Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Contra Eastern Orthodoxy

1. I have several family members and friends who are Greek Orthodox. But there are a number of reasons that the Greek Orthodox Church is not truly “orthodox” and thus the Catholic Church Christ founded does not subsist in the Greek Orthodox Church. So if you are, say, a Protestant coming home towards Christ’s true Church and you are having difficulty choosing between the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church, you must choose the Catholic Church because it is the true Church.

2. In the first place the Greek denial of the Filioque clause constitutes aheresy. Why join a church which has erred in its official position on the Trinity? For the Holy Ghost protects Christ’s Church from error. Now the Greek Church is in error because it says that the Holy Ghost proceeds only from the Father and not from the Father and/through the Son. One verse from God’s infallible word suffices to show whether a doctrine is true. And I have proved from the Lord Jesus’ own words in the Gospel of St. John the Evangelist that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Son by way of origin.{1}

3. The Greek Orthodox church also fell into error with regard to sexual morality. Now contraception is mortally sinful{2} and was universally condemned by all Christian denominations until 1930, when the Anglicans held the Lambeth conference. But Eastern Orthodoxy does not forbid contraception, and thus endangers the souls of many. Additionally, contravening Christ’s teaching, Orthodoxy allows second and third marriages. Christ teaches that valid sacramental marriage between two baptized Christians is absolutely indissoluble and that “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery” [Mk 10:11-12].

4. The papacy is found in scripture.{3} The pentarchy, however, is not. And had Jesus instituted a pentarchy, He would be a false prophet, which is impossible, for He is the omniscient Son of God. For He promised that His Church is indefectible{4} and that cannot be said of the non-Roman sees of the pentarchy: Constantinople, Alexandria, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. The see of Constantinople{5} was plagued by Arianism (Eusebius, Eudoxius), Semi-Arianism (Macedonius), Monophysitism (Acacius, Phravitas, Euphemius, Timothy I, Anthimus), Nestorianism (Nestorius), and Monothelitism (Sergius I, Pyrrhus,{6} Paul II, Peter, John VI). The poisonous smoke of Satan billowed into the see of Antioch in the form of Docetism, Modalism=Sabellianism (Paul of Samosata), Arianism (Eulalius, Euphronius), Nestorianism,{7} Monophysitism (Peter the Fuller, John Codonatus, Palladius, Severus, Sergius, Paul the Black, Peter Callinicum), and Monothelitism (Anthanasius, Macedonius, Macarius). The see of Alexandria succumbed to Monophysitism (Dioscorus, Timothy Aelurus, Peter Mongo, Athanasius II, John II, John III, Timothy III, Theodosius, Damianus) after its wicked rejection of the canons of the Council of Chalcedon in A.D. 451, and was also preyed upon by Monothelitism (Cyrus). Jerusalem succumbed to Monophysitism (Juvenal) and Origenism (Eustachius). The Muslim Arabs, who held to an incorrect theology, venerated a notorious sinner, and pretended that the fallible Quran with its internal contradictions{8} is the infallible Word of God, reigned over Jerusalem for the bulk of the period between A.D. 637 and World War I.

5. Eastern Orthodoxy has also suffered in the past from a perverted relationship between Church and State. The Church truly transcends the State but contrary to the Catholic Faith, the State has been for extended periods of time above the Church in the Greek church. Moreover, the Pope is not the “First Among Equals.” He never had that title. On the contrary, he was called “Vicar of Christ” in the late 300s, Servant of the Servants of God in the middle of the fifth century, and the “Head of the Church” in the late 400s—man Greek Fathers,{9} and the synodal letters of the Ecumenical Councils of Chalcedon, Constantinople III, and Nicaea II called the pope the “Head of the Church” well before the schism of 1054. The councils of Constantinople in 638 and 639 were not Ecumenical since Rome did not approve and cooperate with them, and these councils formally held to Monothelitism by ratifying the Ecthesis. There have been 21 Ecumenical Councils, the first of which was Nicaea I in A.D. 325 and the most recent of which was Vatican II in 1965. And yet the Greek church only accepts one third of the ecumenical councils, repudiating the fourteen most recent ones: Nicaea I (325), Constantinople I (381), Ephesus (431), Chalcedon (451), Constantinople II (553), Constantinople III (680), and Nicaea II (787.) There is no point in agreeing upon a system which makes Ecumenical Councils central to the governance of the Church universal and then out of the blue abandoning the Councils for 1220 years. That is not right.

6. In a similar vein Orthodoxy truncates doctrinal development, contrary to Scripture.{10} That is why it systematically denies Papal supremacy/primacy and infallibility, the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the dogma of Purgatory, Filioque, etc. And thus it cannot properly be called Orthodox, a title it usurped from Rome. Really it is the Eastern Heterodox Church.

{1} “Invincible Argument for Filioque.” http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2007/04/invincible-argument-for-filioque.html.
{2} “Contraception is a Mortal Sin.”
{3} “Papacy, Part I.”
{4} “Papacy, Part II.”
{5} This means that its leaders, its patriarchs, were heretics. But no Pope (Bishop of Rome) has been a heretic, which is explained in another post, “Heretical Popes – No Way.”
{6} Pyrrhus is such a cool name and he had to blacken it by embracing a Christological heresy which fails to distinguish between what is one, absolutely speaking, and what is one in subordination to another.
{7} I submit that Nestorianism is the easiest Christological heresy to fall into, and that many people who don’t know any better are Crypto-Nestorians who need to be more educated about the sublime mystery of the Incarnation. See “Contra Nestorius.”
{8} “Quranic Errancy, Pt. 1.” http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2007/03/in-evaluating-quran-as-with-any-other.html.
{9} The monk St. John Cassian says [Contra Nestorium iii, 12], “That great man, the disciple of disciples, that master among masters, who wielding the government of the Roman Church possessed the principle authority in faith and in priesthood. Tell us, therefore, we beg of you, Peter, prince of Apostles, tell us how the Churches must believe in God.”
St. Maximus the Confessor says [Ep. to Peter], “If the Roman See recognizes Pyrrhus to be not only a reprobate but a heretic, it is certainly plain that everyone who anathematizes those who have rejected Pyrrhus also anathematizes the See of Rome, that is, he anathematizes the Catholic Church. I need hardly add that he excommunicates himself also, if indeed he is in communion with the Roman See and the Catholic Church of God ...Let him hasten before all things to satisfy the Roman See, for if it is satisfied, all will agree in calling him pious and orthodox. For he only speaks in vain who thinks he ought to persuade or entrap persons like myself, and does not satisfy and implore the blessed Pope of the most holy Catholic Church of the Romans, that is, the Apostolic See, which is from the incarnate of the Son of God Himself, and also all the holy synods, according to the holy canons and definitions has received universal and supreme dominion, authority, and power of binding and loosing over all the holy churches of God throughout the whole world.” Moreover J.P. Migne in PG 90 (see http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2007/00000) quotes the confession of St. Maximus in his Opuscula theological et polemica of the infallibility of the Apostolic Roman Church: “The extremities of the earth, and everyone in every part of it who purely and rightly confess the Lord, look directly towards the Most Holy Roman Church and her confession and faith, as to a sun of unfailing light awaiting from her the brilliant radiance of the sacred dogmas of our Fathers, according to that which the inspired and holy Councils have stainlessly and piously decreed. For, from the descent of the Incarnate Word amongst us, all the churches in every part of the world have held the greatest Church alone to be their base and foundation, seeing that, according to the promise of Christ Our Savior, the gates of hell will never prevail against her, that she has the keys of the orthodox confession and right faith in Him, that she opens the true and exclusive religion to such men as approach with piety, and she shuts up and locks every heretical mouth which speaks against the Most High.”
The final quote in our brief list is from St. Theodore the Studite of Constantinople, Book I, Ep. 23 to Pope Leo III,
{10} St. John the Evangelist [Jn 14:26; 16:13-15].

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