Fr. George says Orthodox don't need to have the Bishop of Rome.
Scamandrius says the Church is conciliar in nature, and in the same breath that 2 bishops were promptly excommunicated for voting against Nicea's definition.
Why has there not been appointed an Orthodox bishop of Rome since the Schism to make up the Pentarchy represented in the first 7 Ecumenical Councils? Or is it irrelevant so long as any future Ecumenical Council is represented by all the Orthodox Patriarchs of today?
This is actually a very important question. The idea of the Pentarchy, 5 Patriarchs needed for full binding of councils, is so ingrained in Orthodoxy
Says who? The majority (4/5) were held without, and the Pentarchy didn't even exist for the first three (or four, as the Fourth was the one which made it).
that I think Fr. George's assertion that one see, (Rome) can simply be dropped without being replaced is inconsistent with the idea of the Pentarchy.
The problem with your theory is that the autocephaly of the Church of Cyprus predates the pentarchy, and there was a sixth patriarchate (Georgia) for the last three Ecumenical Councils. No special theory on them?
Orthodox like to say the Pentarchy just represented the whole bishops in general but which is it?
Besides the canons referring to their autocephaly individually, there is no mention of a pentarchy in the canons nor dogmatic definitions of the Councils, anymore than there is any mention of a supremacy of Rome.
If they did carry with their approval the authority of the whole bishops throughout the world then Rome is important and can't simply be dismissed as easily as Fr. George thinks.
The Fathers of the Second and Fifth Ecumenical Councils thought so. They were right.
Instead it would be necessary to fill the 5th seat as DavidH presumes.
I'd like DavidH cite the canon or dogma that sets up 5 seats, let alone requiring that they all be filled.
If, on the other hand, the Pentarchy did not of themselves carry the authority of the whole Church, and instead, these Ecumenical councils simply consisted of the universal Church *of whom the Pentarchy was simply the most prominent* and for practical reasons, their approval was sought as being merely representative of the whole Bishops in the world, then Fr. George is right: losing a Patriarch isn't that important. Fr. George and I think most modern Orthodox would subscribe to this latter view. The problem though is that in order to bind the Church, according to this latter view, one would need all bishops to agree--an impossibility.
Then the Orthodox Church has specialized in the impossible for the last two thousand years: "For with God nothing will be impossible" Luke 1:35. Acts 15:
Aside from this latter view's unhistoricalness,
You mean the "unhistoricalness" of your revision?
it shifts even further from a visible church ecclesiology and further into a "mysterious undefinable" Protestant notion of the Spirit guiding the Church.
John 3:8. The Orthodox Church was quite visible when it rebuked Pope St. Victor from all corners.
This is afterall what Met. Kallistos settled on.
Kaste's pope again ex cathedra....
It's the only acceptable theory left once one denies Rome the full power of the keys.
Then you have a problem: even the "Catholic Encyclopeia" admits:
It is comparatively seldom that the Fathers, when speaking of the power of the keys, make any reference to the supremacy of St. Peter...In their references to the potestas clavium, they are usually intent on vindicating against the Montanist and Novatian heretics the power inherent in the Church to forgive. Thus St. Augustine in several passages declares that the authority to bind and loose was not a purely personal gift to St. Peter, but was conferred upon him as representing the Church. The whole Church, he urges, exercises the power of forgiving sins. This could not be had the gift been a personal one (tract. 1 in Joan., n. 12, P.L., XXXV, 1763; Serm. ccxcv, in P.L., XXXVIII, 1349)....http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08631b.htm
Then there is that problem of the popes reversed themselves, e.g. the Council of Siena, at which point the pope, all three of them, had quite visible churches.
The theory that the Church is conciliar,
It's a dogma.
all bishops equal, need consent of whole church (majority?)-even laity, looks good in theory, but it doesn't work in practice for a visible Church.
Actually that is exactly how the Church visible in history, i.e. the Orthodox, has worked.
The Vatican model has worked this way:http://wps.ablongman.com/wps/media/objects/262/268312/art/figures/KISH219.jpg
As we have talked about in the past, Orthodoxy cannot be certain of any of its teachings oddly enough after its separations from Rome.
Really? We have a Sunday during the Great Fast in which we commemorate St. Gregory Palamas and the Hesychists at the Council of Constantinople V 1341-1351 (hmmmm seems that date is after 1054). And not only was Rome not there, it was against it:those in the East who submitted to the Vatican removed the feast from their books. And then when Rome was around we had Constantinople IV 879, which is not classed as Ecumenical by most, although it vacated that of 869 that Rome repudiated but the Vatican found good enough to reverse Rome's judgement.
Are unbaptised babies damned?
Since your pope recently sent the dogma of Limbo into limbo, I'm suprised you bring this up.
Does original sin alone damn us? Is the filioque heresy?
Yes. The Orthodox are, and have been, and ever shall be in agreement on that.
Are the differences between Rome and Orthodoxy enough to warrant separation?
No one can say with certainty or infallibility.
The Fathers of IV and V Constantinople, St. Mark of Ephesus, those who fought the false unions of Florence, Brest, Uzhhorod, Alba Iulia etc. along with the Patriarchs of the East of 1848 said so with certainty. With certainty, we Orthodox agree.
The point is that both Rome and Orthodoxy have erred at very high levels, though at least Rome can define things infallibly if it needed to, as we have seen it has done in the past.
Like at Siena?
The current Orthodox theory of confusing conciliarism does ironically, however, work well and consistently with an invisible church concept i.e. a mysterious, invisible method ensuring the Church doesn't get thrown off too much. Sound a bit messy? It is, and it's very Protestant.
Well you are the resident expert of the invisible church, being a self identified member of the invisible churhc (which would make you visible, wouldn't it?). But it is evident you near next to nothing of Orthodoxy.
Protestants allow for that messiness, or I should say they simply recognize it to be the way things work. Not even a necessary evil, but just the way the Holy Spirit chooses to guide Christians for whatever reason (respecting man's free will, realizing inherent high chance of corruption with power and large institutions etc...).
I do not think there is an answer in Orthodoxy to the question of how many bishops are needed to agree before the Council is considered authoritative. And that may be because Orthodoxy apart from Rome cannot call another infallible council equal in authority to the first seven.
Since you are not a member of the visible Orthodox Church, your thoughts matter how?