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Musings 2008/225

These Councils are mentioned many times and their respect for the early Popes can be seen in:

P 16. And surely we have a right
to expect from the prudent forethought
of his Holiness, (i.e. Pius IX)
a work so worthy
the true successor of St. Peter,
of Leo I, and also of Leo III  P

However, the great Councils of The Church since, are not recognised by the Orthodox.
They recognise the Pope as the successor of Peter and presumably the Catholic Bishops as successors of the Apostles, then one would expect them to recognise the Councils and their Canons and teachings, where they have gathered together in the past millennium! They do agree that the Apostles were given power and authority and that this power and authority has been handed down the centuries and the question remains
why recognise the earlier Councils and not the following Councils?
As I say, the Orthodox must feel the difficulty and the embarrassment of their stand against the Pope and his Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops - against the Magisterium of The Church.
In spite of that they bring challenges against The Church.
Catholicism, as well as straying from the ancient Church, bringing in
disturbances; forcibly puts a false stamp upon the Creed; misrepresentations of the Scriptures -  state the Orthodox leaders - is also responsible for the following:

P Among these novelties
may be numbered
sprinkling instead of baptism,
denial of the divine Cup to the Laity,
elevation of one and the same
bread broken, the use of wafers, unleavened instead of real bread,
the disuse of the Benediction
in the Liturgies,
even of the sacred Invocation
of the All-holy and Consecrating Spirit,
the abandonment of the old Apostolic Mysteries of the Church,
such as not anointing baptized infants,
or their not receiving the Eucharist,
the exclusion of married men
from the Priesthood,
the infallibility of the Pope
and his claim as Vicar of Christ,
and the like.  P

The arguments of the Orthodox are hard to follow, for while soundly denouncing the Pope and Catholicism, they are happy to say:

P  We boldly avow before God and men,
that the prayer of our Saviour (p. ix. l.43)
to God and His Father for the common love and unity of Christians
in the One Holy Catholic
and Apostolic Church,
in which we believe, that they may be one,
ever as we are one (John xvii. 22),
worketh in us no less than in his Holiness.
Our brotherly love and zeal
meet that of his Holiness P

going on to explain that they however, have the true Faith and that the zeal of the Pope is only to enhance:

P  the authority and dignity
of them that sit on the Apostolic Throne,
and their new doctrine.  P

This strange thinking is further confusing when they write:

P  yet are we convinced
from the words of our LORD,
that the time will come when that
divine prayer concerning
the denial of Peter,
"that his faith might not fail for ever"
will operate also in some
one of the successors of his Throne,
who will also weep, as he did, bitterly,
and being sometime converted
will strengthen us, his brethren,
still more in the Orthodox Confession,
which we hold from our forefathers --
and would that his Holiness might be this true successor of the blessed Peter! P

One gets the impression that they know the Pope is Peter but they will not admit it; that the Pope has the authority of Peter, but they will not admit it.
One also gets the impression that they are definitely wonderful Christians, with great zeal, enthusiasm and love of Truth and Goodness, but that there is blindness when it comes to the Pope and the modern Apostles of his Church.
I can only re-state that the whole problem between Orthodox and Catholic revolves around the Pope and his power and authority; that of Peter, himself.

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