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What is the Orthodox Church? - Page 2

post #21 of 92
Regarding icons, I always liked the idea that an icon was used - something two dimensional - for focusing thoughts during devotions. That way no "graven image" was used.

The Catholic Church has outright statues and lifesized figures in their churches for their devotions...in the Catholic School High School my son attended, the chapel had a life-sized, three-dimensional Jesus hanging on the cross, over the altar; I thought it was extremely imposing and kind of scary, even though I was raised in this religion.

How is this not idol worship or graven images?

I guess it is all in the eyes/mind/soul of the worshipper.
post #22 of 92
Quote:
How is this not idol worship or graven images?
Catholics aren't worshipping the image, that's why it is not idol worship.
post #23 of 92
Don't forget the Armenian Orthodox Church!

There were quite a few Armenian Orthodox girls at my school, & their Christmas always seemed to fall in early January, when we were back at school, so they would get a few extra days off.
post #24 of 92
I do believe that Armenia was the very first Christian nation.
post #25 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unagidon
Catholics aren't worshipping the image, that's why it is not idol worship.
I am talking about two- -vs- three-dimensional representations of a saint or diety.

The pp (#4) said there was a controversy between the Eastern and Western Churches over the icons and their place in worship and whether or not they were graven images.

I simply stated that the statue, IMHO, was more of an "idol" than a picture.
post #26 of 92
Quote:
I am talking about two- -vs- three-dimensional representations of a saint or diety.

The pp (#4) said there was a controversy between the Eastern and Western Churches over the icons and their place in worship and whether or not they were graven images.

I simply stated that the statue, IMHO, was more of an "idol" than a picture.
I think that you are talking about two different things. There is a convention for religious images in the Orthodox East and you can read about it in the link I posted above.

The controversy you are referring to regarding images as idolatry was the iconoclast controversy within the Eastern Orthodox Churches in the eighth and ninth centuries. Iconoclasm was a demand that ALL images, including icons, be destroyed. The Catholic Pope defended the creation of images at this time, but if you are familiar with Western religious art of this period, it is also usually two-dimensional.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07620a.htm
post #27 of 92
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post #28 of 92
HI

I am currently converting to the Orthodox church.

there is a lot of misinformation, misunderstanding, superstition etc about the Eastern Orthodox church. Most of it spread by people who only have an axe to grind against it but have never really studied it, worshiped with it, or sought to understand the cultures and history that it came form. i have seen a lot of that inthis thread already and it saddens but doesn't surprise me.

i am by no means an expert.

but I do have a lot of resources and can clear up some of the confusion.

first here are some web sites that will answer a million questions:
for inquirers
promartyr
OCA (the question and answer section is great. If you have questions that don't get answered here I have heard he is very good about answering them)
Compare and contrast
The Russian Orthodox church
Church History in a nut shell
Orthodox info
We even have our own Wiki
Giving the Greeks a fair share
If you want to find a church to visit
Just because I love these guys
You can talk to a convert if you want to know why they left thier church for the Orthodox faith

and that should get you started . . .

there are also some great books i would recommend.
The best though is The Orthodox Church by Bishop Ware
post #29 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
Can someone explain to me what the orthodox church is? And how are say the Greek Orthodox different from the other Orthodox churches??

Is a blending of Catholocism and cultural beliefs?
Ok I was trying to do this all in one post but I give up. please forgive the million posts that are about to follow. If I lose my response one more time I am going to snap . . .

the different churches vary mostly by culture. The big stuff (and a lot of it is big stuff) is all the same.

it is not Catholicism. The Catholic church broke off from the One church when the pope claimed authority he didn't have and started changing doctrine. You will see a lot of new RC doctrines introduced and or canonized right after the RC broke off. interestingly enough they are the ones people seem to have the most trouble with including papal infallibility and immaculate conception . I would say the RC has more in common with protestantism the Orthodoxy as RC and the protestant church are two sides of the same coin.
post #30 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
What are the differences between the modern Orthodox churches.
there is little difference between eastern Orthodox churches. I know we are not in communion with the Oriental orthodox church but i haven't got a clue why (although a google search should quickly bring it up).

it looks crazy in America because we didn't follow the trend. usually the Orthodox would come into an area and th population would begin to worship with them. it was always important that it was their faith and their church. everything would be done in their language, and as soon as they were stable they would break from their mother church and form their own overseeing body. It was a very natural growth process and mostly went smoothly.

Missionary parishes in the US went the same way and we do have the Orthodox Church of America (which was released from the Russian church but not all Russian churches wanted to break from the Russian church so then what was once under the leader ship of one is now under the leadership of two but it is kinda a wash now because the ROCOR is back in communion and i believe under the Russian church so now what was two is 1 so it all balances out. except for a lot of people are upset by this. but I still think the good outweighs the bad). but we also have all the others . . . . why? because we are a nation made of of immigrants. The immigrant parishes obviously wanted to worship in their language and retain their traditions and cultures. they looked to their fathers for help and were more than happy to be under them. and before you know it we have a mall geographical area with a bunch of Orthodox churches all under different leadership. This seems to be hugely controversial but I personally don't have a problem with it. i just wish everyone would work together more.
post #31 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bekka View Post
nak

While there were several reasons for the schism, a lot of it had to do with icons and their place in worship
actually this had nothing to do with the great schism between Rome in the west and the churches in the East. the two major factors were the filoque (saying the fSpirit issues from the father and the son rather than just the father. it seems like a small thing but it was changing doctrine without approval of the church as well as changes the nature of the trinity. it really is a big deal.) and the Popes claims that he is special and infallible. while the pope was first in honor among bishops he was still just a bishop with no more power than any other bishop in the church.
post #32 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
So there is one organizing body (not sure how to say that) for all the different Orthodox Churches but the biggest difference is the language they use in worship.

ok, interesting.

there is no governing body. the only thing holding us together is sharing right belief and right worship. (crazy huh. . . its down right miraculous if you ask me ) however that right belief and right worship is very defined.

originally there were 5 Arch Bishops, one of them being the church of Rome and her Bishop. the other four churches were in the east. Once the pope was excommunicated Constantinople became the first in honor. He still is.

here is a list of the churches as it stands:
There are 15 self-ruling Churches:

* Patriarchate of Constantinople, His All-Holiness, Bartholomew I
Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome, and Ecumenical Patriarch

* Patriarchate of Alexandria, His Beatitude Theodoros II
Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa

* Patriarchate of Antioch, His Beatitude Ignatius IV
Patriarch of Antioch and All the East

* Patriarchate of Jerusalem, His Holiness, Theophilos III
Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem and All Palestine

* Patriarchate of Moscow, His Holiness Aleksy II
Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia

* Patriarchate of Serbia, His Holiness Pavle
Archbishop of Pech, Metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch

* Patriarchate of Romania, His Beatitude Teoctist
Archbishop of Bucharest, Metropolitan of Hungro-Vlachia,
Locum Tenens of Caesarea in Cappadocia, Patriarch of Romania

* Patriarchate of Bulgaria, His Holiness Maksim
Metropolitan of Sofia, Patriarch of Bulgaria

* Patriarchate of Georgia, His Holiness and Beatitude Ilia II
Archbishop of Mtskheta and Tbilisi, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia

* Church of Cyprus, His Beatitude Chrysostomos II
Archbishop of New Justiniana and All Cyprus

* Church of Greece, His Beatitude Christodoulos
Archbishop of Athens and All Greece

* Church of Poland, His Beatitude Sawa
Metropolitan of Warsaw and All Poland

* Church of Albania, His Beatitude Anastasios
Archbishop of Tirana, Durres, and All Albania

* Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Christopher Primate of the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia

* Orthodox Church in America, His Beatitude, Herman
Archbishop of Washington and New York, Metropolitan of All America and Canada

There are also some Autonomous Churches, they are self-ruling Churches, but under the watch on a mother Church:

* Church of Sinai, His Beatitude Damian
Archbishop of Sinai, Farum and Raithu

* Church of Finland, His Eminence Leo
Archbishop of Karelia and All Finland

* The Church of Ukraine, His Beatitude Volodymyr
Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine

* Church of Japan, His Eminence Daniel
Archbishop of Tokyo, Metropolitan of All Japan
post #33 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by kama'aina mama View Post
I want to say some/ all the Orthodox churches follow a different worship calender than the Roman church. .
Some churches use the old calendar and some use the new. Some that use the new still go by old calendar dates for Pashal celebration because it just makes more sense. Me personally i prefer old calendar because I don't think we should just be changing things willy nilly for no good reason. I don't know what my parish uses as this was my first easter there and wouldn't you know, this year was the very rare occurrence that everything lined up for everyone

(ETA: my parish uses the new calender. not sure what we do for Pasha though)
post #34 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unagidon View Post
Catholics aren't worshiping the image, that's why it is not idol worship.
exactly we aren't worshiping. we venerate or pay respect or show our love to the people in the icons. The icons help us connect with them since we have never met them personally (in most cases - there are some recently sainted individuals who may well have friends and aquintences still alive ). EO are very specific in how icons can be painted, who can paint them, what each aspect of the picture means (you should be able to identify who is in the icon and what is happening regardless of who wrote it and how much skill they have). There is no room for artistic liscence. They are not art and are not meant for decoration (despite being quite beautiful).

They have been described as windows to heaven. Something that draws our mind past this world and into a heavenly one.
post #35 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
Thanks Bekka. So there is one organizing body (not sure how to say that) for all the different Orthodox Churches but the biggest difference is the language they use in worship.

ok, interesting.
Um, no. Each orthodox church has it's own "organizing body" Orthodox actually means "Adhering to the accepted or traditional and established faith, especially in religion. " So anybody who split off from their cultural/national religion was then declared unorthodox. THe Koptic church in Egypt split off because of a disagreement over whether or not Jesus was fully god or part god and part human. They now have their own pope, church, church officials etc. Minor disagreements of this type are usually what led to a split and after a split, one or both of the denominations would declare themselves orthodox as in "We are the one true church. If you worship over there you are going to hell."

For several years in Europe there were two popes, the elected pope and the "anti pope" each backed by a different family in power. The pope was even relocated to Avignon France for a time. The anti-vatican?

So there is Russion Orthodox, Armenian Arthodox, Greek Orthodox, Byzantine Orthodoxetc. Orthodox itself is not a religion, but describes a denomination. You can have Orthodox Judaism, Orthodox Anglican or Roman Orthadox.
Gossamer
post #36 of 92
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post #37 of 92
Oy. I only read a few responses and am already late for work, but the ones I read are all off base. Seriously so. If no one's corrected the misconceptions by the time I get home and have a chance to read the entire thread, I'll do so.
post #38 of 92
I know . . all the misinformation gave me a little panic attack. it makes me feel better that it is a very old thread.

just wanted to post a coupe more links.

the first one is a link to a prayer book. if you look under the red book you will see links. In the end, when it came right down to it was through the prayers that I learned the most about the Church and finally surrendered to it. You should read them. they are absolutely beautiful and extremely powerful and truly give the clearest picture of the Orthodox church. as you read them imagine millions of Christians all day long reciting the same praises continuously. Here is another one. and one more.

this site is a good one for reading about various saints. www.comeandseeicons.com. of course there seems to be a server issue at the moment . . . .

and just as a matter of explanation . . .
Theotokos means "God Bearer" and it Mary's official title in the church.
post #39 of 92
Ya done good, lilyka. Whew!

The Orthodox Church is very unique. Of all Christian churches, it is the one that has changed the least over the centuries. When I was married, I had several friends attend who had never been in an Orthodox Church, let alone to a service of any (Orthodox) type. They all said to me that it was like being let in on a secret.
post #40 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by gossamer View Post
Um, no. Each orthodox church has it's own "organizing body" Orthodox actually means "Adhering to the accepted or traditional and established faith, especially in religion. " So anybody who split off from their cultural/national religion was then declared unorthodox. THe Koptic church in Egypt split off because of a disagreement over whether or not Jesus was fully god or part god and part human. They now have their own pope, church, church officials etc. Minor disagreements of this type are usually what led to a split and after a split, one or both of the denominations would declare themselves orthodox as in "We are the one true church. If you worship over there you are going to hell."

So there is Russion Orthodox, Armenian Arthodox, Greek Orthodox, Byzantine Orthodoxetc. Orthodox itself is not a religion, but describes a denomination. You can have Orthodox Judaism, Orthodox Anglican or Roman Orthadox.
Gossamer

The Orthodox Church is not a denomination. It's the true faith. As we sing at the end of each Divine Liturgy, "We seen the true light." Orthodox Christianity is the Christianity that developed in the Eastern half of the old Roman Empire. It's original orientation was Greek (Constantinople - while this changed after the 9th Century with the beginnings of the conversion of the Slavs), while in the West, the orientation was Latin (Rome).

Orthodox has the double meaning of "right [correct] worship/glory." There is a BIG difference between "big O" Orthodox (which is the proper name of the Eastern Orthodox Churches) and "small o" orthodox, used as a description of someone's adherence to traditional religious forms (Orthodox Judaism, for example).

The Armenian Orthodox are not in communion with the Eastern Orthodox Churches (the Greeks, Russians, Antiochians, etc.) because they are non-Chalcedonian. They do not accept the decrees of the Fourth Ecumenical Council, held in Chalcedon, in 451 (while Christ is a single, undivided person, He is not only from two natures, but in two natures).

Orthodox has the double meaning of "right [correct] worship/glory."

There is no such thing as Byzantine Orthodox. "Byzantine" comes from the name of the old Greek settlement on the Bosphorus, Byzantium, which Constantine the Great (an Orthodox saint, btw) restablished as Constantinople about 330. Orthodox follow the "Byzantine rite" to differentiate our liturgical practices from the Western church, which has the "Latin Rite." In Catholicism, you have the Latin Rite (the Roman Catholic Mass) and the Byzantine (or Eastern Rite). I'm not even going to get into the small "Western Rite" in the Antiochian Archdiocese here in North American (think of Eastern Rite Catholicism in reverse, and you have the idea).

With all the misinformation about Orthodoxy out there, I'd suggest a reading of the basic introduction in English to the Orthodox Church. Written by an Englishman (Anglican) who became Orthodox in 1958 (when such a thing wasn't done), it describes both the history and the practice of the Church. The Orthodox Church by Bishop Kallistos Ware (written when he was an Orthodox layman as Timothy Ware). Your library will have it. In fact, it's such a standard text now, that it's one of the few Orthodox books the major bookstores (Borders/B&N) will carry.

The original 1964 version used to be online, but I can't find it.

A basic intro to Orthodox, found online, are the four books comprising The Orthodox Faith written by Fr. Thomas Hopko, published by the OCA (Orthodox Church in America).

http://www.oca.org/OCorthfaith.asp?SID=2
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