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Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? [Re: StuartK] #327890 07/19/09 12:34 PM
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ebed melech Offline
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Originally Posted by StuartK
This is not how the early Church saw matters. For the Fathers, it was not who was saying something, but what was being said that mattered, and truth was determined by the entire Body of Christ receiving a statement or teaching as being true--a charismatic function of the Holy Spirit dwelling within the Church.


On the one hand, I agree with you about the critical nature of truth and role of the whole Body in discerning and proclaiming faithfully the orthodox teaching of the Church. It is also true that God could prophesy through an ass if He so desired, as seen in the Old Testament! But doesn't this statement - "it was not who was saying something (that mattered to the early church)" put at risk the role that apostolic authority did and should play in defining certain teachings as true and orthodox and others as false and heretical? Bishops as successors to the apostles are consecrated in part for this purpose as shepherds of their flocks. If absolutized as a magisterial principle, it would also seem to also call into question the value any bishop or ecumenical council, since we are simply talking about a gathering of individuals who claim some binding authority, both individually and collectively.

It also seems to run counter to statements made by St. Irenaeus in the 2nd century about the need for all the Churches to be in agreement with the Church of Rome (and, by extension, its bishop). I just do not think that what you have said here can be cited as an absolute principle, even in the early Church. If unchecked by the principle of hiearchia, it risks coming too close to a form of congregationalism that was anithetical to the early Church and the Fathers. And it would seem that the only way to properly interpret any exercise of any teaching authority by Rome and its bishop, it cannot be divorced from either the principles of hierarchia (which pertain to all bishops) and the Pope's service of primacy within the "college" of bishops (acting and speaking in its name).

BTW, I'm not making an argument here in favor of infallibility and primacy of jurisdiction per se (although I agree with these teachings, when properly understood and applied). I just think that it is one thing to say that "who says what" matters not in terms of a particular person qua person. But such a thing cannot be said of a particular office or "ecclesiastical person," at least not according to the evidence of the early Church.

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? [Re: ebed melech] #328190 07/23/09 06:09 AM
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There is a certain truth to both views.

The argument that Papal declarations - such as the Assumption - should not be believed, since they were made using an infallibility that the Pope supposedly "does not have", doesn't fly with me.

If the Eastern Orthodox position is that the proclamation:
1)Must be received by part of Sacred Tradition, and
2)That the people must accept the teaching

to be valid, and clearly the majority have and do unequivocally accept it (1.2 billion or so Catholics and not to mention some others such as Anglicans, Polish National Catholics, Old Catholics, Syriac, Armenian, Assyrian(?) and Indian Churches)

- why is the accepted teaching on the Assumption questioned?

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? [Re: Michael_Thoma] #328193 07/23/09 06:42 AM
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I would argue the Orthodox Church does believe in the Assumption (the Dormition of the Theotokos) but it has never proclaimed it like the Western Church did.

Last edited by Nelson Chase; 07/23/09 06:42 AM.
Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? [Re: Nelson Chase] #328206 07/23/09 11:15 AM
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He who dogmatizes least dogmatizes best. That is why the Christian East has relatively few "dogmas", all of which pertain to the mystery of God's nature and his economy of salvation. Secondary and tertiary matters not covered by divine revelation and not impinging upon the Church's public proclamation of faith are not suitable areas for dogma.

Moreover, whenever something is proclaimed as "dogma", all the assumptions and suppositions underlying that dogmatic definition themselves become "dogma", and in turn all of the assumptions and suppositions underlying them. Because of its terminological sloppiness in the second millennium, resulting from faulty ecclesiology that saw the Catholic Church and the Church of Rome as co-terminous, the Church of Rome proclaimed a great many things to be dogma that were in fact merely doctrinal expressions or proper usage of the Latin Church. When they did that, it effectively "dogmatized" Latin theological methods. Taken to its logical extreme, this process of dogmatization would eventually have left everything "defined"--which would certainly please those for whom certitude is the highest value in matters of faith--but would have contradicted the very essence of God, which is his absolute transcendence of human comprehension. In other words, it would have put God in a box, making him the object of theological analysis, rather than the subject of prayerful contemplation.

The Catholic Church eventually realized this, which is the foundation of the patristic renewal and the theological, liturgical and spiritual reforms of the 20th century. Scholasticism is no longer the only approved way of doing theology in the Latin Church; there is recognition of the existence of true Churches both inside and outside communion with the Church of Rome; there is recognition of the legitimacy of other Traditions.

As a result of this renewal, the Latin Church has backed down from many of its high Tridentine positions, which ought to be recognized as what they were--a reaction against the excesses of the Reformation, and therefore largely "intramural" in nature. The Church today aims to restore the patristic outlook of the first millennium, and this will certainly cause a great deal of discomfort in people established in Tridentine certitude.

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? [Re: StuartK] #328424 07/25/09 02:25 AM
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I do not wish to be controversial here, but while I am sympathetic to the contemporary Orthodox criticisms of the Western excercise of dogmatic authority, I wish to briefly note three points:

(1) The above mentioned criticisms of scholasticism apply equally to the dogmatization of Palamite theology, which is now so fashionable in many Orthodox circles.

(2) Orthodox critics of scholasticism typically fail to mention that many Catholic theologians during the past fifty years have also been critical of Western scholasticism. While it may be fun to beat a dead horse, especially for polemical purposes, it hardly does justice to the complexity and depth of the Western dogmatic tradition, nor does it do justice to contemporary Catholic reflection.

(3) Orthodoxy itself has a long tradition of theological reflection that may appropriately be characterized as "scholastic." The Slavophile interpretation of "true" Orthodoxy, whatever its merits may be and no matter how polemically dominant it has become in recent decades, cannot be said to enjoy unquestionable theological status. Let's not forget our location in history.

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? [Re: Fr_Kimel] #328438 07/25/09 10:07 AM
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I concur entirely with Father Kimel.

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? [Re: StuartK] #328459 07/25/09 03:31 PM
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ok. from a Catholic perspective, there are 5 different levels of magesterium.

1. Pope ex cathedra Extraordinary (and universal) Infallible Full Assent of Faith
2. Bishops, in union with Pope, defining doctrine at General Council Extraordinary (and universal teaching of the Church) Infallible Full Assent of Faith
3. Bishops proposing definitively, dispersed, but in unison, in union with Pope Ordinary and universal teaching of the Church Infallible Full Assent of Faith
4. Pope Ordinary Fallible Religious submission of intellect and will
5. Bishops - fallible



there's a hierarchy of truths. some that are debatable, some aspects that are not. when the Pope invokes infallbility he is exercising extraordinary magesterium.

in my humble opinion, I believe "Orthodox" are anti-Pope and so are Anglicans. They call us Catholics papists. they are very insultive.

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? [Re: Mateusz] #328460 07/25/09 03:33 PM
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oh and eastern catholics are called uniates according to the "Orthodox"

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? [Re: Mateusz] #328468 07/25/09 05:52 PM
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Really? I know lots and lots of Orthodox, including my sister. They don't call me a Uniate.

Now, I am perfectly willing to concede that there are Eastern Catholics who really are Uniates--Orthodox on the outside, Latin on the inside--but don't tar all of us with the same brush.

I also know lots of Roman Catholics who really are "papists" in the sense that their whole faith revolves around the Bishop of Rome and not Jesus Christ. But I wouldn't tar the whole Latin Church with that brush, either.

Finally, I notice your taxonomy of magisterium has no room for the laity in it. I don't believe that's quite the case, but that many people perceive it that way says a lot about the Catholic mindset.

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? [Re: Fr_Kimel] #328490 07/26/09 03:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Fr_Kimel
(2) Orthodox critics of scholasticism typically fail to mention that many Catholic theologians during the past fifty years have also been critical of Western scholasticism. While it may be fun to beat a dead horse, especially for polemical purposes, it hardly does justice to the complexity and depth of the Western dogmatic tradition, nor does it do justice to contemporary Catholic reflection.

True enough, but one must also not fool himself into thinking that Scholastic theology is dead and buried.

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? [Re: Apotheoun] #328500 07/26/09 12:33 PM
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True enough, but one must also not fool himself into thinking that Scholastic theology is dead and buried.

And what is wrong with Scholasticism, in the context of the Latin Church? Are you implying it is not a legitimate mode of theological expression?

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? [Re: StuartK] #328515 07/26/09 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by StuartK
True enough, but one must also not fool himself into thinking that Scholastic theology is dead and buried.

And what is wrong with Scholasticism, in the context of the Latin Church? Are you implying it is not a legitimate mode of theological expression?

Yes. I thought it was fairly evident that that was what I was saying. The West should return to its patristic roots, which must not be reduced to the teaching of St. Augustine taken alone.

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? [Re: Apotheoun] #328516 07/26/09 07:49 PM
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So, in your mind, what are the patristic roots of the Western Church? Given the dominance of Augustine even in the patristic era in the West, just what does Latin theology look like to you? For a variety of historical reasons, none of which can be undone, Augustine will always tower over the other Western Fathers, most of whom, from the late fifth century onward, are essentially Augustinian in outlook (just as almost all Orthodox theologians from the fifth century onwards are Cappodocian in outlook).

Beyond that, just what is your beef with Augustine? I am reminded of a pithy statement by Orthodox theologian David Bentley Hart: "If you want to understand Augustine, read Augustine, not the musings of some dyspeptic Greek".

Finally, it is pretty clear that, given the strictures and preconditions you place upon Western theology, you really do not accept the legitimacy of any theology that is not explicitly Byzantine--and Palamite at that. I don't see how you can make any claims to the ecumenicity of your thought under those circumstances. You would deny to the Latins precisely that which they denied to us for so long--the right of every Church to its own unique Tradition.

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? [Re: StuartK] #328525 07/26/09 08:56 PM
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In my opinion, the Scholastic (overly philosophical) method involves a corruption of theology, i.e., a reduction of theology to categories founded upon created reason, which cannot in reality transcend the gap between the uncreated essence of God and His creation. And as far as St. Augustine is concerned, there is much good in what he said, but the overemphasis upon his theories in the West caused a theological imbalance from which it has still not fully recovered -- as C. Moeller and G. Philips admit in their book on an oecumenical approach to grace.

On the issue of "Palamism," I really do not understand your constant references to this chimera, since I do not buy into the modern Western attempts to apply the idea of "schools of thought" to the East . . . for there is no such thing as a Maximian or Palamite school, nor is there a Maximian or Palamite theology; instead, there is simply Orthodoxy.

Finally, I see nothing wrong with admitting that the West took a wrong turn when it embraced a heavily Aristotelian philosophical approach in its theologizing.

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? [Re: Apotheoun] #328526 07/26/09 09:01 PM
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Yes there is simply Orthodoxy and simply Catholicism - but the "schools" are variations in emphasis. How could there not be various "schools" of emphasis when we clearly see the distinction between the Byzantine theology in the Eastern Greek and Slav Churches, emphasizing slightly different aspects, in different language, through various cultures of the same faith as the Coptic Churches, both of which emphasize slightly different aspects than the Syriac or Armenian Churches - all of which are simply Orthodox/Catholic.

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