Talk:Roman Catholic–Eastern Orthodox theological differences/Archive 8

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Classification of early Fathers as Roman Catholic theology

User LM put the subheading "Roman Catholic teaching" over the information in the article about the use of what the Antiochene Fathers called theoria in interpreting the Bible. As this subheading seemed clearly inappropriate, I changed it to the more accurate "Exegesis of the Bible by the Fathers", with the edit summary, "Gregory of Nyssa and the Antiochenes were not Roman Catholic theologians", and added some further well-sourced information on the subject. An editor who had not logged in, but whom I presume, on the basis of the style of both his action and his edit summary, to be LM, simply reverted all, giving as explanation and as a declaration of intention to edit-war: "revert and will continue to as Esoglou is adding Western theologians into Eastern sections causing confusion". The scholars cited, one of whom is Eastern Orthodox, are reliable sources, and some of them are actually cited as such by other scholars. And the Fathers in question are neither Roman Catholic nor Eastern Orthodox, a distinction that in their time did not exist.

Unless some objective justification is presented for the twofold action of insistently giving a subsection an inaccurate heading and of arbitrarily removing pertinent sourced information, this reverting must be undone. Esoglou (talk) 09:27, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

It is now well over three days since I posted the above and the editor in question, who has been active on Wikipedia, has not defended his action. I feel free therefore to undo his reversal of a well-sourced edit. I will do so after a few more hours. Esoglou (talk) 20:06, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

I completely do not understand what you have posted. So if you revert something that attributes a Roman Catholic opinion, teaching with the Eastern Orthodox church and also an opinion that runs counters to the already posted ones here from the Orthodox church I revert out whatever changes you make. You Esoglou continue to edit war and engage in edit warring behavior on several articles that I have contributed too while before your interaction with me and the filioque and the East West schism articles you Esoglou never contributed too. You are edit warring against my contributions on several articles. This is also called wiki hounding. LoveMonkey (talk) 23:55, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

The reverting was done by you, arbitrarily: you have given no explanation even yet. What, if anything, in the following text is not based on a reliable source? If you think a contrary opinion exists about any of the statements in it, then it is up to you to present, with a valid citation, that contrary opinion, so as to have a balance between the different opinions; but you have no right to delete sourced statements such as are given here. There is nothing in the following that "attributes a Roman Catholic opinion to the Eastern Orthodox Church".

THE TEXT IN QUESTION HAS BEEN MOVED DOWN

-- Esoglou (talk) 04:33, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

The edit that Esoglou posted here in the beginning of this section [1] is where I moved the header -Roman Catholic teaching- to encompass a paragraph that states with the words -According to Roman Catholic theologian George T. Montague- The passage that follow is not in conformity with Eastern Orthodox theology. Go back and look at what Esoglou has posted here. So all of the above is simply about a heading. Thats all none of the Gregory paragraph belongs to Orthodox nor Orthodox teaching as what is defined by Western theologians is not how the word is used or the same meaning by Greek Orthodox theologians and Esoglou has carried his edit war over to the Eastern Orthodox theological term article and is now trying to say that the term as shown it is not by Eastern Orthodox theological sources the term theoria is not used to mean what either the Greek philosophers used the term to mean nor Western theologians. Easoglou knows this and is trying to make the argument over a header into something it is not. LoveMonkey (talk) 12:52, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

The passage quoted above doesn't claim to be about Orthodox teaching. It is about the early Fathers of the Church. If you think the Greek-speaking Fathers of the Church belong exclusively to the Eastern Orthodox Church, that is a personal POV that you may not impose on Wikipedia. You are very lavish in citing Eastern theologians about Western Fathers of the Church. Wikipedia allows citation of reliable sources of all religions and none. So what objection can you raise against the passage above? Esoglou (talk) 13:31, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Then it does not belong in the Orthodox section of the article- the section of the article saying that theoria is the difference as it is taught as something of difference and this different teaching, understanding of the experiece of theoria is the actual difference between Eastern Orthodox and Western Christianity specifically Roman Catholicism and all of its related off spring. How come what you Esoglou are fighting over, edit warring over and wrote all of this over is something that is obvious? Something that is so obvious you can not ascertain such a thing. Who has the time for this kind drama when trying to be a contributor to Wikipedia? How is this behavior that I have pointed out time and time again acceptable. Esoglou is doing this to frustrate how can Esoglou be this incompetent consistently that not be called into question or Esoglou not be called to task for being disruptive like this. Look at the amount time I have spent stating the obvious. No where is the Orthodox saying they speak for all of the difference Christian sects in their interpretation of things and for you to make your comments that do not respect what is being stated and clarified shows again that you should be banned from edit warring on this and likewise articles about this topic. What you just posted shows you have a POV and agenda that is incompatible with the content of this article. As you just stated VERY clearly that the Orthodox are not free nor entitled to disagree nor have their perspective. WHICH IS exactly what I have pointing out all along. But the Roman Catholic church gets to be have it's interpretation and anyone whom deviates from it is not the true Church- Thats what your Pope just said a week ago in the press Esoglou [2] LoveMonkey (talk) 14:04, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Of course it doesn't belong to the Eastern Orthodox section nor to the Catholic. It is about the Fathers of the Church, who are common to both. You don't seem to realize that theoria has a specific meaning in scriptural exegesis. To help you understand it, I have added yet more material from John Breck, whom I presume you know to be an Eastern Orthodox theologian. Can you accept the text now? Or do we continue to discuss it for many weeks to come? Esoglou (talk) 15:42, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Again more proof of POV pushing and bias. I remark that each group involved should have, from their respective sources, the points that they make as what are the actual theological differences between Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. That means what each side is said to agree is their perspective. Esoglou then states that now there is another yet undefined and un-sourced group that now speaks for all Christianity and Esoglou then sources his statements to this effect with different Christian sects theologians. Who can't even agree with one another even though they are Western as I point out in the example I gave here on the talkpage of Christopher A Hall. Not one of the sources you have provided can be found anywhere to say that they and their interpretation of any of the Saints speaks for all of Christianity in the modern world and here is something else that Esoglou is denying. None of the Saints in the early church EVER said that unity was equal to truth. NOT A ONE. LoveMonkey (talk) 16:28, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Secondary sources are no longer valid for contributing content to Wikipedia?

Yet even more proof of edit warring and Esoglou attempting to justify his disruptive behavior. How is it that Esoglou thinks its not a matter of interpretation that is the very essence of policy rules when it comes to verifiable sources? The very idea of secondary sourcing is to provided authoritative sourcing. So again Esoglou is for authoritative secondary sourcing when it is to his benefit but then against it when it says something else. I am not here posting my opinion. I am here posting secondary sources. Those secondary sources are authoritative based on the groups they represent. Esoglou is not trying again to go to primary sourcing and then using Esoglou's interpretation of the primary source to justify Esoglou POV. Then stating Esoglou should be allowed to that because only Esoglou properly understands the primary sources and that all other authorities that disagree ARE WRONG, DEFECTIVE, INVALID. Esoglou is not an authority and if he is he's breaking the Wikipedia policy of conflict of interest (WP:COI) and again should not be editing these articles. I am not speaking for myself or my opinion I am posting Eastern Orthodox sources and what they have said. At best I am trying to reword their comments in order to not be copy and pasting and then therefore engaging in copyright violations. However I am not going to Esoglou's articles and peppering them with citation tags to force the content to have to go to verbatum.[3] I am not going to articles Esoglou that are Roman Catholic and rewriting to them so that they become philosophical articles rather then theological ones.[4] I have not followed Esoglou to several other theological articles and radically rewritten sections on Roman Catholic theology incorrectly causing those authorities of that community to be misrepresented. [5] No this is just a recent taste of Esoglou's disruptive behavior. LoveMonkey (talk) 16:53, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Theoria in Eastern Orthodoxy

This includes the Eastern Orthodox teaching of St Gregory and his use of the term theoria from an Eastern Orthodox theological context. None validate the Western definition of term either as it is use by the Roman Catholic church nor the Protestant. These sources say nothing of the interpretation that Esoglou added to a section of the article that was outlining the Eastern Orthodox perspective. But again Esoglou does not care since Esoglou has made up his mind on what the Eastern Orthodox believe and even when given contrary evidence rather than just accept that Esoglou instead works to undermine and discredit those sources and their published opinion and somehow that is not edit warring? If the section is on the Eastern Orthodox perspective it should be based on Eastern Orthodox valid sources NOT WESTERN ONES. How are people to resolve anything if one does not respect the other perspective?

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. [6]
  • 2)Here is John Romanides definition of theoria from St Gregory and it is completely different then Esoglou's Western definition-.
This state of theoria is two fold or has two stages: a) unceasing memory of God and b) glorification, the latter being a gift which God gives to His friends according to their needs and the needs of others. During this latter state of glorification, unceasing noetic prayer is interrupted since it is replaced by a vision of the glory of God in Christ. The normal functions of the body, such as sleeping, eating, drinking, and digestion are suspended. In other respects, the intellect and the body function normally. One does not lose consciousness, as happens in the ecstatic mystical experiences of non-Orthodox Christian and pagan religions. One is fully aware and conversant with his environment and those around him, except that he sees everything and everyone saturated by the uncreated glory of God, which is neither light nor darkness, and nowhere and everywhere at the same time. This state may be of short, medium, or long duration. In the case of Moses it lasted for forty days and forty nights. The faces of those in this state of glorification give off an imposing radiance, like that of the face of Moses, and after they die, their bodies become holy relics. These relics give off a strange sweet smell, which at times can become strong. In many cases, these relics remain intact in a good state of preservation, without having been embalmed. They are completely stiff from head to toe, light, dry, and with no signs of putrefaction.
There is no metaphysical criterion for distinguishing between good and bad people. It is much more correct to distinguish between ill and more healthy persons. The sick ones are those whose noetic faculty is either not functioning, or functioning poorly, and the healthier ones are those whose noetic faculty is being cleansed and illumined. [7]
  • 3)And here is Archbishop Lazar Puhalo definition of theoria-.
Moreover, the “mind” has its own form of cognition — Gnosis, that is, the intuitive or immediate apprehension of things spiritual and divine. Gnoseology is not epistemology which is concerned with the nature and scope of human knowledge; nor with the metaphysics it presupposes. Gnosis is the “knowledge” of the “greater mysteries” of existence, divine and human. It is the action of the dispassionate Nous in the state of meditating on spiritual truths, especially God Himself (Theoria). It a practice resulting from prayer, fasting and worship, involving a culture of “watchfulness” (nepsis) or “guarding the mind” or “heart” against the malignancy of sensual images and illusions — always under the grace and guidance of the Holy Spirit. The contemplative achieves success only in a state of “quiet” (hesychia) whether within himself or the world around him. In this practice the mind also has the assistance of reason; it acts as the sentinel against the invading sensory and illusory images. The end of this spiritual process is complete transformation of human nature, that is, deification (theosis) or salvation.
the perception or vision of the intellect through which one attains spiritual knowledge. It may be contrast with the practice of virtues which designates the more external aspect of the ascetic life - purification and the keeping of the commandments - but which is an indispensable prerequisite of contemplation. Depending on the level of personal spiritual growth, contemplation has two main stages: it may be either of the inner essences or principles of created beings or, at a higher stage, of God himself. [8]
The silencing of oneself (heyschia) that causes the ecstasis or ecstasy of being pulled out time into the 8th day (the paradise which is the dominion of God and not man) and experiencing or seeing God. As is contained in "the story of George" in the work, text by Symeon called "On faith" [9].

LoveMonkey (talk) 13:35, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Classification of early Fathers as Roman Catholic theology

User LM put the subheading "Roman Catholic teaching" over the information in the article about the use of what the Antiochene Fathers called theoria in interpreting the Bible. As this subheading seemed clearly inappropriate, I changed it to the more accurate "Exegesis of the Bible by the Fathers", with the edit summary, "Gregory of Nyssa and the Antiochenes were not Roman Catholic theologians", and added some further well-sourced information on the subject. An editor who had not logged in, but whom I presume, on the basis of the style of both his action and his edit summary, to be LM, simply reverted all, giving as explanation and as a declaration of intention to edit-war: "revert and will continue to as Esoglou is adding Western theologians into Eastern sections causing confusion". The scholars cited, one of whom is Eastern Orthodox, are reliable sources, and some of them are actually cited as such by other scholars. And the Fathers in question are neither Roman Catholic nor Eastern Orthodox, a distinction that in their time did not exist.

Unless some objective justification is presented for the twofold action of insistently giving a subsection an inaccurate heading and of arbitrarily removing pertinent sourced information, this reverting must be undone. Esoglou (talk) 09:27, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

It is now well over three days since I posted the above and the editor in question, who has been active on Wikipedia, has not defended his action. I feel free therefore to undo his reversal of a well-sourced edit. I will do so after a few more hours. Esoglou (talk) 20:06, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

I completely do not understand what you have posted. So if you revert something that attributes a Roman Catholic opinion, teaching with the Eastern Orthodox church and also an opinion that runs counters to the already posted ones here from the Orthodox church I revert out whatever changes you make. You Esoglou continue to edit war and engage in edit warring behavior on several articles that I have contributed too while before your interaction with me and the filioque and the East West schism articles you Esoglou never contributed too. You are edit warring against my contributions on several articles. This is also called wiki hounding. LoveMonkey (talk) 23:55, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

The reverting was done by you, arbitrarily: you have given no explanation even yet. What, if anything, in the following text is not based on a reliable source? If you think a contrary opinion exists about any of the statements in it, then it is up to you to present, with a valid citation, that contrary opinion, so as to have a balance between the different opinions; but you have no right to delete sourced statements such as are given here. There is nothing in the following that "attributes a Roman Catholic opinion to the Eastern Orthodox Church".

THE TEXT IN QUESTION HAS BEEN MOVED DOWN

-- Esoglou (talk) 04:33, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

The edit that Esoglou posted here in the beginning of this section [11] is where I moved the header -Roman Catholic teaching- to encompass a paragraph that states with the words -According to Roman Catholic theologian George T. Montague- The passage that follow is not in conformity with Eastern Orthodox theology. Go back and look at what Esoglou has posted here. So all of the above is simply about a heading. Thats all none of the Gregory paragraph belongs to Orthodox nor Orthodox teaching as what is defined by Western theologians is not how the word is used or the same meaning by Greek Orthodox theologians and Esoglou has carried his edit war over to the Eastern Orthodox theological term article and is now trying to say that the term as shown it is not by Eastern Orthodox theological sources the term theoria is not used to mean what either the Greek philosophers used the term to mean nor Western theologians. Easoglou knows this and is trying to make the argument over a header into something it is not. LoveMonkey (talk) 12:52, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

The passage quoted above doesn't claim to be about Orthodox teaching. It is about the early Fathers of the Church. If you think the Greek-speaking Fathers of the Church belong exclusively to the Eastern Orthodox Church, that is a personal POV that you may not impose on Wikipedia. You are very lavish in citing Eastern theologians about Western Fathers of the Church. Wikipedia allows citation of reliable sources of all religions and none. So what objection can you raise against the passage above? Esoglou (talk) 13:31, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Then it does not belong in the Orthodox section of the article- the section of the article saying that theoria is the difference as it is taught as something of difference and this different teaching, understanding of the experiece of theoria is the actual difference between Eastern Orthodox and Western Christianity specifically Roman Catholicism and all of its related off spring. How come what you Esoglou are fighting over, edit warring over and wrote all of this over is something that is obvious? Something that is so obvious you can not ascertain such a thing. Who has the time for this kind drama when trying to be a contributor to Wikipedia? How is this behavior that I have pointed out time and time again acceptable. Esoglou is doing this to frustrate how can Esoglou be this incompetent consistently that not be called into question or Esoglou not be called to task for being disruptive like this. Look at the amount time I have spent stating the obvious. No where is the Orthodox saying they speak for all of the difference Christian sects in their interpretation of things and for you to make your comments that do not respect what is being stated and clarified shows again that you should be banned from edit warring on this and likewise articles about this topic. What you just posted shows you have a POV and agenda that is incompatible with the content of this article. As you just stated VERY clearly that the Orthodox are not free nor entitled to disagree nor have their perspective. WHICH IS exactly what I have pointing out all along. But the Roman Catholic church gets to be have it's interpretation and anyone whom deviates from it is not the true Church- Thats what your Pope just said a week ago in the press Esoglou [12] LoveMonkey (talk) 14:04, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Of course it doesn't belong to the Eastern Orthodox section nor to the Catholic. It is about the Fathers of the Church, who are common to both. You don't seem to realize that theoria has a specific meaning in scriptural exegesis. To help you understand it, I have added yet more material from John Breck, whom I presume you know to be an Eastern Orthodox theologian. Can you accept the text now? Or do we continue to discuss it for many weeks to come? Esoglou (talk) 15:42, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Again more proof of POV pushing and bias. I remark that each group involved should have, from their respective sources, the points that they make as what are the actual theological differences between Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. That means what each side is said to agree is their perspective. Esoglou then states that now there is another yet undefined and un-sourced group that now speaks for all Christianity and Esoglou then sources his statements to this effect with different Christian sects theologians. Who can't even agree with one another even though they are Western as I point out in the example I gave here on the talkpage of Christopher A Hall. Not one of the sources you have provided can be found anywhere to say that they and their interpretation of any of the Saints speaks for all of Christianity in the modern world and here is something else that Esoglou is denying. None of the Saints in the early church EVER said that unity was equal to truth. NOT A ONE. LoveMonkey (talk) 16:28, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Secondary sources are no longer valid for contributing content to Wikipedia?

Yet even more proof of edit warring and Esoglou attempting to justify his disruptive behavior. How is it that Esoglou thinks its not a matter of interpretation that is the very essence of policy rules when it comes to verifiable sources? The very idea of secondary sourcing is to provided authoritative sourcing. So again Esoglou is for authoritative secondary sourcing when it is to his benefit but then against it when it says something else. I am not here posting my opinion. I am here posting secondary sources. Those secondary sources are authoritative based on the groups they represent. Esoglou is not trying again to go to primary sourcing and then using Esoglou's interpretation of the primary source to justify Esoglou POV. Then stating Esoglou should be allowed to that because only Esoglou properly understands the primary sources and that all other authorities that disagree ARE WRONG, DEFECTIVE, INVALID. Esoglou is not an authority and if he is he's breaking the Wikipedia policy of conflict of interest (WP:COI) and again should not be editing these articles. I am not speaking for myself or my opinion I am posting Eastern Orthodox sources and what they have said. At best I am trying to reword their comments in order to not be copy and pasting and then therefore engaging in copyright violations. However I am not going to Esoglou's articles and peppering them with citation tags to force the content to have to go to verbatum.[13] I am not going to articles Esoglou that are Roman Catholic and rewriting to them so that they become philosophical articles rather then theological ones.[14] I have not followed Esoglou to several other theological articles and radically rewritten sections on Roman Catholic theology incorrectly causing those authorities of that community to be misrepresented. [15] No this is just a recent taste of Esoglou's disruptive behavior. LoveMonkey (talk) 16:53, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Theoria in Eastern Orthodoxy

This includes the Eastern Orthodox teaching of St Gregory and his use of the term theoria from an Eastern Orthodox theological context. None validate the Western definition of term either as it is use by the Roman Catholic church nor the Protestant. These sources say nothing of the interpretation that Esoglou added to a section of the article that was outlining the Eastern Orthodox perspective. But again Esoglou does not care since Esoglou has made up his mind on what the Eastern Orthodox believe and even when given contrary evidence rather than just accept that Esoglou instead works to undermine and discredit those sources and their published opinion and somehow that is not edit warring? If the section is on the Eastern Orthodox perspective it should be based on Eastern Orthodox valid sources NOT WESTERN ONES. How are people to resolve anything if one does not respect the other perspective?

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. [16]
  • 2)Here is John Romanides definition of theoria from St Gregory and it is completely different then Esoglou's Western definition-.
This state of theoria is two fold or has two stages: a) unceasing memory of God and b) glorification, the latter being a gift which God gives to His friends according to their needs and the needs of others. During this latter state of glorification, unceasing noetic prayer is interrupted since it is replaced by a vision of the glory of God in Christ. The normal functions of the body, such as sleeping, eating, drinking, and digestion are suspended. In other respects, the intellect and the body function normally. One does not lose consciousness, as happens in the ecstatic mystical experiences of non-Orthodox Christian and pagan religions. One is fully aware and conversant with his environment and those around him, except that he sees everything and everyone saturated by the uncreated glory of God, which is neither light nor darkness, and nowhere and everywhere at the same time. This state may be of short, medium, or long duration. In the case of Moses it lasted for forty days and forty nights. The faces of those in this state of glorification give off an imposing radiance, like that of the face of Moses, and after they die, their bodies become holy relics. These relics give off a strange sweet smell, which at times can become strong. In many cases, these relics remain intact in a good state of preservation, without having been embalmed. They are completely stiff from head to toe, light, dry, and with no signs of putrefaction.
There is no metaphysical criterion for distinguishing between good and bad people. It is much more correct to distinguish between ill and more healthy persons. The sick ones are those whose noetic faculty is either not functioning, or functioning poorly, and the healthier ones are those whose noetic faculty is being cleansed and illumined. [17]
  • 3)And here is Archbishop Lazar Puhalo definition of theoria-.
Moreover, the “mind” has its own form of cognition — Gnosis, that is, the intuitive or immediate apprehension of things spiritual and divine. Gnoseology is not epistemology which is concerned with the nature and scope of human knowledge; nor with the metaphysics it presupposes. Gnosis is the “knowledge” of the “greater mysteries” of existence, divine and human. It is the action of the dispassionate Nous in the state of meditating on spiritual truths, especially God Himself (Theoria). It a practice resulting from prayer, fasting and worship, involving a culture of “watchfulness” (nepsis) or “guarding the mind” or “heart” against the malignancy of sensual images and illusions — always under the grace and guidance of the Holy Spirit. The contemplative achieves success only in a state of “quiet” (hesychia) whether within himself or the world around him. In this practice the mind also has the assistance of reason; it acts as the sentinel against the invading sensory and illusory images. The end of this spiritual process is complete transformation of human nature, that is, deification (theosis) or salvation.
the perception or vision of the intellect through which one attains spiritual knowledge. It may be contrast with the practice of virtues which designates the more external aspect of the ascetic life - purification and the keeping of the commandments - but which is an indispensable prerequisite of contemplation. Depending on the level of personal spiritual growth, contemplation has two main stages: it may be either of the inner essences or principles of created beings or, at a higher stage, of God himself. [18]
The silencing of oneself (heyschia) that causes the ecstasis or ecstasy of being pulled out time into the 8th day (the paradise which is the dominion of God and not man) and experiencing or seeing God. As is contained in "the story of George" in the work, text by Symeon called "On faith" [19].

LoveMonkey (talk) 13:35, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Other Western Christians sources that counter that theoria is synonymous with allegory

[21] This is section of the book Reading Scriptures with the Church Fathers by Christopher A. Hall is but one example that does not agree with the passage in this article as a universal or accepted opinion of theoria even in a Western sense. And neither of these interpretations are the same as the meaning of concept as defined by the Eastern Orthodox by Saints such St Symeon the New Theologian who is called New Theologian for his openly teaching theoria as the vision of God which lead to the works in the tradition (charismatic, ascetic) base theology instead of academic based theology. As Christopher Hall does not speak from the charismatic, ascetic tradition to cultivate theology as is held in the East. Everything that Esoglou has done and continues to do is to silence the opinion of the Eastern Orthodox and its theologians and instead force a Roman Catholic opinion as being the Eastern Orthodox one. This disinformation is really a bad thing and Wikipedia should not allow this editor to continue to edit war and distort as this editor Esoglou recently went to the theoria article and is now trying to force that article too also confirm to a Roman Catholic opinion rather then simply express what is said about that theological concept from and how Eastern Orthodox theologians actually portray it. LoveMonkey (talk) 00:35, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

If, as seems to be the case, you think the discussion text says theoria is the same as allegory, you haven't read it properly. Esoglou (talk) 18:20, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Heres what I posted above that you have ignored and I will post it here again so at least people spot reading with have no misconceptions that Esoglou is ignoring answers that he doesnt like.

This includes the Eastern Orthodox teaching of St Gregory and his use of the term theoria from an Eastern Orthodox theological context. None validate the Western definition of term either as it is use by the Roman Catholic church nor the Protestant. These sources say nothing of the interpretation that Esoglou added to a section of the article that was outlining the Eastern Orthodox perspective. But again Esoglou does not care since Esoglou has made up his mind on what the Eastern Orthodox believe and even when given contrary evidence rather than just accept that Esoglou instead works to undermine and discredit those sources and their published opinion and somehow that is not edit warring? If the section is on the Eastern Orthodox perspective it should be based on Eastern Orthodox valid sources NOT WESTERN ONES. How are people to resolve anything if one does not respect the other perspective?

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. [22]
  • 2)Here is John Romanides definition of theoria from St Gregory and it is completely different then Esoglou's Western definition-.
This state of theoria is two fold or has two stages: a) unceasing memory of God and b) glorification, the latter being a gift which God gives to His friends according to their needs and the needs of others. During this latter state of glorification, unceasing noetic prayer is interrupted since it is replaced by a vision of the glory of God in Christ. The normal functions of the body, such as sleeping, eating, drinking, and digestion are suspended. In other respects, the intellect and the body function normally. One does not lose consciousness, as happens in the ecstatic mystical experiences of non-Orthodox Christian and pagan religions. One is fully aware and conversant with his environment and those around him, except that he sees everything and everyone saturated by the uncreated glory of God, which is neither light nor darkness, and nowhere and everywhere at the same time. This state may be of short, medium, or long duration. In the case of Moses it lasted for forty days and forty nights. The faces of those in this state of glorification give off an imposing radiance, like that of the face of Moses, and after they die, their bodies become holy relics. These relics give off a strange sweet smell, which at times can become strong. In many cases, these relics remain intact in a good state of preservation, without having been embalmed. They are completely stiff from head to toe, light, dry, and with no signs of putrefaction.
There is no metaphysical criterion for distinguishing between good and bad people. It is much more correct to distinguish between ill and more healthy persons. The sick ones are those whose noetic faculty is either not functioning, or functioning poorly, and the healthier ones are those whose noetic faculty is being cleansed and illumined. [23]
  • 3)And here is Archbishop Lazar Puhalo definition of theoria-.
Moreover, the “mind” has its own form of cognition — Gnosis, that is, the intuitive or immediate apprehension of things spiritual and divine. Gnoseology is not epistemology which is concerned with the nature and scope of human knowledge; nor with the metaphysics it presupposes. Gnosis is the “knowledge” of the “greater mysteries” of existence, divine and human. It is the action of the dispassionate Nous in the state of meditating on spiritual truths, especially God Himself (Theoria). It a practice resulting from prayer, fasting and worship, involving a culture of “watchfulness” (nepsis) or “guarding the mind” or “heart” against the malignancy of sensual images and illusions — always under the grace and guidance of the Holy Spirit. The contemplative achieves success only in a state of “quiet” (hesychia) whether within himself or the world around him. In this practice the mind also has the assistance of reason; it acts as the sentinel against the invading sensory and illusory images. The end of this spiritual process is complete transformation of human nature, that is, deification (theosis) or salvation.
the perception or vision of the intellect through which one attains spiritual knowledge. It may be contrast with the practice of virtues which designates the more external aspect of the ascetic life - purification and the keeping of the commandments - but which is an indispensable prerequisite of contemplation. Depending on the level of personal spiritual growth, contemplation has two main stages: it may be either of the inner essences or principles of created beings or, at a higher stage, of God himself. [24]
The silencing of oneself (heyschia) that causes the ecstasis or ecstasy of being pulled out time into the 8th day (the paradise which is the dominion of God and not man) and experiencing or seeing God. As is contained in "the story of George" in the work, text by Symeon called "On faith" [25].

LoveMonkey (talk) 23:14, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

Can you point out which, if any, of these says that the word "theoria" was not or is not used also to refer to a method of interpretation of the Bible used by certain of the Church Fathers? Esoglou (talk) 07:25, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Can you point where they do? And when you do can you also point when they might say that way is the same way as the Roman Catholic church's use of the word theoria? Where the Roman Catholic church says that theoria is to contemplate but does not say that it is to see God? no you can't Esoglou. Nor can you post here on the talkpage of this article where even Roman Catholic sources would say such a thing, because they can't. The book and source I added from the Oriental Instutue -The Spirituality of the Christian East: A systematic handbook- by Tomáš Špidlík VERY Clearly does not make anything close to what you by your own accord are attempting. As in Tomáš Špidlík's work the word theoria and gnosis are treated as the very difference between Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholicism and Tomáš Špidlík does not say that Western Theologians (including himself) treat the way that the Eastern Orthodox use the word to be the same as the way the Roman Catholics use the word. Esoglou has no sources for his edit warring no clear Roman Catholic authority or books that say what Esoglou is piece milling together by way of his own original research here through Wikipedia. Esoglou can not name any sources that say that the Eastern Orthodox view and use of the word theoria and the Western use of the word are identical and that there is no difference. While I can and have provided source[27] after source [28] after source [29] after source [30] after source [31] after source [32] after source [33] after source [34] that says the same thing that I contributed to this article. The fact that esoglou is allowed to continue to ask for clarification after overwhelming clarification is given is proof that Esoglou has no intention to respect any opinion other then his own and is here frustrating editors and engaging in disruptive wiki hounding behavior. In order to draw a bad light to editors whom must suffer Esoglou repetitively dispensing with the policy posting rules on valid sources and deleting and rewriting after sources have been provided. As Esoglou knows that there is no way that this article as many others like it (say the Ustashe article) can not be written without the Roman Catholic church being put into a bad light. LoveMonkey (talk) 16:07, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Not even one source limits the meaning of θεωρία in the way you want to limit it. For the rest, see below. Esoglou (talk) 19:39, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
The Orthodox sources do more than define the word (thought not how Esoglou does) they also context it just like it is in the article Esoglou. [35] over and over and over again.

Esoglou can not provide a single source that says that while it speaks for the Orthodox Church's use of the term and that all of my sources are wrong in what they are saying. LoveMonkey (talk) 20:10, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

See below. Esoglou (talk) 21:32, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Discussion text

I have moved the discussion text down here, since it was getting isolated by all the verbiage and even new sections that pretend to be part of the discussion:

The exegetical work of the Church Fathers differs from the methods followed today: by what they called theoria, they saw in the accounts of the Old Testament meaning beyond the literal sense of the words.[1] The Antiochene Fathers, in particular, saw in every passage of Scripture a double meaning, both literal and spiritual.[2] Although others may view the spiritual sense discerned in theoria as a form of allegory,[3] 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".[4] Although theoria thus built upon the literal and historical meaning of the events narrated, it never ignored that meaning.[5] Best translated in this context as "insight", theoria was the act of perceiving in the wording and "story" of Scripture a moral and spiritual meaning.[6] 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.[7] 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)."[8]
  1. ^ "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).
  2. ^ "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).
  3. ^ "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 978-080188088-9), p. 15).
  4. ^ 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
  5. ^ Christopher Alan Hall, Reading Scripture with the Church Fathers (InterVarsity Press 1998 ISBN 0-8308-1500-7), p. 162
  6. ^ Frances Margaret Young, Biblical exegesis and the Formation of Christian Culture (Cambridge University Press 1997 ISBN 0-521-58153-2), p. 175
  7. ^ George T. Montague, Understanding the Bible (Paulist Press 2007 ISBN 978-0-8091-4344-3), p. 39
  8. ^ Montague 2007, p. 48
Please note that all the sources, including Breck, say that theoria has a special meaning in relation to the interpretation of Scripture: the discernment in what is recounted in Scripture of a spiritual sense, as well as the literal sense. You do accept, do you, that the Fathers saw more than the literal meaning in Scripture? Even if you don't, you have no right to deny that others, Eastern Orthodox included, accept this, as shown by the reliable sources. If you were to find reliable sources that take the contrary view, you could put them in, with valid citations. But you have no just cause for excluding Breck and the other reliable sources. Esoglou (talk) 18:20, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
Please note that people looking to read Eastern Orthodox theologians will not find Breck as a commonly known and espoused Eastern Orthodox theologian. My list above is valid sources and the only thing pushing this and causing the conflict and perpetuating this conflict is Esoglou and Esoglou's edits and behavior there is no one else here contesting this except- Esoglou just Esoglou and his reason so far does not appear to be anything other than his own person opinion NOT being validated in Eastern Orthodox sources so Esoglou then attacks them. Thats all this is. LoveMonkey (talk) 23:18, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
These are all reliable sources for the historical fact of the use of the word "theoria" to refer to a method of interpretation of the Bible. You still have not presented even one source that says the word is never used in that sense. Esoglou (talk) 07:25, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
These sources are Western Sources and not Orthodox ones. Why is it that of all of these sources that possibly one of them should now be used against the 6 I just posted? When even that source does not qualify as an official source for the Eastern Orthodox church. Why is Esoglou again trying to push his agenda again. When I have posted sources that are clear and valid and give a clear definition of the word theoria. The philokalia was published by Oxford press and Kallistos Ware (though not perfect) is not being challenged by the Eastern Orthodox for the definition he gave in the Philokalia. So why is Esoglou doing that exact thing? But here is Esoglou asking that everything be rewritten to fit Esoglou agenda. Rather then accept the sources already given. How much evidence does it take. In the past Esoglou does not stop this until someone else intervenes and tells Esoglou that he needs to stop. LoveMonkey (talk) 16:20, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Breck you don't consider to be Orthodox. St Vladimir's Seminary, which publishes him, seems to have a different idea. But it matters not a whit whether Breck or any of the other scholars cited are Orthodox or Lutherans or atheists: they are reliable sources concerning the historical question that we are discussing. It would take weeks or months of discussion to get you to accept that fact; but the Reliable Sources noticeboard reduces that time to less than one week. So I will be able to present Breck and Hall and Young and Montague for evaluation. You, on the other hand, have failed to produce even one source that says the religious meditation sense of the word "θεωρία" is the only meaning of the word. It has that meaning, but it has others also. Another of the reliable sources that I can present distinguishes in the writings of Gregory of Nyssa three different areas to which he applied the term "θεωρία", the third being yours and the second being the one mentioned by Breck and the others whom I have cited. With regard to the use of the word "θεωρία" by the Fathers in this sense, do you seriously deny that these are reliable sources? Or will you now accept that Gregory of Nyssa did use the word in that way? Esoglou (talk) 19:36, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

While I can and have provided source[36] after source [37] after source [38] after source [39] after source [40] after source [41] after source [42] after source [43] that says the same thing that I contributed to this article. Esoglou can not provide a single source that says that while it speaks for the Orthodox Church's use of the term and that all of my sources are wrong in what they are saying. So Esoglou is saying that The Brill Dictionary of Gregory of Nyssa By Lucas F. Mateo Seco, Giulio Maspero has the final word on the Orthodox's view of the word theoria? And that Wikipedia is now by way of Esoglou telling the Orthodox Church what it's theology is and what it is not? It sure looks that way. LoveMonkey (talk) 20:14, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Nobody denies that θεωρία means what you say it means. But you have failed to produce even one who says that θεωρία has no other meaning. Reliable sources clearly state that, among Fathers such as Gregory of Nyssa, it had another meaning too. Why do you deny it? A writer doesn't have to be Orthodox to be a reliable source about Gregory's use of the word. (This is even more strongly so, if by "Orthodox" you mean only someone who agrees with you, excluding people like Breck!) Esoglou (talk) 21:31, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Now Esoglou has stopped making sense and is just running in circles. Whatever point Esoglou was trying to make just got lost in the nonsense response they just posted. Esoglou does not want to post the Orthodox sources and what those Orthodox sources say Esoglou wants to sit and interrupted them and then argue with people when they disagree on how Esoglou himself believes we should view them. This is proven by Esoglou's use of Breck. As Breck would certainly disagree that his works should be used to undermine the comments of Metropolitan Vlachos. As for the use of Gregory of Nyssa here is any different then what Jean Daniélou wrote and yet part of becoming a saint and Holy in its end in Orthodoxy is seeing God as Saint Sophrany wrote about. Esoglou has yet to post any sources that state that the theoria of the Orthodox church is the same as the West and if they are saying so they are saying so against Orthodox theologians and saints. They are saying that the Orthodox are liars. LoveMonkey (talk) 23:42, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Again whats the theological difference between East and West according to Eastern Orthodox sources? Heres what Metropolitan Hierotheos (Vlachos) of Nafpaktossays not Esoglou having to stretch and bend and interpret, but rather from a Metropolitan and Theology Professor from the University of Athens....

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. When 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.[44]

LoveMonkey (talk) 23:55, 9 November 2010 (UTC) This all to brings it full circle in this response here below Esoglou's openly hostile denial of the Orthodox. A direct and blatant attack on the Orthodox being allowed to believe that they are Orthodox. As here is the statement Esoglou make which started this and is Esoglou's clear denial of the Orthodox to have their own perspective.


Esoglou wrote The passage quoted above doesn't claim to be about Orthodox teaching. It is about the early Fathers of the Church. If you think the Greek-speaking Fathers of the Church belong exclusively to the Eastern Orthodox Church, that is a personal POV that you may not impose on Wikipedia. You are very lavish in citing Eastern theologians about Western Fathers of the Church. Wikipedia allows citation of reliable sources of all religions and none. So what objection can you raise against the passage above?[http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk%3ARoman_Catholic%E2%80%93Eastern_Orthodox_theological_differences&action=historysubmit&diff=393420625&oldid=393415335


According to Esoglou the Greek Orthodox are not allowed to have their interpretation of the Greek Fathers. The Orthodox are not allowed to disagree nor have their own understanding and teachings since the early church belongs to the Western Christians or at least the Orthodox have no right to claim them. Or it belongs to everybody whom claims to be a Christian but the Orthodox, Esoglou says there is no way that the Orthodox can claim the early church fathers. However everyone and anyone else can claim whatever they like and however they see fit. As there are Orthodox sources I have already posted that do indeed claim the early church fathers and Esoglou states that they can not make such a claim. But Esoglou has no right being an editor on wikipedia by the authority of wikipedia to deny the early church fathers to the Eastern Orthodox. Wikipedia is no place for such original research of using Wikipedia as their soap box to deny the Orthodox such a claim. It is Obvious that Esoglou wishes for the Orthodox to deny that they are Orthodox and to submit to the authority of Esoglou's church since Esoglou clearly denies as Roman Catholicism has since the 800s the sovereignty of the Orthodox.. To deny the Orthodox claims to their own history and church while they do not make campaigns like Uniatism against the Roman Catholic church, is direct proof of Esoglou's hostility. Esoglou's comment as I have reposted it clearly shows that Esoglou doesnt respect the Orthodox and any of their claims to early Christianity. And this exact thing is what is what the Orthodox have shown as the underlaying reason that the Orthodox perceive ecumenism as heresy as the definition of heresy is when one actively works to destroy the authority of the church. LoveMonkey (talk) 00:21, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Many words, but none that proposes a reason for excluding from Wikipedia reliable sources that show that Church Fathers did historically use the word "θεωρία" in more senses than one. Esoglou (talk) 07:26, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Orthodox sources for the Orthodox side of the issue are now being denied and replaced with Western sources hostile to the Orthodox position

Esoglou is insisting on a criteria that Esoglou would not allow on Roman Catholic articles that Esoglou edits. Esoglou would not allow Protestant sources to speak for the Roman Catholic church on the Roman Catholic's churches position on Protestantism. But Esoglou wants to force the Western non Greeks and their interruptions of Greek words be forced onto Greek Orthodox theologians. This is the best that Esoglou has as he can not find Roman Catholic sources to back up his own personal war against what differences that I have posted are noted by Eastern Orthodox theologians. Somehow Esoglou will deny that statements like this one by Metropolitan Hierotheos (Vlachos) of Nafpaktos exist.

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. When 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.[45] LoveMonkey (talk) 20:50, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Stop the personal attacks

Personal attacks against other editors have no place in Wikipedia article talk pages. See WP:NPA and WP:BATTLE. If you believe another editor is not acting in good faith or is guilty of some other sort of misbehaviour, then report it at WP:ANI or WP:RFC/U, but don't drone on and on about it here. Discussion on an article talk page is supposed to be limited to the subject matter of the article; see WP:TALK. Inappropriate personal attacks and other irrelevant material may be refactored in order to focus on the subject, and an editor who persists in making misplaced and inappropriate personal attacks can (and, eventually, probably will) be sanctioned. Richwales (talk · contribs) 00:58, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Proposing a content fork

When a topic is so inherently controversial that experts on both sides are unable even to agree on how to describe their differences — even after several months of trying — it seems to me that the only real solution may be to split the article in two and let each side concentrate on improving one of the two pieces. In this case, that might mean having a "Roman Catholic criticisms of Eastern Orthodox theology" article, and an "Eastern Orthodox criticisms of Roman Catholic theology" article. Each article would be edited primarily by the experts on one side; cross-involvement would be limited mainly to making sure that each article remained reasonably balanced and neutral and that neither article turned into a biased polemic diatribe. Yes, I do understand that "POV forking" is normally discouraged on Wikipedia, but I believe the situation here falls into one of the narrow cases where a forking of content may be justified (see Wikipedia:Content forking#Articles whose subject is a POV). Comments? Richwales (talk · contribs) 07:53, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

The problem is the misrepresentation of one side by the other. It would not be right for Wikipedia to include an article in the style of the 1909 Catholic Encyclopedia article on the Greek Church or of other anti-Eastern Orthodox writers without correcting their presentation. Nor is it right to present without correction the picture of the Roman Catholic Church that certain Eastern Orthodox writers paint. To have two separate articles of that kind would be doubly wrong.
The precise dispute immediately above is about the objective historical use of a particular word by a particular writer who was neither Eastern Orthodox nor Roman Catholic, a distinction that did not yet exist. The cited scholars say that he used the word in a certain sense. LoveMonkey denies that he did use it in that sense, but has not backed up his denial by citing any source. Dividing the article into two slanted ones would not solve that problem. Esoglou (talk) 08:54, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I agree with Esoglou that the proposal made by Richwales would not solve the problems and would instead make it harder for the reader to develop an integrated understanding of the differences between the theologies of the two churches. I disagree with the idea of content forking in this case as it would certainly be a POV fork. However, we should seek to reduce the article size (see below). --Richard S (talk) 15:58, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
The problem, as I see it, is that you can't even agree on the interpretation and significance of fundamental concepts. And that's probably to be expected, since the RC/EO differences run so deep that anything either side says is likely to be seen as a biased misrepresentation by the other. I agree it would be ideal if we could manage to write a unified objective essay on RC/EO differences from a neutral third-party perspective, but it seems to me that the two of you have been trying to do that for months now without success and with no better prospects in sight. Failing that, I think the best we can hope for right now is to give as good an accounting as we can of how the RCC views the EOC, and how the EOC views the RCC — with the existing combined article reduced to the bare basics. Maybe, down the road, some other editors may manage to come up with a decent synthesis of both chunks of content, but that goal probably needs to be punted to another day. Alternatively, if the broad consensus is that this page simply must not be split, perhaps both of you (Esoglou and LoveMonkey) should consider stepping aside and letting a new set of editors try their hand at this topic. But in any case, the current state of affairs is simply not acceptable, and it's gone on way too long, and I really don't think a proper solution can be reached by sanctioning one editor and letting the other have free rein. Richwales (talk · contribs) 15:50, 10 November 2010 (UTC)


I agree with Richwales that the incessant edit warring and lack of civility is unacceptable and that, failing a mutual attempt at dispute resolution, the next step might need to be the opening of an ARBCOM case. --Richard S (talk) 15:58, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
I am certainly willing to step aside along with LoveMonkey. I would also welcome any other attempt at a solution, such as ARBCOM, but the lack, on the part of those who have intervened in the past, of the required great perseverance gives me little faith that anything will be successful.
The article gives at the end the RCC's not unfavourable view of the EOC. Apart from a few out-of-date quotations that LoveMonkey insists on putting in (see Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard#Germans and Franks), it is devoid of anti-EOC polemics by individual Roman Catholics (not the RCC itself). The trouble is that almost all the article is about the anti-RCC polemics of certain individual Eastern Orthodox, and has scarcely anything by the EOC itself. I think in fact (without checking) that it contains no statement later than the 19th century by an EOC synod or similar authority on the theological differences in question. An article devoted to such writers' depiction of the RCC with no information provided on what the RCC doctrine really is is not for NPOV Wikipedia. I certainly would strongly oppose the composition of a counterbalancing (!) article on anti-EOC polemics by Western writers. Esoglou (talk) 16:28, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Esoglou wrote " I certainly would strongly oppose the composition of a counterbalancing (!) article on anti-EOC polemics by Western writers." Yes, the proposal by Richwales is exactly the sort of POV fork that Wikipedia frowns upon. (And yes, I know he's just frustrated as hell with the ongoing conflict and grasping at straws for a fix but this one ain't the solution.)

Are there even such things as "anti-EOC polemics by Western writers"? I haven't been paying close attention to this Talk Page but I don't have the general feeling that there are such things written in the latter half of the 20th century, let alone in this one. Yes, I know LM can mine the Catholic Encyclopedia from the early 20th century for such polemics but are there any RECENT sources? If so, I'd appreciate being educated on this point. I am not really even aware of any sources that take the anti-RCC polemics and respond to them. LM keeps wanting the RCC side to be presented but AFAICT it's mostly the EOC theologians who are attacking. Once again, I am not an expert and maybe there are such sources and I just don't know about them. If I'm ignorant, educate me.

--Richard S (talk) 17:38, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Since this is a reply to Richard, I trust that Richwales does not mind me inserting this ahead of his latest intervention.
No, you are very far from ignorant. I do agree with you. By dint of searching, one can certainly find some odd (interpret the word as you will) Roman Catholic running the EOC down on his blog, but it is much easier to find such Westerners who are not Roman Catholics. As for that very-early-20th-century work, LM interprets its contents as approved by the Church itself today, for lack of an explicit denunciation of what he persists in considering an official publication of the Church! Having found this 2007 news report (which he thinks is much more recent), he is even saying that, not just some Roman Catholic writer, but Benedict XVI himself has in these last days attacked the EOC. On what grounds? Because this document was published with his approval and the news report in question interprets the document as saying that "Orthodox churches are defective". In what sense? In answer to the question why the Catholic Church uses the word "Church" of the separated eastern churches, but not of the groups that originated in the Protestant Reformation, the document says:
"The Council wanted to adopt the traditional use of the term. 'Because these Churches, although separated, have true sacraments and above all – because of the apostolic succession – the priesthood and the Eucharist, by means of which they remain linked to us by very close bonds', they merit the title of 'particular or local Churches', and are called sister Churches of the particular Catholic Churches. 'It is through the celebration of the Eucharist of the Lord in each of these Churches that the Church of God is built up and grows in stature'. However, since communion with the Catholic Church, the visible head of which is the Bishop of Rome and the Successor of Peter, is not some external complement to a particular Church but rather one of its internal constitutive principles, these venerable Christian communities lack something in their condition as particular churches."
It does immediately add that, because of the division, something is also in a sense lacking to the Catholic Church:
"On the other hand, because of the division between Christians, 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."
I am sure that LM is capable of presenting more than that as "proof" that not only present-day Roman Catholic writers, but even the highest authorities of the RCC are engaging in polemics against the EOC, enough to make a rather long article on Roman Catholic polemics against the EOC.
I am sure that I am not revealing to you capabilities of LM of which you are not already aware. And so I can still say I agree with you. Esoglou (talk) 18:40, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure of all the reasons why the past efforts to get more people involved here have failed — and I'm not sure if it would be productive for us to try to hash that out right now. I do agree, though, that the very low number of editors involved with this and related pages creates many real problems — impossibility of achieving any credible consensus, an impression of attempted ownership of the article, content disputes turning into personal disputes, etc.
I hesitate to try to get ArbCom involved here unless absolutely necessary. As I assume we all know, ArbCom simply won't get involved in content disputes. And I'm concerned that if the problem is treated solely as an editor misconduct issue, the most likely result would be that one editor might get topic-banned, but that might not necessarily help the overall situation. I do think that if there is any suggestion that ArbCom might get drawn into this fracas, it would behoove everyone involved here to make a renewed effort to be on their best behaviour and not give anyone grounds to think that they might be contributing to the problem rather than to a solution.
And again, I'm not suggesting that content-forking is an ideal solution to this mess — and I understand (and agree with) why this is something that is generally frowned upon — but given that other ways of addressing the ongoing content dispute have gotten nowhere, I do believe it should be seriously considered at this point. I would once again mention that the guideline discouraging content/POV forking does envision an exception (Wikipedia:Content forking#Articles whose subject is a POV) which appears to be applicable here, so I don't believe my idea constitutes wikiheresy. Richwales (talk · contribs) 17:49, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
As I see it, the problem is precisely the lack of others who will persevere in contributing to the discussion for any length of time - or, if you prefer, the persistence of LM and me in continuing the discussion. :) Esoglou (talk) 18:40, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Do you (Esoglou), and/or others, think it's possible that these issues might be interconnected? That is, that the "persistence" of the two of you might somehow be discouraging others from persevering here? And if that's the case, what do you think would be a good way to improve the situation and entice more people to participate and stay here? I'm not trying to encourage uncivil personal attacks for their own sake, but I do think we may need to be willing to offer constructive criticism of editors' actions or styles if the goal is to improve this and related articles and improve our own interpersonal skills. Richwales (talk · contribs) 19:39, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
I have been endeavouring constantly to avoid talking about LM himself and to talk only of the subject under discussion. My reply above to Richard forced me to say that LM is one person who could provide an appearance of material of the kind that Richard thinks doesn't exist: present-day polemics by Roman Catholic writers against the EOC. Here again, I cannot reply without talking about LM. It seems I am the only editor who is prepared to persevere for weeks and months in trying to get him to discuss a point instead of talking around it. Take #Discussion text above. I have presented several reliable sources that show that the word "theoria" is applied to a mode of exegesis employed by Fathers of the Church such as Gregory of Nyssa (the word is used in that context by Gregory himself). On the basis of good sources that say the word is applied to the goal of religious meditation, but do not say that this is the only meaning, LM denies that it is used in the exegesis sense, although anybody else would accept that the word is used in both senses. He complains that the reliable sources I quote are by writers who are not Orthodox or not true Orthodox (he rejects an Orthodox writer published by the St Vladimir's Seminary) - as if nobody but a true Orthodox could see whether Gregory did apply the term to his Biblical exegesis. He says things like "Esoglou is ..." And so the discussion goes on and on. This particular discussion began some time last month and is likely to continue until next month. I think anybody else would have given up long before, or would have endeavoured to correct the text of the article. I cannot touch the text of the article on matters in dispute, because LM reverts my edits and calls them edit warring. So I continue the discussion until the matter is finally resolved - most often, I think, in connection with an intervention by another editor, who, not surprisingly, does not have my readiness to persevere at such length. So yes, I do think the two issues are interconnected. Very much so. On another page, someone suggested the use of a moderator of the discussion between the two of us. I immediately welcomed the idea, and asked him if he would accept the position. Unfortunately, he was afraid that he would not be acceptable to LM. So would you or Richard or someone else take on that work? Esoglou (talk) 20:31, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
I, too, have seen similar reactions by LoveMonkey to editing decisions which he doesn't agree with. I'm concerned that LM may not be able or willing to work cooperatively on this or related articles because he's convinced he's a lone warrior battling the world; see, for example, his comments at Talk:Filioque#How the bullying wins. As for the difficulty of finding a moderator for discussion that would be acceptable both to Esoglou and LoveMonkey, I've got a bit of a problem with a state of affairs where one editor can effectively veto moderation because no one proposed as a moderator is "acceptable" to him; this smacks too much of WP:OWN in my view. If the consensus is that a content fork (my original suggestion) is simply not called for here and that we must find some way to improve this article as a unified entity, then I think we've reached (nay, we're long past the point of reaching) a stage where a moderator / mentor / group should be agreed on by general (even if not necessarily unanimous) consensus, and any editor who persists in rejecting and defying said overall consensus should be quickly dealt with according to the accepted Wikipedia principles for resolving disputes and edit wars. I would be willing to help with this process, but I'll freely admit that my experience is limited when it comes to dealing effectively with highly opinionated and combative editing situations, so I would welcome any assistance from others who are more skilled at this. Richwales (talk · contribs) 22:44, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Lead section

Either the lead section misinforms or I am misinformed. The lead includes these sentences in immediate succession:

"The disputes were a major factor in the formal East-West Schism between Pope Leo IX and Patriarch Michael Iin 1054 and are largely still unresolved between the churches today. The disputes, of greater and lesser importance, included both Ecclesiological issues of Church order and governance, such as Papal primacy versus the Pentarchy, clerical celibacy and divorce; and theological concerns such as the issues of original sin and theFilioque clause."

Taken together, this suggests that all of these issues "were a major factor in the formal East-West Schism". That seems to be an overreach.

Our article on the East-West Schism says: "Most of the direct causes of the Great Schism, however, are far less grandiose than the famous Filioque. The relations between the papacy and the Byzantine court were good in the years leading up to 1054. The emperor Constantine IX and the Pope Leo IX were allied through the mediation of the Lombard catepan of Italy, Argyrus, who had spent years in Constantinople, originally as a political prisoner.

Patriarch Michael I ordered a letter to be written to the bishop of Trani in which he attacked the "Judaistic" practices of the West, namely the use of unleavened bread. The letter ...was passed to Humbert of Mourmoutiers, the cardinal-bishop of Silva Candida, who translated the letter into Latin and brought it to the Pope, who ordered a reply to be made to each charge and a defense of papal supremacy to be laid out in a response."

I am not an expert and I recognize that some of the issues mentioned in this article predate the East-West Schism. However, it's not clear to me that all the issues were fully identified as points of contention prior to the East-West Schism and I think it is an oversimplification to suggest that (all) of the disputes (in this article) were "major factors in the formal East-West Schism". The issues in this article may have become obstacles in the ensuing centuries to the healing of the schism but I think it is overstating the case to suggest that they were major causes of the schism.

The lead also focuses excessively on the centrality of theological issues as causative factors of the schism without acknowledging the cultural and political differences which are argued by some to be as important or more important than the theological ones.

I would propose changing the text to reflect the concerns that I have just outlined but I'd like to hear what other editors think first.

Comments?

--Richard S (talk) 08:03, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

It is enough for me to comment that in reality it is much less true to say that theological differences cause hostility than to say that hostility is what causes the search for and even creation of theological differences. For an on-going example of this process, we need look no further than contributions to Wikipedia. For the historical truth of this statement it should be enough to quote the following statement, which has been twice removed from Wikipedia: A Greek Orthodox scholar, Professor Apostolos Nikolaidis, Professor of the Sociology of Religion and Social Ethics at the University of Athens, has pointed to the 1054 schism as the most striking example of how practice, rather than theological differences, causes schisms: "The local Churches coexisted for centuries with the 'Filioque' before Church events brought the problem to a head in the period of Photios the Great, but there was no schism, and in the 1054 period the 'Filioque' was dormant. It came back and was intensified after this to justify it and make it definitive." (This statement comes from Ἐκκλησία - Επίσημον Δελτἰον τῆς Ἐκκλησίας τῆς Ἑλλάδος (Ekklisia - Official Bulletin of the Church of Greece), June 2008, p. 432 and can be found on the Internet: "Εἶναι δυνατὴ ἡ ἑνότητα στὴν ἐκκλησιαστικὴ πράξη; Ἡ ἐμπειρία ἀπέδειξε ὅτι αὐτὴ εἶναι πολὺ πιὸ δύσκολη ἀπὸ ὅ,τι ἡ θεολογική. Καὶ αὐτὸ γιὰ δύο βασικοὺς λόγους: α) γιὰ χάρη της γἰνονται τὰ σχίσματα καὶ ὄχι γιὰ τὶς θεολογικὲς δογματικὲς διαφορές. Ἁπλῶς αὐτὲς ἐπιστρατεύονται γιὰ νὰ κατορθωθεῖ, νὰ ἐμπεδωθεῖ καὶ νὰ διατηρηθεῖ ἡ σχισματικὴ κατάσταση. Τὸ σχίσμα τοῦ 1054 εἶναι τὸ χαρακτηριστικότερο παράδειγμα. Προηγήθηκαν αἰῶνες συνύπαρξης τῶν κατὰ τόπους Ἐκκλησιῶν μὲ τὸ φιλιόκβε, τὸ πρόβλημα κορυφώθηκε τὴν ἐποχὴ τοῦ Μ. Φωτίου μὲ ἀφορμὴ καὶ πάλι ἐκκλησιαστικὰ γεγονότα, ἀλλὰ σχίσμα δὲν ἔγινε, τὴ δὲ ἐποχὴ τοῦ 1054 τὸ φιλιόκβε ἦταν σὲ νάρκη. Ἐπανῆλθε καὶ ἐντάθηκε μετὰ ἀπὸ αὐτὸ γιὰ νὰ δικαιολογήσει καὶ νὰ τὸ ὁριστικοποιήσει.")
So I encourage you to go ahead and rewrite the lead. It is better that I should not be the one to touch it. Esoglou (talk) 12:55, 11 November 2010 (UTC)


OK... I have been bold and made the following changes to the lead...


Some of these differences emerged in late antiquity and continued for several centuries before the emergence of a formal schism betweenPope Leo IX and Patriarch Michael I in 1054. Although the causes of the ongoing schism also include cultural and political factors, these theological differences continue as points of contention between the Western and Eastern churches. The disputes, of greater and lesser importance, included both Ecclesiological issues of Church order and governance, such as Papal primacy versus the Pentarchy, clerical celibacy and divorce; and theological concerns such as the issues of original sin and the Filioque clause.
Even the centrality and importance of the theological differences to the schism is not universally accepted. The Catholic Church has generally taken the approach that the schism is primarily ecclesiological in nature, that the teaching of the Eastern Orthodox churches is fully orthodox and that there are no unresolvable differences. In this view, the primary difficulty is the Orthodox unwillingness to accept the primacy of the Pope. This position is also expressed by Eastern Orthodox patriarchs when meeting with the Pope and participating in joint ecumenical worship. However, a number of Orthodox theologians consider these differences to be far more significant, deep-rooted and irreconcilable. These theologians argue that the Catholic Church has been irretrievably tainted by Arianism, Augustinian theology and Scholasticism and cannot be reconciled with Orthodox theology unless these errors are rooted out and abandoned.

I acknowledge that none of this is sourced but I believe that it can all be sourced. If you know of an appropriate source, please add it. If you feel that the new wording is not quite on the mark, please discuss it here or just fix it and then explain your rationale here if you think it is necessary.

--Richard S (talk) 17:03, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Sentence fragments

I have removed two sentence fragments because they did not constitute well-formed sentences with a subject and a predicate (i.e. a verb). I could sort of guess at what was meant but, lacking a clear understanding, it seemed more prudent to delete them than to attempt a fix which might mangle the original intent. Hopefully, the editor who wrote those sentence fragments (most probably LoveMonkey) will rewrite them as well-formed sentences and reinsert them. --Richard S (talk) 05:31, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Article is ridiculously long

We should look for ways to reduce the article size. At 313kb, this article is way, way, way too long. Much of the text should be pushed into the articles on the specific topics with only an NPOV summary in this article. Instead of delving into the details, it should be sufficient to say that some scholars see a difference between the Orthodox and the Catholic views on a topic and others do not. The details should be relegated to the articles on the specific topics. --Richard S (talk) 15:58, 10 November 2010 (UTC)


I agree. In addition, as has been indicated in the article, some sections are about EOC theology with no indication that the RCC disagrees on those points. Esoglou (talk) 16:32, 10 November 2010 (UTC)


There are at least two problems. First, the actual article text is long and dense. It seems aimed at only those who are competent in theology. Secondly, there are significant portions of the article where the ratio of actual article text to quoted text in footnotes is something on the order of 1:10. Are those lengthy quotes really needed? --Richard S (talk) 05:22, 12 November 2010 (UTC)


OK... we've cut out over 60kb of excessive detail and material that was not actually claiming a difference between Roman Catholic theology and Orthodox theology. This still leaves us with over 250kb which is still more than double the desirable length. Any suggestions for further trimming would be much appreciated. --Richard S (talk) 16:56, 16 November 2010 (UTC)


Hint: The References are 102kb long. This is the size of a long article unto itself. The main reason for this ridiculously long References section, besides the fact that there are 276 (!) references, is the fact that many references have quotations that are multiple paragraphs long. It's not clear to me whether Orthodox theologians are just loquacious or if the person selecting the quotes was extravagant. Regardless, we must look for ways to trim these quotes down to make the article a more reasonable size. Total article size including quotes of 100-150kb is not unreasonable. The article on the Catholic Church was trimmed down because it was approaching 200kb in size. It is currently 95kb in size. That's probably a bit too short but this serves as a point of reference. --Richard S (talk) 17:04, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

For obvious reasons, I don't want to intervene myself, but I think I may raise questions. Here is an obvious one: The "Eastern Orthodox on theodicy and the problem of evil" also is tagged as straying from the topic of differences. Esoglou (talk) 18:02, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes... I think this is the right approach. I'm not saying that I am the best arbiter of any disputes that may arise but, at least, we can attempt to rely on the fig leaf that two of us agreed in the absence of any objection from anyone else. If someone does raise an objection, then we will have to open up for discussion any challenges on a case-by-case basis. Until then, I'm going to be bold as in WP:BRD --Richard S (talk) 19:13, 16 November 2010 (UTC)


Roman Catholic views on theoria

The current revision has this text:


According to Roman Catholic theologian George T. Montague, "with little or no understanding of the progressive nature of revelation, where the literal sense would not suffice, they resorted to allegory or to theoria (Chrysostom and the Antiochenes)."[18] "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 termallegory 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."[19] Theoria differed from straightforward allegory in respecting 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".[20]


I would like to focus on the quote "with little or no understanding of the progressive nature of revelation, where the literal sense would not suffice, they resorted to allegory or to theoria (Chrysostom and the Antiochenes)." Taken in isolation, this sentence suggests a negative view towards "allegory or theoria" on the part of the Catholics. I am far from knowledgeable about this but the text that immediately follows in article text suggests that there is a difference between "allegory" (deemed dangerous because of the association with Origen) and "theoria". If I have gotten this right, then this text as currently written starts off by giving a mistaken impression (that Roman Catholics have negative views of allegory and theoria) and (if I understand the intent of what follows) then tries to rehabilitate theoria but without saying so explicitly.



I am not opposed to the point that is being made here. I just want to understand what is intended. If I have got the intent correctly, then this text does a terrible job of presenting it.



--Richard S (talk) 17:42, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Today, Christian exegetes view revelation as step-by-step, "progressive" in that sense. They take it that, for instance, belief in the resurrection was unknown at the time of the earliest writings in the Bible but, that it was revealed (non-believers would say "invented") by the time of the Maccabees, and that doctrines such as that of the Trinity were revealed only in Christianity. The early Fathers of the Church, Montague says, gave little or no thought to the step-by-step nature of revelation and expected the whole of Christian revelation to be found, at least implicitly, in the Old Testament. To find it in the Jewish writings, the Alexandrian Fathers used straight allegory, ignoring the literal sense, and the Antiochene Fathers and Chrysostom respected the literal sense (the study of which Gregory of Nyssa called historia) but added to it an interpretation by which the events described were seen as a prefiguration of Christian truth (a process that Gregory called theoria).
The unnecessary qualification of Montague as a Roman Catholic theologian, insisted on by one editor, misleads into thinking that this view is a Roman Catholic one. You will see the same idea about what theoria meant on page 7 of this book, the editors of which, as far as I can tell, may all be non-Catholics: Abraham J. Malherbe of Yale Divinity School, Everett Ferguson of Abilene Christian University, and John Meyendorff of St Vladimir's Seminary. Orthodox John Breck's chapter on theoria gives the same explanation of the theoria technique, and defends its continued use today.
A collaborative effort among editors of Wikipedia could certainly find a way to express this in a clearly intelligible, factual and interesting way. It would be helpful if, instead of systematic rejections, the medieval advice for discussions (disputationes) were followed: "Seldom affirm (the other's statement); never deny (what he states); always distinguish (some sense in which what he says is correct from senses in which it is untrue)". Esoglou (talk) 20:25, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Have you noticed that LM prevented this text being replaced by that given in #Discussion text above, which I was trying to get accepted as an improvement? It would at least correct the utterly false presentation as a specifically Roman Catholic idea. Esoglou (talk) 21:09, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree that we should seek a collaborative effort. To that end, let's try, if possible, to concentrate on the material itself, which should hopefully speak for itself regardless of who has been affirming or denying it. Richwales (talk · contribs) 23:19, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Thanks.
Now that two editors other than LoveMonkey and Esoglou are involved, may I ask whether the text Richard queried above, supposedly about a uniquely Roman Catholic view, should not be replaced with the text under #Discussion text above. The inaccurate attribution to Roman Catholics alone has been insisted on since this edit of 24 October. Esoglou (talk) 08:52, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
I have taken the initiative myself of replacing the text that was falsely presented as a uniquely Roman Catholic and (implicitly) non-Eastern Orthodox view. If I did wrong, you can simply revert.
Inclusion in the article of this paragraph, which has grown in length because of disputes about it, can be questioned, like so much else at present in the article, at least with regard to its present positioning. It might more fittingly be placed close to any suggestion there may be elsewhere in the article that theoria is an exclusively Eastern Orthodox concept, when the article Theoria shows how vast the notion really is. For the inclusion of much else I see no justification whatever. Take, for instance, the section Roman Catholic–Eastern Orthodox theological differences#Anthropological (bioethics) and Theology, which makes no claim that the two church differ in this field. Esoglou (talk) 12:30, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
OK... so let's delete all such sections and see how much of a dent that makes in reducing article size. I've deleted the text in question. If anyone wants to retrieve the deleted text from the edit history and move it to another article or create a new article, they are welcome to do that. --Richard S (talk) 15:33, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
Two more sections at the end are tagged as straying from the topic of inter-church differences. In addition, the section on hell, which fails to present any one picture as the Eastern Orthodox Church's view can scarcely be counted as dealing with EOC-RCC differences: instead it is about differences within EOC. Esoglou (talk) 15:53, 16 November 2010 (UTC)