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Re: What can Rome do to move ecumenism with Orthodoxy along? [Re: Orthodox Catholic] #413734 11/03/15 11:04 AM
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Dear Kamalayka,

The following are some sources which might help in the proper understanding of the Catholic teaching on the relationship between the Pope and the Ecumenical Council.

Bishop Gasser was the offiicial Relator of the Commission de Fide to explain the meaning of the Decree on "papal Infallibility" to the fathers of the Vatican Council, The Commission de Fide was the committee of bishops established by Pope Pius IX to formulate the Decree. The following is from that explanation, delivered on July 11, 1870:
The most solemn judgment of the Church is and always will be, the judgment of an ecumenical Council, in which the Pope pronounces judgment, the bishop of the Catholic world sitting and judging along with him...Decrees of faith even made by a General Council are not infallible and firm unless confirmed by the Pope. The reason of this is not the one which I have sometimes heard, I say it with sorrow, alleged from this ambo, namely, as if all the infallibility of the Church were seated in the Pope and from the Pope derived and communicated to the Church...The true reason is that this infallibility was given by Christ to the entire magisterium of the Church.

I'm sure you are aware that traditional Latin Catholics regard the old Catholic Encyclopedia (1907) as a trustworthy manual of all things Catholic. The following is from the old Catholic Encyclopedia's article on Infallibility:
Theories of conciliar and of papal infallibility do not logically stand or fall together...An infallible organ may be constituted by the head and members of a corporate body acting jointly although neither taken separately is infallible. Hence the pope teaching ex cathedra and an ecumenical council subject to the approbation of the pope as its head are distinct organs of infallibility.

I sincerely and prayerfully hope that the foregoing helps you reassess your understanding of the Catholic teaching on the papacy vis-a-vis the Ecumenical Council.

Blessings,
Marduk

Last edited by mardukm; 11/03/15 11:06 AM.
Re: What can Rome do to move ecumenism with Orthodoxy along? [Re: kamalayka] #413743 11/03/15 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by kamalayka
It's up to individual Orthodox Christians whether or not they want to convert to Catholicism,

I agree, kamalayka, but it's equally up to individual Catholic Christians (Western or Eastern) whether or not they want to convert to Orthodoxy. (Or do you see it differently on that point?)

Re: What can Rome do to move ecumenism with Orthodoxy along? [Re: Orthodox Catholic] #414060 12/16/15 12:15 PM
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The Pope needs to obey Our Lady of Fatima and let her do the rest. Anyone who thinks unity can be achieved otherwise is treating the Church as a political or social institution, whether they realize it or not.

Re: What can Rome do to move ecumenism with Orthodoxy along? [Re: bergschlawiner] #414074 12/17/15 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by bergschlawiner
What would it take for the Papacy to take a step back from "infallibility" and perhaps redefine this claim?


Hmmm . . . A much more serious attitude toward the restoration of the unity between East and West that existed in the first millennium?

Rome seems to not have gotten over the medieval arguments with respect to "papal vs conciliar" forms of church government as if the former meant the rejection of the latter.

As one Redemptorist seminarian (now a priest) wrote for his master's thesis by way of ecumenical hypothesis, Rome could redefine papal infallibility as being exercised when the pope of Rome is the final signatory on a list of proposals of an actual Ecumenical Council comprising the Churches of both East and West.

In fact, when the dogma of the Assumption was defined, the Pope did practically that - he asked the Catholic bishops of the world what they thought of the proposal prior to his definition of it.

At the same time, Rome could/should better define the relation between the first seven Ecumenical Councils and the 14 "later Latin Councils."

Also, there is so much to be gained if Rome went back to recognizing the 8th Ecumenical Council which re-affirmed both St Photios the Great as Ecumenical Patriarch AND the original Nicene Creed (without the you-know-what :)).

That is a tricky one insofar as not all Orthodox acknowledge that Council as "Ecumenical." But all of Orthodoxy does acknowledge it as inspired and the fact that Rome affirmed it for a long time before rejecting it in favour of the other one ten years apart has been a thorn in the proverbial ecumenical side of the East. Likewise, there is no reason why Rome could not affirm as authoritative and orthodox, what in a number of Orthodox circles is terms the "9th Ecumenical Council" on hesychasm (with a subsequent declaration of St Gregory Palamas as a Doctor of the universal Church . . .). That would go a long way in East-West ecumenical relations, in my humble view.

Alex

Re: What can Rome do to move ecumenism with Orthodoxy along? [Re: MariaCatherine] #414075 12/17/15 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by MariaCatherine
The Pope needs to obey Our Lady of Fatima and let her do the rest. Anyone who thinks unity can be achieved otherwise is treating the Church as a political or social institution, whether they realize it or not.


As a devotee of Our Lady of Fatima (who also wrote an Akathist service in her honour), I'm wondering if you could explain yourself further here.

A major problem that Eastern Christians (and also Latin Catholics engaged in Catholic-Orthodox dialogue) have with Fatima is not the apparitions and teachings themselves, but with how certain Fatimist groups have interpreted them.

That interpretation is that when Our Lady of Fatima referred to "Russia will be converted," traditionalist, ultramontanist Catholics understood that to mean not only that communism would fall, but also that Orthodox Christians would "return" to Rome.

So when it comes to East-West relations, Fatima is a non-starter and is even scrupulously avoided by Rome in its talks with the Orthodox.

I know Orthodox priests who believe in the Fatima messages and who say that her prophecy has been fulfilled insofar as the Russian Orthodox Church is now free and its churches in Russia are full etc.

But when the idea of Fatima is even raised, the Orthodox understand it to mean the old RC notions of them being "schismatics" who need to be "brought back" to Rome for the sake of their salvation etc.

And Fatima along with any other Marian apparition does not belong to the Church's deposit of faith.

Eastern Catholics (and even Orthodox that I know) are free to venerate the Most Holy Theotokos under this title, but, for example, Ukrainian Catholics do not have her feastday in our official calendar.

Reliance on the Mother of God is of utmost importance for any and all of the Church's needs and troubles, to be sure!

But when it comes to Fatima, Rome proceeds with great caution. And Fatima groups have no one to blame in this respect but themselves.

Alex

Re: What can Rome do to move ecumenism with Orthodoxy along? [Re: Peter J] #414076 12/17/15 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Peter J
Originally Posted by kamalayka
It's up to individual Orthodox Christians whether or not they want to convert to Catholicism,

I agree, kamalayka, but it's equally up to individual Catholic Christians (Western or Eastern) whether or not they want to convert to Orthodoxy. (Or do you see it differently on that point?)


Yes, and there are conversions back and forth (for some individuals who seem to be "professional converts and reverts" this process is a life-long one).

The fact is that Rome itself takes a very dim view of Catholics becoming formally Orthodox (and vice-versa). It is not the "well, you have 'doxed' - congratulations!" attitude that we have on this forum for the most part ( smile how are you today, Mr. Administrator?).

Frankly, we would be better off if both Churches just stopped receiving into their communion members from the "other side."

Both sides have recalled the excommunication of 1054 and both recognize the Apostolic heritage in each other. How is moving from one to the other Church a "conversion" then? Conversion to what exactly?

It would be much better for each side to live out their lives within their respective Churches as committed Christians while, at the same time, Orthodox and Catholics maintain, at the local parish level, a respectful and prayerful relationship with each other, learning about one another's history, liturgy and other traditions.

I never like to hear of conversions of Catholics to Orthodoxy and of Orthodox to Catholicism. It is time for all of us to acknowledge that we need to move beyond that triumphalist paradigm once and for all!

Alex

Re: What can Rome do to move ecumenism with Orthodoxy along? [Re: Orthodox Catholic] #414078 12/17/15 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
A major problem that Eastern Christians (and also Latin Catholics engaged in Catholic-Orthodox dialogue) have with Fatima is not the apparitions and teachings themselves, but with how certain Fatimist groups have interpreted them.

That interpretation is that when Our Lady of Fatima referred to "Russia will be converted," traditionalist, ultramontanist Catholics understood that to mean not only that communism would fall, but also that Orthodox Christians would "return" to Rome.

Alex,

Well, how would you explain Mary's words about "the errors of Russia?"

One thought I've had is that it could refer to the "Third Rome" idea. Doesn't this actually mean that Moscow is supposed to conquer the entire world--by force of arms?

Re: What can Rome do to move ecumenism with Orthodoxy along? [Re: Orthodox Catholic] #414079 12/17/15 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic

The fact is that Rome itself takes a very dim view of Catholics becoming formally Orthodox (and vice-versa) ... Frankly, we would be better off if both Churches just stopped receiving into their communion members from the "other side."

Both sides have recalled the excommunication of 1054 and both recognize the Apostolic heritage in each other. How is moving from one to the other Church a "conversion" then? Conversion to what exactly?

Exactly. Just as in 1054, neither side realized the full implications of the mutual excommunications, so now, neither side seems to realize the full implications of the lifting of those excommunications.


Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic

It would be much better for each side to live out their lives within their respective Churches as committed Christians while, at the same time, Orthodox and Catholics maintain, at the local parish level, a respectful and prayerful relationship with each other, learning about one another's history, liturgy and other traditions.

I never like to hear of conversions of Catholics to Orthodoxy and of Orthodox to Catholicism. It is time for all of us to acknowledge that we need to move beyond that triumphalist paradigm once and for all!

biggrin biggrin biggrin

Re: What can Rome do to move ecumenism with Orthodoxy along? [Re: Orthodox Catholic] #414082 12/17/15 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
Frankly, we would be better off if both Churches just stopped receiving into their communion members from the "other side."

I just don't think that Orthodoxy and Catholicism have a positive enough relationship for such an agreement to happen. But perhaps a smaller step ...

Re: What can Rome do to move ecumenism with Orthodoxy along? [Re: bergschlawiner] #414083 12/17/15 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by bergschlawiner
What would it take for the Papacy to take a step back from "infallibility" and perhaps redefine this claim?

Well, logically, Rome cannot consider Vatican I to be an ecumenical council but not affirm what it said about PI. That's a significant obstacle.

Re: What can Rome do to move ecumenism with Orthodoxy along? [Re: Peter J] #414085 12/17/15 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Peter J
Originally Posted by bergschlawiner
What would it take for the Papacy to take a step back from "infallibility" and perhaps redefine this claim?

Well, logically, Rome cannot consider Vatican I to be an ecumenical council but not affirm what it said about PI. That's a significant obstacle.


It would be helpful for pretty much everyone to read Gasser's relatio on Papal Infallibility that was used at Vatican I. There is way too much misunderstanding out there about the doctrine.

Re: What can Rome do to move ecumenism with Orthodoxy along? [Re: Orthodox Catholic] #414086 12/17/15 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
A major problem that Eastern Christians (and also Latin Catholics engaged in Catholic-Orthodox dialogue) have with Fatima is not the apparitions and teachings themselves, but with how certain Fatimist groups have interpreted them.

What source would you recommend for a proper interpretation of Fatima?

Re: What can Rome do to move ecumenism with Orthodoxy along? [Re: Epiphanius] #414087 12/17/15 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Epiphanius
Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
A major problem that Eastern Christians (and also Latin Catholics engaged in Catholic-Orthodox dialogue) have with Fatima is not the apparitions and teachings themselves, but with how certain Fatimist groups have interpreted them.

That interpretation is that when Our Lady of Fatima referred to "Russia will be converted," traditionalist, ultramontanist Catholics understood that to mean not only that communism would fall, but also that Orthodox Christians would "return" to Rome.

Alex,

Well, how would you explain Mary's words about "the errors of Russia?"

One thought I've had is that it could refer to the "Third Rome" idea. Doesn't this actually mean that Moscow is supposed to conquer the entire world--by force of arms?


The "errors of Russia" are surely that of communist imperialism - and also those of the neo-soviet imperialism. At no time did Our Lady of Fatima make any statement in that regard with respect to the Orthodox Church. "Conversion" surely was intended to mean conversion from atheism to the fervent practice of the Orthodox Catholic Christian faith i.e. publicly celebrated Divine Liturgies, prayers and other demonstrations of pious faith.

The "spread of the errors of Russia" throughout the world could also not have referred to the Orthodox Church but to communism and/or Russian imperialism (in fact, Russia has always been an imperialist power, communist or tsarist).

Alex

Re: What can Rome do to move ecumenism with Orthodoxy along? [Re: Peter J] #414088 12/17/15 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Peter J
Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
Frankly, we would be better off if both Churches just stopped receiving into their communion members from the "other side."

I just don't think that Orthodoxy and Catholicism have a positive enough relationship for such an agreement to happen. But perhaps a smaller step ...


Certainly, Rome has already stopped the practice of receiving Orthodox jurisdictions into communion with it (i.e. the Macedonian Orthodox application of recent provenance). In Ukraine, there is a small UAOC jurisdiction that wants to unite with the UGCC - not with Rome directly - and there are ongoing talks in this regard between the two Churches. The UGCC patriarch has simply refused to bring in the UAOC as a part of the UGCC and wants it to be "in communion with the UGCC" but also maintain its own ecclesial status. That is a unique development that we shall have to see about in future.

I have heard RC theologians say that EC's have the "privilege of returning to their Mother Orthodox Churches."

And of course not all Orthodox Churches would agree that RC's shouldn't be received into Orthodoxy from the "Roman schism/heresy."

But Rome can take the initiative here - let it be the "first among equals" in more than simply authority.

Alex

Re: What can Rome do to move ecumenism with Orthodoxy along? [Re: Peter J] #414089 12/17/15 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Peter J
Originally Posted by bergschlawiner
What would it take for the Papacy to take a step back from "infallibility" and perhaps redefine this claim?

Well, logically, Rome cannot consider Vatican I to be an ecumenical council but not affirm what it said about PI. That's a significant obstacle.


Hypothetically, Rome COULD consider Vatican I a "Local Latin Council" and affirm what it said - although Vatican II surely cast what it said in a much more collegial framework.

Local Councils in both the RC and Orthodox Churches have affirmed truths and practices that have been later "canonized" with a universal application within those Churches - Ecumenical Councils' decisions have an automatic universal application in their totality, of course.

This brings up the issue of a more defined RC perspective on what is part and parcel of the Latin theological/ecclesiological patrimony and heritage - and therefore limited to the Latin Church alone - and what is/can be something applicable to the Eastern Churches as well.

Although any such application would have to involve the consent of the Eastern Churches via a Council in which they are fully present and to whose principles they give their full assent.

Alex

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