Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Orthodox Distinctives

There aren't any.


godescalc said...

...apart from disliking the Filioque, thinking the Popes of Rome have legitimate authority but have gotten too big for their boots, preferring Greek to Latin, having love for the icons but not for the statues, having love for the hesychasm, having significantly less love for the St. Augustine, talking about the Uncreated Energies a lot...

Lvka said...

Disliking the Filioque... is NOT an Orthodox distinctive. But believing in it, however, IS a Roman-Catholic distinctive. It's what sets Roman-Catholics apart from the rest of traditional Christendom [Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, including Nestorians and Maronites].

Valentin said...


1 - Lvka said it well for the Filioque.
And it is because of meeting the Miaphysites and finding that, through the centuries our faiths being unchanged and yet in no contact, we have very very similar theology and practices. That's a historical and geographical proof for the east keeping the true Christianity not just for the Roman Church, but for whole Christendom.
2 - The Popes of Rome were considered to have local authority alone. No single person, should it be a bishop, weather a Patriarch or a Pope, that ever had the authority to change dogma. The first time it was done was with the insertion of the Filioque. In the Pentarchy, the Pope of Rome was first among EQUALS. If it was about a centralized authority, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople would have started dictating new dogmas in our "schismatic" Church. But he doesn't, just like the early bishops of Rome and Constantinople.
3 - It was already before the Great Schism (around the Photian Schism) that our Church authorized Slavonic language in churches, with the new alphabet made by Ss. Cyril and Methodius, thus giving no primacy nor to Greek nor to Latin. Unlike Slavic Orthodox, catholic Slavs (like Croatians) had to use Latin and your alphabet. It's you who prefer Latin over Greek, being Roman but not catholic (universal).
4 - We never had a canonical prohibition on statues. The video here explains why they are less popular than icons:
5 - Love for hesychasm was always typical for the Orthodox Church, it's just Rome who didn't want it in it's Augustinian theology. That's because hasychasm does to us something that is opposite, if not totally incompatible, to the western notion of "total depravity" (whether Roman or Calvinist).
6 - Bl. Augustine of Hippo's place in the Orthodox Church is different. He was writing in Latin, so the Romans hurried up (around the Schism) to centralize all their theology around the the triumphant theologian against pelagianism and the biggest product they gave at these times (for me, he wasn't greater than the more humble St John Cassian). Yet, they dind't want to use the Eastern fathers, some of whose writings were translated into Latin by the contemporary St John Cassian.
And, just like we have saints canonized by a local Church (St John of Rila - Bulgarian Orthodox), so was Augustine for the Roman one. And our opinions on him changed after the Schism, through never having accepted his theology before. We have our Church Fathers and don't ALWAYS trust them in 100% (ex. St Justin Martyr's millenarianism), yet we d give big importance to St Irenaeus of Lyons, for ex.
7 - Here is a small explanation of what the difference between essence and energies in the OC - by the great Russian theologian Vladimir Lossky:

Lvka said...

Actually, I like the first part better. (Touches nicely on the liturgical beauty and mysticism of [Eastern and] Oriental Orthodoxy).

godescalc said...

Hey, I didn't you were wrong about every one of those; just that they're distinctive (also, I'm assuming that the Maronites are entirely fine with the filioque, as they're Catholic). Thanks for the clarifications on the various issues, tho the link you post for point 7 is... can I say, "it's all Greek to me?" I barely understand a word of it.

Lvka said...

Hey, I didn't say you were wrong about every one of those; just that they're distinctive

And it is precisely this that I'm trying to show you: they're NOT distinctive (at least not in an objective manner). Being black, for instance, is NOT a distinctive if you live in Africa; being white, however, IS. (You'd stick out like a sore thumb). If everyone else lacks X, and only one group or individual has it, then it's having X, NOT lacking it, that constitutes a distinctive feature which sets one apart from the rest of the (larger or broader) group; or, in this case, Roman Catholic Christianity from the rest of [ancient and traditional] Christendom.

Lvka said...

Also, I'm assuming that the Maronites are entirely fine with the Filioque, as they're Catholic

Yet that doesn't change the historical fact that the doctrine was missing from their faith until the union with the Church of Rome...





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