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View Diary: Pope Francis Excommunicates The Mafia! (385 comments)

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  •  The Holy See is vested with the authority of . . . (32+ / 0-)

    both supreme legislator and supreme adjudicator.  Until 1873, a papal ruling could be appealed to an ecumenical council, but that right of appeal was abolished by the First Vatican Council as contradictory to the Pope's universal jurisdiction and primacy affirmed by the same council.

    He is in essence and as a practical matter a ruling monarch with regard to all things theological and ecclesiastical.  So, yes, there is nothing to canonically prevent his declaring any individual or group excommunicated, and such a ruling would be both binding and final.

    (There are many Catholic theologians who argue that the Pope is bound on many matters to seek and abide by collegium with his brother bishops.  Such was the prevailing view for most of the Church's history, but it has never been codified in Canon law, and has been a matter of some controversy for a long time.)

    •  Do you think there is any hope of this pope (5+ / 0-)

      returning to the authority of councils? Apparently he is arranging a council with the Orthodox -



      Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

      by Wee Mama on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 06:38:50 PM PDT

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      •  That would be an accomplishment so monumental (5+ / 0-)

        I would never have imagined it possible to achieve in my lifetime.  So many centuries have passed since the Great Schism, and I still don't see a way for the obstacle of the post-schism councils to be cleared from the path absent direct divine intervention.

        So, I guess my answer is no, but with profound hope that I'm wrong.

        •  Vatican II (5+ / 0-)
          That would be an accomplishment so monumental I would never have imagined it possible to achieve in my lifetime.  
          They said that about Vatican II, too. In fact, it took many long years after Vatican II for many adult Catholics to deal with all of it.
          So many centuries have passed since the Great Schism, and I still don't see a way for the obstacle of the post-schism councils to be cleared from the path absent direct divine intervention.
          Actually, from a legal/technical point of view, the decrees of the Second Vatican Council and the corresponding Ecumenical Patriarchal and Papal decrees have already accomplished most of that. The only real impediments left are the various Orthodox Communions which have not yet ratified the decrees of the Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarchs of Constantinople in these matters.

          (I no longer have my copy of the Council Documents; but I distinctly recall the joint Decree of Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew II using the words "consigned to oblivion" referring to the excommunications and prior mutually adverse conciliar decrees of earlier centuries.)

          The main impediment with respect to the Russian Orthodox Church (for just one example) is the fact that there is significant disagreement as to just who really is Patriarch or Moscow and all Russia, i.e., the head of the Russian Orthodox Church.

          So, I guess my answer is no, but with profound hope that I'm wrong.
          You could well be wrong here. It's already happened once in our lifetimes (or at least mine -- at 55, Vatican II happened when I was just a young'un).

          And with this Pope at the switch, it could well happen again....

          :-)

          "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

          by thanatokephaloides on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 08:19:00 PM PDT

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          •  Some still haven't (6+ / 0-)

            dealt with Vatican II.

            You're gonna need a bigger boat.

            by Debby on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 08:38:16 PM PDT

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          •  Great, learned comment. Thanks! (3+ / 0-)
          •  I'm 63, so experienced life both pre- (5+ / 0-)

            and post-Vatican II.  And I truly hope you are right.

            But WeeMama's specific question was whether Rome would return to a conciliar authority.  Given how I understand her perspective (admittedly imperfectly) as an Anglican, I construed that to mean subordinating papal authority to that of the Councils.

            That would require a renunciation of the doctrine of Papal Infallibility, nullifying the decrees of all the post-Schism Councils as having a fatal lack of Catholicity (especially Trent and Vatican I),  and the list goes on to include a host of not insignificant dogmatic and ecclesiastical changes.

            I agree that Vatican II was a monumental fete, and effected radical change in the Church (although much of that change including most of that which is most obvious is contained nowhere in the Council documents, but decided later by those who oversaw its implementation).  But Paul VI avoided many of the toughest issues by declaring in his call for the Council that it was not to have the authority of a Dogmatic Council (in other words, was barred from deciding matters of doctrine binding on all the faithful), but rather would be limited to matters of discipline.  Obviously, those are not without considerable theological significance, but it leaves some substantial hurdles in place with regards to Roman Catholic Church doctrines Eastern Orthodoxy and Anglicans (as well as most Protestants) find particularly odious.

            Given that no Pope, including the current one (yet), has given any indication of a willingness to modify even slightly anything previously declared infallibly (whether you consider that a good or bad thing), I don't think a change of the magnitude WeeMama's suggests, is imminent.  As I said, I would rejoice at being wrong, but just coming to an agreement acceptable to both sides on the Filioque clause is not enough to bolster that hope for me.

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