Originally Quoted by Verbum:
I think there has been a little confusion here. Eastern Catholics, no matter what rite, believe EVERYTHING the Catholic Church teaches because they ARE the Church with everyone of us.
Eastern Theology, both Catholic and Orthodox, has a different emphasis on various subjects. Its methods have not been influenced by scholaticism and thomism, which is the case in the West.
Yes, I know that the Eastern Catholics claim to believe in EVERYTHING which the Catholic Church teaches. However, I don’t understand how the Eastern Catholics can hold onto Orthodox beliefs while still proclaiming that they believe everything the Latin Rite believes. A few weeks ago I sent an email to the Byzantine Catholic Archdiocese of Pittsburg. I inquired in the email about Byzantine Catholic beliefs and if Greek Catholics believed everything listed in the CCC. According to the email I received, Byzantine Cathoilcs believe 100% of the CCC and still maintain their “Orthodox” traditions. I asked specifically if Byzantine Catholics hold onto certain Orthodox positions, and I received a “yes” for every question I asked.
With this in mind, I see problems with the differing views on original sin (especially concerning the guilt), the Immaculate Conception, Christ’s atoning sacrafice, Trinitarian understanding, and the canon. Also, the fact that the Byzantine Catholics recognize as saints individuals who lived in the period between 1054 and whenever the Byzantines came back into communion with the Church (somewhere around the late 16th, early 17th century) poses problems. Are these individuals really in heaven if they were not part of the Roman communion at the time of their deaths? Can a Catholic ask them for prayer? I’m sure that there are additional differences, many of greater consequence than those I have listed.
The idea of Purgatory, from what I have read, is the direct result of scholastic thinking. Sure, the idea of a “purgation” after death is seen even in passages of Tertullian’s writings, but it does not truly become a “place” distinct from heaven and hell until scholastic times. While I am not saying that there is no Purgatory, I think it is important to recognize that Purgatory is not completely revealed in Scriptures, and that its growth into a “place” is the direct result of scholastic thinking.
If Eastern Catholics accept Purgatory, they must, I think, necessarily accept it according to the scholastic proofs.
Also, I wonder: The Catholic Church teaches (or at least used to teach) that in order to attain salvation, one must accept ALL the beliefs of the Catholic Church. If an Eastern Catholic decides to reject the Immaculate Conception because of his understanding of Original Sin, is that person in danger of hell by not accepting ALL the beliefs of the Catholic Church?
Something doesn’t seem right… Either Eastern Catholics have sacraficed their Eastern identity for a Latin one and have kept only an Eastern facade, or Eastern Catholics do not believe in everything that the Catholic Church claims to have always taught, in which case Eastern Catholics supposedly are denied the salvation that only comes through accepting everything the Church teaches.
Don’t mean to sound polemical. I am just flabbergasted by what I have read so far about the Eastern Catholics and their relationship with the Latin Rite. You either agree that one is born with the guilt of Original Sin (Western view), or you believe that one is not born with the guilt of Original Sin (Orthodox view). If the Eastern Catholic chooses the former, he compromises his Eastern tradition; if he chooses the latter, I don’t fully understand how he can accept the Immaculate Conception, which operates on the presupposition that the guilt of Original Sin is present in every newborn.
I very much would appreciate the insight of an Eastern Catholic.