[Orthodoxy] Papal Authority

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  • #5172
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    You say you dont’ see why a moral issue such as contraception is necessary to be resolved? Hmmm… because it is a MORAL issue? That is what the Church is there for, correct? The only time in the Bible that someone ever contracepts, God KILLS him for it. Now surely that is good enough reason to at least think their might be something wrong with it.

    Surely you would want to know if it was a sin or not.

    #5176
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Uncertaindrummer,

    [quote:q8jp55p9]s that so? Show me where the other Apostles recieve the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven.[/quote:q8jp55p9]

    Show me the logic of insisting that “keys” (which are used for locking and unlocking) are something different from “binding and loosing”.

    [quote:q8jp55p9]Unfortunately for those who don’t hold to Peter’s primacy,[/quote:q8jp55p9]

    Correction – Orthodox Christians recognize [b:q8jp55p9]St.Peter’s[/b:q8jp55p9] primacy, but that primacy is understood in a different sense. We understand it in the way the Holy Scriptures do – he is [i:q8jp55p9]”the first”[/i:q8jp55p9]. Thus, his primacy is in order and is manifested in a moral and typological way, not in a judicial/territorial manner (which makes absolutely no sense anyway, since none of the Apostles had anything less than a world-wide mission, so in that sense had “universal juristiction” to borrow a phrase from Catholicism.)

    [quote:q8jp55p9]Peter is the ONLY Apostle given the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven.[/quote:q8jp55p9]

    And what would those keys be used for? Oh I know, remitting and retaining sins. Gee, sounds like a way of emphasizing the power of binding and loosing to me – unless you don’t perceive where Heaven would be involved in a pastor of souls “loosing and retaining.”

    #5177
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Greetings Victor,

    [quote:1dhbtlmc]More of a reason to see why the doctrine of Papal supremacy would develop.[/quote:1dhbtlmc]

    And see, this is precisely the problem, and one which too few Roman Catholics seem to appreciate – the “development” part.

    Were Roman Catholics able to simply leave it as a practical development in Church government, that would be one thing – and while there may be it’s critics, that is the level it would be considered on; a pragmatic arrangement, with authority heavily centralized in a single Patriarchal See. Similar things have happened elsewhere, like in Carthage and Alexandria, and to a much lesser extent (arguably) Moscow.

    But that is not what we’re talking about here – we’re talking about a centralized, unquestionable, “indefectable” and “infallible” figure having this alleged centralization of power; and not simply by practical arrangement, but [i:1dhbtlmc]by divine right.[/i:1dhbtlmc]

    Now tell me, how exactly does something by “divine right”, being founded (allegedly) directly by God upon the person of St.Peter, “develop”? Simply put, it doesn’t.

    [quote:1dhbtlmc]To say you don’t see any evidence of the Papal Supremacy in early times is forgive me for saying this, it’s ignorant!![/quote:1dhbtlmc]

    Oh, oh…you’re hurting my feelskins now Victor. (kidding) Forgive the sarcasm, but isn’t hard not to (from your perspective) “call a spade a spade”? Yet, when Orthodox (including myself) do this, it’s some horridly “anti-Catholic” attack. Honestly, it strikes me all as a dodgy way of replacing a counter argument with a display of “hurt feelings” (and I can’t help but suspect in some cases, crocodile tears.)

    As for “Papal Supremecy” – what books are you reading? It’s in the earliest period that one hears precisely [i:1dhbtlmc]zero[/i:1dhbtlmc] in terms of claiming anything resembling a “Petrine succession” in Rome with the byproduct of Rome’s Bishop being the “head of the Church.” The first claims to a Petrine authority of any sort don’t appear in Rome until late in the fourth century, as a reaction to the growing importance of Constantinople in ecclessiastical affairs – since Constantinople’s status and authority were being clearly defined as by the consent of Ecumenical Councils, Rome began trying to trump this on the basis of “pre-concilliar” custom and traditions, or “better” yet, the prestige of St.Peter.

    [quote:1dhbtlmc]But it’s also true to say that some struggled with papal supremacy. St. Augustine was certainly one of them. But to my knowledge he never disobeyed the Pope of his time.[/quote:1dhbtlmc]

    Obey, disobey…this is a very anachronistic outlook. St.Augustine was not part of some “Papal Church” as the current arrangement of the Roman Catholic hierarchy illustrates. He was a Bishop in a local community/synod of Churches which centered upon [i:1dhbtlmc]Carthage[/i:1dhbtlmc] not Rome. He spoke very kindly of St.Cyprian, a local predecessor of his who was quite clear in his right (if truth be on one’s side) to contradict the Pope when he’s in error.

    St.Augustine has many great things to say about St.Peter, but I challenge you to investigage how they tie into the Pope of Rome. I think you’ll be surprised that the connection is not a strong one at all. And that is what I call the “huge blindspot” of RC apologetics – this inability to consider what the Fathers are actually saying, and not what one reads into what they have to say.

    #5178
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    [quote:368amzho]Show me the logic of insisting that “keys” (which are used for locking and unlocking) are something different from “binding and loosing”.[/quote:368amzho]

    Only one other time in the bible are keys given to someone… It is extremely significant for PEter to be getting the Keys to HEAVEN, I will have more info on this later.

    [quote:368amzho]Correction – Orthodox Christians recognize [b:368amzho]St.Peter’s[/b:368amzho] primacy, but that primacy is understood in a different sense. We understand it in the way the Holy Scriptures do – he is [i:368amzho]”the first”[/i:368amzho]. Thus, his primacy is in order and is manifested in a moral and typological way, not in a judicial/territorial manner (which makes absolutely no sense anyway, since none of the Apostles had anything less than a world-wide mission, so in that sense had “universal juristiction” to borrow a phrase from Catholicism.)[/quote:368amzho]

    Basically, you believe in the ambiguous “Primacy of Honor” that James and Orthodox Christian 2000 have promulgated. Yet there is no evidence for that. Nowhere is the Bishop of Rome said to have honorary significance but no real power. It seems to me liek the “Primacy of Honor” is a grasping at straws much like Protestants denials of the Book of James true meaning–it is just so obvious that the Bishop of Rome had a special place that you need to downplay that role as much as possible.

    Jesus tells Peter to feed his sheep. He does not tell ALL of the Apostles to feed His sheep but to honor Peter, He tells PETER to feed his sheep three times, after asking if Peter loves Him.

    One other point; James you ask where I got my info on the councils–I got the info from YOU, in another thread.

    #5179
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Victor,

    [quote:3v46v1hz]This obviously allows contraceptive measures, and does not condemn them in the least.[/quote:3v46v1hz]

    You’re confusing matters. The document is not a “carde blanche” permission regarding contraceptives, let alone an endorsement. Rather, it represents a considered view of hierarchs, which in it’s conclusion happens to contradict the considered view ultimatly endorsed by Pope Paul VI.

    What many Roman Catholics do not comprehend regarding the land mark [i:3v46v1hz]Humanae Vitae[/i:3v46v1hz] (which basically settled this question for Roman Catholics, at least those who feel obliged to a priori obey the Pope, or at least happen to agree with the reasoning involved in this document), is that it was the conclusion of a debate which had been ongoing.

    There were opinons to the left [i:3v46v1hz]and to the right[/i:3v46v1hz] of what [i:3v46v1hz]Humanae Vitae[/i:3v46v1hz] ended up prescribing. For example, in many of the moral theological guides of the pre-Vatican II era (such as Fr.Heribert Jone’s famouse [i:3v46v1hz]Moral Theology[/i:3v46v1hz], which you can still get from TAN Books), there were “theological opinions” expressed by credible “moralists” which basically opined that any attempt by married couples to enjoy marital relations without at least the implied intent of conceiving a child, were at least sinning “venially”. Also expressed (sorry if this offends the more bashful here, but the example illustrates a point) was the view that for couples to in conscience believe they were even using “positions” which they believed were less inclined to result in conception (though did not involve actual “coitus interuptus”), this was possibly a “mortal” sin.

    Those stricter views, reflect a prevelent view in the west during the Middle Ages (largely an outgrowth of St.Augustine’s view on this topic, which tends to be more rigorous than most Fathers who address the topic) that the conception of children was the only time “marital relations” were virtuous…and to the degree one fell short of that, one was in some wise sinning.

    In other words, Humanae Vitae’s position (the “official” Roman Catholic position now) is not a “perennial understanding” on this topic, not even within the Latin tradition (indeed, it tends to be somewhat more liberal in many ways – which is precisely why certain Latin “schism” groups like the Society of St.Pius X do not think very highly of [i:3v46v1hz]Humanae Vitae[/i:3v46v1hz], and modern Catholicism’s permissivness of so called “Natural Family Planning” – all of which they view as a contraceptive ethos.)

    The Orthodox position is not that contraceptive use is not morally neutral, and is tolerated by the Church to extent that those married couples using them do so for reasons in conscience they think are importance, with the assumption that they have normal Church life and thus are in consultation with a confessor. As the OCA document on the subject says, it’s not “evangelical perfection”, because in some wise it does “miss the mark” – but it is not such, in the situations I’ve mentioned, so as to exclude Christians from the Chalice, which is really the ultimate concern here.

    Of course, part of the difference here involves the difference Orthodox Christians and Roman Catholics have in their understanding of sin, it’s significance, why it is “sin”, and God (and the Church’s) interaction with sinners…and beyond that, just what it is to be in the struggle for salvation, etc.

    An important note – most of the Patristic references cited as being “against contraception” equate the use of “contraception” (very tellingly) with “abortion.” This is because in the Roman milieu these Fathers wrote in one of two things could be said…

    a) They were very often speaking of the taking of potions, the constricting of a woman’s lower abdomen, etc… in other words, not actual “contraception” as we now understand it, but rather abortion (properly speaking.)

    b) It seems likely that certain of the Patristic views on this subject were formed by the pre-scientific understanding that the “male seed” was the main constituint of new life, and that the woman’s contribution was only nutritive and in terms of providing a place for this “seed to grow.” Thus, why there would be the opinion, again, that the unnecessary “shedding of seed” would be akin to murder as well.

    [quote:3v46v1hz]I don’t mean to go off topic but this is only to show that your stauch Orthodox Church has been silent and I do not see her combatting heresy for the last 800 years or so[/quote:3v46v1hz]

    No, I think what you should be saying is that the Orthodox Church felt no need to combat [i:3v46v1hz]your Church’s heresies.[/i:3v46v1hz]

    OTOH, the few (certainly compared to the Reformation!) relatively minor problems that have occured in the Orthodox milieu were answered by the Shepherds of the Church.

    Btw. I’m wondering how much you’ve actually read on this topic, since your statement entirely ignores the [i:3v46v1hz]Barlaamite heresy[/i:3v46v1hz] which erupted, thanks to Roman Catholic influence over the Italian emigre to “Byzantium” (I use quotes, because the title is artificial – they were Romans, nothing less, and were recognized as such even by their eventual Muhammedan conquerers) Barlaam of Calibrea. He was refuted by St.Gregory Palamas, and condemned by the “Palamite Synods” which are for all practical purposes the “9th Council” (and have been explicitly called such by many authorities, old and new – though the title is immaterial, as the conclusions are universally accepted.)

    [quote:3v46v1hz]…. no councils condeming sola fide… [/quote:3v46v1hz]

    That’s because the categories within the Orthodox would rightly even discuss this subject, are ultimatly different than either that used by the Roman Catholics or the Protestants. And again – that was your Church’s mess, not the Orthodox Church’s.

    [quote:3v46v1hz]nothing about the enlightenment and any of the heretical philosophies (nihlism, positivism etc) that have arisen.[/quote:3v46v1hz]

    Ah, and surprise surprise – more western European ideological problems, which frankly were resultant from the corruption and rationalism of the post-schism Latin Church (which resulted in a cynical attitude amongst intelligent westerners toward religion in general, or even claims to trancendent truth – basically, the same progressive “throwing the baby out with the bath water” that started when the Protestants over-reacted to the grotesque corruption of western Christendom.)

    [quote:3v46v1hz] Is there any difinitive agreement on these New Age ways of thinking in the OC?[/quote:3v46v1hz]

    Oh goodness, as if there’s a “papally infallible definition” on absolutely everything under the sun in Catholicism! This is cartoonish, and implies that save for autocratic displays of authority, truth can never be discerned or accepted.

    [quote:3v46v1hz]This is only part of what I found. It seems there is also exceptions for Abortion and Patriach Kalistos has a bit to say about contraceptives.[/quote:3v46v1hz]

    Yes, if the mother’s life is in serious, clear and mortal danger, she will not likely be excommunicated (at least not for the same length of time the normal guidelines would recommend for a penitent who has had an abortion – keep in mind what ex[b:3v46v1hz]commun[/b:3v46v1hz]icate means; not that one is “out of the Church”, but that one is not allowed to receive Holy Communion; and this is a medicinal measure for their benefit) if she has an abortion, though everything I’ve read on this topic (indeed, surprisingly uniform given the lack of dictatorial ecclessiology on ou rpart) says this is still a sin (again, understood as the Scriptures understand “sin” – [i:3v46v1hz]amartia[/i:3v46v1hz], which includes far far more than I think westerners are comfortable with), and is of serious spiritual consequence for the mother.

    And frankly, I’m baffeled that anyone cannot see that the situation of a woman trying to save her life (however unheroic that may be), or perhaps even avoiding a situation where both she and her baby would likely die… and the situation of a woman having an abortion where there is a lack of such a grave situation, ought to be regarded or treated the same way. I’m curious, do you believe serial killers and those who kill in self defence ought to be treated the same? Goodness…

    Also, I wonder how closely you read – Kallistos of Diokleia is not the “patriarch” of anything, but a [i:3v46v1hz]Bishop[/i:3v46v1hz] (and quite a well known author, scholar, and speaker to boot.)

    [quote:3v46v1hz]Quite frankly if I wanted to become Orthodox, I would be confused. Is this your stauch Orthodox Church Ted?[/quote:3v46v1hz]

    No, you just wouldn’t agree with the Roman Catholic Church on these topics. Which isn’t such a horrible thing in and of itself, unless one is determined to believe that this is, from the get-go.

    #5180
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Uncertaindrummer,

    [quote:rlhd90mv]You say you dont’ see why a moral issue such as contraception is necessary to be resolved? Hmmm… because it is a MORAL issue?[/quote:rlhd90mv]

    I think the problem is that my Orthodox friend here has allowed his understanding of the Orthodox teaching to be confused by that of the Roman Catholic Church. The two are distinct, separate, and involve different assumptions.

    The reality is, that the Orthodox Church does have a position on this – you’ll see it being materially the same anywhere you look. It’s not the one the Roman Catholic Church eventually adopted, but that is of little consequence to us.

    [quote:rlhd90mv]That is what the Church is there for, correct?[/quote:rlhd90mv]

    I thought the Church was in the business of saving sinners – a “hospital of the sick”.

    [quote:rlhd90mv]The only time in the Bible that someone ever contracepts, God KILLS him for it.[/quote:rlhd90mv]

    Of course, you can’t let context get in your way. The story of Onan, involved a man who owed the [i:rlhd90mv]Leverite debt[/i:rlhd90mv] to his dead brother. In ancien semitic/tribal custom, if a man’s brother died without leaving a son, it was the job of his living brother to take his widow into his own house, and have relations with her until a child is conceived – and that child is not to be credited as his, but as the dead brother’s.

    Onan’s crime, was that he took his brother’s widow, but purposelly “spilled his seed” so that this woman wouldn’t conceive a son who would not be counted as his own (and who he would benefit from.) Thus, his sin was [b:rlhd90mv]defrauding his dead brother.[/b:rlhd90mv]

    Now unless the Orthodox Church is endorsing shacking up with your dead brother’s widow, “gettin down” with her, but defrauding her (and your dead childless brother) of a baby boy…well, you get the idea.

    [quote:rlhd90mv]Now surely that is good enough reason to at least think their might be something wrong with it.[/quote:rlhd90mv]

    I want you to tell me, in your own words, [i:rlhd90mv]why[/i:rlhd90mv] contraceptives in every circumstance are immoral.

    Also tell me, on the other hand, why “natural family planning” is [i:rlhd90mv]not[/i:rlhd90mv] “immoral” for those same reasons.

    #5185
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Agustine, thank you for you post. Your posts hold valuable information for my understanding of the Orthodox Church. Not being sarcastic, I mean it. <img loading=” title=”Smile” />

    It is becoming obvious to me that I am by no means as learned as you in areas that cover our disagreements. I have openly admitted that I am doing reading and I am making an effort to go to proper sources. But if your here to just share and explain your faith I ask that you please don’t make comments like [i:3ncd8m66]”Oh, oh…you’re hurting my feelskins now Victor.”[/i:3ncd8m66] That only irritates people and it will make it more difficult for us to hold a civil conversation.
    As time goes on I will be responding to your post. Can you provide me with some links where I can read about the material we are discussing. It is important to me that I go to proper sources because I don’t want to be accused later on of not going to “official Church teachings” and an opionion of a Bishop or something like that.

    Thanks Augustine.

    ~Victor

    #5187
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    [quote:2f0yyw73]Of course, you can’t let context get in your way. The story of Onan, involved a man who owed the Leverite debt to his dead brother. In ancien semitic/tribal custom, if a man’s brother died without leaving a son, it was the job of his living brother to take his widow into his own house, and have relations with her until a child is conceived – and that child is not to be credited as his, but as the dead brother’s.

    Onan’s crime, was that he took his brother’s widow, but purposelly “spilled his seed” so that this woman wouldn’t conceive a son who would not be counted as his own (and who he would benefit from.) Thus, his sin was defrauding his dead brother. [/quote:2f0yyw73]

    There are many other examples of frauding one’s kin in the Bible which do not result in death. Using that as an excuse is pretty lame. It is quite clear from a simple reading of the context that he was killed FOR spilling the seed.

    [color=red:2f0yyw73]ADMIN EDIT: Please keep conversation [b:2f0yyw73]civil[/b:2f0yyw73]. Blatant stabs at other members will not be tolerated. This goes for everyone.[/color:2f0yyw73]

    #5191
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Wow,

    Miss a couple of days, miss a lot. <img loading=” title=”Smile” />

    I don’t think I’ll post anything tonight. (Lucky you guys!) lol

    Talk to you all soon, and thank-you all for your replies.

    Ted

    #5194
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Augustine,

    Thank you for your wonderful repies on this thread. You’ve managed to explain what I was trying to say with respects to contraception better than I did. One thing, though. I don’t [i:2ns21746]believe[/i:2ns21746] that I have been misled by the RC position on contraception at all, though perhaps it came across that way.

    I don’t doubt that contraception is less than the ideal but I do not believe that it is a ‘mortal sin’ as the RCs would suggest, provided it is not abortifacient. Believe me, I have agonised over this issue and I believe that I can defend my view using the Patristic references to ‘contraception’ as abortion that you mentioned, the fact that it is a purely moral and not dogmatic issue (thanks for the reply to UD on the Church being about personal salvation not moral ssues), and the fact that using a barrier contraceptive is [b:2ns21746][i:2ns21746]precisely the same in intent[/i:2ns21746][/b:2ns21746] as using the rhythm method. In the end I will have to answer to God and I can only entrust myself to His mercy, but I’d rather risk my own personal salvation than inflict suffering on others by having more children than we can support. Does that make me bad? I hope not, and I doubt that most Orthodox would say it did. I’m not so sure about the RCs, though.

    James

    #5195
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    [quote:12yds4g0]
    One other point; James you ask where I got my info on the councils–I got the info from YOU, in another thread.[/quote:12yds4g0]

    UD,

    Are you being wilfully ignorant or do you have problems with comprehending plain English? I have [u:12yds4g0][b:12yds4g0][i:12yds4g0]never[/i:12yds4g0][/b:12yds4g0][/u:12yds4g0] said that we have had no councils since the Schism. In fact, I’m one of those that holds that there are 9 Ecumenical Councils as I quite clearly stated to Scott in the thread on this very issue. As the 9th was post-Schism (the 8th was pre-Schism and initially accepted by Rome though rejected again later), you couldn’t even claim that I’ve said that we’ve had no Ecumenical Councils since then.

    Just to prove that you did not specify Ecumenical Councils at all, though, here is the relevant part of your post again:

    [quote:12yds4g0]There is a problem here–by your own admission, the Orthodox Church hasn’t had ANY councils in at least seven hundred years–mayeb more– so of course nothing could change. [/quote:12yds4g0]

    Now, I clearly stated in that same thread that there have been many Pan-Orthodox Councils whose canons have been accepted by the whole Church and local Councils whose canons were likewise universally accepted. I even gave the example of the Council of Iasi (or Jassy) for the latter. So was the ignorance wilful or oblivious on your part? I’d suggest that you try learning to read and comprehend what is written so that you can argue against what was actually said rather than taking pot shots at straw men.

    James

    #5196

    This [i:e1vy9wg1][b:e1vy9wg1]was[/b:e1vy9wg1][/i:e1vy9wg1] a great thread but many people ruined it by making blatant attacks on one another. I am sorry to say that I have been forced to close it. Perhaps we can bring up the topic in a more civil manner another time.

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