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Author Topic: Primacy of Honor vs. Primacy of Authority  (Read 12506 times) Average Rating: 0
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Athanasios
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« on: March 23, 2007, 11:26:03 AM »

Hello,

What do you view as the difference between a Primacy of Honor and a Primacy of Authority, which some call Supremacy? What do you see as the meanings behind these terms and what do they entail?
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« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2007, 04:42:11 PM »

Both are extremes.  One turns the Pope into the equivalent of the Archbishop of Cantebury, the other turns him into a replacement for the Emperor.  The true path lies somewhere in the middle it must be more than just honorary but less than immediate universal personal jurisdiction.  This is what the Zoghby Initiative is getting at.
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« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2007, 05:06:58 PM »

I think each extreme has cropped up in East and West, respectively, because of the tragic schism. Each side goes to increasing extremes on the role of the Petrine office in order to justify its separation from the other.
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« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2007, 02:12:31 AM »

Forgive me for my ignorance.  What's the Zoghby initiative?

Thank you.
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« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2007, 07:38:44 PM »

Hello,

Forgive me for my ignorance.  What's the Zoghby initiative?

Thank you.

Good question. We are together in ignorance of this. What is the Zoghby Initiative?
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« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2007, 01:23:29 PM »

The Melkite Initiative was a proposal by Melkite Catholic Bishop Elias Zoghby to enter a state of dual communion with the Apostolic See of Rome and the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch.  The main platform which was assented to by the Melkite Synod were the following statements by Bishop Elias:

1. I believe everything which Eastern Orthodoxy teaches.
2. I am in communion with the Bishop of Rome as the first among the bishops, according to the limits recognized by the Holy Fathers of the East during the first millennium, before the separation."

Details can be found at this link.
http://www.byzcath.org/faith/documents/melkite_initiative_2.htm
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« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2007, 02:00:34 PM »

 "I am in communion with the Bishop of Rome as the first among the bishops, according to the limits recognized by the Holy Fathers of the East during the first millennium, before the separation"

I have no problem with this statement, Pope Benedict VI has also said something quite close to this...


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« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2007, 02:05:11 PM »

The problem is that the Orthodox Church  views the "limits recognized by the Holy Fathers of the East during the first millennium"  differently than does the Roman Catholic Church. There in lies the rub.

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« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2007, 04:09:50 PM »

That could be applied to those of Roma also...I don't expect total agreement.

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« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2007, 04:31:46 PM »

Quote
I have no problem with this statement, Pope Benedict VI has also said something quite close to this...

In the reply to the Melkites (Cardinal Ratzinger being one of three signatories) it states:

Quote
On the question of communion with the Bishops of Rome, we know that the doctrine concerning the primacy of the Roman Pontiff has experienced a development over time within the framework of the explanation of the Church's faith, and it has to be retained in its entirety, which means from its origins to our day. One only has to think about what the first Vatican Council affirmed and what Vatican Council II declared, particularly in the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium Num. 22 and 23, and in the Decree on ecumenism Unitatis Redintegratio Number 2.

I honestly think it would be pure fantasy to think otherwise.  I also don't see, though I can respect his position, how Bishop Zoghby and anybody who adopts his line of thinking aren't dissenters within the Catholic fold.

In many ways I think that simply highlights the paradoxical disparity of the amount of power the Popes claim, and how little the actually are able to wield.
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« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2007, 06:30:12 PM »

Courtesy of Serge's blog (Conservative Blog for Peace 4/05)


"Rome must not require more from the East with respect to the doctrine of primacy than had been formulated and was lived in the first millennium. When the Patriarch Athenagoras, on July 25, 1967, on the occasion of the Pope’s visit to Phanar, designated him as the successor of St. Peter, as the most esteemed among us, as one also presides in charity, this great Church leader was expressing the essential content of the doctrine of primacy as it was known in the first millennium. Rome need not ask for more. Reunion could take place in this context if, on the one hand, the East would cease to oppose as heretical the developments that took place in the West in the second millennium and would accept the [Roman] Catholic Church as legitimate and orthodox in the form she had acquired in the course of that development, while, on the other hand, the West would recognize the Church of the East as orthodox and legitimate in the form she has always had.
Neither side has defined as doctrine a belief that the other side is heretical." - Pope Benedict XVI

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« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2007, 06:50:59 PM »

Yes, I've seen the text of the Ratzinger proposal (as its called) before.  It seems to contradict rather directly the response to the Melkite initiative.

Tis' a wee bit confusing.
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« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2007, 09:46:11 PM »

Is it possible that a Vatican III should be necessary to limit "Papal primacy" according to HH Pope Benedict's recent announcement, or is this a final Catholic opinion?  Has HH Pope Benedict received some opposition from this statement?
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« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2007, 11:03:52 PM »

I think any imagining of what it would be like for the Orthodox churches to be in communion with Rome might benefit from a look at how the Eastern Catholics now (not 50 years ago) fit in. It seems to me that they largely manage their own affairs (canon law and liturgy included) and essentially keep their own theological emphases. Benedict doesn't run the Eastern churches like he does the Latin church. I think HH Benedict is right in his second statement about a different, pre-schism exercise of papal primacy that could be exercised over the Orthodox churches were full communion to be restored.
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« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2007, 11:17:44 PM »

Unfortunately, that's not the case.  Consider this statement by the Melkite Patriarch

Quote
H.B. Grégoire III LAHAM, B.S., Patriarch of Antioch for the Greek-Melchites, Syria

It is incorrect to include the Patriarchal Synod under the title of Episcopal Conferences. It is a completely distinct organism. The Patriarchal Synod is the supreme instance of the Eastern Church. It can legislate, elect bishops and Patriarchs, cut off those who differ.

In No. 75, a “particular honor” given to Patriarchs is mentioned. I would like to mention that this diminishes the traditional role of the Patriarch, as well as speaking about the honor and privileges of the Patriarchs in ecclesiastical documents.

It is not a question of honor, of privileges, of concessions. The patriarchal institution is a specific entity unique in Eastern ecclesiology.

With all respect due to the Petrine ministry, the Patriarchal ministry is equal to it, “servatis servandis”, in Eastern ecclesiology.

Until this is taken into consideration by the Roman ecclesiology, no progress will be made in ecumenical dialogue.

Furthermore, the Patriarchal ministry is not a Roman creation, it is not the fruit of privileges, conceded or granted by Rome.

Such a concept can but ruin any possible understanding with Orthodoxy.

We claim this also for our Patriarchal Melkite Church and for all our Eastern Catholic Churches.

We have waited too long to apply the decrees of Vatican Council II and the Encyclicals and letters by the Popes, and notably by Pope John Paul II.

Because of this the good will of the Church of Rome loses credibility regarding ecumenical dialogue.

We can see the opposite occurring: the CCEO has ratified uses absolutely contrary to Eastern tradition and ecclesiology!

http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/sinodo/documents/bollettino_20_x-ordinaria-2001/02_inglese/b10_02.html

The Eastern Patriarchates not only not on a level playing field with the Bishop of Rome, they are basically subverted to the Roman Curia as the quote points out.  In the words of Bishop John Elya of the Melkites, they've accepted dependency as the price of unity.  In addition to the quote above, the Melkite Patriarch in another recent interview complained about Roman interference in elections in the Melkite Patriarchal synod. 

That is of course the situation in his own territory.  Eastern Catholics do not control their own flocks outside their patriarchal territories per the CCEO.  Melkites outside of the Middle East for instance are direct dependencies of Rome and their bishops are Roman appointments.  It is not inconceivable for instance that their may be more Melkites directly dependent on Rome than their own Patriarch given rates of emigration.

In short lubeltri, I don't believe the situation is as you say.  Nor would the current status of the EC's ever be acceptable to Orthodox Christians.
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« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2007, 12:02:25 PM »

This is the orthodox view as it pertains to this thread.

Q. –Wasn’t it a historical mistake on the part of the Church, when She ceded a primacy of honor to the Patriarchates of (Old) Rome and Constantinople (New Rome), given that this primacy of honor gave rise to those conditions that enabled a splintering of the Church’s unity, which had previously been secured by the Synodic framework of participation by all equal (until then) bishops, thus turning the Church into a worldwide organization?  Because to many, the Church nowadays appears with two heads:  the Pope for the Catholics and the Ecumenical Patriarch for the Orthodox. 


R. –This is a very important question that you have posed, and I shall give you my reply.  The Patriarchates, the Autocephalous (self-headed) Churches – all of these had developed, precisely as expressions of the Church’s ‘synodicity’, and not as institutions that hovered above the Church.  They were developed as Synodic institutions in various territories.  What was the Pentarchy? It was the five Patriarchates that existed in five different parts of the world, with Synods that had a Head. And naturally all of the Autocephalous Churches are the same.  This status is of course governed by the spirit (and even the letter, I would say) of a canon of the Church; the 34th Apostolic Canon.  According to this very important Canon, all the bishops of one territory are obliged to acknowledge one Head; they must have a Primate, otherwise they cannot convene a Synod without a Head. Thus, it was ‘synodicity’ that brought forth these primacies. However, the Canon further designates that the bishops alone cannot do anything without the Primate, just as the Primate cannot do anything without them. This was the spirit along which the Patriarchates and the Autocephalous Churches developed.  So, what do we have? We have a Primate in every territory. We cannot do anything without the Primate, but he cannot do anything either, without a Synod.  We might have divergences either way, i.e,, in synods that are commandeered by the Primate, or vice versa.  These things do not affect Ecclesiology and Canonical Justice. The institution per se is correct. Now, what if the institution is being abused? Well, this is a matter that concerns ethics, not Ecclesiology.  Ecclesiologically, the institution is correct. Provided that the Primate does not do anything without the Synod.

Each one of these local Churches - and they amongst each other – acknowledges a Primate. Because, if the need arises to convene a Synod, or do something in common, someone has to supervise.  And one such Primate had been acknowledged through History: the Bishop of Constantinople in the East.  Provided the Bishop of Constantinople moved within the spirit of the Canon that I described, there would be no problem.  In other words, if he didn’t do anything without taking the others into account, and if, respectively, the others didn’t do anything (that pertained to all the local Churches) without taking him into account, then everything was alright.  Subsequently, the system itself –ecclesiologically speaking- is extremely correct, and we do not have a case of Papism, because the Pope is the one who has taken the right to intervene in absolutely any local Church; in other words, he does things without asking the others. Or, he asks them, but the final decision is his.  The Bishop of Constantinople is not like that.  When the memorable Athenagoras became Patriarch, he was unable to officiate during the Liturgy in the neighboring Metropolis of Derkon, because the bishop of Derkon did not give him permission to officiate. And the Patriarch Athenagoras was still unable to officiate, until the Bishop of Derkon had passed away.  Can you understand the difference here?  Could anyone possibly refuse something like that to the Pope?  Now, if, out of courtesy or any other reason the bishops make this concession to the Primate and allow him to officiate wherever he wants, this is strictly their personal decision.  Thus, the institution itself does not contain the papal element. Therefore, in reply to your question, the development of Patriarchates did not hurt Ecclesiology, nor did it lead to Papism.
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« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2007, 03:24:20 AM »

Hello,

What do you view as the difference between a Primacy of Honor and a Primacy of Authority, which some call Supremacy? What do you see as the meanings behind these terms and what do they entail?

The Commonwealth of Nations frequently meets. These meetings are called CHOGM (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings). CHOGM has the queen as the 'head'. She is first in honour

She is de jure head of several member nations, including my own. However several member nations are republics in which she has no legal role. However she's deemed to be the visible point of union between all member nations.

She is thus like the Orthodox idea of the Papacy.
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very eastern minded ...


« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2007, 08:01:56 AM »

I think any imagining of what it would be like for the Orthodox churches to be in communion with Rome might benefit from a look at how the Eastern Catholics now (not 50 years ago) fit in. It seems to me that they largely manage their own affairs (canon law and liturgy included) and essentially keep their own theological emphases. Benedict doesn't run the Eastern churches like he does the Latin church.
This really might be the way back to unity...
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« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2007, 09:51:45 AM »

I think any imagining of what it would be like for the Orthodox churches to be in communion with Rome might benefit from a look at how the Eastern Catholics now (not 50 years ago) fit in. It seems to me that they largely manage their own affairs (canon law and liturgy included) and essentially keep their own theological emphases. Benedict doesn't run the Eastern churches like he does the Latin church. I think HH Benedict is right in his second statement about a different, pre-schism exercise of papal primacy that could be exercised over the Orthodox churches were full communion to be restored.

This really might be the way back to unity...

Could any of the Orthodox here comment on the following passage from the monks of Mount Athos?

Quote from: Letter to the Ecumenical Patriarch Concerning the Balamand Agreement
Furthermore, Unia is receiving amnesty and is invited to the table of theological dialogue despite the contrary decision of the Third Pan-Orthodox Conference in Rhodes requiring: "the complete withdrawal from Orthodox lands by the Uniate agents and propagandists of the Vatican; the incorporation of the so-called Uniate Churches and their subjection under the Church of Rome before the inauguration of the dialogue, because Unia and dialogue at the same time are irreconcilable."

I realize, of course that the monks of Mount Athos are super-conservative. But what's really interesting to me is that what the monks are saying here is not just different than what welkodox, Krysostomos, and others have been saying, but actually opposite.

(I'm not trying to be troublesome here; I just really don't know what to make of the Mount Athos position in relation to what other Orthodox have been saying.)

-PJ
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« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2007, 08:08:56 PM »

This really might be the way back to unity...

As a former Melkite, now Orthodox, I can tell you that the current situation with the eastern Catholic Churches is not the way back to unity.  Check out the words of Patriarch Gregory as cited by Welkodox.  Others have pointed out that outside the patriarchial territories, the Patriarch has no authority.  Melkite bishops in the United States are appointed by the Vatican.  Until recently, the Vatican also forbid all eastern Catholic bishops in the United States from ordaining married men to the priesthood.  The situation is still ambiguous and my understanding that the last time Bishop Elya ordained a married man, it was unofficially frowned upon.  Also, look at what is happening to the Ruthenian Liturgy.  The new translation seems to follow many of the principles used by the translators of the Novus Ordo, including a certain amount of inclusive language.  Eastern Catholics are also required to follow the theology of marriage and its indisolubility as proclaimed by Rome and uses annulment proceedings to handle divorce and remarriage.  I also know of one Melkite parish that uses altar girls and I see no reason why this practice won't be extended by the Ruthenians and others.

I will be honest.  I was a Melkite for 12 years, attending a Jesuit University, and was a member of a Roman parish for a couple of years when we didn't live near an eastern Catholic Church and I've been observing everything going on in the Church.  I hate to say it but as much as the Popes have beautiful words about unity, charity, and equality; the way the Vatican operates, it is still clear that the Vatican machinery wants its thumb on the eastern Catholic Churches.  I love the Melkite Church deeply and I respect the patrimony of the Roman Church and its Traditions, but I think that significant reforms in the Vatican and in its treatment of the eastern Churches are necessary before there can be reunion.  And until the Pope renounces papal infallibility and supremacy, the Vatican will always act as it does in trying to control the whole Church.

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« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2007, 09:55:52 PM »

Thanks, Joe, for an excellent illustration of what I was getting at. You say that "significant reforms in the Vatican and in its treatment of the eastern Churches are necessary before there can be reunion" -- which is, I suppose, something the monks of Mount Athos could agree with; but specifically you say that the problem is that "the Vatican machinery wants its thumb on the eastern Catholic Churches", whereas Mount Athos is calling for "the incorporation of the so-called Uniate Churches and their subjection under the Church of Rome".

Can't anyone offer any guidance for understanding these opposing statements?

Permit me to take a concrete example. On another forum it has been claimed -- repeatedly -- that the recent popes have hindered Catholic-Orthodox relations by failing to elevate the UGCC (Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church) from a major-archepicopal church to a patriarchate (or "failing to recognize it as a patriarchate" as some would say). Is this a claim that you Orthodox posters can agree with?

-PJ
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« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2007, 10:43:10 PM »

Quote
Is this a claim that you Orthodox posters can agree with?

No, it would be political kryptonite, but it's one of the paradoxes of East/West relations.
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« Reply #22 on: May 10, 2007, 11:46:56 PM »

Quote
Permit me to take a concrete example. On another forum it has been claimed -- repeatedly -- that the recent popes have hindered Catholic-Orthodox relations by failing to elevate the UGCC (Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church) from a major-archepicopal church to a patriarchate (or "failing to recognize it as a patriarchate" as some would say)
No, This would likely be interpeted as a direct challenge to the Orthodox Canocal territory.  Due to the political and religious climate in Ukraine, it would be worse that even say in Romania.
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« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2007, 02:21:54 AM »

Thanks, Joe, for an excellent illustration of what I was getting at. You say that "significant reforms in the Vatican and in its treatment of the eastern Churches are necessary before there can be reunion" -- which is, I suppose, something the monks of Mount Athos could agree with; but specifically you say that the problem is that "the Vatican machinery wants its thumb on the eastern Catholic Churches", whereas Mount Athos is calling for "the incorporation of the so-called Uniate Churches and their subjection under the Church of Rome".

Can't anyone offer any guidance for understanding these opposing statements?

Well, it seems to me that you have two sides of the same coin here. Those who are saying that the Pope needs to get his hands off the eastern churches before there can be reunion are basically saying, 'see what's in store for us if we did have union with Rome' - in other words, they're providing evidence that Rome's idea of reconcilliation is actually domination. The view of the monks of Mount Athos, on the other hand, seems to be that these churches are already under Rome so the Vatican should stop pretending that they're separate churches and admit them for what they are, separate rites in the one church. I can see both points of view, to be honest, though I do find the Mount Athos position a little odd. I'd far rather that Rome loosened its hold on the eastern churches, because I could take that as a sign that they're finally living up to their claims that they do want a genuine reconciliation (of course, it would still only be the first step of a long journey). As for setting up rival Patriarchates, I agree with others that this is just about the worst thing Rome could do to harm relations with the Orthodox. I, frankly, have no idea what planet the people are on who suggested the opposite to you.

James
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very eastern minded ...


« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2007, 06:08:36 AM »

[quote author=outside the patriarchial territories, the Patriarch has no authority.  Melkite bishops in the United States are appointed by the Vatican.  Until recently, the Vatican also forbid all eastern Catholic bishops in the United States from ordaining married men to the priesthood.  I think that significant reforms in the Vatican and in its treatment of the eastern Churches are necessary before there can be reunion.  And until the Pope renounces papal infallibility and supremacy, the Vatican will always act as it does in trying to control the whole Church.

[/quote]

This means, that the Roman church after all rules over the eastern churches - who was supposed to have an autonomous posistion.
When living in London in the 80´s, I was wondering, how it was possible, that the local Ukrainian bishop was under the jurisdiction of the Roman archbishop of Westminster.
Well, so this way seems not to be the right way back to unity...
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« Reply #25 on: May 11, 2007, 09:24:42 AM »

Thanks, James, that explanation does help.

So, if I understand you aright, you believe that the six EC patriarchs which already exist (Melkite, Maronite, Coptic, Armenian, Syrian, and Chaldean) should act like real patriarchs, but that there should not be any new EC patriarchs beyond those six. Ja?

-PJ
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« Reply #26 on: May 11, 2007, 09:32:02 AM »

No, it would be political kryptonite

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« Reply #27 on: May 11, 2007, 09:44:12 AM »

Thanks, James, that explanation does help.

So, if I understand you aright, you believe that the six EC patriarchs which already exist (Melkite, Maronite, Coptic, Armenian, Syrian, and Chaldean) should act like real patriarchs, but that there should not be any new EC patriarchs beyond those six. Ja?

-PJ

Yes, in the short term. In the long term, should a reconciliation occur, then they should merge into the appropriate Patriarchate and cease to exist as separate churches (whether they are currently patriarchates or not). So, for instance, about the only ones I'm familiar with, the Romanian Greek Catholics would end up under the Patriarch of Romania should we be reconciled and Rome would have absolutely no control over the Romanian church (whether formerly eastern rite Catholic or always Orthodox). The problem with the current set up, especially when people suggest the eastern rites are a bridge to reconciliation, is that we look at the authority exercised over these bishops by the Pope, despite the fact that they are meant to be the heads of independant churches in communion with Rome, and see exactly the sort of monarch-vassal relationship that we have always objected to. It doesn't exactly reassure us as to Papal intentions towards the Orthodox.

James
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« Reply #28 on: May 11, 2007, 10:04:51 AM »

Yes, in the short term. In the long term, should a reconciliation occur, then they should merge into the appropriate Patriarchate and cease to exist as separate churches (whether they are currently patriarchates or not). So, for instance, about the only ones I'm familiar with, the Romanian Greek Catholics would end up under the Patriarch of Romania should we be reconciled and Rome would have absolutely no control over the Romanian church (whether formerly eastern rite Catholic or always Orthodox). The problem with the current set up, especially when people suggest the eastern rites are a bridge to reconciliation, is that we look at the authority exercised over these bishops by the Pope, despite the fact that they are meant to be the heads of independant churches in communion with Rome, and see exactly the sort of monarch-vassal relationship that we have always objected to. It doesn't exactly reassure us as to Papal intentions towards the Orthodox.

James

When you're talking about those EC churches which are major-archepiscopal rather than patriarchal (such as the Romanian Catholic Church), one theory is that they are like the "autonomous" churches within Orthodoxy.

If that's true, then it makes sense for the Romanian Catholic Church to have some degree of dependence on Rome, just as the UOC-MP has some dependence on Moscow. (Of course, I'm not going to argue in favor of monarch-vassal relationships.)

-PJ
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« Reply #29 on: May 11, 2007, 11:09:15 AM »

So, if I understand you aright, you believe that the six EC patriarchs which already exist (Melkite, Maronite, Coptic, Armenian, Syrian, and Chaldean) should act like real patriarchs, but that there should not be any new EC patriarchs beyond those six.

No, the Orthodox hierarchs would prefer these churches simply disappear.  Patriarchs and all.
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« Reply #30 on: May 11, 2007, 02:11:09 PM »

No, the Orthodox hierarchs would prefer these churches simply disappear.  Patriarchs and all.


Huh
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« Reply #31 on: May 11, 2007, 06:23:36 PM »

No, the Orthodox hierarchs would prefer these churches simply disappear.  Patriarchs and all.
Do the Eastern Orthodox understand how offensive this is to Catholics? What are we to do? Kick the Eastern Catholics out of the Church? Force them all to become Latin?  Angry
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« Reply #32 on: May 12, 2007, 12:14:48 PM »

Do the Eastern Orthodox understand how offensive this is to Catholics? What are we to do? Kick the Eastern Catholics out of the Church? Force them all to become Latin?  Angry

These types of things used to offend me too.  But then I learned the history of the Eastern Catholics, and that all changed.  The reason many Orthodox don't like Eastern Catholics is because they came in and proselytized in Orthodox areas using the same Liturgy as the Orthodox (which ultimately led many Orthodox to believe, oh, they are the same as the Orthodox, which is not the case at all).  This is why many are not happy with the Eastern Catholics.  However, today, at least in America I think, the Eastern Catholics lead many Catholics to Orthodoxy today (including myself).  I also think a better way to say this would be, we Orthodox would prefer if these Eastern Catholic Churches would convert to Orthodoxy, considering that the Eastern Catholics came from Orthodoxy and got all their practices from Orthodoxy and many pray to Orthodox saints (just as we would like everyone of every religion to convert to Orthodoxy, thus getting rid of all heresy, but as we know, there will always be those who oppose Christ and His Church). 
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« Reply #33 on: May 12, 2007, 01:25:40 PM »

I also think a better way to say this would be, we Orthodox would prefer if these Eastern Catholic Churches would convert to Orthodoxy ...

Yes, that's definitely a better thing to say. Consider this analogy: the pope would prefer it if all Protestants converted to Catholicism (and hence ceased to be Protestant); but what kind of field day do you think that the press would have if it were reported to them that the pope "would prefer all Protestants simply disappear?" The person reporting that would not be doing the pope any favor; rather, I would presume that that person were trying to start a conflict between the pope and Protestants, or trying to get the pope "in trouble".

Similarly, I don't think Welkodox's is doing any favors to the Orthodox hierarchy by using that rhetoric. Moderator, heal thyself! (cf. Luke 4:23)

Smiley

-PJ 
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« Reply #34 on: May 12, 2007, 01:48:14 PM »

Hopefully, for the sake of brotherly and charitable discussion, and linked to the original subject topic, do you see the Pope as;

1) Vicar of Christ

2) Vicar of Peter

3) Vicar of the Chief of the Apostles

4) Combination of any above

I have a very good idea on how the forum old timers would respond so how about the new members...

james
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« Reply #35 on: May 12, 2007, 02:55:21 PM »

Hopefully, for the sake of brotherly and charitable discussion, and linked to the original subject topic, do you see the Pope as;

1) Vicar of Christ

2) Vicar of Peter

3) Vicar of the Chief of the Apostles

4) Combination of any above

5)  Archbishop of Rome, Patriarch of the West, and Chair of the Ecumenical Synod of Bishops--that is, once he gives up all claims to the top 4 titles on your list.  Wink
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« Reply #36 on: May 12, 2007, 03:58:13 PM »

Hopefully, for the sake of brotherly and charitable discussion, and linked to the original subject topic, do you see the Pope as;

1) Vicar of Christ

2) Vicar of Peter

3) Vicar of the Chief of the Apostles

4) Combination of any above

I have a very good idea on how the forum old timers would respond so how about the new members...

james

Well, James, if you'll share your thoughts on the comparison of major-archepiscopal churches to autonomous churches, I'll be happy to share my thoughts on these titles.

I guess I would have to choose #4. I note that wikipedia says:

"The Pope uses the title Vicarius Christi , meaning, the vicar of Jesus Christ . The papacy first used this title in the eighth century; earlier they used the title vicar of St. Peter or vicarius principis apostolorum , the vicar of the chief of the apostles."

So I guess you might say that "vicar of St. Peter" is preferable to "vicar of Christ", having been around longer; but I see no reason why they can't both be legitimate. ("Vicar of the chief of the apostles" is just of variation of "vicar of St. Peter", right?)

-PJ
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« Reply #37 on: May 12, 2007, 06:18:48 PM »

Quote
1) Vicar of Christ

2) Vicar of Peter

3) Vicar of the Chief of the Apostles

4) Combination of any above

In contemplation, I guess we can say that about any bishop, not by being a direct descendant of St. Peter, but by having the same apostolic power that St. Peter had in any of the other apostles.  Needless to say number three is a little tricky, because this assumes being a direct descendant of the chief of the Apostles makes someone a chief of all the Apostles.

I think if Rome understands that these titles that stem from our love to Rome's patriarchs at the time come in a manner of love in obedience to his chair, not because he was the descendant of Peter, but because of the person of the patriarch himself and because it was Rome, leader of the world, not because it was St. Peter's city.  If Rome can understand this, I find nothing wrong in calling her the "Vicar of the Chief of the Apostles" because in reality, Antioch is also the "Vicar of the Chief of the Apostles."

God bless.
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« Reply #38 on: May 14, 2007, 02:58:20 AM »

Well, James, if you'll share your thoughts on the comparison of major-archepiscopal churches to autonomous churches, I'll be happy to share my thoughts on these titles.

Well it was me you initially made the observation about paralels with autonomous churches too, but Jakub (another James) who asked about the titles (you seem to have confused us). I'm not particularly interested in the Papal titles, but I'll give you my opinion on the situation in Romania. Whether this generalises out to the rest of the eastern Catholic churches, I don't know.

There are two rites in Romania (and they do not get along - my experience is that the Latin rite Catholics dislike the eastern rite at least as much as the Orthodox do). The Latin rite churches were the result of immigration and evangelisation during various foreign rules and, hence, are still mostly made up of minority groups such as Poles, Germans etc. This group, it seems to me would be rather like an autonomous church (if they are indeed autonomous at all) as they are a child of Rome. The eastern rite history is very different, though. Rather than being the result of the natural development of a new church, they are the result of political pressure (and often outright persecutions) wresting a section of the Romanian church away. This would (in any reconciliation) colour the way I would suggest the two groups be dealt with. I'd have no issue with a Latin exarchate in Romania, but the eastern rites should return to their mother church.

James
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« Reply #39 on: May 14, 2007, 09:56:42 AM »

Well it was me you initially made the observation about paralels with autonomous churches too, but Jakub (another James) who asked about the titles (you seem to have confused us).

Ahh ... good point. (Boy is my face red Shocked)

Whether this generalises out to the rest of the eastern Catholic churches, I don't know.

This is a little off topic, but it may be worth mentioning that of the rest of the EC churches, many are not byzantine-rite. In fact, only 1 out of the 6 EC patriarchs and 2 out of the 4 EC major-archbishops have counterparts in the EO church. (Concerning the other 5 EC patriarchs, the Chaldean pat's counterpart is the Assyrian pat, the Maronite pat has no counterpart at all, and the other three pats have Oriental-Orthodox counterparts.)

My point, I guess, is just that when talking about the possibility of "re-union" between the Catholic Church and the EO Church, the most relevant EC Churches are the ones with EO counterparts, to wit the Melkite, Ukrainian, and Romanian Catholics Churches. (Additionally, the Byzantine-rite is used by one stand-alone EC metropolitan in the US, and about 10 or so stand-alone EC bishops in Eastern Europe. (By "stand-alone" I mean simply that they aren't part of a larger EC church.)) 
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« Reply #40 on: May 14, 2007, 11:06:48 AM »


The Latin rite churches were the result of immigration and evangelisation during various foreign rules and, hence, are still mostly made up of minority groups such as Poles, Germans etc. This group, it seems to me would be rather like an autonomous church (if they are indeed autonomous at all) as they are a child of Rome.

I can't see them being autonomous. As I understand it, Rome just sees them as the portion of the Latin Church which is in that particular country.

The Romanian Catholic Church is another matter, as it has major-archepicopal status. For the time being, I mean. As far as what would happen it a reconciliation ...

In the long term, should a reconciliation occur, then they should merge into the appropriate Patriarchate and cease to exist as separate churches (whether they are currently patriarchates or not).

I actually do agree with you that EC Churches, including patriarchates, ought to "return to their mother churches" in case of reconciliation; but my question to you is: shouldn't this be voluntary, at least for the patriarchal EC Churches?

-PJ
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« Reply #41 on: May 14, 2007, 11:37:51 AM »

I don't think the hierarchs are of one mind on the ECs. I've not heard any say they wish them to disappear. I have heard a few simply say they are not Orthodox - but without any ill will towards their people or their future.

I also don't think there is any similarity between the existence of ECs and WRO. I'll quote a Byzantine-rite Antiochian deacon on that point:

Quote
Western Rite Orthodoxy has never in any way influenced would-be converts with political, social, or economic considerations.

 It did not bring the contemporary, unaltered liturgical practices of another communion into the Church. It is not theologically distinct from "Eastern" Orthodoxy.

 It does not believe it has a "unique role" or "special duty of promoting the unity of all Christians" beyond that enjoined upon all Christians.
The full article here: http://shorterlink.org/2337

So, support or rejection of Eastern Catholicism has nothing to do with support or rejection of Orthodox using the Western rite. It's apples and oranges. (Or pineapples and bananas depending on how one views it.)
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« Reply #42 on: May 14, 2007, 04:49:04 PM »

Well at least we have the Jakub-James-James thingy figured out... Cool

james, ps I also use the smaller case J for signature Wink
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« Reply #43 on: May 14, 2007, 08:28:44 PM »

My spider sense is warning me that this could turn into a big argument; but ...

The eastern rite history is very different, though. Rather than being the result of the natural development of a new church, they are the result of political pressure (and often outright persecutions) wresting a section of the Romanian church away. This would (in any reconciliation) colour the way I would suggest the two groups be dealt with. I'd have no issue with a Latin exarchate in Romania, but the eastern rites should return to their mother church.

James

I think I'll find that quite a lot of Catholics now a days are prepared to agree with you concerning the history of these "unions", but would say that it can't be used as a basis for judging the EC churches today.

I don't think the hierarchs are of one mind on the ECs.

Yes, I wondered about that when I read Welkodox's statement.

I also don't think there is any similarity between the existence of ECs and WRO.

It seems to me that people on both sides of this issue tend to exaggerate and over-simplify. For example, I can't bring myself to believe that they are completely similar, nor that they are completely dissimilar.

 It does not believe it has a "unique role" or "special duty of promoting the unity of all Christians" beyond that enjoined upon all Christians. 

Perhaps WRO should believe that they have a "special duty of promoting the unity of all Christians".

-PJ
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« Reply #44 on: May 14, 2007, 11:21:57 PM »

It seems to me that people on both sides of this issue tend to exaggerate and over-simplify. ... Perhaps WRO should believe that they have a "special duty of promoting the unity of all Christians".

Well, sure - that happens with any issue. I think the Deacon covered how ECs and WRO *are* similar - which is pretty much limited to being a minority and often misunderstood in their own confessions.

As for the 'special duty' - no thanks. Smiley We're just not interested in anything so grandiose. We're happy enough being the 'Hobbits' to Orthodoxy's 'Middle Earth'. Let the mighty back East do their mighty deeds.
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