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Re: Why is communion with Rome important? #44210
11/02/04 05:38 PM
11/02/04 05:38 PM
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Orthodox Catholic Offline
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Dear Brian,

Well, yes.

Papal encyclicals are there to instruct, teach and guide.

They aren't all necessarily "infallible," but that doesn't mean that Catholics aren't obliged to give their assent to them as to legitimate teaching of the Church that is guided by the Holy Spirit.

The same goes for the statements issued by Orthodox Patriarchs or Hierarchs.

Alex

Re: Why is communion with Rome important? #44211
11/02/04 05:54 PM
11/02/04 05:54 PM
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Sacramento, Ca
Brian Offline
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In Orthodoxy, infallibility rests with the Church in Council not with one particular Hierarch.

Re: Why is communion with Rome important? #44212
11/02/04 06:25 PM
11/02/04 06:25 PM
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Orthodox Catholic Offline
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Dear Brian,

As I understand my Catholicism, the Pope can indeed speak with all the bishops throughout the world in communion with him.

And even when he speaks alone, he speaks from within the context of Tradition not to create NEW tradition but to defend and/or elucidate Apostolic Tradition.

In days when heretics held sway, the voice of a single Pope of Rome was quite sufficient to defend the Faith of the Apostles when MANY hierarchs fell into heresy.

Whether it is one or many, it is the Christian Tradition that the Spirit speaks and acts through them on behalf of the Body of Christ.

That's all I can think of right now . . .

Have a great day!

Alex

Re: Why is communion with Rome important? #44213
11/02/04 07:24 PM
11/02/04 07:24 PM
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OrthoMan Offline
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[The reason the Orthodox are "better off" is precisely because they appeal to Tradition and know their bishops are but the bearers and defenders of that Tradition.]

Amen!

{If the Orthodox priests you mention are counseling engaged couples against contraception, they are doing it on their own, and are not reflecting the thought of their Churches, which allow contraception. ]

They do? Sez who?-


October 7, 2004
Russian Orthodox Church condemns contraception -

http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2004/oct/04100710.html

http://www.paratheke.net/stephanos/

http://ic.net/~erasmus/RAZ274.HTM

OrthoMan

Re: Why is communion with Rome important? #44214
11/02/04 07:33 PM
11/02/04 07:33 PM
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Canada
Orthodox Catholic Offline
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Who da man?

YOU da man!

You da ORTHOMAN!!

With respect and affection,

Alex

Re: Why is communion with Rome important? #44215
11/02/04 09:11 PM
11/02/04 09:11 PM
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francis Offline
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Quote

The reason the Orthodox are "better off" is precisely because they appeal to Tradition and know their bishops are but the bearers and defenders of that Tradition.
I must respectfully disagree with this sentiment. In fact, this attitude, taken to what I believe is an extreme, is one of my few major "hang-ups" with Orthodoxy.

Tradition is extremely important when it comes to determining WHAT we believe. Our Faith is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. However, it is not always so good when it comes to explaining WHY we believe what we believe, especially in areas of morality.

Appeals to tradition when it comes to contraception fall flat on the modern ear. They appear the same as "women should not vote" arguments - because we did it like that a century ago, we must do it like that today. The modern "advancement" in artificial contraception cannot simply be seen as inadmissible because "we've always been against it" - most people believe that this is a "new situation", and Tradition does not address it. (Same for in vitro fertilization, stem cell research and other such "new" topics). It is vital for our bishops to explain, often in new ways, why our Traditional teaching is still valid. It is in this area I see little from our Orthodox brethren.

The Catholic Church has been the only major religious institution - without exception - that has been actively fighting against the evil of artificial contraception - one of the most destructive forces against the family out there. And they have been fighting it by explaining (mostly by the Pope) WHY it is so destructive to families and to women in particular. In this country at least, I haven't seen anything of that nature from the Orthodox Churches. Some (such as the OCA) seem to leave it to the individual (which in this country is like opening a loophole so large a truck could drive through it), and others seem to just say "it's always been wrong, so it's still wrong", and leave it at that. To me, this seems like a situation where the devil is attacking us with an entire army and we are responding with a water gun. We must use all the forces at our disposal to fight back, and I believe only the Catholic Church is attempting to do so in this area.

Regarding the idea that it is better to have Tradition against birth control as opposed to just the Pope, this is falling into the fallacy the media and other anti-Catholic forces wish to perpetuate. They want it to be just the one old guy in Rome against birth control, and not the Church, so they frame it such. But those who wish to understand the Church know that this Pope is simply preaching our consistent magisterial teaching without compromise. It's not his teaching, it's the Church's.

So I would say that the artificial contraception situation is an excellent example of why communion with the See of Peter is important. I believe the Holy Spirit guides that See like no other, and keeps it faithful to the Gospel. The very fact that Paul VI's advisors told him to compromise the teaching (and most thought he was personally receptive to this), and yet he did not is, in my mind, a great testament to the Holy Spirit's protection of his office. No other bishop, either Catholic or Orthodox, is so protected.

Or, as my devout Catholic father-in-law used to teach his four daughters growing up, "just follow the Pope and you'll be okay".

Re: Why is communion with Rome important? #44216
11/02/04 11:00 PM
11/02/04 11:00 PM
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Dear Francis,

And I must respectfully acknowledge your argument AND disagree with it at the same time.

The Pope simply cannot be seen as the person from whom all doctrine comes - as IF any given Pope is the one who frames it.

We know that is NOT the case - but the argument of modernists is precisely that - get a "modern" Pope in Rome, and he will ordain women priests etc. etc.

It is much better to appeal to Tradition as the one constant, unchanging factor in our lives of faith.

The fact that Paul VI was advised to "change" indicates that his advisors felt he could, as Pope.

Popes have, in the past, decreed disciplines that contradicted Councils, for example.

And they were censured by Councils for doing so e.g. the move of the Wednesday fast to Saturday.

Some may believe this is a matter of small consequence.

And it is, that's not the point.

The point is that one doesn't go against a Council, even though one is a Pope.

The attitude that a Pope can overrule Councils leads to the situation where Popes set themselves up as their own rules of faith.

And, frankly, I believe that attitude is what has led to the "conservative/liberal" divide in the Latin Church today.

It is a serious divide and there is a great struggle going on, especially at the parish level.

Alex

Re: Why is communion with Rome important? #44217
11/03/04 01:55 AM
11/03/04 01:55 AM
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If anyone knows where to find the full text of the Russian Church's statement on contraception, I would appreciate it if they would post it. I am not certain from the news reports whether that Church spoke against contraception in principle or only against the demographic catastrophe it has occasioned in Russia. If they did, God bless them.
The Stephanos Project,that you also linked to is quite conscious of being a minority voice in Orthodoxy trying to recover the ancient teaching.
And yes, the Holy Spirit does speak in the encyclicals, and when an encyclical echoes 2000 years of consistent teaching, as did Humanae Vitae, it is infallible. Heck, when I echo 2000 years of Christian teaching I am infallible! Why not the Pope?

Re: Why is communion with Rome important? #44218
11/03/04 01:05 PM
11/03/04 01:05 PM
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francis Offline
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Alex,

Quote
Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:

The Pope simply cannot be seen as the person from whom all doctrine comes - as IF any given Pope is the one who frames it.

We know that is NOT the case - but the argument of modernists is precisely that - get a "modern" Pope in Rome, and he will ordain women priests etc. etc.

It is much better to appeal to Tradition as the one constant, unchanging factor in our lives of faith.
Yes, there is a illegitimate attitude among a goodly number of "conservative" Romans that the Pope is the font of true doctrine - a heresy, to say the least. He is the protected preacher of the True Faith, not it's source. Humanae Vitae is just one example of this protected preaching.

I think one should appeal to Tradition, but not solely. The Church must also be able to develop new ways of preaching the Gospel. If Paul had stuck to preaching simply the "Traditional" way (i.e. like the 12 apostles did), the Faith would have never taken hold outside of Palestine! This current Pope has done a wonderful job of preaching the Traditional Faith in new ways - something that is sorely needed in the post-modern, post-Christian world.

Quote
Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:

The fact that Paul VI was advised to "change" indicates that his advisors felt he could, as Pope.
A good point.

What does it mean then that some Orthodox jurisdictions have not condemned birth control unequivocally and have in fact "softened" their position in recent years (I'm thinking mostly of OCA)? Did they feel that they could change Tradition? Or is it because no ecumenical council has condemned artificial contraception that they felt they could make adjustments?

Quote
Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:

Popes have, in the past, decreed disciplines that contradicted Councils, for example.

And they were censured by Councils for doing so e.g. the move of the Wednesday fast to Saturday.

Some may believe this is a matter of small consequence.

And it is, that's not the point.

The point is that one doesn't go against a Council, even though one is a Pope.

The attitude that a Pope can overrule Councils leads to the situation where Popes set themselves up as their own rules of faith.
I don't see a problem with the Pope going against a Council when it comes to disciplines, but not when it comes to doctrine. It seems obvious to me that disciplines are there to simply help us live the Faith, and can be changed for new situations that a council may not know about. Of course, even when a Pope overrides a discipline, it should be done with much prayer, and deep consideration for the present circumstances (and should never be done to other sui juris Churches except in extreme circumstances). I think the fact that the Orthodox only allow an ecumenical council to change disciplines, yet have not had an ecumenical council in over a millinium shows a lack of understanding of the need to preach the Traditional Faith in new ways to the modern world (whether that "modern world" is 16th century, 19th century, or 21st century).

Note: I am also well aware of the danger of taking this attitude too far. Whereas I think the Orthodox have taken an unhealthy extreme, I also think many modern Catholics have as well - often in the other direction.

Quote
Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:

And, frankly, I believe that attitude is what has led to the "conservative/liberal" divide in the Latin Church today.

It is a serious divide and there is a great struggle going on, especially at the parish level.

Alex
As someone intimately involved in that struggle, I don't disagree with it's existence. However, I'm not sure I understand why you believe the "conservative/liberal divide" is connected to the practice of the papacy. Perhaps you could elaborate? Is it because you see each "side" simply depending on the Pope, and not Scripture and Tradition, to promote their viewpoint and that will settle the matter?

Re: Why is communion with Rome important? #44219
11/03/04 01:30 PM
11/03/04 01:30 PM
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Dear Francis,

As always, I appreciate reading your posts and learning from you!

Your last point on how both traditionalists and liberals are divided on the basis of how they view the Pope - I had not thought of that and what you say is food for much thought and reflection.

I agree that both the Pope and Tradition are needed, the latter to elucidate the unchanging truths of our Faith and the former, together with the bishops, to interpret that unchanging Faith for contemporary times.

That there are issues over this in both the RC and Orthodox Churches simply shows that they both ultimately need each other in a reunified Church in which the experience of the other can be shared and adapted for the good of the Body of Christ.

Alex

Re: Why is communion with Rome important? #44220
11/03/04 02:05 PM
11/03/04 02:05 PM
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francis Offline
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Quote

That there are issues over this in both the RC and Orthodox Churches simply shows that they both ultimately need each other in a reunified Church in which the experience of the other can be shared and adapted for the good of the Body of Christ.
I agree with this sentiment whole-heartedly!

Re: Why is communion with Rome important? #44221
11/06/04 03:38 PM
11/06/04 03:38 PM
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Piraju, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Nelson Montilhia Offline
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Dear Jennifer.

I advise you to stay in the Catholic Church for the following reasons.

1. Jesus gave Peter the authority to guide his Church after his Ascension. Though all the bishops are participant in the Apostolic Tradition, only Peter has the primacy.
2. John Paul II carries two responsibilities.
a) As the occupant of the "Cathedra Petri" he is the legal sucessor of S. Peter and thus Pontiff of the Catholic Church (Western or Eastern).
b) As the occupant of the "Cathedra Latronenses" he is the Patriarch of the Roman Catholic Church.

Therefore, as all the Eastern Rites have their respective patriarchs, the Latins also have theirs. The only thing is that the Western Patriarch is also the Pontiff.

Another important thing is that all the Castholic Patriarchates recognise JPII as Pope and Pontiff beacuse they are obeyent to the words of Jesus in the Gospel.
As example I can mention His Beatitude Gregor III Lahan, Melkite Patriarch. He is the 13th sucessor of Peter in the Antiochine Cathedra. Even being Peter's sucessor he knows and respects the primacy of the Roman Cathedra and this way the authority of the Pope.

In corde Christus et Maria

Nelson

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