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« on: June 11, 2004, 10:47:35 AM »

PASTORAL GUIDELINES CONCERNING ADMISSION OF POLISH NATIONAL CATHOLICS TO SACRAMENTS IN THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH (Canon 844)

For some years there has been a cordial dialogue taking place between bishops of the Polish National Catholic Church and the Roman Catholic Church. This dialogue seeks the healing of a division which occurred within the American Catholic community in this century, and the recovery of its unity. In that context the question arose whether there would be occasions on which Polish National Catholics might be admitted to sacraments celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church.

It is the understanding of the Roman Catholic Church that the celebration of sacraments is an action of the celebrating community made within the community itself in which the celebration signifies oneness of faith, worship and life. Accordingly, participation in the sacraments is normally restricted to those who are members of the community. However, certain exceptions can occur.

Thus, for example, the Roman Catholic Code of Canon Law (canon 844.3) reads: "Catholic ministers may licitly administer the sacraments of penance, Eucharist and anointing of the sick to members of oriental churches who do not have full communion with the Catholic Church, if they ask on their own for the sacraments and are properly disposed. This holds also for members of other churches, which in the judgment of the Apostolic See are in the same condition as the oriental churches as far as these sacraments are concerned."

In the course of the Polish National Catholic-Roman Catholic dialogue, "it seemed clear to the Roman Catholic participants on the basis of the evidence that the bishops of the Polish National Catholic Church are validly ordained bishops in apostolic succession." In light of this the National Conference of Catholic Bishops inquired whether in the judgment of the Apostolic See the canon cited would apply to the Polish National Catholic Church. In due course, Cardinal Edward I. Cassidy, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, sent a reply in behalf of the Holy See, saying "there are sufficient reasons to respond affirmatively to the request."

APPLICATION OF CANON 844.3 TO POLISH NATIONAL CATHOLICS

Certain specifications should be observed. First of all, this clarification responds only to the question posed concerning the Polish National Catholic Church in the United States and Canada. It does not address the status of any other church. Thus, for example, the Polish Catholic Church in Poland, which sprang from the Polish National Catholic Church and is now autonomous, is not included in this response of the Holy See, nor are the other churches of the Union of Utrecht. The specific pastoral context in which the question was raised concerned the fact that members of the Polish National Catholic Church sometimes found themselves in situations in which they did not have access to the sacramental ministration of their own priests. This pastoral consideration was the framework and the primary motive around which the response of the Holy See was made.

The decision applies to members in good standing of the Polish National Catholic Church who are not otherwise individually impeded by canonical sanctions of the Roman Catholic Church. This restriction would apply to those individuals who once were Roman Catholics and incurred a sanction which has not subsequently been lifted by the Roman Catholic Church. Such, for instance, would be the case of a Roman Catholic priest who set aside his priestly obligations without a dispensation. Others might be impeded from receiving the Eucharist because of their marital situation.

Roman Catholic sacramental ministers should all be advised by their pastors of this decision of the Holy See so they are prepared to apply it consistently and generously when the sacraments of Holy Communion, penance and anointing of the sick are requested of them by Polish National Catholics. Consistency of practice is very important in this matter, not only in centers where Polish National Catholics are numerous, but also in areas removed from such centers where Polish National Catholics, not having ready access to their own bishops and priests, may approach Roman Catholic priests with requests for the sacraments.

Sacramental ministers of the Roman Catholic Church may admit Polish National Catholics to the sacraments of penance, the Eucharist and anointing of the sick, when they ask and are properly disposed to approach the sacraments with faith, repentance, and a firm purpose of amendment (conditions which all Christians must fulfill in approaching the sacraments). No additional restrictions apply. The additional restrictions which do apply to Protestants (such as serious need of the sacraments and the inability to receive them from their own ministers, cf. canon 844.4) do not apply in these cases. It can safely be presumed that Polish National Catholics hold a faith in these three sacraments in harmony with the faith held by Roman Catholics, and ought not be questioned on this.

While the law of the Roman Catholic Church (canon 844.3) makes generous provisions, it should still be kept in mind that these cases are seen as exceptional, not as the norm. Normally Polish National Catholics, it is expected, will seek the sacraments from their own bishops and priests, and only on certain occasions approach Roman Catholic sacramental ministers.

Since full communion between our churches has not yet been achieved, in no instance is a Roman Catholic priest permitted to concelebrate the Eucharist with Polish National Catholic priests (canon 908).

APPLICATION OF CANON 844.2 TO ROMAN CATHOLICS

Nothing is changed with respect to Roman Catholics seeking admission to the sacraments from priests of the Polish National Catholic Church, and the response from the Holy See did not touch that issue. According to Canon 844.2, Roman Catholics may approach the sacramental ministers of other churches only when four conditions are met:

when this is required by necessity or suggested by way of true spiritual advantage - a condition that might be met in a number of cases.
the danger of error or indifferentism is avoided - a condition that might readily be met in most cases,
it is virtually impossible (either physically or morally impossible) for Roman Catholics to receive these sacraments from their own minister - a condition that might be the least likely to be fulfilled since Roman Catholic ministers of the sacraments are generally present in neighborhoods where their Polish National Catholic counterparts are found, and
they seek them only of a church whose sacraments are valid - a condition which in the case of the Polish National Catholic Church is fulfilled.
Thus the requirements differ somewhat. Out of respect for individual consciences and sensitivity to individual spiritual needs, cases should be responded to on an individual basis. General public invitations to communicate are not appropriate.

DIFFERENT CUSTOMS
In this matter all should know about and respect the different customs of our churches. Polish National Catholics generally receive Communion on the tongue by intinction. They receive either kneeling or standing. Roman Catholics usually receive the Sacred Host standing. They receive either in the hand or on the tongue, as the communicant wishes. Communion is not distributed under both kinds at all Roman Catholic Masses. When it is, after receiving the Host, the communicant proceeds to a second Eucharistic minister who offers the chalice containing the Precious Blood. Roman Catholics have the option not to receive under both kinds. In the administration of Holy Communion in the Roman Catholic Church, bishops, priests and deacons are also assisted by lay ministers of the Eucharist, both men and women. This is not the case in the Polish National Catholic Church. The eucharistic fast before receiving Holy Communion is two hours in the Polish National Catholic Church, one hour in the Roman Catholic Church.

Regrettably our churches are still divided. But we do hope that the clarification we have received from Rome will advance our churches toward that full communion of faith and life that is both Christ’s promise and His will for us. At the same time we trust it will be a source of pastoral and sacramental support for our people as they live out their faith.
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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2004, 12:41:17 PM »

Wow from the last paragraph it seems that nowadays even the Polish national Catholic Church is more conservative than the RC.  Grin
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« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2004, 02:29:45 PM »

This is very interesting. It seems that the Orthodox Church is the only Church these days that officialy teaches only Orthodox Christians can recieve communion in Orthodox churches. Now is this always practiced by Orthodox priests? Most, of the time yes, but I am sure there are some priests who disobey the teachng of their Church.

Pretty soon I am sure the Catholic Church will allow all Oriental and Eastern Orthodox Christians, along with the Assyrians and the various schismatic groups, like the PNCC, to recieve communion in Catholic churches, as not just an exception but as the norm. It looks as if the Catholic Church is going to go so far to promote and encourage unity, that the deep respect, love, and devotion to the Eucharitst, present in the lives of so many saints and throughout the history of the RCC, will slowly be lost.
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« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2004, 02:35:46 PM »

Those who seek grounds for communion with their brothers are the conservatives, since it was the prayer of Jesus that we all would be one.  The ones who seek grounds for separation are the liberals, since that is a posture that is contrary to the teachings of the early Church.
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« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2004, 02:40:12 PM »

Jack, there is nothing wrong with the Catholic Church working for and promoting unity. But when the blessed Sacrament is allowed to be given to those declared schismatics and heretics by the RCC, you have gone beyond the promotion of unity and end up humilating the Catholic Church and her teachings.
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« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2004, 02:42:48 PM »

Quote
But when the blessed Sacrament is allowed to be given to those declared schismatics and heretics by the RCC

The Holy Father Pope John Paul II has said that we, as Catholics, should not consider the Orthodox as schismatics, as that word is too strong for the separation we have from them, from the viewpoint of the Catholic Church.
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« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2004, 02:54:35 PM »

When I said schismatics I was refering to schismatic groups, like the PNCC. As for the Orthodox Church, I know John Paul II says the word schismatic is not the right word, but I wonder what is, from the RC point of view? I mean the official Catholic teaching is that the Catholic Church is the one true Church, established by Christ, and outside of this Church there is no salvation. And no where in Catholic teaching is there room for "sister" Churches being a part of the true Church if they are not under the authority of the Pope. Some may not like this, but this is just Catholic doctrine. So, if the Catholic Church calims to be the original true Church, and if you must be under the authority of the Pope and accept the dogmas and doctrines of the Catholic Church to be apart of this Church, then what are the Orthodox?? The only word that would make sense, from a RC point of view, is SCHISMATIC.
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« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2004, 03:09:03 PM »

Apparently you know better than the Holy Father.

Please, bless me, Pope Ben.
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« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2004, 03:13:11 PM »

Ben:

I think your view reflects those of the "ultr-traditionalist" Catholics like the SSPX, which is deemed by Rome to be "schismatic."

The Pope's Encyclicals "Dominus Iesus" and "Ut Unum Sint" clarify the official position of the Catholic Church vis-a-vis other Churches (Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, ACE, and PNCC) and ecclesial communities (protestants) and the Catholic Church's ardent desire for Christian unity.

As Jack aptly observed above, the RCC is left alone following Our Lord's command for unity before His Ascension.

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« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2004, 03:15:12 PM »

This isn't a joke, it is a very serious matter. I do wonder why when one disagrees with the Holy Father everyone accuses them of pride and of somehow making themselves higher up on the chain of authoirty than the Pope. The fact remains that the Pope is only infallible when speaking ex cathedra according to the teaching of the Catholic Church, he can certainly error in his opinions. It seems that today people are so defensive about Pope John Paul II that if anyone disagrees with any of his opinions they are schismartics and disenters. When if you examine Church history many Saints have disagreed with the opinions of the Pope and even critized his actions. I am not judging him or saying that he isn't Pope, I have no authoirty to do so, but I can disagree with him. My question remains, from an RC point of view, Schultz what would you call the Orthodox Church? Please justify your answer.
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« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2004, 03:22:56 PM »



Quote
I think your view reflects those of the "ultr-traditionalist" Catholics like the SSPX, which is deemed by Rome to be "schismatic."

I do not attend an SSPX chapel, so please don't associate me with the SSPX.

As for my views, they are 100% in line with Catholic dogma and doctrine. Please point out my error! Where do I stray from Catholic dogma? How am I not just simpy holding true to the official dogmas and doctrines of the Catholic Church?

Quote
The Pope's Encyclicals "Dominus Iesus" and "Ut Unum Sint"


Which are *not* infallible. Where as the Papal bull "Unam Sanctam", which states "Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff" is considered to be Infallible by the RCC.
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the Catholic Church's ardent desire for Christian unity.

As I have said there is a serious difference between disiring unity and going so far as subtracting from the faith and abusing the blessed Sacrament to somehow reach unity. When in fact only false union in being promoted, because in all honesty we are no closer to union with the Orthodox Church or the PNCC since we allowed their faithful to recieve communion in our churches.
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« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2004, 03:25:49 PM »

Ben:

"Dominus Iesus" and "Ut Unum Sint" are not "mere opinions" of the Pope. They are not infallible pronouncements, either.

However, these two documents are expressions of the Catholic Church's MAGISTERIUM. They are the official teachings of the Church!

Heed them. Otherwise, you are not that Catholic.

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« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2004, 03:27:58 PM »

This has nothing to do with ther personage of Pope John Paul II or how I feel about him.  The simple fact is that the Holy Father and the Magisterium are there to guide us in interpreting the Church canons and pronouncements.

As for your question, the Orthodox churches are "sister" churches to the Catholic Church.  Contrary to what polemicists on both sides would want us to think, the basic Christian of these churches share the same faith.  Because most Christians are not theologians and do not grapple with the nuances of the Filioque and Papal Infallibility, but would rather try to live good Christian lives by partaking of the Sacraments, the Orthodox and Catholic churches are indeed in an "imperfect communion" with one another, as the Holy Father and the Magisterium have said recently and repeatedly.  

Catholic theology teaches that the Orthodox churches have "valid Sacraments".  If so, then they obviously have grace.  If they have grace, then God deems them "okay".  Of course this is incredibly simplistic, but I don't have the time nor the energy to sit and write out an enormous discourse on this and that's the basic barebones reasoning.

Does this mean I would commune in an Orthodox church?  Nope, not unless it's offered to me and even then I would only approach the chalice if it was an emergency (like I was heading into a battlezone with no Catholic church in the area).
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« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2004, 03:28:44 PM »

The Holy Father Pope John Paul II has said that we, as Catholics, should not consider the Orthodox as schismatics, as that word is too strong for the separation we have from them, from the viewpoint of the Catholic Church.

1.) An Orthodox can receive Communion in a RCC after going to confession in a RCC in the US...at least that is what is OK with the RCC in the US and what I was told by Diocese officials when I left the RCC. This applies to all Orthodox and not just former RCs returning to the fold.

2.) Many RC Cathecists mistakenly believe the same holds true for Orthodox Churches...that it is recipricated...which it is not.

3.) I have persoanlly witnessed groups of Polish National Catholics receiving Communion in a RC parish en mass after they lost their own priest. They were however required to stand...they all stood and then genuflected and crossed themselves after after receiving. I do not know what has happened to that samll polish group...I heard some converted to Orthodoxy while others merely adopted the RCC ways in the US and no longer standout at that parish with their women's heads covered and the genuflecting after Holy Communion.

I think the RCC is desparate to increase the numbers of those allowed to receive...as evidenced by this and a resual to apply Church teachings on receipt of the Eucharist for publicly apostate members...Many formerly devout Catholics are leaving the Church for more conservative denominations. This is a sign of the RCC's failing. They have been trying despartely to make mass in the US appeal to the masses -- polka masses, guitar masses, youth masses.....Singing Kumbeya just does not appeal to people today...yet we still see parishes where the "folk mass" is played out in a misguided attempt to keep people interested and entertained.
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« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2004, 03:28:53 PM »



Quote
"Dominus Iesus" and "Ut Unum Sint" are not "mere opinions" of the Pope. They are not infallible pronouncements, either
.

Right, they are not infallible and can contain error!

Quote
However, these two documents are expressions of the Catholic Church's MAGISTERIUM. They are the official teachings of the Church!

Must we follow the teachings of the Magisterium when they are teaching error? There are several examples in history of the Magisterium falling to heresy and teaching error, and many Saints, who were greatly persecuted, resisted these teachings.

Quote
Heed them. Otherwise, you are not that Catholic.

It seems that Pope Amdo has excommunicated me.

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« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2004, 03:30:56 PM »

I'd hate to burst your bubble, but "polka masses" have been going on since the 1965 and the first liturgical reform.  My father still has the bulletin from the first and last such Mass at my old parish near Pittsburgh.
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« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2004, 03:35:02 PM »


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As for your question, the Orthodox churches are "sister" churches to the Catholic Church.
 

The term "Sister Churches" was used in the early Church only to refer to those Churches in communion with each other, so this term can not be applied to the RCC and the EOC. This idea of the two Churches being "sister Churches" is a recent development and contrary to previouse Catholic teaching, and Catholic dogmas and doctrines.

Quote
Contrary to what polemicists on both sides would want us to think, the basic Christian of these churches share the same faith.
 

Sorry, but the Orthodox and Catholic Churches do not share the same faith.

Quote
Because most Christians are not theologians and do not grapple with the nuances of the Filioque and Papal Infallibility, but would rather try to live good Christian lives by partaking of the Sacraments, the Orthodox and Catholic churches are indeed in an "imperfect communion" with one another, as the Holy Father and the Magisterium have said recently and repeatedly.


The Filioque and Papal Infallibilty are Catholic dogma, and have been declared neccesary for salvation by the Catholic Church, so these can not be ignored for the sake of unity, they provide a major stubling block for unity, no matter who says otherwise.

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Catholic theology teaches that the Orthodox churches have "valid Sacraments".


True. But remember the Catholic Church also says SSPX has "valid sacraments" and yet declare SSPX to be schismatic.

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If so, then they obviously have grace.


Of course, I wasn't denying this.

Quote
If they have grace, then God deems them "okay".  Of course this is incredibly simplistic, but I don't have the time nor the energy to sit and write out an enormous discourse on this and that's the basic barebones reasoning.

This is not true. There are many groups or Churches that the RCC says has "valid sacraments" yet is schismatic, and certainly schism is not "okay" to God.
 
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« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2004, 03:37:48 PM »

I'd hate to burst your bubble, but "polka masses" have been going on since the 1965 and the first liturgical reform.  My father still has the bulletin from the first and last such Mass at my old parish near Pittsburgh.

1965 is when the worst of the worst started. It went all down hill from the 62 missal.
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« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2004, 03:39:39 PM »

Schultz,

Quote
Apparently you know better than the Holy Father.

You should go easy on Ben, since he's asking reasonable questions (and putting forward reasonable objections.)  Up until Vatican II, the Orthodox were "Greek Schismatics."  I have pre-concilliar RC books in my possession which speak in such terms.  Indeed, according to the once popular "My Catholic Faith" family catechism (last published in the mainstream in 1954 - though it's since been re-published by a "traditionalist" RC publishing house) the Orthodox are...

"Thus it can be seen that today the Orthodox Eastern Church is not merely schismatical, but truly heretical;  for it holds primary doctrines in a different light.  But it has valid orders." (pg 143)

I wouldn't doubt that John Paul II is against speaking of the Orthodox anymore as "schismatics" - but as Ben asks, what are they then from an RC p.o.v.?  Orthodoxy emphatically rejects all Papal claims, save the canonical rights (rooted in older pre-concilliar custom) Rome once had when it was part of the Orthodox Church.  That is text book definition schism in Catholicism, and still is no matter how liberalized and loosey goosey RC ecclessiology has become.  Perfect evidence of this is the case of the "Society of St.Pius X" led by the late Archbishop Lefebvre; their whole separation from Rome is characterized as a schism, and laymen are warned to stay away from them on those grounds except for some special circumstances.

Now, how does a group which actually recognizes both the office of the Papacy and it's current occupent (John Paul II) become "schismatical", while the Orthodox who do neither, are not?  This is not an attempt to defend the Papacy on my part (hardly!) - but the logic hear doesn't make sense.

Unless we should conclude that the RCC is in reality a terribly desacralized, political organism (more so in our days than ever), which is really neither hot nor cold enough to particularly care what Orthodox really believe, so long as they can be "restored" as citizens of the Pope's church.  That seems to me to be a very credible conclusion, since what the RCC says and does has no obvious consistancy.

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« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2004, 03:47:06 PM »

Very well put Augustine. I wonder was the Catholic Church in total error up until these past 30 years? I mean the Orthodox Church hasn't accepted any of the Catholic dogmas that they have always rejected, yet now they aren't allowed to be called schismatics. What happened? Is the current Holy Father and Magisterium preaching error? Or have they libertated us from centuries of erroneus Catholic teaching?
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« Reply #20 on: June 11, 2004, 03:47:07 PM »

Jack, there is nothing wrong with the Catholic Church working for and promoting unity. But when the blessed Sacrament is allowed to be given to those declared schismatics and heretics by the RCC, you have gone beyond the promotion of unity and end up humilating the Catholic Church and her teachings.

There is an informal fallacy whereby one asserts that what is true of the whole is also true of its parts.  To give a ridiculous example, simply because an automobile is a means of motorized transport does not make that true of the car's ashtray.  Now if it is true that a particular church body is schismatic and/or heretical it does not follow that such is true of its members.

The truth is, Ben, the things that we argue about in this forum don't even occur to most of the faithful, be they Catholic, Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, or members of the Polish National Catholic Church.  Most of them just go to the church they were raised in, and don't give it a second thought.  Now circumstances may be such that someone is placed in a situation where they don't have ready access to one of their own churches.  What are we to do, tell them that they are unworthy to receive the sacrament because they, through accident of history, found themselves members of an institution that is in schism with the Roman bishop?  And this, even though they receive a real and valid sacrament in their own Church?

In the liturgy we say, "Lord we are not worthy to receive you; but only say the word and we shall be healed."  We are all unworthy to eat and drink the body and blood of the Lord.  Neither the Church nor her teachings are humiliated by allowing members of the Polich National Catholic Church take communion in the circumstances described.  The only humiliation we should feel should come from the artificial and inane barriers we have put up between ourselves.
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« Reply #21 on: June 11, 2004, 03:48:05 PM »

And who is saying the Orthodox Church is not fully Catholic?

JoeS  Huh

When I said schismatics I was refering to schismatic groups, like the PNCC. As for the Orthodox Church, I know John Paul II says the word schismatic is not the right word, but I wonder what is, from the RC point of view? I mean the official Catholic teaching is that the Catholic Church is the one true Church, established by Christ, and outside of this Church there is no salvation. And no where in Catholic teaching is there room for "sister" Churches being a part of the true Church if they are not under the authority of the Pope. Some may not like this, but this is just Catholic doctrine. So, if the Catholic Church calims to be the original true Church, and if you must be under the authority of the Pope and accept the dogmas and doctrines of the Catholic Church to be apart of this Church, then what are the Orthodox?? The only word that would make sense, from a RC point of view, is SCHISMATIC.
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« Reply #22 on: June 11, 2004, 03:49:52 PM »

Neither the Church nor her teachings are humiliated by allowing members of the Polich National Catholic Church take communion in the circumstances described.

I disagree, by betraying centuries of Catholic dogma and doctrine, and the writtings of nemerous saints and Popes, the Catholic Church is greatly humilating itself.
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« Reply #23 on: June 11, 2004, 03:50:45 PM »

And who is saying the Orthodox Church is not fully Catholic?

JoeS  Huh

The dogmas and doctrines of the RCC are.
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« Reply #24 on: June 11, 2004, 03:58:35 PM »

Ben, you are the first person I have ever run across who says that Unam Sanctum is considered to be an infallible teaching.  What is your source for that statement?
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« Reply #25 on: June 11, 2004, 03:58:56 PM »

What say you on the concept of "Development of Doctrine", Ben?

What about Dominus Iesus?

And our friend Jack said all I would ever want to say.  

I would add that the skulls of armchair internet theologians also pave the floor of hell.
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« Reply #26 on: June 11, 2004, 04:02:32 PM »

Ben, you are the first person I have ever run across who says that Unam Sanctum is considered to be an infallible teaching.  What is your source for that statement?

It has been defined three times that only those who die as Catholics can be saved:

Pope Innocent III, A.D. 1198-1216: Ex cathedra: "One indeed is the universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved." (IV Lateran Council, A.D. 1215)

Pope Boniface VIII, A.D. 1294-1303: Ex cathedra: "We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is wholly necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.  The Lateran, November 14th, in our eighth year. As a perpetual memorial of this matter." (Unam Sanctam, A.D. 1302)

Pope Eugene IV, A.D. 1431-1447: Ex cathedra: "It [the Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church] firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that none of those outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but neither Jews, or heretics and schismatics, can become participants in eternal life, but will depart "into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels" [Matt. 25:41], unless before the end of life they have been added to the Church; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to those abiding in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fastings, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practised, even if he has shed his blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has abided in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church." (Council of Florence, A.D. 1442)

Two of these definitions, are from Holy and Venerable Ecumenical Councils.  The Church has always held that all of the ecumenical councils are ex cathedra, infallible; (Vatican II is an exception as the Pope chose that it be only a pastoral Council; Paul VI stated that he did not promulgated it as ex cathedra; that is however the only exception to the rule.)

We can see this from the ex cathedra teaching of Vatican I.  When papal infallibility was defined, the Council said the following:

"Therefore, faithfully adhering to the tradition received from the beginning of the Christian faith, to the glory of God our saviour, for the exaltation of the Catholic religion and for the salvation of the Christian people, with the approval of the sacred council, we teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that when the Roman pontiff speaks EX CATHEDRA, THAT IS, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, HE DEFINES a doctrine concerning faith or morals TO BE HELD by the whole Church, he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his Church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals. Therefore, such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the Church, irreformable. So then, should anyone, which God forbid, have the temerity to reject this definition of ours: let him be anathema." (Denz. 1839)

So, when a pope "defines" something "to be held" it is "ex cathedra".  But, in the run up to this, the Vatican I also defined:

"Moreover, the Roman Pontiffs, according to the dictates of time and circumstances, sometimes by calling ECUMENICAL COUNCILS or asking the opinion of the Church dispersed throughout the world, sometimes through particular synods, sometimes by using other means which divine providence supplied, DEFINED those things which MUST BE HELD and which they knew, by the help of God, to be consonant with the Sacred Scriptures and apostolic traditions." (Denz. 1836).

So, prior to Vatican I, popes "defined", things which "must be held" - and called ecumenical councils to prepare for this.  But, as we just saw, when he does that, it is ex cathedra.  Therefore, we may see from the teaching of Vatican I that there have been many ex cathedra definitions prior to Vatican I - particularly those which came upon the invocation of ecumenical councils.

From Unam Sanctam:

"Indeed we declare, say, pronounce, and define that it is altogether necessary to salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff"

It is clear Pope Boniface was meeting the requirements of speaking "ex cathedra".

I am surprised you haven't heard this before, I haven't even met a NO priest who denies Unam Sanctam to be infallible.
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« Reply #27 on: June 11, 2004, 04:05:22 PM »

You know I can't get over how easily some EO and now it seems RCs think they know best about everything.

I can't see how you can sidestep the official teaching of your church by saying that it isn't an infallible pronouncement when it is intended to be a clear presentation of the RC faith.

You seem to be saying that ONLY infallible statements need to be taken notice of, the rest are open to your judgement. That surely isn't the intention of the Holy Father when he issues an encyclical. Surely he intends his encyclicals to be true expressions of the RC faith. That means that they might not be preserved from some error, but you seem to be saying that much of this explanation of the RC faith is in fact erroneous.

How then can you remain an RC? And how can it be necessary for the Orthodox to be under the authority of the Pope if in fact he is teaching error? Surely an heretical Pope does not require the submission of all the faithful?

If he is not a heretic then how are you contradicting him? And if he is a heretic how can it be necessary to demand that all submit to an heretic?

Now I am confused?

Peter
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« Reply #28 on: June 11, 2004, 04:11:19 PM »

If he is not a heretic then how are you contradicting him? And if he is a heretic how can it be necessary to demand that all submit to an heretic?

Now I am confused?

Peter


There is a difference between a "formal" and "material" heretic in RC theology.

You are a “material” heretic without knowing it if you objectively contradict what God has said but through no fault of your own;

you are a “formal” heretic if you do pertinaciously contradict what God has said, i.e., knowing that you’re denying what God has said and wanting to do this anyway.

Now, the ordinary way for the Church to ascertain pertinacity and enforce the consequences of one’s heresy by either excommunication and/or loss of office, is through authoritative monitions* to the delinquent which he spurns (1983 Code of Canon Law, canon 2314, 1). But nobody can authoritatively admonish the Pope (canon 1556), and the Bishops can only be admonished by their superior, the Pope (canon 1557), who has not done so.

* To have canonical force, they must come from one's superior (cf., canon 2233).  The point is not only the crime but also its imputability must be notorious (canon 2195; 2197).

Therefore, pertinacity, and so formal heresy, cannot be proven.

A Pope can only be condemened as a formal Heretic after he is no longer a Pope, or after he is dead. So I can not judge the Holy Father as a heretic, but I can diagree with him, if his fallible opinions or encyclicals contain error.
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« Reply #29 on: June 11, 2004, 04:16:28 PM »


Quote
What say you on the concept of "Development of Doctrine", Ben?

According to RCC teaching, a Doctrine can not develope after it has been proclaimed one by the Pope or an Ecumenical Council. The "Development of Doctrine" only is used to defend dogmas like Papal Infallibilty that were declared over 1800 years after Christ's Church was founded. The defense is that the essential part of the doctrine has always been believed, but the way in which it was used and interpreted developed over the centuries. However, Papal Infallibilty can not change or stray from the declarations from Vatican I. What I mean is that Papal Infallibilty is forever as it was declared in Vat I, there is no room for interpretation in matters where it has been specifically decided by an Ecumenical Council or the Pope, according to RC teaching.

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« Reply #30 on: June 11, 2004, 04:26:25 PM »

Wow! How can it be that the Pope cannot ex officio ever be an heretic.

Is that true - other RCs.

How can the Pope not be a material heretic if he maintains an heretical teaching? Surely above all others he cannot be considered to have mistakenly continued to persist in teaching error - which is what I read you are saying?

In present RC teaching can a Pope not be deposed?

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« Reply #31 on: June 11, 2004, 04:32:47 PM »

Quote
How can the Pope not be a material heretic if he maintains an heretical teaching?


A Pope can be a material heretic, he can even be a formal heretic, he just can't be condemned as a formal heretic until his papacy has ended or after he is dead.

Quote
Surely above all others he cannot be considered to have mistakenly continued to persist in teaching error - which is what I read you are saying?

If the Pope is teaching error without knowing if he objectively contradicting what God has said, but through no fault of his own, he is a material heretic.

However, if the Pope is pertinaciously contradicting what God has said, i.e., knowing that he is denying what God has said and wanting to do this anyway, then he is a formal heretic. But only a superior can declare you a formal heretic, and the Pope, according to RC teaching has no superior on earth while he is the Pope, so only after his papacy ends or after his death, can a pope be condemned as a formal heretic.


Quote
In present RC teaching can a Pope not be deposed?

Nope.

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« Reply #32 on: June 11, 2004, 04:34:54 PM »

Don't you think that is pretty ...... problematic? How do you cope with that as an RC?
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« Reply #33 on: June 11, 2004, 04:35:45 PM »

Indeed what happens if a materially heretic Pope declares something materially heretical ex-cathedra - how would that be dealt with?
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« Reply #34 on: June 11, 2004, 04:39:54 PM »

Indeed what happens if a materially heretic Pope declares something materially heretical ex-cathedra - how would that be dealt with?

Interesting question.

If a Pope was a heretic, formal or material, and declared a dogma ex-cathedra that was in fact heretical. Hmmmm...I don't know. I can only think of two answers.

1) The Holy Spirit prevents the Pope from all error in declaring something "ex-cathedra", so in all reality the Pope couldn't declare something heretical ex-cathedra.  

or

2) The next Pope would by himself, or convene a council, condemn the previous Pope as heretical, making all of his declarations null and void.

Those seem to be the only two answers for such a question, I will look into it though.
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« Reply #35 on: June 11, 2004, 04:53:09 PM »

Then would it be possible for a future Pope to declare ex-cathedra that the non-Orthodox controversial issues in the RCC were heretical and that all the pronouncements made in support of them were null and void?

I am serious about the question.
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« Reply #36 on: June 11, 2004, 05:10:45 PM »

Then would it be possible for a future Pope to declare ex-cathedra that the non-Orthodox controversial issues in the RCC were heretical and that all the pronouncements made in support of them were null and void?

I am serious about the question.

Ex-Cathedra is used for declaring dogmas and doctrines, so I don't see a Pope saying "I ex-cathedra make this and that null and void." However, the RCC teaches that the Pope does have the authoirty to use ex-cathedra, and when he does he is prevented from all error by the Holy Ghost.
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« Reply #37 on: June 11, 2004, 05:35:25 PM »

So it could happen and would be authoritative?
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« Reply #38 on: June 11, 2004, 05:38:03 PM »

Yes it could happen, theoreticaly, as far as I know. I could be wrong on this though.
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« Reply #39 on: June 11, 2004, 05:44:07 PM »

That's encouraging then, so there could be a future Pope who authoritatively brought about union with the EO and OO.

Peter
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« Reply #40 on: June 11, 2004, 05:50:24 PM »

But there is a problem. The OO and EO don't accept Papal Infallibilty, so for a Pope to use Papal Infallibilty to unite with the OO and EO, wouldn't work. And I wonder why a paticular Pope, who wanted to be Orthodox, would use Papal Infallibilty, which he wouldn't believe in, to further his cause. It just wouldn't make any sense.
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« Reply #41 on: June 11, 2004, 06:12:44 PM »

But surely you would be bound by his statement that he was ex-cathedra defining that papal infallibility and universal jurisdiction as have been understood in the RCC were rejected? You could not reject his ex-cathedra redefinition of these doctrines for you have already said that you are bound to accept them for your salvation.

Since the situation would end up with these problematic doctrines being redefined there would be no obstacle. The last exercise of papal infallibility would be to reject it.

It seems from what you say that you would have to accept this, you could not get rid of such a pope or say that he was a heretic, and if he defined ex-cathedra that papal infallibility had been misunderstood then how could you not be bound to this teaching?

Peter
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« Reply #42 on: June 11, 2004, 06:27:14 PM »

But surely you would be bound by his statement that he was ex-cathedra defining that papal infallibility and universal jurisdiction as have been understood in the RCC were rejected? You could not reject his ex-cathedra redefinition of these doctrines for you have already said that you are bound to accept them for your salvation.

Since the situation would end up with these problematic doctrines being redefined there would be no obstacle. The last exercise of papal infallibility would be to reject it.

It seems from what you say that you would have to accept this, you could not get rid of such a pope or say that he was a heretic, and if he defined ex-cathedra that papal infallibility had been misunderstood then how could you not be bound to this teaching?

Peter

If a Pope wanted to be Orthodox, or wanted the Catholic Church be Orthodox and abolished all Catholic dogmas declared after the schism, ex-cathedra, he would be using something he doesn't believe in, and knows isn't the true faith, so only a truly messed up guy would do this. And he would meet a large amount of resistence, and probably the college of Cardinals would elect another Pope, and that Pope would declare the other Pope heretical, it would be a huge mess. Or when he dies, the next Pope would probably say he was a heretic and what he did meant nothing, but hoenstly from an RC point of view this couldn't happen, because it is believed that the Holy Ghost guides the Pope speaking ex-cathedra, and prevents him from all eror.
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« Reply #43 on: June 11, 2004, 06:33:18 PM »

I'm not trying to be too silly with this, just wondering what would be possible in the RCC structure.

Would he find overwhelming opposition? I thought the whole thrust of your earlier posts was that the RCC was abandoning a strict adherence to your interpretation of dogma. If that was the case then would it not be increasingly possible that a future pontiff might use the means available to him to bring about union with Orthodoxy and that this would produce less resistance than you are now suggesting?

If a future pontiff said, 'look, some of the earlier statements about the filioque are misunderstood or even just plain wrong. We actually confess an economic filioque not an ontological one'. How many would actually mount a resistance? I don't believe you are actually in the RC communion? Are you? How many actual RC's would find such a statement impossible to cope with?

Peter
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« Reply #44 on: June 11, 2004, 06:40:58 PM »

Indeed what happens if a materially heretic Pope declares something materially heretical ex-cathedra - how would that be dealt with?

The Holy Spirit doesn't let that happen.  But he doesn't speak infallibly all that often.
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