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Author Topic: A Legitimate Non-Polemical Question Regarding Ecumenism and Papal Infallibility  (Read 2413 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: December 09, 2012, 11:09:58 PM »

I've always been curious as to how Papal Infallibility would work if the (world) Orthodox Church were to be submitted into the RCC.  Would you accept the infallibility of the other four Patriarchates (Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria, Jerusalem) or would you keep ex cathedra in Rome only?

In Christ,
pG

p.s. I am completely serious, this thread is not [intended to be] a catholic bashing thread, I am really curious  Grin
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« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2012, 11:26:05 PM »

I've always been curious as to how Papal Infallibility would work if the (world) Orthodox Church were to be submitted into the RCC.  Would you accept the infallibility of the other four Patriarchates (Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria, Jerusalem) or would you keep ex cathedra in Rome only?

In Christ,
pG

p.s. I am completely serious, this thread is not [intended to be] a catholic bashing thread, I am really curious  Grin
Are you asking Catholics or Orthodox?
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« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2012, 11:31:17 PM »

I've always been curious as to how Papal Infallibility would work if the (world) Orthodox Church were to be submitted into the RCC.  Would you accept the infallibility of the other four Patriarchates (Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria, Jerusalem) or would you keep ex cathedra in Rome only?

In Christ,
pG

p.s. I am completely serious, this thread is not [intended to be] a catholic bashing thread, I am really curious  Grin
Are you asking Catholics or Orthodox?
both, but mostly Catholics since I severely doubt Orthodox would accept infallibility (but I guess you never can tell when it comes to ecumenism)
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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2012, 12:16:09 AM »

I severely doubt Orthodox would accept infallibility

Anyone who did would cease to be Orthodox.

Anyway to provide what would probably be a better answer to your question, the whole concept of infallibility in general would have to go away, the authority of the bishop to teach his flock along with the responsibility of his flock to submit to Church authority appointed over them could possibly be reinforced, the nature of Church governance at different levels as being not a matter of dogma but discipline, and how the Pope of Rome would relate to his brother bishops and Patriarchs would be good starting points for discussion.

The problem with the papacy is that Rome has historically always asserted more authority than the eastern churches (and at some points in time, some western churches) were willing to accept even though (pre-schism) they did always show a certain amount of respect (not submission) for Rome. It just didn't reach the point of causing a strong break in communion until the 11th century, that break hadn't really solidified until the thirteenth century, and it wasn't until the 15th century that we made the last failed attempt at reunion and haven't even thought about it until the recent dialogue that has started to take place in the 20th century.

Just a few thoughts.
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« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2012, 08:19:16 PM »

I've always been curious as to how Papal Infallibility would work if the (world) Orthodox Church were to be submitted into the RCC.  Would you accept the infallibility of the other four Patriarchates (Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria, Jerusalem) or would you keep ex cathedra in Rome only?

I'll tell you my thoughts on it, but these may not be representative of any other Catholics.

Catholics believe that any ex cathedra statement made by the pope is infallible. I could likewise accept that any ex cathedra statement made by the EP is infallible. I would just add that I don't know that the EP could ever made an ex cathedra statement (but I also don't know that he couldn't).
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« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2012, 08:25:12 PM »

I think the biggest knock on Papal Infallibility is "Therefore, such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the church, irreformable."

I don't think the Orthodox will object if the Pope just wants the pleasure of declaring infallible dogma decided by a council.  That is his original role anyway, to be the voice of the Church.  The problem is that his being the voice of the Church is translated by Vatican I to mean being the only voice of the Church.
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« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2012, 10:26:51 PM »

thanks guys Grin
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« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2012, 10:36:21 PM »

I think the biggest knock on Papal Infallibility is "Therefore, such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the church, irreformable."

The main thing to note about that statement is that it isn't part of the dogmatic definition. (It's not like they said "And we further define that therefore, such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the church, irreformable.")
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« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2012, 11:48:53 PM »

I think the biggest knock on Papal Infallibility is "Therefore, such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the church, irreformable."

The main thing to note about that statement is that it isn't part of the dogmatic definition. (It's not like they said "And we further define that therefore, such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the church, irreformable.")

Who said this?  The whole this is dogma as far as I know.
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« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2012, 12:18:21 AM »

I think the biggest knock on Papal Infallibility is "Therefore, such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the church, irreformable."

The main thing to note about that statement is that it isn't part of the dogmatic definition. (It's not like they said "And we further define that therefore, such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the church, irreformable.")

This definition is followed by the following words:
Quote
So then, should anyone, which God forbid, have the temerity to reject this definition of ours: let him be anathema.

http://catholicunderthehood.com/2010/07/18/today-in-catholic-history-pastor-aeternus-and-papal-infalibility/

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« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2012, 08:43:17 AM »

Hmm, the translation in your link has
"We teach and define that it is a dogma Divinely revealed that the Roman pontiff when he speaks ex cathedra, that is when in discharge of the office of pastor and doctor of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, by the Divine assistance promised to him in Blessed Peter, is possessed of that infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed that his Church should be endowed in defining doctrine regarding faith or morals, and that therefore such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves and not from the consent of the Church irreformable."
(continuing the same sentence). I wasn't aware that any translations did that.

If that is the proper way of translating it (but I'm not convinced that it is) then I take back my last post.
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« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2012, 08:44:48 AM »

I think the biggest knock on Papal Infallibility is "Therefore, such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the church, irreformable."

The main thing to note about that statement is that it isn't part of the dogmatic definition. (It's not like they said "And we further define that therefore, such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the church, irreformable.")

Who said this? 

How nearsighted are you? I'm standing right in front of you.
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« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2012, 09:20:04 AM »

I've always been curious as to how Papal Infallibility would work if the (world) Orthodox Church were to be submitted into the RCC.  Would you accept the infallibility of the other four Patriarchates (Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria, Jerusalem) or would you keep ex cathedra in Rome only?

In Christ,
pG

p.s. I am completely serious, this thread is not [intended to be] a catholic bashing thread, I am really curious  Grin
Are you asking Catholics or Orthodox?
both, but mostly Catholics since I severely doubt Orthodox would accept infallibility (but I guess you never can tell when it comes to ecumenism)

A lot of Eastern Catholics dont accept it either,
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« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2012, 01:08:21 PM »

I think the biggest knock on Papal Infallibility is "Therefore, such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the church, irreformable."

The same might also be said about dogmas defined by ecumenical councils: they do not become true by the majority vote of Church members.  The question of dogma and its reception by the Church is more mysterious and complicated than that. 

Similarly, although the Catholic Church insists that papal dogmas are infallible in themselves, and not by the consent of the Church--this was directed against Gallicanism--Catholic theologians have also addressed the question, What happens if the Church withholds its consent?  Answer:  this would demonstrate that one or more of the many necessary preconditions for an authentic dogmatic pronouncement had not in fact been met.  When it comes to dogmatic infallibility, matters are more complicated for Catholics than they might at first appear.   
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« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2012, 01:19:46 PM »

I'm not exactly sure how this would work since this is a hypothetical and highly unlikely scenario, but, if it did happen, I could see some of the Pope's powers being shared among the other Patriarchs.
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« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2012, 01:26:31 PM »

(world) Orthodox Church

Ah, I see, you're one of those hipster Orthodox.
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« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2012, 01:51:51 PM »

I think the biggest knock on Papal Infallibility is "Therefore, such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the church, irreformable."

The main thing to note about that statement is that it isn't part of the dogmatic definition. (It's not like they said "And we further define that therefore, such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the church, irreformable.")

Who said this? 

How nearsighted are you? I'm standing right in front of you.

No you're not.  You're probably sitting but most definitely you are not in front of me.  Unless you are a computer monitor Cheesy
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« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2012, 04:29:52 PM »

I'm not exactly sure how this would work since this is a hypothetical and highly unlikely scenario, but, if it did happen, I could see some of the Pope's powers being shared among the other Patriarchs.

Is there something magical about the Pope's powers?  What powers would benefit our Patriarchs that they dont already have? 
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« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2012, 05:25:26 PM »

Who said this? 

How nearsighted are you? I'm standing right in front of you.

No you're not.  You're probably sitting but most definitely you are not in front of me.  Unless you are a computer monitor Cheesy

Alright, I guess you got me there.

(I was going to post a "Who said that?" clip from Abe Simpson or Hubert Farnsworth, but I didn't find one.)
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« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2012, 05:32:02 PM »

I'm not exactly sure how this would work since this is a hypothetical and highly unlikely scenario, but, if it did happen, I could see some of the Pope's powers being shared among the other Patriarchs.

Is there something magical about the Pope's powers?  What powers would benefit our Patriarchs that they dont already have? 

Growing up, I always had the impression that the pope was guaranteed to exercise infallibility provided that he used certain words. (I'm guessing that's what you mean by "magical".)
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« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2012, 06:25:01 PM »

I think the biggest knock on Papal Infallibility is "Therefore, such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the church, irreformable."

The same might also be said about dogmas defined by ecumenical councils: they do not become true by the majority vote of Church members.  The question of dogma and its reception by the Church is more mysterious and complicated than that. 

Similarly, although the Catholic Church insists that papal dogmas are infallible in themselves, and not by the consent of the Church--this was directed against Gallicanism--Catholic theologians have also addressed the question, What happens if the Church withholds its consent?  Answer:  this would demonstrate that one or more of the many necessary preconditions for an authentic dogmatic pronouncement had not in fact been met.  When it comes to dogmatic infallibility, matters are more complicated for Catholics than they might at first appear.   
Paster Aeternus does not give us the preconditions for an ex cathedra statement (otherwise the proof could be tasted-or not-in the pudding), but it does rule out consent of the Church as one of the preconditions.  One again, demonstrating the uselessness of papal infallibility.
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« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2012, 06:29:18 PM »

I'm not exactly sure how this would work since this is a hypothetical and highly unlikely scenario, but, if it did happen, I could see some of the Pope's powers being shared among the other Patriarchs.

Is there something magical about the Pope's powers?  What powers would benefit our Patriarchs that they dont already have? 

Growing up, I always had the impression that the pope was guaranteed to exercise infallibility provided that he used certain words. (I'm guessing that's what you mean by "magical".)

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« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2012, 03:16:41 PM »

I'm not exactly sure how this would work since this is a hypothetical and highly unlikely scenario, but, if it did happen, I could see some of the Pope's powers being shared among the other Patriarchs.

Is there something magical about the Pope's powers?  What powers would benefit our Patriarchs that they dont already have? 
Not unless you consider the action of the Holy Spirit to be "magical." I'm not sure how Papal Infallibility would work if our Churches reunited. Our ecclesiology is so different. The EO consider every Bishop a successor of St. Peter, whereas we consider every Bishop a successor of the Apostles but only the Bishop of Rome to be the successor of St. Peter. Talk about irreconcilable differences lol.
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« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2012, 03:53:54 PM »

I'm not exactly sure how this would work since this is a hypothetical and highly unlikely scenario, but, if it did happen, I could see some of the Pope's powers being shared among the other Patriarchs.

Is there something magical about the Pope's powers?  What powers would benefit our Patriarchs that they dont already have?  
Not unless you consider the action of the Holy Spirit to be "magical." I'm not sure how Papal Infallibility would work if our Churches reunited. Our ecclesiology is so different. The EO consider every Bishop a successor of St. Peter, whereas we consider every Bishop a successor of the Apostles but only the Bishop of Rome to be the successor of St. Peter. Talk about irreconcilable differences lol.
Yes, Truth and Falsehood, Belial and Christ....they just don't go together.

Pastor Aeternus preaches another gospel of "Apostolic Succession":
Quote
The case was different with the infallibility of the other Apostles; each of them individually was infallible: but this infallibility was extraordinary, granted to them in an extraordinary mode and for an extraordinary purpose, as appears from the words of Christ when He took leave o them before ascending into heaven, saying: "You will receive the power of the Holy Spirit Who will come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8 ).  This promise of the coming Holy Spirit was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost,  and, clothed by the Holy Spirit as by power from on high, they began to bear witness to the word of life and to preach in the name of Jesus, "the Lord cooperating with them and confirming their preaching by the signs which accompanied them" (Mk 16:20).
The office of the Apostle consisted in this: they would be the authentic ocular and auricular witnesses to the world of God, witnesses preordained by God and sent by Christ to all nations: and to this office, proper to the Apostles, there was added the corresponding gift of personal infallibility.  The bishops succeeded the Apostles not as succeeding to a universal apostolate but rather to an episcopate as rulers of individual Churhces.  And thus it happened that the prerogative of personal infallibility, joined in an extraordinary mode to the apostolate, would not pass on to the bishops.  The bishops by power of their office are guardians of the deposit that the Apostles-as witnesses preordained by God-committed to them.  It is as Paul says to Timothy: "Hold to the form of sound teaching, which you heard from me in faith and in the love of Christ Jesus.  Through the Holy Spirit Who dwells in you guard the worthy deposit" (2 Tim. 1:13-14).  This same things is said to all the bishops.  In this duty of guarding, communicating, and defending the deposit as a treasure of divine truth, the bishops also are helped by the Holy Spirit.  But this infallible aid of the Holy Spirit is not present in each of the bishops but rather in the bishops taken together and joined with [their] head, for it was said to all generally and not each individually: "Behold, I am with you all days until the end of time" (Mt 28:20).
The prerogative granted to St. Peter by the Lord Jesus Christ was supposed to pass to all Peter's successors because the chair of Peter is the center of unity in the Church....

Peter and all the apostles...received the gift of infallibility so that they would be able to pass on the revelation they had received free form error, thus securely grounding the Church in truth at its very inception. But the gift was given differently to Peter and to the others.  Peter received it as something ordinary, i.e., personal to him as primate or leader of the Church.  the others received it as extraordinary, i.e., given for a time as part of an apostolate, which, unlike Peter's primacy, was not going to endure beyond their own lives.
http://books.google.com/books?id=4ClPRR0HrHEC&pg=PA23&dq=%22granted+to+them+in+an+extraordinary+mode+and+for%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=DtrIUKWPKc2A2AWWrIH4Dw&ved=0CC0Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22granted%20to%20them%20in%20an%20extraordinary%20mode%20and%20for%22&f=false
The Gift of Infallibility: The Official Relatio on Infallibility of Bishop Gasser
 By James T. O'Connor

Notice that all of St. Peter's successors at Antioch do not get his prerogatives in this scheme.  Nor does it recognize, along with the quoted proof text above, St. Paul's word to Timothy (I 4:14, 18; 2 1:6)  "Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight...Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the episcopate [πρεσβυτερίου]....For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands."
« Last Edit: December 12, 2012, 03:54:18 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2012, 04:43:49 PM »

I'm not exactly sure how this would work since this is a hypothetical and highly unlikely scenario, but, if it did happen, I could see some of the Pope's powers being shared among the other Patriarchs.

Is there something magical about the Pope's powers?  What powers would benefit our Patriarchs that they dont already have?  
Not unless you consider the action of the Holy Spirit to be "magical." I'm not sure how Papal Infallibility would work if our Churches reunited. Our ecclesiology is so different. The EO consider every Bishop a successor of St. Peter, whereas we consider every Bishop a successor of the Apostles but only the Bishop of Rome to be the successor of St. Peter. Talk about irreconcilable differences lol.
Yes, Truth and Falsehood, Belial and Christ....they just don't go together.

Pastor Aeternus preaches another gospel of "Apostolic Succession":
Quote
The case was different with the infallibility of the other Apostles; each of them individually was infallible: but this infallibility was extraordinary, granted to them in an extraordinary mode and for an extraordinary purpose, as appears from the words of Christ when He took leave o them before ascending into heaven, saying: "You will receive the power of the Holy Spirit Who will come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8 ).  This promise of the coming Holy Spirit was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost,  and, clothed by the Holy Spirit as by power from on high, they began to bear witness to the word of life and to preach in the name of Jesus, "the Lord cooperating with them and confirming their preaching by the signs which accompanied them" (Mk 16:20).
The office of the Apostle consisted in this: they would be the authentic ocular and auricular witnesses to the world of God, witnesses preordained by God and sent by Christ to all nations: and to this office, proper to the Apostles, there was added the corresponding gift of personal infallibility.  The bishops succeeded the Apostles not as succeeding to a universal apostolate but rather to an episcopate as rulers of individual Churhces.  And thus it happened that the prerogative of personal infallibility, joined in an extraordinary mode to the apostolate, would not pass on to the bishops.  The bishops by power of their office are guardians of the deposit that the Apostles-as witnesses preordained by God-committed to them.  It is as Paul says to Timothy: "Hold to the form of sound teaching, which you heard from me in faith and in the love of Christ Jesus.  Through the Holy Spirit Who dwells in you guard the worthy deposit" (2 Tim. 1:13-14).  This same things is said to all the bishops.  In this duty of guarding, communicating, and defending the deposit as a treasure of divine truth, the bishops also are helped by the Holy Spirit.  But this infallible aid of the Holy Spirit is not present in each of the bishops but rather in the bishops taken together and joined with [their] head, for it was said to all generally and not each individually: "Behold, I am with you all days until the end of time" (Mt 28:20).
The prerogative granted to St. Peter by the Lord Jesus Christ was supposed to pass to all Peter's successors because the chair of Peter is the center of unity in the Church....

Peter and all the apostles...received the gift of infallibility so that they would be able to pass on the revelation they had received free form error, thus securely grounding the Church in truth at its very inception. But the gift was given differently to Peter and to the others.  Peter received it as something ordinary, i.e., personal to him as primate or leader of the Church.  the others received it as extraordinary, i.e., given for a time as part of an apostolate, which, unlike Peter's primacy, was not going to endure beyond their own lives.
http://books.google.com/books?id=4ClPRR0HrHEC&pg=PA23&dq=%22granted+to+them+in+an+extraordinary+mode+and+for%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=DtrIUKWPKc2A2AWWrIH4Dw&ved=0CC0Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22granted%20to%20them%20in%20an%20extraordinary%20mode%20and%20for%22&f=false
The Gift of Infallibility: The Official Relatio on Infallibility of Bishop Gasser
 By James T. O'Connor

Notice that all of St. Peter's successors at Antioch do not get his prerogatives in this scheme.  Nor does it recognize, along with the quoted proof text above, St. Paul's word to Timothy (I 4:14, 18; 2 1:6)  "Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight...Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the episcopate [πρεσβυτερίου]....For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands."

Oh, now I get it. All the bishops have this infallibility thing.  I guess we are not as far apart as we think we are then.
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