Rorate Caeli

3,000 Assyrians Received into the Catholic Church


The Chaldean Catholic Diocese of St. Peter and Paul has formally received into its fold, those members of the Assyrian Catholic Apostolic Diocese who, under the leadership of Mar Bawai Soro (pictured above), had asked to be reconciled with the Catholic Church last January 17, 2008.

One bishop (Mar Bawai himself), six priests, 30+ deacons and subdeacons and an estimated 3,000 faithful were received into full communion during liturgical celebrations for the Feast of Pentecost. The announcement by the Chaldean Catholic Church can be found here.

The Black Cordelias blog has an earlier article here.

Mar Bawai Soro has long advocated the Primacy of the See of Rome. On November 2, 2005, he presented to the Synod of Bishops of the Assyrian Church of the East (of which he was a bishop at that time) a paper entitled "The Position of the Church of the East Theological Tradition on the Questions of Church Unity and Full Communion " in which, among other things, he stated that

The Church of the East attributes a prominent role to Saint Peter and a
significant place for the Church of Rome in her liturgical, canonical and
Patristic thoughts. There are more than 50 liturgical, canonical and Patristic
citations that explicitly express such a conviction. The question before us
therefore is, why there must be a primacy attributed to Saint Peter in the
Church? If there is no primacy in the universal church, we shall not be able to
legitimize a primacy of all the Catholicos-Patriarchs in the other apostolic
churches. If the patriarchs of the apostolic churches have legitimate authority
over their own respective bishops it is so because there is a principle of
primacy in the universal Church. If the principle of primacy is valid for a
local Church (for example, the Assyrian Church of the East), it is so because it
is already valid for the universal church. If there is no Peter for the
universal church there could not be Peter for the local Church. If all the
apostles are equal in authority by virtue of the gift of the Spirit, and if the
bishops are the successors of the Apostles, based on what then one of these
bishops (i.e., the Catholicos-Patriarchs) has authority over the other
bishops?

The Church of the East possesses a theological, liturgical and
canonical tradition in which she clearly values the primacy of Peter among the
rest of the Apostles and their churches and the relationship Peter has with his
successors in the Church of Rome. The official organ of our Church of the East,
Mar Abdisho of Soba, the last theologian in our Church before its fall, based
himself on such an understanding when he collected his famous Nomocanon in which
he clearly states the following: “To the Great Rome [authority] was given
because the two pillars are laid [in the grave] there, Peter, I say, the head of
the Apostles, and Paul, the teacher of the nations. [Rome] is the first see and
the head of the patriarchs.” (Memra 9; Risha 1) Furthermore, Abdisho asserts “.
. . . And as the patriarch has authority to do all he wishes in a fitting manner
in such things as are beneath his authority, so the patriarch of Rome has
authority over all patriarchs, like the blessed Peter over all the community,
for he who is in Rome also keeps the office of Peter in all the church. He who
transgresses against these things the ecumenical synod places under anathema.”
(Memra 9; Risha 8). I would like to ask here the following: who among us would
dare to think that he or she is more learned than Abdisho of Soba, or that they
are more sincere to the church of our forefather than Mar Abdisho himself? This
is true especially since we the members of the Holy Synod have in 2004 affirmed
Mar Abdisho’s List of Seven Sacraments as the official list of the Assyrian
Church of the East. How much more then we ought to consider examining and
receiving Abdisho’s Synodical legislation in his Nomocanon?


Five days later, Mar Bawai was suspended by the Holy Synod of the Assyrian Church. The story behind this, as well as the full text of the paper on papal primacy that Mar Bawai had presented to the Synod, can be found here.


Following upon his suspension, Mar Bawai and the clergy and faithful who had remained loyal to him formed the Assyrian Catholic Apostolic Diocese, then proceeded to draw ever closer to the Catholic Church through the Chaldean Catholic Patriarchate. How fitting that they finally came home on Pentecost Sunday. Deo Gratias!

72 comments:

Tito Edwards said...

I came across this from the The Black Cordelias as well. This is a wonderful story.

Pertinacious Papist said...

Absolutely wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Praise the Lord Almighty!

Dan Hunter.

John said...

The number is perhaps not insignificant: "And there were added that day about three thousand souls" (Acts 2:41).

Deo Spiritui Sancto gratias!

I hope you don't mind I linked to this article at
ourlifeinaustria.blogspot.com and at unamsanctamcatholicam.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

So strange these people entering when so many people formerly in full communion with Rome, many for as long as 1500 years are now outside. One wonders what it all means. People who defy the Pope like pro-abortion politicians continue to receive communion whilst Catholics who practice traditional Catholic teachings are treated like schismatics. One has to be blind not to see that this can't mean what some of you think it does.
Consider! These Eastern church communities including Constantinople are in danger of disappearing. Joining up with Rome is their last hope for survival. Last year when I visited the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul on the Feast of the Dormition, people begged me to tell Xtians in the West that we are here and to come to see us. Its all very sad.
Frankly, I cannot see how joining up with Rome at this juncture can help anyone. If they've waited this long. Why now? Western Catholics give only lip service to papal authority as Eurorpe's declining birth as well as marriage rate readily prove. Its a failed ideal. Ask Cardinal McCarrick or Archbishop Wuerl or Bishop Crispian Hollis to name a few. But then maybe our Iraqi friends don't know this and are actually in quest of "religious liberty,' i.e., the ecclesiastical open and free society. Too bad they missed the exhibit in Vienna's Stephansdom.

The Byzantine Rambler said...

The answer to anonymous2's basic question is that we come home to Rome to be with Peter. The Unity of the Faith is manifest, preserved and protected by the papacy. As my Patriarch indicated while visiting Rome recently, we find in our communion with Rome the fullness of our shared Cathoicity while freely living the fullness of our individual Church's phronema.

I say, "Thanks be to God!" May our brother and sister Assyrians be witnesses, guides and examples of the unity for which our Lord prayed!

Anonymous said...

To the Anon asking why other churches united to Rome for 1500 leave while this one re-entered.

I'm not sure what Eastern Catholic church has severed union with Rome in recent memory.

With respect to this excellent news, I too see a sign of the Holy Ghost in the number of 3000 souls coming to the Church, the only Ark of Salvation by which God will save men.

But this Church I believe was a Nestorian Church and not at all affiliated with Eastern Orthodoxy.

As such this is not news of Eastern Schismatics returning to the true fold but rather some ancient oriental heretics coming back to Rome.

In light of this New Catholic, are you aware of any dissertation confirming rejection of Nestorianism - along the clear affirmation of Petrine Primacy? (The latter being a mos t eloquent confession of Roman primacy).

This is indeed encouraging and I'm sure a signal grace to the Holy Father to keep promoting the continuity of Sacred Tradition.

Deo gratias et Maria!

Anonymous said...

From the Bishop who was received into Communion.....

3. I mentioned in my letter to His Holiness, that our church is an eastern church and all the eastern patriarchs reside in the East and our people in the East are in need of their spiritual father to be with them especially in these distressful times. And, I asked His Holiness to go and visit with them. And he did not even agree with this suggestion. Is this the daring step that I took with the Patriarch? Don’t you believe down deep in your hearts that the Patriarch should be living with his oppressed and needy flock? But you know that the vigilant speaking is not for everyone because you are scared of your name and honor and this is becoming clear that day by day the truth is getting lost in the Church of the East. The points that I have maintained and for which I am receiving this opposition from the patriarch and other prelates are highlighted below:

a. Liturgical Reforms. For the purpose of making church services understandable and acceptable to the believers of the church and in order that they may participate in the services more easily, comfortably and with full understanding. We conduct the services in modern Assyrian language

LeonG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LeonG said...

"People who defy the Pope like pro-abortion politicians continue to receive communion whilst Catholics who practice traditional Catholic teachings are treated like schismatics. One has to be blind not to see that this can't mean what some of you think it does."

Aptly stated anonymous.

The new post-conciliar paradigm - the illusion of uniting disparate elements: the masonic Focolare, the Opus Dei sect, the Neo-Cat sect, the charismatic sect, hundreds of "ecclesial communities" and so on which do as they please and even defy official Catholic teachings. The protestantised & decadent NO is on a pathway of inexorable decline, hopefully into oblivion. In the meantime, the Assyrian Church has modernised its liturgical language and what else besides? Modernisation & use of the "vernacular" in the liturgy are already a demonstrated failure in western christendom which has lost its Christ.

Rome would like us all to believe that even the Orthodox church is no longer schismatic but phenomenologically united "in some way" with the modern catholic church. After all The Christ's Church only subsists in it. This has enabled popes to stand on the same podia with Lutheran priestsesses, and with mohamaten imams and proclaim the doubtful ideology through mediatised simulacra of one God, one people.

This was the intention of the modernist-liberalist cabal at the councils - religious liberty for all in the Chardinesque pantheistic horizontalised vision of a superchurch of all religions & all nuances of "christianity" BUT the razing of the bastion of the traditional faith, the one significant guarantee against such falsehood.

Until this is understood there will be no authentic restoration of The Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Rather it will continue as it is in its current appallingly divided and devastated state. Who, in their right Catholic mind would want to be entirely and unquestioningly united with that? Better to keep The Faith of Our Fathers than to give way to illusory perspectives of syncretised liturgies and phenomenologised unity.gzoievyf

Anonymous said...

Indeed this is good news. Nobody said coming to be with Peter or staying with Peter would be easy. The bishop had a lot of gall to say what he did in front of his brothers, but I commend most the priests, deacons, subdeacons, and faithful who were willing to be guided to Peter.

Deo Gratias!

Joe

Woody Jones said...

The Traditional Anglican Communion (500,000 souls, they say) asked for full communion last Fall.

Why the hold up there, I wonder?

Anonymous said...

As an external sign of conversion, no need to get circumcised, but ax the mustache!

Anonymous said...

I would not draw too many parallels between this brave bishop leading his 3000 souls to the Rock of Tradition himself, Petrine Apostolicity wanting his flock to use modern Assyrian instead of the decrepit Assyrian of the ancient Nestorians. Ancient Assyrian unlike Latin is not a well developed theological language that allows clear exegetics and doctrinal formation. Moreover, it has not had 2000 years of Doctors and Saints of the calibre of the Roman Church to imbue its generations with a timeless faith. Those who wish to see in all things at this time a negative sign and no sign of Divine grace will liken this to NO mopdernistic mentality but this bishop is trying to teach his flock the Catholic doctrine of the Mass so that they get it. One can only hope that this lead them closer to true and timeless doctrine.

The Rock of Faith said...

Anonymous, I'm not sure how you get off saying that the ancient Assyrian, WHICH MIND YOU IS ALSO KNOWN AS SYRIAC/ARAMAIC. is not a developed theological language, when it was the language of Chist Himself, and which has been used to record thousands of theological manuscriptes, which yours truly, the Catholic Church has taken from the East during the crusades and has benefitted and based their own writings on.
Also, as far as this suspended bishop.. before you guys get happy about a few thousand new members (which is a gross exageration) and their Sunday financial contributions.. you would do well to actually study the case of this bishop. Hes a bishop who just lost a court battle, where he attempted to steal several Church properties from acrossed the Californian Diocese, which he knew were Church property but used forgeries to change the titles, as well as taking huge loans out, and leaving the Church of the East in debt. If your faith is none other than Roman Nationalism, and has nothing to do with the Catholic Faith Christ really talked about, being ONE in Faith and Heart (as St. Paul said) then you might rejoice at these losses from your sister Church. But we shall see how much you rejoice when this rebel who you yourselves have employed is now let loose in your own parishes :) By the way, I urge you to look into these socalled 30 deacons and several priests who accompany the bishop, and check their ordaination dates, youll see that they are all within 3 years or so, and most were ordained after he was suspended from pastoral duties. And if you take St. Paul's advice that deacons should be of good repute seriously, then I hardly think you will be rejoicing. But again, to people who want to raise an EMPIRE and not a Church, all you guys need is numbers and taxes, it doesn't matter to you about the actual faith or deeds of these socalled members. So I congradulate you on your rich acquisition :)

Anonymous said...

Byzantine Rambler,

It is difficult for me to see how the faith is protected by the Pope. Yes, the papacy was a valuable symbol of unity and can be again. But the Germanic Carolingian papacy from which the present papacy originates should not be confused with the ancient Roman papacy which withstood the onslaught of Arianism, etc. After all in the eleventh century it unilaterally broke with Nicaea and Constantinople by introducing the filioque. Pope Leo III tried to prevent this unwarranted innovation it is true. But now we see that the papacy is unable so far to protect Christians from modern civilization, the only civilzation that has founded itself on the explicit repudiation of God. Again, it is true that St. Pius X tried and those Popes who followed also tried But their efforts were rejected at the last Vatican Council II. The pontificate of JP II was particularly onerous as we are beginning to see as the present Pope attempts to clear up the excesses of his unfortunate reign and that of his predecessor. Let us get our own house in order then welcome those who want to get on board.

LeonG said...

"Hes a bishop who just lost a court battle, where he attempted to steal several Church properties from acrossed the Californian Diocese, which he knew were Church property but used forgeries to change the titles, as well as taking huge loans out, and leaving the Church of the East in debt."

If what you state is true "rock of faith", then he will make an admirable bed-fellow with all those other criminal bishops and priests who have abused their office and the trust placed in them by the visible church. Rome is desperate to fill the coffers being emptied out by mass defections from the parishes and a massive outflow of funds and real estate resulting from sex abuse litigations. These, by the way, have not stopped nor are they being dealt with since there was an increase in cases of over 50% last year. It is doubtful if the recent comments of personal embarrassment by the holy father will do anything at all to put an end to that.

sydneydude said...

pictures, videos and full article from the event posted on www.marbawai.com

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

Have we come to this, that many of those who claim to be "traditional Catholics" have nothing but scorn and vituperation for those who would seek to be united to the Rock that God established, so that the Church may be built upon it?

I think that for you people, the sin of these new converts is that they are not Traditionalists.

I expected at least a little happiness from you guys, but what I see from many of you is more condemnation!

As for the liturgical use of "modern Assyrian," the use of the vernacular is part of the Eastern tradition. Stop reading the malaise of Western modernism into the legitimate traditions of the East. Even prior to Vatican II, some Eastern Churches were already allowed to use the modern vernacular in their liturgy (Romanian, English and Hungarian come to mind.)

Anonymous said...

Woody Jones

For heaven's sake don't set the TLM hare running. This strange body is in a separate class and so full of problems that reconciliation with the Church is virtually impossible.

Jordanes said...

An anonymous person said: After all in the eleventh century it unilaterally broke with Nicaea and Constantinople by introducing the filioque. . . . Let us get our own house in order then welcome those who want to get on board.

You refer to "our own house," which means you are Catholic, and yet you reject the Church's authority to teach the truth the truth of the double procession of the Holy Spirit and to introduce it into the Creed, and you deny that the Papacy today is the successor of the Papacy of the ancient Church. You also say, "It is difficult for me to see how the faith is protected by the Pope." The faith is protected by the Pope because the Holy See is founded on the rock of St. Peter, and has never at any time lost the faith. God also established the Successor of St. Peter as the visible sign of the Church's unity. Hence it is impossible to be truly Catholic without communion with the Pope. That is why the faithful rejoice that these Assyrians with their bishop have returned to the Catholic Church. Nor is it correct to tell penitents and repentant schismatics and heretics not to return to the Church just because the members of the Church, including her Pope and bishops, are all sinners. All your remarks taken together, and a faithful Catholic can only be troubled -- you're skirting the bounds of schism and heresy if you haven't already crossed over.

Another (?) person said: This strange body is in a separate class and so full of problems that reconciliation with the Church is virtually impossible.

And yet they have been reconciled with the Church. As for them being "strange" and "so full of problems," they don't seem to be any more strange than other Assyrians, nor any more full of problems than the Holy Immaculate Catholic Church has always been and always will be. There are some problems that cannot be solved apart from the unity of the Church.

As for the statements of "rock of faith," they sound like the kind of ill will that an Assyrian would be expected to have after a falling-out between the Assyrian Church and one of their bishops who has led his flock into communion with the Holy See. It's not surprising that the newly rencociled bishop and his flock would seek to keep the churches and property they had been using, even though the law apparently was not on their side.

And LeonG, you say the sex abuse by priests hasn't stopped, citing a percentage of increase -- but I'm pretty sure all of these "new" cases are incidents from years ago, wherein the victims, or alleged victims, have only recently come forward. So I'm not sure your statistic proves that the problem is continuing unabated and unaddressed.

Justin Bolger said...

Wonderful news. Deo Gratias!
What a clear, honest, and level-headed depiction of primacy within the church given by the bishop. It really is that simple. But especially in these late democratic days, it's getting harder to understand hierarchy. However, that is how our universe and church is organized.
Peace.

The Rock of Faith said...

LEONG, despite your critical stance of the Church, I think it is people like you, who are the greatest allies of the Message of Christ. It is clear from this room, that many socalled Christians have become too confident, feeling that JUST being under the Patriarch of Rome's power leads to Heaven. This is the same falsehood that the pharisees shared in, and were rebuked by John the Baptist and Christ for. They thought that POWER and DOMINION and a sort of Citizenship in a faith was enough, but simply being Catholic, or being Christian is clearly not what Christ intended, but rather that HIS WORD BE WRITTEN ON OUR HEARTS. Rather, our hearts have gone astray seeking vain power, and nationalism, and empty pride in numbers and wealth and external goods, marble columns, statues, etc. If all these were done out of Honor for God I would accept them, because I am not a puritan, but what makes these so wrong, is that they are done out of wordly pride. The same pride which led those in Babel to build the tower, the same vain glory which leads people to invent scientific theories with which they claim to be able to explain ALL of Creation.
LEONG you said it right, that in this modern, capitalistic, secular, and materialistic age, one which these values have even penetrated socalled Christians, many sins have peirced the walls of the Church, and some Churches have stooped low to try and sweep these under the carpets. But it is clearly not great numbers alone that is the will of God, but rather TRUE FAITH. But those who are attempting to build their CHurches on strength in numbers by relaxing the standards of faith are being exactly like the man who built his house on SAND. Believe me, such people will only hurt their own Churches... for testing times approach, and I gurantee those people are not instilling a faith which will last in the face of temptation.
Although the Roman Catholic Church was established within the Roman Empire, I rebuke you, not to try running a Church like an earthly empire. Because it shall surely fall along with the Roman Empire. You have gone so far in desperation to gain members whose hearts have left the Church, as even to allow MAYOR JULIANI to recieve communion at the hands of the Pope, when he is an outright and public defender of ABORTION. So where are your standards? And what good is numbers and multitudes who lack faith? Is it an empire for man you build? Or a kingdom in Heaven?

But these are all mere warnings from one fellow Christian to another. I am hardly bitter, for I am in California, and this Bishop was my bishop, and even in my family. If it is this bishop which you want, I say MAY HE BE BLESSED FOR YOU... but I warn you that your vain glory will lead to a great fall. And his members also who are all very new members, motivated by political agendas, similar to the agendas of LUTHER who attacked your own Church. But funny how such reprehensible actions can be accepted when it benefits you. But I urge you to study the facts, and decide for yourselves if such truly is a BENEFIT, and not just what appears to be a benefit because you gain a few members.
By the way, the way which you guys talk: as if the Catholic Church is the only Church which can offer salvation is a very strange idea that you ought to study the bbile and correct yourselves on. Surely in Acts when the Apostles were sent to the four-corners of the earth, it wasn't only the apostles sent to Rome who have authority, for it is not the apostles THEMSELVES who have the power of salvation, nor the keys to the gates of heaven, but such were given to them, equally, by ONE CHRIST... and again, they could ONLY have been given by Christ, for there was never a more perfect sacrifice who could have once and for all cleansed humanity of its sinful nature through faith in Him, and exhalt mankind.

Jordanes said...

Rock of Faith said: It is clear from this room, that many socalled Christians have become too confident, feeling that JUST being under the Patriarch of Rome's power leads to Heaven.

None of the commenters here has said anything that could be taken to mean "just being under the Patriarch of Rome's power leads to heaven."

simply being Catholic, or being Christian is clearly not what Christ intended, but rather that HIS WORD BE WRITTEN ON OUR HEARTS.

Among thoese words are "ut unum sint," and, "You are Peter, and on this rock will I build My Church," and, "I give you the keys to the kingdom." One flock, one sheepfold, one Shepherd.

Although the Roman Catholic Church was established within the Roman Empire, I rebuke you, not to try running a Church like an earthly empire. Because it shall surely fall along with the Roman Empire.

Thanks for the warning, and of course the Church cannot be treated as an earthly empire -- but I hasten to point out that the Roman Empire fell in the West in A.D. 476 and in the East in A.D. 1453, whereas the Catholic Church is still here. The gates of hell still haven't prevailed.

We aren't welcoming Mar Bawai and his flock simply because we want more members. We're welcoming them because we want to help them get to heaven, and we want to restore to Jesus some of his straying sheep.

And his members also who are all very new members, motivated by political agendas, similar to the agendas of LUTHER who attacked your own Church. But funny how such reprehensible actions can be accepted when it benefits you.

Again, I understand there is bound to be hard feelings when a religious body loses a part of their members to another religious body. Your comments seem excessive and ill-targeted. Can Mar Bawai, who defends the primacy of the Holy See, be rightly compared to Luther, who sought to separate Catholics from the unity of the Church and their obedience to Peter's Successor?

King said...

"But funny how such reprehensible actions can be accepted when it benefits you"

Aziza "The Rock" GOD BLESS YOU, and BRAVO!!!!!!!!!!
finally some common basic sense!!

King said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Rock of Faith said...

Jordanees, you have some guts to call other Christians "strayign sheep". Just be careful you do not place a stumbling block before the Faithful, just as the Pharisees did, closing the gates of heaven before the faces of the believers. ALL WHO BELIEVE IN CHRIST WILL BE SAVED, this is the common message of Christ Himself and St. Paul, as well as Peter in His letters, CHRIST IS THE WAY, and if one has Christ (in truth) he needs NOTHIGN ELSE, neither the Pope nor anyone. You have made a god of the pope, but he and the other patriarchs, after their apostolic seats have merely been comission to PREACH THE MESSAGE of salvation, not to offer salvation BY THEIR OWN POWER. ONE is the man who can offer salvation, and it is He, who gave Himself up as a perfect and blemish-less sacrifice. The Body of Christ and His Church is ONE, and HE IS THE HEAD! He is the CORNER STONE! HE IS THE ROCK! Why would Christianity rebuke paganism, for worshipping the perishables of the earth, and then establish itself on a mere mortal man? I assure you, if your faith is in the pope, then your faith is dead with the pope... but if your faith is in Christ, then it is ETERNAL for Christ has claimed victory over Death! Wake up and stop thinking as earthly men! CHrist rebuked many times, the apostles who while lacking the Holy Spirit asked stupid and earthly questions such as WHO would be FIRST in Heaven. Christ rebuked two apostles sayign they COULD NOT DRINK OF THE CUP HE WAS PREPARED TO DRINK, THE CUP OF SUFFERING. His cup was a perfect sacrifice... no one else can drink of it. Even through martyrdom, which many apostles of East and West gave, it was not the same sacrifice as Christ, but rather a mere image of the TRUE Sacrifice given by Christ, which is why St. Peter himself refused to be cruxified in the same manner as His Lord, and rather was cruxified head-down. Since Vatican II your CHurch, with all due respect, has truly lost hold of the Biblical Spirit. Your Ecumenism, is not a way to bring people's faiths together, but rather to get more parishoners, and extend your Empire. Before you go outside your own Church, trying to save souls, you should try saving the thousands of secular Catholics in the USA who go around preachign contraception and abortion... as you know, BOTH of these and many more secular beliefs which Your Own Catholic Brothers and Sisters claim, are condemned by Catholic Dogma.
In closing I leave you with a quote from St. Peter Himself, the Blessed Martyr, who you guys have turned into a power-hungry Tyrant. Let this quote be a reminder to you of his TRUE INTENT, aside from what twisted intentions you guys have read into him, to rationalize your own empire-building.

1 St. Peter 2: 17- 3:8.

17Since you call on a Father who judges each man's work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. 18For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

22Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.[b] 23For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24For,
"All men are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
25but the word of the Lord stands forever."[c] And this is the word that was preached to you.

Also from the Second chapter:

4As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— 5you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6For in Scripture it says:
"See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame."[a] 7Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,
"The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone,[b]"[c] 8and,
"A stone that causes men to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall."[d] They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.

A Simple Sinner said...

Carlos thank you for the link! See also:

Mar Bawai Soro & The Presentation to Synod in 2005

Post from BaghdadHope: Mar Bawai Soro

Father Jarjis Robert Sayd & Mar Bawai Soro At The Vatican: Hope, Defiance, Unity

Assyrians Electing To Enter Communion With Rome: Declaration Of Intent

Jordanes said...

Rock of Faith said: Jordanees, you have some guts to call other Christians "strayign sheep".

If I do, it is only due to God's grace.

Just be careful you do not place a stumbling block before the Faithful, just as the Pharisees did, closing the gates of heaven before the faces of the believers.

Welcoming my brothers in Christ into communion with the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church is opposite of closing the gates of heaven before the faces of believers. If I had denied them, then I would have cast a stumblingblock before them.

ALL WHO BELIEVE IN CHRIST WILL BE SAVED, this is the common message of Christ Himself and St. Paul, as well as Peter in His letters,

True, so far as it goes -- the rest, that you did not mention, is, All who believe in Christ and who persevere to the end will be saved. Anyone who dies in a state of alienation from God will be damned, whether they are Catholic or Assyrian or whatever.

CHRIST IS THE WAY, and if one has Christ (in truth) he needs NOTHIGN ELSE, neither the Pope nor anyone.

Sorry, that is not the teaching of Scripture nor the faith of the Church. You're talking like a Protestant with a low (non-existent) ecclesiology, for whom salvation is unrelated and unconnected to the Church.

You have made a god of the pope, but he and the other patriarchs, after their apostolic seats have merely been comission to PREACH THE MESSAGE of salvation, not to offer salvation BY THEIR OWN POWER.

If anyone has made a "god" of the Pope, it is Jesus. But yes, you are correct that the Pope and Catholic Patriarchs do not offer salvation by their own power. The Church's power belongs to and originates in God.

ONE is the man who can offer salvation, and it is He, who gave Himself up as a perfect and blemish-less sacrifice. The Body of Christ and His Church is ONE, and HE IS THE HEAD! He is the CORNER STONE! HE IS THE ROCK!

Again, what you say is true, so far as it goes, but you left out the part about the Body of Christ, the Church, being one with her Head, Jesus.

Why would Christianity rebuke paganism, for worshipping the perishables of the earth, and then establish itself on a mere mortal man?

Why indeed! The Catholic faith could never do that. Christ, however, did say that He would build His Church on Peter, the rock. It is Christ who did that, not the Church.

I assure you, if your faith is in the pope, then your faith is dead with the pope... but if your faith is in Christ, then it is ETERNAL for Christ has claimed victory over Death!

Why do you think that when a Christian believes what Jesus said about St. Peter, that means he has put his faith in St. Peter rather than in Jesus? Your reasoning here is defective, and truly bears all the old marks of anti-papal heresy and schism. So I can only call on you to take your own advice, and "wake up and stop thinking as earthly men."

Since Vatican II your CHurch, with all due respect, has truly lost hold of the Biblical Spirit.

Yeah, there are a lot of Catholics who would agree with that.

Your Ecumenism, is not a way to bring people's faiths together, but rather to get more parishoners, and extend your Empire.

You say that like it's a bad thing. But the Church is in the business of extending Christ's "imperium" in every human heart. Also, if you really think the Church before Vatican II didn't believe that all Christians should be in communion with and obedient to the Pope, well, as the song goes, I've got some prime oceanfront property in Arizona to sell you.

Before you go outside your own Church, trying to save souls, you should try saving the thousands of secular Catholics in the USA who go around preachign contraception and abortion... as you know, BOTH of these and many more secular beliefs which Your Own Catholic Brothers and Sisters claim, are condemned by Catholic Dogma.

No, God forbids us to deny the saving truth of the Gospel to anyone -- even while we are sinners, we are obligated to preach the Gospel and summon every Christian into the Catholic Church.

In closing I leave you with a quote from St. Peter Himself, the Blessed Martyr, who you guys have turned into a power-hungry Tyrant.

Please educate yourself in the teachings and beliefs of the Catholic Church before you start making pronouncements about what we believe. You're only making yourself look foolish.

The Rock of Faith said...

Your replies do not even touch the surface of the depth I would have hoped an educated man could have answered with. You only said whether or not my criticisms were wait you believe or not, but it wasn't the fact that you believe such things or not that I was argueing, rather I was argueing that such beliefs are Wrong. Thus, it is your job to defend your Church's Belief.. not simply say, YES thats the Catholic Faith. But WHY. If your dogmatism teaches the WHY :)
I think that our verbal discussion will be self explanitory as to whose theology is closer to the scriptures, and to the teachings of the fathers of the Church and oral tradition. If there is any doubt, then it is doubt which springs from personal pride and nationalism. But when you try and win souls to the Catholic Church rather than to Christ, you operate as a corportation, and not as a Church. But I will not bicker about your shortcommings, because they will be revealed in time. The Secularization of American and other Catholics, as well as the Molestation controversies are but a couple of the signs that your CHurch is unraveling because of its watering down, and politicization of the Faith of Christ. Only the Church which is founded upon Christ will last eternally, and will withstand... but corportations and empires will all see their downfall. I say this more as a warning, from a sister-Church than as something I am happy about, because surely the Seat of Peter is a proud Seat among the Apostolic Succession, in the same way that any of the Seats are, because they have foundation in Christs teachings, but when their message has been missunderstood and even twisted to forward earthly agendas, Christ no longer overlooks them. You will see this in time, as long as you guys simply defend your church, and do not take the faith passed down through the succession seriously. Again I say, Congradulations on attaining a new bishop and his secular nationalist members who have no other goal but to form a militia and run around Iraq with AK-47s. But remember, People who betray the Faith for gains, will be just as likely to betray you. The Chaldean Catholics are much more aware of the actions of this "bishop" and his politicial affiliations, but you guys are still ignorant, and only happy because its more citizens for your empire. But their concerns will truly be made manifest in short time. I suggest you all go do your homework and study what kind of people you guys have attained :) Peace be with You.

Jordanes said...

Rock of Faith said: Your replies do not even touch the surface of the depth I would have hoped an educated man could have answered with.

Perhaps your expectations were too low, then.

You only said whether or not my criticisms were wait you believe or not,

No, I also pointed out to you where you had misrepresented what the Scriptures say and what Catholics believe.

but it wasn't the fact that you believe such things or not that I was argueing, rather I was argueing that such beliefs are Wrong.

No, you we're arguing that at all, you were just asserting that they were wrong. But we already knew that an Assyrian would not believe what Jesus says about St. Peter and the Church. There was hardly any need for you to come here and tell us.

Thus, it is your job to defend your Church's Belief.. not simply say, YES thats the Catholic Faith.

When you say something that agrees with Catholic truth, what is there for me to defend?

I think that our verbal discussion will be self explanitory as to whose theology is closer to the scriptures, and to the teachings of the fathers of the Church and oral tradition.

The Fathers of the Church and Apostolic Tradition are emphatically clear about the primacy of the Apostolic See of Rome.

If there is any doubt, then it is doubt which springs from personal pride and nationalism.

You belong to a church that is identified with the ancient Assyrian nation. I belong to a church that is identified with every nation on earth. So if there's any nationalism and personal pride here, I think it's more likely to be in the opposite party.

But when you try and win souls to the Catholic Church rather than to Christ, you operate as a corportation, and not as a Church.

Again, you are assuming that the Catholic Church is not the Mystical Body of Christ. If the Church is the Body of Christ, then to win souls to the Catholic Church is to win souls to Christ, who is one with His Body of which He is the Head.

The Secularization of American and other Catholics, as well as the Molestation controversies are but a couple of the signs that your CHurch is unraveling because of its watering down, and politicization of the Faith of Christ. Only the Church which is founded upon Christ will last eternally, and will withstand... but corportations and empires will all see their downfall.

Christ promised that the Catholic Church would never succumb to death -- but He made no such promise to the American Catholic Church, or the Irish Catholic Church . . . or the Assyrian Church of the East.

I say this more as a warning, from a sister-Church than as something I am happy about, because surely the Seat of Peter is a proud Seat among the Apostolic Succession, in the same way that any of the Seats are,

No, not in the same way as the other Sees. It was to Peter alone that Christ said, "You are rock," and it was to Peter alone that Christ said, "I have prayed for you that your faith not fail," and it was to Peter alone that Christ said, "Strengthen the brethren," and it was to Peter alone that Christ said, "Feed My sheep." The Fathers acknowledged that Peter's primacy and principality was given to the Church of Rome and to no other See.

because they have foundation in Christs teachings, but when their message has been missunderstood and even twisted to forward earthly agendas, Christ no longer overlooks them.

The Roman Church has never lost the faith, and we have faith in Christ's promise that she never will.

You will see this in time, as long as you guys simply defend your church, and do not take the faith passed down through the succession seriously.

On the contrary, it is those who do not acknowledge their need for unity with the Roman pontiff who are not taking the Apostolic Faith seriously enough.

Again I say, Congradulations on attaining a new bishop and his secular nationalist members who have no other goal but to form a militia and run around Iraq with AK-47s.

I would refer you to Aesop's fable of the fox and the grapes.

But remember, People who betray the Faith for gains, will be just as likely to betray you.

If their conversion is insincere, it will become evident soon enough. However, accepting the Petrine Primacy is not "betraying the Faith," but adhering to it.

The Chaldean Catholics are much more aware of the actions of this "bishop" and his politicial affiliations, but you guys are still ignorant, and only happy because its more citizens for your empire.

Interesting that you put the word "bishop" in scare quotes. Are you suggesting that he's not a validly ordained bishop, that he lacks legitimacy and apostolic succession? If so, then you would be effectively denying that the Assyrian Church of the East is a true Church with true sacraments. If Mar Bawai is a "bishop," then so must all the Assyrian bishops be as well.

As for your suggestion that Chaldean Catholics might not be too pleased with his reconciliation, well, since he has already been reconciled with the Chaldean Catholic Church, there's nothing to worry about on that front.

As I've said, it's understandable that an Assyrian would be unhappy about an Assyrian bishop coming to accept what the ancient undivided Church believed about the Successor of St. Peter, but still that does not excuse your coming to a Catholic weblog and posting defamatory remarks and heterodox opinions.

But their concerns will truly be made manifest in short time. I suggest you all go do your homework and study what kind of people you guys have attained :) Peace be with You.

LeonG said...

On DW TV recently in a documentary covering pilgrimages of Germans to the Holy Land, a German woman who is a modern catholic gave answer to a question as to what was wrong in the Catholic church today. Her reply was that we must be more committed to the pope.

This is a disorientated and dysfunctional sense of commitment. And there is the crux of the disorientation in modern church. First, the Catholic must surely be more committed to The Roman Catholic Faith as it has been consistently and authoritatively taught to us, not just by one pope. Surely, our devotion to The Christ and Apostolic teaching is essential. Where popes reinforce this unambiguously and propagate orthodoxy then it is worthy of our commitment. Otherwise it is not.

Second, it does not occur to modern catholics that the papacy was stripped of its primacy by the Pauline conciliar establishment. This was further buttressed under the government of Secretary of State. Reorganising the Holy See & collegial governance has subsequently undermined the primacy of the papacy. Who can be committed to what is essentially an un-Catholic principle of governance?

Third, many modern catholics who cry obedience to the pope are in fact disobedient in that they practice artificial methods of birth control, advocate married clergy, a female priesthood and support multiple liturgical abuses every week in attending such abusive liturgies.

Whichever church, sect or cult has membership of the modern catholic church today it is into such an organisation they must fit. This situation is far removed from the pre-conciliar Roman Catholic Church. However, such changes and novelties we are assured officially are part and parcel of the hermeneutic of "continuity" and "living tradition". It sounds very much akin to emptying words of their proper meaning.

Jordanes said...

LeonG said: First, the Catholic must surely be more committed to The Roman Catholic Faith as it has been consistently and authoritatively taught to us, not just by one pope. Surely, our devotion to The Christ and Apostolic teaching is essential. Where popes reinforce this unambiguously and propagate orthodoxy then it is worthy of our commitment. Otherwise it is not.

That's not what it says in Vatican I's Pastor Aeternus. To be committed to the Roman Catholic faith entails being subject to the Pope. We don't just subject ourselves to the Holy See when we happen to agree with what the Holy See teaches.

Second, it does not occur to modern catholics that the papacy was stripped of its primacy by the Pauline conciliar establishment.

No one and nothing on earth has the power to strip the papacy of its primacy.

Reorganising the Holy See & collegial governance has subsequently undermined the primacy of the papacy. Who can be committed to what is essentially an un-Catholic principle of governance?

There's nothing un-Catholic about the principle that every bishop is, like the Pope, a true successor of the apostles, and yet subject to him and dependent on communion with him for their catholicity and proper jurisdiction. Indeed, in the Latin Church the Pope directly appoints the other bishops, something that wasn't done in the past. If one is looking for an allegedly un-Catholic principle of governance, I would think one could make a stronger case against papal appointments of bishops than against the Catholic concept of collegiality.

The Roman papacy has always held the primacy, but history shows that she has not always exercised her primacy in the same way.

Third, many modern catholics who cry obedience to the pope are in fact disobedient in that they practice artificial methods of birth control, advocate married clergy, a female priesthood and support multiple liturgical abuses every week in attending such abusive liturgies.

Yeah, we've got Catholics like that -- but usually the Catholics who use contraception, advocate for priestesses or married priests, etc., don't cry obedience to the Pope at all. Quite the contrary.

LeonG said...

Being subject to the Holy See does not oblige us to subject ourselves to the actions or statements of a pope where they scandalise the faith or place our own faith in danger. I would have thought that many Catholics would have learned that one by now following the last papacy. But evidently not. Many of the liturgical activities of the last papacy encouraged illicitness. This is well documented. Obey that? Subject yourself to that? there would have been no resistance to Pope Paul VI (RIP)and his protestantised liturgical movement otherwise.

The reality of the post-conciliar papacy is that episcopal disobedience is rewarded rather than disciplined (Law, Bernadin, Levada, Niderauer etc etc.) The French episcopacy with some German and American friends have consistently resisted papal directives on the liturgy and other aspects of church governance. The post-conciliar papacies have facilitated this process by silence or withdrawal. Cardinal Ratzinger experienced that with his problems over the post-conciliar French Catechism. Popes behave practically speaking today as though they are a mere bishop among bishops which they are not. Pope Benedict XVI, laudably stood his ground on the SP. and has looked a little more the part but the predecessor was noted for not wishing to be appear unpopular at cost.

My practical day to day experience with catholics over the years demonstrates amply the last point I make - I have confounded several modern catholics with their "obey the pope" rant exposing just how hypocritical their perspectives are. There are other issues too over which such people are out of step such as liturgical comportment, neglect of Confession in going to Holy Communion and so on. However, this is not just disobeying the pope - it is disobeying the consistent teachings of The Roman Catholic Faith, not just of one pope but of the collective and consistent many. In any case, the last two popes have distributed Holy Communion to protestants. Subject oneself to the consistent teachings of the Roman Catholic Faith and its Holy See but not where they themselves put the Faith in doubt and provoke scandal to it by their own disobedience.

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Anonymous said...

The Catholic church has just recieved a criminal bishop who stole our church properties and lied to the Assyrian nation, and was the cause of my cousins divorce to his wife, because of their church differences, and he used to say to us its all in the name of "unity" pfttt wateva, WOOOW the catholics seem so happy, they dont realise they have just accepted a man who will stir up so much problems in the catholic church for his own benifits, just like he did with the Assyrians, anyways the Assyrian church has got rid of him which is further a sign of God cleansing the Assyrian church of its traitors and backstabbing members and cleregy, May God Bless His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV Assyrian church Patriarch, you will always be our beloved leader and we will fight to keep this church alive till the end of time!

the rock of Faith said...

If you had any education about the Church fo the East, you would know that it is not only for the Assyrian nation, we have zdozens of Churches in India, as well as many English parishes for Australians, and those in Chicago, Yonkers, Seattle etc. As for my quotes around bishop, it has nothing to do with the authority of my Church, but rather the authority of that bishop, who is suspended from all pastoral duty.
As for the Chaldean Chruch accepting the former bishop, that is false. The Chaldean patriarch and Cardinal fo the Roman Catholic Church has not accepted, nor shown any interest in accepting this bishop.. because he knows the bishop's political affiliations. But I would love to see a declaration from him. Rather this is a local revolution which was initiated between the former bishop, and Chaldean BBishop Sarhad Jammo of San Diego. But acceptance from one bishop in SD doesn't equal full communion, if it did, then your catholic system of magistarium is a joke. The rest of your message was merely a defense of your defense, but not yet offering a true arguement against the claims I meant that the bible consistently refers to unity through FAITH in Christ, and not through obedience to one Earthly Man. But I would love to hear your arguement for that, other than the couple misinterpreted quotes you have offered. Because Christ did not say ON PETER WILL I BUILD MY CHURCH, but rather ON THIS ROCK, and the rock in Aramaic was said in feminine, so obvciously didn't refer to the name KEPA/PETER, but rather was using the symbolism for Faith, such as building the house on a ROCK, and as Christ being the CORNER STONE. Christs talk about there being ONE FLOCK and ONE Shepherd says it best, and who that Good shepherd is, is quite clear. You can twist the words of Christ to fit your own wills, and to fit your personal interests to dominate, but you will certainly not be doing yourselves a favor as teachers, and surely not your parishoners, who have already gotten sick of the Catholic Church trying to Dominate them, rather than trying to win souls to Christ.

the rock of faith said...

Anonymous, I'm also sorry to hear about the divorce of your cousin. Amongst our nation, where the Family is SO important, as it was throughout the Bible it is a tragedy for this one unfaithful man to have offended that blessed feature.
It is a shame that the most comfort a Catholic can give you, is the same comfort that the ex-bishop and his crownies told their youth who left their parents, siblings etc. That CHRIST CAME NOT FOR PEACE BUT AS A SWORD to divide members of households.. and in doing so likened our ANCIENT faith which has survived persecution after persecution and kept those authentic teachings of Christ, to mere Jews as if their family members are leaving to a new faith. But it is the same faith, just a new name... we never put faith in the NAME but rather in The Lord, but it appears this is how this Catholic Empire operates. And do not feel so bad, apparently similar revolts have recently happened in orthodox Churches, and they are beginning to uncover the plot behind them all. But even with all these plots, the Catholic CHurch will not be able to turn back the hands in time, not so easily anyways. The only way is to teach the Truth faith.. not this watered down message to attract more members to its kingdom... and stealing other Churches' members will not uncover the weaknesses within the American Catholic Clergy which became apparent before the entire world. My Advice to the catholic Church would be to preach Christianity to those who Don't know, and stop stealing members who are already Christians, and baptizing (figuritively) them as if they were heathens before. St. Paul himself says that we should avoid going to evangelize in areas which have already been visited by the other apostles... I would suggest that the Catholics do the same, because stealing already baptized and faithfull Christians is not only the chicken way out, but it looks like the Protestant way, which the Catholics have long rebuked.

Anonymous said...

I was one of the first Anons. I asked a question about whether the Assyrians who converted had made a statement rejecting Nestorianism. I also made a statement to the effect that the Assyrian language was not theologically developed well enough to merit holding on to its traditional form.

1. After some cursory Wikipedia research, it appears that the "Assyrian Church of the East" signed a Christological document with the Roman Catholic Church in 1984. As such, at the formal and official levels, there is a theological understanding on Christology that both the Catholic Church and this Assyrian Church agree to. This would mean that no further repudiation of ancient heresies would be required.

2. I wanted to apologize for my ignorance regarding the Assyrian language. I did not make the mental leap that this was the ancient Syriac, a language which I respect much being also a hobbyist delving into Astronomy. The Syriac language has helped Biblical exegetes understand the texts in Matthew related to the Star of Bethlehem much more profoundly, being that the Magi were Syriac speaking. The Magi would have preached the Virgin Birth of the Messiah in Syriac when they went back to their homelands. As such, it is quite possible that Syriac was the first language in which pagans heard the Gospel. When Joseph and Mary with baby Jesus fled to Egypt some time later, the Gospel would have gone to the Copts, but the Syriacs may well have claim to being the first non Israelites to hear the good news.

I apologize that my comments regarding the language of the Assyrians caused offense. As a Roman Catholic, I fully appreciate that there are 18 valid linguistic rites within the Catholic family. I don't, nor does any faithful Catholic believe that Latin is the only legitimate liturgical language of the Church. I love Latin and the theological depth it can be used to convey in my opinion is second to none, but that is my liturgical language and I love it. I did not realize that members of the Assyrian Church of the East were reading these comments, and therefore had no intention of awareness that my comments would offend.

To the non-Catholic Assyrians who have posted on this blog, I will say charitably the following:

1. Catholics do not make of the Pope a god. He is the Primate of Primates. This is the meaning of the "keys of the kingdom" that Our Lord Himself gave to St Peter. The Keys to a kingdom represent the rule of a kingdom. Peter was the Prime Minister of Christ's Kingdom, his deputy ruler, just as Holy Joseph in the Old Testament was given the keys by the Pharaoh of Egypt. Remember that Christ Himself declared to His Apostles "Those whom you loose will be loosed and those you bind will be bound". Christ gave to His Apostles His own authority to rule his sheep, and to forgive sins, but to Peter alone to rule the entire flock (Feed my sheep). Peter alone receive I appreciate that you do not agree with this, but it is not right for you to accuse of idolatry. For many Eastern Patriarchs saw in Peter's SUccessor at Rome the primate of them all, and the confusion among the Eastern bishops caused by the 251 AD schism of the anti pope Novatian is certainly proof that this view of Petrine primacy is very ancient and survived the persecutions of pagan Rome.

2. Peter himself was not perfect or sinless, and nor are his successors. But God Himself assures him, as part of his promise of indefectability to His entire Church, of a certain charism of infallibility when He speaks as the visible leader of the entire Church on matters of faith and morals. St Peter alone received the vision from God that the Gentiles should be permitted into the Church. The rest of the Apostles did not question Peter's authority and vision from God to establish this new rule at the Council of Jerusalem recorded in Acts.

3. Some comments from you indicate that you feel that Roman Catholics are "stealing" sheep from other legitimate flocks. Ignoring for the time being that I doubt at all that the converse situation -Assyrian non-Catholics faced with Assyrian Catholics looking to leave Rome to join Mar Dinkha IV for example - would see Assyrian non-Catholics telling these Catholics not to join them. No one is stealing sheep here. This Assyrian bishop and his priests, deacons and laity have themselves *requested* to join Rome. To refuse them would be at once rude and uncharitable.

4. Others have stated that this bishop is at once a thief and one who has instigated evil by promoting divorce. If this is true, it is sad. If one can see in his desire to turn to the Petrine see as a sign of conversion perhaps these alleged past sins of his will no longer be manifest in his conduct. If he is leaving his old ecclesial community to join Rome so that he continue a life of sin, no one will fool the Holy Spirit. But an honest Christian in the spirit of St Paul would say let us not judge the man, and see if his conversion is real, and pray and help him to abandon any sinful tendencies he may have. After all, who are we to judge, who have sinned before God Himself?

4. Finally, while you condemn ecumenism, you simultaneously make the claim that only "believing in Christ" is needed for salvation, which in itself caters to an ecumenical "super Church". THis latter would be the "whore of Babylon", pardon the reference to one of your ancient cities. While some extremists in the Catholic Church like a certain Cardinal Walter Kasper certainly speak of ecumenism in terms like this, albeit never very clearly, a "legitimate" ecumenism is one which seeks to explain each other's theological positions. This is the first step to a true missionary work. St Paul engaged in some ecumenical dialogue with the pagan Romans of his own day when he explained to them that he was preaching the "Unknown God" that they made some room for in their pantheon. When John Paul 2 and Mar Dinkha IV agreed on the "Christological" document of 1984 for example, they agreed that their divisions were not based on Christological theology and spelled out a document that enumerated what in their mutual views was a theologically sound view of the nature of the Christ. I have not studied that document myself, but therein one would hope that any errors related to Monophysitism, Nestorianism, Monotheletism or any other Christological error of the past 2000 years were repudiated by both sides. Therefore, by virtue of that ecumenical discussion, it is assumed to be established that the true division between Assyrian and Catholic lies in Petrine Primacy and possibly the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Mother of God.

5. The Assyrian Church has had to struggle with its own internal issues. In the Roman Catholic Church, thanks to some perversely lax bishops, sodomites gained a foothold in a number of western dioceses, causing grave harm to children and scandal to the world. From what I can gather the Assyrian Church has had to struggle with the sin of hereditary Patriarchates for many hundreds of years, which one can hope that Mar Dinkha IV has put an end to. Let us also remember that Our Lord Himself had Judas as his money collector. Would those observing condemn Christ because of Judas? Would they be right?

I do not seek to offend Assyrians. This is a Roman Catholic blog and my comments were made to those I believed to be Roman Catholics. Having apologized, I pray for you to grow in your love for Jesus Christ, and to see in His giving the keys of His Kingdom to Peter, His will that all be united in love for him with Peter's successors.

May the Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart of Mary, who led and inspired Peter and the Apostles in the Upper Room, to pray for the Holy Spirit to come upon them and fill them with His gifts, intercede for us all, She is who is our Mother leading all to Her Son to "Do as He says".

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

The Rock of Faith said...

1. It is true that Our Faith was accepted by the Roman Catholic Church, but it is false that we have condemned Nestorius. Rather it is the Roman Catholic CHurch which said that they had initially missunderstood Nestorius, and that infact his teachings that Christ was TRUE MAN and TRUE GOD is an orthodox and authentic teaching based on the scriptures and oral tradition passed down from the forefathers. There was already some doubt that Nestorius was not a heretic starting from the council at Chalcedon. There is also prooof that the condemnation of Nestorius' teachings was due to political involvement between Cyril and the Sister of the Emperor. But all this is well documented and already accepted by the Roman Catholic CHurch so I will not go into it. But I assure you that Nestorius is NOT condemned by our Church, neither by Yours, and neither by the Chaldeans who use OUR liturgy, interjected with prayers from Nestorius.

2. Apology accepted. But Syriac/Aramaic was not simply the language used to transfer the Message to Pagans, rather also to Jews and people who had already believed in One God in Mesopotamea as recorded in the story of Jonah's trip to Nineveh. We must not forget that after the Jewish subjugation in Babylon, many of those jews had assimilated and were speaking Aramaic as their mother tongue, as they still do today in Northern Iraq. This is significant because it was this commonality of language between the East and Christ Himself which enabled the Message to travel quickly to the east of Jeruselem, and which has enabled such a precise theological and biblical representation of what Christ taught. This fact is well understood if ANYONE compares Peshitta manuscripts of the oldest complete Bible, in the Syriac, with any modern english translation. As evidence of the prior point, I refer you to the text, THE DOCTRINE OF ADDAI, which gives an account of the Edessan king, King Abgarus who was in communication with Christ and who converted his state into a Christian State, believing in Christ and his prophesized Death and Resurection, during the actual life of Christ. This is the beginnings of the Church of the East. Before anyone talks about Papal Primacy, it is an important history to know, and I would recommend that text.

1. The verses you gave to support the Pope's primacy are wellr ecieved, but your interpretation that they should be JUST for Peter is what the non-Catholic Christian World rejects, simply because it would be a contradiction of earlier quotes which I already presented from Christ. Also that the Apostloes collectively have the authority from Christ is well taken, but it must be clear WHO made such authority possible. If your mother bakes a cake well, and you wish to thank her, you might be more indebted to the writter of the Recipe she used, for the Recipe and its maker is the First Cause, and Christ is the First cause of our Salvation, and in general God, whose Will it was that we should be reconciled with His Authority. When I reject is that the authority entrusted to the apostles should be used instead of as a mediator, but rather as a stumbling block between Church and Christ. Christ gave the apostolic petition, to GO OUT AND PREACH THE GOSPEL, AND BAPTIZE IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT... this petition was equally given to ALL apostles, and I hardly think that the Baptisms St. Peter initiated were better than the baptisms any of the other apostles initiated in the four-corners of the earth. Neither was the Eucharistic Mass, which started very early in the East, any less accepted by God than that which was initiated by St. Peter. Why? Because they are all initiated from the power given by CHRIST, not a power given by another apostle. But rather that Peter has been made into the single authority among apostles is simply the product of subjectivist ideas that the Roman Empire and its love for power has read into the history. I'm sure if Peter was sent to Jeruselem, and that say... Thomas was sent to Rome, then the Romans would have made Thomas the highest of all apostles. Unfortunately this is resedue from a pagan outlook on life, which though it was in the process of change, it did not change quick enough and tainted the transition to Christianity and the Message of Christ. Whereas in the East, whether by Judaism or by other monotheistic religions which might have developed seperately, the East was already poised and ready for the comming of the Messiah. This is why Christ commanded that the apostles should FIRST preach to the Lost Sheep of Israel. Christianity for the East was truly a FULLFILLMENT of the LAW, in the West it was the establishment of a entirely NEW LAW, a new way of life and faith structure. Again, in the letters of Peter, it is clear that some are written from Babylon, I have heard some funny arguements that Babylon means Rome (how convenient) but I would love to invite any defenders of the Papal Primacy, to say how Babylon means Rome, and more importantly give textual evidences where in the past, Babylon was used to refer to Rome. Babylon by the way, is a synonym for Seleucia Ctesiphon which is the official seat of the Church fo the East, that is where it was established and lasted, though moving because of persecution. Later after the Chaldeans broke off in the 1550s Rome named their Seat the seat of Babylon... which was a law blow to say the least, and was an attempt to twist the history. But it has only lead to silly outcomes such as the chaldean PATRIARCH (which mind you, means HIGHEST FATHER) who is also Cardinal... a direct a-priori contradiction of what Patriarch means. But anyways, I would love to see evidence of Babylon being used to refer to Rome in texts.

2. If indeed Christ named Peter infallible, which i personally think is borderline blasphemous to name any man infallible but Christ who was also Full God, unless that man have complete and utter faith, which is difficult to find and even then non-moral mistakes can still be made. But if indeed your teaching is that St. Peter, and I assume the Seat of St. Peter is infallible (which mind you was not dogmatized by the Catholic Church until later, and is by the way not truly being held seriously, just from observing how Catholics speak about Pope benedict even on his recent trip to the USA) but if thats your belief, I would love to see how you would then justify such institutional sins, such as the Crusades, or past popes who got married, or the one Pope who was a woman in disguise. How would infallibility, taken seriously, explain such events?

3. I say stealing not because they left, they were surely free to leave. But the Eastern CHurch is rather angry because this bishop has tried to Destroy Her. The move to become catholic was only because the rest of his plan failed, but it was acompanied by malicious and slanderous TV channels on satelite by some very low class and atheistic Assyrians, who were funded by the former Bishop and his political team. As well as his plans to take our Churches from us, and leave the majority of believers in California who are still loyal to the Mother CHurch out in the streets, including my own parish, which was told we could not under except with the permission of the former bishop, only a WEEK before Christmas, but which we went to court on, and were opened to us, because the note was infelicitous. If he would have left in Peace, more power to him, but his plan was and IS to destroy our CHurch, in order to make our members dependant upon your Church. And our members will NEVER be dependant upon anyone, but CHRIST, and our members are VERY loyal to Christ, because they have given their lives, literally, for Christ throughout the ugly history of persecution in the East, which continues on today. But beyond the Bishop's evil intention to destroy the Church of the East (which by the way is attested to by his followers) it has been made obvious that the Roman Catholic Church has also had a hand in the Bishops intentions. Namely the political declarations given by figures such as Cardinal Kasper, in flagrant support of the former bishop, and condemning our own Church despite his lack of knowledge. As well as other figures from the Catholic Church, who AFTER his suspension have gone to his schismatic cult and again, flagrantly idolized the former bishop and condemned our Church. We have some suspicion that his plan itself, which was given to us by priests who turned away from his plot, was also developed with the guidance of certain officials within the Catholic Church. As well as his constant plottings with the Chaldean Bishop of SAN DIEGO, Bishop Sarhad Jammo, who together, have worked out this political agenda to unite CHurches for political reasons in Iraq, without the knowledge of either the Chruch fo the East nor the Chaldean Patriarch's knowledge or consent. We also have suspicious and there will be developments on this issue in the near future, of funding for the former bishop and his political supporters from the Catholic Church. When one looks at the fact that such revolutions have occured in the recent past with many other Churches, including the Russian Orthodox Church as of recent, one is tempted to wonder if there is not a third-party involved, motivating such schisms, and because of our long history with the schism-creating Catholic Church with regard to the Chaldean Schism, it is clear where the suspicion is placed. But again, developments will only lead our intuitions to be satisfied, but the real blame of the Catholic Church now, is for supporting a Bishop who has broken the laws of God and Church, because it is of a benefit to them. This is the same political tactic, which made the US government support and install the regime of Saddam Hussein, because though a horrible man, he benefitted the US, as well as the Samoza regime in Nicaragua, who you guys should be familiar with, because your own Arch Bishop ROMERO's life was taken during those times.

4. Agreed that the Holy Spirit knows, but often the strength of MAN is used as a front for the Hoyl Spirit. When you gather millions together, or put them in a gold plated cathedral, they may feel the Spirit, but it is rather the collectivity which they feel. This was common among pagans, and is just a feature of our psychology. Thus, it is not our duty to simpyl default to the Holy pirit, but actually ACT to be sure that it is indeed the Spirit which is active in our Churches. As for us not being able to judge, I think your wrong, I think Christ sufficiently taught that BY DEEDS YOU CAN DECIPHER ONES FAITH. That a good tree bears GOOD fruit. One whose schism is based upon the theft Chruch property, the illegal taking of Loans on Church property to sink us into debt by forging and lieing to titling companies, as well as slandering Clergy is not the sort of Deeds I would hope a good tree would bear, but perhaps our concepts of Good Trees are divided.

4.2. I do not nor ever will condemn ecumenism, what I condemn is this earthly conception that to be a UNITY body of Christ there must be one man who rules it like an empire. I cannot go beyond the teaching of St. Paul who named all our individual chruches as parts of the body of Christ, but HE IS THE HEAD. It is through faith in him, which motivates me STILL to look at a Catholic or an Orthodox as my brother and to look out for their interests. It is for this reason that pastoral offices will NEVER be denied to any Christian who is Baptized in the faith of Christ. It is not our Church which denies and condemns Unity through Christ, rather it is your Church, who creates new standards, and in doing so marginalizes fellow Christians, who unlike many protestants, ACTUALLY have maintained the authentic faith and rituals. This move toward ecumenism, through accepting the Pope, is as superficial as those who simply call LORD LORD< but lack the internal disposition. Well our internal disposition is the same as yours toward Christ, and this is what should primarily matter, as far as faith goes. Now as far as Poltiical power goes, it is plain to understand the motivations of the Catholic Church, but to bring such earthly concerns of power and human dominion and pride into a Church is to condemn itself. And in forcing such dominion upon others, not only do you make it less likely for them to unite in such a way, but even the pure and biblical concept of unity through faith and seeking one another's wellbeing which exists in our hearts, is being extinguished, because more and more we see that the Plots of the Catholics are to treat us as worst than an enemy, despite our common faith. And the animosity which has NOW taken root in our Church Members, though the clergy is more temperent and has resisted such, is difficult to control, especially when many have suffered schisms within the family as was attested to priorly by ANONYMOUS, and overall psychological disturbance and distraction from the true Goal of the Church... this, our members blame the former bishop for, but also his Catholic Supporters such as Cardinal Kasper, and others who have come out publically, and others yet who will be exposed in time.

5. I will not debate about events which have happened in each church which are clear violations of the Will of God, but I would love to see, again, how your theory of infallibility can make sense of such events, at least within your own Church. All I will say is that the Hereditary succession of Patriarchs which took place within the Shimun family, was a neccesary move during a time of great persecution and unrest in Mesopotamea. The Patriarch's nephew would be taken, from an early age to be taught the faith, so that he would be best fit to take over once the current patriarch was either killed or died of sickness etc. Otherwise, education was difficult to come by, because even the most basic of neccesities were earned with great burdens. So if this is to be deemed wrong, it surely is wrong in a different way than the way child molestation, for example, is wrong.

Anonymous said...

1. Yes, it was always debated because Nestorius claimed to believe that Christ was fully God and fully man. Yet, Nestorius always denied that it was correct to call Mary "Mother of God". He insisted that she could only be called "Mother of Christ". As such, the fruit of his tree is a dichotomy - on the one hand claiming that Christ, as one person, was fully God and fully Man - yet denying that the human parent of the person of Christ, who is God, could be called Mother of God. The Catholic Church, in line with Chalcedon, perenially reaffirms the orthodoxy of conferring the title Mother of God. In this regard, Nestorius must always be held suspect of heresy, even if in his heart he held to the orthodox view. I'm not sure if Rome would agree with your take on the Christological document, but let's just agree that both Catholic and Assyrians reached an agreement that there are no Christological differences between them.

2. Thanks for the history.

3. No one is stating that Peter alone could effect the Eucharistic sacrifice, or baptize, or confer sacraments. Otherwise, Catholics would all flock to the Pope instead of their local parish priest. Peter's place of primacy does not mean his sacraments are more efficacious than that of other bishops, patriarchs. I am sure the Assyrians would not believe that Mar Dinkha IV's baptisms are more efficacious than those of the bishops and priests who report to him. His is simply a place of authority in the hierarchy. Peter's successors have a place of authority and leadership over the successors of the other Apostles. Period. Receiving sacraments from the Pope or any bishop or priest in communion with him have the same efficacy because the sacramental grace comes from God, through his representative, the priest.

3. Re your question about Peter's and Petrine infallibility. You can read in Wikipedia or Catholic Encyclopedia the proper definition of what the Catholic Church teaches. It does not teach that the Pope is always infallible in every thing. He is infallible only when teaching *ex cathedra* (as supreme pontiff) to the ENTIRE CHURCH on matters of faith and morals. PRactically what does this mean? 99.999% of what the Pope does has no divine guarantee of infallibility. He is not infallible in his personal opinions. He is not infallible even when teaching on matters of faith and morals, if he is not doing so ex cathedra to the entire church. The Pope can die in mortal sins and go to hell. This is not terribly difficult to surmise when one considers that a few (very few it must be noted) Popes have had mistresses and children out of wedlock, and even plotted the murder of their opponents. Popes have had to be corrected on theological positions by their subordinate theologians (eg John XXII, St Peter corrected by St Paul on the issue of eating with Jews to the exclusion of eating with Gentiles). Popes have been condemned as abetting heresy (eg Pope Honorius I). As such, Catholics do not claim that the Pope is infallible, always or most of the times, but only in certain very specific circumstances. Otherwise, the dichotomy would be that a Pope is declared pernially infallible even if he has committed mortal sins, which is obviously an untenable position.

4. No, I was attempting to state that child molestation compares to hereditary apostolic succession. My point was that Christ's Church is his undefiled spiritual bride, but her human members are very prone to sinning. I am sure that Assyrians have also struggled with sinful priests and bishops in their history. For example, I know that at one point in her history, Assyrians almost eliminated the celibate monasticism, although they later fought to reassert that tradition. Many Catholic priests are good and faithful men as well. But the perversions of a few are scandalous and this is the measure of discipline and leadership. Church leaders can be weak and let wickedness go unabated for a time. My point was that even Our Lord had a money collector like Judas in his ranks.

Your point about knowing a tree by its fruits is certainly most valid.

Here are some facts:

- The Catholic Church under the Holy Roman Pontiff survived brutal persecutions by Pagan Rome and eventually overtook it
- The Catholic Church took the Christian faith to all 4 corners of the earth
- The Catholic Church has produced myriads of holy saints and doctors
- The Catholic Church has maintained the very same and unchanged doctrine for 2000 years
- Being faithful to the Apostolic faith to the least iotum, God has blessed the Catholic Church with 1969 years on constant growth. Only in the last 40 years, as the Church leaders have waffled towards ecumenism instead of evangelization has the Church lost in numbers. This even when 5 million protestants in Europe broke from Rome in the 1500s, The Mother of God appeared to the Mayans and converted 9 million of them in 10 years in the same time frame, resulting is net gains for Holy Church. True that numbers are not everything. But as Christ Himself said "Be faithful to the things of God, and the rest will be added unto you".
- The Blessed Mother of God has granted many miraculous apparitions, messages, warnings and documented medical cures (eg Lourdes, Fatima, Guadaloupe).

I shall end here. All I can say is please do not jump to conclusions about what Catholics believe until you have researched them. I would suggest the Catholic encyclopedia at http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/.

This will be a good start especially on things like sacraments, the priesthood, the Papacy, Papal infallibility, and other teachings.

Meanwhile, rest assured of my daily prayers for you and your loved ones. I would highly recommend the prayer of the Rosary to you - Mary, Mother of God has granted me many blessings and much protection through Her intercession to Her DIvine son.

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

The Rock of Faith said...

1. It is true that Nestorius taught that Christ is both Fully Man and Fully God. What was denied, and what is still denied, is the term of Theotokos, Mother of God. For God is the first cause, who Himself could not have been caused. An unmoved mover who Himself was not moved. If st. Mary Never was, Christ would still be, because as in John 1:1- In the beginnign THERE WAS THE WORD AND THE WORD WAS WITH GOD.... but rather, St. Mary was the Mother of the Humanity of Christ. And it is true to say that without St. Mary, Christ, who is God, would not have been man, would not have worn the flesh as He did, by the Will of The Father. This is the teaching of the Church of the East, as it was, and as it is, and our Liturgy attests to this; Rome will be hard pressed to ever argue to us that The Purely Divine and intangeable God which we all worship could ever be born of a Human, even as blessed as St. Mary. For to give birth means to Bring Into Existence, and it is clear that the eternal Son who was with God Brasheeth, before time, could have ever been brought into existence, whether by Human or any other entity, except the flesh which the Eternal Son was clothed with.
To overthink such issues, and to overphilosophize to the extent to whcih they become not only beyond our abstract intellect, but also beyond the scripture's evidence, is to really be missguided in what is important in the faith. The meat of the incarnation, that is, its function to us, is clear to all sects of Christianity.

3. My point was not to compare the efficacy of the pastoral practices of a given patriarch to his priests, because it is wellknown that the power invested into one apostle or modern patriarch was passed down through the Laying of Hands, and again, it is the Spirit at Work, moreso than that given man. But my claim rather, is that BETWEEN Patriarchs, or Between Apostles, or Between Apostolic Churches, that the efficacy of pastoral services is equal. To say that St. Peter's Baptisms were as eficacious as St. Thomas' is to say today, that the Patriarch of Rome is as efficacious as the Patriarch of Selucia Ctesiphon, as well as the Patriarch of Jeruselem, and the Patriarch of Antioch. And the equality of the efficacy of their pastoral services is in virtue of each Patriarch's Apostolic inheritence through the laying of hands, of the Holy Spirit, which was planted on the Pentecost, as well as a shared Faith in Christ. In the same way that Baptism is the potential, and that continued faith is the actualization of that baptism, the actualization fo the Holy Spirit within us... only for the clergy it is at another level. This was my point, that cross-Churches the Pastoral services, the legitimacy, the ability to teach the faith which gives salvation, is equal, because it is tied to Christ. As it is said, that the Vine which is connected to the root will bear fruits, but the vine which is seperate will dry and whither. Christ is the Root.

3. The characterization of Infallibility is confusing to me. Because when I normally hear the world INFALLIBLE used, that is quite Absolute. INFALLIBLE means without imperfection... and to refine the concept is to totally change the label. Thus, if the Pope is said to be Infallible, but yet can still sin, and even as you said go to hell (may it be far from his ordination) then really the term infallible loses its power. But still, even if infallibility is only to be extended to his teachings, then there appears to be a large grey area, which is clouding the line between what si taught and what isn't taught. it would seem that even events such as the Crusades would had to have had even a slight role of teaching in it. Because obviously catholics aren't born bloodthirsty and wanting to kill Muslims, as well as even Christians int he East, and anyone who didn't look white. It seems they would have had to have been taught, and who better to teach that than the Pope... I don't know the history fo the crusades, but I am forced to assuem that the Pope at the time would have had a central role in the events called the Crusades. To study further about infallibility would be interesting as a philosophical endeavour, but it is very foreign to my own faith. Only God is fallible, and True The Holy Spirit is present within Churches, but only insofar as tat Church is obedient to the Holy Spirit... which during the crusades was not the case obviously. In the same way that each one of us, are temples of the Holy Spirit, yet we certainly aren't infallible, unless we have true faith, and follow precisely the will fo the Holy Spirit. Even then, we are only talking about mere Moral Infallibility. Not an absolute infallibility for such things as mistaking what day of the week it is, or mistaking other brute facts.

As far as jumping to conclusions abotu the Catholic Dogma, I certainly do not. To me, every Church is valid, insofar as they are apostolic, and maintain the true and orthodox Faith which has been passed down through the Scriptures and Oral Tradition. For this reason, it is not neccesary that I go deep into Catholic Theology, to accept Catholics as brothers and sisters in Christ. But this brotherly respect is certainly questioned when certain events carried out by the Catholic Church stand in the way of my Own Church's forwarding the World of God... or when the Catholic Church missrepresents the faith, and redirects it at Man rather than God... and further, imposes that others should hold to such a faith. In such a situation, I find myself more in the position of a Christian who is called to Clean otu the Temple of God, to ensure that it is the place where God is worshipped, and I will do so with strength and strict rebuke... but out of love for the Faith rather than any personal animosity. That the Catholic Church is an authentic Church among Chruches established by the Apostles, and petitioned by Christ, was never even a concern to us before... and the unity amongst Catholics and Church fo the East members in iraq is still quite close, though an increasing animosity grows now due to currect issues, such as the ones you guys are praising on this blog. As the Christ himself says... UNLESS SOMONE IS AGAINST YOU, ASSUME HE IS WITH YOU... this is also our policy, the policy of peace, and unity of Faith... but when plots have been made manifest against our Church, much like the careless slaughter of our people during the crusades, as well as the political plot related to the Chaldean Schism in the 1550s... it is now that we realize that fellow Christians have acted out in a way that an enemy would, and we will certainly act wisely and cautiously, and demand that answers be given. Not theological answers, because our theology and faith in Christ is the same... by why these POLITICAL steps have been taken.

LeonG said...

New Catholic

Comments are being removed: are we being invaded by the Talmud once more?

New Catholic said...

LeonG,

Some dear souls are helping us with the moderation of comments. I will not second-guess their judgment.

The Rock of Faith said...

You guys should know by now that history is always censored :)

Jordanes said...

Comments are being removed: are we being invaded by the Talmud once more?

Yes, we were. I believe only those offensive, off-topic comments have been removed, but not those comments that have been posted by Rock of Faith and other Assyrian Christians, which are relevant to this discussion.

the rock of faith said...

I am not sure why Anonymous' comment about his cousin's divorce which resulted from the political revolution of the former bishop would have been removed. I think its important to see, beyond his cunning theological stance, what Practical significance his revolution has had on the faithful. Again, BY THEIR FRUITS will you know them.. and certainly facts like those are the sort of fruits which we in California know very well, while you guys only see his abstract theory of Papal primacy.

Anyways, I will await a message from the Moderator, explaining on what basis those comments were deleted. I think that whenever people take the time to post on a blog, and it is not profain, yet is deleted... they deserve an explanation of why. Plus it will also help us avoid topics which the moderator sees as inappropriate. So I await a reply from the moderator...

Anonymous said...

Mary is properly called the All Holy Theotokos, the All Holy Mother of God.

The error of Nestorius is quite clearly repeated by Rock of Faith. Allow me to explain.

That in calling Mary the Mother of God is in no way inferring that She pre-existed Him.

But that She is the Mother of the person who is God.

To deny therefore that Mary can be called Mother of God, while yet claiming that Her Son, actually conceived within Her Womb, and born of Her, is God, is a contradictory dichotomy.

One can still surmise from Nestorius' writings that he did quite eloquently elaborate in favor of Christ's two natures, not mixed, in His one person.

But again, to deny that Mary is Mother of God is either (a) to deny that Christ, Her Son, is fully God; or (b) to deny that Mary is this person's actual Mother.

Therefore, Nestorius proves himself erroneous on the matter.

Or to be more specific with regards to Rock of Faith's specific words:

"Rome will be hard pressed to ever argue to us that The Purely Divine and intangeable God which we all worship could ever be born of a Human, even as blessed as St Mary"

But my friend, Jesus Christ, the Purely Divine and intangible God, was born of a human, namely Holy Mary. No one believing in the scriptures can deny this. Jesus Christ was prophesied in Isaiah to be born of a virgin, and in the Gospels it is recorded that Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary. Therefore, it is not Rome that is hard pressed to re-state scripture. It is Nestorius who is hard pressed to explain how he can deny what Scripture makes so plain.

"For to give birth means to Bring Into Existence"

Clearly this is not so in the case of Jesus Christ. It is so for any other human being, but not for the God-Man. Because Scripture says that He is the Word, pre-existing all eternity. And yet at the chosen time, the Holy Spirit made Incarnate this pre-eternal God into a God-Man, conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary. And so, to give birth to Jesus Christ did not at all mean that Jesus Christ was brought into existence at that time. It was rather, for the Son of God, the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, the time of His Incarnation as fully Human. Were this a creature, rather than God Himself, one's conception (and birth) would signal the beginning of their existence. Not so with the Eternal Logos. So, the Scripture says that the eternal Word of God, born eternally of the Father, was yet, at the chosen time, made Incarnate, conceived by the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin Mary. Does scripture err when it says the eternal uncreated creator of the World was conceived by the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin Mary? Of course, a rhetorical question to which the answer is no.

"and it is clear that the eternal Son who was with God Brasheeth, before time, could have ever been brought into existence"

No he could never be brought into existence or he would not be God, but, choosing to become Incarnate as a Human, he could be humanly conceived and born, which in fact he was, of the Virgin Mary by the Holy Ghost.

No disrespect to Rock of Faith. Thank you for joining this discussion, this response is intended only to explain why clearly Nestorius was questioned in the early Church, even though his many writings do not deny but in fact eloquently support Christ's dual nature, fully God and Fully Man.

But to deny that God could be born of a woman is to deny the Gospel message of the INcarnation. Now of course, I understand you don't intend to deny it, but either you accept that the Son of God, the eternal uncreated Logos was made Incarnate and conceived by the Holy Ghost and **born** of the Virgin Mary, and if so, respect that She therefore has every right to the title "Mother of God",

... OR ... you deny that God was born of a woman, and deny the Apostolic Gospel.

It seems that you are interpreting the term Mother of God outside of the Incarnation. And no Catholic or Eastern Orthodox Christian has ever posited that Mary was the source of the Son of God. She was/is the human parent of the Person, the God-Man, Jesus Christ, who pre-eternally existed with the Father and the Holy Ghost from before the beginning of all creation and time, who was/is God Incarnate. God Incarnate, Our Lord Jesus Christ, Himself alone is the only Man for whom human birth/conception DOES NOT signify the beginning of existence.

Some scriptural comments:

St Elizabeth proclaims to Mary "Wherefore that the Mother of My Lord should come to me?" She calls Mary thus the Mother of Her God.

St Thomas, the Apostolic founder of the Church of Assyria himself, proclaims to Jesus Christ after the Resurrection "My Lord and My God". Thus Mary, His Mother, is the Mother of St Thomas' God.

Mary is the Mother of God Incarnate, Jesus Christ, and no Christian can deny that.

Sincerely in Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

the rock of faith said...

Anonymous thanks for your post, however, I still find it quite unsatisfactory.
1. In is false that Nestorius' teachings deny the INcarnation, but rather Nestorius is specific to say that the part of the INcarnation which Mary had a hand in was the HUMAN Jesus, which is what you say many times. I do not see how you can seperate the word BIRTH from the concept COMMING INTO EXISTENCE< and thus, how you would refrain from saying that Mary being the Mother of God, did not (God Forbid such Blasphemy) Bring God Into Existence. I thank you for the quote given by Elizabeth and especially the Apostle THomas, because the Aramaic speaking Eastern Church has always interpreted LORD as referring to The Humanity of Christ, and God as his Godhead... which is precisely why Thomas is thought to have made such a great declaration, realizing that Christ is True Man and True God. But if you take LORD to simply mean God as you implied, then it seems that Thomas' declaration says nothing more than "MY GOD AND MY GOD" which is utter nonsense and couldn't have been what Thomas was thinking. Thus, now that we see that Lord refers to Christ's Humanity, it is clear that Elizabeth's declaration that St. Mary was the Mother of Her Lord (Christ the MAN) which is also synonomous with the Person who is comming to save her and us from our sins, by a human sacrifice, is justified.
One can sit and analyze scriptures ALL day, and not conclude from it that Mary could be the Mother of the Eternal God. But allow me to tell you why the Catholic Church has chosen to abbandon common sense for this philosophical claim, and why in doing so, catholic members have blindly accepted this claim.

The Error is in this:
1) Mary is Mother of Christ
2) Christ is God
3) Therefore it seems right to say, Mary is the Mother of God.

As a philosophical technicality, this makes sense. But looking deeper into it, such a conclusion is to make a logical error, in that it assumes a DIRECT identity relationship between Christ's Godhead, and Christ's Humanity. But just the ssheer fact that these two existed by two seperate sources, that His Humanity CAME INTO BEING, whereas His Godhead is Eternal and unchanging.. thus clearly Conclusion three is wrong. However, if we take two terms which indeed ARE IDENTICAL in the same way that P=P, such as the english word APPLE and the german word APFEL are co-referring. Thus, if one concludes anything about Apples, such as, them having 30 seeds, then it MUST follow that APFELS too have 30 seeds. But the same is not true of attributes of God, for one might say, I am going swimming in Water, and that doesn't mean I am goign swimming in STEAm, nor in ice, through they are both H2O.

But I leave you with one final question. Tell me, when it says in the Scriptures that CHRIST HUNGERED (after his fast in the desert, and before he was tempted to turn the stones into bread).. DID ALL of Christ Hunger? DID His Humanity Merely Hunger? Could his Godhead have hungered? And When Christ cried over Lazarus, prooving he was subject to Emotions, evoked by the morning of his sister... are you truly prepared to say that God Cried?
If prepared to say that God Cries, and that God Hungers, you are to near blasphemy... because it is a stark change of the concept of what God is, and Eternally Has been, and neccesarily Will be, in an Unchanging manner. I think we are often to disposed to think of God in human terms... because our Human Nature reads Human Characteristics into God, because of Human Language conventions, and oru limited Human Psyche... but we must understand, or perhaps Admit to never understand, that God is a Being far different from our Own. Though we are fashioned in His likeness, it is clearly a very small degree of His likeness. So, if you want to attribute Human Characteristics to our Eternal God, for the sake of resolving that illogical philosophical technicality which was raised earlier, you can do so, and be very happy in naming Mary the Mother of God.. but in doing so, I fear that you will be taking back the faithfull to pre-Christian times, and even to Pre-Monotheistic times, into a pagan belief where God was understood as nothing more than what is tangeable... rocks, and stinks... and several tangeable landmarks.

LeonG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LeonG said...

rock of the faith

Your posts are very interesting to read. It is so, Our Blessed Lady's cousin Elizabeth recognised Her cousin as "Mother of my Lord" and the Archangel Gabriel announced to Her who She would be mother of a son who would be the Son of The Most High. The Gospels tell us all we need to know. She being the Mother of Our Blessed Saviour, The Messiah, is Mother of God in this sense. How the protestants have such problems with this truth is beyond comprehension particularly those who are always Bible-thumping. When you tell them this about Our Blessed Mother they are often confounded or accuse you of being an idolator.

Certainly Nestorius was denying Christ's humanity in the particular respect of how he interpreted the part played by His Mother, as I have always understood. This perspective has to detract in some measure from his full manhood. This is how it was taught to us at school many years ago.

It seems a great shame that the Assyrian Church has modernised its liturgy and the language of its liturgy. I am not familiar with your liturgical practices but in view of the totally disastrous effects these movements have had on the Roman Catholic Church & The Roman Rite since the late 1960s "modernisation" should be studiously avoided by others. There are anathemas on "vernacular only" Masses in the Roman Rite. They have been swept aside and ignored at immense cost to church unity and liturgical harmony.

the rock of faith said...

The protestants don't have an issue of Mary being the Mother of Christ or Mother of God, they have the greater trouble of not paying due honor to any of the saints in general, including St. Mary Queen among the Saints. But it must be clarified that the Church of the East has no less respect for St. Mary just because her title is Mother of Christ. Of course the scriptures and EVEN Christ himself puts her in a place of Great Honor. But I think, personally, it is going overboard to say she is the Mother of God, and I disagree with you that her being the Mother of God, is plain from simply reading the Scriptures with an open mind... rather I think its the result of the philosophical arguement which I presented in my last post. As we all know, the Church's growth, both in the East and West, was accompanied by a great level of philosophication and scientification of the simple message was in the Scripture. The Mary debates are an offspring of those philosophical complexities, but I don't even see them as being a problem for the Basic faith of Christianity. And I truly think, that we should not turn our Faith into something complex and hard to reach, because people only do so, in order to feel more prestigeous, but the way we BELIEVE should mimic the simple parables of our Lord. Anything beyond this, is usually for the praise of Man and His intellect, rather than for the praise of God and His Will, and often causes divisions and quarrels which have little to gain from them.

I am not sure how Nestorius denied Christ's Humanity, rather his teachings were criticized for OVER-asserting Christ's Humanity.

Not sure what you mean by the Chruch fo the East changing its Liturgy. Our Patriarch is ardently against the changing of the Liturgy either in Content (to shorten) or in Interpretation (by using vernaculars) and like most of the Eastern Church, takes Aramaic to be one of its greatest inheritances, because it is the language of Christ. It is true that Masses are at times done in English for given parishes where neccesary, and that the Readings from the Gospel, Old Testament, and Epistles of St. Paul are read in the vernacular, because it is Teaching rather than prayer. But the Eastern Chruch takes the Liturgy VERY seriously, as seriously as the text of the Bible, and for that reason has seen little change, similar to the changes brought about by Vatican II, and by the Protestant Schism. English or any other language is seen as a needed means to the end of Faith, but the complete and best faith would be one which has contemplated the message of Christ in the Aramaic... I used to read in English, but since I started in the Aramaic, I will never read it in the English again.. its so much richer. And I do not mean poetically, but theologically.

As far as my other concerns related to the Mary Debate... you did not answer, but I am assuming you didn't want to get too deep into that debate, so I'll leave them to ANONYMOUS to answer, since he brought it up. Mainly the issues posed at the end.

LeonG said...

I did not answer everything you have stated because this is not my intention. Knowing and having known many protestants of various denominations they do in fact have plenty of problems with Our Blessed Lady and the nature of Her motherhood. The fact that She was the chosen one to be Mother of The Son of God who is God is enough for me to comprehend without arguing unnecessarily the finer theological points.

Where change is concerned the less of it the better as it is only a medium for liberal-minded neo-modernisers to desecrate holy places with their disordered secular behaviours and misplaced politicised sense of gender/sectarian egalitarianism. The western church has had at least 40 years of such abominations while the hierarchy has looked the other way or actively propagated them.

the Rock of Faith said...

OK. I guess everyone fell asleep. We shall leave the debate for another day then :)

King said...

I wonder who wrote the title that supposedly 3,000 Assyrians are with the former bishop. If you add up the number of people who confirmed they are with him, from california, australia, chicago, etc. it still only adds up to 300 or so. This is according to the documents provided with the declaration. So, where did this fantasy number of 3,000 come from?
Some food for thought.

the rock of faith said...

King... I think that some of the propagandists here are trying to expand their small numbers in order to make it like the biblical reference of 3,000 lol. They fail to recognize that most of the people with him were already with the Chaldean Catholic Church anyways, and followed him for political reasons. Numbers who came from non-Catholic Churches are very few, as you said, 300, if lucky. And I guaruntee that the 300 will decline as well, because they aren't motivated by God and Faith. They are like the seeds which never found root in fertile soil. But again, people don't care about faith and heart these days, its all about superficial things, like gaining a few members.... and their dignity will suffer as a result of their superficial practices. Surely the builder who God does not Bless builds in vain, and the house built on sand will not stand against the trials of time.

King said...

Additionally, among these 300 or so people who are with Soro, there are just as many if not more who feel betrayed by Soro's actions. Soro spent the last 2 years trying to make the young priests who studied in Rome to look like crazy liars. He completely denied that he had any intention to join RCC. (G-Plan was proposed to them many years prior to this schism) I heard numerous times by some of his supporters that if he did end up joining RCC, then it would prove to them that he had been lying this entire time. And his actions spoke very clearly that this is what he wanted all along.
If he really wanted to submit to Vatican, why would he insist on taking property with him? It still doesn't make sense. So one is really forced to ponder this question and try to come up with some answers. If Soro wanted to join the richest organized religion, why would he want to destroy the poorest organized religion he was leaving behind?

Soro's quest for Christian unity does not end with the Assyrians becoming Roman. If in fact 'unity' was his only goal, then the term unity should be completely replaced never to be used again since this actually separates more peoples. Drawing a definitive line between 'these' Christians and 'those' Christians is the exact opposite of uniting them. Or am I using a strange definition of the word?
Soro had also promised that he wouldn't start his own Church. But he probably was better off to do that, instead of so strictly defining his version of unity, as well as a Catholic-only definition of Christianity. So how did Soro "unite" his version of Eastern Catholicism with Roman? Roman Catholics were already united with its own Church. They did not need Soro to introduce a new concept of unity since RCC did not conform, change or adopt anything. It was simply the other way around. There is no shared administrative powers. There is no sharing of theology or dogma or traditions. It's RCC or nothing. It's like a corporate take-over and the little guy who got swallowed up has no say so in anything anymore.

This same group of Soro supporters are the same ones who raise their fists and praise the Assyrian identity and the Assyrian homeland. What they do not realize is that by submitting to RCC, they have just nailed perhaps the final nail into the Assyrian coffin. Vatican's refusal of an Assyrian homeland in the Nineveh Plains, as well as their recent comments regarding Assyrians who seek asylum outside of Iraq, is condemning to the Assyrian race and jeopardizes the future existence of Assyrians.
I don't see how this sits well with (supposedly) over 3,000 new members of this Church. How come we dont hear the Vatican making ethnic comments regarding the Mexicans who enter the United States? Why don't we hear its comments regarding the Cubans who swim into the United States? Why are the Assyrians being pinpointed out and at the same time brushed under the rug with one full sweep?

I know I ranted and raved and I brought up another poisonous topic with religion: politics!! But it seems that the only motivation to destroy the Assyrian Church would be political gain.

the rock of faith said...

Not to mention, the doors were open to him to leave the Church of the East and become Roman Catholic. Why would he waste his time getting ordained within a Church, whose hierarchy he doesn't even believe has authority, because it doesn't submit to the Pope but rather to Christ? It seems that if this is true, his own ordaination as well as the ordainations which he has instituted are void. Especially because it seems he has had this obsession with Papal primacy since early on, I don't understand why he didn't leave earlier on. Unless he had another political agenda within the Church of the East, such as burrying it in debt, which has been revealed as his clear motive. Not the POSATIVE motive of becomming Catholic, but the NEGATIVE motive of destroying the Church of the East; negative because it destroys the faith, rather than sustains or builds upon it. He took the overall Church fo Christ backwards with this action, and I am very eager to see what role Rome has played in his decisions, as well as in other Churches such as the Russian Church where similar events have taken place. Rome must understand one thing, that with the Media as strong as it is today, it is very easy to uncover patters and decipher motives at a global level. This is no longer the days of the crusades, where you can kill Muslims and Christians in the East and get away with it for many generations. But again, all these evil motives will only hurt the Church who displays those evil motives. A Chruch should move forward in faith, not backward, and try to crush the competition like some business or nation-state. Unfortunately this has been the foreign policy of the USA, in trying to destroy other nations in order to gain, like a band of pirates, as well as the Roman Catholic Church, who is trying to destroy other CHurches in order to itself gain Honor. This is contradictory to any educated notion of Unity. St. Paul says we are ONE Body in CHrist, and when one part hurts, the whole body hurts, so why does the Roman Catholic Church intentionally hurt other parts, thinking it will gain glory? All it is doing is making CHristianity look foolish before the eyes of non-believers, and discouraging Christians who have pure intentions. For one body part to hurt another, thinking it will not suffer the consequence implies that the antagonistic body part does not see itself as the body, it thinks it is Above the body, exists OUTSIDE the body. And certainly with such conduct, contrary to the Teachings of Christ and the Holy Spirit, it will marginalize itself, to the extent where it WILL be outside the body. I remind you all to remember St. Paul who asserts that the smallest and most insignificant body part is given the MOST praise, in order to prevent discord among the parts. I ask the clergy of the Western Church to study and meditate upon those words closely. We are living in a world today, much like te world Christ was living in, surrounded in sin, and oppression, the devil has found new ways, such as sexualization, materialism, individualism, etc. to divide and destroy the Flock. Rather than competing between Churches, we should be working together to defend our Flock of believers... the Church of the East has been doing this since it has moved West, and confronted these modern challenges to the faith, I'm not sure why Catholics would spend their efforts, money and time on working against the Church, and Itself, when it should be working against Evil.

King said...

So now I'm hearing Soro recently admitted that he has NOT yet been accepted into "Full Communion."

So then why all the hoop-la and grand opening of a "church" etc.? Who does he think he's kidding, and most importantly, WHY put on such an act? WHO is he trying to impress? Perhaps he's grasping at straws and trying to win the Pope's approval based on the staged appearance of a "full house" in his new Ceres building. Because everyone can clearly see from the photos that 90% of the people there were already members of Turlock's Chaldean parish!
So this tells me the whole thing was staged in an effort to send pictures back home to Papa, and try to win approval based on #'s which = $$$$!!!

A Simple Sinner said...

Wow, there is no "off position" on the sour grapes button, is there?

Bitter much?

All the folks (however many there may be) who seem to have taken up combox warring on Mar Bawai as a part time job are only begining to look really bitter and sad.

King said...

A Simple Sinner,
I pray for you that your nation never has to suffer such atrocities as my people have. We have suffered genocides, massacres, starvation, ethnic cleansing, and our numbers are dwindling. I don't know why you cannot understand that a nation is suffering and on the verge of destruction. I am sorry that this fact doesn't sit well with you. And honestly, I envy you. I wish I didn't have this heavy burden on my heart each and every day. I wish my nationality had nothing to do with my religion. But it does. I wish I knew my grandparents, but they were slaughtered for being Christians. This left my parents orphans and let me tell you, life has been a terrible struggle for all of us. Most of us have had very sad lives, you're right, we're sad. But I truly don't expect sympathy from you. I only wanted compassion from my bishop. I wanted my bishop to love his flock enough to protect us from more heartache, more anxiety and more strife. We were hoping for a happy life in the U.S. one where we could worship as we choose and not worry that our nationality is at risk of being wiped out. What we have gotten from him is far from it. See, it wouldn't hurt so much coming from someone else, a stranger who didn't know any better. It is more painful when it comes from someone among us, who should have handled it more gently and who should have known better. We trusted him. I honestly believe that if the former bishop soro simply resigned and joined RCC, I think he would have had tens of thousands of more supporters simply because people liked him. But dragging us through courts, subjecting the Patriarch to depositions, costing us millions which we cannot afford, and leaving us in financial ruins has damaged us. And he did this because of the sin of greed. He wanted to personally own 3 parishes. It was completely unnecessary to do that to us. We are poor people without a place to call home. We adopted new land to respect and call home. He could have left us if he wanted, but he didn't have to fight us and try to take our churches away from us too. We have lost so much already. You can call it bitter if you like, but you haven't been through what we have. We cannot afford the loans he took against our parishes. We cannot afford the attorney fees. We cannot afford to open the schools we've been dreaming of. We cannot afford the nursing homes our elderly need. Yes, my heart is broken and shattered. You are right, I am sad. In fact, I am miserable. I am completely devestated that my bishop betrayed me. I hope & pray for you that you never know this pain. Are you happy now?

the rock of faith said...

The Assyrian world and Eastern Christianity is over Mar Mawai, he is a nobody just like Judas is a nobody. He is only good as a tool to see how the Rman Catholic Relations and workings are with other sister-Churches. Those are findings which will serve great importance for many years. And as far as King's comment. No one has accepted the former Bishop and his followers except Mar Sarhad jammo as a political move. Neither the Patriarch fo the Chaldean Church, nor the Pope has accepted him.

the rock fo faith said...

I don't think anyone is bitter, Eastern Christianity is way over Mar Mawai, and has been since he failed in court, and now all that remains is the funds he threw around, for them to be returned. Hopefully he will be accepted by Rome, so that Rome can help pay some of the costs, which they clearly were involved with. But as King said... his full communion is only with Mar Sarhas jammo, bishop of san diego, and neither with the Chaldean patriarch nor with the Pope.

A Simple Sinner said...

"No one has accepted the former Bishop and his followers except Mar Sarhad jammo as a political move. Neither the Patriarch fo the Chaldean Church, nor the Pope has accepted him. "

Back that claim up. Give a citation.

You people are now just getting said with your intentional mispelllings of Mar Bawai's name, our insistence on using his old name, or insisting he is a nobody...

If he is such a nobody, why is there a sad, sad, SAD core group of polemicists that seem to travel from com-box to com-box to com-box decrying this man, laternately saying he is unimportant or casting aspersions on what a terrible person he is.

You folks are really sad.

King said...

Also,
since you want PROOF that soro has NOT been accepted by Vatican, Here you go, straight from the horse's mouth. Soro himself is saying it right here in this interview, posted on the internet by his own propaganda machine. So tell me again how sad I am.

http://www.theholylandreview.net/holyland/att_det.jsp?wi_number=940&wi_codseq=

The Rock of Faith said...

It wasn't I who misspelled his name, it was the Catholic Article which this blog is related to. I find it homorous that Catholics would blindly accept in a group of people because of their desire to increase the size of their kingdom, yet not even know what sort of people they are accepting, including the name of the suspended bishop who leads them. That is key to the modern policy of the Roman Catholic CHurch, who even went back on her word, and gave the Body and Blood of Christ to Mayor Guliani, despite his public support of Abortion. Unfortunately the Roman Catholic Church have chosen quantity over quality, and is forfeiting its own Apostolic Orthodoxy in doing so, just as in the case of creating strife in our Church, and allowing Chaldean Bishop Sarhad Jammo to "accept" (despite lacking the acceptance from higher officials)a suspended and legally convicted bishop.
As far as giving a citation that he has only been accepted by the bishop of San Diego and neither by the Chaldean Patriarch, Emmanuel Delly III, or the Pope of Rome... common sense will tell one that a citation cannot be provided. it is hard to provide a citation for that whcih has not happened, but only that which DID happen. In the case of the bishop of San Diego, such has been documented by TV channels and online articles and photos, but Rome has not issued a public statement, and neither has the Chaldean Patriarch, in fact the Patriarch has showed opposition to this whole political maneuver. Of course the suspended bishop has met with the Pope, and even submitted an application, but no official public statements from the Vatican have answered the situation. Why would the Vatican be so active in supporting the suspended bishop, while failign to officially recognize him as a bishop in their Church? My feelings are that the Vatican is waiting to asses costs and benefits. The suspended Bishop is still in a court battle for damages, and could possibly be held accountable for the financial squanderings and intentional post-suspension flaudulent loans, and the Roman Catholic Chruch would not want to accept him, should the Couts hold him accountable. As Catholic Officials told officials from the Church of the East when confronted on this very issue, Catholic Officials merely responded that they will suspend comments until after the court case is cleared up... and this is consistent with what seems to be going on. A judgment of right or wrong, has been suspended by the Catholic Church in order to assess the political and financial atmosphere surrounding the former bishop. But if you could provide me with a citation saying that the suspended bishop was accepted either by the Vatican or by the Chaldean Patriarch, I would appreciate it. But you will be hard0pressed to find such, because neither happened. In a perfect Church the acceptance of the San Diego Bishop would entail acceptance of higher levels, but today, people do as they please without the support of higher officials, and it is clear that the bishop of San Diego has been working on his own plans without the management or checks-and-balances of either the Chaldean Church or Rome. But because this issue is more political than ecclesiastical, this makes sense.

The Rock of Faith said...

by the way, I want to stress the word OFFICIAL. I do not want to see a citation from some blog or article run by lay people who don't know or can't spell the suspended bishop's name. But an official document from the vatican. As you know very well, the Vatican's public relations department is strong, so this is nothing out of the ordinary to ask.