Author Topic: How best to help prevent Traditional Catholics from lapsing into Greek Orthodoxy  (Read 876 times)

Online Xavier

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Forgive the length of this, but I fear we may see many lapses to the Greek church among Traditional Catholics in the upcoming years(we've seen a few already), so I want to make the best case possible to prevent it. What are some of the ways you believe we Catholics can help prevent lapses into the ancient schism/heresy of Photius/Caerularius/Mark of Ephesus in the 9th/11th/15th centuries respectively? The below are 9 of mine.

1. Because Scripture, Fathers, Liturgy, Councils, Tradition teach us Mary is Altogether Immaculate, "Theotokos Panachranta" (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panachranta_(icon)), Stainless, All-Holy (Panagia see https://orthodoxwiki.org/Panagia), the One prepurified Saint (Prokathartheisa), New and Second Eve, Purest Ark of the New Covenant without Stain, FirstFruits of the Second Creation etc: We see abundant Patristic Testimonies to the All-Holiness of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, (1) St. Ambrose says of Mother Mary, "a Virgin not only undefiled, but a Virgin whom grace had made inviolate, free of every stain of sin" - this is especially significant because the Fathers use "stain of sin" to represent original sin; (2) St. Augustine concurs, "We do not transfer Mary to the devil by the condition of Her birth, for this reason, that that condition is dissolved by the grace of Her new birth." and elsewhere he says all the Just have truly known of sin, except only the Holy Virgin Mother of the Lord; (3) St. John of Damascus, "Nature was defeated by grace and stopped, trembling, not daring to take precedence over it. Since the Virgin Mother of God was to be born of Anne, nature did not dare to precede the product of grace; but remained sterile until grace had produced its fruit. O happy loins of Joachim, which had produced a germ which is all immaculate. O wondrous womb of Anne in which an all-holy child slowly grew and took shape!" (4) St. Sophronius of Jerusalem, "Many saints appeared before thee, but none was as filled with grace as thou… No one has been purified in advance as thou hast been ... Thou dost surpass all that is most excellent in man, as well as all the gifts which have been bestowed by God upon all others." (5) St. Andrew of Crete shows how the Eastern Fathers vie with the Western Fathers in praising Mary and declaring Her as New Eve, and Renewed Creation, "Today, humanity recovers the gift it had received when first formed by divine hands, and returns immaculate to its original nobility. The shame of sin had cast a shadow upon the splendor and charm of human nature; but when the Mother of Him Who is Beauty itself is born, this Nature recovers in Her person its ancient privileges, and is fashioned according to a perfect model, truly worthy of God. And this fashioning is a perfect restoration; this restoration is a divinization, and this divinization is an assimilation to the primitive state… In a word, the reformation of our nature begins today; the world, which had grown old, undergoes a transformation which is wholly divine, and receives the first fruits of its second creation." There has been exciting recent theological research by Eastern Catholic Fr. Christian Kappes that documents some of this in more depth.

See https://hortulus-journal.com/journal/volume-13-number-1-2017/cuff/

St. Fulgentius explains the true meaning of Gratia Plena in Luke 1:28, where Mary is called Kecharitomene, full of grace, One in Whom the giving of every grace is complete. ("Cum dixit, gratia plena, ostendit ex integro, iram exclusam primæ sententiæ, et plenam benedictionis gratiam restitutam") Please see http://catholicpatristics.blogspot.com/2009/03/immaculate-conception.html for more ancient testimonies, including from the Divine Liturgy.

2. Because Sacred Scripture clearly reveals, and Patristic Tradition shows a consistent exegesis of Mat 12:32 and 1 Cor 3:13-15 of a Purifying Fire of Purgatory: The CE says, "According to St. Isidore of Seville (Deord. creatur., c. xiv, n. 6) these words prove that in the next life "some sins will be forgiven and purged away by a certain purifying fire." St. Augustine also argues "that some sinners are not forgiven either in this world or in the next would not be truly said unless there were other [sinners] who, though not forgiven in this world, are forgiven in the world to come" (City of God XXI.24). The same interpretation is given by Gregory the Great (Dial., IV, xxxix); St. Bede (commentary on this text); St. Bernard (Sermo lxvi in Cantic., n. 11) and other eminent theological writers." In brief, St. Caesarius of Arles, St. Cyprian of Carthage, St. Gregory of Nyssa (unless you believe he was an universalist), certainly Pope St. Gregory the Great, St. Augustine, St. Jerome, St. Bede and others interpret the passages on the prison the Lord speaks of or the purifying fire of 1 Cor 3 as as place of purification in purgatorial fire. Doesn't the text itself suggest that interpretation? “if any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.” (1 Cor 3:15)

The Greek Church prays for the faithful departed to be purified no less than we do. Yet, Mark of Ephesus urged Purgatory as a reason/excuse to remain separate from Rome. St. Irenaeus says those who fall into schism depart from the Catholic Church to do so "for trifling reasons, or for any kind of reason that occurs to them".

3. Because to abandon the Catholic Church for the Greek church or Oriental Orthodoxy is to squander and throw away the blessings of at least a 1000 years, if not 1500 years, that God has given His Church: E.g. So many Eucharistic Miracles, the great feast of Corpus Christi and the practice of Eucharistic Adoration, a firm belief in Transubstantiation (which is sometimes called into question in Orthodoxy, despite the fact that it was taught, in Scholastic Terms, by the eastern orthodox council of Jerusalem in the 17th century, in the confession of Dositheus), the beauty and piety of Scholastic Theology itself, (which once was held in such high esteem even in Greek Orthodox seminaries), which in most respects is a sublime synthesis of Patristic Tradition - see for example the systematic method in which St. John Damascene proceeds in De Fide Orthodoxa, a methodology that could in itself be called scholastic; St. Chrysostom in his commentaries is very similar. Devotion to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts, the Holy Face, the Precious Blood, the Holy Wounds, the Divine Mercy, to Our Lady of Guadalupe, Fatima, Lourdes, and so much else a loving God and His Mother so kindly stepped down from Heaven to give us Themselves; in brief, as the Psalmist says, "He has not done in like manner for every nation" (Ps 147:20)

4. Because there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church, especially for Catholics who knowingly abandon the Church, unless they become Catholic again before death, as St. Fulgentius states: Two admonitions in justice and charity are necessary. They were given at Lyons II and Florence, where Greek, Syrian and other Eastern Churches were urged to quickly return to Catholic Unity with Rome, as happily many Eastern Catholic Churches did, forming 23 sui iuris Eastern rites. But sadly some obstinately stayed away, mostly misled by Mark of Ephesus. Thus, reiterating the formula of St. Fulgentius, Rome rightly declared, "The Most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, also Jews, heretics, and schismatics can ever be partakers of eternal life, but that they are to go into the eternal fire 'which was prepared for the devil and his angels' (Mt. 25:41) unless before death they are joined with Her" and this is intended to be an urgent call to all those who are separated, or those thinking of abandoning the Barque of Peter, to re-enter or remain in Her.

5. Because Orthodoxy compromised long ago on divorce: Well known fact. Two of Three evangelists state Christ's prohibition of divorce absolutely, the Third (St. Matthew) speaks of unlawful unions. The Council of Elvira forbad divorce. The Councils of Florence and Trent etc, reiterating Catholic doctrine, rightly point out how much superior temporary separation from bed and board is to divorce and remarriage, and how this allowance is itself both justice and mercy; since when remarriage is never licit, the couples naturally try to solve their differences and unite together again, and how this is a blessing and boon to families, especially for children.

See also https://www.crisismagazine.com/2016/tradition-speaks-one-voice-divorce-remarriage

6. Because Orthodoxy compromised last century on contraception: Another well known fact. What is tragic is even Protestants knew contraception would ruin culture a century ago, would lead to fornication and divorce, pornography, even demand for abortion as last-ditch contraception, and a million other evils. There was the Comstock legislation in the US. But then the 1930 conference in Lambeth came, and all Christendom outside the Catholic Church compromised. The rest is history. All the Fathers condemn contraception, St. Augustine mentioning Onan in Genesis, St. Chrysostom speaking of the evil act as almost homicide, St. Clement and other Fathers etc.

"Since, therefore, openly departing from the uninterrupted Christian Tradition some recently have judged it possible solemnly to declare another doctrine regarding this question, the Catholic Church, to whom God has entrusted the defense of the integrity and purity of morals, standing erect in the midst of the moral ruin which surrounds her, in order that she may preserve the chastity of the nuptial union from being defiled by this foul stain, raises her voice in token of her divine ambassadorship and through Our mouth proclaims anew: any use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such a way that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin." (Casti Connubii)

I leave aside other little known facts like some Orthodox in Moscow co-operating with Communism in persecuting Catholics, rather than working with Catholics to end the schisms that weaken Christendom and destroy Communism, because those are not doctrinal. But these sad events show how much this inertia that wants to remain in disunity and separation is daily costing Christendom. More urgent than ever is the call of Christ and the obligation of ours to listen to His Voice and, as individuals and communities, to return to or remain in the Catholic Church. See https://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/russian-orthodoxy-and-message-fatima-29859 for more details.

7. Because the Council of Chalcedon, in its official acts, clearly exegeted Scripture referring to Peter/Pope St. Leo as the Rock of the Church/Head of the Bishops/Chief Shepherd of the Flock etc: "Wherefore the most holy and blessed Leo, archbishop of the great and elder Rome, through us, and through this present most holy synod together with the thrice-blessed and all-glorious Peter the Apostle, who is the Rock and foundation of the Catholic Church, and the foundation of the orthodox faith, hath stripped him (Dioscorus, Bishop of Alexandria) of his episcopate, and hath alienated from him all hieratic worthiness." -- Acts of Chalcedon, Session 3 ... "Knowing that every success of the children rebounds to the parents, we therefore beg you to honor our decision by your assent, and as we have yielded agreement to the Head in noble things, so may the Head also fulfill what is fitting for the children." -- Chalcedon to Pope Leo, Ep 98

Please see http://www.biblicalcatholic.com/apologetics/a35.htm for more Acts of the Council, Teaching of Pope St. Leo the Great, and Letters exchanged by Bishops.

The Greek Orthodox say they accept this Council. Therefore, they should accept St. Peter is the Rock and the Pope of Rome is the Head of the universal Church.
Although the Syrian Orthodox do not accept this Council, the many letters exchanged (documented in the link) show Petrine Primacy of Jurisdiction was already taken for granted and known everywhere. Moreover, the statement of Fr. Philip, with the acceptance of the Council of Ephesus, shows Petrine Primacy lives on forever in the See.

8. Because modern Orthodoxy denies original sin, as clearly taught by ancient Councils, and that this sin precisely in infants is remitted in Baptism, per the Creed: "Likewise it seemed good that whosoever denies that infants newly from their mother’s wombs should be baptized, or says that baptism is for remission of sins, but that they derive from Adam no original sin, which needs to be removed by the laver of regeneration, from whence the conclusion follows, that in them the form of baptism for the remission of sins, is to be understood as false and not true, let him be anathema. For no otherwise can be understood what the Apostle says, “By one man sin is come into the world, and death through sin, and so death passed upon all men in that all have sinned,” than the Catholic Church everywhere diffused has always understood it. For on account of this rule of faith even infants, who could have committed as yet no sin themselves, therefore are truly baptized for the remission of sins, in order that what in them is the result of generation may be cleansed by regeneration." https://earlychurchtexts.com/public/carthage_canons_on_sin_and_grace.htm

This needs no further elaboration. It teaches clearly the Catholic doctrine, and hands down the meaning of the Creed. Orthodoxy's mistake on original sin sadly leads to heresy on the Immaculate Conception. Original sin is sometimes called ancestral sin in Orthodoxy, or stain of sin, but then it is denied Mary was without stain.

9. Because the dogma of the Filioque is unanimously taught by the Latin Fathers, was taught by Saintly Bishops and Patriarchs in Two Ecumenical Councils, represents Nicene Tradition, and is reiterated by the Greek Fathers as "through the Son" (called the per Filium clause in Latin, and is substantially identical to Filioque): Bp. St. Leontius at Nicaea I said, "the Spirit proceeds from the Father, and is proper to the Son and gushes forth from Him." even though the Creed of Nicaea I only said, "I believe in the Holy Spirit", Patriarch St. Tarasios of Constantinople, at Nicaea II, professed, "And in the Holy Spirit, Who proceeds from the Father through the Son, and Who is acknowledged to be Himself God." To take just 3 ancient Popes out of numberless witnesses, Pope St. Leo the Great, "as though there were not one Who begat, another Who is begotten, another Who proceeds from both." Pope St. Hormisdas, "it is characteristic of the Father to generate the Son, characteristic of the Son of God to be born of the Father equal to the Father, characteristic of the Spirit to proceed from Father and Son in one substance of deity.", Pope St. Leo III "the Holy Spirit, proceeding equally from the Father and from the Son, consubstantial, coeternal with the Father and the Son. The Father, complete God in Himself, the Son, complete God begotten of the Father, the Holy Spirit, complete God proceeding from the Father and the Son..." all clearly teach the doctrine of the Filioque.

And so, like the meaningless thing of Unleavened/leavened bread, quareling over Purgatory while also praying for the faithful departed, and of the Immaculate Conception while calling Mary Stainless even in the divine Liturgy, this unnecessary dispute between Catholic and Orthodox, per the formula of St. Tarasios at Nicaea II, really comes down ultimately to the difference between "from the Father and the Son" and "from the Father through the Son" which is a distinction without a difference.

And yet, some 300 million Christians remain in schism because of this old error of Photius and Caerularius. Every possible effort must be expended to close the breach. Even if it took another 30 to 35 years, it would be well worth it. Many Protestants would be likely to return too, desiring Christian unity in a proper way. By the 1000th anniversary of the great schism, at the latest, we must resolve to do all in our power to end this ancient division that has so much hurt Christendom.

Please see http://catholicpatristics.blogspot.com/2009/08/filioque.html As for the disciplinary issue, where it is urged an Ecumenical Council should approve, this was done at Lyons II, and Florence. And can be done again in future, when the Greek Church comes to Ecumenical Council with the Catholic Church. There is a Catholic prophesy of the Angelic Pastor and the Great Ecumenical Council to come, that will re-unite Western and Eastern Christendom in Truth and Love, "the Greeks [i.e. Orthodox] will return to the obedience of the Roman Church" [Taken from The Third Work. Trans. by B McGinn Visions of the End (New York, Columbia, 1998) p. 190].
To understand God's Plan for Humanity, and how He has provided the means by which we can minimize the Coming Great Tribulation, read: https://maryrefugeofholylove.com/

Offer your Life to Jesus and Mary: TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For His Eminence Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, His Excellency Metropolitan Hilarion, as well as His Eminence Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, that they may re-unite their flocks with the Roman Catholic Church, and there may soon be but One Fold and One Shepherd. For all the 220+ Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all 6000+ Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for the 400,000+ Priests, the 700,000+ Nuns, 50,000+ Monks, 100,000+ seminarians, that they may all become the Saints the Divine Will wishes them to be; for all the 1.35 Billion Members of the Church, the Millions of Catholic Catechumens and Children to be born and baptized in this Decade; we pray for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, for All Lay Apostolates, and All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Mother of God, Co-Redemptrix of the world, pray for us" [Promise: 1000 Souls from Purgatory]"This short prayer, this insistent prayer, every time it is said, sets free from Purgatory 1000 Souls, who reach the Eternal Joy, the Eternal Light"(!). http://www.jesusmariasite.org/jesus-pray-my-children-that-the-fifth-marian-dogma-be-proclaimed/
 
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Offline Miriam_M

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The only one that matters is #4. 
The position of Tradition is that there is one true Church, not several, one Head (Jesus Christ) and one Vicar (Pope).  That absolute position has been handed down to us from the years of Christ's ministry on earth, through the early Church, and for several centuries now.

It is public revelation and de fide dogma.  It is not true because people arrive there by argument.  It is true because it is revealed and therefore it is dogma, Xavier.  You should know that.

I'm not going to get into all the maybes of sedevacantism, but Traditional Catholicism is not an experiment or an ongoing debate. 

Faith is a theological virtue, which is a gift, and a gift that we have been enjoined to pray for daily.  Catholics who grew up with tradition are very familiar with the admonition to pray daily for the three theological virtues -- faith, hope, and charity -- since these are direct gifts from God.

It's not up to lay Roman Catholics on a discussion forum to 'decide' whether or not Roman Catholicism is true.   Choosing religions, especially after one has been baptized -- and whether such choices are based on emotion, ignorance, or rational discussion -- has never been a Catholic exercise.  Ever.
 
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Offline St.Justin

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We sure have a lot of people on here lately that seem to like the idea and presenting what they think are good arguments to draw many away. The irony is that they seem to be coming from the sede ranks. which basically says "we don't have a Pope and haven't had one for 60 years therefore we don't need a Pope and therefore the Greeks are correct".
 
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Offline Miriam_M

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Following up on my post above...

Look, I get that men in particular are fed up with wimpy so-called leaders (Popes, Cardinals, Bishops) who have no answers for their inaction and have no apparent plans to help reestablish a unified Church, free from confusion and contradiction.

That's disappointment in leadership, which does not translate into disappointment with an entire institution whose establishment is divine.   If you're disgusted enough with the leadership of a town, you can help vote out the incompetents (activism), or you can move (abandonment); those are options because civil institutions are not bearers of absolute truth.  But as members of the Church, baptized and confirmed, we have obligations to sustain that Church on the level required by the laity within the Church Militant.  Those obligations are permanent and do not depend on whether our religious superiors are fulfilling their obligations as well.  Our obligations --and permissions-- do not include activism and abandonment because Baptism has sealed us and Confirmation has commissioned us. And the Traditionalist movement is neither activism nor abandonment; its merely reversion.  The best argument for Traditionalism is to quote even modernist popes and theologians who have written about the requirement for constant conversion/reversion.

Thousands of great men in secular pursuits have contributed to the world in ways that we now depend on or benefit from.  In every field -- the sciences, the arts, government -- have existed and still exist figures who have done great things while being very flawed on a personal level.  We do not repudiate the beauty, knowledge, discovery, and genius of great people just because those people are often temperamental, sinful, terrible role models.  What they created and contributed remains, apart from the individuals themselves.  There's a permanent truth to beauty, artistry, intellect -- which actually are signs of God's majesty.

The permanent truths of the Roman Catholic Church remain, regardless of how many men in positions of power in the Church have passively repudiated their vocations out of spiritual sloth and human respect.
 

Online Xavier

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I have to disagree, Miriam. St. Thomas says, "we can argue with heretics from texts in Holy Writ, and against those who deny one article of faith, we can argue from another."

So I don't think St. Thomas would have agreed with some kind of fideism. The relationship between faith and reason is a part of Theology. some aspects of it were defined in Vatican I and recur in the Oath against Modernism.

In the same way that we can show the truth of the Catholic Faith from Scripture to Protestants, we can show the Catholic Church is the true Church to Orthodox from Scripture and Tradition both. This is what the Fathers did, and how many early schisms and heresies ended.

We do this to show them they are obliged to enter, or remain in, the Catholic Church. Only for that.

We rightly believe, "there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church"; so we cannot then be indifferent to helping Protestants and Orthodox find the true Church. Especially when Catholics themselves are sadly tempted to lapse, as we've seen of late, even among Trads.

Have you read some of the sources and authorities quoted by St. Thomas in Summa Contra Gentiles and specially "Against the errors of the Greeks". And the Church Fathers did the same against Judaism and Paganism, as well as Heresy and Schism, before that. Heathenism and Heresy did not disappear in a day, it took very many and sustained efforts of the Fathers, the Church and other early Christians to defeat it.

See for e.g. the last two chapters of the work below from St. Thomas. St. Thomas cites various authorities from Scripture and Tradition to answer the erroneous claims of the Orthodox. https://dhspriory.org/thomas/ContraErrGraecorum.htm#b39

Quote
CHAPTER 39
Against the position of those who deny the Sacrament may be confected with unleavened bread.

But just as the aforesaid misguided persons sin against the unity of the mystical Body by denying the plenary power of the Roman Pontiff, so they sin against the purity of the sacrament of the Body of Christ, saying that the Body of Christ cannot be consecrated from unleavened bread. This, too, is disproved from texts of the Greek Doctors.

For Chrysostom commenting on the Gospel pericope, On the first day of the unleavened bread, says: “The first day he says is Thursday, on which observers of the Law began to celebrate the Passover, that is, to eat unleavened bread, absolutely free of yeast. The Lord, therefore, sends his disciples on Thursday, which the Evangelist calls the first day of the unleavened bread, on which in the evening the Savior ate the Passover; in this deed, as in all he did from the beginning of his circumcision to the final day of his passover, he clearly showed that he was not opposed to divine laws.” Footnote But it is obvious that he would have acted against the law if he had used leavened bread. Hence it is clear that in the institution of this sacrament Christ consecrated his body from unleavened bread ...

CHAPTER 40
That there exists a purgatory wherein souls are cleansed from sins not cleansed in the present life.

The power of this sacrament, however, is lessened by those who deny here exists a purgatory after death; for on the souls in purgatory special healing is conferred by this sacrament. For Gregory of Nyssa in his sermon on the dead says: “If anyone her in his frail life has been less than able to cleanse himself of sin, after departing hence, through the blazing fire of purgatory the penalty is the more quickly paid, the more and more the ever-faithful Bride offers to her Spouse in memory of his passion gifts and holocausts on behalf of the children she has brought forth for that Spouse by word and sacrament; just as we preach in fidelity to this dogmatic truth, so we believe.” Footnote

Likewise Theodoret, Bishop of Cyr, commenting on that passage of 1 Cor. 3: 11: If any man’s work burn, etc., says thus: “The Apostle states that one is saved thus as through a blazing fire cleansing whatever accumulated through carelessness in life’s activity, or at least from the dust of the feet of earthly living. In this fire one remains so long as any earthly and bodily affections are being purged. For such a person holy Mother Church pays and devoutly offers peace offerings, and so through this such a one emerging clean and pure assists immaculate before the most pure eyes of the Lord of hosts
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 08:32:34 PM by Xavier »
To understand God's Plan for Humanity, and how He has provided the means by which we can minimize the Coming Great Tribulation, read: https://maryrefugeofholylove.com/

Offer your Life to Jesus and Mary: TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For His Eminence Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, His Excellency Metropolitan Hilarion, as well as His Eminence Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, that they may re-unite their flocks with the Roman Catholic Church, and there may soon be but One Fold and One Shepherd. For all the 220+ Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all 6000+ Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for the 400,000+ Priests, the 700,000+ Nuns, 50,000+ Monks, 100,000+ seminarians, that they may all become the Saints the Divine Will wishes them to be; for all the 1.35 Billion Members of the Church, the Millions of Catholic Catechumens and Children to be born and baptized in this Decade; we pray for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, for All Lay Apostolates, and All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Mother of God, Co-Redemptrix of the world, pray for us" [Promise: 1000 Souls from Purgatory]"This short prayer, this insistent prayer, every time it is said, sets free from Purgatory 1000 Souls, who reach the Eternal Joy, the Eternal Light"(!). http://www.jesusmariasite.org/jesus-pray-my-children-that-the-fifth-marian-dogma-be-proclaimed/
 

Offline St.Justin

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"In the same way that we can show the truth of the Catholic Faith from Scripture to Protestants, we can show the Catholic Church is the true Church to Orthodox from Scripture and Tradition both. This is what the Fathers did, and how many early schisms and heresies ended."

Can you list for me what heresies have ended? As far as I can tell they are all still around. Arianism, Montanism, gnosticism, etc are all still here.
 
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Online Xavier

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Oh, there were hundreds of sects; many of them died out for generations. Some were revived after Protestantism, but some are extinct. From St. Augustine and St. Optatus, we learn of the Donatist schism, and we read of their efforts to reconcile the Donatists to the Church. Donatism as a particular schism soon disappeared (their errors and the history of this schism in the CE here http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05121a.htm), but some of its tendencies still survive in some other groups, including the Greek church. E.g. they used to "rebaptize", which the Catholic Church condemned, and some of the medieval Greek churches also used to "repbatize" Latins (see canon 4 of the Fourth Lateran Council). So these separatist tendencies that seem to like division are very unfortunate. But happily, almost all the reasons the Fathers urged against the Donatists to urge them to become Catholic again and re-unite with the Church (and the Orthodox Churches also recognize the Donatists to have been the ones in schism) are also applicable to the Greek Church. E.g. the Fathers spoke of (1) Succession in the See of Peter (2) The universality of the Catholic Church (3) the way She is diffused among the nations etc
http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/optatus_02_book2.htm

Quote from: St. Optatus, Against the Donatists
He continued:

'Sing to the Lord, all the earth; declare amongst the nations His glory, His wonderful works amongst all peoples.' 17

He said:

'Declare amongst the nations.' 18

He did not say, 'in a small part of Africa, where you are'; He did say 'Declare amongst all peoples.' 19

He who said 'all peoples' excepted no man. Yet |63 you are proud to be alone and separated from 'all peoples,' though to them this command was given; and you maintain that you, who are not in any part of the whole,20 are yet yourselves alone the whole.

He has said:

'The name of the Lord must be praised,' and 'by all the earth from the rising of the sun to the going down thereof.' 21

Can then the Pagans, who are outside the covenant of Christ,22 either sing to God or praise the name of the Lord? Is it not His Church alone, which is within the covenant,23 that may praise Him? 24 Therefore, if you say that the Church is with you only, you are defrauding God's ear of its due. If you alone are praising Him, 'the whole world,' 25 which is from the |64 rising of the sun to its going down, will be keeping silence. You have shut the mouths of all the Christian nations. You have imposed silence on all the peoples who desire to praise God from moment to moment. If then God waits for the praise which is His due, and if the Holy Spirit exhorts men to sound His praises,26 if 'the whole world' is prepared to render to God His due, lest God be robbed----then should you also praise Him, together with all, or, (since you have refused to be with all,) in your isolation, hold your tongues.

II. He proves from the Cathedra Petri that the Cathedra which is the first endowment of the Church belongs to Catholics, not to Donatists.

So we have proved that the Catholic Church is the Church which is spread throughout the world.

We must now mention its Adornments,27 and see where are its five Endowments (which you have said to be six 28), amongst which the CATHEDRA is the first; |65 and, since the second Endowment, which is the 'Angelus,' cannot be added unless a Bishop has sat on |66 the Cathedra,29 we must see who was the first to sit on the Cathedra, and where 30 he sat. If you do not know this, learn. If you do know, blush. Ignorance cannot be attributed to you----it follows that you know.31 For one who knows, to err is sin. Those who do not know may sometimes be pardoned.32

You cannot then deny that you do know 33 that upon Peter first 34 in the City of Rome 35 was bestowed the Episcopal Cathedra,36 on which sat Peter, the Head of all the Apostles (for which reason he was called Cephas 37), |67 that, in this one Cathedra, unity should be preserved by all,38 lest the other Apostles might claim----each for himself----separate Cathedras, so that he who should set up a second Cathedra against the unique Cathedra 39 would already be a schismatic and a sinner. |68

Well then, on the one Cathedra, which is the first of the Endowments, Peter was the first to sit.40

III. The Succession of Bishops of Rome.

To Peter succeeded Linus, to Linus succeeded Clement, to Clement Anacletus, to Anacletus Evaristus, to Evaristus 41 Sixtus, to Sixtus Telesphorus, to Telesphorus Hyginus, to Hyginus Anacetus, to Anacetus Pius, to Pius Soter, to Soter Alexander, to Alexander Victor, to Victor Zephyrinus, to Zephyrinus Calixtus, to Calixtus Urban, to Urban Pontianus, to Pontianus Anterus, to Anterus Fabian, to Fabian Cornelius, to Cornelius Lucius, to Lucius Stephen, to Stephen Sixtus, to Sixtus Dionysius, to Dionysius Felix, to Felix Marcellinus, to Marcellinus Eusebius, to Eusebius Miltiades, to Miltiades Silvester, to Silvester Marcus, |69 to Marcus Julius, to Julius Liberius, to Liberius Damasus, to Damasus Siricius,42 who to-day is our colleague, with whom 'the whole world,' 43 through the intercourse of letters of peace,44 agrees with us in one bond of communion.45

Now do you show the origin of your Cathedra,46 you who wish to claim the Holy Church for yourselves!
To understand God's Plan for Humanity, and how He has provided the means by which we can minimize the Coming Great Tribulation, read: https://maryrefugeofholylove.com/

Offer your Life to Jesus and Mary: TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For His Eminence Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, His Excellency Metropolitan Hilarion, as well as His Eminence Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, that they may re-unite their flocks with the Roman Catholic Church, and there may soon be but One Fold and One Shepherd. For all the 220+ Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all 6000+ Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for the 400,000+ Priests, the 700,000+ Nuns, 50,000+ Monks, 100,000+ seminarians, that they may all become the Saints the Divine Will wishes them to be; for all the 1.35 Billion Members of the Church, the Millions of Catholic Catechumens and Children to be born and baptized in this Decade; we pray for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, for All Lay Apostolates, and All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Mother of God, Co-Redemptrix of the world, pray for us" [Promise: 1000 Souls from Purgatory]"This short prayer, this insistent prayer, every time it is said, sets free from Purgatory 1000 Souls, who reach the Eternal Joy, the Eternal Light"(!). http://www.jesusmariasite.org/jesus-pray-my-children-that-the-fifth-marian-dogma-be-proclaimed/
 

Offline Miriam_M

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I have to disagree, Miriam. St. Thomas says, "we can argue with heretics from texts in Holy Writ, and against those who deny one article of faith, we can argue from another."

So I don't think St. Thomas would have agreed with some kind of fideism. The relationship between faith and reason is a part of Theology. some aspects of it were defined in Vatican I and recur in the Oath against Modernism.

Yet he does not say that our faith depends on reason.  He says that reason supports the faith, and thus they are complementary, but there is a distinction between faith as the habit of an obedient will and faith as the set of explained and explainable beliefs that comprise a belief system.  It's just sloppy apologetics to equate the two, and the Church has never confused them.  Sorry, you need to do your homework.  Faith is not subordinate to reason. 

Plenty of people claim to have either converted to Catholicism or converted to theism "based on reasoning," but probably a far greater number have rejected belief, let alone an institutionalized set of beliefs, because of what they claim was rational argumentation.  What's the difference between the two?  The grace provided to the former, even when they didn't realize that grace was there.   
 

Offline Miriam_M

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Although the following is not a Catholic source, per se, it is a source I have respected in the past for various reasons.  Many of the statements on this page, regarding St. Thomas, correspond to what I was taught in philosophy, theology and logic classes. People try to simplify St. Thomas often, and sometimes they rightly succeed, particularly in moral theology, but in more abstract questions, St. Thomas is often more nuanced, as this page reveals.

https://www.iep.utm.edu/faith-re/#SH4e

 

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Quote from: Miriam
Yet he does not say that our faith depends on reason

Please tell me where I have written anything that can even remotely be misconstrued as "faith depends on reason". No, faith depends on the authority of God revealing. Faith is the assent of the intellect we give to the teaching of Christ through His Church, by which the Holy Spirit enlightens our minds and moves our will by His grace to believe all that the Church proposes for our belief. Hence, St. Paul says, "Faith then cometh by hearing; and hearing by the Word of Christ." (Rom 10:17)

This is clearly taught by Pope St. Pius X also, "faith is a genuine assent of the intellect to truth received by hearing from an external source. By this assent, because of the authority of the supremely truthful God, we believe to be true that which has been revealed and attested to by a personal God, our Creator and Lord." (Oath against Modernism, to be sworn to http://www.papalencyclicals.net/pius10/p10moath.htm

Here we are not discussing that - the right way, according to St. Thomas, to bring heretics and schismatics back to the Church, is by authorities drawn from Sacred Scripture and Patristic Tradition. The Angelic Doctor wrote volumes just to refute the errors of the Greek Church, in the hope of reconciling the Orthodox to Catholic Unity.

This the Church did likewise at the Councils of Lyons II and Florence. Thus, we have many Eastern Catholic Churches. If not for Turkish invasion and a few other tragic events, all the Orthodox may have come back to the Church.

That is the traditional way Rome approached discussions with the Eastern Churches. See for e.g. Satis Cognitum by Pope Leo XIII http://w2.vatican.va/content/leo-xiii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_29061896_satis-cognitum.html

So I don't see why we are disagreeing. Perhaps it is a misunderstanding.

Quote from: Satis Cognitum, Pope Leo XIII
Appeal to Sheep Not of the Fold

16. In what has been said we have faithfully described the exemplar and form of the Church as divinely constituted. We have treated at length of its unity: we have explained sufficiently its nature, and pointed out the way in which the Divine Founder of the Church willed that it should be preserved. There is no reason to doubt that all those, who by Divine Grace and mercy have had the happiness to have been born, as it were, in the bosom of the Catholic Church, and to have lived in it, will listen to Our Apostolic Voice: "My sheep hear my voice" (John x., 27), and that they will derive from Our words fuller instruction and a more perfect disposition to keep united with their respective pastors, and through them with the Supreme Pastor, so that they may remain more securely within the one fold, and may derive therefrom a greater abundance of salutary fruit. But We, who, notwithstanding our unfitness for this great dignity and office, govern by virtue of the authority conferred on us by Jesus Christ, as we "look on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (Heb. xii., 2) feel Our heart fired by His charity. What Christ has said of Himself We may truly repeat of Ourselves: "Other sheep I have that are not of this fold: them also I must bring and they shall hear my voice" (John x., 16). Let all those, therefore, who detest the wide-spread irreligion of our times, and acknowledge and confess Jesus Christ to be the Son of God and the Saviour of the human race, but who have wandered away from the Spouse, listen to Our voice.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2019, 04:03:38 AM by Xavier »
To understand God's Plan for Humanity, and how He has provided the means by which we can minimize the Coming Great Tribulation, read: https://maryrefugeofholylove.com/

Offer your Life to Jesus and Mary: TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For His Eminence Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, His Excellency Metropolitan Hilarion, as well as His Eminence Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, that they may re-unite their flocks with the Roman Catholic Church, and there may soon be but One Fold and One Shepherd. For all the 220+ Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all 6000+ Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for the 400,000+ Priests, the 700,000+ Nuns, 50,000+ Monks, 100,000+ seminarians, that they may all become the Saints the Divine Will wishes them to be; for all the 1.35 Billion Members of the Church, the Millions of Catholic Catechumens and Children to be born and baptized in this Decade; we pray for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, for All Lay Apostolates, and All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

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And this one too, for those terribly ignorant of the anti-Patriarchal intruder, the wretched Photius, impious opponent of Pope St. Nicholas the Great, and Patriarch St. Ignatius of Constantinople, the legitimate Patriarch. Photius, ambitious and foul as ever, made himself patriarch from layman in like practically a week and then authored the Photian Schism. Caerularius, exceeding his master in wickedness, committed a crime so execrable and a blasphemy scarcely ever heard of - he had the Holy Eucharist trampled under feet.

I. The First Cause of the Greek Schism - the lawless Photius of Constantinople, Ninth Century: "He was hurried through Holy Orders in six days; on Christmas Day, 857, Gregory Asbestas of Syracuse, himself excommunicate for insubordination by Ignatius, ordained Photius patriarch. By this act Photius committed three offences against canon law: he was ordained bishop without having kept the interstices, by an excommunicate consecrator, and to an already occupied see. To receive ordination from an excommunicate person made him too excommunicate ipso facto ...

His insatiable ambition, his determination to obtain and keep the patriarchal see, led him to the extreme of dishonesty. His claim was worthless. That Ignatius was the rightful patriarch as long as he lived, and Photius an intruder, cannot be denied by any one who does not conceive the Church as merely the slave of a civil government. And to keep this place Photius descended to the lowest depth of deceit. At the very time he was protesting his obedience to the pope he was dictating to the emperor insolent letters that denied all papal jurisdiction. He misrepresented the story of Ignatius's deposition with unblushing lies, and he at least connived at Ignatius's ill-treatment in banishment. He proclaimed openly his entire subservience to the State in the whole question of his intrusion. He stops at nothing in his war against the Latins. He heaps up accusations against them that he must have known were lies. His effrontery on occasions is almost incredible...The Catholic remembers this extraordinary man with mixed feelings. We do not deny his eminent qualities and yet we certainly do not remember him as a thrice blessed speaker for God. One may perhaps sum up Photius by saying that he was a great man with one blot on his character---his insatiable and unscrupulous ambition. But that blot so covers his life that it eclipses everything else and makes him deserve our final judgment as one of the worst enemies the Church of Christ ever had, and the cause of the greatest calamity that ever befell Her."
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12043b.htm

(II) The Second Cause of the Greek Schism - the infidel Eucharist-Trampling Caerularius of Constantinople: author of the second and final schism of the Byzantine Church, date of birth unknown; d. 1058. After the reconciliation following the schism of Photius (d. 801), there remained at Constantinople an anti-Latin party that gloried in the work of that patriarch, honoured him as the great defender of the Orthodox Church, and waited for a chance of renewing his quarrel. The only explanation of Michael Cærularius's conduct is that he belonged from the beginning to the extreme wing of that party, and had always meant to break with the pope as soon as he could ...

Cærularius's third move made it plain that he meant war to the knife. Still entirely unprovoked, he closed all the Latin churches at Constantinople, including that of the papal legate. His chancellor Nicephorus burst open the Latin tabernacles, and trampled on the Holy Eucharist because it was consecrated in azyme bread.

The pope then answered the letter of Leo of Achrida. Knowing well whence it came, he addressed his answer in the first place to Cærularius. It is a dignified defence of the customs attacked and of the rights of the Holy See. He points out that no one thought of attacking the many Byzantine monasteries and churches in the West (Will, op. cit., 65-85). For a moment Cærularius seems to have wavered in his plan because of the importance of the pope's help against the Normans. He writes to Peter III of Antioch, that he had for this reason proposed an alliance with Leo (Will, 174) ...So once again Cærularius worked up a revolution. This time he meant to have himself crowned emperor. But Isaac was too quick for him; Michael Psellus was employed to bring the charge against him. He was accused of treason, paganism, and magic; he was "impious, tyrannical, murderous, sacrilegious, unworthy". He was condemned to banishment at Madytus on the Hellespont. On the way there was a shipwreck from the effects of which he died (1059) ... A breach with the West was thus the first necessary step in a career that was meant to end in a combination of patriarchate and empire in his own person. He did not succeed in that plan, but he did something much more momentous; he founded the schismatical Byzantine Church."


Impious madmen and faithless heretics on par with Luther and Henry VIII. Photius invented the heresy of Monopatrism scarcely ever heard of before. That demon named Caerularius, sent by hell to destroy the unity of Catholic Christendom, had the Holy Eucharist trampled upon, and invented a heresy so ridiculous, namely that Azyme Bread was supposedly not right for the confection of the Eucharist (which St. Thomas destroys in, Against the Errors of the Greeks, disproving it from God's Commands in the Old Testament, the plainest words of the Evangelists to the contrary, and the authority of St. Paul the Apostle), that shows how great the schismatic intent in these madmen want. The madmen who wanted to trample the Eucharistic Body of Christ under their feet (an execrable Crime and a Blasphemy that has no name - it is like repeatng the monstrous crime of Deicide a second time) wanted to rend the Universal Unity of the Mystical Body of Christ under any pretext whatsoever. Photius and Caerularius were just what St. Irenaeus says about schismatics. "7. He shall also judge those who give rise to schisms, who are destitute of the love of God, and who look to their own special advantage rather than to the unity of the Church; and who for trifling reasons, or any kind of reason which occurs to them, cut in pieces and divide the great and glorious body of Christ, and so far as in them lies, [positively] destroy it — men who prate of peace while they give rise to war, and do in truth strain out a gnat, but swallow a camel. Matthew 23:24 For no reformation of so great importance can be effected by them, as will compensate for the mischief arising from their schism. He shall also judge all those who are beyond the pale of the truth, that is, who are outside the Church ..." http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103433.htm
To understand God's Plan for Humanity, and how He has provided the means by which we can minimize the Coming Great Tribulation, read: https://maryrefugeofholylove.com/

Offer your Life to Jesus and Mary: TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For His Eminence Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, His Excellency Metropolitan Hilarion, as well as His Eminence Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, that they may re-unite their flocks with the Roman Catholic Church, and there may soon be but One Fold and One Shepherd. For all the 220+ Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all 6000+ Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for the 400,000+ Priests, the 700,000+ Nuns, 50,000+ Monks, 100,000+ seminarians, that they may all become the Saints the Divine Will wishes them to be; for all the 1.35 Billion Members of the Church, the Millions of Catholic Catechumens and Children to be born and baptized in this Decade; we pray for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, for All Lay Apostolates, and All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Mother of God, Co-Redemptrix of the world, pray for us" [Promise: 1000 Souls from Purgatory]"This short prayer, this insistent prayer, every time it is said, sets free from Purgatory 1000 Souls, who reach the Eternal Joy, the Eternal Light"(!). http://www.jesusmariasite.org/jesus-pray-my-children-that-the-fifth-marian-dogma-be-proclaimed/