The Eastern Churches and St. Thomas Aquinas
(02-12-2012, 08:18 AM)Melkite Wrote:
(02-12-2012, 02:48 AM)su Wrote:
(02-11-2012, 07:42 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(02-11-2012, 03:26 PM)TrentCath Wrote: Or the Holy Father may just refuse to approve the decision and choose his own candiate, and it is not for me or you for that matter to say that they will automatically be imprudent, indeed it may often be the right thing to do.

Of course he can, and it is never automatically imprudent, however we certainly can question it.  If he were to reject a decision merely for the sake of doing so and choosing someone else, for no better reason than to flex his muscles, that would rightly be defined as imprudent.

And objecting merely because one finds it scandalous he has authority and exercises it would be disobedience and pride.

It goes both ways.

Yes. If one objected merely because they don't like the Pope having that authority, you're right.  However if he objects on principle because the bishops could have made the election on their own, and the Pope intervened without good reason, and this can be reasonably certain, there would be nothing arrogant about that. 

Why the nitpicking?  It seems the West may be jealous of the autonomy granted the East...

Lol.

I wonder though if there is some Western defensiveness going on here.

Why should the Pope intervene in selection of bishops if there is no problem?

To take a different situation: does anyone think the pope should appoint pastors of parishes instead of leaving it to bishops?  He has that authority, but that's a bad idea.
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(02-12-2012, 08:18 AM)Melkite Wrote: Yes. If one objected merely because they don't like the Pope having that authority, you're right.  However if he objects on principle because the bishops could have made the election on their own, and the Pope intervened without good reason, and this can be reasonably certain, there would be nothing arrogant about that. 

Why the nitpicking?  It seems the West may be jealous of the autonomy granted the East...

It isn't nitpicking. I do not really know a lot about how these internal matters are handled.

But I think obedience to a superior is more valuable than autonomy.
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(02-12-2012, 08:18 AM)Melkite Wrote:
(02-12-2012, 02:48 AM)su Wrote:
(02-11-2012, 07:42 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(02-11-2012, 03:26 PM)TrentCath Wrote: Or the Holy Father may just refuse to approve the decision and choose his own candiate, and it is not for me or you for that matter to say that they will automatically be imprudent, indeed it may often be the right thing to do.

Of course he can, and it is never automatically imprudent, however we certainly can question it.  If he were to reject a decision merely for the sake of doing so and choosing someone else, for no better reason than to flex his muscles, that would rightly be defined as imprudent.

And objecting merely because one finds it scandalous he has authority and exercises it would be disobedience and pride.

It goes both ways.

Yes. If one objected merely because they don't like the Pope having that authority, you're right.  However if he objects on principle because the bishops could have made the election on their own, and the Pope intervened without good reason, and this can be reasonably certain, there would be nothing arrogant about that. 

Why the nitpicking?  It seems the West may be jealous of the autonomy granted the East...

Because the east is prone to split, after split, after split, after split whether it be through churches splitting or countries having temper tantrums because they want to made a patrirarch.
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(02-12-2012, 09:04 AM)su Wrote: But I think obedience to a superior is more valuable than autonomy.

I agree.  But I think it sets up a false dichotomy to pit obedience against autonomy.  To reject the latter requires the superior to micromanage his subordinates, essentially making the Pope the leader of a billion incompetent toddlers.
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(02-11-2012, 01:49 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(02-11-2012, 11:07 AM)Illumina Wrote: Anyway, this is a topic that really interests me and pains me as well.  As a new convert, it is disheartening for me especially to read about how some Eastern Catholics view Papal Supremacy, which seem to reduce the Pope to nothing more than the head of the Latin Church, with some minor say over the Eastern Churches. It is very confusing.
The Pope has greater administrative authority, but sacramentally he is on an equal footing with every other bishop.  The Pope is both father AND first among equals - the two aren't necessarily incompatible.

The problem with this is that you are creating a very artifical division between the sacramental nature of bishops (including the pope) and the jursidictional nature of bishops and the pope, now it is true that as regards the sacramental nature, the pope and bishops are equal but as regards jursidictional nature (which extends far beyond 'administrative authority) the pope is on a completely different footing. Bouscaren and Ellis in their commentary on Canon law state the following: 'By divine institution, the sacred hierarchy as regards order consists of Bishps, priests and ministers, as regards jurisdiction it consists of the supreme pontificate and the subordinate episcopate, other grades have been added to these by eclessiastical institution' p95

So one must be very careful when using the term 'First among equals' and frankly as its prone to abuse and misinterpretation, it is better not to use it at all.

A good example of the unique nature of the Popes unique authority is his power to dissolve marriages contracted between two baptised persons where one but not both seek baptism and converts and the other leaves the marriage (the Pauline Privilege) and where a baptised and non-baptised person are married and the person never seeks baptism, the marriage can likewise be dissolved (the Petrine privilege) there are of course other unique privileges accorded to the Pope but these are the two that came to mind.
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(02-12-2012, 11:17 AM)TrentCath Wrote: The problem with this is that you are creating a very artifical division between the sacramental nature of bishops (including the pope) and the jursidictional nature of bishops and the pope, now it is true that as regards the sacramental nature, the pope and bishops are equal but as regards jursidictional nature (which extends far beyond 'administrative authority) the pope is on a completely different footing. Bouscaren and Ellis in their commentary on Canon law state the following: 'By divine institution, the sacred hierarchy as regards order consists of Bishps, priests and ministers, as regards jurisdiction it consists of the supreme pontificate and the subordinate episcopate, other grades have been added to these by eclessiastical institution' p95

So one must be very careful when using the term 'First among equals' and frankly as its prone to abuse and misinterpretation, it is better not to use it at all.

A good example of the unique nature of the Popes unique authority is his power to dissolve marriages contracted between two baptised persons where one but not both seek baptism and converts and the other leaves the marriage (the Pauline Privilege) and where a baptised and non-baptised person are married and the person never seeks baptism, the marriage can likewise be dissolved (the Petrine privilege) there are of course other unique privileges accorded to the Pope but these are the two that came to mind.

You are right, I knew when I wrote that that it went beyond administrative authority, but I couldn't think of the word 'jurisdictional' at the time.  Sacramentally, the bishops and the Pope are no different.  Yes, he has jurisdictional authority greater than the other bishops, and is not on the same footing there.  But because he is equal as a bishop, his jurisdiction is not intrinsic to his episcopacy, but something else altogether, that the other bishops do not share in - I guess this would be the divine institution of the papacy.

First among equals doesn't have to be a problem, but I agree that it's not really prudent at this time.  It causes more problems than it solves and is often used to justify a schismatic mentality, so I never use it except to define an abstract about the papacy.

I haven't heard what you said about marriages.  I was under the impression the petrine privelidge was to dissolve a valid but unconsecrated marriage.  Aside from the pauline privelidge, the Pope has no authority to dissolve a valid, consecrated marriage, any more than he has authority to change doctrine.  'What God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.'  Including the Pope.
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(02-12-2012, 01:16 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(02-12-2012, 11:17 AM)TrentCath Wrote: The problem with this is that you are creating a very artifical division between the sacramental nature of bishops (including the pope) and the jursidictional nature of bishops and the pope, now it is true that as regards the sacramental nature, the pope and bishops are equal but as regards jursidictional nature (which extends far beyond 'administrative authority) the pope is on a completely different footing. Bouscaren and Ellis in their commentary on Canon law state the following: 'By divine institution, the sacred hierarchy as regards order consists of Bishps, priests and ministers, as regards jurisdiction it consists of the supreme pontificate and the subordinate episcopate, other grades have been added to these by eclessiastical institution' p95

So one must be very careful when using the term 'First among equals' and frankly as its prone to abuse and misinterpretation, it is better not to use it at all.

A good example of the unique nature of the Popes unique authority is his power to dissolve marriages contracted between two baptised persons where one but not both seek baptism and converts and the other leaves the marriage (the Pauline Privilege) and where a baptised and non-baptised person are married and the person never seeks baptism, the marriage can likewise be dissolved (the Petrine privilege) there are of course other unique privileges accorded to the Pope but these are the two that came to mind.

You are right, I knew when I wrote that that it went beyond administrative authority, but I couldn't think of the word 'jurisdictional' at the time.  Sacramentally, the bishops and the Pope are no different.  Yes, he has jurisdictional authority greater than the other bishops, and is not on the same footing there.  But because he is equal as a bishop, his jurisdiction is not intrinsic to his episcopacy, but something else altogether, that the other bishops do not share in - I guess this would be the divine institution of the papacy.

First among equals doesn't have to be a problem, but I agree that it's not really prudent at this time.  It causes more problems than it solves and is often used to justify a schismatic mentality, so I never use it except to define an abstract about the papacy.

I haven't heard what you said about marriages.  I was under the impression the petrine privelidge was to dissolve a valid but unconsecrated marriage.  Aside from the pauline privelidge, the Pope has no authority to dissolve a valid, consecrated marriage, any more than he has authority to change doctrine.  'What God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.'  Including the Pope.

Fair enough, I would guess that the popes jurisdiction is entirely unique and separate from that of mere bishops, indeed that is what Bouscaren and Ellis state when saying that 'By divine institution, the sacred hierarchy as regards order consists of Bishps, priests and ministers, as regards jurisdiction it consists of the supreme pontificate and the subordinate episcopate'. It is not a result of him being a bishop per se, but rather a result of being the bishop of Rome.

The marriage issue is slightly more complicated, strictly speaking it is only a valid consummated marriage between two Christians that is absolutely indissoluble, aside from this there means of dissolution.
Quote: These words of the Apostle tell us that in all cases when one of the married parties have received the Christian Faith, and the other remains an infidel and is not willing to live in peace with the Christian, the believer is not bound but is free. The Apostle does not indeed say expressly and formally that the marriage bond has been dissolved, but if it were not at least in the power of the Christian to dissolve the previous bond and to enter upon another marriage, the words would not have their full truth. Hence the Church has understood the words in this sense, and at the same time has fixed more exactly how and under what conditions this so-called Pauline privilege may be exercised. Innocent III declares authoritatively (IV Decretal., xix, 7, in cap."Quanto") that the convert is justified in entering upon another marriage if he will, provided the non-Christian is unwilling either to live with the other or such cohabitation would cause the blasphemy of the Divine name or be an incentive to moral sin: "Si enim alter infidelium conjugum ad fidem convertatur, altero vel nullo modo, vel non sine blasphemiâ divini nominis, vel ut eum pertrahat ad mortale peccatum ei cohabitare volente: qui relinquitur, ad secunda, si voluerit, vota transibit: et in hoc casu intelligimus quod ait Apostolus: Si infidelis discedit, etc., et canonem etiam in quo dicitur: Contumelia creatoris solvit jus matrimonii circa eum qui relinquitur." According to the Church's interpretation and practice, the dissolution of marriage that was contracted before the conversion is not effected by the separation of the married parties, but only when a new marriage is contracted by the Christian party because of this privilege. The Holy Office says this expressly in the decree of 5 August, 1759, ad 2: "Then only may the yoke of the matrimonial bond with an infidel be understood to be loosed when the convert spouse. . . proceeds to another marriage with a believer" (Collectan. S. Congr. de Prop. F., n. 1312). The manner of obtaining this right to enter upon a new marriage is fixed by the Church under penalty of invalidity, and consists in a demand (interpellatio) made of the non-Christian party whether he or she be willing to live with the other in peace or not. If this interpellation is not possible, and Apostolic dispensation ab interpellatione must be obtained (Collectanea, n. 1323). If the spouse that remains in infidelity agrees to live in peace, but later on acts contrary to this agreement by abusing the Christian religion, or tempting the Christian to infidelity, or preventing the children from being educated in the Christian Faith, or becomes a temptation for the Christian to commit any mortal sin, the latter regains the right to proceed to a new marriage after any lapse of time. This consequence which follows from the very nature of the privilege was expressly declared by the Holy Office in the decree of 27 September, 1848, and was confirmed by Pius IX (Colectan., n. 1227; Ballerini-Palmieri, "Opus theol. Mor.", 3d ed., VI, n. 468). If, however, the non-Christian party refuses to continue further in married life, not from hatred of the Faith or for other sinful reasons, but because the Christian, by sinful conduct (for instance by adultery), has given just reason for separation, the Christian would not be justified in entering upon a new marriage. The privilege, however, would still be his if the non-Christian party wished to maintain as reason for separation adultery committed before the time of the conversion. (Collectan., n. 1312, 1318, 1322) The interpellation of the non-Christian party, which must take place before the remarriage of the Christian, must as a general rule be about living together in peace or not, but as peaceful cohabitation can only be imagined in a case where there are no serious dangers, and such dangers may arise in certain circumstances from continued living with the non-Christian party, it is readily understood that the Holy See is justified in making the interpellation mean, whether the non-Christian party be willing to accept the Christian Faith; and in case the non-Christian refuses after careful deliberation, then, as a result of this refusal, permission may be granted to the Christian party to enter upon a new marriage and thereby to dissolve the previous one. This procedure, allowed by Sixtus V, received new confirmation and direction under Leo XIII by the decree of the Holy Office, 29 November, 1882 (Collectan., n. 1358, ad 3)....From the ecclesiastical decisions that have been already quoted, it is clear that the Church has at least the authority of explaining the Pauline privilege, of limiting and extending it. This would give rise to no difficulties if the Pauline privilege, as expressed in 1 Corinthians 7:15, were an immediate Apostolic ordinance and only mediately Divine, inasmuch as Christ would have granted the power in general in a case of necessity to dissolve in favour of the Faith a marriage contracted in infidelity. For the entire Apostolic power passed to the supreme head of the Church, and as the Apostle could determine fixed rules and conditions for the dissolution of the marriages in question, the pope would have precisely the same authority. Yet on this point there is a diversity of opinion among theologians, and the Church has not settled the dispute. For, even if the privilege as promulgated by St. Paul was of immediate Divine right, the Church's power to make at least modifications in case of necessity can readily be explained because such a power belongs to her without a doubt in the other matters that are of Divine right. The first opinion seems to have been held in the fourteenth century by eminent scholars like P. de Palude and de Tudeschis, and in the fifteenth century by St. Antoninus; in recent times it is defended by Gasparri, Rossi, Fahrner, and others. The second opinion is held by Thomas Sanchez, Benedict XIV, St. Alphonsus, Perrone, Billot, Wernz, and others. The instruction of the Holy Office, 11 July, 1866 (Collectan., n. 1353), calls the privilege a Divine privilege "promulgated by the Apostle". However, in spite of the disagreement in regard to the Pauline privilege, the defenders of both opinions agree that there is another method for the dissolution of the marriage of infidels when one of the parties receives baptism, namely, by papal authority. This power is indeed not admitted by all theologians. Even Lambertini (who later became Pope Benedict XIV) doubted it when he was secretary of the Sacred Congregation of the Council, in the causa Florentina, in the year 1726. But earlier papal decisions, as well as the actual decision in this very case, leave no room for doubt that the popes attribute to themselves this power and act accordingly....1. Dissolution by Solemn Profession
The fact that religious profession causes the dissolution of the marriage bond, provided the marriage has not been consummated, is distinctly taught in the Extrav. Joan. XXII (tit. VI, cap. unic.), and was solemnly defined by the Council of Trent (Sess, XXIV, can. vi). The reason why this dissolution takes place is a theological question. The definition reads: "If anyone shall say that a marriage contracted, but not consummated, is not dissolved by the solemn religious profession of either one of the parties to the marriage, let him be anathema." The expression, by the solemn profession, is important. Neither the mere entrance into a religious order, nor life in the novitiate, nor the so-called profession of simple vows, even though they be for life, as is customary in modern congregations, is capable of dissolving a previous marriage. The simple vows which are pronounced in the Society of Jesus, either as vows of scholastic or as vows of formed coadjutors, do not dissolve a marriage which has been contracted and not yet consummated, though they cause a diriment impediment in regard to any future marriage. The question as to how and for what reason such marriage is dissolved by solemn religious profession is answered by some by pointing to an immediate Divine right, as if God himself had so ordained immediately. Others, however, ascribe it to the power which the Church has received from God, and to its ordinance. The first opinion is defended by Dominic Soto, Thomas Sanchez, Benedict XIV, Perrone, Rosset, Palmieri, and others; the second by Henry de Segusia (commonly called Hostiensis), Francisco Suárez, Laymann, Kugler, the Würzburg theologians, Wernz, Gasparri, Laurentius, Fahrner, and others. The tradition of the Christian Church for centuries bears witness that Christian marriage before consummation has not the same indissolubility as a consummated marriage. Scholars, however, are not unanimous about the limits of its dissolubility. Many facts from the lives of the saints, of St. Thecla, St. Cecilia, St. Alexius, and others, such for example as are narrated by Gregory the Great (III Dialog., xiv, in P.L., XXXIII) and by the Venerable Bede (Hist. Angl., xix, in P.L., XCV, 201 sqq.), are proof of the universal Christian conviction that, even after marriage had been contracted, it was free for either of the married parties to separate from the other in order to choose a life of evangelical perfection. Now this would be a violation of the right of the other spouse if in such circumstances the marriage bond were not dissolved, or at least could not easily be dissolved under certain conditions, and thereby the right granted to the other to enter upon another marriage. The precise conditions under which this dissolution of the marriage bond actually took place, and stil takes place, can only be decided with certainty by the authentic declaration of the Church. Such a declaration was made by Alexander III, according to III Decretal., xxxii, 2: "After a lawfully accorded consent affecting the present, it is allowed to one of the parties, even against the will of the other, to choose a monastery (just as certain saints have been called from marriage), provided that carnal intercourse shall not have taken place between them; and it is allowed to the one who is left to proceed to a second marriage." A similar declaration was made by Innocent III, op. cit., cap. xiv. From this latter declaration we learn that religious profession alone has this effect, and that therefore those who wished to practise a life of higher perfection in any other manner could be obliged by the other spouse either actually to choose the religious state or else to consummate the marriage. Under earlier ecclesiastical conditions, no long delay was imposed upon the other party before entering upon another marriage, because religious profession might be made without a long novitiate. The introduction of a novitiate of at least a year by the Council of Trent, and the time of three years prescribed by Pius IX and Leo XIII for simple vows before the solemn profession, and the general restriction of solemn profession by the establishment of simple profession, which does not dissolve the marriage bond, have rendered difficult the dissolution of unconsummated marriage by religious profession. So that now it seems practically necessary that if one of the married parties should choose the state of evangelical perfection before the consummation of the marriage, the marriage bond should be dissolved by papal authority.

2. Dissolution by the Pope of Marriage not yet Consummated.
The pope's authority as supreme head of the Church to dissolve Christian marriage not yet consummated is proved on the one hand from the words of Christ to Peter, Matthew 16:19 (see above, under B, 2), and on the other, from the dissolubility of such a marriage by religious profession, inasmuch as this profession must be solemn, for according to the declaration of Boniface VIII (III Sexti Decretal., xv, c. unic.), solemn vows as such depend entirely upon the ordinance of the Church — "voti solemnitas ex solâ constitutione Ecclesiæ est inventa". Hence it follows without a doubt that the dissolution of a marriage by solemn profession could never take place without the exercise of the Church's authority. Now if the Church can cause such a dissolution according to a general law, a fortiori she can do this in single cases — not indeed arbitrarily, but for grave reasons — because this power has been granted by God to dispense in matters of Divine right, and a delegated authority may not be exercised without a sufficient reason (cf. Wernz, "Just decretal.", IV, n. 698, not. 39). The actual exercise of this power on the part of the popes, which has become constant and general, is a further proof of its propriety and its actual existence. Clear instances occur during the pontificates of Martin V (1417-31) and Eugene IV (1431-47). St Antoninus tells us that he had seen several Bulls of the popes which granted such a dispensation of a dissolution of a marriage that had not been consummated, so that thereafter they might proceed to a new marriage. (Summa theol., III, tit. i, c. xxi). We can find traces of such a practice even in much earlier times. A decretal of Alexander III, namely, IV Decretal., xiii, 2, seems, according to a probable interpretation, to refer to a possible concession of such a dissolution. Perhaps the decision of Gregory II to St. Boniface, in 726 (see above under A. 4) might possibly be explained in the same sense, though it is very uncertain, for it seems to refer neither to the dissolution of a consummated marriage, as some supposed, nor to the dissolution of a real marriage that had not been consummated, but rather to a declaration of invalidity. For several centuries the exercise of this power of dissolving such marriages has belonged to the ordinary functions of the Holy See, and is exlusively papal, for the work of the Roman Congregations in such cases is only preparatory. However, exceptional instances occur when it has been delegated to bishops (Wernz, op. cit., n. 698, not. 41). The judicial procedure in such cases was exactly prescribed by Benedict XIV in his Bull of judicial procedure ("Dei miseratione", 3 November, 1741 (section 15), obligatory on the whole Latin Church. Any uncertainty about this ecclesiastical power (cf. Fahrner; Geshichte des Unauflöslichkeits princips, p. 170 sqq.) was removed by this Bull; for if this power did not belong to the Church, then the Bull in question would have approved and originated an institution against all good morals. It is, however, inconceivable that the pope could issue an attack on morality and could formally sanction bigamy in certain cases. Several of the older canonists, especially those of Bologna, brought forward some special reasons which are supposed to justify the dissolution of a marriage before consummation. If thereby they wish to assert the right of dissolution by private authority, then they erred. If they intended to speak of a dissolution that could be granted by the Church, that is, by its supreme head, and the permission for a new marriage, then they had merely collected the cases in which such a dissolution might take place in virtue of the papal authority just spoken of, but they had not given a new title to such dissolution. Some held the erroneous opinion of private dissolubility, because they regarded such a union as no real marriage, but simply as betrothal, and therefore they treated it according to the juridical principles in regard to betrothal. This theory of marriage, however, was not often defended, and has long disappeared from theological schools; neither does it deserve any consideration at present, because it is in conflict with established Catholic dogmas.


Anyway I'll leave it at that and not derail the thread any further  :blush: (if such a thing is possible)  :LOL:
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I just looked back over my post and saw that I wrote consecrated instead of consumated.  Man, I'm really having a problem with choosing words lately!
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(02-12-2012, 08:22 AM)newyorkcatholic Wrote: Why should the Pope intervene in selection of bishops if there is no problem?


What can the Pope handle that a local synod could not?
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(02-12-2012, 09:06 PM)Silouan Wrote:
(02-12-2012, 08:22 AM)newyorkcatholic Wrote: Why should the Pope intervene in selection of bishops if there is no problem?

What can the Pope handle that a local synod could not?

Well, if the local synod were to choose an undesirable candidate, the pope has the right to intervene and replace him with another. Sounds fair.

In any case, I'm all for letting local synods and dioceses elect their bishops. Even the old royal privilege of appointing bishops is fine, as long as the pope confirms it in the end. It's a matter of praxis.
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