[Historical Review] The Limits of Papal Authority and the Fate of a Heretical pope: An exclusive interview with +Bishop Athanasius Schneider (2nd Look)

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Pope Vigilius

In an exclusive interview with Lifesitenews , Bishop +Athanasius Schneider elaborated on his essay which is one of the most exhaustive pieces written to the question of a heretical Pope in our modern day. I will be honing in one particular comment made in this interview, which was teased out more fully in the essay, and then comment on it with the historical record in view. Continue reading

Dialogue on Papal Universal vs Roman Patriarchal Jurisdiction

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This is an exchange I had recently with an Orthodox Christian. I wanted to save it for my own purposes but, as always, I thought I would also share it for the sake of public record. My interlocutor’s words are in bold/italic block-quote, and mine are in regular text. Continue reading

St. Theodore the Studite (759-826) : Eastern Orthodox Saint and Papal Infallibility

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St Theodore the Studite

Are the frequent appeals to Rome from St. Theodore the Studite regarding the Iconoclastic controversy merely indicative of a pragmatic and opportunistic motive? Is it the case that Theodore really had no sense of attributing Papal supremacy, nor infallibility, and was just speaking with flowery language, excessive rhetoric, and literary devices in order to give an allegorical or symbolic sense of primacy? Continue reading

Inquiry into Eastern Orthodoxy: A Catholic Guideline

A friend of mine sent me a series of questions on the subject of the Papacy with Eastern Orthodoxy in mind. Since these questions are pretty standard, I thought I would make a blog post with the best standard answers I could give. Enjoy. Continue reading

Against Remarriage After Adultery – St. Jerome on St. Fabiola (+399)

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St. Fabiola (+399)

In the years of 2014 to the present, the question of whether Catholics can re-marry after divorce has become much more talked about in light of the two Synods on the family and their subsequent Apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. I cannot go into the details about what Pope Francis communicated with this document, but I can give a basic summary. Amoris Laetitia (Eng. The Joy of Love) reaffirms the Church’s moral doctrine on the purpose of human sexuality and conjugal relations, even explicitly referring to the need to appropriate the message of Pope St. Paul VI’s Encyclical Humane Vitae. The document also states that there are “no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family” (251). On the matter of Catholics who have married in the Church but who have subsequently divorced and contracted a civil “marriage” while the first spouse is still alive, Pope Francis makes clear that this is contrary to the demands of the Gospel, and is objectively out of harmony with the Church’s understanding of marriage (303).  To those who insist that they should be able to openly demand recognition, respect, and good-standing of their 2nd “marriage” as if it were awarded to them out of mercy, the Pope says they should be considered as persons seeking to flaunt an objective sin, and should consequently be subject to hearing the gospel again in order to be converted, or separated from the community in excommunication (297). With that said, the Pope still opened the door for Catholic “re-married” divorcees to receive Holy Communion (305, fn 351), not on the basis that re-marriage is acceptable or objectively good, but rather that, on a case by case basis, certain persons who are involved in these objectively sinful and unlawful relationships can be free even of grave and mortal guilt, thereby landing them in the venial category of transgressor. Causes for this are said to be difficult and complex circumstances which mitigate against a person’s level of culpability, reducing the severity of their guilt and sin before God (302). Continue reading

On This [Heretical] Rock, I Will Build My Church?

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“Denial of Peter” – by Carl Heinrich Bloch

Without a doubt, the current state of affairs in Catholicism, and the Papacy in particular, has struck one of the greatest challenges for her apologists. Many people are driven to  think there is a massive problem with the coherence of Catholic ecclesiology with regard to the Papacy. The problem can be illustrated by citing one of the Catholic Church’s most astute contemporary theologians today. Continue reading

St. Maximos the Confessor (580-662) – Papal Supremacy and Infallibility by Divine Right

I have edited this article extensively to interact with Orthodox Byzantine historian A. Ed Siecienski.

Erick Ybarra

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As many readers know, the Monothelite controversy occupied the Church’s attention in the 7th century, and it was concluded by a firm condemnation of the belief that in Christ there is only one single will or that his acts were from one theanadric operation. This evil which inflicted the Church was partly attributable to Pope Honorius I, who’s letters to Sergius, the Patriarch of Constantinople, seemed to have supported the idea that Christ had two natures but one will.  Shortly after the reception of these letters, the Eastern Emperor, Heraclius, upon the composition of the Patriarch, released an edict called the Ecthesis ( εκθεσις , literally “statement of faith”), wherein Christ is taught to have one will. This was also accepted by the Patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch , and Jerusalem. It is reported that the successor of Honorius, Severinus, had time before his death to reject it. The successor of Severinus…

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