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Author Topic: zogbhy initiative, orthodox relations and papal primacy  (Read 1565 times) Average Rating: 0
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Nephi
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« Reply #45 on: January 06, 2014, 01:26:40 PM »

I'm looking at their website for any relevant documents, but if you know any specific ones to recommend I'd appreciate it.

Also, I've read online that Arcbishop Zoghby felt Vatican I could be viewed by EO as a local Western council. Does the official Melkite position hold the same should apply to themselves?

Nephi,

Well, there is this:

Quote
8. How many Ecumenical Councils were held?
A. Seven Ecumenical Councils
9. Was the Vatican council an ecumenical council? Why?, why not?
A. The Vatican council was not an ecumenical council – no participation from the Orthodox
Source: https://melkite.org/faith/religious-education/melkite-challenge-2005-set-2


Thank you, I remember that being referenced now.
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« Reply #46 on: January 06, 2014, 01:44:25 PM »

That comment is uncalled for and unjustified.

It is perfectly in order.

It is never in order for a faithful Orthodox Christian to insult an Orthodox Bishop, especially one who has done so much for American Orthodoxy as Metropolitan Philip.

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« Reply #47 on: January 06, 2014, 02:27:31 PM »

Here is what Bishop John Elya, retired eparch of Newton for Melkite Catholics, has said about "Orthodox in communion with Rome".

What good is it to quote one of only two Melkite bishops who didn't sign onto the Zoghby initiative?  He is not reflective of his Synod's position.

Sadly, but at least he is orthodox in faith (true faith, not the denomination) and doesn't pretend to be "Orthodox in communion with Rome". He is Catholic, and in the midst of confusion , Christ speaks through men such as these. He is honest about what it means to be catholic and won't pretend to be something he is not. Honesty is the only way ecumenism is effective, not through charades.

God bless his soul angel
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« Reply #48 on: January 06, 2014, 02:35:24 PM »

There's rather more sympathy for Zoghby's stance among the Antiochian Orthodox than is commonly given credit in the US, I think. Patriarch John X is on the record supporting the implementation of the Balamand Agreement-- if nothing else, it's a way of seeing if the Melkite Catholics are actually willing and able to put their money where their mouth is in terms of reunion with the Orthodox.

For example, at his first formal meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew on June 2 of last year, Patriarch John X said:

Quote
The world is also expecting from us that we seek seriously to re-establish the unity of all Christians, with the non-Chalcedonians first and then with the western Churches. After centuries of disputes and mutual anathemas, of rejecting and neglecting each other, it is time for the weakened community of disunited Christians who wish to incarnate the message of Christ to understand the prayer of Jesus that the world will not believe in Jesus if those who believe in Him are not united. Why don't we follow seriously the decisions of Balamand and Chambesy for example?
source: http://araborthodoxy.blogspot.fr/2013/06/official-translation-of-patriarch-john.html


Even in the US, Met. Philip, who does not officially permit intercommunion between Catholics and Orthodox in his archdiocese, made a point of saying to Bishop Nicholas Samra in a recent public letter:

Quote
We hope that if you do not have a camp for your young people, you are welcomed to bring your young Melkites to our Antiochian Village which is a piece of heaven and which belongs to all of us. After all, we are all one Church.
source: https://melkite.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Sophia-v43-04-2013-Fall.pdf
Though not crazy about the above, I'll add that the same statements wouldn't be said to their Ukrainian Metropolitan Archbishop Stefan Soroka, not to mention their Latin ordinary Card. Timothy Nolan.

Because of the historical context. The Melkites belong to the Patriarch of Antioch.
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« Reply #49 on: January 06, 2014, 02:41:13 PM »

That comment is uncalled for and unjustified.

It is perfectly in order.

I'm with Fr John on this one.
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« Reply #50 on: January 06, 2014, 03:55:15 PM »

That comment is uncalled for and unjustified.

It is perfectly in order.

I'm with Fr John on this one.

+1
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« Reply #51 on: January 06, 2014, 03:56:00 PM »

Honesty is the only way ecumenism is effective, not through charades.

An ironic choice of words. 
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« Reply #52 on: January 06, 2014, 04:00:29 PM »

There's rather more sympathy for Zoghby's stance among the Antiochian Orthodox than is commonly given credit in the US, I think. Patriarch John X is on the record supporting the implementation of the Balamand Agreement-- if nothing else, it's a way of seeing if the Melkite Catholics are actually willing and able to put their money where their mouth is in terms of reunion with the Orthodox.

For example, at his first formal meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew on June 2 of last year, Patriarch John X said:

Quote
The world is also expecting from us that we seek seriously to re-establish the unity of all Christians, with the non-Chalcedonians first and then with the western Churches. After centuries of disputes and mutual anathemas, of rejecting and neglecting each other, it is time for the weakened community of disunited Christians who wish to incarnate the message of Christ to understand the prayer of Jesus that the world will not believe in Jesus if those who believe in Him are not united. Why don't we follow seriously the decisions of Balamand and Chambesy for example?
source: http://araborthodoxy.blogspot.fr/2013/06/official-translation-of-patriarch-john.html


Even in the US, Met. Philip, who does not officially permit intercommunion between Catholics and Orthodox in his archdiocese, made a point of saying to Bishop Nicholas Samra in a recent public letter:

Quote
We hope that if you do not have a camp for your young people, you are welcomed to bring your young Melkites to our Antiochian Village which is a piece of heaven and which belongs to all of us. After all, we are all one Church.
source: https://melkite.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Sophia-v43-04-2013-Fall.pdf
Though not crazy about the above, I'll add that the same statements wouldn't be said to their Ukrainian Metropolitan Archbishop Stefan Soroka, not to mention their Latin ordinary Card. Timothy Nolan.

Because of the historical context. The Melkites belong to the Patriarch of Antioch.
in more ways than one.
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« Reply #53 on: January 06, 2014, 07:02:57 PM »

Here is what Bishop John Elya, retired eparch of Newton for Melkite Catholics, has said about "Orthodox in communion with Rome".

What good is it to quote one of only two Melkite bishops who didn't sign onto the Zoghby initiative?  He is not reflective of his Synod's position.

Sadly, but at least he is orthodox in faith (true faith, not the denomination) and doesn't pretend to be "Orthodox in communion with Rome". He is Catholic, and in the midst of confusion , Christ speaks through men such as these. He is honest about what it means to be catholic and won't pretend to be something he is not. Honesty is the only way ecumenism is effective, not through charades.

God bless his soul angel

Do you not understand. A charade is exactly what he is doing. His proposal is to declare that we are in Communion without resolving our differences. That is  no solution to the problem of Christian divisions. The only honest solution is to openly and honestly deal with the sources of our divisions and resolve them. The Zoby plan does not do that. Instead it ignores them and pretends that they do not exist. First Eastern Orthodox and Catholics have to agree on a common doctrine, especially on the proper role of the Bishop of Rome and then and only then can Eastern Orthodox and Catholics renew Communion. What kind of union would it be if one side accepts Vatican 1 while the other side rejects it? It is not enough to say that we accept the Pope as having the position that he had during the first 1,000 years of Christian history, if we do not agree on what that position was.

Fr. John W. Morris
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« Reply #54 on: January 06, 2014, 07:27:58 PM »

^Father, to be honest, Archbishop Zoghby seems more consistent than you give him credit for. He explicitly stated he is completely in agreement with the Eastern Orthodox in everything (including so far as to say papal primacy is only in honor). Unless he was lying, there would be no doctrinal difference between us and his position.

If such were true of the Melkite Church itself, what would there be to work out? If they did completely agree with us on everything doctrinally, and communion is only possible with unity of belief, then what would be wrong with communing with them? Even if we don't care for their communion with Rome, so long as they do retain Orthodoxy (again, assuming such is the case like Archbishop Zoghby himself professed), I don't think that's enough to completely dismiss them.

Note: I am speaking of Antiochians and Melkites only, not necessarily all EO and definitely not all RCs.
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« Reply #55 on: January 06, 2014, 07:58:52 PM »

^Father, to be honest, Archbishop Zoghby seems more consistent than you give him credit for. He explicitly stated he is completely in agreement with the Eastern Orthodox in everything (including so far as to say papal primacy is only in honor). Unless he was lying, there would be no doctrinal difference between us and his position.

If such were true of the Melkite Church itself, what would there be to work out? If they did completely agree with us on everything doctrinally, and communion is only possible with unity of belief, then what would be wrong with communing with them? Even if we don't care for their communion with Rome, so long as they do retain Orthodoxy (again, assuming such is the case like Archbishop Zoghby himself professed), I don't think that's enough to completely dismiss them.

Note: I am speaking of Antiochians and Melkites only, not necessarily all EO and definitely not all RCs.

It is against the doctrine of the Eastern Orthodox Church to be in Communion with a Bishop who does not share the Eastern Orthodox Faith. As long as the Catholic Church accepts the decrees of the 1st Vatican Council, it does not share the Eastern Orthodox Faith. The correct Eastern Orthodox position is that Communion is only possible after we have reached complete agreement with those desiring to enter into Communion with us. It is a serious violation of the teachings of the Eastern Orthodox Church for a Bishop to be in Communion with a Bishop with whom he has real and profound doctrinal disagreements. The Pope believes that he is infallible, and posses complete authority over the entire Church subject to no higher body, not even an Ecumenical Council. Eastern Orthodox do not believe that the Pope is infallible, that he has any authority outside of his own Patriarchate of the West and must obey the decisions of an Ecumenical Council. Therefore, there are very important differences on basic doctrine between Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. Ignoring them will not make them go away. Before we can be in Communion with Rome or with the Melkites who are in Communion with Rome, we must first resolve our doctrinal differences with Rome. I respect Roman Catholics and have very good relations with the local Catholic clergy, but I do not agree with the doctrine of the Catholic Church, especially those doctrines concerning the papacy. I do not understand why that is so controversial. To me as an Eastern Orthodox Christian, it is a matter of common sense. The Zoghby plan implies that doctrine is not really important. If I believed that, I would have stayed a Protestant. I became Eastern Orthodox because I do not want to be part of a body which has no commitment to pure doctrine.

Fr. John W. Morris
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« Reply #56 on: January 07, 2014, 01:49:55 AM »

Here is what Bishop John Elya, retired eparch of Newton for Melkite Catholics, has said about "Orthodox in communion with Rome".

What good is it to quote one of only two Melkite bishops who didn't sign onto the Zoghby initiative?  He is not reflective of his Synod's position.

Sadly, but at least he is orthodox in faith (true faith, not the denomination) and doesn't pretend to be "Orthodox in communion with Rome". He is Catholic, and in the midst of confusion , Christ speaks through men such as these. He is honest about what it means to be catholic and won't pretend to be something he is not. Honesty is the only way ecumenism is effective, not through charades.

God bless his soul angel

Do you not understand. A charade is exactly what he is doing. His proposal is to declare that we are in Communion without resolving our differences. That is  no solution to the problem of Christian divisions. The only honest solution is to openly and honestly deal with the sources of our divisions and resolve them. The Zoby plan does not do that. Instead it ignores them and pretends that they do not exist. First Eastern Orthodox and Catholics have to agree on a common doctrine, especially on the proper role of the Bishop of Rome and then and only then can Eastern Orthodox and Catholics renew Communion. What kind of union would it be if one side accepts Vatican 1 while the other side rejects it? It is not enough to say that we accept the Pope as having the position that he had during the first 1,000 years of Christian history, if we do not agree on what that position was.

Fr. John W. Morris

Father , again you are mistaken.

my post was in reference to Bishop John Elya , not Zoghby

I am against the initiative
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« Reply #57 on: January 07, 2014, 05:55:18 AM »

Here is what Bishop John Elya, retired eparch of Newton for Melkite Catholics, has said about "Orthodox in communion with Rome".

What good is it to quote one of only two Melkite bishops who didn't sign onto the Zoghby initiative?  He is not reflective of his Synod's position.

Sadly, but at least he is orthodox in faith (true faith, not the denomination) and doesn't pretend to be "Orthodox in communion with Rome". He is Catholic, and in the midst of confusion , Christ speaks through men such as these. He is honest about what it means to be catholic and won't pretend to be something he is not. Honesty is the only way ecumenism is effective, not through charades.

God bless his soul angel

Do you not understand. A charade is exactly what he is doing. His proposal is to declare that we are in Communion without resolving our differences. That is  no solution to the problem of Christian divisions. The only honest solution is to openly and honestly deal with the sources of our divisions and resolve them. The Zoby plan does not do that. Instead it ignores them and pretends that they do not exist. First Eastern Orthodox and Catholics have to agree on a common doctrine, especially on the proper role of the Bishop of Rome and then and only then can Eastern Orthodox and Catholics renew Communion. What kind of union would it be if one side accepts Vatican 1 while the other side rejects it? It is not enough to say that we accept the Pope as having the position that he had during the first 1,000 years of Christian history, if we do not agree on what that position was.

Fr. John W. Morris

Father , again you are mistaken.

my post was in reference to Bishop John Elya , not Zoghby

I am against the initiative

I may have not realized that you were referring to Bishop Ely. However, my argument still stands. You cannot be Eastern Orthodox in Communion with Rome. That should be obvious. Rome affirms the decisions of the 1st Vatican Council, which Eastern Orthodoxy reject.

Fr. John W. Morris
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« Reply #58 on: January 07, 2014, 10:15:48 AM »

So, based on what I'm reading here, it seems that the Melkite Church has a bit of an identity crisis.  Some of its members view it as an integral part of the Roman Catholic Church subordinate and obedient to the Pope of Rome and acquiescent to all of his promulgations.  Others view it as being - as Nephi has termed it - an "independent ecclesiastical structure" that happens to be in communion with Rome, but is not subordinate to it, and is essentially Eastern Orthodox in faith.  Interesting.  I would tend to agree with Fr. John Morris that...

According to Eastern Orthodox theology, if a Bishop is  in Communion with a Bishops means that means that he shares a common doctrine with the other Bishop. That means that if he were operating from an Eastern Orthodox point of view, Archbishop Zoghby recognizes the doctrinal decrees of the 1st Vatican Council by staying in Communion with the Pope.  One of the fundamental principles of Eastern Orthodox ecumenical doctrine is that there must complete doctrinal agreement before Communion with another body of Christians is possible. You cannot be Eastern Orthodox and be in Communion with the Pope because the Pope embraces the dogmatic decrees of Vatican I, all of which are contrary to the doctrine of the Eastern Orthodox Faith.

Fr. John's post considered, I have to admit the idea of piecemeal communion is problematic for me.  If X and Y are in communion, and then Z enters into communion with X but not with Y, what does that really mean?  Being in communion means full doctrinal unity, doesn't it?  If Z = X, how can it not also equal Y?
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« Reply #59 on: January 07, 2014, 11:41:27 AM »

I would think at this point most of the melkites don't live in Syria anymore and they have alot more to worry about than being unsure of their identity
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« Reply #60 on: January 07, 2014, 12:11:42 PM »

Here is what Bishop John Elya, retired eparch of Newton for Melkite Catholics, has said about "Orthodox in communion with Rome".

What good is it to quote one of only two Melkite bishops who didn't sign onto the Zoghby initiative?  He is not reflective of his Synod's position.

Sadly, but at least he is orthodox in faith (true faith, not the denomination) and doesn't pretend to be "Orthodox in communion with Rome". He is Catholic, and in the midst of confusion , Christ speaks through men such as these. He is honest about what it means to be catholic and won't pretend to be something he is not. Honesty is the only way ecumenism is effective, not through charades.

God bless his soul angel

Do you not understand. A charade is exactly what he is doing. His proposal is to declare that we are in Communion without resolving our differences. That is  no solution to the problem of Christian divisions. The only honest solution is to openly and honestly deal with the sources of our divisions and resolve them. The Zoby plan does not do that. Instead it ignores them and pretends that they do not exist. First Eastern Orthodox and Catholics have to agree on a common doctrine, especially on the proper role of the Bishop of Rome and then and only then can Eastern Orthodox and Catholics renew Communion. What kind of union would it be if one side accepts Vatican 1 while the other side rejects it? It is not enough to say that we accept the Pope as having the position that he had during the first 1,000 years of Christian history, if we do not agree on what that position was.

Fr. John W. Morris

Father , again you are mistaken.

my post was in reference to Bishop John Elya , not Zoghby

I am against the initiative

I may have not realized that you were referring to Bishop Ely. However, my argument still stands. You cannot be Eastern Orthodox in Communion with Rome. That should be obvious. Rome affirms the decisions of the 1st Vatican Council, which Eastern Orthodoxy reject.

Fr. John W. Morris

I don't think anyone disagrees with you father so no need to argue Smiley

To be Catholic is to not be Eastern Orthodox and vice-versa. This whole Orthodox in Communion with Rome is honestly heretical. At least that's my point of view.
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« Reply #61 on: January 07, 2014, 01:27:45 PM »

Fr. John's post considered, I have to admit the idea of piecemeal communion is problematic for me.  If X and Y are in communion, and then Z enters into communion with X but not with Y, what does that really mean?  Being in communion means full doctrinal unity, doesn't it?  If Z = X, how can it not also equal Y?

I have always wondered this question also, especially for what it means for the faithful.
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« Reply #62 on: January 07, 2014, 01:52:27 PM »

There are a lot of historical examples of various sorts of of 'piecemeal communion'. The most recent and fresh in the minds of North Americans is when ROCOR was simultaneously in communion with Serbia and Jerusalem (though the latter only in the Holy Land, as I understand it) and then also from time to time simultaneously with Greek Old Calendarist groups. Then there are the situations where two Orthodox churches are out of communion with each other but each in communion with the rest of Orthodoxy-- like Romania and Jerusalem a couple years ago or what is likely to happen in a few weeks between Antioch and Jerusalem (notice the pattern). This was also arguably  the situation in the Christian world from 1054 until the Crusades, with Rome and Constantinople out of communion with each other but the rest of Christendom was still in communion with both, though there's not enough evidence for sees other than Antioch to prove this conclusively.

More salient for the Melkite situation is that for most of the 17th century until a little bit even after 1724 (since initially not all Roman Catholic religious orders supported the party going into schism for the sake of union with Rome), the Patriarchate of Antioch was more or less in communion with both Orthodoxy and Rome, with most patriarchs of this period allowing Roman Catholic clergy to preach and hear confessions in Orthodox churches and at least a couple patriarchs of Antioch made Catholic confessions of faith while remaining in communion with the other Orthodox churches. Zoghby, who, like more than a few recent Melkite Catholic intellectuals-- Fr Jean Corbon comes to mind-- considered the schism to be a historical mistake that did nothing to further unity, and so the Balamand Agreement was an attempt to return Antioch to this 17th century situation. Which of course was pretty certainly untenable.
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« Reply #63 on: January 07, 2014, 02:13:00 PM »

There are a lot of historical examples of various sorts of of 'piecemeal communion'. The most recent and fresh in the minds of North Americans is when ROCOR was simultaneously in communion with Serbia and Jerusalem (though the latter only in the Holy Land, as I understand it) and then also from time to time simultaneously with Greek Old Calendarist groups. Then there are the situations where two Orthodox churches are out of communion with each other but each in communion with the rest of Orthodoxy-- like Romania and Jerusalem a couple years ago or what is likely to happen in a few weeks between Antioch and Jerusalem (notice the pattern). This was also arguably  the situation in the Christian world from 1054 until the Crusades, with Rome and Constantinople out of communion with each other but the rest of Christendom was still in communion with both, though there's not enough evidence for sees other than Antioch to prove this conclusively.

More salient for the Melkite situation is that for most of the 17th century until a little bit even after 1724 (since initially not all Roman Catholic religious orders supported the party going into schism for the sake of union with Rome), the Patriarchate of Antioch was more or less in communion with both Orthodoxy and Rome, with most patriarchs of this period allowing Roman Catholic clergy to preach and hear confessions in Orthodox churches and at least a couple patriarchs of Antioch made Catholic confessions of faith while remaining in communion with the other Orthodox churches. Zoghby, who, like more than a few recent Melkite Catholic intellectuals-- Fr Jean Corbon comes to mind-- considered the schism to be a historical mistake that did nothing to further unity, and so the Balamand Agreement was an attempt to return Antioch to this 17th century situation. Which of course was pretty certainly untenable.
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« Reply #64 on: January 07, 2014, 02:46:56 PM »

There are a lot of historical examples of various sorts of of 'piecemeal communion'. The most recent and fresh in the minds of North Americans is when ROCOR was simultaneously in communion with Serbia and Jerusalem (though the latter only in the Holy Land, as I understand it) and then also from time to time simultaneously with Greek Old Calendarist groups. Then there are the situations where two Orthodox churches are out of communion with each other but each in communion with the rest of Orthodoxy-- like Romania and Jerusalem a couple years ago or what is likely to happen in a few weeks between Antioch and Jerusalem (notice the pattern). This was also arguably  the situation in the Christian world from 1054 until the Crusades, with Rome and Constantinople out of communion with each other but the rest of Christendom was still in communion with both, though there's not enough evidence for sees other than Antioch to prove this conclusively.

More salient for the Melkite situation is that for most of the 17th century until a little bit even after 1724 (since initially not all Roman Catholic religious orders supported the party going into schism for the sake of union with Rome), the Patriarchate of Antioch was more or less in communion with both Orthodoxy and Rome, with most patriarchs of this period allowing Roman Catholic clergy to preach and hear confessions in Orthodox churches and at least a couple patriarchs of Antioch made Catholic confessions of faith while remaining in communion with the other Orthodox churches. Zoghby, who, like more than a few recent Melkite Catholic intellectuals-- Fr Jean Corbon comes to mind-- considered the schism to be a historical mistake that did nothing to further unity, and so the Balamand Agreement was an attempt to return Antioch to this 17th century situation. Which of course was pretty certainly untenable.



The intra-Orthodox bits are one thing - where there's a schism but no real breach of faith - and I'm not sure they're applicable to this situation.  Same with the stuff in the period immediately folowing 1054 while the lines were still hardening, so to speak.  The second paragraph, however, is certainly more salient, as you've said, and though I'm not sure that any of it sets a precedent that could be applied in today's world, it does raise some interesting questions.  By the 17th century there were certainly substantial differences in faith between the Eastern Orthodox and Rome and the idea of Orthodox patriarchs allowing Roman Catholic clergy to administer the Sacraments, and even a few of said Patriarchs making Roman Catholic confessions of faith while remaining a part of the Eastern Orthodox Communion is remarkable.  I'd imagine that quite a bit of this was due to the political circumstances of the day, and that at least some of it was due to communications being what they were at the time.  I can't imagine an EO patriarch doing so today without substantial repercussions from the other patriarchates.  I wonder how much of it was simply that the Orthodox in other parts of the world weren't aware of what was going on.

I'd agree with Archbishop Elias that the schism of 1724 was a mistake (i.e. Patriarch Cyril V and his party leaving Orthodoxy for Rome), but I'd think the solution would be to return to Orthodoxy a la St. Alexis Toth; especially since Archbishop Elias pretty much says he is Eastern Orthodox in faith doesn't buy into Rome's later innovations.
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« Reply #65 on: January 07, 2014, 03:05:09 PM »

Well, the 16th-18th centuries were pretty fluid times for the boundaries between Orthodoxy and Catholicism. Outside of Antioch, we have the case of Paisios Ligarides (d. 1678) who despite being a Catholic from Chios (which was under Venetian rule and so predominately Catholic) who received his education in Rome and was made metropolitan of Gaza in 1652. He did get deposed and anathematized for being Catholic, but only after a change of patriarchs in Jerusalem placed him out of favor... I'm sure if one were to poke around a bit, more examples wouldn't be hard to find.
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« Reply #66 on: January 07, 2014, 03:26:57 PM »

Samn, do you think the hard divisions came about from (or at least after) the confessionalization of Orthodoxy and the end of the ancien regime? The time period seems to be similar as Western confessionalization.
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« Reply #67 on: January 07, 2014, 03:29:14 PM »

Well, the 16th-18th centuries were pretty fluid times for the boundaries between Orthodoxy and Catholicism. Outside of Antioch, we have the case of Paisios Ligarides (d. 1678) who despite being a Catholic from Chios (which was under Venetian rule and so predominately Catholic) who received his education in Rome and was made metropolitan of Gaza in 1652. He did get deposed and anathematized for being Catholic, but only after a change of patriarchs in Jerusalem placed him out of favor... I'm sure if one were to poke around a bit, more examples wouldn't be hard to find.

Your point about the boundaries being more fluid than they are today is taken, but I'm not sure if Ligarides helps your case (or perhaps it's not your case, but that of the "Orthodox in Communion with Rome" party among the Melkites).  From what I've read, Ligarides was a bit of a duplicitous double-dealer, and was not made Metropolitan of Gaza despite being a Catholic from Chios, but because he had converted to Orthodoxy beforehand.  When Patriarch Nektarios discovered that Ligarides had not broken off relations with Rome and was still on their payroll, it was then that he deposed him.

According to Nicolaidis, Ligarides was a shady guy all around, and the poor communications of the time aided him in playing all sides against the middle.  Not only the Orthodox against the Roman Catholics, but Tsar Alexis against Patriarch Nikon, participating in Nikon's reforms in Bucharest but siding with the Tsar when he reached Russia and the stuff hit the fan.  I love how Nicolaidis describes him as possibly being...

Quote
...at heart a Vatican man who was trying to penetrate Russia by profiting from religious strife among the Orthodox.

http://books.google.com/books?id=btxL0CCfNrgC&pg=PT136&lpg=PT136&dq=Paisios+Ligarides&source=bl&ots=gZWPj7-tjv&sig=bpl3yhvSBVheNj1eGpk5FujhiP0&hl=en&sa=X&ei=sFXMUuHBC5HIsATeq4GoDQ&ved=0CEYQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=Paisios%20Ligarides&f=false

All that said, again, your point about the fluidity of the boundaries for a long time post-schism is certainly taken.
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« Reply #68 on: January 07, 2014, 03:47:38 PM »

So, based on what I'm reading here, it seems that the Melkite Church has a bit of an identity crisis.  Some of its members view it as an integral part of the Roman Catholic Church subordinate and obedient to the Pope of Rome and acquiescent to all of his promulgations.  Others view it as being - as Nephi has termed it - an "independent ecclesiastical structure" that happens to be in communion with Rome, but is not subordinate to it, and is essentially Eastern Orthodox in faith.  Interesting.  I would tend to agree with Fr. John Morris that...

According to Eastern Orthodox theology, if a Bishop is  in Communion with a Bishops means that means that he shares a common doctrine with the other Bishop. That means that if he were operating from an Eastern Orthodox point of view, Archbishop Zoghby recognizes the doctrinal decrees of the 1st Vatican Council by staying in Communion with the Pope.  One of the fundamental principles of Eastern Orthodox ecumenical doctrine is that there must complete doctrinal agreement before Communion with another body of Christians is possible. You cannot be Eastern Orthodox and be in Communion with the Pope because the Pope embraces the dogmatic decrees of Vatican I, all of which are contrary to the doctrine of the Eastern Orthodox Faith.

Fr. John's post considered, I have to admit the idea of piecemeal communion is problematic for me.  If X and Y are in communion, and then Z enters into communion with X but not with Y, what does that really mean?  Being in communion means full doctrinal unity, doesn't it?  If Z = X, how can it not also equal Y?

According to the ecumenical principles of the Orthodox Church we cannot enter into Communion with any non-Orthodox church unless we are also able to enter into Communion with every church in Communion them. Thus, if we enter into Communion with group X and X is in Communion with Y, we cannot enter into Communion with X unless we can also enter into Communion with Y.

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« Reply #69 on: January 07, 2014, 04:46:16 PM »



Quote
Samn, do you think the hard divisions came about from (or at least after) the confessionalization of Orthodoxy and the end of the ancien regime? The time period seems to be similar as Western confessionalization.


Well, for the Orthodox, the Ancien Régime ended pretty much in  1084... But, we have to remember that no distinctive Roman Catholic doctrine was ever anathematized by an ecumenical council and all Roman distinctives have been tolerated by different Orthodox churches at different times to different degrees. And if we're going to bring in Vatican I which, despite not having been condemned, essentially means the end of any kind of non-Roman Christianity, the ecclesiology of someone like the Melkite Catholic Metropolitan Germanos Adam http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germanos_Adam (whose biography, by the way, was written by the current Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregorios III Lahham), is far more Orthodox than the nonsense being promulgated by the Ecumenical Patriarchate this week-- http://www.patriarchate.org/documents/first-without-equals-elpidophoros-lambriniadis ). I take my locus classicus of Antiochian ecclesiology being articulated here: http://araborthodoxy.blogspot.fr/2014/01/patriarch-peter-iii-on-primacy-in-church.html


All that said, again, your point about the fluidity of the boundaries for a long time post-schism is certainly taken.

It's unclear how much the case of Lagarides is actually one of deception or of later historiography trying to paper over earlier fluidity....

Quote
According to the ecumenical principles of the Orthodox Church we cannot enter into Communion with any non-Orthodox church unless we are also able to enter into Communion with every church in Communion them. Thus, if we enter into Communion with group X and X is in Communion with Y, we cannot enter into Communion with X unless we can also enter into Communion with Y.

This notion, never articulated ecumenically even if implicit, has only ever been honored in the breach....
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« Reply #70 on: January 07, 2014, 05:25:02 PM »



Quote
Samn, do you think the hard divisions came about from (or at least after) the confessionalization of Orthodoxy and the end of the ancien regime? The time period seems to be similar as Western confessionalization.


Well, for the Orthodox, the Ancien Régime ended pretty much in  1084... But, we have to remember that no distinctive Roman Catholic doctrine was ever anathematized by an ecumenical council and all Roman distinctives have been tolerated by different Orthodox churches at different times to different degrees. And if we're going to bring in Vatican I which, despite not having been condemned, essentially means the end of any kind of non-Roman Christianity, the ecclesiology of someone like the Melkite Catholic Metropolitan Germanos Adam http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germanos_Adam (whose biography, by the way, was written by the current Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregorios III Lahham), is far more Orthodox than the nonsense being promulgated by the Ecumenical Patriarchate this week-- http://www.patriarchate.org/documents/first-without-equals-elpidophoros-lambriniadis ). I take my locus classicus of Antiochian ecclesiology being articulated here: http://araborthodoxy.blogspot.fr/2014/01/patriarch-peter-iii-on-primacy-in-church.html

Thank you for that, and I suppose you're right that Orthodoxy hasn't quite confessionalized in the way Western Christianity has. It's interesting to read that the Melkites had (for a time, at least) become acquainted with Gallicanism and Conciliarism. Does this mean that HB Patriarch Gregorios III is personally sympathetic with such sentiments? While Vatican I effectively crushed Gallicanism (although it compromised to some degree with Conciliarism), if the Melkite Church is stepping away from it as instead being a local and non-binding council then it could open up some interesting possibilities, undoubtedly to Rome's chagrin.
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« Reply #71 on: January 07, 2014, 05:52:45 PM »


According to the ecumenical principles of the Orthodox Church we cannot enter into Communion with any non-Orthodox church unless we are also able to enter into Communion with every church in Communion them. Thus, if we enter into Communion with group X and X is in Communion with Y, we cannot enter into Communion with X unless we can also enter into Communion with Y.

Fr. John W. Morris

I agree, Father.  This makes sense to me.

It's unclear how much the case of Lagarides is actually one of deception or of later historiography trying to paper over earlier fluidity....

Could you point me toward some sources which assert he's been unfairly smeared?  I suppose it could be contended that Nicolaidis and other Eastern Orthodox historians are biased simply by virtue of being Orthodox and thus desirous of downplaying the earlier fluidity we've both acknowledged (though I don't know if it is fair to impugn them in this way), but most of the points they make against Lagarides are borne out by Western academics without a dog in the fight such as Longworth and even Roman Catholics historians sympathetic to Eastern Catholicism and somewhat hostile to Orthodoxy like Fr. Adrian Fortescue.  Fortescue is particularly hard on Ligarides, writing that unlike those he regards as being truly both Eastern and Catholic he "played a double game" and "to the Orthodox he represented himself as one of them; while all his life he went on writing to Propaganda for money...trying to please both sides, to pretend to each that he was one of them, lying to both, he ended by being denounced by both".  I'd be interested to read a different perspective.
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« Reply #72 on: January 07, 2014, 06:10:23 PM »

My take on Ligarides is mostly informed by my general vibe for his era, where in the Levant, Orthodox, Catholic and Reformed had very fluid borders during the period we're talking about. If we take, say, Palmer's introductory material about Ligarides in his History of the Condemnation of the Patriarch Nicon, I would take his insistence on Ligarides fluidity and duplicity as being due to his (Palmer's) bias against Rome. Paul of Antioch's contemporary take, for example (which is about to come out in a new translation) is rather more neutral and favorable-- granted, he was the son of a patriarch of Antioch who probably (though not definitely, to my knowledge) signed a Roman confession of faith...
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« Reply #73 on: January 07, 2014, 06:29:38 PM »

My take on Ligarides is mostly informed by my general vibe for his era, where in the Levant, Orthodox, Catholic and Reformed had very fluid borders during the period we're talking about. If we take, say, Palmer's introductory material about Ligarides in his History of the Condemnation of the Patriarch Nicon, I would take his insistence on Ligarides fluidity and duplicity as being due to his (Palmer's) bias against Rome. Paul of Antioch's contemporary take, for example (which is about to come out in a new translation) is rather more neutral and favorable-- granted, he was the son of a patriarch of Antioch who probably (though not definitely, to my knowledge) signed a Roman confession of faith...

Well, other than the Paul of Antioch translation (which I'll look out for) if you think of any other sources which buck the general trend of disparaging Ligarides, let me know.  My impression of him, based on the sources I've named above, has always been unfavorable, but I'm willing to acknowledge that - as with St. Dioscoros - this may be due to the bias of later writers with an axe to grind, with still later writers imitating them.
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« Reply #74 on: January 08, 2014, 07:46:19 PM »

4.) The Melkite Patriarch's full title is "Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, of Alexandria and of Jerusalem".  I was surprised by the Alexandria and Jerusalem bit.  Can someone elaborate a bit on this please?  How did these cities come to be included in the Melkite Patriarch's titles?

5.) In the Eastern Orthodox world, the idea of having multiple Patriarchs of a single see (Alexandria, Antioch, or Jerusalem, for example) would be seen as problematic canonically speaking.  In the Roman Catholic world, does canon law permit multiple patriarchs centered on a single city so long as the celebrate different rites and care for different populations (i.e. the Melkite and Coptic Catholic Patriarchs of Alexandria or the Melkite and Maronite Patriarchs of Antioch)?

4.  The Melkite Patriarch has jurisdiction over Melkites throughout the Middle East.  He has patriarchal exarchs in Alexandria and Jerusalem for his flock in Egypt and Israel.  He holds Alexandria and Jerusalem as personal titles only a one cannot be patriarch of more than one See.

5.  Different populations is the key, although rite is most often the reason.  Winnipeg has three archdiocese, one for Ukrainian Catholics, one for English-speaking Latin Catholics, and one for French-speaking Latin Catholics.
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« Reply #75 on: January 08, 2014, 08:10:40 PM »


Fine, I'm a big jerk. He's done more than I'm sure I ever will. Forgive me.
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« Reply #76 on: January 08, 2014, 08:16:15 PM »

Thanks for the answer, Dn. Lance.  Although its uncanonical, I'm used to the idea of overlapping jurisdictions and multiple bishops in a single city in the "lands of immigration", but the idea of multiple patriarchs representing a single body in ancient and well-established sees is a little unusual to me.  Still, I guess I can see the whole rites thing, especially since many of the Eastern Catholic bodies seem to see themselves (rightly or wrongly) as independent churches that happen to be in communion with Rome.
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« Reply #77 on: January 08, 2014, 08:18:59 PM »



Quote
Samn, do you think the hard divisions came about from (or at least after) the confessionalization of Orthodoxy and the end of the ancien regime? The time period seems to be similar as Western confessionalization.


Well, for the Orthodox, the Ancien Régime ended pretty much in  1084... But, we have to remember that no distinctive Roman Catholic doctrine was ever anathematized by an ecumenical council and all Roman distinctives have been tolerated by different Orthodox churches at different times to different degrees. And if we're going to bring in Vatican I which, despite not having been condemned, essentially means the end of any kind of non-Roman Christianity, the ecclesiology of someone like the Melkite Catholic Metropolitan Germanos Adam http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germanos_Adam (whose biography, by the way, was written by the current Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregorios III Lahham), is far more Orthodox than the nonsense being promulgated by the Ecumenical Patriarchate this week-- http://www.patriarchate.org/documents/first-without-equals-elpidophoros-lambriniadis ). I take my locus classicus of Antiochian ecclesiology being articulated here: http://araborthodoxy.blogspot.fr/2014/01/patriarch-peter-iii-on-primacy-in-church.html


All that said, again, your point about the fluidity of the boundaries for a long time post-schism is certainly taken.

It's unclear how much the case of Lagarides is actually one of deception or of later historiography trying to paper over earlier fluidity....

Quote
According to the ecumenical principles of the Orthodox Church we cannot enter into Communion with any non-Orthodox church unless we are also able to enter into Communion with every church in Communion them. Thus, if we enter into Communion with group X and X is in Communion with Y, we cannot enter into Communion with X unless we can also enter into Communion with Y.

This notion, never articulated ecumenically even if implicit, has only ever been honored in the breach....

The principle that in order to enter into Communion with another church, the Eastern Orthodox Church must also be able to enter into Communion with the churches in Communion with the Church in which we are in dialogue has been articulated ecumenically. To my knowledge the first time that this principle was invoked was during the dialogue with the European Old Catholics. The Orthodox told the Old Catholics that since they were in full Communion with Anglicanism, Orthodoxy could not enter into Communion with the Old Catholics unless it is also able to enter into Communion with the Anglicans. It was also the heart of the response of the Holy Synod of Antioch to the Zoghby proposal of the Melkites. Finally, during the North American Orthodox Lutheran Ecumenical Dialogue, the Evangelical Lutherans were told the same thing because they have all sorts of intercommunion agreements with everyone from the Episcopalians, to the Presbyterian Church USA and even the United Church of Christ.

Fr. John W. Morris
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« Reply #78 on: January 08, 2014, 08:20:13 PM »

Yes. There are currently 3 RC patriarchs of Antioxh, two of Alexandria and two of Jerusalem.

Not quite.  Only three patriarchs in Antioch (Maronite, Melkite, and Syriac), one in Alexandria (Coptic), and one Jerusalem (Latin).  The Melkite Patriarch only holds Alexandria and Jerusalem as titles ad personam.
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« Reply #79 on: January 08, 2014, 08:33:13 PM »

Yes. There are currently 3 RC patriarchs of Antioxh, two of Alexandria and two of Jerusalem.

Not quite.  Only three patriarchs in Antioch (Maronite, Melkite, and Syriac), one in Alexandria (Coptic), and one Jerusalem (Latin).  The Melkite Patriarch only holds Alexandria and Jerusalem as titles ad personam.

Even if the Melkite patriarch has no seat in Alexandria it still makes 2 patriarchs of Jerusalem (Melkite and Latin).
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« Reply #80 on: January 08, 2014, 09:49:14 PM »

Yes. There are currently 3 RC patriarchs of Antioxh, two of Alexandria and two of Jerusalem.

Not quite.  Only three patriarchs in Antioch (Maronite, Melkite, and Syriac), one in Alexandria (Coptic), and one Jerusalem (Latin).  The Melkite Patriarch only holds Alexandria and Jerusalem as titles ad personam.

Even if the Melkite patriarch has no seat in Alexandria it still makes 2 patriarchs of Jerusalem (Melkite and Latin).

He has no seat in Jerusalem either.   
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« Reply #81 on: January 08, 2014, 10:18:53 PM »

To clarify, the territory of Alexandria and Jerusalem is aggregated to the territory of the Patriarchal Archeparchy of Damascus. He rules the territories as a part of his own Eparchy.  One cannot be Patriarch of more than one See any more than one can be Bishop of more than one See.
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« Reply #82 on: January 09, 2014, 02:02:17 AM »

There's rather more sympathy for Zoghby's stance among the Antiochian Orthodox than is commonly given credit in the US, I think. Patriarch John X is on the record supporting the implementation of the Balamand Agreement-- if nothing else, it's a way of seeing if the Melkite Catholics are actually willing and able to put their money where their mouth is in terms of reunion with the Orthodox.

For example, at his first formal meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew on June 2 of last year, Patriarch John X said:

Quote
The world is also expecting from us that we seek seriously to re-establish the unity of all Christians, with the non-Chalcedonians first and then with the western Churches. After centuries of disputes and mutual anathemas, of rejecting and neglecting each other, it is time for the weakened community of disunited Christians who wish to incarnate the message of Christ to understand the prayer of Jesus that the world will not believe in Jesus if those who believe in Him are not united. Why don't we follow seriously the decisions of Balamand and Chambesy for example?
source: http://araborthodoxy.blogspot.fr/2013/06/official-translation-of-patriarch-john.html


Even in the US, Met. Philip, who does not officially permit intercommunion between Catholics and Orthodox in his archdiocese, made a point of saying to Bishop Nicholas Samra in a recent public letter:

Quote
We hope that if you do not have a camp for your young people, you are welcomed to bring your young Melkites to our Antiochian Village which is a piece of heaven and which belongs to all of us. After all, we are all one Church.
source: https://melkite.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Sophia-v43-04-2013-Fall.pdf

During one of our clergy meetings with Metropolitan Philip someone asked about the Balamand Statement. His Eminence replied that it is merely a committee report and has no real authority. He told us to read it and file it away. Someone said, you mean in the round file. He replied. That is a good place for it.
Having discussed ecumenism with His Eminence many times since I have represented him as ecumenical gatherings, I know for a fact beyond the shadow of  doubt that he is not an ecumenist. My instructions from him have always been never to ever compromise the Orthodox Faith in any way during the meetings at which I have represented him. As he once told me, "I am dogmatic about the dogma of the Church."

Fr. John W. Morris

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« Reply #83 on: January 09, 2014, 02:50:25 AM »

There's rather more sympathy for Zoghby's stance among the Antiochian Orthodox than is commonly given credit in the US, I think. Patriarch John X is on the record supporting the implementation of the Balamand Agreement-- if nothing else, it's a way of seeing if the Melkite Catholics are actually willing and able to put their money where their mouth is in terms of reunion with the Orthodox.

For example, at his first formal meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew on June 2 of last year, Patriarch John X said:

Quote
The world is also expecting from us that we seek seriously to re-establish the unity of all Christians, with the non-Chalcedonians first and then with the western Churches. After centuries of disputes and mutual anathemas, of rejecting and neglecting each other, it is time for the weakened community of disunited Christians who wish to incarnate the message of Christ to understand the prayer of Jesus that the world will not believe in Jesus if those who believe in Him are not united. Why don't we follow seriously the decisions of Balamand and Chambesy for example?
source: http://araborthodoxy.blogspot.fr/2013/06/official-translation-of-patriarch-john.html


Even in the US, Met. Philip, who does not officially permit intercommunion between Catholics and Orthodox in his archdiocese, made a point of saying to Bishop Nicholas Samra in a recent public letter:

Quote
We hope that if you do not have a camp for your young people, you are welcomed to bring your young Melkites to our Antiochian Village which is a piece of heaven and which belongs to all of us. After all, we are all one Church.
source: https://melkite.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Sophia-v43-04-2013-Fall.pdf

During one of our clergy meetings with Metropolitan Philip someone asked about the Balamand Statement. His Eminence replied that it is merely a committee report and has no real authority. He told us to read it and file it away. Someone said, you mean in the round file. He replied. That is a good place for it.
Having discussed ecumenism with His Eminence many times since I have represented him as ecumenical gatherings, I know for a fact beyond the shadow of  doubt that he is not an ecumenist. My instructions from him have always been never to ever compromise the Orthodox Faith in any way during the meetings at which I have represented him. As he once told me, "I am dogmatic about the dogma of the Church."

Fr. John W. Morris

Thats a good saying!

The letter to the Melkites puzzles me because we have a hard time finding enough room at the Antiochian Village for our own children. Now each diocese has organized its own camping program within the diocese to provide places for all our children who want to go to camp.

Fr. John W. Morris
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« Reply #84 on: January 09, 2014, 06:22:43 PM »

When I was there last spring it looked like they had built new cabins in addition to repairing older ones, so perhaps there will be more room.  
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« Reply #85 on: January 09, 2014, 08:17:00 PM »

When I was there last spring it looked like they had built new cabins in addition to repairing older ones, so perhaps there will be more room.  

That is because a tornado hit the camp two years ago and damaged several cabins.

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« Reply #86 on: January 09, 2014, 09:18:29 PM »

When I was there last spring it looked like they had built new cabins in addition to repairing older ones, so perhaps there will be more room.  

That is because a tornado hit the camp two years ago and damaged several cabins.

Fr. John W. Morris
Yes, I know I live about an hour or so away.  I mean there are more cabins altogether not just replacing the damaged ones.  Yes?
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« Reply #87 on: January 09, 2014, 10:02:43 PM »

When I was there last spring it looked like they had built new cabins in addition to repairing older ones, so perhaps there will be more room.  

That is because a tornado hit the camp two years ago and damaged several cabins.

Fr. John W. Morris
Yes, I know I live about an hour or so away.  I mean there are more cabins altogether not just replacing the damaged ones.  Yes?

I do not know if they are building more cabins at the Antiochian Village. We send the children of our parish to Camp St Thekla in South Carolina at a camp we rent for a few weeks during the summer.

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« Reply #88 on: January 10, 2014, 06:38:07 PM »

You are right. I once attended a Melkite Liturgy. Since he saw me dressed in my clericals, he came up to me before the beginning of the Divine Liturgy and invited me to concelebrate and to receive Holy Communion. The Priest made a public issue of the fact that I would not concelebrate with him or receive Communion. I had no vestments with me and could not concelbrate with him even if it were allowed. Surely this man knew that the Melkites and Antiochian Orthodox are not in Communion. The whole incident made me feel very uncomfortable. If I saw a man dressed as a priest in the congregation, I would publicly welcome them as I do all visitors after the Divine Liturgy during the announcements, but I would not embarrass him the way that the Melkite priest embarrassed me.

Dear Father,

It would not surprise me if this Melkite priest thought of himself as "Orthodox in communion with Rome", which may well explain why he invited you to concelebrate. Since the Zoghby Initiative--which was rejected by the Antiochian Orthodox Church and Rome--there are Melkite priests who would say they are exactly like the Orthodox.

Years ago, I attended two hierarchical Eastern Catholic liturgies (of two different liturgical traditions) where the same visiting Oriental Orthodox bishop was invited to go up to receive Holy Communion at the same time as the celebrating Eastern Catholic bishop...and he did. It was even mentioned in the official eparchial magazine. I believe I still have that copy.

GC

If both Rome and the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch rejected the Zoghby plan, the priest should have known that I could not concelebrate with him and should not have embarrassed me in front of his congregation. It is this sort of thing that so offends Eastern Orthodox about Eastern Catholics. Since they are in Communion with Rome and not with the Eastern Orthodox Church, it creates confusion among the faithful for them to claim to be Eastern Orthodox in Communion with Rome.  Because Rome rejected the Zoghby plan, it shows that Rome agrees with the Eastern Orthodox on this rather than with the Melkites.
If we really want to achieve a real union between Eastern Orthodoxy and Catholicism the Zoghby plan is not the way to do it because it ignores the real differences between us. To pretend that we do not have disagreements and to share Communion will not make those disagreements go away. Such a union would be a false union. Real union can only come when Eastern Orthodoxy and Catholicism can honestly say that we share a common Faith. For one side to accept Vatican 1 while the other side rejects Vatican 1 is not real unity. It is unity in name only. This is one reason why I do not understand the Melkites. I asked what the Melkite position on Vatican 1 is and received an evasive answer. This is not an unimportant issue, but is the main issue that divides us. Before we can enter into Communion with each other we have to come to a common understanding of the meaning and application of the 1st Vatican Council, because it's decrees summarize the differences between Eastern Orthodoxy and Catholicism over the papacy,  which is the major difference between us. Once we resolve this matter, I believe that the other doctrinal differences can be resolved because, I personally, believe that most of them are different ways to express the same basic belief.

Fr. John W. Morris


The Revenna Document produced by the international Eastern Orthodox Roman Catholic dialogue contains the statement, "just as communion in the sacraments presupposes communion in the same faith." That confirms my argument that Communion according to the doctrine of both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches means that the first requirement for Communion is a common doctrine.  That is the fatal flaw in the Zoghby proposal which suggests that the Melkites remain in Communion with Rome which recognizes the dogmatic decrees of the 1st Vatican Council and the Eastern Orthodox Church of Antioch which rejects the dogmatic decrees of the same council.  Such an arrangement would violate the principle "just as communion in the sacraments presupposes communion in the same faith" from the Ravenna Document.

Fr. John W. Morris
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