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Author Topic: Primacy - Christ is the Head and all Apostles are equal.  (Read 11440 times) Average Rating: 0
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paul2004
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« on: July 27, 2004, 11:19:20 AM »

Original paper of Patriarch Shenouda was in English. It was presented in Pro-oriente Vienna 1973. He was then the head of theological studies of the Coptic Orthodox Church.  Orthodox Church in India was represented by H.G. Dr. Paulos Mar Gregorios, H.G. Dr. Gheevarghese Mar Osthathios, and Fr. Dr. VC Samuel.  Patriarch Zakka 1, then the metropolitan of Bagdad was also present.  Pope Shenouda spoke against the RCC faith in strongest terms.  Below is a translation from Malayalam. The Malayalam version appeared in a publication of the Orthodox Church in India.


----------------------------------------------------------------------
He was one of the Apostles (Gal 2:9). There is no mention that he was the only chief priest of the Church. Other Apostles also testified like St. Peter.

"I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God." John (1:34).

"Then Nathanael declared, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel." John (1:49)

There are also many others who confessed like St. Peter, not only Apostles. Mark (1: 1), Acts (8:37, 9:20), Romans (1:4), Story of the blind man (John 9:35-38) Martha (John 11: 27), Centurion (Math 27, 54), Acts (13:9-12, 15:23-30)), 1 Cor. (5:3-5)

He was confessing the same faith as all others. He was the eldest among them. Thus according to local custom he was given special respect.

There was no special position given to him. Mat 16: 19 doesn't mean that a special position was granted.  He gave this to all Apostles equally without discrimination Mat. (18:18), John (20:22-23), Acts (13:9-12), Acts (15:23-30), 1 Cor (5:3-5). Authority of this key is equally held by all Apostles.  The grace and authority upon each Apostle is the same.

There is no evidence in Gospels that he was the only administrator of the church.

Before becoming a disciple he was known as Simon, the son of John. From the old state, He is calling him back to be Apostle again John (21: 15-17), Mat. (29:33-35)

The Rock

- From Matthew 16:18 we cannot conclude that it was on Peter that He founded the church.  Peter who is a man cannot become a Rock. Bible says this.

2 Samuel (22:32) "For who is God besides the LORD ? And who is the Rock except our God?”

Psalms (18:31) "For who is God besides the LORD ? And who is the Rock except our God?”

1 Samuel (2:2) "There is no one holy like the LORD ; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.”

1 Cor. (10:3-4) "They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ."

- Rock will not move. But the faith of Peter the man moved. In a state when He prayed Luke 22:32.

Mat (26:69-75), Mark (14:66-72), Luke (22:55-62(, John (18:16-18,25-27)

- Apostle Paul about Apostle Peter.  Gal ( 2: 11-13)

Galatians (2:11-13)
"11When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. 12Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles.  But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray."


- In Syriac the word used for Peter is  "Kepha". Kepha" means stone, which is movable.  In Greek "Petra" is not same as "petros". "Petros" is movable stone. "Petra" is rock.  The Church was established on "Solid Rock" (Petra).  

Peter was called "Petros". The "Petra" is Christ.

St. Augustine said that what christ said is "you are Petros, but on this Petra I will build my Church".

- St. Peter confessed Christ the Rock. That Rock is the foundation. In verse Mat 16.18 it is the faith of Peter, his confession in the Rock. The Rock is the person whom Peter confessed.  Rock is the faith in divinity of Christ, the faith that he is Son of living God.

This is the Rock because if this faith is broken, then there is no church, there is no sacraments.   The doors of hades will be against the Church. Thus Mat 16.18 should be understood as  "You are Petros, but on this Rock (that is, the faith you firmly confessed that I am the Son of living God) I will build the church."

The Rock is the Son in which Peter confessed.

- St. Athanasius to Bishop Serapion: "Let us examine the faith given by Christ, taught by Apostles and  kept by the fathers, the faith and traditions of the Universal Church: Church is built on this. Those who deviate from this is not Christian."

- St. Augustine says "I will build on this Rock, because St. Peter confessed you are the Son of living God. Thus the church will be build on the Rock you confessed. That Rock is Christ, it is on that Rock that St. Peter is also built. No one can lay a foundation other than Christ."


- Though he is called first in Mat (10:2), Gal (2:9), 1 Cor (1:12, 3:22, 9:5) prove that in the Church there is no special significance for the first place.

All Apostles are equal. Who is the first among them? Mark (9:34-35), Luke (9:46-48), Mat (18: 1-4),

The concern of the mother of James and John. Mat (20:20-28), Mark (10:35-45), Luke (22:24-27)

There was no special authority to Peter alone. In Acts (8:14) we can see other Apostles sending Peter to Samaria.  Thus Peter did not had authority over other Apostles.

Acts (8.14)
"When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them."

He is one Apostle among many.  "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ," 1 Peter (1:1) "Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ ..." 2 Peter (1:1)

"I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles." 2 Peter (3:2)


Not chief, not Head of all churches, not vicar on earth, Only a priestly representative.  Not elder among elders, rather a fellow elder.


"To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ's suff ..." 1 Peter 5:1

Foundation of the Church.

St. Peter about Christ.

1 Pet (2:6)  - Christ the foundation.

Acts (4:11) "the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone."

Same said by Apostle Paul in Eph. (2:20.)

Eph (2:20) "built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone."

Rev. (21:14) "The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb."

Nowhere it is said that Apostle Peter is the foundation of the Church or only he was given authority over all Churches.
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« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2004, 06:54:44 PM »

Dear Brethren,

With all due respect to His Holiness the Pope of Alexandria, I think its a little late in the game to be making such arguments against the Latins.  To ask the Latins to agree to such arguments is tantamount to asking them to flush the last 17 or 18 centuries of their Tradition right down the toilet.  No one can seriously believe such a request could ever be honored by any Church.

I think a much more realistic approach is taken by Olivier Clement in his book, "You Are Peter... An Orthodox Theologian's reflection on the Exercise of Papal Primacy."  Its the most honest treatment of the subject I've read.
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« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2004, 12:45:11 AM »

I totally agree with Ghazaros....100%!
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« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2004, 03:47:20 AM »

According to Church historian Eusebious "St. Peter established his See at Antoich and then went to Rome" establishing a See there also.

The Pre-Eminence of St. Peter - 50 New Testament Proofs


Proof 1:
=======
Matthew 16:18: "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

The "rock" (Greek, "petra") referred to here is St. Peter himself,
not his faith or Jesus Christ. Christ appears here not as the
foundation, but as the architect who "builds." The Church is built, not on confessions, but on confessors - living men (see, for example, 1 Pt 2:5). Here St. Peter is spoken of as the foundation-stone of the Church, making him head and superior of the family of God. Moreover, "Rock" embodies a metaphor applied to him by Christ in a sense analogous to the suffering and despised Messiah (see 1 Pt 2:4-8; Mt 21:42). Without a solid foundation a house falls. St. Peter is the foundation, but not founder of the Church; administrator, but not Lord of the Church. The Good Shepherd (Jn 10:11) gives us other shepherds as well (Eph 4:11).

Proof 2:
=======
Matthew 16:19: "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven."

The "power" of the keys has to do with ecclesiastical discipline and administrative authority with regard to the requirements of the  faith, as in Isaiah 22:22 (see Is 9:6; Jb 12:14; Rv 3:7). From this power flows the use of censures, excommunication, absolution, baptismal discipline, the imposition of penances and legislative powers. In the Old Testament, a steward, or prime minister, is a man who is "over a house" (Gn 41:40; 43:19; 44:4; 1 Kgs 4:6; 16:9; 18:3;2 Kgs 10:5; 15:5; 18:18; Is 22:15, 20-21).
[ According to Jewish custom, Keys were a symbol of authority. . Rev 1:18 says "And I hold the keys of death and Hades"]

Proof 3:
========
Matthew 16:19: "Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

"Binding" and "loosing" were technical rabbinical terms, which meant to "forbid" and "permit" with reference to the interpretation of the law and, secondarily, to "condemn," "place under the ban" or "acquit." Thus St. Peter and his Successors are given the authority to determine the rules for doctrine and life by virtue of revelation and the Spirit's leading (see Jn 16:13), as well as to demand obedience from the Church. "Binding and loosing" represent the legislative and
judicial powers of the the bishops (Mt 18:17-18; Jn20:23). St. Peter, however, is the only apostle who receives these
powers by name and in the singular, making him pre-eminent.

Proof 4:
========
Peter's name occurs first in all lists of apostles (see Mt 10:2; Mk
3:16; Lk 6:14; Acts 1:13). Matthew even calls him "the first" (10:2). (Judas Iscariot is invariably mentioned last.)

Proof 5:
=======
Peter is almost without exception named first whenever he appears with anyone else. In one example to the contrary, Galatians 2:9, where he is listed after James and before John, he is clearly preeminent in the entire context (see, for example, 1:18-19; 2:7-8).

Proof 6
=======
Peter alone among the apostles receives a new name, "Rock," solemnly conferred (Jn 1:42; Mt 16:18).

[Note:1 Actualy the Lord used the word "Kipha" a Aramaic word which means "rock", which is translated into Greek as "Patros".
Note 2 : When God called Abram to become father of a nations God changed his name to Abraham]

Proof 7
========
Likewise, Peter is regarded by Jesus as the chief shepherd after himself (Jn 21:15-17), singularly by name, and over the universal Church, even though others have a similar but subordinate role (Acts 20:28; 1 Pt 5:2).

proof 8:
========
Peter alone among the apostles is mentioned by name as having been prayed for by Jesus Christ in order that his "faith fail not" (Lk 22:32).

proof 9:
========
Peter alone among the apostles is exhorted by Jesus to "strengthen your brethren" (Lk 22:32).

proof 10:
========
Peter first confesses Christ's divinity (Mt 16:16).

proof 11:
========
Peter alone is told that he has received divine knowledge by a
special revelation (Mt 16:17).

proof 12:
========
Peter is regarded by the Jews (Acts 4:1-13) as the leader and
spokesman of Christianity.

proof 13:
========
Peter is regarded by the common people in the same way (Acts 2:37-41; 5:15).

proof 14:
========
Jesus Christ uniquely associates himself and Peter in the miracle of the tribute money (Mt 17:24-27).

proof 15:
========
Christ teaches from Peter's boat, and the miraculous catch of fish follows (Lk 5:1-11): perhaps a metaphor for the pope as a "fisher of men" (Mt 4:19).

proof 16:
========
Peter was the first apostle to set out for, and enter, the empty tomb (Lk 24:12; Jn 20:6).

proof 17:
========
Peter is specified by an angel as the leader and representative of the apostles (Mk 16:7).

proof 18
========
Peter leads the apostles in fishing (Jn 21:2-3,11). The "bark" (boat) of Peter has been regarded by Catholics as a figure of the Church,with Peter at the helm.

proof 19:
========
Peter alone casts himself into the sea to come to Jesus (Jn 21:7).

proof 20:
========
Peter's words are the first recorded and most important in the Upper Room before Pentecost (Acts 1:15-22).

proof 21:
========
Peter takes the lead in calling for a replacement for Judas (Acts
1:22).

proof 22:
========
Peter is the first person to speak (and only one recorded) after
Pentecost, so he was the first Christian to "preach the Gospel" in the Church era (Acts 2:14-36).

proof 23:
========
Peter works the first miracle of the Church Age, healing a lame man (Acts 3:6-12).

proof 24:
========
Peter utters the first anathema (Ananias and Sapphira) emphatically affirmed by God (Acts 5:2-11).

proof 25:
========
Peter's shadow works miracles (Acts 5:15).

proof 26:
========
Peter is the first person after Christ to raise the dead (Acts 9:40).

proof 27:
========
Cornelius is told by an angel to seek out Peter for instruction in
Christianity (Acts 10:1- 6).

proof 28:
========
Peter is the first to receive the Gentiles, after a revelation from
God (Acts 10:9-48).

proof 29:
========
Peter instructs the other apostles on the catholicity(universality) of the Church (Acts 11:5-17).

proof 30:
========
Peter is the object of the first divine interposition on behalf of an individual in the Church Age (an angel delivers him from prison - Acts 12:1-17).

proof 31:
========
The whole Church (strongly implied) prays for Peter "without ceasing" when he is imprisoned (Acts 12:5).

proof 32:
========
Peter presides over and opens the first council of Christianity, and lays down principles afterward accepted by it (Acts 15:7-11).

proof 33:
========
Paul distinguishes the Lord's post-resurrection appearances to Peter from those to other apostles (1 Cor 15:4-5).

proof 34:
========
Peter is often spoken of as distinct among apostles (Mk 1:36; Lk 9:28,32; Acts 2:37; 5:29; 1 Cor 9:5).

proof 35:
========
Peter is often spokesman for the other apostles, especially at
climactic moments (Mk 8:29; Mt 18:21; Lk 9:5; 12:41; Jn 6:67).

proof 36:
========
Peter's name is always the first listed of the "inner circle" of the
disciples (Peter, James and John - Mt 17:1; 26:37,40; Mk 5:37; 14:37).

proof 37:
========
Peter is often the central figure relating to Jesus in dramatic
Gospel scenes such as walking on the water (Mt 14:28-32; Lk 5:1, Mk 10:28; Mt 17:24).

proof 38:
========
Peter is the first to recognize and refute heresy, in Simon Magus (Acts 8:14-24).

proof 39:
========
Peter's name is mentioned more often than all the other disciples put together: 191 times (162 as Peter or Simon Peter, 23 as Simon and 6 as Cephas). John is next in frequency with only 48 appearances, and Peter is present 50 percent of the time we find John in the Bible.
 
All the other disciples combined were mentioned 130 times. If this is correct, Peter is named a remarkable 60 percent of the time any disciple is referred to.

proof 40:
========
Peter's proclamation at Pentecost (Acts 2:14-41) contains a fully authoritative interpretation of Scripture, a doctrinal decision and a disciplinary decree concerning members of the "House of Israel" - an example of "binding and loosing."

proof 41:
========
Peter was the first "charismatic," having judged authoritatively the first instance of the gift of tongues as genuine (Acts 2:14-21).

proof 42:
========
Peter is the first to preach Christian repentance and baptism (Acts 2:38).

proof 43:
========
Peter (presumably) takes the lead in the first recorded mass baptism (Acts 2:41).

proof 44:
========
Peter commanded the first Gentile Christians to be baptized (Acts 10:44-48).

proof 45:
========
Peter was the first traveling missionary, and first exercised what would now be called "visitation of the churches" (Acts 9:32-38,43). Paul preached at Damascus immediately after his conversion (Acts 9:20), but had not traveled there for that purpose (God changed his plans). His missionary journeys begin in Acts 13:2.

proof 46:
========
Paul went to Jerusalem specifically to see Peter for 15 days at the beginning of his ministry (Gal 1:18), and was commissioned by Peter, James and John (Gal 2:9) to preach to the Gentiles.

proof 47:
========
Peter acts, by strong implication, as the chief bishop/shepherd of the Church (1 Pt 5:1), since he exhorts all the other bishops,
or "elders."

proof 48:
========
Peter interprets prophecy (2 Pt 1:16-21).


proof 49:
========
Peter corrects those who misuse Paul's writings (2 Pt 3:15-16).

proof 50:
========
Peter wrote his first epistle from Rome, according to most scholars, as its bishop, and as the universal bishop (pope) of the early Church. "Babylon" (1 Pt 5:13) is regarded as code for Rome.
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« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2004, 09:26:27 AM »

But I seem to recall that James was in charge of the first church established in Jerusalem, am I wrong?
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« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2004, 10:43:55 AM »

But I seem to recall that James was in charge of the first church established in Jerusalem, am I wrong?


You are right. St. James is the first Archbishop of Jerusalem church, which is the mother of all Churches. Acts 15 describes the Synod of Jerusalem. When there was controversy in the Church of Antioch, a delegation of the Antiochian church was sent straight to Jerusalem church. All Apostles were assembled in the Jeruaalem church. It was St. James, the Archbishop who made the final decision in the Jerusalem council. It is also the tradition that St. James developed the first Eucharistic liturgy in Jerusalem, which is the root liturgy of all Orthodox liturgies.

Rome gained prominence only because it was capital of the empire and later developed their own understanding of church administration. But in Orthodox churches, we do not have a theology of church administration.  But for Rome supremacy etc. is part of theology. Now, Jacobite section in India is copying from Roman Catholic works and trying to substitute Rome with Antioch in the works originating from Roman church.


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« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2004, 10:55:17 AM »

According to Church historian Eusebious "St. Peter established his See at Antoich and then went to Rome" establishing a See there also.

The Pre-Eminence of St. Peter - 50 New Testament Proofs


Dear Thomas, Apostle Peter was married, right?  But Bible considers it great to remain unmarried. Apostle Thomas was unmarried. In what sense can you raise one person

Your quote of Mar Eusebius just says the well known fact that Apostle Peter formed the churches in Antioch and Rome. There are also many quotes for other Apostles, relating them to the churches formed in other nations and regions. Why only isolating one Apostle. Let us talk about the unity of Apostles and their equality.

The person of Peter was not called the Rock, but the specific nature of his confession was called the Rock. And any one who confessed the same faith can be called the 'Rock'. Church is established on the Rock of faith, which is the firmness of confession.

St. Severus:
"He (Jesus) called the firmness and fixity of such a confession (Peter's confession) a rock. And, as speech knows a right and sound opinion on faith as a church, so it also knows the believers who confess it as a church."
[St. Severus, Letter to the Holy Convents of Virgins of Christ]

So, it is the confession that is called the Rock. Apostolic fathers did not give any importance of establishing supreme rule of Rome or Antioch, they focused on remaining united in one faith, which is the model followed till date in Oriental Orthodox Churches, as it is evident also from the writing of Patriarch Shenouda 111.


Paul
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« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2004, 11:12:54 AM »

Dear Brethren,

With all due respect to His Holiness the Pope of Alexandria, I think its a little late in the game to be making such arguments against the Latins.  To ask the Latins to agree to such arguments is tantamount to asking them to flush the last 17 or 18 centuries of their Tradition right down the toilet.  No one can seriously believe such a request could ever be honored by any Church.

I think a much more realistic approach is taken by Olivier Clement in his book, "You Are Peter... An Orthodox Theologian's reflection on the Exercise of Papal Primacy."  Its the most honest treatment of the subject I've read.

Obviously, this thread was not started to discuss the subject of Orthodox vs. Latin understandings of Papal primacy.  It is obviously a continuation of the IOC vs. Jacobites grudge match that has been festering on this board as of late, with Paul accusing the Jacobites of clinging to Roman Catholic teachings concerning this issue.  I for one would be interested to see Pope Shenouda's original statements made in their original context, and not a translation of a translation which may have a certain political subtext.
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« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2004, 11:27:52 AM »

Dear Brethren,

With all due respect to His Holiness the Pope of Alexandria, I think its a little late in the game to be making such arguments against the Latins.  To ask the Latins to agree to such arguments is tantamount to asking them to flush the last 17 or 18 centuries of their Tradition right down the toilet.  No one can seriously believe such a request could ever be honored by any Church.

I think a much more realistic approach is taken by Olivier Clement in his book, "You Are Peter... An Orthodox Theologian's reflection on the Exercise of Papal Primacy."  Its the most honest treatment of the subject I've read.


If Rome was able to correct some of the major deviations, they have the freedom to correct this deviation also.

'Primacy' is a major issue between OO and RC churches. Kindly refer to the minutes of the first official dialogue between OO and RC churches, held Jan. 2004 in Cairo.  This joint meeting picked 'primacy' as the topic for further discussion in Rome next year.

Clearly, OO churches have an issue with 'primacy' and I don't think it is easy to force OO churches to accept it. What is the basis of saying that all Apostolic Churches should be ruled by Rome? Now Jacobite church associated with Antioch is coming up with the same Roman arguments to establish supreme rule of their Patriarch in Damascus.  

If the Church was able to remain in the true faith for 2000 years, what is the need for establishing supremacy of one primate at this point in history?

-Paul
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« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2004, 11:47:25 AM »

Paul accusing the Jacobites of clinging to Roman Catholic teachings concerning this issue.  I for one would be interested to see Pope Shenouda's original statements made in their original context, and not a translation of a translation which may have a certain political subtext.

Dear Nick, Please forgive. The argument of Petrine Primacy did not originate first from the Indian Orthodox or from me individually. But it is the Jacobite church using several ways to convert the Orthodox to such a faith. I hope you can independently investigate and come to an unbiased conclusion about this issue. The bulk of literature originating from Jacobite church clearly proves my opinion. Also they consider it the core aspect of faith, i.e. Supremacy of 'Simhasan" (throne) of Peter.

When I did the translation of the article of Pope Shenouda, I tried to match each word by word. The original article was translated to Malayalam by a lady of the Indian Orthodox Church and it was published in an Orthodox publication with largest circulation. It was published a response to numerous articles originating from the Jacobite church. Why should the Orthodox church keep quite when they are involved in the act of converting people to that faith?

Kindly let me know if I started the discussion on Apostle Peter. Please check the original thread, which gradually deviated in to the issue of supremacy.
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/newboard/index.php?board=5;action=display;threadid=3616;start=15

Yes, I did mention about  supremacy etc., for example in a general sense, I said that one church should not establish supremacy over other churches. But did not introduce the arguments on the special position of Apostle Peter. Kindly correct me if I am wrong.

Thank you.
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« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2004, 12:32:51 PM »

Dear Friends,

Regardless of the internal disputes within Indian Orthodoxy, I do find it troubling that any Orthodox (EO or OO) could interpret the "rock" as the person of St. Peter, rather than his confession of faith. As far as I am aware, the latter is the accepted Orthodox teaching, period.  I am not speaking to all the other issues of primacy, but specifically to the Orthodox interpretation of this specific portion of Scripture.

Second, to Ghazaros' point (BTW - welcome!), I don't think we should say that "anything" is off the table, or that it is too late for any subject.  We OO and RC have been separated for over 1500 years and many of the developments in Rome happened during that separation...and I believe all these issues are legitimate - especially Roman Primacy, Supremacy and Papal Infallibility - from which, I believe, ALL of our differences ultimately stem from.  I believe that these issues should be tackled first!

As as my brother Paul pointed out, the historical issues of primacy cannot be separated from historical politics (i.e. Rome as the capital of the Empire). Everything has changed and we need to go back and re-examine all the issues that contributed to the developments of primacy, supremacy and ultimately papal infallibility.  Just as some canons were formulated to deal with specific circumstances and certain times, so also the issue of the orders of the sees (i.e. who sits first, second, third, etc...) needs to be rexamined in light of our current situation.

In Christ,
Raouf
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« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2004, 05:03:24 PM »

Dear Rauof,

The book I mentioned does exactly what you write of.  It re-examines Papal Primacy in the light of our current situation, in a very honest fashion.  One read of this book, helped me to see the pettiness of members on both sides who make exaggerated arguments one way or the other.  It also exposes the fact, without caving in to all of the developed Latin Church claims, that many Orthodox are now suffering from "ecclesial amnesia" in the matter of Primacy in the Church.  I agree.  We are never going to get anywhere until we drop our defences and begin reaching out to each other, respecting each other's tradition.  Asking a Church to dump its tradition is certainly off the table.  Its not realistic for us to ask them nor of them to ask us.  Mutual respect and seeing where our Traditions meet is the only way to resolve this problem.

-Thanks for the welcome, brother.
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« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2004, 06:25:47 PM »

Dear Paul,

I did not say that you started the discussion about Petrine supremacy in the other thread.  In fact, I know that this discussion was started by Thomas Daniel when he introduced a link to a certain article containing these teachings.  I did not say that you started this discussion in the other thread, but rather that you started this new thread to discuss the same issue.  I said: "Obviously, this thread was not started to discuss the subject of Orthodox vs. Latin understandings of Papal primacy...", and I believe that assessment to be true.  This thread was in fact a continuation of the Jacobite vs. IOC feud.  It was not, as some assumed, a Coptic vs. Catholic thread.  I was merely trying to clarify this fact.  It appears I spoke too harshly, and for that I ask your forgiveness.


When I did the translation of the article of Pope Shenouda, I tried to match each word by word. The original article was translated to Malayalam by a lady of the Indian Orthodox Church and it was published in an Orthodox publication with largest circulation. It was published a response to numerous articles originating from the Jacobite church. Why should the Orthodox church keep quite when they are involved in the act of converting people to that faith?


I am very happy that the IOC is clinging to the Orthodox teaching concerning St. Peter and looks to His Holiness the Pope of Alexandria as a spiritual father in this regard.  I am just wondering why the original English version was not posted here, since we all speak English in this forum.  I mean no disrespect, but based on my limited knowledge of this conflict, it seems that both sides sometimes resort to spinning the facts their own way, and I would be very interested to read the original English-language speech as opposed to an English-Malayalam-English again third generation translation of a translation, which may also have a certain "spin" to it.  Just for the record, I personally agree with you on this matter, and find many of the teachings on the previously mentioned Jacobite website to be questionable.  That being said, I would hate for the Jacobite vs. IOC conflict that has been brewing here be expanded into an Orthodox vs. Catholic conflict.  Again, I apologize to you for speaking harshly and offending you, and ask your forgiveness.  This whole situation is quite perplexing to me.  The Oriental Orthodox Communion should not be divided against itself.  I have friends and associates on both sides, and oddly enough, I am criticized by all of them whenever I say anything in favor of one side or the other.  Please keep me in your prayers, as I pray for the Church in India.

In XC,

Nick
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« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2004, 01:34:13 AM »

Dear Paul,

I did not say that you started the discussion about Petrine supremacy in the other thread.  In fact, I know that this discussion was started by Thomas Daniel when he introduced a link to a certain article containing these teachings.  I did not say that you started this discussion in the other thread, but rather that you started this new thread to discuss the same issue.  

Sorry I don’t agree with that, this thread is a continuation of other thread “The Ancient “Church of the East”, Mr. Paul invited me to take part on this subject in this thread, please check the posting # 136 of the original thread.

Re:The Ancient "Church of the East" -½ Reply #136 on: Tue, July 27, 2004, 11:22:51 AM -+
 
Dear Thomas Daniel, I started a new thread on the topic of primacy. Let us discuss and learn from there.

Regards,
Paul


And the link which posted by me was not initially posted as the topic of the discussion. It was posted during the discussion to make clear the standing of SOC position on this subject. Here I am only taking part in the discussion and sharing my thoughts based on my understandings. I never accused anyone. Every one has the wrights to believe what they think it is true. Others have the wrights to accept or deny it, but they don’t have authority to question others faith or believes. But welcome to discuss the subject in such a way it wont be accusing some one.

Now Mr. Thomas P quoted an article of H.H Pope Shenouda (from this forum only I came to know that, it was a translation of a translation), my original link was an article written by H.G Thomas Mor Athanious (a former Jacobite Bishop, now with IOC)

Both are OO high priests, so who’s article should be rejected or who’s to be accepted?
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« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2004, 06:56:14 AM »

Like others I was taught that Our Lord's response to the Apostle Peter's referred specifically to the Apostle Peter's faith, that confession is the 'rock'. It did not confer on that Apostle a supremacy, nor subsequently on the bishops of Rome. Rome was for centuries the capital of the Roman Empire. It's pre-eminence gave a status consequently to the bishop of that city.

This teaching by older Orthodox Christian priests again and again reflected the Lord's words - in Greek. I do not recognise the understanding put forth by Latin apologists. I too have heard clerics from Oriental churches reject this Roman teaching in similar and robust fashion.............
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« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2004, 09:19:17 AM »

Etienne,
I, too, have noticed that point concerning the Oriental reaction to Roman papal claims.
Similarly, I have used the Orientals' traditions in my 'discussions' with the otherodox concerning protestant issues with icons.

Demetri
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« Reply #16 on: July 29, 2004, 10:01:36 AM »

Sorry I don’t agree with that, this thread is a continuation of other thread “The Ancient “Church of the East”, Mr. Paul invited me to take part on this subject in this thread, please check the posting # 136 of the original thread.

Re:The Ancient "Church of the East" -½ Reply #136 on: Tue, July 27, 2004, 11:22:51 AM -+
 
Dear Thomas Daniel, I started a new thread on the topic of primacy. Let us discuss and learn from there.

Regards,
Paul


And the link which posted by me was not initially posted as the topic of the discussion. It was posted during the discussion to make clear the standing of SOC position on this subject. Here I am only taking part in the discussion and sharing my thoughts based on my understandings. I never accused anyone. Every one has the wrights to believe what they think it is true. Others have the wrights to accept or deny it, but they don’t have authority to question others faith or believes. But welcome to discuss the subject in such a way it wont be accusing some one.


Dear Thomas Daniel,

I didn't say that you accused anyone, or that you participated in this thread unbidden.  All I said was that you posted the link to the Jacobite website which started this particular discourse.

Peace
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« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2004, 11:51:18 AM »


Now Mr. Thomas P quoted an article of H.H Pope Shenouda (from this forum only I came to know that, it was a translation of a translation), my original link was an article written by H.G Thomas Mor Athanious (a former Jacobite Bishop, now with IOC)

Both are OO high priests, so who’s article should be rejected or who’s to be accepted?


Dear Thomas, Let us try to clarify few things here and try to focus on the original aim of the thread.

1. A new thread was started because I thought the discussion on 'Ancient church of the East' was deviating to detailed discussion on Petrine Primacy. I though this topic can be discussed seperately in a new thread, i.e.  to discuss he concept of primacy in general (in the context of any Apostolic church).

(Suggestion: May be when we start a thread, we need to give some explanation about the actual intent of the topic, because a topic can be interpreted in different contexts.)

2. An article written by a Bishop before he joined in unity with the Bishops of Indian Church does not prove that the Bishop keeps the same understanding after accepting the unity.  To prove that we need an article written by the same Bishop after he joined the united Indian Synod. Can we claim based on a pre-1947 document that Indian is still under the rule of some European countries?

3. The article of Pope Shenouda was published in the largest circulating publication of the Church namely 'Malankara Deepam'. This publication is in Malayalam (one of the ~400 Indian languages), hence the original article was  translated and published for common man to read. The original document must be with the Seminary and the lady who translated it to Malayalam. I do not have access to the original, but  translated word by word from the Malayalam version.

There are several other works in Malayalam, written by Indian authors, which are very consitent with the work of Pope Shenouda. For example, the book "Radiance of Orthodox Faith" by H.G. Mar Osthathios Gheevarghese (Diocese of Niranam), Anchel Achen (Priest), and numerous others books and papers.


Peace

Paul

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« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2004, 11:58:35 AM »

Dear Thomas, One more clarification. I did not mean that you did something wrong when you introduced Petrine primacy. But all I meant is that we can discuss it as a seperate topic and leave the original thread to discuss about the 'Ancient Church of the East'.  There is a lot we can learn about the Church of the East and it is meaningful to have a seperate thread for that purpose. Also we need to reach some concensus about the Primacy issue. I hope we can learn through mutual discussions.

Peace

Paul
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« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2004, 12:25:43 PM »

Like others I was taught that Our Lord's response to the Apostle Peter's referred specifically to the Apostle Peter's faith, that confession is the 'rock'.

Here is what the Church Fathers thought of Peter:

Clement of Alexandria

"[T]he blessed Peter, the chosen, the preeminent, the first among the
disciples, for whom alone with himself the Savior paid the tribute
[Matt. 17:27], quickly grasped and understood their meaning. And what
does he say? `Behold, we have left all and have followed you' [Matt.
19:27; Mark 10:28]" (Who Is the Rich Man That Is Saved? 21:3-5 [A.D.
200]).

Tertullian

"For though you think that heaven is still shut up, remember that the
Lord left the keys of it to Peter here, and through him to the
Church, which keys everyone will carry with him if he has been
questioned and made a confession [of faith]" (Antidote Against the
Scorpion 10 [A.D. 211]).

"[T]he Lord said to Peter, `On this rock I will build my Church, I
have given you the keys of the kingdom of heaven [and] whatever you
shall have bound or loosed on earth will be bound or loosed in
heaven' [Matt. 16:18-19]. . . . Upon you, he says, I will build my
Church; and I will give to you the keys, not to the Church; and
whatever you shall have bound or you shall have loosed, not what they
shall have bound or they shall have loosed" (Modesty 21:9-10 [A.D.
220]).

The Letter of Clement to James

"Be it known to you, my lord, that Simon [Peter], who, for the sake
of the true faith, and the most sure foundation of his doctrine, was
set apart to be the foundation of the Church, and for this end was by
Jesus himself, with his truthful mouth, named Peter, the first fruits
of our Lord, the first of the apostles; to whom first the Father
revealed the Son; whom the Christ, with good reason, blessed; the
called, and elect" (Letter of Clement to James 2 [A.D. 221]).

Origen

"f we were to attend carefully to the Gospels, we should also
find, in relation to those things which seem to be common to
Peter . . . a great difference and a preeminence in the things
[Jesus] said to Peter, compared with the second class [of apostles].
For it is no small difference that Peter received the keys not of one
heaven but of more, and in order that whatsoever things he binds on
earth may be bound not in one heaven but in them all, as compared
with the many who bind on earth and loose on earth, so that these
things are bound and loosed not in [all] the heavens, as in the case
of Peter, but in one only; for they do not reach so high a stage with
power as Peter to bind and loose in all the heavens" (Commentary on
Matthew 13:31 [A.D. 248]).

Cyprian of Carthage

"The Lord says to Peter: `I say to you,' he says, `that you are
Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church.' . . . On him
[Peter] he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed
the sheep [John 21:17], and although he assigns a like power to all
the apostles, yet he founded a single chair [cathedra], and he
established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for
that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was [i.e.,
apostles], but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear
that there is but one Church and one chair. So too, all [the
apostles] are shepherds, and the flock is shown to be one, fed by all
the apostles in single-minded accord. If someone does not hold fast
to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith?
If he [should] desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was
built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?" (The
Unity of the Catholic Church 4; 1st edition [A.D. 251]).

Cyril of Jerusalem


"The Lord is loving toward men, swift to pardon but slow to punish.
Let no man despair of his own salvation. Peter, the first and
foremost of the apostles, denied the Lord three times before a little
servant girl, but he repented and wept bitterly" (Catechetical
Lectures 2:19 [A.D. 350]).

"[Simon Magus] so deceived the city of Rome that Claudius erected a
statue of him. . . . While the error was extending itself, Peter and
Paul arrived, a noble pair and the rulers of the Church, and they set
the error aright. . . . [T]hey launched the weapon of their like-
mindedness in prayer against the Magus, and struck him down to earth.
It was marvelous enough, and yet no marvel at all, for Peter was
there—he that carries about the keys of heaven [Matt. 16:19]" (ibid.,
6:14).

"In the power of the same Holy Spirit, Peter, both the chief of the
apostles and the keeper of the keys of the kingdom of heaven, in the
name of Christ healed Aeneas the paralytic at Lydda, which is now
called Diospolis [Acts 9:32-34]" (ibid., 17:27).


Ephraim the Syrian

"[Jesus said:] Simon, my follower, I have made you the foundation of
the holy Church. I betimes called you Peter, because you will support
all its buildings. You are the inspector of those who will build on
Earth a Church for me. If they should wish to build what is false,
you, the foundation, will condemn them. You are the head of the
fountain from which my teaching flows; you are the chief of my
disciples. Through you I will give drink to all peoples. Yours is
that life-giving sweetness which I dispense. I have chosen you to be,
as it were, the firstborn in my institution so that, as the heir, you
may be executor of my treasures. I have given you the keys of my
kingdom. Behold, I have given you authority over all my treasures"
(Homilies 4:1 [A.D. 351]).

Ambrose of Milan

"[Christ] made answer: `You are Peter, and upon this rock will I
build my Church. . . .' Could he not, then, strengthen the faith of
the man to whom, acting on his own authority, he gave the kingdom,
whom he called the rock, thereby declaring him to be the foundation
of the Church [Matt. 16:18]?" (The Faith 4:5 [A.D. 379]).

Pope Damasus I

"Likewise it is decreed . . . that it ought to be announced
that . . . the holy Roman Church has been placed at the forefront not
by the conciliar decisions of other churches, but has received the
primacy by the evangelic voice of our Lord and Savior, who says: `You
are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates
of hell will not prevail against it; and I will give to you the keys
of the kingdom of heaven . . . ' [Matt. 16:18-19]. The first see,
therefore, is that of Peter the apostle, that of the Roman Church,
which has neither stain nor blemish nor anything like it" (Decree of
Damasus 3 [A.D. 382]).

Jerome

"`But,' you [Jovinian] will say, `it was on Peter that the Church was
founded' [Matt. 16:18]. Well . . . one among the twelve is chosen to
be their head in order to remove any occasion for division" (Against
Jovinian 1:26 [A.D. 393]).

"Simon Peter, the son of John, from the village of Bethsaida in the
province of Galilee, brother of Andrew the apostle, and himself chief
of the apostles, after having been bishop of the church of Antioch
and having preached to the Dispersion . . . pushed on to Rome in the
second year of Claudius to overthrow Simon Magus, and held the
sacerdotal chair there for twenty-five years until the last, that is
the fourteenth, year of Nero. At his hands he received the crown of
martyrdom being nailed to the cross with his head towards the ground
and his feet raised on high, asserting that he was unworthy to be
crucified in the same manner as his Lord" (Lives of Illustrious Men 1
[A.D. 396]).

Pope Innocent I

"In seeking the things of God . . . you have acknowledged that
judgment is to be referred to us [the pope], and have shown that you
know that is owed to the Apostolic See [Rome], if all of us placed in
this position are to desire to follow the apostle himself [Peter]
from whom the episcopate itself and the total authority of this name
have emerged" (Letters 29:1 [A.D. 408]).

Augustine

"Among these [apostles] Peter alone almost everywhere deserved to
represent the whole Church. Because of that representation of the
Church, which only he bore, he deserved to hear `I will give to you
the keys of the kingdom of heaven'" (Sermons 295:2 [A.D. 411]).

"Some things are said which seem to relate especially to the apostle
Peter, and yet are not clear in their meaning unless referred to the
Church, which he is acknowledged to have represented in a figure on
account of the primacy which he bore among the disciples. Such is `I
will give unto you the keys of the kingdom of heaven,' and other
similar passages. In the same way, Judas represents those Jews who
were Christ's enemies" (Commentary on Psalm 108 1 [A.D. 415]).

"Who is ignorant that the first of the apostles is the most blessed
Peter?" (Commentary on John 56:1 [A.D. 416]).

Council of Ephesus

"Philip, presbyter and legate of [Pope Celestine I] said: `We offer
our thanks to the holy and venerable synod, that when the writings of
our holy and blessed pope had been read to you . . . you joined
yourselves to the holy head also by your holy acclamations. For your
blessednesses is not ignorant that the head of the whole faith, the
head of the apostles, is blessed Peter the apostle'" (Acts of the
Council, session 2 [A.D. 431]).

"Philip, the presbyter and legate of the Apostolic See [Rome]
said: `There is no doubt, and in fact it has been known in all ages,
that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the
apostles, pillar of the faith, and foundation of the Catholic Church,
received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the
Savior and Redeemer of the human race, and that to him was given the
power of loosing and binding sins: who down even to today and forever
both lives and judges in his successors'" (ibid., session 3).

Pope Leo I

"Our Lord Jesus Christ . . . has placed the principal charge on the
blessed Peter, chief of all the apostles, and from him as from the
head wishes his gifts to flow to all the body, so that anyone who
dares to secede from Peter's solid rock may understand that he has no
part or lot in the divine mystery. He wished him who had been
received into partnership in his undivided unity to be named what he
himself was, when he said: `You are Peter, and upon this rock I will
build my Church' [Matt. 16:18], that the building of the eternal
temple might rest on Peter's solid rock, strengthening his Church so
surely that neither could human rashness assail it nor the gates of
hell prevail against it" (Letters 10:1 [A.D. 445).

"Our Lord Jesus Christ . . . established the worship belonging to the
divine [Christian] religion. . . . But the Lord desired that the
sacrament of this gift should pertain to all the apostles in such a
way that it might be found principally in the most blessed Peter, the
highest of all the apostles. And he wanted his gifts to flow into the
entire body from Peter himself, as if from the head, in such a way
that anyone who had dared to separate himself from the solidarity of
Peter would realize that he was himself no longer a sharer in the
divine mystery" (ibid., 10:2-3).

"Although bishops have a common dignity, they are not all of the same
rank. Even among the most blessed apostles, though they were alike in
honor, there was a certain distinction of power. All were equal in
being chosen, but it was given to one to be preeminent over the
others. . . . [So today through the bishops] the care of the
universal Church would converge in the one See of Peter, and nothing
should ever be at odds with this head" (ibid., 14:11).
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« Reply #20 on: July 29, 2004, 12:35:00 PM »

Dear Thomas, Apostle Peter was married, right?  But Bible considers it great to remain unmarried. Apostle Thomas was unmarried. In what sense can you raise one person

Is it official teaching of Indian Orthodox Church?
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« Reply #21 on: July 29, 2004, 12:38:17 PM »

Dear Thomas, One more clarification. I did not mean that you did something wrong when you introduced Petrine primacy. But all I meant is that we can discuss it as a seperate topic and leave the original thread to discuss about the 'Ancient Church of the East'.  There is a lot we can learn about the Church of the East and it is meaningful to have a seperate thread for that purpose. Also we need to reach some concensus about the Primacy issue. I hope we can learn through mutual discussions.

Peace

Paul


Welcome and good suggestion
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« Reply #22 on: July 29, 2004, 12:41:02 PM »

Dear Thomas Daniel,

I didn't say that you accused anyone, or that you participated in this thread unbidden.  All I said was that you posted the link to the Jacobite website which started this particular discourse.

Peace

Slomo
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« Reply #23 on: July 29, 2004, 03:13:08 PM »

Dear Thomas,

Are you sure you want to cite Pope Leo I as an authority on Petrine Primacy? Wink Tongue
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« Reply #24 on: July 29, 2004, 05:01:25 PM »

Third, the patristic witness is that no Father of the Church has seen, in the primacy of Peter, any title of  jurisdiction or absolute authority in Church government.  The Latin Church Father, St. Ambrose, for  instance, taught that Peter and Paul were equal:  “It was proper that Paul should go to see Peter.  Why?   was Peter superior to him and to the other Apostles?  No, but because, of all the Apostles, he was the first  to be entrusted by the Lord with the care of the churches.  Had he need to be taught, or to receive a commission from Peter?  No, but that Peter might know that Paul had received the power which had also  been given to himself.”  (The Papacy, by Abbe Guettee, pp. 173-174).  (taken from “Thou Art Peter” by Fr. John Maxell)

There are two questions.

1) Understanding of Primacy: What is our understanding about Primacy of Peter? (is it understood as first among equals? Did other Apostles share equal responsiblity as Peter and had the same powers?
2) Can a church claim Jurisdiction or absolute authority in Church government based on primacy?


Pope St. Gregory:
 “I say it without the least hesitation, whoever calls himself the universal bishop, or desires this title, is by his  pride, the precursor of anti-Christ, because he thus attempts to raise himself above the others.  The error into which he falls springs from pride equal to that of anti-Christ;  for as that wicked one wished to be  regarded as exalted above other men, like a God, so likewise whoever would call himself sole bishop  exalteth himself above others” (The Papacy, by Abbe Guettee, p. 226).

Pope St. Gregory to the Pope of Alexandria:
“Your Holiness has been at pains to  tell us that in addressing certain persons you no longer give them certain titles that have no better origin  than pride, using this phrase regarding me, ‘as you have commanded me.’  I pray you let me never again hear this word command;  for I know who I am and who you are.  By your position you are my brethren;  by your virtue you are my fathers.  I have, therefore, not commanded;  I have only been careful to point out things which seemed to me useful.  Still I do not find that Your Holiness has perfectly  remembered what I particularly wished to impress on your memory;  for I said that you should no more give that title to me than to others;  and lo! in the superscription of your letter, you gave to me, who have proscribed them, the vainglorious titles of Universal and Pope.  May your sweet holiness do so no more in the future.  I beseech  you;  for you take from yourself what you give excess to another.  I do not esteem that an honor which  causes my brethren to lose their own dignity.  My honor is that of the whole Church.  My honor is the  unshakable firmness of my brethren.  I consider myself truly honored when no one is denied the honor due  to them.  If Your Holiness calls me Universal Pope, you deny that you are yourself what I should be altogether.  God forbid!  Far from us be words that puff up vanity and wound charity” (Ibid., p. 227).


St. Cyprian of Carthage, On the Unity of the Church:

"If anyone considers and examines these things, there is no need of a lengthy discussion and arguments. Proof for faith is easy in a brief statement of the truth.  The Lord speaks to Peter: 'I say to thee,' He says, 'thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven, and whatever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed also in heaven. ' Upon him, being one, He builds His Church, and although after His resurrection He bestows equal power upon all the Apostles, and says: 'As the Father has sent me, I also send you. Receive ye the Holy Spirit: if you forgive the sins of anyone, they will be forgiven him; if you retain the sins of anyone, they will be retained, yet that He might display unity, He established by His authority the origin of the same unity as beginning from one. SURELY THE REST OF THE APOSTLES ALSO WERE THAT WHICH PETER WAS, ENDOWED WITH AN EQUAL PARTNERSHIP OF OFFICE AND OF POWER..."



St. James, Bishop of Nisibis:

“Our Lord Jesus Christ is the firm and true foundation; and upon this rock our faith is established. Therefore, when any one has come to faith, he is set upon a firm rock.... And Simon, who was called a rock, was deservedly called a rock because of his faith”


St. John Chrysostom, 53rd Homily on St. Matthew:

"The Rock on which Christ will build His Church means the faith of confession."


St. Cyril of Alexandria, Letter to Nestorius:

"Peter and John were equal in dignity and honor. Christ is the foundation of all -the unshakeable Rock upon which we are all built as a spiritual edifice."


St. Augustine, Retractions, 13th Sermon:

"Christ said to Peter... I will build thee upon Myself, I will not be built upon thee. Those who wished to be built among men said, 'I am of Paul, I am of Apollos, I am of Cephas' - however, those who did not wish to be built upon Peter but upon the Rock say, I am of Jesus Christ."

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« Reply #25 on: July 29, 2004, 05:30:13 PM »

St. Augustine wrote Retractions in 428 A.D.  In this work the saint registered his final verdict upon his earlier books, correcting whatever his maturer judgment held to be misleading or wrong.

In the fifth century, we find the Alexandrian patriarch, Timothy Eluros (454-77), writing to the Church of Constantinople and referring to Peter's Rock as 'meaning the orthodox faith,' and not Peter's successors." (W.H.C. Frend, The Rise of Christianity, p. 400)

Letter of St. Timothy:
"...the rock of our leader Peter Kepho, the true faith. 'For thou shalt indeed be called Kepho, and upon this rock I will build My Church; and the bars of Sheol shall not prevail against it.'  Let no man be so led astray by the evil one as to imagine that he can subvert the true faith; and if he is contending, it is against his own soul that he contends; but nothing can overcome the faith. And this is the meaning of the expression, 'The bars of Sheol shall not prevail against it.' Wherefore, if any man stand not upon the truth of the faith, but is righteous overmuch, when he thinks to confer honour, he rather offers insult; but if he accept the Law of the Lord, which has been laid down for us by the saints, he survives visions of death and the verge of Sheol. For we have learned that apart from the standard of the faith, we cannot please God." [Chronicles of Zachariah of Mitylene]
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« Reply #26 on: July 29, 2004, 05:39:56 PM »


 “I say it without the least hesitation, whoever calls himself the universal bishop, or desires this title, is by his  pride, the precursor of anti-Christ, because he thus attempts to raise himself above the others.  The error into which he falls springs from pride equal to that of anti-Christ;  for as that wicked one wished to be  regarded as exalted above other men, like a God, so likewise whoever would call himself sole bishop  exalteth himself above others” (The Papacy, by Abbe Guettee, p. 226).


A correction please.  It should be "like a god" in the above text.

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« Reply #27 on: July 29, 2004, 06:09:36 PM »

The Papacy, by Abbe Guettee. A book I found fascinating and educative. The good Abbe was a remarkable man. Recommended if you can get hold of it.
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« Reply #28 on: July 30, 2004, 02:45:44 AM »

The Papacy, by Abbe Guettee. A book I found fascinating and educative. The good Abbe was a remarkable man. Recommended if you can get hold of it.

I can recommend at least the 1/2 that I've read so far. I do have a question about the author however. Most RC rebuttals that I've read call him an Orthodox polemicist or apologist. Did he not research this while still an RC and later convert after the condemnation (of his writing and him) by Rome?

I only have a .pdf version (hoping it's complete) and cannot find again from where I downloaded it. If others here can't find a pdf and want a copy (can suffer reading pdf - a torture to me), I am willing to email a copy -PM me.
(Note: it's 1.4MB on dialup for me, and so I would want to do this one time to multiple addresses.)

Demetri
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« Reply #29 on: July 30, 2004, 09:38:05 AM »

He was a Roman priest. And his path lead him to reject the errors and additions of the Latins and to become Orthodox.

I am have a physical impairment and since moving to a new house have never been able to fully unpack or set up my library. So somewhere here is a copy of the book. Pity, because if I could put a hand to it I might answer your question more fully. Sorry.
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« Reply #30 on: July 30, 2004, 12:40:37 PM »

I found a pdf version here:

http://www.odox.net/The%20Papacy%20Guettee%20-%20Kirwan.pdf

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« Reply #31 on: July 30, 2004, 04:00:01 PM »

The early church fathers almost all interpret, "Tu es Petrus", as the Rock figuratively referring Himself or to Peter's faith.

- St. Hilary of Poitiers, The Trinity, sixth book
- St. Gregory of Nyssa, Advent of Our Lord
- St. Ambrose, book 6, on St. Luke, chapter 9 and Ephesians 2
- St. Jerome, on St. Matthew, 16, verse 18
- St John Chrysostom, homilies 55 & 83 0n St. Matthew and
  Galatians 1
- St. Augustine, tracts 7 & 123 on St. John, 13th sermon on the
  words of the Lord, taken from St. Matthew, 1st book of
  retractions
- St. Cyril of Alexandria, 4th book on Isiah, 4th book of 'The
  Trinity
- St. John Damascene, on 'On the Transfiguration'

I could go on but am too tired to continue adding to the list, sorry. Still it's not just the word of some Orthodox, priestly or lay...........

The current Latin interpretation only became common currency from the 16th century.....................
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« Reply #32 on: July 30, 2004, 07:49:16 PM »

Dear Friends and Brothers,

I'm sorry but I'm not getting what's going on here.  First we have one Indian Orthodox gentleman stringing out quotes purported to deny that St. Peter was meant when Christ said "upon this 'Rock'."  Then there is another Orthodox gentleman (who I think is "Jacobite"?) who is copying strings of quotes from Latin-Roman Catholic apologist sites to prove St. Peter is the rock Christ meant and not the Faith.

The first thing that occurs to me (beside the paradoxical way these two Orthodox are arguing), is what appears to be most obvious of all.  It pertains to the reason why both individuals can pull up patristic proof texts to support their positions.  The obvious answer is because this isn't an "either/or" answer.  It isn't either Christ meant "the Faith," or Christ meant "St. Peter."  Rather (as all the above quotes manifest) Christ meant them both as the Holy Fathers have clearly attested above.  And for all the energy proof-texting back and forth, none of this proves anything for or against Papal Primacy.

Prooftexting seldom tells the whole story.  This is why I like Olivier Clement's book so much.  He's an Orthodox historian and theologian and he just reports the honest historical truth about the facts of the presence of both Papal Primacy and Conciliarity in the Church during the first millenium.  How they really served to balance one another and give the Church equilibrium.  I see no reason to deny this and close my eyes to honest history.  Many Orthodox theologians admit as much (while not accepting the other Latin Papal developements).

I post this not to persuade anyone.  I only write this to let those on both sides who have a heart for unity between the ancient Churches know about this excellent book.  Its also to let them know that there are members of both Churches who don't beleive we are so far from unity as some would imply.
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« Reply #33 on: July 31, 2004, 12:58:44 AM »


I post this not to persuade anyone.  I only write this to let those on both sides who have a heart for unity between the ancient Churches know about this excellent book.  Its also to let them know that there are members of both Churches who don't beleive we are so far from unity as some would imply.

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« Reply #34 on: July 31, 2004, 02:51:00 AM »

Quote
Pope St. Gregory:
 “I say it without the least hesitation, whoever calls himself the universal bishop, or desires this title, is by his  pride, the precursor of anti-Christ, because he thus attempts to raise himself above the others.  The error into which he falls springs from pride equal to that of anti-Christ;  for as that wicked one wished to be  regarded as exalted above other men, like a God, so likewise whoever would call himself sole bishop  exalteth himself above others” (The Papacy, by Abbe Guettee, p. 226).

The commonly-heard polemic of Gregory the Great allegedly eschewing the universal jurisdiction of the papacy is easily disposed of. One must examine context and the rest of the author's works and actions, if possible (just as with biblical exegesis). When that is done in this particular instance, Gregory's meaning becomes quite clear, and alas, it is not what the anti-Catholic endeavor would have hoped.

Gregory the Great condemned the title universal bishop in the sense of meaning that all other bishops are not really bishops, but mere agents of the one Bishop, a concept that is blatantly contrary to Catholic teaching, which holds that all bishops are by divine institution true successors of the Apostles. For he states:

For if one, as he supposes, is universal bishop, it remains that you are not bishops.
{Epistle LXVIII}

Elsewhere, in the very same correspondence in which he condemns this term in the sense above, Gregory clearly upholds the universal authority and supremacy of the Roman bishop:

Now eight years ago, in the time of my predecessor of holy memory Pelagius, our brother and fellow-bishop John in the city of Constantinople, . . . held a synod in which he attempted to call himself Universal Bishop. Which as soon as my said predecessor knew, he dispatched letters annulling by the authority of the holy apostle Peter the acts of the said synod; of which letters I have taken care to send copies to your Holiness.
{Epistle XLIII}

To all who know the Gospel it is clear that by the words of our Lord the care of the whole Church was committed to Blessed Peter, the Prince of the Apostles . . . Behold, he received the keys of the kingdom of heaven, the power to bind and loose was given to him, and the care and principality of the entire church was committed to him . . . Yet he was not the universal Apostle. But . . . John would be called universal Bishop . . . [Popes had never assumed this title, though it had been given them], lest all the Bishops be deprived of their due meed of honor whilst some special honor be conceded to one.
{Epistles, 5, 37; to Emperor Maurice}

In writing to John, Bishop of Constantinople, who had usurped "this new, proud and profane title," Gregory wonders,

how one, who had professed himself unworthy to be called a Bishop at all, should now despise his brethren, and aspire to be called the sole Bishop.
{Epistles, 5,44}

The title Universal Bishop may also be used in the sense of Bishop of Bishops, and in this sense it was applied by Eastern Christians (i.e., Catholics - this is before the Schism) to Popes Hormisdas (514-523), Boniface II (530-532) and Agapetus (535-36), although the popes never used it themselves (ostensibly wishing to avoid the above interpretation) until the time of Leo IX (1049-54).

Pope St. Gregory the Great, like St. John Chrysostom two centuries earlier, and Pope St. Leo the Great 150 years earlier (arguably with even more force and vigor), states the Catholic doctrine of papal supremacy in many passages of his letters. He calls the Roman See "the head of the faith," and the "head of all the churches," because "it holds the place of Peter, the Prince of the Apostles." "All Bishops," including Constantinople, "are subject to the Apostolic See."

{Taken from: The Question Box, Bertrand Conway, NY: Paulist Press, 1929 ed., 158-159}

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

From THIS ROCK (December 1992) -- the magazine of Catholic apologetics

CATHOLIC ANSWERS, P.O. Box 17490, San Diego, CA 92177

QUESTION: Is it true that Pope Gregory I denied that the pope is the "universal bishop" and taught that the Bishop of Rome has no authority over any other bishop?

ANSWER: No. Gregory the Great (540 - 604), saint, pope, and doctor of the Church, never taught any such thing. He would have denied that the title "universal bishop" could be applied to anyone, himself included, if by that term one meant there was only one bishop for the whole world and that all other "bishops" were bishops in name only, with no real authority of their own. Such a distorted version of the biblical model of bishops is incompatible with Catholic teaching.

But that isn't to say that the title didn't -- and doesn't -- have a proper sense of which Gregory approved. If meant in the sense that the Bishop of Rome is the leader of all the bishops, the title is correct. If it means he is the only bishop and all the other "bishops" are not really successors to the apostles, it's false.

What Gregory condemned was the expropriation of the title Universal Bishop by Bishop John the Faster, the patriarch of Constantinople, who proclaimed himself Universal Bishop at the Synod of Constantinople in 588. Gregory condemned the patriarch's act because universal jurisdiction applies solely to the pope.

Some anti-Catholics cite the following quotations to give the false impression that Gregory was rejecting his own universal authority:

"I confidently say that whosoever calls himself, or desires to be called Universal Priest, is in his elation the precursor of the Antichrist, because he proudly puts himself above all others" (Epistles 7:33).

"If then he shunned the subjecting of the members of Christ partially to certain heads, as if besides Christ, though this were to the apostles themselves, what wilt thou say to Christ, who is the head of the universal Church, in the scrutiny of the last judgment, having attempted to put all his members under thyself by the appellation of universal? Who, I ask, is proposed for imitation in this wrongful title but he who, despising the legions of angels constituted socially with himself, attempted to start up to an eminence of singularity, that he might seem to be under none and to be alone above all?" (Epistles 5:18)

Predictably, anti-Catholics neglect to inform their audiences that the context of these statements makes it clear that Gregory was not making these statements in regard to himself or to any other pope. He believed the bishop of Rome has primacy of jurisdiction over all other bishops.

Like his predecessors and successors, Gregory promulgated numerous laws, binding on all other bishops, on issues such as clerical celibacy (1:42,50; 4:5,26,34; 7:1; 9:110,218; 10:19; 11:56), the deprivation of priests and bishops guilty of criminal offenses (1:18,32; 3:49; 4:26; 5:5,17,18), and the proper disposition of church revenues (1:10,64; 2:20-22; 3:22; 4:11)

Gregory's writings show that he regarded and conducted himself as the universal bishop of the Church. He calls the diocese of Rome "the Apostolic See, which is the head of all other churches" (13:1).

He said, "I, albeit unworthy, have been set up in command of the Church" (5:44). He taught that the pope, as successor to Peter, was granted by God a primacy over all other bishops (2:44; 3:30; 5:37; 7:37).

He claimed that it was necessary for councils and synods to have the pope's approval to be binding and that only the pope had the authority to annul their decrees (9:56; 5:39,41,44).

He enforced his authority to settle disputes between bishops, even between patriarchs, and rebuked lax and erring bishops (2:50; 3:52,63; 9:26,27).

When Gregory denounced John the Faster's attempt to lay claim to the title Universal Bishop, his words were in accord with his actions and with his teachings. He was unequivocal in his teaching that all other bishops are subject to the pope:

"As regards the Church of Constantinople, who can doubt that it is subject to the Apostolic See? Why, both our most religious Lord the Emperor and our brother the Bishop of Constantinople continually acknowledge it" (Epistles 9:26).

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

See "Pedro Vega, an Orthodox Christian, did attempt a reply to the above. My response (7/23/95) from FidoNet OpenBible is found below" at http://www.bringyou.to/apologetics/num7.htm < very interesting!

Quote
St. Cyprian of Carthage, On the Unity of the Church:

"If anyone considers and examines these things, there is no need of a lengthy discussion and arguments. Proof for faith is easy in a brief statement of the truth.  The Lord speaks to Peter: 'I say to thee,' He says, 'thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven, and whatever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed also in heaven. ' Upon him, being one, He builds His Church, and although after His resurrection He bestows equal power upon all the Apostles, and says: 'As the Father has sent me, I also send you. Receive ye the Holy Spirit: if you forgive the sins of anyone, they will be forgiven him; if you retain the sins of anyone, they will be retained, yet that He might display unity, He established by His authority the origin of the same unity as beginning from one. SURELY THE REST OF THE APOSTLES ALSO WERE THAT WHICH PETER WAS, ENDOWED WITH AN EQUAL PARTNERSHIP OF OFFICE AND OF POWER..."

Some of the relevant passages from the letters and treatises of St. Cyprian of Carthage on the Church and the early Papacy are the following -- taken from the William Jurgens 3-volume set The Faith of the Early Fathers -- for the full context of these statements you can check out the 38-volumes available online from CCEL Church Fathers.

"[After quoting Matthew 16:18f; John 21:15ff]...On him [Peter] He builds the Church, and to him He gives the command to feed the sheep; and although He assigned a like power to all the Apostles, yet he founded a single Chair, and He established by His own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was; but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one Chair. So too, all are shepherds, and the flock is shown to be one, fed by all the Apostles in single-minded accord. If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?" (Cyprian, The Unity of the Catholic Church [first edition] 4, c. AD 251)

"Our Lord, whose commands we ought to fear and observe, says in the Gospel, by way of assigning the episcopal dignity and settling the plan of His Church...[quotes Matthew 16:18f]...From that time the ordination of bishops and the plan of the Church flows on through the changes of times and successions; for the Church is founded upon the bishops, and every act of the Church is controlled by these same rulers. Since this has indeed been established by divine law, I marvel at the rash boldness of certain persons who have desired to write to me as if they were writing their letters in the name of the Church, 'since the Church is established upon the bishop and upon the clergy and upon all who stand firm in the faith.'" (Cyprian, Letter 33 (27), 1 to the Lapsed, c. AD 250)

"They who have not peace themselves now offer peace to others. They who have withdrawn from the Church promise to lead back and to recall the lapsed to the Church. There is one God and one Christ, and one Church, and one Chair founded on Peter by the word of the Lord. It is not possible to set up another altar or for there to be another priesthood besides that one altar and that one priesthood. Whoever has gathered elsewehre is scattering." (Cyprian, Letter 43 (40), 5, c. AD 251)

"With a false bishop appointed for themselves by heretics, they dare even to set sail and carry letters from schismatics and blasphemers to the chair of Peter and to the principal Church [at Rome], in which sacerdotal unity has its source; nor did they take thought that these are Romans, whose faith was praised by the preaching Apostle, and among whom it is not possible for perfidy to have entrance." (Cyprian, Letter 59 (55), 14 to Cornelius of Rome, c. AD 252)

"There speaks Peter, upon whom the Church would be built, teaching in the name of the Church and showing that even if a stubborn and proud multitude withdraws because it does not wish to obey, yet the Church does not withdraw from Christ. The people joined to the priest and the flock clinging to their shepherd are the Church. You ought to know, then, that the bishop is in the Church and the Church in the bishop, and if someone is not with the bishop, he is not in the Church. They vainly flatter themselves who creep up, not having peace with the priests of God, believing that they are secretly in communion with certain individuals. For the Church, which is One and Catholic, is not split nor divided, but is indeed united and joined by the cement of priests who adhere one to another." (Cyprian, Letter 66 (69), 8 to Florentius Pupianus, c. AD 254)


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« Reply #35 on: July 31, 2004, 10:30:34 AM »

Dear Ben,

Thanks for your post.  I agree as it supports what I wrote above that a form of Papal Primacy was operative in the first millennium Church but so also was Conciliarity and the two balanced one another.  An example of the imbalance which resulted from the split of East and West is seen in the latter part of the second millennium when many Latin Church theologians were speaking of the Pope in precisely the terms St. Gregory the Great condemned.  I.e. that the Pope was the Bishop of Bishops and the rest were merely his delegates.  Indeed, I know theologically astute Latin Church members today who claim that the only true episcopal authority comes through the Papacy.  So, again, things are out of balance in both East and West.  Olivier Clement, argues as much.  Your quotes about Soorp Bedros (St. Peter) support what I wrote about this being about "both" rather than "either" St. Peter "or" the Faith.

On St. Cyprian, the only thing I would point out -lest someone think this is a proof text about Old Rome- is that I do not see St. Cyprian applying these specific words about the "unity and chair of Peter" to mean "unity with the chair of the Bishop of Rome."  It fits real nicely with Rome's eccesiology, so I can understand why they make that leap.  But this doesn't necessarily follow.  In the other texts you quote St. Cyprian makes constant references to the Bishop ruling over his flock which shows that St. Cyprian has more in mind that the Bishop of each flock is in the place of Peter.  Therefore, I don't believe these are at all proof texts for Roman Supremacy or absolute Roman Primacy.  In fact, some historians suggest that St. Cyprian realized that his writings were being misused by Rome in his day in this manner and THIS is why he wrote the other version of the same work (which I'm sure you are familiar with).  This second version has much more tame language than the one you quote.  Most scholars agree that both works equally authentic works of St. Cyprian.  

Btw, most Orthodox will recognize a primacy of Old Rome, but not an "absolute primacy."  Besides, I don't think Rome is seeking as much these days.  As H.H. Pope John Paul II put it, "when it comes to the Orthodox, it is Communion that I seek rather than jurisdiction."  This is probably why he invited us to find a form of primacy which is acceptable to all sides.
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« Reply #36 on: July 31, 2004, 11:56:22 AM »

Quote
Gregory the Great (540 - 604), saint, pope, and doctor of the Church, never taught any such thing. He would have denied that the title "universal bishop" could be applied to anyone, himself included, if by that term one meant there was only one bishop for the whole world and that all other "bishops" were bishops in name only, with no real authority of their own. Such a distorted version of the biblical model of bishops is incompatible with Catholic teaching.

Perhaps I'm not understanding something about it, but I have a hard time reconciling the above with what Lumen Gentium had to say about the relationship between bishops and the Pope.  Granted, what it said was better than what used to be the perception in the RCC, but still.  

Quote
An example of the imbalance which resulted from the split of East and West is seen in the latter part of the second millennium when many Latin Church theologians were speaking of the Pope in precisely the terms St. Gregory the Great condemned.  I.e. that the Pope was the Bishop of Bishops and the rest were merely his delegates.  Indeed, I know theologically astute Latin Church members today who claim that the only true episcopal authority comes through the Papacy.

And I think those astute RC's find a basis for their belief even in the teachings of the Second Vatican Council.  

The context for this thread is a dispute between two Orthodox groups in India.  Regarding that, two points come to mind from this recent turn in the thread.  

First, it seems to me that claiming that the only true episcopal authority comes through the successor of Peter, to paraphrase Ghazaros, is what Jacobites in India are teaching, or is at least a consequence of their belief.  I've repeatedly asked for the SOC teaching on these matters, and my questions regarding how they feel Petrine authority works in the Church today have either not been answered directly, or not answered to my satisfaction.  When I am referred to essays written by people who hold that view, I see RC teaching, regardless of their denials (heck, someone in this conversation mistook them for Latin apologetical materials, when in fact they are being advertised as "Orthodox" teachings).  I am having a hard time figuring out the SOC teaching on this, and would like to believe that what I am reading is wrong, and they share the same faith on this as we do, but there is nothing I can see so far from what they themselves have to say on this topic to lead me to that conclusion.  

Second, since we are dealing with the Oriental Orthodox perspective on this subject, I am not sure how useful it is to quote Popes Leo and Gregory of Rome in this discussion, since they are not a part of our tradition.  In fact, when there are some individuals in our Church who regard the whole situation with Pope Leo and his Tome as an exercise of the kind of papal authority we reject as illegitimate, it seems curious that we would invoke him or his successor as authorities on primacy.
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« Reply #37 on: July 31, 2004, 03:04:42 PM »

I agree with you, Mor Ephrem.  Well put!

Btw,  when are you guys going to add Armenian Flags to your list of national flags?  :'(

Also, I really like what you all have developed here in the Orthodox forum.  But which sub forum is usually used for threads related to the Holy Scriptures?

Thanks...
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« Reply #38 on: July 31, 2004, 04:50:25 PM »

Dear Ghazaros,

We don't have a Scripture category, but you could put a Scripture-related topic into one of the existing categories, depending on the subject matter.  For instance, a Scriptural discussion on Baptism would fit in Faith.  

Re: the Armenian flag, that's a good question.  You'd have to ask Bobby about that.
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« Reply #39 on: July 31, 2004, 07:44:09 PM »

Quote
An example of the imbalance which resulted from the split of East and West is seen in the latter part of the second millennium when many Latin Church theologians were speaking of the Pope in precisely the terms St. Gregory the Great condemned.  

I am a little confused, I must admit. Pope Saint Gregory condemned the title "universal bishop" in the sense of meaning that all other bishops are not really bishops, but mere agents of the one Bishop, or "bishops" were bishops in name only, with no real authority of their own. I don't know of any Latin theologian who endorsed this distored view of the episcopacy, if you do, please correct me!

The 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia states:

It is of Catholic faith that bishops are of Divine institution. In the hierarchy of order they possess powers superior to those of priests and deacons; in the hierarchy of jurisdiction, by Christ's will, the are appointed for the government of one portion of the faithful of the Church, under the direction and authority of the sovereign pontiff, who can determine and restrain their powers, but, not annihilate them. They are the successors of the Apostles, though they do not possess all the prerogatives of the latter. (Council of Trent, Sess. XXIII, ch. iv; can. vi, vii. See APOSTOLIC COLLEGE.) The episcopate is monarchical. By the Will of Christ, the supreme authority in a diocese does not belong to a college of priests or of bishops, but it resides in the single personality of the chief.

The First Vatican Council declared:

This power of the supreme pontiff by no means detracts from that ordinary and immediate power of episcopal jurisdiction, by which bishops, who have succeeded to the place of the apostles by appointment of the Holy Spirit, tend and govern individually the particular flocks which have been assigned to them

And the Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

882 The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter's successor, "is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful." "For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered."

883 "The college or body of bishops has no authority unless united with the Roman Pontiff, Peter's successor, as its head." As such, this college has "supreme and full authority over the universal Church; but this power cannot be exercised without the agreement of the Roman Pontiff."

884 "The college of bishops exercises power over the universal Church in a solemn manner in an ecumenical council." But "there never is an ecumenical council which is not confirmed or at least recognized as such by Peter's successor."

885 "This college, in so far as it is composed of many members, is the expression of the variety and universality of the People of God; and of the unity of the flock of Christ, in so far as it is assembled under one head."

886 "The individual bishops are the visible source and foundation of unity in their own particular Churches."As such, they "exercise their pastoral office over the portion of the People of God assigned to them,"assisted by priests and deacons. But, as a member of the episcopal college, each bishop shares in the concern for all the Churches. The bishops exercise this care first "by ruling well their own Churches as portions of the universal Church," and so contributing "to the welfare of the whole Mystical Body, which, from another point of view, is a corporate body of Churches."They extend it especially to the poor,to those persecuted for the faith, as well as to missionaries who are working throughout the world.

887 Neighboring particular Churches who share the same culture form ecclesiastical provinces or larger groupings called patriarchates or regions. The bishops of these groupings can meet in synods or provincial councils. "In a like fashion, the episcopal conferences at the present time are in a position to contribute in many and fruitful ways to the concrete realization of the collegiate spirit."


Quote
On St. Cyprian, the only thing I would point out -lest someone think this is a proof text about Old Rome- is that I do not see St. Cyprian applying these specific words about the "unity and chair of Peter" to mean "unity with the chair of the Bishop of Rome."  It fits real nicely with Rome's eccesiology, so I can understand why they make that leap.  But this doesn't necessarily follow.  In the other texts you quote St. Cyprian makes constant references to the Bishop ruling over his flock which shows that St. Cyprian has more in mind that the Bishop of each flock is in the place of Peter.  Therefore, I don't believe these are at all proof texts for Roman Supremacy or absolute Roman Primacy.  In fact, some historians suggest that St. Cyprian realized that his writings were being misused by Rome in his day in this manner and THIS is why he wrote the other version of the same work (which I'm sure you are familiar with).  This second version has much more tame language than the one you quote.  Most scholars agree that both works equally authentic works of St. Cyprian.  


I agree St. Cyprian wasn't making a case for univeral Roman supremacy, but I posted those quotes in response to a quote of St. Cyprian, to show that both sides can find some kind of support for their idea of Roman Primacy in his writtings.

Quote
Btw, most Orthodox will recognize a primacy of Old Rome, but not an "absolute primacy."  Besides, I don't think Rome is seeking as much these days.  As H.H. Pope John Paul II put it, "when it comes to the Orthodox, it is Communion that I seek rather than jurisdiction."  This is probably why he invited us to find a form of primacy which is acceptable to all sides.

That's nice, but Catholic dogma is Catholic dogma, the Pope can't erase the declarations of the first Vatican Council, he can't sweep the dogmatic constitutions of the Roman Councils under the rug and hope for a new version of Roman Primacy to appear that is acceptable to all sides. Roman Primacy and Papal Infallibility are clearly defined Catholic dogmas, that aren't open to much interpretation.
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« Reply #40 on: July 31, 2004, 09:39:20 PM »

That's nice, but Catholic dogma is Catholic dogma, the Pope can't erase the declarations of the first Vatican Council, he can't sweep the dogmatic constitutions of the Roman Councils under the rug and hope for a new version of Roman Primacy to appear that is acceptable to all sides. Roman Primacy and Papal Infallibility are clearly defined Catholic dogmas, that aren't open to much interpretation.

And THAT is the crux of the problem - the 1870-71 Roman Catholic 'catch-22' (poison pill) paradox. The question is how they get back to the primacy of the 8th Century (for EOs) or earlier 5th Century (for OOs), not how we fit into their unOrthodox equation now.

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« Reply #41 on: August 01, 2004, 04:36:00 PM »

Well put, Demetri!
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« Reply #42 on: August 01, 2004, 08:12:49 PM »

My question is what type of primacy did/should the Roman Pontiff hold, in the opinion of the OO?

Every Eastern Orthodox priest I have spoken to has made it clear that the Bishop of Rome did and would play a very important role in the Church, if union were to be established.

They have all told me that the Bishop of Rome held a primacy of honour, he was first amoung equals, and under certain cirumstances could deal with conflicts even beyond his jurisdiction.

So I am wondering... what is the OO view of Roman primacy?

That of the EO, or different?

Would Rome have to make even a bigger leap to conform to the OO teaching on Roman Primacy, rather than that of the EO?

Of course Rome can't make such a leap, but I am just curious.
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« Reply #43 on: August 02, 2004, 01:27:34 AM »


Second, since we are dealing with the Oriental Orthodox perspective on this subject, I am not sure how useful it is to quote Popes Leo and Gregory of Rome in this discussion, since they are not a part of our tradition.  In fact, when there are some individuals in our Church who regard the whole situation with Pope Leo and his Tome as an exercise of the kind of papal authority we reject as illegitimate, it seems curious that we would invoke him or his successor as authorities on primacy.  

For the Oriental Orthodox perspective, we can quote EO fathers, it is part of our tradition but quote Popes Leo and Gregory of Rome is against the tradition.

I don’t understand the perspective of this argument.
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« Reply #44 on: August 02, 2004, 12:27:16 PM »

For the Oriental Orthodox perspective, we can quote EO fathers, it is part of our tradition but quote Popes Leo and Gregory of Rome is against the tradition.

I don’t understand the perspective of this argument.

I'm not sure what you are referring to, but here goes.  Insofar as EO writers reflect our own Oriental Orthodox position on a given subject, I don't think it is wrong to quote them.  For instance, I would happily recommend an EO book about the Eucharist to someone in our Church because the belief is the same.  

However, when you are dealing with something like Petrine authority and its scope and limits in the Church, and you cite Leo of Rome, whom our Church does not recognise and whose actions have been read by more than a few scholars of our Church as being an exercise in the type of papal authority that is alien to Orthodoxy, well, I think that is questionable.  In other threads, you have condemned the IOC for allegedly removing condemnations of Pope Leo and of his Tome from the rite of ordination of bishops, calling this move an alteration on our part of the Orthodox Faith, and now you are going to quote him as an authority on the Orthodox Faith regarding the primacy (again, even though several of our scholars regard his actions as being an un-Orthodox application of primacy)?  That is something that I don't understand at all.
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« Reply #45 on: August 02, 2004, 01:10:40 PM »


884 "The college of bishops exercises power over the universal Church in a solemn manner in an ecumenical council." But "there never is an ecumenical council which is not confirmed or at least recognized as such by Peter's successor."


Can you explain this further for better understanding. Assume a situation where there was no colonization by European Kings and that the Roman church was confined largely to Europe. In such a situation, how the primacy of rule is understood? Secondly assume a situation with no Byzantine empire and Roman Capital, how primacy in understood in such a situation?  

I think the universal model of the Church should be independent of the political system in a region. Because church needs to grow in different regions. In the OO tradition, churches are free to exist in different regions. They have Holy Synods in each region, and the identity of individual churches honored (except few issues). The unity between churches is understood as unity in the faith and practises of the Church.  We have common faith and common traditions (such as Sacraments, fasting, intercession to saints, remembering the departed, monasticism etc.).

Given that even the EO tradition is same as OO in this regard, I do not see any reason for OO churches to change the tradition and come under the universal rule of Rome.  What is the spiritual benefit of such a model of unity? How does it explain salvation?

Also, one cannot serve two masters at the same time. A bishop should accept the head of the Holy Synod in his region or country. The same bishop need not be under the head of another Holy Synod.  In the RC church model, a bishop needs to obey two heads, the head of uniate Church and the head of the Roman Church, who is the Pope of Rome. How can one bishop serve two masters?

Apostolic Canon:
Canon XXXIV. (XXXV.)
The bishops of every nation must acknowledge him who is first among them and account him as their head, and do nothing of consequence without his consent; but each may do those things only which concern hisown parish, and the country places which belong to it. But neither let him (who is the first) do anything without the consent of all; for so there will be unanimity, and God will be glorified through the Lord in the Holy Spirit [some mss. read: through the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Father through the Lord by the Holy Spirit, even the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit].

http://www.ocf.org/OrthodoxPage/reading/St.Pachomius/aposcanon.html

Currently we have the following Synods in the OO church:

Synod of Alexandria (Coptic)
Synod of Syrian Orthodox
Synod of Armenian Church (Etchmiadzin, Cilicia)
Synod of Ethiopian Church
Synod of Indian Church (Indian Orthodox, Jacobite)
Synod of Eritrean Church.

Each of these Synods have head bishops and Orthodox traditions pracitsed in each dioceses and parishes through Orthodox bishops and priests. What more is needed than this? In this OO model, a bishop of regional (national) Synod follows only his Synod and the head of the Synod (except Jacobite bishops of SOC, hence they tring to justify the RC model within OO).

I have a general question, which is independent of RC model or SOC-Jacobite model. Can the Church function and follow traditions in an uninterrupted way through the OO model where a Bishop serves only one Holy Synod?

-Paul
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« Reply #46 on: August 02, 2004, 01:30:24 PM »

Dear Friends and Brothers,


I post this not to persuade anyone.  I only write this to let those on both sides who have a heart for unity between the ancient Churches know about this excellent book.  Its also to let them know that there are members of both Churches who don't beleive we are so far from unity as some would imply.

Dear Ghazaros, Thank you for suggesting the book. If church fathers are not-consistent about the concept of unity through universal supremacy of one primate, then that means the concept (of universal supremacy) is not very important in the Church. But unity is important, because that is the common aspect of both teachings. One is trying to reach unity through having one world-wide head and the other is trying to experience unity in one faith of different churches. We can argue that even in the RC model, in reality they are following unity in faith, because they follow the catechism as taught by Roman Church and various uniate churches remain united in that faith (the faith which carries the teaching of universal supremacy).  

So, essentially it is a model of unity in faith followed by Rome also. Thus it is a question of finding out the faith acceptable to all and then experiencing the unity in that faith.

-Paul

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« Reply #47 on: August 02, 2004, 07:01:02 PM »


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Assume a situation where there was no colonization by European Kings and that the Roman church was confined largely to Europe. In such a situation, how the primacy of rule is understood? Secondly assume a situation with no Byzantine empire and Roman Capital, how primacy in understood in such a situation?
 

The Catholic Church is set up so that no Council is called, or can be called, without Rome's blessing, and no Council is ratified or considered valid until Rome, once again, gives it's blessing.

Historicaly, all of the 7 Ecumenical Councils, accepted by both the Eastern Orthodox and the Catholic Church were accepted and ratified by the Pope. And for many of those at the time in the West, that is when the Council became valid.

Quote
I think the universal model of the Church should be independent of the political system in a region. Because church needs to grow in different regions. In the OO tradition, churches are free to exist in different regions. They have Holy Synods in each region, and the identity of individual churches honored (except few issues).


Well, a council that deals with matters of doctrine must be ratified and approved by Rome. Bishops gathered in a council do have the power to declare or define doctrine, but their decisions are only valid when Rome approves. This is seen as a safegard of the true faith.

Peter's sucessor, as the head of the Church, has a duty to protect the true faith from all error. A council of bishops could gather and declare heresy, God knows the Church has had many heretical bishops throughout the ages, sometimes more than holy bishops who professed the true faith.

Catholics believe that Rome is the safegard of the faith, as it was in many ways in the early Church, and that it can not fall into error. Therefore, every decision, of every council, must be ratified or regonized by the sucessor of Saint Peter. He is the final word in such matters, as Saint Augustine said, "Rome has spoken; the case is closed".

Quote
The unity between churches is understood as unity in the faith and practises of the Church.  We have common faith and common traditions (such as Sacraments, fasting, intercession to saints, remembering the departed, monasticism etc.).

Exactly, and Catholics see that unity of faith as resting in the successor of St. Peter. And that was the the whole point of: "The college of bishops exercises power over the universal Church in a solemn manner in an ecumenical council. But there never is an ecumenical council which is not confirmed or at least recognized as such by Peter's successor." The successor of Peter is that unity of faith, that safegard against heresy, that final word in such matters that effect our salvation.

Quote
Also, one cannot serve two masters at the same time. A bishop should accept the head of the Holy Synod in his region or country. The same bishop need not be under the head of another Holy Synod.  In the RC church model, a bishop needs to obey two heads, the head of uniate Church and the head of the Roman Church, who is the Pope of Rome. How can one bishop serve two masters?

I am a little confused as to what you mean. In a RC "church model" a bishop is obediant to the Holy Father - the sucessor of Saint of Peter. I have no idea what you mean by "the head of uniate Church". There are not two Popes in Catholicism, one for the East and one for the West, rather there is one Pope for the entire Church. Every Catholic bishop is subject to the Roman Pontiff.

Quote
Currently we have the following Synods in the OO church:

Synod of Alexandria (Coptic)
Synod of Syrian Orthodox
Synod of Armenian Church (Etchmiadzin, Cilicia)
Synod of Ethiopian Church
Synod of Indian Church (Indian Orthodox, Jacobite)
Synod of Eritrean Church.

But surely the Synod of Alexandria, or any other Synod you listed, coulnd't just declare or define doctrine. Only an Ecumenical Council could do this, but who would call such a council? And who would ratify it as valid? How would you know who was right if a dispute arose over a certain doctrinal issue that the Council resolved? You have no emperor or Pope to call such a council, to ratify it or to enforce is decisions, so in all honesty it would be every difficult for the Oriental Orthodox to have a Council that dealt with doctrinal issues.

The Synods you mention deal with administrative issues, nothing wrong with that. America has the American Council of RC Bishops that deals with such issues, but the point of Roman Primacy is that such a synod of Bishops couldn't declare or define doctrine, that is up to the Roman Pontiff or an Ecumenical Council, that has been ratified by the Roman Pontiff.
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« Reply #48 on: August 02, 2004, 08:08:02 PM »

Dear Ben,

I have time now to deal with only one of your points...

But surely the Synod of Alexandria, or any other Synod you listed, coulnd't just declare or define doctrine. Only an Ecumenical Council could do this, but who would call such a council? And who would ratify it as valid? How would you know who was right if a dispute arose over a certain doctrinal issue that the Council resolved? You have no emperor or Pope to call such a council, to ratify it or to enforce is decisions, so in all honesty it would be every difficult for the Oriental Orthodox to have a Council that dealt with doctrinal issues.

I am not sure we absolutely need an emperor or Pope to summon a council.  Who would summon one, then?  I don't know.  I don't think it matters who calls the council.  What matters is that when someone calls for it, the bishops of the Church gather for it.  I think in Oriental Orthodoxy (as well as the EO Churches, perhaps) the hard part is not calling for the council, but actually getting the bishops to come rather than listen to them refuse to come due to this or that reason.  If we had an emperor or a Pope, perhaps it would be easier to get the bishops to come, but that would mean it would be done by some sort of force, and if you can help it at all, I think you'd rather see them come of their own will than by force.
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« Reply #49 on: August 02, 2004, 08:40:16 PM »

Dear Ben,

I have time now to deal with only one of your points...I am not sure we absolutely need an emperor or Pope to summon a council.  Who would summon one, then?  I don't know.  I don't think it matters who calls the council.  What matters is that when someone calls for it, the bishops of the Church gather for it.  I think in Oriental Orthodoxy (as well as the EO Churches, perhaps) the hard part is not calling for the council, but actually getting the bishops to come rather than listen to them refuse to come due to this or that reason.  If we had an emperor or a Pope, perhaps it would be easier to get the bishops to come, but that would mean it would be done by some sort of force, and if you can help it at all, I think you'd rather see them come of their own will than by force.  

Okay... I agree it matters not who calls the Council, though I think it is much easier when you have an Emperor or Pope or both, but what about my other questions.....

Who would ratify it? Who would enforce its decisions? What if some of the bishops disagreed? What if some of the laity disagreed? Who would you trust?

Certainly, if some doctrinal argument arose within the OO and a Council was called to resolve it, there would be much debate, and surely not all would accept the Council. With no Pope or Emperor to say that that Council was valid and to enforce its decisions, I think it would be very difficult to have such a Council.

And who, in the long run, would say it was truly "Ecumenical"? Some say that the EO has had 9 Councils, they just aren't officialy considered to be Ecumenical...yet.

I think that without a figure like the Pope, calling, assembling, and ratifing a Council dealing with some sort of doctrinal dispute would be very difficult.
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« Reply #50 on: August 03, 2004, 12:12:27 PM »

I am a little confused as to what you mean. In a RC "church model" a bishop is obediant to the Holy Father - the sucessor of Saint of Peter. I have no idea what you mean by "the head of uniate Church". There are not two Popes in Catholicism, one for the East and one for the West, rather there is one Pope for the entire Church.

Dear Ben, There is a Pope of Alexandria (i.e. RC uniate Pope), an RC Synod in India, Catholicos of Church of the East (Chaldean), Patriarch of Antioch etc., all RC with own Synods. Now, the bishops are subject to two heads, first the Pope/Catholicos/Patriarch of their regional Synod and then the Pope of Roman Church. How is this possible, i.e to serve two masters at the same time?

-Paul
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« Reply #51 on: August 03, 2004, 12:29:59 PM »

 

The Catholic Church is set up so that no Council is called, or can be called, without Rome's blessing, and no Council is ratified or considered valid until Rome, once again, gives it's blessing.


Dear Ben,  Thanks for explaining the catechism more clearly. Now it is clear to me.  How about the first three Ecumenical councils? Where these councils headed by the Roman Church?

I think there is no need for frequent Ecumenical councils. Ecumenical councils are needed only for major issues. Possible theological issues were settled in the early centuries, it was done in a excellent way, so there are no major issues now.

When there are major issues, we believe that the Holy Spirit will cause the Churches to come together.

In 1965 the heads of all OO churches met and made some important decisions about relationship with EO and other Apostolic churches, including the RC church.  Since it was the beginning of Ecumenical dialogues, perhaps it was important for the OO church to meet in such an Ecumenical council.

I think in the future also, when there are important issues, there will be a way for the churches to come together in a mysterious way.  Currently between OO churches there are no major issues. At present the major issue is the dialogue with the RC church, with official meeting of OO started only in 2004. All OO are members of this council. Following are the Churches in dialogue with the Apostolic Roman Church.

1. Apostolic Church of Armenia (Cilicia, Etchmiadzin)
2. Apostolic Church of Alexandria (Coptic)
3. Apostolic Church of Antioch (Antiochian Syrian)
4. Apostolic Church of the East (India)
5. Apostolic Church of Ethiopia
6. Apostolic Church of Eritrea.

In the first meeting held at Cairo, "primacy" was slelcted as a topic for further discussion in subsequent meetings.  OO considers this is a major issue between Apostolic OO Churches and the Apostolic RC church.

Regards,
Paul
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« Reply #52 on: August 03, 2004, 03:33:53 PM »

Dear Ben, There is a Pope of Alexandria (i.e. RC uniate Pope), an RC Synod in India, Catholicos of Church of the East (Chaldean), Patriarch of Antioch etc., all RC with own Synods. Now, the bishops are subject to two heads, first the Pope/Catholicos/Patriarch of their regional Synod and then the Pope of Roman Church. How is this possible, i.e to serve two masters at the same time?

-Paul

The Coptic Catholic Pope of Alexandria is a bishop, he does not have the same power the Holy Father does. The Catholic Pope or Patriarch of Alexandria is obediant to the Holy Father, just as all Catholic Bishops are, he must be.

As for the Synods you mentioned, there is nothing wrong with them, I have already said this. They deal with administrative issues, but certainly they could not and would not deal with doctrine. Only the Pope or an Ecumenical Council, called and/or approved by the Pope, can deal with matters of doctrine.

The chair of Peter is the unity of the Church, safegarding the Church from all errors and heresy - this is Catholic dogma. And that is why the catechism states: "The college of bishops exercises power over the universal Church in a solemn manner in an ecumenical council. But there never is an ecumenical council which is not confirmed or at least recognized as such by Peter's successor."
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« Reply #53 on: August 03, 2004, 03:46:33 PM »


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Dear Ben,  Thanks for explaining the catechism more clearly. Now it is clear to me.  How about the first three Ecumenical councils? Where these councils headed by the Roman Church?


No, but all three were approved and ratified by Rome. The Pope sent legates in his place and after the Council had concluded he was sent the acts and gave his stamp of approval. According to Catholic teaching, the Ecumenical Councils were not valid until the Pope approved, surely some in the West also believed this at the time, however, this was not the universal teaching of the Church.

As stated in my one of previous posts, all of the 7 Ecumenical Councils, accpepted by both the RC and EO were approved and ratified by the Pope, and if I am not mistaken on a few occasions the Pope's legates presided over the Council. But it matters not who presided over the Councils, according to RC teaching, it matters only if a Pope ratified the Councils decisions.

Quote
I think there is no need for frequent Ecumenical councils. Ecumenical councils are needed only for major issues. Possible theological issues were settled in the early centuries, it was done in a excellent way, so there are no major issues now.


Perhaps no major theological issues have come up in the OO for the last 1500 years or so, and I understand why, however, major theological issues have come up in the RC over the centuries, and thus there was a need for Ecumenical Councils.

Quote
When there are major issues, we believe that the Holy Spirit will cause the Churches to come together.

I understand, and that is nice, but certainly if there was a serious theological disagreement, some would say the Holy Ghost was guiding them, and others would the say the same thing. Some would say a Council was needed, some wouldn't. Some would attened the Council, some wouldn't. Some would accept it and some wouldn't. As I have said, I really don't see how an Ecumenical Council could occur and be accepted and considered an Ecumenical Council without some authority figure, like the Pope, or even an Emperor.

In Christ,
Ben
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« Reply #54 on: August 03, 2004, 04:48:19 PM »

The Coptic Catholic Pope of Alexandria is a bishop, he does not have the same power the Holy Father does. The Catholic Pope or Patriarch of Alexandria is obediant to the Holy Father, just as all Catholic Bishops are, he must be.

How about the Catholic Pope of Rome, is he also a Bishop or beyond a Bishop? In my understanding, the Pope of Rome is the Bishop of Rome.

Quote
Only the Pope or an Ecumenical Council, called and/or approved by the Pope, can deal with matters of doctrine.

Can the Pope alone decide a matter of doctrine?

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« Reply #55 on: August 03, 2004, 05:09:55 PM »

How about the Catholic Pope of Rome, is he also a Bishop or beyond a Bishop? In my understanding, the Pope of Rome is the Bishop of Rome. Can the Pope alone decide a matter of doctrine?

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Paul

The succesor of Saint Peter is a Bishop, however he is first amoung all bishops. He is the head of the Church, and for that reason he has authority that all the other bishops do not have, this authority, according to Catholic teaching is not a human innovation, but from our Lord himself.  

The first Vatican Council declared:

SESSION 4 : 18 July 1870
First dogmatic constitution on the church of Christ

Pius, bishop, servant of the servants of God, with the approval of the sacred council, for an everlasting record.

The eternal shepherd and guardian of our souls [37] ,
in order to render permanent the saving work of redemption,
determined to build a church
in which,
as in the house of the living God,
all the faithful should be linked by the bond of one
faith and
charity.
Therefore, before he was glorified,
he besought his Father,
not for the apostles only,
but also for those who were to believe in him through their word,
that they all might be one as the Son himself and the Father are one [38] .
So then,
just as he sent apostles, whom he chose out of the world [39] ,
even as he had been sent by the Father [40],
in like manner it was his will that in his church there should be shepherds and teachers until the end of time.
In order, then, that
the episcopal office should be one and undivided and that,
by the union of the clergy,
the whole multitude of believers should be held together in the unity of
faith and
communion,
he set blessed Peter over the rest of the apostles and
instituted in him the permanent principle of both unities and
their visible foundation.
Upon the strength of this foundation was to be built the eternal temple, and the church whose topmost part reaches heaven was to rise upon the firmness of this foundation [41] .
And since the gates of hell trying, if they can, to overthrow the church, make their assault with a hatred that increases day by day against its divinely laid foundation,
we judge it necessary,
with the approbation of the sacred council, and
for the protection, defence and growth of the catholic flock,
to propound the doctrine concerning the
institution,
permanence and
nature
of the sacred and apostolic primacy,
upon which the strength and coherence of the whole church depends.
This doctrine is to be believed and held by all the faithful in accordance with the ancient and unchanging faith of the whole church.
Furthermore, we shall proscribe and condemn the contrary errors which are so harmful to the Lord's flock.

Chapter 1 On the institution of the apostolic primacy in blessed Peter

We teach and declare that,
according to the gospel evidence,
a primacy of jurisdiction over the whole church of God
was immediately and directly
promised to the blessed apostle Peter and
conferred on him by Christ the lord.
[PROMISED]
It was to Simon alone,
to whom he had already said
You shall be called Cephas [42] ,
that the Lord,
after his confession, You are the Christ, the son of the living God,
spoke these words:
Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.
And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the underworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven [43] .
[CONFERRED]
And it was to Peter alone that Jesus,
after his resurrection,
confided the jurisdiction of supreme pastor and ruler of his whole fold, saying:
Feed my lambs, feed my sheep [44] .
To this absolutely manifest teaching of the sacred scriptures, as it has always been understood by the catholic church, are clearly opposed the distorted opinions of those who misrepresent the form of government which Christ the lord established in his church and deny that Peter, in preference to the rest of the apostles, taken singly or collectively, was endowed by Christ with a true and proper primacy of jurisdiction.
The same may be said of those who assert that this primacy was not conferred immediately and directly on blessed Peter himself, but rather on the church, and that it was through the church that it was transmitted to him in his capacity as her minister.
Therefore,
if anyone says that
blessed Peter the apostle was not appointed by Christ the lord as prince of all the apostles and visible head of the whole church militant; or that
it was a primacy of honour only and not one of true and proper jurisdiction that he directly and immediately received from our lord Jesus Christ himself:
let him be anathema.

Chapter 2. On the permanence of the primacy of blessed Peter in the Roman pontiffs

That which our lord Jesus Christ, the prince of shepherds and great shepherd of the sheep, established in the blessed apostle Peter, for the continual salvation and permanent benefit of the church, must of necessity remain for ever, by Christ's authority, in the church which, founded as it is upon a rock, will stand firm until the end of time [45] .

For no one can be in doubt, indeed it was known in every age that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the apostles, the pillar of faith and the foundation of the catholic church, received the keys of the kingdom from our lord Jesus Christ, the saviour and redeemer of the human race, and that to this day and for ever he lives and presides and exercises judgment in his successors the bishops of the holy Roman see, which he founded and consecrated with his blood [46] .

Therefore whoever succeeds to the chair of Peter obtains by the institution of Christ himself, the primacy of Peter over the whole church. So what the truth has ordained stands firm, and blessed Peter perseveres in the rock-like strength he was granted, and does not abandon that guidance of the church which he once received [47] .

For this reason it has always been necessary for every church--that is to say the faithful throughout the world--to be in agreement with the Roman church because of its more effective leadership. In consequence of being joined, as members to head, with that see, from which the rights of sacred communion flow to all, they will grow together into the structure of a single body [48] .

Therefore,
if anyone says that
it is not by the institution of Christ the lord himself (that is to say, by divine law) that blessed Peter should have perpetual successors in the primacy over the whole church; or that
the Roman pontiff is not the successor of blessed Peter in this primacy:
let him be anathema.

Chapter 3. On the power and character of the primacy of the Roman pontiff

And so,
supported by the clear witness of holy scripture, and
adhering to the manifest and explicit decrees both of our predecessors
the Roman pontiffs and of
general councils,
we promulgate anew the definition of the ecumenical council of Florence [49] ,
which must be believed by all faithful Christians, namely that
the apostolic see and the Roman pontiff hold a world-wide primacy, and that
the Roman pontiff is the successor of blessed Peter,
the prince of the apostles,
true vicar of Christ,
head of the whole church and
father and teacher of all christian people.
To him, in blessed Peter, full power has been given by our lord Jesus Christ to
tend,
rule and govern
the universal church.
All this is to be found in the acts of the ecumenical councils and the sacred canons.

Wherefore we teach and declare that,
by divine ordinance,
the Roman church possesses a pre-eminence of ordinary power over every other church, and that
this jurisdictional power of the Roman pontiff is both
episcopal and
immediate.
Both clergy and faithful,
of whatever rite and dignity,
both singly and collectively,
are bound to submit to this power by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, and this
not only in matters concerning faith and morals,
but also in those which regard the discipline and government of the church throughout the world.

In this way, by unity with the Roman pontiff in communion and in profession of the same faith , the church of Christ becomes one flock under one supreme shepherd [50] .

This is the teaching of the catholic truth, and no one can depart from it without endangering his faith and salvation.

This power of the supreme pontiff by no means detracts from that ordinary and immediate power of episcopal jurisdiction, by which bishops, who have succeeded to the place of the apostles by appointment of the holy Spirit, tend and govern individually the particular flocks which have been assigned to them. On the contrary, this power of theirs is asserted, supported and defended by the supreme and universal pastor; for St Gregory the Great says: "My honour is the honour of the whole church. My honour is the steadfast strength of my brethren. Then do I receive true honour, when it is denied to none of those to whom honour is due." [51]

Furthermore, it follows from that supreme power which the Roman pontiff has in governing the whole church, that he has the right, in the performance of this office of his, to communicate freely with the pastors and flocks of the entire church, so that they may be taught and guided by him in the way of salvation.

And therefore we condemn and reject the opinions of those who hold that
this communication of the supreme head with pastors and flocks may be lawfully obstructed; or that
it should be dependent on the civil power, which leads them to maintain that what is determined by the apostolic see or by its authority concerning the government of the church, has no force or effect unless it is confirmed by the agreement of the civil authority.

Since the Roman pontiff, by the divine right of the apostolic primacy, governs the whole church, we likewise teach and declare that
he is the supreme judge of the faithful [52] , and that
in all cases which fall under ecclesiastical jurisdiction recourse may be had to his judgment [53] .
The sentence of the apostolic see (than which there is no higher authority) is not subject to revision by anyone,
nor may anyone lawfully pass judgment thereupon [54] . And so
they stray from the genuine path of truth who maintain that it is lawful to appeal from the judgments of the Roman pontiffs to an ecumenical council as if this were an authority superior to the Roman pontiff.

So, then,
if anyone says that
the Roman pontiff has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and
not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole church, and this
not only in matters of
faith and morals, but also in those which concern the
discipline and government of the church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that
he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that
this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful:
let him be anathema.

Chapter 4. On the infallible teaching authority of the Roman pontiff


That apostolic primacy which the Roman pontiff possesses as successor of Peter, the prince of the apostles, includes also the supreme power of teaching.
This holy see has always maintained this,
the constant custom of the church demonstrates it, and
the ecumenical councils, particularly those in which East and West met in the union of faith and charity, have declared it.

So the fathers of the fourth council of Constantinople, following the footsteps of their predecessors, published this solemn profession of faith:
The first condition of salvation is to maintain the rule of the true faith. And since that saying of our lord Jesus Christ, You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church [55] , cannot fail of its effect, the words spoken are confirmed by their consequences. For in the apostolic see the catholic religion has always been preserved unblemished, and sacred doctrine been held in honour. Since it is our earnest desire to be in no way separated from this faith and doctrine, we hope that we may deserve to remain in that one communion which the apostolic see preaches, for in it is the whole and true strength of the christian religion [56] .
What is more, with the approval of the second council of Lyons, the Greeks made the following profession:
"The holy Roman church possesses the supreme and full primacy and principality over the whole catholic church. She truly and humbly acknowledges that she received this from the Lord himself in blessed Peter, the prince and chief of the apostles, whose successor the Roman pontiff is, together with the fullness of power. And since before all others she has the duty of defending the truth of the faith, so if any questions arise concerning the faith, it is by her judgment that they must be settled." [57]
Then there is the definition of the council of Florence:
"The Roman pontiff is the true vicar of Christ, the head of the whole church and the father and teacher of all Christians; and to him was committed in blessed Peter, by our lord Jesus Christ, the full power of tending, ruling and governing the whole church." [58]

To satisfy this pastoral office, our predecessors strove unwearyingly that the saving teaching of Christ should be spread among all the peoples of the world; and with equal care they made sure that it should be kept pure and uncontaminated wherever it was received.

It was for this reason that the bishops of the whole world, sometimes individually, sometimes gathered in synods, according to the long established custom of the churches and the pattern of ancient usage referred to this apostolic see those dangers especially which arose in matters concerning the faith. This was to ensure that any damage suffered by the faith should be repaired in that place above all where the faith can know no failing [59] .

The Roman pontiffs, too, as the circumstances of the time or the state of affairs suggested,
sometimes by
summoning ecumenical councils or
consulting the opinion of the churches scattered throughout the world, sometimes by
special synods, sometimes by
taking advantage of other useful means afforded by divine providence,
defined as doctrines to be held those things which, by God's help, they knew to be in keeping with
sacred scripture and
the apostolic traditions.

For the holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter
not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine,
but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles.
Indeed, their apostolic teaching was
embraced by all the venerable fathers and
reverenced and followed by all the holy orthodox doctors,
for they knew very well that this see of St. Peter always remains unblemished by any error, in accordance with the divine promise of our Lord and Saviour to the prince of his disciples: I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren [60] .

This gift of truth and never-failing faith was therefore divinely conferred on Peter and his successors in this see so that they might discharge their exalted office for the salvation of all, and so that the whole flock of Christ might be kept away by them from the poisonous food of error and be nourished with the sustenance of heavenly doctrine. Thus the tendency to schism is removed and the whole church is preserved in unity, and, resting on its foundation, can stand firm against the gates of hell.

But since in this very age when the salutary effectiveness of the apostolic office is most especially needed, not a few are to be found who disparage its authority, we judge it absolutely necessary to affirm solemnly the prerogative which the only-begotten Son of God was pleased to attach to the supreme pastoral office.

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.

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« Reply #56 on: August 03, 2004, 05:15:06 PM »

Dear Ben,  I would lilke to know if the RC (I prefer the usage RC instead of Catholic, which I hope you agree,  because in OO faith Catholic means the universal church) church approves the Apostolic Canons?  

You said that only the Pope of Rome or a Synod approved by the Pope can deal with matters of doctrine. In Orthodox churches, each Synod has the authority to interpret a matter of faith, based on existing catechism, canon etc. i.e. when the interpretation does not deviate from existing canon/catechism.

For example, the Synod can make a decision on a contemporary issue, such as opinon on war, opinion on abortion etc. The Coptic Synod recently made such a decision.  The Indian Catholicos expressed his opinion on Palestinian issue. There is no need for an Universal Pope or Emperor for this purpose.  Orthodox churches are guided by faith, which is traditionally transmitted and also recorded in canons and catechism of the Church.

You mentioned that the Pope of Rome  cannot change a previous decision, but bound by the decisions of previous Synod, but we know that the Pope of Rome made several apologies for past mistakes. My understanding is that your catechism teaches that individual Popes are infallible. If an (individual) Pope is infallible, then how can the present Pope declare that some of the past Popes were in error?  There is contradiction, is it not?


Regards,
Paul
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« Reply #57 on: August 03, 2004, 05:32:37 PM »

Quote
Dear Ben,  I would lilke to know if the RC (I prefer the usage RC instead of Catholic, which I hope you agree,  because in OO faith Catholic means the universal church) church approves the Apostolic Canons?  


RC is fine, I just use Catholic, because these days Eastern Catholics, wish to be called Byzantine Catholic, Ukrainian Catholic, Maronite Catholic, or whatever, and "Roman Catholic" has come to mean only those Catholics belonging to the Latin rite of the Church. For that reason, I just say Catholic.

Quote
You said that only the Pope of Rome or a Synod approved by the Pope can deal with matters of doctrine. In Orthodox churches, each Synod has the authority to interpret a matter of faith, based on existing catechism, canon etc. i.e. when the interpretation does not deviate from existing canon/catechism.

Only a Pope or a Council approved by the Pope can declare or define dogma. Issues such as birth control or what is happening in Palestine are not dogmatic. Supporting Palestine or Israel is not defining or declaring dogma. Let me clear, that when declaring or defining dogma is at hand, only the Pope or a Council with his approval may decide.

Quote
For example, the Synod can make a decision on a contemporary issue, such as opinon on war, opinion on abortion etc. The Coptic Synod recently made such a decision.  The Indian Catholicos expressed his opinion on Palestinian issue. There is no need for an Universal Pope or Emperor for this purpose.  Orthodox churches are guided by faith, which is traditionally transmitted and also recorded in canons and catechism of the Church.


I agree no need to have a Pope or Emperor to make a decision on the Palestinian conflict, but I think it would be every difficult for the OO to have an Ecumenical Council dealing with a serious dogmatic issue, and to enforce its decisions.

Quote
You mentioned that the Pope of Rome  cannot change a previous decision, but bound by the decisions of previous Synod, but we know that the Pope of Rome made several apologies for past mistakes. My understanding is that your catechism teaches that individual Popes are infallible. If an (individual) Pope is infallible, then how can the present Pope declare that some of the past Popes were in error?  There is contradiction, is it not?

The Pope is bound to the infallible declarations of previous Popes and Councils. The current Pope could not deny/reject the Trinity or the Divinity of Christ or the Immaculate Conception. If he did so, we would be sure to know that he does not occupy the chair of Saint Peter. However, the current Pope can appologize for past mistakes or injustices. Like apologizing for the sacking of Constantinople or the Inquistion. But the Pope can not reject or overturn a previously declared and defined dogma.

You may be confused, I don't know, but no Pope has ever rejected or overturned anything previously declared or defined as dogma. If you disagree, please provide some exmaples of this happening.

Yes the Pope can make a mistake, but not when he speaks EX CATHEDRA. The Pope is ONLY Infallible when speaking EX CATHEDRA, only then is he guided by the Holy Ghost, please see the declaration of the First Vatican Council that I copied and pasted into my last post.



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« Reply #58 on: August 03, 2004, 09:24:25 PM »

Okay... I agree it matters not who calls the Council, though I think it is much easier when you have an Emperor or Pope or both, but what about my other questions.....

Who would ratify it? Who would enforce its decisions? What if some of the bishops disagreed? What if some of the laity disagreed? Who would you trust?

Certainly, if some doctrinal argument arose within the OO and a Council was called to resolve it, there would be much debate, and surely not all would accept the Council. With no Pope or Emperor to say that that Council was valid and to enforce its decisions, I think it would be very difficult to have such a Council.

And who, in the long run, would say it was truly "Ecumenical"? Some say that the EO has had 9 Councils, they just aren't officialy considered to be Ecumenical...yet.

I think that without a figure like the Pope, calling, assembling, and ratifing a Council dealing with some sort of doctrinal dispute would be very difficult.

Dear Brothers,

There have been a lot of questions/replies sent my way which I've been unable to reply to.  I'm going to try and get to them.  This one I'd like to comment on because I think its an easy one.

Who ratifies a council?  Each Church does, not some soveriegn dictator which then obliges everyone to believe it.  Faith in the truth doesn't work that way.  If some teaching is presented to a particular Church or part of the Church, those entrusted to shepherd that Church must decide if that is the faith consistent with the tradition they were entrusted with.  If it is, then good... we have communion.  If it isn't... then we have problems.  Hopefully from that point on, communication and dialogue can continue until a consensus is reached.  BUT NO CHURCH CAN BE ORDERED TO ACCEPT AND BELIEVE SOMETHING.  This just isn't how it works.  For a millennium Elder Rome tried doing this to the East.  Finally, she has realized it just isn't going to work.  Thank the Lord for the progress that has been made between our Churches.  Thank God for the humility of the Latin Pontiffs of our day.

Which leads me to another statement you made in regard to the Pope's statement that he sought communion with the Orthodox and not jurisdiciton.

That's nice, but Catholic dogma is Catholic dogma, the Pope can't erase the declarations of the first Vatican Council, he can't sweep the dogmatic constitutions of the Roman Councils under the rug and hope for a new version of Roman Primacy to appear that is acceptable to all sides. Roman Primacy and Papal Infallibility are clearly defined Catholic dogmas, that aren't open to much interpretation.

No, its not "nice."  Its either true and the Pope is serious in his suggestion that he's open to seeing Primacy re-worked to be made acceptable to all sides, or he's a liar and a world class "B.S." artist.   I prefer to believe the former rather than the latter.

As Cardinal Ratizinger wrote:  "no one who claims allegiance to Catholic theology can... regard as the only possible form, consequently, as binding on all Christians the form this primacy has taken in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries... nevertheless, that what was possible for a thousand years is not impossible for Christians today." -from Elias Zoghby's "Ecumenical Reflections."

Finally, you asked about the OO approach to Primacy.  I don't think there is any significant difference between us and the EO's.  We share the same Eastern tradition and are alike in most ways.  This is not a matter of imitation but rather an evidence of commonality with one another.  In other words, we can't help it.
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« Reply #59 on: August 03, 2004, 09:47:39 PM »

Quote
Who ratifies a council?  Each Church does, not some soveriegn dictator which then obliges everyone to believe it.  Faith in the truth doesn't work that way.  If some teaching is presented to a particular Church or part of the Church, those entrusted to shepherd that Church must decide if that is the faith consistent with the tradition they were entrusted with.
 

I understand, but if there was a serious heresy, and some of the bishops endorsed and taught this heresy, what happens when they reject a Council that condemns the heresy that they have embraced?

If some bishops rejected the authoirty of the Council along with a large lay following, you'd have a real serious problem! You'd have no one to say the Council was true and valid, no one to enforce its decisions, and you'd be left with a schism.

Yes, of course you could hope for dialouge in such a situation, but with a figure like the Pope, no such a problem arises. There is a heresy, the Pope or someone else calls a council, condemns it, Rome ratifies it, and the end. Those who reject the Council are schismatics, end of the discussion. But with no final authoirty, both sides of a serious conflict could say they were right and the other side was schismatic.

Quote
BUT NO CHURCH CAN BE ORDERED TO ACCEPT AND BELIEVE SOMETHING.
 

There is only ONE Church, and this Church must preach, teach, and protect the truth at all costs. One must obey the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, not matter what.

Quote
Which leads me to another statement you made in regard to the Pope's statement that he sought communion with the Orthodox and not jurisdiciton.No, its not "nice."  Its either true and the Pope is serious in his suggestion that he's open to seeing Primacy re-worked to be made acceptable to all sides, or he's a liar and a world class "B.S." artist.   I prefer to believe the former rather than the latter.

Well, I'm sorry, but read what I posted in one of my previous posts from the First Vatican Council. Papal Infalliblity, Papal Sumpremacy, and Universal Jurisdiction, aren't up for too much interpretation and discussion. They have all been clearly declared and defined as Church doctrine, they can not be erased, re-defined, or slightly changed. They are what they are, and no matter what the Pope may say or do, it does not change what Rome has declared to be dogma.

Quote
Finally, you asked about the OO approach to Primacy.  I don't think there is any significant difference between us and the EO's.  We share the same Eastern tradition and are alike in most ways.  .

I was just wondering because Roman primacy developed a great deal between the 5th and 11th centuries.
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« Reply #60 on: August 03, 2004, 09:59:55 PM »

Dear Ghazaros, Thank you for suggesting the book. If church fathers are not-consistent about the concept of unity through universal supremacy of one primate, then that means the concept (of universal supremacy) is not very important in the Church. But unity is important, because that is the common aspect of both teachings. One is trying to reach unity through having one world-wide head and the other is trying to experience unity in one faith of different churches. We can argue that even in the RC model, in reality they are following unity in faith, because they follow the catechism as taught by Roman Church and various uniate churches remain united in that faith (the faith which carries the teaching of universal supremacy).  -Paul  

Paul,

If they helped to keep the Church in unity for much of the first millenium, a balance between Primacy and Collegiality are indeed important, even critical to recovering that lost unity today.  Please note that I am speaking of an acceptable form of Roman Primacy and not "universal supremacy" -a big difference.
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« Reply #61 on: August 03, 2004, 10:22:29 PM »

 

I understand, but if there was a serious heresy, and some of the bishops endorsed and taught this heresy, what happens when they reject a Council that condemns the heresy that they have embraced?

If some bishops rejected the authoirty of the Council along with a large lay following, you'd have a real serious problem! You'd have no one to say the Council was true and valid, no one to enforce its decisions, and you'd be left with a schism.

Yes, of course you could hope for dialouge in such a situation, but with a figure like the Pope, no such a problem arises. There is a heresy, the Pope or someone else calls a council, condemns it, Rome ratifies it, and the end. Those who reject the Council are schismatics, end of the discussion. But with no final authoirty, both sides of a serious conflict could say they were right and the other side was schismatic.  

There is only ONE Church, and this Church must preach, teach, and protect the truth at all costs. One must obey the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, not matter what.

This problem you suggest is easily answered.  Then each of these Churches are no longer in communion with one another and consider's each other schismatic or heretical (as the case may be) untill the problem is resloved.  I'd hate to break this to you, Ben, but even though there's always been a Pope of Rome, this STILL took place.  Divisions took place inspite of Papal Primacy.  The office of the Papacy did not automatically fix the problems.  You will surely answer that this is so because the Oriental Churches did not "obey" the Pope.   But after 1500 years, our ships stil haven't sunk; we are still afloat.  And in modern times what has happened??? Latin theologians realized we never taught what we were accused of.  Popes swallowed their pride and set aside their arrogance and were willing to sit down and discuss this.  The result was joint Christological agreements.  All this resolution without us ever being forced to "obey Rome."  This corresponds to what I said above and does not correspond to the forced-faith and obedience/slavery model which you suggest (which reminds me more of Islam than the freedom promised in Christianity.

Well, I'm sorry, but read what I posted in one of my previous posts from the First Vatican Council. Papal Infalliblity, Papal Sumpremacy, and Universal Jurisdiction, aren't up for too much interpretation and discussion. They have all been clearly declared and defined as Church doctrine, they can not be erased, re-defined, or slightly changed. They are what they are, and no matter what the Pope may say or do, it does not change what Rome has declared to be dogma.I was just wondering because Roman primacy developed a great deal between the 5th and 11th centuries.

No need to apologize.  You are entitled to your opinion.  Obviously, I throw my lot in with those many theologians of East and West who do believe Papal Primacy is up for much discussion and interpretation.  The councils you site have been referred to by Roman Pontiffs themselves as "General Councils of the West" rather than Ecumenical!  Time will tell.  But I can assure the East will never accept the Vatican I model of Papal Primacy.
I have faith that as it has happened over the Christological debate, it CAN and Will happen over the issue of primacy.
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« Reply #62 on: August 03, 2004, 10:41:42 PM »

 
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I'd hate to break this to you, Ben, but even though there's always been a Pope of Rome, this STILL took place.  Divisions took place inspite of Papal Primacy.  The office of the Papacy did not automatically fix the problems.
 

Of course it didn't. There was an Emperor who called the Council, who enforced its decisions, and even violently persecuted those who didn't accept them. Divsions took place, but it was and is clear who were the schismatics and heretics.

The Arian Bishops rejected Nicea, but it was clear they were heretics, an Ecumenical Council, called for and enforced by the Emperor and approved and ratified by the Pope, condemned their heretical beliefs, end of story.

Quote
But after 1500 years, our ships stil haven't sunk; we are still afloat.

Your ships have not been faced with a serious heresy in the last 1500 years! And if they had, I don't think the OO's would have been able to have a Council to deal with a heresy while under ethier Byzantine or Islamic rule.

Quote
No need to apologize.  You are entitled to your opinion.  Obviously, I throw my lot in with those many theologians of East and West who do believe Papal Primacy is up for much discussion and interpretation.

I am not merely stating my opinions. You are free to read what the Catholic Ecumenical Councils had to say. They have declared and defined clearly the Catholic teaching on Papal Infallibilty, Supremacy, and universal jurisdiction, all of which can not be erased or somehow redefined.

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The councils you site have been referred to by Roman Pontiffs themselves as "General Councils of the West" rather than Ecumenical!


Yes and until very recently Rome always made it clear that the Catholic Church was the one true Chruch, and that the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches were schismatic. "General Councils of the West" means the exact same thing as "General Councils of THE Church" from the viewpoint of Catholic doctrine. The Catholic Church teaches it is the one true Church, all else....schism and heresy.

Quote
But I can assure the East will never accept the Vatican I model of Papal Primacy.

And I assure you that the West cannot abandon the Vatican I model of Papal Primacy.

Quote
I have faith that as it has happened over the Christological debate and it CAN and Will happen over the issue of primacy.

I disagree.

From my limited study, it seems that the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Church have come to believe that dispite historical disputes and misunderstandings, both sides believe the same thing. This is clearly true from the Comon Christological Agreements between the RCC and the OOC.

However, it is clear that East and West are *not* in agreement regarding Papal Primacy. It is obvious that either the East would have to accept Roman Catholic dogma, or the West would have to abandon it. I don't believe that is/was the case with the Christological disagreements.
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« Reply #63 on: August 03, 2004, 11:03:32 PM »

 
Of course it didn't. There was an Emperor who called the Council, who enforced its decisions, and even violently persecuted those who didn't accept them. Divsions took place, but it was and is clear who were the schismatics and heretics.

The Arian Bishops rejected Nicea, but it was clear they were heretics, an Ecumenical Council, called for and enforced by the Emperor and approved and ratified by the Pope, condemned their heretical beliefs, end of story.

Not quite.  What about the Nestorians?  What about the Monophysites?  Etc.  They were also condemened as heretics but later discovered not to be espousing what they were accused of.  Where's your proof in this?

Your ships have not been faced with a serious heresy in the last 1500 years! And if they had, I don't think the OO's would have been able to have a Council to deal with a heresy while under ethier Byzantine or Islamic rule.

Oh, come on.  You don't think the East has had to battle any heresies since our departure from Rome???  Maybe, if you are correct, we are better off without the Papacy then.  I don't think either statement is true.

I am not merely stating my opinions. You are free to read what the Catholic Ecumenical Councils had to say. They have declared and defined clearly the Catholic teaching on Papal Infallibilty, Supremacy, and universal jurisdiction, all of which can not be erased or somehow redefined.

When I spoke of your opinions I referred to your opinion about what can be reformed, developed, interpreted differently, etc.  You obviously think none of this can in a substantial enough way to satisfy the East.  The Popes own words directly contradict your opinion.  I'm sticking with the Pope on this one.

Yes and until very recently Rome always made it clear that the Catholic Church was the one true Chruch, and that the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches were schismatic.

Untill very recently?  Did Rome change her mind?  I'm glad she did.

"General Councils of the West" means the exact same thing as "General Councils of THE Church" from the viewpoint of Catholic doctrine.

It doesn't to the East.   The Pope knows it and that's why the he said it.  Again, your opinion about the Roman Pontiff's motives are just that, you opinion.  Many others have different ones.

The Catholic Church teaches it is the one true Church, all else....schism and heresy.  And I assure you that the West cannot abandon the Vatican I model of Papal Primacy.  I disagree.

Who said abandon?  How about reformulate.  I know you will disagree.  I'm just glad you aren't currently the Roman Pope!   Smiley

From my limited study, it seems that the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Church have come to believe that dispite historical disputes and misunderstandings, both sides believe the same thing. This is clearly true from the Comon Christological Agreements between the RCC and the OOC.  However, it is clear that East and West are *not* in agreement regarding Papal Primacy. It is obvious that either the East would have to accept Roman Catholic dogma, or the West would have to abandon it. I don't believe that is/was the case with the Christological disagreements.

That's what they used to think about the Christological debate.  Smiley  If the Churches want unity, they'll figure it out.  It will really piss off the strict hard-liners on both sides, but most of them will get over it.  You watch and see.  I'm not just an arm-chair wannabe theologian but also an armchair prophet.   Wink

Thanks for the debate.  I'm signing-off for the night.  I've got a family to attend to.
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« Reply #64 on: August 04, 2004, 01:13:43 AM »

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Not quite.  What about the Nestorians?  

Nestorius, along with the heretical teachings he is said to have embraced and taught, were condmened. I am convinced that the modern day Assyrians aren't Nestorians, well at least their bishops aren't. Several Christological agreements with Rome are clear that the Assryians, or at least those bishops who have signed and agreed to the Christological agreements with Rome, are not Nestorians.

Quote
What about the Monophysites?

Monophysitism is a heresy, however the OO's say they are *not* Monophysites. Perhpas Chalcedon should be re-examined, but the Christological formula used and declared at Chalcedon wasn't heretical, and can't be considered to be so if both sides seek union. It should only be re-examined to the point of who was condmened and if they were really heretics, in my opinion. I think it would be a mistake to expect either the RCC or the EOC to reject or reformulate Chalcedonian Christology.

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They were also condemened as heretics but later discovered not to be espousing what they were accused of.
 

Yes of course. That is what needs to be re-examined, not the condemnation of the heresy itself, but perhaps the condemnation of individuals who didn't embrace and teach heresy, as they were accused of doing.

Quote
You don't think the East has had to battle any heresies since our departure from Rome???  


Okay, what heresy has the OO had to battle in the last 1500 years or so?

Quote
When I spoke of your opinions I referred to your opinion about what can be reformed, developed, interpreted differently, etc.
 

That is not merely my opinion, rather official Church teaching. Dogma cannot be erased, which is what would have to happen if the West embraced the East's teaching on Papal Primacy. There aren't many ways you can take the declarations of the Catholic Ecumenical Councils, like the First Vatican Council, regarding Papal Primacy.

Quote
The Popes own words directly contradict your opinion.

Ah, but the Pope's opinions are *not* infallible. The Pope can be wrong, and can make some serious mistakes, the current Pontiff is a perfect example.

Quote
I'm sticking with the Pope on this one.

Nothing wrong with that, but it is just false hope. Papal Infallibility, Papal Sumpremacy, and Papal Universal Jurisdiction are dogma, they can not be erased or rejected. You seem to think they just need to be "reformed" or "redefined", however, you yourself said that the East will never accept the First Vatican Council. What the First Vatican Council declared and defined, is dogma, it can't be changed, so hoping that somehow Rome will completely reform its interpretation of Roman Primacy is absurd. For Rome to do so, they would fall under their own anathema.

Quote
Untill very recently?  Did Rome change her mind?  I'm glad she did.

In the last 40 years or so, Ecumenism and Liberalism have infected the Church on all levels. Resulting in the Holy Father kissing the Qu'ran, praying with Jews and heretics in their places of worship, allowing Catholic places of worship to become Ecumenical houses of worship (for exmaple what happened at Assisi, and what is now happening at Fatima), priests and bishops rejecting Catholic dogma and even concelebrating with schismatics and heretics and without be punished for their actions, the idea that those "Churches" who reject fundamental Catholic dogma are some how a part of the Church or not schismatic or heretical are becoming wide spread amoung the laity, clergy and bishops, and an overall watering-down of fundamental Catholic doctrine.

Quote
Who said abandon?  How about reformulate.

Well what I quoted from the First Vatican Council is dogma. Are you telling me Universal Jurisdiction and Infalibility can somehow be "reformulated" without being all together abandoned? I don't think its possible. Vatican I stated that the bishop of Rome can declare or define something to be held by the entire Church, and that when doing so EX CATHEDRA, he is prevented from all error. How can Rome "reformulate" that?

Quote
I'm just glad you aren't currently the Roman Pope!

Just be gald its not 1904. Since Vatican II we have had the most liberal and ecumenicaly minded Popes ever, and I suspect its only going to get worse. The last straw to break the cammel's back will be when the next Pope allows women to enter the priesthood. We already have altar girls and female Eucharistic ministers....women priests are next!
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« Reply #65 on: August 04, 2004, 11:23:02 AM »

Since Vatican II we have had the most liberal and ecumenicaly minded Popes ever, and I suspect its only going to get worse. The last straw to break the cammel's back will be when the next Pope allows women to enter the priesthood. We already have altar girls and female Eucharistic ministers....women priests are next!

According to all I've read, Pope John Paul II's Ordinatio Sacerdotalis is regarded as infallible by the "ordinary magisterium" of the RCC.  I think there was even an explanation to this effect coming out of Card. Ratzinger's office.  If so, then why would you be so sure that the next Pope will allow women to become priests?  

You sound like you have very little faith in the Church whose beliefs you profess very confidently (so it seems to me, anyway).
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« Reply #66 on: August 04, 2004, 02:00:40 PM »

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According to all I've read, Pope John Paul II's Ordinatio Sacerdotalis is regarded as infallible by the "ordinary magisterium" of the RCC.


Exactly. It is regarded as infallible, that is why its going to be quite a problem if the next Pope does allow women to be ordained as priests. You must keep in mind that there are many Catholic bishops, and even Cardinals, that support the idea of women priests. Pope John Paul II's Ordinatio Sacerdotalis met quite a lot of opposition from liberal laity, clergy, and even bishops.

Quote
I think there was even an explanation to this effect coming out of Card. Ratzinger's office.  If so, then why would you be so sure that the next Pope will allow women to become priests?
 

I am not totally positive, but things are just getting worse and that is the next logical step when you have altar girls and female Eucharistic ministers. Do not think all Catholics are in agreement, there are a large number of celrgy who support women being priests, and even bishops and Cardinals! My God, look at what has happened to the Catholic Church in the last 40 years! It is obvious that things are only getting worse. The bishops of the Church are becoming more liberal and liberal, as the older bishops retire and die.

Quote
You sound like you have very little faith in the Church whose beliefs you profess very confidently (so it seems to me, anyway).    


Look at what has happened to the Catholic Church in the last 40 years, and tell me why I should have faith. The great apostasy is here and now, the Church has been infected by heresy on all levels. There are millions of examples of what I am saying. There is no way of ignoring it, it is what it is, the Church is not the same today as it as 50 years ago, the Mass isn't the same, the Sacraments aren't the same, and even the faith has been so watered down, that it even seems as if the faith has been changed. However, that is just and illusion, no dogma has changed, but so many have false hope that dogma can be erased, trased, or put more nicely "reformulated". And I trust that there are many bishops, priests, and laymen who would change Church dogma if they could.
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« Reply #67 on: August 04, 2004, 05:18:14 PM »

Nestorius, along with the heretical teachings he is said to have embraced and taught, were condmened. I am convinced that the modern day Assyrians aren't Nestorians, well at least their bishops aren't. Several Christological agreements with Rome are clear that the Assryians, or at least those bishops who have signed and agreed to the Christological agreements with Rome, are not Nestorians.Monophysitism is a heresy, however the OO's say they are *not* Monophysites.

Yes, but the Assyrian Church of the East and the Oriental Orthodox were accused of Nestorianism and Monophysitism -respectively- untill this century.  If our Churches aren't Nestorian or Monophysite now, then we never were becuase we still affirm our same teachings.  Again all this has been realized by Rome, hence our Christological statements without any of us bending our knees to the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff.  Therefore, once again, my point remains that Churches can not be ordered to believe things through the authority of one Bishop, even if he does have an acknowledged primacy.  If anything, such a misuse of primacy leads to schism as happened with Pope Leo.  If Churches are really heretical they will go away as did the Arians or remain apart from the Church.  But if these Churches are authentic, sooner or later they will be recognized as such.  They will be known by their fruit.

Perhpas Chalcedon should be re-examined, but the Christological formula used and declared at Chalcedon wasn't heretical, and can't be considered to be so if both sides seek union. It should only be re-examined to the point of who was condmened and if they were really heretics, in my opinion. I think it would be a mistake to expect either the RCC or the EOC to reject or reformulate Chalcedonian Christology.  

Our Church's position is that Pope Leo's language was unfamiliar and could be misleading and therefore was UNNACCEPTABLE.  So we were not accusing anyone of heresy.  We just wanted a statement accaptable to all sides.  I think we've accomplished this in our time.


 Okay, what heresy has the OO had to battle in the last 1500 years or so?  

You really do believe that no Eastern Church has had to battle a heresy since our split with Old Rome?  I am surprised.  You should study our history more and not make such assertions before doing so.  Another irony which comes to mind is how Latins like to boast that the East had many heresies in the early centuries which Rome had to bail them out of (a proof for the need for Papal Supremacy).   Yet you are saying that since the split we've never had a heresy!!!  You put these two together and can come up with some interesting inferences here.  I.e.  with Rome, many heresies... without Rome, no heresies.  If that's the case, when it comes to Rome, who needs her! Huh

That is not merely my opinion, rather official Church teaching. Dogma cannot be erased, which is what would have to happen if the West embraced the East's teaching on Papal Primacy.

That just simply isn't true.  Have you ever studied the different formulas which were suggested and thrown around during Vatican I before they "agreed" or were intimidated into accepting the one they did?  Many of these would just about fix the problem themselves.  Then there is the whole question of the ecumenical status of Vatican I itself?  Where is the infallible statement stating this is infallible Council?  There are a lot of issues which, under examination, could render this Council not ecumenical at all (see Melkite Archbishop Elias Zoghby's article "Vatian I: A Pseudo Council?" at:

http://www.geocities.com/derghazar/articles.html    for more info.

Just be gald its not 1904. Since Vatican II we have had the most liberal and ecumenicaly minded Popes ever, and I suspect its only going to get worse....

You sound like a disgruntled Traditionalist.  I feel your pain brother.  But if the Pope is a liberal, how do you explain his stance against sexual immorality, contraception and abortion.  He's the most unusual liberal I've ever seen.  Smiley  You are walking a fine line trying to distinguish what is the authentic part of your Church and what is the modernistic, heretical part.  That's a lot of responisbility to bear on your shoulders.  I wish you the best.

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« Reply #68 on: August 04, 2004, 05:30:27 PM »


Exactly. It is regarded as infallible, that is why its going to be quite a problem if the next Pope does allow women to be ordained as priests.

...  

I am not totally positive, but things are just getting worse and that is the next logical step when you have altar girls and female Eucharistic ministers. Do not think all Catholics are in agreement, there are a large number of celrgy who support women being priests, and even bishops and Cardinals! My God, look at what has happened to the Catholic Church in the last 40 years! It is obvious that things are only getting worse. The bishops of the Church are becoming more liberal and liberal, as the older bishops retire and die.

But Ben, I thought the whole point of papal infallibility is that the Holy Spirit will guide the Church, if necessary through the Pope himself, so that erroneous and heretical things DO NOT HAPPEN.  If you believe OS is infallible, then it's not that it will be a problem when the next Pope allows female priests: IT JUST WON'T HAPPEN BECAUSE THE HOLY SPIRIT WON'T LET IT HAPPEN, and if it does, then you know he's not really the Pope.  But here you are on the one hand advertising this teaching as a sure safeguard for the Church and on the other hand worrying for the immediate future of your Church IN SPITE of it.      

Quote
Look at what has happened to the Catholic Church in the last 40 years, and tell me why I should have faith.

Because if you are a Roman Catholic and believe that the RCC is the Church Christ founded, you should have faith in your God and in your Pope's God-given charism of infallibility that He won't let heresy ravage His Church.  But if the past forty years is enough to get you questioning all of this, then I suggest you stop trying to convince the Orthodox that papal infallibility is so great.  Obviously it's not working for you.    

Quote
The great apostasy is here and now, the Church has been infected by heresy on all levels. There are millions of examples of what I am saying. There is no way of ignoring it, it is what it is, the Church is not the same today as it as 50 years ago, the Mass isn't the same, the Sacraments aren't the same, and even the faith has been so watered down, that it even seems as if the faith has been changed. However, that is just and illusion, no dogma has changed, but so many have false hope that dogma can be erased, trased, or put more nicely "reformulated". And I trust that there are many bishops, priests, and laymen who would change Church dogma if they could.

Again, why worry if you believe in your faith?  For all your insistence that papal infallibility and associated teachings are God's Truth and the only sure safeguard for the church, it doesn't seem to have done much to help you or it.  What's so great about it?
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« Reply #69 on: August 04, 2004, 11:44:44 PM »

Now i know this is off topic and will seem biased because i am Oriental Orthodox, but this section of the forum seems to be the most fruitful when it comes to theological / ecclesiastical debates, such as this one and the awesome Christological ones when Deacon Peter and Linus7 were still around.
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« Reply #70 on: August 05, 2004, 07:10:21 PM »

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Yes, but the Assyrian Church of the East and the Oriental Orthodox were accused of Nestorianism and Monophysitism -respectively- untill this century.


Very true, and perhaps some Assyrian and Oriental Orthodox priests or bishops were/are heretics, I don't know, I have seen some quotes - posted by Linus before he stopped posting here - from OO bishops that seemed heretical, but that isn't for me to decided. If, however, our Churches can agree on a Christological formula, once and for all, then I would have no problem saying it was all misunderstandings, mistranslations, or whatever. Perhaps, we Chalcedonians do need to re-examine who was condemned of what, and why, and if they really were/are heretics.

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If our Churches aren't Nestorian or Monophysite now, then we never were becuase we still affirm our same teachings.

Well I don't know. The Assyrians still commemorate Nestorius as a Saint and un-bloody martyr for the faith. And some of the stuff that I have read, written by Assyrian bishops, is a little questionable, and yet some of the stuff I have read is totally orthodox, I don't know, it is the same with OO bishops. I don't know enough to say who believes what, I can't say that the OO Church is this or that or that the Assyrians or this or that. I'll leave it up to Rome, and if both sides can agree on a orthodox Christological agreement, then you sure won't here any complaints from me! Smiley I want union, however, I will not accept anything that compromises the Catholic faith, and thus far the Christological agreements between Rome and the Assyrians and Rome and the OOs look pretty orthodox, though once again my knowledge is limited, and I leave that kind of stuff those better educated than me in these matters.

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Again all this has been realized by Rome, hence our Christological statements without any of us bending our knees to the infallibility of the
Roman Pontiff.


One must not be in obediance in Rome to have a correct Christology, Rome teaches the EO to have orthodox Christology, and yet the EO are not in obediance to Rome.

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Therefore, once again, my point remains that Churches can not be ordered to believe things through the authority of one Bishop, even if he does have an acknowledged primacy.

There is only one Church. Only one true Church, founded by Christ, and the succesors of St. Peter have been appointed as the head of this Church on earth. The successors of St. Peter have the job of protecting the faith from all error no matter what, with or without the rest of the Church's bishops. Truth is truth no matter who agrees. The divinity of Christ is true, not matter if only one bishop in the entire world believes this. The Church is not a democracy, whether the bishops all agree or not does not change what is the truth. All of the bishops at Nicea could have adopted Arius's teachings, hypotheticaly speaking, and it would not have made them the truth.

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If Churches are really heretical they will go away as did the Arians or remain apart from the Church.

The Arians stuck around for quite a while, and to this day there are groups or denominations that have been haavily influenced by some of Arius's. And look at Islam! Believe it or not Islam started as a heresy and look at it now - the fastest growing religion in the world!

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Our Church's position is that Pope Leo's language was unfamiliar and could be misleading and therefore was UNNACCEPTABLE.

I don't think that just because something is unfamiliar, it is thus unnacceptable.

 
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So we were not accusing anyone of heresy.


You aren't, but OO Christians on this forum have refered to Pope Saint Leo as a heretic and his Tome as heretical. I have a few OO Christian friends, and they all think that the Catholic Church is Nestorian!

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You really do believe that no Eastern Church has had to battle a heresy since our split with Old Rome?


I must really be in the dark! I can not think of one heresy that the OO has faced in the last 1500 years or so! I am not stating it as a fact or claiming to be an expert, but I am honestly asking you.....what heresy has the OO had to deal with since the break with Rome?

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Another irony which comes to mind is how Latins like to boast that the East had many heresies in the early centuries which Rome had to bail them out of (a proof for the need for Papal Supremacy).

Well, that is historical fact. Bishop Ware brings this up in his book "The Orthodox Church" as one of the reasons Rome did have a "primacy of honour" in the early Church. Rome, from the Orthodox persepective, remained the safegard of the faith, not falling into heresy, for centuries. It is historical fact that often the East turned to Rome for help when the East was attacked with heresy after heresy.

 
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Have you ever studied the different formulas which were suggested and thrown around during Vatican I before they "agreed" or were intimidated into accepting the one they did?


Yes I have, but my friend, they all meaning NOTHING now. What was declared at Vatican I is DOGMA, it can not be erased or somehow changed.

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Then there is the whole question of the ecumenical status of Vatican I itself?  Where is the infallible statement stating this is infallible Council?  


The First Vatican Council declared a dogma, it was thus Infallible in doing so, just as Nicea was. A dogma declared or defined in a General Council of Bishops and ratified by the Holy Father is INFALLIBLE.

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There are a lot of issues which, under examination, could render this Council not ecumenical at all (see Melkite Archbishop Elias Zoghby's article "Vatian I: A Pseudo Council?"


Sorry, Vatican I declared and defined doctrine, it placed anathemas on anyone who disagreed with their declarations, and the Council was ratified as valid by the Pope at the time - that is all I need to know it was a true and valid Council.

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You sound like a disgruntled Traditionalist.


Wow, then I guess every single faithful Catholic up to 1965 or so was a "disgruntled Traditionalist"...lol. Just imagine...remain true to the faith and you are not "disgruntled"...hehehe. Anyway, yes I am a Traditionalist, I remain true to the Catholic faith that was preached, defended, and propagated up untill the 1960's.

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But if the Pope is a liberal, how do you explain his stance against sexual immorality, contraception and abortion.


Well of course he is a conservative in that area, however I am refering to matters of faith. Sadly, If JPII was a bishop in the Church oh say 100 years ago, I doubt he would have survived long without being excommunicated or at least punished. And my God I don't know how long he would have survived in the days of the Inquisition.
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« Reply #71 on: August 05, 2004, 07:24:13 PM »


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But Ben, I thought the whole point of papal infallibility is that the Holy Spirit will guide the Church, if necessary through the Pope himself, so that erroneous and heretical things DO NOT HAPPEN.

Exactly, thus when a Pope declares or emrabces publicaly something blantantly heretical, like if the next Pope lets women become priest, we would be sure to know that the Chair he occupied was not that of St. Peter, but that of the anti-Christ.

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If you believe OS is infallible, then it's not that it will be a problem when the next Pope allows female priests: IT JUST WON'T HAPPEN BECAUSE THE HOLY SPIRIT WON'T LET IT HAPPEN, and if it does, then you know he's not really the Pope.

No it can happen. We know that a great apostasy will occur within the true Church in the last days, God will allow this to happen. Those who embrace heresy and leave the true faith are not the Church. If Rome allows women to be priests - then we will be sure to know that the Sedevacantists are right.

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But here you are on the one hand advertising this teaching as a sure safeguard for the Church and on the other hand worrying for the immediate future of your Church IN SPITE of it.


Of course I am worrying, look at was has happened in the RC in the last 40 years! I am just saying that the problem will be if Rome does allow women to be priests - for then we will know Rome is no longer the Rome- if you know what I mean. The Holy Spirit will protect the Church from ALL error, if Rome embraces error - heresy - it is *not* the Chruch.

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Because if you are a Roman Catholic and believe that the RCC is the Church Christ founded, you should have faith in your God and in your Pope's God-given charism of infallibility that He won't let heresy ravage His Church.


But God is and will let heresy ravage his Church! Please look at what is happening as we speak! It is fact that in the last days the true Church would be attacked on all levels and infiltrated by the greatest of heresies. This is Biblical prophesy, and that of many Catholic Saints. However, no need to fear unless Rome itself embraces heresy as truth - which has not happened. Since Vatican II, NO dogma has been changed, and even the new catechism is pretty orthodox, however, when or if Rome embraces what is false as truth, then there is much to fear!

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But if the past forty years is enough to get you questioning all of this, then I suggest you stop trying to convince the Orthodox that papal infallibility is so great.
 

I am not trying to convince anyone. I am just responding to questions and/comments. Please, I am not out to convert or convince anyone! However, remember the Pope is only infallible when defining or declaring something to be held by the whole Church EX CATHEDRA. He can, like any othe bishop, be wrong and even be a material heretic.
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« Reply #72 on: August 05, 2004, 08:43:21 PM »

Hello Ben,

As for having some heretical sounding bishops, you and I both know that the OO don't hold a candle to the RCs.  But that's another subject.

There is only one Church. Only one true Church, founded by Christ, and the succesors of St. Peter have been appointed as the head of this Church on earth. The successors of St. Peter have the job of protecting the faith from all error no matter what, with or without the rest of the Church's bishops. Truth is truth no matter who agrees...  

O.k., this is getting carried away.  I'm familiar with Roman Catholicism.  And I know you are an adherent to this faith.  You know I am not.  This is getting redundant.  You know the Orthodox teach that the faith was not entrusted to just one but instead to twelve.  We believe that they all were responsible for preserving this faith, and so are all their successors.  There's no need for you and I to keep going back and forth with this.

You aren't, but OO Christians on this forum have refered to Pope Saint Leo as a heretic and his Tome as heretical. I have a few OO Christian friends, and they all think that the Catholic Church is Nestorian!  

There's over-zealots in every Church.

I must really be in the dark! I can not think of one heresy that the OO has faced in the last 1500 years or so! I am not stating it as a fact or claiming to be an expert, but I am honestly asking you.....what heresy has the OO had to deal with since the break with Rome?

The Paulicians, Iconoclasts and Corruptionalists to name some of the more prominent.  And of course, everybody's favorite... CHALCEDON (I have a page on the history of this if interested:) http://www.geocities.com/derghazar/chalcedon.html  This is not to say Chalcedonians are heretical but Leo's Tome was decided to be unnacceptable by our Church through our own Councils and through Councils with other Churches.  Then there is Islam and Communism which we also endured.

Well, that is historical fact. Bishop Ware brings this up in his book "The Orthodox Church" as one of the reasons Rome did have a "primacy of honour" in the early Church. Rome, from the Orthodox persepective, remained the safegard of the faith, not falling into heresy, for centuries. It is historical fact that often the East turned to Rome for help when the East was attacked with heresy after heresy.

Here's where we get into the difference between the EO and OO understanding of Rome's importance.  EO's think Rome got it right a little more than the OO do.  Wink

Yes I have, but my friend, they all meaning NOTHING now. What was declared at Vatican I is DOGMA, it can not be erased or somehow changed.  

They all mean nothing?  Huh  So for you:  the bishops from all over the RC world gather together to discuss what their understanding of the Tradition regarding the role of the Papacy is, and their witness means nothing?  Wow.  So there's no chance that any of them were offering witness from authentic Holy Tradition which could've made the declaration better or more acceptable?  What good are bishops then?  To carry out the orders of the Pope?  You are witnessing to that attitude which Pope Gregory condemned and which you deny has ever existed in Roman Catholicism.  I guess the bishops' witness is all rubbish and all that matters is the declaration the Pope wanted.  I find such an approach to the relationship between primacy and collegiality to be totally unnacceptable.  Thanks for reminding me that I'm in the faith in which I belong (as I'm sure I've done for you).

The First Vatican Council declared a dogma, it was thus Infallible in doing so, just as Nicea was.   A dogma declared or defined in a General Council of Bishops and ratified by the Holy Father is INFALLIBLE.  Sorry, Vatican I declared and defined doctrine, it placed anathemas on anyone who disagreed with their declarations, and the Council was ratified as valid by the Pope at the time - that is all I need to know it was a true and valid Council.  

Again this is all conditioned on whether Vatican I continues to be considered Ecumenical by Old Rome (which you affirm it will).  Time will tell.  But the difference between you and I is that you think a Council is to declare a truth that legalistically binds everyone from that point on.  I think a Council is to bring unity and manifest the mind of the entire Church.  I'm going to be publishing an excellent article on this by the dearly departed Archbishop Tiran Nersoyan on my web-site soon (I'll announce it on this forum when I do).  It opened my eyes to a new understanding of the real role of the Council.

Wow, then I guess every single faithful Catholic up to 1965 or so was a "disgruntled Traditionalist"...lol. Just imagine...remain true to the faith and you are not "disgruntled"...hehehe. Anyway, yes I am a Traditionalist, I remain true to the Catholic faith that was preached, defended, and propagated up untill the 1960's.  

I sympathize with you traditionalists to a point.  In other ways I'm glad the Latin Church is coming around.

Well of course he is a conservative in that area, however I am refering to matters of faith. Sadly, If JPII was a bishop in the Church oh say 100 years ago, I doubt he would have survived long without being excommunicated or at least punished. And my God I don't know how long he would have survived in the days of the Inquisition.

Pope JPII:  half liberal, half conservative... a boderline heretic who a hundred years ago would have been burned at the stake.  Yet today, he's the infallible head of the Church!  You have a very interesting faith, my brother.

Anyway.  I see no point in carrying this on.  I don't believe in debating un-endlessly just for the sake of debate.  We are on opposite sides of this issue and not one thing you or I say is going to change a thing.  The only thing we can change is ourselves... and I've got my hands full with this.  I will read your reply, though.

May God bless you, thanks for the discussion.
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« Reply #73 on: August 05, 2004, 08:45:21 PM »

Ben,

For sequence & clarity could you please indicate who is quoted & when it occured ?

Some of us geesers need a little help.

Thanx
james
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« Reply #74 on: August 05, 2004, 08:55:55 PM »

Brother Ghazar,

I forgot to welcome you, and may I say you are professing your faith & beliefs in a most intelligent & brotherly manner.

james
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« Reply #75 on: August 05, 2004, 09:06:54 PM »

Dear Brother Jakub (Hagop in Armenian)  Wink

Thank you for your generous welcome and kind words.  I look forward to learning a lot from you all as we share our Holy Orthodox faith with one another.

Btw, you wouldn't happen to be the same Jakub I've had the pleasure to dialogue with in a Byzantine Forum with, would you?

p.s. wow, with that post, I just became a "jr. member."  Smiley  I'm moving up in the world (or at least in the forum).  Cheesy
« Last Edit: August 05, 2004, 09:08:05 PM by Ghazaros » Logged

Trusting in Christ's Inextinguishable Light,
Rev. Sub-Deacon Ghazaros Der-Ghazarian,
Holy Apostolic Orthodox Church of Armenia, Eastern Diocese USA
The Armenian Orthodox Evangelization Mission: www.looys.net
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