An expert in the Catholic Church on the East/West split is a man by the name of James Likoudis. He has written three books on the subject. The most recent one is called “Eastern
Orthodoxy and the See of Peter”(2006) Mr. Likoudis is a convert from the Greek Orthodox Church. He also has many articles published. I will type his website address below. Scroll to the bottom of the Webpage for EO issues.His books are available there as well.
There is another source of info you may want to check out. A Lebanese Greek Orthodox college professor by the name of Lina Murr Nehme’ has written a book called “1453: Muhammad II imposes the Orthodox Schism” claiming that the Orthodox are in schism and she is Orthodox!! I have not read the book yet as it is not easily available in the US. It was published in Arabic but there is an English Translation that James Likoudos can direct you to through his website listed in my previous post. (You’ll have to contact him) You’ll find a short synopsis of the book and an interview with the author about the book at the address listed below.
Thanks for the correction, I will take note of it from now on. I am very interested in whether or not the early Church was primarily concilar or whether it was more of Roman primacy. How much of an effect the Bishop of Rome had in Councils, and whether it was more consensus or more his role.
Thanks again for the links, I have read a little from the previous website and have found it interesting. I will cross examine his statements when I have more time and check out the new information you have posted, thanks!
It’s also worth bearing in mind that Councils were widely used primarily because that was how the Emperor wanted it to be done, before the 4th century there were none (excluding the Apostolic one at Jerusalem which is arguably an Ecumenical Council) and the Council of Chalcedon in particular spoke very highly of the Pope. Read this and see what you think: bringyou.to/apologetics/a35.htm
Funny how the Orthodox are so picky when apparently Christ wasn’t. He still said, “Thou art Peter, and on this rock I will build My Church.” Christ never revoked his promise to build the Church on him. The Orthodox have a funny habit of ignoring things they don’t like.
You also have to mention that** only Peter was given the keys of the kingdom of heaven** and it was not given to the rest of the Apostles. Eastern Orthodoxy held their authority on the synods of bishops.
Thanks for the link, I have heard of those letters before, but am rereading it now.
I am very interested. You said that the EO is only schismatic (as others have pointed out) and not false. Does this mean that you believe salvation can be equally obtained in either the EO or the Catholic Church, and is the truth fully represented by both? If not then I would have to argue that one is indeed false (and also schismatic).
I believe that the EO take a different view of translating the account of Jesus telling Peter that upon this “rock” I will build my Church. They prefer to translate the rock as the recognition of Jesus as the Christ and that all Apostles shared in that priviledge. Also, I believe the EO accuses the RCC of mistranslating that and they attribute it to the fact that the latin translation is wrong, and the original Greek does not portray such an interpretation. (Again none of this is verified, I have only picked it up along the way and anyone is free to challenge my ideas about the EO’s position).
The funeral service of the Orthodox Church contains the following prayer, which refutes what you just stated:
“Greatly merciful Sovereign Lord Jesus Christ our God, Who after Your holy, third day resurrection from the dead gave to Your holy Disciples and Apostles the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and also the authority of Your Grace both to bind and to loose the sins of men, so that bound in Heaven would be whatsoever things through them might be bound on earth, and likewise loosed in Heaven whatsoever things; through them might be loosed; and gave also that as their successors, we, Your deficient and unworthy servants, should have, by Your unutterable and manbefriending love, this same exceedingly holy Gift and Grace from You, so that we in like manner should both bind and loose the things that happen to be done among Your people.”
This prayer was not a Post-Schism liturgical innovation and is in fact used also by Eastern Catholic Churches. Ergo, your claim that only St. Peter held the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven is a false belief that is contradicted even in the casual prayers of the ancient Church. This doesn’t help the claims of your Church to be the true, unchanging Church of Christ.
While obviously each of the Twelve (and consequently all bishops) had authority, Peter had (and consequently the Bishop of Rome has) something the others did not. Like the “rock” in Mt.16:18, the keys, binding and loosing can have multiple true meanings. If I’m not mistaken the Orthodox restrict these to forgiveness of sins while Catholics interpret it as authority and jurisdiction. Thus I think Catholics have a richer and fuller understanding of these matters.
Yes you can definitely get saved through the Eastern Orthodox Church, whether as well as the Catholic Church I don’t know, but I would say yes with two exceptions: 1) A Catholic that knowing what they are doing and with full consent leaves the Catholic Church to become Orthodox is committing the mortal sin of schism and 2) Any Orthodox knowing the Catholic Church to be the one founded by Jesus and then refusing to enter could not be saved (this is more than just someone screaming become Catholic or burn though not sure exactly how much knowledge is needed, only God knows).
But an Orthodox Christian who say grew up in Russia went through all life very committed and Russian Orthodox was the Christianity they knew would as far as I can tell definitely be saved provided they died in a state of grace. I may be wrong about this though so I’ll see what other people think
Certainly the RCC and EO believe that a person who has no connection or real knowledge of the other can get saved, but the issue is that one of these two options has the fullness of the truth. Thus this is not just “schism” it is, one church is wrong, and the other is right. Let us take only one issue, the primacy of the Pope. The RCC accepts this as truth, yet the EO rejects it. Thus only one of these is true, this means that the other is false. You said yourself that schism was a mortal sin, so how is it that the entire EO is not involved in some kind of mortal sin? How much of this can we really chaulk up to ignorance?
Strong words, but you need to back them up. It is one thing to call a man wrong, it is another to prove him wrong. I would ask you to give some kind of argument for your position.
The EO is false at least on some levels according to RCC teaching, it is literally impossible for two contradictory statements to be true, thus, “The Pope is infallible” and “The Pope is not infallible” are literally contradictory and thus one side is false and the other is true. Being closest in form is not what I am after here, I want the truth. Thanks for your post!
The difference is between formal and material schism. All Eastern Orthodox are in material schism but only those who have actively rejected the Catholic Church are in a formal schism, which is a mortal sin. Where the line is I do not know
In either case, either the RCC or EO is in error, thus one is offering the truth, and the other is false. Schism, whether it be material or formal still equals a divergence on certain key beliefs, and when there is such a divergence there is always one who is false.
Is this a Pass or Fail test? Miss one question and you are disqualified?
As it is, Orthodox do not take this approach. As much as we battle one another here, we are not going to make a statement like “you gays are false”. We are well aware of our common origins, and how much we together share. I am not diminishing the importance of our differences, but they are not so many that we cannot see that we are at least on parallel lines of thought most of the time.
Orthodoxy simply does not know anything about the “validilty” or “falsity” of churches outside of it’s communion. But we do know we share common origins with the Latin Catholics, our mutual divergences are not all-encompassing, we have much in common.
So in a sense, it seems to me that for us to declare any church totally false would naturally mean that whatever we have in common would be false as well. My church does not pronounce on the Latin church because we are not in communion, that is not a condemnation but a practical impartially conservative approach. Formally, we difine what it is to be church for us, we don’t define the neighbors. We let the Holy Spirit decide for Himself.
Speaking as an Orthodox Catholic Christian but on a purely personal level I believe that the Papal communion and it’s sacraments can be a means of salvation for many, it is not intrinsically false. I believe that the hierarchy of my church feels somewhat the same, because of the high regard for which the Latin church is held by my church leaders. In fact it is pretty obvious that Orthodox Patriarchs respect the Pope as a counterpart, and an equal. I still grapple with the obvious fact that it’s teachings are sometimes different from my church, and wonder how we may eventually reconcile to each other, but I don’t worry over Latin Catholic friends and family in the way I might fret over a friend becoming a Calvinist, or a Mormon.
To be more specific, I ‘see’ the ancient church…in a somewhat evolved state…in Latin Catholicism, and I cannot see that in the other churches of the west because of the great damage that has been done to their theology and sacraments.