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I think with the current state of the catholic church being a sign, the Eastern Catholic Churches ought to go back into communion with the Eastern Orthodox and work on bringing Rome into communion with the East, rather than sticking with a sinking ship and telling the Orthodox to get on board.

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Originally Posted by Colin Sheehan
I think with the current state of the catholic church being a sign, the Eastern Catholic Churches ought to go back into communion with the Eastern Orthodox and work on bringing Rome into communion with the East, rather than sticking with a sinking ship and telling the Orthodox to get on board.

I'm sure there are far better ways of finding unity within the flock than by casting aspersions at others. I find the analogy of a sinking ship offensive. You might ponder the Epistle reading (1 Cor 8:8 - 9:2) for Meat Fare Sunday, and also know that millions of Latin Catholics throughout the world today take the Gospel reading, so assigned for this same day in the East, quite seriously whether they fast or not.

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Married bishops? Married priests? A possible affair? All of this seems to be a bit off the mark.

What we have is the Roman patriarch (yeah, I know they don't like the title - but then let them deal with the holy fathers of the Councils) unilaterally imposing his will on another (and I might point out, "equal") Church. The message being sent is clear and unmistakable.

Kind of reminds me of the "reality" that the Eastern Europeans lived under during the Soviet-era. Let 'em have a flag, "freedom" to vote in one party elections, and the accoutrerments of statehood. But, if they don't do our bidding... Jiust remember what happened to the Hungarians and Czechs when they tried to exercise their vaunted "freedoms" among the "peace-loving nations" of the Soviet bloc.

Then again and closer to home, we can always use the example of our own American history - If they get too "uppity" there's always lynchings.

Of course, the holy synod of our own Melkite Church is far from blameless. As has been said: "If you don't exercise your freedoms, they will soon be taken away from you." It may be far from scriptural, but what comes to mind is the old military adage: "Grow a pair!"

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Christ is in our midst!!

Having thought about this situation and re-evaluating my own contribution, I have reflected on a saying in the Desert Fathers. The remark is that we should not be surprised at the downfall of a brother in the Faith, but we should be surprised when one is able to escape the jaws of the Enemy. My prayers go out to His Grace, Abp Michel Abrass. He is, like each of us a man who was tempted and has fallen. I pray for his immortal soul because of the damage he did to his flock, the woman he was involved with, and himself.

My knee jerk reaction to immediately go to the example of the Eastern Churches not in communion with Rome and him was off the mark, not knowing he was, himself, a monastic. Vows and a habit do not shield one from either temptation or a fall; nor does ordination or episcopal status.

We need to pray for our clergy and each other. Like other clergy scandals, the only one who wins is the secular world that mocks us and the Enemy.

Each of us has some weakness he/she must wrestle with. It's well to remember a line from the movie, Dr. Zhivago, where the young woman finishes her confession and the priest tells her that "the flesh is strong, not weak." We are in a constant struggle until our last breath in taming it.

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I don't think that the Melkite Synod would have been able to do anything swiftly as Rome would, given the Patriarchate's response time. Furthermore, now that Pope Francis has promulgated changes to both the Latin Code and Eastern Code, bye bye patriarchal authority.

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These things are possible because of Canon Law. See the Code of Canons for the Eastern Churches, especially the very unusual Canon 44.

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If the Pope has the power to remove Patriarchal authority, then the Eastern Catholics are fools for being in communion with Rome, as they are officially "under" Rome and are not autonomous churches. If that's the case, I need to rethink my being an Eastern Catholic and should perhaps resume my conversion into Orthodoxy. The more distance I can put between me and Rome, with her errors, the better.

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Originally Posted by Colin Sheehan
If the Pope has the power to remove Patriarchal authority, then the Eastern Catholics are fools for being in communion with Rome, as they are officially "under" Rome and are not autonomous churches. If that's the case, I need to rethink my being an Eastern Catholic and should perhaps resume my conversion into Orthodoxy. The more distance I can put between me and Rome, with her errors, the better.
You sound very confident about "Rome, with her errors" but are mulling over the relative trivia of "Patriarchal authority" and "autonomous churches." I think you've got your ecclesiological perspective inverted.

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How so? Eastern Catholic Churches are self governing. Rome has no right to meddle in the affairs of the Eastern Churches anymore than any of the Eastern Churches have the right to meddle with the affairs of the Roman Church.

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Christ is in our midst!!

Colin,

Forgive me, but where have you obtained this idea? The Eastern Catholic Churches are self governing to the extent that the Code of Canons for the Eastern Churches allows. Each and every Catholic bishop is to some extent subject to the Bishop of Rome, regardless of the Particular Church. Each and every one also makes an ad limina report to Rome just like every Latin Catholic bishop. So I wonder where you got the idea that there is no direct oversight at some level. Have you not seen the remarks on this Board about the Congregation for the Eastern Churches? It is lovingly called "The Colonial Office."

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Originally Posted by Colin Sheehan
How so? Eastern Catholic Churches are self governing. Rome has no right to meddle in the affairs of the Eastern Churches anymore than any of the Eastern Churches have the right to meddle with the affairs of the Roman Church.
When you put it that way, of course, who likes meddling -- depends, however, on what's considered meddling. So it's just your opinion, an abrasive statement conveying no worthwhile information.

The "theology from on high," that pertains to "Rome, with her errors," informs the applied theology (of which the CCEO is an example) that deals with 'the relative trivia of "Patriarchal authority" and "autonomous churches." '. Read in the CCEO the applied theology and how it relates in law to your opinion.

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Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
Originally Posted by Colin Sheehan
Why would the Pope be able to remove a Melkite Archbishop? The Melkite Church is not under the Roman Church.

1 universal jurisdiction

2 It is

We Eastern Catholics should stop pretending otherwise


So what binding authority does this have on this situation:


The bishops of every nation must acknowledge him who is first among them and account him as their head, and do nothing of consequence without his consent; but each may do those things only which concern his own parish, and the country places which belong to it. But neither let him (who is the first) do anything without the consent of all; for so there will be unanimity, and God will be glorified through the Lord in the Holy Spirit. (Apostolic Canons. Canon 34)

I don't see a whole lot of "consent of all" in this action!

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Originally Posted by Protopappas76
No, it isn't the way the Church should work!

Regarding the statement of Filipe YTOL: " the overall impression was pretty negative about the state of the hierarchy of the Melkite church [sic]" ("church" should read Church), our hierarchy, like any group of people, has its faults and failures. However, if this is the Roman dicastries who are casting stones eastward maybe they ought to clean up their own act first. While our Melkite hierarchy and clergy may have its problems(and, we sadly do), I don't think we have seen the level of corruption, pedophilia, rape, homosexual behavior, financial corruption, and even theological heresy that sadly continues to plague the Roman Church. But, to quote one prominent Latin hierarch: "Who am I to judge?"

May God be merciful to us sinners.

That's a pretty tart statement, but it also is pretty darn true. The Patriarch of Rome has more than enough work to do to clean up his own house first. Unfortunately, he seems to not only be turning a blind eye to the abuses, but has endorsed men whose background is considerably scandalous.

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Oh boy! The more I read about this, the sadder this whole situation appears.

The Melkite Synod apparently turned the other way for along time. This appears to have been not a recent situation, but a long standing and openly scandalous situation.

The Patriarch of Rome has stepped in and done what has been done in times past. It appears that he has acted as a kind of "Court of Last Resort" when no one else in the Melkite Church would act.

His actions are in keeping with the Apostolic Canons (I failed to notice the issue of sexual immorality in my first post in this thread). Why the Patriarch did not act is beyond me (and above my pay grade)

The whole thing is just head-shakingly sad.

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Christ is in our midst!!

Does it not come down to Vatican I's definition that gives the Pope "universal immediate jurisdiction"?

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