Mark of Ephesus et simili


#1

Let us play a little game of “what-if.” Suppose that our ecumenical dialogues with the various separated communions should bear real fruit and full communion were to be restored between the Catholic Church and one or more of our sister Churches; suppose, for the sake of discussion, that we renew full unity with the Greek Orthodox. What, in such a case, would we do with all of the saints who are hailed precisely for their work in the events leading to the original breakdown in unity?

Mark of Ephesus and Photius of Constantinople are both revered among the Greek Orthodox for sticking up against (what they see as) the tyrrany of Rome. On the Catholic side of things, folks like Josaphat of Polotsk and Andrew Bobola are revered for opposing precisely the same spirit which Mark and Photius acclaimed. Each side has traditionally reviled the other’s champions (as is evident in the bitterly polemic treatment which Photius gets in the Catholic Encyclopedia).

So, if unity between the communions were to be restored, what would we do with these rather controversial saints. Would both sides be required to expunge the offending heros from their canons? Would each side just say “bygones be bygones” and revere all of them, including the ones which each had formerly reviled? Would Romans keep Roman saints and Greeks keep Greek saints, and everyone please try to remember to be polite enough never to mention them in mixed company.

I do not wish to suggest that this is really a Church-dividing issue, but it is interesting to consider. What, if anything, could be done with the awkward-but-holy?


#2

Wow, interesting question. Is there any way to re-interpret these Saints so they can not be revered for, what in effect, is disunity?


#3

aren’t there a number of saints who have been quoted saying things rather “unsaintly”? i am thinking in particular of all the times popes (later canonized) said some rather anti-semitcal things or things against women we know today are not true (as the church teaches anyway). if it is possible to overlook their comments and actions and see them the way God sees them and the church sees them (as perfected and thus no longer holding those controversial views) then why can’t we do the same with the saints honored in the orthodox churches? why can’t we do it now instead of waiting until there is full unity? and why can’t the church begin to look into some of the protestant brethren who (even though were in major disagreements with the catholic church) can’t be denied that the Spirit worked through their lives. i’m thinking of people like william booth (founder of the salvation army), hudson taylor (inland china mission), dawson trotman (founder of navigators), george mueller (founder of many orphanges), and (i know he’s not dead, but we all gotta go sometime lol) billy graham. it might go a long way in the process of re-unification with many of our separated brethren.


#4

[quote=bengal_fan]aren’t there a number of saints who have been quoted saying things rather “unsaintly”? i am thinking in particular of all the times popes (later canonized) said some rather anti-semitcal things or things against women we know today are not true (as the church teaches anyway). if it is possible to overlook their comments and actions and see them the way God sees them and the church sees them (as perfected and thus no longer holding those controversial views) then why can’t we do the same with the saints honored in the orthodox churches?
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I am not sure that the analogy is entirely apt. No one is talking about establishing full communion with the Jews, so the fact that we Catholics are o.k. with some anti-semitic saints is not quite the same thing as some Greek Orthodox being o.k. with our anti-Orthodox saints or us being o.k. with their anti-Catholic saints. Not, mind you, that I am against us all overlooking the controversial elements of each side’s saints, but this is more than what is required vis-a-vis the anti-semites which we revere presently.


#5

[quote=GrzeszDeL]Ithe fact that we Catholics are o.k. with some anti-semitic saints is not quite the same thing as some Greek Orthodox being o.k. with our anti-Orthodox saints or us being o.k. with their anti-Catholic saints. Not, mind you, that I am against us all overlooking the controversial elements of each side’s saints…
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Grz, have you not been bravely outspoken on other threads and stated without any prevarication that all non-Catholics, all those not in communion with the Pope, cannot be saved? Unam Sanctam rules.

So would you say that these Orthodox Saints who were not only not in communion with the Pope but fought vociferously against him are now in hell?


#6

[quote=GrzeszDeL]Mark of Ephesus and Photius of Constantinople are both revered among the Greek Orthodox for sticking up against (what they see as) the tyrrany of Rome.
[/quote]

They are revered for holding firm to the faith once handed down by the Apostles.


#7

[quote=GrzeszDeL]Let us play a little game of “what-if.” Suppose that our ecumenical dialogues with the various separated communions should bear real fruit and full communion were to be restored between the Catholic Church and one or more of our sister Churches; suppose, for the sake of discussion, that we renew full unity with the Greek Orthodox. What, in such a case, would we do with all of the saints who are hailed precisely for their work in the events leading to the original breakdown in unity?..I do not wish to suggest that this is really a Church-dividing issue, but it is interesting to consider. What, if anything, could be done with the awkward-but-holy?
[/quote]

First off, the RCC and EP can come to any agreement they want including consigning the Pillars of Orthodoxy to oblivion for being pesky irritations spoiling the ‘unity of the Church’, but this pronouncement doesn’t make it objective fact. This amalgam of the RCC/EP has created a subjective reality for itself alone so how it deals with the conflicts of logic thrown up by this is nothing more than parlour game for any outside this reality.

So, from the actions this Amalgam has taken already I’d say the question will never be raised because to raise the question admits to a reality outside of its creation which has decreed that those inside continue to live oblivious to the lives, teachings and confessions of the Pillars.

The objective reality:

“It is impossible to recall peace without dissolving the cause of the schism-the primacy of the Pope exhalting himself equal to God.”

  • The following is the concluding section of the Saint’s encyclical letter on the subject of the false union. It is as meaningful and vital today as it was 500 years ago:

“Therefore,” St. Mark writes, “in so far as this is what has been commanded you by the Holy Apostles,-stand aright, hold firmly to the traditions which you have received, both written and by word of mouth, that you be not deprived of your firmness if you become led away by the delusions of the lawless. May God, Who is All-powerful, make them also to know their delusion; and having delivered us from them as from evil tares, may He gather us into His granaries like pure and useful wheat, in Jesus Christ our Lord, to Whom belongs all glory, honor, and worship, with His Father Who is without beginning, and His All-holy and Good and Life- giving Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.”

St. Mark the Evgenikos (of Ephesus)

…hmm, if I don’t get a reply to this from you could it be because you’re no longer in my reality as you’re not allowed to see my post…? echo, echo, echo…

roca.org/OA/26/26f.htm

orthodoxfaith.com/traditionalism_history.html

constans_wright.tripod.com/romans.html


#8

[quote=Fr Ambrose]Grz, have you not been bravely outspoken on other threads and stated without any prevarication that all non-Catholics, all those not in communion with the Pope, cannot be saved? Unam Sanctam rules.

So would you say that these Orthodox Saints who were not only not in communion with the Pope but fought vociferously against him are now in hell?
[/quote]

Well, what the heck, Photius died in communion with the Pope, so I am not sure that this fact is much of an obstacle in his case. I am sure that there are more besides Photius, as well, who occupy such a status. That said, it is beyond me to know what anyone believes in the last few nanoseconds of their lives. For all I know, Mark of Ephesus repented of his error and went to his reward. I am not saying that I know that Mark repented, but I would never claim to know that he did not. If the Pope were to tell me that he is a saint (not that he has, of course, but if he were to do so) I would simply shrug it off and say “Holy Mark of Ephesus, pray for us!”


#9

[quote=GrzeszDeL]That said, it is beyond me to know what anyone believes in the last few nanoseconds of their lives. For all I know, Mark of Ephesus repented of his error and went to his reward. I am not saying that I know that Mark repented, but I would never claim to know that he did not. QUOTE]

Be advised!

  • It is interesting that St. Mark of Ephesus not only resisted communion with the heretical Patriarch while alive, but even after death he refused any form of communion. “I neither desire,” this Atlas of Orthodoxy declares, “nor accept communion with him * or his lackeys, in any manner whatsoever, whether during my lifetime or after my death’; 'just as throughout my life I was separated from them [viz., the Latinizers], so also at the time of my departure from life, and even after my death, I reject communion and union with them*; and I adjure, I command, that none of them approach either at my funeral or at memorial services for me, nor even those of anyone else belonging to our faction, so as to attempt to associate and concelebrate with our clergy. For this is to mix what cannot be mixed. For it is necessary that they [viz., the Latinizers] be completely separated from us, until God grants the good amendment and peace of His Church.” —St. Mark of Ephesus, Patrologia Graeca, Vol. clx, col. 536c.
    [/quote]

#10

[quote=GrzeszDeL]Well, what the heck, Photius died in communion with the Pope
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More like Photius died with the Pope in communion with him, unless you can specifically show me where Photius repented of whatever it was he did do be out of communion in the first place :stuck_out_tongue:


#11

[quote=prodromos]More like Photius died with the Pope in communion with him, unless you can specifically show me where Photius repented of whatever it was he did do be out of communion in the first place.
[/quote]

As you like it. We Latins were in communion with Photius when he went to meet his maker. Photius was in communion with us at that point as well. We were in communion with each other. I am starting to sound like some sort of Teach-Yourself-English tapes… :slight_smile:


#12

[quote=GrzeszDeL]I am starting to sound like some sort of Teach-Yourself-English tapes… :slight_smile:
[/quote]

:smiley:


#13

If I may be permitted to derail the discussion from the subject of saints who divide us for a moment, I would like to post a tribute to a saint who unites us, who is dear to my heart, and whose feast is today. I refer, of course, to my own patron, St. Gregory the Great.

http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/stg02004.jpg

[quote=St. Gregory the Great]O Lord, you received affronts without number from your blasphemers, yet each day you free captive souls from the grip of the ancient enemy.

You did not avert your face from the spittle of perfidy, yet you wash souls in saving waters.

You accepted your scourging without murmur, yet through your meditation you deliver us from endless chastisements.

You endured ill-treatment of all kinds, yet you want to give us a share in the choirs of angels in glory everlasting.

You did not refuse to be crowned with thorns, yet you save us from the wounds of sin.

In your thirst you accepted the bitterness of gall, yet you prepare yourself to fill us with eternal delights.

You kept silence under the derisive homage rendered you by your executioners, yet you petition the Father for us although you are his equal in divinity.

You came to taste death, yet you were the Life and had come to bring it to the dead. Amen
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Holy Gregory was the son of a wealthy Roman senator and St. Silvia. He was the nephew of St. Emiliana and St. Tarsilla. He was educated by the finest teachers in Rome. He became prefect of Rome for a year, then he sold his possessions, turned his home into a Benedictine monastery, and used his money to build six monasteries in Sicily and one in Rome.

He was elected 64th Pope by unanimous acclamation on September 3, 590, becoming the first monk to be chosen. It was Gregory who sent St. Augustine of Canterbury and a company of monks to evangelize England, winning the Anglo-Saxons to the Faith (at least temporarily), and other missionaries to France, Spain, and Africa. He collected the melodies and plain chant so associated with him that they are now known as Gregorian Chants. He is one of the four great Doctors of the Latin Church. He wrote seminal works on the Mass and Office - indeed his sacramentary became the basis for the Tridentine liturgical texts.

While always careful to defend the prerogatives of the Apostolic See (see letter XL to Eulogius of Alexandria), he was at the same time constantly mindful of Christ’s admonition that “it must not be so among you” (Mt 20:26). He eschewed glorious titles “Ecumenical Patriarch,” prefering instead to lead by service. He was always careful to respect the independant authority of his brother bishops, recognizing that their dignity came not from himself, but from Christ the Lord. As such, Holy Gregory’s exercise of the Petrine ministry is the sort of example which shows how the Roman Pontiff can be a blessing to all the Church.

For those who enjoy apocryphal hagiography, there is a great story about St. Gregory in the Gesta Romanorum. Meanwhile, as St. Gregory is the patron of Popes, today would be an excellent occasion to pray for His Holiness John Paul II, that he might rightly shepherd Christ’s flock.

Holy Gregory, pray for us!


#14

[quote=GrzeszDeL]If I may be permitted to derail the discussion from the subject of saints who divide us for a moment, I would like to post a tribute to a saint who unites us, who is dear to my heart, and whose feast is today. I refer, of course, to my own patron, St. Gregory the Great.QUOTE]

Hmm, this is the one that began extending his jurisdiction out of the bounds set for at Nicaea, the argument with the EP must have given him food for thought. First arguing against the EP for encroaching into other territories and ordaining bishops when he had no right and then doing the same thing himself - sending Augustine to take over the Church in England where they’d never heard of such a thing, that they were under the authority of the bishop of Rome…

Nah, not Orthodox!

Keep him, he’s one of yours.
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#15

From the good folks at the OCA:

%between%
catholic-forum.com/saints/stg02001.jpg
The feast of St. Gregory Dialogus, Pope of Rome
(apparently the Byzantine calendar celebrates his feast on Mar 12)


#16

Incidentally, St. Gregory was as Italian as they come, but he provided the resources and impetus to convert England. As such, I think that the best way to celebrate his feast would be with a slice of Zuppa Inglese. Enjoy! :slight_smile:


#17

[quote=GrzeszDeL]From the good folks at the OCA:

[catholic-forum.com/saints/stg02001.jpg](“http://www.oca.org/pages/orth_chri/feasts-and-saints/march/mar-12.html#3”)
The feast of St. Gregory Dialogus, Pope of Rome

(apparently the Byzantine calendar celebrates his feast on Mar 12)

[/quote]

Who are OCA?


#18

Orthodox Church in America. Click on the icon of St. Gregory for more info and a brief hagiography.


#19

Ach, I meant Leo’s arguments against the EP must have given him food for thought, Chalcedon.

[quote=]Incidentally, St. Gregory was as Italian as they come, but he provided the resources and impetus to convert England.
[/quote]

So the Western Isles didn’t know about Christianity? Oh, right, what you mean by conversion is forcing other Christians to submit themselves to the authority of *your *Church.

St Joseph of Arimathea is the Apostle to Britain, he the one who baptised Linus who became the first bishop of Rome, ordained by Paul. Five hundred years of Christianity which your Gregory dismissed as not having Christian bishops. Keep him, he’s one of yours.


#20

[quote=GrzeszDeL]Orthodox Church in America. Click on the icon of St. Gregory for more info and a brief hagiography.
[/quote]

:slight_smile: …I was asking you…


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