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Author Topic: Exclusion of Eastern Catholic Churches from the Ecumenical Dialogue  (Read 17050 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: November 17, 2007, 09:09:32 PM »

Those who have followed the International Meeting in early October in Ravenna between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches may have noted that the Eastern Catholic Churches are not involved.  This has been true all the way since these series of Meetings commenced in the 1980s and it was true at Belgrade in September 2006 and at Ravenna in October 2007.

The decision was made in the beginning that the Churches would send delegates from autocephalous Churches (NOT autonomous Churches.)

This has resulted in 30 Orthodox delegates - two from each of the 15 autocephalous Churches (minus the OCA.)

To balance the Orthodox numbers there are 30 delegates from the Roman Catholic Church. 

The Roman Catholic Church is the *only* Church of autocephalous status in the Catholic world of 23 sui juris Chuches.  All the Eastern Catholic Churches have simply autonomous status and are not qualified to participate in the Catholic-Orthodox dialogue.

WHY has the ecumenical dialogue been so structured as to exclude the Eastern Catholics?






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« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2007, 09:13:57 PM »

Can part of the problem be part of the solution?
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« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2007, 09:24:32 PM »

Can part of the problem be part of the solution?
I'd say that the major problem is the Roman Catholic Church itself, its medieval structure (the papacy), its new dogmas and of course its creation of the Eastern Catholic Churches.  Yet we engage her in dialogue.
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« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2007, 11:06:31 PM »

Can part of the problem be part of the solution?

I think I know what you're getting at and I would say you're on to something. In my opinion, the controversy caused by the Eastern Catholic churches is the main reason they are absent (this is especially true in central and eastern Europe). I think the secondary issue is the lack of unity within the Catholic Church. Now I must certainly clarify: In a sense, the Catholic churches are unified through a common bishop (i.e. the Pope), but they are not through doctrine. Are the Eastern Catholic churches supposed to accept ALL dogmas proclaimed by Rome, or just those that fit into their own traditions? I can't get a single answer to this question and I am Catholic! Embarrassed
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« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2007, 11:26:19 PM »

I think I know what you're getting at and I would say you're on to something. In my opinion, the controversy caused by the Eastern Catholic churches is the main reason they are absent (this is especially true in central and eastern Europe). I think the secondary issue is the lack of unity within the Catholic Church.........  Are the Eastern Catholic churches supposed to accept ALL dogmas proclaimed by Rome, or just those that fit into their own traditions? I can't get a single answer to this question and I am Catholic! Embarrassed
Yes, I think you have a good point.

We are accustomed to seeing the EC Churches (btw, the forbidden "U" word here is not seen as so barbaric outside the States.  One can find it in the contemporary writings of Ukrainian Greek Catholics, Polish theologians, Catholic ecumenists, etc.)  -anyway we are accustomed to seeing the EC Churches as red rag to a bull for the Orthodox at ecumenical events.

But we forget that they could be a major embarrassment to the Roman Catholics at such events because they would highlight the lack of unity in the Catholic Church on key doctrines.  The Melkites or the Ukrainians could proclaim, as is their wont, that they accept nothing beyond the faith which they professed at the time of their union with Rome.  This is a right guaranteed to them by their Agreements of Union with the Vatican. 

In other words they could deny papal infallibility, papal supremacy, purgatory, the RC Councils after the 7 Ecumenical Councils, etc.     Imagine the publicity that this lack of unity would grab in the religious press if it were brought to light at a Catholic-Orthodox ecumenical meeting!

So it becomes a little clearer why Rome may be jittery about them and excludes them from the ecumenical dialogue. police
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« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2007, 11:27:53 PM »

I wonder if we are reading too much into this. The requirement of autocephaly and exclusion of autonomy as criteria for engaging in the talks could be completely unrelated to the issue of the Eastern Rite Churches. In reality, the Orthodox Church has no choice but to include the autocephalous Churches since they can "speak for themselves", but if it includes the autonomous Churches, then there is a problem. For example, the Patriarchate of Antioch is a member of the WCC, yet the Autonomous Antiochian Archdiocese of America (which is granted autonomy under the Patriarchate) has withdrawn from the WCC- this effectively creates a double message coming from the Patriarchate of Antioch in regards to the WCC.
The exclusion of the Autonomous Churches from the talks may simply be an attempt to present a "unified voice" from each side.
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« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2007, 12:23:21 AM »

The exclusion of the Autonomous Churches from the talks may simply be an attempt to present a "unified voice" from each side.

I think that

1.  The inclusion of the autonomous Orthodox Churches would not damage an Orthodox "unified voice" in any way

2.  The inclusion of the Catholic autonomous ritual Churches (as Catholic canon law terms them) has the potential to damage the Catholic unified voice as regards some major Roman Catholic dogma.
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« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2007, 12:31:45 AM »

The inclusion of the Catholic autonomous ritual Churches (as Catholic canon law terms them) has the potential to damage the Catholic unified voice as regards some major Roman Catholic dogma.
I agree they have the potential but do you think they would risk doing so? I actually think that the Eastern Rite Catholic Churches would tow the Vatican line for fear of finding themselves out in the cold.
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« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2007, 12:36:09 AM »

2.  The inclusion of the Catholic autonomous ritual Churches (as Catholic canon law terms them) has the potential to damage the Catholic unified voice as regards some major Roman Catholic dogma. 

While the potential exists, have the leaders of the Autonomous churches (EC's) shown any tendency to do such a public rank-breaking in the past?
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« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2007, 12:48:07 AM »

I agree they have the potential but do you think they would risk doing so? I actually think that the Eastern Rite Catholic Churches would tow the Vatican line for fear of finding themselves out in the cold.
I think that the Melkites (and the Ukrainian Greek Catholics to a lessor extent) have lost any fear of Rome.  Things such as the Zoghby Initiative have given them fresh heart.


The Melkite Initiative -

"They offer special thanks to Archbishop Elias Zoghby whose 1995 Profession of Faith was the major force for reopening dialogue with the Orthodox brothers. Zoghby, the former archbishop of Baalbek and a long-time leader among the Melkite bishops, offered this brief statement in 1995 and it was subscribed to by 24 of the 26 bishops present at the 1995 Holy Synod:

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

Number one implies that the Melkites do not accept any of the doctrinal additions or changes that have been proclaimed by the RCC since the schism.

Number two implies that the Melkites accept the Pope as 'first amongst equals' rather than a Universal, Infallible, and Supreme Authority.

Since they are a sui juris church within the Roman Church , where is the global unity within the Roman Catholic Church?

-oOo-

You can find an outright denial of the ecumenicity of all the Roman Catholic Councils on the official website of the Melkites in the States!
http://www.melkite.org/Challenge2005B.htm#GRADES%207-12

-oOo-

And here is an interesting take on this Melkite Catholic site in the US. It goes so far as to

1) label Pius IX' s declaration of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception "imprudent"

2) declare that the Immaculate Concdeption makes no sense to Eastern Catholics

3) deny that the Pope can declare any infallible dogma. Only an Ecumenical Council has that authority.

This privilege of the Theotokos, accepted throughout the centuries, was officially proclaimed as a dogma by Pope Pius IX in the year 1854. In the West, this Feast is called the Immaculate Conception and is celebrated on 8 Dec.

Pius IX's unilateral declaration of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception was considered imprudent by Byzantine Catholics.

Since the Byzantine Catholics and the Orthodox do not understand Original Sin in the same way as the Latins, the concept of the Immaculate Conception makes no sense in Eastern theology. The Byzantine Catholics and the Orthodox believe that only an Ecumenical Council can declare dogma.  
http://www.mliles.com/melkite/theotokosminorconception.shtml
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« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2007, 01:00:49 AM »

While the potential exists, have the leaders of the Autonomous churches (EC's) shown any tendency to do such a public rank-breaking in the past?
Oh yes.

Here we have an instance of the Catholic Melkite Patriarch claiming equality with the Pope, both for himself and for other Catholic Patriarchs. This is from the Vatican website

http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/sinodo/documents/bollettino_20_x-ordinaria-2001/02_inglese/b10_02.html
(close to the bottom of the webpage)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[00119-02.03] [in096] [Original text: French]
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« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2007, 01:06:31 AM »

I see...Then perhaps we are not reading too much into this!
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« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2007, 07:38:05 AM »

I think that the Melkites (and the Ukrainian Greek Catholics to a lessor extent) have lost any fear of Rome.  Things such as the Zoghby Initiative have given them fresh heart.


The Melkite Initiative -

"They offer special thanks to Archbishop Elias Zoghby whose 1995 Profession of Faith was the major force for reopening dialogue with the Orthodox brothers. Zoghby, the former archbishop of Baalbek and a long-time leader among the Melkite bishops, offered this brief statement in 1995 and it was subscribed to by 24 of the 26 bishops present at the 1995 Holy Synod:

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

Number one implies that the Melkites do not accept any of the doctrinal additions or changes that have been proclaimed by the RCC since the schism.

Number two implies that the Melkites accept the Pope as 'first amongst equals' rather than a Universal, Infallible, and Supreme Authority.

Since they are a sui juris church within the Roman Church , where is the global unity within the Roman Catholic Church?

-oOo-

You can find an outright denial of the ecumenicity of all the Roman Catholic Councils on the official website of the Melkites in the States!
http://www.melkite.org/Challenge2005B.htm#GRADES%207-12

-oOo-

And here is an interesting take on this Melkite Catholic site in the US. It goes so far as to

1) label Pius IX' s declaration of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception "imprudent"

2) declare that the Immaculate Concdeption makes no sense to Eastern Catholics

3) deny that the Pope can declare any infallible dogma. Only an Ecumenical Council has that authority.

This privilege of the Theotokos, accepted throughout the centuries, was officially proclaimed as a dogma by Pope Pius IX in the year 1854. In the West, this Feast is called the Immaculate Conception and is celebrated on 8 Dec.

Pius IX's unilateral declaration of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception was considered imprudent by Byzantine Catholics.

Since the Byzantine Catholics and the Orthodox do not understand Original Sin in the same way as the Latins, the concept of the Immaculate Conception makes no sense in Eastern theology. The Byzantine Catholics and the Orthodox believe that only an Ecumenical Council can declare dogma.  
http://www.mliles.com/melkite/theotokosminorconception.shtml


The outright denial of Catholic doctrine and belief shown here by the Melkites is really overwhelming. If any Catholic places himself outside of the Church through denial, it is not the fault of the faithful.

I am not sure why any Eastern Catholic would want to deny Catholic teaching for the sake of the patristic heritage from a church viewed as schismatic by the Catholic Church, though I know it is very real and present amongst Eastern Catholics. While Vatican II certainly encouraged Eastern Catholics to return to THEIR patristic tradition, I am not sure why all too many of them have looked to Eastern Orthodoxy as a representative of Catholic tradition. Shocked

The Eastern Catholics who tend to reject Catholic teaching normally have legitimate concerns, but their reaction is similar to that of the SSPX. And this further disunity in faith is certainly not helping spread the gospel.

Peace and God Bless!

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« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2007, 08:06:51 AM »

Thank you, Father, for the references!

I can see where the Latin church would be a bit "skittish" when thinking about including the EC's in dialogue.
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« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2007, 01:18:16 PM »

I think that the Melkites (and the Ukrainian Greek Catholics to a lessor extent) have lost any fear of Rome.  Things such as the Zoghby Initiative have given them fresh heart.


The Melkite Initiative -

"They offer special thanks to Archbishop Elias Zoghby whose 1995 Profession of Faith was the major force for reopening dialogue with the Orthodox brothers. Zoghby, the former archbishop of Baalbek and a long-time leader among the Melkite bishops, offered this brief statement in 1995 and it was subscribed to by 24 of the 26 bishops present at the 1995 Holy Synod:

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

Number one implies that the Melkites do not accept any of the doctrinal additions or changes that have been proclaimed by the RCC since the schism.

Number two implies that the Melkites accept the Pope as 'first amongst equals' rather than a Universal, Infallible, and Supreme Authority.

Since they are a sui juris church within the Roman Church , where is the global unity within the Roman Catholic Church?

-oOo-

You can find an outright denial of the ecumenicity of all the Roman Catholic Councils on the official website of the Melkites in the States!
http://www.melkite.org/Challenge2005B.htm#GRADES%207-12

-oOo-

And here is an interesting take on this Melkite Catholic site in the US. It goes so far as to

1) label Pius IX' s declaration of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception "imprudent"

2) declare that the Immaculate Concdeption makes no sense to Eastern Catholics

3) deny that the Pope can declare any infallible dogma. Only an Ecumenical Council has that authority.

This privilege of the Theotokos, accepted throughout the centuries, was officially proclaimed as a dogma by Pope Pius IX in the year 1854. In the West, this Feast is called the Immaculate Conception and is celebrated on 8 Dec.

Pius IX's unilateral declaration of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception was considered imprudent by Byzantine Catholics.

Since the Byzantine Catholics and the Orthodox do not understand Original Sin in the same way as the Latins, the concept of the Immaculate Conception makes no sense in Eastern theology. The Byzantine Catholics and the Orthodox believe that only an Ecumenical Council can declare dogma.  
http://www.mliles.com/melkite/theotokosminorconception.shtml


I think it might also be interesting to view Bishop John Elya Answers on the same melkite website. He seems to have a much more unified view with the Pope.

Catholig
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« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2007, 01:58:50 PM »

Bishop Elya is one of the more Latin-leaning bishops. Period.

In the case of Australia, the Melkites and the Ukrainians came out with a statement in 1998 stamping their authority to ordain married men to the priesthood without approval from their Latin-rite "superiors" and the Vatican of course. Legend has it that Bishop Peter Stasiuk was supposed to ordain a married man to the diaconate (and subsequently to the priesthood) in Australia. However, the day before the supposed ordination, the Latin archbishop steps in and interrupts an otherwise smooth-flowing plan to ordain this worthy individual. Bishop Peter abruptly sends the chap on that same day itself to Ukraine to be ordained. It was said that he warned the Latin-rite Archbishop to "not step on my toes." "Don't think I can't do this." This was the story behind the statement.

I am unsure of the exact dates and the period of time for the sequence of events, but I am sure that I am telling you what I heard. The sequence of events and what transpired is indeed true.
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« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2007, 02:15:27 PM »

I think it might also be interesting to view Bishop John Elya Answers on the same melkite website. He seems to have a much more unified view with the Pope.

Catholig
Looks like equal time given to opposing viewpoints...

Bishop John Elya was one of only two Melkite bishops in the synod to vote against the Zoghby initiative. Both of whom were appointed to their positions by the Pope, not the Melkite synod!

In other words, the Pope now (only since Vat II) has the power to name members to the Melkite synod, when those Sees are in the diaspora. I hate to state that bishop John's opinion can be discounted, clearly it cannot, but he is equally clearly out of step with his own synod and Patriarch, as well as (apparently) traditional Melkite belief.

He is also retired, and no longer occupies the See. I wonder if his successor was a bishop at the time, and if he signed the Zoghby Initiative? Can anyone here help us with that?

Nevertheless, the initiative passed overwhelmingly, and was heartily endorsed by the Patriarch. Bishop John does not speak for anyone but himself (and his Pope I guess, that counts for something), he is contradicting his church's Synod.

We see the Melkites saying one thing in the synod, and another in the diaspora. It's synodal integrity slowing eroding away as more and more Melkites leave the Middle east for places like Europe, Australia and North America and the Pope will have ever growing direct control over erecting new Eparchies and appointing new bishops.

Why is this important? Patriarchal churches in Communion with Rome must be absolutely free of coersion from, or subordination to the See of Rome, to set a good example for the Orthodox. Right now we see a synod with manacles on, making a lot of noise but ultimately unable: to even name all it's own bishops, manage it's own growth and teach it's own Truth to it's children abroad.

No Orthodox church wants to be trapped in a vortex like that one, enticed by promises then slowly constrained into absoption, and with that Orthodox Truth disappears.

Michael
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« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2007, 02:37:22 PM »

I think I know what you're getting at and I would say you're on to something. In my opinion, the controversy caused by the Eastern Catholic churches is the main reason they are absent (this is especially true in central and eastern Europe). I think the secondary issue is the lack of unity within the Catholic Church. Now I must certainly clarify: In a sense, the Catholic churches are unified through a common bishop (i.e. the Pope), but they are not through doctrine. Are the Eastern Catholic churches supposed to accept ALL dogmas proclaimed by Rome, or just those that fit into their own traditions? I can't get a single answer to this question and I am Catholic! Embarrassed

Let me see if I can help you here.
If one reads
http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decree_19641121_orientalium-ecclesiarum_en.html
one sees the 'return to tradition' request by Rome to the Eastern Catholic churches. So far so good, until one questions (as the Melkite Patriarch seems to do) exactly what this entails. Hence, Rome is blunt in its meaning here:
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/motu_proprio/documents/hf_jp-ii_motu-proprio_30061998_ad-tuendam-fidem_en.html
wherein one reads that no matter what expression a church may be allowed to use (no filioque, for example) ultimately ALL dogma and doctrine of the Church of Rome MUST be believed.

Little wonder that the ECs are not included in ecumenical talks.
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« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2007, 03:16:57 PM »

Little wonder that the ECs are not included in ecumenical talks.
Little wonder indeed!

They do not all speak with one voice.

But quite honestly, the Melkites were always much more independent of Rome theologically. It did not start with Vatican II. In fact, the Melkites probably had a lot to do with that Vat II document, they brought the idea with them from Damascus and pushed it, or lobbied it.

That's what I think.

The  current practice of excluding the Eastern Catholic Autonomous Ritual Churches from talks contradicts the Balamand agreement, so obviously Rome is not taking that agreement any more seriously than many of the Orthodox are. But the policy is perfectly in keeping with the older, pre-Vat II ecclesiology of the church, which did not see them as Sui Iuris churches at all, but subsidiary parts of the one church under the bishop of Rome.

Rome is really uncomfortable wiith the idea of these ARC's speaking for themselves, or engaging in talks directly with their counterparts unsupervised. If that became a regular event I am sure that we would see some organic growth and change in the Eastern Catholic churches. I am of the opinion that true Autocephaly for the Eastern Catholic churches is the only way through the dreadful effects of division between East and West.

Let them negotiate their own agreements with Holy Orthodoxy, the Papal prerogatives will evolve new understandings accordingly.

Michael
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« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2007, 03:49:19 PM »

I am a Ruthenian Catholic and I support the various Melkite initiatives.
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« Reply #20 on: November 18, 2007, 04:04:35 PM »

Let me see if I can help you here.
If one reads
http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decree_19641121_orientalium-ecclesiarum_en.html
one sees the 'return to tradition' request by Rome to the Eastern Catholic churches. So far so good, until one questions (as the Melkite Patriarch seems to do) exactly what this entails. Hence, Rome is blunt in its meaning here:
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/motu_proprio/documents/hf_jp-ii_motu-proprio_30061998_ad-tuendam-fidem_en.html
wherein one reads that no matter what expression a church may be allowed to use (no filioque, for example) ultimately ALL dogma and doctrine of the Church of Rome MUST be believed.


Of course. Dropping parts of the Catholic faith is not congruent with returning to tradition.

Why does this cause controversy amongst the Orthodox?
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« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2007, 04:10:35 PM »

Amen for this Canon:
Quote
Canon 1436 – § 1. Whoever denies a truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or who calls into doubt, or who totally repudiates the Christian faith, and does not retract after having been legitimately warned, is to be punished as a heretic or an apostate with a major excommunication; a cleric moreover can be punished with other penalties, not excluding deposition.

§ 2. In addition to these cases, whoever obstinately rejects a teaching that the Roman Pontiff or the College of Bishops, exercising the authentic Magisterium, have set forth to be held definitively, or who affirms what they have condemned as erroneous, and does not retract after having been legitimately warned, is to be punished with an appropriate penalty.

Any Eastern Catholic who denies a truth of the Catholic faith (such as the Immaculate Conception) is to be punished!

I know this sounds harsh, but it is the teaching of the Church.

Peace and God Bless!
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« Reply #22 on: November 18, 2007, 04:35:21 PM »

...
Any Eastern Catholic who denies a truth of the Catholic faith (such as the Immaculate Conception) is to be punished!
...

Oh, my!

Would Thomas Aquinas would be punished, or he didn't fulfill the requirements - he wasn't Eastern?
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« Reply #23 on: November 18, 2007, 06:48:03 PM »

Any Eastern Catholic who denies a truth of the Catholic faith (such as the Immaculate Conception) is to be punished!
Seems to me they are punished preemptively- by being excluded from Dialogues.
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« Reply #24 on: November 18, 2007, 06:53:59 PM »

Quote
Canon 1436 – § 1. Whoever denies a truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or who calls into doubt, or who totally repudiates the Christian faith, and does not retract after having been legitimately warned, is to be punished as a heretic or an apostate with a major excommunication; a cleric moreover can be punished with other penalties, not excluding deposition.

§ 2. In addition to these cases, whoever obstinately rejects a teaching that the Roman Pontiff or the College of Bishops, exercising the authentic Magisterium, have set forth to be held definitively, or who affirms what they have condemned as erroneous, and does not retract after having been legitimately warned, is to be punished with an appropriate penalty.


Amen for this Canon:
Any Eastern Catholic who denies a truth of the Catholic faith (such as the Immaculate Conception) is to be punished!

I know this sounds harsh, but it is the teaching of the Church.
Dear Magic,

The question is:  why are the Eastern Catholics not punished with a major excommunication?   What prevents Rome expelling the heretics who disrupt its unity of faith, whether it be denial of papal infallibility or the ecumenicity of Catholic Councils or whatever?

Here is another example of heresy from the Eastern Catholics. 

1. Melkite denial of Papal infallibilibity; Denial of the universal authority of Roman Catholic "Ecumenical' Councils

"Vatican I has the same designation as the Council of Lyons, a 'general' synod of the West. With this designation it is neither ecumenical nor infallible and could produce only theological opinions that can not be imposed on anyone"
~Melkite Catholic Archbishop Elias Zogby, "Ecumenical Reflections," Eastern Christian Publications, 1998.

Notice how he is denying papal infalliblity, the major dogma proclaimed at Vatican I. He is reducing it to a non essential theological opinion.
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« Reply #25 on: November 18, 2007, 07:46:22 PM »


He is also retired, and no longer occupies the See. I wonder if his successor was a bishop at the time, and if he signed the Zoghby Initiative? Can anyone here help us with that?
Wikipedia can.  Smiley

The successor to Bishop Elya is Archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros.  He was consecrated bishop in 1988 and succeeded Archbp Elias Zoghby in the Diocese of Baalbek.  He transferred to the United States in 2004.

See
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyril_Salim_Bustros
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« Reply #26 on: November 18, 2007, 07:55:55 PM »

The question is:  why are the Eastern Catholics not punished with a major excommunication? 
"Vatican I has the same designation as the Council of Lyons, a 'general' synod of the West. With this designation it is neither ecumenical nor infallible and could produce only theological opinions that can not be imposed on anyone"
~Melkite Catholic Archbishop Elias Zogby, "Ecumenical Reflections," Eastern Christian Publications, 1998.

Notice how he is denying papal infalliblity, the major dogma proclaimed at Vatican I. He is reducing it to a non essential theological opinion.
What the heck is going on here?

Is someone in Rome asleep at the switch?  Shocked

The referenced canon is in the CCEO, the person in question is in an Eastern Catholic church that falls under the CCEO.

Perhaps the problem is...the Archbishop is in Lebanon, the synod and Patriarch of the church involved (responsible for enforcing these canons) also does not see the Papal doctrines as mandated dogma which applies to them, and therefore Archbishop Elias is not considered guilty of anything  Roll Eyes

I have a feeling that he would not get away with that if he were in the diaspora.
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« Reply #27 on: November 18, 2007, 08:02:30 PM »

Wikipedia can.  Smiley

The successor to Bishop Elya is Archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros.  He was consecrated bishop in 1988 and succeeded Archbp Elias Zoghby in the Diocese of Baalbek.  He transferred to the United States in 2004.

See
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyril_Salim_Bustros
Hello father,

 Interesting.

The Zoghby Initiative was from 1995, so the Archbishop was already retired. The successor of Bishop John Elya is an Archbishop from Lebanon who was in place in the synod at the time of the Zoghby Initiative. I assume that if he was present and voted, he supported the initiative because everything I have heard up until now stated the dissenters were in the diaspora.

I am sure Irish Melkite can clean up this story for us, if he sees this.  Wink
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« Reply #28 on: November 19, 2007, 12:54:11 AM »

Statement about the Melkites issued by a large Catholic Broadcasting Network:
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.
Response by Father John Mowatt
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.

http://www.melkite.org/misunder.htm
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« Reply #29 on: November 19, 2007, 02:13:28 AM »

Statement about the Melkites issued by a large Catholic Broadcasting Network:
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 above is taken from EWTN's assessment of the various Eastern Catholic Churches
http://www.ewtn.com/library/LITURGY/EASTRITE.TXT
Quote
Response by Father John Mowatt
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.

http://www.melkite.org/misunder.htm
Father Mowatt seems out of touch with the (dissident) thinking of the Melkite Synod of bishops.  Even Bishop John Elya has written about this and he contrasts it with his own personal unswerving loyalty to Rome.
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« Reply #30 on: November 19, 2007, 02:51:44 AM »

Do the Eastern Catholics really deny papal infallibility and don't recognize the authority of some Catholic councils? doesn't that make them sort of like the Old Catholics?
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« Reply #31 on: November 19, 2007, 04:46:18 AM »

Do the Eastern Catholics really deny papal infallibility and don't recognize the authority of some Catholic councils? doesn't that make them sort of like the Old Catholics?
It varies. As Fr. Ambrose points out, there are many "Sui Juris" churches.  Seven of them are the "Byzantine Catholic Churches" (Churches which correspond to Orthodox Churches). It seems the Bishops of one of the Byzantine Catholic Churches (the Melkites) are particularly resistant to some Catholic dogmas (eg: Infallibility and the Immaculate Conception.)
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« Reply #32 on: November 19, 2007, 06:36:54 AM »

Hello father,

 Interesting.

The Zoghby Initiative was from 1995, so the Archbishop was already retired. The successor of Bishop John Elya is an Archbishop from Lebanon who was in place in the synod at the time of the Zoghby Initiative. I assume that if he was present and voted, he supported the initiative because everything I have heard up until now stated the dissenters were in the diaspora.

I am sure Irish Melkite can clean up this story for us, if he sees this.  Wink

Michael,

In a review of "Tous Schismatiques?", Sayednha Elias' book, written by then-Father (now Archbishop) Cyril Salim Boustros, Archbishop Cyril concludes:

Quote
1- There is no doubt that the situation of the Eastern Catholic Churches in their relation to Rome, especially from the administrative point of view is not the ideal situation expected to exist between the Apostolic Eastern Sees and the Apostolic See of Rome. However, we could not conclude that our forefathers committed a mistake by proclaiming their union to Rome, and that it would have been better if they stayed as they were. Who knows what would have happened if union didn't take place? No one can judge of possible things which might have happened. All we can do is to study in an objective way its positive and negative results.

2 - It is not allowed in any way to affirm that the Orthodox Patriarchs and bishops are the only legitimate successors of the Apostles over the Eastern sees under the claim that they represent the authentic Eastern tradition. The true Eastern tradition, according to the assertion of His Excellency (Archbishop Zoghby), supposes communion with the see of Rome. This is why His Excellency did not break the communion with Rome when he reestablished communion with the Antiochian Orthodox see and through it with the whole Orthodoxy.

We support the position of His Excellency and we deduce from it that the Greek Orthodox, because of their refusal of communion with Rome, -- regardless of the reasons for this refusal -- do not represent the Eastern tradition but partially; because the complete Eastern tradition requires absolutely the communion with Rome, although in a special way as it was in the first millennium. On the other hand, the Greek Catholics, by keeping their union with the see of Rome, have kept a fundamental principle of Eastern tradition, especially the Antiochian tradition. However this principle has been exposed in its application to different things which deformed it, so that communion almost became absorption. Therefore, the Greek Catholics also do not represent the Eastern tradition but partially. Consequently, we can affirm that neither the Greek Orthodox nor the Greek Catholic represent fully the Eastern tradition, although both churches have kept it partially.

Archbishop Zoghby declared individually his reunion with the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch without cutting out his communion with the Catholic See of Rome. Now the question is addressed to both Churches: Does the Roman Catholic Church accept an Eastern Catholic bishop who proclaims his communion with the Orthodox Church? And does the Orthodox Church accept communion with  a bishop who is still in communion with the Catholic See of Rome? As we wait for the answer from East and West, we offer our supplications to God and we join our prayer to the prayer of Jesus Christ the only head of the Church: "Father, let them all be one, so that the world will believe that You sent me." (John 17:21)

http://www.melkite.org/Questions/T-5.htm

Many years,

Neil
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« Reply #33 on: November 19, 2007, 06:39:41 AM »

It varies. As Fr. Ambrose points out, there are many "Sui Juris" churches.  Seven of them are the "Byzantine Catholic Churches" (Churches which correspond to Orthodox Churches). It seems the Bishops of one of the Byzantine Catholic Churches (the Melkites) are particularly resistant to some Catholic dogmas (eg: Infallibility and the Immaculate Conception.)

George,

Actually, 14 of the 23 are Byzantine.

Many years,

Neil
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« Reply #34 on: November 19, 2007, 06:52:16 AM »

The above is taken from EWTN's assessment of the various Eastern Catholic Churches
http://www.ewtn.com/library/LITURGY/EASTRITE.TXT

Father Mowatt seems out of touch with the (dissident) thinking of the Melkite Synod of bishops.  Even Bishop John Elya has written about this and he contrasts it with his own personal unswerving loyalty to Rome.

Bless Father,

That EWTN piece is particularly bad - even for them.

Mitred Archimandrite John Mowatt, of blessed memory, was a priest of the Russian Greek-Catholic Church, very close to the US Melkite community (in fact, he was buried from our Cathedral), and particularly dear to my own heart (he served the first Divine Liturgy that I ever had the joy to attend). Remembering him, and his deep devotion to the Melkite hierarchy and patriarchate, I can well imagine his distress at what he'd have seen as calumny directed at them. A reading of his full comments at the link provided by the OP in quoting him will show the emotional nature of his response - and suggests that he wasn't unaware of the independent streak among the Melkites.

Many years,

Neil
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« Reply #35 on: November 19, 2007, 07:15:56 AM »

Actually, 14 of the 23 are Byzantine.
I thought the "Byzantine Catholics" were the ones which correspond to the Orthodox Churches in Communion with New Rome:
Melkites (Antioch),
Greek Catholics (Greece),
Georgian Catholics (Georgian),
Ruthenians (Russian),
Bulgarian Catholics (Bulgaria),
Romanian Catholics (Romania), and
Italo-Greek Catholics.

Is this list incomplete or is the interpretation "Byzantine Catholic" something else?
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« Reply #36 on: November 19, 2007, 07:27:27 AM »

Russian Catholic Church?

Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church?


Related:
Coptic Catholic Church (unsure which --EO or OO-- church this is counter to, unless both).
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« Reply #37 on: November 19, 2007, 07:29:42 AM »

Remembering him, and his deep devotion to the Melkite hierarchy and patriarchate, I can well imagine his distress at what he'd have seen as calumny directed at them.
*
Yet, similar things, and perhaps of a deeper and more serious nature, are presented by Bishop John Elya, at least against his brother Melkite Archbishop Elias Zoghby.


http://www.melkite.org/bishopQA.htm

"What is your view of Archbishop Elias Zoghby's book, "We are All Schismatics"?"

Bishop John's Answer: ......

Here is an answer copied from my course "Melkite Perspectives" as given to our deacon candidates in 1997:

The book is written with sincere love to both the Roman and the Orthodox Churches. Archbishop Zoghby asserts that the faith is essentially the same both of the Church of Rome and of Orthodoxy.

He asserts that the Councils held by the West alone cannot be considered "ecumenical", because they did not include the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchates.

He disdains the claim of the Eastern Catholic Churches united to Rome as being apostolic.

He criticizes the present Canon Law of the Eastern Catholic Church.

He claims that the union which took place between some Eastern Churches with Rome in the past three centuries was a great mistake.

He recognizes the primacy but only of honor to the Church of Rome.

He thinks it is a matter of conscience to face the division of the churches. He asserts that "To prolong the schism is to remain in sin." He calls for the double communion of the Melkite Church both with Rome and with the Orthodox Churches.

His initiative led to the Declaration of 1995 which was signed individually by the greatest majority of bishops present (25 out of 28) and to the subsequent statement approved unanimously by the Fathers of the Synod of 1996.
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« Reply #38 on: November 19, 2007, 07:31:01 AM »

Ah! Incomplete list! Thanks Aristokles!

Perhaps it would be a good idea if we had a complete list.
Care to oblige, Irish Melkite?
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« Reply #39 on: November 19, 2007, 07:32:43 AM »

Coptic Catholic Church (unsure which --EO or OO-- church this is counter to, unless both).
I thought they were not called a "Byzantine Catholic Church". Am I wrong again?
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« Reply #40 on: November 19, 2007, 08:10:35 AM »

I thought they were not called a "Byzantine Catholic Church". Am I wrong again?
Wrong? Perhaps not. But I'm unsure exactly to which church this one is the counter church.

Note: the above list shows Italo-Greek Catholic. It should show them as Italo-Albanian Catholics as being a counter church, I think. The Italo-Greek church (of Calabria), like the Maronites, has no Orthodox complement.
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« Reply #41 on: November 19, 2007, 10:13:06 AM »

He thinks it is a matter of conscience to face the division of the churches. He asserts that "To prolong the schism is to remain in sin." He calls for the double communion of the Melkite Church both with Rome and with the Orthodox Churches.

Ah, Peace.
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« Reply #42 on: November 19, 2007, 11:27:14 AM »

Coptic Catholic Church (unsure which --EO or OO-- church this is counter to, unless both).
I thought they were not called a "Byzantine Catholic Church". Am I wrong again?
They are not (Byzantine, that is).  Smiley

The 'Byzantine' Catholics of Alexandria, Egypt (or all Africa, I guess) are consolidated into the Melkite Greek Catholic Church. Their Patriarch has a combined title of "Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, and Alexandria and Jerusalem". A seemingly awesome responsibility. I suppose if the church adherents were more numerous the title would have to be split between three prelates.

The Coptic Catholic Church was established primarily by Latin missionaries (Franciscan? Jesuit? not sure) working in Egypt, ministering specifically to Copts. One account I read long ago was that they began to appear in the 19th century (or before?) setting up in abandoned old Coptic temples, mostly in rural upper Egypt. If that is the case they might be credited at least for resisting (if not reversing) the collapse of Christianity in some rural areas. It appears that (if the story is true) it is less a result of internal schism within the Coptic church than an attempt to proselytise among underserved Copts by Latin missionaries, who adopted Coptic liturgy and vestments.

Eventually one Coptic bishop was briefly attracted to the movement, and I think that he established an episcopal 'line'. The church was elevated to a Patriarchate by a Pope of Rome, but that Patriarch does not claim to be a 'Pope' for some reason.

The church is small by anyone's standards. I don't know much more on this subject, but there was an article recently (intended for a Catholic audience) interviewing the Coptic Catholic Patriarch...emphasizing the perilous state of some Eastern Catholic churches and the need for financial assistance from outside to keep them operating properly.

Michael
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« Reply #43 on: November 19, 2007, 03:26:25 PM »

Ah! Incomplete list! Thanks Aristokles!

Perhaps it would be a good idea if we had a complete list.
Care to oblige, Irish Melkite?

George,

I'll be happy to do so tonight.

Many years,

Neil

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« Reply #44 on: November 19, 2007, 04:16:10 PM »

Ah, Peace.
*
A beautiful word for your first post in the Forum.

Peace to you too, dear Joab.

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