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Answering Protestants
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Matthew Olson's take on responding to Protestant questions with Catholic answers.
Matthew Olson's take on responding to Protestant questions with Catholic answers.

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Things have escalated.

"Patriarch Bartholomew has been often called ‘the spiritual leader of the 300 million-strong Orthodox population of the planet’, but from these 300 million at least a half should be subtracted; for he is not the spiritual leader for either the Russian Orthodox Church or the Local Orthodox Churches, which I think will not support his predatory actions. Precisely for this reason I say that he has now lost the right to be called the coordinating center for the Orthodox Church."
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"I think there is enough evidence here to suggest that the Council of Ephesus accepted the Roman Primacy at least on Petrine grounds, and that his judgment was revered as coming from the one who presides over Councils. I think, at the very least, this should serve as a corrective to those who would argue that the Eastern Christians never accepted the Petrine origin of Rome’s primacy, and that it was Peter who was the rock and keyholder over the Kingdom of Christ. Philip the legate even says the succession of Peter is perpetual, without any contest."
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"Nearly half of the Greek-Catholics said they attended services once a week, 20 percent once a month and 29 percent only on holidays. In comparison, only around 10 percent of the Orthodox said they attended services once a week, 12 percent once a month and nearly 70 percent only on religious holidays."
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Great news!

"Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I has informed Patriarch Kirill of Moscow (the Russian Orthodox Church, the Moscow Patriarchate) of his plans to grant autocephaly to the Ukrainian church."

See also: https://www.apnews.com/26815e0d06d348f4b85350e96b78f6a8/Nothing-sacred:-Russian-spies-tried-hacking-Orthodox-clergy
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Russia has been throwing its weight around a lot in matters of Church and State, and it is now getting some pushback.

Also: "'When Moscow understood that the threat to their influence was real, they had already lost strategic initiative, so all of their ecclesiastical and secular assets (Russian diplomacy and intelligence), information, propaganda and financial potential was thrown into the infobattle, but it was too late,' Tymchuk said."
https://www.unian.info/society/10214321-expert-explains-moscow-patriarch-s-upcoming-meeting-with-bartholomew.html
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"Data compiled by the Levada Center in 2011 showed that only 2.0 percent of self-described Orthodox were active members of a church (compared to 34.5 percent in the United States), 4.1 percent were inactive members, and 93.2 percent were not in any sense a member. Nor did these Orthodox believers attend service: only 4.9 percent attended at least once a week, 59.8 percent attended occasionally (once a month or rarely), and 35.9 percent of the Orthodox had never been to service. Those figures were far below the attendance rates in some less religious countries, such as Germany. In-depth case studies confirm the poll data; a study of parishes in Vladimir, for example, showed that parish life was virtually nonexistent, that a mere 0.5 percent of the inhabitants attend services on a typical Sunday. Recent surveys by the Russia Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) report that in 2014, despite the high level of self-described Orthodox, only 3 percent strictly observed Lenten fast and 75 percent made no adjustments whatsoever to their diet."
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"Some Orthodox Fathers are known for the direct influence Catholic spirituality exercised upon them. St Dimitri of Rostov was under this influence for his entire life: his homilies as well as other works, including the Reading Compendium of [Saints'] lives, based primarily on Latin sources, have a distinctly 'Westernizing' character; St Dimitri's library held books by Bonaventure, Thomas a Kempis, Peter Canisius and other Catholic authors, and in his spirituality such elements as the devotion of the passions of Christ, the five wounds of Christ and the heart of Christ may be traced. The influence of Catholic spirituality on St Tikhon of Zadonsk can equally be sensed. ... What is today quite conventionally named 'Palamism' has been studied very little in Russia (until the late 19th century, Hesychasm was considered a heresy in Russia, and Palamas its main champion)."
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"...if the word used by St. John to describe the commission of Christ to St. Peter 'Feed my Lambs' uses ποιμαίνω to translate 'Feed', and if ποιμαίνω elsewhere by the same author means 'rule', and if in other places ποιμαίνω is used to describe the function of a Bishop, then we have good solid ground to believe, with St. Gregory, that this commission to Peter was one of commissioning a Pastorate, and that, over the whole flock (i.e. the universal church)."
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