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Re: DEACON ORDINATION TO PRIESTHOOD [Re: ajk] #417241 07/19/17 10:01 PM
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Attempted insults aside...

"If one accepts the theology of the permanence of the sphragis/character of ordination, then those ordained to the presbyterate, being priests, are all permanent priests, "forever according to the order of Melchizedek." It is the presbyterate that need not be permanent because of the potential of episcopal ordination. Thus, all true priests are "permanent priests."."

As you well know, the English language does us a bit of a disservice when we use the word priest in English. The problem is that the Greek "Hieros" is properly translated into English as priest, however it refers to the three-fold priesthood of deacon, presbyter, bishop.

Properly speaking, theologically deacons are priests inasmuch as they are members of the "hieros" i.e. the priesthood. Confusingly, we then refer to one order of the priesthood as priests - the presbyters. This really does cause confusion. "Deacons are members of the priesthood ordained to serve as ministers at the Holy Table and to assist the bishop in carrying out his ministry." While "presbyters (elders) are ordained serve as counselors to the bishop and preside in his absence."

Returning to the issue of seminaries. I personally believe that seminaries have an important place in priestly formation. However, to make it "de rigeur" ignores the history of our Churches with their own givernance, tradition, and needs. The seeming absolutist tenor of some of these discussions is alarming and seemingly ignore the theological understanding of the Catholic Church as being a communion of Churches. Our status as a patriarchal Church with the right to its own governance (as stumbling as that may be at times) is not dependent upon Roman dicastries or even the Pope of Rome. Our "Churchhood" is not based on communion with Rome but upon communion with Jesus Christ who alone is the Head of the Church. "It is Chrst alone who presides and in whose Name we gather." Communion with the Roman Church is important, but s also is communion with the aronite Church, the Coptic Church, the Church of Jerusalem, etc. The concept of utramontanism espoused by some is alien to the Orthodoxy we profess. I am not the one whp coined the phrase "Easten Orthodox in communion with the Western Orthodox Church" it is the continuous pronouncememt of the Holy Synod of Melkite Church, Greek-Catholic patriarchates of Antioch, Alexandra and Jerusalem" since at least 1724. I might also point out that Rome has never, to my knowledge, even attempted to repudiate that understanding on which even our Melkite restoration of communion with the other Catholic Churches was based.

Bottom line: I personally find many of the arguments in this discussion disturbing as they seemingly place codes of law (imposed or not) as above the Holy Tradition of Scripture, the seven acclaimed Ecumenical Councils and the Fathers. May I also humbly point out that despite the canon lawyers, while the canons are considered an element of Holy Tradition they are not even near the top of the constituent elements of that comprise Holy Tradition.

Re: DEACON ORDINATION TO PRIESTHOOD [Re: Protopappas76] #417242 07/19/17 11:10 PM
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Attempted insults aside...


My post meant no offense but given the history of the forum, every time the CCOE is mentioned a negative comment about it comes sooner or later. I was just predicting. Apologies if I offended.

Quote

Returning to the issue of seminaries. I personally believe that seminaries have an important place in priestly formation. However, to make it "de rigeur" ignores the history of our Churches with their own givernance, tradition, and needs. The seeming absolutist tenor of some of these discussions is alarming and seemingly ignore the theological understanding of the Catholic Church as being a communion of Churches. Our status as a patriarchal Church with the right to its own governance (as stumbling as that may be at times) is not dependent upon Roman dicastries or even the Pope of Rome. Our "Churchhood" is not based on communion with Rome but upon communion with Jesus Christ who alone is the Head of the Church. "It is Chrst alone who presides and in whose Name we gather." Communion with the Roman Church is important, but s also is communion with the aronite Church, the Coptic Church, the Church of Jerusalem, etc. The concept of utramontanism espoused by some is alien to the Orthodoxy we profess. I am not the one whp coined the phrase "Easten Orthodox in communion with the Western Orthodox Church" it is the continuous pronouncememt of the Holy Synod of Melkite Church, Greek-Catholic patriarchates of Antioch, Alexandra and Jerusalem" since at least 1724. I might also point out that Rome has never, to my knowledge, even attempted to repudiate that understanding on which even our Melkite restoration of communion with the other Catholic Churches was based.


Rome has spoken on this subject when the then Prefect of the Congregation of the Faith, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger responded to the Melkite Patriarch about the Zogbhy initiative.

Quote
As to the Greek ­Melkite Catholics declaring their complete adhesion to the teaching of Eastern Orthodoxy, it is necessary to take into account the fact that the Orthodox Churches today are not in full communion with the Church of Rome, and that this adhesion is therefore not possible as long as there is not a full correspondence in the profession and exercise of the faith by the two parties...

...We know that the doctrine concerning the primacy of the Roman Pontiff has experienced a development over time within the framework of the explanation of the Church’s faith, and it has to be retained in its entirety, which means from its origins to our day.
.

Our Orthodoxy, as Eastern Catholics, means we accept that the Catholic Churches teachings (post Schism) are Orthodox and to be believed by our faithful. As such, we accept the dogmatic teaching of the Church as professed in all her Ecumenical Councils, not just the first Seven. Now, that doesn't mean our legitimate spiritual, theological, and liturgical patrimony needs to be Latinized but by being in Communion with the See of Peter we recognized his authority over the universal Church. And we recognize the teachings of all the Councils of the Church. If we don't then why are we Catholic? The Church is not frozen in time. Even the Orthodox Church has developed since the first seven councils (though they like to say they haven't).

Quote
Bottom line: I personally find many of the arguments in this discussion disturbing as they seemingly place codes of law (imposed or not) as above the Holy Tradition of Scripture, the seven acclaimed Ecumenical Councils and the Fathers. May I also humbly point out that despite the canon lawyers, while the canons are considered an element of Holy Tradition they are not even near the top of the constituent elements of that comprise Holy Tradition.


I don't see how arguing for seminary formation of priests because Canon Law states that the Eastern Catholics Churches should do so, is putting Canon Law above the other elements of Holy Tradition, Sacred Scripture, the Fathers, or the Ecumenical Councils. Given that in the United States we live a pretty easy life style (all though this is changing) that allows us to practice our faith openly and without much hindrance (finances and moving of a family comes to mind as the major obstacle), sending our future priest to seminary, as Canon Law suggests, is not unreasonable. Now, in situations like under the Communist or the Ottoman Turks, I get how the Church must adapt to train its clergy. Hopefully, we are never in that situation.

Last edited by Nelson Chase; 07/19/17 11:58 PM.
Re: DEACON ORDINATION TO PRIESTHOOD [Re: jvf] #417247 07/20/17 02:40 AM
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If one is going to cite the CCEO, one needs to consider what the canons state in their entirety:

Canon 328 - It is the proper right and obligation of the Church to train clerics and her other ministers; this obligation is particularly and more diligently fulfilled through the erection and governing of seminaries.


Canon 758

1. To be ordained licitly the following are required:

(1) chrismation with holy myron;
(2) both the morals and the physical and psychological qualities in harmony with receiving a sacred order;
(3) the age prescribed by law;
(4) the required knowledge;
(5) reception of the lower orders according to the norm of particular law of each Church sui iuris;
(6) observation of the interstices prescribed by particular law.

2. It is furthermore required that the candidate not be impeded according to the norm of can. 762. 3. The particular law of each Church sui iuris or special norms established by the Apostolic See are to be followed in admitting married men to sacred orders.

While canon 328 notes that the training of clerics may be "particularly and more diligently" carried out in the seminary, don't read more into the text than what it actually states... the law doesn't say the training is carried out only in a seminary curriculum to the exclusion of other appropriate models of training.

In canon 758, seminary education/formation is not a requirement for ordination; the law merely states "required knowledge." Canon law uses precise language to avoid confusion.

Re: DEACON ORDINATION TO PRIESTHOOD [Re: jvf] #417248 07/20/17 10:51 AM
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I must admit I didn't know if this forum had the capacity for such a lively discussion anymore. Thanks for the interaction.

Re: DEACON ORDINATION TO PRIESTHOOD [Re: Protopappas76] #417249 07/20/17 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Protopappas76
"Deacons are members of the priesthood ordained to serve as ministers at the Holy Table and to assist the bishop in carrying out his ministry." While "presbyters (elders) are ordained serve as counselors to the bishop and preside in his absence."
This quote sounds familiar but I can't place it. What is the source?

Re: DEACON ORDINATION TO PRIESTHOOD [Re: jvf] #417253 07/21/17 11:11 AM
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Canon 758 is not sufficient to address the topic under consideration since it is only a general prescription for licity, treating ordination in general, thus applying where appropriate to even ordination to acolyte, lector cantor and subdeacon, besides the sacramental orders. There are specific details, as treated in CCEO TITLE 10 Clerics, Canons 323-398, that are pertinent in order to "consider what the canons state in their entirety." For instance, that canon 758 stipulates just "chrismation with holy myron," does not mean that baptism in not required (baptism is explicit in Canon 342.2). Also, what is "the required knowledge"? Do other canons address this? (They do, in great detail.)

This is good advice:"don't read more into the text than what it actually states." Unfortunately, this reading-in (eisegesis) has been done in concluding that Canon 328 was given to show a mandate for formation in a seminary. There of course is no such mandate in the CCEO. What the text of the post addresses are the assertions explicitly given:

Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Protopappas76
There is no canonical requirement for seminary formation.

While I might qualify his statement a bit, I would also generally agree with my co celebrant, Father Romanos, that: "formation in a seminary is not wise!"


In the CCEO there are numerous "canonical requirement[s] for seminary formation." (Do not read into this that this means there is a canon requiring only seminary formation.)

For all the CCEO's precision, I was expecting to find in it a definition of what is meant by a seminary and seminary formation. It seems it need not be where the formal education takes place (the "if"), "Canon 340 1. If a curriculum is set up in the seminary ..." There is however "Canon 332 2. A major seminary is to be established..."


Re: DEACON ORDINATION TO PRIESTHOOD [Re: Protopappas76] #417257 07/21/17 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Protopappas76

"If one accepts the theology of the permanence of the sphragis/character of ordination, then those ordained to the presbyterate, being priests, are all permanent priests, "forever according to the order of Melchizedek." It is the presbyterate that need not be permanent because of the potential of episcopal ordination. Thus, all true priests are "permanent priests."."

As you well know, the English language does us a bit of a disservice when we use the word priest in English. The problem is that the Greek "Hieros" is properly translated into English as priest, however it refers to the three-fold priesthood of deacon, presbyter, bishop.

Properly speaking, theologically deacons are priests inasmuch as they are members of the "hieros" i.e. the priesthood...

As are all the faithful, through baptism-chrismation, a proper order and that an order of priesthood: But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood (ἱεράτευμα), a holy nation, God's own people, (1Pe 2:9 RSV). But there are important distinctions.

The liturgy itself distinguishes the priest from the deacon. There is a special office and burial for priests that is not used for deacons. The difference is apparent in the liturgicon where the rubric ἱερεύς (hiereus=priest, a noun, not "hieros"=holy, sacred, an adjective) does not refer " to the three-fold priesthood of deacon, presbyter, bishop," but only to presbyter or bishop. There is also, when putting on the epitachelion, "His priests...Aaron," and receiving communion, "the priest, N." . The kiss of peace is shared among bishops and presbyters, and not with deacons. In the prayers prior to entering the altar, the deacon does not pray with the priest (as he has been) the prayer "O Lord, send forth Your hand from the height of Your holy dwelling-place, and strengthen me for the service which I am to render to You, that I may stand before Your awesome altar without condemnation and perform the unbloody sacrifice. For yours is the power, unto the ages of ages. Amen." It's I and not we for good reason: The difference in ministerial service and the language of the liturgy associate the designation priest with the presbyter/bishop and to the exclusion of the deacon.

For a catechetical discussion that stresses the distinction compare from the CCC:

1591 The whole Church is a priestly people. Through Baptism all the faithful share in the priesthood of Christ. This participation is called the "common priesthood of the faithful." Based on this common priesthood and ordered to its service, there exists another participation in the mission of Christ: the ministry conferred by the sacrament of Holy Orders, where the task is to serve in the name and in the person of Christ the Head in the midst of the community.

1596 Deacons are ministers ordained for tasks of service of the Church; they do not receive the ministerial priesthood, but ordination confers on them important functions in the ministry of the word, divine worship, pastoral governance, and the service of charity, tasks which they must carry out under the pastoral authority of their bishop.

Re: DEACON ORDINATION TO PRIESTHOOD [Re: ajk] #417264 07/22/17 03:57 AM
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Not necessarily the best examples. Priests were once buried just like deacons, only bishops got a different service. It should probably go back to that way. Also, in the Old Rite, the deacon does pray O Lord send forth your hand...


My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.
Re: DEACON ORDINATION TO PRIESTHOOD [Re: Fr. Deacon Lance] #417265 07/22/17 04:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
Not necessarily the best examples.
What are the best examples? Are deacons considered priests in the same sense that presbyters and bishops are priests?

Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
Priests were once buried just like deacons, only bishops got a different service.
Once... but not now.

Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
Also, in the Old Rite, the deacon does pray O Lord send forth your hand...
Based on the text, is this an appropriate prayer for the deacon to say?

Re: DEACON ORDINATION TO PRIESTHOOD [Re: Nelson Chase] #417268 07/22/17 06:57 AM
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Rome has spoken on this subject when the then Prefect of the Congregation of the Faith, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger responded to the Melkite Patriarch about the Zogbhy initiative.

The fulmination of a Roman dicastery and its reverend monsignori should never, ever, be confused with either the voice of God nor the pronouncements of the Holy Synod of a patriarchal Church. The Melkite Church, the Ukrainian Church etc. are not some kind of "eastern rite" branch offices of Rome.


In regards to the comment about the Ecumenical Councils.

There have only been Seven Great or Ecumenical Councils. (See the website of the Melkite eparchy of Newton) Tht Seven Ecumenical Councils are "unique and singular in their authoritattive voice for the whole of the "oecumene." Again, there have only been Seven Ecumenical Council inasmuch as "oecumene" by its very deinition requires the presence and agreed "ecumenical concensus" of the other Orthodox Churches. Vatican II was a Council of the Catholic Church. The Council of Trent was a Council of the Catholic Church. Ditto for Vatican I, Pisa etc. Authoritative for the Catholic Church? Yes! But only that, and not ecumenical councils.

I find it very sad that after so many years we still seem to lack the integrity and courage to be what we are called to be in Christ - Churches in communion with one another and not subject parts of a distorted ecclesiastical power structure. To quote the CCEO as being an ultimate authority because the CCEO says it is, is a bit of circuitous "lllogic" at best. I truly respect the office of the Pope of Rome as the head of an equal Church and with a specific role of "primus inter pares" for the whole of the Church, but lets not become some kind of Eastern Ultramontanists.

Re: DEACON ORDINATION TO PRIESTHOOD [Re: ajk] #417269 07/22/17 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
Not necessarily the best examples.
What are the best examples? Are deacons considered priests in the same sense that presbyters and bishops are priests?

Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
Priests were once buried just like deacons, only bishops got a different service.
Once... but not now.

Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
Also, in the Old Rite, the deacon does pray O Lord send forth your hand...
Based on the text, is this an appropriate prayer for the deacon to say?


Yes and no. There is but one priesthood, but obviously there are differences of degrees. But priests getting a bishops burial, prayers that were once the for both restricted to the priests show an unhealthy exalttation of the priests and degradation of the deacons. Keep on that track and we end up with deacons as some sort of arch-altar boy.


My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.
Re: DEACON ORDINATION TO PRIESTHOOD [Re: Protopappas76] #417272 07/22/17 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Protopappas76
Rome has spoken on this subject when the then Prefect of the Congregation of the Faith, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger responded to the Melkite Patriarch about the Zogbhy initiative.


Yes, and they plainly told the Melkite Synod that they could not adhere to everything that Eastern Orthodoxy teaches since that clearly contradicts the Catholic Churches teaching on the Petrine Primacy, which is a dogma of the whole Catholic Church, not simply the Roman Churches.

Quote
The fulmination of a Roman dicastery and its reverend monsignori should never, ever, be confused with either the voice of God nor the pronouncements of the Holy Synod of a patriarchal Church.


The CDF is not some minor Vatican dicastery and the Reverend Monsignor quoted is one of the greatest living theologians of our time. Its job (and all Catholic clergy and faithful) is to protect the integrity and orthodoxy of the Catholic Churches.

Quote
The Melkite Church, the Ukrainian Church etc. are not some kind of "eastern rite" branch offices of Rome.


Nobody said there were but they are Catholic Churches and that means they hold the Catholic faith, which includes holding to the Churches teaching on Papal primacy and not the Orthodox Churches position.

In regards to the comment about the Ecumenical Councils.

Quote
There have only been Seven Great or Ecumenical Councils. (See the website of the Melkite eparchy of Newton) Tht Seven Ecumenical Councils are "unique and singular in their authoritattive voice for the whole of the "oecumene."


Well not unless you reject the Fourth Council, which a majority of the Oriental Churches did and still do. Or how about those who reject the Third Council?

Quote
Again, there have only been Seven Ecumenical Council inasmuch as "oecumene" by its very deinition requires the presence and agreed "ecumenical concensus" of the other Orthodox Churches. Vatican II was a Council of the Catholic Church. The Council of Trent was a Council of the Catholic Church. Ditto for Vatican I, Pisa etc. Authoritative for the Catholic Church? Yes! But only that, and not ecumenical councils.


The Melkite Greek Catholic Church is a Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is the "oecumene." Our communion with Rome means something. Yes, some post schism councils dealt with issues that are of little to no importance to the East but they are Ecumenical Councils because the Church united with Peter have declared them so. To deny them that status is not Catholic.

Quote
I find it very sad that after so many years we still seem to lack the integrity and courage to be what we are called to be in Christ - Churches in communion with one another and not subject parts of a distorted ecclesiastical power structure.


I for one choose to become Catholic because in the Catholic Church we can be a communion of Churches. It is not perfect. Still, that means that I had to accept the teaching that my Orthodox Church of the past rejects. I did it (over time) because I realized that if the Catholic Church is the true Church of Christ (and I believe it is or I would not be Catholic) then I must submit to her teachings, even the ones that developed after the separation of East/West.


Quote
I truly respect the office of the Pope of Rome as the head of an equal Church and with a specific role of "primus inter pares" for the whole of the Church, but lets not become some kind of Eastern Ultramontanists.
[

The Pope is more than simply "primus inter pares" father. It is not Ultramontanist to affirm the Catholic teaching on the Primacy of the Pope of Rome. We are Orthodox Churches who accepted union with the Pope. Our Martyrs died for unity with the Pope. If he was merely a first among equals then why did our Martyrs suffer from being in unity with him? They could have easily accepted Orthodoxy and been saved torture and death but they didn't. Because they were Catholic and that meant fidelity to the Holy Father and not simply to a first among equals.



Last edited by Nelson Chase; 07/22/17 06:40 PM.
Re: DEACON ORDINATION TO PRIESTHOOD [Re: Fr. Deacon Lance] #417274 07/23/17 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
Not necessarily the best examples.
What are the best examples? Are deacons considered priests in the same sense that presbyters and bishops are priests?

Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
Priests were once buried just like deacons, only bishops got a different service.
Once... but not now.

Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
Also, in the Old Rite, the deacon does pray O Lord send forth your hand...
Based on the text, is this an appropriate prayer for the deacon to say?


Yes and no. There is but one priesthood, but obviously there are differences of degrees. But priests getting a bishops burial, prayers that were once the for both restricted to the priests show an unhealthy exalttation of the priests and degradation of the deacons. Keep on that track and we end up with deacons as some sort of arch-altar boy.


My take on this is that the bishops gave it (burial service) "away" -- willingly I presume and they're ok with that -- the presbyters got it (came out "ahead") and the deacons broke even, no change. So there's a divide, but of what nature. I have presumed it to be a consequence of the special priestly ministry shared, though different in degree, by presbyter and bishop but not shared by the deacon (it may have some other basis).

Another example from the liturgy (though not in the Ruthenian Recension in this explicit form) is:

And the priest passeth through the holy doors. And the people say:
People: May the Lord God remember thy priesthood in His Kingdom, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
As the priest passeth through the holy doors the deacon says to him:
Deacon: May the Lord God remember thy priesthood in His kingdom.
Priest: May the Lord God remember thy sacred diaconate in His kingdom, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.
[emphasis added] link

The best example is the actual practice. A bishop, a presbyter is able to offer the Divine Liturgy (and other of the Mysteries) as the liturgist, used here in the term's intrinsic meaning, as it is used in the liturgy itself. In offering the Divine Liturgy the deacon is not, is never, the liturgist but the syn-liturgist, the co-liturgist, (Liturgikon, Rome, 1950:: sulleitourge). In the vernacular, deacons cannot "say Mass," presbyters and bishops do. It is with that distinction that presbyters and bishops do in a unique and intrinsic way what priests do, offer sacrifice, here the "unbloody sacrifice" as the prayer says.

Re: DEACON ORDINATION TO PRIESTHOOD [Re: Nelson Chase] #417278 07/25/17 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Nelson Chase
Originally Posted by Protopappas76
Rome has spoken on this subject when the then Prefect of the Congregation of the Faith, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger responded to the Melkite Patriarch about the Zogbhy initiative.


Yes, and they plainly told the Melkite Synod that they could not adhere to everything that Eastern Orthodoxy teaches since that clearly contradicts the Catholic Churches teaching on the Petrine Primacy, which is a dogma of the whole Catholic Church, not simply the Roman Churches.

[b]Rome has no more right to tell a constituent and co equal and apostolic Church (founded by Peter as her first bishop, I might add) what it can and cannot do than it has the right to unilaterally add to the creed without an Ecumenical council of the whole Church.[/b]

Quote
The fulmination of a Roman dicastery and its reverend monsignori should never, ever, be confused with either the voice of God nor the pronouncements of the Holy Synod of a patriarchal Church.


The CDF is not some minor Vatican dicastery and the Reverend Monsignor quoted is one of the greatest living theologians of our time. Its job (and all Catholic clergy and faithful) is to protect the integrity and orthodoxy of the Catholic Churches.

A Roman dicastry is exactly that, a dicastry and office of the Church of Rome serving the needs of a sister Cathkic Church - nothing more nor nothing less.

Quote
The Melkite Church, the Ukrainian Church etc. are not some kind of "eastern rite" branch offices of Rome.


Nobody said there were but they are Catholic Churches and that means they hold the Catholic faith, which includes holding to the Churches teaching on Papal primacy and not the Orthodox Churches position.

May I point out that the Orthodox Churches are Catholic as well - as has been repeatedly maintained.

In regards to the comment about the Ecumenical Councils.

Quote
There have only been Seven Great or Ecumenical Councils. (See the website of the Melkite eparchy of Newton) Tht Seven Ecumenical Councils are "unique and singular in their authoritattive voice for the whole of the "oecumene."


Well not unless you reject the Fourth Council, which a majority of the Oriental Churches did and still do. Or how about those who reject the Third Council?

Were we talking about the Oriental Churches]?

Quote
Again, there have only been Seven Ecumenical Council inasmuch as "oecumene" by its very definition requires the presence and agreed "ecumenical concensus" of the other Orthodox Churches. Vatican II was a Council of the Catholic Church. The Council of Trent was a Council of the Catholic Church. Ditto for Vatican I, Pisa etc. Authoritative for the Catholic Church? Yes! But only that, and not ecumenical councils.


The Melkite Greek Catholic Church is a Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is the "oecumene." Our communion with Rome means something. Yes, some post schism councils dealt with issues that are of little to no importance to the East but they are Ecumenical Councils because the Church united with Peter have declared them so. To deny them that status is not Catholic.

The Melkite Church has explicitly stated that only the Seven Great Councils are to clled Ecumenical Councils. I would point out that a number of Roman Catholic theologians and commentators have stated the same thing. In no way can the communion of Catholic Church be considered the "oecumene" since she does not comprise the totality of the "right-believing Church." Lastly, since my Church - a Catholic Church - and our Holy Synod have repeatedly stated that there are only seven Ecumenical Councils by definition, while I can understand that some might sincerely have different understandings, I would question your attempt at a kind of "Roman locuta" statement that "To deny them [Councils of the Catholic Church] that status is not Catholic." I did not know that individual ultramontanist Catholics can claim perrsonal infallibility! Or is it because "the Church united with Peter have declared them so." If so, I will have to let my patriarch know this since he is the 172nd succesor to the Holy Apostle Peter.

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I find it very sad that after so many years we still seem to lack the integrity and courage to be what we are called to be in Christ - Churches in communion with one another and not subject parts of a distorted ecclesiastical power structure.


I for one choose to become Catholic because in the Catholic Church we can be a communion of Churches. It is not perfect. Still, that means that I had to accept the teaching that my Orthodox Church of the past rejects. I did it (over time) because I realized that if the Catholic Church is the true Church of Christ (and I believe it is or I would not be Catholic) then I must submit to her teachings, even the ones that developed after the separation of East/West.

"Submit" to her teachings? A strange turn of phrase. The word submissio nin Arabic is Islam. I would hope that no Christian ever would feel that their relationship with the Church of Christ is that of submission, or as the dictionary defines it as "to yield to a superior force or judgment." To Christ - yes! To His Holy Church in council - yes! But to a dicastry appointed by one patriarchal Church even if she be the senior (by reconition of an ecumenical council, I might point out) - spare me. The Petrine ministry is real, but it is truly exercised only in communion with the whole college of bishops.


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I truly respect the office of the Pope of Rome as the head of an equal Church and with a specific role of "primus inter pares" for the whole of the Church, but lets not become some kind of Eastern Ultramontanists.
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The Pope is more than simply "primus inter pares"? father. It is not Ultramontanist to affirm the Catholic teaching on the Primacy of the Pope of Rome. We are Orthodox Churches who accepted union with the Pope. Our Martyrs died for unity with the Pope. If he was merely a first among equals then why did our Martyrs suffer from being in unity with him? They could have easily accepted Orthodoxy and been saved torture and death but they didn't. Because they were Catholic and that meant fidelity to the Holy Father and not simply to a first among equals.


I too believe in the primacy of the Bishop of Rome. But it is exaclty as the patristic Church understood it, as "primus inter pares" with the whole of the episcopacy. Do we know better than the Council of the Apostles? Do we know better than the Holy Apostle Paul who put Peter in his proper place. I take exception with your statement that we are "Orthodox Churches who accepted union with the pope." No, rather I belong tp the Orthodox Greek Catholic Church of Antioch, Alexandria, and Jerusalem in communion with the Orthodox Catholic Church of Rome. I am in communion with my bishop who is in communion with our Holy Synod which in turn is in communion with the other Catholic Churches including the Church of Rome." Our Eastern theological understanding of the Church is that of intersecting circles not that of a monarchical pyramid structure."
Let me also say that Christians in the Middle East aren't being martyred because they are "in communion with the Pope of Rome." They are being martyred - Orthodox, Catholic, Eastern or Western, Protestant, and Copt, - because of their faith in the Lordship of Jesus Christ. It is because of this kind of intransigence on the part of the "romanitá" that the division of Christianity continues. Fidelity to the "Holy Father"is not the hallmark of Christianity, fidelity to Christ is.

Re: DEACON ORDINATION TO PRIESTHOOD [Re: Protopappas76] #417282 07/25/17 05:15 PM
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Nelson Chase Offline
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Let me also say that Christians in the Middle East aren't being martyred because they are "in communion with the Pope of Rome." They are being martyred - Orthodox, Catholic, Eastern or Western, Protestant, and Copt, - because of their faith in the Lordship of Jesus Christ. It is because of this kind of intransigence on the part of the "romanitá" that the division of Christianity continues. Fidelity to the "Holy Father"is not the hallmark of Christianity, fidelity to Christ.


Amen. I was referring to the New Martyrs of the Ukrainian and Ruthenian Catholic Churches who died for refusing to deny their fidelity to the Pope of Rome and the Catholic faith.


Last edited by Nelson Chase; 07/25/17 05:18 PM.
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