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  • #344098

    Anonymous

    Konzervativac2.0 asked me in chat for main differencs, but I realised it would take to much text for chat, so we agreed that I write them down here. Since that two Churches are two biggest religious groups in Slavdom, I found it interesting for this forum. Please, keap in mind this is just for academical explaination of differences not for theological discussion, nor for flame wars. Also, keep in mind this topic will introduce lot of Greek and Latin terms, so dont be affraid of using dictionaries  :D

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    [size=12pt]Filioque.[/size]

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    [td]There is significant difference in approaches and understanding of the Trinity. Roman Catholic doctrine based on works of St. Augustine's theology and, by extension, that of Thomas Aquinas (as in the western Mediterranean on the Trinity) is not  accepted in the Orthodox Church, which bases it doctrine on works of Eastern Theologians (St. Basil the Great, Saint Gregory the Theologian, Saint Gregory of Nisa and Saint John the Chrisostome).Main point of this could be seen in so called question of Filioque.
    According to Original text of Nicene Creed, Holy Spirit proceeds from Father:

    „Καὶ εἰς τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον, τὸ κύριον, τὸ ζῳοποιόν, τὸ ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς ἐκπορευόμενον
    Eng: "And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who from the Father proceeds (or: from the Father proceeding)"

    In version of Niceene Creed used by Roman Catholic Church, Spirit proceeds from bot Father and Son (Christ):

    „Et in Spiritum Sanctum, Dominum, et vivificantem: qui ex Patre Filioque procedit
    Eng: "And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, and giver of life, who from the Father and the Son proceeds"

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    There are two separate issues in the Filioque controversy: the orthodoxy of the doctrine itself and the liceity of the interpolation of the phrase into the Nicene Creed. Although the debate over the orthodoxy of the doctrine preceded the question of the admissibility of the phrase as inserted into the Creed, the two issues became linked when the insertion received the approval of the pope in the eleventh century. After that point, the debate was no longer solely about the orthodoxy of the doctrine but also about the authority of the pope to define what was and was not orthodox.

    Theological aspect of Filioque:

    Eastern theologians state for the Holy Spirit to proceed from the Father and the Son in the Creed, there would have to be two sources in the deity (double procession). Whereas in the one God there can only be one source of divinity, which is the Father hypostasis of the Trinity. One God in Father which is in contrast to treating God modalistically which reconciles the double procession by using God's essence as the true singular origin of the Holy Spirit.

    Legal aspect of Filioque:

    The third ecumenical council, held at Ephesus in 431, which quoted the creed in its 325 form, not in that of 381, decreed in its seventh canon:

    It is unlawful for any man to bring forward, or to write, or to compose a different (ἑτέραν) Faith as a rival to that established by the holy Fathers assembled with the Holy Ghost in Nicæa. But those who shall dare to compose a different faith, or to introduce or offer it to persons desiring to turn to the acknowledgment of the truth, whether from Heathenism or from Judaism, or from any heresy whatsoever, shall be deposed, if they be bishops or clergymen; bishops from the episcopate and clergymen from the clergy; and if they be laymen, they shall be anathematized.

    While the Council of Ephesus thus forbade setting up a different creed as a rival to that of the first ecumenical council, it was the creed of the second ecumenical council that was adopted liturgically in the East and later a Latin variant was adopted in the West. The fourth ecumenical council, that of Chalcedon (451), quoted the creed of 381 and formally treated it as binding, together with that of 325. Within 80 years, therefore, the creed of 381 was normative in defining the Christian faith. In the early sixth century, it was widely used in the liturgy in the East and at the end of the same century in parts of the West, perhaps beginning with the Council of Toledo in 589.

    Patristic aspect of Filioque:

    The writings of the early Church Fathers, mainly western, sometimes speak of the Holy Spirit as proceeding or spirating from the Father and the Son. Although the Eastern Fathers were aware that in the West the procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son was taught, they did not generally regard it as heretical, since offten that quotes do not have sense of modern Roman Catholic doctrine of Filioque.

    Modern Situation:

    The doctrine expressed by the Filioque is accepted by the Catholic Church, by Anglicanism and by Protestant churches in general. Christians of these groups generally include it when reciting the Nicene Creed. Nonetheless, these groups recognize that Filioque is not part of the original text established at the First Council of Constantinople in 381 and they do not demand that others too should use it when saying the Creed.

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    [size=12pt]Primacy of the Bishop of Rome[/size]

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    [td]The primacy of the Bishop of Rome is an ecclesiastical doctrine concerning the respect and authority that is due to the Bishop of Rome from other bishops and their sees. Together with the Filioque controversy, differences in interpretation of this doctrine have been and remain the primary causes of schism between the Western and Eastern Orthodox churches.  In the Eastern Orthodox Church, some understand the primacy of the Bishop of Rome to be merely one of greater honour, treating him as "primus inter pares" ("first among equals"), without effective power over other churches, while others see primacy as indeed power, the expression, manifestation and realization in one bishop of the power of all the bishops, an expression and manifestation of the unity not just of the churches but of the Church. The Roman Catholic Church attributes to the primacy of the Pope "full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered", a power that it attributes also to the entire body of the bishops united with the pope. The power that it attributes to the pope's primatial authority has limitations that are official, legal, dogmatic, and practical, and "it is an error to think that every word uttered by the Pope is infallible". It is the position of Orthodox Christianity that Roman Catholic arguments in support of the teaching have relied on proofs from Fathers that have either been misinterpreted or so taken out of context as to misrepresent their true intent. It is the position of Orthodox Christianity that a closer examination of those supposed supports would have the effect of either not supporting the argument or have the opposite effect of supporting the counter-argument. The test of catholicity is adherence to the authority of Scripture and then by the Holy Tradition of the church. It is not defined by adherence to any particular See. It is the position of the Orthodox Church that it has never accepted the pope as de jure leader of the entire church. All bishops are equal 'as Peter' therefore every church under every bishop (consecrated in apostolic succession) is fully complete (the original meaning of catholic).[/td]
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    Roman Catholic supports its doctrine by this arguments:


      [li]
      The presence of Peter in Rome, not explicitly affirmed in but consistent with the New Testament, is explicitly affirmed by Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, Irenaeus of Lyon and other early Christian writers. and no other city has ever claimed to be the place of his death. The same witnesses imply that Peter was the virtual founder of the Church of Rome.

      [/li]

      [li]The first bishop to claim primacy in writing was Pope Stephen I (254-257). The timing of the claim is significant, for it was made during the worst of the tumults of the third century. The bishops of Rome sent letters which, though largely ineffectual, provided historical precedents which were subsequently used by supporters of papal primacy. These letters were known as ‘decretals’ from at least the time of Siricius (384-399) to Leo I provided general guidelines to follow which later would become incorporated into canon law.

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      [li]The dispute about the authority of Roman bishops reached a climax in the year 1054, when the legate of Pope Leo IX excommunicated Patriarch of Constantinople Michael I Cerularius. However, as the pope was already dead by this time, the powers of the Legate also ceased at the moment of the pope's death; so the Legate's excommunication was technically invalid. Similarly, the ceremony of excommunication of the pope performed by Michael I was equally invalid as one cannot be posthumously excommunicated. This event resulted in the schism of the Greek rite and Latin rite Churches. It did not have the effect of excommunicating the adherents of the respective Churches however, as the tit-for-tat excommunications, even had they been valid, would have applied to the named persons only, not the people of God in general.[/li]

    The most substantial body of defined doctrine on the subject is found in Pastor aeternus, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ of Vatican Council I. This document declares that “in the disposition of God the Roman church holds the preeminence of ordinary power over all the other churches.” This council also affirmed the dogma of papal infallibility, deciding that the “infallibility” of the Christian community extended to the pope himself, at least when speaking on matters of faith.
    Vatican I defined a twofold Primacy of Peter — one in papal teaching on faith and morals (the charism of infallibility), and the other a primacy of jurisdiction involving government and discipline of the Church — submission to both being necessary to Catholic faith and salvation. Vatican I rejected the ideas that papal decrees have "no force or value unless confirmed by an order of the secular power" and that the pope’s decisions can be appealed to an ecumenical council "as to an authority higher than the Roman Pontiff."

    Orthodox objections could be sum like this:


      [li]
      Like I said previously Orthodox Church rejects Roman Catholic arguments from Fathers as misunderstanding and misinterpretation. For example, Athanasius is used as a witness for papal primacy on numerous Catholic apologist sites.

      "Rome is called the Apostolic throne."

      However Athanasius does not use the definite article (the) in the text, hence Rome is an Apostolic throne, not the Apostolic throne.

      [/li]
      [li]Also Orthodox point few historical facts against Primacy: that Church of Rome was founded rather by Paul than Peter (and probably even before Paul arrived), there is few other Churches who trace back to Peter, the Roman Pontiff is also styled "universal bishop" (Latin: Summus Pontifex Ecclesiae Universalis), but a previous pope condemned the use of such a title by any bishop etc.

      [/li]
      [li]Orthodox side draw few argument from Church Councils: Not one Ecumenical Council was called by a pope; had the teaching of primacy formed part of Holy Tradition, then such power would have been exercised to resolve the many disputes in the early history of the church, a general council may overrule decisions of the Roman Pontiff , decisions taken by popes in cases involving against bishops have often been confirmed by ecumenical councils. This indicates that the papal decision itself is not considered binding.

      [/li]

    The Catholic position is that Rome's bishop stands out from the others because he has a specialcharism handed down from Peter. As shown above Rome's greatness was found in the two apostles Peter and Paul; that there was no difference between them. The Church Fathers state that the keys are held by others; John the Evangelist, for example, and the church as a whole. The Church Fathers also say that rock refers not just to Peter, but to the church, to Jesus, and to the Christian faith. Further there was no difference between one of Peter's Sees from another. Orthodox maintain that all bishops are equal. All are called to be rock. As a reflection of the Trinity the church is united by love, not a formal adherence to one particular bishop in one particular location. For Orthodox, each individual to truly be a person must also be engaged in this unity of love with other persons. The Trinity too is joined by a union of love – with each member of the Trinity fully God. Each church is fully catholic united by love. To change the structure of the church would change how we perceive God, and also how we must interact with each other.

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    [size=12pt]Differences concerning Doctrine about Eucharist[/size]

    Roman Catholic teaching

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    [td]In Roman Catholic theology, transubstantiation (in Latin, transsubstantiatio, in Greek μετουσίωσις metousiosis) is the doctrine that, in the Eucharist, the substance of wheat bread and grape wine changes into the substance of the Body and the Blood of Jesus, while all that is accessible to the senses (the appearances – species in Latin) remains as before.
    The earliest known use of the term "transubstantiation" to describe the change from bread and wine to body and blood of Christ that was believed to occur in the Eucharist was by Hildebert de Lavardin, Archbishop of Tours (died 1133), in the eleventh century and by the end of the twelfth century the term was in widespread use. The Fourth Council of the Lateran, which convened beginning November 11, 1215, spoke of the bread and wine as "transubstantiated" into the body and blood of Christ: "His body and blood are truly contained in the sacrament of the altar under the forms of bread and wine, the bread and wine having been transubstantiated, by God's power, into his body and blood". During the Protestant Reformation, the doctrine of transubstantiation was heavily criticised as an Aristotelian "pseudo-philosophy" imported into Christian teaching and jettisoned in favor of Martin Luther's doctrine of sacramental union, or in favor, per Huldrych Zwingli, of the Eucharist as memorial.[/td]
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    Eastern Orthodox teaching

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    [td]The Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church, and Church of the East have sometimes used the term "transubstantiation" (metousiosis); however, terms such as "divine mystery", "trans-elementation" (μεταστοιχείωσις metastoicheiosis), "re-ordination" (μεταρρύθμισις), or simply "change" (μεταβολή) are more common among them. The Orthodox call the Eucharist "the mystical Supper." What the priest and the faithful consume is mysteriously the Body and Blood of Christ. We receive Him under the forms of bread and wine, because it would be wholly repugnant to eat "real" human flesh and drink "real" human blood. The Eastern Catholic, teach that in a valid Divine Liturgy bread and wine truly and actually become the body and blood of Christ. They have in general refrained from philosophical speculation, and usually rely on the status of the doctrine as a "Mystery," something known by divine revelation that could not have been arrived at by reason without revelation. Accordingly, they prefer not to elaborate upon the details and remain firmly within Holy[/td][/tr] [tr][td][/td][/tr][/table]Tradition, than to say too much and possibly deviate from the truth. However, there are official church documents that speak of a "change" (in Greek μεταβολή) or "metousiosis" (μετουσίωσις) of the bread and wine. Examples of official documents of the Eastern Orthodox Church that use the term "μετουσίωσις" or "transubstantiation" are the Longer Catechism of The Orthodox, Catholic, Eastern Church (question 340) and the declaration by the Eastern Orthodox Synod of Jerusalem of 1672. But resolutions of this decrees concerning Eucharist, however are not accepted, either universaly or localy. Orthodox Church does not reject completly  word transubstantiation itself, but it thinks about it just as on of several other indeterminate expressions that do nothing more than indicate a general change, without any scholastic definitions. Eastern Orthodox liturgy does not know this term.

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    To be continued. Please, refrain from questions until I state all differences (Doctrinal and Ritual)

    #396836

    Anonymous
    [size=12pt]Immaculate Conception of Virgin Mary[/size]

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    Teaching and its history

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    [td]The Immaculate Conception is a Roman Catholic dogma which asserts that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was preserved by God from the transmission of original sin at the time of her own conception. Specifically the doctrine says she was not afflicted by the privation of sanctifying grace which afflicts mankind, but was instead filled with grace by God, and furthermore lived a life completely free from sin. It is commonly confused with the doctrine of the virginal conception of Christ, though the two doctrines deal with separate subjects. The doctrine of the immaculate conception (Mary being conceived free from original sin) is not to be confused with her virginal conception of her son Jesus. Another misunderstanding is that, by her immaculate conception, Mary did not need a saviour. When defining the dogma in Ineffabilis Deus, Pope Pius IX explicitly affirmed that Mary was redeemed in a manner more sublime. He stated that Mary, rather than being cleansed after sin, was completely prevented from contracting Original Sin in view of the foreseen merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race.
    In Eastern part of the Roman empire (Syria), from as far back as the fifth century, a feast day was observed on 9th December entitled The Conception of Saint Anna. This feast day celebrated the events surrounding the conception of the Mother of God by Saint Anna in her and her husband Joachim's old age, as set forth in the apocryphal Protoevangelion of James. This feast day soon became popular with Western Christians, and by the 8th century was celebrated on 8th December. In the West it was known as the feast of the Conception (passive) of Mary, and was [/td]
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    [td]associated particularly with the Normans. Some historians interpreted the existence of this feast as a strong indication of the Church's traditional belief in the Immaculate Conception. The spread of the feast, by now with the adjective "Immaculate" attached to its title, met opposition on the part of some, on the grounds that sanctification was possible only after conception. Critics included Saints Bernard of Clairvaux, Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas. Other theologians, chiefly Franciscans, defended the expression "Immaculate Conception", pointing out that sanctification could be conferred at the first moment of conception in view of the future merits of Christ.
    During the reign of Pope Gregory XVI the bishops in various countries began to press for a definition as dogma of the teaching of Mary's immaculate conception. The Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God was first promulgated as a dogma of the Roman Catholic Church in the year 1854, by Pope Pius IX. The official statement of it, is as follow:

    "The doctrine which declares that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, from the first instant of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, was the Saviour of the human race, was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore must be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful of the Roman Catholic Church."

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    Orthodox view on Imacculate conception

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    [td]Orthodox tradition holds Theotokos was free from sin due to her cooperation (sinergy) with Divine grace, also  Eastern Orthodox Christians say that Mary was without sin for her entire life, but they object to the dogmatic declaration of her immaculate conception.  Most Orthodox reject the dogma of the Immaculate Conception as unnecessary and wrong, some even go far to call it outright heresy. Two of the most widley used arguments of Orthodox theologians against the Immaculate conception are quotation by St. Ephraim the Syrian and Saint Symeon the New Theologian:

    "As ligh­t­ning illu­mi­na­tes what is hid­den, so also Christ puri­fies what is hid­den in the nature of things. He puri­fied the Vir­gin also and then was born, so as to show that where Christ is, there is mani­fest purity in all its power. He puri­fied the Vir­gin, having pre­pa­red Her by the Holy Spi­rit… having been born, He left Her vir­gin. I do not say that Mary became immor­tal, but that being illu­mi­na­ted by grace, She was not dis­tur­bed by sin­ful desi­res"

    "…being Himself at once God and man, His flesh and soul were and are holy – and beyond holy. God is holy, just as He was and is and shall be, and the Virgin is immaculate, without spot or stain, and so, too, was that rib which was taken from Adam. However the rest of humanity, even though they are His brothers and kin according to the flesh, yet remained even as they were, of dust, and did not immediately become holy and sons of God."

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    Some Orthodox theologians hold that the dogma of the immaculate conception of the Virgin, in the sense that she was exempt at birth from ancestral sin would mean separation of her from the rest of human race, and she would then have been unable to transmit to her Son humanity. Also offten Orthodox theologians link this dogma with difference between Orthodox concept of Ancestral and Roman Catholic concept of Original Sin, altough there is ongoing debate between theologians is there real difference between two concepts. I will write about it more, but later, for now it is just enough to point
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    Co-Redemptrix and Mediatrix

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    [td]Co-Redemptrix, a title of Mary, mother of Jesus, refers to her role in the Redemption process. The concept of Co-redemptrix refers to an indirect or unequal but important participation by the Blessed Virgin Mary in redemption, notably: that she gave free consent to give life to the Redeemer, to share his life, to suffer with him under the cross, to offer His sacrifice to God the Father for the sake of the redemption of mankind, and to bring about all particular post-assumption graces by way of intercession. The latter concept is included in the concept of Mediatrix which is a separate concept but regularly included by faithful Roman Catholics who use the title of co-redemptrix.

    The title "Mediatrix" is used in Roman Catholic Mariology to refer to the intercessory role of the Blessed Virgin Mary as a mediator in the salvific redemption by Jesus Christ and that her son bestows graces through her. Mediatrix is an ancient title which has been used at least since the fifth century by a number of saints. Its use grew during the Middle Ages and reached its height in the writings of saints Louis de Montfort and Alphonsus Liguori in the 18th century.

    The titles have received some support from the Catholic Magisterium though it is not included in the concluding chapter of the dogmatic constitution Lumen gentium of the Second Vatican Council, which chapter many theologians hold to be a comprehensive summary of Roman Catholic Marian teaching. Even so, those are not dogmas.[/td]
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    [td]Orthodox position on this who depends on that how Roman Catholics themselves percieve this two titles.depending of interpretation by Roman Catholics themselves.

    If term Mediatrix means that through her, Grace came into the world in the form of Christ, Orthodox do not find it as heresy, she was and is a mediator between God and man — a conduit, in a sense. Of course we believe that. There are differences on the level of created vs uncreated Grace, but that's a separate issue from the Mediatrix title in and of itself.  There are some Catholics who take Mediatrix to whole another level calling her the Mediatrix of ALL Graces. On that level title is absolutley unacceptable to Orthodoxy.
    Co-Redemptrix refers to an unequal but important participation in the redemption of the Earth. She gave free consent to give birth to Christ, and she continues to pray for the redemption of the world in Heaven. That view could be accepted by Orthodox. But again becouse some of aspects of  RCC Mariology (store-of-graces, Queen-of-Heaven, created Grace) whic are surrounds this title, there's a level when it is absolutley unacceptable to Orthodox Christians.[/td]
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    #396837

    Anonymous

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    [size=12pt]Hell[/size]

    [table][tr][td]The theological concept of hell, or eternal damnation is expressed differently within both Eastern and Western Christianity.[/td][/tr]
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    Orthodox teaching(s) about Hell

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    [td]Since Eastern Orthodox church believes are based on Apophatic Theology, there is not as much official teaching of the Church, compared with Roman Catholic. The Eastern Orthodox doctrine of Hell is derived from the universal sayings and teachings of the saints and Church Fathers. These sayings and teachings are not in agreement on all points, and no Ecumenical council accepted by the Eastern Orthodox church has formulated doctrine on Hell, so there is no single official teaching on that matter.
    The Eastern Orthodox church teaches that Heaven and Hell are being in God's presence which is being with God and seeing God, and that there no such place as where God is not, nor is Hell taught in the East as separation from God. One expression of the Eastern teaching is that hell and heaven are being in God's presence, as this presence is punishment and paradise depending on the person's spiritual state in that presences. Some Eastern Orthodox personal opinions (theologoumenon) appear to run counter to official Church statements (Statments of local Churches it is) in teaching hell is separation from God ie those in Hell are not able to see God.
    Lot of Orthodox saints and writers assume the general view of hell as a place of punishment, even by means of material instruments such as fire, whether of the soul after death or both soul and body after the resurrection. Saint John Chrysostom pictured hell as associated with "unquenchable" fire and "various kinds of torments and torrents of punishment". Eastern Orthodox icons of the Last Judgment often depict the various torments inflicted on sinners in hell. But such descriptions are mostly interpreted as alegorical and typological comparsions or as pedagogical means for approach to believers less intrested in metaphysical speculations.
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    Roman Catholic teaching about Hell

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    [td]The Catechism of the Catholic Church say about Hell:

    We cannot be united with God unless we freely choose to love him. But we cannot love God if we sin gravely against him, against our neighbor or against ourselves: "He who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him." Our Lord warns us that we shall be separated from him if we fail to meet the serious needs of the poor and the little ones who are his brethren. To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God's merciful love means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called "hell.

    Roman Catholic theologians have historically held that hell is a place,[198] A metaphorical interpretation has historically been rejected by the Church. Some theologians have preferred to describe hell as a "place or state". The Catechism of Saint Pius X (1908), while not denying that hell can be referred to as a place, preferred to use the word "state". Saint Augustine of Hippo said that the suffering of hell is compounded because God continues to love the sinner who is not able to return the love. Whatever the nature of the sufferings, "they are not imposed by a vindictive judge".[/td]
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    [size=12pt]Purgatory[/size]

    Explaintaion of Roman Catholic doctrine about Purgatory

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    [td]Purgatory is the condition of purification or temporary punishment by which those who die in a state of grace are believed to be made ready for Heaven. This theological notion has ancient roots and is well-attested in early Christian literature, but the poetic conception of purgatory as a geographically situated place is largely the creation of medieval Christian piety and imagination. The Catholic Church gives the name Purgatory to the final purification of all who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified. Though purgatory is often pictured as a place rather than a process of purification, the idea of purgatory as a place is not part of the Church's doctrine. According to Catholic belief, immediately after death, a person undergoes judgment in which the soul's eternal destiny is specified. Some are eternally united with God in Heaven, often envisioned as a paradise of eternal joy, where Theosis is completed and one experiences the beatific vision of God. Conversely, others reach a state called Hell, that is eternal separation from God often envisioned as a fiery place of punishment, though the fire is sometimes seen metaphorically. In addition to accepting the states of heaven and hell, Catholicism envisages a third state before being admitted to heaven. According to Catholic doctrine, some souls are not sufficiently free from the temporal effects of sin and its consequences to enter the state of heaven immediately, nor are they so sinful as to be destined for hell either.  Catholics make a distinction between two types of sin: Mortal sin is a "grave violation of God's law" that "turns man away from God", and if it is not redeemed by repentance and God's forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ's kingdom and the eternal death of hell, In contrast, venial sin (meaning "forgivable" sin) "does not set us in direct opposition to the will and friendship of God" and, although still "constituting a moral disorder", does not deprive the sinner of friendship with God, and consequently the eternal happiness of heaven. Purgatory is a cleansing that involves painful temporal punishment, associated with the idea of fire such as is associated with the idea of the eternal punishment of hell. Most theologians of the past have held that the fire is in some sense a [/td]
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    [td]material fire, though of a nature different from ordinary fire, but the opinion of other theologians who interpret the Scriptural term "fire" metaphorically has not been condemned by the Church and may now be the more common view. The Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks of a "cleansing fire". Whilst the imagery of pain and fire is often used to depict Purgatory, this does not mean that Purgatory is necessarily a 'sad' state for the soul.[/td]
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    Orthodox view on Purgatory

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    [td]The Orthodox Church has neither explicitly recognized the term "purgatory" nor officially accepted such a state, which is distinct from the more general being "asleep in the Lord." Eastern Orthodox teaching is that, while all undergo a Particular Judgment immediately after death, neither the just nor the wicked attain the final state of bliss or punishment before the last day, with some exceptions for righteous souls like the Theotokos (Blessed Virgin Mary), "who was borne by the angels directly to heaven". Orthodox Church teach of one eternal fire alone (Hell), understanding that the temporal punishment of sinful souls consists in that they for a time depart into a place of darkness and sorrow, are punished by being deprived of the Divine light, and are purified—that is, liberated from this place of darkness and woe—by means of prayers, the Holy Eucharist, and deeds of charity, and not by fire (This is metaphorical). Orthodox Christians also believe, that until the union of the souls to the bodies, as the souls of sinners do not suffer full punishment, so also those of the saints do not enjoy entire bliss. The Eastern Orthodox Synod of Jerusalem (1672) declared that "the souls of those that have fallen asleep are either at rest or in torment, according to what each hath wrought" (an enjoyment or condemnation that will be complete only after the resurrection of the dead); but the souls of some "depart into Hades, and there endure the punishment due to the sins they have committed. But they are aware of their future release from there, and are delivered by the Supreme Goodness, through the prayers of the Priests, and the good works which the relatives of each do for their Departed; especially the unbloody Sacrifice benefiting the most; which each offers particularly for his relatives that have fallen asleep, and which the Catholic and Apostolic Church offers daily for all alike. Of course, it is understood that we do not
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    know the time of their release. We know and believe that there is deliverance for such from their direful condition, and that before the common resurrection and judgment, but when we know not." Among the Eastern Orthodox, while there is no doctrine of purgatory, prayer for the dead is encouraged in the belief that it is helpful for them. Specifically how the prayers of the faithful help the departed is not elucidated; Eastern Orthodox simply believe that tradition teaches that prayers should be made for the dead
    Some Orthodox believe in a teaching of "aerial toll-houses" for the souls of the dead. According to this theory, which is rejected by other Orthodox but appears in the hymnology of the Church, "following a person's death the soul leaves the body and is escorted to God by angels. During this journey the soul passes through an aerial realm which is ruled by demons. The soul encounters these demons at various points referred to as 'toll-houses' where the demons then attempt to accuse it of sin and, if possible, drag the soul into hell."[/td]
    [/tr]
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    Bossom of Abraham

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    [td][img height=364]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fd/Icon_second_coming.jpg” />[/td]
    [td] The belief that the souls of the dead go immediately to hell, heaven, or purgatory is a Western Christian teaching. That is rejected and in contrast to the Eastern Christian concept of the Bosom of Abraham. In Christ's account, the righteous occupied an abode of their own which was distinctly separated by a chasm from the abode to which the wicked were consigned. The chasm is equivalent to the river in the Jеwish version, but in Christ's version there is no angelic ferryman, and it is impossible to pass from one side to the other.The Bosom of Abraham occurs in only one New Testament passage, the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, which is only in the gospel of Luke (16:19-31; see Luke 16:22 and Luke 16:23). Leprous Lazarus is carried by the angels to that destination after death. Abraham's bosom contrasts with the destination of a rich man who ends up in Hades.Among Christian writers, since the 1st century AD, "the Bosom of Abraham" has gradually ceased to designate a place of imperfect happiness, and it has generally become synonymous with Christian Heaven itself, or the Intermediate state.In the 3rd century, Hippolytus of Rome referred to Abraham's bosom as the place in hades where the righteous await judgment day in delight. Augustine of Hippo likewise referred to the righteous dead as disembodied spirits blissfully awaiting Judgment Day in secret receptacles. Since the righteous dead are rewarded in the bosom of Abraham before Judgment Day, this belief represents a form of particular judgment.When Christians pray that the angels may carry the soul of the departed to "Abraham's Bosom", non-Orthodox Christians might mean it as heaven. The understanding of both Eastern Orthodoxy and Oriental Christians describes the Bosom of Abraham as distinct from heaven[/td]
    [/tr]
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    [hr]

    #396838

    Anonymous

    [hr]

    [size=12pt]Essence and Energies[/size]

    Orthodox teching about Essence and Energies

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    [td]A real distinction between the essence (οὐσία) and the energies (ἐνέργεια) of God is a central principle of Eastern Orthodox theology. This doctrine is most closely identified with Gregory Palamas, who formulated it as part of his defense of the practice of Hesychasm against the charge of heresy brought by Barlaam of Calabria. According to professor Joannis Romanides, Palamas considers the distinction between God's essence and his energies a real . Romanides distinguishes this "real distinction" from the Thomistic "virtual distinction" and the Scotist "formal distinction". The ousia of God is God as God is. It is the energies of God that enable us to experience something of the Divine. At first through sensory perception and then later intuitively or noetically. The essence, being, nature and substance (ousia) of God is taught in Eastern Christianity as uncreated and incomprehensible. God's ousia is defined as "that which finds no existence or subsistence in another or any other thing". God's ousia is beyond all states of (nous) consciousness and unconsciousness, being and non-being (like being dead or anesthetized), beyond something and beyond nothing beyond existence and non-existence The source, origin of God's ousia or incomprehensibliness is the Father's person (ὑπόστᾰσις) of the Trinity, One God in One Father. The God's energies are "unbegotten" or "uncreated" just like the existences of God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) both God's existences and energies are experience-able or comprehensible. God's ousia is uncreatediness, beyond existence, beyond no existence, God's hyper-being is not something comprehensible to created beings. For the Eastern Orthodox, the distinction as the tradition and perspective behind this understanding, is that creation is the task of energy. If we deny the real distinction between essence and energy, we can not fix any very clear borderline between the procession of the divine persons (as existences and or realities of God) and the creation of the world: both the one and the other will be equally acts of the divine nature (strictly uncreated from uncreated). The being and the action(s) of God then would [/td]
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    [table]
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    [td]
    appear identical, leading to the teaching of Pantheism. Since no distinction is made between God's essence and his works, acts (i.e. the cosmos) that there is no distinction between God and the material or created world, cosmos Eastern Orthodox theologians have criticized Western theology, and especially the traditional scholastic claim that God is actus purus, for its alleged incompatibility with the essence-energies distinction. Eastern Orthodox theologians assert that Western Christianity treats God's ousia as energeia and dynamis (δύναμις) (Used in Aristotelian meaning, comparable with Aristotle's Actus et potentia) as part of the scholastic method in theology.
    The important theological and soteriological distinction remains that people experience God through his energies, not his essence. Traditionally, the energies have been experienced as light, such as the light of Mount Tabor that appeared at the Transfiguration (called photimos). The light that appeared to St Paul on the Road to Damascus. The light that appeared to the apostles in the book of Acts 2:3. Orthodox tradition likewise holds that this light may be seen during prayer (Hesychasm) by particularly devout individuals, such as the saints. In addition, it is considered to be eschatological in that it is also considered to be the "Light of the Age to Come" or the "Kingdom of Heaven" the reign of God, which is the Christ.[/td]
    [/tr]
    [/table]

    Orthodox teaching about Divine Economy

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    [td]In the doctrine of Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches, and in the teaching of the Church Fathers which undergirds the theology of those Churches, economy or oeconomy (Greek: οἰκονομία) has several meanings. The basic meaning of the word is "handling" or "disposition" or "management" or more literally "housekeeping" of a thing, usually assuming or implying good or prudent handling (as opposed to poor handling) of the matter at hand. In short, economia is discretionary deviation from the letter of the law in order to adhere to the spirit of the law and charity. This is in contrast to legalism, or akribia (Greek: ακριβεια)—strict adherence to the letter of the law of the church. Divine economy in the broadest sense, not only refers to God's actions to bring about the world's salvation and redemption, but to all of God's dealings with, and interactions with, the world, including the Creation. Divine economy (οἰκονομία), as used in classical Orthodox doctrinal terminology, constituted the second broad division of all Christian doctrinal teaching. The first division was called theology (θεολογια literally, "words about God" or "teaching about God") and was concerned with all that pertains to God alone, in himself — the teaching on the Trinity, the divine attributes, and so on, but not with anything pertaining to the creation or the redemption. The divine economy, in the broadest sense, refers not only to God's actions to bring about the world's salvation and redemption, but to all of God's dealings with, and interactions with, the world, including the Creation. Divine energies and the hypostases are not identical; however, it is through the energies that the three hypostases are active in the divine economy. when speaking of God, it is acceptable within Eastern [/td]
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    [table]
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    [td]Orthodoxy to speak of his energies as God. These would include kataphatic or positive statements of God like the list of St Paul's energies of God. God being love, faith and hope and knowledge (see 1 Cor. 13:2 – 13:13). As is also the case of Gregory of Palamas that God is grace and deifying illumination.[/td]
    [/tr]
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    Roman Catholic approach

    [table]
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    [td]image[/td]
    [td]The Roman Catholic Church distinguishes between doctrine, which is single and must be accepted by Roman Catholics, and theological elaborations of doctrine, about which Catholics may legitimately disagree. With respect to the Eastern and Western theological traditions, the Roman Catholic Church recognizes that, at times, one tradition may "come nearer to a full appreciation of some aspects of a mystery of revelation than the other, or [express] it to better advantage.". (This is somewaht comparable to Orthodox concept of Theologumena theologumena—a doctrine not specifically taught as orthodox, but not specifically condemned as heretical). Concerning Palama's teachings, Roman Catholic Church took that neutral approach.
    From Palamas's time until the twentieth century, Roman Catholic theologians generally rejected the idea that there is in God a real essence-energies distinction. The idea of a real essence-energies distinction in God conflicted with Western Scholasticism's usual insistence that, as actus purus, God can contain no real distinctions besides the distinctions between the divine persons. Actus purus is a term employed in scholastic philosophy to express the absolute perfection of God. It literally means, "pure act." Actus purus is a term employed in scholastic philosophy to express the absolute perfection of God. It literally means, "pure act." Because of that Thoma Aquitanus and his followere taught about "virtual distinction" and the Duns Scotus and his followers about "formal distinction". Some Western Theologians also asserted that real distinction between the essence and the energies of God contradicted the teaching of the First Council of Nicaea on divine unity. Resistance to the claim of a real essence-energies distinction in God continued into the twentieth century. The later twentieth century saw a remarkable[/td]
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    [table]
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    [td]
    change in the attitude of Roman Catholic theologians to Palamas, a "rehabilitation" of him that has led to increasing parts of the Western Church considering him a saint, even if uncanonized. Some Western scholars maintain that there is no conflict between the teaching of Palamas and Roman Catholic thought on the distinction. Some Western theologians have incorporated the essence-energies distinction into their own thinking.[/td]
    [/tr]
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    [hr]

    #396839

    Anonymous

    Thanks for the great thread, Dalibor!

    #396840

    Anonymous

    Awesome thread :)

    I really enjoyed the read.

    #396841

    Anonymous

    I'we leared this in school ,and I'm ashamed to admit……i forgot about it……..
    Great reminder  ;D

    #396842

    Anonymous

    Thank you all. I next post I will try to focus on differences in liturgical practices :)

    #396843

    Anonymous

    [hr]

    [size=12pt]Celibacy[/size]

    One of dividing point among two Churches is Celibacy of the clergy. Although the Catholic Church does allow married men to be ordained in the Eastern Catholic Churches, it does so only rarely in the Western Church.

    Historical Background and development.

    [table]
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    [td]The earliest Christian leaders were largely married men. Paul the Apostle clearly favored celibacy, which he understood as "a gift, but he was not against married clergy statement in 1 Timothy 3:2–4, that a bishop should be "the husband of one wife" and "one who ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection", a locus classicus used against sacerdotal celibacy, indicates that at that time married men could indeed become clergy.  The Apostolic Canons of the Apostolic Constitutions decreed that only lower clerics might still marry after their ordination. Bishops, priests, and deacons were not allowed. There is record of a number of 3rd-century married bishops in good standing, even in the West. During the first three or four centuries, no law was promulgated prohibiting clerical marriage. Celibacy was a matter of choice for bishops, priests, and deacons. The apostolic constitutions excommunicated a priest or bishop who left his wife 'under pretense of piety The first documented case of mandatory clerical celibacy was the Council or Synod of Elvira, held in Spain sometime towards the beginning of the fourth century. Its canon 33 decreed: "Bishops, [/td]
    [/tr]
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    [table]
    [tr]
    [td]presbyters, deacons, and others with a position in the ministry are to abstain completely from sexual intercourse with their wives and from the procreation of children. If anyone disobeys, he shall be removed from the clerical office." It is disputed whether this canon mandated permanent continence or only, as is the practice in the Eastern Orthodox Church even for the laity, periodical continence before partaking of the Eucharist From there it spread gradually east until celibacy was required for all western clerics. This practice never took hold in the East. Ecclesiastical historians Socrates and Sozomen, who wrote a century after the event, reported that the First Council of Nicaea (325) considered ordering all married clergy to refrain from conjugal relations, but the Council was dissuaded by Paphnutius of Thebes (himself lived in celibacy). But latter, starting from time of Emperor Justinian clerical celibacy was introduced in Eastern Chruch,  for bishops only.

    Canon 13 of the Quinisext Council (Constantinople, 692) regulated issue in Eastern Church, and it is still valid for Eastern Orthodox Church:

    Since we know it to be handed down as a rule of the Roman Church that those who are deemed worthy to be advanced to the diaconate or presbyterate should promise no longer to cohabit with their wives, we, preserving the ancient rule and apostolic perfection and order, will that the lawful marriages of men who are in holy orders be from this time forward firm, by no means dissolving their union with their wives nor depriving them of their mutual intercourse at a convenient time. Wherefore, if anyone shall have been found worthy to be ordained subdeacon, or deacon, or presbyter, he is by no means to be prohibited from admittance to such a rank, even if he shall live with a lawful wife. Nor shall it be demanded of him at the time of his ordination that he promise to abstain from lawful intercourse with his wife: lest we should affect injuriously marriage constituted by God and blessed by his presence

    This canon shows that by that time there was a direct contradiction between the ideas of East and West about the legitimacy of conjugal relations on the part of clergy lower than the rank of bishop who had married before being ordained.
    [/td]
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    Rise of practice in West

    [table]
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    [td]It is sometimes claimed that celibacy became mandatory for Latin-Rite priests only in the eleventh century; but others say, for instance: "(I)t may fairly be said that by the time of St. Leo the Great (440–61) the law of celibacy was generally recognized in the West," and that the eleventh-century regulations on this matter, as on simony, should obviously not be interpreted as meaning that either non-celibacy or simony were previously permitted. However, despite decrees, canons, and penalties, the Latin clergy for centuries  more or less illegally, practiced what their Greek counterparts were encouraged to do by law, they lived with their wives and raised families. In practice, ordination was not an impediment to marriage; some priests did marry even after ordination. For example, progenitor of Carolings was bishop. Arnulf of Metz. Famous Gregorian Reforms dealt with this issue. Gregory VII did not introduce the celibacy of the priesthood into the Church, but he took up the struggle with greater energy than his predecessors. In 1074 he published an encyclical, absolving the people from their obedience to bishops who allowed married priests. The next year he enjoined them
    [/td][/tr]
    [/table]
    [table]
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    [td]to take action against married priests, and deprived these clerics of their revenues. First (1123) and Second (1139) Lateran Counicls also dicussed this issue and made provisions against married clergy:

    First Lateran Council:

        Canon 3: We absolutely forbid priests, deacons, and subdeacons to associate with concubines and women, or to live with women other than such as the Nicene Council (canon 3) for reasons of necessity permitted, namely, the mother, sister, or aunt, or any such person concerning whom no suspicion could arise.
        Canon 21: We absolutely forbid priests, deacons, subdeacons, and monks to have concubines or to contract marriage. We decree in accordance with the definitions of the sacred canons, that marriages already contracted by such persons must be dissolved, and that the persons be condemned to do penance.

    Second Lateran Council:

        Canon 6: We also decree that those who in the subdiaconate and higher orders have contracted marriage or have concubines, be deprived of their office and ecclesiastical benefice. For since they should be and be called the temple of God, the vessel of the Lord, the abode of the Holy Spirit, it is unbecoming that they indulge in marriage and in impurities.
        Canon 7: Following in the footsteps of our predecessors, the Roman pontiffs Gregory VII, Urban, and Paschal, we command that no one attend the masses of those who are known to have wives or concubines. But that the law of continence and purity, so pleasing to God, may become more general among persons constituted in sacred orders, we decree that bishops, priests, deacons, subdeacons, canons regular, monks, and professed clerics (conversi) who, transgressing the holy precept, have dared to contract marriage, shall be separated. For a union of this kind which has been contracted in violation of the ecclesiastical law, we do not regard as matrimony. Those who have been separated from each other, shall do penance commensurate with such excesses.

    And later legislation, (Quinque Compilationes Antiquae and the Decretals of Gregory IX), continued to deal with questions concerning married men who were ordained legally. In 1322 Pope John XXII insisted that no one bound in marriage—even if unconsummated—could be ordained unless there was full knowledge of the requirements of Church law. If the free consent of the wife had not been obtained, the husband, even if already ordained, was to be reunited with his wife, exercise of his ministry being barred.

    Celibacy as a requirement for ordination to the priesthood (in the Western Church) and to the episcopate (in East as well as in West) and declaring marriages of priests invalid (in both East and West) were important points of disagreement during the Protestant Reformation. Reformers arguing that these requirements were contrary to Biblical teaching. The Council of Trent considered the matter and at its twenty-fourth session decreed that marriage after ordination was invalid, It also decreed, concerning the relative dignity of marriage and celibacy: "If any one saith, that the marriage state is to be placed above the state of virginity, or of celibacy, and that it is not better and more blessed to remain in virginity, or in celibacy, than to be united in matrimony; let him be anathema."
    [/td]
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    Current Situation

    [table]
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    [td]image[/td]
    [td]In Eastern Orthodox Churches, married men may be ordained to any order except as bishops, and one may not marry after ordination as a subdeacon. While some incorrectly believe all Orthodox bishops must be monks, in fact, according to church law, they simply may no longer be living with their wives if they are to be consecrated to the episcopacy. (The canons stipulate that they must also see to their wives' maintenance, for example Canon 12 of the Quinisext Council.) Typically, the wife of such a man will take up the monastic life herself, though this also is not required. There are many Orthodox bishops currently serving who have never been tonsured (formally initiated) to monastic orders. There are also many who are tonsured monastics but have never formally lived the monastic life. Further, a number of bishops are widowers, but because clergy cannot remarry after ordination, such a man must remain celibate after the death of his wife.[/td]
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    [table]
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    [td]image[/td]
    [td]In the Latin (Western) Catholic Church, since the Second Vatican Council mature married men who intend not to advance to priesthood may be ordained deacons and are referred to as "permanent deacons", but married men may not be ordained priests or bishops or even as "transitional deacons", nor may anyone marry after ordination. Since the start of the pontificate of Pope Pius XII (1939–1958), exceptions may be allowed for married Protestant ministers or Anglican clergy who convert to Catholicism and wish to become priests in the Catholic Church, provided their wives consent. The Roman Catholic Church considers Protestant and most Anglican ordinations invalid, while recognizing Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and some Anglican ordinations as valid. In some cases, laicized Catholic priests are allowed to marry by special dispensation. Additionally, dispensations can be granted for deacons whose wives have
    [/td][/tr]
    [/table]
    [table]
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    [td] died to marry a second time, especially if they have young children to look after. Nonetheless, both the present Pope, Benedict XVI, and his predecessors, have spoken clearly of their understanding that the traditional practice was not likely to change. Eastern Catholic Churches (Eastern Churches which are in full communion with Rome) allow ordination of married men as priests. They follow practice of Eastern orthodox Church in this issue. [/td]
    [/tr]
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    [hr]

    #396844

    Anonymous

    Well done, I could find no better explaination then seen here. Very educational and has put many things in perspective for me.
    Svaka ti čast.

    #396845

    Anonymous

    [hr]

    [size=12pt]Chrismation vis-a-vis Confirmation[/size]

    Chrismation or confirmation is the holy mystery (sacrament) by which a baptized person is granted the gift of the Holy Spirit through anointing with oil. As baptism is a personal participation in the death and Resurrection of Christ, so chrismation is a personal participation in the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, and many Anglicans view Confirmation as a sacrament. In the East it is conferred immediately after baptism. In the West, this practice is followed when adults are baptized, but in the case of infants not in danger of death it is administered, ordinarily by a bishop, only when the child reaches the age of reason or early adolescence. Among those Catholics who practice teen-aged confirmation, the practice may be perceived, secondarily, as a "coming of age" rite. As other mysteries/sacraments this one is rooted in Holy Scriptures, Acts of the Apostles 8:14–17:

    Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who went down and prayed for them, that they might receive the holy Spirit, for it had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them and they received the holy Spirit

    Orthodox view and practice

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    [td]image[/td]
    [td]Chrismation in the Orthodox Church (as well as the Eastern Rite Catholic Churches) is normally administered immediately after baptism and immediately (or at least shortly) before one's first reception of Holy Communion.  The term chrismation is used because the recipient of the sacrament is anointed with Chrism (Greek  Ἁγίον μύρον, CS: Свѧтое мѵ́ро), which according to eastern Christan belief, the Apostles sanctified and introduced for all priests to use as a replacement for laying on of hands by the Apostles and consists of a "mixture of forty sweet-smelling substances and pure olive oil" sanctified by a bishop (Traditionaly it is reserved for Primate bishop of local autocephalous Church) with some older Chrism added in, in the belief that some trace of the initial Chrism sanctified by the Apostles is contained therein.  The myron is a mixture of forty sweet-smelling substances and pure olive oil. The Orthodox Christian is anointed with this oil in the sign of the Cross on his forehead, eyes, nostrils, mouth, ears, chest, hands and feet. Each time, the priest administering the sacrament says, "The Seal and Gift of the Holy Spirit." (Greek: Σφραγὶς δωρεᾶς Πνεύματος Ἁγίου, in
    [/td][/tr]
    [/table]
    [table]
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    [td]Church-Slavonic: Печатъ дара Доуха Свѧтѡго). Like I said previously  typically, one becomes a member of the Church by baptism and chrismation performed by a priest as a single service. Although normally administered in conjunction with baptism, in some cases chrismation alone may be used to receive converts to Orthodoxy through the exercise of economia. Although practice in this regard varies, in general, if a convert comes to Orthodoxy from another Christian confession and has previously undergone a rite of baptism in the Trinitarian Formula ("in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit"), he or she may be received into the Orthodox Church through the sacrament of chrismation, after which receiving the Holy Eucharist. If, however, a convert comes from a Christian confession that baptizes in the name of Jesus, from one which practices an invalid, non-Trinitarian baptism  or from one that does not practice baptism at all, baptism is a prerequisite for chrismation – an initiate must always be validly baptized into the death of Jesus in the name of the Holy Trinity before any further holy mysteries or sacraments of initiation can be administered. The use of economia is at the discretion of, and subject to the guidelines imposed by, the local bishop.  After receiving this sacrament, the recipient is eligible to receive the Eucharist. In the Eastern tradition, chrismation shows the unity of the church through the bishop in the continuation of the Apostolic faith, because the Chrism used is presented to the priest by the bishop and (together with the antimension) is the symbol of the priest's permission from the bishop to perform the sacraments. Although priests in the Eastern churches are universally granted this faculty, it is thus ultimately considered a sacrament granted by a bishop and associated with that Apostolic office. Furthermore, because some of the previously sanctified Chrism is mixed with the newly sanctified Chrism, there is a belief that the Chrism contains a remnant of, or at least a connection to, the same Chrism which was sanctified by the Apostles in the first century, and thus is a symbol of Apostolic succession.[/td]
    [/tr]
    [/table]

    Roman Catholic view and practice

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    [td]image[/td]
    [td]In the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, Confirmation, known also as Chrismation, is one of the seven sacraments instituted by Christ for the conferral of sanctifying grace and the strengthening of the union between individual souls and God.
    Cathecism of the Catholic Church:

    Recall then that you have received the spiritual seal, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgment and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence, the Spirit of holy fear in God's presence. Guard what you have received'. God the Father has marked you with his sign; Christ the Lord has confirmed you and has placed his pledge, the Spirit, in your heart.

    In the Latin Rite (i.e. Western Roman  Catholic Church), the sacrament is to be conferred on the faithful at about the age of discretion generally taken to be about 7, but most people are confirmed at ages 14–15, unless the Episcopal Conference has decided on a different age, or
    [/td][/tr]
    [/table]
    [table]
    [tr]
    [td]there is danger of death or, in the judgement of the minister, a grave reason suggests otherwise. In the Latin-Rite (i.e., Western) Catholic Church, the sacrament is customarily conferred only on persons old enough to understand it, and the ordinary minister of confirmation is a bishop. "If necessity so requires", the diocesan bishop may grant specified priests the faculty to administer the sacrament, although normally he is to administer it himself or ensure that that it is conferred by another bishop. The main reason why the West separated the sacrament of Confirmation from that of Baptism was to re-establish direct contact between the person being initiated with the bishops.  Like baptism, confirmation was an act for which the parents were held responsible. Two synods held in England during the thirteenth century differed over whether confirmation had to be administered within one year after birth, or within three years. Confirmation became a much more important rite when concerns about understanding and faith grew, in particular following the Reformation.
    There are two symbolic images in Confirmation in Roman Catholic tradition. The "soldier of Christ" imagery,  but that is downplayed if seen as part of the once common idea of Confirmation as a "sacrament of maturity".
    Cathecism of the Catholic Church:

    Although Confirmation is sometimes called the "sacrament of Christian maturity," we must not confuse adult faith with the adult age of natural growth, nor forget that the baptismal grace is a grace of free, unmerited election and does not need "ratification" to become effective. St. Thomas Aquinas reminds us of this: Age of body does not determine age of soul. Even in childhood man can attain spiritual maturity: as the book of Wisdom says: For old age is not honored for length of time, or measured by number of years. Many children, through the strength of the Holy Spirit they have received, have bravely fought for Christ even to the shedding of their blood.

    [/td]
    [/tr]
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    [hr]

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