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A friend of mine - a Roman Catholic priest and canonist - who also serves the Eparchy of London as judicial vicar, has written down some thoughts on the new council of cardinals, and the absence of Eastren Patriarchs.

http://priestofthechurch.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/the-popes-new-council-of-cardinals-a-guest-post/

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I would prefer that the Eastern Patriarchs had nothing to do with the reform of the Roman Curia. After all, that is a Latin Church institution. The only thing I would like to see is the closure of the Congregation for Eastern Churches.

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Dear Todd,

I pray that Pope Francis will agree with you!

Alex

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Dear brother Slavophile,

I had actually read an article on this matter (sorry if I cannot provide a link right now - I will look if I find the time), and it stated that this initial council was simply preparatory - so to speak - for another future council of cardinals in which the Pope intends to include an Eastern Catholic cardinal. I recall reading that the main purpose of this present council is simply to set a schedule for a future council, based on the numerous documents/requests from bishops around the world about matters of concern to them.

Blessings,
Marduk

Originally Posted by Slavophile
A friend of mine - a Roman Catholic priest and canonist - who also serves the Eparchy of London as judicial vicar, has written down some thoughts on the new council of cardinals, and the absence of Eastren Patriarchs.

http://priestofthechurch.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/the-popes-new-council-of-cardinals-a-guest-post/

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Originally Posted by Apotheoun
I would prefer that the Eastern Patriarchs had nothing to do with the reform of the Roman Curia. After all, that is a Latin Church institution. The only thing I would like to see is the closure of the Congregation for Eastern Churches.

Well said, best to keep out of what could end up as purely "Latin" problem.

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A number of his statements, even though I agree with them, don't really seem to fit what he's talking about. For example "The Latin Church alone is not the Universal Church so why the omission of patriarchs?" seems a bit of a nonsequitor to me ... how does the omission of patriarchs from this new "council of cardinals" imply that Latin Church alone is the Universal Church?

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Better than a council of cardinals would be a council of patriarchs consisting of the Eastern Catholic patriarchs and (uh-hum) "major archbishops", plus the "Patriarch of the West", AKA the Bishop of Rome. This synod of the heads of the Catholic Churches is the proper place to discuss and approve changes affecting the governance of the entire Catholic communion.

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The problem with having such a council and recognizing the particularity of EC Churches (as opposed to a few EC church heads who have been made Cardinals) is that Rome would be very much afraid this would undo East-West rapprochement.

Roman ecumenists would rather the EC's didn't exist since they persist to this day as a witness to Rome's admitted historic errors and offenses against Eastern Orthodox jurisdictions.

Rome keeps apologising for that error. Even Pope Benedict, in one interview that was published in Russia, confided to a Russian Orthodox leader that the contemporary RC church is not at fault for the historic situations that created the EC churches.

The only way Rome would ever agree to such a council comprised of heads of churches would be when the Orthodox and RCism is united again.

Otherwise, we can forget about it.

Alex

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All very unfortunate. None of the Byzantine Catholics I know feel like their Church is just an error. Rather, they are quite joyful to be what they are.

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We are certainly not an error, but I think in light of Balamand and other developments, there can be no doubt that Eastern Catholics simply MUST think of themselves as Particular Eastern Churches who find themselves in communion with Rome.

In addition, our sense of oneness with our Mother Orthodox Churches should also have an important role to play in our self-understanding and that we are destined to one day . . . disappear as we reunite with the Orthodox Churches from which we originated.

With this kind of self-consciousness, I really do believe Rome and Orthodoxy will respect us in a way that never occurred before.

Alex

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"I had actually read an article on this matter (sorry if I cannot provide a link right now - I will look if I find the time), and it stated that this initial council was simply preparatory - so to speak - for another future council of cardinals in which the Pope intends to include an Eastern Catholic cardinal."

I was told something similar by someone "inside the Vatican" just two weeks ago in Rome. The impression I got was that while some reforms will be strictly "Latin" there are some that might impact the rest of the churches so it would make sense to have some Eastern representation. Also, there is a recognition that the eastern representatives may have something to offer to the Latin Curia.

Such consultation is not unprecedented. The interventions and discussions of Vatican II contain many examples of representatives from the eastern churches giving advice to the Latin hierarchy on matters that were seen as strictly Latin.

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Apotheoun wrote: "The only thing I would like to see is the closure of the Congregation for Eastern Churches."
-----------

Todd, unless I am mistaken all the larger Eastern Catholic Churches are autonomous Churches (only Rome possesses autocephalous status.) So it makes a certain sense that there is a Congregation in Rome overseeing them.

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ctdkite wrote:: Such consultation is not unprecedented. The interventions and discussions of Vatican II contain many examples of representatives from the eastern churches giving advice to the Latin hierarchy on matters that were seen as strictly Latin."
---------------


Dear ctdkite, here is a good example....


The position of the Meltike Catholic bishops and their Patriarch at Vatican II over the introduction of the title "Mary. Mother of the Church." The response of the
Catholic Melkites at Vatican II to the new title for the Mother of God is very similar to what the Orthodox approach would be.... We have no problem with heaping an infinite number of praises upon the Mother of God.


The Melkite response is well worth the read. Here is an extract.

"It will have been noticed that during the passionate debates that characterized the Council's discussion of this schema "On the Virgin Mary," Patriarch Maximos and the Melkite Greek Fathers refused to intervene. They were astonished to their very depths at the importance that was attached to recognizing or refusing this new title "Mother of the Church" to the Theotokos.

"Accustomed to the poetic language of their liturgy, in which the Virgin is saluted with a thousand titles, they had no trouble in accepting this new title, if it is interpreted in a large, liturgical, and poetic sense, or in refusing it, if it
is interpreted in a sense that is too realistic and too literal."

-oOo-

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Originally Posted by StuartK
Better than a council of cardinals would be a council of patriarchs consisting of the Eastern Catholic patriarchs and (uh-hum) "major archbishops", plus the "Patriarch of the West", AKA the Bishop of Rome. This synod of the heads of the Catholic Churches is the proper place to discuss and approve changes affecting the governance of the entire Catholic communion.

StartK Benedict XVI removed the title "Patriarch of the West" from titles attached to the Holy See early in his pontificate.

If you want my two cents now is the time for a firm definition of the role the heads of the 23 "c"atholic churches should be. (Heck a true discussion of the nature of the Petrine Ministry) Rome needs to get over the territorial ideals west vs. east and put into true practice it's policy of the right of migration of peoples. If people migrate from what was a "territory" or a homeland of one of the 23 "c"atholic churches it should not have to submit itself to the whims of the Holy See if its members are outside of its historical geographical boundaries, but be truly autonomous anywhere it is found.

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StartK Benedict XVI removed the title "Patriarch of the West" from titles attached to the Holy See early in his pontificate.

He can choose not to use the title, but he cannot abrogate the office, which exists whether he acknowledges it or not. The Pope is both de facto and de jure the Patriarch of the West, and his relationship to the other Eastern Catholic Patriarchs is fraternal not paternal.

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