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Re: Are we an impediment to reunion? #112875
12/17/05 11:39 AM
12/17/05 11:39 AM
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Apotheoun Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by theophan:
CDL:

In a word--NO.

[. . .]

Similarly, calls for the Latin Church to somehow "return" to some area of pre-1054 history is also unrealistic. Each of the Churches has grown during the last 1000 years. We have all had to deal with many things without the gift of consultation with the rest. But that doesn't make any of the dealings or developments of no value since the Holy Spirit has been at work guiding the Church in each situation she has found herself.

[. . .]

In Christ,

BOB
Certainly, history cannot be erased, but the Roman Church is going to have to re-interpret the primacy of the Pope in a way that does take into account the views of the Eastern Orthodox, because if that is not done, then as sure as night follows the day, communion will not be restored.

The Vatican itself recognizes this, and has indicated in various documents that certain things done by the Popes within the Church over the course of the centuries need not be done by them. In other words, some of the offices or activities of the Popes are historically conditioned, and may be dispensed with so long as the primacy is safeguarded in its essential elements.

Re: Are we an impediment to reunion? #112876
12/17/05 12:43 PM
12/17/05 12:43 PM
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Dr. Eric Offline
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I wasn't sure where to put this post.

From what I gather, the Pope when speaking Ex Cathedra as the Vicar of Christ usually does so after consulting with all the bishops so as to speak as one voice for all the Church.

The 2 (possibly 3) Ex Cathedra statements were a way of promulgating and clarifying the faith without haveing to call an Ecumenical Council.

It would seem to me that it would be easier to send a letter (or email biggrin ) to all the bishops than to get them in planes, trains, and automobiles to find out if a certain doctrine needs to be decreed infallibly.

Re: Are we an impediment to reunion? #112877
12/17/05 03:38 PM
12/17/05 03:38 PM
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Walled Lake, Mi
Carson Daniel Offline OP
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Quote
Originally posted by harmon3110:
Quote
Originally posted by carson daniel lauffer:
[b]We are dying.
Dan,

I humbly suggest you consider God's point of view on this. Romans, chapter 8, verses 14 - 17.

-- John [/b]
I do not fear suffering or death. I do plan to work like crazy for the Church's growth and vitality. If we are to cease to exist let it be because we died in the trenches not in our beds.

Dan L

Re: Are we an impediment to reunion? #112878
12/17/05 03:40 PM
12/17/05 03:40 PM
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Walled Lake, Mi
Carson Daniel Offline OP
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Quote
Originally posted by Apotheoun:
It may or may not be a popular sentiment, but I look forward to the day when the Eastern Catholic Churches are reintegrated into their historic Mother Churches within a re-unified Church (Catholic and Orthodox).

I am Byzantine Catholic, but I consider myself to be an Orthodox Christian in communion with Rome. [/QB][/QUOTE]

That's what I signed up for. Nothing more. Nothing less. Nothing else.

CDL

Re: Are we an impediment to reunion? #112879
12/17/05 05:38 PM
12/17/05 05:38 PM
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Hesychios Offline
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I have been thinking about this whole isue/concept for a while now, and I have some thoughts on it.

First I would say no, the Byzantine Catholic church is not dying in Europe. But yes it is on the verge of collapse in North America. Most BC priests are over 50 and that means there will be a significant number of retirements in the next two decades, and the vocational drive seems to be flat. If this is true there will many more parish closing related to lack of priests, in places that could esily support themselves financially.

It's looking like the church will be small enough in the USA to need only one bishop, with the help of a suffragen perhaps.

Orthodoxy is facing the same issues in some places, this isn't a uniquely Ruthenian problem. It's just that the BC seems more fragile, it is smaller, spread out and thinning out "like butter scraped over too much bread".

What is the future for Eastern Catholic churches?

I think that the key to the future of the Byzantine-rite Catholic churches is autocephaly, without that, the church is nothing but an appendage on a very big organization. With autocephaly each church can cultivate a closer relationship to it's counterparts and take the matter into it's own hands.

A good start would be to return control of the Melkite diaspora to it's own Patriarch and Synod. Likewise for the Ukrainian diaspora, likewise for the Malabar church and the Romanian church. Then if they want to propose a "Zoghby" type initiative they can do so without feeling that half the church is held hostage overseas.

Where does this leave the various Ruthenian churches? As is well known they are divided over several countries in Europe, all controlled from Rome. The same is true in the Pittsburgh Metropolia, it has it's own Code of Canons but otherwise is as much a part of the Roman Catholic church as the Archdiocese of Seattle, the Sui Iuris status is almost meaningless. (Perhaps this is why the BC is the very last Eastern Catholic church to ordain a married man, the culture of celibacy is too strong now.) What can be done for it I don't really know.

Ultimately, I believe the future for the whole of Apostolic Christianity is one of some sort of Eucharistic based Communion, similar to what is already practiced between the various canonical Orthodox churches. The Roman Ultramontane model will never be acceptable to a unified Christianity, and I believe the Holy Spirit is nudging the church to a new model that may in fact make some new vision of Christian reconciliation possible.

These are just my opinions, subject to change without notice. wink

+T+
Michael

Re: Are we an impediment to reunion? #112880
12/17/05 08:44 PM
12/17/05 08:44 PM
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Walled Lake, Mi
Carson Daniel Offline OP
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Michael,

You may be right about the ultramontane model. It may be that our distinction between "in communion with" and "under" is a mere fantasy.

I do know that our heirarchs seem unable or unwilling to lead us in any direction. It's hard to understand why.

One question: "If our Lord prays for unity how is it possible that it is better to have no union with Rome than it is to have an imperfect union?"

CDL

Re: Are we an impediment to reunion? #112881
12/18/05 12:31 AM
12/18/05 12:31 AM
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Hesychios Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by carson daniel lauffer:

One question: "If our Lord prays for unity how is it possible that it is better to have no union with Rome than it is to have an imperfect union?"

CDL
I don't think it is better not to have union with Rome, I have no opinion on that.

I do think we need to re-address what unity in Christ actually is though. Once a read a book called "the churches the Apostles left behind" and a basic concept shocked me: what is meant by churches?

I thought there was one church that just organically grew and split and grew and split and grew some more. But that's not the way to look at it. The various churches were independent of each other in a very real way.

For instance we know that Matthews community was mainly converts from Judaism, we just don't know precisely where they were located. Each other community had it's own unique composition and place. The communities established by Paul would not likely have resembled the Matthean community, nevertheless they could concelebrate.

These churches were One in Faith, One in Love. They were each and all duty bound to each other to pursue a common understanding of the Truth, it is for that reason that the bishops frequently asssembled in synods and councils. It is in this way that Christianity is one in Christ, not through some franchise network. The issue is not really about control, but cooperation.

So to answer the question about imperfect union with Rome: It cannot be imperfect if it is a union based upon common belief. If we have common belief we are one, without a common belief we cannot be one regardless of the reporting order.

That is why I believe the future of the eastern Catholic churches will involve autocephaly, by negotiating with their counterparts and mother churches on their own behalf it may be possible for them to become catalysts for reconciliation. Which (if I am not mistaken), is what most Eastern Catholics I know would say is a primary purpose of being. smile Bishop Zoghby knew exactly what he was doing.

In Christ,
Michael

Re: Are we an impediment to reunion? #112882
12/18/05 12:36 AM
12/18/05 12:36 AM
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Walled Lake, Mi
Carson Daniel Offline OP
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Michael,

That book is a favorite among Protestants. Hmmm.....

Dan L

Re: Are we an impediment to reunion? #112883
12/18/05 01:00 AM
12/18/05 01:00 AM
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Hesychios Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by carson daniel lauffer:
Michael,

That book is a favorite among Protestants. Hmmm.....

Dan L
Makes no difference. If Protestants are finding Truth in a book written by a Catholic theologion an Orthodox Christian is supposed to ignore it?

Does the book say anything about not believing in the Real Presence? Does it teach Sola Scriptura? or Sola Fide? No, actually it doesn't. But it doesn't agree with some of the mythology about the origins of the churches that gets slung around some Catholic circles in the last few centuries. If Protestants like that feature of the book, I hope they don't miss the point, because the early church was definitely not Protestant, it was Orthodox-Catholic and it had bishop-priests who confect the eucharist.

That model of church organization is reflected frequently in Catholic and Orthodox writings. It may not agree with the understanding of conservative Papists, but I am not really surprised about that.

Your brother,
Michael

Re: Are we an impediment to reunion? #112884
12/18/05 01:15 AM
12/18/05 01:15 AM
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Dr. Eric Offline
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Dan L [/qb][/QUOTE] But it doesn't agree with some of the mythology about the origins of the churches that gets slung around some Catholic circles in the last few centuries. If Protestants like that feature of the book, I hope they don't miss the point, because the early church was definitely not Protestant, it was Orthodox-Catholic and it had bishop-priests who confect the eucharist.

That model of church organization is reflected frequently in Catholic and Orthodox writings. It may not agree with the understanding of conservative Papists, but I am not really surprised about that.

Your brother,
Michael [/QB][/QUOTE]


Explain more about the book please. Especially about the origins of the Churches. Please define "conservative Papists."

There are some who are offended by "Papist" because that term was a slur used by English Protestants who were killing off the Church in England. It came to this country and was used in the same way as an Anti-Catholic slur.

Me, call me a Papist! Viva il Papa!

Re: Are we an impediment to reunion? #112885
12/18/05 02:12 AM
12/18/05 02:12 AM
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Hesychios Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Dr. Eric:
Especially about the origins of the Churches. Please define "conservative Papists."

There are some who are offended by "Papist" because that term was a slur used by English Protestants who were killing off the Church in England. It came to this country and was used in the same way as an Anti-Catholic slur.

Me, call me a Papist! Viva il Papa!
When I was a Roman Catholic I was always proud to call myself a Papist, and I see you are too. smile

I meant no offense.

Many conservative Roman catholics have the idea in their head that there was this tight-knit little community that grew up and spread out and budded nice little clone-like communities and the differences in liturgy and practice are purely a function of time and distance, each evolving in it's own way after one ideal community. This model is necessary to understand a Papal church in Apostolic times.

The reality is far from nice and neat. The church grew in fits and starts and the "liturgy" had no unified definition at all from the very beginning. So it did not "evolve" differently in each direction over time, it spontaneously erupted in each community depending mostly on the local synagog practices, which weren't standardised either. There was a lot of improvising.

There was no reporting order, the church was not centralized. Christianity hopped from town to town along the main roads and unusual variations in the church began to become obvious fairly quickly, some were just odd and some were dangerous.

To be frank St. Peter was not working in a very 'Pope-like' way we would think of today. The Pope did not apppoint all the bishops, there were no 'Ad Limina' visits. There wasn't even a standardized liturgy or vestments.

The Gospels weren't written yet, no canon of scripture. There were no Canons, so nothing to codify, no catechism and no Libreria Editrice Vaticana to publish it. No Curia.

What they did have was prayers and hymns to worship and teach with. They used the Jewish Berekoth prayers and followed the synagog order of worship. They developed baptismal formulae which became important later in formulating the Creeds. They believed in the Real Presence and had bishops, elders and deacons.

They weren't even thinking about the kind of things that separate us today, that's the scandal of our schism. But yes, each local church named it's own bishop (usually a local man) and asked the neighboring bishops to consecrate him. They did not have to deal with Peter or his successors intervening without being asked. They were autocephalous.

Most people who study the subject would agree that ultramontanism is a fairly late development. One doesn't see that ecclesiology in the early church. One will find something that corresponds more closely to the Orthodox ecclesiology. That little acorn grew into an Orthodox tree!

+T+
Michael

Re: Are we an impediment to reunion? #112886
12/18/05 06:50 AM
12/18/05 06:50 AM
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I think the issue of this thread is beginning to drift.

I think there has always been a dynamic tension within the Church of maintaining a balance between diveristy and unity. And, I think that unity has often been misinterpreted as uniformity. But, in a proper balance, it is unity amidst and through the diversity that seems to be the Christian model for the Church that St. Paul was talking about: of One Body of Jesus Christ that has different parts as its members.

Getting back to the Eastern Catholic Churches, I think they have the potential to thrive in the U.S., albeit they will probably always be small. Their potential is their very charism: being Orthodox and Catholic at the same time.


-- John

Re: Are we an impediment to reunion? #112887
12/18/05 09:39 AM
12/18/05 09:39 AM
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Carson Daniel Offline OP
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John,

I'm not sure we are drifting at all. I think Mike is suggesting that in fact we are an impediment because we are in union with the Pope. He may well be right but for reasons that had not fully occured to me. I doubt that anything the Bishop of Rome does will make any difference either. I believe that only when Christianity has so thoroughly embarassed itself and Islam has almost overwhelmed us will we finally come to our senses.

Or, maybe I'm just weary.

CDL

Re: Are we an impediment to reunion? #112888
12/18/05 10:45 AM
12/18/05 10:45 AM
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Hesychios Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by harmon3110:

Getting back to the Eastern Catholic Churches, I think they have the potential to thrive in the U.S., albeit they will probably always be small. Their potential is their very charism: being Orthodox and Catholic at the same time.

-- John
I would suggest that no church is fully Orthodox and fully Catholic at the same time, not a one.

If so, how do we get there?

I am suggesting that one big impediment to unity is Roman Catholic ecclesiology. That is something that can be fixed.

I am also suggesting that the Byzantine Catholic church could be a catalyst for Christian reconciliation, a very positive and hopeful thought. As it is now, the church is not attempting to do these things and therefore stands as an impediment.

I am not suggesting that the eastern churches break communion with Rome, I am suggesting that they take charge of their own affairs. Let's not think of autocephaly as a bad thing, it would be a way the world of Christianity takes the BC seriously, listens to their message and works with them.

I feel it is the next logical step in the development of the Catholic Communion. Not long ago the eastern churches were merely considered "rites" within the Roman Catholic, with the latin rite to be preferred! Now the Eastern churches are "Sui Iuris" with equal dignity under the Pope. They are in fact autonomous, with their own name and some internal self government but not in charge of their own affairs. The next logical step is for these churches to become autocephalic and in communion with each other.

Imagine the change that could come! Right now a new Melkite Patriarch writes the Pope asking for communion with him (a nod to the earlier self determination of the church). Wouldn't it be nice if a new Pope would write the Patriarchs and ask for communion too? The reciprocity would be refreshing.

Real independence is the key to gaining the high regard the eastern Catholic churches deserve. They negotiated themselves into the Catholic Communion as synods, where has that self-determination gone? What a loss!

+T+
Michael

Re: Are we an impediment to reunion? #112889
12/18/05 04:57 PM
12/18/05 04:57 PM
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[/qb][/QUOTE]I would suggest that no church is fully Orthodox and fully Catholic at the same time, not a one.


+T+
Michael [/QB][/QUOTE]


So you're saying that no church is fully correct thinking and fully universal... confused

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