Questions about Catholicism
#21
(06-10-2019, 09:59 AM)yablabo Wrote: I understand your position.  It's a convenient position from which to defend the headless college of bishops in the East when they organize a synod.  However, it is not a position that the miracles surround the church illuminate, nor that history supports.  The actual historical record shows that in order for the acts of a council to have a universal character (oikoumenikos), the Roman Pontiff's approval for the acts of the council was required.  Nobody said he had to make a specific decree beyond having the acts promulgated.

I contend that it is amongst the errors of Russia referred to by the Theotokos at Fatima to countenance a diminished view of papal jurisdiction and thereby papal importance. 

Again, I can understand that this position comes from generations of distrust in the West and indoctrination in a different way of thinking, but that does not make it correct.

I think we're looking at different histories.  I admit I'm not a historian, so I'm taking on faith that the author of whatever history I'm reading is presenting their facts accurately.  But from what I've read, it seems pretty generally accepted that the first ecumenical councils were called by and geared towards the concerns of emperors, not bishops of Rome.  There are canons that were accepted, and still are accepted, before the Pope ever weighed in on them, and some that were accepted despite being rejected by the Pope.  The rest of the Church ignored his rejection (although, I believe this did not happen frequently).  I'm not sure what miracles have to do with any of this.

I have not read a history that convincingly suggests what you are saying.  I don't see where ecumenical councils were only such after Rome recognized them, and that the rest of the Church was waiting on the edge of their seat for it.  I also don't see from history that everybody with a dispute was flying to Rome's heels for its arbitration.  They only did so if they couldn't resolve it themselves, and only seemed concerned to request Rome's arbitration if they believed Rome looked favorably towards their own position (not because they were sincerely at a deadlock on their own).  Frankly, much of the Roman defense of the idea that nothing was done without Rome's approval, and that the Church's very breath hinged upon it, and that the "real" historical record of how the pope functioned in the first millennium was very much as it was outlined in Vatican 1, comes across much like Trump's empty defenses of what he deems to be true.  Not only does the evidence not support it, but we are expected to give assent merely because he mouthed it, as if him doing so is what defines truth.  It doesn't matter that there were crowds of protesters outside Buckingham Palace, the actual video record got it wrong, and they were all there to cheer Trump on and show him their support.  Trump locuta est. It doesn't matter if the first ecumenical councils were called by emperors and presided over by other bishops.  Rome actually called them and actually presided over them, and they were null and void without the Pope's approval.  Roma locuta est - 1870.
I have resigned myself to the reality that I shall have no peace or joy should I continue to exist for eternity.  The question of deism or Christianity no longer matters.  I hope that Christianity is a farce, and that when I die, my consciousness will cease to exist.  In the meantime, I ask the Theotokos to be at my side at my judgement and ask her to intercede to, as I beg, Christ to have mercy on me and to allow me to cease to exist when I die.
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#22
(06-10-2019, 12:39 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(06-10-2019, 09:59 AM)yablabo Wrote: I understand your position.  It's a convenient position from which to defend the headless college of bishops in the East when they organize a synod.  However, it is not a position that the miracles surround the church illuminate, nor that history supports.  The actual historical record shows that in order for the acts of a council to have a universal character (oikoumenikos), the Roman Pontiff's approval for the acts of the council was required.  Nobody said he had to make a specific decree beyond having the acts promulgated.

I contend that it is amongst the errors of Russia referred to by the Theotokos at Fatima to countenance a diminished view of papal jurisdiction and thereby papal importance. 

Again, I can understand that this position comes from generations of distrust in the West and indoctrination in a different way of thinking, but that does not make it correct.

I think we're looking at different histories.  I admit I'm not a historian, so I'm taking on faith that the author of whatever history I'm reading is presenting their facts accurately.  But from what I've read, it seems pretty generally accepted that the first ecumenical councils were called by and geared towards the concerns of emperors, not bishops of Rome.  There are canons that were accepted, and still are accepted, before the Pope ever weighed in on them, and some that were accepted despite being rejected by the Pope.  The rest of the Church ignored his rejection (although, I believe this did not happen frequently).  I'm not sure what miracles have to do with any of this.

I have not read a history that convincingly suggests what you are saying.  I don't see where ecumenical councils were only such after Rome recognized them, and that the rest of the Church was waiting on the edge of their seat for it.  I also don't see from history that everybody with a dispute was flying to Rome's heels for its arbitration.  They only did so if they couldn't resolve it themselves, and only seemed concerned to request Rome's arbitration if they believed Rome looked favorably towards their own position (not because they were sincerely at a deadlock on their own).  Frankly, much of the Roman defense of the idea that nothing was done without Rome's approval, and that the Church's very breath hinged upon it, and that the "real" historical record of how the pope functioned in the first millennium was very much as it was outlined in Vatican 1, comes across much like Trump's empty defenses of what he deems to be true.  Not only does the evidence not support it, but we are expected to give assent merely because he mouthed it, as if him doing so is what defines truth.  It doesn't matter that there were crowds of protesters outside Buckingham Palace, the actual video record got it wrong, and they were all there to cheer Trump on and show him their support.  Trump locuta est.  It doesn't matter if the first ecumenical councils were called by emperors and presided over by other bishops.  Rome actually called them and actually presided over them, and they were null and void without the Pope's approval.  Roma locuta est - 1870.

I am responding in general to this response and not to Melkite in particular: this interpretation of what I wrote is not what I wrote.
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#23
(06-10-2019, 01:11 PM)yablabo Wrote: I am responding in general to this response and not to Melkite in particular: this interpretation of what I wrote is not what I wrote.

I apologize for misunderstanding you.  This is how what you wrote came across to me.
I have resigned myself to the reality that I shall have no peace or joy should I continue to exist for eternity.  The question of deism or Christianity no longer matters.  I hope that Christianity is a farce, and that when I die, my consciousness will cease to exist.  In the meantime, I ask the Theotokos to be at my side at my judgement and ask her to intercede to, as I beg, Christ to have mercy on me and to allow me to cease to exist when I die.
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#24
(06-10-2019, 01:20 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(06-10-2019, 01:11 PM)yablabo Wrote: I am responding in general to this response and not to Melkite in particular: this interpretation of what I wrote is not what I wrote.

I apologize for misunderstanding you.  This is how what you wrote came across to me.

Please don't worry about it.  Misunderstandings happen all the time in text conversations due to the coldness/flatness, lack of inflection, lack of human facial and body expression to emphasize points, etc.  It's not a dig against you.  I simply am not going to reiterate what I already wrote.
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#25
(06-10-2019, 09:21 AM)yablabo Wrote: The Ecumenical Councils are tools used by the Roman Pontiff to make solemn judgments.  The Ecumenical Councils have no protection from error or whim or contradiction outside of the singular papal charism.  That is why everything always went to Rome for approval.  If the Roman Pontiff did not "sign off", then the church did not hold it as part of the everlasting record.  That's how it's been from the beginning of the Church.

I'm not here trying to thwart anyone's potential conversion, but you really need to study some first millennium history from some sources other than TAN publishing.  The first seven Ecumenical Councils were all held in the East, all called by the Emperors without ever seeking "permission" from the pope first, and one was called even without the pope's knowledge.  None were attended in person by a pope (he sent legates), and the decrees and acts sent by the popes within the context of those Councils were always reviewed carefully by the Council Fathers before the Councils declared them to be orthodox.  So currently, yes, in the Roman Church, Councils might be merely "tools used by the Roman Pontiff".  But before the Schism it clearly was not so.
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#26
As a (soon to be) Urkrainian Catholic (I'll be chrismated when our priest comes back from vacation, probably in August), I can state that there is some misinformation on this thread regarding number 2.

Because Greek Catholics are affirming a stronger sense of their being Orthodox in Communion with Rome (not just in liturgy but also in theology), the immaculate conception is considered a theologoumenon. My catechist even openly rejects the immaculate conception and the Augustinian understanding of Original Sin.

That said, on the Western understanding of original sin, the immaculate conception seems to be absolutely needed based on the more pessimistic understanding of original guilt developing in the West as opposed to the East which concentrated more on the effects of the ancestral sin of Adam and Eve in the context of inheriting a common propensity to sin and subjugation to death (of which we are freed through baptism).

The Pope's papal authority in the East is more resemblant of the first millennium. The Pope is involved in approving the appointment of bishops and patriarchs (as all bishops and patriarchs were in the first millennium) but the jurisdictional authority is our own, the theology is our own, the liturgy is our own.
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#27
So do Easterners believe that Mary was sanctified in the womb after her conception but before 3 months (when St. John the Baptist was)?
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#28
(06-10-2019, 08:05 PM)newenglandsun Wrote: My catechist even openly rejects the immaculate conception and the Augustinian understanding of Original Sin.

Eastern or no, that makes him a heretic.

If he knows what the Catholic Church teaches and rejects it anyway, then his heresy might be formal.

The East does have a different concept of Original Sin, but the essential point is the same in East and West : due to the sin of Adam, a child before Baptism who is his descendant has something in him which prevents his salvation. This is remedied by Baptism or its equivalent. Precisely what this is and how it works is the matter for theology, but if there is not something then Baptism has no purpose or necessity. The Augustinian explanation, Scholastic or Tridentine is not necessary to accept, but the core notion must exist.

This makes the concept of the Immaculate Conception difficult to understand in Eastern Theology, but that the Blessed Virgin Mary was always without sin is certainly asserted, and while the term "Immaculate Conception" might not be used (even though in many Eastern calendars Mary's Conception is celebrated on Dec 8 or 9), that she was always "full of grace" is a concept that accords with what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

It may require levels of translations, but an Easterner is just as much a heretic for rejecting something which is defined by the Magisterium that must be accepted by Faith as a Latin.
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#29
(06-10-2019, 08:14 PM)mpk1987 Wrote: So do Easterners believe that Mary was sanctified in the womb after her conception but before 3 months (when St. John the Baptist was)?

Not if they're Catholic! From Ineffabilis Deus:

Apostolic Constitution of Pope Pius IX on the Immaculate Conception (December 8, 1854)

We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.

Hence, if anyone shall dare -- which God forbid! -- to think otherwise than as has been defined by us, let him know and understand that he is condemned by his own judgement; that he has suffered shipwreck in the faith; that he has separated from the unity of the Church; and that, furthermore, by his own action he incurs the penalties established by law if he should dare to express in words or writing or by any other outward means the errors he thinks in his heart.
Jovan-Marya of the Immaculate Conception Weismiller, T.O.Carm.

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#30
MagisterMusicae,
Incorrect. It does not make him a heretic any more than the entire Greek Catholic Church administering communion in both kinds (spoken against in the Council of Trent, I believe). I guess that makes our liturgy heretical? Smile

The East doesn't really have the notion of developed theology like the Latin West does either. Further, to make an ecumenical council, you need all the ecumenical patriarchs gathered together. Technically, that makes the papal infallibility claims of Vatican I non-binding in Eastern theology as well. Where were all the bishops? Certainly, all the ecclesiastical patriarchs must be present. For the Latin West, the magisterium is derived from the infallibility of the Pope. But if Vatican I doesn't bear the marks of a genuine ecumenical council, it cannot be considered binding.

You are correct that the East celebrates the Conception of the Blessed Ever-Virgin Mary but it's no where near as important in the East as the Feast Day which comes before it--the Feast of St. Nicholas. We also celebrate the Feast of St. John the Baptist. Does that mean that we must affirm he was immaculately conceived?
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