Forgiv me in advance if my post seems harsh or abrassive. It isn't meant to be judgemental, because there are many things in the Roman Church I admire.
But I'm really quite shocked by this thread to say the least.
One point, Rome was the center of the world in the 1st Century, it was the capital of the Roman Empire. It was the richest city in the Empire, and most important. Ephesus was considered the second most important city, then Alexandria. Alexandra was the center of the world when it came to "studies" but Rome itself was the Capital and was the politcal center of the world.
Now some points one why I believe the Roman Bishop's claims are basically unfounded and often illogical.
If the Pope was always supreme ruler of the Church, then what was the need for the 7 Councils to begin with? When Arius began his teaching why didn't everyone go to the Bishop of Rome (who btw was NOT called Pope in 325, that title belonged soley to the Bishop of Alexandria) and ask the Roman Bishop to fix the problem? Why was there a need for Nicea when the Roman Bishop could just say "No! Arius is wrong cuz I said so! That settles it!"
Rome summons no worldwide Councils now, the Pope just declares what is Truth. Why wasn't this done during the biggest heresis in history?
If whoever sits at the Roman See is infallible then how was it at least one Pope was excomunicated for heresy?
If the Bishop of Rome was always infallible, then why wasn't this declared a Church dogma until very recent history?
I thought Rome claimed the See of St. Peter and claims infallibility because the Roman Bishop is the Successor of St. Peter. So why doesn't the Church of Antioch make this claim if all the Apostles knew it? St. Paul didn't seem to know it. The Roman Church doesn't claim infallibility because Peter was martyred in Rome, they claim it because they are Peter's Successors. (when it fact St. Paul is the founder of the Church in Rome and thus are Paul's successor's) Again, Antioch knows of no such primacy!
St. Peter himself was not infallible, and according to Jesus the, servants are not greater than the master. How can Peter's Successors be infallible but not Peter himself? Isn't that contradicting the words of Christ and making the servants greater than the master?
The Bishop of Alexandria was called "Pope" 100's of years before the Bishop of Rome. Often times the Bishop of Rome wrote letters asking the Bishop of Alexandria for advice on doctrinal matters. But if the Roman Bishop was infallible, then why would he need advice from anyone?
If the Bishop of Rome is inffalible, then why have dogmas changed? Is God changing His mind or just the Pope changing? In the 16th Century on the heels of the Reformation Rome delcared only those in the Roman Church could be saved, but now days Rome says salvation is not limited to the Roman Church, but also Orthodox, Prostestants, and even Muslims and Hindus?
These are just some of the logical contradictions that are inherent in the dogmas surrouding the Bishop of Rome. There are dozens and dozens more, but I will not go into them.
One last point, Pope John Paul II has publically declared it wrong for Roman Catholics to try and convert your Orthodox brethren. Now I'm not saying anyone here was trying to do that. I cannot see into anyones hearts. But IF (and I'm just saying IF) anyone was trying to do that, then you were disobeying your Patriarch, and since he is infallible, by disobeying you would be saying he was wrong, and thus be excomunicating yourself from the Church because you MUST believe as a Catholic, that the Pope cannot be wrong. Otherwise you're not a Catholic.
Again, I dont really know if anyone was trying to convert Orthodox, or not. It "appears" to me, that this thread began to go at least in the direction of trying to disprove Orthodox doctrine. But having come into the conversation late, I may be totally wrong.
I apologize if this was offensive to anyone, I certainly do not mean to be judgemental. And its entirely possible my post has been inappropriate as I am just a guest here. But I just found some of what was said in this particular forum, disturbing.
Your sinful brother in Christ, Chuck