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Saint Polycarp
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« on: December 04, 2003, 07:04:25 PM »

Is one of the main arguments regarding the split between East and West based on the claim that Rome was given primacy because it was the capitol city of the Empire? So that when Constantinople became the capitol the Patriarch of Constantinople should have the primacy?
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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2003, 07:32:51 PM »

First, define "primacy".  I guarantee you that the definitions of primacy are so different so as to make the "why" of an establishment of "primacy" inconsequential.
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« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2003, 08:38:15 PM »

Primacy
(Latin primatus, primus, first).

The supreme episcopal jurisdiction of the pope as pastor and governor of the Universal Church.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12423a.htm
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« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2003, 09:00:07 PM »

So what is the answer to my question please?
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« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2003, 09:44:54 PM »

So that when Constantinople became the capitol the Patriarch of Constantinople should have the primacy?

This is not a main argument for the split, as far as I know.  The principle of accommodation to existing political structures in the empire is used in explaining some things regarding the history and nature of primacy, but I don't think you hear anyone saying that the EP should be supreme head of the Church (except maybe the EP? Tongue ) because of it, and that this is why East and West parted ways.
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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2003, 12:22:57 AM »

Polycarp -

The "split" is the child of the Crusades, impure and not so simple.

I'm sure someone will contradict me, but I think history bears out what I wrote.
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2003, 08:35:28 AM »

But, didn't the split occur prior to the Crusades?  Especially the Crusade that involved the sacking of Constantinople?

There has to be a different reason than the Crusades.

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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2003, 10:23:17 AM »

Charlemagne's coronation precipitated the split.  ALL of a sudden the west was claiming there was a need for a “new Roman Emperor” ignoring the Emperor sitting in Constantinople.  By coronating Charlemagne as emperor, the pope denied the validity of the Roman Empire based in Constantinople.
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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2003, 10:24:52 AM »

most "divisions" in the church has a political/economic as well as religious reasons.
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« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2003, 02:42:48 PM »

There was a Western Roman Emperor until 476.  The guy in the east did not care about it then.  Charlamagne's coronation shouldn't have precipitated the split, therefore..  It was deeper than that.
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« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2003, 08:42:16 AM »

Charlemagne's coronation precipitated the split.  ALL of a sudden the west was claiming there was a need for a “new Roman Emperor” ignoring the Emperor sitting in Constantinople.  By coronating Charlemagne as emperor, the pope denied the validity of the Roman Empire based in Constantinople.  

This was a critical political factor that had an influence on the split.  Much can be said on this event on how the Byzantines viewed it.

I see the split more do to what authority and control the primacy has, i.e. the overall definition of primacy, not whether or not it belongs in Rome.
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« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2003, 11:16:59 PM »

Polycarp -

The "split" is the child of the Crusades, impure and not so simple.

I'm sure someone will contradict me, but I think history bears out what I wrote.


The split is not really local to a specific incident, but a gradual divergence that culminated in a split.  Already in the 5th century, there was a widening divergence in the views towards the Papacy.  There also was a divergence in how both sides viewed the procession of the Holy Spirit.  The East drew a clear and defined distinction between the Holy Spirit's procession from the Father alone in terms of Hypostasis and the Holy Spirit's resting in the Son, receiving of the Son and eternal manifestation through the Son.  The West, OTOH, did not draw this distinction so readily, and developed accordingly.  As the years progressed, the divergences developed further until it ended up in a permanent rupture in communion.  Things were really not looking very good by the time of St. Photios the Great; and even though the schism was temporarily healed, it seemed like a Band-Aid solution to a terribly malignant wound.

Although I would think that the Crusades further aggravated and even revealed the fact of schism, it may be perhaps be questionable to locate the cause of the schism to the Crusades.  If such were the case, then a mere heartfelt apology and mutual efforts to forgive would be the solution to the schism.  Personally, I think the schism runs deeper than a series of misdeeds to and fro'.

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« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2003, 11:54:54 PM »

Polycarp -

The "split" is the child of the Crusades, impure and not so simple.

I'm sure someone will contradict me, but I think history bears out what I wrote.


The split is not really local to a specific incident, but a gradual divergence that culminated in a split.  Already in the 5th century, there was a widening divergence in the views towards the Papacy.  There also was a divergence in how both sides viewed the procession of the Holy Spirit.  The East drew a clear and defined distinction between the Holy Spirit's procession from the Father alone in terms of Hypostasis and the Holy Spirit's resting in the Son, receiving of the Son and eternal manifestation through the Son.  The West, OTOH, did not draw this distinction so readily, and developed accordingly.  As the years progressed, the divergences developed further until it ended up in a permanent rupture in communion.  Things were really not looking very good by the time of St. Photios the Great; and even though the schism was temporarily healed, it seemed like a Band-Aid solution to a terribly malignant wound.

Although I would think that the Crusades further aggravated and even revealed the fact of schism, it may be perhaps be questionable to locate the cause of the schism to the Crusades.  If such were the case, then a mere heartfelt apology and mutual efforts to forgive would be the solution to the schism.  Personally, I think the schism runs deeper than a series of misdeeds to and fro'.

gbmtmas

I do agree with you that there were differences between East and West, differences aggravated by the fundamental differences of language and culture.

But I think the doctrinal differences between East and West have been exaggerated and are the result more of misunderstanding than anything else. Some of them, IMHO, have been largely trumped up for political purposes and because some persons benefited more from schism than they would have from reunion.

I stand by what I wrote before. The split is the child of the Crusades.

The Crusaders set up their own Patriarch of Antioch in 1100. Constantinople and the Byzantines supported another Patriarch for that See. That created a real schism.

The body blow came in 1204 with the sacking of Constantinople.

I really do not want to become embroiled in an argument on this thread - so, I won't!  Wink
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« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2003, 11:19:16 PM »

I really do not want to become embroiled in an argument on this thread - so, I won't!  Wink

Good Evening Mr. Linus7 Smiley

My reply was not intended to argue or to induce an argument.  It was merely an expression of my opinion.

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Fixed quote.  John.
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« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2003, 03:48:16 AM »

If I may answer the original question...No, it isn't.  Rome was given primacy because it was the seat of Peter.  If Peter had gone somewhere else, somewhere else would have had primacy. Constantinople was give second place in the patriarchal rankings in 381 in Canon III of the Second Ecumenical Council, long before either the filioque, the Crusades, or the establishment of Constantinople as capital city of any Empire.

That isn't what Canon 28 of Chalcedon says:

"we also do enact and decree the same things concerning the privileges of the most holy Church of Constantinople, which is New Rome. For the Fathers rightly granted privileges to the throne of old Rome, because it was the royal city. And the One Hundred and Fifty most religious Bishops, actuated by the same consideration, gave equal privileges (<greek>isa</greek> <greek>presbeia</greek>) 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, and rank next after her"

PT

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« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2003, 04:00:36 AM »

Ullo Peter,

The long history behind Canon 28 interests me because the cracks were  starting to appear, paving the way for the schism. Pope Leo annulled the Canon and the Patriarch of Constantinople practically revoked it, but interestingly the annullment seemed to have had no effect. Plus, not one of his successors recognized Canon 28 until Innocent III - when he installed a Latin patriarch at Constantinople after 1204!
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« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2003, 04:13:47 AM »

Hiya

I always find that an interesting episode as well. I have often asked EO's what the status of the Western Church was while it rejected an ecumenical canon. I think that we sometimes like (all of us) to paint a rosy and neat picture of history, it always strikes me as important that we face the rather confusing and disrupted nature of most periods. Otherwise we derive wrong conclusions.

What is your opinion of the importance of the longstanding rejection of Canon 28 by the Western Church? How can a church reject an ecumenical canon and yet still be Orthodox?

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« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2003, 04:35:17 AM »

It could be seen as legitimate if it was within the bounds of the right of abrogation the Pope had, but apparently the consensus of the Church prevailed when we consider its immediate enforcement and what followed: Pope Leo complained to the Empress, the Council of Constantinople (not sure if it was the 869 or 879-80 council) recognized the second place of Constantinople, in the presence of the Papal legates

It didn't stop the Easterns from calling into question the orthodoxy of Rome because while Rome rejected the Canons, she didn't reject its doctrinal decrees. I would have to research into this a bit deeper to give a more thorough answer, but from what I already know about this episode, Rome hardly had the powers that apologists claim she had.
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« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2003, 09:52:17 AM »

Hiya Byz

I'm thinking more of if it is reasonable, as many think, to make a distinction between ecumenical doctrine and ecumenical canons.

If the all of the canons MUST be accepted to be Orthodox then what of the Western Church's rejection of Canon 28? If in fact the doctrine is more important then that's an interesting thought.

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« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2003, 04:47:42 AM »

Pete,

You're right, treading on the Canons would deal a serious blow to Church life. I still don't think we can level charges of heteredoxy against Rome for disregarding Canons because the Orthodox Church has done the same thing in relation to the one forbidding more than one bishop in each territory and organizing the Church along ethnic/national/cultural lines. We're one up against Rome because we haven't introduced any dogmatic innovations.

Is there such thing as a distinction between ecclesiological heresy and doctrinal heresy?
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« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2003, 10:39:20 AM »

Sadly, Vicki, your "improbable" is probably right. But 85 years historically is a short period really. And I'm certain you are familiar with something similar called "Greek-time". Smiley

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« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2003, 10:41:01 AM »

In the book "From Mars Hill to Manhatten, A History of the Greek Orthodox Church in America" it has many examples of where the Orthodox Church in an area basically was started by and under the jursidiction of the Russians. However, in almost ALL instances, as soon as the Greeks had enough people, they would always split off and build their own church.

There are examples in the book where the minutes of church meetings and services were conducted originally in English, but as soon as the Greeks gained control of the Parish Council, started taking the minutes in Greek and introducing more and more Greek into the liturgy.

Of course, the book see this as a positive thing!

Greeks!   Roll Eyes
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« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2004, 02:47:32 PM »

When you look at Chalcedon, I think what you see are two facets underlying this issue of ecclesiastical primacy:  (1) the principle of accomodation to imperial structures and (2) the enduring primacy of Rome.

It's clear that the accomodation principle was very important -- it alone was the basis for the elevation of Constantinople to the second rank, vaulting ahead of the older Sees of Antioch and Alexandria.  And it also seems clear (although Pope St. Leo seemingly disagreed with this), that the Council Fathers thought that the accomodation principle was, in part, a reason why Old Rome was allowed to become primatial to begin with.

However, ultimately, the fact that the words of Chalcedon themselves indicate that Old Rome retained its pride of place, if you will, even after Chalcedon, noting that the newly-elevated See of Constantinople would rank *second* to Rome.  

What Chalcedon doesn't really specify, however, is why this was the case -- and that, I think, is where there were the seeds sown for disagreement.  One reading of Chalcedon, which is based on the text quoted above, is that Constantinople was to be equal to Old Rome in power, with Old Rome enjoying a primacy of place based on deference to history (in a similar way that Old Rome was granted this kind of deference in imperial affairs for a time after transfer of the principal imperial capital to the Boshporus).  In fact, this many well have been what many of the council Fathers intended -- or they may have been of different minds and agreeable to this formulation that left matters open, if you will.  Another interpretation is that Rome retained primacy even per the words of Chalcedon and it did so because it was the unique See of Peter -- Chalcedon doesn't say this, and the text leads one to think that this is not what the Council Fathers had in mind, but nevertheless it is clear enough that the Fathers did have in mind that, even after Chalcedon, Rome still was "first" among Sees, if only even in honor (due to the fact that the words of Chalcedon seemingly granted Constantinople the same powers and privileges as had previously been enjoyed by the See of Rome).

So what you had after this was an agreement throughout the Church relating to the fact of the primacy of Rome, but the seeds of a real disagreement about the *basis* and *nature* of that primacy.  Pope St. Leo obviously noticed this and objected to the canon, but nevertheless that canon and the objection to it really signified the beginnings of this disagreement -- and we still, in fact, don't seem to agree about this.

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« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2004, 10:36:26 PM »

Were the bishops present at Chalcedon arguing that Rome's primacy derived only from its position as the capitol of the Empire, or that that was one of the reasons? Perhaps they were simply highlighting that aspect as a justification for elevating Constantinople based on its political status.

If the bishops believed that Rome's primacy was based solely on its status as the capitol, then the following letter they wrote to Pope St. Leo the Great seems a bit out of place.

"You are set as an interpreter to all of the voice of blessed Peter, and to all you impart the blessings of that faith. And so we too, wisely taking you as our guide in all that is good, have shown to the sons of the Church their inheritance of the truth....We were all delighted at the spiritual food which Christ supplied to us through your letter; we revelled in it as at an imperial banquet and we seemed to see the heavenly Bridegroom actually present with us. For if where two or three are gathered together in his name, he has said he is in the midst of them, must he not have been more particularly present with 520 priests...? Of all these you were the chief, as head to members, showing your goodwill in matters of organization....And, like the stranger of wild beasts, he [condemned Patriarch of Alexandria Dioscorus] fell upon the vine which he found in the finest condition, uprooted it, and planted that which had been cast out as unfruitful. He cut off those who acted like true shepherds, and he placed over the flocks those who had shown themselves to be wolves. Besides all this he extended his fury even against him who had been charged with the custody of the vine by the Saviour--we refer to your holiness-- and he intended to excommunicate one who was zealous to unite the body of the Church....We mention further that we have made certain other decisions also for the good management and stability of church affairs, as we are persuaded that your holiness will accept and ratify them when you are told....We have also ratified the canon of the 150 holy fathers who met at Constantinople...which declares that after your most holy and apostolic see, the see of Constantinople shall have privileges, being placed second; for we are persuaded that, with your usual interest, you have often extended that apostolic radiance of yours even to the church of Constantinople also. This you will increase many times by sharing your own good things ungrudingly with your brethren. And so deign, most holy and blessed father, to embrace as your own, and as lovable and agreeable to good order, the things we have decreed, for the removal of all confusion, and the confirmation of church order. For the legates of your holiness, the most holy bishops Paschasinus and Lucentius, and with them the godly presbyter Boniface, tried hard to resist these decisions, wishing that this good work also should start from your foresight, so that the establishment of the discipline, as well as of faith, should be credited to you. But we, regarding our most devout and Christian sovereigns, who delight therein, and the illustrious senate, and, so to say, the whole captial, recognized as fitting the confirmation of the honour by this universal council, and we confidently endorsed it, as if it were initiated by your holiness, as you always hasten to cherish us, knowing that every success of the children redounds to the parents. We therefore beg you to honour our decision by your assent, and as we have yielded agreement to the head in noble things, so may the head also fulfill what is fitting for the children. Thus will our pious emperors be respected, who have ratified your holiness' judgement as law, and the see of Constantinople will receive its recompense for having always displayed such loyalty on matters of religion towards you, and for having so zealously linked itself to you in full agreement." (Documents Illustrating Papal Authority, pp. 322-324, P.L. 54.952; Leo, Ep. 98.)

The underlining is mine.



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« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2004, 12:34:22 AM »

I'd like to say this quote (by whom, specifically?) is helpful, but despite underlined portions, it still looks as if it is muddy water and solves little. The papal apologists must have better "illustrations"...

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« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2004, 05:29:43 AM »

Linus, I really do think you misunderstand the nature of episcopal letters at that time. They are full of flowery language. We need to look to canons and actual examples of papal authority being exercised and rejected to gain a proper idea of the fathers thought.

A diplomatic letter really tells us little. It is quite clear that bishops could write the most subservient letters to the Pope and then ignore what he said. It's diplomacy and it's forms of address, it's not doctrine.

And it is, as you indicate, taken from a book designed to illustrate papal authority.
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« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2004, 05:36:36 AM »

Actually the internet papal apologists would look at that and say "look, universal jurisdiction and papal infallibility!"
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« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2004, 08:17:54 AM »

I have a little question which is subsidiary to this:

The 8th Ecumenical Council according to the Roman Catholic tradition is Constantinople IV 869-870.

The statement of this council starts:

"The holy, great and ecumenical synod, which was assembled by God's will and the favour of our divinely approved emperors Basil and Constantine, the holy friends of Christ, in this royal and divinely protected city and in the most famous church bearing the name of holy and great Wisdom, declared the following....."

Regardless of what it declared for now, how would those Orthodox who have a high view of the papal privileges and authority view this council? If Peter is head of the Church then why is a council which was held before the Great Schism not ecumenical according to your POV?

We have dealt with a few of the times when Rome objected to an Eastern Council, but what of the times when it supported one? And this was from 869 to the present?

Linus7? What's your POV?
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« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2004, 08:48:33 AM »

Linus, I really do think you misunderstand the nature of episcopal letters at that time. They are full of flowery language. We need to look to canons and actual examples of papal authority being exercised and rejected to gain a proper idea of the fathers thought.

A diplomatic letter really tells us little. It is quite clear that bishops could write the most subservient letters to the Pope and then ignore what he said. It's diplomacy and it's forms of address, it's not doctrine.

And it is, as you indicate, taken from a book designed to illustrate papal authority.

I see.

So you mean expressions like, "You are set as an interpreter to all of the voice of blessed Peter," and  "Of all these you were the chief, as head to members," and "Besides all this he extended his fury even against him who had been charged with the custody of the vine by the Saviour--we refer to your holiness--" were all mere niceties, that the bishops at Chalcedon really meant none of them?

Pardon me if I find the "diplomatic letter/ flowery language" excuse incredible.

While it is true that the quote I supplied comes from a book of documents illustrating papal authority, there seem to be plenty of such documents from the early Church. Is anyone arguing that they do not exist or that they are all forgeries?

I really don't like seeming to everyone to be always presenting the Latin arguments for the papacy, but it seems to me the opposite extreme tends to ignore and gloss over such references as the letter I quoted.

You yourself have said repeatedly, Peter, that history is not black-and-white (as if I thought it were).

Yet you seem to think that the case for a mere primacy of honor is open and shut and requires a simple examination of the historical record.

It seems to me such an examination proves that you are right about one thing: history is not so black-and-white.

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Byzantino: Actually the internet papal apologists would look at that and say "look, universal jurisdiction and papal infallibility!"

True. They see too much in it.

But it is equally true that some look at that letter and see far too little.
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« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2004, 09:04:39 AM »

Hiya Linus7

Well if you were arguing for a primacy of honour I would have no problem. But you are arguing for a jurisdictional authority which I believe Rome increasingly thought it should have starting before Chalcedon but which all churches resisted, even in the West.

You need to pull out canons showing the agreed limits of papal claims and actual events pro-and con which show what was actually allowed.

Why did even Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury, put in place by the Pope of Rome, not actually obey any of the instructions he was repeatedly sent?

Why did Hilary of Arles reject the attempts of Rome to impose its will across the West?

Why did St Cyprian reject even the more limited claims of Pope Stephen of Rome.

Surely the actual practice rather than ecclesial diplomacy is what counts.

Since we have already looked at the fact that many of the bishops at Chalcedon, plus hundreds of others, shortly afterwards repudiated Chalcedon and swore that they were not under any pressure to do so we should not expect that every word ever written by bishops was meant to be taken absolutely and literally as an expression of doctrinal opinion.
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« Reply #30 on: January 07, 2004, 09:08:57 AM »

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peterfarrington: Surely the actual practice rather than ecclesial diplomacy is what counts.

Really?

If that is true then Christ Himself has no authority!

How many people put His commands into "actual practice?"

Besides, you are assuming that the words of the bishops at Chalcedon were merely "ecclesial diplomacy," that they were somehow not serious about them.

The early popes had no imperial troops to enforce their instructions. Instances of bishops ignoring them are not proof that they were not rightfully binding.

I don't believe St. Cyprian actually ever rejected St. Stephen's authority. He argued with him about the rebaptism of heretics, to be sure, but that is not the same thing as rejecting his authority.

I am not familiar enough with the other cases you cited to comment other than to say that authority cannot be judged by specific instances of disobedience.
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« Reply #31 on: January 07, 2004, 09:27:23 AM »

I am not familiar enough with the other cases you cited to comment other than to say that authority cannot be judged by specific instances of disobedience.

I'd have thought the opposite was true. If the Pope of Rome cannot obtain the obedience of other bishops to his will then he has no authority. Or are you suggesting that for most of Church history most Orthodox bishops have quietly and not so quietly ignored the will of the Pope and thereby disobeyed God?

What of the 8th Roman Ecumenical Council. Which describes itself as Ecumenical. Is this Ecumenical or nor? It took place long before 1054?

Why did Pope Stephen excommunicate St Cyprian if it was not a matter of authority? If St Cyprian did not accept Pope Stephen's opinion - as Head of the Church - then how was he not rejecting his authority to teach the truth?
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« Reply #32 on: January 07, 2004, 09:33:43 AM »

And as a PS. I note that the Cath. Enc. says that:

"Stephen had demanded unquestioning obedience"

Now if he demanded this he certainly didn't get it. Was St Cyprian also disobedient then?
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« Reply #33 on: January 07, 2004, 11:17:42 AM »

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Linus7:
I am not familiar enough with the other cases you cited to comment other than to say that authority cannot be judged by specific instances of disobedience.

Quote
peterfarrington: I'd have thought the opposite was true. If the Pope of Rome cannot obtain the obedience of other bishops to his will then he has no authority.

Once again, moral authority and coercive authority are two different things.

If the ability to secure obedience to one's commands as measured by historical instances is an indication of real authority, then Stalin had more authority than Christ.

Quote
peterfarrington: Or are you suggesting that for most of Church history most Orthodox bishops have quietly and not so quietly ignored the will of the Pope and thereby disobeyed God?

I'm not suggesting that at all.

I don't see that you or anyone else has proven that "for most of Church history most Orthodox bishops have quietly and not so quietly ignored the will of the Pope."

Besides, I am arguing that the early popes held more than a mere primacy of honor, not that they were monarchs or that they were infallible.

Save the anti-RC arguments for your RC opponents.

Quote
peterfarrington: What of the 8th Roman Ecumenical Council. Which describes itself as Ecumenical. Is this Ecumenical or nor? It took place long before 1054?

Are you asking me to declare myself a Roman Catholic and that popes are infallible?

It is pretty well known that Photius resumed his office as Patriarch of Constantinople in 877 and that he held another synod in Constantinople in 879 that rescinded the condemnation of him made at the council to which you refer.

Photius was reconciled to Rome and died in communion with Pope John VIII.

Quote
peterfarrington: Why did Pope Stephen excommunicate St Cyprian if it was not a matter of authority? If St Cyprian did not accept Pope Stephen's opinion - as Head of the Church - then how was he not rejecting his authority to teach the truth?

Once again, you seem to be attempting to get me to defend absolute papal monarchy and infallibility.

I never said one could not argue with the Bishop of Rome or attempt to persuade him to one's point of view.

The controversy between Sts. Stephen and Cyprian ended when both men died.

It is noteworthy that it was St. Stephen's viewpoint that triumphed ultimately.

I do not have access right now to a detailed account of the controversy between Sts. Stephen and Cyprian. If I get time, I will attempt to do some more reading on it.

You seem to be arguing that if St. Cyprian disagreed with the Pope, that's it, that must mean the Pope held nothing more than a primacy of honor.

I don't see that as an inevitable conclusion to be drawn from the record of their dispute.

If Pope St. Stephen's opinions carried no more weight than those of any other bishop, why would St. Cyprian so concern himself with them?

Why consult the Pope at all?
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« Reply #34 on: January 07, 2004, 11:39:51 AM »

If Pope St. Stephen's opinions carried no more weight than those of any other bishop, why would St. Cyprian so concern himself with them?

Why consult the Pope at all?

I think you are setting up false dichotomies.

Just because St Cyprian rejected any form of papal supremacy doesn't mean that he wouldn't consult with the Pope. In fact he had already had to send several letters to the previous Pope urging him to take action in certain cases. In his own letters St Cyprian writes against a primacy saying:

"Since you have desired that what Stephen our brother replied to my letters should be brought to your knowledge, I have sent you a copy of his reply; on the reading of which, you will more and more observe his error in endeavouring to maintain the cause of heretics against Christians, and against the Church of God ... He forbade one coming from any heresy to be baptized in the Church; that is, he judged the baptism of all heretics to be just and lawful (Epistle 73.1-2).

Does he give glory to God, who affirms that sons are born to God without, of an adulterer and a harlot? Does he give glory to God, who does not hold the unity and truth that arise from the divine law, but maintains heresies against the Church? Does he give glory to God, who, a friend of heretics and an enemy to Christians, thinks that the priests of God, who support the truth of Christ and the unity of the Church, are to be excommunicated? (Epistle 73.Cool.

But let these things which were done by Stephen be passed by for the present, lest, while we remember his audacity and pride, we bring a more lasting sadness on ourselves from the things that he has wickedly done (Epistle 74.3).

But that they who are at Rome do not observe those things in all cases which are handed down from the beginning, and vainly pretend the authority of the apostles ... There is no departure at all from the peace and unity of the Catholic Church, such as Stephen has now dared to make; breaking the peace against you (Cyprian), which his predecessors have always kept with you in mutual love and honour (Epistle 74.6).

I (Firmilian) am justly indignant at this so open and manifest folly of Stephen, that he who so boasts of the place of his episcopate, and contends that he holds the succession from Peter, on whom the foundations of the Church were laid, should introduce many other rocks and establish new buildings of many churches; maintaining that there is baptism in them by his authority (Epistle 74.17).

Stephen is not ashamed to assert and to say that remission of sins can be granted by those who are themselves set fast in all kinds of sins, as if in the house of death there could be the layer of salvation ... But indeed you are worse than all heretics ... you take away from them remission of sins, which is given in baptism, by saying that they are already baptized and have obtained the grace of the Church outside the Church (Epistle 74.22-23).

How great sin have you (Stephen) heaped up for yourself, when you cut yourself off from so many flocks! For it is yourself that you have cut off. Do not deceive yourself, since he is really the schismatic who has made himself an apostate from the communion of ecclesiastical unity. For while you think that all may be excommunicated by you, you have excommunicated yourself alone from all (Epistle 74.24).

And yet Stephen is not ashamed to afford patronage to such in opposition to the Church, and for the sake of maintaining heretics to divide the brotherhood and in addition, to call Cyprian "a false Christ and a false apostle, and a deceitful worker." (Epistle 74.26).

Basilides, after the detection of his crimes, and the baring of his conscience even by his own confession, went to Rome and deceived Stephen our colleague, placed at a distance, and ignorant of what had been done, and of the truth, to canvass that he might be replaced unjustly in the episcopate from which he had been righteously deposed (Epistle 67.5).

But which of us is far from humility: I, who daily serve the brethren, and kindly receive with good-will and gladness every one that comes to the Church; or you, who appoint yourself bishop of a bishop, and judge of a judge, given for the time by God? (Epistle 68.3)."

The last quotation is especially aposite.

I do not doubt the primacy in some sense of the Pope of Rome in the past, but it must be measured by practice and canons.

I am still not sure why the historic primacy of Rome is important. Rome is not Orthodox. There is no Orthodox Pope to have the primacy. If a primacy is necessary for the Church then it has fallen to the Ecumenical Patriarch to serve in that capacity. You should be asking in what sense he has a primacy.

And of course it is not the case that the Roman practice has prevailed. There are many Orthodox Churches who take an entirely Cyprianic view. My own does for instance.
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« Reply #35 on: January 07, 2004, 12:06:50 PM »

Of course, it was also St. Cyprian who wrote:

"There speaks Peter, upon whom the Church would be built . . ." (St. Cyprian of Carthage, Letter to Florentius Pupianus, [66 (69), 8]; A.D. 254).

"For Peter, whom the Lord chose first and upon whom He built His Church . . ." (St. Cyprian of Carthage, Letter to Quintus, A Bishop of Mauretania, [71, 1]; A.D. 254/255).

"And again He says to him [Peter] after His resurrection: 'Feed My sheep.' On him He builds the Church, and to him He gives the command to feed the sheep; and although He assigns a like power to all the Apostles, yet He founded a single chair, and He established by His own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was; but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair" (St. Cyprian of Carthage, The Unity of the Catholic Church, [4]; A.D. 251).


You also quoted some of the letters of Firmilian as if they were St. Cyprian's.

I still do not see that St. Cyprian's conflict with St. Stephen makes your case.

St. Cyprian was human and fallible, although a saint.

Quote
peterfarrington: And of course it is not the case that the Roman practice has prevailed. There are many Orthodox Churches who take an entirely Cyprianic view. My own does for instance.

It has prevailed in the Orthodox Church in general, when exercising oikonomia.

Your church is OO, Peter. There are many points of departure between it and the Orthodox Church, and there are many groups which practice all sorts of things not practiced by the Orthodox Church.

There are splinter groups that insist on the rebaptism of all converts, yes.

Unfortunately, I've run out of time.
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« Reply #36 on: January 07, 2004, 04:23:18 PM »

What are the points of departure between the EO and the Orthodox Church?

If you are talking about baptism of heretics you need to consider that economia is a modern practice. Historically it was not practiced in Orthodox but was practiced in the West.

You cannot switch it to 'the baptism of all converts'. That wasn't and isn't the issue. Rome didn't baptise converts from heresy full-stop. That was the view Pope Stephen insisted on. That is not and has never been the Orthodox practice. Stephen wasn't practicing economia he was saying that baptism should not happen.

What is my case? That the Popes have never had an indisputed authority, in fact their authority has always been disputed.

You say that this merely shows that bishops can be disobedient.

But in fact you seem to have failed to come up with a list of times when the Popes were able to impose their authority.

You have also signally failed to answer why it is important for Orthodox? There is no Pope of Rome. Constantinople is the senior See and the EP has inherited whatever primacy was Romes/

What primacy does the EP have? That is the Orthodox issue. Rome is a non-issue. It's like asking 'who is the present senior bishop of Carthage?' Carthage doesn't exist either as an Orthodox community. It's a non-question.

What is the primacy of the EP, answer that and you'll know what the primacy of Rome was
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« Reply #37 on: January 07, 2004, 05:38:30 PM »

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What are the points of departure between the EO and the Orthodox Church?

I understand your church's exclusivity claim but frankly I find this wording rude. Face it, in Christianity the EOx have a lock on the big-O word standing alone, just like the Pope's men have a patent on big C by itself in common use. That's reality, mate. 'The Oriental Orthodox Church' or even, for your argument, 'the Church' would be fine.

Quote
Rome didn't baptise converts from heresy full-stop. That was the view Pope Stephen insisted on. That is not and has never been the Orthodox practice. Stephen wasn't practicing economia he was saying that baptism should not happen.

Pope St Stephen I was writing and acting a long time ago, even before the belief about the Dormition/Assumption was widely known or the teaching on images was made doctrine. That's rather impressive precedent, whatever one thinks about the place of the Pope.

Quote
What is the primacy of the EP, answer that and you'll know what the primacy of Rome was


Pope John Paul II makes mistakes in prudential judgement (altar girls, for example) but at least he has been willing to be a lightning rod on hot issues such as abortion and homosexuality, and - facing the wrath of the anti-popery Protestant religious right in the States (Messrs Bush and Ashcroft, et al.) - the war in Iraq. And he had the moral clout to inspire the fall of Communism.

Quo vadis, Patriarch Bartholomew? Innocuous tree-hugging (stewardship of God's creation is a noble cause but that's not my point) and giving 'Archon' awards to men like 'Senator Death' Paul Sarbanes in Maryland ('he's Greek + he gives us money = he's an exemplary Christian') don't cut it. Not even close.
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« Reply #38 on: January 07, 2004, 06:01:29 PM »

I understand your church's exclusivity claim but frankly I find this wording rude. Face it, in Christianity the EOx have a lock on the big-O word standing alone, just like the Pope's men have a patent on big C by itself in common use. That's reality, mate. 'The Oriental Orthodox Church' or even, for your argument, 'the Church' would be fine.

I suppose we should all just call ourselves the "Eastern Orthodox Church" or the "Oriental Orthodox Church" since it seems that more people associate "Orthodox" with Judaism than with anything else?
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« Reply #39 on: January 07, 2004, 06:11:02 PM »

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I suppose we should all just call ourselves the "Eastern Orthodox Church" or the "Oriental Orthodox Church" since it seems that more people associate "Orthodox" with Judaism than with anything else?


True - I almost brought that up. Sure! In general conversation outside Christian message boards, don't you have to do that anyway?
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« Reply #40 on: January 07, 2004, 06:26:49 PM »

I understand your church's exclusivity claim but frankly I find this wording rude. Face it, in Christianity the EOx have a lock on the big-O word standing alone, just like the Pope's men have a patent on big C by itself in common use. That's reality, mate. 'The Oriental Orthodox Church' or even, for your argument, 'the Church' would be fine.

Sorry I don't buy that. If an EO can call himself Orthodox and everyone else something else than how is that not rude? I don't think Linus7 was meaning anything. But if an EO considers himself Orthodox then so do I.

I don't particularly care about a lock on any word standing alone. If it isn't accurate why should I allow it to be used inaccurately? It just shows that a lot of people are wrong. Should RC's be called Papists just because it's a popular term?

In Christianity most folk I have grown up with think all Orthodox are superstitious, it doesn't mean such a use is accurate or should be allowed.

If someone wants to talk about Eastern Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy that's fine. But if they want to talk about the Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodoxy then I'm not going to shut up and let it pass. Why should I? As far as I'm concerned it's inaccurate. If I'm not Orthodox I'm being accused of being a heretic, and in my eyes that's worse than just about anything.

I don't ever mean to be rude so please assume that I am raising my voice a little but not shouting and I'd happily have a drink with you and disagree to your face.
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« Reply #41 on: January 07, 2004, 06:26:54 PM »

Serge, I guess my problem with your previous post is that I doubt the average Joe knows the distinction between Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, if he knows of Orthodox Christians at all.  To say, then, that EOxy has a lock on the name Orthodox is problematic for me.  If a Syrian Orthodox Church is one block away from point A and a Bulgarian Orthodox Church is five blocks away from point A and you ask a cab driver to take you to the nearest Orthodox church, I really doubt he's going to drive five blocks to bring you to the Bulgarian church unless he hopes you don't know your way around town and wants to make more money from the one trip.  Smiley
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« Reply #42 on: January 07, 2004, 06:29:57 PM »

True - I almost brought that up. Sure! In general conversation outside Christian message boards, don't you have to do that anyway?

Outside Orthodox lists I just call myself what I am - an Orthodox Christian. I belong to the Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria under Pope Shenouda.

Outside Orthodox lists - and even some in them - the majority of folk have no clue about Orthodox communities.

And I was not being any more exclusivist in calling myself Orthodox than an EO would. I don't really understand your last point? How is it not exclusivist to say Orthodox and OO, but it is exclusivist to say Orthodox and EO?
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« Reply #43 on: January 07, 2004, 06:53:23 PM »

Serge, I guess my problem with your previous post is that I doubt the average Joe knows the distinction between Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, if he knows of Orthodox Christians at all.  To say, then, that EOxy has a lock on the name Orthodox is problematic for me.  If a Syrian Orthodox Church is one block away from point A and a Bulgarian Orthodox Church is five blocks away from point A and you ask a cab driver to take you to the nearest Orthodox church, I really doubt he's going to drive five blocks to bring you to the Bulgarian church unless he hopes you don't know your way around town and wants to make more money from the one trip.  Smiley

I don't know-- my last cab ride in Philly was with a Ukranian cabbie.  Grin

And I'm not sure how cabbies enter into this. If I were on 16th Street in DC and asked to go to the nearest Anglican church, I'd probably end up at St. Hilda's, which is a continuing church. Taxonomy and ecclesiology are at war here, because there clearly is an organizational difference between Coptic and Greek churches that exactly parallels the difference between the official Anglican church in the US and the continuing churches (namely, recognition by the appropriate patriarch). Naming this difference is a job for taxonomy, but because the churches that claim catholicity tend to have extremely sale-pitchy names, there is a perpetual battle between the meanings of the words and the titles of the churches.

Somewhere along the line someone has to cry "uncle" and some taxonomy has to be accepted apart from all the competing claims to be The Church. Otherwise discourse is impossible.
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« Reply #44 on: January 07, 2004, 08:35:40 PM »

I have a little question which is subsidiary to this:

The 8th Ecumenical Council according to the Roman Catholic tradition is Constantinople IV 869-870.

The statement of this council starts:

"The holy, great and ecumenical synod, which was assembled by God's will and the favour of our divinely approved emperors Basil and Constantine, the holy friends of Christ, in this royal and divinely protected city and in the most famous church bearing the name of holy and great Wisdom, declared the following....."

Regardless of what it declared for now, how would those Orthodox who have a high view of the papal privileges and authority view this council? If Peter is head of the Church then why is a council which was held before the Great Schism not ecumenical according to your POV?

We have dealt with a few of the times when Rome objected to an Eastern Council, but what of the times when it supported one? And this was from 869 to the present?

Linus7? What's your POV?

The Council of 869 was overturned by the Council of 879 which was cosigned by Pope John VIII.

See The Photian Schism by Francis Dvornik.
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