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DMD wrote:: "...mutually agreed upon definition of other Latin terms, say like " primus inter pares" is not likely going to happen any time soon.
-----------------

There is really no such thing as a "first among equals"; this is a nonsensical term.

If someone is first, the others are not equal; if all are equal, then none is first.

But the phrase is used as code to convey an ecclesiological concept. Unfortunately we are not agreed on the code. :-)

The Roman Catholics complain that the Orthodox use it to strip the Pope of all his powers and just allow him to go first at the smorgasbord. :-)


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Now here is a chap who definitely outguns any bishop. He is ALL primus and no pares. This is an Alpha bishop!

:: Pope and Patriarch of the Great City of Alexandria, Libya, the Pentapolis, Ethiopia All Land of Egypt and All Africa, Most Blessed, Most Divine, and Most Holy Father and Chief Pastor, Pope and Patriarch of the Great City of Alexandria, Libya, Pentapolis, Ethiopia, all Egypt, and all Africa; Father of Fathers, Pastor of Pastors, Hierarch of Hierarchs, Thirteenth Apostle, Judge of the Universe ::

A photo of Patriarch Theodore, Hierarch of Hierarchs, the Thirteenth Apostle and Judge of the Universe...

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0e/Patriarch_Theodore_II_of_Alexandria.jpg

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DMD,

I appreciate your providing these definitions; they do help to put things in perspective:
Originally Posted by DMD
"SUI JURIS"
  • One who has all the rights to which a freemen is entitled
  • One who is not under the power of another, as a slave, a minor, and the like
  • Capable of managing one's own affairs

Originally Posted by DMD
Words and phrases have meanings. Why use "sui juris" in the first place if it is not analogous to its commonly understood meaning?
I think the answer is that standards of behavior are established primarily by societal custom, and only secondarily by legal mandate. That is why unwritten laws always have more impact on people's behavior than written ones (and in the event of a conflict, they frequently trump the written laws).

Therefore, we can have all kinds of written laws stipulating this or that, and yet those stipulations mean nothing as long as the ones who interpret those laws continue to do so according to the status quo.

So, are we saying that the Vatican is being hypocritical here? If we define hypocrisy as saying one thing and then doing another, then I don't see how we could say otherwise. (However, it is worth mentioning that unconscious hypocrisy is something we're all guilty of, so don't go too hard on them!)

Originally Posted by DMD
We Orthodox view Rome's unique definition as a potent symbol to us that attempting to reach a joint and mutually agreed upon definition of other Latin terms, say like "primus inter pares," is not likely going to happen any time soon.

As Bl. JP2 said, unity can only be achieved *only* by all of us coming closer to Christ, and this complements perfectly what Fr. Schmemann said, that true unity can only be "from above," and that any kind of unity imposed from below will not succeed.

In other words, each side has to be open to criticism from the other, and be willing to see their own position in a new light as a result. This is discernment--this is how we come to know the mind of God! It isn't about winning or losing, but about openness to God and seeking His will in all things.


Peace,
Deacon Richard

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Originally Posted by Epiphanios
As Bl. JP2 said, unity can only be achieved *only* by all of us coming closer to Christ
.......................
In other words, each side has to be open to criticism from the other, and be willing to see their own position in a new light as a result
Father, Both those statements (so reasonable and self-obvious to a 21st century man of Western upbringing) may elicit a negative reaction from the Orthodox. It illustrates some of the profound but unaddressed differences which hamper true communication in the dialogue.

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I can't help thinking, however, that a lot of Catholics think they're 99% of the way to Christ, while the Orthodox are, well, maybe 75% of the way, so that very little change is required on the Catholic side. It's exemplified by the attitude that one can have free and open discussions about the nature and exercise of primacy, but one cannot question in any way the doctrinal developments and definitions of any of the Latin councils of the second millennium. That's as peculiar a definition of "full and open" as the canonical understanding of sui juris.

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Originally Posted by Hieromonk Ambrose
Originally Posted by Epiphanios
As Bl. JP2 said, unity can only be achieved *only* by all of us coming closer to Christ
.......................
In other words, each side has to be open to criticism from the other, and be willing to see their own position in a new light as a result
Father, Both those statements (so reasonable and self-obvious to a 21st century man of Western upbringing) may elicit a negative reaction from the Orthodox.
I would certainly respect the opinion of those who have the negative reaction that you speak of. Ecumenism isn't about dictating to people what they should think.

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Originally Posted by Peter J
Originally Posted by Hieromonk Ambrose
Originally Posted by Epiphanios
As Bl. JP2 said, unity can only be achieved *only* by all of us coming closer to Christ
.......................
In other words, each side has to be open to criticism from the other, and be willing to see their own position in a new light as a result
Father, Both those statements (so reasonable and self-obvious to a 21st century man of Western upbringing) may elicit a negative reaction from the Orthodox.
I would certainly respect the opinion of those who have the negative reaction that you speak of. Ecumenism isn't about dictating to people what they should think.
Peter,

You are absolutely correct--dictating people's consciences accomplishes nothing. The only way the churches can be reunited is by the greatest power in the universe, αγαπη.
Quote
If I speak with the languages of men and of angels, but don't have αγαπη, I have become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but don't have αγαπη, I am nothing. If I dole out all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but don't have αγαπη, it profits me nothing. Αγαπη is patient and is kind; αγαπη doesn't envy. Αγαπη doesn't brag, is not proud, doesn't behave itself inappropriately, doesn't seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil; doesn't rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Αγαπη never fails. (1Cor. 13:1-8a)


Peace,
Deacon Richard

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Originally Posted by StuartK
I can't help thinking, however, that a lot of Catholics think they're 99% of the way to Christ, while the Orthodox are, well, maybe 75% of the way, so that very little change is required on the Catholic side.
That's a typical attitude of *any* party going into negotiations: "if there's any problem, I may share in the blame to a *very* small extent, but ..."

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Bless Father,

And your point is . . .? grin

Alex

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Coming from a family of Roman Catholics and Lutherans that gave me a good chuckle! Augsburgers indeed!

This is a very interesting topic. I have noticed that more than a few local Latin rite Catholic parishes in my area no longer identify as "Roman" Catholic on their exterior church signs, but simply as "Catholic" churches, the Cathedral, of course, being an exception as well as some of the older Catholic parishes.

It seems to me that the call of the Second Vatican Council that the Catholic Church should "breathe with both lungs" calls east and west to be faithful to their authentic traditions. I realize that due to political and cultural pressures in the past this was not always possible and there was overlap in various places. However, since joining a Byzantine parish I have noticed that some other members who are still canonically Roman, as I am, are of the opinion that the Rosary should still be prayed before the Divine Liturgy, Stations of the Cross should be offered as well as the observation of devotions such as Montfort's consecration to Mary.

I have nothing against the Rosary, I still pray it privately but find that the Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos is far more fitting in an Eastern Catholic environment. I probably won't go through the formalities of changing rites but am uncomfortable when Roman rite Catholics insist on importing Roman traditions into a Byzantine parish.

The late Archbishop Joseph Raya wrote that it was inevitable that Byzantine culture would include Roman and Greek elements, and that is fine. However, I think we need to truly breathe with both lungs in being faithful to who we are. The Catholic Church is indeed made up of several rites, but the Roman is only one of them, albeit the largest.

I welcome the thoughts of everyone.

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Going back to the original question of this thread, namely, "Eastern Catholics are Roman?"

I certainly am.

Alex Roman

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Well, sir, yes, I would say you certainly are Roman. As for the original question of this thread, I'll go along with the bumper sticker on my vehicle: "Eastern Catholic - Orthodox in faith, Catholic in love" which, I suppose, makes me an Orthodox Catholic.

My Lutheran sources tell me that the term Roman Catholic didn't really come into full use, at least in Western Europe, until the post-Reformation era and was considered polemic at best. With which my Lutheran grandparents would have agreed.


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Originally Posted by Krystyna
It seems to me that the call of the Second Vatican Council that the Catholic Church should "breathe with both lungs" calls east and west to be faithful to their authentic traditions. I realize that due to political and cultural pressures in the past this was not always possible and there was overlap in various places. However, since joining a Byzantine parish I have noticed that some other members who are still canonically Roman, as I am, are of the opinion that the Rosary should still be prayed before the Divine Liturgy, Stations of the Cross should be offered as well as the observation of devotions such as Montfort's consecration to Mary.

I have nothing against the Rosary, I still pray it privately but find that the Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos is far more fitting in an Eastern Catholic environment. I probably won't go through the formalities of changing rites but am uncomfortable when Roman rite Catholics insist on importing Roman traditions into a Byzantine parish.

The late Archbishop Joseph Raya wrote that it was inevitable that Byzantine culture would include Roman and Greek elements, and that is fine. However, I think we need to truly breathe with both lungs in being faithful to who we are. The Catholic Church is indeed made up of several rites, but the Roman is only one of them, albeit the largest.

I welcome the thoughts of everyone.

Bravo! Welcome to the forum, Krystyna!

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
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May as well throw in the "Rum Ortodoks Patrikhanesi" to further confuse us all!

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No confusion here. Simple question. Simple answer. We are Orthodox Catholics in communion with the Pope of Rome.

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