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Author Topic: VATICAN: the new "U" word?  (Read 24984 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: February 25, 2009, 12:30:01 PM »

I've noticed of late (hard not to, as many under the Vatican have called my calling it like it is provacative) that those under Benedict XVI don't like being referred to as being under him, or in communion with the Vatican, nor submitting to the Vatican. Reference to the Vatican seems to be a problem for them.   

Now I understand that they want to be called "Catholic," but since we are the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, and I believe in truth in advertising, that causes a problem in English (in doesn't in Arabic and others: the term for Universal and that for attached to the Vatican are different).  So, why all the squeamishness about Vatican Hill, because I doubt it is because St. Peter's is Constantinople's titular Church.
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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2009, 12:45:54 PM »

I'm not sure I get this but are you referring only to Eastern Catholics or Catholics in general?
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« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2009, 12:59:04 PM »

I'm not sure I get this but are you referring only to Eastern Catholics or Catholics in general?
You mean Byzantines or Latins? both, but it seems the Byzantines (and the associated Orientals) are the ones that really have an exposed nerve.
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« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2009, 01:02:38 PM »

I thought Eastern Catholics and Byzantines were one and the same. In any case yes this is what I meant. Yeah I have noticed some of this over on CAF. Maybe they really believe that their Bishops are equal to the Pope. I'm not sure why they have a problem and if they do why not convert to Orthodoxy?
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« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2009, 01:10:34 PM »

I thought Eastern Catholics and Byzantines were one and the same. In any case yes this is what I meant. Yeah I have noticed some of this over on CAF. Maybe they really believe that their Bishops are equal to the Pope. I'm not sure why they have a problem and if they do why not convert to Orthodoxy?
I have always been curious about this subject myself. The Byzantine parish that I used to attend was very Catholic in its faith. However, I have run into Eastern Catholic after Eastern Catholic, even here on this forum, who do not accept the teachings and dogmas of the Catholic Church but, rather, profess Eastern Orthodoxy.
I do not want these Eastern Catholics to leave but I don't understand why they remain part of a communion that has beliefs contrary to their own when they could enter Eastern Orthodoxy, a Church that professes their beliefs.
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« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2009, 01:15:44 PM »

I do not want these Eastern Catholics to leave but I don't understand why they remain part of a communion that has beliefs contrary to their own when they could enter Eastern Orthodoxy, a Church that professes their beliefs.

Because they can and do exercise 'charity' perhaps?
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« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2009, 01:20:20 PM »

I thought Eastern Catholics and Byzantines were one and the same. In any case yes this is what I meant. Yeah I have noticed some of this over on CAF. Maybe they really believe that their Bishops are equal to the Pope. I'm not sure why they have a problem and if they do why not convert to Orthodoxy?
I have always been curious about this subject myself. The Byzantine parish that I used to attend was very Catholic in its faith. However, I have run into Eastern Catholic after Eastern Catholic, even here on this forum, who do not accept the teachings and dogmas of the Catholic Church but, rather, profess Eastern Orthodoxy.
I do not want these Eastern Catholics to leave but I don't understand why they remain part of a communion that has beliefs contrary to their own when they could enter Eastern Orthodoxy, a Church that professes their beliefs.

I'm not sure either. In a way it is disrespectful of the Catholic Church they are following.
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« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2009, 01:20:58 PM »

I do not want these Eastern Catholics to leave but I don't understand why they remain part of a communion that has beliefs contrary to their own when they could enter Eastern Orthodoxy, a Church that professes their beliefs.

Because they can and do exercise 'charity' perhaps?
Can you elaborate?
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« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2009, 01:25:39 PM »

I'm not sure why they have a problem and if they do why not convert to Orthodoxy?

If I may be permitted to play devil's advocate for a moment....

It is sometimes easier said than done.  Eastern Catholics often have a strong sense of identity, ironically because of being poorly treated by both Rome and the Orthodox.  Imagine having grown up in a setting like this where you feel attacked from all sides.  Obviously I believe that there are real doctrinal inconsistencies involved in Eastern Catholicism, but sometimes it becomes a real "motherhood issue", a question of identity arising from a perception of being persecuted.  From this perspective, I think the attachment to Eastern Catholicism is easy to understand.  Sometimes I don't think we Orthodox are doing them or ourselves any favours when we deal with them in a rough way.

I am sorry if I am just saying something that is obvious to you, but I thought it might be something to consider at this point.
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« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2009, 01:27:49 PM »

I have always been curious about this subject myself. The Byzantine parish that I used to attend was very Catholic in its faith. However, I have run into Eastern Catholic after Eastern Catholic, even here on this forum, who do not accept the teachings and dogmas of the Catholic Church but, rather, profess Eastern Orthodoxy.
I do not want these Eastern Catholics to leave but I don't understand why they remain part of a communion that has beliefs contrary to their own when they could enter Eastern Orthodoxy, a Church that professes their beliefs.

I struggled with the very scenario Papist described above.  In my case, being raised in a strong, pious Catholic home, there is an incredibly strong desire to remain "under the Pope", as it were, even if you don't necessarily agree or believe everything Rome teaches.  It's very hard to explain to someone who was not raised Catholic the pull to remain in communion with Rome, even if only superficially; I'm not even sure if it can be properly explained to one not raised in such an environment.
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« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2009, 01:31:31 PM »


I'm not sure either. In a way it is disrespectful of the Catholic Church they are following.

I can see how it can be viewed, as such, but it can also be seen the other way.  The  person respects the Church so much that they want to be a part of it and are struggling to come to terms with the apparent inconsistencies. 

Of course, this mentality can easily lead to Catholics such as Rep. Pelosi who flaunt their disobedience, as well.

Being a Catholic can be really hard sometimes, moreso than most people realize. 

Quote
It is sometimes easier said than done.  Eastern Catholics often have a strong sense of identity, ironically because of being poorly treated by both Rome and the Orthodox.  Imagine having grown up in a setting like this where you feel attacked from all sides.  Obviously I believe that there are real doctrinal inconsistencies involved in Eastern Catholicism, but sometimes it becomes a real "motherhood issue", a question of identity arising from a perception of being persecuted.  From this perspective, I think the attachment to Eastern Catholicism is easy to understand.  Sometimes I don't think we Orthodox are doing them or ourselves any favours when we deal with them in a rough way.

These are wise words, my friend. Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2009, 01:32:14 PM »

I am sorry if I am just saying something that is obvious to you, but I thought it might be something to consider at this point.

Actually it was not obvious to me and its a great point. I grew up Roman Catholic and it took me a good 3 years before finally being able to leave the RC Church and become Orthodox. This was a good 5 years after I had started to question some RC teachings. Even now if I go into a RC Church I get that "Home" feeling. Its weird and hard to explain but I guess I can now understand why they stay. Great Post!
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« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2009, 01:35:34 PM »


I'm not sure either. In a way it is disrespectful of the Catholic Church they are following.

I can see how it can be viewed, as such, but it can also be seen the other way.  The  person respects the Church so much that they want to be a part of it and are struggling to come to terms with the apparent inconsistencies. 

After reading Provoslavbob's post I think my understanding is much more clear. I have never really looked at it the way he said.
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« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2009, 01:52:27 PM »

I thought Eastern Catholics and Byzantines were one and the same. In any case yes this is what I meant. Yeah I have noticed some of this over on CAF. Maybe they really believe that their Bishops are equal to the Pope. I'm not sure why they have a problem and if they do why not convert to Orthodoxy?
I have always been curious about this subject myself. The Byzantine parish that I used to attend was very Catholic in its faith. However, I have run into Eastern Catholic after Eastern Catholic, even here on this forum, who do not accept the teachings and dogmas of the Catholic Church but, rather, profess Eastern Orthodoxy.
I do not want these Eastern Catholics to leave but I don't understand why they remain part of a communion that has beliefs contrary to their own when they could enter Eastern Orthodoxy, a Church that professes their beliefs.

I'm not sure either. In a way it is disrespectful of the Catholic Church they are following.

Not only that but it suggests that they are knowlingly and willingly in communion with and under the authority of a heterodox bishop.

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« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2009, 02:10:44 PM »

I thought Eastern Catholics and Byzantines were one and the same.
No.  The Maronites, Chaldeans and the Copts, Syriacs, Indians and Armenians who have submitted to the Vatican are not Byzantine , though they are lumped together for their Code of Canon law.  The Vatican is ahead of us EO and OO.

Quote
In any case yes this is what I meant. Yeah I have noticed some of this over on CAF.
Someone who posts there, but chose to spare with me at Byzcath, prompted me to post this here, where posts don't disappear.

Quote
Maybe they really believe that their Bishops are equal to the Pope. I'm not sure why they have a problem and if they do why not convert to Orthodoxy?
I'll reserve answering.
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« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2009, 03:01:28 PM »

Can you elaborate?

I have always been taught that 'schism' is a lack of charity... Once the break has been understood as a heresy is the division formalized and anathemas given.

Perhaps they don't completely understand Latin Theology or feel that it is inferior to their own but still fail to believe it to be grounds for a division out of charity toward their Western Brothers?
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« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2009, 03:21:10 PM »

I struggled with the very scenario Papist described above.  In my case, being raised in a strong, pious Catholic home, there is an incredibly strong desire to remain "under the Pope", as it were, even if you don't necessarily agree or believe everything Rome teaches.  It's very hard to explain to someone who was not raised Catholic the pull to remain in communion with Rome, even if only superficially; I'm not even sure if it can be properly explained to one not raised in such an environment.

Grace and Peace,

I am not Byzantine Catholic but I sympathize with this 'pull to remain in communion with Rome'. As a member of the Roman Church you get it from both sides as well (Protestants and Orthodox) assault you. One going 'high' and the other going 'low' so to speak. I do feel a certain shame in fleeing from martyrdom, in a sense.

Personally, my struggle has never been my disagreement with Rome but the lack of piety among American Catholics and the American Catholic Church. My journey toward Orthodoxy has been motivated 'primarily' out of a desire for a more pious community and not a 'new' Liturgy or Theology. I think I have learned that now and I think my inquiry into Orthodoxy is coming to a close.
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« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2009, 05:07:13 PM »

I think that the term "in communion with" is a better describer than "under" which has certain feudal overtones to it.  It can be used both by Catholics and Orthodox to imply Eastern Catholics are second class citizens. 

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« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2009, 05:12:17 PM »

I think that the term "in communion with" is a better describer than "under" which has certain feudal overtones to it.  It can be used both by Catholics and Orthodox to imply Eastern Catholics are second class citizens. 

Fr. Deacon Lance

Roman rite Catholics are "under" the Pope also. Does that make them second class citizens? 
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« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2009, 05:23:22 PM »

I think that the term "in communion with" is a better describer than "under" which has certain feudal overtones to it.  It can be used both by Catholics and Orthodox to imply Eastern Catholics are second class citizens. 

Fr. Deacon Lance

'In Communion With' is a deception which implies that this particular church has an autocephally which is administratively unknown and unacceptable within the papal Catholic structure.  It also implies that the chief hierach of said church has EQUAL authority as the very pope they recognize as being both 'universal bishop' and 'Vicar of Christ ON EARTH!

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« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2009, 05:23:50 PM »

Even now if I go into a RC Church I get that "Home" feeling. Its weird and hard to explain but I guess I can now understand why they stay. Great Post!

The (Roman) Catholic Church has a very 'maternal' feel to it.
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« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2009, 05:28:12 PM »

Even now if I go into a RC Church I get that "Home" feeling. Its weird and hard to explain but I guess I can now understand why they stay. Great Post!

The (Roman) Catholic Church has a very 'maternal' feel to it.

I agree!
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« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2009, 05:28:21 PM »

Perhaps they don't completely understand Latin Theology or feel that it is inferior to their own but still fail to believe it to be grounds for a division out of charity toward their Western Brothers?

Or perhaps they have a legitimate claim in trying to bring the RCC back to pre-schism papal jurisdictions? Benedict XVI, as Cardinal Ratizinger, said as much, that the RCC, if it ever re-unions with the Orthodox, cannot expect the Orthodox to accept post-schism papal authority-structures.
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« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2009, 06:13:01 PM »

'In Communion With' is a deception which implies that this particular church has an autocephally....

Just to clarify..... none of the Eastern Catholic Churches have the status of autocephalous Churches.   There is only ONE Church with autocephalous status, and that is the Church of Rome itself.

All other Churches within the Roman communion have the status only of autonomous Churches and are in submission to Rome.  A quick reading of both Roman Catholic and Oriental canons makes that clear.

Many of us make the mistake of thinking that they enjoy an autocephaly on par with the Orthodox Churches - that is not the case.
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« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2009, 06:32:05 PM »

Or perhaps they have a legitimate claim in trying to bring the RCC back to pre-schism papal jurisdictions? Benedict XVI, as Cardinal Ratizinger, said as much, that the RCC, if it ever re-unions with the Orthodox, cannot expect the Orthodox to accept post-schism papal authority-structures.

When the Pope was yet Joseph Ratzinger  he pointed out the need to disentangle the confusion between the patriarchal and primatial roles of the bishop of Rome and to break up the Latin patriarchate, replacing it with a number of ""patriarchal areas," that is, regions with an autonomy similar to that of the ancient patriarchates, but under the direction of the episcopal conferences.


In an essay entitled "Primacy and Episcopacy," Ratzinger developed the theme
at greater length:

"The image of a centralized state which the Catholic church presented right up to the council
 does not flow only from the Petrine office, but from its strict amalgamation with the patriarchal function which grew ever
stronger in the course of history and which fell to the bishop of Rome for the whole of Latin Christendom. The uniform canon
law, the uniform liturgy, the uniform appointment of bishops by the Roman centre: all these are things which are not
necessarily part of the primacy but result from the close union of the two offices. For that reason, the task to consider
for the future will be to distinguish again and more clearly between the proper function of the successor of Peter and the
patriarchal office and, where necessary, to create new patriarchates and to detach them from the Latin church. To
embrace unity with the pope would then no longer mean being incorporated into a uniform administration, but only
being inserted into a unity of faith and communion, in which the pope is acknowledged to have the power to give
binding interpretations of the revelation given in Christ whose authority is accepted whenever it is given in
definitive form."


After exploring the ecumenical implications of this vision, Ratzinger concluded:

"Finally, in the not too distant future one could consider whether the churches of
Asia and Africa, like those of the East, should not present their own forms as autonomous* 'patriarchates'
or 'great churches' or whatever such ecclesiae in the Ecclesia might be called in the future."


Playing the optimist, I hope that this is the beginning of a long-term plan to bring these ideas quietly into reality, without causing alarm to the "hawks" and ultramontanists in the Roman Catholic Church.

* It is worth noticing that the Pope refers to these future Patriarchates as merely "autonomous."  In other words he plans to keep them in submission to Rome and won't allow autocephaly.

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« Reply #25 on: February 25, 2009, 06:35:54 PM »

'In Communion With' is a deception which implies that this particular church has an autocephally which is administratively unknown and unacceptable within the papal Catholic structure.  It also implies that the chief hierach of said church has EQUAL authority as the very pope they recognize as being both 'universal bishop' and 'Vicar of Christ ON EARTH!

Orthodoc

So I am not in communion with the Pope?  Yes autocephaly as understood by the Orthodox does not exist in the Catholic Church.  I would describe the Eastern Catholic Churches being some where between autonomous and autocephalous.  But if you are going to quote the popes titles please get it right:

Bishop of Rome
Vicar of Christ
Successor of the Prince of the Apostles
Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church
Patriarch of the West (dropped 2006)  
Primate of Italy
Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province
Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City
Servant of the Servants of God

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:


882 The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter's successor, "is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful." "For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered."


936 The Lord made St. Peter the visible foundation of his Church. He entrusted the keys of the Church to him. The bishop of the Church of Rome, successor to St. Peter, is "head of the college of bishops, the Vicar of Christ and Pastor of the universal Church on earth" (CIC, can. 331).


1560 As Christ's vicar, each bishop has the pastoral care of the particular Church entrusted to him, but at the same time he bears collegially with all his brothers in the episcopacy the solicitude for all the Churches: "Though each bishop is the lawful pastor only of the portion of the flock entrusted to his care, as a legitimate successor of the apostles he is, by divine institution and precept, responsible with the other bishops for the apostolic mission of the Church."

From the CCEO:

TITLE 4

The Patriarchal Churches

Canon 55

According to the most ancient tradition of the Church, already
recognized by the first ecumenical councils, the patriarchal
institution has existed in the Church; for this reason a special
honor is to be accorded to the patriarchs of the Eastern
Churches, each of whom presides over his patriarchal Church as
father and head.
 
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« Reply #26 on: February 25, 2009, 06:47:37 PM »

From the CCEO:

TITLE 4

The Patriarchal Churches

Canon 55

According to the most ancient tradition of the Church, already
recognized by the first ecumenical councils, the patriarchal
institution has existed in the Church; for this reason a special
honor is to be accorded to the patriarchs of the Eastern
Churches, each of whom presides over his patriarchal Church as
father and head
.
 


But not in the United States where the Pope assumes the supreme authority for the Byzantine Catholics and the Vatican, not the Patriarch and the Synod, appoints the bishops for the Eparchies in the States.  In this less than desirable scenario it is usually the Papal Nuncio who informs the US Byzantine Catholics whom Rome has chosen to be their bishops.
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« Reply #27 on: February 25, 2009, 06:48:57 PM »

I think that the term "in communion with" is a better describer than "under"
I am sure many so think, or rather say.

Quote
which has certain feudal overtones to it.  It can be used both by Catholics and Orthodox to imply Eastern Catholics are second class citizens. 

Fr. Deacon Lance

No, the Latins are under the Vatican too.
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« Reply #28 on: February 25, 2009, 07:02:25 PM »


No, the Latins are under the Vatican too.

Who(m) is the Vatican under?
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« Reply #29 on: February 25, 2009, 07:25:14 PM »


No, the Latins are under the Vatican too.

Who(m) is the Vatican under?

The pope!

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« Reply #30 on: February 25, 2009, 07:37:57 PM »

'In Communion With' is a deception which implies that this particular church has an autocephally which is administratively unknown and unacceptable within the papal Catholic structure.  It also implies that the chief hierach of said church has EQUAL authority as the very pope they recognize as being both 'universal bishop' and 'Vicar of Christ ON EARTH!

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So I am not in communion with the Pope?  Yes autocephaly as understood by the Orthodox does not exist in the Catholic Church.  I would describe the Eastern Catholic Churches being some where between autonomous and autocephalous.  But if you are going to quote the popes titles please get it right:

Bishop of Rome
Vicar of Christ
Successor of the Prince of the Apostles
Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church
Patriarch of the West (dropped 2006)  
Primate of Italy
Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province
Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City
Servant of the Servants of God

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:


882 The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter's successor, "is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful." "For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered."


936 The Lord made St. Peter the visible foundation of his Church. He entrusted the keys of the Church to him. The bishop of the Church of Rome, successor to St. Peter, is "head of the college of bishops, the Vicar of Christ and Pastor of the universal Church on earth" (CIC, can. 331).


1560 As Christ's vicar, each bishop has the pastoral care of the particular Church entrusted to him, but at the same time he bears collegially with all his brothers in the episcopacy the solicitude for all the Churches: "Though each bishop is the lawful pastor only of the portion of the flock entrusted to his care, as a legitimate successor of the apostles he is, by divine institution and precept, responsible with the other bishops for the apostolic mission of the Church."

From the CCEO:

TITLE 4

The Patriarchal Churches

Canon 55

According to the most ancient tradition of the Church, already
recognized by the first ecumenical councils, the patriarchal
institution has existed in the Church; for this reason a special
honor is to be accorded to the patriarchs of the Eastern
Churches, each of whom presides over his patriarchal Church as
father and head.
 


No one (including me) has indicated you are not in communion with the pope.  We just wonder why you are so evasive, or try and deny the fact of what that papal communion signifies.  Why you try and avoid the fact that you are required to accept him as the ultimate hierachal authority indicated by the titles you post in your reply to me.  It's like you prefer to create an fantasy which is not the reality of your true association with the pope.  Or thaat you have an administrative independence which you don't have.  Especially the Byzantine Catholic jurisdiction you yourself are part of here in the U.S.

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« Reply #31 on: February 25, 2009, 07:48:52 PM »

From the CCEO:

TITLE 4

The Patriarchal Churches

Canon 55

According to the most ancient tradition of the Church, already
recognized by the first ecumenical councils, the patriarchal
institution has existed in the Church; for this reason a special
honor is to be accorded to the patriarchs of the Eastern
Churches, each of whom presides over his patriarchal Church as
father and head
.
 


But not in the United States where the Pope assumes the supreme authority for the Byzantine Catholics and the Vatican, not the Patriarch and the Synod, appoints the bishops for the Eparchies in the States.  In this less than desirable scenario it is usually the Papal Nuncio who informs the US Byzantine Catholics whom Rome has chosen to be their bishops.

The Byzantine Catholic Metropolia of Pittsburgh is just that a Metroplia, the Pope functions as our patriarch because we have not been raised to patriarchal/major archepiscopal rank.  The Council of Hierachs sends a list of three candidates to Rome from whom the Pope selects.   For the Melkites and Ukrainians their Synods select the bishops and Rome approves the selection pro forma.

Fr. Deacon Lance


TITLE 6

Metropolitan Churches and Other Churches Sui Iuris

Canon 155

1. A metropolitan Church sui iuris is presided over by a metropolitan of a determined see who is appointed by the Roman Pontiff and assisted by a council of hierarchs according to the norm of law.

2. It is solely the right of the supreme authority of the Church to erect, modify, suppress and define the territorial boundaries of metropolitan Churches sui iuris.
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« Reply #32 on: February 25, 2009, 08:07:22 PM »

I struggled with the very scenario Papist described above.  In my case, being raised in a strong, pious Catholic home, there is an incredibly strong desire to remain "under the Pope", as it were, even if you don't necessarily agree or believe everything Rome teaches.  It's very hard to explain to someone who was not raised Catholic the pull to remain in communion with Rome, even if only superficially; I'm not even sure if it can be properly explained to one not raised in such an environment.

I don't find this difficult to understand at all Schultz.
Why would anyone want to cause a Schism in any Church by breaking Communion?
There are things going on in other Orthodox Churches with which I am in Communion that I find unacceptable and contrary to Orthodox teaching (for example, the Antiochians Communing non-Chalcedonians without receiving them into the Church), but I would rather maintain Communion and see this as a temporary aberration which can be corrected by an Ecumenical Council.
I don't think anyone should be condemned for not wanting to break Communion and tear asunder what they perceive to be the Body of Christ.
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« Reply #33 on: February 25, 2009, 08:09:51 PM »


No one (including me) has indicated you are not in communion with the pope.  We just wonder why you are so evasive, or try and deny the fact of what that papal communion signifies.  Why you try and avoid the fact that you are required to accept him as the ultimate hierachal authority indicated by the titles you post in your reply to me.  It's like you prefer to create an fantasy which is not the reality of your true association with the pope.  Or thaat you have an administrative independence which you don't have.  Especially the Byzantine Catholic jurisdiction you yourself are part of here in the U.S.

Orthodoc

I have never denied that as a Catholic I recognize the Pope as Supreme Pontiff.  I do refuse to allow others to try and define my entire life in Jesus Christ by that fact or pretend that Eastern Catholics have no autonomy, although spinning it that way certainly makes it easier for you to proseltyze among us.

Fr. Deacon Lance
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« Reply #34 on: February 25, 2009, 08:13:58 PM »

I have never denied that as a Catholic I recognize the Pope as Supreme Pontiff.  I do refuse to allow others to try and define my entire life in Jesus Christ by that fact or pretend that Eastern Catholics have no autonomy, although spinning it that way certainly makes it easier for you to proseltyze among us.

Fr. Deacon Lance

Bravo Deacon!
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« Reply #35 on: February 25, 2009, 08:40:36 PM »


I have never denied that as a Catholic I recognize the Pope as Supreme Pontiff.  I do refuse to allow others to try and define my entire life in Jesus Christ by that fact or pretend that Eastern Catholics have no autonomy, although spinning it that way certainly makes it easier for you to proseltyze among us.

Fr. Deacon Lance

Dear Father Lance,

In my experience the proselytizing works the other way and it does depend quite heavily on the claimed place of the Pope in the structure of the Church.

Many's the time Catholics try to proselytize our people.  They tell them - "Yes, you have everything, you have the Sacraments and you have devotion to Mary and prayer to the Saints.  But you lack one most important thing, you must be under the Pope." 

And of course this is just what the Pope himself says in Dominus Iesus, we have everything but he says we are wounded because we lack the papacy.

From time to time we have Catholics visit us on Sundays.  They distribute copies of the Miraculous Medal to our people and speak to them about the need to be under the Pope.  Is there some sort of special society-sodality with a devotion to this Medal and with a mission to convert Russians?
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« Reply #36 on: February 25, 2009, 09:14:17 PM »

However, I have run into Eastern Catholic after Eastern Catholic, even here on this forum, who do not accept the teachings and dogmas of the Catholic Church but, rather, profess Eastern Orthodoxy.
I do not want these Eastern Catholics to leave but I don't understand why they remain part of a communion that has beliefs contrary to their own when they could enter Eastern Orthodoxy, a Church that professes their beliefs.
Specifically, which Eastern Orthodox teachings are held by some Eastern Catholics? My impression was that many Catholics today believe that with an extremely liberal dose of good will on both sides, the serious differences between Catholics and Orthodox would not be not irreconcilable.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2009, 09:15:24 PM by stanley123 » Logged
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« Reply #37 on: February 25, 2009, 09:25:37 PM »

From the CCEO:

TITLE 4

The Patriarchal Churches

Canon 55

According to the most ancient tradition of the Church, already
recognized by the first ecumenical councils, the patriarchal
institution has existed in the Church; for this reason a special
honor is to be accorded to the patriarchs of the Eastern
Churches, each of whom presides over his patriarchal Church as
father and head
.
 


But not in the United States where the Pope assumes the supreme authority for the Byzantine Catholics and the Vatican, not the Patriarch and the Synod, appoints the bishops for the Eparchies in the States.  In this less than desirable scenario it is usually the Papal Nuncio who informs the US Byzantine Catholics whom Rome has chosen to be their bishops.

The Byzantine Catholic Metropolia of Pittsburgh is just that a Metroplia, the Pope functions as our patriarch because we have not been raised to patriarchal/major archepiscopal rank.  The Council of Hierachs sends a list of three candidates to Rome from whom the Pope selects.   For the Melkites and Ukrainians their Synods select the bishops and Rome approves the selection pro forma.

Fr. Deacon Lance


TITLE 6

Metropolitan Churches and Other Churches Sui Iuris

Canon 155

1. A metropolitan Church sui iuris is presided over by a metropolitan of a determined see who is appointed by the Roman Pontiff and assisted by a council of hierarchs according to the norm of law.

2. It is solely the right of the supreme authority of the Church [i.e. your supreme pontiff, pontifex maximus] to erect, modify, suppress and define the territorial boundaries of metropolitan Churches sui iuris.

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« Reply #38 on: February 25, 2009, 09:26:12 PM »


No one (including me) has indicated you are not in communion with the pope.  We just wonder why you are so evasive, or try and deny the fact of what that papal communion signifies.  Why you try and avoid the fact that you are required to accept him as the ultimate hierachal authority indicated by the titles you post in your reply to me.  It's like you prefer to create an fantasy which is not the reality of your true association with the pope.  Or thaat you have an administrative independence which you don't have.  Especially the Byzantine Catholic jurisdiction you yourself are part of here in the U.S.

Orthodoc

I have never denied that as a Catholic I recognize the Pope as Supreme Pontiff.  I do refuse to allow others to try and define my entire life in Jesus Christ by that fact or pretend that Eastern Catholics have no autonomy, although spinning it that way certainly makes it easier for you to proseltyze among us.

Fr. Deacon Lance

Well, talk about the pot calling the kettle black!  If you recognize the pope as supreme pontiff you as well as other within your jurisdiction sure go to a lot of trouble to hide that fact.  Like 'being in communion with' rather than under the SUPREME authority of.  Or claiming to be 'Orthodox In Communion with Rome'!  You sure go out of your wayto avoid using the terminology 'Supreme Pontiff'!

Since Ozgeorge applauds your response may I ask him if he considers you as an 'Orthodox in communion with Rome'?  And if so, why?

Orthodoc
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« Reply #39 on: February 26, 2009, 04:26:21 AM »

[Specifically, which Eastern Orthodox teachings are held by some Eastern Catholics? 

Some very signifcant ones which makes it difficult tio see how they can remain in communion with the Pope.  They go so far as to deny his infallibility (see the bottom of this message.)

But let's start by looking at the EWTN assessment of the Melkite Catholic Church:


This is one of the most disaffected groups among the Eastern Rite
Catholics.  Unlike other Byzantine Catholics, this group is headed by a
patriarch who is accustomed to seeing himself as one of the equals among
whom the Pope of Rome (the Patriarch of the West) is agreed to be the
first.  The current patriarch provides them with strong leadership in
objecting to what they see as Rome's violations of the terms of the Union.
Chief among these is the ordaining of married men.  While no Eastern Rite
permits or has ever permitted the marriage of ordained men, the tradition
among them (as with the Orthodox) is to permit the ordaining of men who
have already been married, although they favor a celibate episcopate.  (The
marriage of ordained clergy appears to have been a Protestant innovation in
Christendom.)  Rome understands her acquiescence in this tradition to apply
only in the homeland of the Rite; most Eastern Rite Catholics rather
expected to be allowed to carry all their traditions, including this one,
to the lands to which they were immigrating.  Disputes among the indigenous
clergy and the immigrant Byzantine clergy have often resulted in whole
parishes leaving the Catholic communion to be received back into Orthodox
folds. 

Other sources of disagreement are the Immaculate Conception,
Papal Supremacy and Infallibility, Purgatory, and the Filioque, and
to a lesser extent remarriage after divorce; in short, all the matters
that remain primary points of disagreement between Orthodox and Catholics.
 
The terms of the original agreement are clear that agreement with Rome on
these matters is expected.

http://www.ewtn.com/library/LITURGY/EASTRITE.TXT

-oOo-

What is interesting is that some of the Eastern Catholic Churches actually disagree with the Church of Rome over the number of Ecumenical Councils and teach that there are only seven. For example, there is this from the official web site of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church Eparchy of Newton (in communion with Rome).

8 How many Ecumenical Councils were held?
a. Seven Ecumenical Councils

9 Was the Vatican council an ecumenical council? Why?, why not?
a. The Vatican council was not an ecumenical council – no participation from the Orthodox

Source  ::  http://www.melkite.org/Challenge2005B.htm

and
http://www.melkite.org/Challenge2007C.htm


-oOo-

May I present evidence which indicates a really serious disparity between the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Catholic Churches about the number of Ecumenical Councils and consequently which teachings are de fide and obligatory for the faithful:


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 the implications.  The Melkite Archbishop is denying papal infalliblity, the major dogma proclaimed at Vatican I. He is reducing it to a non essential theological opinion

http://www.melkite.org/Challenge2006D.htm
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« Reply #40 on: February 26, 2009, 04:26:23 AM »

....claiming to be 'Orthodox In Communion with Rome'!  

The term "Orthodox in communion with Rome" does not appear to be accepted by Eastern Catholic bishops.  For example here is what Melkite Bishop John Elya has to say...


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

Are we Orthodox united with Rome? - Several different people have written in asking some variation on this most fundament of questions. Since each question was directed in a slightly different way, Bishop John has chosen a rather more complete answer.

Bishop John's Answer - Sometimes I think that the Melkite Catholic Church, as well as other Byzantine Catholic Churches, enjoys the best of two worlds: Orthodoxy and Catholicism. We rejoice in the affirmation of the good Pope John XXIII that "what unites us is much greater than what divides us."

When the Patriarchate of Antioch was divided into two branches in 1724, one branch kept the name Orthodox and the other branch which sealed its union with the Holy See of Rome, kept the name Melkite given to it since the Sixth Century and called itself Catholic. It became known as the Melkite Greek Catholic Church. In the Middle East, although both branches claim orthodoxy as well as catholicity, however being Catholic means not Orthodox and being Orthodox means not Catholic. To be a Catholic Christian means that one accepts the primacy of the Pope of Rome, because he is the successor of St. Peter. To be an Orthodox Christian means that one does not recognize the primacy of the Pope of Rome, but considers him as "first among equals."

According to the Catholic teaching, Christ did not create a church with five heads of equal importance. He established One Holy Catholic and Apostolic church whose invisible head is the Lord, but whose visible head is the Pope of Rome.

The Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches states it in these terms: "The bishop of the Church of Rome, in whom resides the office (munus) given in a special way by the Lord to Peter, first of the Apostles and to be transmitted to his successors, is head of the college of bishops, the Vicar of Christ and Pastor of the entire Church on earth; therefore in virtue of his office (munus) he enjoys supreme, full, immediate and universal ordinary power in the Church which he can always freely exercise." (Canon 43 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches)

If an Orthodox subscribes to the Canon quoted above, he/she can be called Catholic and be considered "united to Rome" or in full communion with the Catholic Church.

An illustration may help: Is the Province of Quebec a province of France united to the British Crown through Canada, or a Canadian province with special relations to France? Is the Melkite Church a hundred per cent Catholic with special relations with the Orthodox Churches or a hundred per cent Orthodox with special relations to Rome. Certainly, the first case is true:

The Melkite Church is a hundred per cent Catholic, but not a hundred per cent Orthodox.

Independence and sovereignty or dependence on another Church? Such a decision is difficult to make. However, the Melkite Church has chosen dependency as a price for unity, in order to comply with the will of our Lord who prayed repeatedly "that all may be one." (John 17)



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« Reply #41 on: February 26, 2009, 04:26:23 AM »

[rant]

The continuous whining among some EO about Catholic "proselytizing" is tiresome. I guess when you do it (and you do plenty!), you call it "evangelization." I still have some leaflets in my possession given to me by EO---so Protestant in the way they target Catholics with tired old stereotypes and strawmen.

Frankly, I do not care whether you proselytize or not. I'd expect you to do it if you really believed you were the One True ChurchTM (or "the New Testament Church" as my leaflets say). It doesn't bother me in the least.

What I don't understand is the constant complaining and paranoia directed at Catholics. If you are so worried about your brethren succumbing to Catholic truth claims, instead of carping about our alleged "proselytizing," focus on educating/evangelizing your own.

To be honest, both of our Churches have plenty of evangelization to do for our OWN nominal flocks before we should even think about stealing others' sheep.

[/rant]

Thanks for your indulgence. Now back to our regularly scheduled program...
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« Reply #42 on: February 26, 2009, 04:51:46 AM »

Since Ozgeorge applauds your response may I ask him if he considers you as an 'Orthodox in communion with Rome'?  And if so, why?
That's a bit fallacious isn't it? "If George applauds A then clearly he means X and I want to know why".
Anyhow, carry on....

The continuous whining among some EO about Catholic "proselytizing" is tiresome.
Yup. I've actually never experienced Catholic proselytizing. I wonder if it actually exists outside of virtual reality.

I guess when you do it (and you do plenty!), you call it "evangelization." I still have some leaflets in my possession given to me by EO---so Protestant in the way they target Catholics with tired old stereotypes and strawmen.
I can do you one better:
Given the apparent notion that the Eastern Rite Catholic Churches are simply a way of proselytizing the Orthodox, what are the Western Rite Orthodox Churches of ROCOR and Antioch then? Are they simply "Catholics and Anglicans in Communion with the Orthodox Church"?
« Last Edit: February 26, 2009, 04:52:22 AM by ozgeorge » Logged

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« Reply #43 on: February 26, 2009, 07:10:25 AM »

I struggled with the very scenario Papist described above.  In my case, being raised in a strong, pious Catholic home, there is an incredibly strong desire to remain "under the Pope", as it were, even if you don't necessarily agree or believe everything Rome teaches.  It's very hard to explain to someone who was not raised Catholic the pull to remain in communion with Rome, even if only superficially; I'm not even sure if it can be properly explained to one not raised in such an environment.

I don't find this difficult to understand at all Schultz.
Why would anyone want to cause a Schism in any Church by breaking Communion?
There are things going on in other Orthodox Churches with which I am in Communion that I find unacceptable and contrary to Orthodox teaching (for example, the Antiochians Communing non-Chalcedonians without receiving them into the Church), but I would rather maintain Communion and see this as a temporary aberration which can be corrected by an Ecumenical Council.
I don't think anyone should be condemned for not wanting to break Communion and tear asunder what they perceive to be the Body of Christ.

Ah, yes, the guiding principle that has led the Anglicans down the road to....


No one (including me) has indicated you are not in communion with the pope.  We just wonder why you are so evasive, or try and deny the fact of what that papal communion signifies.  Why you try and avoid the fact that you are required to accept him as the ultimate hierachal authority indicated by the titles you post in your reply to me.  It's like you prefer to create an fantasy which is not the reality of your true association with the pope.  Or thaat you have an administrative independence which you don't have.  Especially the Byzantine Catholic jurisdiction you yourself are part of here in the U.S.

Orthodoc

I have never denied that as a Catholic I recognize the Pope as Supreme Pontiff.  I do refuse to allow others to try and define my entire life in Jesus Christ by that fact
Does that include your church? Because Lumen Gentium does just that.

Quote
or pretend that Eastern Catholics have no autonomy,
Yes, and the USSR was a union of free states.  Roll Eyes
Quote
although spinning it that way certainly makes it easier for you to proseltyze among us.
Oh, how so?

[rant]

The continuous whining among some EO about Catholic "proselytizing" is tiresome. I guess when you do it (and you do plenty!), you call it "evangelization." I still have some leaflets in my possession given to me by EO---so Protestant in the way they target Catholics with tired old stereotypes and strawmen.

Frankly, I do not care whether you proselytize or not. I'd expect you to do it if you really believed you were the One True ChurchTM (or "the New Testament Church" as my leaflets say). It doesn't bother me in the least.

What I don't understand is the constant complaining and paranoia directed at Catholics. If you are so worried about your brethren succumbing to Catholic truth claims, instead of carping about our alleged "proselytizing," focus on educating/evangelizing your own.

To be honest, both of our Churches have plenty of evangelization to do for our OWN nominal flocks before we should even think about stealing others' sheep.

[/rant]

Thanks for your indulgence. Now back to our regularly scheduled program...

The continuous whining among some EO about Catholic "proselytizing" is tiresome.
Yup. I've actually never experienced Catholic proselytizing. I wonder if it actually exists outside of virtual reality.
LOL.  Maybe you are the fish they threw back George.
I remember a number of years back a tract, sort of looks like one that the Baptist put out.  It was targeting Byelorussians that they were not part of Russia (a lot of this proselytation is more nationalistic than even the Orthodox.  A lot I saw in Romanian goes on how the Romanians aren't Slavs, and they didn't get their culture from "Tsarigrad"-the Slavic for Constantinpope-but got it from Rome), but named some other rule as the baptizer of Byelorussia (the Millenium of the Baptism of Rus had just occured), and extoling the virture of the Byelorussia church which had submitted (I think they said united) to the Vatican (I think they said Rome).  Chicago used to be the only place outside of Europe with a "Byelorussian Catholic" parish.  I'll admit, since I got the pamphlet there, it wasn't clear if the distributer was trying to target more Byelorussians (my priest's wife was from Byelorussia, and I gave her the pamphlet.  She had lived under the Polish Latin occupation of Byelorussia, and had lots to say about that), or trying to flag those already under the Vatican.

When I was in Romania in '92, there was an advertisement for the CCC all over the place in Bucharest, for the CCC in Romanian.  When I went to the Latin cathedral there, there were stacks available (this at a time when the English version would not be available for 2 years I believe.  And the Vatican has FAR, FAR more English Speakers than Romanian speakers), although the Masses were mostly in Hungarian and German.  Who were they for?  Well, since the pope of Rome had recently stated that "if the Romanians were really Roman, they would be Roman Catholic," that wasn't too hard to guess.   Btw, the local branch of the Vatican there calls itself "The Romanian Church United to Rome."

Where the families of my old parish come from (Slovakia), they don't proselyze: they just seize the Church and dump the Orthodox out.  I've seen their home movies of DL on the lawn.

I guess when you do it (and you do plenty!), you call it "evangelization." I still have some leaflets in my possession given to me by EO---so Protestant in the way they target Catholics with tired old stereotypes and strawmen.
I can do you one better:
Given the apparent notion that the Eastern Rite Catholic Churches are simply a way of proselytizing the Orthodox, what are the Western Rite Orthodox Churches of ROCOR and Antioch then? Are they simply "Catholics and Anglicans in Communion with the Orthodox Church"?
No, because
1) All communicants of the Orthodox Church are Catholic.
2) Where the Latin and Anglican rites differ from the Orthodox Faith, the rite is changed.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2009, 07:45:18 AM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #44 on: February 26, 2009, 10:26:39 AM »


The continuous whining among some EO about Catholic "proselytizing" is tiresome.


Yup. I've actually never experienced Catholic proselytizing. I wonder if it actually exists outside of virtual reality.


Extract from:

 Prospects of Orthodox-Catholic Relations

by Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev of Vienna, Representative of the Russian Orthodox Church
to the European Union

Paper delivered on 7 October 2002 at the University of St Thomas (St Paul, Minessota, USA),
and repeated on 9 October 2002 at the Catholic University of America (Washington D.C).

http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/7/1/2.aspx

".....The most comprehensive response, however, came not from Metropolitan Kirill himself, but from the Department for External Church Relations, headed by him, in an official statement dated by June 2002 . For the first time, the position of the Russian Orthodox Church on the questions of proselytism, of 'canonical territory', of the missionary and charitable activities of the Catholic monastic orders was presented in a detailed and systematic way. The statement begins with the definition of proselytism and an explanation of why the Catholic Church is accused of it:

"Proselytism carried out by the Catholics among the traditionally Orthodox population in Russia and other countries of the Commonwealth of the Independent States devalues the Roman Catholic Church's attitude to the Orthodox Church as her 'sister Church' declared by Vatican II...

"The problem of proselytism is aggravated by the fact that the Catholic side denies flatly its very existence, referring to its own interpretation of the term 'proselytism' as enticement of people from one Christian community to another through 'dishonest' means (for instance, bribery). At the same time, it alludes to the preaching of the gospel to 'non-believers and non-baptized' people who come to Catholic churches exercising their freedom to choose a religion that suits them. The Catholic side would often voice this question: 'Would it be better if these people remained atheists rather than become Catholics?'

"Carrying out precisely preaching and mission in Russia, not at all caring only for their traditional flock (Poles, Lithuanians, Germans), the Catholic side often refers to the 'missionary nature of the Church' and to the Lord's commandment to preach the gospel...

"This view, very popular among the Russian Catholic clergy, can raise a great deal of serious objections.

"Firstly, Catholic clergy, who come mostly from abroad as we will see below, do not have to preach in some obscure 'missionary territory', nor to a heathen or non-religious population. They come to a country with a millennium-old Christian culture imbued with the Orthodox tradition. Therefore, the very fact of conducting Catholic mission here, among the local population who do not have any historical or cultural relation to the Catholic Church, and the presence of Catholic missionaries in the Russian land provokes the perfectly legitimate question: Do the Catholics believe the Orthodox Church to be a Church?..

"Secondly, it is has been evident for a long time that the object of the Catholic mission in Russia and other CIS countries is the traditionally Orthodox population. These people were forcibly torn from their Orthodox roots in the decades of atheist regime, but they cannot be called non-believers or atheists. Many of them have found themselves at a crossroads, in a spiritual search, but as we can see from practice, most of them return to the faith of their fathers and find their spiritual path in Orthodoxy. It is unthinkable to deny the profound spiritual, cultural and historical bonds of our people with Orthodoxy. It is bewildering that the Catholics, who themselves belong to a Church in which the notion of tradition is one of the fundamental ones, should doubt the traditional nature of Orthodoxy for Russia. For many of them, Russia is a missionary field for 'evangelization' of the local population. In other words, the attitude of the Roman Catholic Church to Russia differs little from that of various sectarians who seek to 'Christianize' the post-Soviet space and to build up here a 'religious market' in which religious organizations act as competitors struggling for the 'customer'. The ensuing logic is clear: those who are larger and more powerful, who were the first to seize a particular 'market sector,' are in the right.

"The statement by the Department for External Church relations points to the revival of faith in Russia, which has taken place owing to the efforts of the Russian Orthodox Church. 'Unfortunately, no such thing is happening in the West, the territory of the historical pastoral responsibility of the Roman Catholic Church. Neither effectiveness, nor aggiornamento, helps here. The West is growing ever more secular and atheistic'. While recognizing that the West is the 'canonical territory' of the Roman Catholic Church, the statement explains what it means by 'canonical territory':....."

To continue reading please use this link
http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/7/1/2.aspx

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