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Author Topic: New York Times Op-Ed by Archbishop Demetrios  (Read 13844 times) Average Rating: 0
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Tamara
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« Reply #90 on: April 21, 2007, 02:29:02 PM »

It was accepted by all the bishops including the Pope, even if no western representatives were there, as the article in the Catholic Encyclopedia outlines.  The idea that councils must be accepted by everyone is simply a false idea, and it's nowhere in the conciliar tradition itself.  Not only would it be impossible to ever measure when a council is true or not by that standard, some of our ecumenical councils would of course not be ecumenical at all.  Chalcedon of course being a prime example.

If you read the Catholic account of the story, the Greeks accepted the second council as ecumenical years before the pope found it to be so. And even then, it appears that the pope only accepted portions of what was decided. This idea that the pope must rubber stamp it for it to become ecumenical or that the pope is the only one who can call an ecumenical council doesn't appear to be true. A council becomes ecumenical because of its acceptance over time among the church. In other words, one cannot summon a meeting with the expectation it will be ecumenical. Nor can one decide immediately after the meeting if it should be considered ecumenical. According to one Orthodox priest, we can never have another ecumenical meeting because we no longer have an emperor. But the ecumenical patriarch could invite all the Orthodox bishops to a worldwide Great Council. In fact, there are plans to have one and the EP says that they have been preparing for it over the last 30 years. Whether they ever decide to set a date for it is questionable. But the idea our Orthodox bishops cannot meet in a great worldwide council because we need the pope to call the meeting is false. Any future local or worldwide council could possibly become a part of our dogmatic heritage just like the second ecumenical council. The Catholic Church also recognizes more than seven ecumenical councils even though the Orthodox church does not.
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lubeltri
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« Reply #91 on: April 21, 2007, 02:52:56 PM »

If that's your understanding, then why no ecumenical councils since 787? A lack of heresies to address---or disciplinary issues? Practices? Ecclesial problems? Certainly  not. That's what I find strange.
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lubeltri
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« Reply #92 on: April 21, 2007, 02:55:29 PM »

It was accepted by all the bishops including the Pope, even if no western representatives were there, as the article in the Catholic Encyclopedia outlines.  The idea that councils must be accepted by everyone is simply a false idea, and it's nowhere in the conciliar tradition itself.  Not only would it be impossible to ever measure when a council is true or not by that standard, some of our ecumenical councils would of course not be ecumenical at all.  Chalcedon of course being a prime example.

That's a great point. There's never been a council where all of the bishops accepted the results.
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #93 on: April 21, 2007, 03:26:50 PM »

It was accepted by all the bishops including the Pope, even if no western representatives were there, as the article in the Catholic Encyclopedia outlines.  The idea that councils must be accepted by everyone is simply a false idea, and it's nowhere in the conciliar tradition itself.  Not only would it be impossible to ever measure when a council is true or not by that standard, some of our ecumenical councils would of course not be ecumenical at all.  Chalcedon of course being a prime example.
Now for a curveball to muddy the discussion even further...

Chalcedon really appears to be true only to those who accept its dogmatic formula as a faithful articulation of True Faith, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Welkodox, you seem to be looking for a clearly visible expression of infallibility WITHIN the Church, a singularly definitive voice around whom the Church can rally and to whose dogmas the Church must submit without question, someone or something who would necessarily have authority OVER the Church.  The whole Church (bishops, presbyters, deacons, all the faithful, all united to Christ in the Holy Spirit through the Eucharist) is guaranteed the charism of infallibility through the Holy Spirit's teaching/guiding ministry in accordance with Christ's promise that the powers of death should not prevail against her, but there is no singular office (be that the papacy, the Bible, the Fathers, liturgy, even an Ecumenical Council) that possesses this infallibility per se apart from all other offices in the Church.  Every single voice in the Church, to be deemed authoritative, must be recognized by the collective Mind of the Church as proclaiming the true Faith.  Ultimately, this True Faith cannot be determined by fiat; it must be discovered by experience.
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lubeltri
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« Reply #94 on: April 21, 2007, 08:39:50 PM »

  Ultimately, this True Faith cannot be determined by fiat; it must be discovered by experience.

Indeed, which is why our pope himself is considered a servant of Tradition, not a maker of Tradition. The charism of infallibility is, of course, strictly limited and extremely rarely exercised. In fact, as we define it, infallibility prevents the pope from solemnly dogmatizing heresy; it doesn't allow the pope to invent new doctrine or contradict previous Tradition. He's the shepherd of Tradition. The last two times infallibility was exercised, the pope was only confirming what was believed about the Holy Mother for centuries. I think this charism is frequently misunderstood, and some of the Catholics among us unfortunately encourage it by treating everything issued from the pope's mouth or hand as dogma. Who can not love the saintliness of John Paul II, but he wasn't right on everything, and he'd be the first to tell you that.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2007, 08:40:09 PM by lubeltri » Logged
Tamara
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« Reply #95 on: April 30, 2007, 11:50:10 AM »

If that's your understanding, then why no ecumenical councils since 787? A lack of heresies to address---or disciplinary issues? Practices? Ecclesial problems? Certainly  not. That's what I find strange.

Great councils and local councils have been called over the years, its just that none of them have been recognized at the ecumenical level of authority. The ecumenical councils were recognized as ecumenical after the fact. The Council of Jerusalem is not an ecumenical council but it is recognized at the same level of authority as an ecumenical one. Any future councils which are deemed worthy to be placed at the same level of authority as ecumenical councils or the Jerusalem council may have a different name since we no longer have an emperor.
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« Reply #96 on: April 30, 2007, 12:12:36 PM »

Welkodox, you seem to be looking for a clearly visible expression of infallibility WITHIN the Church, a singularly definitive voice around whom the Church can rally and to whose dogmas the Church must submit without question, someone or something who would necessarily have authority OVER the Church.

I'm really only trying to understand what it is that we can classify as infallible and how; and primarily how councils gain ecumenical (i.e. infallible) status.  What's interesting to me, as I've looked in to the history, there seems to be no single criterion for how this comes about.  Every reason I've come across for saying "this is how we know a council is ecumenical", can be shown in some instance not to be the case.  Whether that's the bishops and Emperor proclaiming a council is ecumenical, the assent of Rome, the idea of popular reception among "everyone", or the idea that a successive ecumenical council is necessary to affirm the following - some council along the line invariably lacks at least one those; which means none of them can be used as the sole criterion.  I had a conversation while the site was down on this subject and someone whose opinion I respect said the following to quote from another location

My own view is that the Church is infallible in the sense that the Church as a whole will never defect from the apostolic faith. However, I don't think that we can give an a priori grounds for what formally makes something infallible. We just intuitively know what is infallible and this is demonstrated by the consensus that emerges throughout history. Yes, this is rather vague and subjective. But any attempt to specify some formal criterion involves circular reasoning, I think.

His last point I think is most critical. 

It seems clear to me the simple answers put forth by both camps (Orthodox and Roman Catholic) just don't measure up and on close inspection both traditions have issues in explaining the conciliar tradition of the church.  There is a lot of vagueness there.  Equally as clear to me is the Oriental Orthodox churches, while not presenting a third option as such for understanding the ecumenicity of councils, present a challenge to the understanding of ecumenicity beyond the third council.  Certainly their history is a good deal clearer, lacking as it does the overturned councils, robber synods, and councils retroactively recognized as ecumenical that you can find among the Chalcedonian churches.  It seems what is often referred to as ecumenical beyond Chalcedon, really takes on a particular meaning - i.e. "ecumenical" within the framework of understanding in the Latin or Byzantine worlds.

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The whole Church (bishops, presbyters, deacons, all the faithful, all united to Christ in the Holy Spirit through the Eucharist)

I agree, but here again things are not so simple.  I agree we are united to the truth through the Eucharist, but it seems clear we are not necessarily united to each other through it - at least directly.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2007, 12:13:05 PM by welkodox » Logged
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« Reply #97 on: May 14, 2007, 10:22:20 PM »

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Not even ecumenical councils are infallible until their findings have been accepted by the whole Church. That is what makes them ecumenical. It is not the number of bishops attending or the number of local churches represented.

As far as I can tell, there is no actual criteria for declaring a council to be ecumenical.  It seems the only real measure is that over time a consensus emerges as to what constitutes an dogmatic council and what doesn't.  It's not even acceptance by the whole church.  While messy, it's probably in the end the only thing that really makes sense to me.
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