Zoghby-like Initiatives

Hey folks,

The late Archbishop Elias Zoghby of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church declared a two-point Profession of Faith in 1995, which said:

  1. I believe everything which Eastern Orthodoxy teaches.
  2. I am in communion with the Bishop of Rome as the first among the bishops, according to the limits recognized by the Holy Fathers of the East during the first millennium, before the separation.

Now this thread is not about this Zoghby initiative per se, but about similar Zoghby-like initiatives. If you were to come up with your own Zoghby-like initiative, perhaps a slightly revised version of the above, or a completely different version, how would you phrase it? All are welcome to contribute.

Here is how I would phrase it, in accordance with my own tradition:

  1. I believe everything the Catholic Church of the East, for Chaldeans and Assyrians, teaches.
  2. I am in a bond of peace and full communion with the Pope of Rome, and in accordance with the Sunhados of Mar 'Abdisho Bar Brikha of the Church of the East, I regard the Pope of Rome as the first and head of the Patriarchs, who has authority over all the Patriarchs like the blessed Peter over all the community.

That is one way in how I would phrase my Profession of Faith. How about you?

God bless,

Rony

I personally don’t think the Zoghby initiative can be improved upon. I embrace it wholeheartedly. I can’t agree with your version, because I don’t agree that the blessed Peter had authority “over all the community”. See Acts 15.

I personally don’t think the Zoghby initiative can be improved upon. I embrace it wholeheartedly. I can’t agree with your version, because I don’t agree that the blessed Peter had authority “over all the community”. See Acts 15.

Thank you for your response. I am simply stating the position of one of the greatest theologians of my Church of the East, Metropolitan Mar 'Abdisho of Nisibis, who stated in the Sunhados (Nomocanons) that “the patriarch of Rome has authority over all patriarchs, like the blessed Peter over all the community”. Bishop Mar Bawai Soro explains:

==========================
The Church of the East possesses a theological, liturgical and canonical tradition in which she clearly values the primacy of Peter among the rest of the Apostles and their churches and the relationship Peter has with his successors in the Church of Rome. The official organ of our Church of the East, Mar Abdisho of Soba, the last theologian in our Church before its fall, based himself on such an understanding when he collected his famous Nomocanon in which he clearly states the following: “To the Great Rome [authority] was given because the two pillars are laid [in the grave] there, Peter, I say, the head of the Apostles, and Paul, the teacher of the nations. [Rome] is the first see and the head of the patriarchs.” (Memra 9; Risha 1) Furthermore, Abdisho asserts “. . . . And as the patriarch has authority to do all he wishes in a fitting manner in such things as are beneath his authority, so the patriarch of Rome has authority over all patriarchs, like the blessed Peter over all the community, for he who is in Rome also keeps the office of Peter in all the church. He who transgresses against these things the ecumenical synod places under anathema.” (Memra 9; Risha 8).

The above information can be found here: zindamagazine.com/html/archives/2005/11.19.05/index_sat.php

Oh, and I have no problems with Acts 15. :slight_smile:

God bless,

Rony

That’s a very good question, although I’m somewhat torn regarding what I want to say in response.

A part of me remains gung-ho about it … but another part of me has come to believe that the Zoghby Initiative overreached by proposing dual communion (i.e. that the Melkite Church would be in full communion with both Rome and the Antiochian Orthodox). With that in mind, it’s worth considering the more modest proposal, or rather agreement, between the Antiochian Orthodox and the Syriac Orthodox in 1991. This included:
“3) The refraining from accepting members of one Church in the membership of the other whatever the reasons might be.”
but not full communion.

A blanket policy like that will work well for overall relations, but an individual person or family somewhere will be hurt by it. There will be situations where the person’s circumstances require mercy, but trying to legislate that in an agreement would only lead to abuses and hurt relations.

I think any agreement would have to state only positives and shared values to be able to avoid the risk. That is a benefit of the Zoghby Initiative.

My Zoghby initiative is the Union of Brest.

I’m sure that if someone is being taken advantage-of or mistreated by their bishop, either on the Antiochian Orthodox side or the Syriac Orthodox, there are channels they can use to report it.

But the downside is that there’s no action. The Zoghby Initiative called for dual communion – which would be great – but what we actually got is nothing. As is often the case when it comes to all-or-nothing proposals.

That’s a good point.

Action comes from people who have a joint vision, not from statements mandating them.

Well intentioned, but it fails to take into account the vast chasm between East and West in regards to their respective ecclesiologies. Universal Jurisdiction is a non-starter for Orthodox, and goes to the heart of Roman Theology…the Latin Church stands or falls on whether or not the Pope is who he claims to be.

Well intentioned, but it fails to take into account the vast chasm between East and West in regards to their respective ecclesiologies. Universal Jurisdiction is a non-starter for Orthodox, and goes to the heart of Roman Theology…the Latin Church stands or falls on whether or not the Pope is who he claims to be.

Misplaced_Book,

Thank you for contributing. I would like to ask, though, to whom are you responding?

I have not yet seen on this thread a Western/Roman/Latin Church and Theology version of a Zoghby-like initiative. I’m still waiting for a Roman Catholic to come into this thread, and give their version of a Zoghby-like initiative.

God bless,

Rony

My post was an address to Zoghby-like Initiatives, period. I will leave the floor to any Latin who wishes to chime in…apologies.

I think many (most?) Melkites see themselves as “in communion with my bishop, who is in communion with the Pope of Rome”, or something along those lines, rather than seeing themselves as in communion with the Pope. That is to say, it might be said that “dual communion” exists already … but of course that’s worlds away from the more ambitious dual communion called for by the Zoghby Initiative (which would involve full communion with the Antiochian Orthodox).

I sympathize with the Melkites, as they are valiantly attempting to straddle the fence. I don’t mean that in a perjorative sense, nor do I question their sincerity (or yours).

The Orthodox (and Rome) rightly rejected this as unworkable. One is either in Communion, or they are not. To be indirectly in Communion with a Bishop whose Ecclesiology you reject, doesn’t make sense to me.

nice post…

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.