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The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas

Posted By: DTBrown

The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 07/28/02 09:52 PM

This was the formula that settled the first schism between East and West. It was concluded in Constantinople in AD 519:

The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers. For it is impossible that the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, who said, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church," [Matthew 16:18], should not be verified. And their truth has been proved by the course of history, for in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been kept unsullied. From this hope and faith we by no means desire to be separated and, following the doctrine of the Fathers, we declare anathema all heresies, and, especially, the heretic Nestorius, former bishop of Constantinople, who was condemned by the Council of Ephesus, by Blessed Celestine, bishop of Rome, and by the venerable Cyril, bishop of Alexandria. We likewise condemn and declare to be anathema Eutyches and Dioscoros of Alexandria, who were condemned in the holy Council of Chalcedon, which we follow and endorse. This Council followed the holy Council of Nicaea and preached the apostolic faith. And we condemn the assassin Timothy, surnamed Aelurus ["the Cat"] and also Peter [Mongos] of Alexandria, his disciple and follower in everything. We also declare anathema their helper and follower, Acacius of Constantinople, a bishop once condemned by the Apostolic See, and all those who remain in contact and company with them. Because this Acacius joined himself to their communion, he deserved to receive a judgment of condemnation similar to theirs. Furthermore, we condemn Peter ["the Fuller"] of Antioch with all his followers together together with the followers of all those mentioned above.

Following, as we have said before, the Apostolic See in all things and proclaiming all its decisions, we endorse and approve all the letters which Pope St Leo wrote concerning the Christian religion. And so I hope I may deserve to be associated with you in the one communion which the Apostolic See proclaims, in which the whole, true, and perfect security of the Christian religion resides. I promise that from now on those who are separated from the communion of the Catholic Church, that is, who are not in agreement with the Apostolic See, will not have their names read during the sacred mysteries. But if I attempt even the least deviation from my profession, I admit that, according to my own declaration, I am an accomplice to those whom I have condemned. I have signed this, my profession, with my own hand, and I have directed it to you, Hormisdas, the holy and venerable pope of Rome.


OrthoMan and I began a discussion on this in another thread. Perhaps we can take it up again here? I have attempted to give some background on this Formula based on some of my own research at:

http://www.catholic-forum.com/members/popestleo/hormisdas.html

Bob had begun by giving some of his thoughts on it. Bob, care to continue?
Posted By: Sub-Deacon Ghazaros

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 07/28/02 11:53 PM

Dear Dave Ignatius,

This is powerful stuff. I really would like to know what the modern Orthodox response would be such a precedent from the early Church. I hope it is something better than trying to dodge the question by claiming the "Apostolic See" didn't necessarily refer to Rome.

Of course Rome was not the only Apostolic See. But it is manifestly obvious that in this context, the statement is certainly referring to Rome. This at the very least is a confirmation that the Primacy of Rome is an Apostolic tradition acknowledged by the early Church.

I'll be looking forward to learning more about the significance of this statement as the dialogue develops. Thanks for your work.

In Christ's Light,

Wm. Der-Ghazarian
Posted By: George Blaisdell

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 07/29/02 12:55 AM

>This is powerful stuff. I really would like to know what the modern Orthodox response would be such a precedent from the early Church. I hope it is something better than trying to dodge the question by claiming the "Apostolic See" didn't necessarily refer to Rome.

I think it is approached as history, that prior to the great schism, Rome was indeed the premier Apostolic See, that She was often looked to for resolution of conflicts, and that She was the best of the best, a kind of Michael Jordan, who was the premier player among great players. Technical term is Primer inter Pares, first among equals. She was not seen as infallible - No bishop was seen by the early Church as infallible, and indeed, whenever ecumenical councils met, even the previous unanimous concilliar decisions were reaffirmed [or not!] - So that not even unanimous ecumenical Bishop vote was seen as infallible.

The matter of the play on words in "You are Peter" was I think taken and given as a eulogism of honor, and not taken literally as the Roman See does today. Even in the West, it was not dogmatically understood this way for the first thousand years and more...

Others can doubtless answer better than I...

geo
Posted By: Diak

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 07/29/02 04:04 AM

Dave, do you have a reference to the complete translation of the actual document itself? Very enlightening.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 07/29/02 03:14 PM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Der-Ghazarian:


>>>This is powerful stuff.<<<

Not really. Every now and again, a "Catholic" apologist will dredge it up as "proof" that the Eastern Churches accepted "papal supremacy". But to put the Acacian Schism and the "Formula of Hormosidas" in those terms is anachronistic at best, and ignores the actual historical context of both the dispute and the resolution.

>>>I really would like to know what the modern Orthodox response would be such a precedent from the early Church. I hope it is something better than trying to dodge the question by claiming the "Apostolic See" didn't necessarily refer to Rome.<<<

The answer is that the "Formula" was imposed on the Eastern Churches by the Emperor Justin I as a means of ending the Acacian Schism and therefore open the way to the reestablishment of Byzantine jurisdiction over Italy (which was accomplished by Justin's successor Justinian the Great). When the document was ratified by the Church of Constantinople, the Patriarch signed his name with a caveat, that "Constantinople, being 'New Rome', is one with and equal to 'Old Rome'". There was never on the part of the Eastern Churches any interpretation of the Formula of Hormosidas as making them "subordinate" to the Church of Rome, let alone the notion that Rome had any sort of jurisdiction over the Eastern Churches. Going beyond the immediate facts around the signing of the Formula, one must look at how the Eastern Churches actually lived their relationship with the Church of Rome in order to see what interpretation must be given to the Formula itself. And there, we see that the Eastern Churches acted as full and independent, neither subordinate to or under the jurisdiction of Rome. In effect, everything stayed as it was, and in the three centuries after the signing of the Formula, it remains an historical fact that the Bishop of Rome had to have his election ratified by the Emperor of New Rome, and had to submit a synodicon to the imperial exarch at Ravenna. In other words, the Formula of Hormosidas had absolutely NO effect on the inner or outer lives of either the Western or Eastern Churches, and therefore has no bearing on relations between the Eastern and Western Churches today--except in the minds of people like Jim Likoudis.

>>>Of course Rome was not the only Apostolic See. But it is manifestly obvious that in this context, the statement is certainly referring to Rome. This at the very least is a confirmation that the Primacy of Rome is an Apostolic tradition acknowledged by the early Church.<<<

Meaning nothing, since the primacy of Rome was acknowledged throughout the Ecumene (the bounds of the Roman world, East and West). The key question, always ignored by both sides, is what primacy actually meant at the time when there was unity in the Church. And most assuredly, that primacy bore no relationship to the Roman self-defined concept that emerged in the wake of the Gregorian reforms and which reached its apogee in Pastor Aeternus.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 07/29/02 03:26 PM

>>>I think it is approached as history, that prior to the great schism, Rome was indeed the premier Apostolic See, that She was often looked to for resolution of conflicts, and that She was the best of the best, a kind of Michael Jordan, who was the premier player among great players.<<<

it would be more accurate to say that Rome, being both an intellectual backwater and lacking a theological "school" of its own on par with Alexandria and Antioch, and later Constantinople (the real "superstars" of the patristic era Churches), and being inately conservative in outlook, tended to stand aloof from the various controversies of the day and so served as a benchmark of Christian orthodoxy against which new concepts were measured. Rome did very little innovative thinking in the first millennium, and Leo the Great's Tome to Flavian remains very much the exception that proves the rule (and at Chalcedon, it was not blindly accepted, but tested against the gold standard Christology of Cyril of Alexandria, and then modified before being incorporated into the "Chalcedonian Formula").

Technical term is Primer inter Pares, first among equals.<<<

This is a term which is much misunderstood in contemporary society, which is not based on the two bedrocks of late classical society--status and auctoritas. Being primus inter pares has nothing to do with juridical rank, but with prestige, charisma. It was something that had to be earned and maintained, and which could not be defined in advance. In the case of Rome, it came initially because Rome was the center of the Empire, and the early Church believed that ecclesial structures should parallel those of the secular power. It also came from the prestige and auctoritas of the Church of Rome's size, wealth and above all, the witness of her martyrs. That she could number among these both Peter and Paul gave Rome an extra dash of dignitas and auctoritas, but its primacy in the first half of the first millennium was never based on "apostolicity". In fact, the apotolic argument (that Rome was founded by Peter AND Paul, later that Rome was founded by Peter, and later still, that the Bishop of Rome was Peter's heir and inherited Peter's special place) begins to emerge only as the social and political prestige of the city of Rome begins to decline in the fourth century.

>>>She was not seen as infallible - No bishop was seen by the early Church as infallible, and indeed, whenever ecumenical councils met, even the previous unanimous concilliar decisions were reaffirmed [or not!] - So that not even unanimous ecumenical Bishop vote was seen as infallible.<<<

In fact, nothing is infallible until it is received by the entire Body of Christ into the fabric of Holy Tradition. Messy, but much better than attempting to impose things by juridical fiat.

>>>The matter of the play on words in "You are Peter" was I think taken and given as a eulogism of honor, and not taken literally as the Roman See does today. Even in the West, it was not dogmatically understood this way for the first thousand years and more...<<<

This is correct. Apologetic use of Matthew 16:18 emerges quite late in the day, and was, interestingly, marked by the emergence of the myth that Andrew (the First Called) founded Byzantium--an indication that the terms of the engagement had moved out of accomodation and into apostolicity.
Posted By: Gerard Serafin

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 07/29/02 03:34 PM

Stuart writes:

And most assuredly, that primacy bore no relationship to the Roman self-defined concept that emerged in the wake of the Gregorian reforms and which reached its apogee in Pastor Aeternus.

As I understand things (and as I believe by faith), the primacy of Rome in every age has some relationship to every other age. I believe that the "development" of doctrine regarding the primacy found legitimate expression in "Pastor Aeternus" and its reaffirmation in a more collegial context in "Lumen Gentium."

But more and more I find these theological "constructs" on all sides are pale and quite empty in light of the reality of the Petrine Ministry in the life of the Church TODAY.

Toronto is yet another expression of this great gift - beyond all criticisms and constructs (and historical research).

I don't expect everyone to think as I do (though I expect, I suppose, that Catholics believe what the Church teaches).
Posted By: OrthoMan

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 07/29/02 04:15 PM

[This at the very least is a confirmation that the Primacy of Rome is an Apostolic tradition acknowledged by the early Church.]

No Orthodox Catholic denies the primacy of Rome. The problem isn't the primacy of Rome but its claims to SUPREMACY over the entire Church. The primacy of Rome was a primacy of HONOR that was never based on Mathew 16:18 but the fact he resided in the capitol of the empire which is made very clear in the three canons of the undivided church that I have posted.
Just like no Orthodox Catholic would deny there was a preeminence OF HONOR accorded to St Peter.


[Jesus Christ, who said, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church," [Matthew 16:18], should not be verified. And their truth has been proved by the course of history, for in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been kept unsullied.]

Once again the reference is refering to the FAITH of Peter since it was addressing a heresy that had arisen in the church (Nestorism). Thats what I mean about 'the context in which it is written'. Christ did not build His Church only on St Peter. Eph. 2:1920 says God's household is "built upon the foundation of the Apostles [PLURAL}," not on one.
Peter had no authority over the other Apstoles. In Acts 15 at the council of Jerusalem, he does not settle the dispute - he does not have the last word and someone else gives the judgement (Acts 15:6-21) verse 14 states: Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were THE NAMES OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES OF THE LAMB.

In Mathew 18:18 we see all the Apostles are later given the power to "bind" and "loose". The "power of the keys" was given to all the bishops of the church, not only to the Roman Popes.
------------------------

I've already commented on the 'Apostolic See' and the 'Catholic religion' which at the time does not by any means refer only to the Church of Rome but also to the churches of Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandra, and Constantinople. Remember that St Peter was also the Bishop of Antioch before he went to Rome. So he also established the Apostolic See of Antioch.
Had the Pope exclaimed 'The Holy City' instead of 'the Apostolic See' are we then to assume there is only one 'Holy City' in all of Christendom? Or the 'Holy City of Rome' is more Holy than the city of Bethlehem where Christ was born or Jerusalem where Christ died?

Some of you obviously just want to dismiss the canons of the church that were accepted by all in favour of quoting church fathers out of context to prove your point.

I will give an example of what I mean.

Pope Saint Gregory writes, By the voice of the Lord the care of the entire Church was entrusted to the Holy Apostle and leader of all the Apostles Peter. (Letter 5:37)

Roman Catholics love to use this as proof of Papal supremacy. But Pope St Gregory never considered himself or anyone else to be at any given time sole occupant of Peter's office.

[Pope St gregory (Letter 7:40 [NPNF ser.2, 12:228]) calls St Euloguis, bishop of Alexandra "he who occupies St Peter's chair," and adds that by divine authority three bishops (namely Rome, Antioch, and Alexandra) preside over the single see.

That is just one example why you can post all the random quotes from the church fathers and they do not mean a thing when compared to the canons of the church because they have to be taken in the context they were written.

There is a big difference between the words 'primacy' and 'supremacy'. So, since the Roman Pope now claims universal authority over the entire church and all its bishops lets use the correct word which is SUPREMACY rather than simply PRIMACY from now on.

Can you give me ONE CANON of the individed church that gives the Roman Pope SUPREMACY over the entire church? We will start from there rather than out of context quotes by saints and early church fathers. Which will just end up in another tit for tat game which I don't intend to play for the umpteenth time.

Orthoman

P.S. Today its supposed to go up to 98 degrees with a heat factor of about 110. I did a stupid thing by putting my computer in the back bedroom where there is no air conditioning. As I write this I am slowly turning from 'medium rare' to 'medium'. There is only so far I will go to defend my Holy Orthodox Catholic faith. So you may not hear from me until while the 'heat goes on'. The temperature that is! meanwhile I will be downstairs in the air conditioning!
Posted By: DTBrown

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 07/29/02 05:00 PM

One can read the Formula of St Hormisdas anachronistically in two ways:

1)One can assume that the first millennium Church operated like the Catholic Church today--operating with a tight centralized control.

2)One can accept uncritically the typical Eastern view today that Rome was only an equal with the other Patriarchates and that what primacy it had was merely honorific.

Both are modern views and cannot be projected back onto those times. The Catholic teaching on the primacy of the successor of St Peter is one that has developed over time. This is but one stage of the development. Separate from this is the manner in which the primacy is exercised--which everyone agrees can be changed.

What we can learn from this document is (I'll only concentrate on two items):

1)What was the Church (East and West) willing to say about how to interpret Matthew 16 ("You are Peter".)

2)What the Church (East and West) was willing to say about the necessity of communion with Rome.

This is not to deny the political involvement of Justin and Justinian nor that there was some reserve on the part of some Eastern bishops (after all, that is one reason the Emperor got involved!) But, to view the Patriarch of Constantinople's addendum to it as "emptying it of all value" (as some have stated) is viewing the Formula through Reformation glasses. Whatever he meant (and that is open to question), he still submitted. For an interesting commentary (and the complete text of the Patriarch's gloss) see the latter part of the chapter "The Consequences of Chalcedon" by S. Herbert Scott:

http://www.catholic-forum.com/members/popestleo/conseq.html

I have more to add but am out of time at the moment. I did want to ask Stuart what he meant when he referred to "Catholic" apologists with quotes around "Catholic"?

Dave Ignatius DTBrown@aol.com

[ 07-29-2002: Message edited by: DTBrown ]
Posted By: StuartK

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 07/29/02 05:11 PM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by DTBrown:
>>>I did want to ask Stuart what he meant when he referred to "Catholic" apologists with quotes around "Catholic"?<<<

Those for whom the entire issue of Catholicity is centered around acceptance of certain propositions regarding the Bishop of Rome, as opposed to understanding and reception of the entirety of the Catholic Tradition as maintained by all the Apostolic Churches--to which the issue of universal primacy is tangential at best.
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 07/29/02 05:13 PM

Dear Dave,

I've read this thread with some interest.

My response to you is that whatever the past, let's leave the theological experts to bury it.

Let us live the faith in Christ and in His Holy Catholic Church today and right NOW!

Let's allow ourselves to be penetrated by the love of the Lord Jesus, especially through the witness and example of His Holiness Pope John Paul II.

If I knew nothing of Church history, and I really don't care about it now, frankly, I would recognize the Spirit at work in the Pilgrims of WYD - and in the leadership of His Holiness.

Styles of leadership change. But our job is to irradiate Christ to the world.

Nowhere in the New Testament is there ever mention made that a theologian or a church historian ever made it to heaven on his or her merits as such alone.

Let's follow His Holiness and the Pilgrims toward Christ!

Alex
Posted By: DTBrown

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 07/29/02 05:52 PM

Stuart,

So, perhaps the pope is "Catholic," but not really Catholic--is that your point? smile

Dave Ignatius DTBrown@aol.com
Posted By: DTBrown

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 07/29/02 05:57 PM

Alex wrote:

Quote
If I knew nothing of Church history, and I really don't care about it now, frankly, I would recognize the Spirit at work in the Pilgrims of WYD - and in the leadership of His Holiness.

Styles of leadership change. But our job is to irradiate Christ to the world.

Nowhere in the New Testament is there ever mention made that a theologian or a church historian ever made it to heaven on his or her merits as such alone.

Let's follow His Holiness and the Pilgrims toward Christ!


Thanks for the reminder, Alex! We watched a bunch of the WYD on EWTN (I know a few here will go "boo! hiss!!") and enjoyed it tremendously! My son (age 13) particularly got caught up in watching the services...and he usually gets "bored" at church. He'd like to go to Cologne...I guess I'd better start saving $!

Dave Ignatius DTBrown@aol.com
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 07/29/02 06:09 PM

Dear Dave,

Yes, it was all inspiring!

But to see what effect WYD on the participants and the presence of the Holy Father among us, well, if that is "tangential," I never want to be "central."

Alex
Posted By: StuartK

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 07/29/02 08:21 PM

Quote
Originally posted by DTBrown:
>>>Stuart,

So, perhaps the pope is "Catholic," but not really Catholic--is that your point? smile

Dave Ignatius DTBrown@aol.com
<<<

No, Dave, my point is that the papacy and its associated primacy exist to serve to serve the Church, the Church does not exist to justify the existence of the papacy--though, to listen to some people, you would think that without the papacy there would be no Church.
Posted By: DTBrown

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 07/29/02 10:20 PM

Quote
Originally posted by StuartK:


No, Dave, my point is that the papacy and its associated primacy exist to serve to serve the Church, the Church does not exist to justify the existence of the papacy--though, to listen to some people, you would think that without the papacy there would be no Church.


I would agree that the purpose of the papacy is to serve the Church. After all, that is the idea behind the term "Servant of the servants of God." I think it was Pope St Gregory who popularized it first in reference to the papacy. (Interestingly, the Encyclopedia Brittanica article on St Gregory snipes that the way St Gregory used that term `actually meant the opposite.')

As to those folks who "think that without the papacy there would be no Church...." I've never met any such. I do know of several people who would agree with this fellow, however:

Quote
97. The Catholic Church, both in her praxis and in her solemn documents, holds that the communion of the particular Churches with the Church of Rome, and of their Bishops with the Bishop of Rome, is-&#8212;in God's plan&#8212;-an essential requisite of full and visible communion. Indeed full communion, of which the Eucharist is the highest sacramental manifestation, needs to be visibly expressed in a ministry in which all the Bishops recognize that they are united in Christ and all the faithful find confirmation for their faith. The first part of the Acts of the Apostles presents Peter as the one who speaks in the name of the apostolic group and who serves the unity of the community&#8212;all the while respecting the authority of James, the head of the Church in Jerusalem. This function of Peter must continue in the Church so that under her sole Head, who is Jesus Christ, she may be visibly present in the world as the communion of all his disciples.


Dave Ignatius DTBrown@aol.com
Posted By: Sub-Deacon Ghazaros

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 07/29/02 11:08 PM

Dear Stuart and OrthoMan,

Thank you two for the much better answers to this question of Hormisdas' Formula than what I had previously read. The first one given by Orthoman (in the previous forum) questioning whether "Apostolic See" IN CONTEXT referred to Rome, I thought, was absurd. These latter replys from you two I found much more satisfying.

(By the way I know OrthoMan is Orthodox from his writings, are you also Stuart? Your personal info page doesn't give your religious affiliation)

I can appreciate Alex's admonition to live in the "now" as followers of Jesus Christ. But we must also make time to try and understand what the Church was meant to be in order to work within it for the kind of reform that will, Lord Willing, bring full unity back to its divided members.

For me, that's a big part of what drew me to join this forum. I wanted to be able to discuss these important things with other brothers and sisters in Christ who are from the historic Churches in order to learn and grow in my understanding of Christ's Holy Bride.

I can't understand how Stuart could deny that such a formula is an amazingly clear and powerful assertion of -at the very least- Rome's own understanding of her importance. Regardless of whether you agree with the truthfulness of the formula, how could you deny that it is at least historically substantial? Something to consider?

I personally am very dissapointed with these weak Eastern Patriarchs (according to the interpretation you gave) who just signed such statements all the while believing them to be false. If what you say is true, then they failed the Church miserably. May God have mercy on them for such cowardice in the face of blantant falsehood. This, according to your analysis would be another proof for the apparent scourge of Ceasaro-papism the West always accuses the East of. And I know both Churches have had their scourges.

One thing that makes me suspect of such formulae so clearly affirming Papal "Supremacy" (and I do understand the difference between "Primacy" and "Supremacy") is that they always seemed to have originated from the Roman Bishops themselves. If this was the faith of all, how come it was the Popes only making such claims? Yet, this is far from saying what Orthoman seems to be claiming, that no one knew anything about Papal Supremacy in those days. Or, like Stuart is saying that to suggest they did is anachronistic.

When you combine this formula with other statements by early Popes (do we really need to list them all out again?), it becomes manifest that there clearly was an understanding or belief among THEM that they had a "Supremacy." The question for me is: did this belief of theirs represent an authentic expression of the Orthodox Faith of the Catholic Church (I.O.W. of both East and West)... or was it just a Western, Latin understanding.

Thanks for your anticipated replys.

In Christ's Light,

Wm. Der-Ghazarian
Posted By: StuartK

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 07/30/02 01:49 AM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Der-Ghazarian:
[QB]Dear Stuart and OrthoMan,

>>>(By the way I know OrthoMan is Orthodox from his writings, are you also Stuart? Your personal info page doesn't give your religious affiliation)<<<

Like His Beatitude, Patriarch Gregory III Laham, I consider myself to be an Orthodox Christian--with a plus: I am in communion with the Church of Rome.

>>>I can't understand how Stuart could deny that such a formula is an amazingly clear and powerful assertion of -at the very least- Rome's own understanding of her importance. Regardless of whether you agree with the truthfulness of the formula, how could you deny that it is at least historically substantial? Something to consider?<<<

The thing about historical documents is that they are much like biblical extracts: removed from their proper context they can mean almost anything. Picking and choosing documents like the Formula is much like the old Protestant game of Scriptural prooftexting: if one looks hard enough, one can find a document to support any position. That is why, if we are to reach the truth, and through the truth achieve unity in the Holy Spirit, it is essential to submit all such documents to an exhaustive historical/critical analysis. This will help us to determine what the document meant to the people who wrote it and to whom it was addressed. Language changes, rhetorical styles change. Superficial readings can be very misleading (e.g., Peter may have spoken through Leo the Great at Chalcedon, but such acclamations were a standard rhetorical device in late antiquity, and once can find many examples of people who spoke with the voice of Peter, or Paul, or even Christ--which makes the use of the acclamation as an apologetic device in favor of papal supremacy rather facile). In the case of the Formula of Hormosidas, it is absolutely essential to understand both the circumstances under which it was issued, and how it was received by the Churches at the time--as reflected in their actual behavior.

>>>I personally am very dissapointed with these weak Eastern Patriarchs (according to the interpretation you gave) who just signed such statements all the while believing them to be false.<<<

What, then, can we say of the equally "weak" Bishops of Rome, of whom there were many, right down into the modern era? In point of fact, by signing with a caveat, the Patriarch was clarifying his own position--what the document meant in his mind. It's not a form of weakness, its a form of honesty. And, as history showed, it was the Patriarch's interpretation that carried the day.

>>>If what you say is true, then they failed the Church miserably.<<<

Did they? The Church is a sacrament with an institutional aspect, run by and for sinful man. Compromise is the essence of maintaining unity, and balancing the need for compromise with the need to preserve the integrity of the faith is a difficult balancing act under any circumstance. It helps to remember just how ambiguous the Nicene homousion actually was, and why such an ambivalent term as homoousios was chosen in the first place. Moreover, as the Catholic and Orthodox Churches' ongoing rapprochement with the non-Chalcedonian Churches demonstrates, willingness to compromise on matters not central to the faith, and to extend to the other a charitable willingness to understand his forms of theological expression, can help preserve both the integrity of the faith and the unity of the Church.

>>>May God have mercy on them for such cowardice in the face of blantant falsehood.<<<

Everything is so clear to someone who is 1500 years removed from the scene, and who has no responsibility for making decisions.

>>>This, according to your analysis would be another proof for the apparent scourge of Ceasaro-papism the West always accuses the East of. And I know both Churches have had their scourges.<<<

The East was never subject to Caesero-Papism (or if it was, then the West was subject to Papo-Caesarism); rather, the concept of synergia between Church and state applied, and your attempt to analyze the situation using Western categories is bound to be misleading at best. I suggest you read John Meyendorff's Byzantine Theology, or Alexander Schmemman's Church/World/Mission for a more accurate assessment. And if you want a non-Orthodox source, you cannot do better than J.M. Hussey's The Orthodox Church and the Byzantine Empire.

>>>One thing that makes me suspect of such formulae so clearly affirming Papal "Supremacy" (and I do understand the difference between "Primacy" and "Supremacy") is that they always seemed to have originated from the Roman Bishops themselves.<<<

Well, of course. But the Formula of Hormosidas is best seen as a secular, diplomatic document.

>>>If this was the faith of all, how come it was the Popes only making such claims?<<<

Today we have both the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Patriarch of Moscow acting in an extremely "papalist" manner. And throughout the period of the Turkokratia, the Ecumenical Patriarch was both civil and religious leader of the Rhum Milet with a power as great or greater than his Roman contemporaries.

>>>Yet, this is far from saying what Orthoman seems to be claiming, that no one knew anything about Papal Supremacy in those days. Or, like Stuart is saying that to suggest they did is anachronistic.<<<

If you were to suggest in 513 that the Bishop of Rome had the power to intervene directly in the affairs of other local Churches without invitation, or that he could, under a particular set of circumstances, utter statements that would have to be accepted as both dogmatic and inerrant, well, then, you would have been laughed off the rostrum. Which is why the Formula of Hormosidas doesn't say any such thing.

>>>When you combine this formula with other statements by early Popes (do we really need to list them all out again?)<<<

I think we do, because most of them are taken out of context, or are not placed within the full spectrum of ecclesiological opinion

>>>it becomes manifest that there clearly was an understanding or belief among THEM that they had a "Supremacy."<<<

What they may have believed as individuals, or even as heads of their particular Churches, is irrelevant. All that counts is how the Church actually lived. And with few exceptions, most Bishops of Rome never pushed a juridical concept of their primacy, let alone supremacy. Theirs was a more mystical conception of primacy, a charism that others should recognize but which could not be imposed. Some, like Gregory the Great, went out of their way to discourage any notion that they, as Bishop of Rome, stood anywhere above or beyond their brother bishops in grace or wisdom.

>>>The question for me is: did this belief of theirs represent an authentic expression of the Orthodox Faith of the Catholic Church (I.O.W. of both East and West)... or was it just a Western, Latin understanding.<<<

Neither. It was an attempt to maintain the authority and independence of the Church of Rome at a time when the collapse of civil authority in the West forced the Church there to take on an ever-increasing burden of civil power. Some Bishops of Rome were weak enough to conflate their spiritual authority with their temporal powers. But then, "All power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely".
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 07/30/02 01:06 PM

Dera Ghazarian,

Yes, I agree that Church history is important.

I only wanted to emphasize that in our zeal to try and reach that "perfect" historical interpretation, sometimes the here and now gets shunted to one side.

And there is no such perfect interpretation as StuartK has so magniloquently said.

My theological "baby" is the study of saints and what Stuart said about human weakness reflects an Eastern Christian perspective more than a Western one.

We see this in the inclusion into the calendar of the Saints of the East of patriarchs and bishops who signed the Henoticon, of Pope St Liberius and others whose weakness under duress did not, in the estimation of the Christian East, take away from their sanctity.

The West has a more rigid view and does not include Liberius into its calendar and otherwise considers the same "weakness" to imply a weakness in sanctity.

I think you are being too hard on Orthoman, and I say this not only from a personal point of view (he's my "Ortho-buddy!").

As for caesaro-papism, we must remember that it was the Emperor and no bishop or patriarch that had ultimate control of the Church for centuries.

The papal term "Vicar of Christ" is actually borrowed from the Emperors of Byzantium.

While the East was dependent on the good will of the Byzantine Emperor (and later that of the Tsar of Russia), this developed a kind of subservience to the civil power.

When we criticize the Russian Church for going with the soviet power, we must temper our moralistic tone by remembering the fact that Church was following a reflex reaction that was placed in it in Byzantine times.

In the West, the Papacy rose to its zenith of secular power in the vaccum of a strong Western Emperor of the calibre of a Charlemagne.

The Pope of Rome assumed a number of the secular roles of the Emperor of Rome, including the old title "Pontifex Maximus."

One of the pitfalls, and this is on both Catholic and Orthodox sides of the debate, in dealing with historic statements of church policy and teaching is the issue of their actual impact on church life, as Stuart mentions as well.

Pope St Gregory I may have considered Rome to be the apex of church authority, but did the rest of the Church share his view?

The Pope of Alexandria was the first patriarch to use the title "Pope." As a matter of fact, this Eastern patriarch was also the first to develop the idea of "immediate jurisdiction" over every priest and parish church throughout Africa!

He also assumed the title "Ecumenical Archbishop," just as the Bishop of Constantinople assumed the title, "Ecumenical Patriarch."

Again, all three patriarchs laid claim to primacy on the basis of St Peter's esablishment of their Churches (Alexandria through St Peter's disciple, St Mark - the "Evangelical See").

The views of their role in the Church by all three were often in their own mind and not shared by the "oikumene."

Add to this the fact that order in primacy really only applied to an Ecumenical Council and that outside of it each Church dealt with its own internal matters.

Rome was the final court of appeal, of course, but instances of other Churches or theologians of other Churches appealing to Rome are few in the first 1,000 years.

The rule of thumb was one's own Primate or Patriarch dealt with their own issues internally.

My own theory, if I may advance it, with respect to Roman jurisdiction is that Rome had been separated from the Eastern Churches (and vice-versa) and this led to the development, heretofore unknown in Church history, of a "universal Particular Church" in this case, that of Rome.

The Particular tradition of Rome became, in its eyes, the universal one. Gone was the idea of a communion of local Churches that represented a rich liturgical diversity.

The reason why the Eastern Catholic Churches are having the problems they are with respect to their own traditions is because they are in union with a Church that has operated for centuries under the assumption that: a) the Latin Rite is normative, universal and best; b) some aspects of the Latin tradition have become so "universalized" that they must be imposed on the Eastern Churches in union with Rome e.g. clerical celibacy, breviaries etc. and; c) the Eastern Churches have the same relationship to Rome as does its Particular Latin Church where the Patriarch of Rome is the "universal" Patriarch of the Eastern Churches as well and the East must submit to it as the Latins do.

Again, this is all a later development in terms of ecclesial praxis.

The fact that certain Popes affirmed their primacy should be counterbalanced by the way the Ecumenical Patriarch and Ecumenical Archbishop saw their roles as well.

Ultimately, Stuart is absolutely correct and at no time in church history did any bishop or patriarch exercise jurisdictional control over areas that were not included in his "territory."

Alex

[ 07-30-2002: Message edited by: Orthodox Catholic ]
Posted By: DTBrown

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 07/30/02 01:26 PM

Stuart wrote:

Quote
If you were to suggest in 513 that the Bishop of Rome had the power to intervene directly in the affairs of other local Churches without invitation....[snipped]....well, then, you would have been laughed off the rostrum. Which is why the Formula of Hormosidas doesn't say any such thing.


Emperor Justinian sent a profession of faith to Pope Agapetus (reigned 535-536) which began with quoting the Formula of Pope Hormisdas. Agapetus certainly thought he could intervene without invitation. The Encyclopedia Brittanica explains:

At the urging of the Ostrogothic king of Theodahad, he headed an unsuccessful mission to Constantinople to deter the emperor Justinian I from his plans to reconquer Italy. While there he secured the election of, and consecrated, Mennas as successor to the patriarch Anthimus I, whom he deposed for his Monophysite beliefs (that Christ had but one nature). Agapetus' remains were brought back from Constantinople, where he died, and were buried in Rome.

St Agapetus himself explains the situation in a letter to Peter, Patriarch of Jerusalem. He reproved Peter for his laxity and for having accepted communion with Anthimus:

Quote
We found the see of Constantinople usurped, contrary to all the canons, by Anthimus, Bishop of Trebizond. Our desire was to lead his soul back not only with regard to this point, but, what is more important, regarding the confession of the True Faith; but, attaching himself to the error of Eutyches, he despised the Truth. Wherefore, after having, according to apostolic charity, awaited his repentance of this belief, we decreed that he be deprived of the name of Catholic and of priest, until such time as he fully receive the doctrine of the Fathers who maintain the Faith and discipline of religion. You must reject likewise the others whom the Apostolic See has condemned. (Mansi, viii, 922.)


Not only did St Agapetus feel he could intervene in the affairs of Constantinople without invitation...he also felt he could issue a warning to the Patriarch of Jerusalem.

Pope St Agapetus is commemorated on the Byzantine liturgical calendar on April 17.

[ 07-30-2002: Message edited by: DTBrown ]
Posted By: OrthoMan

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 07/30/02 01:56 PM

StuartK writes:

[The thing about historical documents is that they are much like biblical extracts: removed from their proper context they can mean almost anything. Picking and choosing documents like the Formula is much like the old Protestant game of Scriptural prooftexting: if one looks hard enough, one can find a document to support any position.]

[Superficial readings can be very misleading (e.g., Peter may have spoken through Leo the Great at Chalcedon, but such acclamations were a standard rhetorical device in late antiquity, and once can find many examples of people who spoke with the voice of Peter, or Paul, or even Christ-]

[>>>When you combine this formula with other statements by early Popes (do we really need to list them all out again?)<<<

I think we do, because most of them are taken out of context, or are not placed within the full spectrum of ecclesiological opinion]

Reply:

This is exactly what I have been trying to say all along! That is why I will take the approved Canons of the undivided Church over a quote from an early Pope or Saint anyday. Until someone can show me an approved Canon that superceded the Canons giving the Pope a primacy of honor and bestowing upon him him supremacy over the entire church I will just lurk from now on. Because
These out of context quotes mean nothing.

OrthoMan
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 07/30/02 02:08 PM

Dear Orthoman,

While I'm no canonist (I do love reading The Rudder though - do you think I need to get a life? smile ), I think Orthodox theologians such as John Meyendorff have shown sufficiently that Orthodoxy has no problem accepting a Primacy of Honour for the Bishop of Rome.

Of course, you are absolutely right and the idea of universal jurisdiction by one Bishop over other territories is out of the question.

But the idea of someone who feels they didn't get a fair shake from their own bishop and then appealing to the Patriarch or to Rome is also something that was accepted in the first 1,000 years of the undivided Church, eventhough examples of the latter are few. St John Chrysostom is a good example. Rome's letters to the iconoclastic Byzantine Emperor is another.

I don't know if a Canon needs to be in place to formally frame such a relationship between Patriarchs and Churches, which would necessarily grow and change over time.

The historic practice of the Church would be sufficient, it seems to me, to establish precedent and then rule of thumb here.

For example, the way the Moscow Patriarchate is run is much different from the way smaller Churches are, of course.

No one would question the legitimacy of any of them to run themselves as they see fit.

Neither would have anyone have questioned the right of the Pope of Alexandria to run his Africa-wide Church in jurisdictional terms as the "New Pharaoh" once did.

The Ecumenical Patriarch of New Rome certainly has and will excommunicate other Patriarchs for breaches in the canon law, as we know.

Rome, whether it is Old, New or Third, continues to be the operative symbolic locus on which ultimate Church authority is based, either in Catholicism or Orthodoxy, including the Moscow Patriarchate.

Church canons need not be the only source of legitimation in this respect. The long-standing practice of the Church would seem to be another.

Ultimately, Canons are "negative" things, I believe.

The definition of the First Ecumenical Council in 325 was a "negative" definition in terms of a defence of traditional Orthodox Catholic Christology against Arius.

It was occasioned by his heresy and the controversy and damage to the Church it caused.

And yet the Church at that Council affirmed what it has always believed anyway.

My thoughts, for what they're worth.

Just love y'a, Big Guy!

Alex

[ 07-30-2002: Message edited by: Orthodox Catholic ]
Posted By: OrthoMan

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 07/30/02 03:31 PM

Alex writes:

[I think Orthodox theologians such as John Meyendorff have shown sufficiently that Orthodoxy has no problem accepting a Primacy of Honour for the Bishop of Rome.}

Excuse me Alex but isn't that what I have been saying all along? Clean your glasses and re read what I wrote.

{But the idea of someone who feels they didn't get a fair shake from their own bishop and then appealing to the Patriarch or to Rome is also something that was accepted in the first 1,000 years of the undivided Church, even though examples of the latter are few.}

I have no problem with that and have stated it here and elsewhere in the past.
Rome, as a primacy of Honor, could also be a COURT OF LAST APPEAL, when problems arise between bishops that cannot be resolved by local Synods or counsels.
The key words are COURT OF LAST APPEAL. In other words, Rome can only come into play when all else fails. The highest Supreme Court when the local courts and the sate supreme court cannot resolve the issue. A supreme court overseen by Rome but with representative of all the united Patriarchates on the bench as judges overseen by the Pope and the resolution by popular vote.

OrthoMan
Posted By: StuartK

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 07/30/02 04:49 PM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:

>>>While I'm no canonist (I do love reading The Rudder though - do you think I need to get a life? smile ), I think Orthodox theologians such as John Meyendorff have shown sufficiently that Orthodoxy has no problem accepting a Primacy of Honour for the Bishop of Rome.<<<

This is, though, one of those many phrases the meaning of which has changed over the course of centuries, so unless one knows precisely what the term meant in the first millennium, one is likely to get a misappreciation of the reality.

To many Orthodox, the term "Primacy of Honor", as applied to the Ecumenical Patriarch, implies a position similar to that of Lord Mayor of London: He gets to come last in the processions, he gets to speak first and last, he is commemorated in the liturgy, he gets to cut ribbons at ceremonies. In short, it's a position with no real authority, to be safely ignored when inconvenient.

But in Greco-Roman society,a society that was in fact based on concepts like "honor", having a primacy of honor gave one a very great deal of moral authority (auctoritas) based on status and respect (dignitas). In the Roman Republic, for instance, the Princeps Senatus had a primacy of honor among the Senators. He did indeed speak first and last, and everything he said was given great weight because of his auctoritas and dignitas. But in fact, the title conveyed no power (potestas) at all: the Princeps Senatus had no special juridical powers, he had no special standing in law. Everything that made the office and him was in fact charismatic.

So when we speak of the Bishop of Rome having a primacy of honor in the undivided Church, we are not speaking of some emasculated primacy like that held by the Ecumenical Patriarch today, nor are we speaking about a juridically defined supremacy such as found in Pastor Aeternus. We are speaking instead about a kind of moral authority that derives from the fact that the Pope is Bishop of Rome, the Church That Presides in Love. We are speaking of a charismatic primacy that pursuades, strengthens and admonishes, but never imposes, operating in a Church that will accept such a primacy because it has regained an understanding of just what "honor" involves and requires. In other words, a Church based on communion in which all defer to all based upon the gifts God has bestowed upon each.

>>>But the idea of someone who feels they didn't get a fair shake from their own bishop and then appealing to the Patriarch or to Rome is also something that was accepted in the first 1,000 years of the undivided Church, eventhough examples of the latter are few. St John Chrysostom is a good example. Rome's letters to the iconoclastic Byzantine Emperor is another.<<<

The important fact is that intervention could not come as the personal initiative of the Bishop of Rome. He had to wait to be asked.

>>>The historic practice of the Church would be sufficient, it seems to me, to establish precedent and then rule of thumb here.<<<

Except that various Churches have interpreted the precedents in different ways at different times, and, as Archbishop Vsevolod has noted, the persistent habit of Rome sticking its nose where it is not wanted would require the Orthodox Churches to demand explicit juridical limits be placed on the ability of the Pope to make such interventions.

>>>For example, the way the Moscow Patriarchate is run is much different from the way smaller Churches are, of course.<<<

An even better example would be the Coptic Pope of Alexandria, whose writ is far more absolute than that of the Pope of Rome--and always has been.

>>>Neither would have anyone have questioned the right of the Pope of Alexandria to run his Africa-wide Church in jurisdictional terms as the "New Pharaoh" once did.<<<

Just so--though one notes with some chagrin that the Archbishop of Constantinople tried on more than few occasions.

>>>The Ecumenical Patriarch of New Rome certainly has and will excommunicate other Patriarchs for breaches in the canon law, as we know.<<<

Yet, in keeping with the concept of Pentarchy, he could not and cannot simply impose his will by fiat: he must convince other bishops to sustain his excommunications. Often he could not, resulting in odd situations of "mediate communion" (a is not in communion with b, but both are in communion with c, who may be in communion with d who is talking neither to a nor b).

>>>Rome, whether it is Old, New or Third, continues to be the operative symbolic locus on which ultimate Church authority is based, either in Catholicism or Orthodoxy, including the Moscow Patriarchate.<<<

So Archbishop Vsevolod has said, and this was also the conclusion of the Council of Constantinople in 879-880, closer study of which is desperately needed.

>>>Ultimately, Canons are "negative" things, I believe.<<<

This is an important insight. Canons usually tell us what we cannot do. The issuance of a canon is good evidence that the things in question were actuall happening at the time.
Posted By: DTBrown

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 07/30/02 06:36 PM

Stuart wrote:

Quote
The important fact is that intervention could not come as the personal initiative of the Bishop of Rome. He had to wait to be asked.


And how was that shown in the case of St Agapetus?

Dave Ignatius DTBrown@aol.com
Posted By: DTBrown

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 07/30/02 06:52 PM

OrthoMan wrote:

Quote
Until someone can show me an approved Canon that superceded the Canons giving the Pope a primacy of honor and bestowing upon him him supremacy over the entire church I will just lurk from now on. Because
These out of context quotes mean nothing.


I am trying to keep the discussion focused and not let this become a free-for-all.

I am used to hearing "proof-texting" charges and "out-of-context" charges. I'd like to see some evidence that this is what I am actually doing, however.

Dave Ignatius DTBrown@aol.com
Posted By: DTBrown

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 07/30/02 09:10 PM

Orthoman,

Re: canons.

It is not the position of the Catholic Church that the pope was "bestowed" supremacy by a canon of the Church. So that I will not be charged with "proof-texting" and quoting out of context, I'll cite the interpretation of Anglican historian J.N.D. Kelley in The Oxford Dictionary of Popes as it discusses Pope St Damasus (reigned 366-384):

Damasus was indefatigable in promoting the Roman primacy, frequently referring to Rome as `the apostolic see' and ruling that the test of a creed's orthodoxy was its endorsement by the pope....for Damasus this primacy was not based on decisions of synods, as were the claims of Constantinople, but exclusively on his being the direct successor of St Peter and so the rightful heir of the promises made to him by Christ (Matt. 16:18). This succession gave him a unique juridical power to bind and loose, and the assurance of this infused all his rulings on church discipline.

It's important to note that while J.N.D. Kelley may not share the view that Damasus held of Roman primacy he is here reporting correctly the view Rome had at this time (this about 150 years before St Hormisdas) as well as confirming the Roman usage of "apostolic see" as referring to itself.

In AD 382 St Damasus called a Roman synod which declared: "the holy Roman Church has been set before the rest by no conciliar decrees, but has obtained the primacy by the voice of our Lord and Savior in the gospel." This is a theme which other popes continued to declare.

That the Roman primacy was not viewed as something awarded by the canons is further shown in the commentary given by Archbishop Peter L'Huillier in The Church of the Ancient Councils. Speaking of the phrasing of the 28th Canon of Constantinople, he says:

Moreover, neither the authors of the motion nor the fathers of Chalcedon who approved it had any intention of putting in doubt the primacy of Old Rome. The authorized commentary of the decree given by the imperial commissioners and the letter of the council to Pope Leo were absolutely clear on this point. We note in addition that in the text of the motion different verbal forms are used to indicate the origin of the prerogatives of Rome and Constantinople. In the first case, we find apodedokasi, and in the second apeneiman. The verb apodidonai evokes the idea of "giving to someone what is his due" while aponemein means "to assign" or "to award." In this document, prepared with such care, the use of two different verbs is certainly not an accident. In this way, the authors very discreetly avoided too radical an assimilation: they did not claim, in fact, that the first place of the Roman Church came from a precise canonical act; the fathers, those of the past as well as those at the time of the Council of Constantinople, only recognized a reality which at least in its principle was not questioned. The prerogatives of Constantinople, however, were the result of a definite canonical decision. The Latin translation of the acts edited by Rusticus is aware of this distinction in the Greek verbs. This difference is stressed even more in Greek by the respective use of the perfect and the aorist. [Greek words transliterated](pp. 272-273)

This comment is meant to deal only with Orthoman's comment on canons and the Roman primacy. Archbishop Peter in the work cited above comments in a footnote to this section: "Of course, that did not imply that Rome and the East had the same conception of this primacy, as the historical dossier shows quite clearly..." (footnote 581 on p. 322)

This is where I was hoping the discussion would go in this thread. What was the Roman view of primacy at this time? How much of it was accepted by the East during this period? I think the reality lies somewhere in between the opposing contemporary views of East and West.

Dave Ignatius DTBrown@aol.com

[ 07-30-2002: Message edited by: DTBrown ]
Posted By: OrthodoxyOrDeath

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 07/30/02 11:17 PM

All of this wonderful discussion and yet nobody seems to have questioned the translation.

I for one have learned not to trust translations offered by Latin sources as "proof".

I am not suggesting this translation is wrong, but it deserves some reservation at the very least.

Also, it is worthy to mention (as was mentioned), that Justinian favored a policy of alliance with Rome along strictly Chalcedonian lines (hence Hormisdas’ success appearing to make the East eat crow). But in time he sought to play to the the East and had the Three Chapters condemned. Vigilius, bishop of Rome, refused to accede to this condemnation.

Justinian brought Vigilius to Constantinople and forced him to condemn the Three Chapters. And at this point Vigilius was already condemned by the bishops of Milan, Ravenna, and Aquileja - showing that the bishop of Rome did not even have universal power over the West, much less the East. Vigilius later withdrew his condemnation and was locked up on a chain gang when the Second Council of Constantinople convened.

Vigilius asked permission to express his views to the council in writing but received the reply: “If your blessedness is willing to meet together with us and the most holy Patriarchs, and the most religious bishops, and to treat of the Three Chapters and to give, in unison with us all, a suitable form of the orthodox faith, as the Holy Apostles and the holy Fathers and the four Councils have done, we will hold thee as our head and primate... if you have condemned them [the Three Chapters], in accordance with those things which you did before, we have already many such statements and need no more; but if you have written now something contrary to these things which were done by you before, you have condemned yourself by your own writing, since you have departed from orthodox doctrine and have defended impiety. And how can you expect us to receive such a document from you? (From Session VII of the Acts of the 5th Ecumenical Council)” The bishops were thus willing to esteem the Pope their “head and primate,” (not to be confused with authority, obviously) but only if he subscribed to the orthodox faith.

Now what does that prove DTBrown?

[ 07-30-2002: Message edited by: OrthodoxyOrDeath ]
Posted By: StuartK

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 07/31/02 01:25 AM

>>>Damasus was indefatigable in promoting the Roman primacy, frequently referring to Rome as `the apostolic see' and ruling that the test of a creed's orthodoxy was its endorsement by the pope....for Damasus this primacy was not based on decisions of synods, as were the claims of Constantinople, but exclusively on his being the direct successor of St Peter and so the rightful heir of the promises made to him by Christ (Matt. 16:18). This succession gave him a unique juridical power to bind and loose, and the assurance of this infused all his rulings on church discipline.<<<

Damasus, however, was a very marginal figure in the late fourth century Church, the violence surrounding whose accession cast grave doubts upon the legitimacy of his election. In the West, he definitely did not hold pride of place among the Fathers of his time--that honor would have to go to Augustine and Ambrose, whose moral authority greatly outstripped that of the Bishop of Rome. Anything that would enhance the legitimacy and authority of his office was thus of great importance to Damasus.

Moreover, you neglected to note that Damasus was writing in response to the formal elevation by the Council of Constantinople of that city to full patriarchical rank, second only to Old Rome, on the basis of the principle of accommodation (Constantinople was the capital city, on par with Rome as symbolic center of the Empire, ergo, it's see deserved high ranking). This was anathema to Damasus and his successors, who recognized that Rome had become a political and intellectual backwater, and thus would continue to lose influence if the principle of accommodation continued to hold sway. Hence the emergence of the notion of apostolicity, whereby a city founded by TWO Apostles (and the most important, at that), had a right to hold primacy over all others. This notion was only gradually accepted by the other Churches, and its progress can be marked by the emergence of the legend of Andrew as founder of the Church of Constantinople.

>>>It's important to note that while J.N.D. Kelley may not share the view that Damasus held of Roman primacy he is here reporting correctly the view Rome had at this time (this about 150 years before St Hormisdas) as well as confirming the Roman usage of "apostolic see" as referring to itself.<<<

Of course, there were many other Churches referring to themselves in that way. And while it would be a typical Roman solipsism to assume that there could only be ONE Apostolic See, in fact, there were quite a few. The fact is, this argument had very little "traction", as they say, until several centuries later. Popes who brought it up were likely to be treated with bemused toleration (like an eccentric uncle). Perhaps that was the East's problem--not taking Romes own delusions of grandeur more seriously.

>>>In AD 382 St Damasus called a Roman synod which declared: "the holy Roman Church has been set before the rest by no conciliar decrees, but has obtained the primacy by the voice of our Lord and Savior in the gospel." This is a theme which other popes continued to declare.<<<

True, but irrelevant at a time when such a view was not received by the remaining Churches, not even in the West.

>>>That the Roman primacy was not viewed as something awarded by the canons is further shown in the commentary given by Archbishop Peter L'Huillier in The Church of the Ancient Councils. Speaking of the phrasing of the 28th Canon of Constantinople, he says:

Moreover, neither the authors of the motion nor the fathers of Chalcedon who approved it had any intention of putting in doubt the primacy of Old Rome. The authorized commentary of the decree given by the imperial commissioners and the letter of the council to Pope Leo were absolutely clear on this point. We note in addition that in the text of the motion different verbal forms are used to indicate the origin of the prerogatives of Rome and Constantinople. In the first case, we find apodedokasi, and in the second apeneiman. The verb apodidonai evokes the idea of "giving to someone what is his due" while aponemein means "to assign" or "to award." In this document, prepared with such care, the use of two different verbs is certainly not an accident. In this way, the authors very discreetly avoided too radical an assimilation: they did not claim, in fact, that the first place of the Roman Church came from a precise canonical act; the fathers, those of the past as well as those at the time of the Council of Constantinople, only recognized a reality which at least in its principle was not questioned. The prerogatives of Constantinople, however, were the result of a definite canonical decision. The Latin translation of the acts edited by Rusticus is aware of this distinction in the Greek verbs. This difference is stressed even more in Greek by the respective use of the perfect and the aorist. [Greek words transliterated](pp. 272-273)<<<

On the other hand, Dvornik, who took the time to rummage through the Vatican sub-basement, found the earliest lists of canons in Latin, and found that both the disputed canons of Constantinople and Chalcedon were fully accepted by Rome, indicating a recognition that such canons were legitimate and had value.

>>>This comment is meant to deal only with Orthoman's comment on canons and the Roman primacy. Archbishop Peter in the work cited above comments in a footnote to this section: "Of course, that did not imply that Rome and the East had the same conception of this primacy, as the historical dossier shows quite clearly..." (footnote 581 on p. 322)<<<

Well, that goes without saying. The question is how long Rome will continue to maintain a tautological position with regard to primacy ("We get to define what primacy is because we hold the primacy, because we get to define what primacy is") in light of the Pope's request for assistance in finding new definitions and modalities for the operation of primacy. If only Rome can define what primacy is, then there is really no point in holding further ecumenical discussions. "Surrender to the Collective of the Borg. Assimilation is inevitable. Resistance is futile".

>>>This is where I was hoping the discussion would go in this thread. What was the Roman view of primacy at this time? How much of it was accepted by the East during this period? I think the reality lies somewhere in between the opposing contemporary views of East and West.<<<

The short answer is that very little of the Roman self-conception of primacy was accepted anywhere except in Rome.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 07/31/02 01:28 AM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by OrthodoxyOrDeath:
>>>[QB]All of this wonderful discussion and yet nobody seems to have questioned the translation.

I for one have learned not to trust translations offered by Latin sources as "proof".<<<

The translation is accurate, for what it is worth (back then, documents were drafted in both Latin and Greek, and as Latin was still the language of the Imperial administration, the scribes knew what they were writing. But that is neither here nor their. The document can only be understood within its proper sitz im Leben.

>>>Also, it is worthy to mention (as was mentioned), that Justinian favored a policy of alliance with Rome along strictly Chalcedonian lines (hence Hormisdas’ success appearing to make the East eat crow). But in time he sought to play to the the East and had the Three Chapters condemned. Vigilius, bishop of Rome, refused to accede to this condemnation.

Justinian brought Vigilius to Constantinople and forced him to condemn the Three Chapters. And at this point Vigilius was already condemned by the bishops of Milan, Ravenna, and Aquileja - showing that the bishop of Rome did not even have universal power over the West, much less the East. Vigilius later withdrew his condemnation and was locked up on a chain gang when the Second Council of Constantinople convened.

Vigilius asked permission to express his views to the council in writing but received the reply: “If your blessedness is willing to meet together with us and the most holy Patriarchs, and the most religious bishops, and to treat of the Three Chapters and to give, in unison with us all, a suitable form of the orthodox faith, as the Holy Apostles and the holy Fathers and the four Councils have done, we will hold thee as our head and primate... if you have condemned them [the Three Chapters], in accordance with those things which you did before, we have already many such statements and need no more; but if you have written now something contrary to these things which were done by you before, you have condemned yourself by your own writing, since you have departed from orthodox doctrine and have defended impiety. And how can you expect us to receive such a document from you? (From Session VII of the Acts of the 5th Ecumenical Council)” The bishops were thus willing to esteem the Pope their “head and primate,” (not to be confused with authority, obviously) but only if he subscribed to the orthodox faith.

Now what does that prove DTBrown?<<<

At least Vigilius had the good sense to die before being condemned. Good career move.
Posted By: DTBrown

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 07/31/02 01:44 AM

I'm working on a reply to OrthodoxyorDeath's post but had to comment on this...

Stuart wrote:

Quote
At least Vigilius had the good sense to die before being condemned. Good career move.


Was he condemned? From what I've read he actually confirmed the Council. Say all we want about Vigilius (he was a wimp, I'll agree) his confirmation of the Council was sought and accepted.

More later.

Dave Ignatius DTBrown@aol.com
Posted By: anastasios

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 07/31/02 04:39 AM

Quote
Originally posted by DTBrown:
I'm working on a reply to OrthodoxyorDeath's post but had to comment on this...

Stuart wrote:



Was he condemned? From what I've read he actually confirmed the Council. Say all we want about Vigilius (he was a wimp, I'll agree) his confirmation of the Council was sought and accepted.

More later.

Dave Ignatius DTBrown@aol.com


Dave,

Why wouldn't his confirmation be sought? He was one of the five equal patriarchs.

Fr. Meyendorff argues in his book "Imperial Unity and Christian Divisions":

p. 238-- Vigilius arrives in Rome on January 27, 547. He refuses to concelebrate with Patriarch of Constantinople Menas, on the advice of his western advisers. Menas removes Vigilius from the diptychs.

p. 239-- on June 29, 547 Vigilius gives up and concelebrates with Menas, secretly pledges to Justinian to condemn 3 Chapters, but only if it is done "ecclesiastically right" and makes it appear that his judgment is sought as Bishop of Rome. Justianian says ok. There is a mini council of 70, and Vigilius submits a Judicatum wherein he condemns the 3 Chapters.

p. 239-- Roman clerics who travelled with the Pope refuse to concelebrate with Pope at St. Sophia's on Christman 549.

p. 239-- Bishops of Africa depose Vigilius and excommunicate Vigilius [footnote: Victor of Tunnuna, Chronicon, a. 550., Monumentae Germaniae Historica, XI, p. 202]

p. 240-- Justinian realizes pope's power is not strong in the west, decides on an ecumenical council, and then tells the Pope he *can* take back his Judicatum.

p. 242-- Pope Vigilius backs out, won't go the council, and writes a Consitutum--his opinion, wherein he anathematizes those who condemn the 3 Chapters. Justinian whips out written evidence that Vigilius had previously condemned the 3 Chapters, says that thus Vigilius in his own Constitutum condemns himself. At seventh session of council, the evidece was produced, with letters, etc.

p. 242-- COUNCIL AGREES WITH JUSTINIAN'S EVIDENCE. ON JUSTINIAN'S PROPOSAL, VIGILUS'S NAME IS STRICKEN FROM THE DIPTYCHS AND HE IS DEPOSED, the council saying it was "severing unity with the apostolic see of Old Rome" by removing its incumbant.

p. 243-- Vigilius changes his mind on Dec 8, 553, where he repents of writing the Constiutum. He gets put back in Pope role, but dies.

IN Christ,

anastasios
Posted By: DTBrown

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 07/31/02 07:05 AM

As I said I am working on a reply on the Vigilius case. It will probably be a couple of days before I can post it due to some pressing needs at home. I will be back, I promise!

Dave Ignatius DTBrown@aol.com
Posted By: StuartK

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 07/31/02 11:24 AM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by DTBrown:
[QB]
>>>As I said I am working on a reply on the Vigilius case. It will probably be a couple of days before I can post it due to some pressing needs at home. I will be back, I promise!<<<

I am curious to know why it is SO important to you to prove that (a) no Bishop of Rome has ever either taught or professed erroneous beliefs; and (b) that from the beginning, the Bishops of Rome have rightfully viewed themselves as having some sort of jurisdiction over other Churches. Particularly when to do so you must resort to special pleading and selective reading of the evidence. If the current papal claims cannot withstand historical scrutiny, then it is the papal claims that must change, not history. The Catholic faith is not grounded on qualities attributed to the personage of the Bishop of Rome, but on the fullness of a Tradition which is shared by many Churches, including many that have not been in communion with the Church of Rome for 1500 years. If they have managed to maintain the fullness of that faith over such a long period, and in the face of sustained persecution, without that communion, then I think we have to say that said communion is not a prerequisite for catholicity. No matter that Rome's own self-image demands otherwise.
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 07/31/02 12:39 PM

Dear Stuart,

Your last sentence is really not worthy of you.

The great benefits of an international centre of Christian authority and unity are many.

I too belong to a tradition that is Particular, has its own "everything" and was also a great teacher of other churches as a "Light of the East."

And yet being in communion with Rome helps one turn from an inward gaze towards one's religious and cultural identity that can become quite parochial.

Yes, there are many traditions within the oikumene that developed independently of Rome.

But today they have largely become museums for the preservation of a religious-ethnic identity and heritage that has lost its inner dynamic that once enlivened it.

Union with Rome, while maintaining one's love and respect for one's own Particular heritage and cultural identity, goes one step further in providing a connection with the universal pleroma of Churches and traditions that form the Body of Christ worldwide.

This is the appeal that I have seen even agnostic journalists become inspired by, especially last week.

Alex
Posted By: OrthodoxyOrDeath

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 07/31/02 09:51 PM

Alex,

You say:
Quote
And yet being in communion with Rome helps one turn from an inward gaze towards one's religious and cultural identity that can become quite parochial.


By Orthodox standards this outcome would be a curse. If the Lord granted us to see the full depths of our hearts, we would turn our eyes away in horror from such an overwhelming accumulation of filth. Let each of us look into our hearts each day and say before the witness of our conscience what it is that occupies our hearts most of all. Passions, sins voluntary and involuntary—are these not our heart's constant inhabitants?

And where does Christ dwell? -in pure hearts, hearts that are humble and contrite. Hearts that are not occupied with concerns for "cultural identity", or how many times the pope coughs in one day.

Turning to an inward gaze is the goal for the Orthodox Christian because "The kingdom of God is within You (Luke 17:21). And that God will "grant you according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith." (Eph. 3:16-17)

Quote
But today they have largely become museums for the preservation of a religious-ethnic identity and heritage that has lost its inner dynamic that once enlivened it.[


A dead "inner dynamic" results in a vocation crisis, virtually non-existant monastic communities, abusive "priests", and make-up laden, hair-do conscience congregations. While the Orthodox could do better in these areas, I could certainly think of other groups who have a far stiffer corpse of "inner dynamic" than us.

And these people are hardly in a position to accuse the Orthodox of being a spiritual museum. If the Orthodox Church was filled with progressive liberals such as those who think it is not only their right, but duty, to change the Traditions of the Church such as the Liturgy, then I doubt we would even have Orthodoxy as we know it today, but some post-"Orthodox" version of Vatican II.

Perhaps one day you will count your blessings that it is a worldly "museum" so that it can remain a spiritual dynasty.

wink

[ 07-31-2002: Message edited by: OrthodoxyOrDeath ]
Posted By: StuartK

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 08/01/02 12:26 AM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
>>>[QB]Dear Stuart,

Your last sentence is really not worthy of you.<<<

It was not meant as a criticism of THIS Pope, who by his actions and words alike has shown that he is not married to a dogmatic conception of his ministry. Rather, it is an explicit criticism of the Curia Romana and the extended ecclesiastical bureaucracy of the Latin Church, which treats its own prerogatives as a divine mandate. But the Gospel is quite specific: "The rulers of the Gentiles lord it over others, but it shall not be so with you".

>>>The great benefits of an international centre of Christian authority and unity are many.<<<

There is not, and never has been in any of my writing, a denial of the need for a universal primacy, or that the Church of Rome is the only logical nexus for such a primacy. But true primacy is not and cannot be juridical, and therefore it cannot be imposed, and it cannot be unilaterally defined. The Petrine Ministry is one of conciliation, unity and support. At present, the way the ministry is perceived and exercised makes it, in the words of not one but two Popes, the principal obstacle to Christian unity.

>>>And yet being in communion with Rome helps one turn from an inward gaze towards one's religious and cultural identity that can become quite parochial.<<<

That is true, provided it is a true communion in the Holy Spirit, and not the subordination of one Church to another. There are those in the Church of Rome's ruling elite who still think of unity as union, submission, subordination, assimilation. I know. I've heard them speak, read their words.

>>>Yes, there are many traditions within the oikumene that developed independently of Rome.<<<

And maintained their faith in the face of overwhelming obstacles despite being deprived of something which Latin doctrine says is "essential" for the fullness of faith. But I say if a Church is diminished by not being in communion with Rome, so, too is Rome diminished by not being in communion with that Church. Communion and its benefits are mutual, not unilateral.

>>>But today they have largely become museums for the preservation of a religious-ethnic identity and heritage that has lost its inner dynamic that once enlivened it.<<<

Some are, some aren't.

>>>Union with Rome, while maintaining one's love and respect for one's own Particular heritage and cultural identity, goes one step further in providing a connection with the universal pleroma of Churches and traditions that form the Body of Christ worldwide.<<<

Even you, Alex, find it difficult to avoid the terminology of subordination, for that is what "union" with Rome implies. Union is the submergence of one entity into another. A communion, on the other hand, is a mutual sharing and interpentration.

>>>This is the appeal that I have seen even agnostic journalists become inspired by, especially last week.<<<

They'll take some asprin and be over it in a week, I'm sure.

[ 08-01-2002: Message edited by: StuartK ]
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 08/01/02 12:57 PM

Dear OOD,

I never called Orthodoxy a "museum" and I'm sorry that you got that from my post.

I realize now that western commentators on the Orthodox Church sometimes use that term to describe it, but I can assure you that was the farthest thing from my mind.

I used that term as an "ideal type" to describe ANY Church or churchmen who suffer the process of what I call "ossification through liturgification."

Certainly, the Orthodox missionaries who carried the faith through Siberia and North America were saints who while immersed in the rich spirituality of their tradition looked forward to converting the world.

The WYD experience renewed that sense of Christian mission within me.

Union with Rome, in my experience, has lifted me and my people from an "inward focus" that stultifies and has nothing to do with vibrant spirituality.

This "inward focus" rests content in a "spirituality" that is based more on nationalism, cultural patriotism and complacency.

And, Sir, you weren't here.

This Pope shut the mouths of agnostic journalists and pro-abortionists while he was here. The entire city stopped breathing to hear him speak.

If that is evil, Sir, then where do I buy my plastic horns?

Alex
Posted By: OrthodoxyOrDeath

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 08/01/02 01:20 PM

Alex, please for...forg...ehhhmm, please forgi...well you know what I mean.

smile
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 08/01/02 01:26 PM

Dear Stuart,

It is always an honour to get your attention and response!

I don't disagree with the majority of what you say, but only wanted to share my reflections on a few points you raised.

I never charged you with ever denying the Petrine Ministry of the Bishop of Rome, nor could I or anyone.

And how could anyone disagree that we need less centralized bureaucracy and authoritarianism in the Church?

However, what you said about the Roman Church bureaucracy can be equally applied to any Orthodox Patriarchate, e.g. the Moscow Patriarchate or any Bishop's Office for that matter.

There are Churches and clerics who just like bureaucracy. It gives a sense of security and officialdom. I think it needs to be kept in check, but I don't mind a modicum of bureaucracy. That's probably because I work with government, mind you smile .

Rome's primacy is not only an obstacle to Christian unity based on the "how" that primacy is to be exercised, there are other more psychological obstacles as well, and as you well know.

I think it would be the height of naivete for us to say that if, tomorrow, Rome was to return to a "Primacy of Honour" mode of operation for all Churches outside of its patriarchal jurisdiction that the East would come into communion with it.

Again, owing to my sociological bias or background (you choose which), I see everything as influenced by and couched in cultural conditions and presuppositions.

When I read what you write, for example, I'm not only learning a great deal about liturgical theology and church history, I'm also studying YOU as the writer to determine how and why you come to the conclusions you do. It's really fun! smile

This is why church culture is a needed perspective in ecumenical considerations without which theological agreements and bureaucratic restructuring are eventually bound to lead, in and of themselves, to a disappointing juncture.

"In union with" versus "In communion with."

It wasn't my intention to talk about subordination in saying "in union with."

But I agree that I DO see our Church as being "under" Rome.

And I will defend my view as being the accurate view on the actual state of affairs in the Ukrainian Catholic Church. I don't know how Melkites and Ruthenians see their relationship to Rome. I do know how Rome sees it. And I do know that in actual fact the Ukrainian Catholic Church is most definitely "under" Rome.

All manner of talk about "communion" etc. is nice, but it is, at this point, wishful thinking.

We don't ultimately control the running of our Church. Whatever our Synod says or does is "allowed" if and only if Rome shows no interest in the decisions or if it isn't itself bothered by them.

Otherwise, we are indeed under Rome, no matter how "Orthodox in communion with" we think we are.

At best, this issue can be discussed as a future goal, but I doubt if our Rome-picked episcopal candidates will see it as a priority - ever.

As for the museums, perhaps I was a bit strident.

But WYD has had an enormous impact on me. The aspirin doesn't help anyone really.

I know it's hard to believe. And I would probably say as you if I didn't experience it myself.

Again, the City of Toronto stopped breathing.

My uncle, an agnostic Jew and U.S. Korean War Veteran with whom I had lunch with this week himself told me he watched the Vigil and Papal Mass on TV.

He said while he doesn't have faith, he respects all the youth who were there because "they have faith."

He was also taken by the Pope and didn't hide his admiration for him.

Again, I saw how infectious a living and enthusiastic faith can be. Liturgical spirituality is great. Liturgification is something to be avoided as is the TENDENCY toward museum spirituality.

Spirituality must be dynamic and we must go out to witness to our faith.

What I learned last week was that people can and do respond to the warmth and dynamism of such faith and spirituality.

I came to realize that what I've been living up to now was a museum and the spirituality of inertia.

And I'm going to do something about it. My head is buzzing, I get up in the morning eager to see the sun rise and now actually look forward to another day spent in joy and happiness in the love of God.

I now ask God to tell me what to do and to use me to do whatever he wishes through me.

The Psalms of David are now my own daily shouts and cries of praise.

Dancing in the joy of God is also not out of the question.

WYD took me from feeling sorry for myself to a pro-active attitude where I want to judge no one, be there for everyone, and pray always with my Cross and Beads in my hands, just as those young people did and do.

I can't help what has happened to me. I feel as if there are running rivers of water inside of me that refresh yet carry me along.

May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob be glorified! We praise you O our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ!

Use us as Your instruments of peace!

God bless you, Stuart, Servant and Teacher of Christ our God!

Alex
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 08/01/02 01:29 PM

Dear OOD,

May the Father of Lights bless and protect you and your family always!

May the Spirit anoint you and empower you to be His agent for good!

Alex
Posted By: Amadeus

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 08/01/02 02:58 PM

Dear Alex:

Eerie but I still vividly remember a Jesuit mentor of mine said a long time ago: "Catholicism is a living faith!"


AmdG
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 08/01/02 03:12 PM

Dear Amado,

Yes, those Jesuits! I was surrounded by them at the Martyrs' Shrine, including a Jesuit among the Papal Delegation.

I understand that Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Patroness of the Philippines, as well as of the Americas.

Why is this? And why not another local Shrine of the Mother of God in the Philippines?

Do you have information on these?

Alex
Posted By: Amadeus

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 08/01/02 05:28 PM

Dear Alex:

I think the Philippines was consecrated to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception.

The "Galleon Trade" was a thriving maritime commerce between Mexico and the Philippines began in the latter part of the 1500's. As time went by, the devotion to the Virgin of Guadalupe must have been "traded" between Manila and Acapulco
along with such mundane goods as gold, spices, hemp, tobacco, and the like.

(The "hemp," which is mainly abaca hemp, found its way to the Americas and commercialized as end-products now more popularly known as the "manila envelope," "manila folder," and other by-products.)

Marian devotion in the Philippines is intense, to say the least. Foremost is our Novena to Our Mother of Perpetual Help, which is done every Wednesday of the year, in all parishes throughout the country. An icon (yes, Eastern!) of the Virgin is enshrined in all Chruches.

Next is our devotion to Our Lady of Fatima where an image of the Virgin leads the procession during the month of October, the designated month of the Holy Rosary. Almost all parishes have their own processions during this month in Her honor. Rosaries are prayed daily during the month of October, at least in my own parish when I was still there.

We have our own indigenous shrines to Our Lady. Miracles have been attributed by local devotees to these shrines:

--Our Lady of Antipolo (in Rizal Provine);
--Our Lady of Penafrancia (in the Bicol Region);
--Our Lady of Manaoag (in the Province of
Pangasinan);
--Our Lady of Piat (in the Province of Cagayan
in Northern Luzon, my birthplace);
--Our Lady of Vigan (in the Province of Ilocos
Sur)

Another devotion, which is interesting, is our devotion to the Child Jesus, apart from the usual Catholic fondness of the Holy Family. We call Him "Sto. Nino," and many Filipino homes are adorned with statuettes of the Child Jesus garbed in varied and colorful costumes, beside an icon of His own Mother, Our Mother of Perpetual Help. Perhaps, this devotion was brought by the Spanish conquistadores who must have been influenced by the Infant Jesus of Prague!

Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us!
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 08/01/02 05:34 PM

Dear Amado,

How fascinating!

And I always wondered about those manila envelopes . . . smile

I understand the Philippines also now have great devotion to Our Lady of La Leche or "Of the Milk" which is the Patroness of Florida and Co-Patroness of the U.S.

Alex
Posted By: Sub-Deacon Ghazaros

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 08/02/02 12:23 AM

Dear Stuart,

Thank you for your response to my last post. I would've replied sooner but my power supply went bad on my computer. I'm happy to be back.

Thank you for your thorough rebuke of my last post (even of the things I thought we were agreed on :-). I see now you are an expert with a real command of the issue at hand. I will get those books you recommend. Thank you.

Currently I can't, in good conscience, agree with your depiction of history. I can't help thinking there must be Roman Catholics as unbiased and historically knowledgeable as you who STILL believe in the faith as taught by Rome. I have to believe there are Roman Catholics who have some good reasons for believing what they believe (no matter how mistaken you say they are). I've seen a lot from the Roman Catholic position which appears to treat history the way you say it needs to be approached, which supports their conclusions to some degree. I also know that the Orthodox also have good reasons for believing what they believe. I've seen a lot of good reasons for this also. I don't think either side is totally right OR TOTALLY WRONG and I respect them both. This is part of the reason I am an Armenian Christian in communion with Rome. (I won't elaborate, it would get us side-tracked).

But I admit, as you have indicated, I could be sadly mistaken. I am willing to learn so I can be as enlightened as you are. But I can't help thinking that if I did consider Rome to be as wrong as you have indicated, I don't think I'd be as you said, "an Orthodox Christian with a plus... in communion with the Church of Rome." Rather, I think I'd be an "Orthodox Christian in communion with Orthodox Christians." :-) Yet, I don't think that'd be such a bad thing. If it is God's will, I am certainly willing.

So, I accept your suggestion that we should look at these statements about Rome again. You obviously have the insights into this issue that I need and I would love to learn. Lets start by taking them one by one and you can help me understand the real historical significance of them and what, if anything, they have to do with the historic faith of the Latin or Eastern Churches.

part of Hormisdas' Formula states:

"Following, as we have said before, the Apostolic See in all things and proclaiming all its decisions, we endorse and approve all the letters which Pope St Leo wrote concerning the Christian religion. And so I hope I may deserve to be associated with you in the one communion which the Apostolic See proclaims, in which the whole, true, and perfect security of the Christian religion resides. I promise that from now on those who are separated from the communion of the Catholic Church, that is, who are not in agreement with the Apostolic See, will not have their names read during the sacred mysteries."

1. What do you think was the real meaning behind the phrase, "following... the Apostolic See in all things and proclaiming all its decisions..."

2. and also this statement, "the one communion which the Apostolic See proclaims, in which the whole, true, and perfect security of the Christian religion resides."

3. Or finally, "I promise that from now on those who are separated from the communion of the Catholic Church, that is, who are not in agreement with the Apostolic See, will not have their names read during the sacred mysteries."

Remember, I'm not trying to imply that these words teach a "primacy of jurisdiction" or any other anachronism or "western" mode of theological or philosophical thought. I'm just asking you why these words don't mean what they appear to be clearly saying. I'm sure you can help me to understand the real meaning behind them. Thanks in anticipation,

In Christ's Light,

Wm. Der-Ghazarian
Posted By: Sub-Deacon Ghazaros

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 08/02/02 01:04 AM

To everyone who has contributed to this discussion:

I was just re-reading through all the posts on this topic of discussion. I want to thank all of you for taking part in this dialogue. I have found it very informitive. You have all made some very good points on each side of the issue. I look forward to more thought-provoking posts in the future.

In Christ's Light,

Wm. Der-Ghazarian
Posted By: StuartK

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 08/02/02 01:26 AM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Der-Ghazarian:
[QB]Dear Stuart,

Thank you for your response to my last post. I would've replied sooner but my power supply went bad on my computer. I'm happy to be back.

Thank you for your thorough rebuke of my last post (even of the things I thought we were agreed on :-). I see now you are an expert with a real command of the issue at hand. I will get those books you recommend. Thank you.

Currently I can't, in good conscience, agree with your depiction of history. I can't help thinking there must be Roman Catholics as unbiased and historically knowledgeable as you who STILL believe in the faith as taught by Rome. I have to believe there are Roman Catholics who have some good reasons for believing what they believe (no matter how mistaken you say they are). I've seen a lot from the Roman Catholic position which appears to treat history the way you say it needs to be approached, which supports their conclusions to some degree. I also know that the Orthodox also have good reasons for believing what they believe. I've seen a lot of good reasons for this also. I don't think either side is totally right OR TOTALLY WRONG and I respect them both. This is part of the reason I am an Armenian Christian in communion with Rome. (I won't elaborate, it would get us side-tracked).

But I admit, as you have indicated, I could be sadly mistaken. I am willing to learn so I can be as enlightened as you are. But I can't help thinking that if I did consider Rome to be as wrong as you have indicated, I don't think I'd be as you said, "an Orthodox Christian with a plus... in communion with the Church of Rome." Rather, I think I'd be an "Orthodox Christian in communion with Orthodox Christians." :-) Yet, I don't think that'd be such a bad thing. If it is God's will, I am certainly willing.

So, I accept your suggestion that we should look at these statements about Rome again. You obviously have the insights into this issue that I need and I would love to learn. Lets start by taking them one by one and you can help me understand the real historical significance of them and what, if anything, they have to do with the historic faith of the Latin or Eastern Churches.

part of Hormisdas' Formula states:

"Following, as we have said before, the Apostolic See in all things and proclaiming all its decisions, we endorse and approve all the letters which Pope St Leo wrote concerning the Christian religion. And so I hope I may deserve to be associated with you in the one communion which the Apostolic See proclaims, in which the whole, true, and perfect security of the Christian religion resides. I promise that from now on those who are separated from the communion of the Catholic Church, that is, who are not in agreement with the Apostolic See, will not have their names read during the sacred mysteries."

>>>1. What do you think was the real meaning behind the phrase, "following... the Apostolic See in all things and proclaiming all its decisions..."<<<

It refers specifically to the interpretation of the Council of Chalcedon's Christological formula, as opposed to the either excessively nestorian or excessively monophysite positions held by various members of the Church of Constantinople. The issue is covered in Meyendorff's "Christ in Eastern Christian Thought".

>>>2. and also this statement, "the one communion which the Apostolic See proclaims, in which the whole, true, and perfect security of the Christian religion resides."<<<

Again, it pertains exclusively to the Christological controversy, in which Rome's removal from the intellectual ferment of the East resulted in its taking (overall) a balanced interpretation of Chalcedon that was neither crypto-nestorian nor monophysite.

>>>3. Or finally, "I promise that from now on those who are separated from the communion of the Catholic Church, that is, who are not in agreement with the Apostolic See, will not have their names read during the sacred mysteries."<<<

Those who did not subscribe to the Chacedonian definition would be removed from the diptyches--effectively excommunicating them.

>>>Remember, I'm not trying to imply that these words teach a "primacy of jurisdiction" or any other anachronism or "western" mode of theological or philosophical thought. I'm just asking you why these words don't mean what they appear to be clearly saying. I'm sure you can help me to understand the real meaning behind them. Thanks in anticipation,<<<

Mostly, what they are is an attempt to impose a uniform Christological terminology on the Church as a means of achieving both unity and domestic tranquility, as well as the support of the Latin Church for the planned reincorporation of Italy into the Roman Empire (for so the Byzantines always thought of themselves). But this, like all other artificial attempts at forging unity on the Christological issue, failed because the synthesis of the Church was not complete--it would take two more ecumenical councils to do that (neither with much Latin participation), and in the end, the formula expressed in the Tomos of Leo would be greatly modified. Ultimately, and tragically, after 1500 years, both the Chalcedonian Churches of the East and the West have recognized that most of what has been called monophysitism or nestorianism was nothing of the sort, and that both groups were expressing essentially the same understanding of the nature(s) of Christ in their own unique terminology. Thus, both the Catholic communion and the Eastern Orthodox communion have Agreed Christological Statements with the Oriental Orthodox communion and the Church of the East. Which just makes the Formula of Hormosidas one more minor footnote in the long resolution of the Christological controversy.

Stuart
Posted By: Sub-Deacon Ghazaros

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 08/02/02 01:50 AM

StuartK,

O.k., I can buy this as an interpretation which gives a reasonable, honest alternative to the Roman Catholic interpretation. Thank you.

How about the classic text of St. Ireneaus. I've seen a few Eastern interpreations but I would like to hear yours before we go on to the other Papal statements.

St. Ireneaus states,

"But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the succession of all the churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul, that church which has the tradition and the faith which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the apostles. With that church, because of its superior origin, all the churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world, and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition" (Against Heresies 3:3:2 [A.D. 189]).

1. What did he mean by "superior origin,"

2. or "all the churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world,"

3. or again "and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition"

Thanks for your help,

In Christ's Light,

Der-Ghazarian
Posted By: StuartK

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 08/02/02 03:24 PM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Der-Ghazarian:

St. Ireneaus states,

"But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the succession of all the churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul, that church which has the tradition and the faith which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the apostles. With that church, because of its superior origin, all the churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world, and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition" (Against Heresies 3:3:2 [A.D. 189]).

>>>1. What did he mean by "superior origin,"<<<

Irenaeus' purpose in Adv. Her. is first to discredit the various heretical sects which plagued the second century Church; and second to develop criteria whereby the faithful may know wherein the One True Church resides. To the latter end, he develops the concept of Apostolic Succession--the true faith is found in those Churches headed by bishops who were ordained by bishops who were ordained in their turn by bishops ordained by the Apostles themselves. The assumption is that the Apostolic faith will be passed on correctly by those who received it from a line of succession leading back to the source. Or, as he also put it, the heretics cannot trace the origins of their beliefs back to the Apostles appointed by Christ himself.

In this instance, Irenaeus is not holding up the Church of Rome as superior to any other Church, but as an exemplar of what Apostolic Succession means, for here we find a Church that was founded not by one but by two Apostles who were martyred there. He also points out that the Church of Rome has never embraced any heresy (not quite true, as there was Marcion who caused quite a bit of trouble before being expelled), and in something of a tautological argument, says that the fact that the Church of Rome has never fallen into heresy is both proof and cause of its exemplary status.

>>>2. or "all the churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world,"<<<

This is simply rhetorical hyperbole, as Irenaeus did not practice what he preached, as, e.g., in the case of the Quartodecian Controversy, wherein he chastized Pope Victor for trying to impose the useage of the Church of Rome on the Asian Christian communities in Rome (and by extension, the Asian Churches as a whole). A similar dichotomy can be seen in the writings of Cyprian of Carthage, who on the one hand speaks at length about the unity of the Church, but at the same time excoriates the Bishop of Rome for arrogating to himself prerogatives that belong to all bishops--and he explicitly denies that the Bishop of Rome carries any special "apostolic" charism as heir of Peter. To Hippolytus, all the Apostles were equal in grace, and thus all of the bishops share in a single episcopal charism in their turn.

>>>3. or again "and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition"<<<

Again, Rome is the exemplar, the Apostolic Church par excellence, and those who wish to see how the Apostolic succession should look to her--but Irenaeus is not elevating Rome over any other Apostolic Church in terms of "jurisdiction".
Posted By: Sub-Deacon Ghazaros

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 08/04/02 06:34 AM

Dear Stuart,

Thanks again for your informitive reply. I need to take a little more time to ponder your response on St. Ireneaus before I post another.

In the mean time, while I've got you in the question-answering mood, please allow me me to ask you a question about Papal authority.

Many times in this forum, in the short time I've been a member, I've seen something expressed which I'm not sure is correct. It is the idea that Rome herself is re-thinking her authority. Now so far, I don't have a problem with this. But the argument goes on to insinuate that Rome no longer is insisting on her "infallibillity." The implication is that Catholics, especially Eastern Catholics are no longer required to believe such a thing in order to stay in good standing with the Roman Church. This sounds real good on paper, but I'm doubting a little its authenticity and whether it is consistent with the reality of the Church of Rome's position on this.

I recall a talk given by Fr. Thomas Hopko in which he stated that Rome instructed a joint Catholic/Orthodox theological commision that "the infallibillity of the Pope was non-negotiable."

If this is true, then aren't Eastern Catholics who say such things really only kidding themselves? Or has Rome opened a way for Eastern Christians to get around the "infallible" decrees of Vatican I and II?

Your thoughts, please
Posted By: StuartK

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 08/04/02 09:39 PM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Der-Ghazarian:
[qb]Dear Stuart,

>>>I recall a talk given by Fr. Thomas Hopko in which he stated that Rome instructed a joint Catholic/Orthodox theological commision that "the infallibillity of the Pope was non-negotiable."

If this is true, then aren't Eastern Catholics who say such things really only kidding themselves? Or has Rome opened a way for Eastern Christians to get around the "infallible" decrees of Vatican I and II?<<<

One can only take the Pope at his word when he says that he wishes to explore new definitions and modalities of primacy that will be acceptable to all. If anything at all is "non-negotiable" from the beginning, then the Pope is engaging in a deception, for in true dialogue, everything has to be explored without constraints. I prefer to think that the Pope speaks sincerely, but I will not say that the Pope speaks for the entire Curia Romana.

[ 08-04-2002: Message edited by: StuartK ]
Posted By: Sub-Deacon Ghazaros

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 08/05/02 12:34 AM

Dear StuartK and friends,

Yes, I understand what you are saying but are these two concepts mutually exclusive? Just because the Pope has invited the other ancient Churches to help him redefine the nature of his Primacy, does it automatically follow that he is open to changing the Latin Church's belief in the Infallibillity of the Roman Pontiff? I think it could be possible that Rome could be open to redefining how she exercises her primacy within the universal Church all the while still affirming she has her infallible charism.

Again, I'm trying to reconcile the two cases of the Pope's words in Ut Unum Sint and those by Fr. Hopko that Rome has said that the "Infallibillity of the Pope" is non-negotiable. I haven't seen anything from Rome that would make me think she is considering backing off on her claim to infallibillity. Has anyone on this forum?

Thanks again,

Wm. Der-Ghazarian
Posted By: StuartK

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 08/05/02 01:06 AM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Der-Ghazarian:
[qb]Dear StuartK and friends,

>>>Again, I'm trying to reconcile the two cases of the Pope's words in Ut Unum Sint and those by Fr. Hopko that Rome has said that the "Infallibillity of the Pope" is non-negotiable.<<<

When Father Hopko says "Rome", it covers a multiplicity of sins. I am sure that nobody in a high-ranking capacity actually said this to him, so it must have been related as hearsay. To which I respond, there is no such entity as Rome, and in theory, there is not authority superior to that of Rome's bishop. But Rome's bishop is not entirely in control, because the daily functions of the Catholic Church are routinely delegated to the various congregations, which in turn are composed of ecclesiastical bureaucrats who, like all bureaucrats, follow their own agenda and place their own self-perpetuation above the interests of those whom they ostensibly serve. That there would be people in Rome who would say certain things are not open to negotiation does not surprise me, but it is not consistent with the notion that one is asking for assistance in determining how primacy is to be exercised. Particularly since this, and universal ordinary jurisdiction, are the only two issues that are controversial. It is tantamount to saying, we want to make fundamental changes without changing anything.

Now, it will come as no surprise to anyone that the Church of Rome never admits to having made any errors or mistakes in the realm of doctrine, even when doctrine perambulates 180 degrees (or more) over time. So Rome's preference in the matter would definitely lean away from a direct repudiation of Pastor Aeternus and towards a "clarification" that clarifies the doctrine into nullity.

It would seem, in fact, that we have reached that point already, since this Pope has refused on numerous occasions to make ex Cathedra statements, even when pressed by significant portions of the episcopate to do so. Instead, he has chosen alternative ways of exercising his primacy, ways that respect the sensibilities of the Orthodox Churches. This is an inevitable result of the ecclesiology of Vatican II, which recognized not only Churches other than the Church of Rome, but the ecclesial reality of Churches not in communion with the Church of Rome. Now, in making an ex Cathedra proclamation, the Pope is supposed to be representing the unanimous mind of the Church--which he is supposed to discern by consultations with the episcopate. But the episcopate is larger than those bishops in communion with the Church of Rome, and it is my contention that recognizing the reality of the Orthodox episcopate has made it practically impossible for any pope to ever again make an ex Cathedra proclamation, for every Orthodox bishop would oppose such a measure on general principles.

So, regardless of what "Rome" says is or is not on the table, the change has occured, and it is only a matter of admitting it and finding ways of codifying that which has occured.

[ 08-04-2002: Message edited by: StuartK ]
Posted By: Brendan

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 08/05/02 03:26 PM

It is interesting.

I agree with Stuart that the likeliest solution here will involve a good deal of face-saving for the Latin Church (ie, not a condemnation of Vatican I, but rather a clarification of it -- even though that may be 180 degrees opposite to what Vatican I actually said) as well as, in substance ,satisfying the needs of Orthodoxy.

Metr. John (Zizioulas) of Pergamon has written well about this specific issue in his collection of essays entitled "Being as Communion". Primacy and concilliarity are complementary principles -- neither can function without the other. Both Rome and Orthodoxy need to recognize this.

From the Orthodox perspective, when the schism happened, the Orthodox Church lost its primatial see ... we replaced it with Constantinople (the next in line), but Constantinople has never played -- and never really will play -- the real primatial see in Orthodoxy in terms of its actual role. The tragedy for the Orthodox Church is that when Rome "left", we were left without a real primatial see, and this sent our own ecclesiological organism into an unbalanced state of affairs. Theoretically, we can shift the primacy to another see, but in practice that hasn't really worked, because Rome is really supposed to be the primatial see in the Church, as the first millenium demonstrates.

For Rome, the problem was that when communion was severed with the Orthodox Church, Roman ecclesiology became excessively Papocentric, such that the internal relations between the Primate and Bishops of the Church of Rome began to be considered normative for the Church-at-large beyond the confines of the Church of Rome. This trend was already there before the split, but really accelerated during the reforming popes immediately thereafter. At this point, Roman ecclesiology even officially says that the Pope can act independently of the remainder of the Episcopate -- which, frankly, is a clear distortion of the way that the Church should work, and just as much of a distortion as the claim sometimes made by Orthodox that primacy is itself irrelevant for the life of the church.

Mtr. John calls for an ecclesiology that reflects Trinitarian theology, such that the three Persons always act together and never alone, and are always coordinated with each other, giving to each other in love. The Father is the "arche", but his "arche" is one of love, not power or authority imposed on the Son or the Spirit, and in turn their love returned to the Father creates the trinitarian dynamic that should characterize ecclesiastical relations as well. Rome needs to realize this, and quit pretensions of its primate being empowered to act unilaterally -- that's not trinitarian. At the same time, Orthodoxy needs to stop pretending that its version of the Church really doesn't need a primate, because that's not trinitarian either -- yes, the three divine Persons are "equal", but there is nevertheless still an "arche".

The apostolic canons likewise deal with this issue, when they say (addressing the issue of relations within the local or national churches) that the bishops of a certain country should do nothing without the consent of the primate, but that likewise the primate should do nothing without the consent of the bishops. This is trinitarian, and reflects the reality that primacy and conciliarity are two sides of the same coin, and neither can be dispensed with if the church is to function properly and in a trinitarian manner. This kind of idea could go a long way to opening minds to the possibilities of ecclesiastical structures, rather than relying on existing formulae, regardless of whether they were arrived at during the Council of Chalcedon or the First Vatican Council.

By contrast, when things are said to be non-negotiable, obviously this is an approach that is completely at odds with trinitarian theology, and is indicative of a confused understanding of what the primatial role really means.

Brendan
Posted By: StuartK

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 08/05/02 06:44 PM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Brendan:


>>>The tragedy for the Orthodox Church is that when Rome "left", we were left without a real primatial see, and this sent our own ecclesiological organism into an unbalanced state of affairs. Theoretically, we can shift the primacy to another see, but in practice that hasn't really worked, because Rome is really supposed to be the primatial see in the Church, as the first millenium demonstrates.<<<

This is the frequently reiterated perspective of Archbishop Vsevolod of Scopelos, which has been picked up and amplified by Bishop Kallistos of Deiocleia.

>>>For Rome, the problem was that when communion was severed with the Orthodox Church, Roman ecclesiology became excessively Papocentric, such that the internal relations between the Primate and Bishops of the Church of Rome began to be considered normative for the Church-at-large beyond the confines of the Church of Rome.<<<

Indisputable. As Archbishop John Quinn of San Francisco has noted, while the current doctrine of primacy in the Roman Church is juridically neither minimialist nor maximalist, in fact the actual approach taken by the Church of Rome has become increasingly maximalist over the centuries.


>>>This trend was already there before the split, but really accelerated during the reforming popes immediately thereafter. At this point, Roman ecclesiology even officially says that the Pope can act independently of the remainder of the Episcopate -- which, frankly, is a clear distortion of the way that the Church should work, and just as much of a distortion as the claim sometimes made by Orthodox that primacy is itself irrelevant for the life of the church.<<<

Well, yes and no. The clarifications offered by Rome to the German bishops in 1871 in response to Pastor Aeternus indicated that no pope could speak ex Cathedra unless he spoke for the unanimous mind of the Church--which, in practice, he would discern by consulting the episcopacy. Certainly if he did not act in that manner, the chances of any such delcaration being received within the Roman Church would be problemmatic at best.

On the other hand, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic canonist Fr. Victor Popshistil wrote that juridically the Pope is an absolute monarch, though he may choose not to act like one according to his own judgement. That, I think, is only a partial truth, for there has never really been such a thing as an absolute monarch, except as a theory. Even oriental despots had to consider the perspectives and interests of their courtiers, lest they find their legitimacy decisively challenged by a tight chord around the neck (or poison in the wine, take your choice). It is similar with the pope: absolute monarch he may be, but he operates within a constitutional consensus whose boundaries he cannot trespass without calling the whole structure into question.

>>>Mtr. John calls for an ecclesiology that reflects Trinitarian theology, such that the three Persons always act together and never alone, and are always coordinated with each other, giving to each other in love. The Father is the "arche", but his "arche" is one of love, not power or authority imposed on the Son or the Spirit, and in turn their love returned to the Father creates the trinitarian dynamic that should characterize ecclesiastical relations as well. Rome needs to realize this, and quit pretensions of its primate being empowered to act unilaterally -- that's not trinitarian. At the same time, Orthodoxy needs to stop pretending that its version of the Church really doesn't need a primate, because that's not trinitarian either -- yes, the three divine Persons are "equal", but there is nevertheless still an "arche".<<<

Metropolitan John reflects a growing consensus among Orthodox theologians, at the end of which, one hopes, the Orthodox Church will have a common understanding of its own ecclesiology, from which will spring a common understanding of primacy. It has been precisely the lack of consensus on primacy within the Orthodox Church that has prevented the Orthodox from constructively engaging the Pope over the issues raised in Ut Unum Sint.

>>>The apostolic canons likewise deal with this issue, when they say (addressing the issue of relations within the local or national churches) that the bishops of a certain country should do nothing without the consent of the primate, but that likewise the primate should do nothing without the consent of the bishops.<<<

Canon of the Holy Apostles No. 34 has long contained the basis for a solution to the schism--but I am afraid that nobody in the Catholic or Orthodox camp either takes the canon seriously or even understands what it means and demands of each local Church, as well as from the Church that holds the primacy.

>>>This is trinitarian, and reflects the reality that primacy and conciliarity are two sides of the same coin, and neither can be dispensed with if the church is to function properly and in a trinitarian manner. This kind of idea could go a long way to opening minds to the possibilities of ecclesiastical structures, rather than relying on existing formulae, regardless of whether they were arrived at during the Council of Chalcedon or the First Vatican Council.

By contrast, when things are said to be non-negotiable, obviously this is an approach that is completely at odds with trinitarian theology, and is indicative of a confused understanding of what the primatial role really means.<<<

Absolutely. The question has been raise by several Orthodox theologians that the different perspectives held by the East and West on the relationships within the Holy Trinity have serious ecclesiological implications. How do you view this hypothesis?
Posted By: Brendan

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 08/06/02 12:00 PM

"Well, yes and no. The clarifications offered by Rome to the German bishops in 1871 in response to Pastor Aeternus indicated that no pope could speak ex Cathedra unless he spoke for the unanimous mind of the Church--which, in practice, he would discern by consulting the episcopacy. Certainly if he did not act in that manner, the chances of any such delcaration being received within the Roman Church would be problemmatic at best."

As a practical matter, this is true, but on the ecclesiological level, on the doctrinal level, it's remarkably close to unilateralism. And, as you rightly note, we mustn't set the standard for determining "absolutist" too high lest we exclude everything from that definition.

"The question has been raise by several Orthodox theologians that the different perspectives held by the East and West on the relationships within the Holy Trinity have serious ecclesiological implications. How do you view this hypothesis?"

I think that it has some credibility, and it applies to a host of issues that distinguish Orthodoxy from Catholicism at this time -- including, but not limited to, ecclesiology. It seems to me that the intersection of Christology and Pneumatology is really the point of departure for some of these issues. Specifically, reflecting on the relationship between the Father and the Spirit and Son and the Spirit, and the respective economies of the Son and the Spirit seems to be a fruitful way of thinking about these issues from the trinitarian perspective. It is possible, for example, that the Western tendency to downplay the Spirit (either through established theology or simply by having an underdeveloped pneumatology) has led to a tendency there to downplay or deemphasize the pneumatological role in the church -- in other words, to play up the economy of the Son -- who was concretely active in the world, in history -- but not that of the Spirit -- who gives the church its eschatological perspective and dimension. In addition, this could lead to a more hierarchical view of the trinity, which could be reflected in a more hierarchical view of church life. And if, in fact, the Spirit is in some sense subordinate to the Son (as He may have been considered for centuries in Roman Catholic trinitarian theology), it's possible that this would lead to an emphasis of the Pope over the remainder of the church, and an increasingly rigid hierarchical model for the church.

From the Orthodox perspective, it's possible that our tradition of viewing the trinitarian persons as fundamentally equal, distringuished only by their origin (or lack thereof), has led to a tendency to de-emphasize primacy in the life of the church. In fact, this needn't be the case, for Cappadocian trinitarian theology still contains the concept of "arche" (and this, in fact, is the lynchpin of this theological schema), but it's possible that this has not been sufficiently emphasized and understood by the Orthodox east over the centuries.

I think that Vladimir Lossky expressed this view in a more aggressive way, seeing in the filioque the entire problem of East and West. That may be an exagerration, for I think that the issue is not simply that of the filioque, but rather of the entire enterprise of how the trinity is conceived in the mind of the church and how it is lived in the life of the church, and this makes me think that getting to a greater consensus on these basic theological issues may really help the churches make progress on issues that may be seemingly unrelated (at least at first glance).

Brendan

[ 08-06-2002: Message edited by: Brendan ]
Posted By: Gerard Serafin

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 08/06/02 01:54 PM

Come, Holy Spirit!

Brendan writes:

It seems to me that the intersection of Christology and Pneumatology is really the point of departure for some of these issues. Specifically, reflecting on the relationship between the Father and the Spirit and Son and the Spirit, and the respective economies of the Son and the Spirit seems to be a fruitful way of thinking about these issues from the trinitarian perspective..

Hi Brendan, you raise an issue quite dear to my heart. I hope to reply at some length to some specfics of your post as time allows (I have work on websites to attend to in a few moments).

At this point I just wish to mention that there are some fine studies along the lines you suggest: I think of Yves Congar's third volume of I Believe in the Holy Spirit; which, in its entirely is devoted to the "filioque" and its implications.

This wonderful book is available at Amazon at:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0824516966/praiseofglory

There is also a wonderful study by OCA priest, Michael Meerson, The Trinity of Love, which explores the confluence of eastern and western trinitarian and pneumatological streams in Russian theologians and thinkers. It is remarkable! This, too, can be ordered through Amazon at:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0819909874/praiseofglory

If I may be bold (as I often am when it comes to my "labor of love" - my website!), can I suggest, too, a look at my own Filioque Page which has a good number of articles exploring these very themes, at:

http://praiseofglory.com/andtheson.htm

I do hope to come back and reply as best as I am able. I have a few "theories" of my own in these areas.

A blessed Feast of the Transfiguration to you and all!

[ 08-06-2002: Message edited by: Gerard Serafin ]

[ 08-06-2002: Message edited by: Gerard Serafin ]
Posted By: Gerard Serafin

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 08/06/02 06:43 PM

Come, Holy Spirit!

Brendan writes:

It is possible, for example, that the Western tendency to downplay the Spirit (either through established theology or simply by having an underdeveloped pneumatology) has led to a tendency there to downplay or deemphasize the pneumatological role in the church -- in other words, to play up the economy of the Son -- who was concretely active in the world, in history -- but not that of the Spirit -- who gives the church its eschatological perspective and dimension. In addition, this could lead to a more hierarchical view of the trinity, which could be reflected in a more hierarchical view of church life. And if, in fact, the Spirit is in some sense subordinate to the Son (as He may have been considered for centuries in Roman Catholic trinitarian theology), it's possible that this would lead to an emphasis of the Pope over the remainder of the church, and an increasingly rigid hierarchical model for the church.

Hi Brendan,

As I have come to understand things the faith of both "east" and "west" is identical when it comes to the absolute equality of the Persons of the Trinity: there is no subordination of Any to Any in both east and west.

Just two examples (and there really are many more). Is there anything more beautiful than Rublev's icon of the Hospitality of Abraham with its imaging of the Three Divine Persons in perfect communion and unity?

On the level of prayer, perhaps there is something to equal this glorious icon - the beautiful Latin Preface of the Holy Trinity (which used to be prayed every Sunday of the year for many centuries). It is best, of course, in its original majestic Latin (and sung to the tune of the Preface, for which Mozart, I think it was, said he would give up all his own compositions!).

Notice the perfect equality and dignity of the Persons - not a hint of subordination (I give it in the translation of one of my older Missals):

The Preface of the Holy Trinity

It is very meet, right and profitable for our salvation that we should at all times and in all places give thanks unto thee, holy Lord, Father Almighty, Everlasting God: who together with thine only-begotten Son, and the Holy Spirit, art one God, one Lord: not in the oneness of a single Person, but in the Trinity of one substance. For what we believe by thy revelation of thy glory, the same do we believe of thy Son, the same of the Holy Spirit, without difference or inequality. So that in confessing the true and everlasting Godhead, we shall adore distinction in Persons, unity in Essence, and equality in Majesty, which the Angels and Archangels, the Cherubim also and the Seraphim do praise, never ceasing to cry out with one voice:

SANCTUS, SANCTUS, SANCTUS
HOLY! HOLY! HOLY!


We can make "constructs" of differences when there really aren't any - and if we stick to the official texts and prayers of each Tradition we can see the basic identity of faith. Granted when it comes to some aspects, especially the procession of the Holy Spirit, there are differences and variations of approaches. But here even, as many have demonstrated, there is a complementarity and not contradiction.

I hope to share eventually some of the "distinctiveness" of the western pneumatological tradition, since I will let others who are more qualified speak of the eastern approaches and distinctives.

[ 08-06-2002: Message edited by: Gerard Serafin ]
Posted By: DTBrown

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 08/07/02 08:57 AM

Sorry I was so long in getting back to the Forum...but then there is life outside of the Forum...I can assure you of that! smile

Before I go on to dealing with what happened with Pope Vigilius, let me make a couple of other comments.

Does anyone have any commentary on Pope St Agapetus? It was claimed the popes never interferred with other Patriarchates without invitation. Such I maintain is reading the history of the first millennium Church through post-schism lenses. It would be foolish in the
extreme to claim that the Eastern Churches were wholly subservient to Rome. They jealously guarded their autonomy. Yet, interference from Rome did not always wait for an invitation, either.

Much has been said about needing to understand the
Formula of St Hormisdas in its historical context.
This is quite true. The Formula should not be read as evidence for the style of papacy we have today (everything centralized in Rome with papal
appointments of Bishops, etc.) As has been noted: the Eastern Churches were autonomous (so were parts of the Western Church). Papal statements were generally received with respect but that did not rule out discussion, disagreement or being ignored. Nor should we forget the political situation. In AD 519, Rome was not part of the Empire anymore. The city had fallen to the "barbarians" in 476. Reconquest of Rome for the empire was a political aim. (This was accomplished by the time of Pope Vigilius' death.)

As I said earlier, I thought the Formula significant in two regards:

1)What the Church was (East and West) willing to say about how to interpret Matthew 16 ("You are
Peter".)

2)What the Church (East and West) was willing to say about the necessity of communion with Rome.


This does not mean that political maneuverings stopped or that denials of papal authority did not occur. Nor does it mean that the Emperor, for example, did not feel he could pressure, dictate to and even humiliate the pope. As Kenneth Whitehead states in his book One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church (which has an excellent chapter on the Primacy of Rome):

Except for those few years at the end of the fifth and the beginning of the sixth centuries, the popes were always subjects of the all-powerful, Roman emperor. This was true until the eighth century. The early popes were not rulers as the medieval popes came to be. (page 283)

Stuart has correctly pointed out after the time of
Vigilius popes were subject to confirmation by the
Emperor--just as the reigning monarch of the
Austro-Hungarian Empire had a "veto" power over the election of popes in more recent history.

Rome could also rule on something and be largely
ignored in the East. Case in point: Pope St Leo's
"annulling by the authority of St Peter" the 28th
Canon of Constantinople. The correspondence between Patriarch Anatolius and Emperor Marcian and St Leo is a fascinating read. Anatolius seems very contrite about the whole episode. In a letter to St Leo he blames the clergy of Constantinople for the idea:

Quote
It was the most reverend clergy of the church of Constantinople who were eager about it, and they were equally supported by the most reverend priests of of those parts, who agreed about it. Even so, the whole force and confirmation of the acts was reserved for the authority of your blessedness. Therefore
let your holiness know for certain that I did nothing to furrther the matter, having always held myself bound to avoid the lusts of pride and covetousness.
(Letter 132)


Despite the apparent abject humility of his letter, Anatolius was insincere. Even though St Leo had refused to confirm the canon Constantinople continued to ordain the metropolitans of Asia, Pontus and Thrace. However, the first published listing of the
canons in the fifth century did not include the canon Pope St Leo had "annulled." They appear first in listings published in the sixth century. Just as Rome has been ignored in modern times (despite the more centralized authority structure today) so she was effectively ignored at times in the first millennium Church--especially if the Emperor was on your side!

Stuart wrote:

Quote
I am curious to know why it is SO important to you to prove that (a) no Bishop of Rome has ever either taught or professed erroneous beliefs; and (b)that from the beginning, the Bishops of Rome have rightfully viewed themselves as having some sort of
jurisdiction over other Churches. Particularly when to do so you must resort to special pleading and selective reading of the evidence.


Why is it, Stuart, that you feel the need to
mispresent my perspective here?

A) I do not believe that no Bishop of Rome has never taught or professed erroneous beliefs. The Church, of course, does not teach that every doctrinal utterance of a pope is infallible. A very clear example is the contradiction between John XII and Benedict XII in the fourteenth century regarding when the blessed dead
will experience the "beatific vision."

The official Church position on papal infallibility is not that every utterance of a pope is free from error. CCEO explains:

The Roman Pontiff, in virtue of his office,
possesses infallible teaching authority if, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the Christian faithful who is to confirm his fellow believers in the faith, he proclaims with a definitive act that a doctrine of faith or morals is to be held
...No doctrine is understood to be infallibly defined unless it is clearly established as such. (Canon 597)

Stuart...I don't understand why you feel it is SO
important to misrepresent my position. Even as classic a Catholic text as Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma says that papal encyclicals are not to be automatically regarded as infallible: "Most of the doctrinal expressions made by the Popes in their Encyclicals are not decisions ex cathedra." (page 287) According to Church teaching papal infallibility is rather narrowly defined and is not a blanket "no pope
of Rome has never taught or professed erroneous
beliefs."

B)Neither would I say that "from the beginning, the Bishops of Rome have rightfully viewed themselves as having some sort of jurisdiction over other Churches." We have little idea of what many early Roman popes thought on this subject. By the time we get to Damasus and Celestine and Leo we see a view of jurisdiction becoming apparent (St Leo's annuling of the 28th canon
is an example of this.) This does not mean that the relationship of the Bishops of Rome and other Churches operated like the popes today relate to the Eastern Catholic Churches, for example. Even as conservative a source as Fr Aidan Nichols in Rome and the Eastern Churches admits a growth in the how the popes understood their role, as for example, the chapter: "The Estrangement between Rome and Constantinople: The
Growth of Papal Claims."

Quote
Particularly when to do so you must resort to special pleading and selective reading of the
evidence.


Oh really? You've mispresented my position. What can I expect now? As an aside, I think we should all recognize the temptation historians (especially religious historians) face to craft their presentations to highlight their particular
interpretation of history--their beliefs and sometimes even their prejudices. Certainly, this was true of Abbe Guettee and is even true of some pro-Roman historians.

[ 08-07-2002: Message edited by: DTBrown ]
Posted By: DTBrown

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 08/07/02 08:59 AM

Anastasios wrote:

Quote
Why wouldn't his confirmation be sought? He was one of the five equal patriarchs.


Confirmation of councils was not viewed as a function of the pentarchy. It came to be viewed as a papal function, usually being expressed through papal legates. Papal confirmation became a canonical necessity. For example, note this from the Council of Ephesus:

Projectus, bishop and legate of the Roman Church said: Most clearly from the reading, etc, . . . Moreover I also, by my authority as legate of the holy Apostolic See, define, being with my brethren an executor of the aforesaid sentence, that the beforenamed Nestorius is an enemy of the truth, a corrupter of the faith, and as guilty of the things of which he was accused, has been removed from the grade of Episcopal honour, and moreover from the communion of all orthodox priests.

Cyril, the bishop of Alexandria said: The professions which have been made by Arcadius and Projectus, the most holy and pious bishops, as also by Philip, the most religious presbyter of the Roman Church, stand manifest to the holy Synod. For they have made their profession in the place of the Apostolic See, and of the whole of the holy synod of the God-beloved and most holy bishops of the West. Wherefore let those things which were defined by the most holy Coelestine, the God-beloved bishop, be carried into effect, and the vote east against Nestorius the heretic, by the holy Synod, which met in the metropolis of Ephesus be agreed to universally; for this purpose let there be added to the already prepared acts the proceedings of yesterday and today, and let them be shewn to their holiness, so that by their subscription according to custom, their canonical agreement with all of us may be manifest.

Arcadius the most reverend bishop and legate of the Roman Church, said: According to the acts of this holy Synod, we necessarily confirm with our subscriptions their doctrines.The Holy Synod said: Since Arcadius and Projectus the most reverend and most religious bishops and legates and Philip, the presbyter and legate of the Apostolic See, have said that they are of the same mind with us, it only remains, that they redeem their promises and confirm the acts with their signatures, and then let the minutes of the acts be shewn to them.[The three then signed.]


(An aside: here is the usage applying the term "the Apostolic See" to the See of Rome.)

The Bishops at Chalcedon wrote to Pope St Leo, referring to him as "him who had been charged with the custody of the vine by the Saviour--we refer to your holiness--" and then asked him:

And so, deign, most holy and blessed father, to embrace as your own, and as lovable and agreeable to good order, the things we have decreed, for the removal of all confusion, and the confirmation of church order.

The Sixth Ecumenical Council wrote to the pope:

and we pray your paternal sanctity to confirm our decree by your honourable rescript;

During the Iconoclastic Crisis, Stephen the Faster challenged the assembled Bishops at Hiereia:

How can you call a council ecumenical when the bishop of Rome has not given his consent, and the canons forbid ecclesiastical affairs to be decided without the pope of Rome?

And when the Seventh Ecumenical Council was held which upheld the use of icons and images a special invitation was sent to Pope Hadrian:

http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF2-14/Npnf2-14-155.htm#P10087_1883025

and what is even more remarkable is Pope Hadrian's letter--much of which was read to the Council (in which he refers to the Church of Rome as "mother"):

http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF2-14/Npnf2-14-159.htm#P10150_1909950

Similar documentation on the relationship between popes and ecumenical councils can be found at:

http://web.globalserve.net/~bumblebee/ecclesia/ecu.htm
Posted By: DTBrown

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 08/07/02 09:08 AM

Re: Vigilius

The classic Catholic views on the case of Pope Vigilius can be found at:

Pope Vigilius:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15427b.htm

Three Chapters:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14707b.htm

Second Council of Constantinople (5th Ecumenical Council):

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04308b.htm

Phillip Hughes on the 5th Council (includes background):

http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/coun6.html

Pope Vigilius and Emperor Justinian disagreed strongly about the propriety of condemning the Three Chapters. Justinian used every means he could to get Vigilius to comply with his views (including kidnapping, house arrest, physical abuse). In fact, getting the pope's compliance was essential to his plan. In the end, Justinian won out...helped out by Vigilius' own duplicity.

A couple of points to clarify things stated by others in this thread. Vigilius and Justinian had been going at it for years on this issue. The final crisis which led to the 5th Council was Justinian's second edict against the Three Chapters. The book Byzantium--The Early Centuries by John Julius Norwich describes what happened next:

Quote
Prompted, no doubt, by many of the Western churchmen in the city [Constantinople], Vigilius protested that the edict went against the principles of Chalcedon and called upon the Emperor to withdraw it. Justinian, predictably, refused; whereupon the Pope summoned a meeting in his palace of all the bishops from both East and West who were present in the city. This assembly pronounced unanimously against the edict, solemning forbidding any cleric to say mass in any church in which it was exhibited. (page 255)


Anglican writer Trevor Jalland describes it this way in The Church and the Papacy:

It was now Vigilius' turn to take the offensive. After publishing sentences of disposition and excommunication against his opponents, he issued an encyclical on the lines of the formula of Hormisdas, the purpose of which must have been to reassure Western opinion. The effect on this action on the capital was electric. The excommunicated bishops united in producing a declaration of assent to the `four councils' and a profession of readiness `to respect and accept as orthodox therein all that had been said to be such by common consent with the legates and representatives of the apostolic see.' Vigilius presently returned to Constantinople [from Chalcedon], and on the death of [Patriarch] Menas had the satisfaction of receiving a solemn profession of faith from his successor, Eutychius, in which the new bishop acknowledged the `four councils', the letters of Leo and other Popes, and supported the project of a new council under Vigilius' presidency. For obvious reasons the Pope endeavoured to postpone its assembly and proposed that it be held in the West. But Justinian naturally would have none of this, nor would he entertain any longer the alternative of a round-table conference, still less the proposal of Pelagius that the decision of the question of the `Three Chapters' should be left to the Roman see. (page 348)

Justinian forced the Council to be held in the East and maneuvered to get rid of opposition. Vigilius boycotted the Council. The dialogue that OrthodoxyorDeath quoted is incorrect. He has conflated what the Bishops told Vigilius with what the Emperor instructed be told to Vigilius. The Acts of the Council report the exchange between Vigilius and the Bishops (as the Bishops reported it to Justinian):

-------------
Vigilius states: "We have called you for this reason, that you may know what things have been done in the past days. To this end I have written a document about the disputed Three Chapters, addressed to the most pious Emperor, pray be good enough to read it, and to carry it to his Serenity."

But when we had heard this and had seen the document written to your serenity, we said to him that we could not by any means receive any document written to the most pious Emperor without his bidding. "But you have deacons for running with messages, by whom you can send it."

He, however, said to us: "You now know that I have made the document."

But we, bishops, answered him: "If your blessedness is willing to meet together with us and the most holy Patriarchs, and the most religious bishops, and to treat of the Three Chapters and to give, in unison with us all, a suitable form of the orthodox faith, as the Holy Apostles and the holy Fathers and the four Councils have done, we will hold thee as our head, as a [father] and primate. But if your holiness has drawn up a document for the Emperor, you have errand-runners, as we have said; send it by them."
-------------
At Justinian's bidding the Bishops tried to entice Vigilius to come to the Council. He preferred to make his statement in writing, however. Despite Vigilius' earlier support the Council proves itself compliant to Justinian. One factor completely turned what support Vigilius had completely against him. Vigilius was exposed as deceptive. He had previously secretly promised Justinian that he would do everything possible to secure the condemnation of the Three Chapters and Justinian produced the written evidence from Vigilius' own hand.

Here is where the second part of what OrthodoxyorDeath quotes happens:
----------
And when he [Vigilius] had heard these things from us, he sent Servus Dei the Subdeacon, who now awaits the answer of your serenity. And when his Piety [Justinian] had heard this, he commanded through the aforesaid most religious and glorious men, the before-named subdeacon to carry back this message to the most religious Vigilius: "We invited him (you) to meet together with the most blessed patriarchs and other religious bishops, and with them in common to examine and judge the Three Chapters. But since you have refused to do this, and you say that you alone have written by yourself somewhat on the Three Chapters; if you have condemned them, in accordance with those things which you did before, we have already many such statements and need no more; but if you have written now something contrary to these things which were done by you before, you have condemned yourself by your own writing, since you have departed from orthodox doctrine and have defended impiety. And how can you expect us to receive such a document from you?" And when this answer was given by the most pious Emperor, he did not send through the same deacon any document in writing from himself. And all this was done without writing as also to your blessedness.
--------------
The flattery from the Bishops did not bring Vigilius to the Council. And when Vigilius was exposed everyone turned against him. Anastasios has misquoted Fr Meyendorff on the removal of Vigilius' name from the diptychs:

Quote
"severing unity with the apostolic see of Old Rome" by removing its incumbant


Actually, what Meyendorff says is: "serving unity" not "severing unity." It's easy to see how this was misunderstood (and someone might think it is a typo in the book) because Meyendorff does not explain an important element to this incident. The Acts of the Council report they said:

Quote
What has seemed good to the most pious Emperor is congruous to the labours which he bears for the unity of the churches. Let us preserve unity to (ad) the Apostolic See of the most holy Church of ancient Rome, carrying out all things according to the tenor of what has been read.


Jalland (Anglican) explains:

Quote
[Justinian] ordered the exclusion of the Pope's name from the diptycha of Constantinople, but insisted at the same time that he intended to preserve unity with the apostolic see. (op. cit., page 349)


This was not the first time that the pope had been removed from the diptychs in Constantinople. In 484, Patriarch Acacius, who enjoyed the patronage of Emperor Zeno had done the same in retaliation for being excommunciated by Pope Felix because of maintaining communion with Monophysites. In the interim, however, all the Eastern prelates had signed the Formula of Pope St
Hormisdas which stressed the importance of maintaining communion with the Apostolic See of Rome. This was even part of civil law.

Justinian demanded that Pope Vigilius be removed from the diptychs. The Bishops complied. Remember, many of these same Bishops had promised Vigilius their fidelity just a few months earlier. Perhaps they were disillusioned
with Vigilius. They certainly had every reason. They also knew that it was personally dangerous to disagree with Justinian. They knew of Justinian's treatment of Vigilius (being kidnapped, deported, physically assaulted,
house arrest--he'd been kept away from Rome for 8 years). Notice how they worded what they were doing.

Anglican scholar J.N.D. Kelley explains in The Oxford Dictionary of the Popes:

Quote
[Justinian] then ordered the pope's name to be struck from the diptychs, making it clear, however, that he was severing communion with him
personally, not with the holy see. (page 62)


The expression used was non sedem sed sedentem, "not the seat but the sitter." Retaining communion with the Apostolic See of Rome was still seen as necessary. (Perhaps this is analogous to today's sede vacantists
who claim the pope in Rome is not a valid pope.) Think what we want of the propriety of Justinian's and the Council's action (and of Vigilius' character) it is noteworthy that communion with the Apostolic See was still maintained as a necessary principle even if its occupant was deemed unworthy.
Posted By: Sub-Deacon Ghazaros

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 08/09/02 07:57 AM

Dave Ignatius,

Thank you for your excellent research. This is very thought-provoking information. I will ponder it as I do those of the other side of this issue. Keep up the good work.

In Christ's Light,

Wm. Der-Ghazarian
Posted By: StuartK

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 08/09/02 03:30 PM

>>>Confirmation of councils was not viewed as a function of the pentarchy. It came to be viewed as a papal function, usually being expressed through papal legates. Papal confirmation became a canonical necessity.<<<

The canonical criteria for holding and identifying an ecumenical council were laid out at the Second Council of Nicaea in 787. Among the criteria needed were: (a) the participation of ALL five patriarchs, either directly or through their representatives; and (b) ratification of the acts of the council by the Bishop of Rome. However, it is plain to see that neither Rome nor the Churches of the East have ever taken these criteria seriously. In the first place, they cannot be applied ex post facto to earlier councils, many of which did not meet the criteria indicated. Second, neither Rome nor the Eastern Churches recognized as ecumenical several councils that did meet the criteria. The prime example, of course, is the Council of Constantinople in 879-880, which did involve representatives of all five patriarchates and did receive the ratification of Pope John VIII, but which was ultimately repudiated by Rome in the 11th century (and by most of the Orthodox thereafter). At the same time, the Council of Constantinople held in 869-870, which ALSO met all of the canonical criteria, was explicitly repudiated by the Council of 879-880.

Moving into Latin Church history, we find that Rome first accepted the Council of Constance that ended the Great Western Schism, and also accepted, initially, the acts of the Council of Basle, but then repudiated both at the Council of Florence-Ferrara.

It would seem, then, that for both Rome and for the Churches of the East, there are no canonical criteria which can determine in advance which councils will be considered ecumenical and which will not. Ultimately, both Rome and Constantinople rely on the principle of reception--that a council become "ecumenical" only when that which it taught and proclaimed is fully assimilated into the collective consciousness of the entire Body of Christ as bearing witness to the truth. That's a slow and organic process, which may not be completed for years, if not decades. Rome did not accept the First Council of Constantinople (381) until the Council of Ephesus (431)--a lapse of 50 years. It also would appear, from history, that reception can be incomplete, or even reversed, should the mind of the Church become convinced that a council erred in one way or the other. This then, leaves great hope for the ultimate reconcilation of all the Churches.

As for those who wish for a juridical, cut-and-dried answer to this complex problem, I fear they are doomed to perpetual disappointment.
Posted By: DTBrown

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 08/14/02 05:15 AM

A friend has emailed me the website of a written debate between two layman...one Orthodox and the other Catholic on the Primacy issue. It is still in progress. One of the issues has dealt with the Formula of Pope St Hormisdas. For those who like such reading go to:

http://www.geocities.com/joeswaydyn2000/debate.html

Dave Ignatius DTBrown@aol.com
Posted By: Sub-Deacon Ghazaros

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 08/24/02 12:23 AM

This post has been moved to the "on Roman Primacy" thread.

Thanks,

Der-Ghazarian

[ 08-24-2002: Message edited by: Der-Ghazarian ]
Posted By: DTBrown

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 08/25/02 06:02 AM

Quote
Anglican writer Trevor Jalland describes it this way in The Church and the Papacy:

It was now Vigilius' turn to take the offensive. After publishing sentences of disposition and excommunication against his opponents, he issued an encyclical on the lines of the formula of Hormisdas, the purpose of which must have been to reassure Western opinion. The effect on this action on the capital was electric. The excommunicated bishops united in producing a declaration of assent to the `four councils' and a profession of readiness `to respect and accept as orthodox therein all that had been said to be such by common consent with the legates and representatives of the apostolic see.'


I just received through inter-library loan a copy of Studies on the Early Papacy by Dom John Chapman (published 1928). I wanted to share
this section from the book which gives more details of this time. Chapman writes:

=============

"On February 5, 552, [Pope Vigilius] issued an encyclical: "Vigilius, bishop of the Catholic Church, to all the people of God," describing bitterly the ill-treatment he had undergone, and explaining the excommunication against any who should touch the question of the Three Chapters until a common deliberation. This public complaint was a grave blow to Justinian. But the
Pope at the same time published the excommunication of Theodore Askidas [Justinian's main theological advisor], which he had held over for nearly six months. He recited the repeated delinquincies of Theodore, his frequent promises of reform, declaring him the author of the condemnation of the Three Chapters, which was a matter only for bishops, to whom the Lord gave
the power of binding and loosing. Together with Theodore, the Patriarch Menas is also excommunicated; "with all his metropolitans and
micropolitans and any other bishops of the East who have joined in the prevarication of Theodore
," "in the person of and by the authority of St Peter the Apostle, whose place we hold, though unworthy." Dacius of Milan and twelve other bishops of the West joined in signing this document, which was actually posted up in the churches and public places of Constantinople.

The effect of the Pope's belated boldness was electric; Justinian was nonplussed. The Pope would not quit the sanctuary nor trust his oaths. The Patriarch Menas, together with the metropolitans of Ephesus, Caesarea (that is Theodore himself), and many others, having incurred excommunication, came across the Bosphorus and presented to the Pope a petition more searching and humiliating than the formula of Hormisdas. They began by accepting the four
general councils, especially Ephesus and Chalcedon, at which the Popes had presided by their legates.

"And we promise that we will follow throughout and in detail whatever is contained in all the acts of the Council of Chalcedon and of the other
aforesaid synods, according as it is written in the four synods, in common consent with the legates and Vicars of the Apostolic See (in whom on each respective occasion the blessed Popes of Elder Rome, your Holiness's predecessors presided), defined, or judged or constituted or disposed, whether as to faith or to any other cases, judgments, constitutions, or dispositions, immovably, inviolably, irreprehensibly, irreformably, without addition or imminution...and so forth.

Whatever things were there said by common consent with the legates and Vicars of the Apostolic orthodox See, these we venerate and receive as
orthodox.

Whatever they anathematized or condemned, that we anathematize and we condemn; and we preserve all irreformably and unchangeably as, by the aforesaid councils in common consent with the Vicars of the Apostolic See, they are read to have been judged or defined or constituted or disposed.

And we promise that we will in all things follow and observe also the letters of Pope Leo of blessed memory, and the constitutions of the
Apostolic See which have been published whether as to the faith or the confirmation of the aforesaid councils.


Against the constitution of the pious Emperor and of your Holiness, in the recent case of the Three Chapters, I have made no libellus; but I will and I consent that any such documents should be restored to your Blessedness.

With regard to the insults inflicted on your Blessedness and to your See, I did not commit them; but because it is right to hasten for peace in all ways, I ask pardon, as though I had commited them."
(pp. 231-232) [Mansi 9:62]

====================

Dom John Chapman concludes that the chief Bishops of the East humilated themselves "before a Pope who has been insulted by the civil power, is in
sanctuary for safety, has personally no good character, is not obviously in the right, and has already twice contradicted himself. Such is still the prestige in the East of the See of Peter, even in an unworthy representative."

I think this episode shows that the view of some historians that the East did not understand the claims of Rome at this period is not tenable. Rome was ignored at times and both imperial and ecclesiastical political maneuverings were sometimes used against Rome's position. But, the claims were there and they were understood.

Dave Ignatius DTBrown@aol.com

[ 08-25-2002: Message edited by: DTBrown ]

[ 09-02-2002: Message edited by: DTBrown ]
Posted By: Sub-Deacon Ghazaros

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 08/25/02 11:24 AM

"I think this episode shows that the view of some historians that the East did not understand the claims of Rome at this period is not tenable. Rome was ignored at times and both imperial and ecclesiastical political maneuverings were sometimes used against Rome's position. But, the claims were there and they were understood."


I agree, Dave. It is my insignificant opinion that many Eastern Catholics are going too far by accepting the modern Eastern Orthodox interpretation of the history of Roman Primacy lock, stock and barrel. We need to be more critical of their claims before we abandon and undue everything our Eastern Catholic forebearers have accomplished in the name of the unity of the Catholic Church. I think we can betray our own heritage as Eastern Catholics a little too hastily. Reunion will be achieved by mutual agreement not by one side abanoning everything and just caving in to the other sides' beliefs.


In Christ's Light,

Wm. Der-Ghazarian

[ 08-25-2002: Message edited by: Der-Ghazarian ]
Posted By: DTBrown

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 09/02/02 06:36 AM

Today, after church our family stopped at an outdoor flea market. I was pleasantly surprised to pick up this volume for under $2:

Source Book for Ancient Church History, translated by Joseph Cullen Ayer, Jr, Professor of Ecclesiastical History in the Divinity School of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, published by Charles Scribner's Sons, Philadelphia, 1941.

At any rate, I came across some texts in the volume dealing with Pope Vigilius. It quotes from his Judicatum where he first came out against the Three Chapters. (This pleased Emperor Justinian but caused severe problems in the Western Church which viewed this as a "sell out" of Chalcedon. Vigilius knew he had to sound tough on maintaining Chalcedon in this document.)

What is intriguing for the discussion here is how he refers to the papal confirmation of the Councils up to that time. No matter what we may think of Vigilius' character or the sorry events which soon followed this sheds some light on how the Church at that time viewed Councils and papal confirmation of Councils.

Pope Vigilius wrote this document to Patriarch Mennas of Constantinople in AD 548 and the text can be found on pp. 544-545 of the above volume:

All things being accepted and remaining perpetually established which were defined in the venerable councils at Nicea, and Constantinople, in the first at Ephesus, and at Chalcedon, and confirmed by the authority of our predecessors; and who in the said holy councils were deposed are without doubt condemned, and those are no less absolved whose absolution was decreed by the same synods....

We anathematize also whoever does not faithfully follow and equally venerate the holy synods of Nicea, of Constantinople, the first of Ephesus, and the synod of Chalcedon as most holy synods, agreeing in the one and immaculate faith of the Apostles, and confirmed by the pontiffs of the Apostolic See , and whoever wishes to correct as badly said, or wishes to supply as imperfect, those things which were done in the same councils which we have mentioned.
[Mansi 9:181]

Dave Ignatius DTBrown@aol.com

[ 09-02-2002: Message edited by: DTBrown ]
Posted By: Sub-Deacon Ghazaros

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas - 09/04/02 05:38 AM

Thanks Leo Ignatius,

Another important observation to this issue showing later Roman Catholic development was rooted in very early historic Catholic Church belief.
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