Monday, December 31, 2018

The Council in Trullo and Pope Hadrian I

For the Orthodox, the Council in Trullo (Quinisext Council) is considered ecumenical and is, in turn, added on as an addendum to the fifth and sixth Ecumenical Councils of the Church.  While the East approved this Council and it's related Canons (many of which were reiterations of previous ecumenical canons), it is well-known, according to Roman Catholic scholarship, that the West rejected it by way of Pope Sergius I's rejection.  And though I do believe that the Quinisext Council doesn't need to be defended since other Ecumenical Councils affirm most of it's decrees, the purpose of this article is to shed light on an interesting, yet heavily disregarded set of events that take place after the fact.  Some of the Quinisext Council canons are actually pretty interesting.  Not only do they reiterate Constantinople's equality to Old Rome, but they also present a number of other canons which are viewed as problematic by Western standards.  One canon in particular [and the main topic of this article] is the abolition of depicting Christ as a lamb (Canon 82).

Canon 82 reads:

In some pictures of the venerable icons, a lamb is painted to which the Precursor

Sign of the Cross: East and West, Then and Now

The Catholic Encyclopedia of 1914 is widely considered to be the "most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history."  As I was reading through it this morning, I landed upon an interesting piece of information within the "Sign of the Cross" section of the document.  While I must say that this section of the encyclopedia is extremely well written and contains many truths that we Orthodox Christians would agree with, one thing in particular really stood out to me regarding the method of the Sign of the Cross throughout history, especially considering that we Orthodox Christians sign ourselves from right to left and with three fingers representing the Holy Trinity.

Here is a snippet of the section with my bold emphasis added.  Enjoy!

At this period the manner of making it in the West seems to have been identical with that followed at present in the East, i.e. only three fingers were used, and the hand traveled from the right shoulder to

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Haec Sancta: The Forgotten Hypocrisy

"Conciliarity" is a term that Orthodox favor and hail regularly.  We are "conciliar," the Orthodox say.  While we do have a first among our Primates in Constantinople, we still understand that Christ our God is the Supreme Head of the Church, even over he who is entrusted over the prime See.  As such, we also believe, in conciliar fashion, that the Church, by Her bishops, can rule and depose any primate by design.  We are conciliar in that we emphasize the importance of a Council and its ecclesiastical powers in certain circumstances.  If you're Orthodox, this should be 101 for you, but this article will not be highlighting Orthodox conciliarity.  Rather, this article will serve as a presentation to mutability, convenience, and quasi-conciliarity within the Roman Catholic Church, through a long-forgotten ecumenical/ecumenical decree known as Haec Sancta (or Sacrosancta).

Monday, December 17, 2018

Sola Scriptura Refutes Sola Scriptura

If I had to put an estimate on how many articles exist that either argue for or against the doctrine of Sola Scriptura, I would have to say that the figure would exceed tens of thousands.  It is certainly no secret that Sola Scriptura has been the center of debate between Protestants and Roman Catholics/Orthodox Christians for the better part of 500 years.  With that said, my intention with this article is not to provide a summarical defense against the doctrine of Sola Scriptura, but rather to let the Holy Scripture speak for Itself.  In addition, I also intend to reference the Holy Fathers of the Church and their contemporaries [whom we don't regard as Saints] as a framework for what the early Church believed regarding the exclusivity of Tradition being contained within the Holy Scriptures.

Being a huge fan of referenceable material, this article will provide a basic presentation for why a Sola Scriptura framework and reading actually invalidates the doctrine of Sola Scriptura.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Constantinople is Rome

Within Orthodox circles in the West, there seems to be a long lost understanding of what had constituted Rome, Constantinople, and the Roman Empire as a whole during the majority of the first millennium.

What has become quite concerning is the overwhelming suggestion and maintenance of Constantinople as a separate and individual See, historically seemingly second to the Great City of Rome.  In my experience and exposure to Orthodoxy, this notion seems to be common among converts and American Orthodox especially.  While there is some truth to this claim, it has to be prefaced by a larger understanding of what Constantinople actually is and was historically.

The Ancient Roman Empire began roughly in the 8th century BC