• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

  2. The forums in the Christian Congregations category are now open only to Christian members. Please review our current Faith Groups list for information on which faith groups are considered to be Christian faiths. Christian members please remember to read the Statement of Purpose threads for each forum within Christian Congregations before posting in the forum.

Featured Renowned philosopher signs petition calling on bishops to investigate Pope for heresy

Discussion in 'Current News & Events' started by redleghunter, May 6, 2019.

  1. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

    +5,616
    United States
    Catholic
    Married
    US-American-Solidarity
    It takes either a really good academic library, a good seminary library, or it's online.

    Migne. Patrologia Graeca
    Epiphanius is in sections 41.
    What you are looking for is the Panarion.
    What you will see is basically a reproduced photocopy of the text.
    It is part of 'KATA KATHARION' = 'Contra Catharos', which is labeled heresy LIX = 59.

    Patrologiæ cursus completus [Series Græca]
    Then go down to page 1024.
     
  2. truefiction1

    truefiction1 Fool

    +1,633
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    Thanks Chevyontheriver. Father John Meyendorff had full access to the library at St. Vladimir's Seminary in New York (he likely wrote his book on Marriage in the Orthodox Church while a professor their). I may not have anything close to such resources but I'll see what I can find. I think I may be able to get my hands on an English translation of his (Epiphanius') works also. Thanks again.
     
  3. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

    +5,616
    United States
    Catholic
    Married
    US-American-Solidarity
    I found an English translation of the Panarion that seems decent.
    I don't have the scoop on the translator, so I'm not putting this out as the best or only acceptable translation by any means. But he seems the one every one references now.

    Selections from pages 107-110 Panarion: On the Cathari
    Now there is some ambiguity here. Particularly whatever "if the opportunity arises" means. It could mean "if the first wife dies". This can be read this way, and in context of the whole of the Cathari chapter it is perfectly appropriate to presume the whole point is that Christians can marry one spouse and then after that spouse has died they can marry again. That was actually what the Cathari opposed. Divorce is allowed, but remarriage, while also allowed, might need to wait the opportunity of the first wife dying. Your reading is possible, and a Catholic reading is also possible based on this particular translation. But do look at footnote 16.

    There is also this from page 14 of the Panarion:
    No mention of divorce with remarriage allowed here.

    And this from pages 109-110 of the Panarion, in the same Cathari chapter:
    And here again, presented as a general rule of only one living spouse at a time.

    And this from page 678 (De Fide, attached to the Panarion):
    And here yet again, presented as a general rule of only one living spouse at a time.

    You may have other authorities which approve of marriage after divorce, but using Epiphanius seems like it might be a reach. It's certainly not a proof. I'm not convinced. But I think he is a fine Catholic Father of the Church.
     
  4. truefiction1

    truefiction1 Fool

    +1,633
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    This is good. Thanks. The life of celibacy/virginity is idealized by many fathers of the Church. I've been lead to believe that celibacy was so exulted in the mind of the early Church that some of her saints even proposed the banning of marriage for all orders of the priesthood (i.e. priests and deacons) at the 1st Ecumenical Council, and this measure was given great consideration, but was ultimately rejected on account of Paphnutius' strong defense of married priests. In retrospect, it would seem that when "ideals" are forced on people, rather than merely suggested and encouraged, while allowing for concessions ("...it is better to marry than to burn") to be made on account of the way things are in a messed up world such as the one we've always lived in, that such as stance usually reveals itself to have been too harsh, and not a sustainable model, in actuality.

    Whether attempting (by threat of deposition or excommunication) to force either all parish priests or all divorced laity into celibacy, the unforeseen consequences of such policies will ultimately rise up and bite us all, as they have.

    Your suggestion that one could be remarried after divorce only after a first spouse has died seems impractical, at best, and reinforces the idea that a Godly marriage is merely a temporary contractual arrangement that is dissolved at the death of one of the spouses. The Orthodox Church does not consent to this teaching regarding first marriages, so while I understand your perspective, I don't agree with it.
     
  5. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

    +5,616
    United States
    Catholic
    Married
    US-American-Solidarity
    The current practice is that a priest may not marry but that under some circumstances a married man may become a priest, That is Orthodox and Eastern Rite Catholic practice. Even Anglican Ordinariate practice. And if a married priest's wife dies, he may not remarry.
    Nobody is forced to be a Christian. Those who choose to be Christians accept the 'ideals' of the faith. But then there are those who always seek the lowest common denominator., making everything an ideal that one cannot actually attain. This is a graceless view of the faith. The more graceful view is that much is required and grace can be given to make it possible.
    Epiphanius has a lot to say about exactly this issue of the expectation of continence for priests. Have you read the whole Cathari chapter of the Panarion?
    Impractical because the spouse might live a long long time.! But here is the rub. Many of the folks in the Catholic Church that want us Catholics to become more Orthodox and allow divorce are the same people who want us to normalize homosexual unions. After all, it is 'impractical' for divorced people who have remarried without an annulment to not receive communion. So too, it is 'impractical' to insist on continence for homosexuals, or to deny them communion for doing what comes 'naturally'. Similarly, for those who are unmarried, it is 'impractical' to force people to marry before sexual activity, or to deny them communion for doing what comes naturally. A whole lot of immoral practices can be normalized in this way.

    I don't know if such discussions are active within Orthodoxy, but they are active among the fringe of Catholicism that this petition is directed towards, the friends of the pope. It's the same argument to marry homosexuals or to give communion to remarried individuals
    Right. We Catholics go by our Tradition and how we read Scriptures. That tells us that marriage endures at least until death, but beyond death we have no certainty. You have a different view, that marriages are eternal. In any event, the Panarion has been a good read. It has some great data about the Arians, Semi-Arians, and their derivatives. I've long been interested in how those folks understood sacraments considering their soteriology and christology is so different.
     
  6. truefiction1

    truefiction1 Fool

    +1,633
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    Thank you. I have been informed about these things.

    Not disagreeing with you here, just saying that "it is better to marry than to burn" is a Biblical saying that ought to be given as much credence as "it is better not to marry", since both sayings are Divinely inspired.
    No, I haven't read a lot of things. Have you read that the expectation for continence for priests was ultimately rejected by the Church, in favor of allowing priests to have children and such? The expectation of continence on the part of priests, to the point of requiring priests to put their wives away, was exactly the sort of thing that was weighed during the 1st Ecumenical Council. It was deemed to be too harsh, and was thus not approved. Compulsory celibacy for all those who would be ordained to the priesthood became a part of Roman Catholic canon alone, only much later, and was not practiced elsewhere.
    Homosexual activity has never been approved at any point in the Holy Tradition of the people of God, from Genesis thru the Apocalypse. Remarried divorcees, on the other hand, have been participating in the Church and our Sacramental Life for a very long time.

    It's not the same argument at all. Orthodox Christians don't argue for Communion to be given to remarried divorcees. The Church gives them Communion so long as they are properly prepared to receive through repentance. Marriage must be between one male and one female, because that is the Divinely ordered way (i.e. from the beginning, He made them male and female). Therefor, those living an active homosexual lifestyle are excluded from participation in the Church and the Life.

    I think it's possible that their soteriology could have easily been identical, or very close to identical, with the soteriology of much of Western Christendom, since all that is required as the basis for the "satisfaction" theory of atonement (Anselm of Canterbury) is a sinless man receiving death (the wages of sin) so that God's justice could be satisfied, thereby freeing God to rescind His sentence of death. The modern day Arians (Jehovah's Witnesses) teach this theory of atonement, so I wouldn't be surprised if the Arians of old did as well.

    Orthodox Christianity considers the reduction of the Mystery of Salvation to a doctrine defined as a formulaic "satisfaction" of Divine justice to be a grave error, actually. It bothers us, quite frankly, that most of Christendom embraces such errors.
     
  7. jgarden

    jgarden Senior Veteran

    +1,516
    Methodist
    Renowned philosopher signs petition calling on bishops to investigate Pope for heresy

    If the cardinals had thought that the Catholic Church was in need of a conservative pope, they would have played it safe and elected an older, European "interim" leader - not a younger one from Argentina!

    They deliberately went outside the traditional selection process for a reason, they were searching a younger, more dynamic Pope who would lead the Church in a different direction for several decades.

    Pope Francis was never a member of the Vatican "deep state," the Church bureaucracy that has long been accustomed to older, more pliable popes that they could "manage!"
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
  8. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

    +5,616
    United States
    Catholic
    Married
    US-American-Solidarity
    Pope Francis was not a 'young' pope when elected and nobody expected he would lead for decades. If they were concerned about longevity and physical vitality, they picked very poorly. He struggles. He gets tired and then says things he hasn't thought through.

    There is a Vatican deep state and it was hoped Francis could drain that swamp. Problem is he has done little to drain the swamp and many swamp dwellers are enjoying his papacy, having been nicely promoted. Other good people have been demoted. The deep state is managing him well in that regard.

    There is a notable popemaker swamp dweller friend of the pope who got his comeuppance recently that illustrates the problems with pope Francis. That is ex-cardinal Teddybear McCarrick, who was a behind the scenes mover and shaker in the election of pope Francis. He and the St. Gallen Mafia got their guy elected. Many other cardinals voted for Francis as the person to clean up the Curia. That would be a worthy goal, hasn't happened, but a worthy goal. But these mafiosi voted for him for revolution. It's that revolution that is now being resisted.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  9. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

    +5,616
    United States
    Catholic
    Married
    US-American-Solidarity
    Yes, but you would disagree that it is better for two men to marry than to burn. And thus not everything is allowed under the rubric of 'better to marry than to burn'. These are two poles and we live in between them. What I see you doing is adding to Scripture in saying "it is better for a once validly married divorced person to remarry than to burn". I'm not sure that was the original intent, to excuse adultery.
    The folks who are moving towards accepting homosexual activity claim it is better to marry than to burn, just as you do for a validly married but then divorced person you allow to marry. It's all very parallel, even if you don't accept the parallels. There are real live theologian type people who are claiming both. And I see their logic. Which is why I think the historic position, found even in Epiphanius of no remarriage while an original spouse lives is the wise choice.
    The people arguing against you, claiming that it is the same argument, simply say God made us all sexual, and made us with different preferences. That it is entirely natural and even divinely ordered to do homosexual acts, so we have to marry them, they have to be able to do their sodomy thing and we have to provide communion for them. They use the Orthodox position of economically providing for adulterers to receive communion as justification. They are wrong, but that's their argument. And it is internally consistent given their defective premise based on 'better to marry than to burn'. You wouldn't accept it, but that is the case they are making to revolutionize the faith.
    Poor old Anselm's satisfaction theory is really only held by a subset of Protestants.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
  10. truefiction1

    truefiction1 Fool

    +1,633
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    We would say that it is sometimes better for one who is no longer married, like if their spouse died, or if their spouse has left them with no chance of reconciliation, to be in another marriage-like arrangement. Two men together or two women together is not a marriage-like arrangement. The intent is not to excuse adultery, because marriage in the New Testament Church has taken on a whole new dimension than that of the Jews. It is not a legal contract dissolved by the death of one of the spouses, that would free the living spouse to be married again. The first marriage was the only one that had the potential to be eternal. Marrying a second time, even after the death of the first spouse, is adultery in our minds. That is why remarriage is discouraged altogether, and clergy are not to ever remarry in order to uphold the ideal of the eternal marriage.

    We don't need to forbid divorcees who have been remarried receiving Communion for that reason. Those supporting the giving of Communion to people living Homosexual lifestyles are making a false parallel, if this is what they argue. They can only do this because they have no conception of human marriage fulfilled in the Resurrection, on account of a misinterpretation of Matthew 22:30. If they knew what marriage really is, they would know that it is already a grave matter when divorce occurs, and that only as a very regrettable concession does the Church tolerate remarriage under any circumstances. Homosexual unions are therefor entirely out of the question.
    We allow widowers to remarry and receive Communion. By remarrying, they are breaking their eternal bond with their spouse, and are in this sense committing adultery. But nowhere has it ever been the case that we would allow a widow to marry a person of their own sex, because such an arrangement does not even attempt to resemble the Divinely ordered male/female bond, and is called "an abomination" in the eyes of the Lord.

    I think it may be considerably more widespread than that.
     
  11. The Barbarian

    The Barbarian Crabby Old White Guy

    +4,943
    United States
    Catholic
    Married
    US-Libertarian
    It depends on whether or not it was given ex cathedra "from the chair" (of Peter). If not, it's just an opinion. Infallibility is in three parts: the pope, ex cathedra, the bishops in council, or the Church as a whole.

    And of course, infallibility is not impeccability; popes can sin just like anyone else. Where most Catholics fail, when they do, it's in excessive legalism, as opposed to the spirit of Jesus' teachings. Francis, for whatever other failings he might have, is a strong and effective voice for the message of Jesus.

    Mark 3:1 Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. 2 Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. 3 Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.”

    4 Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent.

    5 He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. 6 Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.

    I have no doubt the Pharisees saw Jesus as a heretic, for openly violating the letter of the law.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
  12. truefiction1

    truefiction1 Fool

    +1,633
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    I agree. Some of us have such tendencies which compel us towards extreme legalism. Surely I'm not innocent of this sin myself. This excerpt from Meyendorff's book on Orthodox Marriage sort of infers that this happens to some degree, hinting that this phenomenon has fueled the Roman Church's strict handling of remarriage after divorce:

    "... the Church never considered the Gospel as a system of legal prescriptions which human society could adopt overnight. The Gospel was to be accepted as a commitment, as a pledge of the Kingdom to come; it presupposed constant personal struggle against sin and evil, but it never could be reduced to a system of legal 'obligations' or 'duties.' ... Thus, the Christian empire continued to admit divorce and remarriage as a regular social institution... The laws of the Christian emperors, especially Constantine, Theodosius, and Justinian, defined various legal grounds and conditions on which divorce and remarriage were permissible... Throughout all that period, divorce, with right of remarriage, was granted not only on the grounds of adultery, but also on such grounds as political treason, planning of murder, disappearance for five years or more, unjustified accusation of adultery, and finally, monastic vows of one of the partners... No Father of the Church ever denounced these imperial laws as contrary to Christianity. There was an evident consensus of opinion that considered them as inevitable." (John Meyendorff; Marriage: an Orthodox Perspective)
     
  13. The Barbarian

    The Barbarian Crabby Old White Guy

    +4,943
    United States
    Catholic
    Married
    US-Libertarian
    For me, my marriage vows are complete and unconditional. My wife and I made that vow to each other prior to our wedding. She is not Catholic, and her tradition is not a strict as in the Catholic Church. Nevertheless, she agrees with me on this point and on many others.

    I don't bother deciding how it should work for anyone else. I do believe that maintaining a marriage, while that is possible, is the best choice.

    I'm a rather poor theologian; so much of the detail separating denominations seem pointless to me. In my view, theology will not save you. Loving God and loving your fellow man will save you.

    And I trust everything else depends on those two.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  14. The Barbarian

    The Barbarian Crabby Old White Guy

    +4,943
    United States
    Catholic
    Married
    US-Libertarian
    And this is to me, the heart and soul of the Church. I find Matthew to be a constant inspiration; he seems to have understood this more than any other apostle.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  15. truefiction1

    truefiction1 Fool

    +1,633
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    That's about how I see it too, but it hasn't always been that way with me. Suffice it to say that my marriage to my first wife has survived, not because of me, but rather, in spite of me, and almost assuredly only by the grace of God. The same must be said of my faith in Christ also.
     
  16. The Barbarian

    The Barbarian Crabby Old White Guy

    +4,943
    United States
    Catholic
    Married
    US-Libertarian
    The point of being married, is that when one is weak, the other supports. In almost all marriages, roles switch back and forth over the years. That's certainly been the case with Mrs. Barbarian and me.

    Before we were married, she brought me back from a crisis in faith; I'll never be able to thank her enough for that.
     
  17. truefiction1

    truefiction1 Fool

    +1,633
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    Yes, thank you for this. May the Lord always "help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us by [His] grace" (from the small litany).
     
  18. The Barbarian

    The Barbarian Crabby Old White Guy

    +4,943
    United States
    Catholic
    Married
    US-Libertarian
    “You're my best friend, Jan, you've been with me through everything, and I've not always been a good friend to you.” he hesitated. “I know this sounds weird, but I've grown to love you.”


    Jan smiled. “You know, I love you too. And when you weren't always the best friend, you always tried to make it up to me. And when you were being a friend to people like Jonathan when he lost his job, you were being a good friend to me, too.”

    “Something weird has happened the last few weeks, Jan. Hear me out and tell me I'm not going crazy.” Jan looked over his glasses at Carl, and lifted one eyebrow, but said nothing.


    “I've been having these terrible dreams where Miranda died and left me alone, and all I could do was cry. I was alone for years, grieving for her.”


    “Have you told Miranda?”


    “Yes, and when I told her, she just smiled and kissed me and said “well, it's over, and you have me here and now; I'm not going anywhere.”


    “That's it?”


    “No, it's not. This is the really weird part. My knee has stopped bothering me. And I bounce out of bed in the morning like a kid. And even the people I meet during the day are better to be with, and seem happier than before. Everyone I know. Is this what dementia is like?”


    “No, it's not dementia. That would be different. You're just settling in.”


    Carl stared at Jan.


    “What's going on, Jan, tell me.”


    “What if things went on this way forever for you?”


    “I'd be perfectly happy with that. If only.”


    Jan smiled kindly at him.


    “Soon those dreams will go away, and they'll never bother you again. They are in the past, and the past is gone. Things that happened in the past are just dreams that will soon fade away. All there is here, is the now. “


    “Here?”


    “Yes, Carl, here is where you were meant to be, where I wanted everyone to be. You'll be with Miranda forever and I will be your friend forever. It takes a little time to adjust, that's all.” You took care of me and I'll take care of you forever.”


    “When did I take care of you?”


    “When you passed that money quietly to Jonathan when he lost his job. When you gave up your Saturday to help move the Carroll family when they were evicted. Whenever you took care of them, you took care of me.”


    Carl stared, open-mouthed at Jan, who was still smiling, looking slightly amused. He slid off the barstool and went to his knees.


    “Get up, Carl” Jan chuckled. “we don't do that kind of thing here.” He helped Carl back to his seat.


    “But I don't deserve this.”


    “No, you don't. But it's my gift to you, for loving me. And yes, when you loved those people who were hurting, you were loving me.”


    “What can I do to thank you... Jan?”


    “Jan is fine. I like the name. All you have to do is love me. And love everyone here with you. All I ever expected of you. Be happy with Miranda.


    And be sure you're here at Doug's now and then on Friday afternoons for a beer or two with me, hear? Have a great eternity my friend.”
     
  19. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

    +5,616
    United States
    Catholic
    Married
    US-American-Solidarity
    That is an endearing story.

    How would it change if we had this substitution?

    Original:
    New version:
     
  20. The Barbarian

    The Barbarian Crabby Old White Guy

    +4,943
    United States
    Catholic
    Married
    US-Libertarian
    I wonder. Would there be jealousy in Heaven? For me, it won't matter. No matter how long I might live after Mrs. Barbarian, there will never be another like her.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
Loading...