East-West, Rome’s Best!

VATICAN CITY (AP) — In an historic step to heal the 1,000-year schism that split Christianity, Pope Francis and the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church will meet in Cuba next week in an attempt to begin bridging the church’s East-West divide.   Keys of Peter

The Feb. 12 meeting between Francis and Patriarch Kirill was announced Friday by both churches. It will be the first-ever meeting between the leaders of the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church, which is the largest in Orthodoxy.

Francis is due to travel to Mexico Feb. 12-18. He will stop in Cuba on the way and meet with Kirill at the Havana airport, where they will speak privately for about two hours and then sign a joint declaration, the Vatican said.

“This event has extraordinary importance in the path of ecumenical relations and dialogue among Christian confessions,” said the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi.

The two churches split during the Great Schism of 1054 and have remained estranged over a host of issues, including the primacy of the pope and Russian Orthodox accusations that the Catholic Church is poaching converts in former Soviet lands.  Read more here

Comment

Well?  What do you think will be in the signed “Joint Declaration”? Apart, of course, from the inevitable apology to the Orthodox – that’s a given. The Catholic Church got it wrong at just about every point in history, so 1054 is unlikely to be the exception to what has become the “let’s bash the Catholic Church” rule. There’ll be the apology, there’ll be a statement of praise and thanks to God for all we can and should learn from the Orthodox (schisms are just perfect for fine-tuning Catholic doctrine) and.. well… what else? 

88 responses

  1. Editor,
    hmmm……Very interesting indeed. Could there possibly be Our Lady of Fatima implications on the near horizon? Or is it just another facet of the current ecumenical atmosphere? Food fo thought here!

    • As anything that happened at Fatima is not part of the deposit of faith, then commonsense says that it wouldn’t be mentioned ever in such circles. It is not relevant to the historic disagreements. Any loyal Catholic would just rejoice at the fact the quest for unity is progressing.

      • Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict, both said there was nothing in the Fatima message that contradicted the faith but that like all prophecies it was a warning message.

        • The apparitions would not be accepted if they contradict the faith, but that does not mean they are universally relevant. Further, a 1000 year old division might be more urgent.

          • Who alone can judge,

            I’m only half way through watching that fantastic video and so you can’t possibly have seen it through. If you had watched any of it, you wouldn’t have been able to stop. It contains quotes from the popes and incredible evidence. John Salza is a lawyer so trained not to be sloppy in his thinking.

            This just proves to me that, although I’ve tried to be charitable and give you the benefit of the doubt, I think you are a troll, not at all interested in the Catholic faith.

          • What an insult to Our Lady. So she came for no reason and without God’s permission.

            The Fatima haters are so arrogant!

          • WACJ

            Pope Pius XII said publicly: “The time for doubting Fatima is over, it is now time to act”.

            The pilgrim Virgin statue of Our Lady travelled the world during the 1950s and was welcomed by millions, including heads of State, who came to honour the Mother of God. In every place the great miracle of the doves was witnessed, except in Muslim lands.

            The miracle of the sun in 1917 was witnessed by more than 70,000 people. It was predicted to occur months in advance, the first time since Apostolic days that a miracle was foretold before it happened.

            Popes Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI have visited the shrine at Fatima and taken a personal interest in the Secret. The same Popes, particularly the latter two, spoke countless times on the importance of Fatima and its relation to present events. Benedict XVI spoke of the Third Secret as revealing a loss of faith in Europe. John Paul II made several consecration attempts to The Immaculate Heart of Mary, all insufficient of course, but nevertheless done.

            The same three Popes met numerous times with Sister Lucy and sent numberless representatives on their behalf to meet with her. John Paul II attributed the saving of his life to Our Lady of Fatima. Pope Francis even made a consecration of sorts immediately following his election to the papacy.

            At no time in history have so many popes paid so much attention to a Marian apparition. This is extremely significant. How can you possibly declare, then, that Fatima has nothing to do with ongoing events in the Church and in Russia? Surely you speak through a hole in yer heid!

            • So devotion equals definition now? I thought no dogma was defined unless it was explicitly said to be so. And what is Fatima but a call to return to Christ? Indeed, the ultimate fulfillment of all of the Fatima prophesies can be found in the sacred mysteries of the Eucharist, not merely some worldly event. What is Great Lent for but for this turning back to Christ?

            • Pope Pius XII also said “We have committed to the protection and guidance of heaven those who do not belong to the visible Body of the Catholic Church, solemnly declaring that after the example of the Good Shepherd We desire nothing more ardently than that they may have life and have it more abundantly….For even though by an unconscious desire and longing they have a certain relationship with the Mystical Body of the Redeemer, they still remain deprived of those many heavenly gifts and helps which can only be enjoyed in the Catholic Church.”

              How like the Protestant you are, picking and choosing the words of this and that to support your doctrines of men.

          • WACG

            At least you used the words “might be more urgent” but then again it might not be.

            Personally, I would think that an end to all the terrible happenings in the world today is far more urgent than ending a division of 1,000 years. Surely another few years, even another thousand, can wait.

      • WACJ

        I was thinking more “long term” actually – you know, like “NEAR HORIZON” and “FOOD FOR THOUGHT”

        You state that “commonsense says that it wouldn’t be mentioned ever in such circles.” You make a fair point, but since i’m not member of the diplomatic corps
        I plead ignorance as to what happens at such meetings!

        also “Any loyal Catholic would just rejoice at the fact the quest for unity is progressing.” Any loyal catholic would indeed, by prayer certainly, but not by the means condemned in MORTALIUM ANIMOS.

    • Gerontius, consider the venue. Consider the Kirill/Putin mention. Consider Pope Francis’s eager ‘I’ll go wherever you want. You call me and I’ll go’. (You tell me to jump. I’ll say “How high?”) Consider the absence of any mention of the crucial doctrinal differences that caused the Great Schism, and the reference instead to a modern squabble about Ukranian-rite proselytising (that ‘solemn nonsense’!) Last, but not least, consider that this thread, like the last, is going to be hi-jacked by that modernist troll WACJ who has nothing whatsoever to contribute (see following posts). Eileenanne’s suggestion is best so far, but, in view of what will assuredly happen, I think some bloggers will get fed up altogether 😞. Differences of opinion in discussion are stimulating and very instructive in the faith, given the breadth of knowledge and scholarship on this blog, but the sort of ‘discussion’ where one participant slogs doggedly away, ignoring all challenges to back up his wilder statements, is totally unproductive and unedifying.

      • the venue is chosen because they are both in the general area.

        And even Rorate Caeli has had to apologise for misleading its readers, and has asked for prayers and see it as hopeful

      • Christina

        Instead of suggesting I back things up, why not read for yourself every Vatican document, Papal and otherwise, publsihed since 1962. Plus, if you have heard of it, The Bible. Most Churhc teaching echoes, and accentuates, Holy Scripture.

        It is nonsense to expect someone like me to cite official documents, and Papal Teaching, etc readily available to you, and they, plus Tradition, and Holy Scripture, as they are my source.

        I don’t need to cite them bcause The One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church has presented them to you, and every other reader of this blog, for your enlightenment.

        You may choose to ignore them, or right them off, but it isn’t me that wrote them, and gave them to the World, but Jesus Christ, through His Church.

        I further don’t need to counter made up quotes, empty promises of parenthood, or taechings based on some obscure priest sermon for The Epiphany.

        • Apologies for the actaul typos Editor. At least you will lerarn to identify what a typo is.

          • And YOU, pal, are about to learn how to identify when your posts go into moderation. That’s a first phase in being blocked altogether. Your patronising attitude to Our Lady is bad enough, but to insult me as well- you’re really asking for trouble and you got it. Now, I advise you to go somewhere else to blog. We’ve had enough of your ignorance and arrogance. Not a nice combination.

        • Reference your reply to Christina,

          You don’t provide sources for your baloney because there ARE none. You’ve been making it up as you go along and it’s the end of the road for you now. Goodbye.

        • And you ditto every Vatican document, papal and otherwise, published before1962. Then compare and contrast and attempt to follow the thread of sacred tradition that leads straight back to the Apostles. Attempt, if you can, to divest yourself of the belief that the Church was founded in 1962.

        • WACJ

          “Most Church teaching echoes, and accentuates, Holy Scripture.”

          Ecumenism doesn’t and neither does religious liberty. If you disagree, prove it with official teaching or be silent and don’t embarrass yourself.

  2. Well wouldn’t it be good if the Pope told the Patriarch that he intends to do the Consecration of Russia! Just saying…

    • It would just cause offence as it is not part of the deposit of faith, and Christianity predates any request in a private revelation. As the disagreements are about matters of actual Churc teaching then it would be an irrelevant distraction.

      • *That should read “and Christianity in Russia predates any private revelation…..and “about matters of actaual Church teaching” (Please forgive the typos Editor!)

      • The fact that a miracle took place before 70,000 plus people on the spot and nearly another 20,000 several miles away who saw it, means that Fatima is not a private revelation but a public prophetic revelation.

        This video explains that really clearly:

        • I(t is claimed people saw a cosmic event related to a Private Revelation. No matter which way you look at it, the revelation was private.

          • WACJ

            No, the revelation was not private and the Popes by their very public belief in Fatima have taken it outside of the parameters of private revelation. Fatima is a message for the world, not revelation in the sense of new doctrine but confirmation of what is already revealed in Sacred Scripture. Sister Lucy spoke of the Third Secret as relating to what is revealed in Apocalypse chapters 8-13. So it is not private revelation, as you falsely claim.

            • “So it is not private revelation, as you falsely claim.” Actually, the distinction is important. Private Revelation is that which is not transmitted through the instruments of Divine Revelation. So though Fatima was something seen by many, is is still “private” revelation because it was not transmitted under the instruments of Divine Revelation. You guys appear to be arguing from different definitions. You are not wrong because it was a public revelation. He is not wrong because the Church still classifies it as private to distinguish it as Divine.

        • Margaret Mary,

          I agree that Fatima in not a private revelation but is very much a public revelation. Here is what Fr Gruner has to say about this matter.

          That 70,000 people and many who lived miles away from Fatima. The secular press were there and heaven knows how many were atheists.

          Another component of Fatima is Our Lady requested that Russia to be consecrated her Immaculate Heart. Now, that has not been done.

          https://www.fatima.org/essentials/facts/consecra.asp

          The Pope along with the Bishops must consecrate Russia on the same day. Pope John II in 1984 consecrated the world to her Immaculate Heart. That is not what Our Lady requested and Pope John Paul said acknowledged that he had not done what she asked.

          If, for example, within the Diocese where I live, the building of a Catholic Church was completed. The Archbishop would not stand up and say –
          “I must now consecrate the Diocese”. No! He consecrates the Church, because the Church is the object where the priest says the Mass, Sacraments of Baptism, Penance, etc.

          Russia is the object of the consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Our Lady. When that is done, only then we will see peace.

        • Margaret Mary,

          That’s a fabulous video. John Salza is a really good speaker, and he knows his stuff about Fatima. Thanks for posting that talk.

    • I’d love to see the patriarch’s face, if he did! Sometimes I wonder if Pope Francis is trying to get people “on side” ie become popular with the world, and then, when people least expect it, he will perform the consecration. it will be done, but we do not know the circumstances leading up to it; however I believe that the church will be on its knees before this happens, ie. the church and the world will be in a very dire situation, possibly faced with aniahilation.

        • They didn’t just announced it, they published the likely agenda.

          It is worthy news, and one we should pray about it.

          As they say, its not rocket science! Or as The Editor might say gerraaagrip.

    • Eileenanne

      What? You mean lock the gate after the horse has bolted? Now that wouldn’t be very wise, would it?

    • Eileenanne

      That’s a bit like saying let’s just wait and see what will happen once we put the wolf into the sheep pen. Let me just wipe off the 7′ high letters on the wall first and then replace my blindfold. Ahh, there we are. Waiting…..

      The suspense is not killing me.

  3. Note that Pope Francis is not invited to Russia to meet with Kirill. Leaders of the Russian Orthodox church, not to mention Presidents Gorbachev and Putin, have visited Rome on numerous occasions and met with the Pope in the Vatican. But the Pope never gets an invitation to visit Russia. Why is that?

    It is because the Russian Orthodox church is as hostile to Catholicism today as it has ever been. When Pope John Paul II beamed a live satellite message to Catholics in Russia back in the 1990s, the head of the Orthodox church in Moscow called it “an invasion of Russia”. Additionally, the Popes, from John XXIII onward, have avoided naming Russia as the object of their consecration attempts primarily because of Russian Orthodox objections to such a consecration. It should also be remembered that many, if not all, leaders of the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate were KGB operatives during the Cold War.

    There is only one way to settle the great schism and that is for the Pope to command his bishops to join with him in an act of public and solemn consecration of Russia to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart. She herself has told us that this is the only hope for Russia’s conversion and peace in the world. Why does Pope Francis, like his predecessors, think he knows better? Unity in diversity for Russian Orthodox is not remotely the same as their conversion to the true religion

    • Because Christ comes to the sinner where he is, not where he must be. And indeed, what is this ‘consecration’ for if not to bring together the sundered Body of Christ?

  4. Yet again, the Pope is perpetuating the errors of religious indifferentism and relativism by meeting with the Patriarch of Moscow. Has he forgotten that the Catholic Church was crushed in Communist Eastern Europe? Has he forgotten that the leading figures of Orthodoxy aided and abetted the Atheistic Communists in attempting the destroy the Catholic Church in the countries forcibly brought under Stalinist subjugation, especially in the Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, Croatia where noble Cardinals such +Slipyj, +Wyszynski, +Mindszenty and +Stepinac were imprisoned, tortured and where thousands of Priests, Religious and Laity were executed? This is another ecumenical abomination, where the Pope will compromise Catholic doctrine before the schismatic Patriarch Kirill.

    I just cannot believe that WACJ would say that Fatima was not public and prophetic. Amazing! Have you never read Fr Gruner’s materials? The Miracle of the Sun was witnessed by 70,000 people, including journalists from ‘O Dia’ and ‘O Seculo’, which were both secular, pro-Government and anti-Catholic newspapers. It was also witnessed by Dr. Almeida Garrett, professor at the Faculty of Sciences in Coimbra. You can read his account here:

    http://www.fatima.org/essentials/facts/miracle.asp

    Likewise, what Our Lady prophesied in the Second Secret has come to fruition. In the Second Secret, Our Lady said- ‘To save them [poor sinners who are on the road to hell], God wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end; but if people do not cease offending God, a worse war will break out during the reign of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that He is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions against the Church and against the Holy Father. To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. If My requests are heeded, Russia will be converted and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions against the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated’.

    Our Lady prophesied the Second World War, the successor of Benedict XV (the Pope at the time of the apparitions) and the facts that if the consecration did happen, Russia would be converted and there would be world peace, but if the consecration did NOT happen, then Russia would spread its errors and there would be wars and persecutions. The consecration never happened and Russia did spread its errors worldwide (Communism) and there has been almost continual war throughout the 20th-21st centuries. If you think that is ‘private’ then Gerragrip!!

    As for your support for unity, I refer you to Mortalium Animos: “Such attempts can nowise be approved by Catholics, founded as they are on that false opinion which considers all religions to be more or less good and praiseworthy, since they all in different ways manifest and signify that sense which is inborn in us all, and by which we are led to God and to the obedient acknowledgment of His rule. Not only are those who hold this opinion in error and deceived, but also in distorting the idea of true religion they reject it, and little by little, turn aside to naturalism and atheism, as it is called; from which it clearly follows that one who supports those who hold these theories and attempt to realize them, is altogether abandoning the divinely revealed religion.”

    True ecumenism can be found in Catholic Tradition, not modernist compromise, as Pius IX stated in Quanto Conficiamur Moerore: “But God forbid that the sons of the Catholic Church ever in any way be hostile to those who are not joined with us in the same bonds of faith and love; but rather they should always be zealous to seek them out and aid them, whether poor, or sick, or afflicted with any other burdens, with all the offices of Christian charity; and they should especially endeavour to snatch them from the darkness of error in which they unhappily lie, and lead them back to Catholic truth and to the most loving Mother the Church, who never ceases to stretch out her maternal hands lovingly to them, and to call them back to her bosom so that, established and firm in faith, hope, and charity, and ‘being fruitful in every good work’ [Colossians 1:10], they may attain eternal salvation.”

    • CC

      Well said.

      People like the cardinals you mention though are now considered an embarrassment to the Church, according to a speech made by a Vatican rep.
      In China a couple of weeks ago.

    • And where has the Church compromised? Where has the Church gone the way of the Anglicans and allowed women bishops or the Methodists and made Christology a nonissue?

      If the Pope was really violating Mortalium Animos, would he have not renounced the Primacy of the Pope in such a way to please the Russian patriarch? And he did not. Further, the only concessions Rome made to the Eastern churches were that we could govern ourselves liturgically and canonically, provided the Pope alone was the final appeal.

      So where is this compromise to the Russian patriarch? In the name of Christ Jesus, I call you out brother to give testimony to the allegations you lay against our Supreme Pontiff or here publicly recant them lest you fall into the sin of slander.

      • Mastersamwise

        The Church has not compromised. The Popes and bishops since Vatican II have. The teaching, despite their colourful interpretation, remains the same, e.g. ‘Outside the Church no salvation’.

          • Mastersamwise

            “Did Pope Pius IX compromise in Quanto Conficiamur Moerore?”

            No, you’re quoting it out of context with all the other teaching concerning the absolute neccesity of belonging to the Catholic Church for salvation. Those invincible ignorance cases you refer to, while not being physical members of the true Church in life, nevertheless were united to her in spirit. A lot of boxes would have to be ticked to guarantee this for individuals, it’s not a free for all.

            • Ok, let me break this down: what is the first thing necessary to be initiated into the Catholic Church? Baptism. What do you do when someone is Baptized outside the visible Catholic Church by one with valid authority to do so?

              • Baptism, as you well know, is not sufficient in itself to guarantee salvation. There is the obligation to seek the truth and embrace it following baptism. Invincible ignorance as a means of salvation, given the very strict requirements to meet the criteria, must be considered rare indeed. The general way of salvation is by membership of the Catholic Church.

                • “Baptism, as you well know, is not sufficient in itself to guarantee salvation.” So if someone dies after being baptized, they go to hell? Sorry, that was a bit flippant.

                  But none of this answers my quesiton. What do you do with someone who has been given the gift of Faith in Holy Baptism? You keep talking about invincible ignorance and I am still trying to get from you what happens when someone is baptized validly outside the visible Church?

                  • “So if someone dies after being baptized, they go to hell? Sorry, that was a bit flippant.”

                    No, if someone dies having lived a life since baptism deliberately not seeking the truth as all with intellect, means and opportunity are duty bound to do, then that baptised person will go to Hell. Those who receive baptism and die immediately or soon after without having committed actual sin will go straight to heaven. I’m sure even you can spot the difference between the two types.

                    • You still don’t seem to understand the question. To what church does the person validly baptized belong to?

            • No one is advocating universal salvation. Instead, it is recognizing that others have been baptizing validly and we need to know where they fit.

              • All we need to know is that generally speaking they cannot be saved outside the Catholic Church. Whatever rarer cases of invincible ignorance there are in this respect we leave to the mercy of God. We can never, ever fail to proselytise our non-Catholic neighbour under the pretext that they may be saved by invincible ignorance. The Church says generally no, that is not the case for the majority.

                • “Through the waters of Baptism those who are born into this world dead in sin are not only born again and made members of the Church, but being stamped with a spiritual seal they become able and fit to receive the other Sacraments.” – Mystici Corporis Christi

                  I am not debating invincible ignorance and neither was Vatican II. We are talking about what happens to those baptized outside the visible Church.

                  • “Through the waters of Baptism those who are born into this world dead in sin are not only born again and made members of the Church, but being stamped with a spiritual seal they become able and fit to receive the other Sacraments.” – Mystici Corporis Christi

                    Yes, they are able to receive the other Sacraments. But they must receive them from their true source, which is the Catholic Church. It was in this context that Pius XII was writing, as you well know.

                    • And what happens when you have a validly ordained priest with a valid anaphora consecrating the Eucharist but the priest it outside the visible union of the Church?

        • And what is Vatican II’s subsistit in but a continuation of Pope Pius XII’s teach in Mystici Corporis?

          • No, it is not a continuation of what Pius XII teaches in Mystici Corporis, but rather the very opposite of what he teaches. The Catholic Church has the fulness of truth, says Pius. Subsistit inindicates only partial truth and therefore contradicts not only pius and ever other pre-Council Pope, but also the infallible dogma ‘outside the Church no salvation’.

            • No, subsistit indicates that the Catholic Church is the place where Christ’s Church has its existence, even though there be valid elements outside of it. When you say something subsists, it is the source of something. The Catholic Church not just the fullness of Truth, it is where Truth itself resides or subsists. If anything, it is an even stronger statement than previous ones because though it recognizes the validity of sacraments elsewhere, it reaffirms that the Catholic Church is where the Church of Christ has its very existence and subsistence. Indeed, it is further saying that these other places where valid sacraments can be found are only capable of being because of the Catholic Church. You really should brush up on your Latin. And probably read the Responsa Quaestiones.
              http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20070629_responsa-quaestiones_en.html

              Consider the SSPX. Canonically, they have no status. Sacramentally, they administer valid sacraments. Their bishops were validly consecrated but illicitly as they were consecrated without the assent of Rome. Now, SSPX priest have been given Holy Orders but they are not in union with the visible Church since they are not in unity with the Bishop of Rome. How then do we understand them? They are outside of the visible communion of the Catholic Church but retain elements of Salvation i.e. the Sacraments.

              • I wondered when you would get to the SSPX with the excommunication thing. I deliberately didn’t mention it earlier because I knew what you were up to. The SSPX is not the same as a heretical and schismatic sect. I have not the slightest intention of going through it again with you, as I have so many countless times under your other troll names.

                As for “Subsistit in”. This was so ambiguous a statement in Lumen Gentium that the CDF was forced to clarify it, so don’t pretend it is doctrinally stronger than the teaching of the Popes before Vatican II.

                The line from the document in question is that “the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church”. Pre-Vatican II teaching is that “The Church of Christ IS the Catholic Church.

                The “subsistit in” of Vatican II, then, was to permit the possibility that the Church of Christ may also be found elsewhere than the Catholic Church. That opened the door to ecumenism. Any valid elements that Protestantism retains, such as the Sacrament of baptism, are only valid because they are Catholic elements that were kept by the heresiarchs and schismatics when they broke from Christ’s true Church. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work that one out. It’s as obvious as the fact that you are the same troll who has been perstering this blog under different names for quite some time. What drives this fanaticism of yours?

                • “The SSPX is not the same as a heretical and schismatic sect.” Canonically speaking, the founders committed a schismatic act that, under canon law, was actually schism but that is another matter. I used it as because I figured it was a situation you were more familiar with than the Catholic/Orthodox split and the process of reintegration of the Eastern churches over the years.

                  The analogy remains, however, because they have no canonical status making their Sacraments technically illicit, though sacramentally valid. This poses a problem since they are actually outside the Church as they are not in unity with the Bishop of Rome. So when a person gets baptized by an SSPX priest, what happens to them? Are they not saved as Christ promised or are they? And how if the SSPX are outside the Church?

                  It is only ambiguous to people who’s only interaction with Latin are the words they parrot back in their liturgies. The CDF clarified because they were asked, not because there was some deficiency. That is a huge implication on your part.

                  “… was to permit the possibility that the Church of Christ may also be found elsewhere than the Catholic Church.” Actually, no, that doesn’t bear out in the text at all. When something subsists in something, it means that the thing has its being in that place. Both an examination of the Latin and even the English bear this out. It could only be otherwise to people who understand neither.

                  “Any valid elements that Protestantism retains, such as the Sacrament of baptism, are only valid because they are Catholic elements that were kept by the heresiarchs and schismatics when they broke from Christ’s true Church.” Which is exactly what Lumen Gentium argues. Subsist, in Latin, means “to stand firm.” So a literal translation would be that “the Church of Christ stand firm in the Catholic Church.” I am not sure if you can figure a way to stand firm in any other place but where you are standing, but Vatican II clearly writes where the Church of Christ is: in the Catholic Church.

                  What is striking is that this document was not received well with many outside the Church as it was seen by some to imply that nothing in their religions mattered except what was Catholic. These proved to be the more erudite as many of the more enthused found out later that the Catholics, seeming so smiley and compromising, used those points of unity as double edged swords in ecumenical dialogues. The Orthodox found this out when the Orthodox/Catholic Theological Commission began with talks on the Eucharist and then ended resolving Filioque.

                  “It’s as obvious as the fact that you are the same troll who has been perstering this blog under different names for quite some time.” Well, we’ve had this conversation before. I recall you accused me of the same thing a while back. You must not remember or don’t care to.

                  • No, Canonically speaking, if you include the other parts of Canon Law appropriate in this case, the Church provides for such an eventuality as Archbishop Lefebvre found himself confronted with. Furthermore, Canon Law even stipulates that if a prelate takes the action Archbishop Lefebvre took, even if he is mistaken in his estimation of the seriousness of the crisis, which of course the Archbishop was not, then the Church nullifies any punishment due to the act. That’s what made John Paul’s 1988 action not only illicit, but abusive of power.

                    The Church does not use Canon Law after the manner of the Pharisees. She uses it for justice’ sake. It is at the service of the faith, not the other way around. No honest person would ever accuse Archbishop Lefebvre of acting wickedly against communion with the Pope and the Church. Remember, he was the one trying to defend the faith of the Church when the pope was at Assisi permitting Buddhists to worship their false deity atop a tabernacle and other pagans to ritually slaughter chickens on a Catholic altar. Come on, are you for real?

                    • “the Church provides for such an eventuality as Archbishop Lefebvre found himself confronted with.” That is a matter for the Rota, not us. In any case, the CDF says they have no canonical status and since they are the valid authorities in this case, we must follow their judgement. For what is the great virtue of the laity but obedience?

                      REGARDLESS of their status, they are outside the Church. This you cannot deny because they are not in union with the Bishop of Rome. This, again, makes the analogy apt. What can we say about their sacraments when they are outside of the visible Church?

  5. I agree that the only hope for the reconciliation of the Catholic Church and the Orthodox churches lies in the Consecration of Russia as requested by our Lady at Fatima. Even a brief overview of the thousand-year history of the Great Schism shows that the theological differences are vast, and I believe irreconcilable without supernatural intervention. Our Blessed Lady will certainly have to convince Orthodox minds of the truth of the doctrine of her Immaculate Conception for a start, as they deny this in spite of the great reverence and love they bear her as Theotokos. If Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirrill cobble together some ecumenical hotch-potch, we may be sure that the Orthodox faithful will reject it, as they have rejected previous attempts, even if the Catholic ‘faithful’ softened up by 50 years of post-Conciliar rot will not.

  6. Editor,

    (Thank you for your action regarding the troll).

    I’d guess that this meeting and the resulting document, which apparently has already been drawn up in advance, is purely political, i.e. yet another of the endless ostpolitik substitutes for the Consecration that have been engaged in with complete and utter futility by the Vatican since the Vatican-Moscow Agreement before VII. More useless “dialogue,” more surrender, more scourging of Our Lord, more eclipse of the Faith – all justified by a delusional path to “unity.” Yes, all those modernist popes and prelates continue to think they know better than Our Lady.

    That linked article provides the key to the fruitlessness of this meeting: “”Even if they are not agreeing on everything, they are engaging in respectful dialogue – which is in short supply in our world.”

    But as if that wasn’t bad enough, it is yet another public blow – Francis’ specialty – to the dignity and preeminence of the Catholic Church, since this meeting will take place on Communist soil, be presided over by a Communist dictator, and, in fact, the person he is meeting with is suspected of either being a former KGB agent or with links to the KGB. Google “Patriarch Krill KGB” and you’ll see what I mean.

    Finally, and I’m only being half glib, I think what the world also needs at this moment is the Consecration of Pope Francis to the Immaculate Heart….

  7. RCA Victor

    Would Pope Francis be able to do that consecration himself or would they be looking for volunteers?

    I’m sure I could find a few minutes to help out if required.

  8. It is perhaps just as well few ROC believers are ever likely to see the fine old collection of anti-Russian and anti-Orthodox bigotry so far assembled here – any westerner who has ever lived and worked among the Orthodox discovers they suspect that Latins (and they see no enormous difference between Roman schismatics and Reformed schismatics) are, one and all, the perfidious enemy of Catholic and Orthodox worshippers.

    The forthcoming meeting, which has long been in preparation, is a major breakthrough. The ground work has been laid by a long series of exchanges between Rome and Constantinople, traditionally around 30 November, the Feast of the Holy and Glorious Apostle Andrew, the First-Called, and also Feast Day of the Chair of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Holy and Great Church of Christ in Constantinople/New Rome. Liturgical propers start with the feast of the First-Called and Scotland’s medieval “Declaration of Independence” catches exactly this idea of the First-Called: Scotland was converted by his intercessions: per suum primum apostolum vocacione … sanctum Andream mitissimum beati Petri Germanum. As well as the Scottish Church, the First-Called is also patron of Holy Russia, where he is supposed to have preached near Kiev.

    After a millennium of estrangements, the first mover in modern times was St John XXIII, whose long “banishment” by his careerist clerical enemies gave him many years of experience among the Orthodox. He was thus able to get the process moving with Constantinople, a place he knew well and remembered living “under the same skies” with peoples of different traditions. In choosing Francis I, the cardinal electors of the Roman Church were aware that he too had, like his great predecessor in Aggiornamento, experience of the Orthodox, although this time in the New World diaspora.

    John, one of the few western prelates to have held a patriarchal title, discerned the process as one of fraternal exchanges – as between Andrew and Peter – and saw the need for a first meeting to be on neutral ground. He was called to his reward before he could see the earthly Jerusalem but his successor went there for the first meeting with his All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch. Most recently, following his own enthronement on the Apostolic Chair of Saints Peter and Paul, Francis visited His All-Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch on St Andrews Day, 2014. This has clearly allowed Constantinople to help arrange things for her own daughter-church, the Patriarchate of Moscow and All Rus – the Third Rome meeting the First.

    The election of a Polish Pope of Rome was a major setback, as was his countenancing of anti-Russian and anti-Orthodox activities, especially among Ukrainian Uniates, a body first established by Polish invaders, in territory which again saw much bloodshed during the Great Patriotic War. The choice of a former member of the Hitlerjugend his successor was also somewhat unwelcome among Russians. But the Sacred Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church never lost hope of a meeting. Since his Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus will be re-visiting Cuba’s Church of Saints Constantine and Helena Equal-to-the-Apostles at the same time as the Bishop of Rome will also be in Latin America, and given the desperate situation of Eastern, Orthodox and Latin Christians in the Middle East, a meeting between their Holinesses has been arranged, again on neutral ground. His Holiness the Patriarch felt that meeting His Holiness in the New World and in a Spanish-speaking county would be especially appropriate for this new beginning among the great apostolic sees.

    We can hope the meeting will establish better fraternal relations, as between Andrew and Peter, and once movement can be achieved by their Holinesses, it will be possible for other autocephalous churches to improve relations. Rome and Moscow are the largest of all the Christian Churches and their meeting may perhaps spill over into others – the primate emeritus of All England is a Russian-speaker, and Metropolitan Hilarion studied in England. Nobody supposes some past actions of Polish hierarchs or Ukrainian unites were at all helpful but fences can be mended and the situation in the Middle East is desperate indeed.

    And so, sourpusses one and all, rejoice in some good news from their Holinesses: per primum apostolum vocacione sanctum Andream mitissimum beati Petri Germanum.

    • John Dowden,

      “any westerner who has ever lived and worked among the Orthodox discovers they suspect that Latins (and they see no enormous difference between Roman schismatics and Reformed schismatics)”

      I think they must be pretty unthinking if they don’t understand the word “schism” – the Catholic Church isn’t in schism from the Orthodox! We were here first! The Orthodox schism is well know and the Protestant Reformation schism is also well known. As GK Chesterton wrote about the Catholic Church when he was still an Anglican, “the wild truth reeling but erect” – in other words, the Catholic Church remains the one, true, Church of Christ, despite all the assaults on her and the schisms from the beginning.

      I apologise for not having the time to read the rest of your comment, so if you corrected this glaring error later, I’m sorry!

      • Margaret Mary

        Do you really think you are entirely right inside your own little bubble and that the rest of the world is as stupid as it is wicked in refusing to agree immediately with you once told your truth? Unthinking fools!

        The Orthodox do not accept that they are the schismatics: the breach was (as a matter of historical fact) mutual. I don’t know if you actually accept the authority of Rome (rather than Écône) but, in the Havana document Moscow has only just released, their Holinesses say they are both hurt by the loss of unity, which they say is the outcome of human weakness and of sin (следствием человеческой слабости и греховности) and exists despite Christ’s prayer for unity (Да будут все едино).

        The modern process of reunification started long ago when young Dr G.A. Roncalli was banished by the poisonous clerical intrigues stirred up by Pius X. He got on quietly with his research in the history of Reformation (soon to be celebrated by his successor) and lived among the Orthodox. Now this exile is bearing fruit. First was with Constantinople, the New Rome, and now with Moscow, the Third Rome. Bishop Francis has now repudiated any attempt at proselytising amongst the Orthodox faithful and repudiated also the “Uniate” method. As I say, it may be that you do not, as a matter of fact, follow the declarations of the Holy Roman Church (and prefer other shepherds) but Rome has, entirely, abandoned attacks on the Orthodox (never an Anglican vice) and I really would suggest you think about the Havana Declaration,

        There is much that is positive in Orthodoxy; something St John XXIII discovered in the Old World in Istanbul and that Bishop Francis himself encountered in the New, in the Orthodox diaspora in Buenos Aires. At their Havana meeting their Holinesses express their joy at the understandings which has characterised their meeting (Исполненные благодарности за дар взаимопонимания, явленный на нашей встрече).

        They suggest rejoicing in a common prayer: Богородице Дево, something very expressive for those who worship as, or occasionally with, believers in the Catholic and Orthodox faith:

        http://www.hamburg-hram.de/molitvy/bogoroditse-deva-raduysya/9.html

        • Dowden

          The Catholic Church founded by Our Lord has never lacked unity, nor can it ever lack unity. It is His Mystical Body. Those who have broken from that Mystical Body have separated themsleves from unity in Jesus Christ, like dead or dying branches severed from the true vine. So tragic a reality does not, however, affect the unity of the Mystical Body, Christ’s Church on earth, wherein those who remain form the same body of believers. Consequently, it is a very grave error to pursue false ecumenism under the pretext of fulfilling Our Lord’s prayer “that they may all be one”. For this prayer of Our Lord was meant for those united with Him in the Church He founded with the Vicar He chose on earth to feed His sheep and lambs. The Popes pre-Vatican II pointed this out many times in their writings, exposing the great lie that heretical and schismatic sects were living members of Christ’s Mystical Body. They will only live again supernaturally when they return to the Father’s House from which their ancestors faithlessly departed.

          As for those non-Catholis who consistently bewail the lack of unity amongst Christians, you will never find their laments extending to a return to obedience to the See of Peter. No, they want Peter to come to them and compromise the truth for the sake of a false unity, a unity in diversity. But God is not a God of disorder, of different truths and different ways to heaven. There is only one faith, one Church and one baptism. Any other Gospel is false and from the devil.

    • Dowden

      The forthcoming meeting is not “a major breakthrough”, it’s a sideshow.

      It is principally arranged to discuss, so we are told, the Christian refugee crisis in the Middle East. It will not take place on Russian soil, since the Pope is not welcome there, and there are no plans to debate doctrinal differences between the Catholic Church and Russian Orthodoxy. So what can be achieved by such a brief get-together in Cuba?

      Well, all I will say is that Pope Francis will have to be extremely careful here. During the Cold War the hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox church was entirely owned by the KGB, and with relations worsening between the Russians and the US/EU alliance over Syria, this meeting may just contain an element of information gathering. I could be wrong but the Russian Orthodox Patriarch has not exactly inspired good will with his, and his predecessors, continued refusal to extend an invitation to the Pope to visit Russia. That for me is fairly telling.

  9. Athanasius

    It may be that, as you say, that the meeting “is not ‘a major breakthrough’, it’s a sideshow”. I accept that “sideshow” may be the line which is being handed down to you from Écône. But, for those of us who follow the lead of bishops ordained in accordance with mandates of the Holy Roman See, the Patriarchate of Moscow and All Rus’ or, indeed, our own dear Queen and Governor, things seem rather different. What may be a “sideshow” to bishops in (if not quite of) Écône seems rather different to the wider world: Securus judicat orbis terrarum.

    Athanasius says it is a sideshow, but on the other hand the document just released by the Moscow Patriarchate, says that Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and Francis, Bishop of Rome think that their meeting (the first ever between the leaders of the Russian and Roman Churches) is indeed historic (первую в истории). Athanasius has spoken, Kirill and Francis have spoken: who am I to judge (but at least I try to keep the translations honest).

    I suggested that the first meeting was being held deliberately on neutral ground and that the Patriarch felt the new world particularly appropriate: you (and presumably Écône) saw a telling refusal of a meeting on Russian soil, where Francis was unwelcome. It turns out their holinesses did indeed welcome the opportunity to discuss things away from the dispute of the Old Word (Встретившись вдали от старых споров «Старого света»). But, no doubt their Holinesses are wrong and Athanasius is right yet again.

    I did also venture to suggest that the purpose, as with the Rome-Constantinople meetings initiated on neutral ground, was to move to better fraternal relations but no, the Athanasian creed is that it is principally arranged to discuss the Christian refugee crisis in the Middle East”. That is the pretext Kirill needed (believe or not he has to look over his shoulder at a bayig mob of rabid traditionalists) so the Middle East crisis is fully dealt with but the great bulk of the document addresses other issues.

    The declaration actually includes not just the middle east but the need for interfaith dialogue (необходим межрелигиозный диалог), the high values of religious freedom (Свидетельствуя о высокой ценности религиозной свободы), praise for the unprecedented resurgence of Christian faith now going on in Russia (за беспрецедентное возрождение христианской веры, которое происходит ныне в России), concern for those living in want and poverty (нужды и бедности) and for the millions of migrants and refugees (мигрантов и беженцев), now beating at rich Europe’s doors.

    One major issue, which some though might be raised by the Orthodox, the Uniates, has unexpectedly been resolved. Their Holinesses are agreed that respect for other Christian bodies precludes any sort of proselytism (уважение членов христианских общин, исключает любые формы прозелитизма). In particular, the Uniate method (метод «униатизма») is repudiated: since this trick of deliberate sheep stealing was not initiated by Moscow, Rome is thus recognising the error of its ways.

    In conclusion, their Holinesses (neither of them young men) look to the day when the separated churches are brought together, in God’s good time (в Богом определенное время были собраны).
    In these circumstances, sectarian abuse of Holy Russia is entirely misplaced and the utter nonsense that Russia needs “conversion” needs to be given up once and for all – it was not worth a mention in the document.

    The theme is pretty well that of the good old hymn, “Ye fearful saints, your courage take”: малое стадо!

    The Havana message tells us Афанасий это глупая колбаса: roughly translated, Rejoice, ye sourpusses one and all.

    • Dowden,

      I stopped reading your reply to Athanasius at the third mention of Écône, a location which was not mentioned by Athanasius at all and so we can make no sense of your comment.

      You don’t have the truth on your side and so you resort to playing silly beggars. Gerragrip.

      PS for new readers and lurkers, Dowden is an Anglican and does not understand that the Catholic Church is very different. Don’t judge him too harshly – just bear in mind that the problem with his commentary here is that…well… not to put too fine a point on it, he hasn’t got the proverbial clue!

      • Editor

        Just watch what you say to Dowden in case you chase him/her away.

        Where would we then get our laughs from?

    • Dowden

      The joint daclaration says all that needs saying. It begins very well with an upholding of the Moral teaching of the Church on the family, but then descends into great theological error that nullifes any good it may otherwise have achieved.

      The error in question is the part where proselytism is condemend and forbidden, with no little ‘hands off ours’ warning from the Russian Orthodox cleverly included. In other words, they are saying that there is no one true Christianity, that the Protestant and Orthodox professions are just as salvific as the Catholic religion, which of course is false. The infallible dogma is that outside the Church there is no salvation. That truth cannot be altered because it is a divine truth, no matter how apparently genuine these ecumenical prelates may appear to be. It seems they have allowed their worldly concerns to blind them to supernatural reality!

      • You reply is indicative of nearly a thousand years of ignorance. As someone who’s church suffered cruelly at the hands of Latinizers and even an unruly Pope–Patriarch Gregorios II is a good and holy example of the “resisting Peter” that Paul relates–I have to say that you ignore the reality of the Sacraments.

        Contrary to what you may believe, excommunication does not invalidate the administering of the Sacraments. So even though the Church broke in two, both halves had valid apostolic succession and therefore valid orders. This differs from the Anglicans who, though they had valid orders, erred in their invalid ordination of women. So how do you reconcile the fact that these Orthodox priests are validly ordained and administering valid sacraments? It was resolved during the Donatist controversy that the interior life of the person did not affect the validity of the sacrament provided the form and matter was correct. Well, Pope Pius IX gives a bit of wisdom on it, though I have little love for him.

        “There are, of course, those who are struggling with invincible ignorance about our most holy religion. Sincerely observing the natural law and its precepts inscribed by God on all hearts and ready to obey God, they live honest lives and are able to attain eternal life by the efficacious virtue of divine light and grace since God who clearly beholds, searches, and knows the minds, souls, thoughts, and habits of all men, because of His great goodness and mercy, will by no means suffer anyone to be punished with eternal torment who has not the guilt of deliberate sin….God forbid that the children of the Catholic Church should even in any way be unfriendly to those who are not at all united to us by the same bonds of faith and love. On the contrary, let them be eager always to attend to their needs with all the kind services of Christian charity, whether they are poor or sick or suffering any other kind of visitation. First of all, let them rescue them from the darkness of the errors into which they have unhappily fallen and strive to guide them back to Catholic truth and to their most loving Mother who is ever holding out her maternal arms to receive them lovingly back into her fold. Thus, firmly founded in faith, hope, and charity and fruitful in every good work, they will gain eternal salvation.”

        Also, Pope Pius XII condemned Feeneyism and its errors which is probably why he said that the people in question are in a “state in which they cannot be sure of their salvation. For even though by an unconscious desire and longing they have a certain relationship with the Mystical Body of the Redeemer, they still remain deprived of those many heavenly gifts and helps which can only be enjoyed in the Catholic Church”

        There is not, so far, a Russian Catholic Church and I don’t think there should be. With five claimants on the See of Antioch, we don’t need more bishops of Moscow. Rather, it is better to show the fact that there are no theological differences between Russians and Romans and work for the day that Moscow can follow Antioch and Alexandria.

        • Mastersamwise

          “This differs from the Anglicans who, though they had valid orders, erred in their invalid ordination of women” – please see 1998 DOCTRINAL COMMENTARY ON THE CONCLUDING FORMULA OF THE PROFESSIO FIDEI, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, section 11:- “With regard to those truths connected to revelation by historical necessity and which are to be held definitively, but are not able to be declared as divinely revealed, the following examples can be given: the legitimacy of the election of the Supreme Pontiff or of the celebration of an ecumenical council, the canonizations of saints (dogmatic facts), the declaration of Pope Leo XIII in the Apostolic Letter Apostolicae Curae on the invalidity of Anglican ordinations …” https://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/CDFADTU.HTM

  10. Mastersamwise

    “Contrary to what you may believe, excommunication does not invalidate the administering of the Sacraments.”

    This is not a full and proper statement. Excommunication makes administration of the Sacraments illicit unless a soul is in danger of death and does not adhere to the heresy or schism of the one excommunicated. Otherwise, the faithful are forbidden to receive the Sacraments from excommunicated priests.

    “So even though the Church broke in two, both halves had valid apostolic succession and therefore valid orders. This differs from the Anglicans who, though they had valid orders, erred in their invalid ordination of women.”

    Again, this is wrong in part. The Orthodox may have kept valid orders by maintaining the Apostolic Succession, but Anglicans lost that succession a long time ago and it had nothing to do with women being ordained. Read Leo XIII’s Encyclical Apostolicae Curae of 1896.

    “So how do you reconcile the fact that these Orthodox priests are validly ordained and administering valid sacraments?”

    You mean validly but illicitly ordained adminstering valid but illicit Sacraments? This is the teaching of the Catholic Church.

    “It was resolved during the Donatist controversy that the interior life of the person did not affect the validity of the sacrament provided the form and matter was correct.”

    No, together with matter and form the intention of the priest to do what the Church intends is absolutely essential to the validity of the consecration. This is very basic Catholic teaching.

    “There is not, so far, a Russian Catholic Church and I don’t think there should be.”

    Yes, the Catholic Church is present in Russia as in most other parts of the world. The Russian Orthodox is not part of it, however, since it steadfastly refuses the primacy of the Successor of St. Peter.

    I assume from your quotations of Pius XI and Pius XII that you are attempting to extend invincible ignorance beyond its very limited parameters to something akin to universal salvation, at least for all who call themselves Christian. This was never the teaching of the Church or of the Popes you quote out of context. Feeneyism was denounced by Pius XII because it rejects all hope of salvation for those not actually baptised with water. It rejects, for example, baptism of blood and desire, thereby restricting the mercy of God. But this condemnation of Pius XII should not be read as asserting good hope of salvation for all those who are not at all in the one true Church. Just so long as you are aware of this very important qualification.

    Finally, let it be understood that there are very grave and serious theological errors present in Orthodoxy, not least a rejection of the Catholic doctrine that Christ proceeds from the Father and the Holy Ghost. Together with a rejection of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff, it is not difficult to understand why the excommunication of the Russian Orthodox originally took place.

%d bloggers like this: