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Re: [orthodox-synod] Chosing between love and faith?

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  • Fr. John R. Shaw
    ... marriage ... But I neglected to give the 3rd (rare) alternative. In a very few cases, where family ties and family discipline remains strong enough to
    Message 1 of 24 , Dec 29, 2002
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      Fr. John R. Shaw wrote:

      > As I wrote earlier, if the priest refuses to perform a "mixed
      marriage"
      > that would have been allowed by the established tradition, one of 3
      > things happens:

      But I neglected to give the 3rd (rare) alternative.

      In a very few cases, where family ties and family discipline remains
      strong enough to make it possible, sometimes a marriage can still be
      prevented if the family objects. This (sometimes) can happen over
      religion.

      And so, if someone's marriage plans are stopped by parents or siblings,
      the "mixed marriage" may be (for a time) averted.

      But at what cost?

      I can think of two cases where this happened. Both resulted in someone
      then blaming their family, and the Church too, for their failed attempt
      to marry, and resulting misery and loneliness.

      And shortly thereafter, both rebelled, and the "authority of the
      family" was broken.

      None of these 3 alternatives-- the insincere and temporary conversion,
      the outright apostasy, or the lingering bitterness, is in any way
      better than permitting a mixed marriage in the Church, with the
      stipulation that the children shall be raised in the Orthodox faith.

      In Christ
      Fr. John R. Shaw
    • Michael Nikitin
      Fr.John stated: There is an old saying: You get more flies with honey than with vinegar . Fr.John thinks converting to Orthodoxy is vinegar? I would think
      Message 2 of 24 , Dec 29, 2002
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        Fr.John stated:
        "There is an old saying: "You get more flies with honey than with vinegar"."

        Fr.John thinks converting to Orthodoxy is vinegar?

        I would think that becoming Orthodox and partaking of communion would
        be honey.

        A married couple where both are Orthodox have a better chance of staying
        Orthodox and bringing their children up in Orthodoxy.
        The unorthodox spouse has no obligation to have anything to do with
        Orthodoxy and no obligation to teach their children Orthodoxy. Even if she
        agrees before marriage that she will bring up the children orthodox what's
        to stop her for not honoring that agreement?
        They have oftentimes gone back to their Church roots with their children.

        It mostly depends on the stronger character of the married couple where
        children go to Church.

        Before getting married it should be stipulated that converting to Orthodoxy
        should be done. The time before marriage should be done teaching about
        Orthodoxy. If he/she does't convert before marriage
        most likely it will be futile after. The unorthodox will attend the
        Church of their parents with their children.

        Fr.John seems to make his opinion out of only two cases.

        Michael N.


        From: "Fr. John R. Shaw" <vrevjrs@...>
        Reply-To: orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com
        To: orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com,
        orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [orthodox-synod] Chosing between love and faith?
        Date: Sun, 29 Dec 2002 18:23:07 -0500

        Fr. John R. Shaw wrote:

        > As I wrote earlier, if the priest refuses to perform a "mixed
        marriage"
        > that would have been allowed by the established tradition, one of 3
        > things happens:

        But I neglected to give the 3rd (rare) alternative.

        In a very few cases, where family ties and family discipline remains
        strong enough to make it possible, sometimes a marriage can still be
        prevented if the family objects. This (sometimes) can happen over
        religion.

        And so, if someone's marriage plans are stopped by parents or siblings,
        the "mixed marriage" may be (for a time) averted.

        But at what cost?

        I can think of two cases where this happened. Both resulted in someone
        then blaming their family, and the Church too, for their failed attempt
        to marry, and resulting misery and loneliness.

        And shortly thereafter, both rebelled, and the "authority of the
        family" was broken.

        None of these 3 alternatives-- the insincere and temporary conversion,
        the outright apostasy, or the lingering bitterness, is in any way
        better than permitting a mixed marriage in the Church, with the
        stipulation that the children shall be raised in the Orthodox faith.

        In Christ
        Fr. John R. Shaw







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      • VladMoss@aol.com
        In a message dated 29/12/02 23:15:28 GMT Standard Time, vrevjrs@execpc.com ... The established tradition of the Church is the apostolic tradition, as sealed
        Message 3 of 24 , Dec 30, 2002
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          In a message dated 29/12/02 23:15:28 GMT Standard Time, vrevjrs@...
          writes:


          > As I wrote earlier, if the priest refuses to perform a "mixed marriage"
          > that would have been allowed by the established tradition

          The "established tradition" of the Church is the apostolic tradition, as
          sealed in the Holy Canons of the Church. Let us not try and substitute any
          other tradition for this, the only God-inspired, Divine tradition.

          Vladimir Moss


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • VladMoss@aol.com
          In a message dated 29/12/02 23:15:28 GMT Standard Time, vrevjrs@execpc.com ... Ultimately it comes down to the faith of the individual Christian. If he is
          Message 4 of 24 , Dec 30, 2002
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            In a message dated 29/12/02 23:15:28 GMT Standard Time, vrevjrs@...
            writes:


            > That is true. But until about 1965, there were far fewer voices
            > proclaiming an "ultra-strict" view of Orthodoxy. There is an old
            > saying: "You get more flies with honey than with vinegar".
            >
            > And our goal is to keep our flock in the Orthodox faith, and if we are
            > not actively "out there" seeking converts and new members, at least we
            > can try not to drive them away!
            >

            Ultimately it comes down to the faith of the individual Christian. If he is
            strong in faith, he will not marry a non-Orthodox, even if he is "in love".
            Nor will he need persuading by a priest. He will know in himself that there
            is no spiritual unity here, whatever other kind of unity there may be. And
            since he counts spiritual unity above all, he will not settle for less. This
            is not impossible: I have a godson who has made such a courageous choice, and
            I am convinced he is the happier for it.

            If, on the other hand, his faith is weak, if carnal motivations prevail over
            spiritual, and he does not believe that if he waits and prays God, Who
            arranges all true marriages, will bring him his true bride, then he will
            fall. And it is a fall - the canons make that quite plain. The fall may be
            mitigated by the fact that the priest allows it, thus taking the sin upon
            himself. And it may be mitigated still further if, through the mercy of God,
            the non-Orthodox partner becomes Orthodox. But it is always better in the
            long run to obey the law of God. Then there may be tears in the evening, but
            in the morning there will be rejoicing.

            The problem is that Orthodoxy has been in decline for centuries, and worldly
            customs and worldly compromises have crept in even to the leadership of the
            Church, so that the Canons of the Church are no longer observed. St. Ambrose
            of Optina prophesied that such failure to obey the canons (which all priests
            swear to do) would lead to a terrible punishment from God. He was proved
            right.

            Vladimir Moss


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • VladMoss@aol.com
            In a message dated 29/12/02 23:24:14 GMT Standard Time, vrevjrs@execpc.com ... You forget the fourth alternative - when the person concerned acts in accordance
            Message 5 of 24 , Dec 30, 2002
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              In a message dated 29/12/02 23:24:14 GMT Standard Time, vrevjrs@...
              writes:


              > None of these 3 alternatives-- the insincere and temporary conversion,
              > the outright apostasy, or the lingering bitterness, is in any way
              > better than permitting a mixed marriage in the Church, with the
              > stipulation that the children shall be raised in the Orthodox faith.
              >

              You forget the fourth alternative - when the person concerned acts in
              accordance with the law of God, supported by the Church. And by the grace of
              God there is no bitterness, and only a temporary sadness. And then, for his
              faithful standing in the truth, God sends him an Orthodox bride.

              Fantasy? No. Just faith in God.

              Vladimir Moss


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Margaret Lark
              Glory to God for all things! Father, bless! From: Fr. John R. Shaw Sent: Sunday, December 29, 2002 6:14 PM ... In reading this
              Message 6 of 24 , Dec 30, 2002
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                Glory to God for all things! Father, bless!

                From: "Fr. John R. Shaw" <vrevjrs@...>
                Sent: Sunday, December 29, 2002 6:14 PM


                | Certainly, there are also *sincere* conversions to Orthodoxy through
                | marriage: but I do not know of a single case where this occurred
                | because the priest or some family member *demanded* conversion! Either
                | the non-Orthodox partner develops an interest in Orthodoxy before the
                | marriage, and thus is moved to a sincere conversion -- or else this
                | happens later, after the wedding (in some cases many years later). But
                | it is better for a true conversion to take years, than for an enforced
                | conversion to destroy all interest in Orthodoxy.

                In reading this paragraph, I was reminded of a situation in my former
                parish. The woman, a "cradle Orthodox" (Greek), married one of the
                Protestant pillars of society, and they lived together many years -- 40+, I
                believe -- with him attending his church while she attended hers. Then the
                Greek church got a new priest who used a lot more English in the service,
                and suddenly the husband started coming to church with his wife. And the
                next thing you know, he was chrismated Orthodox -- six months before his
                sudden death.

                I dunno. I can't help thinking that if God brings two people together, He
                intends them to have an influence on each other. Sure, it can go either
                way, but the plan, it would seem, is always for the non-Orthodox person to
                become a faithful Orthodox Christian. And come to think of it -- what about
                the Grand Duchess Elizabeth, who was Lutheran when she married Grand Duke
                Sergei? Took her awhile to convert -- but which of them is recognized as a
                Saint in our Church?

                In Christ,
                Margaret Lark, sinner
              • Fr. John R. Shaw
                ... vinegar . ... Hardly, since I have no regrets over it myself over 39 years later. What I was referring to is the way we treat parishioners and potential
                Message 7 of 24 , Dec 30, 2002
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                  Fr.John R. Shaw had stated:
                  > "There is an old saying: "You get more flies with honey than with
                  vinegar"."

                  Michael Nikitin wrote:
                  > Fr.John thinks converting to Orthodoxy is vinegar?

                  Hardly, since I have no regrets over it myself over 39 years later.

                  What I was referring to is the way we treat parishioners and potential
                  converts. It is quite possible to drive both away -- but not to be
                  desired!

                  Michael Nikitin:
                  > Fr.John seems to make his opinion out of only two cases.

                  JRS: The "two cases" I referred to were the only ones I know in which
                  someone was actually stopped (temporarily) from marrying a non-
                  Orthodox. I have dealt with countless mixed marriages and circumstances
                  surrounding them, but only two cases where someone managed to browbeat
                  someone else into breaking off an engagement, over religion.

                  In Christ
                  Fr. John R. Shaw
                • Hristofor
                  ... I am surprised that you are using Archbishop Peter (l Huillier) as a reference. Will citations and references from Fr. Alexander (Schmemann) be far behind?
                  Message 8 of 24 , Dec 30, 2002
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                    At 04:36 PM 12/29/2002, you wrote:
                    >Other interesting details are provided by archimandrite Pierre L'Huillier
                    >(Le probl�me canonique des mariages mixtes, 1962)

                    I am surprised that you are using Archbishop Peter (l'Huillier) as a
                    reference. Will citations and references from Fr. Alexander (Schmemann) be
                    far behind?

                    From his vita on the OCA website:
                    The Archbishop began his ecclesiastical life on August 30, 1954 when he was
                    tonsured Monk PETER. On September 4 and 5, 1954, he was ordained
                    hierodeacon and hieromonk by Archbishop BORIS, Exarch of the Russian
                    Patriarchate in Europe. His priestly work took place at two Orthodox
                    Churches in Paris, Three Hierarchs and the Church of our Lady the Joy of
                    Those who Sorrow. In 1960, Archbishop PETER was elevated to the rank of
                    Archimandrite. Thirty years ago, on September 12, 1968, on the Feast of St.
                    Alexander Nevsky at the famour St. Alexander Nevsky Monastery (Lavra) in
                    St. Petersburg (then called Leningrad), Archbishop PETER was consecrated
                    Bishop of Chersonese. Participating at that consecration were the
                    Metropolitan of Leningrad, NIKODIM (Rotov) and Metropolitan ANTHONY (Bloom)
                    of Sourozh.

                    The "apostolic" character of Orthodoxy is primarily asserted in its
                    archpastoral ministry. The consecration of Archbishop PETER was significant
                    not only because as bishop he became a spiritual successor to the apostles,
                    but because it also expressed the missionary and evangelical aspects of
                    Russian Orthodoxy. While those aspects could not blossom,as they should in
                    Russia, they were cultivated in the West.

                    Similarly, Archbishop PETERs coming to North America was also important. As
                    bishop, he was a member of the mother Church which granted autocephaly to
                    the Orthodox Church in America. In 1979, he was invited to come to the
                    young autocephalous church by His Beatitude Metropolitan THEODOSIUS. He was
                    designated as the Bishop of Brooklyn until 1981, when he was installed as
                    the Bishop of New York and New Jersey. In 1990, the Holy Synod of Bishops
                    of the Orthodox Church in America bestowed on him the title of Archbishop
                    of New York and New Jersey.

                    Archbishop PETER has been a great asset to the Orthodox Church in America.
                    His linguistic fluency (in four languages), his academic and collegial
                    contacts, his extensivve background in the Orthodox canonical traditions,
                    his knowledge about the varieties of ethnic and national Orthodox customs,
                    all of these have made him one of the most qualified and astute Orthodox
                    hierarchs worldwide. It has been fortunate for the Orthodox Church in
                    America that he has chaired the External Affairs Department for many years.
                    His dealings within the international Orthodox community often bring him
                    face to face with other notable hierarchs and Church leaders, many of who
                    he has known personally. This has helped establish beneficial relations
                    between the Orthodox Church in America and other Orthodox Churches. His
                    Eminence has also been Canonical Advisor for the Standing Conference of
                    Orthodox Bishops in America (SCOBA). He has been active in promoting
                    Orthodox unity and Orthodox presence in North America since coming to this
                    country.

                    No less important has been Archbishop PETERs academic career. He lectured
                    at the Institute of St. Denys, Paris, France, from 1949 to 1950. From 1952
                    to 1962, he taught at the Three Hierarchs Seminary in Villemoisson, France.
                    He was a Professor at the Catholic University in Paris from 1966 to 1978.
                    He has been Adjunct Professor of Canon Law at St. Vladimirs Seminary,
                    Crestwood, New York, since 1979. As a specialist in Orthodox Canon Law,
                    Archbishop PETER occupies a prominent position. He is often sought as an
                    expert in this field by other Orthodox jurisdictions and is invited to
                    represent the Orthodox Church at various conferences, meetings, and
                    ecumenical dialogues.


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Hristofor
                    ... I have hear similar instances. ... Unfortunately, it is easy to overlook such a shining example. The process of assimilation (in this case the loss of
                    Message 9 of 24 , Dec 30, 2002
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                      At 07:59 AM 12/30/2002, you wrote:
                      >...Greek church got a new priest who used a lot more English in the service,
                      >and suddenly the husband started coming to church with his wife. And the
                      >next thing you know, he was chrismated Orthodox -- six months before his
                      >sudden death.

                      I have hear similar instances.

                      >the Grand Duchess Elizabeth, who was Lutheran when she married Grand Duke
                      >Sergei? Took her awhile to convert -- but which of them is recognized as a
                      >Saint in our Church?

                      Unfortunately, it is easy to overlook such a shining example.

                      The process of assimilation (in this case the loss of Orthodox souls to
                      other religions) seems to have occurred much quicker in the OCA and in some
                      Ukrainian circles. First generation Americans or those who were born abroad
                      and came to the US as very young children and got married during or after
                      WWII often found ethnic spouses. After that, it seems to be downhill. Their
                      children (at least in all the cases that I know) _always_ married outside
                      of the faith and while the one spouse remained "nominally" Orthodox, the
                      children were brought up in other faiths.

                      Hristofor
                    • sergerust2002 <sergerust@hotmail.com>
                      ... Not at all so, father. The decree belongs strictly to the Emperor, not to the Church. At the death of the last Patriarch Adrian, in 1700, the Emperor said:
                      Message 10 of 24 , Dec 30, 2002
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                        In response to :
                        > Mixed marriages are allowed in Russia by an imperial (not
                        > ecclesial) decree under Peter the Great (1720); one year later, the
                        > Holy Synod imposes some conditions :

                        fr John R. Shaw jumps to conclusions:
                        > Thus the Holy Synod, prior to the suppression of the
                        > Patriarchate and the creation of the office of Procurator
                        > General, had also allowed mixed marriages.

                        Not at all so, father.

                        The decree belongs strictly to the Emperor, not to the Church.

                        At the death of the last Patriarch Adrian, in 1700, the Emperor
                        said: "From now on I will be your Patriarch". And indeed, the
                        (imposed) patriarchal vacancy starts in 1700, not in 1721.

                        Paradoxically, the restoring "conditions" (referring to
                        children's religion) to the above imperial decree come
                        after the creation of the "Ecclesial College" and of the
                        High Procurator, in 1721.



                        > The reason for this is that, for the first time, there were now
                        > large numbers of non-Orthodox Western Christians in Russia.

                        The reason is strictly the despotic, secular action of the Emperor.

                        In the next century, when the same secular forces will take hold of
                        the Greek Church as well, similar decrees will suddenly show up.


                        > Obviously there was some purpose in doing this.

                        Non Causa Pro Causa (False Cause)
                        (see http://www.cuyamaca.net/bruce.thompson/Fallacies/noncausa.asp)

                        There is a purpose, yes, but not necessarily the one you suggest .

                        The purpose of the Church can never be to deny its own divine
                        precepts, even more so when their applicability to contemporary
                        times was confirmed by Metropolitan Antony Krapovitzky.



                        > But until about 1965, there were far fewer voices
                        > proclaiming an "ultra-strict" view of Orthodoxy.
                        > There is an old saying: "You get more flies with honey
                        > than with vinegar".
                        > And our goal is to keep our flock in the Orthodox faith ...

                        Maybe the Church lost most of its flock because of this "false
                        sugar"?

                        Maybe sugar is not for here, but for Heaven?

                        Maybe Paul O. BARTLETT is "rather confused" precisely because
                        of this general trend, also carried out on this Forum, towards
                        an apology of relativism, sergianism, unionism, etc..

                        Maybe what he needs is a true orthodox spouse, one who would not
                        oblige him to "choose between faith and love"?


                        In Christ,
                        Serge Rust
                      • Michael Nikitin
                        Serge Rust is correct when he writes: The purpose of the Church can never be to deny its own divine precepts, even more so when their applicability to
                        Message 11 of 24 , Dec 31, 2002
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                          Serge Rust is correct when he writes:

                          "The purpose of the Church can never be to deny its own divine
                          precepts, even more so when their applicability to contemporary
                          times was confirmed by Metropolitan Antony Krapovitzky."


                          Metr.Antony Krapovitzky is not liked by those circles who have a tendency
                          towards ecumenism. He was against the Latin influence which infiltrated the
                          Russian church.
                          Metr.Antony saw this influence and was in the process of weeding it out, but
                          unfortunately WW1 got in the way. His writings expose this influence.

                          Those who are for ecumenism side with contradictory writers who want to
                          discredit his name. This would fit in their agenda of unity with those who
                          are sympathetic towards ecumenism.

                          Michael N.



                          From: "sergerust2002 <sergerust@...>" <sergerust@...>
                          Reply-To: orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com
                          To: orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: [orthodox-synod] Chosing between love and faith?
                          Date: Tue, 31 Dec 2002 00:09:14 -0000

                          In response to :
                          > Mixed marriages are allowed in Russia by an imperial (not
                          > ecclesial) decree under Peter the Great (1720); one year later, the
                          > Holy Synod imposes some conditions :

                          fr John R. Shaw jumps to conclusions:
                          > Thus the Holy Synod, prior to the suppression of the
                          > Patriarchate and the creation of the office of Procurator
                          > General, had also allowed mixed marriages.

                          Not at all so, father.

                          The decree belongs strictly to the Emperor, not to the Church.

                          At the death of the last Patriarch Adrian, in 1700, the Emperor
                          said: "From now on I will be your Patriarch". And indeed, the
                          (imposed) patriarchal vacancy starts in 1700, not in 1721.

                          Paradoxically, the restoring "conditions" (referring to
                          children's religion) to the above imperial decree come
                          after the creation of the "Ecclesial College" and of the
                          High Procurator, in 1721.



                          > The reason for this is that, for the first time, there were now
                          > large numbers of non-Orthodox Western Christians in Russia.

                          The reason is strictly the despotic, secular action of the Emperor.

                          In the next century, when the same secular forces will take hold of
                          the Greek Church as well, similar decrees will suddenly show up.


                          > Obviously there was some purpose in doing this.

                          Non Causa Pro Causa (False Cause)
                          (see http://www.cuyamaca.net/bruce.thompson/Fallacies/noncausa.asp)

                          There is a purpose, yes, but not necessarily the one you suggest .

                          The purpose of the Church can never be to deny its own divine
                          precepts, even more so when their applicability to contemporary
                          times was confirmed by Metropolitan Antony Krapovitzky.



                          > But until about 1965, there were far fewer voices
                          > proclaiming an "ultra-strict" view of Orthodoxy.
                          > There is an old saying: "You get more flies with honey
                          > than with vinegar".
                          > And our goal is to keep our flock in the Orthodox faith ...

                          Maybe the Church lost most of its flock because of this "false
                          sugar"?

                          Maybe sugar is not for here, but for Heaven?

                          Maybe Paul O. BARTLETT is "rather confused" precisely because
                          of this general trend, also carried out on this Forum, towards
                          an apology of relativism, sergianism, unionism, etc..

                          Maybe what he needs is a true orthodox spouse, one who would not
                          oblige him to "choose between faith and love"?


                          In Christ,
                          Serge Rust






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