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The knife of the Great Schism: did it cut both ways?


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#21 Matthew Thrift

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 04:28 PM

Wow, so many wonderful points being made!

Fr. Raphael's post was exactly what I was hoping to tackle in this thread. I am very interested in what one might call the Patristic self-understanding of the Church.

So, some questions for you Fr. Raphael, if you wouldn't mind:

1. Would you say that the qualities of the "Byzantine monastic legacy" aren't so much the fruits of them being distinctly "Eastern" but are more the inner qualities of the Mystical Body, that would manifest itself in any time and place?

2. Would you say that the Eastern Orthodox Church emphasized the Eastern Fathers more, not because they were "Byzantine" or "Eastern" but because they manifested the necessary qualities of the Holy Church, and had those in the West expressed these mystical qualities, the East and the West might not have been so different?

3. In terms of the "externals" of a Rite, how much importance should one give to these? I freely admit that I am a baby Orthodox Christian at this point, having been chrismated only less than a year ago, so I have a long way to go in familiarizing myself with the Eastern Fathers, but if I'm not mistaken, it seems to me that a great deal of importance and emphasis was placed on the movements of the liturgy, as well as the church calendar, hymnography, devotions, etc., and what I'm particularly interested in is this: To what extent would a differing Rite or expression be lacking or impoverished with these aspects missing? Are they now essential aspects of what it means to be Orthodox?

4. Several Patriarchates have now authorized Western Rites that utilize entirely different liturgies, hymns, devotions, and calendar, etc., do these Rites express the fullness of the Faith, or do they now inevitably have to be "Byzantinzed" to some extent in order to embody these further developments?

5. If it was the Byzantine monastic legacy that preserved the Faith intact for so long, and it was the Church in the East that continued be guided by the Spirit, to what extent can any authentic "Western" expression of the Faith be "full" without having been a part of this further growth?

Please, anyone else who wants to answer these questions, feel free to do so!

#22 Michael Albert

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 04:59 PM

The Church per se was not affected by the schism; it was whole before, and it was whole after. But the people in the Church were right to weep over the loss of so many.


Wonderful post!

#23 Kosta

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 03:16 AM

Wow, that is a bold assertion, not to say harsh words! Could you please expand? I am not aware of what Orthodox think of Maronites.


The maronites are nothing more than those melkites and a few monophysites who accepted the compromise formula of Heraclius. The heretical formula which states that Christ is two natures with one will. After the condemnation of monotheletism by the 6th ecumenical council, John Maron proclaimed himself Patriarch of Antioch and took charge of the monothelete heretics. The Orthodox began calling them maronites from then on. They did not exist before 685 a.d., their entire history is a silly fabrication which makes no ecclesiological sense at all.

#24 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 02:10 PM

1. Would you say that the qualities of the "Byzantine monastic legacy" aren't so much the fruits of them being distinctly "Eastern" but are more the inner qualities of the Mystical Body, that would manifest itself in any time and place?


I think Owen's point is well made. I might add that "Eastern" vs. "Western" is merely an arbitrary and convenient designator. It is slightly easier to use than "Orthodox" vs. "Catholic/Protestant/Humanist/Rationalist"

2. Would you say that the Eastern Orthodox Church emphasized the Eastern Fathers more, not because they were "Byzantine" or "Eastern" but because they manifested the necessary qualities of the Holy Church, and had those in the West expressed these mystical qualities, the East and the West might not have been so different?


Sorry but to this bear of little brain that sounds like a "DUH!" sort of question. I guess I will go with the more polite "um, well, YES!"

3. In terms of the "externals" of a Rite, how much importance should one give to these? I freely admit that I am a baby Orthodox Christian at this point, having been chrismated only less than a year ago, so I have a long way to go in familiarizing myself with the Eastern Fathers, but if I'm not mistaken, it seems to me that a great deal of importance and emphasis was placed on the movements of the liturgy, as well as the church calendar, hymnography, devotions, etc., and what I'm particularly interested in is this: To what extent would a differing Rite or expression be lacking or impoverished with these aspects missing? Are they now essential aspects of what it means to be Orthodox?


Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi. The externals reflect the internals. And prayer is more than mouthing familiar words. Getting the whole body and all the senses involved in worship is key to Orthodox worship, perhaps not so much to some other "rites" that I have come across, but that might just be me.

4. Several Patriarchates have now authorized Western Rites that utilize entirely different liturgies, hymns, devotions, and calendar, etc., do these Rites express the fullness of the Faith, or do they now inevitably have to be "Byzantinzed" to some extent in order to embody these further developments?


You are going to get a variety of answers to that one. Mine would be that to the extent that different "rites" incorporate and express an "ortho doxa", then they should be acceptable. Does ONLY the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom do so? Or can other cultural appropriations also do so? I don't have a pat answer for that one.

5. If it was the Byzantine monastic legacy that preserved the Faith intact for so long, and it was the Church in the East that continued be guided by the Spirit, to what extent can any authentic "Western" expression of the Faith be "full" without having been a part of this further growth?


In as much as any tradition deviated from the Apostolic Witness the less "full" it becomes. I think the prevailing attitude in this particular forum will be that the Orthodox tradition has maintained that witness, and that our monastic treasury has had a very important part of guarding it. I will quit showing my ignorance and shut up now.

Herman the Pooh.

#25 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 02:23 PM

Matthew Thrift wrote:

1. Would you say that the qualities of the "Byzantine monastic legacy" aren't so much the fruits of them being distinctly "Eastern" but are more the inner qualities of the Mystical Body, that would manifest itself in any time and place?


There is the aspect of the 'inner qualities' as could be found anywhere. But there also comes to be something distinct or characteristic about the Byzantine monastic tradition. For example as we see it expressed in the Philokalia.

2. Would you say that the Eastern Orthodox Church emphasized the Eastern Fathers more, not because they were "Byzantine" or "Eastern" but because they manifested the necessary qualities of the Holy Church, and had those in the West expressed these mystical qualities, the East and the West might not have been so different?


I'm not sure that this began by emphasizing the Byzantine tradition. At first it probably began as it did everywhere else as local churches or areas with local influence predominating. However it was always more accurate to see the influences as arriving amidst concentric circles, with influences also being taken in from farther away. So for example Byzantine monasticism is formed from the influences of the first generations of Egyptian monasticism; then the monasticism of the Holy Land; and also St Basil. Over time though as these influences were assimilated and took on a certain form, and heresy and the Arab invasions cut off former ancient areas of the Church, there appeared a more specifically Byzantine form, difficult to absolutely define, but having a recognizable character.

In terms of the west then, it too had its own character. Although this was quite similar to what was seen in the east, due to similar influences- especially Egypt, and the Holy Land. The great differences which came later though are related more to the Schism I would say.

3. In terms of the "externals" of a Rite, how much importance should one give to these? I freely admit that I am a baby Orthodox Christian at this point, having been chrismated only less than a year ago, so I have a long way to go in familiarizing myself with the Eastern Fathers, but if I'm not mistaken, it seems to me that a great deal of importance and emphasis was placed on the movements of the liturgy, as well as the church calendar, hymnography, devotions, etc., and what I'm particularly interested in is this: To what extent would a differing Rite or expression be lacking or impoverished with these aspects missing? Are they now essential aspects of what it means to be Orthodox?


There were various rites within the larger pre-schism Orthodox world. My understanding is that these were found within the larger local areas of influence similar to the areas of influence of the monastic world (no surprise there since the main liturgical influences were often passed on within the monastic world). So that rites within a larger local area would vary but still be related and have similarity as in a family. So for example the Byzantine services show influences from Antioch, the Holy Land & Constantinople; while the Sarum rite in England shows influences from Gaul & Rome.

4. Several Patriarchates have now authorized Western Rites that utilize entirely different liturgies, hymns, devotions, and calendar, etc., do these Rites express the fullness of the Faith, or do they now inevitably have to be "Byzantinzed" to some extent in order to embody these further developments?


There are ongoing discussions about this in other threads on the Forum. I don't have any experience of the western rite myself, but the main questions seem to relate to the point of whether a rite should only be an organic outgrowth of Orthodoxy; or can a pre-Schism rite be grafted into Orthodoxy. There are so many complex questions involved here that I have no clear answer to. If it's any consolation though I have heard diametrically opposed views on this from bishops within the same jurisdictions.
I don't know that we have a final answer to this question yet.

5. If it was the Byzantine monastic legacy that preserved the Faith intact for so long, and it was the Church in the East that continued be guided by the Spirit, to what extent can any authentic "Western" expression of the Faith be "full" without having been a part of this further growth?


This relates I think to the above question. So much of what we safely do is an organic outgrowth of Byzantine Orthodoxy as practiced in local conditions. It's striking how much can be assimilated to this larger tradition so that we now have Orthodox churches in places like Japan and China, and Haiti and Africa. All this from Byzantine Orthodox mother churches formed in the Greek or Russian worlds. So there's something very much to be said for the striking assimilative power of this Byzantine Orthodoxy and which yet manifests itself in local expression.

In the above though there has been an organic & natural melding together of the two worlds. First people consciously convert to an Orthodox expression often radically outside of their preceding world of familiarity or understanding. Then over time, without quite seeing how, this conversion takes on elements of the underlying make up of the convert. How this occurs is quite a mystery since it rarely is part of a program. But that it does occur is obvious since without fail daughter churches always assume distinct characters from the mother church. Perhaps though the major point of this mystery of conversion is that the Holy Spirit in the Church sifts out over time dross from gold in terms of who we are and of the culture that forms us. If this was part of a program however, the result of us deciding what's most valuable, then we could easily fall into serious temptation, precisely mistaking dross for gold.

The question then of consciously bringing in western practices should be seen within the just described context of how the Church normally works. Western practices can perhaps be adopted but they need to be handled with great care & discernment.

In Christ- Fr Raphael

#26 Matthew Thrift

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 04:40 PM

Thanks for all the wonderful responses everyone. This is really helpful. I apologize for how no-brainer these might seem to many of you. Perhaps this isn't the best place to work these things out. Ah well.

Perhaps a more direct and specific question will touch on what I'm really curious about.

It was the post-Schism East that continued to preserve and BE the Undivided Apostolic Church. And thus, necessarily, it was the peculiar and unique Rites of the East that became the sole expression of the Undivided Church. In this way, the Undivided Church came to be defined by this unique Rite. As this Rite developed, certain important theological and symbolic associations were attached to the liturgies and movements and hymns and devotions etc.

So my question then, is this: To what extent have these further developments become an integral and vital part of what it means to express the "fullness of the Faith" (and thus, to be "Orthodox")? And to what extent would a Rite that did not have the same liturgies, movements, hymns, devotions, etc., and thus obviously not have the means or ability to carry the same symbolic importance, not express the "fullness of the Faith"?

This is more in line with what I was originally trying to get at with the "Knife of the Great Schism." In what way has it defined what it means to be Orthodox, specifically with the subsequent "Eastern-ness" that came to define the Undivided Church?

Prior to the Schism it seems the self-understanding of the Church was truly one of catholicity, and post-Schism, it seems that it ended up being an identification with being Byzantine. Is it possible that as the Rite continued to develop and so much importance was attached to the specific peculiarities of it, that the Church was essentially saying that now, only the Eastern expression contains the fullness of the Faith?

I'm not trying to turn this into a discussion about the Western Rite, I'm just genuinely interested in how the Schism may have effected the East and how the further development of the Eastern Rite(s) might effect Orthodoxy as it re-enters the West, so to speak.

Thanks for indulging me everyone, I truly appreciate the time you take to respond. Again, my sincerest apologies for being a total newbie. :)

#27 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 01:24 PM

Matthew Thrift wrote:


Prior to the Schism it seems the self-understanding of the Church was truly one of catholicity, and post-Schism, it seems that it ended up being an identification with being Byzantine. Is it possible that as the Rite continued to develop and so much importance was attached to the specific peculiarities of it, that the Church was essentially saying that now, only the Eastern expression contains the fullness of the Faith?


It's very important to understand that the Byzantine rite always continued and still continues to develop. It adapts to local conditions while retaining its core liturgical perspectives. And this is what gives the same rite different shades and tones among all of the peoples where Orthodoxy is found.

In a sense then this answers the question about the 'eastern expression' of the Liturgy. For as said, it is the core Byzantine perspective which the liturgy retains, while adapting itself to local peoples. In other words, the experience of centuries has shown that this particular rite retains the balance between the need to convert one's way of understanding & an ability to adapt to local conditions. This balance is crucial.

In Christ- Fr Raphael

#28 Matthew Thrift

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 03:25 PM

Couldn't one say, however, that all of the places where Orthodoxy took root, were still "Eastern" places? So, it would make sense then that the Eastern-ness of the Rite was what spoke to their hearts?

How would you describe and identify this "core Byzantine perspective"?

#29 Guillermo M.L.

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 06:54 PM

The original question asks if the knife "cut both ways". Well I have to point out that sometimes cutting is necessary--there is the knife that wounds, and there is the knife that heals, another sort of "both ways", perhaps? Christ our Lord talks about cutting off the dead branches. Doctors cut out disease and infection. Therefore, a knife can prevent contamination.

Herman the Pooh who happens to like sharp knives.
Time spent sharpening a knife is never wasted. Old French saying.


I have no intention to polemize, but I would like to say that this statement seems to me biased and unfair. This saying about "cutting off the dead branches" seems to imply that the West was already dead before the Great Schism. About using a knife to "prevent contamination", I don't buy that portraying of the East as "healthy" and the West as "unhealthy and full of infectious disease", to justify the use a sharp knife to cut off the West. During the first millenium, all the heresies which were addressed by the seven councils were originated in the East, not in the West. Following that reasoning, the East should have stabbed itself with that sharp knife several times.

I understand that the East sees no value in the West while the Papacy is still there. One thing I rescue from Western spirituality, that until now I haven't found in the East and could be a value to it, is that Western monasticism is not only contemplative, but also has an active perspective. There are several religious orders, some dedicated to contemplation, but others dedicated to preaching, or education, or health care, etc. A kind of monasticism that arose to meet the needs of their time in a practical way, without abandoning prayer. It is said in the RCC that each order is gifted with a different gift of the Holy Spirit (although this statement may not mean much to the OC) and that is why there are so many different orders. This kind of active monasticism existed before the Schism, so please think about it before dismissing it.

While the Eastern monasticism seems nice and appealing to me, it makes some noise in my brain the concept that Eastern monks choose to live only "out of the world" and never "in the world". IMHO, it is a much bolder attitude and sacrifice to try to live monasticism "in the world". But, this may be only an unjustified noise in my little brain.

#30 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 11:14 PM

You can think whatever you want, and obviously you are going to think differently than some of us. I made a general comment, you choose to interpret it as you wish. If it disturbs your concept of reality, feel free to ignore.

However, there are elements that the Roman Catholic Church has added to the Faith that have diverged from the Apostolic Witness and aside from a few perennial ecumenical conference attendees, the Orthodox Church is in agreement. These things are not merely semantic, nor are they "optional". And yes I am biased. You say it like it is a bad thing.

Herman the biased Pooh

#31 Guillermo M.L.

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 02:48 AM

Herman, I think we both agree that we disagree, at least on this subject. I hope you didn't feel my response as an attack, because after re-reading it, I think it may have seemed so. Your post about the knife seemed to me unloving at first, but it is common in forums such as these to have things misinterpreted. Your words seemed a little bit harsh to me, but I don't assume that was your intention. Let's not quarrel over this, there is very much we can share here. Please accept my apologies.

I do think differently, as expected, because I refuse to accept the idea that, should the RC and OC someday end their Great Schism, there would be nothing valuable from the West to salvage. This idea that I refuse to assume, I find that many OC assume it readily, and it seems to me somehow rooted in prejudice.

Regarding my interpretation of bias, I find bias as a bad thing when it is applied to measure similar events with different rulers, where the length of the ruler depends on which side you are from. I frequently read OC members whining about the Sack of Constantinople, while forgetting about the Massacre of the Latins. I personally try to be fair with my judgement of the East when analyzing Church history, but I get the impression that the East is not that fair with the West. Is this kind of bias which I find somehow frustrating. I hope you understand my thinking a little bit better now.

#32 Guillermo M.L.

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 02:53 AM

So my question then, is this: To what extent have these further developments become an integral and vital part of what it means to express the "fullness of the Faith" (and thus, to be "Orthodox")? And to what extent would a Rite that did not have the same liturgies, movements, hymns, devotions, etc., and thus obviously not have the means or ability to carry the same symbolic importance, not express the "fullness of the Faith"?


I think this is a good question, which leads me to further questions regarding the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom: However other liturgies may be valid in the OC, is that Liturgy considered the most spiritually beneficial? Are the other liturgies considered lacking in some aspect or other?

If the answer is affirmative, this brings me to another question: Can we assume that Christians before St. John Chrysostom didn't have such a good liturgy, and therefore their path to theosis was harder?

#33 Guillermo M.L.

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 02:57 AM

The maronites are nothing more than those melkites and a few monophysites who accepted the compromise formula of Heraclius. The heretical formula which states that Christ is two natures with one will. After the condemnation of monotheletism by the 6th ecumenical council, John Maron proclaimed himself Patriarch of Antioch and took charge of the monothelete heretics. The Orthodox began calling them maronites from then on. They did not exist before 685 a.d., their entire history is a silly fabrication which makes no ecclesiological sense at all.


Thanks for your explanation, Kosta. I assume that, in the hypothetical case the Maronites converted to Orthodoxy en masse, they would be stripped of all their traditions, rites and saints, because the Orthodox don't consider them to have a valid Apostolic origin. They would by forced to become Byzantines, to say it some way.

#34 Michael C.

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 03:24 AM

Christians before St. John Chrysostom had the same eucharist. Their path to theosis was the same.

I think this is a good question, which leads me to further questions regarding the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom: However other liturgies may be valid in the OC, is that Liturgy considered the most spiritually beneficial? Are the other liturgies considered lacking in some aspect or other?

If the answer is affirmative, this brings me to another question: Can we assume that Christians before St. John Chrysostom didn't have such a good liturgy, and therefore their path to theosis was harder?



#35 Michael C.

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 03:52 AM

What most people fail to understand is that there is no such thing as a "Byzantine" or "Byzantine Empire". The Byzantines are Romans. St. Constantine was a Roman. He was not Greek. He moved the eastern seat of the empire to New Rome, later named Constantinople. He was a saint both in the east and the west.

The Roman Empire lasted until 1453, it did not fall with the Fall of Rome to the Goths, Vandals, Normans and Franks.

Although the Roman Empire was anti-Christian for the first three centuries AD, it was a vehicle by which Christianity spread and remained mostly uniform through God's providence.


Thanks for your explanation, Kosta. I assume that, in the hypothetical case the Maronites converted to Orthodoxy en masse, they would be stripped of all their traditions, rites and saints, because the Orthodox don't consider them to have a valid Apostolic origin. They would by forced to become Byzantines, to say it some way.



#36 Georgia P.

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 04:52 AM

Byzantium was the New Rome indeed. But Byzantium did marked the new era for Christianity in the Eastern part of Christendum. The term refers to the "byzantium based" Empire that was now tranfered from Rome to Constantinople. The Term "Romios" or "rum" (the Turks called us that) comes from the fact the same Empire continued to rein in the East. The fact though that the Greek language becomes the language of the Empire and the Church is immerged into the Hellenistic culture and world. I do not think it is coincidental that Greek is one of the languages of the Gospel of John either or the epistles. One example would also be the fact the first ecumenical council and the Creed were communicate in Greek. Culturally speaking the Byzantine Empire did not force culure anymore than the Gospel writtne in Hellenistic Greek did. The obsession some have with the idea of Hellenistic Culture being dominant is parochial IMHO. For the Hellenistic world was a "vehicle" and not the purpose of what it meant to be a Christian. The Emperor was obviously by-lingual and both languages (Latin and Greek) were used. Later on more and more the Greek was used as the Eastern Empire did became more localized to the East; as it lost its western eparches. No one was "forced" to be Byzantine as we see that in the various "conversions" that took place esp. with the conversion of the Rus people.

#37 Georgia P.

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 05:06 AM

I think this is a good question, which leads me to further questions regarding the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom: However other liturgies may be valid in the OC, is that Liturgy considered the most spiritually beneficial? Are the other liturgies considered lacking in some aspect or other?

If the answer is affirmative, this brings me to another question: Can we assume that Christians before St. John Chrysostom didn't have such a good liturgy, and therefore their path to theosis was harder?



St. John Chrysostome compliled that liturgy but in reality it is just compilation of this liturgy. He did not for fact "authored" it. Probably this Liturgy was already there. We attribute this Liturgy to him as he put it together. The Liturgy of St. Basil (which is very similar) also is named after St. Basil for he compiled it in similar manner. These great Fathers used similar texts although the "mystical prayers" or "anaphorae" are different. *the part of the Liturgy that the Epiclesis takes place as well all mystical prayers the priest recites*

We have more liturgies floating around in the Eastern part of the Christendum such as Addai and Mari, Syrian and Syriac Liturgies. Also the Jerusalem rite Lirturgy was another type of Liturgy that was kept *partly* by the Church of Rome. So we cannot say that other Liturgies are " lacking" spiritually. IMHO every Liturgy that came from Apostolic Tradition is valid. Of course the ones that keep the basic elements of the basic Eucaristic prayers. Unfortunately we have little to go by text wise but the Liturgy of St. James. And that text I think dates after the 3rd century.

#38 Guillermo M.L.

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 07:22 AM

The Byzantines are Romans.


For that I can answer "yes" and "no" at the same time.

Yes, the Byzantine Empire was a Roman Empire, but with Greek distinctive features... if not, Greece would not be proud of that Empire today.

What the Romans had, and the Byzantines had not, regarding to religion, was the "legalistic approach to sin". This was derived, as it seems to me, from Roman law, which was somehow coherent and still a subject study of Western law schools today. Roman law made such a breakthrough in the Latin world, that it really made an impact on Latin understanding on sin... something which did not reach the Eastern Empire, no matter how Roman it was.

St. Constantine was a Roman. He was not Greek. He moved the eastern seat of the empire to New Rome, later named Constantinople. He was a saint both in the east and the west.


I dislike to dissapoint you. Constantine is only considered a saint in the East, never in the West. This is one of the divergences betweeen East and West that always existed (it never was an "innovation") but somehow it never seemed to be a problem, not even right now. I do have my issues considering a Saint Constantine, but I will publish them in another thread, better not here.

You can call them "Byzantines", "Eastern Romans" if you like, but it doesn't change anything. Italians were "Western Romans", as the "Byzantines" were "Eastern Romans", and even though both factions were Romans, the Great Schism still happened. Those titles do not tell anything about legitimacy nor to whose party the Truth belongs. The solution to those issues has to be looked elsewhere, not in the titles.

#39 Guillermo M.L.

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 07:25 AM

Christians before St. John Chrysostom had the same eucharist. Their path to theosis was the same.


OK... So i guess all is needed is the eucharist? The rest of the rite is nice, but completely expendable?

I hate to ask these easy questions, but I get to see so much people enamored with the rite itself, that it gets confounded what is essential and what is not.

#40 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 12:31 PM

Rites are not "expendable". The Eucharist is certainly central to the Church but it is not the only thing. Because it is most important, that does not mean that things that can be considered of lesser importance are "expendable". There is so much more to "worship" than Sunday Divine Liturgy, although these days so many people miss out. There are the other beautiful services like the Hours, Vespers, Matins, Compline, Vigil, the special services associated with Great and Holy Lent. There are akathists, there is individual prayer rule. It is a relationship that is important, but the rite helps make the relationship possible. The rite teaches us and conveys grace upon us.

St. John did not actually create the Liturgy. It is named in his honor to this day but it existed before he did, in several forms. He codified a specific form and we call it by his name. There is so much that the Liturgy teaches us, even unconsciously. We worship like the Angels do, we experience timelessness, the things of Heaven are communicated to Earth. Can other rites besides the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom do such things? Of course they can, but, do they?

Does a post-Vatican II Mass with guitars and lay Eucharistic ministers accomplish the same thing as well? Even the Catholic Church is not of a mind on that subject.

It is one thing to adapt and adopt, building on a firm foundation, it is something else to make things "expendable" and add or subtract based merely on personal taste. At least that is what we "Byzantines" have learned from the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.

What does a "clown mass" teach us?

Herman the often a clown Pooh




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