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Author Topic: The Validity of the Eastern Orthodox Church despite the Council of Florence  (Read 598 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: Yesterday at 02:42:09 PM »

Hello everyone,

I was recently informed by a Roman Catholic apologist that he did not become Eastern Orthodox in his conversion to Christianity because, historically, the conditions for the ecumenicity of a Council were already traditionally established, and since the Council of Florence met this criterion, the Eastern Orthodox had no consistency in turning their backs on it, and this pretty much sealed the deal for him.

Could anyone offer a response, or provide a source to this seeming issue? Thanks
EY,
It wasn't ecumenical because it didn't represent the people's wishes in the Orthodox church, nor many of their church leaders'. It was extremely unpopular.

For a Council to be Ecumenical, it has to represent a general consensus of the church leaders, like the council of Nicea did.

It sounds to me like the person wanted to look for an easy way to dismiss Orthodoxy. There are other issues more important than Florence.

Actually Nicea didn't... The church was majority Arian by that time...
heretics and schismatics don't get a vote and don't count. Otherwise, why not count the Montanists and Gnostics as well as the Arians?
A simple question  : Why was Chalcedon ecumenical? It doesn't meet your criteria of an ecumenical council at all...
It represented a general consensus of the Church leaders and was ratified by the Faithful at large as such. IOW, yes, it did meet the criteria of an Ecumenical Council.

Question is, why doesn't the Vatican recognize Constantinople IV of 879 as Ecumenical, seeing as it meets all the Vatican's criteria for an Ecumenical Council.

Circular reasoning at its best... Thats why many Orthodox scholars today don't even entertain this theory anymore. Its clearly circular and blatantly Ahistorical. Because if that's a true method of determining ecumenicity... Then from the roman POV, Florence is still ecumenical as schismatics do not have a say


Well it's not circular as far as 879 is concerned. It perfectly meets Rome's mechanical definition of infallibility. The pope ratified it. Rome then went back and retroactively refuted it and recognized 869 instead when it fit their agenda on the filioque. Maybe the pope wasn't actually sitting on the cathedra when he ratified 879...... laugh

The ecumenical status of the Fourth Council of Constantinople of 869-870 has long been contested by the Anti-Western Orthodox. During the ecumenically-charged milieu leading up to and following the Second Vatican Council, many Roman Catholic scholars and ecumenists, eager to mend relations with their Eastern Orthodox brethren, have been back-pedaling and down-playing their former criticisms of Photius, amending and revising their accounts of the Photian Schism. In this process, some further details have been brought to light, but in some instances earlier details have been obfiscated and covered over. One of the most prominent Catholic scholars during this period has been Francis Dvornik (or Dvornic), whose books, The Photian Schism: History and Legend (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1948; rpt. 1970) and Byzantium and the Roman Primacy (New York: Fordham University Press, 1966; rpt. 1979) have been viewed by Anti-Western Orthodox scholars as having come a significant way towards accommodating some of their interpretations. To their delight, Dvornik accepts, for example, their claim that the belief that the successors of John VIII--Marinus I, Stephen V, and Formosus--had broken with Photius is a legendary invention. It must be conceded, in fact, that Photius did die in communion with Rome. Dvornik's claim that Photius never actually questioned Roman primacy seems well-attested. However, the notion that the ecumenical status of the Fourth Council of Constantinople in 869-870 is fundamentally compromised by the acts of the Photian Council of 879-880 cannot be seriously maintained. First, the matter is ultimately a question of authority, and whether the matter was immediately settled in the ninth century or not is in the final analysis irrelevant. Second, the Council claimed for itself an ecumenical status by calling itself the universalis octava synodus; and it had at least the necessary geographical characteristics because of the authority of all the heads of the Church who were either present or represented.

Was it recognized as ecumenical by the Holy See? Three facts are certain and incontestable. First, Adrian II had already approved it in his letter of Nov. 10, 871, as well as in his letter to the faithful of Salerno and Amalfi in 875; and John VIII called it sancta octava synodus, thereby formally recognizing its ecumenical status. Second, the Council has been listed among the ecumenical councils recognized by the Roman Catholic Church since the beginning of the 12th century. Third, the Byzantine Church itself accepted the Council as ecumenical until the Photian Synod of 879-880, which is thought to have abrogated its Acts; and those portions of the Byzantine Church that reunited with Rome since that time have considered it as ecumenical.

The crux of debate is reducible to the question whether Pope John VIII, by means of his supreme power of binding and loosing, actually annulled the acts of the Council of 869-870, thus depriving it of ecumenical status. This is of course what is claimed by Anti-Western Orthodox scholars, who have a curious (if convenient) interest at this point in the Roman primacy of John VIII. The answer is affirmative if the Greek text of the last two sessions of the Photian Synod are considered authentic, which may be doubted, not least because of Photius's history of altering the letters sent to him, to the Emperor Basil, and to the Byzantine Church by Pope John VIII, before having them read at the Photian Synod of 879-880. The answer is negative if takes into consideration other documents, such as the letter of Pope Stephen V to Emperor Basil I in 885-886. The integral letter of Stephen V to the Emperor Basil I that I presented to International Congress of Byzantine Studies in Paris and Brussels, shows that no pope had suppressed the acts of the Eighth Council. This letter states, in fact, that 20 years after the Fourth Council of Constantinople (869-870), Photius was still trying to have it annulled, a step that would be inexplicable if prior to this time John VIII had already taken the initiative in this matter.

You presented to to the International Congress of "Byzantine" Studies in Paris and Brussels?  Where can we find the link to your presentation?
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« Reply #46 on: Yesterday at 02:53:03 PM »

Hello everyone,

I was recently informed by a Roman Catholic apologist that he did not become Eastern Orthodox in his conversion to Christianity because, historically, the conditions for the ecumenicity of a Council were already traditionally established, and since the Council of Florence met this criterion, the Eastern Orthodox had no consistency in turning their backs on it, and this pretty much sealed the deal for him.

Could anyone offer a response, or provide a source to this seeming issue? Thanks
EY,
It wasn't ecumenical because it didn't represent the people's wishes in the Orthodox church, nor many of their church leaders'. It was extremely unpopular.

For a Council to be Ecumenical, it has to represent a general consensus of the church leaders, like the council of Nicea did.

It sounds to me like the person wanted to look for an easy way to dismiss Orthodoxy. There are other issues more important than Florence.

Actually Nicea didn't... The church was majority Arian by that time...
heretics and schismatics don't get a vote and don't count. Otherwise, why not count the Montanists and Gnostics as well as the Arians?
A simple question  : Why was Chalcedon ecumenical? It doesn't meet your criteria of an ecumenical council at all...
It represented a general consensus of the Church leaders and was ratified by the Faithful at large as such. IOW, yes, it did meet the criteria of an Ecumenical Council.

Question is, why doesn't the Vatican recognize Constantinople IV of 879 as Ecumenical, seeing as it meets all the Vatican's criteria for an Ecumenical Council.

Circular reasoning at its best... Thats why many Orthodox scholars today don't even entertain this theory anymore. Its clearly circular and blatantly Ahistorical. Because if that's a true method of determining ecumenicity... Then from the roman POV, Florence is still ecumenical as schismatics do not have a say


Well it's not circular as far as 879 is concerned. It perfectly meets Rome's mechanical definition of infallibility. The pope ratified it. Rome then went back and retroactively refuted it and recognized 869 instead when it fit their agenda on the filioque. Maybe the pope wasn't actually sitting on the cathedra when he ratified 879...... laugh

The ecumenical status of the Fourth Council of Constantinople of 869-870 has long been contested by the Anti-Western Orthodox. During the ecumenically-charged milieu leading up to and following the Second Vatican Council, many Roman Catholic scholars and ecumenists, eager to mend relations with their Eastern Orthodox brethren, have been back-pedaling and down-playing their former criticisms of Photius, amending and revising their accounts of the Photian Schism. In this process, some further details have been brought to light, but in some instances earlier details have been obfiscated and covered over. One of the most prominent Catholic scholars during this period has been Francis Dvornik (or Dvornic), whose books, The Photian Schism: History and Legend (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1948; rpt. 1970) and Byzantium and the Roman Primacy (New York: Fordham University Press, 1966; rpt. 1979) have been viewed by Anti-Western Orthodox scholars as having come a significant way towards accommodating some of their interpretations. To their delight, Dvornik accepts, for example, their claim that the belief that the successors of John VIII--Marinus I, Stephen V, and Formosus--had broken with Photius is a legendary invention. It must be conceded, in fact, that Photius did die in communion with Rome. Dvornik's claim that Photius never actually questioned Roman primacy seems well-attested. However, the notion that the ecumenical status of the Fourth Council of Constantinople in 869-870 is fundamentally compromised by the acts of the Photian Council of 879-880 cannot be seriously maintained. First, the matter is ultimately a question of authority, and whether the matter was immediately settled in the ninth century or not is in the final analysis irrelevant. Second, the Council claimed for itself an ecumenical status by calling itself the universalis octava synodus; and it had at least the necessary geographical characteristics because of the authority of all the heads of the Church who were either present or represented.

Was it recognized as ecumenical by the Holy See? Three facts are certain and incontestable. First, Adrian II had already approved it in his letter of Nov. 10, 871, as well as in his letter to the faithful of Salerno and Amalfi in 875; and John VIII called it sancta octava synodus, thereby formally recognizing its ecumenical status. Second, the Council has been listed among the ecumenical councils recognized by the Roman Catholic Church since the beginning of the 12th century. Third, the Byzantine Church itself accepted the Council as ecumenical until the Photian Synod of 879-880, which is thought to have abrogated its Acts; and those portions of the Byzantine Church that reunited with Rome since that time have considered it as ecumenical.

The crux of debate is reducible to the question whether Pope John VIII, by means of his supreme power of binding and loosing, actually annulled the acts of the Council of 869-870, thus depriving it of ecumenical status. This is of course what is claimed by Anti-Western Orthodox scholars, who have a curious (if convenient) interest at this point in the Roman primacy of John VIII. The answer is affirmative if the Greek text of the last two sessions of the Photian Synod are considered authentic, which may be doubted, not least because of Photius's history of altering the letters sent to him, to the Emperor Basil, and to the Byzantine Church by Pope John VIII, before having them read at the Photian Synod of 879-880. The answer is negative if takes into consideration other documents, such as the letter of Pope Stephen V to Emperor Basil I in 885-886. The integral letter of Stephen V to the Emperor Basil I that I presented to International Congress of Byzantine Studies in Paris and Brussels, shows that no pope had suppressed the acts of the Eighth Council. This letter states, in fact, that 20 years after the Fourth Council of Constantinople (869-870), Photius was still trying to have it annulled, a step that would be inexplicable if prior to this time John VIII had already taken the initiative in this matter.

You presented to to the International Congress of "Byzantine" Studies in Paris and Brussels?  Where can we find the link to your presentation?

Taken from Venice Grumels review of Dvorniks work. Forgot to edit this quote ... The point...however still stands and is a huge criticism on the argument of Dvornik ans the orthodox
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« Reply #47 on: Yesterday at 02:54:04 PM »

big long block of text = tl;dr
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« Reply #48 on: Yesterday at 02:58:10 PM »

If, for example, a Pope would make a declaration regarding Papal Infallibility something along the lines of this:

Quote
“I consider that, if one equates the Church of Rome with her Head, that is with the Pope, it is correct to say that she can err, even in matters touching the Faith, by giving encouragement to heresy, in issuing certain decrees, for example.  Several Roman Pontiffs have in fact been guilty of heresy” (Pope Adrian VI [Monday, January 9, 1522 - Friday, September 14, 1523], Quaest. In IV Sent.).

Would such a statement be infallible?  It meets the definition that you have put forth.  It is regarding Faith and it is addressing the entire Church which would seem to be binding...

Nope as it doesn't meet Vatican 1 definition of how a pope speaks infallibly. Unam Sanctum or the decree of immaculate conception are more along the lines of infallible statements... However whatvPope Adrian says is true. A few popes have been material heretics but none have been formal heretics... Even the ecumenical councils recognized by the EO testify to this
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« Reply #49 on: Yesterday at 03:01:18 PM »

Ialmisry,

So you are saying that once an Eucmenical Council was finalized, it was never binding in the irreformable sense? At what point does it become irreformable?

And principally speaking, how is what the Eastern Orthodox did @ Florence different than what the Copts did @ Chalcedon? They both claimed is was an invalid council because it did speak the truth and the "Church" (understood as them- which begs the question) did not receive it.

Could not anyone claim this ? And therefore, by what principle do you distinguish yourself from the Coptics?

There is no difference... They did the same thing. Just that when the EO do it, it's ok

Well, the Byzantines backpedaled from Chalcedon for decades, culminating at Constantinople II.  Of course, that resulted in temporary schisms from the west and within the west.
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ialmisry
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« Reply #50 on: Yesterday at 03:05:36 PM »

If, for example, a Pope would make a declaration regarding Papal Infallibility something along the lines of this:

Quote
“I consider that, if one equates the Church of Rome with her Head, that is with the Pope, it is correct to say that she can err, even in matters touching the Faith, by giving encouragement to heresy, in issuing certain decrees, for example.  Several Roman Pontiffs have in fact been guilty of heresy” (Pope Adrian VI [Monday, January 9, 1522 - Friday, September 14, 1523], Quaest. In IV Sent.).

Would such a statement be infallible?  It meets the definition that you have put forth.  It is regarding Faith and it is addressing the entire Church which would seem to be binding...

Nope as it doesn't meet Vatican 1 definition of how a pope speaks infallibly. Unam Sanctum or the decree of immaculate conception are more along the lines of infallible statements... However whatvPope Adrian says is true. A few popes have been material heretics but none have been formal heretics... Even the ecumenical councils recognized by the EO testify to this
""And with these we define that there shall be expelled from the Holy Church of God and anathematized Honorius who was some time Pope of Old Rome, because of what we found written by him to [Patriarch] Sergius, that in all respects he followed his view and confirmed his impious doctrines....To Honorius, the heretic, anathema!"
To which the pope of Rome, from Pope John II until even after the schism replied in their oath on assuming office "We anathematize the inventors of the new error, that is, Theodore, Sergius,...and also Honorius, who did not attempt to sanctify this Apostolic Church with the teaching of Apostolic tradition, but by profane treachery permitted its purity to be polluted"
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« Reply #51 on: Yesterday at 03:09:45 PM »

Hello everyone,

I was recently informed by a Roman Catholic apologist that he did not become Eastern Orthodox in his conversion to Christianity because, historically, the conditions for the ecumenicity of a Council were already traditionally established, and since the Council of Florence met this criterion, the Eastern Orthodox had no consistency in turning their backs on it, and this pretty much sealed the deal for him.

Could anyone offer a response, or provide a source to this seeming issue? Thanks
EY,
It wasn't ecumenical because it didn't represent the people's wishes in the Orthodox church, nor many of their church leaders'. It was extremely unpopular.

For a Council to be Ecumenical, it has to represent a general consensus of the church leaders, like the council of Nicea did.

It sounds to me like the person wanted to look for an easy way to dismiss Orthodoxy. There are other issues more important than Florence.

Actually Nicea didn't... The church was majority Arian by that time...
heretics and schismatics don't get a vote and don't count. Otherwise, why not count the Montanists and Gnostics as well as the Arians?
A simple question  : Why was Chalcedon ecumenical? It doesn't meet your criteria of an ecumenical council at all...
It represented a general consensus of the Church leaders and was ratified by the Faithful at large as such. IOW, yes, it did meet the criteria of an Ecumenical Council.

Question is, why doesn't the Vatican recognize Constantinople IV of 879 as Ecumenical, seeing as it meets all the Vatican's criteria for an Ecumenical Council.

Circular reasoning at its best... Thats why many Orthodox scholars today don't even entertain this theory anymore. Its clearly circular and blatantly Ahistorical. Because if that's a true method of determining ecumenicity... Then from the roman POV, Florence is still ecumenical as schismatics do not have a say


Well it's not circular as far as 879 is concerned. It perfectly meets Rome's mechanical definition of infallibility. The pope ratified it. Rome then went back and retroactively refuted it and recognized 869 instead when it fit their agenda on the filioque. Maybe the pope wasn't actually sitting on the cathedra when he ratified 879...... laugh

The ecumenical status of the Fourth Council of Constantinople of 869-870 has long been contested by the Anti-Western Orthodox. During the ecumenically-charged milieu leading up to and following the Second Vatican Council, many Roman Catholic scholars and ecumenists, eager to mend relations with their Eastern Orthodox brethren, have been back-pedaling and down-playing their former criticisms of Photius, amending and revising their accounts of the Photian Schism. In this process, some further details have been brought to light, but in some instances earlier details have been obfiscated and covered over. One of the most prominent Catholic scholars during this period has been Francis Dvornik (or Dvornic), whose books, The Photian Schism: History and Legend (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1948; rpt. 1970) and Byzantium and the Roman Primacy (New York: Fordham University Press, 1966; rpt. 1979) have been viewed by Anti-Western Orthodox scholars as having come a significant way towards accommodating some of their interpretations. To their delight, Dvornik accepts, for example, their claim that the belief that the successors of John VIII--Marinus I, Stephen V, and Formosus--had broken with Photius is a legendary invention. It must be conceded, in fact, that Photius did die in communion with Rome. Dvornik's claim that Photius never actually questioned Roman primacy seems well-attested. However, the notion that the ecumenical status of the Fourth Council of Constantinople in 869-870 is fundamentally compromised by the acts of the Photian Council of 879-880 cannot be seriously maintained. First, the matter is ultimately a question of authority, and whether the matter was immediately settled in the ninth century or not is in the final analysis irrelevant. Second, the Council claimed for itself an ecumenical status by calling itself the universalis octava synodus; and it had at least the necessary geographical characteristics because of the authority of all the heads of the Church who were either present or represented.

Was it recognized as ecumenical by the Holy See? Three facts are certain and incontestable. First, Adrian II had already approved it in his letter of Nov. 10, 871, as well as in his letter to the faithful of Salerno and Amalfi in 875; and John VIII called it sancta octava synodus, thereby formally recognizing its ecumenical status. Second, the Council has been listed among the ecumenical councils recognized by the Roman Catholic Church since the beginning of the 12th century. Third, the Byzantine Church itself accepted the Council as ecumenical until the Photian Synod of 879-880, which is thought to have abrogated its Acts; and those portions of the Byzantine Church that reunited with Rome since that time have considered it as ecumenical.

The crux of debate is reducible to the question whether Pope John VIII, by means of his supreme power of binding and loosing, actually annulled the acts of the Council of 869-870, thus depriving it of ecumenical status. This is of course what is claimed by Anti-Western Orthodox scholars, who have a curious (if convenient) interest at this point in the Roman primacy of John VIII. The answer is affirmative if the Greek text of the last two sessions of the Photian Synod are considered authentic, which may be doubted, not least because of Photius's history of altering the letters sent to him, to the Emperor Basil, and to the Byzantine Church by Pope John VIII, before having them read at the Photian Synod of 879-880. The answer is negative if takes into consideration other documents, such as the letter of Pope Stephen V to Emperor Basil I in 885-886. The integral letter of Stephen V to the Emperor Basil I that I presented to International Congress of Byzantine Studies in Paris and Brussels, shows that no pope had suppressed the acts of the Eighth Council. This letter states, in fact, that 20 years after the Fourth Council of Constantinople (869-870), Photius was still trying to have it annulled, a step that would be inexplicable if prior to this time John VIII had already taken the initiative in this matter.

You presented to to the International Congress of "Byzantine" Studies in Paris and Brussels?  Where can we find the link to your presentation?

Taken from Venice Grumels review of Dvorniks work. Forgot to edit this quote ... The point...however still stands and is a huge criticism on the argument of Dvornik ans the orthodox
So you tried to pass off as your post something someone else wrote concerning documents not in evidence accusing EP St. Photios of forgery.

That's some point you got.
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« Reply #52 on: Yesterday at 03:16:36 PM »

Ialmisry,

And principally speaking, how is what the Eastern Orthodox did @ Florence different than what the Copts did @ Chalcedon? They both claimed is was an invalid council because it did speak the truth and the "Church" (understood as them- which begs the question) did not receive it.

Could not anyone claim this ? And therefore, by what principle do you distinguish yourself from the Coptics?

There is no difference... They did the same thing. Just that when the EO do it, it's ok
Well, there is a difference.
First, it's true that failing to speak the truth and the church's at least partial rejection means that it's not ecumenical.
At Chalcedon, Dioscorus rejected a reasonable Creed, and also previously banned and exiled Patriarch Flavian incorrectly, even though Flavian was not a heretic. The Copts chose to follow Dioscorus in his schism with the church. However, the part of the church that was not in schism accepted Chalcedon.

Florence is different because it's goal was reunion with Orthodox and it failed because we didnt accept it.
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« Reply #53 on: Yesterday at 03:53:25 PM »

As usual, when the Roman Catholics can't stick up for their own awful history of councils that others won't accept, they have to drag us into it. The issues surrounding the very principled and reasonable rejection of Chalcedon on the part of the OO are completely different than those guiding the very principled and reasonable rejection of Florence. Leave us out of your defenses of things we also reject, Vatican bootlicks.
 
"Vatican bootlicks"... That's a rather insulting name to call our Catholic brothers and sisters on this thread. I'm sure you can offer a better defense of our faith than to throw out such an insulting ad hominem as this. Considering that you very recently received another warning for similar behavior, you are receiving this warning to last for the next 30 days. If you wish to appeal this warning, please send me a PM.

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« Reply #54 on: Yesterday at 03:56:31 PM »

Man, all this debate is really confusing for someone who has no firm loyalty to either of the Churches. I just want to know which one is the True Church, and follow it; instead, I have a rigmarole of frustrated people from two communities which both say "We're the Church" - "No, we're the Church!'. It seems like an eternal back-and-forth without any proper resolution.

Exactly what are the criteria for The True Church, anyway? Who said so? Why do we have to believe him, and not someone else? Sound and fury...
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« Reply #55 on: Yesterday at 04:02:19 PM »

Man, all this debate is really confusing for someone who has no firm loyalty to either of the Churches. I just want to know which one is the True Church, and follow it; instead, I have a rigmarole of frustrated people from two communities which both say "We're the Church" - "No, we're the Church!'. It seems like an eternal back-and-forth without any proper resolution.

Exactly what are the criteria for The True Church, anyway? Who said so? Why do we have to believe him, and not someone else? Sound and fury...
LOL, and so it has been for the last 1,000 years. Regardless of which is the True Church, you can be assured that it will not be found in the invectives thrown back and forth. The best thing to do is to study, pray and where ever you end up, be faithful and live a Godly life.

There is no pop quiz on papal infallibility at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
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« Reply #56 on: Yesterday at 04:49:29 PM »

A few popes have been material heretics but none have been formal heretics... Even the ecumenical councils recognized by the EO testify to this
You are dead wrong about that Wandle. Whether a pope was an actual formal heretic or not may be debated by some (whether credibly or not), but the fact that the whole Church East and West believed a pope was a heretic and affirmed so in official acts of Ecumenical Councils is indisputable.

"The whole church, East and West, as represented by the official acts of oecumenical Councils and Popes, for several hundred years believed that a Roman bishop may err ex cathedra in a question of faith, and that one of them at least had so erred in fact. The Vatican Council of 1870 decreed papal infallibility in the face of this fact, thus overruling history by dogmatic authority. ...If dogma contradicts facts, all the worse for the dogma" Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Vol IV: Mediaeval Christianity AD. 590-1073, § 113 "The Heresy of Honorius."

"This one fact, that a Great Council, universally received afterwards without hesitation throughout the Church, and presided over by papal legates, pronounced the dogmatic decision of a Pope heretical, and anathematized him by name as a heretic is a proof, clear as the sun at noonday, that the notion of any peculiar enlightenment or inerrancy of the popes was then utterly unknown to the whole Church" [including the West as represented by the papal legates] (J. von Dollinger, The Pope and the Council (Boston: Roberts, 1870), p. 61). [Roman Catholic historian]

Later in 1870 Vatican I anathematizes anyone who has the temerity to deny papal infallibility.[1] The whole RC Church did that for centuries universally in papal oaths and Ecumenical Councils.
______________
[1] Standing decree (with anathema) of Vatican I (proclaimed in 1870):
"9. ...we teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that when the Roman Pontiff speaks ex cathedra, that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church, he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his Church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals. Therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the Church, irreformable. So then, should anyone, which God forbid, have the temerity to reject this definition of ours: let him be anathema"

"...reject this... let him be anathema."

Yet the whole Church Universal rejected this for centuries. In Ecumenical Councils and Papal Oaths of Office.
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« Reply #57 on: Yesterday at 05:20:18 PM »

Ialmisry,

So you are saying that once an Eucmenical Council was finalized, it was never binding in the irreformable sense? At what point does it become irreformable?

And principally speaking, how is what the Eastern Orthodox did @ Florence different than what the Copts did @ Chalcedon? They both claimed is was an invalid council because it did speak the truth and the "Church" (understood as them- which begs the question) did not receive it.

Could not anyone claim this ? And therefore, by what principle do you distinguish yourself from the Coptics?

There is no difference... They did the same thing. Just that when the EO do it, it's ok
Btw, I forgot to mention, that's an odd/ironic accusation coming from someone who says whatever one bishop says is just peachy...because he says it's OK.
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« Reply #58 on: Yesterday at 05:32:07 PM »

Ialmisry,

So you are saying that once an Eucmenical Council was finalized, it was never binding in the irreformable sense? At what point does it become irreformable?

And principally speaking, how is what the Eastern Orthodox did @ Florence different than what the Copts did @ Chalcedon? They both claimed is was an invalid council because it did speak the truth and the "Church" (understood as them- which begs the question) did not receive it.

Could not anyone claim this ? And therefore, by what principle do you distinguish yourself from the Coptics?
btw, on "irreformable" can you give the etymology of this bit of Vaticanese?
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« Reply #59 on: Yesterday at 05:37:08 PM »

Well,

When it comes to finding the "true Church", this is not a battle won simply with intellect. When comparing the evidence of the modern Eastern Orthodox claims versus the modern Roman Catholic claims, both have a historical trajectory which is rooted in ancient times, which, when heeped up together in an article or a book, appear as an immensely strong argument from both sides.

You have Papal primacy as a permanent divine institution coming from the early Popes (250 AD beginning), and in the East, there is a conception of the equality of all bishoprics across the board, embodying together the chair of Peter. In the west, the chair of Peter became to be strictly the church of Rome and her bishop, and it became common to know that this is what Christ referred to as the "rock" upon which the gates of hell shall never prevail against, the chair of the bishop who inherits Peter's primal office.

In the East, you have arguments showing that there were many who contested Roman primacy (Polycrated representing the east, etc,etc), but at the end of the day, just because a portion of the Church rejected some truth doesn't mean that they were right. All the African bishops settled on rebaptizing all who come from heretical baptisms. And guess what? They were flat out wrong.

Ultimately, if you arrive at your "true church" model as a pure result of your intellect, the chances are you did not get to the "true Church".

What puts the Roman position in favor, personally, is that at the end of the day, I have to submit myself to a wholly "other" and "above" institution which words so above my head that I cannot understand it all and put it under a microscope. It promotes humility, in other words.

But I feel your pain.
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« Reply #60 on: Yesterday at 05:56:58 PM »

And when it comes to knowing the Christian faith, who has kept to the original teachings of the apostles ? Divorce/remarriage is allowed in the Orthodox Church, whereas in the Catholic Church, it is condemned. Contraception is allowed in the Orthodox Church. In the Catholic Church, it is condemned. And yet, the early Christians would not have fathomed to do either.

This for sure could be a factor which tips the scales in the end.

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« Reply #61 on: Yesterday at 05:59:09 PM »

Who but a Roman Catholic would think that modern Roman Catholic claims and Eastern Orthodox claims actually have equal time-depth in terms of their history? That's just insanity. Is this just a fancier way to peddle Rome's way out there and wrong assertion that we're somehow all the same by claiming that somehow the claims of those who retroactively read into history Papal Supremacy and all the rest of that nonsense are on equal historical footing as those of others (not just Eastern Orthodox) who don't read any supremacy into history for anybody? In other words, if I could see this perhaps if the EO were saying "nuh uh! The EP has universal jurisdiction, not the Roman Pope!", but they're not even claiming anything on the same level, by and large. It's Rome's assertion versus everybody else's contention that Rome is wrong. And when you ask the Vatican's partisans why it should be that Rome would be right even despite the evidence from pre-Schism many Roman Popes themselves that the modern Papal claims don't jibe with Rome's own history, all they have to say is "because Christ gave Peter the Keys, not anybody else", "because we're infallible so we can't be wrong", etc.

So in answer to "Couldn't anyone claim the same?", I can only ask where are all these other churches that are claiming the sorts of things that Rome claims about itself? The issue is way bigger than any one council that any church does or does not accept, and has to do with on what authority we are to accept anything. Rome appeals to its own very specific authority, whereas the Orthodox -- whether you consider them to be the EO or the OO (and as an OO, I must say that nothing interests me less than reading some RC gas on about how the EO must be wrong because we exist...again, cut that out; it just shows that you don't know jack and are grasping at straws) -- appeal to their much wider histories and the conciliar nature of their governance, in keeping with the early church itself, of which each communion claiming Orthodoxy sees itself as the legitimate continuation.

So, yes, anyone could claim the same...but they wouldn't be doing so on the same basis that RCs claim we must accept Florence or any particular council, so that really does not help your church or its pathetically ahistorical narrative.
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« Reply #62 on: Yesterday at 06:10:19 PM »

Who but a Roman Catholic would think that modern Roman Catholic claims and Eastern Orthodox claims actually have equal time-depth in terms of their history? That's just insanity. Is this just a fancier way to peddle Rome's way out there and wrong assertion that we're somehow all the same by claiming that somehow the claims of those who retroactively read into history Papal Supremacy and all the rest of that nonsense are on equal historical footing as those of others (not just Eastern Orthodox) who don't read any supremacy into history for anybody? In other words, if I could see this perhaps if the EO were saying "nuh uh! The EP has universal jurisdiction, not the Roman Pope!", but they're not even claiming anything on the same level, by and large. It's Rome's assertion versus everybody else's contention that Rome is wrong. And when you ask the Vatican's partisans why it should be that Rome would be right even despite the evidence from pre-Schism many Roman Popes themselves that the modern Papal claims don't jibe with Rome's own history, all they have to say is "because Christ gave Peter the Keys, not anybody else", "because we're infallible so we can't be wrong", etc.

So in answer to "Couldn't anyone claim the same?", I can only ask where are all these other churches that are claiming the sorts of things that Rome claims about itself? The issue is way bigger than any one council that any church does or does not accept, and has to do with on what authority we are to accept anything. Rome appeals to its own very specific authority, whereas the Orthodox -- whether you consider them to be the EO or the OO (and as an OO, I must say that nothing interests me less than reading some RC gas on about how the EO must be wrong because we exist...again, cut that out; it just shows that you don't know jack and are grasping at straws) -- appeal to their much wider histories and the conciliar nature of their governance, in keeping with the early church itself, of which each communion claiming Orthodoxy sees itself as the legitimate continuation.

So, yes, anyone could claim the same...but they wouldn't be doing so on the same basis that RCs claim we must accept Florence or any particular council, so that really does not help your church or its pathetically ahistorical narrative.


There is an extremely early trajectory which distinguished the Roman bishopric from all other bishoprics. We see this in the 250's w/ Pope Stephen, via Firmilian. He "boasts of his episcopate...claiming that he holds the succession of Peter". Then, you have Innocent I, Damasus, Sirius, and Leo, who all taught that there was a divine institution in the dispensation of the Church that involved Peter's continuing to govern and shepherd the Church in "his See" (rome). This was not poetry to them. They spoke very critically about this, and gave it much thought, and it bore out in their practical and extra-ordinary governing of the Church.

In the East, they continued the whole "all bishops are equal", and yet somehow we got to the Pentarchy, which itself seems to betray this former notion. If not, then you have an essentially equal pentarchy which is no different than just 5 other bishops.

In the early Church, the Catholic Church could tell you how one was in schism or not. One was in schism when he departed the chair of Peter (St. Optatus), as in the case of the Donatists. St. Jerome calls the roman bishop the "chair of Peter" from which the Church has her rock against the gates of hell. That is quite striking language.

But the eastern Orthodox also have their arguments.
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« Reply #63 on: Yesterday at 06:13:13 PM »

And when it comes to knowing the Christian faith, who has kept to the original teachings of the apostles ? Divorce/remarriage is allowed in the Orthodox Church, whereas in the Catholic Church, it is condemned. Contraception is allowed in the Orthodox Church. In the Catholic Church, it is condemned. And yet, the early Christians would not have fathomed to do either.

This for sure could be a factor which tips the scales in the end.



And the Apostles didn't have annulments, and the Apostles didn't have an infallible Pope, and the Apostles didn't have clown masses, and the Apostles didn't have "the Apostle's Creed", and the Apostles didn't have a theocratic city-state at the Vatican, and the Apostles never spoke Latin, and the Apostles didn't dispense with fasting by works of charity, and the Apostles didn't need nor claim to be vicars of Christ, and the Apostles didn't have the Popemobile, and the Apostles didn't have sexual molestation scandals, and the Apostles didn't endorse popular monotheism, and the Apostles didn't pray to the sacred heart, and the Apostles didn't have visions of the Theotokos to confirm any particular contentious point of theology, and the Apostles didn't teach that the Holy Spirit is the bond of love between the Father and the Son, and the Apostles never said the word "Filioque", and the Apostles didn't teach that the Virgin Mary was preserved from any "stain" of original sin from conception, and the Apostles didn't carve out sections of the church in an attempt to put particular people under their leadership at the expense of others because they thought themselves better than one another (see: 1 Corinthians re: "I am of Paul"), and the Apostles didn't sell indulgences, and the Apostles didn't teach the Latin purgatory, and the Apostles did not speak through Leo nor through Francis.

There's a small list of things that may also "tip the scales", if you're dumb enough to think that arguing this way is of any benefit to anyone.
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« Reply #64 on: Yesterday at 06:22:46 PM »

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« Reply #65 on: Today at 02:21:24 AM »

Hello everyone,

I was recently informed by a Roman Catholic apologist that he did not become Eastern Orthodox in his conversion to Christianity because, historically, the conditions for the ecumenicity of a Council were already traditionally established, and since the Council of Florence met this criterion, the Eastern Orthodox had no consistency in turning their backs on it, and this pretty much sealed the deal for him.

Could anyone offer a response, or provide a source to this seeming issue? Thanks
EY,
It wasn't ecumenical because it didn't represent the people's wishes in the Orthodox church, nor many of their church leaders'. It was extremely unpopular.

For a Council to be Ecumenical, it has to represent a general consensus of the church leaders, like the council of Nicea did.

It sounds to me like the person wanted to look for an easy way to dismiss Orthodoxy. There are other issues more important than Florence.

Actually Nicea didn't... The church was majority Arian by that time...
heretics and schismatics don't get a vote and don't count. Otherwise, why not count the Montanists and Gnostics as well as the Arians?
A simple question  : Why was Chalcedon ecumenical? It doesn't meet your criteria of an ecumenical council at all...
It represented a general consensus of the Church leaders and was ratified by the Faithful at large as such. IOW, yes, it did meet the criteria of an Ecumenical Council.

Question is, why doesn't the Vatican recognize Constantinople IV of 879 as Ecumenical, seeing as it meets all the Vatican's criteria for an Ecumenical Council.

Circular reasoning at its best... Thats why many Orthodox scholars today don't even entertain this theory anymore. Its clearly circular and blatantly Ahistorical. Because if that's a true method of determining ecumenicity... Then from the roman POV, Florence is still ecumenical as schismatics do not have a say


Well it's not circular as far as 879 is concerned. It perfectly meets Rome's mechanical definition of infallibility. The pope ratified it. Rome then went back and retroactively refuted it and recognized 869 instead when it fit their agenda on the filioque. Maybe the pope wasn't actually sitting on the cathedra when he ratified 879...... laugh

The ecumenical status of the Fourth Council of Constantinople of 869-870 has long been contested by the Anti-Western Orthodox. During the ecumenically-charged milieu leading up to and following the Second Vatican Council, many Roman Catholic scholars and ecumenists, eager to mend relations with their Eastern Orthodox brethren, have been back-pedaling and down-playing their former criticisms of Photius, amending and revising their accounts of the Photian Schism. In this process, some further details have been brought to light, but in some instances earlier details have been obfiscated and covered over. One of the most prominent Catholic scholars during this period has been Francis Dvornik (or Dvornic), whose books, The Photian Schism: History and Legend (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1948; rpt. 1970) and Byzantium and the Roman Primacy (New York: Fordham University Press, 1966; rpt. 1979) have been viewed by Anti-Western Orthodox scholars as having come a significant way towards accommodating some of their interpretations. To their delight, Dvornik accepts, for example, their claim that the belief that the successors of John VIII--Marinus I, Stephen V, and Formosus--had broken with Photius is a legendary invention. It must be conceded, in fact, that Photius did die in communion with Rome. Dvornik's claim that Photius never actually questioned Roman primacy seems well-attested. However, the notion that the ecumenical status of the Fourth Council of Constantinople in 869-870 is fundamentally compromised by the acts of the Photian Council of 879-880 cannot be seriously maintained. First, the matter is ultimately a question of authority, and whether the matter was immediately settled in the ninth century or not is in the final analysis irrelevant. Second, the Council claimed for itself an ecumenical status by calling itself the universalis octava synodus; and it had at least the necessary geographical characteristics because of the authority of all the heads of the Church who were either present or represented.

Was it recognized as ecumenical by the Holy See? Three facts are certain and incontestable. First, Adrian II had already approved it in his letter of Nov. 10, 871, as well as in his letter to the faithful of Salerno and Amalfi in 875; and John VIII called it sancta octava synodus, thereby formally recognizing its ecumenical status. Second, the Council has been listed among the ecumenical councils recognized by the Roman Catholic Church since the beginning of the 12th century. Third, the Byzantine Church itself accepted the Council as ecumenical until the Photian Synod of 879-880, which is thought to have abrogated its Acts; and those portions of the Byzantine Church that reunited with Rome since that time have considered it as ecumenical.

The crux of debate is reducible to the question whether Pope John VIII, by means of his supreme power of binding and loosing, actually annulled the acts of the Council of 869-870, thus depriving it of ecumenical status. This is of course what is claimed by Anti-Western Orthodox scholars, who have a curious (if convenient) interest at this point in the Roman primacy of John VIII. The answer is affirmative if the Greek text of the last two sessions of the Photian Synod are considered authentic, which may be doubted, not least because of Photius's history of altering the letters sent to him, to the Emperor Basil, and to the Byzantine Church by Pope John VIII, before having them read at the Photian Synod of 879-880. The answer is negative if takes into consideration other documents, such as the letter of Pope Stephen V to Emperor Basil I in 885-886. The integral letter of Stephen V to the Emperor Basil I that I presented to International Congress of Byzantine Studies in Paris and Brussels, shows that no pope had suppressed the acts of the Eighth Council. This letter states, in fact, that 20 years after the Fourth Council of Constantinople (869-870), Photius was still trying to have it annulled, a step that would be inexplicable if prior to this time John VIII had already taken the initiative in this matter.

You presented to to the International Congress of "Byzantine" Studies in Paris and Brussels?  Where can we find the link to your presentation?

Taken from Venice Grumels review of Dvorniks work. Forgot to edit this quote ... The point...however still stands and is a huge criticism on the argument of Dvornik ans the orthodox
Can you post a link to this? That would be very helpful in making sure we comply with federal copyright laws here. I think 72 hours should be enough time for you to do this. Thanks.
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« Reply #66 on: Today at 02:24:11 AM »

A few popes have been material heretics but none have been formal heretics... Even the ecumenical councils recognized by the EO testify to this
You are dead wrong about that Wandle. Whether a pope was an actual formal heretic or not may be debated by some (whether credibly or not), but the fact that the whole Church East and West believed a pope was a heretic and affirmed so in official acts of Ecumenical Councils is indisputable.

"The whole church, East and West, as represented by the official acts of oecumenical Councils and Popes, for several hundred years believed that a Roman bishop may err ex cathedra in a question of faith, and that one of them at least had so erred in fact. The Vatican Council of 1870 decreed papal infallibility in the face of this fact, thus overruling history by dogmatic authority. ...If dogma contradicts facts, all the worse for the dogma" Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Vol IV: Mediaeval Christianity AD. 590-1073, § 113 "The Heresy of Honorius."

"This one fact, that a Great Council, universally received afterwards without hesitation throughout the Church, and presided over by papal legates, pronounced the dogmatic decision of a Pope heretical, and anathematized him by name as a heretic is a proof, clear as the sun at noonday, that the notion of any peculiar enlightenment or inerrancy of the popes was then utterly unknown to the whole Church" [including the West as represented by the papal legates] (J. von Dollinger, The Pope and the Council (Boston: Roberts, 1870), p. 61). [Roman Catholic historian]

Later in 1870 Vatican I anathematizes anyone who has the temerity to deny papal infallibility.[1] The whole RC Church did that for centuries universally in papal oaths and Ecumenical Councils.
______________
[1] Standing decree (with anathema) of Vatican I (proclaimed in 1870):
"9. ...we teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that when the Roman Pontiff speaks ex cathedra, that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church, he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his Church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals. Therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the Church, irreformable. So then, should anyone, which God forbid, have the temerity to reject this definition of ours: let him be anathema"

"...reject this... let him be anathema."

Yet the whole Church Universal rejected this for centuries. In Ecumenical Councils and Papal Oaths of Office.

Would you please let us know whom you're quoting here? A reference to the name of the author and the name of the work will suffice. If you copied this from an online source, then post a link to the source. 72 hours should be enough time for you to do this. Thanks.
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« Reply #67 on: Today at 02:39:13 AM »

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