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Catholic Church has never Changed doctrine.

Discussion in 'General Debates' started by Quiddity, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    Try it now.
     
  2. ChrisP

    ChrisP Veteran Member

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    MY EYEEESS THEY BURN!!! :eek:
     
  3. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    Alright, I'll answer, but first I'd like to clear a couple of things up. Firstly, Scott, if you think, as you appear to, that my attitude is unusual for an Orthodox Christian then I can only assume that you haven't spoken to very many. Official Church teaching is that the Church is indeed one, and that She is the Orthodox Church. Any Orthodox poster who does not admit this is either being deliberately deceitful or is genuinely , but erroneously, contradicting the Church's teaching. I will not be decitful about this and so I openly lay my cards on the table - and seem to constantly get attacked for doing so. Would you rather that I lied? It might make you feel better if I did, but certainly wouldn't speak well of my faith and wouldn't help the cause of unity either.

    A second, related point, was raised by UD. We do not believe, and never have done, that a group of bishops is infallible. Such groups have erred in the past, at the various Robber Councils for instance, and probably will do again in future. You seem to envisage the Church as a clerical heirarchy over and above the people. We have no such view and the only infallibility we believe in is that of the Church as a whole, including both clergy and laiety. You're quite right to say that a council of bishops could teach heresy as easily as a single bishop, but as we believe in the fallibility of both it really has no bearing on the issue.

    Finally, before answering the question on the status of Rome, I would like to point out that this fallibility most certainly does extend to Patriarch Bartholomew. He is in no way equivalent to an eastern Pope and as such any statements he issues are not binding on the whole Church unless the Church agrees with them. This most certainly includes such things as the statement quoted by Scott, which the vast majority of Orthodox disagreed, and continue to disagree, intensely with. Not for nothing did large numbers of monastics cease commemorating the EP, both Bartholomew and various predecessors, over this issue - they believed he was preaching heresy and, therefore, walling off was their only legitimate action. You simply cannot use the EP's statements as an indicator of the general concensus of the Orthodox Church, particularly not this EP on this issue.

    Now onto the status of Rome. From the point of view of the Orthodox, the Roman Catholic Church is both schismatic and heretical. We don't label unwitting adherents to heterodox doctrines as heretics, however, so we wouldn't call the vast majority of RCs by this label. Even ignoring all the doctrinal developments made by the RCC since the schism that we consider heretical - and I'm sure you know what these are - this would still be the case. The two major issues that caused the Schism were Papal Supremacy and the filioque. The first is ecclesiological and I and most Orthodox would consider it schismatic only, though some may well disagree. The second, however, is heresy and was condemned as such even before 1054 at the 8th Ecumenical Council. Rome managed to get around this after the Schism by renaming the Robber Council that deposed St. Photios as the 8th Ecumenical and ignoring the council that reinstated him, but this was not the case when the council concluded as all of the Pentarchy, including Rome, accepted the later council as Ecumenical and the earlier one as a Robber Council. From our point of view, then, Rome teaches the truth mixed with certain heretical doctrines and, as such, I cannot see how unification can ever be achieved without Rome renouncing those errors.

    This does not mean, as people seem to be continuously implying here, that I do not hope and pray for reunion - I most certainly do - but I am not willling to accept reunion at any cost. I'm actually constantly amazed that RCs don't believe that we teach heresy. After all, we vehemently reject doctrines you have defined as dogma. How is it possible that you don't view this as heresy? I truly believe that the only thing that could reconcile us at present is a miracle of God, and we certainly won't solve anything here, but that doesn't mean I don't pray for just such a miracle.

    James
     
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  4. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you James... you have provided me with the clearest explaination of why I am a Roman Catholic.

    Praying for the EO,
    Scott
     
  5. ted1234

    ted1234 Member

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    James,

    Thank-you for the excellent reply. You speak with honesty and with truth, and as we are told, very often those aren't two things that everyone can appreciate and accept. I, personally, agree that that is the Orthodox faith that you have just presented. No bishop is ever thought infallible. The Church has always taught that the infallible voice is the Consciousness of the Church, as St. Maximos the Confessor so aptly put it when he said "Truth judges synods". Your posts illustrate that you don't shy away from pointing out the issues, asking necessary questions, pointing out credible real qualifications, and saying "this simply cannot be". St. Paul also did not use flattery or empty words. Surely, Orthodox are not at all against unity. But as Orthodox, and believing that our Faith is the True Faith, (else why would we be in it), we don't believe in a unity that would take away an iota from the Orthodox Faith. This "unity in what is necessary, freedom in what is unsettled" is just, to me, an attempt to shrug off the serious issues that divide us as inconsequential, because there is not a willingness to recognize, assess, and correct them.

    Thanks again, James. Being an Orthodox, I found absolutely nothing in your statement I disagreed with.

    In Christ,
    Ted
     
  6. mr.guy

    mr.guy crapsack

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    I concure, i've several (now roman) orthodox relatives whom have no problem criticizing the church hierchy. I don't believe they see any reason to fall in line with what they view as corruption or hypocrisy for the sake of church infallibility. I've rarely seen such open political discussions about one's own church within other christian organizations. Not to say that doesn't happen (the united church welcomes diversity among it's churches), just my own testimonial.
     
  7. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    You just don't understand what infallibility means to a Catholic... I am VERY vocal with my lack of confidence in my Bishop... and several Bishops in the US.... and I have gone so far as to voice my anger to a a Cardinal... but I still believe the Church to be infallible. If your relatives are not attacking the teachings of the Church as they relate to faith or morals, then they are not attacking the infallibility of the Church.
     
  8. mr.guy

    mr.guy crapsack

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    They don't need to. They don't consider their church infallible in the first place.
     
  9. ChrisP

    ChrisP Veteran Member

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    How can humans be infallible? I can't count the number of times I've been wrong. :D

    The Catholic Church is a group of men who, by design, can never be perfect. The only immaculate concept is that of a deity. Infallibility within the RC church should lie with God and no other IMHO.
     
  10. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    I don't know how people will take this, but I thought it was pretty funny. I suspect that only Catholics and Mormons will relate, though. Several weeks ago I went to a 2-day LDS apologetics conference. One of the speakers made the following statement:

    In Catholicism, the Pope is infallible, but no one believes it. In Mormonism, the Prophet is fallible, but no one believes it. :D
     
  11. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    Then they are not Catholics.... not a big deal I'm sure... but refering to them as " (now roman) orthodox relatives" would be inacurate... they are Protestants that attent Roman Catholic services in error.
     
  12. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    Quite right.
    It does.

    **EDIT**

    To clarify that last statment, let me explain:
    In the very disproportion between man’s capacity and God’s sovereign disposition, history reveals God to be the one who truly acts and is present. If in the course of history the attribution of such authority to men could repeatedly engender the not entirely unfounded suspicion of human arrogation of power, not only the promise of the NT but also the trajectory of that history itself proves the opposite. The men in question (Popes) are so glaringly, so blatantly unequal to this function that the very empowerment of man to be the rock (to be the Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church) makes evident how little it is they who sustain the Church but God alone who does so…. Who does so more in spite of men than through them.

    Hope this helps.
    Scott
     
  13. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    Thanks Ted. It's great to see another Orthodox Christian posting here as recently I seem to have been the only person trying to give the Orthodox perspective on things, which has sometimes lead to my becoming rather exasperated and, more often than I should, rather short with people. I apologise unreservedly to all that I have inadvertently upset by writing before thinking through the tone of my posts - and I'm sure there are some.

    Having said that, I'm glad that someone else is able to see that I am trying to be honest about our faith, rather than causing friction for friction's sake. Too many times i have seen RCs (and, occasionally, some Orthodox) who seem to believe that we are either on the verge of unity or are willing to sweep our differences under the carpet as though they were of little consequence. Much as I wish the optimism about reunion prospects were well founded, I'm afraid that I don't believe they are and I fail to see how we can advance the undeniably desirable goal of unity by deluding ourselves that they are. Thank you for your support.

    James
     
  14. Uncertaindrummer

    Uncertaindrummer Active Member

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    Heh. Out of curiosity, who is "the Prophet" anyway?
     
  15. Uncertaindrummer

    Uncertaindrummer Active Member

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    I don't think reunion is something that can happen easily. It has been almost a millenium, afterall. But when people refuse to admit something simple (like the fact that Pope Honorious never promulgated heresy and was indeed condemned only for not RESPONDING strongly enough to a heresy), it does seem like things are far away.
     
  16. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    I didn't say that Pope Honorius promulgated heresy. Had that been my intention I would have called him a heresiarch, not a heretic. There is a distinct and important difference. However, as I showed you, the Catholic Encyclopedia even calls Honorius a heretic in fact if not in intent and I would agree with this (unusual though that may be when it comes to said publication). I'm amazed that you are willing to defend him even now. In any case, it is clear, and Pope Benedict XVI has said as much, that the current role of the papacy is not what it was in the first millennium. I would agree with him when he says that reunion can not happen if we are made to accept the primacy of Rome as being anything more than was believed in the first millennium, and that does not include the 19th and 20th century teachings on supremacy and infallibility.

    There are many details that would need to be sorted out before we could be reunited, some small, some major, some on your side and some on ours. On the more minor end, your attitude to saints such as Photios the Great or John Cassian would need to alter, for instance. On the more important side would be doctrines like the Immaculate Conception, and the most major issues of all remain the filioque and the role of the papacy. Some Orthodox would also undoubtedly have to curb their absolute opposition to any kind of papal primacy - this is as ahistorical as supremacy - but they are mostly on the extreme fringe. I'm sure there are numerous other minor details as well, zymes or azymes in the Eucharist, facing the laiety or the alter in the Liturgy etc., but these would probably not prevent unity. One thing that can be certain, however, is that unity cannot be achieved as long as we do not profess the same faith. In such circumstancxes intercommunion is simply impossible for us and attempting to bring about sacramental unity without unity of faith would undoubtedly cause another Great Schism. A few, maybe even some heirarchs (the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Romania, I'm ashamed to say, would be most likely to provide these) might indeed go along with such a plan, but the vast majority of Orthodox would not. It would be no more a reunion than the Unia was.

    James
     
  17. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    Thank you James. In my attempts to look for "official" EO doctrine, I found it difficult. I can't express to you enough that I have tried. Your post has further shown me why I have had difficulities. It appears that in the EO Church the "consiousness of the Church" is a bit fuzzy. I'm sorry if this offends you but this is just my experience.

    Sincerely
    ~Victor
     
  18. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    Thank you James. This is all I have been bickering about. Extend charity, even if you are right. This goes for me as well.

    Peace be with you
    ~Victor
     
  19. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    Don't worry UD, you've got it right... but things are closer than James would like... the truth can not be stopped.... but you can't blame James- he loves his newly found Church and will defend it and promote it.... you can bet when he was a Lutheran he thought he was right then too! I saw an ex-EO on an episode of the Journey Home a few weeks ago on EWTN... he made it clear that even when his heart and mind embraced the true faith, it still took him two years to reconcile with the RCC... nobody wants to admit they are wrong... and sometimes there are other influences (family, cultural etc) that make the conversion tough. We can only pray.
    I think it is important to understand that Honorius was a heretic.... but using the standard that EO's try to use... EVERY Pope, Patriarch, Biship, Council that came before was heretical. That's right.... after all, they didn't teach "the truth" as it has been defined by a council.... so each subsequent council makes all previous catholics "heretics".... what a foolish way to look at it. After all, Pope Honorius never tought anything contrary to what was already defined by a council... never supported anything that was already defined by a council... and was never given a chance to repent.... you see, in the theological "realm", people are not heretics, but people with heretical ideas... you get me? Arius, Nestorius, etc. would not have been heretics in they repented when faced with authentic church teachings... see what I mean?

    An important thing for you to research is The Second Council of Constantinople.... a little "homework" for you my young friend.:D In all this blather about "Oh! Look! A heretical Pope.... we're right!! blah blah blah" I forgot all about this gem ..... do a little research and you'll see the reason this "governance without leadership" leads to heresy and confusion.
     
  20. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    The President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Right now, it's Gordon B. Hinckley.
     
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