Well, if you had actually followed the argument, you would see that I was responding to Peter's assertion that because there are historical cases in which popes were ignored or disobeyed that proves they held no more than a primacy of honor.
My point was this: if authority is measured by obedience, then Christ Himself has very little if any authority because few people obey Him.
As I remarked at one point, if compliance is the measure of authority, then Stalin had more authority than Christ.
The words used by the bishops at Chalcedon were either true or they were not. "Flowery language" cannot account for the things they wrote about St. Leo. He was either St. Peter's successor or he was not. He was either "the head of all the churches" or he was not.How does Canon 28 or any of what you are calling "praxis" refute the idea that the bishops of Rome held more than a mere primacy of honor?
The problem that I have with your statement is threefold:1)
You should perhaps refrain from putting words in my mouth that I did not utter (“How does Canon 28 or any of what you are calling "praxis" refute the idea that the bishops of Rome held more than a mere primacy of honor”). My view of the primacy that the Roman Catholic Papacy held is more akin to the Orthodox Fathers of the 12th through 15th centuries, rather than that of modern polemicists. 2)
I have no idea what your view of the Roman Papacy is. After having read all of this thread, it seems that you don’t agree with some of the conclusions of “Orthodox anti-RCC polemicists”, while at the same time you seem to have indicated that the current Roman Catholic claims regarding their Papacy are perhaps exaggerated. Yet, in this entire thread, I have not seen your view of the Roman Catholic Papacy articulated - except in a context of what you don’t believe. Perhaps you could share what, precisely you believe regarding the Roman Catholic Papacy, it’s relation to St. Peter, your understanding of primacy, and perhaps what you agree/disagree with Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy?3)
I do not consider a supplicatory letter to be grounds enough to establish a dogma on its own. The words (read authoritative) of canon 28 clearly explain the basis upon which the Council Fathers were allocating a secondary primacy to New Rome and why Old Rome maintained its position as “first.” Canon 28 was affirmed by the Fathers of Chalcedon—despite the protestations of Pope Leo the Great. Furthermore, canon 28 was reaffirmed in the Council of Trullo, which holds canonical weight in the East. Thus, I continue to have difficulty viewing the Church’s execution of canon 28 as indicative of any incongruence with her authentic Tradition.
It is a historical fact that there were conflicts in the Church.
Canon 28 wasn’t a “conflict” in the Church. It was a canon of an Ecumenical Council, issued by Fathers of that Council. Again, this canon was reaffirmed by the Council of Trullo. This is hardly “conflict” - in terms of disobedience against a legitimate authority.
Or are we to rely on the actual stated principles?
I would say that the issuance and execution of the canons of the Ecumenical Councils qualify as “stated principles.” I would say that the anathema of the 6th EC is most definitely a “state principle.” I would say that the 5th EC’s condemnation of the Three Chapters is a “stated principle” against heresy—and Pope Vigilius’ initial opposition to this condemnation, which led to his name being struck from the diptychs is a “stated principle.”
When Arius disobeyed Bishop St. Alexander, did that prove that Alexander had no authority over his presbyters?I have read about those things.
Was Pope Liberius’ waffling on Semi-Arianism deserving of obedience, or was Hilary of Poitiers quite correct in anathematizing the Pope for his temporary fluctuation?
Who was correct—Vigilius, or the 5th EC? Ultimately, the 5th EC won the battle against the Three Chapters.
Should the Church have simply followed the lead of Pyrrhus and Honorius, or was the 6th EC correct in execrating their memory?
Should Photius the Great have simply acquiesced to the wishes of Pope Nicholas? In the end, Photius was vindicated in what is regarded as the 8th EC in the Orthodox Church (879 AD).
I've read Whelton's Two Paths: Papal Monarchy or Collegial Tradition twice. I am familiar with its arguments. I have also read some other anti-RCC Orthodox books.
If this is all you have read, then I would highly recommend reading more scholarly books, and avoiding polemicists (both Orthodox and Roman Catholic). If you wish, I will be more than happy to provide you with a decent list of books.
It is interesting how central the pope's role seems to have been in the history of the Church. Why is that?
He was the bishop of the imperial city of the empire—a metropolis and large center of activity. At the same time, his see was a
(not “the only”) successor of St. Peter.
If his primacy was merely honorific, why worry about what he thought?
You need to define what you mean by “merely honorific.”
Why ask him to hear appeals or resolve disputes?
Because, according to the canons, the bishop in a metropolitan see can hear appeals under certain, defined conditions.
Why pay any more attention to one of his letters than to those of any other bishop?
Generally speaking, I would venture to say that a letter from an Orthodox Pope of Old Rome is most certainly not held in higher esteem that a letter written by Orthodox Ignatius, also the successor of Peter, but in Antioch. However, if you are referring to Pope Leo’s Tomos, then it is evident, from a perusal of the Council minutes, that the Chalcedonian Fathers accepted the Tomos on its orthodox merit.