20 November 2017

Thought of the day....

It is impossible to take one seriously who doesn't even know themselves.

Orthodox Q and A.....

Some Orthodoxy Q and A from my own perspective.

I know a lot of you have noticed I have been attending Liturgies at an Orthodox Church for a while, and probably have some questions. I don’t claim to know everything, but I’m simply answering things from what I have observed and experienced.

  1. Aren’t the Orthodox schismatic?

It is impossible to be schismatic against an authority which one doesn’t have. It is well documented that in the first millennia of the Church, the West did not have jurisdiction over the East. It’s interesting that effectively Rome admits they’re wrong, and nothing is done about it. In addition, why would the pope of Rome even be willing to have a discussion about primacy, if it were set in stone, or even if the concept of universal jurisdiction was correct? It seems to me that Rome is arguing from a position, of it knows it’s wrong, and we have to have mental gymnastics to defend our erroneous position.

Let’s be very clear, the Orthodox are not sedevacantist. We acknowledge Francis as the present pope of Rome. We patiently await his return to Holy Orthodoxy, the humility to recognize the errors of universal jurisdiction.

We really can’t put an exact date on when things went wrong, as history isn’t quite black and white, and there was (and is) present day intercommunion albeit on a hush-hush level. Some might say things went wrong at Florence, or perhaps earlier

Rome can hardly govern itself, let alone everyone else. Have not many of the problems that are in the present day in the church of Rome due to Rome not nipping things in the bud that should have been stopped. (Whether it be the Filioque, the whole indulgence situation, modern abuses such as Communion in the hand, etc)

b. But what about the Filioque….

It should not be in the Creed, it wasn’t in the Greek original, it should have never been added to the Latin form of the creed. It’s really as simple as that. The Father is the single source, From the Father, to the Son, through the Holy Spirit. Yes, both fathers of East and West have spoken on this point, but there’s a reason it wasn’t in the creed. Additions to the creed is an anathema….There should have been another (ecumenical) council to discuss this point, there was not! There’s a reason most of the popes denied the addition to the creed. 

c. Why Moscow…

Do I really need to answer this? 

d. But why not stay in Eastern Catholicism?

In short, I’ve come to the conclusion that Eastern Catholicism, just like Western Rite Orthodoxy, should not exist….If we consider the Orthodox to be true churches, that have real jurisdiction and true orders, there should be zero need to have them separate from their mother churches. The Orthodox have been careful not to appoint an Orthodox Bishop of Rome, Yet, in many of the lands of the Orthodox, there is an equivalent Catholic Bishop of *insert jurisdiction here*….To me this is a major problem. In some ways it can be seen as an arrogance on the part of the church of Rome. Although, there have been steps made in the right direction, by the pope of Rome not appointing a patriarch of Jerusalem.


e. Aren’t the Orthodox divided? (What about the Non Chalcedonian churches?)

Perhaps that may well be legally so, but in the day to day practice of the Faith, this is hardly the case. Coptic Orthodox come to reverence the icons in the Chalcedonian churches, and there’s a various exchange with those in the non chalcedonaian tradition. Often from the convertski, do you see really the hard lines of olden past.

Truly Orthodoxy is Orthodoxy, whether one goes to a Romanian, Greek, Russian, insert your jurisdiction here, when one speaks of the Orthodox Faith, one is always understood. For example, when one refers to Theosis, all Orthodox know what one is talking about.

In Catholicism, perhaps on paper the Faith is the same, but in practice this is hardly the case. There’s a major divergence in the Faith, from St Reverent, to St Irreverent Roman parish. One says the word Theosis, and unless one is truly educated n the Faith, a Roman would be clueless as to what one is saying. In the West, one thing is meant by terms, in the East, and entirely different thing is meant by something. (Eg: Original Sin) There’s such a divergence between the Traditionalists, the Conservatives, the Sedevacantists, and the even harder sedevacantists, I don’t know if it can be argued that the Faith that is upheld is the same between them. 

The Faith, even if it were the same, it’s not treated as such. There’s headache upon headache to transfer between churches. Should it not be a simple as declaring allegiance to a Bishop, patriarch of a particular church that one wishes to join, instead of endless hoops of paperwork?  Witnessing the hell that it is for some priests to get faculties to be bi-ritual, it’s absolutely ridiculous, and hardly the way to treat the Faith, if catholicism is catholicism. 

Thus if the Orthodox are divided, I’d argue the Catholics are even more divided. After all, there was not a Protestant revolution in the East as there was in the West. 


f. Isn’t it just Francis opening his mouth too much?

Hardly, though it has accelerated the process. My thoughts towards the faith have long been eastern, even though I have not been much public about them. This is hardly a phase. It’s something that I’ve been living for a long time now, and it’s truly a transformation in ethos and approach toward everything. 

I don’t really care, what Francis says, it’s hardly having any impact on what I’m attempting to do on a daily basis. Every time he’s brought up, it’s an obstacle in my attempt to be half way decent of a person. 

As a general rule, when Francis opens his mouth, it’s not a good thing. He’s attempting to reduce the papacy (a good thing), however the means by which he’s going about it is the exact opposite of what he’s intending. (ruling with an iron fist, effectively equating himself to some popes of old who said, “I AM tradition”I, AM)

e. But isn’t the papacy instituted by Christ?

Yes, but not to the point that it has ballooned today. It’s not the pope’s job to micromanage the Church, and do what he wishes just because he feels like it. (As the present Bishop of Rome is governing.) The Pope’s job was to be last court of appeals in inner disputes between churches, but not a micromanager, and of course help affirm the Faith. The patriarchs were to help each other out, They kept one another in line. Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria, Jerusalem. All Bishops, by being the High priest, are vicars of Christ. Every bishop by virtue of their ordination is equal. Administration is a separate aspect, and is not effective on episcopal dignity.

g. Aren’t you leaving the Church that Christ Himself established?

Absolutely not! All of the churches (Non Chalcedonian, Chalcedonian) make up the True Church (Christ can’t be divided, by the nature of the true orders, they are apart of the Church) I’m simply changing my bishop allegiance. (Abp Kyrill, and Patriarch Kirill respectively)


h. Will you still visit Catholic churches….

Of course! But with a different perspective! I don’t hate Rome, quite the opposite, but my path leads me a different direction. I’m just following that path,

  1. Aren’t you going to be alone?

Quite the opposite actually, I’ve felt that living in an Eastern Catholic perspective, it’s been rather lonely because finding those that share the exactly same perspective are few and far between. It can’t be explained really. 

j. You sure this is not a phase?

Absolutely, I made sure not to convert, not when I first stepped in an Orthodox Church :p…..This is something that has been gradually happening, my change in ethos, and the peace that I have attending Liturgy has returned to me after a several year absence. (Since I was out of seminary actually)…

H. Any last words.



Please pray for me….I need all the prayers I can get…There’s something else that’s happening that I really want prayers for. My classmate in Organic Chemistry was correct, as well as several Orthodox faithful that have commented to me, you’ll be home soon enough. There are many that are probably surprised I haven’t “converted” earlier….

17 November 2017

The problems with projectivism...and the inability to take people seriously

The reality of the situation is sometimes I think that so often times people have projected themselves into situations whether it be for better or for worse that we're unable to take seriously things when they do happen.

A lot of what I have seen recently when it comes to these various allegations of misbehaviour, or people complaining about certain things it's gotten me to thinking (Something I probably do too much of anyway)....

a. We do not know how difficult of a cross this is to have to open up about something that happens. For someone who has been a victim of any kind of attack, it's not easy for them to open up. (Heck, it's still not easy for me to open up about some of the things that I have been through). For some people this coming to grips and being able to talk about the situation takes a long period of time. That's not our place to judge them for this. Perhaps for some of us it's easier to speak in the open than other people. Timing of being able to speak out, may or may not have some consequences, or coincidences.

b. The above said, every person has a right to a good name, and the development of trust is something that a person may or may have not developed. This is of course not to say that we shouldn't not believe a person who comes up with an allegation of mis behavior of a person. It's okay to refrain from judgement. Unless the allegations directly involve us, it's not our position to judge if a person is guilty or innocent based upon the law at hand. That's the job of law enforcement.....We are here to listen....

c. Of course that said, there's also been a problem of projectivism so that when actual allegations or serious matter does come up, no one can be taken seriously....Every one one of us does so, perhaps more so from those who are of the liberal thought process than those who aren't. (i.e. person so and so believes x, therefore they are *buzzword here*) These get thrown around so much, that when the actual *buzzword here* does happen, we're desensitised towards that end. Let's be honest, we'd probably take people more seriously about their accusations towards certain things if they weren't constantly projecting onto people things they're not...It's a major problem of projecting motive when there's zero need to. (Eg: A person doesn't hold a door open, ergo they're selfish, when really they were in a hurry from point A to point B, or a person ignores you in a conversation, they're for they're sexist, when they're ultra introverted and truly can't stand people)

Can we find a balance between the respect for the person's story, their right to be heard, and perhaps believed, the accused right to a good name, the respect for the rule of law? I don't know if in today's ultra sensitive society it's possible, but I think we should try anyway. I don't necessarily think that we as a society have to have a judgement of a person before they've had a chance to be heard, I do think however that we as a society need to listen to one another and stop speaking past each other. If this seems like a consistent theme lately, it's because really it needs to be heard.

One should not subscribe to evil what can be attributed to incompetence. or mere human stupidity.

It's probably strange for many to hear me sound this way....perhaps because one is used to me being being a certain personality type, and my voice tends to be written in a very black and white matter. It's important to acknowledge that there's some grey area, within the black and white that is the approach of things.

PS If I could ask for some prayers, there are some MAJOR changes coming....I look forward to announcing them. :)


27 October 2017

A prayer request


Please pray for me, as I am in transition to a new phase of life, more of which will be revealed in due time. All of you are in my prayers.

Joe



21 October 2017

10 September 2017

Thought of the day

It is sometimes impossible to stay within a box, no matter how comfortable one is.