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Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC?

Posted By: Philippe Gebara

Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 04:27 AM

Can the Pope's infallibility and primate of jurisdicion be acceptable by Eastern Catholics, or are they deviations of the Church tradition, not being true dogmas?
Posted By: haydukovich

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 05:43 AM

Are you upset over the latest encyclical?

Posted By: StuartK

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 09:47 AM

The former is moot, the latter deeply resented.
Posted By: asianpilgrim

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 11:07 AM

Originally Posted by StuartK
The former is moot, the latter deeply resented.


There is a Church that uses the fullness of the Byzantine liturgical and monastic tradition, where Papal Infallibility is not accepted and Papal jurisdiction considered to be a fantasy. It is called the Orthodox Church.

Again -- and I mean this with all respect -- if one believes exactly as the Orthodox do, and considers Rome to be disrespectful and oppressive, then why not become Orthodox? This is the great and nagging question that I have always been asking in this Forum, never getting a good answer. I'm sure that some of the Orthodox commentators and observers in this forum are asking the same thing.

What is better: stay within the Catholic Church and molder in endless resentment against the "oppressive" and "deviant" Latin Church, or just jump and be Orthodox?

I'm firmly Catholic but I do think that if one is convinced inside and out of the truth of Orthodoxy, then that one ought to be Orthodox, because there is simply no point in that person remaining Catholic. That is the reason why I never opposed the conversion of one of my aunts to Coptic Orthodoxy.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 11:29 AM

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There is a Church that uses the fullness of the Byzantine liturgical and monastic tradition, where Papal Infallibility is not accepted and Papal jurisdiction considered to be a fantasy. It is called the Orthodox Church.


You will have to take this up with our patriarchs. In the meanwhile, our purpose as Eastern Catholics is to live the fullness of the Eastern Traditions of our particular Churches while maintaining communion with the Church of Rome. In those instances where the current doctrine of the Church of Rome runs contrary to the ancient and venerable Tradition of our Churches, it is our obligation to stand up for the Tradition--otherwise we have no reason to exist.

As Father Lawrence Cross wrote in Eastern Christianity: The Byzantine Tradition,

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Among Roman Catholics, they [i.e., the Eastern Catholic Churches] must defend, to the point of schism, if necessary, the legitimate claims of Eastern theology, Church life and spirituality. They must reject all encroachment upon the ancient rights and dignity of the East. . . If they fail, the Orthodox will never be convinced that such pressures would never be applied to them in a reunited Church.


Back to Asian Pilgrim:

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What is better: stay within the Catholic Church and molder in endless resentment against the "oppressive" and "deviant" Latin Church, or just jump and be Orthodox?


The vocation of the Eastern Catholics is to bear witness to the ability to be fully Orthodox and in communion with Rome. If we accept anything less, then we have no purpose. Under those circumstances, you--and the Orthodox who echo your sentiments--would be correct: we would have to choose, to be Latin or to be Orthodox. But we cannot be the tertium quid--ritually Byzantine and theologically Latin. That is what you demand of us, and rightfully, we reject that.

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I'm firmly Catholic but I do think that if one is convinced inside and out of the truth of Orthodoxy, then that one ought to be Orthodox, because there is simply no point in that person remaining Catholic. That is the reason why I never opposed the conversion of one of my aunts to Coptic Orthodoxy.


What, precisely, does being "Catholic" mean to you? And why would you think that Orthodoxy is not true? Why would you be happy about your aunt leaving the Catholic communion for the Coptic Church, unless you believed that the Coptic Church likewise is true? Would you have your aunt fall into error? You need seriously to consider the implications of your positions and evaluate them in light of the teaching of the Holy See regarding the Eastern Catholic Churches for the past century and a half, as well as statements by the leading hierarchs of our Churches--all equal in grace and dignity with even the Church of Rome itself.
Posted By: asianpilgrim

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 11:46 AM

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What, precisely, does being "Catholic" mean to you? And why would you think that Orthodoxy is not true? Why would you be happy about your aunt leaving the Catholic communion for the Coptic Church, unless you believed that the Coptic Church likewise is true? Would you have your aunt fall into error? You need seriously to consider the implications of your positions and evaluate them in light of the teaching of the Holy See regarding the Eastern Catholic Churches for the past century and a half, as well as statements by the leading hierarchs of our Churches--all equal in grace and dignity with even the Church of Rome itself.


If I believed Orthodoxy to be true, I would have become Orthodox long ago. I mean, why live in a Roman Catholic Church that is so deracinated by modernism, were it not for the fact that I still believe her doctrine to be pure? And no, I am not happy that my aunt became Orthodox -- I just came to accept that she had spiritually rejected her Catholic roots, and there was no point in arguing with her at all. Besides, she was impressed by the austerity of the Copts, their worship and asceticism, and I had no way of counter-acting that. So I simply said that I will not oppose her conversion.

Stuart, tell me: do you consider the Orthodox and Catholic Churches to be equally true?
Posted By: asianpilgrim

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 11:47 AM

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As Father Lawrence Cross wrote in Eastern Christianity: The Byzantine Tradition,

[quote]Among Roman Catholics, they [i.e., the Eastern Catholic Churches] must defend, to the point of schism, if necessary, the legitimate claims of Eastern theology, Church life and spirituality. They must reject all encroachment upon the ancient rights and dignity of the East. . . If they fail, the Orthodox will never be convinced that such pressures would never be applied to them in a reunited Church.


Precisely my point as well. In the ByzCath Forum I read of Eastern Catholics who consider Rome to be in grave deviance from the Tradition of the Fathers and who believe that Rome shows no respect for Eastern theology, Church life and spirituality. So....
Posted By: asianpilgrim

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 11:53 AM


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You will have to take this up with our patriarchs. In the meanwhile, our purpose as Eastern Catholics is to live the fullness of the Eastern Traditions of our particular Churches while maintaining communion with the Church of Rome. In those instances where the current doctrine of the Church of Rome runs contrary to the ancient and venerable Tradition of our Churches, it is our obligation to stand up for the Tradition--otherwise we have no reason to exist.


Again, a fundamental question, and this time I hope to get a good answer: why remain in communion with Rome if you believe that Rome has abandoned the Tradition of the Church? I mean... if I believe that Rome has abandoned the Tradition, I won't remain one second in union with her!
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 11:57 AM

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Again, a fundamental question, and this time I hope to get a good answer: why remain in communion with Rome if you believe that Rome has abandoned the Tradition of the Church? I mean... if I believe that Rome has abandoned the Tradition, I won't remain one second in union with her!


The whole point of being Eastern Catholic is to restore the respect for the variety of Traditions that marked the undivided Church of the first millennium. Once upon a time, under the concept of "uniatism", our purpose was seen as luring the Orthodox into communion with the Church of Rome. Today, our purpose is to demonstrate the ability to be faithful to the Orthodox Tradition in its entirety while maintaining communion with the Church of Rome.

It is a work in progress, and our relationship with Rome remains fraught with myriad ambiguities, contradictions and shortcomings. But, unless we succeed in our vocation, there will not be reconciliation between the Church of Rome and the Orthodox Churches. So we stick at it. It's our job--a dirty one that nobody at all seems to appreciate very much.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 12:00 PM

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Stuart, tell me: do you consider the Orthodox and Catholic Churches to be equally true
?

I consider the Latin Church to be the continuation of the undivided Church in the West. I consider the Orthodox Churches to be the continuation of the undivided Church in the East. I consider that both have maintained the fullness of the Apostolic Tradition, each in accordance with its own unique modes of expression, worship, spirituality, theology, doctrine and discipline. Both, therefore, are equally true, but neither has the right to impose its own Tradition upon the other.
Posted By: asianpilgrim

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 12:00 PM

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The whole point of being Eastern Catholic is to restore the respect for the variety of Traditions that marked the undivided Church of the first millennium. Once upon a time, under the concept of "uniatism", our purpose was seen as luring the Orthodox into communion with the Church of Rome. Today, our purpose is to demonstrate the ability to be faithful to the Orthodox Tradition in its entirety while maintaining communion with the Church of Rome.


Which brings us to the question of, what does it mean to be in communion with a See? Even if you keep the Tradition in its entirety, can you be in communion with a See that has officially violated and mutilated the Tradition? I think that this is what both the Orthodox and Roman Catholics agree on.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 01:12 PM

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Which brings us to the question of, what does it mean to be in communion with a See?


Well, that's what we are hammering out, day by day. As I said, a work in progress, with the situation in the first millennium seen as normative. And even in that regard, it is important to remember that the Church of the First Millennium "never knew true unity, but bore witness to it".

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Even if you keep the Tradition in its entirety, can you be in communion with a See that has officially violated and mutilated the Tradition?


I don't see Rome as "having violated or mutilated the Tradition". I see Rome, rather, as having tried to elevate its own unique Tradition as normative for all Christians, which is an entirely different thing. I have no problem with Latins doing their Latin thing, as long as we of the Byzantine Tradition can do our Byzantine thing without judgment or interference or attempts to impose elements from one Tradition upon the other. By the same token, I don't think the Orthodox are correct when they attempt to impose elements of the Byzantine Tradition on the Latin Church (or, to delve into their history, on the Armenian Tradition, the Syrian Tradition, the Coptic Tradition, etc.). A useful place to start in this area is Father Robert Taft's seminal Kelly Lecture, Anamnesis, Not Amnesia

Posted By: Apotheoun

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 04:30 PM

Originally Posted by Philippe Gebara
Can the Pope's infallibility and primate of jurisdicion be acceptable by Eastern Catholics . . .

As an Eastern Catholic I reject both points.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 04:49 PM

In a conversation with another acquaintance, also a Roman Catholic traditionalist, I was accused of the heresy of "Zoghbyism". I rather like the sound of that. Maybe write a book about it: Touts Zogbyistes?
Posted By: Diak

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 04:54 PM

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Stuart, tell me: do you consider the Orthodox and Catholic Churches to be equally true


Perhaps referring your question to recent statements by the Magisterium would be appropriate; Unitatis Redintegratio is quite clear on this:
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All this heritage of spirituality and liturgy, of discipline and theology, in its various traditions, this holy synod declares to belong to the full Catholic and apostolic character of the Church.

If it is part of the "full Catholic and apostolic character of the Church" as the Church herself teaches, your question is nonsensical.
Posted By: Diak

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 04:58 PM

At least it is a bit clearer of an epithet than the old "Byzantinism" that the latinizers used to throw around in the late 19th and early 20th century.
Posted By: Nelson Chase

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 05:02 PM

For me as an Eastern Catholic being in communion with the Holy See bears witness to the unity that our Lord desires for His Church. It shows that two distinct and Apostolic theological traditions can co-exist and the Church, as Pope John Paul II said can breath with two lungs. Latin Catholics need Greek Catholics and vise versa. This doesn't mean we should force our particular Catholic tradition on another Catholic tradition. The Pope, the head of the Catholic Communion and he presides in love with his Brother Patriarchs of the East.

I am a Catholic and I am Orthodox. It wasn't till the Great Schism that these two terms came to be used by the Eastern and Western Churches to describe themselves, before that they were interchangeable. For us Eastern Catholics we again use the terms interchangeable. And I would have no problem for a Latin Catholic was to use the term Orthodox.

Many Latin Catholics view the Church in a narrow sense that all Catholics have to be Latin and many don't even know the Church is a diverse communion of Churches. This diversity is a witness to the true Catholicity of the Church. The Church in enriched with the many different theological traditions with in her- Coptic, Byzantine, Latin, Maronite, ect.

If the Popes can accept this I don't see why Latin Catholic faithful can't? The question for me then is- do you want us Orthodox Eastern Catholics to be in Communion with Rome? I ask this out of love and respect but it seems that you keep asking us to go over to Orthodoxy if we can't accept certain Latin teachings? It seems to be that to me, perhaps I am wrong. Pray for me brother.
Posted By: Deacon Robert Behrens

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 05:42 PM

Distinctions must be made between dogmatic teachings which are intended for, received, and accepted by, the Universal (all particular Churches in Catholicism) Church (i.e. "De Fide" teachings), and theological opinion (theologumena) where there is freedom for discussion and disagreement (i.e. as in the question as to whether Our Lord would have taken a human nature had there been no Fall-there are Saints coming down on both sides of that question). Papal Infallibility and Papal Primacy of Jurisdiction are in the former category.

Deacon Robert Behrens
Eparchy of Passaic
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 07:05 PM

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Papal Infallibility and Papal Primacy of Jurisdiction are in the former category.


Why? Be precise.
Posted By: Administrator

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 07:32 PM

I agree with Stuart. One needs to be precise. If I were to develop that I'd say that there is a foundational part of papal infallibility and papal jurisdiction that is dogmatic but that 99% is not dogmatic. After all, Pope John Paul II did ask the East to help him develop a new understanding of the papacy that can serve a reunited Church. If he put so much of these two items on the table for re-understanding then those parts are certainly not dogmatic.
Posted By: Nelson Chase

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 07:36 PM

I agree fully with John and Stuart on this matter.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 07:54 PM

I would also like to know what these particular doctrines, labeled "de fide" by the First Vatican Council, carry so much weight, when many other doctrines also labeled "de fide" by earlier Western councils have been laid aside. One example that comes to mind is the teaching of Florence that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son "as from a single source" (complete with anathemas for those who deny it), which of course is contradicted by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in its 1996 "Clarification".

Another would be the teaching that the Words of Institution are necessary to "confect" the Eucharist, which has been superseded by the older patristic understanding that the entire Anaphora is a single consecratory act (thus allowing celebration of the Qurbono of Addai and Mari without the Institution Narrative). There are many other examples of the Western Church calling its own particular usage or mode of expression de fide, when in fact it was no such thing. Why, then does Pastor aeternus not fall into the same category?

One does not deny that the Church of Rome has a particular primacy, or that there is a specific Petrine Ministry that falls to the Bishop of Rome, but for 1800 years there was no intimation that the Bishop of Rome possessed any special charism of infallibility (and quite a few of them vigorously denied it), or that the Church of Rome possessed the right to intervene unilaterally into the affairs of other particular Churches. Therefore, one has to wonder whether these Papal attributes, like the temporal supremacy of the Popes, is not just an artifact of its particular place and time.
Posted By: Deacon Robert Behrens

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 08:00 PM

Originally Posted by StuartK
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Papal Infallibility and Papal Primacy of Jurisdiction are in the former category.


Why? Be precise.


They are defined by an Ecumenical Council, Vatican I, which was ratified by a Pope. In addition, Papal Primacy is strongly rooted in the Gospels, esp. in Our Lord's conversations with Peter. Despite what some on this forum would say, all Catholics, including Eastern Catholics, are bound by the dogmatic "De Fide" teachings of the Catholic Church, including those of all 21 Councils. Any good Orthodox would tell you that "being in communion with" means that you are in full agreement on defined Dogmatic teachings with the Church you claim to be "in full communion with". This is why Eastern Orthodoxy distributes the Holy Eucharist, and the other Sacraments, only to those who fully belong to a canonical Orthodox Church. It is assumed that these faithful accept fully what Eastern Orthodoxy teaches. Most Eastern Orthodox jurisdictions will not offer the Sacraments to "Orthodox in communion with Rome", since being in "communion with Rome" assumes you accept Papal Primacy, Papal Infallibility, and all of the other defined Dogmatic teachings of the Catholic Church, which Eastern Orthodoxy generally rejects. Speaking for myself, if I had a problem with those teachings, and if I thought that Eastern Orthodoxy was in possession of the Fullness of the Faith (and was correct on its take on Papal Infallibility, Primacy, etc.), with Catholicism not being in possession of such fullness, I would make a bee-line to, probably, the ROCOR parish in the town next to mine (and they are not burdened with things like "inclusive language" and truncated Liturgy). However, I am a convinced Catholic, and ,therefore, accept those teachings. The "Zoghby" approach does not work. It's been repudiated both by the Pope and the Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch (and, I think, Constantinople). We,as Eastern Catholics, can differ with the Latins on Liturgy, on disciplines, on theological approach (assuming no contradiction with Scripture, Holy Tradition, Dogma, etc.), but not on what are taught as "De Fide", infallibly-defined matters of Faith and Morals. With all of that being said, I admire the various Orthodox jurisdictions with whom I've come into contact, and I am friendly with many Orthodox clergy and laity. However, sadly, we still have these dividing issues which must be resolved before there is a renewal of that desired state of "full communion". Hope this sheds some light.

In Christ,
Dn. Robert
Posted By: Deacon Robert Behrens

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 08:02 PM

Originally Posted by Administrator
I agree with Stuart. One needs to be precise. If I were to develop that I'd say that there is a foundational part of papal infallibility and papal jurisdiction that is dogmatic but that 99% is not dogmatic. After all, Pope John Paul II did ask the East to help him develop a new understanding of the papacy that can serve a reunited Church. If he put so much of these two items on the table for re-understanding then those parts are certainly not dogmatic.


If I remember correctly, John Paul II asked for assistance on how the Papal Primacy is to be exercised.

Dn. Robert
Posted By: Deacon Robert Behrens

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 08:31 PM

Originally Posted by StuartK
I would also like to know what these particular doctrines, labeled "de fide" by the First Vatican Council, carry so much weight, when many other doctrines also labeled "de fide" by earlier Western councils have been laid aside. One example that comes to mind is the teaching of Florence that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son "as from a single source" (complete with anathemas for those who deny it), which of course is contradicted by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in its 1996 "Clarification".

I have, at home, a copy of Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, by Ludwig Ott, which was written in the 1930's. That particular text indicates that the above formula, as well as that of the Holy Spirit "proceeding from the Father, through the Son" are both acceptable. I would have to check the text of Florence, but I couldn't envision Ott making such a statement if Florence anathematized the latter formulation. I could see where Florence would anathematize those who taught that the Holy Spirit proceeds only from the Father, with no involvement of the Son, since such a formulation would contradict the Gospels.

Another would be the teaching that the Words of Institution are necessary to "confect" the Eucharist, which has been superseded by the older patristic understanding that the entire Anaphora is a single consecratory act (thus allowing celebration of the Qurbono of Addai and Mari without the Institution Narrative).

Not being sarcastic. But, I am wondering where the "words of institution" teaching is outlined. Without having any resources here available at my office, my suspicion is that this teaching was not at the "de fide" level. Otherwise, there is a problem, to say the least.

One does not deny that the Church of Rome has a particular primacy, or that there is a specific Petrine Ministry that falls to the Bishop of Rome, but for 1800 years there was no intimation that the Bishop of Rome possessed any special charism of infallibility (and quite a few of them vigorously denied it),

I do not think those precise words were used, but a lot of the quotes from 1st Milennium Eastern Bishops on the Papacy which I have read would appear to be leaning strongly in that direction. I am going by memory, which is weak, and I will go back to my sources at first opportunity.

or that the Church of Rome possessed the right to intervene unilaterally into the affairs of other particular Churches.

In his book published by the Daughters of St. Paul some time ago, Bishop (now Archbishop of Washington) Donald Wuerl, in discussing Papal Primacy, pointed out that one of the very early Popes, Clement?, intervened directly in Corinth in a disciplinary way. A very early precedent. DEACON ROBERT


Posted By: Administrator

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 08:39 PM

Pope John Paul II was much more specific than that:

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Ut unum sint
55. The structures of the Church in the East and in the West evolved in reference to that Apostolic heritage. Her unity during the first millennium was maintained within those same structures through the Bishops, Successors of the Apostles, in communion with the Bishop of Rome. If today at the end of the second millennium we are seeking to restore full communion, it is to that unity, thus structured, which we must look.

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Ut unum sint
95. I insistently pray the Holy Spirit to shine his light upon us, enlightening all the Pastors and theologians of our Churches, that we may seek—together, of course—the forms in which this ministry may accomplish a service of love recognized by all concerned"

The long and short of it is that Pope John Paul II holds fast to the idea that the dogmatic elements of the ministry of Peter are unchanged throughout history, that we must look to how that ministry was understood in the first millennium when the Church was fully united, and work to a new understanding of papal ministry that is consistent with the first millennium and will serve the Church going forward. Obviously there are directions the Catholic Church will not go, but PJII left the discussions wide open.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 08:41 PM

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In his book published by the Daughters of St. Paul some time ago, Bishop (now Archbishop of Washington) Donald Wuerl, in discussing Papal Primacy, pointed out that one of the very early Popes, Clement?, intervened directly in Corinth in a disciplinary way. A very early precedent. DEACON ROBERT


Of course, Rome could view Corinth as a suffragan Church, insofar as it was founded by St. Paul, and Rome at the time considered its foundation to both Peter and Paul. As such, Rome had a pastoral responsibility to Corinth. Also note that Corinth appealed to Rome, and that Clement did not just happen to be intervene on his own. Nobody denies the appellate jurisdiction of Rome, which is affirmed by the Council of Sardica (342) and accepted in both the East and the West. This is very different from Ea Semper's "universal, immediate and ordinary jurisdiction", which is an innovation of the First Vatican Council (whose ecumenicity is definitely open to question).
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 08:54 PM

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Despite what some on this forum would say, all Catholics, including Eastern Catholics, are bound by the dogmatic "De Fide" teachings of the Catholic Church, including those of all 21 Councils.


You do know, Father Deacon, that there is no "official" list of "ecumenical councils"? The list was compiled by Robert Bellarmine in the 17th century as a polemical device in the Counter-Reformation, and has no real doctrinal standing. Moreover, Bellarmine's list is full of ambiguities and lacunae. For instance, it accepts the Anti-Photian Synod of Constantinople (869-870) as being "ecumenical", and rejects the Photian Synod of 879-880, despite the fact that the latter overturned the acta of the former (which were burned in a copper bowl), was ratified by Pope John VIII, and was recognized as binding upon the Church of Rome for more than three centuries. See Francis Dvornik, The Photian Schism, and The Ecumenical Councils.

As Father Taft says, Church history liberates us.
Posted By: Apotheoun

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 08:55 PM

Originally Posted by StuartK
. . .

One does not deny that the Church of Rome has a particular primacy, or that there is a specific Petrine Ministry that falls to the Bishop of Rome, but for 1800 years there was no intimation that the Bishop of Rome possessed any special charism of infallibility (and quite a few of them vigorously denied it), or that the Church of Rome possessed the right to intervene unilaterally into the affairs of other particular Churches. Therefore, one has to wonder whether these Papal attributes, like the temporal supremacy of the Popes, is not just an artifact of its particular place and time.

Even as it concerns the historic primacy, Rome's position is not unique, because -- as St. Gregory the Great pointed out -- ". . . though there are many apostles, yet with regard to the principality itself the See of the Prince of the apostles alone has grown strong in authority, which in three places [i.e., Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch] is the See of one. For he himself exalted the See in which he deigned even to rest and end the present life. He himself adorned the See to which he sent his disciple as evangelist. He himself established the See in which, though he was to leave it, he sat for seven years. Since then it is the See of one, and one See, over which by Divine authority three bishops now preside, whatever good I hear of you, this I impute to myself. If you believe anything good of me, impute this to your merits, since we are one in Him Who says, 'That they all may be one, as You, Father, art in me, and I in you that they also may be one in us.'" [Registrum Epistolarum, Book VII, 40]


Finally, as I wrote in a post some time ago here at the Byzantine Forum:

The pope has no power over the other sui juris Churches, because any concept of supreme power of one bishop over another bishop, or of one Church over another Church, destroys the reality of communion, which is not about power over others, but is about reciprocity and sharing in the common divine life of the body of Christ. In fact, in an ecclesiology of communion, or what Fr. Schmemann calls, a "eucharistic" ecclesiology, it is not possible for one Church (or one bishop) to have power over another Church (or bishop), because each and every particular Church is the full realization of the one Catholic and Apostolic Church. In other words, authority in the Church cannot be thought of as "power over others," but must be understood as "service" to others. Thus, it must not be thought of in legal or jurisdictional terms, but in terms of service and love in support of communion. As Fr. Schmemann explains, "The essential corollary of this eucharistic ecclesiology is that it excludes the idea of a supreme power, understood as power over the local Church and her bishop," because as he goes on to say, "A supreme power would mean power over the Church, over the Body of Christ, over Christ Himself," and this idea is simply contrary to the Orthodox faith of the Fathers ["The Primacy of Peter in the Orthodox Church," pages 38-39]. Bearing in mind what I have already said, it is clear that the "sacred authority" of popes and patriarchs -- which is founded upon the unity of the sacrament of orders -- is one of service, and so it must not be thought of in monarchical, legalistic, or jurisdictional terms. Moreover, this "sacred authority" is held equally by all who possess the grace of sacramental ordination to the episcopate. Ultimately, the eucharistic ecclesiology of the first millennium is opposed to the universalist ecclesiology of the Latin Church of the middle ages, which only developed due to the Scholastic isolation of the Latin Church from the great patristic tradition of the earliest centuries of the Christian era that is the common patrimony of both East and West.
Posted By: Deacon Robert Behrens

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 08:56 PM

Some clarification on the words of Institution and the Anaphora of the Assyrian Church. I don't know who the author of the blog is, but he makes the point that Rome states that it holds to the necessity of the words of Institution, and that the Anaphora in question contains those words in a scattered, incoherent manner.

http://www.arcaneknowledge.org/catholic/addai.htm
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 09:07 PM

I do not disagree with Apotheoun. The concepts of primacy and conciliarity must be held in dynamic tension within the Church. Without primacy, there is no focus of unity, nothing to counteract the centrifugal forces which tend to pull Churches apart. Without conciliarity, primacy degenerates into tyranny. We should look to Canon of the Holy Apostles No.34 as our model in this.

I also agree that there can be no submission or subordination of one Church to another, for the Church is a typos of the Trinity, and within the Trinity, there is hierarchy without subordination. The Father is not greater than the Son or the Spirit, for all are equally God. Yet each recognizes the status the others and defers to them according to their gifts. The early Church never used the term potestas to refer to primacy, which rather was based upon auctoritas and caritas.

Some Catholics denigrate the idea of a "primacy of honor", associating it with meaningless ceremonial positions (like the Lord Mayor of London), and on the other hand, many Orthodox would prefer to interpret "primacy of honor" in just that way. But if we place ourselves in the context of late antiquity, in a culture of honor, then such a primacy has real attributes even without the legalistic foundation of "jurisdiction". Rome, as the Church with Priority, had auctoritas; the Pope, as the head of that Church, was its visible manifestation. When the Pope of Rome spoke, others listened, and disagreed only with the gravest trepidation. By the same token, no other bishop, not even Western ones, considered themselves to be subordinate to the Pope. St. Cyprian, for instance, rejected the notion of the Pope as "heir of Peter" and Vicar of Christ", because the keys handed to Peter were given on behalf of all the Disciples, and the Apostolic charism has passed down to their successors as the Episcopal charism: all bishops are equally Vicars of Christ, all wield the power of the keys.

And that is how it stood for most of the Patristic era, the various attempts of the Popes of Rome to impose their will upon the rest of the Church being rebuffed in various ways right down to the advent of the reformed Papacy of the eleventh century. Until the ascent of those German Popes, who knew nothing of the Eastern Churches and cared even less, whatever the Popes may have thought of their own prerogatives, they put the unity of the Church above everything else, their own ministry at the service of the Church and not vice versa.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 09:09 PM

Quote
Some clarification on the words of Institution and the Anaphora of the Assyrian Church. I don't know who the author of the blog is, but he makes the point that Rome states that it holds to the necessity of the words of Institution, and that the Anaphora in question contains those words in a scattered, incoherent manner.


Consult Father Taft on the matter. It will be educational.
Posted By: Apotheoun

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 09:13 PM

Originally Posted by StuartK
. . . because the keys handed to Peter were given on behalf of all the Disciples, and the Apostolic charism has passed down to their successors as the Episcopal charism: all bishops are equally Vicars of Christ, all wield the power of the keys.

Yes, I agree. The bishops throughout the whole world are the successors of the Apostles, i.e., of all the Apostles, which necessarily includes St. Peter. Nevertheless, the historic primacy is held by only three sees (Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch), but that historical primacy cannot be used to divide the unity of the episcopate, which is sacramentally one and the same in every see.
Posted By: Deacon Robert Behrens

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 09:33 PM

On the issue of primacy, we see, in the Gospels, times where Our Lord speaks only to Peter, and not the Apostles, such as in the Gospel of John: "feed my lambs", "tend my sheep", "feed my sheep".

Then we have "Thou art Peter (Kephas), and upon this Rock (Kephas), I will build my Church." While Protestant (and some Orthodox) apologists will focus on the Greek version of "Petros", which allows for the interpretation of either a solid rock, or a piece of the Rock (the latter to stress the entire group of Apostles, as opposed to just Peter), the original Aramaic of "Kephas" only allows for the interpretation of "solid rock", the implication that the Church is built on Peter. The only question for today is, as John Paul II has taught, how does Peter's successor carry out this primacy, and not whether there is one. I would argue that while the Papal Primacy of Jurisdiction is to be upheld, it is to be exercised in a way which upholds the very Catholic notion of the "principal of subsidiarity". In other words, very little should rise to the point where it is a matter of Papal concern. That's why, in addition to the Pope of Rome, we have Patriarchs, Metropolitans, Archbishops, Bishops, parish priests, and deacons in the hierarchical structure of Church governance.

Dn. Robert
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 09:43 PM

Now we are in old, well-trod territory again, and I doubt there is any profit to be had going over it, again.
Posted By: Apotheoun

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 10:10 PM

Originally Posted by StuartK
Now we are in old, well-trod territory again, and I doubt there is any profit to be had going over it, again.

Yes, it would probably be an utter waste of time.
Posted By: asianpilgrim

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 11:13 PM

Originally Posted by Diak
Quote
Stuart, tell me: do you consider the Orthodox and Catholic Churches to be equally true


Perhaps referring your question to recent statements by the Magisterium would be appropriate; Unitatis Redintegratio is quite clear on this:
Quote
All this heritage of spirituality and liturgy, of discipline and theology, in its various traditions, this holy synod declares to belong to the full Catholic and apostolic character of the Church.

If it is part of the "full Catholic and apostolic character of the Church" as the Church herself teaches, your question is nonsensical.


The Holy See has clarified to death what that means. This but the latest:

RESPONSES TO SOME QUESTIONS REGARDING CERTAIN ASPECTS OF THE DOCTRINE ON THE CHURCH

Some quotes:

Quote
It is possible, according to Catholic doctrine, to affirm correctly that the Church of Christ is present and operative in the churches and ecclesial Communities not yet fully in communion with the Catholic Church, on account of the elements of sanctification and truth that are present in them.[9] Nevertheless, the word “subsists” can only be attributed to the Catholic Church alone precisely because it refers to the mark of unity that we profess in the symbols of the faith (I believe... in the “one” Church); and this “one” Church subsists in the Catholic Church.[10]

and

Quote
FOURTH QUESTION

Why does the Second Vatican Council use the term “Church” in reference to the oriental Churches separated from full communion with the Catholic Church?

RESPONSE

The Council wanted to adopt the traditional use of the term. “Because these Churches, although separated, have true sacraments and above all – because of the apostolic succession – the priesthood and the Eucharist, by means of which they remain linked to us by very close bonds”[13], they merit the title of “particular or local Churches”[14], and are called sister Churches of the particular Catholic Churches.[15]

“It is through the celebration of the Eucharist of the Lord in each of these Churches that the Church of God is built up and grows in stature”.[16] However, since communion with the Catholic Church, the visible head of which is the Bishop of Rome and the Successor of Peter, is not some external complement to a particular Church but rather one of its internal constitutive principles, these venerable Christian communities lack something in their condition as particular churches.[17]

On the other hand, because of the division between Christians, the fullness of universality, which is proper to the Church governed by the Successor of Peter and the Bishops in communion with him, is not fully realised in history.[18]


Now, I don't think you'll agree that the Vatican is correct in these. I have no illusions that this is going to change your opinion or that of anyone else on this forum. However, I just wanted to point out that it is not exactly an official teaching of the Catholic Church (conceived as the communion of Churches that maintain full and visible communion with Rome) that it and the Orthodox Church are on the same level. You may disagree with it, but I don't think you have the right to dismiss as "nonsensical" a question that is based precisely on this "official" view, unless one can consider what the Popes think on this matter as inconsequential and nonsensical.

It is one thing to disagree with what the Holy See says. It is another thing to refuse to acknowledge that what it says is indeed what it says, or that it has given its own viewpoint regarding the meaning of Vatican II.
Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 11:18 PM

Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Nevertheless, the historic primacy is held by only three sees (Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch), but that historical primacy cannot be used to divide the unity of the episcopate, which is sacramentally one and the same in every see.

Yes, Pope Saint Gregory the Great teaches that the Petrine ministry and The Keys are held equally and in unity by the three ancient Sees of Rome, Alexandria and Antioch.

Pope Saint Gregory wrote to Pope Eulogius of Alexandria and he is strong in his assertion that all three Bishops of Rome and Antioch and Alexandria are equally Petrine and of one authority with the same Petrine prerogatives...

If I may bring Pope Gregory's text onto the Forum...

Gregory of Rome to Eulogius of Alexandria:

"Your most sweet Holiness [Eulogius of Alexandria] has spoken much in your letter to me about the chair of Saint Peter, Prince of the apostles, saying that he himself now sits on it in the persons of his successors. And indeed I acknowledge myself to be unworthy, not only in the dignity of such as preside, but even in the number of such as stand. But I gladly accepted all that has been said, in that he has spoken to me about Peter's chair who occupies Peter's chair.

"And, though special honour to myself in no wise delights me, yet I greatly rejoiced because you, most holy ones, have given to yourselves what you have bestowed upon me.

"For who can be ignorant that holy Church has been made firm in the solidity of the Prince of the apostles, who derived his name from the firmness of his mind, so as to be called Petrus from petra. And to him it is said by the voice of the Truth, To you I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven Matthew 16:19. And again it is said to him, And when you are converted, strengthen your brethren (xxii. 32). And once more, Simon, son of Jonas, do you love Me? Feed my sheep John 21:17.

"Wherefore though there are many apostles, yet with regard to the principality itself the See of the Prince of the apostles alone has grown strong in authority, which in three places is the See of one . For he himself exalted the See in which he deigned even to rest and end the present life [Rome]. He himself adorned the See to which he sent his disciple as evangelist [Alexandria]. He himself established the See in which, though he was to leave it, he sat for seven years [Antioch]. Since then it is the See of one, and one See, over which by Divine authority three bishops now preside,

Source: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/360207040.htm
Posted By: asianpilgrim

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 11:19 PM

Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by Philippe Gebara
Can the Pope's infallibility and primate of jurisdicion be acceptable by Eastern Catholics . . .

As an Eastern Catholic I reject both points.


Thank you for the very clear answer.
Posted By: asianpilgrim

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 11:25 PM

Originally Posted by StuartK
In a conversation with another acquaintance, also a Roman Catholic traditionalist, I was accused of the heresy of "Zoghbyism". I rather like the sound of that. Maybe write a book about it: Touts Zogbyistes?


Why not? In fact it might be a good exercise.
Posted By: asianpilgrim

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 11:31 PM

Originally Posted by StuartK
Quote
Stuart, tell me: do you consider the Orthodox and Catholic Churches to be equally true
?

I consider the Latin Church to be the continuation of the undivided Church in the West. I consider the Orthodox Churches to be the continuation of the undivided Church in the East. I consider that both have maintained the fullness of the Apostolic Tradition, each in accordance with its own unique modes of expression, worship, spirituality, theology, doctrine and discipline. Both, therefore, are equally true, but neither has the right to impose its own Tradition upon the other.


I'm actually wondering if this might be true. Look carefully into my statements and you will see that I have always avoided denying this. My questions -- if you will read the totality of them carefully enough (but then that is too onerous) revolve on but one point: in a situation where the Pope of Rome has repeatedly denied this very point, what should the ecclesial ramifications be?

Ok, I do not expect an answer. I am just stating my point, perhaps for the last time in this thread. I'm sure that we all have better things to do.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/15/09 11:38 PM

Quote
in a situation where the Pope of Rome has repeatedly denied this very point, what should the ecclesial ramifications be?


The issue is rather moot, because the Catholic Church as a whole has affirmed it. But assuming, for some reason, he did deny it, then his opinion would have to be evaluated and would have no weight until it was received by the entire Church. And since such a statement would not be true, and reception is nothing less than the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, passing through the Body of Christ, such reception would not be forthcoming.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/16/09 02:35 AM

Too busy living it. Maybe when I'm done.
Posted By: Mateusz

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/18/09 11:22 AM

papal infallbility was defined at the council of the first vatican council, therefor anyone who calls themselve a "Catholic," of any rite,latin or eastern is bound to this doctrine.

http://www.piar.hu/councils/ecum20.htm
Posted By: Mateusz

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/18/09 11:33 AM

Chapter 1 On the institution of the apostolic primacy in blessed Peter

We teach and declare that,
according to the gospel evidence,
a primacy of jurisdiction over the whole church of God
was immediately and directly
promised to the blessed apostle Peter and
conferred on him by Christ the lord.
[PROMISED]
It was to Simon alone,
to whom he had already said
You shall be called Cephas [42] ,
that the Lord,
after his confession, You are the Christ, the son of the living God,
spoke these words:
Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.
And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the underworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven [43] .
Posted By: Mateusz

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/18/09 11:34 AM

And it was to Peter alone that Jesus,
after his resurrection,
confided the jurisdiction of supreme pastor and ruler of his whole fold, saying:
Feed my lambs, feed my sheep [44] .
To this absolutely manifest teaching of the sacred scriptures, as it has always been understood by the catholic church, are clearly opposed the distorted opinions of those who misrepresent the form of government which Christ the lord established in his church and deny that Peter, in preference to the rest of the apostles, taken singly or collectively, was endowed by Christ with a true and proper primacy of jurisdiction.
The same may be said of those who assert that this primacy was not conferred immediately and directly on blessed Peter himself, but rather on the church, and that it was through the church that it was transmitted to him in his capacity as her minister.
Therefore,
if anyone says that
blessed Peter the apostle was not appointed by Christ the lord as prince of all the apostles and visible head of the whole church militant; or that
it was a primacy of honour only and not one of true and proper jurisdiction that he directly and immediately received from our lord Jesus Christ himself:
let him be anathema.
Posted By: Mateusz

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/18/09 11:35 AM

Chapter 2. On the permanence of the primacy of blessed Peter in the Roman pontiffs

That which our lord Jesus Christ, the prince of shepherds and great shepherd of the sheep, established in the blessed apostle Peter, for the continual salvation and permanent benefit of the church, must of necessity remain for ever, by Christ's authority, in the church which, founded as it is upon a rock, will stand firm until the end of time [45] .

For no one can be in doubt, indeed it was known in every age that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the apostles, the pillar of faith and the foundation of the catholic church, received the keys of the kingdom from our lord Jesus Christ, the saviour and redeemer of the human race, and that to this day and for ever he lives and presides and exercises judgment in his successors the bishops of the holy Roman see, which he founded and consecrated with his blood [46] .

Therefore whoever succeeds to the chair of Peter obtains by the institution of Christ himself, the primacy of Peter over the whole church. So what the truth has ordained stands firm, and blessed Peter perseveres in the rock-like strength he was granted, and does not abandon that guidance of the church which he once received [47] .

For this reason it has always been necessary for every church--that is to say the faithful throughout the world--to be in agreement with the Roman church because of its more effective leadership. In consequence of being joined, as members to head, with that see, from which the rights of sacred communion flow to all, they will grow together into the structure of a single body [48] .

Therefore,
if anyone says that
it is not by the institution of Christ the lord himself (that is to say, by divine law) that blessed Peter should have perpetual successors in the primacy over the whole church; or that
the Roman pontiff is not the successor of blessed Peter in this primacy:
let him be anathema.
Posted By: Mateusz

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/18/09 11:37 AM

Chapter 3. On the power and character of the primacy of the Roman pontiff

And so,
supported by the clear witness of holy scripture, and
adhering to the manifest and explicit decrees both of our predecessors
the Roman pontiffs and of
general councils,
we promulgate anew the definition of the ecumenical council of Florence [49] ,
which must be believed by all faithful Christians, namely that
the apostolic see and the Roman pontiff hold a world-wide primacy, and that
the Roman pontiff is the successor of blessed Peter,
the prince of the apostles,
true vicar of Christ,
head of the whole church and
father and teacher of all christian people.
To him, in blessed Peter, full power has been given by our lord Jesus Christ to
tend,
rule and govern
the universal church.
All this is to be found in the acts of the ecumenical councils and the sacred canons.

Wherefore we teach and declare that,
by divine ordinance,
the Roman church possesses a pre-eminence of ordinary power over every other church, and that
this jurisdictional power of the Roman pontiff is both
episcopal and
immediate.
Both clergy and faithful,
of whatever rite and dignity,
both singly and collectively,
are bound to submit to this power by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, and this
not only in matters concerning faith and morals,
but also in those which regard the discipline and government of the church throughout the world.

In this way, by unity with the Roman pontiff in communion and in profession of the same faith , the church of Christ becomes one flock under one supreme shepherd [50] .

This is the teaching of the catholic truth, and no one can depart from it without endangering his faith and salvation.

This power of the supreme pontiff by no means detracts from that ordinary and immediate power of episcopal jurisdiction, by which bishops, who have succeeded to the place of the apostles by appointment of the holy Spirit, tend and govern individually the particular flocks which have been assigned to them. On the contrary, this power of theirs is asserted, supported and defended by the supreme and universal pastor; for St Gregory the Great says: "My honour is the honour of the whole church. My honour is the steadfast strength of my brethren. Then do I receive true honour, when it is denied to none of those to whom honour is due." [51]

Furthermore, it follows from that supreme power which the Roman pontiff has in governing the whole church, that he has the right, in the performance of this office of his, to communicate freely with the pastors and flocks of the entire church, so that they may be taught and guided by him in the way of salvation.

And therefore we condemn and reject the opinions of those who hold that
this communication of the supreme head with pastors and flocks may be lawfully obstructed; or that
it should be dependent on the civil power, which leads them to maintain that what is determined by the apostolic see or by its authority concerning the government of the church, has no force or effect unless it is confirmed by the agreement of the civil authority.

Since the Roman pontiff, by the divine right of the apostolic primacy, governs the whole church, we likewise teach and declare that
he is the supreme judge of the faithful [52] , and that
in all cases which fall under ecclesiastical jurisdiction recourse may be had to his judgment [53] .
The sentence of the apostolic see (than which there is no higher authority) is not subject to revision by anyone,
nor may anyone lawfully pass judgment thereupon [54] . And so
they stray from the genuine path of truth who maintain that it is lawful to appeal from the judgments of the Roman pontiffs to an ecumenical council as if this were an authority superior to the Roman pontiff.

So, then,
if anyone says that
the Roman pontiff has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and
not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole church, and this
not only in matters of
faith and morals, but also in those which concern the
discipline and government of the church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that
he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that
this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful:
let him be anathema.
Posted By: Mateusz

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/18/09 11:39 AM

Chapter 4. On the infallible teaching authority of the Roman pontiff


That apostolic primacy which the Roman pontiff possesses as successor of Peter, the prince of the apostles, includes also the supreme power of teaching.
This holy see has always maintained this,
the constant custom of the church demonstrates it, and
the ecumenical councils, particularly those in which East and West met in the union of faith and charity, have declared it.
[councils]

So the fathers of the fourth council of Constantinople, following the footsteps of their predecessors, published this solemn profession of faith:
The first condition of salvation is to maintain the rule of the true faith. And since that saying of our lord Jesus Christ, You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church [55] , cannot fail of its effect, the words spoken are confirmed by their consequences. For in the apostolic see the catholic religion has always been preserved unblemished, and sacred doctrine been held in honour. Since it is our earnest desire to be in no way separated from this faith and doctrine, we hope that we may deserve to remain in that one communion which the apostolic see preaches, for in it is the whole and true strength of the christian religion [56] .
What is more, with the approval of the second council of Lyons, the Greeks made the following profession:
"The holy Roman church possesses the supreme and full primacy and principality over the whole catholic church. She truly and humbly acknowledges that she received this from the Lord himself in blessed Peter, the prince and chief of the apostles, whose successor the Roman pontiff is, together with the fullness of power. And since before all others she has the duty of defending the truth of the faith, so if any questions arise concerning the faith, it is by her judgment that they must be settled." [57]
Then there is the definition of the council of Florence:
"The Roman pontiff is the true vicar of Christ, the head of the whole church and the father and teacher of all Christians; and to him was committed in blessed Peter, by our lord Jesus Christ, the full power of tending, ruling and governing the whole church." [58]
[Holy See]

To satisfy this pastoral office, our predecessors strove unwearyingly that the saving teaching of Christ should be spread among all the peoples of the world; and with equal care they made sure that it should be kept pure and uncontaminated wherever it was received.
[Custom]

It was for this reason that the bishops of the whole world, sometimes individually, sometimes gathered in synods, according to the long established custom of the churches and the pattern of ancient usage referred to this apostolic see those dangers especially which arose in matters concerning the faith. This was to ensure that any damage suffered by the faith should be repaired in that place above all where the faith can know no failing [59] .
[Holy See]

The Roman pontiffs, too, as the circumstances of the time or the state of affairs suggested,
sometimes by
summoning ecumenical councils or
consulting the opinion of the churches scattered throughout the world, sometimes by
special synods, sometimes by
taking advantage of other useful means afforded by divine providence,
defined as doctrines to be held those things which, by God's help, they knew to be in keeping with
sacred scripture and
the apostolic traditions.

For the holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter

not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine,
but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles.
Indeed, their apostolic teaching was
embraced by all the venerable fathers and
reverenced and followed by all the holy orthodox doctors,
for they knew very well that this see of St. Peter always remains unblemished by any error, in accordance with the divine promise of our Lord and Saviour to the prince of his disciples: I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren [60] .

This gift of truth and never-failing faith was therefore divinely conferred on Peter and his successors in this see so that they might discharge their exalted office for the salvation of all, and so that the whole flock of Christ might be kept away by them from the poisonous food of error and be nourished with the sustenance of heavenly doctrine. Thus the tendency to schism is removed and the whole church is preserved in unity, and, resting on its foundation, can stand firm against the gates of hell.

But since in this very age when the salutary effectiveness of the apostolic office is most especially needed, not a few are to be found who disparage its authority, we judge it absolutely necessary to affirm solemnly the prerogative which the only-begotten Son of God was pleased to attach to the supreme pastoral office.

Therefore,
faithfully adhering to the tradition received from the beginning of the christian faith,
to the glory of God our saviour,
for the exaltation of the catholic religion and
for the salvation of the christian people,
with the approval of the sacred council,
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

we teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that

when the Roman pontiff speaks EX CATHEDRA,
that is, when,
in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians,
in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority,
he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole church,
he possesses,
by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter,
that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals.
Therefore, such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the church, irreformable.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So then, should anyone, which God forbid, have the temerity to reject this definition of ours: let him be anathema



sounds clear to me
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/18/09 11:59 AM

I'm so bored by people telling me what I must believe, and then throwing old anathemas at me. If the Pope wants me out of the Church, I'm sure he'll send me a letter.
Posted By: Mateusz

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/18/09 12:18 PM

Therefore, if the terrestrial power err, it will be judged by the spiritual power; but if a minor spiritual power err, it will be judged by a superior spiritual power; but if the highest power of all err, it can be judged only by God, and not by man, according to the testimony of the Apostle: "The spiritual man judgeth of all things and he himself is judged by no man" (1 Cor 2:15). This authority, however, (though it has been given to man and is exercised by man), is not human but rather divine, granted to Peter by a divine word and reaffirmed to him (Peter) and his successors by the One Whom Peter confessed, the Lord saying to Peter himself, "Whatsoever you shall bind on earth, shall be bound also in Heaven" etc., (Mt 16:19). Therefore whoever resists this power thus ordained by God, resists the ordinance of God (Rom 13:2) , unless he invent like Manicheus two beginnings, which is false and judged by us heretical, since according to the testimony of Moses, it is not in the beginnings but in the beginning that God created heaven and earth (Gen 1:1). Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.- Pope Boniface VIII, Papal Bull Unuum Sanctam, 1302 A.D.

http://www.saint-mike.org/Library/Papal_Library/BonifaceVIII/Unam_Sanctam.html
Posted By: Mateusz

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/18/09 12:25 PM

But when either the Roman Pontiff or the Body of Bishops together with him defines a judgment, they pronounce it in accordance with Revelation itself, which all are obliged to abide by and be in conformity with, that is, the Revelation which as written or orally handed down is transmitted in its entirety through the legitimate succession of bishops and especially in care of the Roman Pontiff himself, and which under the guiding light of the Spirit of truth is religiously preserved and faithfully expounded in the Church.(45*) The Roman Pontiff and the bishops, in view of their office and the importance of the matter, by fitting means diligently strive to inquire properly into that revelation and to give apt expression to its contents;(46*) but a new public revelation they do not accept as pertaining to the divine deposit of faith.- SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL, LUMEN GENTIUM

Posted By: StuartK

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/18/09 12:26 PM

You do know that Unum Sanctum was never received even in its day, and has absolutely no standing as a magisterial document. Citing Unum Sanctum defintely identifies someone as being more Catholic than the Pope.
Posted By: Mateusz

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/18/09 12:29 PM

22. Just as in the Gospel, the Lord so disposing, St. Peter and the other apostles constitute one apostolic college, so in a similar way the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter, and the bishops, the successors of the apostles, are joined together. Indeed, the very ancient practice whereby bishops duly established in all parts of the world were in communion with one another and with the Bishop of Rome in a bond of unity, charity and peace,(23*) and also the councils assembled together,(24*) in which more profound issues were settled in common, (25*) the opinion of the many having been prudently considered,(26*) both of these factors are already an indication of the collegiate character and aspect of the episcopal order; and the ecumenical councils held in the course of centuries are also manifest proof of that same character. And it is intimated also in the practice, introduced in ancient times, of summoning several bishops to take part in the elevation of the newly elected to the ministry of the high priesthood. Hence, one is constituted a member of the episcopal body in virtue of sacramental consecration and hierarchical communion with the head and members of the body.

But the college or body of bishops has no authority unless it is understood together with the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter as its head. The pope's power of primacy over all, both pastors and faithful, remains whole and intact. In virtue of his office, that is as Vicar of Christ and pastor of the whole Church, the Roman Pontiff has full, supreme and universal power over the Church. And he is always free to exercise this power. The order of bishops, which succeeds to the college of apostles and gives this apostolic body continued existence, is also the subject of supreme and full power over the universal Church, provided we understand this body together with its head the Roman Pontiff and never without this head.(27*) This power can be exercised only with the consent of the Roman Pontiff. For our Lord placed Simon alone as the rock and the bearer of the keys of the Church,(156) and made him shepherd of the whole flock;(157) it is evident, however, that the power of binding and loosing, which was given to Peter,(158) was granted also to the college of apostles, joined with their head.(159)(28*) This college, insofar as it is composed of many, expresses the variety and universality of the People of God, but insofar as it is assembled under one head, it expresses the unity of the flock of Christ. In it, the bishops, faithfully recognizing the primacy and pre-eminence of their head, exercise their own authority for the good of their own faithful, and indeed of the whole Church, the Holy Spirit supporting its organic structure and harmony with moderation. The supreme power in the universal Church, which this college enjoys, is exercised in a solemn way in an ecumenical council. A council is never ecumenical unless it is confirmed or at least accepted as such by the successor of Peter; and it is prerogative of the Roman Pontiff to convoke these councils, to preside over them and to confirm them.(29*) This same collegiate power can be exercised together with the pope by the bishops living in all parts of the world, provided that the head of the college calls them to collegiate action, or at least approves of or freely accepts the united action of the scattered bishops, so that it is thereby made a collegiate act.

23. This collegial union is apparent also m the mutual relations of the individual bishops with particular churches and with the universal Church. The Roman Pontiff, as the successor of Peter, is the perpetual and visible principle and foundation of unity of both the bishops and of the faithful.(30*) The individual bishops, however, are the visible principle and foundation of unity in their particular churches, (31*) fashioned after the model of the universal Church, in and from which churches comes into being the one and only Catholic Church.(32*) For this reason the individual bishops represent each his own church, but all of them together and with the Pope represent the entire Church in the bond of peace, love and unity.

The individual bishops, who are placed in charge of particular churches, exercise their pastoral government over the portion of the People of God committed to their care, and not over other churches nor over the universal Church. But each of them, as a member of the episcopal college and legitimate successor of the apostles, is obliged by Christ's institution and command to be solicitous for the whole Church,(33*) and this solicitude, though it is not exercised by an act of jurisdiction, contributes greatly to the advantage of the universal Church. For it is the duty of all bishops to promote and to safeguard the unity of faith and the discipline common to the whole Church, to instruct the faithful to love for the whole mystical body of Christ, especially for its poor and sorrowing members and for those who are suffering persecution for justice's sake,(160) and finally to promote every activity that is of interest to the whole Church, especially that the faith may take increase and the light of full truth appear to all men. And this also is important, that by governing well their own church as a portion of the universal Church, they themselves are effectively contributing to the welfare of the whole Mystical Body, which is also the body of the churches.(34*)

The task of proclaiming the Gospel everywhere on earth pertains to the body of pastors, to all of whom in common Christ gave His command, thereby imposing upon them a common duty, as Pope Celestine in his time recommended to the Fathers of the Council of Ephesus.(35*) From this it follows that the individual bishops, insofar as their own discharge of their duty permits, are obliged to enter into a community of work among themselves and with the successor of Peter, upon whom was imposed in a special way the great duty of spreading the Christian name.(36*) With all their energy, therefore, they must supply to the missions both workers for the harvest and also spiritual and material aid, both directly and on their own account. as well as by arousing the ardent cooperation of the faithful. And finally, the bishops, in a universal fellowship of charity, should gladly extend their fraternal aid to other churches, especially to neighboring and more needy dioceses in accordance with the venerable example of antiquity.

By divine Providence it has come about that various churches, established in various places by the apostles and their successors, have in the course of time coalesced into several groups, organically united, which, preserving the unity of faith and the unique divine constitution of the universal Church, enjoy their own discipline, their own liturgical usage, and their own theological and spiritual heritage. Some of these churches, notably the ancient patriarchal churches, as parent-stocks of the Faith, so to speak, have begotten others as daughter churches, with which they are connected down to our own time by a close bond of charity in their sacramental life and in their mutual respect for their rights and duties.(37*) This variety of local churches with one common aspiration is splendid evidence of the catholicity of the undivided Church. In like manner the episcopal bodies of today are in a position to render a manifold and fruitful assistance, so that this collegiate feeling may be put into practical application.

24. Bishops, as successors of the apostles, receive from the Lord, to whom was given all power in heaven and on earth, the mission to teach all nations and to preach the Gospel to every creature, so that all men may attain to salvation by faith, baptism and the fulfilment of the commandments.(161) To fulfill this mission, Christ the Lord promised the Holy Spirit to the Apostles, and on Pentecost day sent the Spirit from heaven, by whose power they would be witnesses to Him before the nations and peoples and kings even to the ends of the earth.(162) And that duty, which the Lord committed to the shepherds of His people, is a true service, which in sacred literature is significantly called "diakonia" or ministry.(163)

The canonical mission of bishops can come about by legitimate customs that have not been revoked by the supreme and universal authority of the Church, or by laws made or recognized be that the authority, or directly through the successor of Peter himself; and if the latter refuses or denies apostolic communion, such bishops cannot assume any office.(38*)

25. Among the principal duties of bishops the preaching of the Gospel occupies an eminent place.(39*) For bishops are preachers of the faith, who lead new disciples to Christ, and they are authentic teachers, that is, teachers endowed with the authority of Christ, who preach to the people committed to them the faith they must believe and put into practice, and by the light of the Holy Spirit illustrate that faith. They bring forth from the treasury of Revelation new things and old,(164) making it bear fruit and vigilantly warding off any errors that threaten their flock.(165) Bishops, teaching in communion with the Roman Pontiff, are to be respected by all as witnesses to divine and Catholic truth. In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent. This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking.

Although the individual bishops do not enjoy the prerogative of infallibility, they nevertheless proclaim Christ's doctrine infallibly whenever, even though dispersed through the world, but still maintaining the bond of communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter, and authentically teaching matters of faith and morals, they are in agreement on one position as definitively to be held.(40*) This is even more clearly verified when, gathered together in an ecumenical council, they are teachers and judges of faith and morals for the universal Church, whose definitions must be adhered to with the submission of faith.(41*)

And this infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed His Church to be endowed in defining doctrine of faith and morals, extends as far as the deposit of Revelation extends, which must be religiously guarded and faithfully expounded. And this is the infallibility which the Roman Pontiff, the head of the college of bishops, enjoys in virtue of his office, when, as the supreme shepherd and teacher of all the faithful, who confirms his brethren in their faith,(166) by a definitive act he proclaims a doctrine of faith or morals.(42*) And therefore his definitions, of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church, are justly styled irreformable, since they are pronounced with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, promised to him in blessed Peter, and therefore they need no approval of others, nor do they allow an appeal to any other judgment. For then the Roman Pontiff is not pronouncing judgment as a private person, but as the supreme teacher of the universal Church, in whom the charism of infallibility of the Church itself is individually present, he is expounding or defending a doctrine of Catholic faith.(43*) The infallibility promised to the Church resides also in the body of Bishops, when that body exercises the supreme magisterium with the successor of Peter. To these definitions the assent of the Church can never be wanting, on account of the activity of that same Holy Spirit, by which the whole flock of Christ is preserved and progresses in unity of faith.(44*)

But when either the Roman Pontiff or the Body of Bishops together with him defines a judgment, they pronounce it in accordance with Revelation itself, which all are obliged to abide by and be in conformity with, that is, the Revelation which as written or orally handed down is transmitted in its entirety through the legitimate succession of bishops and especially in care of the Roman Pontiff himself, and which under the guiding light of the Spirit of truth is religiously preserved and faithfully expounded in the Church.(45*) The Roman Pontiff and the bishops, in view of their office and the importance of the matter, by fitting means diligently strive to inquire properly into that revelation and to give apt expression to its contents;(46*) but a new public revelation they do not accept as pertaining to the divine deposit of faith.(47*)

26. A bishop marked with the fullness of the sacrament of Orders, is "the steward of the grace of the supreme priesthood," (48*) especially in the Eucharist, which he offers or causes to be offered,(49*) and by which the Church continually lives and grows. This Church of Christ is truly present in all legitimate local congregations of the faithful which, united with their pastors, are themselves called churches in the New Testament.(50*) For in their locality these are the new People called by God, in the Holy Spirit and in much fullness.(167) In them the faithful are gathered together by the preaching of the Gospel of Christ, and the mystery of the Lord's Supper is celebrated, that by the food and blood of the Lord's body the whole brotherhood may be joined together.(51*) In any community of the altar, under the sacred ministry of the bishop,(52*) there is exhibited a symbol of that charity and "unity of the mystical Body, without which there can be no salvation."(53*) In these communities, though frequently small and poor, or living in the Diaspora, Christ is present, and in virtue of His presence there is brought together one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.(54*) For "the partaking of the body and blood of Christ does nothing other than make us be transformed into that which we consume". (55*)

Every legitimate celebration of the Eucharist is regulated by the bishop, to whom is committed the office of offering the worship of Christian religion to the Divine Majesty and of administering it in accordance with the Lord's commandments and the Church's laws, as further defined by his particular judgment for his diocese.

Bishops thus, by praying and laboring for the people, make outpourings in many ways and in great abundance from the fullness of Christ's holiness. By the ministry of the word they communicate God's power to those who believe unto salvation(168) and through the sacraments, the regular and fruitful distribution of which they regulate by their authority,(56*) they sanctify the faithful. They direct the conferring of baptism, by which a sharing in the kingly priesthood of Christ is granted. They are the original ministers of confirmation, dispensers of sacred Orders and the moderators of penitential discipline, and they earnestly exhort and instruct their people to carry out with faith and reverence their part in the liturgy and especially in the holy sacrifice of the Mass. And lastly, by the example of their way of life they must be an influence for good to those over whom they preside, refraining from all evil and, as far as they are able with God's help, exchanging evil for good, so that together with the flock committed to their care they may arrive at eternal life.(57*)

27. Bishops, as vicars and ambassadors of Christ, govern the particular churches entrusted to them (58*) by their counsel, exhortations, example, and even by their authority and sacred power, which indeed they use only for the edification of their flock in truth and holiness, remembering that he who is greater should become as the lesser and he who is the chief become as the servant.(169) This power, which they personally exercise in Christ's name, is proper, ordinary and immediate, although its exercise is ultimately regulated by the supreme authority of the Church, and can be circumscribed by certain limits, for the advantage of the Church or of the faithful. In virtue of this power, bishops have the sacred right and the duty before the Lord to make laws for their subjects, to pass judgment on them and to moderate everything pertaining to the ordering of worship and the apostolate.

The pastoral office or the habitual and daily care of their sheep is entrusted to them completely; nor are they to be regarded as vicars of the Roman Pontiffs, for they exercise an authority that is proper to them, and are quite correctly called "prelates," heads of the people whom they govern.(59*) Their power, therefore, is not destroyed by the supreme and universal power, but on the contrary it is affirmed, strengthened and vindicated by it,(60*) since the Holy Spirit unfailingly preserves the form of government established by Christ the Lord in His Church.

A bishop, since he is sent by the Father to govern his family, must keep before his eyes the example of the Good Shepherd, who came not to be ministered unto but to minister,(170) and to lay down his life for his sheep.(171) Being taken from among men, and himself beset with weakness, he is able to have compassion on the ignorant and erring.(172) Let him not refuse to listen to his subjects, whom he cherishes as his true sons and exhorts to cooperate readily with him. As having one day to render an account for their souls,(173) he takes care of them by his prayer. preaching, and all the works of charity, and not only of them but also of those who are not yet of the one flock. who also are commended to him in the Lord. Since, like Paul the Apostle, he is debtor to all men, let him be ready to preach the Gospel to all,(174) and to urge his faithful to apostolic and missionary activity. But the faithful must cling to their bishop, as the Church does to Christ, and Jesus Christ to the Father, so that all may be of one mind through unity,(61*) and abound to the glory of God.(175)

LUMEN GENTIUM, VATICAN II
Posted By: Mateusz

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/18/09 12:41 PM

"I'm so bored by people telling me what I must believe, and then throwing old anathemas at me. If the Pope wants me out of the Church, I'm sure he'll send me a letter."

I am sorry but to consider yourself in full communion with the Catholic Church, you must accept all of her teachings, not pick and choose cafeteria style. I am simply answering the original question. If one does not believe in all of the Church's teachings, of any rite, latin or eastern, they are not in full communion with the Church.

Posted By: StuartK

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/18/09 01:48 PM

Carpet bombing is one of the least effective forms of apologetics. And it does seem that uniatism lives, after all.
Posted By: Apotheoun

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/18/09 07:26 PM

Quotations taken from documents issued by the local councils of the Latin Church, which were held during the course of the second millennium, will not convince me to accept the papal theories espoused by some modern Western Catholics, since I do not accept the ecumenicity of those particular synods.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/18/09 07:41 PM

No Latin Catholic (or even Eastern Catholic) has yet provided me with an answer as to why the doctrine of papal infallibility, unacknowledged for the first 1800 years of Church history, should suddenly become an essential article of faith in the Year of Our Lord 1870. What was gained by its promulgation? What purpose does it serve within the Petrine Ministry, defined as a ministry of unity? What has the cost of issuing and defending this doctrine (used just once, on an issue on which all Catholics and Orthodox already agreed)? What would happen if it was "clarified" out of existence tomorrow?
Posted By: Michael_Thoma

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/18/09 08:14 PM

I just see it as a given - the Church is infallible when teaching on Faith, therefore he who speaks as the Church's mouthpiece is infallible when he teaches what the Church teaches. Even the local bishop speaks infallibly when he teaches the Truth.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/18/09 10:13 PM

The key issue is the self-validating nature of truth. Truth is true and remains true whether everyone believes it or nobody believes it. And, conversely, something that is not true cannot be made true simply because some person or group of persons declares it to be so based on meeting a set of extrinsic criteria.

Therein lies the problem with papal infallibility: it presumes that if the Pope speaks on a matter of doctrine, having met a defined set of preconditions, whatever he says will be true, and being true, it will be infallible.

This is not how the early Church saw matters. For the Fathers, it was not who was saying something, but what was being said that mattered, and truth was determined by the entire Body of Christ receiving a statement or teaching as being true--a charismatic function of the Holy Spirit dwelling within the Church.

I cannot accept that whatever the Pope says is true because he says it in an infallible decree. I can accept that the Pope is infallible because he speaks the truth. But I am not going to cede my responsibility to discern the truth, simply because he is the Pope.
Posted By: ebed melech

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/19/09 12:34 PM

Originally Posted by StuartK
This is not how the early Church saw matters. For the Fathers, it was not who was saying something, but what was being said that mattered, and truth was determined by the entire Body of Christ receiving a statement or teaching as being true--a charismatic function of the Holy Spirit dwelling within the Church.


On the one hand, I agree with you about the critical nature of truth and role of the whole Body in discerning and proclaiming faithfully the orthodox teaching of the Church. It is also true that God could prophesy through an ass if He so desired, as seen in the Old Testament! But doesn't this statement - "it was not who was saying something (that mattered to the early church)" put at risk the role that apostolic authority did and should play in defining certain teachings as true and orthodox and others as false and heretical? Bishops as successors to the apostles are consecrated in part for this purpose as shepherds of their flocks. If absolutized as a magisterial principle, it would also seem to also call into question the value any bishop or ecumenical council, since we are simply talking about a gathering of individuals who claim some binding authority, both individually and collectively.

It also seems to run counter to statements made by St. Irenaeus in the 2nd century about the need for all the Churches to be in agreement with the Church of Rome (and, by extension, its bishop). I just do not think that what you have said here can be cited as an absolute principle, even in the early Church. If unchecked by the principle of hiearchia, it risks coming too close to a form of congregationalism that was anithetical to the early Church and the Fathers. And it would seem that the only way to properly interpret any exercise of any teaching authority by Rome and its bishop, it cannot be divorced from either the principles of hierarchia (which pertain to all bishops) and the Pope's service of primacy within the "college" of bishops (acting and speaking in its name).

BTW, I'm not making an argument here in favor of infallibility and primacy of jurisdiction per se (although I agree with these teachings, when properly understood and applied). I just think that it is one thing to say that "who says what" matters not in terms of a particular person qua person. But such a thing cannot be said of a particular office or "ecclesiastical person," at least not according to the evidence of the early Church.
Posted By: Michael_Thoma

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/23/09 06:09 AM

There is a certain truth to both views.

The argument that Papal declarations - such as the Assumption - should not be believed, since they were made using an infallibility that the Pope supposedly "does not have", doesn't fly with me.

If the Eastern Orthodox position is that the proclamation:
1)Must be received by part of Sacred Tradition, and
2)That the people must accept the teaching

to be valid, and clearly the majority have and do unequivocally accept it (1.2 billion or so Catholics and not to mention some others such as Anglicans, Polish National Catholics, Old Catholics, Syriac, Armenian, Assyrian(?) and Indian Churches)

- why is the accepted teaching on the Assumption questioned?
Posted By: Nelson Chase

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/23/09 06:42 AM

I would argue the Orthodox Church does believe in the Assumption (the Dormition of the Theotokos) but it has never proclaimed it like the Western Church did.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/23/09 11:15 AM

He who dogmatizes least dogmatizes best. That is why the Christian East has relatively few "dogmas", all of which pertain to the mystery of God's nature and his economy of salvation. Secondary and tertiary matters not covered by divine revelation and not impinging upon the Church's public proclamation of faith are not suitable areas for dogma.

Moreover, whenever something is proclaimed as "dogma", all the assumptions and suppositions underlying that dogmatic definition themselves become "dogma", and in turn all of the assumptions and suppositions underlying them. Because of its terminological sloppiness in the second millennium, resulting from faulty ecclesiology that saw the Catholic Church and the Church of Rome as co-terminous, the Church of Rome proclaimed a great many things to be dogma that were in fact merely doctrinal expressions or proper usage of the Latin Church. When they did that, it effectively "dogmatized" Latin theological methods. Taken to its logical extreme, this process of dogmatization would eventually have left everything "defined"--which would certainly please those for whom certitude is the highest value in matters of faith--but would have contradicted the very essence of God, which is his absolute transcendence of human comprehension. In other words, it would have put God in a box, making him the object of theological analysis, rather than the subject of prayerful contemplation.

The Catholic Church eventually realized this, which is the foundation of the patristic renewal and the theological, liturgical and spiritual reforms of the 20th century. Scholasticism is no longer the only approved way of doing theology in the Latin Church; there is recognition of the existence of true Churches both inside and outside communion with the Church of Rome; there is recognition of the legitimacy of other Traditions.

As a result of this renewal, the Latin Church has backed down from many of its high Tridentine positions, which ought to be recognized as what they were--a reaction against the excesses of the Reformation, and therefore largely "intramural" in nature. The Church today aims to restore the patristic outlook of the first millennium, and this will certainly cause a great deal of discomfort in people established in Tridentine certitude.
Posted By: Fr_Kimel

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/25/09 02:25 AM

I do not wish to be controversial here, but while I am sympathetic to the contemporary Orthodox criticisms of the Western excercise of dogmatic authority, I wish to briefly note three points:

(1) The above mentioned criticisms of scholasticism apply equally to the dogmatization of Palamite theology, which is now so fashionable in many Orthodox circles.

(2) Orthodox critics of scholasticism typically fail to mention that many Catholic theologians during the past fifty years have also been critical of Western scholasticism. While it may be fun to beat a dead horse, especially for polemical purposes, it hardly does justice to the complexity and depth of the Western dogmatic tradition, nor does it do justice to contemporary Catholic reflection.

(3) Orthodoxy itself has a long tradition of theological reflection that may appropriately be characterized as "scholastic." The Slavophile interpretation of "true" Orthodoxy, whatever its merits may be and no matter how polemically dominant it has become in recent decades, cannot be said to enjoy unquestionable theological status. Let's not forget our location in history.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/25/09 10:07 AM

I concur entirely with Father Kimel.
Posted By: Mateusz

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/25/09 03:31 PM

ok. from a Catholic perspective, there are 5 different levels of magesterium.

1. Pope ex cathedra Extraordinary (and universal) Infallible Full Assent of Faith
2. Bishops, in union with Pope, defining doctrine at General Council Extraordinary (and universal teaching of the Church) Infallible Full Assent of Faith
3. Bishops proposing definitively, dispersed, but in unison, in union with Pope Ordinary and universal teaching of the Church Infallible Full Assent of Faith
4. Pope Ordinary Fallible Religious submission of intellect and will
5. Bishops - fallible



there's a hierarchy of truths. some that are debatable, some aspects that are not. when the Pope invokes infallbility he is exercising extraordinary magesterium.

in my humble opinion, I believe "Orthodox" are anti-Pope and so are Anglicans. They call us Catholics papists. they are very insultive.
Posted By: Mateusz

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/25/09 03:33 PM

oh and eastern catholics are called uniates according to the "Orthodox"
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/25/09 05:52 PM

Really? I know lots and lots of Orthodox, including my sister. They don't call me a Uniate.

Now, I am perfectly willing to concede that there are Eastern Catholics who really are Uniates--Orthodox on the outside, Latin on the inside--but don't tar all of us with the same brush.

I also know lots of Roman Catholics who really are "papists" in the sense that their whole faith revolves around the Bishop of Rome and not Jesus Christ. But I wouldn't tar the whole Latin Church with that brush, either.

Finally, I notice your taxonomy of magisterium has no room for the laity in it. I don't believe that's quite the case, but that many people perceive it that way says a lot about the Catholic mindset.
Posted By: Apotheoun

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/26/09 03:27 AM

Originally Posted by Fr_Kimel
(2) Orthodox critics of scholasticism typically fail to mention that many Catholic theologians during the past fifty years have also been critical of Western scholasticism. While it may be fun to beat a dead horse, especially for polemical purposes, it hardly does justice to the complexity and depth of the Western dogmatic tradition, nor does it do justice to contemporary Catholic reflection.

True enough, but one must also not fool himself into thinking that Scholastic theology is dead and buried.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/26/09 12:33 PM

True enough, but one must also not fool himself into thinking that Scholastic theology is dead and buried.

And what is wrong with Scholasticism, in the context of the Latin Church? Are you implying it is not a legitimate mode of theological expression?
Posted By: Apotheoun

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/26/09 06:21 PM

Originally Posted by StuartK
True enough, but one must also not fool himself into thinking that Scholastic theology is dead and buried.

And what is wrong with Scholasticism, in the context of the Latin Church? Are you implying it is not a legitimate mode of theological expression?

Yes. I thought it was fairly evident that that was what I was saying. The West should return to its patristic roots, which must not be reduced to the teaching of St. Augustine taken alone.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/26/09 07:49 PM

So, in your mind, what are the patristic roots of the Western Church? Given the dominance of Augustine even in the patristic era in the West, just what does Latin theology look like to you? For a variety of historical reasons, none of which can be undone, Augustine will always tower over the other Western Fathers, most of whom, from the late fifth century onward, are essentially Augustinian in outlook (just as almost all Orthodox theologians from the fifth century onwards are Cappodocian in outlook).

Beyond that, just what is your beef with Augustine? I am reminded of a pithy statement by Orthodox theologian David Bentley Hart: "If you want to understand Augustine, read Augustine, not the musings of some dyspeptic Greek".

Finally, it is pretty clear that, given the strictures and preconditions you place upon Western theology, you really do not accept the legitimacy of any theology that is not explicitly Byzantine--and Palamite at that. I don't see how you can make any claims to the ecumenicity of your thought under those circumstances. You would deny to the Latins precisely that which they denied to us for so long--the right of every Church to its own unique Tradition.
Posted By: Apotheoun

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/26/09 08:56 PM

In my opinion, the Scholastic (overly philosophical) method involves a corruption of theology, i.e., a reduction of theology to categories founded upon created reason, which cannot in reality transcend the gap between the uncreated essence of God and His creation. And as far as St. Augustine is concerned, there is much good in what he said, but the overemphasis upon his theories in the West caused a theological imbalance from which it has still not fully recovered -- as C. Moeller and G. Philips admit in their book on an oecumenical approach to grace.

On the issue of "Palamism," I really do not understand your constant references to this chimera, since I do not buy into the modern Western attempts to apply the idea of "schools of thought" to the East . . . for there is no such thing as a Maximian or Palamite school, nor is there a Maximian or Palamite theology; instead, there is simply Orthodoxy.

Finally, I see nothing wrong with admitting that the West took a wrong turn when it embraced a heavily Aristotelian philosophical approach in its theologizing.
Posted By: Michael_Thoma

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/26/09 09:01 PM

Yes there is simply Orthodoxy and simply Catholicism - but the "schools" are variations in emphasis. How could there not be various "schools" of emphasis when we clearly see the distinction between the Byzantine theology in the Eastern Greek and Slav Churches, emphasizing slightly different aspects, in different language, through various cultures of the same faith as the Coptic Churches, both of which emphasize slightly different aspects than the Syriac or Armenian Churches - all of which are simply Orthodox/Catholic.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/26/09 09:05 PM

Everyone is entitled to an opinion, as long as one recognizes it is but an opinion. Your main argument with the West is it is not Byzantine. Well, so what? It never was. The tendencies you see in Augustine are also found in Tertullian and Cyprian of Carthage. And, as I said, after Augustine the West is Augustinian. That's history. The issues you raise were undoubtedly known to the Greek Church in the first millennium. They were never issues during that time. The Fathers, unlike a lot of contemporary Catholic and Orthodox Christians, were quite content to allow for differences of expression in theology, liturgy and piety, insisting only that there be unity in the essentials of faith. Since that time, there has been something of a cottage industry in making mountains out of mole hills.
Posted By: Apotheoun

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/26/09 09:07 PM

There are no "Palamites" in the East comparable to "Thomists" in the West. There is no school that follows Palamas like there is with Thomas Aquinas, and to argue that there is such a thing is foolishness.

Differences of language in the East are not the equivalent of the Scholastic schools in the West.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/26/09 09:09 PM

Quote
Yes there is simply Orthodoxy and simply Catholicism - but the "schools" are variations in emphasis. How could there not be various "schools" of emphasis when we clearly see the distinction between the Byzantine theology in the Eastern Greek and Slav Churches, emphasizing slightly different aspects, in different language, through various cultures of the same faith as the Coptic Churches, both of which emphasize slightly different aspects than the Syriac or Armenian Churches - all of which are simply Orthodox/Catholic.


Beyond that, we would have to say that were it not for the distinctiveness of the Alexandrian and Antiochian schools of theology, the divisions which began to afflict the Churches in the East would not have occurred. On the other hand, the Church as a whole is much richer for those differences. Since God is a mystery, which we perceive only indirectly and through reflection, one can consider the different theological traditions as facets on a diamond that refract light in different ways, illuminating different aspects of the object we are examining through it depending on the facet through which we look.
Posted By: Apotheoun

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/26/09 09:13 PM

Originally Posted by StuartK
Quote
Yes there is simply Orthodoxy and simply Catholicism - but the "schools" are variations in emphasis. How could there not be various "schools" of emphasis when we clearly see the distinction between the Byzantine theology in the Eastern Greek and Slav Churches, emphasizing slightly different aspects, in different language, through various cultures of the same faith as the Coptic Churches, both of which emphasize slightly different aspects than the Syriac or Armenian Churches - all of which are simply Orthodox/Catholic.


Beyond that, we would have to say that were it not for the distinctiveness of the Alexandrian and Antiochian schools of theology, the divisions which began to afflict the Churches in the East would not have occurred. On the other hand, the Church as a whole is much richer for those differences. Since God is a mystery, which we perceive only indirectly and through reflection, one can consider the different theological traditions as facets on a diamond that refract light in different ways, illuminating different aspects of the object we are examining through it depending on the facet through which we look.

An anachronistic misapplication of terms. The "schools" of Antioch and Alexandria are not comparable to what Aquinas and the Scholastics did, because both of those ancient "schools" used the same apophatic approach, and both recognized that what God is can never been known, but that He can only be experienced through grace.

More to the point at issue, I agree with Dr. Joost Van Rossum,who - in his article for St. Vladimir's Theological Quarterly - pointed out he different approaches of Aquinas and Palamas. Aquinas was trying to develop a rational system of theology, while Palamass always remained apophatic and non-philosophical in his approach to theology, and that is why Western theologians are normally unsatisfied with what Palamas said about God in relation to the essence / energy distinction. Palamas never tried to say what this ineffable distinction is, but only that it is something in God, which is only known to Him (cf. Joost Van Rossum, "Deification in Palamas and Aquinas," SVTQ 47, nos. 3-4, page 368).
Posted By: Michael_Thoma

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/26/09 09:17 PM

St. Thomas Aquinas states the exact same thing, in Latin terminology:

STI,Q12,a4:

"Therefore the created intellect cannot see the essence of God, unless God by His grace unites Himself to the created intellect, as an object made intelligible to it."
Posted By: Apotheoun

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/26/09 09:20 PM

Originally Posted by Michael_Thoma
St. Thomas Aquinas states the exact same thing, in Latin terminology:

STI,Q12,a4:

"Therefore the created intellect cannot see the essence of God, unless God by His grace unites Himself to the created intellect, as an object made intelligible to it."

No, Aquinas has not said the same thing, because the created intellect can never (ever) see the essence of God, since God's essence is hyperousios.

By saying that the created intellect can see God's essence (in any way), one has created an idol, for such a person has made the divine essence a category of created thought (see St. Gregory of Nyssa's "Sixth Sermon on the Beatitudes," "The Life of Moses" nos. 162-163, and his "Seventh Homily on Ecclesiastes"; see also St. Maximos the Confessor's, "Chapters on Knowledge," First Century, no. 2; and St. Basil's Letter 234).
Posted By: Michael_Thoma

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/26/09 09:36 PM

Here's a Coptic Orthodox faithful's answer to that statement:

Cyril – That which engraves in us the divine image and imprints there the transcendent beauty like with a stamp, isn’t that the Spirit?
Hemias – But not as a God, they say, as a minister of grace.
Cyril – Is it not Him Himself who marks us, consequently, it is the grace through Him?
Hermias – Apparently
Cyril – But if the grace given by the Spirit is something separate from its substance, why didn’t the blessed Moses clearly say that after having brought the living being into existence, the Craftsman of the universe had afterwards breathed into him a grace, the one which was given through the breath of life? Why didn’t Christ, on his part, say to us: Receive a grace, the one which was given by the ministry of the Holy Spirit? But in the first case, they call this one “breath of life”. It is that the nature of the divinity is true life, since it is true that in it we have life, movement and being. In the second case it is called “Holy Spirit” by the voice of the Savior, which in truth introduces and makes the Spirit dwell in the souls of the believers.
Posted By: Apotheoun

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/26/09 09:45 PM

Originally Posted by Michael_Thoma
Here's a Coptic Orthodox faithful's answer to that statement:

Cyril – That which engraves in us the divine image and imprints there the transcendent beauty like with a stamp, isn’t that the Spirit?
Hemias – But not as a God, they say, as a minister of grace.
Cyril – Is it not Him Himself who marks us, consequently, it is the grace through Him?
Hermias – Apparently
Cyril – But if the grace given by the Spirit is something separate from its substance, why didn’t the blessed Moses clearly say that after having brought the living being into existence, the Craftsman of the universe had afterwards breathed into him a grace, the one which was given through the breath of life? Why didn’t Christ, on his part, say to us: Receive a grace, the one which was given by the ministry of the Holy Spirit? But in the first case, they call this one “breath of life”. It is that the nature of the divinity is true life, since it is true that in it we have life, movement and being. In the second case it is called “Holy Spirit” by the voice of the Savior, which in truth introduces and makes the Spirit dwell in the souls of the believers.

A beautiful text, which I would love to see in the Greek. It is quite condemnatory of the Western approach to grace as a "created habitus."
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/27/09 12:12 AM

Do you actually know any Latin theologians today who speak of "created grace" in the hylomorphic sense? Or are you beating up straw men once more?
Posted By: Ghosty

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/27/09 12:30 AM

Originally Posted by Apotheoun

A beautiful text, which I would love to see in the Greek. It is quite condemnatory of the Western approach to grace as a "created habitus."


I see you're still beating the same horse after all these years. The "created habitus" you refer to is nothing other than the indwelling of Divine Life changing the soul. Every major Latin theologian has emphasized this point, from Aquinas to St. John of the Cross to Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange. Your insistence that it is some kind of creaturely (on the level of created nature) modification, rather than the sharing of Divinity, has no basis in reality. Perhaps with some Protestants, or even a few Scotist theologians centuries ago, but that has never represented mainstream Latin theology.

It's very disappointing to see this same calumny being spoken against authentic Latin theology.

God bless.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/27/09 01:42 AM

I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds this disturbing. It reminds me of nothing so much as a graduate student frustrated because none of his professors are taking his thesis seriously.
Posted By: Fr_Kimel

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/27/09 03:46 AM

I am reminded of the words of Antiochian Orthodox priest and scholar Patrick Reardon:

Quote
English-speaking Orthodox these days is actually just a branch of the larger Orthodox picture. Indeed, it tends sometimes to be rather sectarian.

The Orthodox Church is an ancient castle, as it were, of which only two or three rooms have been much in use since about 1920. These two or three rooms were furnished by the Russian émigrés in Paris between the two World Wars. This furniture is heavily neo-Palamite and anti-Scholastic. It relies heavily on the Cappadocians, Maximus, and Gregory Palamas (who are good folks, or course). Anything that does not fit comfortably into that model is dismissed as “Western” and even non-Orthodox.

Consequently, one will look in vain in that theology for any significant contribution from the Alexandrians, chiefly Cyril, and that major Antiochian, Chrysostom. When these are quoted, it is usually some incidental point on which they can afford to be quoted.

Now I submit that any ‘Orthodox’ theology that has so little use for the two major figures from Antioch and Alexandria is giving something less than the whole picture.

Likewise, this popular neo-Palamite brand of Orthodoxy, though it quotes Damascene when it is convenient, never really engages Damascene’s manifestly ‘Scholastic’ approach to theology.

Much less does it have any use for the other early Scholastic theologians, such as Theodore the Studite and Euthymus Zygabenus. There is no recognition that Scholasticism was born in the East, not the West, and that only the rise of the Turk kept it from flourishing in the East.

There is also no explicit recognition that the defining pattern of Orthodox Christology was formulated in the West before Chalcedon. Pope Leo’s distinctions are already very clear in Augustine decades before Chalcedon. Yet, Orthodox treatises on the history of Christology regularly ignore Augustine.

Augustine tends to be classified as a ‘Scholastic,’ which he most certainly was not.

But Western and Scholastic are bad words with these folks.

In fact, however, Augustine and the Scholastics represent only other rooms in the larger castle.

For this reason I urge you, as you can, to read in the Orthodox sources that tend to get skipped in what currently passes for ‘Orthodoxy.’ For my part, I believe the Russian émigré theology from Paris, which seems profoundly reactionary and anti-Western, is an inadequate instrument for the evangelization of this country and the world. I say this while gladly recognizing my own debt to Russian émigré theology.”


Ultimately, what does being scholastic mean? It means attempting to think rigorously and clearly about theological questions. I presume that Sts Cyril of Alexandria, John Damascene, Maximus the Confessor also attempted to do this, each in their different idioms.

This kind of generalized attack on Western scholasticism has nothing more than polemics and ideology. How many of you have read St Thomas Aquinas and St Bonaventure, to cite the two best-known scholastic theologians of the West? Have you read, e.g., Bonaventure's The Soul's Journey into God? If you have, then you know that this towering intellect was also a man of deep prayer and mystical experience.

Shame on you for these polemical and ignorant attacks on that which you do not know. Shame. Instead of spending so much time attacking straw Western men, you should instead be spending your time acquainting yourselves with both the Eastern and Western Church Fathers, we well as your own wider theological tradition, much of which, unfortunately, it not yet available in English. And then, having truly mastered the whole of the Eastern tradition, perhaps you would then be in a position to constructively and sympathetically engage the classic Western theologians. Only then will they be in a position to offer critique.

Don't you folks realize how destructive silly polemics like this is?! It is destructive to sound theological reflection and constructive conversation. It is destructive to the unity of the Church. And it is destructive to one's soul. Being an ideologue is easy. Becoming a real theologian is something very different.

Posted By: Ghosty

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/27/09 05:12 AM

Wow, I'm glad to hear from an Orthodox priest the view that St. John of Damascus was basically "Scholastic" in his approach. I would argue that much of what is called "Scholasticism" is derived directly from St. John's approach, especially through St. Thomas Aquinas who pretty much based his theological work on St. John's approach.

I also agree that St. Thomas Aquinas was fundamentally a mystic (and his mystical approach can not be reduced to the single event that is often cited). He just also tried to put the mystical into a cohesive form of thinking, much like his predecessor St. John of Damascus. St. Thomas spent much more energy in mystical prayer than he ever did on the Summa, and his insights came from that mysticism, not from any "systematic" approach to God.

Peace and God bless!
Posted By: Utroque

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/27/09 10:52 PM

Although it may be apocryphal, there is an old story told about St Thomas that points to what Fr. Kimel and Ghosty are saying. When the subtle doctor was asked by his students at Paris what he wanted most while in this world, he replied that he wished to have all the sermons of St John Chrysostom next to his bed. How's that for night time reading, and from a scholastic no less? Thank you Father and Ghosty.
Posted By: Nelson Chase

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/27/09 11:02 PM

I had a class once as an Undergraduate at the University of San Diego on the Summa and Saint Thomas. The Professor was Fr. Thomas O'Meara, O.P, Ph.D. and he was teaching us about the Eastern Influence of St. Thomas. At the time I didn't really buy it- I was staunchly Eastern and wanted nothing to do with the West. Since that time I have really changed my outlook on the Latin Church and then came into Communion with her this last year(thanks be to God) I reread my class notes and I found that my professor was right and I was just a stubborn undergraduate who didn't want to see it. All the best.
Posted By: Ghosty

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/28/09 01:01 AM

Originally Posted by Nelson Chase
I had a class once as an Undergraduate at the University of San Diego on the Summa and Saint Thomas. The Professor was Fr. Thomas O'Meara, O.P, Ph.D. and he was teaching us about the Eastern Influence of St. Thomas. At the time I didn't really buy it- I was staunchly Eastern and wanted nothing to do with the West. Since that time I have really changed my outlook on the Latin Church and then came into Communion with her this last year(thanks be to God) I reread my class notes and I found that my professor was right and I was just a stubborn undergraduate who didn't want to see it. All the best.


You were fortunate to study Aquinas under a Dominican! I was fortunate enough to have the same experience, though not as part of a college course. Aquinas is one of the few Latin theologians I care to read, and I consider him to be quite a "bridge to the East" given his extensive reliance on the Eastern Fathers, from the Cappadocians and Pseudo-Dionysus through St. John of Damascus. Many people don't realize that Aquinas was cherished in the post-Byzantine East, and was translated into Greek by Patriarch Gennadios II Scholarios, the Patriarch of Constantinople that broke from the Union of Florence. Obviously there were points of theology that caused issues, like the Filioque, but in general Aquinas was highly regarded and studied in a manner that few Western theologians have been; for the strain of Byzantine theology that followed in the line of St. John of Damascus (Aquinas' most oft-cited Father), Aquinas was a rather natural fit. smile

Peace and God bless!
Posted By: asianpilgrim

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/28/09 01:27 AM

Originally Posted by Ghosty
Wow, I'm glad to hear from an Orthodox priest the view that St. John of Damascus was basically "Scholastic" in his approach. I would argue that much of what is called "Scholasticism" is derived directly from St. John's approach, especially through St. Thomas Aquinas who pretty much based his theological work on St. John's approach.

I also agree that St. Thomas Aquinas was fundamentally a mystic (and his mystical approach can not be reduced to the single event that is often cited). He just also tried to put the mystical into a cohesive form of thinking, much like his predecessor St. John of Damascus. St. Thomas spent much more energy in mystical prayer than he ever did on the Summa, and his insights came from that mysticism, not from any "systematic" approach to God.

Peace and God bless!


It should not be forgotten that what we now know of as "medieval scholasticism" developed in a milieu that was drenched in liturgical and mystical prayer. SS. Thomas Aquinas and Bonaventure, in addition to being mystics themselves, were members of religious Orders that had a demanding cycle of daily liturgical services -- in which both saints participated enthusiastically.

I do not consider medieval scholasticism to be "dry", but I submit that if it has become rather fashionable to see scholasticism as such, it is because we encounter it today in a manner that is all too often divorced from the spiritual and liturgical milieu that surrounded and supported it, and without which the great medieval scholastics would not have soared to the heights.

Years ago I wrote a little essay on this subject for the NLM. It isn't perfect and it has many, MANY faults and weaknesses, but I'd like to repeat what I said on the subject:

http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2006/10/scholasticism-liturgy-and-monasticism.html

Quote
It is quite interesting to note that the great founders of the golden age of scholasticism were people -- often saints -- who lived in a monastic atmosphere and led a rigorously liturgical life. The Dominicans of the 13th century were not "active religious"; they were canons regular, who chanted the entire Divine Office in choir in addition to the Office of the Blessed Virgin and various other devotions. St. Thomas Aquinas, it is said, was present at two masses every day: he celebrated one mass, after which he would serve another. And this was in addition to his daily offices! And was he not himself the poet and doctor of the Eucharist? The Franciscans have not always been the most liturgical of orders, but the 13th century coincided with their best liturgical work, when Franciscan hands were molding what we now know as the classical "Roman" breviary. St. Bonaventure himself was a renowned mystic, fond of prayer and of the common life. The Franciscans of those days, for all of their activity, were first and foremost men of retirement and intense prayer, both liturgical and private. Those precursors of scholasticism, the Canons Regular of St. Victor, were also men of intense liturgical life. While Hugh and Richard of St. Victor wrote sublime theological treatises, their fellow Canons of St. Victor were writing some of the most beautiful sequences of the Western liturgical heritage. Furthermore, Paris, the center of medieval scholasticism, was among the most liturgically-conscious dioceses of the West. And, were not medieval Oxford and Cambridge places surrounded by glorious chapels, where the Sarum Use was celebrated in all its exuberance?

Perhaps the doctors of the Scholastic age were able to do what they did, to construct elaborate systems that were quite foreign (without being opposed to) to the patristic heritage and that welded elements of pagan, Jewish and Islamic philosophy with the thought of the Bible and the Fathers, precisely because their intellectual and affective lives were balanced by the constant round of liturgical offices and the discipline of the cloister. This is not a mere "prayer-and-study" balance I am talking about, as if the scholastics could have replaced the liturgy with devotions and mental prayer and still have pulled off their intellectual achievement (more on this later). I hold that it was the lived experience of the liturgy in the context of cloistered life that precisely made it possible for the scholastics to soar into the heights of philosophical speculation without losing their own familiarity with the fathers and scripture. As for the "monastic" life that the greatest medieval doctors lived, its contribution was not simply as a framework for the daily liturgy. Rather, the monastic life, with its institutions, its mentality derived straight from the Fathers, made it possible to fully live the patristic and evangelical spirit present in the liturgy.

Conversely, to cut off scholasticism from the lived experience of the liturgy, with its rich treasures drawn from the Bible and the Fathers, is to begin the inevitable shriveling up of scholasticism into the dry and impoverished system that could only alienate -- and did alienate -- people from the fullness of Catholic teaching. Without a liturgical environment, scholasticism faces the prospect of aridity. I could even adduce a theological reason to this: the liturgy is the primary and privileged expression of the magisterium, the most authentic exposition of the mind of the Church. Without it, no system, no school of thought could claim to transmit the fullness of Catholic teaching.

The Silver Age of Scholasticism shows this impoverishment well. What we often call "dry scholasticism" has been traced to the 16th and 17th century (and even earlier) attempt to revive scholasticism. However, this attempt, called the "Silver Age" did not add as much to the great corpus of scholastic teaching as would be expected, and often entangled Catholic theology in misinterpretations of the scholastic and patristic heritage that had to wait for 20th century developments in order to be dispelled. One thinks of the Bannezist and Molinist controversies that only muddled up the Thomistic doctrine of predestination, the "Augustinian" theologians who only succeeded in making the Doctor of Grace look entirely dark and who made the ground hospitable to Jansenism, the disjunct established between nature and grace that had to wait for 20th century attempts at clarification in order for it to be mended. It was ultimately the tangles of Silver Age theology and philosophy that would result in the revolutionary reactions of mid-20th century theology.

It is significant that the Silver Age and its antecedents occurred precisely when the liturgy had ceased to be the center of Catholic spiritual life, even in the monasteries. In place of liturgical spirituality there was the "devotionalism" that would dominate Catholic piety from the 15th to the 20th centuries. Far be it from us to utterly condemn the "devotionalism" of the 16th to the early 20th centuries, to brand it as being somehow un-Catholic. It certainly made many great saints. Still, there can be no denying that the "devotions" and other subjective forms of piety that came to dominate the post-medieval Catholic world were a poor substitute for the liturgy. Even the liturgy came to be treated as just another private devotion.


I use the term "monastic" quite loosely here, and I was perfectly aware even when I wrote this that the Franciscans and Dominicans were friars, not monks. However, the kind of life maintained by the friars in the 13th century, with its liturgical cycles and strict discipline, certainly had much that was cognate with monasticism.
Posted By: Apotheoun

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/28/09 03:15 AM

Originally Posted by Fr_Kimel
Ultimately, what does being scholastic mean? It means attempting to think rigorously and clearly about theological questions. I presume that Sts Cyril of Alexandria, John Damascene, Maximus the Confessor also attempted to do this, each in their different idioms.

Fr. Kimel,

You are equivocating. I do not deny that St. Cyril, St. John Damascene, St. Maximos, et al., were great scholars, but I am referring to the Scholastic movement that arose in the West in response to the revival of pagan (Aristotelian) philosophy, and not simply to "scholarship." The "theological" approach adopted by the Western Scholastics is very different from that used by the Fathers and even by the Byzantine theologians of the medieval period, and it is that approach, which attempts to know the unknowable by the use of created reason, that I reject.

God grant you many joyful years,
Todd

"Every concept grasped by the mind becomes an obstacle in the quest of those who search." St. Gregory of Nyssa
Posted By: Philippe Gebara

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/29/09 05:02 AM

Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by Michael_Thoma
St. Thomas Aquinas states the exact same thing, in Latin terminology:

STI,Q12,a4:

"Therefore the created intellect cannot see the essence of God, unless God by His grace unites Himself to the created intellect, as an object made intelligible to it."

No, Aquinas has not said the same thing, because the created intellect can never (ever) see the essence of God, since God's essence is hyperousios.

By saying that the created intellect can see God's essence (in any way), one has created an idol, for such a person has made the divine essence a category of created thought (see St. Gregory of Nyssa's "Sixth Sermon on the Beatitudes," "The Life of Moses" nos. 162-163, and his "Seventh Homily on Ecclesiastes"; see also St. Maximos the Confessor's, "Chapters on Knowledge," First Century, no. 2; and St. Basil's Letter 234).


But Aquinas is not saying we know God's essence in se, but we know it as an object made intelligible to the intelect; it's not the essence anymore, therefore, but something related to it. So in the Palamite theology, we know the energy - something made intelligible for us that proceeded from the essence of God - but not the essence in itself.

Originally Posted by StuartK

And even in that regard, it is important to remember that the Church of the First Millennium "never knew true unity, but bore witness to it".



What does it mean that phrase, please, Stuart?

Posted By: StuartK

Re: Infallibility and Primate of Jurisdicion - acceptable by EC? - 07/29/09 11:16 AM

Quote
What does it mean that phrase, please, Stuart?


At no time during the first millennium can it be said that the Church was truly united in all areas. The history of the early Church is one of controversy and conflict, doctrinal and jurisdictional. But at the same time, the Church also understood that it was one body, and that unity of the body was not merely an abstract ideal, but something essential towards which it would have to strive constantly. Thus, throughout the first millennium, no matter how dismal ecclesiastical relations may have seemed, the push towards reconciliation was always strong on both sides. The Church did not know unity, but it strove for unity, and bore witness to its unity thereby.
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