I’m sorry if I misunderstood the nature with which you made your comments, but I couldn’t help but see that you had posted a warning of not attacking to “the Orthodox members”. This “it is meant for Catholics and Orthodox alike” was only an afterthought. As for inflammatory, what exactly was inflammatory about Augustine’s post, accept for the fact that it argued against what Catholics argue for? You say Catholics seem to show more interest to understand Orthodox faith, then Orthodox show interest to understand Catholicism. I am Orthodox, and I have read, in the last year, at least a good 10 books on Catholicism, including a few Catholic catechisms—and still, I cannot understand how the Roman Catholic Church can claim certain things. I never claimed that I was done in my reading and learning. I’m doing as much of it as I can without burning myself out. Suffice it to say that I’m sure all of us believe very strongly about these things. I’ve taken notes from the books I’ve read, I’m more than happy to share the issues I find in them, but perhaps in e-mails.
Long posts. Do you think I try to intimidate or win anything with my long posts? I don’t try to outdo or to intimidate with my long posts, and I will try to keep them shorter–but it was never a matter of trying to “win a victory”. I didn’t mean to come in here with a harsh tone. Have I offended some people? Yes, I think I have. Someone taught me a lesson in humility and he was right to do it, and he refused to speak to me. But do you think that there have not been harsh comments pointed the other way? When I first started posting on this forum, I would get replies that started “Like I said before”… and when I would apologize for what I assumed was their temper and tone, I would get an “oh, I’m not offended”. I didn’t make it an issue to come out here and argue. We all feel very strongly about our beliefs, it’s just that mine, in denying some of yours, are bound to make other people feel “attacked”. For example, despite the Patristics supporting the confession of faith being the “rock”, I keep getting the “How can you not believe Peter is the rock” question. Despite the fact that many Church Fathers have called the confession the Rock, I get branded a “Protestant” by other Catholics have I spoken to–but I’m surely not going to come in here and comment on all Catholics based on crass experiences with one or two, anymore than I would hope that people talking to me wouldn’t look at me as a shining example of Orthodoxy. I make no excuses–I am a man with passions, and yes, sometimes I do get irritated. I’m working on it. This is not intentional attack on Catholic beliefs, but yes, my beliefs will be seen, and ARE, attacks on certain beliefs that the Roman Catholics ascribe to. Do I have enmity toward Roman Catholics…no, I have plenty of friends who are Roman Catholics, both online and offline. Do I have enmity to certain teachings, and certain aspects of Roman Catholicism, yes, yes I do. It’s just the way of it. But I agree, that though we disagree, we can still carry ourselves with a sense of mutual respect….and I think that’s a challenge sometimes… on both sides. I apologize for my temper, I didn’t mean to offend or hurt anyone.
Yes, I have been heard loud and clear. I have posted these huge posts. But how heard have I been when I’m still waiting for someone to explain to me questions like, “How are Papal decrees infallible if they overturned”? “How are popes infallible when the history of the Church tells us one has been excommunicated, many were just of the worst reputation, that one was anathematized as a heretic?”, and the many other issues that I have brought up in those long, droning, posts. Yes, you guys have been gracious and put up with it, and i appreciate it, and I will keep them short and sweet from now on (or try to anyway). I didn’t mean that I wasn’t heard in the “actual sense”. I mean, Vic, you’re sure we have all “mastered how to respond to the Petrine claims”. I mean, yeah, you put the little smiley there and it’s cute, and you’re just kidding around… but isn’t it also a little smug? I don’t know, maybe it’s just me and I’m just too sensitive, and just reading into it more than what is there.
Finally, Vic. I didn’t come here with the lofty belief that my input would resolve anything, or that differences separating us would be resolved by me. The East and the West could not resolve things hundreds of years back, when the differences were few. Nor did I come in here to keep animosity between Catholics and Orthodox…there is plenty of that without my help. I came hear to share my beliefs, and hear what others had to say about theirs. I have tried to be as non-offensive as possible. It didnt’ always work, and I apologize for it again. As for the confidence that I didn’t have when I would chat with you…I don’t have it now either. The confidence is in the history, in that particular church father, in that particular canon, and not in myself. Like I said, these posts aren’t me trying to intimidate or “wow” anyone. These are just me typing in a “stream of consciousness”….that’s how I type, as you guys might have noticed. How i would speak.