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#21 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 20 October 2003 - 02:35 PM

Father Bless,

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.


The Bishop's comments have since been clarified. By "open question" he has further stated that, he is not attacking or questioning the Orthodox teaching, he is simply pointing out that, in his opinion, the Orthodox could do a better job in responding to WHY we hold this teaching, rather than to only say this is what we teach and don't question it. I understand him to be saying that when we ARE questioned, it would be nice to have a well-thought-out response, beyond words to the effect of "we don't do it and we won't do it and that's that" sort of thing. If he meant something other, or more, than that originally, I suspect he has been brought to heel on the subject.

Herman the simple

#22 Guest_Ken H

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 04:27 PM

Just a thought. New Advent is probably not a good source for contemporary ecumenical ideas. I believe what is posted there is the 1911 Catholic Encyclopedia. It is certainly dated, for example, in issues of canon law. I suspect it is not representative of RC ecumenical thinking now either. Has anybody seen a quote from the Catechism as to the RC position vis a vis Orthodoxy?


#23 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 07:48 AM

Ken, this was the site that appeared to be the most official of all those that I found.

I wasn’t aware that the information on it was outdated. The site itself is supposed to be one of the best concerning information about the Roman Catholic church. If one of the Roman Catholic members has a link to a site that has more recent information and would like to post the link, I would really appreciate it.

Effie




#24 Guest_John Cowan

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Posted 30 October 2003 - 04:24 AM

The Catechism of the Catholic Church can be found at http://www.christusr...1/CDHN/ccc.html . The relevant section on post-1960 views of the Orthodox Churches can be found in section 838 (go to http://www.christusr...3.html#CATHOLIC and scroll down to 838):

838 [...] With the Orthodox Churches, this communion is so profound "that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord's Eucharist."[324]

Footnote 324 refers to Pope Paul VI's discourse of 14 December 1975.



#25 Guest_Adam

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Posted 30 October 2003 - 09:46 AM

Glory to the Lord! My Dear All! I write on the forum very rarely, there are many reasons, but the most important is lackness of time. But I read your posts almost every day. I am a RC priest living in Poland, I have read many things about Orthodoxy and have some icons at home, pray before them and pray on the "chotki". But I have a lot of doubts. Sometimes I am sure that Orthodoxy is the one true Christianity. Otherwise I feel like someone who traits his own religion and have a bad counsciense. Please pray for me . May Our Lord let me see where the Truth is and give to my troubled heart a little peace.
I have a question: is it possible and useful for someone who is not Orthodox formally to pray before Holy Icons and use "chotki" by Jesus Prayer? It is possible to find for myself to find an Orthodox Spiritual Father being RC? Despite of my all sympathy, even love to Orthodoxy, I am not prepaered for changing religion...I ask your prayer.
Fr Adam , sinner


#26 Richard McBride

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Posted 30 October 2003 - 09:01 PM

Dear Father Adam

I have often thought about you, since you mentioned your dilemma some time ago.

I pray for you daily, but I have done that only as one on my list of presbyters and priests for whom I pray. Now that I understand your dilemma has not been solved, I shall make the special effort I failed to make earlier. Forgive me, Father, for my lazyness.

I think it would be good to pray to Saint Seraphim of Sarov to intercede for you. I shall do that.

And I'm sure that you already pray arduously to the Most Holy Mother of God, the Theotokos. But I too shall ask fervently, her help for you.

As I said in my last message to you, You are in considerable danger, Father Adam, because you are of two minds concerning this problem. I am truly saddened that you suffer in this way.

"Oh Lord, Who healest every malady and every infirmity,
Look us thy children in all the ways we go astray."

richard mcbride

PS
While Father Averky is thinking about your Saint Francis question, Archbishop Constantin has said that for Orthodox, the problems of Saint Francis are not our problems.
And while you ask of specific comments made by Father Averky, please let me intrude one small note of speculation which has come to my attention.

I imagine you know well of the appearances at Medjugorje. I have written the Roman archbishop of this diocese (Texas) and other RC prelates, asking about these appearances, but no one will respond. So all I know is that the Franciscans are the ones who have sponsored those appearances. I also know that in the beginning (some 12 or 15 years ago?) the RC bishop of that Yugoslavian area refused to accept the apparitions. Then he retired, or died. The next bishop did accept them, but I understand that the Pope held off in accepting them. So, it seems no one who may know is saying anything. Nevertheless, this fits in with the Franciscan reputation for double dealing. Their reputation among non-RC's is worse than was the reputation of the Society of Jesus (who, by the way, are the ones who first set the tone in the Americas for mistreating the Indians, and where Archbishop Constantin must now deal with its aftereffects).
So, while you, Father Adam, are concerned for Saint Francis, I think the greater problem may be in what the Franciscans have done with his order since that time.

I pray for God's blessing to help you in your calling.

r mcb



#27 Fr Averky

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 09:49 AM

Dear Father Adam,

God bless you in your struggles. It is very difficult to be, as Dr. McBride says, torn from both sides. I was a Roman Catholic seminarian, and the more I read, the more convinced I became that if I wanted truly to be Catholic, I would have to become Orthodox.

As you may know, life for Orthosox Christians is very difficult in Catholic Poland, and in the past they suffered greatly. I have not heard anything for awhile, so perhaps it is better now. As to praying before icons, of course you can, the most revered obraz of the Mother of God is the Czenstohova icon of the Virgin, the Queen of Poland. As to the Jesus Prayer and using chotki, since you are a priest, I think you could use it, but with great caution and not for very long each day. Every person should say the Jesus Prayer with caution. Professor McBride, forgive me, in my illness, I forgot what I was supposed to be thinking about in regards to Francis of Assisi-could you please remind me?

Fr. Adam, pray with all your heart to God to show you the way.I am sure I can speak for all the Orthodox members of Monachos that we will be praying for you.

With love and prayers
in Christ,

hieromonk Averky


#28 Guest_Crispin Pemberton

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Posted 18 November 2003 - 09:11 AM

Please excuse my ignorance - what is chotki?


#29 Guest_Trudy Ellmore

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Posted 18 November 2003 - 11:52 PM

Dear Hieromonk Averky:

Why ought a person say the Jesus Prayer with caution and not for very long each day? I was under the impression one ought to say it as often as it comes to mind through out the day.

Please help me understand in my ignorance. I am fairly new in the investigation into Orthodoxy.

With your blessing, I remain,
Trudy (A humble inquirer)


#30 Moses Anthony

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Posted 19 November 2003 - 09:08 PM

Dear Crispin,
For those who are so inclined, there's an aide to be used in saying the Jesus Prayer, the prayer rope! They can be of varying lengths, designs, and materials. Traditionally they're made of wool. Usual lengths are 33, 50, and 100 knots. They can be made with or without a cross and tassle, or a red bead over the first knot above the cross, and another half-way through the number of beads. At the red beads is said(or not), "Most holy Theotokos save us". The more elaborate prayer ropes are usually for Bishops.
The Russian name for a 'prayer rope' is chotki. The Greek name is komboskinia.
Hope my answer isn't an information overload for you!

the sinful and unworthy servant


#31 Guest_Janice Chadwick

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Posted 20 November 2003 - 12:04 AM

Trudy, there is more than one way of doing the Jesus Prayer. There is the way that Jemes is talking about, and then there is a more involved way where breathing techniques and body positions are used. The second way should definitely not be done without the supervision of your priest/spiritual father. From what I understand, many people have gotten into trouble doing the second without supervision. Even if you are doing it the first way, you should talk to your priest/spiritual father (which, for most of us is the same person), and let him instruct you how it's to be done and how many repetitions.

In Orthodoxy, there are so many practices that sound interesting and helpful and we want to try them right away. However, if you are not ready to do them, they can get us into a lot of trouble. It's hard to do this, but it's best to try and be patient and not try things until your priest thinks you're ready to. I think this is especially hard for those of us from Protestant backgrounds who aren't used to being accountable to anyone and just reading about something and going out and trying to do it.

Fr. Averky, I look forward to hearing your response to Trudy's question. I pray that you are doing as well as can be expected.


#32 Fr Averky

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Posted 20 November 2003 - 10:21 AM

Dear in the Lord Trudy.

Since January of this year, this question has come up several times, and you could find them in Monachos' archives. One thread is called Jesus Prayer-Prayer of the heart.
As Janice just mentioned to you, if you are not Orthodox it would not be of spiritual benefit for you to start saying the Jesus Prayer, for while seemingly simple and "harmless," it can be of some danger to those who are in no way prepared for the temptations that come along with it. Every good deed, every act which brings a person closer to God, brings with it temptations some very subtle, because the Evil One is greatly opposed to a soul's getting closer to God, and thus salvation. He can easily fool people into thinking that they have reached great spiritual heights, when in fact, he has led them to the age of a cliff, and then tries to push tem off., abandoning them to their terrible fate, the loss of Heaven as he laughs cruelly.

Although some of my fellow members, whom I truly love and respect have taken me to task on what I am going to say, I still feel that I must.

In our free society, we have the right to purchase or take from a library, virtually any book and read it. So too with books of a spiritual nature. If one goes to a good sized book store like Batnes & Noble, he can find a large array of books on "spirituality." However, that he or she reads one or several of them does in no way indicate that it would be spiritually beneficial to so, and if fact, in some cases, could be quite dangerous.

As I have pointed out several times, a book like "The Way of the Pilgrim," while certainly edifying, is not a "guide" on how to say the Jesus Prayer, nor does it suggest that reading the Philokalia is open to anyone who wants to read it, although there are those who do. This book was written for Orthodox people who had a rather clear idea of the spiritual life, not for those who would just start putting it into practise because it sounded good.

If you are inquiring, do not concern yourself in any way with Orthodox practises or spiritual labours. First, find out about the beliefs, Tradition, teachings and Life of the Church, to see if it touches your heart or soul in any way. The very best way to know the life of the Church is by reading the Lives of the Saints. I noticed that the entire four volume "The Prologue from Ochrid," a wonderful compendium of Lives of Saints, sermons, and spiritual considerations, written by a great modern saint-St. Nikolaij Velimirovich of the Serbian Church is now available online. I will try to find the address for you.

Leave the Jesus Prayer and reading of the Philokalia to those who have the blessing and the grace to do so. We cannot and should not get involved in spiritual practises simply because we want to. To this day, I still talk with my spiritual father before I add something to my daily prayers, like a canon or an Akathist-it is always better to have blessing, no matter how good the action might seem.

Start simply and humbly, and do not run "to the front of the line," but meekly, like the Mother of God, keep what you learn from Holy Orthodoxy in your heart, for it is in the heart that a person meets God, not by the philosphies of this world or intellectual pursuits, or reading or thinking about Him, but seeking Him. As He said, "Seek and you shall find, knock, and it shall be opened to you."

Attend Orthodox Divine Services, for they are filled with grace, and they touch the soul in a way that no book or discussion or anything else could. Even if services might not be entirely in English, still, the soul receives and understands the sacred words and actions. Stand or sit quietly, and look at one of the icons-of our Lord or His Most Pure Mother, and open your heart. When you leave the church and go back out into the world, you will sense your soul's longing to return if it is to be your home.

We Westerners, Americans especially, love to come barging into almost any situation with our "Can Do" attitude, stepping all over everything, and then wonder why we offend so many, perhaps even God. Just a few months ago, a young woman posted on Monachos asking about monasticism. Wanting to be of help, I gave her a few words, since she soon was to enter a convent. Suddenly, to my surprise, this girl of perhaps twenty one, took it upon herself to instruct me! I was in no way offended, but thought to myself,"Is that girl going to have a time!" As others know, I am starting on my 29th year in monastic life, and I still have a lot to learn.

In approaching Orthodoxy, you have to "forget" all you think you know about Christianity, and start as a neophyte, relying on the Wisdom and knowlege of the Church. In the whole of the New Testament, our Lord points out how the meek and the humble will be invited to the house of His Father.

Trudy, be patient, pray, move slowly, and ask God to help you-and if you come to desire Holy Orthodoxy, He will show you the way. May God bless and help you.

With love in Christ,


Fr. A.





#33 Guest_Trudy Ellmore

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Posted 20 November 2003 - 06:01 PM

Dear Fr. A:

Thank you for your response. It was most helpful. I have been investigating Orthodoxy since January of this year. I took a class called Eastern Orthodoxy History & Theology (taught by an Orthodox professor) at an evangelical college in PA, so the reading list was quite extensive. Our class attended Pascha and I came away from church like a flower that had been deprived of water for so long and finally had received its first watering and sunshine in what felt like an eternity. I couldn't wait to go back. I spoke with the priest at that church about what had happened in my heart. He said that the calling I felt as a child to take holy orders in Catholicism (which I did not do) and teaching I had received then had been watered by the Truth of Orthodoxy. Thus the strong draw I feel towards Orthodoxy made sense to him. I couldn't wait to attend my next Liturgy and that has been the case since Pascha. Every time I stand in the church I feel like I am home. I can explain it no other way. It's like a sigh in my heart. Like when your mother hugs you after a bad day. Do you know what I mean?

I have found an Orthodox church to attend, but am only able to get there about once a month. It is an hour from my home. I am praying for God to open the way for me to go more than that. I have begun to develop a relationship with the priest there and he has graciously agreed to help me and guide me. He has shown me what daily Orthodox prayers to pray and a few other things. He has (along with many others, yourself included) warned me to proceed with cautiousness and slowly. I am working hard to slow down. Due to certain circumstances in my life, slowing down seems to be the only choice! :-) God is good!

I do feel a certain sense of peace about all of this. I always look forward to attending Liturgy and come away with peace in my heart. My heart is changing, I can feel it happen. I pray everyday for Him to make the path clear to me and I ask His Mother for help.

I look forward to receiving from you, the url for the site that has the saints lives.

You wrote about the Evil one and temptation. I have heard elsewhere that inquirers and catechumens are most vulnerable and this frightens me. Ought I be? What does one do?

Thank you for your help.

In Christ, Trudy


#34 Guest_Miguel Coalesco

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 06:30 AM

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me a sinner

I find this an edifying prayer that I would recommend to anyone.

There is no arguing with the premise that the Divine Liturgy and Divine Praises should be experienced first hand, and inquirers should prayerfully study the theology and lives of the saints.

But I most definately would encourage anyone and everyone to pray the Jesus Prayer as much as they feel inclined to, it can do no harm.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner

Start slowly, and do not get obsessed with numbers. The quality of your spiritual life will not be determined by numbers, pray sincerely.

I seldom use the chotki any more, but if it helps you, fine.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me a sinner

And may the Most Holy, Most Pure and Illustrious Lady the ever virgin Mary pray for us!

In Christ
Miguel, that sinner


#35 Fr Averky

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 07:59 AM

Dear Trudy,

I was edified to hear of how far along you have progressed, and basically on your own, although we know that God watches over us and is pleased when we seek His will. We are never alone, and we accomplish nothing good without Him.

In regards to your question. From my own experience and from having dealt with new converts for many years, there are a particular set of tempatations which one who wishes to embrace Orthodoxy will have to deal with.

In the Gilbert and Sullivan Operetta, "The Mikado," there is a song entitled "Let the Punishment fit the Crime." Well, the Devil has one of his own, "Let the Temptation Fit the Situation," and he knows just how to strike, where, when and how. Yet, as in all of life, he can unwittingly be the source of our salvatioin if we will learn early on never to rely on ourselves, but on God, His mercy, His wisdom, His patience, and His love.


Once you will have declared yourself for Christ, then all kinds of obstructions will appear: friends or family members who did not care if you lived a totally dissolute life, suddenly panic when you mention your intention of joining some "exotic" religion. Perhaps a person has waited for years to meet that special person, and just as they make the decision to embace Orthodoxy, Mr. or Miss "Right" comes along, but they are a firm Baptist or a Mormon missionary. Or, out of the blue, an offer for a big promotion is made, but the new location is hours from the nearest Orthodox Chuirch. Or, often most difficult, one spouse in a marriage decides to become Orthodox, while the rest of the family is happy being what they are. As converts, we face loss of friends, difficulties, and even persecution from family members, and so on.

In the end, if we sincerely desire to "Put on Christ." then we must be willing to suffer for His sake as He did for ours.

Take you time, be patient, pray, read, continue to attend Divine Services, and put all your trust in God. Tomorow I will post some wonderful words of St. Ambrose of Optina for you. God bless!

With love in Christ,

Fr. A.


#36 Guest_Katherine Clark

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 08:40 PM

Hope this question is of general interest. Both Catholocism and Orthodoxy have great benefits. Both sides are good at throwing "rocks" at one another...(a big turn-off)The issue of the papacy, of the great schism and so forth....who can say? The spirituality of the general church attracts me deeply in Orthodoxy and seems "thin" in post vatican II RC. Any help out there? Please be kind...


#37 Melissa

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 12:57 AM

Dear Katherine,
Welcome!
I can't be of much help with your question, but there are many here who can. One thing, though, is that there is written history to look at as far as the great schism and the issue of the papacy goes (I never really knew that, until I began considering becoming Orthodox). If you find youself attracted to a church (or even a discussion group) that is clear about the Faith, and isn't afraid to stand up for what it believes, I hope you continue to investigate Holy Orthodoxy.
I look forward to reading responses to your post, and also to hearing more about your thoughts. Thank you.
Melissa



#38 Moses Anthony

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 04:44 PM

Dear Katherine,
Grace to you, and peace from God our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
The idea of the papacy began taking shape when Constantine built Constantinople/Byzantium as New Rome, splitting the Empire bertween East and West. A great amount of political intrigue, and not a few episodes of ecumenical and ecclesiastical bickering led up to Cardinal Humbert, the legate from the Bishop of Rome, slapping a bull of excommunication oon the altar of the Great Church, Hagia Sophia as they were celebrating the Divine Liturgy.
Monasticism was eventually embraced by the Church after it began as essentially a revolt against the lack of ecclesiastical piety. The manner in which the Church has embraced penance & piety has evolved/developed over the centuries to where it is today. However, central to church life and individual piety then and now, is participation in the Eucharist; a sharing, a communal sharing if you will, in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ, whose life is the very life of the Orthodox Church.
Pascha, which we soon will celebrate was formerly the culmination of the catechuminates reception into the Church. Even though that reception is now not as lengthy (which encompassed the feasts of the Church Year), the celebration of Pascha is still extremely special.
Spiritual practices are as numerous as there are religions, not all of them work, and not all of them fit every Christian. Even worse, some of them are corrupt, in that their goal is not going toward God, but a deepr involvement with yourself and thusly enslavement to the enemy of souls.Forgive me for blabbering on so. Again, may God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ grant you mercy and peace.

the unworthy servant
moses


#39 Hieromonk Ambrose

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 05:02 PM

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.




It would seem that Metropolitan Kallistos has had a sea change in his attitude towards belief in the Immaculate Conception and now rejects it because of its distortion of human history.

The Byzantine Catholic priest Daniel Barton makes a very telling remark about his private correspondence with Bishop Kallistos where the Bishop acknowledges his personal disbelief.

Barton writes:

"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".

That should knock on the head the common misapprehension which Roman Catholics like to foster that Bishop Kallistos is a believer in the IC.

Taken from MY BELIEF IN THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION DOCTRINE
DANIEL JOSEPH BARTON (Of the Byzantine Ruthenian Catholic Church of America)

http://mysticalrose....om/barton3.html

Fr Ambrose

#40 Vasily

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 03:36 PM

Two Sides-Two Paths:

The absolute authority within the Orthodox Church is the Seven Ecumenical Councils, the conciliatory nature of the Church, ecclesiology-the assembly of believers in communion of the Eucharist, Christ being the Head Bishop and being guided by the Holy Spirit. The Church is the Body of Christ, not the bishop alone. The catholicity of the Church has nothing to do with a universal organization, it has no need of external bonds in order to be one.

The Pope, the Latin Church's sole authority, can make or change dogmas or traditions because this is possible through the "chair of Peter' and Peter's primacy. The Latin Church being essentially monarchial. They understand the catholicity of the Church as a legal cohesion, as an interdependence regulated by some code. Their local churches are not united by the Pope and the Papal hierarchy but by their common nature.

One side makes claims that a sole central authority is more efficient and unifying. A universal authority,universal teaching, a universal church, versus a church with many heads and no central unity or authority.

The center of the early Church was in Jerusalem, where all twelve Apostles received the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. From this center all were to go out and teach all nations and baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy SPirit. Did one Apostle have sole authority and leadership at this time?

Prior to the Schism, the Church was one unified Body in Christ, catholic and apostolic. Rome held a "primacy of honor" but this is disputed and lacks any historical evidence. Rome had the teaching authority and the authority concerning the Seven Ecumenical Councils decisions. Other than political conflicts, was there an equality amongst the other Patriarchates?

Both the East and West developed differently, and continue today on different paths. The East has not deviated from the Holy Faith. The West, Rome, has added and changed, and most of all created an infallible universal Pope as leader. Their claims of Peter being the sole leader, justifies their position, as related to the entire church. Most individuals overlook the ultramontanism movement, a religious philosophy within the Catholic Church, who became closely associated with the Jesuits, who defended the superiority of Popes over councils and kings. Ultramontanism achieved victory over conciliarism.

The East had its heresies, which were resolved by the Ecumenical Councils. Today, there exists two Orthodox Churches, the Eastern Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodox. The West, devoid of any heresies, now consists of not only the Latin or Roman Catholic Church, but Protestants(via the Protestant Reformation),the Anglican Church(Henry the VIII declaring himself as the head of the church),the Hussites(in Bohemia), and various Old and Traditional Catholic jurisdictions not under the Pope. Were these Western movements the result of Rome's authority and infallibility?

Comments Welcome!




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