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Author Topic: Greeks Reject Petrine Primacy, Athens, 28 April 2010  (Read 1361 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: May 06, 2010, 05:31:56 PM »

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Greek Bishops and theologians reject any notion of petrine primacy for the Church

"Primacy," Synodicality and Unity of the Church, Athens, 28 April 2010

http://theorthodoxchurch.info/blog/news/2010/05/primacy-synodicality-and-unity-of-the-church/

“Papal ‘primacy’ has no theological foundation, no legitimacy from the Holy Spirit and no ecclesiological legitimacy. It is clearly based on a worldly understanding of authority.” This, among other things, was the conclusion of the theological conference which was organized by the Holy Metropolis of Piraeus in the Peace and Friendship Stadium (Melina Mercouri Hall) on 28 April 2010, and which was a success with many clergy and laity present.

The conference was also honored by the presence of His Beatitude Hieronymos, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, who also started the conference off. Also present were: His Eminence Seraphim, Metropolitan of Kythira; Pavlos, Metropolitan of Glyfada; and Melito, Bishop of Marathon.

The topic “Primacy,” Synodicality and Unity of the Church was expounded upon in two sessions with seven speakers: His Eminence Seraphim, Metropolitan of Piraeus, Hieromonk Luke Grigoriatis, Prof. Aristidis Papadakis (University of Maryland), Protopresbyter George Metallinos, Protopresbyter Theodore Zisis, Protopresbyter Anastasios Gotsopoulos and Prof. Dimitrios Tselengidis.

From the presentations and the discussion that followed, it was concluded that: unity belongs to the nature of the Church as it is the body of Christ and communion in Him. The true Church is one. The unity of the Church in all its interpretations – structural or charismatic (grace-bearing) – clearly has its foundation in the Holy Spirit. It is extended mystically, but is maintained, fostered and apparent chiefly through holy communion.

According to the “Confession of Faith” of the Synod of Constantinople in 1727, “Therefore no other head whatsoever is accepted in this Eastern Church, save only our Lord Jesus Christ, from the Father given to the whole Church and its foundation.” According to Orthodox ecclesiology, “primate” is not meant generally and indefinitely without the presence of the particular synod of a region.

The concept of a rank of honor (that is the term which Orthodox ecclesiastical tradition uses opposed to the subsequent term “primacy” that the papists use) expresses and ensures the unity and the synodicality of the Orthodox Catholic Church. The pentarchy of the patriarchal thrones is the form which the Church gave to the concept of a rank of honor during the first millennium.

The authority of the “primate,” which derives from the rank of honor, is a fruit of synodicality, while the authority the bishop of Rome had already started to appropriate during the first millennium is a result of the abolition of the synodical organization of the Church.

In the Church of the first millennium there was no papal primacy “by divine right” in jurisdiction or authority over the whole Church. On the contrary, the Church had the right to make decisions about its administration without the Pope, even in spite of his strong opposition, and these decisions were universally valid.

After the schism of 1054, the increasing claim of the popes for primacy of authority over the whole Church completely subverted the structure of the mystical body of the Church inspired by the Holy Spirit. It makes synodicality (as a function of this body inspired by the Holy Spirit) relative – practically abolishing it – and introduces the worldly mindset to it. It nullifies the equality of bishops, misappropriates the complete administrative authority of the whole Church, essentially setting aside the Theanthropos (the God-Man) and making a man the visible head of the Church. In this way the ancestral sin is repeated in this institution.

True unity takes place when there is unity in faith, in worship, and administration. This is the model of unity in the ancient Church, which the universal Orthodox Church continues unchanged. Unia introduces a false unity and is based on a heretical ecclesiology, since it allows different forms of the faith and worship, and makes unity contingent on the recognition of the primacy of the pope, which is an institution of human justice, and undermines the synodical structure of the administration of the Church, which is an institution of divine justice. Multiformity is only acceptable in secondary matters of local traditions and customs.

After the First Vatican Council (1870) and especially the Second Vatican Council (1962-1964) papal primacy does not comprise a simple administrative assertion, but an essential dogma of faith absolutely necessary for the salvation of the faithful. Its denial incurs the anathema of the First Vatican Council, whose validity remains still after the Second Vatican Council.

As the host of the conference Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus emphasized in his introduction, “Due to the heretical and blasphemous doctrine of the primacy of the bishop of Rome and the spiritual ramifications which come from it (such as the “infallibility” of the Pope and his autocratic-monarchic despotism over the whole body of the religious community under him), Papism has developed into an autocratic-monarchic system of mystic ideology and perversion of the meaning of the Church. It has proven to be modern Roman-Frank ethnicism (paganismus) in a spiritual disguise, has taken away the mystical freedom in Christ of each of [the Church's] members and has turned out to be the inevitable and fateful cause of the falling away from the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church into hundreds of different heresies, and an insurmountable obstacle to their possible return.”

At the assessment of the participants of the current theological dialogue between Orthodox and Roman-Catholics, its attempt at the restoration of ecclesiastical communion must somehow – beyond the elimination of the heretical teachings of Rome (Filioque, created grace, infallibility, purgatory, etc.) – aim also at the definite elimination of papal primacy and not at some commonly acceptable interpretation of it.

Finally, the syncretistic framework of “unity in diversity” is considered unacceptable and cannot become acceptable as “a model for the restoration of full communion.”
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« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2010, 05:37:39 PM »

Oh dear.  His Divine All Holiness is going to have some interesting things to talk about come the end of next month in the Vatican.
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« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2010, 06:41:21 PM »

I was under the (mistaken?) impression that the Orthodox Church distinguished between Papal primacy and Papal "supremacy"- the latter being firmly rejected but the former admitted. Am I wrong?
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« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2010, 06:55:11 PM »

Oh dear, I wonder what they must think of their own Ecumenical Patriarch being so chummy with that pagan heresiarch blaspheming monster in Rome.
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« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2010, 08:02:23 PM »

Oh dear, I wonder what they must think of their own Ecumenical Patriarch being so chummy with that pagan heresiarch blaspheming monster in Rome.

Nobody called him a monster on a personal level, but what else has two heads but one of the Vatican's dioceses?

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« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2010, 08:12:10 PM »

Prof. Aristidis Papadakis (University of Maryland)

Does anyone know who this is? Our parish is just a few blocks from the U of MD campus
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« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2010, 08:24:48 PM »

Prof. Aristidis Papadakis (University of Maryland)

Does anyone know who this is? Our parish is just a few blocks from the U of MD campus

Dr. Papadakis is a Professor Emeritus of History at University of Maryland Baltimore County - the article cited by the OP left off Baltimore County.  UMBC is located about 25 miles north from College Park.

http://www.umbc.edu/history/Profiles/Papadakis.html
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« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2010, 08:26:28 PM »

I was under the (mistaken?) impression that the Orthodox Church distinguished between Papal primacy and Papal "supremacy"- the latter being firmly rejected but the former admitted. Am I wrong?

The concept of 'papacy' is considered an aberration in ecclesiology by the Orthodox.  I would say by ALL the Orthodox, even those most favourable to ecumenism.
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« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2010, 01:56:35 PM »

I suppose the distinction between 'primacy' and 'supremacy' was lost in the translation. Frankly this declaration does not state anything new. No Orthodox won't agree with this.
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« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2010, 02:07:39 PM »

Frankly this declaration does not state anything new. No Orthodox won't agree with this.

Sometimes the traditional stance needs to be repeated, especially when some are trying to change some fundamental principles of our ecclesiology.
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« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2010, 02:16:34 PM »

Frankly this declaration does not state anything new. No Orthodox won't agree with this.

Sometimes the traditional stance needs to be repeated, especially when some are trying to change some fundamental principles of our ecclesiology.

I haven't heard about any EOC-RCC commission statements that stated otherwise. In more delicate words - maybe, but not the opposite sense.
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« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2010, 12:04:25 AM »

Frankly this declaration does not state anything new. No Orthodox won't agree with this.

Sometimes the traditional stance needs to be repeated, especially when some are trying to change some fundamental principles of our ecclesiology.

I haven't heard about any EOC-RCC commission statements that stated otherwise. In more delicate words - maybe, but not the opposite sense.

The 2007 Ravenna document stresses that there is a primacy on the universal level and that this fact is accepted by both East and West.

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/ch_orthodox_docs/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_20071013_documento-ravenna_en.html

The Cyprus working document 2009 goes a step further and places this universal primacy in the Church of Rome.  Thanks to the intervention of the Church of Greece this document was unable to be promulgated by the Cyprus meeting.  Greece insisted that no more documents would be issued without the scrutiny and the approval of the Synod of bishops. 

It is very good to see the bishops taking control of the bilateral dialogue and taking it out of the hands of the small group of enthusiasts who have controlled it in the past and steered it in the direction they preferred.  Of course this group is fighting back . Metropolitan John Zizioulas of Pergamon sent a scathing letter to the Greek bishops in which he did not bother to conceal his rage with them and even made threats against them!
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« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2010, 09:34:21 AM »

Metropolitan John Zizioulas of Pergamon sent a scathing letter to the Greek bishops in which he did not bother to conceal his rage with them and even made threats against them!

Ooh, do you have access to this document? Any quotes?

I noticed that the Archbishop presided- did he approve of the meeting's findings?
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« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2010, 09:59:13 AM »

/\ 
The letter by Bishop John Zizioulas of Pergamon
to all Metropolitans of the Church of Greece


http://www.oodegr.com/english/koinwnia/koinwnika/zizioulas_letter.htm

Somewhere on the site is the response of the Synod of Bishops of Greece to Metropolitan Zizioulas

If you look around the contents of the www.oodegr.com site you will find quite a lot of material generated by the Church of Greece prior to the 2009 meeting on Cyprus.
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