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


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#41 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 01:21 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"?


No- I don't think so. If you mean the Byzantine rite and the spirituality that went with this, then it arrived in many different cultures and was able to adapt. This was only 'eastern' in the sense that it was east of central Europe.

But of course in recent centuries the Byzantine rite & spirituality has moved all around the world- wherever Orthodoxy has taken root. So again there is an adaptability to this shape of the Liturgy and spirituality which shouldn't be overlooked. To say it the other way around though- it's often assumed that local variants of the services and spirituality would be more relevant to us than something so culturally foreign as the Byzantine. What's overlooked in this however is how culturally exclusive these local variants have become. Thus- to take just one little example- I may have grown up with and felt very comfortable with a post 60s brand of Quebec Roman Catholicism. However this type of Christian liturgy and way of life was unique to the time and place. Meanwhile my next door neighbour may have grown up in the United church of Canada in the 1980s. That too was unique to time and place. What then if we all converted to Orthodoxy could we take on of this past experience that would really unite rather than divide us? So what at first sight may appear local and thus worth looking at could easily end up being something very damaging.

Byzantine spirituality and liturgics combines a number of crucial elements: it is interior & charitable, sober & vigilant, discerning and idealistic, self sacrificing and giving, adapting to the local but keeping the cosmic in mind. It represents something different from our modern experience so that conversion is necessary to grasp it but at the same time it has the ability to transfigure present reality in whatever shape it is.

In my time I have heard the Liturgy: in English in a modern mission Canadian setting, modest and with obvious Russian influences; in settings in western Canada where the Slavonic was sung with a Ukrainian accent and afterwards the absolutely necessary common meal took place in the parish hall (sometimes in the church itself if there was no hall); in English settings where you could hear the Evangelical influence (or alternatively the Carpatho Russian influence); and in Russian settings with 500 parishioners attending and stunning Russian choir. All this variety but one rite and basic over all spirituality that binds us together in Christ.

In Christ- Fr Raphael

#42 Antonios

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 04:21 PM

The Massacre of the Latins and the sacking of Constantinople were such sad events. Lord have mercy on us.

Edited by Antonios, 03 October 2010 - 05:08 PM.


#43 Guillermo M.L.

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 05:16 PM

Thanks Herman, Kosta, Antonios and all the others for your answers and comments. I'm learning very much from these forums. It is hard to find so many knowledgeable people in one place.

#44 Georgia P.

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 05:39 PM

The Massacre of the Latins and the sacking of Constantinople were such sad events. Lord have mercy on us.


They were and I agree but each event was unrelated to each other? If we look into history the Massacre did indeed happen after the Byzantines were cornered into this... It was in a way in a self defense. The Sacking of Constantinopel did not have to take place but sadly it did. It is like compairing a defensive war to that of offensive IMHO but I am open to other points of view here. As a student of Byzantine History I fail to see how pilling up these two events together we do service to history.

#45 Guillermo M.L.

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 09:48 PM

If we look into history the Massacre did indeed happen after the Byzantines were cornered into this...


Well, actually it was the other way round. The Massacre of the Latins happened in 1182, the Sack of Constantinople in 1204.

I think the number of victims in each event are different, but the ungodly killing frenzy was the same. Lord have mercy on us.

#46 Matthew Thrift

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 10:19 PM

I think what Guillermo was getting at (which some of you have sort of answered but I think more could be said) is this:

If the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is of such a nature as Orthodox say it is, with all of the symbolism and theological meaning wrapped up in it, etc., are the other authorized Orthodox liturgies that don't contain the same elements, movements, etc., (to which all of these things are attached) somehow lacking or impoverished? And what does that say of the Orthodox liturgies prior to that of Chrysostom, particularly in the West?

You asked the question yourself Herman, can these other liturgies "accomplish" what the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom "accomplishes"? If it's the wording, and the movements, and the actions of the St. John Chrysostom Liturgy that communicates these truths, then how can any liturgy of differing verbiage, movements and actions compare?

#47 Michael C.

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 10:28 PM

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.


Why wouldn't Greece be proud of a Christian Empire? And, you should know that it was the same Empire in the West before the Goths, Vandals, Arabs and Franks took over.

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.


This law was also used in the east; codified by St. Justinian.

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.


Western Romans, Eastern Romans...the people in Italy of the first few centuries were similar to the Easterners. It was later that their thinking went from Roman to Frankish...

http://www.romanity.org/cont.htm

A quick search on google yielded this. Constantine is an eastern and a western saint. Also there are many Uniate churches throughout the east in honor of Sts. Constantine and Helen.
http://www.catholic....p?saint_id=2731

#48 Guillermo M.L.

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 11:06 PM

Why wouldn't Greece be proud of a Christian Empire? And, you should know that it was the same Empire in the West before the Goths, Vandals, Arabs and Franks took over.


Well, for example, Italians today are proud of the Roman Empire, but French or Spanish are not; it is indifferent to them, as they see it as an empire set up by foreigners, even though it was Christian. Greeks, on the other way, see the Roman Empire as theirs, such as Italians do, because at some time in history they took the reins of it.


This law was also used in the east; codified by St. Justinian.


Is emperor Justinian a saint too?

Western Romans, Eastern Romans...the people in Italy of the first few centuries were similar to the Easterners. It was later that their thinking went from Roman to Frankish...


I will have to research more on that, on until what extent can the Franks be given credit for the evolution of Latin thought. Even though, to give an example, the papal primacy claims (however founded or unfounded we may consider them) started before the Frankish period. Many of the "heresies" that Easterners like to blame on the Westerners were not brought by foreigners, but had origins in the Early Church.

A quick search on google yielded this. Constantine is an eastern and a western saint. Also there are many Uniate churches throughout the east in honor of Sts. Constantine and Helen.


Well, you may have a point on that one. He is revered as a saint through the Uniate churches, but that should be considered Eastern, but I think that he is not revered in the Latin church. He may be on the list of saints (I don't know if the Roman one), but any devotion to him, if existing, is very much hidden. I think his case is similar to St. Photius, who is revered in the Uniate churches, but not in the Latin church, because he stood up against Rome. St. Helen, on the other hand, is very much remembered and prayed for.

#49 Michael C.

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 03:26 AM

Well, for example, Italians today are proud of the Roman Empire, but French or Spanish are not; it is indifferent to them, as they see it as an empire set up by foreigners, even though it was Christian. Greeks, on the other way, see the Roman Empire as theirs, such as Italians do, because at some time in history they took the reins of it.


But the people who took the reigns of the Roman Empire in Constantinople weren't Greek. Constantine offered incentives to lure many aristocrats to Constantinople from Rome.

Look at the sources and this article: http://www.oodegr.co...st_alithia1.htm

Is emperor Justinian a saint too?


Yes. There's a really good book about that by Fr. Asterios Gerostergios, Justinian the Great, Emperor and Saint. This is from a wall painting at a church in Ravenna: http://upload.wikime..._in_Ravenna.jpg

I will have to research more on that, on until what extent can the Franks be given credit for the evolution of Latin thought. Even though, to give an example, the papal primacy claims (however founded or unfounded we may consider them) started before the Frankish period. Many of the "heresies" that Easterners like to blame on the Westerners were not brought by foreigners, but had origins in the Early Church.

Of course. We've always believed in the primacy of the bishop of Rome. But it was a primacy of honor, not a primacy over all other bishops and over the entire Church and infallibility, etc.

Well, you may have a point on that one. He is revered as a saint through the Uniate churches, but that should be considered Eastern, but I think that he is not revered in the Latin church. He may be on the list of saints (I don't know if the Roman one), but any devotion to him, if existing, is very much hidden. I think his case is similar to St. Photius, who is revered in the Uniate churches, but not in the Latin church, because he stood up against Rome. St. Helen, on the other hand, is very much remembered and prayed for.


At one time, it was both Constantine and Helen.

#50 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 12:03 PM

Many of the "heresies" that Easterners like to blame on the Westerners were not brought by foreigners, but had origins in the Early Church.

Not really sure what you are saying here. ALL heresy, by definition, originates "in the Church" (early, late, or punctual), because it is not a "heresy" until somebody, IN THE CHURCH, chooses (from αἱρέομαι--haireomai, “choose”) to teach something that the Church does not actually believe. Heresies came from several sources. Several of those heresies were combatted through the efforts of the Patriarch of Rome, to God be the glory. Some Popes stopped heresies, others started them, like, say, Honorius I. Other heresies were stopped by the efforts of other Patriarchs like St. Athanasius of Alexandria, and some who were not patriarchs, like St. Nicholas and St. Gregory of Palamas.

With that in mind, it is OK to say that Roman concepts like "infallibility" and the "immaculate conception" are not technically heresies since they have never really gained traction within the Orthodox Church, but they would become heresies in the event of any "union" that did not specifically denounce them as false teachings--that is to say, they would have to be declared as heretical by the Roman Church before any "honest" union would be possible.

What was the original question? O bother.

Herman the Pooh, late to his nap

#51 Georgia P.

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 12:54 PM

Well, actually it was the other way round. The Massacre of the Latins happened in 1182, the Sack of Constantinople in 1204.

I think the number of victims in each event are different, but the ungodly killing frenzy was the same. Lord have mercy on us.

I was not sure about the dates I admit that. I looked it up in the "History of the Byzantine state" and the dates are correct. Still the circumstances that took place had not too much to do with religion but economics and commerce. Not that is an excuse for a massacre but still the Byzantines did not kill them all under the banner of Christianity. The West had "chocked" the commerce of the East in Constantinople if one takes some time to review that part of history. On the other hand the Crusades if what it was claimed was only a Holy War hardly justifies the sacking of Constantinople. Thus my reasoning we are compairing apples and oranges here. I just want to make sure that the events do not "equal" out here and I insist that both are not of the same value.




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