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Posted By: Ray S. Orthodox Leaders Could Accept Papal Primacy - 02/21/06 09:30 PM
Russian Orthodox Bishop Says Orthodox Leaders Could Accept Papal Primacy [orthodoxytoday.org]

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The question of primacy concerns the doctrine of faith -- it isn't just a question of human organisation, and the problem lies precisely here," said Metropolitan Filaret of Minsk, president of the theological commission of the Russian Church's governing Holy Synod. "The apostolic canons make clear that the primacy was an essential tenet, along with synodality, in the Church's nature. In reality, however, one can't repropose issues like these without taking account of how they've been applied historically. It isn't a question of some pre-existing, abstract, atemporal situation."

The metropolitan told Italy's 30 Giorni Catholic monthly magazine that the exercise of papal primacy should "support the life and growth of Churches at all levels, and not pose an obstacle". He added that Rome had made subjection to papal jurisdiction a requirement for all "genuine bishops", and should recognise instead that bishops possessed "equal dignity" deriving from the Holy Spirit.
Papal Primacy under what terms?
Hello,

I've read one of John Paul II's books...I think the first one out as a Pope...I can't remember the name of it...it has white and gold covers...attractive looking...

Anyway...the book is so hard to understand...but there's a part in there that I do understand...that John Paul II said that all bishops (I'm paraphrasing here) are like "popes" for his own Diocese.

That's cool.

Anyway...my point of view about Pope of Rome having Primacy of Honor does NOT mean Supremacy...ruling over other bishops. To me...a Pope should be like a "President" of a Board...ya know? Faciliating and keeping everybody together...etc. A sign of Unity...etc. ya know.

Yeah...a president of a board of directors. That's what a Pope is. Also whatever problems other Eparchs and Patriarchs have...they go up to him and he'll settle it out.

That's just how I see it.

Also...there should be more CLEAR and CRISP lines between Patriarch of the West and Pope of Rome. Patriarch of the West have direct jurisdiction over Roman Church...while the Pope of Rome should not have jurisdiction over other Churches.

I wish the Pope would just identify himself to certain people based on a certain role...like for instance...if it has to do with Roman Catholics...he should call himself Patriarch of the West in letters to them or whatever.

If the Pope addresses to the whole world..he'll sign himself as Pope of Rome or something.

Thoughts?

SPDundas
Deaf Byzantine
This a very exciting prospect!

As far as Primacy under what terms, I think Apotheoun supplied some excellent information on this view of Primacy and Synodality as being important.

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However, theologians from both Churches pledged to reconsider divisive issues at mid-December Rome talks co-chaired by Cardinal Walter Kasper and Metropolitan John Zizoulias. Papal primacy is expected to dominate the first meeting for six years of an International Commission for Catholic-Orthodox Theological Dialogue, which is to be hosted in Belgrade next September by the Serbian Orthodox Church.
Full Article [thetablet.co.uk]

I say wonderful! I pray for realization.
Posted By: AMM Re: Orthodox Leaders Could Accept Papal Primacy - 02/21/06 10:26 PM
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Papal Primacy under what terms?
Terms I doubt the RCC will ultimately manage to assent to, because what Metropolitan Philaret is stating is really nothing new. In the RCC now bishops gain their validity by nature of being in communion with the Roman Pontiff, and the Roman Pontiff in turn reserves the right to intervene and exercise his own jurisdiction in the affairs of any local church. That I believe is what Metropolitan John Zizoulis was referring to in another interview in 30 Days as the pyramidal structure of the RCC.

Metropolitan Philaret articulated his belief in 30 Days if I understand him correctly that bishop�s gain their validity from their own sees and their own apostolic succession; they are not laterally dependent on another bishop to be �true� churches. He also says where the Eucharist is present, so is the fullness of the church. I would guess he would say primacy is something intrinsic to a synod, and cannot be exercised over and above a synod as the definition of infallibility states. I would think he would also see primacy as being appellate and mediatory in nature, and not something that could be invoked to wield authority beyond ones own canonical boundaries.

Basically I don�t see things changing because supremacy and not primacy is a cornerstone of modern RCC ecclesiology and identity, and is something which has dogmatic backing. I honestly don�t see how the RCC could reform itself in order to come in line with the Orthodox view of primacy.

Andrew
I don't think the problem is going to be with the RCC but the Orthodox. What in the world is the Orthodox going to do with Papal Infallibility?

I just think reunion is a pipe dream that only IC XC can make it happen.
Dear Ray you said:

"I don't think the problem is going to be with the RCC but the Orthodox. What in the world is the Orthodox going to do with Papal Infallibility?"

I say:

I don't think it's Papal infallibility, but rather the two doctrines that came with that infallibility. If they can be decided, then the issue is no issue...or at least it shouldn't be.

Zenovia
Zenovia,

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I don't think it's Papal infallibility, but rather the two doctrines that came with that infallibility.
Explain further.
Rome must not require more from the East with respect to the doctrine of primacy that had been formulated and was lived in the first millennium.

Pope Benedict XVI, on Orthodox Tradition 02/05

james
Posted By: AMM Re: Orthodox Leaders Could Accept Papal Primacy - 02/22/06 04:49 AM
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Originally posted by Ray S.:
I don't think the problem is going to be with the RCC but the Orthodox. What in the world is the Orthodox going to do with Papal Infallibility?
Is the problem that this was made in to a dogma, or that the Orthodox believe it is wrong? It depends on ones perspective I suppose.

The only real basis for some sort of reconciliation would be to return to the situation before the schism (as the Ratzinger quote states). So who is closer to being the church as it was at the time of the schism, and who can most easily return to that state? That is where the problem lies.

Quote
I just think reunion is a pipe dream that only IC XC can make it happen.
Yes.

Andrew
Quote
Originally posted by Ray S.:
Zenovia,

Quote
I don't think it's Papal infallibility, but rather the two doctrines that came with that infallibility.
Explain further.
I believe zenovia refers to the two dogmatic statements that were pronounced "Ex Cathedra"
Namely, the Immaculate Conception of the Theotokos, and the Assumption into heaven of the Theotokos if I recall correctly.
Dear Friends,

I rather think that the two dogmas at issue here are those dealing with Papal Jurisdictional Primacy and Papal Infallibility - they both add something that was not recognized by the Orthodox prior to the schism of East and West.

Papal infallibility outside the context of an Ecumenical Council is simply unthinkable for the Orthodox Churches. The RC Church would have to further develop it to return the focus of that charism back to the ecumenical council as being representative of the entire Church and to tie it back to the idea that the Pope does not "make up" new doctrine - but merely affirms what was already always believed etc.

Papal primacy of jurisdiction is also something that the RC Church needs to further develop (please note that I did NOT say "cancel").

That development needs to return the focus of papal jurisdiction to one on "presiding in love" where, in practical terms, the Particular, Local Church deals with its own internal organization and where the Pope ONLY intervenes during a time of crisis ie. if Canons binding on all are broken OR if a bishop or theologian wishes to directly appeal to the Pope for a hearing etc.

In actual fact, the IC and Assumption dogmas pose very little problem for the Orthodox East INSOFAR as they can be seen as developments of the Particular Latin Church that add NOTHING to the Orthodox East's CONTINUAL veneration of the Most Holy Theotokos as "All Holy" from her Conception in the womb of St Anne and as having been taken to heaven, body and soul, - all on the basis of the Orthodox "lex orandi, lex credendi" tradition.

Rome should also recognize that not all aspects of faith need to be defined by way of infallible pronouncement either.

Roman Catholics should also recognize that the Eastern Churches have always highly venerated the many Popes of Rome glorified in the first millennium and have been quite adamant about underscoring their role in various conflicts over heresies in that time. The Orthodox, for example, have NO problem acknowledging the Pope of Rome as successor of St Peter in a way that other Patriarchs are not.

But being a successor of Peter does not automatically guarantee that a pope cannot fall into what the Orthodox see as heresy. Pope Honorius - whose excommunication by the Sixth Council was repeated out loud by his Papal successors until the 12th century - is a case in point.

As Meyendorff quotes one Orthodox teacher as saying, "Do not argue with the Latins over the Primacy. It is good for the Church. When the Pope confesses the faith of Peter (i.e. original Creed) then let him enjoy the privileges of Peter."

Alex
Everytime I read what the Orthodox Theologians and Bishops have to say and consider what I have learned these past 7 years since my reconversion, I just don't get what the problem is. From what I've read of the Bible, the Catechism, the Early Church Fathers, the Councils, etc... I don't see how there is a problem.

If we take away how Bl. Pius IX and St. Pius X applied the Papal Primacy and go back to the original applications of the doctrine, I don't see a problem and I think that the Servants of God Popes Paul VI and John Paul II were trying to go back to the middle road on this doctrine that had swung to the right since Bl. Pius IX (or maybe sooner than him.)

If we really get down to it there is no essential difference in the Theologies in the Two Lungs of the Church (the human lungs actually have 5 lobes; 2 on the left {Rome and Alexandria} and 3 on the right {Constantinople, Antioch, and Jerusalem.})

Most of the polemics I have read on the Forum really were just two people talking (writing) past each other.

The West says the Theotokos was born without Original Sin and the East says Conceived in All Holiness, potaytoh potattoh.

The West says that She was Assumed into Heaven Body and Soul and the East says she fell asleep in the Lord and was taken into Heaven, tomayto tomatto.

Where do we essentially disagree? Is most of this not politics being played by both sides?

I am not looking for a fight but clarification, I see no difference in the theologies between the two Churches just different expressions and terminologies. If there can be no agreement on these issues why do the Eastern Catholic Churches exist? confused
Posted By: AMM Re: Orthodox Leaders Could Accept Papal Primacy - 02/24/06 03:24 AM
I believe the Immaculate Conception has been discussed ad nauseum on this site. The real issue with the Latin forumalation is that if true, would preclude the Theotokos from having achieved true theosis and for that reason is not acceptable. The way the dogma was proclaimed, while again not acceptable to the East, is the lesser problem in my estimation.

The other issues of UOJ and infallibility are certainly the other well known show stoppers.

Andrew
~I~ have to wonder would the Union of Brest ever have happened if papal infalibility and the Immaculate Conception were added to the list of dogmas to be believed.

Gaudior, pondering
Posted By: djs Re: Orthodox Leaders Could Accept Papal Primacy - 02/24/06 04:35 AM
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The real issue with the Latin forumalation is that if true, would preclude the Theotokos from having achieved true theosis
The Latin formulation in no way would preclude "true" theosis, any more that the sacraments precludes you from achieving it.
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Originally posted by Gaudior:
~I~ have to wonder would the Union of Brest ever have happened if papal infalibility and the Immaculate Conception were added to the list of dogmas to be believed.

Gaudior, pondering
This is a Gold Star statement!
[Linked Image]

I also have to ponder, but not too much.

As Alex has stated in his own way, the Immaculate Conception shouldn't be a real big problem. It's almost a non-starter. In fact from the Eastern perspective it doesn't make much sense and just reinforces the notion that the Pope either didn't understand what Eastern Catholics believe, or didn't care, neither is a flattering thought.

Universal Jurisdiction? Huge.

I cannot believe that the Orthodox bishops in the kingdom of Poland would have agreed to union if they had known this would be thrown into the mix at any point. I would have called it a deal breaker, a poison pill.

My guess is it would have killed the Melkite prospects of reunion in 1724 too.

+T+
Michael
I would like to suggest that the bishops who opted for union with Rome knew what the deal was. They were very well educated men who I would venture knew quiet a bit of how the Churches in union with Rome operated. Dont forget the union at Brest implied the seniority of the Primate of Poland of what was another Metropolitan see under him. They then travelled the long distance to Rome to put them in the picture. Their biggest problem was to be the Polish king and his eyes on their property. Rome was not going to get much of a look in for some centuries when communications improved.

ICXC
NIKA
Posted By: AMM Re: Orthodox Leaders Could Accept Papal Primacy - 02/24/06 01:25 PM
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The Latin formulation in no way would preclude "true" theosis, any more that the sacraments precludes you from achieving it.
The Eucharist can be received unworthily, and so can actually condemn and not sanctify us. Neither does it remove anything essential to our human nature that would end our ascetic struggle. Even after baptism we retain the nature that we must struggle with to achieve theosis. The Latin formulation, if true, would preclude true theosis in the case of the Theotokos.

Andrew
Dear Friends,

The Union of Brest would have undoubtedly occurred even IF the Marian dogmas and papal infallibility were already proclaimed by Rome, in my view.

The Union of Brest did not come about, as I once thought and was taught, because a group of Orthodox bishops had qualms about whether their faith and Church was "right" with the Apostolic Church of the first millennium etc. wink

Culturally, these bishops were already focused on western Europe and its milieu in terms of academics, theology and general traditions.

They were, after all, and this must be emphasized, ALL appointed by the King of Poland.

The Jesuits in Eastern Europe that were forever trying to "Uniatize" the Orthodox had a general rule, that I once read in one of Met. Ohienko's works, to "appoint the lowliest village priest as an (Orthodox) bishop - and he'll be forever grateful to you (RC Church and Polish Kingdom) and will always do your bidding from then on."

In addition, there was the growing problem of the alienation of the Ruthenian Orthodox bishops (Ukrainian/Belorusyan/Carpathian what have you, but not Muscovite) from Constantinople and the heavy-handed way in which the EP was trying to maintain control over his wayward bishops i.e. via the stauropeghial brotherhoods who were invested with EP authority to oversee bishops and "keep them in line." As Met. Ohienko himself wrote, this was the MAIN factor that "pushed" the Ruthenian Orthodox bishops toward union with Rome at the time.

The 33 points of the Union of Brest clearly show that the bishops coming into union with Rome both knew about the real differences Orthodoxy had with Rome - and didn't care to the point they were willing to gloss over them and declare the differences "different expressions of the one faith" using the Florentine union agreement as their backdrop.

At a time when there were Orthodox brotherhoods of the Immaculate Conception in Kyiv itself with Orthodox Christians wearing medals similar to today's "Miraculous Medals" - do you think it would have been a problem for such people to accept the RC dogma of the IC? They would have come into union with Rome even MORE willingly!

John Meyendorff (+ memory eternal!) talked about Greek Orthodox theologians who both "understood and accepted the Western doctrine of the Immaculate Conception" - surely their enduring interest in the RC Church was based on the fact that they had points of "faith sharing" with it.

As for papal infallibility - I don't think the East, apart from theologians, would have had a problem with that. The authority of the local Orthodox bishop was always absolute as teacher and administrator, as Fr. Schmemann wrote, and so if there was a chief bishop in Rome whose authority was absolute - what was one more?

We should also consider that although dogmas like the Immaculate Conception were proclaimed as such later, they were WIDELY held by Catholics for centuries before. The Spanish Empire, for example, decreed that belief in the Immaculate Conception of the Most Holy Virgin Mary would be NORMATIVE for all Catholic subjects of the King of Spain - the monastery in New Orleans, built by the Spanish, was already dedicated to the Immaculate Conception. The French Jesuit missionaries in Ontario dedicated the land of the Hurons to the Immaculate Conception.

Finally, the Orthodox icon of the Conception of St Anne is virtually IDENTICAL to the western Catholic image of Mary standing on a serpent with her hands extended downwards (I've read this not only on the www.oca.org [oca.org] website, but also in Russian on the www.days.ru [days.ru] site).

So I'd really remove that gold star! wink

Alex
Dear Dr Eric,

You've hit the nail on the head here.

I would submit that the faith of the Orthodox and the faith of Eastern Catholics (but let's leave the "Latinized EC's" out of this for now) is the same and their expressions of it are the same.

BUT the real difference is in this - for the EC's, the distinctiveness of their theological, canonical and liturgical traditions do not constitute a "break" with Rome, but only a variation that is equal to those of Rome.

For the Orthodox, that same distinctivness DOES constitute a break with Rome - note how in some Orthodox circles even the use of azymes by the RC's is considered "heresy" etc. Indeed, the Old Believer tradition in Russia shows how tampering with the minutest detail of external liturgical praxis can constitute heresy, and must be opposed to the death, as many Old Believers did.

In the Ukrainian Orthodox tradition, however, there was and is the view that it matters not whether one baptizes, for example, by triple immersion or by pouring etc. What matters is how one understands the Mystery/Sacrament of Baptism itself - something that would have been anathema in the Muscovite Church of either the New or Old Rites.

This is why Ukrainian/Belarusyan Orthodox, when they went to live in Russia, were often "rebaptized" by triple immersion.

This "liberality" in the Ruthenian Metropolia of Kyiv horrified the Muscovites who insisted on externalities as the measure of their Orthodoxy.

However, when the Old Rite Orthodox were persecuted by their own brothers in Muscovy precisely for their refusal to adopt the newly imposed liturgical externalities, they often found a home in the Ruthenian Metropolia where they were left alone and could even publish their works (as in the Pochaiv Lavra) - it is no surprise that the centre of Old Rite priestly activity is in Bila Krinitsa and in Rumania today.

Alex
Posted By: AMM Re: Orthodox Leaders Could Accept Papal Primacy - 02/24/06 04:20 PM
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As for papal infallibility - I don't think the East, apart from theologians, would have had a problem with that. The authority of the local Orthodox bishop was always absolute as teacher and administrator, as Fr. Schmemann wrote, and so if there was a chief bishop in Rome whose authority was absolute - what was one more?
A bishops authority ends when his teaching ceases to be Orthodox, and he can stand in judgment by the church and by his flock. His power is not absolute. No bishop by himself has personal infallbility, and I can assure you that view is held at all levels (in addition to being voiced specifically in the response of the Eastern Bishops to Vatican I).

Andrew
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A bishops authority ends when his teaching ceases to be Orthodox
The Pope is no different on this account.

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The manifestly heretical pope ceases per se to be pope and head as he ceases per se to be a Christian and member of the Church, and therefore he can be judged and punished by the Church. This is the teaching of all the early Fathers--Saint Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice (Milan, 1857), vol. II, chap. 30, p. 420.
Rilian said:
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The real issue with the Latin forumalation is that if true, would preclude the Theotokos from having achieved true theosis and for that reason is not acceptable.
And also:
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Even after baptism we retain the nature that we must struggle with to achieve theosis. The Latin formulation, if true, would preclude true theosis in the case of the Theotokos.
I would like to suggest that the notion that the Immaculate Conception dogma "would preclude true theosis" (or even gives the Theotokos some kind of "different nature" from the rest of humanity) is false. The official formulation of the dogma reads, in part, that the Most Holy Theotokos was "in the first instance of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race . . . preserved exempt from all stain of original sin." Nothing about this formulation, at least to me, is obviously un-Orthodox (with both a big and a little 'O'). Note that, even on the Orthodox understanding, one of the effects of original sin is that fallen human nature is separated from God and deprived of the inhering presence of uncreated grace. Thus says Lossky:

"The decadence of human nature is the direct consequence of the free decision of man . . . A condition against nature must lead to the disintegration of the being of man, which dissolves finally in death, the last separation of nature, become unnatural and separate from God. There is no longer a place for uncreated grace in the perverted nature . . . where the passions overthrow the original hierarchy of human being. The deprivation of grace is not the cause, but rather the consequence of the decadence of our nature. Man has obstructed the faculty in himself for communion with God" (Lossky, The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, p. 132)

Read those statements through and focus on what it says. Fallen human nature is deprived of grace, separated from God, no longer having a place for uncreated grace. This is what Christ repaired in his Incarnation, reuniting divine and human nature. But now consider what the angel declares to the Virgin Mary prior to the Incarnation, addressing her in the following manner:

"Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee!" (Luke 1:28).

What could possibly be going on here? Lossky has just said that fallen human nature is separated from God, with no place in it for uncreated grace, with no means of communion with God, and so on; and yet here is Mary being told that she is "full of grace" and that the Lord is with her, prior to the Incarnation, prior to the time when Christ irrevocably reunited divine and human nature and restored this communion for all of us. The angel declares here that Mary is full of grace already, interestingly enough. It seems that the very idea of the Incarnation only makes this that much more clear: the Virgin was so in communion with God that she was mysteriously able to bear God in her womb, to give her very humanity to the Incarnate Logos. But there you have it; some condition that Lossky claims is characteristic of fallen human nature (namely, the deprivation of uncreated grace and a separation from God) is apparently not a characteristic of Mary. Thus, an Orthodox understanding of the Immaculate Conception dogma, without having to reformulate it.

Now, does this preclude the possibility of theosis for the Theotokos? Well, ask yourself this question: does the fact that Christ ultimately and victoriously united human and divine nature in his glorious Incarnation prevent the rest of us from the achieving theosis? The answer is obviously no. But the fact described above is just that the Theotokos was graced, in view of Christ's Incarnation within her, with being receptive to uncreated grace and having a special communion with God before the Incarnation (i.e., from her conception); the rest of us have just received this same "receptivity" via Christ's Incarnation, in a different manner than that in which the Theotokos received it. But just as "it" does not preclude us from the possibility of theosis, neither does it preclude her.

Here's St. John of Damascus in his Homily on the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, with some emphasis added:

"O blessed loins of Joachim, whence the all-pure seed was poured out! O glorious womb of Anna, in which the most holy offspring grew and was formed, silently increasing! O womb in which was conceived the living heaven, wider than the wideness of the heavens . . . This Heaven is clearly much more Divine and awesome than the first. Indeed He Who created the sun in the first heaven would Himself be born of this second heaven, as the Sun of Justice . . . She is all beautiful, all near to God. For she, surpassing the cherubim, exalted beyond the seraphim, is placed near to God."

I've written this message in a hurry, so hopefully there are no errors; I'll check back in a bit, but I must run to class!

God bless,
Maximos
I do not believe that the Eastern Fathers make a sharp distinction between nature and grace. Certainly they are not identical, but grace is a constituent of nature, and so it cannot be absent from nature; instead, the faculty by which grace becomes active in man is damaged by the fall. I think this is what St. Maximos means when he speaks of "being" and "ever being" as essential to man (see St. Maximos, "Centuries on Love," 3:25), the former by creation, the latter by the incarnation and redemption. That being said, theosis requires the activity of the human will, for without that activity, a man cannot be deified.

The only part of the Immaculate Conception dogma that is problematic for Easterners are the Augustinian foundations upon which it is constructed. I do agree that reformulated in positive terms, that is, with a focus upon deifying energy being present in the Holy Theotokos from the first moment of her conception, it becomes less problematic. Nevertheless, the deification of the Holy Theotokos required the enactment of her own will in synergy with the divine energy previously given, and if that activity were lacking, she would not be deified. In other words, deification is not something done to you, it is done by, with, and in you, in a true synergy with God.

Blessings to you,
Todd
As far as the topic of this thread is concerned, I think that a reformulation of Papal Primacy along the lines of Apostolic Canon 34 would help to resolve many of the difficulties between the Eastern Orthodox Churches and the Catholic Church.
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Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
Dear Friends,


That development needs to return the focus of papal jurisdiction to one on "presiding in love" where, in practical terms, the Particular, Local Church deals with its own internal organization and where the Pope ONLY intervenes during a time of crisis ie. if Canons binding on all are broken OR if a bishop or theologian wishes to directly appeal to the Pope for a hearing etc.

Alex
Is this not the case now according to Canon Law? And in both codes of the law? It does seem that way to me.

Eli
Dear Eli,

Welcome to the Forum! It is a great place to be and the people here are always very nice!

As long as Rome, and not the local Particular EC Church has ultimate control over the appointment of bishops throughout the world i.e. primacy of jurisdiction over the local Church, then that is not acceptable to the East.

Whenever Rome exercises its jurisdictional muscle over EC's, however, I'm sure it's done with the best and most loving of intentions!

Ciao,

Alex
Quote
Originally posted by Apotheoun:
I do not believe that the Eastern Fathers make a sharp distinction between nature and grace. Certainly they are not identical, but grace is a constituent of nature, and so it cannot be absent from nature; instead, the faculty by which grace becomes active in man is damaged by the fall. I think this is what St. Maximos means when he speaks of "being" and "ever being" as essential to man (see St. Maximos, "Centuries on Love," 3:25), the former by creation, the latter by the incarnation and redemption. That being said, theosis requires the activity of the human will, for without that activity, a man cannot be deified.

The only part of the Immaculate Conception dogma that is problematic for Easterners are the Augustinian foundations upon which it is constructed. I do agree that reformulated in positive terms, that is, with a focus upon deifying energy being present in the Holy Theotokos from the first moment of her conception, it becomes less problematic. Nevertheless, the deification of the Holy Theotokos required the enactment of her own will in synergy with the divine energy previously given, and if that activity were lacking, she would not be deified. In other words, deification is not something done to you, it is done by, with, and in you, in a true synergy with God.

Blessings to you,
Todd
Would it be possible for you to explain this in simpler terms? And please in your explanation could you also be much more specific about the "Augustinian" terms that gird the Church's teaching on the Immaculate Conception? I believe it has been argued that the dogmatic teaching is not nearly as dependent on "Augustinian" terms as some might say it is.

Also could someone tell me if the Orthodox simply do not believe The Apostle Paul when he says that sin came to all men through one man?

I believe the Fathers did distinguish between nature and grace or we would not have the fine distinctions that we do have in the teaching concerning the Incarnation.

Where do some of these myths come from that inform our understanding of the so-called east and west?

Eli
Todd,

Good to be speaking with you again; it's been a while since I've consistently posted to these forums. smile

You said:
Quote
Nevertheless, the deification of the Holy Theotokos required the enactment of her own will in synergy with the divine energy previously given, and if that activity were lacking, she would not be deified. In other words, deification is not something done to you, it is done by, with, and in you, in a true synergy with God.
I agree with this completely and hope I didn't say anything to suggest otherwise. I don't believe that deifying grace, even in the case of the Theotokos, nullifies or overrides the human will and/or activity (energeia) (that would, after all, smack of Monotheletism or at least Monoenergism). Part of the reason the Theotokos is the New Eve is precisely her saying "Yes" rather than "No" to God.

As for the dogma becoming less problematic when understood in positive terms, I also agree, and believe that John Paul II agreed as well: "The negative formulation of the Marian privilege, which resulted from the earlier controversies about original sin that arose in the West, must always be complemented by the positive expression of Mary's holiness more explicitly stressed in the Eastern tradition" (Pope John Paul II, General Audience, June 12, 1996).

You also do well to point out that this is not the original topic of this thread, however, so I'll leave it at that. If anyone would care to discuss this further with me, feel free to send me a private message (or, if you do post here, maybe we can keep it brief).

God bless,
Maximos (Jason)
Eli,

Others, such as Todd himself, will likely respond to your recent inquiries. However, I would strongly suggest that things are almost never so quick and easy as they seem. For example, when you say, "I believe the Fathers did distinguish between nature and grace or we would not have the fine distinctions that we do have in the teaching concerning the Incarnation," you seem to make "distinguishing between nature and grace" too simple of a thing. One of the points that Todd seems to make is that there is a conceptual distinction, for example, but that the two are never really and completely distinct because nature without grace whatsoever seems incoherent with some of the Eastern Fathers. The issue is more complicated than one of "either there is a distinction or there isn't."

Also, do you really mean for someone to tell you whether or not the Orthodox do not believe the Apostle Paul? Surely you do not mean to suggest that there really are Orthodox brothers and sisters who maintain the position that Paul wasn't telling the truth. I think what you mean to ask is how the Orthodox understand Paul's saying that sin came to all men through one man. This is another topic separate from this thread, so I won't comment on it at length, but I will suggest taking a look at some books which address the subject, such as John Meyendorff's Byzantine Theology (there is a small section therein on the Orthodox understanding of original sin), or even John Romanides' book-length The Ancestral Sin (although I warn you in advance that the latter is a bit polemic and unfair at times, and also presupposes a decent amount of acquaintance with the issue from an Eastern perspective). Romanides has some material on the web somewhere, so you could do a search. I have a few interesting research articles on the subject, too, so I could recommend those titles to you if you're interested.

There might be more that others can add. That's all for me, for now.

God bless,
Maximos
I think that Universal Jurisdiction is probably a misleading term. When was the last time you saw JP2 or B16 interfere with the day to day workings of the diocese of Tokyo or the eparchy of Van Nuys? The popes can barely keep the Roman Curia in line, much less can they keep rogue bishops like Mahoney and Law from doing bad things.

This Doctrine only reinforces the age old tradition of appealing to Rome when the local bishops and councils can't come to an agreement or when heresy is manifest. I can think of many examples in the first millenium in which we all would agree that were appropriate.

Once again, don't look to how Bl. Pius IX interpreted the Council. Look to how it was applied during the whole course of the Papacy and then make a judgement.
Posted By: AMM Re: Orthodox Leaders Could Accept Papal Primacy - 02/24/06 08:38 PM
Quote
The official formulation of the dogma reads, in part, that the Most Holy Theotokos was "in the first instance of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race . . . preserved exempt from all stain of original sin."
What it is really saying is that concupiscence was removed from her at her conception. That is she never possessed the inclination to sin, something was fundamentally changed within her in the Latin teaching that makes her different from every other human. That precludes her from true theosis, because it was not an act of her will combined with the sanctifying grace of God.

I didn't want to get this off on a tangent, so my apologies. The best summation of the Orthodox viewpoint I have run across is this [home.it.net.au] one by Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos.

Quote
The Pope is no different on this account.

quote: The manifestly heretical pope ceases per se to be pope and head as he ceases per se to be a Christian and member of the Church, and therefore he can be judged and punished by the Church. This is the teaching of all the early Fathers--Saint Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice (Milan, 1857), vol. II, chap. 30, p. 420.
I believe infallibly proclaimed doctrine may not be subject to the judgement of the church, or there would be no reason for infallibility to exist. So the Roman Pontiff is very different on this account, and does hold absolute powers in a way the East does not view as appropriate.

Andrew
Posted By: djs Re: Orthodox Leaders Could Accept Papal Primacy - 02/24/06 09:27 PM
Rilian wrote:
Quote
I believe the Immaculate Conception has been discussed ad nauseum on this site
Perhaps that's true.

But this:
Quote
The Latin formulation, if true, would preclude true theosis in the case of the Theotokos.
is not.

And this:
Quote
What it is really saying is that concupiscence was removed from her at her conception
is not.

These ideas, and interpretations of "proof-texts" being presented by Rilian are simply not Catholic teaching. This has been pointed out ad nauseum. I don't understand Andrew, why you persist in making these claims.
Quote
I believe infallibly proclaimed doctrine may not be subject to the judgement of the church, or there would be no reason for infallibility to exist. So the Roman Pontiff is very different on this account, and does hold absolute powers in a way the East does not view as appropriate.
There is a difference between saying what the Pope teaches is not subject to debate and what he teaches is not at all subject to the Church. Between the quote from St Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church and this quote from Newman on The Vatican Defintion [newmanreader.org] from his letter to Norfolk there is no contradiction:

Quote
9. Another limitation is given in Pope Pius's own conditions, set down in the Pastor �ternus, for the exercise of infallibility: viz., the proposition defined will be without any claim to be considered binding on the belief of Catholics, unless it is referable to the Apostolic depositum, through the channel either of Scripture or {330} Tradition
Posted By: AMM Re: Orthodox Leaders Could Accept Papal Primacy - 02/26/06 05:12 AM
djs

Quote
These ideas, and interpretations of "proof-texts" being presented by Rilian are simply not Catholic teaching. This has been pointed out ad nauseum. I don't understand Andrew, why you persist in making these claims.
My understanding is that the Latin formulation says that concupiscence was removed from the Theotokos. That's what it appears to me to be saying in the CCC. If in fact in Catholic understanding it is believed she did retain the human inclination to sin, and that her full sanctification was through a combination of her ascesis to avoid sin met with the grace of God (i.e. theosis), then my understanding is incorrect. I agree that this been discussed to death elsewhere, and is tangential to this thread. My apologies! Why do I persist? Sometimes I think I'm just annoying.

Also, I remember running across a quote by Avery Cardinal Dulles somewhere saying the IC was a remote aspect of the faith and not something that should cause division. Does that ring a bell with anyone?

Dr. Eric

Quote
I think that Universal Jurisdiction is probably a misleading term
It is very real and written for instance in the CCEO. This doctrine is actually I think much more problematic than Infallibility.

Andrew
On the subject of Universal Jurdistiction Andrew I think I agree with you. This may sound naive but I dont think that the Orthodox churches would have nearly as much difficulty accepting infallibility as presented in Catholic teaching if it didnt come with universal jurdistiction as it is presented in our time.

Were universal jurdistiction more in line with the canons of the Council of Serdica 343AD, that is, that disputes unresolveable amongst Bishops could be appealed to Rome I think we might get somewhere. I think what the Orthodox dont want is to become vicars of the Pope: To have the Pope going beyond the bounds of the Western Patriarchate and controlling episcopal appointments throughout the Church.
I agree absoloutley, although perhaps "in these times" could be amended to "in recent times". I certainly remeber in recent decades there has been purported curial interference in a number of Australian dioceses. But whether these alleged events will continue under the new Pope is to be seen. Certainly, however, if Latin rite Bishops should not have to deal with it, Eastern Bishops are right to point this out.

N
Sorry.."in our time"..not "in these times".

N
I was under the impression that Papal involvement in various Churches over the past 40 yrs had only been to sort out the mess that some have found themsleves in. One of the worst cases was in my view would have been the Church of the Netherlands and it was an advantage the Pope of the day spoke Dutch). I did not think they get involved easily at all. I suppose it depends on where the observer is standing. In Australia's case I was told some years ago by a Vatican based Monsignor that there was concern about the volume of mail coming from Australia from the laity. I dread to think of a Church where there was no central coordination role. How long has it taken to put some parts of the Church back on tracks after Vatican II. That as I see it that was the role of the Pope who alone had the Ecumenical authority to make changes happen. Also those who did not like this did not go down quietly either, they fought back all the way down.

ICXC
NIKA
Agreed Pavel. Actually Ned I disagree with you about Rome's relationship with the Latin Bishops. Although I do not mind the Patriarch's of North, South, East and Centre exercising and affiliated church's exercising autocephaly I am fundamentally opposed to that happening in the West.

The Patriarch of the North has seen fit to allow the autocephalous arrangement become the norm for his Patriarchate. However, in the West such a thing apart from the attempts of the Gallican Bishops to gain independence of organisation of Rome is practically unprecedented.

It has been over a millenia since the churches that comprise the Western Patriarchate had anything close to the autocephaly of the Byzantine-Slav churches and there is no reason why that should change.
I think the National Episcopal Conferences have taken on the role of Particular Churches from Vatican II onward. Those who did not have such mechanisms were to get one off the ground in the mid to late 60s. The bishops in this country meet twice a year in Sydney and have done so quiet regularly for some years. I dont think the bishops here met so often before the council. It was the Bishops in conference who were the reason we have married Eastern Rite Priests here.

ICXC
NIKA
Quote
Originally posted by Myles:
Agreed Pavel. Actually Ned I disagree with you about Rome's relationship with the Latin Bishops. Although I do not mind the Patriarch's of North, South, East and Centre exercising and affiliated church's exercising autocephaly I am fundamentally opposed to that happening in the West.

Who are the Patriarchs of the North, South, and Center? (Centre for those of you who use the Queen's English wink )

I've never heard of them.
Which Queen? wink

I am the Patriarch of the South. Who the others are I have no idea.

cool
Patriarch of the West=Archbishop of Rome
Patriarch of the North=Archbishop of Constantinople
Patriarch of the South=Archbishop of Alexandria
Patriarch of the East=Archbishop of Antioch
Patriarch of the Centre=Archbishop of Jerusalem
Quote
Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
Dear Eli,

Welcome to the Forum! It is a great place to be and the people here are always very nice!

As long as Rome, and not the local Particular EC Church has ultimate control over the appointment of bishops throughout the world i.e. primacy of jurisdiction over the local Church, then that is not acceptable to the East.

Whenever Rome exercises its jurisdictional muscle over EC's, however, I'm sure it's done with the best and most loving of intentions!

Ciao,

Alex
Dear Alex,

Thank you for the kind welcome.

It has always seemed to me that there is really nothing wrong with the approval of bishops on the part of the papal office and the appropriate curial office.

It seems to me that what might be more useful a direction for change, would be to eliminate the current system for "nominating" bishops, and rather to include the laity and parish priests in the selection process so that the election process becomes less a matter of choosing pre-selected clones, and more a matter of electing men who are already selected locally and known and loved by all already as shepherds and holy men.

Then Vatican approval may be seen as a kiss of peace and not a flex of muscle.

I do not believe it is the Vatican who has forced upon us our current crop of Shepherds, do you?

Eli
Quote
Originally posted by Ecce Jason:
Eli,

Others, such as Todd himself, will likely respond to your recent inquiries. However, I would [b]strongly
suggest that things are almost never so quick and easy as they seem. For example, when you say, "I believe the Fathers did distinguish between nature and grace or we would not have the fine distinctions that we do have in the teaching concerning the Incarnation," you seem to make "distinguishing between nature and grace" too simple of a thing. One of the points that Todd seems to make is that there is a conceptual distinction, for example, but that the two are never really and completely distinct because nature without grace whatsoever seems incoherent with some of the Eastern Fathers. The issue is more complicated than one of "either there is a distinction or there isn't."

Maximos [/b]
Oh. I didn't realize it had to be either/or.

I thought perhaps one could make the statement that there have long been distinctions made between nature and grace in Church teaching, but that one makes those conceptual and pastoral distinctions realizing that without God, without grace, then there is nothing at all.

Eli
Quote
Originally posted by Ecce Jason:
Eli,

Also, do you really mean for someone to tell you whether or not the Orthodox do not believe the Apostle Paul? Surely you do not mean to suggest that there really are Orthodox brothers and sisters who maintain the position that Paul wasn't telling the truth. I think what you mean to ask is how the Orthodox understand Paul's saying that sin came to all men through one man. This is another topic separate from this thread, so I won't comment on it at length, but I will suggest taking a look at some books which address the subject, such as John Meyendorff's Byzantine Theology (there is a small section therein on the Orthodox understanding of original sin), or even John Romanides' book-length The Ancestral Sin (although I warn you in advance that the latter is a bit polemic and unfair at times, and also presupposes a decent amount of acquaintance with the issue from an Eastern perspective). Romanides has some material on the web somewhere, so you could do a search. I have a few interesting research articles on the subject, too, so I could recommend those titles to you if you're interested.

There might be more that others can add. That's all for me, for now.

God bless,
Maximos
Yes. I would be happy for someone to tell me something about the Orthodox reading of St. Paul when he speaks of sin coming into the world to all men through one man.

I have done as you suggested and found several interesting things on first readings. The first is that Father John Romanides should never put himself forward as an historian. He is a poor one, factually.

And the second is the fact that it appears as though, given the readings you suggested and the various on-line catechisms from Orthodox sources that Orthodoxy posits both that sin came into the world through Adam and the consequences of that sin have been passed on through Adam's seed, the other Orthodox teaching claims that there is no heritable consequences of the ancestral sin, passed on through Adam's seed.

So I am left, not as ignorant as before, but no less enlightened in terms of what it is that Orthodoxy does teach. If Orthodoxy actually has one agreed upon teaching concerning the heritable nature of original sin or the ancestral sin, I could not find it.

Eli
Posted By: AMM Re: Orthodox Leaders Could Accept Papal Primacy - 02/27/06 04:03 AM
Quote
Originally posted by Myles:
On the subject of Universal Jurdistiction Andrew I think I agree with you. This may sound naive but I dont think that the Orthodox churches would have nearly as much difficulty accepting infallibility as presented in Catholic teaching if it didnt come with universal jurdistiction as it is presented in our time.

Were universal jurdistiction more in line with the canons of the Council of Serdica 343AD, that is, that disputes unresolveable amongst Bishops could be appealed to Rome I think we might get somewhere. I think what the Orthodox dont want is to become vicars of the Pope: To have the Pope going beyond the bounds of the Western Patriarchate and controlling episcopal appointments throughout the Church.
Infallibility, while problematic, I would not say is as difficult. We believe in an infallible church, so any bishop that is part of a council that makes dogmatic declarations is really exercising a form of personal infallibility (although one tied intrinsically to his brother bishops).

UOJ is I think extremely problematic. The reason is the CC does not look like a communion of autonomous churches. It looks like a single church governed from Rome with a massive central bureaucracy at its core. How would the CC reorient itself to be in communion with a completely autonomous church that accepts a primus inter pares that is mediatory and appellate in nature, all with a governing synodal structure that supercedes the Roman Curia (a body which obviously the Orthodox would not participate in)? I have honestly never seen a concrete proposal of how that would happen. I would also have to wonder if this type of change was made, in whatever form it happened, what would be the ramifications internal to the CC? Might that not be a roadblock in and of itself? I have to wonder if Rome is really ready to be in communion with a church that ultimately it does not control. What would that say to its own flock or bishops who themselves may itch for increased autonomy, especially in areas where the CC and Orthodoxy exist side by side?

It seems to me there is a lot of complexity here that sometimes goes underappreciated.

Andrew
Posted By: AMM Re: Orthodox Leaders Could Accept Papal Primacy - 02/27/06 04:21 AM
Quote
I would be happy for someone to tell me something about the Orthodox reading of St. Paul when he speaks of sin coming into the world to all men through one man.
Because we all live with the consequences of the Fall [home.it.net.au] . We are all subject to the effects of the sin of Adam (including the Theotokos as St. Paul says), though we bear no personal guilt for it. It is not passed to us through procreation, but by our birth we enter a world of disorder and shattered communion with God.

Andrew
Dear Eli,

Well, I don't know your EC jurisdiction, but in the UGCC, Rome approves and O.K.'s ALL the bishops directly - with very little input from the Patriarch/Major Archbishop.

Pat. Husar and his Synod are now just going ahead and doing what they need to do within Ukraine for the Church - and then they just inform Rome.

Rome didn't really like the UGCC moving to Kyiv ("Kiev" for those who don't understand Ukrainian! wink ).

Rome INDEED has given us our current crop of UGCC bishops. We've never had so many Basilians and Redemptorists among the episcopal ranks - and other similar "men of Rome."

In the UGCC "Easternization" goes hand in hand with "Ukrainianization" - the two combined wreaks havoc with the Vatican's ecumenical efforts with the ROC.

They are trying to "tame" us - but we're like wild monkeys - we don't do well in captivity (especially the ecclesial kind).

I've followed Rome's ventures in this manner for about 30 years now and I've close contacts with clergy.

Rome has a firm grip on our Church that it will not give up easily.

In fact, one could easily argue that Rome gets involved with Latin Catholic episcopal conferences less than it does with the UGCC . . .

Alex
Dear Andrew et al,

Quote
Originally posted by Rilian:
Infallibility, while problematic, I would not say is as difficult. We believe in an infallible church, so any bishop that is part of a council that makes dogmatic declarations is really exercising a form of personal infallibility (although one tied intrinsically to his brother bishops).
Good point.

It's also important to keep in mind that not everything believed by Catholics is dogma.

Concerning infallibility, Catholics believe, for example, that the 1854 statement on the IC was ex cathedra, and hence infallible by Vatican I.

But is all of this dogma? I don't think so. Vatican I stated that the Roman Pontiff possesses infallibility when he "speaks ex cathedra, that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church" (emphasis added). In other words, the dogma of papal infallibility -- by itself -- does not necessarily mean that the IC dogma was ex cathedra, because that depends on whether or not it was "in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians". (The other two conditions, i.e. "concerning faith or morals" and "to be held by the whole Church", are obviously satisfied.)

Many years,
Peter.
Quote
Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
Dear Eli,

Well, I don't know your EC jurisdiction, but in the UGCC, Rome approves and O.K.'s ALL the bishops directly - with very little input from the Patriarch/Major Archbishop.

Alex
Perhaps I have been misinformed.

It has been my understanding that a kind of trivium or ranked list of three men's names were presented to the appropriate curial office and that, unless there was something very wrong with the first choice of candidates, the man bearing the first name on the list became bishop.

Is this not the case?

IF it is the case how many times in the history of the UGCC has Rome selected names from down the list, or off the list during, let's say, the decades of the last century to the present?

Eli
My understanding and information is the same as yours Eli re the UGCC.

Indeed, I heard that within Ukraine, Rome is just "informed"; while outside Ukraine, Rome basically rubber-stamps.

Herb
Posted By: AMM Re: Orthodox Leaders Could Accept Papal Primacy - 02/28/06 03:18 PM
Quote
Originally posted by Peter B.:
But is all of this dogma? I don't think so. Vatican I stated that the Roman Pontiff possesses infallibility when he "speaks ex cathedra, that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians
Yes, we just don't quite see things that way, hence the issues with the dogma.

Andrew
Dear Herb and Eli,

Outside of Ukraine, Rome rubber-stamps what?

Rome appoints the bishop-candidates through its Apostolic Nuncios and if there is input from the Patriarch and his Synod, there has been very little or no word ont his recently.

When our current Eparch was consecrated, there was quite the "tug of war" when the Patriarch affirmed HE had appointed him and then the Apostolic Nuncio affirmed that it was HE, the Nuncio, alone who contacted the bishop and "convinced" him to take on the responsibility.

The people in the pews were just shaking their heads at all this.

As for candidates' lists, I am not privy to them.

The point is that Rome's heavy hand is felt when bishops from outside the Eparchies are appointed, bishops who are clearly "Rome's men."

Then again, why should Rome be involved in appointing our own bishops for us? Did not Vatican II affirm that Major Archbishops are equal to Patriarchs?

Is this how Rome wants to build bridges to the Christian East and promote ecumenism with the Orthodox? By continuing to keep a short leash on the largest EC Church in communion with it?

The UGCC has gotten to a point where it is self-governing and acknowledges its own primate as "Patriarch" with or without Rome's approval.

The next step would therefore be for the UGCC to appoint bishops for the Diaspora as it does for Ukraine - and simply let Rome know AFTER it happens.

Alex
Quote
Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
Dear Herb and Eli,

Outside of Ukraine, Rome rubber-stamps what?

Rome appoints the bishop-candidates through its Apostolic Nuncios and if there is input from the Patriarch and his Synod, there has been very little or no word ont his recently.

When our current Eparch was consecrated, there was quite the "tug of war" when the Patriarch affirmed HE had appointed him and then the Apostolic Nuncio affirmed that it was HE, the Nuncio, alone who contacted the bishop and "convinced" him to take on the responsibility.

As for candidates' lists, I am not privy to them.

Alex
As far as I am lead to understand the triviuum or list of three names is intended to be absolutely secret. And also from my experience that secrecy is not always respected, nevertheless, we in the pews should not be privy to them. But that does not mean that they do not exist.

I would prefer to have some hard data before I spoke to surely about the heavy hand of Rome and thus far I've seen no factual data to indicate that Rome has employed a heavy hand at all in the election of bishops over the past fifty years at least. Rather the contrary. We seem to be getting what we have asked for, or what the hierarchs have asked for as their replacements. I think that is a bit of a problem.

It seems to me that Met. Judson from the Byzantine Church was an exception to what I have observed here, and from what I can tell it was a happy fault. His death seems to have been a bit untimely.

At any rate I still am tempted to conclude that the entire process could use a bit of revision, and that Rome, currently, is not the real problem.

Thanks very much for your comments, though. I always enjoy hearing other opinions.

Eli
Dear Eli,

If you enjoy hearing opinions, here are a few more for your reading enjoyment . . . wink

I don't know what the situation is in the Ruthenian Catholic Church (and frankly, I don't care right now since it doesn't affect me).

In the UGCC, we've been in a kind of hissing match with Rome over the issue of self-government.

It all started with Patriarch Josef the Hieroconfessor - and you know the rest of the story.

My Eparchy was especially affected when our Bishop, Vladyka Kyr Isidore, received an "Apostolic Administrator" from Rome - not an assistant but an AA, as if we were some sort of mission field or something.

For five years, there was a stand-off here and the division in the Eparchy deepened - our Vladyka did not resign and the majority supported him.

Finally, Rome did such a crappy job of mismanagement here that it had to bring in another bishop from the outside altogether - then and only then did our beloved Vladyka agree to resign for peace in the Eparchy.

Rome is far away from the things of our Church and her eparchies. There is no reason for Rome to become involved in things when our Patriarch and his Synod have bureacracy aplenty to deal with them.

No, the problems the UGCC is facing in this respect are "Rome-grown."

We EC's have been well-trained to blame ourselves - but ultimately, the fish smells from the head - at the head of the Tiber, that is.

Alex
Posted By: AMM Re: Orthodox Leaders Could Accept Papal Primacy - 03/01/06 02:03 PM
Quote
would prefer to have some hard data before I spoke to surely about the heavy hand of Rome and thus far I've seen no factual data to indicate that Rome has employed a heavy hand at all in the election of bishops over the past fifty years at least.
How about from the words of the Melkite Patriarch

But the Eastern Churches themselves are sometimes troubled as regards the nominations of bishops.
GR�GOIRE III: For a hundred and fifty years we have elected our bishops without interferences from Rome, though nobody has ever denied Rome the right to intervene, and to us the right to apply to Rome. Simply, Rome doesn�t intervene de facto. For all that time we have elected good bishops. I don�t understand why we can�t do it now.
And when did all this change?
GR�GOIRE III: The practice was changed by Vatican II. It�s very strange. It�s strange that after Vatican II, instead of there being more freedom and autonomy for the Eastern Churches, the space has narrowed.


The interview is here [30giorni.it] .

Andrew
Dear Andrew,

It is always good to have you in one's corner!

Whenever I need to critique Rome, I'll know who to ask for support in future! smile

At least YOU won't get into trouble with your bishop for doing so . . . wink

Alex
Quote
Originally posted by Rilian:
Quote
would prefer to have some hard data before I spoke to surely about the heavy hand of Rome and thus far I've seen no factual data to indicate that Rome has employed a heavy hand at all in the election of bishops over the past fifty years at least.
How about from the words of the Melkite Patriarch

[b] But the Eastern Churches themselves are sometimes troubled as regards the nominations of bishops.
GR�GOIRE III: For a hundred and fifty years we have elected our bishops without interferences from Rome, though nobody has ever denied Rome the right to intervene, and to us the right to apply to Rome. Simply, Rome doesn�t intervene de facto. For all that time we have elected good bishops. I don�t understand why we can�t do it now.
And when did all this change?
GR�GOIRE III: The practice was changed by Vatican II. It�s very strange. It�s strange that after Vatican II, instead of there being more freedom and autonomy for the Eastern Churches, the space has narrowed.


The interview is here [30giorni.it] .

Andrew [/b]
It seems to me, in the larger context of the interview itself that I cut and paste below, that GR�GOIRE III is saying something much closer to what I was saying about the selection, rather than the election of bishops, being more of the problem than the "heavy hand" of Rome. So I fear I don't take this as proof of Rome's heavy hand.

Eli

Cardinal Husar has proposed devoting the next Synod to the Eastern Catholic Churches. Do you agree?
GR�GOIRE III: It would be a good opportunity for dealing from a new perspective with many important matters, such as child communion, or the primacy itself. And for checking whether our traditions can represent a wealth of solutions for the Latin Church also.
For example?
GR�GOIRE III: For example, some people in the West also would like the local Churches to be more involved in the choice of bishops. It could be checked whether in our traditional practices there are elements adaptable to the socio-cultural structure of the Latin Church.
But the Eastern Churches themselves are sometimes troubled as regards the nominations of bishops.
GR�GOIRE III: For a hundred and fifty years we have elected our bishops without interferences from Rome, though nobody has ever denied Rome the right to intervene, and to us the right to apply to Rome. Simply, Rome doesn�t intervene de facto. For all that time we have elected good bishops. I don�t understand why we can�t do it now.
And when did all this change?
GR�GOIRE III: The practice was changed by Vatican II. It�s very strange. It�s strange that after Vatican II, instead of there being more freedom and autonomy for the Eastern Churches, the space has narrowed.
You once said: �With all respect for the Petrine office, the patriarchal office is equal to it�.
GR�GOIRE III: Really I always say: I am cum Petro but not sub Petro. If I were sub Petro, I would be in submission, and I couldn�t have a true frank, sincere, strong and free communion with the Pope. When you embrace a friend, you are not �below�. You embrace him from the same height, if not it wouldn�t be a true embrace. Unita manent, united things last.
But do you mean to say that the link with the Church of Rome is a bit tight on you?
GR�GOIRE III: On the contrary! The papacy, since John XXIII, is the most open authority in the world. In no other Church is there such openness and such democratic praxis as in the Church of Rome. But then there are those who want to appear as the super-Catholics, and they then insist and always only on the sub Petro and sub Roma. And so, according to me, they contradict the true sense of the papacy itself, its office to confirm the brethren in the faith. We have suffered for our communion with Rome. For a hundred and fifty years we have said mass in the catacombs, in Damascus, because we were forbidden do it in public because of our communion with the bishop of Rome. We�re more Roman than the Romans! That�s why we want to benefit from this communion as from a treasure, a gift, a help for our faith. As Saint John says, our faith is our sole victory.
Quote
Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
Dear Eli,

If you enjoy hearing opinions, here are a few more for your reading enjoyment . . . wink

I don't know what the situation is in the Ruthenian Catholic Church (and frankly, I don't care right now since it doesn't affect me).

In the UGCC, we've been in a kind of hissing match with Rome over the issue of self-government.

Alex
Dear Dr. Roman,

I have gone and done a bit of research on this instance of Toronto and I believe that I have opened a very sore subject for you, so I will conclude by simply saying that I do not yet see this all-pervasive "heavy hand" of Rome, not in actual fact.

Eli
Posted By: AMM Re: Orthodox Leaders Could Accept Papal Primacy - 03/01/06 10:40 PM
Quote
So I fear I don't take this as proof of Rome's heavy hand.
Perhaps not in the way you were thinking, but if I were a Melkite, what the Patriarch would be saying would not seem like a positive thing to me.

I don't have a dog in this race though, and I really don't know how the elections or selections work on that side of the fence.

Andrew
Eli,

Have you ever read We Are All Schismatics (the title should actually be a question, i.e., Are We All Schismatics?, but that's a different subject) by (former) Archbishop Elias Zoghby? That book contains a lot on this subject, i.e., the inappropriate conduct of Rome toward Eastern Catholics, so you may be interested in it.

For my own part, I have little interest in this sort of discussion these days. For one, I don't know what criteria we are going to use to determine whether or not Rome is being "heavy-handed" -- one person will say they are while another will vehemently deny it, and I'm not sure what "heavy-handed" even means (i.e., how we're defining it) -- so the whole thing smacks of vagueness and unproductiveness. What is clear is that, from time to time, Rome interferes (or at least has interfered) in the life of the Eastern Catholic churches in ways that it did not interfere when the churches were initially united, prior to the separation with Eastern Orthodoxy. Some of the mechanisms by which such interference took place are still in place today, at least in principle, whether or not they are actually used these days in a "heavy-handed" manner (and that in itself is something to consider; perhaps it is the wrong question to ask whether or not such mechanisms have been used in a heavy-handed manner in the past 50 years or so, but rather why such mechanisms are there in the first place). The Zoghby book documents some of this, and there is documentation of other things elsewhere (some of it dating back over 100 years, though, so probably not what you're interested in). What we should be concerned about, in my humble opinion (and I do mean to submit this humbly, though it may sound otherwise due to the medium we are using to communicate), is clearing that up, not deciding whether a vague label like "heavy-handed" really applies.

In somewhat related news, as someone has already mentioned on the forum today, Pope Benedict XVI has elected to drop the papal title of "Patriarch of the West" in hopes of fostering moves toward unity between Catholic and Orthodox churches.

May God bless you,
Maximos

P.S. In case there is a question at all, I am myself an Eastern Catholic who happens to hold rather strongly to the doctrine of papal primacy; even so, though, I can't deny the sort of things I mention above. My point in saying this is just that whether or not Rome is, at a given time, being "heavy-handed" or not is largely unimportant, in the scheme of things -- we should certainly oppose such heavy-handedness, but it is not quite as pressing of an issue as other things might be.
Andrew said:
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if I were a Melkite, what the Patriarch would be saying would not seem like a positive thing to me.
As a Melkite, let me just say that I agree with you here; these certainly don't seem like positive things, even if someone might not define them as "heavy-handed." That alone should be enough to cause concern, I'd think. See my post above, though, for where I ultimately stand on most of this.

God bless,
Maximos
As a Rusyn Orthodox, who came from a Prot background, (1) Papal infallibility, as seen by RCC is un-acceptable...but, as I see history, the 'primacy ' of the Roman Bishop has not changed since the time of Constantine. (2) the "Immaculate Conception" doctrine (NOT dogma) is seen as an 'innovation', IE something modern that was added...(how did this appear...after 17 centuries...what changed...?). (3) As written just previously, Papal primacy is not seen not as Primacy, but as superiority. (4) Many Orthodox consider the title 'Holy Father', as an intrusion into the sphere of Otce Nash, or the real HOLY FATHER, One God, or close to it, that we would never say such a thing. (5) Restoration of the pillaging of artifacts and holy things, icons, etc, of the 4th Crusade of Constantinople, would be a good start (according to the informed). (6) Apologia for the Latin intrusion of Orthodox lands and territory, and retraction of RC claims of superiority would also be acceptable. There is a book, about the Ecumenism of the West, witten by a Greek, this would be a good place to start, to get an idea of Eastern conservative thought. Solzinitszin's writing and comments are good, too. Just some thoughts, Mik
Mike,

I think you need to catch up on some current events. Pope John Paul the Second made a public apology for the 4th Crusade when he visited Greece.

As far as the title Holy Father is concerned, most Orthodox hierarchs are addressed by that title in the native languages. In the commemoration in Greek for the litany with the bishop, the are commemorated as our Holy Father and (Arch)bishop, or in the Slavic practice Most Reverend or Lord (KYR).

In IC XC,
Father Anthony+
Dear Eli,

Well, if you don't see episcopal appointments by Rome directly that divide eparchies and cause administrative stalemates for years as a "heavy Roman hand," I would HATE to experience what you really do feel would be an example of a "heavy hand!" smile smile

Rome has NO need whatever to involve itself in the internal affairs of the EC Churches, and especially not in those of the largest one, the UGCC.

The fact that it continues to do so is ITSELF a tragedy and an enduring ecclesial scandal that does immeasureable harm to the Particular tradition of the UGCC and other EC Churches as well as to the ecumenical movement - not only with the Orthodox who will, as we have seen, change their opinion on these matters when it suits them, but also with western Protestant bodies.

But we can agree to disagree. There are many more of those in my Church who agree with me than those who would agree with you.

So THERE! wink

Alex
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Originally posted by Rilian:
Yes, we just don't quite see things that way, hence the issues with the dogma.
Dear Andrew,

Sorry, I didn't mean to sound like there was no disagreement. I was rather trying to say that the disagreement would be much greater if VCI had not limited Infallibility to only when the Pope acts "in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians".

If so, that is if the dogma had instead said the Pope was infallible whenever he "defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church", that would amount to dogmatically claiming that the pope was infallible in 1854 when he defined the I.C. (Likewise for the Assumption in 1950.)

-Peter
Perhaps I can make my point a little clearer with a comparison:

Consider the statement "Every ecumenical council is infallible." That statement, in itself, does not answer the question of whether the Second Council of Lyon was ecumenical or not.

Similarly, the dogma of P.I. says that the pope is infallible whenever he makes an ex cathedra statement. In and of itself, however, that dogma does not say whether pope was infallible when he defined the I.C.

God bless,
Peter.
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Originally posted by Ecce Jason:
Eli,

Have you ever read We Are All Schismatics (the title should actually be a question, i.e., Are We All Schismatics?, but that's a different subject) by (former) Archbishop Elias Zoghby? That book contains a lot on this subject, i.e., the inappropriate conduct of Rome toward Eastern Catholics, so you may be interested in it.
Yes. I have done so some time ago. It is not my intent to sound so terribly naive but I am, as you've seen, not convinced that the heaviest hand weighing on the eastern Catholic is the hand of Rome. It is my concern that we should be looking much closer to home.


[/QB][/QUOTE] For my own part, I have little interest in this sort of discussion these days. For one, I don't know what criteria we are going to use to determine whether or not Rome is being "heavy-handed" -- one person will say they are while another will vehemently deny it, and I'm not sure what "heavy-handed" even means (i.e., how we're defining it) -- so the whole thing smacks of vagueness and unproductiveness. What is clear is that, from time to time, Rome interferes (or at least has interfered) in the life of the Eastern Catholic churches in ways that it did not interfere when the churches were initially united, prior to the separation with Eastern Orthodoxy. Some of the mechanisms by which such interference took place are still in place today, at least in principle, whether or not they are actually used these days in a "heavy-handed" manner (and that in itself is something to consider; perhaps it is the wrong question to ask whether or not such mechanisms have been used in a heavy-handed manner in the past 50 years or so, but rather why such mechanisms are there in the first place). The Zoghby book documents some of this, and there is documentation of other things elsewhere (some of it dating back over 100 years, though, so probably not what you're interested in). What we should be concerned about, in my humble opinion (and I do mean to submit this humbly, though it may sound otherwise due to the medium we are using to communicate), is clearing that up, not deciding whether a vague label like "heavy-handed" really applies.

In somewhat related news, as someone has already mentioned on the forum today, Pope Benedict XVI has elected to drop the papal title of "Patriarch of the West" in hopes of fostering moves toward unity between Catholic and Orthodox churches.

May God bless you,
Maximos

P.S. In case there is a question at all, I am myself an Eastern Catholic who happens to hold rather strongly to the doctrine of papal primacy; even so, though, I can't deny the sort of things I mention above. My point in saying this is just that whether or not Rome is, at a given time, being "heavy-handed" or not is largely unimportant, in the scheme of things -- we should certainly oppose such heavy-handedness, but it is not quite as pressing of an issue as other things might be. [/QB][/QUOTE]

This is a wonderful and hopeful response. Thank you. God bless you.

Eli
I don't know if this is the right thread for this question or not, but on another forum (to wit, http://catholica.pontifications.net/?p=953 ) someone was talking about Unam Sanctum, and I was wondering whether this is considered an ex cathedra statement by Catholics? Those involved in that discussion certainly seemed to think so, but I suspect that there may be no real consensus (amoung Catholics) on it one way or the other?

If anyone could enlighten me I'd be most appreciative.
-Peter.
Eli,
yeah, the question of Papal Primacy can be a bit dicey for us Eastern Catholics. I have said this at least once before, and I'll say it agian: Primus Inter Pares, first among equals. as far as I am concerned, that should define Papal Primacy, if there is going to be a real reconciliation and reunion between East and West.
Much Love,
Jonn
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Originally posted by Peter B.:
I don't know if this is the right thread for this question or not, but on another forum (to wit, http://catholica.pontifications.net/?p=953 ) someone was talking about Unam Sanctum, and I was wondering whether this is considered an ex cathedra statement by Catholics? Those involved in that discussion certainly seemed to think so, but I suspect that there may be no real consensus (amoung Catholics) on it one way or the other?

If anyone could enlighten me I'd be most appreciative.
-Peter.
Dear Peter,

As is with all doctrine, it is not so important what each and every Catholic believes. What is important is that the truth of revelation is promulgated and that the doctrines of the Church are taught in such a way so as to best reveal the Kingdom for the salvation of all mankind.

What is important is what the Church teaches. What we believe is variable, for we have varying capacities for grasping the truth. The Church is protected directly by the Holy Spirit in matters of faith and morals and is not as prone to such inconstancy as we are as individuals.

Eli
Not every Oecumenical Council is infallible, they do teach infallible truths though. Just as not every teaching of a Pope is infallible, but he can teach infallibly when certain criteria is met.
Stephanos I
Hi Elitoft,

Quote
Originally posted by Elitoft:
As is with all doctrine, it is not so important what each and every Catholic believes. What is important is that the truth of revelation is promulgated and that the doctrines of the Church are taught in such a way so as to best reveal the Kingdom for the salvation of all mankind.

What is important is what the Church teaches. What we believe is variable, for we have varying capacities for grasping the truth. The Church is protected directly by the Holy Spirit in matters of faith and morals and is not as prone to such inconstancy as we are as individuals.
Okay, but I'm not really sure what that has to do with my question.
-Peter.
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Originally posted by Dr. Eric:
If we take away how Bl. Pius IX and St. Pius X applied the Papal Primacy and go back to the original applications of the doctrine, I don't see a problem and I think that the Servants of God Popes Paul VI and John Paul II were trying to go back to the middle road on this doctrine that had swung to the right since Bl. Pius IX (or maybe sooner than him.)
I think doing that would solve the problem. However, since the West has solemnly and dogmatically defined its current view of papal jurisdiction and infallibility then how could it do what you're talking about? Believe me, I wish there were a way for Rome to go back to its pre-schism understanding of these 2 things so reunion could happen.
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Originally posted by Eric Myers:
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Originally posted by Dr. Eric:
[b] If we take away how Bl. Pius IX and St. Pius X applied the Papal Primacy and go back to the original applications of the doctrine, I don't see a problem and I think that the Servants of God Popes Paul VI and John Paul II were trying to go back to the middle road on this doctrine that had swung to the right since Bl. Pius IX (or maybe sooner than him.)
I think doing that would solve the problem. However, since the West has solemnly and dogmatically defined its current view of papal jurisdiction and infallibility then how could it do what you're talking about? Believe me, I wish there were a way for Rome to go back to its pre-schism understanding of these 2 things so reunion could happen. [/b]
I look at it this way: George W Bush is the President of the United States of America. He could conceivably micromanage every town in the Union. But he doesn't he won't come into St. Louis and tell Mayor Francis Slay how to do his job. He's still the president, but he leaves the local management to the local officials.
Quote
Originally posted by Dr. Eric:
Quote
Originally posted by Eric Myers:
[b]
Quote
Originally posted by Dr. Eric:
[b] If we take away how Bl. Pius IX and St. Pius X applied the Papal Primacy and go back to the original applications of the doctrine, I don't see a problem and I think that the Servants of God Popes Paul VI and John Paul II were trying to go back to the middle road on this doctrine that had swung to the right since Bl. Pius IX (or maybe sooner than him.)
I think doing that would solve the problem. However, since the West has solemnly and dogmatically defined its current view of papal jurisdiction and infallibility then how could it do what you're talking about? Believe me, I wish there were a way for Rome to go back to its pre-schism understanding of these 2 things so reunion could happen. [/b]
I look at it this way: George W Bush is the President of the United States of America. He could conceivably micromanage every town in the Union. But he doesn't he won't come into St. Louis and tell Mayor Francis Slay how to do his job. He's still the president, but he leaves the local management to the local officials. [/b]
The problem, though, is that the Orthodox (to use your example) say it's a heresy for the President to even have the right to do that micromanagement regardless of whether he chooses to do it or not.

Also, the papal infallibility is still an issue. The Pope would somehow have to reverse Vatican I and go back to saying that an ecumenical council was the only way to make infallible doctrinal pronouncements.

I don't see how the RC could reverse itself without contradicting existing doctrinal pronouncements. Which means (I think) the situation is irreconcilable. If you can think of a way for the RC to change back to pre-schism way of doing business w/o contradicting Vatican I then I'd welcome that.
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