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Saint Polycarp
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« on: December 04, 2003, 07:04:25 PM »

Is one of the main arguments regarding the split between East and West based on the claim that Rome was given primacy because it was the capitol city of the Empire? So that when Constantinople became the capitol the Patriarch of Constantinople should have the primacy?
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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2003, 07:32:51 PM »

First, define "primacy".  I guarantee you that the definitions of primacy are so different so as to make the "why" of an establishment of "primacy" inconsequential.
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« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2003, 08:38:15 PM »

Primacy
(Latin primatus, primus, first).

The supreme episcopal jurisdiction of the pope as pastor and governor of the Universal Church.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12423a.htm
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« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2003, 09:00:07 PM »

So what is the answer to my question please?
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« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2003, 09:44:54 PM »

So that when Constantinople became the capitol the Patriarch of Constantinople should have the primacy?

This is not a main argument for the split, as far as I know.  The principle of accommodation to existing political structures in the empire is used in explaining some things regarding the history and nature of primacy, but I don't think you hear anyone saying that the EP should be supreme head of the Church (except maybe the EP? Tongue ) because of it, and that this is why East and West parted ways.
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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2003, 12:22:57 AM »

Polycarp -

The "split" is the child of the Crusades, impure and not so simple.

I'm sure someone will contradict me, but I think history bears out what I wrote.
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2003, 08:35:28 AM »

But, didn't the split occur prior to the Crusades?  Especially the Crusade that involved the sacking of Constantinople?

There has to be a different reason than the Crusades.

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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2003, 10:23:17 AM »

Charlemagne's coronation precipitated the split.  ALL of a sudden the west was claiming there was a need for a “new Roman Emperor” ignoring the Emperor sitting in Constantinople.  By coronating Charlemagne as emperor, the pope denied the validity of the Roman Empire based in Constantinople.
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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2003, 10:24:52 AM »

most "divisions" in the church has a political/economic as well as religious reasons.
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« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2003, 02:42:48 PM »

There was a Western Roman Emperor until 476.  The guy in the east did not care about it then.  Charlamagne's coronation shouldn't have precipitated the split, therefore..  It was deeper than that.
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« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2003, 08:42:16 AM »

Charlemagne's coronation precipitated the split.  ALL of a sudden the west was claiming there was a need for a “new Roman Emperor” ignoring the Emperor sitting in Constantinople.  By coronating Charlemagne as emperor, the pope denied the validity of the Roman Empire based in Constantinople.  

This was a critical political factor that had an influence on the split.  Much can be said on this event on how the Byzantines viewed it.

I see the split more do to what authority and control the primacy has, i.e. the overall definition of primacy, not whether or not it belongs in Rome.
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« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2003, 11:16:59 PM »

Polycarp -

The "split" is the child of the Crusades, impure and not so simple.

I'm sure someone will contradict me, but I think history bears out what I wrote.


The split is not really local to a specific incident, but a gradual divergence that culminated in a split.  Already in the 5th century, there was a widening divergence in the views towards the Papacy.  There also was a divergence in how both sides viewed the procession of the Holy Spirit.  The East drew a clear and defined distinction between the Holy Spirit's procession from the Father alone in terms of Hypostasis and the Holy Spirit's resting in the Son, receiving of the Son and eternal manifestation through the Son.  The West, OTOH, did not draw this distinction so readily, and developed accordingly.  As the years progressed, the divergences developed further until it ended up in a permanent rupture in communion.  Things were really not looking very good by the time of St. Photios the Great; and even though the schism was temporarily healed, it seemed like a Band-Aid solution to a terribly malignant wound.

Although I would think that the Crusades further aggravated and even revealed the fact of schism, it may be perhaps be questionable to locate the cause of the schism to the Crusades.  If such were the case, then a mere heartfelt apology and mutual efforts to forgive would be the solution to the schism.  Personally, I think the schism runs deeper than a series of misdeeds to and fro'.

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« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2003, 11:54:54 PM »

Polycarp -

The "split" is the child of the Crusades, impure and not so simple.

I'm sure someone will contradict me, but I think history bears out what I wrote.


The split is not really local to a specific incident, but a gradual divergence that culminated in a split.  Already in the 5th century, there was a widening divergence in the views towards the Papacy.  There also was a divergence in how both sides viewed the procession of the Holy Spirit.  The East drew a clear and defined distinction between the Holy Spirit's procession from the Father alone in terms of Hypostasis and the Holy Spirit's resting in the Son, receiving of the Son and eternal manifestation through the Son.  The West, OTOH, did not draw this distinction so readily, and developed accordingly.  As the years progressed, the divergences developed further until it ended up in a permanent rupture in communion.  Things were really not looking very good by the time of St. Photios the Great; and even though the schism was temporarily healed, it seemed like a Band-Aid solution to a terribly malignant wound.

Although I would think that the Crusades further aggravated and even revealed the fact of schism, it may be perhaps be questionable to locate the cause of the schism to the Crusades.  If such were the case, then a mere heartfelt apology and mutual efforts to forgive would be the solution to the schism.  Personally, I think the schism runs deeper than a series of misdeeds to and fro'.

gbmtmas

I do agree with you that there were differences between East and West, differences aggravated by the fundamental differences of language and culture.

But I think the doctrinal differences between East and West have been exaggerated and are the result more of misunderstanding than anything else. Some of them, IMHO, have been largely trumped up for political purposes and because some persons benefited more from schism than they would have from reunion.

I stand by what I wrote before. The split is the child of the Crusades.

The Crusaders set up their own Patriarch of Antioch in 1100. Constantinople and the Byzantines supported another Patriarch for that See. That created a real schism.

The body blow came in 1204 with the sacking of Constantinople.

I really do not want to become embroiled in an argument on this thread - so, I won't!  Wink
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« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2003, 11:19:16 PM »

I really do not want to become embroiled in an argument on this thread - so, I won't!  Wink

Good Evening Mr. Linus7 Smiley

My reply was not intended to argue or to induce an argument.  It was merely an expression of my opinion.

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Fixed quote.  John.
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« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2003, 03:48:16 AM »

If I may answer the original question...No, it isn't.  Rome was given primacy because it was the seat of Peter.  If Peter had gone somewhere else, somewhere else would have had primacy. Constantinople was give second place in the patriarchal rankings in 381 in Canon III of the Second Ecumenical Council, long before either the filioque, the Crusades, or the establishment of Constantinople as capital city of any Empire.

That isn't what Canon 28 of Chalcedon says:

"we also do enact and decree the same things concerning the privileges of the most holy Church of Constantinople, which is New Rome. For the Fathers rightly granted privileges to the throne of old Rome, because it was the royal city. And the One Hundred and Fifty most religious Bishops, actuated by the same consideration, gave equal privileges (<greek>isa</greek> <greek>presbeia</greek>) to the most holy throne of New Rome, justly judging that the city which is honoured with the Sovereignty and the Senate, and enjoys equal privileges with the old imperial Rome, should in ecclesiastical matters also be magnified as she is, and rank next after her"

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« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2003, 04:00:36 AM »

Ullo Peter,

The long history behind Canon 28 interests me because the cracks were  starting to appear, paving the way for the schism. Pope Leo annulled the Canon and the Patriarch of Constantinople practically revoked it, but interestingly the annullment seemed to have had no effect. Plus, not one of his successors recognized Canon 28 until Innocent III - when he installed a Latin patriarch at Constantinople after 1204!
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« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2003, 04:13:47 AM »

Hiya

I always find that an interesting episode as well. I have often asked EO's what the status of the Western Church was while it rejected an ecumenical canon. I think that we sometimes like (all of us) to paint a rosy and neat picture of history, it always strikes me as important that we face the rather confusing and disrupted nature of most periods. Otherwise we derive wrong conclusions.

What is your opinion of the importance of the longstanding rejection of Canon 28 by the Western Church? How can a church reject an ecumenical canon and yet still be Orthodox?

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« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2003, 04:35:17 AM »

It could be seen as legitimate if it was within the bounds of the right of abrogation the Pope had, but apparently the consensus of the Church prevailed when we consider its immediate enforcement and what followed: Pope Leo complained to the Empress, the Council of Constantinople (not sure if it was the 869 or 879-80 council) recognized the second place of Constantinople, in the presence of the Papal legates

It didn't stop the Easterns from calling into question the orthodoxy of Rome because while Rome rejected the Canons, she didn't reject its doctrinal decrees. I would have to research into this a bit deeper to give a more thorough answer, but from what I already know about this episode, Rome hardly had the powers that apologists claim she had.
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« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2003, 09:52:17 AM »

Hiya Byz

I'm thinking more of if it is reasonable, as many think, to make a distinction between ecumenical doctrine and ecumenical canons.

If the all of the canons MUST be accepted to be Orthodox then what of the Western Church's rejection of Canon 28? If in fact the doctrine is more important then that's an interesting thought.

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« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2003, 04:47:42 AM »

Pete,

You're right, treading on the Canons would deal a serious blow to Church life. I still don't think we can level charges of heteredoxy against Rome for disregarding Canons because the Orthodox Church has done the same thing in relation to the one forbidding more than one bishop in each territory and organizing the Church along ethnic/national/cultural lines. We're one up against Rome because we haven't introduced any dogmatic innovations.

Is there such thing as a distinction between ecclesiological heresy and doctrinal heresy?
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« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2003, 10:39:20 AM »

Sadly, Vicki, your "improbable" is probably right. But 85 years historically is a short period really. And I'm certain you are familiar with something similar called "Greek-time". Smiley

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« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2003, 10:41:01 AM »

In the book "From Mars Hill to Manhatten, A History of the Greek Orthodox Church in America" it has many examples of where the Orthodox Church in an area basically was started by and under the jursidiction of the Russians. However, in almost ALL instances, as soon as the Greeks had enough people, they would always split off and build their own church.

There are examples in the book where the minutes of church meetings and services were conducted originally in English, but as soon as the Greeks gained control of the Parish Council, started taking the minutes in Greek and introducing more and more Greek into the liturgy.

Of course, the book see this as a positive thing!

Greeks!   Roll Eyes
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« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2004, 02:47:32 PM »

When you look at Chalcedon, I think what you see are two facets underlying this issue of ecclesiastical primacy:  (1) the principle of accomodation to imperial structures and (2) the enduring primacy of Rome.

It's clear that the accomodation principle was very important -- it alone was the basis for the elevation of Constantinople to the second rank, vaulting ahead of the older Sees of Antioch and Alexandria.  And it also seems clear (although Pope St. Leo seemingly disagreed with this), that the Council Fathers thought that the accomodation principle was, in part, a reason why Old Rome was allowed to become primatial to begin with.

However, ultimately, the fact that the words of Chalcedon themselves indicate that Old Rome retained its pride of place, if you will, even after Chalcedon, noting that the newly-elevated See of Constantinople would rank *second* to Rome.  

What Chalcedon doesn't really specify, however, is why this was the case -- and that, I think, is where there were the seeds sown for disagreement.  One reading of Chalcedon, which is based on the text quoted above, is that Constantinople was to be equal to Old Rome in power, with Old Rome enjoying a primacy of place based on deference to history (in a similar way that Old Rome was granted this kind of deference in imperial affairs for a time after transfer of the principal imperial capital to the Boshporus).  In fact, this many well have been what many of the council Fathers intended -- or they may have been of different minds and agreeable to this formulation that left matters open, if you will.  Another interpretation is that Rome retained primacy even per the words of Chalcedon and it did so because it was the unique See of Peter -- Chalcedon doesn't say this, and the text leads one to think that this is not what the Council Fathers had in mind, but nevertheless it is clear enough that the Fathers did have in mind that, even after Chalcedon, Rome still was "first" among Sees, if only even in honor (due to the fact that the words of Chalcedon seemingly granted Constantinople the same powers and privileges as had previously been enjoyed by the See of Rome).

So what you had after this was an agreement throughout the Church relating to the fact of the primacy of Rome, but the seeds of a real disagreement about the *basis* and *nature* of that primacy.  Pope St. Leo obviously noticed this and objected to the canon, but nevertheless that canon and the objection to it really signified the beginnings of this disagreement -- and we still, in fact, don't seem to agree about this.

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« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2004, 10:36:26 PM »

Were the bishops present at Chalcedon arguing that Rome's primacy derived only from its position as the capitol of the Empire, or that that was one of the reasons? Perhaps they were simply highlighting that aspect as a justification for elevating Constantinople based on its political status.

If the bishops believed that Rome's primacy was based solely on its status as the capitol, then the following letter they wrote to Pope St. Leo the Great seems a bit out of place.

"You are set as an interpreter to all of the voice of blessed Peter, and to all you impart the blessings of that faith. And so we too, wisely taking you as our guide in all that is good, have shown to the sons of the Church their inheritance of the truth....We were all delighted at the spiritual food which Christ supplied to us through your letter; we revelled in it as at an imperial banquet and we seemed to see the heavenly Bridegroom actually present with us. For if where two or three are gathered together in his name, he has said he is in the midst of them, must he not have been more particularly present with 520 priests...? Of all these you were the chief, as head to members, showing your goodwill in matters of organization....And, like the stranger of wild beasts, he [condemned Patriarch of Alexandria Dioscorus] fell upon the vine which he found in the finest condition, uprooted it, and planted that which had been cast out as unfruitful. He cut off those who acted like true shepherds, and he placed over the flocks those who had shown themselves to be wolves. Besides all this he extended his fury even against him who had been charged with the custody of the vine by the Saviour--we refer to your holiness-- and he intended to excommunicate one who was zealous to unite the body of the Church....We mention further that we have made certain other decisions also for the good management and stability of church affairs, as we are persuaded that your holiness will accept and ratify them when you are told....We have also ratified the canon of the 150 holy fathers who met at Constantinople...which declares that after your most holy and apostolic see, the see of Constantinople shall have privileges, being placed second; for we are persuaded that, with your usual interest, you have often extended that apostolic radiance of yours even to the church of Constantinople also. This you will increase many times by sharing your own good things ungrudingly with your brethren. And so deign, most holy and blessed father, to embrace as your own, and as lovable and agreeable to good order, the things we have decreed, for the removal of all confusion, and the confirmation of church order. For the legates of your holiness, the most holy bishops Paschasinus and Lucentius, and with them the godly presbyter Boniface, tried hard to resist these decisions, wishing that this good work also should start from your foresight, so that the establishment of the discipline, as well as of faith, should be credited to you. But we, regarding our most devout and Christian sovereigns, who delight therein, and the illustrious senate, and, so to say, the whole captial, recognized as fitting the confirmation of the honour by this universal council, and we confidently endorsed it, as if it were initiated by your holiness, as you always hasten to cherish us, knowing that every success of the children redounds to the parents. We therefore beg you to honour our decision by your assent, and as we have yielded agreement to the head in noble things, so may the head also fulfill what is fitting for the children. Thus will our pious emperors be respected, who have ratified your holiness' judgement as law, and the see of Constantinople will receive its recompense for having always displayed such loyalty on matters of religion towards you, and for having so zealously linked itself to you in full agreement." (Documents Illustrating Papal Authority, pp. 322-324, P.L. 54.952; Leo, Ep. 98.)

The underlining is mine.



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« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2004, 12:34:22 AM »

I'd like to say this quote (by whom, specifically?) is helpful, but despite underlined portions, it still looks as if it is muddy water and solves little. The papal apologists must have better "illustrations"...

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« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2004, 05:29:43 AM »

Linus, I really do think you misunderstand the nature of episcopal letters at that time. They are full of flowery language. We need to look to canons and actual examples of papal authority being exercised and rejected to gain a proper idea of the fathers thought.

A diplomatic letter really tells us little. It is quite clear that bishops could write the most subservient letters to the Pope and then ignore what he said. It's diplomacy and it's forms of address, it's not doctrine.

And it is, as you indicate, taken from a book designed to illustrate papal authority.
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« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2004, 05:36:36 AM »

Actually the internet papal apologists would look at that and say "look, universal jurisdiction and papal infallibility!"
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« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2004, 08:17:54 AM »

I have a little question which is subsidiary to this:

The 8th Ecumenical Council according to the Roman Catholic tradition is Constantinople IV 869-870.

The statement of this council starts:

"The holy, great and ecumenical synod, which was assembled by God's will and the favour of our divinely approved emperors Basil and Constantine, the holy friends of Christ, in this royal and divinely protected city and in the most famous church bearing the name of holy and great Wisdom, declared the following....."

Regardless of what it declared for now, how would those Orthodox who have a high view of the papal privileges and authority view this council? If Peter is head of the Church then why is a council which was held before the Great Schism not ecumenical according to your POV?

We have dealt with a few of the times when Rome objected to an Eastern Council, but what of the times when it supported one? And this was from 869 to the present?

Linus7? What's your POV?
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« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2004, 08:48:33 AM »

Linus, I really do think you misunderstand the nature of episcopal letters at that time. They are full of flowery language. We need to look to canons and actual examples of papal authority being exercised and rejected to gain a proper idea of the fathers thought.

A diplomatic letter really tells us little. It is quite clear that bishops could write the most subservient letters to the Pope and then ignore what he said. It's diplomacy and it's forms of address, it's not doctrine.

And it is, as you indicate, taken from a book designed to illustrate papal authority.

I see.

So you mean expressions like, "You are set as an interpreter to all of the voice of blessed Peter," and  "Of all these you were the chief, as head to members," and "Besides all this he extended his fury even against him who had been charged with the custody of the vine by the Saviour--we refer to your holiness--" were all mere niceties, that the bishops at Chalcedon really meant none of them?

Pardon me if I find the "diplomatic letter/ flowery language" excuse incredible.

While it is true that the quote I supplied comes from a book of documents illustrating papal authority, there seem to be plenty of such documents from the early Church. Is anyone arguing that they do not exist or that they are all forgeries?

I really don't like seeming to everyone to be always presenting the Latin arguments for the papacy, but it seems to me the opposite extreme tends to ignore and gloss over such references as the letter I quoted.

You yourself have said repeatedly, Peter, that history is not black-and-white (as if I thought it were).

Yet you seem to think that the case for a mere primacy of honor is open and shut and requires a simple examination of the historical record.

It seems to me such an examination proves that you are right about one thing: history is not so black-and-white.

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Byzantino: Actually the internet papal apologists would look at that and say "look, universal jurisdiction and papal infallibility!"

True. They see too much in it.

But it is equally true that some look at that letter and see far too little.
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« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2004, 09:04:39 AM »

Hiya Linus7

Well if you were arguing for a primacy of honour I would have no problem. But you are arguing for a jurisdictional authority which I believe Rome increasingly thought it should have starting before Chalcedon but which all churches resisted, even in the West.

You need to pull out canons showing the agreed limits of papal claims and actual events pro-and con which show what was actually allowed.

Why did even Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury, put in place by the Pope of Rome, not actually obey any of the instructions he was repeatedly sent?

Why did Hilary of Arles reject the attempts of Rome to impose its will across the West?

Why did St Cyprian reject even the more limited claims of Pope Stephen of Rome.

Surely the actual practice rather than ecclesial diplomacy is what counts.

Since we have already looked at the fact that many of the bishops at Chalcedon, plus hundreds of others, shortly afterwards repudiated Chalcedon and swore that they were not under any pressure to do so we should not expect that every word ever written by bishops was meant to be taken absolutely and literally as an expression of doctrinal opinion.
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« Reply #30 on: January 07, 2004, 09:08:57 AM »

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peterfarrington: Surely the actual practice rather than ecclesial diplomacy is what counts.

Really?

If that is true then Christ Himself has no authority!

How many people put His commands into "actual practice?"

Besides, you are assuming that the words of the bishops at Chalcedon were merely "ecclesial diplomacy," that they were somehow not serious about them.

The early popes had no imperial troops to enforce their instructions. Instances of bishops ignoring them are not proof that they were not rightfully binding.

I don't believe St. Cyprian actually ever rejected St. Stephen's authority. He argued with him about the rebaptism of heretics, to be sure, but that is not the same thing as rejecting his authority.

I am not familiar enough with the other cases you cited to comment other than to say that authority cannot be judged by specific instances of disobedience.
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« Reply #31 on: January 07, 2004, 09:27:23 AM »

I am not familiar enough with the other cases you cited to comment other than to say that authority cannot be judged by specific instances of disobedience.

I'd have thought the opposite was true. If the Pope of Rome cannot obtain the obedience of other bishops to his will then he has no authority. Or are you suggesting that for most of Church history most Orthodox bishops have quietly and not so quietly ignored the will of the Pope and thereby disobeyed God?

What of the 8th Roman Ecumenical Council. Which describes itself as Ecumenical. Is this Ecumenical or nor? It took place long before 1054?

Why did Pope Stephen excommunicate St Cyprian if it was not a matter of authority? If St Cyprian did not accept Pope Stephen's opinion - as Head of the Church - then how was he not rejecting his authority to teach the truth?
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« Reply #32 on: January 07, 2004, 09:33:43 AM »

And as a PS. I note that the Cath. Enc. says that:

"Stephen had demanded unquestioning obedience"

Now if he demanded this he certainly didn't get it. Was St Cyprian also disobedient then?
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« Reply #33 on: January 07, 2004, 11:17:42 AM »

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Linus7:
I am not familiar enough with the other cases you cited to comment other than to say that authority cannot be judged by specific instances of disobedience.

Quote
peterfarrington: I'd have thought the opposite was true. If the Pope of Rome cannot obtain the obedience of other bishops to his will then he has no authority.

Once again, moral authority and coercive authority are two different things.

If the ability to secure obedience to one's commands as measured by historical instances is an indication of real authority, then Stalin had more authority than Christ.

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peterfarrington: Or are you suggesting that for most of Church history most Orthodox bishops have quietly and not so quietly ignored the will of the Pope and thereby disobeyed God?

I'm not suggesting that at all.

I don't see that you or anyone else has proven that "for most of Church history most Orthodox bishops have quietly and not so quietly ignored the will of the Pope."

Besides, I am arguing that the early popes held more than a mere primacy of honor, not that they were monarchs or that they were infallible.

Save the anti-RC arguments for your RC opponents.

Quote
peterfarrington: What of the 8th Roman Ecumenical Council. Which describes itself as Ecumenical. Is this Ecumenical or nor? It took place long before 1054?

Are you asking me to declare myself a Roman Catholic and that popes are infallible?

It is pretty well known that Photius resumed his office as Patriarch of Constantinople in 877 and that he held another synod in Constantinople in 879 that rescinded the condemnation of him made at the council to which you refer.

Photius was reconciled to Rome and died in communion with Pope John VIII.

Quote
peterfarrington: Why did Pope Stephen excommunicate St Cyprian if it was not a matter of authority? If St Cyprian did not accept Pope Stephen's opinion - as Head of the Church - then how was he not rejecting his authority to teach the truth?

Once again, you seem to be attempting to get me to defend absolute papal monarchy and infallibility.

I never said one could not argue with the Bishop of Rome or attempt to persuade him to one's point of view.

The controversy between Sts. Stephen and Cyprian ended when both men died.

It is noteworthy that it was St. Stephen's viewpoint that triumphed ultimately.

I do not have access right now to a detailed account of the controversy between Sts. Stephen and Cyprian. If I get time, I will attempt to do some more reading on it.

You seem to be arguing that if St. Cyprian disagreed with the Pope, that's it, that must mean the Pope held nothing more than a primacy of honor.

I don't see that as an inevitable conclusion to be drawn from the record of their dispute.

If Pope St. Stephen's opinions carried no more weight than those of any other bishop, why would St. Cyprian so concern himself with them?

Why consult the Pope at all?
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« Reply #34 on: January 07, 2004, 11:39:51 AM »

If Pope St. Stephen's opinions carried no more weight than those of any other bishop, why would St. Cyprian so concern himself with them?

Why consult the Pope at all?

I think you are setting up false dichotomies.

Just because St Cyprian rejected any form of papal supremacy doesn't mean that he wouldn't consult with the Pope. In fact he had already had to send several letters to the previous Pope urging him to take action in certain cases. In his own letters St Cyprian writes against a primacy saying:

"Since you have desired that what Stephen our brother replied to my letters should be brought to your knowledge, I have sent you a copy of his reply; on the reading of which, you will more and more observe his error in endeavouring to maintain the cause of heretics against Christians, and against the Church of God ... He forbade one coming from any heresy to be baptized in the Church; that is, he judged the baptism of all heretics to be just and lawful (Epistle 73.1-2).

Does he give glory to God, who affirms that sons are born to God without, of an adulterer and a harlot? Does he give glory to God, who does not hold the unity and truth that arise from the divine law, but maintains heresies against the Church? Does he give glory to God, who, a friend of heretics and an enemy to Christians, thinks that the priests of God, who support the truth of Christ and the unity of the Church, are to be excommunicated? (Epistle 73.Cool.

But let these things which were done by Stephen be passed by for the present, lest, while we remember his audacity and pride, we bring a more lasting sadness on ourselves from the things that he has wickedly done (Epistle 74.3).

But that they who are at Rome do not observe those things in all cases which are handed down from the beginning, and vainly pretend the authority of the apostles ... There is no departure at all from the peace and unity of the Catholic Church, such as Stephen has now dared to make; breaking the peace against you (Cyprian), which his predecessors have always kept with you in mutual love and honour (Epistle 74.6).

I (Firmilian) am justly indignant at this so open and manifest folly of Stephen, that he who so boasts of the place of his episcopate, and contends that he holds the succession from Peter, on whom the foundations of the Church were laid, should introduce many other rocks and establish new buildings of many churches; maintaining that there is baptism in them by his authority (Epistle 74.17).

Stephen is not ashamed to assert and to say that remission of sins can be granted by those who are themselves set fast in all kinds of sins, as if in the house of death there could be the layer of salvation ... But indeed you are worse than all heretics ... you take away from them remission of sins, which is given in baptism, by saying that they are already baptized and have obtained the grace of the Church outside the Church (Epistle 74.22-23).

How great sin have you (Stephen) heaped up for yourself, when you cut yourself off from so many flocks! For it is yourself that you have cut off. Do not deceive yourself, since he is really the schismatic who has made himself an apostate from the communion of ecclesiastical unity. For while you think that all may be excommunicated by you, you have excommunicated yourself alone from all (Epistle 74.24).

And yet Stephen is not ashamed to afford patronage to such in opposition to the Church, and for the sake of maintaining heretics to divide the brotherhood and in addition, to call Cyprian "a false Christ and a false apostle, and a deceitful worker." (Epistle 74.26).

Basilides, after the detection of his crimes, and the baring of his conscience even by his own confession, went to Rome and deceived Stephen our colleague, placed at a distance, and ignorant of what had been done, and of the truth, to canvass that he might be replaced unjustly in the episcopate from which he had been righteously deposed (Epistle 67.5).

But which of us is far from humility: I, who daily serve the brethren, and kindly receive with good-will and gladness every one that comes to the Church; or you, who appoint yourself bishop of a bishop, and judge of a judge, given for the time by God? (Epistle 68.3)."

The last quotation is especially aposite.

I do not doubt the primacy in some sense of the Pope of Rome in the past, but it must be measured by practice and canons.

I am still not sure why the historic primacy of Rome is important. Rome is not Orthodox. There is no Orthodox Pope to have the primacy. If a primacy is necessary for the Church then it has fallen to the Ecumenical Patriarch to serve in that capacity. You should be asking in what sense he has a primacy.

And of course it is not the case that the Roman practice has prevailed. There are many Orthodox Churches who take an entirely Cyprianic view. My own does for instance.
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« Reply #35 on: January 07, 2004, 12:06:50 PM »

Of course, it was also St. Cyprian who wrote:

"There speaks Peter, upon whom the Church would be built . . ." (St. Cyprian of Carthage, Letter to Florentius Pupianus, [66 (69), 8]; A.D. 254).

"For Peter, whom the Lord chose first and upon whom He built His Church . . ." (St. Cyprian of Carthage, Letter to Quintus, A Bishop of Mauretania, [71, 1]; A.D. 254/255).

"And again He says to him [Peter] after His resurrection: 'Feed My sheep.' On him He builds the Church, and to him He gives the command to feed the sheep; and although He assigns a like power to all the Apostles, yet He founded a single chair, and He established by His own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was; but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair" (St. Cyprian of Carthage, The Unity of the Catholic Church, [4]; A.D. 251).


You also quoted some of the letters of Firmilian as if they were St. Cyprian's.

I still do not see that St. Cyprian's conflict with St. Stephen makes your case.

St. Cyprian was human and fallible, although a saint.

Quote
peterfarrington: And of course it is not the case that the Roman practice has prevailed. There are many Orthodox Churches who take an entirely Cyprianic view. My own does for instance.

It has prevailed in the Orthodox Church in general, when exercising oikonomia.

Your church is OO, Peter. There are many points of departure between it and the Orthodox Church, and there are many groups which practice all sorts of things not practiced by the Orthodox Church.

There are splinter groups that insist on the rebaptism of all converts, yes.

Unfortunately, I've run out of time.
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« Reply #36 on: January 07, 2004, 04:23:18 PM »

What are the points of departure between the EO and the Orthodox Church?

If you are talking about baptism of heretics you need to consider that economia is a modern practice. Historically it was not practiced in Orthodox but was practiced in the West.

You cannot switch it to 'the baptism of all converts'. That wasn't and isn't the issue. Rome didn't baptise converts from heresy full-stop. That was the view Pope Stephen insisted on. That is not and has never been the Orthodox practice. Stephen wasn't practicing economia he was saying that baptism should not happen.

What is my case? That the Popes have never had an indisputed authority, in fact their authority has always been disputed.

You say that this merely shows that bishops can be disobedient.

But in fact you seem to have failed to come up with a list of times when the Popes were able to impose their authority.

You have also signally failed to answer why it is important for Orthodox? There is no Pope of Rome. Constantinople is the senior See and the EP has inherited whatever primacy was Romes/

What primacy does the EP have? That is the Orthodox issue. Rome is a non-issue. It's like asking 'who is the present senior bishop of Carthage?' Carthage doesn't exist either as an Orthodox community. It's a non-question.

What is the primacy of the EP, answer that and you'll know what the primacy of Rome was
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« Reply #37 on: January 07, 2004, 05:38:30 PM »

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What are the points of departure between the EO and the Orthodox Church?

I understand your church's exclusivity claim but frankly I find this wording rude. Face it, in Christianity the EOx have a lock on the big-O word standing alone, just like the Pope's men have a patent on big C by itself in common use. That's reality, mate. 'The Oriental Orthodox Church' or even, for your argument, 'the Church' would be fine.

Quote
Rome didn't baptise converts from heresy full-stop. That was the view Pope Stephen insisted on. That is not and has never been the Orthodox practice. Stephen wasn't practicing economia he was saying that baptism should not happen.

Pope St Stephen I was writing and acting a long time ago, even before the belief about the Dormition/Assumption was widely known or the teaching on images was made doctrine. That's rather impressive precedent, whatever one thinks about the place of the Pope.

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What is the primacy of the EP, answer that and you'll know what the primacy of Rome was


Pope John Paul II makes mistakes in prudential judgement (altar girls, for example) but at least he has been willing to be a lightning rod on hot issues such as abortion and homosexuality, and - facing the wrath of the anti-popery Protestant religious right in the States (Messrs Bush and Ashcroft, et al.) - the war in Iraq. And he had the moral clout to inspire the fall of Communism.

Quo vadis, Patriarch Bartholomew? Innocuous tree-hugging (stewardship of God's creation is a noble cause but that's not my point) and giving 'Archon' awards to men like 'Senator Death' Paul Sarbanes in Maryland ('he's Greek + he gives us money = he's an exemplary Christian') don't cut it. Not even close.
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« Reply #38 on: January 07, 2004, 06:01:29 PM »

I understand your church's exclusivity claim but frankly I find this wording rude. Face it, in Christianity the EOx have a lock on the big-O word standing alone, just like the Pope's men have a patent on big C by itself in common use. That's reality, mate. 'The Oriental Orthodox Church' or even, for your argument, 'the Church' would be fine.

I suppose we should all just call ourselves the "Eastern Orthodox Church" or the "Oriental Orthodox Church" since it seems that more people associate "Orthodox" with Judaism than with anything else?
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« Reply #39 on: January 07, 2004, 06:11:02 PM »

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I suppose we should all just call ourselves the "Eastern Orthodox Church" or the "Oriental Orthodox Church" since it seems that more people associate "Orthodox" with Judaism than with anything else?


True - I almost brought that up. Sure! In general conversation outside Christian message boards, don't you have to do that anyway?
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« Reply #40 on: January 07, 2004, 06:26:49 PM »

I understand your church's exclusivity claim but frankly I find this wording rude. Face it, in Christianity the EOx have a lock on the big-O word standing alone, just like the Pope's men have a patent on big C by itself in common use. That's reality, mate. 'The Oriental Orthodox Church' or even, for your argument, 'the Church' would be fine.

Sorry I don't buy that. If an EO can call himself Orthodox and everyone else something else than how is that not rude? I don't think Linus7 was meaning anything. But if an EO considers himself Orthodox then so do I.

I don't particularly care about a lock on any word standing alone. If it isn't accurate why should I allow it to be used inaccurately? It just shows that a lot of people are wrong. Should RC's be called Papists just because it's a popular term?

In Christianity most folk I have grown up with think all Orthodox are superstitious, it doesn't mean such a use is accurate or should be allowed.

If someone wants to talk about Eastern Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy that's fine. But if they want to talk about the Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodoxy then I'm not going to shut up and let it pass. Why should I? As far as I'm concerned it's inaccurate. If I'm not Orthodox I'm being accused of being a heretic, and in my eyes that's worse than just about anything.

I don't ever mean to be rude so please assume that I am raising my voice a little but not shouting and I'd happily have a drink with you and disagree to your face.
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« Reply #41 on: January 07, 2004, 06:26:54 PM »

Serge, I guess my problem with your previous post is that I doubt the average Joe knows the distinction between Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, if he knows of Orthodox Christians at all.  To say, then, that EOxy has a lock on the name Orthodox is problematic for me.  If a Syrian Orthodox Church is one block away from point A and a Bulgarian Orthodox Church is five blocks away from point A and you ask a cab driver to take you to the nearest Orthodox church, I really doubt he's going to drive five blocks to bring you to the Bulgarian church unless he hopes you don't know your way around town and wants to make more money from the one trip.  Smiley
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« Reply #42 on: January 07, 2004, 06:29:57 PM »

True - I almost brought that up. Sure! In general conversation outside Christian message boards, don't you have to do that anyway?

Outside Orthodox lists I just call myself what I am - an Orthodox Christian. I belong to the Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria under Pope Shenouda.

Outside Orthodox lists - and even some in them - the majority of folk have no clue about Orthodox communities.

And I was not being any more exclusivist in calling myself Orthodox than an EO would. I don't really understand your last point? How is it not exclusivist to say Orthodox and OO, but it is exclusivist to say Orthodox and EO?
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« Reply #43 on: January 07, 2004, 06:53:23 PM »

Serge, I guess my problem with your previous post is that I doubt the average Joe knows the distinction between Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, if he knows of Orthodox Christians at all.  To say, then, that EOxy has a lock on the name Orthodox is problematic for me.  If a Syrian Orthodox Church is one block away from point A and a Bulgarian Orthodox Church is five blocks away from point A and you ask a cab driver to take you to the nearest Orthodox church, I really doubt he's going to drive five blocks to bring you to the Bulgarian church unless he hopes you don't know your way around town and wants to make more money from the one trip.  Smiley

I don't know-- my last cab ride in Philly was with a Ukranian cabbie.  Grin

And I'm not sure how cabbies enter into this. If I were on 16th Street in DC and asked to go to the nearest Anglican church, I'd probably end up at St. Hilda's, which is a continuing church. Taxonomy and ecclesiology are at war here, because there clearly is an organizational difference between Coptic and Greek churches that exactly parallels the difference between the official Anglican church in the US and the continuing churches (namely, recognition by the appropriate patriarch). Naming this difference is a job for taxonomy, but because the churches that claim catholicity tend to have extremely sale-pitchy names, there is a perpetual battle between the meanings of the words and the titles of the churches.

Somewhere along the line someone has to cry "uncle" and some taxonomy has to be accepted apart from all the competing claims to be The Church. Otherwise discourse is impossible.
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« Reply #44 on: January 07, 2004, 08:35:40 PM »

I have a little question which is subsidiary to this:

The 8th Ecumenical Council according to the Roman Catholic tradition is Constantinople IV 869-870.

The statement of this council starts:

"The holy, great and ecumenical synod, which was assembled by God's will and the favour of our divinely approved emperors Basil and Constantine, the holy friends of Christ, in this royal and divinely protected city and in the most famous church bearing the name of holy and great Wisdom, declared the following....."

Regardless of what it declared for now, how would those Orthodox who have a high view of the papal privileges and authority view this council? If Peter is head of the Church then why is a council which was held before the Great Schism not ecumenical according to your POV?

We have dealt with a few of the times when Rome objected to an Eastern Council, but what of the times when it supported one? And this was from 869 to the present?

Linus7? What's your POV?

The Council of 869 was overturned by the Council of 879 which was cosigned by Pope John VIII.

See The Photian Schism by Francis Dvornik.
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« Reply #45 on: January 07, 2004, 11:56:23 PM »

Here's the Greek Orthodox view on the situation.

http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article8523.asp
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« Reply #46 on: January 08, 2004, 01:01:19 AM »

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Outside Orthodox lists I just call myself what I am - an Orthodox Christian. I belong to the Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria under Pope Shenouda.

Outside Orthodox lists - and even some in them - the majority of folk have no clue about Orthodox communities.

Just tell others you belong to that group that goes around mutilating squirrels, that's what i normally do  Tongue
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« Reply #47 on: January 08, 2004, 05:05:22 AM »

The Council of 869 was overturned by the Council of 879 which was cosigned by Pope John VIII.

See The Photian Schism by Francis Dvornik.

Hiya

But the RC do still count it as the 8th Ecumenical council.

When did they overturn Pope John VIII approval of it?

PT
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« Reply #48 on: January 08, 2004, 05:17:38 AM »

Somewhere along the line someone has to cry "uncle" and some taxonomy has to be accepted apart from all the competing claims to be The Church. Otherwise discourse is impossible.

I agree, but my point was that in a discussion it is possible to speak of EO and OO, or Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy in general, or Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy or Roman Catholicism and Oriental Orthodoxy specifically.

But if we speak of Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy that carries the suggestion that Oriental Orthodoxy is not Orthodox, which would be fine in a conversation between Eastern Orthodox but is problematic in a conversation with members of other communities.

Serge objected to my use of Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox as rude, but he had not objected to Linus7's use of Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox.

I do not and did not wish to be rude at all and would not normally make such a distinction except that I was half playfully responding to Linus7 who in frustration at me (I think) wanted to suggest that there was a big distinction between his idea of Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy.

As far as people knowing which community is which, well even the best informed colleagues at work here, who have been to Cyprus many times and visited monasteries and churches, think that Orthodoxy means a particular faith and that Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox and Coptic Orthodox are just local varieties of that faith. They are not interested at all in who is calling who a schismatic. Nor indeed are many lay folk, or even priests and a whole lot of bishops.

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« Reply #49 on: January 08, 2004, 07:40:46 AM »

I wish to commend Keble/D.P.'s referee talents and say PT does have a valid complaint.

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« Reply #50 on: January 08, 2004, 08:44:44 AM »

Quote
peterfarrington: I do not and did not wish to be rude at all and would not normally make such a distinction except that I was half playfully responding to Linus7 who in frustration at me (I think) wanted to suggest that there was a big distinction between his idea of Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy.

There is a big distinction between Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy.

I think many here downplay it - perhaps out of an admirable desire to foster Christian unity - but it does exist.

The OO reject the last four of the Seven Ecumenical Councils of the Church!

If that is not a BIG difference, then I do not know what is.

Those four councils form a large portion of the Church's big "T" Tradition.

The OO also do not regard several of the saints of the Orthodox Church as saints and recognize as saints some whom the Orthodox Church would view as highly questionable at best.

That is also a BIG difference.

My impression is that what really unites some who contribute to the discussions on this particular forum (the Catholic-Orthodox Forum) is not their mutual Orthodoxy but rather their shared opposition to Rome.
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« Reply #51 on: January 08, 2004, 09:17:22 AM »

I'm sorry Linus7 but that's just a load of rubbish. I have no 'opposition to Rome' at all. I became Orthodox as a result of reading and benefitting from lots of Roman Catholic materials, I greatly value my visits to French Roman Catholic Christian places, and nearly all the relics of the saints which I have in my stewardship have been in the careful devotion of Roman Catholic Christians.

I find it frankly disturbing that you will not consider the substance of the latter councils, and the almost complete agreement which is found in that content between the EO and OO. I am sad that you think that belief about an event is more important than the content of the event.  

There is no point in me continuing. :'(
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« Reply #52 on: January 08, 2004, 09:41:32 AM »

Subdeacon Peter,

But at the end of the day from an  Eastern Orthodox point of view if Oriental Orthodox will not ascribe to the belief that Christ has two natures/diophysis, miaphysis being unacceptable, they will be viewed as heterodox.

Fr. Deacon Lance
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« Reply #53 on: January 08, 2004, 09:47:24 AM »

But the Oriental Orthodox freely ascribe to the confession that Christ is fully human and fully Divine, and that these natures are utterly different and maintain their difference in the union.

If miaphysis, meaning 'one incarnate hypostasis' is unacceptable then Eastern Orthodoxy is heresy. I have not read that St Cyril is unacceptable among the Eastern Orthodox.

Miaphysis does not mean 'one nature' when translated into Eastern Orthodox terminology. It means 'one hypostasis'.

The non-Chalcedonians have always confessed that Christ is completely and perfectly human and completely and perfectly divine, without confusion or mixture. Anything else is blasphemy.
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« Reply #54 on: January 08, 2004, 10:42:33 AM »

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Linus7:
There is a big distinction between Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy.

I think many here downplay it - perhaps out of an admirable desire to foster Christian unity - but it does exist.

The OO reject the last four of the Seven Ecumenical Councils of the Church!

If that is not a BIG difference, then I do not know what is.

Those four councils form a large portion of the Church's big "T" Tradition.

Linus7, that distinctions exist is evident; but in an effort to "foster Christian unity" I must examine your position here more closely.

In this current effort, but not the first effort historically, at EO-OO rapproachment I see the following situation:
1) Some agreed framework is being reached on the Christological issues, if any at this point in time.
2) The OO communion is balking at having to accept the councils beyond Chalcedon (and parts of Chalcedon as it stands) which they feel as unnecessary due to their not being involved in those heresies/issues.
3) The EO communion has set the re-union "bar" at the level of the first seven councils. This is MOST interesting. The Oecumenical Patriarch states in a video interview available on the GOAA website that SEVEN council acceptance is necessary. Seven? We have 9 councils ecumenically received. So it seems that  even the EP's position is flexible to a degree. The only reason I can find that we are the "Church of the Seven Councils" is the fact that that term was used to define the commonality between the RC and EO during the failed re-union attempts in the past. Yes, we do use the term now, but we have more and those beyond seven are, what, deemed less a part of our Church?

It would seem there could be wiggle-room here IF both sides wish. Before Linus7 falls out of his chair and beats his keyborad to pieces, he often uses the phrase "I cannot believe that Christ meant..." in his papal studies posts. I cannot believe that Christ meant ONLY legal definitions to define Faith in Him.

Quote
The OO also do not regard several of the saints of the Orthodox Church as saints and recognize as saints some whom the Orthodox Church would view as highly questionable at best.

That is also a BIG difference.
Agreed; this is a big point, but is it insurmountable?
Quote
My impression is that what really unites some who contribute to the discussions on this particular forum (the Catholic-Orthodox Forum) is not their mutual Orthodoxy but rather their shared opposition to Rome.

I do agree this sub-thread has left the Catholic-Othodox realm, but I find this statement insulting. In 451 there was no Roman Catholic Church and no Eastern Orthodox Church - just an "orthodox Catholic Church" (with the Nestorians in schism). When I ponder the Oriental Orthodox Church I never even think about their stance on Rome (the Roman Catholic Church today)

Demetri
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« Reply #55 on: January 08, 2004, 10:59:12 AM »

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Aristokles: It would seem there could be wiggle-room here IF both sides wish. Before Linus7 falls out of his chair and beats his keyborad to pieces, he often uses the phrase "I cannot believe that Christ meant..." in his papal studies posts. I cannot believe that Christ meant ONLY legal definitions to define Faith in Him.

I don't recall using the expression, "I cannot believe Christ meant . . . ," that often, if ever, but that is a small point.

Who is arguing for "legal definitions" of the faith?

But a key element of the Orthodox doctrine of the infallibility of the Church includes the Seven Ecumenical Councils of the Church. "Wiggle" on four out of seven of them and you've wiggled out of a large portion of Church authority and infallibility.

What's left then?

If we were wrong about the last four, who is to say we were right about the first three?

Quote
Linus7:
The OO also do not regard several of the saints of the Orthodox Church as saints and recognize as saints some whom the Orthodox Church would view as highly questionable at best.

That is also a BIG difference.

Quote
Aristokles: Agreed; this is a big point, but is it insurmountable?

Perhaps not, but I certainly don't see how it can be overcome without considerable revision of Church history.

Quote
Linus7:
My impression is that what really unites some who contribute to the discussions on this particular forum (the Catholic-Orthodox Forum) is not their mutual Orthodoxy but rather their shared opposition to Rome.

Quote
Aristokles: I do agree this sub-thread has left the Catholic-Othodox realm, but I find this statement insulting. In 451 there was no Roman Catholic Church and no Eastern Orthodox Church - just an "orthodox Catholic Church" (with the Nestorians in schism). When I ponder the Oriental Orthodox Church I never even think about their stance on Rome (the Roman Catholic Church today)

Demetri

But it wasn't "thinking about the Oriental Orthodox Church" that caused you to take peterfarrington's side on this thread. It was your mutual opposition to the idea that the Bishop of Rome might have enjoyed a primacy of jurisdiction based on Christ's words to St. Peter.

That was my point.

The two of you do not share a mutual Orthodoxy. Your idea of Orthodoxy and his are different.

What unites you on this particular thread is the idea that the popes held only a primacy of honor.

I do not see how it is insulting to point that out.

It is the simple truth.
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« Reply #56 on: January 08, 2004, 11:03:48 AM »

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peterfarrington: I'm sorry Linus7 but that's just a load of rubbish. I have no 'opposition to Rome' at all. I became Orthodox as a result of reading and benefitting from lots of Roman Catholic materials, I greatly value my visits to French Roman Catholic Christian places, and nearly all the relics of the saints which I have in my stewardship have been in the careful devotion of Roman Catholic Christians.

Who's loading rubbish?

"I have no 'opposition to Rome' at all" ?  Shocked

 Grin



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« Reply #57 on: January 08, 2004, 11:14:57 AM »

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If we were wrong about the last four, who is to say we were right about the first three?

Slava Isusu Christu!

While I'm sure Peter will answer this better than I, I believe Peter has said time and time again that the OO agree with the outcome of the last four councils, the doctrines that they taught.  

For some reason, the OO don't feel like they have to "recognize" something they've always "recognized".

Personally, from what I've read, I'm inclined to agree with him.
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« Reply #58 on: January 08, 2004, 11:15:50 AM »

Linus
If you go back and review my posts both in this thread and on others (Thou Art Peter, etc) you will see that I am not taking either "side", but have admitted to the validity of both positions in the past, including agreeing in large part with yours. In between.  All the world is in between two poles (no pun), not merely on the extremes.
On this thread I think the only post I have made was in reference to the Orthodox / Oriental Orthodox LABELS. I don't recall taking any position pro or con Rome.
Demetri
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« Reply #59 on: January 08, 2004, 11:19:38 AM »

Subdeacon Peter,

Physis=nature, Hypostasis=Person, Miaphysis=one composite nature, to Eastern Orthodox.  It is considered an inaccurate term and therefore is unacceptable.  St. Cyril is not considered heretical, but the term miaphysis is considered deficient and it is why Chalcedon demanded the term diophysis.  Orientals can say they believe that Christ is fully human and fully God until they are blue in the face but unless they are at least willing to concede diophysis is orthodox belief they will be considered heterodox by Eastern Orthodox.  The Catholic Church, on the otherhand, seems willing to accept that miaphysis is equivalent to diophysis, the real difference lying in language/philosophical barriers.

Fr. Deacon Lance
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« Reply #60 on: January 08, 2004, 11:40:29 AM »

Fr Deacon Lance.

The OO have conceded that diophysis is an orthodox belief.

"In the light of our Agreed Statement on Christology as well as of the above common affirmations, we have now clearly understood that both families have always loyally maintained the same authentic Orthodox Christological faith, and the unbroken continuity of the apostolic tradition, though they have used Christological terms in different ways. It is this common faith and continuous loyalty to the Apostolic Tradition that should be the basis for our unity and communion."

and

"The Oriental Orthodox agree that the Orthodox are justified in their use of the two-natures formula, since they acknowledge that the distinction is "in thought alone" (th qewria monh)."

This was signed by many Eastern Orthodox bishops and theologians and has been synodically received by the OO churches.
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« Reply #61 on: January 08, 2004, 11:44:44 AM »

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If we were wrong about the last four, who is to say we were right about the first three?

Slava Isusu Christu!

While I'm sure Peter will answer this better than I, I believe Peter has said time and time again that the OO agree with the outcome of the last four councils, the doctrines that they taught.  

For some reason, the OO don't feel like they have to "recognize" something they've always "recognized".

Personally, from what I've read, I'm inclined to agree with him.  

You may agree, Schultz, but the Church has said, "These Seven Councils are holy and ecumenical and, where they have spoken on faith and morals, infallible" (or words to that effect).

The Orthodox doctrine is that the Church is infallible.

If that is so then assent to the Seven Councils is not a negotiable option.

One cannot be Orthodox and say, "I share the faith of the Seven Councils but reject the notion that the last four of them were holy and ecumenical."

And that because of a fifth-century schism that came about as a reaction to the decisions of the Fourth Council!
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« Reply #62 on: January 08, 2004, 11:47:16 AM »

The Council of 869 was overturned by the Council of 879 which was cosigned by Pope John VIII.

See The Photian Schism by Francis Dvornik.

Hiya

But the RC do still count it as the 8th Ecumenical council.

When did they overturn Pope John VIII approval of it?

PT

Peter you are correct.  Dustin, you are correct as well.

The RCC still reckons the council of 869 as an ecumenical council even though John VIII approved the council of 879 that overturned the previous council.  I think the RCC pretends that the council of 879 does not exist.
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« Reply #63 on: January 08, 2004, 11:47:53 AM »

Linus,

But Peter believes what you and I believe regarding everything Holy Orthodoxy teaches about the faith, the Apostolic Faith.  

That is what is important...the Faith.  The Councils are merely vehicles for the teaching of that Faith.

I think you're missing the forest through the trees.
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« Reply #64 on: January 08, 2004, 11:59:44 AM »

Linus,

But Peter believes what you and I believe regarding everything Holy Orthodoxy teaches about the faith, the Apostolic Faith.  

That is what is important...the Faith.  The Councils are merely vehicles for the teaching of that Faith.

I think you're missing the forest through the trees.

But there is more than one kind of tree in the forest.

The Christological tree is one kind.

Do we cut down the tree of Ecclesial Infallibility because it obscures our view of the Christological trees we have planted?

If the Church is infallible, and one of the chief ways she expresses her infallibility is through ecumencial councils, then how do we make four out of seven of them optional?

And how do we make them optional for some and mandatory for others?

The Church was right about those four councils or she was not.

If she was not, then she is not infallible, and we should all become Protestants.
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« Reply #65 on: January 08, 2004, 12:09:56 PM »

But Linus, dear dear Linus, Peter has said time and time again that he nurtures the SAME tree we do.

You're beginning to sound like our resident ROAC folks.
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« Reply #66 on: January 08, 2004, 12:12:47 PM »

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Aristokles: It would seem there could be wiggle-room here IF both sides wish. Before Linus7 falls out of his chair and beats his keyborad to pieces, he often uses the phrase "I cannot believe that Christ meant..." in his papal studies posts. I cannot believe that Christ meant ONLY legal definitions to define Faith in Him.

I don't recall using the expression, "I cannot believe Christ meant . . . ," that often, if ever, but that is a small point.

We need a 'tongue-in-cheek' smilely face.

Quote
Who is arguing for "legal definitions" of the faith?

But a key element of the Orthodox doctrine of the infallibility of the Church includes the Seven Ecumenical Councils of the Church. "Wiggle" on four out of seven of them and you've wiggled out of a large portion of Church authority and infallibility.

What's left then?

If we were wrong about the last four, who is to say we were right about the first three?


Linus7,
You mis-read me. I condemn denying any of the NINE Councils, not merely  4-7.  You assume I am blindly accepting a three council union. I am not. But if the EP can ignore two councils and deposit the Faith only in the first seven, well, that's how I define 'wiggle-room'. I'm not saying I LIKE it.

Schultz has obviously got it right (about Faith)!

Demetri

{Edited so as not to endorse ROAC comment which was posted while I was writing my post}
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« Reply #67 on: January 08, 2004, 01:10:12 PM »

Schutz,
You sound like an angry Anglo-Catholic (Old Catholic, etc.) who is trying to show that they have the same faith as an Orthodox, yet is not Orthodox i.e. trying to recieve communion. Wasn't it William Palmer who had his beliefs all laid out, and was still refused Holy Communion by Moscow? Every statement about Orthodox intercommunion I've read has stated that it isn't good enough for a heterodox to believe everything Orthodoxy does...they must be Orthodox.
Why make an exception for Non-Chalcedonians?
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« Reply #68 on: January 08, 2004, 01:13:20 PM »

By changing the Councils, you're changing the apostolic deposit of faith, what the Orthodox Church has always believed through her liturgy, and isn't a matter to be cliched away...and that's a rhetorical cheap shot by invoking ROAC. However, it is a good way to FUD (fear, uncertaintly, doubt) up the waters of discussion-a good way to discredit Linus.

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« Reply #69 on: January 08, 2004, 01:32:38 PM »

Boswell,

Actually, I'm one of those heretical Ruthenian Catholics.  I'm not trying to legitimatize anything, but merely discussing this subject with my fellow posters.  I don't see how you can possibly construe that I'm "angry" at anything.  

As for FUDdying up the waters, it was merely a weak attempt at humor.  Pardon me if you didn't get it.  I'm sure many others here did.  Possibly even Linus himself (I hope so, at least!)
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« Reply #70 on: January 08, 2004, 03:52:21 PM »

You know I don't actually need anyones validation of my Orthodox faith. I am fortunate that God has brought me to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I have been pleased to find that most EO also have this same faith and my bishops have taught me to consider that they are also the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. It is on this basis that EO bishops and priests offer communion to isolated OO and OO bishops and priests offer communion to isolated EO. I will spend all of my life trying to bring reconciliation to those who have the same faith. If others don't want that then that's their look out before the judgement seat.

There is no point me taking part in these exercises of polemics so I guess I'll drop out of such threads and restrict myself to ones about non-controversial matters. I had thought that OCnet was a more positive place than others in terms of supporting reconciliation than it seems to be, and I have a life to live that doesn't need constant abuse. The same old polemics surface which prevent any real effort at reconciliation. I hope I'm happy to push the envelope and see what's possible but there's no point being on threads with posts that just reproduce the same old same old.

But I'm moderately happy, disappointed rather than angry, and glad that there are lots of intelligent and spiritual folk here who do help me to grow in my faith.
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« Reply #71 on: January 08, 2004, 06:14:42 PM »

I've got an idea Smiley

When we finally get one of those time machine thingies working lets whizz back to 1st or 2nd century Palestine, grab one of the Christians and bring him back to the 21st century. Then we can tell him that he isn't an Orthodox Christian unless he accepts the 7 (or 9) ecumenical councils Cheesy

Draw a circle on the ground and call everything inside it Orthodox and everything outside heresy. Now stand in the middle of it. You are now an Orthodox Christian on the day of Pentecost and will remain so as long as you stal insife the circle.
Now build walls at three locations on the circle (1st three ecumenical councils). If you stay inside the circle you are an Orthodox Christian, if you step outside, you are not. This is where the OO's are.
Now build four more walls on the circle (or six Wink) so you have a total of seven (or nine) walls. Stay inside the circle and you are Orthodox, step outside and you're not. This is EO territory.

The area bound by the circle does not change the whole time whether there are nine walls or none. It neither grows nor shrinks, the only difference is that the walls make the boundary of the circle more clearly defined.

There, that's my "analogies that probably suck" quota for the year all used up.

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« Reply #72 on: January 08, 2004, 06:29:17 PM »

Sub-Dn Peter

[You know I don't actually need anyones validation of my Orthodox faith. I am fortunate that God has brought me to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.}

I'm glad.  I didn't get the idea you were seeking anyone's validation.  I and many others who post here don't seek validation for our faith whether it be RC or EO or OO.  I think we should try to help those who might be seeking such validation.

[There is no point me taking part in these exercises of polemics so I guess I'll drop out of such threads and restrict myself to ones about non-controversial matters. I had thought that OCnet was a more positive place than others]

I hope this is not what you will do.  Your view point enriches discussions.  Yes it does tend to get polemical but that is something we should not be afraid of.  If, those of us who are honestly interested in dialogue in charity, dropped out of the threads that might be controversial this would be a boring forum and those who are "polemical bullies" would rule the roost. (Just a note here but I am NOT saying any who have posted on this thread are "polemical bullies"!) These "polemical bullies" usually get their facts wrong anyway. So please don't refrain from posting.  I think we all need to be a little kinder to each other.

Ubi caritas Deus ibi est.
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« Reply #73 on: January 08, 2004, 06:29:44 PM »

I like it brother John, it is a simple formula.


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« Reply #74 on: January 08, 2004, 06:32:24 PM »

Bless you, Carpo-Rusyn. I could not have said that better in twice as many words.
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« Reply #75 on: January 08, 2004, 10:26:14 PM »

Carpo-Rusyn -

Am I a "polemical bully" because I dared to mention that OO and EO are not one and the same, that we do have some very real and significant differences?

I was taught that the Orthodox Church is the Church of the Seven Councils, that the Church is infallible in what is declared by her bishops assembled in such ecumenical councils, and that the findings of those councils are an important part of Holy Tradition.

I have seen many members of this web site only too gladly point out the differences between RCs and EOs, like the filioque, the Immaculate Conception, Purgatory, etc.

It is okay to recognize those differences, I guess, but not the gulf separating the EO and OO.

I am not opposed to charitable dialogue. I recognize the essential doctrinal orthodoxy of the OO, at least as far as I understand it. I have commented on it myself.

But the different attitudes of the OO and EO toward the last four of the Seven Ecumenical Councils are a very real and significant problem.

The OO attitude toward some EO saints is likewise a problem, as is the EO attitude toward some OO saints.

It is not "bullying" to mention these differences.

I hope there is some way to work them out.

But I don't think that way can possibly be to downplay the ecumenical councils, or to label some of them as "political" or part of a growing Roman heterodoxy.

Personally, I don't see any reason for anyone to be offended. There was no name-calling involved. I never called anyone the "M-word," for example.
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« Reply #76 on: January 08, 2004, 10:32:36 PM »

Linus

Maybe you didn't read this part of my post:

{(Just a note here but I am NOT saying any who have posted on this thread are "polemical bullies"!) }

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« Reply #77 on: January 08, 2004, 11:03:26 PM »

Linus

Maybe you didn't read this part of my post:

{(Just a note here but I am NOT saying any who have posted on this thread are "polemical bullies"!) }

Carpo-Rusyn

Yeah, I saw it, but since I am this thread's "bad guy" I didn't find that disclaimer very convincing (sorry) and felt the need to respond as I did.
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« Reply #78 on: January 08, 2004, 11:13:39 PM »

By changing the Councils, you're changing the apostolic deposit of faith, what the Orthodox Church has always believed through her liturgy, and isn't a matter to be cliched away...and that's a rhetorical cheap shot by invoking ROAC. However, it is a good way to FUD (fear, uncertaintly, doubt) up the waters of discussion-a good way to discredit Linus.



Thanks, Boswell.

Well and succinctly put.

Schultz -

I know you were being somewhat facetious with the ROAC bit.

Everyone here knows I am not ROAC.

Some of them think I am a closet papist, but ROAC? Never!
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« Reply #79 on: January 08, 2004, 11:52:41 PM »

C'mon guys,

Its a new year, let's be a smidge more charitable towards one another, there is enough grief outside the OC Net family.

james
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« Reply #80 on: January 09, 2004, 12:32:59 AM »

i second James.

It is depressing enough in the world as is.  We should be refuge from earthly cares here, at least somewhat, and get along charitably.
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« Reply #81 on: January 09, 2004, 02:03:45 AM »

Yes it is true, you could say this is our refuge from the outside world.

We must keep the OC Net familia peaceful, Capitan Roberto.

james
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« Reply #82 on: January 09, 2004, 08:41:35 AM »

Personally, I don't see anything uncharitable about this thread.

Is it uncharitable to say that there are differences between the OO and the EO?

Why would someone be offended because such differences exist and are mentioned?
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« Reply #83 on: January 09, 2004, 02:13:23 PM »

I believe this thread has left the original topic, which was the cause of the East/West schism and primacy between Rome & Constantinople.

Please correct me if I am wrong.

james
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« Reply #84 on: January 09, 2004, 09:50:52 PM »

Your church is OO, Peter. There are many points of departure between it and the Orthodox Church,

There may indeed be some differences between the EOs and OOs--and some complications of history; however, I would venture to say that we EOs and OOs are MUCH closer to each other than the EOs and the RCs!  

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« Reply #85 on: January 09, 2004, 10:16:28 PM »

Really?

If that is true then Christ Himself has no authority!

How many people put His commands into "actual practice?"

Besides, you are assuming that the words of the bishops at Chalcedon were merely "ecclesial diplomacy," that they were somehow not serious about them.

I really don't understand this statement.  Subdeacon Peter argued (rightly IMO) that despite the flowery language displayed in some communications (such as the letter of the Synod of Chalcedon you quoted), the real punch is in the Church's practice/praxis.  How does your reply adequately respond to Peter's statement?  The fact that the Church continued to execute Canon 28, and reiterated it's validity in the Council of Trullo lays the axe to the root in the Eastern Church's true attitude regarding Pope Leo's rejection of that canon.  I do not see, in any fashion, how the praxis of the Church (contra the wishes of the Pope of Rome) can be analogous the failure to put the commands of Christ into actual practice.


Quote
I am not familiar enough with the other cases you cited to comment other than to say that authority cannot be judged by specific instances of disobedience.


This is not meant in a condescending manner in any way, shape or form...I really do mean this in a brotherly way: I would urge you.  I would implore you most earnestly to do some research if / when you can find the time.  A couple of interesting studies may be:

1) The Pascha controversy
2) The Stephen/Cyprianic controversy
3) The history of the execution of canon 28 of Chalcedon
4) The situation of Pope Vigilius/the Three Chapters/the 5th EC and the Church in the West
5) The situation of Pope Honorios and the 6th EC
6) The Pelagian controversy in N. Africa after the death of Pope Innocent I
7) The schism of Pope Nicholas against St. Photios

I'm sure there are more examples--as I've already seen briefly mentioned; however, the above-mentioned situations provide some fuel for a study in Church history where there was tension between the Church and the Pope of Old Rome.

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« Reply #86 on: January 09, 2004, 11:21:46 PM »

Linus

I didn't know you were this thread's "bad guy", it was no disclaimer.

I echo Jakub and the Commodore (shiver me timbers!) in their wishes to be more charitable.

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« Reply #87 on: January 11, 2004, 10:23:42 PM »

Your church is OO, Peter. There are many points of departure between it and the Orthodox Church,

There may indeed be some differences between the EOs and OOs--and some complications of history; however, I would venture to say that we EOs and OOs are MUCH closer to each other than the EOs and the RCs!  

gbmtmas

There may be some differences?

I am not so sure that Eastern Orthodoxy is closer to Oriental Orthodoxy than it is to Roman Catholicism. I can think of at least four very substantial ways in which that is not true, not to mention the many more pre-Schism saints that the EOC has in common with the RCC than she has in common with the OOC.

It is interesting how the differences we have with the RCC are magnified while the differences we have with the OOC are downplayed.

If both are wrong, why is one preferable to the other?
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« Reply #88 on: January 11, 2004, 11:04:24 PM »

Quote
Linus7:
Really?

If that is true then Christ Himself has no authority!

How many people put His commands into "actual practice?"

Besides, you are assuming that the words of the bishops at Chalcedon were merely "ecclesial diplomacy," that they were somehow not serious about them.

Quote
gbtmas: I really don't understand this statement.  Subdeacon Peter argued (rightly IMO) that despite the flowery language displayed in some communications (such as the letter of the Synod of Chalcedon you quoted), the real punch is in the Church's practice/praxis.  How does your reply adequately respond to Peter's statement?

Well, if you had actually followed the argument, you would see that I was responding to Peter's assertion that because there are historical cases in which popes were ignored or disobeyed that proves they held no more than a primacy of honor.

My point was this: if authority is measured by obedience, then Christ Himself has very little if any authority because few people obey Him.

As I remarked at one point, if compliance is the measure of authority, then Stalin had more authority than Christ.

The words used by the bishops at Chalcedon were either true or they were not. "Flowery language" cannot account for the things they wrote about St. Leo. He was either St. Peter's successor or he was not. He was either "the head of all the churches" or he was not.

Quote
gbtmas: The fact that the Church continued to execute Canon 28, and reiterated it's validity in the Council of Trullo lays the axe to the root in the Eastern Church's true attitude regarding Pope Leo's rejection of that canon.  I do not see, in any fashion, how the praxis of the Church (contra the wishes of the Pope of Rome) can be analogous the failure to put the commands of Christ into actual practice.

How does Canon 28 or any of what you are calling "praxis" refute the idea that the bishops of Rome held more than a mere primacy of honor?

Only if you attribute little or no value to the many assertions of papal authority by the councils and Fathers can you arrive at the conclusion that the Church never recognized it.

It is a historical fact that there were conflicts in the Church.

Are those the rule?

Or are we to rely on the actual stated principles?

When Arius disobeyed Bishop St. Alexander, did that prove that Alexander had no authority over his presbyters?


Quote
Linus7:
I am not familiar enough with the other cases you cited to comment other than to say that authority cannot be judged by specific instances of disobedience.

Quote
gbtmas: This is not meant in a condescending manner in any way, shape or form...I really do mean this in a brotherly way: I would urge you.  I would implore you most earnestly to do some research if / when you can find the time.  A couple of interesting studies may be:

1) The Pascha controversy
2) The Stephen/Cyprianic controversy
3) The history of the execution of canon 28 of Chalcedon
4) The situation of Pope Vigilius/the Three Chapters/the 5th EC and the Church in the West
5) The situation of Pope Honorios and the 6th EC
6) The Pelagian controversy in N. Africa after the death of Pope Innocent I
7) The schism of Pope Nicholas against St. Photios

I'm sure there are more examples--as I've already seen briefly mentioned; however, the above-mentioned situations provide some fuel for a study in Church history where there was tension between the Church and the Pope of Old Rome.

gbmtmas

I have read about those things.

My response to Peter was not a confession of complete ignorance.

I've read Whelton's Two Paths: Papal Monarchy or Collegial Tradition twice. I am familiar with its arguments. I have also read some other anti-RCC Orthodox books.

It is interesting how central the pope's role seems to have been in the history of the Church.

Why is that?

If his primacy was merely honorific, why worry about what he thought?

Why ask him to hear appeals or resolve disputes?

Why pay any more attention to one of his letters than to those of any other bishop?

Why be concerned about when he celebrated Pascha?



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« Reply #89 on: January 14, 2004, 09:47:24 PM »

Well, if you had actually followed the argument, you would see that I was responding to Peter's assertion that because there are historical cases in which popes were ignored or disobeyed that proves they held no more than a primacy of honor.

My point was this: if authority is measured by obedience, then Christ Himself has very little if any authority because few people obey Him.

As I remarked at one point, if compliance is the measure of authority, then Stalin had more authority than Christ.

The words used by the bishops at Chalcedon were either true or they were not. "Flowery language" cannot account for the things they wrote about St. Leo. He was either St. Peter's successor or he was not. He was either "the head of all the churches" or he was not.How does Canon 28 or any of what you are calling "praxis" refute the idea that the bishops of Rome held more than a mere primacy of honor?

The problem that I have with your statement is threefold:

1) You should perhaps refrain from putting words in my mouth that I did not utter (“How does Canon 28 or any of what you are calling "praxis" refute the idea that the bishops of Rome held more than a mere primacy of honor”).  My view of the primacy that the Roman Catholic Papacy held is more akin to the Orthodox Fathers of the 12th through 15th centuries, rather than that of modern polemicists.

2) I have no idea what your view of the Roman Papacy is.  After having read all of this thread, it seems that you don’t agree with some of the conclusions of “Orthodox anti-RCC polemicists”, while at the same time you seem to have indicated that the current Roman Catholic claims regarding their Papacy are perhaps exaggerated.  Yet, in this entire thread, I have not seen your view of the Roman Catholic Papacy articulated - except in a context of what you don’t believe.  Perhaps you could share what, precisely you believe regarding the Roman Catholic Papacy, it’s relation to St. Peter, your understanding of primacy, and perhaps what you agree/disagree with Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy?

3) I do not consider a supplicatory letter to be grounds enough to establish a dogma on its own.  The words (read authoritative) of canon 28 clearly explain the basis upon which the Council Fathers were allocating a secondary primacy to New Rome and why Old Rome maintained its position as “first.”  Canon 28 was affirmed by the Fathers of Chalcedon—despite the protestations of Pope Leo the Great.  Furthermore, canon 28 was reaffirmed in the Council of Trullo, which holds canonical weight in the East.  Thus, I continue to have difficulty viewing the Church’s execution of canon 28 as indicative of any incongruence with her authentic Tradition.

 
Quote
It is a historical fact that there were conflicts in the Church.

Canon 28 wasn’t a “conflict” in the Church.  It was a canon of an Ecumenical Council, issued by Fathers of that Council.  Again, this canon was reaffirmed by the Council of Trullo.  This is hardly “conflict” - in terms of disobedience against a legitimate authority.

Quote
Or are we to rely on the actual stated principles?

I would say that the issuance and execution of the canons of the Ecumenical Councils qualify as “stated principles.”  I would say that the anathema of the 6th EC is most definitely a “state principle.”  I would say that the 5th EC’s condemnation of the Three Chapters is a “stated principle” against heresy—and Pope Vigilius’ initial opposition to this condemnation, which led to his name being struck from the diptychs is a “stated principle.”

Quote
When Arius disobeyed Bishop St. Alexander, did that prove that Alexander had no authority over his presbyters?I have read about those things.

Was Pope Liberius’ waffling on Semi-Arianism deserving of obedience, or was Hilary of Poitiers quite correct in anathematizing the Pope for his temporary fluctuation?
Who was correct—Vigilius, or the 5th EC?  Ultimately, the 5th EC won the battle against the Three Chapters.
Should the Church have simply followed the lead of Pyrrhus and Honorius, or was the 6th EC correct in execrating their memory?
Should Photius the Great have simply acquiesced to the wishes of Pope Nicholas?  In the end, Photius was vindicated in what is regarded as the 8th EC in the Orthodox Church (879 AD).

 
Quote
I've read Whelton's Two Paths: Papal Monarchy or Collegial Tradition twice. I am familiar with its arguments. I have also read some other anti-RCC Orthodox books.

If this is all you have read, then I would highly recommend reading more scholarly books, and avoiding polemicists (both Orthodox and Roman Catholic).  If you wish, I will be more than happy to provide you with a decent list of books.  

Quote
It is interesting how central the pope's role seems to have been in the history of the Church.  Why is that?

He was the bishop of the imperial city of the empire—a metropolis and large center of activity.  At the same time, his see was a (not “the only”) successor of St. Peter.

Quote
If his primacy was merely honorific, why worry about what he thought?

You need to define what you mean by “merely honorific.”  

Quote
Why ask him to hear appeals or resolve disputes?

Because, according to the canons, the bishop in a metropolitan see can hear appeals under certain, defined conditions.

Quote
Why pay any more attention to one of his letters than to those of any other bishop?

Generally speaking, I would venture to say that a letter from an Orthodox Pope of Old Rome is most certainly not held in higher esteem that a letter written by Orthodox Ignatius, also the successor of Peter, but in Antioch.  However, if you are referring to Pope Leo’s Tomos, then it is evident, from a perusal of the Council minutes, that the Chalcedonian Fathers accepted the Tomos on its orthodox merit.


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« Reply #90 on: January 15, 2004, 06:18:38 AM »

When Arius disobeyed Bishop St. Alexander, did that prove that Alexander had no authority over his presbyters?

This is a silly argument Linus and doesn't help you to make your case. It does not become you to start erecting straw men.

Scripture and Tradition clearly put presbyters under obedience to their bishops. No such clear distinction is made regarding bishops to bishops.

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« Reply #91 on: January 15, 2004, 08:57:07 AM »

This is a silly argument Linus and doesn't help you to make your case. It does not become you to start erecting straw men.

Scripture and Tradition clearly put presbyters under obedience to their bishops. No such clear distinction is made regarding bishops to bishops.

John

It is not "silly" relative to the argument that disobedience proves lack of authority. If one asserts that instances of disobedience prove that the one disobeyed had no authority, then Arius's disobedience to St. Alexander proves that Alexander had no authority.

It can be argued very well that Scripture and Tradition give the bishops of Rome more than merely honorific authority.

But you know what?

I am tired of arguing this issue.

All I have claimed is that the bishops of Rome held more than an honorific authority.

That is abundantly clear to any unbiased reader of of history.

Yet each time I have asserted that - a pretty innocuous thing to assert - I get jumped on by most of my Orthodox brethren, who then proceed to open fire on me with all of their standard anti-RCC arguments, all gleaned from painstaking scholarship: i.e., reading Whelton's book and maybe one or two others.

What they fail to understand is that I am NOT RCC, nor have I argued for the authority of the modern papacy, its supposed infallibility, yada-yada-yada.
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« Reply #92 on: January 15, 2004, 09:07:40 AM »

Quote
gbmtmas: The problem that I have with your statement is threefold:

1) You should perhaps refrain from putting words in my mouth that I did not utter (“How does Canon 28 or any of what you are calling "praxis" refute the idea that the bishops of Rome held more than a mere primacy of honor”).  My view of the primacy that the Roman Catholic Papacy held is more akin to the Orthodox Fathers of the 12th through 15th centuries, rather than that of modern polemicists.

Please show how I put words in your mouth.

We were not discussing the "Roman Catholic Papacy" of the 12th - 15th centuries any more than we were discussing The Chessmen of Mars.

The Fathers of the early Catholic Church seemed to believe the bishops of Rome held more than a merely honorific authority.

Quote
gbmtmas: 2) I have no idea what your view of the Roman Papacy is.  After having read all of this thread, it seems that you don’t agree with some of the conclusions of “Orthodox anti-RCC polemicists”, while at the same time you seem to have indicated that the current Roman Catholic claims regarding their Papacy are perhaps exaggerated.  Yet, in this entire thread, I have not seen your view of the Roman Catholic Papacy articulated - except in a context of what you don’t believe.  Perhaps you could share what, precisely you believe regarding the Roman Catholic Papacy, it’s relation to St. Peter, your understanding of primacy, and perhaps what you agree/disagree with Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy?

The RC papacy has gone too far in its claims.

It had no right to introduce innovations like the filioque into the Creed without benefit of an ecumenical council.

My arguments have not been intended to endorse the modern RCC papacy.

I thought I made that clear.

Apparently all one has to do around here to produce a knee-jerk reaction is to use the word "pope" in anything other than a negative sense.

If I am a papist, then all of you are Protestants.

I am running out of time, so I will not be able to respond to your entire post right now.

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« Reply #93 on: January 15, 2004, 09:44:02 AM »

Are you saying that the introduction of the filioque would have been alright if the Pope had done it at an ecumenical council?

And as I have mentioned before, I am not anti-RCC. I am even in agreement that the Pope of Rome had something more than a mere primacy of honour. I have never read any anti-RCC books since I became Orthodox (or whatever you consider me) and in fact the only critical material I have recently read has all been written Eastern Orthodox Patriarchs and bishops in council.

Yet again I have no idea what you are so strenuosly arguing for, save that everyone else here is wrong.

In what way has the RC papacy gone too far? How far is it legitimate for it to have gone?
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« Reply #94 on: January 15, 2004, 11:14:52 AM »

Are you saying that the introduction of the filioque would have been alright if the Pope had done it at an ecumenical council?

And as I have mentioned before, I am not anti-RCC. I am even in agreement that the Pope of Rome had something more than a mere primacy of honour. I have never read any anti-RCC books since I became Orthodox (or whatever you consider me) and in fact the only critical material I have recently read has all been written Eastern Orthodox Patriarchs and bishops in council.

Yet again I have no idea what you are so strenuosly arguing for, save that everyone else here is wrong.

In what way has the RC papacy gone too far? How far is it legitimate for it to have gone?

No, I am not saying the filioque would be right if the Pope introduced it with the approval of a supposedly ecumenical council. I was simply saying - as you knew quite well - that no bishop has the right to add anything to the Creed without benefit of an ecumenical council.

Are you saying it is possible for a truly ecumenical council to err in faith and/or morals?

What I consider you is of little importance. I don't even know you.

I don't think I am "strenuously arguing" at all. I don't have time for strenuous arguments on the internet. Any arguments I have presented here have been done so at my leisure, as time allows; in other words, with both hands tied behind my back.

I never said everyone else is wrong. I merely responded to counter arguments. The fact that I believe that those who disagree with me on this issue are wrong is not unusual, is it? Don't most normal people believe that those who disagree with them are wrong? If I found the opposing arguments convincing, I would change my point of view.

If you believe the early popes had "something more than a mere primacy of honour" - and that is all I have ever asserted - then we actually agree.

And, since that is all I have ever asserted, that is why I have been amazed at your reaction and the reactions of others.

I think I said already how the modern papacy has gone too far.

How far is it legitimate for the papacy to have gone?

I think it easier to say what the popes should not have done rather than to attempt to define all they can do. They should not have introduced any innovations in doctrine. Their authority never extended that far.
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« Reply #95 on: January 15, 2004, 02:23:47 PM »

Please show how I put words in your mouth.

When you keep emphasizing on this "primacy of honor" business (when responding to statements I have made), when I, in fact, have not even mentioned a "primacy of honor."

Quote
We were not discussing the "Roman Catholic Papacy" of the 12th - 15th centuries any more than we were discussing The Chessmen of Mars.

I would highly recommend that you re-read my original statement.  I wrote:

My view of the primacy that the Roman Catholic Papacy held is more akin to the Orthodox Fathers of the 12th through 15th centuries, rather than that of modern polemicists.

As you can see Linus7, the subject of my original statement is the Orthodox Fathers of the 12th through 15th centuries--not the Roman Catholic Papacy of that time.  I believe that a discussion of the Orthodox Fathers' views of that time is relevant--hence, I find your response perplexing.  Also, as a sidenote: I say "Roman Catholic Papacy" to distinguish from "Alexandrian Papacy" (both Chalcedonian and Non-Chalcedonian accord this title to their respective Alexandrian hierarchs).  As you know, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church is not the only one who claims, or has been legitimately accorded the title of "Pope" in Church history.

Quote
The Fathers of the early Catholic Church seemed to believe the bishops of Rome held more than a merely honorific authority.The RC papacy has gone too far in its claims.

Again, as before, I have asked you to elaborate on your particular view of the early Church's view of the Roman Papacy.  I would be particularly interested in what you mean by this ever-ubiquitous "primacy of honor" or "honorific authority" that you keep using.  I cannot respond to that which is not defined.  We may agree.  We may not agree; however, that remains to be seen until more clarity is apparent.  Before any good discussion can ensue, each party must define its terminology, since we may associate different meanings/backgrounds/contexts to the exact same terminology.

Quote
It had no right to introduce innovations like the filioque into the Creed without benefit of an ecumenical council.

Quote
My arguments have not been intended to endorse the modern RCC papacy.  I thought I made that clear.  Apparently all one has to do around here to produce a knee-jerk reaction is to use the word "pope" in anything other than a negative sense.

Yes.  You made that abundantly clear.  However, your response to me indicates that you have not read my response to you--which did not accuse or infer that you were a defender of Roman Catholicism's view of their Papacy.  Let me provide you with my original response in case you overlooked it:

I have no idea what your view of the Roman Papacy is.  After having read all of this thread, it seems that you don’t agree with some of the conclusions of “Orthodox anti-RCC polemicists”, while at the same time you seem to have indicated that the current Roman Catholic claims regarding their Papacy are perhaps exaggerated.  Yet, in this entire thread, I have not seen your view of the Roman Catholic Papacy articulated - except in a context of what you don’t believe.  Perhaps you could share what, precisely you believe regarding the Roman Catholic Papacy, it’s relation to St. Peter, your understanding of primacy, and perhaps what you agree/disagree with Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy?

Now, how did my original statement merit your loaded response?

Quote
If I am a papist, then all of you are Protestants.  I am running out of time, so I will not be able to respond to your entire post right now.

After having read your response, it has become apparent that now may not be the time for a discussion on this topic--given the amount of volatile energy "in the air."  However, earlier, when I recommended reading scholarly works rather than polemical works--I meant it.  If you're interested, here is a list of some relevant books (both pro- and con) that may help provide you with a knowledge base (if all you've read are polemics).

---The Rudder of the Orthodox Catholic Church, Luna Printing Company, New York, 1983 (an absolute must!)
---The Primacy of Peter, St. Vladimir's Seminary Press
---The Christian East and the Rise of the Papacy, Aristideis Papadakis, St. Vladimir's Seminary Press
---Rome and the African Church in the Time of Augustine, J. E. Merdinger, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1997
---The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, Oxford University Press, 1991
---The Photian Schism--History and Legend, Fr. Francis Dvornik, Cambridge, 1948
---Byzantium and the Roman Primacy, F. Dvornik, Fordham University Press, New York, 1966
---Imperial Unity and Christian Division, Father John Meyendorff, St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, Crestwood, 1989
---After Nine Hundred Years, Yves Congar, Fordham University, New York, 1959
---Tradition and Traditions, Yves Congar, Macmillan, New York, 1966
---Documents Illustrating Papal Authority, E. Giles, based on Hefele 3:315, SPCK, London, 1952
---The Eastern Churches and the Papacy, S. Herbert Scott, Sheed & Ward, London, 1928
---The Primitive Saints and the See of Rome, F.W. Puller, Longmans, London, 1893
---John Chrysostom and His Time, Dom Chrysostumus Baur, O.S.B., Newman, Westminster, 1959
---History of the Christian Church, Philip Schaff, Eerdmans, 1910
---Oxford Dictionary of Popes, J.N.D. Kelly, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1996
---Studies on the Early Papacy, Dom John Chapman, Kennikat Press, Port Washington, 1928

Given the caustic direction that this discussion has headed, however, I am withdrawing from the thread for now.
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« Reply #96 on: January 15, 2004, 02:51:19 PM »

The original question was:

[Is one of the main arguments regarding the split between East and West based on the claim that Rome was given primacy because it was the capitol city of the Empire? So that when Constantinople became the capitol the Patriarch of Constantinople should have the primacy?
Peace,
Polycarp]

A simple enough question to ask.  Why is it that the Papacy (the Roman one) engenders such volatility?

But just a reality check.....  Let's all remember that this is just an internet discusssion forum.  We all have our differing views and are entitled to them no matter how much others think they are wrong.  All these issues were argued out by much more learned and holier people than any of us.  So could we all be more charitable and lets keep a sense of humor about all this as well, please.

Now back to the topic..............You're all wrong.  Rome has spoken the matter is finished!!! Grin

Carpo-Rusyn
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« Reply #97 on: January 15, 2004, 02:56:55 PM »

I don't know if anyone posted this but here is a good article that we host on this site that debunks the modern idea of the papacy as an infallible office:

http://orthodoxchristianity.net/texts/Bulgakov_VaticanDogma.html

anastasios
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« Reply #98 on: January 15, 2004, 04:16:16 PM »

Hi gbmtmas,

Thanks for that most excellent reading list. I shall certainly try to find some of these volumes, they look very stimulating.

Are you in a position to offer reading lists on other topics which may interest me.

Peter Theodore
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« Reply #99 on: January 15, 2004, 08:07:58 PM »

Hi gbmtmas,

Thanks for that most excellent reading list. I shall certainly try to find some of these volumes, they look very stimulating.

Are you in a position to offer reading lists on other topics which may interest me.

Peter Theodore

Good Evening Peter,

What topics would you perhaps be interested in?  I've done some study on certain limited topics--but there's a whole sea of stuff I haven't even scratched the surface.  Please let me know what you are interested in, and I will see if I can make any recommendations.
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« Reply #100 on: January 16, 2004, 12:33:23 AM »

Quote
gbtmtmas:
When you keep emphasizing on this "primacy of honor" business (when responding to statements I have made), when I, in fact, have not even mentioned a "primacy of honor."I would highly recommend that you re-read my original statement.

I still do not believe I put words in your mouth. But suit yourself.

Quote
gbmtmas: I wrote:

My view of the primacy that the Roman Catholic Papacy held is more akin to the Orthodox Fathers of the 12th through 15th centuries, rather than that of modern polemicists.

As you can see Linus7, the subject of my original statement is the Orthodox Fathers of the 12th through 15th centuries--not the Roman Catholic Papacy of that time.  I believe that a discussion of the Orthodox Fathers' views of that time is relevant--hence, I find your response perplexing.

I would venture to say that much of what the Orthodox Fathers of the 12th - 15th centuries thought of the papacy was conditioned by the papacy as they knew it - in their own lifetimes.

How better to understand the role of the papacy in the early Church: through those Fathers (including some who were popes) who were part of the early Church, or through Fathers of the Middle Ages, removed by centuries from the subject in question?

Quote
gbmtmas: Also, as a sidenote: I say "Roman Catholic Papacy" to distinguish from "Alexandrian Papacy" (both Chalcedonian and Non-Chalcedonian accord this title to their respective Alexandrian hierarchs).  As you know, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church is not the only one who claims, or has been legitimately accorded the title of "Pope" in Church history.

If you say that is why you so labeled it, I must accept it. It seemed to me that you were using "Roman Catholic" as a perjorative modifier of "Papacy" in order to discredit it.

The word Papacy would have been sufficient, since to most people it is the Pope of Rome that comes to mind when that word is used.

Lesser-knowns require modifiers to correctly identify them.

Quote
gbmtmas: Again, as before, I have asked you to elaborate on your particular view of the early Church's view of the Roman Papacy.  I would be particularly interested in what you mean by this ever-ubiquitous "primacy of honor" or "honorific authority" that you keep using.

As I understand honorific primacy as it is used regarding the bishops of Rome, it means being accorded the first place of honor (e.g., the chief seat at councils, etc.) but no actual executive authority or jurisidiction beyond the Roman diocese itself.

An honorary "head of the Church" is certainly not the same thing as a real head of the Church.

Quote
gbtmas: I cannot respond to that which is not defined.  We may agree.  We may not agree; however, that remains to be seen until more clarity is apparent.  Before any good discussion can ensue, each party must define its terminology, since we may associate different meanings/backgrounds/contexts to the exact same terminology.Yes.  You made that abundantly clear.  However, your response to me indicates that you have not read my response to you--which did not accuse or infer that you were a defender of Roman Catholicism's view of their Papacy.


Sure it did.

You provided arguments that are used to attack papal infallibility (the "waffling" of Vigilius, etc.).

Such arguments have little or no bearing on what I wrote.

Quote
gbmtmas: Let me provide you with my original response in case you overlooked it:

I have no idea what your view of the Roman Papacy is.  After having read all of this thread, it seems that you don’t agree with some of the conclusions of “Orthodox anti-RCC polemicists”, while at the same time you seem to have indicated that the current Roman Catholic claims regarding their Papacy are perhaps exaggerated.  Yet, in this entire thread, I have not seen your view of the Roman Catholic Papacy articulated - except in a context of what you don’t believe.  Perhaps you could share what, precisely you believe regarding the Roman Catholic Papacy, it’s relation to St. Peter, your understanding of primacy, and perhaps what you agree/disagree with Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy?

I read it the first time.

I was not trying to articulate a view of the "Roman Catholic Papacy." I was discussing the Catholic Papacy or rather the primacy of the pre-Schism bishops of Rome.

"Roman Catholic" is a post-Schism identifier that is not relevant to our discussion. There was no Roman Catholic Church during the period we are discussing, just as there was no Eastern Orthodox Church.

No one was confused and thought we were talking about the Coptic Pope.

Quote
gbmtmas: Now, how did my original statement merit your loaded response?

Original statement or condescending tone (also present in your last post - the one I'm presently quoting )?

Quote
gbmtmas: After having read your response, it has become apparent that now may not be the time for a discussion on this topic--given the amount of volatile energy "in the air."

You are quite right.

Besides that, I don't have the free time to do this topic justice.

Quote
gbmtmas: However, earlier, when I recommended reading scholarly works rather than polemical works--I meant it.  If you're interested, here is a list of some relevant books (both pro- and con) that may help provide you with a knowledge base (if all you've read are polemics).

Nice superior tone.

And you are perplexed at the "volatile energy in the air"?

Quote
gbmtmas:
---The Rudder of the Orthodox Catholic Church, Luna Printing Company, New York, 1983 (an absolute must!)
---The Primacy of Peter, St. Vladimir's Seminary Press
---The Christian East and the Rise of the Papacy, Aristideis Papadakis, St. Vladimir's Seminary Press
---Rome and the African Church in the Time of Augustine, J. E. Merdinger, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1997
---The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, Oxford University Press, 1991
---The Photian Schism--History and Legend, Fr. Francis Dvornik, Cambridge, 1948
---Byzantium and the Roman Primacy, F. Dvornik, Fordham University Press, New York, 1966
---Imperial Unity and Christian Division, Father John Meyendorff, St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, Crestwood, 1989
---After Nine Hundred Years, Yves Congar, Fordham University, New York, 1959
---Tradition and Traditions, Yves Congar, Macmillan, New York, 1966
---Documents Illustrating Papal Authority, E. Giles, based on Hefele 3:315, SPCK, London, 1952
---The Eastern Churches and the Papacy, S. Herbert Scott, Sheed & Ward, London, 1928
---The Primitive Saints and the See of Rome, F.W. Puller, Longmans, London, 1893
---John Chrysostom and His Time, Dom Chrysostumus Baur, O.S.B., Newman, Westminster, 1959
---History of the Christian Church, Philip Schaff, Eerdmans, 1910
---Oxford Dictionary of Popes, J.N.D. Kelly, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1996
---Studies on the Early Papacy, Dom John Chapman, Kennikat Press, Port Washington, 1928

Given the caustic direction that this discussion has headed, however, I am withdrawing from the thread for now.

Sigh . . .

I think withdrawing from this thread is a good idea.



« Last Edit: January 16, 2004, 12:38:57 AM by Linus7 » Logged

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