Poll: Do you consider Eastern Orthodox Christians to be heretics (either formal or material)?
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Eastern Orthodoxy
#1
In the past, I have encountered Catholics who do not think that the Eastern Orthodox are heretics. I found this quite interesting, considering that Eastern Orthodox beliefs certainly meet the canonical definition of heresy, which is, "the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and Catholic faith." (Code of Canon Law, can. 751; Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2089). What exactly are "truths that must be believed with the divine and Catholic faith"? Divinely revealed dogmas are the truths that must be believed with the divine and Catholic faith: "Those things are to be believed by divine and Catholic faith which are contained in the word of God as it has been written or handed down by tradition, that is, in the single deposit of faith entrusted to the Church, and which are at the same time proposed as divinely revealed either by the solemn Magisterium of the Church, or by its ordinary and universal Magisterium, which in fact is manifested by the common adherence of Christ's faithful under the guidance of the sacred Magisterium. " (Code of Canon Law, can. 750). According to Vatican I, the infallibility of the pope when speaking ex cathedra is a divinely revealed dogma (see Pastor Aeternus if you have any doubt of this.) Every member of the Eastern Orthodox Church (or at least every member loyal to the teachings of the Eastern Orthodox Church) rejects the divinely revealed dogma of papal infallibility; therefore, each member of the Eastern Orthodox Church is a heretic, whether formal or material.

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#2
(10-17-2010, 06:17 PM)Resurrexi Wrote: According to Vatican I, the infallibility of the pope when speaking ex cathedra is a divinely revealed dogma (see Pastor Aeternus if you have any doubt of this.) Every member of the Eastern Orthodox Church (or at least every member loyal to the teachings of the Eastern Orthodox Church) rejects the divinely revealed dogma of papal infallibility; therefore, each member of the Eastern Orthodox Church is a heretic, whether formal or material.

Is this not "ex post facto" in legalese?

That is to call someone a heretic for not accepting a dogma defined 800 years after the schism?
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#3
(10-17-2010, 06:21 PM)Azurestone Wrote:
(10-17-2010, 06:17 PM)Resurrexi Wrote: According to Vatican I, the infallibility of the pope when speaking ex cathedra is a divinely revealed dogma (see Pastor Aeternus if you have any doubt of this.) Every member of the Eastern Orthodox Church (or at least every member loyal to the teachings of the Eastern Orthodox Church) rejects the divinely revealed dogma of papal infallibility; therefore, each member of the Eastern Orthodox Church is a heretic, whether formal or material.

Is this not "ex post facto" in legalese?

That is to call someone a heretic for not accepting a dogma defined 800 years after the schism?

It doesn't matter that the dogma was defined after the schism; the Eastern Orthodox are denying a divinely revealed dogma and thus meet the definition for heresy.
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#4
Yes, they are heretics, although I'd venture to say that most of them incur in material heresy alone.
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#5
(10-17-2010, 06:28 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote: Yes, they are heretics, although I'd venture to say that most of them incur in material heresy alone.

That's interesting; I would actually say the opposite. Then again, I would say that very few people today are invincibly ignorant of the Catholic religion.
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#6
There is no single "Orthodox" confession of faith that denies any Catholic doctrine.  There is no Greek "Thirty-Nine Articles".  All that can be said of them is that they accept the doctrines defined by the first seven ecumenical councils as normative. 

The Church prefers to regard the Eastern Orthodox churches as real churches that are in a state of impaired communion with Rome.  When a member of one of these churches joins a Catholic parish, he (or she) is received by a profession of faith alone,  without any abjuration of heresy or general confession.  If the Church does not consider them to be heretics, neither should you. 
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#7
(10-17-2010, 07:50 PM)spasiisochrani Wrote: There is no single "Orthodox" confession of faith that denies any Catholic doctrine.  There is no Greek "Thirty-Nine Articles".  All that can be said of them is that they accept the doctrines defined by the first seven ecumenical councils as normative. 

There may not be an Eastern Orthodox profession of faith that denies any Catholic doctrine, but that does not mean that the rejection of papal infallibility is not an official position of Eastern Orthodoxy. There are many official positions of the Catholic Church (such as the invalidity of Anglican orders) that are not explicitly detailed in any Creed, but that does not make them any less a part of Catholic doctrine. 

(10-17-2010, 07:50 PM)spasiisochrani Wrote: The Church prefers to regard the Eastern Orthodox churches as real churches that are in a state of impaired communion with Rome.  When a member of one of these churches joins a Catholic parish, he (or she) is received by a profession of faith alone,  without any abjuration of heresy or general confession.  If the Church does not consider them to be heretics, neither should you. 

Like many others on this forum, I do not see the Novus Ordo as a very good indicator of the mind of the Church. Thus, what goes on in Novus Ordo parishes has very little impact on my thoughts concerning the matter.
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#8
Technically they are generally heretics because they deny certain dogmas relating to the primacy. I say generally, because not all have done so throughout history. Anti-primacy prejudice has probably wiped it out now, but there have been strains of a kind of sede-privationism among them. These individuals claimed that the Pope lost his authority through holding the "heretical" Filioque but when he returns to the orthodox faith, they will accept his jurisdiciton, etc. Here is a quote from a 15th century saint (sic) of theirs, St. Symeon of Thessalonica:

“One should not contradict the Latins when they say that the Bishop of Rome is the first. This primacy is not harmful to the Church. Let them only prove his faithfulness to the faith of Peter and to that of the successors of Peter. If this is so, let him enjoy all the privileges of pontiff...Let the Bishop of Rome be successor of the orthodoxy of Sylvester and Agatho, of Leo, Liberius, Martin and Gregory, then we also will call him Apostolic and the first among the other bishops; then we also will obey him, not only as Peter, but as the Saviour Himself" (Meyendorff, J., ed., the Primacy of Peter, 1992, SVSP: Crestwood, p. 86).

(As an aside, it's interesting that Liberius is included in that list.)

I say technically above because generally denial of the authority of the Pope, while technically heretical, has traditionally been called and treated as schism for all practical purposes.

Furthermore, on other issues it is often them unjustly calling us heretical, rather than them actually holding a heresy. For example, their belief concerning the procession of the Holy Spirit is orthodox, but they accuse us of a heretical meaning of the Filioque which we do not hold and which we have in fact solemnly condemned (ie a double spiration). Even with things like Original Sin or Indulgences, etc. they often believe in these things in a rudimentary way, but have not taken the logical steps that were taken in the West to develop and define these things with clarity--now they claim to reject them often simply out of anti-western prejudice.

Anyway, it varies from autocephalous church to church and from person to person on a lot of these issues. Since they have no universally authoritative declarations on most of these issues it's hard to make a blanket judgment. In fact, on the other hand, they actually do have post-schism pan-Orthodox Councils which declare explicit beliefs on original sin, indulgences, final purgation, etc. which are in conformity with Catholic doctrine (although many of these things have been ignored since their anti-Latin purging known as their "Exodus from Western Captivity" carried out in the later 19th and early 20th century by some of their monks and clergy).
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#9
(10-17-2010, 10:27 PM)SaintSebastian Wrote: Here is a quote from a 15th century saint (sic) of theirs, St. Symeon of Thessalonica:

Why do you consider Symeon a saint? As far as I am aware the Catholic Church, which alone has authority to determine whether a person is a saint, has never canonized him.
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#10
(10-17-2010, 09:53 PM)Resurrexi Wrote:
(10-17-2010, 07:50 PM)spasiisochrani Wrote: The Church prefers to regard the Eastern Orthodox churches as real churches that are in a state of impaired communion with Rome.  When a member of one of these churches joins a Catholic parish, he (or she) is received by a profession of faith alone, without any abjuration of heresy or general confession.  If the Church does not consider them to be heretics, neither should you. 

Like many others on this forum, I do not see the Novus Ordo as a very good indicator of the mind of the Church. Thus, what goes on in Novus Ordo parishes has very little impact on my thoughts concerning the matter.

When spasiisochrani spoke of The Church, I’m presuming he wasn’t referring to Novus Ordo parishes.  In fact, parishes are not where these things are decided, whether Novus Ordo or traditional, whether pre or post VII.  These questions, definitions, and decisions are reserved to the Magisterium, the teaching authority of the Church embodied in the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops, as successors to the Apostles, for it was to these that Our Lord said: ” whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven” (St. Matthew 18:18).

We have had, shall we say, spirited discussions of the Orthodox here before, but I am not aware of any pre Vatican II popes reefing to them as heretics.  They always speak of them in a very special way it seems, showing paternal solicitude not found in their discourse on other religions.

As one example, in Rerum Orientalium (promulgated on September 8, 1928), His Holiness Pope Pius XI speaks of the Vatican’s Institute of Oriental Studies, which was “ open not only to the Orientals (among whom are included those also who are separated from Catholic Unity), but also to the Latin priests….  I doubt the Holy Father would be inviting heretics to study at the Vatican.

Toward the end of this encyclical Pius XI writes of the Orthodox: ” … among those nations a very great part of Revelation has been religiously preserved, sincere service is rendered to Christ Our Lord, great piety and love are shown towards His sinless Mother, and devout use made of the Sacraments… after the removal of all obstacles, under the auspices of the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, and of the Holy Fathers and Doctors of East and West, We may receive into the House of the Father [b]those brethren and sons of Ours, so long separated from Us[b/], but once more united in bonds of a charity based upon the solid foundation of truth and the full profession of the Christian religion.”

Again, I have not read of the pre VII pontiffs referring to heretics as those brethren and sons of Ours (some decidedly stronger language is often used).  Nor has The Church, to my knowledge, spoken of heretics rendering sincere service to Christ Our Lord, showing great piety and love towards His sinless Mother, or making devout use of the Sacraments.
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