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Mother of God - Mary!

From: Christopher Beattie 
Subject: Re: Mother of God - Mary!
Date: Thu, 20 Mar 1997 12:47:32 -0500

Fr. John W. Morris wrote:
> Christopher Beattie  wrote in article
> <>...
> > Fr. John W. Morris wrote:
> > >
> >
> > I find the idea of Ecumencial Council Alone as interesting as
> > Scripture Alone, and neither have any Scriptural or Traditional
> > Backing.
> When the New Testament Church faced major controversy concerning what was
> required of gentile converts, the Apostles called a council. Acts 15. This
> is the Biblical precedent for the Ecumenical Councils.                                                                  
Hmmm, interesting you should say that.  If the Jerusalem Council
is the precedent for an Ecumenical Council, then looking at 
Acts 15 we notice the following things, all in accord more
with Catholic Teaching than with Orthodox Teaching.

First of all, who actually called the meeting is not 
recorded in Acts, only that they did meet.  Whether
it was suggested by James or Peter or another Apostle
or someone who was not an Apostle at all is unknown,
they simply Met.

After the discussion it was Peter, chief among all
the Apostles, and not merely by honor, who makes
an announcement.  He uses the testomony of Barnabas 
and Paul but his argument does not depend on that
testomony.  Then James, who is generally considered
the "Bishop" of Jerusalem (although such a term was
not used then) explains Peter's statement to his

But is is an adequate model for the first few 
Ecumenical Councils?  Sadly no.  The ideal,
perhaps, but as a precedent, the first few
councils fall flat immediately.

The Jerusalem Council was sparked by Paul,
upon hearing some suggest that his teachings
that the gentiles need not be circumcised was
heresy, went to Peter and the Apostles for
a ruling.

The first council of Nicea was not called
by any of the parties involved in the Arius
controversy, but by Constantine, who had
just conquered Licinius and had become the
sole Emperor, who wanted religious unity
as well as civil unity.  He ordered the
parties to agree and when they failed to
do so, he called a council.


The emperor waited until all the bishops 
had taken their seats before making his 
entry. He was clad in gold and covered 
with precious stones in the fashion of an 
Oriental sovereign. A chair of gold had
been made ready for him, and when he had 
taken his place the bishops seated themselves. 
After he had been addressed in a hurried 
allocution, the emperor made an address 
in Latin, expressing his will that religious
peace should be re-established. He had opened 
the session as honorary president, and he had 
assisted at the subsequent sessions, but the 
direction of the theological discussions was 
abandoned, as was fitting, to the ecclesiastical 
leaders of the council. The actual president seems 
to have been Hosius of Cordova, assisted by
the pope's legates, Victor and Vincentius.

> > The notion that in order to have any "Authority" you
> > have to call an Ecumencial Council is nonesense.  The early
> > councils were not called that way, they were called to settle
> > Major Heresy.
> >
> The canons of the Ecumenical Councils established the principle that each
> Patriarchate, including Rome, was to be administered by councils or synods.
> The Pope was originally only the presiding officer over the council of the
> Patriarchate of Rome and was subject to the will of the majority of the
> bishops of the Patriarchate of the West.                                                                
There is no precident in either history or in ecumencical council
cannons that the "will of the majority of the bishops" could overrule
a Patriarche much less the Successor to Peter, who was above the
Patriarchs as stated in the Arabic Cannons attributed to the council
of Nicea.



Of the care and power which a Patriarch has over the bishops and 
archbishops of his patriarchate; and of the primacy of the Bishop of 
Rome over all.

Let the patriarch consider what things are done by the archbishops and 
bishops in their provinces; and if he shall find anything done by them 
otherwise than it should be, let him change it, and order it, as seemeth 
him fit: for he is the father of all, and they are his sons. And although 
the archbishop be among the bishops as an elder brother, who hath the 
care of his brethren, and to whom they owe obedience because he is 
over them; yet the patriarch is to all those who are under his power, 
just as he who holds the seat of Rome, is the head and prince of all 
patriarchs; in-asmuch as he is first, as was Peter, to whom  power is 
given over all Christian princes, and  over all their peoples, as he who 
is the Vicar  of Christ our Lord over all peoples and over the whole 
Christian Church, and whoever shall contradict this, is 
excommunicated by the Synod.(1)

The Church is not a democracy, nor can those who are pledged to serve,
overrule the one who they have pledged to serve.  Thus Bishops who 
"owe obedience" to their Patriarch, cannot have a majority will over
the person to whoom they owe that obedience.

> > Fr. John, I think you have jumped off the deep end of the pool on this
> > one.  You have made one whopping leap from the "filioque" to the
> atheistic
> > statements of the Jesus Seminar.
> I really do not agree. Once you begin to place too much value on human
> reason as a source of theological truth, you are on a slippery slope. The
> Jesus Seminar and liberal theology is the end result of the process that
> was begun with the "filioque."                                                                         
The Jesus Seminar is reason divorced from revealed truth.  The Catholic
Church has never, and let me repeat that, NEVER, deaprted from or invalidated
the deposit of revealed truth, which has been handed down to us through
the apostles.  Filioque is no more "reasoning" than "trinity."  It is no
more reasoning than getting everyone to agree on a single statement of
creed, as the Emperor did in Nicea.  Or perhaps the first Ecumenical
Council was the first step on this slippery slope?  I don't think so.

More over the Jesus Seminar has nothing to do whatsoever with the
Catholic Church.

> Suppose I had made the claim that
> > The New Age Movement is a direct result of Eastern Orthodox "Don't Think"
> > Theology.
> >
> There is a danger that one can fall into very serious spiritual abuse if
> one tries to practice the principles of Orthodox mysticism without proper
> guidance or adherence to the authority of the Holy Tradition of the Church.
> Indeed, if one seeks mystical experiences for the sake of mystical
> experiences, one opens one's self to the growth of demonic pride. Thus
> without proper guidance it is entirely possible that one could wind up in
> something like the New Age Movement as a result of the misuse of Eastern

> Orthodox mystical spirituality.                                                                 
 Evan said I be laughed off the podium for saying that, and I had agreed
with him, so I am slightly surprised with you slightly agreeing with that
statement.  But let's look at that (and your response) closely. 

You state that Orthodox mysticism without adherence to the authority of
the Holy Tradition of the Church, is doomed to not just failure but of
demonic pride.  I would state likewise, that Western "reasoning" without
the adherence to the authority of the Holy Tradition of the Church, is
also likewise doomed to failure, so that the Jesus Seminar, is likewise
guilty of "demonic pride" because they have ignored the Holy Tradition
of the Church, and deliberately despise it.

I will, however state, that the Roman Catholic Church has always adhered
to the authority of the Holy Tradition of the Church.  The difference
between the Eastern Orthodox and the Roman Catholic has always been
one of differences in philosophy between Eastern Mysticism and
Western Spirituality, as well as social, historical, and political
differences around the time of the schism.

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