Black council.

What is the black council? Is it something specific to the Maronites or did it affect the entire catholic ritual churches ie Byzantines, Chaldeans, Latins, etc?

I tried to find it on google and the only result was your post on the forum :rolleyes: Could you mention where you heard / read about this expression?

It’s an expression of a user here - malphono. The Black Council refers to the Synod of 1736 which was instrumental in formalizing Latinizations in [exclusively] the Maronite Church, which include but are not limited to: [LIST]
*]the application of the dictates of the Council of Trent
*]forced use of Roman institution narrative
*]forced use of Roman vestments
*]removal of the epiclesis
*]affirmation of the filioque
*]establishment of dioceses
*]an anathema against those who commune infants
*]elimination of the rite of the lamp (anointing of the sick equivalent)
*]banning of infant chrismation
*]banning of communing lay people with the Blood
*]innovation of a low mass
*]innovation of multiple masses per day and without deacons
*]the very nature of needing papal approval for a synod
*]removal of 3 OT readings from the mass

I could go on, but I think I’ve sufficiently proved my point. No doubt malphono [he’s better versed in Maronite history than I] will chime in anytime soon and add another 200 bullet points to the list.

Actually I cannot take credit for the moniker “Black Council” but I admit that I find it a very convenient and accurate appellation. The name itself has been used for quite some years by those who opposed (and continue to oppose) latinizations.

Most of the bulleted practices had crept in during the previous 150 or so years, but they were formalized at that Synod. It’s interesting to note that, despite the formalization, there was still a lot of resistance to the dictates of the Black Council. That resistance persisted for another 150 or so years after.

It’s true that many of those latinizations (the “old” latinizations, as I frequently call them), have been supplanted within the past 40 or so years, but the problem is that most of what was done resulted in the “old latinizations” being replaced with Novus Ordo-inspired neo-latinizations, which were formalized and enshrined by what I will call “Son of Black Council” (the 2005 Synod). IOW, it went from bad to worse. :mad:

Thank you gentlemen. Where did you to find all of this information? Finding maronite materials is proving difficult for me I end up always being brought to or referred to one of the Maronite eparchies in the US. Online.

I’ve learned what I have from reading and speaking to Chorbishop Beggiani, the only USMaronite history scholar (although I guess Fr Joe Amar is knowledgable on that as well), and another priest. I assume the minutes of the council are in French and Arabic, although I’m sorry because I’m unable where to direct you to find such sources online (last time I saw them was the Bkerke archives).

I have to say that Latinizations are one of the biggest blunders in the history of the Holy Catholic Church.

I used to blame the Latin Church and the Pope. Now I realize [at least for the Maronite Church] it was much less Rome forcing them then our own hierarchs self-imposing them to prove how “Catholic” we were. It’s especially evident now after many Popes have advocated the return to traditional rites yet we continue to latinize.

That’s true, but I think one has to look at a particular factor in the equation: the establishment of the so-called Maronite College in Rome. That institution was not established by the Maronites but by Rome itself, and what better vehicle to ensure that their (Rome’s) ideas were propagated than an institute of higher learning? Unfortunately, that College was the beginning of the end, since its alumni eventually became the hierarchs you note, ultimately displacing the simple (and for the most part, holy) monks who had theretofore been the bishops and Patriarchs. The alumni brought what they learned in Rome and, little by little, the poison spread.

Of course the situation is worse than ever now, what with the on-going and never-ending trend of Novus Ordo-inspired neo-latinization, and all, and I actually find Rome’s position rather humorous. Rome claims “universal jurisdiction” at will, and while she has interfered in various matters (including Patriarchal “elections”), she has done nothing whatsoever to even attempt to stem the abandonment of the Maronite patrimony. :mad:

I suppose I would feel the same way except if it is our own bishops that are responsible then I choose to follow our bishops. It can’t be all bad after all it would seem 2 or 3 of are great maronite saints lived through the period of latinization and still became saints so perhaps obedience and faith in our bishops is in order.

Peace be with you

What is the realistic difference between an errant bishop being Maronite or Roman? One is closer (culturally, perhaps also geographically), I suppose…I would think that would make it worse, but maybe there’s something I’m not understanding about this approach. It would seem that it leaves you at the mercy of whoever happens to be in charge at the time, to say nothing of the fact that as more generations are schooled by these same non-traditional leaders and sources of formation, the more reinforced their evisceration of traditional Syro-Maronite spirituality becomes. How do you deal with that by simply doing whatever they want?

Youtube is down for me right now so I can’t post the video it comes from, but one of my favorite observations from HH Pope Shenouda III is that the biggest threat to the (Coptic) Church is when a Protestant puts on a black turban, because then everyone will call him “abouna”. Not saying that this is going on in your church, but it is something to think about and guard against. Bishops should be accountable to the same apostolic faith as anybody else, no?

You’re completely right, and this is a very real danger. And I have heard a Maronite priest with considerable teaching authority in his position say in a homily (this is almost verbatim) that we can reach a point in our “spiritual” lives where we progress past the point of needing the Eucharist or the Bible… um… WHAT? So it has progressed past the point of being just worrying if they’re Protestant… again, the priest above exercises considerable influence and he doesn’t even seem to believe in the Apostolic faith.

This really has gone off topic. While I am not advocating Latinisations, they can not possibly lead to the Maronite Church moving from the Apostolic Faith and abandoning the centrality of the Eucharist and Scriptures. I have no idea who the Priest is and I certainly have never heard this position even remotely advocated in the Maronite Church. Even if the priest that said this (and I am not necessarily doubting you) is in an influential teaching authority - clearly it has not had an enormous influence on the wider Maronite Church as I have never heard any Maronite Priest or Bishop whether from Australia, Lebanon or anywhere else, preach any such thing - I have only heard the opposite emphasised. I mean one of the most dominant Latinisations seems to be Adoration of the Eucharist - the Maronites seem to have adopted that even more fervently than the Latins themselves! Moreover, that has nothing to do with Latinisations and no amount of Latinisation could possibly lead to that for Maronites.

Just so we’re clear, my post was meant to be about the idea of obeying errant bishops in hopes that obedience in and of itself will lead to a righting of wrongs. Not that it’s any one individual’s prerogative to write off an entire church because people in it aren’t perfect (or else none of us would be in any church), but education can go a long way toward fostering a general sense of what is within the bounds of authentic tradition (how ever you define that; as someone not in your church or communion, that’s clearly not up to me) and what is not. Hence I would think the point about the establishment of the Maronite College in Rome is a good one, since there is the common view that “tradition is what was done the day I was baptized” or whatever. Well, if you are cut off from your traditional sources of knowledge about your own church, it becomes a lot easier to introduce things little by little (or lot by lot) that, yes, do eventually move you away from your apostolic foundations.

There is a danger in thinking that such a thing can never happen, most often because Christ promised that the gates of hell would not triumph over the Church, which creates a sort of complacency regarding what’s going on. My church is fine – if you see all these problems, they must be with your particular parish/church/communion. Thank God that in the Coptic tradition we read aloud Revelation during the coming Holy Week with the response as written there “He who has ears, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches”. Every church mentioned therein was likewise the Church as it was found at that location, and yet some were destroyed or rejected for what they did or what they failed to do. It’s terrifying, sure, but it’s also reality for everybody.

While it may be a bit tangential to the thread itself, it seems to me that MorEphrem’s example of that “sermon” does illustrate a real danger. The threat of what amounts to charlatans, as mentioned by** dzheremi** earlier (in reply to a previous post about “following bishops”) is a very real one, and while not directly the result of latinization, is related to it at least insofar as the charlatans are themselves divergent from authentic tradition.

Anyway, as it happens I do know the priest in question and, again as it happens, I was present when that so-called sermon was delivered. While I’m not at liberty to disclose where this took place, suffice it to say that the particular venue would shock most people. I nearly fell over when I heard it.

I don’t argue about the Maronites having embraced latinizations like “Adoration” with unwarranted gusto, but at the same time the type of 1970s pseudo-theology expressed in that “sermon” is not unknown. And it really is a “latinization” insofar as those ideas, albeit officially discredited by the Latin Church, developed within the Latin Church. IOW, the ideas behind that vile “sermon” are not organic to the Maronite Church. And therein lies an important point: the development of a mindset in the Maronite Church that seems to welcome anything and everything from alien sources, while at the same time turning away from our own patrimony. It’s really quite sad.

In sum, one must, I think, remain vigilant. Just because something is promoted by a priest or bishop does not automatically mean it’s authentic or even legitimate.

Fair enough.

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