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Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
Dear Eli,

If you enjoy hearing opinions, here are a few more for your reading enjoyment . . . wink

I don't know what the situation is in the Ruthenian Catholic Church (and frankly, I don't care right now since it doesn't affect me).

In the UGCC, we've been in a kind of hissing match with Rome over the issue of self-government.

Alex
Dear Dr. Roman,

I have gone and done a bit of research on this instance of Toronto and I believe that I have opened a very sore subject for you, so I will conclude by simply saying that I do not yet see this all-pervasive "heavy hand" of Rome, not in actual fact.

Eli

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So I fear I don't take this as proof of Rome's heavy hand.
Perhaps not in the way you were thinking, but if I were a Melkite, what the Patriarch would be saying would not seem like a positive thing to me.

I don't have a dog in this race though, and I really don't know how the elections or selections work on that side of the fence.

Andrew

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Eli,

Have you ever read We Are All Schismatics (the title should actually be a question, i.e., Are We All Schismatics?, but that's a different subject) by (former) Archbishop Elias Zoghby? That book contains a lot on this subject, i.e., the inappropriate conduct of Rome toward Eastern Catholics, so you may be interested in it.

For my own part, I have little interest in this sort of discussion these days. For one, I don't know what criteria we are going to use to determine whether or not Rome is being "heavy-handed" -- one person will say they are while another will vehemently deny it, and I'm not sure what "heavy-handed" even means (i.e., how we're defining it) -- so the whole thing smacks of vagueness and unproductiveness. What is clear is that, from time to time, Rome interferes (or at least has interfered) in the life of the Eastern Catholic churches in ways that it did not interfere when the churches were initially united, prior to the separation with Eastern Orthodoxy. Some of the mechanisms by which such interference took place are still in place today, at least in principle, whether or not they are actually used these days in a "heavy-handed" manner (and that in itself is something to consider; perhaps it is the wrong question to ask whether or not such mechanisms have been used in a heavy-handed manner in the past 50 years or so, but rather why such mechanisms are there in the first place). The Zoghby book documents some of this, and there is documentation of other things elsewhere (some of it dating back over 100 years, though, so probably not what you're interested in). What we should be concerned about, in my humble opinion (and I do mean to submit this humbly, though it may sound otherwise due to the medium we are using to communicate), is clearing that up, not deciding whether a vague label like "heavy-handed" really applies.

In somewhat related news, as someone has already mentioned on the forum today, Pope Benedict XVI has elected to drop the papal title of "Patriarch of the West" in hopes of fostering moves toward unity between Catholic and Orthodox churches.

May God bless you,
Maximos

P.S. In case there is a question at all, I am myself an Eastern Catholic who happens to hold rather strongly to the doctrine of papal primacy; even so, though, I can't deny the sort of things I mention above. My point in saying this is just that whether or not Rome is, at a given time, being "heavy-handed" or not is largely unimportant, in the scheme of things -- we should certainly oppose such heavy-handedness, but it is not quite as pressing of an issue as other things might be.

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Andrew said:
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if I were a Melkite, what the Patriarch would be saying would not seem like a positive thing to me.
As a Melkite, let me just say that I agree with you here; these certainly don't seem like positive things, even if someone might not define them as "heavy-handed." That alone should be enough to cause concern, I'd think. See my post above, though, for where I ultimately stand on most of this.

God bless,
Maximos

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As a Rusyn Orthodox, who came from a Prot background, (1) Papal infallibility, as seen by RCC is un-acceptable...but, as I see history, the 'primacy ' of the Roman Bishop has not changed since the time of Constantine. (2) the "Immaculate Conception" doctrine (NOT dogma) is seen as an 'innovation', IE something modern that was added...(how did this appear...after 17 centuries...what changed...?). (3) As written just previously, Papal primacy is not seen not as Primacy, but as superiority. (4) Many Orthodox consider the title 'Holy Father', as an intrusion into the sphere of Otce Nash, or the real HOLY FATHER, One God, or close to it, that we would never say such a thing. (5) Restoration of the pillaging of artifacts and holy things, icons, etc, of the 4th Crusade of Constantinople, would be a good start (according to the informed). (6) Apologia for the Latin intrusion of Orthodox lands and territory, and retraction of RC claims of superiority would also be acceptable. There is a book, about the Ecumenism of the West, witten by a Greek, this would be a good place to start, to get an idea of Eastern conservative thought. Solzinitszin's writing and comments are good, too. Just some thoughts, Mik

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Mike,

I think you need to catch up on some current events. Pope John Paul the Second made a public apology for the 4th Crusade when he visited Greece.

As far as the title Holy Father is concerned, most Orthodox hierarchs are addressed by that title in the native languages. In the commemoration in Greek for the litany with the bishop, the are commemorated as our Holy Father and (Arch)bishop, or in the Slavic practice Most Reverend or Lord (KYR).

In IC XC,
Father Anthony+


Everyone baptized into Christ should pass progressively through all the stages of Christ's own life, for in baptism he receives the power so to progress, and through the commandments he can discover and learn how to accomplish such progression. - Saint Gregory of Sinai
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Dear Eli,

Well, if you don't see episcopal appointments by Rome directly that divide eparchies and cause administrative stalemates for years as a "heavy Roman hand," I would HATE to experience what you really do feel would be an example of a "heavy hand!" smile smile

Rome has NO need whatever to involve itself in the internal affairs of the EC Churches, and especially not in those of the largest one, the UGCC.

The fact that it continues to do so is ITSELF a tragedy and an enduring ecclesial scandal that does immeasureable harm to the Particular tradition of the UGCC and other EC Churches as well as to the ecumenical movement - not only with the Orthodox who will, as we have seen, change their opinion on these matters when it suits them, but also with western Protestant bodies.

But we can agree to disagree. There are many more of those in my Church who agree with me than those who would agree with you.

So THERE! wink

Alex

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Originally posted by Rilian:
Yes, we just don't quite see things that way, hence the issues with the dogma.
Dear Andrew,

Sorry, I didn't mean to sound like there was no disagreement. I was rather trying to say that the disagreement would be much greater if VCI had not limited Infallibility to only when the Pope acts "in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians".

If so, that is if the dogma had instead said the Pope was infallible whenever he "defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church", that would amount to dogmatically claiming that the pope was infallible in 1854 when he defined the I.C. (Likewise for the Assumption in 1950.)

-Peter

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Perhaps I can make my point a little clearer with a comparison:

Consider the statement "Every ecumenical council is infallible." That statement, in itself, does not answer the question of whether the Second Council of Lyon was ecumenical or not.

Similarly, the dogma of P.I. says that the pope is infallible whenever he makes an ex cathedra statement. In and of itself, however, that dogma does not say whether pope was infallible when he defined the I.C.

God bless,
Peter.

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Originally posted by Ecce Jason:
Eli,

Have you ever read We Are All Schismatics (the title should actually be a question, i.e., Are We All Schismatics?, but that's a different subject) by (former) Archbishop Elias Zoghby? That book contains a lot on this subject, i.e., the inappropriate conduct of Rome toward Eastern Catholics, so you may be interested in it.
Yes. I have done so some time ago. It is not my intent to sound so terribly naive but I am, as you've seen, not convinced that the heaviest hand weighing on the eastern Catholic is the hand of Rome. It is my concern that we should be looking much closer to home.


[/QB][/QUOTE] For my own part, I have little interest in this sort of discussion these days. For one, I don't know what criteria we are going to use to determine whether or not Rome is being "heavy-handed" -- one person will say they are while another will vehemently deny it, and I'm not sure what "heavy-handed" even means (i.e., how we're defining it) -- so the whole thing smacks of vagueness and unproductiveness. What is clear is that, from time to time, Rome interferes (or at least has interfered) in the life of the Eastern Catholic churches in ways that it did not interfere when the churches were initially united, prior to the separation with Eastern Orthodoxy. Some of the mechanisms by which such interference took place are still in place today, at least in principle, whether or not they are actually used these days in a "heavy-handed" manner (and that in itself is something to consider; perhaps it is the wrong question to ask whether or not such mechanisms have been used in a heavy-handed manner in the past 50 years or so, but rather why such mechanisms are there in the first place). The Zoghby book documents some of this, and there is documentation of other things elsewhere (some of it dating back over 100 years, though, so probably not what you're interested in). What we should be concerned about, in my humble opinion (and I do mean to submit this humbly, though it may sound otherwise due to the medium we are using to communicate), is clearing that up, not deciding whether a vague label like "heavy-handed" really applies.

In somewhat related news, as someone has already mentioned on the forum today, Pope Benedict XVI has elected to drop the papal title of "Patriarch of the West" in hopes of fostering moves toward unity between Catholic and Orthodox churches.

May God bless you,
Maximos

P.S. In case there is a question at all, I am myself an Eastern Catholic who happens to hold rather strongly to the doctrine of papal primacy; even so, though, I can't deny the sort of things I mention above. My point in saying this is just that whether or not Rome is, at a given time, being "heavy-handed" or not is largely unimportant, in the scheme of things -- we should certainly oppose such heavy-handedness, but it is not quite as pressing of an issue as other things might be. [/QB][/QUOTE]

This is a wonderful and hopeful response. Thank you. God bless you.

Eli

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I don't know if this is the right thread for this question or not, but on another forum (to wit, http://catholica.pontifications.net/?p=953 ) someone was talking about Unam Sanctum, and I was wondering whether this is considered an ex cathedra statement by Catholics? Those involved in that discussion certainly seemed to think so, but I suspect that there may be no real consensus (amoung Catholics) on it one way or the other?

If anyone could enlighten me I'd be most appreciative.
-Peter.

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Eli,
yeah, the question of Papal Primacy can be a bit dicey for us Eastern Catholics. I have said this at least once before, and I'll say it agian: Primus Inter Pares, first among equals. as far as I am concerned, that should define Papal Primacy, if there is going to be a real reconciliation and reunion between East and West.
Much Love,
Jonn

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Originally posted by Peter B.:
I don't know if this is the right thread for this question or not, but on another forum (to wit, http://catholica.pontifications.net/?p=953 ) someone was talking about Unam Sanctum, and I was wondering whether this is considered an ex cathedra statement by Catholics? Those involved in that discussion certainly seemed to think so, but I suspect that there may be no real consensus (amoung Catholics) on it one way or the other?

If anyone could enlighten me I'd be most appreciative.
-Peter.
Dear Peter,

As is with all doctrine, it is not so important what each and every Catholic believes. What is important is that the truth of revelation is promulgated and that the doctrines of the Church are taught in such a way so as to best reveal the Kingdom for the salvation of all mankind.

What is important is what the Church teaches. What we believe is variable, for we have varying capacities for grasping the truth. The Church is protected directly by the Holy Spirit in matters of faith and morals and is not as prone to such inconstancy as we are as individuals.

Eli

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Not every Oecumenical Council is infallible, they do teach infallible truths though. Just as not every teaching of a Pope is infallible, but he can teach infallibly when certain criteria is met.
Stephanos I

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Hi Elitoft,

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Originally posted by Elitoft:
As is with all doctrine, it is not so important what each and every Catholic believes. What is important is that the truth of revelation is promulgated and that the doctrines of the Church are taught in such a way so as to best reveal the Kingdom for the salvation of all mankind.

What is important is what the Church teaches. What we believe is variable, for we have varying capacities for grasping the truth. The Church is protected directly by the Holy Spirit in matters of faith and morals and is not as prone to such inconstancy as we are as individuals.
Okay, but I'm not really sure what that has to do with my question.
-Peter.

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