Pope St. Anicetus of Rome

June 18, 2010

Originally posted 6/18/2010.

The 10th successor of the glorious martyr St. Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, was Pope St. Anicetus of Rome, son of John{1} and a native of Emesa in Syria,{2} who reigned from 155{3} until his death from natural causes{4} on April 20, 166.{5} Bishop St. Polycarp the Martyr of Smyrna (February 23) visited St. Anicetus soon after he became pope, and they agreed to disagree regarding the day to celebrate Easter.{6} St. Anicetus had St. Polycarp celebrate Mass.{7} The holy pontiff, who kept in touch with the anti-Gnostic Church Fathers Sts. Hegesippus (April 7) and Justin Martyr (June 1),{8} constructed a memorial shrine for St. Peter on Vatican Hill.{9} St. Anicetus, whose feast day is April 20,{10} was first buried next to St. Peter in the Vatican, after which his holy relics were transferred to the Cemetery of St. Callistus.{11} In 1604, the holy{12} Pope Clement VIII of Rome (1/30/1592-3/3/1605) permitted the exhumation of his holy relics.{13} Duke Giovanni Angelo of Altemps put the body in an ornate chapel in his palace,{14} and Duke Maximilian I of Bavaria received the holy head of St. Anicetus.{15} One of the pope’s relics is in the Church of St. Vulfran in Abbeville, France.{16}

O righteous pontiff St. Anicetus, you shepherded the Catholic faithful wisely and peacefully. Pray that all those who are outside of the Catholic Church will promptly enter into her and find salvation in her, the only saving ark. Amen. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Amen.

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The Catholic Cult of St. Gregory Palamas: Answer to a Friend

June 18, 2010

Originally posted 6/18/2010.

Note: As of 11/25/2016 the author needs to read the Irénikon literature cited by Fr. Aidan Nichols, O.P. in Rome and the Eastern Churches: A Study in Schism, 2nd ed. (Ignatius Press, 2010), 313 n. 27: “It is interesting to note that Rome did not object to the (re)introduction of a liturgical feast of Saint Gregory Palamas into the Melchite calendar in 1971: see Irén. 45 (1972): 104.”

 

Questions:

(1) Is there any reliable evidence that Gregory Palamas showed signs of repentance of his formal schism and heresy before he died?

(2) If a person who was non-Catholic for virtually his entire life “at the hour of death … see[s] the truth of the Catholic faith, [is] truly sorry for his sins, and sincerely desire[s] to die a good Catholic” [Fr. Michael Müller, Familiar Explanation of Christian Doctrine 108] and goes to Heaven, on what basis does the Church know this?

(3) Can such a person whose last-minute repentance, unlike that of e.g., St. Dismas (March 25), was not publicly known (cf. Wisdom 4:7; 1 Samuel 16:7), be said to meet the Church’s standards for canonization?

(4) Are the alleged posthumous miracles of Gregory Palamas major miracles? Cf. Fr. Martin Jugie, A.A. and Fr. Louis Monden, S.J.

(5) Does the permission to venerate Gregory Palamas constitute an equivalent or equipollent canonization by Rome?

(6) Are equivalent canonizations infallible?

(7) If not, is the permission to venerate Palamas a temporary toleration of an abuse?

(8) Are Catholics therefore free to respectfully disagree with the permission to venerate Palamas?

Table of Contents:
1. Catholic Veneration of Post-Schism Orthodox Saints in General
2. Making Theological Sense of This
3. Literature on Catholic Veneration of Post-Schism Orthodox Saints
4. The Formal Restoration of the Catholic Cult of St. Gregory Palamas
5. The Reasons for the Formal Restoration
6. The Assent Due to the Restoration of the Cult of St. Gregory Palamas

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Are You Surprised?

June 16, 2010

Originally posted 6/16/2010.

Are you surprised?

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill gusher pours 1.5 million to 2.5 million gallons of crude oil every day [CNN 6/15/2010]. May God promptly bring the souls of those killed in the drilling rig explosion to everlasting life. Amen.

Every punishment is for a sin [Summa Theologica II-I, q. 87, art. 7]. Should this nation not suffer some kind of disaster for being faithless like the Israelites of old?

And though the LORD warned Israel and Judah by every prophet and seer, “Give up your evil ways and keep My commandments and statutes, in accordance with the entire law which I enjoined on your fathers and which I sent you by My servants the prophets,” they did not listen, but were as stiff-necked as their fathers, who had not believed in the LORD, their God. [2 Kings 17:13-14]

The CDC received reports of 846,181 abortions in 2006 [CDC 2006], the most recent year in the Abortion Surveillance Report. America elected a radically anti-life president in 2008 [On the Issues 6/16/2010].

Every year there are well over 1 million violent crimes reported in America (murders, rapes, robberies, etc.). 1,382,012 violent crimes were reported in America in 2008 [FBI 9/2009]

Homosexual couples can “marry” in five states [AHN 1/12/2010], and obtain “civil unions” in 11 states.

Prostitution generates $14.6 billion every year in America [Havocscope].

Blasphemies cry out to Heaven throughout the various media, whether it be pop music on the radio or articles in newspapers. There is no shortage of contempt for the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill gusher pours 1.5 million to 2.5 million gallons of crude oil every day [CNN 6/15/2010].

Are you surprised?

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on all us poor sinners. Resurrect this nation, dead in sin. Forgive us of our crimes against you and bring us all into life everlasting. Amen.


Pope Leo VI of Rome

June 16, 2010

Originally posted 6/16/2010.

The 122nd successor of the glorious martyr St. Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, was the upper-class{1} Roman-born{2} Pope Leo VI of Rome, son of Christopher, who was “primicerius under John VIII.”{3} After the unjustly deposed and imprisoned Pope John X, a holy pontiff,{4} died of grief{5} in Castello Sant’Angelo in Rome{6} in June 928,{7} the Romans, probably under the influence of Marozia,{8} elected the aged{9} Leo, who was cardinal priest in the church of St. Susanna.{10} Leo VI governed the universal Church without tyranny{11} for seven months and five days,{12} from June 928 to January 929,{13} when he reposed peacefully in the Lord.{14} As pope, he ordered Bishops Formine of Zara, Gregory of Nona, and other Dalmatian and Croatian bishops to obey Archbishop John of Spalato, “to whom he had” given “the pallium.”{15} He ordered the bishops of Arba, Lošinj, and Ragusa (Dubrovnik) to accept the territorial limits “of their respective dioceses,” and commanded them to let the Croatian bishop Gregory govern the see of Skradin.{16} The grave of Pope Leo VI “in the pavement of the portico of the Vatican basilica … was destroyed during the demolition of the old basilica and the construction of the new one in the 16th and 17th centuries.”{17}

O just shepherd Pope Leo VI, pray for all us poor sinners and pray especially for the Holy Father and his successors, that they may govern the Church wisely and ably like you did. Amen. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Amen.

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Pope Leo V of Rome

June 16, 2010

Originally posted 6/16/2010.

The 117th successor of the glorious martyr St. Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, was Pope Leo V of Rome, who had been a parish priest in his native Priapi in the district of Ardea.{1} Pope Stephen VI (5/22/896-8/897) had made him a cardinal priest in 897.{2} The holy{3} pro-Formosan{4} Leo V was pope for 30 days, from August 903 until September 903,{5} when cardinal priest Christopher overthrew and imprisoned him and became antipope.{6} During his pontificate, Leo V promulgated a bull that exempted the canons of Bologna from paying taxes,{7} and maybe confirmed the privileges of the monastery of Reichenau,{8} and he might have confirmed archbishop Andrea da Carcano of Milan in his see.{9} After he died in prison{10} in September 903,{11} the unjustly deposed Pope Leo V was interred in the Lateran basilica.{12}

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Antipope Christopher of Rome

June 14, 2010

Originally posted 6/14/2010.

The Roman-born{1} Christopher, son of Leo,{2} was made “cardinal priest of the titular church of San Lorenzo in Damaso”{3} in 900.{4} In September 903,{5} maybe because he was more pro-Formosan than Leo V or maybe because Leo V was foreign whereas he was “deep[ly] root[ed] within the Roman clergy,”{6} Christopher overthrew and imprisoned Pope Leo V, who had been pope for a month.{7} The holy{8} Leo V soon died in jail.{9} Christopher reigned as antipope from September 903 until January 904,{10} when the true successor of Leo V, Pope Sergius III, “with the help of Duke Alberic I of Spoleto” (†925),{11} had him deposed, jailed, and clothed in a monk’s habit.{12} As antipope, Christopher had issued a 12/26/903 bull called “Cum Romanae” that confirmed the privileges that Popes Benedict III (9/29/855-4/17/858) and St. Nicholas I the Great (4/24/858-11/13/867) gave to the abbey of Corbie.{13} Pope St. Leo IX (2/12/1049-4/19/1054) cited this bull when he confirmed “the same privileges.”{14} Christopher probably “died repentant in a monastery”{15} in early 904.{16} He was buried at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome,{17} and before his tomb was destroyed during demolition and construction in the 16th or 17th century,{18} his epitaph read, “Here repose the pious members of Christopher.”{19} Antipope Christopher’s portrait can be found in St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome and “the walls of the ancient church of San Pier-in-Grado, outside Pisa.”{20}

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On the Legitimacy of Several Medieval Popes

June 12, 2010

Originally posted 6/11/2010.

A good-faith proposed solution to the rivalry between (1) Leo VIII and Benedict V and (2) Sylvester III and Benedict IX.

John XII, Leo VIII, & Benedict V
1. Leo VIII (12/6/963-3/1/965) was rivals with John XII (12/16/955-5/14/964) and Benedict V (5/22/964-7/4/965); John XII was certainly not validly deposed,{1} and Benedict V was most likely forcibly “degraded”{2}; for sundry reasons, I cannot rationally sustain the thesis that Leo VIII was ever true pope.{3}

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