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Author Topic: Would the Pope Be Infallible If He Became Orthodox?  (Read 22489 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #270 on: September 09, 2010, 08:09:07 AM »

I would envision an Ecumenical Council where that which can be agreed will be accepted and that which is debated is withheld (like the good ole days of the four oh ohs).

You must be joking. "That which is debated is withheld"? That's not at all how the 400's were.

Debated or "that which is not agreed on". Orthodoxy has also developed the idea of receptionism where the ecumenical council then must be received (not rejected) by the body of the church.
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« Reply #271 on: September 09, 2010, 08:46:00 AM »

Mary, please answer my question: why is holding onto this dogma (along with the dogmas on the Immaculate Conception and the filioque) so critical to the Roman Catholic Church when it is an obstacle to the unity of the Church? I just do not and cannot see this as a foundational issue, that is, critical to our relationship to the Triune God. I am willing to accept that Roman Catholics truly believe in these innovations. I just cannot fathom why they are so important for the Roman Catholic Church, so much so that they are perpetuating the schism from the One True Church.

That's very simple.  Your hierarchs are not demanding that of us. 

When they do, then you will have entered into full and formal schism, and you will be like the Anglicans who are not recognized as having Apostolic Succession.


That is not correct, Mary, in the instance if the filioque.  The last official statements from our Patriarchs to the Popes very definitely term it a heresy and demand that you abandon it.   So I imagine that we have been in schism and without Apostolic Succession since the 1900s, by your criteria.  Whodda thunk it?  Maybe you are wrong?

The official letters sent to the Pope..

1. 1848.  Greek Patriarchs' reply to a letter from Pope Pius IX

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/encyc_1848.aspx


2.  1895.  Greek Patriarchs' reply to an encyclical from Pope Leo XIII on reunion

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/encyc_1895.aspx

Please explain to us how the Greeks can be said to speak for the whole Church one day but not the next?

I don't think we'd be having the bilateral discussions that we are having now if there was not some understanding that we have not yet divided the two confessions so that a shared Apolosticity is completely severed, as it has been in other cases of schism.

Mary
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« Reply #272 on: September 09, 2010, 09:08:30 AM »

So it looks like Pope is infallible unless he makes a mistake. Such a dogma can be made for anyone.
Papal infallibility "only" applies when the Pope speaks Ex Cathedra. It's clear you just don't get it or you just want to hold onto silly polemical notions like some folks e.g. stashko
LOL. Can we nail you down for a definition of when he speaks ex cathedra?  Because it seems the Vatican has been evading giving the specifics.
I believe the wording the Pope uses when speaking ex cathedra starts out as "we declare, define, pronounce, and proclaim" or something similar.

Obviously that formula was not defined until Vatican I or shortly before. What you are talking about is when papal infallibility is invoked after the fact of its definition, not the constrictions of what might have constituted ex cathedra throughout Church history.

It's up to the Church to determine those cases, or if there are any.  Its not for me or Father Ambrose or Scott Hahn to tell the Church.

Father Ambrose always does far more telling than asking.  I wonder how he would fare in the Vatican standing up to the current fathers of the Catholic Church and offering them the aggressive interpretations that he offers here.  I expect the heart and mind of the Church would elicit a far more sober response set from the hermit from New Zealand...and in either Latin or Greek as the hermit might choose.

For now, Ott's is still the standard text for dogmatic systematics.

Mary
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« Reply #273 on: September 09, 2010, 09:09:41 AM »

Mary, please answer my question: why is holding onto this dogma (along with the dogmas on the Immaculate Conception and the filioque) so critical to the Roman Catholic Church when it is an obstacle to the unity of the Church? I just do not and cannot see this as a foundational issue, that is, critical to our relationship to the Triune God. I am willing to accept that Roman Catholics truly believe in these innovations. I just cannot fathom why they are so important for the Roman Catholic Church, so much so that they are perpetuating the schism from the One True Church.

That's very simple.  Your hierarchs are not demanding that of us.  

When they do, then you will have entered into full and formal schism, and you will be like the Anglicans who are not recognized as having Apostolic Succession.


That is not correct, Mary, in the instance if the filioque.  The last official statements from our Patriarchs to the Popes very definitely term it a heresy and demand that you abandon it.   So I imagine that we have been in schism and without Apostolic Succession since the 1900s, by your criteria.  Whodda thunk it?  Maybe you are wrong?

The official letters sent to the Pope..

1. 1848.  Greek Patriarchs' reply to a letter from Pope Pius IX

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/encyc_1848.aspx


2.  1895.  Greek Patriarchs' reply to an encyclical from Pope Leo XIII on reunion

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/encyc_1895.aspx

Please explain to us how the Greeks can be said to speak for the whole Church one day but not the next?

Because these are two of the "Symbolical Books" and accepted throughout the Orthodox Churches.


Quote
I don't think we'd be having the bilateral discussions that we are having now if there was not some understanding that we have not yet divided the two confessions so that a shared Apolosticity is completely severed, as it has been in other cases of schism.Mary


It was *your* theory that if the Orthodox rejected certain Roman things that we then are in schism and have lost Apostolic Succession.  I showed you that we have already done those things you mention and we have not lost Apostolic Succession.  Therefore your contentions are not consistent with reality.
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« Reply #274 on: September 09, 2010, 09:16:43 AM »

So it looks like Pope is infallible unless he makes a mistake. Such a dogma can be made for anyone.
Papal infallibility "only" applies when the Pope speaks Ex Cathedra. It's clear you just don't get it or you just want to hold onto silly polemical notions like some folks e.g. stashko
LOL. Can we nail you down for a definition of when he speaks ex cathedra?  Because it seems the Vatican has been evading giving the specifics.
I believe the wording the Pope uses when speaking ex cathedra starts out as "we declare, define, pronounce, and proclaim" or something similar.

Obviously that formula was not defined until Vatican I or shortly before. What you are talking about is when papal infallibility is invoked after the fact of its definition, not the constrictions of what might have constituted ex cathedra throughout Church history.

It's up to the Church to determine those cases, or if there are any.  Its not for me or Father Ambrose or Scott Hahn to tell the Church.

Father Ambrose always does far more telling than asking.  I wonder how he would fare in the Vatican standing up to the current fathers of the Catholic Church and offering them the aggressive interpretations that he offers here.  I expect the heart and mind of the Church would elicit a far more sober response set from the hermit from New Zealand...and in either Latin or Greek as the hermit might choose.

For now, Ott's is still the standard text for dogmatic systematics.

Mary

It that is the case, then we take it that Otts' enumeration of infallible statements as being 40 may be accepted as standard.
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« Reply #275 on: September 09, 2010, 09:23:25 AM »

So it looks like Pope is infallible unless he makes a mistake. Such a dogma can be made for anyone.
Papal infallibility "only" applies when the Pope speaks Ex Cathedra. It's clear you just don't get it or you just want to hold onto silly polemical notions like some folks e.g. stashko
LOL. Can we nail you down for a definition of when he speaks ex cathedra?  Because it seems the Vatican has been evading giving the specifics.
I believe the wording the Pope uses when speaking ex cathedra starts out as "we declare, define, pronounce, and proclaim" or something similar.

Obviously that formula was not defined until Vatican I or shortly before. What you are talking about is when papal infallibility is invoked after the fact of its definition, not the constrictions of what might have constituted ex cathedra throughout Church history.

Father Ambrose always does far more telling than asking. [Pot, meet kettle!  laugh]  I wonder how he would fare in the Vatican standing up to the current fathers of the Catholic Church and offering them the aggressive interpretations that he offers here.  I expect the heart and mind of the Church would elicit a far more sober response set from the hermit from New Zealand...and in either Latin or Greek as the hermit might choose.


I would pray for assistance from Saint Mark of Ephesus who was treated by the big boys of the Vatican as a bit of a dolt.

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« Reply #276 on: September 09, 2010, 09:34:24 AM »

So it looks like Pope is infallible unless he makes a mistake. Such a dogma can be made for anyone.
Papal infallibility "only" applies when the Pope speaks Ex Cathedra. It's clear you just don't get it or you just want to hold onto silly polemical notions like some folks e.g. stashko
LOL. Can we nail you down for a definition of when he speaks ex cathedra?  Because it seems the Vatican has been evading giving the specifics.
I believe the wording the Pope uses when speaking ex cathedra starts out as "we declare, define, pronounce, and proclaim" or something similar.

Obviously that formula was not defined until Vatican I or shortly before. What you are talking about is when papal infallibility is invoked after the fact of its definition, not the constrictions of what might have constituted ex cathedra throughout Church history.

Father Ambrose always does far more telling than asking. [Pot, meet kettle!  laugh]  I wonder how he would fare in the Vatican standing up to the current fathers of the Catholic Church and offering them the aggressive interpretations that he offers here.  I expect the heart and mind of the Church would elicit a far more sober response set from the hermit from New Zealand...and in either Latin or Greek as the hermit might choose.


I would pray for assistance from Saint Mark of Ephesus who was treated by the big boys of the Vatican as a bit of a dolt.


LOL.  The accounts of the time I read complained that St. Mark was the only theologian of any worth that Constantinople sent.
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« Reply #277 on: September 09, 2010, 09:53:58 AM »

Mary, please answer my question: why is holding onto this dogma (along with the dogmas on the Immaculate Conception and the filioque) so critical to the Roman Catholic Church when it is an obstacle to the unity of the Church? I just do not and cannot see this as a foundational issue, that is, critical to our relationship to the Triune God. I am willing to accept that Roman Catholics truly believe in these innovations. I just cannot fathom why they are so important for the Roman Catholic Church, so much so that they are perpetuating the schism from the One True Church.

That's very simple.  Your hierarchs are not demanding that of us.  

When they do, then you will have entered into full and formal schism, and you will be like the Anglicans who are not recognized as having Apostolic Succession.


That is not correct, Mary, in the instance if the filioque.  The last official statements from our Patriarchs to the Popes very definitely term it a heresy and demand that you abandon it.   So I imagine that we have been in schism and without Apostolic Succession since the 1900s, by your criteria.  Whodda thunk it?  Maybe you are wrong?

The official letters sent to the Pope..

1. 1848.  Greek Patriarchs' reply to a letter from Pope Pius IX

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/encyc_1848.aspx


2.  1895.  Greek Patriarchs' reply to an encyclical from Pope Leo XIII on reunion

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/encyc_1895.aspx

Please explain to us how the Greeks can be said to speak for the whole Church one day but not the next?

Because these are two of the "Symbolical Books" and accepted throughout the Orthodox Churches.


It will take more than inclusion in the Symbolical Books to produce the acts sufficient to sever the apostolic ties between our two confessions:

http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith8038

e) Later Councils

The Orthodox Church considers itself to be the Church of Christ. From this point of view, any general and major councils even after the separation between Eastern and Western Christianity [1054] may still be considered and called "ecumenical councils." However, in deference to the "ecumenical problem" and as a matter of pastoral prudence and strategy, the Church has not given the name "ecumenical" to Councils that do not represent the "undivided Church" of the Byzantine Empire.

Nonetheless, important Councils convened in the East after the separation between Eastern and Western Christianity and are as important in terms of establishing the faith and clearly enunciating its content. Such are the important Councils of 1341 and 1351, which established the Orthodox Christian doctrine concerning divine grace, the divine energies of God and the "uncreated light," according to the doctrine of St. Gregory Palamas.

Councils convened during the seventeenth century to counteract Protestant infiltrations in the East and establish the Orthodox doctrine vis-à-vis the Protestant teachings, like the Councils of Jassi [1662] and Jerusalem [1672] are also considered to be councils of relative importance. Documents produced by these Councils, or ratified by them, along with other important documents, such as "confessions of faith" by Orthodox prelates and teachers (St. Photios, Michael Cerularius, Mark of Ephesus, Gennadios of Constantinople, Jeremiah II of Constantinople, Metrophanes Kritopoulos, Peter Moghila, etc.) are given the name of "Symbolic Books" of the Orthodox Church. They are certainly witnesses of the Orthodox faith "once handed down to the saints" and perpetuated in the Orthodox Church. However, their authority is subjected to the authority of the Ecumenical Councils and the ancient Fathers of the Church.
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« Reply #278 on: September 09, 2010, 11:10:41 AM »

I have seen claims to the effect that Paul VI's 1968 Encyclical Humanae Vitae and JPII's declaration against women priests were infallible.
Which would make sense because the Church has always opposed contraception and has never ordained women. However, I don't believe these statements were ever made ex cathedra.

What have you been taught?  How many infallible statements are there?   And even more important, *what* are they?
In the time I have been Catholic, I have been taught that there have been two ex cathedra pronouncements since the dogma of Papal Infallibility was defined: the dogmas of the Immaculate Conception and Assumption. As far as what was infallible before Papal Infallibility was formally defined I do not know, and it would likely be trickier to figure out because the ex cathedra wording would have likely not been used before then, or at least not explicitly. I think it is safe to say that those teachings of previous Popes which are still alive within the Catholic Church today are infallible. Anything that was taught only for a time and then fizzled out would be pious opinion.
lol. That's rather convenient, after the fact.
Isn't this the same way the Orthodox Church determines if a council is ecumenical?
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« Reply #279 on: September 09, 2010, 11:17:03 AM »

http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith8038

e) Later Councils

The Orthodox Church considers itself to be the Church of Christ. From this point of view, any general and major councils even after the separation between Eastern and Western Christianity [1054] may still be considered and called "ecumenical councils." However, in deference to the "ecumenical problem" and as a matter of pastoral prudence and strategy, the Church has not given the name "ecumenical" to Councils that do not represent the "undivided Church" of the Byzantine Empire.

Nonetheless, important Councils convened in the East after the separation between Eastern and Western Christianity and are as important in terms of establishing the faith and clearly enunciating its content. Such are the important Councils of 1341 and 1351, which established the Orthodox Christian doctrine concerning divine grace, the divine energies of God and the "uncreated light," according to the doctrine of St. Gregory Palamas.

Councils convened during the seventeenth century to counteract Protestant infiltrations in the East and establish the Orthodox doctrine vis-à-vis the Protestant teachings, like the Councils of Jassi [1662] and Jerusalem [1672] are also considered to be councils of relative importance. Documents produced by these Councils, or ratified by them, along with other important documents, such as "confessions of faith" by Orthodox prelates and teachers (St. Photios, Michael Cerularius, Mark of Ephesus, Gennadios of Constantinople, Jeremiah II of Constantinople, Metrophanes Kritopoulos, Peter Moghila, etc.) are given the name of "Symbolic Books" of the Orthodox Church. They are certainly witnesses of the Orthodox faith "once handed down to the saints" and perpetuated in the Orthodox Church. However, their authority is subjected to the authority of the Ecumenical Councils and the ancient Fathers of the Church.

I see nothing especially remarkable about what you have placed in brown and red.  The Greek Archdiocesan site remarks that the Symbolical Books are "witnesses of the Orthodox faith once handed to the Saints and perpetuated in the Orthodox Church."  It goes on to mention that they are subject to the authority of the Ecumenical Councils - naturally.


The following are the chief Orthodox doctrinal statements since 787 and comprise the Symbolical Books, particularly items 1-5:


1 The Encyclical Letter of Saint Photius (867)
2 The First Letter of Michael Cerularius to Peter of Antioch (1054)
3 The decisions of ‘the Councils of Constantinople in 1341 and 1351 on the Hesychast Controversy
4 The Encyclical Letter of Saint Mark of Ephesus (1440-1441).
5 The Confession of Faith by Gennadius, Patriarch of Constantinople (1455-1456)
6 The Replies of Jeremias the Second to the Lutherans (1573-1581)
7 The Confession of Faith by Metrophanes Kritopoulos (1625)
8 The Orthodox Confession by Peter of Moghila, in its revised form (ratified by the Council of Jassy, 1642)
9 The Confession of Dositheus (ratified by the Council of Jerusalem, 1672)
10 The Answers of the Orthodox Patriarchs to the Non-Jurors (1718, 1723)
11 The Reply of the Orthodox Patriarchs to Pope Pius the Ninth (1848)
12 The Reply of the Synod of Constantinople to Pope Leo the Thirteenth (1895)
13 The Encyclical Letters by the Patriarchate of Constantinople on Christian unity and on the ‘Ecumenical Movement’ (1920, 1952)
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« Reply #280 on: September 09, 2010, 12:43:11 PM »

So it looks like Pope is infallible unless he makes a mistake. Such a dogma can be made for anyone.
Papal infallibility "only" applies when the Pope speaks Ex Cathedra. It's clear you just don't get it or you just want to hold onto silly polemical notions like some folks e.g. stashko

But we have seen examples of the Pope approving dogma that was later considered heresy, in writing in an official context ( writing to a high Church Bishop)...

So now Ex Cathedra means saying the magic words first...  Tricky business.. hard to follow when it is and when it isn't. Is there a special handshake too?

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCCWrcjeKzc&feature=related

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« Reply #281 on: September 09, 2010, 01:01:45 PM »

I have seen claims to the effect that Paul VI's 1968 Encyclical Humanae Vitae and JPII's declaration against women priests were infallible.
Which would make sense because the Church has always opposed contraception and has never ordained women. However, I don't believe these statements were ever made ex cathedra.

What have you been taught?  How many infallible statements are there?   And even more important, *what* are they?
In the time I have been Catholic, I have been taught that there have been two ex cathedra pronouncements since the dogma of Papal Infallibility was defined: the dogmas of the Immaculate Conception and Assumption. As far as what was infallible before Papal Infallibility was formally defined I do not know, and it would likely be trickier to figure out because the ex cathedra wording would have likely not been used before then, or at least not explicitly. I think it is safe to say that those teachings of previous Popes which are still alive within the Catholic Church today are infallible. Anything that was taught only for a time and then fizzled out would be pious opinion.
lol. That's rather convenient, after the fact.
Isn't this the same way the Orthodox Church determines if a council is ecumenical?
no. What fizzled out is heresy. And when it fizzles out, it takes the heretics with it. They don't become part of the Church which spoke in Ecumenical Council.

And we make no pretense of a magic formula of infallibility.

Btw, the Vatican's authority once denounced NFP and non-consumated oral sex, but seems to have changed its mind, and Rome used to have married clergy and then changed on that too. If it goes back to the Apostolic practice of ordaining married men, it is going to be harder to explain now why they don't ordain women.
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« Reply #282 on: September 09, 2010, 01:07:45 PM »

http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith8038

e) Later Councils

The Orthodox Church considers itself to be the Church of Christ. From this point of view, any general and major councils even after the separation between Eastern and Western Christianity [1054] may still be considered and called "ecumenical councils." However, in deference to the "ecumenical problem" and as a matter of pastoral prudence and strategy, the Church has not given the name "ecumenical" to Councils that do not represent the "undivided Church" of the Byzantine Empire.

Nonetheless, important Councils convened in the East after the separation between Eastern and Western Christianity and are as important in terms of establishing the faith and clearly enunciating its content. Such are the important Councils of 1341 and 1351, which established the Orthodox Christian doctrine concerning divine grace, the divine energies of God and the "uncreated light," according to the doctrine of St. Gregory Palamas.

Councils convened during the seventeenth century to counteract Protestant infiltrations in the East and establish the Orthodox doctrine vis-à-vis the Protestant teachings, like the Councils of Jassi [1662] and Jerusalem [1672] are also considered to be councils of relative importance. Documents produced by these Councils, or ratified by them, along with other important documents, such as "confessions of faith" by Orthodox prelates and teachers (St. Photios, Michael Cerularius, Mark of Ephesus, Gennadios of Constantinople, Jeremiah II of Constantinople, Metrophanes Kritopoulos, Peter Moghila, etc.) are given the name of "Symbolic Books" of the Orthodox Church. They are certainly witnesses of the Orthodox faith "once handed down to the saints" and perpetuated in the Orthodox Church. However, their authority is subjected to the authority of the Ecumenical Councils and the ancient Fathers of the Church.

I see nothing especially remarkable about what you have placed in brown and red.  The Greek Archdiocesan site remarks that the Symbolical Books are "witnesses of the Orthodox faith once handed to the Saints and perpetuated in the Orthodox Church."  It goes on to mention that they are subject to the authority of the Ecumenical Councils - naturally.


The following are the chief Orthodox doctrinal statements since 787 and comprise the Symbolical Books, particularly items 1-5:


1 The Encyclical Letter of Saint Photius (867)
2 The First Letter of Michael Cerularius to Peter of Antioch (1054)
3 The decisions of ‘the Councils of Constantinople in 1341 and 1351 on the Hesychast Controversy
4 The Encyclical Letter of Saint Mark of Ephesus (1440-1441).
5 The Confession of Faith by Gennadius, Patriarch of Constantinople (1455-1456)
6 The Replies of Jeremias the Second to the Lutherans (1573-1581)
7 The Confession of Faith by Metrophanes Kritopoulos (1625)
8 The Orthodox Confession by Peter of Moghila, in its revised form (ratified by the Council of Jassy, 1642)
9 The Confession of Dositheus (ratified by the Council of Jerusalem, 1672)
10 The Answers of the Orthodox Patriarchs to the Non-Jurors (1718, 1723)
11 The Reply of the Orthodox Patriarchs to Pope Pius the Ninth (1848)
12 The Reply of the Synod of Constantinople to Pope Leo the Thirteenth (1895)
13 The Encyclical Letters by the Patriarchate of Constantinople on Christian unity and on the ‘Ecumenical Movement’ (1920, 1952)


Also included is Constantinople IV (879), which was convened before 1054 and "represents the "undivided Church" of the Byzantine Empire" [sic, correct: Empire of the Romans].

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« Reply #283 on: September 09, 2010, 01:23:10 PM »

no. What fizzled out is heresy. And when it fizzles out, it takes the heretics with it. They don't become part of the Church which spoke in Ecumenical Council.
What I meant is doesn't the Orthodox Church determine whether a council is ecumenical after the fact, or does it immediately know if a council is ecumenical? I remember being told by someone on here that the Orthodox Church doesn't know whether a council is ecumenical as it is happening, but considers it ecumenical looking back on it. I am pretty sure this is the same way which the Catholic Church determines which statements by Popes are infallible before Papal Infallibility is to look at whether such teachings are still upheld by the Church and which are not. Obviously before the dogma was defined you wouldn't see Popes invoking their infallibility using ex cathedra wording, so determining what was infallible before the First Vatican Council would have to be done differently.

And we make no pretense of a magic formula of infallibility.
Okay.

Btw, the Vatican's authority once denounced NFP and non-consumated oral sex, but seems to have changed its mind, and Rome used to have married clergy and then changed on that too. If it goes back to the Apostolic practice of ordaining married men, it is going to be harder to explain now why they don't ordain women.
Again we are getting into the area of discipline versus doctrine or dogma. I won't comment on the Catholic Church's teaching on sexuality as I am sure there are other Catholics on here who are more knowledgeable on that topic than I am, but I do know that clerical celibacy is a discipline of the Western Church, not even the entire Catholic Church but just the Roman Rite. As such, it can and could change someday. I don't understand how allowing married clergy again could make it difficult for the Catholic Church to explain why it doesn't ordain women. There was a time when the clergy was allowed to be married, but there was never a time when women were ordained.
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« Reply #284 on: September 09, 2010, 02:25:27 PM »

Mary, please answer my question: why is holding onto this dogma (along with the dogmas on the Immaculate Conception and the filioque) so critical to the Roman Catholic Church when it is an obstacle to the unity of the Church? I just do not and cannot see this as a foundational issue, that is, critical to our relationship to the Triune God. I am willing to accept that Roman Catholics truly believe in these innovations. I just cannot fathom why they are so important for the Roman Catholic Church, so much so that they are perpetuating the schism from the One True Church.

That's very simple.  Your hierarchs are not demanding that of us.  

When they do, then you will have entered into full and formal schism, and you will be like the Anglicans who are not recognized as having Apostolic Succession.

Mary

You shock me dear Mary; you are already in schism with us. Yet, you believe that we are the schismatics? May be what I just wrote is too strong: you say that we would be (in the future) in full and formal schism. Does that mean that we are not now in such a state, that we are in a less than full and formal schism--like being a little pregnant?

The Catholic Church teaches that Orthodoxy has Apostolic Succession and is not in formal schism but is in material schism with the Catholic Church.   I am a Catholic.  I am sorry that is so shocking to you.

M.

I must apologize in turn for being shocked; I had no idea that y'all had come up with different varieties of schism. So, we are kind of the red haired step children for y'all?
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« Reply #285 on: September 09, 2010, 02:44:06 PM »

I of course applaud your honesty and strongly held beliefs. I certainly agree with you that Orthodox churches would not throw out a dogma simply for the sake of unity. However, there is a fundamental difference here: whereas we the Orthodox are preserving the dogmas of the whole, undivided Church, you are holding on to the dogmas that you only have added. If we threw out a dogma, in other words, it would also be your dogma.
Well, the fact of the matter is that I don't accept your premise that the Eastern Orthodox Church has preserved the entirety of the Apostolic Faith nor your premise that the Catholic Church has corrupted it.
As for your belief that the Lord Himself established the Papacy, I think that the time line is a bit off, don't you think? Show me anything in the Bible,  the Ecumenical Councils (accepted by the entire Church), indeed non-Roman sources during the first millennium that establish anything more than the primacy of the Bishop of Rome, as first among equals. Show me any Scriptural basis for elevating a bishop so that he ontologically becomes another kind of bishop, a super-bishop as the Catholic Church has in fact defined the Bishop of Rome.
First, I don't believe that the Pope is some kind of "Super Bishop". The Sacrament of Holy Orders bestowed on the Pope is no different from the Sacrament of Holy Orders received by any other bishop. However, as the Bishop of Rome and the Final successor of St. Peter (and I think perhaps the successor of St. Paul as well) he is the first among equals and, as such, is charged with specific responsibilities and is granted certain charisms and authorities to meet these responsibilities.
Second, I am convinced by the Scriptures, Tradition, and History, that the Papacy is a divinely established institution. However, I don't think that debating that is issue is what this thread is about. There are multiple threads covering this topic but if you would like to look further into it, there is an interesting debate on the matter between an EO and a Catholic here: http://www.americancatholictruthsociety.com/articles/primacy/
You know that there were doctrines of the Church that later were rejected, even though a huge majority of clergy and lat persons once followed the once-doctrine-but-now-heresy teachings. As a catholic (encompassing the whole Church) example, the teachings of Arius come to mind. In the East, the rejection of the false Union of the Council of Florence comes to mind. Look, it is indeed possible that y'all are wrong, isn't it so? In the case of the Orthodox Church, since we are still adhering to the First Seven Ecumenical Councils, we really cannot say that there was an error because (a) we look at the dogmatic pronouncements (as opposed to the canons) as being fences around the Holy Mysteries (defined not merely as the Sacraments but the ineffable truth about the Triune God) and (b) because we would not wish to be presumptuous as doing so would also impact you, as well as your derivatives.  
And, again, I don't agree with your premise. I believe that there are certain Apostolic teachings from which the EO Church has deviated, especially in the last few centuries.
I am not looking to make this  a "Let's debate which Church is the True Church" thread. We have plenty of those. What I am trying to express to you here is that the reason why Catholics like myself don't believe that we should dump certain doctrines for the sake of unity, is that we are intellectually convinced that these doctrines are Apostolic and, thus, non-negotiables.
Thank you for the continued charitable conversation. I have always found your posts to be fair and honest.

Thank you for your kind words. I have found you to be unfailingly eloquent, honest and knowledgeable. I suppose I don't have to add "But not right all of the time."  In any case, my premise was not that the Roman Catholic Church had necessarily corrupted our common dogmas (as defined by the Seven Ecumenical Councils). My premise was that we have been generally reticent to add to the dogmas of the undivided Church, whereas y'all unilaterally, thinking yourselves to be the totality of the Church, had added additional dogmas. Now, it is true that many Orthodox folks have been sorely tempted to follow your example. I am not one of those; I think that we can meet in a pan-Orthodox Council to address issues pertaining solely to the Eastern Orthodox Churches, to include the scope and practice of dialogue with our separated sister churches, but we cannot presume to do anything beyond that, particularly dogmatic definitions that would impact the essentials of faith. The way I see it the Roman Catholic Church is in a quandary: the additions that have been made either impact the essentials of faith or they are ancillary. If they are ancillary, they cannot be as important as an essential like unity of the Body. If they are essential, there are two potential problems with them: (1) they are not truly ecumenical but should be and/or (b) they may be impacting other essentials of faith in a negative way (such as the unity of the Body). Bottom line for this discussion must be the consideration of all aspects of this quandary. OTH, if one believes that the Roman Catholic Church does not have to concern herself with the legitimate positions of the Eastern Orthodox Churches, then why are we having this discussion in the first place?
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« Reply #286 on: September 09, 2010, 02:49:39 PM »

So it looks like Pope is infallible unless he makes a mistake. Such a dogma can be made for anyone.
Papal infallibility "only" applies when the Pope speaks Ex Cathedra. It's clear you just don't get it or you just want to hold onto silly polemical notions like some folks e.g. stashko
LOL. Can we nail you down for a definition of when he speaks ex cathedra?  Because it seems the Vatican has been evading giving the specifics.
I believe the wording the Pope uses when speaking ex cathedra starts out as "we declare, define, pronounce, and proclaim" or something similar.

Obviously that formula was not defined until Vatican I or shortly before. What you are talking about is when papal infallibility is invoked after the fact of its definition, not the constrictions of what might have constituted ex cathedra throughout Church history.

Father Ambrose always does far more telling than asking. [Pot, meet kettle!  laugh]  I wonder how he would fare in the Vatican standing up to the current fathers of the Catholic Church and offering them the aggressive interpretations that he offers here.  I expect the heart and mind of the Church would elicit a far more sober response set from the hermit from New Zealand...and in either Latin or Greek as the hermit might choose.


I would pray for assistance from Saint Mark of Ephesus who was treated by the big boys of the Vatican as a bit of a dolt.



I am sure that you would be graced.  I am equally sure that you would be somewhat constrained in your assertions by a number of factors, and would not be quite so readily able to assert and interpret at whim and will.

Mary
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« Reply #287 on: September 09, 2010, 02:49:39 PM »


It that is the case, then we take it that Otts' enumeration of infallible statements as being 40 may be accepted as standard.

Only if you are too legalistic in your thinking to probe any more deeply into meaning.  Then any number would suffice, I would think.

As I said Father Ott, and I will now include Father Denzinger, are two principle standard texts in systematics.  That does not mean that you can count in them, thumb through them,  or even read them, in any language,  without the oversight of the Church.

Mary
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« Reply #288 on: September 09, 2010, 02:49:39 PM »

I have seen claims to the effect that Paul VI's 1968 Encyclical Humanae Vitae and JPII's declaration against women priests were infallible.
Which would make sense because the Church has always opposed contraception and has never ordained women. However, I don't believe these statements were ever made ex cathedra.

What have you been taught?  How many infallible statements are there?   And even more important, *what* are they?
In the time I have been Catholic, I have been taught that there have been two ex cathedra pronouncements since the dogma of Papal Infallibility was defined: the dogmas of the Immaculate Conception and Assumption. As far as what was infallible before Papal Infallibility was formally defined I do not know, and it would likely be trickier to figure out because the ex cathedra wording would have likely not been used before then, or at least not explicitly. I think it is safe to say that those teachings of previous Popes which are still alive within the Catholic Church today are infallible. Anything that was taught only for a time and then fizzled out would be pious opinion.
lol. That's rather convenient, after the fact.
Isn't this the same way the Orthodox Church determines if a council is ecumenical?
no. What fizzled out is heresy. And when it fizzles out, it takes the heretics with it. They don't become part of the Church which spoke in Ecumenical Council.

Oh my!  I went through several years of discernment some time ago wanting to come into Orthodoxy but not knowing how to resolve the fact that I don't believe that there is anything at all heretical about the teachings in the Catholic Church.  I worked with a bishop in the Orthodox Church simply because I happened upon circumstance that allowed that...encouraged that.  And the reception of teaching in Orthodoxy is nothing so passive as having "heresy fizzle out"....or so I've been told.

But I suppose your doctrinal theology is as good as your history...so, I'll have to accept this as a sincere effort on your part.

M.
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« Reply #289 on: September 09, 2010, 02:49:39 PM »


I must apologize in turn for being shocked; I had no idea that y'all had come up with different varieties of schism. So, we are kind of the red haired step children for y'all?

No real need for apology.  I often presume levels of awareness that I should not, so I am the one who should offer...pardon my own insensitivity, please.

You know I don't think of the Orthodox faith or Orthodox Churches as any kind of "step-child," or lesser entities, or stunted faith.

In the first place, when the issue comes up at all, we, as Catholics,  are encouraged to see Orthodoxy as the Body of Christ, just as the Catholic Church is the Body of Christ.  We don't DO things precisely the same way, EXPRESS things precisely the same way, PROFESS things precisely the same way...We never did.

We are taught that none of the differences are sufficient to warrant a loss of communion.  Not even the fact that Orthodoxy has severed communion with the Church in Rome. 

I have experienced religious instruction in Orthodoxy with an eye to becoming Orthodox so I feel even more strongly that there is nothing lesser about the Orthodox Church. 

Just as with my own Church I do not agree with all her members.  I certainly do not agree with many Orthodox believer's assertions about Catholic teaching.   But that is just the way of it and I accept that fact, sometimes with some measure of grace and sometimes without!

The fact that Orthodox faithful see my faith as something much less however is abundantly apparent each day I continue to remain as close as I do.  Sometimes I think I am more of an idiot for caring than y'all do!!

Mary

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« Reply #290 on: September 09, 2010, 03:07:28 PM »

no. What fizzled out is heresy. And when it fizzles out, it takes the heretics with it. They don't become part of the Church which spoke in Ecumenical Council.
What I meant is doesn't the Orthodox Church determine whether a council is ecumenical after the fact, or does it immediately know if a council is ecumenical? I remember being told by someone on here that the Orthodox Church doesn't know whether a council is ecumenical as it is happening, but considers it ecumenical looking back on it.

The Orthodox accept the Council, and the heretics do not, and so the wheat is shifted from the chaff.

I am pretty sure this is the same way which the Catholic Church determines which statements by Popes are infallible before Papal Infallibility is to look at whether such teachings are still upheld by the Church and which are not. Obviously before the dogma was defined you wouldn't see Popes invoking their infallibility using ex cathedra wording, so determining what was infallible before the First Vatican Council would have to be done differently.

It doesn't seem to be so clear after 1870 either: I've seen conflicting opinions on Humanae Vitae.

But Pastor Aeternus and Lumen Gentium makes a claim of such a thing as ex cathedra, and that is determinative on what is infallible.  The tautology of "what is ex cathedra is what has stood the test of time" renders such a concept as meaningless as well as useless. Certainly not a dogma required for salvation.

And we make no pretense of a magic formula of infallibility.
Okay.

Btw, the Vatican's authority once denounced NFP and non-consumated oral sex, but seems to have changed its mind, and Rome used to have married clergy and then changed on that too. If it goes back to the Apostolic practice of ordaining married men, it is going to be harder to explain now why they don't ordain women.
Again we are getting into the area of discipline versus doctrine or dogma. I won't comment on the Catholic Church's teaching on sexuality as I am sure there are other Catholics on here who are more knowledgeable on that topic than I am,
LOL. The topic or the teaching?

but I do know that clerical celibacy is a discipline of the Western Church, not even the entire Catholic Church but just the Roman Rite.

No, it's been imposed everywhere the Vatican can get away with it.

As such, it can and could change someday.

Yes, the standard disclaimer before the explanation of why that will never happened.

I don't understand how allowing married clergy again could make it difficult for the Catholic Church to explain why it doesn't ordain women. There was a time when the clergy was allowed to be married, but there was never a time when women were ordained.
Because the Vatican's apologists have painted themselves into quite a corner on mandated celebacy, such that lifing it has the same effect the lifing of the long ban on the vernacular had on hte Novus Ordo.

The Vatican has taken to claim that the Apostolic practice in the East of married clergy is the innovation, and that originally no clergy were married/sexually active.  
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cclergy/documents/rc_con_cclergy_doc_01011993_chisto_en.html

It's going to get harder and harder to now back track without calling into question its authority on other aspects, i..e. ordaining women.
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« Reply #291 on: September 09, 2010, 03:11:54 PM »

I have seen claims to the effect that Paul VI's 1968 Encyclical Humanae Vitae and JPII's declaration against women priests were infallible.
Which would make sense because the Church has always opposed contraception and has never ordained women. However, I don't believe these statements were ever made ex cathedra.

What have you been taught?  How many infallible statements are there?   And even more important, *what* are they?
In the time I have been Catholic, I have been taught that there have been two ex cathedra pronouncements since the dogma of Papal Infallibility was defined: the dogmas of the Immaculate Conception and Assumption. As far as what was infallible before Papal Infallibility was formally defined I do not know, and it would likely be trickier to figure out because the ex cathedra wording would have likely not been used before then, or at least not explicitly. I think it is safe to say that those teachings of previous Popes which are still alive within the Catholic Church today are infallible. Anything that was taught only for a time and then fizzled out would be pious opinion.
lol. That's rather convenient, after the fact.
Isn't this the same way the Orthodox Church determines if a council is ecumenical?
no. What fizzled out is heresy. And when it fizzles out, it takes the heretics with it. They don't become part of the Church which spoke in Ecumenical Council.

Oh my!  I went through several years of discernment some time ago wanting to come into Orthodoxy but not knowing how to resolve the fact that I don't believe that there is anything at all heretical about the teachings in the Catholic Church.  I worked with a bishop in the Orthodox Church simply because I happened upon circumstance that allowed that...encouraged that.  And the reception of teaching in Orthodoxy is nothing so passive as having "heresy fizzle out"....or so I've been told.

But I suppose your doctrinal theology is as good as your history...so, I'll have to accept this as a sincere effort on your part.

M.
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« Reply #292 on: September 09, 2010, 03:22:43 PM »

What have you been taught?  How many infallible statements are there?   And even more important, *what* are they?
In the time I have been Catholic, I have been taught that there have been two ex cathedra pronouncements since the dogma of Papal Infallibility was defined: the dogmas of the Immaculate Conception and Assumption. As far as what was infallible before Papal Infallibility was formally defined I do not know, and it would likely be trickier to figure out because the ex cathedra wording would have likely not been used before then, or at least not explicitly. I think it is safe to say that those teachings of previous Popes which are still alive within the Catholic Church today are infallible. Anything that was taught only for a time and then fizzled out would be pious opinion.
I have seen claims to the effect that Paul VI's 1968 Encyclical Humanae Vitae and JPII's declaration against women priests were infallible.

This is one of the weirdest things about Catholic dogma.  Nobody, not even the Pope, seems sure what is and is not.   Theologians range themselves on one side and the other, claiming infallibility or denying infallibility for various papal teachings.

Heck, why don't the Popes make it clear when they issue their teachings?   And why don't subsequent Popes clarify if it is infallible or not, especially when the theologians and the priests and the faithful haven't a clue.

The man in the Vatican seems to cause a lot of dogmatic confusion.  What earthly use is infallibility when determining if a teaching is infallible seems to bit like spinning the wheel in a lottery. 


It is true that there is a discussion among Catholic theologians as to whether or not these two documents are infallible or not. Even if these two documents were not infallible, they are authoritative and binding for Catholics. To say that they are not infallible, would mean that they are subject to further consideration and development in the future. There are theologians, such as Hans Kung, who have taught that there should be a reconsideration of the doctrine of infallibility. See the book: Infallible? An Inquiry. In the nineteenth century, before the 1870 definition, two catechisms in use in Ireland explicitly denied the doctrine of Papal Infallibility.
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« Reply #293 on: September 09, 2010, 03:26:33 PM »


I must apologize in turn for being shocked; I had no idea that y'all had come up with different varieties of schism. So, we are kind of the red haired step children for y'all?

No real need for apology.  I often presume levels of awareness that I should not, so I am the one who should offer...pardon my own insensitivity, please.

You know I don't think of the Orthodox faith or Orthodox Churches as any kind of "step-child," or lesser entities, or stunted faith.

In the first place, when the issue comes up at all, we, as Catholics,  are encouraged to see Orthodoxy as the Body of Christ, just as the Catholic Church is the Body of Christ.  We don't DO things precisely the same way, EXPRESS things precisely the same way, PROFESS things precisely the same way...We never did.

We are taught that none of the differences are sufficient to warrant a loss of communion.  Not even the fact that Orthodoxy has severed communion with the Church in Rome. 

I have experienced religious instruction in Orthodoxy with an eye to becoming Orthodox so I feel even more strongly that there is nothing lesser about the Orthodox Church. 

Just as with my own Church I do not agree with all her members.  I certainly do not agree with many Orthodox believer's assertions about Catholic teaching.   But that is just the way of it and I accept that fact, sometimes with some measure of grace and sometimes without!

The fact that Orthodox faithful see my faith as something much less however is abundantly apparent each day I continue to remain as close as I do.  Sometimes I think I am more of an idiot for caring than y'all do!!

Mary



Dear Mary--Thank you for your gracious reply. I think you are a serious believer and that is all to the good. If, however, some folks denigrate your beliefs, this may be because they are pushing hard against your positions, perhaps just as hard as you seem to make them. Such is the fate of those of us who express ourselves forcefully (myself included, especially when I get my back up). In any case, another issue that may be affecting Orthodox-Catholic dialogues (aside from history), may the relative strength of Rome vis-a-vis the Orthodox Churches.
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« Reply #294 on: September 09, 2010, 04:09:35 PM »

I of course applaud your honesty and strongly held beliefs. I certainly agree with you that Orthodox churches would not throw out a dogma simply for the sake of unity. However, there is a fundamental difference here: whereas we the Orthodox are preserving the dogmas of the whole, undivided Church, you are holding on to the dogmas that you only have added. If we threw out a dogma, in other words, it would also be your dogma.
Well, the fact of the matter is that I don't accept your premise that the Eastern Orthodox Church has preserved the entirety of the Apostolic Faith nor your premise that the Catholic Church has corrupted it.
As for your belief that the Lord Himself established the Papacy, I think that the time line is a bit off, don't you think? Show me anything in the Bible,  the Ecumenical Councils (accepted by the entire Church), indeed non-Roman sources during the first millennium that establish anything more than the primacy of the Bishop of Rome, as first among equals. Show me any Scriptural basis for elevating a bishop so that he ontologically becomes another kind of bishop, a super-bishop as the Catholic Church has in fact defined the Bishop of Rome.
First, I don't believe that the Pope is some kind of "Super Bishop". The Sacrament of Holy Orders bestowed on the Pope is no different from the Sacrament of Holy Orders received by any other bishop. However, as the Bishop of Rome and the Final successor of St. Peter (and I think perhaps the successor of St. Paul as well) he is the first among equals and, as such, is charged with specific responsibilities and is granted certain charisms and authorities to meet these responsibilities.
Second, I am convinced by the Scriptures, Tradition, and History, that the Papacy is a divinely established institution. However, I don't think that debating that is issue is what this thread is about. There are multiple threads covering this topic but if you would like to look further into it, there is an interesting debate on the matter between an EO and a Catholic here: http://www.americancatholictruthsociety.com/articles/primacy/
You know that there were doctrines of the Church that later were rejected, even though a huge majority of clergy and lat persons once followed the once-doctrine-but-now-heresy teachings. As a catholic (encompassing the whole Church) example, the teachings of Arius come to mind. In the East, the rejection of the false Union of the Council of Florence comes to mind. Look, it is indeed possible that y'all are wrong, isn't it so? In the case of the Orthodox Church, since we are still adhering to the First Seven Ecumenical Councils, we really cannot say that there was an error because (a) we look at the dogmatic pronouncements (as opposed to the canons) as being fences around the Holy Mysteries (defined not merely as the Sacraments but the ineffable truth about the Triune God) and (b) because we would not wish to be presumptuous as doing so would also impact you, as well as your derivatives.  
And, again, I don't agree with your premise. I believe that there are certain Apostolic teachings from which the EO Church has deviated, especially in the last few centuries.
I am not looking to make this  a "Let's debate which Church is the True Church" thread. We have plenty of those. What I am trying to express to you here is that the reason why Catholics like myself don't believe that we should dump certain doctrines for the sake of unity, is that we are intellectually convinced that these doctrines are Apostolic and, thus, non-negotiables.
Thank you for the continued charitable conversation. I have always found your posts to be fair and honest.

Thank you for your kind words. I have found you to be unfailingly eloquent, honest and knowledgeable. I suppose I don't have to add "But not right all of the time."  In any case, my premise was not that the Roman Catholic Church had necessarily corrupted our common dogmas (as defined by the Seven Ecumenical Councils). My premise was that we have been generally reticent to add to the dogmas of the undivided Church, whereas y'all unilaterally, thinking yourselves to be the totality of the Church, had added additional dogmas. Now, it is true that many Orthodox folks have been sorely tempted to follow your example. I am not one of those; I think that we can meet in a pan-Orthodox Council to address issues pertaining solely to the Eastern Orthodox Churches, to include the scope and practice of dialogue with our separated sister churches, but we cannot presume to do anything beyond that, particularly dogmatic definitions that would impact the essentials of faith. The way I see it the Roman Catholic Church is in a quandary: the additions that have been made either impact the essentials of faith or they are ancillary. If they are ancillary, they cannot be as important as an essential like unity of the Body. If they are essential, there are two potential problems with them: (1) they are not truly ecumenical but should be and/or (b) they may be impacting other essentials of faith in a negative way (such as the unity of the Body). Bottom line for this discussion must be the consideration of all aspects of this quandary. OTH, if one believes that the Roman Catholic Church does not have to concern herself with the legitimate positions of the Eastern Orthodox Churches, then why are we having this discussion in the first place?
Second Chance,
Now I must thank you for your kind words as well. Indeed I see where you come to your conlusions. It seems to you and to others that in order for the Church to be truely  ecumenical, then the Catholic Church must be open to change. But, the Catholic Church sees itself as the Church established by Christ and, therefore, cannot change. So why have this conversation? I think its a matter of outreach, bringing the sheep back into the fold. I believe that we can discuss differences in theological emphasis without watering down the faith because the Byzantine Fathers are part of our heritage as well. We look at the different ways that particular Catholic dogmas have been expressed throughout histroy in order to see if there are certain expressions that are more compatible with the possibility of commuinion with EOs. This would be a way in which we could maitain the doctrines that we believe are true, and hope to reconcile with your church. Why would we want to do this? Well, becasue we love your guys and we want to be able to share the Eucharistic table with our brothers and sisters in Christ. I agree, unity is important. I also think that in order to find unity we need to determine what is essential to the faith, what is not essential and how theology can be expressed in a way that is compatible with both tradition without watering down the faith. Is this a difficult task? Indeed! I don't think that it can be accopmlished by human means, but rather, it will take the work of the Holy Spirit.
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« Reply #295 on: September 09, 2010, 04:33:49 PM »

I of course applaud your honesty and strongly held beliefs. I certainly agree with you that Orthodox churches would not throw out a dogma simply for the sake of unity. However, there is a fundamental difference here: whereas we the Orthodox are preserving the dogmas of the whole, undivided Church, you are holding on to the dogmas that you only have added. If we threw out a dogma, in other words, it would also be your dogma.
Well, the fact of the matter is that I don't accept your premise that the Eastern Orthodox Church has preserved the entirety of the Apostolic Faith nor your premise that the Catholic Church has corrupted it.
As for your belief that the Lord Himself established the Papacy, I think that the time line is a bit off, don't you think? Show me anything in the Bible,  the Ecumenical Councils (accepted by the entire Church), indeed non-Roman sources during the first millennium that establish anything more than the primacy of the Bishop of Rome, as first among equals. Show me any Scriptural basis for elevating a bishop so that he ontologically becomes another kind of bishop, a super-bishop as the Catholic Church has in fact defined the Bishop of Rome.
First, I don't believe that the Pope is some kind of "Super Bishop". The Sacrament of Holy Orders bestowed on the Pope is no different from the Sacrament of Holy Orders received by any other bishop. However, as the Bishop of Rome and the Final successor of St. Peter (and I think perhaps the successor of St. Paul as well) he is the first among equals and, as such, is charged with specific responsibilities and is granted certain charisms and authorities to meet these responsibilities.
Second, I am convinced by the Scriptures, Tradition, and History, that the Papacy is a divinely established institution. However, I don't think that debating that is issue is what this thread is about. There are multiple threads covering this topic but if you would like to look further into it, there is an interesting debate on the matter between an EO and a Catholic here: http://www.americancatholictruthsociety.com/articles/primacy/
You know that there were doctrines of the Church that later were rejected, even though a huge majority of clergy and lat persons once followed the once-doctrine-but-now-heresy teachings. As a catholic (encompassing the whole Church) example, the teachings of Arius come to mind. In the East, the rejection of the false Union of the Council of Florence comes to mind. Look, it is indeed possible that y'all are wrong, isn't it so? In the case of the Orthodox Church, since we are still adhering to the First Seven Ecumenical Councils, we really cannot say that there was an error because (a) we look at the dogmatic pronouncements (as opposed to the canons) as being fences around the Holy Mysteries (defined not merely as the Sacraments but the ineffable truth about the Triune God) and (b) because we would not wish to be presumptuous as doing so would also impact you, as well as your derivatives.  
And, again, I don't agree with your premise. I believe that there are certain Apostolic teachings from which the EO Church has deviated, especially in the last few centuries.
I am not looking to make this  a "Let's debate which Church is the True Church" thread. We have plenty of those. What I am trying to express to you here is that the reason why Catholics like myself don't believe that we should dump certain doctrines for the sake of unity, is that we are intellectually convinced that these doctrines are Apostolic and, thus, non-negotiables.
Thank you for the continued charitable conversation. I have always found your posts to be fair and honest.

Thank you for your kind words. I have found you to be unfailingly eloquent, honest and knowledgeable. I suppose I don't have to add "But not right all of the time."  In any case, my premise was not that the Roman Catholic Church had necessarily corrupted our common dogmas (as defined by the Seven Ecumenical Councils). My premise was that we have been generally reticent to add to the dogmas of the undivided Church, whereas y'all unilaterally, thinking yourselves to be the totality of the Church, had added additional dogmas. Now, it is true that many Orthodox folks have been sorely tempted to follow your example. I am not one of those; I think that we can meet in a pan-Orthodox Council to address issues pertaining solely to the Eastern Orthodox Churches, to include the scope and practice of dialogue with our separated sister churches, but we cannot presume to do anything beyond that, particularly dogmatic definitions that would impact the essentials of faith. The way I see it the Roman Catholic Church is in a quandary: the additions that have been made either impact the essentials of faith or they are ancillary. If they are ancillary, they cannot be as important as an essential like unity of the Body. If they are essential, there are two potential problems with them: (1) they are not truly ecumenical but should be and/or (b) they may be impacting other essentials of faith in a negative way (such as the unity of the Body). Bottom line for this discussion must be the consideration of all aspects of this quandary. OTH, if one believes that the Roman Catholic Church does not have to concern herself with the legitimate positions of the Eastern Orthodox Churches, then why are we having this discussion in the first place?
Second Chance,
Now I must thank you for your kind words as well. Indeed I see where you come to your conlusions. It seems to you and to others that in order for the Church to be truely  ecumenical, then the Catholic Church must be open to change. But, the Catholic Church sees itself as the Church established by Christ and, therefore, cannot change. So why have this conversation? I think its a matter of outreach, bringing the sheep back into the fold. I believe that we can discuss differences in theological emphasis without watering down the faith because the Byzantine Fathers are part of our heritage as well. We look at the different ways that particular Catholic dogmas have been expressed throughout histroy in order to see if there are certain expressions that are more compatible with the possibility of commuinion with EOs. This would be a way in which we could maitain the doctrines that we believe are true, and hope to reconcile with your church. Why would we want to do this? Well, becasue we love your guys and we want to be able to share the Eucharistic table with our brothers and sisters in Christ. I agree, unity is important. I also think that in order to find unity we need to determine what is essential to the faith, what is not essential and how theology can be expressed in a way that is compatible with both tradition without watering down the faith. Is this a difficult task? Indeed! I don't think that it can be accopmlished by human means, but rather, it will take the work of the Holy Spirit.
I would take a slightly different line than Papist on this, since I think that the Catholic Church can and has changed to some extent. Take for example, the teaching that women should wear headcovering in Church, or  the Inquisition and subsequent torture and execution of heretics, or the teaching on slavery, or the teaching on charging interest on loans. 
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« Reply #296 on: September 09, 2010, 04:37:08 PM »

It doesn't seem to be so clear after 1870 either: I've seen conflicting opinions on Humanae Vitae.
It was my understanding that Humanae Vitae is infallible in that it upholds the traditional Catholic teaching on human sexuality. However, it was also my understanding that the teachings of Humanae Vitae are infallible because it is reaffirming a clear and constant teaching of the Magisterium of the Church, not because the Pope proclaimed it ex cathedra.

No, it's been imposed everywhere the Vatican can get away with it.
You make it sound like a punishment. I admire and greatly respect those who are able to be celibate. It is a gift which not many have. Most cannot become a eunuch for the Kingdom of Heaven.

Because the Vatican's apologists have painted themselves into quite a corner on mandated celebacy, such that lifing it has the same effect the lifing of the long ban on the vernacular had on hte Novus Ordo.

The Vatican has taken to claim that the Apostolic practice in the East of married clergy is the innovation, and that originally no clergy were married/sexually active.  
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cclergy/documents/rc_con_cclergy_doc_01011993_chisto_en.html

It's going to get harder and harder to now back track without calling into question its authority on other aspects, i..e. ordaining women.
The Catholic Church does not see itself as having the authority to ordain women and thus undo something Christ did when He ordained twelve male apostles. Whether those males who are successors to the Apostles are able to marry or not is a disciplinary decision. Also, I don't understand what you find so scandalous about that link you posted from the Vatican web site. In the very first paragraph it admits that the Bishops and Presbyters of the Early Church and after that for a time were married. That doesn't sound to me like the Vatican is backtracking and trying to put forth a revisionist theory that the clergy was always celibate as you seem to think the Vatican is doing.
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« Reply #297 on: September 09, 2010, 04:48:02 PM »

It doesn't seem to be so clear after 1870 either: I've seen conflicting opinions on Humanae Vitae.
It was my understanding that Humanae Vitae is infallible in that it upholds the traditional Catholic teaching on human sexuality. However, it was also my understanding that the teachings of Humanae Vitae are infallible because it is reaffirming a clear and constant teaching of the Magisterium of the Church, not because the Pope proclaimed it ex cathedra.
I think that Father Francis A. Sullivan has raised some questions on whether or not this was infallible. See: Fr. Francis Sullivan, S.J., : Magisterium: Teaching Authority in the Catholic Church, Dublin, Gill & Macmillan, 1983, pp. 143ff.
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« Reply #298 on: September 09, 2010, 05:47:18 PM »

It doesn't seem to be so clear after 1870 either: I've seen conflicting opinions on Humanae Vitae.
It was my understanding that Humanae Vitae is infallible in that it upholds the traditional Catholic teaching on human sexuality.

If by "traditional Catholic teaching" you mean St. Jerome et alia, no, it does not.  They make no distinction whatsoever between ABC and NFP: the married exist to breed for the monasteries. That is why HV is devoid of patristics. Neither it, nor its apologists it seems, have found any to support its contention that "being open to life" is determinative.

However, it was also my understanding that the teachings of Humanae Vitae are infallible because it is reaffirming a clear and constant teaching of the Magisterium of the Church, not because the Pope proclaimed it ex cathedra.
Then we don't need a supreme pontiff speaking ex cathedra then.

No, it's been imposed everywhere the Vatican can get away with it.
You make it sound like a punishment.
How it has been done, an affliction.

I admire and greatly respect those who are able to be celibate. It is a gift which not many have. Most cannot become a eunuch for the Kingdom of Heaven.

Then what do you say of extracting from those who do not have the gift?  It's like a tax collecting squeezing blood from a rock.

Because the Vatican's apologists have painted themselves into quite a corner on mandated celebacy, such that lifing it has the same effect the lifing of the long ban on the vernacular had on hte Novus Ordo.

The Vatican has taken to claim that the Apostolic practice in the East of married clergy is the innovation, and that originally no clergy were married/sexually active.  
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cclergy/documents/rc_con_cclergy_doc_01011993_chisto_en.html

It's going to get harder and harder to now back track without calling into question its authority on other aspects, i..e. ordaining women.
The Catholic Church does not see itself as having the authority to ordain women and thus undo something Christ did when He ordained twelve male apostles. Whether those males who are successors to the Apostles are able to marry or not is a disciplinary decision.

Your friends St. Jerome et alia and their modern disciples see it differently, and openly display their abhorence for the idea of a man having touched a woman offering the sacrifice of the altar. St. Jerome, for instance, states "the blood of martyrdom does not wash away matrimony" as if it was filth one needed to be cleasned of.

Also, I don't understand what you find so scandalous about that link you posted from the Vatican web site. In the very first paragraph it admits that the Bishops and Presbyters of the Early Church and after that for a time were married.

You're not reading closely:
Quote
It is clear from the New Testament (Mk 1:29-31; Mt 8:14-15; Lk 4:38-39; 1 Tim 3:2, 12; Tit 1:6) that at least the Apostle Peter had been married, and that bishops, presbyters and deacons of the Primitive Church were often family men. It is also clear from epigraphy, the testimony of the Fathers, synodal legislation, papal decretals and other sources that in the following centuries, a married clergy, in greater or lesser numbers was a normal feature of the life of the Church. Even married popes are known to us.1 And yet, paradoxically, one has to desist, when faced with this incontrovertible fact, from assuming that this necessarily excluded the co-existence of an obligatory celibacy discipline.

That doesn't sound to me like the Vatican is backtracking and trying to put forth a revisionist theory that the clergy was always celibate as you seem to think the Vatican is doing.

Quote
Eusebius of Caesarea, a prominent bishop at the Council of Nicaea, writes in the Demonstratio Evangelica, I, 9 (3 15-325): «It is fitting, according to Scripture, ‘that a bishop be the husband of an only wife’. But this being understood, it behoves consecrated men, and those who are at the service of God’s cult, to abstain thereafter from conjugal intercourse with their wives.» St Jerome, who had a good knowledge of the Eastern Churches, writes to the priest Vigilantius (406): «What would the Eastern Churches do? What would (those of) Egypt and the Apostolic See do, they who never accept clerics unless they are virgins or continent men, or if they had had a wife, (accept them only) if they give up matrimonial life...» (Adversus Vigilantium, 2).

The canon from the Synod of Carthage (390) which is quoted had declared perpetual continence (...continentes esse in omnibus) to be «what the apostles taught and what antiquity itself has observed». Here it is presented as saying the same of ‘temporary’ continence. The Trullan Synod is regarded in the East as part of the Sixth Ecumenical Council (681-2), thus having supreme legislative authority. It has since remained the definitive statement on clerical marriage. Rome, on the other hand, immediately objected to the canons which were against Western discipline and to this day has not accepted them as belonging to the ecumenical heritage.51


One scriptural quotation notable for its absence in the early texts is the Matthean logion: «eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom» (Mt 19:12), which is never directly applied to priests. This omission suggests an attitude that priestly continence was not to be considered a voluntary perfection of the priestly state, but rather to be an intrinsic characteristic. Pope Siricius (385) called its relation to priesthood ‘indissoluble’54 Subsequent Western canonical tradition, by its refusal to mitigate the law, seems to have displayed a similar conviction.
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« Reply #299 on: September 09, 2010, 06:39:36 PM »


Dear Mary--Thank you for your gracious reply. I think you are a serious believer and that is all to the good. If, however, some folks denigrate your beliefs, this may be because they are pushing hard against your positions, perhaps just as hard as you seem to make them. Such is the fate of those of us who express ourselves forcefully (myself included, especially when I get my back up). In any case, another issue that may be affecting Orthodox-Catholic dialogues (aside from history), may the relative strength of Rome vis-a-vis the Orthodox Churches.

Thank you! 

I think that you have introduced something here that is most cogent to any discussion of resumption of communion.  I think that size and centralized authority is of utmost concern.  Sometimes that concern is over done but in other instances there is insufficient concern or attention paid.  I think that in the hoopla over the "excesses" of papal primacy and infallibility, outsiders tend to miss the fact that the bishops in the Roman rite are a law unto themselves...quite literally above the law and that is codified in the canons.  What is seen from the outside as a pyramidal structure actually conceals the fact that each bishop has absolute power in his see.   To me this is the far greater threat than the papacy.  But that is real.  So much that gets talked about outside of the lived context and canonical interpretation of the Church is simply fantasy, which of course is easy to combat when the stakes are nil, and becomes a rhetorical contest rather than anything approximating sincere and real dialogue.

I tend to watch and listen to my own very carefully and I know that there are Catholic bishops who are not in the least bit interested in the eastern Churches.  To them they are nationalist ghetto churches with delusions of adequacy in terms of doctrinal expression, and a substandard liturgy that is all frills and froth and clerical grandstanding.  They are no longer in any kind of majority in the Roman rite but there was a time when I think that there were many more of them than today.  That is of great concern to me.  Should be to others.

M.
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« Reply #300 on: September 09, 2010, 07:10:31 PM »

We are taught that none of the differences are sufficient to warrant a loss of communion.  Not even the fact that Orthodoxy has severed communion with the Church in Rome. 

Can you expand on that further?  I thought that certain differences are indeed roadblocks.  Are you saying that certain dogmas like Papal Infallibility need not separate us, that it might not be an essential faith for all Apostolic Christians to believe in?
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« Reply #301 on: September 09, 2010, 11:19:26 PM »

Debated or "that which is not agreed on".

Again, that is not how the 400's were. When there was apparent disagreement on a matter of doctrine, they battled it out.

Orthodoxy has also developed the idea of receptionism where the ecumenical council then must be received (not rejected) by the body of the church.

Ok...............

What is the relevance of that statement?
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« Reply #302 on: September 09, 2010, 11:31:36 PM »

If by "traditional Catholic teaching" you mean St. Jerome et alia, no, it does not.  They make no distinction whatsoever between ABC and NFP: the married exist to breed for the monasteries. That is why HV is devoid of patristics. Neither it, nor its apologists it seems, have found any to support its contention that "being open to life" is determinative.
And here is where we reach the point where we must just go our separate ways and agree upon the irreconcilable differences between our Churches. Catholicism believes that doctrine develops and is clarified and Orthodoxy believes it is stagnant.

Then we don't need a supreme pontiff speaking ex cathedra then.
Just because ex cathedra is not the sole way the Church receives her teachings doesn't mean it is never needed.

How it has been done, an affliction.
You are free to hold that opinion, although no one in the Latin Church is forcing men to become priests. They know the huge sacrifice they have to make, and still make it. Now there is the speculative aspect of this discussion about whether the discipline will be lifted in the Latin Church to help solve the priest shortage crisis, and that I do not know. I do know that whether it happens or not will not matter to me. I will support the Church either way.

Then what do you say of extracting from those who do not have the gift?  It's like a tax collecting squeezing blood from a rock.
Why is celibacy in the western branch of the Catholic Church such a pet peeve for you?

Your friends St. Jerome et alia and their modern disciples see it differently, and openly display their abhorence for the idea of a man having touched a woman offering the sacrifice of the altar. St. Jerome, for instance, states "the blood of martyrdom does not wash away matrimony" as if it was filth one needed to be cleasned of.
That sounds like a snippet of something taken out of context to me, but as far as celibacy being the higher path...St. Paul seems to agree....

"For I would that all men were even as myself: but every one hath his proper gift from God; one after this manner, and another after that. But I say to the unmarried, and to the widows: It is good for them if they so continue, even as I." -1 Corinthians 7:7-8

...so does Christ:

"For there are eunuchs, who were born so from their mother's womb: and there are eunuchs, who were made so by men: and there are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. He that can take, let him take it." -St. Matthew 19:12

You're not reading closely:
Quote
It is clear from the New Testament (Mk 1:29-31; Mt 8:14-15; Lk 4:38-39; 1 Tim 3:2, 12; Tit 1:6) that at least the Apostle Peter had been married, and that bishops, presbyters and deacons of the Primitive Church were often family men. It is also clear from epigraphy, the testimony of the Fathers, synodal legislation, papal decretals and other sources that in the following centuries, a married clergy, in greater or lesser numbers was a normal feature of the life of the Church. Even married popes are known to us.1 And yet, paradoxically, one has to desist, when faced with this incontrovertible fact, from assuming that this necessarily excluded the co-existence of an obligatory celibacy discipline.
All this sounds like it is saying is that one cannot prove that celibacy did not exist, or rather co-exist, with a married priesthood in the Early Church. It is irrelevant though since the Church, by her God given authority to bind and loose, can impose the discipline if she wishes, just as she can remove the discipline if she wishes.
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« Reply #303 on: September 09, 2010, 11:40:01 PM »

St. Jerome was a notable curmudgeon and stated that the primary purpose of marriage was to produce virgins!  Cheesy 

Yet his best friends were a married couple who became saints (sorry I can't remember their names offhand - she was Prisca?? I think?) so maybe his bark was worse than his bite. Wink
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« Reply #304 on: September 09, 2010, 11:42:55 PM »

(P.S. Jerome's married friends were Paula and Eustochium.)
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« Reply #305 on: September 10, 2010, 12:03:09 AM »

(P.S. Jerome's married friends were Paula and Eustochium.)
Were they married to each other?
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« Reply #306 on: September 10, 2010, 12:27:48 AM »


Catholicism believes that doctrine develops and is clarified and Orthodoxy believes it is stagnant.


Dear Wyatt,

Does this mean that when Catholic doctrine reaches a satisfactory level of development and clarification it then starts to stagnate??!  Or is it imperative that Catholic doctrine never stops developing?  That's a curious idea!!!

I do not know where you have studied Orthodoxy but you have been misinformed by someone.  The words of our holy father Saint Vincent of Lerins are the perfect expression of the Orthodox approach to doctrine and its clarification, to ecumenical councils,. etc....

But the Church of Christ, the careful and watchful guardian of the doctrines deposited in her charge, never changes anything in them, never diminishes, never adds, does not cut off what is necessary, does not add what is superfluous, does not lose her own, does not appropriate what is another's, but while dealing faithfully and judiciously with ancient doctrine, keeps this one object carefully in view,--if there be anything which antiquity has left shapeless and rudimentary, to fashion and polish it, if anything already reduced to shape and developed, to consolidate and strengthen it, if any already ratified and defined to keep and guard it.

Finally, what other object have Councils ever aimed at in their decrees, than to provide that what was before believed in simplicity should in future be believed intelligently, that what was before preached coldly should in future be preached earnestly, that what was before practised negligently should thenceforward be practised with double solicitude? This, I say, is what the Catholic Church, roused by the novelties of heretics, has accomplished by the decrees of her Councils,--this, and nothing else,--she has thenceforward consigned to posterity in writing what she had received from those of olden times only by tradition, comprising a great amount of matter in a few words, and often, for the better understanding, designating an old article of the faith by the characteristic of a new name.


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« Reply #307 on: September 10, 2010, 12:40:29 AM »

We are taught that none of the differences are sufficient to warrant a loss of communion.  Not even the fact that Orthodoxy has severed communion with the Church in Rome. 

Can you expand on that further?  I thought that certain differences are indeed roadblocks.  Are you saying that certain dogmas like Papal Infallibility need not separate us, that it might not be an essential faith for all Apostolic Christians to believe in?

No.  I can't explain it further.  It is what it is.  I am taught not to look at Orthodoxy as anything but a true sister Church.  If that offends, I apologize.

M.
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« Reply #308 on: September 10, 2010, 12:40:29 AM »

We are taught that none of the differences are sufficient to warrant a loss of communion.  Not even the fact that Orthodoxy has severed communion with the Church in Rome. 

Can you expand on that further?  I thought that certain differences are indeed roadblocks.  Are you saying that certain dogmas like Papal Infallibility need not separate us, that it might not be an essential faith for all Apostolic Christians to believe in?

I will say this much:  I think that our theologians and hiearachs and historians, Orthodox and Catholic, are quite capable of putting together a teaching concerning both primacy and infallibility that will be acceptably orthodox with language that is clear and which does not detract from any existing Catholic dogmatic constitutions.

Having said that one then waits for the slop buckets to being to fall.

I however will be asleep and won't hear the splash.

M.
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« Reply #309 on: September 10, 2010, 12:40:29 AM »

And here is where we reach the point where we must just go our separate ways and agree upon the irreconcilable differences between our Churches. Catholicism believes that doctrine develops and is clarified and Orthodoxy believes it is stagnant.

That was a pretty lame way of phrasing it.  Undecided
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« Reply #310 on: September 10, 2010, 01:51:49 AM »

  I think that our theologians and hiearachs and historians, Orthodox and Catholic, are quite capable of putting together a teaching concerning both primacy and infallibility that will be acceptably orthodox with language that is clear and which does not detract from any existing Catholic dogmatic constitutions.
I agree that something like this is theoretically possible as I have indicated above. But I don't see it happening because both sides have to want it to happen.
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« Reply #311 on: September 10, 2010, 03:41:37 AM »

We are taught that none of the differences are sufficient to warrant a loss of communion.  Not even the fact that Orthodoxy has severed communion with the Church in Rome. 

Can you expand on that further?  I thought that certain differences are indeed roadblocks.  Are you saying that certain dogmas like Papal Infallibility need not separate us, that it might not be an essential faith for all Apostolic Christians to believe in?

I will say this much:  I think that our theologians and hiearachs and historians, Orthodox and Catholic, are quite capable of putting together a teaching concerning both primacy and infallibility that will be acceptably orthodox with language that is clear and which does not detract from any existing Catholic dogmatic constitutions."

Having said that one then waits for the slop buckets to being to fall.

I however will be asleep and won't hear the splash.


One slop bucket has already fallen but you have not noticed..  A Catholic on the forum has said that Orthodoxy is stagnant and therefore presumably incapable of "putting together a teaching concerning both primacy and infallibility that will be acceptably orthodox with language that is clear and which does not detract from any existing Catholic dogmatic constitutions.
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« Reply #312 on: September 10, 2010, 06:18:50 AM »

If by "traditional Catholic teaching" you mean St. Jerome et alia, no, it does not.  They make no distinction whatsoever between ABC and NFP: the married exist to breed for the monasteries. That is why HV is devoid of patristics. Neither it, nor its apologists it seems, have found any to support its contention that "being open to life" is determinative.
And here is where we reach the point where we must just go our separate ways and agree upon the irreconcilable differences between our Churches. Catholicism believes that doctrine develops and is clarified

You mean deformed: every novelty the Vatican has introduced has muddled things, and clarified nothing. The filioque is a perfect example, each "clarification" in its, as every innovation's, defense further painting you into a corner.

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and Orthodoxy believes it is stagnant.

You shall not add to the word that I speak to you, neither shall you take away from it: keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you. Deut. 4:2

For I testify to every one that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book: If any man shall add to these things, God shall add unto him the plagues written in this book. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from these things that are written in this book. Rev. 22:18-9

You of course, to do whatever you like, "But if it seem evil to you to serve the Lord, you have your choice: choose this day that which pleaseth you, whom you would rather serve, but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15.

If it's not broke, don't fix it.  One would think that Vatican II would teach one all he needs to know about change for the sake of change and dogmatic pronouncements that are not needed.

Then we don't need a supreme pontiff speaking ex cathedra then.
Just because ex cathedra is not the sole way the Church receives her teachings doesn't mean it is never needed.

Name an instance that it was needed, and was exercised.

How it has been done, an affliction.
You are free to hold that opinion, although no one in the Latin Church is forcing men to become priests.

No, it is forcing men to deny their vocation, while accepting men which landed it into all the scandals and law suits.

They know the huge unnecessarysacrifice they have to make,

fixed that for you.

and still make it.

Many do, others don't. The drop in vocations and the scandals show that from two different angles.

Now there is the speculative aspect of this discussion about whether the discipline will be lifted in the Latin Church to help solve the priest shortage crisis, and that I do not know. I do know that whether it happens or not will not matter to me. I will support the Church either way.

Then what do you say of extracting from those who do not have the gift?  It's like a tax collecting squeezing blood from a rock.
Why is celibacy in the western branch of the Catholic Church such a pet peeve for you?

The denigration of marriage that the Vatican depends on to uphold such a teaching in preference to the teaching and dogma of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.  This sanctimony is often combined with that of anullment Corban.

Your friends St. Jerome et alia and their modern disciples see it differently, and openly display their abhorence for the idea of a man having touched a woman offering the sacrifice of the altar. St. Jerome, for instance, states "the blood of martyrdom does not wash away matrimony" as if it was filth one needed to be cleasned of.
That sounds like a snippet of something taken out of context to me,

Because of its inconvenience?

but as far as celibacy being the higher path...St. Paul seems to agree....

Doesn't seem so "Marriage honourable in all, and the bed undefiled." Heb. 13:4. As for your friend Jerome, take his context:
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Coming to the Gospel he sets before us Zacharias and Elizabeth, Peter and his mother-in-law, and, with a shamelessness to which we have now grown accustomed, fails to understand that they, too, ought to have been reckoned among those who served the Law. For the Gospel had no being before the crucifixion of Christ— it was consecrated by His passion and by His blood. In accordance with this rule Peter and the other Apostles (I must give Jovinianus something now and then out of my abundance) had indeed wives, but those which they had taken before they knew the Gospel. But once they were received into the Apostolate, they forsook the offices of marriage. For when Peter, representing the Apostles, says to the Lord: Matthew 19:27 Lo we have left all and followed you, the Lord answered him, Luke 18:29-30 Verily I say unto you, there is no man that has left house or wife, or brethren, or parents, or children for the kingdom of God's sake, who shall not receive manifold more in this time, and in the world to come eternal life. But if, in order to show that all the Apostles had wives, he meets us with the words Have we no right to lead about women or wives (for γυνή in Greek has both meanings) even as the rest of the apostles, and Cephas, and the brethren of the Lord? let him add what is found in the Greek copies, Have we no right to lead about women that are sisters, or wives? This makes it clear that the writer referred to other holy women, who, in accordance with Jewish custom, ministered to their teachers of their substance, as we read was the practice with even our Lord himself. Where there is a previous reference to eating and drinking, and the outlay of money, and mention is afterwards made of women that are sisters, it is quite clear, as we have said, that we must understand, not wives, but those women who ministered of their substance. And we read the same account in the Old Testament of the Shunammite who was wont to welcome Elisha, and to put for him a table, and bread, and a candlestick, and the rest. At all events if we take γυναίκας to mean wives, not women, the addition of the word sisters destroys the effect of the word wives, and shows that they were related in spirit, not by wedlock. Nevertheless, with the exception of the Apostle Peter, it is not openly stated that the Apostles had wives; and since the statement is made of one while nothing is said about the rest, we must understand that those of whom Scripture gives no such description had no wives. Yet Jovinianus, who has arrayed against us Zacharias and Elizabeth, Peter and his wife's mother, should know, that John was the son of Zacharias and Elizabeth, that is, a virgin was the offspring of marriage, the Gospel of the law, chastity of matrimony; so that by a virgin prophet the virgin Lord might be both announced and baptized. But we might say concerning Peter, that he had a mother-in-law when he believed, and no longer had a wife, although in the Sentences we read of both his wife and daughter. But for the present our argument must be based wholly on Scripture. He has made his appeal to the Apostles, because he thinks that they, who hold the chief authority in our moral system and are the typical Christian teachers, were not virgins. If, then, we allow that they were not virgins (and, with the exception of Peter, the point cannot be proved), yet I must tell him that it is to the Apostles that the words of Isaiah relate: Isaiah 1:9 Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, we should have been like Gomorrha. So, then, they who were by birth Jews could not under the Gospel recover the virginity which they had lost in Judaism. And yet John, one of the disciples, who is related to have been the youngest of the Apostles, and who was a virgin when he embraced Christianity, remained a virgin, and on that account was more beloved by our Lord, and lay upon the breast of Jesus. And what Peter, who had had a wife, did not dare ask, John 13:25 he requested John to ask. And after the resurrection, when Mary Magdalene told them that the Lord had risen, John 20:4 they both ran to the sepulchre, but John outran Peter. And when they were fishing in the ship on the lake of Gennesaret, Jesus stood upon the shore, and the Apostles knew not who it was they saw; the virgin alone recognized a virgin, and said to Peter, It is the Lord. Again, after hearing the prediction that he must be bound by another, and led whither he would not, and must suffer on the cross, Peter said, Lord what shall this man do? being unwilling to desert John, with whom he had always been united. Our Lord said to him, What is that to you if I wish him so to be? Whence the saying went abroad among the brethren that that disciple should not die. Here we have a proof that virginity does not die, and that the defilement of marriage is not washed away by the blood of martyrdom, but virginity abides with Christ, and its sleep is not death but a passing to another state. If, however, Jovinianus should obstinately contend that John was not a virgin, (whereas we have maintained that his virginity was the cause of the special love our Lord bore to him), let him explain, if he was not a virgin, why it was that he was loved more than the other Apostles. But you say, Matthew 16:18 the Church was founded upon Peter: although elsewhere the same is attributed to all the Apostles, and they all receive the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and the strength of the Church depends upon them all alike, yet one among the twelve is chosen so that when a head has been appointed, there may be no occasion for schism. But why was not John chosen, who was a virgin? Deference was paid to age, because Peter was the elder: one who was a youth, I may say almost a boy, could not be set over men of advanced age; and a good master who was bound to remove every occasion of strife among his disciples, and who had said to them, John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, and, He that is the greater among you, let him be the least of all, would not be thought to afford cause of envy against the youth whom he had loved. We maybe sure that John was then a boy because ecclesiastical history most clearly proves that he lived to the reign of Trajan, that is, he fell asleep in the sixty-eighth year after our Lord's passion, as I have briefly noted in my treatise on Illustrious Men. Peter is an Apostle, and John is an Apostle— the one a married man, the other a virgin; but Peter is an Apostle only, John is both an Apostle and an Evangelist, and a prophet. An Apostle, because he wrote to the Churches as a master; an Evangelist, because he composed a Gospel, a thing which no other of the Apostles, excepting Matthew, did; a prophet, for he saw in the island of Patmos, to which he had been banished by the Emperor Domitian as a martyr for the Lord, an Apocalypse containing the boundless mysteries of the future. Tertullian, more over, relates that he was sent to Rome, and that having been plunged into a jar of boiling oil he came out fresher and more active than when he went in. But his very Gospel is widely different from the rest. Matthew as though he were writing of a man begins thus: The book of the Generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham; Luke begins with the priesthood of Zacharias; Mark with a prophecy of the prophets Malachi and Isaiah. The first has the face of a man, on account of the genealogical table; the second, the face of a calf, on account of the priesthood; the third, the face of a lion, on account of the voice of one crying in the desert, Isaiah 40:3 Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight. But John like an eagle soars aloft, and reaches the Father Himself, and says, John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God, and so on. The virgin writer expounded mysteries which the married could not, and to briefly sum up all and show how great was the privilege of John, or rather of virginity in John, the Virgin Mother John 19:26-27 was entrusted by the Virgin Lord to the Virgin disciple.

And this is quite tame to other things he says in praise to damn marriage.

"For I would that all men were even as myself: but every one hath his proper gift from God; one after this manner, and another after that. But I say to the unmarried, and to the widows: It is good for them if they so continue, even as I." -1 Corinthians 7:7-8

...so does Christ:

"For there are eunuchs, who were born so from their mother's womb: and there are eunuchs, who were made so by men: and there are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. He that can take, let him take it." -St. Matthew 19:12

 4 Who answering, said to them: Have ye not read, that he who made man from the beginning, Made them male and female? And he said: 5 For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh. 6 Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. 10 His disciples say unto him: If the case of a man with his wife be so, it is not expedient to marry.

Seems your friend St. Jerome didn't think much of that, not only desperately by "argument" trying to void the Apostles' marriages, but praising the idea that they abandoned their wives.  Christ does not exempt Himself from "let no man," he tells St. Paul otherwise " But to them that are married, not I but the Lord commandeth, that the wife depart not from her husband. 11 And if she depart, that she remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband. And let not the husband put away his wife. Let every man abide in the same calling in which he was called.  Art thou bound to a wife? seek not to be loosed" I Cor. 7:10-1, 20, 27.

Seems Christ had other thoughts than St. Jerome on this matter.  Matthew 16:23 The Vatican's essay, as I quoted, shows that the Church didn't see any relevance of Mat. 19:12 on this issue. But in the spirit of St. Jerome, rather than the Spirit of Christ, tries to be inventive to get around that inconvenient fact.

You're not reading closely:
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It is clear from the New Testament (Mk 1:29-31; Mt 8:14-15; Lk 4:38-39; 1 Tim 3:2, 12; Tit 1:6) that at least the Apostle Peter had been married, and that bishops, presbyters and deacons of the Primitive Church were often family men. It is also clear from epigraphy, the testimony of the Fathers, synodal legislation, papal decretals and other sources that in the following centuries, a married clergy, in greater or lesser numbers was a normal feature of the life of the Church. Even married popes are known to us.1 And yet, paradoxically, one has to desist, when faced with this incontrovertible fact, from assuming that this necessarily excluded the co-existence of an obligatory celibacy discipline.
All this sounds like it is saying is that one cannot prove that celibacy did not exist, or rather co-exist, with a married priesthood in the Early Church. It is irrelevant though since the Church, by her God given authority to bind and loose, can impose the discipline if she wishes, just as she can remove the discipline if she wishes.
You're not reading closer: he is not claiming that celibacy co-exsted with a married priesthood, but within the married priesthood. "Perfect continence": I have to admit I find that phrase particularly dopey.

And the Church has spoken: as St. Paphnouti said at the First Ecumenical Council, we are not free to impose a burden the Apostles did not.
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« Reply #313 on: September 10, 2010, 09:29:01 AM »

Paula and Eustochium were mother and daughter
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« Reply #314 on: September 10, 2010, 12:02:27 PM »

Does this mean that when Catholic doctrine reaches a satisfactory level of development and clarification it then starts to stagnate??!  Or is it imperative that Catholic doctrine never stops developing?  That's a curious idea!!!
I can see that I inadvertently stirred up hostility when I used the word "stagnant," which I would like to retract and apologize for because it carries a negative connotation that I did not intend when I said it. What would be better terminology perhaps would be dynamic versus static. Of course, just because the Catholic Church believes in development of doctrine doesn't mean that it just changes stuff willy-nilly. This is a misconception that most Protestants and, unfortunately, a fair number of Orthodox believe about the Catholic Church which just isn't true. I would assert that the Orthodox Church believes in development of doctrine as well or else it would reject all Ecumenical Councils and simply follow what the Early Church believed. If we truly had the fullest understanding of the truth from the very beginning then Christ would not have sent the Holy Spirit to the Church. The Church would need no guidance if all truth was fully understood from the beginning.

As I have mentioned in the past, I would have a very hard time believing that the doctrine of the Holy Trinity was exactly the same pre-Nicea as it was and is post-Nicea. Indeed, groups like the Oneness Pentecostals reject the notion of God as a Trinity simply because it wasn't explicitly defined prior to 325 A.D. They, too, believe that we "invented" a doctrine when in actuality all the Church did was clarify and develop the understanding of a truth that already exists.

So, coming back to the Holy Spirit, what does the Orthodox Church believe the purpose of the Holy Spirit is since all truth, according to you, is already fully received and we cannot reach a deeper understand of truth? If the truth existed in full clarity from the beginning and need not develop, why hold Councils? I have heard people on here poke fun at Papal Infallibility because of the fact that they think 1870 is pretty late to define dogma, yet if we truly had the fullness of truth as well as the fullest understanding of truth from the beginning with Christ and the Apostles, there would be no necessity for the Holy Spirit or for Ecumenical Councils.

I do not know where you have studied Orthodoxy but you have been misinformed by someone.  The words of our holy father Saint Vincent of Lerins are the perfect expression of the Orthodox approach to doctrine and its clarification, to ecumenical councils,. etc....
Admittedly, my knowledge of Orthodoxy is somewhat limited. I have a friend who recently became Eastern Orthodox and have talked to him some and I also have read a lot on this forum, but that is about the extent of it.
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