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#380870 06/02/12 12:34 AM
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Hi all,

I know this is the second time I asked this question, but please bear with me. Every time this question is asked the thread gets drawn out into a really long one and the original question becomes quickly buried.

So if I may, I'd like to be really focused this time. Would the following statement be a fair description of the Eastern Catholics' approach to the dogmatic definitions made by Vatican (e.g. Immaculate Conception):

An Eastern Catholic must believe in the substance underlying the dogmatic definition, but does not have to understand said substance using the same theology, language, and reasoning that is presupposed by that dogmatic definition.

Is the above a fair statement?

To illustrate, let's use Immaculate Conception as an example - please let me know if the following is correct: An Eastern Catholic must believe that Mary is completely filled with the grace of God and is completely sinless - this is the substance of the definition; however, the Eastern Catholic is not required to accept the specific theology and terminology used in defining the dogma by Vatican.

Since I don't know Eastern theology well enough, I might be a bit off on the Eastern view on Immaculate Conception, so I welcome any correction. However, I only used Immaculate Conception as an example - please don't turn the thread into another discussion about Immaculate Conception! What I'm trying to get at is a more or less clear explanation of the Eastern Catholic stance. I know there might not be a clearly defined stance, but some general idea would be helpful.

I apologize if my question offends anyone, as no offense is intended.

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That is the general idea as I understand it.

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Originally Posted by MengTzu


An Eastern Catholic must believe in the substance underlying the dogmatic definition, but does not have to understand said substance using the same theology, language, and reasoning that is presupposed by that dogmatic definition.



That seems like a fairly apt description. I'm not that comfortable with the use of the word 'must', but that may be a bit pedantic on my part. I might reword it as:

'An Eastern Catholic will believe...'

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Pope Benedict XVI has repeated often enough that the Eastern Churches cannot be held to those dogmatic pronouncements reached without them after the separation. In this I make no distinction between the Churches in union with Rome and those outside that communion.

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Originally Posted by Ot'ets Nastoiatel'
Pope Benedict XVI has repeated often enough that the Eastern Churches cannot be held to those dogmatic pronouncements reached without them after the separation. In this I make no distinction between the Churches in union with Rome and those outside that communion.

I'm sure the Pope made the distinction, and I think his words are being misinterpreted here. But what exactly did he say, repeatedly, when and where?

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"however, the Eastern Catholic is not required to accept the specific theology and terminology used in defining the dogma by Vatican."

THis would seemed to imply in these cases that the Eastern Catholic Churches already have in existence a theology to define things the same or an equal manner?


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Originally Posted by JW55
"however, the Eastern Catholic is not required to accept the specific theology and terminology used in defining the dogma by Vatican."

Regarding specific terminology and theological framework there is flexibility and different perspectives should/would add to our understanding the truth of the dogma.

Who is being quoted here?

Originally Posted by JW55
THis would seemed to imply in these cases that the Eastern Catholic Churches already have in existence a theology to define things the same or an equal manner?
Yes, this is very much my point, but why aren't we doing it or doing it better and with greater visibility and impact?

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My impressions are that Rome likes to split hairs or leave no stone unturned. They prefer to define things to the small scale. Whereas the eastern churches, although an understanding may be present would prefer to not define things so specifically.

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Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Ot'ets Nastoiatel'
Pope Benedict XVI has repeated often enough that the Eastern Churches cannot be held to those dogmatic pronouncements reached without them after the separation. In this I make no distinction between the Churches in union with Rome and those outside that communion.

I'm sure the Pope made the distinction, and I think his words are being misinterpreted here. But what exactly did he say, repeatedly, when and where?


Clarification is in order:

In a lecture given in Graz, Austria in 1976, Professor Ratzinger made the following statement:
Quote
Although it is not given to us to halt the flight of history, to change the course of centuries, we may say, nevertheless, that what was possible for a thousand years is not impossible for Christians today...Rome must not require more from the East with respect to the doctrine of primacy than had been formulated and was lived in the first millennium. When the Patriarch Athenagoras, on July 25, 1967,...designated [the Pope] as the successor of St. Peter, as the most esteemed among us, as one who presides in charity, this great Church leader was expressing the essential content of the doctrine of primacy as it was known in the first millennium. Rome need not ask for more. Reunion could take place in this context if, on the one hand, the East would cease to oppose as heretical the developments that took place in the West in the second millennium and would accept the Catholic Church as legitimate and orthodox in the form she had acquired in the course of that development, while on the other hand, the West would recognize the Church of the East as orthodox in the form she has always had.

Source: Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1987), 199


As far as I know, this is the one and only time that he made such a statement and it was said when he was Professor Ratzinger and not as Pope Benedict.

Those who identify themselves as "Orthodox in communion with Rome" will often point to this statement, but it must be made clear that Ratzinger would later no longer hold to this view, especially when he became Prefect for the Congregation of the Faith.

For further reading on this:

http://saintjamesprayforme.wordpress.com/2011/06/13/something-to-think-about/

http://orthocath.files.wordpress.co...and-zoghby-proposals-dead-20080404-1.pdf

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The Graz statement was repeated verbatim in his book "Principles of Catholic Theology", published in English by Ignatius Press in 1985.

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Originally Posted by griego catolico
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Ot'ets Nastoiatel'
Pope Benedict XVI has repeated often enough that the Eastern Churches cannot be held to those dogmatic pronouncements reached without them after the separation. In this I make no distinction between the Churches in union with Rome and those outside that communion.

I'm sure the Pope made the distinction, and I think his words are being misinterpreted here. But what exactly did he say, repeatedly, when and where?




Clarification is in order:

In a lecture given in Graz, Austria in 1976, Professor Ratzinger made the following statement:
Quote
Although it is not given to us to halt the flight of history, to change the course of centuries, we may say, nevertheless, that what was possible for a thousand years is not impossible for Christians today...Rome must not require more from the East with respect to the doctrine of primacy than had been formulated and was lived in the first millennium. When the Patriarch Athenagoras, on July 25, 1967,...designated [the Pope] as the successor of St. Peter, as the most esteemed among us, as one who presides in charity, this great Church leader was expressing the essential content of the doctrine of primacy as it was known in the first millennium. Rome need not ask for more. Reunion could take place in this context if, on the one hand, the East would cease to oppose as heretical the developments that took place in the West in the second millennium and would accept the Catholic Church as legitimate and orthodox in the form she had acquired in the course of that development, while on the other hand, the West would recognize the Church of the East as orthodox in the form she has always had.

Source: Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1987), 199


As far as I know, this is the one and only time that he made such a statement and it was said when he was Professor Ratzinger and not as Pope Benedict.

Those who identify themselves as "Orthodox in communion with Rome" will often point to this statement, but it must be made clear that Ratzinger would later no longer hold to this view, especially when he became Prefect for the Congregation of the Faith.

For further reading on this:

http://saintjamesprayforme.wordpress.com/2011/06/13/something-to-think-about/

http://orthocath.files.wordpress.co...and-zoghby-proposals-dead-20080404-1.pdf


It seems pretty obvious that given that the context is talking about RE-union, what the future Pope said was directed at forming Catholic expectations of the separated Churches rather than the already united ones. This passage is a killer though for those who suggest that this in any way means repeal of the Vatican I definition of primacy:

"Reunion could take place in this context if... the East would cease to oppose as heretical the developments that took place in the West in the second millennium and would accept the Catholic Church as legitimate and orthodox in the form she had acquired in the course of that development".

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If you prefer a more AV format for this, Abbot Nicholas of Holy Resurrection Monastery answers these questions fairly well in a youtube interview:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17YdvKVl2HA


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