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Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
I wonder if the secular language of negotiations is appropriate here. Christ is our way, our truth and our life. We are not negotiating or making concessions, but we are seeking the truth.
LC,

I certainly agree that what we are seeking is the truth and not some watered-down formula. Such a formula might be "acceptable to all" only because it is too nebulous to contradict, but it would not have any real value.

I use the terms negotiate and concession only because they correspond to the work being done, but I suppose it would be more precise to say that these terms are used by way of analogy.


Peace,
Deacon Richard

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Your church accepts those latter councils as ecumenical and binding.

Actually, my Church does not. Sorry.

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The Agreed Statement which it issued has been sidelined by the Vatican with a cautionary note that some of its theology is unacceptable to Catholic ecclesiology. None of the Orthodox Churches have ratified it.

1. If you have a link to any official Vatican objections, it would be good to see it.

2. What does it matter if no Orthodox Church has ratified Ravenna as yet? Truth being self-authenticating, it does not need anyone's affirmation to be true--and conversely, no amount of affirmation will make a false statement true. Insofar as Rome took half a century to accept the First Council of Constantinople, I would think it a little early in the day to say the Orthodox have "rejected" anything.

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Originally Posted by StuartK
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The Agreed Statement which it issued has been sidelined by the Vatican with a cautionary note that some of its theology is unacceptable to Catholic ecclesiology. None of the Orthodox Churches have ratified it.

1. If you have a link to any official Vatican objections, it would be good to see it.
The small note with which the Vatican has prefaced the Ravenna statement speaks volumes
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/p...i_doc_20071013_documento-ravenna_en.html

ZENIT published the Vatican's objections at the time. I'll see if I can locate the article.

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2. What does it matter if no Orthodox Church has ratified Ravenna as yet? Truth being self-authenticating, it does not need anyone's affirmation to be true--and conversely, no amount of affirmation will make a false statement true. Insofar as Rome took half a century to accept the First Council of Constantinople, I would think it a little early in the day to say the Orthodox have "rejected" anything.

The Synod of bishops of the Church of Serbia is, as far as I know, the only Orthodox Church to reject it formally. Obviously Russia does not accept it - it was not present at Ravenna and various statements have made it clear that Russia will accept no compromise on the question of a universal authority in the Church. The other Orthodox Churches have not responded to Ravenna.

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The small note with which the Vatican has prefaced the Ravenna statement speaks volumes http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/p...i_doc_20071013_documento-ravenna_en.html
The note does not indicate rejection or even qualification, but merely the status of the document. Given that the head of the Catholic delegation is the Secretary of the Pontifical Commission for Promoting Christian Unity, appointed by the Pope himself, and that the delegation undoubtedly cleared the statement with the Pope prior to its promulgation, it seems unlikely that there could be large, substantive disagreements between the Holy See and its own chief ecumenical officer.

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The Synod of bishops of the Church of Serbia is, as far as I know, the only Orthodox Church to reject it formally. Obviously Russia does not accept it - it was not present at Ravenna and various statements have made it clear that Russia will accept no compromise on the question of a universal authority in the Church. The other Orthodox Churches have not responded to Ravenna.

None of which addresses the issue of ultimate reception. I have given numerous examples of situations in which a council or decree was initially rejected, then later received, and vice versa. These issues can only be resolved over the course of years, possibly decades.

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[quote=StuartK]Insofar as Rome took half a century to accept the First Council of Constantinople, I would think it a little early in the day to say the Orthodox have "rejected" anything. [/quote]

Did Rome [i]reject[/i] First Constantinople, by taking so long to accept it? I have never heard of Rome finding anything particularly objectionable; moreover, Rome was not in schism from the Church over this period. It seems to me you are comparing apples and oranges here- Ravenna is an agreement between two separate parties, each making mutually exclusive claims about where the One Church is, and each out of communion with the other.


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[quote=StuartK]Your church accepts those latter councils as ecumenical and binding.

Actually, [i]my[/i] Church does not. Sorry. [/quote]

1. Still no evidence for this. Communion with Rome argues otherwise;

2. To be in communion with a body that makes universal dogmatic claims, and simultaneously reject those claims, is nonsensical.

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Originally Posted by StuartK
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The small note with which the Vatican has prefaced the Ravenna statement speaks volumes http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/p...i_doc_20071013_documento-ravenna_en.html

The note does not indicate rejection or even qualification, but merely the status of the document.

Indeed. Its status is that it is hanging in limbo. After two years of studying it Rome has not ratified it. The problem lies with some of its statements on ecclesiology and papal primacy.

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I believe the Holy Father will play a crucial role in any reunion. He continually demonstrates his sensitivity to and understanding of Eastern traditions. The following is a news article from Catholic Culture which demonstrates what I am saying:

"Union with God requires a long "journey of inner purification," Pope Benedict XVI told his weekly audience on September 16. Speaking to a crowd in the Paul VI auditorium at the Vatican, the Holy Father offered his reflections on Symeon the Pious-- also known as Symeon the New Theologian-- a monk who lived in Asia Minor and died in Constantinople in 1022, and had "an important influence on theology and spirituality in the East." The writings of Symeon, the Pope said, concentrated on the drive to reach "intimate and personal communion with God." He taught that this process requires "profound penitence and sincere suffering for one's sins." The monk also emphasized the need to "respond to hatred with love and to offense with forgiveness."

Pope Benedict called particular attention to the fact that Symeon relied heavily on a spiritual director for whom he had great respect. The Pope recommended that all Christians "seek the counsel of a good spiritual father," noting that providing spiritual direction is an important aspect of "the ecclesial nature of the Church."

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Originally Posted by Deacon Robert Behrens
Don't hold your breath! This is the typical over-optimism of the Latin Church.

Dn. Robert

I fully agree. It also shows that a lot of people in the Latin Church aren't listening.

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Indeed. Its status is that it is hanging in limbo. After two years of studying it Rome has not ratified it. The problem lies with some of its statements on ecclesiology and papal primacy.

Perhaps. Meanwhile, Catholic theologians, including Walter Cardinal Kaspar are making increasing use of the Statement. Given that the Holy See has chosen not to correct them or to insist on modifications to the Statement, de facto ratification seems to have become a fait accompli. Unless, of course, you assume the Holy Father is asleep at the switch and the entire Curia Romana is either incompetent or clueless.

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Originally Posted by The young fogey
but as I say parallel paths don’t meet: I see what most of the experts see, an insurmountable difference between two Catholic churches.

Well, we can see that you have never driven in Las Vegas smile

I'd been year for a couple of years before discovering that I was driving several miles between places a couple of miles apart.

Once you understand that parallel major streets (we're nominally on a 1-mile grid with half-mile streets, too) will eventually intersect, it's easy to get around.

Maybe there's a lesson here smile

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Originally Posted by StuartK
Perhaps. Meanwhile, Catholic theologians, including Walter Cardinal Kaspar are making increasing use of the Statement.
It would seem premature and too optimistic to use Ravenna for anything concrete. The majority of the Orthodox world, Serbia and Russia, has rejected it and the other Churches have said nothing either way. The document seems to have only limited acceptance.

What will be telling is the next meeting of the Commission where the Russian Orthodox Church will participate. They have mentioned that they will bring 2 delegates from each of the 7 autonomous Churches under Moscow; it was the presence of delegates from an autonomous Constantinopolitan Church (Estonia) which caused the Russian refusal to participate in 2007. The International Commission is supposed to be only delegates from autocephalous Orthodox Churches, matched by a corresponding number of Catholic delegates.

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It would seem premature and too optimistic to use Ravenna for anything concrete. The majority of the Orthodox world, Serbia and Russia, has rejected it and the other Churches have said nothing either way. The document seems to have only limited acceptance.

Of course, three years after the fact, we could have said the same about the First Council of Nicaea and the First Council of Constantinople, to say nothing of the Second Council of Nicaea, which was ignored by the very Church that promulgated it in 787 until the year 843. In short, if something is right, it's right, and it's never too early to start using it for something "concrete".

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Originally Posted by StuartK
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It would seem premature and too optimistic to use Ravenna for anything concrete. The majority of the Orthodox world, Serbia and Russia, has rejected it and the other Churches have said nothing either way. The document seems to have only limited acceptance.

Of course, three years after the fact, we could have said the same about the First Council of Nicaea and the First Council of Constantinople, to say nothing of the Second Council of Nicaea, which was ignored by the very Church
It seems a little odd to compare a meeting of about 60 Orthodox and Catholic theologians with the Ecumenical Councils.

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In short, if something is right, it's right, and it's never too early to start using it for something "concrete".


Given that the Synods of the Orthodox partners in the dialogue at Ravenna have not said a peep about it (apart from rejections from Serbia and Russia, the majority of the Orthodox world), it seems odd for the other partner in dialogue to make much ado about it. The Orthodox have not, it seems, judged Ravenna as "right" for them.

I think that the whole matter is in abeyance and awaits the next International Commission meeting when the Orthodox will be able to bring an ongoing theological study and reflection to the table.

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