Author Topic: Eastern Rite Catholics  (Read 435 times)

Rubecorks

Eastern Rite Catholics
« on: December 28, 2017, 10:19:45 AM »
In another thread someone mentioned that the Eastern Rite Catholics were 'autonomous in government'. I denied that. Then someone else in an attempt to be moderate, said they were "quite autonomous".  This is actually false, because it like saying "partial communion" which is a new fangled Novus Ordo concept.  All Catholics are under the hierarchy of Rome. That is NOT autonomy. Partial autonomy nullifies the very essence of autonomy, so it cannot be "quite".  Again, I give the quote from Pope Leo XIII:

"the liturgy of the Ruthenians can be no other than that which was either instituted by the holy fathers of the Church or ratified by the canons of synods or introduced by legitimate use, always with the express or tacit approval of the Apostolic See."

Notice "always with" and "tacit approval"?  This means that Rome is ever vigilant about what the Eastern Catholics are doing and teaching, and if there is silence, it means Rome approves. That is simply not autonomy.

As well it was said elsewhere that the Eastern Catholics have "their own theology". This is both suspicious and dangerous. Theology suggests doctrine. If it is merely ascetical theology alone, then it should be qualified. What Catholic book explains about this?  This is definitely a time where some sources need to be presented.

I am seeing a trend in the traditional world where Eastern schismatophiles are trying to gain ground among sedevacantists, and it seems to be catching on because it's a way of practicing traditional liturgy and becoming satisfied that one does not have to worry about what goes on in Rome or get stressed about a sedevacantist situation. It's a false peace, and a way to mingle with Eastern Catholics who are basically Novus Ordo.


 

Mithrandylan

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Re: Eastern Rite Catholics
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2017, 10:38:34 AM »
What adjective would you use to describe particular Churches who are allowed to appoint and consecrate bishops, as a matter of course, without explicit papal approval, who are allowed to use their organic liturgies without deference to the liturgies approved explicitly by the pope and promulgated for the vast majority of the Catholic world, who have unique patriarchal sees, the occupants of which directly govern the rest of the bishops in that Church, and who generally devise their rules and rites without the direct intervention or direction of the pope, in contrast with the rest of the Catholic world?

If you have a better adjective than "[quite/fairly/relatively/etc.] autonomous," fine.  But don't pretend like the adjective is being used to indicate that all of these things happen, will happen, and ought to happen without the supervision of Rome.  No one has used the word in that sense.
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Re: Eastern Rite Catholics
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2017, 10:47:33 AM »
Of course local churches and groups of churches have their own theological traditions - there's a Roman school which we ultramontanes might hold in particularly high esteem, but there are also specifically Byzantine or English or Spanish ways of doing theology (and that's not even getting into the distinct theological traditions of various religious orders). That shouldn't be taken to mean that pluralism at the level of authoritative teaching is acceptable, and Vinny wasn't saying that it is.
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Re: Eastern Rite Catholics
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2017, 10:56:23 AM »
Quote
I am seeing a trend in the traditional world where Eastern schismatophiles are trying to gain ground among sedevacantists, and it seems to be catching on because it's a way of practicing traditional liturgy and becoming satisfied that one does not have to worry about what goes on in Rome or get stressed about a sedevacantist situation. It's a false peace, and a way to mingle with Eastern Catholics who are basically Novus Ordo.

Now this is a far more valid concern.  I've known several people-- some "IRL", others just online, who've left the Catholic Church for some brand or another of schismatic Orthodoxy.  Most of the time, I've found it to be a problem suffered by those who were drawn to controversy and to the politicization of religious things, who usually were not particularly strong in their faith to begin with.  But I think there have always been large amounts of Catholics with weak faiths, and there haven't always been these types of exoduses. 

I would agree with the assessment, generally, that this decision is made as a sort of escapism.  It's a very strange way to "escape" the problem, though.  Such people look at the situation today and think that papal supremacy is the problem, or that infallibility is, so the solution is to disavow those things altogether?  But this results in a Church with an inferior design.  It's a solution in search of a problem, really.  I've never understood how one could take solace in "Oh, well, don't worry, there isn't supposed to be a singular, unified faith (or Church)."  Or, "Oh, this division in doctrine and government?  That's how God designed His Church."  "The lack of any supreme authority to settle doctrinal issues which ruin the bond of charity uniting all Christians in the Mystical Body of Christ?"  That's how it's supposed to be.  It seems far saner to postulate an extraordinary deviation from the rule and from the course (mainly, a period of sede vacante) where what we're experiencing is a corruption of the design, rather than the design itself.
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Rubecorks

Re: Eastern Rite Catholics
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2017, 11:03:53 AM »
What adjective would you use to describe particular Churches who are allowed to appoint and consecrate bishops, as a matter of course, without explicit papal approval, who are allowed to use their organic liturgies without deference to the liturgies approved explicitly by the pope and promulgated for the vast majority of the Catholic world, who have unique patriarchal sees, the occupants of which directly govern the rest of the bishops in that Church, and who generally devise their rules and rites without the direct intervention or direction of the pope, in contrast with the rest of the Catholic world?

If you have a better adjective than "[quite/fairly/relatively/etc.] autonomous," fine.  But don't pretend like the adjective is being used to indicate that all of these things happen, will happen, and ought to happen without the supervision of Rome.  No one has used the word in that sense.

Why suddenly need any new term?  They are NOT autonomous is well-established. The Eastern Schismatics simply say they "are autonomous" (that's schismatic lingo), and it's because they separated from Rome. I gave the quote already, which shows that Rome keeps constant vigilance on what they do, and is ready to step in if there is disapproval, and all true Eastern Catholics know that. Children are not autonomous just because a parent watches them and says nothing, if that silence simply means approval. That is not autonomy of the child, nor even quite autonomous.
 
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Rubecorks

Re: Eastern Rite Catholics
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2017, 11:05:12 AM »
Of course local churches and groups of churches have their own theological traditions - there's a Roman school which we ultramontanes might hold in particularly high esteem, but there are also specifically Byzantine or English or Spanish ways of doing theology (and that's not even getting into the distinct theological traditions of various religious orders). That shouldn't be taken to mean that pluralism at the level of authoritative teaching is acceptable, and Vinny wasn't saying that it is.

Theology, and "theological traditions", are not the same thing.
 
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TKGS

Re: Eastern Rite Catholics
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2017, 02:04:46 PM »
It seems to me that the R&R camp and the Eastern Rite camps are very, very similar.  People in both camps seem to think that they can just do whatever they want without regard to the pope.  Based on everything I've seen posted by Eastern Catholics (and/or schismatics), they hold to the same heretical notions of the papacy as the R&R.
 
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Vinny Zee

Re: Eastern Rite Catholics
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2017, 02:09:15 PM »
Theology, and "theological traditions", are not the same thing.
[/quote]

They are not, you are correct. However, I'd like to draw quick distinction if I may. There are protestants, for example, who can't hear the word, "works" and not think it always refers to dead works. They can't hear the word, "tradition" and not think it always refers to the traditions of men condemned by Jesus. So there is often a lot of work when talking to them that needs to be undertaken to explain to them that Abraham performed a true work pleasing to God when he was going to sacrifice Isaac and this is what James is referring to. Additionally, when Paul talked about tradition, he was referencing Holy Tradition not the tradition Jesus was warning about.

I say these things, because there was schismatic and erroneous theology the Eastern churches had which Benedict XIV was adamant they had to repudiate. However, this is not to assume every bit of theology the Eastern churches had was schismatic because some of it was. Otherwise, there would have had to be no other option than to latinize the entire of the Eastern churches that wanted to come home. Therefore, in Allatae Sunt, Benedict XIV drew these distinctions.

So when there is a mention of the Eastern Theology or "its own theology" these are a reference to the fact that there are difference in Eastern and Western theology when it comes to things like understanding things such as Christology, or Sin, hell, relics, iconography, etc.  The Eastern churches however can't say there are only 5 sacraments, or monophysitism is a possibility, etc. This was the distinction that was drawn and this is how I read what Benedict XIV was saying. He did note that the Greeks were able to shed off the errors of Calvinism. He didn't say because of this they didn't have any errors, but noted the East also had the Holy Fathers before them as a voice. One cannot deny the lives of St. John Chrysostem or Gregory of Nyssa.

"During Our pontificate Cardinals, Prelates, theologians, and men trained in the languages of the east devoted long hours to work and discussion. We Ourselves read the discussions and weighed every matter which called for examination. The work was revised scrupulously to avoid the slightest injury to the Greek rite and to ensure that this rite remained unimpaired and entire. This course was followed, even though previously, in their utter ignorance of the Oriental liturgies and rites which existed in the eastern church before the time of the schism, some of our theologians whose expert knowledge was confined to the western rite, used to condemn every detail which differed from this rite. In short, the chief concern of the popes in securing the return of Greeks and Oriental schismatics to the Catholic religion has ever been to pluck completely from their minds the errors of Arius, Macedonius, Nestorius, Eutyches, Dioscuros, the Monothelites, and others, into which they had wretchedly fallen. But the rites which they observed and professed before the schism and the practice which depends on these ancient liturgies and rituals have always been left unchanged. Indeed the popes have never asked those returning to the Catholic faith to give up their own rite and assume the Latin rite. For this would involve the complete extermination of the eastern church and of the Greek and other Eastern rites, an objective which this Holy See has certainly never planned or striven for."

Benedict XIV explained the goal here was to pluck out the errors and leave intact the rites observed and professed. I think the rite naturally flows from the theology of how they understand many theological issues. So a "different" theology in the Eastern Churches is not the schismatic theology of when they were separated, but the unique theology of the East in communion with Rome.

"Many inferences can be made from Our present exposition. First, the missionary who is attempting with God’s help to bring back Greek and eastern schismatics to unity should devote all his effort to the single objective of delivering them from doctrines at variance with the Catholic faith. Their forefathers accepted these errors as some sort of pretext for leaving the unity of the Church and for refusing the pope the respect and obedience which is his due as head of the Church. A missionary should make use of the following proofs. Since the Orientals are greatly devoted to their own Church Fathers, Leo Allatius and other notable theologians have studied the question carefully and have shown clearly that the more notable Fathers of the Greek and Latin Church fully agree on all points of doctrine"

"They specifically reject the errors which fetter the east now." - The errors were tossed away, the beneficial has remained.

Below is a recognition of what the Greeks did in opposing the Lutherans and Calvinists:

"In the last century the Lutherans tried to draw Greeks and Orientals into their own errors. The Calvinists, who bitterly attack the Real Presence of Christ in the Sacrament of the Eucharist and the transubstantiation of bread and wine into His Body and Blood, made the same attempt; it is reported that they won over the Patriarch Cyril to their view. However the Greeks, schismatic as they are, realized that the new errors were at variance with the teaching of their Fathers, especially SS. Cyril, John Chrysostom, Gregory of Nyssa, and John Damascene; with firm proofs drawn from their own liturgies which affirm the Real Presence and Transubstantiation, they rejected the deceptions and refused to abandon any aspect of the Catholic truth (see Schelestratus De perpetua consensione Orientalis Ecclesiae contra Lutheranos, the chapter De transubstantiatione, p. 717, vol. 2, of Actorum Ecclesiae Orientalis). In two synods they unanimously condemned Patriarch Cyril and the Calvinist doctrines published under his name (see Christian Lupus, ad Concilia Generalia, et Provincialia, part 5, and particularly his treatise De quibusdam locis, chap. 9, at end)."

In the first place this gives substantial hope that when they are confronted with the teaching of the Fathers, which strongly supports our Catholic doctrine and attacks their own more recent errors, they will be inspired to a genuine conversion and find it very easy to return. Secondly, it can be seen that there is no need to harm or destroy their rites in recalling them to the way of unity since the Apostolic See has always opposed this procedure."

Separating the Weeds from the Wheat:

"This See has been able to separate the weeds from the wheat in these holy rites as often as the need arose. Moreover the attempt to destroy their rites will only jeopardize the desired union, as Thomas of Jesus rightly reflects: “It must also be shown that the Roman church approves and favors each Church maintaining its own rites and ceremonies, since of course the schismatics are very attached to their own rites. A timely effort must be made to persuade them that they will be confirmed in the observance of their own ceremonies in order to prevent any false suspicion developing that these rites would be abolished and any consequent turning away from the Roman church, which has no such objective”
 
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Rubecorks

Re: Eastern Rite Catholics
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2017, 02:16:59 PM »
As well it was said elsewhere that the Eastern Catholics have "their own theology". This is both suspicious and dangerous. Theology suggests doctrine. If it is merely ascetical theology alone, then it should be qualified. What Catholic book explains about this?  This is definitely a time where some sources need to be presented.

bump
 

TKGS

Re: Eastern Rite Catholics
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2017, 02:18:59 PM »
As for autonomy, what many people consider autonomy is not really autonomy.  No segment of the Church is truly autonomous in that they are not "independent" from the pope and have the "absolute power to govern their own affairs."  But they are autonomous is a more colloquial sense in that they are generally left on their own to govern their own affairs unless some issue arises that calls for intervention. 

Because we have been discussing theological issues, it is important that the terms employed by all parties be precise.  Thus, "autonomy" has not place in a theological conversation concerning authority and jurisdiction. 

Imprecise terms seems to be the biggest problem on the forum of late.
 
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