Melkite and Roman Catholic


Aren’t the latin fathers fathers to you? Or are only Greek speaking fathers the ones that count? Aren’t all fathers equally fathers? This shouldn’t be point be that it’s found in the patrimony of the church period. Rather than found in the “latin” patrimony.

That’s simply not true. The Immaculate conception wa aquite popular a few centuries ago amongst Easterners Orthodox. A group of Russian priests had an order dedicated to the Immaculate conception. At the council of Florence Mark of Ephesus, ironically, defended the Immaculate conception against the Dominicans (who opposed it following St Thomas Aquinas).

The evidence in the fathers of the east is there too for many of these concepts. One patriarch of Jerusalem blatantly called he pope infallible. The ecumenical councils all hint at it when saying the Roman see had not and would not ever fall into error. Patriarch Terasisus of Constantinople at the 7th ecumenical Council confesses the Filioque saying the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father through the Son
(Not just a temporal mission) and that wa accepted in the official acts of the council without debate. I can go on and on.

I have never imposed a western understanding and no amount of repeating this untruth will make it true. Dogmas are neither eatsern nor western. They are just true.

In Eastern Orthodoxy yes. In eastern Catholicism he can as well as in Oriental Orhtodoxy and in the Assyrian tradition. The Byzantine Orthodox tradition used to have such powers for its patriarchs if you care to look at their history but excessive conciliarims diminished the patriarchs power together with the local bishop. Hence during the reunion efforts amongst Ruthenians, the main argument for communion was more power for local bishops and patriarchs and being freed of the strangle of the synod.


A synod overrules and individual bishop.

A future pope. While the pope still lives and reigns the laity have been instructed not to follow him. That was Pope Pius IX (The pope who dogmatised papal infallibility) who said that. You resist a wayaward pope and issue correction but nobody can judge him. Look up the case of Pope John XXII for example and the beatific vision controversy.


Yes I have.

The Immaculate conceptions is not a latin expression. It’s a teaching. The latin expression is the theology behind it. Same with all other.s

Let me ask you something, by your reasoning is the Holy the Trinity latin or Greek or is it simply a teaching?


I’m sure I’ve posted this here. From the Melkite Greek Catholic Eparchy of Newton:



Can I show you something interesting? The Melkites at Vatican II and would have said yes to every single question I just asked you.

For example, the Melkite Holy Synod, presided over by Patriarch Maximos IV and including Archbishop Elias Zoghby, said the following at Vatican II concerning papal infallibility(bolding added at most relevant spots):

The foundation of papal infallibility: The pope is infallible only because he is the head of the apostolic college and the spokesman of the infallibility of this college and of the whole Church. When thus clarified, infallibility becomes comprehensible. It is no longer an honorary privilege. The pope does not proclaim infallible dogmas without reason, without foundation, without reference to Scripture, to Tradition, and to the Church, needlessly, just to show that he is pope. Infallibility is a charism granted to him for the general welfare and stemming from his ministry. . . . it is true that the definitions of the pope are irreformable and without appeal, but we think that a clarification should be added, namely, that the definitions of the pope cannot contradict the faith of the Church and of the episcopal college.

And yet the apostolic college has a ‘primate,’ Peter, who continues to live in his successor. He too, if he speaks under the requisite conditions of manifest information, freedom, and presidency, in his capacity as primate of the apostolic episcopate, and, committing his full authority to it, formulates an indisputable affirmation ‘ex sese’ [of himself]. Just as the college of bishops did not need the canonical consent of the clerics and faithful to formulate their real faith in all clarity, drawing them out of the labyrinth of actual or possible controversies, neither does the pope need the canonical consent of the bishops and the faithful to be infallible. He is united as one with them. He proclaims—in the exercise of his office—their faith and his own. His formulation cannot contradict what the Church—the bishops and the faithful—has believed and believes as a whole, even if only very implicitly until then.


The Bishop of Rome operates as the center of unity of the body, from which he receives at all times suggestions, advice, reminders, which may go so far, as in the case of Paul with Peter at Antioch, and so many Fathers of the Church with the popes of Rome, as respectful but vigorous objections. “When Cephas came to Antioch,” says Paul, “I opposed him to his face, for he was clearly wrong” (Galatians 2:11). Without doubt the pope reserves for himself the right to judge as a last resort, discerning what in the wishes of his brothers comes or does not come from the Holy Spirit. It is his responsibility to affix his definitive seal on what has been decided by the unanimity, at least moral, among his brothers of the episcopal college.


Lastly to show dogmatic content of the post schism councils and that they held them just as authoritative as any ecumenical council, in Chapter 15, while discussing the indissolubility of marriage with reference to Eastern and Western practice, Patriarch Maximos IV declares:

The indissolubility of marriage has been solemnly defined by the Council of Trent. It is an object of faith for every Catholic and closes the door to all discussion. Period.

I think that many Melkites will find this shocking, but there it is (see In addition, others quotes from Melkite sources say that there are “no disagreements” concerning doctrines like the Immaculate Conception, Purgatory, etc.


I hear what you are saying, but don’t understand. I agree if the Eastern Churches wish to use a particular language in their liturgy, or do things a certain way they should have that right. However if they want to use leavened bread & Rome says, “That’s not right.” Then the Eastern Church has to accept that.

At the same time if the Eastern Church says, “Their is no time in eternity so “Purgatory” can’t involve space or time.” Then Rome has to accept that.

I think it should be a two way street, but both roads should lead to heaven.

The understanding of original sin, which I believe is the gist of the difference in our understanding of the Immaculate Conception is a big difference, in my mind. I don’t see how we can both say we are right.


And my article from the Eparchy of Newton? What is your opinion of the Zogoby Initiative? It is what 25 of 27 Melkites agreed upon and is what is the current thinking of the Melkite Church. And you know, the Melkite Church is at the forefront of dialogue between East and West. How many Melkite Divine Liturgies have you attended? How many Melkite laity or clergy do you know and speak with regularly about these issues?



The zoghby initiative was rejected by both Rome and the Eastern Orthodox. It’s well meaning but disingenuous and logically untenable. Bishop John Eliya’s criticisms of it, though unpopular, were correct. The initiative clearly goes against the patrimony of the Melkites…as recent as the Melkite fathers of Vatican II.

What the Melkite synod said at Vatican II clearly is not what they are saying today. It’s a contradiction. We know what contradicting your predecessors and fathers means in church history. As well meaning as it is, it’s never a good thing.

To me honestly, the zoghby intiative just sounds like doctrinal relativism. You believe what you believe in the west and we believe what we do in the east, even if we contradict each other, as long as we are in communion. It’s just an eatsern version of the Anglican outlook of dogma. Different places officially holding or rejecting different things yet still claiming to all be of the same church.


And the last two Patriarchs of the Melkite Church want to look into it again as well as Patriarch John X of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch.

He was one of two while 25 voted for. They were pretty outnumbered I would say.

The holy Synod of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church that met in Rabweh, Lebanon July 22-27, 1996 seems to agree with the Zoghby Initiative.

It is a call towed communion with the Orthodox and by the way, Rome does not seem to mind. If the Pope of Rome has supreme jurisdiction and what they are doing is against the teachings of VII or the Church, why have they not been reprimanded?

East and West complement each other they do not contradict each other. By the way, it worked for the first millennium of the Church.



If John the X wants to remain in communion with the wider EO communion then he can’t accept the dual communion proposal of the Zoghby initiative. That’s why we won’t ever accept it.

I know he was… i’m well aware of the zoghby initiative just so you know. Popularity does not determine truth. Look at St Athanasius of Alexandria of St Hilary of Poitiers in the west.

That’s well after Vatican II. So just as I said; it’s new trumps old yet they say modernism doesn’t exists in the east.

Rome does mind that why she flat out rejected it.

It’s not IF, Rome does have universal supreme justisdiction. Your own bishops signed of on the decree itself then reaffirmed it almost 100 years later at Vatican II.


Uh they have. Let us look at Rome’s response to the Zoghby Initiative…

"As to the Greek Melkite Catholics declaring their complete adhesion to the teaching of Eastern Orthodoxy, it is necessary to take into account the fact that the Orthodox Churches today are not in full communion with the Church of Rome, and that this adhesion is therefore not possible as long as there is not a full correspondence in the profession and exercise of the faith by the two parties.

The Roman response insists on the need to maintain the fully developed doctrine of the Roman primacy since it is an essential component of the Catholic faith.

"We know that the doctrine concerning the primacy of the Roman Pontiff has experienced a development over time within the framework of the explanation of the Church’s faith, and it has to be retained in its entirety, which means from its origins to our day."

These two quotations are from the Congregation for the Eastern Churches Prot. No. 251/75 (June 11, 1997.)

They are addressed to His Beatitude Maximos V Hakim, the Greek Melkite Catholic Patriarch. The text then moves on to cite the relevant sections of the documents of Vatican I and Vatican II.

The Rome is telling the Eastern Churches in no uncertain terms that they are obliged to accept the entirety of the teaching on the Papacy, right up to its present day development. They are not giving the Eastern Churches the option of staying behind at whatever the doctrine may have been in the century when they joined the Catholic Church.

Why Rome doesn’t continuously remind the Melkites of this? Simply because she has bigger fish to fry in the latin Church with all the modernists causing a mess.

In the way we expresss the same faith when we hold the same faith. However with some Melkites we don’t hold the same faith. Most Catholics (including easterners) say the pope is infallible and some Melkites say no. That is a contradiction.

It really didn’t. There were 6 schisms between the east and the west in the first millennium over doctrinal issues because both understood the need for dogmatic unity. We are still in then 6th schism today.


That’s quite possible. But it is the unfortunate situation in Syrian that has brought true friendship between the Melkite Church and the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch and the need to be in communion for the people. With what is happening between the MP and EP, and with Francis Pope of Rome, this could be an opportunity for communion between our two Churches.

Actually most Byzantines see things the way that the Melkite Church does. But you are right, there are some.


Which were resolved. Resent Popes of Rome have said that there is no need for change in theology for full communion with the Orthodox.



This was rejected by both churches as conversions by pieces is not the ideal anymore but a full restoration of communion with all EO churches. Hences a few years back Rome rejected the Macedonian Orthodox’s attempt at reunion with Rome.

Nah it’s most who agree with papal infallibility. It’s really only the Melkites who tend to struggle with it. Even check the new Ukrainian Catholic catechism (the UGCC is also the biggest EC Church) :

“291. Each local congregation in administering the Eucharist by its bishop and through community of faith comes into communion with the other local congregations. Local congregations being in communion form the Local Church headed by a primate – a bishop, archbishop, metropolitan or patriarch. The first among the local Churches is the Roman Church, since it has the Pope of Rome – a successor of Apostle Peter – as its primate. He is the teacher and the rule of the apostolic faith, to whom the Lord gives a gift of infallibility in the matters of faith and morals. Just as apostle Peter expressed a love to Christ that was bigger than that of the others and received a commission from Christ to tend his flock (cf. Jn 21:15-18), so the Roman Peter’s Chair “presides in love”244 and holds primacy among the local churches245. This primacy is effected through Peter’s ministry of the Roman bishops, which our Church confesses in the title “The Most Holy Universal Hierarch”.

See my amended post above. Sorry.

Nah Rome officially said to the Melkites plainly :

"We know that the doctrine concerning the primacy of the Roman Pontiff has experienced a development over time within the framework of the explanation of the Church’s faith, and it has to be retained in its entirety, which means from its origins to our day."



When it comes to Latins quoting Eastern ones it is those whom you believe to be “true” Catholics! Here is what the current bishop of the Eparchy of Newton has to say:

“ In 1997 a letter to the Melkite Patriarch and Synod was presented by Joseph Cardinal Ratsinger, Achille Cardinal Silvestrini and Edward Cardinal Cassidy, representing the Pontifical Dicasteries of Doctrine of the Faith, Eastern Churches, and Council for Christian Unity respectively. Although many interpreted this letter as a rejection of the project, it gave in reality reflections to continue this dialogue “with caution.” Proof of this came on September 29, 1998 when Pope John Paul II met with the Eastern Catholic Patriarchs and strongly encouraged them to help restore full unity with Orthodox Churches. St. John Paul II asked them to seek with him the most suitable forms of Petrine ministry, engaging them and also Orthodox Patriarchs and theologians “in a patient and fraternal dialogue on the ways to exercise this ministry of united”. Basically he said and recognized that the Pope was the issue of disunity in sense – so let’s talk about how my ministry can be adapted and properly understood.”

As for the Melkite at Vatican I:

Patriarch Gregory II Youssef, “The Eastern Church attributes to the pope the most complete and highest power, however in a manner where the fullness and primacy are in harmony with the rights of the patriarchal sees. This is why, in virtue of and ancient right founded on customs, the Roman Pontiffs did not, except in very significant cases, exercise over these sees the ordinary and immediate jurisdiction that we are asked now to define without any exception. This definition would completely destroy the constitution of the entire Greek church. That is why my conscience as a pastor refuses to accept this constitution.”

And when he did sign they added, “except the rights and privileges of Eastern patriarchs.”

I guess we could use your argument that the fathers at Vatican II are going against the fathers at Vatican I, but I’m sure you’ll think of something like the Melkites at VI were not even Catholic :joy: But in all actuality it is a natural progression.

As for Vatican II:

Great article written by Father Robert Taft S.J. of blessed memory (seems that the Melkites then and now see themselves as Orthodox in communion with Rome):



Again, both Melkite and Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch wish to reopen this. As for the UGCC and the new Ukrainian Orthodox Church? We could see a Slavic version of the Zoghby Initiative.

I’ve said this time and again. Roman Catholics think that Catholic is synonymous for Roman Catholic. Being in communion with you guys is a tough job but we do so for Christ and the greater good.



Complete and utter nonsense. Please don’t put words into my mouth. All I’m saying is that the latin Church Numbers 1 billion people so the harm caused by modernists there is of more concern than the harm done by a small few in the east. It’s priorities case closed. Nevermind that the latin Church is also his patriarchal church so it has first importance when matters come to his attention that need to be dealt with.

Rome never said in it’s rebuttal to stop with ecumenism nor did I claim it did. All I showed was what Rome said was not up for debate and why it rejected the initiative as it was initially presented. Even your own quote shows they have had to amend their approach to abide by Rome’s guidelines in its response.

LOL yet he signed it in the end thus giving consent to it. That’s the one thing you can’t get around


Secondly Patriach Joseph was part of the preparatory commission of Vatican I and in the private discussions affirmed most assuredly to the pope, his belief in his infallibility and supremacy but said these decrees would pose ecumenical problems with the Orthodox and on those grounds would not be wise to push through papal universal jurisdiction and infallibility. In fact the whole summation of the eatsern opposition even on the floor at the council was summed up in this little fact. They never denied the truth of the decree but said it would almost destroy relations with the EO

This is a quote from the Council of Florence mind you. A quote which should have no authority by your reasoning since post schism councils aren’t authoritative in the east yet here is your patriarch invoking said council thus refuting you.

Your church went on to reaffirm it at Vatican II.

Actually no you cant becauese the Melkites did sign the decree in the end lol

The synods quotes at Vatican II trump everything you put down. They spoke for themselves quite clearly and that was far from orthodox in communion with Rome.


That has already been ruled out. I keep up to date with these things.

Secondly the UGCC would only wish to do with unity of faith and they have never indidcated that they would abandon their faith. In fact their new catechism all the more shows where they stand on key issues like Papal Inflaibility. They even call the pope “Universal Hierarch”. That’s so over the top that even I as a latin quibble at that but that’s how affirmative they hey are on their faith in these matters.

Nobody has ever said this nor have I ever suggested this. I regularly attend a Maronite Church just so you know. I’m well aware of what Eastern Catholics are and they aren’t Roman. Neither are they Eastern Orthodox.


I guess you got me!

Question, are ok with The Second Vatican Ciuncils decree on the Eastern Catholic Churches? I mean, it states that we are not Roman Catholic, or “rites” of the Roman Catholic Church. The document affirms that we are our own Churches who’s ecclesiastical heritage is apostolic and not less then, but the same level as the Latin Church. It also goes on to say that we are to retrieve this heritage. I see that as not being Latin.

Pope Saint John Paul II in his apostolic letter is saying the same thing.

The reason I ask is because, at least to me, you seem to think that we Easterners are to believe as Latins, speak as Latins, act as Latins but practice a liturgy that is Eastern.

I’m truly curious.


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