5 December 2016

Patriarch Bartholomaios and Amoris Laetitia

So Patriarch Bartholomaios has put his money on Amoris laetitia. I think he may prove to be a ruinously poor gambler. But perhaps, as so often with regard to these Byzantines who are not yet in Full Communion with the See of S Peter, we should apply to their words a hermeneutic of asking what, in this exchange, are Constantinople and Moskow really saying to each other?

I rather doubt whether Bartholomaios, in his heart of hearts, really feels a lot of enthusiasm for a model of Universal Primacy which functions as the Bergoglian parody of the Petrine Ministry does. But Francis and Cyril met in Cuba ... Bartholomew's Great and Holy Pan-Orthodox Council failed (after so many years in preparation) to match up to the exacting standards of a damp squib ... the atmosphere in Istanbul seems to be getting dodgier and dodgier ... so I am not surprised that his All-Holiness currently feels badly in need of a Friend among the Big Boys in the School Playground.

I print here something I saw, words of one of our Separated Brethren, on the internet the other day:

"Speaking as one with a formal ecumenical dimension to his ministry, I can confidently say that the 'we' for whom I speak are prepared to sit down and discuss Benedict XVI's modest articulation of the papal office, whereas there is no way we could reasonably converse with Bergoglio, a dictator inventing dogma off the cuff who loves to dialogue with those who fully agree with him."


Ivanmijeime said...

That's why I've always said,- a dialogue is just one or another jibber-jabber, a chit-chat, which leads to nowhere, not any good solution at all.
Every dialogue can lead only to compromises. Jesus Christ's His teaching was something totally different than that.

"Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil." (Matthew 5,37)
“Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Matthew 22,21b)

Even a (short, reasonable, honest) discussion (with the renegades and unbelievers) is much better than dialogue.
That way, those who are in truth and are speaking and standing for the truth, get a real chance to teach others about the truth, and they are not going to become a betrayers for the sake of "compromise" trough a rudimentary, incomplete and altered truth, which as such, can never be a truth,- but just a lie.

Alan said...

Father, may I respectfully suggest that your nuanced approach here slips over into obscurity? We really do need to know who the separated brother is in order to assess the (potentially great) importance of his remarks.

Deacon Augustine said...

A Greek Orthodox friend of mine refers to Bartholomew as "Black Bart" - precisely because Barty does see himself as an "eastern Pope."

However, I do hope this intervention wakes Catholics up from the romantic notion that the reunion with the "Orthodox" would be an answer to our problems because they have retained their traditional liturgy. With respect to the sacramental theology of marriage they are followers of the Emperor Justinian - not Jesus Christ. The elephant in the room at the "reunion" Council of Florence was that the Greeks were heretics w.r.t. marriage and nothing has changed since then.

The Catholic Church escaped a disastrous attempt at reunion thanks only to the intervention of Mark of Ephesus. Proof indeed that even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

ABS was born into the Catholic Church in 1948 and the Church he was born into is invisibilium but its shadow can be seen.

It is a Shadow Church (lacking substance) but that does not mean the real One True Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church has ceased to exist - it is just largely invisibilium outside of the traditional orders (the Caves of Covadonga in which one prays, an army of Pelayos is quietly being formed and steeled to eventually triumph in the battle now raging).

Other than that things are simply smashing....

Jacob said...

Father, do you have any recommendations for where to find sound information on the Pan Orthodox Council and its results? I have read about it, but I'm not familiar enough with Orthodox sources on the Web to know if what I'm reading is actually what happened. Thank you!

Jonathan said...

I wonder if the silver lining to this cloud is that once the Catholic Church has demonstrated its ability to deal with misuse of the papal office then a significant obstacle to Christian unity will be overcome.

I think the Copts, like the Orthodox, allow divorce and remarriage. Does anyone know if any of the other true churches still keep Jesus' teaching on divorce?

Peter said...

Father, This text:


Over the last months, there have been many commentaries and evaluations on this significant document. People have wondered how specific doctrine has been developed or defended, whether pastoral questions have been reformed or resolved, and if particular rules have been either reinforced or mitigated. However, in light of the imminent feast of the Lord’s Incarnation -- a time when we commemorate and celebrate that the “divine word assumed human flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1.14) -- it is important to observe that Amoris Laetitia recalls first and foremost the mercy and compassion of God, rather than solely the moral rules and canonical regulations of men.

Reminds me of your observation from 10 September:


I begin with BUT. BUT links up two statements and, I think almost invariably, privileges the statement which follows the BUT over the statement which precedes it. Often the statement before the BUT is put in solely to pre-empt and thus debilitate what could have been a powerful response*.
"You have worked for this firm for 45 years and you have always put its interests before your own or those of your family or even the dictates of Morality, but you are sacked".

There is an extremely fine example of this phenomenon in the CBCEW document.
"The Synod does not shirk from the truth of the Gospel and the Kingdom, urging us to make the demands of the Kingdom of God but this must be accompanied with a compassion and love, seeing firstly persons who are loved by God ..."
Here, the part which follows the BUT is clearly the part which the writer desires to promote as the dominating idea. This can be seen by inverting the sentence thus:
"[Action] must be accompanied with a compassion and love, seeing firstly people who are loved by God, but the Synod does not shirk from the truth of the Gospel and the Kingdom, urging us to make the demands of the Kingdom".
Whereas the first version can roughly be summarised as "Be nice", the second would as clearly suggest "Be strict". Yet each alternative deploys the same two data.

Arch lector said...

Father, might I be allowed to thrash the presumptive Byzantine prelate for offending our beloved Holy Father?

Or vice versa, Obvs.

William Tighe said...


Perhaps you might begin here (and with other articles on that same blog):


You might also search through this blog:


Jacob said...

Dr. Tighe, thank you for those links. I will look at them immediately.

William Tighe said...

The latest news from the Orthodox:


A prediction from 1895:

"It is obvious that there are questions on which the Russian Church could and ought to negotiate with the Mother See, and if these questions are carefully avoided it is because it is a foregone conclusion that a clear formulation of them would only end in a formal schism. The jealous hatred of the Greeks for the Russians, to which the latter reply with a hostility mingled with contempt — that is the fact which governs the real relations of these two national Churches, in spite of their being officially in communion with one another. But even this official unity hangs upon a single hair, and all the diplomacy of the clergy of St. Petersburg and Constantinople is needed to prevent the snapping of this slender thread. The will to maintain this counterfeit unity is decidedly not inspired by Christian charity, but by the dread of a fatal disclosure; for on the day on which the Russian and Greek Churches formally break with one another the whole world will see that the Ecumenical Eastern Church is a mere fiction and that there exists in the East nothing but isolated national Churches. That is the real motive which impels our hierarchy to (p. 69) adopt an attitude of caution and moderation towards the Greeks, in other words, to avoid any kind of dealings with them. As for the Church of Constantinople, which in its arrogant provincialism assumes the title of “the Great Church” and 'the Ĺ’cumenical Church,' it would probably be glad to be rid of these Northern barbarians who are only a hindrance to its Pan-Hellenic aims. In recent times, the patriarchate of Constantinople has been twice on the point of anathematizing the Russian Church; only purely material considerations have prevented a split." (p. 70)

Vladimir Solovyev, *Russia and the Universal Church,* trans. Herbert Rees (London, 1948: Geoffrey Bles), pp. 69-70.