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Author Topic: Second council of Lyon  (Read 8013 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: May 24, 2011, 09:16:44 AM »

Dear All,

While reading through another thread here, I came across the subject of the second council of Lyon.

It has been mentioned that in the said council, the Easterners made the following declaration..

""The Holy Roman Church possesses the supreme and full primacy and principality over the whole Catholic Church. She truly and humbly acknowledges that she received this from the Lord himself in blessed Peter, the prince and chief of the apostles, whose successor the Roman Pontiff is, together with the fullness of power. And since before all others she has the duty of defending the truth of the faith, so if any questions arise concerning the faith, it is by her judgment that they must be settled."

My question is, is the above statement true ? Was the second council of Lyon similar to the council of Florence ?

Thank you in advance.

God Bless !
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« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2011, 10:33:44 AM »

The eastern representatives affirmed latin doctrine of the filioque, papal supremacy, etc at both the Second Council of Lyon and the Council of Florence. In neither instance was their affirmation received in the east, however, and neither union ever truly manifested. Eastern Orthodox ecclesiology certainly does not give them the authority to have taken the actions they did in the name of the whole of the EOC. Both were politically motivated attempts to forge alliances between the Papacy and the Byzantine Empire. In the case of the Second Council of Lyon, to put an end to the fighting that had been caused by the creation of the Latin Empire in the wake of the Fourth Crusade, in the case of the Council of Florence, against the Islamic tide that was swallowing the Byzantine Empire.
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« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2011, 11:04:55 AM »

Where canons of this council can be found?
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« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2011, 01:06:33 PM »

http://www.legionofmarytidewater.com/faith/ECUM14.HTM

There you go. Hope it's helpful.

Quote
The council had six general sessions: on 7 and 18 May, 4 or 7 June, 6, 16 and 17 July. In the fourth session the union of the Greek church with the Latin church was decreed and defined, this union being based on the consent which the Greeks had given to the claims of the Roman church. In the last session the dogmatic constitution concerning the procession of the holy Spirit was approved, this question having been a cause of disagreement between the two churches. The union however appears to have been imposed, on the Greek side by the emperor Michael VIII. He wanted the support of the pope in order to deter Charles of Anjou from an attack on the Byzantine empire, while the majority of the Greek clergy opposed the union. The union was therefore fleeting, either because in the East the clergy steadily resisted it, or because the popes after Gregory X changed their plan of action.
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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2011, 06:36:26 PM »

Thank you. Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2011, 08:28:21 AM »

 I realize that both the Council of Florence and the Council of Lyon were both politically motivated, specifically on the part of the Latin Church, who desired that the Eastern Church submit to Papal authority, accept the filioque, and Latin dogmas such as purgatory etc. All of the Orthodox delegates, except St. Mark of Ephesus, signed and agreed to the papal demands. The Orthodox, on the other hand, were hoping that Rome would come to their rescue against the Islamic onslaught. Rome had no intentions of helping the East. I realize these councils had nothing to do with any real issues or heresies confronting the church as a whole.

 My questions are: Since the Orthodox majority had agreed to the decisions of these councils, did they,the Orthodox, have a right to reject these councils later? Since the Latin Church recognizes the decisions of both these councils, what makes the decision on the part of the Orthodox legit?
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« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2011, 10:15:36 AM »

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My questions are: Since the Orthodox majority had agreed to the decisions of these councils, did they,the Orthodox, have a right to reject these councils later? Since the Latin Church recognizes the decisions of both these councils, what makes the decision on the part of the Orthodox legit?
I think it is Holy Tradition.   It is imposable the Orthodox Church to not reject anything that is contrary to that which was given to her. That is what is passed on and given over within the Church from the time of Christ's apostles right down to the present day. (So is our faith).  It is not a "majority" that keeps the faith, it is the truth that keeps the faith.
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« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2011, 10:26:30 AM »


 My questions are: Since the Orthodox majority had agreed to the decisions of these councils, did they,the Orthodox, have a right to reject these councils later? Since the Latin Church recognizes the decisions of both these councils, what makes the decision on the part of the Orthodox legit?

First off, the 'Orthodox majority' did not agree to the decisions of that council. In fact, once the decisions of the council were made known to the Orthodox majority, the majority indicated their disagreement with what the bishops stated.

Secondly, decisions made in Council are not made by majority vote, as if a Council were the House of Commons or some such governmewntal body. Consensus guides the Church in these decisions: a consensus among the hierarchs as well as a consensus among the 'Orthodox majority', as you put it.

Finally, since the consensus within the Orthodox Church was that the decisions made in that council were improper, then the statements made from the councils are not adopted, no matter which hierarchs or ecclesiastical organizations consider it 'legit'.
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« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2011, 06:36:33 PM »

 Thank you. Did anything similar occur in early church history, primarily with the Seven Ecumenical Councils, where all in attendance accepted and agreed with the decisions, and then sometime later, a portion or section of the whole church rejected a particular council?
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« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2011, 05:01:31 PM »

Were there any Orthodox that were not present at the Florence Council? If so, who were the particular Orthodox Churches?
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« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2011, 05:28:51 PM »

I think only one Russian bishop was present, if memory serves correctly.  I believe he was jailed by the civil authorities when he returned to Russia because the Russian Orthodox faithful were so outraged that their faith had been compromised. 
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« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2011, 07:01:06 PM »

Thank you. Did anything similar occur in early church history, primarily with the Seven Ecumenical Councils, where all in attendance accepted and agreed with the decisions, and then sometime later, a portion or section of the whole church rejected a particular council?

If you are looking for an example of hierarchs making a decision but the laity disagreeing with the decision, then that would NOT be one of the Seven Ecumenical Councils*, since by defintion an Ecumenical Council is accepted by both the hierachs and the laity.

There have been multiple robber councils and other councils where hierarchs have met and the council has eventually been overturned.

*Actually, there are at least Eight Ecumenical Councils, mexcluding the Palamite Councils. Also, the difference between the Western 8th Council and the Eastern 8th Council is an example of exactly what I have been discussing here.
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« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2011, 07:13:18 PM »

Were there any Orthodox that were not present at the Florence Council? If so, who were the particular Orthodox Churches?
Yes, for one Moldovia deposed its Metropolitan Damian (IIRC) when he left to go to Florence, and elevated another Metropolitan.  Isodore was the only bishop in Rus' who went, and it had dozens of bishops IIRC by then.  I don't believe anyone from Georgia or Abkhazia went.
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« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2011, 08:30:04 PM »

My questions are: Since the Orthodox majority had agreed to the decisions of these councils, did they,the Orthodox, have a right to reject these councils later? Since the Latin Church recognizes the decisions of both these councils, what makes the decision on the part of the Orthodox legit?

It is not unimportant to know that when the West is critical of the East for rejecting Florence that this is simply Western propaganda.   The East never accepted Florence.

For the facts please check message 12
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http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,37727.msg597658.html#msg597658
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« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2011, 03:22:17 PM »

Were there any Orthodox that were not present at the Florence Council? If so, who were the particular Orthodox Churches?
Yes, for one Moldovia deposed its Metropolitan Damian (IIRC) when he left to go to Florence, and elevated another Metropolitan.  Isodore was the only bishop in Rus' who went, and it had dozens of bishops IIRC by then.  I don't believe anyone from Georgia or Abkhazia went.

If I'm not mistaken, he went to Florence as a Russian bishop, and left as a Roman cardinal.
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« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2011, 09:59:56 AM »

My questions are: Since the Orthodox majority had agreed to the decisions of these councils, did they,the Orthodox, have a right to reject these councils later? Since the Latin Church recognizes the decisions of both these councils, what makes the decision on the part of the Orthodox legit?

It is not unimportant to know that when the West is critical of the East for rejecting Florence that this is simply Western propaganda.   The East never accepted Florence.

For the facts please check message 12
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,37727.msg597658.html#msg597658

I'm inclined to agree with you, Fr. Ambrose. The argument that Florence was an Ecumenical Council because of the Eastern participation is a pretty weak argument, I think.

A better argument is this: acceptance of the decisions of Florence was required by the Church, as a condition for being part of the Church. The Orthodox didn't accept, and therefore were no longer part of the Church.

(Rather like the Council of Chalcedon, if you think about it.)
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« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2011, 01:17:29 PM »

 Did those Churches, the Oriental Orthodox, first agree with the decisions at the Council of Chalcedon and then reject it later on? Because this is exactly what occurred at Florence.
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« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2011, 04:56:02 PM »

Did those Churches, the Oriental Orthodox, first agree with the decisions at the Council of Chalcedon and then reject it later on? Because this is exactly what occurred at Florence.

This may sound strange coming from a Catholic, but I think you're being a tad unfair to the Orthodox: those who were present at the Council (other than Mark of Ephesus) accepted its decisions. That's not the same as saying that the churches accepted it (and later rejected it). What about those eastern bishops who weren't at the Council?
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« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2011, 04:57:39 PM »

My questions are: Since the Orthodox majority had agreed to the decisions of these councils, did they,the Orthodox, have a right to reject these councils later? Since the Latin Church recognizes the decisions of both these councils, what makes the decision on the part of the Orthodox legit?

It is not unimportant to know that when the West is critical of the East for rejecting Florence that this is simply Western propaganda.   The East never accepted Florence.

For the facts please check message 12
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,37727.msg597658.html#msg597658

A better argument is this: acceptance of the decisions of Florence was required by the Church, as a condition for being part of the Church. The Orthodox didn't accept, and therefore were no longer part of the Church.


Florence was an unmitigated failure for the ambitions of the Roman Catholic Church.  It was not just Greeks there, Russians, Georgians, etc.  There were also the Oriental Orthodox, Copts, Ethiopians, Armenians.  Rome found its claimed supremacy rejected by both the Churches of the Eastern Orthodox and the Churches of the Oriental Orthodox.  So basically Rome was outvoted by about 8 Churches to 1.  The 'ecumenical' decision of all the Churches at the Council of Florence was that Rome was in error.
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« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2011, 05:56:48 PM »

My questions are: Since the Orthodox majority had agreed to the decisions of these councils, did they,the Orthodox, have a right to reject these councils later? Since the Latin Church recognizes the decisions of both these councils, what makes the decision on the part of the Orthodox legit?

It is not unimportant to know that when the West is critical of the East for rejecting Florence that this is simply Western propaganda.   The East never accepted Florence.

For the facts please check message 12
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,37727.msg597658.html#msg597658

A better argument is this: acceptance of the decisions of Florence was required by the Church, as a condition for being part of the Church. The Orthodox didn't accept, and therefore were no longer part of the Church.


Florence was an unmitigated failure for the ambitions of the Roman Catholic Church.  It was not just Greeks there, Russians, Georgians, etc.  There were also the Oriental Orthodox, Copts, Ethiopians, Armenians.  Rome found its claimed supremacy rejected by both the Churches of the Eastern Orthodox and the Churches of the Oriental Orthodox.  So basically Rome was outvoted by about 8 Churches to 1.  The 'ecumenical' decision of all the Churches at the Council of Florence was that Rome was in error.

I admit 8 to 1 sounds very impressive, but the thing is that it doesn't make much sense to give each of those 9 (or however many) Churches an equal vote.
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« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2011, 06:01:12 PM »

My questions are: Since the Orthodox majority had agreed to the decisions of these councils, did they,the Orthodox, have a right to reject these councils later? Since the Latin Church recognizes the decisions of both these councils, what makes the decision on the part of the Orthodox legit?

It is not unimportant to know that when the West is critical of the East for rejecting Florence that this is simply Western propaganda.   The East never accepted Florence.

For the facts please check message 12
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,37727.msg597658.html#msg597658

I'm inclined to agree with you, Fr. Ambrose. The argument that Florence was an Ecumenical Council because of the Eastern participation is a pretty weak argument, I think.

A better argument is this: acceptance of the decisions of Florence was required by the Church, as a condition for being part of the Church. The Orthodox didn't accept, and therefore were no longer part of the Church.

Clarification: I consider the latter argument stronger than the former, but I think that both arguments contribute to the conclusion that Florence was an ecumenical council.
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« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2011, 06:19:08 PM »

My questions are: Since the Orthodox majority had agreed to the decisions of these councils, did they,the Orthodox, have a right to reject these councils later? Since the Latin Church recognizes the decisions of both these councils, what makes the decision on the part of the Orthodox legit?

It is not unimportant to know that when the West is critical of the East for rejecting Florence that this is simply Western propaganda.   The East never accepted Florence.

For the facts please check message 12
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,37727.msg597658.html#msg597658

I'm inclined to agree with you, Fr. Ambrose. The argument that Florence was an Ecumenical Council because of the Eastern participation is a pretty weak argument, I think.

A better argument is this: acceptance of the decisions of Florence was required by the Church, as a condition for being part of the Church. The Orthodox didn't accept, and therefore were no longer part of the Church.

Clarification: I consider the latter argument stronger than the former, but I think that both arguments contribute to the conclusion that Florence was an ecumenical council.

I would think that a condition for an Ecumenical Council is that all the bishops of the world are invited to participate.    This did not happen at Florence. It was a limited Council with chosen participants.
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« Reply #22 on: July 12, 2011, 06:19:13 PM »

Did those Churches, the Oriental Orthodox, first agree with the decisions at the Council of Chalcedon and then reject it later on? Because this is exactly what occurred at Florence.

Essentially the Bishops of what was to become the Syriac Orthodox Church were the only ones who accepted Chalcedon at first.
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« Reply #23 on: July 12, 2011, 06:24:33 PM »

My questions are: Since the Orthodox majority had agreed to the decisions of these councils, did they,the Orthodox, have a right to reject these councils later? Since the Latin Church recognizes the decisions of both these councils, what makes the decision on the part of the Orthodox legit?

It is not unimportant to know that when the West is critical of the East for rejecting Florence that this is simply Western propaganda.   The East never accepted Florence.

For the facts please check message 12
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,37727.msg597658.html#msg597658

A better argument is this: acceptance of the decisions of Florence was required by the Church, as a condition for being part of the Church. The Orthodox didn't accept, and therefore were no longer part of the Church.


Florence was an unmitigated failure for the ambitions of the Roman Catholic Church.  It was not just Greeks there, Russians, Georgians, etc.  There were also the Oriental Orthodox, Copts, Ethiopians, Armenians.  Rome found its claimed supremacy rejected by both the Churches of the Eastern Orthodox and the Churches of the Oriental Orthodox.  So basically Rome was outvoted by about 8 Churches to 1.  The 'ecumenical' decision of all the Churches at the Council of Florence was that Rome was in error.

I admit 8 to 1 sounds very impressive, but the thing is that it doesn't make much sense to give each of those 9 (or however many) Churches an equal vote.

You are of course quite right.  At an Ecumenical Council there is no voting in "blocks" by Churches.  Every bishop speaks for himself and votes as he believes right.  On this and other points Florence is far from being an Ecumenical Council.
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« Reply #24 on: July 12, 2011, 06:25:31 PM »

My questions are: Since the Orthodox majority had agreed to the decisions of these councils, did they,the Orthodox, have a right to reject these councils later? Since the Latin Church recognizes the decisions of both these councils, what makes the decision on the part of the Orthodox legit?

It is not unimportant to know that when the West is critical of the East for rejecting Florence that this is simply Western propaganda.   The East never accepted Florence.

For the facts please check message 12
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,37727.msg597658.html#msg597658

I'm inclined to agree with you, Fr. Ambrose. The argument that Florence was an Ecumenical Council because of the Eastern participation is a pretty weak argument, I think.

A better argument is this: acceptance of the decisions of Florence was required by the Church, as a condition for being part of the Church. The Orthodox didn't accept, and therefore were no longer part of the Church.

Clarification: I consider the latter argument stronger than the former, but I think that both arguments contribute to the conclusion that Florence was an ecumenical council.

I would think that a condition for an Ecumenical Council is that all the bishops of the world are invited to participate.    This did not happen at Florence. It was a limited Council with chosen participants.

I was under the impression that other bishops could have come if they wanted.

I guess I assumed that it would have just been impractical for all of the Eastern bishops to go to Italy.
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« Reply #25 on: July 12, 2011, 11:03:21 PM »

Was the second council of Lyon similar to the council of Florence ?

I guess one way to look at the difference between Lyon II and Florence is that Lyon was an opportunity without an ultimatum, if you will. That is to say, at Lyon the Orthodox had an opportunity to come back into full communion with Rome. They failed to do so, unfortunately, but they did not thereby remove themselves from the Church entirely. The situation after Lyon was pretty much the same as the situation before Lyon.
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« Reply #26 on: July 13, 2011, 04:49:19 AM »

..........I think that both arguments contribute to the conclusion that Florence was an ecumenical council.

Florence was never an Ecumenical Council.  In fact it was the instrument by which Pope Eugene chose to deliver the death blow to any and all future real and genuine Councils by means of his bull "Etsi non dubitemus ."   

Prior to Florence the true order of the Church was more or less intact and the Pope was subject to Ecumenical Councils.  But with "Etsi non dubitemus" Pope Eugene changed all that and unilaterally declared all Councils inferior to his person and unable to judge him.

Prior to Florence churchmen thought the Pope was subject to Councils.  After Florence he was not.  Eugene had up-ended the structure of the Church.

This astounding reversal of the Church's tradition of  1000 years and more was also the death blow to any genuine authority for bishops in the Roman Church.   Form henceforth their presence at Councils was only really attending a "think tank" because their ancient authority had been abolished by the Pope and the Pope reigned supreme over them.  And so it was the the ancient structure and administration of the Church ceased to exist in the West and "la Papatia" won the day and thenceforth ruled unchallenged.

This may help Catholics (such as Mary) to understand why the Orthodox see "the Papacy" as aberration in the Roman Church and one which has to be deconstructed if Rome wishes to pursue union with us.
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« Reply #27 on: July 13, 2011, 04:57:56 AM »

but I think that both arguments contribute to the conclusion that Florence was an ecumenical council.

What is an Ecumenical Council?
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« Reply #28 on: July 13, 2011, 05:22:26 AM »

but I think that both arguments contribute to the conclusion that Florence was an ecumenical council.

What is an Ecumenical Council?

Those who know will not say.   laugh
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« Reply #29 on: July 13, 2011, 09:37:22 AM »


This may help Catholics (such as Mary) to understand why the Orthodox see "the Papacy" as aberration in the Roman Church and one which has to be deconstructed if Rome wishes to pursue union with us.

It confirms Mary in her contention that Orthodoxy is inherently ahistorical when dealing with primatial power...and when it is not ahistorical it is delusional in that it cannot see that it uses the same kind of logic that the Catholic Church uses when defending against those who step outside the tradition, or are outside the tradition, and challenge the teachings and practices of the Church.



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« Reply #30 on: July 13, 2011, 10:56:37 AM »

..........I think that both arguments contribute to the conclusion that Florence was an ecumenical council.

Florence was never an Ecumenical Council.  In fact it was the instrument by which Pope Eugene chose to deliver the death blow to any and all future real and genuine Councils by means of his bull "Etsi non dubitemus ."    

Prior to Florence the true order of the Church was more or less intact and the Pope was subject to Ecumenical Councils.  But with "Etsi non dubitemus" Pope Eugene changed all that and unilaterally declared all Councils inferior to his person and unable to judge him.

Prior to Florence churchmen thought the Pope was subject to Councils.  After Florence he was not.  Eugene had up-ended the structure of the Church.

This astounding reversal of the Church's tradition of  1000 years and more was also the death blow to any genuine authority for bishops in the Roman Church.   Form henceforth their presence at Councils was only really attending a "think tank" because their ancient authority had been abolished by the Pope and the Pope reigned supreme over them.  And so it was the the ancient structure and administration of the Church ceased to exist in the West and "la Papatia" won the day and thenceforth ruled unchallenged.

This may help Catholics (such as Mary) to understand why the Orthodox see "the Papacy" as aberration in the Roman Church and one which has to be deconstructed if Rome wishes to pursue union with us.

I agree that the Council of Florence represents a major change in the situation (the implications of which took about 150 years to play out) although I don't agree with you on particulars. For one thing, I don't think we have the same idea of what "real and genuine Councils" means.

One thing I would say is that Florence was the death blow of ecumenism. An objection might be raised: Doesn't the revival of ecumenism in the 20th century disprove that? It seems to me, however, that it was not really a revival so much as the rise of a new phenomenon/movement.
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« Reply #31 on: July 13, 2011, 12:47:40 PM »


This may help Catholics (such as Mary) to understand why the Orthodox see "the Papacy" as aberration in the Roman Church and one which has to be deconstructed if Rome wishes to pursue union with us.

It confirms Mary in her contention that Orthodoxy is inherently ahistorical when dealing with primatial power...and when it is not ahistorical it is delusional in that it cannot see that it uses the same kind of logic that the Catholic Church uses when defending against those who step outside the tradition, or are outside the tradition, and challenge the teachings and practices of the Church.
LOL. This is ahistorical:
Quote
Can. 336 The college of bishops, whose head is the Supreme Pontiff and whose members are bishops by virtue of sacramental consecration and hierarchical communion with the head and members of the college and in which the apostolic body continues, together with its head and never without this head, is also the subject of supreme and full power offer the universal Church.

Can. 337 §1. The college of bishops exercises power offer the universal Church in a solemn manner in an ecumenical council.

§2. It exercises the same power through the united action of the bishops dispersed in the world, which the Roman Pontiff has publicly declared or freely accepted as such so that it becomes a true collegial act.

§3. It is for the Roman Pontiff, according to the needs of the Church, to select and promote the ways by which the college of bishops is to exercise its function collegially regarding the universal Church.

Can. 338 §1. It is for the Roman Pontiff alone to convoke an ecumenical council, preside offer it personally or through others, transfer, suspend, or dissolve a council, and to approve its decrees.

§2. It is for the Roman Pontiff to determine the matters to be treated in a council and establish the order to be observed in a council. To the questions proposed by the Roman Pontiff, the council fathers can add others which are to be approved by the Roman Pontiff.

Can. 339 §1. All the bishops and only the bishops who are members of the college of bishops have the right and duty to take part in an ecumenical council with a deliberative vote.

§2. Moreover, some others who are not bishops can be called to an ecumenical council by the supreme authority of the Church, to whom it belongs to determine their roles in the council.

Can. 340 If the Apostolic See becomes vacant during the celebration of a council, the council is interrupted by the law itself until the new Supreme Pontiff orders it to be continued or dissolves it.

Can. 341 §1. The decrees of an ecumenical council do not have obligatory force unless they have been approved by the Roman Pontiff together with the council fathers, confirmed by him, and promulgated at his order.

§2. To have obligatory force, decrees which the college of bishops issues when it places a truly collegial action in another way initiated or freely accepted by the Roman Pontiff need the same confirmation and promulgation.
http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P17.HTM
It doesn't describe a single one of the Seven Ecumenical Councils.

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« Reply #32 on: July 13, 2011, 12:52:38 PM »

Did those Churches, the Oriental Orthodox, first agree with the decisions at the Council of Chalcedon and then reject it later on? Because this is exactly what occurred at Florence.

Essentially the Bishops of what was to become the Syriac Orthodox Church were the only ones who accepted Chalcedon at first.
No, the Egyptian bishops were not allowed to leave until they agreed.
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« Reply #33 on: July 13, 2011, 03:10:54 PM »

 June 6, 1439, an agreement was signed by Patriarch Joseph II of Constantinople and all the Eastern bishops but one, St. Mark of Ephesus. Patriarch Joseph II reposed two days later. The Greeks then insisted that ratification by the Eastern Church could only be achieved by the agreement of an Eastern Synod. In August 1441 the Oriental Orthodox(not all were invited) were convened for a council.Why would the Eastern Church have need for ratification when all who attended Florence agreed and signed? Since, overall, the Council of Florence lasted for about a year, did not the delegates representing the Eastern Orthodox communicate back to their appropriate jurisdictions or Patriarchs with regards to the matters being discussed?  I cannot understand why the populous and other bishops found out about the decisions of this council after the fact.

 Basic scenario: A council is convened, bishops representing the whole church are present and accept and sign an agreement. Some time later, other hierarchs and the populous in the Orthodox Church rejected the decisions  of Florence. A council was agreed upon, then was rejected. What am I missing?

I apologize for playing the devil's advocate.

 
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« Reply #34 on: July 13, 2011, 03:24:40 PM »


 Basic scenario: A council is convened, bishops representing the whole church are present and accept and sign an agreement. Some time later, other hierarchs and the populous in the Orthodox Church rejected the decisions  of Florence. A council was agreed upon, then was rejected. What am I missing?
 

All this tells me is that in Orthodoxy, not only is there no primatial power in reality, but there's really no conciliar power either.

Power to the Orthodox People!!.... laugh laugh laugh
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« Reply #35 on: July 13, 2011, 03:37:13 PM »

June 6, 1439, an agreement was signed by Patriarch Joseph II of Constantinople and all the Eastern bishops but one, St. Mark of Ephesus. Patriarch Joseph II reposed two days later. The Greeks then insisted that ratification by the Eastern Church could only be achieved by the agreement of an Eastern Synod. In August 1441 the Oriental Orthodox(not all were invited) were convened for a council.Why would the Eastern Church have need for ratification when all who attended Florence agreed and signed? Since, overall, the Council of Florence lasted for about a year, did not the delegates representing the Eastern Orthodox communicate back to their appropriate jurisdictions or Patriarchs with regards to the matters being discussed?  I cannot understand why the populous and other bishops found out about the decisions of this council after the fact.

 Basic scenario: A council is convened, bishops representing the whole church are present and accept and sign an agreement. Some time later, other hierarchs and the populous in the Orthodox Church rejected the decisions  of Florence. A council was agreed upon, then was rejected. What am I missing?

I apologize for playing the devil's advocate.

Resources promised by the Pope to the eastern bishops for their living expenses (their "pay") were withheld for months at a time. The emporer refused to leave the council until an agreement had been made. The western bishops refused to change their position regardless of what appeals the eastern bishops (St Mark especially) made to councils and patristic writings. IIRC the list of who among the eastern delegation was allowed to vote on certain issues was changed from time to time throughout the council.

The Pope wanted ecclesiastical submission (doctrinally and organizatinally) and the emporer wanted military aid in defending what was left of his empire (he wasn't leaving without it).

This is a brief overview of my understanding anyway.
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« Reply #36 on: July 13, 2011, 04:15:39 PM »

Since, overall, the Council of Florence lasted for about a year, did not the delegates representing the Eastern Orthodox communicate back to their appropriate jurisdictions or Patriarchs with regards to the matters being discussed?  I cannot understand why the populous and other bishops found out about the decisions of this council after the fact. 

Good question.
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« Reply #37 on: July 13, 2011, 05:23:56 PM »

Did those Churches, the Oriental Orthodox, first agree with the decisions at the Council of Chalcedon and then reject it later on? Because this is exactly what occurred at Florence.

Essentially the Bishops of what was to become the Syriac Orthodox Church were the only ones who accepted Chalcedon at first.
No, the Egyptian bishops were not allowed to leave until they agreed.

LOL. Even if that were true, you realize how ridiculous of an idea it is, right?
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« Reply #38 on: July 13, 2011, 07:15:47 PM »


This may help Catholics (such as Mary) to understand why the Orthodox see "the Papacy" as aberration in the Roman Church and one which has to be deconstructed if Rome wishes to pursue union with us.

It confirms Mary in her contention that Orthodoxy is inherently ahistorical when dealing with primatial power...and when it is not ahistorical it is delusional in that it cannot see that it uses the same kind of logic that the Catholic Church uses when defending against those who step outside the tradition, or are outside the tradition, and challenge the teachings and practices of the Church.


Take off the blinkers, Mary.  I am sure you are historically literate enough to know that what Pope Eugene did with "Etsi non dubitemus was a watershed in the development of the ecclesiology of the Roman Catholic Church.

Previously it had been generally taught and believed in the Church of Rome that a Bishop of Rome is subject to Councils.  With Eugene's Bull that was stood on its head - the Pope was now superior to Councils and could not be judged by his peers, the ancient authority of bishops was removed.   

Eugene brought into existence the powers of the modern Papacy.  To reunify with us, you will have to destroy them.
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« Reply #39 on: July 13, 2011, 07:28:22 PM »

..........I think that both arguments contribute to the conclusion that Florence was an ecumenical council.

Florence was never an Ecumenical Council.  In fact it was the instrument by which Pope Eugene chose to deliver the death blow to any and all future real and genuine Councils by means of his bull "Etsi non dubitemus ."   

Prior to Florence the true order of the Church was more or less intact and the Pope was subject to Ecumenical Councils.  But with "Etsi non dubitemus" Pope Eugene changed all that and unilaterally declared all Councils inferior to his person and unable to judge him.

Prior to Florence churchmen thought the Pope was subject to Councils.  After Florence he was not.  Eugene had up-ended the structure of the Church.

This astounding reversal of the Church's tradition of  1000 years and more was also the death blow to any genuine authority for bishops in the Roman Church.   Form henceforth their presence at Councils was only really attending a "think tank" because their ancient authority had been abolished by the Pope and the Pope reigned supreme over them.  And so it was the the ancient structure and administration of the Church ceased to exist in the West and "la Papatia" won the day and thenceforth ruled unchallenged.

This may help Catholics (such as Mary) to understand why the Orthodox see "the Papacy" as aberration in the Roman Church and one which has to be deconstructed if Rome wishes to pursue union with us.

I agree that the Council of Florence represents a major change in the situation (the implications of which took about 150 years to play out) although I don't agree with you on particulars. For one thing, I don't think we have the same idea of what "real and genuine Councils" means.


"Real and genuine Councils" are those composed of bishops who exercise their God-given episcopal prerogatives under the freedom and prompting of the Holy Spirit.

"Real and genuine Councils" can never be at the mercy of the stranglehold of just one bishop.

"Real and genuine Councils" are not reduced to rubberstamps by one bishop who can negate them by refusing to approve them.
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« Reply #40 on: July 13, 2011, 07:55:01 PM »

June 6, 1439, an agreement was signed by Patriarch Joseph II of Constantinople and all the Eastern bishops but one, St. Mark of Ephesus. Patriarch Joseph II reposed two days later. The Greeks then insisted that ratification by the Eastern Church could only be achieved by the agreement of an Eastern Synod. In August 1441 the Oriental Orthodox(not all were invited) were convened for a council.Why would the Eastern Church have need for ratification when all who attended Florence agreed and signed? Since, overall, the Council of Florence lasted for about a year, did not the delegates representing the Eastern Orthodox communicate back to their appropriate jurisdictions or Patriarchs with regards to the matters being discussed?  I cannot understand why the populous and other bishops found out about the decisions of this council after the fact.

 Basic scenario: A council is convened, bishops representing the whole church are present and accept and sign an agreement. Some time later, other hierarchs and the populous in the Orthodox Church rejected the decisions  of Florence. A council was agreed upon, then was rejected. What am I missing?

I apologize for playing the devil's advocate.

 


The much vaunted Roman Catholic propaganda that a reunion was achieved at Florence and ratified by the Orthodox but then repudiated by the "perfidious Greeks" is so much balderdash, a Western propaganda item which should be laid to rest...! The acceptance of Florence was conditional upon its acceptance by an Eastern Council.

" However, after Patriarch Joseph II of Constantinople died only two days later [at Florence], the Greeks insisted that ratification by the Eastern Church could be achieved only by the agreement of an Eastern synod.

"Upon their return, the Eastern bishops found their agreement with the West broadly rejected by the populace and by civil authorities (with the notable exception of the Emperors of the East who remained committed to union until the fall of the Byzantine Empire two decades later). The union signed at Florence, even down to the present, has never been accepted by the Eastern churches."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_of_Florence

-oOo-

Skullduggery at the Council

Quote
Almost simultaneously with these measures the Patriarch of Constantinople died, 10 June; not, however, before he had drawn up and signed a declaration in which he admitted the Filioque, purgatory, and the papal primacy. Nevertheless the reunion of the Churches was not yet an accomplished fact. The Greek representatives insisted that their aforesaid declarations were only their personal opinions; and as they stated that it was still necessary to obtain the assent of the Greek Church in synod assembled, seemingly insuperable difficulties threatened to annihilate all that had so far been achieved.

Nihil Obstat. September 1, 1909. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06111a.htm


"TO THE OTHER afflictions which the Orthodox delegation suffered in Florence was added the death of the Patriarch of Constantinople. The Patriarch was found dead in his room. On the table lay (supposedly) his testament, Extrema Sententia, consisting in all of some lines in which he declared that he accepted everything that the Church of Rome confesses. And then: "In like manner I acknowledge the Holy Father of Fathers, the Supreme Pontiff and Vicar of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Pope of Old Rome. Likewise, I acknowledge purgatory. In affirmation of this, I affix my signature."

"There is no doubt whatever that Patriarch Joseph did not write this document. The German scholar Frommann, who made a detailed investigation of the "Testament" of Patriarch Joseph, says: "This document is so Latinized and corresponds so little to the opinion expressed by the Patriarch several days before, that its spuriousness is evident." [1] The ''Testament" appears in the history of the Council of Florence quite late; contemporaries of the Council knew nothing of it.

[1] After Hefele, Histoire des Conciles, vol. VII, pt. II, pp. 1015sq

http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/stmark.aspx
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« Reply #41 on: July 13, 2011, 08:00:46 PM »


 Basic scenario: A council is convened, bishops representing the whole church are present and accept and sign an agreement. Some time later, other hierarchs and the populous in the Orthodox Church rejected the decisions  of Florence. A council was agreed upon, then was rejected. What am I missing?
 

All this tells me is that in Orthodoxy, not only is there no primatial power in reality, but there's really no conciliar power either.

Power to the Orthodox People!!....
laugh laugh laugh

This is silly!  A reading of message 40 shows that the Orthodox delegates insisted on the exercise of proper conciliar procedures in order to ratify Florence.

You'll grab any opportunty for some Orthodox bashing.
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« Reply #42 on: July 13, 2011, 08:06:36 PM »


 Basic scenario: A council is convened, bishops representing the whole church are present and accept and sign an agreement. Some time later, other hierarchs and the populous in the Orthodox Church rejected the decisions  of Florence. A council was agreed upon, then was rejected. What am I missing?
 

All this tells me is that in Orthodoxy, not only is there no primatial power in reality, but there's really no conciliar power either.

Power to the Orthodox People!!.... laugh laugh laugh
Orthodox ecclesiology doesn't function quite in the manner described above by elijahmarie.

It is certainly inaccurate to say there is *no* primatial power in Orthodoxy; rather there is no *absolute* primatial power in Orthodoxy. Absolute power corrupts, as absolute independence corrupts. In Orthodoxy there is a proper balance of power, specifically sobernost, under the headship of Christ (cf. Ernst Benz below). In Orthodoxy bishops must call for the amen of the people. The people have a voice along with deacons and presbyters. This has worked out just fine for some 2000 years now.
 
Quote from: Ernst Benz
The Orthodox Church acknowledges the monarchical principle as far as the whole Church is concerned, this concept embracing both the visible Church on earth and the invisible celestial Church. The master, lord and sole head of the Church is Christ. But the monarchical principle does not in practice rule the organization of the visible Church. Here purely democratic principles prevail. No single member of the Church is considered to have a legal position fundamentally superior to that of the other members. Even the clergy, aside from the sacramental powers accorded to them by their consecration, have no special rights that would set them above the laity. The Orthodox Church prizes this "democratic" (sobornost’) principle as one of its oldest traditions. Just as all the apostles were equal in rank and authority, so their successors, the bishops, are all equal.

It is true that the principle of the so-called monarchical episcopate became established quite early in the primitive Church. That is to say, the bishop was recognized as holding the leading position within the Church. But this did not mean that he alone represented the entire spiritual power of the Church. Not even the bishops as a body constituted the highest authority of the Church. This was vested in the ecumenical consensus or conscience of the Church, which meant the general opinion of clergy and laymen taken together. Even the decision of an ecumenical council acquires validity only if it is accepted by this general consensus of the whole Church. Although the bishop represents the unity of the Christian community and exercises full spiritual powers, he is no autocrat; he and all the clergy subordinate to him are regarded as parts of the entire ecclesia, the living organism of which Christ is the head.
-Ernst Benz, The Eastern Orthodox Church: Its Thought and Life

Quote from: F. Matthews-Green
The method was collegial, not authoritarian; disputes were settled in church councils, whose decisions were not valid unless “received” by the whole community. The Faith was indeed common: what was believed by all people, in all times, in all places. The degree of unity won this way was amazing. Though there was some local liturgical variation, the Church was strikingly uniform in faith and practice across vast distances, and at a time when communication was far from easy. This unity was so consistent that I could attribute it to nothing but the Holy Spirit. -F. Matthews-Green, Facing East
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« Reply #43 on: July 13, 2011, 08:23:47 PM »

The much vaunted Roman Catholic propaganda that a reunion was achieved at Florence and ratified by the Orthodox but then repudiated by the "perfidious Greeks" is so much balderdash, a Western propaganda item which should be laid to rest...! The acceptance of Florence was conditional upon its acceptance by an Eastern Council.

" However, after Patriarch Joseph II of Constantinople died only two days later [at Florence], the Greeks insisted that ratification by the Eastern Church could be achieved only by the agreement of an Eastern synod.

So is it true, then, that they didn't mention a need for ratification until after the death of Patriarch Joseph?

Also, what about vasily's question:

Since, overall, the Council of Florence lasted for about a year, did not the delegates representing the Eastern Orthodox communicate back to their appropriate jurisdictions or Patriarchs with regards to the matters being discussed?  I cannot understand why the populous and other bishops found out about the decisions of this council after the fact. 
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« Reply #44 on: July 13, 2011, 08:25:21 PM »


 Basic scenario: A council is convened, bishops representing the whole church are present and accept and sign an agreement. Some time later, other hierarchs and the populous in the Orthodox Church rejected the decisions  of Florence. A council was agreed upon, then was rejected. What am I missing?
 

All this tells me is that in Orthodoxy, not only is there no primatial power in reality, but there's really no conciliar power either.

Power to the Orthodox People!!.... laugh laugh laugh
Orthodox ecclesiology doesn't function quite in the manner described above by elijahmarie.

It certainly inaccurate to say there is *no* primatial power in Orthodoxy; rather there is no *absolute* primatial power in Orthodoxy. Absolute power corrupts, as surely absolute independence corrupts. In Orthodoxy there is a proper balance of power, specifically sobernost, under the headship of Christ (cf. Ernst Benz below). In Orthodoxy bishops must call for the amen of the people. The people have a voice along with deacons and presbyters. This has worked out just fine for some 2000 years now.
 
Quote from: Ernst Benz
The Orthodox Church acknowledges the monarchical principle as far as the whole Church is concerned, this concept embracing both the visible Church on earth and the invisible celestial Church. The master, lord and sole head of the Church is Christ. But the monarchical principle does not in practice rule the organization of the visible Church. Here purely democratic principles prevail. No single member of the Church is considered to have a legal position fundamentally superior to that of the other members. Even the clergy, aside from the sacramental powers accorded to them by their consecration, have no special rights that would set them above the laity. The Orthodox Church prizes this "democratic" (sobornost’) principle as one of its oldest traditions. Just as all the apostles were equal in rank and authority, so their successors, the bishops, are all equal.

It is true that the principle of the so-called monarchical episcopate became established quite early in the primitive Church. That is to say, the bishop was recognized as holding the leading position within the Church. But this did not mean that he alone represented the entire spiritual power of the Church. Not even the bishops as a body constituted the highest authority of the Church. This was vested in the ecumenical consensus or conscience of the Church, which meant the general opinion of clergy and laymen taken together. Even the decision of an ecumenical council acquires validity only if it is accepted by this general consensus of the whole Church. Although the bishop represents the unity of the Christian community and exercises full spiritual powers, he is no autocrat; he and all the clergy subordinate to him are regarded as parts of the entire ecclesia, the living organism of which Christ is the head.
-Ernst Benz, The Eastern Orthodox Church: Its Thought and Life

Quote from: F. Matthews-Green
The method was collegial, not authoritarian; disputes were settled in church councils, whose decisions were not valid unless “received” by the whole community. The Faith was indeed common: what was believed by all people, in all times, in all places. The degree of unity won this way was amazing. Though there was some local liturgical variation, the Church was strikingly uniform in faith and practice across vast distances, and at a time when communication was far from easy. This unity was so consistent that I could attribute it to nothing but the Holy Spirit. -F. Matthews-Green, Facing East

That seem fair to me. I guess all belivers must remember they deal with Church (Body of Christ), not political organization. I remember reading profesor Jerzy Klinger, Polish Orthodox scholar, who pointed out that Orthodox Church constantly pray for unity because love is always hard to achive and sustain.
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« Reply #45 on: July 13, 2011, 08:37:24 PM »

The much vaunted Roman Catholic propaganda that a reunion was achieved at Florence and ratified by the Orthodox but then repudiated by the "perfidious Greeks" is so much balderdash, a Western propaganda item which should be laid to rest...! The acceptance of Florence was conditional upon its acceptance by an Eastern Council.

" However, after Patriarch Joseph II of Constantinople died only two days later [at Florence], the Greeks insisted that ratification by the Eastern Church could be achieved only by the agreement of an Eastern synod.

So is it true, then, that they didn't mention a need for ratification until after the death of Patriarch Joseph?

There were no representatives from the most ancient Patriarchates - the holy Church of Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria.

Also, there were no representatives from the Churches of Serbia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, etc.

How could a union be imposed on these autocephalous Churches without their participation and approval?

The Roman Catholic claim that union was achieved at Florence is unsustainable.
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« Reply #46 on: July 13, 2011, 08:40:42 PM »

The much vaunted Roman Catholic propaganda that a reunion was achieved at Florence and ratified by the Orthodox but then repudiated by the "perfidious Greeks" is so much balderdash, a Western propaganda item which should be laid to rest...! The acceptance of Florence was conditional upon its acceptance by an Eastern Council.

" However, after Patriarch Joseph II of Constantinople died only two days later [at Florence], the Greeks insisted that ratification by the Eastern Church could be achieved only by the agreement of an Eastern synod.

So is it true, then, that they didn't mention a need for ratification until after the death of Patriarch Joseph?

Also, what about vasily's question:

Since, overall, the Council of Florence lasted for about a year, did not the delegates representing the Eastern Orthodox communicate back to their appropriate jurisdictions or Patriarchs with regards to the matters being discussed?  I cannot understand why the populous and other bishops found out about the decisions of this council after the fact.  
One must also keep in mind the sack of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453; sometimes political realities make timely response a tad complicated (the final session of the Council of Florence took place April 25, 1449).
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« Reply #47 on: July 13, 2011, 08:46:13 PM »

Also, what about vasily's question:

Since, overall, the Council of Florence lasted for about a year, did not the delegates representing the Eastern Orthodox communicate back to their appropriate jurisdictions or Patriarchs with regards to the matters being discussed?  I cannot understand why the populous and other bishops found out about the decisions of this council after the fact. 

Dear Vasily,

If one assumes that there was communication with the Synods of bishops back home, one would conclude that they must have been reminding the people in Florence that nothing could be ratified without the convening of a great council in the East.

And it is imperative to keep in mind that the delegates at Florence were delegates from a minority of the Orthodox Churches.  With the absence of Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, Serbia, Bulgaria, Cyprus and other Churches, the delegation was far from representing the full Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #48 on: July 13, 2011, 08:49:49 PM »

The Roman Catholic claim that union was achieved at Florence is unsustainable.

What if we just say that a union was achieved at Florence, but it was considerably less successful than, say, the Union of Brest?
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« Reply #49 on: July 13, 2011, 08:59:10 PM »

The Roman Catholic claim that union was achieved at Florence is unsustainable.

What if we just say that a union was achieved at Florence, but it was considerably less successful than, say, the Union of Brest?


Let's say then that at Florence union was achievd with two Orthodox Churches

1.  the Church of Constantinople
2.  the Church of Russia
        (represented by its Metropolitan, a Constantinople appointee.)

No union was achieved with

1.  the Church of Jerusalem
2.  the Church of Antioch
3.  the Church of Alexandria
4.  the Church of Serbia
5.  the Church of Bulgaria
6.  the Church of Cyrpus


« Last Edit: July 13, 2011, 09:00:43 PM by Irish Hermit » Logged
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« Reply #50 on: July 13, 2011, 10:25:46 PM »

The Roman Catholic claim that union was achieved at Florence is unsustainable.

What if we just say that a union was achieved at Florence, but it was considerably less successful than, say, the Union of Brest?


Let's say then that at Florence union was achievd with two Orthodox Churches

1.  the Church of Constantinople
2.  the Church of Russia
        (represented by its Metropolitan, a Constantinople appointee.)

Alright.
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« Reply #51 on: July 13, 2011, 10:50:29 PM »

The Roman Catholic claim that union was achieved at Florence is unsustainable.

What if we just say that a union was achieved at Florence, but it was considerably less successful than, say, the Union of Brest?


Let's say then that at Florence union was achievd with two Orthodox Churches

1.  the Church of Constantinople
2.  the Church of Russia
        (represented by its Metropolitan, a Constantinople appointee.)

Alright.
But even then there is no genuine union of Eastern and Western churches if the Orthodox people ultimately rejected it as a Robber Council, which is an historical reality. Genuine union of the East with the Latins would have to include the Orthodox people as a whole, not just an agreement with some of her hierarchs, or even all of her hierarchs.
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« Reply #52 on: July 13, 2011, 11:21:17 PM »

The Roman Catholic claim that union was achieved at Florence is unsustainable.

What if we just say that a union was achieved at Florence, but it was considerably less successful than, say, the Union of Brest?


Let's say then that at Florence union was achievd with two Orthodox Churches

1.  the Church of Constantinople
2.  the Church of Russia
        (represented by its Metropolitan, a Constantinople appointee.)

Alright.
But even then there is no genuine union of Eastern and Western churches if the Orthodox people ultimately rejected it as a Robber Council, which is an historical reality. Genuine union of the East with the Latins would have to include the Orthodox people as a whole, not just an agreement with some of her hierarchs, or even all of her hierarchs.

As I mentioned earlier, I think the union that the Council of Florence achieved was less successful than the Union of Brest.  I say that because even those who accepted the Florentine Union, rejected it once they realized that most other Orthodox were rejecting it.
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« Reply #53 on: July 13, 2011, 11:30:33 PM »

The Roman Catholic claim that union was achieved at Florence is unsustainable.

What if we just say that a union was achieved at Florence, but it was considerably less successful than, say, the Union of Brest?


Let's say then that at Florence union was achievd with two Orthodox Churches

1.  the Church of Constantinople
2.  the Church of Russia
        (represented by its Metropolitan, a Constantinople appointee.)

Alright.
But even then there is no genuine union of Eastern and Western churches if the Orthodox people ultimately rejected it as a Robber Council, which is an historical reality. Genuine union of the East with the Latins would have to include the Orthodox people as a whole, not just an agreement with some of her hierarchs, or even all of her hierarchs.

As I mentioned earlier, I think the union that the Council of Florence achieved was less successful than the Union of Brest.  I say that because even those who accepted the Florentine Union, rejected it once they realized that most other Orthodox were rejecting it.
That distinguishes Brest from Florence how?

Actually, as Brest was supposedly the implimentation of Florence, don't think a distinction can be made.
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« Reply #54 on: July 13, 2011, 11:40:54 PM »

The much vaunted Roman Catholic propaganda that a reunion was achieved at Florence and ratified by the Orthodox but then repudiated by the "perfidious Greeks" is so much balderdash, a Western propaganda item which should be laid to rest...! The acceptance of Florence was conditional upon its acceptance by an Eastern Council.

" However, after Patriarch Joseph II of Constantinople died only two days later [at Florence], the Greeks insisted that ratification by the Eastern Church could be achieved only by the agreement of an Eastern synod.

So is it true, then, that they didn't mention a need for ratification until after the death of Patriarch Joseph?

Also, what about vasily's question:

Since, overall, the Council of Florence lasted for about a year, did not the delegates representing the Eastern Orthodox communicate back to their appropriate jurisdictions or Patriarchs with regards to the matters being discussed?  I cannot understand why the populous and other bishops found out about the decisions of this council after the fact. 
My only problem here, is it seems like a Supreme Pontiff/Bishop should needed based on the example of the One God over the One Church. The father is head over his family, God is Lord over all creation, and God the Father is greater in authority or function over the other two Persons of the Trinity.

It seems like to say Peter only has primacy of honor and not supremacy over the other Apostles messes up the typology.
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« Reply #55 on: July 13, 2011, 11:47:25 PM »

The much vaunted Roman Catholic propaganda that a reunion was achieved at Florence and ratified by the Orthodox but then repudiated by the "perfidious Greeks" is so much balderdash, a Western propaganda item which should be laid to rest...! The acceptance of Florence was conditional upon its acceptance by an Eastern Council.

" However, after Patriarch Joseph II of Constantinople died only two days later [at Florence], the Greeks insisted that ratification by the Eastern Church could be achieved only by the agreement of an Eastern synod.

So is it true, then, that they didn't mention a need for ratification until after the death of Patriarch Joseph?

Also, what about vasily's question:

Since, overall, the Council of Florence lasted for about a year, did not the delegates representing the Eastern Orthodox communicate back to their appropriate jurisdictions or Patriarchs with regards to the matters being discussed?  I cannot understand why the populous and other bishops found out about the decisions of this council after the fact. 
My only problem here, is it seems like a Supreme Pontiff/Bishop should needed based on the example of the One God over the One Church. The father is head over his family, God is Lord over all creation, and God the Father is greater in authority or function over the other two Persons of the Trinity.

It seems like to say Peter only has primacy of honor and not supremacy over the other Apostles messes up the typology.

Not even the Catholic Church uses that typology. 

The Holy Father is the shepherd and steward and vicar. 
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« Reply #56 on: July 13, 2011, 11:49:56 PM »

The Roman Catholic claim that union was achieved at Florence is unsustainable.

What if we just say that a union was achieved at Florence, but it was considerably less successful than, say, the Union of Brest?


Let's say then that at Florence union was achievd with two Orthodox Churches

1.  the Church of Constantinople
2.  the Church of Russia
        (represented by its Metropolitan, a Constantinople appointee.)

Alright.
But even then there is no genuine union of Eastern and Western churches if the Orthodox people ultimately rejected it as a Robber Council, which is an historical reality. Genuine union of the East with the Latins would have to include the Orthodox people as a whole, not just an agreement with some of her hierarchs, or even all of her hierarchs.

As I mentioned earlier, I think the union that the Council of Florence achieved was less successful than the Union of Brest.  I say that because even those who accepted the Florentine Union, rejected it once they realized that most other Orthodox were rejecting it.
There is probably as much warrant to dub the "Union of Brest" as the "Disunion of Brest." Seeing as the Ruthenians broke relations (Disunion) with the patriarch of Constantinople in this "Union" (not to mention decades of Rus fighting Rus) the so-called Union of Brest certainly cannot be deemed a genuine "union" in the Orthodox sense of sobernost described above.
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« Reply #57 on: July 13, 2011, 11:54:56 PM »

The "one pope to rule them all" theory died at the Jerusalem council documented in Acts.
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« Reply #58 on: July 13, 2011, 11:55:47 PM »

The much vaunted Roman Catholic propaganda that a reunion was achieved at Florence and ratified by the Orthodox but then repudiated by the "perfidious Greeks" is so much balderdash, a Western propaganda item which should be laid to rest...! The acceptance of Florence was conditional upon its acceptance by an Eastern Council.

" However, after Patriarch Joseph II of Constantinople died only two days later [at Florence], the Greeks insisted that ratification by the Eastern Church could be achieved only by the agreement of an Eastern synod.

So is it true, then, that they didn't mention a need for ratification until after the death of Patriarch Joseph?

Also, what about vasily's question:

Since, overall, the Council of Florence lasted for about a year, did not the delegates representing the Eastern Orthodox communicate back to their appropriate jurisdictions or Patriarchs with regards to the matters being discussed?  I cannot understand why the populous and other bishops found out about the decisions of this council after the fact. 
My only problem here, is it seems like a Supreme Pontiff/Bishop should needed based on the example of the One God over the One Church. The father is head over his family, God is Lord over all creation, and God the Father is greater in authority or function over the other two Persons of the Trinity.

It seems like to say Peter only has primacy of honor and not supremacy over the other Apostles messes up the typology.

Not even the Catholic Church uses that typology. 

The Holy Father is the shepherd and steward and vicar. 
Why is he referred to as the visible head, though?
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« Reply #59 on: July 14, 2011, 12:04:34 AM »

The much vaunted Roman Catholic propaganda that a reunion was achieved at Florence and ratified by the Orthodox but then repudiated by the "perfidious Greeks" is so much balderdash, a Western propaganda item which should be laid to rest...! The acceptance of Florence was conditional upon its acceptance by an Eastern Council.

" However, after Patriarch Joseph II of Constantinople died only two days later [at Florence], the Greeks insisted that ratification by the Eastern Church could be achieved only by the agreement of an Eastern synod.

So is it true, then, that they didn't mention a need for ratification until after the death of Patriarch Joseph?

Also, what about vasily's question:

Since, overall, the Council of Florence lasted for about a year, did not the delegates representing the Eastern Orthodox communicate back to their appropriate jurisdictions or Patriarchs with regards to the matters being discussed?  I cannot understand why the populous and other bishops found out about the decisions of this council after the fact. 
My only problem here, is it seems like a Supreme Pontiff/Bishop should needed based on the example of the One God over the One Church. The father is head over his family, God is Lord over all creation, and God the Father is greater in authority or function over the other two Persons of the Trinity.

It seems like to say Peter only has primacy of honor and not supremacy over the other Apostles messes up the typology.

Not even the Catholic Church uses that typology. 

The Holy Father is the shepherd and steward and vicar. 
Why is he referred to as the visible head, though?

That is more of an association of the Church as the Body of Christ, rather than an analog to the Trinity.

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« Reply #60 on: July 14, 2011, 12:12:54 AM »

Ok. But still, as a husband is head of the wife, etc. it seems like there should be a bishop over the whole Church. The Orthodox position confuses me.
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« Reply #61 on: July 14, 2011, 12:17:01 AM »

Ok. But still, as a husband is head of the wife, etc. it seems like there should be a bishop over the whole Church. The Orthodox position confuses me.

I agree with you.
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« Reply #62 on: July 14, 2011, 12:21:54 AM »

The "one pope to rule them all" theory died at the Jerusalem council documented in Acts.

*thumbs up*
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« Reply #63 on: July 14, 2011, 12:24:28 AM »

Ok. But still, as a husband is head of the wife, etc. it seems like there should be a bishop over the whole Church. The Orthodox position confuses me.

You are really confusing yourself, given that all these traditions supposedly affirm that it is Jesus Christ who is the real head of the Church.
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« Reply #64 on: July 14, 2011, 12:24:35 AM »

Ok. But still, as a husband is head of the wife, etc. it seems like there should be a bishop over the whole Church.

There is:  I Peter 2:"21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin; no guile was found on his lips. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he trusted to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls. 3:1 1 Likewise you wives, be submissive to your husbands..."
The Orthodox position confuses me.
What's confusing?
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« Reply #65 on: July 14, 2011, 12:27:19 AM »

The much vaunted Roman Catholic propaganda that a reunion was achieved at Florence and ratified by the Orthodox but then repudiated by the "perfidious Greeks" is so much balderdash, a Western propaganda item which should be laid to rest...! The acceptance of Florence was conditional upon its acceptance by an Eastern Council.

" However, after Patriarch Joseph II of Constantinople died only two days later [at Florence], the Greeks insisted that ratification by the Eastern Church could be achieved only by the agreement of an Eastern synod.

So is it true, then, that they didn't mention a need for ratification until after the death of Patriarch Joseph?

Also, what about vasily's question:

Since, overall, the Council of Florence lasted for about a year, did not the delegates representing the Eastern Orthodox communicate back to their appropriate jurisdictions or Patriarchs with regards to the matters being discussed?  I cannot understand why the populous and other bishops found out about the decisions of this council after the fact. 
My only problem here, is it seems like a Supreme Pontiff/Bishop should needed based on the example of the One God over the One Church. The father is head over his family, God is Lord over all creation, and God the Father is greater in authority or function over the other two Persons of the Trinity.

It seems like to say Peter only has primacy of honor and not supremacy over the other Apostles messes up the typology.

Not even the Catholic Church uses that typology. 

The Holy Father is the shepherd and steward and vicar. 
Why is he referred to as the visible head, though?

That is more of an association of the Church as the Body of Christ, rather than an analog to the Trinity.


That's true enough. Unlike the Orthodox episcopate, where the fullness resides in any single bishop like the fullness of the Godhead resides in any one Person of the Most Holy Trinity, the Vatican's episcopate is all head and no body.
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« Reply #66 on: July 14, 2011, 12:32:16 AM »

Did those Churches, the Oriental Orthodox, first agree with the decisions at the Council of Chalcedon and then reject it later on? Because this is exactly what occurred at Florence.

Essentially the Bishops of what was to become the Syriac Orthodox Church were the only ones who accepted Chalcedon at first.
No, the Egyptian bishops were not allowed to leave until they agreed.

Are you sure here? Does not the last act of this council allow the Egyptian bishops to defer their decision?
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« Reply #67 on: July 14, 2011, 12:47:41 AM »

Ok. But still, as a husband is head of the wife, etc. it seems like there should be a bishop over the whole Church.

There is:  I Peter 2:"21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin; no guile was found on his lips. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he trusted to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls. 3:1 1 Likewise you wives, be submissive to your husbands..."
The Orthodox position confuses me.
What's confusing?
Shouldn't it be on earth on it is in Heaven? One Bishop above, one bishop bellow. One primate over all the clergy in a diocese and one primate over all the clergy in the "super-diocese" that is the Church. Instead, it's monarchy on all the lower levels and then a form of democracy at the top.
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« Reply #68 on: July 14, 2011, 12:53:24 AM »

Ok. But still, as a husband is head of the wife, etc. it seems like there should be a bishop over the whole Church.

There is:  I Peter 2:"21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin; no guile was found on his lips. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he trusted to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls. 3:1 1 Likewise you wives, be submissive to your husbands..."
The Orthodox position confuses me.
What's confusing?
Shouldn't it be on earth on it is in Heaven? One Bishop above, one bishop bellow. One primate over all the clergy in a diocese and one primate over all the clergy in the "super-diocese" that is the Church. Instead, it's monarchy on all the lower levels and then a form of democracy at the top.

How so? Christ is our one high priest (aka hierarch), to whom the knee of every other bishop (who we call hierarch only by extension) must bend.
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« Reply #69 on: July 14, 2011, 12:58:52 AM »

Shouldn't it be on earth on it is in Heaven?

To suggest that Christ is not present in the earthly Church would be heretical.
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« Reply #70 on: July 14, 2011, 01:07:00 AM »

Shouldn't it be on earth on it is in Heaven?

To suggest that Christ is not present in the earthly Church would be heretical.

This sounds right to me.
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« Reply #71 on: July 14, 2011, 01:10:18 AM »

Ok. But still, as a husband is head of the wife, etc. it seems like there should be a bishop over the whole Church.

There is:  I Peter 2:"21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin; no guile was found on his lips. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he trusted to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls. 3:1 1 Likewise you wives, be submissive to your husbands..."
The Orthodox position confuses me.
What's confusing?
Shouldn't it be on earth on it is in Heaven? One Bishop above, one bishop bellow. One primate over all the clergy in a diocese and one primate over all the clergy in the "super-diocese" that is the Church. Instead, it's monarchy on all the lower levels and then a form of democracy at the top.
Christ told the Apostles they would sit on twelve thrones.  He gave no ranking of those thrones.

Any Person of the Holy Trinity outranks anyone else, but the Three sit on the same throne.

The Church isn't a superdiocese, any more than the Holy Trinity is a sum of parts.  All the dioceses do not add up to the Church. Each diocese is the fullness of the Church.
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« Reply #72 on: July 14, 2011, 01:10:34 AM »

Shouldn't it be on earth on it is in Heaven? One Bishop above, one bishop bellow. One primate over all the clergy in a diocese and one primate over all the clergy in the "super-diocese" that is the Church.
That there is no trace of papal supremacy in the early Church before the medieval period makes any suggestion that there is a clear mandate for it in scripture highly problematic on the face of it. If papal supremacy was intended by the likes of the Lord's Prayer (which seems a bit of a stretch to me on the face of it) why didn't anyone realize it for so long?
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« Reply #73 on: July 14, 2011, 01:10:58 AM »

Shouldn't it be on earth on it is in Heaven?

To suggest that Christ is not present in the earthly Church would be heretical.

This sounds right to me.
LOL. That it is heretical, or that the heresy sounds right to you?
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« Reply #74 on: July 14, 2011, 01:19:36 AM »

Shouldn't it be on earth on it is in Heaven?

To suggest that Christ is not present in the earthly Church would be heretical.

This sounds right to me.
LOL. That it is heretical, or that the heresy sounds right to you?

The former!
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« Reply #75 on: July 14, 2011, 01:35:20 AM »

The monarchy of Christ is exercised on Earth by the work of the indwelling Spirit.
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« Reply #76 on: July 14, 2011, 03:44:09 AM »

Ok, I think I get what you guys are saying. Thanks.
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« Reply #77 on: July 14, 2011, 09:19:49 AM »

The much vaunted Roman Catholic propaganda that a reunion was achieved at Florence and ratified by the Orthodox but then repudiated by the "perfidious Greeks" is so much balderdash, a Western propaganda item which should be laid to rest...! The acceptance of Florence was conditional upon its acceptance by an Eastern Council.

" However, after Patriarch Joseph II of Constantinople died only two days later [at Florence], the Greeks insisted that ratification by the Eastern Church could be achieved only by the agreement of an Eastern synod.

So is it true, then, that they didn't mention a need for ratification until after the death of Patriarch Joseph?

Also, what about vasily's question:

Since, overall, the Council of Florence lasted for about a year, did not the delegates representing the Eastern Orthodox communicate back to their appropriate jurisdictions or Patriarchs with regards to the matters being discussed?  I cannot understand why the populous and other bishops found out about the decisions of this council after the fact. 
My only problem here, is it seems like a Supreme Pontiff/Bishop should needed based on the example of the One God over the One Church. The father is head over his family, God is Lord over all creation, and God the Father is greater in authority or function over the other two Persons of the Trinity.

It seems like to say Peter only has primacy of honor and not supremacy over the other Apostles messes up the typology.

Not even the Catholic Church uses that typology. 

The Holy Father is the shepherd and steward and vicar. 

Yes, he is the shepherd and steward and vicar, but that doesn't contradict the fact that he is supreme, has universal ordinary jurisdiction etc.
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« Reply #78 on: July 14, 2011, 09:20:59 AM »

Shouldn't it be on earth on it is in Heaven? One Bishop above, one bishop bellow. One primate over all the clergy in a diocese and one primate over all the clergy in the "super-diocese" that is the Church.
That there is no trace of papal supremacy in the early Church before the medieval period makes any suggestion that there is a clear mandate for it in scripture highly problematic on the face of it. If papal supremacy was intended by the likes of the Lord's Prayer (which seems a bit of a stretch to me on the face of it) why didn't anyone realize it for so long?

No trace? What about Pope Leo?
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« Reply #79 on: July 14, 2011, 09:35:44 AM »

Shouldn't it be on earth on it is in Heaven? One Bishop above, one bishop bellow. One primate over all the clergy in a diocese and one primate over all the clergy in the "super-diocese" that is the Church.
That there is no trace of papal supremacy in the early Church before the medieval period makes any suggestion that there is a clear mandate for it in scripture highly problematic on the face of it. If papal supremacy was intended by the likes of the Lord's Prayer (which seems a bit of a stretch to me on the face of it) why didn't anyone realize it for so long?

No trace? What about Pope Leo?

I think St. Leo deserves a thread. It seems to me, at least, that his papal claims were of quite a different nature than those later Roman Catholic popes who sited him after the Papal Reformation.
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« Reply #80 on: July 14, 2011, 10:03:34 AM »

The Roman Catholic claim that union was achieved at Florence is unsustainable.

What if we just say that a union was achieved at Florence, but it was considerably less successful than, say, the Union of Brest?


Let's say then that at Florence union was achievd with two Orthodox Churches

1.  the Church of Constantinople
2.  the Church of Russia
        (represented by its Metropolitan, a Constantinople appointee.)

Alright.
But even then there is no genuine union of Eastern and Western churches if the Orthodox people ultimately rejected it as a Robber Council, which is an historical reality. Genuine union of the East with the Latins would have to include the Orthodox people as a whole, not just an agreement with some of her hierarchs, or even all of her hierarchs.

As I mentioned earlier, I think the union that the Council of Florence achieved was less successful than the Union of Brest.  I say that because even those who accepted the Florentine Union, rejected it once they realized that most other Orthodox were rejecting it.
That distinguishes Brest from Florence how?

Actually, as Brest was supposedly the implimentation of Florence, don't think a distinction can be made.

I think that when I say "the Florentine Union", most readers understand that I mean the (extremely unsuccessful) union that took place in the mid-15th century, rather than any of the unions that took place a century and a half later like the Union of Brest.

But I agree that Brest implemented Florence.
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« Reply #81 on: July 14, 2011, 10:04:26 AM »

The Roman Catholic claim that union was achieved at Florence is unsustainable.

What if we just say that a union was achieved at Florence, but it was considerably less successful than, say, the Union of Brest?


Let's say then that at Florence union was achievd with two Orthodox Churches

1.  the Church of Constantinople
2.  the Church of Russia
        (represented by its Metropolitan, a Constantinople appointee.)

Alright.
But even then there is no genuine union of Eastern and Western churches if the Orthodox people ultimately rejected it as a Robber Council, which is an historical reality. Genuine union of the East with the Latins would have to include the Orthodox people as a whole, not just an agreement with some of her hierarchs, or even all of her hierarchs.

As I mentioned earlier, I think the union that the Council of Florence achieved was less successful than the Union of Brest.  I say that because even those who accepted the Florentine Union, rejected it once they realized that most other Orthodox were rejecting it.
There is probably as much warrant to dub the "Union of Brest" as the "Disunion of Brest."

Yes, technically. But of course, union was open to the rest of the Orthodox as well. They simply chose not to enter into full communion with Rome.
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« Reply #82 on: July 14, 2011, 02:24:31 PM »

The Roman Catholic claim that union was achieved at Florence is unsustainable.

What if we just say that a union was achieved at Florence, but it was considerably less successful than, say, the Union of Brest?


Let's say then that at Florence union was achievd with two Orthodox Churches

1.  the Church of Constantinople
2.  the Church of Russia
        (represented by its Metropolitan, a Constantinople appointee.)

Alright.
But even then there is no genuine union of Eastern and Western churches if the Orthodox people ultimately rejected it as a Robber Council, which is an historical reality. Genuine union of the East with the Latins would have to include the Orthodox people as a whole, not just an agreement with some of her hierarchs, or even all of her hierarchs.

As I mentioned earlier, I think the union that the Council of Florence achieved was less successful than the Union of Brest.  I say that because even those who accepted the Florentine Union, rejected it once they realized that most other Orthodox were rejecting it.
That distinguishes Brest from Florence how?

Actually, as Brest was supposedly the implimentation of Florence, don't think a distinction can be made.

I think that when I say "the Florentine Union", most readers understand that I mean the (extremely unsuccessful) union that took place in the mid-15th century, rather than any of the unions that took place a century and a half later like the Union of Brest.

But I agree that Brest implemented Florence.
*snicker, snicker* He said "Brest"...
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« Reply #83 on: July 14, 2011, 03:06:48 PM »

The Roman Catholic claim that union was achieved at Florence is unsustainable.

What if we just say that a union was achieved at Florence, but it was considerably less successful than, say, the Union of Brest?


Let's say then that at Florence union was achievd with two Orthodox Churches

1.  the Church of Constantinople
2.  the Church of Russia
        (represented by its Metropolitan, a Constantinople appointee.)

Alright.
But even then there is no genuine union of Eastern and Western churches if the Orthodox people ultimately rejected it as a Robber Council, which is an historical reality. Genuine union of the East with the Latins would have to include the Orthodox people as a whole, not just an agreement with some of her hierarchs, or even all of her hierarchs.

As I mentioned earlier, I think the union that the Council of Florence achieved was less successful than the Union of Brest.  I say that because even those who accepted the Florentine Union, rejected it once they realized that most other Orthodox were rejecting it.
There is probably as much warrant to dub the "Union of Brest" as the "Disunion of Brest."

Yes, technically. But of course, union was open to the rest of the Orthodox as well. They simply chose not to enter into full communion with Rome.
No, they chose to remain in full communion with Orthodox Rome by refusing to submit to the Ultramontanist Vatican.  Unfortunately, the Orthodox under the Vatican's minions in the Commonwealth weren't free to pursue that: the King decided for them.
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« Reply #84 on: July 14, 2011, 03:11:18 PM »

The Roman Catholic claim that union was achieved at Florence is unsustainable.

What if we just say that a union was achieved at Florence, but it was considerably less successful than, say, the Union of Brest?


Let's say then that at Florence union was achievd with two Orthodox Churches

1.  the Church of Constantinople
2.  the Church of Russia
        (represented by its Metropolitan, a Constantinople appointee.)

Alright.
But even then there is no genuine union of Eastern and Western churches if the Orthodox people ultimately rejected it as a Robber Council, which is an historical reality. Genuine union of the East with the Latins would have to include the Orthodox people as a whole, not just an agreement with some of her hierarchs, or even all of her hierarchs.

As I mentioned earlier, I think the union that the Council of Florence achieved was less successful than the Union of Brest.  I say that because even those who accepted the Florentine Union, rejected it once they realized that most other Orthodox were rejecting it.
That distinguishes Brest from Florence how?

Actually, as Brest was supposedly the implimentation of Florence, don't think a distinction can be made.

I think that when I say "the Florentine Union", most readers understand that I mean the (extremely unsuccessful) union that took place in the mid-15th century, rather than any of the unions that took place a century and a half later like the Union of Brest.

But I agree that Brest implemented Florence.
it tried. with teeth.
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« Reply #85 on: July 14, 2011, 07:07:49 PM »

Previously it had been generally taught and believed in the Church of Rome that a Bishop of Rome is subject to Councils.  With Eugene's Bull that was stood on its head - the Pope was now superior to Councils and could not be judged by his peers, the ancient authority of bishops was removed.   

Eugene brought into existence the powers of the modern Papacy.  To reunify with us, you will have to destroy them.

I think it would be more accurate to attribute this development to Pope Gregory VII, if not even earlier.  The Dictatus Papae is consonant with the superiority of a Pope over a Council.  Thus, by the time of Pope Eugene IV there was in the West a centuries-old tradition supporting papal supremacy.
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« Reply #86 on: July 14, 2011, 07:18:50 PM »

Orthodox ecclesiology doesn't function quite in the manner described above by elijahmarie.

It is certainly inaccurate to say there is *no* primatial power in Orthodoxy; rather there is no *absolute* primatial power in Orthodoxy. Absolute power corrupts, as absolute independence corrupts. In Orthodoxy there is a proper balance of power, specifically sobernost, under the headship of Christ (cf. Ernst Benz below). In Orthodoxy bishops must call for the amen of the people. The people have a voice along with deacons and presbyters. This has worked out just fine for some 2000 years now.

Except that it hasn't.  If this approach had worked "just fine", the major schisms that took place after Ephesus and Chalcedon wouldn't have occurred, nor the Great Schism between the Eastern and Western churches.  The Orthodox people of Egypt rejected Chalcedon every bit as much as the Orthodox people of Greece rejected Florence.  So what makes the Egyptians wrong and the Greeks right?  I don't have the answer; I'm just asking the question.  Rome's answer does make some sense, but they've carried it way too far.
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« Reply #87 on: July 15, 2011, 12:15:53 AM »

Orthodox ecclesiology doesn't function quite in the manner described above by elijahmarie.

It is certainly inaccurate to say there is *no* primatial power in Orthodoxy; rather there is no *absolute* primatial power in Orthodoxy. Absolute power corrupts, as absolute independence corrupts. In Orthodoxy there is a proper balance of power, specifically sobernost, under the headship of Christ (cf. Ernst Benz below). In Orthodoxy bishops must call for the amen of the people. The people have a voice along with deacons and presbyters. This has worked out just fine for some 2000 years now.

Except that it hasn't.  If this approach had worked "just fine", the major schisms that took place after Ephesus and Chalcedon wouldn't have occurred, nor the Great Schism between the Eastern and Western churches.  The Orthodox people of Egypt rejected Chalcedon every bit as much as the Orthodox people of Greece rejected Florence.  So what makes the Egyptians wrong and the Greeks right?  I don't have the answer; I'm just asking the question.  Rome's answer does make some sense, but they've carried it way too far.
"You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes." -2 Tim 1:15

"From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him" -John 6:66

"Even his brothers did not believe in Him" (Jn 7:5).


Truth, if there is such a thing, would still be such even if it was abandoned by everyone. Major schisms have been present from the earliest period of Christianity (2 Tim 1:15 etc.). I think Paul, and even Christ Himself might have understood your feelings, and perhaps your doubts too, but I doubt they would have agreed with your conclusion.

Your points notwithstanding I would still maintain the ecclesiology of the Eastern Church has worked just fine regardless of all the schisms, heresies, heterodoxies, unbeliefs, and martyrdoms added together if in her "we have found the true faith" (as we confess). If on the other hand the gates of hell have prevailed against our Church because there have been schisms, or if we are in a false Church, our faith in her is in vain. I can respect and empathize with your honest doubts; still, I find no reason personally to confess the wretchedness and/or demise of Eastern Christianity so easily as all that.
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« Reply #88 on: July 15, 2011, 12:52:04 AM »

Previously it had been generally taught and believed in the Church of Rome that a Bishop of Rome is subject to Councils.  With Eugene's Bull that was stood on its head - the Pope was now superior to Councils and could not be judged by his peers, the ancient authority of bishops was removed.   

Eugene brought into existence the powers of the modern Papacy.  To reunify with us, you will have to destroy them.

I think it would be more accurate to attribute this development to Pope Gregory VII, if not even earlier.  The Dictatus Papae is consonant with the superiority of a Pope over a Council.  Thus, by the time of Pope Eugene IV there was in the West a centuries-old tradition supporting papal supremacy.

I have not spoken of Florence as a development but as a watershed in Roman Catholic ecclesiology, the transition from a conciliar Church to a papal Church.

The Council of Basel-Ferrara-Florence commences with the belief that a Pope is subject to a Council and it ends with the fact that this is no longer so and everything, including Councils, are now subject to the Pope.  What had been a developing theory has now become, at the close of Florence and with the Bull Etsi non dubitemus,  unchallengeable doctrine.   The old orthodox order has been displaced, and a new order has been installed.
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« Reply #89 on: July 15, 2011, 09:44:39 AM »

Previously it had been generally taught and believed in the Church of Rome that a Bishop of Rome is subject to Councils.  With Eugene's Bull that was stood on its head - the Pope was now superior to Councils and could not be judged by his peers, the ancient authority of bishops was removed.   

Eugene brought into existence the powers of the modern Papacy.  To reunify with us, you will have to destroy them.

I think it would be more accurate to attribute this development to Pope Gregory VII, if not even earlier.  The Dictatus Papae is consonant with the superiority of a Pope over a Council.  Thus, by the time of Pope Eugene IV there was in the West a centuries-old tradition supporting papal supremacy.

I have not spoken of Florence as a development but as a watershed in Roman Catholic ecclesiology, the transition from a conciliar Church to a papal Church.

The Council of Basel-Ferrara-Florence commences with the belief that a Pope is subject to a Council and it ends with the fact that this is no longer so and everything, including Councils, are now subject to the Pope.  What had been a developing theory has now become, at the close of Florence and with the Bull Etsi non dubitemus,  unchallengeable doctrine.   

I think that sentence hits the nail on the head. What had been developing, as James said, for centuries (a millennium, actually, if you go back to Pope Leo I) was made definitive at Florence: no longer could alternative views be held in the Church.

The 16th century confirms this. In the first place, those who rejected Papal Primacy/Supremacy had to leave the Church entirely (the Protestant Reformation). In the second place, those who entered into communion with the Church (e.g. the Union of Brest) had to accept Papal Primacy/Supremacy.
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« Reply #90 on: July 15, 2011, 09:49:24 AM »

Previously it had been generally taught and believed in the Church of Rome that a Bishop of Rome is subject to Councils.  With Eugene's Bull that was stood on its head - the Pope was now superior to Councils and could not be judged by his peers, the ancient authority of bishops was removed.   

Eugene brought into existence the powers of the modern Papacy.  To reunify with us, you will have to destroy them.

I think it would be more accurate to attribute this development to Pope Gregory VII, if not even earlier.  The Dictatus Papae is consonant with the superiority of a Pope over a Council.  Thus, by the time of Pope Eugene IV there was in the West a centuries-old tradition supporting papal supremacy.

I have not spoken of Florence as a development but as a watershed in Roman Catholic ecclesiology, the transition from a conciliar Church to a papal Church.

The Council of Basel-Ferrara-Florence commences with the belief that a Pope is subject to a Council and it ends with the fact that this is no longer so and everything, including Councils, are now subject to the Pope.  What had been a developing theory has now become, at the close of Florence and with the Bull Etsi non dubitemus,  unchallengeable doctrine.   

I think that sentence hits the nail on the head. What had been developing, as James said, for centuries (a millennium, actually, if you go back to Pope Leo I) was made definitive at Florence: no longer could alternative views be held in the Church.

The 16th century confirms this. In the first place, those who rejected Papal Primacy/Supremacy had to leave the Church entirely (the Protestant Reformation). In the second place, those who entered into communion with the Church (e.g. the Union of Brest) had to accept Papal Primacy/Supremacy.

Indeed!!...That the idea developed against resistance is Orthodoxy's only real truth claim against the doctrine of petrine primacy.
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« Reply #91 on: July 15, 2011, 09:59:04 AM »

Orthodox ecclesiology doesn't function quite in the manner described above by elijahmarie.

It is certainly inaccurate to say there is *no* primatial power in Orthodoxy; rather there is no *absolute* primatial power in Orthodoxy. Absolute power corrupts, as absolute independence corrupts. In Orthodoxy there is a proper balance of power, specifically sobernost, under the headship of Christ (cf. Ernst Benz below). In Orthodoxy bishops must call for the amen of the people. The people have a voice along with deacons and presbyters. This has worked out just fine for some 2000 years now.

Except that it hasn't.  If this approach had worked "just fine", the major schisms that took place after Ephesus and Chalcedon wouldn't have occurred, nor the Great Schism between the Eastern and Western churches.  The Orthodox people of Egypt rejected Chalcedon every bit as much as the Orthodox people of Greece rejected Florence.  So what makes the Egyptians wrong and the Greeks right?  I don't have the answer; I'm just asking the question.  Rome's answer does make some sense, but they've carried it way too far.
a-HEM!

Not all the "Orthodox people of Egypt rejected Chalcedon."

The Council of Chalcedon deposed Pope Dioscoros, but God deposed EP Joseph II.

And the non-Chalcedonian and the Chalcdonian Orthodox are far, far closer after 1500 years of disagreement over Chalcedon than the Vatican and the Orthodox are in less than six centuries (i.e. less than half the time span between the OO and EO) of disagreement over Florence.
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« Reply #92 on: July 15, 2011, 10:01:20 AM »

Previously it had been generally taught and believed in the Church of Rome that a Bishop of Rome is subject to Councils.  With Eugene's Bull that was stood on its head - the Pope was now superior to Councils and could not be judged by his peers, the ancient authority of bishops was removed.   

Eugene brought into existence the powers of the modern Papacy.  To reunify with us, you will have to destroy them.

I think it would be more accurate to attribute this development to Pope Gregory VII, if not even earlier.  The Dictatus Papae is consonant with the superiority of a Pope over a Council.  Thus, by the time of Pope Eugene IV there was in the West a centuries-old tradition supporting papal supremacy.

I have not spoken of Florence as a development but as a watershed in Roman Catholic ecclesiology, the transition from a conciliar Church to a papal Church.

The Council of Basel-Ferrara-Florence commences with the belief that a Pope is subject to a Council and it ends with the fact that this is no longer so and everything, including Councils, are now subject to the Pope.  What had been a developing theory has now become, at the close of Florence and with the Bull Etsi non dubitemus,  unchallengeable doctrine.   

I think that sentence hits the nail on the head. What had been developing, as James said, for centuries (a millennium, actually, if you go back to Pope Leo I)


And, if we go back to Pope Saint Gregeory the Great (died 604 AD)
we find a quite concrete denial.

Pope Gregory the Great  teaches that the three Patriarchates which
existed in his time -Rome, Alexandria and Antioch-  founded by Peter,
were equal in power and authority.   This Triptarchy existed prior
to the now familiar Pentarchy, and it seems to be connected with a
belief in a Petrine foundation for each of these three major Sees.

Note well what Pope Gregory teaches:

1. The parts where the Pope speaks of Alexandria and Antioch sharing
the keys with Rome

2. The parts where the Pope speaks of the equality of Rome and
Alexandria and Antioch

3. The parts where the Pope says that all three of these Sees form one
See of Peter over which the three bishops preside.

To read the Pope's letter please go to message 59
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,24191.msg380287.html#msg380287
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« Reply #93 on: July 15, 2011, 10:06:36 AM »

I think that sentence hits the nail on the head. What had been developing, as James said, for centuries (a millennium, actually, if you go back to Pope Leo I) was made definitive at Florence: no longer could alternative views be held in the Church.

The 16th century confirms this. In the first place, those who rejected Papal Primacy/Supremacy had to leave the Church entirely (the Protestant Reformation). In the second place, those who entered into communion with the Church (e.g. the Union of Brest) had to accept Papal Primacy/Supremacy.

Each time the Church of Rome has introduced some theological innovation groups of people have broken away from it.

When the new dogma of papal infallibility was introduced the Church known as "The Old Catholic Church"  was formed. 
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« Reply #94 on: July 15, 2011, 10:07:03 AM »

Previously it had been generally taught and believed in the Church of Rome that a Bishop of Rome is subject to Councils.  With Eugene's Bull that was stood on its head - the Pope was now superior to Councils and could not be judged by his peers, the ancient authority of bishops was removed.   

Eugene brought into existence the powers of the modern Papacy.  To reunify with us, you will have to destroy them.

I think it would be more accurate to attribute this development to Pope Gregory VII, if not even earlier.  The Dictatus Papae is consonant with the superiority of a Pope over a Council.  Thus, by the time of Pope Eugene IV there was in the West a centuries-old tradition supporting papal supremacy.

I have not spoken of Florence as a development but as a watershed in Roman Catholic ecclesiology, the transition from a conciliar Church to a papal Church.

The Council of Basel-Ferrara-Florence commences with the belief that a Pope is subject to a Council and it ends with the fact that this is no longer so and everything, including Councils, are now subject to the Pope.  What had been a developing theory has now become, at the close of Florence and with the Bull Etsi non dubitemus,  unchallengeable doctrine.   

I think that sentence hits the nail on the head. What had been developing, as James said, for centuries (a millennium, actually, if you go back to Pope Leo I) was made definitive at Florence: no longer could alternative views be held in the Church.

The 16th century confirms this. In the first place, those who rejected Papal Primacy/Supremacy had to leave the Church entirely (the Protestant Reformation). In the second place, those who entered into communion with the Church (e.g. the Union of Brest) had to accept Papal Primacy/Supremacy.

Indeed!!...That the idea developed against resistance is Orthodoxy's only real truth claim against the doctrine of petrine primacy.
and that it is not even hinted at for the first two centuries of the Church at Rome, that it was ignored when it was first being formulated at Rome two centuries thereafter, the Church holding Ecumenical Council over the Pope's objection a century thereafter and anathematized a Pope of Rome a century after that....
Due to the ongoing debate on the Fourth Council, I by chance was reaquainted with a text I thought appropriate here.  It is from the "Life of Shenoute" by his disciple St. Besa.  St. Shenoute's writings were the examplar of Coptic literature, but his chief claim to fame was cracking his staff over Nestorius' head at the Council of Ephesus.  I one episode, "One day," Besa says, "our father Shenoute and our Lord Jesus were sitting down talking together" (a very common occurance according to the Vita) and the Bishop of Shmin came wishing to meet the abbot.  When Shenoute sent word that he was too busy to come to the bishop, the bishop got angry and threatened to excommunicate him for disobedience:

Quote
The servant went to our father [Shenouti] and said to him what the bishop had told him.  But my father smiled graciously with laughter and said: "See what this man of flesh and blood has said! Behold, here sitting with me is he who created heaven and earth! I will not go while I am with him." But the Savior said to my father: "O Shenoute, arise and go out to the bishop, lest he excommunicate you. Otherwise, I cannot let you enter [heaven] because of the covenant I made with Peter, saying 'What you will bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and what you will loose on earth will be loosed in heaven' [Matthew 16:19].  When my father heard these words of the Savior, he arose, went out to the bishop and greeted him.

 Besa, Life of Shenoute 70-72 (trans. Bell). On the context of this story see Behlmer 1998, esp. pp. 353-354. Gaddis, There is No Crime for those who have Christ, p. 296
http://books.google.com/books?id=JGEibDA8el4C

Now this dates not only before the schism of East-West, and the Schism of Chalcedon, but nearly the Schism of Ephesus.  Now Shmin is just a town in southern Egypt, and the bishop there just a suffragan of Alexandria.  So it would seem to be odd if the Vatican's interpretation of Matthew 16:19 were the ancient one why this would be applied to a bishop far from Rome, in a land where St. Peter never founded any Church.  But it makes perfect sense from the Orthodox interpretation of Matthew 16:19, and indeed, according to "the Catholic Encyclopedia," the overwhelming consensus of the Fathers.
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« Reply #95 on: July 15, 2011, 10:10:07 AM »

Previously it had been generally taught and believed in the Church of Rome that a Bishop of Rome is subject to Councils.  With Eugene's Bull that was stood on its head - the Pope was now superior to Councils and could not be judged by his peers, the ancient authority of bishops was removed.   

Eugene brought into existence the powers of the modern Papacy.  To reunify with us, you will have to destroy them.

I think it would be more accurate to attribute this development to Pope Gregory VII, if not even earlier.  The Dictatus Papae is consonant with the superiority of a Pope over a Council.  Thus, by the time of Pope Eugene IV there was in the West a centuries-old tradition supporting papal supremacy.

I have not spoken of Florence as a development but as a watershed in Roman Catholic ecclesiology, the transition from a conciliar Church to a papal Church.

The Council of Basel-Ferrara-Florence commences with the belief that a Pope is subject to a Council and it ends with the fact that this is no longer so and everything, including Councils, are now subject to the Pope.  What had been a developing theory has now become, at the close of Florence and with the Bull Etsi non dubitemus,  unchallengeable doctrine.   

I think that sentence hits the nail on the head. What had been developing, as James said, for centuries (a millennium, actually, if you go back to Pope Leo I)


And, if we go back to Pope Saint Gregeory the Great (died 604 AD)
we find a quite concrete denial.

Pope Gregory the Great  teaches that the three Patriarchates which
existed in his time -Rome, Alexandria and Antioch-  founded by Peter,
were equal in power and authority.   This Triptarchy existed prior
to the now familiar Pentarchy, and it seems to be connected with a
belief in a Petrine foundation for each of these three major Sees.

Note well what Pope Gregory teaches:

1. The parts where the Pope speaks of Alexandria and Antioch sharing
the keys with Rome

2. The parts where the Pope speaks of the equality of Rome and
Alexandria and Antioch

3. The parts where the Pope says that all three of these Sees form one
See of Peter over which the three bishops preside.

To read the Pope's letter please go to message 59
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,24191.msg380287.html#msg380287
This is still Papal Supremacy though, isn't it? Just with three Popes not one.
Quote
Wherefore though there are many apostles, yet with regard to the
principality itself the See of the Prince of the apostles alone has
grown strong in authority,
which in three places is the See of one.
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« Reply #96 on: July 15, 2011, 10:12:58 AM »

Previously it had been generally taught and believed in the Church of Rome that a Bishop of Rome is subject to Councils.  With Eugene's Bull that was stood on its head - the Pope was now superior to Councils and could not be judged by his peers, the ancient authority of bishops was removed.   

Eugene brought into existence the powers of the modern Papacy.  To reunify with us, you will have to destroy them.

I think it would be more accurate to attribute this development to Pope Gregory VII, if not even earlier.  The Dictatus Papae is consonant with the superiority of a Pope over a Council.  Thus, by the time of Pope Eugene IV there was in the West a centuries-old tradition supporting papal supremacy.

I have not spoken of Florence as a development but as a watershed in Roman Catholic ecclesiology, the transition from a conciliar Church to a papal Church.

The Council of Basel-Ferrara-Florence commences with the belief that a Pope is subject to a Council and it ends with the fact that this is no longer so and everything, including Councils, are now subject to the Pope.  What had been a developing theory has now become, at the close of Florence and with the Bull Etsi non dubitemus,  unchallengeable doctrine.   

I think that sentence hits the nail on the head. What had been developing, as James said, for centuries (a millennium, actually, if you go back to Pope Leo I) was made definitive at Florence: no longer could alternative views be held in the Church.

The 16th century confirms this. In the first place, those who rejected Papal Primacy/Supremacy had to leave the Church entirely (the Protestant Reformation). In the second place, those who entered into communion with the Church (e.g. the Union of Brest) had to accept Papal Primacy/Supremacy.

Indeed!!...That the idea developed against resistance is Orthodoxy's only real truth claim against the doctrine of petrine primacy.


What a totally peculiar claim!  It seems to be a lightweight spin off from our current discussion.

Has anybody here read any scholarly work from either the Catholic or Orthodox side that "the idea developed against resistance is Orthodoxy's only real truth claim against the doctrine of petrine primacy."

Isn't this just another "Dixit Maria"?  laugh
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« Reply #97 on: July 15, 2011, 10:16:58 AM »

Previously it had been generally taught and believed in the Church of Rome that a Bishop of Rome is subject to Councils.  With Eugene's Bull that was stood on its head - the Pope was now superior to Councils and could not be judged by his peers, the ancient authority of bishops was removed.   

Eugene brought into existence the powers of the modern Papacy.  To reunify with us, you will have to destroy them.

I think it would be more accurate to attribute this development to Pope Gregory VII, if not even earlier.  The Dictatus Papae is consonant with the superiority of a Pope over a Council.  Thus, by the time of Pope Eugene IV there was in the West a centuries-old tradition supporting papal supremacy.

I have not spoken of Florence as a development but as a watershed in Roman Catholic ecclesiology, the transition from a conciliar Church to a papal Church.

The Council of Basel-Ferrara-Florence commences with the belief that a Pope is subject to a Council and it ends with the fact that this is no longer so and everything, including Councils, are now subject to the Pope.  What had been a developing theory has now become, at the close of Florence and with the Bull Etsi non dubitemus,  unchallengeable doctrine.   

I think that sentence hits the nail on the head. What had been developing, as James said, for centuries (a millennium, actually, if you go back to Pope Leo I)


And, if we go back to Pope Saint Gregeory the Great (died 604 AD)
we find a quite concrete denial.

Pope Gregory the Great  teaches that the three Patriarchates which
existed in his time -Rome, Alexandria and Antioch-  founded by Peter,
were equal in power and authority.   This Triptarchy existed prior
to the now familiar Pentarchy, and it seems to be connected with a
belief in a Petrine foundation for each of these three major Sees.

Note well what Pope Gregory teaches:

1. The parts where the Pope speaks of Alexandria and Antioch sharing
the keys with Rome

2. The parts where the Pope speaks of the equality of Rome and
Alexandria and Antioch

3. The parts where the Pope says that all three of these Sees form one
See of Peter over which the three bishops preside.

To read the Pope's letter please go to message 59
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,24191.msg380287.html#msg380287
This is still Papal Supremacy though, isn't it? Just with three Popes not one.
Quote
Wherefore though there are many apostles, yet with regard to the
principality itself the See of the Prince of the apostles alone has
grown strong in authority,
which in three places is the See of one.
Not anymore: the Vatican forbade its three "patriarchs" of Alexandria to take its ancient title "Pope", the original one.

The Vatican arrogated the title of Pope to itself after it broke from the Catholic Church in 1054, by its supreme pontiff Gregory VII, the same one who rejected the PanOrthodox Council of Constantinople IV (879), and embraced the voided council of 869.
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« Reply #98 on: July 15, 2011, 10:23:28 AM »

The much vaunted Roman Catholic propaganda that a reunion was achieved at Florence and ratified by the Orthodox but then repudiated by the "perfidious Greeks" is so much balderdash, a Western propaganda item which should be laid to rest...! The acceptance of Florence was conditional upon its acceptance by an Eastern Council.

" However, after Patriarch Joseph II of Constantinople died only two days later [at Florence], the Greeks insisted that ratification by the Eastern Church could be achieved only by the agreement of an Eastern synod.

So is it true, then, that they didn't mention a need for ratification until after the death of Patriarch Joseph?

There were no representatives from the most ancient Patriarchates - the holy Church of Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria.

Also, there were no representatives from the Churches of Serbia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, etc.

How could a union be imposed on these autocephalous Churches without their participation and approval?

The Roman Catholic claim that union was achieved at Florence is unsustainable.

Not entirely true: St. Mark of Ephesus and Isodore of Kiev were deputised to represent the Pope of Alexandria.  Since they disagreed on the Council,  Cheesy, the Pope would have to decide between them at the Council held in the East.  That Council rejected Florence.
http://books.google.com/books?id=RJoRAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA87&dq=Cyclopaedia+of+Biblical+Council+held+about+A.D.+1450&hl=en&ei=604gTtfVB474sAOWzcRi&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CD8Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q&f=false
« Last Edit: July 15, 2011, 10:30:51 AM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #99 on: July 15, 2011, 10:35:13 AM »

Not entirely true: St. Mark of Ephesus and Isodore of Kiev were deputised to represent the Pope of Alexandria.
 

I did not know that Saint Mark and also Isidore of Kiev were the Alexandrian representatives.

"The Patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem
declined to appear personally at the council, but grudgingly appointed
representatives.  The Patriarch of Alexandria chose for one of his
representatives the priest-monk Mark Eugenikos, whose theological works had
gained him fame throughout the empire."


"The first official repudiation of the Florentine Union came in April 1443
when the three Patriarchs Joachim of Jerusalem, Philotheos of Alexandria, and
Dorotheos of Antioch met in Jerusalem and condemned the Council of Florence
as "vile" and Patriarch Metrophanes of Constantinople as a heretic."

http://www.ephesus.com/Orthodox/St.Mark-of-Ephesus.txt
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« Reply #100 on: July 15, 2011, 10:36:26 AM »

Truth, if there is such a thing, would still be such even if it was abandoned by everyone. Major schisms have been present from the earliest period of Christianity (2 Tim 1:15 etc.). I think Paul, and even Christ Himself might have understood your feelings, and perhaps your doubts too, but I doubt they would have agreed with your conclusion.

Your points notwithstanding I would still maintain the ecclesiology of the Eastern Church has worked just fine regardless of all the schisms, heresies, heterodoxies, unbeliefs, and martyrdoms added together if in her "we have found the true faith" (as we confess). If on the other hand the gates of hell have prevailed against our Church because there have been schisms, or if we are in a false Church, our faith in her is in vain. I can respect and empathize with your honest doubts; still, I find no reason personally to confess the wretchedness and/or demise of Eastern Christianity so easily as all that.

Slow down, there, pardner!

I am not confessing the "wretchedness and/or demise of Eastern Christianity".  I'm just saying that, in the light of history, facile claims that Eastern ecclesiology "has worked just fine" simply don't hold water.  In each schism there was plenty of blame on both sides, and we should humbly acknowledge our own failings that contributed to the fragmenting of Christianity.

And I certainly agree that with you that truth exists.  The problem is, how do we identify the truth in a given situation?  How do we know that Chalcedon was right and that those who rejected it were wrong?  When two groups are diametrically opposed, only one (at most) can have the truth, but each most certainly thinks that their side is right.  In the absence of a new revelation from God, the Church has to find ways to work these things out.  Rome has offered papal supremacy as the solution, but that raises a whole other set of problems.  Orthodoxy promotes consensus and conciliarity, and they often have worked successfully.  There have been times, however, when it apparently was not possible to achieve consensus, and the sad result was lasting schism.
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« Reply #101 on: July 15, 2011, 10:37:22 AM »

Nor did I know that the Orthodox delegation was so large...

"On November 27, 1437, seven hundred bishops, abbots, monks, priests, and
laymen set sail for Italy.  This Orthodox delegation included Emperor John,
Patriarch Joseph, and twenty-two bishops, among which was Metropolitan Mark
of Ephesus."

http://www.ephesus.com/Orthodox/St.Mark-of-Ephesus.txt

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« Reply #102 on: July 15, 2011, 10:40:40 AM »

Did those Churches, the Oriental Orthodox, first agree with the decisions at the Council of Chalcedon and then reject it later on? Because this is exactly what occurred at Florence.

Essentially the Bishops of what was to become the Syriac Orthodox Church were the only ones who accepted Chalcedon at first.
No, the Egyptian bishops were not allowed to leave until they agreed.

Are you sure here? Does not the last act of this council allow the Egyptian bishops to defer their decision?
The dererence was only until the new Pope was elected, because per Apostolic Canon 34 another which escapes me, and the practice of Alexandria, they could not sign until they had a Pope.  They were not allowed to leave Constantinople until Pope Proterius was elected, securing the signatures.
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« Reply #103 on: July 15, 2011, 10:48:18 AM »

Rome has offered papal supremacy as the solution, but that raises a whole other set of problems.

Alas, the Pope has proved to be anything but an instrument of unity.  Quite the opposite.

1. 5th century. Loss of the Oriental Orthodox

In the 5th century the papacy was unable to retain the Oriental Orthodox in the Church, because (it is said these days) of a linguistic misunderstanding.    That does not speak well of Rome functioning properly as the centre of unity and universality.

2.  11th century.  Loss of the Byzantine Orthodox.

In the 11th century the Pope lost the greater part of the Catholic Church.  Catholics in the East outnumbered Catholics in the West in those days.   The reason for this mass defection was the signal incompetency of the papacy to comprehend the Eastern Catholics.   After the issuing of the Anathemas by Humbert -which were known by the Popes to be groundless accusations- the Popes did not attempt to right the situation and bring the Church back into unity.

3.  16th century. Protestant Reformation.  Loss of much of Europe

The widespread corruption in the Catholic Church brought on the defection of millions of Catholics in the Protestant Reformation which carried entire countries out of the Catholic Church.

All in all, I would have to say that the idea that the Pope functions as a centre which facilitates unity is not borne out by history.  It amounts to wishful thinking..
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« Reply #104 on: July 15, 2011, 10:48:48 AM »

Nor did I know that the Orthodox delegation was so large...

"On November 27, 1437, seven hundred bishops, abbots, monks, priests, and
laymen set sail for Italy.  This Orthodox delegation included Emperor John,
Patriarch Joseph, and twenty-two bishops, among which was Metropolitan Mark
of Ephesus."

http://www.ephesus.com/Orthodox/St.Mark-of-Ephesus.txt


Indeed, it made quite an impression on the Florentines, as can be seen today:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cappella_dei_Magi
Quote
The chapel is on the piano nobile of the palace, and was one of the first decorations executed after the completion of the edifice by Michelozzo. Gozzoli painted his cycle over three of the walls, the subject being the Journey of the Magi to Bethlehem, but the religious theme was a pretext to depict the procession of important people who arrived in Florence in occasion of the Council of Florence (1438-1439). In this occasion the Medici could boast to have favoured the reconciliation between the Catholic and the Byzantine churches. The luxury of the Byzantine dignitaries is manifest, and shows the impression they would have at the time on the Florentine population.
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« Reply #105 on: July 15, 2011, 10:57:41 AM »

I have not spoken of Florence as a development but as a watershed in Roman Catholic ecclesiology, the transition from a conciliar Church to a papal Church.

The Council of Basel-Ferrara-Florence commences with the belief that a Pope is subject to a Council and it ends with the fact that this is no longer so and everything, including Councils, are now subject to the Pope.  What had been a developing theory has now become, at the close of Florence and with the Bull Etsi non dubitemus,  unchallengeable doctrine.   The old orthodox order has been displaced, and a new order has been installed.

Yes, when the council began at Basel, the Western Church was still reeling from the effects of the multi-pope schism that the Council of Constance had finally ended a few years earlier.  The decree Haec Sancta of Constance also clearly proclaims the superiority of a council.  In effect, the Church had gone into crisis mode to deal with the emergency situation of two, and eventually, three concurrent popes.  But the claims of Constance and Basel to possess conciliar superiority are themselves more of an aberration in the context of the medieval Western Church, in which the growth of papal authority is a clear and consistent theme.  The western proponents of conciliar supremacy were innovators in another sense, in that they proposed that the routine governance of the Church should be handled by regularly summoned councils.  The ancient Ecumenical Councils were called to deal with major theological crises, not to serve as ecclesiastical parliaments.
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« Reply #106 on: July 15, 2011, 11:04:26 AM »

Rome has offered papal supremacy as the solution, but that raises a whole other set of problems.

Alas, the Pope has proved to be anything but an instrument of unity.  Quite the opposite.

1. 5th century. Loss of the Oriental Orthodox

In the 5th century the papacy was unable to retain the Oriental Orthodox in the Church, because (it is said these days) of a linguistic misunderstanding.    That does not speak well of Rome functioning properly as the centre of unity and universality.

2.  11th century.  Loss of the Byzantine Orthodox.

In the 11th century the Pope lost the greater part of the Catholic Church.  Catholics in the East outnumbered Catholics in the West in those days.   The reason for this mass defection was the signal incompetency of the papacy to comprehend the Eastern Catholics.   After the issuing of the Anathemas by Humbert -which were known by the Popes to be groundless accusations- the Popes did not attempt to right the situation and bring the Church back into unity.

3.  16th century. Protestant Reformation.  Loss of much of Europe

The widespread corruption in the Catholic Church brought on the defection of millions of Catholics in the Protestant Reformation which carried entire countries out of the Catholic Church.

All in all, I would have to say that the idea that the Pope functions as a centre which facilitates unity is not borne out by history.  It amounts to wishful thinking..

Oh, Father, a picture is worth a thousand words, and this one says all anyone needs to know about the Vatican as a "font of unity."

The Vatican didn't clean that mess up until Florence, where it de facto abrogated the council at Constance which ended this schism.
Then came the Reformation/Counter-Reformation.
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« Reply #107 on: July 15, 2011, 11:11:01 AM »

Alas, the Pope has proved to be anything but an instrument of unity.  Quite the opposite.

1. 5th century. Loss of the Oriental Orthodox

In the 5th century the papacy was unable to retain the Oriental Orthodox in the Church, because (it is said these days) of a linguistic misunderstanding.    That does not speak well of Rome functioning properly as the centre of unity and universality.

2.  11th century.  Loss of the Byzantine Orthodox.

In the 11th century the Pope lost the greater part of the Catholic Church.  Catholics in the East outnumbered Catholics in the West in those days.   The reason for this mass defection was the signal incompetency of the papacy to comprehend the Eastern Catholics.   After the issuing of the Anathemas by Humbert -which were known by the Popes to be groundless accusations- the Popes did not attempt to right the situation and bring the Church back into unity.

3.  16th century. Protestant Reformation.  Loss of much of Europe

The widespread corruption in the Catholic Church brought on the defection of millions of Catholics in the Protestant Reformation which carried entire countries out of the Catholic Church.

All in all, I would have to say that the idea that the Pope functions as a centre which facilitates unity is not borne out by history.  It amounts to wishful thinking..


I agree that the papacy has not been entirely successful as a center of unity, and your second and third cases are prime examples.  But pinning the loss of the Oriental Orthodox on the papacy is at best an incomplete interpretation of history.  The eastern Chalcedonians and the emperors certainly had huge roles to play in this.  And the western Church apart from Rome was also solidly Chalcedonian.  I think you may be attributing more power to Pope Leo I than he actually possessed or even claimed.  After all, he is an Orthodox bishop and saint.
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« Reply #108 on: July 15, 2011, 11:11:44 AM »

I have not spoken of Florence as a development but as a watershed in Roman Catholic ecclesiology, the transition from a conciliar Church to a papal Church.

The Council of Basel-Ferrara-Florence commences with the belief that a Pope is subject to a Council and it ends with the fact that this is no longer so and everything, including Councils, are now subject to the Pope.  What had been a developing theory has now become, at the close of Florence and with the Bull Etsi non dubitemus,  unchallengeable doctrine.   The old orthodox order has been displaced, and a new order has been installed.

Yes, when the council began at Basel, the Western Church was still reeling from the effects of the multi-pope schism that the Council of Constance had finally ended a few years earlier.  The decree Haec Sancta of Constance also clearly proclaims the superiority of a council.  In effect, the Church had gone into crisis mode to deal with the emergency situation of two, and eventually, three concurrent popes.  But the claims of Constance and Basel to possess conciliar superiority are themselves more of an aberration in the context of the medieval Western Church, in which the growth of papal authority is a clear and consistent theme.  The western proponents of conciliar supremacy were innovators in another sense, in that they proposed that the routine governance of the Church should be handled by regularly summoned councils.  The ancient Ecumenical Councils were called to deal with major theological crises, not to serve as ecclesiastical parliaments.

I don't see a problem here with regular Councils to govern the Church.  It is what the Orthodox Churches actually do, every year or twice a year.

It may be a linguistic problem because we can use English to distinguish between Councils and Synods.  In Greek it is the same word and so they speak of the Seven Ecumenical Synods and they also speak of the annual Synod in Athens.

It is the same in the Slavonic languages where Sobor covers both Ecumenical Councils and the twice yearly assembly of bishops in Belgrade or Moscow.

Your point is well made though that Ecumenical Synods/Councils are in a sense the Church's emergency response to major threats of heresy.
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« Reply #109 on: July 15, 2011, 11:18:08 AM »

This is still Papal Supremacy though, isn't it? Just with three Popes not one.
Quote
Wherefore though there are many apostles, yet with regard to the
principality itself the See of the Prince of the apostles alone has
grown strong in authority,
which in three places is the See of one.
Not anymore: the Vatican forbade its three "patriarchs" of Alexandria to take its ancient title "Pope", the original one.

The Vatican arrogated the title of Pope to itself after it broke from the Catholic Church in 1054, by its supreme pontiff Gregory VII, the same one who rejected the PanOrthodox Council of Constantinople IV (879), and embraced the voided council of 869.
I forget that this same supreme pontiff Gregory VII left us his other thoughts:
Quote
Dictatus PapaeThe Dictates of the Pope
That the Roman church was founded by God alone.
That the Roman pontiff alone can with right be called universal.
That he alone can depose or reinstate bishops.
That, in a council his legate, even if a lower grade, is above all bishops, and can pass sentence of deposition against them.
That the pope may depose the absent.
That, among other things, we ought not to remain in the same house with those excommunicated by him.
That for him alone is it lawful, according to the needs of the time, to make new laws, to assemble together new congregations, to make an abbey of a canonry; and, on the other hand, to divide a rich bishopric and unite the poor ones.
That he alone may use the imperial insignia.
That of the pope alone all princes shall kiss the feet.
That his name alone shall be spoken in the churches.
That this is the only name in the world.
That it may be permitted to him to depose emperors.
That he may be permitted to transfer bishops if need be.
That he has power to ordain a clerk of any church he may wish.
That he who is ordained by him may preside over another church, but may not hold a subordinate position; and that such a one may not receive a higher grade from any bishop.
That no synod shall be called a general one without his order.
That no chapter and no book shall be considered canonical without his authority.
That a sentence passed by him may be retracted by no one; and that he himself, alone of all, may retract it.
That he himself may be judged by no one.
That no one shall dare to condemn one who appeals to the apostolic chair.
That to the latter should be referred the more important cases of every church.
That the Roman church has never erred; nor will it err to all eternity, the Scripture bearing witness.
That the Roman pontiff, if he have been canonically ordained, is undoubtedly made a saint by the merits of St. Peter; St. Ennodius, bishop of Pavia, bearing witness, and many holy fathers agreeing with him. As is contained in the decrees of St. Symmachus the pope.
That, by his command and consent, it may be lawful for subordinates to bring accusations.
That he may depose and reinstate bishops without assembling a synod.
That he who is not at peace with the Roman church shall not be considered catholic.
That he may absolve subjects from their fealty to wicked men.
what heretical rubbish.
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/g7-dictpap.html
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« Reply #110 on: July 15, 2011, 11:23:02 AM »

I have not spoken of Florence as a development but as a watershed in Roman Catholic ecclesiology, the transition from a conciliar Church to a papal Church.

The Council of Basel-Ferrara-Florence commences with the belief that a Pope is subject to a Council and it ends with the fact that this is no longer so and everything, including Councils, are now subject to the Pope.  What had been a developing theory has now become, at the close of Florence and with the Bull Etsi non dubitemus,  unchallengeable doctrine.   The old orthodox order has been displaced, and a new order has been installed.

Yes, when the council began at Basel, the Western Church was still reeling from the effects of the multi-pope schism that the Council of Constance had finally ended a few years earlier.  The decree Haec Sancta of Constance also clearly proclaims the superiority of a council.  In effect, the Church had gone into crisis mode to deal with the emergency situation of two, and eventually, three concurrent popes.  But the claims of Constance and Basel to possess conciliar superiority are themselves more of an aberration in the context of the medieval Western Church, in which the growth of papal authority is a clear and consistent theme.  The western proponents of conciliar supremacy were innovators in another sense, in that they proposed that the routine governance of the Church should be handled by regularly summoned councils.  The ancient Ecumenical Councils were called to deal with major theological crises, not to serve as ecclesiastical parliaments.

I don't see a problem here with regular Councils to govern the Church.  It is what the Orthodox Churches actually do, every year or twice a year.

It may be a linguistic problem because we can use English to distinguish between Councils and Synods.  In Greek it is the same word and so they speak of the Seven Ecumenical Synods and they also speak of the annual Synod in Athens.

It is the same in the Slavonic languages where Sobor covers both Ecumenical Councils and the twice yearly assembly of bishops in Belgrade or Moscow.

Your point is well made though that Ecumenical Synods/Councils are in a sense the Church's emergency response to major threats of heresy.
That would accord with the the fact, Father, that the Vatican posits the existence of a universal primacy-whether in an absolut monarch or an monarch-in-parliament-whereas the Catholic Church of the Orthodox has never known such a thing.
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« Reply #111 on: July 15, 2011, 11:23:44 AM »

Truth, if there is such a thing, would still be such even if it was abandoned by everyone. Major schisms have been present from the earliest period of Christianity (2 Tim 1:15 etc.). I think Paul, and even Christ Himself might have understood your feelings, and perhaps your doubts too, but I doubt they would have agreed with your conclusion.

Your points notwithstanding I would still maintain the ecclesiology of the Eastern Church has worked just fine regardless of all the schisms, heresies, heterodoxies, unbeliefs, and martyrdoms added together if in her "we have found the true faith" (as we confess). If on the other hand the gates of hell have prevailed against our Church because there have been schisms, or if we are in a false Church, our faith in her is in vain. I can respect and empathize with your honest doubts; still, I find no reason personally to confess the wretchedness and/or demise of Eastern Christianity so easily as all that.

Slow down, there, pardner!

I am not confessing the "wretchedness and/or demise of Eastern Christianity".  I'm just saying that, in the light of history, facile claims that Eastern ecclesiology "has worked just fine" simply don't hold water.  In each schism there was plenty of blame on both sides, and we should humbly acknowledge our own failings that contributed to the fragmenting of Christianity.

And I certainly agree that with you that truth exists.  The problem is, how do we identify the truth in a given situation?  How do we know that Chalcedon was right and that those who rejected it were wrong?  When two groups are diametrically opposed, only one (at most) can have the truth, but each most certainly thinks that their side is right.  In the absence of a new revelation from God, the Church has to find ways to work these things out.  Rome has offered papal supremacy as the solution, but that raises a whole other set of problems.  Orthodoxy promotes consensus and conciliarity, and they often have worked successfully.  There have been times, however, when it apparently was not possible to achieve consensus, and the sad result was lasting schism.
If the Eastern Church can't keep itself from falling apart like it claims it can, then no matter which side of Calcedon was correct is immaterial. ISTM the very fact of such schism is the "wretchedness and/or demise of Eastern Christianity".

Not that I'm saying Protestantism or the RC are any better-this is the issue with the greatest chance of making me an agnostic, honestly.
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« Reply #112 on: July 15, 2011, 11:24:26 AM »

a-HEM!

Not all the "Orthodox people of Egypt rejected Chalcedon."

The Council of Chalcedon deposed Pope Dioscoros, but God deposed EP Joseph II.

And the non-Chalcedonian and the Chalcdonian Orthodox are far, far closer after 1500 years of disagreement over Chalcedon than the Vatican and the Orthodox are in less than six centuries (i.e. less than half the time span between the OO and EO) of disagreement over Florence.

Sure, there were Orthodox Egyptians who accepted Chalcedon.  But the clear consensus in the Egyptian Church, the Armenian Church, and much of the Syrian Church was decidedly anti-Chalcedonian, which means that there was not a consensus in the whole Church.  Even if the EO and the OO are drawing much closer now, 1500 years apart has been a tragic and scandalous detriment to Christian unity and witness.

As for your reference to Patriarch Joseph II, it is highly presumptuous to attribute Divine displeasure to anyone's demise.
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« Reply #113 on: July 15, 2011, 11:27:42 AM »


What a totally peculiar claim!  It seems to be a lightweight spin off from our current discussion.

Has anybody here read any scholarly work from either the Catholic or Orthodox side that "the idea developed against resistance is Orthodoxy's only real truth claim against the doctrine of petrine primacy."

Isn't this just another "Dixit Maria"?  laugh

Quite often the most simple truths are the most compelling.  Every great truth of Catholic Tradition has developed amidst great resistance. 

M.
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« Reply #114 on: July 15, 2011, 12:04:06 PM »

Each time the Church of Rome has introduced some theological innovation groups of people have broken away from it.

When the new dogma of papal infallibility was introduced the Church known as "The Old Catholic Church"  was formed. 

Thus has it ever been in the history of the Church, whether it was popes or councils proclaiming dogmatic definitions in the absence of a consensus.  One party's definition is another one's innovation.

Nicea I and Constantinople I led to the Arian schism.

Ephesus led to the Assyrian schism.

Chalcedon led to the OO schism and the Acacian schism.

Constantinople II led to the Aquileian schism.

Two of the above schisms persist to this day.  The fruits of our fallen nature.
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« Reply #115 on: July 15, 2011, 12:18:14 PM »

Truth, if there is such a thing, would still be such even if it was abandoned by everyone. Major schisms have been present from the earliest period of Christianity (2 Tim 1:15 etc.). I think Paul, and even Christ Himself might have understood your feelings, and perhaps your doubts too, but I doubt they would have agreed with your conclusion.

Your points notwithstanding I would still maintain the ecclesiology of the Eastern Church has worked just fine regardless of all the schisms, heresies, heterodoxies, unbeliefs, and martyrdoms added together if in her "we have found the true faith" (as we confess). If on the other hand the gates of hell have prevailed against our Church because there have been schisms, or if we are in a false Church, our faith in her is in vain. I can respect and empathize with your honest doubts; still, I find no reason personally to confess the wretchedness and/or demise of Eastern Christianity so easily as all that.

Slow down, there, pardner!

I am not confessing the "wretchedness and/or demise of Eastern Christianity".  I'm just saying that, in the light of history, facile claims that Eastern ecclesiology "has worked just fine" simply don't hold water.  In each schism there was plenty of blame on both sides, and we should humbly acknowledge our own failings that contributed to the fragmenting of Christianity.

And I certainly agree that with you that truth exists.  The problem is, how do we identify the truth in a given situation?  How do we know that Chalcedon was right and that those who rejected it were wrong?  When two groups are diametrically opposed, only one (at most) can have the truth, but each most certainly thinks that their side is right.  In the absence of a new revelation from God, the Church has to find ways to work these things out.  Rome has offered papal supremacy as the solution, but that raises a whole other set of problems.  Orthodoxy promotes consensus and conciliarity, and they often have worked successfully.  There have been times, however, when it apparently was not possible to achieve consensus, and the sad result was lasting schism.
If the Eastern Church can't keep itself from falling apart like it claims it can, then no matter which side of Calcedon was correct is immaterial. ISTM the very fact of such schism is the "wretchedness and/or demise of Eastern Christianity".

Not that I'm saying Protestantism or the RC are any better-this is the issue with the greatest chance of making me an agnostic, honestly.
Falling apart?  I take it as a demonstration that the Orthodox haven't: the OO and EO, with over a millenium and a half of seperation have been remained close, contiuing to refer to each other, as St. John of Damascus said over a nearly a millenium and a half ago, differing "on....the Council of Chalcedon, being Orthodox in every other way." This is shown by the fact that the Copts, who rarely if ever practice economia, will commune EO and will accept them without rebaptism, chrismation or reordination/reconsecration, and even EO Churches who rarely practice economia have accepted the OO by chrismation or even just confession, as those most vocal against the OO here have admitted.  This, despite the near total separation by language, culture, history, governance, etc. over the near two millenium.

In contrast, the West has been divided at the verymost 844 years (preaching of Peter Waldo), perhaps 6 centuries (John Wycliffe and Jan Hus) but most definitively less than half a millenium (Luther and the Reformers), within one general culture (Western European), using one lingua franca (Latin remained a language required at seminary for both my old protestant pastors and my present priest, a graduate of Southern Baptist), and not only has its schisms gone off in all directions, but they are nowhere getting closer to each other.  Except for the power of Kumbaya to ignore all differences to bring about a "communion of love."

The EO and OO are the Control group and the Experimental group of Orthodoxy (there being some disagreement on which is which) in the experimentum crucis  proving Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #116 on: July 15, 2011, 12:31:13 PM »

a-HEM!

Not all the "Orthodox people of Egypt rejected Chalcedon."

The Council of Chalcedon deposed Pope Dioscoros, but God deposed EP Joseph II.

And the non-Chalcedonian and the Chalcdonian Orthodox are far, far closer after 1500 years of disagreement over Chalcedon than the Vatican and the Orthodox are in less than six centuries (i.e. less than half the time span between the OO and EO) of disagreement over Florence.
Sure, there were Orthodox Egyptians who accepted Chalcedon.  But the clear consensus in the Egyptian Church, the Armenian Church, and much of the Syrian Church was decidedly anti-Chalcedonian,
No.
The majority of Egyptians did turn on Chalcedon. The Armenian Church had a very large Chalcedonian following (out of which came the autocephaly of the Catholicos of Georia and the Catholicos of Albania), which, although in most parts assimilated into the Greeks/Romans, Georgians, Albanians, etc. did survive into the twentieth century (I knew an Armenian engaged to an Armenian Chalcedonian-the other Armenians called them "Romans." As you point out, Syria-Greek, Aramaic/Syriac, and Arabic-retained a substantial Chalcedonian core.  The consensus was far, far greater than that over Nicea I, as the history of the 4th century shows. But although it was Athanasius contra mundi, he was right and Arius and his many, many supporters throught the East and then the West, were wrong.

which means that there was not a consensus in the whole Church.
It is usual for Ecumenical Councils that they are confessed by a minority. Pope St. Athansius was deposed and exiled five times over Nicea I

Even if the EO and the OO are drawing much closer now, 1500 years apart has been a tragic and scandalous detriment to Christian unity and witness.
Tragic and scandalous. But not fatal.

As for your reference to Patriarch Joseph II, it is highly presumptuous to attribute Divine displeasure to anyone's demise.
Not in this case.  The Church has judged.
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« Reply #117 on: July 15, 2011, 12:55:04 PM »


What a totally peculiar claim!  It seems to be a lightweight spin off from our current discussion.

Has anybody here read any scholarly work from either the Catholic or Orthodox side that "the idea developed against resistance is Orthodoxy's only real truth claim against the doctrine of petrine primacy."

Isn't this just another "Dixit Maria"?  laugh

Quite often the most simple truths are the most compelling.  Every great truth of Catholic Tradition has developed amidst great resistance. 
Indeed! Henry II, Baldwin IX, Sigismund III and Leopold II, amongst others, resisted (i.e. persecuted) the great Orthodox Truth of the Catholic Church with all the swords they could muster.
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« Reply #118 on: July 15, 2011, 01:08:04 PM »

It is usual for Ecumenical Councils that they are confessed by a minority. Pope St. Athansius was deposed and exiled five times over Nicea I

So how is the truth determined, and who gets to decide?  Whoever has the last word?  Whoever has the backing of the Emperor or the Pope?  The judgment of history, whatever that is?

As for your reference to Patriarch Joseph II, it is highly presumptuous to attribute Divine displeasure to anyone's demise.
Not in this case.  The Church has judged.

I stand by my statement.  No one on earth has the knowledge or the right to make such a judgment.
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« Reply #119 on: July 15, 2011, 01:13:02 PM »

Thus has it ever been in the history of the Church, whether it was popes or councils proclaiming dogmatic definitions in the absence of a consensus.  One party's definition is another one's innovation.

Nicea I and Constantinople I led to the Arian schism.
Whatever else we disagree on, I think we can all say Arianism is not Christianity. Beware theological relativism.
Ephesus led to the Assyrian schism.
Not to play the "numbers" card, but the Assyrians have always been pretty insignificant AFAIK. One reason I don't think I'll ever be Assyrian. The true Gospel is one that must leave it's mark on the world deeply, even if the Church winds up doing more harm than good in the process imo.
Two of the above schisms persist to this day.  The fruits of our fallen nature.
Could it equally be said that the healing of the others (and the dying out/marginalization of the dissident movements) is proof of the hand of God on Orthodoxy? What will you say if the OO schism is ever healed or the remaining Assyrians come back?
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« Reply #120 on: July 15, 2011, 01:24:19 PM »

It is usual for Ecumenical Councils that they are confessed by a minority. Pope St. Athansius was deposed and exiled five times over Nicea I

So how is the truth determined, and who gets to decide?  Whoever has the last word?  Whoever has the backing of the Emperor or the Pope?  The judgment of history, whatever that is?
The judgment of the Church, and we know very much what that is.

As for your reference to Patriarch Joseph II, it is highly presumptuous to attribute Divine displeasure to anyone's demise.
Not in this case.  The Church has judged.

I stand by my statement.  No one on earth has the knowledge or the right to make such a judgment.
Some argued that at Constantinople II.  The Church found them wrong.
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« Reply #121 on: July 15, 2011, 01:31:12 PM »

Thus has it ever been in the history of the Church, whether it was popes or councils proclaiming dogmatic definitions in the absence of a consensus.  One party's definition is another one's innovation.

Nicea I and Constantinople I led to the Arian schism.
Whatever else we disagree on, I think we can all say Arianism is not Christianity. Beware theological relativism.

Whether Arianism is a form of Christianity is beside the point.  I was merely pointing out that those two councils were followed by a major schism.  It took another couple of centuries before organized Arianism died out.  And Arian beliefs are certainly still around today.

Ephesus led to the Assyrian schism.
Not to play the "numbers" card, but the Assyrians have always been pretty insignificant AFAIK. One reason I don't think I'll ever be Assyrian. The true Gospel is one that must leave it's mark on the world deeply, even if the Church winds up doing more harm than good in the process imo.

The Assyrians have not "always been pretty insignificant".  They were the dominant form of Christianity in the Persian Empire and conducted major missionary work as far east as China.  They certainly have dwindled over the last few centuries, mainly due to the hostility of the cultures in which they live.

Islam and Buddhism have numerous adherents and have left very deep marks on the world.  Does that mean they're true?

Two of the above schisms persist to this day.  The fruits of our fallen nature.
Could it equally be said that the healing of the others (and the dying out/marginalization of the dissident movements) is proof of the hand of God on Orthodoxy? What will you say if the OO schism is ever healed or the remaining Assyrians come back?

I would say, "thanks be to God!"
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« Reply #122 on: July 15, 2011, 01:31:36 PM »

Each time the Church of Rome has introduced some theological innovation groups of people have broken away from it.

When the new dogma of papal infallibility was introduced the Church known as "The Old Catholic Church"  was formed. 

Thus has it ever been in the history of the Church, whether it was popes or councils proclaiming dogmatic definitions in the absence of a consensus.  One party's definition is another one's innovation.

Well said.
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« Reply #123 on: July 15, 2011, 01:35:32 PM »

As for your reference to Patriarch Joseph II, it is highly presumptuous to attribute Divine displeasure to anyone's demise.
Not in this case.  The Church has judged.

I stand by my statement.  No one on earth has the knowledge or the right to make such a judgment.
Some argued that at Constantinople II.  The Church found them wrong.

I don't want to get tangled in the discussion of Patriarch Joseph II ... but just to clarify, you guys are talking about his death, right?
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« Reply #124 on: July 15, 2011, 01:39:11 PM »

It is usual for Ecumenical Councils that they are confessed by a minority. Pope St. Athansius was deposed and exiled five times over Nicea I

So how is the truth determined, and who gets to decide?  Whoever has the last word?  Whoever has the backing of the Emperor or the Pope?  The judgment of history, whatever that is?
The judgment of the Church, and we know very much what that is.

As for your reference to Patriarch Joseph II, it is highly presumptuous to attribute Divine displeasure to anyone's demise.
Not in this case.  The Church has judged.

I stand by my statement.  No one on earth has the knowledge or the right to make such a judgment.
Some argued that at Constantinople II.  The Church found them wrong.

Religious leaders (and not just Orthodox ones) are often given to making high-flying pronouncements way above their pay grade and then attempting to enforce them on others who don't share their "divine" certitude.  That's why there has been so much religious strife over the course of history.  I take such pronouncements with a big grain of salt.
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« Reply #125 on: July 15, 2011, 01:42:53 PM »

As for your reference to Patriarch Joseph II, it is highly presumptuous to attribute Divine displeasure to anyone's demise.
Not in this case.  The Church has judged.

I stand by my statement.  No one on earth has the knowledge or the right to make such a judgment.
Some argued that at Constantinople II.  The Church found them wrong.

I don't want to get tangled in the discussion of Patriarch Joseph II ... but just to clarify, you guys are talking about his death, right?

Yes, may he rest in peace.
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« Reply #126 on: July 15, 2011, 01:48:05 PM »


Whether Arianism is a form of Christianity is beside the point.
So you see no difference between heretics leaving the Church and true Christians like the OO arguably are?
And Arian beliefs are certainly still around today.
As tiny scattered groups and one cult that broke off from Protestantism (Jehovah's Witnesses), yes.

The Assyrians have not "always been pretty insignificant".  They were the dominant form of Christianity in the Persian Empire and conducted major missionary work as far east as China.  They certainly have dwindled over the last few centuries, mainly due to the hostility of the cultures in which they live.
Fair enough, but they have dwindled.

Islam and Buddhism have numerous adherents and have left very deep marks on the world.  Does that mean they're true?
No, only one mark of the truth is staying power and wide influence. Though I'd become a Muslim or Buddhist before I'd join some obscure church with a few hundred people (not talking about the Assyrians), if it came down to it. It's a rather important mark. Look at Mithraism for example, riches to rags/nonexistence.

Two of the above schisms persist to this day.  The fruits of our fallen nature.
Could it equally be said that the healing of the others (and the dying out/marginalization of the dissident movements) is proof of the hand of God on Orthodoxy? What will you say if the OO schism is ever healed or the remaining Assyrians come back?
I would say, "thanks be to God!"
And, remember not to be so hasty to judge the Church's methodology (not that I'm innocent of that either). You only answered one out of two questions, btw.
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« Reply #127 on: July 15, 2011, 02:01:07 PM »

Could it equally be said that the healing of the others (and the dying out/marginalization of the dissident movements) is proof of the hand of God on Orthodoxy? What will you say if the OO schism is ever healed or the remaining Assyrians come back?
I would say, "thanks be to God!"
And, remember not to be so hasty to judge the Church's methodology (not that I'm innocent of that either). You only answered one out of two questions, btw.

I didn't answer the first question about "proof of the hand of God on Orthodoxy" because I think it presumptuous at best and dangerous at worst for mere mortals to declare such "proofs."  In this fallen world, lots of good things die out and lots of bad things persist.  We should work and pray for the good, but be reluctant to attribute divine significance to human events.  The EO and OO churches might indeed resolve their differences, but, given fallen human nature, such a rapprochement could fall apart later on.  Everything in this world is provisional.
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« Reply #128 on: July 15, 2011, 02:06:56 PM »

Could it equally be said that the healing of the others (and the dying out/marginalization of the dissident movements) is proof of the hand of God on Orthodoxy? What will you say if the OO schism is ever healed or the remaining Assyrians come back?
I would say, "thanks be to God!"
And, remember not to be so hasty to judge the Church's methodology (not that I'm innocent of that either). You only answered one out of two questions, btw.

I didn't answer the first question about "proof of the hand of God on Orthodoxy" because I think it presumptuous at best and dangerous at worst for mere mortals to declare such "proofs."  In this fallen world, lots of good things die out and lots of bad things persist.  We should work and pray for the good, but be reluctant to attribute divine significance to human events.  The EO and OO churches might indeed resolve their differences, but, given fallen human nature, such a rapprochement could fall apart later on.  Everything in this world is provisional.
Are you or are you not a Christian? The Jesus I believe in said His Church would not be triumphed over by Hell.
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« Reply #129 on: July 15, 2011, 02:15:49 PM »

Could it equally be said that the healing of the others (and the dying out/marginalization of the dissident movements) is proof of the hand of God on Orthodoxy? What will you say if the OO schism is ever healed or the remaining Assyrians come back?
I would say, "thanks be to God!"
And, remember not to be so hasty to judge the Church's methodology (not that I'm innocent of that either). You only answered one out of two questions, btw.

I didn't answer the first question about "proof of the hand of God on Orthodoxy" because I think it presumptuous at best and dangerous at worst for mere mortals to declare such "proofs."  In this fallen world, lots of good things die out and lots of bad things persist.  We should work and pray for the good, but be reluctant to attribute divine significance to human events.  The EO and OO churches might indeed resolve their differences, but, given fallen human nature, such a rapprochement could fall apart later on.  Everything in this world is provisional.
Are you or are you not a Christian? The Jesus I believe in said His Church would not be triumphed over by Hell.

Sure, I'm a Christian.  But lots of people and churches have claimed to speak for Jesus and yet are deeply divided from each other.  I don't see that changing before the Second Coming.  Only then will we really know the truth.
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« Reply #130 on: July 15, 2011, 02:42:39 PM »

Each time the Church of Rome has introduced some theological innovation groups of people have broken away from it.

When the new dogma of papal infallibility was introduced the Church known as "The Old Catholic Church"  was formed. 

Thus has it ever been in the history of the Church, whether it was popes or councils proclaiming dogmatic definitions in the absence of a consensus.  One party's definition is another one's innovation.

Well said.
Well, the Swedes say "One man's bread is another man's poison."  The pumpernickel and the arsenic, however, doesn't care whether you can tell the difference or not.

Sooner or later you have to name your poison.
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« Reply #131 on: July 15, 2011, 02:48:08 PM »

Could it equally be said that the healing of the others (and the dying out/marginalization of the dissident movements) is proof of the hand of God on Orthodoxy? What will you say if the OO schism is ever healed or the remaining Assyrians come back?
I would say, "thanks be to God!"
And, remember not to be so hasty to judge the Church's methodology (not that I'm innocent of that either). You only answered one out of two questions, btw.

I didn't answer the first question about "proof of the hand of God on Orthodoxy" because I think it presumptuous at best and dangerous at worst for mere mortals to declare such "proofs."  In this fallen world, lots of good things die out and lots of bad things persist.  We should work and pray for the good, but be reluctant to attribute divine significance to human events.  The EO and OO churches might indeed resolve their differences, but, given fallen human nature, such a rapprochement could fall apart later on.  Everything in this world is provisional.
Are you or are you not a Christian? The Jesus I believe in said His Church would not be triumphed over by Hell.

Sure, I'm a Christian.  But lots of people and churches have claimed to speak for Jesus and yet are deeply divided from each other.  I don't see that changing before the Second Coming.  Only then will we really know the truth.
Some of us know it, or rather Him, now.
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« Reply #132 on: July 15, 2011, 02:55:12 PM »

Thus has it ever been in the history of the Church, whether it was popes or councils proclaiming dogmatic definitions in the absence of a consensus.  One party's definition is another one's innovation.

Nicea I and Constantinople I led to the Arian schism.
Whatever else we disagree on, I think we can all say Arianism is not Christianity. Beware theological relativism.

Whether Arianism is a form of Christianity is beside the point.  I was merely pointing out that those two councils were followed by a major schism.  It took another couple of centuries before organized Arianism died out.  And Arian beliefs are certainly still around today.
You seem to be confused as to the purpose of Ecumenical Councils: they are not to come up with a compromise that everyone can live with.  They witness to the Truth by drawing a line, erecting a boundary mark, and willow the wheat from the chaff.  By there very nature they creat "us" and "them."  That chaff remains to be blown to and fro with the wind doesn't negate the barns of the Church full of wheat.
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« Reply #133 on: July 15, 2011, 02:59:20 PM »

Could it equally be said that the healing of the others (and the dying out/marginalization of the dissident movements) is proof of the hand of God on Orthodoxy? What will you say if the OO schism is ever healed or the remaining Assyrians come back?
I would say, "thanks be to God!"
And, remember not to be so hasty to judge the Church's methodology (not that I'm innocent of that either). You only answered one out of two questions, btw.

I didn't answer the first question about "proof of the hand of God on Orthodoxy" because I think it presumptuous at best and dangerous at worst for mere mortals to declare such "proofs."  In this fallen world, lots of good things die out and lots of bad things persist.  We should work and pray for the good, but be reluctant to attribute divine significance to human events.  The EO and OO churches might indeed resolve their differences, but, given fallen human nature, such a rapprochement could fall apart later on.  Everything in this world is provisional.
Are you or are you not a Christian? The Jesus I believe in said His Church would not be triumphed over by Hell.

Sure, I'm a Christian.  But lots of people and churches have claimed to speak for Jesus and yet are deeply divided from each other.  I don't see that changing before the Second Coming.  Only then will we really know the truth.
Well, if you're going so wildly to disagree with the Orthodox Church you probably shouldn't be in it...
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« Reply #134 on: July 15, 2011, 03:05:26 PM »

Could it equally be said that the healing of the others (and the dying out/marginalization of the dissident movements) is proof of the hand of God on Orthodoxy? What will you say if the OO schism is ever healed or the remaining Assyrians come back?
I would say, "thanks be to God!"
And, remember not to be so hasty to judge the Church's methodology (not that I'm innocent of that either). You only answered one out of two questions, btw.

I didn't answer the first question about "proof of the hand of God on Orthodoxy" because I think it presumptuous at best and dangerous at worst for mere mortals to declare such "proofs."  In this fallen world, lots of good things die out and lots of bad things persist.  We should work and pray for the good, but be reluctant to attribute divine significance to human events.  The EO and OO churches might indeed resolve their differences, but, given fallen human nature, such a rapprochement could fall apart later on.  Everything in this world is provisional.
Are you or are you not a Christian? The Jesus I believe in said His Church would not be triumphed over by Hell.

Sure, I'm a Christian.  But lots of people and churches have claimed to speak for Jesus and yet are deeply divided from each other.  I don't see that changing before the Second Coming.  Only then will we really know the truth.
Well, if you're going so wildly to disagree with the Orthodox Church you probably shouldn't be in it...
Actually, if you have doubts, the wisest choice is to be in the Ark which knows where it is going.
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« Reply #135 on: July 15, 2011, 03:12:56 PM »

True.
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« Reply #136 on: July 15, 2011, 03:43:25 PM »

You seem to be confused as to the purpose of Ecumenical Councils: they are not to come up with a compromise that everyone can live with.  They witness to the Truth by drawing a line, erecting a boundary mark, and willow the wheat from the chaff.  By there very nature they creat "us" and "them."  That chaff remains to be blown to and fro with the wind doesn't negate the barns of the Church full of wheat.


I get that.  The point of my response to Irish Hermit was that the charge of instigating divisions in Christianity can be applied to several of the Ecumenical Councils, as well as to the Papacy.  Doesn't mean that the Councils' definitions themselves are theologically wrong, just the historical fact that they have remained controversial.
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« Reply #137 on: July 15, 2011, 04:06:37 PM »

Well, if you're going so wildly to disagree with the Orthodox Church you probably shouldn't be in it...

An interesting, albeit impertinent, take on the situation.  I actually believe that Orthodoxy is about as close to "authentic" Christianity as you can get.  But I didn't park my brains at the door when I entered, either.  The Church is not perfect, and the historical record is pretty clear about that.

Actually, if you have doubts, the wisest choice is to be in the Ark which knows where it is going.

I can take that advice!

It's kind of like the compass in my car.  I may not know where I am, but at least I know in what direction I'm going! laugh
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« Reply #138 on: July 15, 2011, 04:13:34 PM »

Well, if you're going so wildly to disagree with the Orthodox Church you probably shouldn't be in it...

An interesting, albeit impertinent, take on the situation.  I actually believe that Orthodoxy is about as close to "authentic" Christianity as you can get.  But I didn't park my brains at the door when I entered, either.  The Church is not perfect, and the historical record is pretty clear about that.
No impertinence intended, just trying to be honest. I'm not sure how to deal with the record myself. I'm not sure "close enough" is good enough anymore. Same reason I'm losing my Protestantism...
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« Reply #139 on: July 15, 2011, 04:24:04 PM »

Well, if you're going so wildly to disagree with the Orthodox Church you probably shouldn't be in it...

An interesting, albeit impertinent, take on the situation.  I actually believe that Orthodoxy is about as close to "authentic" Christianity as you can get.  But I didn't park my brains at the door when I entered, either.  The Church is not perfect, and the historical record is pretty clear about that.
No impertinence intended, just trying to be honest. I'm not sure how to deal with the record myself. I'm not sure "close enough" is good enough anymore. Same reason I'm losing my Protestantism...

No sweat.  I hear you.
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« Reply #140 on: July 15, 2011, 04:59:05 PM »

You seem to be confused as to the purpose of Ecumenical Councils: they are not to come up with a compromise that everyone can live with.  They witness to the Truth by drawing a line, erecting a boundary mark, and willow the wheat from the chaff.  By there very nature they creat "us" and "them."  That chaff remains to be blown to and fro with the wind doesn't negate the barns of the Church full of wheat.


Sounds good to me. As I said earlier:

What had been developing, as James said, for centuries (a millennium, actually, if you go back to Pope Leo I) was made definitive at Florence: no longer could alternative views be held in the Church.

The 16th century confirms this. In the first place, those who rejected Papal Primacy/Supremacy had to leave the Church entirely (the Protestant Reformation). In the second place, those who entered into communion with the Church (e.g. the Union of Brest) had to accept Papal Primacy/Supremacy.
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« Reply #141 on: July 15, 2011, 08:38:26 PM »

Quote from: James2
Quote from: xariskai
It is certainly inaccurate to say there is *no* primatial power in Orthodoxy; rather there is no *absolute* primatial power in Orthodoxy. Absolute power corrupts, as absolute independence corrupts. In Orthodoxy there is a proper balance of power, specifically sobernost, under the headship of Christ (cf. Ernst Benz below). In Orthodoxy bishops must call for the amen of the people. The people have a voice along with deacons and presbyters. This has worked out just fine for some 2000 years now.

If this approach had worked "just fine", the major schisms that took place wouldn't have occurred, nor the Great Schism.
I definitely cannot agree with you here. Failure to prevent schisms is certainly *not* a sine qua non of the true Church. At the very least such a definition is not found in scripture or the tradition of the fathers and reduces to private opinion (unless you can document it in the thinking of some major Orthodox father, saint, or theologian, which I invite you to do). Schisms have existed from the inception of the Church. They do not entail that the Church "does not work."

On your hypothesis that schism indicates the failure of an approach "to work" it would clearly follow that Christ's nor Paul's approach also "did not work" since neither Christ nor Paul were able to prevent schisms:

"You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes" -2 Tim 1:15

"From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him" -John 6:66

If you want a degree of unity of mind and thought that has persisted since the earliest centuries of Christianity which surpasses most anything else you will find in the history of Christendom, you will find that in Eastern Orthodox Christianity (Both EO and OO can make this claim; RC only sustains a modified claim, IMO, by adopting a notion of evolutionary development, e.g. papal supremacy and infallibility, inherited guilt, soteriology of merit, etc.). The Orthodox claim is to have achieved significant unity of mind and thought persisting through the centuries, not unity which never precipitated division or schism. No one has ever achieved this. Christ did not achieve this. The first century church did not achieve this. If this is the sine qua non of the true church, agnosticism would indeed become appealing, as pointed out by Volnutt.

Quote from: James2
One party's definition is another one's innovation.
Nicea I and Constantinople I led to the Arian schism.
If you want something that accepts everything and rejects nothing, G.K. Chesterton famously observed, just look to the city sewer.

Arianism is a heresy, not a schism. If in the face of the mere presence of diversity our manner of thinking precludes us from being able distinguish between heresy and schism, or between Orthodoxy and heterodoxy, our thinking at the very least not Orthodox. If such things cannot in principle be demarcated, there is no such thing as Orthodoxy (right teaching); indeed the very notion of authentic Christianity might be called into question, as again is frequently done today. Certainly one might suppose such a position would appeal to the devil.
Quote
"...we should humbly acknowledge our own failings that contributed to the fragmenting of Christianity."
Orthodox Christians claim to know where the Church is, but not where it is not. Your tacit assumption to be able to "see" a larger church beyond the confines of the visible Orthodox Church, to argue that EO has "fragmented the [larger] church" goes beyond what most Orthodox Christians would say about the visible church.  I prefer the traditional notion that Orthodoxy preserved and indeed is the fullness of Christianity and constitutes the visible Church to the notion that Orthodoxy has fragmented the [larger] church.

Quote from: James2
And I certainly agree that with you that truth exists. The problem is, how do we identify the truth in a given situation? When two groups are diametrically opposed, only one (at most) can have the truth, but each most certainly thinks that their side is right. In the absence of a new revelation from God, the Church has to find ways to work these things out.
If the Church of the living body of Christ is not itself the working out of these things, as Orthodox Christians believe.

Regarding the rationalistic component of your perspective I would suggest -since the question is theological- that unless the only answer given to your question "how do we identify the truth" is the biblical one, "by the Spirit of God," your focus has shifted from a theological one to rationalism and epistemology (the subdivision of philosophy which is concerned with the question "How does one know what one knows?") and that the question itself -a product of medieval to modern classical foundationalism- is wrong with respect to knowledge of Christ and His body. For a fuller explanation see the Nuda Scriptura thread I started in Orthodox-Protestant Discussion.

It has been suggested that atheism and agnosticism are not so much ontological (relating to what is) or even epistemological (relating to how a human being can know what he or she knows) so much as a psychological (relating and extrapolating one's personal inability to perceive -i.e. statements of one's personal life-situation). Similarly, to say one cannot individually tell what the true Church is in the face of schisms is not convincing enough as an ontological universal claim to suppose most Orthodox Christians would find convincing (i.e. that if one cannot tell, no one can)' this too can be seen as more of a psychological claim relating to one's own personal journey. Our reasons will of course be congruent to our personal psychology, but biblically and patristically they are not reducible to that.
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« Reply #142 on: July 15, 2011, 09:25:00 PM »

Quote from: James2
Quote from: xariskai
It is certainly inaccurate to say there is *no* primatial power in Orthodoxy; rather there is no *absolute* primatial power in Orthodoxy. Absolute power corrupts, as absolute independence corrupts. In Orthodoxy there is a proper balance of power, specifically sobernost, under the headship of Christ (cf. Ernst Benz below). In Orthodoxy bishops must call for the amen of the people. The people have a voice along with deacons and presbyters. This has worked out just fine for some 2000 years now.

If this approach had worked "just fine", the major schisms that took place wouldn't have occurred, nor the Great Schism.
I definitely cannot agree with you here. Failure to prevent schisms is certainly *not* a sine qua non of the true Church. At the very least such a definition is not found in scripture or the tradition of the fathers and reduces to private opinion (unless you can document it in the thinking of some major Orthodox father, saint, or theologian, which I invite you to do). Schisms have existed from the inception of the Church. They do not entail that the Church "does not work."

On your hypothesis that schism indicates the failure of an approach "to work" it would clearly follow that Christ's nor Paul's approach also "did not work" since neither Christ nor Paul were able to prevent schisms:

"You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes" -2 Tim 1:15

"From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him" -John 6:66

If you want a degree of unity of mind and thought that has persisted since the earliest centuries of Christianity which surpasses most anything else you will find in the history of Christendom, you will find that in Eastern Orthodox Christianity

I don't think even that is quite true. Consider: could someone holding the same beliefs that Pope Leo I held, today enter into full communion with the Eastern Orthodox Church? Surely not.
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« Reply #143 on: July 15, 2011, 09:28:26 PM »

Quote from: James2
Quote from: xariskai
It is certainly inaccurate to say there is *no* primatial power in Orthodoxy; rather there is no *absolute* primatial power in Orthodoxy. Absolute power corrupts, as absolute independence corrupts. In Orthodoxy there is a proper balance of power, specifically sobernost, under the headship of Christ (cf. Ernst Benz below). In Orthodoxy bishops must call for the amen of the people. The people have a voice along with deacons and presbyters. This has worked out just fine for some 2000 years now.

If this approach had worked "just fine", the major schisms that took place wouldn't have occurred, nor the Great Schism.
I definitely cannot agree with you here. Failure to prevent schisms is certainly *not* a sine qua non of the true Church. At the very least such a definition is not found in scripture or the tradition of the fathers and reduces to private opinion (unless you can document it in the thinking of some major Orthodox father, saint, or theologian, which I invite you to do). Schisms have existed from the inception of the Church. They do not entail that the Church "does not work."

On your hypothesis that schism indicates the failure of an approach "to work" it would clearly follow that Christ's nor Paul's approach also "did not work" since neither Christ nor Paul were able to prevent schisms:

"You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes" -2 Tim 1:15

"From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him" -John 6:66

If you want a degree of unity of mind and thought that has persisted since the earliest centuries of Christianity which surpasses most anything else you will find in the history of Christendom, you will find that in Eastern Orthodox Christianity

I don't think even that is quite true. Consider: could someone holding the same beliefs that Pope Leo I held, today enter into full communion with the Eastern Orthodox Church? Surely not.
I don't know; David Bentley Hart is Eastern Orthodox. Regardless, I don't see that the Orthodox Church has changed so much.
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« Reply #144 on: July 15, 2011, 09:35:27 PM »


As for your reference to Patriarch Joseph II, it is highly presumptuous to attribute Divine displeasure to anyone's demise.

Not in this case.  The Church has judged.

Then the Church is wrong.

In the Last Will and Testament found in the room of the deceased Patriarch Joseph there is a total concession to all the Roman claims and teachings.

BUT we know that this Will was a forgery.  We know that two days before his death Patriarch Joseph was still defending the Orthodox position on these things.

See message 40
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« Reply #145 on: July 15, 2011, 09:44:35 PM »


Not to play the "numbers" card, but the Assyrians have always been pretty insignificant AFAIK.

It's a little off topic but I remind us all of the glorious history of the Church of the East.


BY FOOT TO CHINA

Mission of The Church of the East, to 1400

http://www.aina.org/books/bftc/bftc.htm


DEDICATED to the memory of the men of God who thirteen centuries ago first took the gospel to China - "the missionaries who traveled on foot, sandals on their feet, a staff in their hands, a basket on their backs, and in the basket the Holy Scriptures and the cross. They went over deep rivers and high mountains, thousands of miles, and on the way, meeting many nations, they preached to them the gospel of Christ."

An extraordinary online account and a must read.

And in message 29 at http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20533.msg310275/topicseen.html#msg310275

you can read about the book:

The Lost History of Christianity

The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia--and How It Died
by Philip Jenkins
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« Reply #146 on: July 15, 2011, 10:28:23 PM »

Quote from: James2
Quote from: xariskai
It is certainly inaccurate to say there is *no* primatial power in Orthodoxy; rather there is no *absolute* primatial power in Orthodoxy. Absolute power corrupts, as absolute independence corrupts. In Orthodoxy there is a proper balance of power, specifically sobernost, under the headship of Christ (cf. Ernst Benz below). In Orthodoxy bishops must call for the amen of the people. The people have a voice along with deacons and presbyters. This has worked out just fine for some 2000 years now.

If this approach had worked "just fine", the major schisms that took place wouldn't have occurred, nor the Great Schism.
I definitely cannot agree with you here. Failure to prevent schisms is certainly *not* a sine qua non of the true Church. At the very least such a definition is not found in scripture or the tradition of the fathers and reduces to private opinion (unless you can document it in the thinking of some major Orthodox father, saint, or theologian, which I invite you to do). Schisms have existed from the inception of the Church. They do not entail that the Church "does not work."

On your hypothesis that schism indicates the failure of an approach "to work" it would clearly follow that Christ's nor Paul's approach also "did not work" since neither Christ nor Paul were able to prevent schisms:

"You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes" -2 Tim 1:15

"From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him" -John 6:66

If you want a degree of unity of mind and thought that has persisted since the earliest centuries of Christianity which surpasses most anything else you will find in the history of Christendom, you will find that in Eastern Orthodox Christianity (Both EO and OO can make this claim; RC only sustains a modified claim, IMO, by adopting a notion of evolutionary development, e.g. papal supremacy and infallibility, inherited guilt, soteriology of merit, etc.). The Orthodox claim is to have achieved significant unity of mind and thought persisting through the centuries, not unity which never precipitated division or schism. No one has ever achieved this. Christ did not achieve this. The first century church did not achieve this. If this is the sine qua non of the true church, agnosticism would indeed become appealing, as pointed out by Volnutt.

Quote from: James2
One party's definition is another one's innovation.
Nicea I and Constantinople I led to the Arian schism.
If you want something that accepts everything and rejects nothing, G.K. Chesterton famously observed, just look to the city sewer.

Arianism is a heresy, not a schism. If in the face of the mere presence of diversity our manner of thinking precludes us from being able distinguish between heresy and schism, or between Orthodoxy and heterodoxy, our thinking at the very least not Orthodox. If such things cannot in principle be demarcated, there is no such thing as Orthodoxy (right teaching); indeed the very notion of authentic Christianity might be called into question, as again is frequently done today. Certainly one might suppose such a position would appeal to the devil.
Quote
"...we should humbly acknowledge our own failings that contributed to the fragmenting of Christianity."
Orthodox Christians claim to know where the Church is, but not where it is not. Your tacit assumption to be able to "see" a larger church beyond the confines of the visible Orthodox Church, to argue that EO has "fragmented the [larger] church" goes beyond what most Orthodox Christians would say about the visible church.  I prefer the traditional notion that Orthodoxy preserved and indeed is the fullness of Christianity and constitutes the visible Church to the notion that Orthodoxy has fragmented the [larger] church.

Quote from: James2
And I certainly agree that with you that truth exists. The problem is, how do we identify the truth in a given situation? When two groups are diametrically opposed, only one (at most) can have the truth, but each most certainly thinks that their side is right. In the absence of a new revelation from God, the Church has to find ways to work these things out.
If the Church of the living body of Christ is not itself the working out of these things, as Orthodox Christians believe.

Regarding the rationalistic component of your perspective I would suggest -since the question is theological- that unless the only answer given to your question "how do we identify the truth" is the biblical one, "by the Spirit of God," your focus has shifted from a theological one to rationalism and epistemology (the subdivision of philosophy which is concerned with the question "How does one know what one knows?") and that the question itself -a product of medieval to modern classical foundationalism- is wrong with respect to knowledge of Christ and His body. For a fuller explanation see the Nuda Scriptura thread I started in Orthodox-Protestant Discussion.

It has been suggested that atheism and agnosticism are not so much ontological (relating to what is) or even epistemological (relating to how a human being can know what he or she knows) so much as a psychological (relating and extrapolating one's personal inability to perceive -i.e. statements of one's personal life-situation). Similarly, to say one cannot individually tell what the true Church is in the face of schisms is not convincing enough as an ontological universal claim to suppose most Orthodox Christians would find convincing (i.e. that if one cannot tell, no one can)' this too can be seen as more of a psychological claim relating to one's own personal journey. Our reasons will of course be congruent to our personal psychology, but biblically and patristically they are not reducible to that.

Thank you for your thoughtful response.  I'd like to expand a bit on what I said previously.

Increasingly, I question claims that only the Orthodox Church has preserved the true faith.   Obviously, I don't buy into Rome's exclusive claims to authority, either, although I think that those things which the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church have in common greatly outweigh the few things that divide them.  Even the Protestants have gotten quite a few things right.

And I don't mean to suggest that Orthodox ecclesiology doesn't work at all, but rather that certain aspects of it are problematic.  I know that the Ecumenical Councils are supposed to be manifestations of the Holy Spirit leading the Church, but as a student of history it is difficult for me not to see them as rather messy human affairs deeply entangled in both ecclesiastical and secular politics.  They may have been "theologically correct" by their own standards, but they clearly alienated a lot of other faithful Christians.  Remember that those to whom we refer as "heretics" considered themselves to be "orthodox".  And if Ecumenical Councils are so important to the life of the Church, why haven't we had one for centuries?  The world is changing at an accelerating pace, and the Church needs to be able to adapt itself so that it can effectively proclaim its message.

You state that Orthodoxy claims to have "achieved significant unity of mind and thought persisting through the centuries".  Certainly on the essential doctrines, but to what level do you carry such unity?  Not to the point of total uniformity and stagnation, I hope.  If we fail to change at all, then Orthodoxy risks becoming like the Amish, only with a more venerable tradition.  A mark of the true Christian is humility, and the Church should partake of its members' humility and not succumb to pridefulness in a historical record which is hardly spotless.

Your answer to "how do we identify the truth" begs the question of how does the Church effectively and accurately determine what "the Spirit of God" is saying in a given situation, if such a determination is even possible.  It's a fair question that potential converts have every right to ask.  It's not enough to tell them that the truth is whatever the Church says it is.  Most religious organizations make claims along those lines.  Why should they believe us?
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Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #147 on: July 15, 2011, 10:37:14 PM »


Increasingly, I question claims that only the Orthodox Church has preserved the true faith.


Do people say that?  Our bilateral discussion with the Roman Catholics concerns only a small 7% of the faith about which we disagree.  On the other 93% we are agreed that they hold the true faith and we see no great need to discuss it.

PS:  I just made up the 7%.  It may be 6.5%  Smiley
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