Very good. But how does your implicit admission of the fact that Rome’s judgements were open to dispute square with Rome’s present day claims which render the pope’s decision unquestionable: “there is neither appeal nor recourse against a sentence or decree of the Roman Pontiff” (Code of Canons of the Eastern [Catholic] Churches #45.3 & Roman Code of Canon Law #333.3).
To begin with, St Augustine is not giving a detailed analysis of canon law. He's talking about the insane course of the Donatists who tried every avenue to get a judgment to their liking. So, he's talking hypotheticals here. Having said that, I still don't have any problem with the idea that an Ecumenical Council might review an action by a long, dead pope. It's happened before and will probably happen again. Besides, the ancient custom is for the acts of an Ecumenical Council to be approved by the pope anyway. So, if a Council reviewed the actions of a pope and made a new decision and the current pope agreed...who would we be to disagree? The canon you referred to does not preclude that possibility. Nor is that canon something that could not change if there was a reunion of our Churches.
Augustine as a matter of fact ceded nothing more to the church of Rome than a primacy of pastoral and teaching authority extending over the Catholic Church, not the mythical "Rome has spoken, the case is closed" complex he was rehabilitated with in later times. The African churches, since Pope Stephen’s encroachments and controversy with St. Cyprian, were quick to safeguard their autonomy, as did the Eastern churches. J.N.D. Kelly explains this further:
“[T]here is no evidence that he [Augustine] was prepared to ascribe to the bishop of Rome, in his capacity as successor of Peter, a sovereign and infallible doctrinal magisterium. For example, when in his controversy with Julian of Eclanum he appealed to [Pope] Innocent, his view was that the Pope was only the mouthpiece of truths which the Roman church had held from ancient times in harmony with other Catholic churches. Nor was he willing, in practical matters, to surrender one jot of the disciplinary independence of the African church which Cyprian had defended so stoutly in his day. The truth is that the doctrine of the Roman primacy played only a minor role in his ecclesiology, as also in his personal religious thinking.” (J.N.D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines, p. 419, 1978 ed.)
For another view, see:http://www.bringyou.to/apologetics/num16.htm
It wouldn't surprise me if some Roman apologists have overstated their case. Kelly does seem to state things negatively: "there is no evidence that...," or "he nowhere recognizes..." That's using negative evidence and I disagree with that approach. I would, however, agree with Kelly's historical assessment here:
"[Pope Innocent] also praised his correspondents [St Augustine and four other African bishops] for referring the matter to his judgement (they had in fact not done so), thus following the ancient tradition that bishops everywhere should submit disputed matters of faith to Peter, the founder of their name and office. No previous pope had so clearly enunciated the view that the apostolic see possesses supreme teaching authority. St Augustine rejoiced that two councils had sent their decisions to the holy see, definitive rulings had come back, and the case was settled." (Oxford Dictionary of the Popes, under entry for Pope St Innocent I, died 417, pp. 37-38.)
"By the middle of the fifth century the Roman church had established, de jure as well as de facto, a position of primacy in the West, and the papal claims to supremacy over all bishops of Christendom had been formulated in precise terms
....The student tracing the history of the times, particularly of the Arian, Donatist, Pelagian and Christological controversies, cannot fail to be impressed by the skill and persistence with which the Holy See was continually advancing and consolidating its claims. Since its occupant was accepted as the successor of St. Peter, and prince of the apostles, it was easy to draw the inference that the unique authority which Rome in fact enjoyed, and which the popes saw concentrated in their persons and their office, was no more than the fulfilment of the divine plan." (Early Christian Doctrines, p. 417)
Notice, how Kelly explains the teaching of Pope St Leo on papal primacy:
"First, the famous Gospel texts referring to St Peter should be taken to imply that supreme authority was conferred by our Lord on the apostle. Secondly, St Peter was actually bishop of Rome, and his magisterium was perpetuated in his successors in that see. Thirdly, St Peter being in this way, as it were, mystically present in the Roman see, the authority of other bishops throughout Christendom does not derive immediately from Christ, but (as in the case of the apostles) is mediated to them through St Peter, i.e., through the Roman pontiff who in this way represents him, or, to be more precise, is a kind of Petrus redivivus. Fourthly, while their mandate is of course limited to their own dioceses, St Peter's magisterium, and with it that of his successors, the popes of Rome, is a plenitudo potestatis extending over the entire Church, so that its government rests ultimately with them, and they are its divinely appointed mouthpiece. (Early Christian Doctrines, pp. 420-1)
Don't forget the above-mentioned council was annulled at the legitimate Fourth Council of Constantinople 10 years later, in the presence of the papal legates and 400 other clergymen.
My point was that the Forumla of Pope St Hormisdas had a long ecclesiastical history being re-used several times. It was not, as some have tried to make it seem, a one time event that was forced upon unwilling Easterners. The Formula was sworn to by many in the East over several generations.
The quote actually says certain Popes claimed such jurisdiction,
True. I think the quotes from Kelly above indicate that there were others--including Pope St. Leo. I think we can throw in Pope St Hormisdas and Pope Damasus, to name just a couple.
still the Orthodox polemicists exhibit a bad case of “downplay the role of the Pope” syndrome, which is very silly.
I agree. Yet, the Orthodox polemicists who rely the Abbe Guettee approach ("the rock was not Peter," and "no early popes claimed papal supremacy") are well represented in Orthodoxy today.
If by “universal jurisdiction” you mean anything that resembles Gregory VII’s reforms and his Dictatus Papae then I vehemently disagree. I maintain the Catholic Church recognized in the church of Rome and her bishop a universal primacy of moral, pastoral and teaching authority defined according to the spirit of the Gospel and not juridicalism - authority, not authoritarianism; love and solicitude, not slavery. Essentially it amounts to the presence in the Church of a voice which Pope St. Leo the Great describes as having precedence among the brethren, examples of its practical application seen in Pope St. Clement’s epistle to the Corinthians. I believe this idea of primacy is consistent with the testimony of the Fathers and Ecumenical Councils and the claims of Orthodoxy, which is the main reason behind my conversion.
I would agree that the essence of papal primacy should be serving in love, or as St Gregory Dialogist referred to himself as "the servants of the servants of God." That there have been some failures at times to this principle I have no doubt. And even though Dvornik and Kelly admit a much earlier claim to papal supremacy than most Orthodox are willing to admit that doesn't mean that the exercise of that supremacy has always been the best. That there have been some failures at times to this principle I have no doubt. (There's enough sin on both sides of the Schism to go around.) But the claim to supremacy is there:
From St Gregory the Great:
"For as to what they say about the Church of Constantinople, who can doubt that it is subject to the Apostolic See, as both the most pious lord the emperor and our brother the bishop of that city continually acknowledge?
Yet, if this or any other Church has anything that is good, I am prepared in what is good to imitate even my inferiors, while prohibiting them from things unlawful." (Letter to John, Bishop of Syracuse, Book IX, Epistle XII, P.L. lxxvii, 957)
[St Gregory writing to Eusebius of Thessalonica, Urbicus of Dyrrachium, Andrew of Nicopolis, John of Corinth, John of Prima Justiniana, John of Crete, John of Larissa and Scodra, and many other bishops about his concern that they might be drawn into a council in Constantinople:] "Furthermore, it has come to our knowledge that your Fraternity has been convened to Constantinople. And although our most pious Emperor allows nothing unlawful to be done there, yet, lest perverse men, taking occasion of your assembly, should seek opportunity of cajoling you in favouring this name of superstition, or should think of holding a synod about some other matter, with the view of introducing it therein by cunning contrivances, -though without the authority and consent of the Apostolic See nothing that might be passed would have any force,
nevertheless, before Almighty God I conjure and warn you, that the assent of none of you be obtained by any blandishments, any bribes, any threats whatever; but, having regard to the eternal judgment, acquit ye yourselves salubriously and unanimously in opposition to wrongful aims; and, supported by pastoral constancy and apostolical authority, keep out the robber and the wolf that would rush in, and give no way to him that rages for the tearing of the Church asunder; nor allow, through any cajolery, a synod to be held on this subject, which indeed would not be a legitimate one, nor to be called a synod. (Book IX, Letter LXVIII)
Pope St Leo, writing to the Emperor:
"Let it be enough for him [Anatolius--Archbishop of Constantinople] that by your piety, and by my gracious favour
, he has obtained the bishopric of so great a city. Let him not disdain a royal city, though he cannot make it an apostolic see; and let him on no account hope that he can rise by doing injury to others." (Documents Illustrating Papal Authority, page 327, Leo, Ep. 104, to the Emperor Marcian, P.L. 54.993.)
Letter of Pope St Agapetus to Peter, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, reproving him for his laxity and for having accepted communion with Anthimus: "We found the see of Constantinople usurped, contrary to all the canons, by Anthimus, Bishop of Trebizond. Our desire was to lead his soul back not only with regard to this point, but, what is more important, regarding the confession of the True Faith; but, attaching himself to the error of Eutyches, he despised the Truth. Wherefore, after having, according to apostolic charity, awaited his repentance of this belief, we decreed that he be deprived of the name of Catholic and of priest,
until such time as he fully receive the doctrine of the Fathers who maintain the Faith and discipline of religion. You must reject likewise the others whom the Apostolic See has condemned." (Mansi 8: 922.)