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Author Topic: news fail: Cardinal Kasper: Rediscovering our unity with 'Eastern' Orthodox  (Read 2945 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: February 02, 2010, 07:37:41 PM »

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Beirut – “We are rediscovering our unity,” said Card Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, as he summarised the relationship between Catholic and Orthodox Churches. The prelate is on a working trip to Lebanon where he chaired a meeting of the seventh Joint International Commission on dialogue between the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches in the Catholicate of the House of Cilicia, in Antelias (Lebanon).

The commission, co-chaired by Anba Bishoï, bishop of Damietta and secretary general of the Synod of the Orthodox Coptic Church, brought together representatives of the Syro-Orthodox (Syriac), Ethiopian, Eritrean, Armenian and Malankar (Indian) Churches in what has become an annual event since 2004.

The division between the Catholic Church and this family of Orthodox Churches dates back to the 5th century AD, more precisely to the Council of Chalcedon (451 AD), which defined Christ’s dual nature, his "full humanity and full divinity, without confusion or division".

After 1,500 years, the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches have come to realise that they share the same faith in Christ and that their dispute was the results of terminological and cultural differences.

“As for the nature of Christ, Our Lord, our Churches believe in the permanence of the divine and human natures, joined in the same incarnate nature, a union that is without confusion, mixing, change or separation, in the same way that the spirit is united to the body in human nature to form a single human nature made of two natures without the body becoming the spirit, nor the spirit, the body, but both forming a single human nature,” Anba Bishoï said.

This realisation achieved during 40 years of ecumenical dialogue between popes and heads of Eastern Orthodox Churches on the initiative of the semi-official ‘Pro-Oriente’ foundation of Vienna has led the Catholic Church to sign three Christological declarations with the Coptic Orthodox Church in 1973, the Syriac Church the following year, and one with the Indian-based Malankar Church in 1983.

The dialogue currently undertaken focuses on the ‘Nature, constitution and mission of the Church’, that is the way to understand the Church (ecclesiology) and the sacraments. Through this dialogue, the Churches can try to rebuild the ties that existed in the first five centuries of Christianity, identify the role of the Church of Rome, and examine the ways the first three ecumenical councils were received.

According to Fr Paul Rouhana, theology professor at the Holy Spirit University of the Lebanese Monk Order, “it is simply a question of learning to be Christian together after centuries of separation.”

“Our progress towards visible unity will have a considerable impact on the lives of our faithful and on the ways our Churches will meet the challenges of our times,” Cardinal Kasper said. These challenges are known to all, namely the search for peace and justice in the Middle East, terrorism, emigration, just to name a few.

These issues are also set to be addressed next October in Rome at the special assembly of the Synod of Bishops dedicated the Middle East.

The fraternal delegates from Eastern Orthodox Churches will take part in the meeting side by side with their brothers from Eastern Catholic Churches and will be able to address the assembly.

As Cardinal Kasper put it, “What happens in the East is important not only for the Churches that live in the Middle Est.”

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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2010, 09:44:41 PM »

This is good news coming from Rome.  Hopefully this Cardinal Kasper is in line to become the next Pope.  We Orthodox could really work with a fellow like him to reshape Roman Catholicism into something more to our liking.


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« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2010, 11:13:07 PM »

It's not the first time he's made some bizarrely optimistic statements. I also note that the article confuses Eastern Orthodoxy with non-Chalcedonianism. The article is really pretty stupid in general.
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2010, 01:21:26 AM »

Although I am not suprised at the direction this thread is taking, I have to say that the good Cardinal is being overly optimistic.
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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2010, 10:33:19 AM »

Although I am not suprised at the direction this thread is taking, I have to say that the good Cardinal is being overly optimistic.

Papist, as a Roman Catholic, why do you think these overly optimistic views seem to be so de rigeur at times?  Of course I have my own views on it, but I am genuinely curious to know what you think.
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2010, 11:18:36 AM »

Although I am not suprised at the direction this thread is taking, I have to say that the good Cardinal is being overly optimistic.

Papist, as a Roman Catholic, why do you think these overly optimistic views seem to be so de rigeur at times?  Of course I have my own views on it, but I am genuinely curious to know what you think.
I think it comes from several sources. First, I believe that there is a genuine desire for unity. The divisions within the Christian world are most certainly a scandal. Second, I think that because the Catholic heirarchy is pushing for unity the laity believe that it is a real attainable goal. Third, I think that traditionalist who desire to repair the damage that has been done to the liturgy, see union with the Eastern Orthodox as a means to attain this. Fourth, I think that there is general "let's-all-hold-hands-around-a-campire" attitude amongst people nowadays and it affects those in the Church. Whatever people's motives, when some one wants something bad enough they can often be overly optomistic about their chances of attaining such goals. That being said, I think we have some real and genuine differences on a few issues: The Papacy and the Immaculate Conception. I don't think that we can just "get over" our differences on these issues.
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« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2010, 11:51:30 AM »

Hope and Love 'force' the Christian to look 'past' anything that might divide 'true' believers in Christ. In the past I have personally sinned against 'real' Christian Hope and Love on this issue. Although I am moving east I have every once of respect and love for my Latin Handmaid and I look forward to that day when 'all will be one'. Amen.
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« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2010, 12:05:42 PM »

At the moment, Kasper speaks for his boss. You will recall a few years ago where Kasper was arguing against then-cardinal Ratzinger over what should be the underlying ecclesiology of the Roman Catholic church - the former was taken with the local-church model, the PanzerKardinal defending the current model, and stressing the need for orthodoxy (with Rome playing the role as caretaker of it). Kasper is still very much a local-church guy.

http://www.ratzingerfanclub.com/Blosser_article.html
http://popebenedictxvi.blogspot.com/2008/08/special-compilation-ratzinger-kasper.html

Robb will be interested to know that what sparked the debate was German bishops being overruled on the issue of pastoral care for divorced couples and the Eucharist.

The RCC does have a problem with overly liberal or hetetodox bishops, and there are dangers in applying a local-church model without a mechanism on how to deal with them. Also, it is also impossible to depose a bishop in the RCC.

There's a couple of Cardinal Dulles points which touches on this:

http://www.ewtn.com/library/Theology/ZRTZKSP.HTM

Quote
"Good arguments can be made both for and against allowing Holy Communion to be given in certain problematic cases," Cardinal Dulles writes. "But in the context of Kasper's article the essential question is whether the solutions should be worked out by particular churches on their own authority. Is the situation in the diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart so peculiar that it should be allowed to go its own way on these two questions?

"From reading Kasper's text I do not see why the problems in Rottenburg or Stuttgart differ significantly from those in Munich, Johannesburg, or New York. Whatever policy is permitted in Rottenburg-Stuttgart does not concern that diocese alone; it will inevitably have repercussions all over the world."

Cardinal Dulles concludes with a strong defense of the Petrine office and writes: "Kasper, who is by no means an extremist, would certainly agree that the Catholic Church must be on guard against degenerating into a loose federation of local or national churches. She has learned much from the experience of Gallicanism and analogous movements in past centuries. In this age of globalization and multiple inculturation, it is more imperative than ever to have a vigorous office that safeguards the unity of all the particular churches in the essentials of faith, morality, and worship."

I don't think it is a co-incidence that Kasper is Rome's leading figure in dialog with Orthodox, and that both he and +John [Zizioulas] of Pergamon ( who are friends, I gather) are co-chairs of it. Maintaining "orthodoxy" with a local-church model has worked for the Orthodox. A much greater emphasis on both Tradition (capital T) and liturgy have done much to safeguard it from error. I personally think Benedict sees the bigger picture, but I don't know if they'll go where people want them to go.
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« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2010, 02:06:18 PM »

How would reunification of the two Churches fix the liturgical problem within Catholicism?  If this ever in fact happens, Rome would be restored as a Patriarchate and would still maintain their own liturgy.  The only aspect that would concern the whole Church would be the theology in it, not the specific liturgics or rubrics. 

There is an overlooking of the floodgates that would open when discussing, for example, the Papacy or Immaculate Conception.  Theologically, the Orthodox view on the Immaculate Conception would lead to how the East views Original Sin, which differs from the West.  Same goes for the Papacy.  These aren't just disagreements or even differing views; they are in reality a different belief in how God works within the Church and what our salvation history really is. 

The optimism is nice but if we're really going to work at reuniting, the tough issues also have to be confronted head on.
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« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2010, 02:30:39 PM »

Also, it is also impossible to depose a bishop in the RCC.

Is this information correct?
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« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2010, 02:50:46 PM »

... it's harder to depose a bishop. If the laity complains about a bad bishop, it's almost unprecedented he will be deprived of his office or that any action will get taken.

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« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2010, 02:54:02 PM »

Is it the same with parish priests, and if so is that why many might have been emboldened in the unfortunate sexual scandals of recent years? From what I understand, many of them simply get moved around from place to place rather than deposed.
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« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2010, 04:12:27 PM »

... it's harder to depose a bishop. If the laity complains about a bad bishop, it's almost unprecedented he will be deprived of his office or that any action will get taken.



The Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Pittsburgh has had two bishops removed since World War 2. Bishop Daniel Ivancho who 'resigned'/was removed in the 1950's and Bishop Nicholas Elko in the 1960's. Perhaps an informed Eastern Catholic is aware of some background on those two cases. Oddly enough, Bishop Elko became the Latin rite auxiliary Bishop for the Diocese of Cincinnati,Ohio after he was recalled to Rome from Pittsburgh even though he held the rank of Archbishop. According to wikipedia's entry on Bishop Elko: "Time Magazine reported (in 1967) on the unusual situation, noting that a "bishop is almost never separated from his see. For the past seven months, however, the Most Rev. Nicholas T. Elko, Ruthenian-rite bishop of Pittsburgh, has been in Rome, barred by his church superiors from returning to his diocese. The case of Bishop Elko, who describes his situation as 'exile', casts fascinating light on Catholicism's current internal stresses. . . ." "
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« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2010, 04:58:41 PM »

Also, it is also impossible to depose a bishop in the RCC.

Is this information correct?
No
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« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2010, 05:06:36 PM »

... it's harder to depose a bishop. If the laity complains about a bad bishop, it's almost unprecedented he will be deprived of his office or that any action will get taken.



The Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Pittsburgh has had two bishops removed since World War 2. Bishop Daniel Ivancho who 'resigned'/was removed in the 1950's and Bishop Nicholas Elko in the 1960's. Perhaps an informed Eastern Catholic is aware of some background on those two cases. Oddly enough, Bishop Elko became the Latin rite auxiliary Bishop for the Diocese of Cincinnati,Ohio after he was recalled to Rome from Pittsburgh even though he held the rank of Archbishop. According to wikipedia's entry on Bishop Elko: "Time Magazine reported (in 1967) on the unusual situation, noting that a "bishop is almost never separated from his see. For the past seven months, however, the Most Rev. Nicholas T. Elko, Ruthenian-rite bishop of Pittsburgh, has been in Rome, barred by his church superiors from returning to his diocese. The case of Bishop Elko, who describes his situation as 'exile', casts fascinating light on Catholicism's current internal stresses. . . ." "

IIRC, Bishop DANIEL resigned amid rumours that he secretly had a wife. 

Bishop NICHOLAS Elko resigned because, even though during his tenure the Ruthenian Catholic Church grew by leaps and bounds, his authoritative style and hatred of things "Byzantine" (he was all for 'Americanizing' the Church) led to incredible unpopularity in his church, both the laity and the clergy.  Petitions were sent to Rome and, with the memory of the dissension and conversion of many Greek Catholics in the first part of the 20th century still relatively fresh, the Vatican recalled Bishop NICHOLAS to Rome.  He turned up some years later in Cincinnati as an auxiliary bishop of the Roman Catholic church.
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« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2010, 05:36:01 PM »

I used to have a tape recording somebody gave me of Bishop Elko's instillation liturgy at the BC cathedral in Passaic way back in 1965..  The singing was wonderful and almost all congregational, Carpatho Rusyn plainchant.  From the recording, it sounded as if 5,000 people were packed in the cathedral. 

Sadly, I lost the tape several years ago and have never been able to either find or replace it.

Cardinal Kasper is a nice man but, unfortunately is not very well liked by the conservative wing of Catholicism for his anti centralist, "local Church orientation" theology.


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« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2010, 07:22:08 PM »

... it's harder to depose a bishop. If the laity complains about a bad bishop, it's almost unprecedented he will be deprived of his office or that any action will get taken.



The Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Pittsburgh has had two bishops removed since World War 2. Bishop Daniel Ivancho who 'resigned'/was removed in the 1950's and Bishop Nicholas Elko in the 1960's. Perhaps an informed Eastern Catholic is aware of some background on those two cases. Oddly enough, Bishop Elko became the Latin rite auxiliary Bishop for the Diocese of Cincinnati,Ohio after he was recalled to Rome from Pittsburgh even though he held the rank of Archbishop. According to wikipedia's entry on Bishop Elko: "Time Magazine reported (in 1967) on the unusual situation, noting that a "bishop is almost never separated from his see. For the past seven months, however, the Most Rev. Nicholas T. Elko, Ruthenian-rite bishop of Pittsburgh, has been in Rome, barred by his church superiors from returning to his diocese. The case of Bishop Elko, who describes his situation as 'exile', casts fascinating light on Catholicism's current internal stresses. . . ." "

IIRC, Bishop DANIEL resigned amid rumours that he secretly had a wife. 

Bishop NICHOLAS Elko resigned because, even though during his tenure the Ruthenian Catholic Church grew by leaps and bounds, his authoritative style and hatred of things "Byzantine" (he was all for 'Americanizing' the Church) led to incredible unpopularity in his church, both the laity and the clergy.  Petitions were sent to Rome and, with the memory of the dissension and conversion of many Greek Catholics in the first part of the 20th century still relatively fresh, the Vatican recalled Bishop NICHOLAS to Rome.  He turned up some years later in Cincinnati as an auxiliary bishop of the Roman Catholic church.

Bishop Elko in those days was quoted as saying - " I will not rest until l see all the stink removed from the onion domes, and all the grease from the greasy Greeks'!  I remember when he had the cupola and three bar Cross removed from one on the local Greek Catholic Churches and replaced with a steeple and two bar Cross.  He also had the Iconstasis removed AND BURNED and the Altar removed and replaced with a marble one from Italy. 

He was suddenly wisked to Rome to protect him where he spent fourteen years and came back as a Latin Rite auxillary bishop.  Nice guy!

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« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2010, 05:15:08 PM »

Archbishop Elko only spent three years in Rome as ordaining prelate for Greek Catholics.  He hated Rome, oddly enough.  He begged to be sent back to the US, but Rome only relented when he agreed to transfer to the Latin Church and that is how he ended up auxiliary bishop of Cincinnati, which he served for 14 years.  He was not even allowed to serve in a Byzantine Church.  He was once pastor of my parish and a mom and dad asked him back to serve their daughter's wedding.  He did come back and preside over the wedding but was forced to do it in the Latin parish up the street.
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« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2010, 05:50:18 PM »

Archbishop Elko only spent three years in Rome as ordaining prelate for Greek Catholics.  He hated Rome, oddly enough.  He begged to be sent back to the US, but Rome only relented when he agreed to transfer to the Latin Church and that is how he ended up auxiliary bishop of Cincinnati, which he served for 14 years.  He was not even allowed to serve in a Byzantine Church.
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« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2010, 05:53:49 PM »

I'm not complaining.
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« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2010, 06:21:56 PM »

Archbishop Elko only spent three years in Rome as ordaining prelate for Greek Catholics.  He hated Rome, oddly enough.  He begged to be sent back to the US, but Rome only relented when he agreed to transfer to the Latin Church and that is how he ended up auxiliary bishop of Cincinnati, which he served for 14 years.   He was not even allowed to serve in a Byzantine Church.  He was once pastor of my parish and a mom and dad asked him back to serve their daughter's wedding.  He did come back and preside over the wedding but was forced to do it in the Latin parish up the street.

Is that why he spent so much time forcing Latinization on the Greek Catholic parishes
 by removing and burning Iconstasis, removing Orthodox style Altars and replacing them with Roman style , removing Iconsm, three bar Crosses & Cupolas and replaing them with statues like he did in Nesquehoning, Pa.?  As well as many other Greek Catholic Churches.

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« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2010, 06:32:43 PM »

I'm not sure I understand the question.  His removal to Rome, despite the upgrade to Archbishop, was a punishment and was clearly perceived by him as such.  His forced Latinization of our Church endeared him to very few in Rome or the US.
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« Reply #22 on: February 04, 2010, 06:36:38 PM »

I did not raise the issue of the removal of the Byzantine Catholic bishops to start a debate over what they did or did not do to warrant their removal. I thought of them in relation to the question posed about the difficulty of removing a Bishop, be he of the Church of the West or of the East and their cases came to mind. I meant no offence to any Eastern Catholic by bringing them up. I could have just as easily pointed out two Orthodox Bishops in this country who were removed/resigned/reassigned in recent years, but that would not further the initial purpose of this thread which was to comment upon Cardinal Kasper's comments as reported initially in Asia News.
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