The Byzantine Forum
Newest Members
CuriousMarten, Pilgrim500, Waylon, reikan, sadsappysucker
5,754 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
1 members (1 invisible), 93 guests, and 41 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Latest Photos
Church of St Cyril of Turau & All Patron Saints of Belarus
Byzantine Nebraska
Byzantine Nebraska
by orthodoxsinner2, December 11
Church of the Holy Trinity (UGCC) - Brazil
Church of the Holy Trinity (UGCC) - Brazil
by Santiago Tarsicio, March 17
Papal Audience 10 November 2017
Papal Audience 10 November 2017
by JLF, November 10
Upgraded Russian icon corner
Upgraded Russian icon corner
by The young fogey, October 20
Forum Statistics
Forums26
Topics35,024
Posts413,825
Members5,754
Most Online3,380
Dec 29th, 2019
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,028
A
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,028
Dear ByzCath posters;

I think that the theological position of many -- if not most -- of the Eastern Catholic posters on this forum can be summarized as follows:

1)"We are in communion with Rome but we are not bound to accept Latin innovations and credal formularies; the Union of Brest (among others) guarantees this. As far as we are concerned, Latin theological teachings that diverge from the common teaching of the East are only theologoumenon and should be treated as such."

2)"We are in communion with Rome but we do not necessarily accept papal infallibility or the primacy of jurisdiction. For that matter, we do not necessarily accept that the post-9th century "Ecumenical Councils" recognized as such by Rome are truly ecumenical. We recognize only the primacy of honor, and we think it is time that Eastern CHurches be given the same independence and authority and dignity as these had prior to the various unias -- without formal communion being broken."

3)"While we do not accept what the West normally thinks of as "Catholicism", we are still Catholic and we still maintain and value communion with Rome, because this is what our historic (first millenium) Eastern heritage teaches us, and this is the legacy that our great saints and martyrs (esp. among the Ukrainians) have left us."

Before I proceed with my question, permit me to make the following observations:

First, I agree that the relations between East and West are extremely complex, and that the current state of relations between Rome and the Eastern sui juris churches is far from satisfactory. I also agree that the terms of the Unia are in a state of continual breach or violation. Furthermore, a distinction must always be made between the teaching of the Catholic Church, and the specific Latin and Eastern formulations or elucidations of the same teaching. To the extent that it is possible, these different ways of formulating a particular teaching should be given equal importance in official explanations of the faith, and all merely apparent differences should be carefully explained so that the faithful may realize that these are nothing more than differences in emphases.

Second, I agree that the Eastern tradition is too little known in the Catholic Church, given the overwhelming preponderance of the Latin rite; furthermore, I agree that the Eastern Christian theological tradition has many important and urgent questions that Rome has never adequately answered, and on which dialogue is necessary.

Finally, I agree that the Eastern Churches should be as faithful to their own liturgical and theological heritage as is possible.

Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 26,184
Likes: 5
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 26,184
Likes: 5
Dear asianpilgrim,

And your point is . . .?

Alex

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,028
A
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,028
Now, here is my question:

If the above summary is correct --- then, why don't you simply become Orthodox? This is not a trick, rhetorical or emotional question. This is an honest question that I, as a Catholic, think should be asked. My reasons are as follows:

Whatever the meaning of the Union of Brest and other unions like it, one principle remains: doctrinal division, or disagreement on the fundamentals of the faith, is contrary to the very meaning of communion. The fact that Eastern and Western Catholic hierarchs share the same altar and the fact that their faithful are (theoretically) welcome to each other's churches, should signify that they share the same faith. However, when the same bishops -- or, at least, the body of faithful under their respective jurisdictions -- could not even agree on the number of the Ecumenical Councils; or could not agree on the exact doctrinal or moral force of post-schism doctrinal / moral declarations issued by the Western Church; or could not even agree on the extent of the authority of the protos of the whole Church; then how can it be said that these bishops and / or their faithful are in doctrinal union? There may be an external union; but where is the interior, doctrinal union that is the heart, soul and substance of this external union? Some of the Eastern bishops and many of the faithful under them, (especially Archbishop Zoghby and Patriarchs Maximos V and Gregory III) are, in fact, in greater doctrinal unity with the Orthodox than with Latin Catholic hierarchs. Cardinal Husar is also on record as stating that there are no doctrinal differences between him and the Orthodox.

Some may say that such internal division among the bishops is perfectly acceptable, given that the Latin hierarchy as a a whole has been more or less in doctrinal rupture with the Holy See since the 1960's as a result of the post-conciliar chaos, without ever being excommunicated for it. The analogy, however, is inexact. The Latin hierarchy may be rebellious, but nowhere has the highest authority of the Church considered this rebellion to be "normal" or even legitimate; on the contrary, the representatives of the Roman Curia have always taken pains to show that this kind of behavior is indefensible and punishable. As such, the fact that many Latin-rite bishops do not share the faith as authoritatively set forth by Rome and yet are not excommunicated, is not a justification for Eastern and Western bishops to disagree on the faith.

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,028
A
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,028
It seems to me that the following are also quite evident:

1) Rome is simply not going to accept that Eastern Catholic Churches can be as independent or autonomous as they were prior to the various unia. It is simply not going to happen, given the current temper of the new generation of more conservative Latin-rite Catholics, and given the extent to which the papal office has developed in the last two centuries (and the extent to which this development was couched in theological terms)

2) Rome is not going to roll back the idea that there have been 21 Ecumenical Councils, despite what the Ravenna Accord seems to say. No less than Joseph Ratzinger pointed out as early as the 1970's that to reduce the Ecumenical Councils to 7 (as Louis Bouyer was advocating at the time) was to tacitly admit that the Catholic Church is not the true church.

As for the Union of Brest: I think that the time has come to lay to rest the debates surrounding it, by asking the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to clarify once and for all what it means for the Eastern-rite faithful vis-a-vis "Latin" theological formulations and post-schism doctrinal declarations.

Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 425
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 425
Good question. Very good observation. I have no answer.

Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 648
Orthodox domilsean
Member
Offline
Orthodox domilsean
Member
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 648
Plus, what does it all mean for US Catholics? Look at the problems the Unia has caused in the US, especially early in this century. I often wonder how the Catholic Church would look if racist/Latinist bishops like John Ireland had not been around and the Unia was respected by the Latins in the US and not tossed out as a sort of "Old Country" treaty.

It reminds me of how well the European Americans have treated the Native Americans: assimilation, conversions, destruction of native ideology and religion, breaking of treaties, forced re-education...

Doesn't sound any different to me.

Last edited by domilsean; 12/18/07 07:02 PM.
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,125
E
Za myr z'wysot ...
Member
Offline
Za myr z'wysot ...
Member
E
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,125
Originally Posted by asianpilgrim
... a distinction must always be made between the teaching of the Catholic Church, and the specific Latin and Eastern formulations or elucidations of the same teaching. To the extent that it is possible, these different ways of formulating a particular teaching should be given equal importance in official explanations of the faith, and all merely apparent differences should be carefully explained so that the faithful may realize that these are nothing more than differences in emphases.
Pilgrim,

If you've been following these threads, there's been a lot of praise for Pope Benedict's pronouncements, since he is making a serious effort to reflect both the Eastern and Western perspectives in them.

That said, however, there are still lots of past pronouncements from popes, the Roman Curia and especially from the Western general councils (Vatican I, for example?) that could stand to be re-interpreted according to an Eastern perspective. That sounds like a wonderful project, biggrin I just wonder who would be up to it? The documents could be presented to the EC bishops for approval, then to the OC bishops and the Roman Curia for more formal approval.

Since this will almost certainly have to be done at some point (the most important points, at least) before an East-West reunion can be achieved, this would be one way of pressing forward.

Naturally, there will be those who think that "re-interpreting" would be equivalent to eviscerating the doctrinal statements and rendering them meaningless. Since I am definitely partial to Eastern theology--what little I know of it--however, I am sure most of them will come around once they see that there really is something out there besides traditional Latin theology on the one hand and rank modernism sick on the other!


Peace,
Deacon Richard

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,346
D
Jessup B.C. Deacon
Member
Offline
Jessup B.C. Deacon
Member
D
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,346
Originally Posted by asianpilgrim
Dear ByzCath posters;

I think that the theological position of many -- if not most -- of the Eastern Catholic posters on this forum can be summarized as follows:

1)"We are in communion with Rome but we are not bound to accept Latin innovations and credal formularies; the Union of Brest (among others) guarantees this. As far as we are concerned, Latin theological teachings that diverge from the common teaching of the East are only theologoumenon and should be treated as such."

2)"We are in communion with Rome but we do not necessarily accept papal infallibility or the primacy of jurisdiction. For that matter, we do not necessarily accept that the post-9th century "Ecumenical Councils" recognized as such by Rome are truly ecumenical. We recognize only the primacy of honor, and we think it is time that Eastern CHurches be given the same independence and authority and dignity as these had prior to the various unias -- without formal communion being broken."

3)"While we do not accept what the West normally thinks of as "Catholicism", we are still Catholic and we still maintain and value communion with Rome, because this is what our historic (first millenium) Eastern heritage teaches us, and this is the legacy that our great saints and martyrs (esp. among the Ukrainians) have left us."


I don't think that your assertion is a "given" as to the above points.

Dn. Robert

Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,648
Likes: 3
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,648
Likes: 3
It seems to me that the question could be reversed. Why would a self-proclaimed "conservative Latin-rite Catholic" wish to remain in Communion with a Church which accepts both formulations of East and West - even with it's awkwardness, paradoxes, and differences in emphasis - while he is in disagreement with the Pope and the other Patriarchs and Bishops in his stance regarding Roman-rite supremacy and infallibility. Why not just become SSPX or SSPV, and avoid the unity within diversity entirely, by being in union with uniformity?

Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 7,461
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 7,461
It will be interesting to see how the first formal particular church-wide Eastern Catholic catechism, that of the UGCC currently being drafted, handles these issues.

Quote
As for the Union of Brest: I think that the time has come to lay to rest the debates surrounding it,


I am not sure what specific "debates" you are referring to - the Union says "but that we should remain with that which was handed down to us in the Holy Scriptures, in the Gospel, and in the writings of the holy Greek Doctors".


Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 396
J
Member
Offline
Member
J
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 396
Personally, I think that the OCA should canonize Bishop John Ireland because he has contributed do much to the development of Orthodoxy in the US (though in a negative fashion)! We would not have Saint Alex of Scranton otherwise. The question raised above is a good one (why not become Orthodox?); I asked myself that 30 years ago when I finished my Ph.D in Byzantine Studies and left the Latin Church and joined the Church of Constantinople and I have never looked back. Although it can be a bit stodgy, I am allowed to think for myself and get all the smells and bells that I want. More bluntly and honestly, I pray that the status quo between the RCC and the EOC continue for at least the remainder of my life. My reasons are rather simple and may seem stereo-typical. I like the loose nature of the confederation of Orthodox Churches because it comes closest to the nature of early Christianity before Constantine -- a bad decision in my judgment-- imposed unity of structure and belief on it. Disunity was, is, and should be the norm; I am speaking as a church historian. All the reasons (central authority, etc.)put forward (many listed in the various threads on this web site)are the very reasons I went east and I like the state of Orthodoxy. I love the fact that there is unity in our disunity and I hope it continues!!! I will admit to a bias in favor of Orthodoxy. I spent the first half of my life as a member of the RCC and the second half as a member of the EOC. I prefer the second half because I have been able to think for myself and practice a form of Christianity closer to that of the Apostles, something -In MY OPINION--lacking in the Latin Church which has changed so much more than the eastern Church.

Last edited by johnzonaras; 12/18/07 07:48 PM.
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 1,134
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 1,134
Originally Posted by johnzonaras
Personally, I think that the OCA should canonize Bishop John Ireland because he has contributed do much to the development of Orthodoxy in the US (though in a negative fashion)! We would not have Saint Alex of Scranton otherwise. The question raised above is a good one (why not become Orthodox?); I asked myself that 30 years ago when I finished my Ph.D in Byzantine Studies and left the Latin Church and joined the Church of Constantinople and I have never looked back. Although it can be a bit stodgy, I am allowed to think for myself and get all the smells and bells that I want. More bluntly and honestly, I pray that the status quo between the RCC and the EOC continue for at least the remainder of my life. My reasons are rather simple and may seem stereo-typical. I like the loose nature of the confederation of Orthodox Churches because it comes closest to the nature of early Christianity before Constantine -- a bad decision in my judgment-- imposed unity of structure and belief on it. Disunity was, is, and should be the norm; I am speaking as a church historian. All the reasons (central authority, etc.)put forward (many listed in the various threads on this web site)are the very reasons I went east and I like the state of Orthodoxy. I love the fact that there is unity in our disunity and I hope it continues!!! I will admit to a bias in favor of Orthodoxy. I spent the first half of my life as a member of the RCC and the second half as a member of the EOC. I prefer the second half because I have been able to think for myself and practice a form of Christianity closer to that of the Apostles, something -In MY OPINION--lacking in the Latin Church which has changed so much more than the eastern Church.


I think you meant St. Alexis of Wilkes-Barre. P.S. Let's leave Archbishop John Irelands memory in the ground where it belongs. biggrin

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,346
D
Jessup B.C. Deacon
Member
Offline
Jessup B.C. Deacon
Member
D
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,346
My pastor was, at the time of the OCA's glorification of Fr. Alexis Toth, the pastor of the B.C. parish in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. He was on friendly terms with the OCA pastor in Wilkes-Barre. When the OCA pastor returned from the glorification celebration, he called my pastor, and is quoted as having said: "we opened up the casket, and Alexis Toth was not there-but Archbishop John Ireland was!" smirk

Dn. Robert

Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 1,134
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 1,134
Originally Posted by Jessup B.C. Deacon
My pastor was, at the time of the OCA's glorification of Fr. Alexis Toth, the pastor of the B.C. parish in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. He was on friendly terms with the OCA pastor in Wilkes-Barre. When the OCA pastor returned from the glorification celebration, he called my pastor, and is quoted as having said: "we opened up the casket, and Alexis Toth was not there-but Archbishop John Ireland was!" smirk

Dn. Robert


Good one! biggrin

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 396
J
Member
Offline
Member
J
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 396
I dropped the "is" by error and you are right Alexis of Wilkes-Barre.

Last edited by johnzonaras; 12/18/07 08:17 PM.
Page 1 of 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Link Copied to Clipboard
The Byzantine Forum provides message boards for discussions focusing on Eastern Christianity (though discussions of other topics are welcome). The views expressed herein are those of the participants and may or may not reflect the teachings of the Byzantine Catholic or any other Church. The Byzantine Forum and the www.byzcath.org site exist to help build up the Church but are unofficial, have no connection with any Church entity, and should not be looked to as a source for official information for any Church. All posts become property of byzcath.org. Contents copyright - 1996-2020 (Forum 1998-2020). All rights reserved.
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5