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Author Topic: Papal Infallibility vs Ecumenical Councils  (Read 20676 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: October 25, 2006, 07:30:16 PM »

When I was taking RCIA class before I decided on joining the Orthodox Church, we received a handout titled Church Levels of Teaching Authority. There were three listed as infallible: Ex Cathedra statements by the Pope, Ecumenical Councils, and Universal Ordinary Magisterium. Only the first two are listed in the category of Extraordinary Magisterium however, with the third listed as Ordinary Magisterium.

My question is about the first two. If papal infallibity has always existed, what is the purpose of having ecumenical councils? If the pope is infallible, why did it take a council (Vatican I) to declare this as such? The council would be infallible, so wouldn't that make it above papal infallibility if the council was the one to bestow that power?

Can any Catholics here help me to understand this better? Or any Orthodox for that matter. I'm not trying to start any arguments, just trying to understand a viewpoint better.

Thanks for any input.
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« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2006, 07:48:33 PM »

When I was taking RCIA class before I decided on joining the Orthodox Church, we received a handout titled Church Levels of Teaching Authority. There were three listed as infallible: Ex Cathedra statements by the Pope, Ecumenical Councils, and Universal Ordinary Magisterium. Only the first two are listed in the category of Extraordinary Magisterium however, with the third listed as Ordinary Magisterium.

My question is about the first two. If papal infallibity has always existed, what is the purpose of having ecumenical councils? If the pope is infallible, why did it take a council (Vatican I) to declare this as such? The council would be infallible, so wouldn't that make it above papal infallibility if the council was the one to bestow that power?

Can any Catholics here help me to understand this better? Or any Orthodox for that matter. I'm not trying to start any arguments, just trying to understand a viewpoint better.

Thanks for any input.

Well, papal infallibility hasn't always existed, it was invented by the Latins.  Things in the Church are done conciliarily, not as if a dictatorship. 
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« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2006, 12:05:51 AM »

Well, papal infallibility hasn't always existed, it was invented by the Latins.  Things in the Church are done conciliarily, not as if a dictatorship. 
Then that would be an oligarchy. The few opprosing the many and all that Jazz. In reality, universal jurisdiction of the Pope is no more "oppressive" than the territorial jurisdication of the Bishop.
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« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2006, 06:05:08 AM »

Then that would be an oligarchy. The few opprosing the many and all that Jazz. In reality, universal jurisdiction of the Pope is no more "oppressive" than the territorial jurisdication of the Bishop.

History belies that.  Sad
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« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2006, 10:38:03 AM »

History belies that.  Sad
Really? How? Back up your claim? The bishop ruling my diocese is a man whose "oppresive" rule has suppressed the Tridentine Liturgy.
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« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2006, 12:32:05 PM »

I think he's meaning is that who does the pope have to answer to?  No one.  He cannot be removed, although, some sticky incidents have occured when there are more than one pope at a time.  Rather, a dissident Orthodox bishop can be removed by the Synod.  History has shown itself much more reliable on that then in the Latin Church.
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« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2006, 01:17:25 PM »

Really? How? Back up your claim? The bishop ruling my diocese is a man whose "oppresive" rule has suppressed the Tridentine Liturgy.
I'm trying to imagine a parallel in the Orthodox Church yet I can't even come up with a reasonable hypothetical. We would appeal directly to the Synod for relief.
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« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2006, 05:33:13 PM »

Really? How? Back up your claim? The bishop ruling my diocese is a man whose "oppresive" rule has suppressed the Tridentine Liturgy.

Historically? Sure, no problem.

Ample discussion is found elsewhere on OC.net about the treachery of 1204 and the creation of a Latin patriarchate (when Rome FINALLY accepted Canon 28 from the FOURTH Ecumenical Council in 451).

Add to that the earlier replacement at papal instigation of all pre-Norman Celtic bishops and abbots after 1066 with Latin Catholics - the pope even offering rewards to the Normans for this. This is, of course, but one of the reasons we say the Celtics were Orthodox (if not in name).

Read up on the early 14th century subjugation of the Church in Crete when the pope of the day (forget which but I can look it up in a hour or so) first came up with the "idea" of "one Church- two rites" as if the Church pre-schism wasn't one Church - many rites. This the germ of the 15th century council of Florence, that a gernm for the Unias of the 16th & 17th century).

In Crete all Orthodox bishops were replaced with Latins.
No Greek priest was allowed off the island to go anywhere but to Latin Italy.
No Greek was allowed to be ordained in any but the Latin church as a Roman Catholic.
The "Greek rite" was altered with the filioque.
No Greek was allowed a role in government unless he converted to the latin Church.

There's more on Crete but I only have one operating brain cell left according to my wife  Smiley

I'm sure Orthodoc, if he gets over the "U"-protest, will provide ample material on the Unias of 1596 and 1636.
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« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2006, 05:39:37 PM »

I'm trying to imagine a parallel in the Orthodox Church yet I can't even come up with a reasonable hypothetical. We would appeal directly to the Synod for relief.
What would you do in a situation like the Arian crisis in which almost every Bishop fell to heresy?
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« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2006, 05:40:08 PM »

Historically? Sure, no problem.

Ample discussion is found elsewhere on OC.net about the treachery of 1204 and the creation of a Latin patriarchate (when Rome FINALLY accepted Canon 28 from the FOURTH Ecumenical Council in 451).

Add to that the earlier replacement at papal instigation of all pre-Norman Celtic bishops and abbots after 1066 with Latin Catholics - the pope even offering rewards to the Normans for this. This is, of course, but one of the reasons we say the Celtics were Orthodox (if not in name).

Read up on the early 14th century subjugation of the Church in Crete when the pope of the day (forget which but I can look it up in a hour or so) first came up with the "idea" of "one Church- two rites" as if the Church pre-schism wasn't one Church - many rites. This the germ of the 15th century council of Florence, that a gernm for the Unias of the 16th & 17th century).

In Crete all Orthodox bishops were replaced with Latins.
No Greek priest was allowed off the island to go anywhere but to Latin Italy.
No Greek was allowed to be ordained in any but the Latin church as a Roman Catholic.
The "Greek rite" was altered with the filioque.
No Greek was allowed a role in government unless he converted to the latin Church.

There's more on Crete but I only have one operating brain cell left according to my wife  Smiley

I'm sure Orthodoc, if he gets over the "U"-protest, will provide ample material on the Unias of 1596 and 1636.
What would you do in a situation like the Arian crisis?
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« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2006, 05:49:17 PM »

What would you do in a situation like the Arian crisis?

That's your rebuttal?  Huh Roll Eyes Huh Roll Eyes  Undecided
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« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2006, 05:51:48 PM »

What would you do in a situation like the Arian crisis in which almost every Bishop fell to heresy?

Including Liberius, Bishop of Rome, but the situation was ultimately rectified by an Oecumenical Synod.
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« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2006, 10:45:00 PM »

That's your rebuttal?  Huh Roll Eyes Huh Roll Eyes  Undecided
My point is that all the Bishops went wrong. No synod can remove them from their see if they all go wrong because the Bishops make up the synods and councils. concilarisim does not provide any more protection for the faith than does the Catholic model.
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« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2006, 10:50:26 PM »

Duh. I think I would like an answer.

So what? It's not a question that's germaine to the topic to me; I'm not a bishop and do not pretend that I am even here; I don't know what you mean by "like Arianism" - please define better.
Fact is, you have no rebuttal and think this ploy of yours will counter my post. Doesn't work that way.
Duh...
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« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2006, 10:52:31 PM »

My point is that all the Bishops went wrong. No synod can remove them from their see if they all go wrong because the Bishops make up the synods and councils. concilarisim does not provide any more protection for the faith than does the Catholic model.

NO, all the bishops did not err and it was resolved, as posted above, in council, as per the Catholic model...our model, not the neo-papist one.
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« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2006, 10:53:08 PM »

So what? It's not a question that's germaine to the topic to me; I'm not a bishop and do not pretend that I am even here; I don't know what you mean by "like Arianism" - please define better.
Fact is, you have no rebuttal and think this ploy of yours will counter my post. Doesn't work that way.
Duh...
Dude, if all the bishops fall into heresy, like they did during the Arian crisis, then a council cannot stop them because the Bishops are the members of the synods and councils. My point is that Eastern Orthodox conciliarism is no safer or surer a protection of orthodoxy than the Catholic model. I apoligize for the "duh" by the way. I was joking about the "duh" but it appears rude in print.
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« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2006, 10:53:44 PM »

NO, all the bishops did not err and it was resolved, as posted above, in council, as per the Catholic model...our model, not the neo-papist one.
Ok, all but like three.
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« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2006, 11:06:28 PM »

Dude, if all the bishops fall into heresy, like they did during the Arian crisis, then a council cannot stop them because the Bishops are the members of the synods and councils. My point is that Eastern Orthodox conciliarism is no safer or surer a protection of orthodoxy than the Catholic model. I apoligize for the "duh" by the way. I was joking about the "duh" but it appears rude in print.
Many Blessings in Christ

Well, Dude, "all" but the "three" seemed to reach the Truth, as promised by Him, in council. And Eastern Orthodoxy IS the Katholic model, just not Rome's now.
See my signature...
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« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2006, 11:25:13 PM »

It was more than "like three" bishops that kept the Orthodox faith.  Where are you getting your facts from?  Also, I'd suggest you to study Orthodox ecclesiolgy before debating such topics as there hasn't really been a time when the Orthodox Catholic model hasn't worked and you are continually misunderstanding the way the Orthodox Church operates.  It is as though you are reading a Greek or Hebrew Document, but you refuse to read it without applying Latin grammer rules.  Therefore, you are only reading a skewed example.  If you really want to know about Orthodoxy, then we can suggest some books, otherwise.
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« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2006, 12:29:39 AM »

I thought it was all but 318?
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« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2006, 12:34:18 AM »


"What would you do in a situation like the Arian crisis in which almost every Bishop fell to heresy?"

You'd rely on the Coptic Pope of Alexandria to remain steadfast in the faith (while being exiled four times) and to eventually straighten things out.    Smiley

What was that saying?  "St. Athanasius against the world," or something like that.  I can't recall it in Latin. 

Not that I am saying the Coptic Pope or any OO patriarch is infallible.  We don't believe in all that.  However, the Arian crises did not completely disappear the day after the First Ecumenical Council.  Powerful people still held to Arianism and St. Athanasius was being exiled every time he turned around.  From what I recall, I think he resolved it by getting some of the more moderate Arians, who were opposed to Nicea more on the grounds of language than substance, to sign agreements of common understanding, or something like that.  This worked to isolate the more hardcore Arians, who eventually died out.  Someone correct me if I have the facts wrong.  I'm not that good at history.

I guess this goes to show that God can use bishops and patriarchs to preserve the faith, but not in the way that the RC's necessarily see it.  St. Athanasius never made any proclamations about the faith outside of what was agreed at Nicea.  However, he did more than any other bishop to preserve the faith during that period of time.
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« Reply #21 on: October 27, 2006, 12:37:44 AM »

"What would you do in a situation like the Arian crisis in which almost every Bishop fell to heresy?"

You'd rely on the Coptic Pope of Alexandria to remain steadfast in the faith (while being exiled four times) and to eventually straighten things out.    Smiley

What was that saying?  "St. Athanasius against the world," or something like that.  I can't recall it in Latin. 

Not that I am saying the Coptic Pope or any OO patriarch is infallible.  We don't believe in all that.  However, the Arian crises did not completely disappear the day after the First Ecumenical Council.  Powerful people still held to Arianism and St. Athanasius was being exiled every time he turned around.  From what I recall, I think he resolved it by getting some of the more moderate Arians, who were opposed to Nicea more on the grounds of language than substance, to sign agreements of common understanding, or something like that.  This worked to isolate the more hardcore Arians, who eventually died out.  Someone correct me if I have the facts wrong.  I'm not that good at history.

I guess this goes to show that God can use bishops and patriarchs to preserve the faith, but not in the way that the RC's necessarily see it.  St. Athanasius never made any proclamations about the faith outside of what was agreed at Nicea.  However, he did more than any other bishop to preserve the faith during that period of time.


True that...another AWESOME saint...

St. Athanasius Contra Mundum they called him.

"Abba Athanasius, the whole world is against you!"

"Then I am against the whole world."

God bless.

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« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2006, 03:24:04 PM »

It was more than "like three" bishops that kept the Orthodox faith.  Where are you getting your facts from?  Also, I'd suggest you to study Orthodox ecclesiolgy before debating such topics as there hasn't really been a time when the Orthodox Catholic model hasn't worked and you are continually misunderstanding the way the Orthodox Church operates.  It is as though you are reading a Greek or Hebrew Document, but you refuse to read it without applying Latin grammer rules.  Therefore, you are only reading a skewed example.  If you really want to know about Orthodoxy, then we can suggest some books, otherwise.
The Eastern Orthodox model does not work right now. Issues like "toll houses", old vs. new calendar, ecumenism, the use of birth control, the validity of non-Eastern Orthodox sacraments all appear to be issues that your current "conciliar" model cannot resolve. Just look at what happened at the Catholic and Orthodox theological dialogue in September. The representatives all agreed on a statement concerning the nature of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, except of course, our lovable brethren from the Russian Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2006, 03:50:24 PM »

The Eastern Orthodox model does not work right now. Issues like "toll houses", old vs. new calendar, ecumenism, the use of birth control, the validity of non-Eastern Orthodox sacraments all appear to be issues that your current "conciliar" model cannot resolve.

So one man in absolute authority would correct this?  The problem is not with the conciliarity of the church, but you have to remember that recent history and the recent perseuction of the Orthodox faithful (in the Eastern Bloc and in Turkey) have essentially created a chasm between Orthodox of various jurisdictions.  It is only with the recent rise of freedom for the Orthodox churches in these countries that we have begun to tackle these questions and perhaps resolve them.  I agree an ecumenical council is long overdue but the faith has not been compromised.  Bishops arguing over which calendar is canonical is a long shot from the sparring matches going on in Catholicism where "theologians" and hierarchs are debating about the virgin-birth, the resurrection as to whether those are real events.  I'd much rather be a part of a church which has two calendars than one which cannot agree within itself about the nature of the Trinity!

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« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2006, 03:57:17 PM »

The Eastern Orthodox model does not work right now. Issues like "toll houses", old vs. new calendar, ecumenism, the use of birth control, the validity of non-Eastern Orthodox sacraments all appear to be issues that your current "conciliar" model cannot resolve. Just look at what happened at the Catholic and Orthodox theological dialogue in September. The representatives all agreed on a statement concerning the nature of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, except of course, our lovable brethren from the Russian Orthodox Church.

Milarkey. Nothing in your response denotes the Church "model", as you call it, not working. You don't know enough about the Orthodox Catholic Church for your opinion to matter, and not withstanding the fact that the Church of Rome used to be Orthodox.
Care to point out exactly when we ceased to be "Catholic" or when we changed?

Oh, and I've got another for you...did you know we do have a Pope who is not in Rome or Constantinople?


These crazy "theological dialogues" seem to be something our (both of us) bishops do as part of their jobs. Only internet debaters fret over them.
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« Reply #25 on: October 30, 2006, 11:03:08 PM »

The Eastern Orthodox model does not work right now. Issues like "toll houses", old vs. new calendar, ecumenism, the use of birth control, the validity of non-Eastern Orthodox sacraments all appear to be issues that your current "conciliar" model cannot resolve. Just look at what happened at the Catholic and Orthodox theological dialogue in September. The representatives all agreed on a statement concerning the nature of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, except of course, our lovable brethren from the Russian Orthodox Church.

Dear Papist,
I'm so glad that you decided to quote my post when you clearly did not read it.  Again, let me repeat myself since you did not understand the first time.  You are failing to understand the Orthodox model because you refuse to look at it.  Rather, you are analyzing it under a false system.  Therefore, I can see how you have arrived at such conclusions, although they may be faulty.  So, again I kindly ask that you do some actual research on how the Orthodox Church operates and actually listen to the debates before you casually cast in your opinions.
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« Reply #26 on: November 02, 2006, 12:48:27 AM »

When I was taking RCIA class before I decided on joining the Orthodox Church, we received a handout titled Church Levels of Teaching Authority. There were three listed as infallible: Ex Cathedra statements by the Pope, Ecumenical Councils, and Universal Ordinary Magisterium. Only the first two are listed in the category of Extraordinary Magisterium however, with the third listed as Ordinary Magisterium.

My question is about the first two. If papal infallibity has always existed, what is the purpose of having ecumenical councils? If the pope is infallible, why did it take a council (Vatican I) to declare this as such? The council would be infallible, so wouldn't that make it above papal infallibility if the council was the one to bestow that power?

Can any Catholics here help me to understand this better? Or any Orthodox for that matter. I'm not trying to start any arguments, just trying to understand a viewpoint better.

Thanks for any input.

First, according to the Catholic viewpoint, infallibility is bestowed by God, not the council.   Like other theological truths (e.g. "mother of God" and the Nicene Creed) it is not made up by the council, but the council works to affirm what is already given by God.   

As for "why have councils when you have an infallible pope", I'd suggest reading Paragraphs 874-896 of the Cathechism of the Catholic Church http://www.usccb.org/catechism/text/pt1sect2chpt3art9p4.htm.  That should explain these things. 

Read that with the following quote in mind.  It's written by then-Cardinal Ratzinger in his 2000 book "The Spirit of the Liturgy".

Quote
After the Second Vatican Council, the impression arose that the pope really could do anything in liturgical matters, especially if he were acting on the mandate of an ecumenical council. Eventually, the idea of the givenness of the Liturgy, the fact that one cannot do with it what one will, faded from the public consciousness of the West. In fact, the First Vatican Council had in no way defined the pope as an absolute monarch. On the contrary, it presented him as the guarantor of obedience to the revealed Word. The pope's authority is bound to the Tradition of faith, and that also applies to the liturgy. It is not "manufactured" by the authorities. Even the pope can only be a humble servant of its lawful development and abiding integrity and identity. . . . The authority of the pope is not unlimited; it is at the service of Sacred Tradition. 

I'm no expert on these things, but I hope this has been helpful.  Feel free to ask further questions and I'll give a shot at answering them.
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« Reply #27 on: November 03, 2006, 11:22:57 AM »

I thought it was all but 318?
The Arian crisis occured after the council of Nicea which condemned the Arian heresy.
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« Reply #28 on: November 03, 2006, 11:23:56 AM »

Dear Papist,
I'm so glad that you decided to quote my post when you clearly did not read it.  Again, let me repeat myself since you did not understand the first time.  You are failing to understand the Orthodox model because you refuse to look at it.  Rather, you are analyzing it under a false system.  Therefore, I can see how you have arrived at such conclusions, although they may be faulty.  So, again I kindly ask that you do some actual research on how the Orthodox Church operates and actually listen to the debates before you casually cast in your opinions.

Nice tactic. I make a good point so you just say that I don't know what I am talking about so you can avoid the issue.
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« Reply #29 on: November 03, 2006, 11:29:36 AM »

Milarkey. Nothing in your response denotes the Church "model", as you call it, not working. You don't know enough about the Orthodox Catholic Church for your opinion to matter, and not withstanding the fact that the Church of Rome used to be Orthodox.
Care to point out exactly when we ceased to be "Catholic" or when we changed?

Oh, and I've got another for you...did you know we do have a Pope who is not in Rome or Constantinople?


These crazy "theological dialogues" seem to be something our (both of us) bishops do as part of their jobs. Only internet debaters fret over them.
First of all, the Church of Rome has always been orthodox, unlike the Eastern patriarchites which have all been in heresy regarding the Trinity or the hypostatic union at one point or another. We have just never been Eastern Orthodox.
You changed when you dropped the early Christian Model of devlopment of doctrine. You changed when you stoped recognizing the authority of Rome. You changed when you rejected western Sacraments as valid sacraments. You changed when you became ossified, unlike the early Church.
And yes, I know that you don't have Pope.  That is one of the points of contention, remember. Rather you have an Ecumenical Patriarch, which is pretty much a meaningless title that carries no real authority. Basicly it exists so that His Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch can where nice close.
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« Reply #30 on: November 03, 2006, 11:34:23 AM »

So one man in absolute authority would correct this?  The problem is not with the conciliarity of the church, but you have to remember that recent history and the recent perseuction of the Orthodox faithful (in the Eastern Bloc and in Turkey) have essentially created a chasm between Orthodox of various jurisdictions.  It is only with the recent rise of freedom for the Orthodox churches in these countries that we have begun to tackle these questions and perhaps resolve them.  I agree an ecumenical council is long overdue but the faith has not been compromised.  Bishops arguing over which calendar is canonical is a long shot from the sparring matches going on in Catholicism where "theologians" and hierarchs are debating about the virgin-birth, the resurrection as to whether those are real events.  I'd much rather be a part of a church which has two calendars than one which cannot agree within itself about the nature of the Trinity!

Scamandrius
LOL. You guys are so funny. You actually think that there is real debate in Catholicism over whether or not the ressurrection and virgin bith occured? Wow, you really don't know anything about Catholicism. Those matters are already setteled because they are matters of faith. The Church already has an official teaching on those matters. Theologians can argue about them all they want but we can still point out what is the official teaching of the Church. You guys, on the other hand, have no way of determining what is the official teaching of the Eastern Orthodox Churches on the matters mentioned above.
BTW, even if you guys called an ecumenical council, I know exactly what would happen. There would be arguing through the next hundred years about whether or not it was a true ecumenical council. No doubt, the Russian Orthodox Church would find a way to object and call the council too liberal.
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« Reply #31 on: November 03, 2006, 11:40:08 AM »

The Eastern Orthodox model does not work right now. Issues like "toll houses", old vs. new calendar, ecumenism, the use of birth control, the validity of non-Eastern Orthodox sacraments all appear to be issues that your current "conciliar" model cannot resolve. Just look at what happened at the Catholic and Orthodox theological dialogue in September. The representatives all agreed on a statement concerning the nature of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, except of course, our lovable brethren from the Russian Orthodox Church.

Well, since "toll houses," real- versus pseudo-ecumenism, and the calendar are non-dogmatic issues we don't force consensus... As for the "validity" of non-Orthodox Sacraments: the question is faulty since we don't think of sacraments in valid and invalid categories, and since in the eyes of the Church no sacrament occurs outside of the boundaries of the Church - the only question is regarding the reception of people into the church, and does their reception perfect the acts performed when they weren't Orthodox...
We have consensus on dogmatic issues - the most important thing.  Your point may have been "good," but it was not entirely germane to the conversation.  I will echo the sentiments of the other posters - when you get a clue about what you're talking about in Orthodox ecclesiology and dogmatic theology, re-enter the discussion.
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« Reply #32 on: November 03, 2006, 11:53:03 AM »

First of all, the Church of Rome has always been orthodox, unlike the Eastern patriarchites which have all been in heresy regarding the Trinity or the hypostatic union at one point or another. We have just never been Eastern Orthodox.   

Pope Honorius - condemned as a heretic by the Sixth Ecumenical Council, which you guys accept.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07452b.htm

You changed when you dropped the early Christian Model of devlopment of doctrine. You changed when you stoped recognizing the authority of Rome. You changed when you rejected western Sacraments as valid sacraments. You changed when you became ossified, unlike the early Church. 

Please define authority of Rome.  Western Sacraments ceased being "valid" in your definition when you broke from the Church.  Please let me know how you think we became ossified (and don't define the word for me... I took my Latin).

And yes, I know that you don't have Pope.  That is one of the points of contention, remember. Rather you have an Ecumenical Patriarch, which is pretty much a meaningless title that carries no real authority. Basicly it exists so that His Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch can where nice close. 

The CLOTHES that the Ecumenical Patriarch wears are the same as the clothes that the Pope of Alexandria wears, are the same as the clothes that the Patriarch of Moscow wears, etc.  Next, your statement "you don't have a Pope... you have an Ecumenical Patriarch" is faulty - again, learn our ecclesiology before you put your foot in your mouth about our Church.  Your uninformed rhetoric is tiresome.
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« Reply #33 on: November 03, 2006, 11:58:19 AM »

LOL. You guys are so funny. You actually think that there is real debate in Catholicism over whether or not the ressurrection and virgin bith occured? Wow, you really don't know anything about Catholicism. Those matters are already setteled because they are matters of faith. The Church already has an official teaching on those matters. Theologians can argue about them all they want but we can still point out what is the official teaching of the Church. You guys, on the other hand, have no way of determining what is the official teaching of the Eastern Orthodox Churches on the matters mentioned above.

C'mon dude - Bible, fathers, councils - they give us what we need when it comes to the questions you mentioned above (i.e. virgin birth and resurrection).  Give me a break.  I find it interesting that you're unwilling to actually learn about your opponent before engaging them in debate.

BTW, even if you guys called an ecumenical council, I know exactly what would happen. There would be arguing through the next hundred years about whether or not it was a true ecumenical council. No doubt, the Russian Orthodox Church would find a way to object and call the council too liberal.

Well, since you don't know about the CLOTHES that the bishops wear, or the way in which they would interact in an Ecumenical Council, I sincerely doubt you "know" what would happen.

Oh, and just because two brothers fight doesn't mean it's not a united household on the important matters.  The EP commemorates the MP and vice-versa - the communion of the Church is the sign of dogmatic and eschatological unity... It is the important thing, and they're united on that front (And they also seem to be united that Pope Benedict doesn't belong in that communion... go figure!  Must be getting something right!).
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« Reply #34 on: November 03, 2006, 12:02:15 PM »

The CLOTHES that the Ecumenical Patriarch wears are the same as the clothes that the Pope of Alexandria wears, are the same as the clothes that the Patriarch of Moscow wears, etc. 

Oh darn, and all this time I thought he was doing it for the free Kalamata olives.  Wink
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« Reply #35 on: November 03, 2006, 12:04:31 PM »

Oh darn, and all this time I thought he was doing it for the free Kalamata olives.  Wink

He'd have to ask the Archbishop of Athens for those olives... But I'll send some from my family's farm to him if he wants (they're the best in the world.  ever.  really.)
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« Reply #36 on: November 03, 2006, 12:12:46 PM »

He'd have to ask the Archbishop of Athens for those olives... But I'll send some from my family's farm to him if he wants (they're the best in the world.  ever.  really.)

Implicit in the 28th Canon of Chalcedon is the recognition that the EP gets all the free olives he wants (or needs).  No need to ask the Archbishop of Athens. 

Now, I've hijacked the discussion enough... carry on with the real stuff. lol
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« Reply #37 on: November 06, 2006, 02:40:58 AM »

I don't know what the big deal is.  It's quite simple to look at it.  The foundation behind Papal infallibility is St. Peter.  Such a foundation is weak since one doesn't consider Antioch in the picture.

There is also a difference in interpretation between our churches on the verse of the "rock of the Church."  To RC's, it's Peter, and to Orthodox, it's faith.  This requires reading of the ancient Holy Fathers.

When one sees the model of the ancient Church history, and the model of the Bible, councils were set to decide, and not a unanimous decision by St. Peter.  St. Peter was there to conduct and to reach that conclusion that the whole council reached.

God bless.

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« Reply #38 on: November 12, 2006, 08:04:20 AM »

What would you do in a situation like the Arian crisis?
What did they do? The Emperor (not the Pope) called an Ecumenical council
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« Reply #39 on: November 12, 2006, 08:09:28 AM »

I don't know what the big deal is.  It's quite simple to look at it.  The foundation behind Papal infallibility is St. Peter.  Such a foundation is weak since one doesn't consider Antioch in the picture.

There is also a difference in interpretation between our churches on the verse of the "rock of the Church."  To RC's, it's Peter, and to Orthodox, it's faith.  This requires reading of the ancient Holy Fathers.

When one sees the model of the ancient Church history, and the model of the Bible, councils were set to decide, and not a unanimous decision by St. Peter.  St. Peter was there to conduct and to reach that conclusion that the whole council reached.

God bless.

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I accept that Peter is the Rock. But not exclusively so. In an interpretation such as we have on theosis, we can all be 'like the rock'. Peter is simply the archetype used in discussing this.

Even a Pope, Leo the Great stated that Rome’s position was based on the Apostles Peter and Paul, and that these two Apostles were equal in power.


“I. Rome Owes Its High Position to These Apostles.
The whole world, dearly-beloved, does indeed take part in all holy anniversaries, and loyalty to the one Faith demands that whatever is
recorded as done for all men's salvation should be everywhere celebrated with common rejoicings. But, besides that reverence which to-day's festival has gained from all the world, it is to be honoured with special and peculiar exultation in our city, that there may be a predominance of
gladness on the day of their martyrdom in the place where the chief of the Apostles met their glorious end. For these are the men, through whom the light of Christ's gospel shone on thee, O Rome, and through whom thou, who wast the teacher of error, was made the disciple of Truth. These are thy holy Fathers and true shepherds, who gave thee claims to be numbered among the heavenly kingdoms, and built thee under much better and happier auspices than they, by whose zeal the first foundations of thy walls were laid: and of whom the one that gave thee thy name defiled thee with his brother's blood. These are they who promoted thee to such glory, that being made a holy nation, a chosen people, a priestly and royal state, and the head of the world through the blessed Peter's holy See thou didst attain a wider sway. by the worship of God than by earthly government. For although thou weft increased by many victories, and didst extend thy rule on land and sea, yet what thy toils in war subdued is less than what the peace of Christ has conquered.
VII. No Distinction Must Be Drawn Between the Merits of the Two.
And over this band, dearly-beloved, whom God has set forth for our example in patience and for our confirmation in the Faith, there must be rejoicing everywhere in the commemoration of all the saints, but of these two Fathers' excellence we must rightly make our boast in louder joy, for God's Grace has raised them to so high a place among the members of the Church, that He has set them like the twin light of the eyes in the body, whose Head is Christ. About their merits and virtues, which pass all power of speech, we must not make distinctions, because they were equal in their election, alike in their toils, undivided in their death. But as we have proved for Ourselves, and our forefathers maintained, we believe, and are sure that, amid all the toils of this life, we must always be assisted in obtaining God's Mercy by the prayers of special interceders, that we may be raised by the Apostles' merits in proportion as we are weighed down by our own sins. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, &c.

Leo “Sermon LXXXII”. (On the Feast Of the Apostles Peter and Paul (June 29).) quoted at
http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF2-12/Npnf2-12-214.htm#P4043_1035305 (see Appendix for extensive quote).

Paul is the rock. And all the Apostles (to extend the analogy) are the foundation stones of the Church...
Ephesians 2: 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
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« Reply #40 on: November 19, 2006, 03:50:39 PM »

Well, since "toll houses," real- versus pseudo-ecumenism, and the calendar are non-dogmatic issues we don't force consensus... As for the "validity" of non-Orthodox Sacraments: the question is faulty since we don't think of sacraments in valid and invalid categories, and since in the eyes of the Church no sacrament occurs outside of the boundaries of the Church - the only question is regarding the reception of people into the church, and does their reception perfect the acts performed when they weren't Orthodox...
We have consensus on dogmatic issues - the most important thing.  Your point may have been "good," but it was not entirely germane to the conversation.  I will echo the sentiments of the other posters - when you get a clue about what you're talking about in Orthodox ecclesiology and dogmatic theology, re-enter the discussion.
Is being this rude something you have to practice?
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« Reply #41 on: November 19, 2006, 03:53:28 PM »

What did they do? The Emperor (not the Pope) called an Ecumenical council
I guess no one here knows anything about the Arian CRISIS. The CRISIS happened after the council of Nicea when almost all of the Church fell to the Arian heresy.
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« Reply #42 on: November 19, 2006, 05:20:43 PM »

Is being this rude something you have to practice?
Do stop playing the victim.
You stated in this thread which exists on an Orthodox Board:
Rather you have an Ecumenical Patriarch, which is pretty much a meaningless title that carries no real authority. Basicly it exists so that His Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch can where nice close.
So please don't boo-hoo about others being "rude" ......
By the way it's spelled: "wear nice clothes".
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« Reply #43 on: November 19, 2006, 05:29:31 PM »

Do stop playing the victim.
You stated in this thread which exists on an Orthodox Board:So please don't boo-hoo about others being "rude" ......
By the way it's spelled: "wear nice clothes".
More of that Eastern Charity. I tell you. It makes everyone want to convert.
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« Reply #44 on: November 19, 2006, 05:49:26 PM »

You know what. I am gonna end this before it goes any further. I don't appreciate rudeness but I am sorry for any part I played in this nonsense.
Many Blessings in Christ
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« Reply #45 on: November 19, 2006, 05:55:14 PM »

Actually, the Patriarch wears the same nice clothes as every other Orthodox bishop, as far as I can tell.  Look at Icons of Patriarchs and then Icons of regular bishops, I can't point out any differences.  Same with current pictures of the patriarch and bishops.  The only Patriarch that I can think of that wears slightly different clothes is the Patriarch of Moscow, who wears a different hat (maybe somebody can help me out with the proper term for this) than the other bishops, but otherwise, everything else is the same.
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« Reply #46 on: November 19, 2006, 05:59:48 PM »

In nomine Iesu I offer you all peace,

It's disheartening to see that these deep discussions devolve into such petty 'polemical' debates.

Personally I don't see the necessary conflict between Papal Infallibility and Ecumenical Councils as both serve Holy Tradition. The Official Chrism of the Papal Office is not under the whim of any 'one' individual but the spiritual guidance given by Holy Tradition through the Church of the Living God by the Holy Spirit present among its members. The Papal Office is 'in the service of' Holy Tradition and not 'the source of' just as the exercise of those Chrisms present within Ecumenical Councils ultimately act in the service of Holy Tradition.

Devout Roman Catholics hold our Roman Patriarch in the deepest respect and honor as a necessary link to our relationship with Christ and His Church from the beginning. To debate which 'side' is the Church of the Living God is something no devout Roman Catholic can objectively engage. My personal trust in Christ to guide 'me' in my faith as well as the larger institutional Church is simply not in question nor should it be in question for you if you are well feed by your tradition and thus ultimately serves no real point for dialogue between traditions. Such can and should be the subject with inquirers but not between devout and faith-filled members of either Catholicism or Orthodoxy.

Perhaps it is difficult to determine who among us visiting are inquirers but such should be pointed out in my humble opinion and steps made to exercise respect and peace between those who are devout members of either tradition. Such is the only Christian thing to do in my humble opinion.

Pax
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« Reply #47 on: November 19, 2006, 06:28:15 PM »

It's disheartening to see that these deep discussions devolve into such petty 'polemical' debates.
It's not polemical, it's just stupid. Papist made a claim that the title "Ecumenical Patriarch" is meaningless, yet this title has been granted in an Oecumenical Council. Yet no Oecumenical Council decreed that the Pope of Rome is "Supreme Pontiff"- which is the basis of his 'argument'.
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« Reply #48 on: November 19, 2006, 07:32:15 PM »

It's not polemical, it's just stupid. Papist made a claim that the title "Ecumenical Patriarch" is meaningless, yet this title has been granted in an Oecumenical Council. Yet no Oecumenical Council decreed that the Pope of Rome is "Supreme Pontiff"- which is the basis of his 'argument'.
It is meangningless if the only difference between a regular Patriarch and the "Ecumenical Patriach" is the title.
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« Reply #49 on: November 19, 2006, 07:33:27 PM »

In nomine Iesu I offer you all peace,

It's disheartening to see that these deep discussions devolve into such petty 'polemical' debates.

Personally I don't see the necessary conflict between Papal Infallibility and Ecumenical Councils as both serve Holy Tradition. The Official Chrism of the Papal Office is not under the whim of any 'one' individual but the spiritual guidance given by Holy Tradition through the Church of the Living God by the Holy Spirit present among its members. The Papal Office is 'in the service of' Holy Tradition and not 'the source of' just as the exercise of those Chrisms present within Ecumenical Councils ultimately act in the service of Holy Tradition.

Devout Roman Catholics hold our Roman Patriarch in the deepest respect and honor as a necessary link to our relationship with Christ and His Church from the beginning. To debate which 'side' is the Church of the Living God is something no devout Roman Catholic can objectively engage. My personal trust in Christ to guide 'me' in my faith as well as the larger institutional Church is simply not in question nor should it be in question for you if you are well feed by your tradition and thus ultimately serves no real point for dialogue between traditions. Such can and should be the subject with inquirers but not between devout and faith-filled members of either Catholicism or Orthodoxy.

Perhaps it is difficult to determine who among us visiting are inquirers but such should be pointed out in my humble opinion and steps made to exercise respect and peace between those who are devout members of either tradition. Such is the only Christian thing to do in my humble opinion.

Pax
Actually, it is a debate that every Catholic should engage in for our Church teaches that it is the Catholic Church and the Catholic Church alone (those in union with Rome) that is the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. Period.
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« Reply #50 on: November 19, 2006, 07:56:43 PM »

It's not polemical, it's just stupid. Papist made a claim that the title "Ecumenical Patriarch" is meaningless, yet this title has been granted in an Oecumenical Council. Yet no Oecumenical Council decreed that the Pope of Rome is "Supreme Pontiff"- which is the basis of his 'argument'.
And yet, an ECUMENICAL council, Vaticn I, declared it so.
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« Reply #51 on: November 19, 2006, 07:59:07 PM »

And yet, an ECUMENICAL council, Vaticn I, declared it so.

What are you trying to do, just bait the Orthodox posters for fun?  You know full well that the Orthodox do not recognize  Vatican 1 as an ecumenical council.
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« Reply #52 on: November 19, 2006, 08:01:27 PM »

What are you trying to do, just bait the Orthodox posters for fun?  You know full well that the Orthodox do not recognize  Vatican 1 as an ecumenical council.
No not at all. I am just trying to get the Eastern Orthodox to see that just because they says something is so, does not make it so and for them to argue that no ecumenical council has defined the doctrines of the infallibility and universal jursidiction of the Pope, does not hold water with a Catholic. I can say, just as much, that maybe they are trying to bait me by saying what they say for they know that I disagree.
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« Reply #53 on: November 19, 2006, 08:06:38 PM »

Actually, what Orthodoxy says is so, whether Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Jews, etc agree with it or not.  Orthodoxy is the Truth, and Truth is not subjective to how many people accept it or not.  Of course, you are right though, Catholics do not accept the Truth of Orthodoxy, so of course they don't accept what Orthodoxy teaches, however, Orthodoxy is still the Truth. 

BTW, we are not baiting you, as this is an Orthodox, not Catholic, forum.  When we speak the Truth here we do not do it to bait people, but rather for the purposes of preaching the Truth.
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« Reply #54 on: November 19, 2006, 08:21:03 PM »

Actually, what Orthodoxy says is so, whether Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Jews, etc agree with it or not.  Orthodoxy is the Truth, and Truth is not subjective to how many people accept it or not.  Of course, you are right though, Catholics do not accept the Truth of Orthodoxy, so of course they don't accept what Orthodoxy teaches, however, Orthodoxy is still the Truth. 

BTW, we are not baiting you, as this is an Orthodox, not Catholic, forum.  When we speak the Truth here we do not do it to bait people, but rather for the purposes of preaching the Truth.
My friend, I certainly appreciate your conviction, but it so divorced from reality you can't even see it. But aside from that, telling me that Eastern Orthodoxy is true does not make it so. Believing it to be true does not make it so. I can say the same thing, "Whether Easern Orthodox Christians, Protestants, Muslims, Jews, etc agree with it or not Catholicism is true". And you know what, I would be right. But it does not produce any fruit on a forum like this. It is pointless to state things like that on a Catholic forum or an Eastern Orthodox forum because it causes no conversions.
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« Reply #55 on: November 19, 2006, 08:30:35 PM »

No not at all. I am just trying to get the Eastern Orthodox to see that just because they says something is so, does not make it so and for them to argue that no ecumenical council has defined the doctrines of the infallibility and universal jursidiction of the Pope, does not hold water with a Catholic. I can say, just as much, that maybe they are trying to bait me by saying what they say for they know that I disagree.
Of course you stated "No not at all." We here who are Eastern Orthodox are just trying to get the Roman Catholics to see that just because they says something is so, does not make it so and for them to argue that Papal Infallibility or Papal Primacy has defined the doctrines of the authority of the Ecumenical Councils which contain the whole of the Church who have not broken from the foundations which is Constantine's founded Patriarchal See of New Rome, does not hold water with an Eastern Orthodox Christian.

I can say, just as much, that maybe you are trying to bait us by saying what we say for you know that we disagree.
It goes both ways, sir Papist.

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« Reply #56 on: November 19, 2006, 08:45:09 PM »

Of course you stated "No not at all." We here who are Eastern Orthodox are just trying to get the Roman Catholics to see that just because they says something is so, does not make it so and for them to argue that Papal Infallibility or Papal Primacy has defined the doctrines of the authority of the Ecumenical Councils which contain the whole of the Church who have not broken from the foundations which is Constantine's founded Patriarchal See of New Rome, does not hold water with an Eastern Orthodox Christian.

I can say, just as much, that maybe you are trying to bait us by saying what we say for you know that we disagree.
It goes both ways, sir Papist.

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« Reply #57 on: November 19, 2006, 09:34:36 PM »

Actually, the Patriarch wears the same nice clothes as every other Orthodox bishop, as far as I can tell.  Look at Icons of Patriarchs and then Icons of regular bishops, I can't point out any differences.  Same with current pictures of the patriarch and bishops.  The only Patriarch that I can think of that wears slightly different clothes is the Patriarch of Moscow, who wears a different hat (maybe somebody can help me out with the proper term for this) than the other bishops, but otherwise, everything else is the same.

He does get a nifty title  Grin

This from the home page of Patriarch Bartholomew's website www.patriarchate.org (image is too wide to post on one line):




Some Catholic blogs are having a little fun with this graphic, linking to it underneath the heading HOLIER THAN THOU.  Wink
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« Reply #58 on: November 19, 2006, 09:41:57 PM »

Personally I don't see the necessary conflict between Papal Infallibility and Ecumenical Councils as both serve Holy Tradition.

Simply put, the pope cannot contradict the solemnly defined dogmatic teaching of an ecumenical council, and a council is not ecumenical without the Holy See or its legates.
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« Reply #59 on: November 19, 2006, 09:48:53 PM »

It's not polemical, it's just stupid. Papist made a claim that the title "Ecumenical Patriarch" is meaningless, yet this title has been granted in an Oecumenical Council.

Indeed, the See of Constantinople was established as second only to the See of Rome in "prerogative of honor" at the First Council of Constantinople in 381. It took some time for all of the other patriarchates to agree to this re-ordering, but eventually they were on board.
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« Reply #60 on: November 19, 2006, 09:49:29 PM »

He does get a nifty title  Grin

This from the home page of Patriarch Bartholomew's website www.patriarchate.org (image is too wide to post on one line):




Some Catholic blogs are having a little fun with this graphic, linking to it underneath the heading HOLIER THAN THOU.  Wink
LOL. I noticed that they are dressed very differently. LOL. Check out those hats.  Wink
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« Reply #61 on: November 19, 2006, 09:50:59 PM »

Indeed, the See of Constantinople was established as second only to the See of Rome in "prerogative of honor" at the First Council of Constantinople in 381. It took some time for all of the other patriarchates to agree to this re-ordering, but eventually they were on board.
You must remember that this was not done for theological reasons. Rather, it was done for Political reasons, and still the title "Ecumenical Patriarch" cares no meaning because it carries no authority. Its just a nice name.
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« Reply #62 on: November 19, 2006, 10:08:11 PM »

Papist,
Due to repeated warnings, uncharitable behaviour, insulting of the Orthodox Faith, and a general consensus of continuous trolling behaviour, you are hereby officially warned and your posts shall be closely watched by me and the other moderators.  If said behaviour continues, further consequences may follow.  This goes for you and for all, posts that show on a consist ant basis a tendency to troll, will not be tolerated!
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« Reply #63 on: November 19, 2006, 10:09:23 PM »

Double Post
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« Reply #64 on: November 19, 2006, 10:10:40 PM »

It is true that Patriarchs of Constantinople long ago regarded that title as representing some real authority, which they claimed and attempted to exercise. Power rivalries between patriarchates go way back---rival Antioch obviously was not happy when Constantinople leapfrogged the other, older, apostolic patriarchates.

But after the Ottoman conquest of Byzantium, such authority was curtailed, leaving Moscow to attempt to assert its own preeminence as the "Third Rome." It is sad that so few Christians remain in Turkey. Unfortunately, the Ecumenical Patriarch remains handcuffed, in some sense, by the Turks. I'd like to see the EU insist on a whole list of preconditions for Turkey to be considered for admittance, among them no more persecution of the Christian churches in Turkey.
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« Reply #65 on: November 19, 2006, 10:58:17 PM »

You must remember that this was not done for theological reasons. Rather, it was done for Political reasons, and still the title "Ecumenical Patriarch" cares no meaning because it carries no authority. Its just a nice name.

Actually, it carries with it a very specific authority. The title was bestowed by the Emperor on the Bishop who was given the right to set the agenda for and preside over an Imperial or Oecumenical Synod. Prior to Chalcedon this title was granted to a different bishop each time, depending on the will of the Emperor; however, after Chalcedon, the title was permanently bestowed on Constantinople, making her the perpetual President of any synod at which she was present, and requiring her presence for any synod to be Oecumenical or Imperial in authority. By the seventh century it was established as custom (later to be established by Imperial law, I believe with Leo VI, though I could be mistaken, it might have been a bit later) that any synod over which the Oecumenical Patriarch presided was Imperial in authority, thus granting the endimousa synod of Constantinople the authority to depose and enthrone other Patriarchs (an authority which it exercized on many occasions, not merely with the excommunication of Rome).
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« Reply #66 on: November 19, 2006, 11:07:50 PM »

I guess no one here knows anything about the Arian CRISIS. The CRISIS happened after the council of Nicea when almost all of the Church fell to the Arian heresy.

I thought I did answer your question in my post above (reply #20.)  To repeat, sometime after the Council of Nicea, an emperor came into power who believed in the Arian heresy.  Suddenly, Arianism was in fashion and just about everyone went over to it, including, if I recall correctly, the Pope of Rome.  St. Athanasius, who was the Pope of Alexandria, however, remained true to the Orthodox faith and was repeatedly exiled and persecuted.  Eventually, however, he straightened everthing out by getting some of the more moderate Arians, who objected to Nicea on linguistic grounds (they were afraid it was Sabellian) to sign mutual agreements on faith with him.  This isolated the more hard core Arians and they eventually died out.  So the Arian Crises was resolved by a pope, but it was the Pope of Alexandria.
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« Reply #67 on: December 15, 2006, 09:13:18 PM »

What would you do in a situation like the Arian crisis?

It would not matter.  That's the beauty of the Orthodox church.  Orthodoxy is defined by true faith, not by any man.  Men can become corrupt.  Look at the Popes who had affairs, illegitiment children, became corrupt with politics, sold indulgences, etc. etc.  Men fall into corruption, and when the faith is based on men, it will fall into heresy.  In Orthodoxy it does not matter if EVERY bishop falls into heresy, because in Orthodoxy, the faithful have equal responcibilty to uphodl the faith and reject heresy. 

We saw an example of this when the bishops, seeking protection from Rome, submitted to papal authority.  They came home to find that the faithful rejected it. Becuase it was against the faith.  The same thing with iconoclasm.  Orthodoxy is defined by adherance to the faith.  If you do not adhere to it, you place yourself outside the church - whether you are a peasant or a bishop.
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« Reply #68 on: December 16, 2006, 12:56:05 AM »

The Eastern Orthodox model does not work right now. Issues like "toll houses", old vs. new calendar, ecumenism, the use of birth control, the validity of non-Eastern Orthodox sacraments all appear to be issues that your current "conciliar" model cannot resolve. Just look at what happened at the Catholic and Orthodox theological dialogue in September. The representatives all agreed on a statement concerning the nature of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, except of course, our lovable brethren from the Russian Orthodox Church.

Papist, the problem you're having is that you don't understand how Orthodoxy works becuase you are looking at it through your Catholic lense.  My major in school is Chinese.  One of the hard things about learning Chinese is that Chinese is so based on the Chinese way of thinking.  Being American and English speaking, I have a very western understanding of language.  In elementary school I memorized grammer rules, recited them, learned how to conjegate, etc.  In high school I studied Spanish and it was pretty easy to learn. Same thing, it's based on a set of rules and it's all pretty logical and I can memorize how to conjegate and all that jazz. So now I'm learning Chinese. Chinese has no conjection.  It essentially has no past or future tense either.  There's the particle "le" that make actions completed, and you have to add it in all these places, but it's not just about completing stuff, you have to use it in all these different circumstances.  There's general rules about when you use it, but really, the only way you ever will understand how to use it correctly is living in China and speakign Chinese. Chinese people just -know- when to use it. So here I am with my set of grammer rules from my text book trying to speak Chinese correctly, and to Chiense people I just sound rediculous. They are wondering why I just don't get it. But I'm never going to get it as long as I try to keep focusing on my text book.  To me it seems like Chinese doesn't have grammer, that they must just apply the grammer rules randomly. But in actuality, that's not the case at all. There are right and wrong ways to apply it, there is logic to it, and Chinese people apply grammer in the same way. It's just in a way that doesn't make sense to me, with my check list of grammer rules.

This is sort of the problem with Catholics looking at Orthodoxy.  You have your set of rules that your trying to apply and were telling you it doesn't work that way. To you it looks like Orthodoxy lacks organization, that there's no law, no clear truth. To us, there is. And it's consistant and it makes sense. But you'll never understand it if you can't let go of your western legalistic mind frame.

You brought up several issues such as toll houses, the calander issue, etc.  Again, this is an example of the different worldviews we have.  The Catholic church likes to define everything. Nothing is left to speculation.  So every issue, from the big issues such as the nature of God to the little issues such as the amount of time one must linger on a thought to make it a mortal rather than venial sin, is defined by the church as absolute truth. The Orthodox church takes the approach that there are a lot of things we don't know.  Certain things, such as those things defined in the Eccumenical Councils, we know to be true and one must believe them to be Orthodox. On other things, that the church really doesn't know about and aren't necessary for our salvation, the church chooses not to define.  Is the calander we use going to effect our salvation? No. Toll houses are what we call "pious opinions."  There are a lot of these in the church.  We realize that men are fallible, but we also realize that certain people have spent their lives in prayer and devotion to God and so their opinions deserve to be listened to and deeply thought about. Does that mean if you disagree you aren't a Christian? No, of course not. Now if you reject the Trinity does that mean you aren't a Christian? Yes. That's why the church defines issues that relate to the  nature of Christianity.  The issues you listed are not issues that we know about, so instead we rely on pious opinions, but not presumptions to know God's mind on issues that we actually don't.
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« Reply #69 on: December 16, 2006, 02:58:02 PM »

You brought up several issues such as toll houses, the calander issue, etc.  Again, this is an example of the different worldviews we have.  The Catholic church likes to define everything. Nothing is left to speculation.  So every issue, from the big issues such as the nature of God to the little issues such as the amount of time one must linger on a thought to make it a mortal rather than venial sin, is defined by the church as absolute truth. The Orthodox church takes the approach that there are a lot of things we don't know.  Certain things, such as those things defined in the Eccumenical Councils, we know to be true and one must believe them to be Orthodox. On other things, that the church really doesn't know about and aren't necessary for our salvation, the church chooses not to define.  Is the calander we use going to effect our salvation? No. Toll houses are what we call "pious opinions."  There are a lot of these in the church.  We realize that men are fallible, but we also realize that certain people have spent their lives in prayer and devotion to God and so their opinions deserve to be listened to and deeply thought about. Does that mean if you disagree you aren't a Christian? No, of course not. Now if you reject the Trinity does that mean you aren't a Christian? Yes. That's why the church defines issues that relate to the  nature of Christianity.  The issues you listed are not issues that we know about, so instead we rely on pious opinions, but not presumptions to know God's mind on issues that we actually don't.

I have always greatly admired this overall approach to these issues, and it is one of the great virtues of the East, in my opinion.

Patrick
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« Reply #70 on: December 18, 2006, 01:34:08 AM »

You brought up several issues such as toll houses, the calander issue, etc.  Again, this is an example of the different worldviews we have.  The Catholic church likes to define everything. Nothing is left to speculation.  So every issue, from the big issues such as the nature of God to the little issues such as the amount of time one must linger on a thought to make it a mortal rather than venial sin, is defined by the church as absolute truth.

This is a pretty gross exaggeration. Perhaps there is mutual misunderstanding between East and West?

--

As for those "pious opinions" in Orthodoxy, it seems that not all Orthodox agree with you that they are things "we don't know." After all, some of those issues have become communion-breakers.
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« Reply #71 on: December 19, 2006, 02:17:15 AM »

This is a pretty gross exaggeration. Perhaps there is mutual misunderstanding between East and West?

It was a bit of an exaggeration, but not much. I was raised Roman Catholic (I'm converting this Pascha), and studying Catholic teaching on mortal/venial sin was the first thing that lead me away from the church.  It's amazing how much the Church defines.

--

Quote
As for those "pious opinions" in Orthodoxy, it seems that not all Orthodox agree with you that they are things "we don't know." After all, some of those issues have become communion-breakers.

Well, sadly we are all sinners, and sometimes human pride steps in. As I explained before, the beauty of Orthodoxy is it is not defined my the sins of men, but by adherance to truth.
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« Reply #72 on: January 17, 2007, 06:20:30 PM »

Quote
Indeed, the See of Constantinople was established as second only to the See of Rome in "prerogative of honor" at the First Council of Constantinople in 381. It took some time for all of the other patriarchates to agree to this re-ordering, but eventually they were on board.

Truth to tell, it cannot even be said that the 2nd Oecumenical Synod truly & with just & proper authority constituted the Constantinopolitan See as second in Christendom.  It must be remembered first of all that the 2nd Oecumenical Synod gained its Oecumenical status only retroactively, by its acceptance as such by the Pope & Church Catholic.  (This acceptance was gradual: even by the mid-5th Century Dioscor of Alexandria (of unhappy memory) considered Ephesus the 2nd Oecumenical Synod.  This is of course understandable given the Patriarchal usurpation embodied in the Council's 3rd Canon.)

Even when the council was accepted as Oecumenical, it was only its doctrinal decisions which were regarded as authoritative.  Pope St. Damasus would confirm only the council's dogmatic decree against Macedonius, and Pope St. Gregory Dialogist would say, "The Roman Church hitherto neither acknowledges nor recieves the Canons and Acts of that Synod, she accpets the same Synod in that which it defined against Macedonius" (Epistle vii. 34). Furthermore, Pope St. Boniface I made reference to the 3rd Canon as a "new usurpation which is contrary to the knowledge of the ancients", positing in contradistinction "you will find which are the second and third sees after Rome.  Let the great Churhes keep their dignity according to the Canons, that is Alexandria & Antioch" (Ep. ad Rufinum Thessal.)  Writing to Anatolius of Constantinople, Pope St. Leo the Great says, "You boast that certain bishops sixty years ago made a rescript in fovour of this your persuasion.  No notice of it was ever sent by your predecessors to the Apostolic See." (Epistle cvi.)

Gratian's Corpus Iuris included the controversial canon, but the Roman correctors added thereto the caveat: "This Canon is one of those that the Apostolic Roman See did not receive at first or for a long time."
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« Reply #73 on: January 17, 2007, 08:26:40 PM »

Truth to tell, it cannot even be said that the 2nd Oecumenical Synod truly & with just & proper authority constituted the Constantinopolitan See as second in Christendom.

No, the synod did not make the Great Church of Christ the second see in Christendom, rather it simply recognized the already de facto truth, that Constantinople was the Imperial See and therefore the See, following the elevation of the city in the manner later set forth at Trullo, deserved a dignity above all else in Christendom. Old Rome alone was not to be diminished in authority not because of some fool's argument about apostolicity, but rather because she had once been the seat of the Senate and the Imperium. As was later codified in the 38th Canon of Trullo (and is found in numerous places throughout the Code of Justinian), ecclesiastical order follows imperial order.

Quote
It must be remembered first of all that the 2nd Oecumenical Synod gained its Oecumenical status only retroactively, by its acceptance as such by the Pope & Church Catholic.  (This acceptance was gradual: even by the mid-5th Century Dioscor of Alexandria (of unhappy memory) considered Ephesus the 2nd Oecumenical Synod.  This is of course understandable given the Patriarchal usurpation embodied in the Council's 3rd Canon.)

So we had several popes who were of a dubious theology and not in line with the rest of the Church...they wouldn't be the last ones. However, your emphasis on Constantinople I is curious, all that said synod did was elevate Constantinople in matters of liturgical honour. The real codification of the authority of the Imperial See came at Chalcedon where all the rights previously given to Old Rome were bestowed upon New Rome, which had by this time surpassed the former in glory.

Oh, and synods only become Oecumenical Retroactively, numerous Imperial synods declared themselves to be Oecumenical but were never accepted as such, so a self-declaration of Oecumenical status is irrelevant.

Quote
Even when the council was accepted as Oecumenical, it was only its doctrinal decisions which were regarded as authoritative.

Sounds like a version of Ecclesiastical monophysitism to me, accepting the spiritual decrees but rejecting the pragmatic decrees relating to Church discipline. Of course, the opinion of Rome on this matter is completely irrelevant; I don't believe the Synod ever gave Rome the option of a line item veto. Of course, Rome has a tendency to try and take things that arn't hers, but that's what got her excommunicated and kicked out of the Christian Church. The fact of the matter is that by this time Rome was a provincial backwater, Constantinople was the centre of the Empire and Constantinople, with the aid of our God-ordained Emperors, governed the Church.

Quote
Pope St. Damasus would confirm only the council's dogmatic decree against Macedonius, and Pope St. Gregory Dialogist would say, "The Roman Church hitherto neither acknowledges nor recieves the Canons and Acts of that Synod, she accpets the same Synod in that which it defined against Macedonius" (Epistle vii. 34). Furthermore, Pope St. Boniface I made reference to the 3rd Canon as a "new usurpation which is contrary to the knowledge of the ancients", positing in contradistinction "you will find which are the second and third sees after Rome.  Let the great Churhes keep their dignity according to the Canons, that is Alexandria & Antioch" (Ep. ad Rufinum Thessal.)  Writing to Anatolius of Constantinople, Pope St. Leo the Great says, "You boast that certain bishops sixty years ago made a rescript in fovour of this your persuasion.  No notice of it was ever sent by your predecessors to the Apostolic See." (Epistle cvi.)

Interseting thing is that Antioch and Alexandria accepted the authority of Constantinople, it's only Rome that objected (and even then only for a short time, later the popish lateran synods, though heretical in nearly all matters of faith they discussed, did demonstrate that Rome eventually accepted the orderings of Constantinople I and Chalcedon...guess they thought the could hold the city indefinitely, kinda stupid to make such a political mistake then codify it in an 'oecumenical' synod...LOL)

Quote
Gratian's Corpus Iuris included the controversial canon, but the Roman correctors added thereto the caveat: "This Canon is one of those that the Apostolic Roman See did not receive at first or for a long time."

And yet she eventually did accept it, so we must conclude that those who initially rejected it where in error; even from the perspective of Rome.
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« Reply #74 on: January 17, 2007, 08:53:28 PM »

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the mid-5th Century Dioscor of Alexandria (of unhappy memory)

That part in the parentheses was unnecessary.  You have some OO's (like myself) who would rather think it was of "joyous" memory.

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #75 on: January 17, 2007, 10:10:35 PM »

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No, the synod did not make the Great Church of Christ the second see in Christendom, rather it simply recognized the already de facto truth, that Constantinople was the Imperial See and therefore the See, following the elevation of the city in the manner later set forth at Trullo, deserved a dignity above all else in Christendom. Old Rome alone was not to be diminished in authority not because of some fool's argument about apostolicity, but rather because she had once been the seat of the Senate and the Imperium. As was later codified in the 38th Canon of Trullo (and is found in numerous places throughout the Code of Justinian), ecclesiastical order follows imperial order.

Fool's argument about apostolicity?  I'm sorry to see you consider Pope St. Leo the Great's to be a fool's argument, who had these words to say to Emperor Marcian concerning the ambition of Bp. Anatolius:

"Let the city of Constantinople, as we wish, have its glory; and under the protection of the right hand of God may it long enjoy the government of your Clemency.  But there is one law for civil arrairs and another for divine things; and no building can be firm apart from the Rock which the Lord founded originally.  He who seeks undue honours loses his real ones.  Let it be enough for the said bishop [Anatolius of Constantinople], that by the help of your piety and by the consent of my favour he has got the bishopric of so great a city.  Let him not despise a royal see because he can never make it an Apostolic one; nor should he by any means hope to become greater by offending others.  The rights of the Churches are fixed by the Canons of the holy Fathers, and by the decrees of the Venerable Nicene Synod..."

He has this further to say, by way of elaborating his 'fool's argument' drawn from apostolicity with regard to the other Patriarchal sees:

"The rights of probinvial primate may not be injured, nor may metropolitan bisops be defrauded of their ancient priviledges.  The dignity that the Alexandrian See deserves because of St. Mark, the disciple of blessed Peter, must not perish; nor may the splendour of so great a Church be darkened because Dioscur falls through his obstinate wickedness.  And the Antiochene Church, too, in which by the preaching of the blessed Peter the Christian name first arose, should remain in the order arranged by the Fathers, so that having been put in the third place it should never be reduced to a lower one."

St. Gregory the Dialogist asks concerning the Imperial See,

"Who doubts that the Church of Constantinople is subject to the Apostolic See?  Indeed the most pious Lord Emperor and our brother the bishop of that city both eagerly acknowledge this."  "I know of no bishop who is not subject to the Apostolic See."

Note that St. Gregory too relies upon the 'fool's argument' from apostolicity, hence his constant reference to Rome as the 'Apostolic See'.

That Rome might have held the primacy because of its location as Imperial Capital makes no sense given that these statements of sainted pontiffs come after the translation of the capital to Constantinople. Please provide me one example of any saint or Pope basing the authority of the Roman See upon the presence of the Imperial Senate therein. 

As for the Code of Justinian, it is not Canon Law.  It may be of importance for historical record, but is not of any authority in the affairs of the Church. 
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« Reply #76 on: January 17, 2007, 10:27:25 PM »

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The real codification of the authority of the Imperial See came at Chalcedon where all the rights previously given to Old Rome were bestowed upon New Rome, which had by this time surpassed the former in glory.

Again, untrue.  Even given the legitimacy of the 28th Canon, (which was never accepted by the Roman See) the Canon specifically states that the dignity of the See of New Rome is to be "the second after her [Old Rome]", which is inconsistent with your assertion that "all the rights previously given to Old Rome were bestowed upon New Rome". 

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Oh, and synods only become Oecumenical Retroactively, numerous Imperial synods declared themselves to be Oecumenical but were never accepted as such, so a self-declaration of Oecumenical status is irrelevant.

Yes, that is exactly my point.  Constantinople I never even declared itself Oecumenical.  It became so by papal approval. 

I would ask you what the criteria are for a Council's Oecumenicity.

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Sounds like a version of Ecclesiastical monophysitism to me, accepting the spiritual decrees but rejecting the pragmatic decrees relating to Church discipline. Of course, the opinion of Rome on this matter is completely irrelevant; I don't believe the Synod ever gave Rome the option of a line item veto. Of course, Rome has a tendency to try and take things that arn't hers, but that's what got her excommunicated and kicked out of the Christian Church. The fact of the matter is that by this time Rome was a provincial backwater, Constantinople was the centre of the Empire and Constantinople, with the aid of our God-ordained Emperors, governed the Church.

The opinion of Rome is not irrelevant.  Before arguing this point I will give you a chance to actually read the acts of the Council of Chalcedon so you can get an idea of what the Council Fathers thought was necessary for their decisions to have legitimacy.

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Interseting thing is that Antioch and Alexandria accepted the authority of Constantinople, it's only Rome that objected (and even then only for a short time, later the popish lateran synods, though heretical in nearly all matters of faith they discussed, did demonstrate that Rome eventually accepted the orderings of Constantinople I and Chalcedon...guess they thought the could hold the city indefinitely, kinda stupid to make such a political mistake then codify it in an 'oecumenical' synod...LOL)

Read what I wrote earlier.  Antioch & Alexandria at first would have none of Constantinople's pretensions, hence the demonstrations of Pope St. Leo the Great.

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And yet she eventually did accept it, so we must conclude that those who initially rejected it where in error; even from the perspective of Rome.

This is untrue inasmuch as intra-ecclesial disciple is subject to change.  Rome rightly resisted the initial usurpations of Constantinople.  As these usurpations became habitual and ossified, Rome accepted them de facto as she often does in other such situations.  In according to Constantinople 2nd place she was in no way passing favourable judgment upon the inherent necessity or justifiability of the aforementioned Canons, especially within the contexts in which their promulgation was initially attempted.
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« Reply #77 on: January 17, 2007, 10:28:33 PM »

That part in the parentheses was unnecessary.  You have some OO's (like myself) who would rather think it was of "joyous" memory.

God bless.

Mina

I am sorry Mina, that parenthesis was indeed very unnecessary, and I had forgotten the presence of Oriental Orthodox on this forum.  I was not intending to be offensive.
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« Reply #78 on: January 17, 2007, 10:30:03 PM »

Of course, Rome has a tendency to try and take things that arn't hers, but that's what got her excommunicated and kicked out of the Christian Church. The fact of the matter is that by this time Rome was a provincial backwater, Constantinople was the centre of the Empire and Constantinople, with the aid of our God-ordained Emperors, governed the Church.

I would be careful about having too much ethnic hubris. Where is Constantinople today?
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« Reply #79 on: January 17, 2007, 10:44:45 PM »

I would be careful about having too much ethnic hubris. Where is Constantinople today?

Bearing faithful Christian witness in the face of Turkish oppression (and sneering Latin derision like that comment, as well).
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« Reply #80 on: January 17, 2007, 11:11:40 PM »

Fool's argument about apostolicity?  I'm sorry to see you consider Pope St. Leo the Great's to be a fool's argument, who had these words to say to Emperor Marcian concerning the ambition of Bp. Anatolius:

Yes, a fool's argument...Leo is reaching, he sees the power his see once enjoyed slipping from his control and attempts to reassert it. The Empire, ever concerned with it's history and tradition (for example, until the fall of the Empire, and even afterwards in the Court of the Oecumenical Throne, it was not uncommon to see arguments based on the Twelve Tables) offered her Old Capital equality with the New Capital, yet Old Rome, ever greedy for power resisted; as a result she was marginalized amongst the other Churches, only able to increase it amongst the heathen barbarians of the west. In the end, Leo's arguments were mere rhetoric, they were never accepted, not even by Antioch and Alexandria, which he claimed to be defending.

Ultimately Leo's opinions on this matter had no force, following the synod of Chalcedon the authority of Constantinople was essentially undisputed amongst all the Churches save Old Rome, the opposition she did face in the east had been anathematized by said synod. In 458 Patriarch Timothy Aelurus of Alexandria was deposed by the Synod of Constantinople and his successor, Timothy Salophaciolus, was hand picked by the Oecumenical Patriarch and soon enthroned by the Synod of Alexandria. By 518 another substantial step was taken, not only was Severus of Antioch anathematized and deposed by the Synod of Constantinople, Patriarch Epiphanius of Constantinople personally traveled to Antioch to enthrone Paul of Antioch. In doing so, Constantinople had gained a position in the Church beyond which Rome had never enjoyed, an authority not only to depose Patirarchs of other Apostolic sees, but to elect and enthrone them as well...this practice would continue through the end of the fall of the Empire well into the turkokratia. Thus, when Rome was excommunicated by Constantinople, it was taken as granted by the other Ancient Sees that this was the right of the throne of Constantinople, and the authority of Constantinople in this matter was not questioned.

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That Rome might have held the primacy because of its location as Imperial Capital makes no sense given that these statements of sainted pontiffs come after the translation of the capital to Constantinople. Please provide me one example of any saint or Pope basing the authority of the Roman See upon the presence of the Imperial Senate therein. 

That's the unfortunate thing about Rome's new codified code of canon law, even the popish canonists no longer bother to learn the actual canons of the Ancient Church...the Holy and Oecumenical Synod of Chalcedon established this fact as the basis of the authority of the patriarchates, for the 28th Canon states, 'And the One Hundred and Fifty most religious Bishops, actuated by the same consideration, gave equal privileges to the most holy throne of New Rome, justly judging that the city which is honoured with the Sovereignty and the Senate, and enjoys equal privileges with the old imperial Rome, should in ecclesiastical matters also be magnified as she is'...Rome's authority was on account of the presence of the Sovereign and the Senate, when the said Imperium moved to New Rome, that city gained the honour bestowed by their presence.

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As for the Code of Justinian, it is not Canon Law.  It may be of importance for historical record, but is not of any authority in the affairs of the Church. 

It would be well advised to actually learn our canon law before commenting it. Since the time of Leo the Wise, canon and civil law are interchangeable...at first there were formal ratifications by the Church of civil law, and formal ratifications by the Emperor and Senate of canon law; though during the 13th century, this formality was dispensed with...Imperial decrees were automatically accepted by the Church, and Synodal decrees were automatically accepted by the Emperor and Senate. So the Code of Justinian, and even Imperial Legislation going back as far as the Twelve Tables, were accepted by the Church and they were actively used in canonical legislation and law.
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« Reply #81 on: January 17, 2007, 11:41:28 PM »

Bearing faithful Christian witness in the face of Turkish oppression (and sneering Latin derision like that comment, as well).

No sneering derision at all from me. I grieve what has become of Constantinople. After discovering John Bellairs's The Trolley to Yesterday, I grew up reading all I could about the Byzantines---Runciman, Norwich, Geanakoplos, everybody. I memorized Yeats' "Sailing to Byzantium." I watched John Romer's fine documentary Byzantium: the Lost Empire when it debuted on the Learning Channel in 1997 and later bought it on DVD.* In my historical career, I might have become a Byzantinist had I a better aptitude for learning many languages. I dreamed of the splendor of Constantinople at the height of the reign of Basil the Bulgar-Slayer. I still do. I wish for a great return to glory.

*http://www.amazon.com/Byzantium-Empire-John-Romer-III/dp/B00004REVW

But that doesn't hide the fact that Constantinople's glory is long, long past. Any kind of triumphant crowing about the state of Rome in the wake of the barbarian invasions warranted a response.

It's the faith that endures, not cities or empires.
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« Reply #82 on: January 18, 2007, 12:17:26 AM »

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Yes, a fool's argument

God forgive your impudence.

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The Empire, ever concerned with it's history and tradition (for example, until the fall of the Empire, and even afterwards in the Court of the Oecumenical Throne, it was not uncommon to see arguments based on the Twelve Tables) offered her Old Capital equality with the New Capital, yet Old Rome, ever greedy for power resisted;

Are you speaking imperially or ecclesiastically?  If ecclesiastically, please provide one example where the Empire "offered her Old Capital equality with the New Capital".  If imperially, what's your point, given you haven't proved your caesaropapist perspective from sources we can both accept (such as the Holy Orthodox Fathers from the first 8 Centuries).

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Leo's arguments were mere rhetoric, they were never accepted, not even by Antioch and Alexandria, which he claimed to be defending.

Are you really prepared to say that all which the sainted popes of the 5th & 6th Centuries said concerning the prerogatives of their see was mere 'rhetoric', never accepted? 

If neither Antioch nor Alexandria accepted the Old Rome's claims to the Apostolic Primacy, how are we to account for Patriarch Peter of Antioch, writing these words to Patriarch Ceralarius of Constantinople:

"Consider what would certainly happen if that great first and Apostolic See be divided from our holy Churches - wickedness would spread everywhere, and the whole world would be upset, the kingdoms of all the earth would be shaken, everywhere would be much woe, everywhere tears."

This, by the way, coming from a man who had next to no respect for Latins culturally.

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Ultimately Leo's opinions on this matter had no force, following the synod of Chalcedon the authority of Constantinople was essentially undisputed amongst all the Churches save Old Rome, the opposition she did face in the east had been anathematized by said synod. In 458 Patriarch Timothy Aelurus of Alexandria was deposed by the Synod of Constantinople and his successor, Timothy Salophaciolus, was hand picked by the Oecumenical Patriarch and soon enthroned by the Synod of Alexandria. By 518 another substantial step was taken, not only was Severus of Antioch anathematized and deposed by the Synod of Constantinople, Patriarch Epiphanius of Constantinople personally traveled to Antioch to enthrone Paul of Antioch. In doing so, Constantinople had gained a position in the Church beyond which Rome had never enjoyed, an authority not only to depose Patirarchs of other Apostolic sees, but to elect and enthrone them as well...this practice would continue through the end of the fall of the Empire well into the turkokratia. Thus, when Rome was excommunicated by Constantinople, it was taken as granted by the other Ancient Sees that this was the right of the throne of Constantinople, and the authority of Constantinople in this matter was not questioned.

Yes, these are stark examples you mention of Constantinople's usurpation.  I ask you, what tradition of the Holy Fathers allows for such behaviour on the part of a non-apostolic See? 

You say Leo's opinion on this matter has no force.  In doing so you fail to take into account the constant voice proceeding from the See of Peter claiming preeminence of authority based on its Petrine prerogatives.  Are you aware of all the statements proceeding from the sainted popes of the 4th, 5th & 6th Centuries to this effect?  Is this prerogative ever denied by a single sainted Holy Father of the Church of the Seven Oecumenical Synods?

Also, in claiming that "following the synod of Chalcedon the authority of Constantinople was essentially undisputed amongst all the Churches save Old Rome" you have failed to interact with the evidence already presented concerning the Alexandrian Patriarch.

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the Holy and Oecumenical Synod of Chalcedon established this fact as the basis of the authority of the patriarchates, for the 28th Canon states, 'And the One Hundred and Fifty most religious Bishops, actuated by the same consideration, gave equal privileges to the most holy throne of New Rome, justly judging that the city which is honoured with the Sovereignty and the Senate, and enjoys equal privileges with the old imperial Rome, should in ecclesiastical matters also be magnified as she is'

This Canon was never accepted by Rome.  It needed to be were it to possess Oecumenical status.  That is why the Fathers wrote a most respectful and even obsequious letter to the Pope asking for its recognition, which, of course, he refused to give.  Their words:

"you often spread out the Apostolic ray that shines in you even to the Church in Constantinople... Be pleased to accept what we ahve defined, to order ecclesiastical ranks and to remove all confusion, as being right and friendly and most convenient for good order, oh, most holy and blessed Father!  But the most holy bishops Paschasius and Lucentius, and the most reverend preist Boniface, who hold the place of your Holiness, have vehemently treid to withstand what we had ordered, doubtless wishing that this good arrangement should be begun by your own foresight.  Whereas we, considering the most pious and Christ-loving Emperors, who are delighted with what we have done, as also the illustrious Senate and indeed the whole Imperial city, have thought it wise to confirm its honour by a general council, and we have presumed to strenghten what was really, as it were, begun by your Holiness, inasmuch as you are always anxious to benefit us, and we know that whatever is well done by the sons belongs to the fathers, who look upon it as their own.   We beg you then to honour our decision with your decrees, so that just as we shall than add the consent of the Head, so your Highness may fulfil what your sons have don... So always will the pious Princes be pleased, who confirm as a law the decision of your Holiness."

The Fathers of the Chalcedonian Synod (and in no wise all of them, for the Illyrian Bishops & Metropolitan vigorously protested the Canon) to confirm their hoped-for gain, become supplicants, pure and simple.  They acknowledge Rome's Headship, a Headship in no wise based on Imperial preeminence, for that Old Rome no longer possessed.  This cannot be said of you.
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« Reply #83 on: January 18, 2007, 12:38:11 AM »

If neither Antioch nor Alexandria accepted the Old Rome's claims to the Apostolic Primacy, how are we to account for Patriarch Peter of Antioch, writing these words to Patriarch Ceralarius of Constantinople:

Justinian also referred to Rome as the "Apostolic See," as seen in a letter he wrote to Pope John II included in his Corpus Juris Civilis.
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« Reply #84 on: January 18, 2007, 12:45:04 AM »

Again, untrue.  Even given the legitimacy of the 28th Canon, (which was never accepted by the Roman See) the Canon specifically states that the dignity of the See of New Rome is to be "the second after her [Old Rome]", which is inconsistent with your assertion that "all the rights previously given to Old Rome were bestowed upon New Rome". 

Again, Chalcedon never gave Rome a line item veto either...she had two choices, to ebrace the synod in full or to embrace the monophysitism it condemned and thus to be separated from the Orthodox Church. You ascribe authorities to Rome that were never given her. She was once a respected see, before she fell into heresy, and at the time she was given the honour as the Ancient Capital.

As for the wording of the canon, it says that Constantinople 'should be magnified also as [Old Rome] is in respect of ecclesiastical affairs, as coming next after her, or as being second to her.' So while Old Rome was given liturgical precedence, Old Rome has no more administrative authority in the Church than New Rome. Or to quote Balsamon, 'And, as we said in the preceding canons, that the matters defined with regard to the pope are not his privileges alone, so that all condemned bishops must from necessity go before the throne of Rome, but that this is understood in as certain sense as to Constantinople. These things we say yet again.' Constantinople is the New Rome and the New Jerusalem and as such inherets the rights and privileges of the Old Cities.

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Yes, that is exactly my point.  Constantinople I never even declared itself Oecumenical.  It became so by papal approval. 

I would ask you what the criteria are for a Council's Oecumenicity.

It must be summoned by an Emperor, and thus be an Imperial Synod. It must then be accepted by the Church. Then it must be again declared an Oecumenical Synod by a subsequent Imperial Synod. This is why while the Orthodox are planning a Synod including the entire Church, none are so presumptuous as to call it Oecumenical; for while the Patriarch of Constantinople is the inheritor of the royal prerogatives, the Patriarch is not our God-Ordained Emperor, and thus cannot summon Imperial or Oecumenical Synods.

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The opinion of Rome is not irrelevant.  Before arguing this point I will give you a chance to actually read the acts of the Council of Chalcedon so you can get an idea of what the Council Fathers thought was necessary for their decisions to have legitimacy.

Old Rome's opinion was, of course, respected...but insofar as that opinion disagreed with an Oecumenical Synod, it is irrelevant.

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Read what I wrote earlier.  Antioch & Alexandria at first would have none of Constantinople's pretensions, hence the demonstrations of Pope St. Leo the Great.

Then at first they were in error...for several Imperial and Oecumenical Synods overturned their opinions.

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This is untrue inasmuch as intra-ecclesial disciple is subject to change.  Rome rightly resisted the initial usurpations of Constantinople.  As these usurpations became habitual and ossified, Rome accepted them de facto as she often does in other such situations.  In according to Constantinople 2nd place she was in no way passing favourable judgment upon the inherent necessity or justifiability of the aforementioned Canons, especially within the contexts in which their promulgation was initially attempted.

Rome's blatant disrespect for the Imperial Authority aside, her resistance to the Oecumenical Throne was hardly out of good intentions, she felt threatened, she reacted out of fear and greed for power. If this isn't manifest to you then I fear that you are so deluded by your own preconceptions that nothing I say will be of any effect. To be fair, I understand where Rome was comming from, heck I would have done the same thing if I was in the same position as Leo...but today we should be intelligent enough to realize that it was mere propaganda (like most things most patriarchs said...lol)
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« Reply #85 on: January 18, 2007, 01:22:50 AM »

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Again, Chalcedon never gave Rome a line item veto either...she had two choices, to ebrace the synod in full or to embrace the monophysitism it condemned and thus to be separated from the Orthodox Church.

False dichotomy.  The Canon Rome rightly rejected had nothing to do with Monophysitism, and moreover, if Rome in refusing that Canon "separated from the Orthodox Church", then why is Pope St. Leo the Great, who in your scenario would be a schismatic, esteemed a saint?

As for the line item veto, it was more the other way round.  Pope St. Leo wrote his Tomvs & instructed his legates to entertain no argument concerning it.  They were to accept it in full or not recieve his approval.

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As for the wording of the canon, it says that Constantinople 'should be magnified also as [Old Rome] is in respect of ecclesiastical affairs, as coming next after her, or as being second to her.' So while Old Rome was given liturgical precedence, Old Rome has no more administrative authority in the Church than New Rome. Or to quote Balsamon, 'And, as we said in the preceding canons, that the matters defined with regard to the pope are not his privileges alone, so that all condemned bishops must from necessity go before the throne of Rome, but that this is understood in as certain sense as to Constantinople. These things we say yet again.' Constantinople is the New Rome and the New Jerusalem and as such inherets the rights and privileges of the Old Cities.

Excuse my ignorance, what is 'liturgical preference', and where do you see this idea present in the 28th Canon?

Earlier I invited you to "prove[] your caesaropapist perspective from sources we can both accept (such as the Holy Orthodox Fathers from the first 8 Centuries)".  A post-schism Byzantine canonist does not count.  Please give me patristic witness to your understanding of Canonical/Civil relation.

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Old Rome's opinion was, of course, respected...but insofar as that opinion disagreed with an Oecumenical Synod, it is irrelevant.

If it was irrelevant insofar as it contradicted the decision of an Oecumenical Synod, then why did the Chalcedonian Fathers (or rather the Byzantine Chalcedonian Fathers) implore their Father's blessing upon their decision? 

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Rome's blatant disrespect for the Imperial Authority aside, her resistance to the Oecumenical Throne was hardly out of good intentions, she felt threatened, she reacted out of fear and greed for power. If this isn't manifest to you then I fear that you are so deluded by your own preconceptions that nothing I say will be of any effect. To be fair, I understand where Rome was comming from, heck I would have done the same thing if I was in the same position as Leo...but today we should be intelligent enough to realize that it was mere propaganda (like most things most patriarchs said...lol)

You criticize the Successor of St. Peter for what you regard as "blatant disrespect for Imperial Authority" and then go on to show your own blatant disrespect for the Bishop of the Apostolic See.  To speak frankly, I have never debated with someone so self-avowedly Caesaropapist as you, and I am having a hard time finding ways to relate and reason.  Maybe my question will seem frivolous, but does it not seem right that the chief heirarch of the Church ought to be accorded more respect than a political leader?  Does not the realm of grace transcend that of nature?  What of the St. Athanasius, what of St. Basil?  They feared not the King; they feared Christ & are glorified on that account.  And to me it seems they would certainly not have passed off in such a flippant manner as you the claims of the Successor St. Peter. 
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« Reply #86 on: January 18, 2007, 01:24:39 AM »

God forgive your impudence.

I'll ask God for forgiveness when I think I need it, thank you very much.

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Are you speaking imperially or ecclesiastically?  If ecclesiastically, please provide one example where the Empire "offered her Old Capital equality with the New Capital".  If imperially, what's your point, given you haven't proved your caesaropapist perspective from sources we can both accept (such as the Holy Orthodox Fathers from the first 8 Centuries).

I gave you an ecclesiastical source...Chalcedon. As far as a source we both accept about the authority of the Emperor, no, perhaps I haven't given you a source...and if I really wanted to I could dig up a few quotes from people we'd both regard as saints, I know exactly where I could find a few such sources, but it really wouldn't make a difference. You'd find some reason as to why their opinions dont matter. The reality of the matter is that the Empire and Church were one entity; your attempt to divide them demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of Imperial politics and the relationship between Church and State in the Empire. I've given you the imperial sources and well respected Orthodox Sources (esp. Balsamon, Zonaras, and Aristenos).

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Are you really prepared to say that all which the sainted popes of the 5th & 6th Centuries said concerning the prerogatives of their see was mere 'rhetoric', never accepted? 

Ummm, the rhetoric was about the relationship between Constantinople and Alexandrian and Antioch I thought? Not about the relationship between Constantinople and Rome?...you betray your bias.

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Yes, these are stark examples you mention of Constantinople's usurpation.  I ask you, what tradition of the Holy Fathers allows for such behaviour on the part of a non-apostolic See? 

This conduct was accepted by all the Sees, even Rome commemorated the Patriarchs enthroned by Constantinople...thus demonstrating acceptance. For all of Rome's rhetoric, she never offered any real resistance to Constantinople, she never broke communion, she never tried to have Constantinople condemned in a synod...ultimately she realized that Constantinople had the support of the Church, Rome could offer nothing but Rhetoric in defence of her ancient authority.

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You say Leo's opinion on this matter has no force.  In doing so you fail to take into account the constant voice proceeding from the See of Peter claiming preeminence of authority based on its Petrine prerogatives.  Are you aware of all the statements proceeding from the sainted popes of the 4th, 5th & 6th Centuries to this effect?  Is this prerogative ever denied by a single sainted Holy Father of the Church of the Seven Oecumenical Synods?

Ummm, no it wasn't proclaimed by the Seven Synods...Chalcedon and Trullo both stated that Rome's traditional authority were a result of her being the first Imperial City...I dont know that the Oecumenical Synods ever even mentioned 'petrine perogatives' in spite of reliance of Rome on these arguments for propaganda purposes.

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Also, in claiming that "following the synod of Chalcedon the authority of Constantinople was essentially undisputed amongst all the Churches save Old Rome" you have failed to interact with the evidence already presented concerning the Alexandrian Patriarch.

Almost prophetic, wasn't it, Rome did split form the Christian Church, and what was the result? Rome spread heresy and wickedness to all corners of the globe. Of course, I thought we were discussing the relationship of Constantinople to Alexandria and Antioch...not the wickedness of Rome?

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This Canon was never accepted by Rome.  It needed to be were it to possess Oecumenical status.  That is why the Fathers wrote a most respectful and even obsequious letter to the Pope asking for its recognition, which, of course, he refused to give.  Their words:

The opinions of any See, so far as they are contrary to the decrees of an Imperial Synod, are irrelevant. Only an Imperial Synod may question an Imperial Synod...and even more so when the Imperial Synod has been decreed Oecumenical.

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The Fathers of the Chalcedonian Synod (and in no wise all of them, for the Illyrian Bishops & Metropolitan vigorously protested the Canon) to confirm their hoped-for gain, become supplicants, pure and simple.  They acknowledge Rome's Headship, a Headship in no wise based on Imperial preeminence, for that Old Rome no longer possessed.  This cannot be said of you.

Rome only gained authority in the first place because she was the Imperial See. The same reason Antioch and Alexandria gained authority...if we were to go off apostolicity then Jerusalem would be the first See of Christendom...but she barely made fifth, for she was not of importance in the Empire. Heck, if we want to be purely apostolic, no bishopric would have authority above another. You can present all the 4th Century propaganda you want, but I'm not as stupid as you believe me to be, I know propaganda when I see it. Heck, I'll admit that many things that came out of Constantinople were also propaganda, but at least the propganada comming out of Constantinople had the support of the Imperial Authority.
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« Reply #87 on: January 18, 2007, 01:43:28 AM »

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I gave you an ecclesiastical source...Chalcedon.

Even the rejected Chalcedonian Canon did not "offer the Old Capital equality with the New Capital".

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if I really wanted to I could dig up a few quotes from people we'd both regard as saints, I know exactly where I could find a few such sources, but it really wouldn't make a difference. You'd find some reason as to why their opinions dont matter.

No, I should really like to see them.

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This conduct was accepted by all the Sees, even Rome commemorated the Patriarchs enthroned by Constantinople...thus demonstrating acceptance

Rome's commemoration of the accession of Constantinopolitan Patriarchs is in no way equivalent to an endorsement of all those Patriarchs' subsequent abuses of power.  I would think that obvious, especially given what I have cited of Popes Ss. Leo & Gregory Dialogist.

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Rome only gained authority in the first place because she was the Imperial See. The same reason Antioch and Alexandria gained authority...if we were to go off apostolicity then Jerusalem would be the first See of Christendom...but she barely made fifth, for she was not of importance in the Empire

The See of Jerusalem was not held by the Head of the Apostolic College.  Rome was.  Perhaps another and younger day we can proof-text.  For now I will reiterate my challenge and ask you to show me a single sainted Father of the first, let's say 5, Centuries which held the same understanding of episcopal primacy as you. 

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For all of Rome's rhetoric, she never offered any real resistance to Constantinople, she never broke communion, she never tried to have Constantinople condemned in a synod...ultimately she realized that Constantinople had the support of the Church, Rome could offer nothing but Rhetoric in defence of her ancient authority.

You must be joking. 

Are you familiar with the Arian crisis?  Constantinople 55 years out of Communion.
Acacian schism?  35 years.
Monotheletism. 41 years.
Iconoclasm.  61 years.

And who, incidentally, was on the Orthodox side in all these cases?  Who on the heretical?

Goodnight for now.
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« Reply #88 on: January 18, 2007, 03:25:05 AM »

Fool's argument about apostolicity?  I'm sorry to see you consider Pope St. Leo the Great's to be a fool's argument....

If you had done any research on the Orthodox position, you would know that the East has never accepted the so-called Decretium Gelasianum regarding primacy.  GIC is basically correct in his assessment of the Eastern position. 

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Note that St. Gregory too relies upon the 'fool's argument' from apostolicity, hence his constant reference to Rome as the 'Apostolic See'.

Again, nowadays at least, this constant crowing about the "Apostolic See" is either offensive or somewhat amusing to the Orthodox, depending on the context in which it is used.  Since you are addressing Orthodox people on this forum, one could argue that it is both in this context.  Literally hundreds of sees in the East can legitimately argue that they are of apostolic foundation.  It's nice that Rome can claim to have been founded by an apostle, but we have several of our own "Apostolic Sees" here in the East, thank you, while the West has one.  You should really learn more about Orthodox approaches to ecclesiology before making posts like the ones you have made.  You're obviously a very erudite person, that shouldn't be difficult for you.  (I don't mean that sarcastically.)

In the same vein, I should tell you that the Orthodox regard all bishops as being, in a very real way, the successor of St. Peter, just as much as the bishop of Rome.

I tell you these things not to shame or insult you, but to remind you of where you are posting, and for you to remember that the whole world does not share Rome's points of reference. 

The very provocative name you chose for yourself and the equally provocative saying of Leonid Feodorov that you posted on your profile do little to endear yourself to the Orthodox.  I'm not a moderator, but I think you should remember that this is an Orthodox forum first and foremost.  Nevertheless, I am of the opinion that we should welcome Catholics of good faith here for discussion.  Fortunately, the moderators are of the same opinion.
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« Reply #89 on: January 18, 2007, 09:53:43 AM »

Of course, the opinion of Rome on this matter is completely irrelevant; I don't believe the Synod ever gave Rome the option of a line item veto. Of course, Rome has a tendency to try and take things that arn't hers, but that's what got her excommunicated and kicked out of the Christian Church. The fact of the matter is that by this time Rome was a provincial backwater, Constantinople was the centre of the Empire and Constantinople, with the aid of our God-ordained Emperors, governed the Church.

Please excuse me for intruding on this thread, but if I may be allowed one comment.  The above would not seem to be the opinion of Constantinople in that period, as the words of Anatolius of Constantinople would indicate.

Quote from: Anatolius of Constantinople
As for those things which the universal Council of Chalcedon recently ordained in favor of the church of Constantinople, let Your Holiness be sure that there was no fault in me, who from my youth have always loved peace and quiet, keeping myself in humility. It was the most reverend clergy of the church of Constantinople who were eager about it, and they were equally supported by the most reverend priests of those parts, who agreed about it. Even so, the whole force of confirmation of the acts was reserved for the authority of Your Blessedness. Therefore, let Your Holiness know for certain that I did nothing to further the matter, knowing always that I held myself bound to avoid the lusts of pride and covetousness.

Here we see no denial or attack on the Pope's authority either to confirm the acts, which contrarily Anatolius seems to recognize entirely, but instead are faced with what seems an apology about the entire canon itself.  He also seems to describe that canon as a bid for power by the local clergy, which sounds a lot like how some people actually want to see Rome's attitude.  But, in any case, it is clear that Constantinople herself had no qualms with the methods of "Old Rome" and so why should we?

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« Reply #90 on: January 18, 2007, 11:55:23 AM »

Here we see no denial or attack on the Pope's authority either to confirm the acts, which contrarily Anatolius seems to recognize entirely, but instead are faced with what seems an apology about the entire canon itself.  He also seems to describe that canon as a bid for power by the local clergy, which sounds a lot like how some people actually want to see Rome's attitude.  But, in any case, it is clear that Constantinople herself had no qualms with the methods of "Old Rome" and so why should we? 

Not that I really want to enter the debate, but one quote from one appeaser in a time when the canonical reordering was fresh in the Church doesn't amount to much.  ISTM that he's just hedging his bets, placing himself in the good graces of Old Rome in case a reversal happened (which was possible if the Emperor decided to shift his influence.)
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« Reply #91 on: January 18, 2007, 12:56:15 PM »

Not that I really want to enter the debate, but one quote from one appeaser in a time when the canonical reordering was fresh in the Church doesn't amount to much.  ISTM that he's just hedging his bets, placing himself in the good graces of Old Rome in case a reversal happened (which was possible if the Emperor decided to shift his influence.)

Yes, I can actually accept that this may be possible, though it is certainly very speculative.  I also think it doesn't fairly consider all the facts.  Looking at some of what was posted above what is ultimately being suggested is that the senior Patriarch of the universal Church, with the very Empire at his back, is attempting to appease the bishop in a 'provincial backwater.'  Is that really very likely?

I think it is worth noticing that when the Pope says he has this or that authority he is just grabbing power.  And when others recognize his authority they are either exceptions who are in error, or they are appeasing him.  But, when the Emperor, who ruled the entire world and basically held many lives in his hand said he had an authority it is because he had it.  And when the bishops, all of whom he could exile or have executed if he so desired, seem to recognize his authority it is because they are expressing the 'sensum fidelium.'  Why is that?

In my opinion, and it is opinion I will readily admit, a much more likely interpretation in the opposite.  It is not at all surprising that at times the Emperor pretended to more authority in religious matters than he really had, and it is equally unsurprising that often those subject to that power were unwilling to disagree.  It is certainly much less likely that these people would have shown such deference to the bishop in Rome, who was so remote and so powerless by comparison.

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« Reply #92 on: January 18, 2007, 06:53:30 PM »

Justinian also referred to Rome as the "Apostolic See," as seen in a letter he wrote to Pope John II included in his Corpus Juris Civilis.

And Chrysostom refers to Constantinople as 'the city of the Apostles' as well...so what's your point? (PG LVI, 246...if you need a reference)
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« Reply #93 on: January 18, 2007, 08:17:35 PM »

Even the rejected Chalcedonian Canon did not "offer the Old Capital equality with the New Capital".

Yes it did, didn't you read the interpretation of Balsamon? Oh, and before you scoff at Balsamon again, do understand that in the Orthodox Church his interpretations are held in a reverence equal to the canons of the Oecumenical Synods themselves...to attempt to simply dismiss the opinions of Balsamon in a discussion about Orthodox Canon Law is to invite ridicule of your position and a dismissed as ridiculous, no matter how sound your position. If you wish to debate the east in matters of canon law I recommend you learn more about the discipline...even a learning about the latin discipline of Canon Law in the 19th Century would probably suffice...though the significance of Roman Law in ours makes it a bit more complex (mind you, many elements of Roman Law are in Latin canon law as well...though you all are generally unwilling to admit as much).

Also to present the opinions of Zonaras, which are held in equal esteem to those of Balsamon, 'THe hundred and fifty Fathers of the Council of Constantinople have awarded to the Bishop of New Rome preogatives equal to those of the Bishop of Old Rome.'

Likewise, the Nomocanons of Photius states, 'The canonical disputes arising throughout Illyricum must not be cut off from the judgement of th eArchbishop of Constantinople and his synod, which has the perogative of Old Rome.'

And also the fathers of the Sixth Oecumenical Synod proclaimed, 'The Bishop of Constantionple enjoys perogatives equal to those of the Bishop of Old Rome.'

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No, I should really like to see them.

Fine, have it your way, I shall let this argument degrade into pointless proof texting...here's to the end of what minimal valid academic work has been thus far presented Roll Eyes

'You, the great city, the first after the first [Rome], immediately after, or maybe it is not even necessary to make this restriction.' -- St. Gregory of Nazianzus, 380

'Is it the city of the Apostles which does these things, the city which received so great an expounder of the faith' -- St. John Chrysostom, in reference to the Imperial City of New Rome

Theodoret refering to the Patriarch of Constantinople says, 'He was entrusted with the presidency of the Catholic Curch of the Orthodox who are in Constantinople, and no less of the whole oecumene.'

'If any Clergyman has a dispute with another, let him not leave his own Bishop and resort to secular courts, but let him first submit his case to his own Bishop, or let it be tried by referees chosen by both parties and approved by the Bishop. Let anyone who acts contrary hereto be liable to Canonical penalties. If, on the other hand, a Clergyman has a dispute with his own Bishop, or with some other Bishop, let it be tried by the Synod of the province. But if any Bishop or Clergyman has a dispute with the Metropolitan of the same province, let him apply either to the Exarch of the diocese or to the throne of the imperial capital Constantinople, and let it be tried before him.' -- 9th Canon of Chalcedon (establishing Constantinople as the ultimate see of appeal)

'As touching rural parishes, or country parishes, in any province, they shall remain in the undisputed possession of the bishops now holding them, and especially if they have held them in their possession and have managed them without coercion for thirty years or more. But if during a period of thirty years there has arisen or should arise some dispute concerning them, those claiming to have been unjustly treated shall be permitted to complain to the Synod of the province. But if anyone has been unjustly treated by his own Metropolitan, let him complain to the Exarch of the diocese, or let him have his case tried before the throne of Constantinople, according as he may choose. If, on the other hand, any city has been rebuilt by imperial authority, or has been built anew again, pursuant to civil and public formalities, let the order of the ecclesiastical parishes be followed.' -- 17th Canon of Chalcedon (reinforcing Constantinople's posistion as the ultimate see of appeal)

'The throne of Constantinople, honoured by the imperial office, was designated first by conciliar decisions; the divine laws which succeeded these decisions decree that disputes occuring in the jurisdictional areas of other thrones should be referred to the judgement and verdict of that throne.' Third titulus of the Epanagoge of the Law

'Go to Byzantium and you will see the new Jerusalem, Constantinople.' -- Life of St. Daniel the Stylite, 10

'New Jerusalem was built at the very Testimony to the Saviour, facing the famous Jerusalem of old, which after the bloody murder of the Lord had been overthrown in utter devastation, and paid the penalty of its wicked inhabitants. Opposite this then the Emperor erected the victory of the Saviour over death with rich and abundant munificence, this being perhaps that fresh new Jerusalem proclaimed in prophetic oracles, about which long speeches recite innumerable praises as they utter words of divine inspiration.' -- Eusebius

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Rome's commemoration of the accession of Constantinopolitan Patriarchs is in no way equivalent to an endorsement of all those Patriarchs' subsequent abuses of power.  I would think that obvious, especially given what I have cited of Popes Ss. Leo & Gregory Dialogist.

The statements were obviously mere rhetoric and propaganda, as I said before no substantial action was taken by Rome...communion was not broken. If Rome didn't take their rhetoric seriously enough to back it up with substantial actions, why should I take their propaganda seriously?

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Are you familiar with the Arian crisis?  Constantinople 55 years out of Communion.
Acacian schism?  35 years.
Monotheletism. 41 years.
Iconoclasm.  61 years.

Ummm, I know Rome didn't break communion with Constantinople for 55 years during the Arian controversy; so considering the blatant falsehood of your first statistic, I am bound to dismiss the numbering of the rest. Yes, there were some patriarchs of Constantinople who were heretics, there were also some Emperors who were heretics, as there were popes of Rome who were heretics. Of course it is Rome who, for half the existance of the Church, has remained outside the Same.
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« Reply #94 on: January 19, 2007, 12:55:14 AM »

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Even the rejected Chalcedonian Canon did not "offer the Old Capital equality with the New Capital".

Yes it did, didn't you read the interpretation of Balsamon? Oh, and before you scoff at Balsamon again, do understand that in the Orthodox Church his interpretations are held in a reverence equal to the canons of the Oecumenical Synods themselves...to attempt to simply dismiss the opinions of Balsamon in a discussion about Orthodox Canon Law is to invite ridicule of your position and a dismissed as ridiculous, no matter how sound your position.


One ought not to argue by assuming contested premises as you here have done.  The degree to which the Orthodox revere Balsamon is irrelevant in this polemical context which context consists in a discussion of the writings of the Holy Fathers of the early centuries. 

My 'attempt to simply dismiss the opinions of Balsamon in a discussion about Orthodox Canon Law" at least ought not "invite ridicule" given the aforementioned parameters.  This debate concerns the form in which Orthodox Canon law consisted in the first centuries and in the minds of the Holy Fathers whom we both revere (or at least whom I revere - given your condescending statements towards sainted pontiffs I am unsure whether I can make the same affirmation in your regard).  It does not concern the form it took in the mind & writings of a controversial 12th Century Canonist.

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And also the fathers of the Sixth Oecumenical Synod proclaimed, 'The Bishop of Constantionple enjoys perogatives equal to those of the Bishop of Old Rome.'

Where?

You are aware that the Quinisext council was never accepted as Oecumenical in the West, and therefore falls outside the established parameters of this debate?

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Fine, have it your way, I shall let this argument degrade into pointless proof texting...here's to the end of what minimal valid academic work has been thus far presented

This is what you had said earlier:

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The Empire, ever concerned with it's history and tradition (for example, until the fall of the Empire, and even afterwards in the Court of the Oecumenical Throne, it was not uncommon to see arguments based on the Twelve Tables) offered her Old Capital equality with the New Capital, yet Old Rome, ever greedy for power resisted;

Ironically, the St. Gregory Theologian quote explicitly contradicts your thesis, in that he calls Constantinople "the first after the first".

St. John Chrysostom nowhere mentions the Imperial See's equality with Rome.

As for the Theodoret, I would be interested in knowing its source.  I admit to having never come across that saying of his. However, given statements of his such as these:

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"I therefore beseech your holiness to persuade the most holy and blessed bishop (Pope Leo) to use his Apostolic power, and to order me to hasten to your Council. For that most holy throne (Rome) has the sovereignty over the churches throughout the universe on many grounds."
(Tom. iv. Epist. cxvi. Renato, p. 1197).

"If Paul, the herald of the truth, the trumpet of the Holy Spirit, hastened to the great Peter, to convey from him the solution to those in Antioch, who were at issue about living under the law, how much more do we, poor and humble, run to the Apostolic Throne (Rome) to receive from you (Pope Leo) healing for wounds of the the Churches. For it pertains to you to have primacy in all things; for your throne is adorned with many prerogatives. ... Your city has the fullest abundance of good things from the giver of all good. ... But her chief decoration is her faith, to which the divine apostle is a sure witness when he exclaims "Your faith is proclaimed in all the world"; and if, immediately after receiving the seeds of the saving gospel, she bore such a weight of wondrous fruit, what words are sufficient to express the piety which is now found in her? She has, too, the tombs of our common fathers and teachers of the truth, Peter and Paul, to enlighten the souls of the faithful. And this blessed and divine pair arose indeed in the East, and shed its rays in all directions, but voluntarily underwent the sunset of life in the West, from whence now they light up the whole world. These have rendered your see so glorious: this the height of your good things. For their God has made their see bright, since he has settled your holiness in it to send forth the rays of the true faith."
(Ibid, Epistle Leoni)

"...Twenty-six years I have been a bishop; I have undergone countless labours; I have struggled hard for the truth; I have freed tens of thousands of heretics and brought them to the Saviour, and now they have stripped me of my priesthood, and are exiling me from the city. ... Wherefore I beseech your sanctity to persuade the very sacred and holy Archbishop Leo to bid me hasten to your council. For that holy see has precedence of all churches in the world, for many reasons; and above all for this, that it is free from all taint of heresy, and that no bishop of false opinions has ever sat upon its throne, but it has kept the grace of the apostles undefiled."
(Ep. 116, to Renatus the presbyter. A.D. 449. [P.G. 83. 1324; P.N.F. 3. 295B.])

"For as I", he says [quoting Luke 22. 31,32 -- EBB], "did not despise thee when tossed, so be thou a support to thy brethren in trouble, and the help by which thou wast saved do thou thyself impart to others, and exhort them not while they are tottering, but raise them up in their peril. For this reason I suffer thee also to slip, but do not permit thee to fail, [thus] through thee gaining steadfastness for those who are tossed." So this great pillar supported the tossing and sinking world, and permitted it not to fall entirely and gave it back stability, having been ordered to feed God's sheep."
(Oratio de Caritate. [P.G. 82. 1509.])
The Life of St. Daniel Stylite does not accord Constantinople ecclesiastical equality with Old Rome.

Neither does Eusebius.

Even the Byzantines at Chalcedon never attempted to accord Constantinople equality with Rome, as evinced by its 28th Canon which says New Rome "should be second after her [Old Rome]"  "Second after" does not equal the "equality" which you claim the Empire offered.

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I am bound to dismiss the numbering of the rest.

Are you really denying that Constantinople was cut off from Roman Communion for 35 years during the Acacian schism?
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« Reply #95 on: January 19, 2007, 01:07:17 AM »

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If you had done any research on the Orthodox position, you would know that the East has never accepted the so-called Decretium Gelasianum regarding primacy.  GIC is basically correct in his assessment of the Eastern position.
 

Of what relevance here is the Decretium Gelasianum?

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Literally hundreds of sees in the East can legitimately argue that they are of apostolic foundation.  It's nice that Rome can claim to have been founded by an apostle,


This is obviously not the sense in which the Popes of Rome and Fathers of the East have referred to Rome as "the Apostolic See".

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but we have several of our own "Apostolic Sees" here in the East, thank you, while the West has one.

I was aware of that.  Thank you. 

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You should really learn more about Orthodox approaches to ecclesiology before making posts like the ones you have made.

I am spending time on this forum for the very purpose of "learning more about Orthodox approaches to ecclesiology," and so far it has proved an enlightening experience.  It has, for instance, revealed to me the extent to which Caesaropapism still holds sway amongst defenders of at least one of the "Orthodox approaches to ecclesiology" you mention.   

This all said, it has been my attempt to bring to bear the witness of the ancient Bishops of the See of St. Peter.  If that voice is inconsistent with "Orthodox approaches to ecclesiology," then I think that is something which should reasonably be discussed. 

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I tell you these things not to shame or insult you, but to remind you of where you are posting, and for you to remember that the whole world does not share Rome's points of reference. 


Believe me, I understand this.  I am simply trying to show from the ground we hold in common, namely (and not limited to) the sainted Pontiffs of Old Rome, what it is I hold as evidence for the patristic vindication of my ecclesial perspective.   

Goodnight all.
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« Reply #96 on: January 19, 2007, 09:24:22 AM »

One ought not to argue by assuming contested premises as you here have done.  The degree to which the Orthodox revere Balsamon is irrelevant in this polemical context which context consists in a discussion of the writings of the Holy Fathers of the early centuries. 

Of what relevance is their opinions? They are private opinions not binding legal documents. You may not accept my sources as relevant, but I have a similar view of yours. Many people said many things, none of which amounts to binding dogma or discipline. I have thus far presented relevent legal documents from Synods and Imperial Legislation and relevant interpretations by well respected and well qualified canonists and lawyers...and what have you responded with? Private opinion...

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My 'attempt to simply dismiss the opinions of Balsamon in a discussion about Orthodox Canon Law" at least ought not "invite ridicule" given the aforementioned parameters.

Ah, but it does invite ridicule as they amount to nothing more than ad hominem attacks, for the opinions of Balsamon are not innovations of the 12th century, rather are commentary on ancient law. Rather than address those laws you prefer to try to proof text by quoting private opinions of various individuals, none of which have any canonically or legally binding authority.

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This debate concerns the form in which Orthodox Canon law consisted in the first centuries and in the minds of the Holy Fathers whom we both revere.

Private opinion is irrelevant, especially considering most of it was given for political reasons, and that actions rarely lined up with words. Of greater significance than what individuals said is what they actually did, this demonstrates the true significance and leadership of Constantinople in the life of the Church from the time of Nicea and especially following Chalcedon. Of course, even these historical actions are of limited value in debate, for the legal system of the Church is based on civil, not common, law...precedent cannot establish legality. Ultimately, the only things of relevance are codified laws of either synodal or imperial promulgation, and as secondary sources, legal commentaries on said laws.

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You are aware that the Quinisext council was never accepted as Oecumenical in the West, and therefore falls outside the established parameters of this debate?

It was summoned by an Emperor and ratified as part of the sixth oecumenical synod by Nicea II...the synod is Oecumenical and a rejection of it by the west simply places the west outside the communion of the Church which accepted the synod as such at the Seventh Oecumenical Synod.

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Ironically, the St. Gregory Theologian quote explicitly contradicts your thesis, in that he calls Constantinople "the first after the first".

As a formality, the dismisses the necessity for that qualification in the next breath.

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St. John Chrysostom nowhere mentions the Imperial See's equality with Rome.

That wasn't the point, the point was to say that Chrysostom refered to Constantinople as the Apostolic See.

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As for the Theodoret, I would be interested in knowing its source.  I admit to having never come across that saying of his.

I'll look it up when I get home, I'm at work right now.

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The Life of St. Daniel Stylite does not accord Constantinople ecclesiastical equality with Old Rome.

Neither does Eusebius.

Again, not the point, the point was that Constantinople was equated with the Heavenly Jerusalem, placing it above all cities of this world.

As I said before, proof texting is pointless, we can argue about the details indefinitely, but in the end they're all private opinion. And you didn't even address the relevant quotes posted, the ones relating to canon and imperial law.

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Even the Byzantines at Chalcedon never attempted to accord Constantinople equality with Rome, as evinced by its 28th Canon which says New Rome "should be second after her [Old Rome]"  "Second after" does not equal the "equality" which you claim the Empire offered.

Refering to ordering in the dyptics, the canons also gave the perogatives of Old Rome to New Rome. So Rome was listed first in the dyptics, as was ancient custom, and would also be the first to sign any synodal documents. Of course, Constantinople with the blessings of the Emperor became the Oecumenical Patriarch, giving her the right to, along with the Emperor, preside over any Synod at which she was present and to set the agenda for the same. The two Churches had different roles in these contexts for various historical reasons.
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« Reply #97 on: January 19, 2007, 09:23:53 PM »

Of what relevance is their opinions? They are private opinions not binding legal documents. You may not accept my sources as relevant, but I have a similar view of yours.

They are more than opinions.  The Fathers constantly and in the most forceful language attest to the Primacy of the Roman See and its divine prerogatives based on Petrine succession.

You say I do not accept your sources as relevant.  And, indeed, as far as 12th Century Canon law goes, and for the purposes & within the parameters (or rather what should be the parameters) of this discussion, I don't.  But you say you have a similar view of mine.  Friend, are you not cognizant of the fact that I have been relying upon 4th through 6th Century Saints?  These sources are irrelevant to you? 

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Many people said many things, none of which amounts to binding dogma or discipline. I have thus far presented relevent legal documents from Synods and Imperial Legislation and relevant interpretations by well respected and well qualified canonists and lawyers...and what have you responded with? Private opinion...

"Many [Holy Fathers of the Holy Orthodox Catholic Faith] said many things" concerning the See of Rome, and they are all unanimous in according to it the first place based upon its position as the See of St. Peter Prince of Apostles.  And whatever you might think, the doctrine of the Fathers is binding, inasmuch as it is a sure witness to the Apostolic Faith.  If you don't believe me, please take that up with the rest of your venerable Orthodox friends - for indeed, most of the Orthodox that fall within the sphere of my friendship tend to carry themselves with significantly more reverence in respect to the Holy Fathers than I have seen borne out in your comments here.

You "have thus far presented relevant legal documents from Synods" which I have in the first place shown not to corroborate your novel understanding of Constantinople's position (i.e. equality to Rome), and second to have not been of Oecumenical authority.  As for "Imperial Legislation," we have established that from my perspective it holds no divine authority.  So its citation within this argument is irrelevant.  Why, might I ask, do you insist on reiterating this argument given your knowledge of its inevitable inefficacy in my case? 

But as far the understanding of Emperors goes, what do you make of such statements as these?:

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+ The Emperor Theodosius and Valentinian to Aetius, Master of the Military and Patrician:

"It is certain that for us the only defence lies in the favour of the God of heaven; and to deserve it our first care is to support the Christian faith and its venerable religion. Inasmuch then as the primacy of the apostolic see is assured, by the merit of S. Peter, who is chief of the episcopal order, by the rank of the city of Rome, and also by the authority of a sacred synod, let no one presume to attempt any illicit act contrary to the authority of that see. For then at length will the peace of the churches be maintained everywhere, if the whole body acknowledges its ruler.

"Hitherto these customs have been observed without fail; but Hilary of Arles, as we are informed by the trustworthy report of that venerable man Leo, Pope of Rome, has with contumacious daring ventured upon certain unlawful proceedings.... For Hilary who is called bishop of Arles, without consulting the pontiff of the church of the city of Rome, has in solitary rashness usurped his jurisdiction by the ordination of bishops ... and after investigation they have been dispersed by the order of that pious man the Pope of the city. The sentence applies to Hilary and to those whom he has wickedly ordained. This same sentence would have been valid through the Gauls without imperial sanction; for what is not allowed in the Church to the authority of so great a pontiff? Hilary is allowed still to be called a bishop, only by the kindness of the gentle president; and our just command is, that it is not lawful either for him or for anyone else to mix church affairs with arms or to obstruct the orders of the Roman overseer. ... in order that not even the least disturbance may arise amongst the churches, nor the discipline of religion appear in any instance to be weakened, we decree by this eternal law that it shall not be lawful for bishops ... contrary to ancient custom, to do aught without the authority of the venerable Pope of the eternal city. And whatever the authority of the apostolic see has sanctioned, or may sanction, shall be the law for all; so that if any bishop summoned to trial before the pontiff of Rome shall neglect to come, he shall be compelled to appear by the governor of that province. Those things which our divine parents conferred on the Roman church are to be upheld in every way."
(Valentinian III, Certum est. 8 July 445. In Leo, Ep. II. [P.L. 54. 637; Kidd, Docs. 2. 282.])

Theodosian Code (XVI.1.2)

"It is our desire that all the various nation which are subject to our clemency and moderation, should continue to the profession of that religion which was delivered to the Romans by the divine Apostle Peter..."

+ Emperor Justinian (520-533):

 to Pope St. Agapetus (ca. A.D. 535):

"...the source of the priesthood...the venerable See of the most high Apostle Peter...No one doubts that the height of the Supreme Pontificate is at Rome."

>> Writing to Pope John I...

"Yielding honor to the Apostolic See and to Your Holiness, and honoring your Holiness, as one ought to honor a father, we have hastened to subject all the priests of the whole Eastern district, and to unite them to the See of your Holiness, for we do not allow of any point, however manifest and indisputable it be, which relates to the state of the Churches, not being brought to the cognizance of your Holiness, since you are the Head of all the holy Churches."
(Justinian Epist. ad. Pap. Joan. ii. Cod. Justin. lib. I. tit. 1).

>> Writing to Pope Hormisdas...

"Let your Apostleship show that you have worthily succeeded to the Apostle Peter, since the Lord will work through you, as Surpreme Pastor, the salvation of all.
(Coll. Avell. Ep. 196, July 9th, 520, Justinian to Pope Hormisdas).

I digress.

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Ah, but it does invite ridicule as they amount to nothing more than ad hominem attacks, for the opinions of Balsamon are not innovations of the 12th century, rather are commentary on ancient law. Rather than address those laws you prefer to try to proof text by quoting private opinions of various individuals, none of which have any canonically or legally binding authority.

Ad hominem attack?  My rejection of Balsamon's place in this discussion is no different in principle than would be your rejection of the 1917 Code of Canon Law as ratified by Pope Benedict XV.  Balsamon was writing from an anti-papal perspective, and is not a source we both hold in common.  I am beginning to think we hold little in common, given the contempt you manifest for the "private opinions" of the Holy Fathers. 

The "various individuals" of which you speak are sainted Popes of Elder Rome. 

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It was summoned by an Emperor and ratified as part of the sixth oecumenical synod by Nicea II...the synod is Oecumenical and a rejection of it by the west simply places the west outside the communion of the Church which accepted the synod as such at the Seventh Oecumenical Synod.

The Acts of the 7th Oecumenical Council contain a unilateral statement of the Oecumenical Patriarch in which he makes a case for the acceptance of the Trullan Canons as Oecumenical, but so far as I can tell, this statement not explicitly affirmed by the Synod. 

As for Rome's non-acceptance of the Trullan Canons "plac[ing] the west outside the communion of the Church", are you asserting that a perpetual state of schism existed between the Western & Eastern Churches from the 7th Century?  Revisionist certainly, but I would be more than interested in seeing you try defending such a thesis.   

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As a formality, the dismisses the necessity for that qualification in the next breath.

I am not understanding you.
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That wasn't the point, the point was to say that Chrysostom refered to Constantinople as the Apostolic See.

No he didn't. 

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As I said before, proof texting is pointless, we can argue about the details indefinitely, but in the end they're all private opinion.

"Proof-texting" is not in the least pointless, given that the source of our faith is Holy Tradition as witnessed by the Holy Fathers.  To know what our Holy Fathers teach, it is necessary to examine their 'texts'.  I am more than happy to do this. 

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And you didn't even address the relevant quotes posted, the ones relating to canon and imperial law.

I have already stated why imperial law is irrelevant given the boundaries of this debate, and I have already shown Canon law (as defined by Oecumenical Synods & ratified by the Pope & Church Catholic) not to support your claim that New Rome was given equal status with Rome.  Rather, I have challenged you to prove how anything even in the 2nd & 4th General Synods conferred upon New Rome equality with the Old, and you have failed to manifest how they are supposed to have done so, irrespective of your last paragraph which dodged the Canon's explicit statement that Constantinople "should be second after [Rome]".  The facts you cite concerning the Emperor's blessing, the Patriarch's title "Oecumenical", and his authority over local synods is immaterial to the fact that Constantinople was never by any Oecumenical Council accorded equality with Rome, as you claim.

Goodnight, all.
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« Reply #98 on: January 20, 2007, 03:19:50 AM »

onerror goto errorchecker:
errorchecker:
if error.msg = "Constantinople" or error.msg = "New Rome" then
response = "I do not recognise your evidence"
interest level = interest level - 1
end if
resume next
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« Reply #99 on: January 20, 2007, 11:59:27 AM »

They are more than opinions.  The Fathers constantly and in the most forceful language attest to the Primacy of the Roman See and its divine prerogatives based on Petrine succession.

LOL, the fathers consistantly said nothing of th sort, rather you have found a hand full of examples where that is said and you take it as the universal opinion, choosing to ignore the political realities of the day. I've known people like you before, usually quite uneducated and naive, though sometimes just thick skulled...they seem to be under the impression that anything written by a Christian before the seventh century was well intentioned and nothing more than pure theology...do you have any grasp of the politics of the era? Read the homilies of almost any famous, influential, and sainted bishop...they are dripping with politics and propaganda. Not that this takes away from my view of them, heck I think more of them, makes them alot more like me Grin

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You say I do not accept your sources as relevant.  And, indeed, as far as 12th Century Canon law goes, and for the purposes & within the parameters (or rather what should be the parameters) of this discussion, I don't.

They wern't merely canonists, they were commentators on Roman Law in general. Imperial law of the 12th century was not a new innovation, but a continuance of the law as it had been practiced by the Romans for 18+ centuries; so yes, on legal matters, which this most certainly is, their commentaries are most relevant.

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But you say you have a similar view of mine.  Friend, are you not cognizant of the fact that I have been relying upon 4th through 6th Century Saints?  These sources are irrelevant to you? 

That was perhaps the most political time in the history of the Church. I have learned to take NOTHING they say without the proper political scrutiny...then I consider my own political persuasion, and use their statements accordingly. Unfortunately, I can't be such a hypocrite as to insist that my guy's motives were pure and the other guy's were politically motivated and greedy. Which kinda hurts my position when I argue with people who such hypocrites.

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"Many [Holy Fathers of the Holy Orthodox Catholic Faith] said many things" concerning the See of Rome, and they are all unanimous in according to it the first place based upon its position as the See of St. Peter Prince of Apostles.  And whatever you might think, the doctrine of the Fathers is binding, inasmuch as it is a sure witness to the Apostolic Faith.  If you don't believe me, please take that up with the rest of your venerable Orthodox friends - for indeed, most of the Orthodox that fall within the sphere of my friendship tend to carry themselves with significantly more reverence in respect to the Holy Fathers than I have seen borne out in your comments here.

Are you still in high school? Maybe a college freshman? All this time I've been saying a few thing tongue in cheek assuming you are familiar with primitive Christian Ecclesiology...though I'm starting to think that I may be mistaken in that assumption. I assume you've read the Apostolic Canons and the Didache of the Apostles? Just so we're on the same page, you do realize that in the Early Church the Church was local in nature, initially Bishops wern't even chosen by other Bishops, but rather by the Presbyters, then in time as connections grew with other Christian Churches the Bishops in a local area started getting together and only then did the role of Metropolitans develop, as those who presided over the Synod, usually from the most significant city. The development of Patriarchal roles (including that of Rome) was not seen until the Imperial Era. Even Rome's authority over provinces directly under her wasn't fully established and enforced until Sardica. From there it was a political fight for authority and domination, which lasted until borders were generally drawn up in the sixth to seventh century, though there were still some border skirmishes and annexations after that. Then there was that fight for the big one, being the 'Ultimate See of Appeal,' Alexandria threw her dice in a couple times, but for the most part it was a fight between Old and New Rome; however, it was strongly resisted in some Churches, most notably Carthage, whose synod excommunicates anyone who appeals over seas for any reason, even if they are justified and their case is upheld.

I'm really hoping that you understand the development of Christian Ecclesiology in this political context and are just hiding it for apologetic reasons. And this is why I hold the Empire in such high regard, because the Empire did define our modern Ecclesiology, it would be hypocritical to be supportive of the Church and not equally supportive of the Empire which was essential in Her structural, dogmatic, and philosophical formation.

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You "have thus far presented relevant legal documents from Synods" which I have in the first place shown not to corroborate your novel understanding of Constantinople's position (i.e. equality to Rome), and second to have not been of Oecumenical authority.  As for "Imperial Legislation," we have established that from my perspective it holds no divine authority.  So its citation within this argument is irrelevant.  Why, might I ask, do you insist on reiterating this argument given your knowledge of its inevitable inefficacy in my case? 

Roll Eyes See what I wrote above

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But as far the understanding of Emperors goes, what do you make of such statements as these?:

I make what I've said several times before, Old Rome was the first Capital. As such she recieved honour and respect amongst the Romans, but when this respect was not returned to the Emperor and the Senate, her insolence was not further rewarded.

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I digress.

You've been doing that throughout the case of the entire discussion...why stop now?

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Ad hominem attack?  My rejection of Balsamon's place in this discussion is no different in principle than would be your rejection of the 1917 Code of Canon Law as ratified by Pope Benedict XV.  Balsamon was writing from an anti-papal perspective, and is not a source we both hold in common.  I am beginning to think we hold little in common, given the contempt you manifest for the "private opinions" of the Holy Fathers. 

Fathers were humans just like bishops today, they had their politial motivations, it's human nature. Nothing wrong with it, it must simply be understood. That's the problem with proof texting, every statement has a context...literary, cultural, political, econonmic, theological, etc., etc., and your proof texts dont even deal with the literary context, to say nothing of the cultural, political, economic, theological, etc. context. Ascribing a protestant style inerrancy to the fathers is hardly good history or good patristics. I have been trying to get you to think in the greater historical context, though I have thus far failed. Though you'll have to learn it at some point if you ever go into graduate level work in the liberal arts.

I've already addressed the rest of your post above. I do hope you understand from what I wrote above why your defence of proof-texting essentially undermined your arguments...you admitted to failing to take into account the context, especially political. This discussion is degenerating fast, and I am not confident that you can learn how to engage the discipline of history quickly enough for it to be saved.
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« Reply #100 on: January 21, 2007, 05:35:32 PM »

I'll try again when this site is not experiencing technical difficulties.

For so, from my perspective, it seems to be doing.
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« Reply #101 on: January 22, 2007, 01:08:25 PM »

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I've known people like you before, usually quite uneducated and naive, though sometimes just thick skulled...

At least the thickness of my skull is matched with an equivalent thickness of skin capable of deflecting such pointless and invective ad hominem.  Friend, let's not let this discussion degenerate to the level I see you are having it head.

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the fathers consistantly said nothing of th sort, rather you have found a hand full of examples where that is said and you take it as the universal opinion,

I have found much more than a "handful of examples" of patristic affirmation of Roman Apostolic Supremacy.  Granted I have not cited every Father who had anything forceful to say about the Roman Primacy and the divine origin thereof, you have no basis for saying that the number of Fathers I have found to support my position amounts to a mere "hand full".  What I take for universal opinion I do so on account simply of seeing that 'opinion' actually as universal so far as can be determined by what documentary evidence we possess.  Do you wish me to substantiate this claim?  I fear to do so without your permission and be accused thereby of 'proof-texting'.

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Read the homilies of almost any famous, influential, and sainted bishop...they are dripping with politics and propaganda.

I don't see it.  At least not to the extent you do.  Availing myself of the "hermeneutic of charity" (as I have heard it happily expressed) I see in homilies of the sainted bishops of the era Ceasar's due being given him, and the same with respect to God. 

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just so we're on the same page, you do realize that in the Early Church the Church was local in nature, initially Bishops wern't even chosen by other Bishops, but rather by the Presbyters, then in time as connections grew with other Christian Churches the Bishops in a local area started getting together and only then did the role of Metropolitans develop, as those who presided over the Synod, usually from the most significant city. The development of Patriarchal roles (including that of Rome) was not seen until the Imperial Era. Even Rome's authority over provinces directly under her wasn't fully established and enforced until Sardica.

The statement that "the Early Church was local in nature" is loaded and ambiguous.  I can say that the Roman Catholic Church is local in nature, i.e. that it is expressed locally, and compounded of local units, that there exist ontologically separate and self-subsistent 'local churches', &c. In that sense, I can affirm that the "Early Church", as the Catholic Church now, was "local in nature".  But what you are obvious getting at is that the early church was disorganized on an Oecumenical level & without recourse to any universally recognised locus of authority and arbiter of conflict, & with this assessment I could not more strongly disagree.  To be brief, I see this vision belied by the action of Pope St. Clement I with regard to the Corinthian Church, by St. Irenaeus in the IIIrd book of his Against the Heresies, by the action taken by Pope St. Victor I with regard to the Churches of Asia, by the appeals made to Rome during the initial stages of the Montanist heresy, by statements of anti-Pope St. Hippolytus, by the correspondances of St. Cyprian to Roman bishops (especially Pope St. Cornelius), and the prerogatives unquestioningly assumed by the Novation anti-Popes.  Should you desire, and should I have time (and it is becoming doubtful that I will) we can cast ourselves into the investigation of these matters.

I am aware that the institution of Metropolitans was a gradual development.  That is immaterial to the point I am making.

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Then there was that fight for the big one, being the 'Ultimate See of Appeal,' Alexandria threw her dice in a couple times

Please provide me with documentation for such a 'fight.'

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Carthage, whose synod excommunicates anyone who appeals over seas for any reason, even if they are justified and their case is upheld.

What specifically are you referring to?

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I'm really hoping that you understand the development of Christian Ecclesiology in this political context and are just hiding it for apologetic reasons.

While I have an eye to the political context in which Christian Ecclesiology developed, I do not look upon that development in exclusively political terms, because the Fathers did not.  The Church is of divine origin & is possessed of a divine constitution.  It is my contention that this constitution includes the See of the Prince of the Apostles as the source &  center of its unity, in line with the solemn assertions of St. Maximos the Confessor:

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"How much more in the case of the clergy and Church of the Romans, which from old until now presides over all the churches which are under the sun? Having surely received this canonically, as well as from councils and the apostles, as from the princes of the latter [Peter & Paul], and being numbered in their company, she is subject to no writings or issues in synodical documents, on account of the eminence of her pontificate... even as in all these things all are equally subject to her [the Church of Rome] according to sacerodotal law. And so when, without fear, but with all holy and becoming confidence, those ministers [the popes] are of the truly firm and immovable rock, that is of the most great and Apostolic Church of Rome."

(Maximus, in J.B. Mansi, ed. Amplissima Collectio Conciliorum, vol. 10)

the blessed Pope of the most holy Catholic Church of the Romans, that is, the Apostolic See, which is from the incarnate of the Son of God Himself, and also [from] all the holy synods, according to the holy canons and definitions, has received universal and surpreme dominion, authority, and power of binding and loosing over all the holy churches of God throughout the whole world

(Letter to the Patrician Peter, ca. AD 642, in Mansi x, 692)

St. Maximos, practically martyred by a heretic Byzantine Emperor for his opposition to a heretic Patriarch of Constantinople, did not share the political lens through which you seem to view the constitution of the Holy Catholic & Apostolic Church.

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See what I wrote above

Forgive my denseness, what specifically?

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Ascribing a protestant style inerrancy to the fathers is hardly good history or good patristics. I have been trying to get you to think in the greater historical context, though I have thus far failed.

I do not ascribe "protestant style inerrancy" to individual statements of every Father.  But I do pay attention when what virtually all of them have to say upon a single given matter exactly coincides.  I contest this is the case with the Roman Primacy, and the Divine origin thereof.  When I see Fathers, separated in space, time, culture & political context all concurring upon this point, I hold myself bound to abide by their wisdom.  This is the "greater historical context" in which I think, not one bound to a single socio-political framework & Imperial ideology.

Now let me take this occasion to address the fact that, inasmuch as I have on another thread observed you deny the existence of the patristic consensus, the reality of which I see as essential for Orthodox let alone Catholic theological discussion & formulation, I see the potential for this debate being very limited.  It seems that given your disregard for what the Fathers have to say on the prerogative of Rome, we are left without mutual recourse to a common authority. 

***

In fine, here's where this debate stands: you, having made the claim that Constantinople, first attaining a state of ecclesiastical equality with Rome, ultimately eclipsed it as the fountain of Church unity and ultimate arbiter within the sphere of episcopal jurisdiction, have failed to show the presence of this understanding among the voices of Sacred Tradition.  The Canons you cite, besides not being representative of the universal understanding of the Church, do not even make claims equivalent to yours, though some aspects thereof admittedly coincide respectively. The fathers and hagiography you bring up to witness Constantinople's greatness do so justly, for Constantinople was, and is, a great Church; but none go so far as you in attributing to it jurisdictional primacy.  I, on the other hand, have shown from conciliar decree, from the documentary evidence available to us of the correspondence of various sainted Pontiffs, and from the eloquent and ultimately accepted jurisdictional actions & decisions of the Roman See from the 4th to the 8th Centuries that your location of the ecclesiastical center in the first 8 centuries, and understanding of the justification therefor, is misguided.  In response, you have failed to interact with the specific historical instances I have cited by simply accusing me of naivety, thick-skulledness, historical myopia, and lack of liberal education. You have failed seriously to consider the strongly held & pointedly expressed 'opinions' of the Fathers with regard to the Roman Primacy, by simply (dare I say flippantly) minimizing them, and summarily accusing me of 'proof-texting'.  Above all, you have failed to show how any canon of universally accepted Oecumenical authority recognized in Constantinople universal primacy of jurisdiction, let alone to bring to light a saying of any saint to that effect.

It is not my desire rudely and openly to question your education & intelligence as you have mine.  I desire simply to see you honestly interact with the sources I have brought to attention, and once and for all to lend substance to your claim, by means of pre-schism and mutually accepted authority, that Constantinople eclipsed Rome as the center of Catholic unity and the Guardian of Orthodoxy.

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« Reply #102 on: January 24, 2007, 11:56:23 PM »

At least the thickness of my skull is matched with an equivalent thickness of skin capable of deflecting such pointless and invective ad hominem.  Friend, let's not let this discussion degenerate to the level I see you are having it head.

I didn't say anything about you...I just was speaking about my personal experience with people so radically devoted to their beliefs that they are unable to step back and look at them objectively, adding that even those very educated can fall into this trap. Then there are a few, those who I respect the most as they are usually quite competent and at least honest to themselves if to no one else, who simply pretend to be as ignorant because it is advantageous in the situation at hand (think about a good presidential press secretary). So while I do believe you are at least displaying willful ignorance, depending on your disposition to the matter, I may be paying you a compliment. Though, if that is the case, your response would have been better had you used some sarcasm. Wink

It's generally more advantageous to twist an apparent ad hominem to your rhetorical advantage than to protest formally...though not always of course.

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I have found much more than a "handful of examples" of patristic affirmation of Roman Apostolic Supremacy.  Granted I have not cited every Father who had anything forceful to say about the Roman Primacy and the divine origin thereof, you have no basis for saying that the number of Fathers I have found to support my position amounts to a mere "hand full".  What I take for universal opinion I do so on account simply of seeing that 'opinion' actually as universal so far as can be determined by what documentary evidence we possess.  Do you wish me to substantiate this claim?  I fear to do so without your permission and be accused thereby of 'proof-texting'.

I don't know how clear I can make this, so I'll try it again...I couldn't care less if the entire host of angels was, with one voice, proclaiming the supremacy of Rome. Until you have the support of a synod of universal authoirty, you don't have a case. That's how the Church works, it's not up to everyone to interpret tradition as they wish, it's not up to any one person to interpret tradition as they wish, it's up to Synod to make rulings on matters...just like in any legal system, until a law is formally promulgated it is not binding. There are many things I disagree with many fathers about, heck there are some things that there was probably near universal agreement on amongst the fathers (consider the ordination of women, generally opposed for cultural reasons), but since they never codified this opinion in a Synod, it's of nominal relevance. The private teachings may be spiritually benificial, you may agree with them, they may even give you a warm fuzzy feeling inside, but until they're codified by a synod of recognized authoirty, they're not binding...they're theologoumena. To put it another way, I agree with what many politicians say on many issues, some of them I will even send money to support their agendas...but until congress passes their bill, it's just a matter of private opinion. Same way in the Church...no promulgation by a Synod, no legal authority behind the statement.

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I don't see it.  At least not to the extent you do.  Availing myself of the "hermeneutic of charity" (as I have heard it happily expressed) I see in homilies of the sainted bishops of the era Ceasar's due being given him, and the same with respect to God. 

You dont? I dont know what to say then as to me it is quite apparent that nearly every significant ecclesiastical decision from the fourth to the eighth century was strongly politically motivated, with theology playing a subservient role...of course, I see no need to make this case as several authors have already done so over the last century.

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The statement that "the Early Church was local in nature" is loaded and ambiguous.

Perhaps independent is a bit more precise. There was a small amount of communication amongst different communities, but in the end, each bishop ruled his local Church along with the council of presbyters. Of course, I was unaware that there was any serious and objective scholarly objection to this understanding of the development of the Early Church. Of course, there was a time when our patriarchates would write Church history to place themselves in a better historical position, but modern western scholarship prohibits such an approach from being taken seriously in this day and age. Ultimately it's the atheists who are keeping us honest. Wink

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Please provide me with documentation for such a 'fight.'

I'd recommend just about any secular history of the period. As for specific authors, I'd probably recommend Norwich and Treadgold and their respective histories of the Empire.

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What specifically are you referring to?

Canon 36 of the African (aka Carthaginian) code.

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While I have an eye to the political context in which Christian Ecclesiology developed, I do not look upon that development in exclusively political terms, because the Fathers did not.  The Church is of divine origin & is possessed of a divine constitution.  It is my contention that this constitution includes the See of the Prince of the Apostles as the source &  center of its unity, in line with the solemn assertions of St. Maximos the Confessor:

So basically you fail to see the political context because you choose not to? As for Maximos, what did you expect? He was in a political battle with Constantinople, he got mutilated over it, I couldn't think of a more blatantly political situation.

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Now let me take this occasion to address the fact that, inasmuch as I have on another thread observed you deny the existence of the patristic consensus, the reality of which I see as essential for Orthodox let alone Catholic theological discussion & formulation, I see the potential for this debate being very limited.  It seems that given your disregard for what the Fathers have to say on the prerogative of Rome, we are left without mutual recourse to a common authority. 

I dont think my rejection of patristic consensus does any such thing, we have well defined means to establish dogma in both our churches, and it is through Synods (though in the last couple hundred years you invented this papal infallibility thing, though previously you had required synods) not through private opinion. As far as doing theology, how did the fathers manage to do that if they didn't have a patristic consensus to quote? Ultimately theology is not determining what people 1500 years ago thought, it's taking the abstract principles about the divine, which we have inherited from the Greek Philosophers, and applying them to specific cases. This is what the fathers did, and I submit that if one is doing theology today they will do the same. The greatest thing we can learn from the fathers is not their opinions, their theologoumena, their piety, or even the conclusions they reached. The greatest thing we can learn from the fathers is their methodology.
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« Reply #103 on: January 25, 2007, 12:15:43 AM »

Perhaps independent is a bit more precise. There was a small amount of communication amongst different communities, but in the end, each bishop ruled his local Church along with the council of presbyters. Of course, I was unaware that there was any serious and objective scholarly objection to this understanding of the development of the Early Church. Of course, there was a time when our patriarchates would write Church history to place themselves in a better historical position, but modern western scholarship prohibits such an approach from being taken seriously in this day and age. Ultimately it's the atheists who are keeping us honest. Wink

I'd recommend just about any secular history of the period. As for specific authors, I'd probably recommend Norwich and Treadgold and their respective histories of the Empire.

Actually in my opinion one of the more interesting pieces on the period was written by Eamon Duffy.  In an article called  "The Popes: Theory and Fact" he said:

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At least since the high Middle Ages the papacy has been understood as an institution directly created by Jesus Christ in his own lifetime: he willed that his Church should be ruled by the Apostles and their successors, and he gave to Peter, as leader of the apostles, the fullness of spiritual power, the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Peter came to Rome, and there appointed his own successors, whose names are recited to this day in the canon of the Mass – Linus, Cletus, Clement, and so on down to John Paul II. All that the modern Church claims for the pope, his authority in doctrine and his power over institutions, is on this account a simple unfolding of the dominical bestowal of the keys, and the post-resurrection command to Peter to feed Christ’s sheep.

We have known for more than a century that the historical underpinning of this account is unfortunately not quite so simple. The Church of Rome during its first two centuries based its claims to precedence not on the Lord’s words to Peter, but on the preaching and death in Rome of two apostles, Peter and Paul. The commission in Matthew 16:18, "Thou art Peter, and upon this Rock I will build my Church, and I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven", is quoted in no Roman source before the time of the Decian persecution, in the middle of the third century, and even then the claims which the Pope of the time tried to base on that quotation were indignantly rejected by the Churches of Africa to whom he was addressing himself.

And indeed, the very roots of what may be called the foundation myth of the papacy are themselves uncomfortably complicated. The Church established itself in Rome some time in the AD 40s: we now know that for the best part of the century that followed, there was nothing and nobody in Rome who could recognisably be called a pope. Christianity in Rome evolved out of the Roman synagogues, and to begin with it was not so much a single Church as a constellation of independent churches, meeting in the houses of wealthy converts or in hired halls and public baths, without any central ruler or bishop. The Roman synagogues – there were 14 of them in the first century – unlike the synagogues in other great Mediterranean cities like Antioch . . . were all independent, with no central organisation or single president, and to begin with at least, the churches of Rome also functioned independently. Many of them were in any case ethnic or regional churches, groups of Syrian, Greek, Asian residents in Rome, using their own languages, following the customs of the Christian communities back in their home regions.

Elsewhere in the first century, episcopacy emerged as the dominant form of church order – the rule of each church by a single senior presbyter who took the lead in ordinations and the celebration of the Eucharist, and who was the focus of unity for all the Christians of a city or region. But Rome, probably because of the complexity and ethnic and cultural diversity of the Christian communities of the capital of the world, was very slow to adopt this system.

In the conventional accounts of the history of the papacy, the letter of Clement, written from Rome to the Church at Corinth around the year AD 95, is often thought of as the first papal encyclical, attributed to Pope Clement, Peter’s third successor and the last pope personally known to the Prince of the Apostles. In fact, the letter is written on behalf of the whole Roman Church, it is unsigned, and the author speaks unequivocally of "the elders who rule the Church", in the plural.

EVERYTHING we know about the Church at Rome in its first century or so points in the same direction, to a community which certainly thought of itself as one Church, but which was in practice a loose and often divided federation of widely different communities, each with its own pastors and its own distinctive and often conflicting liturgies, calendars and customs. It was in fact the threat of heresy within this seething diversity, and the Roman need to impose some sort of unity and coherence on the Church in the city, that led to the emergence of the Roman episcopate, and the firming up of the Roman community’s pride in the life and death among them of the two greatest apostles, into a succession narrative. By the 160s the graves of Peter and Paul had shrines built over them and were being shown to Christian visitors to Rome: by the early third century the bishops of Rome were being buried in a single crypt in what is now the catacomb of San Callisto, as a sort of visible family tree stretching back, it was believed, to the apostolic age. But all this was a construct, tidying the mess and confusion of real history into a neat and orderly relay race, with the baton of apostolic authority being handed from one bishop to another.

http://www.thetablet.co.uk/articles/6636/

What's interesting to me is that it was not written by someone with an ingrained hostility to Rome or in an effort to refute its claims, but by a Catholic historian (who has written a book on the history of the Papacy) and published in a Catholic journal.
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« Reply #104 on: January 25, 2007, 02:15:13 AM »

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Actually in my opinion one of the more interesting pieces on the period was written by Eamon Duffy.  In an article called  "The Popes: Theory and Fact" he said: [&c.]

Interesting though it may be to read the perspective of a nominally Catholic historian on the supposed nature of the first century Roman Church, the controversial claims made in the citation you have brought forth are not in the same citation substantiated.  Most prominent among such unsubstantiated claims (at least unsubstantiated within the scope of what you have quoted) is that the Roman Church was slow to adopt an Episcopalian hierarchy.  This disregarded, the paucity of knowledge we possess of 1st Century Popes is in no way owing to the lack of jurisdiction exercised or absence of recognition of their pontifical authority - it is due to the fact that we know next to nothing at all, and possess virtually no documentary evidence from that nascent period of the Christian Church.  That I Clement is written in the name of the Church of Rome does nothing to minimize its importance as an exercise of Pope St. Clement's power.  The bishop being the ikon of his local Church, Clement's Church directing another is Clement, as head of his diocese, directing another diocese, and this falls within the Catholic understanding of the Roman Church possessing jurisdiction over all the Churches of God, including ones, such as Corinth was, which were in close proximity to a living apostle.  That we see no Roman popes citing Matthew xvi. in their support is likewise immaterial given our dearth of documentary evidence from the first two centuries.  As soon as we see serious controversies arise, we see Rome strongly asserting itself, and early amidst this controversy we see this Scripture called forth by Rome in its own defense.  I find this telling.

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I couldn't care less if the entire host of angels was, with one voice, proclaiming the supremacy of Rome. Until you have the support of a synod of universal authoirty, you don't have a case. That's how the Church works,

The Church operated three centuries without "a synod of universal authority."  It operated, best as we can tell with Rome acting as the ultimate court of appeals.  This is in keeping with what St. Maximos Confessor said, together with all the sainted pontiffs who are called to defend the legitimacy of their juridical decisions: that Rome is first among sees not only because she "received this canonically, as well as from councils" -from "all the holy synods, according to the holy canons and definitions," but also "from the Incarnate God Himself."  The Church defines dogma when & as She finds it fitting.  That for the first centuries of the Christian era there is no explicit Oecumenical canon defining Roman Primacy in the terms of Vatican I no more speaks against the obligation laid upon the Christians of those times to hold to that position than the presence of a 300 year interval from the Nativity of Our Lord to the Oecumenical definition of His Divinity did for those same Christians.  Your conception of the Church's Holy Tradition is, I venture to say, somewhat legalistic, and would have been unserviceable for the first 300 years of Christian history.

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You dont? I dont know what to say then as to me it is quite apparent that nearly every significant ecclesiastical decision from the fourth to the eighth century was strongly politically motivated, with theology playing a subservient role...of course, I see no need to make this case as several authors have already done so over the last century.

No, I don't.  Neither do most Orthodox.  Grace is stronger than corrupted Nature, and the Holy Fathers of the Orthodox Faith more powerful than all the potentates of the City of Man.  Indeed, we see things very differently.

 
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Perhaps independent is a bit more precise. There was a small amount of communication amongst different communities, but in the end, each bishop ruled his local Church along with the council of presbyters. Of course, I was unaware that there was any serious and objective scholarly objection to this understanding of the development of the Early Church. Of course, there was a time when our patriarchates would write Church history to place themselves in a better historical position, but modern western scholarship prohibits such an approach from being taken seriously in this day and age. Ultimately it's the atheists who are keeping us honest.

"Independent" does not explain I Clement.  Indeed, it does not explain the Apostolic ministry.  It does not explain book III of Irenaeus' Against the Heresies.  Was there less communication and canonical fluidity between local Churches then as now?  I think no one denies this, but that isn't the issue at stake. 

This is what bothers me about much of what you write, GiC.  You submit for our consideration this monolithic body of modern scholarship that cannot be questioned, other than which "cannot be taken seriously," without providing specific reasons why the scholarship of "atheists," - who, according to the Royal Psalmist & St. Paul the Apostle, are "fools", & darkened in their hearts, and given over by God to their shamelessness - should, after all, be taken so seriously.  Atheists might keep us honest about the veracity of Scripture's claims concerning their depravity, but they do little to make me question the understanding of Ecclesiastical development as held by the Holy Fathers and presented to me in my research of what evidence is available.

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I'd recommend just about any secular history of the period. As for specific authors, I'd probably recommend Norwich and Treadgold and their respective histories of the Empire.

Specifics, please.  Give me an incident where this supposed war became manifest.

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Canon 36 of the African (aka Carthaginian) code

Do you mean the Code of 419?  The thirthy-sixth canon of that Council deals with the necessity of clergymen to convert their families prior to ordination.  If this is the Code and the Canon you meant to specify, I fail to see its relevance.

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So basically you fail to see the political context because you choose not to? As for Maximos, what did you expect? He was in a political battle with Constantinople, he got mutilated over it, I couldn't think of a more blatantly political situation.

I am not sure how you deduce from what I said that I "fail to see the political context because (I) choose not to".  What I said is directly the contrary, and until you are able to substantiate such an inference, I will not even attempt to defend my historical understanding and socio-political sensitivity.

The very fact that St. Maximos was in a battle with a heretical Constantinople, ruled by a heretic Emperor & heretic Patriarch, and that he was armed with no Oecumenical definition concerning the Two Wills of Christ, seems more clearly than anything to evince the epistemological necessity of a non-Imperial source & standard for Orthodoxy, such as St. Maximos found in Rome.  The situation speaks for itself, even without his inspired, unfaltering, and unmistakeable testimony to the Divine origin of Roman Primacy.

GiC, I must reiterate my fear that this dialogue is going nowhere.  At present, and as you have yourself expressly stated, we do not share the same prerequisite degree of respect for the "conclusions" of the Holy Fathers.  Historically, the definition of dogma has come about through an evaluation of the teaching of the Fathers, from Nicea till now.  Inasmuch as you are not willing to take seriously into account the "opinions" of the Fathers wherein they are not supported by explicit canonical decree, we have no means by which to enter into this dialogue as carried out throughout the centuries of the Christian era.   
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« Reply #105 on: January 25, 2007, 10:23:05 AM »

Interesting though it may be to read the perspective of a nominally Catholic historian on the supposed nature of the first century Roman Church, the controversial claims made in the citation you have brought forth are not in the same citation substantiated.

BLF, I'm not sure what status Mr. Duffy is in regards to his faith.  He certainly to my knowledge is a communicating member of the Roman Catholic Church; and it is in my experience a not too uncommon occurrence that among those born in to that church, a less rigorous view of the Papacy is held than say those who from a Protestant background convert to Catholicism (for reasons other than marriage).  Mr. Duffy is in my understanding a fairly respected scholar and I would assume has some basis for his assertions, even if in that article they are not annotated.  I would also assume that he and the publication his article was printed in additionally have some scholarly standards that they adhere to.

My goal in posting the article was not to enter in to this debate, but to highlight something brought up by GreekChristian, namely that it is not those outside the RCC that are “keeping it honest” through critical scholarship, but very much those within as well.
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« Reply #106 on: January 25, 2007, 11:53:37 AM »

BLF, I'm not sure what status Mr. Duffy is in regards to his faith.  He certainly to my knowledge is a communicating member of the Roman Catholic Church; and it is in my experience a not too uncommon occurrence that among those born in to that church, a less rigorous view of the Papacy is held than say those who from a Protestant background convert to Catholicism (for reasons other than marriage).  Mr. Duffy is in my understanding a fairly respected scholar and I would assume has some basis for his assertions, even if in that article they are not annotated.  I would also assume that he and the publication his article was printed in additionally have some scholarly standards that they adhere to.

My goal in posting the article was not to enter in to this debate, but to highlight something brought up by GreekChristian, namely that it is not those outside the RCC that are “keeping it honest” through critical scholarship, but very much those within as well.

To be fair to BLF, the Tablet is a fairly "liberal" Catholic publication (think the National Catholic Reporter or Commonweal, though I don't think---thank God---it is as bad as those) and Duffy is a respected scholar though a tad "progressive" as a Catholic.

I wouldn't agree with all his characterizations (though he does, later on in the article, point out that what he writes in no way discounts the divine origin of the papacy), he is right to some extent that the first 200 years of Christianity were the primordial ooze out of which our divinely instituted offices, sacraments, and teachings were providentially shaped. Though I would add a caveat that BLF has a point, that precious little documentary evidence survives from this period, so much remains only educated guessing.
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« Reply #107 on: January 25, 2007, 12:26:15 PM »

I have never been very comfortable with the kinds of views which Mr. Duffy would seem to suggest in regard to the Roman church in the early post-apostolic period.  Not because they question some widely accepted concepts or views of the modern papacy, but because they just don't seem to be likely.  Sure, the papacy developed in the early Church, as did almost everything.  I would think any honest glance at the early evidence would produce that conclusion.  However, Mr. Duffy's conclusions would seem to suggest that there was no episcopacy at all in Rome during the early period, and that I cannot accept.

Rome was a significant church in even the Apostolic period as we know from St. Paul.  Being a very large city at the time there may certainly have been more than one bishop, but there were certainly bishops.  And if there were several they had organization and a relationship amongst themselves, as the signature of "the elders" would indicate.  The principles of the papacy would have been present in a synodal gathering of local bishops operating together just as it would be in a senior bishop among those in the city, and I think it most likely that even in a conciliar situation somebody would be senior as almost always is the case.  Regardless though there was an episcopal presence, with its natural consequent leadership, which would have been necessary to have produced such a letter as 1 Clement in the first place.

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« Reply #108 on: February 03, 2007, 05:49:23 AM »

Rome was a significant church in even the Apostolic period as we know from St. Paul.  Being a very large city at the time there may certainly have been more than one bishop, but there were certainly bishops.  And if there were several they had organization and a relationship amongst themselves, as the signature of "the elders" would indicate.  The principles of the papacy would have been present in a synodal gathering of local bishops operating together just as it would be in a senior bishop among those in the city, and I think it most likely that even in a conciliar situation somebody would be senior as almost always is the case.  Regardless though there was an episcopal presence, with its natural consequent leadership, which would have been necessary to have produced such a letter as 1 Clement in the first place.

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I thought it was against church law for there to be two bishops over the same area
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« Reply #109 on: February 04, 2007, 06:19:46 PM »

I thought it was against church law for there to be two bishops over the same area

Yes, I think that is true, though was that always the case?  Wouldn't exceptions to that have given rise to the ruling in the first place?  I will leave such to more knowledgeable people here.  However, what I am really getting at is that it just doesn't seem very likely that there was no episocpacy at work in Rome at that time, but rather that perhaps what was there may have been something a little different than what arose later, i.e. a 'synod' of bishops with a president, the city divided in smaller sections, etc.  Of course, what we have now in Rome is still multiple bishops, the Pope over many others serving in different congregations.  I doubt that would be seen as 'orthodox' by many though. Wink

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« Reply #110 on: February 05, 2007, 12:42:28 PM »

The early "papacy" (kind of an anachronism, but I'll go with it for the sake of convenience) is a very muddled thing whose schismatic future is understandable, but was hardly a necessary outcome.

Early on, it appears (as has been mentioned in this thread already) that Rome and a growing region surrounding her in Italy constituted a sort of primitive "mega Church", possibly the first example of a formal "holy synod" as we now see in Orthodoxy.  Further, it needs to be remembered that while the Priesthood (and it's fullness, the Episcopacy) are of divine origin, the exact organization of flocks into territories/diocese is something that underwent development and standardization.  You still see the remnants of this in Orthodoxy in things like "auxillary Bishops".  Before the division of the Empire (and beyond) into canonical parcels, the more primitive idea was "presider and flock" (and you see this language in the early patristic literature, like that of St.Justin Martyr.)
Perhaps a hint of it as well is found in the interchangeable way "presbyter" and "bishop" are used in some parts of the New Testament.  It's actually quite likely that Rome itself (putting aside the question of the outlying areas) was ruled by a council of Bishops, with one of them presiding.  A similar case of centralization occurred in Alexandria, which also has it's own "Pope", and at least in the Coptic manifestation of this polity, his rights are quite extensive.

Rome was important for the early Christians for very obvious reasons, the Apostles included.  It was, for their purposes, the center of the civilized world.  It's interesting that the book of Acts ends with St.Paul in Rome - it's almost like "making it to Rome" was the end of the story, the proof that the mission of the Church really was a universal one.

With that said, things were to change.  Rome would not remain the center of the civilized world - the new friend of the Church on the Imperial Throne (St.Constantine) would change that, by moving the seat of Augustus to the Greek city of Byzantium, re-naming it "Constantinople" and (more significantly) "New Rome."  Overnight it's Bishop began to (naturally) accrue honours and privileges similar to those Rome had previously enjoyed for the last couple of centuries.  Worse still, politically not only had Rome become second fiddle, but culturally as well - the western empire was on the decline, and Rome was losing it's relevence outside of western Europe (where it remained the only "Apostolic See", quite unlike the East which not only had "Patriarchal See's" going back to the Apostles, but a whole myriad of lesser Churches which could claim this every bit as Rome could - just go to Greece, where to this day you can cross over into bumpkin diocese' which have near or direct Apostolic roots.)

And so began the bickering and suspicion.  It wasn't until after the rise of Constantinople, in the latter half of the fourth century, that Rome began to theorize as to just why it was (and more importantly, should remain) "numero uno."  It was at this time that mention of the blood of the martyrs (brought from all parts of Christendom to be tried and executed in Rome) and the foundational significance of St.Paul began to be radically de-emphasized when Rome sang of her own glories.  This is when the Bishops of Rome began to fancy themselves the unique/special successors of St.Peter alone, and there began also a process of speaking less often as "the Roman Church" (ala. "the holy synod" as the pre-Nicene writings, like those of St.Clement, so often mention) and now in terms of the personality of the ruling Bishop of Rome, "the Pope."

Though people often see the ferocious spirit of Orthodox confessors (both ancient and modern) as being a tad "intolerant", the truth is that the Church broadly speaking really did try to be tolerant.  If anything, Her members (pastors in particular) would often err too far on the side of such tolerance.  Indeed, if you look at the history of heresies and schisms, very often splits were outright forced by the heterodox side (ex. Arian and semi-Arian rulers and their episcopal boosters were very fond of forcing the issue.)  In the case of the seperation of Rome (and it's followers) from the Orthodox Church, the same is true - even though it's obvious the problem was well in place before 1054, it wasn't until the Latins made this an unavoidable problem that any finality to the estrangement came about.

Now to be fair (with regard to the ecclessiastical politics and influence jockeying) it went both ways, but the west was manifestly on the worse end of the stick.  While it's true the academies and catechical schools of the East saw a great many heresies (which is natural in centres of learning - a fact often forgotten by Rome's apologists; the west was often theologically conservative in the way ignorant bumpkins are "conservative" - via habit, and a lack of any other influences, not some special "divine charism", or even unique virtue), they also saw the depths of Orthodox theological development.  If the great enemies of faith came from the East, so to did (moreoften than not) it's greatest champions - if Alexandria can be blamed for Arius, she can be even more rightfully credited for St.Athanasios, who if anyone (and certainly not some Papal fiat) delivered the nails to Arianism's "coffin."  Indeed, early on, it's not quite clear all of the westerners (who by now were increasingly non-conversant in Greek, unlike their forefathers) even fully understood the problem of Arianism - hence the willingness of the likes of Pope Liberius to sign intentionally ambiguous theological formulas to "keep the peace" (all the while betraying the truth.)

Sadly, the simplicity of the western Christians (especially those directly under the influence of Rome, which is a project that wasn't effectively completed until centuries after the "great schism" - and even then it was short lived, as it was followed on it's heels by the Protestant Reformation and then "the Enlightenment") was on it's way to ruin when "authority" completely took the place of "truth".  It was then only a matter of time before the wrong men got into power, and began mutilating both the praxis and the faith of the Roman Christians (and beyond.)  That they were essentially intolerant souls bearing something new is manifest in the fact that within Western Europe there were several waves of entire hierarchies being replaced with more "pliable" subjects - that is to say, the replacement of integrally Orthodox Hierarchs with Frankish pets (one of the most notorious examples of this being just a few years after the "great schism", with the Norman Conquest, and later still, Papal blessing for the now Normanized Anglo-Saxons to go in and spread their new faith to the Celts who lay further west with the sword.)

Everything about the Papacy has the hand writing of fallen human motives all over it.  It is utterly unreconcialable to the Orthodox confession, and more than anything else is what has kept westerners alienated from the Orthodox faith.  Were the hyped up claims of the Papacy removed, the obvious anti-ecumenicity/catholicity of Latin Christianity as it has developed for centuries would be obvious and without defence - the problematic theological formulations which have increasingly divided it from the Orthodox Church would be more readily open to revision and correction.  So long as the fantasy of the "infallible Pope" remains in tact however, such a process would be counter-intuitive for the "faithful" westerner.
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« Reply #111 on: February 10, 2007, 11:30:15 AM »

Hey I have a question.

Is it true that Orthodox Christians are bound, on pain of anathema, to reject the papal claims?
And is it true that, on pain of anathema, they are bound to accept St Gregory Palamas' distinction between essence and energy?

Thanks for your input.
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« Reply #112 on: February 10, 2007, 12:27:24 PM »

Here is a good link about Councils in the Orthodox Church relating to Papal Primacy: http://ecclesiagoc.org/index.cfm?ID=2
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« Reply #113 on: May 14, 2008, 09:49:58 PM »

@drewmeister2:

Thanks, I like your avatar by the way. I feel like everyday I lean more and more towards the Orthodox point of view.
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"For better is a laudable war than a peace which severs a man from God" - St Gregory the Theologian
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« Reply #114 on: May 15, 2008, 10:00:46 AM »

I feel like everyday I lean more and more towards the Orthodox point of view.
I know what you mean. Once the truth gets a hold on you--it won't let go.  Smiley
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holdencaulfield
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« Reply #115 on: May 15, 2008, 11:21:16 AM »

I know what you mean. Once the truth gets a hold on you--it won't let go.  Smiley


This is quite true. Doubt will always pervade my mind, but I trust the Holy Ghost to guide me.  Smiley
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"For better is a laudable war than a peace which severs a man from God" - St Gregory the Theologian
Peter J
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« Reply #116 on: May 16, 2008, 01:13:29 PM »

holdencaulfield,

I hope you don't mind; our "Infallibility" conversation in that other thread was getting all tangled up with unrelated things (especially Papist's idea that "Rome has never been in heresy", which I have no interest in). So I'm instead going to quote you on this thread.

Edit: On second thought, that would probably make things even more confusing. So I guess I'll move this post back over there, and just take comfort from the parable of the wheat and the tares. Wink
« Last Edit: May 16, 2008, 01:43:33 PM by Peter J » Logged

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« Reply #117 on: June 28, 2008, 10:30:04 PM »

When I was taking RCIA class before I decided on joining the Orthodox Church, we received a handout titled Church Levels of Teaching Authority. There were three listed as infallible: Ex Cathedra statements by the Pope, Ecumenical Councils, and Universal Ordinary Magisterium. Only the first two are listed in the category of Extraordinary Magisterium however, with the third listed as Ordinary Magisterium.

My question is about the first two. If papal infallibity has always existed, what is the purpose of having ecumenical councils? If the pope is infallible, why did it take a council (Vatican I) to declare this as such? The council would be infallible, so wouldn't that make it above papal infallibility if the council was the one to bestow that power?

Can any Catholics here help me to understand this better? Or any Orthodox for that matter. I'm not trying to start any arguments, just trying to understand a viewpoint better.

Thanks for any input.


I think the short answer is that the church evolved to what it is today. God has used humans to help run His church, and as such, there is a lot of confusion, which ironically, are oppotunities for what is valued most: mercy and charity.
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Tags: Ecumenical Pope roman catholic Primacy Pope Leo Petrine Primacy ecumenical councils That Irenaeus quote St. Athanasius Infallibility 
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