Why God Led Me to Rome Instead of Constantinople

Update 12/27/2017: Dear readers, this post needs lots of improvement. Bear with me, a sinner!

God, through Mary, Mediatrix of all graces, gave me the gift of faith, which is “a grace and light of the Holy Ghost, which enables [a man] to believe most firmly all fthat God [Who can neither deceive nor be deceived] teaches him by His [Catholic] Church.” (Fr. Michael Müller, St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori).

G.K. Chesterton said, “The difficulty of explaining ‘why I am a Catholic’ is that there are ten thousand reasons all amounting to one reason: that Catholicism is true.” I say, “The difficulty of explaining ‘why I am not Eastern Orthodox’ is that there are ten thousand reasons all amounting to one reason: that Eastern Orthodoxy is not true.” God, through the Blessed Virgin Mary, gave me the gift of faith; “My God, because Thou, who art the infallible truth, hast revealed to the Church the truths of faith, I believe all the Church proposes to my belief” (St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, Instructions for the People, Complete Works, trans. Fr. Eugene Grimm, vol. 15 (New York: Benziger Brothers, 1890), 368 (https://archive.org/details/alphonsusworks15liguuoft). This is the “formal motive of faith,” while what is presented below is only an iteration of “motives of credibility.” Bear in mind, as you read this post, these words from the Servant of God, Fra Girolamo Savonarola, O.P.:

Our Faith cannot be demonstrated by natural principles and causes. Nevertheless, the past and present events of Church history afford arguments in support of our religion so convincing that no logical mind can reject them. At the same time, no one believes that Faith itself depends upon these arguments, seeing that it is “the gift of God; not of works, that no man may glory” (Eph. ii. 8, 9). We make use of these arguments indeed; but we do so in order to confirm the faith of such as waver, to prepare unbelievers for the reception of supernatural light, and to enable the faithful to confute the arguments of irreligious men; and thus, by exposing their folly, to undeceive the simple and unlearned who have been misled by them (The Triumph of the Cross, ed. Fr. John Procter, O.P. (London: Sands & Co., 1901), Book I, Prologue, 4 (https://archive.org/details/triumphofcross00savorich)).


The Catholic Church is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic. The “Orthodox” churches are not One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic.

One: Among the “Orthodox” there is neither “unity of government” (no visible center, just “independent, national churches, united only in their opposition to Rome”) nor “unity of faith … the official creeds … teach contradictory doctrines on many important points, and in many cases their official teaching is contradicted by their liturgies” (Fr. E. Sylvester Berry, The Church of Christ, 103).

The citations in brackets in the following paragraph are the volume and page numbers from Fr. Martin Jugie, Theologia dogmatica Christianorum orientalium ab Ecclesia Catholica dissidentium.

Because the Eastern Orthodox Church does not have an infallible magisterium,{1} it has been unable to definitively solve issues such as the following{2}: the procession of the Holy Ghost; the nature of the primacy of the Pope; the validity of Catholic Baptism [III:73-80, 89-97, 103-125]; the canon of Sacred Scripture; whether there is a real distinction in God between His essence and energy [II:47-183]; the form of the Eucharist [III:256-300]; the immediacy of retribution; Purgatory [IV:9-202]; indulgences [III:342-379]; the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God, and other issues. Fr. Jugie adds, “The Græco-Russian Church, throughout the long centuries of schism, not only has not been able to resolve in a definitive way any of the questions controverted with the Catholic Church, but also it has presented on each of these questions the spectacle of continual variations in its official declarations as well as in the teaching of its theologians. Among the opinions upheld by these latter on each point, the Catholic thesis always figures with a considerable, and sometimes preponderant, number of representatives. A detailed demonstration of this conclusion would require a large volume. … From this epoch the Byzantine polemicists attempted to accord the formula of St. Tarasius; He proceeds from the Father through the Son with that of his nephew, Photius: He proceeds from the Father alone. One must admit that the task was not easy, because if He proceeds from the Father through the Son, who can be made to believe that He proceeds from the Father alone? The polemicists nevertheless attempted this venture. But if one wishes to know how many divergent and more or less contradictory explanations they proposed of the formula He proceeds from the Father through the Son which was used not only by St. Tarasius, but also by the greater part of the Greek Fathers and by some Latin Fathers, the number was exactly fifteen [Fr. Jugie, Theologica dogmatica christianorum orientalium II:492-496]. Among the fifteen is found the Catholic explanation given by the Council of Florence in the decree of union. A certain number of ancient Byzantine theologians have accepted this explanation, and in our days several Russian theologians admit it.”{3} As St. Robert Bellarmine says, “The Thirteenth Mark [of the Church] is the Confession of our Adversaries. Truly, the force of truth is so great, that it even compels our adversaries to give testimony to it now and again, according to that which is read in Deuteronomy [32:31]: ‘The Lord our God is not as their gods, and our enemies are judges.'”{4}

{1} Fr. Martin Jugie, A.A. (†1954), Theologia dogmatica Christianorum orientalium ab Ecclesia Catholica dissidentium IV:525-529.

{2} Op. cit., 538-539.

{3} Fr. Martin Jugie, “Will Union Be Easy for the Orientals?” (Peekskill, NY: Graymoor Press, 1949), 8-9.

{4} On the Marks of the Church, trans. Ryan Grant, 122.

Holy: The Catholic Church is holy, not just in her founder Jesus Christ and in her doctrine. The Catholic Church abounds in examples of those who have exercised the virtues of faith, hope, charity, prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude to a heroic degree (cf. newsaints.faithweb.com), exceeding “what is ordinary even among those who live virtuously … in the excellence of [the] act and the intensity of the habit from which it comes” and “numerous in proportion to the opportunities for action” [Fr. Karel Vladimir Truhlar, S.J. in NCE XIV:554]. Do the Orthodox have anyone like St. Vincent Ferrer, St. Francis Xavier, St. John Vianney, or St. Pio of Pietrelcina? The Orthodox do not have faith, because they do not submit their intellect and will to God revealing and the Church proposing, and they do not have charity, because of their lack of faith and because, not “submit[ting] to the Sovereign Pontiff, and … hold[ing] communion with those members of the Church who acknowledge his supremacy” they are separated from the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church (cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiæ II-II, q. 39, art. 1, corp.). “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6), “and if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3). The “phenomenon of religious orders is found–on any significant scale–only in the Catholic Church” [Fr. Aidan Nichols, O.P., Figuring Out the Church]. The Catholic Church has a “practical monopoly” on “major miracles” such as the well-authenticated (by multiple truthful witnesses and objective before/after evidence) immediate/complete/permanent healing of properly diagnosed organic lesions (e.g., “hernia, cancer,” open fracture of the leg, blindness caused by lack of pupils or detached retinas) directly attributable to the posthumous intercession of a person who has lived a life of heroic virtue (“On Non-Catholic Miracles“). Often, in these cases, functional recovery precedes organic recovery (e.g., sight being restored without pupils).

Catholic: “The schismatic churches of the East, even when considered as one church, are in no sense Catholic or universal in their diffusion. They are limited almost entirely to Asia Minor, Egypt, Abyssinia, and eastern Europe” (Fr. E. Sylvester Berry, The Church of Christ, 103). On the other hand, the Catholic Church has “a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and tribes, and peoples, and tongues” (Revelation 7:9).  Behold the fruits of the missions of the Catholic Church! The Orthodox Church is comparatively lacking in terms of missions (Fr. Martin Jugie, Theologia dogmatica Christianorum orientalium ab Ecclesia Catholica dissidentium IV:593; Le schisme byzantin 421-425). As Fr. Nichols says regarding heroic holiness, there should also be here “a stream, not a trickle” (Figuring Out the Church).

Apostolic: “In some cases [the Orthodox] may have a material succession of bishops from Apostolic times, but this avails them nothing, since they lack both unity and Catholicity–two essential marks of the true Church. In no case do they have legitimate succession; there is no transmission of jurisdiction because they have withdrawn from communion with Rome, the center and source of all jurisdiction” [Fr. E. Sylvester Berry, The Church of Christ, 103-104]. Since the time of Photius and Michael Cerularius, there have been many Catholic occupants of the sees of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Kiev, Serbia, Tarnovo, Ohrid, Moldavia, Armenia, etc., but no “Orthodox” Popes.

It is evident that the Orthodox Churches are not One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic. They do not have these Fifteen Marks developed by St. Robert Bellarmine and quoted in Servant of God Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J., Catholic Dictionary, 176 – the book On the Marks of the Church translated by Ryan Grant is available from Mediatrix Press:

Catholicity – the Church’s name, Catholic, universal, and worldwide, and not confined to any particular nation or people

Antiquity – in tracing her ancestry directly to Jesus Christ

Duration – constant duration in lasting substantially unchanged for so many centuries

Extensiveness – extensiveness in the number of her loyal members

Episcopal Succession – episcopal succession of her bishops from the first Apostles at the Last Supper to the present hierarchy

Doctrinal Agreement – doctrinal agreement of her doctrine with the teaching of the ancient Church

Unity – union of her members among themselves and with their visible head the Roman Pontiff;

Holiness – holiness of doctrine in reflecting the sanctity of God

Efficacy – efficacy of doctrine in its power to sanctify believers and inspire them to great moral achievement

Holiness of Life – holiness of life of the Church’s representative writers and defenders

Glory of Miracles – the glory of miracles worked in the Church and under the Church’s auspices

Prophecy – the gift of prophecy found among the Church’s saints and spokesmen

Opposition that the Church – the opposition that the Church arouses among those who attack her on the very grounds that Christ was opposed by his enemies

Unhappy End – the unhappy end of those who fight against her

Temporal Peace and Earthly Happiness – the temporal peace and earthly happiness of those who live by the Church’s teaching and defend her interests.

If only, in our lifetime, we could see the English translation of Fr. Martin Jugie’s Theologia dogmatica christianorum orientalium ab Ecclesia catholica dissidentium. Every daub Ioffer Rosaries and prayers to St. Philomena for this intention. These books by Fr. Jugie are the most comprehensive works proving the truth of the Catholic faith against the non-Catholics (Eastern and Oriental “Orthodox,” etc.). If possible, the author hopes to include many more brief citations from these volumes and St. Robert Bellarmine’s De Controversiis: On The Roman Pontiff regarding the points below, and also on indulgences, etc.

1. The Poor Record of Constantinople
1. The See of Constantinople, which was not founded by the Holy All-Praised and προτοκλήτος (First-Called) St. Andrew the Apostle (martyred 11/30/60),{1} has a long history of heterodoxy, and she extended her patriarchal jurisdiction via gross caesaropapism.{2} The see was polluted by three Arians (Eusebios, Eudoxios, Demophilos), one Semi-Arian (Macedonios I), one Nestorian (Nestorios), five Monophysites (Acacios, Phravitas, Euphemios, Timothy I, Anthimos), six Monothelites (Sergios I, Pyrrhos, Paul II, Peter, John VI), and seven Iconoclasts (Anastasios, Constantine II, Nicetas I, Paul IV, Theodotos I Cassiteras, Anthony I Kassymatas, John VII Lecanomantos), one Calvinist (Cyril I Lukaris)–though some idiosyncratic commentators dispute the charge of Calvinism against the latter, who was murdered after he occupied the throne seven times—and one Freemason who declared Anglican orders to be valid (Meletios IV Metaxakis). The other three sees have similar records, and they often servilely followed the policy of Constantinople. By the standards of the Orthodox themselves, the see has had even more heretical patriarchs: one anti-Palamite (John XIV Kalekas) and more than eight Catholics (John XI Bekkos, Joseph II, Metrophanes II, Gregory III Mammas, Dionysius II, Raphael II, Cyril II Kontares, Athanasius V, and many others, according to the old Catholic Encyclopedia entry “Greek Church”). Many of the Patriarchs of Constantinople were not merely desirous of reunion with the Catholic Church, but confessed the dogmas of the Catholic Church to be true.

{1} Even the Byzantine-friendly historian Fr. Francis Dvornik states that St. Andrew did not establish the See of Constantinople, for there is no trace whatsoever of this legend in Eastern or Western tradition before the late 600s/early 700s, and the late-800s official Typicon of the Church of Hagia Sophia does not have a feast of St. Stachys the Apostle and does not mention the Apostolic foundations of the See of Constantinople in its entry for the glorious martyr St. Andrew the Apostle. This is a legitimate argument from silence. The unhistorical story probably originated as a polemical weapon against the primacy of the See of Rome, founded by St. Peter, who was not the First-Called among the Apostles.
{2} For example, the Iconoclast Byzantine Emperor Leo III the Isaurian, after excommunicating the pope, robbed the Holy See of local jurisdiction over Illyricum and Southern Italy, usurping these places for Constantinople, with the result that the local jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople extended to the limits of the Byzantine Empire.

2. The Roman See alone has never defected,{3} nor is she capable of doing so, so that it is necessary to be in communion with this see, which has the final word, according to the testimony of many Fathers venerated by both Catholics and Orthodox. The Eastern Fathers who teach this include Patriarch St. Flavian the Martyr of Constantinople [Ep. to Leo], Monk St. Maximos the Confessor of Constantinople, Patriarch St. Sophronios of Jerusalem [Mansi xi:461], Abbot St. Theodore the Studite [PG 99:1332A], and Patriarch St. Ignatios of Constantinople [Mansi xvi:47]. Among many other Western Fathers: Bishop St. Irenaeus of Lyons [PG 7A:847AB], Bishop St. Cyprian of Carthage [Ep. 59:14], Hieromonk St. Jerome the Great of Strido [Ep. 15:1-2], Pope St. Siricius of Rome [Ep. 1 to Himerius], Bishop St. Augustine the Great of Hippo [PL 43:30], Pope St. Boniface I of Rome [PL 20:776A], Monk Bacharius of Spain [PL 20:1023], and Pope St. Gregory I Dialogus the Great of Rome.
{3} Pope Honorius I, a favorite target of Orthodox and Protestant polemicists, is no exception. He was condemned, not as a Monothelite who definitively taught Monothelitism, but as a pope whose negligence in carrying out his duties as successor to St. Peter allowed Monothelitism to spread: (1) Pope St. Agatho of Rome taught that all his predecessors, including Honorius I, did not bind the the Church to error, and the Sixth Ecumenical Council received this declaration as true; (2) Pope John IV of Rome and Monk St. Maximos the Confessor of Constantinople defended Honorius from the calumnious accusations of the Monothelites that he taught their doctrine; and (3) Pope St. Leo II of Rome taught, as is his prerogative according to the Fathers, the sense in which the Sixth Ecumenical Council condemned Pope Honorius I. The Fathers of the Sixth Council used “heretic” in then road sensed of someone who fomented heresy by not carrying out the duties of his office.

2. Filioque
3. The Orthodox have not preserved the true understanding of the procession of the Holy Ghost. The sacred Catholic dogma is that the hypostasis of the Holy Ghost eternally proceeds from the Father and the Son in one spiration as from a single principle; now the Orthodox, at the very most, will grant, following Patriarch Gregory II the Cypriot of Constantinople [PG 142:1233-1245], that the Holy Spirit is eternally energetically manifested through the Son. The Orthodox maintain the Patristically impossible position that the Father and the Son do not, together, spirate the hypostasis of the Holy Ghost. Such heresy, and the arguments of polemicists like Photius (Mystagogy) and Gregory the Cypriot and Gregory Palamas, are completely disposed of by Fr. Martin Jugie, De processione Spiritus Sancti ex fontibus revelationis et secundum Orientales dissidentes (Rome 1936) and by St. Alphonsus Liguori, On the History of Heresies and Their Refutation, vol. 2, trans. Fr. John T. Mullock, O.F.M. (Dublin: James Duffy, 1847), pages 137-150.

For example, this kind of nonsense:

Photius: “Who of our sacred and renowned Fathers said the Spirit proceeds from the Son? Did any synod, acknowledged as ecumenical, proclaim it? Which assembly of priests and bishops, inspired of God, affirmed this understanding of the Holy Spirit?” (Mystagogy §5). Photius also said that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost each send and are sent by one another [PG 101:838,911], even though “the Father is not said to be sent,” says St. Augustine, [De Trinitate IV:20 in PL].

Gregory of Cyprus: “the all-Holy Spirit’s existence is not ‘through the Son’ and ‘from the Son’ as they who hasten toward their destruction and separation from God understand and teach. … the very Paraclete shines from and is manifest eternally through the Son, in the same way that light shines forth and is manifest through the intermediary of the sun’s rays; it further denotes the bestowing, giving, and sending of the Spirit to us. It does not, however, mean that it subsists through the Son and from the Son, and that it receives its being through Him and from Him. … where have the God-bearing Fathers said that God the Father is, through the Son, the cause of the Spirit? Where do they say that the Paraclete has its existence from the Son and through the Son? Again, where do they say that the same Paraclete has its existence from the Father and from the Son? In what text do they teach that the one essence and divinity of the Father and the Son is the cause of the Holy Spirit’s existence? ” (Tome of 1285).

Gregory Palamas: “Either you falsify the text, or you misinterpret it and explain without the help of the Spirit what has been said through the Spirit: or you prefer a particular opinion to the common doctrine” (First Treatise Against the Latins).

Filioque does not entail confusion of the hypostatic properties: the three incommunicable properties are generation/paternity, filiation/sonship, and passive spiration. It is not proper to the Father or the Son to spirate, because active spiration is not relatively opposed to paternity or filiation [ST I, q. 28, art. 3, ad 1], but it is proper to the Holy Spirit to be spirated by the Father and the Son. Filioque is necessary in order to fully explain the distinction between the person of the Son and the person of the Holy Ghost, to preserve the correct τάξις (order); the Trinity of Persons are distinguished by the relations of origin, as Archbishop St. Gregory Nazianzen (the Theologian) of Constantinople [PG 36:141C] and Bishop St. Gregory of Nyssa [PG 45:133BC] teach. Since the Holy Ghost is a υπόστασις and given that He proceeds in some way from the Son, He must proceed as υπόστασις from the Son, which is to say His υπόστασις is from the Son. In other words, the υπόστασις of the Holy Ghost proceeds (is) from the Son eternally, but the primordial/unoriginate source of His divine hypostasis is the Father alone, for the Father alone is the (unoriginate) πηγή (source) and αἰτία (cause) of divinity. The Holy Ghost receives from the Son the being and oυσία (ousia = nature) of the Father, which the Son receives as Only-Begotten. This truth is even found explicitly in Patriarch St. Athanasios I the Great of Alexandria [PG 26:376A,1000A], Bishop St. Basil the Great of Caesarea [PG 29:655A] (the latter text is genuine, as proved by Archbishop Basilios Bessarion of Nicaea [Rev. Reuben Parsons, Studies in Church History vol. 3]), and Patriarch St. Cyril I of Alexandria [PG 75:585A].

4. The Orthodox misinterpret the declarations of the μοναρχία (monarchy) of the Father, Who is the sole πηγαία Θεότης (Godhead-source), to exclude Filioque. They fallaciously appeal to Bishop St. Dionysios the Areopagite Martyr of Athens [PG 3:641D], Patriarch St. Athanasios I the Great of Alexandria [PG 28:97BC], Patriarch St. Gregory Nazianzen the Great Theologian of Constantinople [PG 36:252A], Monk St. Maximos the Confessor of Constantinople [PG 91:136], and Hieromonk St. John of Damascus [PG 94:849AB]. In order to avoid the explicit and unanimous testimonies of the Latin Fathers, who could not have been of a different faith than the Greek Fathers with whom they were in communion for centuries, the Orthodox misrepresent the Latin Fathers as teaching only a έκφανσις αΐδιoς (eternal manifestation, i.e., of energy), not an essential and hypostatic procession. In the Orthodox paradigm, there is no room for the pneumatology of the Latin Fathers, whereas the Catholic paradigm does justice to both the Greek and the Latin Fathers. The unequivocal Latin Filioquists include the following: Bishop St. Hilary of Poitiers [PL 10:69A-70A,250C-251B,471A-472A], Bishop St. Ambrose the Great of Milan [PL 16:739AB,771B], Pope St. Damasus of Rome, Bishop St. Augustine the Great of Hippo, Pope St. Leo I the Great of Rome [PL 54:680C,681A], Bishop St. Eucherius of Lyons, Bishop St. Alcimus Ecdicius Avitus of Vienne, Pope St. Hormisdas of Rome [PL 63:514B], Pope St. Gregory I Dialogus the Great of Rome [PL 75:87B-88A; 76:533D-534A], St. Anecius Manlius Torquatus Severinus Boethius the Philosopher-Martyr of Rome [PL 64:1249C,1254C], Bishop St. Fulgence of Ruspe [PL 65:674A], Archbishop St. Isidore of Seville [PL 82:268C], Pope St. Martin I the Martyr of Rome, Pope Adrian I of Rome, and Pope St. Leo III of Rome. The Greek Fathers who expressly teach the Catholic doctrine on the procession of the Holy Ghost include the following: Patriarch St. Athanasios I the Great of Alexandria [PG 26:376A,1000A], Bishop St. Basil the Great of Caesarea [PG 29:653B-656A], Bishop St. Gregory of Nyssa [PG 44:1160B; 45:464BC], Bishop St. Epiphanios of Salamis [PG 42:493B; 43:29C,148B,153A], and Patriarch Cyril I of Alexandria [PG 68:148A; 71:377D; 75:576B,600D,608AB,721D,844A,1020D; 76:1189A; 77:117C].

5. Is not such a procession implied when the Greek Fathers, e.g., Bishop St. Gregory the Wonderworker of Neocaesarea [PG 10:985A] and Hieromonk St. John of Damascus [PG 94:856B], call the Holy Ghost the Image of the Son? How could a divine person be the image of a person from Whom He does not proceed? How could a divine person share the essence of a divine person (A) Who does not have existence from Him or (B) Who is not one from Whom He has existence?

6. “From the Son” and “through the Son” are different ways to express the true dogma of the procession of the Holy Ghost. A few Fathers used the formulae interchangeably (e.g., Bishop St. Hilary of Poitiers and Patriarch St. Cyril I of Alexandria). According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church §248, the Greek formula directly expresses the order according to which the Father and the Son are the one principle of the Holy Ghost, and implies Their equality as principle. The Latin formula directly expresses the equality of the Father and the Son as principle, and implies the order. In this regard, St. Bonaventure says that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father before He does from the Son “according to authorship,” because the Son receives the faculty of active spiration from the Father [Commentary on the Sentences b. I, d. 12, art. 1, q. 1: Si igitur quaeritur, utrum per prius procedat Spiritus Sanctus a Patre quam a Filio; si intelligatur prius duratione, falsum est; similiter si prius causalitate; similiter si prius origine, sicut probat primæ rationes ad hoc inductæ. Si autem prius auctoritate, ut prius idem sit quod principalius, veritatem habet.”]. The great Byzantine Fathers and Doctors had no reservations about being in communion with those great Latin Fathers and Doctors who openly and dogmatically professed Filioque. Therefore the formulae are complementary, not contradictory, and the formula employed by the following illustrious and God-bearing Fathers does not contradict the Latin Catholic formula explained above: Monk St. Maximos the Confessor of Constantinople [PG 90:672C], Hieromonk St. John of Damascus [PG 94:848D-849A], and Patriarch St. Tarasios of Constantinople [Mansi xii:1121D]. Eastern witnesses to this complementary relationship of “from” and “through” include Bishop St. Basil the Great of Caesarea [PG 32:85AB] and Patriarch St. Cyril I of Alexandria [PG 68:148A; 75:1197CD,1244BC]. When Hieromonk St. John of Damascus says that the Spirit does not proceed ἐκ (from) the Son [PG 94:832], he is not rejecting Filioque. It is one thing to say that the Holy Ghost does not have existence from the Son simply and absolutely, and another to say that the Holy Ghost does not have existence from the Son as from the προκαταρτικὴν αἰτία/αἰτίας ἀχρόνως/principium primordiale/principium originale/principium primum [Fr. Jugie, De processione, p. 190]. A priori, it is highly likely that St. John writes in the latter sense, or else he would be at odds with the consensus of the saintly Fathers before him.  This is the proper sense of the words of the Syrian Doctor, as the great Denis Pétau observes. St. John preserves the τάξις when he says that the Spirit is δε (of) the Son, but not the other way around (the Son is not δε the Spirit or derived from the Spirit), and does not rule out that the Holy Ghost receives from the Son the oυσία of the Father, which the Son receives as Only-Begotten. If that is not what St. John means, then, as we said above, how could he say that the Holy Ghost is the είκών of the Son [PG 94:856B], and that “The Father is the root, the Son is the branch, the Spirit is the fruit” [PG 94:780B]? Such Eastern Patristic analogies would otherwise be robbed of meaning.

3. Delayed Beatific Vision
7. The Eastern Orthodox Church teaches the nonsensical doctrine that the saints do not enjoy the beatific vision before the Last Judgment. If the saints do not experience the beatific vision before the Last Judgment, then what was the point of Christ’s descent into the Limbo of the Fathers? Though deprived of the vision of God, they were in a state of hope and knew that Christ would free them. What difference would Christ have made for these holy men and women if He had not let them into Heaven so they could forever after experience the vision of God? Surely the saints experience an accidental increase in happiness at the Last Judgment, when they are reunited with their bodies, but that is not when they first see God face to face [1 Cor 13:12]!

More on Purgatory to follow; cf. “Purgatoire” DTC 13-1 cols. 1163 onward (starting 582 of PDF reader) and “Feu de Purgatoire” in DTC 5-2:2246-2261 (468-477 of a PDF reader). Nectarios of Aegina admitted all defined Catholic dogma on Purgatory, as well as a punishing fire.

4. Papacy
8. The pre-schism Eastern and Western Fathers alike teach, in concert with the explicit declarations of several of the first seven Ecumenical Councils, 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’s final decision 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, and his successors do the same; (7) this authoritative primacy of Rome is permanent and non-transferable; (8) communion with Rome is necessary for salvation.{1} From these principles it is no wonder that papal infallibility was defined as a dogma. These teachings are incompatible with Eastern Orthodox ecclesiology; this demonstrates, in another field, the Patristic consensus against the teaching of the Eastern Orthodox Church. In “From Constantinople to Rome,” Fr. Brian W. Harrison shows that without the papacy to lead the Magisterium in the ways described by Lumen Gentium §25, the Orthodox Church cannot give an account of how to determine true doctrine without falling into a vicious circle of “to discover what is true Christian doctrine, you must pay heed to the teaching of those who adhere to true Christian doctrine.”

{1} “Papal Infallibility & Primacy.” Catholic Patristics. 6 Mar. 2009. 21 July 2009 <http://catholicpatristics.blogspot.com/2009/03/papal-infallibility-primacy.html>.

For some strong testimonies to the Catholic dogmas on the papacy mentioned by Fr. Martin Jugie, one can see St. Irenaeus of Lyon [PG 7z;848-849], Pope St. Victor, Emperor Aurelian [Eusebius, Hist. ecc. VII:xxx:18-19], Pope St. Julius I, Emperor Theodosius, St. Maximus the Confessor [PG 94:137-140], Pope Severinus [Mansi X:678], Hieromonks Theodosius and Theodore of Gangre [PG 90:193B,197A,202A], Pope St. Theodore I [Mansi X:702-708,821,900D], Pope St. Martin [Mansi X:804-820,825-832], Pope St. Agatho, the Sixth Council [Mansi XI:684], John VI of Constantinople [Mansi XII:196-208], St. John of Damascus referring to Pope St. Gregory II [PG 95:48], St. Stephen the Younger [PG 100:1144B], St. Tarasius of Constantinople [Hardouin IV:512], Pope Adrian I [Mansi XII:1078-1084], St. Nicephorus I of Constantinople [PG 100:193-196,597A,841C], St. Theodore of Studion [PG 99:1017-1020,1152,1156,1332B], St. Joseph the Hymnographer and St. Gregory the Decapolite [Vita Josephi hymnographi], Theodore Abū Qurrah [Constantin Baccha, Un traité des œuvres arabas de Théodore Abou-Kurra, évêque de Haran, traduit en français] Metropolitan Gregory Asbestas of Syracuse [Regestes, nºs 445-448, fasc. II, 65-67], St. Ignatius of Constantinople [Mansi XVI:47E], Photius [PG 102:616],


Other impressive testimonies are collected in Fr. Cyril Benni’s The Tradition of the Syriac Church of Antioch : concerning the primacy and the prerogatives of St. Peter and of his successors the Roman pontiffs (https://archive.org/details/traditionofsyria00bennuoft). For example, Jacobite Patriarch Ignatius Abdullah I Stephan of Antioch [Letter to Pope Julius III] and his legate Moses of Mardins, and Coptic Gabriel VIII of Alexandria [Letter to Pope Clement VIII].
9. On 6/8/1439, the agreement (Latin cedula) on the procession of the Holy Ghost was freely signed by all the Eastern bishops at the Ecumenical Council of Florence–except the lone dissenter Metropolitan Mark Eugenikos of Ephesus–including, most importantly, Patriarch Joseph II of Constantinople († 6/10/1439) and the patriarchal legates, with the permission of Patriarchs Philotheos of Alexandria († 1459), Dorotheos II of Antioch († 1454), and Joachim of Jerusalem († 1450?). Therefore, the Eastern Orthodox Church dogmatically agreed at an Ecumenical Council that the Catholic doctrine on the procession of the Holy Ghost, hitherto dogmatically rejected by the Eastern Orthodox Church, is true. All five Patriarchates were Catholic before the after-the-fact nonsensical repudiation instigated by Metropolitan Mark Eugenikos of Ephesus who tragically anathematized the Latins even on his deathbed. There is thus an insoluble historical dilemma that makes unavoidable the conclusion that Eastern Orthodoxy is false: (A) For an Eastern Orthodox Christian to say that Catholicism is false would mean that he has to admit that the Gates of Hell have prevailed against the Eastern Orthodox Church, contrary to the promise of our Lord in Mt 16:18, and that therefore Eastern Orthodoxy is false. (B) For an Eastern Orthodox Christian to say that Catholicism is true would mean that he has to admit that Eastern Orthodoxy is false, since Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy have mutually exclusive dogmas.

5. Baptismal Rite
10. The Eastern Orthodox Church wrongly denies the validity of the baptism of Latins [Nikodemos the Hagiorite, The Rudder on Apostolic Canon 47], because they erroneously maintain that the venerable practice of trine immersion is absolutely necessary in order for baptism to be valid. We know that trine immersion is not necessary for the validity of baptism from various Scriptural passages [Acts 2:41; 9:18; 10:47-48; 16:33; 22:16], the acts of the early martyrs, Bishop St. Cyprian the Martyr of Carthage [Ep. 75], the sanction of Pope St. Gregory I the Great [Ep. 43], and the ancient refusal to rebaptize persons baptized via aspersion and infusion.

6. Opposition to the Legitimacy of Unleavened Bread
11. The Eastern Orthodox Church rejects the legitimacy of unleavened bread,{1} but the Catholic Church does not attack the legitimacy of leavened bread. Latin Catholics follow the institution of our Lord, Who did not transgress the Law [Mt 5:17] and thus used unleavened bread at the Last Supper [Mt 26:17; Mk 14:12; Lk 22:7]. Archbishop St. John Chrysostom the Great says that Christ celebrated the Last Supper with unleavened bread [PG 58:754]. Such use is fitting because it conforms to the sincerity of the faithful [1 Cor 5:7] and the fact that the body of Christ was not conceived with any corruption. There are plenty of witnesses to the use of unleavened bread well before the schism of Patriarch Michael I Cerularius of Constantinople. They include Alcuin of York [PL 100:289], Bl. Archbishop Rabanus Maurus of Mainz in the early 800s [PL 107:318,324], and Origen of Alexandria [PG 13:988CD989ABC]. Several more are included in Cardinal Hergenröther’s magnum opus on Photius, vol. 3, p. 787; Dom Marie-Jean Parisot, O.S.B., “Azymes,” Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, vol. 1 (Paris: Letouzey et Ané, 1909), 2653-2664 [pages 581-586 of the PDF]; and Dom Fernard Cabrol, O.S.B., “Azymes,” Dictionnaire d’archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie, vol. 1, issue 2, 3254-3260. Moreover, in the first century Philo the Jew testifies that Christians in Alexandria used unleavened bread in the Liturgy [On the Contemplative Life p. 19 sec. X]. Other possible witnesses include Archbishop St. Gregory I the Theologian of Constantinople [PG 35:397A] and Pope St. Leo I the Great of Rome [Sermon 63:7].

{1} Two Epistles of Patriarch Michael I Cerularios of Constantinople to Patriarch Peter III of Antioch; Encyclical of Metropolitan Mark Eugenikos of Ephesus (1440); Council of Constantinople with Patriarchs Jeremiah II Tranos of Constantinople, Silvester of Alexandria, and Sophronios IV of Jerusalem (1583); Encyclical of the Eastern Patriarchs Anthimos VI of Constantinople, Hierotheos II of Alexandria, Methodios of Antioch, and Cyril II of Jerusalem to Pope Pius IX of Rome (1848); Encyclical of Patriarch Anthimos VII of Constantinople to Pope Leo XIII of Rome (1895).

7. Epiklesis
12. The Eastern Orthodox Church, though it has valid sacraments, has a perverted understanding of some aspects of them. It legitimately retains the Epiklesis, which all ancient liturgies had. However, 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. It is a legitimate argument from silence to say that transubstantiation does not occur at the Epiklesis, on the grounds that there is no indication of an Epiklesis at the Last Supper. The Eastern Orthodox, in maintaining this erroneous thesis concerning the Epiklesis, contradict the ancient Greek liturgies and the testimony of our beloved God-bearing Fathers so especially dear to them as St. Justin Martyr the Philosopher of Caesarea [Apology 1:66], Bishop St. Irenaeus of Lyons [Against Heresies 5:2:3], Bishop St. Gregory of Nyssa [Catechetical Orations 37], and Archibshop St. John Chrysostom the Great of Constantinople [Homily 1:6 On the Betrayal of Judas]. The Catholic Church, and not the Orthodox Church, maintains the correct understanding of the Epiklesis.

8. Communion Under Both Kinds
13. The Eastern Orthodox Church wrongly insists that the laity are bound to receive the Eucharist under both species. If Mt 26:27; Lk 22:17 bind the laity to receive both species, then the Eucharist must include the previous paschal rites, the use of unleavened bread, etc., whereas the Church has always understood Lk 22:19 to mean that the celebrating priests, not the laity, must receive the Eucharist under both species. Christ attributes eternal life to the eating of the Body, without mentioning the drinking of the Blood, in Jn 6:58. The undivided Church never recognized any New Testament precept binding the laity to communicate under both species. Patriarch St. Dionysios I the Great of Alexandria gave the Body alone to the dying old man Serapion [PG 20:629], Bishop St. Basil the Great of Caesarea received the Body alone a bunch of times on the day of his repose [PG 29:315], and Paulinus tells us that St. Honoratus of Vercelli gave the Body alone to Bishop St. Ambrose the Great of Milan on the day of his repose [PL 14:43]. “The ancient and canonical rule,” according to canon 13 of the Ecumenical Council of Nicaea I, was that the sick would usually communicate under one kind. Bishop St. Cyprian the Martyr of Carthage [PL 4:484], Bishop St. Augustine the Great of Hippo [PL 45:1154], and St. Paulinus of Nola [PL 61:333] refer to children receiving the Blood alone. This occurred in some churches in the East as well. Church historian Evagrios refers to children in Constantinople receiving the Body alone [PG 86:2769]. Christ is wholly present, Body and Blood, under the accidents of bread and under the accidents of wine, and the priest communicates under both species on behalf of all. It is lawful, as the Church sees fit, to allow or to withhold from the laity the precious Blood of Christ for hygienic reasons and out of reverence for the Blood, which must not be spilled.

9. Divorce
14. The Eastern Orthodox innovated in that they permit, against divine and natural law [Bl. Pope Pius IX of Rome, Syllabus 67], the dissolution of a consummated valid sacramental marriage. First they, corrupting the meaning of our Lord’s words, permitted divorce on account of spousal infidelity, and then they, in their official ecclesiastical documents, added other fallacious reasons [Dr. Joseph von Zhishman, Das Eberecht der orientalischen Kirchen 729 sqq.], conceding too much to human weakness. Scripture expressly teaches the Catholic doctrine [Mt 5:32; 19:4-6,9; Mk 10:11-12; Lk 16:18], and so do the following witnesses. In the East: St. Justin Martyr the Philosopher of Caesarea [PG 6:349AB], Athenagoras of Athens [PG 6:965A], St. Clement of Alexandria [PG 8:1096BCD,1097A], Bishop St. Basil the Great of Caesarea [PG 32:732], Bishop St. Epiphanios of Salamis [PG 41:1024], Archbishop St. John Chrysostom the Great of Constantinople [PG 51:218], and Bishop Theodoret of Cyrus [PG 82:275]. In the West: Bishop St. Ambrose the Great of Milan [PL 15:1855], Hieromonk St. Jerome the Great of Strido [PL 22:562], Pope St. Innocent I of Rome [PL 20:479,500,602], Bishop St. Augustine the Great of Hippo [PL 40:473], Pope St. Leo I the Great of Rome [PL 54:1136], Pope St. Gregory I the Great of Rome [PL 77:833,1169], and Pope St. Zachary of Rome.

10. Immaculate Conception
15. The Eastern Orthodox Church wrongly rejects the Immaculate Conception: she denies that the Blessed Virgin Mary did not contract original sin when she was conceived in the womb of St. Anne.{1} But why would our Lord choose to dwell in a temple that had been sullied by original sin, i.e., one that lacked original justice, as Patriarch St. Cyril I of Alexandria argues? Is not the argument of Bl. Jon Dons Scotus cogent? He says, “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.” The indisputable universal tradition of the perfect holiness of the Blessed Virgin Mary entails her freedom from original sin. As regards, e.g. Rom 3:23, we cannot exclude the Immaculate Conception because the Blessed Virgin 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].{2} Even allowing for poetic expressions, many early Fathers clearly maintain that the Theotókos did not contract original sin.{3} From the East we have Bishop St. Amphilochios of Iconium, Bishop St. Epiphanios of Salamis, Patriarch St. Cyril I of Alexandria, Patriarch St. Proclus of Constantinople [PG 65:683B],  and Hieromonk St. John of Damascus. From the West we have Bishop St. Cyprian the Martyr of Carthage, Hieromonk St. Jerome the Great of Strido [PL 16:1049BC], Bishop St. Ambrose the Great of Milan, Bishop St. Augustine the Great of Hippo, Bishop St. Maximus of Turin, and Bishop St. Fulgence of Ruspe [PL 65:899C]. Patriarch Photius of Constantinople, St. Joseph the Hymnographer [PG 105:1000C,1001D], and Patriarch St. Euthymios I Synkellos of Constantinople agree.{4} The Eastern Orthodox contradict their own post-schism teachers, including ones they venerate as saints{5}: Archbishop Gregory Palamas of Thessalonica, Patriarch Gennadios II Scholarios of Constantinople, Patriarch Gerasimos I of Alexandria, Bishop St. Dimitry of Rostov, and Peter Moghila. Many of the greatest Scholastics, contrary to popular belief, supported the Immaculate Conception{6}: St. Bruno the Confessor of Cologne [PL 152:1167D], Archbishop St. Anselm of Canterbury, Bishop-Monk St. Peter Damian of Ostia [PL 144:721C], St. Albert the Great, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Bonaventure, etc. The Dictionnaire de théologie catholique article has a wealth of information. These are strong enough reasons to accept the Immaculate Conception and to believe that the Catholic Church, not the Orthodox Church, has preserved the truth with regard to the holiness of the conception of the Theotókos.

{1} This is evident from the Encyclical of Patriarch Anthimos VII of Constantinople to Pope Leo XIII of Rome (1895), in which the Patriarch and many other bishops expressly claim to be speaking ex cathedra.
{2} Lambruschini, Cardinal Luigi. A Polemical Treatise on the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin. New York: D. & J. Sadlier & Co., 1855. 21 July 2009 .
{3} “Immaculate Conception.” Catholic Patristics. 6 Mar. 2009. 21 July 2009 http://catholicpatristics.blogspot.com/2009/03/immaculate-conception.html>.
{4} Ibid.
{5} Ibid.
{6} Ibid.

11. Conclusion
16. Join the Catholic Church, “outside which no one at all is saved” [Denzinger 430]! That is where the Lord leads me. Do not become tricked into joining the Eastern Orthodox Church, which is shown to be false on the grounds of Scripture, Tradition, history, and right reason. On the other hand, the Catholic Church alone harmonizes with all four of the latter.


Here is some supplemental data from a 9/1/2010 version of this post:

Constantinople Not an Apostolic See

Heretical Patriarchs of Constantinople

-three Arians: Eusebius of Nicomedia (339-342), Eudoxius of Antioch (360-370), Demophilus (370-380)

-one Semi-Arian: Macedonius (342-346, 351-360; †364)

-one Nestorian: Nestorius (428-431; †451)

-five Monophysites: Acacius (472-489), Fravitas (489), Euphemius (489-495), Timothy I (511-518), Anthimus I (535-536)

-six Monothelites: Sergius I (610-638), Pyrrhus (638-641, 654), Paul II (641-653), Peter (654-666), John VI (712-714)

-seven iconoclasts: Anastasius (730-754), Constantine II (754-766), Nicetas I (766-780), Paul IV (780-784), Theodotus I Cassiteras (815-821), Antony I Cassimatis (821-836), John VII Grammaticus (836-842)

-one Calvinist: Cyril I Lucaris (1612, 1620-1623, 1623-1633, 1633-1634, 1634-1635, 1637-1638)

-if Catholicism is false, then even more Patriarchs of Constantinople were heretics, because they accepted distinctively Catholic dogmas (e.g., Filioque, papal primacy):

John XI Beccus (1275-1282; †1297); Joseph II (1416-1439); Metrophanes II (1440-1443); Gregory III Mammas, a renowned wonderworker (1443-1451; †1459) [Ecumenical Patriarchate website]; Dionysius II (1546-1555) [Ecumenical Patriarchate website; AASS 8:I:228C-230B (254-256); Simeon Vailhé in DTC 3.2:1424-1425 (page 75 of the PDF)]; Neophytus II (1602-1603, 1607-1612) [Ecumenical Patriarchate website; ]; Raphael II (1603-1607) [AASS 8:I:237C-238A (263-264); Simeon Vailhé in DTC 3.2:1426 (page 75 of the PDF)]; Cyril II Contares (1633, 1635-1636, 1638-1639) [Ecumenical Patriarchate website; AASS 8:I:242B-243D,243F-244F (268-270)], and Athanasius V (1709-1711) [Siméon Vailhé in DTC 3.2:1432 (page 78 of the PDF)]

-one with Anabaptist tenets: Cyril V (1748-1751, 1752-1757)

-Emperor John Cantacuzene (r. 1347-1354) professed papal primacy [Fr. Gill]

-Emperor John V Palaiologos (†1391) converted to the Catholic faith

-Emperor John VIII Palaiologos (r. 1425-1448) became Catholic

-Emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos (r. 1449-1453) became Catholic

“the [Catholic] monastery of the Amalfitans on Mount Athos … was still in existence in 1196, when the superior witnessed, in Latin, a deed of one of the other monasteries” [George Every, The Byzantine Patriarchate 189]

Heretical Patriarchs of Alexandria

Theophilus I (385-412) was an Origenist until 400.{1}

{1} “Until 400 Theophilus of Alexandria was an acknowledged Origenist. His confident was Isidore, a former monk of Nitria, and his friends, ‘the Tall Brothers,’ the accredited leaders of the Origenist party.” — Fr. Ferdinand Prat, S.J. “Origen and Origenism.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 9 Apr. 2011 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11306b.htm>.

-Monophysites were Dioscorus I (444-451; †454), Timothy III the Cat (460-475, 477-482), Peter III Mongus (477, 482-490), Athanasius II (490-496), John II (496-505), John III (505-516), Timothy IV (517-535), Theodosius I (535-536)

-Cyrus (631-643) was a Monothelite

-if Catholicism is false, even more Patriarchs of Alexandria were heretical: Patriarch Athanasius III of Alexandria (1276-1316) was Catholic for a time; Patriarch Philotheus of Alexandria (1435-1459) sent a Letter to Pope Eugene IV of Rome in which he says that anyone who does not accept the Council of Florence is a heretic [Fr. Gill, The Council of Florence 323; Mansi XXXI-2:1703-1704 (page 300 of the PDF)]

-no anti-union synod of 1443 [Fr. Gill, The Council of Florence 354], nor was there an anti-union synod in 1450 [ibid. 376 n. 3]

Heretical Patriarchs of Antioch

-Paul of Samosata (260-268; †275), Eulalius (331-332), Euphronius (332-333), Paulinus (330), Stephen I (342-344), Leontius the Eunuch (344-358), Eudoxius (358-359), John I (428-442)

-Monophysites were Peter the Fuller (469-471, 476, 458-488), John II Codonatus (476-477), and Severus (512-518; †538)

-Palladius (488-498) and Flavian II (498-512) accepted Chalcedon but also accepted the Henoticon

-Monothelites were Anastasius III (620-628), Macedonius (628-640), and Macarius (656-681; †685)

-if Catholicism is false, even more Patriarchs of Antioch were heretical: Simeon II (1245–1268) and Theodosius IV (1269–1276) [Fr. Gill, Byzantium and the Papacy, 1198-1400 (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1979), n. 18 on 274 and 181]; Patriarch Dorotheus II of Antioch (1436-1454), represented by Metropolitan Isidore of Kiev, accepted the Ecumenical Council of Florence;

Heretical Patriarchs of Jerusalem

St. Maximus III (333-348) started out Arian

Juvenal (422-458) was Monophysite until 451

-Origenists were John II (386-417) and Eustochius (552-564)

Martyrius (478-486) accepted the Henoticon

-if Catholicism is false, then even more Patriarchs of Jerusalem were heretics, since they announced their loyalty to and explicit desire for communion with the Catholic Church: Lazarus (1334-1368), Joachim (1431-1450) represented by Metropolitan Dositheus of Monembasia, Abraham I (1468), James III (1492-1503?), and Mark III (1503) [DTC 8.1:1003-1004 (pages 501-502 of the PDF)]

-in 1583-1584 Patriarch Sophronius IV of Jerusalem (1579–1608) “would willingly have renounced his schism if he had not been prevented by his entourage” [Dr. Ludwig von Pastor, Lives of the Popes XX:498]

Kiev and Moscow, “The Third Rome”

-“Russia’s attitude toward Rome, from the introduction of Christianity until the beginning of the thirteenth century, was unchangingly sympathetic, except for some minor misunderstandings which occurred near the end of the twelfth century” [Fr. Koncevicius 179]

-Princess St. Olga of Kiev was Catholic [Fr. Koncevicius 17-22; cf. Nicholas Brianchaninov]

St. Vladimir the Great was Catholic [Fr. Koncevicius 23-32]

St. Theodosius of the Kiev Caves (†1074) and the Holy Fathers of the Kiev Caves were Catholic until at least the 13th century [Bollandists; Fr. Mauricio Gordillo, S.J.; cf. Fr. Joseph Koncevicius]

-the writing against unleavened bread ascribed to Metropolitan Nicephorus I of Kiev (1104-1121) is probably a forgery [Fr. Koncevicius 68], or at worst a temporary misunderstanding [ibid., 48-50]

-the Abbess St. Parasceva of Polotsk died in Rome in 1239, and was canonized by Bl. Pope Gregory X in 1273 [Bollandists: 10:XI:262-264 (298-300 of the PDF), 277 (313); 10:XII:420 (454); Fr. Koncevicius 53 citing Msgr. Pelesz I:420]

-Catholic Metropolitans of Kiev prior to the Council of Florence include Nicetas (1122-1126), Michael II (1130-1145), Constantine I (1156-1159), Theodore (1161-1163), Nicephorus II (1182-1198) Clement Smoliatich (1147-1154), John IV (1164-1166), and Peter Akerovych (also his patron St. Michael of Chernigov) (1241-1246) [Fr. Koncevicius; Fr. John Stilting, S.J.; Fr. Gordillo]

-the Pochayiv Monastery was Catholic from 1720-1831; did it start out Catholic? The answer depends on the date of its foundation, which I have not yet found out with certainty. The Polish Wikipedia article:

1198? [W. Osadczy: Święta Ruś. Rozwój i oddziaływanie idei prawosławia w Galicji. Lublin: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Marii Curie-Skłodowskiej, 2007, s. 391-393]

1219? [Rożko W.: Peczerni monastyri Wołyni i Polissia. Łuck: Wołynśka Knyha, 2008, s. 86-87]

1240? [Urszula Anna Pawluczuk: Życie monastyczne w II Rzeczypospolitej. Białystok: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu w Białymstoku, 2007, s. 42-43].

The Lavra’s official website says “In late autumn 1197 [Methodius] constructed a little chapel on one of the Pochayiv hills. In 1219 there was laid a foundation for a monastery with a temple of the Holy Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ” and on another page says, “The monastery was founded in 1240.” I will cross-check Ohienko, Фортеця православ’я_я на Волині. Свята Почаївська лавра, 12-23. The Ukrainian Wikipedia biography of Methodius of Pochayiv (Мефодій Почаївський) says he lived from 1091-1228 (cf. Ohienko 17).

-even Alexander Nevsky was Catholic at least for a while starting in 1248; his father Yaroslav II of Vladimir died Catholic in 1246, and Alexander‘s brother Prince Andrey II Yaroslavich (†1264) was likewise Catholic [James J. Zatko, The Journal of Ecclesiastical History / Volume 8 / Issue 01 / April 1957, 46-51]

-their contemporary, Daniel I Romanovych of Galicia (†1264) was Catholic from 1248-1256 [Fr. Mann talks about Daniel in vol. 14; cf. Fr. Aidan Nichols, O.P., Rome and the Eastern Churches 340, Fr. Gill Byzantium and the Papacy, 1198-1400 (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1979), 74 n. 99 (272), 82 nn. 12-14 (274), 84, and Pope Alexander IV on 2/13/1257 mentioning Daniel’s return to schism in Potthast II:16731, page 441 in a PDF reader: “Danielem regem Russiae de defectione sua a fide catholica obiurgat eumque monet et hortatur, ut perditionis viam abiuret et id quod de Romanae ecclesiae obedientia, iuramento praestito, promiserit, inviolabiliter observet”]

Peter of Kiev (1308-1326) who resided in Moscow starting in 1325, may have been Catholic for a time [Fr.k Stilting; Andrew Shipman]

Theognostus of Kiev (1328-1353) was an anti-Palamite, and so were a considerable number of Orthodox bishops and theologians through the centuries [Fr. Martin Jugie, A.A.]

-it was solely because of Grand Duke Basil II (1425–1462) that Holy Union of Florence did not take effect in Moscow, “not because of religious scruples, or because he disagreed with the dogmas of the Church, but for political reason. His chief aim was to remain absolute dictator in civil and ecclesiastical affairs” [Fr. Koncevicius 123; cf. Shipman; Fr. Joseph Gill, S.J.; Fr. Kon]

-except for anti-Catholic Jonah of Kiev (1503–1507), the Metropolitans of Kiev (Vilnius line) were Catholic from 1439-1521 (Isidore to Joseph Soltan), and Gregory Tsamblak (1414-1420), the rival claimant to the Orthodox Metropolitan Photius of Kiev (1408-1431), was Catholic [Fr. Stilting; DTC]

-these metropolitans were Gregory II the Bulgarian (1458-1472), Michael Drucki (1474-1480), Symeon (1481-1488), Jonah Glezna (1492-1494), Macarius (1495-1497), Joseph II Bolgarynovich (1498–1501), and Joseph III Soltan (1508-1521)

-Metropolitans of Kiev (Vilnius line) have been Catholic from 1595 to 1805 following the Holy Union of Brest; rival Orthodox line starting with Job Boretsky in 1620

The Pochayiv Monastery

Alleged Counter-Examples proposed by Orthodox: Old Rome

-None of these entail the falsification of the dogma of papal infalliblity, for none of them involves the Pope binding the whole Church to error in a definitive/final/irrevocable manner [cf. Fr. Berry, The Church of Christ, 270-272]

-“Our true glory is this: that for one bad Pope we can point to a hundred good ones; and that the worst of the Popes was never permitted to err in defining and promulgating anything that pertains to Catholic faith and morals” [Cardinal Capelecatro, The Life of Saint Philip Neri, Apostle of Rome 257]

-St. Marcellinus (296-304): the fall of St. Marcellinus is uncertain [Johann Peter Kirsch]

-St. Liberius (352-356)
: fall of Pope St. Liberius is uncertain [Fr. John Chapman, O.S.B.; Fr. René François Rohrbacher]

-Vigilius (537-555):

-Honorius I (625-638): [Fr. Chapman; Fr. Paul Bottala, S.J.; Dr. Warren Carroll II:252-254]

-John XXII (1316-1334): [; Dr. Carroll III:371-373]

-Sixtus V (1585-1590):

The Serbian Church

-Catholic archbishops, including St. Sava I [Bollandists; Fr. Jugie IV:373; Donald Attwater, Saints of the East (P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1963), 143-144; George Every, The Byzantine Patriarchate 189-190]

Stefan Nemanya (Simeon the Myrrh-Gusher of Mt. Athos; †1199) was Catholic [Bollandists; Fr. Jugie IV:373; Fr. Horace Kinder Mann XII:33-34; Fr. Joseph Lins in CE XIII:732)

Stephen the First-Crowned (1196-1228) and Vukan (1202-1204) were Catholics

-The Serbian Church went into schism starting during the reign of Stefan Uroš I (1243-1276) [Fr. Joseph Lins in CE XIII:732-732], but Stefan Uroš II Milutin of Serbia (1282–1321), considered a saint by the Orthodox, professed papal primacy in his Profession of Faith for Pope John XXII (1316-1334),{6} during the reign of Nicodemus I (1316-1324).

{6} Fr. Martin Jugie, A.A. Theologia dogmatica Christianorum orientalium ab Ecclesia Catholica dissidentium IV:373.

Stefan Uroš III Nemanjić a.k.a. Stefan Dečanski, considered a saint by the Orthodox, briefly came into union with the Catholic Church in 1323 [Fr. Joseph Lins in CE XIII:733]

Stefan Uroš IV Dušan (1331-1355), considered a saint by the Orthodox, “acknowledged the Catholic faith, asked for legates and for nomination as Captain General against the Turks” [Fr. Joseph Gill Byzantium and the Papacy, 1198-1400 (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1979), 238 n. 27 cf. 208 n. 28; cf. Fr. Jugie IV:373]

St. Sava and his holy father Symeon

The Bulgarian Church

Basil I of Tarnovo (1186-1232) was Catholic since 1204, and Joachim I of Tarnovo (1232-1246), considered a saint by the Orthodox, was Catholic until 1235 [M. Lacko in NCE II:680; cf. Fr. Aidan Nichols, O.P., Rome and the Eastern Churches 331]

-Catholic archbishops of Ohrid include Athanasius I (1596-1598), Porphyrius Palaeologos (1624-1627), Abraham Mesaps (1629-1637), Meletius I (1637-1643), and Athanasius II (1653-1660) [Leo Allatius, De consensu utriusque Ecclesiæ p. 1092, cited by Siméon Vailhé in DTC 2.1:1196 (page 595 of the PDF); cf. Fr. Aidan Nichols, O.P., Rome and the Eastern Churches 334]

Tsar Kaloyan of Bulgaria (1197-1207) professed papal primacy to Innocent III (Theiner, Vetera monomenta Slavorium meridionalium, I, 15-16]

The Georgian Church

-“in 1065 St. George the Hagiorite, Abbot of the Iberian monastery on Mt. Athos, asserted in the presence of Emperor Constantine X the ancient belief in the inerrancy of the Roman Church” [Cyril Toumanoff in NCE VI:155]

-the Georgian monks of Mt. Athos were in communion with Pope Innocent III (1198-1216) [Carroll III:169]; 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]

-the schism of the Georgian Church from the Catholic Church was not known until “between 1224 and 1240” [Cyril Toumanoff in NCE VI:155; cf. R. Janin in DTC 6.2:1258-1259], during the time of Queen Rusudan (r. 1224-1245) the Catholicoi-Patriarchs of All Georgia Arsenius III (1222-1225), George IV (1225-1230), and Arsenius IV Bulmaisisdze (1230–1240), who was followed by Nicholas II (1240-1280)

-“one of the titles officially accorded to the king of Georgia by the contemporary Mamluk Court of Egypt was ‘Supporter of the Pope'” [Toumanoff, ibid.]

Queen Ketevan (1560-1624) went to Mass with and confessed to Catholic missionaries [John M. Flannery, The Mission of the Portuguese Augustinians to Persia and Beyond (1602-1747) (Brill, 2013), 221-224]

Queen Ketevan

The Armenian Church

King Leo II of Armenia (r. 1198-1219) was Catholic [Carroll III:147 citing Fr. Mann XIII:27-29,59]

-“Pope [St.] Gregory VII corresponded with the Armenian Catholicos Gregory II before the Crusades. Leo II‘s coronation as king of Lesser Armenia by a papal legate (1199) restored unity with Rome until 1375″ [J. A. Devenny in NCE 3:733]

-Fr. Gill [Byzantium and the Papacy 241 ]also says that Union continued until 1375

St. Nerses IV the Gracious, Catholicos of Armenia (1166-1173), was Catholic

St. Nerses of Lambron, Archbishop of Tarsus (1176-1198), was Catholic

King Hethum II (†1307) “sent John of Monte Corvino to Pope Nicholas IV with his testimony of submission (1289)” [N. M. Setian in NCE I:702]

-During the time of Catholicos Constantine II the Woolmaker (1286-1289; 1307-1332), “a synod at Sis in 1307 undertook dogmatic and disciplinary reforms in accord with Roman prescriptions” [ibid.]

King Oshin (1307-1320) “held a council at Adana in 1316 that received encouragement from Pope John XXII (1316–34)” [ibid.]

King Leo V (r. 1374-1375) died a Catholic in Paris in 1393 [ibid.]

Catholicos Constantine V of Cilicia (1430–1439) was Catholic [ibid.]

Catholicos Gregory IX Mousabegian (1439-1446) was Catholic [ibid.]

Catholicos Stephen V Salmastetsi (1547-1567) “made a profession of faith in Rome (1548-50)” [ibid.]

Catholicos Michael I (1567-1576) “sent an envoy to the court of Paul IV, who helped found an Armenian printing press in Rome” [ibid.]

Pope St. “Pius V gave the Armenians the church of St. Mary of Egypt” [ibid.]

Pope “Gregory XIII, in his bull Romana Ecclesia, praised the faith of the Armenians” [ibid.]

St. Nerses the Gracious

The Romanian Church

-Romania was Catholic (evangelized initially by Roman Catholic missionaries) before it defected to the Eastern Schism

-“small but unstable unions of the Romanian Orthodox with the Church of Rome” before the 17th century [R. Roberson in NCE XII:337-338]

Prince Lațcu of Moldavia (r. 1367-1375) was Catholic [Fr. Joseph Lins in CE XIII:228]

Prince Alexander I of Moldavia (1400-1432) and Prince Mircea I of Wallachia (1386-1418) sent an embassy to the Council of Constance regarding coming into union with the Catholic Church [Fr. Aidan Nichols, O.P., Rome and the Eastern Churches 335]

Metropolitans Damian (1436-1447) and Joachim of Moldavia (1447-1452) were Catholic [ibid. 336]

Mircea the Elder

The Albanian Church

-“Union with Rome persisted in some mountainous districts until the 17th century; it was supported by national opposition to the Greek and Slav hierarchy, by some archbishops of Ohrid, and especially by the populace in the Chimarra district that repeatedly petitioned during the 16th and 17th centuries to have clergy sent there from Rome” [M. Lacko in NCE I:214]

The Egyptian Church

-the monks of Mt. Sinai were in communion with Pope Honorius III (1216-1227) as of 8/6/1217 and 12/4/1233 [Fr. Gill, Byzantium and the Papacy 52 citing A. L. Tautu, Acta Honorii III et Gregorii IX (Rome, 1950), n. 17 and n. 122]

The Ethiopian Church

Emperor Zara Yaqob (r. 1434–1468) sent delegates to the Ecumenical Council of Florence, where they accepted the Union [Jean-Baptise Piolet in CE I:76]

Emperor Susenyos (r. 1606-1632) was Catholic [ibid.]

Emperor Iyasu I (r. 1682-1706) was Catholic as of 1702 [ibid.]

The Photian Schism

Photius changed his mind about the legitimacy of Saturday fasts, beardless clergy, etc. based on whether Rome accepted him as Patriarch of Constantinople [PG 102:604-605D; John Bekkos, De pace ecclesiastica. Translated from the Greek text in V. Laurent and J. Darrouzès, eds., Dossier Grec de l’Union de Lyon (1273-1277) (Paris 1976), pp. 435-437]

The Second Council of Lyons (1274)

The Council of Florence

-the untenable rejection of the union by Mark of Ephesus [Fr. Gill, Personalities of the Council of Florence, 61-62]:

Mark [of Ephesus] was impervious to argument. The Latin spokesman had quoted, besides scripture, a most imposing array of Latin Fathers who taught the “and from the Son” and an equally impressive list of Greek Fathers who wrote of the Holy Spirit as proceeding “through the Son” or either from the Father and “flowing,” “bursting forth,” “issuing,” etc., etc. “through” or “from” the Son, or “from Both.” After the end of the public sessions Bessarion, George Scholarius, Isidore, Gregory, and Dorotheus pressed the parallelism. They started from what was an axiom for the Greeks, for Mark as much as for any of the others—all saints are inspired by the same Holy Spirit and so teach the same truth even in different words. Their conclusion was, the “from” of the Latin saints” means the same as the “through” of the Greek. Mark should have been forced to the same conclusion. He accepted the axiom; he could not deny the testimonies from the Greek Fathers, because he was confronted with the codices that contained them; what he did, perforce, was to accuse the Latins of presenting garbled and deliberately falsified quotations that could not be checked because he, Mark, with most of the Greeks knew no Latin. Not a few Latin treatises, however, especially those of that greatest advocate of the Filioque, St. Augustine, had long been translated into Greek, and there were, of course, some of the Greeks, like Scholarius, who knew Latin well and who tried to disabuse him. But he would not be disabused. The Latins were heretics, and that was that.

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One Response to Why God Led Me to Rome Instead of Constantinople

  1. […] A Sinner, “Why God Led Me To Rome Instead of Constantinople“: […]

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