Tuesday 28th February 2017

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

The Proposed 2016 Pan-Orthodox Council… And An Orthodox Theologian’s View Of The Petrine Primacy

April 2, 2014 Featured Today No Comments

By JAMES LIKOUDIS

In 2007 in Ravenna, Orthodox and Catholic theologians who were members of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue issued a document on Catholic-Orthodox ecumenical relations termed Primacy and Conciliarity, which marked a certain advance regarding the role of the papacy as the possible primate of a reunited Church.
However, Walter Cardinal Kasper noted at the time, “We must not exaggerate its importance. . . . The road is very long and difficult.”
At the same time, the Russian Orthodox Church took offense, rejecting the document and objecting to its implication that the Patriarch of Constantinople was the leader of the Pan-Orthodox world just as the Pope is the leader of the Catholic Church — a notion often parroted in the secular press.
Here was revealed again the longstanding dispute and conflict between the Patriarchates of Constantinople and Moscow over ecclesiastical leadership of the 16 or so autocephalous and autonomous national Orthodox Churches. The well-known Metropolitan Hilarion Alfayev had previously made clear the Russian Church’s opposition to any “papism” in ecclesiology: “We respect the Patriarch of Constantinople as the ‘first in honor,’ but we are against viewing him as ‘Pope of the East’.”
Moreover, quarrels had festered over which patriarchate had “authority” to make decisions regarding the Orthodox Church of America (OCA), and the Churches of Estonia, Czech-Slovak Lands, Ukraine, Macedonia, and communities in South America. The dispute over the Estonian Church led the Russian Orthodox delegation (representing the largest Orthodox Church) to “walk out” of the Ravenna meeting.
The Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue, which includes Catholic and Orthodox scholars, was scheduled to meet again in 2012, but this had to be postponed because of disagreements among Orthodox participants regarding the Ravenna Statement on Primacy.
Kurt Cardinal Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, was led to remark, “I think there are more tensions between the Orthodox than between the Orthodox and Catholics.”
Nevertheless, the Patriarch Kirill of Moscow attended the March 6-9, 2014 meeting in Istanbul called by Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to plan for a Pan-Orthodox Council in 2016 to deal with the serious questions that trouble the relations between the local national churches.
Such a council would be of great benefit to Catholic-Orthodox relations if its members would go beyond internal problems of governance and administration and deal with doctrinal issues on which their theologians have long disagreed. For example, are the doctrines of the “Filioque” and Immaculate Conception really “heretical”? Needed light would be thrown on the specific dogmatic issues which are said to separate the churches. Catholics would appreciate knowing whether the Ravenna Statement concerning papal primacy in the Church has the support of all the primates in a Pan-Orthodox Council.
What cannot be ignored, however, is that open disputes on dogmatic issues might reveal the doctrinal fissures that exist between the more ecumenically minded Orthodox and the fierce anti-ecumenical extremists crying anathema against the papacy and the “ecumenical heresy.” Fear of such debates opening up a “Pandora’s Box” could well postpone such a Pan-Orthodox Synod being held in 2016.
It is interesting to observe that the noted Eastern Orthodox theologian Olivier Clement was in agreement with Pope John Paul II that “the problem of the papacy” represented the greatest difficulty in the theological dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches. In 1997 Olivier Clement published a book, You Are Peter: An Orthodox Theologian’s Reflections on the Exercise of Papal Primacy (New City Press, N.Y.: 1997) with a foreword by no less than Avery Cardinal Dulles. The latter expressed pleasure with the author’s irenic tone and his book as a sign of the theological progress made and a “beacon of hope for the future.”
Clement’s book is of particular interest as conceding various positions traditionally held by Orthodox theologians not sympathetic to the ecumenical efforts conducted by Patriarch Bartholomew and other Orthodox. Olivier Clement had no doubt that Peter and Paul came to Rome; that the Apostle Peter was the first Bishop of Rome; and that the Rock (petra) on whom Christ built His Church was the person of Peter as the one who confessed the apostolic faith.
He also admitted that from the time of Tertullian writing at the beginning of the third century, “the idea develops that Peter received from Christ a particular charism that made him first among the Apostles and that the bishop of Rome is his successor, or rather, his vicar, the one who inherits this charism. . . . The role of Rome, its petrine charism, is therefore to keep watch over the communion of the local Churches, to prevent them from breaking away, to intervene at the request of any of them (as at Corinth in 86 or again around 170) to serve as a point of reference to anyone seeking insertion in one of the most prestigious of the apostolic traditions….By the time of Leo the Great, pope from 440-461, the doctrine of Roman primacy was complete.”
There are other remarkable admissions which contradict the allegations of other Orthodox that the “Bishop of Rome enjoyed only a position of honor among equals.”     Clement saw clearly that the “Roman Primacy…finds its place in the context of episcopal collegiality.”
With other ecumenically minded Orthodox (e.g., Nicholas Lossky), he acknowledged that the “Filioque” was a “legitimate approach” to Trinitarian doctrine. Nevertheless, his ecclesiology falls short of Vatican II’s exposition of the Roman Primacy as essential to the visible Unity of the Church. He believed that Rome had more than a “primacy of honor” but less than a primacy of jurisdiction de jure divino. He was caught in the quandary of how to explain the Holy Spirit’s ever permitting an utterly false ecclesiology (the See of Rome as the indefectible center of visible Unity in the Church) to pervade the First Millennium of the Church’s history.
Nevertheless, were theological discussions on the part of the prelates and theologians preparing for the 2016 Pan-Orthodox Synod to follow the path of Professor Clement’s valuable and positive contribution to ecumenical dialogue, the “Mystery of Primacy” would be greatly clarified for those seeking the end of a tragic schism.
Olivier Clement’s book was written as a direct response to Pope John Paul II’s invitation in his encyclical letter Ut Unum Sint (1995) to theologians to enter into a patient and fraternal dialogue regarding his Petrine Primacy and its exercise in the Church. As a leading Orthodox theologian in France, Clement was known to the Pope who asked him to compose a stations of the cross for the Good Friday service in Rome.
Clement died at the age of 87 in 2009. He was an important ecumenical theologian with great sympathies for the Catholic Church, believing that the great Reunion Council of Florence (1439) had not been legitimately revoked. R.I.P.

+    +    +

(James Likoudis is the author of the most comprehensive work in English dealing with Eastern Orthodox objections to Catholic doctrines. A few copies of The Divine Primacy of the Bishop of Rome and Modern Eastern Orthodoxy: Letters to a Greek Orthodox on the Unity of the Church ($27.95) are still available from the author: P.O. Box 852, Montour Falls, NY 14865.)

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Leaders call for Catholic sanctuary movement to blunt deportation crackdown

MODESTO, Calif. (CNS) — The push for sanctuary was on a lot of minds at the U.S. Regional World Meeting of Popular Movements. Concerns about President Donald Trump’s intention to deport millions of unauthorized immigrants rose throughout the Feb. 16-19…Continue Reading

Bishop Schneider: If a Bishop or Pope Commands Me to Sin, “I Have to Refuse”

Bishop Schneider: Aspects of Second Vatican Council Might Be Corrected in the Future; Priests Must Also Come to Resist at Times On 16 February 2017, Rorate Caeli published an interview with Bishop Athanasius Schneider, conducted in Mexico by a very…Continue Reading

Pro-Abort . . . Kaine discusses refugee crisis with Pope Francis during Vatican visit

Sen. Tim KaineTim KaineWashington-area lawmakers request GAO report on DC MetroKaine discusses refugee crisis with Pope Francis during Vatican visitA guide to the committees: SenateMORE (D-Va.) met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Wednesday to discuss the ongoing refugee…Continue Reading

Trump to Drop Transgender Bathroom Mandate

Obama’s controversial mandate attempted to force schools to let boys into girls’ locker rooms WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) – President Donald Trump is expected to revoke Obama’s transgender bathroom mandate insisting that students be allowed in opposite-sex bathrooms and locker rooms. The…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke is ‘de facto’ suspended, claims Knights of Malta condom promoter

February 21, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The Knights of Malta official at the center of controversy over the Order’s Catholic identity and sovereignty says its patron, Cardinal Raymond Burke, has been “de facto” suspended. Albrecht von Boeselager, a German aristocrat, was…Continue Reading

Cardinal Zen says ‘naïve’ Pope and bad advisors are betraying underground Church in China

February 21, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Joseph Zen says the Vatican is betraying Catholics living their faith out clandestinely in China. In an exclusive interview with LifeSiteNews, he says he has been urged to speak out by Catholics who lack…Continue Reading

Cardinal Zen on dubia: ‘Very respectful request by those bishops and Cardinals to have a clear statement’

February 20, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Joseph Zen in an interview with EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo expressed his support for the four Cardinals’ dubia that asks for clarification on the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia’s chapter 8. “I suppose it is a…Continue Reading

These Catholic parishes openly celebrate LGBT. Why aren’t bishops stopping it?

January 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – As controversy continues to rage over Pope Francis’ doctrines on communion for the divorced and remarried, an even more controversial practice proliferating in the shadows for decades is becoming increasingly open and explicit: same-sex couples…Continue Reading

Michael J. Novak, Jr. [1933 – 2017]

Theologian, public intellectual, and close friend of the Acton Institute, Michael J. Novak Jr., passed away last night on February 17, 2017. Acton Institute President Rev. Robert A. Sirico reflects on the passing of his friend and mentor Michael Novak,…Continue Reading

Twitter erupts with dubious reaction to Cardinal Cupich’s post on marriage document’s ‘absolute clarity’

February 16, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Chicago Cardinal Blasé Cupich tweeted Tuesday that Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia document was in full fidelity with the Catholic Church and absolutely clear in the expression of its teaching on marriage, but users of the…Continue Reading

More essential than ever for Catholic hospitals to maintain distinct identity: Cardinal Burke

Catholic health-care institutions are needed today more than ever, Cardinal Raymond Burke told a conference on Catholic hospitals in Ohio last week. “Our country suffers the scourge of an attack on the dignity of human life,” the cardinal said. He…Continue Reading

Council of Cardinals pledges allegiance to Pope Francis

ROME, February 13, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – In an odd note without explanation placed on the Vatican’s daily press briefing today, the Council of Cardinals, a group of 10 Cardinals which Pope Francis has delegated to work with him on reform,…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Enter Comments Below

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “An Introduction To The Problem Of Euthanasia”

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 23 of The Facts of Life, a 150-page treatise on all of the aspects of euthanasia, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + We have covered the definitions of the varieties of…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Martin Luther: True Reformer or Defender of Erroneous Conscience?

The key issue in debating Luther’s legacy on conscience in the Catholic Church entails whether the teachings of the Church are subordinate to one’s own conscience or whether conscience is bound by the teaching of the Church. Two trials, two appeals to conscience. Trial 1: I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen. Trial 2:…Continue Reading

Why is there a resurgence of infidelity among Catholic leaders?

Earlier this week, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus stressed the need to “discern” the meaning of Christ’s teachings rather than simply accept the way Catholic doctrine states these truths. This triggered an email from an obviously same-sex attracted reader who ecstatically thanked God that someone “besides the Pope” was finally willing to express the truth about the teachings of the Church: “They must be discerned!” The email was so wild that I…Continue Reading

The loss of this one key distinction is fueling much of the confusion around Amoris Laetitia

February 23, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — A rather stark and sobering teaching of the Church is that everyone of adult age on the face of this good Earth, and that means all who can discern between good and evil (which occurs sometime soon after the dawn of reason), is either in a state of grace or in a state of mortal sin, which means that should we all die this instant by some cataclysmic disaster, each…Continue Reading

Virginia bishops lament veto of bill defunding Planned Parenthood

Feb 22, 2017 – 04:35 pm .- The bishops of Virginia’s two dioceses on Tuesday decried Governor Terry McAuliffe’s veto of a bill which would have redirected state funding away from abortion providers and toward community health centers.

San Diego’s Catholic bishop urges citizens to be ‘disruptors’ and ‘rebuilders’ in Trump era

Even before the White House announced stricter immigration policies Tuesday, there were signs of opposition. Addressing people “of all faiths and no faith,” San Diego’s Roman Catholic bishop on Saturday urged Americans to be “disruptors” and “rebuilders.” Donald Trump, Bishop Robert McElroy noted, had campaigned for the presidency as “the disruptor.” “Well now,” McElroy told almost 700 community organizers and social justice advocates meeting in Modesto on the weekend that “we must all

A Book Review… A Methodical Plan For Spiritual Reading And Growth

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN How To Read Your Way to Heaven, by Vicki Burbach (Sophia Institute Press: Manchester, NH, 2016), 275 pp., $18.95. Available from www.SophiaInstitute.com. Because faith is like a mustard seed that needs to grow, it requires cultivation and nourishment to bloom and flourish. One of the traditional ways to nurture Christian faith comes…Continue Reading

From A Former Member… Pope’s Overhaul Of Vatican Pro-Life Academy “Heartbreaking”

By JUDIE BROWN (Editor’s Note: Judie Brown is the president of the American Life League and a former member of the Pontifical Academy for Life. She wrote this commentary for all.org and LifeSiteNews reprinted it. All rights reserved.) + + + The Pontifical Academy for Life is undergoing an overhaul by Pope Francis and his…Continue Reading

Stop And Go, But Don’t Think

By DONALD DeMARCO It may very well be that my philosophical nature inclines me to value the Stop Sign above traffic lights. This may seem to be an odd and arbitrary preference, but there are good reasons for it, especially if one thinks symbolically. The latter represents a mechanical stop-and-go instruction that reminds me too…Continue Reading

St. Catherine Of Bologna . . . The Patron Saint Of Artists

By RAY CAVANAUGH There are patrons of the arts, and then there’s St. Catherine of Bologna — the patron saint of artists. She was a nun, mystic, painter, and author whose feast day occurs on March 9. Born in the northern Italian city of Bologna on September 8, 1413, she entered an aristocratic family. Her…Continue Reading

A Movie Review… Stalin’s Bitter Harvest

By REY FLORES Bitter Harvest is a powerful film; but where do I begin to tell you about it? The first 11 minutes give us the background of the main characters who are shown enjoying somewhat of the last vestiges of a peaceful and idyllic existence before the Holodomor, which was a deliberate famine created…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… Silence Implies Consent

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Why are protests breaking out all over the USA and almost every week? People know in their hearts that silence can imply consent; they vehemently deplore the resurgence of common sense and America First and thus are speaking out. We’ve seen the annual March for Life joined this year by the Women’s (pro-abortion) March on…Continue Reading

What Is Faith?… The Consequences Of Original Sin

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 26 In a previous article I mentioned some of the amazing gifts that God granted to mankind through our first parents. If they had not messed up the works, we would have inherited those gifts. Among them, the most important gift they lost was none other than sanctifying grace. Yes, sanctifying grace, whereby they…Continue Reading

The Liturgical Celebration Of The Eucharist

By DON FIER Part 2 The Liturgical Celebration of the Eucharist, as was pointed out last week, is composed of two main parts — the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist — which “form a fundamental unity” (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], n. 1346). They “are so closely connected with each other,” teach the fathers…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: For those who wonder about the value of praying the rosary daily, consider the following anecdote from Fr. Roger Landry about Fr. Sal Ferigle, an Opus Dei priest who passed away in 1997 and whom many described as “the holiest priest I ever knew.” During a meditation once on the last things, said Fr. Landry, Fr. Sal “confessed…Continue Reading

“Get Away, Satan!”

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER First Sunday Of Lent (YR A) Readings: Gen. 2:7-9, 3:1-7 Romans 5:12-19 Matt. 4:1-11 In the readings today, we hear about Adam and Jesus. In the second reading, St. Paul compares the two of them, recognizing that by one sin many became sinners and by one righteous act many became righteous. So, we have the correlation…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Thomas Mary Fusco

By CAROLE BRESLIN Throughout the history of the Church different saints have had special devotions. St. Margaret Mary Alacoque had a great devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, St. Peter Julian Eymard had a great devotion to the Real Presence, and Blessed Thomas Mary Fusco had a deep devotion to the Most Precious Blood. (The Catholic Church recognized this…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Geltrude Caterina Comensoli

By CAROLE BRESLIN (Editor’s Note: Some sources give this saint’s name as Gertrude, but the Vatican’s website calls her Geltrude.) + + + Can there be any nobler calling than to promote adoration of the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ really and truly present in the Blessed Sacrament? St. Peter Julian Eymard, St. Alphonsus Liguori, and St.…Continue Reading