Author Topic: rome as a necessary ingredient of consensus  (Read 734 times)

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Offline n8nrgmi

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rome as a necessary ingredient of consensus
« on: May 14, 2018, 11:35:15 PM »

would the orthodox ever get behind the idea of the roman bishop being a necessary measure of unity, just not able to unilaterally declare doctrine?  let me explain.

right now the catholic church teaches the pope can unilaterally declare doctrine. the orthodox church requires the consensus of churches, but seems to indicate the pope's input isn't required in any way. (or, is not accurate?) what if both of these approaches are wrong? what if the measure of authority is both the roman bishop, and the consensus of bishops?
note, this is technically more than just saying the pope is one person among many. am i arguing something more than "first among equals"? maybe. i suppose it'd be "a necessary component among equals".

some orthodox here have said the pope could be said to be infallible when he speaks with the bishops.... but what does that really mean? if all he is doing is joining and has no special role, it's a distinction without a meaning. that is, all bishops are infallible when speaking in unison.

i dont know if any church has taken this approach in the past, but it is an approach that interests me. i'm not sure even the "old catholics" would be open to the idea or not. they might be, or they might not.  old catholics if you are not familiar feel the church should basically be catholic, but that the pope cannot act unilaterally. i just dont know how much emphasis they put on the pope.

it's almost like i could push for a new church if this doesn't fly anywhere. which i would never feel worthy to do. but, ironically.... if the churches ever budged, this could be a vision for unity. i know that is heresy to a lot of catholics and orthodox both, however.

what are some thoughts from ya'll?

Offline n8nrgmi

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Re: rome as a necessary ingredient of consensus
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2018, 11:37:36 PM »
it almost seems like the east implicitly doesn't want to do anything without the west anyway. they just take the earliest councils when there was consensus, but don't want to do more. or, why doesn't the orthodox feel justified in recognizing later councils too? it just seems almost like the church is telling itself it is in schism and it can't act unless it's in cohesion.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: rome as a necessary ingredient of consensus
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2018, 04:33:11 AM »
You kind of answered your own question. The councils of the post-Schism RCC were done under the aegis of Papal Supremacy, the main doctrine that split West from East. So why should the Orthodox Church accept them?

As for the rest, I don't really see what new the idea brings to the table (please don't start your own church, we've got enough). If the Pope can be outvoted by the other bishops, then you have the Orthodox position with at most a "Primacy of Honor." If the Pope can't be outvoted, then you've got Papal Supremacy.
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Offline Sharbel

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Re: rome as a necessary ingredient of consensus
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2018, 10:26:33 AM »
As for the rest, I don't really see what new the idea brings to the table (please don't start your own church, we've got enough). If the Pope can be outvoted by the other bishops, then you have the Orthodox position with at most a "Primacy of Honor." If the Pope can't be outvoted, then you've got Papal Supremacy.
As it happened to PP Virgilius at the 5th Ecumenical Council: he was outvoted by the council fathers and then came to agree with them.  Historically, popes were never a point of unity, as it became so glaringly and sadly clear in 1054.
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Offline Vanhyo

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Re: rome as a necessary ingredient of consensus
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2018, 11:08:49 AM »
If people are united in Christ they will not have disagreements.

So whenever disagreements emerge, you have to ask yourself who united with Christ and obeying Him and who is obeying his passions.

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: rome as a necessary ingredient of consensus
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2018, 11:43:29 AM »
If people are united in Christ they will not have disagreements.

So whenever disagreements emerge, you have to ask yourself who united with Christ and obeying Him and who is obeying his passions.

This is one of the things I struggle with. On the one hand we are told that saints have uber-refined spiritual discernment, are guided by the will of God, etc. And yet we have examples where good men and even saints have significant disagreements with one another (Sts. Photius and Ignatius; John and Theophilus; Athanasius and Meletius; Paul and Barnabas; Paul and Peter; etc.)  The idea that they're human, and that people (even saintly ones) make mistakes seems much more sensible, but the tendency to whitewash things, and talk as though disagreement necessarily means that one side is wrong, persists.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2018, 11:44:39 AM by Asteriktos »

Offline Vanhyo

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Re: rome as a necessary ingredient of consensus
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2018, 01:18:41 PM »
If people are united in Christ they will not have disagreements.

So whenever disagreements emerge, you have to ask yourself who united with Christ and obeying Him and who is obeying his passions.

This is one of the things I struggle with. On the one hand we are told that saints have uber-refined spiritual discernment, are guided by the will of God, etc. And yet we have examples where good men and even saints have significant disagreements with one another (Sts. Photius and Ignatius; John and Theophilus; Athanasius and Meletius; Paul and Barnabas; Paul and Peter; etc.)  The idea that they're human, and that people (even saintly ones) make mistakes seems much more sensible, but the tendency to whitewash things, and talk as though disagreement necessarily means that one side is wrong, persists.
I think you are confusing making a mistake with disagreement, even if one makes a mistake, and another corrects him, he sees that the correction is true and accept it, in that sense there is no disagreement.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2018, 01:18:59 PM by Vanhyo »

Offline Iconodule

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Re: rome as a necessary ingredient of consensus
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2018, 01:53:45 PM »
Between Sts Photius and Ignatius, which one accepted correction?
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Offline Vanhyo

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Re: rome as a necessary ingredient of consensus
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2018, 01:57:20 PM »
Between Sts Photius and Ignatius, which one accepted correction?
my reference was to St Peter and St Paul, in the case you mentioned i have the impression that there was ultimately an agreement between the two

Offline n8nrgmi

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Re: rome as a necessary ingredient of consensus
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2018, 12:36:15 PM »
there are quotes below to support the idea that rome should be included in decision making. note that i am not arguing rome should be considered infallible acting unilaterally as that sort of evidence is not very strong in the early church. note that these are pretty early and important, such as iranaeous and cyprian, and an important apostolic canon recognized by the orthodox. i realize some are pretty far removed from the early church, but it is still evidence.

should rome be considered in decision making?

thoughts?

Apostolic Canon 34
"The bishops of every nation must acknowledge him who is first among them and account him as their head, and do nothing of consequence without his consent; but each may do those things only which concern his own parish, and the country places which belong to it. But neither let him (who is the first) do anything without the consent of all; for so there will be unanimity, and God will be glorified through the Lord in the Holy Spirit."

Iranaeous, early church historian. "It would be too tedious, in a work like this, to go through the succession lists of all the Churches.  We shall, therefore, take just one, the greatest, most ancient Church, the Church known to all, the Church founded and established in Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul.  By showing that the tradition which she received from the apostles, the faith which she proclaims to men, has come down to us through the succession of bishops, we confute all those who, in whatever manner,...set up conventicles.  With this Church, because of its more excellent origin, every Church (in other words, the faithful everywhere) must convene."

cyprian. "the Church of Rome is the root and matrix of the Catholic Church"

Pope Damasus I
"Likewise it is decreed . . . that it ought to be announced that . . . the holy Roman Church has been placed at the forefront not by the conciliar decisions of other churches, but has received the primacy by the evangelic voice of our Lord and Savior, who says: ‘You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it; and I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven . . . ’ [Matt. 16:18–19]. The first see, therefore, is that of Peter the apostle, that of the Roman Church, which has neither stain nor blemish nor anything like it" (Decree of Damasus 3 [A.D. 382]).

Hormisdas formula in 519
“... in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been preserved immaculate.”

Pope Sixtus III “all know that to assent to [the Bishop of Rome’s] decision is to assent to St. Peter, who lives in his successors and whose faith fails not.”(433 AD)

"Flavian Patriarch of Constantinople to Pope Leo, AD 449   "The whole question needs only your single decision and all will be settled in peace and quietness. Your sacred letter will with God's help completely suppress th heresy which has arisen and the disturbance which it has caused; and so the convening of a council which is in any case difficult will be rendered superfluous."

Pope St. Innocent I "...whatever is done, even though it be in distance provinces, should not be ended until it comes to the knowledge of this see, that by its authority the whole just pronouncement should be strengthened, and that from there the other churches, like waters proceeding from their natal source and flowing through the different regions of the world, the pure streams of an in-corrupt Head, should take up what they ought to believe” (P.L. 33.780)

Offline Iconodule

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Re: rome as a necessary ingredient of consensus
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2018, 01:22:13 PM »
The apostolic canon refers to primates of local churches.

As for the rest... the Church of Rome has so thoroughly alienated herself from us that I don't see how they can apply today.
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: rome as a necessary ingredient of consensus
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2018, 05:51:28 PM »
The apostolic canon refers to primates of local churches.

As for the rest... the Church of Rome has so thoroughly alienated herself from us that I don't see how they can apply today.

That's the kicker, isn't it? Modern Catholics read canons like this and conclude that therefore the Pope has to be infallible in order to preserve the Indefectibility of the Church. The Orthodox don't.

I guess I just don't see the utility or possibility of trying to make a synthesis between the two.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2018, 05:52:29 PM by Volnutt »
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