• Please remember: Pray for Ukraine in the Prayer forum; Share news in the Christian News section; Discuss religious implications in FFA: Religious Topics; Discuss political implications in Politics (and if you don't have access, PM me) Thank you! + Fr. George, Forum Administrator

History of Intercommunion in the 17th Century and its possibility today.

Xavier

OC.Net Guru
Post Moderated
Joined
Apr 5, 2015
Messages
1,317
Reaction score
37
Points
48
Age
33
Location
India
Website
marianapostolate.com
Faith
Traditional Catholic Christian
Jurisdiction
The Pope - but my heart is for Re-Union!
What do you think of the history of intercommunion between Greeks and Latins in the 17th century - as documented in this Orthodox site - and its possibility today, especially in light of recent common declarations signed between the Shepherds of the Churches? Thoughts?

Some excerpts: "Yet the historical reality turns out to be more complicated ... in actual practice relations between Catholics and Orthodox often continued to be extraordinarily amicable, above all during the years 1600-1700. In the many regions of the Levant where members of the two Churches dwelt side by side, if there was sometimes tension on the local level, more frequently there was friendly cooperation, and not only cooperation but intercommunion. Within the Venetian dominions it was the normal policy of the Latin authorities to do everything possible to encourage harmony between their catholic and orthodox subjects; within the Ottoman empire, servitude to the infidel made Greeks and Latins alike more conscious of the common heritage which they shared as Christians.

Writing at Rome in the 1640s, the Greek Catholic Leo Allatius remarked of the contemporary situation:

"The Greeks show no abhorrence for intermarriage with the Latins; they frequent the Latin churches, they attend the divine offices, the church sermons, and all the other functions of the Latins, and they entrust their sons for education at Latin hands… Greeks with Latins, and Latins with Greeks, attend worship and celebrate services indiscriminately (protniscue) in the churches of either rite.10 ..."

Roman Catholics were accepted as godparents at orthodox baptisms, and vice-versa. Latin missionaries from the west, in the absence of a bishop of their own Church, behaved towards the local orthodox hierarch as if they recognised him for their ordinary, seeking faculties from him, asking formally for permission to work in his diocese. The orthodox authorities on their side welcomed the Jesuits and other religious orders as friends and allies, and even took the initiative in summoning them to undertake pastoral duties among their flocks. With the blessing of the Greek bishops, catholic priests preached in orthodox churches, heard the confessions of orthodox faithful, and gave them holy communion...

... the fact remains that in the years 1600-1700 vast numbers of Catholics and Orthodox, educated clergy as well as simple believers, acted as though no schism existed between East and West."

Taken from: https://journal.orthodoxwestblogs.c...seventeenth-century-schism-or-intercommunion/
 

brlon

Sr. Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2015
Messages
153
Reaction score
88
Points
28
Location
UK
Faith
None
Jurisdiction
None
Taken from the concluding paragraphs of the same article: https://journal.orthodoxwestblogs.c...seventeenth-century-schism-or-intercommunion/

"In 1862 Dom Jean-Baptiste Pitra, the future cardinal, prepared a perceptive memorandum on communicatio in sacris with the Orientals.53 He was well aware of the intercommunion which had existed between Greeks and Latins some two centuries previously, and he cited the De.. .Perpetua Consensione of Leo Allatius and the reports of the Jesuit missionaries, as well as interesting evidence from Kerkyra (Corfu) in 1724. But he went on to insist that the situation had altered. The precedents adduced from the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, so he argued, now possessed no more than a ‘speculative value’; such practices he considered out of the question in the mid-nineteenth century."
 

melkite

Elder
Warned
Joined
Mar 25, 2011
Messages
389
Reaction score
176
Points
43
Age
42
Location
Maryland
Faith
Melkite Catholic
Jurisdiction
Eparchy of Newton
Taken from the concluding paragraphs of the same article: https://journal.orthodoxwestblogs.c...seventeenth-century-schism-or-intercommunion/

"In 1862 Dom Jean-Baptiste Pitra, the future cardinal, prepared a perceptive memorandum on communicatio in sacris with the Orientals.53 He was well aware of the intercommunion which had existed between Greeks and Latins some two centuries previously, and he cited the De.. .Perpetua Consensione of Leo Allatius and the reports of the Jesuit missionaries, as well as interesting evidence from Kerkyra (Corfu) in 1724. But he went on to insist that the situation had altered. The precedents adduced from the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, so he argued, now possessed no more than a ‘speculative value’; such practices he considered out of the question in the mid-nineteenth century."
*Why* had they become out of the question? What changed between the 17th and 19th centuries?
 

Xavier

OC.Net Guru
Post Moderated
Joined
Apr 5, 2015
Messages
1,317
Reaction score
37
Points
48
Age
33
Location
India
Website
marianapostolate.com
Faith
Traditional Catholic Christian
Jurisdiction
The Pope - but my heart is for Re-Union!
*Why* had they become out of the question? What changed between the 17th and 19th centuries?
Exactly. If it was possible in the 17th century, it should be possible today. At least for the Catholic Church, the Code of Canon Law now authorizes it.

§2 Whenever necessity requires or a genuine spiritual advantage commends it, and provided the danger of error or indifferentism is avoided, Christ's faithful for whom it is physically or morally impossible to approach a catholic minister, may lawfully receive the sacraments of penance, the Eucharist and anointing of the sick from non-catholic ministers in whose Churches these sacraments are valid.

§3 Catholic ministers may lawfully administer the sacraments of penance, the Eucharist and anointing of the sick to members of the eastern Churches not in full communion with the catholic Church, if they spontaneously ask for them and are properly disposed. The same applies to members of other Churches which the Apostolic See judges to be in the same position as the aforesaid eastern Churches so far as the sacraments are concerned."

Taken from: http://www.intratext.com/IXT/ENG0017/__P2S.HTM
 

Tzimis

Taxiarches
Site Supporter
Joined
May 24, 2006
Messages
5,559
Reaction score
261
Points
83
Location
wilderness
Faith
Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction
EP
*Why* had they become out of the question? What changed between the 17th and 19th centuries?
Generally it's Nationalism. During the 13th to 18th century, latin family dynasties like the Venicians had dominated a good portion of western Greek islands and were slowly latinizing the population.
Same also happened in the 19th century on the Aegean islands during the rule of the kingdom of Italy. My cousins grandmother knows how to speak and write fluent Italian because grade schools were being converted to Italian institutions.
 
Joined
Jul 17, 2018
Messages
589
Reaction score
314
Points
63
Faith
Orthodox
Jurisdiction
OCA
Exactly. If it was possible in the 17th century, it should be possible today. At least for the Catholic Church, the Code of Canon Law now authorizes it.
No, he's asking what changed in the mind of Dom Jean-Baptiste Pitra - why did he consider it unacceptable in the 19th century but not before?
 

Asteriktos

Strategos
Joined
Oct 4, 2002
Messages
40,181
Reaction score
671
Points
113
Faith
-
Jurisdiction
-
An interesting article by His Eminence.
 

Katechon

High Elder
Warned
Post Moderated
Joined
Nov 16, 2018
Messages
596
Reaction score
301
Points
63
Location
Germany
Faith
Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction
ROC-MP
No, he's asking what changed in the mind of Dom Jean-Baptiste Pitra - why did he consider it unacceptable in the 19th century but not before?
Maybe Vatican I? Trent actually procrastinated a definitive ruling on papal authority, even though it is heavily implied in the way the pope became able to lord over the Liturgy.
 

melkite

Elder
Warned
Joined
Mar 25, 2011
Messages
389
Reaction score
176
Points
43
Age
42
Location
Maryland
Faith
Melkite Catholic
Jurisdiction
Eparchy of Newton
Maybe Vatican I? Trent actually procrastinated a definitive ruling on papal authority, even though it is heavily implied in the way the pope became able to lord over the Liturgy.
That's the only thing I can think of. But from the Catholic POV, everything doctrinal of Vat I would have been present, at least in seed form, from the beginning. So that still shouldn't have caused an issue in the 19th century if it didn't cause one in the 17th. At least if you follow that logic.
 

TheTrisagion

Hoplitarches
Joined
Nov 9, 2012
Messages
18,010
Reaction score
358
Points
83
Age
42
Location
PA, USA
Faith
Orthodox
Jurisdiction
Antiochian
Vatican 1 and 2 pretty much killed any potential for reunification. Plus, at this point, you have the RC Church which has a super poor reputation worldwide, and the Orthodox Church which is pretty under the radar. There isn't much benefit from the Orthodox perspective to saddle itself to an organization which while unfair, is viewed as the equivalent to pedophilia by much of the world.
 

Katechon

High Elder
Warned
Post Moderated
Joined
Nov 16, 2018
Messages
596
Reaction score
301
Points
63
Location
Germany
Faith
Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction
ROC-MP
That's the only thing I can think of. But from the Catholic POV, everything doctrinal of Vat I would have been present, at least in seed form, from the beginning. So that still shouldn't have caused an issue in the 19th century if it didn't cause one in the 17th. At least if you follow that logic.
Well, Thomas Aquinas and Bernard of Clairvaux were heavily against the Immaculate Conception. If you'd be consequential as a Vatican's minion you'd have to deny their sainthood too.
 

Katechon

High Elder
Warned
Post Moderated
Joined
Nov 16, 2018
Messages
596
Reaction score
301
Points
63
Location
Germany
Faith
Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction
ROC-MP
Vatican 1 and 2 pretty much killed any potential for reunification. Plus, at this point, you have the RC Church which has a super poor reputation worldwide, and the Orthodox Church which is pretty under the radar. There isn't much benefit from the Orthodox perspective to saddle itself to an organization which while unfair, is viewed as the equivalent to pedophilia by much of the world.
I honestly don't even see what people like Xavier expect out of something like this. If we had some sort of Union tomorrow it would only legitimize and spread the abuses and heresies found in his sect - that he despises and hates himself - to Orthodoxy. Maybe he is trying to come up with narratives that dispense him from the necessity and the struggle of finally becoming Orthodox.
 

Cavaradossi

Archon
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
2,180
Reaction score
200
Points
63
Faith
Orthodox
Jurisdiction
AANA
*Why* had they become out of the question? What changed between the 17th and 19th centuries?
Probably the major factor was the discovery of the Jesuits’ policy of secret conversions (see the section which talks about the ‘Trojan Horse’ policy). Essentially, the Jesuits were secretly converting people by having them affirm that they accepted papal authority without outwardly defecting but rather continuing to live as Orthodox Christians. When this policy produced a schism in the Patriarchate of Antioch in the 1720s, those who formerly had switched ecclesiastical allegiances in secret were brought into the open en masse, shocking ecclesiastics in other regions and bringing them to realize that the Jesuits had come with ulterior motives. After a failed plot to bring the patriarchate of Alexandria under the control of the convert faction left Alexandria in disarray (Cyril Tanas sent a priest to to claim falsely that he was the bishop-elect of Alexandria in an attempt to have the people and the Ottoman authorities recognize him over the actual bishop who had been elected), the blowback was tremendous, and the eventual result was the policy enacted by Patriarch Cyril V of Constantinople in 1755 to receive all Latins by baptism which effectively ended any possibility of open communicatio in sacris and reinforced the sharp boundary between the two sides which formerly had been quite eroded in practice.
 

MarkosC

Elder
Joined
Dec 20, 2005
Messages
310
Reaction score
70
Points
28
Location
North America
Faith
Greek Catholic
Jurisdiction
Eparchy of Newton
To hit this part of the OP:

What do you think of the history of intercommunion between Greeks and Latins in the 17th century - as documented in this Orthodox site - and its possibility today, especially in light of recent common declarations signed between the Shepherds of the Churches? Thoughts?
No.

First, very limited intercommunion is sometimes permitted today, essentially by economy, on the Orthodox side. (I'm not going to discuss further because it's not regular, some people really don't like it, it's no one's right, and I don't want to say I encourage or would seek such a thing). I'm told in some areas today intercommunion is permitted. (I have not been to such places nor am I terriby interested in that particular subject). Some bishops allowing such things some times for what they judge to be prudent reasons for a given case is not a basis for further intercommunion.

Second, from a Catholic perspective you have the rules on intercommunion already posted and which (at least here in the US) is in the official pewbook: members of the "Eastern", "Oriental" Orthodox churches and the Assyrian Church of the East may receive communion in a Catholic church, but are requested to follow their home church's disciplines and rules on such.

Getting to that point: the general consensus today (broadly speaking) is that the Eucharist is the Church, and that a shared Eucharist means a shared faith. This, basically, is why the Catholic Church - which notably has "always" official listed those other churches as "schismatic" but not (critical difference) heretical - allows intercommunion with those churches, while it does not with, say, the Anglican Communion. It also means that, since the general consensus (at least among the "Eastern Orthodox" - can't speak for other communions) is that the Catholic Church is, to varying extents, heterodox - they cannot and should not concelebrate with or commune Catholics.

I am not informed of the historical practice to comment on what happened in the past. I would say the main things preventing intercommunion today are:

1. no even remotely agreed upon role from the Pope, Roman Curia, and even just the Orthodox Patriarchs (to say nothing of the whole of each communion) as to the role of the Pope in the universal church. The current way Rome is run is did not exist in antiquity - classic (pre-Constantine) or late (Constantine to about the rise of Islam). Some recent Popes - to include most famously, but not limited to, John Paul II - tried to solicit Orthodox views on this, with to my understanding limited success because there's little consensus in (Eastern) Orthodoxy on the subject beyond "the way Rome works now is not acceptable". (of note, this was bad enough during Ferrara-Florence that to my understanding they didn't even address this issue; notwithstanding that the western position back then was papal monarchy (Donation of Constantine) vs. Conciliarism (church is run basically by a parliament).

2. no remotely agreed upon function of the univeral church. Should there be a worldwide synod? Should there be x autocephalous churches and if so who decides autocepahly? In either case how would such things be practically run? ("yes it's the Roman Curia" is not the right answer IMO) No consensus on this at all; the disarray on this (IMO even more important) issue is even bigger than getting a (necessary preliminary) agreement on the role of the Pope. Pope Francis is trying to increase the sense of synodolity in at least the Latin Church and I think most Orthodox - outside some curialists who are deeply involved in ecumenical issues - are generally displeased with what's come of it. (assuming they thing of the Catholic Church at all in the first place. As an aside, this might lead to a seperate issue - the degree of actual union within the Catholic Church)


Then you also have the issues like the filioque, azymes, etc. Speaking only among Eastern Orthodox monks, priests, and bishops who've opined on this - some think these issues can be basically solved, others disagree. That might not sound terribly hopeful for those who view this as a "problem" to be "solved" (i.e. not me), but I will say I think that consensus is much closer on these issues than #1 and #2.

TLDR: intercommunion isn't happening because the necessary consensus of a "shared faith" does not exist. The situation is a mess that I think has gotten worse in the past 50 years.
 

Saxon

High Elder
Joined
Sep 1, 2016
Messages
678
Reaction score
228
Points
43
Age
32
Location
Canada
Faith
Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction
UOCC
There are parishioners of the UOCC church I'm attending who also occasionally attend a Ukrainian Catholic church located a couple of blocks away who are taking communion there as well. The priest is aware of this and is saying nothing. And I remember my old OCA priest telling me about a mixed-faith Ukrainian couple (Orthodox wife, Eastern Catholic husband) at his church who were splitting their weekends between each church, before the wife admitted she was taking communion at the Catholic church as well. When he told her she cannot do that, she countered that it was ok "because they're Ukrainian". He asked if she would go to a Crimean Tatar mosque if that was the other alternative, so she ended up ditching Orthodoxy and going over to the Catholics. Anyway, in my present case I'm not going to say anything because I'm new and it isn't my place to interject - illicit intercommunion is the problem of the parishioners and the clerics who are letting them do it, I'm just focusing on my own salvation - but it's startling to actually see this.
 

Apotheoun

OC.Net Guru
Joined
May 2, 2006
Messages
1,498
Reaction score
50
Points
48
Location
Northern California
Website
sites.google.com
Then you also have the issues like the filioque, azymes, etc. Speaking only among Eastern Orthodox monks, priests, and bishops who've opined on this - some think these issues can be basically solved, others disagree. That might not sound terribly hopeful for those who view this as a "problem" to be "solved" (i.e. not me), but I will say I think that consensus is much closer on these issues than #1 and #2.
I completely disagree with the view that East and West are close to consensus on the "filioque,"and I do so because the "filioque" as promulgated at the Second Council of Lyon and the Council of Florence is erroneous. Moreover, my views on this have not changed since I wrote various papers on the topic years ago. The West quite simply confuses the procession of origin of the Holy Spirit, which is from the Father alone, with His progression through the Son in the divine energy. That said, there is no way to reconcile Lyon and Florence to the Orthodox teaching on the procession of the Spirit, and since the West is unlikely to abandon those councils, it follows that the "filioque" remains a Church dividing issue.
 

MarkosC

Elder
Joined
Dec 20, 2005
Messages
310
Reaction score
70
Points
28
Location
North America
Faith
Greek Catholic
Jurisdiction
Eparchy of Newton
I completely disagree with the view that East and West are close to consensus on the "filioque,"and I do so because the "filioque" as promulgated at the Second Council of Lyon and the Council of Florence is erroneous. Moreover, my views on this have not changed since I wrote various papers on the topic years ago. The West quite simply confuses the procession of origin of the Holy Spirit, which is from the Father alone, with His progression through the Son in the divine energy. That said, there is no way to reconcile Lyon and Florence to the Orthodox teaching on the procession of the Spirit, and since the West is unlikely to abandon those councils, it follows that the "filioque" remains a Church dividing issue.
Yeah that's fair. I'm not saying they're close to a consensus; I'm saying a) some folks don't think filioque right now is a big deal, though some including yourself do b) the distance on filioque, azymes, etc. is (and probably always has been, given that IIRC it was completely tabled at Ferrara-Florence) closer than the distance on the role of the pope and (IMO) the broader question of what (if anything) is the nature of governance and synodality for the universal church. (ref: the joint statement on the filioque: as limited as that was - and I'm not saying that it should be improved or is part of a historical process toward union - something like that on the papacy is to my understanding impossible at the moment)
 

rakovsky

Toumarches
Joined
Aug 17, 2006
Messages
12,753
Reaction score
284
Points
83
Location
USA
Website
rakovskii.livejournal.com
Faith
Christian
Jurisdiction
Orthodox Church in America
Even if many Greeks in the 18th century ad hoc intercommuned with RCs, this would not make it a policy of the EO Churches per se.

As I understand it, through several centuries after the 11th century Schism, the various separate EO Churches made formal decisions to cut ties with Rome. To canonically change their stances, those EO Churches would need to make formal decisions revoking their original cutting of ties. So in the case of the Greek church, they would need their highest synod to make such a decision unless it was made by a Local Council of the Greek Church.
 
Top