Author Topic: Holy Unia: is Catholic-Orthodox union possible this century?  (Read 219 times)

Offline Xavier

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Holy Unia: is Catholic-Orthodox union possible this century?
« on: December 06, 2018, 03:12:04 AM »
Thought we could have a more specific discussion on all the issues for Catholic-Orthodox union in another thread. Immaculate Conception history in the East we will continue to discuss in the original one.

The dream of restoring full union between the Western and Eastern Churches captured the attention and spurred the studies and labors of so many wise and holy men and women among Greeks and Latins alike. The Council of Florence shows us that the traditional Fathers of that Council were very much open to receiving the representatives of the Greek and Russian Churches warmly and welcoming them kindly. And in their turn, the Greek representatives including Bp. Mark of Ephesus treated the Holy Father Pope Eugene with filial respect. So let's see if we can start from there again.

The problem with modern ecumenism is it doesn't want to discuss doctrine and sometimes even regards insistence on unity in doctrinal truth as an obstacle to unity, which is a modernist idea.

What do posters here, Catholic and Orthodox, or others, think are the major issues on which East and West must agree for re-union? In my personal opinion (1) Immaculate Conception (2) Filioque and (3) Purgatory are the 3 doctrinal issues. If these were resolved, unity in the truth of faith and the love of charity or agape, the two bonds that unite the faithful in Christ in the Mystical Body, could be accomplished by 2054, the anniversary of a sad event, or even of 2033, the anniversary of a great one. Thoughts?

Most Orthodox say Mary's sinlessness and perhaps even Her Immaculate Conception is a theologoumenon, i.e. a legitimate theological opinion which can be dogmatically defined in an Ecumenical Council. If that's the case, well, what's preventing Catholic-Orthodox Bishops from studying the issue together, and perhaps issuing a doctrinal declaration to settle it? Even if Mary's personal sinlessness alone was defined (something very evident in Latin Doctors like St. Augustine and St. Ambrose, Syrian Fathers like St. Ephrem, Greek Fathers like the Saintly Damascene etc), that would be hugely pleasing to God and a great step toward Unity in Truth and Love imho. Comments?
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Offline aquinas138

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Re: Holy Unia: is Catholic-Orthodox union possible this century?
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2018, 11:59:05 AM »
Quite honestly, it all boils down to the papacy. Either the pope is what the Catholic Church says he is, and thus the Orthodox must submit to his decrees, or else the papal claims are lies and indeed heresies, and the Roman Church has centuries of hubristic arrogance for which to atone. Personally, short of miraculous intervention, I don't think the schism will be healed this side of eternity.
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Offline TheReturnofLive

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Re: Holy Unia: is Catholic-Orthodox union possible this century?
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2018, 07:13:35 PM »
Most Orthodox say Mary's sinlessness and perhaps even Her Immaculate Conception is a theologoumenon, i.e. a legitimate theological opinion which can be dogmatically defined in an Ecumenical Council. If that's the case, well, what's preventing Catholic-Orthodox Bishops from studying the issue together, and perhaps issuing a doctrinal declaration to settle it? Even if Mary's personal sinlessness alone was defined (something very evident in Latin Doctors like St. Augustine and St. Ambrose, Syrian Fathers like St. Ephrem, Greek Fathers like the Saintly Damascene etc), that would be hugely pleasing to God and a great step toward Unity in Truth and Love imho. Comments?

The problem with the dogma of the Immaculate Conception is it's two-fold.

1. The satisfaction / Augustinian theology that serves as premises of the dogma.
2. It's a dogma


The dogma of the Immaculate Conception says that, in addition to receiving a special grace from God, she was preserved due to the infinite merits of Christ.

Satisfaction theory was an explicitly Western developed idea which became salient around the time of Anselm of Canterbury - who is a post-schism Roman saint. The Orthodox Church rejects that the sin of Adam has created some sort of Divine Wrath and Justice that was inflicted on humanity until Christ, that could only be atoned for Christ's sacrifice.

Yes, the Original Sin did separate us from God, but nothing in God changed in terms of how He viewed man or that He needed Divine Justice to fix the guilt and condemnation we have put on ourselves - we cut ourselves off alone, and God because He loves us specifically undid the wrong of Adam (alone) by becoming the New Adam, so that through Him we can enter into Eden once more by having our human nature restored.

The rejection of Satisfaction theory is linked to the rejection of Augustinian theology on inherited guilt (not personal guilt, but the guilt of Adam which permanently separates us from God), which is also present in the premise of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

It's a Coptic Orthodox video, but here's an explanation of it:


The premise of the Ex Cathedra dogma specifically embraces this satisfaction theory by referencing the "Merits of Christ," but moreso says that Christ's infinite merits and Sacrifice in the future are specifically linked as to how and why the Virgin Mary was sanctified from the moment of her conception.


The Orthodox Church has more clearly rejected these two theologies which already imply rejection of the explicit dogma of the Immaculate Conception.


What IS a theologoumenon is that the Virgin Mary was sanctified from the First Moment of her conception by the Holy Spirit, such that her passions were restrained even as a baby. However, this is something that will have to be debated and discussed by the Orthodox Church; we can't dogmatize something due to Ecumenism - and I don't think you would want to dogmatize something either because of it.

For the Immaculate Conception to be reconciliable, Satisfaction Theology and Augustinian Theology needs to be reconciled with Orthodox / Cappadocian Theology first and foremost, if such a thing is even possible.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2018, 07:40:04 PM by TheReturnofLive »
 

Offline TheReturnofLive

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Re: Holy Unia: is Catholic-Orthodox union possible this century?
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2018, 07:24:00 PM »
Quite honestly, it all boils down to the papacy. Either the pope is what the Catholic Church says he is, and thus the Orthodox must submit to his decrees, or else the papal claims are lies and indeed heresies, and the Roman Church has centuries of hubristic arrogance for which to atone. Personally, short of miraculous intervention, I don't think the schism will be healed this side of eternity.

I think that had Vatican 1 not happened, there would still be some kind of possibility of legitimate discussion where maybe something could've been worked out where the Pope had special privileges of leadership,  even acting like a Final Court of Appeals (below an Ecumenical Council) and having a universal leadership role (maybe being the Archpatriarch of the Patriarchs), even being the sole person who confirms the canonizations of Saints and appoints Bishops.

However, the fact that it has been dogmatized that the Pope is above an Ecumenical Council, has immediate universal jurisdiction, and has his role directly because of Matthew 16:18, I think puts a permanent brick wall between any legitimate dialogue, and one side will have to admit if they were wrong or not.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2018, 07:40:44 PM by TheReturnofLive »
 

Offline TheReturnofLive

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Re: Holy Unia: is Catholic-Orthodox union possible this century?
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2018, 07:26:05 PM »
P.S. You should also ditch the phrase "Holy Unia." Nobody likes to be reminded of when the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth put a gun up to Ukraine's head and said "Do you want to become Catholic?"

It's not a matter of a Bishop and his flock joining another communion all willingly - it was done with a gun pointed at the heads of the Faithful.

In Eastern Orthodoxy, the word "Uniate" is a specifically pejorative term for this reason, and on many Orthodox boards, it's a banned word because it has offensive connotations when discussing the Byzantine Catholics.




It would be like if you called for the "5th Crusade", in remembrance of the 4th Crusade, where Constantinople falls under Rome's jurisdiction once again.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2018, 07:28:32 PM by TheReturnofLive »
 

Offline TheReturnofLive

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Re: Holy Unia: is Catholic-Orthodox union possible this century?
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2018, 07:46:02 PM »
The dream of restoring full union between the Western and Eastern Churches captured the attention and spurred the studies and labors of so many wise and holy men and women among Greeks and Latins alike. The Council of Florence shows us that the traditional Fathers of that Council were very much open to receiving the representatives of the Greek and Russian Churches warmly and welcoming them kindly. And in their turn, the Greek representatives including Bp. Mark of Ephesus treated the Holy Father Pope Eugene with filial respect. So let's see if we can start from there again.

The Council of Florence happened due to politics; where the Byzantine Emperor began panicking because the Ottoman Empire was surrounding his territory, and asked for Roman support, which would only be given if reunion was achieved. So the Byzantine Emperor sent the Bishops there along with himself, but when he saw that the talks weren't getting that far, he explicitly cut some of the debates short (including Purgatory) and forbade discussion of others (Created / Uncreated Grace), not letting them flourish, and pressured the Bishops to sign on whatever Rome demanded.

And when that happened, the Russian Church when they heard the results of Florence, excommunicated Constantinople for heresy, their own Bishops who signed it, and the Ottomans took over Byzantium anyways, to which afterwards Constantinople, not having such political pressure, apologized and anathematized Florence.

If there wasn't such pressure, and the dialogues actually flourished, maybe something could have happened. But political pressure shouldn't be the backdrop of legitimate dialogue.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2018, 07:47:42 PM by TheReturnofLive »
 

Offline Vetus Ordo

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Re: Holy Unia: is Catholic-Orthodox union possible this century?
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2018, 07:46:59 PM »
Nobody likes to be reminded of when the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth put a gun up to Ukraine's head and said "Do you want to become Catholic?"

Actually, the PLC was the country where you could enjoy most religious freedom in pre-Enlightenment Europe. Ever since the Warsaw Confederation, Commonwealth citizens had the legal right to worship freely, so much so that the country became a renowned refuge for all sorts of religious minorities.

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Offline Quaremerepulisti

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Re: Holy Unia: is Catholic-Orthodox union possible this century?
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2018, 08:22:14 PM »
Quite honestly, it all boils down to the papacy. Either the pope is what the Catholic Church says he is, and thus the Orthodox must submit to his decrees, or else the papal claims are lies and indeed heresies, and the Roman Church has centuries of hubristic arrogance for which to atone. Personally, short of miraculous intervention, I don't think the schism will be healed this side of eternity.

May I present Exhibit A for the prosecution, Your Honor?  It is quite long (over 1000 pages) so I beg Your Honor's and the jury's indulgence.  It is known as the Second Vatican Council.