What are the arguments against Catholicism from the Eastern Orthodox that you often encounter?


#1

Is there any official arguments against the Catholic Church?

What are the ones you often encounter?


#2

I suppose this isn’t quite the answer you are looking for, but many arguments that I’ve seen coming from members of Orthodox churches too often arise from a faulty understanding of what Catholics believe. One I encountered recently had to do with the way Orthodox communion (the body and blood co-mingled and given to the faithful from a type of spoon) is distributed. This person assumed it was superior since according to him “Catholics only receive the bread” (his words) although he did conclude “that was somewhat changing” since some parishes allows members to receive from the chalice.

My first thought was Catholics believe each species contains down to the tiniest fragment or drop the complete body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ, don’t the Orthodox believe that? If not why? The other thing was where has he been for 50 years, most parishes distribute the blood along with the host – it’s only recently that some parishes only distribute the host.

While this man was not a theologian or priest he was purporting to accurately represent not only his beliefs but also those of the Catholic Church. Which I know he wasn’t doing for the Catholics.

ChadS


#5

Papal infallibility and the filioque are often mentioned.


#6

What is the purpose of this question? are you being prosletized? Are you feeling drawn to Orthodoxy?

Most Orthodox don’t think about Catholicism at all.


#9

Most may not think of other religions but you will hardly find that to be the case on these Forums. Many posters spend a lot of time in research and reflection about the meaning of Catholicism and the differences between it and other religions.


#10

Has universal papal supremacy and jurisdiction been mentioned? Perhaps some Orthodox might worry that in the case of a reunion, a Pope could invoke universal papal supremacy and jurisdiction to make changes in the Orthodox liturgy?


#12

Vatican II Ecumenical efforts reminded the Church to respect each Catholic (Orthodox) apostolic Liturgical rite. Latin Rite Catholic Bishop’s and clergy are not to change or convert Byzantine Rite Catholic’s to Latin and vice versa.

The laity are free to convert to each one’s liturgy, still the aforementioned is not to be considered the norm.

We want each apostolic Church to maintain their respected ancient apostolic liturgy. The bishop’s of Rome cannot make changes to the apostolic liturgical rites, only defend them in their Orthodoxy from any changes to their apostolic substance.

Objections from the Orthodox Churches, are not officially, necessarily objecting to the way the Latin Rite (West) expresses or has defended our Latin Orthodox faith against heresy, secularism. The root of their objection (schism, not separation) is placed on the authority of the bishop of Rome, to bind and loose on earth.

I have debated Orthodox on the Filioque here. I have yet to find one Orthodox who can accurately define the Latin Rite’s expression of the Filioque when professed in the Nicene Creed. When an Orthodox attempts to define the Filioque, they create a mythical monster.

Orthodox object to Transubstantiation, yet they believe as we Latin Rite Catholic’s do, that a substantial change (Transubstantiation) occurs to the bread and wine at the confection.

Authority of the bishop of Rome is the most common misunderstood biblical apostolic doctrine by the Orthodox.

The Orthodox need not fear, the bishop of Rome. The bishop of Rome does not exist to usurp authority from their bishop’s or patriarch’s, as when their Patriarch’s from Constantinople, declared authority over their apostolic sees.

Peace be with you


#13

I’ve only heard something along the lines of “8 out of 9 patriarchs agree” or something, in regards to the Orthodox church’s legitimacy.


#14

I see disputes about all the obvious things, but the most interesting diverse opinions between Catholic and Orthodox centre around original sin and punishment/consequences of sin. I have to say I very much lean to the Orthodox understanding that death is a necessary consequence of sin, rather than a punishment for it, stemming from a separation from the Holy Spirit, and that ultimate salvation is Union with God.
Now, from what I have read, Catholic teaching doesn’t really go in any different direction, perhaps a slightly different emphasis and different language, but those are the debates that interest me, rather than endless snark about patriarchs and the papacy.


#15

Does the Roman Pope have universal supremacy and jurisdiction over the entire Church or not?


#16

Here is what Vatican I declared:
So, then, if anyone says that the Roman Pontiff has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole Church, and this not only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the Church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the Churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful: let him be anathema.
It seems from this document that the Roman Pope can make changes to the liturgy of the Orthodox church.? This is an official document issued infallibly, is it not?


#17

Yes. The local Bishop of Rome does not have supremacy and jurisdiction over the entire Church. The Bishop of Rome presiding in the Chair of Peter who possesses the divine keys, Jesus gives to Peter singularly “to bind and loose on the whole earth”, Jesus will bind and loose in heaven. Here Peter can exercise his supremacy and jurisdiction over the entire Church.


#18

I’m 43 and never been to a church where Catholics could only receive the bread.


#19

I cannot comment on your document, do you have an official site where this may have been copied from, so that I can view?

I don’t find this to be an infallible statement. This document never gives the Pope’s any authority to change any apostolic liturgy. I know of no document that declares a Pope to change an apostolic liturgy.


#20

I thought that Vatican I was infallible?
https://www.ewtn.com/library/COUNCILS/V1.HTM


#21

“Vatican II Ecumenical efforts reminded the Church to respect each Catholic (Orthodox) apostolic Liturgical rite. Latin Rite Catholic Bishop’s and clergy are not to change or convert Byzantine Rite Catholic’s to Latin and vice versa.”

My Reply: This is very nice, but up until 1965ish the “policy” was very different. Just Google St. Alexis Toth and that whole sad affair.

“The laity are free to convert to each one’s liturgy, still the aforementioned is not to be considered the norm.”

My Reply: One does not “convert” to a Liturgy. We have different understandings of the role of the Liturgy and this plays out in our respective praxis.

“We want each apostolic Church to maintain their respected ancient apostolic liturgy. The bishop’s of Rome cannot make changes to the apostolic liturgical rites, only defend them in their Orthodoxy from any changes to their apostolic substance.”

My Reply: I can appreciate your kindness, but this is incorrect, as the sad fate of the Tridentine Liturgy demonstrates.

“Objections from the Orthodox Churches, are not officially, necessarily objecting to the way the Latin Rite (West) expresses or has defended our Latin Orthodox faith against heresy, secularism. The root of their objection (schism, not separation) is placed on the authority of the bishop of Rome, to bind and loose on earth.”

My Reply: Papal doctrines are the heart of it, yes.

“I have debated Orthodox on the Filioque here. I have yet to find one Orthodox who can accurately define the Latin Rite’s expression of the Filioque when professed in the Nicene Creed. When an Orthodox attempts to define the Filioque, they create a mythical monster.”

My Reply: Perhaps our troubles stemmed from the fact that Rome has changed it’s position since St Photius’ day. We are arguing with a position Rome no longer holds. The fact that you allow your Greek Catholics and others to omit the Filioque show that maybe there is something there to re-evaluate.

“Orthodox object to Transubstantiation, yet they believe as we Latin Rite Catholic’s do, that a substantial change (Transubstantiation) occurs to the bread and wine at the confection.”

My Reply: We object to trying to define the Sacred Mystery of the Eucharist. Why not just leave it alone? Your use of metaphysics and Scholastic speak to “explain” has created a stumbling block not just to us. The post modern world rejects metaphysics et al. The entire “intellectual” base from which you posit has been pulled out from under you. You can’t define what is incomprehensible. The fact that you tried was one of our early facepalms in dealing with you.

“Authority of the bishop of Rome is the most common misunderstood biblical apostolic doctrine by the Orthodox.”

My Reply: We understand quite well. We reject the idea that Papal Supremacy is biblical or Apostolic.

“The Orthodox need not fear, the bishop of Rome. The bishop of Rome does not exist to usurp authority from their bishop’s or patriarch’s, as when their Patriarch’s from Constantinople, declared authority over their apostolic sees”

My Reply: The very assertion of Papal authority is considered a usurpation.


#22

The post-modern world rejects many things. Why would that rejection of Scholastic thought in regards to the Eucharist be a stumbling block? Many people who adhere to post-modern thinking believe all religions are equal in their ability to save, while others believe there is no one, single truth. I assume as an Orthodox believer you would reject that aspect of post-modern thinking.

To be honest I’m not sure all Orthodox have a handle on Catholic teaching on Papal Infallibility. Again, going back to the Orthodox gentleman I mentioned in an earlier post he stated that Catholics believe one man alone can make a decision about what the Church teaches. That is nowhere near what the Church teaches about Papal Infallibility. For the Pope to exercise Infallibility it has to be relegated to the field of faith and morals. It must also be done in consultation with his brother bishops and in the modern age will probably mean commissions and reports etc. etc. If you read the declaration on the Immaculate Conception it lays out pretty clearly who was consulted, how and why. You will see quite clearly and quickly this wasn’t a decision made by one man.

ChadS


#23

I have read many Orthodox Saints using the term Transubstantiation. I don’t think there is any problem with this term or the teaching behind it in the Orthodox Church. It is very important to understand what happens to the bread and wine that become the body and blood of our God, so that we do not fall into the heresies that many protestants have with regard to it and treat it with the proper fear.


#24

This is where the Orthodox might fear that the Roman Pontiff, exercising his supremacy and jurisdiction, could require a change in the Divine Liturgy of the Eastern Orthodox Church.


#25

I do indeed reject the idea that there is no truth (which is an old one, really.)

It is a stumbling block because it speaks in an outmoded and to the post-modern world discredited philosophical system. God as intellectual exercise in the 21st Century impedes the spread of the Gospel.

In my opinion arguing with Atheists about “proof” of God is more harmful to evangelization than anything else.

I thoroughly reject “clever” Apologetics.

GK Chesterton: Brilliant writer, terrible evangelist.

As for infallibility, I think you will find we understand it quite well (with exceptions of course)

Just because he consults your bishops about something doesn’t mean he is bound to listen. Humanae Vitae is a prime example, but also infallibility itself. Many bishops (including Cardinal Newman) opposed promulgation of the doctrine formally. He makes the decision alone and is bound by no one. The fact he practices courtesy is irrelevant to the fact that he claims this authority in one office.


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