Eastern Orthodox – Roman Catholic theological differences

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The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem – a centre of Christian pilgrimage long shared and disputed between the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox churches.

This article discusses Roman CatholicEastern Orthodox theological differences.

The Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church have been in a state of official schism from one another since the events of 1054—the East–West Schism. The causes of this breach were centuries in the making and stemmed to a considerable extent from cultural and political factors derived from the increasing isolation of the Latin scholarly culture of the West and the Greek scholarly culture of the Byzantine Empire. Historically, it has been argued that there are substantive theological differences between the Western and Eastern churches that have proven enduring points of contention.[1]

Since the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church has generally taken the approach that the schism is primarily ecclesiological in nature, that the doctrinal teachings of the Eastern Orthodox churches are generally sound (with the exception of their understanding of papal primacy, the filioque clause, and the purification after death) and that "the vision of the full communion to be sought is that of unity in legitimate diversity"[2] as before the division, since "the first councils are an eloquent witness to this enduring unity in diversity".[3] In this view, the primary difficulty is disagreement on the role of the Pope.[4]

Jeffrey D. Finch claims that "the future of East–West rapprochement appears to be overcoming the modern polemics of neo-scholasticism and neo-Palamism".[5]

Contents

Historical background of the East–West Schism[edit]

Changes in extent of the Empire ruled from Constantinople.
476 End of the Western Empire; 550 Conquests of Justinian I; 717 Accession of Leo the Isaurian; 867 Accession of Basil I; 1025 Death of Basil II; 1095 Eve of the First Crusade; 1170 Under Manuel I; 1270 Under Michael VIII Palaiologos; 1400 Before the fall of Constantinople

The administration of the Roman Empire was constituted by a predominantly Greek speaking Eastern half and a Latin speaking Western half. This linguistic division over time led to an administrative division of the two regions under the Emperor Diocletian in AD 285 and then to a separation into two empires: The Western Empire and the Eastern Empire (also known as the Byzantine Empire or Byzantium) with the passing of Theodosius I in AD 395. Theodosius I had established Nicene Christianity as the state religion of the Roman Empire. The Western Empire is generally said to have come to an end in AD 476, when Odoacer deposed Romulus Augustulus. By then, the whole of what had been the western part of the empire was ruled by Germanic invaders: Italy by Odoacer, Northern Africa, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica and the Balearic Islands by Vandals, the Iberian peninsula by Visigoths, Roman Gaul by other groups, of whom the Franks were destined to become the most important, and Roman Britain by Britons and English. The Roman Empire, now ruled from Constantinople, never more than partially and temporarily recovered this area. The subsequent mutual alienation of the Greek-speaking East and the Latin-speaking West (leading to a stagnation in scholarly intercourse between the two cultures) led to increasing ignorance of the theological and ecclesiological developments of each tradition.

Impact of linguistic differences[edit]

The Eastern Church has been historically centred on the Greek language in which many of the early theological works and commentaries of Christianity were written. The Western Church used Latin as its medium and as knowledge of Greek declined among western scholars the Western church became increasingly dependent on theological works written in its own language (most notably those of St Augustine of Hippo) and often imperfect translations from the Greek. Words used in one language and those used in another to translate them sometimes do not correspond exactly, and can have a broader or narrower significance. In the 7th century, Eastern theologian and saint Maximus the Confessor applied this to apparent differences between Western and Eastern, remarking that it affected efforts by Latin-speaking Westerners to express an idea in Greek, and for Greek-speaking Easterners to express an idea in Latin: "They cannot reproduce their idea in a language and in words that are foreign to them as they can in their mother-tongue, just as we too cannot do."[6] In the 13th century Western theologian and saint Thomas Aquinas similarly remarked:

"Many things which sound well enough in Greek do not perhaps sound well in Latin. Hence, Latins and Greeks professing the same faith do so using different words. For among the Greeks it is said, correctly, and in a Catholic way, that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three hypostases. But with the Latins it does not sound right to say that there are three substantiae, even though on a purely verbal basis the term hypostasis in Greek means the same as the term substantia in Latin. The fact is, substantia in Latin is more frequently used to signify essence. And both we and the Greeks hold that in God there is but one essence. So where the Greeks speak of three hypostases, we Latins speak of three personae, as Augustine in the seventh book on the Trinity also teaches. And, doubtless, there are many similar instances.
"It is, therefore, the task of the good translator, when translating material dealing with the Catholic faith, to preserve the meaning, but to adapt the mode of expression so that it is in harmony with the idiom of the language into which he is translating. For obviously, when anything spoken in a literary fashion in Latin is explained in common parlance, the explanation will be inept if it is simply word for word. All the more so, when anything expressed in one language is translated merely word for word into another, it will be no surprise if perplexity concerning the meaning of the original sometimes occurs."[7]

Areas of agreement on doctrine[edit]

Both churches accept the decisions of the first seven Ecumenical Councils of the undivided Church. These are:

There is therefore doctrinal agreement on:

Neither Church community subscribes to the Protestant teachings expressed in the five solae, especially regarding the teachings of salvation through faith alone (which these two communities understand as requiring no acts of love and charity) or of Sola Scriptura (which they understand as excluding doctrinal teachings passed down through the Church from the apostles in the form of Sacred Tradition).

Extant disputes as seen by Roman Catholic theologians[edit]

Official position of the Catholic Church[edit]

The Roman Catholic Church considers that the differences between Eastern and Western theology are complementary rather than contradictory, as stated in the Decree Unitatis redintegratio of the Second Vatican Council, which declared:

In the study of revelation East and West have followed different methods, and have developed differently their understanding and confession of God's truth. It is hardly surprising, then, if from time to time one tradition has come nearer to a full appreciation of some aspects of a mystery of revelation than the other, or has expressed it to better advantage. In such cases, these various theological expressions are to be considered often as mutually complementary rather than conflicting. Where the authentic theological traditions of the Eastern Church are concerned, we must recognize the admirable way in which they have their roots in Holy Scripture, and how they are nurtured and given expression in the life of the liturgy. They derive their strength too from the living tradition of the apostles and from the works of the Fathers and spiritual writers of the Eastern Churches. Thus they promote the right ordering of Christian life and, indeed, pave the way to a full vision of Christian truth.[8]

The Roman Catholic Church's attitude was also expressed by Pope John Paul II in the image of the Church "breathing with her two lungs".[9][10] He meant that there should be a combination of the more rational, juridical, organization-minded "Latin" temperament with the intuitive, mystical and contemplative spirit found in the east.[11]

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, citing documents of the Second Vatican Council and of Pope Paul VI, states:

"The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honoured by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter" (Lumen gentium 15). Those "who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church" (Unitatis redintegratio 3). With the Orthodox Churches, this communion is so profound "that it lacks little to attain the fulness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord's Eucharist" (Paul VI, Discourse, 14 December 1975; cf. Unitatis redintegratio 13-18).[12]

On 10 July 2007 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published a document,[13] approved by Pope Benedict XVI, that stated that the Eastern churches are separated from Rome (the member churches of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy and the Assyrian Church of the East) and for that very reason "lack something in their condition as particular churches", and that the division also means that "the fullness of universality, which is proper to the Church governed by the Successor of Peter and the Bishops in communion with him, is not fully realised in history."[14]

Extant disputes as seen by Orthodox theologians[edit]

Theological issues – actus purus and theoria[edit]

Some Eastern Orthodox theologians point to a number of theological issues outstanding. These issues have a long history as can be seen in the works of Photius and 11th Century works of Orthodox theologian and saint Nikitas Stithatos.

Speculative theology – Philosophy and Scholasticism versus empirical theology – Theoria[edit]

Eastern theologians assert that Christianity is the truth; that Christianity is in essence the one true way to know the true God who is the origin and originator of all things (seen and unseen, knowable and unknowable). Christianity is the apodictic truth, in contrast to the dialectic, dianoia or rationalised knowledge which is the arrived at truth by way of philosophical speculation.[15][16]

All other attempts by humanity, though containing some degree of truth will ultimately fail in their reconciliation between humanity and its source of existence and or being (called the studies of ontology, metaphysics). One's religion must provide for the whole person (the soul), their spiritual needs most importantly. In the approach to God the East considers philosophy but one form or tool that can do much to bring one closer to God but falls short at completeness in this task.[17]

Vladimir Lossky, a noted modern Eastern Orthodox theologian, argues the difference in East and West is due to the Roman Catholic Church's use of pagan metaphysical philosophy (and its outgrowth, scholasticism) rather than the mystical, actual experience of God called theoria, to validate the theological dogmas of Roman Catholic Christianity. For this reason, Lossky argues that the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics have become "different men".[18] Other Eastern Orthodox theologians such as John Romanides[19] and Metropolitan Hierotheos[20][21] say the same. Vladimir Lossky expressed this as "Revelation sets an abyss between the truth which it declares and the truths which can be discovered by philosophical speculation.[22]

This same sentiment was also expressed by the early Slavophile movements in the works of Ivan Kireevsky and Aleksey Khomyakov. The Slavophiles sought reconciliation with all various forms of Christianity as can be seen in the works of its most famous proponent Vladimir Solovyov. Theoria here is something more than simply a theological position. In Eastern Orthodoxy theoria was and is what established for the early church fathers the validation of Christianity and the ecclesiastical faith in God as a mystical (in the modern sense of the word) relationship between God and humanity that culminated into theosis.[23][24]

Exegesis of the Bible by the Fathers

The exegetical work of the Church Fathers differs from the methods followed today: by what they called theoria, that inspired vision - which itself is an essential part of Holy Tradition - enabled the Fathers to perceive depths of meaning in the biblical writings that escape a purely scientific or empirical approach to interpretation.[25] The Antiochene Fathers, in particular, saw in every passage of Scripture a double meaning, both literal and spiritual.[26] Although others may view the spiritual sense discerned in theoria as a form of allegory,[27] the Antiochene use of theoria differed from the Alexandrian use of outright allegory, in that it respected the literal meaning of Old Testament texts, while discerning in it a typological or spiritual sense, revealing in the things narrated "the face of Christ in the Old Testament".[28] Although theoria thus built upon the literal and historical meaning of the events narrated, it never ignored that meaning.[29] This distinction held for the Antiochian school; for Clement and other Alexandrians, Breck says, the word theōria denoted the spiritual sense of a passage of Scripture as revealed by allegory, and they treated it as virtually synonymous with allēgoria.[30]

Western writers on the exegetical methods of the early Fathers

In the context of the exegesis of the Fathers, Frances Margaret Young states, "Best translated in this context as a type of "insight", theoria was the act of perceiving in the wording and "story" of Scripture a moral and spiritual meaning".[31] According to Roman Catholic theologian George Montague, while the Alexandrian school could be accused of mere allegorizing of the Biblical texts, the Antiochenes could be accused, probably unfairly, of opening the way to a rationalism that minimized mystery.[32] In their biblical exegesis, whether of Alexandrian or Antiochene tradition, the Fathers, "with little or no understanding of the progressive nature of revelation, where the literal sense would not suffice, ... resorted to allegory or to theoria (Chrysostom and the Antiochenes)."[33]

Apart from its significance in relation to a method of biblical exegesis, the term theoria is of course used by Western writers also in relation to contemplative prayer.[34]

Vladimir Lossky and Eastern Orthodoxy's Mystical Theology

Western interpretations of what theoria means are not shared by the Eastern Orthodox as in the Greek church theoria in a theological context is translated as the "vision of God".[35][36][37] In Orthodox theology, the mystic, gnosiological,[38] apophatic theology is taught as superior to cataphatic theology. While Aquinas felt positive and negative theology should be seen as dialectical correctives to each other, like thesis and antithesis producing a synthesis, Vladimir Lossky argues, based on his reading of Dionysius the Areopagite and Maximus the Confessor, that positive theology is always inferior to negative theology, a step along the way to the superior knowledge attained by negation.[39] This is expressed in the idea that mysticism, gnosiology is the expression of dogmatic theology par excellence.[40] For the Eastern Orthodox in its purest form, theoria is considered as the 'beholding', 'seeing' or 'vision' of God.[41][42][43][44] As theoria or Vision of God in Eastern Orthodoxy is when a person of great piety is given the gift of seeing God, vision of God. This is also referred to as experiencing the uncreated light of God as was seen by the apostles at Mount Tabor. Thus this uncreated light[45] is often referred to as the light of Tabor of Christ's Transfiguration.[46][47]

An Eastern Orthodox picture of Roman Catholic theology

The Eastern Orthodox teach that none of the Church Fathers accepted or embraced Aristotle's metaphysics, so the scholasticism in the West based on Aristotle, is simply absent in the East.[48] Meaning that for one to be a theologian one does not seek to obtain a degree from a University (as in the old pagan society and the Academies of Greece) to become a scholar, rather one obtains the vision of God by way of ascetic practice. Roman Catholic theologians hold as a theological conclusion (sententia certa), but not as a matter of dogma (de fide), that "our natural knowledge of God in this world is not an immediate, intuitive cognition,[49] but a mediate, abstractive knowledge, because it is attained through the knowledge of creatures" and that "our knowledge of God here below is not proper (cognitio propria) but analogical (cognitio analoga or analogica)".[50]

The Eastern Orthodox call this type of theology kataphatic theology and hold this is inferior to the "Eastern Approach" which is called Apophatic theology. As the Roman Catholic teaching on God's energies and God's essence either taught by Thomas Aquinas and addressed under his teaching Actus Purus, or under Duns Scotus whom taught Aristotle's "being qua being" as the doctrine of the univocity of being. Both imply the denial of any real distinction between essence and existence. Roman Catholicism teaches, also, that, in the Age to Come, man will, with his intellect and with the assistance of grace, behold the Essence of God. The Orthodox declare that it is impossible to behold God in Himself. Not even divine grace, will give us such power. The saved will see, however, God as the glorified flesh of Christ.[51]

Historically, the Roman Catholic theology never made the distinction between God's Essence (what He is) and His Uncreated Energies (by what means He acts). St. Gregory Palamas tried to explain this distinction through a comparison between God and the Sun. The sun has its rays, God has His Energies (among them, Grace and Light). By His Energies, God created, sustains and governs the universe. By His Energies, He will transform the creation and deify it, that is, He will fill the new creation with His Energies as water fills a sponge.[51] But there is Catholic teaching about the attributes of God (qualities such as perfection, simplicity, oneness, veracity, fidelity, goodness, benignity, immutability, eternity, ubiquity, infinity), and it is Catholic dogma that "the Divine Attributes are really identical among themselves and with the Divine Essence".[50]

Hesychasm controversy and the acquisition of Theoria[edit]

A great division of opinion between theologians of East and West[52][53] arose in connection with the Hesychasm controversy or Palamite controversy. With the exception of Barlaam the Calabrian, "no major participant of the great theological controversies, which ended in 1351, had anything but a casual knowledge of Western theology ... And Barlaam himself ... was hardly a prominent representative of Western theological thought; he was, rather, a manipulator of ideas and probably influenced by Nominalism".[54] The Hesychasm or Palamite controversy was not a conflict between Orthodoxy and the Papacy,[55] but has been seen to have resulted in a direct theological conflict between Eastern Orthodox theology and the rise of Papal authority[56] and Western or Latin theology based on Scholasticism.[57]

Saint Gregory of Nazianzus, quoted by John Romanides, says that one cannot be a genuine or a true theologian or teach knowledge of God without having experienced God, as is defined as the vision of God (theoria).[58] Theoria is obtained according to Eastern Orthodox theology by way of contemplative prayer called hesychasm and is the vision of God as the uncreated light i.e. the light of Tabor.[59][60][61] Palamas himself explicitly stated that he had seen the uncreated light of Tabor and had the vision of God called theoria.[62]

Theosis is deification obtained through the practice of Hesychasm and theoria is one of its last stages as theosis is catharsis, theoria, and then completion of deification or theosis.[63]

Metropolitan Hierotheos states Gregory Palamas represents the God seers of Eastern Orthodox Theology and that the Western Latin Scholastic traditions are not the same as that of the God seer based theologians of the East, that Palamas represented at the Hesychasm councils.[64] At the heart of the issue is the teaching of the Essence-Energies distinctions by Gregory Palamas. The tradition and distinction behind this understanding is that creation is an activity of God (the task of energy or energeia). If we deny the real distinction between God's essence and God's creation (activities or energies), we cannot, according to Vladimir Lossky, fix any very clear borderline between the procession of the existences of God (or realities of God) and the creation of the world: both the one and the other will be equally acts of the divine nature.[65] According to Metropolitan Hierotheos that because the Roman Catholic Church uses philosophical speculation rather that an actual experience of God to derive their theology they are lead into the many errors that Orthodox call into question about their theology including the filioque.[66]

As in the East Activity is a task or property of something else and energy does not stand alone (there is no activity, energy by itself (per se). The "being" and "the action(s) of God" without the distinction, then would appear identical, leading to the teaching of Pantheism.[67][68] This removal of distinction meaning that the universe or material world and God are one and the same.[65] For God's action (creation) and God's being or essence is one and the same in actus purus and not the result of his creating activity. This leads to the denial of the transcendent and apophatic, incomprehensible definition of the essence of God. By stating that God's being and energies are the same thing, one is stating that God in Trinity is the same as man (i.e. created or a creature as part of creation, anthropomorphic in contrast to theanthropic),[69] meaning that humans as finite beings would be able to conceive the infinite, and that humanity could be God in essence (implying pantheism), as humanity is a creation of God, as an activity an act of God.[70][71][72]

Pantheism rather potentially pagan or not, also implicitly teaches that Man is the creator God (as philosophical idealism in that God is in and of the mind nous, dyad, demiurge). Within Neoplatonism there is not only no distinction between the creator God the dyad (from the Monad) and the world (the Triad or World Soul) but that the world is made up of the monad or singular substance, essence that all things reduce to (the uncaused cause) by the demiurge or dyad. This tenet of the pagan soteriological teaching of henosis (as taught by Plato, Aristotle, and Plotinus) rather than the teaching of Christian salvation (theosis). Hesychasm was one of the ways in which the various ascetics of the East attained the vision of God. To vilify Hesychasm is the vilify the process of theosis in that Heyschasm first purifies the human heart, then initiates theoria (illumination) and finally changes the person into being like God, Christ-like, Holy or Good (called Sainthood).[73] This process has long been active in the East as it can also be seen in the works of ascetics like St John Climacus.

John Climacus and his works are venerated in both the East and the West. Early 20th-century Roman Catholic theologian Adrian Fortescue said that Hesychasm went against the scholastic Aristotelean metaphysics then predominant in the West.[74] Eastern Orthodox theologian John Romanides, on the other hand, states that both Thomas Aquinas' Aristoteleanism and Augustine's Neoplatonism mislead and dominated Western theology.[75]

Romanides also stated that Western Christianity remained Neoplatonic until Occam and Luther: "Franco-Latin Christianity remained Neo-Platonic until Occam and Luther lead sizable portions of Western Europe away from Neo-Platonic metaphysics and mysticism and their monastic supports.".[76] But Fortescue, far from associating Neoplatonism with the West, said that hesychasm arose from ideas of the philosophies of Neoplatonism and Plato himself, and that, since Western theology was impregnated by Aristoteleanism and scholasticism, it could not be reconciled with Hesychasm.[74] Fortescue also called Hesychasm "the only great mystic movement in the Orthodox Church"[77] This contrasts with V Lossky's history of the movement before Gregory Palamas in Lossky's book the Vision of (Seeing) God.

After the death of Gregory Palamas the Byzantine Empire experienced a Civil War fought by pro Heyschast forces whom actually took the name the Hesychast party. On one side of the conflict was the anti- Hesychast pro-Latin forces of John V Palaiologos and on the opposing side the pro-Hesychast anti - Latin forces of John VI Kantakouzenos. In the end, the pro-Hesychast forces won the civil war.

With the publication in 1782 of the Philokalia came a revival in hesychasm, accepted in particular by the Slav Orthodox churches; this and the importance attached to it in the 20th century by the Paris school of Orthodox theology "have led to hesychasm's becoming definitive for modern Orthodox theology as never before".[78][79]

Roman Catholic attitude[edit]

In Constantinople, a succession of councils alternately approved and condemned doctrine concerning hesychasm. No such councils were held by the Western church to pronounce on this internal issue of the Eastern Orthodox Church,[55] and the word "hesychasm" does not appear in the Enchiridion Symbolorum et Definitionum (Handbook of Creeds and Definitions), the collection of Roman Catholic teachings originally compiled by Heinrich Joseph Dominicus Denzinger.

Palamite doctrine won almost no following in the West,[74] and the distrustful attitude of Barlaam in its regard prevailed among Western theologians, surviving into the early 20th century, as shown in Adrian Fortescue's article on hesychasm in the 1910 Catholic Encyclopedia.[80] Fortescue translated the Greek words ἥσυχος and ἡσυχαστής as "quiet" and "quietist".[77] Edward Pace's article on quietism, written in the same period, indicates that, while in the strictest sense quietism is a 17th-century doctrine proposed by Miguel de Molinos, the term is also used more broadly to cover both Indian religions and what Edward Pace called "the vagaries of Hesychasm", thus betraying the same prejudices as Fortescue with regard to hesychasm.[81] Siméon Vailhé, again in the same period, described some aspects of the teaching of Palamas as "monstrous errors", "heresies" and "a resurrection of polytheism",[82] and called the hesychast method for arriving at perfect contemplation "no more than a crude form of auto-suggestion"[82] Vailhé and Fortescue's arguments echo those of Barlaam, Nikephoros Gregoras, and John Kyparissiotes against the Hesychasts and Palamas during the Hesychasm Controversy in the East.

Today, while some Western theologians see the theology of Palamas, closely associated with the hesychast tradition of mystical prayer but not identical with it, as introducing an inadmissible division within God, others have incorporated his theology into their own thinking,[83] maintaining that there is no conflict between his teaching and Roman Catholic thought.[84]

Eastern Orthodox theologians comments on Augustine in relation to Hesychasm[edit]

The practice of ascetic prayer called Hesychasm in the Eastern Orthodox Church is centered on the enlightenment, deification (theosis) of man.[85] Theosis has also been referred to as "glorification",[86] "union with God", "becoming god by Grace", "self-realization", "the acquisition of the Holy Spirit", "experience of the uncreated light"[87][88] Eastern Orthodox theologians John Romanides and George Papademetriou say that some of Augustine's teachings were actually condemned as those of Barlaam the Calabrian at the Hesychast or Fifth Council of Constantinople 1351.[89][90] It is the vision or revelation of God (theoria) that gives one knowledge of God.[91] Theoria, contemplatio in Latin, as indicated by John Cassian,[92] meaning contemplation of God (Cassian) or vision of the glory of God (Hierotheos), is closely connected with theosis (divinization).[93]

John Romanides reports that Augustinian theology is generally ignored in the Eastern Orthodox church.[94] Romanides states that the Roman Catholic Church, starting with Augustine, has removed the mystical experience (revelation) of God (theoria) from Christianity and replaced it with the conceptualization of revelation through the philosophical speculation of metaphysics.[95][96][97] Romanides does not consider the metaphysics of Augustine to be Orthodox but Pagan mysticism.[86][98] Romanides states that Augustine's Platonic mysticism was condemned by the Eastern Orthodox within the church condemnation of Barlaam of Calabria at the Hesychast councils in Constantinople.[99]

Religion versus empirical or apodictic therapy[edit]

According to Eastern Orthodox theologian John Romanides, ancient Christianity was the answer to the established religions of the Roman Empire. As an established religion, for example under the Pagan Mystery Religions of its day, the personal practice of a person's religion was to rationally contemplate metaphysical or relio-philosophical created symbols in order to show piety and conform to the respective society. Orthodox Christianity is how people therapeutically cured issues of "religion". As Christianity is not a system or way of thinking that is by way of establishment a "religion" that stands by itself.[100][101] Orthodox Christianity is rather a therapeutic treatment for pain and the suffering and search for value in existence as it gives meaning to life outside of what is considered rational or philosophical.

Some Western Christian groups establish Christianity as a religion or institution the goals of which appear to try to harmonize the teachings of Christ with a world that rejects them. These Christian groups do not appear to be ascetic in nature and do not appear to offer a spiritual cure for spiritual problems, instead they appear more worldly in nature. Since theosis is an ascetic pursuit, Western Christianity terms and expresses salvation as a worldly (religious) goal in the pursuit of happiness, rather than seeking to achieve the goal of theosis (in a truly ascetic context, which is to transcend the self). This means that life in Eastern Orthodox theosis is an opportunity to prove oneself and perfect oneself and by free will to follow God and achieve salvation (theosis) through the cross.[102]

Noetic or intuitive faculty and the "unseen warfare" of the human heart[edit]

See also: nous and Spiritual warfare

In Eastern Christianity consciousness as the center, heart or spirit of the person is often referred to as the Nous.[103][104] Therefore Orthodox Christianity is healing or therapeutic and works in each individual to overcome their passions (i.e. evil thoughts, pasts, addictions). Nous or personal consciousness can also be loosely translated as the whole experience of conscious reality both internal (dianoia and intuitive) and external (sensory perception). Nous as the eye of the whole person (called soul). It is the nous that is both logical and intuitive understanding. Since in the East much spiritual work is done, as the Christian life inside the Church (liturgical services) and outside the church. This work is dedicated to reconciling the heart and mind by putting the mind in the heart and then contemplating through our intuition.[105]

""Conquer yourself – this is the highest of all victories"[106]

Consciousness or the human spirit (noetic) as energy of the soul, therefore the nous is called the "eye of the heart or soul".[107][108] In Eastern Orthodoxy when dealing with the satisfaction of the spirit one must live according to the spirit. As the laws of God are written on the human heart. It is stated that if the Orthodox Church appeared now in the world, and new, it would appear as a hospital for the spirit, heart, soul or nous of humanity.[109] Noesis (insight in English) means intuitive experiences of the spirit or heart, i.e. when one loves or grieves these are not things "learned" nor "rationalized" from external reality nor experienced as such. They are things essential and unlearned as intuitive or instinctual. These are energies or noesis as activities of the nous, consciousness. These internal experiences are intrinsic to the whole person in the East, the whole or complete person is called the soul.[110][111]

Inner experience[edit]
See also: Nepsis

The term "nous" in the East is used to mean the vision of life as consciousness. The soul (which is body and spirit together as one thing)[citation needed] vivifies or gives energy to the nous. Whereas philosophical discourse (dialectic) is very mechanical and attenuates reality into analytical concepts.[112] Thereby reducing man and nature to cold mechanical concepts, interpretations and symbols of reality not reality in and of itself.[112][113] Eastern Christianity seeks to restore humanity to its pre-separation from God or Paradise condition of full communion with the Creator and Trinity. Since in the East, it was humanity's nous that was damaged by Adam's sin and fall and it was this damaged consciousness that each human by birth now receives.

Faith as intuitive truth[edit]

Faith (pistis) is sometimes used interchangeable with Noesis in Eastern Christianity. Noesis or insight (meaning activities of the nous) are how we perceive and interact with existence.[114] The activities of the mind or consciousness as uncreated energies.

These things as energies and as uncreated are not rational, as rational comes from studying the immanence and inter-relationship of sensuous things. Faith being a characteristic of the intuitive, noesis or noetic experience of the nous or spirit. Faith here being defined as intuitive truth, meaning as a gift from God, faith is one of God's uncreated energies (Grace too is another of God's uncreated energies).[115] Since Gregory Palamas clarified that God's Energies are distinct from his Essence. God can be known by his energies (activities and then actualization) but not then limited to be any one of them.

Therefore God can be love, but then not strictly love because God then also can give us faith. Noesis as insight is the internal faculty, as faith, in which one faces the unknowable or randomness of the future. The God in Trinity is uncreated or incomprehensible in nature, being, substance or essence.[116] Foresight implies in its innateness fore-knowledge (premonition), insight however operates without such knowledge, meaning one proceeds into the future by faith. Therefore in Eastern Christianity, unlike in Western Christianity (see Actus et potentia), God's essence or incomprehensibility is distinguished from his uncreated energies. This again, is clarified in the Essence-Energies distinction of Gregory Palamas.[116] Faith here beyond simply a belief in something. Faith here as an activity or operation of God working in and through humanity. Faith being a critical aspect to the relationship between man and the God, this relationship or process is called Theosis. Faith as an operation in contemplating of an object for understanding.[116]

Humanity's analysis of an object's properties: enables us to form concepts.[116] But this analysis can in no case exhaust the content of the object of perception. There will always remain an "irrational residue" which escapes analysis and which can not be expressed in concepts: it is this unknowable depth of things, that which constitutes their true, indefinable essence that also reflects the origin of things in God.[116] As God in Trinity, as the anomalies of God's essence or being. In Eastern Christianity it is by faith or intuitive truth that this component of an objects existence is grasp.[116] Though God through his energies draws us to him, his essence remains inaccessible.[116] The operation of faith being the means of free will by which humanity faces the future or unknown, these noetic operations contained in the concept of insight or noesis. This faith being a radical departure from the concepts in henosis of fate and destiny within pre-Christian pagan culture.

Original Sin vs Ancestral Sin[edit]

Another point of theological contention according to some Orthodox theologians is the Roman Catholic teachings on Original Sin.[117][118] Orthodox theologians trace this position to having its roots in the works of Saint Augustine. Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Assyrian Church of the East, and Eastern Catholicism, which together make up Eastern Christianity, acknowledge that the introduction of ancestral sin into the human race affected the subsequent environment for humanity, but never accepted Augustine of Hippo's notions of original sin and hereditary guilt.[119] The Roman Catholic Church did not accept all of Augustine's ideas, at least as these are commonly interpreted outside the Church, such as the idea that original sin deprives man of free will or that God predestines some people to hell, and also his teaching that infants who die without baptism are confined to hell.[120] It holds that original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam's descendants.[121]

Synergy and John Cassian[edit]

The Catholic Church teaches that for salvation "there is a kind of interplay, or synergy, between human freedom and divine grace".[122] Some non-Catholic writers, in line with a denial of this teaching in some Protestant traditions, have spoken of "the Church in the West" as rejecting the idea of cooperation of the human will in the process of salvation.[123] The Catholic Church instead upholds both the Council of Orange (529), which stated that, even the beginning of faith must be attributed to God's action, not man's alone,[124] and the Council of Trent, which stressed the importance and necessity of human cooperation.[125]

The question is asked: "Was John Cassian a Semi-Pelagian?"[126] Scholars such as Catholic Lauren Pristas and Orthodox Christian Augustine Casiday[127] maintain that Cassian was not a semi-Pelagian, and did not teach the semi-Pelagian doctrine that man can sometimes take the first steps to salvation without divine grace. Casiday states: "Although Cassian could not be considered an Augustinian, this does not make him semi-Pelagian ... for Cassian, contrary to Pelagius' teaching, sin is inevitable, although sparks of goodwill may exist (which are not directly caused by God). Humans are totally inadequate and only direct divine intervention can ensure our spiritual progress."[128] And Pristas writes: "For Cassian, salvation is, from beginning to end, the effect of God's grace. It is fully divine."[129]

The Orthodox theologian Vladimir Lossky commented that Cassian "was not able to make himself correctly understood" and that "his position … was interpreted, on the rational plane, as a semi-pelagianism, and was condemned in the West", while in the East he is considered "a witness to tradition".[130] As the Eastern Orthodox position is "according to the holy Fathers, salvation is a matter of synergy, of cooperation—that of man with God, if man wills (actively chooses) the good, the right path, the virtuous life—then God will grant grace".[131]

While Semipelagianism holds that the human will can at times take the first step toward salvation independently, with divine grace supervening only later, the Eastern Orthodox position is, according to Vladimir Lossky, that the synergy between divine grace and human freedom is necessarily simultaneous: "Eastern tradition has always asserted simultaneity in the synergy of divine grace and human freedom".[132] He states: "The Eastern tradition never separates these two elements: grace and human freedom are manifested simultaneously and cannot be conceived apart from each other."[133] Orthodox theologian Georges Florovsky also says that the Eastern Orthodox Church "always understood that God initiates, accompanies, and completes everything in the process of salvation", in opposition to the semi-Pelagian idea that unaided human will can initiate something in the process of salvation.[134] Likewise, according to Karl Rahner, Catholic teaching is that there is mutual cooperation but not a "synergism" of mutually independent forces.[135]

Roman Catholic historian Luc Brésard also said that Cassian "did not have sufficient theological expertise to deal with such a difficult subject ... but his basic thought was true to the faith."[136] Cassian is included, under 23 July, in the official list of saints venerated by the Church,[137] but the Roman Martyology indicates that he is venerated only locally, a situation that one writer has described as denial of liturgical and devotional recognition as a saint.[138] Like his contemporaries Augustine of Hippo and John Chrysostom, who are also reckoned as saints of the Roman Catholic Church, he was of course never canonized, since formal canonization did not come into use until centuries after their deaths: "the first historically attested canonization is that of Ulrich of Augsburg by Pope John XV in 993."[139]

Augustine's standing in the East[edit]

See also: concupiscence
"Augustine of Hippo is the fount of every distortion and alteration in the Church's truth in the West" Christos Yannaras[140]
"Lord deliver us from the Augustinian dialectic". Saint Gennadius Scholarius[141][142]

John Romanides writing on Augustine has stated that, though a saint, Augustine did not have theoria and many of his theological conclusions appear to be arrived at not from experiencing God and writing about his experience(s) of God. Augustine's conclusions appear to have him arrive at them, by means of philosophical or logical speculation and conjecture.[143] Hence Romanides reveres Augustine as a saint, but says he does not qualify as a theologian in the Eastern Orthodox church.[144]

John Cassian[edit]

John Cassian is recognized as a saint not only by the Eastern Orthodox but also by the Roman Catholic Church,[145] in spite of the frequent attribution to him of the theory known as Semipelagianism.

Free will or metaphysical libertarianism[edit]

Various Roman Catholic theologians identify Cassian as a teacher of the Semi-Pelagian heresy which was condemned by the Council of Orange.[146][147][148][149][150][151][152][153][154] While the Orthodox do not apply the term Semi-Pelagian to their theology, they criticize the Catholics for rejecting Cassian whom they accept as fully orthodox,[130] and for holding that human consent to God's justifying action is itself an effect of grace,[155] a position shared by Eastern Orthodox theologian Georges Florovsky, who says that the Eastern Orthodox Church "always understood that God initiates, accompanies, and completes everything in the process of salvation", rejecting instead the Calvinist idea of irresistible grace.[156]

Immaculate Conception[edit]

This difference between the two churches[157] in their understanding of the original sin was, according to Father Theodore Pulcini, one of the doctrinal reasons[157] underlying the Catholic Church's declaration of its dogma of the Immaculate Conception in the 19th century, a dogma that is rejected by the Orthodox Church. However, contemporary[clarification needed] Roman Catholic teaching is best explicated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which includes this sentence: ""original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam's descendants. It is a deprivation of original holiness and justice, but human nature has not been totally corrupted" (§405).

Accusations of Modalism in the Western Trinitarian theology[edit]

The Orthodox teach that God is not of a substance that is comprehensible since God the Father is unoriginate, eternal, infinite, and wholly transcendent. It is less proper to speak of things as natural or supernatural than it is to speak of them as created and uncreated. God the Father is the invisible origin, the head of the Trinity and the source of the Divine essence, conceptually unapproachable except through the revealed Word.[158] Therefore, contrary to the Latin West's notion of beatific vision, consciousness of the Father as such or the essence of God is not attainable for created beings in this life or the next (see apophatism or the via negativa). Rather through co-operation with God's grace and uncreated energies (called theosis or deification) humanity can become good (Godlike, according to the pattern of the Son), and thereby be reconciled to the Knowledge of Good and Evil acquired in the Garden of Eden (see the Fall of Man). Guided by the Holy Spirit of God indwelling him, through mystical unity with Christ and the sanctifying process of deification, he is restored to right relationship with his Creator, the supersubstantial Source of all being.

Pagan philosophical modalism, idealism and metaphysics[edit]

Gregory Palamas in his defense of Hesychasm accused Barlaam of treating God conceptually this way putting pagan philosophers over the saints and prophets who through revelation and not logical thought came to know God. The knowledge of God by the Eastern Orthodox church is not arrived at by a form of rational theology but rather by illumination (theoria) as a stage of development in the process of theosis. Which again goes against the Roman Catholic theologians validation of theology using the Pagan philosopher Aristotle's Metaphysical and scholastic arguments such as actus and potentia[74] to rationalize God.[143] The West does this through what the East calls an incompleteness as a form of theology called kataphatic theology. The East does not use kataphatic statements about God to validate God since to use positive statements about God goes against God's very being (ontology) which is apophatic and therefore incomprehensible and not rational.

Metaphysics and the scholastic method[edit]

According to Romanides, in the West the metaphysical methods of validating the existence or ontology of things was carried from being strictly a secular tradition (as it was established and taught in the East like at the University of Constantinople by Photios I of Constantinople) to being the very means of validation of data and truth in the West.[76]

Via moderna[edit]

With the move in the West from the validation of Christian spiritual truths via theoria or experience obtained through ascetic labor (like Hesychasm) to the philosophical rationalism or logical arguments of speculative Pagan philosophy. The Eastern cultural understanding of Christianity (in the West) was diminished according to Eastern theologians. With the Western use of philosophical speculation as a means to establish theology the purpose of theology changed as it became academically institutionalized. Whereas in the East Christianity remained ascetic, with its focus on theosis. Western Christianity appears to have started embracing philosophical goals at the determinant of Christian ones, like the total happiness (Summum bonum) of Aristotle for example.[159] One major change due to theology being now directed by philosophical aims was the renewed debate between Nominalism, philosophical realism (see the Problem of universals). Along with these philosophical issues includes the problem of evil and by proxy the philosophical apology of God to the problem of evil (called theodicy).

This debate rather than being strictly a philosophical one now became a Christian religious one. Where in the tenets of Nominalism abstract concepts (immaterial things) are considered not real but rather constructs of the mind. These abstract concepts include things like God, souls and spirits. This leads to a rejection of the hypostases of God as psychic or social constructs. Pagan philosophical objectives and their directed goals ultimately are incompatible with Christianity. The underlying principle here being that Greek pagan philosophy sought to reconcile being, existence with the rational faculty of humans giving humanity purpose by achieving this rationalization of life or being (ontology or more commonly called Metaphysics). Whereas Western Christianity seeks the salvation of humanity and creation through reconciliation with God, Orthodoxy seeks after this goal via world rejection called asceticism. To be in the world but not of the world is not a Stoic rejection of existence, but rather an act of faith that shows submission to God.

Eastern Orthodox on theodicy and the problem of evil[edit]

The Eastern Orthodox church rejects the Western European philosophical problems that derive from Western Christianity's theological teachings about the Christian Trinity.[citation needed] The Eastern Orthodox theologian Olivier Clement,[160] wrote:

There is no need for Christians to create a special theory for justifying God (theodicy). To all the questions regarding the allowance of evil by God (the problem of evil) there is one answer - Christ; the Crucified Christ, Who burns up in Himself all the world's sufferings for ever; Christ, Who regenerates our nature and has opened the entry to the Kingdom of everlasting and full life to each one who desires it.

Trinity[edit]

"The static conception of God as actus purus having no potentiality and completely self-sufficient is a philosophical, Aristotlelian, and not a Biblical conception." Nikolai Berdyaev[161]

Orthodox theologians hold that there is a marked difference in the teaching and understanding of the Trinitarian doctrine both East and West. As pagan metaphysics holds that what is common between variation in a specific category is as a commonness the highest form or truth of that categorization. This is understood as the discernment between "physical and metaphysical", which is rejected by the Eastern Orthodox whom instead rather distinguish between "the created and the uncreated". As the goal of the metaphysical does not end in any form of sentience but rather ends in what any given subject or object can be reduced into as a common substance. The key to the understanding of primary substance as something gained through methods or inquiry is called "philosophy". Philosophy seeks to reduce to reason or rationalisation all things to an uncaused or uncreated essence. It was Aristotle's goal to once at this level begin to understand what is discerned as uncaused or uncreatedness through the study of the noetic also understood as noesis or intuitively.

In the West the essence or substance of God is held to be higher as is in metaphysics where the ontology or primary substance (ousia) is the basis of highest categorization. Rather than as in the Eastern Orthodox whom hold that the Father person (hypostasis) of the Trinity is primary. In the Eastern Orthodox one God in Father is taught in order to clarify that the infinite or eternal is of person or personal like nature rather than a non sentient substance (uncreatedness in perseity). This commonness of substance like what is used by Aristotle in the Classical Scientific method and then adopted by the Western scholastics movement and superimposed onto the Christian God. The East teaches that what is God is uncreated or uncaused.

These teachings are different in that the uncreatedness of each Hypostasis of God derives its uncreatedness from the Father hypostasis, and to instead attribute what is correctly understood as the characteristics of the Father hypostasis (all originates from the Father), to the essence of God in uncreatedness is to undue what is understood as uncreated as defined by the Ecumenical Councils of the early church. As in the Eastern Orthodox the Father is God who is known through his uncreated person Jesus Christ and his Holy Spirit that process from him as uncreated and infinite. As also the Father is known through his activities in the created world. These activities like their source are uncreated and need not be reconciled to concepts that lend to rationalizing them. As those activities as actualization (love, freedom, beauty) are uncreated and only what is created lends itself to reason or logic or rationalization. In the Eastern Orthodox what is God in essence (ousia) is not manifest in the created but rather is superior, beyond, above it.

The essence of the word God is to mean incomprehensible as created things or creatures (things whose consciousness has a beginning) can not grasp what it means to have being without a beginning. As the end result of theosis is that though man is a creature and was made conscious at a specific moment in time from ex-nihilo that humanity will if reconciled to God be like God in nature so as to have no death or end. Infinite but with a beginning, like God in nature but not like God in essence.

Eucharist[edit]

Aleksei Khomiakov wrote: "Those who see in the Eucharist only a commemoration, and those who insist on the word transubstantiation, or replace it with consubstantiation - that is, those who vaporize the sacrament and those who make of it an entirely material miracle - dishonor the Last Supper by approaching it with questions of atomistic chemistry."[162]

He added: "The (Eastern Orthodox) Church does not reject, it is true, the word transubstantiation, but it places it in the rank of several other indeterminate expressions that do nothing more than indicate a general change, without any scholastic definitions. The (Eastern Orthodox) liturgy does not know this term."[163]

Filioque[edit]

Eastern Orthodox charge that the Eastern and Western churches have different approaches and understanding of the Trinity. St Augustine's theology and, by extension, that of Thomas Aquinas (as in the western Mediterranean on the Trinity) are not generally accepted in the Orthodox Church.[164]

Divine essence and procession of the Holy Spirit[edit]

Eastern theologians state for the Holy Spirit to proceed from the Father and the Son in the Creed, there would have to be two sources in the deity (double procession). Whereas in the one God there can only be one source of divinity, which is the Father hypostasis of the Trinity. One God in Father which is in contrast to treating God modalistically which reconciles the double procession by using God's essence as the true singular origin of the Holy Spirit.[165]

In the summation of Vladimir Lossky, the acceptance of the Latin West translating the word hypostasis (which is Lossky translates as existence or reality) by the Latin word persona (meaning "person", but originally meaning "mask") by the Latin fathers, was called into question (by St Basil as one) and then later made into open conflict. When the Latin church, added to the translation difference, the addition to the Nicene-Constantinople Creed, of the filioque, which both appears to the Greek fathers as the teaching of Sabellian heresy of modalism.[166] Which is a teaching of philosophical speculation rather than a teaching from experience (theoria).[167]

While Vladimir Lossky defines the ousia of God as "all that subsists by itself and which has not its being in another. It is thus that which is not for another, that which does not have its existence in another, that which has no need of another for its consistency, but is in itself and in which the accident has its existence."[168]

Western acceptance of the Filioque[edit]

The doctrine expressed by the Filioque is accepted by the Catholic Church,[169] by Anglicanism[170] and by Protestant churches in general.[171] Christians of these groups generally include it when reciting the Nicene Creed. Nonetheless, these groups recognize that Filioque is not part of the original text established at the First Council of Constantinople in 381[citation needed]and they do not demand that others too should use it when saying the Creed.[citation needed] Indeed, even in the liturgy for Latin Rite Catholics.[172] the Roman Catholic Church does not add the phrase corresponding to Filioque (καὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ) to the Greek text of the Creed, where it would be associated with the verb ἐκπορεύεσθαι, but adds it in Latin, where it is associated with the verb procedere, a word of broader meaning than ἐκπορεύεσθαι, and in languages, such as English,[173] in which the verb with which it is associated also has a broader meaning than ἐκπορεύεσθαι. Pope John Paul II has recited the Nicene Creed several times with patriarchs of the Eastern Orthodox Church in Greek according to the original text.[174]

The Roman Catholic Church's practice has been to include the Filioque clause when reciting the Creed in Latin,[175] but to omit it when reciting the Creed in Greek,[176] Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have recited the Nicene Creed jointly with Patriarchs Demetrius I and Bartholomew I in Greek without the Filioque clause.[177][178] However no move has been made to use the original creed in Greek by the Latin church as the basis of translation of creed into other languages in which the verb "proceeds" has a broader meaning than the verb used in Greek.

The Latin version of the creed is the basis for the official translations used in the Roman Rite. The term "and the Son" is included in the English translations of the Nicene Creed from Latin (as in the English speaking Roman Catholic communities for example). Whereas if the Creed was translated from its original Greek, rather than Latin, the Creed would not contain the passage "from the Son" which in Latin is "filioque". Using Latin as the language of origin to translate to the Creed, was pointed out as a practice that was not acceptable to the Eastern Orthodox at the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation.[179]

The action of these patriarchs in reciting the Creed together with the Pope has been strongly criticized by some elements of Eastern Orthodoxy, such as the Metropolitan of Kalavryta, Greece.[180][181][182]

Hell – the concept of eternal punishment[edit]

Icon of monks falling into the mouth of a dragon representing hell
Icon of hell
Eastern Orthodox views

The theological concept of hell, or eternal damnation is expressed differently within both Eastern and Western Christianity[183]

The Eastern Orthodox church teaches that Heaven and Hell are being in God's presence[184][185] which is being with God and seeing God, and that there no such place as where God is not, nor is Hell taught in the East as separation from God.[186] One expression of the Eastern teaching is that hell and heaven are being in God's presence, as this presence is punishment and paradise depending on the person's spiritual state in that presences.[187][188] For one who hates God, to be in the presence of God eternally would be the gravest suffering.[189][190][191] Aristotle Papanikolaou [192] and Elizabeth H. Prodromou [193] wrote in their book Thinking Through Faith: New Perspectives from Orthodox Christian Scholars that for the Orthodox: Those theological symbols, heaven and hell, are not crudely understood as spatial destinations but rather refer to the experience of God's presence according to two different modes.[194] Some Eastern Orthodox personal opinions (theologoumenon) appear to run counter to official church statements in teaching hell is separation from God.[195][196][197][198][199]

Roman Catholic views

The official teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, as presented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, defines hell as a state involving definitive self-exclusion from communion with God:

We cannot be united with God unless we freely choose to love him. But we cannot love God if we sin gravely against him, against our neighbor or against ourselves: "He who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him." Our Lord warns us that we shall be separated from him if we fail to meet the serious needs of the poor and the little ones who are his brethren. To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God's merciful love means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called "hell."[200]

Roman Catholic theologians have historically held that hell is a place,[201] A metaphorical interpretation has historically been rejected by the Church.[202] and have generally located it in the earth,[203][204] but not all have accepted this location.[205][206]

Some theologians have preferred to describe hell as a "place or state". Ludwig Ott's work "The Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma" said "Hell is a place or state of eternal punishment inhabited by those rejected by God",[207] Robert J. Fox wrote "Hell is a place or state of eternal punishment inhabited by those rejected by God because such souls have rejected God's saving grace."[208] Evangelicals Norman L. Geisler and Ralph E. MacKenzie believe official Roman Catholic position on hell is that "Hell is a place or state of eternal punishment".[209]

The Catechism of Saint Pius X (1908), while not denying that hell can be referred to as a place, preferred to use the word "state":

Hell is a state to which the wicked are condemned, and in which they are deprived of the sight of God for all eternity, and are in dreadful torments.[210]

Pope John Paul II stated that in speaking of hell as a place the Bible uses "a symbolic language", which "must be correctly interpreted".[211] In the same talk, he treated the question of whether hell can be spoken of a place as secondary.[212]

Saint Augustine of Hippo said that the suffering of hell is compounded because God continues to love the sinner who is not able to return the love.[213] Whatever the nature of the sufferings, "they are not imposed by a vindictive judge".[213][214]

In connection with the punishment that is called "eternal fire", the Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

Jesus often speaks of "Gehenna" of "the unquenchable fire" reserved for those who to the end of their lives refuse to believe and be converted, where both soul and body can be lost (cf. Mt 5:22,29; 10:28; 13:42,50; Mk 9:43-48). Jesus solemnly proclaims that he "will send his angels, and they will gather . . . all evil doers, and throw them into the furnace of fire" (Mt 13:41-42), and that he will pronounce the condemnation: "Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire!" (Mt 25:41)[215]

In this regard it adds:

The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.[216]

Purgatory[edit]

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that "the tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire",[217] which is explicitly rejected by the Eastern Orthodox.[citation needed]

Orthodox apologist and author Clark Carlton states, "The Orthodox Church opposes the Roman doctrines of universal papal jurisdiction, papal infallibility, purgatory, and the Immaculate Conception precisely because they are untraditional."[218]

Prayer for the dead in Eastern Christianity

The Eastern Orthodox Synod of Jerusalem (1672) declared that the souls of some "depart into Hades, and there endure the punishment due to the sins they have committed. But they are aware of their future release from there, and are delivered by the Supreme Goodness, through the prayers of the Priests, and the good works which the relatives of each do for their Departed; especially the unbloody Sacrifice benefiting the most; which each offers particularly for his relatives that have fallen asleep, and which the Catholic and Apostolic Church offers daily for all alike."[219]

According to Father Theodore Pulcini, the Orthodox reject that the teaching of the prayer for the dead is the same as that taken up by the Roman Catholic Church as praying for the dead in a state of Purgatory, which, he says, is making payment from past sins in a state between Heaven and Hell.[220]

See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ Some of these are centuries old, as catalogued in The Byzantine Lists: Errors of the Latins, by Tia M. Kolbaba (University of Illinois Press, 2000).Information about this book
  2. ^ Encyclical Ut unum sint, 54
  3. ^ Orientale lumen, 18
  4. ^ Pope Paul VI said: "What shall we say of the difficulty to which our separated brethren are still so sensitive? I refer to the difficulty which arises from the function which Christ has assigned to us in the church of God and which our tradition has so authoritatively upheld. The pope, we well know, is without doubt the most serious obstacle on the road to ecumenism." (Jean-Louis Leuba, "Papacy, Protestantism and ecumenism - The World Council and the Christian World Communions";original text in French)
  5. ^ Michael J. Christensen, Jeffery A. Wittung (editors), Partakers of the Divine Nature (Associated University Presses 2007 ISBN 0-8386-4111-3), p. 244
  6. ^ Letter to Marinus
  7. ^ Prologue to Contra Errores Graecorum
  8. ^ Unitatis Redintegratio 17
  9. ^ Ut unum sint, 54
  10. ^ Constitution Sacri Canones
  11. ^ Obituary of Pope John Paul II
  12. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, 838
  13. ^ Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church
  14. ^ "Catholic Church only true church, Vatican says" (CBC News 10 July 2007)
  15. ^ Gregory Palamas: Knowledge, Prayer and Vision Written by M.C. Steenberg "Two fundamentally different views on knowledge were involved in this dispute: first was that which Barlaam and others held, and which might broadly be termed, following Meyendorff, as the Dialectic Method of knowing God.1 This was a largely philosophical view, based upon the position that knowledge of God might be gained by the use of discursive reason, dialectic, and rational investigation."[1]
  16. ^ Gregory Palamas: Knowledge, Prayer and Vision Written by M.C. Steenberg 'Gregory, on the other hand, taught something quite different. This second conception of knowledge of God brought it out of the realm of mere dialectic—whether positive or negative, kataphatic or apophatic—and into the arena of demonstration; what Meyendorff terms Apodictic Knowledge of God.2 Natural knowledge, believed Gregory, is one aspect of man’s relationship to his Creator; and yet it is quite a different thing to know about God, than it is to actually know Him. The great divergence between this view and that of Barlaam, was that Gregory believed the latter aspect to be not only a hypothetical possibility (which Barlaam would have denied), but a fully attainable reality. It was not a question of whether or not man could know God by direct, immediate knowledge, but whether or not he would, given the life he was leading."
  17. ^ Franks, Romans, Feudalism, and Doctrine/Empirical theology versus speculative theology, Father John S. Romanides [2] A basic characteristic of the Frankish scholastic method, misled by Augustinian Platonism and Thomistic Aristotelianism, had been its naive confidence in the objective existence of things rationally speculated about. By following Augustine, the Franks substituted the patristic concern for spiritual observation, (which they had found firmly established in Gaul when they first conquered the area) with a fascination for metaphysics. They did not suspect that such speculations had foundations neither in created nor in spiritual reality. No one would today accept as true what is not empirically observable, or at least verifiable by inference, from an attested effect. So it is with patristic theology. Dialectical speculation about God and the Incarnation as such are rejected. Only those things which can be tested by the experience of the grace of God in the heart are to be accepted. "Be not carried about by divers and strange teachings. For it is good that the heart be confirmed by grace," a passage from Hebrews 13.9, quoted by the Fathers to this effect.
  18. ^ In the Introduction pg 21 "We have become different men" The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, by Vladimir Lossky, SVS Press, 1997. (ISBN 0-913836-31-1) James Clarke & Co Ltd, 1991. (ISBN 0-227-67919-9)
  19. ^ Franks, Romans, Feudalism, and Doctrine/Empirical theology versus speculative theology, Father John S. Romanides [3] A basic characteristic of the Frankish scholastic method, misled by Augustinian Platonism and Thomistic Aristotelianism, had been its naive confidence in the objective existence of things rationally speculated about. By following Augustine, the Franks substituted the patristic concern for spiritual observation, (which they had found firmly established in Gaul when they first conquered the area) with a fascination for metaphysics. They did not suspect that such speculations had foundations neither in created nor in spiritual reality. No one would today accept as true what is not empirically observable, or at least verifiable by inference, from an attested effect. So it is with patristic theology. Dialectical speculation about God and the Incarnation as such are rejected. Only those things which can be tested by the experience of the grace of God in the heart are to be accepted. "Be not carried about by divers and strange teachings. For it is good that the heart be confirmed by grace," a passage from Hebrews 13.9, quoted by the Fathers to this effect.
  20. ^ As I have indicated, Barlaam insisted that knowledge of God depends not on vision of God but on one's understanding. He said that we can acquire knowledge of God through philosophy, and therefore he considered the prophets and apostles who saw the uncreated light, to be below the philosophers. He called the uncreated light sensory, created, and "inferior to our understanding". However, St. Gregory Palamas, a bearer of the Tradition and a man of revelation, supported the opposite view. In his theology he presented the teaching of the Church that uncreated light, that is, the vision of God, is not simply a symbolic vision, nor sensory and created, nor inferior to understanding, but it is deification. Through deification man is deemed worthy of seeing God. And this deification is not an abstract state, but a union of man with God. That is to say, the man who beholds the uncreated light sees it because he is united with God. He sees it with his inner eyes, and also with his bodily eyes, which, however, have been altered by God's action. Consequently theoria is union with God. And this union is knowledge of God. At this time one is granted knowledge of God, which is above human knowledge and above the senses.[4]
  21. ^ [5]
  22. ^ The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, by Vladimir Lossky, SVS Press, 1997. (ISBN 0-913836-31-1) James Clarke & Co Ltd, 1991. (ISBN 0-227-67919-9) pg 49
  23. ^ Reading scripture with the Church Fathers By Christopher A. Hall pg 161 Published by InterVarsity Press, 2001 ISBN 978-0-8308-1500-5 [6]
  24. ^ The Ancient Period By Alan J Hauser, Duane Frederick Watson ISBN 0-8028-4273-9, 2003 pg 346 [7]
  25. ^ "The ancient Christian exegets of both East and West whom we identify as Fathers of the Church approached the matter from a more holistic point of view. Their writings were shaped by a particular hermeneutical perspective which they characterized by the name theoria. The expression refers to an 'inspired vision' of divine Truth as revealed in the person of Jesus Christ and in the biblical witness to him. That inspired vision - which itself is an essential part of Holy Tradition - enabled the Fathers to perceive depths of meaning in the biblical writings that escape a purely scientific or empirical approach to interpretation" (John Breck, Scripture in Tradition: The Bible and Its Interpretation in the Orthodox Church, St Vladimir's Seminary Press 2001, p. 11).
  26. ^ "The Antiochenes saw every scriptural passage as containing a double meaning, both literal and spiritual. The concept of theoria includes the inspired vision of the biblical author that led him to shape his witness as he did, in order to express its literal sense. But it also includes the inspired perception of the later interpreter concerning the inner meaning of Scripture that reveals both its literal and its spiritual sense" (Breck, Scripture in Tradition, p. 37).
  27. ^ "The second part of the Life of Moses underscores the differences between modern approaches and the patristic approach. There, Gregory interprets the theoria of the text. Theoria is a technical Greek term he adopts to describe the spiritual sense of the scriptures. The best English equivalent for the term theoria is contemplation but in patristic literature it also often functioned as a virtual synonym for allegoria. By the time Gregory was writing in the fourth century, the term allegory had become suspect, in large part because it was associated with Origenist theological speculations that were eventually condemned. Thus, Gregory adopted the term theoria, avoiding the dangers of associating himself with allegory and the Origenist positions" (John J. O'Keefe, Russell R. Reno, Sanctified Vision (JHU Press 2005 ISBN 978-0-8018-8088-9), p. 15).
  28. ^ John Breck, The Power of the Word in the Worshiping Church (St Vladimir's Seminary Press 1986 ISBN 0-89281-153-6), pp. 75-76
  29. ^ Christopher Alan Hall, Reading Scripture with the Church Fathers (InterVarsity Press 1998 ISBN 0-8308-1500-7), p. 162
  30. ^ Breck, p. 73
  31. ^ Frances Margaret Young, Biblical exegesis and the Formation of Christian Culture (Cambridge University Press 1997 ISBN 0-521-58153-2), p. 175
  32. ^ George T. Montague, Understanding the Bible (Paulist Press 2007 ISBN 978-0-8091-4344-3), p. 39
  33. ^ Montague 2007, p. 48
  34. ^ Rufus Goodwin, Give Us This Day: The Story of Prayer, p. 65; Tony Jones, Soul Shaper: Exploring Spirituality and Contemplative Practices in Youth Ministry, p. 91; Thomas Keating, Open Mind, Open Heart: The Contemplative Dimension of the Gospel, p. 19; Timothy J. Johnson, Franciscans at Prayer, p. 191; Peter-Damian Belisle, The Privilege of Love: Camaldolese Benedictine Spirituality, p. 58; Luke Dysinger in The Oblate Life, pp. 116-117; Anna Ngaire Williams, The Divine Sense: The Intellect in Patristic Theology, p. 12; etc.
  35. ^ In the Holy Scripture it appears that faith comes by hearing the Word and by experiencing "theoria" (the vision of God). We accept faith at first by hearing in order to be healed, and then we attain to faith by theoria, which saves man. Protestants, because they believe that the acceptance of the truths of faith, the theoretical acceptance of God's Revelation, i.e. faith by hearing saves man, do not have a "therapeutic tradition." It could be said that such a conception of salvation is very naive. The Roman Catholics as well do not have the perfection of the therapeutic tradition which the Orthodox Church has. Their doctrine of the Filioque is a manifestation of the weakness in their theology to grasp the relationship existing between the person and society. They confuse the personal properties: the "unbegotten" of the Father, the "begotten" of the Son, and the procession of the Holy Spirit. The Father is the cause of the "generation" of the Son and the procession of the Holy Spirit. The Difference Between Orthodox Spirituality and Other Traditions by Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos [8]
  36. ^ Knowledge and Vision of God in Cappadocian Fathers by Anita Strezova
  37. ^ Gregory Palamas: Knowledge, Prayer and Vision by M.C. Steenberg
  38. ^ The classical book on Eastern Christian gnosiology is by V Lossky The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church. Footnote on page 77 Living tradition: orthodox witness in the contemporary world by John Meyendorff [9]
  39. ^ Lossky, The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church (op cit) p. 26
  40. ^ Ibid., p. 9
  41. ^ "The contemplative mind sees God, in so far as this is possible for man"; What Is prayer? by Theophan the Recluse cited in The Art of Prayer: An Orthodox Anthology,p.73, compiled by Igumen Chariton of Valamo, trans, E. Kadloubovsky and E.M. Palmer, ed. Timothy Ware, 1966, Faber & Faber, London.
  42. ^ THE ILLNESS AND CURE OF THE SOUL by Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos"If one wishes to be an Orthodox theologian one must begin from the state of Adam as it was before the Fall, what happened with the Fall and how we can be restored to our former state, even reach there where Adam did not. If a theology does not speak of man's fall; if it does not designate precisely what it is, and if it does not speak of man's resurrection, then what kind of theology is it? Surely, it is not Orthodox. In any case, we were saying earlier that Orthodoxy is a therapeutic treatment and science, and also that Theology is a therapeutic treatment. It cures man. Yet, if we do not examine where man's illness lies, how can we know what we should heal? If, regarding his body, man follows a wrong treatment he will never be cured. The same also happens with the soul. It must become clear to us that the darkness of nous is its illness and illumination is its cure. Mysteries and all the ascetic tradition of the Church are meant to lead us where Adam was before the Fall, that is, to the illumination of the nous, and from there to theosis, which is man's original destination. Therefore, it is very important for us to know exactly what the illness is. If we ignore our inner sickness our spiritual life ends up in an empty moralism, in a superficiality. Many people are against the social system. They blame society, family, the existing evil, etc. for their own problem. However the basic problem, man's real malady is the darkness of his nous. When one's nous is illumined one thus becomes free from slavery to everything in the environment, e.g. anxiety, insecurity, etc. " [10] Publisher: Birth of Theotokos Monastery,Greece (January 1, 2005) ISBN 978-960-7070-18-0
  43. ^ The vision of the uncreated light, which offers knowledge of God to man, is sensory and supra-sensory. The bodily eyes are reshaped so they see the uncreated light, "this mysterious light, inaccessible, immaterial, uncreated, deifying, eternal", this "radiance of the Divine Nature, this glory of the divinity, this beauty of the heavenly kingdom" (3,1,22;CWS p.80). Palamas asks: "Do you see that light is inaccessible to senses which are not transformed by the Spirit?" (2,3,22). St. Maximus, whose teaching is cited by St, Gregory, says that the Apostles saw the uncreated Light "by a transformation of the activity of their senses, produced in them by the Spirit" (2.3.22). Orthodox Psychotherapy Section The Knowledge of God according to St. Gregory Palamas by Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos published by Birth of Theotokos Monastery,Greece (January 1, 2005) ISBN 978-960-7070-27-2
  44. ^ St. Gregory Palamas is more analytical on the subject of praxis and theoria. He teaches that theoria of God is nothing else but the vision of God. Therefore theoria is not speculation on what is said or what is seen, but it is the vision of God. If this is in fact theoria, then it follows that praxis is nothing less than the cleansing of the heart, and repentance , the complete hesychastic way of life, instruction on hesychia. Thus, according to St. Gregory Palamas, praxis is equated with hesychasm, a method of prayer (holy silence) which necessitates stillness of the nous; the halting of the world, and the forgetting of earthly things. It is an initiation into the things from above and the putting aside of all concepts of goodness. Through praxis -sacred hesychia- "we are liberated from what is worldly and direct ourselves toward God". This is the path and manner of ascent towards God which the Most Holy Mother of God followed; she attained to theosis thus and became the mother of the Word of God. ORTHODOX SPIRITUALITY by Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos [11]
  45. ^ This is what Saint Symeon the New Theologian teaches. In his poems he proclaims over and over that, while beholding the uncreated Light, the deified man acquires the Revelation of God the Trinity. Being in "theoria" (vision of God), the saints do not confuse the hypostatic attributes. The fact that the Latin tradition came to the point of confusing these hypostatic attributes and teaching that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son also, shows the non-existence of empirical theology for them. Latin tradition speaks also of created grace, a fact which suggests that there is no experience of the grace of God. For, when man obtains the experience of God, then he comes to understand well that this grace is uncreated. Without this experience there can be no genuine "therapeutic tradition." The Difference Between Orthodox Spirituality and Other Traditions by Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos [12]
  46. ^ The Uncreated Light: An Iconographiocal Study of the Transfiguration In the Eastern Church by Solrunn Nes Wm. pg 97 - 103 B. Eerdmans Publishing Company ISBN 0-8028-1764-5, ISBN 978-0-8028-1764-8 [13]
  47. ^ The divine light is the energy through which God is manifested in fascinating and magnificent brilliance. The one who gazes at it for the first time will become dizzy , just like the three leading disciples on Mount Tabor during the Transfiguration of our Savior , and just like Paul on the road to Damascus.[xxviii] During the Transfiguration , Petter was so fascinated and overwhelmed by such bliss , that he wished to enjoy it forever. «Lord , it is good that we are here,» Peter cried.[xxix] The greatest feast of Orthodoxy is called by the Greek Orthodox , «Bright Feast’» (Λαμπρή) and on that day everything is radiant and bright. The hymnologist of the feast of the Resurrection chanted: Now all things have been filled with light , heaven and earth and the underworld.[xxx] Upon ascending the ladder of spiritual perfection , the one who beholds the light not only experiences the divine light , but also becomes like it , he himself becomes light. What we saw earlier , where Gregory Palamas pointed to the transformation of the spiritual faculty into light , was well expressed many centuries earlier by Diadochos of Photike: When the mind begins to be operated by the divine light , it becomes completely resplendent , so that it sees its own light plentifully.[xxxi] The energy of the divine light makes the mind resplendent and transparent so that the mind can see its own light. Through the vision of God , man enters the realm of the uncreated light; he acquires the light within himself , he acquires God himself.<Gregory Palamas ,Υπέρ Ησυχαζόντων 1.3.42 ; Chrestou , 1,p. 453: p.453: «Θεόν δ’ εν εαυτώ κτήσασθαι και Θεώ καθαρώς συγγενέσθαι και τω ακραιφνεστάτω φωτί κραθήναι.»> Partakers of God by Panayiotis Christou Holy Cross Orthodox Press, Brookline Mass 1984. [14]
  48. ^ The Holy Fathers teach that natural and metaphysical categories do not exist but speak rather of the created and uncreated. Never did the Holy Fathers accept Aristotle's metaphysics. However, it is not my intent to expound further on this. Theologians of the West during the Middle Ages considered scholastic theology to be a further development of the teaching of the Holy Fathers, and from this point on, there begins the teaching of the Franks that scholastic theology is superior to that of the Holy Fathers. Consequently, Scholastics, who are occupied with reason, consider themselves superior to the Holy Fathers of the Church. They also believe that human knowledge, an offspring of reason, is loftier than Revelation and experience. It is within this context that the conflict between Saint Gregory Palamas and Barlaam should be viewed. Barlaam was essentially a scholastic theologian who attempted to pass on scholastic theology to the Orthodox East. The Difference Between Orthodox Spirituality and Other Traditions by Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos [15]
  49. ^ In Greek philosophers....intuitive thought
  50. ^ a b The Unity of God: His Existence and Nature
  51. ^ a b Michael Azkoul, What Are the Differences between Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism?
  52. ^ The Ground of Union: Deification in Aquinas and Palamas Book by A. N. Williams ISBN 978-0-19-512436-1 [16]
  53. ^ AN OVERVIEW OF THE HESYCHASTIC CONTROVERSY by Archbishop Chrysostomos, English version: Archbishop Chrysostomos, Orthodox and Roman Catholic Relations from the Fourth Crusade to the Hesychastic Controversy (Etna, CA: Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies, 2001), pp. 199‒232 [17]
  54. ^ WITH THE EXCEPTION of Barlaam the Calabrian, no major participant of the great theological controversies, which ended in 1351, had anything but a casual knowledge of Western theology. Discussions between Greeks and Latins revolved around formulae, which were used by both sides, each in a totally different context. And Barlaam himself, in spite of his double theological formation, was hardly a prominent representative of Western the theological thought; he was, rather, a manipulator of ideas and probably influenced by Nominalism. Meanwhile, the formal conciliar decisions of 1341 and 1351, endorsing a theology of real "participation" of man in God and, therefore, of a real distinction between "essence" and "energy" in God, were clearly incompatible with the prevailing Latin theology of the time. A significant dialogue on the content of these decisions as well as on their true relation to patristic tradition, on the one hand, and Latin Scholasticism, on the other, would have required much time, wide historical knowledge, and true openness of mind. These conditions were obviously lacking on both sides but — and this will be the main point of this chapter — they were in the process of being realized in Byzantium during the last century of the empire. "Byzantine Theology," Historical trends and doctrinal themes By John Meyendorff [18]
  55. ^ a b "... these moments of external relations with the West come at the extreme chronological ends of the Palamite controversy itself, which seems to have been focused almost wholly internally for the duration of its primary activity. It seems wrong, for example, to say that the controversy was one between Orthodoxy and the Papacy" (M.C. Steenberg, Gregory Palamas: An Historical Overview).
  56. ^ "The Hesychastic Controversy, in essence, gave theological expression to the Orthodox resistance to Papal supremacy. ... In many ways, then, the Hesychastic Controversy brought Orthodox soteriology into direct conflict with the rise of Papal monarchy. Whereas for the Palamites and for Orthodox soteriology, each individual may attain to the status of 'vicar of Christ', by virtue of his transformation, purification, union with God, and deification by Grace, the Papal monarchy came to claim for the person of the Bishop of Rome alone, and this by virtue of his election to that See, what was for the Orthodox the universal goal of the Christian Faith, that criterion of spiritual authority that brought Patriarch and pauper into a oneness of spiritual authority and charismatic power. Here, in the collision between Papism and Hesychasm, politics and theology, inextricably bound together in a complex web of historical events, brought about an extraordinary deadlock in what are to this day 'seemingly irreconcilable differences of doctrine' that lay at the heart of Orthodox and Roman Catholic relations in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries" (Archbishop Chrysostomos, Orthodox and Roman Catholic Relations from the Fourth Crusade to the Hesychastic Controversy (Etna, CA: Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies, 2001), pp. 225-227).
  57. ^ Western theology however has differentiated itself from Eastern Orthodox theology. Instead of being therapeutic, it is more intellectual and emotional in character. In the West, Scholastic theology evolved, which is antithetical to the Orthodox tradition. Western theology is based on rational thought whereas Orthodoxy is hesychastic. Scholastic theology tried to understand logically the Revelation of God and conform to philosophical methodology. Characteristic of such an approach is the saying of Anselm of Canterbury: "I believe so as to understand". The Scholastics acknowledged God at the outset and then endeavoured to prove His existence by logical arguments and rational categories. In the Orthodox Church, as expressed by the Holy Fathers, faith is God revealing Himself to man. We accept faith by hearing it not so that we can understand it rationally, but so that we can cleanse our hearts, attain to faith by "theoria" and experience the Revelation of God. ORTHODOX SPIRITUALITY by Metropolitan Hierotheos [19]
  58. ^ Saint Gregory insists that to theologize "is permitted only to those who have passed examinations and have reached theoria, and who have been previously purified in soul and body, or at least are being purified." [20]
  59. ^ Theoria: Theoria is the vision of the glory of God. Theoria is identified with the vision of the uncreated Light, the uncreated energy of God, with the union of man with God, with man's theosis (see note below). Thus, theoria, vision and theosis are closely connected. Theoria has various degrees. There is illumination, vision of God, and constant vision (for hours, days, weeks, even months). Noetic prayer is the first stage of theoria. Theoretical man is one who is at this stage. In Patristic theology, the theoretical man is characterized as the shepherd of the sheep. ORTHODOX SPIRITUALITY by Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos [21]
  60. ^ The Roman-Catholics as well do not have the perfection of the therapeutic tradition which the Orthodox Church has. Their doctrine of the filioque is a manifestation of the weakness in their theology to grasp the relationship existing between the person and society. They confuse the personal properties: the "unbegotten" of the Father, the "begotten" of the Son and the procession of the Holy Spirit. The Father is the cause of the "generation" of the Son and the procession of the Holy Spirit. ORTHODOX SPIRITUALITY by Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos[22]
  61. ^ The Latins' weakness to comprehend and failure to express the dogma of the Trinity shows the non-existence of empirical theology. The three disciples of Christ (Peter, James and John) beheld the glory of Christ on Mount Tabor; they heard at once the voice of the Father: "this is my beloved Son" and saw the coming of the Holy Spirit in a cloud -for, the cloud is the presence of the Holy Spirit, as St. Gregory Palamas says-. Thus the disciples of Christ acquired the knowledge of the Triune God in theoria (vision) and by revelation. It was revealed to them that God is one essence in three hypostases. This is what St. Symeon the New Theologian teaches. In his poems he proclaims over and over that while beholding the uncreated Light, the deified man acquires the Revelation of God the Trinity. Being in "theoria" (vision of God), the Saints do not confuse the hypostatic attributes. The fact that the Latin tradition came to the point of confusing these hypostatic attributes and teach that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son also, shows the non-existence of empirical theology for them. Latin tradition speaks also of created grace, a fact which suggests that there is no experience of the grace of God. For, when man obtains the experience of God, then he comes to understand well that this grace is uncreated. Without this experience there can be no genuine "therapeutic tradition". And indeed we cannot find in all of Latin tradition, the equivalent to Orthodoxy's therapeutic method. The nous is not spoken of; neither is it distinguished from reason. The darkened nous is not treated as a malady and the illumination of the nous as therapy. Many greatly publicized Latin texts are sentimental and exhaust themselves in a barren ethicology. In the Orthodox Church, on the contrary, there is a great tradition concerning these issues which shows that within it there exists the true therapeutic method. A faith is a true faith inasmuch as it has therapeutic benefits. If it is able to cure, then it is a true faith. If it does not cure, it is not a true faith. The same thing can be said about Medicine: A true scientist is the doctor who knows how to cure and his method has therapeutic benefits, whereas a charlatan is unable to cure. The same holds true where matters of the soul are concerned. The difference between Orthodoxy and the Latin tradition, as well as the Protestant confessions is apparent primarily in the method of therapy. This difference is made manifest in the doctrines of each denomination. Dogmas are not philosophy, neither is theology the same as philosophy. Since Orthodox spirituality differs distinctly from the "spiritualities" of other confessions so much the more does it differ from the "spirituality" of Eastern religions, which do not believe in the Theanthropic nature of Christ and the Holy Trinity. They are influenced by the philosophical dialectic, which has been surpassed by the Revelation of God. These traditions are unaware of the notion of personhood and thus the hypostatic principle. And love, as a fundamental teaching is totally absent. One may find, of course, in these Eastern religions an effort to divest themselves of images and rational thoughts, but this is in fact a movement towards nothingness, to non-existence. There is no path leading their "disciples" to theosis of the whole man. There are many elements of demonic "spirituality" in Eastern religions. This is why a vast and chaotic gap exists between Orthodox spirituality and the Eastern religions, in spite of certain external similarities in terminology. For example, Eastern religions may employ terms like ecstasy , dispassion, illumination, noetic energy et.c. but they are impregnated with a content different from corresponding terms in Orthodox spirituality. ORTHODOX SPIRITUALITY by Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos [23]
  62. ^ People had heard Palamas boast that he could see the light of God with his eyes, and had accused him of blasphemy; but, since Isaias, the Patriarch of Constantinople (1323-1334), was himself a monk of Athos and a disciple of Palamas, the opposition had not been very successful. Hesychasm by Adrian Fortescue[24]
  63. ^ Theosis-Divinisation: It is the participation in the uncreated grace of God. Theosis is identified and connected with the theoria (vision) of the uncreated Light (see note above). It is called theosis in grace because it is attained through the energy, of the divine grace. It is a co-operation of God with man, since God is He Who operates and man is he who co-operates. ORTHODOX SPIRITUALITY by Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos [25]
  64. ^ And this precisely is the work of Orthodox theology. When referring to Orthodox theology, we do not simply mean a history of theology. The latter is, of course, a part of this but not absolutely or exclusively. In patristic tradition, theologians are the God-seers. St. Gregory Palamas calls Barlaam a theologian, but he clearly emphasizes that intellectual theology differs greatly from the experience of the vision of God. According to St. Gregory Palamas theologians are the God-seers; those who have followed the "method" of the Church and have attained to perfect faith, to the illumination of the nous and to divinization (theosis). Theology is the fruit of man's therapy and the path which leads to therapy and the acquisition of the knowledge of God. Western theology however has differentiated itself from Eastern Orthodox theology. Instead of being therapeutic, it is more intellectual and emotional in character. In the West, Scholastic theology evolved, which is antithetical to the Orthodox tradition. Western theology is based on rational thought whereas Orthodoxy is hesychastic. Scholastic theology tried to understand logically the Revelation of God and conform to philosophical methodology. Characteristic of such an approach is the saying of Anselm of Canterbury: "I believe so as to understand". The Scholastics' acknowledged God at the outset and then endeavored to prove His existence by logical arguments and rational categories. In the Orthodox Church, as expressed by the Holy Fathers, faith is God revealing Himself to man. We accept faith by hearing it not so that we can understand it rationally, but so that we can cleanse our hearts, attain to faith by "theoria" and experience the Revelation of God. Scholastic theology reached its culminating point in the person of Thomas Aquinas, a saint in the Roman-Catholic Church. He claimed that Christian truths are divided into natural and supernatural. Natural truths can be proven philosophically, like the truth of the Existence of God. Supernatural truths -such as the Triune God, the incarnation of the Logos, the resurrection of the bodies- cannot be proven philosophically, yet then cannot be disproven. Scholasticism linked theology very closely with philosophy, even more so with metaphysics. As a result, faith was altered and scholastic theology itself fell into complete disrepute when the "idol" of the West-metaphysics-collapsed. Scholasticism is held accountable for much of the tragic situation created in the West with respect to faith and faith issues. The Holy Fathers teach that natural and metaphysical categories do not exist but speak rather of the created and uncreated. Never did the Holy Fathers accept Aristotle's metaphysics. However, it is not my intent to expound further on this. Theologians of the West during the Middle Ages considered scholastic theology to be a further development of the theology of the Holy Fathers, and from this point on, begins the teaching of the Franks that scholastic theology is superior to that of the Holy Fathers. Consequently, Scholastics, who are occupied with reason, consider themselves superior to the Holy Fathers of the Church. They also believe that human knowledge, an offspring of reason, is loftier than Revelation and experience. It is within this context that the conflict between St. Gregory Palamas and Barlaam should be viewed. Barlaam was essentially a scholastic theologian who attempted to pass on scholastic theology to the Orthodox East. His views -that we cannot really know who the Holy Spirit is exactly, (an outgrowth of which is agnosticism), that the ancient Greek philosophers are superior to the Prophets and the Apostles (since reason is above the vision of the Apostles), that the light of the Transfiguration is something which is created and can be undone, that the hesychastic way of life is not essential -i.e. the purification of the heart and the unceasing noetic prayer- are views which express a scholastic and subsequently, a secularized point of view of theology. St. Gregory Palamas foresaw the danger that these views held for Orthodoxy and through the power and energy of the Most Holy Spirit and the experience which he himself had acquired as successor to the Holy Fathers, he confronted this great danger and preserved unadulterated the Orthodox faith and tradition. Having given a framework to the topic at hand, if Orthodox spirituality is examined in relationship to Roman-Catholicism and Protestantism the differences are immediately discovered. ORTHODOX SPIRITUALITY by Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos [26]
  65. ^ a b If we deny the real distinction between essence and energy, we cannot fix any very clear borderline between the procession of the divine persons and the creation of the world: both the one and the other will be equally acts of divine nature. The being and the action of God would then appear to be identical and as having the same character of necessity, as is observed by St Mark of Ephesus (fifteenth century). We must then distinguish in God His nature, which is one; and three hypostases; and the uncreated energy which proceeds from and manifests forth the nature from which it is inseparable. If we participate in God in His energies, according to the measure of our capacity, this does not mean that in His procession ad extra God does not manifest Himself fully. God is in no way diminished in His energies; He is wholly present in each ray of His divinity. pgs 73–75 The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, by Vladimir Lossky SVS Press, 1997. (ISBN 0-913836-31-1) James Clarke & Co Ltd, 1991. (ISBN 0-227-67919-9)
  66. ^ The Roman-Catholics as well do not have the perfection of the therapeutic tradition which the Orthodox Church has. Their doctrine of the filioque is a manifestation of the weakness in their theology to grasp the relationship existing between the person and society. They confuse the personal properties: the "unbegotten" of the Father, the "begotten" of the Son and the procession of the Holy Spirit. The Father is the cause of the "generation" of the Son and the procession of the Holy Spirit. The Latins' weakness to comprehend and failure to express the dogma of the Trinity shows the non-existence of empirical theology. The three disciples of Christ (Peter, James and John) beheld the glory of Christ on Mount Tabor; they heard at once the voice of the Father: "this is my beloved Son" and saw the coming of the Holy Spirit in a cloud -for, the cloud is the presence of the Holy Spirit, as St. Gregory Palamas says-. Thus the disciples of Christ acquired the knowledge of the Triune God in theoria (vision) and by revelation. It was revealed to them that God is one essence in three hypostases. This is what St. Symeon the New Theologian teaches. In his poems he proclaims over and over that while beholding the uncreated Light, the deified man acquires the Revelation of God the Trinity. Being in "theoria" (vision of God), the Saints do not confuse the hypostatic attributes. The fact that the Latin tradition came to the point of confusing these hypostatic attributes and teach that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son also, shows the non-existence of empirical theology for them. Latin tradition speaks also of created grace, a fact which suggests that there is no experience of the grace of God. For, when man obtains the experience of God, then he comes to understand well that this grace is uncreated. Without this experience there can be no genuine "therapeutic tradition". And indeed we cannot find in all of Latin tradition, the equivalent to Orthodoxy's therapeutic method. The nous is not spoken of; neither is it distinguished from reason. The darkened nous is not treated as a malady and the illumination of the nous as therapy. Many greatly publicized Latin texts are sentimental and exhaust themselves in a barren ethicology. In the Orthodox Church, on the contrary, there is a great tradition concerning these issues which shows that within it there exists the true therapeutic method. A faith is a true faith inasmuch as it has therapeutic benefits. If it is able to cure, then it is a true faith. If it does not cure, it is not a true faith. The same thing can be said about Medicine: A true scientist is the doctor who knows how to cure and his method has therapeutic benefits, whereas a charlatan is unable to cure. The same holds true where matters of the soul are concerned. The difference between Orthodoxy and the Latin tradition, as well as the Protestant confessions is apparent primarily in the method of therapy. This difference is made manifest in the doctrines of each denomination. Dogmas are not philosophy, neither is theology the same as philosophy. Since Orthodox spirituality differs distinctly from the "spiritualities" of other confessions so much the more does it differ from the "spirituality" of Eastern religions, which do not believe in the Theanthropic nature of Christ and the Holy Trinity. They are influenced by the philosophical dialectic, which has been surpassed by the Revelation of God. These traditions are unaware of the notion of personhood and thus the hypostatic principle. And love, as a fundamental teaching is totally absent. One may find, of course, in these Eastern religions an effort to divest themselves of images and rational thoughts, but this is in fact a movement towards nothingness, to non-existence. There is no path leading their "disciples" to theosis of the whole man. There are many elements of demonic "spirituality" in Eastern religions. ORTHODOX SPIRITUALITY by Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos [27]
  67. ^ pg 73 The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, by Vladimir Lossky SVS Press, 1997. (ISBN 0-913836-31-1) James Clarke & Co Ltd, 1991. (ISBN 0-227-67919-9)
  68. ^ We can see quite clearly the great significance of his teaching for Orthodoxy on the important question of epistemology. When we say epistemology we mean the knowledge of God and, to be precise, we mean the way which we pursue in order to attain knowledge of God. The situation in St. Gregory's time was that Orthodoxy was being debased; it was becoming worldly and being changed into either pantheism or agnosticism. Pantheism believed and taught that God in his essence was to be found in all nature, and so when we look at nature we can acquire knowledge of God. Agnosticism believed and taught that it was utterly impossible for us to know God, just because He is God and man is limited, and therefore man was completely incapable of attaining a real knowledge of God. In the face of this great danger St. Gregory Palamas developed the fundamental teaching of the Church concerning the great mystery of the indivisible distinction between the essence and energy of God. We must underline that this is not the teaching of St. Gregory Palamas alone, but of the Orthodox Church, and therefore this theology cannot be called Palamism. Many fathers have referred to the distinction between essence and energy. We find it in the Bible, in the first Apostolic Fathers, in the Cappadocian Fathers, and especially in Basil the Great and that great dogmatic theologian of the Church, St. John of Damascus. St. Gregory Palamas, with his outstanding theological ability, developed further this already existing teaching and put forward its practical consequences and dimensions. SAINT GREGORY PALAMAS AS A HAGIORITE 1. For Orthodoxy by Metropolitan Hierotheos [28]
  69. ^ [29]
  70. ^ "If we were able to unite with the essence of God, we too would become gods in essence. In other words everything would become a god, and there would be confusion so that, nothing would be essentially a god. In a few words, this is what they believe in the Oriental religions, e.g. in Hinduism, where the god is not a personal existence but an indistinct power dispersed through all the world, in men, in animals, and in objects (Pantheism).", THEOSIS - DEIFICATION AS THE PURPOSE OF MAN'S LIFE
  71. ^ The Essence/Energy distinction "is the only possibility of explaining God's existence from the standpoint of transcendence, without falling into pantheism.", Orthodox and Wesleyan spirituality ISBN 978-0-88141-235-2
  72. ^ "If we knew God's essence in the same way that He knows ours, then we should ourselves be God in the literal sense. But in fact this does not happen; however closely linked we are with God, He still remains God and we remain man", A History of Christian Doctrine ISBN 978-0-567-04393-1
  73. ^ The mystical experience which is inseparable from the way towards union can only be gained in prayer and by prayer. In the most general sense, every presence of man before the face of God is a prayer; but this presence must become a constant and conscious attitude--prayer must become perpetual, as uninterrupted as breathing or the beating of the heart. For this a special mastery is needed, a technique of prayer which is a complete spiritual science, and to which monk's are entirely dedicated. The method of interior or spiritual prayer which is known by the name of 'hesychasm' is a part of the ascetic tradition of the Eastern church, and is undoubtedly of great antiquity. Transmitted from master to disciple by word of mouth, by example and by spiritual direction, this discipline of interior prayer was only committed to paper at the beginning of the eleventh century in a treatise attributed to St Symeon the New Theologian. it was the subject of special treatises by Nicephorus the Monk (13th century) and by St Gregory of Sinai, who at the beginning of the fourteenth century re-established its practice on Mt Athos. Less explicit references to the same ascetic tradition are to be found in St John Climacus (7th century), St Hesychius of Sinai (8th century), and other masters of the spiritual life in the Christian East. [30]
  74. ^ a b c d "There was a very faint echo of Hesychasm in the West. Latin theology on the whole was too deeply impregnated with the Aristotelean Scholastic system to tolerate a theory that opposed its very foundation. That all created beings are composed of actus and potentia, that God alone is actus purus, simple as He is infinite – this is the root of all Scholastic natural theology. Nevertheless one or two Latins seem to have had ideas similar to Hesychasm. Gilbertus Porretanus (de la Porrée, d. 1154) is quoted as having said that the Divine essence is not God – implying some kind of real distinction; John of Varennes, a hermit in the Diocese of Reims (c. 1396), said that the Apostles at the Transfiguration had seen the Divine essence as clearly as it is seen in heaven. About the same time John of Brescain made a proposition: Creatam lucem infinitam et immensam esse. But these isolated opinions formed no school. We know of them chiefly through the indignant condemnations they at once provoked. St. Bernard wrote to refute Gilbert de la Porrée; the University of Paris and the legate Odo condemned John of Brescain's proposition. Hesychasm has never had a party among Catholics. In the Orthodox Church the controversy, waged furiously just at the time when the enemies of the empire were finally overturning it and unity among its last defenders was the most crying need, is a significant witness of the decay of a lost cause" (Adrian Fortescue, "Hesychasm" in Catholic Encyclopedia 1910).
  75. ^ "A basic characteristic of the Frankish (Germanic-Latin) scholastic method, misled by Augustinian Platonism and Thomistic Aristotelianism, had been its naive confidence in the objective existence of things rationally speculated about. By following Augustine, the Franks and the "Latin" Roman Catholic Church substituted the patristic concern for spiritual observation, (which they had found firmly established in Gaul when they first conquered the area) with a Germanic fascination for metaphysics" [31]
  76. ^ a b The Carolingian Franks began their doctrinal career knowing fully only Augustine. But Augustine was a Neo-Platonist before his baptism and remained so the rest of his life. Because of this Franco-Latin Christianity remained Neo-Platonic until Occam and Luther lead sizable portions of Western Europe away from Neo-Platonic metaphysics and mysticism and their monastic supports. What Luther and Occam had done was to liberate whole sections of Franco-Latin Christianity from the metaphysical part of Augustinian paganism. However, Augustine's pagan understanding of original sin, predestination and revelation were still adhered to. The cure of the neurobiological sickness of religion, the Hellenic civilization of the Roman Emire, Charlemagne's life of 794, and his lie today, John S. Romanides[32]
  77. ^ a b Adrian Fortescue, "Hesychasm" in Catholic Encyclopedia 1910
  78. ^ Andrew Louth in the Oxford Companion to Christian Thought (Oxford University Press 2000 ISBN 0-19-860024-0), p. 88
  79. ^ Gerald O'Collins, S.J. and Edward G. Farrugia, S.J., editors, A Concise Dictionary of Theology (Paulist Press 2000 ISBN 0-567-08354-3), article on Hesychasm and that on Neo-Palamism
  80. ^ Andreas Andreopoulos, Metamorphosis: The Transfiguration in Byzantine Theology and Iconography (St Vladimir's Seminary Press 2005, ISBN 0-88141-295-3), p. 215
  81. ^ Edward Pace, "Quietism" in The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 12. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911) Retrieved 10 September 2010
  82. ^ a b Church Edward Pace, "Quietism" in The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 12. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. Retrieved 10 September 2010
  83. ^ Kallistos Ware in Oxford Companion to Christian Thought (Oxford University Press 2000 ISBN 0-19-860024-0), p. 186
  84. ^ "Several Western scholars contend that the teaching of St. Gregory Palamas himself is compatible with Roman Catholic thought on the matter" (Michael J. Christensen, Jeffery A. Wittung, Partakers of the Divine Nature (Associated University Presses 2007 ISBN 0-8386-4111-3), p. 243).
  85. ^ "Hesychasm, then, which is centered on the enlightenment or deification (θέωσις, or theosis, in Greek) of man, perfectly encapsulates the soteriological principles and full scope of the spiritual life of the Eastern Church. As Bishop Auxentios of Photiki writes: "[W]e must understand the Hesychastic notions of ‘theosis’ and the vision of Uncreated Light, the vision of God, in the context of human salvation. Thus, according to St. Nicodemos the Hagiorite (†1809): ‘Know that if your mind is not deified by the Holy Spirit, it is impossible for you to be saved.’" Before looking in detail at what it was that St. Gregory Palamas’ opponents found objectionable in his Hesychastic theology and practices, let us briefly examine the history of the Hesychastic Controversy proper. ..." Archbishop Chrysostomos, Orthodox and Roman Catholic Relations from the Fourth Crusade to the Hesychastic Controversy (Etna, CA: Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies, 2001), pp. 199‒232 [33].
  86. ^ a b 14. Orthodox Fathers of the Church are those who practice the specific Old and New Testament cure of this sickness of religion. Those who do not practice this cure, but on the contrary have introduced such practices as pagan mysticism, are not Fathers within this tradition. Orthodox Theology is not "mystical," but "secret" (mystike). The reason for this name "Secret" is that the glory of God in the experience of glorification (theosis) has no similarity whatsoever with anything created. On the contrary the Augustinians imagine that they are being united with uncreated original ideas of God of which creatures are supposedly copies and which simply do not exist..[34]
  87. ^ website owned and maintained by Photius Coutsoukis
  88. ^ Theosis-Divinisation: It is the participation in the uncreated grace of God. Theosis is identified and connected with the theoria (vision) of the uncreated Light (see note above). It is called theosis in grace because it is attained through the energy, of the divine grace. It is a co-operation of God with man, since God is He Who operates and man is he who co-operates. Orthodox Spirituality by Metropolitan Hierotheos (Vlachos) of Nafpaktos [35]
  89. ^ This claim is made by Romanides in the title of his Augustine's Teachings Which Were Condemned as Those of Barlaam the Calabrian by the Ninth Ecumenical Council of 1351,
  90. ^ Augustine himself had not been personally attacked by the Hesychasts of the fourteenth century but Augustinian theology was condemned in the person of Barlaam, who caused the controversy. This resulted in the ultimate condemnation of western Augustinianism as presented to the East by the Calabrian monk, Barlaam, in the Councils of the fourteenth century. Saint Augustine in the Greek Orthodox Tradition by Rev. Dr. George C. Papademetriou [36]
  91. ^ The Latins' weakness to comprehend and failure to express the dogma of the Trinity shows the non-existence of empirical theology. The three disciples of Christ (Peter, James and John) beheld the glory of Christ on Mount Tabor; they heard at once the voice of the Father: "this is my beloved Son" and saw the coming of the Holy Spirit in a cloud -for, the cloud is the presence of the Holy Spirit, as St. Gregory Palamas says-. Thus the disciples of Christ acquired the knowledge of the Triune God in theoria (vision) and by revelation. It was revealed to them that God is one essence in three hypostases. This is what St. Symeon the New Theologian teaches. In his poems he proclaims over and over that while beholding the uncreated Light, the deified man acquires the Revelation of God the Trinity. Being in "theoria" (vision of God), the Saints do not confuse the hypostatic attributes. The fact that the Latin tradition came to the point of confusing these hypostatic attributes and teach that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son also, shows the non-existence of empirical theology for them. Latin tradition speaks also of created grace, a fact which suggests that there is no experience of the grace of God. For, when man obtains the experience of God, then he comes to understand well that this grace is uncreated. Without this experience there can be no genuine "therapeutic tradition". Orthodox Spirituality by Metropolitan Hierotheos (Vlachos) of Nafpaktos [37]
  92. ^ "Videtis ergo principalem bonum in theoria sola, id est, in contemplatione divina Dominum posuisse" (Ioannis Cassiani Collationes I, VIII, 2)
  93. ^ Theoria: Theoria is the vision of the glory of God. Theoria is identified with the vision of the uncreated Light, the uncreated energy of God, with the union of man with God, with man's theosis (see note below). Thus, theoria, vision and theosis are closely connected. Theoria has various degrees. There is illumination, vision of God, and constant vision (for hours, days, weeks, even months). Noetic prayer is the first stage of theoria. Theoretical man is one who is at this stage. In Patristic theology, the theoretical man is characterised as the shepherd of the sheep. Orthodox Spirituality by Metropolitan Hierotheos (Vlachos) of Nafpaktos [38]
  94. ^ The province of Gaul was the battleground between the followers of Augustine and of Saint John Cassian, when the Franks were taking over the province and transforming it into their Francia. Through his monastic movement and his writings in this field and on Christology, Saint John Cassian had a strong influence on the Church in Old Rome also. In his person, as in other persons such as Ambrose, Jerome, Rufinus, Leo the Great, and Gregory the Great, we have an identity in doctrine, theology, and spirituality between the East and West Roman Christians. Within this framework, Augustine in the West Roman area was subjected to general Roman theology. In the East Roman area, Augustine was simply ignored. FRANKS, ROMANS, FEUDALISM, AND DOCTRINE — [ Part 3 ] by John Romanides [39]
  95. ^ Revelation for Palamas is directly experienced in the divine energies and is opposed to the conceptualization of revelation. The Augustinian view of revelation by created symbols and illumined vision is rejected. For Augustine, the vision of God is an intellectual experience. This is not acceptable to Palamas. The Palamite emphasis was that creatures, including humans and angles, cannot know or comprehend God's essence Romanides, Franks, Romans, Feudalism, p.67
  96. ^ Revelation for Palamas is directly experienced in the divine energies and is opposed to the conceptualization of revelation. The Augustinian view of revelation by created symbols and illumined vision is rejected. For Augustine, the vision of God is an intellectual experience. This is not acceptable to Palamas. The Palamite emphasis was that creatures, including humans and angles, cannot know or comprehend God's essence Romanides, Franks, Romans, Feudalism, p.67 [40]
  97. ^ "18. Indeed some centuries earlier, just after the Norman conquest, the second Lombard Archbishop of Canterbury Anselm (1093-1109) was not happy with Augustine’s use of procession in his De Trinitate XV, 47, i.e. that the Holy Spirit proceeds principaliter from the Father or from the Father per Filium. (See Anselm’s own De fide Trinitate chapters 15, 16 and 24). This West Roman Orthodox Filioque, which upset Anselm so much, could not be added to the creed of 381 where "procession" there means hypostatic individuality and not the communion of divine essence as in Augustine’s Filioque just quoted. Augustine is indeed Orthodox by intention by his willingness to be corrected. The real problem is that he does not theologize from the vantage point of personal theosis or glorification, but as one who speculates philosophically on the Bible with no real basis in the Patristic tradition. Furthermore, his whole theological method is based on happiness as the destiny of man instead of biblical glorification. His resulting method of analogia entis and analogia fidei is not accepted by any Orthodox Father of the Church. In any case no Orthodox can accept positions of Augustine on which the Father’s of Ecumenical Councils are in agreement "against" him. This website is not concerned with whether Augustine is a saint or a Father of the Church. There is no doubt that he was Orthodox by intention and asked for correction. However, he can not be used in such a way that his opinions may be put on an equal footing with the Fathers of Ecumenical Councils." (John S. Romanides, Underlying Positions of This Website).
  98. ^ "11. In sharp contrast to this Augustinian tradition is that of the Old and the New Testament as understood by the Fathers of the Roman Ecumenical Councils. The "spirit" of man in the Old and New Testaments is that which is sick and which in the patristic tradition became also known as "the noetic energy" or "faculty." By this adjustment in terminology this tradition of cure became more intelligible to the Hellenic mind. Now a further adjustment may be made by calling this sick human "spirit" or "noetic faculty" a "neurobiological faculty or energy" grounded in the heart, but which has been short circuited by its attachment to the nervous system centered in the brain thus creating fantasies about things which either do not exist or else do exist but not as one imagines. This very cure of fantasies is the core of the Orthodox tradition. These fantasies arise from a short circuit between the nervous system centered in the brain and the blood system centered in the heart. The cure of this short circuit is noetic prayer (noera proseuche) which functions in tandem with rational or intellectual prayer of the brain which frees one from fantasies which the devil uses to enslave his victims. Note: We are still searching the Fathers for the term ‘Jesus prayer.’ We would very much appreciate it if someone could come up with a patristic quote in Greek. Post-Note: The Jesus Prayer is not a Patristic tradition, but rather a Scriptural tradition. (c.f., Psalm 86:3, Luke 18:13 etc. etc.) I would remind the one who noted above, that something needn't be a 'certain name' for it to be true. Jesus, for example, wasn't called 'Emmanuel.' (c.f., Matthew 1:23, Isaiah 7:14) 12. In sharp contrast to this tradition is that of Augustinian Platonism which searches for mystical experiences within supposed transcendental realities by liberating the mind from the confines of the body and material reality for imaginary flights into a so-called metaphysical dimension of so-called divine ideas which do not exist" (John S. Romanides, Underlying Positions of This Website).
  99. ^ 9. The Ninth Ecumenical Council of 1341 condemned the Platonic mysticism of Barlaam the Calabrian who had come from the West as a convert to Orthodoxy. Of course the rejection of Platonic type of mysticism was traditional practice for the Fathers. But what the Fathers of this Council were completely shocked at was Barlaam’s claim that God reveals His will by bringing into existence creatures to be seen and heard and which He passes back into non existence after His revelation has been received. One of these supposed creatures was the Angel of The Lord Himself Who appeared to Moses in the burning bush. For the Fathers of the Ecumenical Councils this Angel is the uncreated Logos Himself. This unbelievable nonsense of Barlaam turned out to be that of Augustine himself. (see e.g. his De Tinitate, Books A and B) and of the whole Franco-Latin tradition till today" (John S. Romanides, Underlying Positions of This Website).
  100. ^ "Along with realizing this fundamental need, I notice every day that Christianity, and especially Orthodoxy, which preserves the essence of Christianity, is making much use of `psychotherapy', or rather, that Orthodoxy is mainly a therapeutic science. Every means that it employs, and indeed its very aim, is to heal man and guide him to God. For in order to attain communion with God and achieve the blessed state of divination, we must first be healed. So, beyond all other interpretations, Orthodoxy is mainly a therapeutic science and treatment. It differs clearly from other psychiatric methods, because it is not anthropocentric but the anthropocentric and because it does not do its work with human methods, but with the help and energy of divine grace, essentially through the synergy of divine and human volition." [41]
  101. ^ All who have reached glorification testify to the fact that "it is impossible to express God and even more impossible to conceive him" because they know by their experience that there is no similarity whatsoever between the created and the uncreated. God is "unmoved" "mover" and "moved" and "neither one, nor oneness nor unity, nor divinity...nor sonship, nor fatherhood, etc." in the experience of glorification. The Bible and dogmas are guides to and abolished during glorification. They are not ends in themselves and have nothing to do with metaphysics, either with analogia entis or with analogia fidei. This means that words and concepts which do not contradict the experience of glorification and which lead to purification and illumination of the heart and glorification are Orthodox. Words and concepts which contradict glorification and lead away from cure and perfection in Christ are heretical. This is the key to the decisions of the first Seven Roman Ecumenical Councils as well as that of the Eighth (879) and especially of the Ninth (1341). Most historians of dogma do not see this because they believe the Fathers were, like Augustine, searching by meditation and contemplation to understand the mystery of God behind words and concepts about him. They induct even such Fathers as Gregory the Theologian into the army of Latin theology by translating him to say that to philosophize about God is permitted only to "past masters of meditation," instead of "to those who have passed into theoria," which is vision of Christ "in a mirror dimly" by "kinds of tongues" and "face to face" in "glorification", The Cure Of The Neurobiological Sickness Of Religion The Hellenic Civilization Of The Roman Empire, Charlemagne's Lie Of 794, And His Lie Today by John S. Romanides [42]
  102. ^ The Cure Of The Neurobiological Sickness Of Religion The Hellenic Civilization Of The Roman Empire, Charlemagne's Lie Of 794, And His Lie Today by John S. Romanides [43]
  103. ^ [44]
  104. ^ Orthodox Psychotherapy CHAPTER III by Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos published by Birth of Theotokos Monastery, Greece (January 1, 2005) ISBN 978-960-7070-27-2 [45]
  105. ^ Man has a malfunctioning or non-functioning noetic faculty in the heart, and it is the task especially of the clergy to apply the cure of unceasing memory of God, otherwise called unceasing prayer or illumination. "Those who have selfless love and are friends of God see God in light – divine light, while the selfish and impure see God the judge as fire – darkness". [46]
  106. ^ DIFFERENCES IN THE RELIGIOUS THINKING BETWEEN THE EAST AND THE WEST. by Father Archimandrite Rafael (Karelin).[47]
  107. ^ What is the Human Nous? by John Romanides [48]
  108. ^ "Before embarking on this study, the reader is asked to absorb a few Greek terms for which there is no English word that would not be imprecise or misleading. Chief among these is NOUS, which refers to the `eye of the heart' and is often translated as mind or intellect. Here we keep the Greek word NOUS throughout. The adjective related to it is NOETIC (noeros)." Orthodox Psychotherapy Section The Knowledge of God according to St. Gregory Palamas by Metropolitan Metropolitan Hierotheos published by Birth of Theotokos Monastery, Greece (January 1, 2005) ISBN 978-960-7070-27-2 [49]
  109. ^ Faith And Science In Orthodox Gnosiology and Methodology by Professor George Metallinos "It has been correctly stated that if Christianity were to appear for the first time in our era, it would have taken the form of a therapeutic institution, a hospital to reinstate and restore the function of man as a psychosomatic being. That is why Saint John Chrysostom calls the Church a spiritual hospital."[50]
  110. ^ Orthodox Psychotherapy Section The Knowledge of God according to St. Gregory Palamas by Metropolitan Metropolitan Hierotheos published by Birth of Theotokos Monastery, Greece (January 1, 2005) ISBN 978-960-7070-27-2 [51]
  111. ^ [52]
  112. ^ a b Orthodox Dogmatic Theology: A Concise Exposition Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky Appendices New currents in Russian philosophico-theological thought Philosophy and Theology.[53]
  113. ^ "Roman Catholicism rationalizes even the sacrament of the Eucharist: it interprets spiritual action as purely material and debases the sacrament to such an extent that it becomes in its view a kind of atomistic miracle. The Orthodox Church has no metaphysical theory of Transsubstantiation, and there is no need of such a theory. Christ is the Lord of the elements and it is in His power to do so that 'every thing, without in the least changing its physical substance' could become His Body. Christ's Body in the Eucharist is not physical flesh." History of Russian Philosophy by Nikolai Lossky ISBN 978-0-8236-8074-0 p. 87
  114. ^ Nikitas Stithatos-On the Inner Nature of Things and on the Purification of the Intellect: One Hundred Texts Palmer, G.E.H; Sherrard, Philip; Ware, Kallistos (Timothy). The Philokalia, Vol. 4 ISBN 0-571-19382-X
  115. ^ Glossary of terms from the Philokalia pg 430 Palmer, G.E.H; Sherrard; Ware, Kallistos (Timothy). The Philokalia, Vol. 4 ISBN 0-571-19382-X Faith- not only an individual or theoretical belief in the dogmatic truths of Christianity, but an all-embracing relationship, an attitude of love and trust in God. As such it involves a transformation of man's entire life. Faith is a gift from God, the means whereby we are taken up into the whole theanthropic activity of God in Christ and of man in Christ through which man attains salvation.
  116. ^ a b c d e f g The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, by Vladimir Lossky SVS Press, 1997. (ISBN 0-913836-31-1) James Clarke & Co Ltd, 1991. (ISBN 0-227-67919-9) pg 21 pg 71
  117. ^ [54]
  118. ^ The Ancestral sin by John S. Romanides (Author), George S. Gabriel (Translator) Publisher: Zephyr Pub (2002) ISBN 978-0-9707303-1-2 [55]
  119. ^ stmaryorthodoxchurch.org
  120. ^ International Theological Commission, The Hope of Salvation for Infants Who Die without Being Baptized
  121. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, 405
  122. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, Reader's Guide to Themes (Burns & Oates 1999 ISBN 0-86012-366-9), p. 766
  123. ^ "This view that man can choose God is known as synergism. It teaches that the human will can cooperate with the Holy Spirit and the grace of God in salvation. The Church in the West, however, condemned this point of view in the Synod of Orange and remained closer to the Augustinian tradition. What Christians Believe: A Biblical and Historical Summary by De Alan F. Johnson, Robert E. Webber ISBN 978-0-310-36721-5 [56]
  124. ^ "If anyone says, that just as the increase [of faith] so also the beginning of faith and the very desire of credulity, by which we believe in Him who justifies the impious, and (by which) we arrive at the regeneration of holy baptism (is) not through the gift of grace, that is, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit reforming our will from infidelity to faith, from impiety to piety, but is naturally in us, he is proved (to be) antagonistic to the doctrine of the Apostles" (Canon 5 - translation in Denzinger: Sources of Dogma, 178, old numbering).
  125. ^ Orlando O. Espín, James B. Nickoloff, An Introductory Dictionary of Theology and Religious Studies (Liturgical Press 2007 ISBN 978-0-81465856-7), p. 508
  126. ^ 2009 Title of a paper presented by Stuart Squires of the Catholic University of America at the 2009 meeting of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature (program, p. 3)
  127. ^ Augustine Casiday, Rehabilitating John Cassian: an evaluation of Prosper of Aquitaine's polemic against the 'Semipelagians'" in Scottish Journal of Theology (2005) 58, pp. 270-284
  128. ^ STUDIA HISTORIAE ECCLESIASTICAE May/Mei 2009 Volume XXXV No/Nr 1
  129. ^ Lauren Pristas, The Theological Anthropology of John Cassian
  130. ^ a b Vladimir Lossky, The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church. St Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1976. ISBN 0-913836-31-1, p. 198
  131. ^ [57]
  132. ^ Vladimir Lossky, The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church. St Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1976. ISBN 0-913836-31-1, p. 199
  133. ^ Lossky, p. 197
  134. ^ Georges Florovsky, The Ascetic Ideal and the New Testament: Reflections on the Critique of the Theology of the Reformation
  135. ^ Karl Rahner, Encyclopedia of Theology (Continuum 1975 ISBN 978-0-86012006-3), p. 594
  136. ^ in A History of Monastic Spirituality, 8. Cassian 365-435
  137. ^ Martyrologium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2001 ISBN 88=309-7210-7), p. 385
  138. ^ Cassian the Monk By Columba Stewart pg 21 Cassian's role in the monastic response to Augustine's views has denied him the liturgical and devotional recognition as a saint of the Western Church. In this respect he resembles his mentors Origen and Evagrius: he has been widely read, respected for his psychological realism and his teaching on higher forms of contemplation and prayer, but in the minds of some he has remained doctrinally suspect.[58]
  139. ^ The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford University Press 2005 ISBN 978-0-19-280290-3), article canonization
  140. ^ (The Freedom of Morality, p. 151n. Christos Yannaras)
  141. ^ (Rysai hemas, kyrie, tes Augoustiniou dialektikes)" Saint Gennadius Scholarius.
  142. ^ [59]
  143. ^ a b Romanides, John S. Franks, Romans, Feudalism, and Doctrine/Empirical Theology versus Speculative Theology. "A basic characteristic of the Frankish scholastic method, mislead by Augustinian Platonism and Thomistic Aristotelianism, had been its naive confidence in the objective existence of things rationally speculated about. By following Augustine, the Franks substituted the patristic concern for spiritual observation, (which they had found firmly established in Gaul when they first conquered the area) with a fascination for metaphysics. They did not suspect that such speculations had foundations neither in created nor in spiritual reality. No one would today accept as true what is not empirically observable, or at least verifiable by inference, from an attested effect. So it is with patristic theology. Dialectical speculation about God and the Incarnation as such are rejected. Only those things which can be tested by the experience of the grace of God in the heart are to be accepted. "Be not carried about by divers and strange teachings. For it is good that the heart be confirmed by grace," a passage from Hebrews 13.9, quoted by the Fathers to this effect." 
  144. ^ "While pointing this out, this writer has never raised the question about the sainthood of Augustine. He himself believed himself to be fully Orthodox and repeatedly asked to be corrected" [60]
  145. ^ Martyrologium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2001 ISBN 88-209-7210-7)
  146. ^ OSV's encyclopedia of Catholic history By Matthew Bunson's
  147. ^ An Introduction to the Early History of Christian Doctrine, 1949, p. 321.
  148. ^ Yet Cassian did not himself escape the suspicion of erroneous teaching; he is in fact regarded as the originator of what, since the Middle Ages, has been known as Semipelagianism. The New Advent the Catholic Encyclopedia online [61]
  149. ^ [62]
  150. ^ [63]
  151. ^ pg 198
  152. ^ [64]
  153. ^ [65]
  154. ^ [66]
  155. ^ “When Catholics say that persons cooperate in preparing for an accepting justification by consenting to God’s justifying action, they see such personal consent as itself an effect of grace, not as an action arising from innate human abilities" [67]
  156. ^ The existential and ontological meaning of man’s created existence is precisely that God did not have to create, that it was a free act of Divine freedom. But— and here is the great difficulty created by an unbalanced Christianity on the doctrine of grace and freedom— in freely creating man God willed to give man an inner spiritual freedom. In no sense is this a Pelagian or Semi-Pelagian position. The balanced synergistic doctrine of the early and Eastern Church, a doctrine misunderstood and undermined by Latin Christianity in general from St. Augustine on— although there was always opposition to this in the Latin Church— always understood that God initiates, accompanies, and completes everything in the process of salvation. What it always rejected— both spontaneously and intellectually— is the idea of irresistible grace, the idea that man has no participating role in his salvation. The Ascetic Ideal and the New Testament: Reflections on the Critique of the Theology of the Reformation Georges Florovsky [68]
  157. ^ a b I was shocked to find out that the dogma of the Immaculate Conception (which asserts that "from the first moment of her conception the Blessed Virgin Mary was, by the singular grace and privilege of Almighty God, and in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of mankind, kept free from all stain of original sin") was defined only in 1854 by Pope Pius IX in his bull Ineffabilis Deus. The dogma was only a little over a century old! And I found it futile to argue that even though the definition was late, the teaching had been universally held beforehand. Not so! Right up to the very time of the definition, various parties contested its orthodoxy. What I found most disturbing in my reading was that the Orthodox objected to the doctrine not so much because of its proclamation of Mary as immaculate (indeed, the Orthodox liturgy repeatedly refers to Mary as "all holy ... .. immaculate," and "most blessed") but because of the erroneous understanding of original sin underlying it. The Orthodox, I discovered, objected to the Roman Catholic understanding of original sin as the stain of inherited guilt passed down from Adam, as a result of his sin, to the rest of the human race. The Orthodox saw this notion of original sin as skewed, drawing almost exclusively on the thought of Saint Augustine. He had virtually ignored the teachings of the Eastern Fathers, who tended to see original sin not as inherited guilt but rather as "the ancestral curse" by which human beings were alienated from the divine life and thus became subject to corruption and death. As I read further, I discovered that Saint Augustine's and consequently, the Roman Catholic Church's view was the result of the faulty Latin translation of Romans 5:12, the New Testament passage on which the teaching of original sin is based. When the original Greek is properly translated it reads, "Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and death spread to all in that (eph ho) all sinned. . ." The Latin which Augustine used rendered the eph ho ("in that") as in quo ("in whom"), meaning "in Adam." Thus the passage was misconstrued as saying that all sinned in Adam, that all shared in the guilt of his original disobedience. It is understandable how the Catholic doctrine of original sin followed from this misinterpretation. It is also easy to see why the Orthodox rejected the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. Because they understood original sin in terms of the ancestral curse of human mortality, they saw Pius IX's dogma as amounting to no less than an assertion of Mary's immortality! That is, by saying that Mary was free from original sin, the Roman Church in effect was saying that Mary was not mortal! She was therefore not like the rest of the human race. This was something no Orthodox Christian could accept. In fact, Orthodoxy calls Mary "the first of the redeemed", the first human to receive the great blessing of salvation now available to all mankind. I sadly concluded that the erroneous Roman understanding of original sin had led to another erroneous teaching, the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. The dogma was clearly an unwarranted innovation. It was much the same with the dogma of papal infallibility. This doctrine asserts that when the pope speaks ex cathedra, "from the throne," or officially, on matters of faith and morals, he teaches infallibly. Thus the whole Church is bound by his teaching. Orthodoxy and Catholicism - What are the differences - Father Theodore Pulcini ISBN 978-1-888212-23-5 [69]
  158. ^ pgs 50-59 The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, by Vladimir Lossky SVS Press, 1997. (ISBN 0-913836-31-1) James Clarke & Co Ltd, 1991. (ISBN 0-227-67919-9)
  159. ^ The Highest Good
  160. ^ In Memoriam: Olivier Clément
  161. ^ Berdyaev, Nikolai (1948). Man's Destiny. G. Bles; 3rd edition. p. 37. ASIN B0007J9IE8. ISBN 0-88355-775-4. {{[70]}}
  162. ^ Alekseĭ Stepanovich Khomiakov in On Spiritual Unity: A Slavophile Reader (Lindisfarne Books 1998 ISBN 0-940262-91-6), pp. 93-94
  163. ^ Khomiakov, On Spiritual Unity, p. 94
  164. ^ A basic characteristic of the Frankish scholastic method, mislead by Augustinian Platonism and Thomistic Aristotelianism, had been its naive confidence in the objective existence of things rationally speculated about. By following Augustine, the Franks substituted the patristic concern for spiritual observation, (which they had found firmly established in Gaul when they first conquered the area) with a fascination for metaphysics. They did not suspect that such speculations had foundations neither in created nor in spiritual reality. Franks, Romans, Feudalism, and Doctrine — [Part 2] Empirical Theology versus Speculative Theology -Empirical Theology- John S. Romanides [71]
  165. ^ Oneness of Essence, and it is absolutely essential to distinguish this from another dogma, the dogma of the begetting and the procession, in which, as the Holy Fathers express it, is shown the Cause of the existence of the Son and the Spirit. All of the Eastern Fathers acknowledge that the Father is monos aitios, the sole Cause” of the Son and the Spirit. Orthodox Dogmatic Theology Michael Pomazansky [72]
  166. ^ pg 48-57 The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, by Vladimir Lossky SVS Press, 1997. (ISBN 0-913836-31-1) James Clarke & Co Ltd, 1991. (ISBN 0-227-67919-9)[73]
  167. ^ Franks, Romans, Feudalism, and Doctrine/Empirical Theology versus Speculative Theology. Father John S. Romanides [74] A basic characteristic of the Frankish scholastic method, mislead by Augustinian Platonism and Thomistic Aristotelianism, had been its naive confidence in the objective existence of things rationally speculated about. By following Augustine, the Franks substituted the patristic concern for spiritual observation, (which they had found firmly established in Gaul when they first conquered the area) with a fascination for metaphysics. They did not suspect that such speculations had foundations neither in created nor in spiritual reality. No one would today accept as true what is not empirically observable, or at least verifiable by inference, from an attested effect. So it is with patristic theology. Dialectical speculation about God and the Incarnation as such are rejected. Only those things which can be tested by the experience of the grace of God in the heart are to be accepted. "Be not carried about by divers and strange teachings. For it is good that the heart be confirmed by grace," a passage from Hebrews 13.9, quoted by the Fathers to this effect.
  168. ^ pg 50-51 The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, by Vladimir Lossky SVS Press, 1997. (ISBN 0-913836-31-1) James Clarke & Co Ltd, 1991. (ISBN 0-227-67919-9)[75] [76]
  169. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, 246-248
  170. ^ Article 5 of the Thirty-Nine Articles
  171. ^ Lutheranism (Book of Concord, The Nicene Creed and the Filioque: A Lutheran Approach), Presbyterianism (Union Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, Reformed Presbyterian Church); Methodism (United Methodist Hymnal)
  172. ^ Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity: The Greek and the Latin Traditions regarding the Procession of the Holy Spirit (scanned image of the English translation on L'Osservatore Romano of 20 September 1995); also text with Greek letters transliterated and text omitting two sentences at the start of the paragraph that it presents as beginning with "The Western tradition expresses first ..."
  173. ^ Nicene Creed Catholic encyclopedia
  174. ^ Agreed Statement of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation, 25 October 2003
  175. ^ Missale Romanum 2002 (Roman Missal in Latin), p. 513
  176. ^ Ρωμαϊκό Λειτουργικό 2006 (Roman Missal in Greek), vol. 1, p. 347
  177. ^ programme of the celebration
  178. ^ Video recording of joint recitation on YouTube
  179. ^ That the Catholic Church, as a consequence of the normative and irrevocable dogmatic value of the Creed of 381, use the original Greek text alone in making translations of that Creed for catechetical and liturgical use.[77]
  180. ^ The Metropolitan's own blog
  181. ^ [78]
  182. ^ [79]
  183. ^ Having reached this point, we will turn our attention to those aspects of differences between Roman and Frankish theologies which have had a strong impact on the development of difference is the doctrine of the Church. The basic difference may be listed under diagnosis of spiritual ills and their therapy. Glorification is the vision of God in which the equality of all mean and the absolute value of each man is experienced. God loves all men equally and indiscriminately, regardless of even their moral statues. God loves with the same love, both the saint and the devil. To teach otherwise, as Augustine and the Franks did, would be adequate proof that they did not have the slightest idea of what glorification was. God multiplies and divides himself in His uncreated energies undividedly among divided things, so that He is both present by act and absent by nature to each individual creature and everywhere present and absent at the same time. This is the fundamental mystery of the presence of God to His creatures and shows that universals do not exist in God and are, therefore, not part of the state of illumination as in the Augustinian tradition. God himself is both heaven and hell, reward and punishment. All men have been created to see God unceasingly in His uncreated glory. Whether God will be for each man heaven or hell, reward or punishment, depends on man's response to God's love and on man's transformation from the state of selfish and self-centered love, to Godlike love which does not seek its own ends. One can see how the Frankish understanding of heaven and hell, poetically described by Dante, John Milton, and James Joyce, are so foreign to the Orthodox tradition. This is another of the reasons why the so-called humanism of some East Romans (those who united with the Frankish papacy) was a serious regression and not an advance in culture. Since all men will see God, no religion can claim for itself the power to send people either to heaven or to hell. This means that true spiritual fathers prepare their spiritual charges so that vision of God's glory will be heaven, and not hell, reward and not punishment. The primary purpose of Orthodox Christianity then, is to prepare its members for an experience which every human being will sooner or later have. EMPIRICAL THEOLOGY VERSUS SPECULATIVE THEOLOGY by John S. Romanides part 2 [80]
  184. ^ God himself is both heaven and hell, reward and punishment. All men have been created to see God unceasingly in His uncreated glory. Whether God will be for each man heaven or hell, reward or punishment, depends on man's response to God's love and on man's transformation from the state of selfish and self-centered love, to Godlike love which does not seek its own ends.EMPIRICAL THEOLOGY VERSUS SPECULATIVE THEOLOGY by John S. Romanides part 2 [81]
  185. ^ Thus it is the Church's spiritual teaching that God does not punish man by some material fire or physical torment. God simply reveals Himself in the risen Lord Jesus in such a glorious way that no man can fail to behold His glory. It is the presence of God's splendid glory and love that is the scourge of those who reject its radiant power and light. ... those who find themselves in hell will be chastised by the scourge of love. How cruel and bitter this torment of love will be! For those who understand that they have sinned against love, undergo no greater suffering than those produced by the most fearful tortures. The sorrow which takes hold of the heart, which has sinned against love, is more piercing than any other pain. It is not right to say that the sinners in hell are deprived of the love of God ... But love acts in two ways, as suffering of the reproved, and as joy in the blessed! (St. Isaac of Syria, Mystic Treatises) The Orthodox Church of America website [82]
  186. ^ For those who love the Lord, His Presence will be infinite joy, paradise and eternal life. For those who hate the Lord, the same Presence will be infinite torture, hell and eternal death. The reality for both the saved and the damned will be exactly the same when Christ "comes in glory, and all angels with Him," so that "God may be all in all." (I Corinthians 15-28) Those who have God as their "all" within this life will finally have divine fulfillment and life. For those whose "all" is themselves and this world, the "all" of God will be their torture, their punishment and their death. And theirs will be "weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 8:21, et al.) The Son of Man will send His angels and they will gather out of His kingdom all causes of sin and all evil doers, and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. (Matthew 13:41-43) According to the saints, the "fire" that will consume sinners at the coming of the Kingdom of God is the same "fire" that will shine with splendor in the saints. It is the "fire" of God's love; the "fire" of God Himself who is Love. "For our God is a consuming fire" (Hebrews 12:29) who "dwells in unapproachable light." (I Timothy 6:16) For those who love God and who love all creation in Him, the "consuming fire" of God will be radiant bliss and unspeakable delight. For those who do not love God, and who do not love at all, this same 66consuming fire" will be the cause of their "weeping" and their "gnashing of teeth." Thus it is the Church's spiritual teaching that God does not punish man by some material fire or physical torment. God simply reveals Himself in the risen Lord Jesus in such a glorious way that no man can fail to behold His glory. It is the presence of God's splendid glory and love that is the scourge of those who reject its radiant power and light. ... those who find themselves in hell will be chastised by the scourge of love. How cruel and bitter this torment of love will be! For those who understand that they have sinned against love, undergo no greater suffering than those produced by the most fearful tortures. The sorrow which takes hold of the heart, which has sinned against love, is more piercing than any other pain. It is not right to say that the sinners in hell are deprived of the love of God ... But love acts in two ways, as suffering of the reproved, and as joy in the blessed! (St. Isaac of Syria, Mystic Treatises) The Orthodox Church of America website [83]
  187. ^ God himself is both heaven and hell, reward and punishment. All men have been created to see God unceasingly in His uncreated glory. Whether God will be for each man heaven or hell, reward or punishment, depends on man's response to God's love and on man's transformation from the state of selfish and self-centered love, to Godlike love which does not seek its own ends. EMPIRICAL THEOLOGY VERSUS SPECULATIVE THEOLOGY by John S. Romanides part 2 [84]
  188. ^ "Paradise and Hell exist not in the form of a threat and a punishment on the part of God but in the form of an illness and a cure. Those who are cured and those who are purified experience the illuminating energy of divine grace, while the uncured and ill experience the caustic energy of God."[85]
  189. ^ Man has a malfunctioning or non-functioning noetic faculty in the heart, and it is the task especially of the clergy to apply the cure of unceasing memory of God, otherwise called unceasing prayer or illumination. "Those who have selfless love and are friends of God see God in light - divine light, while the selfish and impure see God the judge as fire - darkness". [86]
  190. ^ "Those who have selfless love and are friends of God see God in light - divine light, while the selfish and impure see God the judge as fire- darkness". [87]
  191. ^ Proper preparation for vision of God takes place in two stages: purification, and illumination of the noetic faculty. Without this, it is impossible for man's selfish love to be transformed into selfless love. This transformation takes place during the higher level of the stage of illumination called theoria, literally meaning vision-in this case vision by means of unceasing and uninterrupted memory of God. Those who remain selfish and self-centered with a hardened heart, closed to God's love, will not see the glory of God in this life. However, they will see God's glory eventually, but as an eternal and consuming fire and outer darkness. From FRANKS, ROMANS, FEUDALISM, AND DOCTRINE/Diagnosis and Therapy Father John S. Romanides Diagnosis and Therapy [88]
  192. ^ http://www.fordham.edu/academics/programs_at_fordham_/theology/faculty/aristotle_papanikola_26156.asp
  193. ^ http://www.bu.edu/ir/faculty/alphabetical/prodromou/
  194. ^ Regarding specific conditions of after-life existence and eschatology, Orthodox thinkers are generally reticent; yet two basic shared teachings can be singled out. First, they widely hold that immediately following a human being's physical death, his or her surviving spiritual dimension experiences a foretaste of either heaven or hell. (Those theological symbols, heaven and hell, are not crudely understood as spatial destinations but rather refer to the experience of God's presence according to two different modes.) Thinking Through Faith: New Perspectives from Orthodox Christian Scholars page 195 By Aristotle Papanikolaou, Elizabeth H. Prodromou [89]
  195. ^ Archimandrite Sophrony (Sakharov) speaks of "the hell of separation from God" (Sophrony, The Monk of Mount Athos: Staretz Silouan, 1866-1938 (St Vladimir's Seminary Press 2001 ISBN 0-913836-15-X), p. 32).
  196. ^ "The circumstances that rise before us, the problems we encounter, the relationships we form, the choices we make, all ultimately concern our eternal union with or separation from God" (Life Transfigured: A Journal of Orthodox Nuns, Vol. 24, No. 2, Summer 1991, pp.8-9, produced by The Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration, Ellwood City, Pa.).
  197. ^ "Hell is nothing else but separation of man from God, his autonomy excluding him from the place where God is present" (the World, of the Church: A Paul Evdokimov Reader (St Vladimir's Seminary Press 2001 ISBN 0-88141-215-5), p. 32).
  198. ^ "Hell is a spiritual state of separation from God and inability to experience the love of God, while being conscious of the ultimate deprivation of it as punishment" (Father Theodore Stylianopoulos).
  199. ^ "Hell is none other than the state of separation from God, a condition into which humanity was plunged for having preferred the creature to the Creator. It is the human creature, therefore, and not God, who engenders hell. Created free for the sake of love, man possesses the incredible power to reject this love, to say 'no' to God. By refusing communion with God, he becomes a predator, condemning himself to a spiritual death (hell) more dreadful than the physical death that derives from it" (Quenot, The Resurrection and the Icon (St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press 1997 ISBN 0-88141-149-3), p. 85).
  200. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1033
  201. ^ "Hell was a place of eternal suffering for sinners.", Flatt, 'Religion in the Renaissance", p. 8 (2009).
  202. ^ "However, no cogent reason has been advanced for accepting a metaphorical interpretation in preference to the most natural meaning of the words of Scripture.", Joseph Hontheim, "Hell" in The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 7. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. Retrieved 3 September 2010
  203. ^ "Hence theologians generally accept the opinion that hell is really within the earth.", Joseph Hontheim, "Hell" in The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 7. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. Retrieved 3 September 2010
  204. ^ Summa Theologica, Supplement, question 97, article 7
  205. ^ "The Church has decided nothing on this subject; hence we may say hell is a definite place; but where it is, we do not know.", Joseph Hontheim, "Hell" in The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 7. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. Retrieved 3 September 2010
  206. ^ "Further, it is certain from Scripture and tradition that the torments of hell are inflicted in a definite place. But it is uncertain where the place is.", Addis & Arnold (eds), "A Catholic Dictionary Containing Some Account of the Doctrine, Discipline, Rites, Ceremonies, Councils, and Religious Orders of the Catholic Church: Part One", p. 404 (1903).
  207. ^ Ott, "The Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma", p. 479 (1955).
  208. ^ Fox, "The Catholic Faith", p. 262 (1983).
  209. ^ "The official Roman Catholic position on hell is that "The souls of those who die in the condition of personal grievous sin enter Hell (De fide). Hell is a place or state of eternal punishment inhabited by those rejected by God"", Geisler & MacKenzie, "Roman Catholics and Evangelicals: agreements and differences", p. 143 (1995).
  210. ^ LESSON THIRTY-SEVENTH: On the Last Judgment and the Resurrection, Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven, (Question 1379)
  211. ^ Pope John Paul II, Audience Talk, 28 July 1999
  212. ^ "In the common sense of the word 'place', if you were to say 'Hell is not a place', you would be denying that hell exists. Unfortunately, some thought that the Pope, in the statement quoted above, was denying that hell is a place in this sense. He was, of course, doing nothing of the sort. Thus, to return to the Pope’s words again, John Paul II must not be misinterpreted when he said 'Rather than [or more than] a place, hell indicates [a] state….' He certainly was not denying that it is a place, but instead was shifting our focus to the real essence of hell—what the term 'hell' truly indicates—the self-chosen separation from God. The 'place' or 'location' of hell is secondary, and considerations of where it is should not deflect us from our most important concerns: what it is, and how to avoid it." – "Hell: the Self-Exclusion from God"
  213. ^ a b Berard L. Marthaler, The Creed (Twenty-Third Publications 2007 ISBN 978-0-89622-537-4), p. 211
  214. ^ Zachary J. Hayes, in Four Views on Hell Zondervan 1996 ISBN 0-310-21268-5, p. 176
  215. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1034
  216. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1035
  217. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1031
  218. ^ Clark Carlton, THE WAY: What Every Protestant Should Know About the Orthodox Church, 1997, p 135
  219. ^ Confession of Dositheus, Decree 18
  220. ^ This temporal punishment due to sin can be expiated not only through penitential effort but also through a "gift" of the church. By this scheme the church draws from the infinite merits earned by Christ and the saints and applies them to a particular person so that all or part of that person's temporal punishment due to sin is expiated. This "gift" is called an indulgence. It can be used to expiate one's own temporal punishment due to sin, or it can, through intercessory prayer, be applied to a "suffering soul" in purgatory, so that the soul may then enter the fullness of heaven's joys. Orthodoxy, I discovered, finds such reasoning excessively mechanistic and quite foreign to the spirit of the gospel. Yes, Orthodoxy believes in a state of existence between the time of death and the dawning of the Last Day, but it is a place of rest quite different from the purgatory of Roman Catholic doctrine. The idea of purgatory is based on an obviously legalistic notion that the soul must "pay what it owes" before being admitted to the full joys of heaven. This teaching makes the Orthodox Christian uneasy on two counts: First, Orthodoxy avoids understanding salvation in legalistic terms. Because Christ made a complete sacrifice for our sins, once we are forgiven, we are forgiven. There is no need to provide expiation for some "residual" debt which remains after one is forgiven. Thus, Orthodoxy rejects the whole idea of temporal punishment due to sin. Second, Orthodoxy teaches there is no experiencing the "full joy" of heaven (which a soul supposedly would experience, according to the Roman Catholic understanding, once it has undergone sufficient purgation) until the Last Day. The "intermediate state," in the Orthodox view, is therefore not a state between heaven and hell in which some souls must spend time before entering heaven. It is, rather, a state of repose where all souls rest in anticipation of the Last Day (see I Thessalonians 4:13 17). In that repose they have a foretaste of their eternal reward or punishment, which will be fixed on the Last Day. In the meantime, the Orthodox Church teaches, these souls benefit from the prayers of the faithful. These prayers, as acts of love, comfort the souls of the departed and better prepare them to stand confident of God's grace and mercy at the dread judgment seat of Christ on the Last Day. The Orthodox Church gives no mechanistic explanation of how these prayers benefit the departed. It simply affirms the ancient Christian teaching that such prayers are efficacious in preparing the souls of the departed for the final judgment Orthodoxy and Catholicism - What are the differences - Father Theodore Pulcini [90]
  221. ^ [91]

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