Melkite and Roman Catholic


Haha, I wish! He’s a legend. Read it in one of his books.



Some people in the West also like to push boundaries.


And I believe that we can learn from one another.


I think that as long as we are Catholics, being in unity with traditions of both Churches and therefore doctrines of both Churches can’t be wrong- Pope John Paul II defined it as “breathing with both lungs”. If Popes were more conscious of traditions of Eastern Churches (and sometimes, more conscious of traditions of Latin Church), problems like Latinization could be prevented. In my opinion splitting Church in two is not right as we are One True Church united like Christ prayed for us to be. I do not mean to say we should not distinguish between traditions of East and West, but we should accept both views to be correct and therefore we should be allowed to look from both angles, one at a time but switching not prohibited.


I’m just saying that it’s normal to hear some Melkites denying dogmas of the faith.


I agree with this statement. We are in communion with Rome (speaking as a Byzantine Catholic) and we accept that Rome can develop doctrine as they see fit. What Rome cannot do, and this is a touchy subject for some Eastern Catholics, is declare unilaterally that their doctrine, and especially their mode of theological expression, is incumbent upon and normative for all.

This is a great statement! And since Pope Leo XIII encyclical Orientalium Dignitas Rome has called for the Eastern Churches to ride themselves of latinizations and restore their ancient traditions. Unfortunately for many parishes, at least here in the U.S., these latinizations are so engraved in the community that there can be a lot of pushback.




I also have heard a lot of people from the West deny dogmas of the Faith.


Granted but the point I’m getting at is in the west those who do deny it deny them becaue they are heretics plain and simple and don’t care too much even branding themselves “liberal Catholics”

With some Melkites they don’t think denying dogma is heresy as being Eastern somehow legitimizes what they are doing as if truth were subjective and bound by geography and language rather than being objective and universal.


What dogmas do you speak of?



Filioque (No, I’m no talking about not reciting it in the creed) - Some Melkites deny the theology of the Filioque.

Papal universal jurisdiction and infallibility - Simply put, the Pope either is infallible and has universal jurisdiction or he doesn’t. There is no inbetween.

Immaculate conception - They say they don’t believe it because the underlying theology is different and therefore they don’t have to believe it. If something is true, it can be expressed in ALL theological contexts. The simple truth being articulated is that the Mother of God was without any orginal/ancestral sin as well as personal sin from the moment of her conception. She was always holy.


Regarding a number of doctrines espoused by the Church of Rome, none of them contradict the theologia prima held in common by ALL the Apostolic Churches, and as long as there is agreement at that level, there may be genuine diversity of expression at the level of theologia secunda. Which is why I, as a Byzantine Catholic, have no problem not beliving in the Immaculate Conception, for example. It is simply something particular to the Latin Church.

It’s noteworthy that none of the so-called dogmas to which the Orthodox claim to object were considered Church-dividing in the first millennium, and most of them are nothing more than differences in emphasis or terminology.



The doctrines of the two Rites are the same in essentials. They may be worded a bit differently, but the Melkite Church is in union with Rome.


This is where you’re wrong. It isn’t a “latin dogma or teaching”. It’s a dogma plain and simple. Orginal sin is part of the deposit of faith. You may express it differently BUT the essence of the dogma must be believed. It’s is not possible that in the west The Mother of God was sinless in all ways from conception and in the east she wasn’t. That is a contradiction, not difference in expression.

If this attitude was taken in the first millennium imagine how ridiculous the situation would be right now. Most of, if not all, the dogmas of the first millennium ecumenical councils were taught in a Greek theological context different from Latin. Could the Latins say “we are perfectly fine not believing in the Trinity as it’s foreign to the way we express truth but you guys can go on believing it”?

Somin ther You do believe in the filioque, Immaculate conception and Papal universal jurisdiction and infallibility?

I can tell you I’m the Orthodox east, they don’t and they call us heretics for believing in them.


From the Melkite Greek Catholic Eparchy of Newton:

I’ve posted this a number of times and the content come from Father Robert Taft SJ of blesses memory:

There are two levels of theology: theologia prima (which the Greeks call theologia); and theologia secunda (which the Greeks call theoria). The former is the foundational belief of the Church, as embedded in its rule of prayer, which is to say, its liturgical texts, in keeping with the maxim “lex orandi, Lex credendi”.

Theologia secunda, on the other hand, is the result of contemplation and reflection upon the theologia prima, and its elaboration into doctrine. Doctrine, however, is culturally, historically, and linguistically conditioned–the experience of each particular Church shapes how it understands the theologia prima. So, as Pope Saint John Paul II noted, doctrine is variable, but the underlying dogmatic faith is transcendent; we simply have to be careful not to conflate the two.



Sure, the uberdox converts you find on the internet. Not you run of the mill priest or parishioner.




To add to ziapueblo’s response, and speaking as an Orthodox Christian, I perceive what you are saying as “you easterners can have your liturgy and stuff, but you have to believe as the Latin church does”. Perhaps my perception is wrong, but I’m probably not the only Orthodox who sees it that way, I can see why you get less than favorable responses from Orthodox. Especially so if you are basing your opinion on interactions had on the internet.

Regarding the few points you mentioned: there are most definitely ways to understand the filioque that are compatible with Orthodox theology, but we have a hard time understanding why its addition to the Creed was necessary.

With regard to the Theotokos, we most certainly believe and affirm at every service that she is without sin, most pure, most holy, ever virgin, etc. Considering these strong affirmations, we don’t understand why it was necessary to make a dogmatic declaration regarding the nature of her conception.

The real challenge comes to defining what “universal jurisdiction” means. If restoration of communion between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches means the Pope can unilaterally change our Liturgy (to use an example that was recently discussed in another thread), that’ll be a non-starter and I can’t see even reasonable Orthodox agreeing to that.


The Melkite eparchy of Newton believe only 7 ecumenical councils have been held. I will take what they say with a grain of salt. I read the link and look what I found:

East and West agree that the Theotokos was fully human like the rest of us: what Fr Thomas Hopko calls “mere human,” unlike her Son who is a “real human” but not a mere human because He is the Word of God incarnate. In his book The Winter Pascha Hopko writes, “We are all born mortal and tending toward sin. But we are not born guilty of any personal sin, certainly not one allegedly committed ‘in Adam.’ Nor are we born stained because of the manner in which we are conceived by the sexual union of our parents.”

He says a normal human nature which the Mother of God had contains concuspicience. A tendency to sin is concuspicience which is an effect of the fall. He is literally saying The Mother of God had a fallen nature thus original sin (as concuspicience is part of the effects of orginal sin) and thus was not immaculately conceived. In simple the author is denying the dogma.

I understand everything you’re saying but what you’re saying does not negate the problem of denial of a dogma. Dogmas are Theologia prima or essentials hence they are called dogmas.

For example Purgatory is a dogma. You must believe that we pray for our dead after they die and these prayers are efficacious. Purifying fire and purgatory being place are theologia secunda which don’t need to be held by everyone.

I don’t care how the east or whoever chooses to explain something, what matters is that it is believed.

You can’t call the Immaculate coneption a mere doctrine when it was dogmatized. You can pontificate about how to explain it in your theological context but what you can’t do is say it isn’t true.

With regards to EO calling us heretics. Watch almost any rite of acceptance of a catholic and most times they have to renounce their “heresies”.


What I’m saying is if were are in communion that means we have the same faith. There is no latin vs eastern faith. There is the catholic faith and in the Catholic Church the Filioque, Immaculate conception, original sin, Papal infallibility and Universal jurisdiction are dogmas and cannot be denied under the pin of anathema. It’s that simple. Denying them is like denying the Hypostatic Union, Mary as Mother of God etc. You simply can’t if you wish to be called a catholic.

For example, you don’t have to call it “transubstantiation” nor speak of principles, accidents or substances but what you must believe is that Our Lord is truly present in the Eucharist.

Do you believe the Holy Spirit proceeds Eternally from the Father and the Son? That is, principally from the Father and mediately from the Son? Do you belive the Holy Spirit proceeds equally from the Father and the Son and obtains his being from them rather than a mere temporal mission?

It’s addition was necessary to combat a sect of Arianism in the west which used the exclusion of the Son from the Spirit’s procession to prove he wasn’t divine.

No an ecuemnical Council is not needed to amend the creed and there is no conciliar decree that says so. The council of Ephesus forbade additions to the creed that changed the substance of its faith but at the same Council various creeds were accepted with different wording. Further the decree of Ephesus was in reference to the creed of Nicaea not of Constantinople thus even the creed EO use is a creed full of additions which were unilaterally added (As at the time Constantinople I wasn’t even an ecumenical council but a local council and they didn’t consult the west).


You say that about personal sin but not about ancestral sin… which is different to the Immaculate conception which says she had no taint of orginal/ancestral sin from her coneption, not just personal sin. In other words she didn’t have a fallen nature but was like Adam and Eve before they fell.

It means what it says. He has legitimate authority over every single sector of the church. East and west.

He can but he won’t because that would be stupid and no pope has ever attempted to do that but he can.

The Catholic Church has said the truths of these dogmas were given by God to the Bishop of Rome. Rome will never concede these dogmas. In fact in ecumenical relations the easterners are the ones who are conceding and contemplating seriously the need for a universal head and not one just of mere honour.


Despite her having the possibility of sin, the Orthodox firmly hold that the Theotokos never sinned. Thus Jesus was born of a perfect human, yet inherited ALL it is to be human, and healed humanity of the consequences of the fall of our first parents.

Were the Eastern Catholic churches consulted when the Immaculate Conception was dogmatized? If not, that doesn’t really bode well for your further assertions the Pope wouldn’t just change our Liturgy…

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