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#1 Richard Leigh

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Posted 19 October 2003 - 09:47 PM

Dear Richard, and anyone else,

I have a few questionons about the list you posted. Is it true that you (Orhtodox) hold to the Immaculate Conseption without being explicit about it? Does anyone know of a list of this sort the Orthodox have for RC's coming into the Church?
Does anyone know where I might find such a Catholic list for Lutherans coming into the RC? And finally, what about an Orthodox list for Lutherans coming into the Orthodox Church?

Then, I'd like to say, FWIW, Lutherans are officially with what this list says Orthodoxy is on points 1, 2, 3, & 6. We likewise (?) reject (as you might easily guess) Immaculate Conception (explicitly and implicitly). We are with THEM on when the change regarding the Holy Gifts occurs, but we reject "change" language, because we reject any idea that bread and wine aren't still also present. Thus, we oppose "transsubtantiation" in any Aristotelian understanding of the material (sic) universe.

I appreciated the list, thanks Richard,

Yours,

Richard L.


#2 Fr Averky

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Posted 19 October 2003 - 11:43 PM

Dear Richard,

The only well-know Orthodox person who has stated that the dogma of the "Immaculate Conception" is held by some Orthodox Christians, is Bishop Kallistos Ware, who shows less and less inclination to keep to Traditional Orthodox thought as time goes by.

I was taught that we do not accept the Immaculate Conception because its entire premise is an error, insofar as we do not believe in Original Sin as do the Latins.

A good list for Orthodox to ask a Roman Catholic to renounce would be the very list that that Catholic bishop mentioned and then some.

As far as the Divine Eucharist-we believe the bread and wine remain so in appearance, but they in fact are the Body and Blood of Christ. In the life of St. John of Kronstadt, it is realted that once while he was serving the Divine Liturgy-just before communion he looked into the chalice and saw actual flesh. A similar occurence took place in the Holy Land not too long ago. It is a great Mystery, one into which we dare not delve.

With the love of Christ,

Fr. A.


#3 Fr Averky

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Posted 19 October 2003 - 11:54 PM

Dear Richard Leigh,

I have a question, also not for arguement's sake:

The Orthodox Church believes that the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ during the epiclesis, the invocation of the Holy Spirit on the Gifts. This liturgical spiritual action can only be accomplished by a priest who has been rightly ordained and thus has been given the particular Grace to do so.

Now, if Martin Luther abolished Holy Orders as a sacrament, and therefore there is no Apostolic episcopacy, and thus no real ordinations in the sense of being a sacrament, by what means do the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ? This is something I have wondered about for years.

Can you help me understand this please?

Respectfully yours,

Fr.A.


#4 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 20 October 2003 - 12:27 AM

The only well-know Orthodox person who has stated that the dogma of the "Immaculate Conception" is held by some Orthodox Christians, is Bishop Kallistos Ware, who shows less and less inclination to keep to Traditional Orthodox thought as time goes by.


Father bless,

I do not believe this is a correct statement. Bishop Kallistos has been misquoted on more than one occasion by the Catholics. I do have evidence from an Orthodox Christian who IS, for some reason, very attached to the idea of the IC. But his website actually quotes Bishop Kallistos as AGAINST the idea. The website reports that the bishop responded to this young man's inquiry as to the Orthodox position thus:

In sharing my thoughts with Greek Orthodox Bishop Kallistos Ware, he informed me by letter that he "personally does not believe the doctrine as it changes all of history of mankind".

The "quotes" by those who claim that he supports the ordination of women are also very overstated and out of context. Being a simple person, I prefer to simply take him at his word. He does NOT support either the ordination of women or the teaching of the immaculate conception as far as I know.

And to Richard:

I have a few questionons about the list you posted. Is it true that you (Orhtodox) hold to the Immaculate Conseption without being explicit about it? Does anyone know of a list of this sort the Orthodox have for RC's coming into the Church?


Not true. It takes a Jesuitical logic to twist anything the Orthodox teach into being even favorable to the idea of IC. Orthodoxy holds that such a teaching flies in the face of Orthodox theology. The Theotokos was no more immaculately conceived than you or I were. One Church Father went so far as to say that whatever part of humanity that Christ did not assume was NOT REDEEMED. If Christ came from a mother without sin, then He did not assume our sins for us. Or something like that. I know that I am not explaining it well, but I hope you get the idea, but the idea of the IC basically stand Orthodox theology on its head, regardless of what some misguided Orthodox and agenda-driven Catholics seem to say.

Or so it seems to this simple mind.

Herman the simple

#5 Richard Leigh

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Posted 20 October 2003 - 12:52 AM

Dear Father Averky and Herman,

Thank you for your information on the IC. I didn't think it was Orthodox teaching and precisely for the reason that it is only logically "required" if in fact death is the result of sin, and the Blessed Virgin ascended alive into Heaven. I already understand that Orthodox teaching is that sin results from fear of death, but also that the Theotikos "fell asleep."

Yours,

Richard


#6 M. Rallis

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Posted 20 October 2003 - 12:58 AM

Dear Richard McBride:

I wonder if a reasonable addition to your list would be the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit which is implicit in labeling the Orthodox as being “schismatic”? Of course, since your list is comprised of the differences in their “own words”, I guess I’ve answered my own question.




#7 Richard Leigh

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Posted 20 October 2003 - 01:15 AM

Dear Father Averky,

Father bless.

Now, if Martin Luther abolished Holy Orders as a sacrament, and therefore there is no Apostolic episcopacy, and thus no real ordinations in the sense of being a sacrament, by what means do the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ?


What Luther abolished was not Holy Orders as a Sacrament but the Mass thought of in terms of a repetition of Christ's sacrifice on the cross offered to merit forgiveness of sins and the guilt of sin. Or, in a word "priestcraft" which bound the consciences of the people.

He did deny that "anything is given at the laying on of hands", but he had a high regard for the office of the ministry, without which the church could not do, if only for the sake of order. Specifically though, we are taught that the church (generically speaking) exists where the word (in Law and Gospel) is preached and the sacraments (i.e., Holy Baptism and Holy Communion) are administered rightly. This presupposes a congregation of hearers and partakers, and the "true" church consists then, along with the preaching and administration, but the hearing with faith. So, there has to be a priest or pastor.

I won't belabor this here any more, but get to your real question. We say, with our Latin forebearers that it is the Word that makes the sacrament what it is, and the Verbum ("This is My Body, This is My Blood) pronounced by Jesus is what makes the sacrament what it is. We are to hear the pastor as Jesus Himself.

The Authority for the pastor to be the pastor is vested in the congregation, and Luther taught that "the Pastor is Bishop of the church he pastors"). We consider, technically, anything else a man-made arrangement, which will have God's blessing because (a) He has not forbidden it and (b) order is necessary for getting things done. Thus, in any denominational sense, it is the church's right and duty to determine how best to get the work done, and having so decided to do so. The bare bones of what God requires, we say, is the ministry and congregation.

Thus, we believe that our members recieve the true body and blood of Christ to their forgiveness when they believe the words "given and shed for you for your forgiveness," and to their spiritual heart if they partake not believing.

So, there it is, and, thanks for asking!

Richard

P.s., Melanchthon even said in the Aopology to the Augsburg Confession that we are willing to accept ordination as a sacrament when understood in terms of the duty to preach and administer the sacaraments. --RL

#8 Fr Averky

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Posted 20 October 2003 - 01:44 AM

Dear Herman,

Look at a recent edition of "The Orthodox Church," compare it with an earlier edition, and you will see changes. Bishop Kallistos only recently stated that he has come to believe that the ordination of women is an "open question." It very much struck me when I read his remarks concerning the IC.

Many years ago, I showed a print of a famous icon to the iconographer Archbishop Alypy. When I asked him if he liked it, he said, "No, it actually is a very poor icon." When I protested that this icon had been printed by hundreds of publishers over the years, Vladika replied "So, it simply means that all these publishers chose to print an inferior icon over and over again." So it can be with some opinions-because it has been given, it does not mean that it is true or wise...

As with so many converts, The Orthodox Church was my introduction to the Church. Many monastics I know tell me that they only recommend earlier editions. As with my statements concerning publications of the St. Herman Brotherhood, I trust only recognized Fathers, and that happens to be my own personal preference. I will tell you that we no longer carry The Orthodox Church in our book store. This started only after the most recent edition.

In Christ,
Fr. A.


#9 Fr Averky

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Posted 20 October 2003 - 01:51 AM

Herman,

In regards to Bishop Kallistos' statement concerning ordination of women, a link was posted on Monachos in which an interview with the bishop is printed out. Thus, the statement I just made came from his words in the interview. I do not mean to offend the good bishop, for he is very respectful and helpful to our Church, in which he began his Orthodox life.

I am sorry, for I did not intend to start an arguement, or to defame a bishop of the Church.

Fr. A.


#10 Guest_Catholic

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Posted 20 October 2003 - 02:18 AM

Greetings all.
In regard to the list: the Roman Catholic Church does not, to my knowledge, refer to the Orthodox Church as 'schismatic' but rather recognizes it fully.
Also, I am not sure who these CMRI people are: I believe they're a 'splinter' group although it is confusing to try to look them up. At any rate, just for your information, these people may not even be in communion with Rome and therefore - if this is so - then this isn't a bishop.
In His love,
Catholic


#11 Richard McBride

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Posted 20 October 2003 - 02:50 AM

monochos: Orthodoxy & Catholicism

It is good that Catholic pointed out CMRI's shaky position.

CMRI stands for "Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen"

The following comes from their web page, entitled:
The History of CMRI http://www.cmri.org/history.htm
"This Congregation began in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in 1967, as an association of lay Brothers and Sisters devoted to spreading the message of Our Lady of Fatima. The Congregation held its first General Chapter in July, 1986, at Mount St. Michael in Spokane, Washington. During this meeting, CMRI established its Rule and Constitutions. In the same year, the Rule was approved by Bishop Robert McKenna, O.P., whose episcopal lineage can be traced back to Archbishop Pierre Martin Ngo-dinh-Thuc. (Archbishop Thuc received extraordinary patriarchal powers from Pope Pius XI on March 15, 1938. By means of these faculties, he could legitimately consecrate bishops without the usual mandate from Rome. These faculties were renewed on December 8, 1939, by Pope Pius XII and were never rescinded.)"

Thus, they admit that they are one of the many many groups among world religions which seek some degree of legitimacy from some accepted source, but that they act entirely independently from that source.
We face these problems in the Orthodox pale; so everyone should understand that the list I posted at the head of this thread should NOT be taken as a list established by the Vatican. That was what I read into it, and I see it was wrong.
Again, thanks to Catholic for pointing this out.
richard mcb



#12 Fr Averky

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Posted 20 October 2003 - 03:03 AM

My dear Catholicc
and Richard McBride,

Thank you for you words and subsequent clarification. I believe that I stumbled on C.M.R.I's site once, and saw that they are one of theTradionalist hold-outs, sadly doomed to failure.

I would be far more interesed in how it came about that a former Orthodox bishop would fall into such delusion. He has lost his episcopacy, his priesthood, and will be judged as a fallen away monk. Poor man!

Fr. A.




#13 Guest_Catholic

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Posted 20 October 2003 - 03:13 AM

Mr. McBride:
I say this only for clarification and not to promote this as a discussion topic, but I did go to the link you gave here and the important part is that these people (as stated in their 'theological position' statement on the site) say that the teachings of the Second Vatican Council are heretical AND state that in their view, the "New Mass" (Novus Ordo) is INVALID. These two postitions define this group to be separated from the Roman Catholic Church indeed. Thanks for pointing out the correct link.
When one becomes a Roman Catholic there's no list regarding one's former faith that one is to 'renounce,' but rather, one simply affirms in the ceremony of baptism or profession of faith (if already validly baptized) that one affirms ALL that the Roman Catholic Church teaches.
So, as you say, no, there's no 'list' such as this, although I suppose in one's studies one might find it helpful to make up a list as necessary for studying and reflection.
In His love,
Catholic


#14 Guest_Catholic

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Posted 20 October 2003 - 03:17 AM

Father, Bless!
I was writing my post at the same time you wrote yours and so missed your post till this moment.
I also recall reading on some other discussion board (when someone posted the link of the conversion of this individual) that this conversion did not occur in fact ... don't ask me how nor why, as I simply cannot recall the details... but suffice it to say that the Orthodox bishop in question may indeed still be Orthodox!
And now, back to ... whatever it was y'all were discussing ...
In His love,
Catholic


#15 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 20 October 2003 - 05:55 AM

A Roman Catholic explanation of the schism of 1054 can be found at : http://www.newadvent...then/13535a.htm


This is the last paragraph of this interesting paper.

"There is not really any question of doctrine involved. It is not a heresy, but a schism. The Decree of Florence made every possible concession to their feelings. There is no real reason why they should not sign that Decree now. They deny papal infallibility and the Immaculate Conception, they quarrel over purgatory, consecration by the words of institution, the procession of the Holy Ghost, in each case misrepresenting the dogma to which they object. It is not difficult to show that on all these points their own Fathers are with those of the Latin Church, which asks them only to return to the old teaching of their own Church.
That is the right attitude towards the Orthodox always. They have a horror of being latinized, of betraying the old Faith. One must always insist that there is no idea of latinizing them, that the old Faith is not incompatible with, but rather demands union with the chief see which their Fathers obeyed. In canon law they have nothing to change except such abuses as the sale of bishoprics and the Erastianism that their own better theologians deplore. Celibacy, azyme bread, and so on are Latin customs that no one thinks of forcing on them. They need not add the Filioque to the Creed; they will always keep their venerable rite untouched. Not a bishop need be moved, hardly a feast (except that of St. Photius on 6 Feb.) altered. All that is asked of them is to come back to where their Fathers stood, to treat Rome as Athanasius, Basil, Chrysostom treated her. It is not Latins, it is they who have left the Faith of their Fathers. There is no humiliation in retracing one's steps when one has wandered down a mistaken road because of long-forgotten personal quarrels. They too must see how disastrous to the common cause is the scandal of the division. They too must wish to put an end to so crying an evil. And if they really wish it the way need not be difficult. For, indeed, after nine centuries of schism we may realize on both sides that it is not only the greatest it is also the most superfluous evil in Christendom. "

The Orthodox viewpoint concerning "the immaculate conception" : I didn't file the link - sorry!

"The doctrine of the place and person of the Virgin Mary in the Church is called "mariology." Both Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism believe she is "Mother of God" (Theotokos, Deipare) and "the Ever-Virgin Mary."

However, the Orthodox reject the Roman Catholic "dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary," which was defined as "of the faith" by Pope Pius IX, on the 8th of December 1854. This dogma holds that from the first instant of her conception, the Blessed Virgin Mary was, by a most singular grace and privilege of Almighty God, and in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of the human race, preserved from all stain of Original Sin. It is a doctrine revealed by God, and therefore to be firmly and steadfastly believed by all the faithful (from the Bull Ineffabilis Deus).
Such a theory has no basis in the Scriptures nor the Fathers. It contains many ideas (such as "the merits of Christ") likewise without apostolic foundation. The idea that the Lord and His Saints produced more grace than necessary. This excess may be applied to others, even those in purgatory (see below).

But to return: the Church does not accept the idea that the Mother of God was born with the (inherited) guilt of Adam; no one is. She did, however, inherit the mortality which comes to all on account of Adam's Fall.

Therefore, there is no need to do what Latin theologians have done. There is no reason to invent a theory to support the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. There is no need to teach that, on account of "the merits of Christ," the Holy Spirit was able to prevent her from inheriting the guilt of Adam.

In fact, she was born like every other human being. The Holy Spirit prepared the Virgin Mary for her role as the Mother of God. She was filled with the Uncreated Energy of the Holy Spirit of God in order that she might be a worthy vessel for the birth of Christ. Nevertheless, several of the Fathers observed that before the Resurrection of her Son, she had sinned. St. John Chrysostom mentions the Wedding at Cana where she presumed to instruct Him (John 2:3-4). Here was proof of her mortality.
Receiving the Holy Spirit once more at Pentecost, she was able to die without sin. Because of her special role in the Divine Plan ("economy" or "dispensation"), she was taken into the heavens, body and soul. She now sits at the foot of her Son, making intercession for all those who implore her mercy. The Orthodox Church honors the miracle of her "assumption" with a feast on 15 August; likewise, the followers of the Pope.
Both also believe in the intercessions of the Virgin Mary and all the Saints. Such intercessions reflect the unity of the Church in heaven and the Church on earth.
Both also believe that there is a sense in which the Mother of God is the Church. The Church is the Body of Christ. Those who belong to the Church are identified with Him. But He is also our "brother" (Rom. 8:29). If Christ is our brother, then, the Virgin Mary is our mother. But the Church is our mother through Baptism. Therefore, the Virgin Mary is the Church. "

Effie




#16 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 20 October 2003 - 06:09 AM

The Catholic Encyclopedia site : http://www.newadvent.org/

At the moment I'm reading their explanation of what the Greek Orthodox church is.

http://www.newadvent...then/06752a.htm

Roman Catholics apparently call it the Greek Church - without the Orthodox. Very enlightening as regards the way the Roman Catholics view churches other than their own.

It's sad that the views in this encyclopedia, which presumably are official and are read by men studying to become Roman Catholic priests, should be so negative. It would be so easy to list the negative aspects of the Roman Catholic faith but it would be unseemly on our part.

Effie





#17 Fr Averky

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Posted 20 October 2003 - 06:55 AM

Dear Catholic,

Sorry, but your last post left me totally confused...could you try again?

In our Saviour,

Fr. A.


#18 M A Jackson-Roberts

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Posted 20 October 2003 - 09:55 AM

Dear Richard L:

from my recollection of being "received" as an adult convert from the Church of England to the RC church, there was no list as such, but rather three months of instruction based on the catechism. Here is a link for the RC catechism, BTW.


CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION FIDEI DEPOSITUM

www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/ccc.html

the seeker


#19 M.C. Steenberg

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Posted 20 October 2003 - 11:19 AM

Dear all,

Regarding the Immaculate Conception: I think perhaps it would do us some good not to be quite so swift in simply stating flat-out, end-of-statement, that the Roman Catholic doctrine of the 'Immaculate Conception' and the Orthodox understanding of the conception of the Mother of God are entirely and in every way opposed. As with so many other statements and issues, what we find here is that there are deeply important aspects behind the RC doctrine with which we Orthodox cannot agree; yet there are also many with which we do.

Let me try to indicate a few on each side. First we may discuss those points against: (1) The RC doctrine of the Immaculate Conception presupposes a view of 'original sin' as centred in imputed sinfulness and guilt which, as it is stated in RC dogma, the Orthodox reject. It is because all human persons are born with this 'congenital defect' that the Virgin's lifelong purity must, according to RC doctrine, be effected by a conception which frees her from this defect. This is the chief and fundamental point of doctrinal divergence between Orthodox and RC on the matter. (2) The immaculate birth of the Mother of God, as proclaimed by the RC doctrine of Immaculate Conception, poses for the Orthodox an unacceptable change and contradistinction between her nature and that of the rest of humanity. She is no longer 'like me' in the sense that Orthodox theology has always proclaimed and required, and the alteration of such a view cannot be meshed with the larger doctrines of soteriology and christology which are built upon the nature of the birth of Christ and His mother. (3) The belief that sinlessness and absolute purity of life require a fundamental change in the nature of the human person, such as is represented in Mary's person according to the RC doctrine of Immaculate Conception, is to some degree at odds with the Orthodox ascetical proclamation of transformation and divinisation. The nature which one day shall be perfect and the nature which this day wallows in sin are, for Orthodox, one and the same. It is purification, not alteration, that is the focus of Christian salvation, and the RC doctrine of Immaculate Conception presents, if only nascently, a conflict with this understanding.

Nonetheless, there are points of similarity: (1) Many Fathers of the undivided Church proclaim without equivocation the view that the Mother of God was 'protected from sin' from 'before her birth', specifically so that she might be pure in her life and thus purely bear the Pure One. We might give reference to Jacob of Serug, Germanos of Constantinople, Ephrem of Syria, among others. These are not simply proclamations that the holy Virgin lived a pure life free from sin, but that God protected and prevented her from sin from the moment of her own birth. (2) Some Orthodox Fathers also proclaim that it was impossible for the Mother of God to sin, for this was not in her nature. Again, these are not suggestions that she simply didn't sin, but that she couldn't sin. Jacob and Germanos stand out particularly in this regard.

The above is not meant to suggest that our two churches in the end teach one and the same thing. I am unequivocally of the view that the RC doctrine of Immaculate Conception destroys something of fundamental value in the person of the holy Virgin, and simply cannot be squared with Orthodox thought. But we ought also to understand that the pure life of Mary which the RC doctrine is an attempt to safeguard, is one which has been the object of considerable Orthodox reflection as well -- often to the employment of strikingly similar language. There are aspects of the doctrine of Immaculate Conception which are and should be held by Orthodox. But, as with so much else in Orthodox thought, it is the question of wholeness, completeness and fullness that warrants its rejection. The doctrine of Immaculate Conception presents some truths regarding the person of Mary, but not the full truth. In fact, we would say, it distorts that which it does not rightly proclaim in such a manner that even its right proclamations become challenged and suspect.

But when such individuals as Bishop Kallistos (Ware) suggest that some Orthodox hold to the view of the Immaculate Conception, perhaps we should consider that he does not mean an adherence to the Roman Catholic doctrine, but to the more fundamental issue of Mary's holy birth and sinless life -- which the Orthodox feasts of the Nativity of the Mother of God and the Presentation at the Temple clearly proclaim. I have not discussed this matter personally with him, but I have a suspicion that his remarks might be meant as a balance to overstatements to the opposite extreme. It is a situation akin to the rampant proclamations that Orthodoxy 'has no doctrine of original sin'. This is of course a nonsensical statement. The Orthodox Church has a very definite and pronounced understanding of original sin, it is simply not the same understanding as that held by Roman Catholics. So with the Mother of God, the Orthodox Church has a very pronounced belief in the sinlesness and purity of her person, even in the holiness and sanctity of her conception (which marks one of our great feasts), but we do not hold the same understanding as the RCC.

INXC, Matthew


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Posted 20 October 2003 - 01:07 PM

Thank you Matthew for the above on the IC which I'll be interested to read when I've time.
At the moment, I wanted to say to Fr. Averky that I meant to say that according to some people's posts on antother board, they seemed to be saying that this Orthodox bishop didn't convert as it appeared - and so there's the possiblility that he is still Orthodox. I can see why you were confused, since I don't recall precisely what was said, just that there was some doubt about the veracity of the report of the conversion. Whether they simply meant the conversion was not 'valid' (since these CMRI people are not really part of the RCC any more due to their views) or whether it never really happened or whether he re-embraced Orthodoxy - this I don't know. I just had a dim memory of this conversion having been discussed but I couldn't recall exactly what was said, which is why I said in my above post 'don't ask me for the details as I do not recall' ... hope that is clear. (It's clear that I don't know what happened - only that some people were talking about it!)






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