Church The Orthodox Church

Orion

Kingfisher
Gold Member
da_zeb said:
You'd do well to follow your advice and read some history. The Papal States at their maximum extend comprised perhaps a fifth of the area of modern Italy, so they were never a major military power.

Venice was even less and they ran succesful military campaigns against vast empires. Remember, Italy was far from an impoverished agricultural feud.

The Papacy's main concern wasn't ruling Europe but maintaining it's independence and defending its prerogatives from various kings and emperors who were continually trying to usurp it.

No Emperor ever tried to usurp Papal spiritual power. It was always other way round, Pope tried to usurp temporal power. No King ever wanted himself to control religious affairs. They only sought Pope's political subjugation.

Popes invested themselves deeply into political affairs of even the remote parts of Europe, such as was England back then.

Pope Innocent III directly interfered into English affairs, putting an anathema onto Magna Carta and those who signed it.

He said:

This [Magna Carta] has been forced from the King. It constitutes an insult to the Holy See, a serious weakening of the royal power, a disgrace to the English nation, a danger to all Christendom, since this civil war obstructs the crusade. Therefore?we condemn the charter and forbid the King to keep it, or the barons and their supporters to make him do so, on pain of excommunication.


In temporal terms, the power differential was always in favour of the secular rulers - think of the Babylon Captivity when the Papacy was moved to Avignon and dominated by the French Kings for seventy years.

Yes indeed, by that time, Papal power was greatly diminishing, but not completely.

The Papacy's power has alway been spiritual and moral.

Considering Papal State was an actual state, no, it's power was temporal too.

It could never win a war

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guelphs_and_Ghibellines

Wars between Popes and Emperors, were numerous, direct, long lasting, bitter and no less brutal. Pope invested himself in these wars both directly, with Papal armies, and with his favorite method - using other people to do it for him, such as the cities nominally under Imperial control but de facto independent and rebellious, known as Guelph Cities. These cities were merchant cities - prosperous and advanced and posed constant obstacle to Imperial rule in Italy.

Inspire the Crusaders

While Pope indeed inspired initial crusades, particularly first one, the latter crusades pretty much relied upon enthusiasm, wealth and good organization of skilled and rich temporal rulers, such as German Emperors, English and French kings etc, who often underwent such campaigns out of pure enthusiasm, with little prospect of any gain. Pope provided no more than blessings.

build alliances of Christian states against the Turks

Pope built 0 (zero) alliances against Turks. Pope was endlessly concerned with faith of Eastern Christians after Ottomans were defeated and never initiated anything before prior written pledge of Byzantines that they will unite with Pope afterwards. Ultimately, Pope's calculation was that it was better for Eastern Christians to be wiped out altogether than to remain separated.

Guess who did organize real pan-Christian fight against Ottomans tho ? Holy Roman Emperor !

Yes, he formed a league of Christian nations (both Catholic and Orthodox). The knights of these orders were also Orthodox Christian and they actively, fiercely and ruthlessly fought Ottomans.
 

da_zeb

Robin
Gold Member
Orion said:
da_zeb said:
You'd do well to follow your advice and read some history. The Papal States at their maximum extend comprised perhaps a fifth of the area of modern Italy, so they were never a major military power.

Venice was even less and they ran succesful military campaigns against vast empires. Remember, Italy was far from an impoverished agricultural feud.

The Papacy's main concern wasn't ruling Europe but maintaining it's independence and defending its prerogatives from various kings and emperors who were continually trying to usurp it.

No Emperor ever tried to usurp Papal spiritual power. It was always other way round, Pope tried to usurp temporal power. No King ever wanted himself to control religious affairs. They only sought Pope's political subjugation.

Popes invested themselves deeply into political affairs of even the remote parts of Europe, such as was England back then.

Pope Innocent III directly interfered into English affairs, putting an anathema onto Magna Carta and those who signed it.

He said:

This [Magna Carta] has been forced from the King. It constitutes an insult to the Holy See, a serious weakening of the royal power, a disgrace to the English nation, a danger to all Christendom, since this civil war obstructs the crusade. Therefore?we condemn the charter and forbid the King to keep it, or the barons and their supporters to make him do so, on pain of excommunication.


In temporal terms, the power differential was always in favour of the secular rulers - think of the Babylon Captivity when the Papacy was moved to Avignon and dominated by the French Kings for seventy years.

Yes indeed, by that time, Papal power was greatly diminishing, but not completely.

The Papacy's power has alway been spiritual and moral.

Considering Papal State was an actual state, no, it's power was temporal too.

It could never win a war

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guelphs_and_Ghibellines

Wars between Popes and Emperors, were numerous, direct, long lasting, bitter and no less brutal. Pope invested himself in these wars both directly, with Papal armies, and with his favorite method - using other people to do it for him, such as the cities nominally under Imperial control but de facto independent and rebellious, known as Guelph Cities. These cities were merchant cities - prosperous and advanced and posed constant obstacle to Imperial rule in Italy.

Inspire the Crusaders

While Pope indeed inspired initial crusades, particularly first one, the latter crusades pretty much relied upon enthusiasm, wealth and good organization of skilled and rich temporal rulers, such as German Emperors, English and French kings etc, who often underwent such campaigns out of pure enthusiasm, with little prospect of any gain. Pope provided no more than blessings.

build alliances of Christian states against the Turks

Pope built 0 (zero) alliances against Turks. Pope was endlessly concerned with faith of Eastern Christians after Ottomans were defeated and never initiated anything before prior written pledge of Byzantines that they will unite with Pope afterwards. Ultimately, Pope's calculation was that it was better for Eastern Christians to be wiped out altogether than to remain separated.

Guess who did organize real pan-Christian fight against Ottomans tho ? Holy Roman Emperor !

Yes, he formed a league of Christian nations (both Catholic and Orthodox). The knights of these orders were also Orthodox Christian and they actively, fiercely and ruthlessly fought Ottomans.

The Popes' control over the Papal States was always sketchy and they were often de facto ruled by local noble families. The example of Venice is irrelevant.

You're wrong about the Emperors both Eastern and Western not trying to control the Papacy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine_Papacy
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papal...rom_Peter_to_Fabian_.2864.2F67.E2.80.93236.29
And as previously mentioned, the French Kings also had a go at controlling the Papacy for their own ends.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avignon_Papacy

You're also wrong about the Popes not building alliances against the Turks.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_League_(1571)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_League_of_Pope_Clement_VIII

Trump is right, I'm getting bored of winning.
 

Orion

Kingfisher
Gold Member
da_zeb said:
The Popes' control over the Papal States was always sketchy and they were often de facto ruled by local noble families.

Yes, it was local noble families who got the work done for Pope, not only inside Papal territories, but outside of them too.

The example of Venice is irrelevant.

The example of Venice proves that Italian city states were politically very important.

You're wrong about the Emperors both Eastern and Western not trying to control the Papacy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine_Papacy
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papal...rom_Peter_to_Fabian_.2864.2F67.E2.80.93236.29
And as previously mentioned, the French Kings also had a go at controlling the Papacy for their own ends.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avignon_Papacy

Emperors were utterly unconcerned with religious affairs. Only thing Emperors were concerned with, not only during Christianity, but also before, is that religious leaders credit them as legitimate rulers by divine right, and credit them as protectors of The Church.

Every conflict between Emperors and Papacy was for one of the following reasons:

1. Papacy defied unity of the Church
2. Papacy insisted on decentralized Church
3. Papacy denied Imperial suzerainty over the Church and insisted on separate "spiritual" authority.
4. Papacy arbitrated in political conflicts, choosing sides.
5. Papacy defied Eastern Roman emperor as legitimate "Roman".
6. Ultimately, Papacy even excommunicated the supposed western Emperor too !

Papal politics were hence totally inconsistent both in theory and practice, and temporal rulers saw it for what it is. While they had an obligation to respect Pope as spiritual leaders, they had no reason to tolerate him as a political entity and legitimately chose to try to suppress him. The fact that they failed only proves how tenacious Popes were.

In other words. Emperors like Frederick II were not fools. They saw who Pope is and what his goals are.


Yes, that was precisely 200 years after all of the Orthodox Christian lands in the Balkans fell under Ottoman rule and Catholic possessions came under attack, including central Europe. Timely.
 

da_zeb

Robin
Gold Member
Orion said:
da_zeb said:
The Popes' control over the Papal States was always sketchy and they were often de facto ruled by local noble families.

Yes, it was local noble families who got the work done for Pope, not only inside Papal territories, but outside of them too.

The example of Venice is irrelevant.

The example of Venice proves that Italian city states were politically very important.

You're wrong about the Emperors both Eastern and Western not trying to control the Papacy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine_Papacy
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papal...rom_Peter_to_Fabian_.2864.2F67.E2.80.93236.29
And as previously mentioned, the French Kings also had a go at controlling the Papacy for their own ends.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avignon_Papacy

Emperors were utterly unconcerned with religious affairs. Only thing Emperors were concerned with, not only during Christianity, but also before, is that religious leaders credit them as legitimate rulers by divine right, and credit them as protectors of The Church.

Every conflict between Emperors and Papacy was for one of the following reasons:

1. Papacy defied unity of the Church
2. Papacy insisted on decentralized Church
3. Papacy denied Imperial suzerainty over the Church and insisted on separate "spiritual" authority.
4. Papacy arbitrated in political conflicts, choosing sides.
5. Papacy defied Eastern Roman emperor as legitimate "Roman".
6. Ultimately, Papacy even excommunicated the supposed western Emperor too !

Papal politics were hence totally inconsistent both in theory and practice, and temporal rulers saw it for what it is. While they had an obligation to respect Pope as spiritual leaders, they had no reason to tolerate him as a political entity and legitimately chose to try to suppress him. The fact that they failed only proves how tenacious Popes were.

In other words. Emperors like Frederick II were not fools. They saw who Pope is and what his goals are.


Yes, that was precisely 200 years after all of the Orthodox Christian lands in the Balkans fell under Ottoman rule and Catholic possessions came under attack, including central Europe. Timely.

The example of Venice only proves that Venice was important. I says nothing of other Italian states, although Genoa too was very powerful.

Your contention that Emperors took no interest in Church affair is untenable. Constantine made the Empire Christian. The Council of Chalcedon was called by Emperor Marcian with the reluctant acqiescence of the Pope. Justinian created the second major schism by forcing the Miaphysites out of the Church. Emperors regularly elevated and deposed bishops. The Iconoclasm heresy was largely driven by several Emperors.

Can you give some examples of how Popes have opposed the unity of the Church and have advocated for a decentralized church. Asserting it does not make it so.

If you knew anything other than regurgitated Orthodox talking points you would be aware that it wasn't only Roman Popes who opposed CaesaroPapism but also Eastern Church leaders including amongst others St. John Chrysostom who happened to be the Patriarch of Constantinople, and St Anthanasius, Patriarch of Constantinople.

The reason why the Papacy arbitrated in conflicts is because Western Europe consisted of many different Christian states and the Popes were seen as figures of authority who didn't have any great territorial ambitions.

I'm not sure what you mean by the Papacy defying the Byzantine emperor as a legitimate Roman. Please explain.

The Popes weren't the only senior prelates to excommunicate emperors. The Patriarchs of Constantinople did too from time to time. For example Patriarch John II Cappadox removed the names of the Emperos Zeno and Anastasius I from the Diptychs for heresy, Patriarch Kallinikos I helped depose the Emperor Justinian II, and Polyeuctus excommunicated the Emperor Nikephoros II, and refused to crown his successor John I Tzimiskes.
 

Orion

Kingfisher
Gold Member
Your contention that Emperors took no interest in Church affair is untenable.

No, i said Emperors generally took no interest in religious affairs of the Church. They did take interest in political affairs of the Church.

Constantine made the Empire Christian.

No he didn't

The Council of Chalcedon was called by Emperor Marcian with the reluctant acqiescence of the Pope. Justinian created the second major schism by forcing the Miaphysites out of the Church. Emperors regularly elevated and deposed bishops. The Iconoclasm heresy was largely driven by several Emperors.

In other words, Eastern Emperors pretty much excluded every sect that didn't recognize authority of Emperor. That was my point.

Can you give some examples of how Popes have opposed the unity of the Church and have advocated for a decentralized church. Asserting it does not make it so.

By insisting on their primacy (why else do you think they are called Popes ?) and exclusive authority as leaders of The Church, which lead them to crown a new Emperor in the west. THAT was a schism, all later events were formality.

If you knew anything other than regurgitated Orthodox talking points you would be aware that it wasn't only Roman Popes who opposed CaesaroPapism but also Eastern Church leaders including amongst others St. John Chrysostom who happened to be the Patriarch of Constantinople, and St Anthanasius, Patriarch of Constantinople.

Exactly because I'm not using Orthodox talking points as a starting point of my discussion, allows me to absolutely be against interference of the Bishops in temporal affairs. Bishops, whenever they meddled into political affairs, almost as a rule always rely upon scheming, disruption and creating chaos and anarchy, because it is their nature to avoid direct and straightforward confrontation.

I'm not sure what you mean by the Papacy defying the Byzantine emperor as a legitimate Roman. Please explain.

He crowned a German in the west as a Roman Emperor.

The Popes weren't the only senior prelates to excommunicate emperors. The Patriarchs of Constantinople did too from time to time. For example Patriarch John II Cappadox removed the names of the Emperos Zeno and Anastasius I from the Diptychs for heresy, Patriarch Kallinikos I helped depose the Emperor Justinian II, and Polyeuctus excommunicated the Emperor Nikephoros II, and refused to crown his successor John I Tzimiskes.

Yes, but Patriarchs were frequently deposed, imprisoned and slain, in particular because Emperors ruled from Constantinople.

Pope defended himself in Rome for centuries.
 

Orion

Kingfisher
Gold Member
Samseau said:
Mind elaborating on this? How can you say this? Christianity under Constantine went from around 10% of the total population to over 80% by the end of his life.

Can you please tell me where did you find this estimate ? It would be almost impossible to make it.

Anyhow, in 4th century, large parts of Gaul, Britain, Iberia and North Africa were not Christianized. After all, not even much of Middle East was.

In fact, Britain got definitely converted once Western Empire fell.

Second, religion in those traditional times wasn't what we think off it today. You open internet, read couple of articles and you have revelation and tomorrow you go to Church to inquire. As an Emperor, you couldn't just go and tell people what to do and believe. Religion was a matter of tradition. People actually BELIEVED, or shall i say, honored Gods.

Also, important part of religious activity during Empire was paying respect to the ruler, what i mentioned in this debate. Emperor required Christians to venerate the symbol of sun as a homage to him, as well as other religions. That's how "solar", Roman type of Christianity came to be, as opposed to overly Judaic early Christianity, or latter Protestant one. In fact, Roman Pantheon prior to that was inclusive of many cults and deities, as long as they honored the Emperor by paying tribute to him in form of sacrifice or any other symbolic gesture.

So religious affairs were not settled as we would suspect in our modernity determined mindsets. There is A religion, B religion, and Emperor passed a law making B religion official. It was a process that involved many factors.

The way we celebrate Jesus Christ hence has much to do with our way of spirituality in general. There is a reason why we don't stone people, even though stoning is mentioned in Bible, there is a reason why we don't form lynch mobs and launch bombing attacks on our neighbors, there is a reason why we don't act subversive. We are by our nature wanderers, libertarians (not in modern sense of the word), we go hunting in the woods, keep dogs inside our houses, we are not obsessed of what our neighbors do, we are not obsessed with petty moralism, we can let other people do what they want and live with their actions. We do not need to raise the roof of every house to conduct a purity check, we generally prefer loneliness.

And earlier, plagued by guilt trips induced by engaging in "holier than thou" deabtes with members of more sand-mentality sects, i used to be uneasy with it, but not anymore. Christ can forgive us our geography determined ritual wrong doings, i believe.
 

iop890

Peacock
Gold Member
Samseau said:
An infallible Pope is just plain ridiculous.

Papal infallibility is one of the most misunderstood concepts out there. It applies only under very specific circumstances and has only been used a handful of times(twice?) in history.

I'm sure you know that already, I just wanted to point it out since so many people, even Catholics, seem to think it means everything out of Bergoglio's mouth is inerrant.
 
Orthodox brah checking in.

Just wanted to jump in and thank the OP and all of you guys who contributed to this thread. I hope one day all the ethnically divided Orthodox Churches come in communion with each other.
 

da_zeb

Robin
Gold Member
Anabasis to Desta said:
Orthodox brah checking in.

Just wanted to jump in and thank the OP and all of you guys who contributed to this thread. I hope one day all the ethnically divided Orthodox Churches come in communion with each other.

They are already in communion with one another. They're just administratively separate. If you're Russian Orthodox there's no bar to you attending a Serbian, Greek, or Georgian Orthodox church. It's just that the liturgy, and hymns may be unfamiliar, and there's the feeling of it being "other".

One of the matters being discussed at this year's Great Council is whether the current hodgepodge of Orthodox denominations in countries like the US and Canada should be merged into new Autocephalus Churches. While parishes would inevitably retain their ethnic character, (much as you'll find Catholic Churches with an Italian, Irish, or Polish flavour based on particular immigrant roots of the community), they'd all be part of the same Church. It would also make it more inviting for people wishing to convert to Orthodoxy.
 

Kamaki4

Woodpecker
I have attended Ethiopian Orthodox Church service in the past when I lived in Canada. I was graciously welcomed and never felt like an outsider.
 
da_zeb said:
Anabasis to Desta said:
Orthodox brah checking in.

Just wanted to jump in and thank the OP and all of you guys who contributed to this thread. I hope one day all the ethnically divided Orthodox Churches come in communion with each other.

They are already in communion with one another. They're just administratively separate. If you're Russian Orthodox there's no bar to you attending a Serbian, Greek, or Georgian Orthodox church. It's just that the liturgy, and hymns may be unfamiliar, and there's the feeling of it being "other".

One of the matters being discussed at this year's Great Council is whether the current hodgepodge of Orthodox denominations in countries like the US and Canada should be merged into new Autocephalus Churches. While parishes would inevitably retain their ethnic character, (much as you'll find Catholic Churches with an Italian, Irish, or Polish flavour based on particular immigrant roots of the community), they'd all be part of the same Church. It would also make it more inviting for people wishing to convert to Orthodoxy.

The Oriental Orthodox churches(Armenian,Coptic,Syriac,Ethiopian/Eritrean Tewahedo,Malankara) are actually not in communion with Eastern Orthodox churches.
 

da_zeb

Robin
Gold Member
SigmundSauer said:
da_zeb said:
Anabasis to Desta said:
Orthodox brah checking in.

Just wanted to jump in and thank the OP and all of you guys who contributed to this thread. I hope one day all the ethnically divided Orthodox Churches come in communion with each other.

They are already in communion with one another. They're just administratively separate. If you're Russian Orthodox there's no bar to you attending a Serbian, Greek, or Georgian Orthodox church. It's just that the liturgy, and hymns may be unfamiliar, and there's the feeling of it being "other".

One of the matters being discussed at this year's Great Council is whether the current hodgepodge of Orthodox denominations in countries like the US and Canada should be merged into new Autocephalus Churches. While parishes would inevitably retain their ethnic character, (much as you'll find Catholic Churches with an Italian, Irish, or Polish flavour based on particular immigrant roots of the community), they'd all be part of the same Church. It would also make it more inviting for people wishing to convert to Orthodoxy.

The Oriental Orthodox churches(Armenian,Coptic,Syriac,Ethiopian/Eritrean Tewahedo,Malankara) are actually not in communion with Eastern Orthodox churches.

True enough, but when people speak of Orthodox Churches on this forum they're usually referring of the Eastern Orthodox Churches. The problem with bringing Eastern and Oriental Orthodox back into communion with one another is that it it requires the consensus of all parties and there's all sorts of relatively unimportant differences that people can get hung up on. This article discusses the barriers preventing full communion between chalcedonian and non-chalcedonian Orthodox.
 

dnx

Pigeon
What are the differences between the Eastern orthodox and Greek orthodox churches? I have thoughts about joining one of them, although the reason is more about community and tribe rather than religion.
 

Kid Twist

Hummingbird
The "Greek Orthodox" Church is one of many "Eastern Orthodox" churches. As an example, my baptismal certificate (From a "greek orthodox" church) actually says that the said baptized person of the "Eastern Orthodox Church", etc etc. I always was happy it said that because it was testifying that we are all the same in doctrine and practice, which we are --- and it was an anti-ethnocentric/phyetic statement, though it's so hard to convince the tribal people that this is truly the case.

As a quick aside too though, since it is an "eastern" christian church there is, in a general sense, a similar meaning of "Greek Orthodox" as being easterner (and thus a surrogate term for EO) in the sense that the Roman Catholic church isn't roman (even in the modern day) but they call themselves that.

The problem in the West is that people are so woefully un/mis/mal-taught about the faith that even Orthodox themselves in so many cases are oblivious to the fact that Greek=Russian=Romanian=Serbian=Ukrainian Orthodox, and on and on and on --- it is one faith, the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church mentioned in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan creed. It turns out that the "Orthodox" church is actually, also, the true Catholic church! (-:
 
Being raised in Serbia in a relatively secular family but still having been impacted by Orthodox religious holidays and traditions I became acustomed to this original way of practicing Christiantiy. Priests with big beards, byzanyne style temples with walls covered in frescos, choir singing and priests preaching in Old Church Slavonic that nobody understands, Christmas Day on 7th of January, burning of "badnjak" on Christmas Eve, celebrating "Slava" or family's patron saint all were part of my life. I was mindblowned by the difference between Orthodox and Southern Baptist Christianity (I spent a year in high school in American South). Mega church that looked like a standium, people waving their hands, modern music and flat screen TVs in a "church", normal looking dude or so called "pastor" analyzing Bible verses off of the screen, this is what I encountered. This all seemed unreal to me and I couldn't wrap my mind around the fact that these two seemingly completely different factions belonged to the same religion. Traditional Protestant churches in Serbia and other European countries seemed a lot closer to Catholic tradition from my observation, although recently many American style churches have been popping up thanks to the missionary work.
 

Laska

 
I'm super excited to go to my local parish. Does Eastern Orthodoxy teach that the Trinity are different manifistations of the same person, or that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are separate persons?
 

Kid Twist

Hummingbird
Because this is technical theological language, and it distinguishes certain religions or has caused divisions among ones at one time considered to be the same, it is important. The position of the Eastern Orthodox churches regarding God is first that there is one God. He is known, and has existed always, as three distinct persons (hypostases - Father, Son and Holy Spirit) that are ONE in essence (hence, there is one God). That is, they are uncreated and unlike anything and in that regard they are the same, they are God. Without going much further, they are beyond existence because that denotes a point of view that is human, in that we are created beings. God is beyond existence is probably the better way to say it, and as such we can't fully conceive of God, being created beings. That starts the discussions of what we can say about God (also including "what he isn't" = apophatic theology), and leads to what Jesus Christ revealed about God "If you have seen me, you have seen the Father".

My apologies for the long response (-:

I hope it helped.
 
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