Melkite and Roman Catholic


Uh, I think that having such written clarification would not be healthy for the Church. I’d limit myself on trusting Holy Spirit to lead the Pope as he had until now, to preserve him from error. If Pope saw any problems going on in Eastern Churches and had to wait until something happened to resolve it, it would hurt the Church.

We have all means of communications nowadays- unlike in 1st millennium, where it was not humanly possible for Pope to resolve everything even if absolutely necessary. I think using the infallibility of Pope granted to him by Holy Spirit to enrich entire Church and preserve it would be much more optimal. Dignity is important, but not more important than remaining clean from heresies and schisms. I would however be able to imagine a scenario where Universal Jurisdiction is limited to things concerning faith and morals. Appeals could be used for practical issues like jurisdiction etc.


However, the Chieti Document says other wise:

  1. Over the centuries, a number of appeals were made to the bishop of Rome, also from the East, in disciplinary matters, such as the deposition of a bishop. An attempt was made at the Synod of Sardica (343) to establish rules for such a procedure.(14) Sardica was received at the Council in Trullo (692).(15) The canons of Sardica determined that a bishop who had been condemned could appeal to the bishop of Rome, and that the latter, if he deemed it appropriate, might order a retrial, to be conducted by the bishops in the province neighbouring the bishop’s own. Appeals regarding disciplinary matters were also made to the see of Constantinople,(16) and to other sees. Such appeals to major sees were always treated in a synodical way. Appeals to the bishop of Rome from the East expressed the communion of the Church, but the bishop of Rome did not exercise canonical authority over the churches of the East.



I’m glad that there are people above my pay grade sorting this stuff out :laughing:



A court of appeals shouldn’t intervene into the jurisdiction of a lower court unless appealed to. Obviously the appellate court must have jurisdiction and authority over those other jurisdictions in the case of its rulings, but regular action isn’t really proper. It is harmful to the function of the Churches for Rome to be involved directly in every dispute, whether theological or canonical.

There is a middle ground between regular jurisdiction and a position of mere honor.


Interestingly enough, that phrase says he did not exercise it- not that he did not have it. I believe there were issues where appeals to Rome were made not from synod but only from one person and perhaps their party (such as Patriarch Ignatius appealing to Rome when he was deposed for denying Eucharist to noble).


Of course, I don’t want Rome to be directly involved in everything. Perhaps my understanding is wrong, but I believed Pope could intervene based on his own belief for it to be right. That would however violate the dignity and autonomy of Eastern Churches.

Yeah, your position seems to be pretty good for both sides. Only problem is resolving how would appeals have to be made.


That’s all well and good, but that document is binding on precisely no one, and what it puts forth is open to various interpretations. That document is a discussion summary from a Joint Commission between Eastern Orthodox Churches and the Catholic Church.

These types of meetings are a place for Bishops and theologians to get together, pray, and hash things out. They aren’t binding and they don’t often produce “working documents” that paint a necessary path forward. This document represents, at best, a general overview of what the particular people at that meeting could largely agree on.


Although, the phrase does. It say he had it either.



Although, the Catholic delegation is headed by the Secretary of the Pontifical Commission for Promoting Christian Unity, who is the Vatican’s chief ecumenical officer, and the statement is vetted by the Pope and the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.



Which means absolutely nothing in the end. It was a group of men from different Churches getting together to talk about the past, pray together, and agree to meet again in a few years to do the same thing all over again. They wrote out several paragraphs to summarize some bare minimum ideas they agreed on, carefully worded so that all sides could believe what they wanted to.

These kinds of meetings happen all the time and they amount to very little if anything. This wasn’t even a Joint Statement of Churches, but rather a summary statement fromone meeting of an intercommunal dialogue conference. :shrug:


Regardless of what you may think this is the foundation for future talks with the Orthodox.

How about they actually got together and discussed this while reading documents from the first millennium.

I would have to respectfully disagree. This document, the Ravenna document, the Balamand document are all ground breaking.



It isn’t really a foundation for future talks, it is just the talking position of this commission going forward. There was a time when the Council of Florence was the “foundation for future talks”, and that didn’t amount to anything either.

They did this at Florence as well, and several other gatherings besides. This commission has not even a fraction of the authority of those discussions.

This document didn’t break any ground at all. It was a discussion between several people who did not have the authority to negotiate reunion between their respective Churches. It was a meeting between selected representatives to pray and discuss matters, not a body working with any kind of authority to mend the fences.

It is a dialogue, and a nice one, but it is hardly ground breaking. It said nothing new, and had no authority to resolve anything going forward. It was an ecumenical (small e) and academic meeting of the minds.

The Zoghby initiative was more groundbreaking, IMO.

Peace and God bless!


As a general legal principle, it cannot, with its jurisdiction depending upon the appeal being proper.


Indeed. (message length requirement)


my concern with such statement is simply that it invalidates Latin dogma (not just doctrine).

Universal jurisdiction is understood to be, well, universal. There is nothing bad with Eastern Churches having different point of view but in essence truth is same. Either Pope does have Universal Jurisdiction and always had it (in one way or another) or he did not. There is no middle ground. Either Catholic Church was right about Pope having Universal Jurisdiction (perhaps in appeal sense), or wrong. I don’t see a scenario where Latin truthfully believes Pope has Universal Jurisdiction but Eastern Catholic truthfully believes that to be false. Interpretations of same truth may differ but truth itself can’t. This is simply why I don’t know how to take position towards Chieti Document if interpreted that way, as it implies Christ’s Church was wrong, and Holy Spirit did not lead us perfectly.


No you would simply be Catholic! If you were raised by Roman Catholic parents you would be Roman Catholic. If you were raised by Melkite Catholic parents then you’d be Melkite! The only way you could become another rite is if you asked for and was granted a formal transfer of rites or married an individual of another rite and were married in their church. As a member of the Catholic Church you however can attend Mass/Divine Liturgy at any Catholic Church (even that of another rite than what you are) and fulfill your Sunday obligation.


You do realize right that there really is no such thing as the Roman Catholic Church! The church in Rome at the Vatican legal name is “The Catholic Church.” The term “Roman Catholic” was put on us in early American history by protestant’s who wanted to use the term “catholic” which means “universal.” The term “Roman Catholic” was actually considered a derogatory statement. It would be equivalent to calling a black person by the “n” word! Properly Catholics are either Eastern Rite Catholics or they are Latin Rite Catholics!


Not quite. You are enrolled in a particular church (not rite) at baptism. Your father’s church, if he is Catholic, otherwise your mother’s, unless the parents request another church at the time.

It’s older than that . . . it at least goes to Henry, who fancied himself still Catholic after the split.


Actually, I’m Ruthenian Greek Catholic which uses the Byzantine rite. We are particular Churches.



A Ruthenian Catholic is still an Eastern Rite Catholic! Byzantine is the Rite and the Byzantine Rite is within the Eastern Rite Catholic Church.

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