Author Topic: Documents supporting Intercommunion with Rome  (Read 1875 times)

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Offline Fabio Leite

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Documents supporting Intercommunion with Rome
« on: August 24, 2015, 07:55:02 AM »
I am interested in finding 20th century (or later) Orthodox documents and pronouncements that allow intercommunion with Rome.

I've been repeatedly taught by more senior Orthodox and even clergy here in Brazil that intercommunion with Rome, which is standard everyday practice here, is an act of economic mercy that is supported by several ecclesiastical documents and pronouncements after the lifting of the anathemas in 1964.

According to a more recent personal conversation, denying communion to Romans is a fanatical act that only radicals comparable to ISIS would perpetrate, since, again it is supported by "many documents".

One of the proofs for that, according to the same source, is the EO-OO intercommunion that is practiced in the Antioch jurisdiction.

I would like to know if anyone here could help me find which documents they may be talking about.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2015, 07:59:15 AM by Fabio Leite »
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Offline Mountain

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Re: Documents supporting Intercommunion with Rome
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2015, 07:59:41 AM »
Schism, theology differences which we are not allowed to call heresy and last 1000 years of our Church history are a joke, everything is allowed, don't worry. Everyone is smarter than saint Photius and saint Mark of Ephesus and other fanatics.
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Offline seekeroftruth777

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Re: Documents supporting Intercommunion with Rome
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2015, 08:33:56 AM »
Schism, theology differences which we are not allowed to call heresy and last 1000 years of our Church history are a joke, everything is allowed, don't worry. Everyone is smarter than saint Photius and saint Mark of Ephesus and other fanatics.

+1

Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: Documents supporting Intercommunion with Rome
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2015, 08:37:34 AM »
Schism, theology differences which we are not allowed to call heresy and last 1000 years of our Church history are a joke, everything is allowed, don't worry. Everyone is smarter than saint Photius and saint Mark of Ephesus and other fanatics.

I suppose, but I think it's time I get more substantial sources on that topic and I believe the best way is always to start with a vote of confidence. If they say there are documents supporting intercommunion with Rome even before these churches are united, and that this is a sanctioned practice, I believe I have to try to find such sources.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2015, 08:46:48 AM by Fabio Leite »
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Offline Orest

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Re: Documents supporting Intercommunion with Rome
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2015, 09:05:19 AM »

I suppose, but I think it's time I get more substantial sources on that topic and I believe the best way is always to start with a vote of confidence. If they say there are documents supporting intercommunion with Rome even before these churches are united, and that this is a sanctioned practice, I believe I have to try to find such sources.

I have to warn you that there is a lot of misinformation on the internet about "dual communion".
For example this Catholic misinformation:
http://www.catholicculture.org/news/features/index.cfm?recnum=59186
And this is the fact denying "dual communion".
http://www.ec-patr.org/docdisplay.php?lang=en&id=952&tla=en
Quote
Concerning an inaccurate article for the relations with the Greek-Catholics (Uniates)
Back
Back



PRESS RELEASE

 With respect to the recently published articles reporting that allegedly His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew believes that it is possible for the Greek Catholics (Uniates) to have a “double union”, in other words, full communion with Rome as well as with Constantinople, the Ecumenical Patriarchate refutes this inaccurate statement and affirms it was never made.  The Ecumenical Patriarchate repeats its position that full union in faith is a prerequisite for sacramental communion.

 At the Patriarchate, the 5th of July 2008
 From the Chief Secretariat of the Holy Synod
 

There are similar internet posting about the Patriarch of Antioch as well.  The Catholics claiming intercommunion and the Orthodox Church of Antioch denying it.

Offline Mountain

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Re: Documents supporting Intercommunion with Rome
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2015, 09:05:52 AM »
Schism, theology differences which we are not allowed to call heresy and last 1000 years of our Church history are a joke, everything is allowed, don't worry. Everyone is smarter than saint Photius and saint Mark of Ephesus and other fanatics.

I suppose, but I think it's time I get more substantial sources on that topic and I believe the best way is always to start with a vote of confidence. If they say there are documents supporting intercommunion with Rome even before these churches are united, and that this is a sanctioned practice, I believe I have to try to find such sources.

I know that Roman-Catholic Church allows it's members to receive Holy Communion in the Orthodox Church (If they are dying and cant find Roman-Catholic priest), but the Orthodox Church does not allow it's members to commune outside the Orthodox jurisdictions.
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Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: Documents supporting Intercommunion with Rome
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2015, 10:07:52 AM »
There are similar internet posting about the Patriarch of Antioch as well.  The Catholics claiming intercommunion and the Orthodox Church of Antioch denying it.

Thank you very much Oreste! I would appreciate if you could direct me to pronouncements of the Antioch church as well. Thank you!
Many Energies, 3 Persons, 2 Natures, 1 God, 1 Church, 1 Baptism, and 1 Cup. The Son begotten only from the Father, the Spirit proceeding only from the Father, Each glorifying the Other. The Son sends the Spirit, the Spirit Reveals the Son, the Father is seen in the Son. The Spirit spoke through the Prophets and Fathers and does so even today.

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Documents supporting Intercommunion with Rome
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2015, 10:18:19 AM »
I've never heard of any EO jurisdiction permitting intercommunion with Rome other than through RC anecdotes.
The term planet earth is an innovation which has arisen in recent centuries with the error of heliocentrism.

If one wants to confess a pure doctrine of Orthodoxy, they should be careful not to refer to the earth as a planet, unlike the current Pope as well as Patriarch Kirill and Patriarch Bartholomew, who regularly speak in error when they refer to our planet earth.

Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: Documents supporting Intercommunion with Rome
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2015, 10:29:13 AM »
I've never heard of any EO jurisdiction permitting intercommunion with Rome other than through RC anecdotes.

It's the normal thing down here, in *every* jurisdiction. The everyday standard. What has elicited this thread was that this weekend I commented with a person that this is actually not accepted in the Church just to be compared with ISIS radicalism for suggesting such an outrageously radical idea.

The rationale was basically that

1) Its good economy for the Orthodox Church in Roman countries, an act of mercy in opposition to unforgiving radical fanaticism;

2) It's supported and sanctioned in "several documents" from the Patriarchate of Constantinople since the lifting of the anathemas;

3) Antioch does it with the OO, why would it be wrong to do it with the Romans?

4) Pressed against the issue, some of them backed a bit and said that "maybe people exagerate, but in cases of emergency it would be allowed" e.g. a dying Orthodox could receive the Last Rites and communion from a Roman priest or the opposite, a dying Roman who happens to request an Orthodox priest in the same situation, and it would be savagely cruel to deny it in both cases.

So, basically giving them the benefit of the doubt, I am now trying to find official synodal or patriarchal documents that condone or sanction intercommunion, even if at least, in radical cases like the above.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2015, 11:00:22 AM by Fabio Leite »
Many Energies, 3 Persons, 2 Natures, 1 God, 1 Church, 1 Baptism, and 1 Cup. The Son begotten only from the Father, the Spirit proceeding only from the Father, Each glorifying the Other. The Son sends the Spirit, the Spirit Reveals the Son, the Father is seen in the Son. The Spirit spoke through the Prophets and Fathers and does so even today.

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Documents supporting Intercommunion with Rome
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2015, 11:40:48 AM »
It sounds like Brazilians are prone to extremes. 
How can you be so incarnationally constipated?

Offline Mountain

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Re: Documents supporting Intercommunion with Rome
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2015, 11:59:35 AM »
They watered away Orthodox faith, they act like hippies. All is cool. lol I don't care anymore. Why they even have denominations, and that anti-Islam argument is so pathetic. You there are not really Orthodox, you just like Orthodox Liturgy. 
« Last Edit: August 24, 2015, 12:00:59 PM by Mountain »
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Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Documents supporting Intercommunion with Rome
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2015, 12:00:44 PM »
It sounds like Brazilians are prone to extremes.
This would be a good place to post a pic of Carnival, but alas, I couldn't find one that wouldn't merit me some serious post moderation.
The term planet earth is an innovation which has arisen in recent centuries with the error of heliocentrism.

If one wants to confess a pure doctrine of Orthodoxy, they should be careful not to refer to the earth as a planet, unlike the current Pope as well as Patriarch Kirill and Patriarch Bartholomew, who regularly speak in error when they refer to our planet earth.

Offline primuspilus

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Re: Documents supporting Intercommunion with Rome
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2015, 12:05:48 PM »
I have heard of rare circumstances where EO can not attend a parish because of distance can commune at a RC parish. This is an extreme case, however.

PP
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Offline Mountain

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Re: Documents supporting Intercommunion with Rome
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2015, 12:08:07 PM »
I have heard of rare circumstances where EO can not attend a parish because of distance can commune at a RC parish. This is an extreme case, however.

PP

I wonder if Orthodox could go to the Aries parishes if the Orthodox parish was too far away. lol
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Offline biro

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Re: Documents supporting Intercommunion with Rome
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2015, 01:09:38 PM »
Aries? Who cares what the priest's Zodiac sign is?  :o :o
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Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: Documents supporting Intercommunion with Rome
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2015, 01:53:14 PM »
I have heard of rare circumstances where EO can not attend a parish because of distance can commune at a RC parish. This is an extreme case, however.

PP

That is the Roman rule. It seems people understand it applies in reverse to Orthodoxy. Is there any significant document stating that? For example (and this is a real case here) that Orthodox living in cities where there are no Orthodox churches not only could, but *should* go to a Roman church to commune?
Many Energies, 3 Persons, 2 Natures, 1 God, 1 Church, 1 Baptism, and 1 Cup. The Son begotten only from the Father, the Spirit proceeding only from the Father, Each glorifying the Other. The Son sends the Spirit, the Spirit Reveals the Son, the Father is seen in the Son. The Spirit spoke through the Prophets and Fathers and does so even today.

Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: Documents supporting Intercommunion with Rome
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2015, 02:13:53 PM »
It sounds like Brazilians are prone to extremes.
This would be a good place to post a pic of Carnival, but alas, I couldn't find one that wouldn't merit me some serious post moderation.




Despite the most common er... references... to Brazilian carnival, there are many healthy family-friendly street parties. ;)
« Last Edit: August 24, 2015, 02:18:20 PM by Fabio Leite »
Many Energies, 3 Persons, 2 Natures, 1 God, 1 Church, 1 Baptism, and 1 Cup. The Son begotten only from the Father, the Spirit proceeding only from the Father, Each glorifying the Other. The Son sends the Spirit, the Spirit Reveals the Son, the Father is seen in the Son. The Spirit spoke through the Prophets and Fathers and does so even today.

Offline Mountain

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Re: Documents supporting Intercommunion with Rome
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2015, 02:15:04 PM »
I have heard of rare circumstances where EO can not attend a parish because of distance can commune at a RC parish. This is an extreme case, however.

PP

That is the Roman rule. It seems people understand it applies in reverse to Orthodoxy. Is there any significant document stating that? For example (and this is a real case here) that Orthodox living in cities where there are no Orthodox churches not only could, but *should* go to a Roman church to commune?

There are no such documents. There is one document called, "Canons and Apostolic Rules" that forbid Orthodox to act like bunch of hippies.
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Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: Documents supporting Intercommunion with Rome
« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2015, 02:16:47 PM »
It sounds like Brazilians are prone to extremes.

I think both forms of intercommunions (EO/RC and EO/OO) are extremes trying to go round conscious debate by creating union as a "fait accompli". But that would be a digression. :)
Many Energies, 3 Persons, 2 Natures, 1 God, 1 Church, 1 Baptism, and 1 Cup. The Son begotten only from the Father, the Spirit proceeding only from the Father, Each glorifying the Other. The Son sends the Spirit, the Spirit Reveals the Son, the Father is seen in the Son. The Spirit spoke through the Prophets and Fathers and does so even today.

Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: Documents supporting Intercommunion with Rome
« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2015, 02:17:14 PM »
I have heard of rare circumstances where EO can not attend a parish because of distance can commune at a RC parish. This is an extreme case, however.

PP

That is the Roman rule. It seems people understand it applies in reverse to Orthodoxy. Is there any significant document stating that? For example (and this is a real case here) that Orthodox living in cities where there are no Orthodox churches not only could, but *should* go to a Roman church to commune?

There are no such documents. There is one document called, "Canons and Apostolic Rules" that forbid Orthodox to act like bunch of hippies.

:)
Many Energies, 3 Persons, 2 Natures, 1 God, 1 Church, 1 Baptism, and 1 Cup. The Son begotten only from the Father, the Spirit proceeding only from the Father, Each glorifying the Other. The Son sends the Spirit, the Spirit Reveals the Son, the Father is seen in the Son. The Spirit spoke through the Prophets and Fathers and does so even today.

Offline Shlomlokh

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Re: Documents supporting Intercommunion with Rome
« Reply #20 on: August 24, 2015, 02:21:14 PM »
I have heard of rare circumstances where EO can not attend a parish because of distance can commune at a RC parish. This is an extreme case, however.

PP
I've never heard that and it's not something that should be encouraged. The person should pray Typica or whatever other discipline their spiritual father gives them during their absence from the Sacraments. There is simply no need to go to a RC mass for communion at all, that I can fathom anyway.

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Offline Orest

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Re: Documents supporting Intercommunion with Rome
« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2015, 11:22:41 AM »
There are similar internet posting about the Patriarch of Antioch as well.  The Catholics claiming intercommunion and the Orthodox Church of Antioch denying it.

Thank you very much Oreste! I would appreciate if you could direct me to pronouncements of the Antioch church as well. Thank you!

Sorry for the delay my files on my computer are disorganised:
This is from Rome:
Quote
Congregation for the Eastern Churches Prot. No. 251/75

June 11, 1997

His Beatitude Maximos V HAKIM
Greek-Melkite Catholic Patriarch of Antioch and of all the East, of Alexandria and of Jerusalem.

 

Your Beatitude,

The news of the project for "rapprochement" between the Greek-Melkite Catholic Patriarchate and the Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch has given rise to various echoes and comments in the public opinion.

The Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith, the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, and the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity have made an effort to study and closely examine the areas which fall within their competence in this domain; and the heads of these Dicasteries have been charged by the Holy Father to express some considerations to Your Beatitude.

The Holy See is greatly interested in and encourages initiatives which favor the road to a complete reconciliation of the Christian Churches. She appreciates the motivation behind the efforts undertaken for several decades by the Greek-Melkite Catholic Patriarchate, which is trying to hasten the coming of this full communion so greatly desired. The Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches recognizes the duty for every Christian (Can. 902), which becomes for the Eastern Catholic Churches a special duty (munus) (Can. 903), whose exercise will be governed "through special norms of particular law while the Roman Apostolic Church functions as the moderator for the universal church" (Can. 904).

This is all the more true for two communities which see themselves as being closely united because of the ties of common origin and common ecclesiastical tradition, as well as by a long experience of common initiatives which no doubt place them into a privileged situation of proximity.

The Church's desire is to find adequate ways and means to progress further along the road of brotherly understanding and, to encourage new structures which further such progress towards full communion.

Pursuing such goals, Your Patriarchate is motivated by a sensibility and a knowledge of the situation and an experience which are peculiarly its own. The Holy See desires to contribute to this process by expressing some considerations which she believes will eventually help the future progress of this initiative.

The Dicasteries involved appreciate very much that common pastoral initiatives are undertaken by Catholics and Orthodox, according to the instructions found in the Directory for the application of the principles and norms for Ecumenism, especially in the areas of Christian formation, of education, a common effort in charity, and for the sharing of prayer when this is possible.

As to experiences of a theological nature, it is necessary to labor patiently and prudently, without precipitation, in order to help both parties to travel along the same road.

The first level in this sharing concerns the language and the categories employed in the dialogue: one must be very careful that the use of the same word or the same concept is not used to express different points of view and interpretations of a historical and doctrinal nature, nor lends itself to some kind of oversimplification.

A second level of involvement necessitates that the sharing of the content of the dialogue not be limited only to the two direct participants: the Patriarchates of the Catholic Greek-Melkites and the Orthodox of Antioch, but that it involve the Confessions with whom the two Patriarchates are in full communion: the Catholic communion for the former and the Orthodox for the latter. Even the Orthodox ecclesiastical authorities of the Patriarchate of Antioch have brought forth a similar preoccupation. This global implication also will permit averting the risk that some initiatives, meant to promote the full communion at the local level, might give rise to a lack of understanding or suspicions beyond the generosity of the intentions.

Now we consider the elements contained in the profession of faith of his Excellency Kyr Elias Zoghby, Greek-Melkite Catholic Archbishop emeritus of Baalbek, signed in February 1995, and to which numerous hierarchs of the Greek-Melkite Catholic Synod have adhered.

It is clear that this Patriarchate is an integral part of the Christian East whose patrimony it shares. As to the Greek-Melkite Catholics declaring their complete adhesion to the teaching of Eastern Orthodoxy, it is necessary to take into account the fact that the Orthodox Churches today are not in full communion with the Church of Rome, and that this adhesion is therefore not possible as long as there is not a full correspondence in the profession and exercise of the faith by the two parties. Besides, a correct formulation of the faith necessitates a reference not only to a particular Church, but to the whole Church of Christ, which knows no frontiers, neither in space nor in time.

On the question of communion with the Bishops of Rome, we know that the doctrine concerning the primacy of the Roman Pontiff has experienced a development over time within the framework of the explanation of the Church's faith, and it has to be retained in its entirety, which means from its origins to our day. One only has to think about what the first Vatican Council affirmed and what Vatican Council II declared, particularly in the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium Num. 22 and 23, and in the Decree on ecumenism Unitatis Redintegratio Number 2.

As to the modalities for exercising the Petrine ministry in our time, a question which is distinct from the doctrinal aspect, it is true that the Holy Father has recently desired to remind us how "we may seek--together, of course--the forms in which this ministry may accomplish a service of love recognized by all concerned" (Ut unum sint, 95); however, if it is legitimate to also deal with this on a local level, it is also a duty to do this always in harmony with a vision of the universal Church. Touching this matter, it is appropriate to be reminded that in any case, "The Catholic Church, both in her praxis and in her solemn documents, holds that the communion of the particular Churches with the Church of Rome, and of their Bishops with the Bishop of Rome, is--in God's plan--an essential requisite of full and visible communion" (Ut unum sint, 97).

As to the various aspects of communicatio in sacris, it is necessary to maintain a constant dialogue in order to understand the meaning of the current regulation in force, in the light of underlying theological presuppositions; premature, unilateral initiatives are to be avoided, where the eventual results may not have been sufficiently considered, they could produce serious consequences for other Eastern Catholics, especially for those living in the same region.

In summary, the fraternal dialogue undertaken by the Greek-Melkite Catholic Patriarchate will be better able to serve the ecumenical dialogue to the degree that it strives to involve the entire Catholic Church to which it belongs in the maturing of new sensitivities. There is good reason to believe that the Orthodox in general so share the same worry, due also to the obligations of communion within their own body.

The Dicasteries involved are ready to collaborate in order to further the exchange of verifications and echoes; they express their satisfaction for these meetings which have been held on this subject with the representatives of the Greek-Melkite Catholic Church, and they hope and wish that these meetings continue and intensify in the future.

Not doubting at all that Your Beatitude would want to share these ideas, we beg you to accept the expression of our fraternal and cordial greetings.
 
Joseph Card. Ratzinger
Achille Card. Silvestrini
Edward Card. Cassidy
 
http://www.ratzinger.it/documenti/BeatitudeMaximos.htm
 

Offline Orest

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Re: Documents supporting Intercommunion with Rome
« Reply #22 on: August 26, 2015, 11:30:26 AM »
There are similar internet posting about the Patriarch of Antioch as well.  The Catholics claiming intercommunion and the Orthodox Church of Antioch denying it.

Thank you very much Oreste! I would appreciate if you could direct me to pronouncements of the Antioch church as well. Thank you!

From the Antiochian side I can only find this:
Quote
In October, 1996 the Holy Synod of the Antiochian Orthodox Patriarchate issued a statement which included these concerns on the Melkite proposal:

"In this regard, our Church questions the unity of faith which the Melkite Catholics think has become possible. Our Church believes that the discussion of this unity with Rome is still in its primitive stage. The first step toward unity on the doctrinal level, is not to consider as ecumenical, the Western local councils which the Church of Rome, convened, separately, including the First Vatican Council.

 
This is a quote from a newspaper article which I saved on my computer in 2002 but the web link is no longer working:
Quote
http://www.melkite.org/bishopQA.htm

 

Response of RC & Orthodox to Zoghby Iniative:

Letter to His Beatitude Maximos V. HAKIM

 
 
From a Melkite Greek Catholic press release (September 1996):
http://www.melkite.org/bishopQA.htm
 
Response of RC & Orthodox to Zoghby Iniative:

 

"The holy Synod of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church met in Rabweh, Lebanon July 22-27, 1996 and, after studying the question of unity within the Patriarchate of Antioch, declared that communicatio in sacris = worship in common is possible today and that the ways and means of its application would be left to the joint decisions of the two Antiochian Church Synods - Melkite Greek Catholic and Greek Orthodox. The Synod of thirty-four bishops and four general superiors under the presidency of Patriarch Maximos V (Hakim) deliberated extensively on the topic of church unity particularly within the Antiochian Patriarchate which has been divided since 1724, and issued a document titled, Reunification of the Antiochian Patriarchate. This document is part of the official minutes of the Synod and was made public on August 15, 1996 in the Middle East....

"The Melkite Synod sees that the church of the first millennium could be the model for unity today. The Synod strongly affirms its full communion with the Apostolic See of Rome and that this communion would not be ruptured. The Fathers offered their thanks to the International Theological Commission as well as the Joint Synodal Commissions recently reestablished by Patriarch Maximos V and Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius IV."

Key to this initiative was the profession of faith made by the Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop Elias Zoghby:

"They offer special thanks to Archbishop Elias Zoghby whose 1995 Profession of Faith was the major force for reopening dialogue with the Orthodox brothers. Zoghby, the former archbishop of Baalbek and a long-time leader among the Melkite bishops, offered this brief statement in 1995 and it was subscribed to by 24 of the 26 bishops present at the 1995 Holy Synod:

 1. I believe everything which Eastern Orthodoxy teaches.

 2. I am in communion with the Bishop of Rome as the first among the bishops, according to the limits recognized by the Holy Fathers of the East during the first millennium, before the separation."

 

In October, 1996 the Holy Synod of the Antiochian Orthodox Patriarchate issued a statement which included these concerns on the Melkite proposal:

"In this regard, our Church questions the unity of faith which the Melkite Catholics think has become possible. Our Church believes that the discussion of this unity with Rome is still in its primitive stage. The first step toward unity on the doctrinal level, is not to consider as ecumenical, the Western local councils which the Church of Rome, convened, separately, including the First Vatican Council.

 

"And second the Melkite Catholics should not be obligated to accept such councils. Regarding inter- communion now, our Synod believes that inter-communion cannot be separated from the unity of faith. Moreover, inter-communion is the last step in the quest for unity and not the first."

 

In a letter to the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America, Metropolitan Philip also said:

"Please be advised that, while we pray for unity among all Christians, we cannot and will not enter into communion with non-Orthodox until we first achieve the unity of faith. As long as this unity of faith is not realized, there cannot be intercommunion. We ask you to adhere to the instructions which you receive from our office and hierarchs."

 
 

Offline Orest

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Re: Documents supporting Intercommunion with Rome
« Reply #23 on: August 26, 2015, 11:32:00 AM »
From the Melkite Side this:
Quote
Participation in Orthodox Services: "As Melkite Catholics, are we allowed to participate in the prayer services (such as Vespers) of our Antiochian Orthodox counterpart? I would like to know: What are the rules?"

Bishop John's Answer:  Thank you very much for your question regarding attending services with the Antiochian Orthodox. Vatican II urged all Catholics to become more familiar with Eastern Orthodox Christians, since there is so little that separates them. The present Holy Father is most eager to work toward a reunion of the Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox. For us as Melkites, the issue is even more pressing, since we have common family roots - many of our families are inter-related, and we have so much in common. You probably notice that the music and services are so very similar. By all means attend the Offices with the Antiochian Orthodox and pray with them, as well as inviting them to services in our Melkite churches. However, we do not have full Communion re-established with them yet. At present, we refrain from receiving Communion in each other's churches, ... not because we are better than they, nor they better than us ... we refrain as a recognition that both sides have to work harder toward reunion so that one day we may all intercommunicate and enjoy that unity that Christ God prayed for so fervently at His Last Supper with the Apostles, when He gave us the Divine Liturgy as a celebration of full communion with the Father and each other through Him in the Holy Spirit.

Bishop John

Are we Orthodox united with Rome?

The Melkite Church is a hundred per cent Catholic, but not a hundred per cent Orthodox.

Zoghby Initiative: "What is your view of Archbishop Elias Zoghby's book, "We are All Schismatics"?"

Bishop John's Answer: First, the book's title as translated is misleading. The title in French is:"Tous Schismatiques?" Note that this is not a statement, but a question with a question mark. It doesn't claim that we are ALL schismatic, but asks, "Are we all schismatic?"

Here is an answer copied from my course "Melkite Perspectives" as given to our deacon candidates in 1997:

The book is written with sincere love to both the Roman and the Orthodox Churches. Archbishop Zoghby asserts that the faith is essentially the same both of the Church of Rome and of Orthodoxy. He asserts that the Councils held by the West alone cannot be considered "ecumenical", because they did not include the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchates. He disdains the claim of the Eastern Catholic Churches united to Rome as being apostolic. He criticizes the present Canon Law of the Eastern Catholic Church. He claims that the union which took place between some Eastern Churches with Rome in the past three centuries was a great mistake. He recognizes the primacy but only of honor to the Church of Rome. He thinks it is a matter of conscience to face the division of the churches. He asserts that "To prolong the schism is to remain in sin." He calls for the double communion of the Melkite Church both with Rome and with the Orthodox Churches. His initiative led to the Declaration of 1995 which was signed individually by the greatest majority of bishops present (25 out of 28) and to the subsequent statement approved unanimously by the Fathers of the Synod of 1996.

In a review of the book by Father (now Archbishop) Cyril Salim Boustros, Archbishop Boustros, now successor of Archbishop Zoghby on the see of Baalbeck, concludes his article by two remarks:

1- There is no doubt that the situation of the Eastern Catholic Churches in their relation to Rome, especially from the administrative point of view is not the ideal situation expected to exist between the Apostolic Eastern Sees and the Apostolic See of Rome. However, we could not conclude that our forefathers committed a mistake by proclaiming their union to Rome, and that it would have been better if they stayed as they were. Who knows what would have happened if union didn't take place? No one can judge of possible things which might have happened. All we can do is to study in an objective way its positive and negative results.

2 - It is not allowed in any way to affirm that the Orthodox Patriarchs and bishops are the only legitimate successors of the Apostles over the Eastern sees under the claim that they represent the authentic Eastern tradition. The true Eastern tradition, according to the assertion of His Excellency (Archbishop Zoghby), supposes communion with the see of Rome. This is why His Excellency did not break the communion with Rome when he reestablished communion with the Antiochian Orthodox see and through it with the whole Orthodoxy.

We support the position of His Excellency and we deduce from it that the Greek Orthodox, because of their refusal of communion with Rome, -- regardless of the reasons for this refusal -- do not represent the Eastern tradition but partially; because the complete Eastern tradition requires absolutely the communion with Rome, although in a special way as it was in the first millennium. On the other hand, the Greek Catholics, by keeping their union with the see of Rome, have kept a fundamental principle of Eastern tradition, especially the Antiochian tradition. However this principle has been exposed in its application to different things which deformed it, so that communion almost became absorption. Therefore, the Greek Catholics also do not represent the Eastern tradition but partially. Consequently, we can affirm that neither the Greek Orthodox nor the Greek Catholic represent fully the Eastern tradition, although both churches have kept it partially.

Archbishop Zoghby declared individually his reunion with the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch without cutting out his communion with the Catholic See of Rome. Now the question is addressed to both Churches: Does the Roman Catholic Church accept an Eastern Catholic bishop who proclaims his communion with the Orthodox Church? And does the Orthodox Church accept communion with  a bishop who is still in communion with the Catholic See of Rome? As we wait for the answer from East and West, we offer our supplications to God and we join our prayer to the prayer of Jesus Christ the only head of the Church: "Father, let them all be one, so that the world will believe that You sent me." (John 17:21)

(End of Bostros' remarks)

So far, neither the Catholic West nor the Orthodox East accepted the Zoghby initiative. However, this initiative has sharpened our yearning for unity, looking forward for the day when the prayer of Christ will be fulfilled. We Melkites who took a risk and keep hoping beyond hope, may comfort ourselves with the well known saying: "It is better to love and lose, than not to love at all."
http://www.melkite.org/bishopQA.htm
 
 

Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: Documents supporting Intercommunion with Rome
« Reply #24 on: August 26, 2015, 02:27:22 PM »
Thank you, Orest!

You can access all the missing sites here:

https://web.archive.org/web/20111205203202/http://www.melkite.org/bishopQA.htm
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Offline Papist

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Re: Documents supporting Intercommunion with Rome
« Reply #25 on: August 26, 2015, 04:14:56 PM »
@ Zoghby Initiative, ewwwwwwwwwwwww
"For, by its immensity, the divine substance surpasses every form that our intellect reaches. Thus we are unable to apprehend it by knowing what it is. Yet we are able to have some knowledge of it by knowing what it is not." - St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, I, 14.

Offline Deacon Lance

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Re: Documents supporting Intercommunion with Rome
« Reply #26 on: August 26, 2015, 05:13:53 PM »
There are similar internet posting about the Patriarch of Antioch as well.  The Catholics claiming intercommunion and the Orthodox Church of Antioch denying it.

That is a bit misleading.  The Melkite Synod proposed dual communion.  Both Rome and Antioch rejected that idea.
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Documents supporting Intercommunion with Rome
« Reply #27 on: August 26, 2015, 05:18:17 PM »
Is the proposal online?
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Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Documents supporting Intercommunion with Rome
« Reply #28 on: August 26, 2015, 05:31:20 PM »
If one reads the published documents AND the footnotes of the North American Orthodox Catholic dialogue group, it is clear that the Orthodox stress that inter-communion is the FINAL step of any reunion between the See of Rome and the Orthodox. Communion represents the fullness of unity in Faith and not an interim step. So, the search for any Orthodox endorsed documents (the term 'document' itself implying some sort of official publication) which support the same short of any hypothetical final reunion is likely to be futile. Are there articles or publications from individuals endorsing the same? Maybe, but I can't call any to mind.

Offline Deacon Lance

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Re: Documents supporting Intercommunion with Rome
« Reply #29 on: August 26, 2015, 05:52:21 PM »
Is the proposal online?

It was posted above:

"The holy Synod of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church met in Rabweh, Lebanon July 22-27, 1996 and, after studying the question of unity within the Patriarchate of Antioch, declared that communicatio in sacris = worship in common is possible today and that the ways and means of its application would be left to the joint decisions of the two Antiochian Church Synods - Melkite Greek Catholic and Greek Orthodox. The Synod of thirty-four bishops and four general superiors under the presidency of Patriarch Maximos V (Hakim) deliberated extensively on the topic of church unity particularly within the Antiochian Patriarchate which has been divided since 1724, and issued a document titled, Reunification of the Antiochian Patriarchate. This document is part of the official minutes of the Synod and was made public on August 15, 1996 in the Middle East....

"The Melkite Synod sees that the church of the first millennium could be the model for unity today. The Synod strongly affirms its full communion with the Apostolic See of Rome and that this communion would not be ruptured. The Fathers offered their thanks to the International Theological Commission as well as the Joint Synodal Commissions recently reestablished by Patriarch Maximos V and Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius IV."

Key to this initiative was the profession of faith made by the Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop Elias Zoghby:

"They offer special thanks to Archbishop Elias Zoghby whose 1995 Profession of Faith was the major force for reopening dialogue with the Orthodox brothers. Zoghby, the former archbishop of Baalbek and a long-time leader among the Melkite bishops, offered this brief statement in 1995 and it was subscribed to by 24 of the 26 bishops present at the 1995 Holy Synod:

 1. I believe everything which Eastern Orthodoxy teaches.

 2. I am in communion with the Bishop of Rome as the first among the bishops, according to the limits recognized by the Holy Fathers of the East during the first millennium, before the separation."
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Offline Deacon Lance

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Re: Documents supporting Intercommunion with Rome
« Reply #30 on: August 26, 2015, 05:54:01 PM »
From the Melkite Side this:
Quote
Participation in Orthodox Services: "As Melkite Catholics, are we allowed to participate in the prayer services (such as Vespers) of our Antiochian Orthodox counterpart? I would like to know: What are the rules?"

Bishop John's Answer:  Thank you very much for your question regarding attending services with the Antiochian Orthodox. Vatican II urged all Catholics to become more familiar with Eastern Orthodox Christians, since there is so little that separates them. The present Holy Father is most eager to work toward a reunion of the Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox. For us as Melkites, the issue is even more pressing, since we have common family roots - many of our families are inter-related, and we have so much in common. You probably notice that the music and services are so very similar. By all means attend the Offices with the Antiochian Orthodox and pray with them, as well as inviting them to services in our Melkite churches. However, we do not have full Communion re-established with them yet. At present, we refrain from receiving Communion in each other's churches, ... not because we are better than they, nor they better than us ... we refrain as a recognition that both sides have to work harder toward reunion so that one day we may all intercommunicate and enjoy that unity that Christ God prayed for so fervently at His Last Supper with the Apostles, when He gave us the Divine Liturgy as a celebration of full communion with the Father and each other through Him in the Holy Spirit.

Bishop John

Are we Orthodox united with Rome?

The Melkite Church is a hundred per cent Catholic, but not a hundred per cent Orthodox.

Zoghby Initiative: "What is your view of Archbishop Elias Zoghby's book, "We are All Schismatics"?"

Bishop John's Answer: First, the book's title as translated is misleading. The title in French is:"Tous Schismatiques?" Note that this is not a statement, but a question with a question mark. It doesn't claim that we are ALL schismatic, but asks, "Are we all schismatic?"

Here is an answer copied from my course "Melkite Perspectives" as given to our deacon candidates in 1997:

The book is written with sincere love to both the Roman and the Orthodox Churches. Archbishop Zoghby asserts that the faith is essentially the same both of the Church of Rome and of Orthodoxy. He asserts that the Councils held by the West alone cannot be considered "ecumenical", because they did not include the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchates. He disdains the claim of the Eastern Catholic Churches united to Rome as being apostolic. He criticizes the present Canon Law of the Eastern Catholic Church. He claims that the union which took place between some Eastern Churches with Rome in the past three centuries was a great mistake. He recognizes the primacy but only of honor to the Church of Rome. He thinks it is a matter of conscience to face the division of the churches. He asserts that "To prolong the schism is to remain in sin." He calls for the double communion of the Melkite Church both with Rome and with the Orthodox Churches. His initiative led to the Declaration of 1995 which was signed individually by the greatest majority of bishops present (25 out of 28) and to the subsequent statement approved unanimously by the Fathers of the Synod of 1996.

In a review of the book by Father (now Archbishop) Cyril Salim Boustros, Archbishop Boustros, now successor of Archbishop Zoghby on the see of Baalbeck, concludes his article by two remarks:

1- There is no doubt that the situation of the Eastern Catholic Churches in their relation to Rome, especially from the administrative point of view is not the ideal situation expected to exist between the Apostolic Eastern Sees and the Apostolic See of Rome. However, we could not conclude that our forefathers committed a mistake by proclaiming their union to Rome, and that it would have been better if they stayed as they were. Who knows what would have happened if union didn't take place? No one can judge of possible things which might have happened. All we can do is to study in an objective way its positive and negative results.

2 - It is not allowed in any way to affirm that the Orthodox Patriarchs and bishops are the only legitimate successors of the Apostles over the Eastern sees under the claim that they represent the authentic Eastern tradition. The true Eastern tradition, according to the assertion of His Excellency (Archbishop Zoghby), supposes communion with the see of Rome. This is why His Excellency did not break the communion with Rome when he reestablished communion with the Antiochian Orthodox see and through it with the whole Orthodoxy.

We support the position of His Excellency and we deduce from it that the Greek Orthodox, because of their refusal of communion with Rome, -- regardless of the reasons for this refusal -- do not represent the Eastern tradition but partially; because the complete Eastern tradition requires absolutely the communion with Rome, although in a special way as it was in the first millennium. On the other hand, the Greek Catholics, by keeping their union with the see of Rome, have kept a fundamental principle of Eastern tradition, especially the Antiochian tradition. However this principle has been exposed in its application to different things which deformed it, so that communion almost became absorption. Therefore, the Greek Catholics also do not represent the Eastern tradition but partially. Consequently, we can affirm that neither the Greek Orthodox nor the Greek Catholic represent fully the Eastern tradition, although both churches have kept it partially.

Archbishop Zoghby declared individually his reunion with the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch without cutting out his communion with the Catholic See of Rome. Now the question is addressed to both Churches: Does the Roman Catholic Church accept an Eastern Catholic bishop who proclaims his communion with the Orthodox Church? And does the Orthodox Church accept communion with  a bishop who is still in communion with the Catholic See of Rome? As we wait for the answer from East and West, we offer our supplications to God and we join our prayer to the prayer of Jesus Christ the only head of the Church: "Father, let them all be one, so that the world will believe that You sent me." (John 17:21)

(End of Bostros' remarks)

So far, neither the Catholic West nor the Orthodox East accepted the Zoghby initiative. However, this initiative has sharpened our yearning for unity, looking forward for the day when the prayer of Christ will be fulfilled. We Melkites who took a risk and keep hoping beyond hope, may comfort ourselves with the well known saying: "It is better to love and lose, than not to love at all."
http://www.melkite.org/bishopQA.htm
 
 
Since Bishop John was one of the two bishops who did not subscribe, it would be best not present his view as the Melkite side.
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Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: Documents supporting Intercommunion with Rome
« Reply #31 on: August 27, 2015, 08:20:48 AM »
Just to keep you all up to date on the issue, I have made two posts on my blog about it. Here are the links for the Google translation of them:

Intercommunion with Rome: The Elephant in the Room of Brazilian Orthodoxy
http://is.gd/1jHllJ

Intercommunion with Rome II: The Melkite-Antioch Relation
http://is.gd/wvylf5

Notice that the point of the posts is not to draw a picture of all the relations between Rome and Orthodoxy, nor between Melkites and Antioch. These subjects are far broader.

The point is to highlight that intercommunion is clearly forbiden, that no Church in either side supports it before full union, not even as "economy".

I took care to avoid pointing fingers mainly because it's not a problem of anyone or any jurisdiction in particular, but it's the common universal practice, so it would be unfair to say that it is this or that group's problem. It already happened before everyone practicing it today had even been born, and only globalization sort of exposed the problem in contrast to what is practiced abroad.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2015, 08:29:35 AM by Fabio Leite »
Many Energies, 3 Persons, 2 Natures, 1 God, 1 Church, 1 Baptism, and 1 Cup. The Son begotten only from the Father, the Spirit proceeding only from the Father, Each glorifying the Other. The Son sends the Spirit, the Spirit Reveals the Son, the Father is seen in the Son. The Spirit spoke through the Prophets and Fathers and does so even today.