Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Capita Physica Theologica Epitomes 26-50

Part II of VI. Here I attempt to provide the epitomes of each chapter of the 150-chapter Capita Physica Theologica, a work of systematic theology by Archbishop St. Gregory Palamas the Wonderworker of Thessaloniki, who is venerated by Catholics and Eastern Orthodox alike. I pretty-much omit the very often powerful, straight-forward reasoning process of the saint, which can be reminiscent of that of the prince of theologians, that Angelic Doctor St. Thomas Aquinas. Nevertheless I give the conclusions of the miracle-working archbishop and try to do justice to his holy memory by portraying these conclusions completely and accurately.

28. Natural scientists, astronomers, and know-it-alls have never understood any of these truths but rather they have considered the demons superior to themselves and worshipped them and were led far astray by the lies of the demons.
31. The souls of irrational animals are mortal and not self-subsistent.
32. The soul which vivifies the body possesses life essentially, i.e., in itself and is manifestly immortal because it has a rational and intellectual life clearly different from that of the body.
36. The Holy Spirit is not begotten, but He is God of God and proceeds with the Son/Word as regards His eternal existence from the Father alone in the sense of ekporeusis. The Holy Spirit belongs to both Father and Son for He is the mutual intimacy, i.e., like the love of the Father for His Son.
46. By willfully spurning the command of God not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil [Gen 2:17; 3:6], Adam and Eve became of the same mind as the deathly spirit of Satan and died spiritually, having lost the divine radiance. This results in the communication of bodily death and this happens whenever the body returns to the dust from which it came [Gen 3:17] unless one patiently suffers the sentence of He Who conserves the body; "The Lord is just and loves justice" [Ps 10:7] and every work of His is just and nothing can be accomplished unless He decrees it.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Capita Physica Theologica Epitomes 1-25

Part I of VI. Here I attempt to provide the epitomes of each chapter of the 150-chapter Capita Physica Theologica, a work of systematic theology by Archbishop St. Gregory Palamas the Wonderworker of Thessaloniki, who is venerated by Catholics and Eastern Orthodox alike. I pretty-much omit the very often powerful, straight-forward reasoning process of the saint, which can be reminiscent of that of the prince of theologians, that Angelic Doctor St. Thomas Aquinas. Nevertheless I give the conclusions of the miracle-working archbishop and try to do justice to his holy memory by portraying these conclusions completely and accurately.

25. Euclid, Marinus, Ptolemy, Empedocleans, Socratics, Aristotelians, and Platonists had no understanding of the salvific teaching and wisdom of the Holy Spirit.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Was Dioscorus "the Great" of Alexandria Orthodox?

Patriarch Dioscorus of Alexandria was wrongly condemned and was in fact Christologically orthodox

Divergence of Dioscorus from Orthodox Cyrillian Miaphysitism
1. Patriarch Dioscorus of Alexandria, wrongly styled "the Great," was actually a heretical Monophysite and not an orthodox Miaphysite. I showed how Cyrillian Miaphysitism is orthodox, endorsed by the Church, and compatible with Chalcedonian Dyophysitism. The Christology of Dioscorus, however, is not compatible with Dyophysitism and is therefore heterodox. Whereas St. Cyril accepted two natures after the union in his Agreement with Patriarch John (not Chrysostom) of Antioch, Dioscorus anathematized everyone who accepted the Agreement and therefore rejected the orthodox exposition of the very Doctor Incarnationis himself.

Ecumenical Condemnation of Dioscorus for Christological Heterodoxy
2. We are bound to accept the judgments of the Holy Ecumenical Councils, as they are infallible. Thus to say that Dioscorus was orthodox is to deny the infallibility of the resolutions of the Sixth Ecumenical Council, i.e. to say that the Gates of Hell prevailed against the Universal Church which is to most blasphemously make a liar of our Lord. Canon 95 of the Sixth Ecumenical Council indisputably condemns Dioscorus not merely for negligence in allowing heterodoxy to spread without calling him heterodox as is the case with the heretic Pope Honorius I, but condemns him for holding to and preaching Christological heterodoxy:
As for Manicheans, and Valentinians, and Marcionists, and those from similar heresies, they have to give us certificates [called libelli] and anathematize their heresy, the Nestorians, and Nestorius, and Eutyches and Dioscorus, and Severus, and the other exarchs of such heresies, and those who entertain their beliefs, and all the aforementioned heresies, and thus they are allowed to partake of Holy Communion.
Dioscorus A Villain
3. Far from being a saint, Dioscorus the not so Great was the root cause of the death of the most holy Patriarch St. Flavian the Confessor of Constantinople. He evilly restored Eutyches and wickedly anathematized Pope St. Leo I the Great of Rome, author of the orthodox Christological Tome which is the basis of the infallible Chalcedonian Christological definition.

4. The Life of Dioscorus of Alexandria says that he worked miracles: "God performed at the hands of St. Dioscorus many great signs and wonders, so that all obeyed him, respected and revered him greatly, for God honors His chosen ones in every place. St. Dioscorus told St. Macarius, his companion in exile, 'You shall receive the crown of martyrdom in Alexandria.' He sent him with one of the believing merchants to Alexandria, where he received the crown of martyrdom."{1} If the deposed Patriarch of Alexandria did work signs and wonders, then they were not from but lying signs and wonders from demons. Otherwise they are fabrications, hallucinations, misinterpretations, embellishments, historical fiction, or legendary accretions. God only works miracles through people of good faith in testimony to true doctrine.{2}

5. Dioscorus of Alexandria was not of right faith and he was not in good faith; he was a heterodox murderer and tyrant.{3} Dioscorus was certainly a Monophysite Incorrupticolæ because he said from his exile in Gangra in a fragment preserved in Nicephorus' Antirrhetica (Spicil. Solesm., IV, 380): "If the Blood of Christ is not by nature (katà phúsin) God's and not a man's, how does it differ from the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer? For this is earthly and corruptible, and the blood of man according to nature is earthly and corruptible. But God forbid that we should say the Blood of Christ is consubstantial with one of those things which are according to nature (‘enos tôn katà phúsin ‘omoousíon).."{4} This is false because the Blood of Christ is not incorruptible of its own nature. Dioscorus therefore did confuse the two natures, despite his protestations that he held Eutyches to be a wily heretic.{5} Besides, there was already a genuine miracle beheld by reliable witnesses which confirmed that the Chalcedonian definition was true, the miracle of the greatmartyr St. Euphemia the All-Praised.{6}

6. A thousand anathemas to the impenitent Dioscorus of Alexandria and those who follow him! Lord Jesus Christ Almighty, Son of God, please bring back the Monophysites into our fold, and have mercy on me, a sinner! Amen.
Notes & References
{4} Chapman, John. "Eutychianism." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 5. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. 24 Aug. 2009 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05633a.htm>.
{6} http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3604098.htm.


Friday, September 26, 2008

Who Indeed Is A Church Father?

Abstract: The criteria for Church Fathers; the radically anti-Augustinian poison of Dr. Father Michael Azkoul; the question of the status of the condemned speculative theologian Origen of Alexandria as a Church Father; the duration of the Patristic Age; Church Fathers who are Church Doctors; the unanimous consent of the Fathers; Church Doctors from various sects.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

John 15:26 and Filioque

John 15:26 expressly precludes Filioque and Filioquists make Christ, Who is truth itself, a teller of half-truths

Jn 15:26 does not at all rule out Filioque but in fact implies it. This is evident from the rule of the Bible that whatever is predicated of the Father is predicated of the Son despite the addition of an exclusive term, except for things pertaining to the opposite relations which distinguish the Father from the Son. In proof of which is the statement of God the Son Himself [Mt 11:27], that "No one knows the Son, but the Father,"{2} because this infallible and inerrant statement does not rule out the Son knowing Himself or the Holy Spirit knowing the Son.

The Fathers Know Best
I must provide two brilliant quotations from Bishop St. Augustine the Great of Hippo (Doctor Gratiae) which resolve any remaining doubts. In 416 St. Augustine the Great said [Homilies on John 99:6,8]:
Some one may here inquire whether the Holy Spirit proceeds also from the Son. For the Son is Son of the Father alone, and the Father is Father of the Son alone; but the Holy Spirit is not the Spirit of one of Them, but of both... If, then, the Holy Spirit proceeds both from the Father and from the Son, why said the Son, "He proceeds from the Father"? Why, do you think, but just because it is to Him He is wont to attribute even that which is His own, of Whom He Himself also is? Hence we have Him saying, "My doctrine is not Mine, but His that sent Me." If, therefore, in such a passage we are to understand that as His doctrine, which nevertheless He declared not to be His own, but the Father's, how much more in that other passage are we to understand the Holy Spirit as proceeding from Himself, where His words, "He proceeds from the Father," were uttered so as not to imply, He proceeds not from Me? But from Him, of Whom the Son has it that He is God (for He is God of God), He certainly has it that from Him also the Holy Spirit proceeds: and in this way the Holy Spirit has it of the Father Himself, that He should also proceed from the Son, even as He proceeds from the Father.
And twelve years later St. Augustine the Great said in Against Maximus 2:14:
The Son comes from the Father; the Holy Spirit comes from the Father. The former is born; the latter proceeds. Hence, the former is the Son of the Father from Whom He is born, but the latter is the Spirit of both because He proceeds from both. When the Son spoke of the Spirit, He said, "He proceeds from the Father" [Jn 15:26], because the Father is the author of His procession. The Father begot a Son and, by begetting Him, gave it to Him that the Holy Spirit proceeds from Him as well. If He did not proceed from Him, He would not say to His disciples, "Receive the Holy Spirit" [Jn 20:22], and give the Spirit by breathing on them. He signified that the Holy Spirit also proceeds from Him and showed outwardly by blowing what He was giving inwardly by breathing. If He were born, He would be born not from the Father alone or from the Son alone, but from both of Them; He would beyond any doubt be the son of both of Them. But because He is in no sense the son of both of Them, it was necessary that He not be born from both. He is, therefore, the Spirit of both, by proceeding from both.
St. Maximus the Confessor, St. Augustine the Great, and St. Thomas Aquinas, pray for us!

Notes and References
{1} Aquinas, St. Thomas (Doctor Angelicus), Summa Theologica 1:36:2:1a.
{2} Ibid.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Ted

Happy Birthday Ted; you're the man and one of my best friends. You are hilarious--senior year could not have been more full of great laughs and memorable lines--witty, knowledgeable, and a true friend, like a brother. You are hardworking and athletic and I wish you continued success. I will keep you in my prayers; God bless. St. Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

"Josaphat the Malevolent?"

Josaphat Kuntsevych was a tyrannical murderer
It is impossible to believe the stories, e.g. those found in "An Anniversary of Mourning: Josaphat the Malevolent" by Nicholas Maas at the anti-ecumenical site of Patrick Barnes, that St. Josaphat of Kuntsevych (Язафат Кунцэвіч: Ukrainian Greek Catholic wonderworking archbishop of Polotsk and martyr) [1584-11/12/1623] committed murders and other heinous crimes against the Eastern Orthodox when you consider that he (all of the following points are found on his Wikipedia article{1}):
1. prayed often and helped with Church services instead of playing games when he was a kid.
2. prayed and studied whenever he had free time as an apprentice.
3. frequently prostrated himself with his head to the ground while saying the Jesus Prayer: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."
4. never ate meat.
5. often fasted.
6. "slept on the bare floor."
7. wore an angular chain and hair shirt.
8. mortified his flesh until he drew blood.
9. favored the religious life over the merchant Papovič's offer of his whole fortune and the hand of his daughter in holy matrimony.
10. wrote several original works of Catholic apologetics after zealously studying "the Slavonic-Byzantine liturgical books" (On the Baptism of St. Vladimir; On the Falsification of the Slavic Books by the Enemies of the Metropolitan; On Monks and their Vows).
11. performed works of mercy for the poor.
12. profoundly devoted himself to the Divine Liturgy.
13. preached and heard confessions in Church, fields, prisons, hospitals, and during personal travels.
14. restored Byzantine Churches.
15. established rules for priestly life.
16. gave a catechism to the clergy and told them to learn it by heart.
17. has incorrupt relics.
18. posthumously worked myriad miracles, as confirmed by the oath of 116 witnesses.
Listen to what our Lord says in Lk 6:43: "For there is no good tree that bringeth forth evil fruit: nor an evil tree that bringeth forth good fruit." Remember the words of the martyred Apostle St. James the Just, the first Bishop of Jerusalem [Jas 3:11-12]: "Doth a fountain send forth, out of the same hole, sweet and bitter water? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear grapes? Or the vine, figs? So neither can the salt water yield sweet."

Glorious Martyr St. Josaphat Kuntsevych, pray to God for the salvation of us sinners and for the imminent return of the Eastern Orthodox to the Catholic fold!

Notes and References
{1} http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josaphat_Kuntsevych

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sources of Eastern Orthodox Dogma

It is tough to find at least a semi-comprehensive enumeration of the sources of distinctively Eastern Orthodox teaching. Here I will try to imitate Dr. Ludwig Ott and list what I believe to be the more or less authoritative sources of the teachings of the Eastern Orthodox Church, i.e., I will name the original sources and the authorities, including individuals, who, according to the Eastern Orthodox Church, restate and present the proper interpretation of these sources.

The Holy Bible.{1}

Patristic Consensus
The consensus of the Church Fathers.{2}

Ecumenical Councils
First Ecumenical Council a.k.a. Nicaea I (325).
Second Ecumenical Council a.k.a. Constantinople I (381).
Third Ecumenical Council a.k.a. Council of Ephesus (431).
Fourth Ecumenical Council a.k.a. Council of Chalcedon (451).
Fifth Ecumenical Council a.k.a. Constantinople II (553).
Sixth Ecumenical Council a.k.a. Constantinople III (680-681).
Quinisext Ecumenical Council a.k.a. Council of Trullo (692).{3}
Seventh Ecumenical Council a.k.a. Nicaea II (787).
Eighth Ecumenical Council a.k.a. Constantinople IV (879-880).{4}
Ninth Ecumenical Council a.k.a. Constantinople V (1341, 1347, 1351).{5}

Local Councils
Local Council of Constantinople (1722): Encyclical to the Orthodox Antiochians.
Local Council of Constantinople (1727): Confessions of Faith.
Local Council of Constantinople (1836): Encyclical Against the Protestant Missionaries.
Local Council of Constantinople (1838): Encyclical Against the Latin Innovations.
Local Council of Jassy (1662).
Local Council of Jerusalem (1672).
Local Council of Constantinople (1691): Minutes.
Patriarch Jeremiah III of Constantinople (1716-1725): Answer to the Anglican Anomots.
Local Council of Constantinople (1895): Answer to Pope Leo XIII of Rome.
Local Orthodox Conference in Moscow (1948): Decree Against Papism.

Athanasian Creed (400).

Prominent Individuals
Hieromonk St. John of Damascus (pre-749): An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith.
Patriarch St. Photius I the Great of Constantinople (866): Encyclical to the Eastern Patriarchs.{6}
Patriarch Michael Cerularius of Constantinople (1054): Two Epistles to Patriarch Peter III of Antioch.{7}
Patriarch Gregory II of Cyprus (1285): Exposition of the Tomus of Faith Against Beccus.{8}
Bishop Mark Eugenikos of Ephesus (1440): Encyclical.{9}
Patriarch Gennadius II Scholarius of Constantinople (1455): Confession of Faith.
Patriarch Jeremiah II Tranos of Constantinople (1576-1582): Three Answers to the Augsburg Confession.
Patriarch Metrophanis Kritopoulos of Alexandria (1625): Confession of Faith.
Metropolitan Peter Mogila of Kiev and Halych (1638): Confession of Faith.
Orthodox Patriarchs of the East (1848): Reply to the Letter of Pope Pius IX of Rome.
Patriarch Gregory VI of Constantinople (1868): Rejection of the Pope's Invitation to the Latin Council in Vatican.
Patriarchate of Constantinople (1920): Encyclical on Ecumenical Movement of the Churches.
Patriarch Athenagoras I of Constantinople (1952): Encyclical on Ecumenical Movement of the Churches.

Notes and References
{1} The Eastern Orthodox misinterpret the Bible in several of their dogmatic stances, e.g. they mistakenly conclude from John 15:26 that the Holy Spirit proceeds ontologically from the Father alone.
{2} As you can see from the Patristic collections on this blog, the consensus of the Fathers is against what Eastern Orthodox are dogmatically committed to, e.g. Filioque and papal primacy.
{3} The Council of Trullo, Canon 13, taught the novel doctrine, contrary to the First Ecumenical Council and several local councils as well as Scripture and the Church Fathers, that married priests could have sex with their wives. See "Priestly Celibacy" @ http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2008/07/priestly-celibacy.html.
{4} In their 1848 Encyclical which is an apology for Eastern Orthodoxy and a rebuttal of Catholicism, the Patriarchs of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem agree that the Photian synod of 879-880 is ecumenical and refer to it as such.
{8} This is the most detailed Eastern Orthodox conciliar response to the Latin exposition of the Filioque clause. Some key statements by Patriarch Gregory II of Cyprus are:
"the all-Holy Spirit's existence is not 'through the Son' and 'from the Son' as they who hasten toward their destruction and separation from God understand and teach."
It does not, however, mean that it subsists through the Son and from the Son, and that it receives its being through Him and from Him. For this would mean that the Spirit has the Son as cause and source (exactly as it has the Father), not to say that it has its cause and source more so from the Son than from the Father; for it is said that that from which existence is derived likewise is believed to enrich the source and to be the cause of being. To those who believe and say such things, we pronounce the above resolution and judgment, we cut them off from the membership of the Orthodox, and we banish them from the flock of the Church of God.
For a refutation of the heretical poison of Patriarch Gregory II of Cyprus, see:
a. (8/2/2008), "As From One Principle and the Monarchy of the Father" @ http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2008/08/as-from-one-principle-and-monarchy-of.html.
b. (7/25/2008). "Filioque: Fathers, Popes, and Councils." The Banana Republican. Retrieved September 19, 2008: http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2008/07/filioque-fathers-popes-councils.html.
c. (8/5/2008), "Summa Pro Filioque" @ http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2008/08/summa-pro-filioque.html.


Receiving the Body of Christ Without His Blood

(1) The Body and Blood are fully present in both species, as is clear from the diction of St. Paul the Apostle in 1 Corinthians 11:27:
"Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord."
Reverence for the Blood
The legitimacy and validity of communicants receiving Christ's Body without His Blood is clear from the following points:
Body and Blood Fully Present in Both Species
(2) As Catholicism spread, there were more elders and children who might not be strong or cautious enough to prevent the Blood of Christ from being spilled.{1}

It is only necessary that the priest partakes of both the Body and Blood of Christ, because the perfection of the Eucharist consists in the consecration of the matter, rather than the use of the faithful.{2} This is the sense of the statements of Pope Gelasius in De Consecr. ii, wherefore the Local Council of Toledo XII says, "What kind of a sacrifice is that, wherein not even the sacrificer is known to have a share?"{3}

Notes and References
{1} Aquinas, St. Thomas (Doctor Angelicus), Summa Theologica 3:80:12.
{2} Ibid.
{3} Ibid.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Responses to 13 Anti-Purgatory Arguments by Mark of Ephesus, et al

OBJ. 1: 2 Macc 12:42-46 and Mt 12:32 only prove that some sins are forgiven after death but it is not certain if it is by means of punishment by fire.
ANS. 1: 1 Cor 3:15 is enough to show that leftover venial sins are purged by fire in Purgatory (more on that below), but there are many more. In Jude 23 God snatches people from the fire, but people in Heaven are not in the fire and God does not snatch the damned from Hell. In Wis 3:5-6 God tries and disciplines the departed faithful by fire so that they might be pure and able to enter Heaven. In Sir 2:5 the analogy is drawn between the testing of gold in the fire and the testing of acceptable men in the furnace of humiliation. The damned are not acceptable and those already in Heaven are not in a testing, i.e. purifying, fire. Those Western Fathers who spoke of a purifying fire include St. Cyprian of Carthage, Archbishop St. Ambrose the Great of Milan (Doctor), Hieromonk St. Jerome the Great of Stridon (Doctor), Bishop St. Augustine of Hippo (Doctor Graciae), Lactantius, St. Caesar of Arles, and Pope St. Gregory I the Great of Rome. The Eastern Father St. Gregory of Nyssa, one of the three Cappadocian Fathers, spoke of a purifying fire.

OBJ. 2: The weight of the opinion of the Latin Church is inconsistent with the topic of Purgatory.
ANS. 2: The Roman see has always been the immovable seat of orthodoxy as is clear from the Ecumenical councils and the consensus of the Eastern and Western Fathers; see "Seeds of Papal Infallibility Dogma Pre-Vatican I." The Banana Republican. 9 Sept. 2008. 17 Sept. 2008 <http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2008/09/seeds-of-papal-infallibility-dogma-pre.html. The Roman see alone has never fallen into heresy. See "." The Banana Republican. 3 Sept. 2008. 17 Sept. 2008 <http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2008/09/enough-about-honorius.html>. The see of Constantinople was plagued by Arianism (Eusebius, Eudoxius), Semi-Arianism (Macedonius), Monophysitism (Acacius, Phravitas, Euphemius, Timothy I, Anthimus), Nestorianism (Nestorius), and Monothelitism (Sergius I, Pyrrhus, Paul II, Peter, John VI). The poisonous smoke of Satan billowed into the see of Antioch in the form of Docetism, Modalism=Sabellianism (Paul of Samosata), Arianism (Eulalius, Euphronius), Nestorianism, Monophysitism (Peter the Fuller, John Codonatus, Palladius, Severus, Sergius, Paul the Black, Peter Callinicum), and Monothelitism (Anthanasius, Macedonius, Macarius). The see of Alexandria succumbed to Monophysitism (Dioscorus, Timothy Aelurus, Peter Mongo, Athanasius II, John II, John III, Timothy III, Theodosius, Damianus) after its wicked rejection of the canons of the Council of Chalcedon in A.D. 451, and was also preyed upon by Monothelitism (Cyrus). Jerusalem succumbed to Monophysitism (Juvenal) and Origenism (Eustachius).

OBJ. 3: St. Paul the Apostle cannot be speaking of the Purgatorial fire because "if any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss (zemiothesetai)" means that the damned lose the beatific vision, because those who are purified do not lose anything but instead gain much because they are "freed from evil, and clothed in purity and candor."
ANS. 3: St. Paul the Apostle is not talking about the preservation of the existence of the damned because "he will be saved" in Greek is "sothesetai" which indicates eternal salvation, not merely continued existence. "Yet so" in Greek is "houtos" which translates to "in the same manner," so St. Paul the Apostle, inspired by the Holy Spirit, teaches that the soul receives eternal salvation in the same manner via a cleansing fire.

OBJ. 4: Nothing is said of any intermediate place for temporal punishments in the parable of Lazarus wherein Heaven and Hell are mentioned.
ANS. 4: This is a fallacious argument from silence because plenty of other New Testament and Old Testament passages speak of an abode that is not the Hell of the damned but a place for the expiation of venial sins by fire.

OBJ. 5: The sacrament of penance/reconciliation does not continue after death.
ANS. 5: St. Thomas Aquinas replies [Summa Theologica, On Purgatory, 2:4:4a], "After this life there can be no merit in respect of the essential reward, but there can be in respect of some accidental reward, so long as man remains in the state of the way, in a sense. Consequently in Purgatory there can be a meritorious act in respect of the remission of venial sin."

OBJ. 6: There is no Purgatory; rather, souls are cleansed via death itself or after death when the souls are temporarily confined to Hell, from which they are released due to the prayers and liturgies of the Church and good deeds on their behalf by the faithful.
ANS. 6: Natural death is not sufficient to cleanse the venial sins, as St. Thomas Aquinas points out [Summa Theologica, On Purgatory, 2:4]:
bodily defect, such as obtains at the last moment of life, does not remove the corruption of concupiscence; nor does it diminish it in its root but in its act, as instanced in those who lie dangerously ill; nor again does it calm the powers of the soul, so as to subject them to grace, because tranquility of the powers, and their subjection to grace, is effected when the lower powers obey the higher which delight together in God's law.
Actual sin cannot be "remitted without an actual movement of contrition."

Indeed the souls are temporarily confined to the hell of Purgatory and released more speedily dye to the prayers and liturgies of the Church and good deeds on their behalf by the faithful, but they must also expiate the guilt of their venial sins by undergoing punishment in that part of Hell (cf. Summa Theologica, Supplement, Appendix II, art. II).

Obj. 7: The Commentary of St. John Chrysostom the Great explains 1 Cor 3:11-15 thusly: (1) fire is eternal, not temporary, purgatorial fire; (2) wood, hay, and stubble are bad deeds which fuel the eternal fire; (3) day means the day of the last judgment; (4) "saved yet so as by fire" indicates the preservation and continuance of the existence of the damned while they suffer punishment.
Ans. 7: Granted. St. John Chrysostom the Great says the following in Homily 9 on First Corinthians:
1 Cor 3:15
5. And his meaning is, He himself shall not perish in the same way as his works, passing into nought, but he shall abide in the fire.
6. And so here in saying, "he shall be saved," he has but darkly hinted at the intensity of the penalty: as if he had said, "But himself shall remain forever in punishment."
So clearly the great saint interprets the Pauline passage as discussing those who suffer the eternal punishment of the Hell of the lost, not those who suffer the temporary punishment of the hell of purgatory.

However, it must be remembered that St. John Chrysostom the Great was idiosyncratic in his exegesis of these words of the Apostle. The consensus of the Fathers is that the words refer to Purgatory; see the commentary of Sts. Cyprian of Carthage, Ambrose the Great of Milan, Jerome the Great of Strido, Pope Gregory I the Great of Rome, and Augustine the Great of Hippo, etc. It also must be pointed out that the fire of Purgatory is the fire of Hell. Thus, the Greeks need to understand that the fire of Purgatory is everlasting in its substance but temporary in its cleansing effect, as St. Thomas Aquinas points out. Note that the great Chrysostom was also idiosyncratic in his exegesis of certain Gospel passages; he stated that St. Mary sinned. Elsewhere, however, he explicitly affirmed her sinlessness. See my post "Immaculate Conception of the Ever-Virgin Mary Mother of God."

Obj. 8: We are to agree with the Orthodox interpretation of St. John Chrysostom so long as none of the Greek Fathers demonstrably disagreed with his interpretation of 1 Cor 3:11-15, and reject the Western interpretation given by people who cannot understand Greek as well as the Greeks themselves.
Ans. 8: Q.V. #3 and #7 above and #11 and #13 below. St. Gregory of Nyssa disagreed with the idiosyncratic exegesis of St. John Chrysostom the Great, and #3 contains the true meaning of the Greek.

Obj. 9: Punishment and forgiveness cannot occur simultaneously, but this happens with the Purgatorial doctrine of forgiveness of sins via punishment by fiery tortures.
Ans. 9: This objection hardly makes any sense; how does one holding the presuppositions of the objector account for medicinal/remedial punishment?

Obj. 10: Even if St. Gregory of Nyssa affirmed Purgatory, he still could be wrong because he was a mortal writing privately and Purgatory had not yet "been examined ... or determined" by an Ecumenical Council.
Ans. 10: Of course St. Gregory of Nyssa could have erred on an individual point, as is true for any Church Father; Church Fathers are individually fallible. And different Fathers have different weight in different topics. However, there are enough other Fathers we can call as witnesses to the Catholic understanding of Purgatory to say that we have a consensus of the Fathers in favor of the Catholic doctrine. Furthermore, the Council of Lyons in 1274 fulfills all the criteria for an Ecumenical council. The fear and detestation of the spread of heretical Origenistic universalist speculations on the afterlife around the Fifth Ecumenical Council might account for the perceived silence of the Church on the issue of Purgatory. The Catholic perspective, however, suffers from no Origenistic influences, but is rooted in the solid and right exegesis of Scripture.

Obj. 11: The references to purification by Purgatorial fire are allegorical. A bodiless soul cannot suffer punishment by fire.
Ans. 11: There are plenty of other Biblical passages which form a solid basis for the belief that those in Purgatory are tried by fire, and there is no reason to think that these passages are merely allegorical; indeed all senses of Scripture are based upon the literal [Wis 3:5-6; Sir 2:5; Mal 3:2-4; Zech 13:8-9; 1 Cor 3:11-17; Heb 12:29; 1 Pt 1:6-7; Jude 23; Rev 3:18-19]. The early Fathers of the Church reached a consensus that the fire of Purgatory is a real and not merely allegorical or symbolic fire; read the commentaries of St. Gregory of Nyssa, Bishop St. Cyprian of Carthage, Lactantius, Bishop St. Ambrose the Great of Milan (Doctor), Hieromonk St. Jerome the Great of Strido (Doctor), Bishop St. Augustine the Great of Hippo (Doctor Gratiae), St. Caesar of Arles, and Pope St. Gregory I the Great of Rome (Doctor). And witnesses from what in the Latin perspective is the post-Patristic age, include, but are not limited to, the wonderworking St. Thomas Aquinas (Doctor Angelicus), St. Bonaventure (Doctor Seraphicus), Bishop St. Francis de Sales of Geneva (Doctor), and St. Catherine of Genoa. Scripture, Tradition, and right reason would have us believe that those in Purgatory are punished by fire. Furthermore, St. Thomas Aquinas proves in his Summa Theologica 3S:70:3 that bodiless/separated souls can be punished by a real material/corporeal fire.

Obj. 12:.The quotations by the Latins of Bishop St. Basil the Great of Caesarea (Prayer for Pentecost), Bishop St. Epiphanius of Salamis, Hieromonk St. John of Damascus, and Bishop-Martyr St. Dionysius the Areopagite of Athens, do "not prove anything to the advantage of the Church of Rome."
Ans. 12: The quotations prove that there is purifying punishment after death which, when finished, results in the acquisition of the beatific vision.

Obj. 13: Regarding your quotations from the Western Fathers: we must remember (1) the circumstances under which they wrote could have led them into error; (2) they misunderstood the Apostle Paul's words in 1 Cor 3:11-15; and (3) "the difficulty of drawing a general conclusion from many circumstances (founded on visions)."
Ans. 13: How could so many great saintly doctors over the centuries have misinterpreted 1 Cor 3:11-15? How could the consensus of the Fathers be wrong? Is there room in your house for the Western Fathers or will you shut your door to them? Do you not know that the Fathers of the East and West are of one mind?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Orthodox In Communion With Rome

N.B. I still have to correct this post to incorporate the excellent insights of my Byzantine friend, Joseph.

1. "Orthodox in Communion with Rome," in the sense of being a member of the "Eastern Orthodox Church" in communion with Rome, is a self-contradictory expression, notwithstanding the following statement of His Beatitude, Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregorios III Laham of Antioch:
Accept us, Holy Father, as we are: Eastern Orthodox, who want to live our full and complete Eastern Orthodox tradition in full communion with Rome. {1}

2. The problem is that if you take "tradition" as not simply liturgical tradition and the Eastern expressions of the same theological truths but distinctively Eastern Orthodox dogmatic tradition, then "full" Eastern Orthodoxy is incompatible with "full" communion with Rome. This is because Eastern Orthodoxy is actually dogmatically committed to several things that directly contradict Catholic dogma.

3. First and foremost is the Filioque doctrine; I am pressed for time so I will have to give this as the only example for now. You cannot be Eastern Orthodox and accept Filioque, and you cannot be Catholic and reject Filioque. But Eastern Orthodoxy dogmatically rejects the theological truth of Filioque, as is clear from the following:
Synod of Constantinople (1583) presided over by Patriarchs Jeremias II of Constantinople, Silvester of Alexandria, and Sophronius of Jerusalem:
Therefore, cutting off these persons as rotten members, we command:

1) That whoever does not confess with heart and mouth that he is a child of the Eastern Church baptized in Orthodox style, and that the Holy Spirit proceeds out of only the Father, essentially and hypostatically, as Christ says in the Gospel, shall be outside of our Church and shall be anathematized.
4. The Eastern Orthodox Church's dogmatic rejection of the eternal ontological procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son as heretical is also clear from the following authoritative sources and standards of Eastern Orthodox dogma:
Patriarch St. Photius I the Great of Constantinople (866): Encyclical to the Eastern Patriarchs.{2}
Eighth "Ecumenical" Council a.k.a. Constantinople IV (879-880).{3}
Patriarch Gregory II of Cyprus (1285): Exposition of the Tomus of Faith Against Beccus.{4}
Bishop Mark Eugenikos of Ephesus (1440): Encyclical.{5}
Local Council of Jerusalem (1672).
Orthodox Patriarchs of the East (1848): Reply to the Letter of Pope Pius IX of Rome.

Notes and References
{1} His Beatitude, Gregorios III Laham, Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, (5/9/2008) Address to His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, Pope of Rome @ http://www.byzcath.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2403&Itemid=101.
{2} St. Photius the Great, however, died a holy Catholic death in communion with Rome and is quite worthy of veneration as a saint, which I prove with seven points. See (7/26/2008), "Sainthood of Photius the Great of Constantinople: Concluding Thoughts" @ http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2008/07/sainthood-of-photius-great-of.html.
{3} In their 1848 Encyclical which is an apology for Eastern Orthodoxy and a rebuttal of Catholicism, the Patriarchs of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem agree that the Photian synod of 879-880 is ecumenical and refer to it as such. However, the acceptance of the ecumenicity of the council by the Eastern Orthodox apologists such as Fr. George Dion Dragas is contingent upon the altered letters of Pope John VIII, and the smoking gun that the council was not ecumenical is the letter of Pope Stephen V to Emperor Basil I in 885-886 which says that St. Photius the Great was still trying to have the 869-870 council annulled; he would not be doing this if Pope John VIII had abrogated the 869-870 council.
{4} This is easily the most detailed Eastern Orthodox conciliar response to the Catholic definition of Filioque; it elaborates and then decisively rejects the Filioque while conceding an eternal energetic manifestation of the Holy Spirit from the Father through the Son. This is self-contradictory; see:
a. (8/5/2008), Summa Pro Filioque @ http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2008/08/summa-pro-filioque.html.
b. An upcoming piece on the Essence-Energies distinction.
{5} Mark of Ephesus was an evil schismatic and heretic; there is no denying that from the Catholic point of view. He was not virtuous for e.g. "defending his faith valiantly and charitably," because he spit venom at the divine dogmas of the Catholic Church and was so intellectually dishonest as to simply fall silent and leave the discussions when the fathers of the Ecumenical Council of Ferrara-Florence proved that the ample Patristic support for Filioque was genuine rather than "corrupt and interpolated." Mark of Ephesus rejected the ancient tradition of papal primacy and the doctrine of Purgatory which had been defined by an Ecumenical Council a couple of centuries before, and he held the abominable view that suffrages profit the damned in Hell. A thousand anathemas to Mark of Ephesus, the enemy of truth and the enemy of Catholic unity! See (7/24/2008), "Mark of Ephesus" @ http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2008/07/mark-of-ephesus.html.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Unleavened vs. Leavened Bread

Conformity to the Institution of Christ and Other Significations
1. The validity of the Eucharist does not depend on whether the bread is unleavened or leavened; the essential thing is that the bread is wheaten bread [Jn 12:24]. Christ instituted the Eucharist on the first day of Azymes [Mt 26:17; Mk 14:12; Lk 22:7], and Christ never violated the Old Law, so He must have used unleavened bread [Ex 12:15,19]; thus Latin Catholics do not Judaize and follow the ceremonial precept of the Old Law after its fulfillment by Christ, but instead simply follow the institution of the God-man Himself. The Body of Christ was conceived without corruption, so the bread ought to be unleavened. According to St. Paul of Tarsus the Apostle of the Gentiles [1 Cor 5:7], the unleavened bread in the Eucharist more clearly signifies the sincerity of the faithful. Unleavened bread signifies the eternal Logos taking on flesh without His Mother having sexual relations, according to Pope St. Gregory I the Great of Rome.{1}

Signification and Validity of Leavened Bread
2. Leavened bread is obviously valid and sensible as well. Because the leaven is mixed with the flour, leavened bread is analogous to the Logos' being clothed with flesh, according to the same great pope.{2} Thus the Greek rite is also valid and appropriate because of the meaning and due to the Greek hatred of the Nazarene heresy.

3. St. Michael de Sanctis, St. Thomas Aquinas, Pope St. Gregory I the Great, Bl. Imelda Lambertini, and St. Clare of Assisi, pray for us!

Notes and References
{1} Pope St. Gregory I the Great of Rome (Doctor), quoted by St. Thomas Aquinas (Doctor Angelicus) in Summa Contra Gentiles.
{2} Ibid.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Will

Happy Birthday, Will. You are a remarkably talented and funny kid--your wit is exceptional and you really know how to deliver a zinger--and a true friend, like a brother. May God continue to bless you with great success in running. St. Raphael, pray for us, that Will may stay healthy and injury-free and continue to improve his amazing times.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11, 2008 Log

Breakfast: none

Lunch: none (napped instead)

Pre-workout snack: four Utz pretzel rods and water

Workout: warm-up, hill loop at brisker pace, 35 minute fartlek
Mileage: 7

Dinner: one glass blue Powerade, one half glass water, 2 glasses Cherry Coke, three slices pizza (two plain, one pepperoni), one grilled cheese (American cheese on white bread), salad (lettuce, zesty Italian dressing, two grape tomatoes, slices of American cheese, slices of carrots), one bowl Lucky Charms with whole milk, one bowl Frosted Flakes with whole milk, one Granny Smith apple, one red plum.

Second Dinner: 20 oz. Cherry Coke (!!! hypocrisy and weakness !!!), 32 oz. Fruit Punch Powerade, 1/2 bag Lays Potato chips, a couple of America's Choice original Pringles-style chips, a couple of handfuls of goldfish, ham and cheese sandwich (lettuce & tomato, no mayo)

The Pregnancies of Sarah and Bristol Palin

Very interesting speculation going on in the comments section of a Vanity Fair article that features a graphic of the official Sarah Palin pregnancy timeline vis-à-vis the Bristol Palin conspiracy timeline. Basically, readers are saying that Sarah Palin is not the mother of Trig. One person puts Bristol's "pregnancy" in quotes and says that Bristol will have a "miscarriage."

My thoughts coming later; right now it's ridiculously late. Good night and good luck.

Frankly this conspiracy "theory" (too generous a term) is absurd, as there are pictures of Sarah Palin obviously pregnant.

9/11: Never Forget

Please pray for the eternal repose of the souls of the 9/11 victims, especially Marion Britton and Andrew Jordan, the former of whom was a Flight 93 martyr and relative while the latter was an awesome neighbor and martyr who died saving lives as a Firefighter at the World Trade Center in Manhattan. Please, no more 9/11 conspiracy theories. It's the fact that the "theories" (too generous a term) are so obviously false that to promote them is disrespectful on account of the time and space wasted. God bless you and yours on this solemn Patriot Day.


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Seeds of Papal Infallibility Dogma Pre-Vatican I

Papal infallibility is a bogus innovation of the Latins and was unknown in the first millennium of the Church

The following texts from ecumenical councils and diverse Church Fathers and Doctors prove that papal infallibility is not some demonic Latin innovation that just appeared out of nowhere, pace many anti-ecumenical Eastern Orthodox polemicists who incessantly repeat myriad other myths about Catholicism. Several of these quotes state the Apostolic belief that Peter is the Prince of the Apostles, thus proving wrong the denial of this truth by Eastern Orthodox apologist Fr. Victor Potapov against whom I will have more writings on the papacy.

1st Century
West: Pope St. Clement I the Martyr of Rome in ca. 96 [1 Clement 59:1], "The church of God which sojourns at Rome to the church of God which sojourns at Corinth ... But if any disobey the words spoken by him through us, let them know that they will involve themselves in transgression and in no small danger."
2nd Century
East: St. Ignatius the Martyr of Antioch in 110 [Prologue to Epistle to the Romans],
Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the Church which has obtained mercy, through the majesty of the Most High God the Father, and of Jesus Christ, His only-begotten Son; the Church which is sanctified and enlightened by the will of God, Who farmed all things that are according to the faith and love of Jesus Christ, our God and Savior; the Church which presides in the place of the region of the Romans, and which is worthy of God, worthy of honor, worthy of the highest happiness, worthy of praise, worthy of credit, worthy of being deemed holy, and which presides over love...
West: St. Irenaeus the Martyr of Lyons in 180 [Adversus Haereses 3:3:2],
Since, however, it would be very tedious, in such a volume as this, to reckon up the successions of all the Churches, we do put to confusion all those who, in whatever manner, whether by an evil self-pleasing, by vainglory, or by blindness and perverse opinion, assemble in unauthorized meetings; [we do this, I say,] by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also [by pointing out] the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops. For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on account of its preeminent authority [propter potentiorem principalitatem] – that is, the faithful everywhere – inasmuch as the Apostolic Tradition has been preserved continuously by those who are everywhere.

3rd Century
West: Bishop St. Cyprian the Martyr of Carthage in 252 [Epistle 59:14],
After such things as these, moreover, they still dare--a false bishop having been appointed for them by, heretics--to set sail and to bear letters from schismatic and profane persons to the throne of Peter, and to the chief church whence priestly unity takes its source; and not to consider that these were the Romans whose faith was praised in the preaching of the apostle, to whom faithlessness could have no access.
4th Century
West: Bishop St. Augustine the Great of Hippo (Doctor) in 393 [Psalm Against the Party of Donatus, 18], "Number the bishops from the See of Peter itself. And in that order of Fathers see who has succeeded whom. That is the rock against which the gates of Hell do not prevail."
West: Hieromonk St. Jerome the Great of Stridon (Doctor) in 375 [To Pope Damasus, Epistle 15:1-2]:
... I think it my duty to consult the chair of Peter, and to turn to a church whose faith has been praised by Paul ... The fruitful soil of Rome, when it receives the pure seed of the Lord, bears fruit an hundredfold ... My words are spoken to the successor of the fisherman, to the disciple of the cross. As I follow no leader save Christ, so I communicate with none but your blessedness, that is with the chair of Peter. For this, I know, is the rock on which the church is built! This is the house where alone the paschal lamb can be rightly eaten. This is the ark of Noah, and he who is not found in it shall perish when the flood prevails.
West: Pope St. Siricius of Rome in 385 [To Himerius, Epistle 1],
To your inquiry we do not deny a legal reply, because we, upon whom greater zeal for the Christian religion is incumbent than upon the whole body, out of consideration for our office do not have the liberty to dissimulate, nor to remain silent. We carry the weight of all who are burdened; nay rather the blessed apostle Peter bears these in us, who, as we trust, protects us in all matters of his administration, and guards his heirs.
5th Century
Ecumenical Council of Ephesus (431), Epistle of St. Cyril I of Alexandria to Nestorius: And if your holiness have not a mind to this according to the limits defined in the writings of our brother of blessed memory and most reverend fellow-minister Celestine, Bishop of the Church of Rome, be well assured then that you have no lot with us, nor place or standing (λογον) among the priests and bishops of God.

Ecumenical Council of Ephesus (431), Council Decree:
As, in addition to other things, the impious Nestorius has not obeyed our citation, and did not receive the holy bishops who were sent by us to him, we were compelled to examine his ungodly doctrines. We discovered that he had held and published impious doctrines in his letters and treatises, as well as in discourses which he delivered in this city, and which have been testified to. Compelled thereto by the canons and by the letter (αναγκαιως κατεπειξθεντες απο τε των κανονων, και εκ της επιστολης, κ. τ. η.) of our most holy father and fellow-servant Celestine, the Roman bishop, we have come, with many tears, to this sorrowful sentence against him, namely, that our Lord Jesus Christ, Whom he has blasphemed, decrees by the holy Synod that Nestorius be excluded from the episcopal dignity, and from all priestly communion.

Ecumenical Council of Ephesus (431), Statement of Presbyter Philip the Roman Legate:
There is no doubt, and in fact it has been known in all ages, that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince (εξαρκος) and head of the Apostles, pillar of the faith, and foundation (θεμελιος) of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the human race, and that to him was given the power of loosing and binding sins: who down even to to-day and forever both lives and judges in his successors. The holy and most blessed pope Celestine, according to due order, is his successor and holds his place, and us he sent to supply his place in this holy synod, which the most humane and Christian Emperors have commanded to assemble, bearing in mind and continually watching over the Catholic faith.

Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon, Session 2 in 451,
After the reading of the foregoing epistle [the Tome of Pope Leo], the most reverend bishops cried out: This is the faith of the fathers, this is the faith of the Apostles. So we all believe, thus the orthodox believe. Anathema to him who does not thus believe. Peter has spoken thus through Leo. So taught the Apostles. Piously and truly did Leo teach, so taught Cyril. Everlasting be the memory of Cyril. Leo and Cyril taught the same thing, anathema to him who does not so believe. This is the true faith. Those of us who are orthodox thus believe. This is the faith of the fathers. Why were not these things read at Ephesus [the heretical synod held there in 449]? These are the things Dioscorus hid away.
Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon in 451 [To Pope Leo I, Epistle 98:1-2],
The great and holy and universal Synod...in the metropolis of Chalcedon...to the most holy and blessed archbishop of Rome, Leo ... being set as the mouthpiece unto all of the blessed Peter, and imparting the blessedness of his Faith unto all ...and besides all this he [Dioscorus] stretched forth his fury even against him who had been charged with the custody of the vine by the Savior, we mean of course your holiness ...
West: Pope St. Boniface I of Rome in 422 [To Rufus Bishop of Thessalonica, Epistle 13], "For it has never been allowed to discuss again what has once been decided by the Apostolic See."
East: Archbishop St. Flavian the Martyr of Constantinople in 449 [Epistle to Pope St. Leo I the Great],
Prince of the Apostles, and to the whole sacred synod, which is obedient to Your Holiness, at once a crowd of soldiers surrounded me and barred my way when I wished to take refuge at the holy altar. ... Therefore, I beseech Your Holiness not to permit these things to be treated with indifference ... but to rise up first on behalf of the cause of our orthodox Faith, now destroyed by unlawful acts. ... Further to issue an authoritative instruction ... so that a like faith may everywhere be preached by the assembly of an united synod of fathers, both Eastern and Western. Thus the laws of the fathers may prevail and all that has been done amiss be rendered null and void. Bring healing to this ghastly wound.
West: Monk Bachiarius of Spain in 420 [Professio fidei 2 in PL 20:1023]: "...none of the heresies could gain hold of or move the Chair of Peter, that is the See of faith."

East: Monk St. John Cassian in 431 [On the Incarnation of the Lord 3:12], "That great man, the disciple of disciples, that master among masters, who wielding the government of the Roman Church possessed the principle authority in faith and in priesthood. Tell us, therefore, we beg of you, Peter, prince of Apostles, tell us how the Churches must believe in God."
East: Patriarch St. John Chrysostom the Great of Constantinople (Doctor) [In Joan. Hom. 1xxxviii. n. 1, tom. viii],
And why, then, passing by the others, does He converse with Peter on these things? (John 21:15). He was the chosen one of the Apostles, and the mouth of the disciples, and the leader of the choir. On this account, Paul also went up on a time to see him rather than the others (Galatians 1:18). And withal, to show him that he must thenceforward have confidence, as the denial was done away with, He puts into his hands the presidency over the brethren. And He brings not forward the denial, nor reproaches him with what had past, but says, "If you love me, preside over the brethren," ...and the third time He gives him the same injunction, showing what a price He sets the presidency over His own sheep. And if one should say, "How then did James receive the throne of Jerusalem?", this I would answer that He appointed this man [Peter] teacher, not of that throne, but of the whole world.
West: Bishop St. Peter Chrysologus of Ravenna in 449 [Letter 25:2], "We exhort you in every respect, honorable brother, to heed obediently what has been written by the most blessed pope in the city of Rome, for blessed Peter, who lives and presides in his own see, provides the true faith to those who seek it. For we ... cannot try cases on the faith without the consent of the bishop of Rome."

6th Century
West: Pope St. Gregory I the Great of Rome (Doctor) in 590 [To the northern Italian bishops], "... remember that the faith of Peter cannot fail or change."
East: Emperor St. Justinian I the Great of Rome on 7/9/520 [Coll. Avell. Ep. 196], "Let your Apostleship show that you have worthily succeeded to the Apostle Peter, since the Lord will work through you, as Supreme Pastor, the salvation of all."
7th Century
Ecumenical Council of Constantinople III (680), Letter of Pope St. Agatho to the Emperor:
Therefore, most Christian lords and sons, in accordance with the most pious jussio of your God-protected clemency, we have had a care to send, with the devotion of a prayerful heart (from the obedience we owe you, not because we relied on the [superabundant] knowledge of those whom we send to you), our fellow-servants here present, Abundantius, John, and John, our most reverend brother bishops, Theodore and George our most beloved sons and presbyters, with our most beloved son John, a deacon, and with Constantine, a subdeacon of this holy spiritual mother, the Apostolic See, as well as Theodore, the presbyter legate of the holy Church of Ravenna and the religious servants of God the monks. For, among men placed amid the Gentiles, and earning their daily bread by bodily labor with considerable distraction, how could a knowledge of the Scriptures, in its fullness, be found unless what has been canonically defined by our holy and apostolic predecessors, and by the venerable five councils, we preserve in simplicity of heart, and without any distorting keep the faith come to us from the Fathers, always desirous and endeavoring to possess that one and chiefest good, viz.: that nothing be diminished from the things canonically defined, and that nothing be changed nor added thereto, but that those same things, both in words and sense, be guarded untouched? To these same commissioners we also have given the witness of some of the holy Fathers, whom this Apostolic Church of Christ [Rome] receives, together with their books, so that, having obtained from the power of your most benign Christianity the privilege of suggesting, they might out of these endeavor to give satisfaction, (when your imperial Meekness shall have so commanded) as to what this Apostolic Church of Christ [Rome], their spiritual mother and the mother of your God-sprung empire, believes and preaches, not in words of worldly eloquence, which are not at the command of ordinary men, but in the integrity of the apostolic faith, in which having been taught from the cradle, we pray that we may serve and obey the Lord of heaven, the Propagator of your Christian empire, even unto the end. Consequently, we have granted them faculty or authority with your most tranquil mightiness, to afford satisfaction with simplicity whenever your clemency shall command, it being enjoined on them as a limitation that they presume not to add to, take away, or to change anything; but that they set forth this tradition of the Apostolic See in all sincerity as it has been taught by the apostolic pontiffs, who were our predecessors.
Ecumenical Council of Constantinople III (680), Prosphoneticus to Emperor: But the highest prince of the Apostles fought with us: for we had on our side his imitator and the successor in his see, who also had set forth in his letter the mystery of the divine word (θεολο γιας). For the ancient city of Rome handed thee a confession of divine character, and a chart from the sunsetting raised up the day of dogmas, and made the darkness manifest, and Peter spoke through Agatho...
Ecumenical Council of Constantinople III (680), Letter of Council to Pope St. Agatho:
Serious illnesses call for greater helps, as you know, most blessed [father]; and therefore Christ our true God, who is the creator and governing power of all things, gave a wise physician, namely your God-honored sanctity, to drive away by force the contagion of heretical pestilence by the remedies of orthodoxy, and to give the strength of health to the members of the church. Therefore to thee, as to the bishop of the first see of the Universal Church, we leave what must be done, since you willingly take for your standing ground the firm rock of the faith, as we know from having read your true confession in the letter sent by your fatherly beatitude to the most pious emperor: and we acknowledge that this letter was divinely written (perscriptas) as by the Chief of the Apostles, and through it we have cast out the heretical sect of many errors which had recently sprung up...
West: St. Columba of Ireland in 612 [Epistle to Pope Boniface IV],
We are Irish, inhabitants of the furthermost part of the world, receiving nothing beyond the evangelic and apostolic doctrine. None of us has been a heretic, none a Jew, none a schismatic; but the faith, just as it was at first delivered by you [the Roman episcopate], the successors, to wit, of the holy Apostles [Peter and Paul], is held unshaken. Purity is not to be reputed to the stream, but to the fountainhead. We are, as I said before, bound to the Chair of Peter. For although Rome is great and illustrious, it is only through this Chair that she is great and bright among us ...and it can be said on account of Christ's two Apostles [Peter & Paul], you are almost heavenly, and Rome is the Head of the churches of all the world ...
East: Monk St. Maximus the Confessor of Constantinople [Opuscula theologica et polemica in PG],
The extremities of the earth, and everyone in every part of it who purely and rightly confess the Lord, look directly towards the Most Holy Roman Church and her confession and faith, as to a sun of unfailing light awaiting from her the brilliant radiance of the sacred dogmas of our Fathers, according to that which the inspired and holy Councils have stainlessly and piously decreed. For, from the descent of the Incarnate Word amongst us, all the churches in every part of the world have held the greatest Church alone to be their base and foundation, seeing that, according to the promise of Christ Our Savior, the gates of hell will never prevail against her, that she has the keys of the orthodox confession and right faith in Him, that she opens the true and exclusive religion to such men as approach with piety, and she shuts up and locks every heretical mouth which speaks against the Most High.
East: Patriarch St. Sophronius of Jerusalem in 638 [in Mansi, 11:461],
Teaching us all orthodoxy and destroying all heresy and driving it away from the God-protected halls of our holy Catholic Church. And together with these inspired syllables and characters, I accept all his (the pope's) letters and teachings as proceeding from the mouth of Peter the Coryphaeus (the Head), and I kiss them and salute them and embrace them with all my soul ... I recognize the latter as definitions of Peter and the former as those of Mark, and besides, all the heaven-taught teachings of all the chosen mystagogues of our Catholic Church.
8th Century
Ecumenical Council of Nicaea II, Session II, Letter from Pope Adrian I Excerpt:
If you persevere in that orthodox Faith in which you have begun, and the sacred and venerable images be by your means erected again in those parts, as by the lord, the Emperor Constantine of pious memory, and the blessed Helen, who promulgated the orthodox Faith, and exalted the holy Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church your spiritual mother, and with the other orthodox Emperors venerated it as the head of all Churches, so will your Clemency, that is protected of God, receive the name of another Constantine, and another Helen, through whom at the beginning the holy Catholic and Apostolic Church derived strength, and like whom your own imperial fame is spread abroad by triumphs, so as to be brilliant and deeply fixed in the whole world. But the more, if following the traditions of the orthodox Faith, you embrace the judgment of the Church of blessed Peter, chief of the Apostles, and, as of old your predecessors the holy Emperors acted, so you, too, venerating it with honor, love with all your heart his Vicar, and if your sacred majesty follow by preference their orthodox Faith, according to our holy Roman Church. May the chief of the Apostles himself, to whom the power was given by our Lord God to bind and remit sins in heaven and earth, be often your protector, and trample all barbarous nations under your feet, and everywhere make you conquerors. For let sacred authority lay open the marks of his dignity, and how great veneration ought to be shewn to his, the highest See, by all the faithful in the world. For the Lord set him who bears the keys of the kingdom of heaven as chief over all, and by Him is he honored with this privilege, by which the keys of the kingdom of heaven are entrusted to him. He, therefore, that was preferred with so exalted an honor was thought worthy to confess that Faith on which the Church of Christ is rounded. A blessed reward followed that blessed confession, by the preaching of which the holy universal Church [this apparently refers to Rome] was illumined, and from it the other Churches of God have derived the proofs of Faith. For the blessed Peter himself, the chief of the Apostles, who first sat in the Apostolic See, left the chiefship of his Apostolate, and pastoral care, to his successors, who are to sit in his most holy seat for ever. And that power of authority, which he received from the Lord God our Savior, he too bestowed and delivered by divine command to the Pontiffs, his successors, etc. 
We greatly wondered that in your imperial commands, directed for the Patriarch of the royal city, Tarasius, we find him there called Universal: but we know not whether this was written through ignorance or schism, or the heresy of the wicked. But henceforth we advise your most merciful and imperial majesty, that he be by no means called Universal in your writings, because it appears to be contrary to the institutions of the holy Canons and the decrees of the traditions of the holy Fathers. For he never could have ranked second, save for the authority of our holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, as is plain to all. Because if he be named Universal, above the holy Roman Church which has a prior rank, which is the head of all the Churches of God, it is certain that he shews himself as a rebel against the holy Councils, and a heretic. For, if he is Universal, he is recognized to have the Primacy even over the Church of our See, which appears ridiculous to all faithful Christians: because in the whole world the chief rank and power was given to the blessed Apostle Peter by the Redeemer of the world himself; and through the same Apostle, whose place we unworthily hold, the holy Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church holds the first rank, and the authority of power, now and for ever, so that if any one, which we believe not, has called him, or assents to his being called Universal, let him know that he is estranged from the orthodox Faith, and a rebel against our holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Ecumenical Council of Nicaea II (787), Session II, Statement of Patriarch St. Tarasius of Constantinople:
The divine Apostle Paul, who was filled with the light of Christ, and who hath begotten us through the gospel, in writing to the Romans, commending their zeal for the true faith which they had in Christ our true God, thus said: "Your faith is gone forth into all the world." It is necessary to follow out this witness, and he that would contradict it is without good sense. Wherefore Hadrian, the ruler of Old Rome, since he was a sharer of these things, thus borne witness to, wrote expressly and truly to our religious Emperors, and to our humility, confirming admirably and beautifully the ancient tradition of the Catholic Church.
9th Century

15th Century

Stay tuned for Scriptural passages, Patriarch St. Flavian the Martyr of Constantinople, Pope St. Hormisdas, Metropolitan Sergius of Cyrus, Pope St. Martin I the Martyr, St. Theodore the Studite, St. Epiphanius of Salamis, St. John Chrysostom the Great, etc.!!!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Litany of St. Raphael in Commemoration of My Sudden Healing

Background: I have missed the first Cross Country meet and several practices this past week because of what I believe to be acute tonsillitis (my throat has been so red and swollen and full of pus that it has been extremely painful to swallow and eat and drink) and just a few minutes ago, most of the pain suddenly disappeared. St. Raphael the Archangel, my beloved patron saint, thank you for praying for me all this time!

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven,
Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, Queen of Angels, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, filled with the mercy of God, etc.
Saint Raphael, perfect adorer of the Divine Word,
Saint Raphael, terror of demons,
Saint Raphael, exterminator of vices,
Saint Raphael, health of the sick,
Saint Raphael, our refuge in all our trials,
Saint Raphael, guide of travelers,
Saint Raphael, consoler of prisoners,
Saint Raphael, joy of the sorrowful,
Saint Raphael, filled with zeal for the salvation of souls,
Saint Raphael, whose name means God heals,
Saint Raphael, lover of chastity,
Saint Raphael, scourge of demons,
Saint Raphael, in pestilence, famine and war,
Saint Raphael, angel of peace and prosperity,
Saint Raphael, endowed with the grace of healing,
Saint Raphael, sure guide in the paths of virtue and sanctification,
Saint Raphael, help of all those who implore your assistance,
Saint Raphael, who was the guide and consolation of Tobias on his journey,
Saint Raphael, whom the Scriptures praise: Raphael, the holy angel of the Lord, was sent to cure,
Saint Raphael, our advocate,

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

Pray for us, Saint Raphael, to the Lord Our God,
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ

Lord, Jesus Christ, by the prayer of the Archangel Raphael, grant us the grace to avoid all sin and to persevere in every good work until we reach our heavenly destination, You Who lives and reigns world without end. Amen.