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Moderated Forums => Orthodox-Other Christian Discussion => Orthodox-Catholic Discussion => Topic started by: Catholig on November 20, 2007, 07:48:01 PM

Title: What if the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox...
Post by: Catholig on November 20, 2007, 07:48:01 PM
...and there was a schism between two different Patriarchs? This question (not word for word) was asked on the Catholic Answers forum a while ago in reference to a schism between two "Orthodox" churches that happened (I don't know which two, but it was eventually fixed). In this case, which Patriarch(s) should the Catholic Church follow?

Catholig
Title: Re: What if the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox...
Post by: prodromas on November 20, 2007, 08:34:09 PM
Im sorry could you rephrase the question it might me just me but I don't even have a vague idea what your asking.
Title: Re: What if the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox...
Post by: Catholig on November 20, 2007, 08:44:04 PM
Im sorry could you rephrase the question it might me just me but I don't even have a vague idea what your asking.

If the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox Church and there was an interior schism between two of its patriarchs, which Patriarch we follow and why?

Catholig
Title: Re: What if the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox...
Post by: arimethea on November 20, 2007, 08:52:12 PM
I don't think any of the Patriarchs would heal the schism from Rome if it meant creating a new schism.
Title: Re: What if the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox...
Post by: prodromas on November 20, 2007, 08:56:09 PM
It would depend on the schism like if the Catholic church joined but kept doctrines like Papal Infallability and Universal Patriarch status of course there would be a schism due to not being a true unity.
Title: Re: What if the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox...
Post by: JoeS on November 21, 2007, 08:30:03 PM
If the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox Church and there was an interior schism between two of its patriarchs, which Patriarch we follow and why?

Catholig

Which two patriarchs are you referring to?   Rome and Constantinople? 
Title: Re: What if the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox...
Post by: ozgeorge on November 21, 2007, 09:39:00 PM
If the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox Church and there was an interior schism between two of its patriarchs, which Patriarch we follow and why?

Catholig
If the schism was over a dogmatic issue, you would follow the Patriarch which upheld Orthodox dogma.
Title: Re: What if the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox...
Post by: GiC on November 21, 2007, 09:42:02 PM
If the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox Church and there was an interior schism between two of its patriarchs, which Patriarch we follow and why?

Catholig

You would follow your own patriarch, unless he was in direct violation of a most fundamental Dogma that had been previously defined by an Oecumenical Synod, then you might be justified in following the other,;then again you might not because even he he defies dogma, if he is not later condemned for it by an authoritive synod, you were never justified in your schism.
Title: Re: What if the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox...
Post by: Ian Lazarus on November 21, 2007, 09:46:16 PM
The Church folows Christ.  Period.

As for the patriarchal dilema, it depends.  Would Rome make concessions to make autocephalous churches in it's varoius countries, giving them ruling metropolitans or patriarchs or catholici, or keep the centralized system for the interum?  

If you are asking if we would all follow a system like Rome's where the Bishop of Rome or the Patriarch of Constantinople would hold sway over the church, then you must understand that we DO NOT have a centralized system with the Patriarch of Constantinople as it's head.  Patriach Bartholomeos is First Among, not Above equals.  We would essentially follow neither, but as a whole we would proclaim, follow and worship Christ in the tradition of the Church.

But we live not in a perfect world, and I'm not holding my breath for unification.  There are too many details and big issues that need to be addressed for that to happen, most of which we probably will not be able to come to terms with in my lifetime.  I can hope and pray, as nothing is above God, but the matter is complex.  Speculating is fun, but it's like being on a stationary bike.  You get a great workout, but you get nowhere.  

Peace
Title: Re: What if the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox...
Post by: JoeS on November 21, 2007, 09:48:59 PM
Which two patriarchs are you referring to?   Rome and Constantinople? 

what I mean I think is that if Rome believes that the truths held at the early 1st century were the ones that she wanted to get back to and if that truth is what she would abide in then It would be my guess that the transfigured Roma would be the Patriarch that the Roman Catholics would follow.  Now what to do with the Curia and Magesterium is another issue.  And the rank of Cardinals well I guess would also be a bone of contention.

Title: Re: What if the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox...
Post by: Catholig on November 22, 2007, 01:34:50 AM
The Church folows Christ.  Period.

As for the patriarchal dilema, it depends.  Would Rome make concessions to make autocephalous churches in it's varoius countries, giving them ruling metropolitans or patriarchs or catholici, or keep the centralized system for the interum? 

If you are asking if we would all follow a system like Rome's where the Bishop of Rome or the Patriarch of Constantinople would hold sway over the church, then you must understand that we DO NOT have a centralized system with the Patriarch of Constantinople as it's head.  Patriach Bartholomeos is First Among, not Above equals.  We would essentially follow neither, but as a whole we would proclaim, follow and worship Christ in the tradition of the Church.

But we live not in a perfect world, and I'm not holding my breath for unification.  There are too many details and big issues that need to be addressed for that to happen, most of which we probably will not be able to come to terms with in my lifetime.  I can hope and pray, as nothing is above God, but the matter is complex.  Speculating is fun, but it's like being on a stationary bike.  You get a great workout, but you get nowhere. 

Peace

I just feel that it is hard when you don't know who to follow. I mean in the Catholic system you follow the Bishop of Rome - in the Orthodox system you follow whoever you feel is the most Orthodox when there's a schism. Whichever patriachate represents the "one holy, catholic, and apostolic church" could even flip-flop. One minute it could be the Patriarch of X and the next Y.

Catholig
Title: Re: What if the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on November 22, 2007, 01:42:26 AM
I just feel that it is hard when you don't know who to follow. I mean in the Catholic system you follow the Bishop of Rome - in the Orthodox system you follow whoever you feel is the most Orthodox when there's a schism. Whichever patriachate represents the "one holy, catholic, and apostolic church" could even flip-flop. One minute it could be the Patriarch of X and the next Y.

Catholig
That's why we MUST seek to discern the Holy Spirit's guidance as the Apostles did in Acts 15.  If you seek an infallible human authority in the Orthodox Church, you will find none.
Title: Re: What if the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox...
Post by: Catholig on November 22, 2007, 01:47:52 AM
That's why we MUST seek to discern the Holy Spirit's guidance as the Apostles did in Acts 15.  If you seek an infallible human authority in the Orthodox Church, you will find none.

I don't know. I mean it seems like musical "keys of the kingdom of heaven". One minute they lie with one Patriarch, while another Patriarch does something schismatic - then they reconcile all is well and the originally schismatic patriarchate is now the Church as the other falls into some doctrinal error.

Catholig
Title: Re: What if the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox...
Post by: ozgeorge on November 22, 2007, 01:58:06 AM
I don't know. I mean it seems like musical "keys of the kingdom of heaven". One minute they lie with one Patriarch, while another Patriarch does something schismatic - then they reconcile all is well and the originally schismatic patriarchate is now the Church as the other falls into some doctrinal error.

Catholig
So what should have happened when the Patriarch of Rome was in heresy as was the case of Pope Honorius who was a Monothelite and was anathemized by an Oecumenical Synod in AD 680? Should the whole Church have been Monothelite because the Pope of Rome "held the keys"?
Title: Re: What if the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox...
Post by: Ian Lazarus on November 22, 2007, 02:03:32 AM
Quote
I just feel that it is hard when you don't know who to follow. I mean in the Catholic system you follow the Bishop of Rome - in the Orthodox system you follow whoever you feel is the most Orthodox when there's a schism. Whichever patriachate represents the "one holy, catholic, and apostolic church" could even flip-flop. One minute it could be the Patriarch of X and the next Y.

Catholig

That's where the Holy Spirit and Holy Tradition come in.  The Councils of the Church never make up doctrine, but use an apophatic method to say what the church is not, and what is has always believed.  

You wouldn't know who to follow?  Follow Christ Jesus.  

As for what, look back and find how the Apostles did things.  Look through the discerning eye of Tradition and Scripture, and the interpretations of the Fathers.  If one follows not these, then he follows his own whims and will be exposed in that light.  And many a bishop and priest have been deposed in the lithmus test of truth.


That is why we place our faith not in the princes or in sons of men (even the best of us) in whom there is no salvation, but in a God who never changes, as we believe the escence of the Church never changes.  We pray for our hirearchs that they might preserve the truth and lead in that truth.  And Orthodox or Roman Catholic, our bishops are in the end men who need our prayers as much as we need theirs.  God never fails to love and show His truth to us in His time.

That is what we as Orthodox believe.  Like Peter said.  But more long winded. ;)

Peace
Title: Re: What if the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on November 22, 2007, 02:21:13 AM
That is what we as Orthodox believe.  Like Peter said.  But more long winded. ;)
I imagine you're talking about me and not the Apostle Peter. ;)
Title: Re: What if the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox...
Post by: Ian Lazarus on November 22, 2007, 02:27:36 AM
Ah, Glad you caught that!
Title: Re: What if the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on November 22, 2007, 02:31:05 AM
Ah, Glad you caught that!
I wouldn't want anyone to think I'm the reincarnation of a saint.  Heck, I'm hardly a saint myself. :'(
Title: Re: What if the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox...
Post by: Ian Lazarus on November 22, 2007, 02:34:28 AM
And reincarnation is not a Christian Docterine.  ;)

We have all sinned and fallen short. Pray for me, a sinner.

Title: Re: What if the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox...
Post by: Catholig on November 22, 2007, 02:42:16 AM
So what should have happened when the Patriarch of Rome was in heresy as was the case of Pope Honorius who was a Monothelite and was anathemized by an Oecumenical Synod in AD 680? Should the whole Church have been Monothelite because the Pope of Rome "held the keys"?

I honestly don't know too much about Pope Honorius, I could probably look into it further, but from what I've found out so far this issue of Pope Honorius' Monothelitism was dealt with explicitly by the First Vatican Council (Vatican I) and it was ruled that he didn't speak ex cathedra. Also from what I understand he manifested his belief in Monothelitism in letters to other bishops including Sergius - he didn't write official encyclicals to be received by the whole Church. And whether or not it has any bearing he was only anathematized after his death.

Catholig
Title: Re: What if the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on November 22, 2007, 02:47:16 AM
I honestly don't know too much about Pope Honorius, I could probably look into it further, but from what I've found out so far this issue of Pope Honorius' Monothelitism was dealt with explicitly by the First Vatican Council (Vatican I) and it was ruled that he didn't speak ex cathedra. Also from what I understand he manifested his belief in Monothelitism in letters to other bishops including Sergius - he didn't write official encyclicals to be received by the whole Church. And whether or not it has any bearing he was only anathematized after his death.

Catholig
And how about the subject of this thread?  Pope Vigilius and His Anathematization at 5th Ecumenical Council (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13409.0.html)
Title: Re: What if the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox...
Post by: Catholig on November 22, 2007, 03:07:49 AM
And how about the subject of this thread?  Pope Vigilius and His Anathematization at 5th Ecumenical Council (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13409.0.html)

This also would require a great deal of looking into.

Catholig
Title: Re: What if the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox...
Post by: Magicsilence on November 23, 2007, 06:18:57 PM
This reminds of a dialogue I saw on TV between a muslim 'clan' leader and a muslim woman journalist.

She asked him how one could discern between two people's interpretations of the Koran, and he replied 'follow the true Islam'. To which she asked 'What If I say my Islam is the true one?, why should I follow your interpretation?' (paraphrased). At which point he got up, and left, along with his clan.

The question here is, in the event of schism, how is it then sorted out?

From where I stand, the Orthodox have no tradition, hierarchical or logical structures to base their answer upon since each is either contradictory to their faith (the pope), logically inconsistent (Old Believers vs 1054) or too varied to form a solid answer (early schisms vs Chalcedon vs 1054 vs Old Believers etc...).

In contrast, the Catholic position is simple and easy to define, and I suspect, often presented in a triumphalist manner. This in turn causes aggravation, and discussion turns into a shouting match, with no one learning anything.

This is probably because the initiative behind the OP's question is designed to highlight the lack of ability (by the Orthodox) to deal with schism (abstractly). Although I agree with the point it is addressing, previous experience has left me with no doubts as to actually how non-effective it is in terms of trying to prove a point, and winning agreement.

Glory to Jesus Christ!
Title: Re: What if the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox...
Post by: Heracleides on November 23, 2007, 11:35:30 PM
The question here is, in the event of schism, how is it then sorted out?

From where I stand, the Orthodox have no tradition, hierarchical or logical structures to base their answer upon since each is either contradictory to their faith (the pope), logically inconsistent (Old Believers vs 1054) or too varied to form a solid answer (early schisms vs Chalcedon vs 1054 vs Old Believers etc...).

In contrast, the Catholic position is simple and easy to define, and I suspect, often presented in a triumphalist manner. This in turn causes aggravation, and discussion turns into a shouting match, with no one learning anything.

This is probably because the initiative behind the OP's question is designed to highlight the lack of ability (by the Orthodox) to deal with schism (abstractly). Although I agree with the point it is addressing, previous experience has left me with no doubts as to actually how non-effective it is in terms of trying to prove a point, and winning agreement.

Yes, Rome's ability to "deal with schism" is amply demonstrated... just ask her many offspring - Protestants, Anglicans, Old Catholics, SSPX, Sede...  ::)
Title: Re: What if the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox...
Post by: Apotheoun on November 24, 2007, 12:37:01 AM
I just feel that it is hard when you don't know who to follow. I mean in the Catholic system you follow the Bishop of Rome - in the Orthodox system you follow whoever you feel is the most Orthodox when there's a schism. Whichever patriachate represents the "one holy, catholic, and apostolic church" could even flip-flop. One minute it could be the Patriarch of X and the next Y.

Catholig
A man would be bound to hold the Orthodox faith, and in doing so he would have to follow the Patriarch who affirms the fullness of that one holy faith.

My question to a Roman Catholic would be this:  When more than one man claims to be the bishop of Rome, which has of course happened many times throughout history, who do you accept as the true pope?
Title: Re: What if the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox...
Post by: Magicsilence on November 24, 2007, 09:45:21 AM
Yes, Rome's ability to "deal with schism" is amply demonstrated... just ask her many offspring - Protestants, Anglicans, Old Catholics, SSPX, Sede...  ::)

Indeed. But observe:

- Pope proclaims 'them' as heretics
- All those wishing to stay with the Catholic Church cut ties with heretics, and profess union with Rome

Easy :)

But, the question is - what would the Orthodox do? And, as detailed in my above post, there is no answer.

This is not a jibe, but a truth that I have learnt from endless hours of discussion on CAF.

In Jesus Christ,

Title: Re: What if the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox...
Post by: Tamara on November 24, 2007, 12:48:15 PM
I don't see a problem because the Eastern Orthodox church has been around since the beginning and yet we are still in communion with one another after years of persecution, wars, and uprisings. Our faith in Christ has held us together. We even have the recent example of ROCOR being brought back into communion with the Moscow patriarchate to show our patriarchal system works. And we don't have the problem of only one synod proclaiming a certain belief as valid without the other synods agreeing to it for it to be accepted among the churches.
Title: Re: What if the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox...
Post by: stanley123 on November 25, 2007, 03:50:59 AM
...and there was a schism between two different Patriarchs? This question (not word for word) was asked on the Catholic Answers forum a while ago in reference to a schism between two "Orthodox" churches that happened (I don't know which two, but it was eventually fixed). In this case, which Patriarch(s) should the Catholic Church follow?

Catholig
My opinion on it would be that a general ecumencal council or conference of bishops might be convened to discuss and settle the problem.
Title: Re: What if the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox...
Post by: ialmisry on November 25, 2007, 05:01:24 AM
I don't know. I mean it seems like musical "keys of the kingdom of heaven". One minute they lie with one Patriarch, while another Patriarch does something schismatic - then they reconcile all is well and the originally schismatic patriarchate is now the Church as the other falls into some doctrinal error.

Catholig

sorry, but the Orthodox is a flock of sheep, not a revolution [the correct collective: who thinks of these things?] of lemmings.  If a hierarch wants to go off the cliff of heresy, well, he can knock himself out.

you are overly complicating Orthodox history. I'm not cradle Orthodox, but I've never had a problem of who to follow, and I'm willing that the vast majority of Orthodox of every generation hasn't either.

And the history of the papacy of the West is not as seamless as you let on.  The Great Western Schism lasted for 2 generations, but was but one example of the phenomenon.
Title: Re: What if the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox...
Post by: The Iambic Pen on November 25, 2007, 01:25:46 PM
I've wondered about this issue myself (this is my first post here, by the way  :) ).  It seems that if a Patriarch does appear to fall into heresy, it's a matter of private judgment for the laity to know whether or not he actually did.  It just seems a bit Protestant.
Title: Re: What if the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox...
Post by: ytterbiumanalyst on November 25, 2007, 03:02:32 PM
First of all, I love the username. My wife and I were both English majors in college.

Secondly, you are almost correct. A member of the clergy (be he patriarch or deacon) falling into heresy is a matter for the laity (and the monastics) to judge, but it is by no means private. We are never called to sit quietly knowing heresy is going on around us yet doing nothing about it. The clergy exists for our salvation, and if they are not leading us toward that goal, we must help them see where they are leading us astray.
Title: Re: What if the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox...
Post by: Αριστοκλής on November 25, 2007, 03:23:33 PM
I've wondered about this issue myself (this is my first post here, by the way  :) ).  It seems that if a Patriarch does appear to fall into heresy, it's a matter of private judgment for the laity to know whether or not he actually did.  It just seems a bit Protestant.

It would seem to me that the OP's initial question clouds this topic. No chief bishop of a local church (be he a patriarch, an archbishop, or a metropolitan) exercises his office in Roman pope fashion, but is answerable to his own synod of bishops (and they, to a degree, to all bishops in the see). While some patriarchs do make scandalous statement (such as the EP) from time to time, or contemplate controversial actions (such as Antioch in dealings with the Melkites or Syriacs), as a whole the Church is built to resist heresy by any one bishop.

I cannot think of the laity (who did not act alone) becoming involved since the council of Florence.
Title: Re: What if the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox...
Post by: Irish Hermit on November 29, 2007, 05:17:34 AM
This is probably because the initiative behind the OP's question is designed to highlight the lack of ability (by the Orthodox) to deal with schism (abstractly). Although I agree with the point it is addressing, previous experience has left me with no doubts as to actually how non-effective it is in terms of trying to prove a point, and winning agreement.
*
Magic, what *are* you saying?

Schism 1.   The Free Serbian Orthodox schism began in the States and Australia in 1963, a result of the Communist regime in the homeland.  It was resoved and the schism was healed in 1992, with remarkable Christian charity on both sides.

Schism 2.  The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad was created in the 1920s in the West as a result of the Communist influence over the mother Church in Russia.  The schism was resolved in 2007, and again with remarkable Christian charity on both sides.

Title: Re: What if the Catholic Church joined the Orthodox...
Post by: Papist on January 20, 2008, 12:29:06 AM
*
Magic, what *are* you saying?

Schism 1.   The Free Serbian Orthodox schism began in the States and Australia in 1963, a result of the Communist regime in the homeland.  It was resoved and the schism was healed in 1992, with remarkable Christian charity on both sides.

Schism 2.  The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad was created in the 1920s in the West as a result of the Communist influence over the mother Church in Russia.  The schism was resolved in 2007, and again with remarkable Christian charity on both sides.


Becuase of the schism, can one say that one group was not Orthodox?