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UGCC: Getting rid of paternalism pre-req for one Orthodox Church

Posted By: Tomassus

UGCC: Getting rid of paternalism pre-req for one Orthodox Church - 04/27/15 10:35 AM

Getting rid of paternalism is a prerequisite of the one Local Orthodox Church, UGCC head

14 April 2015
http://risu.org.ua/en/index/all_news/state/church_state_relations/59717/

Unification of the Churches is impossible without religious freedom. A necessary element of religious freedom is the church-state partner relations. Whenever a state, even our own, wants to use the church for their political goals, it commits violence over it. The principle of non-interference into the church life is a prerequisite for its development.

Patriarch Sviatoslav told about this in his sermon on April 13, 2015, the patronal feast of the UGCC Patriarchal Cathedral of Resurrection in Kyiv, according to the Information Department of the UGCC.

According to the hierarch of the UGCC, getting rid of from state paternalism is a prerequisite for building a local church in Ukraine. "Otherwise, every church unity that comes from the outside, which is designed in any public office, is not helpful but generates new divisions,” stresses the patriarch.

“That's why we, on the one hand, work and pray for unity between churches and on the other hand we declare the need for freedom of the Church and partnerships with our Ukrainian state,” said the patriarch.

After the sermon patriarch called on to pray for unity between all the heirs of Volodymyr's baptism: “Let us pray and build one local church in Ukraine.”
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: UGCC: Getting rid of paternalism pre-req for one Orthodox Church - 04/27/15 10:05 PM

This is also a well-worn theme oft-repeated by the UGCC leadership.

One wonders what is meant by "One Local Church" and what its hierarchy would look like.

Also, if the UGCC is intended to form part of this united Ukrainian Church - where does that leave the UGCC's loyalty to Rome?

If anyone over there continues to entertain the idea that the UGCC can be both "in communion with Rome" and "in communion with the Local Church" - they understand neither Catholicism nor Orthodoxy.

Alex
Posted By: Economos Roman V. Russo

Re: UGCC: Getting rid of paternalism pre-req for one Orthodox Church - 04/28/15 06:59 AM

Both Patriarch-emeritus Lubomir and the Synod of the Melkite-Greek Catholic Church have proposed precisely that!
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: UGCC: Getting rid of paternalism pre-req for one Orthodox Church - 04/28/15 08:38 AM

Bless, Otche Nastoiatele!

If they can pull that off, I will be the first to acclaim their work as miraculous!!

Alex
Posted By: DMD

Re: UGCC: Getting rid of paternalism pre-req for one Orthodox Church - 04/30/15 05:34 PM

Indeed, without a resolution of the underlying disputes between the Orthodox and Rome over the issues of universality in terms of Papal jurisdiction and a consensus on the entire issue of infalibilty is reached, what the UGCC speaks of can't occur.
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: UGCC: Getting rid of paternalism pre-req for one Orthodox Church - 04/30/15 09:19 PM

Dear DMD,

Absolutely! The UGCC is not immune to the idealism of the "Orthodox in communion with . . . everyone" mentality.

I would hope that the latest response of the UGCC to that UAOC eparchy that wants to unite with it isn't of this same brand.

If so, and I certainly don't know, then the entire project is not only doomed from the start - it may also become a text-book case of "don't let this happen to you" in Orthodox-Catholic ecumenism.

Alex
Posted By: DMD

Re: UGCC: Getting rid of paternalism pre-req for one Orthodox Church - 05/01/15 03:52 PM

Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
Dear DMD,

Absolutely! The UGCC is not immune to the idealism of the "Orthodox in communion with . . . everyone" mentality.

I would hope that the latest response of the UGCC to that UAOC eparchy that wants to unite with it isn't of this same brand.

If so, and I certainly don't know, then the entire project is not only doomed from the start - it may also become a text-book case of "don't let this happen to you" in Orthodox-Catholic ecumenism.

Alex


As much as I would hope to live to see the day when true union can be accomplished, wanting it, wishing for it and even praying for it will not necessarily make it so.

While we who are Orthodox and you who are Eastern Catholic have a great bond of a shared patrimony in terms of our theology, ritual and faith the reality is that those issues which keep us apart are such that they can not be overlooked in our zeal for union. The gap which keeps us apart may have been narrowed over the course of the past 50 years but the two fundamental issues which I mentioned above remain vexatious.
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: UGCC: Getting rid of paternalism pre-req for one Orthodox Church - 05/05/15 07:56 AM

Dear DMD,

Perhaps movement closer to unity may happen at the local Church level.

I have been reflecting on the statement by our own Primate/Patriarch after he received a request from a UAOC leader in eastern Ukraine who said he wished to come into full union with the UGCC and what did he and his Synod need to do etc.

Our Primate responded not by saying, "Just come on over . . ." but by saying that discussions need to be had about how "communion" can be established between the two jurisdictions without one "swallowing up" the other.

If they could pull that off, it will set a very good precedent in EC-Orthodox relations.

And I think that it would make our Administrator very happy too! (And I'm all for that as well!) smile

Alex
Posted By: Slavophile

Re: UGCC: Getting rid of paternalism pre-req for one Orthodox Church - 05/07/15 03:04 PM

Originally Posted by DMD

While we who are Orthodox and you who are Eastern Catholic have a great bond of a shared patrimony in terms of our theology, ritual and faith the reality is that those issues which keep us apart are such that they can not be overlooked in our zeal for union. The gap which keeps us apart may have been narrowed over the course of the past 50 years but the two fundamental issues which I mentioned above remain vexatious.


I ask respectfully, DMD: what do you think those issues are exactly? I know that can be a loaded question, but I don't mean it that way. It's just that, from a theological point of view, I cannot for the life of me see them as being much more substantial than will.
Posted By: dochawk

Re: UGCC: Getting rid of paternalism pre-req for one Orthodox Church - 05/07/15 09:48 PM

Originally Posted by DMD

While we who are Orthodox and you who are Eastern Catholic have a great bond of a shared patrimony in terms of our theology, ritual and faith the reality is that those issues which keep us apart are such that they can not be overlooked in our zeal for union. The gap which keeps us apart may have been narrowed over the course of the past 50 years but the two fundamental issues which I mentioned above remain vexatious.


Actually, it might well be smaller to at least take serious steps in this smaller microcosm.

For example, specify that, for this particular church, Roman authority is limited to an appellate capacity. And that it shall not be required to subscribe to any doctrine unless accepted by the whole Orthodox Communion and Rome.


And then try to stop that from spreading . . .

I still suspect that communion is going to come from the laity, not the hierarchy, as the faithful refuse to participate in schism (which will then bring a lot of Orthodoox notions/behaviour/ecclesiology to the other side of the divide)

hawk
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: UGCC: Getting rid of paternalism pre-req for one Orthodox Church - 05/07/15 09:58 PM

Bless Reverend Father!

DMD will answer for himself, of course. But I wanted to comment on your excellent post myself and as a member of the UGCC.

The UGCC has certainly come a long way in terms of "Easternization" of its theology, ecclesiology and the like.

But are we not somewhat like the Anglicans in this regard? Is there a real consistency in this throughout our Particular Church? I can't say that there is.

The issue you raise is really only specific to that "wing" of the UGCC that is truly "Orthodox in communionn with Rome."

Other more Latin-oriented "wings" (and these today will often begin a similar conversation by flatly denying that the UGCC ever "suffered from Latinization" throughout its history) would loudly protest that your question "smacks of indifferentism."

They would maintain the Latin theological a priori's as something that is part and parcel of the UGCC including not only the modest points that DMD raises, but also the Filioque etc.

I've seen too many of our "very Eastern" clerics and theologians burned by such to conclude that we pay liplservice to "Eastern Christianity" (and certainaly everyone in the UGCC is agreed on that term), but we are terribly divided on the interpretation of that term.

This began when our holy Patriarch-Hieroconfessor Joseph spoke in favour of Catholic-Orthodox reunion and dared to say that "there are no substantive differences" between our two Churches.

This was followed by some of the most insulting commentary from some of our own bishops who, when tearing the old Hieroconfessor apart, wouldn't even mentinon his name, but simply referred to him as "one of our hierarchs" INDEED!

And the problem is aggravated by the situation where each "camp" is convinced that the entire Church interprets "Eastern Christianity" as it does. Not . . .

There are still very many UGCC members for whom "Particular Church" has no real meaning and who see themselves as "Roman Catholics who use different rites and ceremonies."

Kissing your right hand, I again implore your sacerdotal blessing,

Alex
Posted By: Slavophile

Re: UGCC: Getting rid of paternalism pre-req for one Orthodox Church - 05/08/15 05:25 AM

Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic


But are we not somewhat like the Anglicans in this regard? Is there a real consistency in this throughout our Particular Church? I can't say that there is.

And the problem is aggravated by the situation where each "camp" is convinced that the entire Church interprets "Eastern Christianity" as it does. Not . . .

Alex


The Lord bless.

Thanks for this, Alex. I accept your description of the tensions in the UGCC, although I admit either to having been protected from, or having stayed away from, the 'Latinisers' in the Church.

The weakness in your analogy with Anglicanism, though, is that in Anglicanism there is no specific authority on which to base one's theological allegiance. As a former 'Anglo-Catholic' myself, I read Reformation developments one way, while my extremely low-church neighbour read them an entirely different way. I cited Richard Hooker on the Eucharist, and the same neighbour simply said that Hooker didn't matter. And there was no one and nothing to arbitrate between us.

For Eastern Catholics, however, it is very different. Pope Leo XIII's respect for the Eastern Churches, the implications of which were worked out in the text of Ecclesiarum Orientalium which (as we all know on here) states unequivocally that Eastern Churches must retain their rites unadulterated by Latinisations, make the will of Rome clear. Ironically, the very authority to which the Latinisers want to kowtow is the same one they are being disobedient to when they persist in their Latinisations.

Or at least it seems to me. I seriously hope I am not just exerting an wishful, Anglo-Catholic styled hermeneutic again! smile
Posted By: DMD

Re: UGCC: Getting rid of paternalism pre-req for one Orthodox Church - 05/09/15 02:19 PM

Well, to point out the vast differences within the Ukrainian Greek Catholic community one only look at one end to St. Elias in Brampton and on the other to the Cathedral parish of St. Josaphat in Cleveland. It is like Alex said, akin to Anglicanism.. very high Church and low church...And I suspect with respect to aspects of theology as well...I've referred many to St. Elias webpage over the years for a good introduction to the Orthodox Faith, with a caveat that it is united with the Church of Rome. I say this as those who have been members here for years know as one fervently praying for the unity on earth which I believe exists in the presence of God, but we can not minimize our present situation here on Earth. (And yes, there are similar ritual ranges within Orthodoxy, but I don't think there one would find the aspects of theology differing except on the fringes of Hyperdoxy.)
Posted By: DMD

Re: UGCC: Getting rid of paternalism pre-req for one Orthodox Church - 05/09/15 02:21 PM

As a descendant of Greek Catholic 'schismatics' as we used to be called, I find the words of Pope Leo XIII less than comforting at the least...Actions speak louder than do words as my grandparents learned the hard way.
Posted By: Slavophile

Re: UGCC: Getting rid of paternalism pre-req for one Orthodox Church - 05/09/15 03:01 PM

Fair enough, DMD.

And I certainly recognise your history of irenic posts with regard to those of us in communion with Rome.

I am not sure I should now go investigate St Josaphat's. I don't want to depress myself. ;-)
Posted By: mardukm

Re: UGCC: Getting rid of paternalism pre-req for one Orthodox Church - 05/10/15 12:13 PM

I believe DMD's words ring true. Even if OICWR do not see a problem with the idea of "universal jurisdiction" and "papal infallibility," there is enough misinformation out there coming from Catholics (i.e., the Absolutist Petrine advocates) to unfortunately merits DMD's words.

For myself, having come into communion with Rome (and I would never add "from Orthodoxy" to that phrase, since I am still fully Orthodox in my Faith), I have no problem with the idea of universal jurisdiction because I maintain the Orthodox understanding of "jurisdiction" as a prerogative that does NOT "lord over." I admit I used to have a problem with the idea of "universal jurisdiciton." But then I started thinking...how come when I think of the jurisdiction of my patriarch, I have no problem with conceiving of a jurisdiction that does not lord over others, but when it comes to the jurisdiciton of the Pope of Rome, my definition of the word "jurisdiction" suddenly changes? I took the time to investigate, and I could find no proof from Catholic Magisterial sources that their understanding of the word "jurisdiction" when referring to the Pope of Rome was any different from their understanding of the term when referring to patriarchs, metropolitans and bishops. Once I became consistent with my own concept of jurisdiction, my objections against "universal jurisdiction" soon melted away.

On a side note, I was speaking to a member of the Catholic Faith Defenders group here in the Philippines. He and his wife converted to Catholicism from the Baptist religion. When they converted, the local bishop required the wife to be baptized because he suspected her baptism to be invalid. The wife initially complained, quoting some papal decrees in the process. The bishop responded that in his diocese, he is the supreme authority, not the Pope of Rome.

Whatever "universal jurisdiction" means to those not in communion with Rome, it is very likely very different from the reality.

And I have no problem with "papal infallibility" because I took the time to study in-depth the behind-the-scenes goings on at Vatican 1. I came to fully understand that "papal infallibility" is not "papal infallibility" at all, but rather the infallibility of the Church utilized by the holder of an office of the Church when he is called upon by the Church to do so. I always like to repeat the little-known fact that the Vatican 1 fathers changed the title of Chapter 4 of Pastor Aeternus (on the infallibility) from "the Infallibility of the Pope" to "the Infallibility of the Magisterium of the Pope." And any Catholic knows that the Magisterium is not the sole prerogative of the Pope of Rome (well, except for Absolutist Petrine advocates in the CC and SSPX, but they are far from the official voice of the Church).

Blessings
Posted By: The young fogey

Re: UGCC: Getting rid of paternalism pre-req for one Orthodox Church - 05/10/15 05:11 PM

Patriarch (unofficially, but OK) Sviatoslav is entitled to his opinion about state churches. Of course the Catholic Church as well as the Orthodox Church has been a state church, our churchmen preferring that arrangement before Vatican II. Religious freedom has worked well in America for Catholics and Orthodox so I like it.

DMD is right of course that the only real difference between the sides is the scope of the Pope. Of course we approach church unity differently. As a good Orthodox, he seems to ask us, "Why not drop your claims about the Pope and just come into the church, as we have open arms, even being willing to recognize your orders?" (Essentially the nice, ecumenical Orthodox view.)

My line is: Why do you think the Pope's claims threaten your perfectly good customs? I don't see cause and effect there. I'm sure every Eastern Catholic churchman who's worked with DMD's brother Fr. Dutko on ecumenism agrees on this: we are to blame for the split in America. Cum Data Fuerit was a horrible mistake. It was within the church's authority to do, but not about doctrine so I can criticize it. Again, not about doctrine: not the Pope's fault. The Orthodox want us to drop half our defined doctrine; I say everything EXCEPT our doctrine is negotiable. Save Eastern customs in North America, including married priests? Parish ownership of property? It's a deal. I don't think the official dialogue is anywhere near that, but let's keep talking. I'd make you that bonafide offer.

As for high-church/low-church, as a former Episcopalian who considers the Novus Ordo low-church, I hear you. That said, my line is mother church offers both latinized (which many born Greek Catholics are by choice, and have been for centuries) and unlatinized options for the Byzantine Rite. As DMD notes, Orthodoxy has a high-low spectrum too.

Realistically I see a perpetual stalemate between Catholicism and Orthodoxy.
Posted By: DMD

Re: UGCC: Getting rid of paternalism pre-req for one Orthodox Church - 05/10/15 07:40 PM

Originally Posted by mardukm
I believe DMD's words ring true. Even if OICWR do not see a problem with the idea of "universal jurisdiction" and "papal infallibility," there is enough misinformation out there coming from Catholics (i.e., the Absolutist Petrine advocates) to unfortunately merits DMD's words.

For myself, having come into communion with Rome (and I would never add "from Orthodoxy" to that phrase, since I am still fully Orthodox in my Faith), I have no problem with the idea of universal jurisdiction because I maintain the Orthodox understanding of "jurisdiction" as a prerogative that does NOT "lord over." I admit I used to have a problem with the idea of "universal jurisdiciton." But then I started thinking...how come when I think of the jurisdiction of my patriarch, I have no problem with conceiving of a jurisdiction that does not lord over others, but when it comes to the jurisdiciton of the Pope of Rome, my definition of the word "jurisdiction" suddenly changes? I took the time to investigate, and I could find no proof from Catholic Magisterial sources that their understanding of the word "jurisdiction" when referring to the Pope of Rome was any different from their understanding of the term when referring to patriarchs, metropolitans and bishops. Once I became consistent with my own concept of jurisdiction, my objections against "universal jurisdiction" soon melted away.

On a side note, I was speaking to a member of the Catholic Faith Defenders group here in the Philippines. He and his wife converted to Catholicism from the Baptist religion. When they converted, the local bishop required the wife to be baptized because he suspected her baptism to be invalid. The wife initially complained, quoting some papal decrees in the process. The bishop responded that in his diocese, he is the supreme authority, not the Pope of Rome.

Whatever "universal jurisdiction" means to those not in communion with Rome, it is very likely very different from the reality.

And I have no problem with "papal infallibility" because I took the time to study in-depth the behind-the-scenes goings on at Vatican 1. I came to fully understand that "papal infallibility" is not "papal infallibility" at all, but rather the infallibility of the Church utilized by the holder of an office of the Church when he is called upon by the Church to do so. I always like to repeat the little-known fact that the Vatican 1 fathers changed the title of Chapter 4 of Pastor Aeternus (on the infallibility) from "the Infallibility of the Pope" to "the Infallibility of the Magisterium of the Pope." And any Catholic knows that the Magisterium is not the sole prerogative of the Pope of Rome (well, except for Absolutist Petrine advocates in the CC and SSPX, but they are far from the official voice of the Church).

Blessings


Thank you for your observations. I would add that there is enough misinformation as to what those ideas mean coming from within Orthodoxy as well.

But within the observations set out here in a paper put out a few years ago by the Joint Catholic Orthodox Theological Dialogue of North America entitled: " Steps Towards A Reunited Church: A Sketch Of An Orthodox-Catholic Vision For The Future" a sanguine, but blunt, assessment of these still dividing issues is set forth. http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-te...thodox/steps-towards-reunited-church.cfm
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: UGCC: Getting rid of paternalism pre-req for one Orthodox Church - 05/11/15 11:47 AM

Originally Posted by The young fogey
Patriarch (unofficially, but OK) Sviatoslav is entitled to his opinion about state churches. Of course the Catholic Church as well as the Orthodox Church has been a state church, our churchmen preferring that arrangement before Vatican II. Religious freedom has worked well in America for Catholics and Orthodox so I like it.

DMD is right of course that the only real difference between the sides is the scope of the Pope. Of course we approach church unity differently. As a good Orthodox, he seems to ask us, "Why not drop your claims about the Pope and just come into the church, as we have open arms, even being willing to recognize your orders?" (Essentially the nice, ecumenical Orthodox view.)

My line is: Why do you think the Pope's claims threaten your perfectly good customs? I don't see cause and effect there. I'm sure every Eastern Catholic churchman who's worked with DMD's brother Fr. Dutko on ecumenism agrees on this: we are to blame for the split in America. Cum Data Fuerit was a horrible mistake. It was within the church's authority to do, but not about doctrine so I can criticize it. Again, not about doctrine: not the Pope's fault. The Orthodox want us to drop half our defined doctrine; I say everything EXCEPT our doctrine is negotiable. Save Eastern customs in North America, including married priests? Parish ownership of property? It's a deal. I don't think the official dialogue is anywhere near that, but let's keep talking. I'd make you that bonafide offer.

As for high-church/low-church, as a former Episcopalian who considers the Novus Ordo low-church, I hear you. That said, my line is mother church offers both latinized (which many born Greek Catholics are by choice, and have been for centuries) and unlatinized options for the Byzantine Rite. As DMD notes, Orthodoxy has a high-low spectrum too.

Realistically I see a perpetual stalemate between Catholicism and Orthodoxy.


Sir,

As always, interesting points!

Our Patriarch Svyatoslav is officially that within the UGCC. It is just that Rome does not yet extend its recognition for the de facto patriarchate of the UGCC. That will come in time or when Rome's ostpolitik finally runs into the sand as the failed ecclesial manoeuvre it was from the get-go. In any event, I've not heard of any EC hierarch that is not UGCC ever have a problem referring to the UGCC primate as "Patriarch," beginning with the Holy Hieroconfessor Patriarch Joseph.

As for our Patriarch's opinion on the Local Church, I don't know how this morphed into "State Church" since the implications for unity in terms of what he is referring to would go well beyond the confines of the Ukrainian state. He is really referring to the possibility of the development of a unified Particular Church with its Paricular, Local centre in Kyiv (which I'm sure is what you meant).

In fact, his refusal to simply tell an eparchy of a breakaway UAOC in eastern Ukraine that has asked to, shall we say, "become one" with the UGCC to "come on over to us" shows that his and the UGCC's thinking on unity has progressed well beyond the narrow limitations of a corporate "uniate" model of reunion. Balamand and the pragmatic attitude of Rome today have condemned this model both as unworkable in contemporary times and as historically illegitimate.

I don't read DMD as saying anything about what the Catholic Church should or should not be doing in order for unity to be achieved. He has simply stated something that I would venture to say is a dispassionate conclusion that all sides would agree is true.

At the level of ecumenical commissions, the only real obstacle to reunion is the exercise of the Petrine Ministry based on the primacy of jurisdiction and infallibility dogma. Certainly, Bl. John Henry Newman in his day was obliged to explain (away) these dogmas to Anglicans who questioned what the Rome they were heading towards (or possibly thinkg of doing so) was now all about.

But there is no getting around the fact that the later Roman dogmas have and continue to present their own obstacles.

However, IF one can show that those Roman dogmas actually ADD anything to the deposit of the Apostolic Faith that is not already shared with the Eastern Churches (and I don't believe they actually do), then there is a real problem that would need to be solved at both the theological and conciliar levels.

In this respect, the debate should really be about how the later Roman dogmas simply fill in a void in Western theology that never existed in the East in the first place.

The debate could possibly be extended to include a reflection on the extent to which how the West possibly has confused ecclesial/theological praxis as a Particular Church with its time immemorial role as inter-church arbiter and "superintendent."

Alex
Posted By: DMD

Re: UGCC: Getting rid of paternalism pre-req for one Orthodox Church - 05/11/15 09:17 PM

It is fair to say, and it is simply stating the obvious, that an ultra montanist view of the papacy will ensure that there never will be unity with the Orthodox. But, correct me if I am in error Dr. Roman, but I think it is fair to say that even a limited 'ultra montanist' understanding of the Papacy is out of line with the post Vatican 2 Church and for that reason Rome and the Orthodox continue to dialogue.

It is a gross, even grotesque, misrepresentation of terms of any reunification of west and east to reduce it to caricature which Fogey's constant reminder of the divisive issues of the 1930's is best described as if they are of any particular significance today. By themselves they are not, but taken as an exercise of Papal supremacy and universal jurisdiction, their essence serves to remind us or what continues to separate the Churches.

Frankly, last Sunday at the Pittsburgh Eparchial Cathedral of St. John in Munhall, PA the first married candidate for the priesthood was ordained in the Eparchy of Pittsburgh since 1927 or 1928. And this coming Sunday, two miles down the hill in Homestead, PA a few blocks from the former residence of Bishop Takach in the church split off from his cathedral, St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, a young, married Orthodox deacon will be ordained. Somehow I don't think the geographical location of these two events is entirely coincidence. Anyway, Axios to both new priests. Perhaps someday their sons or grandsons might stand together at the Altar fully as brothers in a reunited Church.
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: UGCC: Getting rid of paternalism pre-req for one Orthodox Church - 05/11/15 09:54 PM

You are not in error at all sir!

The papal issues are really about the exercise of the Petrine Ministry. And I believe that we don't discuss these related issues enough (save for brother Marduke, of course!)

If I may revisit my earlier point on the distinction between the Latin Particular Church as such and the wider role of the papacy with respect to other Churches, we can see that papal jurisdiction will be exercised differently by Rome over its world-wide flock than it will in relation to EC Particular Churches, especially those with patriarchates and Major Archbishops.

The UGCC has been trying to divest itself of precisely the former control of its internal organization by the Latin Particular Church via the Vatican. The Vatican would still like to treat the UGCC as if it were its direct jurisdictional vassal.

Ultramontanism didn't and doesn't work for Rome and her relationship to the various national episcopal conferences around the world. In fact, as you've astutely point out, the local bishop/bishops' conference is the de facto ruler of the diocese etc.

It is this kind of paternalism that our Patriarch is referring to and it is, let me reiterate, much more than simply his opinion on the matter.

Alex
Posted By: The young fogey

Re: UGCC: Getting rid of paternalism pre-req for one Orthodox Church - 05/12/15 04:31 AM

I get it. It's basically a waste of my time to argue here against the mode on byzcath. As articulated most recently by Alex Roman, it goes against the teachings of the Catholic Church: that Catholicism isn't the true church; the "post-schism Roman doctrines" are wrong. There's expressing Catholicism in Byzantine terms and then there's this.

A couple of points, DMD. First, I understand that you're still mad at us so you don't want to come back. Understandable. Anyway: ultramontanism isn't really Catholicism. If anything, Vatican I limited our understanding of the papal office, coming short of what the ultramontanists thought. And I get it: nice ecumenical Orthodox, like Catholic liberals and the American mainstream, think we changed our teachings at Vatican II, that we sort of demoted the Pope, so they think some outdated diehards among us are why we don't just walk on over to what you think is the true church. We can't change our teachings any more than you can change yours (neither of us can deny the Trinity or the Mother of God, for example).

Of course I'm pleased that you recognize our orders, DMD (a lot of good Orthodox don't), but we can agree our churches are in a perpetual standoff. It's great that we're talking again and doing things together: since the original people in the schism have passed on, why not? But we're not going to reunite. Just like with the Protestants: we're not getting back together; we just understand each other and get along now, which is nothing to sniff at.

Tangent: Orthodoxy in America isn't Orthodoxy in the old country, socially. Over there, they're THE CHURCH, the norm; being Orthodox in Greece or Russia is like being Catholic in New Jersey. Over here, they're ethnic versions of denominations, fitting into the American Protestant scene even though they're "exotic." Byzantine Catholicism is different because it's part of the universal church: Stalin hated it because he couldn't own it.
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: UGCC: Getting rid of paternalism pre-req for one Orthodox Church - 05/13/15 10:01 AM

Dear Fogey,

Actually, let me respond to my take on what I think you've said.

You APPEAR to have defined Catholicism and the Papacy within a particular, let's call it, "hard core perspective" that was simply dropped at the Vatican II Council and afterwards.

That doesn't mean the dogmas have changed and it certainly doesn't mean that the Catholic Church cannot "develop" these in other directions - something that Blessed John Henry Newman talked about as well as others.

As for the later Roman dogmas, it isn't a matter of them being wrong (certainly, the "not nice, unecumenical Orthodox" will say they are).

They are expressions of universal Church doctrine cast within a Latin theological perspective. If you don't accept that, that's fine, we can end the conversation now.

Latin definitions of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption are already contained within the Eastern Churches' theological and liturgical praxis - as you know.

St Thomas Aquinas affirmed that the Eastern Church Fathers' view of the Procession of the Holy Spirit "through the Son" is, from his vantage point, the same as the Latin "Filioque" - and the desire of Eastern Christians and others to see the Filioque removed from the Nicene Creed by Rome has more to do with the fact that the original Creed expresses the universal Faith of the once united Church etc.

Purgatory? The Eastern Churches have their own take on that and no one - not the Roman Catholic Church - can teach the Eastern Churches anything about assiduous prayer for the dead.

The Papacy? Popes of recent times especially are decentralizing their authority and are affirming the right of the EC Churches to govern themselves. Nothing that a future union Council couldn't resolve.

That's how I read your post above - if I have misinterpreted your intent, I apologise. I've responded in accordance to my understanding of your words. And we shouldn't argue, as you've said, on "byzcath," since we are here to hopefully discuss things (as we used to some years back, remember?).

Alex
Posted By: DMD

Re: UGCC: Getting rid of paternalism pre-req for one Orthodox Church - 05/13/15 10:49 AM

To be clear I am not 'mad' about what happened in the 1920's and 1930's...if anything I think that those who challenged the Congregation for the Eastern Churches and Cum Data Fuerit were right and have been vindicated ... and that includes those who left for Orthodoxy and those who raised their voices in protest and for any variety of reasons remained loyal to Rome believing that was the best place for them to protect their own understanding of Orthodoxy. They have been vindicated by the reforms of Vatican Two with respect to the Eastern Churches and by last year's formal recognition that Ea Semper and Cum Data Fuerit were in error and the cause of at least two major schisms in the North American Greek Catholic community.

But all is not irenic or peaceful. I remain angry about some things. Angry at those voices in the Church of Rome(and there are many) who point to the treatment of the sui juris self ruling Eastern Churches since the formation of the various unia as the paradigm for Orthodox to follow to restore communion with the Orthodox East. I am angry at those in the Church of Rome who continue to assert, contrary to the teachings and Papal pronouncements and behavior following Vatican 2, that somehow ecumenism and ultimate reunion is predicated upon the Orthodox 'returning' to Rome and I am angry at those Orthodox who remain so blinded by a tree of division and disagreement that they can not see the forest of common history and belief held by the Eastern and Western apostolic Christians through the present day. In the Mideast, eastern Christians truly see that it matters little to the enemies of God whether one is 'Orthodox' or "Eastern Catholic."

Lord have mercy on us all, for we are sinners.
Posted By: The young fogey

Re: UGCC: Getting rid of paternalism pre-req for one Orthodox Church - 05/13/15 04:50 PM

Alex, that sounds more like "expressing Catholicism in Byzantine terms," which certainly the unlatinized (by birth or choice) among Greek Catholics are called to do.

"Hard-core perspective"? If that means the Catholic Church is the church, yes. If you mean ultramontanism, I've gone over that; no. If you mean what DMD refers to, that the past and current administration of the Greek Catholics is the ideal, wrong again. That's why I said if it were up to me, everything except doctrine would be on the table. DMD slapped that down, calling my post a caricature.

DMD, the church hasn't changed its teachings. It can't. I hope we're moving towards the bonafide offer to you I posted here. I don't know if our churchmen (who work with Fr. Dutko) really are, but again I hope.
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: UGCC: Getting rid of paternalism pre-req for one Orthodox Church - 05/13/15 06:08 PM

Dear Fogey,

OK, I think the best way for us to have a really good conversation is for me to, one day, meet you in person and take you for an expensive lunch . . .

At least, in that way, I can express a bit of my appreciation for what you have always meant to me.

Alex
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