Thursday 26th May 2016

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

2016 The Wanderer Printing Co.

34% of “Pro-Choice” Women Who See This Viral Video Turn Against Abortion

A new four-minute viral video is causing over a third — 34 percent — of “pro-choice” women surveyed to view abortion “less favorably.” And 28 percent of pro-choice women who watched the video stated there should be more restrictions on…Continue Reading

‘Biblically wrong’: Oklahoma lawmakers urge Obama’s impeachment over transgender bathrooms

Lawmakers in Oklahoma have introduced legislation calling for President Barack Obama to be impeached because of his administration’s support for transgender bathrooms. Another bill calls for a declaration of emergency in the state. In a measure called Senate Concurrent Resolution…Continue Reading

Oklahoma legislature passes bill making it a felony to perform abortions

Lawmakers in Oklahoma approved a bill Thursday that would make performing abortions a felony and revoke the medical licenses of most physicians who assist in such procedures. This sweeping measure, which opponents described as unconstitutional and unprecedented, now heads to…Continue Reading

Unanimous Win for Little Sisters of the Poor at Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the government cannot fine the Little Sisters of the Poor.  The Supreme Court vacated the lower court rulings against the Little Sisters, accepting the government’s admission that it could meet…Continue Reading

Conservatives outraged over Obama transgender directive to public schools

The Obama administration’s directive Friday that every public school provide transgender access — or face the loss of federal funds — drew swift and strong condemnation from conservatives, with one public official blasting it as presidential “blackmail.” The administration’s directive…Continue Reading

Pro-Life Leaders Decry Scandals, Urge Catholic Colleges to Reject Culture of Death

Concerned by recent high-profile events at Catholic colleges featuring pro-abortion leaders — including Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards, Bill Clinton, Wendy Davis and Vice President Joe Biden — 31 Catholic and pro-life leaders joined a statement urging Catholic colleges to “stand firm…Continue Reading

ACLU launches campaign to strip Catholic hospitals of federal funds

NEW YORK, May 9, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Catholic hospitals across the U.S. are “withholding emergency care” and denying “essential health services,” the ACLU is alleging in a new campaign. They also inflict harm on “transgender and gender-non-conforming patients” “when seeking…Continue Reading

Harvard Law Professor Says Pro-Life Christians Should be Treated Like Nazis

Every day, it seems, the United States is becoming a more hostile environment for people with pro-life and conservative positions. Abortion activists constantly challenge pro-life laws, stall abortion industry investigations, force religious objectors to pay for abortions and attack life-affirming…Continue Reading

Obama plans new push for transgender rights in schools

The divisive and politically combustible issue of bathroom access for transgender individuals is about to become further inflamed, as the Obama administration is expected in coming weeks to aggressively reinforce its position that transgender student rights are fully protected under…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke: Notre Dame is Wrong

Notre Dame’s Great Scandal: Honoring Vice President Biden By Thomas McKenna, President of Catholic Action for Faith and Family: The University of Notre Dame has announced that they intend to confer the Laetare Medal, an honor given to Catholics “in…Continue Reading

DoJ to North Carolina: You Have Until Monday to Reverse Bathroom Bill

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory received a letter from the Department of Justice that gives him until Monday to reverse his state’s controversial bathroom bill, reports The Hill. The DoJ said the law is in violation of the federal Civil…Continue Reading

Lavender Graduations Harmful to Students at Catholic Colleges

At least eight Catholic colleges across the country are hosting “lavender graduations” this spring — many of them as part of an annual campus tradition — to celebrate and honor students with same-sex attraction (SSA) or who identify as lesbian,…Continue Reading

Newsmax

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  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 145 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 . . .

Commentary

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .      

Today . . .

Pope Francis: Perseverance in prayer needed, but not “magic wand”

pope908

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday said “prayer is not a magic wand.” He was speaking during his weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square. The Pope was discussing the Parable of the Unjust Judge – also known as the Parable of the Persistent Widow – from the Gospel of Luke. In the parable, the persistence of a widow forces the unjust judge to grant her request for justice, “so that she will not eventually…Continue Reading

Catholic College Presidents Hopeful for Resolution in HHS Mandate Challenge

The presidents of two Catholic colleges involved in the U.S.Supreme Court challenges to the HHS mandate applauded the Court’s recent decision to vacate all lower court rulings and expressed their hope that a positive resolution for religious freedom would soon be reached. “I am pleased that Supreme Court has offered us a way forward which doesn’t require us to participate in the provision of the services which – See more at: http://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/CatholicEducationDaily/DetailsPage/tabid/102/ArticleID/4914/Catholic-College-Presidents-Hopeful-for-Resolution-in-HHS-Mandate-Challenge.aspx#sthash.MOQCZdCV.dpuf

Pope Francis: Christians live God’s love with joy, astonishment

(Vatican Radio) No Christian can exist without joy: that’s what Pope Francis said in his Homily at Mass Monday morning in the chapel of the Santa Marta guesthouse. The Pope stressed that even through life’s difficulties, the Christian knows he can trust in Jesus and find hope. The Pope also reminded the faithful they should not allow riches to dominate their lives because they ultimately lead to sadness. Christians live in joy and amazement because…Continue Reading

Pope Angelus: The Holy Trinity, where there is love there is God

(Vatican Radio) “The feast of the Holy Trinity invites us to engage in the daily events to be the leaven of communion, of consolation and of mercy.” Those were Pope Francis’ words during his Angelus address on a sunny Trinity Sunday from his studio above St Peter’s Square. Drawing inspiration from the Gospel of St. John, the Pope said that Jesus knew how to be close to the realization of the Father’s plan, which will…Continue Reading

Pope emeritus: Third Secret of Fatima was released in full

popeben

(Vatican Radio) Pope emeritus Benedict XVI has said he never told anyone the publication of the “Third Secret of Fatima” in the year 2000 was incomplete, and confirmed the document was published in its totality. A Communiqué was published Saturday by the Holy See Press Office on various articles regarding the “Third Secret of Fatima.” “ Several articles have appeared recently, including declarations attributed to Professor Ingo Dollinger according to which Cardinal Ratzinger, after the…Continue Reading

Is Scarborough Shoal Worth A War?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN If China begins to reclaim and militarize Scarborough Shoal, says Philippines President Benigno S. Aquino III, America must fight. Should we back down, says Aquino, the United States will lose “its moral ascendancy, and also the confidence of one of its allies.” And what is Scarborough Shoal? A cluster of rocks…Continue Reading

Cicero In An Election Year

By JUDE P. DOUGHERTY In the midst of the turmoil that characterized the mid-decades of the last century, the English jurist Sir Patrick Devlin wrote, “If a society’s laws are based on a particular worldview and that worldview collapses, the laws themselves will crumble.” His 1965 book, The Enforcement of Morals, is still worth reading…Continue Reading

Eastern Orthodoxy And The Particular Judgment

By JAMES LIKOUDIS In previous articles (The Wanderer, July 3, 2014; June 25, 2015), it was observed that: “Perhaps to the surprise of some Catholic ecumenists, Catholic doctrine regarding the Particular Judgment remains obscure, confused, or even denied among the Eastern Orthodox. They have no clear official teaching that the just go to Heaven immediately…Continue Reading

Obama To Visit The Land Of State-Owned Enterprises

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSnews.com. Creators Syndicate provided this column. All rights reserved.) + + + President Barack Obama will visit Vietnam, which his own State Department last month certified is still controlled — four decades after the fall of Saigon — by the Communist Party.…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Why Should Pro-Lifers Be Concerned About Dissent?”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of the book Call to Action or Call to Apostasy, consisting of a detailed description of the current forms of dissent and how to fight them, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) +…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

God’s Prophet

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Tenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: 1 Kings 17:17-24 Gal. 1:11-14a, 15a, c, 16a, 17, 19 Luke 7:11-17 In the first reading today we hear about the death of the son of a widow with whom the Prophet Elijah stayed when he was passing through that region. The woman had been very good to…Continue Reading

Cardinal Mueller Reminds The Church Of Her Marriage Doctrine

By MAIKE HICKSON Part 2 (Editor’s Note: We are publishing this commentary from Gerhard Cardinal Mueller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as reported by Maike Hickson, in two parts. The first part appeared in last week’s issue. (OnePeterFive graciously gave The Wanderer reprint permission for this article. All rights reserved. See: www.onepeterfive.com/cardinal-muller-reminds-church-marriage-doctrine/. (Dr. Hickson, born…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Spiritual Exercises

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The way the human body physically works can teach us something about virtue and the way God’s grace works spiritually for each of us: We must use it to grow it. As I reminded our Life Teens and their families at Mass recently, if they slack off on physical exercise during the summer, come fall…Continue Reading

The Marvel Of The Catholic Church . . . One, Holy, Catholic, And Apostolic

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 1 After investigating the Inquisition, now we take a good look at the greatest marvel on this side of eternity: the Church founded by our Lord Jesus Christ, the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. To rule a country is not an easy job. That is why no head of state these days can…Continue Reading

The Seven Sacraments — Categories And Effects

By DON FIER Each of the seven sacraments, according to the infallible teaching of the Catholic Church, was personally instituted by Christ during His visible stay on Earth. As we saw last week, the details of institution for some — even the precise words for administration — are taken directly from Scripture. However, as Christoph Cardinal Schönborn states in Living…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Augustine Of Canterbury

By CAROLE BRESLIN A Celtic cross erected in 1884 marks the spot in Ebbsfleet, Thanet, East Kent, where St. Augustine of Canterbury is said to have landed in 597. While some form of Christianity in England may be traced back to the times of the Roman occupation, it did not become a strong presence until the arrival of St. Augustine,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Crispin Of Viterbo

By CAROLE BRESLIN In March 1986, Pope John Paul II visited the Basilica of Our Lady of the Vine (Oak) located in Tuscany, Italy, to proclaim our Lady patroness of the Diocese of Viterbo. The tradition of visiting the image of Our Lady of the Oak began 600 years ago in 1417 when Mastro Baptist Magnano Iuzzante commissioned an image…Continue Reading

COMPLETE 3 PART Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Insights On The State Of The Church In The Aftermath Of The Ordinary Synod On The Family

Cburke3

By DON FIER Part 1 (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, recently traveled from Rome to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., a magnificent place of worship which he founded and dedicated. (His Eminence graciously granted an extensive interview to The Wanderer during which he…Continue Reading