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9 years ago  ::  Jul 22, 2008 - 12:23AM #1
genesis_9_6
Posts: 39
We all know in 1054 the Bishop of Rome and the Bishop of Constantinople excommunicated each other. This was viewed largely as a matter to be settled between the two Bishops and not a Church altering issue. In fact, many Catholics and Orthodox continued good relations over the next four centuries until the Capitol at Constantinople was sacked by the Muslim Turks. It was at this point, in 1453 that relations between the Catholic Church in Rome and the Orthodox Church in the East began to be strained to the point of breaking. How do Orthodox view this? That it was Muslim invaders, not Church leaders, who ultimately caused the severing of ties between Eastern and Western Churches?

A few points to consider:

1. The laity on both sides continued traditional relations for four centuries after the ex communication.
2. Today many Orthodox theologians accept that the filioque, at the center of the 1054 split, is in fact not as dire as previous thought.
3. The Russian Orthodox Church, a late arrival in comparison to the other Churches, are the biggest opponents to reconciliation.
4. The Oriental Orthodox, unlike the Eastern Orthodox, look at the Church in Rome with high regard.
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9 years ago  ::  Jul 22, 2008 - 3:13AM #2
Seraphim
Posts: 504
If I am not mistaken the sack of Constantinople was by the west was in 1204..with the liberation taking place in 1254 or thereabouts. That event pretty much set in stone the anathemas of 1054.

The 1400s was the last politically driven attempt to bridge the rift at the so called Council of Florence.  St. Mark of Ephesus championed the defeat of that pseudocouncil among the laity.  In the end even the Emperor believed the Turkish turban as bad as it would be was to be preferred to the Latin mitre.  The Turks would just pillage and oppress them...the Latins would try to meddle with their faith.

As for Orthodox theologians supporting the filioque...I don't know of any, but am pretty certain on that point they can hardly  be Orthodox...and most certainly cannot be theologians in any Orthodox sense regardless of the number of degrees they hold.  Scholarship does not make for an Orthodox theologian...being one marked by profound transforming prayer makes for Orthodox theologians. Since theology is the knowledge of God...not the academic study of what everyone under the sun has said about God, then only the man who prays truly...who entered into the secret chamber face to face with God, a man of purified heart and will given wholly to God and in conversation with God as a friend...only such a one can be called an Orthodox theologian. And as you might guess historically, there are only a handful we acknowledge to be theologians of the Church.

The filioque may not sound dire on the surface and it can massaged into practical innocuousness if the procession from the Son is strictly limited to a temporal procession...but its more robust form, its implication is theologically disastrous for it creates a double cause for the Spirit. Orthodox theology is quite clear..as are the Scriptures there is one cause of the Godhead...God the Father from whom God the Holy Spirit eternally proceeds and from Whom the Logos, God the Son is eternally begotten.

As for the non-chalcedonian communions whatever respect they may have for Rome does not rise to the place of affirming Rome on those points for which the Orthodox and Rome parted company.  Except for their preferred pre Chalcedonian statements of Christology in all other regards they are virtually indistinguishable from the Orthodox in faith and practice.

So...it was not the Turks that force the separation, nor was it the leadership for the most part (except on the part of Rome)...the laity with their leaders rejected the claims of Rome.  The people preferred the Turkish oppressors to Latin meddlers.  St. Mark could not have had the as much impact as he did unless the Orthodox people had not risen to demand their bishops recant their signatures on the documents of the false council of Florence.
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9 years ago  ::  Jul 22, 2008 - 10:17AM #3
KatherineOrthodixie
Posts: 3,689
[QUOTE=genesis_9_6;640345]We all know in 1054 the Bishop of Rome and the Bishop of Constantinople excommunicated each other. This was viewed largely as a matter to be settled between the two Bishops and not a Church altering issue.[/QUOTE]

Hardly that. "One summer afternoon in the year 1054, as a service was about to begin in the Church of the Holy Wisdom (Hagia Sophia) at Constantinople, Cardinal Humbert and two other legates of the Pope entered the building and made their way up to the sanctuary. They had not come to pray. They placed a Bull of Excommunication upon the altar and marched out once more. As he passed through the western door, the Cardinal shook the dust from his feet with the words: 'Let God look and judge.' A deacon ran out after him in great distress and begged him to take back the Bull. Humbert refused; and it was dropped in the street. "
...The Orthodox attitude to the Papacy is admirably expressed by a twelfth-century writer, Nicetas, Archbishop of Nicomedia:"My dearest brother, we do not deny to the Roman Church the primacy amongst the five sister Patriarchates; and we recognize her right to the most honourable seat at an Ecumenical Council. But she has separated herself from us by her own deeds, when through pride she assumed a monarchy which does not belong to her office . . . How shall we accept decrees from her that have been issued without consulting us and even without our knowledge? If the Roman Pontiff, seated on the lofty throne of his glory wishes to thunder at us and, so to speak, hurl his mandates at us from on high, and if he wishes to judge us and even to rule us and our Churches, not by taking counsel with us but at his own arbitrary pleasure, what kind of brotherhood, or even what kind of parenthood can this be? We should be the slaves, not the sons, of such a Church, and the Roman See would not be the pious mother of sons but a hard and imperious mistress of slaves.'"-Bishop Kallistos Ware
from his book, The Orthodox Church.

I recommend it highly.
“The Law of the Church is to give oneself to what is given not to seek one’s own.” Fr. Alexander Schmemann
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9 years ago  ::  Jul 22, 2008 - 11:39AM #4
WitnessNJ
Posts: 144

genesis_9_6 wrote:


1. The laity on both sides continued traditional relations for four centuries after the ex communication.

   
  But they little by little failed to recognize the Church in each other. It was ultimately the crusades which sealed the schism between the churches. The crusaders took over Jerusalem in 1099, and when they expelled the Moslems, they established a Latin hierarchy in place of the local, existing church order. They did this in Antioch also.  In fact, when westerners in later crusades, sacked Constantinople the two peoples did not see each other as Christians.
   
  But worse was to follow in 1204, with the taking of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade. The Crusaders were originally bound for Egypt, but were persuaded by Alexius, son of Isaac Angelus, the dispossessed Emperor of Byzantium, to turn aside to Constantinople in order to restore him and his father to the throne. This western intervention in Byzantine politics did not go happily, and eventually the Crusaders, disgusted by what they regarded as Greek duplicity, lost patience and sacked the city. Eastern Christendom has never forgotten those three appalling days of pillage. "Even the Saracens are merciful and kind," protested Nicetas Choniates, "compared with these men who bear the Cross of Christ on their shoulders." What shocked the Greeks more than anything was the wanton and systematic sacrilege of the Crusaders. How could men who had specially dedicated themselves to God’s service treat the things of God in such a way? As the Byzantines watched the Crusaders tear to pieces the altar and icon screen in the Church of the Holy Wisdom, and set prostitutes on the Patriarch’s throne, they must have felt that those who did such things were not Christians in the same sense as themselves.(another quote from The Orthodox Church)
   
  The laity did see that they were not the same church.

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9 years ago  ::  Jul 22, 2008 - 3:49PM #5
genesis_9_6
Posts: 39
"Even after 1054 friendly relations between East and West continued. The two parts of Christendom were not yet conscious of a great gulf of separation between them. … The dispute remained something of which ordinary Christians in East and West were largely unaware"- Bishop Kallistos
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9 years ago  ::  Jul 22, 2008 - 4:18PM #6
malanga
Posts: 626
[QUOTE=Seraphim;640483]
So...it was not the Turks that force the separation, nor was it the leadership for the most part (except on the part of Rome)...the laity with their leaders rejected the claims of Rome.  The people preferred the Turkish oppressors to Latin meddlers.  [/QUOTE]

I mean no offense Seraphim, but I seriously doubt the laity made such a decision to being butchered by the Turks being preferable to a union with Rome.  The laity usually have little to do with the decisions of the nobility and clergy in such manners. I really believe the clergy more than any other groups were what kept the two Churches apart. True, the Emperor wanted the union in order to save his country, which was not the best or reasons, but still I admire him for trying to save his people and his kingdom.  I understand the Eastern Church is fiercely independent of Rome and considers it Heterodox and "Latin Meddlers", but I doubt the majority of the laity preferred death over Rome.  The split between East and West had more to do with political motivation than theological purity.
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9 years ago  ::  Jul 22, 2008 - 4:23PM #7
KatherineOrthodixie
Posts: 3,689
"The Council transferred to Ferrara in 1438 and to Florence in 1439 had meanwhile successfully negotiated reunification with several Eastern Churches, reaching agreements on such matters as papal primacy, purgatory, and the word "Filioque" added in the West to the Nicene Creed. The most important of these unions, that with the Eastern Orthodox Church, though accepted by all but one of the Greek bishops at the Council, was rejected by popular sentiment and came to a complete end with the fall of Constantinople in 1453. " wiki
“The Law of the Church is to give oneself to what is given not to seek one’s own.” Fr. Alexander Schmemann
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9 years ago  ::  Jul 22, 2008 - 4:34PM #8
malanga
Posts: 626
[QUOTE=KatherineOrthodixie;640845]Hardly that. "One summer afternoon in the year 1054, as a service was about to begin in the Church of the Holy Wisdom (Hagia Sophia) at Constantinople, Cardinal Humbert and two other legates of the Pope entered the building and made their way up to the sanctuary. They had not come to pray. They placed a Bull of Excommunication upon the altar and marched out once more. As he passed through the western door, the Cardinal shook the dust from his feet with the words: 'Let God look and judge.' A deacon ran out after him in great distress and begged him to take back the Bull. Humbert refused; and it was dropped in the street. "[/QUOTE]

A most incomplete and inaccurate quotation.  Bishop Humbert acted on his own, not by the direction or authority of the Pope.  The Pope, Leo the IX, who appointed Hubert had died in Rome while Hubert was in Constantinople, and he no longer had any papal authority.  Michael Cerularius, Patriarch of Constantinople knew this.  The "Bull of Excommunication" was against the Patriarch of Constantinople, not the entire Eastern Church.  The New Catholic Encyclopedia says, "The consummation of the schism is generally dated from the year 1054, when this unfortunate sequence of events took place. This conclusion, however, is not correct, because in the bull composed by Humbert, only Patriarch Michael I was excommunicated. The validity of the bull is questioned because Pope Leo IX was already dead at that time. On the other side, the Byzantine synod excommunicated only the legates."  This entire event was because of a clash of Egos on both sides.
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9 years ago  ::  Jul 22, 2008 - 4:40PM #9
malanga
Posts: 626
[QUOTE=KatherineOrthodixie;641642]accepted by all but one of the Greek bishops at the Council, was rejected by popular sentiment and came to a complete end with the fall of Constantinople in 1453. " wiki[/QUOTE]
Do you mean the people came out and rioted and rebelled, saying they preferred being butchered than to have anything to do with Rome?  Sounds more like a myth than reality.  I'll need better evidence of that before I believe it.
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9 years ago  ::  Jul 22, 2008 - 5:16PM #10
KatherineOrthodixie
Posts: 3,689
[QUOTE=malanga;641675]Do you mean the people came out and rioted and rebelled, saying they preferred being butchered than to have anything to do with Rome?  Sounds more like a myth than reality.  I'll need better evidence of that before I believe it.[/QUOTE]

The Council of Ferrara-Florence (1438-45), held successively at Ferrara, Florence, and Rome, was an ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic church convened for the primary purpose of ending the schism between that church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. Officially, it was the second part of a council transferred from Basel, although a group of dissident churchmen remained in Basel and continued a rival council until 1449. Both the Byzantine emperor John VIII and the patriarch of Constantinople Joseph II were present at Ferrara-Florence, in part to seek aid from the West against the Turks. After much discussion of their theological differences, the two churches were formally reunited in 1439. The Orthodox leaders had difficulty, however, winning approval from the clergy at home, and all semblance of unity dissolved after the fall of the Byzantine Empire to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. Halecki, Oscar, From Florence to Brest, 1439-1596, 2d ed. (1968)

When the Greek representatives returned home, however, their decision was greeted with derision. Church union was never accepted by the masses of the Eastern Christian faithful. In any case, it became a dead letter with the 1453 Turkish conquest of Constantinople, renamed Istanbul by the Turks. Gill, Joseph. (1961). The Council of Florence. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Nor was any better headway made in the Greek Empire. The emperor remained faithful, but some of the Greek deputies, intimidated by the discontent prevailing amongst their own people, deserted their position and soon fell back into the surrounding mass of schism. The new emperor, Constantine, brother of John Palaeologus, vainly endeavoured to overcome the opposition of the Byzantine clergy and people. Isidore of Kiev was sent to Constantinople to bring about the desired acceptance of the Florentine "Decretum Unionis" (Laetentur Coeli), but, before he could succeed in his mission, the city fell (1453) before the advancing hordes of Mohammed II. Catholic Encyclopedia

Is this sufficient?
“The Law of the Church is to give oneself to what is given not to seek one’s own.” Fr. Alexander Schmemann
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