Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Why God Led Me To Rome Instead Of Constantinople

Version 0.9.5
July 17, 2010

1. The Poor Record of Constantinople
1. The See of Constantinople, which was not founded by the Holy All-Praised and προτοκλήτος (First-Called) St. Andrew the Apostle (martyred 11/30/60),{1} has a long history of heterodoxy, and she extended her patriarchal jurisdiction via gross caesaropapism.{2} The see was polluted by three Arians (Eusebios, Eudoxios, Demophilos), one Semi-Arian (Macedonios I), one Nestorian (Nestorios), five Monophysites (Acacios, Phravitas, Euphemios, Timothy I, Anthimos), six Monothelites (Sergios I, Pyrrhos, Paul II, Peter, John VI), and seven Iconoclasts (Anastasios, Constantine II, Nicetas I, Paul IV, Theodotos I Cassiteras, Anthony I Kassymatas, John VII Lecanomantos), one Calvinist (Cyril I Lukaris)--though some idiosyncratic commentators dispute the charge of Calvinism against the latter, who was murdered after he occupied the throne seven times—and one Freemason who declared Anglican orders to be valid (Meletios IV Metaxakis). The other three sees have similar records, and they often servilely followed the policy of Constantinople. By the standards of the Orthodox themselves, the see has had even more heretical patriarchs: one anti-Palamite (John XIV Kalekas) and more than five Catholics (John XI Bekkos, Joseph II, Metrophanes II, Gregory III Mammas, Cyril II Kontares, and many others, according to the old Catholic Encyclopedia entry "Greek Church"). Many of the Patriarchs of Constantinople were not merely desirous of reunion with the Catholic Church, but confessed the dogmas of the Catholic Church to be true.

{1} Even the irenic historian Fr. Francis Dvornik, who has changed the way most scholars think of the extremely controversial Patriarch St. Photios the Great of Constantinople, states that St. Andrew did not establish the See of Constantinople, for there is no trace whatsoever of this legend in Eastern or Western tradition before the late 600s/early 700s, and the late-800s official Typicon of the Church of Hagia Sophia does not have a feast of St. Stachys the Apostle and does not mention the Apostolic foundations of the See of Constantinople in its entry for the glorious martyr St. Andrew the Apostle. This is a legitimate argument from silence. The unhistorical story probably originated as a polemical weapon against the primacy of the See of Rome, founded by St. Peter, who was not the First-Called among the Apostles.
{2} For example, the Iconoclast Byzantine Emperor Leo III the Isaurian, after excommunicating the pope, robbed the Holy See of local jurisdiction over Illyricum and Southern Italy, usurping these places for Constantinople, with the result that the local jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople extended to the limits of the Byzantine Empire.

2. The Roman See alone has never defected,{3} nor is she capable of doing so, so that it is necessary to be in communion with this see, which has the final word, according to the testimony of many Fathers venerated by both Catholics and Orthodox. The Eastern Fathers who teach this include Patriarch St. Flavian the Martyr of Constantinople [Ep. to Leo], Monk St. Maximos the Confessor of Constantinople, Patriarch St. Sophronios of Jerusalem [Mansi xi:461], Abbot St. Theodore the Studite [PG 99:1332A], and Patriarch St. Ignatios of Constantinople [Mansi xvi:47]. Among many other Western Fathers: Bishop St. Irenaeus of Lyons [PG 7A:847AB], Bishop St. Cyprian of Carthage [Ep. 59:14], Hieromonk St. Jerome the Great of Strido [Ep. 15:1-2], Pope St. Siricius of Rome [Ep. 1 to Himerius], Bishop St. Augustine the Great of Hippo [PL 43:30], Pope St. Boniface I of Rome [PL 20:776A], Monk Bacharius of Spain [PL 20:1023], and Pope St. Gregory I Dialogus the Great of Rome.
{3} Pope Honorius I, a favorite target of Orthodox and Protestant polemicists, is no exception. He was condemned, not as a Monothelite, but as a pope whose negligence in carrying out his duties as successor to St. Peter allowed Monothelitism to spread: (1) Pope St. Agatho of Rome taught that all his predecessors, including Honorius I, were orthodox, and the Sixth Ecumenical Council received this declaration as true; (2) Pope John IV of Rome and Monk St. Maximos the Confessor of Constantinople defended Honorius from the calumnious accusations of the Monothelites that he taught their doctrine; and (3) Pope St. Leo II of Rome taught, as is his prerogative according to the Fathers, the sense in which the Sixth Ecumenical Council condemned Pope Honorius I.

2. Filioque
3. The Orthodox have not preserved the true understanding of the procession of the Holy Spirit, ever since what started as a dispute over misunderstood words became hardened into a theology incompatible with the sacred Catholic dogma that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son; now the Orthodox, at the very most, will grant, following Patriarch Gregory II the Cypriot of Constantinople [PG 142:1233-1245], that the υπόστασις (hypostasis) of the Spirit is eternally energetically manifested through the υπόστασις of the Son. The Orthodox maintain the Patristically impossible position that the Father and the Son do not, together, spirate the hypostasis of the Holy Spirit. Filioque is necessary in order to fully explain the distinction between the person of the Son and the person of the Holy Spirit, to preserve the correct τάξις (order); the Trinity of Persons are distinguished by the relations of origin, as Patriarch St. Gregory Nazianzen the Great Theologian of Constantinople [PG 36:141C] and Bishop St. Gregory of Nyssa [PG 45:133BC] teach. Since the Holy Spirit is a υπόστασις and given that He proceeds in some way from the Son, He must proceed as υπόστασις from the Son, which is to say His υπόστασις is from the Son. In other words, the υπόστασις of the Holy Spirit proceeds (is) from the Son eternally, but the primordial/unoriginate source of His divine hypostasis is the Father alone, for the Father alone is the (unoriginate) πηγή (source) and αἰτία (cause) of divinity. The Holy Spirit receives from the Son the being and oυσία (ousia = nature) of the Father, which the Son receives as Only-Begotten. This truth is even found explicitly in Patriarch St. Athanasios I the Great of Alexandria [PG 26:376A,1000A], Bishop St. Basil the Great of Caesarea [PG 29:655A] (the latter text is genuine, as proved by Archbishop Basilios Bessarion of Nicaea [Rev. Reuben Parsons, Studies in Church History vol. 3]), and Patriarch St. Cyril I of Alexandria [PG 75:585A].

4. The Orthodox misinterpret the declarations of the μοναρχία (monarchy) of the Father, Who is the sole πηγαία Θεότης (Godhead-source), to exclude Filioque. They fallaciously appeal to Bishop St. Dionysios the Areopagite Martyr of Athens [PG 3:641D], Patriarch St. Athanasios I the Great of Alexandria [PG 28:97BC], Patriarch St. Gregory Nazianzen the Great Theologian of Constantinople [PG 36:252A], Monk St. Maximos the Confessor of Constantinople [PG 91:136], and Hieromonk St. John of Damascus [PG 94:849AB]. In order to avoid the explicit and unanimous testimonies of the Latin Fathers, who could not have been of a different faith than the Greek Fathers with whom they were in communion for centuries, the Orthodox misrepresent the Latin Fathers as teaching only a έκφανσις αΐδιoς (eternal manifestation, i.e., of energy), not an essential and hypostatic procession. In the Orthodox paradigm, there is no room for the pneumatology of the Latin Fathers, whereas the Catholic paradigm does justice to both the Greek and the Latin Fathers. The unequivocal Latin Filioquists include the following: Bishop St. Hilary of Poitiers [PL 10:69A-70A,250C-251B,471A-472A], Bishop St. Ambrose the Great of Milan [PL 16:739AB,771B], Pope St. Damasus I of Rome, Bishop St. Augustine the Great of Hippo, Pope St. Leo I the Great of Rome [PL 54:680C,681A], Bishop St. Eucherius of Lyons, Bishop St. Alcimus Ecdicius Avitus of Vienne, Pope St. Hormisdas of Rome [PL 63:514B], Pope St. Gregory I Dialogus the Great of Rome [PL 75:87B-88A; 76:533D-534A], St. Anecius Manlius Torquatus Severinus Boethius the Philosopher-Martyr of Rome [PL 64:1249C,1254C], Bishop St. Fulgence of Ruspe [PL 65:674A], Archbishop St. Isidore of Seville [PL 82:268C], Pope St. Martin I the Martyr of Rome, Pope Adrian I of Rome, and Pope St. Leo III of Rome. The Greek Fathers who expressly teach the Catholic doctrine on the procession of the Holy Spirit include the following: Patriarch St. Athanasios I the Great of Alexandria [PG 26:376A,1000A], Bishop St. Basil the Great of Caesarea [PG 29:653B-656A], Bishop St. Gregory of Nyssa [PG 44:1160B; 45:464BC], Bishop St. Epiphanios of Salamis [PG 42:493B; 43:29C,148B,153A], and Patriarch Cyril I of Alexandria [PG 68:148A; 71:377D; 75:576B,600D,608AB,721D,844A,1020D; 76:1189A; 77:117C].

5. The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity stresses that Filioque deals not with the εκπόρευσις (ekporeusis) of the Holy Spirit from the Father as the sole arche anarchos (principle without principle) and πηγή (peghe = source) of the Godhead, but reveals the procession (Greek προείναι = proienai; Latin processio) of the Holy Spirit in consubstantial communion from the Father and the Son, i.e., the communication of consubstantial divinity from the Father to the Son and from the Father, διά (through) and σύν (with) the Son, to the Holy Spirit. Is not such a procession implied when the Greek Fathers, e.g., Bishop St. Gregory the Wonderworker of Neocaesarea [PG 10:985A] and Hieromonk St. John Mansūr Chrysorrhoas of Damascus, call the Holy Spirit the Image of the Son? How could a divine person be the image of a person from Whom He does not proceed? How could a divine person share the essence of a divine person (A) Who does not have existence from Him or (B) Who is not one from Whom He has existence?

6. "From the Son" and "through the Son" are different ways to express the true doctrine of the procession of the Holy Spirit. A few Fathers used the formulae interchangeably (e.g., Bishop St. Hilary of Poitiers and Patriarch St. Cyril I of Alexandria). According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church §248, the Greek formula directly expresses the order according to which the Father and Son are the one principle of the Holy Spirit, and implies Their equality as principle. The Latin formula directly expresses the equality of the Father and Son as principle, and implies the order. The great Byzantine Fathers and Doctors had no reservations about being in communion with those great Latin Fathers and Doctors who openly and dogmatically professed Filioque. Therefore the formulae are complementary, not contradictory, and thus the formula employed by the following illustrious and God-bearing Fathers does not contradict the Latin Catholic formula explained above: Monk St. Maximos the Confessor of Constantinople [PG 90:672C], Hieromonk St. John of Damascus [PG 94:848D-849A], and Patriarch St. Tarasios of Constantinople [Mansi xii:1121D]. Eastern witnesses to this complementary relationship of "from" and "through" include Bishop St. Basil the Great of Caesarea [PG 32:85AB] and Patriarch St. Cyril I of Alexandria [PG 68:148A; 75:1197CD,1244BC]. When Hieromonk St. John of Damascus says that the Spirit does not proceed ἐκ (from) the Son [PG 94:832], he is not rejecting Filioque, because εκπόρευσις (ekporeusis) can, by definition, characterize only the relationship of origin to the principle without principle of the Holy Trinity, viz., the Father; to say that το εκ του Πατρος εκπορευομενον και του Υιου confuses the hypostases of the Father and the Son. This is the proper sense of the words of the Syrian Doctor, as the great Denis Pétau observes. St. John preserves the τάξις when he says that the Spirit is δε (of) the Son, but not the other way around (the Son is not δε the Spirit or derived from the Spirit), and does not rule out that the Holy Spirit receives from the Son the oυσία of the Father, which the Son receives as Only-Begotten. If that is not what St. John means, then, as we said above, how could he say that the Holy Spirit is the είκών of the Son? Such Eastern Patristic analogies would otherwise be robbed of meaning.

3. Delayed Beatific Vision
7. The Eastern Orthodox Church teaches the nonsensical doctrine that the saints do not enjoy the beatific vision before the Last Judgment. If the saints do not experience the beatific vision before the Last Judgment, then what was the point of Christ's descent into the Limbo of the Fathers? Though deprived of the vision of the Ἄκτιστον Φῶς (Uncreated Light), they were in a state of hope and knew that Christ would free them. What difference would Christ have made for these holy men and women if He had not let them into Heaven so they could forever after experience the vision of God? Surely the saints experience an accidental increase in happiness at the Last Judgment, when they are reunited with their bodies, but that is not when they first see God face to face [1 Cor 13:12]!

4. Papacy
8. The pre-schism Eastern and Western Fathers alike teach, in concert with the explicit declarations of several of the first seven Ecumenical Councils, that (1) heterodoxy will never prevail over the Roman see; (2) the pope of Rome is the supreme pastor of the universal Church; (3) disobedience of Rome is unacceptable; (4) final doctrinal decisions rest with Rome; (5) the pope has the special authority to teach the entire Christian world; (6) St. Peter is the prince of Apostles who rules over them, not merely with a primacy of honor; (7) this authoritative primacy of Rome is permanent and non-transferable; (8) communion with Rome is necessary.{1} From these principles it is no wonder that the doctrine of papal infallibility was proclaimed. These teachings are incompatible with Eastern Orthodox ecclesiology; this demonstrates, in another field, the Patristic consensus against the teaching of the Eastern Orthodox Church. In "From Constantinople to Rome," Fr. Brian W. Harrison shows that without the papacy to lead the Magisterium in the ways described by Lumen Gentium §25, the Orthodox Church cannot give an account of how to determine true doctrine without falling into a vicious circle of "to discover what is true Christian doctrine, you must pay heed to the teaching of those who adhere to true Christian doctrine."

{1} Huysman, Will R. "Papal Infallibility & Primacy." Catholic Patristics. 6 Mar. 2009. 21 July 2009 <http://catholicpatristics.blogspot.com/2009/03/papal-infallibility-primacy.html>.
9. On 6/8/1439, the agreement (Latin cedula) on the procession of the Holy Spirit was freely signed by all the Eastern bishops at the Ecumenical Council of Florence--except the lone dissenter Metropolitan Mark Eugenikos of Ephesus--including, most importantly, Patriarch Joseph II of Constantinople († 6/10/1439) and the patriarchal legates, with the permission of Patriarchs Philotheos of Alexandria († 1459), Dorotheos II of Antioch († 1454), and Joachim of Jerusalem († 1450?). Therefore, the Eastern Orthodox Church dogmatically agreed at an Ecumenical Council that the Catholic doctrine on the procession of the Holy Spirit, hitherto dogmatically rejected by the Eastern Orthodox Church, is true. All five Patriarchates were Catholic before the after-the-fact nonsensical repudiation instigated by Metropolitan Mark Eugenikos of Ephesus who tragically anathematized the Latins even on his deathbed. There is thus an insoluble historical dilemma that makes unavoidable the conclusion that Eastern Orthodoxy is false: (A) For an Eastern Orthodox Christian to say that Catholicism is false would mean that he has to admit that the Gates of Hell have prevailed against the Eastern Orthodox Church, contrary to the promise of our Lord in Mt 16:18, and that therefore Eastern Orthodoxy is false. (B) For an Eastern Orthodox Christian to say that Catholicism is true would mean that he has to admit that Eastern Orthodoxy is false, since Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy have mutually exclusive dogmas.

5. Baptismal Rite
10. The Eastern Orthodox Church wrongly denies the validity of the baptism of Latins [Nikodemos the Hagiorite, The Rudder on Apostolic Canon 47], because they erroneously maintain that the venerable practice of trine immersion is necessary in order for baptism to be valid. We know that trine immersion is not necessary for the validity of baptism from various Scriptural passages [Acts 2:41; 9:18; 10:47-48; 16:33; 22:16], the acts of the early martyrs, Bishop St. Cyprian the Martyr of Carthage [Ep. 75], the sanction of Pope St. Gregory I the Great [Ep. 43], and the ancient refusal to rebaptize persons baptized via aspersion and infusion.

6. Opposition to the Legitimacy of Unleavened Bread
11. The Eastern Orthodox Church rejects the legitimacy of unleavened bread,{1} but the Catholic Church does not attack the legitimacy of leavened bread. Latin Catholics follow the institution of our Lord, Who did not transgress the Law [Mt 5:17] and thus used unleavened bread at the Last Supper [Mt 26:17; Mk 14:12; Lk 22:7]. Archbishop St. John Chrysostom the Great says that Christ celebrated the Last Supper with unleavened bread [PG 58:754]. Such use is fitting because it conforms to the sincerity of the faithful [1 Cor 5:7] and the fact that the body of Christ was not conceived with any corruption. There are plenty of witnesses to the use of unleavened bread well before the schism of Patriarch Michael I Cerularios of Constantinople. They include Alcuin of York [PL 100:289], Bl. Archbishop Rabanus Maurus of Mainz in the early 800s [PL 107:318,324], and Origen of Alexandria [PG 13:988CD-989ABC]. Several more are included in Cardinal Hergenröther's magnum opus on Photios, vol. 3, p. 787. Moreover, in the first century Philo the Jew testifies that Christians in Alexandria used unleavened bread in the Liturgy [On the Contemplative Life p. 19 sec. X]. Other possible witnesses include Archbishop St. Gregory I the Theologian of Constantinople [PG 35:397A] and Pope St. Leo I the Great of Rome [Sermon 63:7].

{1} Two Epistles of Patriarch Michael I Cerularios of Constantinople to Patriarch Peter III of Antioch; Encyclical of Metropolitan Mark Eugenikos of Ephesus (1440); Council of Constantinople with Patriarchs Jeremiah II Tranos of Constantinople, Silvester of Alexandria, and Sophronios IV of Jerusalem (1583); Encyclical of the Eastern Patriarchs Anthimos VI of Constantinople, Hierotheos II of Alexandria, Methodios of Antioch, and Cyril II of Jerusalem to Pope Pius IX of Rome (1848); Encyclical of Patriarch Anthimos VII of Constantinople to Pope Leo XIII of Rome (1895).

7. Epiklesis
12. The Eastern Orthodox Church, though it has valid sacraments, has a perverted understanding of some aspects of them. It legitimately retains the Epiklesis, which all ancient liturgies had. However, since the 17th-century innovation of Metropolitan Peter Moghila of Kiev [Confessio fidei orthodoxa 1:107], the Orthodox Church wrongly denies that μετουσίωσις (transubstantiation) occurs at the time of the words of Institution. It is a legitimate argument from silence to say that transubstantiation does not occur at the Epiklesis, on the grounds that there is no indication of an Epiklesis at the Last Supper. The Eastern Orthodox, in maintaining this erroneous thesis concerning the Epiklesis, contradict the ancient Greek liturgies and the testimony of our beloved God-bearing Fathers so especially dear to them as St. Justin Martyr the Philosopher of Caesarea [Apology 1:66], Bishop St. Irenaeus of Lyons [Against Heresies 5:2:3], Bishop St. Gregory of Nyssa [Catechetical Orations 37], and Patriarch St. John I Chrysostom the Great of Constantinople [Homily 1:6 On the Betrayal of Judas]. The Catholic Church, and not the Orthodox Church, maintains the correct understanding of the Epiklesis.

8. Communion Under Both Kinds
13. The Eastern Orthodox Church wrongly insists that the laity are bound to receive the Eucharist under both species. If Mt 26:27; Lk 22:17 bind the laity to receive both species, then the Eucharist must include the previous paschal rites, the use of unleavened bread, etc., whereas the Church has always understood Lk 22:19 to mean that the celebrating priests, not the laity, must receive the Eucharist under both species. Christ attributes eternal life to the eating of the Body, without mentioning the drinking of the Blood, in Jn 6:58. The undivided Church never recognized any New Testament precept binding the laity to communicate under both species. Patriarch St. Dionysios I the Great of Alexandria gave the Body alone to the dying old man Serapion [PG 20:629], Bishop St. Basil the Great of Caesarea received the Body alone a bunch of times on the day of his repose [PG 29:315], and Paulinus tells us that St. Honoratus of Vercelli gave the Body alone to Bishop St. Ambrose the Great of Milan on the day of his repose [PL 14:43]. "The ancient and canonical rule," according to canon 13 of the Ecumenical Council of Nicaea I, was that the sick would usually communicate under one kind. Bishop St. Cyprian the Martyr of Carthage [PL 4:484], Bishop St. Augustine the Great of Hippo [PL 45:1154], and St. Paulinus of Nola [PL 61:333] refer to children receiving the Blood alone. This occurred in some churches in the East as well. Church historian Evagrios refers to children in Constantinople receiving the Body alone [PG 86:2769]. Christ is wholly present, Body and Blood, under the accidents of the bread and under the accidents of the wine, and the priest communicates under both species on behalf of all. It is lawful, as the Church sees fit, to allow or to withhold from the laity the precious Blood of Christ for hygienic reasons and out of reverence for the Blood, which must not be spilled.

9. Divorce
14. The Eastern Orthodox innovated in that they permit, against divine and natural law [Bl. Pope Pius IX of Rome, Syllabus 67], the dissolution of a consummated valid sacramental marriage. First they, corrupting the meaning of our Lord's words, permitted divorce on account of spousal infidelity, and then they, in their official ecclesiastical documents, added other fallacious reasons [Dr. Joseph von Zhishman, Das Eberecht der orientalischen Kirchen 729 sqq.], conceding too much to human weakness. Scripture expressly teaches the Catholic doctrine [Mt 5:32; 19:4-6,9; Mk 10:11-12; Lk 16:18], and so do the following witnesses. In the East: St. Justin Martyr the Philosopher of Caesarea [PG 6:349AB], Athenagoras of Athens [PG 6:965A], St. Clement of Alexandria [PG 8:1096BCD,1097A], Bishop St. Basil the Great of Caesarea [PG 32:732], Bishop St. Epiphanios of Salamis [PG 41:1024], Patriarch St. John I Chrysostom the Great of Constantinople [PG 51:218], and Bishop Theodoret of Cyrus [PG 82:275]. In the West: Bishop St. Ambrose the Great of Milan [PL 15:1855], Hieromonk St. Jerome the Great of Strido [PL 22:562], Pope St. Innocent I of Rome [PL 20:479,500,602], Bishop St. Augustine the Great of Hippo [PL 40:473], Pope St. Leo I the Great of Rome [PL 54:1136], Pope St. Gregory I the Great of Rome [PL 77:833,1169], and Pope St. Zachary of Rome.

10. Immaculate Conception
15. The Eastern Orthodox Church wrongly rejects the Immaculate Conception: she denies that the Blessed Virgin Mary did not contract original sin when she was conceived in the womb of St. Anne.{1} The Catholic doctrine is more sensible. Why would our Lord choose to dwell in a temple that had been sullied by original sin, i.e., one that lacked original justice, as Patriarch St. Cyril I of Alexandria argues? Is not the argument of Bl. Jon Dons Scotus cogent? He says, "the perfect Mediator must, in some one case, have done the work of mediation most perfectly, which would not be unless there was some one person at least, in whose regard the wrath of God was anticipated and not merely appeased." The indisputable universal tradition of the perfect holiness of the Blessed Virgin Mary entails her freedom from original sin. As regards, e.g. Rom 3:23, we cannot exclude the Immaculate Conception because the Blessed Virgin was exempt from other general laws: She conceived and gave birth virginally and painlessly, she did not commit venial or mortal sins, her body did not undergo corruption, and she was resurrected before the General Judgment [Lambruschini 46-47].{2} Even allowing for poetic expressions, many early Fathers clearly maintain that the Theotókos did not contract original sin.{3} From the East we have Bishop St. Amphilochios of Iconium, Bishop St. Epiphanios of Salamis, Patriarch St. Cyril I of Alexandria, Bishop St. Theodotus of Ancyra [PG 77:1427A] Patriarch St. Proclus of Constantinople [PG 65:683B], Bishop St. Jacob of Serugh, Patriarch St. Anastasios I the Sinaite of Antioch [PG 89:1338], Patriarch St. Sophronios of Jerusalem [PG 87:3248A], St. Andrew of Crete [PG 97:809D-812], Patriarch St. Germanos I of Constantinople [PG 98:300D], and Hieromonk St. John of Damascus [PG 96:664AB]. From the West we have Bishop St. Cyprian the Martyr of Carthage, Hieromonk St. Jerome the Great of Strido [PL 26:1049BC], Bishop St. Ambrose the Great of Milan [PL 15:1521B], Bishop St. Augustine the Great of Hippo [PL 45:1418], Archbishop St. Peter Chrysologus of Ravenna [PL 52:576A], Bishop St. Maximus of Turin [PL 57:235D], and Bishop St. Fulgence of Ruspe [PL 65:899C]. Abbot St. Theodore of Studion [PG 96:685A], Patriarch St. Photios I the Great of Constantinople, St. Joseph the Hymnographer [PG 105:1000C,1001D], and Patriarch St. Euthymios I Synkellos of Constantinople agree [PO 16:501-502].{4} The Eastern Orthodox contradict their own post-schism teachers, including ones they venerate as saints{5}: Archbishop Theophylact of Ohrid [PG 126:137A], Neophyte the Recluse of Cyprus [PO 16:530,534], Archbishop St. Gregory Palamas of Thessalonica [PG 151:172A-C], Nicholas Cabasilas [PO 19:486,498], Archbishop Symeon of Thessalonica [PG 155:892C], Patriarch Gennadios II Scholarios the Apostate of Constantinople, Patriarch Gerasimos I of Alexandria, Bishop St. Dimitry of Rostov, and Peter Moghila. Many of the greatest Scholastics, contrary to popular belief, supported the Immaculate Conception{6}: St. Bruno the Confessor of Cologne [PL 152:1167D], Archbishop St. Anselm of Canterbury, Bishop-Monk St. Peter Damian of Ostia [PL 144:721C], St. Albert the Great, St. Thomas Aquinas [Compendium Theologiae 224], St. Bonaventure [Sermon 2 on the Blessed Ever-Virgin Mary in Peltier 14:111], etc. These are strong enough reasons to accept the Immaculate Conception and to believe that the Catholic Church, not the Orthodox Church, has preserved the truth with regard to the holiness of the conception of the Theotókos.

{1} This is evident from the Encyclical of Patriarch Anthimos VII of Constantinople to Pope Leo XIII of Rome (1895), in which the Patriarch and many other bishops expressly claim to be speaking ex cathedra.
{2} Lambruschini, Cardinal Luigi. A Polemical Treatise on the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin. New York: D. & J. Sadlier & Co., 1855. 21 July 2009 <http://www.archive.org/details/polemicaltreatis00lambuoft>.
{3} Huysman, Will R. "Immaculate Conception." Catholic Patristics. 6 Mar. 2009. 21 July 2009 http://catholicpatristics.blogspot.com/2009/03/immaculate-conception.html>.
{4} Ibid.
{5} Ibid.
{6} Ibid.

11. Conclusion
16. Join the Catholic Church! That is where the Lord leads me. Do not become tricked into joining the Eastern Orthodox Church, which is shown to be false on the grounds of Scripture, Tradition, history, and right reason. On the other hand, the Catholic Church alone harmonizes with all four of the latter.

2 comments:

Daniel said...

Will:

Do you have any more concrete references to the use of unleavened bread in the early church.

I wonder if we need to be a little more charitable to our Orthodox brothers and sisters- though I know they do not always show that to us.

Anyway, AMDG.

Dan

Will Huysman said...

Dan, thanks for stopping by! Here's what I've found so far.

Witness One: Origen of Alexandria. "According to Origen (Commentary on Matthew, XII.6) the people of the East 'sometimes,' therefore not as a rule, made use of leavened bread in their Liturgy." Pohle, Joseph. "The Blessed Eucharist as a Sacrament." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 5. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. 1 Aug. 2009 http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05584a.htm. See the passage in question at http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/101612.htm. It can be found in PG 13:988CD-989ABC (Volume 13 columns 988 & 989).

Witness Two: Pope St. Leo I the Great of Rome. He says in Sermon 63:7, which can be found at http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/360363.htm:
This it is that rescues from the power of darkness and transfers us into the Kingdom of the Son of God. This it is that by newness of life exalts the desires of the mind and quenches the lusts of the flesh. This it is whereby the Lord's Passover is duly kept "With the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth" by the casting away of the old leaven of wickedness [1 Corinthians 5:8] and the inebriating and feeding of the new creature with the very Lord. For naught else is brought about by the partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ than that we pass into that which we then take , and both in spirit and in body carry everywhere Him, in and with Whom we were dead, buried, and rose again, as the Apostle says, For you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. For when Christ, your life, shall appear, then shall you also appear with Him in glory [Colossians 3:3-4].
The Latin can be found in a PDF file at http://documentacatholicaomnia.eu/04z/z_0440-0461__SS_Leo_I._Magnus__Sermones_ad_Romanam_Plebem-Pars_Secunda_LII-XCVI__LT.pdf.html.

We indeed need to be more charitable to our Orthodox brothers and sisters--me most of all! I've often committed sins against charity in my polemics against Eastern Orthodox apologists. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

AMDG!
Will R. Huysman