Elder Seraphim Rose (to add just another). First, one can question how knowledgeable they actually are when it comes to the true teachings of Catholicism. Most of the Orthodox I’ve encountered, including the more knowledgeable among them, don’t know Catholicism per se, but Catholicism as presented by other Orthodox polemicists. It paints a rather unfair picture. I’ve always been told that to really know Holy Orthodoxy you have to experience it, live it. The same applies for Catholicism, and we should be extended that courtesy just as we ought to extend it.

Secondly the problem with quoting such elders as an authority on the matter is that it can quickly degenerate into a “my elder/saint can beat up your elder/saint” type situation. I’m sure one can quote plenty of Catholic mystics (whether Roman or Eastern or Oriental) who were/are very much against Orthodoxy. St. Bonaventure, for example, had a very low opinion of “the Greeks” (as in those Christians of the Byzantine tradition). There are plenty of holy men and women within Catholicism today who would simply be happy if Orthodoxy would just fall into step with Catholicism. Usually such people, while very holy for sure, are simply ignorant of the complex historical and theological background to our divisions.

What we ought to be doing is following the example of our bishops. I can’t speak for Orthodoxy, but the Catholic bishops - whether Roman, Eastern, or Oriental - are encouraging the faithful to come to a greater knowledge of Orthodoxy and to forge loving relations with our sister Orthodox Churches. Most of the Orthodox bishops I’ve encountered have been encouraging the same thing. That’s why I number the likes of Met. Kallistos Ware and Met. Jonah among my personal heroes.

Peter was Orthodox.

Peter was praised for his faith.

To be Orthodox is to have the faith of Peter.

Old Rome has changed, it is not in line with Holy Orthodoxy.

Orthodox bishops are Peter.

God bless you too! :thumbsup:

Thanks for the link. I think I may have misunderstood what you meant by “this strain of ecumenism”. The video shows a lot of remarks against ecumenism generally - and very broadly - protestants, homosexuals, women priests. But none of them say a word about Greek Catholics (which I had thought was the particular strain that we were talking about). I would not be surprised that these Romanians are extremely hostile to Greek Catholics, since the general climate there is awful. But there is nothing pertinent to the words that I heard today.

How do we know that these men are holy and have witnessed the divine light?

PR wrote: What we ought to be doing is following the example of our bishops.

I think that the video explicitly buries that idea. It’s a problem: who to believe when the teachings are so divergent?

Intellectual knowledge (that is knowledge according to the intellect, not the nous) is good and useful for those who have not yet reached glorification. For those who have seen the uncreated Light, it serves no purpose. For at this stage, even poor fishermen become “sons of Thunder”. The experience of the Divine Light makes one a Theologian in the fullest sense of the word. For other knowledge is acquired through reason and study, but This is given from on high.

While I am not about to come here and diminish anyone else’s saints, I will point out that Orthodoxy has a much different understanding as to what makes a theologian and what makes a saint. While there are indeed martyrs and confessors of the faith who did not have a full understanding, those that are revered as teachers and instructors were those who received knowledge directly from a God. An illiterate peasant who has seen the Light is more wise than all the academics and scholars of the world combined.

Well, the Elder Cleopa link shows him describing Orthodoxy as the fullness of Truth and he states that there is nothing for us to gain by looking into either Protestantism or Catholicism (which would include Greek Catholics).

Elder Paisios sharply condemned the Patriarch of Constantinople for revoking the anathemas of 1054. Both of these don’t deal with Greek Catholics specifically, but both make it apparent that these living saints feel Orthodoxy alone possesses the fullness of Truth.

There are typically ways to recognize such men. They will never contradict the fathers of the Church and are typically great miracle workers. They are clairvoyant and, while in the state of Glorification, will not require food, drink, or sleep to sustain themselves (being fed off of divine energy alone). Knowing noetic prayer (i.e. being fully illumined) would assist in recognizing such individuals.

From an Orthodox perspective, this is a very simple. If one is glorified, Truth is fully known. Everyone else should simply follow the Glorified (both those in this life and the saints). The teachings of the Glorified speak in unity and it is their words that are reflected in Scripture, in the Ecumenical Councils, and in the writings of (some) saints.

Dear Mark of Ephesus,

In another thread, which I believe has now been deleted, it was mentioned that Orthodoxy does not believe any one individual is infallible; and I’ve heard such an assertion repeated by every Orthodox believer that I’ve encountered. If this is true, then it is indeed possible for those who have seen the uncreated Light to err, even in matters of essential faith and morals. There are Fathers whose writings are contained in the Philokalia who were never raised to the level of saint because later in life their teachings went a little “left of center,” but their spiritual writings were deemed not only to be trustworthy, but of the highest theology. And they were certainly men who had seen the uncreated Light.

With this in mind, is it at all possible that perhaps the elders you’ve referenced are simply wrong in their attitudes towards Catholicism? Or at best unknowledgeable and, therefore, unqualified to comment? Again, just because one is a saint or an elder does not mean one is incapable of error, even theological error. Some of the greatest saints-theologians of the Catholic Church (St. Thomas Aquinas for example) have said things that the Church has later dismissed as wrong. Some of the greatest Fathers (East and West) of the undivided Church in the First Millennium said things that the Church later ruled as wrong. Can you affirm that these Fathers had not seen the uncreated Light, and therefore were capable of falling into error?

It has always been my understanding that within both Catholicism and Orthodoxy it is the bishops who are our spiritual leaders, and it is to them we must look for the overall leadership of the Church. Monks and elders who have been given the gift of eldership are there to guide our individual spiritual journeys, but the Church as a whole must look to the bishops. Anyone who cuts himself off from the bishop cuts himself off from the Church, no?

The problem we face with Catholic-Orthodox relations is that both Churches are Apostolic and both Churches use the same texts, quote the same Fathers, and draw from the same Scriptures to defend the truth of their Faith. In my experience neither the Catholic Communion of Churches nor the Orthodox Communion of Churches is requiring anyone to compromise the essentials of the Faith. What is trying to be done between the two is cultivate a better knowledge and understanding of how the other things and why they interpret the Scriptures and the Fathers the way they do. This knowledge - which is not merely intellectual, but truly prayer driven - leads us to deeper love for one another and for Christ through one another. Sometimes it leads us to realize that we do not actually contradict one another on certain teachings, other times it leads us to realize that the differences are much deeper than they at first appear. But ultimately true ecumenism that does not degenerate into indifferentism or relativism is leading us closer together and closer to union, and thus closer to fulfilling the will of Christ that we all be one even as He and the Father are one. If that is the kind of ecumenism Elders Cleopa, Joseph, and Paisios et al. are condemning, then I will embrace their spiritual teachings as being true guides, but discard the rest.

I am personaly aware of a number of Catholic both Roman &

Greek Catholics who were given communion by St. John of Shanghai & San Francisco. When one man was offereda communion by St. John
he replied…but Vladyka I’m a catholic…St. John replied we’re all the same.

So much for the Glorified theory!

I have his icon at home thanks to Alexander Roman :thumbsup:

I love him even more!

Ooooo!!! That makes him all the more appealing to me. I’m going to have to track down and read some of his writings now. :thumbsup:

The Orthodox on this board do not speak with one voice - this is something I’ve consistently noticed. You maintain that no one person in Orthodoxy is infallible. A literal reading of Mark of Ephesus’ posts, in this thread and on others, tells me that he believes numerous monks/elders, living and dead, possess something that far surpasses the infallibility attributed to the pope (which is limited to very specific circumstances).

I agree with Phillip - Mark of Ephesus has made it clear that he considers the elders/monks far more trustworthy teachers of Orthodoxy than the bishops - which, if this is indeed the Orthodox belief, is a major, major, major bone of contention for Catholics who turn to the bishops, first and foremost, as teachers. No monk, no matter how holy, teaches with the same authority that a bishop does.

catholic means universal don’t it

the rest is just for mankind to help divide themselves up into neat definitions on paper. What God wants is us to love him

“that is the same thing” regardless to what description you give yourself:shrug:

Aren’t Orthodox Bishops typically chosen from monks?

Old Roman is that where the Old Catholics are from? (kidding)

I honour St John too!

And I revere Constantine TG . . . :wink:


Dear Dad :wink: ,

You’ve made a brilliant point. In fact, BOTH Bishops and monastics in the Christian East enjoy a particular veneration given their “connectedness” to the Divine.

The East is very monastic in its spirituality and the Eastern Churches revere the monastic Fathers very highly since they are constantly at prayer and in meditation. What is revealed to them by God is taken seriously by the Church. And this is one reason why bishops are chosen from the ranks of the monastics (although the ancient tradition allowed for bishops who were men “of one wife”).

In addition to being good administrators and scholars, bishops must also be “plugged” into the mystical Body of Christ through a deep prayer life for their teaching to be guided by the Holy Spirit and guarded from error.


WOW! 1st time for everything! :smiley:
Thanks Alex.

I’ll cherish this moment since I’ll probably never say anything intelligible again.

Theosis does not make one infallible for several reasons. The knowledge bestowed by the Divine Light is beyond human words. It is inexpressible, so the saint must try his best to explain it within the limits of our language. This can be very difficult, but nonetheless, the fathers of the Church decided on terminology that best (but imperfectly) reflects God (natures, persons, processions, etc.). An individual may fail at describing a doctrine so that we may interpret it accurately. Secondly, there are various degrees of theosis. The fullness revealed to the Apostles at Pentecost is not given to everyone. Some receive shorter and less revealing experiences. Thirdly, not everything the fathers wrote was written from theosis. Many times, people do not receive theosis until late in life, so everything written before cannot entirely be described as “inspired” Finally, not all saints were Glorified (some received only Illumination).

Yes, look to the bishop for guidance, but only if he is teaching correctly. If not, he is, as the eight Ecumenical Council says, a “pseudo-bishop” and a “false teacher”. To supply the Church with holy and grace-filled bishops, it was later decided to take them entirely from the ranks of the monastics. This worked wonderfully for a time, but alas, even our monasteries have begun to neglect the importance of noetic prayer and theoria.

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