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Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Charles E Flynn

Read the two paragraphs above that begin with "St. Ignatius of Antioch did not know of any such thing as a 'Church' that was merely an assemblage of like-minded people who believed themselves to have been moved by the Spirit" and then read this:

Of SSPX internal unity, the prognosis, and an ultimatum, by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf.

David Yetter

The difficulty with the assertion "the early Church was the Catholic Church" is that the modern usage of "Catholic Church", particularly in countries where Western European languages are spoken, is colored by the claims of the adherents to the Papal Throne of Rome to be the "Catholic Church". (Such usage is not universal, as, for instance in the Encyclical of the Eastern Patriarchs of 1848.)

A careful reading of St. Ignatius of Antioch's ecclesiology makes it plain that his use of katholike is much closer in meaning to the Russian understanding of catholicity as sobornosty than it is to the Latin conception: the Church like the Eucharist is indivisibly divided, subsisting completely in each local church gathered around its bishop even while truly One Church, even as the Body and Blood of Christ are present fully and completely in every celebration of the Eucharist without division or diminution. In St. Ignatius there is no hint of the Papacy as it developed in the West, but a description of the ecclesiology preserved to the present day among the Orthodox. Ignatius writings actually make the case for the assertion that the early Church was the Orthodox Church, or indeed the Catholic Church, but only when that phrase is used as the Eastern Patriarchs meant it in their encyclical, not as is meant by the author of the book reviewed or by the authors of this site.

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