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Author Topic: St Photius  (Read 1943 times) Average Rating: 0
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Orthodoc
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Those who ignore history tend to repeat it.


« on: December 02, 2002, 06:09:13 PM »

I just got finished reading this on EWTN's Q&A.  I have been surprised to recently learn the Roman Catholic attitude towards St Photius.  They seem to blame him for the entire schism and down play the reasons that he reacted as he did regarding the Fillioque, Roman interference in eastern affairs, Roman arrogance and claims of both supremacy and superiority as causes.  To them the whole schism seems to rest on the head of one man and it aint the Pope!  It's St Photius!

Anyhow it sounds like a topic for discussion since Orthodox Catholic and Roman Catholic opinions of the man are in complete odds with one another.

Orthodoc

-------------------------------------------------------

EWTN Q&A

Question:  The Orthodox, who look upon him, rightly, as the great champion of their cause against Rome, have forgiven all his offences for the sake of this championship. They have canonized him, and on 6 Feb., when they keep his feast, their office overflows with his praise. He is the "far-shining radiant star of the church", the "most inspired guide of the Orthodox", "thrice blessed speaker for God", "wise and divine glory of the hierarchy, who broke the horns of Roman pride" ("Menologion" for 6 Feb., ed. Maltzew, I, 916 sq.). The Catholic remembers this extraordinary man with mixed feelings. We do not deny his eminent qualities and yet we certainly do not remember him as a thrice blessed speaker for God. One may perhaps sum up Photius by saying that he was a great man with one blot on his character---his insatiable and unscrupulous ambition. But that blot so covers his life that it eclipses everything else and makes him deserve our final judgment as one of the worst enemies the Church of Christ ever had, and the cause of the greatest calamity that ever befell her.

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« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2002, 06:12:46 PM »

Simple, its history according to the western church.

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« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2002, 08:13:41 PM »

I think that posters statements tend to reflect an older hardline attitude that isn't really representative of current Catholic teachings regarding St. Photios or the Great Schism.  Fr. Francis Dvornik's scholarship on the subject is obviously more representative of the hierarchy's teachings and leanings on the subject than a few crackpot ultramontanes.  The above post was in response to another posters calling to attention to the fact that the Roman calendar is not a litmus test for who is or isn't saint, many Eastern saints not being on that calendar.  Some Latins get freaked out when someone states Byzantine Catholic's honor St.Constantine the Great, St. Photios or St. Mark of Ephesus as saints when they weren't officially canonized by Rome, forgetting the fact that the greater majority of saints on the ROman calendar weren't formally canonized either.

In Christ,
Lance
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« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2002, 08:16:49 PM »

Joe:

If St Photius was canonized before the definitive schism in 1054, or before Council of Florence, St Photius is a saint of the Latin Church too! Roll Eyes

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« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2002, 02:03:44 AM »

Joe:

If St Photius was canonized before the definitive schism in 1054, or before Council of Florence, St Photius is a saint of the Latin Church too! Roll Eyes

God bless

No, because even before the schism there were local saints.  The Latins did not always add Saints to their calendar and vice-versa.  Of course since Photios is a saint in a Church that the Latins are in communion with (the Byzantine Catholic Church) they have to recognize him, but they don't have to commemorate him).

In Christ,

anastasios
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« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2002, 11:39:36 AM »


No, because even before the schism there were local saints.  The Latins did not always add Saints to their calendar and vice-versa.  Of course since Photios is a saint in a Church that the Latins are in communion with (the Byzantine Catholic Church) they have to recognize him, but they don't have to commemorate him).

In Christ,

anastasios

St. Photios (or "Photius") the Great must have been reentered into the calendar of Saints of the Byzantine Catholic Church fairly recently, i.e., *AFTER* Vatican II.  When I was a Byzantine Catholic of the Ruthenian recension, he most definitely was *not* considered a Saint, being considered purely Orthodox, not Catholic, and not "nashemu" (one of ours), and was *not* on the Ruthenian calendar.  A check of my Byzantine Daily Worship by Melkite Archbishop Joseph Raya and Baron Jose de Vinck also does *not* include St. Photius in its liturgical calendar.

At that time the nearest I came to realizing that some in the Eastern Catholic Church considered St. Photius to be a Saint was when the late Melkite Archbishop Joseph Tawil of blessed memory became extremely upset upon learning that the seminarians of his eparchial seminary, St. Gregory the Theologian, then in Newton Centre, MA, had named the seminary cat "Photius."  Abp. Tawil thought it to be decidedly disrespectful to name a pet after a Saint!

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« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2002, 04:43:21 PM »

Dear Hypo,

I'm willing to agree with you that it probably was after Vatican II, and most definitely after Francis D's excellent scholarship in the best book of all time (!) The Photian Schism!   Smiley

All I know is that he is on the Ruthenian calendar now.

In Christ,

anastasios
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« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2002, 05:43:59 AM »

quoted from EWTN Q&A

One may perhaps sum up Photius by saying that he was a great man with one blot on his character---his insatiable and unscrupulous ambition. But that blot so covers his life that it eclipses everything else and makes him deserve our final judgment as one of the worst enemies the Church of Christ ever had, and the cause of the greatest calamity that ever befell her.

If you read the correspondence between Photius and Pope Nicholas and his personal correspondence to his friend and relative Bardas you find no suggestion of ambition. He considered his being made bishop an act of violence against himself, since it placed a huge burden upon his shoulders and took him away from that which he desired to do most of all, quietly study the books in his library.
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« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2002, 09:18:57 AM »

This quotation on EWTN is a typical example of the lack of looking inward for answers to problems.  Placing the blame on someone else is easier than examining one's self.  It's never my fault.
JoeS

quoted from EWTN Q&A

One may perhaps sum up Photius by saying that he was a great man with one blot on his character---his insatiable and unscrupulous ambition. But that blot so covers his life that it eclipses everything else and makes him deserve our final judgment as one of the worst enemies the Church of Christ ever had, and the cause of the greatest calamity that ever befell her.

If you read the correspondence between Photius and Pope Nicholas and his personal correspondence to his friend and relative Bardas you find no suggestion of ambition. He considered his being made bishop an act of violence against himself, since it placed a huge burden upon his shoulders and took him away from that which he desired to do most of all, quietly study the books in his library.
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« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2002, 02:10:09 PM »

That quote came from the Catholic Encyclopedia (1913 pre-ecumenical version).

The author quoted it but says the citation got cut off.

Still the moderator should not have just pasted it like that.

At that time, the thought was that Photios had died in schism from Rome, so Roman Catholics viewed him as a heretic and schismatic.

Only Fr. Dvornik rehabilitated him in 1948 for Roman Catholics with is work "The Photian Schism"

If you haven't read this book you need to in order to understand what was going on at the time, and what happened afterwards in the West to make Photius hated.  Also, if you can get a hold of it, an article called "Photius: Saint or Schismatic" in the Journal of Ecumenical Studies, Vol 2 or 3, I can't remember.

In Christ,

anastasios
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