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Will the first-ever Orthodox council occur this year? #414558 01/19/16 12:33 AM
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Tomassus Offline OP
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Will the first-ever Orthodox council occur this year? We'll know soon.

By Phil Lawler | Catholic Culture | Jan 18, 2016

Since the Great Schism, the Roman Catholic Church has held 13 ecumenical councils; the Orthodox churches have held: none. That failure to arrange a worldwide gathering, for nearly a millennium, is a major failure for Orthodoxy. It is an indication that the Orthodox world has been troubled by nationalism and caesaropapism. Or to put it differently, it is a powerful argument that the Orthodox Church is not universal. In his book The Russian Church and the Papacy, the great Russian theologian Vladimir Soloviev cites the failure to convene an Orthodox council as one of the signs that the Church of Rome is the one true Church.

Seen against that background, the plans for a pan-Orthodox council—the first-ever universal council of leaders in the Orthodox world—is a very big story. Consequently, the serious questions about whether such a council will actually take place are also very big stories—even if they are not much noticed in the West.

In that context, take careful note of the statement released on January 18 by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, about a meeting of Orthodox primates to be held next week in Geneva. Nearly all the primates of the Orthodox world are expected to attend, and the agenda will be the “preparation” for the pan-Orthodox council that is tentatively planned for later this year.

In this case “preparation” does not mean merely settling the logistical details. The Orthodox primates have agreed that their council can take place only if they have reached essential agreement on all the crucial issues before they meet. The meeting that will take place in Geneva, then, might well decide the question of whether or not a pan-Orthodox council is possible.

- See more at: http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/otn.cfm?id=1132#sthash.Th16Df4t.dpuf

Re: Will the first-ever Orthodox council occur this year? [Re: Tomassus] #414563 01/19/16 09:24 AM
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The fact that there have been no Orthodox councils is not necessarily a bad thing. Councils in the west have created upheaval, dissension and outright schism, the last one being a good example of that. Maybe you should count your blessings.

Re: Will the first-ever Orthodox council occur this year? [Re: byzanTN] #414566 01/19/16 11:34 AM
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Charles, you speak the truth!

What I don't understand is how some RC's, like this fellow, who just don't get what Vatican II has said about the Christian East.

Basically, he and others like him measure how "true" the Orthodox East is by how closely it approximates the bureaucracy and centralization of the Catholic West together with the later "ecumenical councils" convened by Rome.

One thing that Rome has yet to iron out is how "ecumenical" those later councils truly are - and if even they can be called such at all - given the historic criteria for establishing a council as ecumenical.

Were all these councils convoked to address a heresy affecting the Church? (You are right, I'm saying not.) And if the Orthodox East is what Rome today says it is (including the implications of the Balamand statement) then how can those "later Latin councils" be deemed "ecumenical" given that the East did not participate in them? The two so-called union councils of Lyons and Florence were, in a word, disastrous and continue to have a negative impact on contemporary Roman-Orthodox relations.

In addition, the controversy over what really is the "8th Ecumenical Council" in the West (and in the East as well) just won't go away. As we know, Rome originally accepted that Council that exonerated St Photios the Great and condemned the Filioque (Charles, it is always important not to let one's bias show too much when discussing these matters . . .). Then it declared that council null and void and historically referred to it as the "Pseudo-synod of Photius." In our days, along came Fr. Francis Dvornik to discuss this from an RC point of view . . .

As for nationalism - it's not like nationalism doesn't exist in Roman Catholic churches . . . let's get a grip on!

You mean St John Paul II wasn't a Polish patriot? You mean he didn't remove Poland from any Vatican consideration of Ostpolitik? One should read his sermon on the canonization of the Polish Carmelite St Raphael Kalinowski . . . I'm NOT saying that any of that is bad!! Just that here we have another North American Catholic who hasn't the faintest idea of what Catholicism looks like outside his American parochial orbit!

As an Eastern Catholic, I feel responsible for this to some extent, so I would like to offer an apology to our Orthodox brothers and sisters for this nonsense - beginning with Alice!

Alex

Re: Will the first-ever Orthodox council occur this year? [Re: Orthodox Catholic] #414567 01/19/16 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
One thing that Rome has yet to iron out is how "ecumenical" those later councils truly are - and if even they can be called such at all - given the historic criteria for establishing a council as ecumenical.
It's important to consider "historic criteria" so long as historians etc. are not making the final judgment. Every participant on this forum can raise the question of what makes a council ecumenical and even what that means in terms of binding decrees of various levels of doctrine and discipline. What should not be done is to substitute the opinion of others -- e.g. the council did not combat heresy, therefore, can't be ecumenical -- as a certain necessary or sufficient factor. The Catholic Church should certainly appraise its understanding of the way it gathers for solemn assembly. And when it voices that understanding it should be accorded the right to its own evaluation in proper measure, even and especially against the often flimsy, dated, undocumented, find-some-theologian/historian-that suits-my-purpose pronouncements on the matter. Here are some appraisals actually voiced in formal, official venues that should be given proper consideration and awareness in formulating a conclusion. They are from a prior, related thread, Re: First Seven Councils.

Here are words, like bookends, that bracket the "1962 synod commonly referred to as Vatican II" -- objective words where indeed "results speak for themselves." [below emphasis added]

On October 11, 1962, the first day of the Council, Pope John delivered this address in St. Peter's Basilica.

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The Councils -- both the twenty ecumenical ones and the numberless others...It is but natural that in opening this Universal Council... Ecumenical Councils, whenever they are assembled... As regards the initiative for the great event which gathers us here, it will suffice to repeat as historical documentation our personal account of the first sudden bringing up in our heart and lips of the simple words, "Ecumenical Council." ... we wish to narrate before this great assembly our assessment of the happy circumstances under which the Ecumenical Council commences... The greatest concern of the Ecumenical Council is this: that he sacred deposit of Christian doctrine should be guarded and taught more efficaciously... That is, the Twenty-first Ecumenical Council, which will draw upon the effective and important wealth of juridical, liturgical, apostolic, and administrative experiences, wishes to transmit the doctrine, pure and integral, without any attenuation or distortion, which throughout twenty centuries, notwithstanding difficulties and contrasts, has become the common patrimony of men... That being so, the Catholic Church, raising the torch of religious truth by means of this Ecumenical Council... Venerable brothers, such is the aim of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council...


POPE PAUL VI'S CLOSING SPEECH AND MESSAGES FOR VATICAN COUNCIL II DECEMBER 8, 1965

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You will hear shortly, at the end of this holy Mass, a reading of some messages which, at the conclusion of its work, the ecumenical council is addressing ... And you will also hear the reading of our official decree in which we declare terminated and closed the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council...But note what is taking place here this morning. While we close the ecumenical council, ... At this solemn moment, we, the Fathers of the 21st ecumenical council of the Catholic Church, ...On this solemn day when she closes the deliberations of her 21st ecumenical council, the Church...


APOSTOLIC BRIEF "IN SPIRITU SANCTO' FOR THE CLOSING OF THE COUNCIL

DECEMBER 8, 1965 read at the closing ceremonies of Dec. 8 by Archbishop Pericle Felici, general secretary of the council.

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The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, assembled in the Holy Spirit ... At last all which regards the holy ecumenical council has, with the help of God, been accomplished and all the constitutions, decrees, declarations and votes have been approved by the deliberation of the synod and promulgated by us. Therefore we decided to close for all intents and purposes, with our apostolic authority, this same ecumenical council called by our predecessor, Pope John XXIII, which opened October 11, 1962, and which was continued by us after his death.

Given in Rome at St. Peter's, under the [seal of the] ring of the fisherman, Dec. 8, on the feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the year 1965, the third year of our pontificate.

Re: Will the first-ever Orthodox council occur this year? [Re: ajk] #414568 01/19/16 01:30 PM
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Dear Father Deacon,

Certainly, this is all about debate and historians do not, nor can, have the final word on any of this.

At the same time, you seem to have a very Roman Catholic perspective which is OK if one is Roman Catholic . . . wink

There have been voices in the West that have gone so far as to suggest that the 14 later Latin Councils might be one day considered Local rather than Ecumenical for a number of reasons (and not only based on the one you gave). That is something for the competent Church authorities to decide in future, when and even if they do.

Also, there can be no doubt that the universal Latin Church has had 21 Ecumenical Councils as such. One point of discussion could also be to what extent the Latin Church (which is too often, in these discussions, considered to be the "Catholic Church" alone - another debate) would need to one day, and formally, extend its self-understanding to disassociate the notion of the "Particular Latin Catholic Church" from that of the "Universal Catholic Church" - and the beginning point of debate on this would be to show how the two could be seen to have been confused in recent RC history - another unfortunate consequence of the parting of the ways with the Eastern Churches.

Alex

Re: Will the first-ever Orthodox council occur this year? [Re: Orthodox Catholic] #414570 01/19/16 02:36 PM
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Every time the Latins have a council, they think it is ecumenical. It is interesting that to a large chunk of the apostolic church, it isn't. It is a case of, "just because you say it doesn't make it so."

Re: Will the first-ever Orthodox council occur this year? [Re: Orthodox Catholic] #414571 01/19/16 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
At the same time, you seem to have a very Roman Catholic perspective which is OK if one is Roman Catholic . . . wink
Actually it was you having so much to say about Rome, asking
Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
...how can those "later Latin councils" be deemed "ecumenical"
speaking of Rome's, it seems, confusion,
Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
One thing that Rome has yet to iron out is how "ecumenical" those later councils truly are
not me. I just let the Popes speak for themselves and do the ironing that you said was needed. Documented quotes -- you can be east, west, north or south to do that legitimately, without bias.
Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
There have been voices in the West that have gone so far as to suggest that the 14 later Latin Councils might be one day considered Local rather than Ecumenical for a number of reasons (and not only based on the one you gave). That is something for the competent Church authorities to decide in future, when and even if they do.
Everyone is a voice. I just presented the voice of a, some would say the most, competent authority.
Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
...universal Latin Church...
An oxymoron. No such thing.
Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
... to what extent the Latin Church (which is too often, in these discussions, considered to be the "Catholic Church" alone - another debate)
Yes, in the sense nuanced by VCII the Catholic Church considers itself THE '"Catholic Church" alone.' But from what I've read and understand, so do the Orthodox think so of themselves, perhaps even more so.

Originally Posted by byzanTN
Every time the Latins have a council, they think it is ecumenical. It is interesting that to a large chunk of the apostolic church, it isn't.
And of course not "every time" but you have made my point that, at least in the example I gave, "the Latins" certainly consider it ecumenical, along with 20 others. Can this change? We will have to await an actual authoritative answer.
Originally Posted by byzanTN
It is a case of, "just because you say it doesn't make it so."
This is true. It is also true that you can't have a party because I wouldn't come to it doesn't work either.





Re: Will the first-ever Orthodox council occur this year? [Re: ajk] #414573 01/19/16 04:39 PM
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This is true. It is also true that you can't have a party because I wouldn't come to it doesn't work either.


Then party on, dude! Or at least, the Latins can. grin

Re: Will the first-ever Orthodox council occur this year? [Re: ajk] #414574 01/19/16 04:44 PM
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Dear Father Deacon,

If you want to catch people up on their words, two can play at that game (although it is unbecoming for you to do that as an albeit inactive Deacon) smile .

Yes, I brought up the matter of Rome - but by trying to bring in the Eastern perspective (what was your point about anyway then?). My point is that you don't appreciate the Eastern perspective and the official title of the Orthodox Church includes "Orthodox Catholic" - I like it myself. smile

We know all about the quotes you bring up and as for bias - are you kidding? So if someone wants to debate and discuss this issue (what is this Forum for anyway?), you come back with dogmatic teachings to quell the debate? That is what you consider to be your contribution, Reverend Father Deacon? smile

I don't like arguing with a Reverend Father Deacon, active or otherwise, because it will get me in trouble with the Administrator. So you have me at a disadvantage.

If you feel I'm being unfaithful to the Teaching Magisterium of the Holy Roman Church . . . again, this forum is for debating. I happen to appreciate the Orthodox perspectives here (yes, Recluse and Alice are wondering about me). But the Administrator here appreciates them too!

Anyway, I submit to the judgement of the Holy Roman Church in this matter and, following your directive, urge everyone else here to do the same . . . if they know what's good for them . . .

But I feel that I've offended you and the Holy Roman Church by even bringing these points up.

I've been looking for a legitimate reason to leave this forum for good and you've given it to me now. I wish you and everyone here the very best as I move on to a place which isn't so Papal as here! (I'm kidding, the Administrator here readily sings in Orthodox parishes . . .).

But I go nonetheless. All the best to everyone!

Alex

Last edited by Orthodox Catholic; 01/19/16 04:54 PM.
Re: Will the first-ever Orthodox council occur this year? [Re: Orthodox Catholic] #414576 01/19/16 04:55 PM
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There - are you satisfied, Reverend Father Deacon? (It is a very nice title - why are you inactive? If I were a deacon, I'd be wearing a lapel pin to that effect on my pyjamas!). smile

Alex


Alex, please don't become a deacon! My experience with them is that while most are good, the diaconate is often the last refuge of the most obnoxious converts. Stay free, argumentative, and unadorned with liturgical finery. We like you as you are. grin

Re: Will the first-ever Orthodox council occur this year? [Re: byzanTN] #414578 01/19/16 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ajk
This is true. It is also true that you can't have a party because I wouldn't come to it doesn't work either.

Originally Posted by byzanTN
Then party on, dude!
This is actually a quote, for which you have failed to give credit: Arius (circa AD 325).

Re: Will the first-ever Orthodox council occur this year? [Re: ajk] #414579 01/19/16 06:22 PM
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This is actually a quote, for which you have failed to give credit: Arius (circa AD 325).


Nah, he probably said something similar in very stilted Latin.

I was sure it was from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989.

Re: Will the first-ever Orthodox council occur this year? [Re: byzanTN] #414581 01/19/16 09:57 PM
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Charles, it was among my most blessed experiences to have come to know you here. You are ... YOU. I thank God for that!

I've lost my appetite for controversy and sparring here. My attitude now is - WHATEVER! smile

All the best to you sir!

Alex

Re: Will the first-ever Orthodox council occur this year? [Re: Orthodox Catholic] #414584 01/20/16 11:04 AM
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Alex, don't take any of this that seriously. I pay zero attention to the controversy and sparring here - or anywhere else. Life is short, enjoy it. What you can't change, pray over and laugh about. Too many, who probably don't know who they are, suffer from the old Latin affliction, "tighticus panticus." It causes, crankiness, intolerance, fanaticism, and a host of afflictions far worse.

Re: Will the first-ever Orthodox council occur this year? [Re: Orthodox Catholic] #414586 01/20/16 01:07 PM
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"This fellow" [i.e., Phil Lawler] should know something about Vatican II and the Christian East, having been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years, editing several Catholic magazines, writing eight books, and founding of Catholic World News, where he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. Also, his father, Protodeacon Paul Lawler (of beloved memory) was among the first of the permanent deacons to be ordained for the Melkite Eparchy in the U.S., secretary to the late Eparch, Archbishop Joseph Tawil (also of beloved memory), and eparchial chancellor for many years.

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