Author Topic: Orthodox and Catholics in the 17th century: Schism or Communion?  (Read 478 times)

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Offline Iconodule

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Metropolitan Kallistos Ware’s essay on the continuing intercommunion between Orthodox and Catholics, up to the 18th century, is finally available online in full. It’s well worth a read and it shows how silly it is to keep dating the schism to 1054.

https://journal.orthodoxwestblogs.com/2018/03/01/orthodox-and-catholics-in-the-seventeenth-century-schism-or-intercommunion/
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Orthodox and Catholics in the 17th century: Schism or Communion?
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2018, 08:14:36 PM »
I love Metropolitan Kallistos, but he's so... romantic there. Taking a bunch of anecdotes to poorly demonstrate stuff that can be attributed to a distant world in which people sometimes didn't care that much about labelling outsiders, until he gets to his own date and ceases it, ignoring many of these things still happen. Once could prove Muslims used to be Christians until some Caliph decided otherwise with this kind of evidence.

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Neither side required the other to do penance as schismatics or heretics, and then to undergo a formal ceremony of reconciliation to the Church.
The Orthodox had no power at all to require anything at all, as he well knows. I wonder if Catholics, on the other hand, wouldn't be just all thumbs to require a whole Empire and hundreds of dioceses to go into penance while they were just trying to get these guys into the Papal fold. These are the same guys who let people under their own fold to glorify as saints men as Roman Catholic as Gregory Palamas, Nestorius and Dioscorus.

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Within the Venetian dominions it was the normal policy of the Latin authorities to do everything possible to encourage harmony between their catholic and orthodox subjects
Venice obviously favoured Roman Catholicism, the fact they didn't persecute us as hard as the Crusaders means nothing. The Cypriot Orthodox hailed the Ottoman conquest of the island, which should mean a lot.  :o

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Roman Catholics were accepted as godparents at orthodox baptisms, and vice-versa.
Big nothing, my girlfriend's godfather in the Roman Catholic Church is a Pagan priest. Abuse happens.

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The orthodox authorities on their side welcomed the Jesuits and other religious orders as friends and allies, and even took the initiative in summoning them to undertake pastoral duties among their flocks. With the blessing of the Greek bishops, catholic priests preached in orthodox churches, heard the confessions of orthodox faithful, and gave them holy communion. When Greeks wished to embrace Roman Catholicism, the Latin missionaries usually rested content with a secret act of submission, and instructed their converts to receive the sacraments as before at orthodox altars. In the light of all this, the question can scarcely be avoided: How far is it legitimate to speak of a definitive schism or irrevocable breach between Orthodoxy and Rome in the seventeenth century?
And this should be a good thing?  >:( No! See what he writes himself right next.

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Writing at Rome in the 1640s, the Greek Catholic Leo Allatius remarked of the contemporary situation:
This is why we call them Greek Catholics.

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LATIN INTERPRETATIONS OF THE GREEK SCHISM
As relevant as Anglican interpretations of apostolic succession.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2018, 08:16:39 PM by RaphaCam »
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Offline augustin717

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Re: Orthodox and Catholics in the 17th century: Schism or Communion?
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2018, 08:28:09 PM »
A professor from Vienna wrote a similar book in the nineties . Have it in Romanian but can't remember his  name right now. But heck sine orthodox in the 17th century were even in communion with the Calvinists. It happened in Transylvania. Anecdotes like these are easy to find.
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Online Asteriktos

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Re: Orthodox and Catholics in the 17th century: Schism or Communion?
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2018, 09:00:45 PM »
Interesting, thanks for posting. If anyone knows of an English translation of a text he mentioned, 'De Ecclesiae Occidentalis atque Orientalis Perpetua Consensione' by Leo Allatius, let me know (my googlefu was ineffectual). This work might take care of my curiosity though... looks pretty interesting.

Regarding the anecdotes, I think there's a lot more to it than what is in the article (an example I brought up a couple months ago, somewhat related to what was quickly mentioned in the article, was that St. Mark of Ephesus had to explain, at the Council of Florence, why he was accusing the Latins of heresy when the Greeks had up till that point refrained from officially doing so). Obviously the article wasn't meant to be an exhaustive examination of the topic.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2018, 09:02:47 PM by Asteriktos »

Offline Xavier

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Re: Orthodox and Catholics in the 17th century: Schism or Communion?
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2018, 08:27:36 AM »
Wow, thanks for the excellent article. I'd heard of parts of this, but Metropolitan +Ware gives a detailed account. Vatican II is not far from the mark when it says the Holy Roman Church has generally followed and still follows a mild policy towards Eastern Churches that have valid sacraments. The Roman Church for Her part, with the clemency of a Mother, always took a moderate view, making due allowance for good faith - always recognized the Greek sacraments, never re-baptized or re-chrismated as did some in the East and Catholic priests, when called upon by Greek bishops to preach, both did so and gave absolutions and the like to simple Greek Christians without requiring any more of them than that they profess to believe all the Fathers have handed down - St. Robert Bellarmine also mentions as much.

The one exception is to those who had been excommunicated by name for personal grave crimes against Catholic unity, as was Michael Caerularius in 1054 for the crime - which Fr. Adrian Fortescue documents in detail - of daring to trample the Holy Eucharist underfoot because it was consecrated in Azyme bread. St. Robert himself pronounces in favor of giving absolution to ordinary Christians who were entirely ignorant of the controversies, but not to anyone who had been excommunicated by name from the Apostolic Throne for a personal crime against the unity of the Church. Saying, as was done even on this thread, that living under Arian Turks, is preferable to living in communion with Catholic Christians, is part of the reason that a breach that never should have been opened and long ago should have been closed has endured to this day. There were many ruptures but a measure of unity persisted even long after 1484, until when the Florentine union had not been fully repudiated. The examples of Western and Eastern Christians living in peace and almost the unity of full communion in the 17th and 18th century should be an impelling factor for rediscovering full communion in the 21st.
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Orthodox and Catholics in the 17th century: Schism or Communion?
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2018, 12:50:13 PM »
Saying, as was done even on this thread, that living under Arian Turks, is preferable to living in communion with Catholic Christians, is part of the reason that a breach that never should have been opened and long ago should have been closed has endured to this day.
Well, the Cypriots surely felt better off under Ottomans than under Venice. I don't know details about Cyprus, but if you want to take the more acknowledged Balkanic example, the Crusader Kingdoms were far more destructive to the Church than the Ottomans. Big nothing that the rulers have a similar faith or not if those similar enough are destroying our churches and exiling our bishops systematically and those of alien faith have restrictions that, though evil, rarely affect the average parishioner.

As Megaduke Luke Notaras said, better to see the turban in the middle of Constantinople than the Latin mitre. He was unfortunately right.
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

May the Blessed Light shine Forth