The Synod of Jerusalem, 1672
Over at The Continuum a repost of my essay on the intent of the Eucharist has sparked a debate over the adoration of the Eucharist. My position has been that of Lancelot Andrewes: We do not adore an "it," we adore "Him." We worship Christ who is made present to us via the sacramental elements, we do not adore the elements of bread and wine. Even if we go down a Thomist road, we still cannot say we adore the "accidents" or "forms" of bread and wine. We adore Christ. Therefore, talk of "adoring the Sacrament" is a bit confusing and misleading, and very much against our Prayer Book, homilies, Catechism, and Articles.
However, Father Chad of the blog Philorthodox countered with the assertion that the Orthodox do worship the elements, and indeed many Orthodox authors assert this, while other authors say that such a practice is unnecessary and goes against Christ's command to "take and eat," in that He did not say "lift up and pray to." The consensus position seems to be that while indeed the Bread and Wine simply are the Body and Blood of Christ (without philosophical elaboration), there is no need for separate services set aside for "adoration" of the elements.
As a defense of the view that the Orthodox view the Sacrament exactly as the Romans do, the pronouncements of the Synod of Jerusalem (1672) are often used. Indeed, in these documents the theology of Thomas Aquinas is reproduced writ large. More troubling to the Anglican mind is the adoption of the Roman view of Purgatory (rejected in almost every Orthodox dogmatic text I've read).
In order to place this in a broader context I've reposted below a treatment of the topic from the blog "Conjectures of a Guilty Seminarian."
"A question came up today about the Jerusalem-Bethlehem Synod of 1672, an Eastern Synod which affirmed transubstantiation (and Purgatory--my addition here, AC+). The Synod has often been claimed as a victory for the Roman Catholic position, some going so far as to claim that the Eastern Church actually taught the doctrine. The Patriarch of Jerusalem at the time was Dositheos, who was under the influence of French Jansenists living in the Holy Land. He wanted to refute a work called Confession of Orthodox Faith, by Cyril Lucaris (the Patriarch of Constantinople in the 1620s), which seemed to teach most of the body of Calvinist teaching, claiming that Calvin's teaching adequately teaches Eastern doctrine (especially in reference to the Fathers). The Synod was affirmed in the Russian Church until recently, with the rejection of Scholasticism. Mostly, I think we can relegate the Synod of Jerusalem of 1672 to realm of Roman manipulation of the East.
Judith Pinnington writes in Anglicans and Orthodox:
"In Covel's view, the Bethlehem-Jerusalem Synod (so-called) was framed by Dositheos on Nointel's advice, as the ambassador himself had admitted before witnesses in his own hand. So although there may have been a document, there had not been - nor was there intended to be - synodal deliberation and free choice. In any case, the Turks would never have allowed Synod to go on long enough to deliberate without monetary penalties. Dositheos was therefore the sole author of the document and he, Nointel, had said in writing that the Patriarch had "fully satisfied that which we had desired of him." The fact that Dositheos had had to take responsibility for the textual details because the Ambassador understood no Greek nor Dositheos Latin or French was beside the point. Covel was convinced that the whole thing was a French stitch-up in collusion with sympathetic Catholic diplomats. The Jesuits in the Ambassador's train had done all the preparation and supplied Dositheos with statements to make about Claude and Bellarmine which were quite beyond him to judge. He, Covel, had obtained confirmation of this from Dionysios as an unwilling accessory in a process which ran counter to Orthodox canonical procedures. Modern scholars keep an open mind as to whether the synod was wholly 'synthetic'; but it is easy to see how Covel, knowing the principles as he did, could have come to this conclusion, given his general estimate of Greek ecclesiastical character and the capacity for influence which the western diplomats possessed."
Nointel was the French Ambassador in Jerusalem at the time and it becomes clear that the decretals of the Synod were dictated by the Jesuits. The statement is clearly Roman:
"Further [we believe] that after the consecration of the bread and of the wine, there no longer remaineth the substance of the bread and of the wine, but the Body Itself and the Blood of the Lord, under the species and form of bread and wine; that is to say, under the accidents of the bread." This, a clear repetition of Trent. Thus, the extremism of Lucaris was met with the opposite - transubstantiation.
All the while, the Non-Jurors, Jeremy Taylor, and company were holding (to the) Via Media, confuting both the Roman position as well as that of Continental Calvinism, which is a great testimony to the. . .scholarship of the English Church."
And here I agree with the writer of the aforementioned blog: The best Anglican minds of this period maintained a patristic position, while one portion of the Orthodox Church adopted the teachings of the Roman Church. While as an Anglican I see myself bound by the teachings of the ancient and undivided Church, I do not see myself bound by the pronouncements of the Synod of Jerusalem, especially if they embrace transubstantiation and Purgatory.