What Would The Catholic Church Have To Concede?

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xOrthodox4Christx

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rakovsky said:
JoeS2 said:
rakovsky said:
Rome would have to concede its claim to papal supremacy, what Isa calls ultramontism. The idea that the Pope is to the Patriarchs like an emperor to all others cannot stay, because this belief prevents the EOs from having their own beliefs and practices when the Pope disagrees with them. The Pope can simply order them to do whatever he will want, and if they are one Church it becomes an unworkable contradiction. An idea that "oh, he would never do that against their will" is not practical or secure, because sometimes the Pope believes X and EOs think Y. But if the Pope is the ultimate hierarch it becomes a situation where you must accept his beliefs because he is your hierarch.
Suffice it to say, we don't see any chance of unity at least in this lifetime.  But, it is good that we do have dialogues from time to time for discussing the deplorable state of morals in the world.  I for one, would not tolerate any compromising of our Faith just for the sake of obtaining a unity.  Its just not worth it. 
I agree. I think that some differences could be allowed, but the main one that could not would be papal supremacy. A difference that could be allowed I believe is the use of unleavened bread in RC churches. Our Western Rite ones use unleavened bread, but I think that the leavening issue should not be enough for a division of churches. I could even see an Orthodox rendering of the filioque to be acceptable, because once it has proceeded from the father to the son, the Spirit now proceeds from the Son too. There was an ecumenical (joint) meeting of RCs and EOs that explained that a certain view of it would be OK.

But Papal supremacy is the thing that could not be allowed to stay because if it did, it would mean Orthodox would have to agree with whatever the Pope said, because he would be their highest leader then. Catholics even have a chart I saw about how the Pope is at the top and Patriarchs are below him.
Yeah, from the Father through the Son was taught by St. John of Damascus. But, that's not what the Creed said. And the consensus view as outlined in the Council of Chalcedon and by Pope St. Leo III was that the Creed couldn't be tampered with.

Therefore, even if 'through the Son' is acceptable theologically, it is not acceptable as an addition to the Creed. That's my view anyway.
 

ErmyCath

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Mor Ephrem said:
ErmyCath said:
The "West" has developed traditions and customs in a way consistent with the doctrines it would have to give up in any future united Church, though. So, it's tough to say what is appropriate of western customs and externals and what is too tainted by doctrinal error.  There's no clear delineation. So, from a practical perspective, it is a near impossibility to imagine what the western church would look like if orthodoxy had prevailed over the past millenium. With that in mind, the only frame of reference is eastern unless one were to be attempt to inorganically impose what one thought western orthodoxy would look like. That would always be speculative and involve a large degree of archaeologism, though. And it would mirror to a degree the flaws of thinking of the Roman Church for the past 50 years.
I'd like to see a list of these "traditions and customs" which developed out of the "doctrines" which the RC's would be required to give up before I could agree with this. 
Various ways to obtain indulgences would be an example. In this month of November, indulgences are sought especially for the souls in Purgatory.  Of course, the pope can create new indulgenced prayers and activities.  Presumably the Orthodox wouldn't be keen on that.

The custom of First Fridays and First Saturdays also comes to mind. These customs are rooted in the Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart based apparitions.  The custom of wearing scapulars is likewise rooted in apparitions. There is the related problem of apparitions that are celebrated on the universal Church Calendar.

One could argue that western mental prayer is at odds with Orthodox teaching.  If so, that would do away with most Catholics' daily prayer routine, which involves the Rosary.  Then there are the Stations of the Cross.

I am intentionally overstating the case here to make the point that the basics of Roman Catholic piety originated in the post-schism era. One cannot simply go back in time because the development has essentially eliminated what came before (I presume this to be the case because there is little trace of what came before). I'm curious if there is anyone who can hazard a guess as to what piety looked like in the pre-schism West.
 

rakovsky

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xOrthodox4Christx said:
Yeah, from the Father through the Son was taught by St. John of Damascus. But, that's not what the Creed said. And the consensus view as outlined in the Council of Chalcedon and by Pope St. Leo III was that the Creed couldn't be tampered with.

Therefore, even if 'through the Son' is acceptable theologically, it is not acceptable as an addition to the Creed. That's my view anyway.
I agree.
 

Mor Ephrem

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ErmyCath said:
Various ways to obtain indulgences would be an example. In this month of November, indulgences are sought especially for the souls in Purgatory.  Of course, the pope can create new indulgenced prayers and activities.  Presumably the Orthodox wouldn't be keen on that.
Seeing as the doctrinal problem here would be indulgences and not the performance of pious acts, I think this is a simple matter: abandon all talk of indulgences.  Orthodox people don't have to be bribed to go to the cemetery to pray for the dead.  Why should Catholics need the extra motivation?  Those pious customs can and should continue as long as their underlying faith is Orthodox.  

The custom of First Fridays and First Saturdays also comes to mind. These customs are rooted in the Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart based apparitions.  The custom of wearing scapulars is likewise rooted in apparitions. There is the related problem of apparitions that are celebrated on the universal Church Calendar.
To the extent that devotions which grew out of apparitions and other mystical phenomena involve some element of heterodox faith, they should be eliminated or sufficiently purged of those elements.  But I hardly see the problem with encouraging voluntary Mass attendance in honour of our Lady or something like that.  I also don't think scapulars are much of an issue: they don't originate in apparitions, though some have been promoted by such.  Again, if you remove the heterodox associations, what you have left is the wearing of something in honour of someone, and a prayer rule associated with that custom.  

I agree with you on the inclusion of feasts of apparitions on the universal calendar, I don't think it makes sense to say on the one hand that no one is required to believe in apparitions and then require them to pray a Mass the prayers of which all take the apparition as a given.  But removing the feasts or substituting different prayers shouldn't be so difficult.  

One could argue that western mental prayer is at odds with Orthodox teaching.  If so, that would do away with most Catholics' daily prayer routine, which involves the Rosary.  Then there are the Stations of the Cross.
Certain forms of Western mental prayer would definitely be at odds with Orthodox teaching, but not all.  The Rosary and the Stations of the Cross would not need much adaptation, other than advising against the use of imagination in prayer.  But certainly, if we are forbidden to have any ideas at all when we pray, what are we doing when we pray the Liturgy or view and venerate icons?  This is one of those instances where I think some Orthodox do not think critically about what others are doing, but simply dictate.  

I am intentionally overstating the case here to make the point that the basics of Roman Catholic piety originated in the post-schism era. One cannot simply go back in time because the development has essentially eliminated what came before (I presume this to be the case because there is little trace of what came before). I'm curious if there is anyone who can hazard a guess as to what piety looked like in the pre-schism West.
While I agree with your essential idea, I don't know how much I agree that the basics of RC piety developed after the schism.  Certainly there existed forms of what we now know as the Rosary, the Stations were simply a copying of a Hagiopolite pilgrimage route for those who could not make the trip, scapulars originate with the monastic orders and laypeople's association with them, and this itself points to the greater influence which the liturgy had in the spiritual lives of the faithful.  Basically, there have been moves (of varying degrees of success) within the RCC towards going back to basics.  

I know you said you were intentionally exaggerating, but my response is what it is because there are people for whom this overstatement doesn't go far enough, for whom "Orthodox = Byzantine" or "Orthodox = Eastern", and that's absurd.  We need to think of these things in a better way, even if a reunion will not happen in our lifetime.  
 

mike

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Mor Ephrem said:
And, if Michal's on the ground version of things is to be believed
I can't say I like the fact you undermine my words without giving any arguments against. So should I start to ignore your messages too as unreliable?
 

Romaios

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Michał Kalina said:
Mor Ephrem said:
And, if Michal's on the ground version of things is to be believed
I can't say I like the fact you undermine my words without giving any arguments against. So should I start to ignore your messages too as unreliable?
He wasn't undermining your words. In fact he was implying that you know better than Wandile what the situation of Eastern Catholic priests is in Poland, because you live there ("on the ground") and not in South Africa. 
 

mike

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Romaios said:
Michał Kalina said:
Mor Ephrem said:
And, if Michal's on the ground version of things is to be believed
I can't say I like the fact you undermine my words without giving any arguments against. So should I start to ignore your messages too as unreliable?
He wasn't undermining your words. In fact he was implying that you know better than Wandile what the situation of Eastern Catholic priests is in Poland, because you live there ("on the ground") and not in South Africa. 
Why "if" then?
 

ErmyCath

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Mor Ephrem, I agree with your assessment for the most part. As one currently undergoing what might be a conversion from Roman Catholicism to EO, I personally see the sort of phenomenon you're detailing. I think this transition, if it is such, is made more difficult because of the cultural changes and not so much the doctrinal changes.

The question, then, is how can one sift the cultural from the doctrinal, whilst referring back to the pre-schism west, to come up with an authentic, organic version of non-Byzantine, Western-looking Orthodoxy?

I don't think it can be done. I think that as westerners become Orthodox, they will develop new modes of being Orthodox in the west and this will naturally be affected by the Byzantine heritage, as well as by various forms of western Chriatianity. I don't know that that's a bad thing, but it will take quite a while to sort out. I think it'll ultimately be more genuine than trying to somehow rediscover pre-schism practice.

There is still the problem of stripping away the dogmatic from various practices, which is easy on a popular level because many people pay little attention to the doctrine behind a practice. On the other hand, RC dogmatics is itself quite complex in terms of simply knowing that something is dogma, doctrine, or otherwise. So, while your suggestions are practical at the lowest levels, I don't know that they work with reference to "Rome".
 

Mor Ephrem

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Michał Kalina said:
Romaios said:
Michał Kalina said:
Mor Ephrem said:
And, if Michal's on the ground version of things is to be believed
I can't say I like the fact you undermine my words without giving any arguments against. So should I start to ignore your messages too as unreliable?
He wasn't undermining your words. In fact he was implying that you know better than Wandile what the situation of Eastern Catholic priests is in Poland, because you live there ("on the ground") and not in South Africa. 
Why "if" then?
I used "if" because I'm speaking English, and that's how we use our words.  Romaios understood me perfectly. 
 

Mor Ephrem

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ErmyCath said:
The question, then, is how can one sift the cultural from the doctrinal, whilst referring back to the pre-schism west, to come up with an authentic, organic version of non-Byzantine, Western-looking Orthodoxy?

I don't think it can be done. I think that as westerners become Orthodox, they will develop new modes of being Orthodox in the west and this will naturally be affected by the Byzantine heritage, as well as by various forms of western Chriatianity. I don't know that that's a bad thing, but it will take quite a while to sort out. I think it'll ultimately be more genuine than trying to somehow rediscover pre-schism practice.
Basically, I think I agree with you.  While I like some of the older Western rites, I have mixed feelings about resurrecting things that haven't been used continuously by a community.  For instance, I don't see a problem with WR Orthodox using recent forms of the traditional Roman rite, especially if they came into Orthodoxy with that rite.  I prefer this rite to so-called "Anglican" rites, but these, too, at least have some sort of continuous use into our day.  If these are used, I think it's only a matter of time before a new way of living out Orthodoxy in a Western form will develop.  I don't think the primary thing is to rediscover how to be a sixth-century WR Orthodox, but how to infuse what we do have and what we are living out with Orthodoxy. 

There is still the problem of stripping away the dogmatic from various practices, which is easy on a popular level because many people pay little attention to the doctrine behind a practice. On the other hand, RC dogmatics is itself quite complex in terms of simply knowing that something is dogma, doctrine, or otherwise. So, while your suggestions are practical at the lowest levels, I don't know that they work with reference to "Rome".
What do you mean?
 

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theistgal said:
So just out of curiosity, what would the Orthodox Church have to concede? Or is it all on the Romans?
Im happy the way things are, lets not mess it up with any false unity. 
 

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Michał Kalina said:
Romaios said:
Michał Kalina said:
Mor Ephrem said:
And, if Michal's on the ground version of things is to be believed
I can't say I like the fact you undermine my words without giving any arguments against. So should I start to ignore your messages too as unreliable?
He wasn't undermining your words. In fact he was implying that you know better than Wandile what the situation of Eastern Catholic priests is in Poland, because you live there ("on the ground") and not in South Africa. 
Why "if" then?
It could be taken in a few ways. A more charitable explanation could be that you have provided context for your statement to be believed, assuming you have faithfully represented the situation on the ground. So this could be expressed by other conditional conjunctions, like "should", "assuming that", etc. Call it a quirk of English, I suppose (though I'm sure plenty of other languages do the same). It often assumes a negative tone because that's how people are, but as a conjunction in itself can go either way. See, for instance, Kipling's famous poem "If", where the use of the word is understood to mean "Should you fulfill condition X, then Y" (and not "I doubt that you are (capable of) doing X").
 

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LBK said:
Mor Ephrem said:
This is more of a deal breaker, IMO (no offence, cute girls  :p):





Oh, dear God, YES! "Special ministers of the Eucharist", or whatever the exact term is for them, just have to go, whether they're kids, retirees, or anything in between. Clergy ONLY should administer Holy Communion.

Oh, dear God!!! my eyes they bleed.
 

theistgal

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Just wanted to say, Mor Ephrem, if all Orthodox were as understanding and compassionate towards us beknighted Romans as you, reunion would happen a lot faster.  :angel:
 

podkarpatska

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theistgal said:
Just wanted to say, Mor Ephrem, if all Orthodox were as understanding and compassionate towards us beknighted Romans as you, reunion would happen a lot faster.  :angel:
Frankly, I think that there are more of us who think along lines similar to those of Mor out there than a reading of threads online would indicate. But remember that on the Roman side of the divide there are plenty of 'it's my way or the highway to hell' types out there as well! (and a few even post here!) ;)
 

theistgal

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podkarpatska said:
theistgal said:
Just wanted to say, Mor Ephrem, if all Orthodox were as understanding and compassionate towards us beknighted Romans as you, reunion would happen a lot faster.  :angel:
Frankly, I think that there are more of us who think along lines similar to those of Mor out there than a reading of threads online would indicate. But remember that on the Roman side of the divide there are plenty of 'it's my way or the highway to hell' types out there as well! (and a few even post here!) ;)
True, but more of us post here because we are in exile from the "highway to hell" types. :)
 

xOrthodox4Christx

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theistgal said:
podkarpatska said:
theistgal said:
Just wanted to say, Mor Ephrem, if all Orthodox were as understanding and compassionate towards us beknighted Romans as you, reunion would happen a lot faster.  :angel:
Frankly, I think that there are more of us who think along lines similar to those of Mor out there than a reading of threads online would indicate. But remember that on the Roman side of the divide there are plenty of 'it's my way or the highway to hell' types out there as well! (and a few even post here!) ;)
True, but more of us post here because we are in exile from the "highway to hell" types. :)
Well, JoesS2 is right. We need real unity not a happy nice false sense of unity. And unless some of those things are resolved, it won't be a true unity. It may not sound nice, but sometimes it needs to happen.
 
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Mor Ephrem said:
xOrthodox4Christx said:
Mor Ephrem said:
I don't know that I necessarily agree with all of these as stated above.  Returning to the traditional order and method of the sacraments of initiation is probably the only one I can agree with wholeheartedly.  Everything else seems to depend to a greater or lesser degree on the axiom "Byzantine = Orthodox". 
Which ones would you disagree with?
Let's do this in order:

xOrthodox4Christx said:
Practices?

-Resumption of fasting on Wed. and Fri. and in preparation for Eucharist according to the liturgical life of the Church.
We need to accept that customs and disciplines in the Orthodox West were different from those in the East even before the schism, and so we cannot just impose our way on them, we need to let them be themselves.  I don't know what about the preparation for the Eucharist I would recommend changing except the length of the pre-communion fast: even three hours seems so little, but one hour? 

I suppose we could insist on Wednesday and Friday fasting in terms of putting it on the books again, but let's be real: how many Orthodox follow these fasts?  And when they do, how strictly do they follow them?  Just putting them back on the books may be enough of an accomplishment, but let's not pretend that they will suddenly start to fast because we said so when our say so isn't enough for our own people. 

And this is besides the fact that fasting on Saturdays, forbidden in the East, was an ancient custom in Rome according to Pope Leo I.  In another thread, we couldn't figure out when the West dropped Wednesdays, so who's to say that definitely is a post-schism development?       

I don't know if it's worth fighting over this.

-Forced Clerical Celibacy.
It's not forced because no one is forced to become a cleric.  Celibacy is one of the requirements they seek when considering who is a qualified candidate for ministry in their Church.  That is a matter of discipline, not doctrine, and they have made enough exceptions in the West to at least draw attention to its disciplinary nature.  Since they do not say celibacy is intrinsic to priesthood in any doctrinal sense, and it is not required out of hatred for marriage (which would be uncanonical), I think this is another matter in which it is probably best not to meddle in their internal affairs.  If they want to take the opportunity of a reunion to remove this requirement, that's fine, but to make this a condition of reunion is silly IMO. 

-Vatican II Liturgy should be sacked or reformed. Or better yet, reinstitute the Old Roman, Mozarabic, Gallician, Celtic, Ambrosian Rites of the ancient Church.
In most cases I'm familiar with, the regions which had their own rites (Milan, Toledo, Paris, etc.) did not have the Roman rite imposed on them, but accepted it voluntarily (same with some of the religious orders, e.g., the Discalced Carmelites).  Where these rites are still in use, they are restricted to their regions or orders, whether modified post-Vatican II or not.  If they have it, let them use it.  But if they don't have it and are happy with the Roman rite, I don't think we need to impose on them a rite which hasn't been used in so long. 

Regarding reform or abolition of the Vatican II rites, again, I think it is best not to meddle as long as the rite is orthodox.  Who is in the best place to make liturgical decisions for the Church of Rome?  Her synod or Russia's?  As long as the rite is orthodox and a basically reverential celebration can be ensured, with violations dealt with adequately, I don't see why we should interfere.  We should encourage Rome to be a better, more authentic Rome. 

-From what I understand of the Eucharist in the Roman Catholic Church, only the bread and not the wine is given to members. That would not be the case in an 'Orthodox Rome'.
Since the intinction is done ritually at the Agnus Dei, I don't think Communion under one species is necessarily a big deal.  The shift in practice occurred for historical reasons that, to my knowledge, did not involve heresy, and has basically become an immemorial tradition.  Communion under both species has a higher "sign value", and is preferable, but not a non-negotiable deal breaker. 

This is more of a deal breaker, IMO (no offence, cute girls  :p):





This makes the most sense and shows the most mercy of anything I have ever seen said about this subject, thanks for showing the way Mor.
 

theistgal

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xOrthodox4Christx said:
theistgal said:
podkarpatska said:
theistgal said:
Just wanted to say, Mor Ephrem, if all Orthodox were as understanding and compassionate towards us beknighted Romans as you, reunion would happen a lot faster.  :angel:
Frankly, I think that there are more of us who think along lines similar to those of Mor out there than a reading of threads online would indicate. But remember that on the Roman side of the divide there are plenty of 'it's my way or the highway to hell' types out there as well! (and a few even post here!) ;)
True, but more of us post here because we are in exile from the "highway to hell" types. :)
Well, JoesS2 is right. We need real unity not a happy nice false sense of unity. And unless some of those things are resolved, it won't be a true unity. It may not sound nice, but sometimes it needs to happen.
Yes. But you also need more people who understand not only what Roman Catholics actually believe but why, before criticizing them.  8)
 

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theistgal said:
xOrthodox4Christx said:
theistgal said:
podkarpatska said:
theistgal said:
Just wanted to say, Mor Ephrem, if all Orthodox were as understanding and compassionate towards us beknighted Romans as you, reunion would happen a lot faster.  :angel:
Frankly, I think that there are more of us who think along lines similar to those of Mor out there than a reading of threads online would indicate. But remember that on the Roman side of the divide there are plenty of 'it's my way or the highway to hell' types out there as well! (and a few even post here!) ;)
True, but more of us post here because we are in exile from the "highway to hell" types. :)
Well, JoesS2 is right. We need real unity not a happy nice false sense of unity. And unless some of those things are resolved, it won't be a true unity. It may not sound nice, but sometimes it needs to happen.
Yes. But you also need more people who understand not only what Roman Catholics actually believe but why, before criticizing them.  8)
They believe that the Pope is God, because he told them so. What's not to get?! ;D

On a more serious note, Rome returning to the faith of the apostles, in whatever form that takes, is probably the best approach to reunion.
 
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