143 – “Orthodox and Catholics are united not only by the shared Tradition of the Church of the first millennium, but also by the mission to preach the Gospel of Christ in the world today”

On February 12, 2016, all eyes turned toward Cuba on the occasion of Francis’ encounter with Kirill, the Greek Schismatic Patriarch of Moscow, following a centuries-long rupture of relations. Unfortunately, to the perplexity – or indignation – of Catholics, this encounter did not signify any progress toward the conversion of those belonging to the auto-denominated ‘Orthodox’ church…but rather the contrary. They were encouraged to announce the Gospel without the necessity of returning to the Church…they were called brothers in the faith…without a rejection of the heresies they profess!

Are the schismatics following the right path, though far from the Church? Do they really proclaim the Gospel if they themselves reject it, being blind leading the blind?

Over a thousand years have passed since the Greek schismatic, so-called ‘Orthodox Church’ (orthodox only by name) separated from the bosom of the true Church. Revolted against the idea of recognizing the Pope rather than the bishop of Constantinople as Supreme Pontiff, they echoed the cry of Satan: ‘I will not serve’. Clearly, disobedience to a precept with a spirit of rebellion ends up in schism, and schismatics soon fall into heresy. Among other doctrinal points, they reject the proceeding of the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son, and have since also fallen into other heresies.

The Holy Mother Church never takes the separation of her children with indifference, for she firmly teaches that salvation only exists within the institution founded by Jesus Christ, which is solidly founded on Peter.

No effort has been spared by the Church in the attempt to draw these lost sheep to conversion, but their pride is not easily dominated. Efforts have been made, but were short-lived, and to this day the same schism persists.

This would be the moment to hope for categorical words from a Pope, declaring the truths regarding the error of the schismatics. But alas, what does he say?

Francis

ortodoxos-francisco

Quote AQuote BQuote CQuote D

Teachings of the Magisterium

Enter the various parts of our study

ContentsSchism in general and the doctrine of the Greek SchismaticsII – Doctrinal errors of the Greek-schismaticsIII – Can Catholics and schismatics be brothers in the faith? Can those who do not have the same Mother (the Church) really be brothers?IV – Can a schismatic ‘church’ validly announce the Gospel?
Schism in general and the doctrine of the Greek Schismatics
I – What is a schism?
II – Doctrinal errors of the Greek Schismatics
A – The negation of the Filioque
Doctrinal clarification regarding the Filioque (= ‘and the Son’)
B – Negation of papal authority and of other Catholic teachings
The Greek Schismatic doctrines in the words of one of their own heretical priests…
III – Can Catholics and schismatics be brothers in the faith? Can those who do not have the same Mother (the Church) really be brothers?
IV – Can a schismatic ‘church’ validly announce the Gospel?


Part 1: Schism in general and the doctrine of the Greek Schismatics


I – What is a schism?


Code of Canon Law

Schism is the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff

Saint Thomas Aquinas

The sin of schism is one that is directly and essentially opposed to unity of the Church
The essence of schism consists in rebelliously disobeying the commandments
Schismatics are those who refuse to submit to the Sovereign Pontiff
Schism is essentially opposed to the unity of ecclesiastical charity, and is the road to heresy

Saint Augustine of Hippo

In wicked separations, Schismatics break off from brotherly charity

Leo XIII

There is nothing more grievous than the sacrilege of schism

Saint Cyprian of Carthage

Schisms have no other origin than that of refusing obedience to the one judge in the place of Christ in this world

Saint Jerome

There is no schism that does not invent a heresy to justify its distancing from the Church

II – Doctrinal errors of the Greek Schismatics


A – Negation of the Filioque


John Paul II

The Greek Schismatics do not accept that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son

Doctrinal clarification regarding the Filioque (= ‘and the Son’):

Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Creed confesses the filioque to indicate that the Holy Spirit proceeds ‘from the Father and the Son’
Following an ancient Latin and Alexandrian tradition, Pope Saint Leo I already confessed the filioque dogmatically in 447
About the Holy Spirit, it is legitimate to say that He comes forth ‘from the Father and the Son’ (Western tradition) or ‘from the Father through the Son’ (Eastern tradition); but heretical to say ‘from the Father alone’

Saint Thomas Aquinas

…but the Greek-schismatics affirm that the Holy Spirit does not proceed from the Son
If the Holy Ghost did not proceed also from the Son, then He would not be personally distinguished from Him: the Trinity would not exist, and there would be only two divine Persons
Proof of the filioque: The Son proceeds from the Father as His Word, and the Holy Ghost as Love: love must proceed from a word, for we do not love anything unless we apprehend it by a mental conception
It cannot be said that the Son and the Holy Ghost proceed from the Father so that neither of them proceeds from the other: unless we admit a material distinction between them, which is impossible in God
The Greeks themselves are forced to recognize that the procession of the Holy Ghost has some order to the Son, but obstinately deny that He proceeds from Him
The Nestorians were the first to introduce the error that the Holy Ghost did not proceed from the Son
The error of those who said that the Holy Ghost did not proceed from the Son was explicitly defined by the authority of the Roman Pontiff
It can also be said that the Father spirates the Holy Ghost through the Son, or that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father through the Son; but never can it be denied that the father and the Son are one principle of the Spirit
As the Holy Ghost proceeds both from the Father and from the Son, the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father immediately, as from Him, and mediately, as from the Son

Saint Bonaventure

They are heretics because they deny the truth of the faith, and schismatics, because they have strayed from the unity of the Church

B – Negation of papal authority and of other Catholic teachings


Saint Thomas Aquinas

They deny that there is one head of the Church and dissolve the unity of the Mystical Body
They deny purgatory

The Greek Schismatic doctrines in the words of one of their own heretical priests…


Note: Transcribed below are the words of a certain schismatic minister, in order to reveal what type of company Francis is keeping.
 Obviously the theological ‘arguments’ of the schismatic on each topic are gravely flawed, and his citations of Scripture and the Fathers are incomplete and biased.
 For example, on the Holy Spirit (below), the verse Jn 15:26 is cited, but other parts of the New Testament are not mentioned. The inspired writers of the New Testament refer to the third Person of the Trinity as the Spirit of the Son (Gal 4: 6), the Spirit of Christ (Rom 8:9; Phil 1:19), just as they call Him the Spirit of the Father (Mt 10: 20) and the Spirit of God (1Cor 2: 11). Besides, the sending of a Divine Person (mission) for the salvation of humanity corresponds to the origin of the same Person (procession) within the Trinity. So when Scripture states that the Son also sends the Holy Spirit (Lk 24: 49; Jn 15:26/ 16:7 /20:22; Acts 2:33; Tit 3: 6), just as the Father also sends the Holy Spirit (Jn 14: 26), this clearly reveals that He proceeds within the Trinity from both Persons. Besides, Jn 16: 13-15 also points to the filioque, since the absolute simplicity of God implies also that no divine Person can receive anything from another except by procession, whereby if the Holy Spirit receives anything from the Word, then He also comes forth from Him.

A – Negation of the right origin of the Holy Spirit

“The Lord said: ‘When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me’ (Jn 15:26). This Creed was confirmed by the Ecumenical Councils, which prohibited an addition or change. This Creed continues being respected by all the Eastern and Western Churches before the Schism and the entire Christian Doctrine is resumed in it. The Orthodox Church has conserved it without alteration. The Roman Church added the words ‘…and of the Son’ to the eighth article, so that this article ended up like this: ‘…who proceeds from the Father and the Son’. Therefore, the Filioque is an illegitimate interpolation, destroying the monarcy of the Father, relativizing the reality of the personal or hypostatic existence within the Trinity…The great patriarch Focio protested this addition.”

B – Negation of purgatory

“The Church of Rome believes that after death, souls go to a place called purgatory, where they are purified of their light sins by suffering some torments, and afterward enter into Paradise. The Greek Orthodox believe that after death, souls await the Final Judgement, in a place which is neither Paradise nor Hell. When the Good Thief said to Jesus on the Cross: ‘Remember me O Lord, when you come into your kingdom’, he heard Christ’s response: ‘Today you shall be with me in Paradise’; he did not say that today you will be in purgatory and after your purification you will to to Paradise.”

C – Negation of the Immaculate Conception

“The Church of Rome believes that Saint Ann conceived the Virgin without stain of sin. The Orthodox Church believes and teaches that her conception occurred in a natural way.”

D – Negation of ecclesiastical celibacy

“The Roman Church demands celibacy among its clergy. The Primitive Church never prohibited matrimony for its clergy. In the Orthodox Church, until today, the priests and deacons can marry.”

E – Negation of papal infallibility

“In the year 1870, Vatican Council I decided on a new dogma, which had no precedent in the entire history of the Church: ‘Papal infallibility’, which means that the Pope ‘does not err’ when speaking ex cathedra on faith and morals. This new dogma contradicts the teaching of the Gospel and the Tradition of the Church; even in the Western Church there were many protests, resulting in separations and schisms, which last until our days.”

F – For the schismatics, the maximum authority is that of the Ecumenical Council

“The Orthodox Church, after the authority of the Holy Trinity, that is, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, considers the Ecumenical Council as the Maximum authority of all of the Churches. The Roman Churches consider the Pope as the Maximum Authority of all of the Churches, ‘above the Ecumenical Councils’. The Orthodox Church, believes that when the Holy Apostles united in Jerusalem to treat of various divergences and topics, not one of the Apostles took unilateral decisions, but rather decisions were made collectively within the Council of Jerusalem.”

G – and they deny that the Church is built on Peter

“The Church of Rome, the Western Church, based the Primacy of the Bishop of Rome in he who is the successor of Saint Peter and was the superior of the Apostles, based on Mt 16:13, 16-18. Saint Paul in his First Letter to the Corinthians, affirms: ‘and the rock was the Christ’. Saint Augustine, a great Father of the Western Church, explained the ‘celebrated’ verse in his Article 270: ‘You are Peter and over this rock that is your confession, that Christ is the Son of the living God, I will build my Church.’ In his Article 76 he also says: ‘Those who build over humans say, I am of Paul, I am of Apolo, I am of Peter. But those who build over the confession of Peter and the Divinity of Christ, say. I am of Christ. Because the Church is built over Christ and not over Peter.’”

(source: Osios Ferrer. Differences between the Orthodox and Roman Churches, August 13, 2006)


III – Can Catholics and schismatics be brothers in the faith? Can those who do not have the same Mother (the Church) really be brothers?


Saint Thomas Aquinas

Whoever even believes some things that the Church teaches while rejecting others does not have the virtue of Faith, since he rejects the authority of God, and follows his own will

Leo XIII

They can in no wise be counted among the children of God, unless they take the Church as their mother

Saint Cyprian of Carthage

Whoever is separated from the Church is a stranger; he is profane; he is an enemy
Darkness with light cannot coexist: they have gone forth from us, they were not of us

Pius XI

In what manner can men who follow contrary opinions, belong to one and the same Federation of the faithful?
The union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church

Benedict XV

Saint Jerome attacked vehemently those who left the Church; he regarded them as his own personal enemies

Sacred Scripture

‘Do not receive those who do not bring the true doctrine - for whoever greets them shares in their evil works’
‘Watch out for those who create dissensions and obstacles in opposition to the teaching that you learned’

IV – Can a schismatic ‘church’ validly announce the Gospel?


Saint Ignatius of Antioch

Some carry about the name of Jesus Christ in wicked guile - they are ravening dogs who bite secretly

Saint Cyprian of Carthage

Whoever has separated himself from the Church is to be shunned

Tertullian

No others ought to be received as preachers than those whom Christ appointed

Vatican Council II (Ecumenical XXI)

The true purpose of missionary activity

Pius XI

The false opinion which considers all religions to be more or less good

Benedict XVI

If schism is a sin against charity, how can its adepts proclaim the truth of the Gospel?

Sacred Scripture

How to treat those who refuse to listen to the Church
Many antichrists have appeared: they went out from us
Let no one deceive you
If anyone preaches to you a Gospel other than the one that you received, let that one be accursed!
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