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Author Topic: Peter the Rock  (Read 31020 times) Average Rating: 0
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Dan Lauffer
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« on: January 15, 2004, 05:09:05 PM »

Can someone please tell me whatever is the excuse for continued division between East and West when this is an Orthodox liturgical text?

http://www.holymyrrhbearers.com/liturgical_texts.htm

Bookmark the site and specifically save this text if you wish.  It changes daily.

I don't get it.  Disobedience to Jesus' prayer for unity recorded in John 17 over what?  

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« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2004, 05:19:18 PM »

I think we are all agreed about St Peter the Apostle. But there are other complicating issues.

I don't consider Roman Catholicism graceless, and am constantly inspired by many of the Roman Catholics I meet and read about.

But there are issues.

How long would it take a council to sort them out? About twice as long as it would take to sort out the EO/OO issues. Which should take about a week. Say a month.

That's if all sides are willing to hear what the other is saying.

Papal Infallibility
Universal Jurisdiction

are problematic.

The Filioque
Assumption of the BVM
Later RC saints
Later RC councils

perhaps less so.

Nothing is unsurmountable, following St Cyril's example, if the substance of the faith is the same and if there is a willingness to unite in truth and with love.

There is no excuse for continued division. There are reasons though. And a requirement that we try to understand the others point of view. Much of my effort is directed towards the EO/OO problem but I am also interested in the dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church and my own communion has been engaged in such a dialogue with commitment and integrity.
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« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2004, 05:33:32 PM »

[I don't get it.  Disobedience to Jesus' prayer for unity recorded in John 17 over what?  

Dan Lauffer]

The question is unity based on WHAT not OVER WHAT!

Scripture demands we be of one mind [I Corinthians 1:10] and share the exact same faith [Ephesians 4:46;
John 10:16; 2 Peter 1:20].

There is no wheeling and dealing where we can believe anything we want as long as we accept a certain earthly bishop as Vicar of Christ' or agree to label any doctrine or dogma we don't entirely agree on as 'theologumenia' or just an 'eastern' or 'western' expression of the same thing.

Buzz words are nice but they are not what unity will or should be based on.

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« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2004, 06:26:43 PM »

Orthodoc,

But what you say is just so much blah! blah!  What is the point.  If Orthodoxy is another religion than Christianity what is it?  If not, why not obey Christ?

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« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2004, 06:42:23 PM »

C'mon Dan, lose the knee-jerk reactions.  If you want to discuss the quotes then post them.

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« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2004, 06:58:21 PM »

Anastasios,

I always try to be obedient to the web administrators.  What quotes are you referring to?

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« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2004, 07:04:17 PM »

As a faithful Roman Catholic, I relate to Peter's post most. Unity won't come from armchair theologians like us. Smiley Certainly not if we are unwilling to weigh reasoned opinions with charity.
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« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2004, 07:13:36 PM »

"Certainly not if we are unwilling to weigh reasoned opinions with charity".


Now I believe this is the key issue.

Excellente Mr. Caffeinator

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« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2004, 08:01:16 PM »

Can someone please tell me whatever is the excuse for continued division between East and West when this is an Orthodox liturgical text?

http://www.holymyrrhbearers.com/liturgical_texts.htm

Bookmark the site and specifically save this text if you wish.  It changes daily.

I don't get it.  Disobedience to Jesus' prayer for unity recorded in John 17 over what?  

Dan Lauffer

Dan,

I guess I don't get it.  Any perusal of the Orthodox Fathers, both before and after the schism with the West, testify of the Church's regard for Peter as the Coryphaeus of the Apostles and the Rock.  I cannot see how this high regard for Peter should lead me, however, to accept the notion that:

The Roman Catholic Pope has supreme and immediate jurisdiction over all the Church and that his sentence can be judged by no one.
The same is endowed with a charisma of infallibility when he speaks ex cathedra on faith and morals.
The same is the only successor of Peter and not also Antioch and Alexandria (through Mark)
The Immaculate Conception is a dogma that must be believed or else we are deemed "shipwrecked" in faith
The Holy Spirit derives Hypostasis from both the Father and the Son.
The superabundant merits of the saints can be imputed by the Roman Catholic Pope--or an ordinary authorized by him (from a "treasury of merit") to those who say certain prayers (called "ejaculations" in traditionalist Roman Catholic parlance) in the reduction of canonical penance (a.k.a "indulgences").

Mind you, these are dogmas according to Florence, Trent and Vatican I.  We should all desire and work for unity, but unity can only be "real" unity when it is grounded in Truth--for it is Truth WHO (John 14:6) sanctifies.  For the very word of Jesus in John 17:

"Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." (John 17:17)

We can certainly try to gain a better understanding of each other, and eliminate straw men.  But, the sharing of the Eucharistic Cup is a manifestation of One Lord, One Faith, One Church, One Mind, One Confession, One Baptism--and we must not do this unless it's really so.
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« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2004, 08:01:20 PM »

[Certainly not if we are unwilling to weigh reasoned opinions with charity. ]


AMEN!
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« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2004, 09:29:03 PM »

Anastasios,

I always try to be obedient to the web administrators.  What quotes are you referring to?

Dan Lauffer

Sorry I wasn't more specific; the texts from the page you were referring to for the feast of St Peter's chains..  Also do you have the thread on forums.catholic-convert.com available?  If so could you post the link to the page of quotations from the early church?

What I am seeking is a discussion of specific quotes because often times both sides get caught up in vagueness (ie. RC: "the early church supported the papacy." EO: "no it didn't.").

Thanks!

anastasios
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« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2004, 11:40:58 PM »

Nice liturgical texts.

They are good evidence that the Catholic Church has always regarded St. Peter as "the Rock" of Matthew 16:18. I have seen even some non-Protestants argue St. Peter was not "the Rock" of that verse.

Beyond that, I am afraid the texts offer little support for modern papal claims.

I pray for the reunion of all Apostolic churches.
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« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2004, 12:20:08 AM »

I would agree with Linus that this does not really say anything about the growth of papal claims from the time of the early Church.

There are plenty Orthodox who seem to have just borrowed anti-papal arguments directly from the Protestants. The texts in question show quite clearly that St Peter can be called the Rock.

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« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2004, 12:31:13 AM »

[There are plenty Orthodox who seem to have just borrowed anti-papal arguments directly from the Protestants. The texts in question show quite clearly that St Peter can be called the Rock.]

May we remind you that we Orthodox Catholics were speaking against the Roman Catholic interpretation  of Peter and the 'Rock' centuries before the birth of the reformation!  Which makes your comment just plain silly!

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« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2004, 12:46:40 AM »

Quote
Orthodoc: May we remind you that we Orthodox Catholics were speaking against the Roman Catholic interpretation  of Peter and the 'Rock' centuries before the birth of the reformation!  Which makes your comment just plain silly!

Orthodoc

I don't understand the quote above.

Do you mean to say that St. Peter is not at least in some sense the Rock of Matthew 16:18?

Please explain.

That "centuries before the birth of the reformation" part makes us sound like Proto-Protestants! Shudder!

I have no desire to reopen the same old Peter/Rock discussion. We all know the drill: all the same tired old arguments get dusted off and paraded about.

I am just wondering what you meant by what you wrote above.

Besides, this quote -

Quote
Michael Rahoza: There are plenty Orthodox who seem to have just borrowed anti-papal arguments directly from the Protestants. The texts in question show quite clearly that St Peter can be called the Rock.

- is right on the money.



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« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2004, 01:00:56 AM »

Orthodoc,

From my reading of the Church Fathers it seems that some called Peter the Rock, others his faith, and still others both.

Grammatically Jesus is calling Peter the Rock but it is in the context of his right profession (obviously if he were a heretic he would not be Rock).  The two are not in opposition.

I think that we can deny the Frankish papacy and its later developments without being afraid to acknowledge the texts that do give honor to Rome based on its keeping of the right faith.  Since Rome no longer keeps the right faith, we no longer honor Rome's former primacy, plain and simple.

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« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2004, 01:04:30 AM »

Orthodoc,

From my reading of the Church Fathers it seems that some called Peter the Rock, others his faith, and still others both.

Grammatically Jesus is calling Peter the Rock but it is in the context of his right profession (obviously if he were a heretic he would not be Rock).  The two are not in opposition.

I think that we can deny the Frankish papacy and its later developments without being afraid to acknowledge the texts that do give honor to Rome based on its keeping of the right faith.  Since Rome no longer keeps the right faith, we no longer honor Rome's former primacy, plain and simple.

anastasios

Well said.
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« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2004, 01:12:17 AM »

[Do you mean to say that St. Peter is not at least in some sense the Rock of Matthew 16:18?

Please explain.]


For an Orthodox Catholic interpretation of the 'ROCK' you can access the following website -

http://aggreen.net/peter/st_peter.html

What did some of the pre-schism early church fathers have to say about 'Peter and the ROCK' -

Cyprian, unwilling to grant even a simple primacy to the Bishop of Rome, considers that "the whole body of bishops is addressed
in Peter." St. Cyprian rightly concludes that the "Rock is the unity of faith, not the person of Peter." (De Catholicae Ecclesiae Unitate,
cap. 4-5)

"I believe that by the Rock you must understand the unshaken faith of the apostles." (St. Hilary, 2nd Book on the Trinity)

Of all the Fathers who interpret these passages in the Gospels (Matthew 16:18, et. al.) NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THEM applies these
passages to the Roman bishops as Peter's successor. How many Fathers had busied themselves with these texts, yet not one of them whose
commentaries we possess, Origen, Chrysostom, Hilary, Augustine, Theodoric... has dropped the faintest hint that the primacy of Peter is the consequence of the commission and
promise to Peter. Not one of them has explained the Rock or foundation on which Christ will build His Church as the office given to Peter to be transmitted to his successors, but
they understood by it either Christ Himself, or Peter's confession of faith in Christ, often both together. Or else they thought Peter was the foundation equally with the other apostles,
the twelve being together the foundation stones of the Church." (Ignaz von Dollinger, The Papacy and the Council, p. 91)

"This one (Peter) is called a rock in order that on his FAITH (Rock) he may receive the foundations of the Church."  - St. Gregory Nazianzen,
             26th Discourse

"The Rock on which Christ will build His Church means the faith of confession." - St. John Chrysostom, 53rd Homily on St. Matthew

"The Rock (petra) is the blessed and only rock of the faith confessed by the mouth of Peter. It is on this Rock of the confession of faith that
             the Church is built." - St. Hilary of Poitiers, 2nd book on the Trinity

Hilary wrote the first lengthy study of the doctrine of the Church in Latin. Proclaimed a "Doctor of the Church" by the Roman See in 1851, he is called the Athanasius of the
Western Church.


                                                   Cyril of Alexandria

                                                Upon St. John, Book JJ, Chap. XII
                                                                                                           

             '"The word "Rock" has only a denominative value-it signifies nothing but the steadfast and firm faith of the apostles."

             In his Letter to Nestorius, St. Cyril says:

             "Peter and John were equal in dignity and honor. Christ is the foundation of all -the unshakeable Rock upon which we are all built as a
             spiritual edifice."

"Christ is the Rock Who granted to His apostles that they should be called rocks. God has founded His Church on this Rock, and it is from
             this Rock that Peter has been named." - St. Jerome, 6th book on Matthew

"Faith is the foundation of the Church, for it was not of the person but the faith of St. Peter of which it was said, 'the gates of hell shall not
             prevail'; certainly it is the confession of faith which has vanquished the powers of hell."

             "Jesus Christ is the Rock. He did not deny the grace of His name... to Peter because he borrowed from the Rock the constancy and solidity of
             his faith- thy Rock is thy faith, and faith is the foundation of the Church. If thou art a Rock, thou shalt be in the Church, for the Church is
             built upon the Rock... (the profession of faith in Christ Jesus)." - St. Ambrose: The Incarnation

(Note: St. Ambrose often spoke disparagingly of the Bishop of Rome as usurping the legitimate rights of other bishops in the Church. Cf. On the Incarnation, On St. Luke, and
On the 69th Psalm.)

St. Augustine, one of the most renowned theologians of the Western Church, claimed by the Roman See as "Father and Doctor", says:

"In one place I said... that the Church had been built on Peter as the Rock... but in fact it was not said to Peter, "Thou art the Rock," but rather "Thou art Peter." The Rock was
Jesus Christ, Peter having confessed Him as all the Church confesses Him, He was then called Peter, "the Rock"... (ed, for his faith) ...Between these two sentiments let the reader
choose the most probable." (St. Augustine, Retractions - 13th Sermon; Contra Julianum 1:13)

St. Augustine also adds: "Peter had not a primacy over the apostles, but among the apostles, and Christ said to them "I will build upon Myself, I will not be built upon thee."
(ibid.)

To Augustine, this made Peter somewhat less than an infallible teacher, without his fellow bishops and all the faithful by his side. It is this statement by Augustine which Pope
Hadrian VI (1522-25) had in mind when he declared:

"A Pope may err alone, not only in his personal, but official capacity."

In still another letter Augustine quotes Cyprian, with whom he is in full agreement:

"For neither did Peter whom the Lord chose... when Paul afterwards disputed with him... claim or assume anything and arrogantly to himself, so as to say that he held a primacy
and should rather be obeyed by newcomers..."

Finally, Augustine concludes, near the end of his earthly life, with these words on the "Rock of the Church":

"Christ said to Peter... I will build thee upon Myself, I will not be built upon thee. Those who wished to be built among men said, 'I am of Paul, I am of Apollos, I am of
Cephas' - however, those who did not wish to be built upon Peter but upon the Rock say, I am of Jesus Christ." (Retractions, 13th Sermon)


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« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2004, 01:17:11 AM »

Well said.

I agree Linus7!

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« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2004, 01:26:14 AM »

I think Orthodoc has presented the majority view among Orthodox today whether Peter can be called the rock and Anastasios' more moderating view represents a minority position. Not that I agree with Anastasios' belief that Rome does not have the right faith, however.  Grin

That is why I said that many Orthodox just seem to borrow arguments from Protestantism on the papacy.

The texts from the Menaion for the Feast today (The Veneration of St Peter's Chains) and those for the Feasts of Sts Peter & Paul and the Synaxis of the Twelve Apostles (June 29 & 30) clearly show that the term "rock" can be applied to St Peter.

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« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2004, 01:32:15 AM »

Quote
Of all the Fathers who interpret these passages in the Gospels (Matthew 16:18, et. al.) NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THEM applies these
passages to the Roman bishops as Peter's successor. How many Fathers had busied themselves with these texts, yet not one of them whose
commentaries we possess, Origen, Chrysostom, Hilary, Augustine, Theodoric... has dropped the faintest hint that the primacy of Peter is the consequence of the commission and
promise to Peter. Not one of them has explained the Rock or foundation on which Christ will build His Church as the office given to Peter to be transmitted to his successors, but
they understood by it either Christ Himself, or Peter's confession of faith in Christ, often both together. Or else they thought Peter was the foundation equally with the other apostles,
the twelve being together the foundation stones of the Church." (Ignaz von Dollinger, The Papacy and the Council, p. 91)

For another view, see:

http://www.catholic-forum.com/members/popestleo/orthopopes.html

Michael
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« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2004, 01:36:35 AM »

Welcome, Michael! Are you Roman Catholic? Just wondering by the content of your posts.

anastasios
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« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2004, 02:03:26 AM »

Thanks for the welcome!

I'm Byzantine Catholic although I have good friends in both Orthodoxy and the Roman Church.

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« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2004, 03:23:24 AM »

Quote
I think Orthodoc has presented the majority view among Orthodox today whether Peter can be called the rock and Anastasios' more moderating view represents a minority position.

This is certainly questionable. It's difficult to overlook the great number of Byzantine Fathers both prior to and after the schism who clearly acknowledge Peter as the Rock, within the context of his confession of course, without which his honour as the Rock would be invalid. Although we see a very select few of the early Fathers denying the personal interpretation, I don't see how in light of the gradual development that occurred in interpreting Matt 16:18 and acceptance of the personal interpretation we should still be pitting the one interpretation against the other. You'll find the most prominent Orthodox scholars in consonance here.

This subject has been exhaustively dealt with on another thread in the Orthodox-RC forum (see 'Thou Art Peter') so i feel rather reluctant to participate in this one. One thing i think should be emphasized is this: that the Apostle Peter enjoyed a special primacy is a fact clearly established by the witness of the Fathers, and that the Orthodox Pope of Rome was regarded as his successor is also firmly testified to. How this can be equated with infallibility, universal jurisdiction, the power to act without the consent of the Church, and even the temporal powers of the papacy which the above facts were used to justify, i find totally unjustified.

PS. Welcome Michael!
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« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2004, 04:53:59 AM »

The Matthean passage is cited as the basis for the Formula of Pope St Hormisdas:

http://hometown.aol.com/dtbrown/page2.html

For background to the events, see:

http://www.catholic-forum.com/members/popestleo/conseq.html

We certainly should not try to read the events of the first millennium like they were occuring today. This works both ways, however. The primacy the pope enjoyed was much more than just a primacy of honor. For example, Pope St Leo spoke of the Archbishop of Constantinople holding his See: "by my gracious favour." Pope St Agapetus deposed Patriarch Anthimus of Constantinople. (Fr John Meyendorff erroneously says that Anthimus resigned.)

Glad to hear there are more Orthodox who are willing to admit that St Peter was referred to as "the rock." And thanks for the welcome!

Michael
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« Reply #25 on: January 16, 2004, 05:25:56 AM »

Since I have not read any protestant anti-papal arguments I hope that this slur isn't directed at me.
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« Reply #26 on: January 16, 2004, 08:40:31 AM »

Quote
The primacy the pope enjoyed was much more than just a primacy of honor.

Sure; I disagree if by "primacy of honour" we mean simply an honourific status without implying any real moral authority. We part ways when that primacy is mutated into a legalistic concept divorced from the spirit of service as outlined by the Gospel. The Pope of Rome certainly was the bishop with the highest authority in the Church and had a right of abrogation, but such authority was circumscribed by the Canons, which never ceded to him a "universal jurisdiction" (unless we take forged documents to be authoritative in our argument, such as the spurious Arabic Canons of Nicea) nor allocated to his decisions the finality which was reserved only to the Council. Augustine's testimony comes to mind here:

"Supposing those bishops who judged at Rome were not good judges, there remained still a plenerary Council of the universal Church where the cause could be sifted with the judges themselves, so that if they were convicted of having judged wrongly their sentence could be annulled." (Ep. 43.)

Pope Hormisdas' formula was signed by John, Patriarch of Constantinople who added the following statement recalling the 28th Canon of Chalcedon: "I hold the most holy Church of the old and the new Rome to be one. I define the see of the Apostle Peter and this of the imperial city to be one see." (Meyendorff, Imperial Unity and Christian Divisions, pg. 214.) The autonomy of each local church was fiercely defended from any unlawful intrusions by the Popes both in the East and West. I cite two Byzantine scholars:

Francis Dvornik:

"But their fear of compromising the autonomy of their churches prevented the Orientals from accepting the claims that were made by certainPopes, especially Gelasius, Symmacus and Nicholas I, the claim to direct and immediate jurisdiction over the whole Church, including the East." (Dvornik, Byzantium and the Roman Primacy, p. 165.)
 

Sir Steven Runciman:

"The Emperors considered the Pope to be their subject as well as the Patriarch; and the Pope was more important because he was physically less easy to control and politically more useful owing to the influence that he commanded in Italy. Thus if the Pope could only be placated by humiliating the Patriarch to recognize papal superiority, and was himself anxious to show deference to the Pope's office....Thus if some eleven Patriarchs of Constantinople admitted the superiority of the Pope, they made the admission at the Emperor's bidding, and their successors felt themselves at liberty to consider them wrong in doing so." (Runciman, The Eastern Schism, pp.17-18.)

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« Reply #27 on: January 16, 2004, 09:29:17 AM »

Orthodoc,

From my reading of the Church Fathers it seems that some called Peter the Rock, others his faith, and still others both.

Grammatically Jesus is calling Peter the Rock but it is in the context of his right profession (obviously if he were a heretic he would not be Rock).  The two are not in opposition.

I think that we can deny the Frankish papacy and its later developments without being afraid to acknowledge the texts that do give honor to Rome based on its keeping of the right faith.  Since Rome no longer keeps the right faith, we no longer honor Rome's former primacy, plain and simple.

anastasios


Amen.
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« Reply #28 on: January 16, 2004, 12:44:11 PM »

Orthodoc,

But what you say is just so much blah! blah!  What is the point.  If Orthodoxy is another religion than Christianity what is it?  


Well, Dan Lauffer, now that you ask, it seems that the See of Rome  has become  "another religion".

ORTHODOX & PAPAL CATHOLIX:  
LATIN INNOVATIONS NOT FOUND IN ORTHODOXY
Excerpted from Orlapubs document R9
http://www.orlapubs.com/AR/R9.html

1) The procession of the All-Holy Spirit (in the unilaterally revised Western Creed )  
2) Beatific Vision of the divine Essence as an intentional unity achieved through an intellectual vision of God
3) Reality not energetic; Grace not the uncreated Energies of Christ's Life for the Latins, whose Sanctifying Grace is a created habitus non-operativus of the soul
4) Failure to distinguish uncreated Energies of God from His from divine Essence
5) Inherited guilt    
6) Death as a penalty for sinnning
7) Immortality of the soul by nature.
8- Non-ontological, juridical-satisfaction soteriology*
9) Universal papal jurisdiction
10) Papal infallibility  
11) Supererogatory merits transferable by papal indulgences to living and dead Christians
12) Consecration [in the Tridentine Rite]of the Eucharist other than by invoking  the Holy Spirit

13) Analogia entis, as currently conceptualized
14) The Creator of the cosmos is a "Word"
15) Baptism normally without trine immersion
16) "Indelible character" of "sacraments" (but "sacramentals" are not Mysteries)
17) No divorce under any conditions (a marriage cannot die unless a spouse dies!)
18) Monastic and lay vocations different in kind--not gradient, as St. Seraphim of Sarov said
19) Eastern Uniates

20) The Immaculate Conception (the real problem is inherited sin)
21) Transubstantiation
22) Communion in one kind [no longer a rule]
23) Use of unleavened bread at the m.h. Eucharist
24) Sabbath (Saturday)  fasting--other  than  the day before Great Pascha
25) Allowing Pascha to precede the Jewish Passover
26) Statues ("graven images")  
27) Assumption of the all-holy Theotokos
28) Celibacy of parish priests (with exceptions for Uniates and converted clergy)
29) Last rites:  Unction and Viaticum

Looks to me as if your communion is the one that has morphed into something else
 Wink

Demetri
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« Reply #29 on: January 16, 2004, 02:03:37 PM »

Aristokles -

Perhaps you could explain some of these differences to me. I will list (with commentary) the ones I am unclear on.

2) Beatific Vision of the divine Essence as an intentional unity achieved through an intellectual vision of God  Is this what the RCC actually teaches, that we will behold God's Essence?
3) Reality not energetic; Grace not the uncreated Energies of Christ's Life for the Latins, whose Sanctifying Grace is a created habitus non-operativus of the soul This seems to assume that Palamism is Orthodox dogma. Is that so? Personally, I don't try to define grace either way; I just accept it.
4) Failure to distinguish uncreated Energies of God from His from divine Essence Again, this assumes that Palamism is Orthodox dogma and that departure from it is heretical. Is that so?
5) Inherited guilt  According to the CCC (I forget the entry #), the RCC does not really believe in inherited guilt.  
6) Death as a penalty for sinnning It's not?
7) Immortality of the soul by nature. Has that issue been dogmatically decided one way or the other? Is it wrong to believe that the soul is by nature immortal?
13) Analogia entis, as currently conceptualized Please explain.
14) The Creator of the cosmos is a "Word" Please explain.
16) "Indelible character" of "sacraments" (but "sacramentals" are not Mysteries) Please explain.
18) Monastic and lay vocations different in kind--not gradient, as St. Seraphim of Sarov said Please explain.
23) Use of unleavened bread at the m.h. Eucharist Please explain why it is crucial that only leavened bread be used.
24) Sabbath (Saturday)  fasting--other  than  the day before Great Pascha Please explain why this is not a trivial issue.
25) Allowing Pascha to precede the Jewish Passover Why does that matter?
26) Statues ("graven images")I don't like 'em much, but how are statues worse than icons?  
27) Assumption of the all-holy Theotokos How do we differ on this?
28) Celibacy of parish priests (with exceptions for Uniates and converted clergy) Isn't that a matter of discipline? We Orthodox require bishops to be celibate even though there were married bishops in the early Church.
29) Last rites:  Unction and Viaticum Explain please.

Sorry for my apparent ignorance.

Your explanations will be appreciated.
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« Reply #30 on: January 16, 2004, 02:42:40 PM »

Linus7, my friend, no apologies are called for. And I do not want to be dismissive of your questions. It's taken me over a year of reading afanasiy's site (and I still am doing so) and for me to attempt to paraphrase what he has already done will require about 29 more threads here. Some of these points (only a few) are difficult for me as well ( and some are self-evident) and so I recommend a quick (heh, heh  Wink)visit to orlapubs and THEN we can talk some more.

My point is not to denigrate the RCC but to point out that in our sometimes zealous ecumanical spirit the differences between the Church and what the RCC has become get grossed over into a two or three big issue discussion. That is simplistic.

afanasiy's list is in some order denoting degree of importance or difficulty in resolving in his view.

Demetri
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« Reply #31 on: January 16, 2004, 06:37:14 PM »

I guess I was a bit put off by the refusal of writers to actually address my question or apparently to actually read the liturgy to which I linked.  Assuming that no one who has posted has actually looked at the liturgy I'm posting the Orthodox liturgy which calls Peter "The Rock".     Now I will address my question to you all once again.  Given that Orthodoxy recognizes that Peter is the Rock what is keeping the two groups from actually holding a truly ecumenical council and ironing this whole issue out?  

I should add, I've read all of the pertinent texts over and over again and all of the RC and Orthodox twists put on them which would make one sides interpretation of the Role of the Bishop of Rome either favoring the RC or Orthodox side.  I've read them so often that I'd really like to get beyond them to a discussion of this one question:  "If both sides agree, and this liturgy seems to indicate that they do, what is holding up serious talks for recommunion?"

Peter, the rock of faith,
the fervent intercessor,
again lifts us up together for a spiritual feast,
setting before us his precious chains
as provision for a costly banquet
that our infirmities may be healed and our sorrows consoled,
and the storm-tossed ships of our life brought to harbor.
Come, let us kiss them, and entreat Christ Who glorified him,//
saying: By his prayers, O Christ, save our souls!
January 16: Veneration of the chains of the holy Apostle Peter

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« Reply #32 on: January 16, 2004, 06:40:12 PM »

Hi Dan

Well I believe that Peter is the Rock, but I don't believe that the rest of the Roman papal claims follow from it.

So there are still things to talk about. The issue of St Peter's position is really not at the heart of the controversy.

I am sure that many others read the text, as I did, but it does not deal with the matters of controversy.

Yet I am glad that so much is indeed held in common and pray that the RC/OO/EO communions may be able to be united in truth and love in my lifetime.
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« Reply #33 on: January 16, 2004, 08:09:13 PM »

I agree with Subdeacon Peter's post above mine, and would like to add that perhaps there are some, like me, who came to this thread too late, and couldn't read the texts on the site.  Thanks, Dan, for providing one of them: are there any others you would like us to see?
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« Reply #34 on: January 16, 2004, 09:04:44 PM »

Hi Dan

Well I believe that Peter is the Rock, but I don't believe that the rest of the Roman papal claims follow from it.

So there are still things to talk about. The issue of St Peter's position is really not at the heart of the controversy.

I am sure that many others read the text, as I did, but it does not deal with the matters of controversy.

Yet I am glad that so much is indeed held in common and pray that the RC/OO/EO communions may be able to be united in truth and love in my lifetime.

Well said Subdeacon Peter.
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« Reply #35 on: January 16, 2004, 10:06:21 PM »

I guess I was a bit put off by the refusal of writers to actually address my question or apparently to actually read the liturgy to which I linked.  Assuming that no one who has posted has actually looked at the liturgy I'm posting the Orthodox liturgy which calls Peter "The Rock".     Now I will address my question to you all once again.  Given that Orthodoxy recognizes that Peter is the Rock what is keeping the two groups from actually holding a truly ecumenical council and ironing this whole issue out?  

Well, Dan L, the three previous posters are certainly polite in overlooking your insulting condescension.  I however, in my testy dotage, am not so disposed. We have read the liturgy. It correctly places St. Peter as chief AMONG the apostles. What is your point? There is no issue to "iron out" here about Peter's Big Brother role.  If you are referring to the role as changed by Peter's successors 800 years later from fraternal guidance to a paternalistic king, then you've got problems. And you've brought nothing new to the table.

Quote
I should add, I've read all of the pertinent texts over and over again and all of the RC and Orthodox twists put on them which would make one sides interpretation of the Role of the Bishop of Rome either favoring the RC or Orthodox side.  I've read them so often that I'd really like to get beyond them to a discussion of this one question:  "If both sides agree, and this liturgy seems to indicate that they do, what is holding up serious talks for recommunion?"
Dan L

If you mean by "serious talks" another council, well, been there-done that. And that was well before Rome took a walk all the way off the Orthodox Catholic map.
Hope this clears up your confusion.

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« Reply #36 on: January 17, 2004, 01:34:04 AM »

Hi Dan

Well I believe that Peter is the Rock, but I don't believe that the rest of the Roman papal claims follow from it.

So there are still things to talk about. The issue of St Peter's position is really not at the heart of the controversy.

I am sure that many others read the text, as I did, but it does not deal with the matters of controversy.

Yet I am glad that so much is indeed held in common and pray that the RC/OO/EO communions may be able to be united in truth and love in my lifetime.

Very well said.

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« Reply #37 on: January 17, 2004, 02:11:42 AM »

Subdeacon Peter and others,

I thank you for your comments.  I think Demetri protests way too much which usually indicates a guilty conscience.  But what do I know.  He wrote of a condescending attitude...yeah, right.

Anyway, the liturgical text cited above gives me renewed hope.  I had almost come to believe that all of Orthodoxy denied that Peter was the Rock.  So many had posted that opinion on this and other fora.  I'm glad to have discovered that said opinion by those posters and my belief that they represented an accurate picture of Orthodoxy was completely unfounded.  

Since posting this Liturgical hymn I've found other hymns that express Orthodoxy's belief that Peter is the Rock.  This gives me hope that someday, whether in my lifetime or not, Orthodoxy and Catholicism  will sit down together at Council and work this all out.  

I am simply an unworthy sinner, but I can hope.

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« Reply #38 on: January 17, 2004, 06:26:25 AM »

Dear All,

1. Can anyone who knows Greek (and I assume there are many in this forum) shed some light on whether the word in Matthew 16:18 would be best translated Stone or Rock? Was the word "Petrus" or "Petra" used in the greek text?
2. Historically, St.Peter did not preach in Rome. St.Paul is the apostle who preached there. He did not mention St.Peter in his Epistle to the Roman, whereas he mentioned every other person. The Catholic church can trace themselves back to St.Paul, an EQUALLY great apostle like St.Peter.
But it would be a problem for Rome, because their claim of supremacy will be more baseless than it is now. Why should there be a supremacy of a church over another to begin with? I think the Schism in 451 and 1054 were mainly because of this Roman Supremacy claim, and it is time for Rome to give up this demand if they are really serious in achieving unity with the churches who maintained the orthodox faith.

Peace,
Stavro
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« Reply #39 on: January 17, 2004, 06:32:44 AM »

I couldn't cut and paste the Greek from Bibleworks, but it says 'petra'. And the fact that so many Fathers translate it and comment on it as 'Rock' suggests that there is no doubt about the word, only about its application.
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« Reply #40 on: January 17, 2004, 06:49:31 AM »

I strongly disagree with point 2. Yes St. Paul preached there and was there first, but there's enough evidence to bolster Peter's presence in Rome to be found in tradition; see Eusebius for a glimpse of Peter's role in the foundation of the church at Rome. Furthermore the fact that Paul never mentions Peter in his epistle is hardly proof that Peter was never in Rome.

We can make a very solid case against Rome's claims of supremacy and infallibility without negating very solid historical evidence.
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« Reply #41 on: January 17, 2004, 10:34:09 AM »

I think Demetri protests way too much which usually indicates a guilty conscience.  But what do I know.  He wrote of a condescending attitude...yeah, right.

oooooooo, and now personal insults as well. I'm impressed. And you imply that you can "think" as well...
Well, think about this: your "Popa" has stated (commanded?) that you Byzantines return to your historical traditions. How far are you willing to go? Liturgical forms and physical trappings or the whole enchilada?
Quote
Anyway, the liturgical text cited above gives me renewed hope.  I had almost come to believe that all of Orthodoxy denied that Peter was the Rock.  So many had posted that opinion on this and other fora.  I'm glad to have discovered that said opinion by those posters and my belief that they represented an accurate picture of Orthodoxy was completely unfounded.  

Since posting this Liturgical hymn I've found other hymns that express Orthodoxy's belief that Peter is the Rock.  This gives me hope that someday, whether in my lifetime or not, Orthodoxy and Catholicism  will sit down together at Council and work this all out.  

It is good that you are learning about the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church of the East. That gives ME renewed hope as well.

Demetri
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« Reply #42 on: January 17, 2004, 07:54:21 PM »

Byzantino,
maybe I should clarify myself. St.Peter was martyred in Rome , around 67 a.d., and he must have preached there, but for a short while. What I am talking about here is WHO FOUNDED THE CHURCH. I didn't make it clear in my previous post, I am sorry.

The founder of the church is St.Paul, all evidence show that. St.Peter might have preached in Rome, but the claim that he is the founder of the church of Rome is baseless. A Founder of a Church meant to the fathers, the apostle who established the church with its sacrements and who the preached the Gospel there. Both are necessary to be called Founder of a Church.

Do we agree on this?

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« Reply #43 on: January 17, 2004, 09:35:44 PM »

Quote
Stavro: 1. Can anyone who knows Greek (and I assume there are many in this forum) shed some light on whether the word in Matthew 16:18 would be best translated Stone or Rock? Was the word "Petrus" or "Petra" used in the greek text?

The whole Petrus/Petra argument disappears when one considers that our Lord and His disciples spoke Aramaic.

Jesus named Simon bar Jonah Kepha, which is "rock" in Aramaic (which explains why St. Peter is sometimes called "Cephas" in the New Testament). It was not necessary to take the Aramaic noun kepha and alter it to make it a masculine name the way it was necessary to do so with the feminine Greek noun petra.

If one plugs the Aramaic name given St. Peter by our Lord into Matthew 16:18, it reads like this:

"And I also say to you that you are Kepha, and on this kepha I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

I think that clears things up a bit.
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« Reply #44 on: January 18, 2004, 12:39:58 AM »

Thanks Linus and Peter....
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« Reply #45 on: January 18, 2004, 03:53:56 AM »

Stavro,

Totally in agreement Smiley
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« Reply #46 on: January 18, 2004, 04:40:26 PM »

Someone has pointed out that perhaps I could have expressed myself more charitably to Dan.  I must admit I was agitated at his post because he basically seemed to me to be saying that Orthodox just "couldn't get with the program."  However, while I feel strongly about my views I don't want to be guilty of rudeness so Dan if you took it that way I'm sorry.

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« Reply #47 on: January 18, 2004, 04:54:00 PM »

I don't have an issue with petra/petros. It is clear what the Fathers thought generally. Either Peter or his confession are the foundation of our life in the Church. The consensus in the Fathers seems to be that the confession is the primary subject of the idea of foundations, and then by implication St Peter, and then by implication the Apostles, and then by implication the episcopate generally who confess this same faith.

Peter's confession is the Rock, St Peter is the Rock, the Apostles are the Rock, the faithful episcopate rightly dividing the word of Truth is the Rock.
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« Reply #48 on: January 19, 2004, 08:48:43 AM »

Not to quibble over small points, but I would say the fact that St. Peter is "the Rock" is explicit in Scripture and the Fathers. That his confession of faith is also the Rock is implicit in Scripture and made explicit in the understanding of the Fathers.

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« Reply #49 on: January 19, 2004, 09:40:37 AM »

Well the Fathers seem explicit that the confession of St Peter is the rock, and if we use their understanding and interpretation of scripture as the basis for our reading then it is explicit in the scriptures as well, surely?
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« Reply #50 on: January 19, 2004, 10:23:41 AM »

A word of encouragement from Constantinople.

 Your Holiness John Paul II, Pope of the Elder Rome: Rejoice in the Lord.

In these days, in which a forty-year period is completed since the historical and blessed meeting in Jerusalem between our predecessors Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras of blessed memory, we turn our thoughts, in gratitude, to their sacred memory and to the vision of the complete union of our sister Churches in the common faith and in the sacraments. It was this vision that they served through brave initiatives and steps. Hence, we assure Your Holiness that the Ecumenical Patriarchate and our Modesty personally are ready to continue these steps until we come into “the unity of the faith and the communion of the Holy Spirit.”

Thus, praying for the long healthy life of Your Holiness, we embrace you and remain with invariable fraternal love and honour.

At the Patriarchate, 5 January 2004

Bartholomew of Constantinople

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« Reply #51 on: January 19, 2004, 11:13:14 AM »

Well the Fathers seem explicit that the confession of St Peter is the rock, and if we use their understanding and interpretation of scripture as the basis for our reading then it is explicit in the scriptures as well, surely?

Well, if you noticed, that's what I said (see the underlined part below):

Quote
Linus7: Not to quibble over small points, but I would say the fact that St. Peter is "the Rock" is explicit in Scripture and the Fathers. That his confession of faith is also the Rock is implicit in Scripture and made explicit in the understanding of the Fathers.
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« Reply #52 on: January 19, 2004, 12:38:23 PM »

You said it was implicit in the Scriptures. Surely the Fathers suggest it is explicit in the Scriptures when they are read with their mind. I think that's what I meant. Otherwise some might suggest that scripture doesn't clearly teach that the confession of St Peter is the Rock, and only secondarily St Peter himself.
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« Reply #53 on: January 19, 2004, 05:19:40 PM »

I've only had time to comment on some of Byzantino's post:

Quote
Augustine's testimony comes to mind here:

"Supposing those bishops who judged at Rome were not good judges, there remained still a plenerary Council of the universal Church where the cause could be sifted with the judges themselves, so that if they were convicted of having judged wrongly their sentence could be annulled." (Ep. 43.)

The text can be found here:

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1102043.htm

St Augustine (writing in 397) is describing the attempts of the Donatists to overturn the Church's decisions against them. A Roman Synod under the presidency of Pope Miltiades (who died the next year) had ruled against them in 313 as did a subsequent Council at Arles. Popes can and have made bad decisons. An Ecumenical Council even censured a dead pope for doctrinal deficiencies in his correspondence. So, it was not out of line for St Augustine to remark that a Council could have taken up the situation again. (Nor more than a future Council could deal with the Schism between East and West and might censure both popes and patriarchs.) Whatever the case, the Councils were subject to confirmation by the popes themselves.

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Pope Hormisdas' formula was signed by John, Patriarch of Constantinople who added the following statement recalling the 28th Canon of Chalcedon: "I hold the most holy Church of the old and the new Rome to be one. I define the see of the Apostle Peter and this of the imperial city to be one see." (Meyendorff, Imperial Unity and Christian Divisions, pg. 214.)


It's not clear exactly why Patriarch John added the statement above to the document. He may have had some reservations in the back of his mind. He may have felt the need to bolster Constantinople's claim to being the second See in Christendom at this juncture--a claim that Rome had not yet recognized. A little historical background is in order. The signing of Pope St Hormisdas' Formula in 519 ended the Acacian Schism when Constantinople was sympathetic to the Monophysites. It was signed not only by Patriarch John but by 250 Eastern bishops. The Formula became a standard text which was re-used in subsequent years by Eastern churchmen and emperors, even as late as the Fourth General Council of Constantinople (869-870). There's no doubt that the ending of the Acacian Schism involved some Imperial Pressure but it would be a mistake to interpret the mind of the East as somehow chafing under some sort of papal arrogance. As an example, J.N.D. Kelly writes regarding the visit of Pope John I to Constantinople in 526 and the magnificent reception he received by the city:

"Leaving Ravenna early in 526, the embassy reached Constantinople shortly before Easter (19 Apr.). John was the first pope to leave Italy for the east, and his mission was a humiliating one. His reception, however, was brilliant: the whole city came out to the twelfth milestone to greet him, the emperor [Justin I] prostrated himself before St Peter's vicar, and on Easter Day he was given a throne in church higher than the patriarch's, celebrated mass according to the Latin rite, and instead of the patriarch placed the customary Easter crown on Justin's head." (The Oxford Dictionary of Popes, published in 1986, pp. 54-55.)]

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The autonomy of each local church was fiercely defended from any unlawful intrusions by the Popes both in the East and West. I cite two Byzantine scholars:

Francis Dvornik:

"But their fear of compromising the autonomy of their churches prevented the Orientals from accepting the claims that were made by certain Popes, especially Gelasius, Symmacus and Nicholas I, the claim to direct and immediate jurisdiction over the whole Church, including the East." (Dvornik, Byzantium and the Roman Primacy, p. 165.)

Interesting quote. St Gelasius (died 496) and St Symmacus (d. 514) were popes before Pope St Hormisdas! This quote basically refutes the claims of some Orthodox polemicists (like Abbe Guettee) who say that the popes in the first 8 centuries never claimed such jurisdiction (see The Papacy, pp. 31, 374-5). This also refutes that theory that blames the development of the idea of papal universal jurisdiction on later Frankish influence. I would not dispute that Bishops jealousy guarded their autonomy or that Bishops (in the East and West) found themselves opposed to Rome. What I would say for now is that the idea of universal jurisdiction is present much earlier than many would concede as is shown in this quote.

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Sir Steven Runciman:

"The Emperors considered the Pope to be their subject as well as the Patriarch; and the Pope was more important because he was physically less easy to control and politically more useful owing to the influence that he commanded in Italy. Thus if the Pope could only be placated by humiliating the Patriarch to recognize papal superiority, and was himself anxious to show deference to the Pope's office....Thus if some eleven Patriarchs of Constantinople admitted the superiority of the Pope, they made the admission at the Emperor's bidding, and their successors felt themselves at liberty to consider them wrong in doing so." (Runciman, The Eastern Schism, pp.17-18.)

The Emperor was a force to be dealt with, to be sure. I would disagree with Runciman that Eastern submission to Rome can only be attributed to Imperial pressure, however. The checkered case of Pope Vigilius comes to mind. After Justinian's Second Edict against The Three Chapters, Vigilius (in sanctuary at Chalcedon) issues an encyclical against Justinian's edict. Anglican writer Trevor Jalland describes it this way in The Church and the Papacy:

It was now Vigilius' turn to take the offensive. After publishing sentences of disposition and excommunication against his opponents, he issued an encyclical on the lines of the formula of Hormisdas, the purpose of which must have been to reassure Western opinion. The effect on this action on the capital was electric. The excommunicated bishops united in producing a declaration of assent to the four councils' and a profession of readiness to respect and accept as orthodox therein all that had been said to be such by common consent with the legates and representatives of the apostolic see.' Vigilius presently returned to Constantinople [from Chalcedon], and on the death of [Patriarch] Menas had the satisfaction of receiving a solemn profession of faith from his successor, Eutychius, in which the new bishop acknowledged the four councils', the letters of Leo and other Popes, and supported the project of a new council under Vigilius' presidency. For obvious reasons the Pope endeavoured to postpone its assembly and proposed that it be held in the West. But Justinian naturally would have none of this, nor would he entertain any longer the alternative of a round-table conference, still less the proposal of Pelagius that the decision of the question of the Three Chapters' should be left to the Roman see. (page 348)

In this case, the Eastern Bishops united with the Pope against the Emperor. Dom John Chapman concludes that the chief Bishops of the East humilated themselves "before a Pope who has been insulted by the civil power, is in sanctuary for safety, has personally no good character, is not obviously in the right, and has already twice contradicted himself. Such is still the prestige in the East of the See of Peter, even in an unworthy representative."  From Studies in the Early Papacy. (It wasn't until after Justinian proved that Vigilius had secretly promised to support the condemnation of the Three Chapters that Vigilius lost his support among the Bishops.)

Michael
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« Reply #54 on: January 20, 2004, 08:56:45 AM »

Howdy Michael,



Quote
St Augustine (writing in 397) is describing the attempts of the Donatists to overturn the Church's decisions against them. A Roman Synod under the presidency of Pope Miltiades (who died the next year) had ruled against them in 313 as did a subsequent Council at Arles. Popes can and have made bad decisons. An Ecumenical Council even censured a dead pope for doctrinal deficiencies in his correspondence. So, it was not out of line for St Augustine to remark that a Council could have taken up the situation again. (Nor more than a future Council could deal with the Schism between East and West and might censure both popes and patriarchs.) Whatever the case, the Councils were subject to confirmation by the popes themselves.

Very good. But how does your implicit admission of the fact that Rome’s judgements were open to dispute square with Rome’s present day claims which render the pope’s decision unquestionable: “there is neither appeal nor recourse against a sentence or decree of the Roman Pontiff” (Code of Canons of the Eastern [Catholic] Churches #45.3 & Roman Code of Canon Law #333.3).
 
Augustine as a matter of fact ceded nothing more to the church of Rome than a primacy of pastoral and teaching authority extending over the Catholic Church, not the mythical "Rome has spoken, the case is closed" complex he was rehabilitated with in later times. The African churches, since Pope Stephen’s encroachments and controversy with St. Cyprian, were quick to safeguard their autonomy, as did the Eastern churches. J.N.D. Kelly explains this further:

(J.N.D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines, p. 419, 1978 ed.)  

Augustine’s idea of Church unity is also interesting because he places the cause of schism and disunity on lack of love, which virtue defined Rome’s primacy. Can we honestly look at the conflicts occurring between East and West in the 9th century and especially in 1054, and not find Rome wanting in those fraternal duties, the lack of which caused antagonisms that the post-Vatican II era popes have lamented bitterly?


Quote
It's not clear exactly why Patriarch John added the statement above to the document. He may have had some reservations in the back of his mind. He may have felt the need to bolster Constantinople's claim to being the second See in Christendom at this juncture--a claim that Rome had not yet recognized. A little historical background is in order. The signing of Pope St Hormisdas' Formula in 519 ended the Acacian Schism when Constantinople was sympathetic to the Monophysites. It was signed not only by Patriarch John but by 250 Eastern bishops. The Formula became a standard text which was re-used in subsequent years by Eastern churchmen and emperors, even as late as the Fourth General Council of Constantinople (869-870).


Don't forget the above-mentioned council was annulled at the legitimate Fourth Council of Constantinople 10 years later, in the presence of the papal legates and 400 other clergymen.

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There's no doubt that the ending of the Acacian Schism involved some Imperial Pressure but it would be a mistake to interpret the mind of the East as somehow chafing under some sort of papal arrogance.


I fully agree. It’s hard to ignore the incredibly high esteem the Popes were held in by the whole Church.

Quote
As an example, J.N.D. Kelly writes regarding the visit of Pope John I to Constantinople in 526 and the magnificent reception he received by the city:

"Leaving Ravenna early in 526, the embassy reached Constantinople shortly before Easter (19 Apr.). John was the first pope to leave Italy for the east, and his mission was a humiliating one. His reception, however, was brilliant: the whole city came out to the twelfth milestone to greet him, the emperor [Justin I] prostrated himself before St Peter's vicar, and on Easter Day he was given a throne in church higher than the patriarch's, celebrated mass according to the Latin rite, and instead of the patriarch placed the customary Easter crown on Justin's head." (The Oxford Dictionary of Popes, published in 1986, pp. 54-55.)]


The same is bound to happen again once Rome returns to Orthodoxy. To my knowledge the Patriarch of Constantinople on his visit to the Vatican was honoured with a seat side by side the Pope’s in recognition of the "dual primacy" established at the 2nd and 4th Ecumenical Councils.

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Interesting quote. St Gelasius (died 496) and St Symmacus (d. 514) were popes before Pope St Hormisdas! This quote basically refutes the claims of some Orthodox polemicists (like Abbe Guettee) who say that the popes in the first 8 centuries never claimed such jurisdiction (see The Papacy, pp. 31, 374-5).

The quote actually says certain Popes claimed such jurisdiction, still the Orthodox polemicists exhibit a bad case of “downplay the role of the Pope” syndrome, which is very silly.


Quote
This also refutes that theory that blames the development of the idea of papal universal jurisdiction on later Frankish influence. I would not dispute that Bishops jealousy guarded their autonomy or that Bishops (in the East and West) found themselves opposed to Rome. What I would say for now is that the idea of universal jurisdiction is present much earlier than many would concede as is shown in this quote.


If by “universal jurisdiction” you mean anything that resembles Gregory VII’s reforms and his Dictatus Papae then I vehemently disagree. I maintain the Catholic Church recognized in the church of Rome and her bishop a universal primacy of moral, pastoral and teaching authority defined according to the spirit of the Gospel and not juridicalism - authority, not authoritarianism; love and solicitude, not slavery. Essentially it amounts to the presence in the Church of a voice which Pope St. Leo the Great describes as having precedence among the brethren, examples of its practical application seen in Pope St. Clement’s epistle to the Corinthians. I believe this idea of primacy is consistent with the testimony of the Fathers and Ecumenical Councils and the claims of Orthodoxy, which is the main reason behind my conversion.

I think the Pope Vigilius incident was discussed in another thread a little while ago ("You Are Peter") so I won’t go into that.

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« Reply #55 on: January 20, 2004, 02:46:44 PM »

You said it was implicit in the Scriptures. Surely the Fathers suggest it is explicit in the Scriptures when they are read with their mind. I think that's what I meant. Otherwise some might suggest that scripture doesn't clearly teach that the confession of St Peter is the Rock, and only secondarily St Peter himself.

Matthew 16:18 explicitly teaches that St. Peter is the Rock. That his confession of faith is also the Rock is implied and not stated.

I think Scripture does teach that Peter's confession is also the Rock, but it does not do so explicitly, at least not in Matthew 16:18.

I would disagree that St. Peter is only secondarily the Rock of Matthew 16:18. That he is the Rock is the primary and literal meaning of that passage.

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« Reply #56 on: January 20, 2004, 02:58:43 PM »


[. I maintain the Catholic Church recognized in the church of Rome and her bishop a universal primacy of moral, pastoral and teaching authority defined according to the spirit of the Gospel and not juridicalism - authority, not authoritarianism; love and solicitude, not slavery. Essentially it amounts to the presence in the Church of a voice which Pope St. Leo the Great describes as having precedence among the brethren, examples of its practical application seen in Pope St. Clement’s epistle to the Corinthians. I believe this idea of primacy is consistent with the testimony of the Fathers and Ecumenical Councils and the claims of Orthodoxy]

Byzantino,

I support and agree with this section of your post, though being a RC I don't know where it places me in the "big picture".

james
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« Reply #57 on: January 20, 2004, 06:06:45 PM »

Hi Jakub,

Well...i think it would make you quite Orthodox   Cheesy

God bless
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« Reply #58 on: January 21, 2004, 01:28:48 AM »

Howdy Byzantino!

Quote
Very good. But how does your implicit admission of the fact that Rome’s judgements were open to dispute square with Rome’s present day claims which render the pope’s decision unquestionable: “there is neither appeal nor recourse against a sentence or decree of the Roman Pontiff” (Code of Canons of the Eastern [Catholic] Churches #45.3 & Roman Code of Canon Law #333.3).


To begin with, St Augustine is not giving a detailed analysis of canon law. He's talking about the insane course of the Donatists who tried every avenue to get a judgment to their liking. So, he's talking hypotheticals here. Having said that, I still don't have any problem with the idea that an Ecumenical Council might review an action by a long, dead pope. It's happened before and will probably happen again. Besides, the ancient custom is for the acts of an Ecumenical Council to be approved by the pope anyway. So, if a Council reviewed the actions of a pope and made a new decision and the current pope agreed...who would we be to disagree? The canon you referred to does not preclude that possibility. Nor is that canon something that could not change if there was a reunion of our Churches.

Quote
Augustine as a matter of fact ceded nothing more to the church of Rome than a primacy of pastoral and teaching authority extending over the Catholic Church, not the mythical "Rome has spoken, the case is closed" complex he was rehabilitated with in later times. The African churches, since Pope Stephen’s encroachments and controversy with St. Cyprian, were quick to safeguard their autonomy, as did the Eastern churches. J.N.D. Kelly explains this further:



For another view, see:
http://www.bringyou.to/apologetics/num16.htm

It wouldn't surprise me if some Roman apologists have overstated their case. Kelly does seem to state things negatively: "there is no evidence that...," or "he nowhere recognizes..." That's using negative evidence and I disagree with that approach. I would, however, agree with Kelly's historical assessment here:

"[Pope Innocent] also praised his correspondents [St Augustine and four other African bishops] for referring the matter to his judgement (they had in fact not done so), thus following the ancient tradition that bishops everywhere should submit disputed matters of faith to Peter, the founder of their name and office. No previous pope had so clearly enunciated the view that the apostolic see possesses supreme teaching authority. St Augustine rejoiced that two councils had sent their decisions to the holy see, definitive rulings had come back, and the case was settled." (Oxford Dictionary of the Popes, under entry for Pope St Innocent I, died 417, pp. 37-38.)

"By the middle of the fifth century the Roman church had established, de jure as well as de facto, a position of primacy in the West, and the papal claims to supremacy over all bishops of Christendom had been formulated in precise terms....The student tracing the history of the times, particularly of the Arian, Donatist, Pelagian and Christological controversies, cannot fail to be impressed by the skill and persistence with which the Holy See was continually advancing and consolidating its claims. Since its occupant was accepted as the successor of St. Peter, and prince of the apostles, it was easy to draw the inference that the unique authority which Rome in fact enjoyed, and which the popes saw concentrated in their persons and their office, was no more than the fulfilment of the divine plan." (Early Christian Doctrines, p. 417)

Notice, how Kelly explains the teaching of Pope St Leo on papal primacy:

"First, the famous Gospel texts referring to St Peter should be taken to imply that supreme authority was conferred by our Lord on the apostle. Secondly, St Peter was actually bishop of Rome, and his magisterium was perpetuated in his successors in that see. Thirdly, St Peter being in this way, as it were, mystically present in the Roman see, the authority of other bishops throughout Christendom does not derive immediately from Christ, but (as in the case of the apostles) is mediated to them through St Peter, i.e., through the Roman pontiff who in this way represents him, or, to be more precise, is a kind of Petrus redivivus. Fourthly, while their mandate is of course limited to their own dioceses, St Peter's magisterium, and with it that of his successors, the popes of Rome, is a plenitudo potestatis extending over the entire Church, so that its government rests ultimately with them, and they are its divinely appointed mouthpiece. (Early Christian Doctrines, pp. 420-1)

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Don't forget the above-mentioned council was annulled at the legitimate Fourth Council of Constantinople 10 years later, in the presence of the papal legates and 400 other clergymen.

My point was that the Forumla of Pope St Hormisdas had a long ecclesiastical history being re-used several times. It was not, as some have tried to make it seem, a one time event that was forced upon unwilling Easterners. The Formula was sworn to by many in the East over several generations.

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The quote actually says certain Popes claimed such jurisdiction,


True. I think the quotes from Kelly above indicate that there were others--including Pope St. Leo. I think we can throw in Pope St Hormisdas and Pope Damasus, to name just a couple.

Quote
still the Orthodox polemicists exhibit a bad case of “downplay the role of the Pope” syndrome, which is very silly.

I agree. Yet, the Orthodox polemicists who rely the Abbe Guettee approach ("the rock was not Peter," and "no early popes claimed papal supremacy") are well represented in Orthodoxy today.

Quote
If by “universal jurisdiction” you mean anything that resembles Gregory VII’s reforms and his Dictatus Papae then I vehemently disagree. I maintain the Catholic Church recognized in the church of Rome and her bishop a universal primacy of moral, pastoral and teaching authority defined according to the spirit of the Gospel and not juridicalism - authority, not authoritarianism; love and solicitude, not slavery. Essentially it amounts to the presence in the Church of a voice which Pope St. Leo the Great describes as having precedence among the brethren, examples of its practical application seen in Pope St. Clement’s epistle to the Corinthians. I believe this idea of primacy is consistent with the testimony of the Fathers and Ecumenical Councils and the claims of Orthodoxy, which is the main reason behind my conversion.

I would agree that the essence of papal primacy should be serving in love, or as St Gregory Dialogist referred to himself as "the servants of the servants of God." That there have been some failures at times to this principle I have no doubt. And even though Dvornik and Kelly admit a much earlier claim to papal supremacy than most Orthodox are willing to admit that doesn't mean that the exercise of that supremacy has always been the best. That there have been some failures at times to this principle I have no doubt. (There's enough sin on both sides of the Schism to go around.) But the claim to supremacy is there:

From St Gregory the Great:

"For as to what they say about the Church of Constantinople, who can doubt that it is subject to the Apostolic See, as both the most pious lord the emperor and our brother the bishop of that city continually acknowledge? Yet, if this or any other Church has anything that is good, I am prepared in what is good to imitate even my inferiors, while prohibiting them from things unlawful." (Letter to John, Bishop of Syracuse, Book IX, Epistle XII, P.L. lxxvii, 957)

[St Gregory writing to Eusebius of Thessalonica, Urbicus of Dyrrachium, Andrew of Nicopolis, John of Corinth, John of Prima Justiniana, John of Crete, John of Larissa and Scodra, and many other bishops about his concern that they might be drawn into a council in Constantinople:] "Furthermore, it has come to our knowledge that your Fraternity has been convened to Constantinople. And although our most pious Emperor allows nothing unlawful to be done there, yet, lest perverse men, taking occasion of your assembly, should seek opportunity of cajoling you in favouring this name of superstition, or should think of holding a synod about some other matter, with the view of introducing it therein by cunning contrivances, -though without the authority and consent of the Apostolic See nothing that might be passed would have any force, nevertheless, before Almighty God I conjure and warn you, that the assent of none of you be obtained by any blandishments, any bribes, any threats whatever; but, having regard to the eternal judgment, acquit ye yourselves salubriously and unanimously in opposition to wrongful aims; and, supported by pastoral constancy and apostolical authority, keep out the robber and the wolf that would rush in, and give no way to him that rages for the tearing of the Church asunder; nor allow, through any cajolery, a synod to be held on this subject, which indeed would not be a legitimate one, nor to be called a synod. (Book IX, Letter LXVIII)

Pope St Leo, writing to the Emperor:

"Let it be enough for him [Anatolius--Archbishop of Constantinople] that by your piety, and by my gracious favour, he has obtained the bishopric of so great a city. Let him not disdain a royal city, though he cannot make it an apostolic see; and let him on no account hope that he can rise by doing injury to others." (Documents Illustrating Papal Authority, page 327, Leo, Ep. 104, to the Emperor Marcian, P.L. 54.993.)

Letter of Pope St Agapetus to Peter, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, reproving him for his laxity and for having accepted communion with Anthimus: "We found the see of Constantinople usurped, contrary to all the canons, by Anthimus, Bishop of Trebizond. Our desire was to lead his soul back not only with regard to this point, but, what is more important, regarding the confession of the True Faith; but, attaching himself to the error of Eutyches, he despised the Truth. Wherefore, after having, according to apostolic charity, awaited his repentance of this belief, we decreed that he be deprived of the name of Catholic and of priest, until such time as he fully receive the doctrine of the Fathers who maintain the Faith and discipline of religion. You must reject likewise the others whom the Apostolic See has condemned." (Mansi 8: 922.)

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« Reply #59 on: January 21, 2004, 09:19:43 AM »

Hi Michael,

This dialogue's been quite enjoyable for me Smiley

Quote
To begin with, St Augustine is not giving a detailed analysis of canon law. He's talking about the insane course of the Donatists who tried every avenue to get a judgment to their liking. So, he's talking hypotheticals here. Having said that, I still don't have any problem with the idea that an Ecumenical Council might review an action by a long, dead pope. It's happened before and will probably happen again. Besides, the ancient custom is for the acts of an Ecumenical Council to be approved by the pope anyway. So, if a Council reviewed the actions of a pope and made a new decision and the current pope agreed...who would we be to disagree? The canon you referred to does not preclude that possibility. Nor is that canon something that could not change if there was a reunion of our Churches.

Doesn't the canon refer to appeals, which renders the pope's decisions final? I'd like to see how a canon lawyer interprets it but if it means what i think it means, then another practice of the ancient Church is eschewed, namely the appeal to a Council above the pope.

Quote
It wouldn't surprise me if some Roman apologists have overstated their case.


You’re right on that. I found a significant chasm between Roman internet apologists and Roman scholars. The tendency many of us have is to force our presuppositions into the historical data inevitably leading to an anachronistic formulation of history. But I must say I’m extremely disappointed with the methodology and selectivity used by so many net apologists, particularly in their treatment of the history of the papacy.


Quote
Kelly does seem to state things negatively: "there is no evidence that...," or "he nowhere recognizes..." That's using negative evidence and I disagree with that approach.


I don’t see a problem with that; if there’s no evidence of the modern day RC papal claims in Augustine’s works, why not state things negatively?


Quote
I would, however, agree with Kelly's historical assessment here:

"[Pope Innocent] also praised his correspondents [St Augustine and four other African bishops] for referring the matter to his judgement (they had in fact not done so), thus following the ancient tradition that bishops everywhere should submit disputed matters of faith to Peter, the founder of their name and office. No previous pope had so clearly enunciated the view that the apostolic see possesses supreme teaching authority. St Augustine rejoiced that two councils had sent their decisions to the holy see, definitive rulings had come back, and the case was settled." (Oxford Dictionary of the Popes, under entry for Pope St Innocent I, died 417, pp. 37-38.)

"By the middle of the fifth century the Roman church had established, de jure as well as de facto, a position of primacy in the West, and the papal claims to supremacy over all bishops of Christendom had been formulated in precise terms....The student tracing the history of the times, particularly of the Arian, Donatist, Pelagian and Christological controversies, cannot fail to be impressed by the skill and persistence with which the Holy See was continually advancing and consolidating its claims. Since its occupant was accepted as the successor of St. Peter, and prince of the apostles, it was easy to draw the inference that the unique authority which Rome in fact enjoyed, and which the popes saw concentrated in their persons and their office, was no more than the fulfilment of the divine plan." (Early Christian Doctrines, p. 417)


I also agree with Kelly's assessment. I would just keep in mind that the Roman interpretation of primacy was not accepted by the whole Church, which is the condition for catholic doctrine.


Quote
Notice, how Kelly explains the teaching of Pope St Leo on papal primacy:

"First, the famous Gospel texts referring to St Peter should be taken to imply that supreme authority was conferred by our Lord on the apostle. Secondly, St Peter was actually bishop of Rome, and his magisterium was perpetuated in his successors in that see. Thirdly, St Peter being in this way, as it were, mystically present in the Roman see, the authority of other bishops throughout Christendom does not derive immediately from Christ, but (as in the case of the apostles) is mediated to them through St Peter, i.e., through the Roman pontiff who in this way represents him, or, to be more precise, is a kind of Petrus redivivus. Fourthly, while their mandate is of course limited to their own dioceses, St Peter's magisterium, and with it that of his successors, the popes of Rome, is a plenitudo potestatis extending over the entire Church, so that its government rests ultimately with them, and they are its divinely appointed mouthpiece. (Early Christian Doctrines, pp. 420-1)


This is of course how Pope St. Leo conceived of the Roman primacy. We notice it was the popes themselves who were the major exponents of the Roman version of primacy, so we would expect to find popes speaking of their capacity as such. However I’m sure you would agree that the claims of certain popes cannot override relevant Canons in ecclesial matters, one of which is Apostolic Canon 34 which stresses collegiality in the Church:

“It is fitting that the bishops of each people should know who is first among them, that they should acknowledge him as head and not undertake anything beyond the confines of their own sees without having consulted him. But the one who is first, for his part, must not do anything without consulting them. Thus a communion of thought will reign, and God will be glorified in the Lord (the Christ) through the Holy Spirit.”


It’s along these lines that the rest of the Church saw any attempts by Rome at defining truth on her own as invalid. There’s some good insight to be gained in the works of Olivier Clement on this subject matter. In “You Are Peter: An Orthodox Reflection on the exercise of Papal Primacy” (highly recommended if you haven’t already read it) he notes:

‘Leo never claimed the right to govern as bishop each of the individual churches. Rather he understood his authority as bearing an essential witness to the truth, which, as he himself said, did not belong to him: it was the faith of the Church as the apostle Peter first proclaimed it. That is why he was pleased his “Tome” was acknowledged by the Council, “confirmed,” he wrote, “by the undisputed accord of the entire assembly of brethren.”’ (pp. 46-47.)

Elsewhere he writes:

‘The Pope could hear an appeal, function as a court of annulment, but the canons protected the autonomy of local churches. Councils, almost always with papal accord, clarified doctrine and established the foundations of Church disciplineGǪ.The pope would write to the council with the intention of imposing an authoritative solution to some problem; his letter was received and listened to with the utmost respect, but freely and in the context of free reflection. The faith of Peter, indeed, but could it be separated from the vicariate of Peter, if God wanted this latter and the charism that goes with it? But did he want it? The East, at the time of the Ecumenical Councils, said yes, but differently - differently, that is, from Catholic theologians who in modern times have hardened the texts of a Leo the Great, making them more authoritarian. Certainly, that risk was there already; an evolution could be discerned. Nevertheless Leo never ceased affirming that the purpose of Roman primacy was to serve ecclesial communion, fidelium universitas, itself founded upon the “unity of the Catholic faith.” Moreover, he says time and again that he cannot exercise his charism except in communion with his “brothers and co-bishops” whose rights he respects and safeguards.’ (pp. 55-56.)


Quote
My point was that the Forumla of Pope St Hormisdas had a long ecclesiastical history being re-used several times. It was not, as some have tried to make it seem, a one time event that was forced upon unwilling Easterners. The Formula was sworn to by many in the East over several generations.


I agree. Also the deposition of a heretic by a Pope can go both ways. St. Photius and the Eastern council deposed Pope Nicholas for abusing his authority.


Quote
I agree. Yet, the Orthodox polemicists who rely the Abbe Guettee approach ("the rock was not Peter," and "no early popes claimed papal supremacy") are well represented in Orthodoxy today.


Not only is that regrettable, it’s bad history.


Quote
I would agree that the essence of papal primacy should be serving in love, or as St Gregory Dialogist referred to himself as "the servants of the servants of God." That there have been some failures at times to this principle I have no doubt. And even though Dvornik and Kelly admit a much earlier claim to papal supremacy than most Orthodox are willing to admit that doesn't mean that the exercise of that supremacy has always been the best. That there have been some failures at times to this principle I have no doubt. (There's enough sin on both sides of the Schism to go around.) But the claim to supremacy is there.


It certainly was there among several popes but the question is, was it justified in consideration of the Canons circumscribing the authority of the popes and the concept of the collegiality of the Church, as Canon 34 specifies above. We’ve inherited the challenge of trying to resolve these issues because they were never fully resolved at any period in the Church’s history. If however, evidence can be presented of a solution proposed by the entire Church which was accepted by all, then we need to face facts and decide who has remained in line with that solution. The Eighth Ecumenical Council (879-880) is the closest thing that came to solving this matter once and for all. Here are some of the decisions made by the Council:

Papal jurisdiction would not extend to the Eastern churches although the primacy of Rome would be recognized by all.

Both Rome and Constantinople agreed to recognize the preeminence of each other in their respective sphere.

Additions to the Creed (the filioque) were condemned.

Patriarch St. Photius was vindicated and the council held in Constantinople 10 years prior was annulled.


We come to the Gregorian reforms of the 11th Century and find the Roman church dislodging the above Council from its rightful place as the Eighth Ecumenical and replacing it with the previously annulled council. Was this action justified, and consonant with the collegial practice of the Church which forbade the pope from taking doctrinal matters arbitrarily in his own hands? A carte blanche to simply defy an Ecumenical Council whose decrees were upheld for two centuries cannot be justified.

This leads to my next point about the abuse of papal authority. We believe the presence of Rome’s Petrine charism is conditional - the pope and the church of Rome must remain in the faith of Peter for her primacy to be acknowledged. Clement again:

‘In the East, therefore, one turned to Rome when the faith was in danger and the harmony of the Pentarchy threatened. The attitude of Maximus the Confessor demonstrates both the depth of the trust and, subsequently, the extreme reserve found necessary when the pop seemed no longer to mirror the faith of Peter, when Petros and petra went their separate ways, however slightly. During the monothelite controversy, which we have already mentioned, Maximus, a simple monk but an immense theologian, gained the support of RomeGǪ.The church of Rome, he said, “has the keys of the faith and of the orthodox confessionGǪ.” But whenever Rome seemed to waver, ready to compromise, were it only by silence, the example of Maximus recalled that the pope’s confession of faith could never take the place of a personal act of faith. The petrine charism cannot replace personal conscience, humble and courageous, based on the internal evidence of the Good News. “Yesterday, the 18th of the month (April 685), on the day of mid-Pentecost, the patriarch [the new Pope Vitalian had just taken up again with Constantinople] spoke to me as follows: “To what church do you belong? To the church of Constantinople? To Rome? To Antioch? To Alexandria? To Jerusalem? But they are all one. If then, you belong to the catholic Church, remain at one with it lest in taking a path other than the way of life you meet with something unforeseen.’ I said to him: ‘The catholic Church is the forthright and saving confession of faith in the God of the universe, who showed this in proclaiming Peter blessed for confessing it forthrightly.’” (pp.35-37.)

Can we turn to the eyes of the spirit and infer with it that the Petrine charism has remained in Rome given these phenomena:

The secularized/Protestantized Liturgy
The despotic authoritarianism of the medieval papacy, a violation of the spirit of the Gospel
The relegation of the mind of the Fathers in favour of Scholasticism
The claims to temporal power and the use of Petrine scriptural texts to justify those claims
The scandal of the Inquisition

It has only been since Vatican II that Rome has miraculously changed course in her relations with the East and the world in general. But prior to that, not many of us can see the title of "servant of the servants of God" translated into deeds by very numerous popes.


Quote
From St Gregory the Great:

"For as to what they say about the Church of Constantinople, who can doubt that it is subject to the Apostolic See, as both the most pious lord the emperor and our brother the bishop of that city continually acknowledge? Yet, if this or any other Church has anything that is good, I am prepared in what is good to imitate even my inferiors, while prohibiting them from things unlawful." (Letter to John, Bishop of Syracuse, Book IX, Epistle XII, P.L. lxxvii, 957)

[St Gregory writing to Eusebius of Thessalonica, Urbicus of Dyrrachium, Andrew of Nicopolis, John of Corinth, John of Prima Justiniana, John of Crete, John of Larissa and Scodra, and many other bishops about his concern that they might be drawn into a council in Constantinople:] "Furthermore, it has come to our knowledge that your Fraternity has been convened to Constantinople. And although our most pious Emperor allows nothing unlawful to be done there, yet, lest perverse men, taking occasion of your assembly, should seek opportunity of cajoling you in favouring this name of superstition, or should think of holding a synod about some other matter, with the view of introducing it therein by cunning contrivances, -though without the authority and consent of the Apostolic See nothing that might be passed would have any force, nevertheless, before Almighty God I conjure and warn you, that the assent of none of you be obtained by any blandishments, any bribes, any threats whatever; but, having regard to the eternal judgment, acquit ye yourselves salubriously and unanimously in opposition to wrongful aims; and, supported by pastoral constancy and apostolical authority, keep out the robber and the wolf that would rush in, and give no way to him that rages for the tearing of the Church asunder; nor allow, through any cajolery, a synod to be held on this subject, which indeed would not be a legitimate one, nor to be called a synod. (Book IX, Letter LXVIII)


Pope St. Gregory is in line with the collegial practice of the Church here; "...without the authority and consent of the Apostolic See nothing that might be passed would have any force..." Again, it worked both ways, with nothing to be done in an exclusive fashion.


Quote
Letter of Pope St Agapetus to Peter, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, reproving him for his laxity and for having accepted communion with Anthimus: "We found the see of Constantinople usurped, contrary to all the canons, by Anthimus, Bishop of Trebizond. Our desire was to lead his soul back not only with regard to this point, but, what is more important, regarding the confession of the True Faith; but, attaching himself to the error of Eutyches, he despised the Truth. Wherefore, after having, according to apostolic charity, awaited his repentance of this belief, we decreed that he be deprived of the name of Catholic and of priest, until such time as he fully receive the doctrine of the Fathers who maintain the Faith and discipline of religion. You must reject likewise the others whom the Apostolic See has condemned." (Mansi 8: 922.)


A great example of the exercising of primacy, which would amount to zilch without the moral authority enforced by Agapetus.

I'm out of time for now.
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« Reply #60 on: January 21, 2004, 10:13:12 AM »

Yet, the Orthodox polemicists who rely the Abbe Guettee approach ("the rock was not Peter," and "no early popes claimed papal supremacy") are well represented in Orthodoxy today.


Good Morning Michael,

This statement sparked my curiosity.  Most of what I have read on this topic seems to fall into 2 categories: polemical or scholarly.  Certainly (for example) the "Primacy of Peter" (from SVSP) qualifies in the latter category, and doesn't employ the "Abbe Guettee" approach.  What books, do you know of, written by Orthodox scholars (i.e. not zealous converts with an axe to grind against their former confession) that employ the "Abbe Guettee" approach.  And, no, I don't classify (the former Baptist) Michael Whelton as a scholar.  My 13 years as an Orthodox Christian has shown me that the polemical approach is far more popular among internet enthusiasts, but has actually little representation on official Church levels or in local parishes (unless you count offshoot sects as part of the Orthodox Church, which would be similar to counting SSPX or SSPV as part of the Roman Catholic Church).  So when you say that the "...Abbe Guettee approach ("the rock was not Peter," and "no early popes claimed papal supremacy") are well represented in Orthodoxy today"...do you mean that this representation is primarily on internet fora and personal web sites?
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« Reply #61 on: January 21, 2004, 10:33:43 AM »

Byzantino wrote:

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This dialogue's been quite enjoyable for me

And for me as well. My time is limited for the next few days so it'll be probably next week before I can really respond.

I do find this a refreshing change from most Internet discussion groups. To answer the question just raised: I don't mean to cast a slur on modern Orthodox scholarship. There are problems IMO: for example, Fr John Meyendorff in Imperial Unity says that Patriarch Anthimus resigned whereas everything I've read said he was deposed by Pope St Agapetus. However, Meyendorff is quite refreshing to read after Abbe Guettee.  Smiley

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« Reply #62 on: January 21, 2004, 11:30:02 AM »

There are problems IMO: for example, Fr John Meyendorff in Imperial Unity says that Patriarch Anthimus resigned whereas everything I've read said he was deposed by Pope St Agapetus.


I am glad you mentioned that. I have obviously read Fr John Meyendorff with benefit but have found that in matters relating to my own areas of especial interest he also is sometimes in error. I don't even mean controversia matters of opinion and interpretation but fact. Sometimes this has prevented me taking his opinions as authoritative in some passages because they contain mistakes. But I hesitate to say that of a man much more learned and spiritual than I. It just goes to show that evertyone can make mistakes and no-one is infallible.
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« Reply #63 on: January 21, 2004, 06:59:42 PM »

Quote
My 13 years as an Orthodox Christian has shown me that the polemical approach is far more popular among internet enthusiasts, but has actually little representation on official Church levels or in local parishes (unless you count offshoot sects as part of the Orthodox Church, which would be similar to counting SSPX or SSPV as part of the Roman Catholic Church).

This is a very accurate observation, gbmtmas. It certainly cuts both ways, and would be curious to see how much it actually retards progress towards unity.

Fr. Meyendorff has been extremely beneficial for me too; obviously he's not perfect but we'd be very hard pressed to find total perfection in any scholar. He is reliable though. I can't say that about any internet apologists, both RC and Orthodox so i just stick with the scholars. On the subject of Church history I've found Karl Hefele, Johanne Ignaz von Dollinger, Philip Schaff and J.N.D. Kelly to be the most accurate and beneficial.

Michael, have you tried Olivier Clement's treatise "You Are Peter?"

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« Reply #64 on: January 22, 2004, 05:01:32 AM »

It is a discussion between RC and EO concerning their history of supremacy struggle, and me as OO am not concerned about this continued struggle as the Church of Alexandria was never, at any point of time, under any supremacy of any other church. However, I wanted to comment on some points.

Quote
First, the famous Gospel texts referring to St Peter should be taken to imply that supreme authority was conferred by our Lord on the apostle

No, it shouldn't. It is not important how the Popes of Rome intrepret it nowadays or in Chalcedon and in Middle Ages, most importantly is how the  Holy Apostles themselves understood the famous "supremacy texts" and how St.Peter himself understood the verses.

Quote
Secondly, St Peter was actually bishop of Rome, and his magisterium was perpetuated in his successors in that see.
He was not. St.Paul was the Apostle in Rome, the Founder of the Church, the man who could be considered Bishop there. St. Clement is said to have followed him as First Pope of Rome. Where is St. Peter in this line ?

Quote
This is of course how Pope St. Leo conceived of the Roman primacy.
Consider the source. I think that was his main objective in his Papacy, to establish the supremacy of Rome in expense of the all other aspects, even the unity of the Church is endangered.

Peace,
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« Reply #65 on: January 22, 2004, 09:09:03 PM »

He was not. St.Paul was the Apostle in Rome, the Founder of the Church, the man who could be considered Bishop there. St. Clement is said to have followed him as First Pope of Rome. Where is St. Peter in this line ?

  Where do you get that from? Without being ab hominem, that sounds as foolish as claims saying that St. Paul was the actual founder of Christianity.
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« Reply #66 on: January 22, 2004, 09:39:52 PM »

Stavro -

I think most Orthodox scholars are in agreement that St. Peter was the first Bishop of Rome.

"Linus, whom he [St. Paul] mentioned in his Second Epistle to Timothy as his companion at Rome, has been before shown to have been the first after Peter that obtained the episcopate at Rome" (Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History, Book 3, Chapter 4).

One can recognize that St. Peter was the first Bishop of Rome without admitting all the other RC claims.
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« Reply #67 on: January 22, 2004, 10:04:06 PM »

St. Irenaeus (preserved in Eusebius) also confirms Peter and Paul's founding of the Roman church.

St Irenaeus, "Against Heresies", chapter III

"...the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also [by pointing out] the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops."
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« Reply #68 on: January 22, 2004, 10:14:40 PM »

One can recognize that St. Peter was the first Bishop of Rome without admitting all the other RC claims.

Yep. I completely agree with this.
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« Reply #69 on: January 22, 2004, 10:31:23 PM »

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This is of course how Pope St. Leo conceived of the Roman primacy.

Quote
stavro: Consider the source. I think that was his main objective in his Papacy, to establish the supremacy of Rome in expense of the all other aspects, even the unity of the Church is endangered.

Please realize that Pope St. Leo the Great is revered by Orthodox and Roman Catholics alike as a saint and Father of the Church.

I saw your post over on the Non-Chalcedonian Forum about Dioscorus. I did not write a post disparaging him, although I could.

Please avoid disparaging remarks about Orthodox saints.


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« Reply #70 on: January 22, 2004, 11:32:17 PM »

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Please avoid disparaging remarks about Orthodox saints
LEO is not a saint in my church. I commented because he was used as a reference. But out of respect for your wish, I will stop exposing him, although I could.

Maybe it was not wise to participate on this discussion, as it seems it is between Chalcedonians and they have a common ground in who they regard as a reference.  

Peace,
Stavro  


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« Reply #71 on: January 22, 2004, 11:37:04 PM »

LEO is not a saint in my church. I commented because he was used as a reference. But out of respect for your wish, I will stop exposing him, although I could.

Maybe it was not wise to participate on this discussion, as it seems it is between Chalcedonians and they have a common ground in who they regard as a reference.  

Peace,
Stavro  




Thank you.

I realize Pope St. Leo is not regarded as a saint in your church, just as Dioscorus is not regarded as a saint in ours.

I also refrained from posting anything disrespectful about him, so I appreciate your reciprocating.
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« Reply #72 on: January 23, 2004, 01:59:30 AM »

A word of encouragement from Constantinople.

 Your Holiness John Paul II, Pope of the Elder Rome: Rejoice in the Lord.

In these days, in which a forty-year period is completed since the historical and blessed meeting in Jerusalem between our predecessors Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras of blessed memory, we turn our thoughts, in gratitude, to their sacred memory and to the vision of the complete union of our sister Churches in the common faith and in the sacraments. It was this vision that they served through brave initiatives and steps. Hence, we assure Your Holiness that the Ecumenical Patriarchate and our Modesty personally are ready to continue these steps until we come into “the unity of the faith and the communion of the Holy Spirit.”

Thus, praying for the long healthy life of Your Holiness, we embrace you and remain with invariable fraternal love and honour.

At the Patriarchate, 5 January 2004

Bartholomew of Constantinople

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I don't follow him.
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« Reply #73 on: January 23, 2004, 03:39:32 AM »

Surely there is a difference between acknowledging someone as a saint and considering it disrespectful to criticise anything they had said, done or written?

For all of our saints I mean?

Surely proper historical analysis must be allowed weight without being disrespectful. I mean generally of our own common saints and of our particular ones.

If you read 'The Council of Chalcedon Re-Examined' for instance, by the Indian Orthodox theologian Fr V.C. Samuel, then we find criticism of Dioscorus without disrespect, likewise criticism of Leo of Rome without disrespect.

And the writings of Fr John Romanides are criticical of Leo of Rome also, I am quite sure that as a conservative and traditionalist Orthodox he did not mean his criticism to be disrepectful.

I think we should be careful not to speak as though people and events are beyond criticism, that is the way of cults. Yet we should speak carefully and not seek to cause offense, and listen carefully and not be easily offended.
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« Reply #74 on: January 23, 2004, 04:10:39 AM »

ByzantineSerb,
no need to exchange insults and words like "foolish" and so on. You could have mentioned some references like the others did and it would add more weight to your argument.
As far as asking me "where I got that from", I will open a separate topic for that with the references I see validating my position.

Peter,
good post.

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« Reply #75 on: January 23, 2004, 05:28:30 AM »

Good post Pete.

It's frustrating enough that many of us can't make honest criticisms without being labelled anti-(you name the church.) I have to contend with that all the time.
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« Reply #76 on: January 23, 2004, 08:02:06 AM »

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And the writings of Fr John Romanides are criticical of Leo of Rome also...

Hi Pete,

Could you recommend any of Fr. Romanides' works on Church history including the critique on Pope Leo you mentioned?

Thanks!
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« Reply #77 on: January 23, 2004, 08:17:44 AM »

Take a look at www.romanity.org. There are lots of good materials there including 20 or so by Father John.

The one I was referring to is http://www.romanity.org/htm/ro4enfm.htm, which is titled

"LEO OF ROME'S SUPPORT OF THEODORET, DIOSCORUS OF ALEXANDRIA'S SUPPORT OF EUTYCHES AND THE LIFTING OF THE ANATHEMAS"

.....What we are here concerned with is the evidence already presented by this writer as far back as 1959-60 and especially 1964 that both Leo and Dioscoros are Orthodox because they agree with St. Cyril Of Alexandria, especially with his Twelve Chapters, even though both had been considered heretical by the other side here represented.....

.....One must emphasize that acceptance of the Three or Seven Ecumenical Councils does not in itself entail agreement in faith. The Franco-Latin Papacy accepts these Councils, but in reality accepts not one of them. In like manner there are Orthodox, since Peter the Great, who in reality do not accept the soteriological and Old Testament presuppositions of these Councils. On the other hand those of the Oriental Orthodox, who have not been Franco-Latinised in important parts of their theology, accept the first three of the Ecumenical Councils, but in reality accept all Seven, a fact which has now become clear in recent agreements......
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« Reply #78 on: January 23, 2004, 10:17:26 AM »

sdcheung,

"I don't follow him.
He's an Ecumenist wretch!"

That seems not a very bright critique,  more of a reflection upon you than upon the Patriarch.   If you represent Orthodoxy in any way I thank God that I was spared of it.

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« Reply #79 on: January 23, 2004, 11:31:33 AM »

sdcheung,

"I don't follow him.
He's an Ecumenist wretch!"

That seems not a very bright critique,  more of a reflection upon you than upon the Patriarch.   If you represent Orthodoxy in any way I thank God that I was spared of it.

Dan Lauffer


Whatever.
he's not my Patriarch.
I'd rather have Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens on the Ecumenical Throne than this Ecumenist.
and If another Saint Mark of Ephesus comes along, I'll follow him too.

Orthodoxy must be preserved against Roman catholicism.
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« Reply #80 on: January 23, 2004, 11:44:13 AM »

I wasn't aware that Orthodoxy was under any threat from Roman Catholicism?
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« Reply #81 on: January 23, 2004, 11:49:35 AM »

I wasn't aware that Orthodoxy was under any threat from Roman Catholicism?

It has always been under threat from Roman Catholicism.
Why do you think we have Uniates? To lull us into thinking that Papal Supremacy might be Ok or something. Smiley

I'm not buying it.

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« Reply #82 on: January 23, 2004, 12:06:03 PM »

I don't feel threatened by Roman Catholicism, and in the Mother land if there is a sense of threat from the presence of the Coptic Catholic Church then I would expect that Coptic Orthodox need to work harder at internal evangelism. We all do. People leave Orthodoxy because it isn't meeting some felt need. Better to criticise ourselves than complain that some other communion is scratching that itch. That's why I'm always concerned and ambivalent about legal state pressures and prohibitions on non-Orthodox groups.
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« Reply #83 on: January 23, 2004, 12:12:05 PM »

They can talk over their qualms and questions of the faith when they go to confession. Questions shouldn't go unanswered. But, States that put legislation forbidding Proselytization from other groups, I am somewhat in agreement with.

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« Reply #84 on: January 23, 2004, 12:21:20 PM »

Then why should there not be laws forbidding evangelism of Muslims and conversion of Muslims to Christianity.
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« Reply #85 on: January 23, 2004, 12:23:58 PM »

One way street? We can proselytize, but shame on you for taking our Sheep! Wink
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« Reply #86 on: January 23, 2004, 12:30:13 PM »

We need to look after our sheep better then. Smiley
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« Reply #87 on: January 23, 2004, 12:35:58 PM »

yeah, Inoculate the faithful (sheep), from wierd sects, and weird doctrines and totally heretical religions like islam.
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« Reply #88 on: January 23, 2004, 12:52:52 PM »

Frobie,

Uh, oh! He's on to you.  Cheesy

It has always been under threat from Roman Catholicism.
Why do you think we have Uniates? To lull us into thinking that Papal Supremacy might be Ok or something. Smiley

I'm not buying it.

 
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« Reply #89 on: January 23, 2004, 12:57:08 PM »

Ela Vre Tony..
I am always on to Eastern Catholics.
They be Trojan horses.
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« Reply #90 on: January 23, 2004, 01:00:08 PM »

What is Ela Vre?
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« Reply #91 on: January 23, 2004, 01:02:00 PM »

Ellenika!..
ask Vicki about  Ela Vre, and Ela re
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« Reply #92 on: January 23, 2004, 01:03:39 PM »

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peterfarrington:
Surely there is a difference between acknowledging someone as a saint and considering it disrespectful to criticise anything they had said, done or written?

That is true, but remarks like "Consider the source" (in reference to Pope St. Leo) imply that St. Leo is not trustworthy and are disrespectful.

If someone wants to write, "I think Pope Leo was in error because of A, B, C," where A, B, and C are actual points of contention and not merely assaults on Leo's character, then I have no problem with that.

Quote
peterfarrington: For all of our saints I mean?

Surely proper historical analysis must be allowed weight without being disrespectful. I mean generally of our own common saints and of our particular ones.

If you read 'The Council of Chalcedon Re-Examined' for instance, by the Indian Orthodox theologian Fr V.C. Samuel, then we find criticism of Dioscorus without disrespect, likewise criticism of Leo of Rome without disrespect.

And the writings of Fr John Romanides are criticical of Leo of Rome also, I am quite sure that as a conservative and traditionalist Orthodox he did not mean his criticism to be disrepectful.

I think we should be careful not to speak as though people and events are beyond criticism, that is the way of cults. Yet we should speak carefully and not seek to cause offense, and listen carefully and not be easily offended.

True. It is possible to analyze history and the actions of individuals without being disrespectful.

I did not tell Stavro he could not write about Pope St. Leo. I don't have the authority to do that anyway, even if I wanted to.

I merely cautioned him that Pope St. Leo the Great is revered as a saint and a Father of the Church by Orthodox and Roman Catholics alike.

I read what he said and saw it verging on disrespect. That is why I wrote what I wrote.

It is also well to remember that we should not turn every thread and every forum here into a running criticism of Chalcedon and of Chalcedonian saints.

That is, as I understand it, why we have a Non-Chalcedonian Forum.
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« Reply #93 on: January 23, 2004, 01:10:15 PM »

SDCheung,

Would it ever be possible for the Orthodox and Catholic ever to agree upon the correct understanding of the role of the Bishop of Rome?  Would it ever be correct in your mind for these Churches to call jointly an ecumenical council?  Would you really ever accept any definition of the role of the Bishop of Rome that Catholics agreed with even if all of Orthodoxy agreed with it?  

Why waste anymore time with peripheral questions?  Are you as defensive or as insecure in real life as you appear to be here?

Dan L
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« Reply #94 on: January 23, 2004, 03:07:19 PM »

SDCheung,

Would it ever be possible for the Orthodox and Catholic ever to agree upon the correct understanding of the role of the Bishop of Rome?  Would it ever be correct in your mind for these Churches to call jointly an ecumenical council?  Would you really ever accept any definition of the role of the Bishop of Rome that Catholics agreed with even if all of Orthodoxy agreed with it?  

Why waste anymore time with peripheral questions?  Are you as defensive or as insecure in real life as you appear to be here?

Dan L

What? Defensive and Insecure? I don't think so.
I would go for the Jugular if I didn't have a screen in front of me.

I'll accept Catholicism when all her herresies have been trashed, including the Papal Supremacy stuff.
in other words, when Rome becomes Orthodox.
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« Reply #95 on: January 23, 2004, 03:26:11 PM »

sdcheung,

Such a reasonable response as yours surely inspires confidence. Roll Eyes Tongue

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« Reply #96 on: January 23, 2004, 03:28:07 PM »

whatever/
Your also the one making ad hominem attacks when someone reject your papal Imperialism claims.
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« Reply #97 on: January 23, 2004, 03:51:51 PM »

That is true, but remarks like "Consider the source" (in reference to Pope St. Leo) imply that St. Leo is not trustworthy and are disrespectful.

You will probably think I am biased, but this is not how I read it, nor do I think this is the only reading.  Every source has his/her own bias.  I think we dealt with this in passing in another thread regarding history and historians; every historian writes from his own perspective, and I don't know if there is such a thing as "objective history".  "Consider the source" may just as well been read as "Leo of Rome held views that do not make him the best source for X", and I don't think that would be disrespectful.  

Quote
It is also well to remember that we should not turn every thread and every forum here into a running criticism of Chalcedon and of Chalcedonian saints.

That is, as I understand it, why we have a Non-Chalcedonian Forum.

The "Non-Chalcedonian" section is for issues pertaining to the Oriental Orthodox Churches.  As I've always interpreted that, it does not mean that the OO have their little plot, while everyone else roams free.  OO, like anyone else, are welcome to post their views in all sections.  That's what discussion is about.  The NC section is there for discussing the major issues, but also more specific ones (e.g., "Why do Armenians celebrate Christmas and Theophany together on one day?").

Not every thread has to be turned into a running criticism of Chalcedon and of Chalcedonian saints, you are right.  It goes both ways, and for every individual poster.
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« Reply #98 on: January 23, 2004, 03:51:57 PM »

Make sure this doesn't turn aggressive or I'll close it.

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« Reply #99 on: January 23, 2004, 05:20:41 PM »

Thanks Mor Ephrem, that's how I read it and that's how I feel about discussion of various issues - but I didn't feel able to say it.

PT
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« Reply #100 on: January 23, 2004, 05:41:38 PM »

HOw Conveeeeeeenient...
He left the Kontakion out.  (duh)

Kontakion in tone 2
Christ the Rock, who greatly glorified the first among Apostles,
Calling him Peter, <<<<<<the rock of faith>>>>>>.....,
Calls us now to honor the miracles wrought through Peter's chains,
That He may grant us forgiveness of sins.
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« Reply #101 on: January 23, 2004, 06:09:34 PM »

whatever/
Your also the one making ad hominem attacks when someone reject your papal Imperialism claims.

The "ad hominem" charge is is the first resor of cowards.  Besides I made no imperialistic claims for the pope.
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« Reply #102 on: January 23, 2004, 06:12:17 PM »

course you did.
you said why aren't we unified yet

because we aren't.
sounds very Imperialistic to me.
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« Reply #103 on: January 23, 2004, 06:12:36 PM »

Sheeesh.....can't we discuss things without getting all huffy.

I have problems with Papal Supremacy but I wish it could be discussed with some degree of detachment.
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« Reply #104 on: January 23, 2004, 06:30:08 PM »

the Flu is getting to me.
short temper, etc.
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« Reply #105 on: January 23, 2004, 06:34:45 PM »

Lord have mercy on you and heal you.

Go visit the dilbert site or something and have a laugh instead.
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« Reply #106 on: January 23, 2004, 08:09:06 PM »

I think we'd all do good to remember St. Peter's advice:

"...always be ready to give a defence to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear. (1 Peter 3:15)
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« Reply #107 on: January 23, 2004, 08:50:11 PM »

We know that Patriarch Bartholomew is at least willing to have talks with the Pope.  Whether they lead anywhere or not I have no idea.  Since it was the patriarchs of these two sees who started this mess it seems to me that it is incumbant that these two patriarchs take the lead in straightening out the mess.  

I've read all of the "reasons" why what must be done can't possibly be done because of all of the supposed evils of both sides.  I've read ad nauseum why Orthodoxy is not a worthy partner because they are soft on divorce and are schismatics.  I've read ad nauseum why Catholocism is not a worthy partner because the Pope is too bossy and the filioque is an illigitimate addition to the Creed.  I've read ad nauseum all of the reasons why the Eastern Catholics are evil and treacherous.

I say bunk on the whole business.  I think those who perpetuate excuses for not at least sitting down together are unworthy of the title "followers of Christ".  For all those who continue to whine about this I say, "curses on both your houses."  You are all childish and churlish.  

I know that someone is bound to say of my position, "you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar."  My answer, "I'n not looking for flies.  I'm looking for Christians."

Now that I've expressed my frustration and for those who are still reading let me ask a question:  Outside of the Patriarchs of Rome and Constantinople, the only two that really matter anyway,  is there any serious heart for recommunion among the Orthodox?  Besides trying to influence the Protestants through the WCC are there groups and efforts afoot to work toward union based upon truth among Orthodox groups?  

Remember, I really don't care to discuss the real and supposed differences that have arisen outside of the central issues of the "filioque" and the nature of the authority of the Bishop of Rome.  The more I read them the more they seem like excuses for petty bickering to me.  I suspect most of the pettiness comes from Protestant converts who are not fully Orthodox, but I could be wrong.

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« Reply #108 on: January 23, 2004, 08:52:59 PM »

eh..
If The Patriarchate at Konstantinoupoli sells out.
There is always Moscow, Jerusalem and Alexandria, and Antioch.. at least they are willing to defend Orthodoxy
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« Reply #109 on: January 23, 2004, 08:57:21 PM »

sdcheung,

Are you a Protestant?  Perhaps a hardshell Baptist?

Dan L

For others on the board, the Baptist interloper likes to divert every discussion.  Is it possible to get an anwer from anyone else?  I think my questions are lucid and serious.  Does anyone have any serious answers?

Dan Luaffer
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« Reply #110 on: January 23, 2004, 09:00:33 PM »

hahahahaha...
OXIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII

Orthodox to the Core.
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« Reply #111 on: January 23, 2004, 09:02:52 PM »

why would you be calling me baptist?
I'm insulted.
there can be nonbaptist nonprotestant antipapalists to ya know?
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« Reply #112 on: January 23, 2004, 09:22:31 PM »

Prove it.  All you have to do is give some answer to the questions asked, rather than some rhetorical and predictable babble.

Dan L
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« Reply #113 on: January 23, 2004, 09:44:03 PM »

I did.
why are you trolling with your questions?
since you knew it would be the same "babble"?
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« Reply #114 on: January 23, 2004, 10:04:58 PM »

Quote
Outside of the Patriarchs of Rome and Constantinople, the only two that really matter anyway,  is there any serious heart for recommunion among the Orthodox?


There's plenty of serious heart for re-establishing full communion on the Orthodox side. The angry outbursts of some indicates a strong reluctance to compromise the Orthodox faith, which is proper and commendable but ideally would be alot healthier for us all if the angry outbursts weren't part of the package.

Here are the problems:

On the Orthodox side - a lack of charity and emotional attachment to anything anti-papal among some members. A great deal of energy is being wasted on bashing the papacy which would be better spent on proposing SOLUTIONS to the problem. I ask that my Orthodox brethren be passionate about defending Orthodoxy with the spirit of Christ, not Howard Dean.

On the Roman Catholic side - the Vatican. Folks, if the Vatican can't own up to the sex crimes of her members around the world and resorts to secrecy, don't expect it to own up to its doctrinal and historical shortcomings any time soon. There can't be any progress unless we approach the problems with the utmost humility and fear of God. The solution to this is a miracle from God.

Quote
are there groups and efforts afoot to work toward union based upon truth among Orthodox groups?
 

This is giving me ideas.



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« Reply #115 on: January 23, 2004, 10:11:27 PM »

Byzantino,

Thank you.  You have a reasoned approach.  

I'm still wondering what those actions are.  Does anyone know?

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« Reply #116 on: January 23, 2004, 10:47:50 PM »

Byzantino

[On the Roman Catholic side - the Vatican. Folks, if the Vatican can't own up to the sex crimes of her members around the world and resorts to secrecy, don't expect it]

"around the world"??  Are you referring to the pedophilia that has come to light which here in the USA less than  1% of the clergy were involved in?  "Around the world"? Where else pray tell?  

I've read quite a lot of threads here re the Papacy.  It's usually not a discussion but rather a battle with each side bashing the other over the head with quotes from Scripture or the Fathers.  Nobody's mind ever gets changed in the slightest degree.  Why keep on about the role of the pope?  The RC's want the EO to accept the current concept of the papacy and point to the development of this doctrine while the EO call it a heresy and demand Rome give up what they see as "imperialist pretensions".  What purpose does it all serve except to show to those unchurched Christians or unbelievers who come to this website that we all can't agree on anything and we have no sense of humor, plenty of venom and no charity.

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« Reply #117 on: January 23, 2004, 10:59:22 PM »

Quote
"around the world"??  Are you referring to the pedophilia that has come to light which here in the USA less than  1% of the clergy were involved in?  "Around the world"? Where else pray tell?  


Yes, around the world. The sex abuse scandal hasn't been confined to the U.S. alone. There were several major ones here over the past 5 years. Other countries in Europe have also had their share. Also the 1% figure is disputed by some RC's. Robert Sungenis is one internet apologist who believes it's higher than that. Argue about the figure if you like, you can't argue the cover-up and subterfuges.

Quote
Why keep on about the role of the pope?
 

Because that's the central and most fundamental issue keeping us from enjoying full communion.  

Quote
The RC's want the EO to accept the current concept of the papacy and point to the development of this doctrine while the EO call it a heresy and demand Rome give up what they see as "imperialist pretensions".  


And in between there's a solution. Have faith.

Quote
What purpose does it all serve except to show to those unchurched Christians or unbelievers who come to this website that we all can't agree on anything and we have no sense of humor, plenty of venom and no charity.

Exactly. That's why i quoted St. Peter.
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« Reply #118 on: January 23, 2004, 11:10:43 PM »

Byzantino

[Yes, around the world. The sex abuse scandal hasn't been confined to the U.S. alone. There were several major ones here over the past 5 years. Other countries in Europe have also had their share. Also the 1% figure is disputed by some RC's. Robert Sungenis is one internet apologist who believes it's higher than that. Argue about the figure if you like, you can't argue the cover-up and subterfuges.]

You can't just say, "Yes around the world" then say other countries in Europe had their share.  Come on!  Name some countries and the kind of cases that have happened.  I don't want to argue about figures or the scandal I just want to make sure that people who read these posts don't go away thinking "Oh my God those RC's are up to no good all around the world".  Rather subtle anti-Catholicism.

[And in between there's a solution. Have faith.]

I have faith in the Holy Trinity.  I tend not to place that much faith in my fellow men as they tend to disappoint.

[Because that's the central and most fundamental issue keeping us from enjoying full communion.]

This in itself is a debatable point.  I think a more central point is the Filioque.

Carpo-Rusyn





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« Reply #119 on: January 23, 2004, 11:13:53 PM »

[Because that's the central and most fundamental issue keeping us from enjoying full communion.]

This in itself is a debatable point.  I think a more central point is the Filioque.

Carpo-Rusyn

I don't think so Carpo. I think the Filioque is fairly easily dealt with if you approach it from an historical perspective (i.e, the reason it was done). For me, Papal supremecy is THE major point.
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« Reply #120 on: January 23, 2004, 11:18:38 PM »

[I don't think so Carpo.]

Yes that's why I said it was debatable.  The office of the pope deals with the Church whereas the Filioque deals with who God is and relations within the Trinity through whom we are saved.  I agree both are important but the Filioque much more so.

CR
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« Reply #121 on: January 23, 2004, 11:22:32 PM »

I agree both are important but the Filioque much more so.

But why? If we agree that the Spirit "proceeds from the Father" then what is the big deal? Don't all things come from the Father? My understanding is that it was changed to "and the Son" specifically to refute a heresy.
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« Reply #122 on: January 23, 2004, 11:24:22 PM »

Other countries include Australia, England, Ireland, France, Holland, Poland, Austria, and there were cases in Africa (not sure which countries.) Some articles where this is mentioned are here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/1943756.stm

http://www.rnw.nl/hotspots/html/us020410.html

http://www.ezresult.com/article/Catholic_priests'_sex_abuse_scandal

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« Reply #123 on: January 23, 2004, 11:26:14 PM »

Byz

Thanks for the names of the countries but it still fails the mark for being "world-wide" which would mean it's happening in every country the world over.

CR
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« Reply #124 on: January 23, 2004, 11:27:30 PM »

[But why? If we agree that the Spirit "proceeds from the Father" then what is the big deal? Don't all things come from the Father? My understanding is that it was changed to "and the Son" specifically to refute a heresy.]

Hey Tom it's not my problem it's on the EO side.  

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« Reply #125 on: January 23, 2004, 11:29:34 PM »

Hey Tom it's not my problem it's on the EO side.  
CR

Would you have a problem with it being removed since it was added for a reason that is no longer needed?
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« Reply #126 on: January 24, 2004, 01:04:38 AM »

I wrote this before the sex scandal discussion came up.  Let me add this:  Sex outside of marriage with anyone is a horrible sin.  It is made worse when it is committed by clergy.  It's even worse when flaming homosexuals are allowed to be priests.  It's even worse when crimes are done against children.  Given all of that is there anyone so naive as to believe that this problem is any worse among Catholics than it is among the Orthodox or among Protestants?   If so, you are too easily fooled.  I will pray for you.

Now to the point of this post.

Now I think I'm beginning to understand what is before us. Let me post what I've learned from you and other Orthodox posters thus far and you correct me if I'm mistaken in any way.

1. Both Orthodoxy and Catholicism recognize that Peter is the Rock. Technically there is no point of opposition over this matter.

2. The original anathemas of 1054 were made without consultation with other Patriarchs or autocephalic Churches. No other Orthodox Church agreed to them in the first place so technically none of the Church were separated from Rome ever.

3. Because the original anathemas were made by the two Patriarch's their successor were free to lift them and no further schism would exist between East and West.

4. The issue of the "filioque" is now a non-issue since Pope John Paul II agrees with the Orthodox that it is never necessary to be used.

5. Since there is no schism existing today there is no need for a consensus of Patriarchs to heal a schism that does not exist. Those who will not recognize communion between the East and the West have really separated themselves from both Orthodoxy and from Catholicism. Those who remain in that state of self imposed exhile are technically "separated bretheren".

Three years ago I did not have a real grasp of this issue. The Orthodox (though I'm not sure that is the proper term any more) have really cleared this up for me.

One ramification of this is that those who keep cursing the "uniates" are to be pitied. Their hatred must be covering their own guilt. I would suggest that those who refuse to work toward communion are really anathema, not so much because anyone external to them has declared them to be so, but because they have voluntarily chosen to excommunicate themselves from the Church of Jesus Christ. Their ranting cannot be taken seriously. I intend to post this on the Orthodox (so called) board ASAP. This should be interesting.

One more ramification of this mess is that I now know exactly how I am going to handle this issue in my University Church history class.

Again, for all the "Orthodox" posters here I encourage you to correct me at any point...if you can.

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« Reply #127 on: January 24, 2004, 01:19:07 AM »

Quote
5. Since there is no schism existing today there is no need for a consensus of Patriarchs to heal a schism that does not exist. Those who will not recognize communion between the East and the West have really separated themselves from both Orthodoxy and from Catholicism. Those who remain in that state of self imposed exhile are technically "separated bretheren".



Sorry Dan, this is wishful thinking. We can't delude ourselves into thinking that a schism doesn't exist. The lifting of the anathemas did not heal the schism. It laid down the foundations necessary to heal the schism by creating fraternal atmosphere of dialogue and mutual understanding. Alot of work still needs to be done. Reality is that the RCC and Orthodoxy after 1000 yrs are now doctrinally different, and so long as that situation remains a full reunion is precluded. Those who don't recognize the schism have separated themselves from reality. Non-contradiction requires one of them to be right and the other wrong. It can't be both. Imperfect communion we have. Full communion we don't.


Quote
One ramification of this is that those who keep cursing the "uniates" are to be pitied. Their hatred must be covering their own guilt. I would suggest that those who refuse to work toward communion are really anathema, not so much because anyone external to them has declared them to be so, but because they have voluntarily chosen to excommunicate themselves from the Church of Jesus Christ. Their ranting cannot be taken seriously.


Judgementalism like this won't help in our efforts towards full communion either. I think adhering to the belief that we're already one church would make one fall into another category altogether; separated from both Rome and Orthodoxy.

Quote
I intend to post this on the Orthodox (so called) board ASAP. This should be interesting.

Again, for all the "Orthodox" posters here I encourage you to correct me at any point...if you can.

"So-called" Orthodox? Why the placing of "Orthodox" in inverted commas? What are you implying by that?
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« Reply #128 on: January 24, 2004, 01:34:45 AM »

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4. The issue of the "filioque" is now a non-issue since Pope John Paul II agrees with the Orthodox that it is never necessary to be used.
Did his Holiness Pope John Paul II really say that ? The "Filioque" is a non-issue??
I would be very grateful if you could provide a link to that, if you have time, of course.
Thank you.
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« Reply #129 on: January 24, 2004, 01:37:54 AM »

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3. Because the original anathemas were made by the two Patriarch's their successor were free to lift them and no further schism would exist between East and West.
Why did the schism happen in the first place then ? Was it a personal quarrel that does not involve their successors , or was it a theological, doctrinal or abuse of position issues which is binding for their respective churches ?
Anathemas must have sound reasons. Successors, unless they realize a misunderstanding on the behalf of the Pope issuing the anathemas or if the other church returns to the true faith or changes its ways, cannot just lift the anathemas.

Just a thought.
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« Reply #130 on: January 24, 2004, 01:38:24 AM »

byzantino,

You have an irenic spirit which is much stronger than mine.  I've become convinced that the continued separation has much more to do with ego than with doctrine.  Moreover, as I look at the nuances that separate and are made to appear to have more substance than they really do I'm convinced that ego has more to do with this than does doctrine.  I used to think that Protestants were the only ones guilty of making ego more important than doctrine.  I used to think that separated Orthodoxy was immune from this.  I even got much grief for this stand at a Catholic university.  I was accused of being Orthodox and not Catholic at all.  No longer will I suffer such slings and arrows.  The emperor's lack of clothing has been exposed.  

If those who believe as I are a separate Church than the RC's or EO's then so be it.  I don't believe that it's true but I do believe that the reason the various autocephalic groups won't sit down and talk is because of turf jealousy, not doctrinal integrity.  

Obviously, the two groups have developed separately.  Obviously there is much that needs to be discussed.  Obviously some sacred cows will have to be rethought.
But just as obviously our Lord established one Church and it is not obvious to me that either one of the so called "True Faiths" are living up to the title.

I believe true Orthodoxy is expressed in what Patriarch Bartholomew has done.  It is not expressed in what a couple of the posters here have stated.  

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« Reply #131 on: January 24, 2004, 01:39:05 AM »

Dan,

Your point #4 is not accurate in saying the filioque is a non-issue.  Rome still professes the filioque which the Orthodox generally believe to be a heresy.

Two years ago on Theophany I was received into Orthodoxy from being with the Pittsburgh Metroplia for a few years.  We had a good bi-ritual RC priest, but mostly just a bunch of folks fleeing the Novus Ordo.  The only couple my age moved out of state and I didn't want to be the only sub-40 year old in the 65+ club.  I had sympathies for Orthodoxy before this, but my ties to my friends kept me in the Ruthenian parish.  When they left, I had no valid reason to stay since I did not believe in Vatican I, the filioque, etc.

My friends were recently received into a Serbian Orthodox parish where they live now.  They got a new priest, RC bi-ritual, who added the filioque to the creed and wasn't allowing the babies to commune anymore.  They tried being Orthodox in communion with Rome, but after the new priest, they were just in communion with Rome.  They decided that Orthodoxy was more important than "communion with Rome".

One can be Orthodox, or one can be in communion with Rome, but not both.  It's pretty clear from history that Rome diverged from the common faith when she added the filioque and the papacy became a temporal power.  That's why Rome is in schism with the Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #132 on: January 24, 2004, 01:46:25 AM »

Quote
I've become convinced that the continued separation has much more to do with ego than with doctrine
I agree here, but pride on whose part remains a question.
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« Reply #133 on: January 24, 2004, 02:06:54 AM »

I don't follow him.
He's an Ecumenist wretch!

Please watch your tone.  You can hold a negative opinion of Pat. Bartholemew while still being polite and civil, not resorting to name-calling.

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« Reply #134 on: January 24, 2004, 02:21:53 AM »

God bless u Dan Smiley We CAN heal the schism because the desire to do so is there. Each by doing his part, our good efforts will resonate in decades to come if we persevere. More needs to be done to break down the barriers of ignorance on both sides.

It is ego, I agree with you there; the greater the ego the more hardened we remain. Speaking from an Orthodox position, naturally i'll assign a greater load to Rome than Orthodoxy in respect to overcoming that hardeness of heart in doctrinal matters. I believe so because the issues were settled at the 8th Ecumenical Council of 879-880 (not the 869 council), and one party reneged two centuries later. It can be painful having to eat a hefty dose of humble pie (I know from experience, i converted from RC to Orthodoxy recently) so yes, the doctrinal wall will only be broken down when the wall of pride falls first.
Like i said before, both parties need to overcome resentments, follies and uncharitable actions and get down to business.

 
Quote
Obviously, the two groups have developed separately.  Obviously there is much that needs to be discussed.  Obviously some sacred cows will have to be rethought.

Precisely, and i think we need to get our heads down to resolving the issue of the papacy before anything else; that's the stumbling block. Not who's the Rock, but how the Petrine ministry should be exercised.

Quote
But just as obviously our Lord established one Church and it is not obvious to me that either one of the so called "True Faiths" are living up to the title.

Maybe, but it doesn't change the reality of the status of our churches - one has remained faithful to the Orthodox Faith, the other hasn't.

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« Reply #135 on: January 24, 2004, 02:28:50 AM »

Well it wasn't the Pope (Leo IX) who issued the excommunication, it was Cardinal Humbert. It's well acknowledged that he exceeded his powers so the bull was null and void. Also the Pope had died at that point. Most importantly, the Church of Constantinople itself wasn't excommunicated, but Patriarch Michael and his followers. One of Humbert's letter actually praised the See and her flock for being orthodox. The major grievances occurred after the attack on Constantinople in 1204, and 1453 became the final nail in the coffin.
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« Reply #136 on: January 24, 2004, 02:53:49 AM »

Byzantino,

could you shed some light on how 1204 and 1453 remains a problem between EO and RC ? 1453 is a distaster for the whole Christian World, a very sad occasion in which Prince of Darkness triumphed. But how did the RC church contribute to that ? I ordered some books which you guys recommended, but could you briefly say what you meant by that.
Do you demand an apology for what happened in 1204 and the barbaric invasion by the West and the role of the Roman Church in this ( Sorry if this is not accurate) or is it more the theological differences which are the issue?

Peace,
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« Reply #137 on: January 24, 2004, 04:57:58 AM »

Stavro,

What i was getting at was this: those two dates represent a more decisive turning point in East-West relations. There was full communion enjoyed between East and West after the anathemas of 1054, but after the sack of Constantinople by the Crusaders things drastically took a turn for the worst with widespread hatred for the Latins among the Easterns. I wasn't blaming the RCC for the fall of the Empire, nor do i demand the RCC apologize for 1204 - the apology would be a symbolic gesture, the ceremonial expression of sentiments that the RCC already has in its heart. It would necessarily come in due course voluntarily by a renewed and repentant Rome. The ecclesiological issue is at the top of the list, but a lot of hearts need to be touched by Grace before we truly start making profound leaps.

40 years ago these developments would've been unthinkable eh?

God Bless,

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« Reply #138 on: January 24, 2004, 05:04:32 AM »

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Thanks for the names of the countries but it still fails the mark for being "world-wide" which would mean it's happening in every country the world over.

CR

Ok, not literally totally world-wide.
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« Reply #139 on: January 24, 2004, 06:36:55 AM »

I note that the truecatholic site cites the failure of Pope John Paul II to confess the filioque as one of his 101 heresies.

Ut Unum Sint: 24

"... how could I ever forget taking part in the Eucharistic Liturgy in the Church of Saint George at the Ecumenical Patriarchate (30 November 1979), and the service held in Saint Peter's Basilica during the visit to Rome of my Venerable Brother, Patriarch Dimitrios I (6 December 1987)? On that occasion, at the Altar of the Confession, we recited together the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed according to its original Greek text."

I would suggest that this suggests that JP II does not consider the filioque to define a theological difference between East and West but rather to be a terminological difference. On that basis I will certainly try to read more about the subject from modern RC writers.

But I have much greater problems with papal supremacy, universal jurisdiction and papal infallibility.

The other matters can all be understood as divergent terminologies and emphases.

PT
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« Reply #140 on: January 24, 2004, 09:54:09 AM »

I agree here, but pride on whose part remains a question.

Stavro,

I've tried to make it clear that the sin is equally shared.  

Moronikos,

I love your avatar.  

A regrettable experience.  There should be no more "bi-ritual" priests. They are a scurge (sp?) upon the Church.  I do not blame you and your friends for making the decisions you did.  However, I think I'm asking a much more fundamental question than historical development.  I'm suggesting that by going to the basics everything else is negotiable.  I don't think anyone would look at the development of the "filioque", temporal power for Pope's or in the East, temporal power ruling religious authorities, and the acceptance of divorce in the East as good things.  I certainly don't.  Yet, when the basics are clearly the same I cannot find any reason to not sit down together until we have reached, not a compromise, but a synthesis.  (ah yes, an Hegelian lurks his head).

Let's discuss the basics, which I hope I've laid out, and see if at least in theory we can't sit down together.  Anything less seems to blaspheme Christ.

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« Reply #141 on: January 24, 2004, 01:26:24 PM »

Friends,

Later today I hope to have more time.  But I want to offer an apology for something I said in an earlier post.  In my frustration with a poster here I made a dirogatory remark about this forum.  I am sorry.  I do believe that most of the posters here are Godly people who are authentic in the commitment to the Faith once delivered to the saints.

More later.
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« Reply #142 on: January 24, 2004, 01:52:21 PM »

In general, I find myself in agreement with Byzantino's points regarding this issue.  

One thing I've noticed about some of the Eastern Catholics I know in real life is that they see doctrinal issues, formulations, etc., as secondary issues when it comes to working for unity (and, in certain cases, when it's not a doctrinal difference, but a difference in emphasis, I agree).  For instance, if I look at the substance of post-schism RC faith, and compare it with the substance of Orthodox faith, I find a lot of similarities, and at least 90% is commonly believed by all, and that is something to rejoice in.  But when I spoke about the 10% or so that doctrinally divides our respective communions, one told me that the Orthodox are always focusing on doctrine and "what it says" rather than on more important issues.  I must admit being surprised at this attitude.  Yes, there is so much that we hold in common, and little that divides us (in my opinion, anyway), but that little is also very serious stuff, and I don't think that's something to dismiss lightly as secondary.  And I don't think that's ego either, although ego is certainly involved in this issue in its own way.  I don't think it's too much to insist that we all believe the same things before we enter into communion again.  I don't think I'm being too proud and turf-conscious in insisting on that, nor do I think Rome is being like that in insisting that we believe the same things.  Sure, I may disagree with the RC Church when it says this or that is a part of the true faith, but at least it is honest dialogue.  Honest dialogue is the only thing that will help this situation; anything less is only going to make it worse.
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« Reply #143 on: January 24, 2004, 02:06:17 PM »


  Precisely, and i think we need to get our heads down to resolving the issue of the papacy before anything else; that's the stumbling block. Not who's the Rock, but how the Petrine ministry should be exercised. ...

Pardon my posting this comment so late in this thread, but I was under the impression that this 'negotiation' of the nature of the Papacy was EXACTLY what the Pope JPII offered when he visited Greece (and was embarrassingly abused while there.) We Orthodox (Greeks at least) did squander a genuine opportunity based on a sincere offer and not on some weak platitudes. Sad, another millinnieum of schism awaits until another enlightened pope comes to the Throne of Peter.
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« Reply #144 on: January 24, 2004, 02:24:16 PM »

Pardon my posting this comment so late in this thread, but I was under the impression that this 'negotiation' of the nature of the Papacy was EXACTLY what the Pope JPII offered when he visited Greece (and was embarrassingly abused while there.) We Orthodox (Greeks at least) did squander a genuine opportunity based on a sincere offer and not on some weak platitudes. Sad, another millinnieum of schism awaits until another enlightened pope comes to the Throne of Peter.
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The hatred of the RCC runs deep in the Greeks because of the sacking of Constantinople during the Crusades. Even today many Cathedrals in Europe consist of whole parts of architecture ripped from Orthodox churches during the Crusade.
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« Reply #145 on: January 24, 2004, 02:31:07 PM »

[The hatred of the RCC runs deep in the Greeks because of the sacking of Constantinople during the Crusades. Even today many Cathedrals in Europe consist of whole parts of architecture ripped from Orthodox churches during the Crusade]

You know alot of people say this but I'd like to know the names of these cathedrals.  Yes St Mark's in Venice has the bronze horses from the Hippodrome but where else.  And if more cathedrals are identified who should the items be restored to?  Sent back to New Rome now Istanbul and given to the Turk or what?

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« Reply #146 on: January 24, 2004, 02:35:06 PM »

The hatred of the RCC runs deep in the Greeks because of the sacking of Constantinople during the Crusades. Even today many Cathedrals in Europe consist of whole parts of architecture ripped from Orthodox churches during the Crusade.

Surely it is shameful for any christian to hate, let alone exhibit an almost ethnic hatred which refuses to deal with people as they are now. If we all insist on living in the past then we are doomed to repeat it. No Roman Catholic now is responsible for what happened 600 years ago, just as no EO is responsible for the deaths of OO in the persecutions of the 6th-7th centuries.

We meet with each other as we are, or we will fail to meet with each other at all.
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« Reply #147 on: January 24, 2004, 03:24:07 PM »

[The hatred of the RCC runs deep in the Greeks because of the sacking of Constantinople during the Crusades. Even today many Cathedrals in Europe consist of whole parts of architecture ripped from Orthodox churches during the Crusade]

You know alot of people say this but I'd like to know the names of these cathedrals.  Yes St Mark's in Venice has the bronze horses from the Hippodrome but where else.  And if more cathedrals are identified who should the items be restored to?  Sent back to New Rome now Istanbul and given to the Turk or what?

Carpo-Rusyn

C-R,
While I understand TomΣ's response and your retort, neither refutes the lost opportunity. I am not well known on this or any other board as an "ecumenist", but I saw with personal dismay a window of dialogue missed.
JPII DID apologize for the outcome of the Fourth Crusade. And then he went further (and I am certain that even the Curia quaked at his ideas/offers). But the opportunity was missed nonetheless. :'(

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« Reply #148 on: January 24, 2004, 07:08:53 PM »

What gets me Demetri is that people go around spouting off these generalities that have no basis in fact.  I understand neither refutes the lost opportunity but maybe the opportunity was lost because people were too busy fixated on these misinformed generalities.

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« Reply #149 on: January 24, 2004, 07:12:32 PM »

Surely it is shameful for any christian to hate, let alone exhibit an almost ethnic hatred which refuses to deal with people as they are now. If we all insist on living in the past then we are doomed to repeat it.

Well, of course this is true. But you are thinking like a Westener. What you have seen in Bosnia and other ethnic areas of "old" europe is the reality over there. Memories run deep.
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« Reply #150 on: January 24, 2004, 07:17:09 PM »

What gets me Demetri is that people go around spouting off these generalities that have no basis in fact.

It most certainly is fact C-P. The Fourth Crusade murdered 100,000 Orthodox Christians and they destroyed and ransacked the city and took everything of value with them. This act weakened Byzantium enough to enable the Turks to conquer it.

Here's a little history.

The treachery of the Fourth Crusade was so despicable that even its Pope, Innocent III, was horrified unequivocally denouncing the conquest and pillaging of Constantinople in a famous Papal letter. The contemporary Byzantine historian Nicetas tells us these crusaders "respected nothing, neither the churches, nor the sacred images of Christ and his Saints. They committed atrocities upon men, respectable women, virgins, and young girls."

After desecrating Hagia Sophia, ransacking its priceless cultural treasures and smashing its sacred altars for the marble, gold and silver, the crusaders enthroned a common whore on the Patriarchal chair. Characterized by historian Ernle Bradford as "one of the most despicable acts in history", the participants of the Fourth Crusade well knew that the atrocities committed against their co-religionists in the name of Christianity were immoral, and thus many collected holy relics from ransacked Orthodox churches in the hope of achieving absolution and avoiding excommunication.



Will you be denying Smyrna next? or the slaughter of the Armenians?

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« Reply #151 on: January 24, 2004, 07:20:27 PM »

I hope I am thinking like a Christian. The UK has as many ancient enmities it could dredge up if it wished, but the mark of a Christian is not to be bound by them. I see no place whatsoever for any Orthodox christian hating anyone, let alone for something that happened 600 years ago.
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« Reply #152 on: January 24, 2004, 07:36:37 PM »

[It most certainly is fact C-P. Will you be denying Smyrna next? or the slaughter of the Armenians? ]

Then Tom come up with the names of these "cathedrals built with the architecture loot of Byzantium".  Why would I deny the Armenian genocide?  There's plenty of documentation on this.  Also Symrna and the destruction of the Greek community there and the martyrdom of Abp Chyrstomosos.  These are modern events for which there is ample evidence why there are even people still living who remember Symrna and the genocide in Armenia.  My comments aren't an anti-Greek thing but rather just wanting to stick to the facts.

CR
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« Reply #153 on: January 24, 2004, 07:40:05 PM »

My comments aren't an anti-Greek thing but rather just wanting to stick to the facts.

Hey, it's okay if they are - I'm not Greek, I just married one.  Grin

I have read articles on this in the past and will try to come up with some more data for you.

BTW - I did edit my post above with some descriptions of what I am talking about.

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« Reply #154 on: January 24, 2004, 07:44:52 PM »

Tom

[It most certainly is fact C-P. The Fourth Crusade murdered 100,000 Orthodox Christians and they destroyed and ransacked the city and took everything of value with them. This act weakened Byzantium enough to enable the Turks to conquer it. ]

It was a reprehensible act which is why the Pope excommunicated those who took part.  I know that the crusaders committed many atrocities but I think SbDn Peter is right, how long do you go before forgiving someone?  Tom are you of Greek ethnicity?  Where is your family from in Greece?  Did you have an ancestor at New Rome in 1204.  I'm not being flip it's a serious question.  My own family is from Ireland and survived the Potato Famine, the Penal Days, the Cromwellian Conquest, the Elizabethan Conquest, etc.  All these perpetrated by England.  Do you see me going after SbDn Peter for these atrocities?  No.

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« Reply #155 on: January 24, 2004, 07:53:02 PM »

See my post above yours concerning my "Greekness"

I was not saying that the Greeks are RIGHT in how they acted, I was just stating the fact that there are deep-seated emotions that are still present in the Greek psyche.
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« Reply #156 on: January 24, 2004, 08:04:52 PM »

Wasn't there an Eastern hand in the whole 1204 sack of Constantinople thing?

Didn't Alexius, the nephew of the Byzantine Emperor Alexius III, go to Venice in 1202 to recruit the Venetians and Crusaders to vanquish his uncle and put him on the throne?

I'm not excusing the Crusaders' actions, but the whole tragedy was hardly the responsibility of the RCC.
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« Reply #157 on: January 24, 2004, 08:14:43 PM »

There is some truth to that Linus. Below is the beginning of a good article on the 4th Crusade.

Background of the Fourth Crusade

In the years from 1201 to 1202 the Fourth Crusade, sanctioned by pope Innocent III, was readying itself to set out to conquer Egypt, which was by then the center of Islamic power.

After initial problems, finally Boniface, the Marquis of Monferrat was decided as the leader of the campaign. But right from the beginning the Crusade was beset by fundamental problems. The main problem was that of transport. To carry a crusading army of tens of thousands to Egypt a substantial fleet was required. And as the Crusaders were all from western Europe, a western port would be required for them to embark from.

Hence the ideal choice for the Crusaders seemed to be the city of Venice. A rising power in the trade across the Mediterranean, Venice appeared to be the place where enough ships could be built in order to carry the army on its way.

Agreements were made with the leader of the city of Venice, the so-called Doge, Enrico Dandolo, that the Venetian fleet would transport the army at the cost of 5 marks per horse and 2 marks per man......
http://www.roman-empire.net/constant/1203-1204.html

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« Reply #158 on: January 25, 2004, 01:28:14 AM »

Moronikos writes:

My friends were recently received into a Serbian Orthodox parish where they live now.  They got a new priest, RC bi-ritual, who added the filioque to the creed and wasn't allowing the babies to commune anymore.  They tried being Orthodox in communion with Rome, but after the new priest, they were just in communion with Rome.  They decided that Orthodoxy was more important than "communion with Rome".



Responsio:

A point of clarification please.  The bi-ritual RC priest who denied the infant Holy Communion had probably violated canon law of the EC Church.  Was the Church in which the priest served part of the Ruthenian Metropolia? I ask this because a number of years ago I heard of this happening in some parish of the Metropolia.

In my (RC) Church one Sunday about 3 years ago an EC couple came to Holy Communion and tried to have their young daughter (about 3 years old) communicated.  The extraordinary minister of the Eucharist (EME) refused initially but the parents persisted to the point that the priest (also administering the Holy Eucharist) had to intervene and the little girl was communicated.  No doubt on the EME part it was pure ignorance (not surprising nowadays).

I would not presume to analyze or judge the personal reasons why some person converts to one denomination or the other.  I would have hoped, however, at least in this case, that the parents of that infant would have SCREAMED BLOODY MURDER to their bishop over that RC priest's actions.

Jim C.
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« Reply #159 on: January 25, 2004, 01:40:26 AM »

  Correct me if I am wrong, but did not (His Holiness) Innocent III excommunicate the Crusaders for their barbarous trechery against the Greeks?

  That is what I have heard and read.
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« Reply #160 on: January 25, 2004, 02:13:49 AM »

There should be no more "bi-ritual" priests. They are a scurge (sp?) upon the Church.

My friends had a bad experience with one of these priests.  The only one I personally know is a blessing to the EC parish he ministers to.  He took a black marker and marked out the filioque in the creed in the liturgy books.  If it wasn't for him there would not be an EC community in Tulsa.  OTOH, that might be a better thing for those who truly wanted to be Orthodox.  Many EC communities would die out if not for folks like him.
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« Reply #161 on: January 25, 2004, 07:14:10 AM »

Quote
Pardon my posting this comment so late in this thread, but I was under the impression that this 'negotiation' of the nature of the Papacy was EXACTLY what the Pope JPII offered when he visited Greece (and was embarrassingly abused while there.) We Orthodox (Greeks at least) did squander a genuine opportunity based on a sincere offer and not on some weak platitudes. Sad, another millinnieum of schism awaits until another enlightened pope comes to the Throne of Peter.
Demetri

Actually Demetri, the Pope's appeal to the Orthodox world to help him re-examine the Petrine ministry didn't fall on deaf ears. One work which i keep mentioning on this matter is Olivier Clement's "You Are Peter," which i found to be the most forthright, cordial and objective piece ever written on the papacy from an Orthodox perspective, despite its short length. Just how many heeded his call i don't know.
 
Also, interestingly, after the Pope's visit to Greece, a Greek newspaper conducted a poll which revealed almost 60% in favour of reunion with Rome. If i remember correctly, around 25% were opposed and the rest didn't give a darn.
 
I believe the key to future progress in healing the schism will depend on how soon the decrees of Vatican II take full root in the life of the RCC, for, as many RCs are quick to point out, it can often take decades before a council's decrees are fully adapted. I remain very optimistic precisely because of Vatican II, which did what everybody thought was impossible after the definitions of Vatican I -  define ecclesiology using collegial principles and almost totally eschewing the characteristic authoritarianism and juridical language. This was the seed whose planting made any rapproachment between Rome and Orthodoxy possible, a seed so congenial and palatable with Orthodoxy it can grow into a healthy tree, albeit one that still needs some pruning.  The baton of all the hard work of the post-Vatican II popes is sure to be handed on to future popes who will strive to reach the finish line; God appointed a miraculous pope to revolutionize the RCC with Vatican II, and no doubt He'll do the same to bring about the revolution we all yearn for to unite the Church.
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« Reply #162 on: January 25, 2004, 06:09:22 PM »

I'll try to get hold of Olivier Clement's work as soon as possible and study it. Are there also works that can be recommended by RC authors who present the RC position to an Orthodox audience?
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« Reply #163 on: January 25, 2004, 06:49:24 PM »

   There is a seemingly well-educated Catholic author named James Likoudis wrote a book titled "The Divine Primacy of the Bishop of Rome and Modern Eastern Orthodoxy: Letters to a Greek Orthodox on the Unity of the Church".

   Only one I could find.
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« Reply #164 on: January 25, 2004, 07:17:54 PM »

Quote
There is a seemingly well-educated Catholic author named James Likoudis wrote a book titled "The Divine Primacy of the Bishop of Rome and Modern Eastern Orthodoxy: Letters to a Greek Orthodox on the Unity of the Church".


By all means check out the book and his website. In my opinion, his writings aren't all that much different to the other RC internet apologists; the only difference is they're from a former-Orthodox perspective. I recall being struck by his downplaying of the forged documents and his denigration of one of the greatest historians in the history of the Church, Johanne Ignaz von Dollinger, because he (and his historian colleagues) had the gall to oppose papal infallibility  Shocked  If the website is any indication of what to expect from the book then i'd rather read something else. I'd stick to RC scholars (eg. Johanne Quasten; Philip Hughes has a good 3 volume church history set.)
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« Reply #165 on: January 25, 2004, 08:42:40 PM »

[one of the greatest historians in the history of the Church, Johanne Ignaz von Dollinger, because he (and his historian colleagues) had the gall to oppose papal infallibility]

Dollinger later had a hand in founding one of the Old Catholic churches which now ordains women didn't he?  So perhaps a case could be made that Dollinger was gradually losing his grip on tradition when he questioned papal infallibility.  Also what do you base the "one of the greatest historians in the history of the Church" on?  Have you read Dollinger?  What about Baronius, Eusebius, Newman, etc.  Are you accounting him one of the "greatest historians of the Church" because he supports your own views on the papacy?

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« Reply #166 on: January 25, 2004, 09:23:39 PM »

Quote
Dollinger later had a hand in founding one of the Old Catholic churches which now ordains women didn't he?
 

Ad hominem arguments like this won't convince me i'm afraid.

Quote
So perhaps a case could be made that Dollinger was gradually losing his grip on tradition when he questioned papal infallibility.
 

Maybe Karl Hefele and John Henry Newman were losing their grips when they expressed similar sentiments of the inconsistency of papal infallibility with history and logic. Do you expect somebody with 50 yrs of church history to his name to slavishly comply with a doctrine he knew was only a theological opinion even in his own day and age? What happened to St. Vincent Lerin's criterion, quod ubique, quod semper, quad ab obnibus creditum est (what has been believed everywhere, always, by all.) To the leading historians of the time papal infallibility had nothing to do with Tradition and history. It's no secret that some of the Ultramontanes at the Vatican council purposely rejected the witness of history in order to justify their position, such as Cardinal Henry Edward "dogma has conquered history" Manning.

Quote
Also what do you base the "one of the greatest historians in the history of the Church" on?  Have you read Dollinger?  


hmm...reputation, scholarship, fame...i get the impression that RCs have to resort to impugning a historian's credibility if they disagree with a dogma of the RCC. J.N.D. Kelly was an Oxford Church historian who also finds no evidence for the modern RC papal claims in the early church, yet he doesn't suffer the same fate.

Quote
What about Baronius, Eusebius, Newman, etc.
 

What about them?

Quote
Are you accounting him one of the "greatest historians of the Church" because he supports your own views on the papacy?

The same could be asked of you: are you dismissing Dollinger's credibility because he doesn't support your view of the papacy? Johanne Quasten is another brilliant (RC) historical mind who's frankness about the denial of any papal universal jurisdiction in St. Cyprian doesn't prevent RC apologists from citing him as a great historian.

Must run.
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« Reply #167 on: January 25, 2004, 10:04:10 PM »

[The same could be asked of you: are you dismissing Dollinger's credibility because he doesn't support your view of the papacy]

I'm dismissing Dollinger because he ran off and helped found a church which has now drifted off into modernism.

Have you actually read Dollinger though?

[ John Henry Newman were losing their grips when they expressed similar sentiments of the inconsistency of papal infallibility with]

Perhaps you can explain why he submitted to the idea of papal infallibility?

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« Reply #168 on: January 25, 2004, 11:00:23 PM »

 Correct me if I am wrong, but did not (His Holiness) Innocent III excommunicate the Crusaders for their barbarous trechery against the Greeks?

  That is what I have heard and read.

I think you are correct here; but the excommunications themselves did not last long as the Pope was molified by the resulting forced re-union.
And the reunion didn't last long either -these actions actually were like throwing gasoline on smoldering embers. Fire still burns today.

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« Reply #169 on: January 26, 2004, 12:01:38 AM »

Gentlemen,

I.e., Carpo-Rusyn and Byzantino,  please don't be cross with each other.  After years of study myself (I really am an old goat) I've discovered that academic pedigree "don't necessarily mean a thing".  I tend to believe that "infallibility" is one claim best left unclaimed.  But if we get bogged down in which scholar claims what about infallibility we will never get any closer to the truth let alone closer to recommunion.  The West has always tended to be good "definers" but sometimes "definitions" should best be left "undefined".   I think VC I did a disservice to the Church and will of necessity have to be revisited if there is any hope of recommunion. I hope my opinion does not excommunicate me from Rome.  

BTW I think the East needs the West.  Sometimes the East is to dogmatic without being very reasonable.  

Dan L

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« Reply #170 on: January 26, 2004, 12:04:14 AM »

BTW I think the East needs the West.

Yes. based upon what I have seen predicting the birth rate of Musilims and speed of the growth of the Muslim "faith", we definitely need each other!
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« Reply #171 on: January 26, 2004, 02:22:17 AM »

I'm dismissing Dollinger because he ran off and helped found a church which has now drifted off into modernism.

But how are the actions (100 years later) of a church he helped found related to his scholarship and the points i raised? It doesn't - which is why the argument is fallacious.

Quote
Have you actually read Dollinger though?

I've read a decent portion of his writings cited by numerous secondary sources. Anything by Dollinger is rare and worth over $300 Australian, which i can't afford right now. I haven't read much of Dante's works either but i know he's a literary giant.

Quote
After years of study myself (I really am an old goat) I've discovered that academic pedigree "don't necessarily mean a thing".  I tend to believe that "infallibility" is one claim best left unclaimed.  But if we get bogged down in which scholar claims what about infallibility we will never get any closer to the truth let alone closer to recommunion.  The West has always tended to be good "definers" but sometimes "definitions" should best be left "undefined".  I think VC I did a disservice to the Church and will of necessity have to be revisited if there is any hope of recommunion. I hope my opinion does not excommunicate me from Rome.  


Well ultimately we have to rely on some kind of historical authority and data to evaluate the issue. I value the evidence of Fathers Dollinger and Hefele because of their credentials and their first-hand witness to the matter at hand as historians. There is such a thing as an appeal to reliable authority, and i believe the evidence against papal infallibility on that basis is overwhelmingly against it; we have evidence of medieval popes, canonists and theologians attributing doctrinal error to popes and interpreting Matt 16:18 in a collegial sense. Is it any wonder why someone like Cardinal Manning would exclaim "dogma has conquered history"? The overwhelming majority at the Vatican council was made up of clergy embued in the Ultramontanist mindset; funnily enough Ultramontanism is condemned as a heresy today. But i think you're absolutely right about Vatican I, Dan. The council was a source of scandal for me too. I'd like to know what good the dogma of papal infallibility has done for the RCC and for better relations between Orthodoxy, the RCC being a Church whose laity 100+ years later is no longer ignorant or constrained by the inaccessibility of information. It surprises me how the sentiment of the majority at Vatican I represented that of the minority at Vatican II. Woud there have been a definition of papal infallibility if the Bishops of Vatican II were present en masse at Vatican I?
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« Reply #172 on: January 26, 2004, 02:47:17 AM »

Here's some insight into Cardinal Newman's thought at the time:

"Is this the proper work of an oecumenical Council? as to myself personally, pleae God, I do not expect trial at all; but I cannot help suffering with the various souls which are suffering, and I look with anxiety at the prospect of having to defend decisions which may not be difficult to my private judgement, but may be most difficult to maintain logically in the face of historical facts. What have we done to be treated as the faithful never were treated before? When has a definition of a doctrine de Fide been a luxury of devotion and not a stern practical necessity? Why should an aggressive, insolent faction be allowed to "make the heart of the just mourn"...? Why can't we be let alone, when we have pursued peace and thought no evil?" (Robert McClory, Power and the Papacy: the People and Politics Behind the Doctrine of Papal Infallibility, Liguori, 1997, p. 88.)  

Newman, to be fair, believed in a version of infallibility consistent with his theology of collegiality, which laid the foundations for Vatican II. Why he ended up assenting to the dogma is not for me to judge, nonetheless we can catch a glimpse of the trepidations facing those who found the new dogma too hard to swallow:

'As a historian, [Hefele] could find no justification for papal infallibility in past ages, and unlike de Las Casas, he could not affirm today what he denied yesterday. "i'm sitting on a volcano," he wrote a few months after returning to his diocese in Austria....Nor, he believed, could the Church bear the scandal of a possible schism over his convictions. That, he reasoned would be a disaster even worse than the doctrine. So Hefele, more than a year after the declaration of the dogma, sent in his written submission, burned all the papers he had written on the council, and asked his friends to return his letters so he could burn them as well. He called it a "sacrifice of the intellect."' (Ibid, p. 131.)
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« Reply #173 on: January 26, 2004, 08:02:39 AM »

byzantino,

Newman is a primary source of information.  I think my former criticism of "scholars" was not well written by me.   My comment was directed against too great a reliance upon secondary sources.

I agree with Cardinal Newman's trepidation.  I don't know what good this doctrine has done the RCC and I can't imagine that VCII would have developed it if given the chance.  I do believe that it will eventually be overthrown...er...reinterpreted.  It will be a wrenching move because it will necessarily fly in the face of the claimed authority of dogmatic pronouncements.  I think the RCC has some rough days ahead but eventually they will all be for the good.  My prayer is that Orthodoxy will press the issue and not simply go off in the corner and point fingers.   In this matter the West desperately needs the East.

May I copy and paste your note to the Catholic Convert forum when it comes back on line?

Dan L
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« Reply #174 on: January 26, 2004, 09:55:47 AM »

I think Vat I sums up pretty well what we have always known in the west. I wouldn't call it a "new" dogma to be "over-turned," or "reinterpreted."

It was promulgated, not invented. (Papal infalliblity is also a powerful weapon against modernism.)
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« Reply #175 on: January 26, 2004, 10:17:31 AM »

Cafeinator,

"It was promulgated, not invented. (Papal infalliblity is also a powerful weapon against modernism.)"

In theory, and if we are all puppets, you are correct.  In practice that's another story.  Have you been keeping up with the American RCC?  For much of it it is difficult to tell the difference between it and liberal protestantism.  If Papal infallibility were a good weapon why hasn't it been used?  Or on the other hand, if it has been used it doesn't seem to work.

Perhaps you have a better slant.  Could you elaborate?

Dan L


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« Reply #176 on: January 26, 2004, 01:18:54 PM »

Well, as far as the American RCC goes, it is a question of obedience. Much of the liberal american hierarchy has fallen into heresy. Heretical bishops are nothing new, for east or west. What would be new is if the Roman Catholic Church as a whole does not recover from the current crisis. But restoration will happen (and is happening) on God's time, and not ours. The Church moves very slowly, but from what I have seen, is recovering from the crisis.

The weapon I have spoken of has been used, to good effect. We have not seen the entrenched liberal hierarchy overturned, of course. But Catholics can still learn what Catholicism is, and in that respect, the attempted revision failed. Catholic doctrine has been reiterated by successive popes.

One should look to Rome for examples of the indefectible, infallible Church...not the American bishops.
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« Reply #177 on: January 26, 2004, 01:21:16 PM »

I hope I am thinking like a Christian. The UK has as many ancient enmities it could dredge up if it wished, but the mark of a Christian is not to be bound by them. I see no place whatsoever for any Orthodox christian hating anyone, let alone for something that happened 600 years ago.

How protestant and er Roman Catholic to think like that.
People in the East have lonnnnnnng memories. And it's hard to set aside enmity for ppl who did you harm.

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« Reply #178 on: January 26, 2004, 01:28:53 PM »

I believe true Orthodoxy is expressed in what Patriarch Bartholomew has done.  It is not expressed in what a couple of the posters here have stated.  

Dan lauffer

Wrong.
He's singlehandedly destroying Orthodoxy.
I will not follow this Bishop blindly into The Pan-Heresy of Ecumenism. But I will remain in Canonical Orthodoxy and fight, I will not "wall myself off".

I hope he gets replaced.
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« Reply #179 on: January 26, 2004, 01:32:48 PM »

BTW. I know a Good Replacement for Bartholomew..
Archbishop Christodoulos of the Church of Greece.
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« Reply #180 on: January 26, 2004, 01:49:54 PM »

Dan Lauffer writes:

I agree with Cardinal Newman's trepidation.  I don't know what good this doctrine has done the RCC and I can't imagine that VCII would have developed it if given the chance.  I do believe that it will eventually be overthrown...er...reinterpreted.  It will be a wrenching move because it will necessarily fly in the face of the claimed authority of dogmatic pronouncements.  I think the RCC has some rough days ahead but eventually they will all be for the good.  My prayer is that Orthodoxy will press the issue and not simply go off in the corner and point fingers.  In this matter the West desperately needs the East.



If what you have written is true, then the RCC is in big trouble with itself!  To overthrow the dogma is to admit error and thus say to the whole world that the Church in union with Rome is defectible.  Reinterpretation also is problematical in the effective meaning of the dogma.  Reinterpretation could be tantamount to overthrow of the dogma no matter what pretty words are used to explain it away.  How do you soften a blatantly declared dogma without the practical implications that Rome was wrong . . . i.e., defectible . . . during all these centuries since (insert your preferred year),  the split between East and West?

The only way that I can see the dogma's potential "reinterpretation" is to say something along the line that the Pope makes an "infallible" pronouncement in the sense of his exercise of the Extraordinary Magisterium of the Church during or only after consultation, agreement, and union with all the bishops of the world united in an Ecumenical Council.  This would also suggest that "Ecumenical" means Catholic and Orthodox bishops united in a General Council.  And if I understand the purpose of an ecumenical council as the Orthodox understand it--correct me please if I err in this regard--is to witness to the Faith of the Church, not to make new theology.  I perceive that the Orthodox will always look upon the Dogma of the Infallibility of the Pope as new or innovative theology and not a witness to the Faith of the Church no matter how well it has been "reinterpreted" or packaged.

Could you imagine the agenda of an 8th General Council?  Papal infallibility,  the Immaculate Conception, the Assumption, Purgatory, Indulgences, Grace, Original/Ancestral Sin, the merits of the saints, the celibate/married parish priesthood, baptism by immersion/infusion, . . . , the Filioque clause (I personally favor "From the Father through the Son"), and azymes (well this one may now be moot)!  I surmise that it would take 20 years+ for an 8th General Council to settle these issues.

If some miracle of God leads us eventually to an 8th General Council--i.e., recognized as 8th by Catholics and Orthodox--whatever happens let's not let the liberals interpret it according to the "spirit of Nicea III." [or is it Nicea IV or V?]


I hope I haven't (inadvertently) offended the non-Chalcedonians!

JBC
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« Reply #181 on: January 26, 2004, 02:07:59 PM »

Have you been keeping up with the American RCC?  For much of it it is difficult to tell the difference between it and liberal protestantism.  


   Papal authority works very nicely when it is applied accordingly. (St.) Pope Pius X is a very good example. Under his papacy, modernism in the Church was subdued and forced under ground. In the seminaries, he issued the Oath against Modernism. When he issued statements and decisions, by God he delivered!

   The current pope is not that good of a disciplinarian. He allows too many liberals to get away with mischievous deeds (the same goes for many of the bishops and cardinals). Of course, he nails traditionl Catholics, but not lberals... Roll Eyes

   

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« Reply #182 on: January 26, 2004, 02:26:12 PM »


....

Could you imagine the agenda of an 8th General Council?  Papal infallibility,  the Immaculate Conception, the Assumption, Purgatory, Indulgences, Grace, Original/Ancestral Sin, the merits of the saints, the celibate/married parish priesthood, baptism by immersion/infusion, . . . , the Filioque clause (I personally favor "From the Father through the Son"), and azymes (well this one may now be moot)!  I surmise that it would take 20 years+ for an 8th General Council to settle these issues.

If some miracle of God leads us eventually to an 8th General Council--i.e., recognized as 8th by Catholics and Orthodox--whatever happens let's not let the liberals interpret it according to the "spirit of Nicea III." [or is it Nicea IV or V?]



JBC, Our Eighth Council, as you note has already happened in 879-881 and was so accepted, no? Our Ninth Council was 1341-1351. So our next will be the 10th. Given we've had no General Council in 650+ years, it will take us 20 years to clean up our issues before we can take Rome to task on their innovations Wink

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« Reply #183 on: January 26, 2004, 02:39:25 PM »

Demetri,

You make a good point.  I think the council will take much longer than 20 years and may or may not bring success.  However, I think it is worth it.  I agree with your assessment about the cleaning up of Orthodox issues as well.

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« Reply #184 on: January 26, 2004, 02:40:11 PM »

A council such as we suggest would help clean out some of the arrogance on both sides, I should think.

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« Reply #185 on: January 26, 2004, 03:40:20 PM »

JBC, Our Eighth Council, as you note has already happened in 879-881 and was so accepted, no? Our Ninth Council was 1341-1351. So our next will be the 10th. Given we've had no General Council in 650+ years, it will take us 20 years to clean up our issues before we can take Rome to task on their innovations
Demetri



I suppose this means that before a "General" Council involving Catholic and Orthodox bishops is held, we will have to beat each other up first on council number.  The Catholics would of course counter that the 8th General Council is the 4th Council of Constantinople (869) and the 9th is the First Lateran Council (1123).  I estimate that this will take another 650+ years of arguing, fighting, anathemizing, and cursing each other before some number is agreed-upon.

Then once the number is settled 20+ years will be required for the Orthodox to settle their internal issues and 100+ years for the Catholics to recover from the "spirit" of Vatican II.  Then we can argue, fight, curse each other, etc., in a Xth General Council for another 100+ years until the issues are beaten to death.  Boy is this going to be a lot of fun!  The Jews, Protestants, Moslems, and pagans throughout the world will enjoy watching this latest version of SmackDown!

What could be the end result of all this bickering?Huh  The Moslems will be 90% of the world's population with the Orthodox/Catholics somewhere in that 10% along with other sundry religious groups.  Oh . . . we will be paying the Dhimmitude and suffering through all the extortion and loss of civil rights that a Dhimmi experiences.  All this because of mutual Catholic-Orthodox arrogance and triumphalism. Angry

How do you think that Islam triumphed in the Middle East and Northern Africa in the first place???  You know what they say . . . a house divided . . . .  On the other hand, like the Flood, Assyria, Babylon, etc., for the Hebrews, perhaps Islam is a Judgement of God on the so called Christians.

JBC

PS:  In my aforementioned jeremiad I in no way intend to marginalize the theological, pastoral, and Church polity differences between Orthodox and Catholics.

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« Reply #186 on: January 26, 2004, 03:48:50 PM »

I hope I haven't (inadvertently) offended the non-Chalcedonians!

Not at all.  Everyone knows that any reunion council would only be the Fourth.  Tongue
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« Reply #187 on: January 26, 2004, 03:51:45 PM »

How protestant and er Roman Catholic to think like that.
People in the East have lonnnnnnng memories. And it's hard to set aside enmity for ppl who did you harm.

What a load of rubbish. Such thinking is not Orthodox, not even Christian. If you think that is Protestant or Roman Catholic then it shows that there is something seriously wrong with your Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #188 on: January 26, 2004, 03:52:15 PM »

Today we should all down a shooter to the next Ecumenical Council, I'm sure we won't be around to drink to it then.

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« Reply #189 on: January 26, 2004, 03:52:26 PM »

How protestant and er Roman Catholic to think like that.
People in the East have lonnnnnnng memories. And it's hard to set aside enmity for ppl who did you harm.

Just because it is hard doesn't mean it is not necessary to set aside enmity for people who did you harm.  Christianity is all about dying to self, and that is a difficult thing.  Since when does Orthodoxy shrink from proper struggle?  

The other poster's attitude may be "protestant" or "Roman Catholic", but it is far more Orthodox than what you suggest.
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« Reply #190 on: January 26, 2004, 03:54:03 PM »

Sorry, Peter, you must've posted while I was posting.  Smiley
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« Reply #191 on: January 26, 2004, 03:55:04 PM »

Sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt you. Smiley
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« Reply #192 on: January 26, 2004, 03:55:49 PM »


JBC

PS:  In my aforementioned jeremiad I in no way intend to marginalize the theological, pastoral, and Church polity differences between Orthodox and Catholics.

Not to dismiss your lengthy reply. We need to clean up our house first.  As to a Great Council with both communions involved, I could not even begin to speculate how that would happen Wink We can't get past the first two issues now over 950 years old between east and West.

Demetri

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« Reply #193 on: January 26, 2004, 04:00:48 PM »

What a load of rubbish. Such thinking is not Orthodox, not even Christian. If you think that is Protestant or Roman Catholic then it shows that there is something seriously wrong with your Orthodoxy.

You simply don't know the Balkans or the middle east.
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« Reply #194 on: January 26, 2004, 04:12:30 PM »

You simply don't know the Balkans or the middle east.

Since when does the Orthodox Church get to put aside Christ and His Gospel in favour of the Balkans and the Middle East?
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« Reply #195 on: January 26, 2004, 04:14:31 PM »

Maybe not, but I do know Christianity, and hatred of any person is anti-Christ. Such attitudes bring shame upon all Christians and diminish the ability of Christianity to offer the gospel of love without seeming completely hypocritical.

"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."

They which hate shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven!
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« Reply #196 on: January 26, 2004, 04:37:24 PM »

Today we should all down a shooter to the next Ecumenical Council, I'm sure we won't be around to drink to it then.

james

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« Reply #197 on: January 26, 2004, 04:43:50 PM »

Not to dismiss your lengthy reply. We need to clean up our house first.  As to a Great Council with both communions involved, I could not even begin to speculate how that would happen Wink We can't get past the first two issues now over 950 years old between east and West.

Demetri

Demetri

Unfortunately "prolix" is my middle name as my good friends on another forum know only too well and tolerate charitably.

I once read a comment analogous to yours on the web site of a very traditional Orthodox jurisdiction (well what Orthodox jurisdiction isn't traditional?) that stated that Catholics and Protestants must come together 1st before approaching union with Orthodoxy.  If this is true, then add another 650 to 1,000 years to my aforementioned timetable.

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« Reply #198 on: January 26, 2004, 04:48:39 PM »

Why on earth would that be necessary, or likely. Sounds like some so called traditionalist just doesn't want to even have to consider doing whatever is necessary and permissible to bring about reconciliation between Orthodox and Roman Catholics.
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« Reply #199 on: January 26, 2004, 04:51:03 PM »

Not at all.  Everyone knows that any reunion council would only be the Fourth.  Tongue

Good gracious!  Add another 300+ years to mutually argue, anathemize, curse, etc.  the non-Chalcedonians.  But what will it be?  Orthodox & Catholics vs. non-Chalcedonians or a 3 way fight?

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« Reply #200 on: January 26, 2004, 04:54:20 PM »

i don't think that my communion wishes to engage in a fight at all, nor hurl anathemas. On the contrary I think that all faithful Christians should earnestly desire and work for the union of all who love Christ in the fulness of truth with love.
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« Reply #201 on: January 26, 2004, 05:01:42 PM »

i don't think that my communion wishes to engage in a fight at all, nor hurl anathemas. On the contrary I think that all faithful Christians should earnestly desire and work for the union of all who love Christ in the fulness of truth with love.

That sounds like a good idea to me.

Worth praying for.
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« Reply #202 on: January 26, 2004, 05:07:00 PM »

i don't think that my communion wishes to engage in a fight at all, nor hurl anathemas. On the contrary I think that all faithful Christians should earnestly desire and work for the union of all who love Christ in the fulness of truth with love.

If you are replying to my last post (and some of the previous ones too), I hope you realize by now that I was being a bit facetious to make a point.

But what was my point? Grin

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« Reply #203 on: January 26, 2004, 05:13:45 PM »

I guessed you were being slightly facetious, but I was responding to the more general spirit which some, not necessarily here, do exhibit, and which your tongue in cheek comment illustrates, but which I understand you do not necessarily share.

I am not convinced that any of the theological controversies which may or may not be real and which are allowed to divide those who love Christ need 300+years to be settled, and in fact I believe that with good will and lots of effort and engagement the situation would be made much clearer after just a year.
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« Reply #204 on: January 26, 2004, 05:13:56 PM »

Demetri

The Pope was mollified?  I can find no record of the excommunications of the leaders of the 4th crusade being revoked.  Any sources out there?

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« Reply #205 on: January 26, 2004, 05:19:56 PM »

How protestant and er Roman Catholic to think like that.
People in the East have lonnnnnnng memories. And it's hard to set aside enmity for ppl who did you harm.



Many people have long memories and letting old injuries drive them makes for more wounds and memories for the future.

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As the Master said....

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« Reply #206 on: January 26, 2004, 05:24:47 PM »

Except for one silly guy this forum seems like an authentic Christian Orthodox forum.  I wonder if the silly man would like to convert.

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« Reply #207 on: January 26, 2004, 05:27:11 PM »

Who's the silly fellow?

CR
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« Reply #208 on: January 26, 2004, 05:30:04 PM »

I must confess to often being silly, sometimes stupid, and always hearing the call and feeling the need to be converted.
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« Reply #209 on: January 26, 2004, 05:32:45 PM »

[I must confess to often being silly, sometimes stupid, and always hearing the call and feeling the need to be converted. ]

Oh yes.  We should always hear the call to conversion. Very true!

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« Reply #210 on: January 26, 2004, 05:58:23 PM »

I'm in need of frequent conversions myself.  I pray the sdcheung will grow to love his enemies as he's listed them.

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« Reply #211 on: January 26, 2004, 06:12:25 PM »

I guessed you were being slightly facetious, but I was responding to the more general spirit which some, not necessarily here, do exhibit, and which your tongue in cheek comment illustrates, but which I understand you do not necessarily share.

I am not convinced that any of the theological controversies which may or may not be real and which are allowed to divide those who love Christ need 300+years to be settled, and in fact I believe that with good will and lots of effort and engagement the situation would be made much clearer after just a year.

You are correct although perhaps it could take 5 years!  I do not share in the bitterness that is frequently express by Orthodox and Catholics (oh there is more than a little of Catholic bitterness that you folks just don't see all that often on this Forum) although being a captive of history as Orthodoxy and Catholicism are captives of their mutual and separate histories, I too must inevitably suffer from it and cause others to suffer from it . . . may God forgive me and forgive others too!
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« Reply #212 on: January 26, 2004, 06:14:08 PM »

Yes, I'll allow five years, but it will be a shame, and I mean a thing that shames us,  if it takes hundreds of years to start listening to each other.
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« Reply #213 on: January 26, 2004, 06:53:09 PM »

In all seriousness (and yes, I get the humor Smiley ) would we really need to agree on a number? Couldn't it be the eighth council for the RCC, the fourth for Non-Chalcedonians, and the 10th? for Eastern Orthodox?
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« Reply #214 on: January 26, 2004, 07:00:36 PM »

In all seriousness (and yes, I get the humor Smiley ) would we really need to agree on a number? Couldn't it be the eighth council for the RCC, the fourth for Non-Chalcedonians, and the 10th? for Eastern Orthodox?

I think that we ought to number the Church Councils using the binary numbering system.  That way we will be too confused to fight over the number and just might be able to shave a couple of years off the 5 year "optimistic" timeframe! Roll Eyes

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« Reply #215 on: January 26, 2004, 07:07:13 PM »

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May I copy and paste your note to the Catholic Convert forum when it comes back on line?

Dan, of course you can, no need to ask  Smiley
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« Reply #216 on: January 26, 2004, 07:42:44 PM »

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Papal authority works very nicely when it is applied accordingly. (St.) Pope Pius X is a very good example. Under his papacy, modernism in the Church was subdued and forced under ground. In the seminaries, he issued the Oath against Modernism. When he issued statements and decisions, by God he delivered!

Exactly! Papal authority (not monarchy) rightly understood is a great blessing to the Church.

The issue about the post-schism Western Councils can be resolved if we were to agree with Pope Paul VI's classification of them as "General Synods of the West," not ecumenical councils. As such, since the definitions of these synods were not accepted by the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox, they can be abrogated.

I think a possible first step towards union would be to acknowledge the true 8th Ecumenical Council at Constantinople in 879-880. Here the Filioque was condemned, the pseudo-8th Ecumenical council of 869 was made null and void, and papal jurisdiction was limited to the West. This Council can rightly be called Ecumenical because the entire Church was represented. Moreover, its status as the 8th Ecumenical stood for 200 years until somebody decided to revert to the pseudo-8th council (it wasn't us.)

Acceptance of the validity of the 8th Ecumenical would entail acceptance of the ecclesiastical model it worked under, viz., collegiality. The West needs to accept the fact that the pope had not and can never have any authority without the consent of his brethren the bishops. For this reason, the Roman ideal of Primacy, viz., primacy of Rome by divine right, cannot have any force if there is no consensus; likewise, the Eastern concept of primacy, epitomised in the 28th Canon of Chalcedon, cannot have any force if the West does not accept it. A compromise has to be reached somehow by the grace of God.

As an aside, i've been reflecting alot on the state of the Oriental Orthodox Church and can't help but find it amazing how, despite being out of communion with the Eastern Orthodox churches, it has retained the purity of the faith in all its forms and preserve a spotless Liturgy, while the Roman church has changed so much of that Tradition, Liturgy, and has been busy trying to appear "relevant" to the world.
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« Reply #217 on: January 26, 2004, 08:34:35 PM »

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The Pope was mollified?  I can find no record of the excommunications of the leaders of the 4th crusade being revoked.  Any sources out there?

There's no evidence of the excommunications being withdrawn to my knowledge. Innocent was shocked at the actions of the Crusaders:

"You have spared nothing that is sacred, neither age nor sex. You have given yourselves up to prostitution, to adultery, and to debauchery in the face of all the world. You have glutted your guilty passions, not only on married women, but upon women and virgins dedicated to the Saviour. You have not been content with the imperial treasures and the goods of rich and poor, but you have seized even the wealth of the Church and what belongs to it. You have pillaged the silver tables of the altars, you have broken into the sacristies and stolen the vessels." Reg., VIII. Ep., 133

But there is evidence of Innocent's blameworthiness for his passivity which followed:

"The Greeks, notwithstanding the bad treatment they suffer from those who wish to force them to return to the obedience of the Roman Church, cannot make up their minds to do so, because they only see crimes and works of darkness in the Latins, and they hate them like dogs....But the judgements of God are impenetrable, and hence we would not judge lightly in this affair. It may be that the Greeks have been justly punished for their sins, although you acted unjustly in gratifying your own hatred against them; it is possible that God may justly reward you for having been the instruments of His own vengeance."

"Let us leave these doubtful questions. This is certain, that you may keep and defend the land which is conquered for you by the decision of God; upon this condition, however, that you will restore the possessions of the churches, and that you alwys remain faithful to the holy see and to us."

Who knows, we may hear a future Council of union rightly pronounce anathema against Innocent III.
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« Reply #218 on: January 26, 2004, 09:29:03 PM »

   I am not questioning the idea that local councils dealt with certain areas, and that the Pope might not have been invoked. But I do have a question.

   What about Pope St. Victor (or Felix) and Easter celebration in the Oriental churches? Didn't he end up excommunicating them (I believe Iraeneus wrote something on this)? I have also read that general councils had spoke on when they celebrated it, and they were pretty much united there.
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« Reply #219 on: January 26, 2004, 10:22:00 PM »

Demetri

The Pope was mollified?  I can find no record of the excommunications of the leaders of the 4th crusade being revoked.  Any sources out there?

Carpo-Rusyn

Yes, my good friend, carpo-rusyn, there are sources. And I can always rely upon you to bring me to task and do further homework. This homework, if not resulting in a retraction on my part, certainly requires re-statement of historical fact. The following clarification may not be to your particular liking, however.
Joseph Dahmus, Professor of Medieval History at Pennsylvania State University relates the facts*as I summerize below.

The Venetian Crusaders of the Fourth Crusade were not excommunicated by Pope Innocent III for sacking the Christian city of Constantinople because he had ALREADY excommunicated the Venetian contingent of the Fourth Crusade for their sacking of the Roman Catholic city of Zara, a possession of the Roman Catholic King of Hungary prior to their ever arriving in New Rome. After the Venetians attacked Zara and received excommunication by the Pope for this financially-motivated attack (Demetri likes to think of them as medieval age Deep Space 9 Ferengi) these crusaders agreed in conspiracy with the son of the deposed Roman emperor to restore the son's family to the Roman throne. Their reward, booty and "to heal the schism". These ALREADY excommunicated crusaders then proceeded to violate Constantinople (and Mt Athos?) restoring the deposed family to the throne. Pope Innocent III (perhaps "not-so-innocent") was not totally displeased with the outcome and set up Constantinople and the remaing eastern empire as "a papal fief" complete with a Latin patriarch, Latin rites, the deposition of eastern clergy, etc.)

So, C-R, you are correct, in a sordid sort of way. And I now am beginning to remember why my ancestors held such a grudge. And some of their descendents still do, apparently.

*The Middle Ages, A Popular History, Joseph Dahmus, Victor Gollancz Ltd., London, 1969. page 276.

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« Reply #220 on: January 26, 2004, 10:33:50 PM »


It seems a mute point to discuss whether the 4th crusaders were excommunicated or not by the Pope.  The real point is that he didn't waste time on taking advantage of what they had done by setting up a Latin Patriarchate and accepting looted and stolen property for some 70+ years until and Orthodox Patriarchate was re-established.

Actions still speak louder than words!

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« Reply #221 on: January 26, 2004, 10:39:52 PM »


It seems a mute point to discuss whether the 4th crusaders were excommunicated or not by the Pope.  The real point is that he didn't waste time on taking advantage of what they had done by setting up a Latin Patriarchate and accepting looted and stolen property for some 70+ years until and Orthodox Patriarchate was re-established.

Actions still speak louder than words!

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I agree! A great gesture might be to return (to Mt Athos, away from the Turks) all the booty now at the Vatican. Actions would speak louder than...
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« Reply #222 on: January 26, 2004, 11:22:35 PM »

Quote
What about Pope St. Victor (or Felix) and Easter celebration in the Oriental churches? Didn't he end up excommunicating them (I believe Iraeneus wrote something on this)? I have also read that general councils had spoke on when they celebrated it, and they were pretty much united there.

The conflict involved Pope Victor and some of the Eastern sees quabbling over two equally valid celebrations of Easter, both of Apostolic origin. Pope Victor was adamant in making the rest of the Church conform to the Roman practice which was met with stringent opposition from the East. The Pope excommunicated them all, and what followed was strong rebukes leveled against the Pope by many, among whom was St. Irenaeus, who convinced the Pope to withdraw his excommunications.

The early Fathers exhibited a strong zeal to maintain unity in the Church, condemning the sin of schism in very strong terms, as seen particularly in Pope St. Clement, Cyprian and Augustine. Contrary to RC claims this episode is not evidence of universal papal jurisdiction because "being in the Church" was never conditional to being in union with Rome. One early example to demonstrate this is Firmillian's letter to Cyprian on the controversy with Pope Stephen on the issue of re-baptising heretics and schismatics:

"Those who are at Rome do not observe all the things which were given at the beginning, and it is in vain that they pretend to support themselves upon the authority of the Apostles....I have reason to be indignant at the manifest folly of Stephen, who, on the one hand, glories in his episcopal seat, and pretends to possess the succession of Peter, upon whom the foundations of the Church were placed, and who, on the other hand, introduces other stones, and constructs new buildings for other churches, by asserting, upon his own authority, that they possess the true baptism...You, Africans, you may say to Stephen, that having known the truth, you have rejected the custom of error; but for us, we possess at the same time, truth and usage; we oppose our custom against that of the Romans; our usage is that of truth, preserving, since the beginning, that which Christ and the Apostles have given to us...Yet Stephen does not blush to affirm, that those in sin can remit sins, as though the waters of life could be found in the house of the dead. What! Dost thou not fear God's judgement, when thouh showest thyself favourable to heretics against the Church!....What grievous sin thou has committed in separating thyself from so many flocks! Thou has killed thyself; do not deceive thyself; for he is truly schismatic who renounces the communion of the unity of the Church! While thou thinkest that all others are separated from thee, it is thou who art separated from all others." (Firmillian ad Cyprian, Ep. 75.)




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« Reply #223 on: January 26, 2004, 11:55:21 PM »

  Someone please enlighten me then on how the Orthodox define St. Peter as the "bearer of the keys of heaven", and Rome being called the Apostolic See of Peter, but his predecessors not obtaining the same keys.
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« Reply #224 on: January 27, 2004, 12:22:27 AM »

The successors of Peter in Rome do bear the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, on the condition that they remain in the Orthodox faith. The Fathers just didn't say that Peter alone holds the keys because in their view, Peter represented the other Apostles when he was made the Rock (cf. St. Augustine, St. Cyprian) and the same authority of the keys was bestowed upon them all (cf. Matt 18:18.)

"Will you venture to say that the gates of hell shall not prevail against Peter in particular but shall prevail against the others? Are not the words "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" addressed to them all? (Origen, Commentary on Matt.)
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« Reply #225 on: January 27, 2004, 12:23:09 AM »

btw i'm assuming you meant to say Peter's successors and not predecessors.
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« Reply #226 on: January 27, 2004, 04:31:29 AM »

In all seriousness (and yes, I get the humor Smiley ) would we really need to agree on a number? Couldn't it be the eighth council for the RCC, the fourth for Non-Chalcedonians, and the 10th? for Eastern Orthodox?

I agree that the number is not relevant.

What would be useful would be for it to gather together the teachings of all the councils which would then be presented for acceptance as the doctrinal content of the earlier councils.

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