CWR: Most Catholics probably envision future unity between the Orthodox Churches and the Catholic Church as a re-installment of one world Church organization with the pope of Rome at the top of the governing pyramid. A look at history shows that such a model never existed, so what could Orthodox-Catholic communion actually look like if it were achieved? A renewal of Eucharistic communion? The possibility of an eighth ecumenical council? A resolution for the dating of Pascha/Easter?
[Considering that Peter was the earthly head of the church with the Keys to loose and bind the heavens and the Earth and acted on this commission throughout scripture and the sacred history of the Church, yeah I do expect that there is a singular head, a visible sign of unity which Peter is. To say that such a model never existed where the Bishop of Rome didn’t in fact hold primacy over all the other Bishops is to blatantly disregard history, one need only read Clement, Leo and the Early councils and Popes and see that Popes where not merely first among equals, but the rock of the faith. The difference rests in the application of the office not in the actual understanding of the office, that is solemly defined by Vatican One under infallible decree, to deny that Peter is the visable head of the church is not merely to be sismatic, but to be heretical because as Catholics we must profess all the decrees handed down. The Orthodox might claim it wasn’t solemnly proclaimed when they split so they might say they are only systematic, but denying truth is to be in error, thus hertetical. Heaven knows what we don’t need now is another ecumenical council when the vaugness, and yes Mr. Mira the Vatican II documents are vague if they weren’t they wouldn’t require a strict hermanutic of continuity (see trent and Vatican I documents then compare). The dating of the Pascal feast is another issue, see the link below for information on this: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05228a.htm]
Taft: What it would look like is not a “reunion” with them “returning to Rome,” to which they never belonged anyway [considering that there is One Church with Peter as its head, and this is clearly seen in scripture and in the History of the Church from the beginning this is a false statement] ; nor us being incorporated by them, since we are all ancient apostolic “Sister Churches” with a valid episcopate and priesthood and the full panoply of sacraments needed to minister salvation to our respective faithful [Hmmm so having valid episcopates and sacraments is the only thing needed to be in the church; wow I guess we should tell the Polish National Church and the Old Catholic Church they really never left since they have valid sacraments], as is proclaimed in the renewed Catholic ecclesiology since Vatican II [where does Vatican II call for a new ecclesiology? And where does Vatican II state that it is to be held by the faithful as de fide? This is more spirit of Vatican II garbage where the power play is to create a situation where the pontiff is merely a symbol, but not different then anyother Bishop in substance, thereby denying Vatican I. Pope Paul VI is said to have been made aware of this collegial power grab and quashed it, feeling deeply saddened by the actions of the other Bishops] and enshrined in numerous papal documents from Paul VI on [so disregard anything before Paul VI, even if it is infallible teaching. I mean really! First things what are you? CWR what are you? Modernists giving lip service to a hermanutic of continuity, but practicing the hermanutic of rupture], as well as in the wonderful Catechism of the Catholic Church. [But not the Catechism of Trent, because that’s not friendly enough] So we just need to restore our [our, wait we broke communion with them? I don’t seem to remember this, we have Peter they don’t. They continue to fall into error allowing divorce, contraception and other innovations from the top of their episcapates, but we need to be in communion with those perpetuating error? Please] broken communion and the rest of the problems you mention can be addressed one by one and resolved by common accord.
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CWR: How could the papal claims of Rome be modified in a way that would be both acceptable to the Orthodox Churches and faithful to the tradition of the Catholic Church? Do you think the jurisdiction issue really is a hang-up for the Orthodox since they also practice cross-jurisdiction throughout Western Europe, the Americas, Australia, and East Asia?
Taft: The new Catholic “Sister Churches” ecclesiology describes not only how the Catholic Church views the Orthodox Churches. It also represents a startling revolution [Yippie a novelty, spirit of Vatican II! Lord please when will the modernists be exiled from the Holy Church. He is admitting a Heremantic of Rupture here! Wake up people and see shes under attack by those within!] in how the Catholic Church views itself: we are no longer the only kid on the block [so we are not the one true faith in which the gates of Hell would not prevail? Again these “sister churches” as he likes to call them are all ok with error. We are literally the only kid on the block that has upheld truth in the face of mounting evil. Playing semantic games like the whole church or the only kid on the block is creating a new novelty against the faith and denies the no salvation outside the Church dogma, and yes I know the nuance but still they will only be saved by the one church not being a sister church which is confusing the structure of the early Christians before the great schism], the whole Church of Christ, but one Sister Church among others. Previously, the Catholic Church saw itself as the original one and only true Church of Christ from which all other Christians had separated for one reason or another in the course of history, and Catholics held, simplistically, that the solution to divided Christendom consisted in all other Christians returning to Rome’s maternal bosom [And where in Vatican II does it deny this fact? I will admit that Bishops have become cowardly especially with the Russian Orthodox playing semantic games that they would protestalatize, but how is this actually church teaching? Writing a treaty is not a teaching, but an indult, to not act on truth, but not to deny it either].
Vatican II, with an assist from those Council Fathers with a less naïve Disney-World view of their own Church’s past, managed to put aside this historically ludicrous, self-centered, self-congratulatory perception of reality [This is such a stink bomb its incomprehensible that CWR and First things are making these statements public when they will cause confusion and scandle. Again where is this idea in Vatican II? Saying that the fullness of Truth subsists in the Catholic Church necessarily means that all other bodies are lacking to some degree or another and must come into communion with the fullness]. In doing so they had a strong assist from the Council Fathers of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church whose concrete experience of the realities of the Christian East made them spokesmen and defenders of that reality [Where? Where is this novelty introduced and does it even carry with it a de fide statement? Vatican II is a valid ecumenical council and where it restates Catholic truth it is indeed infallible, but where novelties are introduced without a statement defining it to be held by all the faithful as can be seen in previous councils then it is a matter of being ambiguous and not actual de fide teaching. Such statements require a heremanutic of continuity to be in line with the whole tradition of the Church].
In this context I would recommend the excellent new book by Robert Louis Wilken, The First Thousand Years: A Global History of Christianity (New Haven & London: Yale U. Press 2012). Professor Wilken, a convert to Catholicism who is a recognized expert on Early Christianity and its history and literature, shows that Early Christianity developed not out of some Roman cradle but as a federation of local Churches, Western and Eastern, each one under the authority of a chief hierarch who would come to be called Archbishop, Pope, Patriarch, or Catholicos, each with its own independent governing synod and polity, all of them initially in communion with one another until the vicissitudes of history led to lasting divisions. [The Clement letter itself denies this possibility, just because a professor writes a book doesn’t make it correct].