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).