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Panagiotis
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« on: December 02, 2006, 03:13:04 AM »

*This is more of a question towards the Eastern Orthodox but the opinions of Roman Catholics, in love, would be greatly appreciated.
 
   As we gather our voice in the Eastern Orthodox world to this ecumenical uproar towards unity with Roman Catholicism, we should often consider what some of the barriers are which we face for this endeavor. There are at times a frustration which encompasses us as we see these barriers that cause separation and find ourselves in a Catch-22 that is so remarkably absurd to the mindset of the East that it invariably engulfs us towards permanent dissolution. But to face these in love and charity as Jesus Christ acted and requested of us, it seems difficult to foretell if this action of unity becomes compromise to our faith in Eastern Orthodoxy.
   Let us consider for a moment that Roman Catholicism comes to agreements in its core differences. A breakdown of these issues, the basic explainable differences of Papal Infallibility- Papal Supremacy- the Filioque Clause, that separates us were to be reached, in compromise.
·   Papal Infallibility is only applied to the Bishop of Rome in his jurisdiction
·   Papal Supremacy is applied to his jurisdiction
·   The Filioque Clause is nullified and the original Nicean Creed is used

How would this be taken in light of the Eastern Orthodox Church in unification with Rome?
   Another question which arises in the Ecumenical discourse between the two bodies is where will the seat of Power in the Church be recognized. The due outcome if the Papacy of Old Rome enforces us to recognize the Seat of Peter is not legitimate to the Eastern Orthodox Church and is unavoidable as we have seen since the Schism through the several attempts at unification in the last Millenium by the Roman Catholics.
   Where would the Marian Doctrine stand on the East if there was a unification between Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism? Is this something we allow to remain if there is unification without discourse between the two bodies? What if Roman Catholic Mariology like the Immaculate Conception were to be considered jurisdictional within the West and this caused an influence upon the East as something of acceptance? Something to consider is the Augustinian concept of Original Sin which created many of the Marian Doctrines applied throughout the centuries to eventually create the Immaculate Conception. Would this be something which would eventually be retracted if there was unification?
   On another point to consider is the Prophetic Visions and saints who throughout the history of the Roman Catholic Church have not been very “Orthodox” to say the least. What would become of the saints who opposed Orthodoxy, or let alone, the Saints who were not very Roman Catholic, say St. Photios? What would occur if the unity of Old and New Rome occurred and there was no resolution to this issue? Could there be a compromise of saints which would flood the very corners of our Church who opposed the Saints who have remained true throughout the last Millenium? The Vision at Fatima- the Virgin of Guadelupe- Our Lady of Lourdes- Our Lady of Sorrows- Our Lady of the Snows; are these to be introduced into the Orthodox World as acceptable?
   What are some of the issues that Roman Catholicism has to endure from the Eastern Orthodox Church? The rejection of the Papacy as infallible; the rejection of the Papacy as the Head of the Church Worldwide; the acceptance of the Filioque Clause; some Saints who insulted Old Rome in the name of Constantinople- other than these, its semantics which at one point Old Rome upheld dearly.
   What are some of the issues the Eastern Orthodoxy has to endure from the Roman Catholic Church? I can only see this: 1,000 years of doctrines that took away and added to our Holy Mother Mary, our Lord Jesus Christ and our Patriarch as a secondary member of a council under the Authority of the Seat of Peter. This seems to be an undertaking that is unfairly weighed and compromise would influence our Holy Orthodox Church to dangerous levels of sacrilege.
   Eastern Catholicism, as many have argued whether it is something of  bastardization enforced upon Eastern Orthodox lands as a means of unifying the two bodies, has been underway. One introduction to the West that is undergoing some alterations is the Liturgy. Sources given to this author of this text is that the Vatican is rewriting the Roman Mass back to some of its origins, with influences coming from the Ruthenian and other Eastern Catholic bishops who were complaining that the Roman Mass presently used is not enough to accept or palatable for their bi-liturgical practices. This has caused some grievances in the West to some extent, but it is being held as a possible compromise in ecumenical circles for reunification efforts with the East.
   So how are we to undertake these forced steps toward reunification with Old Rome? Are we to accept certain doctrines of the West with simple love? Should we undergo tearing down the barriers and demanding changes, on both sides for this endeavor? Or should we simply stay separated and close our doors until they come into the fold individually as the case has been for the last 200 years? Or do we start buying rosaries to go along side of our prayer ropes and chotkis and pray “-Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death, amen-” and at the same time ask St. Mary to save our souls by being our Holy Co-Redemptrix?
   What, and how are your views different towards unification with the Roman Catholic Church? What do you see occurring? How do you see it happening? What compromises are in store for us and what changes will Old Rome make to unify 300 million people of the One, True Faith with theirs?

*I am by no means a scholar, nor am I well versed in the Ecumenical Movement, short of despising it mostly in the name of compromising my faith to be accepted and accepting others. I have little doctrinal studies within the Church but I am well versed in Protestant Charismatic Evangelicalism and Showmanship. I am a recent convert to Orthodoxy and am very zealous, if you have not noticed due to my posts, that I am strongly opinionated towards seeing, witnessing and accepting anything outside of Orthodoxy, due to many years of witnessing the destruction of faiths and lives from outside sources claiming to be light/manna from heaven.

But I pose these questions mainly to learn, and also to show my point of view. Challenge me, and teach me, gentle brethren and sisters of our faith!
What are you views on these positions?

Christ is in our midst,
Panagiotis
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« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2006, 03:58:25 AM »

This question seems to be more for Orthodox to answer, but I would like to clarify a couple things.

Mary as Co-Redemptrix is not dogma. It remains in the realm of opinion (though some Catholics would like it formally pronounced). I personally do not want it pronounced---the concept is not really new or heretical, but the term itself is not ideal, easily leading to confusion and misunderstanding (filioque and papal infallibility, anybody?). I fear that some people would fall into heresy by taking that "Co-" literally, as it is commonly understood in the English language.

The Marian visions you mention, not to mention miracles, are considered private revelations and thus are not required to be believed. I personally am noncommital on many of them.

Obviously if these things are not articles of faith to Catholics, they wouldn't be necessary as articles of faith to Orthodox.

--

A quick comment on the saints issue---perhaps each side can accept each others' saints. Saints, after all, are not required to be perfect. There may yet be room in heaven for both Patriarch St. Photios the Great and Pope St. Nicholas the Great. Ever-merciful God gives bonus points for sincerity, especially in the midst of misunderstanding.

I think the saints issue is pretty minor, something to be wrapped up after the biggies are settled.
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« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2006, 03:05:21 AM »

This question seems to be more for Orthodox to answer, but I would like to clarify a couple things.

Mary as Co-Redemptrix is not dogma. It remains in the realm of opinion (though some Catholics would like it formally pronounced). I personally do not want it pronounced---the concept is not really new or heretical, but the term itself is not ideal, easily leading to confusion and misunderstanding (filioque and papal infallibility, anybody?). I fear that some people would fall into heresy by taking that "Co-" literally, as it is commonly understood in the English language.

The Marian visions you mention, not to mention miracles, are considered private revelations and thus are not required to be believed. I personally am noncommital on many of them.

Obviously if these things are not articles of faith to Catholics, they wouldn't be necessary as articles of faith to Orthodox.

--

A quick comment on the saints issue---perhaps each side can accept each others' saints. Saints, after all, are not required to be perfect. There may yet be room in heaven for both Patriarch St. Photios the Great and Pope St. Nicholas the Great. Ever-merciful God gives bonus points for sincerity, especially in the midst of misunderstanding.

I think the saints issue is pretty minor, something to be wrapped up after the biggies are settled.
I may be wrong in my evaluation but I believe that it is a bit more complicated than that. I have heard that the Eastern Orthodox do not believe that Catholic Saints are because, in their minds, they did not have grace because they are outside of the Eastern Orthodox Church. In fact, I have spoken to a Russian Orthodox priest who said that St. Francis' stigmata was really a deception and not a true gift of God because Francis was not Eastern Orthodox. It would be really neat if we could just accept eachother's saints, but it is a complicated matter.
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« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2006, 05:15:04 AM »

I may be wrong in my evaluation but I believe that it is a bit more complicated than that. I have heard that the Eastern Orthodox do not believe that Catholic Saints are because, in their minds, they did not have grace because they are outside of the Eastern Orthodox Church. In fact, I have spoken to a Russian Orthodox priest who said that St. Francis' stigmata was really a deception and not a true gift of God because Francis was not Eastern Orthodox. It would be really neat if we could just accept eachother's saints, but it is a complicated matter.

That's what I meant. If the biggies are settled and Orthodoxy as a whole accepts Catholicism as part of the true Church, the saints issue pretty much goes away. It's a secondary issue at best.
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« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2006, 03:25:50 PM »

That's what I meant. If the biggies are settled and Orthodoxy as a whole accepts Catholicism as part of the true Church, the saints issue pretty much goes away. It's a secondary issue at best.
It seems to me that for unification to occur, then, in the minds of the Eastern Orthodox, we must reject Catholic dogmas that do not agree with Eastern Orthodox theology. In that case the Catholic saints would then be considered heretics and would have to be rejected. This is because the Eastern Orthodox are less in favor of ecumenism than we are in the west. This is not a criticism of the Eastern Orthodox but I do think that it is the way things are.
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« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2006, 11:38:17 PM »

Quote
Another question which arises in the Ecumenical discourse between the two bodies is where will the seat of Power in the Church be recognized.

Obviously the extent and nature of the exercise of power of the Papacy is a major question.  The idea put forth is that it would be exercised as it was before the schism.  I have no idea what that really means.  I think the bigger question is how would a reconciled East and West co-exist without Eastern participation in the Curia.  The Roman Catholics up this point have dealt with the Eastern Catholics by effectively subjegating their patriarchal powers and forcing them in to the curial system, along with having them abide by a Roman oriented code of canons.

Quote
What are some of the issues that Roman Catholicism has to endure from the Eastern Orthodox Church?

None of the post schism councils could be considered ecumenical or binding.  I would think there are some people on the Roman calendar that simply could not be regarded as saints.

Quote
What are some of the issues the Eastern Orthodoxy has to endure from the Roman Catholic Church?

The main issue in my opinion is the parmount liturgical sickness and iconoclasm that has manifested itself in the Roman Catholic Church.  The issue being that it could somehow spread to us.  It's already happened with the Eastern Catholics.

Quote
Sources given to this author of this text is that the Vatican is rewriting the Roman Mass back to some of its origins, with influences coming from the Ruthenian and other Eastern Catholic bishops who were complaining that the Roman Mass presently used is not enough to accept or palatable for their bi-liturgical practices.

I don't know exactly what's going on, but I've read that the Ruthenian Church in the United States is preparing a new translation of the liturgy.  What I am led to believe is that it is an impending disaster (at least for Byzantine Catholics who are sympathetic to Orthodoxy), including many revisions and changes (including the use of "inclusive language").  They are a direct dependency of Rome, and I've heard the changes were supported by somebody there.
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« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2006, 07:17:21 PM »

I think for reunion we need the following:

- Acceptance of eachother's saints. If the church becomes one, then the saints are one. I have no qualms accepting a Catholic Saint who hated EOs should a reunion occur.

- Eliminating the Filioque clause.

- The Pope would no longer be personally infallible, but the collective union of the church patriarchs would be. This wouldn't be hard to do, seeing as Papal infallibility came about in the 1800s.

- The Pope would be first among equals, with the honorary title shifting to Rome (as it was pre-schism). Constantinople would remain New Rome, however, with the EP being #2. Though I suppose the Pope would be the EP with HAH Bartholomew becoming Patriarch.

- The Catholics would keep their church style, statues, latin service, but revert the Liturgy back to the Orthodox version, with the priest facing away from the congregation. However, there would be a strong urging to "do up" the altars and churches a bit with some color Wink

- The Pope will retain his domain over Western Europe and Latin America. Essentially, there would be no extra Patriarchs added in Catholic territory.

« Last Edit: December 05, 2006, 07:19:01 PM by Simayan » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2006, 07:28:47 PM »

- The Pope would be first among equals, with the honorary title shifting to Rome (as it was pre-schism). Constantinople would remain New Rome, however, with the EP being #2. Though I suppose the Pope would be the EP with HAH Bartholomew becoming Patriarch.

The title of Oecumenical Patriarch dates long before the Schism, to the time of Chalcedon. Most ecclesiastical rights are, from that time, shared equally between Old and New Rome, including one of the most important authorities, the authority to sit as an ultimate See of Appeal (it could get messy with one overrulling the other at times, but both had the right). The primary ecclesiastical honours/right that only one see traditionally held were two fold, Old Rome is the first see, granting it liturgical primacy, and also the right to be the first signature upon any document produced by any synod in which she participated. New Rome, on the other hand, had the authority of Oecumenical Patriarch, granted to her by the Imperial Authority, giving her the right to preside over and set the agenda for any Synod at which she was present. It is highly unlikely that any union would ever take place where these ancient rights are not respected by both sides.
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« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2006, 08:44:58 PM »

Ah, thanks, GiC. I really wasn't sure how it worked pre-schism, but I'm glad you cleared it up.
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« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2007, 09:47:51 PM »

QUOTE: "As we gather our voice in the Eastern Orthodox world to this ecumenical uproar towards unity with Roman Catholicism . . . "

  What, is this a joke? I know of NO "ecumenical uproar towards unity with Roman Catholicism" in "the Eastern Orthodox World"!!! If anything, it would be the opposite-more and more, ecumenism is being condemned in the Eastern Orthodox world!
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« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2007, 12:14:43 AM »

The Roman church should not be first among equals anymore. It doesn't make sense given its history.  It shouldn't be a major patriarchate anymore.  Instead it should divide into smaller local autocephalous churches and allow the locals to restore suppressed rites should they choose.  The Roman church itself should just cover Italy at this point.
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« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2007, 08:12:16 AM »

There might be something like that happening in the Roman church in the future.
I think, that Roman patriarchate should devide to several autonomous local churches headed by major archbishops...
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« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2007, 04:39:31 PM »

 
I think for reunion we need the following:

- Acceptance of each other's saints. If the church becomes one, then the saints are one. I have no qualms accepting a Catholic Saint who hated EOs should a reunion occur.

I don't see why that would be necessary.

- Eliminating the Filioque clause.

As there's been a recent discussion about this on another thread, I'll move on.

- The Pope would no longer be personally infallible, but the collective union of the church patriarchs would be. This wouldn't be hard to do, seeing as Papal infallibility came about in the 1800s.

The Catholic Church does not teach that the pope is personally infallible, but only that every ex cathedra statement he makes is infallible.

Without going into great detail about what "ex cathedra" means, let me just mention that already within the Catholic Church it is permissible to hold the opinion that there have been several ex cathedra statements, or that there have been only 2, or even that there have been none.

- The Pope would be first among equals, with the honorary title shifting to Rome (as it was pre-schism). Constantinople would remain New Rome, however, with the EP being #2. Though I suppose the Pope would be the EP with HAH Bartholomew becoming Patriarch.

I don't agree with every single thing that greekischristian said on this topic; but I definitely agree with him that the EP could continue to use that title.

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« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2007, 10:27:08 PM »

The Catholic Church does not teach that the pope is personally infallible, but only that every ex cathedra statement he makes is infallible.

On faith and morals Roll Eyes

Without going into great detail about what "ex cathedra" means, let me just mention that already within the Catholic Church it is permissible to hold the opinion that there have been several ex cathedra statements, or that there have been only 2, or even that there have been none.

True. For the most part, what we view as infallible statements of the pope are mostly statements of his that are already confirmed by the constant Tradition of the Church.

There was some debate about whether John Paul II's 1994 letter on female ordination "Ordinatio Sacerdotalis" was infallible:  "Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church's divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Luke 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful."

I remember Cardinal Ratzinger saying something about it being infallible: "This teaching requires definitive assent, since, founded on the written Word of God, and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church., it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium...Thus, in the present circumstances, the Roman Pontiff, exercising his proper office of confirming the brethren (cf. Luke 22:32), has handed on this same teaching by a formal declaration, explicitly stating what is to be held always, everywhere, and by all, as belonging to the deposit of the faith."

Of course, there is always the issue of the interpretation of infallible ex-cathedra statements---this is an important topic in discussions of the two Marian dogmas defined in 1851 and 1950.
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« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2007, 10:34:53 PM »

True. For the most part, what we view as infallible statements of the pope are mostly statements of his that are already confirmed by the constant Tradition of the Church.

Is it true that there was still no consensus among RC theologians regarding the Immaculate Conception--even many RC Fathers through the ages rejected this theory--at the very moment Pope Pius IX proclaimed IC to be dogma, thus ending once and forever all further debate of the question?
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« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2007, 11:59:54 PM »

Is it true that there was still no consensus among RC theologians regarding the Immaculate Conception--even many RC Fathers through the ages rejected this theory--at the very moment Pope Pius IX proclaimed IC to be dogma, thus ending once and forever all further debate of the question?

Well it depends what you mean by further debate of the question.  Even to this day, there are various Roman Catholics who continue to debate the dogma, though not at the level of debate before Pius IX proclaimation.  There are still Roman Catholics who will point to Thomas Aquinas as a RC Father who disagreed with the IC and do not support John Duns Scotus' conclusions that argue otherwise.  I doubt the debate will ever completely die off, though it is not as major as it once ones and tends to be from a more select few.
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« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2007, 07:21:23 AM »

On faith and morals Roll Eyes

I assume you mean that a statement that isn't on faith and morals cannot be an ex cathedra statement. And you are quite correct.

On the other hand, not every papal statement on faith and morals is an ex cathedra statement. This is why my previous post stated "every ex cathedra statement he makes is infallible" -- I didn't see any reason to mention that "on faith and morals" is a necessary but not sufficient condition for a statement to be ex cathedra.
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« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2007, 07:26:26 AM »

Quote from: First Vatican Council
We teach and define that it is a dogma Divinely revealed that the Roman pontiff when he speaks ex cathedra, that is when in discharge of the office of pastor and doctor of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, by the Divine assistance promised to him in Blessed Peter, is possessed of that infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed that his Church should be endowed in defining doctrine regarding faith or morals, and that therefore such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves and not from the consent of the Church irreformable.
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« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2007, 01:29:55 PM »

What, is this a joke? I know of NO "ecumenical uproar towards unity with Roman Catholicism" in "the Eastern Orthodox World"!!! If anything, it would be the opposite-more and more, ecumenism is being condemned in the Eastern Orthodox world!

I'd say neither -- or maybe a little of both.

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« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2007, 09:47:53 PM »

Regarding saints an interesting situation has happened between ROCOR and the MP.
The MP has canonized martyrs who actually did not recognize the MP as being being the canonical Russian church! I agree the saints issue would be secondary.
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