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elijahmaria
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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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ialmisry
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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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ialmisry
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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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A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
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                           and both come out of your mouth
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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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Irish Hermit
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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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ialmisry
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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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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
ialmisry
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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

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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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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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
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                           and both come out of your mouth
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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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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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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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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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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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ialmisry
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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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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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