Author Topic: Pope: It’s a ‘very grave sin’ for Catholics to try to convert Orthodox  (Read 1131 times)

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Online Mor Ephrem

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GEORGIA, October 4, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — It is a “very grave sin against ecumenism” for Catholics to try to convert Orthodox Christians, Pope Francis said during the second day of his trip to the Eurasian country of Georgia.

“Let the theologians study the abstract realities of theology,” the pontiff said. “But what should I do with a friend, neighbor, an Orthodox person? Be open, be a friend. ‘But should I make efforts to convert him or her?’ There is a very grave sin against ecumenism: proselytism. We should never proselytize the Orthodox! They are our brothers and sisters, disciples of Jesus Christ.”

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pope-very-grave-sin-for-catholics-to-try-to-convert-orthodox
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modernist vatican popes have the same attitude toward all religions, i don't know why you bring this up.

It is rather a mockery when they put all religions on the same level as the Orthodox Church.

Offline MalpanaGiwargis

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Lots of consternation in Catholic-land over this. I guess it depends entirely on what he means by "proselytism." If the Catholic Church is the true Church, then it only makes sense that Catholics should want to convert others to it. If they don't, then I would think they don't really believe it's the true Church.

I am curious about the expression "sin against ecumenism."
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and have been instructed in Your glories,
   and yet I have become occupied in shameful things!

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Offline RaphaCam

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He's very right for very wrong reasons.
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Offline Rohzek

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I would prefer Catholics try to convert me because it signifies that they truly believe in their ideas and faith and desire people hold them as well out of love. But what Pope Francis is advocating for is nothing more than mere and pathetic tribalism. Not only that, he blatantly discredits and undermines many Catholic converts from Orthodoxy. I wonder how they feel about that.
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Offline seekeroftruth777

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Well I can see this being very divisive among Catholic laity, to many Pope Francis is more, and more a relativistic ecumenist, and not a traditional Catholic.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2017, 03:34:29 PM by seekeroftruth777 »

Offline WPM

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I heard that more traditional women were accepting a dressed up man to take them to church on Sundays

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I heard that more traditional women were accepting a dressed up man to take them to church on Sundays

Where?  I have lots of neckties and enjoy the Divine Liturgy
Just grab them by prayer.


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You can sin against ecumenism?   I guess it all depends on what the pope means by ecumenism.  If his definition that one believes that all religions are the same thing, then I guess I better plan for confession this Saturday.
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I heard that more traditional women were accepting a dressed up man to take them to church on Sundays

Where?  I have lots of neckties and enjoy the Divine Liturgy.

And candle lit vespers with long walks in procession
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I heard that more traditional women were accepting a dressed up man to take them to church on Sundays

Where?  I have lots of neckties and enjoy the Divine Liturgy.

And candle lit vespers with long walks in procession

A well-dressed man is en route to pick you both up shortly.

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Offline William T

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I heard that more traditional women were accepting a dressed up man to take them to church on Sundays

Where?  I have lots of neckties and enjoy the Divine Liturgy.

And candle lit vespers with long walks in procession

Wow, you almost got me falling for you
Wash yourselves and ye shall be clean; put away the wicked ways from your souls before Mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well. Seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, consider the fatherless, and plead for the widow. Come then, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: Though your sins be as scarlet, I will make them white as snow; and though they be red like crimson, I will make them white as wool

Offline Eruvande

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I heard that more traditional women were accepting a dressed up man to take them to church on Sundays

Where?  I have lots of neckties and enjoy the Divine Liturgy.

And candle lit vespers with long walks in procession

Wow, you almost got me falling for you

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Offline JoeS2

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Interesting, I guess the Pope is doing this for the right intentions, ie dont rock the boat while we are in an ecumenical mode.
Orthodox and RC's are not immune to conversion attempts. If one is strong in their faith its a mute point.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2017, 12:35:56 PM by JoeS2 »

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Offline JoeS2

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Interesting, I guess the Pope is doing this for the right intentions, ie dont rock the boat while we are in an ecumenical mode.
Orthodox and RC's are not immune to conversion attempts. If one is strong in their faith its a mute point.

How would the Pope feel about a former RC who converted to Holy Orthodoxy, would he then still contend that trying to revert this individual a 'very grave sin'.?

Offline benjohn146

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Interesting, I guess the Pope is doing this for the right intentions, ie dont rock the boat while we are in an ecumenical mode.
Orthodox and RC's are not immune to conversion attempts. If one is strong in their faith its a mute point.

How would the Pope feel about a former RC who converted to Holy Orthodoxy, would he then still contend that trying to revert this individual a 'very grave sin'.?

I cannot speak for the Pope himself but apparently it is ok. We just cannot share the same Eucharist.

Quote
"The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honoured by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter" (Lumen gentium 15). Those "who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church" (Unitatis redintegratio 3). With the Orthodox Churches, this communion is so profound "that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord's Eucharist" (Paul VI, Discourse, 14 December 1975; cf. Unitatis redintegratio 13-18).

"CCC 838". Catechism of the Catholic Church
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Lots of consternation in Catholic-land over this. I guess it depends entirely on what he means by "proselytism." If the Catholic Church is the true Church, then it only makes sense that Catholics should want to convert others to it. If they don't, then I would think they don't really believe it's the true Church.

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Offline Asteriktos

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If they believe that Orthodoxy is 'the other lung,' and merely out of communion because of pesky issues that need to be ironed out, then it'd make sense that they'd say not to attempt to convert people. Switching churches based on pastoral/other need could be different. It'd be like people who are very pro-EO/OO reunion saying that EO shouldn't actively try to convert OO, or vice versa, though if there happen to be some individuals who switch then no big deal.

Offline Lepanto

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I don't quite get Francis's logic here: Assuming we are already brothers and sisters - as he says - there is no point in trying to convert, ok. But why would it be a "grave sin"? What harm could it possibly do? Superfluous, maybe. But grave sin? Really?
Who else is excepted from "proselytizing" then? Lutherans? Mainline protestants? Mormons? JW?
What does the council of Trent say about this again, eh?

Offline WPM

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If the two terms 'Catholic' and 'Orthodox' are interchangeable then I don't see the fuss over the two different Churches.

Offline William T

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If they believe that Orthodoxy is 'the other lung,' and merely out of communion because of pesky issues that need to be ironed out, then it'd make sense that they'd say not to attempt to convert people. Switching churches based on pastoral/other need could be different. It'd be like people who are very pro-EO/OO reunion saying that EO shouldn't actively try to convert OO, or vice versa, though if there happen to be some individuals who switch then no big deal.

Thats probably close to how I view things, as well as many members of the community I'm around.  I think most serious styled theological conversion between the various Eastern Church's and Catholics should happen at a broad ecumenical level.  I probably feel that way about Jews as well.  Then again, I'm also very skeptical of converting individual Protestants / Americans over Muslims.  Maybe that's just due to personal experience.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2017, 06:41:22 PM by William T »
Wash yourselves and ye shall be clean; put away the wicked ways from your souls before Mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well. Seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, consider the fatherless, and plead for the widow. Come then, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: Though your sins be as scarlet, I will make them white as snow; and though they be red like crimson, I will make them white as wool

Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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I don't quite get Francis's logic here: Assuming we are already brothers and sisters - as he says - there is no point in trying to convert, ok. But why would it be a "grave sin"? What harm could it possibly do? Superfluous, maybe. But grave sin? Really?
Who else is excepted from "proselytizing" then? Lutherans? Mainline protestants? Mormons? JW?
What does the council of Trent say about this again, eh?

Yet Francis and the other Popes keep saying not to proselytize non-Catholics.
“There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”- St. Ambrose of Milan

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Offline William T

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I don't quite get Francis's logic here: Assuming we are already brothers and sisters - as he says - there is no point in trying to convert, ok. But why would it be a "grave sin"? What harm could it possibly do? Superfluous, maybe. But grave sin? Really?
Who else is excepted from "proselytizing" then? Lutherans? Mainline protestants? Mormons? JW?
What does the council of Trent say about this again, eh?

Maybe because it's like using the means of an atom bomb for the ends of swatting at a fly. You could also probably draw an analogy like this a common cold =/= terminal cancer.  With Catholics and Orthodox there is more than same grammar and language than with almost any other group.  Why poison it more with politics and obnoxious evangelical efforts when they ought be avoided.  A good rule of thumb is "first do no harm", most of the tools used for generic front gate assaulting evangilazation probably do more harm than good.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2017, 06:47:02 PM by William T »
Wash yourselves and ye shall be clean; put away the wicked ways from your souls before Mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well. Seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, consider the fatherless, and plead for the widow. Come then, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: Though your sins be as scarlet, I will make them white as snow; and though they be red like crimson, I will make them white as wool

Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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If they believe that Orthodoxy is 'the other lung,' and merely out of communion because of pesky issues that need to be ironed out, then it'd make sense that they'd say not to attempt to convert people. Switching churches based on pastoral/other need could be different. It'd be like people who are very pro-EO/OO reunion saying that EO shouldn't actively try to convert OO, or vice versa, though if there happen to be some individuals who switch then no big deal.

Thats probably close to how I view things, as well as many members of the community I'm around.  I think most serious styled theological conversion between the various Eastern Church's and Catholics should happen at a broad ecumenical level.  I probably feel that way about Jews as well.  Then again, I'm also very skeptical of converting individual Protestants / Americans over Muslims.  Maybe that's just due to personal experience.

That's not how I view things. We're the "Western Church", the Eastern Church are the OOs.
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Offline Lepanto

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I don't quite get Francis's logic here: Assuming we are already brothers and sisters - as he says - there is no point in trying to convert, ok. But why would it be a "grave sin"? What harm could it possibly do? Superfluous, maybe. But grave sin? Really?
Who else is excepted from "proselytizing" then? Lutherans? Mainline protestants? Mormons? JW?
What does the council of Trent say about this again, eh?

Yet Francis and the other Popes keep saying not to proselytize non-Catholics.
Yes. I realize that this is an orthodox forum and the topic is basically a mine field.
But I guess it will not insult anyone if I say the church always rejoiced at every sheep returning home.
There is another sin Francis did not choose to mention: Indifferentism.
The church used to stress the importance of being in communion with the bishop of Rome. It is a pillar of Catholicism. If you take it away, it collapses. "super hanc petram aedificabo". Peter, not Bartholomew or Cyril. I don't get it.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2017, 03:03:08 AM by Lepanto »

Offline Gunnarr

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Offline christiane777

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Wow.  Just saw this.  I actually go for the two lung argument and would probably not try and convert an Orthodox; I do think we are both part of the original Church; we have simply had a really really bad fight.  I don't even really try to convert Protestants.  But if I did try to convert an Orthodox I don't think it would be a 'very grave sin.'  I cannot believe Francis said that - well, wait a minute, yes, I can actually (even if he did not).   Francis is insular and narrow in his beliefs and increasingly out of control as head of the Church.  If there is no resistance to him, a collective assertive move back to orthodoxy by the hierarchy, that is when you'll know we're in trouble.
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Offline Lepanto

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...I actually go for the two lung argument and would probably not try and convert an Orthodox; I do think we are both part of the original Church;
Really? Does that mean the original church exists no more or is divided?
Lungs are not a biblical metaphor, Ivanov brought it up and John Paul II made it popular. Scripture talks about e.g. grapevine.
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Offline Opus118

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Wow.  Just saw this.  I actually go for the two lung argument and would probably not try and convert an Orthodox; I do think we are both part of the original Church; we have simply had a really really bad fight.  I don't even really try to convert Protestants.  But if I did try to convert an Orthodox I don't think it would be a 'very grave sin.'  I cannot believe Francis said that - well, wait a minute, yes, I can actually (even if he did not).   Francis is insular and narrow in his beliefs and increasingly out of control as head of the Church.  If there is no resistance to him, a collective assertive move back to orthodoxy by the hierarchy, that is when you'll know we're in trouble.

I just saw this as well. There is the usual knee-jerk reactions here, but the trend line has been going on for some time. This is the fruit of ecumenism. If I recall correctly from threads here, a few years ago (pre-Pope Francis) the Orthodox were singularly recognized as a church, the protestant denominations were not. What distinguishes Pope Francis in my mind is his sympathy for the use of Economia for pastoral purposes.
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Offline benjohn146

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Wow.  Just saw this.  I actually go for the two lung argument and would probably not try and convert an Orthodox; I do think we are both part of the original Church; we have simply had a really really bad fight.  I don't even really try to convert Protestants.  But if I did try to convert an Orthodox I don't think it would be a 'very grave sin.'  I cannot believe Francis said that - well, wait a minute, yes, I can actually (even if he did not).   Francis is insular and narrow in his beliefs and increasingly out of control as head of the Church.  If there is no resistance to him, a collective assertive move back to orthodoxy by the hierarchy, that is when you'll know we're in trouble.

And yet, out of obedience, humility and other holy virtues, you, as a roman catholic, have to abide and accept his position: he his infallible.
St Makarios, pray for us.

Offline Opus118

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And yet, out of obedience, humility and other holy virtues, you, as a roman catholic, have to abide and accept his position: he his infallible.

Shouldn't the Pope have the option to determine whether he is infallible or not?

If the Pope does not believe that he is infallible, why should the laity be forced to believe that he is?

"Mi tío es enfermo, pero la carretera es verde!" - old Chilean saying

Offline benjohn146

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And yet, out of obedience, humility and other holy virtues, you, as a roman catholic, have to abide and accept his position: he his infallible.

Shouldn't the Pope have the option to determine whether he is infallible or not?

If the Pope does not believe that he is infallible, why should the laity be forced to believe that he is?

My understanding is that papal infallibility is a dogma, and dogma cannot be changed.

As per Wikipedia:

Quote
Papal infallibility is a dogma of the Catholic Church that states that, in virtue of the promise of Jesus to Peter, the Pope is preserved from the possibility of error "when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church."[1][2]

Quote
In the Catholic Church, a dogma is a definitive article of faith (de fide) that has been solemnly promulgated by the college of bishops at an ecumenical council or by the pope when speaking in a statement ex cathedra, in which the magisterium of the Church presents a particular doctrine as necessary for the belief of all Catholic faithful.[a] For example, Christian dogma states that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the basic truth from which salvation and life is derived for Christians. Dogmas regulate the language, how the truth of the resurrection is to be believed and communicated. One dogma is only a small part of the Christian faith, from which it derives its meaning.[1] A dogma of the Catholic Church is defined as "a truth revealed by God, which the magisterium of the Church declared as binding."[2] The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:


The Church's Magisterium asserts that it exercises the authority it holds from Christ to the fullest extent when it defines dogmas, that is, when it proposes, in a form obliging Catholics to an irrevocable adherence of faith, truths contained in divine Revelation or also when it proposes, in a definitive way, truths having a necessary connection with these.[3]
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Offline Opus118

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And yet, out of obedience, humility and other holy virtues, you, as a roman catholic, have to abide and accept his position: he his infallible.

Shouldn't the Pope have the option to determine whether he is infallible or not?

If the Pope does not believe that he is infallible, why should the laity be forced to believe that he is?

My understanding is that papal infallibility is a dogma, and dogma cannot be changed.

As per Wikipedia:

Quote
Papal infallibility is a dogma of the Catholic Church that states that, in virtue of the promise of Jesus to Peter, the Pope is preserved from the possibility of error "when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church."[1][2]

Quote
In the Catholic Church, a dogma is a definitive article of faith (de fide) that has been solemnly promulgated by the college of bishops at an ecumenical council or by the pope when speaking in a statement ex cathedra, in which the magisterium of the Church presents a particular doctrine as necessary for the belief of all Catholic faithful.[a] For example, Christian dogma states that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the basic truth from which salvation and life is derived for Christians. Dogmas regulate the language, how the truth of the resurrection is to be believed and communicated. One dogma is only a small part of the Christian faith, from which it derives its meaning.[1] A dogma of the Catholic Church is defined as "a truth revealed by God, which the magisterium of the Church declared as binding."[2] The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:


The Church's Magisterium asserts that it exercises the authority it holds from Christ to the fullest extent when it defines dogmas, that is, when it proposes, in a form obliging Catholics to an irrevocable adherence of faith, truths contained in divine Revelation or also when it proposes, in a definitive way, truths having a necessary connection with these.[3]

I kind of know this. Roman Catholicism is confusing. From what I have gleaned from forums where apologists debate, there have been two generally acknowledged ex cathedra pronouncements, one being that the Pope is infallible when speaking ex cathedra (what ever that is) and need to believe in the immaculate conception (which is a non issue if you believe we are all immaculately conceived). It seems to me the Popes get to have a lot of opportunity to be fallible. I do not think they would take the job if it were otherwise. You cannot preach about humility and consider yourself infallible and remain sane at the same time.
"Mi tío es enfermo, pero la carretera es verde!" - old Chilean saying

Offline benjohn146

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Totally agree with you.

Also, I have always wondered how could they discern when they are speaking infallibly and when they are not? A strange dogma that seem to me like a power and authoritarian tool to control whoever is under the pope.
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Offline MalpanaGiwargis

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According to the teaching of Vatican I, the pope is only infallible when he clearly intends to bind the whole Church in a matter of faith or morals. His everyday pronouncements do not fall under the definition. However, it is also taught that a certain religious submission is due to his pronouncements out of respect for the office, but not if they contradict the faith.

But it is not always clear when something is infallible or not. It is generally agreed that the only two clear exercises of it are the definition of the Immaculate Conception (1854) and of the Assumption of Mary (1950). The definition of papal infallibility was made by the First Vatican Council (1870), so is not considered an exercise of papal infallibility. Many people consider canonizations to be infallible, as it would be impious to believe the Church could venerate as a saint someone who is damned. John Paul II declared in 1994 that the teaching that the Christian priesthood is reserved to males is to be "definitively held by all the faithful," yet this was not regarded as an exercise of papal infallibility, but rather a restatement of a doctrine already infallible by the fact that it has always been taught. Which seems like a hair-splitting difference, and one that also seems to imply that certain doctrines that have been dogmatized were not always taught and believed.
Woe is me, that I have read the commandments,
   and have become learned in the Scriptures,
and have been instructed in Your glories,
   and yet I have become occupied in shameful things!

(Giwargis Warda, On Compunction of Soul)

Offline Asteriktos

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Also, I have always wondered how could they discern when they are speaking infallibly and when they are not? A strange dogma that seem to me like a power and authoritarian tool to control whoever is under the pope.

And now replace 'pope' with 'council' or 'church' and you are left with a similarly vague, arbitrary and subjective process ;)
« Last Edit: March 03, 2017, 04:27:04 PM by Asteriktos »

Offline Velko

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This "pope" is clearly the anti-pope for the Catholics. In one way it's a good thing because the mask is being revealed and many traditional believers are now coming to the Orthodox Church, I personally know of a few, and others who are contemplating it. On the other hand Catholic lands, primarily in the West are just opening up themselves even more to both spiritual AND physical destruction.

If things continue to go as they are, is Western Europe going to exist in 25 years?

Offline rakovsky

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Totally agree with you.

Also, I have always wondered how could they discern when they are speaking infallibly and when they are not? A strange dogma that seem to me like a power and authoritarian tool to control whoever is under the pope.
I think they say that it counts once their bishops agree. It's like the Magisterium concept of Infallibility, another infallibility theory.

Offline JoeS2

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If they believe that Orthodoxy is 'the other lung,' and merely out of communion because of pesky issues that need to be ironed out, then it'd make sense that they'd say not to attempt to convert people. Switching churches based on pastoral/other need could be different. It'd be like people who are very pro-EO/OO reunion saying that EO shouldn't actively try to convert OO, or vice versa, though if there happen to be some individuals who switch then no big deal.

I dont think the Vatican is pushing the " Other Lung " theory any more, and maybe its because we are gaining more understanding of each others beliefs.

Offline christiane777

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Wow.  Just saw this.  I actually go for the two lung argument and would probably not try and convert an Orthodox; I do think we are both part of the original Church; we have simply had a really really bad fight.  I don't even really try to convert Protestants.  But if I did try to convert an Orthodox I don't think it would be a 'very grave sin.'  I cannot believe Francis said that - well, wait a minute, yes, I can actually (even if he did not).   Francis is insular and narrow in his beliefs and increasingly out of control as head of the Church.  If there is no resistance to him, a collective assertive move back to orthodoxy by the hierarchy, that is when you'll know we're in trouble.

And yet, out of obedience, humility and other holy virtues, you, as a roman catholic, have to abide and accept his position: he his infallible.

Not here though, right?  Just when he is pronouncing dogma.  So I get into trouble with AL, not here with these wild statements.  (not accepting it I mean) But frankly AL is so confusing and open to different interpretations I am probably still ok there.  There is actually not much in terms of dogma (except AL) that I have a problem with. 

For the record I don't think the Pope is infallible.  I was born, baptized Catholic.   What happens now I wonder.  Oh well.  I do think he is the Bishop of Rome though.   :D

Papal infallibility is the theology of the Catholic Church at its most irresponsible - I go with Luther, the Orthodox, Protestants on papal primacy- it is man made tradition.  But it did have the effect of holding the RCC together for centuries.  However, I think that is about to change.
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Offline christiane777

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According to the teaching of Vatican I, the pope is only infallible when he clearly intends to bind the whole Church in a matter of faith or morals. His everyday pronouncements do not fall under the definition. However, it is also taught that a certain religious submission is due to his pronouncements out of respect for the office, but not if they contradict the faith.

But it is not always clear when something is infallible or not. It is generally agreed that the only two clear exercises of it are the definition of the Immaculate Conception (1854) and of the Assumption of Mary (1950). The definition of papal infallibility was made by the First Vatican Council (1870), so is not considered an exercise of papal infallibility. Many people consider canonizations to be infallible, as it would be impious to believe the Church could venerate as a saint someone who is damned. John Paul II declared in 1994 that the teaching that the Christian priesthood is reserved to males is to be "definitively held by all the faithful," yet this was not regarded as an exercise of papal infallibility, but rather a restatement of a doctrine already infallible by the fact that it has always been taught. Which seems like a hair-splitting difference, and one that also seems to imply that certain doctrines that have been dogmatized were not always taught and believed.

Bingo.  Application of infallibility is limited to ex cathedra:

Quote
Ex cathedra is a Latin phrase which means "from the chair." It refers to binding and infallible papal teachings which are promulgated by the pope when he officially teaches in his capacity of the universal shepherd of the Church a doctrine on a matter of faith or morals and addresses it to the entire world. The concept derives from Jesus.

In Matthew 23: 2-3 Jesus spoke of the authority of the Old Testament magisterium saying, "The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair [Gk. cathedras] of Moses. Therefore, do and observe whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach what they do not practice." Since Jesus recognized the authority of the Old Testament magisterium when it spoke ex cathedra (with the authority of Moses), we recognize that the New Testament magisterium of the Church, which speaks with the authority not of Moses but of Jesus Christ himself (Mt 10:40, 16:18-19, 18:18; Lk 10:16; 2 Cor 5:18-20), possesses a binding, infallible teaching office which is guaranteed by Christ (Mt 28:20; Jn 14:16, 26, 16:13).
(this is the official definition - I don't believe this myself.  I think the Pope is the Bishop of Rome, head of the Church.  What he says should be given weight - if it comports with Gospel, established Church teaching, tradition I am ok with it.  But if the Pope declares error or appears to declare error, I think the faithful are obligated to say so.  St. Athanasius, Cardinal Burke, etc.)  I accept these latter two as 'fellow Catholics.'
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Online Vanhyo

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Quote
I think the Pope is the Bishop of Rome, head of the Church.
This claim make the pope to be a substitution for Christ.

The Church have one head - Christ.