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.
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'.
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.
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.
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.'
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?
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:
"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.
See what I wrote above
Forgive my denseness, what specifically?
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.