Is the Pan Orthodox Counncil an ecumenical council?


#21

[quote="twf, post:20, topic:446149"]
To the best of my knowledge, Eastern (Byzantine) Catholics accept Eastern theology on essence / energy, and remain in full communion with Rome. That tells me it isn't an issue. I can't pretend to understand why it is or isn't a deal breaker...but I trust the bishops.

[/quote]

This is correct, and the great formulator of the essence/energy theology, St. Gregory Palamas, is liturgically venerated among many of the Byzantine Churches on the Sunday after the Sunday of Orthodoxy (i.e. the second Sunday of the Great Fast).


#22

[quote="Phillip_Rolfes, post:21, topic:446149"]
This is correct, and the great formulator of the essence/energy theology, St. Gregory Palamas, is liturgically venerated among many of the Byzantine Churches on the Sunday after the Sunday of Orthodoxy (i.e. the second Sunday of the Great Fast).

[/quote]

No Eastern Catholic church has ever formally declared its assent to the following statements:

"That supremely Divine light is neither a created thing, nor the essence of God, but is rather uncreated and natural grace, illumination, and energy which everlastingly and inseparably proceeds from the very essence of God."

"There is an unconfused union of God's essence and energy, so is there also an undivided distinction between them, for, among other things, essence is cause while energy is effect, essence suffers no participation, while energy is communicable."

The mere fact that someone who was involved in the discussions is venerated as a saint by some Catholics does not show that these particular statements promulgated by the 14th Century Hesychast councils are true.


#23

On the contrary, the uniate Churches explicitly affirmed all their theology and traditions at their act of communion with the Roman Church.


#24

[quote="Augustine, post:23, topic:446149"]
On the contrary, the uniate Churches explicitly affirmed all their theology and traditions at their act of communion with the Roman Church.

[/quote]

Please provide an official document from an Eastern Catholic Church that affirms the following statements:

"That supremely Divine light is neither a created thing, nor the essence of God, but is rather uncreated and natural grace, illumination, and energy which everlastingly and inseparably proceeds from the very essence of God."

"There is an unconfused union of God's essence and energy, so is there also an undivided distinction between them, for, among other things, essence is cause while energy is effect, essence suffers no participation, while energy is communicable."

If you cannot provide such a document, please provide a citation to an official document of an Eastern Catholic Church that affirms such statements.


#25

[quote="PluniaZ, post:22, topic:446149"]

The mere fact that someone who was involved in the discussions is venerated as a saint by some Catholics does not show that these particular statements promulgated by the 14th Century Hesychast councils are true.

[/quote]

He wasn't just "involved in discussions", he forcefully taught the doctrine. If the Roman church thought he was a heresiarch, it wouldn't venerate him.


#26

[quote="PluniaZ, post:22, topic:446149"]
No Eastern Catholic church has ever formally declared its assent to the following statements:

"That supremely Divine light is neither a created thing, nor the essence of God, but is rather uncreated and natural grace, illumination, and energy which everlastingly and inseparably proceeds from the very essence of God."

"There is an unconfused union of God's essence and energy, so is there also an undivided distinction between them, for, among other things, essence is cause while energy is effect, essence suffers no participation, while energy is communicable."

The mere fact that someone who was involved in the discussions is venerated as a saint by some Catholics does not show that these particular statements promulgated by the 14th Century Hesychast councils are true.

[/quote]

There is no reason this should be a problem. God is not divided into parts. He is Simple. This is simply an explanation of how He can interact with creation, including Man, and still be the Transcendent God. It's nothing more than that.


#27

[quote="Expatreprocedit, post:26, topic:446149"]
There is no reason this should be a problem. God is not divided into parts. He is Simple. This is simply an explanation of how He can interact with creation, including Man, and still be the Transcendent God. It's nothing more than that.

[/quote]

Those are your words. The words that are the subject of discussion are these:

"That supremely Divine light is neither a created thing, nor the essence of God, but is rather uncreated and natural grace, illumination, and energy which everlastingly and inseparably proceeds from the very essence of God."

"There is an unconfused union of God's essence and energy, so is there also an undivided distinction between them, for, among other things, essence is cause while energy is effect, essence suffers no participation, while energy is communicable."

As with any doctrine, Catholics look to whether it can be found in (1) Scripture, (2) Tradition, and (3) the teachings of the Magisterium.

Can the above statements be found in:

(1) Scripture? No.

(2) *Tradition? * No.

(3) The teachings of the Magisterium? No.

Can the denial of the above statements be found in:

(1) Scripture? Not explicitly, since the doctrine wasn't invented for another 1300 years, but the statements that Scripture makes concerning God's nature ("I AM WHO I AM", "God is Love", "God is Light", "God is Spirit") express a simplicity that isn't compatible with God being a "union" of two different things.

(2) Tradition? The Church Fathers have always upheld the simplicity of God. Saint John of Damascus says that God is "simple" and "uncompound". newadvent.org/fathers/33041.htm Now a union is by definition compound. For example, Saint John of Damascus later says of the Hypostatic Union of our Lord Jesus Christ, "He has two natures but only one subsistence compounded of both." newadvent.org/fathers/33043.htm

Saint Cyril of Alexandria is even more to the point: "For if one is not too poorly endowed with the decency which befits wise men, one will say that the divine being is properly and primarily simple and incomposite; one will not, dear friend, venture to think that it is composed out of nature and energy, as though, in the case of the divine, these are naturally other; one will believe that it exists as entirely one thing with all that it substantially possesses. Thus, if anyone says that his energy, that is, his Spirit, is something created and made, even while it belongs to him in a proper sense, then the Deity, surely, will be a creature, given that his operation is no other thing than he himself." bekkos.wordpress.com/2009/06/22/st-cyril-on-divine-simplicity/

(3) The Magisterium? The Synod of Rheims defined that God is His attributes. The Magisterium defined that God is "one absolutely simple essence" at the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215. ewtn.com/library/councils/lateran4.htm#1 This rules out the possibility of God being a "union" of essence and energy, rather than one absolutely simple essence.


#28

Is it pertinent to ask at what level PluniaZ has studied philosophy?


#29

[quote="prodromos, post:28, topic:446149"]
Is it pertinent to ask at what level PluniaZ has studied philosophy?

[/quote]

I thought that all fundamentalists had an aversion to philosophy... :)


#30

[quote="PluniaZ, post:24, topic:446149"]
Please provide an official document from an Eastern Catholic Church that affirms the following statements:

[/quote]

You're being fallacious. You do not set the terms of the Theology of the Eastern Churches, which is remarkably different from the West, even contradictory. What the Catholic Church admits is that theological musings on the revealed ruth are just that and that they are imperfect.

You do not want to be persuaded and or to learn about the Eastern Catholic Churches. So I'll leave you on your soapbox, alone, talking to the wind.


#31

I simply asked whether the following statements are true or false:

"That supremely Divine light is neither a created thing, nor the essence of God, but is rather uncreated and natural grace, illumination, and energy which everlastingly and inseparably proceeds from the very essence of God."

"There is an unconfused union of God's essence and energy, so is there also an undivided distinction between them, for, among other things, essence is cause while energy is effect, essence suffers no participation, while energy is communicable."


#32

[quote="PluniaZ, post:22, topic:446149"]
No Eastern Catholic church has ever formally declared its assent to the following statements:

"That supremely Divine light is neither a created thing, nor the essence of God, but is rather uncreated and natural grace, illumination, and energy which everlastingly and inseparably proceeds from the very essence of God."

"There is an unconfused union of God's essence and energy, so is there also an undivided distinction between them, for, among other things, essence is cause while energy is effect, essence suffers no participation, while energy is communicable."

The mere fact that someone who was involved in the discussions is venerated as a saint by some Catholics does not show that these particular statements promulgated by the 14th Century Hesychast councils are true.

[/quote]

The Eastern Catholic method of "formally declaring assent" is to venerate something or someone liturgically, not issue a new document. It's important to understand that since, as has been pointed out, the Eastern Catholic mindset and mode of operation is very different from the Roman Catholic mindset. So, if you want to look at a document that shows the Eastern Catholic assent (at least the assent given to the teaching by Eastern Catholics of the Byzantine tradition), then I as an Eastern Catholic would point you to the liturgical texts for the Sunday of Gregory Palamas.

Also, as has been pointed out, Gregory Palamas was not simply involved in the essence/energies discussion. It was he who gave us the best articulation of the orthodox teaching.


#33

[quote="PluniaZ, post:31, topic:446149"]
I simply asked whether the following statements are true or false:

"That supremely Divine light is neither a created thing, nor the essence of God, but is rather uncreated and natural grace, illumination, and energy which everlastingly and inseparably proceeds from the very essence of God."

"There is an unconfused union of God's essence and energy, so is there also an undivided distinction between them, for, among other things, essence is cause while energy is effect, essence suffers no participation, while energy is communicable."

[/quote]

And Eastern Catholics (of the Byzantine tradition) would say that these statements are true when understood in the full context of Gregory Palamas' theology.


#34

[quote="Phillip_Rolfes, post:32, topic:446149"]
The Eastern Catholic method of "formally declaring assent" is to venerate something or someone liturgically, not issue a new document. It's important to understand that since, as has been pointed out, the Eastern Catholic mindset and mode of operation is very different from the Roman Catholic mindset. So, if you want to look at a document that shows the Eastern Catholic assent (at least the assent given to the teaching by Eastern Catholics of the Byzantine tradition), then I as an Eastern Catholic would point you to the liturgical texts for the Sunday of Gregory Palamas.

Also, as has been pointed out, Gregory Palamas was not simply involved in the essence/energies discussion. It was he who gave us the best articulation of the orthodox teaching.

[/quote]

Eastern Catholics, like all Catholics, have traditionally defined doctrine through church councils (e.g., the Council of Nicaea, the four councils of Constantinople, the Council of Ephesus, the Council of Chalcedon), all of which issued formal statements of belief. And yet there is no formal statement of belief in the Eastern Catholic Churches that assents to the following statements:

"That supremely Divine light is neither a created thing, nor the essence of God, but is rather uncreated and natural grace, illumination, and energy which everlastingly and inseparably proceeds from the very essence of God."

"There is an unconfused union of God's essence and energy, so is there also an undivided distinction between them, for, among other things, essence is cause while energy is effect, essence suffers no participation, while energy is communicable."

Do the liturgical texts for the Sunday of the veneration of Gregory Palamas contain the above texts?


#35

[quote="PluniaZ, post:34, topic:446149"]
Eastern Catholics, like all Catholics, have traditionally defined doctrine through church councils (e.g., the Council of Nicaea, the four councils of Constantinople, the Council of Ephesus, the Council of Chalcedon), all of which issued formal statements of belief. And yet there is no formal statement of belief in the Eastern Catholic Churches that assents to the following statements:

"That supremely Divine light is neither a created thing, nor the essence of God, but is rather uncreated and natural grace, illumination, and energy which everlastingly and inseparably proceeds from the very essence of God."

"There is an unconfused union of God's essence and energy, so is there also an undivided distinction between them, for, among other things, essence is cause while energy is effect, essence suffers no participation, while energy is communicable."

Do the liturgical texts for the Sunday of the veneration of Gregory Palamas contain the above texts?

[/quote]

I strongly believe you are taking these text out of context. Do you know what is meant by "Divine light" in the first quote? I know they are not talking about the Holy Spirit, but I believe they are talking about sanctifying grace and/or gifts of the of Holy Spirit.

The Catholic Church has stated for centuries that there is very little (from the Catholic) point of view that separates us from the Eastern Orthodox. The main difference is the authority of the Pope and recognition of the Ecumenical Councils after the Great Schism.

This is why the Church allows them to receive communion at Mass (but we do encourage them to listen to their bishops regarding the matter).

The theologies and the way we discuss the Deposit of Faith can differ, but as long as we acknowledge that we believe in the same Deposit of Faith, that's all that matters.

When dealing with our Orthodox brethren, it's far better to focus on what we have in common, which is much more (in my opinion) than we have in common with Anglicans.

God Bless.


#36

[quote="phil19034, post:35, topic:446149"]
I strongly believe you are taking these text out of context. Do you know what is meant by "Divine light" in the first quote? I know they are not talking about the Holy Spirit, but I believe they are talking about sanctifying grace and/or gifts of the of Holy Spirit.

[/quote]

The entire context is available here:

johnsanidopoulos.com/2010/02/synodicon-of-orthodoxy.html

And the historical context leading up to the 14th century councils in Constantinople that adopted these statements is available here:

bekkos.wordpress.com/martin-jugie-the-palamite-controversy/

Context shows that the first statement is referring to "the light which shone forth from the Lord at His Divine transfiguration." The conclusion reached by the Constantinople councils is troubling: "that supremely Divine light is neither a created thing, nor the essence of God, but is rather uncreated and natural grace, illumination, and energy which everlastingly and inseparably proceeds from the very essence of God."

This speaks of something which is (1) uncreated and (2) not the divine essence. Which means that there are two uncreateds: (1) the divine essence and (2) the divine energy. This is simply polytheism.

The Constantinople council also speaks of the energy as "everlastingly and inseparably proceeding" from the essence of God. This is also troubling, as no Church Father or council ever spoke of a type of procession in God other than (1) the eternal generation of the Son and (2) the eternal procession of the Holy Spirit.


#37

[quote="PluniaZ, post:36, topic:446149"]
The entire context is available here:

johnsanidopoulos.com/2010/02/synodicon-of-orthodoxy.html

And the historical context leading up to the 14th century councils in Constantinople that adopted these statements is available here:

bekkos.wordpress.com/martin-jugie-the-palamite-controversy/

Context shows that the first statement is referring to "the light which shone forth from the Lord at His Divine transfiguration." The conclusion reached by the Constantinople councils is troubling: "that supremely Divine light is neither a created thing, nor the essence of God, but is rather uncreated and natural grace, illumination, and energy which everlastingly and inseparably proceeds from the very essence of God."

This speaks of something which is (1) uncreated and (2) not the divine essence. Which means that there are two uncreateds: (1) the divine essence and (2) the divine energy. This is simply polytheism.

The Constantinople council also speaks of the energy as "everlastingly and inseparably proceeding" from the essence of God. This is also troubling, as no Church Father or council ever spoke of a type of procession in God other than (1) the eternal generation of the Son and (2) the eternal procession of the Holy Spirit.

[/quote]

Why do you think this polytheism?

What do you think sanctifying Grace is? What do you think the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are?

Grace is constantly coming from God.

Would you agree that it's possible they are really talking about what we, in the West, call "God's Grace"?


#38

[quote="phil19034, post:37, topic:446149"]
Why do you think this polytheism?

What do you think sanctifying Grace is? What do you think the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are?

Grace is constantly coming from God.

Would you agree that it's possible they are really talking about what we, in the West, call "God's Grace"?

[/quote]

It's polytheism because they posit the existence of two uncreateds:

"That supremely Divine light is neither a created thing, nor the essence of God, but is rather uncreated and natural grace, illumination, and energy which everlastingly and inseparably proceeds from the very essence of God."

The first millennium church always expressed the unity of God in terms of the divine essence. The Fifth Ecumenical Council declared:

"If anyone shall not confess that the nature or essence of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is one, as also the force and the power; [if anyone does not confess] a consubstantial Trinity, one Godhead to be worshipped in three subsistences or Persons: let him be anathema. For there is but one God even the Father of whom are all things, and one Lord Jesus Christ through whom are all things, and one Holy Spirit in whom are all things." newadvent.org/fathers/3812.htm

There is no hint in the first millennium of something in God that is not the divine essence.

When Catholics speak of "uncreated grace", we mean the Holy Spirit, who is the essence of God. newadvent.org/cathen/06701a.htm


#39

[quote="PluniaZ, post:36, topic:446149"]
The entire context is available here:

johnsanidopoulos.com/2010/02/synodicon-of-orthodoxy.html

And the historical context leading up to the 14th century councils in Constantinople that adopted these statements is available here:

bekkos.wordpress.com/martin-jugie-the-palamite-controversy/

Context shows that the first statement is referring to "the light which shone forth from the Lord at His Divine transfiguration." The conclusion reached by the Constantinople councils is troubling: "that supremely Divine light is neither a created thing, nor the essence of God, but is rather uncreated and natural grace, illumination, and energy which everlastingly and inseparably proceeds from the very essence of God."

This speaks of something which is (1) uncreated and (2) not the divine essence. Which means that there are two uncreateds: (1) the divine essence and (2) the divine energy. This is simply polytheism.

The Constantinople council also speaks of the energy as "everlastingly and inseparably proceeding" from the essence of God. This is also troubling, as no Church Father or council ever spoke of a type of procession in God other than (1) the eternal generation of the Son and (2) the eternal procession of the Holy Spirit.

[/quote]

So your primary concern is not that Eastern Catholics have ever "defined" the essence/energies distinctions as dogma, but that, according to your understanding of the debate, it is actually a form of polytheism?

If this is the case, then I would encourage to do some much more extensive research because your conclusions reveal a complete misunderstanding of the doctrine being professed.


#40

Again I would emphasize that if you truly want to understand the doctrine of the essence and energies of God according to the Byzantine understanding, you need to read the writings of St. Gregory Palamas, and the liturgical texts for his feast day as well.


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