The Eastern Churches and St. Thomas Aquinas
(02-11-2012, 03:08 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(02-11-2012, 02:22 PM)newyorkcatholic Wrote: It makes sense to me.  Obviously the papal system of direct appointment of bishops has led to horrific appointments in many places.  Especially for the East, but in general everywhere, I'd be fine with the bishops being chosen locally, provided the right of the pope to directly intervene when the bishop is seriously problematic is preserved.  By problematic I suppose I mean heretic, or morally reprobate.

Exactly, and that's why the Pope needs to have that authority.  Synodal agreements are all well and good, but as history shows with previous heresies, occasionally a synod will be at an impasse, and in that sitaution, an executive decision is required.

There would also localized blame.  The Pope in Rome is not blamed for failures of bishops (as now they quite legitimately are). 

The thing is that in the West I could not imagine this system working right now.  Can you imagine what kind of ridiculous priests most chancery officials would choose in most Western dioceses?
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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.

Try to think of it like this:  the Pope has the authority to do whatever he wants administratively.  If he wants a certain bishop to be elected to a particular diocese, no one can stop him.  But what he has the right to do is not always the prudent thing to do.  It is the custom in the East, and also was in the West until Vatican 1 I think, for bishops to be elected by the bishops of their neighboring dioceses, and then the newly elected bishops sends notification of his election to the Pope.  It usually is not prudent for the Pope to step in and do what other bishops can do on their own.  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 matter is, I suspecy, more complicated than that, custom would have varied from province to province, in some places custom would have ceded control to the pope far earlier and in others far later.

Quote: As a rule they contented themselves with exercising an influence on the electors. But from the beginning of the sixth century, this attitude was modified. In the East the clergy and the primates, or chief citizens, nominated three candidates from whom the metropolitan chose the bishop. At a later date, the bishops of the ecclesiastical province assumed the exclusive right of nominating the candidates. In the West, the kings intervened in these elections, notably in Spain and Gaul, and sometimes assumed the right of direct nomination (Funk, "Die Bischofswahl im christlichen Altertum und im Anfang des Mittelalters" in "Kirchengeschichtliche Abhandlungen und Untersuchungen", Paderborn: 1897, I, 23-39; Imbart. de la Tour. "Les élections épiscopales dans l'ancienne France", Paris, 1890). This interference of princes and emperors lasted until the quarrel about Investitures, which was especially violent in Germany, where from the ninth to the eleventh centuries abbots and bishops had become real temporal princes. (See INVESTITURE.) The Second Lateran Council (1139) handed over to the chapter of the cathedral church the sole right of choosing the bishop, and this legislation was sanctioned by the Decretals (Decretum Gratiani. P. I., Dist. lxiii, ch. xxxv; ch. iii. De causa possessionis et proprietatis, X, II, xii; ch. liv, De electione et electi potestate, X, I, vi; Friedberg, Corpus Juris Canonici, Leipzeig, 1879-81, I, 247, II, 95,276) The bishops of the Middle Ages acquired much temporal power, but this was accompanied by a corresponding diminution of their spiritual authority. By the exercise of the prerogative of the primacy the Holy See reserved to Itself all the most important affairs, the so-called causae majores, as for instance the canonization of saints (ch. i, De reliquiis X, III, xlv; Friedberg, II, 650), the permission to venerate publicly newly discovered relics, the absolution of certain grave sins, etc. Appeals to the pope against the judicial decisions of the bishops became more and more frequent. The religious orders and the chapters of cathedral and collegiate churches obtained exemption from episcopal authority. The cathedral chapter obtained a very considerable influence in the administration of the diocese. The pope reserved also to himself the nomination of many ecclesiastical benefices (C. Lux. Constitutionum apostolicarum de generali beneficiorum reservatione collectio et Breslau, 1904). He also claimed the right to nominate the bishops, but in the German Concordat of 1448 he granted the chapters the right to elect them, while in that of 1516 he permitted the King of France to nominate the bishops of that nation. Subsequently the Council of Trent defined the rights of the bishop and remedied the abuses which had slipped into the administration of dioceses and the conduct of bishops. The council granted them the exclusive right of publishing indulgences; it also impressed upon them the obligation of residence in their dioceses, the duty of receiving consecration within three months after their elevation to the episcopate, of erecting seminaries, of convoking annual diocesan synods, of assisting at, provincial synods, and of visiting their dioceses. It also forbade them to cumulate benefices, etc. The same council diminished exceptions from episcopal authority, and delegated to the bishops some of the rights which in the past the Holy See had reserved for itself. Subsequent pontifical acts completed the Tridentine legislation, which is still valid. Protestantism and at a later date the French Revolution destroyed all temporal power of the bishops; thenceforth they were free to consecrate themselves with greater earnestness to the duties of their spiritual ministry.
Present legislation

Two classes of bishops must be distinguished, not with regard to the power of order, for all bishops receive the fullness of the priesthood but with regard to the power of jurisdiction: the diocesan bishop and the titular bishop or, as he was called before 1882 the episcopus in partibus infedelium. The former is here considered. Those belonging to the second class cannot perform any episcopal function without the authorization of the diocesan bishop; for as titular bishops there have no ordinary jurisdiction. They can; however, act as auxiliary bishops, i.e. they may be appointed by the pope to assist a diocesan bishop in the exercise of duties arising from the episcopal order but entailing no power of jurisdiction. (See AUXILIARY BISHOP.) Such a bishop is also called vicarius in pontificalibus, i.e. a representative in certain ceremonial acts proper to the diocesan bishop, sometimes suffragan bishop, episcopus suffraganeus. In the proper sense of the term, however, the suffragan bishop is the diocesan bishop in his relations with the metropolitan of the ecclesiastical province to which he belongs, while the bishop who is independent of any metropolitan is called an exempt bishop, episcopus exemptus. The titular bishop may also be coadjutor bishop when he is appointed to assist an ordinary bishop in the administration of the diocese. Sometimes he is incorrectly called auxiliary bishop. He possesses some powers of jurisdiction determined by the letters Apostolic appointing him. Often also, notably in missionary countries, the coadjutor bishop is named cum jure successionis, i.e. with the right of succession; on the death of the diocesan bishop he enters on the ordinary administration of the diocese.

The Council of Trent determined the conditions to be fulfilled by candidates for the episcopate, of which the following are the principal: birth in lawful wedlock, freedom from censure and irregularity or any defect in mind, purity of personal morals, and good reputation. The candidate must also be fully thirty years of age and have been not less than six months in Holy orders. He ought also to have the theological degree of Doctor or at least be a licentiate in theology or canon law or else have the testimony of a public academy or seat of learning (or, if he be a religious, of the highest authority of his order) that he is fit to teach others (c. vii, De electione et electi potestate, X.I. vi; Friedberg, II, 51. Council of Trent. Sess. XXII, De ref., ch. ii). The Holy Office is charged with the examination of persons called to the episcopate, with the exception of the territories subject to the Congregation of the Propaganda or to the Congregation of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, or of those countries where the nomination of bishops is governed by special laws and concordats ("Motu Proprio" of Pope Pius X. 17 December, 1903; "acta sanctae Sedis, 1904, XXXVI, 385). We have said that the Decretals recognize the right of the cathedral chapters to elect the bishop. This right has long been long withdrawn and is no longer in force. In virtue of the second rule of the Papal Chancery the choice of bishops belongs exclusively to the pope (Walter, Fontes juris eccesiastici antiqui et hodierni, Bonn, 1861, 483) Exceptions to this rule, however, are numerous. In Austria (with the exception of some episcopal sees), in Bavaria, in Spain, in Portugal and in Peru, the Government presents to the sovereign pontiff the candidates for the episcopate. It was so in France, and in several South American Republics before the rupture or denunciation of the concordats between the states and the Apostolic See. By the cessation of these concordats such states lost all right of intervention in the nomination of bishops; this does not, however prevent the Government in several South American Republics from recommending candidates to the sovereign pontiff. The cathedral chapter is authorized to elect the bishop in several dioceses of Austria, Switzerland, Prussia, and in some States of Germany, notably in the ecclesiastical province of the Upper Rhine. The action of the electors, however, is not entirely free. For example, they may not choose persons distasteful to the Government (Letter of the Cardinal Secretary of State to the Chapters of Germany, 20, July 1900; Canonist Contemporain, 1901, XXIV, 727). Elsewhere the pope himself nominates bishops, but in Italy the Government insists that they obtain the royal exequatur before taking possession of the episcopal see. In missionary countries the pope generally permits the "recommendation" of candidates, but this does not juridically bind the sovereign pontiff, who has the power to choose the new bishop from persons not included in the list of recommended candidates. In England the canons of the cathedral select by a majority of the votes, at three successive ballots, three candidates for the vacant episcopal see. Their names, arranged in alphabetical order, are transmitted to the Propaganda and to the archbishop of the province, or to the senior suffragan of the province, if the question is one of the election of an archbishop. The bishops of the province discuss the merits of the candidates and transmit their observations to the Propaganda. Since 1847 the bishops are empowered, if they so desire, to propose other names for the choice of the Holy See, and a decision of the Propaganda (25 April, 3 May, 1904) confirms this practice (Instruction of Propaganda, 21 April, 1852; "Collectanea S. C. de Propagandâ Fide", Rome, 1893. no. 42; Taunton, 87-88). Analogous enactments are in force in Ireland. The canons of the cathedral and all the parish priests free from censure and in actual and peaceful possession of their parish or united parishes, choose in a single ballot three ecclesiastics. The names of the three candidates who have obtained the greatest number of votes are announced and forwarded to the Propaganda and to the archbishop of the province. The archbishop and the bishops of the province give the Holy See their opinion on the candidates. If they judge that none of the candidates is capable of fulfilling the episcopal functions no second recommendation is to be made. If it is a question of the nomination of a coadjutor bishop with the right of succession the same rules are followed, but the presidency of the electoral meeting, instead of being given to the metropolitan, his delegate, or the senior bishop of the province, belongs to the bishop who asks for the coadjutor (Instruction of Propaganda, 17 September, 1829, and 25 April, 1835; "Collectanea," nos. 40 and 41). In Scotland, where there is no chapter of canons, they follow the rules as in England; and when there is no chapter, the bishops of Scotland and the archbishops of Edinburgh and Glasgow choose by a triple ballot the three candidates. The names of these latter are communicated to the Holy See together with the votes which each candidate has obtained. At the same time is transmitted useful information about each of them according to the questions determined by the Propaganda (Instruction of the Propaganda, 25 July, 1883; "Collectanea". no. 45). In the United States of America the diocesan consultors and the irremovable rectors of the diocese assemble under the presidency of the archbishop or the senior bishop of the province, and choose three candidates, the first dignissimus, the second dignior, and the third digmus. Their names are sent to the Propaganda and to the archbishops of the province; the archbishop and the bishops the province examine the merits of the candidates proposed by the clergy and in their turn, by a secret ballot propose three candidates. If they choose other candidates than those designated by the clergy, they indicate their reasons to the Propaganda. In the case of the nomination of a coadjutor with right of succession, the meeting of the clergy is presided over by the bishop who demands a coadjutor. If it concerns a newly created diocese, the consulters of all the dioceses from whose territory the new diocese was formed and all the irremovable rectors of the new diocese choose the three candidates of the clergy. Finally, if it is a matter of replacing an archbishop or of giving him a coadjutor with right of succession all the metropolitans of the United States are consulted by the Propaganda (Decree of Propaganda, 21 January, 1861, modified by that of 31 September, 1885; Collectanea, no. 43). In Canada by a decree of 2 December, 1862, the Church still follows the rules laid down by the Propaganda on 21 January, 1861, for the United States (Collectanea. no. 43; Collectio Lacensis 1875, III, 684, 688). Every three years the bishops must communicate to the Propaganda and to the metropolitan the names of the priests they think worthy of episcopal functions. In addition, each bishop must designate in a secret letter three ecclesiastics whom he believes worthy to succeed him. When a vacancy occurs, all the bishops of the province indicate to the archbishop or to the senior bishop the priests whom they consider recommendable. The bishops then discuss in a meeting the merits of each of the priests recommended, and proceed to the nomination of the candidates by secret vote. The acts of the assembly are transmitted to the Propaganda. In Australia, a method similar to that in use in the United States is followed. Two differences, however, are to be noted: first the bishops still signify every three years, to the metropolitan and to the Propaganda the names of the priests whom they consider worthy of the episcopal office. Second, when the nomination of a coadjutor bishop is in question, the presidency over the assembly of consultors and irremovable rectors belongs not to the bishop who demands a coadjutor, but to the metropolitan or to the bishop delegated by him (Instruction of Propaganda, 19 May, 1866, modified by the decree of 1 May, 1887; Collectanea, no. 44).

Whatever the manner of his nomination, the bishop possesses no power until his nomination has been confirmed by the Holy See, whether in consistory or by pontifical letters. Moreover, he is forbidden to enter on the administration of his diocese therefore taking possession of his see by communication to the cathedral chapter the letters Apostolic of his nomination (Const. "Apostolicae Sedis", 12 October, 1869, V, i; "Collectanea", no. 1002).
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(02-11-2012, 03:08 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(02-11-2012, 02:22 PM)newyorkcatholic Wrote: It makes sense to me.  Obviously the papal system of direct appointment of bishops has led to horrific appointments in many places.  Especially for the East, but in general everywhere, I'd be fine with the bishops being chosen locally, provided the right of the pope to directly intervene when the bishop is seriously problematic is preserved.  By problematic I suppose I mean heretic, or morally reprobate.

Exactly, and that's why the Pope needs to have that authority.  Synodal agreements are all well and good, but as history shows with previous heresies, occasionally a synod will be at an impasse, and in that sitaution, an executive decision is required.

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.
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(02-11-2012, 03:26 PM)TrentCath Wrote:
(02-11-2012, 03:08 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(02-11-2012, 02:22 PM)newyorkcatholic Wrote: It makes sense to me.  Obviously the papal system of direct appointment of bishops has led to horrific appointments in many places.  Especially for the East, but in general everywhere, I'd be fine with the bishops being chosen locally, provided the right of the pope to directly intervene when the bishop is seriously problematic is preserved.  By problematic I suppose I mean heretic, or morally reprobate.

Exactly, and that's why the Pope needs to have that authority.  Synodal agreements are all well and good, but as history shows with previous heresies, occasionally a synod will be at an impasse, and in that sitaution, an executive decision is required.

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.

It's not that the Holy Father's decision would be automatically imprudent.

It's just imprudent (IMHO) to continue the system whereby the Holy Father directly appoints every diocesan bishop.  It's even more imprudent for HH to do this with Eastern Churches ... especially if we want reunion.  An orthodox church should never have to think that, barring cases of heretics or other really bad candidates, they would have to submit to such papal control in order to come back to the Catholic Church.
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(02-11-2012, 03:31 PM)newyorkcatholic Wrote:
(02-11-2012, 03:26 PM)TrentCath Wrote:
(02-11-2012, 03:08 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(02-11-2012, 02:22 PM)newyorkcatholic Wrote: It makes sense to me.  Obviously the papal system of direct appointment of bishops has led to horrific appointments in many places.  Especially for the East, but in general everywhere, I'd be fine with the bishops being chosen locally, provided the right of the pope to directly intervene when the bishop is seriously problematic is preserved.  By problematic I suppose I mean heretic, or morally reprobate.

Exactly, and that's why the Pope needs to have that authority.  Synodal agreements are all well and good, but as history shows with previous heresies, occasionally a synod will be at an impasse, and in that sitaution, an executive decision is required.

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.

It's not that the Holy Father's decision would be automatically imprudent.

It's just imprudent (IMHO) to continue the system whereby the Holy Father directly appoints every diocesan bishop.  It's even more imprudent for HH to do this with Eastern Churches ... especially if we want reunion.  An orthodox church should never have to think that, barring cases of heretics or other really bad candidates, they would have to submit to such papal control in order to come back to the Catholic Church.

The eastern catholic churches don't work under this system as it is but the words of Pope Pius IX in 'Quartus Supra (On the Church in Armenia) are relevant '24. We commanded that a synod composed exclusively of bishops elect the patriarch. However, We forbade the man elected to be enthroned until he received a letter of confirmation from the Apostolic See. We ordered bishops to be elected in the following way: all the bishops of the province were to gather in a synod and recommend three suitable churchmen to the Apostolic See. If it were not possible for all the bishops to come to the synod, the recommendation could be made by a synod of at least three diocesan bishops together with the patriarch, if those absent indicated their triple recommendation in writing. When this is done, the Roman pontiff will choose one of those recommended and put him in charge of the vacant see. We declared that We were certain that the bishops would recommend worthy and suitable men so that We would never have to select someone different from those recommended to be in charge of the vacant see.

25. If you consider these measures with a mind free from the passions of faction, you will find them all sanctioned by the universal sense of the canons. Concerning the exclusion of the laity from the election of bishops, a clear distinction must be made, lest a doctrine at variance with the Catholic faith result. This distinction is between the right to elect bishops and the ability to give testimony as to their life and morals. The former claim must be credited to the wrong notions of Luther and Calvin, who even asserted that it was a matter of divine law that the bishops should be elected by the people; as everybody realizes, such false teaching has been and is still rejected by the Catholic Church. For no power of electing bishops or other ministers of religion has ever been given to the people by either divine or ecclesiastical law.

26. Testimony of the people concerning the life and morals of those who are to be raised to the episcopate became important "when the Arians, to whom the emperor Constantius was partial, began to eject Catholic prelates from their sees and replace them with adherents of Arianism, as St. Athanasius laments (History of the Arians, ch. 4). The people felt that if they were present and if their testimony were heard at the election of bishops, then they would be more likely to support and help them."[41] That custom indeed lasted for some time in the Church, but when recurrent discord, disturbance, and other abuses resulted from it, it was necessary to remove the people from the process. For as St. Jerome observes, "sometimes the judgment of the ordinary people is wrong and in approving of priests each man is partial to his own ways and seeks a superior who resembles himself rather than one who is good."[42]

27. Nevertheless, in imposing a procedure of election, We left the synod of bishops freedom to examine the talents of the men to be elected in whatever way they preferred, even to the extent of summoning the testimony of the people if they so chose. And in fact, since the publication of Our Constitution, such an examination was conducted three years ago by the Armenian prelates when a bishop was elected for the districts of Sebaste and Tokat. The proceedings sent to this Holy See testify to this. However We did not nor do We think it fitting to impose a similar procedure in the election of the patriarch for several reasons. In the first place, his rank is so high; secondly, he is in charge of all the bishops in his district; and lastly, it is clear to Us that only bishops have taken part in the election of the patriarch in each of the Eastern rites, except on particular and extraordinary occasions when circumstances demanded a different procedure. For instance, when the Catholics were protecting themselves against the strong power of the schismatics to whom they were subjected, they asked for a different patriarch for themselves. By this fact they ensured their separation from these schismatics and their true and sincere "conversion" to the Catholic faith as indeed happened when Abraham Peter I was elected.

28. However, some resent and bemoan both Our declaration that this Apostolic See has the right and power to elect a bishop either from the three names recommended or apart from them and Our prohibition against the enthronement of an elected Patriarch without Our prior confirmation. They call Our attention to the customs and canons of their churches as if We had abandoned the provisions of the sacred canons. We might respond to these men in the same way Our predecessor St. Gelasius did when the Acacian schismatics brought the same false accusation against him: "They cite the canons against Us without knowing what they are saying since they show that they are themselves in opposition to the canons by the very fact that they deny obedience to the first See although its advice is sound and correct."[43] For these are the very canons which recognize the full, divine authority of blessed Peter over the whole Church. Indeed, they proclaim that he lives and exercises judgment in his successors to the present time and forever, as the Council of Ephesus affirmed.[44] Rightly then did Stephan, Bishop of Larissa, give this firm answer to those who considered that the privileges of the churches of Constantinople were somewhat diminished by the intervention of the Roman Pontiff: "the authority of the Apostolic See which was given by God and our Savior to the chief of the Apostles exceeds the privileges of all the holy churches. In acknowledging this, all the churches of the world should cease their opposition."[45]

29. Certainly, if you recall the history of your districts, you will find examples of Roman Pontiffs who used this power when they judged it necessary for the safety of the Eastern Churches. This was why the Roman Pontiff Agapetus used his authority to eject Anthimus from the See of Constantinople and replace him with Mennas without calling a synod. Our predecessor Martin I entrusted his power for the East to John, Bishop of Philadelphia, in regard to the regions of the East. He instructed him "by the Apostolic authority given to Us by the Lord through the most holy Peter, prince of the Apostles,"[46] to appoint bishops, priests and deacons in every city subject to the sees of Jerusalem and Antioch. In more recent times, you will recall that the bishop of Mardin of the Armenians was elected and consecrated by the authority of this Apostolic See even though Our predecessors granted the care of this see to the patriarchs of Cilicia. This was granted when the administration of the district of Mesopotamia was assigned to them by the Holy See. All these actions agree with the supreme power of the Roman See; the church of the Armenians has always recognized, proclaimed, and respected this except during unhappy times of schism. This is not surprising since even among your people still separated from the Catholic faith, the ancient tradition remains strong that the great bishop and martyr whom you regard as the Enlightener of your race, received his power from the Apostolic See. He came to the See in person, undeterred by the length and great hardship of the journey. This was Gregory whom Chrysostom described as a sun rising in the eastern regions whose shining rays reached as far as the Greek people.[47]

30. We decided on this arrangement by Ourselves after carefully studying both on ancient and recent events. Everyone knows that the eternal and at times the temporal happiness of people depends on the proper election of bishops; the circumstances of time and place must be considered referring all the authority for selecting the bishops to the Apostolic See. Still We decided to moderate the exercise of this power by allowing the synod of bishops to elect the patriarch and by having this synod recommend three suitable men to Us for vacant sees as was sanctioned in Our Constitution.

31. But on this matter too, to rouse the torpid and increasingly inspire those who are running well, We said that We hoped truly suitable men worthy of so important an office would be recommended to avoid the necessity of Our ever having to appoint to a vacant See someone apart from those recommended. This was provided for also in the procedure We established in 1853[48] for exactly the same purpose. We have heard that some have interpreted these otherwise mild words to mean that We would disregard and even deride the recommendations of the synod. Others have gone even further and developed a theory that a proposal to entrust the care of the Armenians to Latin bishops is veiled in these words. Such foolish accusations indeed deserve no answer: for only fearful and foolish men could utter such statements. But We considered that We should not keep silence on Our right to elect a bishop apart from the three recommended candidates, in case the Apostolic See should be compelled to exercise this right in the future. But even if We had remained silent, this right and duty of the See of blessed Peter would have remained unimpaired. For the rights and privileges given to the See by Christ Himself, while they may be attacked, cannot be destroyed; no man has the power to renounce a divine right which he might at some time be compelled to exercise by the will of God Himself.

32. Although it is now nineteen years since these pronouncements were made to the Armenians, and although bishops have been elected many times, We have never used that power, not even when recently, after the publication of the Constitution Reversurus, We received a triple recommendation from which We could not elect a bishop. In this case We told the synod of bishops to recommence the process of recommendation in accordance with the laws We prescribed rather than Our electing a bishop apart from their recommendations. This has been hindered so far by the new schism which has begun to tear apart the church of the Armenians. We are confident, furthermore, that such distressful times will never befall the Catholic churches of Armenia as to compel the Roman Pontiffs to impose bishops on them who have not been recommended by the synod of bishops.

33. We will add some remarks on Our prohibition of the enthronement of Patriarchs before Holy See. The writings of the ancients testify that the election of Patriarchs had never been considered definite and valid without the agreement and confirmation of the Roman Pontiff. Accordingly, it is learned, those elected to patriarchal sees always sought such confirmation, with the support of the emperors. Thus, to pass over other names in a well known affair, Anatolius Bishop of Constantinople (a man who certainly did not serve the Apostolic See very well), and even Photius himself (the first cause of the Greek schism), requested the Roman Pontiff to confirm their elections by his consent. To this end they employed the intervention of the emperors Theodosius, Michael and Basil. For this reason the Fathers of Chalcedon, even though they declared all the acts of the robber synod of Ephesus invalid, willed that Maximus Bishops of Antioch remain in the see. He had replaced Domnus by authority of that synod since "the holy and blessed Pope who confirmed the holy and venerable Maximus as bishop of the church of Antioch appeared to have approved his merit in a just judgment."[49]

34. But if you consider the patriarchs of those churches which in more recent times have renounced schism and returned to Catholic unity, you will find that all of them asked for confirmation from the Roman Pontiff; the Roman Pontiffs confirmed them all by letter in such a way that at the same time the Pontiffs appointed them and placed them over their churches. The Apostolic See has at times tolerated elected patriarchs using their power before being confirmed by the See. It has done so because their districts were so distant or because the journey was dangerous or because of the reverses threatening more and more frequently from the predominance of schismatics of the same rite. This dispensation has been granted even in the west to those who are very far away because of the needs and benefits of the churches.[50] But it is fair to remind you that such reasons are no longer valid since travel is much easier and since the Catholics have been delivered from the civil power of the schismatics by the kindness of the supreme Ottoman emperor. By following this procedure, safe provision is made for the preservation of the Catholic faith which could be disturbed at will by one who is unworthy of such high office occupying the patriarchal see before the Apostolic confirmation which might arise when an elected Patriarch is rejected by the holy Apostolic See and has to relinquish his place will be forestalled.

35. Everything which is sanctioned in Our Constitution contributes to the preservation and development of the Catholic faith. It contributes as well to the protection of the real liberty of the Church and the authority of the bishops, whose rights and privileges find strength and repose in the stability of the Apostolic See. The Roman Pontiffs have always strongly defended these rights and privileges from heretics and ambitious men at the request of bishops of every rank, nation and rite.
'

The Pope would at least have to approve the candidate and/or pick the most worthy among those presented by the synod.
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(02-11-2012, 01:49 PM)Melkite Wrote: Try to think of it like this:  the Pope has the authority to do whatever he wants administratively.  If he wants a certain bishop to be elected to a particular diocese, no one can stop him.  But what he has the right to do is not always the prudent thing to do.  It is the custom in the East, and also was in the West until Vatican 1 I think, for bishops to be elected by the bishops of their neighboring dioceses, and then the newly elected bishops sends notification of his election to the Pope.  It usually is not prudent for the Pope to step in and do what other bishops can do on their own.  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.

I am fine with it worded that way. However, I have heard some Eastern Catholics not only say that it would be imprudent for our Holy Father to get involved in things that should be handled  by Eastern Bishops,  but that he has no right.  That I cannot agree with.
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(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.
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(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.

Perhaps
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(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.
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(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...
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