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« on: April 09, 2008, 04:06:56 PM »

Now, it is my understanding, that the Pope is considered a heretic. But, before the Great-Schism, why was the Pope allowed the best seat at an Ecumenical Council and was recognized as the first among equals?


I've also been reading different quotes from different Church Father such as this:




In the history of mankind there are 3 falls: The fall of Adam, of Judas the Iscariot and that of the Pope. The essence of falling into sin is always the same: the desire to become God by oneself. In this manner, a man insensibly equates himself with the devil, because he also wants to become God by himself to replace God with himself...The fall of the Pope lies exactly in this very thing; to want to replace the God-man with the man..." Fr Justin Popovich of Serbia





It is impossible to recall peace without dissolving the cause of the schism - the primacy of the Pope exalting himself equal to God." St. Mark the Evgenikos (of Ephesus)



I've never heard of Roman Catholics claiming the Pope to be equal to God. Why do the Eastern Orthodox say that's what he's doing? Any insight would be appreciated.
Thanks & God Bless†
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« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2008, 08:50:27 PM »

By claiming to be Head of the Church, Vicar of Christ.
Christ is the "Head of the Church".
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« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2008, 09:23:47 PM »

Read The Orthodox Church by Archbishop Kallistos Ware.  I'm paraphrasing, but he says something to the effect that the pope enjoys the primacy among equals, not the supremacy of all Christians.
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« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2008, 11:38:25 PM »

It is the traditionalist movement in the Orthodox Church which speaks so harshly about the Pope of Rome.  The writings of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, since 1965 (+/-), take quite the opposite position, speaking of the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church as the two lungs of Christianity. Ecumenical Patriarchs in this period address the Pope as "Elder Brother."  Relations with the heterodox is a topic on the planning agenda of the Great and Holy Council (Synod) of the Orthodox Church, which has been in the planning stages since 1923.  Although, even saints of the Orthodox Church have referred to the Pope as a heretic, contemporary hierarchs point out that a synod of the Church has never so condemned the Pope or the Roman Catholic Church.
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« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2008, 01:04:35 AM »

Now, it is my understanding, that the Pope is considered a heretic. But, before the Great-Schism, why was the Pope allowed the best seat at an Ecumenical Council and was recognized as the first among equals?
Because of the Apostolic foundations of the see and the importance of the city. The ancient Church was for the most part organized along the political lines of the Roman Impire. Cities had bishops large important cities had archbishops and the largest most important cities had patriarchs. The bishops of the larger cities would sit at the head of any local councils and that same pattern applies to the Ecumenical Church.

One thing you have to keep in mind all bishops are equal in that they all have the same sacramental grace to lead a community and define truth. Any rights or prerogatives the Pope or any other bishop for that matter have are theirs not because of divine right, as Catholics would say today but rather because the rest of the episcopate has ceded those rights to them.


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« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2008, 01:59:29 AM »

Quote
Read The Orthodox Church by Archbishop Kallistos Ware.  I'm paraphrasing, but he says something to the effect that the pope enjoys the primacy among equals, not the supremacy of all Christians.

So, is this what all OCs believe or should believe, or what?
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« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2008, 04:16:32 AM »


why was the Pope allowed the best seat at an Ecumenical Council


I'm don't see how this could be, seeing as the Pope didn't attend a single Ecumenical Council.

John
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« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2008, 05:45:34 AM »

So, is this what all OCs believe or should believe, or what?

Definitely not. This is Met. Kallistos's opinion only... present tense is not used anywhere else that I've seen to ascribe 'first among equals' to the pope.
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« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2008, 07:49:25 AM »

Hi Shamus,

Now, it is my understanding, that the Pope is considered a heretic. But, before the Great-Schism, why was the Pope allowed the best seat at an Ecumenical Council and was recognized as the first among equals?

Can you clarify: are you asking, Why have a first among equals at all, or Why was Rome the one to whom that honor was given?

Blessings,
Peter.
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« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2008, 08:28:30 AM »

Hi Shamus,

Can you clarify: are you asking, Why have a first among equals at all, or Why was Rome the one to whom that honor was given?

Blessings,
Peter.
A good question. And one I would like some input on from our non-Chalcedonians here as their take might represent a view of the early church. I know they eventually rejected the 4th Council on Christological (mostly) grounds, but I wonder what their bishops thought at that time of those canons ranking the sees.
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« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2008, 09:07:11 AM »

Now, it is my understanding, that the Pope is considered a heretic. But, before the Great-Schism, why was the Pope allowed the best seat at an Ecumenical Council and was recognized as the first among equals?

As others have pointed out, this was a primacy of honor accorded to Rome on account of its being/having been the capital of the empire and the site of the martyrdoms of saints Peter and Paul.  He was first among equals - don't sell the "equals" part of that phrase short.  The bishop of Rome never carried any special sacramental dignity in his own right.  He was first among equals - since Rome divided itself from the Apostolic faith, it has no more ecclesial significance than the Reverend Al Sharpton.

Quote
I've also been reading different quotes from different Church Father such as this:

In the history of mankind there are 3 falls: The fall of Adam, of Judas the Iscariot and that of the Pope. The essence of falling into sin is always the same: the desire to become God by oneself. In this manner, a man insensibly equates himself with the devil, because he also wants to become God by himself to replace God with himself...The fall of the Pope lies exactly in this very thing; to want to replace the God-man with the man..." Fr Justin Popovich of Serbia

It is impossible to recall peace without dissolving the cause of the schism - the primacy of the Pope exalting himself equal to God." St. Mark the Evgenikos (of Ephesus)

I've never heard of Roman Catholics claiming the Pope to be equal to God. Why do the Eastern Orthodox say that's what he's doing? Any insight would be appreciated.
Thanks & God Bless†

Roman Catholics do not have to actually claim the pope to be equal to God for the above statements to be true.  These people argue that the justifications for the papacy and the powers claimed by the pope place that man on a level where God alone should be.
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« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2008, 11:38:06 AM »

So I know efforts towards improving relations are being made, but is the attitude of the Patriarch basically still that the Pope and Roman Catholics need to renounce the heresies that split them from Orthodoxy?
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« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2008, 11:51:32 AM »

So I know efforts towards improving relations are being made, but is the attitude of the Patriarch basically still that the Pope and Roman Catholics need to renounce the heresies that split them from Orthodoxy?

Yeah, pretty much.  If you read the EP's 1997 address at Georgetown University, he makes it pretty clear that there are substantial differences.
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« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2008, 01:29:32 PM »

By claiming to be Head of the Church, Vicar of Christ.
Christ is the "Head of the Church".

How can the Pope be the Head but at the same time only the Vicar? It makes no sense. Christ is the head of the Catholic Church. The second of the titles you mentioned is a title used by the Supreme Pontiff---the first is not.
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« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2008, 01:38:16 PM »

For illustration, read this short excerpt from St. Thomas Aquinas's discussion of schism in his Summa

Now the unity of the Church consists in two things; namely, in the mutual connection or communion of the members of the Church, and again in the subordination of all the members of the Church to the one head, according to Colossians 2:18-19: "Puffed up by the sense of his flesh, and not holding the Head, from which the whole body, by joints and bands, being supplied with nourishment and compacted, groweth unto the increase of God." Now this Head is Christ Himself, Whose viceregent in the Church is the Sovereign Pontiff.
http://www.newadvent.org/summa/3039.htm
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« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2008, 02:29:14 PM »

How can the Pope be the Head but at the same time only the Vicar? It makes no sense. Christ is the head of the Catholic Church. The second of the titles you mentioned is a title used by the Supreme Pontiff---the first is not.

By claiming jurisdiction over all other bishops...but you know this argument, don't you?
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« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2008, 03:40:06 PM »

Whose viceregent in the Church is the Sovereign Pontiff. [/i]


So say the Roman Catholics.
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« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2008, 03:46:13 PM »

^ Exactly!
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« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2008, 05:25:30 PM »

So say the Roman Catholics.

So we do. You EO constantly toss out that stale slogan The head of the Roman Catholic church is the Pope, while the head of the Holy Orthodox Church is Christ, yet it is false. The Pope is the Vicar of Christ, who is the Head.

Must I break out the dictionary?

vicar
Pronunciation:
    \ˈvi-kər\
Function:
    noun
Etymology:
    Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin vicarius, from vicarius vicarious
Date:
    14th century

1: one serving as a substitute or agent; specifically : an administrative deputy

Since when is a deputy a head?
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« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2008, 05:34:30 PM »

Thanks for your clarification. It proves the point.
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« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2008, 06:45:07 PM »

Hi Shamus,

Can you clarify: are you asking, Why have a first among equals at all, or Why was Rome the one to whom that honor was given?

Blessings,
Peter.


Well, orgiginally I was asking why Rome was the one, but an answer to both questions would be appreciated.
God Bless†
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« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2008, 06:57:53 PM »

I'm don't see how this could be, seeing as the Pope didn't attend a single Ecumenical Council.

John

The closest any pope came to attending was Vigilius, who was in Constantinople while the 5th Council met there.  But he wasn't exactly there voluntarily.
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« Reply #22 on: April 10, 2008, 07:15:07 PM »

Why didn't the Pope every attend and Ecumenical Council? And what is meant when they say he was given the seat of honour at councils?
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« Reply #23 on: April 10, 2008, 07:51:37 PM »

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« Reply #24 on: April 10, 2008, 10:05:17 PM »

Now, it is my understanding, that the Pope is considered a heretic. But, before the Great-Schism, why was the Pope allowed the best seat at an Ecumenical Council and was recognized as the first among equals?


The Orthodox Pope of Rome, since he was Bishop of Rome, was seen as "first among equals" and awarded certain canonical privileges because of the great apostolic origin of his see (having been established jointly by the Chiefs of the Apostles, Peter and Paul), the fact that it was the imperial capital (Constantinople would later rise in rank due to it becoming the Eastern capital) and its good track record of orthodoxy.   

I've never heard of Roman Catholics claiming the Pope to be equal to God. Why do the Eastern Orthodox say that's what he's doing? Any insight would be appreciated.

If God were walking the earth, people would disregard Church, Tradition and all other instruments of knowing truth and look to Him for Truth, since he is Truth, himself.  Many Roman Catholics do the same with the Pope and no Pope since the Great Schism has made an effort to end such disorientation and objective blasphemy.  This is the principal reason why we say that the Pope has (even if inadvertently) raised himself to the level of God.

God bless,

Adam     
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« Reply #25 on: April 10, 2008, 10:36:06 PM »

As I indicated in Reply #3, the Pope of Rome never, never, was accorded the title of "First Among Equals."  That title was given to the Patriarch of Constantinople, whose primacy was among the Eastern Patriarchates.

The Pope was considered to be in the primacial role of the Church, because his see was the capitol of the Empire and due to its Apostolic foundation.

The "Nativity/Theophany" issue of the official publication of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), "The Orthodox Church," features an Editorial by Fr. Leonid Kishkovsky, "Primacy theme of Catholic-Orthodox dialogue," which discusses this matter at issue in this OCnet discussion.  The document he is addressing is the result of the infamous RC/EO consultation held in Ravenna, Italy, where the Church of Russia's representatives abruptly left the consultation last Fall.  "The Orthodox Church" is available through the OCA's website, www.oca.org.
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« Reply #26 on: April 10, 2008, 10:58:29 PM »

the Pope has (even if inadvertently) raised himself to the level of God.

Really now, I expect this mumble from Evangelicals...


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« Reply #27 on: April 11, 2008, 11:28:32 AM »

Here's an interesting tidbit . . .

the 8th volume of the Reference Book for Sacred Ministers (RC) reads: “Baptism is considered as always fully effectual, even in heretical and schismatical groups…Hence, according to classical Roman theology, every baptized person is by right subject to the jurisdiction of the pope…”
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« Reply #28 on: April 11, 2008, 11:47:16 AM »

Here's an interesting tidbit . . .

the 8th volume of the Reference Book for Sacred Ministers (RC) reads: “Baptism is considered as always fully effectual, even in heretical and schismatical groups…Hence, according to classical Roman theology, every baptized person is by right subject to the jurisdiction of the pope…”

Right. Every person baptized is put into a certain communion, albeit imperfect, with the Catholic Church. Their culpability (or lack thereof) for the state of schism and/or heresy that they are in depends on each individual and can only be left up to God.
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« Reply #29 on: April 11, 2008, 01:46:02 PM »

Through the dogma of "Infallibility" the Western church lost its spiritual freedom. It lost its beauty and balance, and was deprived of the wealth of the grace of the Holy Spirit, the presence of Christ- from spirit and soul ended up a dead body. We are truly grieved for the injustice done to the church and we pray from the bottom of our hearts that the Holy Spirit illumine the mind and the heart of the Most Blessed Pontiff to have him return to the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church that which he took from her, something that should never have taken place.
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« Reply #30 on: April 11, 2008, 03:53:00 PM »

^^ Not that I think dogmatizing Papal Infallibility was a good idea ... but do you really think there was such a drastic change from pre-1870 to post-1870?

Seems to me that the dogmatizing of P.I. was more a symptom of the situation than a cause of it.

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« Reply #31 on: April 11, 2008, 04:02:59 PM »

Here's an interesting tidbit . . .

the 8th volume of the Reference Book for Sacred Ministers (RC) reads: “Baptism is considered as always fully effectual, even in heretical and schismatical groups…Hence, according to classical Roman theology, every baptized person is by right subject to the jurisdiction of the pope…”

What presumption!
No wonder so many non-Catholics feel they have to make it clear that they reject the Pope and do so very vocally.
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« Reply #32 on: April 11, 2008, 05:02:33 PM »

So I see this thread is turning into another Latin invasion where we are all taught how imperfect and wrong we are because we're not with the pope and also the virtues of the papacy are extolled and qoutes and canon law will be abound.  then it'll be an argument.  We aren't in a Roman Catholic message board.  We know how to type the names of Roman Catholic message boards into the brower where we can get our dose.  Anymore it seems many posts are becoming Roman Catholic centered.   I realise this is the Orthodox-Catholic section but golly, I reckon I'm not going to see Orthodox read some of the Latin posts and run to the Roman Catholic church up the street and join because some people on a message board showed him the ways and he wants to make it right that he wasn't a papal subject.
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« Reply #33 on: April 11, 2008, 07:00:08 PM »

Here's an interesting tidbit . . .

the 8th volume of the Reference Book for Sacred Ministers (RC) reads: “Baptism is considered as always fully effectual, even in heretical and schismatical groups…Hence, according to classical Roman theology, every baptized person is by right subject to the jurisdiction of the pope…”

What presumption!

Yeah, how dare those Catholics reject branch theory!

I kid; but seriously, I just don't see presumption to which you're referring. I believe in One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church. UOJ is either true or it isn't, not "true for Catholics but ... " or anything of that sort.

My $0.02.
Peter.
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« Reply #34 on: April 11, 2008, 07:04:55 PM »

I kid; but seriously, I just don't see presumption to which you're referring.
Are you, by virtue of being baptized with water in the Name of the Holy Trinity, subject to the Orthodox Bishop in whose jurisdiction you reside?
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« Reply #35 on: April 11, 2008, 07:11:16 PM »

Are you, by virtue of being baptized with water in the Name of the Holy Trinity, subject to the Orthodox Bishop in whose jurisdiction you reside?

Ouch.  Shocked
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« Reply #36 on: April 11, 2008, 07:36:51 PM »

Are you, by virtue of being baptized with water in the Name of the Holy Trinity, subject to the Orthodox Bishop in whose jurisdiction you reside?

Well George, I believe that the Catholic Church, not the Orthodox Church, is the subsistence of the one church of Christ; so if you asking me my answer (obviously?) would be No I'm not.

If you're asking your fellow Orthodox whether I'm subject to the authority of Orthodox bishops, you will presumably get a different answer.

-Peter.
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« Reply #37 on: April 11, 2008, 07:41:55 PM »

Well George, I believe that the Catholic Church, not the Orthodox Church, is the subsistence of the one church of Christ; so if you asking me my answer (obviously?) would be No I'm not.

If you're asking your fellow Orthodox whether I'm subject to the authority of Orthodox bishops, you will presumably get a different answer.

-Peter.

See, this is where the whole "no baptism outside the Church is valid" thing really helps out.  If the person in question wasn't actually baptized, no worries about who owns them. Tongue
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« Reply #38 on: April 11, 2008, 07:52:24 PM »

If you're asking your fellow Orthodox whether I'm subject to the authority of Orthodox bishops, you will presumably get a different answer.
True, but that answer will not be that you are subject to their authority.
You may have heard it quoted on this forum that we Orthodox can only say where the Church is, we cannot say where it is not. Therefore, our Bishops have no right to claim jurisdiction over anyone who does not wish to be part of the Church. It would be presumptuous and vainglorious in the extreme for a Bishop- any Bishop, to claim jurisdiction over anyone who does not willingly subject to their authority. Any Bishop who claims such authority would be doing exactly what King Canute the Great sought to disprove by commanding the tide not to come in.
So while I accept that you are subject to the authority of the Pope by virtue of your personal allegience- you cannot impose his authority on those who refuse to submit to him. You can claim that he has such "authority" until the cows come home, it doesn't make one iota of difference. It is an empty claim.
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« Reply #39 on: April 11, 2008, 08:03:18 PM »

See, this is where the whole "no baptism outside the Church is valid" thing really helps out.  If the person in question wasn't actually baptized, no worries about who owns them. Tongue
Exactly!
And it also prevents Bishops from claiming authority where they have no authority.
The Church is not the World. Christ made that clear:
"I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours." (John 17:9)


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« Reply #40 on: April 11, 2008, 08:21:58 PM »

It would be presumptuous and vainglorious in the extreme for a Bishop- any Bishop, to claim jurisdiction over anyone who does not willingly subject to their authority.

I don't believe I've ever that from an Orthodox before.
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« Reply #41 on: April 11, 2008, 08:26:21 PM »

Well since this topic was started by a fairly new Orthodox inquirer for "Papal" target practice guess it's only fair play to have one for the MP, EP etc...eh
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« Reply #42 on: April 11, 2008, 08:35:22 PM »

I don't believe I've ever that from an Orthodox before.

You must have heard this before! The authority of Orthodox Bishops is limited by the Canons- even within the Church.
Even the Oecumenical Patriarch does not have direct authority over the other Patriarchs- but must convene a Pan-Orthodox Synod among the Patriarchates to make decisions. A recent example is the deposing of the former Patriarch of Jerusalem. His All-Holiness, Patriarch Bartholomew, had no authority to depose the Patriarch alone, but called a Pan-Orthodox Synod among the Patriarchates to come to a decision.
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« Reply #43 on: April 11, 2008, 08:39:46 PM »

Well since this topic was started by a fairly new Orthodox inquirer for "Papal" target practice guess it's only fair play to have one for the MP, EP etc...eh

Hmmm ... I don't really see that anyone's been having target practice at anyone.

Not that we couldn't.
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« Reply #44 on: April 11, 2008, 08:41:45 PM »

You must have heard this before! The authority of Orthodox Bishops is limited by the Canons- even within the Church.
Even the Oecumenical Patriarch does not have direct authority over the other Patriarchs- but must convene a Pan-Orthodox Synod among the Patriarchates to make decisions. A recent example is the deposing of the former Patriarch of Jerusalem. His All-Holiness, Patriarch Bartholomew, had no authority to depose the Patriarch alone, but called a Pan-Orthodox Synod among the Patriarchates to come to a decision.
And THEY even did not depose the Patriarch of Jerusalem, but merely recognized the Jerusalem Synod's actions.
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