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Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective #62259 03/19/03 04:23 PM
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Dear Mike,

Actually, I agree totally with your understanding of the role of the patriarchs over their jurisdictions - you gave a very comprehensive description - good for you.

The Pope of Rome, of course, could do away with anything in his own Latin Church - and he has, especially with respect to the Tridentine liturgy wink

But his authority does NOT extend in the same way over the Particular Eastern Catholic Churches.

In this I think, if I may say so, you are showing an unnecessary disrespect for the Eastern Churches via an ultramontanism that is just not on these days anymore.

His authority is with respect to faith and morals. And whenever the Eastern Churches need an outside arbiter, they can always appeal to Rome.

But other than that, the Pope sticks to his jurisdiction, and we to ours.

That is guaranteed by the individual Acts of Union our Churches entered into in history and it is also guaranteed by Vatican II.

If the Pope or the Vatican ever decided to destroy our Churches, we would exercise our right to oppose Rome in defence of our patrimonies.

As St Robert Bellarmine wrote, and the Church infallibly canonized him and thereby approved all he wrote and taught: "Catholics must oppose the Pope especially if he should ever wish to destroy the Church."

To want to destroy our patrimony would mean a destruction of our Particular Church. And we would oppose that. But that is such a hypothetical case so as to not bear considering!

Alex

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective #62260 03/19/03 04:50 PM
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Dear Mike,

I agree with Alex.

It seems to me to be impossible that the Spirit would allow the Servant of the Servants of God to destroy any particular Church. He has led the Catholic Communion to appreciate most especially the importance of the East in the Church. Documents of Vatican II and the current Pope have renewed our understanding of the truth as expressed in the East. They have further stressed the need to respect the rights of the Eastern Churches to their traditional practices.

The Pope is the touchstone of the Unity of the Churches in the Body of Christ. I find it impossible to conceive of him acting as a detonator causing the destruction of the Church.

More to the point, the current Pope has asked the Eastern Churches to find a way to exercise the Petrine Ministry. He wants to do so in a way that will be faithful to the Ministry and to the traditions of the East and to the practices of the early Church.

Thanks for hearing me out.

Steve

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective #62261 03/19/03 06:39 PM
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If I attempt to distill the statements posted, it seems that what is being said is that the Pope of Rome does have full authority to intervene in issues of faith and morals (Tradition with an upper case "T" or paradosis = that which has been handed down by the apostles to their successors)but not in tradition (tradition with a lower case "t").

I'm glad to hear someone tell us about something in which the Pope of Rome does not have authority to intervene. So much of the perception from those of us outside of the Roman communion is that this authority to intervene is absolute and all-encompassing.

While not denying that these limitations may be real and accepted, the logic of it isn't 100% firm for me.

If one would allow me to handle 1 million dollar transactions, would one deny me authority over the petty cash box?

If one let me cook the main course of the meal, would I be denied the right to boil a glass of water in the microwave oven?

Tradition (upper case) is so much more important than tradition (lower case). It is hard to accept the limitations proposed. I want to believe them. They would be "a good start," speaking as an Orthodox who hopes for eventual unity.

However, the incongruency that I have outlined above leads me to believe that Rome still believes that they have authority over everything inside of their communion, inclusive of the eastern patriarchs and bishops.

With love in Christ,
Andrew.

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective #62262 03/20/03 02:57 AM
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Orthodox view:
"The Rock (petra) is the blessed and only rock of the faith confessed by the mouth of Peter. It is on this Rock of the confession of faith that the Church is built." - St. Hilary of Poitiers, 2nd book on the Trinity

Hilary wrote the first lengthy study of the doctrine of the Church in Latin. Proclaimed a "Doctor of the Church" by the Roman See in 1851, he is called the Athanasius of the Western Church.

'"The word "Rock" has only a denominative value-it signifies nothing but the steadfast and firm faith of the apostles."

In his Letter to Nestorius, St. Cyril says:

"Peter and John were equal in dignity and honor. Christ is the foundation of all -the unshakeable Rock upon which we are all built as a spiritual edifice."

"This one (Peter) is called a rock in order that on his FAITH (Rock) he may receive the foundations of the Church." - St. Gregory Nazianzen, 26th Discourse

"The Rock on which Christ will build His Church means the faith of confession." - St. John Chrysostom, 53rd Homily on St. Matthew

"The Bishop of Alexandria shall have complete control and jurisdiction over Egypt, Libya and the Pentapolis. As also the Roman bishop over those as are subject to Rome. So too, the Bishop of Antioch and the rest of the bishops shall have complete control and jurisdiction over those faithful who are under them."Canon 6 at the First Ecumenical Council

"Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (I Cor. 3:11).

"Certainly Peter, the first of the apostles, himself a member of the holy and universal Church, Paul, Andrew, John-what were they but heads of particular communities? And yet all were members under one Head... "...the prelates of this Apostolic See, which by the providence of God I serve, had the honor offered them of being called universal by the venerable Council of Chalcedon. But yet not one of them has ever wished to be called by such a title, or seized upon this ill-advised name, lest if, in virtue of the rank of the pontificate he took to himself the glory of singularity, he might seem to have denied it to all his brethren..." (Book V, Epistle XVIII) St. Gregory the Great, Pope of Rome


Abba Isidore the Priest:
When I was younger and remained in my cell I set no limit to prayer; the night was for me as much the time of prayer as the day.
(p. 97, Isidore 4)
Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective #62263 03/20/03 04:16 AM
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Dear Orthodox Christian,

Please do not get me wrong. I hold the other lung of the Church in very high regards. I have even considered switching rites from Roman to Byzantine. Also in the other forum please do not think that I am questioning your allegiance to His Holiness. I am not. You cannot however claim something is the teaching of the Church(that something being the ability to kick a pope out of office)when the Church has never declared such a thing. Yes some theologians, some being saints, have said that. Some other saints have held to my response to this. If you hold this to be a teaching of Holy Mother Church please provide documents. In response to something totally different smile The pope can "destroy" any traditions that he likes. Even though current documents suggest that he leave the Patriarchs to themselves does not mean that the Pope if he wanted to could in a split second change this. This is not a part of the Magisterium which is unalterable, but a matter of discipline(liturgical law). Please note that I am using this as an example. I do feel that the destroying of a rite wouldn't be a good idea, BUT it could be done. If someone were to stop following the pope because he did this they would be leaving the Catholic Church and therefore forfieting their souls. For this IS NOT a matter of faith and morals(something the pope could NEVER change, because the Holy Spirit would not allow it.

God Bless,
Michael

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective #62264 03/20/03 07:30 AM
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Mike,

One cannot lose their soul by switching from Catholic to Orthodox, since both are "the Church".

anastasios

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective #62265 03/20/03 01:42 PM
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Anastasios,

If there were both the same Church then they would be in communion.

In Christ,
Andrew

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective #62266 03/20/03 02:07 PM
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Dear Friends,

Ohhhh boy! wink

Alex

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective #62267 03/20/03 02:11 PM
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Dear Gideon,

As with everything else, it is all in the interpretation.

St Gregory himself believed that the Petrine See consisted of the Churches of Rome, Antioch and Alexandria TAKEN TOGETHER since Peter founded all three of these sees.

Rome's pre-eminence had more to do with the fact that it was the capital of the Roman Empire and less to do with its Church being founded by the Chief Apostles - St Peter and St Paul founded MANY churches in the East, even in small villages etc.

The Orthodox are used to having Latin Catholics point to such texts to try and "prove" papal supremacy.

They can well counter the arguments, let me assure you!

Alex

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective #62268 03/20/03 02:15 PM
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Dear Michael,

Thank you for your comprehensive replies!

Certainly, the Pope could TRY to destroy a liturgical rite or Church - but he would meet with opposition.

Basically, today, if that happened, the East would just tell him to mind his own (Roman Church) business.

And are Latin Catholics thrilled with the Novus Ordo changes today?

I'm not talking about the SSPX, but the many Catholics I've met who hanker for the good old Tridentine days!

And have those changes been good for the Latin Church? It is a matter for debate . . .

And could the future Popes return to the Tridentine Rite? You know they can.

I'm not saying that a Pope can be actually physically removed from office - only that if it should EVER happen that a Pope should espouse heresy, he would no longer be Pope and we would have no obligation to listen to him, no matter how long he decided to stay at the Vatican.

Would you owe obedience to a Pope who was deemed a heretic by the Vatican or by the world bishops in union with him?

Alex

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective #62269 03/20/03 11:51 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by anastasios:
Mike,

One cannot lose their soul by switching from Catholic to Orthodox, since both are "the Church".

anastasios
How can both be the Church?


Abba Isidore the Priest:
When I was younger and remained in my cell I set no limit to prayer; the night was for me as much the time of prayer as the day.
(p. 97, Isidore 4)
Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective #62270 03/21/03 01:53 AM
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Gideon,

IMHO they're not.

Also, there are plenty of writings from the Fathers which explicitly say that Peter is the Rock of Faith, which would make complete sense because "Peter" means "Rock", and God doesn't change people's names for nothing; he does it for symbolism (Abram to Abraham: "Father of Nations", Sarai to Sarah: "princess", etc.).

Alex and Mike,

I think what y'all are arguing is really a moot point because, as Alex stated earlier, no living Pope has ever been accused of heresy. We can cross that bridge when we get there.

Logos Teen

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective #62271 03/21/03 04:02 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by Andrew J. Rubis:
Anastasios,

If there were both the same Church then they would be in communion.

In Christ,
Andrew
Not necessarily true. The MP and the EP were out of communion from each other for 2 weeks in 1996 but both were still Orthodox.

As for Catholic/Orthodox, they are pretty much the same and should be in communion. Sinful hierarchs keep them apart by not sitting down and ironing out the differences.

anastasios
(who has communed in every apostolic Communion [i.e. Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Assyrian Church of the East])

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective #62272 03/21/03 04:04 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by Gideon:
Quote
Originally posted by anastasios:
[b] Mike,

One cannot lose their soul by switching from Catholic to Orthodox, since both are "the Church".

anastasios
How can both be the Church? [/b]
Because both have the body and blood of Christ at communion, and where Christ is the Church is since it is his body (St. Paul); because both have bishops, and where the bishop is is the Church (St. Ignatius of Antioch).

anastasios

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective #62273 03/21/03 04:05 AM
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Friends, I am being oversimplistic, I admit. I know there are substantial differences in some respects between Catholicism and Orthodoxy. However, I don't think that qualifies one from being the Church and the other from not.

In Christ,

anastasios

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