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Eastern Cardinal as Pope? #405478 05/06/14 11:18 AM
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2lungsambassador Offline OP
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(Forgive me if this has been discussed somewhere in the past, as I am fairly new to the forum.) Does anyone think we'll ever see an Eastern/Oriental Cardinal elected Pope? And what might be the ramifications for ecumenical relations? One thing's for sure: it would challenge the media and they'd have to scramble to find "experts" to discuss that development.

Re: Eastern Cardinal as Pope? [Re: 2lungsambassador] #405479 05/06/14 01:28 PM
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DMD Offline
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From an Orthodox POV (only my own) I will give it a try.

Pope Francis reminded the world on the night he was elected that the first role of any Pope is to be the Bishop of Rome. Papal primacy and other other Papal powers and roles derive from that status first. Since the Church of Rome herself is a Latin Rite Church, why would one elect a Bishop of the Eastern Churches as Bishop of Rome? This would make no sense to the Orthodox and I think it would undermine the argument that each of the Eastern Churches is fully constituted 'sui juris' as any Eastern hierarch so elected would be required to assume the Latin Rite of the Church. In theory are not each of the Rites of the universal Church to be afforded equal dignity? If an Eastern Catholic Bishop were elected Pope and he failed to assume the role of a western Bishop, I also suspect he would face a resounding lack of acceptance from many western Catholics. It would present a problem that would satisfy no single constituency.

Re: Eastern Cardinal as Pope? [Re: 2lungsambassador] #405482 05/06/14 02:26 PM
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griego catolico Offline
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Originally Posted by 2lungsambassador
Does anyone think we'll ever see an Eastern/Oriental Cardinal elected Pope? And what might be the ramifications for ecumenical relations?


As long as Eastern Catholic bishops are being named as cardinals, there will always be that possibility.

It has been said that Armenian Catholic Catholicos Krikor Bedros XV Aghajanian had enough votes to become pope, instead of Pope Saint John XXIII.
The official website for the Armenian Catholic Church makes the claim that His Beatitude was actually elected pope at the following conclave but refused, allowing Giovanni Battista Montini to become Pope Paul VI. Link.

Since his election as UGCC Patriarch, His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk is regarded as papabile in a future conclave. He certainly has been in the forefront with his friendship with His Holiness Francis and with the situation in Ukraine. Being fluent in nine languages doesn't hurt either.
I believe he may well become our first Eastern Catholic pope of modern times.

Re: Eastern Cardinal as Pope? [Re: 2lungsambassador] #405487 05/06/14 03:29 PM
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Lester S Offline
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I don't think it would jive with the notion each church retains its dignity within the greater sphere of the Universal Church. If "officially" recognized as Patriarch, his beatitude Sviatoslav is in a sense Pope to His church if you really want to go with that term. Likewise, Patriarch Gregory III is the Pope of His Church(es).

Re: Eastern Cardinal as Pope? [Re: 2lungsambassador] #405490 05/06/14 03:44 PM
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I don't think it would be an insurmountable "problem". In Catholic ecclesiology, a bishop is technically omniritual (to good of the church) up to his ability to properly serve the Liturgy. Since the Pope is a bishop, he is omniritual as well, although on a normal basis, concerned with the Latin Church. There have been Easterners elected Pope in the past, I don't see why it should be impossible in the future.

To the point about this affecting "sui iuris" constituency, wasn't the same example adjusted for a GOA priest to be selected bishop for ACROD? Self-governing, but not independent or isolated.

Re: Eastern Cardinal as Pope? [Re: DMD] #405491 05/06/14 03:54 PM
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Talon Offline
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2lungs,

You may have just inadvertently touched off a fascinating (if informal) study on the nature of the papacy with your question. My own temptation when I first saw the question was to say, without batting an eyelash, "Oh sure. Yeah, we could see that. I would LOVE to see that, in fact."

But then DMD introduced a couple of very interesting points with his post, which led me to try to do some research. I was not as successful as I would have liked to be in terms of finding anything definitive, but here is what I suppose, based on that research...

Originally Posted by DMD

Pope Francis reminded the world on the night he was elected that the first role of any Pope is to be the Bishop of Rome. Papal primacy and other other Papal powers and roles derive from that status first.


This is true.

Quote

Since the Church of Rome herself is a Latin Rite Church, why would one elect a Bishop of the Eastern Churches as Bishop of Rome?


One would do this because said bishop is looked upon by the rest to be the best candidate among them all for president of the episcopal college.

Quote

This would make no sense to the Orthodox and I think it would undermine the argument that each of the Eastern Churches is fully constituted 'sui juris' as any Eastern hierarch so elected would be required to assume the Latin Rite of the Church. In theory are not each of the Rites of the universal Church to be afforded equal dignity? If an Eastern Catholic Bishop were elected Pope and he failed to assume the role of a western Bishop, I also suspect he would face a resounding lack of acceptance from many western Catholics. It would present a problem that would satisfy no single constituency.


Given the universal primacy of the papacy, an eastern cardinal would not have to transfer rites. As pope, he exercises jurisdiction over them all. So, in practical terms...Well...Actually, to be perfectly honest with you, in practical terms, I don't have any idea of how much of a direct role in governing the Latin diocese of Rome the pope tends to have these days. I would imagine his duties as universal patriarch take up a good portion of his time, and it's not a large one. I would guess that an auxiliary bishop takes on most of those duties, which would make the transition of an eastern bishop into the papacy that much easier. Rather than having to familiarize himself with a whole new rite and with the Latin priests and workings of the diocese, the eastern bishop would carry on pragmatically the same way all of his Latin predecessors of recent memory have...

Or at least those are my two pennies on the matter.

*shrug*

Re: Eastern Cardinal as Pope? [Re: 2lungsambassador] #405492 05/06/14 04:32 PM
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Economos Roman V. Russo Offline
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Ab esse ad posse valet illatio! Since there have already been numerous 'Eastern' popes (Greeks, Italo-Greeks & Syrians), I assume that it is possible! Or am I missing something here?

Last edited by Ot'ets Nastoiatel'; 05/06/14 04:56 PM.
Re: Eastern Cardinal as Pope? [Re: 2lungsambassador] #405495 05/06/14 05:55 PM
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To build upon where O.N. began, this should be a false dichotomy. Although his premises are largely correct, but his conclusions were eccentric, J. Romanides would have seen the pre-schism Latin and most of the Eastern Orthodox churches as "Roman". Would this be the case now? Maybe not.
Depending what you believe, post-schism, Rome arrogated to herself more authority, or there was a development in her polity...what have you.The same goes with the post Vat. Ii Church: adjustments were made in relations with Eastern Churches, Catholic or Orthodox...but Rome still has universal jurisdiction and such. No matter how Rome adjusts her position, because of her size and institutional breadth, she will always be the elephant in the room, to appropriate Sr. Vassa's metaphor. As far as what kind of cardinal, I guess anything is possible. Who would have thought a pope would resign?

Re: Eastern Cardinal as Pope? [Re: Economos Roman V. Russo] #405499 05/06/14 10:44 PM
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2lungsambassador Offline OP
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You are correct; however, I am referring to modern times, and it has been along time since an Easterner was Pope, and certainly not since the 1054 schism.

Re: Eastern Cardinal as Pope? [Re: 2lungsambassador] #405500 05/06/14 10:55 PM
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2lungsambassador Offline OP
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Well, looking only at being able to celebrate the liturgy, we can see that Theodore of Tarsus was able to function in Canterbury, and that Ven. Fulton Sheen celebrated the Divine Liturgy. One can learn rubrics and practices. I suspect a higher hurdle might be cultural, in that I think the Eastern Churches tend to be less outward looking (not a criticism here). If the Orthodox venerate certain Popes, celebrate the Eastern-ness of some, then why could they not (somewhat of a rhetorical question) accept the reality of an Eastern Pope? Answer: it would be seen as a Trojan Horse maneuver, though I think that would be to mis-diagnose the situation. If we truly believe a papal election has something to do with the Holy Spirit then we can infer God is telling us ALL something.

Re: Eastern Cardinal as Pope? [Re: 2lungsambassador] #405502 05/07/14 09:46 AM
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Those Greeks, Syrians and Egyptians who were elected Pope had become members of the clergy of the Church of Rome years before their election. They were not elected as members of another particular Church, but as members of the Church of Rome. So, as long as any Eastern Catholic bishop is willing to comply with that criterion, I am fine with it. Let him move to Rome, becomes incardinated in the Church of Rome, and be elected as a Roman.

But, for a bishop of an Eastern Church to be elected to head the Church of Rome is just as unacceptable (indeed, nonsensical) as to allow Eastern bishops to accept the title of Cardinal in the Roman Church.

Re: Eastern Cardinal as Pope? [Re: StuartK] #405505 05/07/14 09:52 AM
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griego catolico Offline
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Originally Posted by StuartK

But, for a bishop of an Eastern Church to be elected to head the Church of Rome is just as unacceptable (indeed, nonsensical) as to allow Eastern bishops to accept the title of Cardinal in the Roman Church.


That has been stated before, but the reality is that Eastern bishops are being named cardinals (and accepting it) which certainly opens the door to having an Eastern Catholic pope in the future.

Re: Eastern Cardinal as Pope? [Re: DMD] #405508 05/07/14 11:59 AM
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theophan Offline
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Christ is Risen!!

I think when this question is asked it assumes that the current situation in the Latin Church will be some sort of permanent model of the Church in the future.

As DMD said, from an Orthodox point of view (his own), the idea of an Eastern bishop--patriarch or metropolitan--wanting to be the Bishop of Rome brings with it all kinds of problems and misconceptions. It would be better IMHO if Eastern Catholic bishops declined the honorific of Latin cardinal in favor of restoring their own sui juris Churches and traditions.

I think that the Latin belief that the Pope will be in the same position as he is now when communion is established with the Orthdodox Churches is behind this question. And I think that Latin Catholics need to begin to think outside the box with relation to the Pope. I think that the article discussed at another place on the forum that deals with Bishop Vsevelod's comments about what might be possible from an Orthodox point of view ought to be taken seriously. Earlier we had an article that quoted Father Robert Taft, S.J., who said that the only thing we can hope for is "communion," which will not in any way exist with the current Catholic structure in place. In other words, the Pope's role as Primate of the whole Church needs to be separated from his role as Patriarch of the West and the Latin Church. The Vatican structure would be in place for that patriarchate and some other limited structure would be developed for the Primate's needs.

Each of the Churches needs to live side by side in the freedom of what being in communion and living as brethren means. As yet, that does not seem to be on the horizon of Catholic thinking.

Bob

Re: Eastern Cardinal as Pope? [Re: 2lungsambassador] #405513 05/07/14 12:43 PM
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Lester S Offline
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Intriguing thoughts, Bob, thanks

Re: Eastern Cardinal as Pope? [Re: Lester S] #405518 05/07/14 02:34 PM
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DMD Offline
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Theophan expanded on what I was thinking. The Orthodox can never envision, nor would they ever accept, the Pope of Rome exercising any form of universal jurisdiction over all of Apostolic Christendom in a future, reunited Church. Most Roman Catholics can not NOT envision such a future Pope doing anything but exercising such jurisdiction as he does currently. Therein lies the heart of the issue.

Bi-ritualism is not the issue. It is more fundamental than external ritualism - it goes to the heart of the differences between Eastern ecclesiology and Western ecclesiology.

Also, I realize that the administration of the diocese of Rome is not directed by modern popes in any real world sense. That isn't the issue either.

I suspect it is symbolic more than anything else. Eastern Catholics are caught between east and west, and comprise a relatively small piece of the larger pie that is predominately Roman Catholic and secondarily Eastern Orthodox. The election of an Eastern Catholic bishop as Pope would be confusing to Roman Catholics who rightly view the Bishop of Rome as head of their church, totally perplexing (if not enraging) even to the most unity minded of Eastern Orthodox thinkers who view primacy through a totally different lens than does the west and in the end disappointing to Eastern Catholics who would wish to see 'their' Eastern Catholic bishop preside as an Eastern Catholic pope who would not have to assume the cloak of western garb to be Pope. After all, Lumen Gentile and the regulations of Vatican 2 make it clear that your churches are of equal dignity and status to that of the Church of Rome. How could an Eastern Catholic Pope be any sort of bishop other than that which he is? Perhaps I am missing something here...

Frankly if you think Traddies are upset with Pope Francis for shedding the more traditional liturgical garb and outerwear of Pope Benedict, I can't help but think that they would gain tremendous support if a new Pope wore the attire of his office as a Bishop of an Eastern, self-ruling sister Church of equal dignity to that of Rome, rather than cloak himself with the attire of a western Catholic Bishop.


Last edited by DMD; 05/07/14 02:40 PM.
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