Rorate Caeli

Popes and Patriarchs

L’Osservatore Romano recently published Pope Benedict’s birthday greetings to the schismatic Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I. The successor of Peter prays in his letter that the Lord will sustain the Patriarch with his strength and grace as he carries out his exalted ministry of Pastor, Preacher of the Gospel and Teacher of spiritual life.
The Pope’s words presuppose that the sacrament of Order has perdured in Constantinople. Through his sacramental consecration as a bishop, Bartholomew has received the high priestly character whereby a bishop is rendered an apt subject to receive a canonical mission in teaching, ruling and sanctifying the Church. Not only that, the Pope also addresses him as Archbishop of Constantinople and Patriarch, just as Pope Eugene IV in the fifteenth century treated the holder of the See as Patriarch when he invited him and all the schismatic bishops to sit at the Council of Ferrara-Florence, where the Greeks would come to agreement with the Latins and co-define the Filioque and papal primacy. In other words, even though the de facto Greek Patriarchs of Constantinople since Cerularius’s schism have not been in communion with the successor of Peter, the successors of Peter have generally been willing to accept their elections, even as they hoped for their return to the unity of the Church. Thus the schismatic Patriarchs accepted to a certain extent by the Pope can be considered as having a “colored” but true title to the See of Constantinople.
However Leo XIII taught in the Encyclical Satis Cognitum, “[b]ishops are deprived of the right and power of ruling, if they deliberately secede from Peter and his successors; because, by this secession, they are separated from the foundation on which the whole edifice must rest. They are therefore outside the edifice itself; and for this very reason they are separated from the fold, whose leader is the Chief Pastor; they are exiled from the Kingdom, the keys of which were given by Christ to Peter alone.” Bartholomew is no different from his Greek predecessors since the Middle Ages in rejecting the authority of the successor of Peter over the whole Church. That is to say, he adheres to the schism of his predecessors and has been known over the years to come out with particularly strong statements of his positions against Catholic doctrine.
Taking account of the ongoing schismatic attitude of the Patriarchs, while pleading for their return to unity, Leo XIII and various predecessors over the centuries also provided for the spiritual needs of Oriental populations willing to return. When Leo XIII re-established the Patriarchal Church of Alexandria of the Copts by naming a Catholic Patriarch (see Apostolic Letter on the Patriarchate of Alexandria of the Copts), he addressed himself to all Copts as follows: “We . . . from the plenitude of apostolic power restore the Catholic Patriarchate of Alexandria and establish it for the Copts. . . . . To us it is most desired that the dissenting Copts look upon the Catholic Hierarchy in truth before God; that is to say the hierarchy which on account of communion with the Chair of Peter and his successors alone can legitimately restore the Church founded by Mark, and alone is heir of the entire memory, whatever has been faithfully handed on to the Alexandrian Patriarchate from those ancient forbears.”
Pope Benedict XVI would thus have the power to name a Catholic Patriarch of Constantinople if he so chose. And in fact, his predecessor Pope Innocent III did precisely that. One must note the terrible fact that this was in the wake of the Crusaders taking sides in a dynastic dispute in Constantinople on their way to the Holy Land and their crimes of sacking and pillaging, condemned strongly by Innocent himself. But it was in the hope of unifying the Greek Church with the See of Peter that Pope Innocent named the Venetian Tommaso Morosini Patriarch of Constantinople, while allowing the Greeks to continue to celebrate the Greek liturgy if they so wished. As a result, the Greeks who in 1207 proclaimed Michael IV Autorianos Patriarch of Constantinople committed a schismatic act, enthroning a bishop against the will of the Pope. This was more schismatic than the act of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre who in 1988 specifically stated that his bishops would have no ordinary jurisdiction. Innocent remained intransigent in his choice of Patriarch of Constantinople; when asked to recognize the Greek claimant in 1215 he refused, and for decades the legimitate, papally-recognized Patriarch of Constantinople was a Latin named by the Pope, until the Popes finally stopped naming them, while the schismatic Greeks of course continued with their line which continues to the present day.
Since the Popes had long stopped naming Patriarchs of Constantinople, it was natural for Eugene IV in the fifteenth century to not only accept the occupation of the See by the Greek Patriarch, but even to invite him to sit at the Council of Ferrara-Florence, with a brief reunion as the happy result. After the rapid breakdown of the unity established by that Council, the Popes nevertheless continued to tacitly accept the results of the elections of the Greek Patriarchs of Constantinople, despite their schism. All that was required was acceptance of the full doctrine of the Church as taught by the successor of Peter, and acceptance of his authority, and the unity of the Church would be reestablished between Rome and Constantinople. This was summarized in 1848 (In Suprema Petri, January 6) by Blessed Pius IX as follows: “Listen, then, to our words, all of you in the Eastern and neighboring areas who . . . by no means are in communion with the Holy Roman Church, and especially You who are consecrated to sacred functions among them or preside over the rest because you are conspicuous by your superior ecclesiastical dignity . . . . [I]t is Our fixed resolve to take the same approach that Our predecessors, both of more recent and earlier ages, often took toward the sacred Ministers, Priests, and Prelates who come back to Catholic Unity from those Nations; namely to preserve their rank and dignity; and then to make use of their effort, no less than of the rest of the Eastern Catholic Clergy to protect and spread among their people the cult of the Catholic religion.”
Thus in a hermeneutic of continuity we can say that if God were to fully grant the prayer of Pope Benedict XVI for blessings on Bartholomew’s episcopal ministrations, then the current occupant of the Throne of Constantinople would profess the faith of all the ecumenical councils and Popes and as a consequence continue his ministrations with full, ordinary power of jurisdiction in communion with the Church.

63 comments:

T. Ambrose Nazianzus said...

That's a pretty clear western narrative of things, I would say.

shadrach said...

Maybe Encyclicals are not lex loquens. Makes you think... when certain Catholics who fetishize Humanae Vitae look the other way re. Encyclicals that teach a Catholic social teaching they don't care to engage with, and other Catholics fetishize Social teaching Encyclicals and hiss at Humanae Vitae... and then there's John XXII lifting the ban on tournaments in 1316, using a bull to reverse the Church's teaching on the matter as it had stood for two centuries. What value does an individual Encyclical have? Is it magisterial in authority from the beginning to the end of time? It does not appear so.

Irenaeus of New York said...

1.2 Billion Catholics, and only a small handful who love and defend all her teachings. How can there be a union with such a loss of identity? Despite the truth of the Catholic position, we as a Church will be dialoguing with the Orthodox from a position of extreme weakness. There can never be an accord like Florence while the truth is not realized in the majority of ordinary celebrations.

bjr said...

"...while allowing the Greeks to continue to celebrate the Greek liturgy if they so wished."

How could anyone refuse such a generous offer?

Ben Vallejo said...

This post conveniently left out the fact that Rome and Constantinople mutually excommunicated each other.

These excommunications were lifted by Paul VI and Athenagoras in 1966

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

Bonetus:

Constantinople is practically empty of Christians, much less Catholics (almost all of whom are Latin or Armenian, and are already served by Catholic bishops -- Constantinople alone has TWO Armenian Catholic bishops). There is no use appointing a Greek Catholic Patriarch there when there isn't even a single Greek Catholic parish or priest in the city.

Anonymous said...

There is at least one Melkite Greek Catholic Church in Constantinople, as well as a Catholic Church of the Byzantine Georgian Rite and a Byzantine Greek Catholic Church which is no longer active.

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

"There is at least one Melkite Greek Catholic Church in Constantinople, as well as a Catholic Church of the Byzantine Georgian Rite and a Byzantine Greek Catholic Church which is no longer active."

The Melkite parish was closed in the 1950's. See this:

http://www.mliles.com/melkite/indexmelkiteotherturkey.shtml

The Greek Catholics of Constantinople / Istanbul are under the jurisdiction of the Greek Byzantine Catholic Church, which still has two Exarchates: one in Athens, and another in Constantinople. The Exarchate in Constantinople (which, as per CNEWA now has only 20-30 Greek Catholics) has been vacant since 1957,and the Exarchate in Athens is down to 3 parishes and 10 priests -- a far cry from its extent prior to the Council, even if it never was so big.

The Georgian Catholic Church of the Byzantine Rite ceased to exist long ago.

Of course, ecumenism had a major role in the drastic collapse of some of the Byzantine-Rite Churches (the Russian Greek Catholics come to mind).

Anonymous said...

I have sent the link to your articles concerning HH the Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I to His Private Secretary just so that they know how Roman Catholic Faithfull to Tradition think of them.

Jamie

craig said...

It is no surprise the Greeks considered a Venetian appointed in 1207 to be their patriarch as illegitimate, considering that the siege and sack of Constantinople by Venetians took place only three years earlier. Innocent's innocence in this matter is dubious, even if his stated motive was "the hope of unifying the Greek Church with the See of Peter". He would have done better to have gone to Constantinople on his knees to beg forgiveness.

John McFarland said...

Bonetus,

If (as I presume is the case), you are not learned in theology and canon law, I'd be more than a little hesitant about weaving this sort of argument.

To note the most obvious point: was Pope Eugene's address reflect canon law or diplomacy? Compare "separated brethren"; they certainly are NOT our brethren in Christ, since they deny the authority of His vicar.

In any event, I prophesy that the theory and practice of regularizing the Patriarch of Constantinople's jurisdiction will be easy work -- if and when he becomes a Catholic. But until then, there doesn't seem much reason to concern oneself with such matters.

As regards encyclicals' infallibility: when they are infallible, their infallibility is generally the infallibility of what the Church has always taught. What Pope Leo says in Satis cognitum regarding the status of schismatic hierarchs is what the Church has always taught. Social encylicals, whose very existence dates from the day before yesterday in the Church's history, is a very different matter. That anything but the most fundamental principles expressed therein could be infallible is, to say the least, implausible.

P.S. I would also appreciate it if people would stop using "schismatic" in respect of Archbishop Lefebvre. You are only schismatic if you deny the authority of the Pope, and the Archbishop and his spiritual sons have done no such thing. The SSPX's irregular situation certainly raises the danger of the rise of a schismatic spirit or a drift into schism; but that is not schism. Note that the Pope doesn't use it -- although, to be sure, it's pretty tough to be a schismatic under the Pope's ecclesiology.

Garrett said...

It makes no sense to resurrect a Catholic Patriarchate of Constantinople for the reasons Carlos cites: a lack of Catholics. It is the sad reality of the effect that schism has on the Bride of Christ. The fact that one of the five original patriarchates of Christianity has so few adherents to the Apostolic Faith that it does not deserve patriarchal status, except in its schismatic form.

I'm sure the Orthodox feel the same way about the Roman Patriarchate.

Anonymous said...

Gay prostitution ring linked to Vatican

http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/World/2010/03/04/13106366-reuters.html

Anonymous said...

Craig,

"He would have done better to have gone to Constantinople on his knees to beg forgiveness."

He wasn't responsible. He'd already excommunicated the Crusaders and deplored their actions, which resulted from their intervention in internecine Byzantine intrigue. So his apology would not have meant anything.

Maybe you personally should apologize to me personally for the Czar's persecution of Byzantine Catholics. Oh, you weren't at fault? So your apology would not mean anything? See my point?

~Bonifacius

Anonymous said...

"NOT our brethren in Christ"

John McFarland,

Are their Baptisms valid? Then they've been adopted into Christ and hence are our brothers. And they would be our brethren in the natural Adam if not the supernatural one. So yes, they're separated, and yes, they're our brethren. Both are true.

"You are only schismatic if you deny the authority of the Pope"

One can deny in action as well as in words. I'm not saying that the Archbishop was guilty of schism. But then again, I don't see where anyone on this thread, Bonetus included, said this. He said that, "IF Archbishop Lefebvre is guilty, THEN much more so those who rejected papal authority back in the day."

Many people have responded to say, "No way we could establish a new Catholic Patriarchate at Constantinople." Did Bonetus ever advocate this? No, he simply said that Benedict XVI has the power and authority to do so. And he does. So nothing to object to there.

God bless from someone whose crankiness defies the spirit of Lent,
Bonifacius

Anonymous said...

I am sure Orthodox bishops sleeplessly toss and turn at night over all this.

Resident said...

John,

I am afraid you are employing a double standard:

"they certainly are NOT our brethren in Christ, since they deny the authority of His vicar."

"P.S. I would also appreciate it if people would stop using "schismatic" in respect of Archbishop Lefebvre. You are only schismatic if you deny the authority of the Pope, and the Archbishop and his spiritual sons have done no such thing. ..."

One can comprehend either position but they don't go together.

Sure the SSPX consider Benedict XVI as the current inhabitant of the See of Peter and nobody else - but so do (at least the more moderate) Greek Orthodox Christians, especially the Patriarch of Constantinople.

Now that doesn't mean that there is full communion between Pope and Patriarch or among the churches they head - but at the moment there is no full communion between the SSPX and the Holy See either. Maybe we are getting there, maybe not, but right now there isn't.

So either you apply your standards to both or not.

As far as schism is concerned, it is up to the Catholic Church, represented by the Holy See, to decide that and to the one accused of schism. And one has participated in an act of schism, is a schismatic.

Jordanes said...

That sounds like a schismatic spewing venom.

Maybe the anonymous commenter is a schismatic. The comment is certainly off topic (and may perhaps have been more appropriate in the commentbox about the Belgian priest and the sodomitic mockery of marriage), but the news story at that URL is at least apparently a genuine one.

Jordanes said...

It takes a LOT more than "consider[ing] Benedict XVI as the current inhabitant of the See of Peter and nobody else" to not be a schismatic. There's quite a difference between "not considering Benedict XVI as the current inhabitant of the See of Peter and nobody else" and "denying the authority of the Vicar of Christ."

Anonymous said...

What does Jordanes' icon mean? "I've done my thing"?

Jordanes said...

Why don't you ask Jordanes?

Anonymous said...

"I am sure Orthodox bishops sleeplessly toss and turn at night over all this."

Some bishops may. How else were the Byzantine Rite Catholic churches founded?

Vin Lewis has proposed the following schema. The New Testament is prefigured by the Old Testament. In the Old Testament, the Ten Northern Tribes of Israel defected from Judah and formed their own kingdom. It was destroyed by the Assyrians and later repopulated by the people known as Samaritans. The Samaritans worshipped at Mt. Gerizim instead of at Jerusalem, a point the Samaritan woman at the well made to Our Lord.

In the New Testament (meaning the Age of Grace, not the books of the Bible), four out of the five patriarchates defected from Rome, the new Jerusalem, thereby going into schism. Just as the Kingdom of Israel had its rival capital at Samaria, the schismatic Orthodox had their rival capital at Constantinople (and later, virtually speaking, at Moscow). Just as the Assyrians conquered Israel, the Mohammedans conquered Constantinople and the Bolsheviks conquered Moscow. For each Orthodox "woman at the well," the question remains: do we worship on Mt. Zion (the Vatican & Rome) or Mt. Gerizim (the Phanar & Constantinople, or the real source of power, Moscow).

Our Lord said that salvation was of the Jews and that the day was coming when the (new) Chosen People would no longer worhip on mountains in Palestine. Likewise, today we can say that salvation is of the Catholic Church. The Church founded in spirit and truth is geographically based at Rome. When any Orthodox person, layman and bishop alike, asks us the question point-blank, we should answer point-blank.

~Bonifacius

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

"1.2 Billion Catholics, and only a small handful who love and defend all her teachings. How can there be a union with such a loss of identity? Despite the truth of the Catholic position, we as a Church will be dialoguing with the Orthodox from a position of extreme weakness. There can never be an accord like Florence while the truth is not realized in the majority of ordinary celebrations."

I couldn't have said it any better.

Salome said...

"Likewise, today we can say that salvation is of the Catholic Church.When any Orthodox person, layman and bishop alike, asks us the question point-blank, we should answer point-blank."

Okay, then as an Orthodox I'm asking...Where do you worship? What do you worship? You can't give me a "point blank" answer because Roman theology has changed time and time again...there is no consistency with Rome other than consistently changing.

craig said...

Bonifacius, I am in no way Russian Orthodox. Don't assume that the criticism here is merely Orthodox partisanship.

A parable:

Once there was an executive in charge of a banana company. He hired men -- mostly relatives -- to oversee the company's subsidiaries in faraway Banania and Plantania, and told them to ensure that no local interference could interrupt the company's business. The corrupt men hired armed goons to strong-arm Plantania. The company's subsidiary in Plantania grew rich on payoffs. The executive found out about the actions of his underlings and condemned them publicly. Sometime later, the hired goons overthrew the government of Banania and backed a new regime that looted the treasury of Banania and made serfs of the poor banana growers and pickers. Now the company's fortunes increased dramatically. Finding out about the overthrow of Banania, the executive fired the men. But he chose not to return the money and did nothing to restore the people of Banania to freedom. After all, he maintained, he had not specifically authorized his men to do what they did. He was innocent.

Later, to settle division in the family resulting from his having fired the men, he chose one of the men's sons to become the new president of Banania.

Anonymous said...

Salome,

No, the Catholic Church has not changed any essentials of its worship. Period.

Craig,

I got the impression that you were referring to an apology for the Sack of Constantinople. He was not responsible for the Sack of Constantinople and hence could not apologize for it. Furthermore, as for returning Constantinople to its purportedly rightful owners, wasn't the whole reason for the mayhem in Constantinople precisely the fact that the Byzantine court was going through one of its typically Byzantine periods of strife? In order to return the place to its rightful owner, the Pope would have had to determine who the rightful owner was -- thus asserting papal authority! And then, arguably, he'd have had to make sure that the hand-over was successful. By what means? Western forces? Isn't that how the mess started? Sometimes in history you just accept a fait-accompli. Just as Rome eventually accepted Constantinople as the second patriarchate in rank, a status that was simply usurped at first and which Rome protested against, justly, for some time.

~Bonifacius

John McFarland said...

The basic point is the Eastern schismatics are not members of the Church, and so cannot be saved by virtue of being members of their schismatic Churches, but only by accepting the One True Faith and the authority of the Pope. There are only Catholics in heaven.

If you do not believe this, you do not believe what the Church teaches, although you may well believe what the conciliar magisterium teaches.

Everything else regarding popes and patriarchs is just background noise. The similarities between Catholics and Eastern schismatics are only of interest insofar as they make it easier for those schismatics to become Catholics. Charity and diplomacy (which is a form of charity) are very much in order, but they can't be allowed to obscure, much less undermine, the underlying realities.

The answer to schism, as to heresy or unvarnished infidelity, is conversion -- not redefinition or equivocation or claims of continuity where there is no continuity.

Phil said...

Bonifacius,

And then, the Lord went on to say, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.” How that turns into worshipping on Mount Vatican is beyond me. Do we worship on Mt. Zion or Mt. Gerizim? Neither, as the Lord plainly taught.

Resident said...

It is really strange how people scream around about others not being members of the church when they have no clue about actual Catholic ecclesiology!

craig said...

Bonifacius, I was indeed referring to an apology for the Fourth Crusade.

Despite the fact that the Pope did not order the Sack of Constantinople, the West was willing to accept the spoils of conquest. Trace the provenance of almost any first-millennium relic or image now housed in an Italian church, and it will be found to have mysteriously surfaced there in the years immediately following 1204.

I agree these things are now a fait-accompli. They weren't in Innocent's day.

John McFarland said...

Resident,

Your "scream[ing] about other people not being members of the Church" comment appears to be directed at my previous remarks.

If you mean that I have misrepresented the constant teaching of the Church before V2, please correct me.

If you mean that the doctrine has changed, and I have not changed accordingly, you are effectively saying that the Catholic faith is a snare and a delusion.

Anonymous said...

John McFarland,

As a defender of Fr. Feeney, I agree with everything you said in your latest post. Still, your objection to "separated brethren" is misplaced. There is a *connotation* that "separated brethren" is "nicer" than "schismatic," but "separated brethren" in and of itself is acceptable. They are our brethren in several relevant respects, and they are separated from us by way of schism.

~Bonifacius

Anonymous said...

Resident said...
It is really strange how people scream around about others not being members of the church when they have no clue about actual Catholic ecclesiology!

Resident:
I suppose Pius XI and St. Leo the Great are among those you accuse of screaming!!! FYI please read on.

Is it permitted for Christians to be present at, or to take part in, conventions, gatherings, meetings, or societies of non-Catholics which aim to associate together under a single agreement everyone who, in any way, lays claim to the name of Christian? It is not! [...] It is clear, therefore, why this Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics. There is only one way in which the unity of Christians may be fostered, and that is by furthering the return to the one true Church of Christ for those who are separated from her. (Pope Pius XI)

Wherefore, since outside the Catholic Church there is nothing perfect, nothing undefiled, the Apostle declaring that "all that is not of faith is sin" (Romans 14:23), we are in no way likened with those who are divided from the unity of the Body of Christ; we are joined in no communion. (Pope St. Leo the Great)

Irenaeus of New York said...

Craig,

Please. Enough with the sacking. There was a week's worth of mourning in Rome when it was sacked. It did not help that the European host outside the walls was met with a Greek emperor who was deposed of the crown.... and who convinced them he was the rightful heir. Think about it. Soldiers travelled over 2000 miles on foot. Some barefoot. Many died along the way from disease. Only to be treated like dogs by the people whom they have come to liberate their lands... with their LIVES. The European host was denied supplies and any kind of support outside the richest city in the world. And then this deposed royal comes and says the current emperor isn't justly seated. I would have believed him too! I don't know if you have any military experience, but I do. There is nothing worse than risking your life for a people who insult your sacrifice. And I haven't even gotten into the persecutions of Latins in Constantinople itself. Many were slaughtered within its walls only years earlier for being Roman Catholic.

As for the "loot", I suppose you think we all forgot how all that treasure ended up in Constantinople to begin with. Much of it came from Rome by way of Ravenna to escape the sacking of Rome centuries earlier. The Pope had always requested a return of the treasures.... which was always denied. Well, it was returned and some. Just not in a manner either side desired. I personally deplore the sacking as does every Roman Catholic. But you can't say the actions of venetian generals on the ground were the actions of the RCC. That is just false.

Resident said...

Yes, John, my comment was directed to you, among others.

You request already makes your split thinking already apparent - you are unwilling to accept the magisterium of the Church with qualification, you think that accepting what (supposedly) was taught before Vatican II is enought (and in that you mirror the Eastern Orthodox that stop with the 7th or 8th council, only that they have the excuse that they got separated way before the 9th council ever happened and hence never willfully rebelled against these).

You say the Eastern Orthodox are not "brothers in Christ"? Never mind that they have valid baptism, valid orders and the valid Eucharist? Sure their particular churches are in schism with the Catholic Church since they do not hold full communion with the Holy See, but still that makes their churches only schismatic churches. They still are churches in the theologically full sense of the term (as opposed to Protestant groups) and your statements make it seem like there are several churches (in the full sense) and not simply the Una Sancta.

Your ecclesiology is more akin to the more extreme sectors in Eastern Orthodoxy that consider us Catholics not merely heretics and schismatics but apostates. There are also many events on the record in which the Eastern church was beset by a failure to distinguish between valid and illicit ordinations (e.g. after Iconoclasm and in the Ignatius/Photius-struggle).

You also seem to have a propsensity to defend heretics, as you now have done with Fr. Feeney, whose teaching was condemned by Rome and you then returned. Of course, you may call those condemning him "modernists" and "innovators" but then you would have to include such "evil modernist innovators" as Pius IX.

Bonifacius,

"I suppose Pius XI and St. Leo the Great are among those you accuse of screaming!!!"

Certainly not, as none of these said the things I criticized.

It doesn't surprise me that your two quotes say absolutely nothing to the point. Again another failed attempt at quote-thumping!

FYI, I merely pointed out that the separated Eastern churches are churches in the full sense of the term, hence cut off members of the Catholic Church and that the baptised members of these churches are brothers in Christ.

I also must agree with the statement by Anonymous contrarian

"as if in the first millennium, the pope was appointing bishops right and left. the historical ignorance of this post is outstanding. while indeed the pope is supreme as successor of saint peter, his cause is not helped by people who would deign to spit on the faces of patriarchs"

thus far. I disagree that easterners are not in schism - they are. Sad but true. (But not the supposed schism of 1054 which never occured in the first place).

The office of the Pope is meant to strengthen his brothers and to guide the flock of Christ but it is no necessary ingredient to appoint bishops right and left, especially to places where there is no flock (also a violation of the principle that one should not ordain more clerics then needed!)


as if the easterners were in schism from the self-righteous followers of Catholicism.

Resident said...

Bonifacius,

"In the New Testament (meaning the Age of Grace, not the books of the Bible), four out of the five patriarchates defected from Rome, the new Jerusalem, thereby going into schism."

Eh! Since when is Rome the New Jerusalem? You are seriously mistaken in your theology! (maybe extreme preterism?) The New Jerusalem is still to come! The New Jerusalem is the destination we are heading and hoping for. If that desitination were the current city of Rome, our hope would be pretty empty! Never mind, the Second Coming, do you?

"Just as the Kingdom of Israel had its rival capital at Samaria, the schismatic Orthodox ..."

I never knew that the Eastern Orthodox Church put up golden calves and built separate temples, mixed in Baal worship etc. I never knew that the population of the EOC then was exiled and replaced by other people who falsely claim to be EOC (the actual beef between Jews and Samaritans and the reason for why the Jews rebuffed the Samaritans from contributing to the cult at Jerusalem, read Esra!)

And if the conversation with the Samaritan woman were a type of this schism, you would have Jesus saying that we will soon be worshipping neither in Rome nor in Constantinople but "in spirit and truth" - but guess what: we have already gone there, worshipping in spirit and truth regardless of the place. The New Covenant's Temple is in Heaven, not in this or that church.

"Our Lord said that salvation was of the Jews and that the day was coming when the (new) Chosen People would no longer worhip on mountains in Palestine. Likewise, today we can say that salvation is of the Catholic Church."

Nonsense! Our Lord said salvation is from the Jews (not to be confused with the current religion of that name) and who are you to now change his words. He founded the Catholic Church to gather to him believers from all peoples but that doesn't change the fact that God chose one people among all to begin his work (and it wasn't the Romans). And God doesn't break covenants -

"The Church founded in spirit and truth is geographically based at Rome."

No, the primate See of Peter is based at Rome - the church is based everywhere.

"When any Orthodox person, layman and bishop alike, asks us the question point-blank, we should answer point-blank."

Yes, but it should be the truth, the Catholic truth as contained in Scripture, Tradition and the Magisterium - not some self-made private theology.

Anonymous said...

A paper like this shows that Zealots are present both on the orthodox and, unfortunately, on the catholic side. I am, frankly speaking, slightly disgusted.

The point is that, at the moment of the great schism, the role of the Pope of Rome in the Church was entirely different from what we are accustomed to now. So there is no logical nor ecclesiological ground for asking orthodox to accept all our second millennium developments without discussion. The great schism should be read as a division of Christendom occurring between equally important parts at that time, none of which being allowed to claim to representat the whole Church at that time nor later. Quoting second millenium sources for denying this and accusing people of heresy should entail that even a large part of the Popes of the first millennium, whose teaching should be equally binding for zealots too, are heretics. It is interesting that the arguments of orthodox zealots too (see http://www.oodegr.com/english/, but you must have cold blood to read documents on those pages) bear often close resemblance to the ones of catholic zealots, just some names and references changed.

I am catholic and I strongly believe in the special role and authority of the Pope, but also that the forms of this authority can be discussed. The same is what, e.g., the present catholic archbishop of Moscow (not the say Pope John Paul of blessed memory) thinks. But we are all heretics, you know. Meanwhile there is "only a small handful who love and defend all her teachings", and those saying that only catholics go the heaven are DEFINITELY not among them, nor make a good service to faith and logic.

Jordanes said...

the supposed schism of 1054 which never occured in the first place

I have no problem with the rest of your comment, Resident, but this is just silly. The representatives of the Apostolic See and Constantinople certainly did excommunicate each other. That schism did not immediately "take root" in all parts of the Church, but it's nonsense to claim, as some historical revisionists do in misguided support of East-West ecumenism, that a schism did not take place in A.D. 1054.

The point is that, at the moment of the great schism, the role of the Pope of Rome in the Church was entirely different from what we are accustomed to now.

No, not "entirely."

So there is no logical nor ecclesiological ground for asking orthodox to accept all our second millennium developments without discussion.

Of course not without discussion. With discussion, though, certainly they must be asked to accept all of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church's developments since they separated from the one sheepfold.

The great schism should be read as a division of Christendom occurring between equally important parts at that time, none of which being allowed to claim to representat the whole Church at that time nor later.

Not quite, for the Church of Rome has always "represented" the whole Church, both at that time and afterwards.

Meanwhile there is "only a small handful who love and defend all her teachings", and those saying that only catholics go the heaven are DEFINITELY not among them

On the contrary, it's heresy to claim that anyone but Catholics go to heaven.

John McFarland said...

Bonafacius,

Obviously, schismatics are our brethren in various respects.

But as you no doubt agree, they are not our brethren in the one thing needful.

So the introduction of "separated brethren" was always walking a fine line between manifesting Catholic benevolence and the danger of its being construed as participation in the one thing needful.

But it's a little late to worry about it, since nowadays the highest authorities teach in this matter a gospel different from the gospel given once for all to the saints.

John McFarland said...

Resident,

The Pope is the vicar of Christ on earth, and all Christians are under his authority. Those who deny that authority cannot be saved. The material validity of the sacraments of schismatics avail them nothing. If you do not believe that, you do not believe what the Church teaches.

Having authority and exercising authority are two different things. Furthermore, authority can be exercised and delegated in various ways, and those ways can and have changed as times go by. The historical considerations to which you advert, and about which I probably know at least as much as you do, are the chronicle of the working out of those considerations. But Peter still has his authority, no matter how badly he bungles its exercise, and no matter how many refuse to accept it in one way or one degree or other.

The gap between being a Catholic and not being a Catholic is the gap between the possibility of Heaven and the certainly of Hell. It is as simple and terrible as that; and those who do not -- or will not -- understand that, understand anything.

The ecclesiology to which you appeal, and about which I probably know at least as much as you do, has been made up out of the whole cloth in the last couple of generations precisely to rationalize the denial of the terrible truth.

John McFarland said...

Jordanes,

I'm having trouble understanding what I said that led to your imputation of heresy (a word I'd suggest that those of us without the relevant learning or authority use sparingly if at all).

Do you think I am denying the distinction between members of the Church in the strict sense, and those sufficiently attached to the Church to be saved?

I accept that distinction, although it doesn't change the fact that such a person in not saved by virtue of being Greek Orthodox, Anglican, Methodist, etc.

More generally, I accept the teaching on such matters set forth by Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton (RIP) in his The Catholic Church and Salvation.

Anonymous said...

"The point is that, at the moment of the great schism, the role of the Pope of Rome in the Church was entirely different from what we are accustomed to now.

No, not "entirely.""
Almost entirely? Have a look to the (let me guess, heretic?) draft of the joint catholic-orthodox theological commission which is investigating this issue. This document is of course not binding (nor is your opinion binding anyway) but it is at least hystorically consistent.

"Of course not without discussion. With discussion, though, certainly they must be asked to accept all of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church's developments since they separated from the one sheepfold."
An interesting idea of what a discussion is. Once again, this is perfectly consistent, mutatis mutandis, with what orthodox zealots think. Unfortunately their claim involves another Church, but is as week as yours.

"Not quite, for the Church of Rome has always "represented" the whole Church, both at that time and afterwards."
The Popes were in some cases not even present at the Ecumenical Council. Please indicate a canon of one of the Ecumenical Canons of the first millennium saying, directly or indirectly, what you claim. If there is no canon there is no bounding statement and you are expressing an opinion, which is moreover historically quite hard to justify.
"On the contrary, it's heresy to claim that anyone but Catholics go to heaven."
This is in direct opposition with the Catechism of the Catholic Church. You are free to consider it as being not Catholic, but your attitude is then similar, although specular, to the one of those thinking that Vatican II is the only source of truth while all the past has been abolished.

Jordanes said...

Mr. McFarland said: I'm having trouble understanding what I said that led to your imputation of heresy (a word I'd suggest that those of us without the relevant learning or authority use sparingly if at all).

To recap, you had said: There are only Catholics in heaven.

Anonymous 06 March, 2010 14:06 next retorted: Meanwhile there is "only a small handful who love and defend all her teachings", and those saying that only catholics go the (sic) heaven are DEFINITELY not among them, nor make a good service to faith and logic.

I then responded to Anonymous' heresy by saying: On the contrary, it's heresy to claim that anyone but Catholics go to heaven.

So, that is what you said that led to my noting that what Anonymous said is heresy.

The Catholic Faith is the truth, and anyone in heaven knows and believes the truth and is in eternal communion with Jesus. Therefore, there are only Catholics in heaven, just as you said.

David said...

O Lord save us from our defenders!

It used to be said that one of the great difficulties in dealing with the Orthodox was that their memories were too long. Well, judging from this posting and from most of the comments that follow it would seem that the East has by no means got the monopoly on this problem.

Get your noses out of your history books and catechisms and look at the genuine esteem and respect that Pope Benedict and Patriarch Bartholomew manifest towards each other in word and deed.

No! they don't ignore the problems that remain but Caritas Christi urget eos. Who will submit to who is not the issue but rather the burning desire that both Pope and Patriarch have to eat the same loaf and drink the same cup.

That happy day may be closer than many of us realize and when it comes I assure you it will bear no resemblance to the Council of Florence which was a disaster from the start.

The Pope will not appoint a new Patriarch of Constantinople for the simple reason that there is already a Patriarch of Constantinople. Sadly Pope and Patriarch are not at present in communion with each other but Benedict XVI is the true Pope and Bartholomew is the true Patriarch.

NMow, what would a re-united Church look like?

Listen to the voice of Peter, which you so zealously defend. Rome wants to go around the sacking of Constantinople and to bypass the Council of Florence. She seeks to go back to the way things were in the first millenium before the Schism even occurred. In those days it would have been unthinkable for the Pope to appoint any of the Eastern Patriarchs and it will be equally unthinkable in a future re-union.

So, clamber off your little triumphalist stools folks and inhale the godly vision of the Pope and the Patriarch

Jordanes said...

Who will submit to who is not the issue but rather the burning desire that both Pope and Patriarch have to eat the same loaf and drink the same cup.

Your view is simply not on very good speaking terms with reality if you think that is not one of the issues, if not the chief issue, to be resolved before the Eastern Orthodox are reunited with the Church of Christ.

That happy day may be closer than many of us realize and when it comes I assure you it will bear no resemblance to the Council of Florence which was a disaster from the start.

"No resemblance"? If so, it will be a disaster from the start, for it will not be a reunion founded upon the truth.

The Pope will not appoint a new Patriarch of Constantinople for the simple reason that there is already a Patriarch of Constantinople.

A de facto Patriarch, that is. But no, he would not appoint a new Patriarch in the event of reunion, but extend his recognition to the Patriarch and thus grant him legitimacy as a Catholic Patriarch.

Sadly Pope and Patriarch are not at present in communion with each other but Benedict XVI is the true Pope and Bartholomew is the true Patriarch.

No, Bartholomew will only be the true Patriarch when he enters into full communion with the Pope. At this moment, there is no Catholic Patriarch of Constantinople, which means there is no true Patriarch.

Rome wants to go around the sacking of Constantinople

No, Rome isn't trying to sidestep that and other issues that help feed the schism. She has addressed it head-on.

and to bypass the Council of Florence. She seeks to go back to the way things were in the first millenium before the Schism even occurred.

Nope, Rome isn't trying to do that either -- which is good, since it's impossible. The Church can never revert to an earlier, less mature stage of her pilgrimage.

In those days it would have been unthinkable for the Pope to appoint any of the Eastern Patriarchs and it will be equally unthinkable in a future re-union.

Direct appointment of Eastern Patriarchs by the Pope isn't necessary. Papal recognition of a patriarch's election, however, is necessary.

Jordanes said...

Almost entirely? Have a look to the (let me guess, heretic?) draft of the joint catholic-orthodox theological commission which is investigating this issue.

It's only a draft document and hasn't been approved by either side, and yes, it includes propositions that are contrary to the Catholic faith. It's a significant step in the right direction, however.

This document is of course not binding (nor is your opinion binding anyway)

Whatever. If my opinion is correct, then it's as "binding" as any definition of the extraordinary magisterium.

"Of course not without discussion. With discussion, though, certainly they must be asked to accept all of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church's developments since they separated from the one sheepfold."
An interesting idea of what a discussion is.


Yes, I agree, a correct idea of "discussion" is an interesting idea.

Once again, this is perfectly consistent, mutatis mutandis, with what orthodox zealots think.

The difference, however, being that the Catholic Church has the fullness of truth, and the Orthodox do not.

"Not quite, for the Church of Rome has always "represented" the whole Church, both at that time and afterwards."
The Popes were in some cases not even present at the Ecumenical Council.


Wrong -- history records that in MOST cases they were not present at the early oecumenical councils. However, they were always represented at the councils by the council president who was approved or even directly chosen by the Pope.

Please indicate a canon of one of the Ecumenical Canons of the first millennium saying, directly or indirectly, what you claim.

We have the sixth canon from the very first council:

Ta archaia ethe krateito ta en Aigupto kai Liboe kai Pentapolei, hoste ton Alexandreias episopon panton touton echein ten exousian, epeide kai to en te Rome episkopo touto sunethes estin. Homoios de kai kata Antiocheian kai en tais allais eparchias ta presbeia sozesthai tais ekklesiais....

"Let the ancient usage throughout Egypt, Libya, and Pentapolis be strictly adhered to, so that the Bishop of Alexandria shall have jurisdiction over all these; since this is also the custom of the Bishop of Rome. In like manner, as regards Antioch and the other provinces, let each church retain its special privileges."

Nicaea insisted on respect for the Alexandrine and Antiochene patriarchies because it was the established custom of the Roman bishop to respect their patriarchies.

http://www.bringyou.to/apologetics/CouncilNicaeaSixthCanon.htm

If there is no canon there is no bounding statement and you are expressing an opinion, which is moreover historically quite hard to justify.

Your view is directly contrary to that which the Church of Christ expressed at her oecumenical council of Vatican I, in Pastor Aeternus. Your view is quite simply not Catholic.

"On the contrary, it's heresy to claim that anyone but Catholics go to heaven."
This is in direct opposition with the Catechism of the Catholic Church.


Show me one passage of the Church's Catechism that says there are any human souls in heaven but those who know and believe all that the Catholic Church teaches. You know full well there's nothing in the Catechism that says any such pernicious nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Jordanes, And let us not forget about the necessity of water Baptism for entry into the Kingdom of Heaven. Jn 3:5 Mk16:16

Resident said...

Jordanes, your posting merits a reply (as opposed to what John has written):

I wrote: "the supposed schism of 1054 which never occured in the first place"

You replied: "I have no problem with the rest of your comment, Resident, but this is just silly. The representatives of the Apostolic See and Constantinople certainly did excommunicate each other. ... in A.D. 1054."

Something took place in 1054 but it wasn't what you described.

First of all, problems were brewing between east and west for a long time, the most glaring episode being the Photian schism (which also produced an doctrinal level to the strife).

In 1054, the legate of a dead Pope issued a bull of excommunication to the Patriarch. That bull was meant as a last resort but Humbert of Silva Candida hastened himself to deliver it. The Patriarch responded by excommunicating the Pope.

This happened but it didn't result in a schism then and there. Relations between East and West continued in the same strained fashion as before. Not 30 years later, the Byzantines requested help from the Pope, leading to the crusades.

The schism is not a matter of mutual excomunication but one of gradual worsening of relations, in which the events of 1204 play a major role.

The event of 1054 was only played up in the 20th century, because of one historian's views to that extent. That historian had the ear of Pope Paul VI, who in the spirit of ecumenism decided to symbolically undo these events. But just as that act didn't mend the schism, the events it points to didn't cause, start or ferment the schism in the first place.

Somebody wrote: "The point is that, at the moment of the great schism, the role of the Pope of Rome in the Church was entirely different from what we are accustomed to now."

You wrote: "No, not "entirely."

Of course not without discussion. With discussion, though, certainly they must be asked to accept all of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church's developments since they separated from the one sheepfold."

Sure ... only one must be clear what that means. It does not mean - not even according to Catholic ecclesiology that the Pope must call all the shots, that he must appoint a Patriarch in Constantinople (when has he actually ever done so except in the case of the miscreant Latin Empire - and even then I don't believe that Innocent III freely chose that Venetian) or other bishop.

I am frustrated by those who think themselves so über-Catholic that they extoll papal supremacy (which I in no way deny) whilst forgetting about all the rest of ecclesiology, about the necessary existence of particular churches, about how these have bishops that are actually successors of the Apostles and have their own authority and are not merely lieutenants of the Pope. That canon laws holds for bishops being chosen and installed by particular clergy, laity and the bishops of the province working together. That what some here are espousing is akin to the "Universal bishop" idea condemned by no less than Pope Gregory the Great.

Someone wrote: "The great schism should be read as a division of Christendom occurring between equally important parts at that time, none of which being allowed to claim to representat the whole Church at that time nor later.

You replied: "Not quite, for the Church of Rome has always "represented" the whole Church, both at that time and afterwards."

I disagree with the other poster that no side can lay claim to representing the whole Catholic Church. Sure, those in communion with the See of Rome are (and not simply the particular church of Rome, which is merely the center) - but that doesn't leave those not in communion with Rome as just negligable foreign objects but they are still cut off members of that body. The wounds of the body cannot be healed by prosthetics IMHO.

Resident said...

... Sure ... only one must be clear what that means. It does not mean - not even according to Catholic ecclesiology that the Pope must call all the shots, that he must appoint a Patriarch in Constantinople (when has he actually ever done so except in the case of the miscreant Latin Empire - and even then I don't believe that Innocent III freely chose that Venetian) or other bishop.

I am frustrated by those who think themselves so über-Catholic that they extoll papal supremacy (which I in no way deny) whilst forgetting about all the rest of ecclesiology, about the necessary existence of particular churches, about how these have bishops that are actually successors of the Apostles and have their own authority and are not merely lieutenants of the Pope. That canon laws holds for bishops being chosen and installed by particular clergy, laity and the bishops of the province working together. That what some here are espousing is akin to the "Universal bishop" idea condemned by no less than Pope Gregory the Great.

Someone wrote: "The great schism should be read as a division of Christendom occurring between equally important parts at that time, none of which being allowed to claim to representat the whole Church at that time nor later.

You replied: "Not quite, for the Church of Rome has always "represented" the whole Church, both at that time and afterwards."

I disagree with the other poster that no side can lay claim to representing the whole Catholic Church. Sure, those in communion with the See of Rome are (and not simply the particular church of Rome, which is merely the center) - but that doesn't leave those not in communion with Rome as just negligable foreign objects but they are still cut off members of that body. The wounds of the body cannot be healed by prosthetics IMHO.

Somebody wrote: "Meanwhile there is "only a small handful who love and defend all her teachings", and those saying that only catholics go the heaven are DEFINITELY not among them"

You wrote: "On the contrary, it's heresy to claim that anyone but Catholics go to heaven."

En contraire, that view was condemned as heresy in the case of Fr. Feeney.

If your claim were true, no less than Bl. Pius IX and Saint Augustine were heretics.

And those using anything to elevate themselves above others to gloat (as some here have done) will certainly not inherit the kingdom.

John McFarland said...

Anonymous 15:40,

Ah, yes: one verse of scripture, and one not particularly learned but very stubborn Jesuit born close to 1900 years into the Christian Era, and the little cult that grew up around him, against the whole Church.

From the Housetops could have been an early warning for millions of American Catholics of what was in the wind. Instead, its message just got treated as the message of a nut cult -- which, sad to say, was a not entirely inaccurate description of the source of that message.

John McFarland said...

Jordanes,

You say:

"Show me one passage of the Church's Catechism that says there are any human souls in heaven but those who know and believe all that the Catholic Church teaches."

Can you show me a passage of the Catechism of Vatican II that says that believing all that the Catholic Church teaches is necessary for salvation? This is a rather important point; but I don't think you'll find it in the 600-odd pages of the text. Nor do I think you'll find it often, if at all, in the post-conciliar magisterium.

Anonymous said...

...Can you show me a passage of the Catechism of Vatican II that says that believing all that the Catholic Church teaches is necessary for salvation? This is a rather important point; but I don't think you'll find it in the 600-odd pages of the text. Nor do I think you'll find it often, if at all, in the post-conciliar magisterium.

Just attend one of your run-of-the-mill N.O. funerals and most of the time you will find that Aunt Tillie is in heaven!

Jordanes said...

Can you show me a passage of the Catechism of Vatican II that says that believing all that the Catholic Church teaches is necessary for salvation? This is a rather important point; but I don't think you'll find it in the 600-odd pages of the text.

150 Faith is first of all a personal adherence of man to God. At the same time, and inseparably, it is a free assent to the whole truth that God has revealed. As personal adherence to God and assent to his truth, Christian faith differs from our faith in any human person. It is right and just to entrust oneself wholly to God and to believe absolutely what he says. It would be futile and false to place such faith in a creature.

161 Believing in Jesus Christ and in the One who sent him for our salvation is necessary for obtaining that salvation. "Since "without faith it is impossible to please [God]" and to attain to the fellowship of his sons, therefore without faith no one has ever attained justification, nor will anyone obtain eternal life 'But he who endures to the end.'"

169 Salvation comes from God alone; but because we receive the life of faith through the Church, she is our mother: "We believe the Church as the mother of our new birth, and not in the Church as if she were the author of our salvation." Because she is our mother, she is also our teacher in the faith.

170 We do not believe in formulas, but in those realities they express, which faith allows us to touch. "The believer's act [of faith] does not terminate in the propositions, but in the realities [which they express]." All the same, we do approach these realities with the help of formulations of the faith which permit us to express the faith and to hand it on, to celebrate it in community, to assimilate and live on it more and more.

171 The Church, "the pillar and bulwark of the truth", faithfully guards "the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints". She guards the memory of Christ's words; it is she who from generation to generation hands on the apostles' confession of faith. As a mother who teaches her children to speak and so to understand and communicate, the Church our Mother teaches us the language of faith in order to introduce us to the understanding and the life of faith.

193 None of the creeds from the different stages in the Church's life can be considered superseded or irrelevant. They help us today to attain and deepen the faith of all times by means of the different summaries made of it.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

Question. Based on the flurry of recent posts by persons who seem convinced that there are only Catholics in Heaven, and the rather firmly stated views that we Orthodox are not...

How do you explain the widespread practice among the uniate Catholics of venerating and even commemorating liturgically post schism Orthodox saints? This has been tolerated and even encouraged by the Holy See since at least the time of Pope Pius X.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Mc Farland, I have followed many of your comments on this site with great admiration. However, I am shocked and disappointed that you would denigrate a loyal and holy priest like Fr. Feeney. It is clear that you do not know the facts of his case. Certainly, the truth about The Boston Heresy Case has been suppressed, but a man as educated as yourself should be able to get around the typical obfuscations and misinformation and arrive at the truth in justice. http://catholicism.org/father-feeney-fact-sheet.html

John McFarland said...

Jordanes,

In genuine Catholic doctrine, faith is propositional.

In CVII 150, faith is both a relationship with God and -- maybe -- propositional.

I say maybe because it is not clear that "the whole truth that God has revealed" is the same as (to use the formulation of the Baltimore Catechism) "all the truths that God has revealed."

Traditionaly, the purpose of a catchism is to present precise formuations of the data of faith. The CVII instead heaps up the data and avoids precise formulations.

As I've said to you before: why the avoidance of clarity precisely in those circumstances where the Church has traditionally been at most pains to be clear: acts of the magisterium and catechisms?

In most areas of life, deliberate lack of clarity means that osmeone is up to something.

What are the draftsmen of the Catechism, and behind them the mover and shakers of the Council that the Catechism codified, up to?

For some enlightenment, I'd suggest Bishop Tissier's little treatise on the philosophy and theology of Josef Ratzinger and Pope Benedict XVI, which is posted on the True Restoration blogspot.

John McFarland said...

John (ad Orientem),

If your account of the history is correct, you are informing us about a great scandal.

I think it more likely that before Vatican II, what we are talking about is not the action of the Holy See, but the machinations of the ecumenicists within the Church.

By the 1920s, the mystique of Orthdoxy had taken hold in the Catholic intelligentsia, and the posts on this site indicates that it has not loosened its grip even among those who consider themselves traditionalists, and to a considerable extent are.

But even if St. Pius X, or an angel from heaven, were to express or imply that schismatics are part of the Church of God, anathema sit, since it is a gospel different from the gospel given once for all to the saints.

Jordanes said...

You responded as I knew you would to the demonstration that the Church's Catechism says believing all that the Catholic Church teaches is necessary for salvation, Mr. McFarland. You're back to the complaint that the Catechism just isn't as clear and as simple as you would personally prefer it to be, with insinuations that *somebody* is deliberately trying to obfuscate and confuse. Certainly if it's the clarity, simplicity, and brevity of a catechism that was prepared solely for the instruction of school children that you want, the Church's Catechism isn't going to satisfy you. But it's quite clear enough for adult Catholics.

I would recommend you read and study the Catechism itself, rather than restricting yourself to SSPX commentaries and criticisms of the Catechism. If you'd been doing that, you'd have already known where the Catechism says believing all that the Catholic Church teaches is necessary for salvation.

And now we can return to the topic of the discussion already under way. . . .

David said...

Yes indeed, Jordanes, lets get back to the discussion. Perhaps we might start by your addressing Resident's thread which, may I say, has saved me some effort.

My own contribution will be to suggest you give us your annswer as to why the Pope leaves out the "Filioque" in the Nicene Creed whenever the Patriarch is present. Are we to assume that he is conveniently denying (out of courtesy)an article in the Nicene Creed (Roman versian)which the Orthodox do not accept??

Jordanes said...

This happened but it didn't result in a schism then and there.

It certainly did. When a bishop purports to excommunicating a pope, that is an act of schism. Just because it took a while for that crack to spread and chip further, so to speak, doesn't mean a schism did not happen at all.

The schism is not a matter of mutual excomunication but one of gradual worsening of relations, in which the events of 1204 play a major role.

Pointing to all of the factors that led to the schism, or that have helped to feed it or exacerbate it, is all very important and necessary. But it's no service to the truth to refer to the events of A.D. 1054 as a supposed schism that never took place. The East-West Schism, of course, really was not solidified and made permanent (as permanent as things can be in this world, that is) until 1472.

Sure ... only one must be clear what that means. It does not mean - not even according to Catholic ecclesiology that the Pope must call all the shots, that he must appoint a Patriarch in Constantinople (when has he actually ever done so except in the case of the miscreant Latin Empire - and even then I don't believe that Innocent III freely chose that Venetian) or other bishop.

No, it doesn't mean that, though it does entail acceptance of the Pope's right to do that if the Church ever sees fit.

You wrote: "On the contrary, it's heresy to claim that anyone but Catholics go to heaven."

En contraire, that view was condemned as heresy in the case of Fr. Feeney.


You're mistaken. First of all, Fr. Feeney's erroneous opinions were not and have never been condemned as heresy. Secondly and more importantly, it is not heresy to believe what the Church teaches on this matter, which is there are no human souls in heaven except for those who know and believe the truth in its entirety -- indeed they know it better and more truly than the most faithful Catholic here below does.

If your claim were true, no less than Bl. Pius IX and Saint Augustine were heretics.

But they never said that there are non-Catholics in heaven. Salvation is possible (though not easy and absolutely not a sure thing) for persons who are not formally members of the Catholic Church -- but if they are saved and have been admitted to heaven, then they are mystically joined to the Body of Christ and thus become Catholic the instant they are saved.

Jordanes said...

My own contribution will be to suggest you give us your annswer as to why the Pope leaves out the "Filioque" in the Nicene Creed whenever the Patriarch is present. Are we to assume that he is conveniently denying (out of courtesy)an article in the Nicene Creed (Roman versian)which the Orthodox do not accept??

Do the Eastern Catholics, who do not say the Filioque in the Creed even though as Catholics they are bound in faith to believe and profess it, deny the Filioque?

When you have answered that question correctly, you will be a good way to finding the answer to your first question about the Pope's customary practice.

Moretben said...

What this discussion confirms, if nothing else, is the absolute hopelessness of "Orthodoxy in Communion with Rome". What does it mean to be "bound to believe things" at the highest level of theologia which are consciously excluded nevertheless from the Divine Liturgy; whereas liturgical commemoration is continued of persons guilty not only of schism, but also heresy (eg St Gregory Palamas)?

Jordanes said...

What does it mean to be "bound to believe things" at the highest level of theologia which are consciously excluded nevertheless from the Divine Liturgy;

Didn't St. Augustine explain the dogma of the Filioque -- yet he never said any creed that included it?

whereas liturgical commemoration is continued of persons guilty not only of schism, but also heresy (eg St Gregory Palamas)?

St. Justin Martyr's theology was faulty, at times sounding like ditheism, and paving the way for the Arian notion of the Logos as the first creature. St. Thomas Aquinas wavered on the Immaculate Conception, at last deciding against it.