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Originally Posted by Embatl'dSeraphim
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Embatl'dSeraphim
You seem to think that Rome remains part of the church, even after it falls into heresy.

I not following this. Who is saying that Rome does not remain, or is not, part of the church; who is saying that Rome has fallen into heresy.

I'm sorry, I've overstated the case a bit, but Stuart's position is hard to pin. He rejects the dogma of Papal infallibility, but by some logical contortions does not consider it to really be a dogma. In this way, he doesn't actually have to say it's heresy, even though it's wrong, thereby allowing him to simultaneously reject the Roman Catholic faith and remain in communion with Rome.

ES,

Let's look at this a different way.

1. Stuart's position (apologies Stuart if I'm misstating it) is that he stands with Archbishop Elias Zoghby (of eternal memory). Archbishop John (as discussed previously) may not agree with Archbishop Elias, but the Melkite Synod and the current Patriarch Gregorios to my mind basically affirmed Archbishop Elias' position. Ever since, Patriarch Gregorios has (to my mind) essentially confirmed his general agreement with Archbishop Elias in various speeches made this decade.

2. Some (apparently including yourself) conclude for various reasons that anyone who holds a position like Stuart or Archbishop Elias are essentially heretics according to Catholic doctrine. (apologies if I'm misstating your position)

3. Nevertheless, Patriach Gregorios stood at the right hand of Pope Benedict during and concelebrated at the Liturgy of the Eucharist latter's Innaugural Mass a few years ago.

Points 1-3 above imply to me that:

A. the Vatican is unaware of Patriarch Gregorios' thoughts on this. This is untrue; enough people in Rome certainly know his thoughts on the ecumenical situation.

B. Rome does not believe Patriarch Gregorios' position is "incorrect", or at least not "incorrect" enough to warrant that he be excluded from concelebrating at a major event like this.

My opinion:

When one stops using Vatican I's documents as proof-texts and actually gets into some of the discussion surrounding Vatican I - by scholars who have actually looked in the Vatican's archives and who have spent enough time in Rome to know how things work - it's quite clear to me that Rome's actual position actually is far less absolute than one would conclude from a plain reading of the text, once you get beyond the fact that the council was a clear condemnation of some of the ideas put forward by the movement known as "Gallicanism".

And, speaking personally, if one cannot give a decent summary with historical context of what Gallicanism and Conciliarism were and the difficulties some of the ideas of those movements present to any (small o) orthodox understanding of the Church, one's view Papal Primacy and Infallibility is inevitably incomplete and possibly distorted.

Markos

[one a side note, Father Titus, thanks for your post]

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Originally Posted by StuartK
But I think we have to distinguish between something being wrong and something being heretical. In the first place, matters of Church governance can never be elevated to the level of dogma because dogma can only be applied to the mysteries of God and the economy of salvation.

Who says church governance is not part of the economy of salvation? In the Papist view, it certainly is, in a very big way. It is the Pope, the pillar of the Church, who ensures that the apostolic faith is maintained and defended; without him, the faith would have been lost. So you are falsely presenting as a mere administrative debate something which, for Rome, concerns the very existence of the faith. Is the Papacy a divine institution, necessary for the maintenance of the faith and the salvation of Christians, or is it not? This is not a question merely of church governance but of the economy of salvation.

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Originally Posted by Embatl'dSeraphim
It is the Pope, the pillar of the Church, who ensures that the apostolic faith is maintained and defended; without him, the faith would have been lost.

I'm sorry, but AFAIC this is a factually incorrect straw man (even if some people do believe this is what Rome teaches). If it were correct, IMHO there'd be no basis for any kind of authentic unity even among laypeople and the pope.

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Originally Posted by Embatl'dSeraphim
In the Papist view, ...

The what view?

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RSV Acts 1:15 In those days Peter stood up among the brethren (the company of persons was in all about a hundred and twenty), and said,... 2:1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place... 2:14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them,...

Nobody said that Peter did not have a unique place among the Apostles--but nowhere do I see a diadem placed upon his head, nowhere do I see any sort of primacy exercised by Peter. At the Council of Jerusalem, it is James, not Peter, who presides--and it is quite clear that the primacy lies with James, not Peter. Moreover, Peter acts in a conciliar manner in his dealings with the Jerusalem Church, and of course, allows himself to be upbraided by Paul to his face in Antioch.

In short, arguments about Peter as "first Pope" are not convincing, even if we leave out the inconvenient fact that nothing is known of the early Church in Rome, including whether there even was a monarchical episcopate before the end of the first century AD.

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Originally Posted by MarkosCB
Rome does not believe Patriarch Gregorios' position is "incorrect", or at least not "incorrect" enough to warrant that he be excluded from concelebrating at a major event like this.
Your premise is incorrect, namely, that Rome is actually willing to discipline a bishop for preaching what it considers to be heresy. The fact is that not one bishop has been excommunicated for heresy since Vatican II, even among those bishops who have openly denied certain basic Christological doctrines. The sole case I could think of was Bishop Jacques Galliot, the radical left-wing bishop, who has not even excommunicated but merely deprived of a diocese, and that happened only after his fellow French bishops petitioned Rome to remove him. Where have you been all these years?

All excommunications of bishops in the Roman Catholic Church since Vatican II have been due to grave disciplinary breaches -- the ordination of bishops not appointed by Rome, to be exact (Ngo Dinh Thuc, Lefebvre, De Castro Mayer, Milingo).

I am not, of course, saying that Patriarch Gregorios is a heretic. What I am saying is that even if he were, that would not necessarily mean that he will be excluded from concelebration.

Such is the bare reality about current politics in Rome.

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In the Papist view

Not all Catholics are papists.

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Originally Posted by StuartK
No, there is one Church, which is comprised of many Churches (just as there is but one Eucharist, offered in many ways in many different places)...But, just as sisters who have been estranged for years may no longer recognize each other, but do not cease to be sisters, so the two families of Churches continue to be sisters--they share a bond that cannot be broken.


Slavipodvizhnik called it. This is the branch theory.

Quote
It is really quite amazing, reading these posts, to see the contortions to which people will resort to avoid recognizing the other as sharing the same patrimony of faith.

That's funny, I was going share my own amazement at the contortions some Eastern Catholics go to to pretend they can be in union with Rome while rejecting Rome's faith. To summarize your argument: Papal infallibility is wrong but it is not a heresy, even though Rome proclaimed it as a dogma, because it's not really a dogma because dogmas can only be about matters of faith and not church governance, even though Rome considers the Papacy to be a matter of faith. That, my friend, is a contortion if ever there was one.

Does it not concern you in the least that your position appears to be incoherent not only to Orthodox, but to Latin and Eastern Catholics who have posted here as well? Even John, rising to your defense, did not understand your position.

Anyway, I think this discussion has basically outlived any usefulness and I'm done with it.

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Originally Posted by asianpilgrim
Your premise is incorrect, namely, that Rome is actually willing to discipline a bishop for preaching what it considers to be heresy. The fact is that not one bishop has been excommunicated for heresy since Vatican II, even among those bishops who have openly denied certain basic Christological doctrines. The sole case I could think of was Bishop Jacques Galliot, the radical left-wing bishop, who has not even excommunicated but merely deprived of a diocese, and that happened only after his fellow French bishops petitioned Rome to remove him. Where have you been all these years?

I am not, of course, saying that Patriarch Gregorios is a heretic. What I am saying is that even if he were, that would not necessarily mean that he will be excluded from concelebration.

Moving off topic....

Actually, AP, you're right. I wasn't precise enough......

From my recollection of the Mass, at the altar with Pope Benedict were 4-5 other bishops. The first of whom, and directly to the right of the Pope, was Patriarch Gregorios. As I recall, Patriarch Gregorios was actually the "first" among the concelebrants, in that after the Pope he was the first to recite the relevant parts of the Roman Canon.

Now, anyone who isn't condemned I'm sure could concelebrate with the Pope. I however doubt that anyone who Rome disapproves of would be allowed to do so, especially in a venue this public and when they could substitute any of the hundreds of bishops gathered from around the world.

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Originally Posted by StuartK
...and it is quite clear that the primacy lies with James, not Peter...In short, arguments about Peter as "first Pope" are not convincing,...
It is not clear at all, especially if one reads scripture as a whole. Also, the point was the not "first Pope" but a particular ministry in the Church and when it manifested itself:
Originally Posted by StuartK
If the papacy was truly a divine institution, then it would have been manifested in its fullness from the beginning,...

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Originally Posted by Embatl'dSeraphim
Originally Posted by StuartK
No, there is one Church, which is comprised of many Churches (just as there is but one Eucharist, offered in many ways in many different places)...But, just as sisters who have been estranged for years may no longer recognize each other, but do not cease to be sisters, so the two families of Churches continue to be sisters--they share a bond that cannot be broken.


Slavipodvizhnik called it. This is the branch theory.

Quote
It is really quite amazing, reading these posts, to see the contortions to which people will resort to avoid recognizing the other as sharing the same patrimony of faith.

That's funny, I was going share my own amazement at the contortions some Eastern Catholics go to to pretend they can be in union with Rome while rejecting Rome's faith. To summarize your argument: Papal infallibility is wrong but it is not a heresy, even though Rome proclaimed it as a dogma, because it's not really a dogma because dogmas can only be about matters of faith and not church governance, even though Rome considers the Papacy to be a matter of faith. That, my friend, is a contortion if ever there was one.

Does it not concern you in the least that your position appears to be incoherent not only to Orthodox, but to Latin and Eastern Catholics who have posted here as well? Even John, rising to your defense, did not understand your position.

Anyway, I think this discussion has basically outlived any usefulness and I'm done with it.

Seraphim, you've just said what I and some others on this forum think and feel. Stuart's contortions are really amazing.

By the way, Rome has also rejected the idea that the Catholic and Orthodox Churches are sister churches [vatican.va] , considering this to be imprecise and inaccurate. Instead, it is the particular or local Churches (Church of Rome, Church of Constantinople, etc.) that are Sister Churches.

Vague? Yes. But at least, if we are going to cite Rome, let's get it right. As I've been saying here again and again, one doesn't have to agree with what Rome says to at least correctly cite or describe what Rome is actually saying.

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1. Stuart's position (apologies Stuart if I'm misstating it) is that he stands with Archbishop Elias Zoghby (of eternal memory). Archbishop John (as discussed previously) may not agree with Archbishop Elias, but the Melkite Synod and the current Patriarch Gregorios to my mind basically affirmed Archbishop Elias' position. Ever since, Patriarch Gregorios has (to my mind) essentially confirmed his general agreement with Archbishop Elias in various speeches made this decade.

A lot is being said "on behalf of the Melkite Church", yet not a single document or statement has been cited on behalf of the Melkite Church or Synod that it rejects the teaching of Vatican I. Sayedna Zoghby's statement about Vatican I not only was not included in the Synod's "Zoghby Initiative", but it was actually made several years later in a private work.

What I do know is that when I asked Sayedna Cyril Bustros, Sayedna Zoghby's partner in drafting the plans of dual-Communion, about what we can reject from the Roman Councils, he said that we can understand those Councils in our own traditional way, but we can not reject them as erroneous. When I told him that I have heard some people make such claims, he was incredulous and asked if they were Eastern Orthodox. laugh

So long as my Bishop says this, a Bishop who worked right alongside Sayedna Zoghby, I don't see any reason to believe otherwise. smile

Peace and God bless!

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Originally Posted by MarkosC
Originally Posted by asianpilgrim
Your premise is incorrect, namely, that Rome is actually willing to discipline a bishop for preaching what it considers to be heresy. The fact is that not one bishop has been excommunicated for heresy since Vatican II, even among those bishops who have openly denied certain basic Christological doctrines. The sole case I could think of was Bishop Jacques Galliot, the radical left-wing bishop, who has not even excommunicated but merely deprived of a diocese, and that happened only after his fellow French bishops petitioned Rome to remove him. Where have you been all these years?

I am not, of course, saying that Patriarch Gregorios is a heretic. What I am saying is that even if he were, that would not necessarily mean that he will be excluded from concelebration.

Moving off topic....

Actually, AP, you're right. I wasn't precise enough......

From my recollection of the Mass, at the altar with Pope Benedict were 4-5 other bishops. The first of whom, and directly to the right of the Pope, was Patriarch Gregorios. As I recall, Patriarch Gregorios was actually the "first" among the concelebrants, in that after the Pope he was the first to recite the relevant parts of the Roman Canon.

Now, anyone who isn't condemned I'm sure could concelebrate with the Pope. I however doubt that anyone who Rome disapproves of would be allowed to do so, especially in a venue this public and when they could substitute any of the hundreds of bishops gathered from around the world.

Actually, I wouldn't be so sure to say that Patriarch Gregorios III publicly shares the same line of thought as the late Archbishop Elias and the late Patriarch Maximos V, regardless of what he might think in private. Some of his statements on the papal ministry are, I think, capable of being interpreted in a manner that would reassure even the strictest "Roman School" theologian. See, for example, some of the opening paragraphs here:

https://www.byzcath.org/index.php/n...os-iii-to-his-holiness-pope-benedixt-xvi

I also note that when Pope Benedict XVI visited the Melkite Cathedral in Jordan, the Melkites -- who were said to have envisioned a pure Byzantine Vespers service -- nevertheless allowed Pope Benedict XVI's liturgists to come up with a hybrid service that could not but be offensive to those who prefer the fullness of the Byzantine traditions. Actions, as they say, speak louder than words -- this came through like a sign of abject submission to Rome, a sign that even Catholics like me deplored. I personally couldn't imagine Patriarchs Maximos IV or Maximos V allowing something like that.

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Originally Posted by Hieromonk Ambrose
Originally Posted by ajk
What, mutatis mutandis, concerning dogma and infallibility, would be said of the Orthodox communion of churches?

It is hard to speak of an Orthodox understanding of "infallibility" since the concept and the word does not exist in Slavonic nor in Greek. The Russian word commonly forced into usage is nepogreshimost - but since that really carries the meaning of "impeccability" you can see how open to misinterpretation it is.

It is not so much that there be a single word but it is the concept behind the word that I had in mind and that is important. For instance: "Infallibility is the impossibility of falling into error...The intrinsic basis of the Infallibility of the Church lies in the assistance of the Holy Ghost..." (Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma)

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Oh, Lord! Let's not bring Ott into this.

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