The Byzantine Forum
Newest Members
That latin friend, Deacon Eric, Pastor Freed, Sebastian, Deepu
5,836 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
0 members (), 73 guests, and 33 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Latest Photos
Holy Saturday from Kirkland Lake
Holy Saturday from Kirkland Lake
by Veronica.H, April 24
Byzantine Catholic Outreach of Iowa
Exterior of Holy Angels Byzantine Catholic Parish
Church of St Cyril of Turau & All Patron Saints of Belarus
Byzantine Nebraska
Byzantine Nebraska
by orthodoxsinner2, December 11
Forum Statistics
Forums26
Topics35,153
Posts414,831
Members5,836
Most Online3,380
Dec 29th, 2019
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 643
Likes: 1
T
Member
OP Offline
Member
T
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 643
Likes: 1
Nilus Cabasilas and a Modern Greek Theologian on “the Heresy of Anti-Papism”

BY JAMES LIKOUDIS
Homiletic & Pastoral Review
JANUARY 15, 2016
http://www.hprweb.com/2016/01/nilus...theologian-on-the-heresy-of-anti-papism/

[Linked Image]
Icon of Nilus Cabasilas, St. Peter Holding the Keys to the Kingdom, and the Very Reverend Archimandrite John Panteleimon Manoussakis

Nilus Cabasilas (c. 1295-1363) succeeded Gregory Palamas on the archepiscopal throne of Thessalonika, and was one of the most distinguished Byzantine intellectuals and theologians of the 14th century. He was heavily involved in the hesychastic quarrels of the period, over the theology of Gregory Palamas, which rocked the Byzantine Church, and helped write the Synodal Tome of the Council of 1351, which approved Palamas’ teachings. Interestingly, Cabasilas was at first a fervent admirer of St. Thomas Aquinas, whose works had spread among the Byzantines, thanks to the translations of his former student, the eminent Demetrios Kydones, who regarded Cabasilas as his mentor and spiritual father. Later, Kydones became a Roman Catholic, and would controvert Cabasilas’ major work, “On the Procession of the Holy Spirit,” which became a classic polemic for Byzantine dissidents writing against the Catholic doctrine of the Procession of the Holy Spirit. At the famous Reunion Council of Ferrara-Florence, it was “the Blessed Nilus” whose views concerning the Procession of the Holy Spirit, and the role of the Pope in the Church, clearly dominated the thought of the Byzantines engaged in the debates. Before leaving Constantinople to attend the Council of Florence, and to prepare for the dogmatic discussions with the Latins, Mark of Ephesus, and others, studied in-depth “the book of saint Cabasilas” in order to refute St. Thomas Aquinas’ teaching on the Filioque, as set forth in his “Contra Gentiles.”

Cabasilas wrote two works against papal primacy, essentially accusing the Pope of refusing to permit the calling of an Ecumenical Council which alone had the authority to decide the controversies between Greeks and Latins. The Pope was also censured for regarding himself as ultimate judge of dogmatic controversies, and to whom all must submit. In his work on the Holy Spirit’s procession, Cabasilas specifically attempted to refute Aquinas’ arguments for the Filioque, and for Papal primacy and infallibility. Cabasilas took St. Thomas to task, declaring that the Latins had incurred the anathema for violating the prohibition of Ecumenical Councils to add anything to the Symbol of Nicene (325)-Constantinople (381).

As in his former works against Papal Primacy, he denied the Pope’s infallibility. Like any man, Cabasilas wrote, the Bishop of Rome can “commit various absurdities” and can err, “witness of this is Honorius and Liberius … The Pope has no authority to act, except simultaneously in communion with all the other {patriarchs and bishops} … We are ready to submit to him (who is Primate) provided, namely, that the apostolic ordinances are observed, such that neither he, over our opposition, should dare to act, nor we, similarly, over his opposition.” The Bishop of Rome is the “first of bishops” but he has no right to modify the Symbol of faith by himself, and without the previous consent of others … In acting as sole judge, it is the Pope who has “introduced division, and has destroyed the harmony of souls … In so far as can be shown in an analysis of the words to which Thomas, or anyone else, confidently appeals to defend the Latins, they do not appear to be freed from the reproach of having incurred the anathema.” To show how this must be so, Cabasilas did not hesitate to put in evidence a forged Letter of Pope John VIII denouncing the Latin innovators as “prevaricators of divine revelation” and to be “classed with Judas.”

For Cabasilas, and later Byzantine dissidents, the criterion of orthodoxy is agreement with the Fathers and Councils (as interpreted parochially by Greek theologians themselves) and not the Pope as the indefectible Rock, and visible Head of the Church, and Bearer of the Keys of Heaven. His student, Demetrios Kydones, has perhaps best judged the merits of Cabasilas’ arguments. In his refutation of Cabasilas’ major work on the Holy Spirit, Kydones showed how his teacher’s arguments were “feeble,” and manifested only a superficial understanding of the richness of St. Thomas. Moreover, Cabasilas’ views on the Papacy, would find their faithful echo in his successor, Symeon of Thessalonika (1416/7-1429), as well as with Mark of Ephesus, and his fellow anti-unionists at the Council of Florence.
These Churchmen all similarly held that obedience to the Pope was no longer due, if he were to no longer profess the true faith, and somehow blatantly embrace heresy. The same position is maintained to this day among those Orthodox resistant to the pleas of Rome to acknowledge the true scope and divine origin of the Roman Pontiff’s authority. It is illuminating to contrast the anti-papal views of the 14th century Greek polemicist with that of a modern Greek Orthodox theologian, John Panteleimon Manoussakis. Manoussakis’ major monograph, “For the Unity of All” (Cascade Books, Eugene, Oregon, 2015) is remarkable for its irenic and sincere effort to overcome the centuries of “futile and hateful debate” regarding the procession of the Holy Spirit. For Manoussakis, drawing on the Trinitarian teaching of St. Augustine, the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father principaliter and, therefore, “the two views, Greek and Latin, could become harmonized.” Here, one finds him in agreement with Aquinas, and not with the intransigent Cabasilas.

In treating of Primacy in the Church, Manoussakis agrees with Cabasilas that the Church had a Primate in the person of the Pope, but rejects the radical position of those Orthodox theologians who, in their ferocity against Rome, have been led to deny the need for any primus (“first bishop”) in the Church. He excoriates in modern Orthodoxy “the phenomen of anti-papism, understood as a denial of a primus for the universal church, and the elevation of such denial to a trait that allegedly identifies the whole Orthodox Church as, properly speaking, heretical.” As an “Orthodox clergyman,” he distinguishes himself “from that party that has constructed for itself a new identity exclusively based on hatred for the office of Peter.” He notes that “the denial of the pope’s primacy has created a lacuna of authority in the Orthodox Church that has resulted, on the one hand, in the endless divisions of autocephalies, and autonomies, with multiple canonical jurisdictions over one region and, on the other, in the rogue fanaticism of para-ecclesial groups.” Lamenting the lack of a universal primus with authority “who can speak on behalf of the Orthodox Church” for its internal affairs, or ecumenical dialogue with Rome, Manoussakis urges the solution of investing the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople with the ministry of universal primacy (a function that Constantinople, in fact, took upon itself in the heyday of the Byzantine Empire, and captivity under the Ottoman Turks. He candidly admits that “the history of the first millennium leaves no room for doubting that the pope’s primacy in terms of such Petrine ministry was universally acknowledged, and accepted by the Greek-speaking Church.” He adds, “Theologically, there is no reason why the Orthodox Church should not do the same presently.”

However, traditional Orthodox resistance to the very idea of a universal primacy in the Church (whether that of the Pope in the past, or the Patriarch of Constantinople in the future), has to be met. Manoussakis believes primacy is as necessary at the universal level as at the diocesan and eparchial levels, and is “a prerequisite necessitated by the Church’s theology … by the very structure of the Church’s ecclesiology.” A Petrine office for the Patriarch of Constantinople is grounded in Peter’s primacy, wherein the Church is founded on his person, as well as on his confession. That primacy is invested in a person, and cannot be a mere “primacy of honor.” To use “episcopal equality” to deny a universal primacy for the Church is a “sophism.” Moreover, there can be no Ecumenical Council without its primus; that very primacy manifests an authority unequal to other bishops. Nor does belief in Christ as the Head of the Church prevent the universal church from having a visible primate as her living, and authoritative head.

What is remarkable in Manousskis’ rationale for the Patriarch of Constantinople being acknowledged as the Orthodox Churches’ universal primate, is the refutation of the major arguments used by dissenting Orthodox against the Pope as Peter’s successor, possessing a primacy of universal authority in the Church. His rationale for a universal primacy for Constantinople suffers the fatal flaw that it would not be of divine institution, but of useful ecclesiastical arrangement. But as the binding Councils of Florence, Vatican I and II, have taught, the Petrine office of the Pope, involving a headship and universal authority and jurisdiction over all the faithful, is one established by Christ himself, and intended to last as long as the Church itself.

Conclusion

Both the 14th century Byzantine, and modern Greek Orthodox theologian, agree that the Church of Rome once exercised a real, universal primacy in the ancient Church. It was one of authority granted by Councils, and emperors, and lost by adherence to heresy, giving rise to the fierce anti-papalism characterizing Eastern Orthodox ecclesiology. Fr. Manoussakis believes that the anti-papalism, so evident since the Schism, does not, in principle, preclude a universal primacy in and for the Church. Universal primacy is not contradictory to collegiality; moreover, it properly belongs, by right, to Constantinople, and its exercise would contribute to the strengthening of an increasingly fragmented Eastern Orthodoxy. Contrary to the anti-papal Nilus Cabasilas (who expended his great energies to combat the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas), Fr. Manoussskis does not believe the Filioque doctrine to be heretical. Catholic theologians would do well to study the various chapters in his book which represent some genuine ecumenical progress. It is to be noted that it carries the approval of the Patriarch, Bartholomew of Constantinople.

James Likoudis is the author of three books dealing with Eastern Orthodoxy: Ending the Byzantine Greek Schism; The See of Peter and Eastern Orthdoxy; and The Divine Primacy of the Bishop of Rome and Modern Eastern Orthodoxy: Letters to a Greek Orthodox on the Unity of the Church. He can be reached by e-mail at: jlikoudis@cuf.org. His website is: www.jameslikoudispage.com. [jameslikoudispage.com.] For more on his recent reflections on East-West relations, see his, “The Primacy of the Pope as Viewed in Dissident Byzantium by Symeon of Thessalonika (1416/7-1429)”, Homiletic and Pastoral Review-on-line, 2/12/15 [see reply below].

Last edited by Tomassus; 01/15/16 08:55 AM.
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 643
Likes: 1
T
Member
OP Offline
Member
T
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 643
Likes: 1
The Primacy of the Pope As Viewed in Dissident Byzantium by Symeon of Thessalonica (1416/7-1429)

BY JAMES LIKOUDIS
Homiletic & Pastoral Review
FEBRUARY 12, 2015
http://www.hprweb.com/2015/02/the-p...um-by-symeon-of-thessalonica-14167-1429/

Acknowledging that the primacy of the pope is the greatest dogmatic obstacle to the reunion of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, the Greek Orthodox scholar Demetrios Bathrellos has attracted attention to the view held by the dissident 14th-century Byzantine Greek archbishop of Thessalonica, who held that see for some 20 years. This he does in an article, “St. Symeon of Thessalonica and the Question of the Primacy of the Pope,” which appeared in Sobornost, vol. 30 (2008), and which is worthy of being brought to the attention of Catholic ecumenists. Noting that Symeon was canonized by the Church of Greece and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1981, and received fame for some impressive works on the Byzantine Liturgy, Symeon also wrote a valuable doctrinal work, “Dialogue in Christ against All Heresies” (see Migne in Patrologia Graeca, 155-176). It is in that work that he treats the question of the primacy of the pope.

Observing that two Catholic scholars, the Assumptionist Martin Jugie and the Czech Byzantinist Francis Dvornik, had previously treated Symeon’s view of the Roman Primacy, noting a certain convergence with Catholic doctrine. In candidly admittting Symeon’s “strong understanding of the primacy of the pope” he seeks to put it “properly within the context of both Orthodox Byzantine theology, in general, and the saint’s other writings.” The problem with this approach is that the context of “Orthodox Byzantine theology” to which he appeals is that of post-1054 deviations in doctrine, occurring among the Byzantines, which led to the formal schism with the Apostolic See of Rome, “head of all the Churches of God” (profession of faith by the Emperor Justinian I sent to Pope John II in 533 A.D).

Mr. Bathrellos relates six points which he says “support the claim that St. Symeon had a strong understanding of the primacy of the pope.” Symeon (1) “recognizes the primacy of Peter among the Apostles … Peter was shown to be the head of the apostles and was ordained pastor of Christ’s flock”; (2) “argues that Peter was a pope of Rome”; (3) “the pope is the (exclusive) successor of Peter … e.g., Clement was the successor of Peter in Rome”; (4) “takes it for granted that Rome has precedence over Constantinople. Rome ranks first, Constantinople second … with reference to the relevant canons of Constantinople and Chalcedon”; (5) “makes little use of the legend according to which the apostle Andrew ordained the first bishop of Constantinople … a story used by some Byzantines to argue that Constantinople has precedence over Rome”; and (6) “the pope is the first and head of all bishops.”

Then follows this fascinating quotation, which had been previously noted by Catholic scholars:

Quote
When the Latins say that the bishop of Rome is first, there is no need to contradict them, since this can do no harm to the Church. They must only show that he has the same faith as Peter and his successors … and that he possesses all that came from Peter, then he will be the first, the chief and head of all, the supreme high priest. … All these qualities have been attributed to the patriarchs of Rome in the past. We will say that his see is apostolic, and he who occupies it is said to be the successor of Peter, as long as he professes the true faith. No one who thinks and speaks truth would dare deny this. That the Bishop of Rome profess only the faith of Sulvester, Agatho, Leo, Liberius, Martin, and Gregory, we would proclaim him first among all other high priests, and we will submit to him not simply as to Peter but as to the Savior himself. But if he is not successor in the faith of these saints, nor is he successor of the throne. Not only is he not apostolic, neither is he first, nor Father, but he is an adversary and devastator and enemy of the apostles.

It is interesting that our Greek Orthodox scholar is constrained to admit Symeon’s “wholehearted acceptance of the primacy of the pope. This fact is, itself, quite remarkable.” It is doubly so, given Symeon’s fierce opposition to Latin doctrinal and liturgical “heresies,” especially the filioque and use of azyme (unleavened) bread for the Eucharist. Bathrellos significantly notes that

Quote
what St. Symeon says is by no means shared by all Byzantine theologians. Some disputed that Peter enjoyed any kind of primacy among the apostles. Others distinguished between apostle and bishop, and argued that Peter, being an apostle, could not have been at the same time a bishop of Rome. Others denied that the pope is the exclusive successor of Peter. Yet others argued that Constantinople is superior to Rome, because Andrew, its alleged founder, was the first-called disciple. It has been further argued that Canon 28 of Chalcedon could be interpreted as giving Constantinople, the New Rome, exactly the same privileges as the Old. St. Symeon accepts none of these claims. … In my view, there is no doubt, whatsoever, that St. Symeon wholeheartedly accepts a certain type of primacy of the pope, being more positive towards Rome than many Byzantine theologians and churchmen in the second millenium.

That is quite an understatement given the innumerable vitriolic polemics written against the papacy since Symeon wrote in the 15th century (before the Reunion Council of Ferrara-Florence in 1439 and the fall of Constantinople in 1453 to the Ottoman Turks). Catholics may recall that the 1895 Encyclical of the Patriarch Anthimus and 12 of his Synod in Constantinople responded to the noble appeal of Pope Leo XIII for reunion with a host of puerile grievances and the allegation that “Peter’s apostolic action at Rome is totally unknown to history.” Bathrellos comments that Symeon was willing to “concede as much as any Orthodox possibly could to the Latin idea of papal primacy. This most humble saint considered the obstacle of the primacy as by no means insuperable.” He adds that “many Byzantines of his time took it for granted that the filioque was a far greater problem than papal primacy.” He noted further that 10 years after his death, the discussions at the Florentine Council made clear that the filioque was considered to be a more important dogmatic obstacle than the question of papal primacy.

It is interesting that Symeon’s views on papal primacy appear to be substantially that of the more ecumenical minded Orthodox theologians today who express willingness to accept a form of papal primacy. Such primacy would not be one of universal authority and jurisdiction ex jure diuino, but, rather, that of a pope restored in his ancient primacy of honor. He would function as the Church’s primate, serving a coordinating role and as a court of last appeal, regulated by canons expressive of a Conciliar consent of Eastern and Western Churches. This also seems to be the thrust of the Ravenna document produced in October 2007, by the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. The Ravenna document, however, was rejected by the Russian Orthodox Church, whose spokesman (Metropolitan Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev, head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations) noted that the Orthodox “remain internally divided on the issue of primacy and what should be the role of the ‘first hierarch’ in the Church.” For their part, Vatican officials observed that there remain “differences of understanding with regard to the manner in which primacy is to be exercised, and also with regard to its scriptural and theological foundations.”

It is clear that Orthodox ecclesiology as represented by Symeon of Thessalonica in the 15th century (or by leading Orthodox prelates and theologians in our day) lacks clarity, precision, and coherence regarding authority in the Church. Symeon is found in obvious contradiction to the views of other Orthodox, past and present, about the Roman primacy. More seriously, he is found to contradict the import of Scripture and Tradition regarding the Petrine primacy established for his Church by Christ. For example, in asserting that the Rock in Matthew 16:18 was the confession of Peter in the divinity of Christ, and not the person of Peter, Symeon contradicts ancient Fathers, saints, and popes. Incidentally, his major thesis (derived from the writings of his predecessor on the see of Thessalonica, Neilos Cabasilas), that Old Rome had lost whatever primacy it had when it became heretical because of such innovations as azymes and filioque, flies in the face of the testimony of the “undivided Church” of the first millennium, namely, that Christ had established the Petrine primacy precisely to preserve the Church’s visible unity. Graced by the Holy Spirit with the gifts of indefectibility and infallibility, the Roman see of Peter cannot fail to profess the orthodox faith of the one Catholic Church. The “Gates of Hell” cannot prevail against that apostolic see, for it is the Rock-man’s see. That is, moreover, the indisputable testimony concerning the scope of their primacy by the very popes Symeon invoked. That scope exceeded, by far, “a certain primacy of the pope” that was wholeheartedly accepted by a Byzantine Greek archbishop of Thessalonica in the 15th century.

Another Byzantine Greek theologian, a prominent unionist of the 15th century, the Dominican Manuel Calecas (+1410), may be said to have put the cause for the reunion of the Churches best: “There have always been among us, men of superior learning, who condemned our separation from the Church of Rome as extremely foolish and at variance with the faith and teaching of our ancestors.”

Last edited by Tomassus; 01/15/16 09:03 AM.
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 294
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 294
The fact that James Likoudis is not a Byzantine Catholic does not make his rhetoric reassuring, but perhaps he is arguing from a more honest place for himself.
It is strange, though, with people like this it is usually about the papacy or the Church (in a Western image) and not about Christ, ascesis or prayer.

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 643
Likes: 1
T
Member
OP Offline
Member
T
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 643
Likes: 1
James Likoudis: Former Greek Orthodox

The Journey Home Program
The Coming Home Network International
Published on Jun 23, 2014



Jim was baptized and reared in the Greek Orthodox Church, a child of Greek immigrants. Very early he was confronted by the problem of both the Orthodox and the Catholic claiming to be the true Church. In his studies he discovered that in the first 1,000 years of the Church a primacy of honor as well as jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome, contrary to current Orthodox teaching, was recognized by the entire Church, both East and West. This realization brought Jim to come into full-communion with the successor of St. Peter in Rome.

Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 26,249
Likes: 16
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 26,249
Likes: 16
The problem with "Jim" and his analysis is that papal jurisdiction has changed dramatically since the first 1,000 years . . . And papal primacy of honour was limited to Ecumenical Councils, for the most part, when it came to defending Church teaching.

The other role of the primacy then was to be a court of final appeal - I believe there was just one case in all that time when that prerogative was exercised (I could be wrong but look to ajk to correct me, of course! smile ).

And Jim should also be aware that the Orthodox Catholic Church does not deny papal primacy - only that it ties it in with Orthodox faith and praxis. The Filioque issue is a serious one for the East, even though the West tends to either affirm it as an exercise of papal supremacy over and above conciliar authority or else downplay its significance by equating it with the "Through the Son" of Aquinas (and it is not the same thing in the East). So when the Roman popes began to affirm the Filioque theology AND insertion into the creed, along with some other Latin teachings (which could be affirmed as local Latin theologoumena) and insist that the East affirm them as well . . . that was the cause of the denigration of the papacy in the East (and not the simple fact of the pope being the Petrine Primate).

I'm Eastern Catholic and I've had enough of "Jim!" smile

Alex

Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 10
M
Junior Member
Offline
Junior Member
M
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 10
Before I type what seems to be a rant, I love the Orthodx, I have been Orthodox, and my spirituality and "Phronema" is still patently Orthodox. I simply have come to see that true orthodoxy lies in intellectual and historical HONESTY: The eastern bishops willfully subjected themselves to Rome as to the head of the Church.

I spent three years in Orthodoxy, and then Reverted to the Catholic faith and am currently seeking to switch Rites to the Melkite Church. I was struck by this fact:

As much as I love them, they seem to become blinded when talking about the Papacy. It seems like there is a kind of ingrained willful misunderstanding. A wonderful case-in-point is Sergius Bulgakov in his book, "The Vatican Dogma."

Here he clearly says:

"If it be said that papacy is not a special order but only an office, since the pope is in bishop’s orders, that will be quite in keeping with the view of the uni­versal church before the schism, but it will be contrary to the Vatican doctrine. According to it, there is a special grace (charisma) given to Peter and his successors—veritatis et fidei nunquam deficientis—which consti­tutes the order of papacy."

This is so interesting, because firstly he says if this Papacy is merely an OFFICE, well then, well and good. But according to him it is a virtual fourth aspect of the sacrament of Holy orders.

Now, EVERYONE who knows anything about the Papacy KNOWS that the Pope is no MORE than a bishop. He is Pope because he is the bishop of Rome. The Papacy IS precisely an Office, it is a role that is filled by the bishop of Rome, and this office has indeed charismata attached to it in accord with the promises of Christ. But it does not raise man to a higher level of episcopacy, or to any sacramental dignity greater than bishop. The dignity of the papacy lies in the role it is to play in the Church.

The thing is it should have been so simple for him to figure this out, it isn't like there was any LACK of Latin presence in Russia.

So by his own admission, the Papacy SHOULD be acceptable for all the same reasons that St. Symeon of Thessaloniki outlines.

So what is this veil that lies on the heart of our Orthodox brothers? Is it really something as simple as pride? Is it a sort of mass hysteria? It seems the mob always arises whenever union becomes a possibility, ergo Lyons, Florence, the Martyrs of Vatopedi on Athos, the shameless persecution of Patriarch Bekkos, etc.

As for the filioque, it is CLEARLY affirmed, substantially by the eastern fathers, especially St. Gregory of Nyssa and St. Basil the great.

When you have someone describe the Trinity as a lit candle (The Father) who lights a second candle (The Son), who in turn lights a THIRD candle (The Holy Spirit), and then goes on to describe the third light being lit by the first through the second, you agree with St. Thomas Aquinas. The fact is that the "Single spirating principle" is simply to attribute the eternal procession of the spirit to the simultaneous and eternal act of spiration performed simultaneously by the father and the son.

In other words, the first candle lighting the second is the PRINCIPLE by which the third candle is lit! St. Gregory of Nyssa explains:

In To Ablabius On "Not Three Gods" [PG 45:133BC], the saint explains,

"While we confess the invariable character of the nature, we do not deny the difference in respect of cause, and that which is caused, by which alone we apprehend that one Person is distinguished from another; — by our belief, that is, that one is the Cause, and another is of the Cause; and again in that which is of the Cause we recognize another distinction. For one is directly from the first Cause, and another through that which is directly from the first Cause; so that the attribute of being Only-begotten abides without doubt in the Son, and the mediation of the Son, while it guards His attribute of being Only-begotten, does not shut out the Spirit from his relation by way of nature to the Father."


In Against the Macedonians on the Holy Spirit 6 [PG 45:1308AB], St. Gregory says that the Son, with the Father, gives existence to the Holy Spirit:

"Where in each case activity in working good shows no diminution or variation whatever, how unreasonable it is to suppose the numerical order to be a sign of any diminution, or any variation with respect to nature. It is as if a man were to see a divided flame burning on three torches (and we will suppose that the cause of the third light is the first flame, kindling the end torch by transmission through the middle one), and were to maintain that the heat in the first exceeded that of the others; that that next it showed a variation from it in the direction of the less; and that the third could not be called fire at all, though it burnt and shone just like fire, and did everything that fire does. But if there is really no hindrance to the third torch being fire, though it has been kindled from a previous flame, what is the philosophy of these men, who profanely think that they can slight the dignity of the Holy Spirit because He is named by the Divine lips after the Father and the Son?"

Why is this so hard for the Eastern Orthodox to accept? This is no novelty, it is no innovation, it is simply re-terming the substance of what the fathers of the east have always taught. For example, again, the eastern fathers speak of the Spirit as being the "Image of the Son." Now, we know the Son is the image of the father, and he is precisely because he is eternally begotten by the father and is one with him in all things except being unbegotten. Therefore in the exact same way, if the Spirit is the image of the Son, then he, for the exact same reason, is like in everything to the Son by way of procession FROM the Son with the exception of being either begotten or unbegotten!

So where is the great looming difficulty coming from?

Well, honestly, like it or not, it stems from St. Photius of Constantinople. There was no opposition to Papal Authority like the opposition he raised to put it bluntly, and there was no opposition to the Filioque like the one he raised. It seems that the later theologians of the east AFTER him have fallen under his shadow and his prejudices. If you read his mystagogy of the holy spirit, there are parts that are self-contradictory and almost incoherent.

First, he says, "Who among our fathers ever taught the Spirit proceeds from the father and the son?" Then he goes on to ADMIT that some of the fathers DID say the Spirit proceeded from the father and the son, but that it doesn't really matter. We should just pass it over and cover our fathers nakedness.

Now, he was a great scholar in everything except this. He knows very well and admits that Augustine, Jerome, Ambrose, Hilary and others spoke this way. To say nothing of St. Maximos the Confessor and Anastasios the Librarian of Rome who clarifies the Roman understanding of the 9th century, adding also St. Isidore of Seville and virtually the entire Latin tradition.

But because he does not seem to know the Latin Fathers at all, he invents a novelty, the Idea that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the father ALONE. That the son plays no mediating Role in the eternal procession of the Holy Spirit.

This is unheard of. The Cappadocian fathers CLEARLY attest to it, the entire Latin Tradition which the Orthodox claim is patristic, yet conveniently ignore, attests to it, St Gregory of Palamas attests to it, etc.

This became the number one reason I have left eastern orthodoxy for the Catholic faith. How can that church call itself Catholic which holds to LOCAL innovations? To LOCAL dogmas (9th ecumenical councils condemning barlaam of Calabria and elevating the teachings of St. Gregory of Palamas to a dogma), a LOCAL understanding of ecclesiology, a LOCAL set of fathers (Where is the Latin consensus given weight in the Orthodox Patristics???? Nowhere to be found) and simultaneously claim ROME left THEM when THEY did the leaving?

This is where it gets really interesting, because the Orthodox will condemn the schismatics among their own ranks such as the Genuine orthodox Christians of Greece who split over the Old Calendar. They will say, "They did not hold a legitimate synod of 12 or more bishops condemning the innovations of the Church of Greece and take proper actions. Again, they anathematized the Greek Church for merely adopting a New Calendar. Instead, they should have dealt with the New Calendarists patiently and sought to fight from within what they saw as a new ecumenism."

That's very interesting, because you see the GOC of Greece are at least CONSISTENT. When did the Orthodox call a council to condemn the Roman Church before ceasing to commemorate the Pope in the diptychs? NOWHERE. Mark of Ephesus ADMITS there was no council called against the Latins. There was no synodal summoning of the bishop of Rome or ANY western bishop to put them on trial and synodically deal with the issue as an entire Church! There was only REACTIONSM. "CEASE THE COMEMORATION, he has sung the Filioque in the Creed!"

So, really, Physician heal thyself. WHERE is the synodal condemnation of Rome after canonically summoning Rome to answer for her "heresies"? Nowhere. How then, and on what basis, can the Greek and Romanian Churches condemn those Greek Old Calendar Orthodox for doing the same thing? They are just BEING Orthodox. They are just DOING what the Orthodox did in the first place, getting up and LEAVING.

But if the GOC of Greece and Romania are wrong, then the Orthodox themselves are wrong and stand accused by their own canons. The 6th of Constantinople I and the 13th, 14th and 15th of the AB Synod of 879 held under St. Photius AND the 10th Canon of the 869 Synod of Constantinople reinstating St. Ignatius as Patriarch.

Don't misunderstand, I love the Orthodox, but they are so stubborn on these points, they literally just won't look at the history. Sergius Bulgakov is proof of that. The historical truth is sitting there just waiting to be dealt with. TO say nothing of all the closet Greek Uniate Bishops of Greece in the 17th century...

Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,285
AthanasiusTheLesser
Member
Offline
AthanasiusTheLesser
Member
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,285
Yes, that was quite a rant, and of the sort that we don't care to have here.

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 690
Likes: 4
U
Member
Offline
Member
U
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 690
Likes: 4
Originally Posted by Athanasius The L
Yes, that was quite a rant, and of the sort that we don't care to have here.


Despite the fact that, in his own convoluted way, he may be on to something. After all, we're all seeking a little bit of the truth here, also. Aren't we?

Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 10
M
Junior Member
Offline
Junior Member
M
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 10
I welcome any interaction with the points. After all ecumenism and dialog doesn't mean being yes men.

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,205
Likes: 11
ajk Offline
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,205
Likes: 11
Originally Posted by Athanasius The L
Yes, that was quite a rant, and of the sort that we don't care to have here.
Who's this "we," you and your flora and fauna? It was an appropriate post.

Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,285
AthanasiusTheLesser
Member
Offline
AthanasiusTheLesser
Member
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,285
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Athanasius The L
Yes, that was quite a rant, and of the sort that we don't care to have here.
Who's this "we," you and your flora and fauna? It was an appropriate post.
It was a rather one-sided, triumphalistic post.

As to your question, here are my responses:
1) the "we" to whom I referred is the Forum membership in general, 2) your use of sarcasm is neither helpful nor worthy of a deacon, and 3) perhaps you should take seriously Alex's criticism of your pastoral sensitivity, or lack thereof.

I would add that it might be appropriate for those who wish to turn this into a Catholic apologetics thread to read the linked post.

https://www.byzcath.org/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/341916/Who_we_are#Post341916


Last edited by Athanasius The L; 02/01/16 12:10 PM.
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,205
Likes: 11
ajk Offline
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,205
Likes: 11
Originally Posted by Athanasius The L
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Athanasius The L
Yes, that was quite a rant, and of the sort that we don't care to have here.
Who's this "we," you and your flora and fauna? It was an appropriate post.
It was a rather one-sided, triumphalistic post.

As to your question, here are my responses:
1) the "we" to whom I referred is the Forum membership in general, 2) your use of sarcasm is neither helpful nor worthy of a deacon, and 3) perhaps you should take seriously Alex's criticism of your pastoral sensitivity, or lack thereof.

I would add that it might be appropriate for those who wish to turn this into a Catholic apologetics thread to read the linked post.

https://www.byzcath.org/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/341916/Who_we_are#Post341916
I wouldn't think you speak for "Forum membership in general," even though you may speak here for the majority view. If so, I find it unfortunate. Very often there is nothing worse than a dismissive response, as I found yours, to a legitimate minority view. There is a diversity of "one-sided, triumphalistic" posts, at least perceived so by opposing views, Orthodox and Catholic. If Latins, or for that matter anyone, presents views and opinions that you disagree with, offer the better argument. Reconsider your own words to a fellow Forum member; you don't like it when you get far less criticism. What's wrong with "Catholic apologetics" or Orthodox apologetics for that matter? I'd like to see more of it on this forum.

Quote
apologetics
reasoned arguments or writings in justification of something, typically a theory or religious doctrine.


We're already adrift from the substance of this thread so you and Alex, it seems, may want to open a thread on my "pastoral sensitivity, or lack thereof." No malice was intended by my comment (which I did soften from its original form, as I recall it, as used by another) but that I though had to be a little more hard-hitting to best counter your own dismissive post; my sympathies were with a new member, just beginning to post on the forum and, I would think, expecting a fair and engaging reception and response.

Peace to you and Alex.

Deacon Anthony

Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,285
AthanasiusTheLesser
Member
Offline
AthanasiusTheLesser
Member
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,285
One expecting a "fair and engaging response" might consider an introduction a bit less one-sided and polemic and a bit more "fair and engaging" than was the post to which I responded. There was much in the post to which I don't object. What I did find objectionable was the overall dismissiveness towards Orthodox views on the papacy and the filioque as "ingrained willful misunderstanding", "something as simple as pride", "a sort of mass hysteria", and the claim that they won't see the plain truth because "they are so stubborn on these points, they literally just won't look at the history."

There's nothing fair and engaging about that.

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,205
Likes: 11
ajk Offline
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,205
Likes: 11
Originally Posted by Athanasius The L
One expecting a "fair and engaging response" might consider an introduction a bit less one-sided and polemic and a bit more "fair and engaging" than was the post to which I responded. There was much in the post to which I don't object. What I did find objectionable was the overall dismissiveness towards Orthodox views on the papacy and the filioque as "ingrained willful misunderstanding", "something as simple as pride", "a sort of mass hysteria", and the claim that they won't see the plain truth because "they are so stubborn on these points, they literally just won't look at the history."

There's nothing fair and engaging about that.
Now you're saying something. I read the post again and do not see polemics. What do you find polemical? One-sided posts abound on the forum. His introduction:

Originally Posted by Mar_Babai
Before I type what seems to be a rant, I love the Orthodx, I have been Orthodox, and my spirituality and "Phronema" is still patently Orthodox. I simply have come to see that true orthodoxy lies in intellectual and historical HONESTY: The eastern bishops willfully subjected themselves to Rome as to the head of the Church.

I spent three years in Orthodoxy, and then Reverted to the Catholic faith and am currently seeking to switch Rites to the Melkite Church. I was struck by this fact:

As much as I love them, they seem to become blinded when talking about the Papacy. It seems like there is a kind of ingrained willful misunderstanding. A wonderful case-in-point is Sergius Bulgakov in his book, "The Vatican Dogma."

Here he clearly says:
...
Don't misunderstand, I love the Orthodox, but they are so stubborn on these points, they literally just won't look at the history. Sergius Bulgakov is proof of that. The historical truth is sitting there just waiting to be dealt with. TO say nothing of all the closet Greek Uniate Bishops of Greece in the 17th century...

Are we not permitted to criticize Sergius Bulgakov?

Here is an example of a non-one-sided, non-polemical, "fair and engaging response."

Originally Posted by Mar_Babai
I welcome any interaction with the points. After all ecumenism and dialog doesn't mean being yes men.

Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,285
AthanasiusTheLesser
Member
Offline
AthanasiusTheLesser
Member
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,285
Originally Posted by ajk
Now you're saying something. I read the post again and do not see polemics.

It seems to me that you and I have different ideas of what constitutes polemic. To me, what I quoted was obviously polemical.


Originally Posted by ajk
Are we not permitted to criticize Sergius Bulgakov?

Sure. However, I wouldn't suggest having any expectation that criticisms that are so obviously one-sided will be particularly persuasive.

Page 1 of 2 1 2

Link Copied to Clipboard
The Byzantine Forum provides message boards for discussions focusing on Eastern Christianity (though discussions of other topics are welcome). The views expressed herein are those of the participants and may or may not reflect the teachings of the Byzantine Catholic or any other Church. The Byzantine Forum and the www.byzcath.org site exist to help build up the Church but are unofficial, have no connection with any Church entity, and should not be looked to as a source for official information for any Church. All posts become property of byzcath.org. Contents copyright - 1996-2022 (Forum 1998-2022). All rights reserved.
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5