Skip to comments.3,000 Assyrians Received into the Catholic Church
Posted on 05/12/2008 5:25:02 AM PDT by Petrosius
Five days later, Mar Bawai was suspended by the Holy Synod of the Assyrian Church. The story behind this, as well as the full text of the paper on papal primacy that Mar Bawai had presented to the Synod, can be found here.
The Church of the East attributes a prominent role to Saint Peter and a
significant place for the Church of Rome in her liturgical, canonical and
Patristic thoughts. There are more than 50 liturgical, canonical and Patristic
citations that explicitly express such a conviction. The question before us
therefore is, why there must be a primacy attributed to Saint Peter in the
Church? If there is no primacy in the universal church, we shall not be able to
legitimize a primacy of all the Catholicos-Patriarchs in the other apostolic
churches. If the patriarchs of the apostolic churches have legitimate authority
over their own respective bishops it is so because there is a principle of
primacy in the universal Church. If the principle of primacy is valid for a
local Church (for example, the Assyrian Church of the East), it is so because it
is already valid for the universal church. If there is no Peter for the
universal church there could not be Peter for the local Church. If all the
apostles are equal in authority by virtue of the gift of the Spirit, and if the
bishops are the successors of the Apostles, based on what then one of these
bishops (i.e., the Catholicos-Patriarchs) has authority over the other
The Church of the East possesses a theological, liturgical and
canonical tradition in which she clearly values the primacy of Peter among the
rest of the Apostles and their churches and the relationship Peter has with his
successors in the Church of Rome. The official organ of our Church of the East,
Mar Abdisho of Soba, the last theologian in our Church before its fall, based
himself on such an understanding when he collected his famous Nomocanon in which
he clearly states the following: To the Great Rome [authority] was given
because the two pillars are laid [in the grave] there, Peter, I say, the head of
the Apostles, and Paul, the teacher of the nations. [Rome] is the first see and
the head of the patriarchs. (Memra 9; Risha 1) Furthermore, Abdisho asserts .
. . . And as the patriarch has authority to do all he wishes in a fitting manner
in such things as are beneath his authority, so the patriarch of Rome has
authority over all patriarchs, like the blessed Peter over all the community,
for he who is in Rome also keeps the office of Peter in all the church. He who
transgresses against these things the ecumenical synod places under anathema.
(Memra 9; Risha 8). I would like to ask here the following: who among us would
dare to think that he or she is more learned than Abdisho of Soba, or that they
are more sincere to the church of our forefather than Mar Abdisho himself? This
is true especially since we the members of the Holy Synod have in 2004 affirmed
Mar Abdishos List of Seven Sacraments as the official list of the Assyrian
Church of the East. How much more then we ought to consider examining and
receiving Abdishos Synodical legislation in his Nomocanon?
True the sins of disunity is to be found on both sides. Just was posting what I was taught in regards to the history of the Christian faith.
For the record, I agree the Primacy of the Church of Rome is something that was willed by God and is important for the Unity and mission of the Universal Church. So Doctrinally speaking, I think spliting with Rome was not a good thing for the Orthodox to do. However, not having the fullness of the Eastern Tradition hurt the Church in the 2nd millenium as well.
Still, wounds to disunity are always the consequence of sin by human beings, and of that, both Catholic and Orthodox clergy and political leaders share in it. That was the point I clumsily made.
That is why I take an interest in studying up on those Eastern rites as much as I can since they have a great heritage as well. Also this fighting is not helping the Christian faith at a major crossroads with the dangers of a resurging Islam.
Protestants are always told that for the most part the east and western Church share the same basic views. If the east and west really are in peace and harmony, enjoying the same “faith”, then why would this be such a big to-do? Why is this such a “miracle”?
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“Except that he seems to be doing this out of principle - he seems to really believe in unity with the pope. How can he be turned away?”
This man apparently has some history of disobedience to his Synod quite aside from his opinions on communion with Rome and his confused, though perhaps correct, conception of primacy. In any event, he wasn’t being disciplined simply because he believes communion with Rome is important. There’s more to it. What Rome has done is slap a relatively small Oriental Orthodox Church across the face. The fact is, that’s cause for concern and that’s just what it is causing even as we write back and forth.
sitetest: “I don’t believe that there will be reunion short of the Second Coming”
Why do you believe this to be so?
I hope you are wrong.
T, sitetest is likely closer to correct than anyone who thinks any of us will live to see a reunion. I am convinced to the depths of my soul that as I said, the Orthodox laity don’t want it and in any event will never allow it to be imposed on us by our hierarchs. We simply have neither the need nor the desire for it. This is not to say that we cannot work out the few theological differences which remain between us nor does it mean that we cannot make common cause against the “world” and Mohammedanism. Actions like the one which is the subject of this thread make even that more difficult to do.
“......this apparent expansion of Romes Uniate solution can be examined.”
OK; sorry. That was unnecessary and inflamatory.
“And what about Orthodoxys own uniate solution? Didnt know you had one? Sure, theyre called Western Orthodox parishes.”
Ah yes, that little experiment of the Antiochians! Vlad, trust me on this...the overwhelming majority of Orthodox look upon that operation with extreme distaste. Anglicans who want to continue to be Anglicans shouldn’t pretend to be Orthodox and vice versa.
“It looks like the balls in the Orthodox court, and they arent even particularly interested in swinging. Lets do this again in another 1000 years.”
Your folks know the number. We’ll wait for their call!
“This man apparently has some history of disobedience to his Synod quite aside from his opinions on communion with Rome and his confused, though perhaps correct, conception of primacy.”
Possibly. Sometimes the Holy Spirit works in really unusual ways. I am sure many Orthodox would say (in fact I know they have) that Archbishop Ireland - who was simply outstanding in his opposition to racism and descrimination for his day - had some how fallen into a plan of the Holy Spirit’s by treating Fr. Toth like garbage and thus helping to create the Carpatho-Rusyn Orthodox Church.
“In any event, he wasnt being disciplined simply because he believes communion with Rome is important.”
“Theres more to it. What Rome has done is slap a relatively small Oriental Orthodox Church across the face.”
Maybe, but then again you are making two mistakes: 1) You are assuming that Rome was really keen on this. Rome may have agreed, but Pope Benedict is very interested in good relations with the Orthodox so this is a surprise for everyone - including us. Maybe he sees more in this than you and I do? 2) If Benedict sees something in this we don’t see, and what you are de facto not making any room for naturally, is that Benedict XVI might see the Holy Spirit in this. Again, would this make much sense otherwise?
“The fact is, thats cause for concern and thats just what it is causing even as we write back and forth.”
Now I am going to write something that will cause all sorts of consternation to the Orthodox here and everywhere: It seems to me that Catholics can’t do ANYTHING without the Orthodox finding something to complain about.
“Vlad, trust me on this...the overwhelming majority of Orthodox look upon that operation with extreme distaste. Anglicans who want to continue to be Anglicans shouldnt pretend to be Orthodox and vice versa.”
Okay. I just want us all to be Orthodox and Catholic, in communion and happy. Yeah, I’m a dreamer! :)
That wouldn't surprise either of us, Vlad!:)
“It seems to me that Catholics cant do ANYTHING without the Orthodox finding something to complain about.”
And?????? If I have said it once, I've said it at least twice...we are not nice people. We are the worst sort of sinners.
BTW, that Archbishop Ireland stuff is all true an correct but it happened a long time ago in a very different time. As some here know, nowadays there is concern in this country when a Latin Rite Catholic shows up at an Orthodox Church wanting instruction. One recent such approach ended up on the desk of the Orthodox Metropolitan and the local RC bishop. The decision there was to catechize the person as she requested but the question, even at the level of a single lay person was taken seriously lest offense be given and the bonds of affection which have developed be impacted adversely.
Three thousand Assyrians! I wonder what the Armstrongites have to say about that? They have always taught that the Germans are descendants of the ancient Assyrians. If that’s true, then these Assyrians would have to be Germans, would they not?
Maybe Amstrongites like DouglasKC can figure out who these 3,000 Assyrians are and where they came from.
God does work in mysterious ways and when He does, it aways takes us by suprise. God Bless and welcome to the 3,000 Assyrians to the Catholic Church.
” And?????? If I have said it once, I’ve said it at least twice...we are not nice people. We are the worst sort of sinners.”
We’re all in the “worst of sinners” camp somewhere.
“BTW, that Archbishop Ireland stuff is all true an correct but it happened a long time ago in a very different time. As some here know, nowadays there is concern in this country when a Latin Rite Catholic shows up at an Orthodox Church wanting instruction.”
“One recent such approach ended up on the desk of the Orthodox Metropolitan and the local RC bishop. The decision there was to catechize the person as she requested but the question, even at the level of a single lay person was taken seriously lest offense be given and the bonds of affection which have developed be impacted adversely.”
And that’s wonderfully charitable.
I understand, and I appreciate your thoughtful response.
I was thinking the same thing when watching Fr. Geldard and Marcus on the Journey Home last night. When the Anglican Church was debating whether to ordain women, Marcus asked why didn’t the Catholic Church make contact with the Oxford Movement/Anglo-Catholics in the Anglican Communion. Fr. Geldard’s response was enlighting, Rome’s policy was not to get involved at this point as Rome did want to be seen as causing division within the Anglican Communion. Rome, for its part, as Fr. Geldard put it, would rather deal with the entire Anglican Communion as long as there was an intact “Anglican Communion”. However, at the point when the “situation on the ground” changed as in the case where the Anglican-Communion agreed to ordain women, a large number of Anglicans approached Rome about reconciliation. Only at this point did Rome enter into negotiations and how the various options were discussed was really interesting such as 1) Should there be an Anglican-Usage in the UK, 2) Should it be sui juris Church, etc, etc.
Anyway, in the end Rome was very accomodating and according to Fr. Geldard, some 790 Anglican Priests came into Full Communion, of which 480 were ordained as Catholic Priest, and of those, some 120 came in under Pastoral Provision as married Latin-Rite priests.
In summary, that interview gave clear evidence that Rome handles situations where a group wants to be reconciled to Rome in a a very delicate manner and after seeing this show, I think the criticisms put forth by Kolokotronis do not have merit.
In closing, I would encourage everyone to watch this show when it is reaired. IN addition, later this month, I think Marcus is going to have a roundtable with former Anglicans and Fr. Geldard will be appearing again.
You are comparing apples and oranges. Anglican sacraments are not recognized as valid, specifically including ordinations. Those of the Oriental Orthodox are. That is all the difference in the world.
I will allow that the way Rome deals with Anglicans is curious since it seems Rome is more solicitous of the sensitivities of an increasingly heretical, or at least increasingly tolerant of heresy, Canterbury than it is of those of the particular churches of Oriental Orthodoxy.