That, Fr. Gregory, was a fascinating post. It sounds as though all the fuss made in parts of the West and East about interpolated canons from Sardica in the Roman version of Nicaea is the least of our worries; is there a source in which one can see what these extra canons are?
Thanks for confirming my thoughts about Pope Shenouda's powers; an interesting phenomenon. I rather like the irony that the Catholics have an Infallible Pope who has less power than our one.
I hadn't known the position on abortion, although from some on-line reading from Egyptian sources, had suspected that the position of the Church was not in line with that of Rome. The EO, or so my acquaintances there tell me, do not take the line the Copts do; although on birth control they do.
Women priests we are dealing with elsewhere, but, of course, if John Paul II thought telling folk they could not discuss it would stop them from wishing to do so, he was on a loser there.
I suspect that as the OCs live in greater contact with western cultures the issue will become one which will occupy more of the time of the Church.
The question which intrigues me, but that is just because I will keep reading Newman, is who pronounces on the authenticity of a developing understanding of tradition? I know that officially the OC has no such conception, but in practice, since things do change, it has one without perhaps ever having formulated what it is. We know with Rome is it the Magisterium (although what that means in practice is less clear than Protestant polemic makes out); the OCs say they don't have 'development', and yet, for all the rhetoric of unchanging Orthodoxy, the modern Church does not resemble that of 451 as identically as would need to be the case to fit the rhetoric.
I was struck a year or so ago by some comments about theosis, which seemed 'interesting' but not, perhaps, in the best sense of that word.
A living faith guided by the Living Spirit is alive, and its understandings of the faith once given can hardly be fossilised; but some authority is necessary if we are to have some notion of what is, and is not, authentic development; saying we don't need an understanding because understandings don't develop seems a little bit like being in denial.
I guess Pope Shenouda would think that he and the Holy Synod provide us with a teaching authority; which seems entirely in line with how the early Church operated.
Any way, I have said enough here to fire off a barrage of flack, and so will stop whilst I am only slightly behind and sinking.
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)