St Nicodemus the Hagiorite on Constantinople’s Right to Hear Appeals

Nicodemus the Hagiorite on Constantinople’s Right to Hear Appeals

Rudder published in Athens in 1841, p. 108

Orthodox Synaxis

In the Ukrainian tomos and elsewhere recently, the Patriarchate of Constantinople has asserted a universal right to hear appeals from bishops and clergy anywhere in the Orthodox world, on the basis of Canons 9 and 17 of the Council of Chalcedon. While Constantinople often likes to give the impression that this purported right is uncontested, historically it has been resisted just as often as it has been asserted. In his Rudder, St Nicodemus the Hagiorite (d. 1809) gives a long footnote to Canon 9 of the council, presented in its entirety below (Greek text after the jump) demonstrating on historical, logical and canonical grounds that Constantinople does not possess the right to hear appeals from other patriarchates, but that only an ecumenical council is the final judge in such cases. In particular, St Nicodemus notices that then, just as now, Constantinople’s claim seems to be motivated by its…

View original post 3,502 more words

Celibacy and Continence in the Priesthood according to the Church Fathers – A Study of Greek East & Latin West


ordination of augustine

The scandals which have broken out in the Roman Catholic Church over the past decades, particularly since the Summer of 2018, have caused many scholars and analysts to ponder whether the rule on celibacy for the ordained clergy might be a cause for the the grave acts of sexual misconduct. However much there is a connection to be made or not made, I wanted to devote an extensive article on the rule on priestly celibacy (abstention from married life) and continence (abstention from sexual intercourse, but not necessarily marriage) in the early Church Fathers.  Before I venture to do that, I would be remiss if I did not point the reader to a post already published by Unam Sanctam Catholicam on the subject, which is devoted mainly to citations from the early Church fathers and councils on this important matter. What I offer here is less citation (although I add ones not provided by Unam) and more commentary and reflection, particularly how this phenomena developed in both Eastern and Western Christendom. Although it is not always mentioned, the rule of priestly celibacy was one of the issues separating the ecclesial centers of Byzantium and the Latin West during the time of the great schism. It would be, therefore, all the more beneficial to see how the practice began from the earliest centuries.  Continue reading

The Roman Church Cannot Do Whatever It Pleases – Cardinal Godfrey of Verdome (1065- 1132)


Pope Paschal II

This was written in reaction to Pope Paschal II’s capitulation to King Henry V’s insistence on lay investiture. Although the Pope only conceded to allow lay investiture to the King in light of harsh imprisonment, we have the following reaction to this from Godfrey of Vendome (1065- 1132), who was a French Benedictine, monk, Cardinal, and a strong supporter of the Papacy. He worked alongside many Popes during his life, and could hardly be seen as a Papal opponent. His epistolary consists mainly in his opposition to lay investiture, which he condemned as heresy and simony. As I was reading through Anglican historian Karl Morrison’s book on Tradition in the Western Church, I was fortunate to come across this little snippet, whose ocassion was to contend Paschal II’s concession to Henry V. To be fair to the Pope, he condmened lay investiture before and after his imprisonment, but his momentary concession afforded this interesting comment.

Finally, [Abbot] Godfrey of Vendome, a member of the Sacred College, condemned on grounds of tradition Paschal II’s decree approving lay investiture. Some men claim, he wrote (ca. 1116), that the Roman Church can do whatever it pleases, and that by some dispensation it can even do other than the Scriptures command. But the Roman church could surely not do what Peter could not do, and , as Paul showed by resisting Peter to his face, Peter could not dissolve the law of the divine Scriptures. Rome, therefore, must use the power to bind and loose not according to its own will, but ‘according to the tradition of Christ’

(Ep. ad Bernarium, MGH Ldl. 2, 688; taken from “Tradition and Authority in the Western Church: 300-1140”, Karl Morrison, pg. 310)

Patristic Testimony on Prayers to Saints, Veneration of Martyrs, Purgatory, and the Sacrifice of the Mass


In my discussions with Protestant brethren, I continue to hear the idea that crazy things such as praying to Saints for intercession, venerating the dead pieces of human bodies, a process of post mortem pains to satisfy residual purgatorial punishment, and the Altar of the Church upon which Christ is sacrificed as a propitiation on behalf of the living and the dead are late Medieval inventions which have no place in the early Christian church. However, the historical record would strongly refute this erroneous conception. Here below I will provide statements from extremely credible early Church Fathers who lived in far distant regions from each other, showing how universal and traditional these beliefs and activities were already beginning in the middle of the 4th-century. In so doing, we capture the beliefs of Christians in North Africa, Egypt, Jerusalem, Constantinople, Antioch, Syria, Rome, and Milan. Continue reading

The Structure of the Daily Office, Part V: Office Hymns

Tom writes this and more.

“Building upon the recatholicization of the Prayer Book Office commenced by the Oxford Movement and the ritualists, and consummating the integration of the Anglican Office into the Roman Rite, the Divine Worship use of the Daily Office provides for proper hymnody as well”

Tom's Digest

See also the first, second, third and fourth parts of this series.

Hymns in the Western Office: A Brief Overview

002522D1V1.jpgThe characteristic feature of the Divine Office, especially in the West, is that the bulk of its material is drawn directly from Scripture: the Psalms that form the core of it, along with various readings, canticles, “little chapters,” antiphons, responsories, and other elements are more often than not direct quotations or very close paraphrases from the Old and New Testaments.

One of the few elements that are exclusively ecclesial compositions are metrical hymns, meant to further flesh out the flavor and theme of each hour.

They were a relatively late addition to the order of the divine office, especially the secular office of the Roman Church, long noted for its liturgical ultra-conservatism. Pierre Batiffol, in his magisterial 1898 History of the Roman Breviary, notes that while hymns…

View original post 1,208 more words

Divine Worship: The Daily Office — A Review of the Australian Ordinariate’s Draft in the Ordo 2019

This is fantastic

Tom's Digest

Members and fellow-travelers of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter (OCSP), which has jurisdiction over parishes in the United States and Canada, have been waiting, fruitlessly, for so much as mere crumbs of official information about the status of the Daily Office in the Ordinariate’s Divine Worship form, allegedly sitting in Rome awaiting approval. Although select groups of people have access to the draft texts, they guard it under pontifical orders with a strictness that would make you think the North American Ordinariate was sitting on nuclear launch codes.

However, lucky for everyone, the OCSP is only one of three Ordinariates in the world for folks of Anglican heritage. The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross, based in Australia, has been significantly more forthcoming about their own draft version of the Office, having put the full text in their online Ordo for the…

View original post 1,738 more words