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Author Topic: Did the Melkites accept papal infallibility?  (Read 5168 times) Average Rating: 0
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St. Christopher
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« on: June 02, 2007, 01:33:48 PM »

I have a quick factual question.  I was told by a Melkite priest that they didn't accept papal infallibility in 1870.  Did the Melkites accept it at a later time?  Thanks, St. Christopher.
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« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2007, 01:54:32 PM »

Patriarch Gregory II Yusuf opposed the declaration about the Primacy and Infallibility of the Pope and voted against it during the Vatican I council.  He then left Rome before the conclusion.  Later, Pope Pius IX insisted that the Patriarch subscribe to the dogma.  He did, yet allegedly it was on the condition that "all the rights, privileges, and prerogatives of the patriarchs be preserved".  I am not sure the exact date when this all occured and all the details.  There are a few theories and stories about what took place, but my knowledge about the Melkite Greek Catholic Church is rather limited.
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« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2007, 11:25:38 PM »

I have heard that Pope Pius IX made the Melkite patriarch kneel down before him and that the Pope put his shoe on his neck and said, "This one is stubborn."  I don't know if this is true, but it wouldn't surprise me.

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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2007, 09:17:48 AM »

I have heard that Pope Pius IX made the Melkite patriarch kneel down before him and that the Pope put his shoe on his neck and said, "This one is stubborn."  I don't know if this is true, but it wouldn't surprise me.

Joe
The Melkite priest told me the same story.  I originally read the story on Wikipedia and I asked the priest if it was true.  I went back to read the Wikipedia article again and that story was gone from the article. Huh
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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2007, 07:15:37 PM »

Sounds like a Pius legend to me.  Wink
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« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2007, 11:12:01 PM »

Friul is basically correct.  This is confirmed in the books the Melkites put out here in the US; e.g. Fr. Ignatios Dick's "Melkites" and Fr. Serge Descy's "The Melkite Church".   
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« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2007, 07:25:21 PM »

From the Melkite website http://www.mliles.com/melkite/historyfrjamesbulletin.shtml

Quote from: Do You Know Our Melkite History?  Part 8
In his long patriarchate (1864-1897), Gregory II Youssef proved to be one of the boldest and strongest defenders of the authentic Byzantine identity of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church.  According to the 1986 Almanac of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church,  "balancing his actions against their possible consequences on the capital work of the union of the Churches, he strove for the application of his great plan for the restoration of his Church.  He wished for this to be done according to the pure oriental tradition and this explains his opposition to Vatican I [a general council of the Catholic Church held in Rome in 1868-1870] for its declaration of the dogmas of the Primacy and Infallibility of the Pope in the meaning given them by the majority of the Fathers present, as he considered declaration of these dogmas inopportune." Patriarch Gregory II based his opposition to the declaration of papal infallibility on the grounds that it would further separate the Orthodox from the Catholic Church.  He voted against it at the Council, and left Rome before the Council session at which it was solemnly proclaimed.  Later, at the insistence of Pope Pius IX (some historians say that the Pope forced the Patriarch to kneel in front of him, then placed his foot on the Patriarch's neck), Gregory assented to the declaration, but with the condition that "all the rights, privileges, and prerogatives of the patriarchs be preserved."  This was the wording used at the Council of Florence in 1492, where reunion of the Orthodox and Catholics was attempted.  It remains the basis for Melkite efforts to prevent Latinization and control of our affairs by the Vatican. Father Serge Descy, in his excellent book, The Melkite Church, writes that "this episode bears witness to the courage and determination of Patriarch Youssef in defending the Eastern ecclesiological conception  of autonomy. . . . The Eastern convictions and truly ecumenical concern of Gregory Youssef made him one of the forerunners of interconfessional dialogue." The 1986 Almanac also says of Patriarch Gregory II Youssef, "He struggled against Protestantism, which was penetrating the area in force, by founding the patriarchal colleges of Beirut in 1865 and of Damascus in 1875.  In 1866 he reopened the seminary of Ain Traz, but most important of all it was he who was behind the founding of the seminary of St Anne of Jerusalem in 1882.  [St Anne's survived until the war of 1967, under the direction of the Missionaries of Africa, or White Fathers.]  He took a most important part in the Eucharistic Congress of Jerusalem in 1893.  His suggestions had in addition an important influence on the elaboration of the encyclical Orientalium Dignitas, a veritable charter for the oriental Churches by which Pope Leo XIII ordered the strictest respect for the rights of the patriarchs and for the oriental discipline, correcting on several points the spirit of the majority of the Latin missionaries."
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« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2011, 04:02:39 AM »

"As a Patriarch, the Chief Hierarch of the Melkite Church does hold a very special place in ecclesiastical rank.   Patriarchal rank and jurisdiction has always been reverenced in the East from Apostolic times when, in fact, the entire Catholic Church was ruled by a Pentarchy of five patriarchs, of Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople, and Jerusalem in the East and of Rome in the West.   Rome was accorded the honor of "first among Equals" because it was the last episcopal See of the Apostle Peter. But, lest some forget, Peter was also, at an earlier date, Bishop of Antioch. Yes, the Melkite Patriarch does indeed hold a special place in the hierarchy of the Universal (Catholic Church)."
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« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2011, 11:04:45 AM »

According to the article above, a Russian priest, in a Catholic broadcast, said the following about the Melkite Catholic Church:

"Other sources of disagreement are the Immaculate Conception, Papal Supremacy and Infallibility, Pugatory, and the Filioque, and to a lesser extend remarriage after divorce; in short all the matters that remain primary points of disagreement between Orthodox and Catholics."

The Melkite response to this was the following:

"The author mentions "other sources of disagreement" but this seems to be a figment of a flawed imagination.   There are no disagreements in matters of faith and morals. How could there be?   There are, however, different legitimate ways of explanation or interpretation."

It seems that not all Melkites disagree with the Catholic Church in favor of Eastern Orthodoxy when it comes to faith and morals.


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« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2011, 01:25:40 PM »

It seems that not all Melkites disagree with the Catholic Church in favor of Eastern Orthodoxy when it comes to faith and morals.
For those Melkites that do tend to side with Eastern Orthodoxy on the points of disagreement (such as some on this forum) I would be interested in hearing why it is that they remain in full communion with Rome. Surely they do not value that communion if they feel that Rome is severely in error on several issues. Would it not be more sensible to become Eastern Orthodox since that would be a fuller expression of their faith?
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« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2011, 02:01:41 PM »

It seems that not all Melkites disagree with the Catholic Church in favor of Eastern Orthodoxy when it comes to faith and morals.
For those Melkites that do tend to side with Eastern Orthodoxy on the points of disagreement (such as some on this forum) I would be interested in hearing why it is that they remain in full communion with Rome. Surely they do not value that communion if they feel that Rome is severely in error on several issues. Would it not be more sensible to become Eastern Orthodox since that would be a fuller expression of their faith?
For some reason, they don't seem to want to answer the question.  Undecided
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« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2011, 02:14:02 PM »

Sounds like a Pius legend to me.  Wink

 Cheesy This thread is so old and forgotten that I laughed out loud at my own joke! Just now I noticed it was mine.
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« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2011, 03:22:02 PM »

According to the article above, a Russian priest, in a Catholic broadcast, said the following about the Melkite Catholic Church:

"Other sources of disagreement are the Immaculate Conception, Papal Supremacy and Infallibility, Pugatory, and the Filioque, and to a lesser extend remarriage after divorce; in short all the matters that remain primary points of disagreement between Orthodox and Catholics."

The Melkite response to this was the following:

"The author mentions "other sources of disagreement" but this seems to be a figment of a flawed imagination.   There are no disagreements in matters of faith and morals. How could there be?   There are, however, different legitimate ways of explanation or interpretation."

It seems that not all Melkites disagree with the Catholic Church in favor of Eastern Orthodoxy when it comes to faith and morals.

Actually, my brother, you misread it. The column on the left of the piece is a reprint from a piece on the EWTN site. It is a direct quote from what EWTN's Colin Donovan (its VP for Apologetics or somesuch title) described as

Quote
Easily one of the best of discussions of the Eastern Churches (the Catholic Churches in volume one, the dissident churches in volume two) is Donald Attwater's CHURCHES OF THE CHRISTIAN EAST (Milwaukee: Bruce Publishing Company, 1935-1937-1947).

The column on the right is a response to Attwater's remarks (and a reproval to EWTN's posting of those as an appropriate description of the Melkite Church), not by a Melkite, but by a Russian Greek-Catholic priest, Father John (Mowatt), of blessed memory. Father John was formerly Rector of the Byzantine Center and Chapel at Fatima, and subsequently pastored parishes of the Eparchy of Stamford of the Ukrainians.

Father John was a dear friend to the American Melkite community (he was, indeed, buried from our Cathedral) and was conferred the honorific of Mitred Archimandrite by the Melkite Church. His memory is particularly dear to me as he introduced me to Eastern Christianity, serving the first Divine Liturgy that I ever had the honor and blessing to attend - as a 6th grader in a Latin school, some 50+ years ago, when he was Rector of the Russian Greek-Catholic Chapel of Our Lady of Kazan in South Boston, of blessed memory.

And, your interpretation to the contrary, Father's remarks should be viewed as they were intended, a response to a virulent and opinionated piece directed against the Melkite Church, which explained that we see and understand things differently than does Rome in many respects.

Many years,

Neil
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« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2011, 03:25:25 PM »

Sounds like a Pius legend to me.  Wink

 Cheesy This thread is so old and forgotten that I laughed out loud at my own joke! Just now I noticed it was mine.
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« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2011, 03:27:22 PM »

It seems that not all Melkites disagree with the Catholic Church in favor of Eastern Orthodoxy when it comes to faith and morals.
For those Melkites that do tend to side with Eastern Orthodoxy on the points of disagreement (such as some on this forum) I would be interested in hearing why it is that they remain in full communion with Rome. Surely they do not value that communion if they feel that Rome is severely in error on several issues. Would it not be more sensible to become Eastern Orthodox since that would be a fuller expression of their faith?
For some reason, they don't seem to want to answer the question.  Undecided

Not sure how many times and in how many threads I have to post this in the same week or two, but, to reiterate

As I once posted to another discussion elsewhere:

Quote from: Irish Melkite
Ours is a conflicted Church but we cannot and will not stand around, wringing our hands, and waiting for the moment at which the Holy Spirit decides to illumne all concerned and bring a millenium or more of separation to an end. So, we celebrate every aspect of the religious beliefs that we share either with both Rome and Constantinople or with only one of them. I can't ask that anyone fully understand; I'm not sure we always do.

It's not beyond imagining that, were a Melkite hierarch to address a meeting of the Catholic-Orthodox Dialogue Commission and then leave, that those on both sides would look across the table at one another, befuddled, and ask - simultaneously - "he came with you, right?  Huh "

Many years,

Neil  
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« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2011, 03:30:29 PM »

It doesn't really answer the question: Why are you communion with Rome?
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« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2011, 04:14:28 PM »

It doesn't really answer the question: Why are you communion with Rome?
Great question. I would LOVE to hear the answer. Maybe Todd would be willing to chime in as well.
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« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2011, 04:39:22 PM »

It doesn't really answer the question: Why are you communion with Rome?
Great question. I would LOVE to hear the answer. Maybe Todd would be willing to chime in as well.

On CAF there would sometimes be discussion of a document signed between the Melkites and the Vatican which did not require the Melkites to accept anything beyond what they held and believed at the time of union.

This would justify the Melkite position.

However, it must be said that nobody could ever produce this important document.
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« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2011, 08:48:02 PM »

Probably they are in communion with Rome for political reasons?
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« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2011, 09:34:09 AM »

*crickets*
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« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2011, 10:39:31 AM »

It doesn't really answer the question: Why are you communion with Rome?

I believe Christ gave St. Peter a unique office of leadership among his brothers and that office was passed to his successors.  Even though I don't agree with all Rome's interpretations of that, I do not believe she holds or teaches any heresy. 

Fr. Deacon Lance
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« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2011, 10:57:30 AM »

Even though I don't agree with all Rome's interpretations of that, I do not believe she holds or teaches any heresy. 

What unacceptable interpretations you had in mind?
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« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2011, 11:09:36 AM »

Even though I don't agree with all Rome's interpretations of that, I do not believe she holds or teaches any heresy. 

What unacceptable interpretations you had in mind?

With all due respect to Deacon Lance, whose opinion on many matters I frequently share, I think that his response begs the question regarding the issue of infallibility. Most Orthodox scholars would agree that throughout much of the first millennium, there was a degree of 'primus' accorded to the office of the Bishop of Rome. The vexing question of course for most of the past 1,000 years has been to what degree and to what practical effect does that 'primus' extend?

Rome's formulations of that, particularly as defined in the teachings of Vatican I, express a position that all Orthodox scholars and faithful can not accept. Thus, I believe that Alpo's question deserves an answer as I think that answer might get to the point of the Melkite dilemma.

Certainly the modern era's theological consultations among the Orthodox and the Church or Rome have wrestled with this issue to no clear end.
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« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2011, 12:23:35 PM »

Even though I don't agree with all Rome's interpretations of that, I do not believe she holds or teaches any heresy. 

What unacceptable interpretations you had in mind?

Well, I believe the Pope as the head of the college of bishops can speak infallibly for the Church.  I think, however, on matters of faith the Seven Councils dealt with the vital matters.  Everything since should be left in the realm of theological opinion.  On matters of morals, I think this charism is more important, especially as medical science keeps pushing the limits of ethics and morality.
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« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2011, 01:28:11 PM »

It doesn't really answer the question: Why are you communion with Rome?

I believe Christ gave St. Peter a unique office of leadership among his brothers and that office was passed to his successors.  Even though I don't agree with all Rome's interpretations of that, I do not believe she holds or teaches any heresy. 

My question is specifically asked of those Melkites who deny Rome's explicit dogmas of Papal infallibility, supremacy, and universal jurisdiction.
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« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2011, 01:42:38 PM »

Even though I don't agree with all Rome's interpretations of that, I do not believe she holds or teaches any heresy. 

What unacceptable interpretations you had in mind?

Well, I believe the Pope as the head of the college of bishops can speak infallibly for the Church.  I think, however, on matters of faith the Seven Councils dealt with the vital matters.  Everything since should be left in the realm of theological opinion.  On matters of morals, I think this charism is more important, especially as medical science keeps pushing the limits of ethics and morality.

How's that answering my question? The only thing you disagree with Rome is that while she has tended to evolve it's doctrine even after 7. council while you hold that it shouldn't be evolved?
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« Reply #26 on: January 08, 2011, 03:22:29 PM »

It doesn't really answer the question: Why are you communion with Rome?
Great question. I would LOVE to hear the answer. Maybe Todd would be willing to chime in as well.

On CAF there would sometimes be discussion of a document signed between the Melkites and the Vatican which did not require the Melkites to accept anything beyond what they held and believed at the time of union.

This would justify the Melkite position.

However, it must be said that nobody could ever produce this important document.

There is a letter sent from Pius IX to all bishops indicating that he and the Patriarch have come to an agreement on both the powers of the papacy and the power and privilege of the Patriarch.  He indicates that because the Patriarch had, for the most part, been most loyal, and because the Patriarch agreed to the acta concerning papal primacy, and had willingly agreed to work with Rome on the election of bishops, albeit a qualified agreement, then the Church would recognize the Patriarch who was to be accorded, by all,  full patriarchal power and privilege over his own flock and in external relations.

It's on the Internet.  I don't have time to look for it but I have read it.
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« Reply #27 on: January 08, 2011, 03:22:29 PM »

Even though I don't agree with all Rome's interpretations of that, I do not believe she holds or teaches any heresy. 

What unacceptable interpretations you had in mind?

Well, I believe the Pope as the head of the college of bishops can speak infallibly for the Church.  I think, however, on matters of faith the Seven Councils dealt with the vital matters.  Everything since should be left in the realm of theological opinion.  On matters of morals, I think this charism is more important, especially as medical science keeps pushing the limits of ethics and morality.

One cannot have doctrinal and theological fuzziness and moral clarity as long as our morality is divinely writ...There's a tendency to separate theology and morality in the minds of the faithful and I know that to be a startling breach in the wholeness of revealed Truth...I believe my pastors...many of them...would say the same.  The fact that we separate them academically does not mean that they are really separable in living, breathing, divinely loving fact.

M.
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« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2011, 12:06:26 AM »

It doesn't really answer the question: Why are you communion with Rome?

I believe Christ gave St. Peter a unique office of leadership among his brothers and that office was passed to his successors.  Even though I don't agree with all Rome's interpretations of that, I do not believe she holds or teaches any heresy. 

My question is specifically asked of those Melkites who deny Rome's explicit dogmas of Papal infallibility, supremacy, and universal jurisdiction.

So... why are you in communion with Rome?
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« Reply #29 on: December 12, 2012, 10:34:02 PM »



So... why are you in communion with Rome?

Parallel theologies are never a good substitute for oneness in faith....
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« Reply #30 on: December 12, 2012, 11:04:49 PM »

I have a quick factual question.  I was told by a Melkite priest that they didn't accept papal infallibility in 1870.  Did the Melkites accept it at a later time?  Thanks, St. Christopher.

If that is what you were told by a Melkite priest, why have any doubts? You could always send an e-mail to Bishop Nicholas Samra, Eparch of the Melkites in the United States.

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« Reply #31 on: December 12, 2012, 11:34:43 PM »

It's been five years ... maybe he did. Grin
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« Reply #32 on: December 13, 2012, 12:36:51 AM »

I sure hope so!  Cheesy

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« Reply #33 on: December 13, 2012, 09:27:00 AM »

Wow, I don't even know if Sayedna Nicholas was the Bishop then... may still have been Bishop John at that point.

Still, this thread has me curious.  Next time Sayedna comes to visit, I'm going to ask him.


I'll report back in 5 years.   Cheesy
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Tags: Melkites  papal infallibility 
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