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Melkite Answers to Common Questions #364945 06/01/11 04:20 PM
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Matt Offline OP
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I find that I am asked many of the same questions. Thus, I have created the below list of (oversimplified) common questions and answers. Feel free to add or critique as needed.

Q: How many ecumenical councils?
A: Seven

Q: Do you believe in papal infallibility?
A: No

Q: Do you believe in original sin?
A: Yes, but not in inherited guilt

Q: Do you believe in universal, immediate jurisdiction of the Pope?
A: Pope has appelate jurisditiction

Q: Do you believe in the treasury of merits?
A: No

Q: Do you accept the filioque?
A: No

Q: Do you recognize Orthodox saints?
A: Yes

Q: Why aren't you Orthodox?
A: 1) Despite our disagreements, Rome is not in heresy 2) Pope's role is more than "he who wears the fuzziest slippers" 3) We appreicate much in Roman Catholicism 4) Orthodoxy has its own issues

That's a start anyway.



Re: Melkite Answers to Common Questions [Re: Matt] #364959 06/02/11 02:15 AM
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Surely you mean "do you USE the Filioque? No."

Not using or saying it is different from not accepting the Roman explanation of why the Latins who say don't differ materially in their faith.

Re: Melkite Answers to Common Questions [Re: Matt] #364960 06/02/11 02:39 AM
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I think it is appropriate to say we do not accept the inclusion of the Filioque in the Creed, because, if the Congregation for the Oriental Churches is correct, neither does the Latin Church. It's just that, in their usual befuddled way, they haven't been able to allow their actions to match their words.

Re: Melkite Answers to Common Questions [Re: StuartK] #364965 06/02/11 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by StuartK
I think it is appropriate to say we do not accept the inclusion of the Filioque in the Creed, because, if the Congregation for the Oriental Churches is correct, neither does the Latin Church.


The Eastern Congregation has said the Latin Church does not accept the inclusion of the Filioque into the Creed? What are you referring to?

Re: Melkite Answers to Common Questions [Re: Matt] #364966 06/02/11 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Matt


Q: How many ecumenical councils?
A: Seven

Q: Do you believe in papal infallibility?
A: No

Q: Do you believe in universal, immediate jurisdiction of the Pope?
A: Pope has appellate jurisdiction

Q: Do you believe in the treasury of merits?
A: No


There are some Melkites who would disagree with the above. For example, I believe Bishop John Elya would object to these statements. I know he's spoken on some of these issues in the past and came out in favor of traditional Catholic teachings on these issues. Perhaps those Melkites who would object are a minority but they are part of the Melkite Church.

Secondly, I think that the vast majority of Roman Rite Catholics who hold to the teachings of the Catholic Church as explained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church would be greatly offended by these statements as well.

Can you imagine a Melkite priest saying this sort of stuff on EWTN? If he did and it was a not a live broadcast, it'd never get on the air.

Last edited by DTBrown; 06/02/11 06:52 AM.
Re: Melkite Answers to Common Questions [Re: DTBrown] #364968 06/02/11 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by DTBrown
Originally Posted by StuartK
I think it is appropriate to say we do not accept the inclusion of the Filioque in the Creed, because, if the Congregation for the Oriental Churches is correct, neither does the Latin Church.


The Eastern Congregation has said the Latin Church does not accept the inclusion of the Filioque into the Creed? What are you referring to?


THis I must also see.

Re: Melkite Answers to Common Questions [Re: Matt] #364970 06/02/11 12:02 PM
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I'm sorry, I meant the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Re: Melkite Answers to Common Questions [Re: Matt] #364971 06/02/11 12:03 PM
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Can you imagine a Melkite priest saying this sort of stuff on EWTN? If he did and it was a not a live broadcast, it'd never get on the air.


I've heard Patriarch Gregorios say things that encompass just about all of this.

Re: Melkite Answers to Common Questions [Re: DTBrown] #364972 06/02/11 01:38 PM
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Economos Roman V. Russo Offline
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So now the ground and measuring rod of truth is EWTN!? Judas Priest!!!

Re: Melkite Answers to Common Questions [Re: Matt] #364974 06/02/11 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Matt

Q: Why aren't you Orthodox?
A: 1) Despite our disagreements, Rome is not in heresy 2) Pope's role is more than "he who wears the fuzziest slippers" 3) We appreicate much in Roman Catholicism 4) Orthodoxy has its own issues

That's a start anyway.


This is probably the most complex question of all, and the one I personally wrestle with the most. Could not an argument be made that Rome is heterodox, since it attempts to make universal that which is particular and/or regional? In other words, since Rome says (or rather said in times past) "you have to believe this (insert Latin theologoumenon here)" to be in communion with us is it worth all the fuss to maintain communion? On the other hand it is unlikely that the Holy See today would require such strict adherence, but none the less it is "on the books," so to speak.

Re: Melkite Answers to Common Questions [Re: StuartK] #364976 06/02/11 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by StuartK
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Can you imagine a Melkite priest saying this sort of stuff on EWTN? If he did and it was a not a live broadcast, it'd never get on the air.


I've heard Patriarch Gregorios say things that encompass just about all of this.


Yes, for example here.

But, there's something amiss if Melkite priests can make these statements on Ancient Faith Radio but not on EWTN. I'm not saying that EWTN is the standard of Catholic truth but if this vision of what the Melkites believe cannot play on EWTN it illustrates the problem.

This tension is further shown in the "Profession of Faith" and "Oath of Fidelity" that was published with Ad Tuendam Fidem:

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/c..._cfaith_doc_1998_professio-fidei_en.html

Included as part of this, as mentioned in the above document is:

Quote
the doctrine on the primacy and infallibility of the Roman Pontiff;


I've been told by a Ukrainian Catholic deacon that Ukrainian Catholic priests take this oath upon ordination. I don't know if Melkite priests take this oath or not. It's interesting that the timing of Ad Tuendam Fidem came just a few months after the letter from Rome rejecting the Zoghby Initiative.



Last edited by DTBrown; 06/02/11 03:05 PM.
Re: Melkite Answers to Common Questions [Re: DTBrown] #364983 06/02/11 05:06 PM
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My priest (UGCC) would certainly (and heartily) agree to the "Melkite Answers".

-even though he would maintain that they are not exclusive to Melkite Greek Catholics but to all those Greek Catholics who truly take Vatican II seriously (amongst other church documents and directives).

-as to the question of the filioque, my priest has said that "we don't agree with the Filioque, but we will not break Communion with the Latin Church over their understanding of the Filioque; there are matters overwhich we can agree to disagree without breaking Communion"

-he would agree that we don't believe in the Pope's infallibility in the way that some people who watch EWTN would understand it, but we would support it as properly understood in a Byzantine theological context (we believe in the Church's infallibility and in an Ecumenical Council's infallibility, etc.)

Speaking for myself, it would seem to me that EWTN's listeners would have trouble with the theological positions of almost all the Eastern Catholic posters on the Byzantine Forum. They would probably have problems with the married presbyters, the Instructions to Implement the New Canon Law Liturgically, Orientalium Ecclesiarum, etc. etc.


Re: Melkite Answers to Common Questions [Re: Matt] #364989 06/02/11 06:56 PM
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But, there's something amiss if Melkite priests can make these statements on Ancient Faith Radio but not on EWTN. I'm not saying that EWTN is the standard of Catholic truth but if this vision of what the Melkites believe cannot play on EWTN it illustrates the problem.


On the other hand, Patriarch Lyubomir appeared in a special on the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church that aired on EWTN, in which he said there were no theological differences between the Orthodox and the Greek Catholics.

As to why the Melkites don't often appear on EWTN, it might have something to do with the derogatory attitude that the network and its various web sites have had towards the Patriarchate of Antioch since the announcement of the Zoghby Initiative, if not before. One does not necessarily feel that one's perspective will be accurately portrayed after being repeatedly characterized as "dissident" and "schismatic" by the outlet that wants to interview you.

Overall, I get the impression that EWTN is fundamentally clueless about the Eastern Churches, and views us with bemused condescension as the ethnic ghettos of the Catholic Church, with such a pretty Mass and many quaint and colorful customs.

Re: Melkite Answers to Common Questions [Re: StuartK] #364996 06/02/11 10:45 PM
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On the other hand, Patriarch Lyubomir appeared in a special on the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church that aired on EWTN, in which he said there were no theological differences between the Orthodox and the Greek Catholics.


I'd be interested in the exact wording of that statement. My guess it was one of those statements that could be interpreted differently depending on the hearer.

Quote
As to why the Melkites don't often appear on EWTN, it might have something to do with the derogatory attitude that the network and its various web sites have had towards the Patriarchate of Antioch since the announcement of the Zoghby Initiative, if not before. One does not necessarily feel that one's perspective will be accurately portrayed after being repeatedly characterized as "dissident" and "schismatic" by the outlet that wants to interview you.


Could you tell us more? I've never heard EWTN refer to the Melkite Church as "schismatic" and "dissident."

Re: Melkite Answers to Common Questions [Re: Herbigny] #364997 06/02/11 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Herbigny
My priest (UGCC) would certainly (and heartily) agree to the "Melkite Answers".

-even though he would maintain that they are not exclusive to Melkite Greek Catholics but to all those Greek Catholics who truly take Vatican II seriously (amongst other church documents and directives)....

-he would agree that we don't believe in the Pope's infallibility in the way that some people who watch EWTN would understand it, but we would support it as properly understood in a Byzantine theological context (we believe in the Church's infallibility and in an Ecumenical Council's infallibility, etc.)


Herbigny,

What would be a "Byzantine theological context" to understand papal infallibility?

For example, Canon 597 of The Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches describes the infallibility of the Pope this way:

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Canon 597 - ยง1. The Roman Pontiff, in virtue of his office, possesses infallible teaching authority if, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the Christian faithful who is to confirm his fellow believers in the faith, he proclaims with a definitive act that a doctrine of faith or morals is to be held.


Part 2 of that canon says the College of Bishops also could have infallibility -- but there's nothing in the Eastern Code that suggests a limited papal infallibility.

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