Saturday, February 01, 2014

Will Constantinople Ever Repent of Its Ecclesial Pretensions?

Posted by a member at Catholic & Orthodox: Steps Towards a Reunited Church:

So far on the poll at least 93 people identify themselves as Catholic (Latin & Eastern) and Eastern Orthodox. By default all of these and the majority of the ones yet to vote (as this is mainly a Catholic-EO reunion group) accept Chalcedon and recognize the line of the Chalcedonian Patriarchs of Alexandria and Antioch as the legitimate successors of those Sees. I've posted an Oriental Narrative on Chalcedon before in response to related topics but we've never had a thread about it. Chalcedon still prevents 'the two arms of Orthodoxy' from reuniting even though they both agree that they believe the same thing but say it in different ways. In my opinion, the political, historical, and ecclesiastical implications of Chalcedon are more preventative of reunion than the formulation of the doctrine that was affirmed. I just wanted to get your thoughts on this and how we can realistically approach ecumenism with the Orientals also. Is reunion possible without the Orientals accepting Chalcedon? By the way I will post the symbolism in the Syriac Liturgy of St. James soon because in my opinion it's very beautiful and I think you guys will like it. Anyway, without further ado here is a summary of an Oriental narrative on Chalcedon:

In 324 AD, Byzantium, renamed Constantinople in 330, became the capital of the Roman Empire. The city's ecclesiastical community naturally began to rise in prominence and authority. The church in Constantinople had previously been under the jurisdiction and authority of the Metropolitan Bishop of Ephesus before becoming the church of the capital city of the Roman Empire. This rise in authority was happening at the expense of Alexandria and Antioch which were the Sees of the East, with Alexandria having primacy, being second only to Rome in all of Christendom; these three, Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch, are the Petrine Sees in order of primacy. A rivalry had begun to brew between Alexandria and Constantinople in the East.

Driven by power and political gain, the Synod of the Oak was called for in 403 by the Pope of Alexandria Theophilus and the Empress Eudoxia that deposed St. John Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople.

The defeat of Constantinople by Alexandria again at the Council of Ephesus in 431 where Pope Cyril of Alexandria anathematized Nestorius, Bishop of Constantinople for heresy was another blow to Constantinople by Alexandria.

Constantinople, aiming to officially and finally consolidate its position in Christendom as the capital of the Roman Empire to have primacy in the East, achieved its goal at the Council of Chalcedon in 451. This was retribution against Alexandria by the rising See of Constantinople. The result of Chalcedon was widely expected as some think that the only reason this council was called together was to officially rank Constantinople second only to Rome in all of Christendom and to de facto remove Alexandria as a heretical See due to its Miaphysite position. The council is called 'the conspiracy of Chalcedon' by some. Rome even initially rejected the 28th Canon of Chalcedon, seeking to protect Alexandria and Antioch's positions and authority.

The jurisdiction of the See of Antioch, also a predominantly Miaphysite See at the time, was reduced by the establishment of Jerusalem as a Patriarchate at Chalcedon. Juvenal, Bishop of Jerusalem, was known in history to have been an opportunist. He sided with the Chalcedonians with the intention of promoting his own See at the expense of Antioch. Also, Juvenal put in his vote of condemnation against the Pope of Alexandria Dioscorus at the Council of Chalcedon although the two had previously been close friends.

In other words the Council of Chalcedon got Alexandria out of the way and officially ranked Constantinople above all the Eastern Sees and reduced Antioch's power by making Jerusalem an independent See all by the authority of an 'Ecumenical' Council. The Council of Chalcedon's main purpose in the Oriental perspective was to promote the See of Constantinople above Alexandria and Antioch by anathematizing them and reducing their authority.

This was followed by almost constant persecution of the Miaphysites of Egypt, Syria, and Armenia by the Chalcedonian Roman Empire causing many to seek refuge in neighboring rural areas such as the Egyptian Desert and Transjordan.

In the 6th Century, the Ghassanid Kingdom, an Arab Christian vassal state of the Roman Empire, is credited to have revived the Syriac Church, the Ghassanids themselves being staunch Miaphysites. The Muslim invasions which began in the 7th century brought even worse periods of persecution against the Oriental Communion that have not ceased to this day.

Friday, January 31, 2014

One of the books Fr. David will be using for his liturgy class is The Wellspring of Worship (an excerpt), written by Fr. Jean Corbon, a Melkite Dominican (Dominican Melkite)? Fr. David told us that Fr. Corbon is the author of the fourth part of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Perhaps I should go back and read the fourth part in its entirety. (Is there a special calling of Dominicans to the Melkite churches? Fr. Corbon is the second Dominican I have come to know who is Melkite. The first is Fr. Brendan.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Catholic World Report: Roman Rights and Wrongs by Dr. Adam A. J. DeVille
What needs to change for East-West unity to happen?

See also: Spitting in Rome’s Eye: A Reflection on How Orthodoxy’s Sinfulness Prevents Reunion

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

St. Ephrem the Syrian

"Let us pray for Christian unity."

A review by David Abulafia of ‘Inventing the Individual’, by Larry Siedentop

Saint Thomas Aquinas, Companion and Patron

From 2012:

Eclectic Orthodoxy: Saint Silouan and the Mystery of God

2013-0214 Bannan Institute

Sponsored by the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education at Santa Clara University. The theme for this academic year: What Good is God?

An intro statement:
Banna Institutes are yearlong thematic programs that address matters of significance within the Jesuit, Catholic intellectual tradition, foster an ethic of dialogue among persons of diverse religious and philosophical commitments, and facilitate opportunities for interdisciplinary exchange across the University and broader community.
Except that no such thing as the broader community actually exists - a purely 'academic' exercise, indeed. Most academics live in their own little world and contribute very little to the reform of moral and political life.

Winter Quarter 2014: God and Reality
Spring Quarter 2014: God and the University

The winter quarter session could be of interest, but will there be a critical examination of 'evolutionary biology' or contemporary physics? As for the spring quarter session will they profess adherence to the ideals put forth in Ex Corde Ecclesiae? I doubt it.

Upcoming Bannan Institutes:
The 2014–15 Bannan Institute will dive deeply into what distinguishes Ignatian leadership and the role and responsibility that is has, both locally and globally.

Should the Jesuits still be trying to form the elites of 'society' when Christendom no longer exists? Perhaps they should focus on teaching Christians, the leaven, in accordance with Tradition.

2014 Explore Journal
Bannan Institutes

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Breathing with Both Lungs of the Church

It would seem that this division between East and West apply to the Chalcedonian churches. How will this
statement and metaphor need to be modified if the Oriental Orthodox and the Church of the East are fully reconciled?