Orthodoxy and Western Christianity: For Roman Catholics
An Orthodox View of the Great Schism,
an excerpt from The Orthodox Church, by Bishop Kallistos (Ware).
Why Orthodoxy Is the True Faith. A lecture by A.I.Osipov on
the Fundamentals of Theology, held in the Sretenskaya Theological Seminary on September 13, 2000.
Papal Monarchy Collegial Traditions.
An excerpt from Chapter 1 of Two
Notes on the Palamite Controversy and Related
Topics, by Fr. John Romanides (In two parts from The
Greek Orthodox Theological Review, Vol. VI [Winter 1960-61] and Vol.
IX [Winter 1963-64]). In these two devastatingly brilliant and lengthy
articles, the author reviews A Study of Gregory Palamas by Fr.
John Meyendorff. He demonstrates that Meyendorff's understanding of this
venerable defender of Hesychasm was seriously flawed on a number of fronts.
There are a number of excellent points made along the way showing the
big differences between the Orthodox and Latin understanding of the spiritual
Encyclical of the Eastern Patriarchs (1848):
A Reply to the Epistle of Pope Pius IX, "to the Easterns."
Patriarchal Encyclical of 1895: A Reply
to the Papal Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII (1895) on Reunion.
The Vatican Dogma, by Sergius Bulgakov.
The Marian Apparitions: Divine Intervention or Delusion?,
by Mirian Lambouras. This is a lengthy essay (30+ pages) surveying Marian
apparitions in the Roman Catholic Church. Mrs. Lambouras took up this
research project after discovering that many Orthodox Christians have
come to accept these apparitions as being from God. She was alarmed to
learn that so many are making pilgrimages to these sites.
Journey to Medjugorje, by Matushka Katherine
Swanson. The wife of a Russian Orthodox Church Abroad Priest reports on
her trip to this Roman Catholic Marian shrine.
A "New Mary" for a New Age?, by Peter Jackson.
A Comparison of the Mysticism of Francis of Assisi
with that of St. Seraphim of Sarov. From the Orthodox periodical Synaxis.
Papism as the Oldest Protestantism: by the
Blessed Father Justin (Popovich)
Why I Abandoned Papism, by Hierodeacon Paul Ballaster-Convolier.
Orthodox Traditionalism vs. Roman Catholic Traditionalism:
a Q&A from Orthodox Tradition discussing the differences
between Orthodox and Roman Catholic ecclesiology.
The Vatican and Russia, by Deacon
Herman Ivanov-Treenadzaty. This article is very favorably cited by Hieromonk
Patapios Hagiogregorites in a forthcoming article for Orthodox Tradition
which touches on the Uniate problem. Appended to it is a short article
on Josaphat the Malevolent, considered a Saint by the Roman Catholics.
St. Mark of Ephesus on the State of Souls After
Death: Against the Roman Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory. Excerpts
from his homilies given at the 15th century Pseudo-Synod of Ferrara-Florence.
The Tragedy of Our Uniate Brothers,
by Hieromonk [now Bishop] Auxentios
The False Decretals of Isidore, An excerpt from The Papacy, by
Abbe Guette. "The False Decretals make as it were the dividing
point between the Papacy of the first eight and that of the succeeding
centuries. At this date, the pretensions of the Popes begin to develop and
take each day a more distinct character."
Supremacy: an Orthodox Tradition Q&A.
Infallibility Becomes Dogma,
an excerpt from Two Paths, by Michael Whelton.
Bishop [now Archbishop] Chrysostomos of Oreoi [now of Etna] and Hieromonk[now Bishop] Auxentios,
The Roman West and the Byzantine East. Etna, CA: Center for Traditionalist
Orthodox Studies, 1988. A superb, short treatment of general differences
between East and West. "This little book takes us back to the quest
for truth and tells us why we Orthodox believe that our Church is true
to the Church established by the Apostles, why she has historical and
spiritual primacy. It does so by pointing out differences and by the bold
proclamation of Orthodoxy's uniqueness." [from the back cover]. Also,
I cannot resist including this excerpt from p. 10: "All history,
one might say, is artificial... The Western view of the Christian past,
however, is particularly artificialit is a rather
a "whopping lie," as the modern idiom would have it, if only
because it ignores the historical experience of more than half of the
Christian world, the Christian East, from which Western Christianity itself
derives! Yet, it has gained such ascendancy that one is hesitant to challenge
it. It is so ubiquitous that even Eastern Christians, especially those
living in the West, often embrace it themselves. And if they do not, in
fact, embrace it as their personal view, they often feel compelled to
speak within its framework in trying to present their own perspectives
on the Christian past. The Western view has, indeed, become triumphant,
despite its inadequacies in accounting, as we shall see, for a vast part
of Christian history."
The Primacy of Peter:
Essays in Ecclesiology and the Early Church, by John Meyendorff (ed.).
In considering the issue which has divided Christians in the past and still divides them today, a
group of Orthodox theologians from different theological perspectives reflect upon the scriptural
passages which single out Peter among the disciples of Jesus. Koulomzine ("Peter's Place in the
Primitive Church") and Kesich ("Peter's Primacy in the New Testament and the Early Tradition"),
as exegetes, read the passages in the light of contemporary New Testament research.
Fr. John Meyendorff ("St Peter in Byzantine Theology") looks at the history of exegesis: how
were these passages read at the time when East and West split, quarrelling about the issue of
authority in the Church? Finally, Schmemann ("The Idea of Primacy in Orthodox Ecclesiology") and
Afanassieff ("The Church Which Presides in Love") look at the meaning of "primacy" as a permanent,
through changing, factor of "catholic" ecclesiology.
Orthodox and Roman Catholic Relations from the Fourth Crusade to the Hesychastic
Controversy, by Archbishop Chrysostomos, Senior Fulbright Lecturer,
Faculty of History, University of Bucharest, Romania.
Carlton, Clark, The Truth: What Every Roman Catholic Should Know About the Orthodox Church. Salisbury,
MA: Regina Orthodox Press, 1998.
Well written and researched, this book takes a firm Orthodox stance concerning
Roman Catholicism. The author succinctly and clearly explains the issues
that separate the Roman Catholics from the Orthodox Church. There is one
fairly serious omission worth noting. On p. 86, footnote 18, Mr. Carlton
refers the reader to Fr. John Meyendorff's A Study of St. Gregory
Palamas for a more in-depth treatment of the 14th-century Palamite
Controversy. The reader should know that Fr. John's study is seriously
flawed to the point of being wholly misleading, if not worthless. This
was forcefully and thoroughly demonstrated by Fr. John Romanides in his
masterful two-part review of A Study
(The Greek Orthodox Theological Review, Vol. VI [Winter 1960-61] and Vol.
IX [Winter 1963-64]).
de Ballester, Bishop Paul, My Exodus from Roman Catholicism: his long and painstaking journey from being a Roman Catholic monk in Spain to a Orthodox Christian bishop in Mexico, where he was assassinated in 1984.
Guette, Abbe, The
Papacy: Its Historic Origin and Primitive Relations with the Eastern Church [PDF, 1.4 megs].
New York: Minos Publishing Company, 1866. Though this is an old book,
it has seen numerous reprints and can still be found with a little searching.
It is the most thorough and reliable treatment of the Papacy from an Orthodox
The Lives of the Pillars of Orthodoxy. Buena Vista, CO: Holy Apostles
Convent and the Dormition Skete, 1990. Contains the lives of Saints Photios
the Great (9th century), Mark of Ephesus (15th century), and St. Gregory
Palamas (14th century), three Saints who are especially noted for their
opposition to Latin theology. Differences between East and West are covered
Ostroumoff, Ivan, The History of the Council of Florence. Boston, MA:
Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1971. This was a Pseudo-Synod in the mid-15th
century which was chiefly opposed through the efforts of St. Mark of Ephesus.
The book is very detailed, but quite an enjoyable read. Numerous differences
between Latin and Orthodox theology are treated in detail.
Photios the Great, Saint, On the Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit. Studion
Publishers, Inc., 1983. Aside from a superb English translation of St.
Photios' Mystagogy, this book also includes the Synodicon
on the Holy Spirit, "St. Photios and the Filioque"
by Michael Azkoul, and "The Life of St. Photios" by St. Justin
Popovich. These are all key works dealing with critical issues that divide
Orthodoxy from Roman Catholicism. Those who think that the issue over
the Filioque is "just a matter of semantics" or "not
that big a deal" will be sorely challenged by this book.
Welton, Michael, Two Paths: Papal MonarchCollegial Tradition.
Salisbury, MA: Regina Orthodox
Press, 1998. From their website: "[C]ompassionately,
simply, and factually explains the historic, theological, and liturgical
differences between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic traditions."