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Re: The Anathema Debate

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  • Athanasios Jayne
    ... rstauffer wrote: (Quoting St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain according to The Rudder/Pedalion) ... to depose the priests, or to
    Message 1 of 42 , Aug 8, 2005
      --- In normalorthodox@yahoogroups.com,
      "rstauffer" <rstauffer@y...> wrote:

      (Quoting St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain according
      to The Rudder/Pedalion)

      > "...The canons COMMAND the council of living bishops
      to depose the priests, or to excommunicate them, or to
      ANATHEMATIZE laymen who violate the canons. Yet, if the
      council does not actually effect the deposition of the
      priests, or the excommunication, or the anathematization
      of the laymen, THEY ARE NEITHER ACTUALLY deposed, nor
      excommunicated, NOR ANATHEMATIZED."

      (AJ) I would agree that, insofar as Church order and the
      validity of the Mysteries is concerned, they are not
      deposed, excommunicated, or anathematized (though our
      discussion is concerned only with anathemas, and not
      deposition or excommunication, which are lesser things).

      However, this is only *one* side of the coin concerning
      anathemas. There is also the spiritual reality of *being*
      anathema, which is inward, and which concerns the life of
      the soul of the individual person and their relation to
      God. And this is what I have been talking about, and this
      is what St. Theophan, Patriarch Gregory VI, A. Kalomiros
      (who, according to one who knew him well, did *not* "die
      outside of the Church," as Fr. John has said), and the Fifth
      Ecumenical Council teach us: Namely, that there is BOTH an
      *outward* and ecclesiastical aspect of an anathema, and an
      *inward* aspect, and no understanding of anathemas is
      complete or balanced unless it includes *both* sides of
      the coin.

      So far, Fr. John R. Shaw has given only the barest, most
      oblique of acknowledgments to this inward aspect of
      "anathema" as taught by the authorities I have cited.
      He has also (inconsistent with this barest of acknowledgments)
      declared their teaching (so far as I can see) to be "heresy."
      But I don't think Fr. John has truly grasped what I have
      been trying to say, or what these authorities have taught.

      He has, I believe, misunderstood me to be saying that
      persons can be under _ecclesiastical and Hierarchical_
      anathema without having been personally condemned by
      the present Church Hierarchy. That is false, and that
      is not what I intended to say. If I believed that, I
      would not, for example, acknowledge that the Church
      of Antioch is part of the Church, nor would I acknowledge
      their Mysteries. But I both acknowledge the Church of
      Antioch to be part of the Church, and I acknowledge their
      Mysteries--even though I will not participate in them
      because of the heresies of their Hierarchy, which I
      believe to be worthy of anathema. I have said, and
      these authorities have taught, that a person who holds
      persistent heresy can in truth already BE anathema,
      that is, be separated from God and from His Church,
      just as much as a person who has been properly condemned
      by the Hierarchy. For such a person has already, of his
      own accord, separated himself from God by the impiety of
      heresy--whether or not his name or his teaching are
      declared to be anathema by the Church Hierarchy.

      To deny this, is to be in opposition to the teaching
      of the Fifth Ecumenical Council. To oppose the teaching
      of an Ecumenical Council, is to be liable to, and worthy of,
      anathema. If what I have said is heresy, then the Fifth
      Ecumenical Council, St. Theophan the Recluse, Patriarch
      Gregory VI, and A. Kalomiros, have taught heresy.

      Let me again make my belief clear by way of practical
      illustration: If a Bishop, for example, is anathema,
      that is, separeted from God by the impiety of heresy,
      I believe that both his Office, and the Mysteries imparted
      through him, are rightly acknowledged by the Church as
      true and grace-bearing until such time as he is deposed by
      the lawful Hierarchy. But even if he has not yet been
      deposed or anathematized by the Church, I cannot in good
      conscience, and will not, receive Communion from him, so
      long as I believe him to be persisting in open heresies
      that are liable to the anathema of the Church. In such
      cases, the faithful rightly "wall themselves off" from
      heretics--without passing judgment upon the grace of their
      Mysteries--until a canonical and Hierarchical judgment
      is given.

      Again, I believe that Fr. John has simply misunderstood what
      I have been trying to say, and that his statements are a
      reflection of his laudable concern to guard against Matthewite
      errors which I do not hold. I fully acknowledge that what St.
      Nikodemos has said is true, while *also* acknowledging that
      what the Fifth Council, St. Theophan, Patriarch Gregory VI,
      and A. Kalomiros have said are true. They are simply
      addressing different aspects of the same thing.

      BOTH aspects are true, and indeed complementary to
      one-another, and, taken together, give us a more complete
      picture, and a fuller understanding--without any
      necessary contradiction.

      I am sorry if my lack of formal theological training, and
      my consequent imprecision of speech, have misled Fr. John
      into concluding that I hold an erroneous opinion on this
      subject. I believe I hold, and I wish only to hold, what
      the Fathers have taught, and what the Church believes, and
      my ears are open to correction if I have erred in anything.


      Athanasios Jayne.
    • Athanasios Jayne
      ... readers ... Dear Alex, The teaching I expressed is not, per se, mine. If you actually read my post, you would see that I provided *extensive* quotes
      Message 42 of 42 , Sep 1, 2005
        --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "aprmih" <aprmih@y...> wrote:
        > I respectfully submit to any clergyman on this list (and no,
        > don't count) that if you support Athanasios' views, please post a
        > message expressing this. Otherwise, Athanasios, admit you're wrong
        > and end this pointless thread already!
        > Alex

        Dear Alex,

        The teaching I expressed is not, per se, "mine." If you
        actually read my post, you would see that I provided
        *extensive* quotes which demonstrate that it is, in fact,
        the clear and unambiguous teaching of the Hieromartyr
        St. Cyprian of Carthage, St. Theodore the Studite, and
        Archimandrite Dr. Justin Popovich of Blessed Memory
        (who says it is the teaching of the *Orthodox Church*).
        Doubtless, many other sources could readily be provided which
        say the same, since it is nothing less than Orthodox
        ecclesiology as regards the sacraments of heretics and
        schismatics. If anyone wishes to disagree, his disagreement
        is *not* with me, but rather with the renowned Orthodox
        luminaries I have cited, who possess great theological
        credence and authority. And if they are right, then those
        who disagree, disagree not with them, but with the Church.
        And those who disagree with the Church, disagree with God.
        I would like to see someone actually *engage* the sources
        I have provided, rather than simply pass over them in
        deafening silence, or attempt to dismiss their clear
        testimony through ad hominem attacks directed against
        myself (which is all that has happened so far). I stand with
        St. Cyprian, St. Theodore, and Fr. Justin. If they were wrong,
        then I am wrong. But so far, no one has dared to say they were
        wrong, nor has anyone given any Patristic evidence to the
        contrary. We must not trust our unsupported opinions or our
        emotions, which can deceive us. We must submit our our
        judgment to that of the Church, which is true and sure,
        and which can be found in the writings of the divine
        Scriptures, the Saints, and Holy Fathers--like the stars
        of heaven which guide those on earth.

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