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Featured Eastern Orthodox: What must the Roman See do to get you back?

Discussion in 'Denomination Specific Theology' started by redleghunter, May 14, 2019 at 12:05 AM.

  1. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    Please be specific.
     
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  2. MariaJLM

    MariaJLM Crazy Cat Lady

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    Mend the Schism.
     
  3. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    Back? Was it them that left?
     
  4. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    Yes how can that be accomplished?
     
  5. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    Who do you think left first?
     
  6. GoingByzantine

    GoingByzantine Seeking the Narrow Road Supporter

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    Your title kind of hits the nail on the head. The Orthodox were never part of the Roman See, although we believe that the Roman See was once Orthodox. We believe in a conciliar church where each bishop is equal in authority, and where important decisions are made by church councils. That very premise undermines the papal infallibility of the Bishop of Rome, so that issue would have to be worked through first before moving on to the finer points.
     
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  7. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    Thanks that’s a pretty good run down. I had a similar thread with Anglicans and papal infallibility was a top issue across the Anglican spectrum.
     
  8. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    Lets put it this way, which State Church existed first. All since have sprung from that secular hookup.
     
  9. MariaJLM

    MariaJLM Crazy Cat Lady

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    That is way above my paygrade lol.
     
  10. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    I think you have me at a disadvantage....I’m not following.
     
  11. GoingByzantine

    GoingByzantine Seeking the Narrow Road Supporter

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    In the earliest days of the Orthodox/Catholic church, there were no state/ethnic ties associated with the bishops. Each bishop managed their own territory within generally hostile countries that wanted nothing to do with Christianity. The first country to openly adopt Christianity was Armenia before the Roman Empire followed suit. The only "Patriarchs" at this time were in Rome, Antioch, Jerusalem and Alexandria and none of them were affiliated with any state body. These same church leaders (minus Rome) exist within orthodoxy today, and still, none of them are associated with any state bodies. There were other bishops in smaller cities throughout the Middle East, Africa and the Mediterranean.

    What ended up happening is that when Rome was eventually sacked and taken control of by pagan tribes, the Roman Emperor moved to Constantinople (today Istanbul). The bishop of Constantinople became an important part of Orthodoxy and began to act as the chief bishop for the newly converting regions of Eastern Europe. In time the people of these countries/regions rightfully wanted a local bishop at the head of their communities, and in order to meet the needs of the flock, the Bishop of Constantinople granted them complete autonomy. From that action new Patriarchs were installed to act as the representative of their local communities within the wider church. That is why there are "state churches" like the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church today.

    Each church has a different relationship with their local governments. Some Orthodox Churches are viewed as an integral part of the state, and others are not and are actively persecuted. It varies widely.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019 at 12:41 AM
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  12. Gracia Singh

    Gracia Singh Newbie Supporter

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    Prayer. And love. And fasting. And more love.
     
  13. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    How has this autonomy fared over the centuries?
     
  14. GoingByzantine

    GoingByzantine Seeking the Narrow Road Supporter

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    It has ebbed and flowed. There are two types of autonomy within Orthodoxy: autocephaly and autonomy. Autocephalous churches enjoy complete independence in their affairs, while autonomous churches are functionally independent but are still under the purview of another church. At the end of the day, each church governs its own internal affairs through local councils and committees. For larger matters of faith, theology, and ecclesiology the churches have to come to a universal agreement with each other through dialogue and councils.

    To put it in American terms, imagine for a moment that you have a baptist church. The local pastor and his flock might make decisions about their church through a committee, but then you might also have a larger body like the Southern Baptist Convention that you send representatives to too discuss bigger issues that collectively affect your denomination. That is kind of how Orthodoxy works.

    We have churches with pastors and churchgoers who make small scale decisions, bishops who work with others within their local communities to make decisions of regional importance, and then a body that represents the entire faith that meets to make major decisions. At the end of the day, what makes this structure different from most protestant denominations is that the Orthodox Church has a universal set of theological beliefs that will not change unless the entire global church agrees on it. In many (but not all) protestant sects, people can kind of go off and teach and do their own thing. As long as they can find a chapter and verse to support their belief, that's good enough for them. That's not how Orthodoxy works. Our theology is informed by thousands of years of reading and analyzing scripture, and we will not simply change our theology overnight because someone decided to read/interpret a verse in a new way.

    We certainly have our own conflicts, however. What happened with Ukraine is an example of this. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is an autonomous church under the guidance of the Russian church. It functions on its own, but it is not completely independent. Pat. Bartholomew claimed that he should have authority over Ukraine and installed his own separate church made up of a group of schismatic Orthodox believers as the "true Ukrainian Church". The western media reported on this event as though it was some kind of triumphant moment, but in truth it is not. None of the Orthodox Churches fully agreed with the move, and they are presently in dialogue to convene a global church council on the matter.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019 at 3:34 AM
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  15. GoingByzantine

    GoingByzantine Seeking the Narrow Road Supporter

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    Here is an example of a church council. Here the Serbian Orthodox Patriarch called all the other bishops of Serbia together to discuss the Ukrainian issue. This is an example of a regional council. If their body decides that they need to talk about this on a bigger stage, then they will call for a worldwide council of Orthodox bishops or hierarchs to meet.

    Notice, that the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church is not like the Pope. He does not have universal authority, he needs to meet with others to make important decisions.

     
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  16. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    Thank you that is a concise but comprehensive response. Noting that such church governance helped Orthodoxy survive during the Muslim conquests much like the very early church survived.
     
  17. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    I see a man in a civilian suit. I gather there is input in these regional and local councils from the Laity?
     
  18. Gracia Singh

    Gracia Singh Newbie Supporter

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    I love the EO very much. They have helped me very much. I also have a great, deep, inexplicable love for the Catholic Church. We have a lot in common. May Christ our Lord and Mary our Mother help us, save us, and move hearts and souls to heal the rift, and humbly love and serve and learn from each other.

    Pax Christi. There's a Baptist brother on here who always posts "Till all are One". That's a good motto.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019 at 11:41 AM
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  19. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    Was a global council required when the Ukraine which was once spoils of Austria, then fell into Soviet hands?
     
  20. GoingByzantine

    GoingByzantine Seeking the Narrow Road Supporter

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    No, no such council ever occurred. Generally a council wouldn't be called for strictly political matters like that. If there were, then we would have councils all the time.

    Keep in mind that the history of Ukraine is replete with examples of regime change. It was independent, then it got conquered by the Mongols, then it ended up as part of a united Polish-Lithuanian state, then it ended up under the sway of multiple regimes, then it became part of the Soviet Union, and today it is independent. When you factor in that most Orthodox regions have undergone similar (and in some cases, more extreme) regime change, it makes sense why you wouldn't call a council. Each local church can convene regional councils and synods to discuss these matters though, and they certainly do.

    The Soviet Union installed state atheism as a religion and killed millions of Orthodox Christians, most people had to go underground and practice their faith in secret to survive. No councils were ever called because half of Europe was under hostile governments, and the Orthodox Churches elsewhere were mainly under hostile Muslim rule. There was no freedom of movement to even have such a council, and enforcing it would have been extremely difficult under the circumstances.
     
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