Brief Commentary on Patriarchal Consensus & The Case of Vigilius

70Apostles

A Monk-Priest friend of mine and a member of the Eastern Orthodox Church sent me this statement made by the Council of Constantinople (553) , and made the point that it clearly supports the model of >collegiality-contra-Vatican1< . A group of voices representing the whole rather than one single infallible voice. I had some immediate thoughts (without looking at any texts other than the one cited) and here they are. Continue reading

Eric Mascall (1905-1993) on Nature’s relationship to Grace

Mascall, a Thomist for non-Thomists

Erick Ybarra

E.L.Mascall

When traversing through the thick of Mascall’s  The Openness of Being (which is a compilation of his ten Gifford lectures offered at the University of Edinburgh) and his efforts to explain how the supernatural grace of God relates and operates with human nature, one cannot help but sense this annoyance with the mundane Scholastic mantra of separating nature and grace as if they are walled off from each other entitatively. In his generosity, he makes it plain he does not think that what the Scholastics were trying to get at is, per necessity, at odds with the more Scriptural and Patristic doctrine of man’s participation in the saving action of God the Creator. One particular section worth sharing comes from the Third Appendix, Grace and Nature in East and West, where he gives a nice vivid description of this Scholastic tendency while explaining how it can be brought to…

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Customs on Receiving Holy Communion in 4th-Century Egypt

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Without seeking to extract any implications from this as to modern discipline, I share this for interest’ sake.

St. Basil writes:

“It is good and beneficial to communicate every day, and to partake of the holy body and blood of Christ. For He distinctly says, He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life. And who doubts that to share frequently in life, is the same thing as to have manifold life. I, indeed, communicate four times a week, on the Lord’s day, on Wednesday, on Friday, and on the Sabbath, and on the other days if there is a commemoration of any Saint. It is needless to point out that for anyone in times of persecution to be compelled to take the communion in his own hand without the presence of a priest or minister is not a serious offense, as long custom sanctions this practice from the facts themselves. All the solitaries in the desert, where there is no priest, take the communion themselves, keeping communion at home. And at Alexandria and in Egypt, each one of the laity, for the most part, keeps the communion, at his own house, and participates in it when he likes. For when once the priest has completed the offering, and given it, the recipient, participating in it each time as entire, is bound to believe that he properly takes and receives it from the giver. And even in the church, when the priest gives the portion, the recipient takes it with complete power over it, and so lifts it to his lips with his own hand. It has the same validity whether one portion or several portions are received from the priest at the same time.” (Letter 93)

Falsification Criteria of Catholicism – St. John Henry Newman

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“I grant that there are ‘bishops against bishops in Church history, Fathers against Fathers, Fathers against themselves’, for such differences in individual writers are consistent with, or rather are involve in the very idea of doctrinal development, and consequently are no real objection to it; the one essential question is whether the recognized organ of teaching, the Church herself, acting through Pope or Council as the oracle of Heaven, has ever contradicted her own enunciations. If so, the hypothesis which I am advocating is at once shattered; but till I have positive and distinct evidence of the fact, I am slow to give credence to the existence of so great an improbability” (An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, pg. 134)

Who Speaks for the Eastern Orthodox Church – Fr. John Penteleimon Manoussakis

Fr. John Penteleimon Manoussakis, an Eastern Orthodox professor of Philosophy and Priest (see Dr. Adam DeVille’s interview), speaks to a growing problem within the Eastern Orthodox Church. Now, I don’t intend to point fingers here (readers known I’m capable of speaking to weaknesses in Catholicism), but it is interesting to see how the below statement really does identify why the current crisis with Ukraine will persist until the question “Who speaks for Orthodoxy” is answered definitively.

“The phenomenon of anti-papism, understood as a denial of a primus for the universal church and the elevation of such denial to a trait that allegedly identifies the whole Orthodox Church, is, properly speaking, heretical….Nevertheless, the phenomenon of anti-papism has become increasingly more observable within the Orthodox Church. Those who want to elevate their dislike for the pope into a definition for the Orthodox Church as a whole do not realize that, if they were right, their version of the Church would be reduced to little more than a religious club that can trace its origins to no earlier than the schism of 1054…. At the very least, this discussion requires that we reconsider the question of whether or not we need a primus in the Orthodox Church. And, if so, who or what might play such a role?…..Who can speak on behalf of the Orthodox Church? Who is entitled to do so? Orthodox faithful today become familiar with a phenomenon that takes alarming dimensions, namely, the rise of a movement within the Orthodox Church consisting of zealots who see themselves as the rightful ‘guardians of orthodoxy’, over and against the Church’s institutionalized authority. In their ferocity against the Western other, these ‘guardians of Orthodoxy’ reject any notion of primacy, espousing and promoting an ecclesiology that they misunderstand to be democratic in its structure of equality. Among their mistakes is the conflation of the ideas of conciliarity, sobornost, and episcopal equality.”  (Pg. 25-27)