Traditionalists and the Eastern Orthodox

In recent weeks, I have come to believe I am nearing the end of my search for the Church. I had spent over a year comparing Catholicism and Orthodoxy, attempting to determine which one was the true Church. The evidence in favor of Roman primacy has led me to accept the Catholic view. However, in visiting this forum, it seems that the Catholic view itself is not so clear.

First, I am thinking specifically of ecumenical councils. My understanding of the Catholic position is that a council is binding if it is ratified by the pope. The Orthodox position is more vague, but it rejects the idea of papal ratification, determining that a council is binding if it is accepted by the faithful.

This brings me to the Traditionalist attitude about Vatican II. I refer specifically to those Traditionalists who do not believe the Council was binding. If they truly are traditionalists, as they say, then they must be holding to the authentic, traditional Catholic teaching. And yet, my understanding is that Vatican II was ratified by the pope. Therefore, if the Traditionalists are right, then papal ratification is *not *the basis for determining that a Council is binding.

Second, I am thinking of what determines if an individual is in the Church. My understanding is that the Catholic position is that one is in the Church if is in communion with and in obedience to the pope. My understanding of the Orthodox position is that one is in the Church if one holds to the correct teachings. The dissenting Traditionalists, however, appear to hold to the latter position.

On these two issues, then, it appears that the Traditionalists are in agreement with the Orthodox. On what basis, then, do they remain separate from the Orthodox Church? Also, if an inquirer, like myself, was trying to find the true Church, how would he or she know that the Traditionalists, rather than the Orthodox, were part of the true Church?

Thanks and God bless!

My understanding of the Catholic position is that a council is binding if it is ratified by the pope. The Orthodox position is more vague, but it rejects the idea of papal ratification, determining that a council is binding if it is accepted by the faithful.

the catholic church teaches that a council is not superior to the pope and only valid when done in communion with the pope. the council doesn’t have to go through any official ratification by the pope, only that the pope or his representative was involved in the process.

Second, I am thinking of what determines if an individual is in the Church.

there is the visible and invisible church. obedience to the pope is necessary for a catholic’s salvation, but obedience is not necessary to be in his church. the orthodox are a visible part of the church as they are apostolic, albeit a wounded one.

On these two issues, then, it appears that the Traditionalists are in agreement with the Orthodox. On what basis, then, do they remain separate from the Orthodox Church?

when you say traditionalist, you are you referring the sspx or sedevacantist? the sspx are arguable not schismatic in the strict sense as they recognize B16 as the vicar of Christ’s church. the sspx see the orthodox as schismatics as do all traditional catholics.

Also, if an inquirer, like myself, was trying to find the true Church, how would he or she know that the Traditionalists, rather than the Orthodox, were part of the true Church?

i would say that the since the church is the body of Christ, the true church would be the one that is most visibly is a body. as you know, every body should have a head. and the true church should be built on rock and not sand. we find both these qualities most in the catholic church in full communion with the pope.

all church’s claim that Christ is their head, but only the catholic church claims that the pope is the visible head of his church. for the orthodox, there is no single visible head here on earth, only Christ.

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