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Could the Church have female cardinals? #418920
02/26/19 01:40 AM
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Andy Makar Offline OP
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Pope Francis has spoken about involving women at high level positions within the Church. This doesn't sound radical in that there is no theological reason that many positions must be run by ordained clergy. But could a women be made a cardinal?

As I see it, the position is not one that demands ordination. There have been lay cardinals. If a man could be a lay cardinal, then why not a woman? Or why not a nun? You could still bar them from election to the papacy as that position would require ordination as a priest. But as I see it, cardinal is simply an organizational rank.

What do you think?

Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: Andy Makar] #418921
02/26/19 02:22 AM
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Andy Makar:

Christ is in our midst!!

Welcome to the forum.

The rank of cardinal has been restricted to clergy since the new Code was put into effect--may have been earlier. Usually it is given to a bishop, though priests with outstanding service to the Church have been awarded this rank. These latter, however, are usually nominated when they are ineligible to be elected to the papacy--over 80. It is assumed that cardinals will enter the conclave for papal election. In fact, the real purpose of the rank is simply papal election.

Bob
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Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: theophan] #418922
02/26/19 02:55 AM
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Just because that has been the practice, it doesn't mean its in stone. I think it's in the category of of a discipline. Just like a celibate priesthood. I really don't see an ecclesiastical mandate to use rank in the current manner. Mostly because there really no ecclesiastical mandate for the position at all. They DID manage to pick popes before they had cardinals.

Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: Andy Makar] #418924
02/26/19 02:19 PM
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Christ is in our midst!!

I think you ought to look at your question through the lens of the teaching Pope St John Paul II did in 1994, barring women from the clergy going forward. If a woman cannot be a member of the clergy, how could she be part of the group to elect the Pope? Actually all of the members of the College of Cardinals who enter the Conclave must be themselves eligible for the office for which they are voting.

Earlier, the Pope, as Bishop of Rome, was elected by the clergy of the diocese of Rome. But the clergy contained no women.

Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: Andy Makar] #418995
03/16/19 07:10 AM
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As mere philosophical speculation I think it is possible, but given the legal order is unlikely. Pope Francis seems to have repudiated the idea recently when he said that female empowerment in the Church is machismo of skirts.

Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: Andy Makar] #419015
03/18/19 12:56 AM
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How could a person be a cardinal when the current rules for being made a cardinal require one being a bishop, which means that one has become a priest on the way? And then we go back to Pope St John Paul's definitive teaching in 1994.

Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: theophan] #419024
03/18/19 07:48 PM
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Do not know of the current rules, but I do have the memory that Fr. Avery Dulles, of blessed memory, was made a Cardinal and never consecrated a bishop, and the great French Catholic philosopher, Jacques Maritain, a married layman, was offered the cardinalate by Pope Pius XII, but declined it. So there is precedent for such.

Last edited by Utroque; 03/18/19 08:47 PM. Reason: spell correction
Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: Andy Makar] #419040
03/19/19 12:04 PM
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I'm not sure about Cardinal Dulles and his status, but the red hat has been given to men of great service to the Church. Usually, though, they are too old to vote in Conclave. The change in rules since Pope Paul VI--and I am not sure if he did the change or it was done by one of his successors--has ruled out laymen.

Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: Andy Makar] #419127
03/29/19 07:13 PM
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As the moderator said, "the rank of cardinal has been restricted to clergy--major orders--since the new--1917--Code was put into effect." Additionally, the 1983 code adds that all should be bishops, though dispensation of this rule have been granted, mainly to Jesuits due to their specific vows, i.e. Dulles.

However, originally, the title of Cardinal was an honorific title granted by the Church, independent of holy orders. They were counselors of the Bishop of Rome. Although there had being "lay" cardinals in the past, the only ones we know of recent times had all being tonsured, making them clerics, though absent of major orders. With the elimination of minor orders from the Latin Church by St. Paul VI, this is is no longer a possibility.

In as much as the government of the Roman Curia is trusted to the Cardinals, and voting for the Pope was a later development, if a future pope separates once again the rank of Cardinal from Holy orders, it could be possible once again for a lay person to be created cardinal in order to help in the government of the Roman Curia; and if lay, why not a lay woman?

Moreover, even with the current debate about whether women deacon were minor or major orders, they were clerics. Since women are excluded from priesthood (that is, to be a Presbyter or, in consequence, a Bishop), yet they were (and perhaps could be once again in the future) allowed to be deacon, the idea of a woman cardinal is not as farfetched as some could think, whether it be as a lay woman or a cleric woman deacon.

Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: Andy Makar] #419128
03/29/19 08:45 PM
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Coqui:

Christ is in our midst!!

Welcome to the forum.

Bob
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Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: Andy Makar] #419130
03/31/19 11:31 PM
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I think the answer your looking for is "Yes". However, the answer is very hypothetical and realistically never happen.

Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: Coquí] #419149
04/05/19 01:46 AM
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Deaconesses come up here fairly regularly.

Not only *were* there clearly deaconesses, but they exist in at least one EC and EO church to this day.


However, the next post with evidence that a Deaconess was/isa female deacon will be the first . . . the closest we have seen so far is that one church laid hands on deaconesses at their installations.

hawk

Last edited by dochawk; 04/05/19 01:53 AM.
Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: dochawk] #419164
04/08/19 08:47 PM
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Although this is not the topic of this thread, I'll say this.

The Greek word "Diakonissa" has had three uses in the past:
- Wife of the Deacon (usage that remains today);
- Woman that assisted at some functions, whether with or without imposition of hands, that were not considered clergy;
- Female Deacon, which was considered clergy and that necessarily had the imposition of hands (some even had liturgical roles and received Communion at the altar).

As to the last, there is plenty written, and much written recently due to Pope Francis' commission to study their historical role in the Church. An ancient source that comes to mind is the "Barberini Codex," an 8th-9th Century Euchologion that included all the ordination rites, from minor orders to major orders, in ascending order of rank. Interestingly enough, following the ancient practice of placing the male before the female, the rite for the ordination of the female deacon appears right AFTER the rite for male deacon. This has been understood as implying that at some point, they had the same rank. However, historical interpretations are varied.

Today, the exclusion of women from priesthood, whether it be the Order of Presbyters or, hence, the Order of Bishops, does not affect the lower ranking Order of Deacons.

This could be discussed in another thread if it were necessary.

Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: Coquí] #419165
04/09/19 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Coquí
Interestingly enough, following the ancient practice of placing the male before the female, the rite for the ordination of the female deacon appears right AFTER the rite for male deacon. This has been understood as implying that at some point, they had the same rank.
Not clear about this difference: "male before the female" but "female deacon appears right AFTER the rite for male"?

Is there a good link for the Greek transcription? I found one that was not well organized. It conclude: "Moreover, male deacons were ordained with substantially the same rite [as women]." I actually found more differences than I had anticipated especially given that the site was advocating for women deacons and priests.

One thing that stood out that I would want to check in a good presentation of the texts is the use of the word in translation "promoted" (from the subdiaconate) in the male rite version only. Along with that, as it stands now, further "promotion" is possible for (male) deacons but not for those so-ordained as deaconesses. Would that in itself constitute a real and substantial difference in the character of the ordination: further promotion is possible for deacons but not deaconesses?

Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: ajk] #419173
04/13/19 01:41 AM
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I have enjoyed reading the responses. I suspected that my question might be viewed as a bit nuts. But the responses indicate that it was not as nuts as I thought. I think that the Church needs the female input in leadership. The bishops are pretty smart guys. (I'm sure there is a few exceptions). Yet they just keep stepping on the rake on a number of issues. The biggest area is the issue of clergy sex abuse that they simply don't seem to know how to get ahead of. So, maybe the women can straighten them out. And in a hierarchal organization you would need to give them some sort of positional authority. That's what motivated the speculation.

Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: Andy Makar] #419174
04/13/19 12:19 PM
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This article in the old Catholic Encyclopedia is a long read but it discusses the evolving office of Cardinal up until the early 20th century: Cardinal.

Also of interest is Lay cardinal, in particular.
Quote
In fact, however, the position of cardinal is not an order to which one can be ordained; rather, a cardinal is simply an elector of the pope and the title is an honorific office in the Church independent of the priesthood...The 1917 Code of Canon Law decreed that from then on only those who were priests or bishops could be chosen as cardinals,thus officially closing the historical period in which some cardinals could be clergy who had only received first tonsure and minor orders.

The same rule is repeated in the 1983 Code of Canon Law, which adds that those who are not already bishops are to receive episcopal ordination...
With the motu proprio Ministeria quaedam of 15 August 1972 Pope Paul VI ended the conferral of first tonsure and laid down that entry into the clerical state would instead be by ordination as deacon.

In the East (as it was in the West until 1972) tonsure is still traditionally the entry into the "clerical state."

Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: Andy Makar] #419179
04/15/19 05:56 PM
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Andy Makar:

Christ is in our midst!!

I still don't think that making a woman a cardinal would make any difference. Look at the threads--the title is merely honorary; has no authority behind it. Why would anyone accept a sinecure title just to say one had it?

Bob

Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: Andy Makar] #419248
05/23/19 08:31 AM
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[Linked Image]

Originally Posted by Andy Makar
The biggest area is the issue of clergy sex abuse that they simply don't seem to know how to get ahead of. So, maybe the women can straighten them out.


As Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, along with Pope Benedict XVI, clearly pinpoints,
the biggest area is not the issue of clergy sex abuse but "the scourge of homosexuality" which is "a plague in the clergy." ;

Quote
"As to the second silence, this very grave crisis cannot be properly addressed and resolved unless and until we call things by their true names. This is a crisis due to the scourge of homosexuality, in its agents, in its motives, in its resistance to reform. It is no exaggeration to say that homosexuality has become a plague in the clergy, and it can only be eradicated with spiritual weapons. It is an enormous hypocrisy to condemn the abuse, claim to weep for the victims, and yet refuse to denounce the root cause of so much sexual abuse: homosexuality. It is hypocrisy to refuse to acknowledge that this scourge is due to a serious crisis in the spiritual life of the clergy and to fail to take the steps necessary to remedy it." Archbishop Vigano's Third Testimony


"So, maybe the women can straighten them out."

I am a woman and as a Christian woman I say that "the women" cannot straighten them out, either. Why? Because, the kind of "women" who demand higher positions/ordinations are in many cases, lesbians themselves. (or firm supporters of LGBT agenda in general). So, again, back to Vigano. The root cause of so much sexual abuse is homosexuality. Period. The tragic history of progressive egalitarianism in the Anglican Communion for the last 60 years or so must be a warning sign for all of us.

Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: Andy Makar] #419250
05/24/19 05:54 PM
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I saw that I am already credited for the last post in this thread, despite the fact that it is a software glitch and until now I have not posted on this thread. However, in doing so, I read what was said here and decided to respond.

The church of Rome is already on very shaky ground with the doctrinal innovations since Vatican I and 2. Add to that the homosexual priesthood which leads to all the abuse and honestly, I'm looking for any good reason to jump ship and convert to Orthodoxy....right now.

Rome should again ordain married men, not women. Should they decide to ordain women, I'll never set foot in a Catholic Church again. My decision should be easy at that point and I suspect I won't be alone.

there is a shortage of priests. There are married, devout, faithful men who would make excellent priests. It's an easy decision to repent and restore the presbyterate to how it was in the beginning and for many centuries.

Trying to fix what Rome has nearly destroyed with their un-tethered theology and constant "messing" with the Sacraments by breaking it further is a non-starter. At least for me.

Repentance is the only pathway to God. Ordaining women and homosexuals would be a stark, blatant example of doing the opposite of repenting. If this happens, the safest place for any christian is as far away from the Catholic Church as possible.




Last edited by DocT; 05/24/19 05:55 PM.
Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: Andy Makar] #419251
05/24/19 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by DocT
I saw that I am already credited for the last post in this thread, despite the fact that it is a software glitch and until now I have not posted on this thread. However, in doing so, I read what was said here and decided to respond.

The church of Rome is already on very shaky ground with the doctrinal innovations since Vatican I and 2. Add to that the homosexual priesthood which leads to all the abuse and honestly, I'm looking for any good reason to jump ship and convert to Orthodoxy....right now.

Rome should again ordain married men, not women. Should they decide to ordain women, I'll never set foot in a Catholic Church again. My decision should be easy at that point and I suspect I won't be alone.

there is a shortage of priests. There are married, devout, faithful men who would make excellent priests. It's an easy decision to repent and restore the presbyterate to how it was in the beginning and for many centuries.

Trying to fix what Rome has nearly destroyed with their un-tethered theology and constant "messing" with the Sacraments by breaking it further is a non-starter. At least for me.

Repentance is the only pathway to God. Ordaining women and homosexuals would be a stark, blatant example of doing the opposite of repenting. If this happens, the safest place for any christian is as far away from the Catholic Church as possible.


Whether or not this happens, I am finding myself more and more thinking that this is true regardless. I am having a real struggle to remain irenic when the whole issue of Roman Catholicism comes up - period. (And I know that's wrong).

Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: Irish_Ruthenian] #419253
05/25/19 05:35 AM
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Dear Doc T and Irish_Ruthenian,

Thank you for your response. I am so grateful to have known this forum. (Thank you, administrators!) Here, for the first time, I've come to realize that there are some brothers and sisters out there who are passing through the same kind of agony, struggles and inner-battles. Through reading your writings and sharing, I understood why I am here at this moment of my spiritual journey. There are so many things I should learn from your experiences and learnings. Living 20 years as a committed believer in the Byzantine Catholic Church is really something, Irish_Ruthenian! Whether you remain in BCC or depart for EO eventually, I think your ecclesial experiences including your current struggles and agonies are going to be used by God in a wonderful way in order to help wandering souls (like me) who are searching for truth. For example, I cannot really consult with EO believers who came straight out of Protestantism (not via BCC.) They usually don't see there is actually a coherent, strong inner logic/perspective within Catholicism. When we look it from within, it is found. And I confess that I love it and wish that it could stand!

However, as Doc T said; "The church of Rome is already on very shaky ground with the doctrinal innovations since Vatican I and 2. Add to that the homosexual priesthood which leads to all the abuse and honestly, I'm looking for any good reason to jump ship and convert to Orthodoxy....right now." Yes...this is what is going on in my tormenting mind, too. I had thought that the Magisterium was a sure fortress against modernist attacks...but...oh, this Pontificate is a counter-evidence of all these powerful arguments and I find it very difficult to reconcile them.

One Catholic priest who converted to EO told me that after he became a Roman Catholic, he eventually realized that; "I had made a terrible blunder. I realized that I simply could not live a lifetime as a Catholic (largely because of, as you term it, its Protestantized Mass). All the ecclesiological and theoretical arguments flew right out the window for me. I needed a liturgical and spiritual home in which I could faithfully dwell. We do not live in our heads. We do not live in theory. Life is too short."

I don't idealize the Eastern Orthodoxy, either. I've seen enough problems here in Greece. However, with all the messes and divisions and (seemingly) lacking of universality in EO, I am beginning to think that perhaps EO is going to be the last fortress for us. Have you read "LGBT Fight Comes To Orthodoxy" by Rod Dreher? He is a convert from Roman Catholicism. Here is what he says;

Quote
I had a number of conversations at the conference with Orthodox converts who came to Orthodoxy out of churches that had surrendered orthodox Christian teaching on sexuality, and which had since begun sliding into moral and theological disarray. As a former Catholic, I talked about how Catholicism is rapidly following Mainline Protestantism down this path, especially under Pope Francis. Talking last week to a Catholic friend about this, I told her that this fight has now come to Orthodoxy. She said, “Please don’t give in; you guys are the last place left.”


The last place left...umm...I will close this letter with a ending remark of Rod Dreher.

Quote
[after mentioning the challenges from Orthodox liberals, such as "Orthodoxy in Dialogue" or "Public Orthodoxy"] ....Orthodox bishops hate conflict, and would rather avoid it, but they have to draw a firm, clear line in the sand here. If they don’t, there is no doubt where this is going to take the Orthodox churches in the United States. Look at the Mainline Protestant churches. Look at what’s happening to many Catholic parishes and institutions, especially under this papacy.To enter into this phony “dialogue” is to prepare to surrender. There can be no surrender. There must not be surrender. But listen: if you’re a priest or a deacon, and think you can avoid taking a stand, you had better wise up. As the pro-gay Protestant theologian David Gushee wrote in 2016:
"It turns out that you are either for full and unequivocal social and legal equality for LGBT people, or you are against it, and your answer will at some point be revealed. This is true both for individuals and for institutions.Neutrality is not an option. Neither is polite half-acceptance. Nor is avoiding the subject. Hide as you might, the issue will come and find you."
He’s right. He’s on the other side of the issue from me, but he’s right. The Orthodox bishops must step up and defend Christian orthodoxy within Orthodoxy. They have to hold the line. Neutrality and avoidance — peace at any price — is surrender.
Rod Dreher, LGBT Fight Comes To Orthodoxy, Oct. 2018


p.s. excuse me for my grammar mistakes! English is not my first language.

Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: silk] #419256
05/27/19 12:47 AM
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Originally Posted by silk

p.s. excuse me for my grammar mistakes! English is not my first language.


You seem quite proficient in the language to me, whether it be your first language or not; and despite your initial, introductory thread in which you appealed to forum members to help you find answers in your quest to find the "right" church, you, along with others who have joined you along the way, have used this Forum to rag on the Catholic Church, and, more specifically her Roman and western portion during the pontificate of His Holiness, Pope Francis. I find that quite disingenuous. "The Byzantine Forum and the www.byzcath.org site exist to help build up the Church..." I frankly find your cant to be not so different to the anti-Catholic rhetoric I hear on local Boston radio talk shows each time a new scandal arises, or when some prelate or the Pope himself makes some sincere effort, be it in word or deed, to rid the Church of this scourge that has done so much harm to all. Sexual abuse has been perpetrated by all kinds, colors, classes, ages and genders of people, clerical, lay and agnostic. The only thing that will end this abhorrent sinfulness among the faithful, is the holiness of those who really are.

Since this thread on "Women Cardinals" has gone so far astray, I hope some Administrator will bring it to an end as I think it has run its course.

Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: Utroque] #419257
05/27/19 05:13 AM
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Dear Utroque,

Hello. Thank you for your honest response. (and thank you for your comment on my English language, which was encouraging.)

I am sorry that my writings might have caused you and probably others some disturbance. You are right that I should have been more sensible to the main purpose of this forum. However, I do say with all humility that if you could see my real life and struggles (not online), you would recognize that indeed I am not anti-Catholic Church at all. In fact, my Orthodox friends in Greece are perplexed and feel offended when I say something about Catholic Church. When McCarrick scandal was revealed last summer, I was on the verge of losing Christian faith all together. But my faith has been sustained by Called to Communion (Dr. Bryan Cross etc), EWTN (Marcus Grodi) and so forth. I am forever grateful for each one of them.

That's why when I read the word "quite disingenuous," it hurt me, because as I understand correctly, this word signifies person's heart attitude. (I wish you could have used another expression, but again, it was probably due to my lack of understanding of this forum and my immaturity, so, I am sorry.) I have lost almost all my Evangelical friends due to my shift and because of this indecisive, unstable condition between RO world and EO world, I had been quite isolated. I am too dangerously pro-Catholic in EO and too critical of this present pontificate in RO. And so, I found this forum a kind of spiritual refuge, where I could finally express my struggles. And indeed, there are many wonderful people in this forum. However, I realized that probably, I should read the thread quietly instead of participating and writing, so that my unwise sayings might not cause troubles and discouragements for others.

Lastly, dear Utroque, I was actually glad that someone courageously stood for Catholic Church like you did. I wish I could have stood and believed like you! Please pray for me.

p.s. Dear administrators, if you think my comments on this thread are not edifying and off the track, please erase them. Thank you.

Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: silk] #419258
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Joined: Nov 2002
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Hollidaysburg, PA
Christ is Risen!!

silk:

I understand your spiritual struggle and support you with my prayers. That said, may I suggest that some of your feelings of isolation may be self-induced. The problem with being a new convert is that, too often, one feels the need to be converting everyone else one comes into contact with. This is a sure path to becoming a target for those who do not want to be converted or for those who have an animus toward what you have become. There is also the area of putting too much emphasis on pushing the positive elements of a position to which our audience is opposed.

If you find that your EO colleagues in Greece are not in favor of RC, why do you insist on pushing the issue? On the other hand, why do you think it wise to push EO on Latin Trads? Do you have a spiritual death wish? And your Evangelical friends--in my experience, they think and believe that both EO and RC are off base and destined for Hell.

Your own struggles are struggles that you will have to resolve. You will have to decide where you are going, understand that there is no perfect place, and settle in where you can grow in your relation with Christ. You may harbor your own admiration for others who are not in the same place you finally land, but pushing an agenda that flies in the face of those with whom you choose to live is a sure formula for failure.

Bob
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Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: Andy Makar] #419259
05/27/19 12:30 PM
05/27/19 12:30 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 6,438
Hollidaysburg, PA
theophan Online content
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theophan  Online Content
Moderator
Member

Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 6,438
Hollidaysburg, PA
Christ is Risen!!

This thread has strayed far fro its original purpose and for that reason I am closing it on the request of a member.

Bob
Moderator

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