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Author Topic: 7th Ecumenical Council and EO/RC schism  (Read 1955 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: November 14, 2007, 03:35:30 PM »

Now that our resident canon rule opinionist is back from hunting and we have a few more RCs eager for discussions, I thought I might ask opinions of some canons and how they may be either indicative of the developing schism of 1054 or perhaps even causative.
Late one night I was reviewing the canons of the 7 Ecumenical Councils on the CCEL website and was struck by one or two canons from the Council of Sardica, affirmed by the 7th Ecumenical Council, namely Canon IV: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xv.iii.iv.iv.html
Quote
(Greek.)

Bishop Gaudentius said:  If it seems good to you, it is necessary to add to this decision full of sincere charity which thou hast pronounced, that (confusing editorial comment snipped) if any bishop be deposed by the sentence of these neighbouring bishops, and assert that he has fresh matter in defence, a new bishop be not settled in his see, unless the bishop of Rome judge and render a decision as to this.

(Latin.)

Bishop Gaudentius said:  It ought to be added, if it be your pleasure, to this sentence full of sanctity which thou hast pronounced, that—when any bishop has been deposed by the judgment of those bishops who have sees in neighbouring places, and he [the bishop deposed] shall announce that his case is to be examined in the city of Rome—that no other bishop shall in any wise be ordained to his see, after the appeal of him who is apparently deposed, unless the case shall have been determined in the judgment of the Roman bishop.

I was immediately struck with these two English translations as they do not seem to be stating the exact same thing. In fact, I could envision the Eastern bishops coming away with a different idea as to what was decided than the Western bishops vis-a-vis papal authority. I can also imagine that each side could see their own concept of Rome's role as affirmed. Not too much later the schism of 1054 began in earnest. And I can readily see each side thinking it was standing on solid ground.

Canon V is related but offers no relief to a latent misunderstanding:
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xv.iii.iv.v.html


Ideas, comments?
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« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2007, 04:21:22 PM »

Interesting...the Greek one seems to say that if not settled, then Rome should settle it.  The Latin one seems to say that it should be settled with Rome.

If that's the case, then when would the alleged misunderstanding of the role of the Pope of Rome begin?
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« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2007, 04:25:40 PM »

Greek, "with new evidence" for rehearing.
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« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2007, 07:12:37 PM »

Was it written originally in Greek or Latin ?

Many have problems translating Latin, but the Greek text leans more to those times before the split...
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« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2007, 08:03:57 PM »

Was it written originally in Greek or Latin ?

Many have problems translating Latin, but the Greek text leans more to those times before the split...

Both. Which is my point. What the 'Latins' saw and what the 'Greeks' saw were not quite the same things. Sardica (now Sofia) was a cusp region so I don't know which language was initially used. I presume Greek because the council is said to be held in the east, but Bulgaria was a mid-region between Constantinople and Rome.
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« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2007, 08:14:50 PM »

So are you saying the schism was a mistranslation?
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« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2007, 08:41:20 PM »

So are you saying the schism was a mistranslation?
Not exactly. But I can see how each side thought it was in the right as evidenced by these two differing versions of that canon.
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« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2007, 10:35:26 PM »

Hello,

I fail to see a difference in the essence of the canon between the two. It is dealing with what could be described as the See of Rome being the Supreme Court of the Church.

What do you see as the difference and how would that affect expectations on either side?
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« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2007, 12:24:23 AM »

It is not surprising that an RC can only see a 'supreme' role of Rome in this but the Orthodox sees the snag.
1) The Greek version does not exactly state 'appeal' (a word often used elsewhere in the canons) but a hearing based upon a 'fresh matter' (new evidence?)

2) the Latin version does read more to the right of appeal irrespective of the evidence.

3) In neither reading is a right of Rome to intercede over the entire church implied over these matters but only an appeal role, as still wielded by Constantinople today. And, of course, this was made in Sardica, an area of contention between Rome and Constantinople and in a period when this area would have been under Rome to start with. Once the 7th Ecumenical Council affirmed it, it could be construed beyond Rome's see. But was that the intention? Rome would say yes, the East, no. In any case it is confusing (as the CCEL commentary shows in trying to decipher it).
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« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2007, 02:00:08 AM »

Is this the first time that things in translation from Greek to Latin concerning Papal roles (among other topics) have been understood differently?
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« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2007, 02:46:45 PM »

Is this the first time that things in translation from Greek to Latin concerning Papal roles (among other topics) have been understood differently?
Only the first time I've noticed and this so close to the onset of open schism.
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