Sunday, July 18, 2010

Can the Church Declare that Anyone is Damned?

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy. Amen.

Can Holy Mother Church define that anyone is damned? Must we answer in the affirmative based on the below?

The Holy Fathers of the Sixth Ecumenical Council (Constantinople III) declared in the Thirteenth Session (March 28, 681), "And in addition to these we decide that Honorius also, who was Pope of Elder Rome, be with them cast out of the Holy Church of God, and be anathematized with them, because we have found by his letter to Sergius that he followed his opinion in all things and confirmed his wicked dogmas."{1} Since the Sixth Council, with papal approbation,{2} declared the long-deceased Honorius to be excommunicated for imposing silence and legitimizing the "one will" expression instead of making use of his prerogative to infallibly define the dogma that Christ has two wills,{3} does this mean that Pope Honorius I of Rome is not a member of the Church Triumphant?
The holy{4} Pope Martin V of Rome approved the May 4, 1415 declaration of the Holy Fathers at Constance,{5} thus making the following definition a part of the 16th Ecumenical Council, the Council of Constance:
This holy synod, therefore, at the instance of the procurator-fiscal and since a decree was issued to the effect that sentence should be heard on this day, declares, defines and decrees that the said John Wyclif was a notorious and obstinate heretic who died in heresy, and it anathematizes him and condemns his memory. It decrees and orders that his body and bones are to be exhumed, if they can be identified among the corpses of the faithful, and to be scattered far from a burial place of the church, in accordance with canonical and lawful sanctions.{6}
Notes & References
{1} Shahan, Thomas. "Third Council of Constantinople." The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 4. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. 18 Jul. 2010 <>.
{2} Ibid.
{3} "Enough About Honorius." The Banana Republican. 3 Sep. 2008. 18 Jul. 2010 <>.
{4} Brusher, Fr. Joseph, S.J. "Martin V." Popes Throughout the Ages. 18 Jul. 2010 <>.
{6} Shahan, Thomas. "Council of Constance." The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 4. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. 18 Jul. 2010 <>.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Old Rome, Not New Rome

My upgraded version of the story of why God led me to enter the Catholic Church and not the Eastern Orthodox Church will contain the following.

1. The doctrinal record of Rome vis-à-vis the doctrinal record of Constantinople
-St. Andrew the First-Called Apostle did not establish the Ecumenical Patriarchate [Fr. Francis Dvornik]
-see of Constantinople occupied by 3 Arians, 1 Semi-Arian (Macedonius), 1 Nestorian, 5 Monophysites, 6 Monothelites, 7 Iconoclasts, 1 Calvinist (Abp. Chrysostomos of Etna argues that Cyril I Lucaris was not a Calvinist), 1 man who adopted Anabaptist heresies (Cyril V), and 1 Freemason who declared that Anglican orders are valid (Meletius IV Metaxakis) -some of these were not just heretics, but heresiarchs [Siméon Vailhé]
-if Eastern Orthodoxy is true, then there were even more heretical patriarchs of Constantinople: John XIV Calecas (1334-1347) opposed the Hesychastic theology of St. Gregory Palamas; many patriarchs not only desired reunion with Catholic Church but confessed Catholic dogmas to be true and entered communion with See of Rome (among "many" others, there were: John XI Beccus (1275-1282), Joseph II (1416-1439), Metrophanes II (1440-1443), the wonderworking Gregory III Mammas (1443-1451), Cyril II Contares (1633, 1635-1636, 1638-1639), Dionysius II (1546-1555), Neophytus II (1602-1603, 1607-1612), Gregory IV the Blind (1623) [Vailhé]
-Constantinople patriarchs in 17th & 18th century let Jesuits & Capuchins "preach and hear confessions" in Greek Churches [Siméon Vailhé]
-the other three Eastern sees of the "Pentarchy," which often servilely followed Constantinople's policies, have similar records [Siméon Vailhé]
-the so-called "Third Rome" had patriarchs in communion with Rome: Peter (1308-1326) (Orthodox venerate him as a saint), Gerasim (1433-1435) with Pope Eugene IV, Isidore, Daniel (1522-1539) with Pope Clement VII, [Andrew Shipman]
-so did Kiev: Isidore, Gregory II the Bulgarian (1458 until he converted to Orthodoxy in 1470), Mikhail Drucki, Symeon, Jonah Glezna, Macarius (1495-1497; Orthodox venerate him as a hieromartyr), Joseph Soltan, and Mykhajlo Rohoza [Aurelio Palmieri]
-addressing the case of Honorius I and other cases allegedly antithetical to papal infallibility (e.g., Sts. Liberius and Marcellinus, and Vigilius and John XXII)
-even sinful popes (e.g., John XII, Benedict IX, Alexander VI) maintained pure doctrine
-even the monks of Mt. Athos were loyal to Rome from 1209-1313, after Pope Innocent III of Rome took them under his protection (Letter XIII:40 in PL 216:229BC and Letter XVI:168 in PL 216:956D-958A) [Thomas Shahan]
2. Filioque
-taught explicitly by many Eastern Fathers and by all Latin Fathers since St. Hilary of Poitiers [Fr. Joseph Gill, S.J. in NCE 5:720]
-"Harmony of the Saints:" since Greek and Latin Fathers did not disagree in matters of faith, they taught the same truth about the procession of the Holy Spirit; when Mark of Ephesus was faced with the Patristic evidence, his only way out of submitting to Catholic teaching was to make the absurd proposal that the writings of the Latin Fathers were corrupt and interpolated [Gill 231]
-the witness of Archbishop St. Cyril of Alexandria is especially explicit [PG 68:148A; 71:377D; 75:576B,600D,608AB,721D,844A,1020D; 76:1189A; 77:117C]
-the complementarity of the formulas "from the Son" and "through the Son" [CCC §248]
-the witness of the Cappadocian Fathers
-Filioque necessary to distinguish the Son from the Holy Spirit [St. Thomas Aquinas]
-fallacious appeals to Sts. Dionysius the Areopagite, Athanasius the Great, Gregory the Theologian, Maximus the Confessor, and John of Damascus [Fr. Martin Jugie, A.A.]
-why Filioque does not compromise the monarchy of the Father and does not confuse the hypostatic properties [St. Thomas Aquinas]
-the meaning of "cause" and "principle," and εκπόρευσις vs. προείναι
-the theological waffling of St. Photius, who died a Catholic
-John 15:26: more than meets the anti-Catholic eye
-Patristic understanding of John 16:14
-why the Second Council did not define Filioque [Dr. Joseph Wilhelm]
-the witness of the other councils among the First Seven Ecumenical Councils
-"the Spirit of the Son" [Galatians 4:6] because the Spirit belongs to and is spirated by the Son and not only the Father
-Ecumenical Council of Florence: on 6/8/1439, all five sees of the "Pentarchy" freely agreed to the truth of the dogma of Filioque: Pope Eugene IV of Rome (1431-1447), Patriarch Joseph II of Constantinople (5/21/1416-6/10/1439), Patriarch Philotheus of Alexandria (1435-1459; represented by the future Patriarch Gregory III Mammas of Constantinople), Patriarch Dorotheus II of Antioch (1436-1454; represented by Isidore of Kiev), and Patriarch Joachim of Jerusalem (1431-1450; represented by Metropolitan Dositheus of Monembasia) [Gill 265-266]
-Isidore of Kiev, the Metropolitan of Moscow (the so-called "Third Rome"), who represented the Russian Church, also agreed, and "none of the Russian bishops or clergy raised their voices in opposition" until Grand Duke Vasili II condemned him "for turning the Russian people over to the Latins" [Andrew Shipman], for "probably purely political" motives [Gill 361]
-Mark of Ephesus praised Isidore when he ascended to the Metropolitanate of Kiev: "A man who really is a reflection of Christ, gracious in character and angelic in form; a happy and outstanding blend of simplicity and sagacity with a gift of speech that surpasses the flow of rivers; generous and liberal to such a degree as not to grudge even his own coverings, if occasion demand" (G. Mercati, Scritti d'Isidoro il cardinale Ruteno (=Studi e Testi 46, Rome 1926), p. 155) [qtd. in Gill, Personalities 78 n. 1]
-no anti-union synod of 1443 [Gill 354]; Philotheus of Alexandria (1435-1459) joyfully received Council of Florence in 9/1/1440 letter: "We decided, together with our Egyptian prelates and our other clergy, to commemorate Your Beatitude before the other patriarchs in all the churches of Christ everywhere in the solemnities of the Mass, as is provided for in the sacred canons" [Fr. Georg Hofmann, S.J., Orientalium documenta minora, docs. 33, 34 qtd. in Gill 323] and "any who did not accept what had been decreed and defined in the holy Synod should be held as heretical" [Fr. Georg Hofmann, S.J., Orientalium documenta minora, doc. 38 qtd. in Gill 323]
-Greek Church did not officially repudiate Council of Florence until 1484 [Gill 410]
-if the consensus of the five patriarchates at a legitimate ecumenical coucil is binding, then the Orthodox (1) cannot say that Catholicism is false without admitting that the gates of Hell have prevailed against the Eastern Orthodox Church, and (2) cannot say that Catholicism is true without thereby saying that the Eastern Orthodox Church is not the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church
3. Papacy
-the Fathers and Councils before the 10th century teach 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
-lex orandi, lex credendi as regards the papacy; e.g., "In the hymns of the Office the Greeks style [Pope St. Martin I] infallibilis fidei magister because he was the successor of St. Peter in the See of Rome (Nilles, "Calendarium Manuale", Innsbruck, 1896, I, 336" [Francis Mershman]

4. Delayed Beatific Vision
-CCC §1022
-1/29/1336 Bull "Benedictus Deus" of the holy Pope Benedict XII of Rome [Denzinger 530]
-renders nonsensical the teaching about the joyous emancipation of the Limbo of the Fathers
-the following people taught immediate retribution [Fr. Jugie IV:48-63]: Naucratius of Studion [Encyclical on the Death of Theodore in PG 99:1833C], Nicetas of Paphlagonia, Arethas of Caesarea [Epitaph on Patriarch Euthymius 1 in PO 16:490], Metropolitan John Mauropus of Euchaita, Philip the Solitary, Nicholas of Methone, Theodore Prodromus, Nicetas Acominatus, Michael Acominatus, Nicholas Cabasilas, Patriarch Philotheus Coccinus of Constantinople, Theophanes of Nicaea, Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus, Manuel the Rhetor of Corinth, Gabriel Severus, Peter Moghila of Kiev, Patriarch Dositheus of Jerusalem, Stephen Javorski, Sylvester Lebedinksi, and Philaret Gumilevski
5. Baptismal Rite

6. Unleavened and Leavened Bread

7. Epiclesis and the instant at which Transubstantiation occurs
-although all ancient liturgies had Epiclesis, Gospel accounts of the Last Supper do not record an Epiclesis [Adrian Fortescue]
-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 [Adrian Fortescue]
-this innovation is falsified by the ancient Greek liturgies and the testimony of early Eastern Church Fathers [Adrian Fortescue]
-Dimitry of Rostov (Orthodox consider him a saint) taught the Catholic doctrine in this matter [B. Schultze in NCE 12:434]

8. Communion under one kind
-CCC §1390
-Ecumenical Council of Constance, 6/15/1415 decree approved by the holy Pope Martin V of Rome in 1418 [Denzinger 626]
-7/16/1562 canons of the Ecumenical Council of Trent [Denzinger 932, 934-936]
-inconsistent exegesis of Utraquists [Patrick Toner]
-eternal life from Body of Christ in Jn 6:58 [Patrick Toner]
-early Church never recognized Utraquism as Scriptural [Patrick Toner]
-Patristic witnesses to Communion under one kind, and the canon of the First Ecumenical Council [Patrick Toner]
-Christ's complete real presence in both individual species [Patrick Toner]
-priest's vicarious communication on behalf of the faithful
-devotion to the Precious Blood and concerns about sacrilege [Patrick Toner]
-Church's power to bind and loose [Patrick Toner]

9. Divorce and Remarriage
-against divine and natural law [Bl. Pope Pius IX of Rome, Syllabus of Errors §67], the Eastern Orthodox Church permits the dissolution of a consummated valid sacramental marriage on account of spousal infidelity and other fallacious reasons added as time went by [Dr. Joseph von Zhishman, Das Eberecht der orientalischen Kirchen 729 sqq. qtd. in Augustinus Lehmkuhl]
-contrary to the express statements in Sacred Scripture: Mt 5:32; 19:4-6,9; Mk 10:11-12; Lk 16:18 [Augustinus Lehmkuhl]
-contrary to the teaching of Eastern Fathers: Sts. Justin Martyr, Basil the Great, Epiphanius of Salamis, John Chrysostom the Great, and Bl. Theodoret of Cyrus [Augustinus Lehmkuhl]
-contrary to the teaching of Western Fathers: Sts. Ambrose the Great, Jerome the Great, Pope Innocent I of Rome, Augustine the Great of Hippo, Pope Leo I the Great of Rome, Pope Gregory I the Great of Rome, and Pope Zachary of Rome [Augustinus Lehmkuhl]
10. The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
-CCC §491
-St. Cyril of Alexandria: why would God the Word make His abode in a temple was once in the darkness of original sin?
-Bl. John Duns Scotus: "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" [Frederick Holweck]
-title of Panagia (All-Holy) entails Our Lady's exemption from contracting original sin
-Scriptural bases
-even allowing for poetic expressions, many early Fathers clearly maintain that the Theotókos did not contract original sin: St. Hippolytus the Martyr of Rome, Bishop St. Ambrose the Great of Milan [On Psalm 118 in PL 15:1521B], Hieromonk St. Jerome the Great of Strido [Commentary on Psalm 77 in PL 26:1049BC]
-other Patristic witnesses (Eastern): Bishop St. Theodotus of Ancyra [Homily 6:11 on the Holy Mother of God in PG 77:1427A], Archbishop St. Proclus of Constantinople [Homily 1:3 in PG 65:683B], Patriarch St. Anastasius I the Sinaite of Antioch [Oration 3:6 on the Incarnation in PG 89:1338], Patriarch St. Sophronius of Jerusalem [Oration 2:25 on the Annunciation to the Holy Mother of God in PG 87:3248A], St. Andrew of Crete [Homily 1 on the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in PG 97:809D-812], Patriarch St. Germanus I of Constantinople [Homily 1 on the Presentation of the Holy Mother of God in PG 98:300D], Hieromonk St. John of Damascus [Homily on the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in PG 96:664AB], plus Abbot St. Theodore of Studion [On the Nativity of the Blessed Mary 4 in PG 96:685A] and Patriarch St. Photius the Great of Constantinople
-more Patristic witnesses (Western): Bishop St. Augustine the Great of Hippo [Against Julian in PL 45:1418], Archbishop St. Peter Chrysologus of Ravenna [Sermon 140 in PL 52:576A], Bishop St. Maximus of Turin [Homily 5 Before the Nativity of the Lord in PL 57:235D], Bishop St. Fulgentius of Ruspe [Sermon 36 De laudibus Mariae ex partu Salvatoris in PL 65:899C]
-analogy of Mary as the Second Eve [Frederick Holweck]
-Bl. John Henry Cardinal Newman on Fathers cited against the Immaculate Conception
-Romans 3:23 and parallel God-breathed statements of Sacred Scripture: not sufficient basis for denying the Immaculate Conception, since the thrice-blessed Virgin Mary 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]
-when Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople denies, in oxymoronic fashion, that the All-Holy Mother of God was conceived in a state of sanctifying grace [Gianni Valente], he repudiates the view of many men whom the Orthodox Church considers saints: Theophylact of Ohrid (December 31) [On the Presentation of the Blessed Mary 6 in PG 126:137A], Neophyte the Recluse of Cyprus (September 28) [Homily on the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary 3 in PO 16:530,534], St. Gregory Palamas (2nd Sunday of Great Lent & November 14) [Homily 14 on the Annunciation in PG 151:172A-C], Nicholas Cabasilas (June 20) [Homily on the Annunciation 3 in PO 19:486], Symeon of Thessalonica (September 15), the ex-Catholic Patriarch Gennadius II of Constantinople (August 31), Patriarch Gerasimus I of Alexandria, Dimitry of Rostov (October 28), and Peter Moghila (December 31)
-lex orandi, lex credendi as regards the Immaculate Conception
-contrary to popular belief, many Scholastics and medieval Doctors supported the Immaculate Conception (e.g., Sts. Bruno the Confessor of Cologne [Homily on Psalm 101 in PL 152:1167D], Anselm of Canterbury, Peter Damian of Ostia [Sermon 40 On the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in PL 144:721C], Albert the Great of Cologne, and Bonaventure [Sermon 2 on the Blessed Ever-Virgin Mary in Peltier 14:111])
-the view of St. Thomas Aquinas
-many popes affirmed Our Lady's marvelous privilege prior to the 1854 dogmatic definition: Sixtus IV, St. Pius V, Paul V, Gregory XV, Alexander VII, Clement IX, Innocent XII, Clement XI, Leo XIII [Frederick Holweck]
11. The issue of competing miracles and virtues

12. Conclusion
Join the Catholic Church! That is where the Lord leads me. Do not become tricked into joining the Eastern Orthodox Church, because Scripture, Tradition, history, and right reason show that it is not the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. On the other hand, the Catholic Church alone has the plenitude of these four marks based on the aforementioned four criteria.