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I think it is as Abbot Nicholas of HRM said we can reject things that are foreign to our spiritual patrimony but we can't call them heretical.

So we should look and understand Papal Primacy and Infallibility from an Eastern theological view but we should never, as Eastern Catholics, say that Roman teachings are heretical. We may disagree with the way they understand it and I think that is okay but we can’t flat out call it a heresy.


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Originally Posted by Nelson Chase
I think it is as Abbot Nicholas of HRM said we can reject things that are foreign to our spiritual patrimony but we can't call them heretical.

This applies to stations of the cross, rosary beads, azymes, and organ music. It does not apply to dogmas. Dogmas are part of everyone's spiritual patrimony if communion is to mean anything. Whether someone calls them heretical or not, if he rejects them, he is heretical.

So, again, where does the Melkite Patriarch or Synod reject papal infallibility?

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Originally Posted by Embatl'dSeraphim
So, again, where does the Melkite Patriarch or Synod reject papal infallibility?

They haven't, so there won't be any sources provided. One can't provide what doesn't exist.

It is true that the Melkite Church has a more nuanced approach to Papal Infallibility than many latter-day "ultra-Montanists", and have been very vocal about the need to preserve the rights and prerogatives of the particular Churches, especially Patriarchal Churches, but the Synod has never once outright rejected the fundamentals of the Catholic view of the Papacy.

In fact, even when plans for dual Communion were in the works, the final proposal had this to say:

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The Joint Commission will discuss one point further, that is, the role of the Bishop of Rome in the church and in the ecumenical councils. On this subject the Fathers of the Synod adopt what was stated in the Second Vatican Council: to give due consideration to the character of the relations which obtained between them and the Roman See before separation (Decree on Ecumenism #14); and also what His Holiness Pope John Paul II said in his encyclical That All May Be One - Ut Unum Sint (#61): The Catholic Church desires nothing less than full communion between East and West. She finds inspiration for this in the experience of the first millennium. Concerning the primacy of the Bishop of Rome the Fathers declare that they are inspired by the understanding in which East and West lived in the first millennium in the light of the teachings of the seven ecumenical councils, and they see that there is no reason for the separation to continue because of that primacy.

This seems to be tacit acceptance that there is NOT a meeting of the minds yet on the issue of the Papacy. It is a matter that still remains to be worked out between the Melkite Church and the Antiochian Orthodox. If there was simply full acceptance of the Antiochian Orthodox viewpoint, this portion of the Synodal Decree would not be necessary.

The Synod did mention that we must look to the first millenium, but the fact of the matter is that Catholics and Orthodox do have a different perspective on what the Primacy of the Pope actually entailed in the united Church. Even if the most absolutist Papal positions are thrown out as not reflecting the first millenium, there still remains much ground for disagreement.

Obviously I take the Catholic position that the Pope has a real and unique unitive role in the Church, based on succession from Peter, and I believe this role is attested to by the Fathers of the first millenium. This is the position that needs to be discussed in any possible reunion Council. I don't believe it's helpful to dance around the issue of the Papacy as if Eastern Catholics can honestly hold the same view as the majority of Eastern Orthodox; if we did, we wouldn't be Catholic, and we certainly couldn't remain in Communion with Rome in good conscience. At the very least, such an approach only serves to create a deeper rift between Catholics and Orthodox; after all, the Orthodox MIGHT be willing to discuss an issue based on evidence and honest pursuit of the Truth, but they shouldn't be willing to engage in "rational discussion" with schizophrenics who seem to be talking out of both sides of their mouth (not accusing anyone here of doing this, mind you, but merely setting up an extreme illustration).

As I've said before, "Orthodox in Communion with Rome" is, IMO, a valid and worthy title, but it necessitates being something other than Eastern Orthodox. It can't be used as a way to fudge the lines and pretend as if Eastern Orthodoxy and Catholicism are already truly united in their view on the Church.

Peace and God bless!

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Sigh. One wonders what ES is after. He comes across as one who would see every pope hanged, then shot, then dragged through the mud as a starter, then put on trial. Few Catholics are as concerned about papal infallibility as he is. Maybe he just wants to get every Eastern Catholic to embrace Vatican I so he can then condemn us all to hell?

Archbishop Elias Zoghby's 1995 Profession of Faith is easy to find on the internet. We have it here at byzcath.org.

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"They offer special thanks to Archbishop Elias Zoghby whose 1995 Profession of Faith was the major force for reopening dialogue with the Orthodox brothers. Zoghby, the former archbishop of Baalbek and a long-time leader among the Melkite bishops, offered this brief statement in 1995 and it was subscribed to by 24 of the 26 bishops present at the 1995 Holy Synod:

1. I believe everything which Eastern Orthodoxy teaches.
2. I am in communion with the Bishop of Rome as the first among the bishops, according to the limits recognized by the Holy Fathers of the East during the first millennium, before the separation."
One can certainly argue that it is not a formal rejection of papal infallibility as defined at Vatican I. Yet Kyr Elias was very clear and adamant in limiting his acceptance of the role of Peter to what it was in the first millennium (which, of course, did not include Vatican I).

Rome did not ask him to retract or modify his profession in any way. It only stated that ecumenism must be conducted between all the Catholic & Orthodox Churches rather then just between the Orthodox & Greek Catholic Patriarcates of Antioch.

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Originally Posted by Administrator
Sigh. One wonders what ES is after. He comes across as one who would see every pope hanged, then shot, then dragged through the mud as a starter, then put on trial. Few Catholics are as concerned about papal infallibility as he is. Maybe he just wants to get every Eastern Catholic to embrace Vatican I so he can then condemn us all to hell?


On the contrary. Quite a few Eastern Catholics have already expressed their acceptance of Vatican I here. Far from condemning them the Hell, I respect them for their consistency and intellectual honesty, much as I may disagree with their beliefs. Those Eastern Catholics who don't accept Vatican I are in a gravely incoherent position.

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Rome did not ask him to retract or modify his profession in any way. It only stated that ecumenism must be conducted between all the Catholic & Orthodox Churches rather then just between the Orthodox & Greek Catholic Patriarcates of Antioch.


The thing is, the Zoghby declaration is very vague. Those who read into it a rejection of papal infallibility are seeing what they want to see. The Orthodox would argue that, if Zoghby really believed in "everything which Eastern Orthodoxy teaches," he would be Orthodox, not in communion with heretical Rome. So the first thesis is meaningless, if not simply false.

As for the first 1000 years of the Papacy, well, the Roman church has argued that the dogma of Papal infallibility is simply a definition of a charism that the Pope has always enjoyed since the beginning of the Church. They also claim that the Eastern Fathers recognized this. That Vatican I hadn't happened yet is moot; we all claim to believe what the apostles believed, but this doesn't amount to a rejection of the Council of Nicaea. So the second thesis doesn't really mean anything either.

Therefore, of course Rome had no problem with the Zoghby declaration... it could mean anything they wanted it to mean.

So, where did the Melkite patriarch or Synod reject Papal infallibility? I think Ghosty may be right about this one.

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So, where did the Melkite patriarch or Synod reject Papal infallibility? I think Ghosty may be right about this one.

Well, you can't expect clear and unambiguous statements from anybody regarding inter-ecclesial relationships. The Church does not work like that--hasn't for a few centuries, now.

This is like international diplomacy, where everyone speaks in code, and uses precisely what I called "artful ambiguity". Those in the know understand what is going on, but those who are in the know are just confused. This allows people to state their positions in a face saving manner that does not rock the boat or back anyone into a corner from which an irrevocable action becomes unavoidable.

So, don't expect anyone on any side of the issue to just come out and say, "I deny the doctrine of papal infallibility", or conversely, to condemn anyone for not believing in it, either. But if you want something close to an overt statement, try this from Patriarch Gregorios III's speech From Unia to Koinonia [mliles.com] delivered at Holy Apsotle's Seminary in May 2002 (that the speech was given at a seminary, before a theologically sophisticated audience, means everybody understood full well the implications of the following statement:

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We must explain and clarify the topics that are obstacles to our full communion [with the Orthodox]: Primacy of the Pope of Rome, Western Councils which cannot be recognized as Ecumenical Councils (as it has been admitted by highly qualified Western theologians since Pope Paul VI) . . .

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Originally Posted by ES
On the contrary. Quite a few Eastern Catholics have already expressed their acceptance of Vatican I here. Far from condemning them the Hell, I respect them for their consistency and intellectual honesty, much as I may disagree with their beliefs. Those Eastern Catholics who don't accept Vatican I are in a gravely incoherent position.
I think it rather unfair to consider those who question or reject Vatican I of being intellectually dishonest. You are being far too judgmental, and using your own standards to do so.

Originally Posted by ES
The thing is, the Zoghby declaration is very vague. Those who read into it a rejection of papal infallibility are seeing what they want to see. The Orthodox would argue that, if Zoghby really believed in "everything which Eastern Orthodoxy teaches," he would be Orthodox, not in communion with heretical Rome. So the first thesis is meaningless, if not simply false.
So, then, you understand his words "according to the limits recognized by the Holy Fathers of the East during the first millennium, before the separation" to mean that the undivided Church of the first millennium accepted a form of papal infallibility? Interesting! Or can we just accept that you are seeing what you wish to see? You tend to do that.

As a Greek Catholic (Orthodox in Communion with Rome), of course, I will disagree with your labeling of Rome as "heretical". Rome is, in truth, the touchstone and arbiter of Orthodoxy. We will have to agree to disagree on that!

Originally Posted by ES
As for the first 1000 years of the Papacy, well, the Roman church has argued that the dogma of Papal infallibility is simply a definition of a charism that the Pope has always enjoyed since the beginning of the Church. They also claim that the Eastern Fathers recognized this.
There is plenty of historical evidence that shows that that both the East and West respected the authority of Peter and his successors in Rome. That is undisputed. The question that divides is the exact extent of that authority. It was more than a primacy of honor (the pope had, as minimum, the right to interfere where he thought necessary - and did). But it was less then immediate universal jurisdiction.

I still don't understand why you picked this topic to make a fuss over.

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Originally Posted by StuartK
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We must explain and clarify the topics that are obstacles to our full communion [with the Orthodox]: Primacy of the Pope of Rome, Western Councils which cannot be recognized as Ecumenical Councils (as it has been admitted by highly qualified Western theologians since Pope Paul VI) . . .
Yes, there is so much to study and understand. Pope Paul VI put what he called the "General Councils in the West" in a different category as the Seven Ecumenical Councils. What does that mean about what was taught at those later councils? Are they as black and white as ES insists? Of course not. One needs to look at them through what came later - from the clarifications that came almost immediately after Vatican I right up to Vatican II. To proof quote without understanding is to do an injustice all around.

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Originally Posted by Administrator
Originally Posted by ES
On the contrary. Quite a few Eastern Catholics have already expressed their acceptance of Vatican I here. Far from condemning them the Hell, I respect them for their consistency and intellectual honesty, much as I may disagree with their beliefs. Those Eastern Catholics who don't accept Vatican I are in a gravely incoherent position.
I think it rather unfair to consider those who question or reject Vatican I of being intellectually dishonest.

What makes you think I said that?

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So, then, you understand his words "according to the limits recognized by the Holy Fathers of the East during the first millennium, before the separation" to mean that the undivided Church of the first millennium accepted a form of papal infallibility? Interesting!

Well done! That strawman won't be getting up any time soon! I said no such thing. All I said was that the statement was too vague to constitute a rejection of papal infallibility. It would also be too vague to constitute an affirmation of papal infallibility.

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As a Greek Catholic (Orthodox in Communion with Rome), of course, I will disagree with your labeling of Rome as "heretical". Rome is, in truth, the touchstone and arbiter of Orthodoxy.

That is, of course, what every consistent Catholic should believe. This includes accepting all of Rome's dogmas.

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Are they as black and white as ES insists? Of course not. One needs to look at them through what came later - from the clarifications that came almost immediately after Vatican I right up to Vatican II.

Clarifications like this one?

Originally Posted by Lumen Gentium, 1964
And this infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed His Church to be endowed in defining doctrine of faith and morals, extends as far as the deposit of Revelation extends, which must be religiously guarded and faithfully expounded. And this is the infallibility which the Roman Pontiff, the head of the college of bishops, enjoys in virtue of his office, when, as the supreme shepherd and teacher of all the faithful, who confirms his brethren in their faith,(166) by a definitive act he proclaims a doctrine of faith or morals.(42*) And therefore his definitions, of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church, are justly styled irreformable, since they are pronounced with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, promised to him in blessed Peter, and therefore they need no approval of others, nor do they allow an appeal to any other judgment.


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To proof quote without understanding is to do an injustice all around.

As is to make assertions without proof.

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The Bishop of Rome is only infallible because the Catholic Church is infallible. That's why Pope Pius XII only declared the dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary after he had received petitions from "the bishops of the entire world" [ewtn.com].

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The Bishop of Rome is only infallible because the Catholic Church is infallible. That's why Pope Pius XII only declared the dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary after he had received petitions from "the bishops of the entire world".

By which, in the light of the ecclesiology of the time, he meant the bishops of the Roman Catholic Church (including its various "Eastern Rites". But under the ecclesiology of communion adopted through Lumen Gentium and accepted in Unitatis redintegratio, "the bishops of the whole world" must now include the much more independent bishops of the Eastern Catholic Churches, as well as the bishops of those ecclesial bodies that the Church of Rome recognizes as being true Churches--the Eastern Orthodox Churches, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, and the Church of the East. To attain the moral unanimity needed to make an ex Cathedra statement, the Pope would have to get the assent of all these.

Which is why I said, and continue to assert, that infallibility is a dead letter.

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Infallibility is granted by Christ Himself to His Church, as and when it is needed. And when it is needed, it will be expressed either through the Bishop of Rome or through an Ecumenical Council, as the case may be. What's there to disagree about? It's not as if the Supreme Pontiff is about to create any sacred monkeys (pace Evelyn Waugh), is there?

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Originally Posted by ES
What makes you think I said that?
How about your words? If you praise those who accept Vatican I in the limits you give it as being intellectually honest then you must believe that those who don't accept it or question it are intellectually dishonest.

Originally Posted by ES
Well done! That strawman won't be getting up any time soon!
Good! Since it was a parody of what you wrote you will see your whole argument here as nothing but straw.

You give another example of proofing without understanding. I would add much more to what you quoted from LG, especially what follows immediately (which you seem to chose to omit purposely):
Originally Posted by Lumen Gentium, 1964
For then the Roman Pontiff is not pronouncing judgment as a private person, but as the supreme teacher of the universal Church, in whom the charism of infallibility of the Church itself is individually present, he is expounding or defending a doctrine of Catholic faith.(43*) The infallibility promised to the Church resides also in the body of Bishops, when that body exercises the supreme magisterium with the successor of Peter. To these definitions the assent of the Church can never be wanting, on account of the activity of that same Holy Spirit, by which the whole flock of Christ is preserved and progresses in unity of faith.(44*)

But when either the Roman Pontiff or the Body of Bishops together with him defines a judgment, they pronounce it in accordance with Revelation itself, which all are obliged to abide by and be in conformity with, that is, the Revelation which as written or orally handed down is transmitted in its entirety through the legitimate succession of bishops and especially in care of the Roman Pontiff himself, and which under the guiding light of the Spirit of truth is religiously preserved and faithfully expounded in the Church.(45*) The Roman Pontiff and the bishops, in view of their office and the importance of the matter, by fitting means diligently strive to inquire properly into that revelation and to give apt expression to its contents;(46*) but a new public revelation they do not accept as pertaining to the divine deposit of faith.(47*)
But even this brief quote is not enough to fully understand. One must digest the whole teaching, with all that comes before it - including the words of the Lord himself in Matthew 16:18.

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It's not as if the Supreme Pontiff is about to create any sacred monkeys (pace Evelyn Waugh), is there?

Must. . . avoid. . . caustic. . . remarks. . . about. . . bishops!

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Originally Posted by Administrator
Originally Posted by ES
What makes you think I said that?
How about your words? If you praise those who accept Vatican I in the limits you give it as being intellectually honest then you must believe that those who don't accept it or question it are intellectually dishonest.

Ah! Yes, that would seem a reasonable inference, taking alone the words which I have written. But in fact you are proof-texting and being far too black and white. Since I wrote that last post, a whole range of discussions, commentaries, and clarifications have been presented, with which you really ought to acquaint yourself with before making such baseless assertions.

Originally Posted by Administrator
You give another example of proofing without understanding. I would add much more to what you quoted from LG, especially what follows immediately (which you seem to chose to omit purposely):
[quote=Lumen Gentium, 1964]For then the Roman Pontiff is not pronouncing judgment as a private person, but as the supreme teacher of the universal Church, in whom the charism of infallibility of the Church itself is individually present, he is expounding or defending a doctrine of Catholic faith.(43*) The infallibility promised to the Church resides also in the body of Bishops, when that body exercises the supreme magisterium with the successor of Peter. To these definitions the assent of the Church can never be wanting, on account of the activity of that same Holy Spirit, by which the whole flock of Christ is preserved and progresses in unity of faith.(44*)

Hmmm... I'm going to venture a guess, and say you think this last sentence, in red, means that, for a definition to be infallible, the Church in general must assent to it. If so, you are very wrong. That is exactly the notion that Lumen Gentium is rejecting when it says "therefore they need no approval of others, nor do they allow an appeal to any other judgment." What the sentence in red means is that the entire Church is obliged to assent to such a definition, will inevitably do so, on account of the Holy Spirit.

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But even this brief quote is not enough to fully understand.

Of course not. Apparently the Magisterium is perfectly useless at doing what it's supposed to do.

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