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Re: Becoming a Byzantine Christian

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August 10, 2007 09:36PM
Let's see, it is obvious that who ever wrote this blog is historically challenged.
Yes, it is true that Orthodox have kept the same beliefs for a long time, and it is because they can't have an ecumenical council and define doctrines. So in other words the Orthodox are held captive in a time capsule. Why? Well, you need the Pope(Bishop of Rome)to approve it. If there is no Pope present at an ecumenical council you can't formally define faith or morals. Only ecumenical councils where all the Bishops in union with the Pope can make an infallible statement of faith and morals. The most recent Catholic beliefs about the infallibility of the Pope, Immaculate Conception and Purgatory is accepted by all Rites of the Catholic Church and have been believed by the universal church for centuries before, but only affirmed recently. Much like most people in first few hundred years knew which Scriptures were inspired and which were not, were formally cannonized in the 4th Century. It took 400 years to authorize which books belong to the Bible and which did not. Equally, it took almost 200 years to fully define the trinity, while the trinity was understood much earlier in history. Christian doctrine has developed through the centuries as the "People of God" could truly understand God's teachings through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Moreover, if my Orthodox friend will be so brave and honest to admit that every heresy in the first 800 years came from Orthodox territories, then I'll be impressed. Not one heresy came from Rome. Rome always was seen historically as the seat of Catholic orthodoxy.

Also, the Orthodox are our sepperated brothers and sisters in Christ. This writer believes we believe heretical things. First of all, define heretical. Heretical is anything that goes against Sacred Tradition or Sacred Scripture. None of our beliefs do. I think it is funny that the Orthodox call themselves Catholic, when they really should have gotten the Trademark on the name. They created a new name for themselves,"Orthodox" with a capital "O". Historically, the word orthodox was an adjective to describe the Catholic Church. When they left the Catholic Church, they could not call themselves Catholic. Again, I think it is funny they use the name Orthodox since every heresy in the first 1000 years came from their churches. It is like Bill Clinton using the word "Purity" to describe his followers.

Let's compare:

One: the Catholic Church is united in one faith, and all Churches are united as one when we all our in communion with Christ' head of his earthly church, the Pope.
THe Pope is the successor of Peter who has the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven.
We are fully united universally in doctrine as well. The Orthodox are one in their belief in Christ, but divided into autocephalous groups with Nationalistic orientation. So, here the Catholic Church is truly one.

Holy: The Catholic Church was founded by Christ, and built on the Rock who is Peter the Bishop of Rome. The Orthodox were Catholic for the first 1000 years, so they would be considered Holy only because of their history being united with the original church.
Catholic: Catholic means "Universal" and "Lacking nothing". The Catholic Church has all the means of salvation as does the Orthodox church by maintaining the 7 sacraments and Apostolic Authority. However, the Orthodox Church is only located in about 14 countries, while the Catholic Church is located in every country in the entire world and is truly universal.
Apostolic: Both communions have retained Apostolic succession, through the Apostle Peter(Catholics) and through the Apostle Andrew(Orthodox).

While the Catholic Church has much influence and has shaped western civilization and continues to grow and dominate Christendom as the largest Christian population. It continues to flourish. In areas where there has been decline like in Europe and S. America, the faith has flourished in Africa where that population will soon outnumber all Europeans. In fact, if you were to believe that only 35% of Catholics faithfully attend Mass every Sunday, then that would mean there are more Catholics attending Mass on Sunday than there are the total number of Orthodox in the entire world. 35% of 1.1 Billion is 385 million. While there are only about 200 million Orthodox and their weekend Sunday attendance is at an all time low of 14%. Both Orthodox and Catholic hiearchy need to do a much better job in evangelizing the faithful. I would give both sides a D grade. We should both have 100% attendance because it is the 10 commandments not the 10 suggestions!

The Orthodox church is dying. In the countries it does exist it is extremely poor and marginalized. The Orthodox church is too divided into nationalistic organizations to pull together as one and many are too tied into their nationalistic image to be more united as one. The Russian Orthodox are the most nationalistic, while the Greeks are pretty even keeled and have slowly moved away from their identity to the state.

The Holy Catholic church can only be stregthened if the Orthodox come back into communion with Rome. We Catholics will be stregthened by the Orthodox because of their liturgy and honor of the sacred and the mystery of the divine liturgy. It is truly beautiful and the Orthodox will truly stregthen the Byzantine Rite. The Catholic Church will benefit the Orthodox Church by it's central authority and lack of nationalistic division. The Orthodox Church will also be stregthened by being again united with the universal Church, rather than just being a regional power.

Together, the world will be blessed when the two lungs of the body of Christ can take a deeper and fuller breath like we did in the first 1000 years. More people may come to Christ and be saved, if we become united and can celebrate at the same table. Christ will be more fully glorified if we can grow and love together in one faith, one baptism, one Lord under one shepherd.

May Christ be glorified in everything we do!



T
Subject Author Posted

Becoming a Byzantine Christian

Anthony March 19, 2003 06:13AM

Re: Becoming a Byzantine Christian

James April 01, 2003 03:51PM

Re: Becoming a Byzantine Christian

James April 18, 2003 02:58AM

Re: Becoming a Byzantine Christian

Charles August 10, 2007 09:36PM

Re: Becoming a Byzantine Christian

james August 23, 2007 05:13AM

Re: Becoming a Byzantine Christian

aByzantineCatholic October 04, 2003 04:16PM