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Author Topic: In Bid for Unity, Pontiff May Review His Powers  (Read 4267 times) Average Rating: 0
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Orthodoc
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Those who ignore history tend to repeat it.


« on: January 27, 2003, 10:31:56 AM »

2003.01.25 LA Times:
https://www.latimes.com:443/news/local/la-me-religbriefs25.2jan25.story

IN BRIEF
In Bid for Unity, Pontiff May Review His Powers

From Times Wire Reports

January 25 2003

VATICAN CITY --   Urging Christians to persevere on the uphill road to
unity, Pope John Paul II repeated this week his willingness to reexamine
the exercise of papal power in an effort to end centuries-old divisions.

The pope, speaking to about 4,000 pilgrims attending his general audience
during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, called the search for full
communion among Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants a "fundamental task."

The 82-year-old pontiff reiterated the willingness he first expressed in
his 1995 encyclical "Ut Unum Sint: On Commitment to Ecumenism" to reexamine
his powers as leader of the world's 1 billion Catholics.

"It appears to me to be useful to propose a common reflection on the
ministry of the bishop of Rome, with the aim of finding a way of exercising
the primacy, which, while in no way renouncing what is essential to its
mission, is nonetheless open to a new situation," he said.

Papal primacy, especially when coupled with papal infallibility -- which
Orthodox and Protestant churches do not formally recognize -- is a major
issue in ecumenical dialogue.

Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting
Christian Unity, sounded a pessimistic note in a recent interview with
Vatican Radio. The impetus toward unity has become "slower and also more
tired" in recent years, Kasper said.
Dialogue between Catholics and the Protestants has stalled over the issues
of the ordination of women and abortion, he said. Also, the fall of
communism produced strains between the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic
churches, Kasper said.

================

Comment:  I find the following paragraph interesting.  Its just another example of the Roman Catholic word game.

{"It appears to me to be useful to propose a common reflection on the ministry of the bishop of Rome, with the aim of finding a way of exercising the primacy, which, while in no way renouncing what is essential to its mission, is nonetheless open to a new situation," he said.}

In other words, lets just play the Roman Catholic word game and rewrite the whole thing in such a way that they are duped into thinking that we gave up something when we haven't.  After all, its worked with our Eastern Rites who now think they are independent and only 'In Communion with us' rather than 'Under Our Authority' while we still control all the puppets strings.  Worked once, why not again -


Particularily note...WHILE IN NO WAY RENOUNCING WHAT IS ESSENTIAL TO ITS MISSION.  In others words Papal Supremacy and infallibility are non negiotable!  As the Pope has claimed from one side of his mouth while telling the Orthodox Catholics that EVERYTING is negiotable.

Still say the Vatican has the best PR and propaganda writers in the world.  

Orthodoc





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« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2003, 10:51:52 AM »

And I still say that, with all due respect, that you need to let go of the paranoia.
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« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2003, 11:09:55 AM »

Orthodoc,

I'm sorry you are so paranoid.  It must be difficult reading and/or understanding what the Popes say in such light.

Reflect on the Pope's words.  Did you ever think that in the many centuries since the Great Schism that you'd hear a Pope of Rome make such a statement?  What will Orthodoxy's response be?  Will they and Catholics work together as Christians on this?  What will your contribution be?

God bless you, my fellow Christian.

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« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2003, 11:32:58 AM »

Orthodoc,

I'm sorry you are so paranoid.  It must be difficult reading and/or understanding what the Popes say in such light.

=====

Joe T and Schultz.  Its not  a matter of being paranoid, its a matter of over a thousand years of broken promises and saying one thing but doing another.  Examples that come to mind are the 'Union of Brest' and the more recent 'Quadripartite Agreement' that was agreed upon only a little over tens years ago and was dishonored only six weeks after it was agreed to.  And thats just the tip of the ice berg.  Its a matter of 'By their deeds they shall be known'.

Or, perhaps you can explain to me how it is  possible to be 'In Communion with Rome'  while not being under its ultimate and final authority as the Eastern Rites are being led to believe.

orthodoc
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« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2003, 11:50:07 AM »

Orthodoc,

No, it's paranoia.  Pope John Paul II cannot and should not be held accountable for the sins of previous pontiffs (of which there are many!!!).  You are blinded by your own inability to forgive.  The present Bishop of Rome is doing all he can to try and figure out what can be done, but each and EVERY step he makes, each and EVERY time he looks around trying to see what can be done to promote healing, YOU have something bad to say about it.  

The status of the Eastern Catholic churches (and you know what I'm referring to so don't start some insipid word game with me) is one of continuing flux.   Right now, yes, many of them are "under Rome" as you like to point out, forgetting the plank in your own eye, but there's this thing called DIALOGUE that is being practiced so some sort of resolution and synergy can be developed.  

I came here to learn about Orthodoxy, which I have from such luminaries as Mor Ephrem, anastasios, Serge...

...about the only thing I learn from your posts is your rabid, paranoid anti-Catholicism.

I do apologize if I'm sounding harsh, but I just spent a better part of the weekend debating with an anti-Catholic and Orthodox Protestant.  I'm still in that mode.
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« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2003, 12:32:04 PM »

Orthodoc,

No, it's paranoia.  Pope John Paul II cannot and should not be held accountable for the sins of previous pontiffs (of which there are many!!!).  

=====

Pope John Paul II was not the Pope in 1990 when the Quadripartite Agreement was agreed upon?  When the Ukrainian Catholics turned their backs on it, it was not John Paul II that the Moscow Patriarch appealed to to honor the agreement or speak out against what was being done but remained silent for over two years?

Were the Ukrainian Catholic Bishops lying when they claimed they were dishonoring the agreement with the knowledge and sanction of Pope John Paul II?

Who was the Pope the Moscow patriarch was sending the appeals to?

Orthodoc
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« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2003, 01:55:28 PM »

In popular Catholic theological thought, a heretical pope is dimissed out of hand as an "anti-pope," a bad pope is still called "infallible" because of his office, and a popular pope, such as JP2, is considered impeccable.  Sad
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« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2003, 02:42:59 PM »

ISTM, that it is more important in Rome to "say what you are going to do", rather the " do what you are saying".  Its the 'intention' that is important rather than results.  Sort of a feel good thing.  

Im for world peace.  I do feel better now.

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« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2003, 02:58:09 PM »

ISTM???
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« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2003, 06:08:20 PM »

ISTM= It seems to me


ISTM, that it is more important in Rome to "say what you are going to do", rather the " do what you are saying".  Its the 'intention' that is important rather than results.  Sort of a feel good thing.  

Im for world peace.  I do feel better now.

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« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2003, 06:23:37 PM »

Nothing that Orthodoc has posted is even close to paranoia.  The article says that word game will be played but the essentials will remain the same (see the parts that Orthodoc noted especially).  He, also the vigilant Orthodox see this is a trap and lie like florence.  As to an an Orthodox response, hasn't always been the same?  Come  join the one true church of Christ, renouncing all past heresy?  The only way you couldn't see this article for what it is (and notice the Pope isn't wearing any vestments...) is if you are a neo-con RC (every word from the Pope's mouth is a divine utterance) or a branch theorist ecumenist.
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« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2003, 07:46:07 PM »

Nothing that Orthodoc has posted is even close to paranoia.  The article says that word game will be played but the essentials will remain the same (see the parts that Orthodoc noted especially).  He, also the vigilant Orthodox see this is a trap and lie like florence.  As to an an Orthodox response, hasn't always been the same?  Come  join the one true church of Christ, renouncing all past heresy?  The only way you couldn't see this article for what it is (and notice the Pope isn't wearing any vestments...) is if you are a neo-con RC (every word from the Pope's mouth is a divine utterance) or a branch theorist ecumenist.  


Nektarios,

I had a hard time following you at times.  What is meant by the terms and phrases you selected, such as "branch theorist ecumenist," "neo-con RC," "not wearing any vestments," ...?  Was this your interpretation of what the article really meant to say or were these words actually included, albeit stealth literary tricks, or did I not just see them there?  Thank you for your patience and my lack of alertness.

God bless you, my fellow Christian,
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« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2003, 10:35:03 PM »

Brothers,

I don't think that Pope John Paul II wants to Latinize the world, I do believe he is from a eastern bloc country and knows what persecution is and does respect the Eastern Churches. I think his time is short and might want to accomplish or near accomplish something no other Pontiff has. He is making the overtures, I guess the ball is in the other court.


Niech bedzie pochwalony Jezus Chrystus !

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« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2003, 11:12:15 PM »

Orthodoxy would be happy to "play ball". In fact, we'll see the Catholics at the basketball court whenever they're ready for a sincere meeting. The only problem is that the Catholic Church keeps insisting that it bring it's prized football to the basketball game. We keep telling them that it doesn't work that way, but it's an old and valued football and the Catholics don't seem to want to let go of it. They're very possessive of their football to. For example, they'll promise others that if they join the Catholic team, they'll let them play with the football. But then the Catholics just make them sit the bench for a few hundred years and tell them "you must have patience, eventually you will get to play with the football like we agreed". (If you didn't "get" the preceding, maybe this clue will help)...

Saint Mark of Ephesus and Saint Alexis Toth, pray for us!
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« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2003, 12:12:48 AM »

Quote
I had a hard time following you at times.  What is meant by the terms and phrases you selected, such as "branch theorist ecumenist," "neo-con RC," "not wearing any vestments," ...?  Was this your interpretation of what the article really meant to say or were these words actually included, albeit stealth literary tricks, or did I not just see them there?  Thank you for your patience and my lack of alertness.

Branch theory ecumenist = one who denies there is one True Church of Christ, i.e. that both the Orthodox and the Latins are the True Church etc.

Neo-con RC = The type of member of the Latin church who thinks that every word uttered by JPII is dogmatic, usually dislikes RCC traditionalist and supports a conservitive Vatican II.  

Pope not wearing any vestments = a takeoff of the emperors new clothes story...sorry about these terms, the neuron connections in my head are not always sound, think wierd things and I don't fully articulate what I meant.

To clarify my point:  I think this statement by the Pope is bombast at best.  How can one redefine the Papacy but retain it's essentials?
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« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2003, 01:24:14 AM »

Nektarios<<To clarify my point:  I think this statement by the Pope is bombast at best.  How can one redefine the Papacy but retain it's essentials?>>

We may have discussed this issue in this forum before, I'm not sure.  But the only way that I can see of Pope John Paul II redefining the Papacy would be to dogmatically declare "ex cathedra" that the Pope is NOT infallible when speaking "ex cathedra" in matters of faith and morals *and* his also renouncing the Papal concept of "Universal Ordinary Jurisdiction" with the Orthodox concept of "Primus inter pares" ("First among EQUALS")--with the stress on "pares" ("equals") in his name and the names of his successors.  If John Paul considers these two elements of the present Papacy indispensible, well, any other redefining isn't worth a grain of salt, IMHO.  

As an aside, the present Pope might also consider that he is dispensible too (as are we all!), not somehow one who appears like all "gitout" at times to get his name in the history books, e.g. his reluctance to retire (because no one else will get his personal agenda accomplished, which sometimes comes across as an ego trip).  But I still like the man!  Na wieki wiekow, Amen!

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« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2003, 01:51:13 AM »

Brother Neo Tobiah,

We need to rid our selves of stereotypes, of old habits and recognize the unity that already exists. Like I said on another thread, both sides have made mistakes in the past, but I can only deal with today and tomorrow, if the Lord lets me. Give it a chance before condemning it.

In Christ,

james

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« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2003, 04:50:18 AM »

We may have discussed this issue in this forum before, I'm not sure.  But the only way that I can see of Pope John Paul II redefining the Papacy would be to dogmatically declare "ex cathedra" that the Pope is NOT infallible when speaking "ex cathedra" in matters of faith and morals *and* his also renouncing the Papal concept of "Universal Ordinary Jurisdiction" with the Orthodox concept of "Primus inter pares" ("First among EQUALS")--with the stress on "pares" ("equals") in his name and the names of his successors.  

But then the Pope would be making a papally infallible statement that the Pope is fallible.  Smiley
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« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2003, 06:33:43 AM »

I wonder how Catholics would respond to such a statement from the Pope? I know there are many Catholics who do not accept all of the dogmas of RC'ism, but would there be a huge collective sigh of relief or a vocal outcry. Would the clergy respond differently to the laity (maybe they could bring the celibacy clause to the table again?) or would it be much the same response. Would there be factions within the Catholic church who would even allow the Pope to make such a statement? Indeed, do the RC's have anything to lose really by giving up their prized football?

I realise this hypothetical situation is highly unlikely but it is interesting to speculate (though rarely profitable).

John.
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« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2003, 11:12:59 AM »

In Catholicism if a Pope declared infaliably that he was not infaliable, besides the paradox, he would be considered an anti-pope as mentioned above. Catholicism has a catch-22 that is one "infaliably" teaches error than it wasn't infaliable. So I don;t think its possible for the Pope to change this even if he wanted to.
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« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2003, 01:13:37 PM »

In Catholicism if a Pope declared infaliably that he was not infaliable, besides the paradox, he would be considered an anti-pope as mentioned above. Catholicism has a catch-22 that is one "infaliably" teaches error than it wasn't infaliable. So I don;t think its possible for the Pope to change this even if he wanted to.

Nicholas and Mor Ephrem,

I agree with you.  But I can't see any other modifications of the current Papacy that would be even remotely acceptable to the Orthodox.  The dogmatization of Papal Infallibility at the RCC's Vatican I, remember, was done without the advice or consent of the Orthodox and is inconsistent with Orthodox belief anyway.  The Papal concept of "Universal Ordinary Jurisdiction," which, in effect, despite all protestations to the contrary from RC apologists, makes all diocesan bishops of whatever rank merely auxiliary bishops to the Pope (the Universal Bishop or "Bishop of Bishops") in actual practice, is likewise totally unacceptable to the Orthodox.

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« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2003, 01:19:43 PM »

Mor Ephrem<<But then the Pope would be making a papally infallible statement that the Pope is fallible.>>

You got it, Mor!!!  

Btw, on the Revised Julian Calendar, we commemorate today St. Ephraim the Syrian (and St. Isaac the Syrian, Bishop of Ninevah).  So, happy Name's Day, Mor!  Many years!

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« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2003, 01:31:41 PM »

Thanks, Hypo-Ortho, for your wishes on this day!  

I've often wondered what Rome would have to do in a reunion situation.  As Nik says, the Pope couldn't declare that he was not infallible, because if he does, then he is a heretic and automatically is not the Pope anymore.  I suppose they could claim that Vatican I was not a truly ecumenical council (since, among other reasons, the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox weren't represented), but 1) I've read a claim in the Catholic encyclopedia that the Orthodox were indeed invited to attend the council, for what that's worth and 2) to deny that Vatican I was ecumenical would be a big blow because it would pretty much destroy the legitimacy of the Catholic Church in the eyes of many (if they were seriously wrong about one very serious thing, what else are they wrong about?).  

Even if these things did occur, and the Pope and the hierarchy "became Orthodox", I wonder how many of the people they'd bring in with them.  My guess is, not much.  The blow from the above would probably make them question if Rome knows what it is doing at all--I personally don't think they will come in in droves.  

I think I read someone on another forum write that what he thought would happen was that in a reunion council, papal infallibility would be redefined to the point of being useless.  Such would save face for Rome and also effectively get rid of it.  Unfortunately, I am not sure how one would redefine this teaching into nothingness.
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« Reply #23 on: February 03, 2003, 08:13:29 PM »

But I mean, do you think Papal supremacy is still the biggest obstacle for the union of the Churches?

I mean, it's true that this supremacy still exists "in the papers" but it seems that John Paul II has enormous difficulties to control what his own Bishops (and their priests) do, think, and teach. I recall that phrase of Cardinal Ratzinger about the German Bishops, "dialogue is the only obbedience they can give".

I am sure that in the RC, the Pope and all the Bishops have the best intentions to sek reconcilliation with the Eastern Orthodox Churches, and that they do not look for a "total administrative-jurisdictional union", but the problem is what the faith contains, in that case it would be a reunion which would be another proof of the broad character of the RC's "plurality" and "openness". But it would not be plurality of traditions within a unity in the faith. The risk would be that the Orthodox Church would just be like another "option", along with many other options (children mass, conservative mass, tridentine mass, youth mass, jazz mass...) This kind of unity would not be a true unity.
And specially now when most Christians have witnessed how the last Popes preside over what many considered to be the disintegration of the Roman Church, the collapse of the Catholic faith, the decimation of the religious orders, etc. And this situation will probably get worse in the future.
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« Reply #24 on: February 03, 2003, 09:21:03 PM »

Just a couple of observations:

Remie is essentially right about how union with Rome would be a pragmatic exercise, more so than it would have been in the 13th or 15th centuries.  Apart from the formal dogmatic differences over papal infallibility and the origin of the Holy Spirit, the liturgical and spiritual legacy of Vatican II has exponentially taken Catholics farther away from their own traditional latin faith, let alone Orthodoxy.  I think the biggest obstacle to reunion is now simply that our respective "lex orandis" are so different.

As far as papal supremacy and jurisdiction are concerned, "Ut Unum Sint" does deserve a coordinated response from the Orthodox patriarchates and major autocephalous churches.  It's a poor commentary on the state of contemporary Orthodoxy that, with relative peace in the Orthodox world, and modern methods of communication, the Ecumenical Orthodox Church is less coordinated now than it was in 1848, when it collectively responded to the overtures of Pope Pius IX.  A lot of these problems can be laid at the doorstep of the Phanar.  No one can envision Bartholomew responding to Rome so assertively as did his predecessor Anthimos, who summoned his synod to respond to Pope Leo XIII in 1895.  The chasm between Moscow and Constantinople is creating a vacuum in authority and vision that will permit the Vatican to pursue the "divide and conquer" strategy that so many Orthodox logically fear they will pursue.

In a way it's funny, because devoutly conservative Orthodox take papal authority more seriously than run-of-the-mill Catholics in the West, even if it's only in defense and rejection.  What does papal authority, or the spectre of papal oppression, mean nowadays when the past three popes can be justly accused of misfeasance in shepherding their own flocks?  I waited for the Pope to forcefully intervene in the American crisis all of the past year, with Law and the other prelates, and I waited in vain.  As an Orthodox, I wanted him to exercise that original jurisdiction and reach down into parishes to discipline errant priests, not as Pope of Rome, but simply as Patriarch of the Latin rite, in the way that that Alexey sacked the notoriously homosexual and xenophobic bishop of Ekaterinburg a couple of years back.

The Orthodox should insist with Rome that the liturgical and spiritual legacy of Vatican II, and especially the post-concilliar document "sacrosanctum concillium" and its implementation, be included as an obstacle to reunion along with the historic areas of disagreement.

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« Reply #25 on: February 03, 2003, 09:28:10 PM »

Being a curious RC, I made my first visit to the SSPX.ORG and was surprized with the amount of stuff there.

Found this interesting section, " Traditional Code of Canon Law (sec 1325), defines a "schismatic" as one who refuses to submit to the authority of the Sovereign Pontiff".

Don't agree with it all, but still interesting material.

Pokoj wejsc Chrystus,

james

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« Reply #26 on: March 29, 2003, 10:31:46 PM »

This is an interesting conversation.  I am an Orthodox Christian, formerly Roman Catholic.  There are so many differences between the Catholic and the Orthodox Churches, that even if the the Catholic Church were to renounce papal infallibility, many other issues would need to be addressed before communion could be restored.

One thing that does bother me in the exchanges on this topic is what seems to me to be a very simplistic notion of what papal infallibility actually is.  I am no theologian, so I will not try to explain what is meant by infallibility, but I suggest that if anyone is interested in learning more about it, they should check out the Vatican's website.  

A blessed and fruitful Great Lent to all,

John
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