Friday, August 10, 2007

Checking a Basil Quote



(Revised and extended 8/11/07)

I spent about 10 minutes looking for the context of this quote from Basil, as posted by Catholic apologist Steve Ray:

"The Church preserves many beliefs and practices that generally are accepted or publicly commanded. Some are taken from written teaching; others have been passed on to us 'in a mystery' by the tradition of the apostles. In relation to true religion, both of these have the same force." —St. Basil the Great (c. 330-c. 379)Father of Eastern Monasticism

Steve Ray comments,

"I just came across this quotation again. What a great reminder of the authority of the Church and the Apostolic Tradition! How did I fall for sola Scriptura back in my old life?"

If anyone has a link to the context, or can point me to a source, I would appreciate it. This weekend I will check through my Steve Ray books as well. I did a brief search of my Early Church Fathers collection, but I didn't find anything. I'm not saying the quote doesn't exist, I simply want the context.

Update:
Thanks to those of you who posted such helpful information. I initially read this quote (as cited by Steve Ray) a few minutes before heading out the door yesterday. I must say, I did have a suspicion that this Basil quote cited by Steve Ray either did not say what was claimed, did not support a denial of sola scriptura, or in context totally destroyed the modern claims made by the defenders of Rome.

First, thank you John Bugay for a link to the context. Thank you Carrie for locating a translation that may have been used by Ray.

Many thanks to Kepha for his citation of Orthodox writer Michael Whelton's Popes and Patriarchs: An Eastern Perspective on Roman Catholic Claims. If you typed all of it in, thank you. If you scanned it, thank you!

Kepha posted:

However, in spite of this, Roman Catholic apologist Stephen K. Ray, in his book Upon This Rock, claims that "Basil sees Rome as the caretaker of the troubled Eastern Churches," and amazingly uses Pope Damasus' support of Paulinus as clear evidence of Rome's supreme universal jurisdiction over the Eastern Church. [footnote, Ray, op. cit., p. 208.]

Ray briefly quotes St. Basil's letter to Terentius as saying that certain men were "carrying about letters from the westerners, handing over the bishopric of Antioch to them." From this Ray concludes: "How could Rome prove its primacy in any stronger terms than to hand the Antiochian bishopric over to someone of its own choosing? Obviously Rome had the right and duty of overseeing such ecclesastical matters, and Basil recognized this authority." [footnote, Op. cit., p.. 209.]

A more glaring case of quoting out of context would be hard to come by. However, I am sure Mr. Ray is quoting from another source and is thus unaware of the entire context of the letter. St. Basil's first real encounter with Rome was his clash with Pope Damasus over the episcopal succession at Antioch, and his letter to Terentius (when quoted in full context) clearly shows that he did not recognize Rome's authority in the East. In fact, a more explicit denial of Roman authority is hard to imagine. Here follows Basil's letter:

I hear moreoever, that the Paulinians are carrying about a letter of the Westerners, assigning to them the episcopate of the Church in Antioch, but speaking under a false impression of Meletius, the admirable bishop of the true Church of God. I am not astonished at this. They are totally ignorant of what is going on here; the others, though they might be supposed to know, give an account to them in which party is put before truth: and it is only what one might expect that they should either be ignorant of the truth, or should even endeavor to conceal the reasons which led the Blessed Athanasius to write to Paulinus. But your excellency has on the spot those who are able to tell you accurately what passed between the bishops in the reign of Jovian, and from them I beseech you to get information. I accuse no one; I pray that I may have love to all, and "especially unto them that are of the household of faith;" and therefore I congratulate those who have received the letter from Rome. And, although it is a grand testimony in their favour, I only hope it is true and confirmed by facts. But I shall never be able to persuade myself on these grounds to ignore Meletius, or forge the Church which is under him, or to retreat as small, and of little importance to the true religion, the questions which originated the division. I shall never consent to give in, merely because somebody is very elated at receiving a letter from men. Even if it had come down from heaven itself, but he does not agree with the sound doctrine of faith, I cannot look upon him as in communion with the saints. [footnote, St. Basil, Letter CCXIV, in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. VIII; emphasis Whelton's]

This clash centered on the person of St. Meletius, Bishop of Antioch (who was not in communion with Rome), and is thus knwon to history as the Meletian schism. St. Basil, along with the Eastern Church, supported Meletius as the rightful claimant to the see of Antioch over Rome's candidate, Paulinus. [footenote, Chadwick, op. cit., p. 149. Encyclopedia Britannica, 1972, Vol. 3, pp. 239-240.] The reverence the Eastern Church held for St. Meletius may be judged by the fact that he was made president of a council of 150 bishops convened by the Emperor Theodosius in Constantinople in 381 -- the Second Ecumenical Council. When Meletius suddenly died during the council, Rome's candidate Paulinus was still ignored in the election of Flavian to the now-vacant see of Antioch. (Whelton, pp. 120-122)


And to really put things into perspective, David King (author of Holy Scripture: The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith Volume 1) provided this examination:

The Basil quote is taken from His work On the Holy Spirit, chapter 27, and the beginning of section 66. What is problematic for Romanists here is the fact that Basil goes on to name some of these practices (beliefs) and some of them are practices that Rome does not observe today. Here's what Basil says some of these practices/beliefs are...

Basil: "For instance, to take the first and most general example, who is thence who has taught us in writing to sign with the sign of the cross those who have trusted in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ? What writing has taught us to turn to the East at the prayer? Which of the saints has left us in writing the words of the invocation at the displaying of the bread of the Eucharist and the cup of blessing? For we are not, as is well known, content with what the apostle or the Gospel has recorded, but both in preface and conclusion we add other words as being of great importance to the validity of the ministry, and these we derive from unwritten teaching. Moreover we bless the water of baptism and the oil of the chrism, and besides this the catechumen who is being baptized. On what written authority do we do this? Is not our authority silent and mystical tradition? Nay, by what written word is the anointing of oil itself taught? And whence comes the custom of baptizing thrice? And as to the other customs of baptism from what Scripture do we derive the renunciation of Satan and his angels? Does not this come from that unpublished and secret teaching which our fathers guarded in a silence out of the reach of curious meddling and inquisitive investigation?"

If these unwritten traditions are indeed apostolic and so important to Romanists, why is it that Rome no longer practices all of these unwritten traditions that Basil listed? Do Romanists still turn to the East in prayer? Does Rome still practice triple immersion? If Rome doesn't, then what force are we to give to Basil's words when they cite him? It has the force of turning this whole apologetic on their heads, because they do not practice these very unwritten traditions that Basil lists.

Emmanuel Amand de Mendieta:

"The whole passage has frequently been misinterpreted by Roman Catholic theologians, who imagine that in it they have found something to prove the Tridentine dogma of Tradition, considered as an equal and distinct source of revelation. . . .
In reality, this passage of Basil, the beginning of which is a little vague and lacking in precision, cannot be considered as confirming the Tridentine dogma that doctrinal Tradition is a second fully distinct source of divine revelation. In order to be convinced of the falsity of such an assertion, one need only take the trouble to read the whole passage....In brief, in all his homiletic, doctrinal, ascetic and monastic works, Basil refers constantly, and almost in every line, to the Bible, quoting, expounding, or illustrating it, or drawing out in detail what it teaches without departing from the traditional doctrine of the Church. He leaves us in no doubt that he regards the Bible, especially the New Testament, as the sovereign and all-sufficient moral and doctrinal standard for all Christians, and particularly for the cenobites under his charge. Basil of Caesarea thus taught me a never-forgotten lesson." Emmanuel Amand de Mendieta, Rome and Canterbury: A Biblical and Free Catholicism, trans. Coslett Quin (London: Herbert Jenkins, 1962), pp. 140, 141, 143.

Emmanuel Amand de Mendieta is a former Roman Catholic who became a convert to Anglicanism. To be sure, de Mendieta emphasizes that he was no proponent of sola Scriptura, but he recognizes that in Basil no Christian dogma rested on the authority of unwritten tradition.

For an extended treatment of this quote by Basil, see William Webster, Holy Scripture, the Ground and Pillar of Our Faith (Battle Ground: Christian Resources, 2001), Vol. 2, pp. 142ff.


So, I did as David suggested, and I reviewed Holy Scripture Volume 2. William Webster makes some excellent points:

"...[W]hile Basil did affirm the existence of apostolic tradition handed down through the Church independent of scripture, his statements are rarely given in context. The importance of so doing is that Basil defined what he meant by apostolic unwritten tradition." [Holy Scripture Volume 2, p.144]

"A second point needs to be made regarding Basil's claims, and is true for all references by Church fathers to oral tradition with respect to customs and practices. These claims cannot be proven. The fathers only assumed that these practices were apostolic in origin, but there is no way to validate this. The importance of this is underscored by the fact that the early Church witnessed many contradictory claims of apostolic tradition within various segments of the Church. The mere assertion of a claim does not make it true. There are instances...where claims for apostolic tradition are made by one section of the Church, which were repudiated by another." [Holy Scripture Volume 2, p.145]

"A third point is that Basil's defense of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit was not based on unwritten tradition exclusively sense. He appealed to the primacy of Scripture and demonstrated that the particular practice or custom was in conformity with Scripture. In referring to his appeal to the tradition of the fathers he made it clear that he was willing to receive their teachings only because they expressed the overall teaching of Scripture... Basil was clear. Tradition apart from Scripture is not sufficient for the establishment of doctrinal truth. The authority of the teaching of the fathers was directly contingent on their conformity to the teaching of Scripture." [Holy Scripture Volume 2, p.145-146]

Webster cites Basil:

"But it is not sufficient for us, that it is the tradition of the Fathers. For they also followed the mind of Scripture; having taken their first principles from the testimonies which, a short time since, we placed before you, from the Scripture."

26 comments:

John Bugay said...

James: try this link:

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf208.vii.xxviii.html

Certainly no doctrines are taught, but merely practices -- and some practices that Ray certainly does not observe: "For instance, to take the first and most general example, who is thence who has taught us in writing to sign with the sign of the cross those who have trusted in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ? What writing has taught us to turn to the East at the prayer?..."

Carrie said...

It looks like Steve's translation may have come from here:

http://books.google.com/books?id=sfwJRZmutGwC&pg=PA37&ots=ov0VvMQjBk&dq=The+Church+preserves+many+beliefs+and+practices+that+generally+are+accepted+or+publicly+commanded.+basil&sig=dd0e3rSqLF5U_YcWFXzZ3Pa4wyA

Basil - treatise On The Holy Spirit. Quoted in Living the Mysteries (Aquilina & Hahn)

Kepha said...

After I reading Orthodox writer Michael Whelton's Popes and Patriarchs: An Eastern Perspective on Roman Catholic Claims, it's hard to see any credibility in Mr. Ray's historical research.

Whelton writes:

However, in spite of this, Roman Catholic apologist Stephen K. Ray, in his book Upon This Rock, claims that "Basil sees Rome as the caretaker of the trbouled Eastern Churches," and amazingly uses Pope Damasus' support of Paulinus as clear evidence of Rome's supreme universal jurisdiction over the Eastern Church. [footnote, Ray, op. cit., p. 208.]

Ray briefly quotes St. Basil's letter to Terentius as saying that certain men were "carrying about letters from the westerners, handing over the bishopric of Antioch to them." From this Ray concludes: "How could Rome prove its primacy in any stronger terms than to hand the Antiochian bishopric over to someone of its own choosing? Obviously Rome had the right and duty of overseeing such ecclesastical matters, and Basil recognized this authority." [footnote, Op. cit., p.. 209.]

A more glaring case of quoting out of context would be hard to come by. However, I am sure Mr. Ray is quoting from another source and is thus unaware of the entire context of the letter. St. Basil's first real encounter with Rome was his clash with Pope Damasus over the episcopal succession at Antioch, and his letter to Terentius (when quoted in full context) clearly shows that he did not recognize Rome's authority in the East. In fact, a more explicit denial of Roman authority is hard to imagine. Here follows Basil's letter:

I hear moreoever, that the Paulinians are carrying about a letter of the Westerners, assigning to them the episcopate of the Church in Antioch, but speaking under a false impression of Meletius, the admirable bishop of the true Church of God. I am not astonished at this. They are totally ignorant of what is going on here; the others, though they might be supposed to know, give an account to them in which party is put before truth: and it is only what one might expect that they should either be ignorant of the truth, or should even endeavor to conceal the reasons which led the Blessed Athanasius to write to Paulinus. But your excellency has on the spot those who are able to tell you accurately what passed between the bishops in the reign of Jovian, and from them I beseech you to get information. I accuse no one; I pray that I may have love to all, and "especially unto them that are of the household of faith;" and therefore I congratulate those who have received the letter from Rome. And, although it is a grand testimony in their favour, I only hope it is true and confirmed by facts. But I shall never be able to persuade myself on these grounds to ignore Meletius, or forge the Church which is under him, or to retreat as small, and of little importance to the true religion, the questions which originated the division. I shall never consent to give in, merely because somebody is very elated at receiving a letter from men. Even if it had come down from heaven itself, but he does not agree with the sound doctrine of faith, I cannot look upon him as in communion with the saints. [footnote, St. Basil, Letter CCXIV, in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. VIII; emphasis Whelton's]

This clash centered on the person of St. Meletius, Bishop of Antioch (who was not in communion with Rome), and is thus knwon to history as the Meletian schism. St. Basil, along with the Eastern Church, supported Meletius as the rightful claimant to the see of Antioch over Rome's candidate, Paulinus. [footenote, Chadwick, op. cit., p. 149. Encyclopedia Britannica, 1972, Vol. 3, pp. 239-240.] The reverence the Eastern Church held for St. Meletius may be judged by the fact that he was made president of a council of 150 bishops convened by the Emperor Theodosius in Constantinople in 381 -- the Second Ecumenical Council. When Meletius suddenly died during the council, Rome's candidate Paulinus was still ignored in the election of Flavian to the now-vacant see of Antioch. (Whelton, pp. 120-122)

dtking said...

James,

The Basil quote is taken from His work On the Holy Spirit, chapter 27, and the beginning of section 66. What is problematic for Romanists here is the fact that Basil goes on to name some of these practices (beliefs) and some of them are practices that Rome does not observe today. Here's what Basil says some of these practices/beliefs are...

Basil: For instance, to take the first and most general example, who is thence who has taught us in writing to sign with the sign of the cross those who have trusted in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ? What writing has taught us to turn to the East at the prayer? Which of the saints has left us in writing the words of the invocation at the displaying of the bread of the Eucharist and the cup of blessing? For we are not, as is well known, content with what the apostle or the Gospel has recorded, but both in preface and conclusion we add other words as being of great importance to the validity of the ministry, and these we derive from unwritten teaching. Moreover we bless the water of baptism and the oil of the chrism, and besides this the catechumen who is being baptized. On what written authority do we do this? Is not our authority silent and mystical tradition? Nay, by what written word is the anointing of oil itself taught? And whence comes the custom of baptizing thrice? And as to the other customs of baptism from what Scripture do we derive the renunciation of Satan and his angels? Does not this come from that unpublished and secret teaching which our fathers guarded in a silence out of the reach of curious meddling and inquisitive investigation? end of quote

If these unwritten traditions are indeed apostolic and so important to Romanists, why is it that Rome no longer practices all of these unwritten traditions that Basil listed? Do Romanists still turn to the East in prayer? Does Rome still practice triple immersion? If Rome doesn't, then what force are we to give to Basil's words when they cite him? It has the force of turning this whole apologetic on their heads, because they do not practice these very unwritten traditions that Basil lists.

Emmanuel Amand de Mendieta: The whole passage has frequently been misinterpreted by Roman Catholic theologians, who imagine that in it they have found something to prove the Tridentine dogma of Tradition, considered as an equal and distinct source of revelation. . . .
In reality, this passage of Basil, the beginning of which is a little vague and lacking in precision, cannot be considered as confirming the Tridentine dogma that doctrinal Tradition is a second fully distinct source of divine revelation. In order to be convinced of the falsity of such an assertion, one need only take the trouble to read the whole passage....In brief, in all his homiletic, doctrinal, ascetic and monastic works, Basil refers constantly, and almost in every line, to the Bible, quoting, expounding, or illustrating it, or drawing out in detail what it teaches without departing from the traditional doctrine of the Church. He leaves us in no doubt that he regards the Bible, especially the New Testament, as the sovereign and all-sufficient moral and doctrinal standard for all Christians, and particularly for the cenobites under his charge. Basil of Caesarea thus taught me a never-forgotten lesson. Emmanuel Amand de Mendieta, Rome and Canterbury: A Biblical and Free Catholicism, trans. Coslett Quin (London: Herbert Jenkins, 1962), pp. 140, 141, 143.


Emmanuel Amand de Mendieta is a former Roman Catholic who became a convert to Anglicalism. To be sure, de Mendieta emphasizes that he was no proponent of sola Scriptura, but he recognizes that in Basil no Christian dogma rested on the authority of unwritten tradition.

For an extended treatment of this quote by Basil, see William Webster, Holy Scripture, the Ground and Pillar of Our Faith (Battle Ground: Christian Resources, 2001), Vol. 2, pp. 142ff.

DTK

dtking said...

correction, I should have said "Anglicanisn," not Anglicalism. My apologies,

DTK

dtking said...

oops again, Anglicanism. double apologies,
DTK

Carrie said...

Yikes, my link went crazy.

Obviously everyone else has tracted down the true source. I just wanted to share where Steve may have found the quote.

It was "Living in Mysteries" pg 37, which you can preview on Google Books in case you can't follow my first comment (feel free to delete that one since the link is across the screen).

Jeff said...

It is very helpful to see the context of the Church Father quotes. Thanks to all of you for the great posts. Just one question: given the context, what is Basil referring to when he says:

"In relation to true religion, both of these have the same force."

I see how, taken in the historical context, this letter refutes the notion of Romish supreme authority, but what is Basil getting at regarding church tradition? Thanks for the help.

GeneMBridges said...

If Mr. Ray really believed what Basil said was true here, he'd be Orthodox.

And, while we're at it Brother James, I've noticed a rise in Eastern Orthodox members doing apologetics - beyond the usual persons with whom we've interacted in recent years. Tblogue is taking some of this traffic. Perhaps its time we start doing more in that area.

Also, there's a thread here that I think you'll find interesting:

http://truthtalklive.wordpress.com/

This is my local radio station. See the thread on "Are Catholics Christians?" It could use some interaction from our community of bloggers. "Dave" is the main defender, and he's...Orthodox. I don't have the time to interact with him today or this weekend, but if you can spare some, I'd sure appreciate it.

Saint and Sinner said...

Speaking of the Orthodox...

Whatever happened to Robert Letham's new book on EO?

Kepha said...

Saint and Sinner, I just got Letham's new book about a week ago or so. It looks really good! I let you know what I think.

James Swan said...

Thank you.

I've revised this blog entry, but I seem to be having some trouble with blogger. Lately, I have had trouble either posting or revising blog entries. For some reason, the changes will not post, and in many instances, a new blog entry will not post either.

I guess I can't complain. Blogger doesn't charge me anything.

dtking said...

James,

Here's a little addendum on your point regarding pope Damasus and the episcopal succession at Antioch, and Basil's support of Meletius. Chrysostom's relationship to Rome, with respect to this succession, comes into play. Notice...

Chrysostom (349-407) was ordained by a bishop who was out of communion with Rome. In fact, for the better part of his ministerial life, Chrysostom was, technically speaking, out of communion with Rome. Clearly, he was ordained (as most Roman Catholics would argue if consistent) by someone outside the communion of Rome, also claiming to be part of the Catholic Church. Chrysostom was baptized (AD 369) and ordained to the diaconate (AD 380) by Meletius (whom Chrysostom recognized as the rightful bishop of Antioch) and who, at the time, was out of communion with Rome. Chrysostom was ordained to the priesthood (AD 386) by Flavian, whom Rome refused to recognize as bishop, and who had de facto been excommunicated some years before the ordination of Chrysostom. According to the standard of Leo XIII's Satis Cognitum (1896) both Meletius and Flavian were "outside the edifice," "separated from the fold," and "exiled from the Kingdom" inasmuch as they were not in communion with the Roman pontiff, who acknowledged only Paulinus as the rightful occupant of the Antiochene see.

By receiving baptism and ordination at their hands, Chrysostom was declaring that he recognized them (i.e., Meletius and Flavian) as the proper bishops in succession from and under the jurisdiction of the see of Antioch. While preaching at his tomb, Chrysostom referenced Meletius as a saint, and said of Flavian that he was not only the successor of Peter, but also the rightful heir of Peter to the see of Antioch. Chrysostom could not have been clearer in his repudiation of Paulinus whom Rome had declared to be the bishop of Antioch. (See his Homily II in Migne PG 52:86).

In similar fashion, when contrary to the canons Paulinus (whom Rome had appointed to be bishop of Antioch) consecrated Evagrius to be his successor upon his death in AD 389, Chrysostom actively declined to recognize him as such, and emphatically warned the people of Antioch against joining the body which recognized Evagrius as bishop. Chrysostom makes reference to this in a sermon delivered in AD 395...

Chrysostom: I speak not of you that are present, but of those who are deserting from us. The act is adultery. And if ye bear not to hear these things of them, neither should ye of us. There must be breach of the law either on the one side or the other. If then thou hast these suspicions concerning me, I am ready to retire from my office, and resign it to whomsoever ye may choose. Only let the Church be one. But if I have been lawfully made and consecrated, entreat those who have contrary to the law mounted the episcopal throne to resign it. See NPNF1: Vol. XIII, Homilies on Ephesians, Homily 11, next to the last paragraph.

It wasn't until after his consecration in AD 398 to the see of Constantinople by Theophilus, Bishop of Alexandria, that Chrysostom entered into communion with Rome.

Now, most Roman Catholic apologists are not familiar with this information regarding the circumstances of Chrysostom's baptism and ordinations, because their their historical investigations are so shallow, but his "orders" as such are denied as proper according to the requirements of Pope Leo XIII's Satis Cognitum. I think this alone proves that there were in Chrysostom's day other groups claiming to be every bit as much "Catholic," but nonetheless out of communion with Rome.

DTK

Acolyte4236 said...

You can also see a discussion of this point at http://energeticprocession.wordpress.com/2007/01/31/romeschmome/

Gene is correct on the score that if Ray were consistent, he'd be Orthodox, which of course is one reason why I am. And while it could e true that there is no way to verify that those practices were apostolic, it is also true that there doesn't seem to be a ready way to falsify them either. In fact, verification and falsification are rather positivistic in the first place. Strictly speaking lots of scientific claims are not verifiable or falsifiable and yet perfectly meaningful and substantial. The same goes for core doctrines in theology proper. Take divine simplicity, how one derives it from Scripture's grammar is beyond me.

That aside, while it is true that here Basil treats of practices, it is also true that part of his argument against the Spirit-Fighters turns on non-scriptural traditions, specifically statements in the Liturgy that support his interpretation of Scripture.

In any case, if Ray had bothered to read some of the standard critiques of the papacy say from Denny's Papalism or Puller's Primitive Saints and the See of Rome, he'd have know that the matter wasn't as straight forward as he claims. But evangelical converts seem unable to take non-reformation rival traditions seriously or spend any time serously investigating them.

Anonymous said...

From a Catholic:

One poster had this remark after quotes from St. Basil: "If these unwritten traditions are indeed apostolic and so important to Romanists, why is it that Rome no longer practices all of these unwritten traditions that Basil listed? Do Romanists still turn to the East in prayer? Does Rome still practice triple immersion? If Rome doesn't, then what force are we to give to Basil's words when they cite him? It has the force of turning this whole apologetic on their heads, because they do not practice these very unwritten traditions that Basil lists. [sic]"

Quote: "Do Romanists still turn to the East in prayer."

I comment:
The following quote will be from B16, when he was Cardinal Ratzinger. It is entitled "THE ALTAR AND THE DIRECTION OF LITURGICAL PRAYER"
by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

The following essay is Chapter Three of The Spirit of the Liturgy by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Cardinal Ratzinger summarizes the argument for the traditional celebration of the sacred liturgy facing liturgical East (“ad orientem”).



One small quote: Turning to the East Essential:
"On the other hand, a common turning to the East during the Eucharistic Prayer remains essential. This is not a case of something accidental, but of what is essential. Looking at the priest has no importance. What matters is looking together at the Lord. It is not now a question of dialogue, but of common worship, of setting off towards the One who is to come. What corresponds with the reality of what is happening is not the closed circle, but the common movement forward expressed in a common direction for prayer."

In previous parts of this chapter, Cardinal Ratzinger illustrates that the one of the reasons we pray to the East, is not because of the Eastern Lung of the Catholic Church (The Orient) but because it is from whence the rising of the sun occurs, which symbolizes the rising and coming of our Lord Jesus.

I recall from my youth that the older folks did sometimes pray facing East.

It is particularly sad to see you jealous, partial-Christian, Catholic Protestors (in general, just Protestants) pulling apart these quotes from St. Basil. That which you accuse Steve Ray to be doing, you are doing even worse.

It took no time to find quotes from recent Popes (B16 for example) to find that Catholics still hold this tradition, so yes, in spite of your ill-researched, sneering statements, it is still a tradition. I will also note that it is apparent from your remarks that you are not aware that this is not something that is necessary for salvation, or dogmatic. You seem to imply that because it is not a commonly held discipline, or tradition today, that we are de facto out of sync with what St. Basil is saying here.
Here is a little help with a link to B16 writing about praying to the East. It took me all of 2.16 seconds to find this on Google. http://www.catholic.net/rcc/Periodicals/Dossier/2000-10/article.html

Next Quote: "Does Rome still practice triple immersion?"

Answer: Well, first, you would have to be certain we are speaking of immersion. I believe the word is Baptizmos, which can be immersion or pouring. Your sect of Protestantism probably believes Baptism has to be immersion, although ironically, you only believe it is symbolic. But to return from the digression, I don't have time for the primer or discussion on this, but suffice to say, both are legit and we have a reason for pouring and in short, it has to do with baptism in the Northern Climes, where water and people freeze.

Anyhow yes, we always, always and always (X3, get it) baptize with pouring 3 times. We baptized our baby (love it) 3 months ago. The water of Baptism was poured on her head 3 times: 'in the name of The Father (1st pour), in the name of The Son (2nd pour) and in the name of The Holy Spirit (3rd and final pour). We've baptized all 3 kids this way, and this is the way we 3 (my bros and I) were baptized, so yes, 3 times is the consistent and blessed number of the Holy 3-in-one, heheh. So the correction to your statement again, is yes, we still do. However, you would have to do your homework in order to have known this.

Incidentally, then she was chrismed with Holy Oil. BTW - which of your sects of Protestantism still do this, or have ever done this? On Holy oil: http://www.scripturecatholic.com/anointing_of_the_sick.html
You'll find this is also consistent with St. Basil's comments.

I still find no difficulty, knowing the events around the schism, squaring St. Basil's comments with Catholicism, either Roman or Orthodox. What I do find perplexing is that you derive from this that St. Basil's comments are evidence of the novel, new-age Protestant concept of Sola Scripture, or Scripture Alone.

In these short quotes from St. Basil, I see in almost every sentence something for Protestants to kick about.

Eucharist (for real!), Holy oil, Baptism, Allegiance to bishops, hierarchical church, tradition.

If you are to take any of this seriously, and still doubt the Roman Catholic Church, you would then be left at least to the Orthodox Church, which you would still freak out about.

Of course schism and self delusion is the nature of Protestantism. Even if we could snap our fingers and make the Roman and Orthodox Catholic Church disappear, you Protestants would (and currently do) be fighting and in schisms all of the time.

BTW, note to the Orthodox Catholic who gripes with the Geneva'ish Calvinists and other Protty's: Can it brother, as soon as these guys get done with their day of kicking against Rome, they'd be on your church like white on Rice. You're lucky 'Rome' stands in the way and hauls your entire load.

I'll leave you with a great quote from the great early 20th century Latin-Rite (Roman) Catholic apologist Frank Sheed says, with regard to the Protestant doctrine of Sola Scriptura: " It must be stressed that the Protestant really believes that he is
doing the will of God, but in practice private judgment means that he
interprets the will of God by his own will and that his rule of faith
is to do what he thinks right--that is to say, he uses his own judgment
to decide what God's judgment will be and then follows the result as
God's judgment. Thus while he thinks he is agreeing with God, he is
really making God agree with him. [It is not simply that every man is
his own pope, but that every man is his own God, for the pope's
authority is limited by God who gives it, but the individual's
authority, being wrong ab initio, is limited in no way.] Gradually he
comes (usually unconsciously) to leave out this middle step and no
longer thinks of God in each individual case, but only as a kind of
general approver of his actions. Then rejecting alike atheism and
deism, he has reached the practical position of believing in God's
existence and God's will for us, but of acting exactly as though there
were no God but his own will."

dtking said...

One poster said: It is particularly sad to see you jealous, partial-Christian, Catholic Protestors (in general, just Protestants) pulling apart these quotes from St. Basil. That which you accuse Steve Ray to be doing, you are doing even worse.

Well, your complaint is duly noted. But I can assure you of this, Basil of Caesarea would not appreciate your regarding him as a papist.

It is common for Romanists to pretend that all the fathers of the east were part of the Roman communion. But it has already been shown that Basil did not regard Rome's endorsement of Paulinus as the true bishop of Antioch. And I have shown that Chrysostom did not receive his ordination "orders" from a bishop in communion with Rome. But, as is common with the zealous poster above, Romanists really don't care about the facts of church history. They are only concerned with maintaining the common myth that every church fathers was a committed papist. Nothing could be further from the truth.

DTK

Anonymous said...

No, it is not my belief that every church father was a committed "papist." But most were. Many schisms and disputes arose.

It is evident fromt the claim quote from St. Basil that he does take the notion of Rome selecting a bishop quite heavily, as do many around him. This is very clear from the text. Not something similar to the Protestant position. It appears to me that his opposition is that Rome is selecting a bishop on bad information. You can deduce this from the text.

'Romanists' really don't care about the facts of church history...' Really. It was the 'Romanists' that insisted at the reformation that we do read thet fathers, and that they do matter. It was the Protty's who did not like this in the argument and then insisted upon Sola Scriptura, which is why so many have defected from Protestantism after reading the church fathers.

It is a current attempt to rewrite the church fathers as Protestant, but this is laughable, at best.

You say that that because we maintain that the church fathers were Catholic that we are wrong, and 'nothing could be further from the truth...'

Sorry mate, they are by and large Catholic. Nobody reads the church fathers and says, 'yep' these dudes are just like our Southern Baptist brethren, or Pentecostals, or Presbyterians, or reformed Baptists.

I have read a good portion of the fathers. In very short order I recognized so much in them that smacked of 'Romanism' that it is pretty clear your religion does not exist in them.

Your reinterpreting them to fit your tradition is the true myth.

Anonymous said...

No, it is not my belief that every church father was a committed "papist." But most were. Many schisms and disputes arose.

It is evident fromt the claim quote from St. Basil that he does take the notion of Rome selecting a bishop quite heavily, as do many around him. This is very clear from the text. Not something similar to the Protestant position. It appears to me that his opposition is that Rome is selecting a bishop on bad information. You can deduce this from the text.

'Romanists' really don't care about the facts of church history...' Really. It was the 'Romanists' that insisted at the reformation that we do read thet fathers, and that they do matter. It was the Protty's who did not like this in the argument and then insisted upon Sola Scriptura, which is why so many have defected from Protestantism after reading the church fathers.

It is a current attempt to rewrite the church fathers as Protestant, but this is laughable, at best.

You say that that because we maintain that the church fathers were Catholic that we are wrong, and 'nothing could be further from the truth...'

Sorry mate, they are by and large Catholic. Nobody reads the church fathers and says, 'yep' these dudes are just like our Southern Baptist brethren, or Pentecostals, or Presbyterians, or reformed Baptists.

I have read a good portion of the fathers. In very short order I recognized so much in them that smacked of 'Romanism' that it is pretty clear your religion does not exist in them.

Your reinterpreting them to fit your tradition is the true myth.

Anonymous said...

No, it is not my belief that every church father was a committed "papist." But most were. Many schisms and disputes arose.

It is evident fromt the claim quote from St. Basil that he does take the notion of Rome selecting a bishop quite heavily, as do many around him. This is very clear from the text. Not something similar to the Protestant position. It appears to me that his opposition is that Rome is selecting a bishop on bad information. You can deduce this from the text.

'Romanists' really don't care about the facts of church history...' Really. It was the 'Romanists' that insisted at the reformation that we do read thet fathers, and that they do matter. It was the Protty's who did not like this in the argument and then insisted upon Sola Scriptura, which is why so many have defected from Protestantism after reading the church fathers.

It is a current attempt to rewrite the church fathers as Protestant, but this is laughable, at best.

You say that that because we maintain that the church fathers were Catholic that we are wrong, and 'nothing could be further from the truth...'

Sorry mate, they are by and large Catholic. Nobody reads the church fathers and says, 'yep' these dudes are just like our Southern Baptist brethren, or Pentecostals, or Presbyterians, or reformed Baptists.

I have read a good portion of the fathers. In very short order I recognized so much in them that smacked of 'Romanism' that it is pretty clear your religion does not exist in them.

Your reinterpreting them to fit your tradition is the true myth.

Anonymous said...

Pardon me, my name is Dude.

Also, I would not try to paint me as the only zealous one, just because I give a reply to your statements. "Catholicism is just paganisim mixed with Judaism" and "Catholicism is not Christianity" would qualify as zealous as well.

At least I state your tradition is partially Christian.

In my previous post, I pretty much summarized in short the reply to the text on St. Basil. Re-read and think about what I said.

dtking said...

Some Romanist wrote: "Really. It was the 'Romanists' that insisted at the reformation that we do read thet fathers, and that they do matter. It was the Protty's who did not like this in the argument and then insisted upon Sola Scriptura, which is why so many have defected from Protestantism after reading the church fathers."

I respond: Your ignorance of the Reformers, and how they responded to Rome's claims, is duly noted. Given your ignorance of how the Reformers responded to Rome, makes my point all the more valid. I'm not impressed with an empty claim that is grounded in ignorance.

The Romanist wrote: "It is a current attempt to rewrite the church fathers as Protestant, but this is laughable, at best."

I respond: Yes, your presuppositions, rooted in your ignorance of church history, is duly noted. Thanks for sharing it with us all.

Cheers,
DTK

Anonymous said...

Dear DTK,

Pardon my 'obvious' (asserted) ignorance and intellectual inferiority. You write all about my ignorance, but deal nothing with the substance.

Is this not what you revisionist Protty's are always stating regarding the 'Romanists'?

I don't think I have a large ignorance of the reformers. I think I have a pretty good idea, and have read many of their sources directly.

You assume I am ignorant, and repeatedly called me so, but have no basis for stating as such. Would this not be ad hominem? Is this not an exact example of what so many Protty apologists are always lamenting regarding those 'stupid, ignorant, ad-hominem attacking' Catholics?

I think you are a hypcrite, flat-out.

Now try to deal with all of what I stated, or even any of whatI have stated, instead of the ad hominem's.

Please recall the words of our first Pope: "Understanding this first, that no prophecy of scripture is made by private interpretation." - 2 Peter, Chapter 1. Read all of it, in context.

I might also ask: What is the pillar and foundation of truth?

You guys even write 3-volume work-arounds for this scriptural passage, in order to make it a case for Sola Scriptura. Pathetic.
Even as the obvious inferior idiot I appear to you, I can see the glaring hole in this one, as oh so many, hombre.

Scripture has spoken my friend, and not on your side.

Anonymous said...

My spelling error: Hypocrite.

dtking said...

Mr. anonymous,

Your post once again says it all. Thanks for sharing.

DTK

Anonymous said...

I think I addressed what St. Basil is stating several posts ago. You did not deal with it. Also, I proposed some difficulties with the Protestant perspective based upon the same text, NONE OF WHICH YOU DEAL WITH.

Instead you just assert I am ignorant and ignorant, and uh, well like, ignorant 'n stuff.

Let's get down to the text and my remarks.

I think you sidestep because your case is not going to hold up. It is easy to sit on a blog and preach to the choir.

Deal with the content of what I stated several posts back or cease and desist.

dtking said...

In case you haven't figured it out yet, you're not the one calling the shots here Mr. anonymous Romanist. I'm not intimidated by someone who claims he's accomplished something he hasn't even begun to address. You're the one who hasn't dealt with Basil. It's not just a simple matter that he didn't think much of Rome's support of Paulinus. He rejected the authority of Rome to speak for Antioch. I didn't address your argument because it's too stupid even to consider.

I have never been impressed with Romanist charges of revisionist history. Rome seems to be the master of such tactics, such as the Pseudo–Isidorian Decretals (remember them?) Now there's a fine specimen of revisionist history. For your information, which is really a wasted effort on you, the eastern Church never accepted the papacy, but I can understand how that doesn't sit well with a wild-eyed fanatical Romanist. But that's not really my problem.

I think you're going to have to find your own platform if you think you're going to start issuing commands to "cease and desist," because, in case you don't realize it, this isn't 16th century Italy, and this one doesn't belong to you. It's always amusing to me to watch the level of stupidity into which a Romanist will descend in order to defend papal claims. You're a very frustrated individual because you really don't have anything to offer but your own opinion.

But again, thanks for sharing, and I mean that - because your posts here are simply a reflection of a fanaticism that is blind with rage, and makes my job that much easier. You're the one who hasn't begun to deal with the evidence thus far presented. All you've done is simply asserted your opinion about Basil. You call that meaningful interaction? I don't,

But cheers anyway,
DTK