Sunday, June 09, 2019

The Main Definitions of the 7 Councils

The Pope as Language Scholar

The prophet is not guaranteed to be an oracle or a prophet, in the sense that every utterance is directly through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Even in the first millenium, there were misunderstandings about Greek, which arguably was the lingua franca of the early Church. Now, when the bishop of Rome no longer speaks Greek fluently, and many of the apostolic Churches do not use it? At least they have been able to avoid misunderstandings so far in the joint statements that have been released.

Why should we understand the successor of St. Peter as having a special competence as to determining the orthodoxy of some definition of faith or statement in Greek or any other language not his own?
What special competence has he received to ensure that his statements are translated properly into the languages used by the other apostolic Churches for communication? He must rely and trust what scholars and representatives of those churches tell him.

Even when everyone was using Greek, Chalcedon would have not been such a big problem if charity was being exercised in all things, with a prayer for a strong dose of patience with one's brothers, and bishops humbly asked for clarification when in doubt. Now when the representatives of the Apostolic Churches speak other languages (I don't think English is a lingua franca for them but I could be wrong)? This is even more true.

Instead of determining that only one formulation is orthodox, might it be that the bishop of Rome is merely expressing a preference for one statement rather than another, which must be coupled with the fixing of terms and their definitions at that time , or at least including some sort of terminological appendix to any statement so that readers in the future know what the word means? And thus the bishop of Rome plays a role as the final arbiter?

In a Church in which many languages can be used, can any statement of faith be free from problems of translation?