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Author Topic: Would the Pope Be Infallible If He Became Orthodox?  (Read 20917 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #315 on: September 10, 2010, 12:30:24 PM »


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.

This is a really difficult charge to answer for EOs. If you read the second century Fathers, they certainly did not have as developed an understanding of the Trinity as is presented in the Council of Nicea.
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« Reply #316 on: September 10, 2010, 01:12:05 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.
Define willy-nilly.
Quote
This is a misconception that most Protestants and, unfortunately, a fair number of Orthodox believe about the Catholic Church which just isn't true.
Its record says otherwise.
Quote
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.
She does simply follow what the Early Church believed, which is why she held the Ecumenical councils. We have covered this ground before:
The Orthodox Church does not have the Roman Catholic concept of the development of doctrine.
So Nicaea wasn't a development? You believe that the understanding of the Trinity was as developed before Nicaea as it was after? If so, what was the purpose of Nicaea in the first place? I'm really having a difficult time understanding what the Orthodox think the purpose of an Ecumenical Council is if our understanding of teachings doesn't develop over time. After all, even the earliest Ecumenical Council took place around 300 years after Christ. Isn't that pretty late in the game for any teachings to be pronounced if you believe everything was taught once and for all by Christ and the Apostles?
Still haven't read the post?
I think you mean sewn up. Look at my post above, about the antibodies.

Op cit. Viz supra. The inability of the Vatican to see clearly on the issue is a very large part of its problem.
If you mean that the Church is a stagnant organization that has no use for the Holy Spirit because everything has already been revealed and needs no further clarification, of course the Vatican isn't going to "see" that because that notion is false.
Didn't read my post above, did you?

Now I look like my baby picture, despite I'm taller, weight more, right now have a 5 o'clock (actually more) shadow. That's development.

I also have a cross tattoo on my wrist which you will search in vain for on my baby pictures.  You call that developement but its not quite that: no matter how old I got, that tattoo wasn't going to appear until I had them apply it with the needle.

My best friend has four kidnies, from two kidney transplants. Not quite development there either.  He looks like his baby picture, though, too.

I have my doubts about those who have a "sex change," that they resemble their baby picture in specific ways, but I concede that their faces are probably the same.  You would have to get plastic surgery to change that, like Michael Jackosn.

I remember when he married Miss Presley, someone said they would believe it when she had a baby that looked like he used to look. Not like this:


But that's the problem: ya'll at the Vatican can't make a distinction between growing and radical plastic surgery, because it's all change=development.  So you appropriate it as a license to attribute the most outlandish things to the "deposit of Faith."

I'm going to repost something long (yeah, I know, suprise) but may not have the time to comment more.  I originally argued this against Sola Scriptura for the only source of the Faith.  I'll adapt it to the OP.

An example of what happens when Sola Scriptura runs against Apostolic Tradition:
Joshua Joshua 22:10 And when they came to the region about the Jordan, that lies in the land of Canaan, the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manas'seh built there an altar by the Jordan, an altar of great size. 11 And the people of Israel heard say, "Behold, the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manas'seh have built an altar at the frontier of the land of Canaan, in the region about the Jordan, on the side that belongs to the people of Israel." 12 And when the people of Israel heard of it, the whole assembly of the people of Israel gathered at Shiloh, to make war against them. 13 Then the people of Israel sent to the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manas'seh, in the land of Gilead, Phin'ehas the son of Elea'zar the priest, 14 and with him ten chiefs, one from each of the tribal families of Israel, every one of them the head of a family among the clans of Israel. 15 And they came to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manas'seh, in the land of Gilead, and they said to them, 16 "Thus says the whole congregation of the LORD, 'What is this treachery which you have committed against the God of Israel in turning away this day from following the LORD, by building yourselves an altar this day in rebellion against the LORD? 17 Have we not had enough of the sin at Pe'or from which even yet we have not cleansed ourselves, and for which there came a plague upon the congregation of the LORD, 18 that you must turn away this day from following the LORD? And if you rebel against the LORD today he will be angry with the whole congregation of Israel tomorrow. 19 But now, if your land is unclean, pass over into the LORD's land where the LORD's tabernacle stands, and take for yourselves a possession among us; only do not rebel against the LORD, or make us as rebels by building yourselves an altar other than the altar of the LORD our God. 20 Did not Achan the son of Zerah break faith in the matter of the devoted things, and wrath fell upon all the congregation of Israel? And he did not perish alone for his iniquity.'"

21 Then the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manas'seh said in answer to the heads of the families of Israel, 22 "The Mighty One, God, the LORD! The Mighty One, God, the LORD! He knows; and let Israel itself know! If it was in rebellion or in breach of faith toward the LORD, spare us not today 23 for building an altar to turn away from following the LORD; or if we did so to offer burnt offerings or cereal offerings or peace offerings on it, may the LORD himself take vengeance. 24 Nay, but we did it from fear that in time to come your children might say to our children, 'What have you to do with the LORD, the God of Israel ? 25 For the LORD has made the Jordan a boundary between us and you, you Reubenites and Gadites; you have no portion in the LORD.' So your children might make our children cease to worship the LORD. 26 Therefore we said, 'Let us now build an altar, not for burnt offering, nor for sacrifice, 27 but to be a witness between us and you, and between the generations after us, that we do perform the service of the LORD in his presence with our burnt offerings and sacrifices and peace offerings; lest your children say to our children in time to come, "You have no portion in the LORD."' 28 And we thought, If this should be said to us or to our descendants in time to come, we should say, 'Behold the copy of the altar of the LORD, which our fathers made, not for burnt offerings, nor for sacrifice, but to be a witness between us and you.' 29 Far be it from us that we should rebel against the LORD, and turn away this day from following the LORD by building an altar for burnt offering, cereal offering, or sacrifice, other than the altar of the LORD our God that stands before his tabernacle!"

30 When Phin'ehas the priest and the chiefs of the congregation, the heads of the families of Israel who were with him, heard the words that the Reubenites and the Gadites and the Manas'sites spoke, it pleased them well. 31 And Phin'ehas the son of Elea'zar the priest said to the Reubenites and the Gadites and the Manas'sites, "Today we know that the LORD is in the midst of us, because you have not committed this treachery against the LORD; now you have saved the people of Israel from the hand of the LORD." 32 Then Phin'ehas the son of Elea'zar the priest, and the chiefs, returned from the Reubenites and the Gadites in the land of Gilead to the land of Canaan, to the people of Israel, and brought back word to them. 33 And the report pleased the people of Israel; and the people of Israel blessed God and spoke no more of making war against them, to destroy the land where the Reubenites and the Gadites were settled. 34 The Reubenites and the Gadites called the altar Witness; "For," said they, "it is a witness between us that the LORD is God."

Now, note the following:

The Sola Scriptura folks were quite correct: the Law given to Moses had restricted sacrifices to one altar before the one Tabernacle. Btw, the tribes living on the East of the Jordan was a deviation from what God had commanded, revealed in His Word, and to which the Prophet Moses objected (Numbers 32, especially verses 6-15). Sort of like the innovation of the monarchy (I Kingdoms/Samuel 8, esp. verses 6-7), but we go a Messiah out of that (I Chronicles 17). Yet it is those who add Tradition to the mix who save Israel that day, as the chiefs of the Assembly/Congregation (we would say "Church") of Israel admit.

However, the Sola Scriptura first accuse the Eastern tribes of rebelling against God's Word, setting something that they see in addition to, and hence in opposition to (in their mind) in order to supplant God's Word, and replacing the Word of God with the traditions of men. And their solution? Just stick to the text and cross over to us.

The Eastern tribes had the foresight to see that, people being people, and sin being sin, that the Books of Moses were not going to suffice to stop Israel from sin. Those on the West Bank would focus on the literal promises to Abraham (which said nothing of the East Bank) and would interpret it in a manner which suited their sense of sensibilities: the Promised Land should fit our idea of the Land of Canaan (sort of like the idea of eating Body and Blood). Acting on this, they would exclude the Easterners, leading them to sin.

So the solution? Set up an interpretation of the letter of the law that preserved an indisputable indication of its spirit. And this they did.

A Melkite priest gave the best one word definition of Chrsitianity: witness.

Now, the problem most Protestants have with Tradition is the idea that the Church which set it up has tried to suppliment, and hence oppose, in order to supplant, Scripture.

We do not believe in, say, the Real Presense because St. Ignatius of Antioch, whom the Aposles ordained themselves as successor of St. Peter in the place where the disciples were first called Christians, writes in c. 105:
Let no man deceive himself. Both the things which are in heaven, and the glorious angels, and rulers, both visible and invisible, if they believe not in the blood of Christ, shall, in consequence, incur condemnation. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it. Let not [high] place puff any one up: for that which is worth all is faith and love, to which nothing is to be preferred. But consider those who are of a different opinion with respect to the grace of Christ which has come unto us, how opposed they are to the will of God. They have no regard for love; no care for the widow, or the orphan, or the oppressed; of the bond, or of the free; of the hungry, or of the thirsty. They abstain from the Eucharist and from the prayer, because they will not confess that the Eucharist is the self same flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again. Those, therefore, who speak against this gift of God, incur death in the midst of their disputes. But it were better for them to treat it with respect, that they also might rise again. It is fitting, therefore, that you should keep aloof from such persons, and not to speak of them either in private or in public, but to give heed to the prophets, and above all, to the Gospel, in which the passion [of Christ] has been revealed to us, and the resurrection has been fully proved. But avoid all divisions, as the beginning of evils. See that you all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as you would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate a love-feast; but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid.

we believe in the Real Presence because He said, "This is My Body," "This is My Blood." Rising, He appeared and was known to the Apostles in the breakding of the bread that first Pascha (Luke 24:13-36 NOT btw, in His opening of the scriptures, though that did make their heart burn). Those who continued steadfast in the Apostles' doctrines communed in the breaking of bread in the prayers of the DL every Sunday from the Resurrection until June 7, 2009 (Acts 2:42, 20:7), which we received, delievered to us by the Apostles from the Lord (I Cor. 11:23. btw. when these words were written, the Church had been gathering on the first day of the week to break bread (Acts 20:7) for over two decades).

Now, the Aposles weren't doing this because of the verses quoted. Rather the verses were written to record what the Apostles did, what they were doing, believing, teaching, whether by word or letter (I Thess. 2:15) so those who followed could stand fast and hold these traditions, and withdraw (I Thes. 3:6) from those who refused to walk according to the traditions which they delievered and which we received.

St. Ignatius stood fast and held that tradition, and did not neglect that gift that was given him by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the Apostles, guarding what was committed to him. (I Tim. 4:14, 6:20) St. Ignatius set in order bishops in every city as the Aposltes commanded, to hold fast the faithful word as it had been taught, by word or letter, to both exhort and convict by sound doctrine those of a different opinion (heresia) who contradicted, and refused to walk according to that tradition. (cf. Titus 1:5-9). As the letters show, strong in the grace of Christ Jesus, he was committing these traditions he heard by word from the Apostles to the Faithful to teach others. (2 Tim. 2:1-2), that the Catholic Church continue in breaking the bread, the communion of the self same Body of Christ (I Cor. 10:16).

We do not believe in the Real Presence because St. Ignatius says so: he received the same Faith we received, and he stands as a Witness that God has erected between the Apostles and us, as a sign post as to whether we walk according to the Tradition of the Apostles or not. "Lo! I am with you always (Greek: "all the days") even unto the end of the age." Those were His parting words. And so He has: rather than standing gazing, the Church has raised up witnessses to that same Faith, who stand as witnesses between us and the Apostles. We have not abandoned the Bible for the Fathers (and Mothers!). Rather surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, we are able to point to the Witness, like the Eastern Tribes to the altar on the Jordan, to show that we are right in our interpretation of Scripture, including the Words of Institution (themselves written in the Gospels to reflect Church practice). Every generation, we can document, from the Apostles to this day, those who, if they lived in our day, would come to OUR Church and commune with us (of course, closed communion is part of that Apostolic Tradition). Their Faith is our Faith, and that is the value of their words, not that they replace the Bible. Rather they preserve the full import of the Bible.

Tradition is giving our ancestors, our Fathers, the ones who passed down the Faith and copied and preserved the Bible, a vote.

Catechesis means "echo," and Christ's Word has roared throughout the generations through Apostolic Tradition.

As our priest says, if you come up with an interpretation of Scripture that no one else has, be cautious and ask yourself if you are wrong. If it contradicts what has gone before, YOU ARE DEFINITELY WRONG.

How to interpret Acts 8:31? The believers of sola scriptura cannot tell us. They have no one to guide them.
Title of the thread confused the Consensus Patrum as a Source of Faith: the Consensus does not provide the Source of Faith, it reflects it.

There is only one soure of the Faith, Christ.  How that one source is transmitted, and how its transmition is verified, is what is at issue.

The Faith is transitted in the Holy Mysteries: as the Fathers say, Christ has passed into the Holy Mysteries, the signs of Christ's life within His Body, the Church.  When the Church acts as the Body of Christ, as a Body, in unity with her Head, then she speaks infallibly.  That is why the assent of the Faithful is needed, for instance, for the Ecumenicity of a Council.

There is, for no instance, no objective criteria on which to base the canon of the Bible.  Authorship by an Apostle does not determine the canon of the NT: St. Luke, strictly speaking, is not an Apostle-he does not include himself in the company of eyewitness and ministers of the Word from the beginning (Luke 1:2, cf. Acts 1:21-2). Yet there is no question of it being in the Orthodox canon.  St. Clement's first epistle (I'll leave aside the question of the second) which was reckoned as Scripture: after Clement received his doctrine directly from the Apostles, and not as an eyewitness of Christ, the same way  St. Luke received his doctrine.  Clement's epistles are approved by the Apostolic Canons (85), but yet St. Luke is canonized and St. Clement is not.  If an archaeologist dug up St. Paul's missing Epistles or when they dug up the Gospels that record Acts 20:35, or the Jesus seminar could prove that St. Thomas wrote the Gospel named after him, none were or would be accepted into the canon.  The Church has spoken.  Many Fathers and Churches deemed Reveltion spurious, but the Church accepted it into the canon, and even if textual criticism would able to prove that St. John did not write it, it would remain in the canon as the Church has received it as an expression of her Faith in the return of her Bridegroom.

And that is why the Bible is canonized: it is not that the Church collected documents that the Apostles wrote.  Rather, they looked at what the Faithful had produced in the bosom of the Church, recognized herself in it, and adopted it as her self revelation.  Sort of like when parents see themselves in their children, and leave them as their legacy.  The Bible is not like the America Constitution, which brought a new government into order which is derived from that constition: it is like the Canadian Constitution, which merely codifies the system of government in place.  When St. Paul refers to Christ's life, he is not teaching history. He is appealing to an audience who already knows His life. Case in point: St. Paul's account of the Mystical Supper predates all the Gospels' accounts of it.  But he is not telling the Corinthians nothing that they do not already know (I Corin. 11:23)  In fact the ongoing Great Canon of the DL helped shape the Gospels' account.

That is why Sola Scriptura doesn't work: it is like owning the manuel, but not owning the car.

St. Theophan deals with the issue of why we say prayers written by the saints.  It is not because they are a replacement for Scripture nor for our own words.  But as we do not know how to pray as we ought, we look to those who did.  The saints we know (because they have been glorified, and their words consecrated by the usage of the Church) had reached the stage where the Holy Spirit spoke within them at prayer.  In that state, they composed in human language their thoughts in that state.  Using these words as guideposts, we are trying to follow them into the state where the Holy Spirit gives utterance to our prayers.  As the lesson of the Samaritan woman shows: the Samaritans came because of what she told them, but they reached a point at which they believed from knowing Him for themselves (John 4:43).

So too the Liturgy: the Church gathered as the Body of Christ so that He made be in their midst have put that experience into words.  The Church as a whole has adopted the Liturgy as the public expression of that experience, hence the appeal of liturgical texts for dogma: lex credendi, lex orandi.  But in that order: we do not believe that Christ is in the Eucharist because the DL says so, rather because we believe so, and experience Him in the Eucharist, that the DL so says.

So too the Dogmatic Definitions of the Ecumenical Councils.  The Faith cannot be added too.  No development of doctrine, if it was not in the Apostles' preaching it cannot be in the Dogma of the Church.  When heresy infected the Body of Christ, the Body of Christ, as a Body, mustered its antibodies, the Fathers and developed an immunity, the Dogmatic Definitions, to the heresy.  They did not add to the Faith: as the body already has the antibody proteins but only puts them to work to form a defense against the foreign pathogen, so too the Fathers only erect from pre-existing materials a boundary marker which the Orthodox may not move.  The Fathers confessed the same Faith, but in different words to ensure it remained the same Faith.  The expression of Faith changes only so that the Faith can remain the same, something litrugists should keep in mind.

The iconography writes an icon only when he follows the canon the Church has laid down for the visual expression of her Faith. Otherwise he is a forger and a counterfeiter (like our deluded friend Lentz).  The icon is the expression of the Church, not personal agendas, and just like a counterfeiter tries to make his money look real but it has no value, so too the icongrapher who oversteps the Church's bounds.  That is why we appeal to the icons when we are asked about what we believe, because they are backed by the full Faith and Credit of the Church.

No Church Father is infallible: only Christ is infallible, and the Church's infallibility flows from her being His Body.  But that flows only when she acts as a Body, like in Ecumenical Council.  Any individual member cannot act infallibility, so why the claim of the alleged "visible head" to speak infallibly cannot be accepted.  So too, no one should expect every word of an individual Father to be infallible.  It is only in as much as they reflect the common Faith, between us and them and lived in the Church now, that they constitute the Consensus Patrum.  What they served, as I pointed out in my OP, as a witness between us and heretics, so when they claim that the Real Presence is an innovation, that we point to St. Ignatius etc.: they witenss to the Faith as we witness to the Faith.

Which is the point of my OP to the OP: merely extended Sola Scriptura to included Ecumenical Councils and certain Fathers misses the point.  These are not the source of Faith: they are witnesses, like the altar on the Jordan, to make sure we have kept the Faith.


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.
It was delievered once and for all to the saints.  The Apostles taught us all we need to know. Prying into mysteries we, who have Faith, do not need to do isn't development.  It's asking for trouble, the kind that necessitate Ecumenical Councils.

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.

The Eternal and All Holy Trinity was exactly the same: if Arius had Faith in Him, Nicea would not have been necessary.

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.

And they weren't there to object. We were. So Arius, but his folllowing died out.  Some people refuse to learn from the mistakes of others.

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.

No, just restated the Faith in affirming it in the face of novelties.

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?

He is Who is.  He doesn't need a purpose to justify His existence. And we do not need to dissect His working in us.

If the truth existed in full clarity from the beginning and need not develop, why hold Councils?

Because some people do not trust the Spirit, lack Faith, and start trying to fit God into their understanding, and have to be slapped up side their head.


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.

No, we would still have to depend on the Holy Spirit, the Giver of Life.  The idlely curious make Ecumenical Councils necessary.

If ex cathedra had the fullness of truth, it would have made all the councils superfluous (which is now why the Vatican reinterprets Ecumenical council in the light, or rather darkness, of Pastor Aeternas.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2010, 01:34:41 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #317 on: September 10, 2010, 01:18:49 PM »

Sorry for my error, St Eustochium was indeed the daughter of St Paula.  Since she did take a vow of virginity, I believe St Jerome's comment ("marriage is primarily good for producing virgins") was in reference to her.

Thanks for the correction, Mary.
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« Reply #318 on: September 10, 2010, 01:29:04 PM »


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.

This is a really difficult charge to answer for EOs. If you read the second century Fathers, they certainly did not have as developed an understanding of the Trinity as is presented in the Council of Nicea.
Au contraire, quite easy. See above.
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29681.msg470990.html#msg470990
I remember being told by the Unitarians how the understanding of every bishop at Nicea was not as developed as the "understanding" of theology of the average seminarian today. "Yes," I admitted. "That's why the Fathers got it right at Nicea."

Isn't reform, "development?" Why not the perpetual "reformation" of Protestantism, Ecclesia semper reformanda est?  Didn't you prove that at Vatican II?  Why not Modernism? It gave birth to devleopment of doctrine? After all  "Lamentabili Sane Exitu" isn't infallible, was "Pascendi dominici gregis" issued ex cathedra? Why not continuous revelation? The Church's understanding did not have as developed an understanding of the Trinity as is presented by Origin, but she was ready when Joseph Smith Jr. came.  These are really difficult charges for the Vatican to answer.
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« Reply #319 on: September 10, 2010, 01:31:58 PM »

Sorry for my error, St Eustochium was indeed the daughter of St Paula.  Since she did take a vow of virginity, I believe St Jerome's comment ("marriage is primarily good for producing virgins") was in reference to her.

Thanks for the correction, Mary.
LOL. I hope you are refering to St. Eustochium and not St. Paula.

He said he praised marriage because it gave him virgins, here and elsewhere.  The letter to St. Eustochium is not so misogynist, but very mianthropic IIRC. Makes one appreciate St. Augustine's level head.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2010, 01:32:37 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #320 on: September 10, 2010, 03:41:36 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.

To give you an idea of where I am coming from, Metropolitan Kallistos (among others) have influenced my thinking regarding the differences between Rome and the other sister churches. In The Orthodox Church, he strained to be as even as he could but he could not overcome the historical developments. You may have read this book, as well as other books by Father Schmemann, et al, who posit differing approaches to ecclesiology and theology, that could be complementary but instead accentuated the differences. Take the schism that the Latins call the Photian one, while the Greeks called the Schism of Pope Nicolas. Forget about anything that followed, to me this exemplifies the schism. On the one hand, you have one church (Rome) trying to rule over the entire universe, and on the other hand you have a Patriarch who is bravely resisting this unprecedented and unjustified power grab by the Pope Nicolas. Metropolitan Kallistos cites the seminal work by the RC theologian F. Dvornik, who acknowledges that Nicolas was in the wrong (although Saint Photius comes under criticism for having pushed back too hard).  (I hope I correctly related these events from my reading. If not, my apologies and I welcome corrections). My point is that the personal ambitions of one man (Nicolas) accentuated the differences to such a degree that the eventual schism became inevitable. One could bring in the ambitions of Charlemagne as well as the arrogance of the Eastern Empire in regarding the non-Greeks as barbarians. Both sides committed errors in judgment but the biggest problem was the inordinate power that accrued to the Papacy. The development of such a super-bishop was simply wrong and no amount of rationalization can justify it. Unlike you, I am not dismayed by the powers held by a diocesan bishop because of the traditional approach to ecclesiology (the Ignatian model and Apostolic Canon 34).
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« Reply #321 on: September 10, 2010, 04:23:33 PM »

Define willy-nilly.

It's not like the Pope just wakes up one morning and decides to declare ex cathedra that Jesus is not the Son of God and didn't die on the cross. I know that is an extreme example, but there are more than a few Protestants and some Orthodox that seem to think this is what infallibility and development of doctrine means or what it would allow to happen.

It was delievered once and for all to the saints.  The Apostles taught us all we need to know. Prying into mysteries we, who have Faith, do not need to do isn't development.  It's asking for trouble, the kind that necessitate Ecumenical Councils.

Show me a pre-Nicea quote from an Apostle or Early Church Father which reads with the same level of detail and clarity as both the Nicene documents and writing on the Trinity post-Nicea. I bet you won't find it.

The Eternal and All Holy Trinity was exactly the same: if Arius had Faith in Him, Nicea would not have been necessary.

This is a red herring. I wasn't saying that the Holy Trinity didn't exist before Nicea. I said the Christian understanding of the Trinity prior to Nicea was not nearly as developed as after Nicea.

And they weren't there to object. We were. So Arius, but his folllowing died out.  Some people refuse to learn from the mistakes of others.

Before Nicea there was confusion as to the nature of God. During the First Council of Nicea, the Holy Spirit guided the bishops of the Church to develop and codify a correct understanding of God as a Trinity of Persons.

No, just restated the Faith in affirming it in the face of novelties.

So what Ante-Nicene Fathers referred to the Son as consubstantial to the Father and spoke with such precision as after Nicea? If Nicea was simply a restatement we should be able to look before Nicea and find the same level of clarity. Does it exist?

He is Who is.  He doesn't need a purpose to justify His existence. And we do not need to dissect His working in us.

He doesn't need to, but He did. Christ told us the Holy Spirit would be sent to lead us into truth. "Lead" indicates a process or journey, not simply having a perfect understanding of truth from the very beginning and simply restating it at Councils.

Because some people do not trust the Spirit, lack Faith, and start trying to fit God into their understanding, and have to be slapped up side their head.

And because sometimes a teaching is vague and needs to be developed in order for us humans to understand what the Spirit is teaching.

No, we would still have to depend on the Holy Spirit, the Giver of Life.  The idlely curious make Ecumenical Councils necessary.

The movement and working of the Holy Spirit within the Church make Ecumenical Councils a nature occurrence.

If ex cathedra had the fullness of truth, it would have made all the councils superfluous (which is now why the Vatican reinterprets Ecumenical council in the light, or rather darkness, of Pastor Aeternas.

Not really, Councils are still the ordinary means in which the Catholic Church defines, defends, and upholds truth. There have been far more Councils than ex cathedra statements.
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« Reply #322 on: September 10, 2010, 05:17:12 PM »

Sorry for my error, St Eustochium was indeed the daughter of St Paula.  Since she did take a vow of virginity, I believe St Jerome's comment ("marriage is primarily good for producing virgins") was in reference to her.

Thanks for the correction, Mary.

Welcome.  I chuckled when I read your note and hesitated to say anything, but then I figured you were a big girl and could handle the facts of the matter!!  Smiley   Eustochium is not my idea of the most feminine name in the world, but they must have been wonderful women to have been able to tame the lion Jerome!!  I've always been intrigued by them which is why knew about them...that and I think it is a Catholic school thing  laugh

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« Reply #323 on: September 10, 2010, 05:37:15 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.

That is pretty much how the Orthodox Church in America got it's start. Ukrainians (I believe) built a nice Church and got a married Priest to come to the USA to serve. When he reported to the Catholic Bishop in Chicago, he was turned away with statements like "We don't need your kind of Priest here" (Married) and if they need a Priest they can always go to the Polish Priest.

He then decided to report to the Russian Bishop in San Francisco and the OCA was off and running. Thousands switched.
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« Reply #324 on: September 10, 2010, 05:52:44 PM »

Define willy-nilly.

It's not like the Pope just wakes up one morning and decides to declare ex cathedra that Jesus is not the Son of God and didn't die on the cross. I know that is an extreme example, but there are more than a few Protestants and some Orthodox that seem to think this is what infallibility and development of doctrine means or what it would allow to happen.
What if he wakes up after a week? A month? A year? A century? Several centuries?

It is said that 1204 is when the schism became real for Constantinople.  Would the Vatican tried that in 1054? Maybe, maybe not.  But that's irrelevant.  It matters not how slowly the weed of history grows, putting down roots.  No matter how long the roots, they must be uprooted.  Heresy cannot be grafted on the true tree. Rome tried doing in Antioch in the 4th century what it did in Constantinople in 1204.  Even if Ultramontanism has roots 8 centuries long, it is still heresy, and needs to be uprooted, lest the Faithful eat tares  instead of wheat.

It was delievered once and for all to the saints.  The Apostles taught us all we need to know. Prying into mysteries we, who have Faith, do not need to do isn't development.  It's asking for trouble, the kind that necessitate Ecumenical Councils.

Show me a pre-Nicea quote from an Apostle or Early Church Father which reads with the same level of detail and clarity as both the Nicene documents and writing on the Trinity post-Nicea.

You talk as if that is a bad thing.  I'm sure the average seminary textbook goes into more detail than the early Fathers. Thats why the seminaries produce atheists and the Fathers conquered Caesar.

I bet you won't find it.

Sure I won't. Between persecusion and the Faith refined by fire, most heresies died out without a trace.  It took the Edict of Toleration for busybodies to delve into theology, not having anything better to do and no disincentive to learn better.

The Eternal and All Holy Trinity was exactly the same: if Arius had Faith in Him, Nicea would not have been necessary.

This is a red herring. I wasn't saying that the Holy Trinity didn't exist before Nicea. I said the Christian understanding of the Trinity prior to Nicea was not nearly as developed as after Nicea.

Same thing.  We quantitatively didn't know any more before Nicea on the Holy Trinity than we knew afterwards, except we had fancier terms and even fancier heretics throwing them around.

And they weren't there to object. We were. So Arius, but his folllowing died out.  Some people refuse to learn from the mistakes of others.

Before Nicea there was confusion as to the nature of God. During the First Council of Nicea, the Holy Spirit guided the bishops of the Church to develop and codify a correct understanding of God as a Trinity of Persons.

We knew that before.  The Early Christians knew (conoscre) Father, Son and Holy Spirit since Pentecost.  But pinheads, not satisfied with that, had to know (scire) the Holy Trinity, something beyond human ability. So lines had to be drawn on the roadside for those drifting off the road.  Those saying on the straight and narrow had no need, before or after.  The deacon St. Athanasius, for instance, had no need of the term homoousios.

No, just restated the Faith in affirming it in the face of novelties.

So what Ante-Nicene Fathers referred to the Son as consubstantial to the Father and spoke with such precision as after Nicea? If Nicea was simply a restatement we should be able to look before Nicea and find the same level of clarity. Does it exist?

Was it needed?

He is Who is.  He doesn't need a purpose to justify His existence. And we do not need to dissect His working in us.

He doesn't need to, but He did. Christ told us the Holy Spirit would be sent to lead us into truth. "Lead" indicates a process or journey, not simply having a perfect understanding of truth from the very beginning and simply restating it at Councils.

I didn't say a thing about understanding, perfect or otherwise.  We need to live perfect Faith, not satisfy idle curiosity.

Because some people do not trust the Spirit, lack Faith, and start trying to fit God into their understanding, and have to be slapped up side their head.

And because sometimes a teaching is vague and needs to be developed in order for us humans to understand what the Spirit is teaching.

No. Preaching Christ crucified is quite simple and clear.  Wandering off into meaningless talk, foolish contravercies, etc. is a dead end, one many a heretic rushed into.

No, we would still have to depend on the Holy Spirit, the Giver of Life.  The idlely curious make Ecumenical Councils necessary.

The movement and working of the Holy Spirit within the Church make Ecumenical Councils a nature occurrence.

No, I'm aware that the Vatican, especially after Vatican II, has reformulated its ideas into an Ecumenical Council for the sake of dogmatizing. The Fathers always saw the Councils as a crisis mode.  That is why the Ecumenical Councils solved problems and the Vatican's councils created problems.

If ex cathedra had the fullness of truth, it would have made all the councils superfluous (which is now why the Vatican reinterprets Ecumenical council in the light, or rather darkness, of Pastor Aeternas.

Not really, Councils are still the ordinary means in which the Catholic Church defines, defends, and upholds truth. There have been far more Councils than ex cathedra statements.

We haven't got the definitive number of ex cathedra statements, have we?
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« Reply #325 on: September 10, 2010, 09:26:17 PM »

What if he wakes up after a week? A month? A year? A century? Several centuries?

Of course, from the Catholic point of view that cannot happen because of our belief that the Holy Spirit protects the Pope from heresy via the charism of infallibility. To us, infallibility does not mean that the Pope can proclaim heresy and make it orthodox; it means that the Pope cannot proclaim anything except that which is orthodox when speaking ex cathedra.

It is said that 1204 is when the schism became real for Constantinople.  Would the Vatican tried that in 1054? Maybe, maybe not.  But that's irrelevant.  It matters not how slowly the weed of history grows, putting down roots.  No matter how long the roots, they must be uprooted.  Heresy cannot be grafted on the true tree. Rome tried doing in Antioch in the 4th century what it did in Constantinople in 1204.  Even if Ultramontanism has roots 8 centuries long, it is still heresy, and needs to be uprooted, lest the Faithful eat tares  instead of wheat.

Since Rome's claim to primacy goes at least as far back as the 4th century, perhaps it was the naysayers who were and are in error.

You talk as if that is a bad thing.  I'm sure the average seminary textbook goes into more detail than the early Fathers. Thats why the seminaries produce atheists and the Fathers conquered Caesar.

You seem to talk as if knowledge is a bad thing. Does the Holy Spirit want to lead us ever into a deeper understanding of holy truths or does it simply want us to have a vague idea of the truth? That seems to be our main disagreement. I would say that the Holy Spirit is always leading us to a fuller understanding of the Kingdom of Heaven and Godly things, whereas you seem to be saying that everything must remain a mystery. The Catholic Church certainly accepts that some things are and perhaps will always be a mystery, but it also believes that it is possible to grow in our understanding of certain things of the Holy Spirit wills it.


Same thing.  We quantitatively didn't know any more before Nicea on the Holy Trinity than we knew afterwards, except we had fancier terms and even fancier heretics throwing them around.

So you basically think that the "fancier terms" were just fluff and didn't actually deepen our understanding of the Godhead?

We knew that before.  The Early Christians knew (conoscre) Father, Son and Holy Spirit since Pentecost.  But pinheads, not satisfied with that, had to know (scire) the Holy Trinity, something beyond human ability. So lines had to be drawn on the roadside for those drifting off the road.  Those saying on the straight and narrow had no need, before or after.  The deacon St. Athanasius, for instance, had no need of the term homoousios.

Well of course we knew that there was Father, Son, and Holy Spirit since Jesus had made reference to the Father and had mentioned sending the Holy Spirit, but did we really know how they related to each other or know the specifics (e.g. that they are each 100% God, not just one-third; that they are not three modes or manifestations of God [modalist/oneness pentecostal view], but rather three separate Persons; etc.)?

Was it needed?

Not at first, but you're diverting the issue. My issue was that you claim there is no development of doctrine, but it is clear that trinitarian doctrine before Nicea and after Nicea are quite different.

I didn't say a thing about understanding, perfect or otherwise.  We need to live perfect Faith, not satisfy idle curiosity.

Apparently having a proper understanding is important too or else Christ wouldn't have promised to send the Spirit to lead us into truth:

"But when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will teach you all truth. For he shall not speak of himself; but what things soever he shall hear, he shall speak; and the things that are to come, he shall shew you." -St. John 16:13

From participating in this conversation, I have realized something that is quite interesting. It seems that the Orthodox position is that the Holy Spirit led (past tense) the Apostles into all truth at Pentecost and the deed was done, whereas the Catholic viewpoint seems to be that Pentecost was the beginning of a process rather than a one-time event.
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« Reply #326 on: September 11, 2010, 03:22:51 AM »

Are those of 2nd and 3rd Rome considered succesors of Peter?
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« Reply #327 on: September 11, 2010, 03:46:55 AM »


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



What do Catholics on the Forum think of the contention above, that Roman Catholic doctrine needs to be in an incessant start of development?  And presumably once the development ceases, as he mentions has happened in Orthodoxy, the doctrine begins to stagnate?

Can anybody refer us to papal or magisterial pronouncements or simply from acceptable theologians, that it is imperative for doctrine to be in a state of development?

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« Reply #328 on: September 11, 2010, 04:11:09 AM »


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.

That is pretty much how the Orthodox Church in America got it's start. Ukrainians (I believe) built a nice Church and got a married Priest to come to the USA to serve. When he reported to the Catholic Bishop in Chicago, he was turned away with statements like "We don't need your kind of Priest here" (Married) and if they need a Priest they can always go to the Polish Priest.

He then decided to report to the Russian Bishop in San Francisco and the OCA was off and running. Thousands switched.

And thousands did not.  And some of them go back and forth like it's the River Jordan...same river, different sides.

But you are correct.  That is precisely the kind of Roman rite bishop who has served to harden the schism since Trent.  It became much worse between us as confessions once Catholic monasticism had the heart cut out of it in England and Europe.  The people were separated from the traditional monastic contact and that had a terrible impact on our clergy, the laity and our bishops.
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« Reply #329 on: September 11, 2010, 04:11:09 AM »


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.

This is a really difficult charge to answer for EOs. If you read the second century Fathers, they certainly did not have as developed an understanding of the Trinity as is presented in the Council of Nicea.

I don't think either of you are understanding the Eastern Christian perspective. It seems that you are confusing doctrines and doctrinal formularies. We believe that the doctrine that is expressed by the Constantinopolitan formulary has always been the doctrine of the Church. That doesn't mean that we believe that it was always understood in the same formulaic manner. At that, it would be ridiculous to try to assert that. We fully recognize that doctrinal formularies can develop, as you do. The real difference is that we see you as actually introducing new doctrines, whereas we do not think it appropriate to do so.
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« Reply #330 on: September 11, 2010, 04:33:09 AM »


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.

Dynamic versus static

Matter of fact, I've told my brother to put my much loved copy of Lossky's "Mystical Theology" in with me in my coffin.

My father confessor had advised me to read Tanquerry's "The Spiritual Life" and to read it again and again.   Now although Tanquerey was then reading recommended for seminarians and young clergy, how dry and "stagnant" and "static" he is. Dynamic? - the word is one of the least applicable.  A textbook to be slogged through to discover the theological basis and the principles of Roman Catholic spiritual life.


But when I was reading Tanquerey, God came to my assistance and Lossky jumped off the library shelf and into my life and changed my heart forever.  Here was another treatise but *what* a difference!   Here was a vital interaction between ancient theology and personal spiritual life.   Lossky shows how the ancient doctrine of the Church vivifies our own lives.  There was nothing stagnant nor static.  It was a sheer joy to read.

Fr Ambrose o..o~
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« Reply #331 on: September 11, 2010, 08:07:12 AM »

What if he wakes up after a week? A month? A year? A century? Several centuries?

Of course, from the Catholic point of view that cannot happen because of our belief that the Holy Spirit protects the Pope from heresy via the charism of infallibility. To us, infallibility does not mean that the Pope can proclaim heresy and make it orthodox; it means that the Pope cannot proclaim anything except that which is orthodox when speaking ex cathedra.
Yet he has.  Of course, we have to get an official list of when he has spoken ex cathedra to get a complete disposal of that issue.  But take Pastor Aeternus, laying aside the tautology that it is infallible because it says he speaks infallibly: as Fr. Ambrose has actually posted, the Anglo-Irish Catechism of 1870, with its imprematur, states that "infallibility is a Protestant lie" claiming that it was a caricuture and slur that Protestants made against the papacy.  Hefele had to stop and revise his magnus opus on the Councils when Vatican I happened.  In particular his account on the Fifth Council (Honorius) had to be brought into line with the "new truth."
It is said that 1204 is when the schism became real for Constantinople.  Would the Vatican tried that in 1054? Maybe, maybe not.  But that's irrelevant.  It matters not how slowly the weed of history grows, putting down roots.  No matter how long the roots, they must be uprooted.  Heresy cannot be grafted on the true tree. Rome tried doing in Antioch in the 4th century what it did in Constantinople in 1204.  Even if Ultramontanism has roots 8 centuries long, it is still heresy, and needs to be uprooted, lest the Faithful eat tares  instead of wheat.

Since Rome's claim to primacy goes at least as far back as the 4th century, perhaps it was the naysayers who were and are in error.

Primacy =/= supremacy.  Equating the two muddles the issue.

Even if supremacy went back to the second century, or even if you could twist Pope (an anachronism, btw) St. Clement's letter into a first century expression of suprmacy, that would make it only a very old heresy.  No perhaps about it.

You talk as if that is a bad thing.  I'm sure the average seminary textbook goes into more detail than the early Fathers. Thats why the seminaries produce atheists and the Fathers conquered Caesar.
You seem to talk as if knowledge is a bad thing.
O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding the profane novelties of words, and oppositions of knowledge falsely so called. I Tim. 6:20.
I was converted to Orthodoxy while at the University of Chicago, a Nobel place, from the Encyclopedia Britannica, and know the difference between knowledge and the pretense of it.


Does the Holy Spirit want to lead us ever into a deeper understanding of holy truths or does it simply want us to have a vague idea of the truth?

The Church has been rejecting gnosticism ever since the NT.  Truth is a person (I Am), not a propositin.

That seems to be our main disagreement.

No, I object to complication for the sake of complication.

I would say that the Holy Spirit is always leading us to a fuller understanding of the Kingdom of Heaven and Godly things, whereas you seem to be saying that everything must remain a mystery. The Catholic Church certainly accepts that some things are and perhaps will always be a mystery,

You mean the Vatican?  The interest it has on dogmatizing on the afterlife seems to indicate otherwise. We'll know when we get there, and we'll let God sort out what He does with the prayers for the departed.

but it also believes that it is possible to grow in our understanding of certain things of the Holy Spirit wills it.
Then He would have told the Apostles when He came down, as Christ promised. An "Age of the Holy Spirit" led to Montanism and Pentacostalism, and all sorts of nonsense in between.

Same thing.  We quantitatively didn't know any more before Nicea on the Holy Trinity than we knew afterwards, except we had fancier terms and even fancier heretics throwing them around.
So you basically think that the "fancier terms" were just fluff and didn't actually deepen our understanding of the Godhead?

No, they do not.  If there were not so many people addicted to philosophical fluff (among which unfortunately I am), they would not be needed. 1x1x1=1, like Father, like Son, etc. The 1st cent. Christians know (conoscere) that.  Nicea didn't increase that simple truth.

We knew that before.  The Early Christians knew (conoscre) Father, Son and Holy Spirit since Pentecost.  But pinheads, not satisfied with that, had to know (scire) the Holy Trinity, something beyond human ability. So lines had to be drawn on the roadside for those drifting off the road.  Those saying on the straight and narrow had no need, before or after.  The deacon St. Athanasius, for instance, had no need of the term homoousios.
Well of course we knew that there was Father, Son, and Holy Spirit since Jesus had made reference to the Father and had mentioned sending the Holy Spirit, but did we really know how they related to each other or know the specifics (e.g. that they are each 100% God, not just one-third; that they are not three modes or manifestations of God [modalist/oneness pentecostal view], but rather three separate Persons; etc.)?
Yes, we knew (conoscere).

Do you really think we know the specifics now?

Was it needed?
Not at first, but you're diverting the issue. My issue was that you claim there is no development of doctrine, but it is clear that trinitarian doctrine before Nicea and after Nicea are quite different.

Only among those who wanted to know about God, rather than knowing Him.  The Desert Fathers said: seek God, not where God lives.

I didn't say a thing about understanding, perfect or otherwise.  We need to live perfect Faith, not satisfy idle curiosity.
Apparently having a proper understanding is important too or else Christ wouldn't have promised to send the Spirit to lead us into truth:

"But when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will teach you all truth. For he shall not speak of himself; but what things soever he shall hear, he shall speak; and the things that are to come, he shall shew you." -St. John 16:13

He came, He taught, they proclaimed.

From participating in this conversation, I have realized something that is quite interesting. It seems that the Orthodox position is that the Holy Spirit led (past tense) the Apostles into all truth at Pentecost and the deed was done, whereas the Catholic viewpoint seems to be that Pentecost was the beginning of a process rather than a one-time event.

It is a one time event like the sacrifice of the mass (to use your term).
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« Reply #332 on: September 11, 2010, 08:26:45 AM »


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.

Dynamic versus static

Matter of fact, I've told my brother to put my much loved copy of Lossky's "Mystical Theology" in with me in my coffin.

My father confessor had advised me to read Tanquerry's "The Spiritual Life" and to read it again and again.   Now although Tanquerey was then reading recommended for seminarians and young clergy, how dry and "stagnant" and "static" he is. Dynamic? - the word is one of the least applicable.  A textbook to be slogged through to discover the theological basis and the principles of Roman Catholic spiritual life.


But when I was reading Tanquerey, God came to my assistance and Lossky jumped off the library shelf and into my life and changed my heart forever.  Here was another treatise but *what* a difference!   Here was a vital interaction between ancient theology and personal spiritual life.   Lossky shows how the ancient doctrine of the Church vivifies our own lives.  There was nothing stagnant nor static.  It was a sheer joy to read.

Fr Ambrose o..o~


Well you might have a case if Tanquerey were the only spiritual writer in the Church. 

In fact the only way that Lossky can say some of the things he says about the Catholic faith and spiritual life is to NOT pay attention to the writers, saints and doctors, who are as and more dynamic than he is.

That is not to denigrate his work in Orthodoxy but it is to say that he's a poor one to use to compare since his own comparisons of the two confessions are deeply flawed, and the reason I know that and see that is that I've read the saints and doctors of my Church and let the rest alone, till I was better able to put them in perspective.

I believe I've heard good pastors and spiritual fathers in Orthodoxy give the same advice.

Mary
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« Reply #333 on: September 11, 2010, 08:29:09 AM »


But take Pastor Aeternus, laying aside the tautology that it is infallible because it says he speaks infallibly: as Fr. Ambrose has actually posted, the Anglo-Irish Catechism of 1870, with its imprematur, states that "infallibility is a Protestant lie" claiming that it was a caricuture and slur that Protestants made against the papacy.

Because of my Irish background Keenan's Catechism fascinates me.

Keenan's Catechism was used throughout England and Ireland and parts of the United States.  It used to be published n the UK by Burnes and Oates, the UK publishers to the Holy See.

The Irish and the English were taught to explicitly deny papal infallibility.

This Anglo-Irish Catechism contained the following question:

.......... (Q) Must not Catholics believe the Pope in himself to be infallible?
.......... (A) This is a Protestant invention: it is no article of the Catholic faith.

Every little Catholic boy and girl learnt this by heart. The Pope is not infallible.
--------------------------------

In 1826, in the time of Pope Leo XII, the Bishops of Ireland wrote to the faithful Catholics of Ireland a "Declaration of the Archbishops and Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland" :

"The Catholics of Ireland declare their belief that it is not an article of the Catholic faith, neither are they required to believe, that the Pope is infallible."

Of course 40 years later in 1870 when the Pope was declared infallible, the poor Irish bishops, probably now in some sort of material heresy, had to hastily backtrack and try to forget that they had ever taught their people that he was not.


They were also obliged to change Keenan's Catechism and its teaching. What was Catholic teaching in 1869 had become heresy in 1870.

After Vatican I and 1870, the question was omitted from the Catechism, but 26 years later in 1896, the following was added:

.......... "Q: Is the Pope infallible?
.......... A: Yes, the Pope is infallible.

.......... Q: But some Catholics, before the Vatican Council, denied the infallibility of the Pope, which was impugned by this very Catechism.
.......... A: Yes, they did so under the usual reservation, insofar as they then could grasp the mind of the Church, and subject to her future definitions, thus implicitly accepting the dogma."

Does anybody other than me have to smile at the logic of that last answer?  Declaring that the Pope is not infallible is an implicit assertion that he is!  laugh


God bless,
Fr Ambrose  o..o~
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« Reply #334 on: September 11, 2010, 08:54:40 AM »

The Pope was never infaillible and it is not infaillible not even when speaking "ex cathedra".However he was looked upon with respect as a high consultant in faith..
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« Reply #335 on: September 11, 2010, 08:58:40 AM »


In 1825, a British Parliamentary Royal Commission was established in view of the forthcoming Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829.  Some of the questions put to Roman Catholic Bishops are as follows.  The Catholic bishops were giving their testimony under oath and they deny universal papal authority and jurisdiction..


Question to Bishop Dr. Oliver Kelley
Q: Do the R.C. clergy insist that all the Bulls of the Pope are entitled to obedience?

A: The Roman Catholic doctrine in respect to Bulls from the Pope is that they are always to be treated with respect; but if those Bulls or Rescripts proceeding from the Pope do contain doctrines or matters which are not compatible with the discipline of the particular Church to which they may be directed, they feel it their duty then to remonstrate respectfully, and not to receive the regulations that may emanate from the Pope.

Question to Bishop Doyle
Q: Can you state in what respect the national canons received in Ireland, or any particular construction put upon the general canons, differ from those which are received in other countries?

A: For instance, a particular church, or the canons of a particular church, might define that the authority of a general council was superior to that of the Pope: Such canon may be received, for instance in Ireland or France, and might not be received in Italy or Spain.

Question to Bishop Murray
Q: Is the decree of the Pope valid without the consent of the Council?

A: A decree of the Pope in matters of doctrine is not considered binding on Catholics, if it have not the consent of the whole Church, either dispersed or assembled by its Bishops in Council.


http://books.google.co.nz/books?id=YkwDAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA436&lpg=PA436&dq=%22The+Roman+Catholic+doctrine+in+respect+to+Bulls+from+the+Pope%22&source=bl&ots=Mn0MWAzjb7&sig=dHAfSlVvgKd7zSVHO1cg6AT8ltA&hl=en&ei=U3uLTLDSIpS-sQO255nNBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBcQ6AEwAA
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« Reply #336 on: September 11, 2010, 09:00:44 AM »


But take Pastor Aeternus, laying aside the tautology that it is infallible because it says he speaks infallibly: as Fr. Ambrose has actually posted, the Anglo-Irish Catechism of 1870, with its imprematur, states that "infallibility is a Protestant lie" claiming that it was a caricuture and slur that Protestants made against the papacy.

Because of my Irish background Keenan's Catechism fascinates me.

Keenan's Catechism was used throughout England and Ireland and parts of the United States.  It used to be published n the UK by Burnes and Oates, the UK publishers to the Holy See.

The Irish and the English were taught to explicitly deny papal infallibility.

This Anglo-Irish Catechism contained the following question:

.......... (Q) Must not Catholics believe the Pope in himself to be infallible?
.......... (A) This is a Protestant invention: it is no article of the Catholic faith.

Every little Catholic boy and girl learnt this by heart. The Pope is not infallible.
--------------------------------

In 1826, in the time of Pope Leo XII, the Bishops of Ireland wrote to the faithful Catholics of Ireland a "Declaration of the Archbishops and Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland" :

"The Catholics of Ireland declare their belief that it is not an article of the Catholic faith, neither are they required to believe, that the Pope is infallible."

Of course 40 years later in 1870 when the Pope was declared infallible, the poor Irish bishops, probably now in some sort of material heresy, had to hastily backtrack and try to forget that they had ever taught their people that he was not.


They were also obliged to change Keenan's Catechism and its teaching. What was Catholic teaching in 1869 had become heresy in 1870.

After Vatican I and 1870, the question was omitted from the Catechism, but 26 years later in 1896, the following was added:

.......... "Q: Is the Pope infallible?
.......... A: Yes, the Pope is infallible.

.......... Q: But some Catholics, before the Vatican Council, denied the infallibility of the Pope, which was impugned by this very Catechism.
.......... A: Yes, they did so under the usual reservation, insofar as they then could grasp the mind of the Church, and subject to her future definitions, thus implicitly accepting the dogma."

Does anybody other than me have to smile at the logic of that last answer?  Declaring that the Pope is not infallible is an implicit assertion that he is!  laugh


God bless,
Fr Ambrose  o..o~

Oh dear, it is worse than I remembered.  I mean, if they had left it in silence, at least they could claim that that what the catechism up to and including 1870 meant was that the pope himself wasn't infallible (as for instance the Ismaili's believe in their imam) but only ex cathedra etc. and the usual jesuitry on the matter, but to "correct" it by just saying, with "imprimatur" of course, that the pope is infallible exposes it for what it is.
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« Reply #337 on: September 11, 2010, 09:24:37 AM »

All of these particular statements are true to this day, and the language of the dogmatic constitution elevating the status of primacy and infallibility uphold my assertion.

So I have no idea what you think you are doing with the statements to somehow stand against the Church and her teaching.  They do not.  There is NO stinger in this bee.

Mary


In 1825, a British Parliamentary Royal Commission was established in view of the forthcoming Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829.  Some of the questions put to Roman Catholic Bishops are as follows.  The Catholic bishops were giving their testimony under oath and they deny universal papal authority and jurisdiction..


Question to Bishop Dr. Oliver Kelley
Q: Do the R.C. clergy insist that all the Bulls of the Pope are entitled to obedience?

A: The Roman Catholic doctrine in respect to Bulls from the Pope is that they are always to be treated with respect; but if those Bulls or Rescripts proceeding from the Pope do contain doctrines or matters which are not compatible with the discipline of the particular Church to which they may be directed, they feel it their duty then to remonstrate respectfully, and not to receive the regulations that may emanate from the Pope.

Question to Bishop Doyle
Q: Can you state in what respect the national canons received in Ireland, or any particular construction put upon the general canons, differ from those which are received in other countries?

A: For instance, a particular church, or the canons of a particular church, might define that the authority of a general council was superior to that of the Pope: Such canon may be received, for instance in Ireland or France, and might not be received in Italy or Spain.

Question to Bishop Murray
Q: Is the decree of the Pope valid without the consent of the Council?

A: A decree of the Pope in matters of doctrine is not considered binding on Catholics, if it have not the consent of the whole Church, either dispersed or assembled by its Bishops in Council.


http://books.google.co.nz/books?id=YkwDAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA436&lpg=PA436&dq=%22The+Roman+Catholic+doctrine+in+respect+to+Bulls+from+the+Pope%22&source=bl&ots=Mn0MWAzjb7&sig=dHAfSlVvgKd7zSVHO1cg6AT8ltA&hl=en&ei=U3uLTLDSIpS-sQO255nNBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBcQ6AEwAA
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« Reply #338 on: September 11, 2010, 10:38:23 AM »

Yet he has.  Of course, we have to get an official list of when he has spoken ex cathedra to get a complete disposal of that issue.  But take Pastor Aeternus, laying aside the tautology that it is infallible because it says he speaks infallibly: as Fr. Ambrose has actually posted, the Anglo-Irish Catechism of 1870, with its imprematur, states that "infallibility is a Protestant lie" claiming that it was a caricuture and slur that Protestants made against the papacy.  Hefele had to stop and revise his magnus opus on the Councils when Vatican I happened.  In particular his account on the Fifth Council (Honorius) had to be brought into line with the "new truth."

I must say, I am not that shocked to see that a catechism actually declared that the Pope is not infallible before infallibility was defined. Before the Immaculate Conception was defined there were people who believed it and people who didn't, and that is fully acceptable before something is dogmatically defined. I know that is strange to Eastern Orthodoxy but that is the way it works for us.

Primacy =/= supremacy.  Equating the two muddles the issue.

Even if supremacy went back to the second century, or even if you could twist Pope (an anachronism, btw) St. Clement's letter into a first century expression of suprmacy, that would make it only a very old heresy.  No perhaps about it.

What I wonder is how can you be so sure? Obviously, as an Orthodox Christian you reject Papal Infallibility because Orthodoxy as a whole rejects it, just as I accept Papal Infallibility because I am Catholic. However, if you take a step back and look at both sides of the disagreement, ultimately what is it that makes you certain that Papal supremacy and infallibility is the heresy and first among equals is the proper understanding of the role of Rome?

O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding the profane novelties of words, and oppositions of knowledge falsely so called. I Tim. 6:20.
I was converted to Orthodoxy while at the University of Chicago, a Nobel place, from the Encyclopedia Britannica, and know the difference between knowledge and the pretense of it.

If I may ask, what was your faith before that? I myself have only been Catholic since Easter Vigil 2007 and before that had an eclectic Protestant background but one that was rooted most firmly in the Methodist/Wesleyan tradition.

The Church has been rejecting gnosticism ever since the NT.  Truth is a person (I Am), not a propositin.

A desire for true, God-given knowledge is hardly gnostic. If so then King Solomon was also king of the gnostics.

No, I object to complication for the sake of complication.

The Catholic Church is not the one who complicates for the sake of complication. Those who get on the "Spirit of Vatican II" bandwagon to try and justify a whole bunch of abuses are the ones that complicate and confuse. I have confidence that Pope Benedict XVI will smooth over much of the turmoil within the Church.

You mean the Vatican?

No, I meant the Catholic Church as a whole.

The interest it has on dogmatizing on the afterlife seems to indicate otherwise. We'll know when we get there, and we'll let God sort out what He does with the prayers for the departed.

Just binding and loosing, man. Binding and loosing.

No, they do not.  If there were not so many people addicted to philosophical fluff (among which unfortunately I am), they would not be needed. 1x1x1=1, like Father, like Son, etc. The 1st cent. Christians know (conoscere) that.  Nicea didn't increase that simple truth.

Why the aversion to philosophy? I was always under the impression that philosophy aided us in grasping theology.

Do you really think we know the specifics now?

We know that the Son is consubstantial to the Father, and that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit exist eternally as three separate Persons while simultaneously being one. After the Council this was very clear and had this wording, and everyone was required to believe it in order to be part of the Church. I am still not convinced that everyone had this understanding before the Council. Also, before the Council you could be a part of the Church without having to believe this, no?

Only among those who wanted to know about God, rather than knowing Him.  The Desert Fathers said: seek God, not where God lives.

We should seek knowledge of God because of our love of God. That is like saying you do not have to know anything about your spouse or children and that simply loving them is enough.

He came, He taught, they proclaimed.

Then the Holy Spirit came to clarify.

It is a one time event like the sacrifice of the mass (to use your term).

Now I am a little confused. At first you said the Holy Spirit gave everything the Apostles needed at Pentecost, and now you seem to be backtracking and saying it is an ongoing event. Did the Holy Spirit lead us into all truth at Pentecost or was Pentecost the start of the Holy Spirit guiding the Church throughout the ages?
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« Reply #339 on: September 11, 2010, 11:07:56 AM »


I must say, I am not that shocked to see that a catechism actually declared that the Pope is not infallible before infallibility was defined. Before the Immaculate Conception was defined there were people who believed it and people who didn't, and that is fully acceptable before something is dogmatically defined. I know that is strange to Eastern Orthodoxy but that is the way it works for us.

[

Yes, Wyatt, you have a point, and one we as Orthodox often forget.

1.  The Orthodox receive their faith through the transmission of the sacred Tradition which takes a variety of forms.   Bishops, priests and laity alike are all guardians of the Traditon and must be obedient to it.

2.  Catholics on the other hand are expected to be submissive to the Magisterium and to its official Magisterial teachings.  Whatever of their traditon has not been codified into a Magisterial teaching is really nothing more than what the Orthodox might call theologoumena.  Up until the Bull Munificentissimus Deus Catholics were quite entitled to deny that Mary the Mother of God was assumed into heaven, just as they had been able to deny she was immaculately conceived.  Ditto for the Pope's infallibility - until 1870 nobody really knew if he were infallible or not.

I have learnt this major difference between our Churches in the way we approach the faith the hard way.   I instinctively fall into the error of thinking that Catholics are subject to Tradition and I have often written of their traditional beliefs as if they are a certain part of their faith.  In the absence of a magisterial teaching they are not.  They are only an interim belief/opinion on which you cannot place much reliance.

I think I have written about this here previously?  Teachings which have been taught and believed for centuries as part of Tradition within Catholicism may be annulled and superseded by subsequent teachings and definitions.

There actually is a great gulf between our Churches on this matter.  The certainty of our faith is grounded in our Tradition,.  The certainty of the Roman Catholic faith is grounded in magisterial statements.  In other words, the faith is effectively taken out of the hands of the Church as a whole.  The faithful are disenfranchised and the faith is posited in the hands of a small elite group known as the "Magisterium."  I frankly would not wish to be in communion with a Church which has this disjunct between its upper echelon and the great majority of its members.
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« Reply #340 on: September 11, 2010, 02:33:18 PM »

All of these particular statements are true to this day, and the language of the dogmatic constitution elevating the status of primacy and infallibility uphold my assertion.

So I have no idea
[/quote]
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« Reply #341 on: September 11, 2010, 02:49:31 PM »


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.

This is a really difficult charge to answer for EOs. If you read the second century Fathers, they certainly did not have as developed an understanding of the Trinity as is presented in the Council of Nicea.

I don't think either of you are understanding the Eastern Christian perspective. It seems that you are confusing doctrines and doctrinal formularies. We believe that the doctrine that is expressed by the Constantinopolitan formulary has always been the doctrine of the Church. That doesn't mean that we believe that it was always understood in the same formulaic manner. At that, it would be ridiculous to try to assert that. We fully recognize that doctrinal formularies can develop, as you do. The real difference is that we see you as actually introducing new doctrines, whereas we do not think it appropriate to do so.

I don't know how we could miss it.  Catholic Church teaches PRECISELY the same thing.

Mary
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« Reply #342 on: September 11, 2010, 02:49:31 PM »

All of these particular statements are true to this day, and the language of the dogmatic constitution elevating the status of primacy and infallibility uphold my assertion.

So I have no idea
I am afraid that is true. freedom is slavery.
[/quote]

Enslavement to God is freedom!!  The only true freedom possible.

That I may be enslaved to Christ the King!

M.
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« Reply #343 on: September 11, 2010, 02:50:00 PM »


I must say, I am not that shocked to see that a catechism actually declared that the Pope is not infallible before infallibility was defined. Before the Immaculate Conception was defined there were people who believed it and people who didn't, and that is fully acceptable before something is dogmatically defined. I know that is strange to Eastern Orthodoxy but that is the way it works for us.

[

Yes, Wyatt, you have a point, and one we as Orthodox often forget.

1.  The Orthodox receive their faith through the transmission of the sacred Tradition which takes a variety of forms.   Bishops, priests and laity alike are all guardians of the Traditon and must be obedient to it.

2.  Catholics on the other hand are expected to be submissive to the Magisterium and to its official Magisterial teachings.  Whatever of their traditon has not been codified into a Magisterial teaching is really nothing more than what the Orthodox might call theologoumena.  Up until the Bull Munificentissimus Deus Catholics were quite entitled to deny that Mary the Mother of God was assumed into heaven, just as they had been able to deny she was immaculately conceived.  Ditto for the Pope's infallibility - until 1870 nobody really knew if he were infallible or not.

The two most egregious errors here are:

1. There is no great divide or rupture between the font of sacred Tradition and the Magesterial charge to go and make disciples [teaching the people of all nations].  So your first premises are false and so your conclusions cannot help but be spurious.

http://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/cdfadtu.htm

Quote
1. From her very beginning, the Church has professed faith in the Lord, crucified and risen, and has gathered the fundamental contents of her belief into certain formulas. The central event of the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, expressed first in simple formulas and subsequently in formulas that were more developed,1 made it possible to give life to that uninterrupted proclamation of faith, in which the Church has handed on both what had been received from the lips of Christ and from his works, as well as what had been learned "at the prompting of the Holy Spirit."2

The same New Testament is the singular witness of the first profession proclaimed by the disciples immediately after the events of Easter: "For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures; that he was buried; that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures; that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve."3

2. In the course of the centuries, from this unchangeable nucleus testifying to Jesus as Son of God and as Lord, symbols witnessing to the unity of the faith and to the communion of the churches came to be developed. In these, the fundamental truths which every believer is required to know and to profess were gathered together. Thus, before receiving Baptism, the catechumen must make his profession of faith. The Fathers too, coming together in Councils to respond to historical challenges that required a more complete presentation of the truths of the faith or a defense of the orthodoxy of those truths, formulated new creeds which occupy "a special place in the Church's life"4 up to the present day. The diversity of these symbols expresses the richness of the one faith; none of them is superseded or nullified by subsequent professions of faith formulated in response to later historical circumstances.

3. Christ's promise to bestow the Holy Spirit, who "will guide you into all truth," constantly sustains the Church on her way.5 Thus, in the course of her history, certain truths have been defined as having been acquired though the Holy Spirit's assistance and are therefore perceptible stages in the realization of the original promise. Other truths, however, have to be understood still more deeply before full possession can be attained of what God, in his mystery of love, wished to reveal to men for their salvation.6

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

2. The idea that there are "non-codified" magisterial teachings from the sacred font of Tradition that need not be believed for any reason, is a false assertion about the Catholic Church's teaching source, which is the same as her teaching authority, Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.

http://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/MDPD.HTM

Quote
1) first, we must point out the tendency to measure everything on the basis of the distinction between the "infallible Magisterium" and the "fallible Magisterium".

In this way infallibility becomes the criterion for all authority problems, to the point of actually replacing the concept of authority with that of infallibility. Furthermore, the question of the infallibility of the Magisterium is often confused with the question of the truth of a doctrine, by assuming that infallibility is the pre-qualification for the truth and irreformability of the doctrine, and by making the truth and definitive nature of the doctrine depend on whether or not it has been infallibly defined by the Magisterium. In fact, the truth and irreformability of a doctrine depends on the <depositum fide>), transmitted by Scripture and Tradition, while infallibility refers only to the degree of certitude of an act of magisterial teaching. In the various critical stances towards the recent documents of the Magisterium it is often forgotten that the infallible character of a teaching and the definitive and irrevocable character of the assent owed it is not a prerogative belonging solely to what has been solemnly "defined" by the Roman Pontiff or an Ecumenical Council. Whenever the Bishops dispersed in their individual Dioceses in communion with the Successor of Peter teach a truth to be held in a definitive way (cf. <Lumen gentium>, n. 25, 2), they enjoy the same infallibility as the Pope's <ex cathedra> Magisterium or that of a Council.
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« Reply #344 on: September 11, 2010, 02:53:04 PM »

.......... (Q) Must not Catholics believe the Pope in himself to be infallible?
.......... (A) This is a Protestant invention: it is no article of the Catholic faith.
 
Nice try Father Ambrose, but not even ultramontanists believe that Pope in himself is infallible. It would be heresy to declare so.
In fact Pastor Aeternus excludes the possibility of the Pope being in himself infallible:

"We teach and define that it is a dogma Divinely revealed that the Roman pontiff when he speaks ex cathedra, that is when in discharge of the office of pastor and doctor of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, by the Divine assistance promised to him in Blessed Peter, is possessed of that infallibility." - Pastor Aeternus

Notice the infallibility is not derived from the Pope himself, but is rather the result of his Apostolic authority, when he speaks ex cathedra, and by virtue the Divine assistance promised to him in Blessed Peter. This is a far cry from the Pope being infallible in himself. Thus the catechism that you site is accurate and in harmony with the dogma of Papal Infallibility.
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« Reply #345 on: September 11, 2010, 02:56:14 PM »


I don't think either of you are understanding the Eastern Christian perspective. It seems that you are confusing doctrines and doctrinal formularies. We believe that the doctrine that is expressed by the Constantinopolitan formulary has always been the doctrine of the Church. That doesn't mean that we believe that it was always understood in the same formulaic manner. At that, it would be ridiculous to try to assert that. We fully recognize that doctrinal formularies can develop, as you do. The real difference is that we see you as actually introducing new doctrines, whereas we do not think it appropriate to do so.
Arians saw "new doctrines" at Nicea. The OO's saw "new doctrines" being introduced at Chalcedon. Nestorians saw "new doctrines"  at Ephesus.
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« Reply #346 on: September 11, 2010, 03:09:27 PM »


I must say, I am not that shocked to see that a catechism actually declared that the Pope is not infallible before infallibility was defined. Before the Immaculate Conception was defined there were people who believed it and people who didn't, and that is fully acceptable before something is dogmatically defined. I know that is strange to Eastern Orthodoxy but that is the way it works for us.

[

Yes, Wyatt, you have a point, and one we as Orthodox often forget.

1.  The Orthodox receive their faith through the transmission of the sacred Tradition which takes a variety of forms.   Bishops, priests and laity alike are all guardians of the Traditon and must be obedient to it.

2.  Catholics on the other hand are expected to be submissive to the Magisterium and to its official Magisterial teachings.  Whatever of their traditon has not been codified into a Magisterial teaching is really nothing more than what the Orthodox might call theologoumena.  Up until the Bull Munificentissimus Deus Catholics were quite entitled to deny that Mary the Mother of God was assumed into heaven, just as they had been able to deny she was immaculately conceived.  Ditto for the Pope's infallibility - until 1870 nobody really knew if he were infallible or not.

I have learnt this major difference between our Churches in the way we approach the faith the hard way.   I instinctively fall into the error of thinking that Catholics are subject to Tradition and I have often written of their traditional beliefs as if they are a certain part of their faith.  In the absence of a magisterial teaching they are not.  They are only an interim belief/opinion on which you cannot place much reliance.

I think I have written about this here previously?  Teachings which have been taught and believed for centuries as part of Tradition within Catholicism may be annulled and superseded by subsequent teachings and definitions.

There actually is a great gulf between our Churches on this matter.  The certainty of our faith is grounded in our Tradition,.  The certainty of the Roman Catholic faith is grounded in magisterial statements.  In other words, the faith is effectively taken out of the hands of the Church as a whole.  The faithful are disenfranchised and the faith is posited in the hands of a small elite group known as the "Magisterium."  I frankly would not wish to be in communion with a Church which has this disjunct between its upper echelon and the great majority of its members.


Uhh...if by "small elite group" you mean every Bishop of the Catholic Church and the Pope then, yeah, that is what the Magisterium is. Personally, I could never join a Church that wasn't guided by the Magisterium. Saints, theologians, and Church Fathers are great, but they by themselves cannot speak for the Church. Obviously, you guys don't accept everything all the Saints and Fathers of the Church have said (e.g. St. Augustine), so how do you determine which Fathers to listen to and what teachings are orthodox and which ones must be discarded? St. Augustine taught limbo of the infants, but this has never been formally accepted by the Catholic Church.

The Magisterium of the Catholic Church is not at odds with Tradition. It upholds Tradition.
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« Reply #347 on: September 11, 2010, 05:27:55 PM »

.......... (Q) Must not Catholics believe the Pope in himself to be infallible?
.......... (A) This is a Protestant invention: it is no article of the Catholic faith.
 
Nice try Father Ambrose, but not even ultramontanists believe that Pope in himself is infallible. It would be heresy to declare so.
In fact Pastor Aeternus excludes the possibility of the Pope being in himself infallible:

"We teach and define that it is a dogma Divinely revealed that the Roman pontiff when he speaks ex cathedra, that is when in discharge of the office of pastor and doctor of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, by the Divine assistance promised to him in Blessed Peter, is possessed of that infallibility." - Pastor Aeternus

Notice the infallibility is not derived from the Pope himself, but is rather the result of his Apostolic authority, when he speaks ex cathedra, and by virtue the Divine assistance promised to him in Blessed Peter. This is a far cry from the Pope being infallible in himself. Thus the catechism that you site is accurate and in harmony with the dogma of Papal Infallibility.

This is a difference without meaning. If Father Ambrose claims that the Pope by himself is infallible, he is saying the same thing as Pastor Aeternus. After all, the Pope is the "Supreme Pontiff and the Vicar of Christ." We are not talking about the Bishop of Pittsburgh or the Archbishop of Napoli here. We are talking about the super special charisma that is bestowed upon the Bishop of Rome, making him able to be infallible when, blah, blah, blah.. Come on now Papist, quit splitting hairs here and admit the obvious. Pace and out.
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« Reply #348 on: September 11, 2010, 06:21:22 PM »

.......... (Q) Must not Catholics believe the Pope in himself to be infallible?
.......... (A) This is a Protestant invention: it is no article of the Catholic faith.
 
Nice try Father Ambrose, but not even ultramontanists believe that Pope in himself is infallible. It would be heresy to declare so.
In fact Pastor Aeternus excludes the possibility of the Pope being in himself infallible:

"We teach and define that it is a dogma Divinely revealed that the Roman pontiff when he speaks ex cathedra, that is when in discharge of the office of pastor and doctor of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, by the Divine assistance promised to him in Blessed Peter, is possessed of that infallibility." - Pastor Aeternus

Notice the infallibility is not derived from the Pope himself, but is rather the result of his Apostolic authority, when he speaks ex cathedra, and by virtue the Divine assistance promised to him in Blessed Peter. This is a far cry from the Pope being infallible in himself. Thus the catechism that you site is accurate and in harmony with the dogma of Papal Infallibility.

This is a difference without meaning. If Father Ambrose claims that the Pope by himself is infallible, he is saying the same thing as Pastor Aeternus. After all, the Pope is the "Supreme Pontiff and the Vicar of Christ." We are not talking about the Bishop of Pittsburgh or the Archbishop of Napoli here. We are talking about the super special charisma that is bestowed upon the Bishop of Rome, making him able to be infallible when, blah, blah, blah.. Come on now Papist, quit splitting hairs here and admit the obvious. Pace and out.

This is an assertion that you cannot support, either with the very words of the document, or by the meaning ascribed to the words by the Church.

Holy Mother of God, save us!!

Anathema to protestants, understood clearly by Orthodoxy.

The whole discussion against primacy and infallibility is very poorly formed by the Orthodox, because the meaning ascribed by the Church is ignored or scoffed-off.

M.

M.
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« Reply #349 on: September 11, 2010, 08:12:09 PM »

.......... (Q) Must not Catholics believe the Pope in himself to be infallible?
.......... (A) This is a Protestant invention: it is no article of the Catholic faith.
 
Nice try Father Ambrose, but not even ultramontanists believe that Pope in himself is infallible.

Father Ambrose, I do believe that Keenan's catechims has a imprematur and nihil obstant, no?

And the edition with the correction, that would have a nihil obstant and imprimatur also, no?

It would be heresy to declare so.

Your magisterium said "Protestant invention." Until it said "implicitly accepting the dogma" it "impugned."

In fact Pastor Aeternus excludes the possibility of the Pope being in himself infallible:

"We teach and define that it is a dogma Divinely revealed that the Roman pontiff when he speaks ex cathedra, that is when in discharge of the office of pastor and doctor of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, by the Divine assistance promised to him in Blessed Peter, is possessed of that infallibility." - Pastor Aeternus

and yet Lumen Gentium makes it clear that he can exercise it at any time without the bishops.

Notice the infallibility is not derived from the Pope himself, but is rather the result of his Apostolic authority, when he speaks ex cathedra, and by virtue the Divine assistance promised to him in Blessed Peter. This is a far cry from the Pope being infallible in himself. Thus the catechism that you site is accurate and in harmony with the dogma of Papal Infallibility.
Then why their confession that they had "impugned it"?

Now, how did I know you were going to split hairs and try a Honorius defense?
Oh dear, it is worse than I remembered.  I mean, if they had left it in silence, at least they could claim that that what the catechism up to and including 1870 meant was that the pope himself wasn't infallible (as for instance the Ismaili's believe in their imam) but only ex cathedra etc. and the usual jesuitry on the matter, but to "correct" it by just saying, with "imprimatur" of course, that the pope is infallible exposes it for what it is.
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« Reply #350 on: September 11, 2010, 08:14:00 PM »

.......... (Q) Must not Catholics believe the Pope in himself to be infallible?
.......... (A) This is a Protestant invention: it is no article of the Catholic faith.
 
Nice try Father Ambrose, but not even ultramontanists believe that Pope in himself is infallible. It would be heresy to declare so.
In fact Pastor Aeternus excludes the possibility of the Pope being in himself infallible:

"We teach and define that it is a dogma Divinely revealed that the Roman pontiff when he speaks ex cathedra, that is when in discharge of the office of pastor and doctor of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, by the Divine assistance promised to him in Blessed Peter, is possessed of that infallibility." - Pastor Aeternus

Notice the infallibility is not derived from the Pope himself, but is rather the result of his Apostolic authority, when he speaks ex cathedra, and by virtue the Divine assistance promised to him in Blessed Peter. This is a far cry from the Pope being infallible in himself. Thus the catechism that you site is accurate and in harmony with the dogma of Papal Infallibility.

This is a difference without meaning. If Father Ambrose claims that the Pope by himself is infallible, he is saying the same thing as Pastor Aeternus. After all, the Pope is the "Supreme Pontiff and the Vicar of Christ." We are not talking about the Bishop of Pittsburgh or the Archbishop of Napoli here. We are talking about the super special charisma that is bestowed upon the Bishop of Rome, making him able to be infallible when, blah, blah, blah.. Come on now Papist, quit splitting hairs here and admit the obvious. Pace and out.

This is an assertion that you cannot support, either with the very words of the document, or by the meaning ascribed to the words by the Church.

Holy Mother of God, save us!!

Anathema to protestants, understood clearly by Orthodoxy.

"Anathema to Honorius!"-the Fathers.


Quote
The whole discussion against primacy and infallibility is very poorly formed by the Orthodox, because the meaning ascribed by the Church is ignored or scoffed-off.
We just do not have the flexibility to performed the necessary mental gymnastics.
From this (Lumen Gentium):
Quote
But the college or body of bishops has no authority unless it is understood together with the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter as its head. The pope's power of primacy over all, both pastors and faithful, remains whole and intact. In virtue of his office, that is as Vicar of Christ and pastor of the whole Church, the Roman Pontiff has full, supreme and universal power over the Church. And he is always free to exercise this power. The order of bishops, which succeeds to the college of apostles and gives this apostolic body continued existence, is also the subject of supreme and full power over the universal Church, provided we understand this body together with its head the Roman Pontiff and never without this head.(27*) This power can be exercised only with the consent of the Roman Pontiff. For our Lord placed Simon alone as the rock and the bearer of the keys of the Church,(156) and made him shepherd of the whole flock;(157) it is evident, however, that the power of binding and loosing, which was given to Peter,(158) was granted also to the college of apostles, joined with their head.(159)(28*) This college, insofar as it is composed of many, expresses the variety and universality of the People of God, but insofar as it is assembled under one head, it expresses the unity of the flock of Christ. In it, the bishops, faithfully recognizing the primacy and pre-eminence of their head, exercise their own authority for the good of their own faithful, and indeed of the whole Church, the Holy Spirit supporting its organic structure and harmony with moderation. The supreme power in the universal Church, which this college enjoys, is exercised in a solemn way in an ecumenical council. A council is never ecumenical unless it is confirmed or at least accepted as such by the successor of Peter; and it is prerogative of the Roman Pontiff to convoke these councils, to preside over them and to confirm them.(29*) This same collegiate power can be exercised together with the pope by the bishops living in all parts of the world, provided that the head of the college calls them to collegiate action, or at least approves of or freely accepts the united action of the scattered bishops, so that it is thereby made a collegiate act

23. This collegial union is apparent also m the mutual relations of the individual bishops with particular churches and with the universal Church. The Roman Pontiff, as the successor of Peter, is the perpetual and visible principle and foundation of unity of both the bishops and of the faithful.(30*) The individual bishops, however, are the visible principle and foundation of unity in their particular churches, (31*) fashioned after the model of the universal Church, in and from which churches comes into being the one and only Catholic Church.(32*) For this reason the individual bishops represent each his own church, but all of them together and with the Pope represent the entire Church in the bond of peace, love and unity.



The canonical mission of bishops can come about by legitimate customs that have not been revoked by the supreme and universal authority of the Church, or by laws made or recognized be that the authority, or directly through the successor of Peter himself; and if the latter refuses or denies apostolic communion, such bishops cannot assume any office.(38*)


25. Among the principal duties of bishops the preaching of the Gospel occupies an eminent place.(39*) For bishops are preachers of the faith, who lead new disciples to Christ, and they are authentic teachers, that is, teachers endowed with the authority of Christ, who preach to the people committed to them the faith they must believe and put into practice, and by the light of the Holy Spirit illustrate that faith. They bring forth from the treasury of Revelation new things and old,(164) making it bear fruit and vigilantly warding off any errors that threaten their flock.(165) Bishops, teaching in communion with the Roman Pontiff, are to be respected by all as witnesses to divine and Catholic truth. In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent. This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking.

Although the individual bishops do not enjoy the prerogative of infallibility, they nevertheless proclaim Christ's doctrine infallibly whenever, even though dispersed through the world, but still maintaining the bond of communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter, and authentically teaching matters of faith and morals, they are in agreement on one position as definitively to be held.(40*) This is even more clearly verified when, gathered together in an ecumenical council, they are teachers and judges of faith and morals for the universal Church, whose definitions must be adhered to with the submission of faith.(41*)


And this infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed His Church to be endowed in defining doctrine of faith and morals, extends as far as the deposit of Revelation extends, which must be religiously guarded and faithfully expounded. And this is the infallibility which the Roman Pontiff, the head of the college of bishops, enjoys in virtue of his office, when, as the supreme shepherd and teacher of all the faithful, who confirms his brethren in their faith,(166) by a definitive act he proclaims a doctrine of faith or morals.(42*) And therefore his definitions, of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church, are justly styled irreformable, since they are pronounced with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, promised to him in blessed Peter, and therefore they need no approval of others, nor do they allow an appeal to any other judgment. For then the Roman Pontiff is not pronouncing judgment as a private person, but as the supreme teacher of the universal Church, in whom the charism of infallibility of the Church itself is individually present, he is expounding or defending a doctrine of Catholic faith.(43*) The infallibility promised to the Church resides also in the body of Bishops, when that body exercises the supreme magisterium with the successor of Peter. To these definitions the assent of the Church can never be wanting, on account of the activity of that same Holy Spirit, by which the whole flock of Christ is preserved and progresses in unity of faith.(44*)

But when either the Roman Pontiff or the Body of Bishops together with him defines a judgment, they pronounce it in accordance with Revelation itself, which all are obliged to abide by and be in conformity with, that is, the Revelation which as written or orally handed down is transmitted in its entirety through the legitimate succession of bishops and especially in care of the Roman Pontiff himself, and which under the guiding light of the Spirit of truth is religiously preserved and faithfully expounded in the Church.(45*) The Roman Pontiff and the bishops, in view of their office and the importance of the matter, by fitting means diligently strive to inquire properly into that revelation and to give apt expression to its contents;(46*) but a new public revelation they do not accept as pertaining to the divine deposit of faith.(47*)


Any institute of perfection and its individual members may be removed from the jurisdiction of the local Ordinaries by the Supreme Pontiff and subjected to himself alone. This is done in virtue of his primacy over the entire Church in order to more fully provide for the necessities of the entire flock of the Lord and in consideration of the common good.(7*) In like manner, these institutes may be left or committed to the charge of the proper patriarchical authority. The members of these institutes, in fulfilling their obligation to the Church due to their particular form of life, ought to show reverence and obedience to bishops according to the sacred canons. The bishops are owed this respect because of their pastoral authority in their own churches and because of the need of unity and harmony in the apostolate.(8*).

The documents of recent Pontiffs regarding the jurisdiction of bishops must be interpreted in terms of this necessary determination of powers.

3. The College, which does not exist without the head, is said "to exist also as the subject of supreme and full power in the universal Church." This must be admitted of necessity so that the fullness of power belonging to the Roman Pontiff is not called into question. For the College, always and of necessity, includes its head, because in the college he preserves unhindered his function as Christ's Vicar and as Pastor of the universal Church. In other words, it is not a distinction between the Roman Pontiff and the bishops taken collectively, but a distinction between the Roman Pontiff taken separately and the Roman Pontiff together with the bishops. Since the Supreme Pontiff is head of the College, he alone is able to perform certain actions which are not at all within the competence of the bishops, e.g., convoking the College and directing it, approving norms of action, etc. Cf. Modus 81. It is up to the judgment of the Supreme Pontiff, to whose care Christ's whole flock has been entrusted, to determine, according to the needs of the Church as they change over the course of centuries, the way in which this care may best be exercised-whether in a personal or a collegial way. The Roman Pontiff, taking account of the Church's welfare, proceeds according to his own discretion in arranging, promoting and approving the exercise of collegial activity.

4. As Supreme Pastor of the Church, the Supreme Pontiff can always exercise his power at will, as his very office demands. Though it is always in existence, the College is not as a result permanently engaged in strictly collegial activity; the Church's Tradition makes this clear. In other words, the College is not always "fully active [in actu pleno]"; rather, it acts as a college in the strict sense only from time to time and only with the consent of its head. The phrase "with the consent of its head" is used to avoid the idea of dependence on some kind of outsider; the term "consent" suggests rather communion between the head and the members, and implies the need for an act which belongs properly to the competence of the head. This is explicitly affirmed in n. 22, 12, and is explained at the end of that section. The word "only" takes in all cases. It is evident from this that the norms approved by the supreme authority must always be observed. Cf. Modus 84.

It is clear throughout that it is a question of the bishops acting in conjunction with their head, never of the bishops acting independently of the Pope. In the latter instance, without the action of the head, the bishops are not able to act as a College: this is clear from the concept of "College." This hierarchical communion of all the bishops with the Supreme Pontiff is certainly firmly established in Tradition.

N.B. Without hierarchical communion the ontologico-sacramental function [munus], which is to be distinguished from the juridico-canonical aspect, cannot be exercised. However, the Commission has decided that it should not enter into question of liceity and validity. These questions are left to theologians to discuss-specifically the question of the power exercised de facto among the separated Eastern Churches, about which there are various explanations."
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« Reply #351 on: September 11, 2010, 08:40:20 PM »


Nice try Father Ambrose, but not even ultramontanists believe that Pope in himself is infallible. It would be heresy to declare so.
In fact Pastor Aeternus excludes the possibility of the Pope being in himself infallible:


So if the Pope is not infallible himself, the question is "the Pope AND WHO ELSE is infallible?"

My understanding is that the Pope does not need to have the Bishops ask or tell him to make an infallible statement

And the dogmatic definition of Pastor Aeternus is quite emphatic that he does not need the bishops or anybody else in the Church.

Pastor Aeternus proclaims, infallibly that the Pope's infallible definitions are of themselves - and not by virtue of the Church's consensus - irreformable.  The Pope does not need the Church's consensus as we have been led to believe.  

So when people use clever arguments to say that the Pope himself is not infallible, then we must ask "the Pope and who else is infallible?"

---------------------------------
"...we teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that when the Roman Pontiff speaks EX CATHEDRA, that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church, he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his Church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals. Therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the Church, irreformable.

"...docemus et divinitus revelatum dogma esse definimus: Romanum Pontificem, cum ex Cathedra loquitur, id est, cum omnium Christianorum Pastoris et Doctoris munere fungens, pro suprema sua Apostolica auctoritate doctrinam de fide vel moribus ab universa Ecclesia tenendam definit, per assistentiam divinam, ipsi in beato Petro promissam, ea infallibilitate pollere, qua divinus Redemptor Ecclesiam suam in definienda doctrina de fide vel moribus instructam esse voluit; ideoque eiusmodi Romani Pontificis definitiones ex sese, non autem ex consensu Ecclesiae irreformabiles esse.
Si quis autem huic Nostrae definitioni contradicere, quod Deus avertat, praesumpserit; anathema sit."
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« Reply #352 on: September 11, 2010, 08:46:56 PM »


...every Bishop of the Catholic Church and the Pope then, yeah, that is what the Magisterium is. Personally, I could never join a Church that wasn't guided by the Magisterium.

The Magisterium of the Catholic Church is not at odds with Tradition. It upholds Tradition.

So why was the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church completely ignored in the teaching on contraception promulgated by Pope Paul VI in Humanae Vitae?

We know that the majority of the Magisterium was opposed to what Paul VU promulgated.   He refused to be guided by the Magisterium.
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« Reply #353 on: September 11, 2010, 09:33:29 PM »

Nice try Father Ambrose, but not even ultramontanists believe that Pope in himself is infallible. It would be heresy to declare so.
In fact Pastor Aeternus excludes the possibility of the Pope being in himself infallible:


Is it no longer taught that the Pope is infallible in his office and in his person?
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« Reply #354 on: September 11, 2010, 10:00:21 PM »

?  All I've read on the subject (both pre- and post-Vaican II) says explicitly that it's the Pope speaking *as Pope* (iow,  in his office) that's infallible but NOT the Pope speaking *as himself* (his person).

IOW, Karol Wojtyla and Joseph Ratzinger - not infallible.  Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict VI - infallible.

(Of course I know you don't accept the infallibility, just pointing out the difference.)
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« Reply #355 on: September 11, 2010, 10:53:06 PM »

We know that the majority of the Magisterium was opposed to what Paul VU promulgated.   He refused to be guided by the Magisterium.

This tells me that you do not have a proper understanding of what the term Magisterium means in the Catholic Church. You can't have "a majority of the Magisterium." There is simply the Magisterium, which is all of the Bishops of the Church in union with and including the Pope teaching infallibly. You can have "a majority of bishops," but a majority of bishops is not the Magisterium. For example, if the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) decided to hold a council without the other bishops of the Church and attempted to define dogma, that could not happen. Why? Because the USCCB is a group of bishops, not all of the bishops, so therefore not the Magisterium. Magisterial authority only exists when all of the bishops of the Catholic Church come together.
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« Reply #356 on: September 11, 2010, 11:00:47 PM »

Quote
This tells me that you do not have a proper understanding of what the term Magisterium means in the Catholic Church. You can't have "a majority of the Magisterium." There is simply the Magisterium, which is all of the Bishops of the Church in union with and including the Pope teaching infallibly. .

So why did the Magisterium go against the Pope in the matter of the teaching he proclaimed in Humanae Vitae?

We see the outworking of the Magisterium today in the tacit non-acceptance of Humanae Vitae in the dioceses and the parishes.  It is not taught.  It is ignored.  Magisterium regnat!

And of course this is exactly what the English and Irish bishops explained to the British Parliamentary Commission.  Individual Churches (they name Ireland and England, Italy and Spain) are not obliged to accept and teach the papal opinion contained in papal Bulls.  I think that Mary has agreed with the bishops here, or at least she finds nothing contrary to Catholic teaching in what they say.

Or in other words, what we could term "National Magisteriums" are superior in authority to the Pope.
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« Reply #357 on: September 11, 2010, 11:05:17 PM »


...every Bishop of the Catholic Church and the Pope then, yeah, that is what the Magisterium is. Personally, I could never join a Church that wasn't guided by the Magisterium.

The Magisterium of the Catholic Church is not at odds with Tradition. It upholds Tradition.

So why was the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church completely ignored in the teaching on contraception promulgated by Pope Paul VI in Humanae Vitae?

We know that the majority of the Magisterium was opposed to what Paul VU promulgated.   He refused to be guided by the Magisterium.

Hmmmm. that is a problem.

If Humanae Vitae was ex cathedra, of course the opposition wouldn't matter: the pope, we are told, speaks infallibly ex cathedra with no need on anyone else. Of course, we cannot get a definitive answer whether Humanae Vitae is ex cathedra or not.

If it is not, then Pope Paul's opinion, according to what we are told here, is just one out of many.

Of course, that is not what Lumen Gentium tells us.

Again, infallibility solves nothing but creates problems.
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« Reply #358 on: September 11, 2010, 11:07:15 PM »

We know that the majority of the Magisterium was opposed to what Paul VU promulgated.   He refused to be guided by the Magisterium.

This tells me that you do not have a proper understanding of what the term Magisterium means in the Catholic Church. You can't have "a majority of the Magisterium." There is simply the Magisterium, which is all of the Bishops of the Church in union with and including the Pope teaching infallibly. You can have "a majority of bishops," but a majority of bishops is not the Magisterium. For example, if the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) decided to hold a council without the other bishops of the Church and attempted to define dogma, that could not happen. Why? Because the USCCB is a group of bishops, not all of the bishops, so therefore not the Magisterium.

That's good to hear.

So you will be voiding the Council of Toledo and its filioque, no?


Quote
Magisterial authority only exists when all of the bishops of the Catholic Church come together.

Only 150 bishops met at Constantinople I, and the bishop of Rome won't one of them. Nor even a representative for him. Yet they managed to write the Creed of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2010, 11:08:58 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #359 on: September 12, 2010, 01:14:43 AM »

Humanae Vitae (Human Life) was an encyclical of Pope Paul VI. An encyclical is not Ex Cathedra, yet many consider the Pope's words to be prophetic. I think that many Catholics and other Christians would truly benefit form this encyclical. Whether a Catholic adheres to Humanae Vitae or not is another issue. Yet, many (in their own personal opinons) consider this encyclical to be prophetic.

Encyclical:

An encyclical was originally a circular letter sent to all the churches of a particular area in the ancient Catholic Church. At that time, the word could be used for a letter sent out by any bishop. The word comes from Latin encyclia (from the Greek "en kyklo, ἐν κύκλῳ") meaning "general" or "encircling", which is also the origin of the word "encyclopedia". The Roman Catholic Church generally only uses this term for Papal encyclicals, but the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Anglican Communion retain the older usage.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encyclical
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