Skip to comments.Is There a Breakthrough in Orthodox and Catholic Relations?
Posted on 06/20/2008 4:48:31 AM PDT by tcg
Reports are circulating, in circles which are intensely attuned to the continued warming of relations between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches, of a statement and proposal allegedly made by Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople.
If they are confirmed, it may signal a major move toward communion between Eastern Catholics and their Orthodox Brethren.It may also open the path to dialogue on communion between the Churches even wider.
The Religious Information Service of the Ukraine, associated with the Ukranian Catholic University, was cited as one source for the articles. Another was a German Ecumenical Journal named after the great Bishops Cyril and Methodius.
Both of these sources allege that the Orthodox Patriarch made an unusual gesture toward Eastern Catholic Churches which are in union with Rome, proposing that the members of those Churches somehow return to Orthodoxy without breaking unity with Rome...
(Excerpt) Read more at catholic.org ...
It is the position of Eastern Catholics that they have already done that centuries ago.
Yes, but it is not the position of the Orthodox
I don’t think any of the Disciples, Apostles, or early Christians would know what to make of either.
Furthermore, some of the Eastern Churches in communion with Rome have a rather ambiguous relationship with Papacy, the best example being the Melikte Church.
Orthodox Churches traditionally accept Coptic Orthodox believers into communion after only a profession of faith (the original Nicene-Constantinopolean Creed). The Catholics must either be baptized or chrismated (confirmed), or both (depending on how one was baptized) in addition to the profession of faith, which is the same requirement for other groups such as Arians and the like!
But the problem with re-establishing communion with Eastern Churches in communion with Rome (whose baptism and chrismation is the same as in the Orthrodox Churches) is that they teach Purgatory, Immaculate Conception and the infallibility of the Pope, and that such teachings, while not part of the Creed, represent a dogmatic and not just doctrinal divide between the East and the West, and ultimately represent a different faith that cannot be ignored out of desire for intercommunion.
Patriarch Bartholomew I is probably the most zealous among Orthodox bishops for a renewed East-West communion . However, he by no means speaks on behalf of all of his apostolic brethren, nor does he have jurisdictional authority over them.
Perhaps he envisioned the inter-communion with Eastern Churches in communion with Rome based solely on the Creed as the normative requirement applied to Coptic or Ethiopian Orthodox believers, while leaving other doctrinal/dogmatic issues for a future Ecumenical Council.
If so, that is rather "unorthodox" (no pun intended), and I am not sure how much support he will find among other Orthodox Patriarchs on this.
The Catholic news have been treating Batholomew I as some kind of an "Eastern Pope." This is a monumental mistake that will create a false impression on the Catholic side because the Orthodox Church is a Synodal Church (as it always was) and the Ecumenical Patriarch is an honorary chairman (first among equals). For an all-Orthodox decision to be made, the Synod has to agree.
While, as the Ecumenical Patriarch, he reserves certain canonical privileges, Batholomew I cannot ignore or change the canon at will. And, more importantly, he must abide by the decision of the Synod of Patriarchs, where his vote counts as any other.
It would be much more responsible journalism if Catholic news services provided the opinions of other Patriarchs and, not a least bit of other bishops, lower clergy and the People of God. Let's not forget the faux-reunion of Florence, which was put together in an overzealous attempt by the Eastern hierarchs in order to save Constantinople, that was ultimately rejected by the lowest clergy and the laity.
“But the problem with re-establishing communion with Eastern Churches in communion with Rome (whose baptism and chrismation is the same as in the Orthrodox Churches) is that they teach Purgatory, Immaculate Conception and the infallibility of the Pope, and that such teachings, while not part of the Creed, represent a dogmatic and not just doctrinal divide between the East and the West, and ultimately represent a different faith that cannot be ignored out of desire for intercommunion.”
I was under the impression that the Melkites had not accepted Purgatory and the IC and all but rejected the convept of papal infallibility. Certainly the caveat added to the signiture of the Melkite patriarch on the Vatican I declaration all but expressly denies the innovative notion of papal infallibility. As for the other churches which accept those notions, well there certainly could be no communion as they do not dogmatically profess the same faith. To my understanding, Coptic and Armenian Christians do in fact actually express and hold the same faith we do.
Nothing Black Bart of Istanbul spouts off about surprises me or any other Greek. That said, even he knows that he is no Eastern Pope and if he happens to forget, we’ll remind him otherwise as we have had occasion in the past. As for the Latin press, well, I would have thought they’d have finally figured out that the EP is NOT any sort of Eastern Pope. If they haven’t, then what they write isn’t worth wrapping fish in; if they have, then this story is simply Roman propaganda.
Why a rebaptism for Catholics?
Synod of Patriarchs? What precedence is there from before 1054 for such a concept?
From the report this is just a proposal, not a decree. Perhaps, if the report is true, he is just raising a flag and seeing who will salute, east and west.
The Apostles would have said “ Thank the Lord they still believe in the Real Presence like we taught them.”
“For an all-Orthodox decision to be made, the Synod has to agree.”
Strictly asked as a point of curiousity. If the Synod is required for an “all-orthodox” decision on a matter...can you name the places/dates of such a synod or synods that have explicitly condemned the dogma of papal infallibilty, purgatory, the Immaculate Conception and the filioque.
And if there has been no such all-orthodox synod and decision on one or more of these questions, and as only hypothetical as it might sound, might an Orthodox individual hold to them as a pious opinion in the absence of such an “all-orthodox” decision in a given instance?
“Why a rebaptism for Catholics?”
Because some of the Orthodox no longer follow the Canons of the first 7 ecumenical councils with regards to this matter. ;) However, not all Eastern Orthodox follow this practice and some will even receive Catholic clerics in their orders!
However, the Oriental Orthodox are the worst anabaptists. For instance the Copts will rebaptize all Chalcedonian Christians - even the Eastern Orthodox! It is all quite scandalous really and certainly is proximate to heresy.
There is no need as the Church does not need a synod to reject that which is outside of the Church. As these new concepts are created and added to other faiths, it only serves to increase their distance from the Orthodox Christian faith.
Really? Which ones?
“As for the Latin press, well, I would have thought theyd have finally figured out that the EP is NOT any sort of Eastern Pope. If they havent, then what they write isnt worth wrapping fish in; if they have, then this story is simply Roman propaganda.”
I don’t think the “Catholic News Service” really qualifies for the designation “Latin Press”. It certainly doesn’t qualify for the designation “Catholic”! ;)
They are so ignorant about their own religion that it shouldn’t be a surprise if they are ignorant about yours too! Of course they think “Black Bart” is an Eastern Pope - they can’t stretch their minds to understand that there could be any other sort of Patriarch. (It doesn’t help that there is an Eastern Pope of course i.e. Shenouda III)
And by what authority can it be declared that papal infallibility, purgatory, the Immaculate Conception and the filioque are "outside of the Church"? Is this not begging the question? It is the position of the Latin church that they have always been taught and are not novelties. Indeed, we would hold that the Church without Peter (i.e., the pope) is the novelty.
I am nto very familiar with Melkite's postion on this. Perhpas if you have the document, it would shed light for all on this Forum, Kolo. Thanks for bringing it up. If true, that would be signifcant as it is unclear what makes Melkites "Catholic" in the Roman sense.
“Because some of the Orthodox no longer follow the Canons of the first 7 ecumenical councils with regards to this matter.
Really? Which ones?”
Canon 8 of the Council of Arles (not that this was an ecumenical council) stipulated that only those who had not received a Trinitarian baptism were to be rebaptized.
Canon 19 of the Council of Nicea assumes the practice of not rebaptizing those who have received Trinitarian baptism outside the Church, but specifies that the Paulianists, without exception, must be re-baptized (because they adhered to a non-Trinitarian heresy.)
If a Catholic seeking to covert to Orthoodxy was baptized by tripple sprinlking rather than tripple immersion/pouring, or of the Orthodox bishop has reason to believe that sprinkling was used instead of tripple immersion/pouring, the individual would be baptized, not re-baptized.
It's like someone whose marriage was annulled by the Church. That person was never married. In this case, as far as the Orthodox Church is concerned, that Catholic was never baptized.
Needless to say, baptims of Catholics is rare nowadays. Protestants who are usually baptized with a single immersion/pouring are routinely baptized into Orthodoxy.
But all converts to Orthodoxy, save for the Coptics, Ethiopians, Armenians, etc., would be chrismated (confirmed) with holy oil, regardless if they require baptism or not.
Please see my Post #19.
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