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             His Eminence Archbishop-Primate +John Paul Hozvicka SCJ, D.D.

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Ancient Mentality

 

Note:   From the various Church history books I read over the decades this is the concept from which this article is drawn from. 


     The problem that most humans have and this includes our spiritual leaders, is being given authority over others and having little ability to control one self.  Because with egotism, vanity, and self-pride comes their inability to handle authority and power, it becomes easy to see how corruption can set in and take over.


Example: Jesus disciples themselves argued which one of them would be the greatest. Luke 9:46


Example: A group of 20 men are in a seminary class studying to become priest half of them are from the big city the other half were farmers. The ones from the big city thought they were better than the one's that were farmers. It all about mentality.

 

     The mentality of our early Church spiritual leaders, at that time, was far different in the first century than what it is today. The leadership within the Christian Church for the last 1500 years under went a spiritual evolution of growth, during which, the mentality of its leaders changed every 100 years to keep pace with the history that was being made. This is why we have changes in doctrine, rituals, practices and traditions.  The only thing that does not change is the Holy Scriptures, only the interpretation of the Scriptures may change; hopefully to a higher enlightenment and not a step backwards.

 

     The great struggle between the Western Churches (Roman Catholic) and the Eastern Churches (Eastern Orthodox) was over power and authority, the same mentality the emperors of Rome had.  There were five ancient Apostolic See, five popes or in the east Churches called Patriarch, they were the Apostolic See of the Holy See of Jerusalem (Israel), and the Holy See of Antioch (Syria), the Holy See of Alexandra (Egypt), The Holy See of Constantinople (Turkey) and the Holy See Rome (Italy). 


 It all started when the Church leader follow after the way of the emperor Constantine instead of keeping their eyes focus on Christ. Politics enter the Church and when Constantine moved his capital (seat of power) from Rome to Constantinople in Turkey. The pope of Rome ideology  and that of his supporter thought that since Constantine ruled over his empire from Rome, the Pope of Rome felt that he should ruler over the over the entire Christian Church also from Rome. Also because the Apostles Peter and Paul both died in Rome for the faith they thought that this gave the Pope of Rome more pull of power over the other Churches, Rome was the headquarter of the Christian Church.

 

 The Four Holy See


     The four ancient Patriarchs of the east agreed to let the Pope of Rome hold the position of first among equals, something like a CEO, or Chairmen of the board among the five great spiritual leaders. This was not good enough for Rome, because their mentality and belief at the time told them that the Pope of Rome holds (sits) in the seat (Chair) of St. Peter and Peter was given the keys of the kingdom from Jesus Christ; the authority given to the Church to allow those things the pope felt was right, correct, and acceptable and whatever he allow on earth will be allowed in heaven.

 

     This disagreement between the Western and Eastern Church went on for one thousand years, and all the time the Western Church where making changes in the Nicene Creed and introducing other theology without consulting the Eastern Churches for approval. Also, both Eastern and Western Churches are going against the teaching of the Holy Scriptures, a holy book that they themselves have declared inspired word of God.

 

Example: St. Paul writes that the bishops should be married to one wife, and both Churches went against this teaching and today force their bishops to practice celibacy (I Timothy 3:2 and the Rudder, canon #5). Finally, in 1054 AD both Churches excommunicated each other causing the great split in the Christian Church that was established by Jesus and his disciples. Human ego, pride, arrogant thinking, each believing they are right; and one Church (Rome) who hungered for power over all the others.  

 

Example: advancing the theology without the full consent of a world wide Ecumenical council of all bishops of both Eastern and Western leaders of Mother Church. Theology such as: the ideology of “The Immaculate Conception” and “Mary Ascension into heaven,” and “the co-redeemer (MEDIATRIX) with her son Jesus” where introduced without full approval of all of the bishops of the world.


Post war thinking (!950)


After the great war Pope Pius XII had to deal with the Roman Curia mentality of keeping the Church in the dark ages but there was a movement among bishops of new  innovated ideas which the Curia called heresy. In fact any idea that did not fall in line with the thinking of the Roman Curia was thought of as heresy. Pope John XXIII called for a world council, an Ecumenical Council of all the bishops of the world and brought the Church into the twenty first century. Pope Paul VI continued this work as did Pope John Paul II, God bless their souls.
 


Modern-Day Thinking

 


     Now the mentality of Church leaders have changed greatly, both filled with less pride and more love in their hearts, and both have lifted (dissolved) their excommunication on each other; and talks have started, both working together creating a movement toward “Unity in Christ” is slowly taking place today.

 

Unity in Christ

 

Human beings have the ability to reason, think things through and they also have the ability to control their emotions of pride and egotism so we can move forward in reuniting the Church of Jesus Christ as one. I believe as St. Paul taught in Acts that faith in Jesus Christ is all that is required for salvation, followed by Baptism and receiving of the Holy Spirit (Chrismation), and nothing more is required. Any more would only put restrictions and hardship on the people, and it establishes a monopoly on the grace of God so when you want to obtain salvation then you have to come to me to get it, and I say who are you to make such a claim of authority.

 

Salvation comes from God through faith in Jesus Christ and not from the Church, the church duties are to introduce the people to God, teach them about God and his laws, and administer God grace through the Holy Sacraments; Salvation comes from God only.

 

Protestant Reformation

 

The Protestants are our brothers who where mislead by the early reformer. If Mother Church had bad spiritual leaders then is was God place to punish them and remove them from office. It was not the reforms place to intercede and do what is God duty to his Church. In time God would of corrected the problem in his Church. The reformers who started the reformation movement abandon God Holy Church and went off to form their own Church and their own theology that is, in most part different than what God had established. 

 

Modern day Protestantism

 

Many generation later after the reformation, the Protestant people of today are innocent people not knowing of the true Church and how their leader have been teaching an incorrect theology to their members, a Christian Church, not of God, but still hold many true teachings of the true Church. These people need to open their eyes and question the things going on in their Church that differ from that of the Mother Church and why? Why does Mother Church have over one billion and three hundred and fifty million members (East & West Combined) and the two thousand Protestant denominations when combined together only make up three hundred million members? Does that not make you wonder? Would God allow all those billion Church members of Mother Church follow a lie, an incorrect teaching?

 

I believe that our modern day mentality need less ego and pride and more love in our hearts that we can all truly come together as real Brothers and Sisters of Christ Church and through our mutual communion of Faith in Jesus Christ; we can once again become one great united Church of God. But only if we put away our anger, our hate, our misguided ideas and teachings that separates us.