Sunday, November 9, 2014

Are SSPX Good on History of ROC/GOC?

No, I just heard Father Hesse (of blessed memory, I revere him as much as I would with Father Brown if he had been a real person or as much as I do revere Father Bryan Houghton), said they quarreled about whether there were seven or four councils. Update: the rest of the video, I just heard all of it, is excellent:

Fr. Hesse: A 3rd Conversation on Tradition vs. Modernism
Defeat Modernism

Not really, Armenians and Jacobites* (ecclesiastical sense = Copts and Ethiopian Copts) who do not accept all seven ecumenical councils of the first seven do not even accept the first four, only the first three. Of these first three, only the first two are accepted by Nestorians. BUT Russian Orthodox Church and Greek Orthodox Church accept all seven.

The quarrel between one and other faction of Greco-Russians is if there was ever an eighth or a ninth ecumenical council.

THEIR eighth is not OUR eighth. OUR eighth is 869, it condemned Photius, and Photians who have canonised him as a "defender of orthodoxy" (the other two such they refer to against Catholics are Gregory Palamas and Mark of Ephesus) are not likely to be actively promoting that as the eighth council. They do however in some cases promote as eighth council, fourth of Constantinople, the one that took place in 879, ten years later.

So, if they are pro-Catholic, they accept only seven councils, if anticatholic, they accept this council of 879 as the eighth, it reconciled Photius to the then Pope.

Their ninth ecumenical (those who think there were nine, not just seven) is the Fifth of Constantinople. There were three of these, and only the third of them is accepted by them as ecumenical. Gregory Palamas was rehabilitated on the third of these. It seems his opponent in the conflict, though later reconciliated with Latin Catholics, was at the time promoting some kind of Liberal Theology, some kind of "God is utterly unknowable" nonsense. Rome condemned certain theses that were given as canons at Constantinople V, but was not taking clear sides for Palamas' opponent, only against some of his mistakes.

Father Hesse also said that the Greco-Russians did not believe the Immaculate Conception. He had earlier admitted St Thomas Aquinas in a sense had opposed it. But the fact is Gregory Palamas was for it. Russians also remained for it, up to 1666 or** 1667. Then Patriarch Nikon was shocked to find that there were differences of Liturgic usage between Russians and Greeks, he made new liturgic books and in that process some theological commentary came, including one made by a Greek in Venice (if I recall correctly) who had studied under Luther, who had denied the Immaculate Conception and indeed the sinlessness (which is worse than the Greco-Russians do) of Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary.

So we Roman Catholics have restored the doctrine of Immaculate Conception through the Greeks, but Russians have lost it through ex-Catholic Westerners in Wittenberg and Greeks have lost it since, because of respect for Russians.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Georges Pompidou Library
Sunday after Octave of All Hallows

PS related to update: Fr Hesse's video is not one of the things where I have 30 minutes of video and add 7 - 20 comments because of the number of mistakes in it, even when agreeing generally. One more blunder, he might have overestimated the patriotism and virtue of troops like those concerned in Abu Ghraib, but that is a blunder on the side of love, not of negligence.

PPS, for other videos, where I do give lots of comments, either against blunders of speaker or in response to debates, I have another blog than this one, namely:

Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere
[by now the debates from comboxes outnumber those from yahoo boards]

* I avoid the wording "Monophysites", not so much because Jacobites prefer to translate Tawheedo as Miaphysites ('εις μια 'εν rather than μονος, μονη, μονον qualifying φυσις as in Christology), but because among them the Jacobites and Armenians are clearly different from each other. Jacobites, as far as I know, still uphold the Real Presence as dogma, while Armenians have once done so but since wavered.

** Can't recall if it was Skirzhal of 1666 or a comment from 1667, I think the latter, which introduced denial of Immaculte Conception to them. While the Old Believers still had clergy, they did indeed uphold the Immaculate Conception. Avvakum was burnt on the stake as a heretic, for fighting the new Skirzhal and for upholding Immaculate Conception.

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