Defective Sister Churches
- With Pope Benedict XVI's blessing, the Vatican,on Tuesday, July 10th, released a document entitled, Clarification on the Doctrine of the Church, that said the Roman Catholic Church is the one true church and other Christian bodies shouldn't be called churches because they are defective.
What will Patriarch Bartholomew and other heads of so-called Sister Churches do now. Will they accept the claim that they are defective heads of defective churches?
The Vatican said the church's sacraments, creed and succession of bishops are among the elements that distinguish it as the true church of Christ. According to this papal pronouncement, Patriarch Bartholomew and the others are lacking in their condition.
The media has reported that several Orthodox Christian leaders declined to comment on Tuesday's document. I wonder why. I am sure, however, that their temporary loss of voice will soon be cured.In Christ,+Fr. Panagiotes
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- Dear Father,
I have recently done quite a bit of study on the Orthodox Faith and I
would like to take a moment to address this issue and discuss it with
fellow Orthodox Christians.
The results of my studies have lead me to these thoughts about this
It has been estimated that there are over 2600 religious groups today
who lay claim to being the direct descendants of the Church as
described in the New Testament. For the first 1000 years of
Christianity, the Church was essentially one. There were five
historical Patriarchal centers: Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria,
Jerusalem and Antioch which formed one church and were in full
communion with each other. Historically, there were heretical or
schismatic groups breaking away during this time, but the church was
unified until the 11th Century.
During the first 1000 years of Christian History, Seven Great
Ecumenical Councils were held which decided such things as what
Liturgies to use at what times of the year, what books should be
included in the Bible, What did we truly believe, etc. The earliest
Liturgies of the Church are: The Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom; the
Liturgy of St. Basil; The Liturgy of St. Gregory; the Liturgy of St.
James; and the Liturgy of St. Mark. Of these earliest Liturgies, the
first three were established in the 4th Century; The Liturgy of St.
James was the earliest Liturgy of Jerusalem; and, the Liturgy of St.
Mark was the earliest Liturgy of Alexandria Egypt and are still in
use today in the Orthodox Christian Churches.
The Great Schism occurred in 1054 A.D., when the Roman Patriarch
pulled away from the other four Patriarchates mentioned above. Today,
nearly a thousand years later, the other four Patriarchates remain
intact and essentially unchanged from the first 1000 years of
Christianity (as compared to the Roman Church) and are known as the
Orthodox Christian Churches using the original Liturgies which were
established by the Holy Fathers of the Christian Church; while the
Roman Patriarchate has modernized and changed over the years
following the Great Schism. That's not to say the Orthdox Churches
don't have issues they are continually dealing with; because, in
fact, God's Reign on earth is not yet complete and we often find
ourselves separated from God through sin - mankind's human weaknesses
are what attributes to this - but the Orthodox Church continues to
fight the good fight, to be the Church Millitant and continue to work
at maintaining the True Faith as established by the Holy Fathers.
The fact that the Pope lays claim to being the true Faith is because
the Roman Church does have it's roots in the true faith...that is,
they did initially have Bishops who were Ordained before the Great
Schism and considered Apostolic Successors - Although they
excommunicated themselves in 1054, in their eyes they were not the
ones who broke away....the Orthodox were. Given that premise......
The heretical/schmatic nature of the Great Schism in 1054 AD didn't
change the fact that the Bishops at that time were Apostolic
Successors before they excommunicated themselves from the other 4
Patriarchates; and the Bishops Ordained after them within the
schmatic Roman group would consider themselves to be true Apostolic
successors. We, as Orthodox, know this is not true because of their
heretical beliefs; but, in their eyes, it is true - therefore, they
lay this claim with a clear conscious.
Our Orthodox Church is unchanged for over 2000 years - our Bishops
are truly the Apostolic successors from the Apostles themselves
through the Holy Fathers of the Church who established the True Faith
through the 7 Great Ecumenical Councils. The problem here is that
the Orthodox Church doesn't actually approach the Pope in Rome and
make this statement as a public record. They speak privately with
the Pope and among other Orthodox; but not the general public - like
the Pope does. The general public is unaware, only hearing
the "squeeky wheel" (the Roman Church) and not knowing of the True
Faith because the Orthodox Church is the "silent wheel" publically.
The general public should be made more aware of the True Faith by
publically discussing this issue - perhaps our church leaders in an
open forum with Roman church leaders, then those who are inspired by
the Holy Spirit to fully research the subject and put in the
appropriate study, may learn and find the true Faith.
Please forgive me and pray for me,
--- In OrthodoxInfo@yahoogroups.com, "Fr. Panagiotes Carras"
>10th, released a document entitled, Clarification on the Doctrine of
> With Pope Benedict XVI's blessing, the Vatican,on Tuesday, July
the Church, that said the Roman Catholic Church is the one true
church and other Christian bodies shouldn't be called churches
because they are defective.
>Churches do now. Will they accept the claim that they are defective
> What will Patriarch Bartholomew and other heads of so-called Sister
heads of defective churches?
>bishops are among the elements that distinguish it as the true church
> The Vatican said the church's sacraments, creed and succession of
of Christ. According to this papal pronouncement, Patriarch
Bartholomew and the others are lacking in their condition.
>declined to comment on Tuesday's document. I wonder why. I am sure,
> The media has reported that several Orthodox Christian leaders
however, that their temporary loss of voice will soon be cured.
>someone who knows.
> In Christ,
> +Fr. Panagiotes
> Be a better Heartthrob. Get better relationship answers from
> Yahoo! Answers - Check it out.