Author Topic: Oriental Catholic patriarchs  (Read 1957 times)

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Offline Peter J

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Oriental Catholic patriarchs
« on: July 27, 2012, 10:56:22 AM »
Hi all.

I have a question I'd like to pose to the Oriental Orthodox posters.

I often think about the fact that ECs in Eastern Europe have no patriarchs (or, at least, didn't before the 20th century -- many people now regard the head of the UGCC as Patriarch). It seems that a large part of the reason for that is the Vatican's fear of damaging Catholic-Orthodox relations.

On the other hand, 3 of the 4 Oriental Catholic Churches* do have patriarchs, namely the Coptic Catholic Church, the Syrian Catholic Church, and the Armenian Catholic Church. So I was wondering how the Oriental Orthodox view this, if anyone would care to share.


* not an official term, I just mean those Catholic churches which parallel Oriental Orthodox Churches.
- Peter Jericho (a CAF poster)

Offline mike

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Re: Oriental Catholic patriarchs
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2012, 02:16:26 PM »
Patriarchs preside over those Churches whose Orthodox counterparts are presided by Patriarch too.
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Offline Peter J

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Re: Oriental Catholic patriarchs
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2012, 04:24:49 PM »
Patriarchs preside over those Churches whose Orthodox counterparts are presided by Patriarch too.

Actually, the Romanian Catholic Church has no patriarch, even though there is a Romanian Orthodox Patriarch.
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Offline Peter J

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Re: Oriental Catholic patriarchs
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2012, 10:09:18 PM »
On the other hand, 3 of the 4 5 Oriental Catholic Churches* do have patriarchs, namely the Coptic Catholic Church, the Syrian Catholic Church, and the Armenian Catholic Church.

FTFM.
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Offline sheenj

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Re: Oriental Catholic patriarchs
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2012, 10:24:25 PM »
On the other hand, 3 of the 4 5 Oriental Catholic Churches* do have patriarchs, namely the Coptic Catholic Church, the Syrian Catholic Church, and the Armenian Catholic Church.

FTFM.
I think the primate of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church has also titled himself Catholicos, which is equivalent to Patriarch.

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Oriental Catholic patriarchs
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2012, 01:17:15 AM »
Well, the Copts don't like it.  Our relations with the Coptic Catholics are cordial, but nonetheless, the history of the formation of the Coptic Catholics is something we Coptic Orthodox lament.  It's no secret that many of our bishops do not shy away from condemning many of the doctrines of the Latin/Coptic Catholic Church.
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Offline Peter J

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Re: Oriental Catholic patriarchs
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2012, 10:41:11 PM »
Well, the Copts don't like it.  Our relations with the Coptic Catholics are cordial, but nonetheless, the history of the formation of the Coptic Catholics is something we Coptic Orthodox lament.  It's no secret that many of our bishops do not shy away from condemning many of the doctrines of the Latin/Coptic Catholic Church.

So then, would y'all be less bothered by the presence of the Coptic Catholic Church if it wasn't a patriarchate?
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Offline dzheremi

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Re: Oriental Catholic patriarchs
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2012, 10:48:21 PM »
Why would that matter?

Offline Severian

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Re: Oriental Catholic patriarchs
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2012, 10:57:54 PM »
It's no secret that many of our bishops do not shy away from condemning many of the doctrines of the Latin/Coptic Catholic Church.
It's also no secret that many of our Bishops freely embrace them. ::)

Anyway, while the relations between the Orthodox and Catholics in Egypt may be somewhat strained, I was once moved reading an article that a Coptic Catholic family hid an Orthodox Priest in their home so as to help him escape from sectarian riots. Obviously, this family took a great risk in doing what they did and I was unaware that such fraternity existed among the Catholic and Orthodox Christian Copts in Egypt.
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Offline Peter J

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Re: Oriental Catholic patriarchs
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2012, 11:14:39 AM »
Well, the Copts don't like it.  Our relations with the Coptic Catholics are cordial, but nonetheless, the history of the formation of the Coptic Catholics is something we Coptic Orthodox lament.  It's no secret that many of our bishops do not shy away from condemning many of the doctrines of the Latin/Coptic Catholic Church.

So then, would y'all be less bothered by the presence of the Coptic Catholic Church if it wasn't a patriarchate?

Why would that matter?

Okay, I guess that's a No.
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Oriental Catholic patriarchs
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2012, 11:21:06 AM »
Well, the Copts don't like it.  Our relations with the Coptic Catholics are cordial, but nonetheless, the history of the formation of the Coptic Catholics is something we Coptic Orthodox lament.  It's no secret that many of our bishops do not shy away from condemning many of the doctrines of the Latin/Coptic Catholic Church.

So then, would y'all be less bothered by the presence of the Coptic Catholic Church if it wasn't a patriarchate?
Why?  After all, he's not allowed by the Vatican to be a pope in Alexandria.  Which has the side benefit of keeping the whole charade honest.
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Offline Peter J

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Re: Oriental Catholic patriarchs
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2012, 01:59:33 PM »
After all, he's not allowed by the Vatican to be a pope in Alexandria. 

Well, yes I suppose that's true. On the other hand, as a Patriarch he has less restrictions than he would if he were a Major Archbishop.
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Offline Severian

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Re: Oriental Catholic patriarchs
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2012, 02:26:38 PM »
After all, he's not allowed by the Vatican to be a pope in Alexandria. 

Well, yes I suppose that's true. On the other hand, as a Patriarch he has less restrictions than he would if he were a Major Archbishop.
In Coptic Orthodoxy the term "Archbishop of Alexandria" is simply another title of the Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2012, 02:27:44 PM by Severian »
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Oriental Catholic patriarchs
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2012, 02:33:40 PM »
After all, he's not allowed by the Vatican to be a pope in Alexandria. 

Well, yes I suppose that's true. On the other hand, as a Patriarch he has less restrictions than he would if he were a Major Archbishop.
with a "supreme pontiff" as overlord, it doesn't make a lick of difference.  The Melkites found that out at Vatican I.
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Offline William

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Re: Oriental Catholic patriarchs
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2012, 05:59:57 PM »
Well, the Copts don't like it.  Our relations with the Coptic Catholics are cordial, but nonetheless, the history of the formation of the Coptic Catholics is something we Coptic Orthodox lament.  It's no secret that many of our bishops do not shy away from condemning many of the doctrines of the Latin/Coptic Catholic Church.

So then, would y'all be less bothered by the presence of the Coptic Catholic Church if it wasn't a patriarchate?

Why would that matter?

Okay, I guess that's a No.

How did you not know that?

In fact, what's with you and Eastern Catholics?
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Offline Peter J

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Re: Oriental Catholic patriarchs
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2012, 07:02:50 AM »
Well, the Copts don't like it.  Our relations with the Coptic Catholics are cordial, but nonetheless, the history of the formation of the Coptic Catholics is something we Coptic Orthodox lament.  It's no secret that many of our bishops do not shy away from condemning many of the doctrines of the Latin/Coptic Catholic Church.

So then, would y'all be less bothered by the presence of the Coptic Catholic Church if it wasn't a patriarchate?

Why would that matter?

How did you not know that?

I guess I'm just dumb.

But then again, isn't everybody who asks a question here dumb? You guys certainly do a good job of making inquirers feel dumb at any rate. :thumbs up:
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Offline Severian

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Re: Oriental Catholic patriarchs
« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2012, 04:08:31 PM »
^It's OK. You cannot possibly make more of a fool out of yourself than I have. I thought your question was actually pretty interesting.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2012, 04:09:11 PM by Severian »
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Offline minasoliman

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Re: Oriental Catholic patriarchs
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2012, 05:37:18 PM »
Well, the Copts don't like it.  Our relations with the Coptic Catholics are cordial, but nonetheless, the history of the formation of the Coptic Catholics is something we Coptic Orthodox lament.  It's no secret that many of our bishops do not shy away from condemning many of the doctrines of the Latin/Coptic Catholic Church.

So then, would y'all be less bothered by the presence of the Coptic Catholic Church if it wasn't a patriarchate?

Sorry, I never got a chance to answer your question.  To be honest, perhaps we might be less bothered, but then again, we don't know how it matters.  Is the Catholic patriarchate of Alexandria equal to the Papacy of Rome as it was in ancient Christianity?  For the more educated of us, we seem to see that a removal doesn't even matter, since the ecclesiological rank of the Latin Papacy seems strange to us, as if being a bishop of Rome is a demotion to the Papacy of the Vatican, and thus the patriarchate of Alexandria being there or not makes no difference, since it is not in the same sense a Patriarch of Alexandria as the Greek and Coptic Orthodox Churches of Alexandria see it.

Nevertheless, we might see the removal of the whole Coptic Catholic Church as the Roman Catholic Church staying true to her beliefs that the Coptic Orthodox are like a sister church to them and they do not seek to steal away our Orthodox Christians into their fold as if they were a different Church.  But today, what is professed by the lips of the Pope and what is practiced shows of course a big difference, for when one Coptic Catholic Patriarch is removed or passes away, another one is replaced rather than allowed to be absent for solidarity with the Coptic Orthodox.  This shows nothing but double talk, and we should just be honest with each other.  If you seek to replace your Coptic Catholic patriarchs, do so without saying we are "One Church," but as the practice of founding the Coptic Catholic Church began, the heretics you think we are just as the heretics we think you are (forgive the harshness of that phrase).  And I say this not only to your Church of course, but also to our Church, where some bishops might have recently taken a more open approach of unity with Coptic Catholics sometimes.
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Offline William

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Re: Oriental Catholic patriarchs
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2012, 07:43:35 PM »
Well, the Copts don't like it.  Our relations with the Coptic Catholics are cordial, but nonetheless, the history of the formation of the Coptic Catholics is something we Coptic Orthodox lament.  It's no secret that many of our bishops do not shy away from condemning many of the doctrines of the Latin/Coptic Catholic Church.

So then, would y'all be less bothered by the presence of the Coptic Catholic Church if it wasn't a patriarchate?

Why would that matter?

How did you not know that?

I guess I'm just dumb.

But then again, isn't everybody who asks a question here dumb? You guys certainly do a good job of making inquirers feel dumb at any rate. :thumbs up:

I'd figured you'd been around this forum long enough to know that Orthodox objections to Eastern Catholicism are based more on the perceived heretical and sheep-stealing natures of such groups than church politics about patriarchates or whatever. Sorry if that offended you.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2012, 07:48:34 PM by William »
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Offline dzheremi

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Re: Oriental Catholic patriarchs
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2012, 08:11:32 PM »
Sorry also if my question made you feel dumb, Peter J. It wasn't meant to. It really was just a question, not a swipe, because as Mina has subsequently posted, we don't really see how it would matter.

Offline Peter J

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Re: Oriental Catholic patriarchs
« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2012, 08:57:11 AM »
Hi all. I just happened to come across this old thread, and it occurred to me to ask: Is it correct to use the term "Oriental Catholics" to mean Coptic Catholics, Armenian Catholics, etc. (as I did in the thread title)? Or does that give the impression that they are non-Chalcedonian?
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Offline minasoliman

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Re: Oriental Catholic patriarchs
« Reply #21 on: September 15, 2012, 11:16:43 AM »
Hi all. I just happened to come across this old thread, and it occurred to me to ask: Is it correct to use the term "Oriental Catholics" to mean Coptic Catholics, Armenian Catholics, etc. (as I did in the thread title)? Or does that give the impression that they are non-Chalcedonian?

It's just as much as using the term "Eastern" or "Byzantine Catholic" to talk about Greek, Ukrainian, Russian, etc.  I don't think there's any confusion with them as "non-Chalcedonian", although I must say, it seems that some Coptic Catholics do venerate Coptic Orthodox saints, post-Chalcedonian.
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Offline Peter J

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Re: Oriental Catholic patriarchs
« Reply #22 on: September 15, 2012, 01:58:12 PM »
Hi all. I just happened to come across this old thread, and it occurred to me to ask: Is it correct to use the term "Oriental Catholics" to mean Coptic Catholics, Armenian Catholics, etc. (as I did in the thread title)? Or does that give the impression that they are non-Chalcedonian?

It's just as much as using the term "Eastern" or "Byzantine Catholic" to talk about Greek, Ukrainian, Russian, etc.  I don't think there's any confusion with them as "non-Chalcedonian", although I must say, it seems that some Coptic Catholics do venerate Coptic Orthodox saints, post-Chalcedonian.

Well, I think "Byzantine Catholic" is pretty clear, meaning only those Catholics that use the Byzantine Rite. On the other hand, "Eastern Catholic" sometimes (but not always) means only the Byzantine Catholics -- e.g. when people say "What are the differences between Eastern Catholics and Oriental Catholics?" and the like.
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Offline minasoliman

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Re: Oriental Catholic patriarchs
« Reply #23 on: September 15, 2012, 02:13:55 PM »
Hi all. I just happened to come across this old thread, and it occurred to me to ask: Is it correct to use the term "Oriental Catholics" to mean Coptic Catholics, Armenian Catholics, etc. (as I did in the thread title)? Or does that give the impression that they are non-Chalcedonian?

It's just as much as using the term "Eastern" or "Byzantine Catholic" to talk about Greek, Ukrainian, Russian, etc.  I don't think there's any confusion with them as "non-Chalcedonian", although I must say, it seems that some Coptic Catholics do venerate Coptic Orthodox saints, post-Chalcedonian.

Well, I think "Byzantine Catholic" is pretty clear, meaning only those Catholics that use the Byzantine Rite. On the other hand, "Eastern Catholic" sometimes (but not always) means only the Byzantine Catholics -- e.g. when people say "What are the differences between Eastern Catholics and Oriental Catholics?" and the like.

Well, I'll be honest with you.  You'll hear this repeatedly, "Eastern" and "Oriental" make no difference.  The reason why there's a difference is that you have both churches calling themselves "Eastern."  For the OO's, we call ourselves Eastern Orthodox, and the Byzantines, "Roman Orthodox" as opposed to "Roman Catholic."  For the EOs, they consider themselves "Eastern" in reference to the Roman Catholic, which is in the West.

So, the designation EO and OO became a result of the WCC trying to differentiate between our groups.  As a result, you have two groups calling themselves the same exact name, but in different English words.  In addition, those Catholic groups that correspond to the EO and OO become EC and OC respectively.  I guess one way you can put it is that the EC has a Chalcedonian heritage from the Byzantines and the Slavs, and the OC has a non-Chalcedonian heritage from the Copts, Armenians, and Syriacs, but both EC and OC believe in the Papal infallibility.
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Offline Peter J

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Re: Oriental Catholic patriarchs
« Reply #24 on: September 15, 2012, 02:58:40 PM »
Well, I'll be honest with you. 

Well it's about time!

You'll hear this repeatedly, "Eastern" and "Oriental" make no difference.  The reason why there's a difference is that you have both churches calling themselves "Eastern."  For the OO's, we call ourselves Eastern Orthodox, and the Byzantines, "Roman Orthodox" as opposed to "Roman Catholic."  For the EOs, they consider themselves "Eastern" in reference to the Roman Catholic, which is in the West.

So, the designation EO and OO became a result of the WCC trying to differentiate between our groups.  As a result, you have two groups calling themselves the same exact name, but in different English words.  In addition, those Catholic groups that correspond to the EO and OO become EC and OC respectively.  I guess one way you can put it is that the EC has a Chalcedonian heritage from the Byzantines and the Slavs, and the OC has a non-Chalcedonian heritage from the Copts, Armenians, and Syriacs, but both EC and OC believe in the Papal infallibility.

(Sorry I just couldn't resist saying that.  :)  ;D I meant it jokingly, as you may already realize.)

You make some good points there. But for the moment I actually want to ask something that I should have asked before: When someone says Oriental Catholic, do you assume that they're excluding the Maronite Church, the Chaldean Church, and the Syro-Malabar Church? Because it seems like some include them under "Oriental Catholic" by virtue of the fact that they aren't Byzantine.
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Offline Servos

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Re: Oriental Catholic patriarchs
« Reply #25 on: September 15, 2012, 03:31:01 PM »
Actually, the Romanian Catholic Church has no patriarch, even though there is a Romanian Orthodox Patriarch.
The Roman Catholic Church in Serbia has archbishop as a first hierarch.

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Oriental Catholic patriarchs
« Reply #26 on: September 15, 2012, 06:51:29 PM »
You make some good points there. But for the moment I actually want to ask something that I should have asked before: When someone says Oriental Catholic, do you assume that they're excluding the Maronite Church, the Chaldean Church, and the Syro-Malabar Church? Because it seems like some include them under "Oriental Catholic" by virtue of the fact that they aren't Byzantine.
That's a good question.  I assume so, but honestly again  ;) I don't know.

PS Honesty twice in a thread, something unheard of! lol
« Last Edit: September 15, 2012, 06:52:05 PM by minasoliman »
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Offline dzheremi

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Re: Oriental Catholic patriarchs
« Reply #27 on: September 15, 2012, 07:38:36 PM »
Why lump West Syrians (Maronites) and East Syrians (Chaldeans and Syro-Malabar) together? Or, to put it another way, if "Oriental Catholic" is supposed to be a kind of 'Catholic equivalent' to the Oriental Orthodox, then the Maronites would be in if you subscribe to the theory that they were originally a section of the Syriac Orthodox (a theory I have read several times, but have no opinion on), but the Chaldeans and Syro-Malabar would not be, as the Nestorians are their own thing, in communion with nobody since getting the hammer dropped on them at Ephesus (an oversimplification of history, for sure, but you see what I mean).

That said, when I was Catholic I definitely thought of those all as Orientals, as they are all Syriac churches, and there is no surviving EO Syriac Church (so, basically like you said: because they aren't Byzantines).

Offline Peter J

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Re: Oriental Catholic patriarchs
« Reply #28 on: September 15, 2012, 10:18:54 PM »
You make some good points there. But for the moment I actually want to ask something that I should have asked before: When someone says Oriental Catholic, do you assume that they're excluding the Maronite Church, the Chaldean Church, and the Syro-Malabar Church? Because it seems like some include them under "Oriental Catholic" by virtue of the fact that they aren't Byzantine.

I should add that I'm not 100% certain about that last point. In particular, I can find a lot of uses of the phrase "Oriental Catholic" that imply that it is distinct from "Eastern Catholic" (for example, googling "Oriental Catholic" yields a great many results that have the phrase "Eastern and Oriental Catholic") but without specifying, for example, which category the Chaldeans belong to.
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