Conciliar or Orthodox Christianity

Christianity never called for added pomp or doctrines, just integrityHoly Writ does not call God “rational” but “changeless”
And we apprehend Truth not through contrast, but paradox

60 Minutes on Mount AthosClick on YouTube logo or here to play all.
(Please note: “Brother” Nathanael Kapfner is not a canonical Orthodox monk any more than Rasputin ever was.)

Остров or The Island (Остров = ОСТРОВ = Ostrov = Island)Click on YouTube logo or here to play full-movie playlist.

Via unitiva: where mind and heart meet, there is truth

PentarchyAncient Pentarchy
(cities of the “primate” bishops or patriachates) thus itemized per the Second Ecumenical Council, at Constantinople (A. D. 381)

Note: initially all bishops were called “vicars of Christ,” and all senior clergy were called “popes” (as of c. A.D. 248), and only after the eleventh century Great Schism did the Bishop of Rome claim to be uniquely “the Pope.”

  1. Rome
    • traditionally founded by Saint (Simon) Peter (?) son of one John and among the original Twelve Apostles
    • per the First Holy Ecumenical Council (Nicaea I [A. D. 325])
    • current successor termed “Bishop of Rome” (Roman Catholic); unlike the other four, no longer houses a Greek (i.e. “Eastern” or simply “canonical”) Orthodox Patriarch
  2. Constantinople
    • traditionally founded by Saint Andrew, Peter’s (nuclear) brother and “first called” (Πρωτόκλητος [Prōtoklētos]) of the original Twelve Apostles
    • per the First Holy Ecumenical Council (Nicaea I [A. D. 325]), “New Rome” per Chalcedon (A. D. 451), promoting it to first place six hundred years before the Great Schism (!)
    • current successor termed “His Most Divine All-Holiness the Archbishop of Constantinople New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch” (Eastern Orthodox)
  3. Alexandria
    • traditionally founded by Saint Mark the Evangelist (i.e. Gospel Writer) and among the “Seventy,”
    • per the First Holy Ecumenical Council (Nicaea I [A. D. 325]); also the original “papacy,” initially used posthumously for Saint Heraclas of Alexandria
    • current successor termed “Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of all Africa in the Holy See of St. Mark the Apostle” (Coptic [“Oriental”] Orthodox);
      also houses the “Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa” (Greek [“Eastern”] Orthodox)
  4. Antioch
    • traditionally founded by Saint (Simon) Peter son of one John and among the original Twelve Apostles (and Saint Paul)
    • per the Second Holy Ecumenical Council (Constantinople)
    • current successor termed “Patriarch of Antioch and All the East” (Syrian [“Oriental”] Orthodox) (and based in Damascus);
      also houses the “Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East” (Greek [“Eastern”] Orthodox)
  5. Jerusalem
    • traditionally founded by Saint James (“the Greater”) brother of John son of Zebedee (and Salome) and among the original Twelve Apostles
    • per the Second Holy Ecumenical Council (Constantinople)
    • now termed “[Greek Orthodox] Patriarchate” (Eastern Orthodox)

“For Catholics” section

Firstly, two scholarly articles:

If you think Holy Mass was originally said in Latin, this is the page for you!

In hindsight, it is good that I never became a Catholic or Anglican nun: I would have been pigeonholed in a level of spirituality. Orthodoxy offers a much deeper experience.


The Roman Papacy has a historic, sound role to play in the Church

Just as it is hard to say which precedes which, common sense or orthodoxy, it is hard to say whether Rome or Geneva really invented Substitutionary Atonement.

The main differences between Orthodoxy (since Christ) and Catholicism (especially since the Great Schism) are simple:

  1. Orthodoxy provides timeless authoritative teaching;
    Catholicism deals in trendy, evolving and expedient speculation.
  2. The Orthodox Faith builds on common sense, childlike wonder and mystery;
    the Catholic Faith builds on rationalism, self-important shallowness and cynicism.
  3. The Orthodox Church is structured fractally and subsidiarily;
    the Catholic Church is structured centrally and vertically.

The Roman (“Catholic”) Church (following the lead of Central European powers) has tried to claim (and on this her legates excommunicated the Constantinopolitan Patriarch in 1054 initiating the Great Schism) that the Filioque clause is a needed addition to the Creed and even that it is not an addition but rather the Greeks subtracted it from their version of the Creed. This has always been a lie and continues to be a lie.

How an Orthodox Christian might view the Second Vatican Council

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That which evolves, because it lacks any testifiable authenticity, cannot seriously pretend to ultimate divine authoritativeness. Only what directly appeals to origin can say without flinching that it speaks for the true God. (Jesus’ authority within the Jewish cosmos drew from his Melchizedekian priesthood, primal to the Levitical priesthood of Annas, Caiphas and the rest of the Sadducees, even older than and superior to Moses, Levi and Abraham!) Things that deftly develop, on the other hand, are of a Masonic flair and very privately subscribe to the unsound and unfounded authority of Lucifer (as they name him), having presumably been sold on the disincarnational, uneucharistic doctrine that this, the real enlightener, preexists YHWH who maliciously created matter to trap our otherwise free spirits. Every bold heresy has this same enslaving underpinning; only orthodoxy breeds freedom and sanity with its integration of every dimension or level of our being. In contrast, the covertly Luciferian view is systemic corruption’s and perversion’s one and only philosophical underpinning and evidently has the Western world in a death-grip because of our, on the grassroots level, contentment to daily countenance heresies and secret societies.
Neither Orthodox nor Romans have successfully taken Holy Father Augustine’s body of work seriously: Orthodox have gone with what is consistent with the rest of the Holy Fathers (most of whom comfortably predate Augustine), Outside the (visible) Church there is no salvation (for which the Church has any business making any guarantee); Romans, in Vatican II, went off the shallow end, exchanging absolute teachings for Milquetoast musings, seemingly overreacting against over-the-top papal claims of previous years, perhaps hoping to blunt or marginalize other over-the-top Western excesses that had so alienated the Orthodox. Ironically (or rather Masonically) the liturgical changes did not help matters in this regard.
Roman Catholicism (Q.E.D. in this heretical/insane invisible church model) is Proto-Protestantism with Thomas Aquinas as their anointed “reformer” and Vatican II as their “here comes that pesky brick wall” moment.
Supposing for a moment that both were equally authoritative**, your safest bet to appease the current claims of both Catholic and Orthodox authorities (esp. see concentric circles model in slideshow) is to embrace Orthodoxy. (To boot, Roman Pope John-Paul II called the East and West “two lungs by which the Church breathes,” showcasing again this unOrthodox ecclesiology as well as this weird disability of Catholics who want to include Orthodox, to understand Orthodoxy even at the most basic level.)

If you’re like me you’ve wondered, What is the Orthodox’s big stinking problem with Catholicism when we’re so alike? To understand this you need to understand the nature of Orthodoxy, i.e. of common sense, sanity. A half-truth is worse than a lie. Self-talk and speculation that’s passed off as doctrine is sick, even if the infected don’t want to admit it. Probably best to use examples, but please note: I don’t want this to be one long “read it and weep,” because the unsullied truth makes natural souls rejoice!

  1. The Filioque. Some basics on the Filioque (a.k.a. the Filioque clause) that every Catholic I’ve met has never heard: it
    1. is Latin for and the Son, as in “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son.”
    2. comes from none of the Seven Holy Ecumenical Councils that included the churches of both East and West (hence not from Nicaea I [325] or Constantinople I [381], which are the first two in which the [Nicene-Constantinopolitan] Creed was drafted) but from Toledo III (in modern-day Spain, 589), non-ecumenical.
    3. was never accepted in the East as part of the credal symbol, yet the popes of Rome and the administrators of the Vatican have insisted that it was accepted by the Universal Church, argued that it is essential to the Faith and consequently accused the East of removing the clause.
  2. The Dogma of the Immaculate Conception (which says that the Virgin Mary was conceived sinless in the womb of her mother St. Anne [or Anna]) is problematic not because it honors Mary (“more honorable than the cherubim and more glorious beyond compare than the seraphim”) but because it implies a hyper-Augustinian and heterodox understanding of Original Sin that borders on Calvin’s Total Corruption doctrine. Orthodoxy never did and does not now view our fallen condition in a way that necessitates such intervention as would effect an immaculate conception, and it is not mentioned in Sacred Scripture, and therefore it is heterodox. Original or Inherited Sin is in no sense a total corruption but rather while God’s image remains his likeness is marred. You do not solve problems by morbidly exaggerating them. Our separation from God is no exception. If anything Orthodoxy honors Mary more than Catholicism because it honors even Saint Anne (“Anna”) with the title “Grandmother of God.”
  3. The Dogma of Purgatory is a perfect example of speculative self-talk being passed off as doctrine, a swindle quite foreign to Orthodoxy. It will not be dignified with a response.
  4. The title of pope has historically been and continues to apply to the ecumenical patriarchs of Alexandria and Constantinople as well as that of Rome. Metropolitans are analogous to cardinals. As to the whole “you are rock” thing, many notable patristic interpretations of this verse, including Holy Father Augustine, the bulldog of papism of that time, hold that “this rock” was not Peter, but rather, Peter’s confession. Augustine said “‘Upon this rock,’ said the Lord, ‘I will build my Church.’ Upon this confession, upon this that you said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,’ I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not conquer her” (John Rotelle, Ed., The Works of Saint Augustine [New Rochelle: New City, 1993] Sermons, Volume III/7, Sermon 236A.3, p. 48).

Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick’s Roman Catholicism Outline (reworked by Blogger)

  1. Introduction: Did the Great Schism produce different religions?
  2. Differences in phronema (i.e. in mindset)
    1. Development of Doctrine
    2. Faith and Reason
    3. Spirituality
  3. Differences in Doctrine
    1. Papal Dogmas and the Church
      1. Universal Jurisdiction
      2. Papal Infallibility
    2. Same God?
      1. Filioque
      2. Divine Simplicity
      3. Created Grace
    3. Salvation
      1. Can Orthodox Christians and other Non-Catholics be saved?
      2. Original Sin
      3. Merit, Satisfaction, Eternal Punishment and Temporal Punishment
      4. Purgatory and Indulgences
      5. Sacraments and Validity
  4. Grounds for Union.For the Orthodox Church to be able to acknowledge sacramental communion with the Roman Catholic Church (that is, for Catholics to be admitted or readmitted into the Orthodox Church) the latter would simply need to:
    1. Repudiate and reject (not merely brush aside or “theologize around”):
      1. Papal Universal Jurisdiction
      2. Papal Infallibility
      3. Papal Petrine Exclusivism (i.e. “only the Pope is Peter’s Successor”)
      4. Development of Doctrine
      5. Filioque
      6. Original Sin (understood as guilt transmitted via “propagation”)
      7. The Immaculate Conception of Mary
      8. Divine Simplicity
      9. Merit and Satisfaction soteriology
      10. Purgatory and Indulgences
      11. Created Grace
    2. Accept and fully confess:
      1. The authority of Ecumenical Councils over the Pope (!)
      2. The Essence-Energies distinction
    3. Restore Orthodox practices (already present for Eastern Catholics):
      1. Reconnect Confirmation and Chrismation with Baptism (rather than delaying it)
      2. Give Holy Communion to all Church members, including infants

In other words, what the Orthodox hope for Roman Catholics is that they may become Orthodox again (i.e. that they may again enjoy ancient Orthodox faith of their pre-Schism ancestors). They need not relinquish their ancient worship traditions (though they would probably want to turn the clock back on the liturgical revolution in the wake of Vatican II).

Timeline of East-West (☛-☚) Relations

  • ±0037-±0053. Episcopacy of St. Peter in Antioch.
  • ±0050±0000. Apostolic Council of Jerusalem (in modern-day Israel) overrules St. Peter’s Judaizing.
  • ☛ ±0064±0000. Martyrdom of St. Peter in Rome.
  • ±0067±0000. Election of St. Linus, first bishop of Rome.
  • ±0135±0000. First recorded use of title Pope by a Roman bishop (i.e. Hyginus).
  • ±0255±0000. St. Cyprian of Carthage rejects Pope St. Stephen I of Rome’s ruling against the Donatists.
  • ☚☛ ±0325±0000. Original Nicene Creed ratified at the First Holy Ecumenical Council (of Nicaea, in modern-day Turkey).
  • ☛ ±0330±0000. Founding of Constantinople as New Rome, renaming the city of Byzantium.
  • ±0357±0000. Pope St. Liberius of Rome signs Semi-Arian creed (possibly under duress).
  • ±0379±0000. Emperor Gratian permits Roman pope authority over neighboring bishops.
  • ☚☛ ±0381±0000. Nicene Creed expanded (producing the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed) at the Second Holy Ecumenical Council (of Constantinople, or modern-day Istanbul, Turkey).
  • ±0382±0000. First use of (unofficial) papal title Pontifex Maximus (bridge-builder-in-chief, employed by emperors in pagan days as well as a Latinization of the Jewish high priests’ title in temple days).
  • ±0410±0000. Rome sacked by Visigoth invaders.
  • ±0417±0000. Pope St. Zosimus of Rome waffles on Pelagianism.
  • ☚☛ ±0451±0000. Fourth Holy Ecumenical Council (at Chalcedon, in modern-day Turkey) notes that Rome’s primacy is because it was “the royal city”*; Tome of Pope St. Leo I of Rome endorsed by Council following review.
    (Whole canon, from the Acts, Session XV, Canon 28 [cf. “Following in all things the decisions of the holy Fathers, and acknowledging the canon, which has been just read, of the One Hundred and Fifty Bishops beloved-of-God (who assembled in the imperial city of Constantinople, which is New Rome, in the time of the Emperor Theodosius of happy memory), we also do enact and decree the same things concerning the privileges of the most holy Church of Constantinople, which is New Rome. For the Fathers rightly granted privileges to the throne of old Rome, because it was the royal city. And the One Hundred and Fifty most religious Bishops, actuated by the same consideration, gave equal privileges (ἴσα πρεσβεῖα) to the most holy throne of New Rome, justly judging that the city which is honored with the Sovereignty and the Senate, and enjoys equal privileges with the old imperial Rome, should in ecclesiastical matters also be magnified as she is, and rank beside her; so that, in the Pontic, the Asian, and the Thracian dioceses, the metropolitans only and such bishops also of the Dioceses aforesaid as are among the barbarians, should be ordained by the aforesaid most holy throne of the most holy Church of Constantinople; every metropolitan of the aforesaid dioceses, together with the bishops of his province, ordaining his own provincial bishops, as has been declared by the divine canons; but that, as has been above said, the metropolitans of the aforesaid Dioceses should be ordained by the archbishop of Constantinople, after the proper elections have been held according to custom and have been reported to him.
    Original Greek: Πανταχοῦ τοῖς τῶν ἁγίων Πατέρων ὅροις ἑπόμενοι, καὶ τὸν ἀρτίως ἀναγνωσθέντα κανόνα τῶν ἑκατὸν πεντήκοντα θεοφιλέστατων ἐπισκόπων, τῶν συναχθέντων ἐπὶ τοῦ τῆς εὐσεβοῦς μνήμης Μεγάλου Θεοδοσίου, τοῦ γενομένου βασιλέως ἐν τῇ βασιλίδι Κωνσταντινουπόλεως Νέᾳ Ῥώμῃ, γνωρίζοντες, τὰ αὐτὰ καὶ ἡμεῖς ὁρίζομέν τε καὶ ψηφιζόμεθα περὶ τῶν πρεσβείων τῆς ἁγιωτάτης ἐκκλησίας τῆς αὐτῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως Νέας Ῥώμης· καὶ γὰρ τῷ θρόνῳ τῆς πρεσβυτέρας Ῥώμης, διὰ τὸ βασιλεύειν τὴν πόλιν ἐκείνην, οἱ Πατέρες εἰκότως ἀποδεδώκασι τὰ πρεσβεῖα. Καὶ τῷ αὐτῷ σκοπῶ κινούμενοι οἱ ἑκατὸν πεντήκοντα θεοφιλέστατοι ἐπίσκοποι, τὰ ἴσα πρεσβεῖα ἀπένειμαν τῷ τῆς Νέας Ῥώμης ἁγιωτάτω θρόνῳ, εὐλόγως κρίναντες, τὴν βασιλείᾳ καὶ συγκλήτῳ τιμηθεῖσαν πόλιν, καὶ τῶν ἴσων ἀπολαύουσαν πρεσβείων τῇ πρεσβυτέρᾳ βασιλίδι Ῥώμῃ, καὶ ἐν τοῖς ἐκκλησιαστικοῖς ὡς ἐκείνην μεγαλύνεσθαι πράγμασι, δευτέραν μετ᾿ ἐκείνην ὑπάρχουσαν. Καὶ ὥστε τοὺς τῆς Ποντικῆς, καὶ τῆς Ἀσιανῆς, καὶ τῆς Θρακικῆς διοικήσεως μητροπολίτας μόνους, ἔτι δὲ καὶ τοὺς ἐν τοῖς βαρβαρικοῖς ἐπισκόπους τῶν προειρημένων διοικήσεων χειροτονεῖσθαι ὑπὸ τοῦ προειρημένου ἁγιωτάτου θρόνου τῆς κατὰ Κωνσταντινούπολιν ἁγιωτάτης ἐκκλησίας· δηλαδή ἑκάστου μητροπολίτου τῶν προειρημένων διοικήσεων μετὰ τῶν τῆς ἐπαρχίας ἐπισκόπων χειροτονοῦντος τοὺς τῆς ἐπαρχίας ἐπισκόπους, καθὼς τοῖς θείοις κανόσι διηγόρευται· χειροτονεῖσθαι δέ, καθὼς εἴρηται, τοὺς μητροπολίτας τῶν προειρημένων διοικήσεων παρὰ τοῦ Κωνσταντινουπόλεως ἀρχιεπισκόπου, ψηφισμάτων συμφώνων κατὰ τὸ ἔθος γινομένων, καὶ ἐπ᾿ αὐτὸν ἀναφερομένων).
  • ±0455±0000. Rome sacked by Vandals.
  • ±0537-±0000. Pope Vigilius of Rome allegedly writes letter endorsing Monophysitism.
  • ±0589-±0000. Insertion of Filioque into Nicene Creed by the Third Local Council of Toledo (in modern-day Spain; i.e. Toledo III).
  • ±0590-±0604. Pope St. Gregory the Great of Rome rejects the title of “universal bishop” for any bishop.
  • ☚☛ ±0680-±0681. Sixth Ecumenical Council (of Constantinople III, in modern-day Turkey) anathematizes Pope Honorius (I) of Rome as a Monothelite heretic.
  • ☚☛ ±0710-±0000. Last Roman papal visit to Constantinople (by Pope Constantine of Rome) until 1967.
  • ±0750-±0000. Forging of the Donation of Constantine, a document claiming to be from St. Constantine granting universal secular power to the Pope of Rome and his successors. (Note: Catholic Priest Lorenzo Valla proved the forgery in 1444. Holy Father Augustine of Hippo did seem to think the pope of Rome ought to be world emperor, though he never interpreted Christ’s words renaming Simon Peter as meaning He build his Church on Peter.)
  • ±0752-±0000. Founding of the Papal States (lasting until 1870).
  • ☚☛ ±0792-±0000. Emperor Charles the Great (a.k.a. Charlemagne) accuses the “Greeks” of removing Filioque from original Creed.
  • ±0800-±0000. Emperor Charles usurps the Western Roman Empire.
  • ±0809-±0000. Pope Leo III of Rome forbids the addition of Filioque to the Creed and has the original (Niceno-Constantinopolitan) Creed inscribed in both Greek and Latin on silver tablets for display in Rome.
  • ☚☛ ±0869-±0870. Council in Constantinople (now in Turkey, currently named the Fourth Council of Constantinople and Eighth Ecumenical Council in the West, during Pope Adrian II of Rome’s reign) deposes St. Photius the Great.
  • ☚☛ ±0879-±0880. Council in Constantinople (now in Turkey, named the Fourth Council of Constantinople and Eighth Ecumenical Council in the East and at first in the West, endorsed by Pope Marinus I of Rome) reinstates St. Photius and anathematizes any changes to Nicene/o-Constantinopolitan Creed (including the Filioque).
  • ±0962-±0000. Founding of Holy Roman Empire.
  • ±1014-±0000. First use of Filioque by a Pope of Rome, Benedict VII, at Holy Roman Emperor Henry II’s coronation.
  • ☚☛ ±1054-±0000. Excommunication of Ecumenical Patriarch Michael Cerularius by Cardinal Humbertus, papal legate, the conventional date point of the Great Schism. Michael returns the favor by excommunicating the Pope of Rome (who has died rendering his legate’s authority null). (Both lifted 1946.)
  • ±1059-±0000. Initial use of the term transubstantiation by Roman Catholics.
  • ☚☛ ±1066-±0000. Invasion of England by Duke William of Normandy, bearing Pope Alexander II of Rome’s blessing and banner as a crusade against the “erring English church,” engineered by Archdeacon Hildebrand of Rome.
  • ±1073-±1085. Hildebrand becomes Pope Gregory VII of Rome and institutes the “Gregorian Reform,” the largest-ever increase of papal power, including the claimed right to depose secular rulers.
  • ±1075-±0000. Pope Gregory VII of Rome issues Dictatus papae, an extreme statement of papal power.
  • ±1095-±1272. Crusade recruiters promise salvation to warriors from the West.
  • ☚☛ ±1180-±0000. Last formal reception of Latins to communion at an Orthodox altar, in Antioch.
  • ☚☛ ±1182-±0000. Maronites (formerly Monothelite heretics) submit to Rome.
  • ☚☛ ±1204-±0000. Fourth Crusade sacks Constantinople; crusaders set up Latin Empire and Patriarchate of Constantinople (lasting until 1261, formal apology 2001).
  • ☚☛ ±1274-±0000. The local Council of Lyons (in modern-day France, under “Blessed” Gregory X of Rome) tries to cajole Orthodox capitulation to the Roman Papacy.
  • ☚☛ ±1287-±0000. Last record of a Benedictine monastery on Mount Athos.
  • ±1302-±0000. Papal bull Unam Sanctam (by Boniface XIII of Rome, not considered a saint by either side) declares submission to Roman pope necessary for salvation.
  • ±1379-±0000. Beginning of Western “Great Schism,” during which there are eventually three (3) rival (“anti”?) popes.
  • ±1341-±1351. Local councils in Constantinople (modern-day Turkey) rehabilitate Gregory Palamas’s “Papamite” theology of hesychasm against Barlaam of Calabria’s “Westernized,” “Barlaamist” philosophy.
  • ±1414-±1418. Local council of Constance (in modern-day Italy) ends Western “Great Schism.”
  • ☚☛ ±1439-±0000. Local council of Florence (in modern-day Italy) again fails to force Orthodox capitulation to the Roman Papacy and confesses Purgatory as dogma.
  • ±1444-±0000. Catholic Priest Lorenzo Valla proves Donation of Constantine a forgery (done AD 750).
  • ☚☛ ±1453-±0000. Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks; numerous Greek scholars flee to the West, triggering European Renaissance.
  • ±1545-±1563. Council of Trent (in modern-day Italy) answers charges of Protestant Reformation.
  • ±1582-±0000. Institution of the Gregorian Calendar in Spain, Portugal, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and most of Italy.
  • ☚☛ ±1596-±0000. Union of Brest-Litovsk, creation of the Unia (Eastern/Byzantine/Greek “Catholics”).
  • ☚☛ ±1724-±0000. Melkite Schism, in which many Antiochian Orthodox become Greek “Catholics.”
  • ±1854-±0000. Declaration (under Pope “Blessed” Pius XI of Rome) of Immaculate Conception of Mary as (“Fourth Marian”) Dogma.
  • ±1870-±0000. Declaration (under Pope “Blessed” Pius XI of Rome) of Papal Infallibility (i.e. that, in virtue of the Jesus’ promise to Peter, the Pope is preserved from the possibility of error when, exercising his office of shepherd and teacher of all Christians, he solemnly declares that a teaching on faith and morals is to be held by the whole Church) as dogma at First Vatican Council (in modern-day Italy).
  • ☚☛ ±1946-±0000. State-sponsored synod held in the Ukraine dissolves the Union of Brest-Litovsk and integrates the Ukrainian Greek “Catholic” Church into the Russian Orthodox Church, with Soviet authorities arresting resisters or deporting them to Siberia.
  • ±1950-±0000. Declaration (under Pope Pius XII) of Mary’s Bodily Assumption as (“Third Marian”) Dogma.
  • ±1962-±1965. Vatican II institutes major reforms (most notably liturgical) into the Roman Catholic Church.
  • ☚☛ ±1964-±0000. Mutual lifting of 1054 excommunications by Patriarch Athenagoras I of Constantinople and Pope Paul VI of Rome.
  • ☚☛ ±1979-±0000. Joint Commission of Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches for Theological Dialogue is established (under Pope John Paul II of Rome).
  • ☚☛ ±1995-±0000. Pope John Paul II of Rome issues Orientale Lumen , encouraging East-West union.
  • ☚☛ ±2001-±0000. Pope John Paul II of Rome apologizes to the Orthodox for the Fourth Crusade (which sacked and overthrew Constantinople in 1204).
  • ☚☛ ±2004-±0000. Return of relics of Sts. John Chrysostom and Gregory the Theologian are returned from Rome to Constantinople (having been stolen by Crusaders in 1204).
  • ±2006-±0000. Pope Benedict XVI of Rome drops the official title Patriarch of the West.
  • ☚☛ ±2013-±0000. Pope Francis of Rome uses the title Bishop of Rome.
  1. Appendix: Further Reading
    1. Orthodox Sources
      1. Books
        1. Carlton, Clark. The Truth: What Every Roman Catholic Should Know About the Orthodox Church. Salisbury, MA: Regina Orthodox Press, 1999.
        2. Clement, Olivier. You Are Peter: An Orthodox Reflection on the Exercise of Papal Primacy. New City Press, 2003.
        3. Guettée, Abbé. The Papacy: Its Historic Origin and Primitive Relations.
        4. Meyendorff, John, ed. The Primacy of Peter: Essays in Ecclesiology and the Early Church . Crestwood, New York: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1992.
        5. Pelikan, Jaroslav. The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, Vol. 3: The Growth of Medieval Theology (600-1300). University of Chicago Press, 1980.
        6. Whelton, Michael. Popes and Patriarchs: An Orthodox Perspective on Roman Catholic Claims. Salisbury, MA: Regina Orthodox Press, 2006.
        7. Whelton, Michael. Two Paths: Papal Monarchy – Collegial Tradition: Rome’s Claim of Papal Supremacy in the Light of Orthodox Teaching. Salisbury, MA: Regina Orthodox Press, 2001.
        8. Young, Fr. Alexey. [Various titles, incl. The Rush to Embrace, The Great Divide and Christianity or Papism?]
      2. Websites
        1. For Roman Catholic Inquirers:
        2. The Filioque.
        3. What are the Differences?
        4. The Great Schism.
    2. Roman Catholic Sources
      1. Vatican Website.
      2. Vatican Resource Library.
      3. Catechism of the Catholic Church.
      4. James Likoudis (polemicist convert from Orthodoxy). (Likoudis also has a number of anti-Orthodox books)
      5. Dave Armstrong (RC apologist).
    3. Online References
      1. Internet Medieval Sourcebook.

The list above is by no means exhaustive, but it represents some of the sources used for putting this presentation together. The reader is admonished to dig deep and focus on primary sources when exploring this subject.

“My model here is the behaviour of the congregation at a ‘Russian Orthodox’ service, where some sit, some lie on their faces, some stand, some kneel, some walk about, and no one takes the slightest idea of what anyone else is doing. That is good sense, good manners, and good Christianity”
(C. S. Lewis in a letter to a Mrs. Johnson, 13 March 1956 [CLIII 720]).

“What pleased me most about a Greek Orthodox Mass I once attended was that there seemed to be no prescribed behaviour for the congregation. Some stood, some knelt, some sat, some walked; one crawled about the floor like a caterpillar. And the beauty of it was that nobody took the slightest notice of what anyone else was doing. I wish we Anglicans would follow their example. One meets people who are perturbed because someone in the next pew does, or does not, cross himself. They oughn’t even to have seen, let alone censured. ‘Who art thou that judgest Another’s Servant?’”
(Lewis [LM 19-20] [and Romans 14:4]).

“Greek priests impress one very favourably at sight – much more so than most Protestant or [Roman Catholic] clergy. And the peasants all refuse tips”
(Lewis in a letter, 23 May 1960 [CLIII, 1154]).
“That is where atheism comes from, from Catholicism. Atheism began in the first place with the Roman Catholics themselves: could they ever have taken themselves seriously? It took root through the abhorrence people felt for them…Rome has proclaimed a Christ who has fallen for Satan’s third temptation…It has proclaimed that Christ cannot reign without an earthly Kingdom. It is as if Catholicism had proclaimed the Antichrist, and that is what has destroyed the West. The pope has seized territory, sitting on an earthly throne and with a sword in his hand. Nothing has changed; there are only more lies, deceit, fanaticism…They have manipulated the people’s honest, most just, most pure, most ardent feelings. They have betrayed everything for worthless earthly power. Is this not a teaching of the Antichrist? Atheism was inevitable after this…and socialism is the offspring and essence of Catholicism. Atheism, its brother, came from disappointment, usurping the lost moral authority of religion to save humanity, not through Christ but by force. Socialism is also freedom through force and union through blood and the sword…In the West there is no Church at all, only clergy and magnificent church architecture. Denominations try to aspire to the virtues of the state that swallows them up. This is what I think has happened to the Lutheran countries. But in Rome the state replaced the Church a thousand years ago…” (Fyodor Dostoevsky).

Intelligent Orthodox Christian blog

*I use the term Catholics, of course, to mean those who [knowingly or unknowingly] side with the Pope of Rome against the authority of the Ecumenical Councils [most notably against the genuine Creed therein formulated!] as well as against all the other legitimate popes, ecumenicals and patriarchs, thus fomenting [actively or passively] heterodoxy, disunity and all kinds of fragmentation.

** On questions of authority, the Orthodox Communion includes four Patriarchates to the Roman’s one; the Orthodox Church continues to uphold what was determined in the Seven Holy Ecumenical Councils while (Q.E.D.) Roman Catholicism continues to improvise under the pretext/pretense of evolving or developing doctrine and milking a convenient, post-apostolic reinterpretation of the “You are Peter” passage.

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