1. Wow. Cavaradossi, Please don't put words in my mouth, I did not say that Fr. Afanasieff agreed with my view of the Roman primacy, but expressly disavowed it. Father comes quite close to the Catholic view in his exegesis of well-known passages in St. Irenaeus of Lyons and St. Ignatius of Antioch, describing the Roman Church as presiding over the brotherhood in love and the centre of communion to which other Churches must of necessity have recourse in settling disputes. Elsewhere, he criticizes Catholic scholars who he says understand this patristic and canonical Tradition in purely juridical terms. On the matter at hand, he states, "Let us return to the text of Irenaeus. He says that every local church, if contentious problems arise, must (necesse
) have recourse to the Church of Rome. Necesse
in Irenaeus does not suggest any legal obligation. The necessity springs from a more inward duty, reflecting the very nature of the Church: the duty of appealing, if there is disagreement, to the church which has the greatest authority. This church bore her witness on events in the other churches; or perhaps it would be more accurate to say, events in the Church. The witness was not a verdict backed by the force of law, and, as such, constraining the other churches to obey. It was a free act when the local churches followed Rome’s witness; they were accepting witness from a fellow-church because of its higher authority. But Rome’s witness was not less valid, but had higher validity than any and every legal verdict. If there has ever been a time in church history when the catch-word, Roma locuta, causa finita
, stood for something real, that time was before the Church of Rome had any powers by law." which words go beyond a mere primacy of honor, but fall short of the Catholic doctrine of primacy of jurisdiction, where the decrees of the Roman Pontiff, while also exhorting the other Churches in a fraternal manner, also have legal force to bind.
If you still think I am misrepresenting Father, the entire relevant chapter can be read in its original context online by anyone interested here http://www.golubinski.ru/ecclesia/primacy.htm
And yes, I have read Father's works relating to the primacy entirely. If you think I have misquoted him, explain where he would take issue with what I said.
2. What is your own understanding of what primacy entails, merely one or one's delegates having the seat of honor in an ecumenical council? But not the power to convoke, preside over or at least confirm it? No power to judge contentious issues and settle judgments between the Churches? The idea that a secular emperor has more power to issue binding decrees than the See of Peter is untenable, yet besides the Emperor, no one other than the Apostolic See has ever claimed the right and power to convoke or at least ratify councils, the one because of secular privileges, the other by divine decree and the words of the Lord in the Gospel, and Apostolic Tradition. Pope Pelagius II was cited on the other thread, expressly saying "the authority of convoking General Synods by a singular privilege has been delivered to the Apostolic See of Blessed Peter".
Cyrillic, on the other thread, you stated that what the legates had said before the whole Council of Chalcedon that "to hold a synod without the authority of the Apostolic See, a thing which has never and can never take place",
was "obviously false". Please demonstrate what is obvious and why this is false? I understand your point about the Lateran Synod, but recall Pope St. Martin I and later St. Maximus were soon subject to duress for their defense of orthodoxy by the emperor Constans II. In this context, where for a time the triumph of monothelitism favored by the emperor seemed a real possibility, it was deemed preferable that the true doctrine should prevail in the Church, whether at Lateran or in Constantinople was a matter of inconsequence. Lateran remains a synod of authority, the essence of its dogmatic teaching was incorporated into Constantinople III where monothelitism was condemned. If the emperor had not been so crass in attempting to force the hand of the Pope, things would have played out differently. Besides, it is hardly only the Tradition of the Roman Church that bears witness to this primacy, but the leading lights of Constantinople, the second see in Christendom, also testify to it, especially St. Nicephorus, Patriarch Macedonius, St. Maximus and St. Theodore. Please show me, by contrast, a single Father, Saint or Doctor in the first Christian millenium, in Rome, Constantinople or elsewhere, agreeing with your theory that the ratification of an emperor, or even the laity, gives an ecclesiastical decree binding force in the universal Church.
How do you understand St. Nicephorus teaching, "Without whom a doctrine brought forward in the Church could not, even though confirmed by canonical decrees and by ecclesiastical usage, ever obtain full approval or currency. For it is they (i.e. the Roman Pontiffs) who have had assigned to them the rule in sacred things, and who have received into their hands the dignity of headship among the Apostles."
, Patriarch Macedonius stating, "such a step (i.e. condemning Chalcedon) without an Ecumenical Synod presided over by the Pope of Rome is impossible."
, St. Maximus explaining, "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 (i.e. the Roman Church) according to sacerodotal law"
and St. Theodore declaring (most of these were written to the Byzantine emperor at the time) that to the Pope of Rome is given, "authority over an Ecumenical Synod"