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…Continued from Part 6

Councils, Synods and Civilization (Part 7)
By Protopresbyter John Romanides

f) The Mysteries.

 The most important result of 18th and 19th century Franco-Latinisation of Orthodox theological education has been the disappearance of the context of the very existence of the Church in purification, illumination and glorification from Dogmatic Manuals, and especially from chapters on the Mysteries. These manuals were not aware of the biblical and patristic fact that the charisma of the presbyterate presupposed the state of prophecy. “…do not neglect the charisma within you which was given to you by means of prophecy with the laying on of hands of the presbytery (1 Tim. 4:14).”

g) Prophets and Intellectuals.

 Creation is completely dependent on God although there is no similarity whatsoever between them. This means that there is no difference whatsoever between the educated and non-educated when both are passing through the cure of illumination on their way to becoming Prophets by glorification [theosis]. Superior knowledge about created reality does not give one any special claim on knowledge of the uncreated. Nor is ignorance about created reality a disadvantage for reaching the highest knowledge of uncreated reality. 

h) Prophets and Popes.

 Of the five Roman Patriarchates the Franks captured that of Rome and replaced the Roman Popes with Teutonic Popes by military force during a struggle which began in 983 and ended in 1046. They thus extended their control of Apostolic succession to the Papacy as part of their plans for world dominion. They transformed the Roman Fathers into Greeks and Latins and attached themselves to the latter and so invented the idea of two Christendoms. For Islam the Papacy is still Latin and Frank, and the Patriarchs of New Rome, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem are still Roman.

 Ignorance of who and what the glorified are and why they are second and successors to the Apostles created the void which was filled by the infallibility of the Latin Pope.

i) Prophets and Fathers.

 Gregory of Nyssa informs his readers that heresies appear in those churches which have no Prophets. The reason is that their leaders attempt to commune with God by means of meditation and contemplation about Him instead of by illumination and glorification. To confuse one’s concepts about God with God is idolatry, not to mention bad scientific method.

 It is about Apostles and Prophets that St. Paul says, “For the spiritual person examines all, but he is examined by no one” (1 Cor. 3:15). The reason for this is that by their glorification in the uncreated glory of God in Christ they became witnesses to the fact that “the leaders of this age” “crucified the Lord of Glory” (1 Cor. 2:8). This is the very same Lord of Glory (the Angel of Great Council), Who calls Himself “He Who Is, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob”, the Almighty, the Wisdom of God, the Rock which followed (1 Cor. 10:1-4), which the Old Testament Prophets saw. St. John the Baptist was the first of the Prophets to see this same Lord of Glory in the Flesh. Of course the Jews also, who formally believed in the Lord of Glory, “had they known, would not have crucified the Lord of Glory” (1 Cor. 2:8).

 Paul adapts the sayings, “that which eye has not seen and ear has not heard and has not arisen in the heart of man, which God has prepared for those who love him”, to the crucifixion of the Old Testament Lord of glory, which “God has revealed to us by His Spirit” (1 Cor.3:9-10). Those thus glorified are the only authorities within the Orthodox Church. They produce the doctrinal formulations which serve as guides to the cure of the centre of the human personality and as warning signs to stay away from quack doctors who promise much and have nothing to give in preparation for the experience of God’s glory in Christ which everyone will finally have.

…to be continued

Palamas