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Communion With Peter Thru Rome Alone #115133 11/02/03 09:06 PM
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OrthoMan Offline OP
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Based on the instructions from the Administrator I am strating a new thread. Hoping it won't bring about hashing out the same stuff that has been said over and over again.

OrthoMan

===========

Administrator writes:

[Is there communion with Peter through his first see of Antioch? Definitely! Both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches hold such communion with Peter.

Is there communion with Peter through both Rome and Antioch? For Catholics, yes. For those Orthodox who are not in current communion with Rome, no.]

And your point is what? How many Sees connected to Peter do you have to establish before you are considered complete?

Today our parish council was sworn in. In the oath given to us by the priest we swore to defend and uphold the faith that was handed down to us by the APOSTLES (plural) not just one Apostle (Peter) and the early Church fathers..

You insinuate that Orthodoxy is incompete because it is not in communion with Peter though the Roman See. Yet out of the five Original Sees of Christiandom it is only Rome that stands alone. She is neither in communion with the original Oriental Orthodox or Byzantine Orthodox Sees of the original undivided Church.

Orthodoxy never had a problem with the Pope being the Vicar of Peter whether it was in Antioch or Rome. When the problem arose was when the Vicar of Peter in Rome wasn't satisfied and proclaimed himself the Vicar of Christ himself!

[Such a reduction ignores the very real needs of the peoples involved and their attempts to preserve the Faith and minister to God’s people.]

How did one preserve the Holy Orthodox Faith by signing a union with Rome and agreeing to accept doctrines that were never part of its faith or tradition? Your faith was no longer Orthodox as soon as the ink was dry on the Union of Brest. Read through the articles of the union. How does one preserve Orthodoxy by accepting belief in Purgatory which was never part of Orthodox beliefs. Either then or now? Nor was it ever proclaimed as such in any of the Ecumenical Councils of the undivided church. That alone should show ou that Union was not based on theology or preserving doctrine. But on politcs and trying to regain for the people their basic human rights that were taken from them by the very church you were bowing down before.

{Article 5. We shall not debate about purgatory, but we entrust ourselves to the teaching of the Holy Church.}

How about St Vincents definition of the Catholicity of the Church?

"Moreover, in the Catholic Church itself, all possible care must be taken, that we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. For that is truly and in the strictest sense "Catholic," which, as the name itself and the reason of the thing declare, comprehends all universally. This rule we shall observe if we follow universality, antiquity, consent. We shall follow universality if we confess that one faith to be true, which the whole Church throughout the world confesses; antiquity, if we in no wise depart from those interpretations which it is manifest were notoriously held by our holy ancestors and fathers; consent, in like manner, if in antiquity itself we adhere to the consentient definitions and determinations of all, or at the least of almost all priests and doctors. "

orthoMan

Re: Communion With Peter Thru Rome Alone #115134 11/02/03 10:58 PM
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OrthoMan wrote:
Based on the instructions from the Administrator I am strating a new thread. Hoping it won't bring about hashing out the same stuff that has been said over and over again.
Thanks for starting a new thread for this topic. I will ask that participants refrain from “quote wars” and concentrate on developing the theology behind the references that they use.

Quote
OrthoMan wrote:
And your point is what? How many Sees connected to Peter do you have to establish before you are considered complete?
All Christians need to be in communion with both Rome and Antioch. The Faith handed down by the apostles cannot exclude the successor of Peter. Rome is the authoritative and preeminent see of Christianity. The Catholic Church is incomplete (wounded) because it does not have full communion with the other ancient patriarchates (and those in communion with them). The Orthodox Church is incomplete (wounded) because it does not have full communion with Rome. Both contain the fullness of the faith (even though there are disagreements in how to express this theologically). Both are wounded because of the sin of separation from one another.

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OrthoMan wrote:
How did one preserve the Holy Orthodox Faith by signing a union with Rome and agreeing to accept doctrines that were never part of its faith or tradition? Your faith was no longer Orthodox as soon as the ink was dry on the Union of Brest.
All of the dogma and doctrines proclaimed by Rome have always been part of Orthodoxy. Some have developed over the centuries (like the development of the theology of icons over the centuries which was finally proclaimed at Nicea II in 787). If one argues that the Church’s understanding of who God is cannot continue to mature then one must pick a date in which this understanding came to completion. If one states Nicea II then one precludes the possibility of an Eighth Ecumenical Council (with all five ancient patriarchates participating). If one allows for the possibility of a future ecumenical council then one must also allow for the ability of the Church – led by the Spirit - to mature in her understanding of God. What the Latin Church has done in the General Councils in the West (through Vatican II) is nothing more than a continuing growth in its understanding and experience of the Trinity. Likewise, Orthodoxy has continued to grow in its understanding of the Trinity, albeit in a less formal fashion. [The wonderful gift to the universal Church of St. Gregory Palamas in his teaching on Essence and Energies quickly comes to mind.]

The Unions of Brest and Uzhorod did not mar our Orthodoxy one bit. It merely exchanged one wound for another (that of being separated from Rome to that of being separated from our fellow Orthodox). The people of that era sought to preserve their Orthodoxy by entering into an agreement with Rome lest they be forced to exchange their Byzantine Christianity for Latin Christianity. Likewise, St. Alexis Toth entered into an union with Moscow in order to serve his people and help them keep their Greek Catholic Orthodox faith in America. Both unions had political as well as religious motivations.

What is the essence of the Latin doctrine of purgatory? That after death there is a purifying journey of the soul which may continue until the Second Coming. That is all the Church includes in the “must believe” category. Any Catholic is free to state that the additional theology is very poorly developed. The only thing he may not do is to state that the theology is not true and that there is no journey of the soul upon death.

I respect that Bob (and most of Orthodoxy) disagrees with what I have stated above. I respect that disagreement and pray that we will someday come to agreement.

St Vincent’s definition of the Catholicity of the Church aptly applies to both Catholicism and Orthodoxy. I am not sure of the point that Bob is making in quoting it here.

Re: Communion With Peter Thru Rome Alone #115135 11/03/03 12:58 AM
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Originally posted by Administrator:
All Christians need to be in communion with both Rome and Antioch. The Faith handed down by the apostles cannot exclude the successor of Peter. Rome is the authoritative and preeminent see of Christianity. The Catholic Church is incomplete (wounded) because it does not have full communion with the other ancient patriarchates (and those in communion with them). The Orthodox Church is incomplete (wounded) because it does not have full communion with Rome. Both contain the fullness of the faith (even though there are disagreements in how to express this theologically). Both are wounded because of the sin of separation from one another.
I shall refrain from commenting further on this given the donnybrook this subject generally creates and my distaste for such, but I did want to say as a Latin Catholic that I agree with this statement here. We need each other, East and West, and I pray for the day when true reunion is possible.


Pax Christi,
John
Re: Communion With Peter Thru Rome Alone #115136 11/03/03 01:46 AM
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Amen to what you affirm Irishjohan.

I'm hopeful that Pope John Paul's efforts at redefining the essence of the Papacy so it is not seen as complete supremacy bears fruit someday. The problem has been that there have been times when Rome pushed its weight around in a less than Christlike fashion. Of course there have been times when the whole world was glad that it did. Where should the line of definition be drawn? I'm not sure. But I think it will have something to do with the phrase "in communion with Rome" and not "under Rome".

Dan Lauffer

Re: Communion With Peter Thru Rome Alone #115137 11/03/03 09:54 PM
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Originally posted by Dan Lauffer:
Amen to what you affirm Irishjohan.

I'm hopeful that Pope John Paul's efforts at redefining the essence of the Papacy so it is not seen as complete supremacy bears fruit someday. The problem has been that there have been times when Rome pushed its weight around in a less than Christlike fashion. Of course there have been times when the whole world was glad that it did. Where should the line of definition be drawn? I'm not sure. But I think it will have something to do with the phrase "in communion with Rome" and not "under Rome".
While I hold to the teachings of Vatican I, I'm not satisfied with the expression of the Petrine Primacy therein. By this I mean that the days of viewing the Pope as being a 'monarch' or perhaps even a 'benevolent dictator' are over. Yes, I do believe the Bishop of Rome has the primacy and authority as taught in Vatican I, but how they have been chosen to be exercised at times is something I believe needs to be corrected. There are times when the Pope must exercise the Petrine Primacy to the fullest measure (i.e., coming down like a 'ton of bricks' as the saying goes), as Vatican I teaches, but I believe those cases should be rare. No one likes to be bullied or disrespected, even if the person doing so has every 'right' in what they are doing. It is far preferable to exercise the Primacy with far more discretion, i.e. through local synods, ecumenical councils, etc. This does not deny what Vatican I teaches, but it is more in the spirit of how the Primacy was exercised in the first millenium and probably should be the same in the third. Just a few random thoughts, sorry for any rambling.


Pax Christi,
John
Re: Communion With Peter Thru Rome Alone #115138 11/03/03 10:48 PM
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Carson Daniel Offline
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Irish,

Given the headaches I'm getting from the Catholic Convert board I'm beginning to wonder if there is a connection between Rome today and Peter. But I guess I'll just chalk it up to the fearfullness of those on the board and not to the Pope.

But then...?

Dan Lauffer :rolleyes:

Re: Communion With Peter Thru Rome Alone #115139 11/04/03 01:34 AM
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I've followed these discussions for quite awhile and have learned much from them. But, when push comes to shove, I turn to the Gospels and how the Papacy developed in the Middle Ages seems somewhat contrary to the Gospel witness. I guess my view of the Papacy can be summed up in the passage from Luke 22: 24-32.

"Now there arose also a dispute among them,
which of them was reputed to be the greatest.
But He said to them, 'The kings of the
Gentiles lord it over them, and they who
exercise authority over them are called
Benefactors. But not so with you. On the
contrary, let him who is greatest among you
become as the youngest, and him who is the
CHIEF as the SERVANT. For which is greater,
he who reclines at table, or he who serves?
Is it not he who reclines? But I am in your
midst as he who serves'... And the Lord said,
'Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has desired to
have you, that he may sift you as wheat. But
I have prayed for thee, that thy faith may
not fail; and do thou, when once thou hast
turned again, strengthen thy BRETHERN.'"

The caps are only there for emphasis. While accepting the office of the Pope and recognizing a primacy enjoyed by him, I believe it is the above which was forgotten during the Middle Ages when the Pope as monarch became the accepted view in the West. I no many of my traditionalist friends will accept nothing less than a return to the "imperial" papacy.

Actually a book that did more than any other to shape my view on the Papacy was written by Malachi Martin. I know he is considered a nut by some, but the book "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Church" puts forth the idea that the problems started when the Popes accepted worldly honors from the emperors. This led to them trusting in earthly power rather than the spiritual patrimony that was truly theirs. Only when they are willing to return to this spiritual patrimony can there be true healing and restoration of the Church as envisioned by Christ.
Unfortunately this book is out of print and is very difficult to find. But if anyone else has seen it and read it I would love to hear from you.

Terry

Re: Communion With Peter Thru Rome Alone #115140 11/04/03 04:40 PM
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Dear Terry,

Malachi Martin really scares me in a number of ways.

For one thing, he represents the old monolithic Roman Church that was anything but ecumenical toward Eastern Catholics.

In any event, the Pope of Rome received his title from Alexandria whose patriarch was "Pope" when the Roman Bishop was referred to as "His Beatitude" and didn't even have all of Italy under his immediate jurisdiction.

The title "Vicar of Christ" was most certainly that of the Byzantine, New Roman Emperor and it was he, rather than any Pope or Patriarch, that exercised a great influence over the Church of the first centuries.

What I've found amazing is how traditional Catholics have fought to recognize that everyone must be "under" the Pope but when Vatican II came around and the subsequent liturgical changes - the same people now approach the Eastern Church and defend the position that one needn't be under the Pope (read: need not be under the Novus Ordo and what is perceived to be a Protestantizing Rome).

And whether one is "under" or "in communion with" - the fact is that even an Orthodox theologian like Alexander Schmemann affirms, with the witness of the Church, that the power of the bishop is absolute - absolutely.

"In communion with" is a nice term, very warm and fuzzy.

But it really has no patristic or historical basis that comes from the first millennium.

We are "under" our bishop, our Patriarch, the Pope, the Patriarch of Moscow and the like.

When these speak, we obey.

That's pretty "under" - wouldn't you say?

Alex

Re: Communion With Peter Thru Rome Alone #115141 11/05/03 01:52 AM
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Dear Alex,

Let me try this again. I don't know what happened but for some reason it wouldn't post and now I lost it.

I can understand your feelings concerning Malachi Martin, he did get pretty farout there. But my main point was how he was instrumental in my understanding of the Papacy. Before I was what could be considered a triumphalistic Catholic. We had the Pope, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Of course I saw Vatican II as an aberration from the truth and based on so called prophecies of the saints, right order would soon be restored and all heretics and schismatics would bend the knee to the Pope and repent of their errors. I was way out there too.

Anyway, his book "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Church" began the process away from that. He saw the problems in the Church as deriving from the move away from spiritual power of the office to the accepting of a secular view based on land, money, education, and monarchial power.
The Church could only be healed if it laid the latter aside and returned to the true source of power, the Holy Spirit. He went through Church history in order to show how the change came about and missed opportunities to get it right. He felt the present time was another opportunity to get it right.

The book shook me up tremendously and I found myself agreeing with him. From lets get back to the Pope wearing the triple tiara and being carried about as some oriental potentate, thundering down anathemas from the high altar of St Peter's, to the Pope is a spiritual leader who should lay aside the secular trappings of authority and exercise his office in love and service. I began to see the exercise of his authority in a new light. It did not negate his exercising authority against error and heresy, but how that authority was exercised. I also began to see the church in a more conciliar view with the Pope as head, but acting together with his Brother bishops.

I can probably track my move East from this change of understanding. I certainly don't condone many of the things Malachi Martin has written, but God was able to use this one work to get me to see things in a different light and in one sense deliver me from the negativity I had bound myself in.

Bail ó Dhia ort,

Terry

Re: Communion With Peter Thru Rome Alone #115142 11/05/03 03:08 PM
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Dear Terry,

Well then, that's good that Martin had that effect on you!

RC Triumphalism, and triumphalism of any kind, isn't good at any time.

But, personally, I love a good Imperial Church!!

I love the Tiara (what did those Cardinals do with it?) and the Crowns are a liturgical item in all the historic Churches.

The Copts wear those wonderful crown-miters (something borrowed from them by the Celtic Rite) and we Easterners crown our newly married couples (the sacrament itself is called not "marriage" but "Crowning.").

Then there's the Byzantine Imperial Crown - we are called to be "priests, prophets and kings!"

Nothing wrong with Crowns!

And one can be a true servant of the people, as many Emperors truly were, and still wear a crown.

Emperors and bishops wore and wear the scapular or pamophorion which is a kind of apron indicating dedication to service.

I love the scapular because that is what that indicates too.

And I don't think we lay-folk can get away with wearing crown-mitres.

Although I do have one from Ethiopia . . . wink

Alex

Re: Communion With Peter Thru Rome Alone #115143 11/06/03 04:54 AM
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Dear Alex,

Thanks for your posts. Looking back at my previous posts I guess it can appear that I'm against all the pomp and circumstance, which I'm not. I definitely love all the trappings that go with liturgy and vestments and the whole show. biggrin
I tend to overstate things at times which can tend to cloud what I'm getting at.

What changed for me was my view of how the authority of the Pope should be exercised. And it was change of attitude that finally opened my eyes to the East. For that I'll be forever grateful.

I always look forward to seeing you on the various topics. I always learn so much and for that I wish to thank you.

Terry

Re: Communion With Peter Thru Rome Alone #115144 11/06/03 05:25 AM
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Given the headaches I'm getting from the Catholic Convert board I'm beginning to wonder if there is a connection between Rome today and Peter. But I guess I'll just chalk it up to the fearfullness of those on the board and not to the Pope.
Dan,

I've given up on the Catholic Convert board. The straw that broke the camel's back was when one of the Adminstrators posted in reply to a quote I'd given from the Decree on Ecumenism from Vatican II (on how the celebration of the Liturgy in Orthodox Churches builds up the Church of God). This Administrator said that the Decree on Ecumenism was "mistaken"!!

David Ignatius DTBrown@aol.com

Re: Communion With Peter Thru Rome Alone #115145 11/06/03 12:53 PM
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Quote by Orthoman:
"How many Sees connected to Peter do you have to establish before you are considered complete?"

Completeness is not determined by communion. Catholic ecclesiology teaches the Church of Christ is present in all communities united to and under the bishop. In these communities, no matter how small, "Christ is present through whose power and influence the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church is constituted." (Lumen Gentium, n. 26) Although ecclesial communion between Orthodox and Catholics has yet to be re-established, this does not imply incompleteness, but rather imperfection with regard to the Lord's prayer, "that all may be one."

Quote by orthoman:

"Orthodoxy never had a problem with the Pope being the Vicar of Peter whether it was in Antioch or Rome. When the problem arose was when the Vicar of Peter in Rome wasn't satisfied and proclaimed himself the Vicar of Christ himself!"

The title, "vicar of Peter", is not found in the teaching of the Church, East or West. The Bishops of Rome have been called "Peter" or "Peter's successor". In Lumen Gentium, the Catholic Church teaches that the bishops are "vicars and legates of Christ" and not "to be regarded as vicars of the Roman Pontiff" (n. 27). So it not just the Bishop of Rome who is the "vicar of Christ", but every bishop. This certainly is in agreement with the teaching of Ignatius of Antioch, who wrote, "we must look upon the bishop as the Lord Himself' (Letter to the Ephesians).


I think the problem has developed in the use of the phrase "in communion with" and the term "under". Catholic ecclesiology teaches that the bishops, especially in celebrating the Eucharist, are the signs of unity of the Local (particular)Churches. Thus Local Churches are "in communion with" eachother by virtue of the bishops being in communion with one another. Members of Local Churches, legimately united to and "under" their bishops, are "in communion with" eachother through these same bishops.

Re: Communion With Peter Thru Rome Alone #115146 11/06/03 03:51 PM
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Dear Reverend Father Deacon,

Yes, the title "Vicar of Christ" was actually used by the Byzantine Emperors for centuries - until it was taken over by the Pope of Rome.

And "Peter's Successor" is also problematic if one implies by that that Peter was the first Bishop of Rome.

And evidence indicates that the early Church considered the Roman Church to have been founded by Peter and Paul (together) but that Linus was the first Bishop, consecrated by the Apostles.

However, one may see all bishops as the successors of the Apostles.

Your point on completeness but imperfection is excellent.

Alex

Re: Communion With Peter Thru Rome Alone #115147 11/06/03 03:54 PM
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Dear Dave,

I was going to say something about certain converts and convert boreds, er, I mean "boards!"

But I think you know what it would be . . . wink

Your point reminds me of a cartoon where a husband is sitting on a chair reading a book with a paper bishop's mitre on his head. His wife walks by and says, "Henry, really - why don't you just quit that religious book-of-the-month club?"

Alex

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