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Author Topic: Western Supremacy Vs. Eastern Collegiality  (Read 3991 times) Average Rating: 0
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Justin Kissel
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« on: January 08, 2011, 09:29:59 PM »

From another thread...

To me it seems that from a certain point in time, there seems to be a very deep divide on the West and the East's understanding of the role of the Bishop of Rome.  The East have always maintained that Rome is no more than the West, while the East had her different provinces (Antioch took care of the Far East, and not even all of those were subject to the authority of Antioch; Alexandria all of Africa; and then there was Jerusalem).  Constantinople later on took on a large role as New Rome in the East.

Whatever it may be, this shows actually a difference in understanding between the Greek and the Latin. The Latins thought Rome was the center of the world Church, whereas the Greek thought Rome was one of the centers of the Church, but not THE center.

The question isn't who changed.  It's clear the Latins in translating the text seem to have read the council of Nicea differently than the Greeks.

Let's say that this is correct, that Rome (or the latin-speaking churches in general) always had this notion of papal supremacy in some form, while the east (or non-latin-speaking churches in general) always had a more collegial notion of Church governance. What then? Did one side simply get it wrong from the beginning? Are both right to some extent, with the answer lying in the middle?
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« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2011, 10:00:47 PM »

The problem is that in the East there were several Apostolic Sees who stood as peers, whereas in the West Rome was the only Apostolic of any stature.  This got exaserbated when Latin Christianity was transplanted from Africa into Rome, and from Rome throughout the West, reinforcing the idea of Rome as sole Apostolic See without reference to the East, and increasing its insularity.
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2011, 10:13:07 PM »

From another thread...

To me it seems that from a certain point in time, there seems to be a very deep divide on the West and the East's understanding of the role of the Bishop of Rome.  The East have always maintained that Rome is no more than the West, while the East had her different provinces (Antioch took care of the Far East, and not even all of those were subject to the authority of Antioch; Alexandria all of Africa; and then there was Jerusalem).  Constantinople later on took on a large role as New Rome in the East.

Whatever it may be, this shows actually a difference in understanding between the Greek and the Latin. The Latins thought Rome was the center of the world Church, whereas the Greek thought Rome was one of the centers of the Church, but not THE center.

The question isn't who changed.  It's clear the Latins in translating the text seem to have read the council of Nicea differently than the Greeks.

Let's say that this is correct, that Rome (or the latin-speaking churches in general) always had this notion of papal supremacy in some form, while the east (or non-latin-speaking churches in general) always had a more collegial notion of Church governance. What then? Did one side simply get it wrong from the beginning? Are both right to some extent, with the answer lying in the middle?
I think the idea of "supremacy" as opposed to "primacy" arose in the West only after the Roman Church moved away from ancient synodal understanding of the Church.  Primacy, properly understood, can only exist within synodality, so when the Roman Church began to accept the notion that the bishop of Rome could issue unilateral decisions on theological and disciplinary questions without the aid of a synod, the concept of primacy within the unity of episcopacy (i.e., within the unity of the episcopal order) was inevitably replaced by a notion of supremacy of power over others, i.e., of the view that the pope was somehow a super-bishop who directly controls each and every local Church without any reference to the local bishop.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2011, 10:22:24 PM by Apotheoun » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2011, 10:39:23 PM »

The problem is that in the East there were several Apostolic Sees who stood as peers, whereas in the West Rome was the only Apostolic of any stature.  This got exaserbated when Latin Christianity was transplanted from Africa into Rome, and from Rome throughout the West, reinforcing the idea of Rome as sole Apostolic See without reference to the East, and increasing its insularity.

I think the idea of "supremacy" as opposed to "primacy" arose in the West only after the Roman Church moved away from ancient synodal understanding of the Church.  Primacy, properly understood, can only exist within synodality, so when the Roman Church began to accept the notion that the bishop of Rome could issue unilateral decisions on theological and disciplinary questions without the aid of a synod, the concept of primacy within the unity of episcopacy (i.e., within the unity of the episcopal order) was inevitably replaced by a notion of supremacy of power over others, i.e., of the view that the pope was somehow a super-bishop who directly controls each and ever local Church without any reference to the local bishop.

Might we not say that, if this is true, that the East was something of a facilitator of the problem? After all, Eastern Churches/bishops did sometimes appeal to Rome as though it was the final and supreme arbiter, sometimes even making canons on the subject of appealing to Rome (e.g. Canons 3-5 from Sardica, canons later accepted by Canon 2 of the Quinisext Council)? Also, by the mid-5th century, Constantinople was getting in on formalizing the appeals process (4th Ecumenical Council, Canons 9 and 17), but did this hurt or help the case for collegiality?
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2011, 10:48:52 PM »

The problem is that in the East there were several Apostolic Sees who stood as peers, whereas in the West Rome was the only Apostolic of any stature.  This got exaserbated when Latin Christianity was transplanted from Africa into Rome, and from Rome throughout the West, reinforcing the idea of Rome as sole Apostolic See without reference to the East, and increasing its insularity.

I think the idea of "supremacy" as opposed to "primacy" arose in the West only after the Roman Church moved away from ancient synodal understanding of the Church.  Primacy, properly understood, can only exist within synodality, so when the Roman Church began to accept the notion that the bishop of Rome could issue unilateral decisions on theological and disciplinary questions without the aid of a synod, the concept of primacy within the unity of episcopacy (i.e., within the unity of the episcopal order) was inevitably replaced by a notion of supremacy of power over others, i.e., of the view that the pope was somehow a super-bishop who directly controls each and ever local Church without any reference to the local bishop.

Might we not say that, if this is true, that the East was something of a facilitator of the problem? After all, Eastern Churches/bishops did sometimes appeal to Rome as though it was the final and supreme arbiter, sometimes even making canons on the subject of appealing to Rome (e.g. Canons 3-5 from Sardica, canons later accepted by Canon 2 of the Quinisext Council)? Also, by the mid-5th century, Constantinople was getting in on formalizing the appeals process (4th Ecumenical Council, Canons 9 and 17), but did this hurt or help the case for collegiality?
Eastern Churches/bishops appeal to other sees, including Rome.  That "other sees" part is forgotten by Rome.  Rome intruded into, for instance, the Meletian schism at Antioch, and the solution was agreed on over Rome's objections.
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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2011, 10:54:30 PM »

The problem is that in the East there were several Apostolic Sees who stood as peers, whereas in the West Rome was the only Apostolic of any stature.  This got exaserbated when Latin Christianity was transplanted from Africa into Rome, and from Rome throughout the West, reinforcing the idea of Rome as sole Apostolic See without reference to the East, and increasing its insularity.

I think the idea of "supremacy" as opposed to "primacy" arose in the West only after the Roman Church moved away from ancient synodal understanding of the Church.  Primacy, properly understood, can only exist within synodality, so when the Roman Church began to accept the notion that the bishop of Rome could issue unilateral decisions on theological and disciplinary questions without the aid of a synod, the concept of primacy within the unity of episcopacy (i.e., within the unity of the episcopal order) was inevitably replaced by a notion of supremacy of power over others, i.e., of the view that the pope was somehow a super-bishop who directly controls each and ever local Church without any reference to the local bishop.

Might we not say that, if this is true, that the East was something of a facilitator of the problem? After all, Eastern Churches/bishops did sometimes appeal to Rome as though it was the final and supreme arbiter, sometimes even making canons on the subject of appealing to Rome (e.g. Canons 3-5 from Sardica, canons later accepted by Canon 2 of the Quinisext Council)? Also, by the mid-5th century, Constantinople was getting in on formalizing the appeals process (4th Ecumenical Council, Canons 9 and 17), but did this hurt or help the case for collegiality?
Yes, there were occasions when an Eastern bishop would appeal to Rome, but even in those cases the two sides (East and West) understood this action differently.  

The canons of Serdica, which were eventually accepted by the East into its own canonical framework, were still read in a synodal fashion, that is, they were seen as allowing an appeal to the bishop of Rome in order to determine whether or not a new synodal trial (i.e., of the individual bishop concerned or of the theological point in dispute) was warranted, but as Hamilton Hess has shown in his book on the Council of Serdica [see Hamiton Hess, The Early Development of Canon Law and the Council of Serdica, pages 179-200], the Serdican Canons do not support the idea that the pope could simply reverse the prior synodical decision on his own authority; instead, he was allowed to judge whether or not a new trial should be held, and in conjunction with that decision (i.e., if he chose to call a new synod), he was allowed to send representatives to sit in the new council, and cast a vote (a single vote) with the other bishops rehearing the case.  Be that as it may, the Serdican Canons do not support the idea that the pope is a super-bishop who on his own authority can issue a new judgment that overturns the prior synodical decision, because the pope's primacy only exists within a synodical framework.  In other words, the pope is not an absolute monarch.
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2011, 10:57:55 PM »

The problem is that in the East there were several Apostolic Sees who stood as peers, whereas in the West Rome was the only Apostolic of any stature.  This got exaserbated when Latin Christianity was transplanted from Africa into Rome, and from Rome throughout the West, reinforcing the idea of Rome as sole Apostolic See without reference to the East, and increasing its insularity.

I think the idea of "supremacy" as opposed to "primacy" arose in the West only after the Roman Church moved away from ancient synodal understanding of the Church.  Primacy, properly understood, can only exist within synodality, so when the Roman Church began to accept the notion that the bishop of Rome could issue unilateral decisions on theological and disciplinary questions without the aid of a synod, the concept of primacy within the unity of episcopacy (i.e., within the unity of the episcopal order) was inevitably replaced by a notion of supremacy of power over others, i.e., of the view that the pope was somehow a super-bishop who directly controls each and ever local Church without any reference to the local bishop.

Might we not say that, if this is true, that the East was something of a facilitator of the problem? After all, Eastern Churches/bishops did sometimes appeal to Rome as though it was the final and supreme arbiter, sometimes even making canons on the subject of appealing to Rome (e.g. Canons 3-5 from Sardica, canons later accepted by Canon 2 of the Quinisext Council)? Also, by the mid-5th century, Constantinople was getting in on formalizing the appeals process (4th Ecumenical Council, Canons 9 and 17), but did this hurt or help the case for collegiality?
Eastern Churches/bishops appeal to other sees, including Rome.  That "other sees" part is forgotten by Rome.  Rome intruded into, for instance, the Meletian schism at Antioch, and the solution was agreed on over Rome's objections.
You bring up a good point, because the appellate authority of the Church of Rome does not allow the bishop of Rome to intervene in the affairs of other Churches on his own initiative.
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2011, 11:57:12 PM »

You bring up a good point, because the appellate authority of the Church of Rome does not allow the bishop of Rome to intervene in the affairs of other Churches on his own initiative.

The Irish Church and appeals to Rome

This is one of the canons of the so-called First Synod of Patrick, which
contains decrees to the clergy by bishops Patricius, Auxlius, and
Iserninus.

The Patrician Texts in the Book of Armagh. Scriptores Latini Hiberniae. Dublin: The
Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1979, pp. 188-191 (facing pages
in Latin and English):


"Further, any exceptional difficulty which may arise, (the law on which)
is unknown to all the judges of the Irish people, is by law to be
referred to the see of the archbishop of the Irish, that is (the see) of
Patrick, for examination by its bishop; if, however, such a suit in the
said litigation cannot easily be decided there by wise men, we decree
that it is to be sent to the apostolic see, that is, to the see of Peter
the apostle, who has authority over the city of Rome*. These are (the
men) who have made this decree, that is, Auxilius, Patrick, Secundinus,
Benignus; after the death of the holy Patrick his disciples have
frequently copied his books."



* It is interesting that while Rome is obviously thought of as an appellate
court, the Irish Canons reference the see of Peter as having authority over
the city of Rome, and not the whole world.


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« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2011, 12:03:02 AM »

From another thread...

To me it seems that from a certain point in time, there seems to be a very deep divide on the West and the East's understanding of the role of the Bishop of Rome.  The East have always maintained that Rome is no more than the West, while the East had her different provinces (Antioch took care of the Far East, and not even all of those were subject to the authority of Antioch; Alexandria all of Africa; and then there was Jerusalem).  Constantinople later on took on a large role as New Rome in the East.

Whatever it may be, this shows actually a difference in understanding between the Greek and the Latin. The Latins thought Rome was the center of the world Church, whereas the Greek thought Rome was one of the centers of the Church, but not THE center.

The question isn't who changed.  It's clear the Latins in translating the text seem to have read the council of Nicea differently than the Greeks.

Let's say that this is correct, that Rome (or the latin-speaking churches in general) always had this notion of papal supremacy in some form, while the east (or non-latin-speaking churches in general) always had a more collegial notion of Church governance. What then? Did one side simply get it wrong from the beginning? Are both right to some extent, with the answer lying in the middle?
i.e., of the view that the pope was somehow a super-bishop who directly controls each and every local Church without any reference to the local bishop.

The apostolic constitution contradicts your final assertion in that it states categorically that the power of the papal office is NOT to replace the ordinary power of each bishop.

So many times, critics of a supreme primate or ultimate primate, which is really what supremacy means, neglect to advert to that very clear statement in the dogmatic constitution itself.

Perhaps it is just too inconvenient to have to read the constitution...or should I say negatively critique the constitution...through the lens of that pivotal statement.
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« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2011, 12:03:03 AM »

The problem is that in the East there were several Apostolic Sees who stood as peers, whereas in the West Rome was the only Apostolic of any stature.  This got exaserbated when Latin Christianity was transplanted from Africa into Rome, and from Rome throughout the West, reinforcing the idea of Rome as sole Apostolic See without reference to the East, and increasing its insularity.

I think the idea of "supremacy" as opposed to "primacy" arose in the West only after the Roman Church moved away from ancient synodal understanding of the Church.  Primacy, properly understood, can only exist within synodality, so when the Roman Church began to accept the notion that the bishop of Rome could issue unilateral decisions on theological and disciplinary questions without the aid of a synod, the concept of primacy within the unity of episcopacy (i.e., within the unity of the episcopal order) was inevitably replaced by a notion of supremacy of power over others, i.e., of the view that the pope was somehow a super-bishop who directly controls each and ever local Church without any reference to the local bishop.

Might we not say that, if this is true, that the East was something of a facilitator of the problem? After all, Eastern Churches/bishops did sometimes appeal to Rome as though it was the final and supreme arbiter, sometimes even making canons on the subject of appealing to Rome (e.g. Canons 3-5 from Sardica, canons later accepted by Canon 2 of the Quinisext Council)? Also, by the mid-5th century, Constantinople was getting in on formalizing the appeals process (4th Ecumenical Council, Canons 9 and 17), but did this hurt or help the case for collegiality?
Eastern Churches/bishops appeal to other sees, including Rome.  That "other sees" part is forgotten by Rome.  Rome intruded into, for instance, the Meletian schism at Antioch, and the solution was agreed on over Rome's objections.

That's funny...The same kind of thing has happened in more recent times, when Pius IX had approved two Melkite bishops...On appeal, the ruling has been changed because it was at variance with something that the Patriarch knew that the pope did not.

The level of rigidity that you command for the Catholic Church, that is not there in reality,  makes it more like a corpse than a living body...OH!!....Now I see what you are trying to do.... laugh laugh laugh

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« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2011, 12:03:03 AM »

The problem is that in the East there were several Apostolic Sees who stood as peers, whereas in the West Rome was the only Apostolic of any stature.  This got exaserbated when Latin Christianity was transplanted from Africa into Rome, and from Rome throughout the West, reinforcing the idea of Rome as sole Apostolic See without reference to the East, and increasing its insularity.

I think the idea of "supremacy" as opposed to "primacy" arose in the West only after the Roman Church moved away from ancient synodal understanding of the Church.  Primacy, properly understood, can only exist within synodality, so when the Roman Church began to accept the notion that the bishop of Rome could issue unilateral decisions on theological and disciplinary questions without the aid of a synod, the concept of primacy within the unity of episcopacy (i.e., within the unity of the episcopal order) was inevitably replaced by a notion of supremacy of power over others, i.e., of the view that the pope was somehow a super-bishop who directly controls each and ever local Church without any reference to the local bishop.

Might we not say that, if this is true, that the East was something of a facilitator of the problem? After all, Eastern Churches/bishops did sometimes appeal to Rome as though it was the final and supreme arbiter, sometimes even making canons on the subject of appealing to Rome (e.g. Canons 3-5 from Sardica, canons later accepted by Canon 2 of the Quinisext Council)? Also, by the mid-5th century, Constantinople was getting in on formalizing the appeals process (4th Ecumenical Council, Canons 9 and 17), but did this hurt or help the case for collegiality?
Yes, there were occasions when an Eastern bishop would appeal to Rome, but even in those cases the two sides (East and West) understood this action differently.  

The canons of Serdica, which were eventually accepted by the East into its own canonical framework, were still read in a synodal fashion, that is, they were seen as allowing an appeal to the bishop of Rome in order to determine whether or not a new synodal trial (i.e., of the individual bishop concerned or of the theological point in dispute) was warranted, but as Hamilton Hess has shown in his book on the Council of Serdica [see Hamiton Hess, The Early Development of Canon Law and the Council of Serdica, pages 179-200], the Serdican Canons do not support the idea that the pope could simply reverse the prior synodical decision on his own authority; instead, he was allowed to judge whether or not a new trial should be held, and in conjunction with that decision (i.e., if he chose to call a new synod), he was allowed to send representatives to sit in the new council, and cast a vote (a single vote) with the other bishops rehearing the case.  Be that as it may, the Serdican Canons do not support the idea that the pope is a super-bishop who on his own authority can issue a new judgment that overturns the prior synodical decision, because the pope's primacy only exists within a synodical framework.  In other words, the pope is not an absolute monarch.

Well it is good to see that you are finally grasping actual Catholic teaching concerning the papacy.

Bravo!!
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« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2011, 12:20:17 AM »

From another thread...

To me it seems that from a certain point in time, there seems to be a very deep divide on the West and the East's understanding of the role of the Bishop of Rome.  The East have always maintained that Rome is no more than the West, while the East had her different provinces (Antioch took care of the Far East, and not even all of those were subject to the authority of Antioch; Alexandria all of Africa; and then there was Jerusalem).  Constantinople later on took on a large role as New Rome in the East.

Whatever it may be, this shows actually a difference in understanding between the Greek and the Latin. The Latins thought Rome was the center of the world Church, whereas the Greek thought Rome was one of the centers of the Church, but not THE center.

The question isn't who changed.  It's clear the Latins in translating the text seem to have read the council of Nicea differently than the Greeks.

Let's say that this is correct, that Rome (or the latin-speaking churches in general) always had this notion of papal supremacy in some form, while the east (or non-latin-speaking churches in general) always had a more collegial notion of Church governance. What then? Did one side simply get it wrong from the beginning? Are both right to some extent, with the answer lying in the middle?

Assuming this is correct (although this is what it seems to me), this can only mean one thing.  Ecclesiology only is important in the matter of bishops, and a valid Apostolic succession.  Whether it be Peter or John or Mark or whatever, St. Paul makes it very clear that we are not a Church of a bishop or Apostle, rather the bishop/Apostle is a central role of the Church, and we are the Church of Christ.  There was never one bishop over the whole Church, but several working together.

The Pentarchy, sad to say, is ONLY the empirical Church.  We also have the ancient Armenian Church, the ancient Georgian Church.  We used to have the ancient Arabian Peninsular Church, the ancient Persian, Indian, and Chinese churches, all with their own jurisdictions and successions, all keeping in touch with the empirical church, but not at all subject to the canons of Nicea, Constantinople, or Ephesus, but abiding (for some of them at least) by their faiths.  In fact, the ancient Arabian Peninsular Church was a non-Chalcedonian Church, which eventually became extinct after Chosroes the Persian, and then the Islamic invasion.  The Indian Church struggled throughout the centuries, and then received help from Nestorian, Syriac (non-Chalcedonian), and Latin factions.  The Armenian and Georgian churches are still alive.  China continued on as a Nestorian Church, as well as Persia, which are now the remnant Assyrian Church.

What does this teach us?  They believed in Apostolic succession and episcopal systems, but certainly they saw no need for Rome or a Pentarchial system.  They were their own, even if Antioch liked to believe they were in charge of all of them.  They never were even able to accept Nicea and Constantinople until about 20 years before the council of Ephesus!

If we must study Church history, we should not limit ourselves to what happened in the Roman/Byzantine Empire.  We should study the ecclesiologies of other churches, and we should come to a realization that the ancient ecumenical Church as a whole was open to different forms of ecclesiologies.  There should never be any "dogmatic" idea of an ecclesiology except the Apostolic succession, episcopal, and sacramental system that is common among us all.

From an OO and probably from an Assyrian point of view, Petrine Primacy or Pentarchy are not right or wrong answers, but they're not exclusive either.
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« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2011, 01:10:55 AM »

From another thread...

To me it seems that from a certain point in time, there seems to be a very deep divide on the West and the East's understanding of the role of the Bishop of Rome.  The East have always maintained that Rome is no more than the West, while the East had her different provinces (Antioch took care of the Far East, and not even all of those were subject to the authority of Antioch; Alexandria all of Africa; and then there was Jerusalem).  Constantinople later on took on a large role as New Rome in the East.

Whatever it may be, this shows actually a difference in understanding between the Greek and the Latin. The Latins thought Rome was the center of the world Church, whereas the Greek thought Rome was one of the centers of the Church, but not THE center.

The question isn't who changed.  It's clear the Latins in translating the text seem to have read the council of Nicea differently than the Greeks.

Let's say that this is correct, that Rome (or the latin-speaking churches in general) always had this notion of papal supremacy in some form, while the east (or non-latin-speaking churches in general) always had a more collegial notion of Church governance. What then? Did one side simply get it wrong from the beginning? Are both right to some extent, with the answer lying in the middle?

Assuming this is correct (although this is what it seems to me), this can only mean one thing.  Ecclesiology only is important in the matter of bishops, and a valid Apostolic succession.  Whether it be Peter or John or Mark or whatever, St. Paul makes it very clear that we are not a Church of a bishop or Apostle, rather the bishop/Apostle is a central role of the Church, and we are the Church of Christ.  There was never one bishop over the whole Church, but several working together.

The Pentarchy, sad to say, is ONLY the empirical Church.  We also have the ancient Armenian Church, the ancient Georgian Church.  We used to have the ancient Arabian Peninsular Church, the ancient Persian, Indian, and Chinese churches, all with their own jurisdictions and successions, all keeping in touch with the empirical church, but not at all subject to the canons of Nicea, Constantinople, or Ephesus, but abiding (for some of them at least) by their faiths.  In fact, the ancient Arabian Peninsular Church was a non-Chalcedonian Church, which eventually became extinct after Chosroes the Persian, and then the Islamic invasion.  The Indian Church struggled throughout the centuries, and then received help from Nestorian, Syriac (non-Chalcedonian), and Latin factions.  The Armenian and Georgian churches are still alive.  China continued on as a Nestorian Church, as well as Persia, which are now the remnant Assyrian Church.

You mean "imperial" Church. And yes and no: the Churches even outside the empire were not independent of the Churches within the Empire.  The relationship between Alexandria and Ethiopia represents a standard example.

The ancient Arabian Peninsular Church wasn't all non-Chalcedonian, nor is it extinct.

What does this teach us?  They believed in Apostolic succession and episcopal systems, but certainly they saw no need for Rome or a Pentarchial system.  They were their own, even if Antioch liked to believe they were in charge of all of them.  They never were even able to accept Nicea and Constantinople until about 20 years before the council of Ephesus!
St. Jacob of Nisibis, St. Aristakes (son of St. Gregory the Illuminator) were at Nicea, and the latter's son St. Gregory introduced it in Caucasian Albania.  All this happened c. 330, i.e. five years of the Council of Nicea. Their primates in Edessa, Armenia, Iberia, Albania all received their consecration from Antioch/Caesarea, i.e. within the Roman Empire.

If we must study Church history, we should not limit ourselves to what happened in the Roman/Byzantine Empire.  We should study the ecclesiologies of other churches, and we should come to a realization that the ancient ecumenical Church as a whole was open to different forms of ecclesiologies.  There should never be any "dogmatic" idea of an ecclesiology except the Apostolic succession, episcopal, and sacramental system that is common among us all.
True enough, but they were not homogenous within the empire either.

From an OO and probably from an Assyrian point of view, Petrine Primacy or Pentarchy are not right or wrong answers, but they're not exclusive either.
You are going to get an argument from the Syriac OO and Assyrians on the Petrine primacy.
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« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2011, 01:14:14 AM »

From an OO and probably from an Assyrian point of view, Petrine Primacy or Pentarchy are not right or wrong answers, but they're not exclusive either.
You are going to get an argument from the Syriac OO and Assyrians on the Petrine primacy.

Well, I know some Syriac OO's professed a version of it, although oddly enough don't confess one Orthodox faith with the Catholics.  And some Syriac OO's deny the beliefs.  It seems it only comes out of a desperate move to legitimize its primacy over India, but many Syriac Orthodox (at least one I know from this forum) have rejected this approach.

Assyrians, from what I understand via Rafa, reject Petrine Primacy.

Also, not quite sure this actually something accepted totally.  Maybe some accepted the councils, but the Far East churches didn't accept them until much later, and take an Apostolic succession straight from St. Thomas.  This means not all churches were homogenized into the imperial Church.
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« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2011, 01:24:47 AM »

The monstrous fable of "Petrine primacy" is wrong and blasphemous in the Assyrian tradition ( it is for the Orthodox Church), Patriarch Mar Eshai Shimun XXII named those believing in this fable the "begotten enemies of God and truth":

http://marshimun.com/pdfs/Yulpana%20part%20III.pdf

(Question 209)

It is a fable that the Universal Church is built on the man Peter and not on Christ. This was NEVER held in the East which received the Apostle Peter 30 years before he went to Rome. The Church is built on Christ and all Bishops are equal. The ACOE did not participate in the council of Chalcedon which came up with the term first amongst equals as well.

Quote
And some Syriac OO's deny the beliefs.

That's because they never bought into that fable when the were ACOE, only with some Western influence has this come up and they still want to reject it knowing it to be a falsehood (Petrine primacy is, a falsehood).

Isa, there is no evidence for your claim that Assyrian Bishops were "consecrated in Antioch". This is a middle ages fable to try to form some sort of connection between the Assyrian Church of the East and the closest Western See. This theory is laughed at even in Roman seminars.  Also, saying so forth so forth Saint of the ACOE expressed a favourable opinion to any development or council in the West is unimportant since the Catholicos Patriarch of Babylon did not attend any of these councils or send a representative to give his clear approval. This approval or participation was given only for

1) Nicea (325, adopted in 410 in the East)
2) Constantinople (381)
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« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2011, 01:43:38 AM »

From another thread...

To me it seems that from a certain point in time, there seems to be a very deep divide on the West and the East's understanding of the role of the Bishop of Rome.  The East have always maintained that Rome is no more than the West, while the East had her different provinces (Antioch took care of the Far East, and not even all of those were subject to the authority of Antioch; Alexandria all of Africa; and then there was Jerusalem).  Constantinople later on took on a large role as New Rome in the East.

Whatever it may be, this shows actually a difference in understanding between the Greek and the Latin. The Latins thought Rome was the center of the world Church, whereas the Greek thought Rome was one of the centers of the Church, but not THE center.

The question isn't who changed.  It's clear the Latins in translating the text seem to have read the council of Nicea differently than the Greeks.

Let's say that this is correct, that Rome (or the latin-speaking churches in general) always had this notion of papal supremacy in some form, while the east (or non-latin-speaking churches in general) always had a more collegial notion of Church governance. What then? Did one side simply get it wrong from the beginning? Are both right to some extent, with the answer lying in the middle?
i.e., of the view that the pope was somehow a super-bishop who directly controls each and every local Church without any reference to the local bishop.

The apostolic constitution contradicts your final assertion in that it states categorically that the power of the papal office is NOT to replace the ordinary power of each bishop.

So many times, critics of a supreme primate or ultimate primate, which is really what supremacy means, neglect to advert to that very clear statement in the dogmatic constitution itself.

Perhaps it is just too inconvenient to have to read the constitution...or should I say negatively critique the constitution...through the lens of that pivotal statement.
I know what the Vatican I decree asserts, and although it says that papal ordinary and universal jurisdiction does not damage the authority of the local bishop in actual practice it does.  No bishop can have jurisdiction in another bishop's local Church, not even the primate.  The Roman position turns the pope into a universal bishop, and that is quite simply contrary to the tradition of the first millennium (see for example Pope St. Gregory the Great's letter to Eulogius, Bishop of Alexandria, and Anastasius, Bishop of Antioch).

The primate only functions within the synod, and at the ecumenical level, as even the Ravenna Document states, the episcopate is not always synodically active.
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« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2011, 01:58:15 AM »

Roman Catholic theologian Richard R. Gaillardetz in his book on the magisterium gives a fairly accurate summary of the Eastern Orthodox view of primacy and collegiality (see the section in boldface), and it should form the basis of any agreement between the two sides, since it represents the consensus of the first millennium: 

Quote
In 1967 Pope Paul VI himself admitted, 'The pope - as we all know - is undoubtedly the gravest obstacle in the path of ecumenism.' In his encyclical on ecumenism, Ut unum sint, Pope John Paul II repeated what he had already stated in a 1984 address to the World Council of Churches, namely that the ministry of the bishop of Rome 'constitutes a difficulty for most other Christians, whose memory is marked by certain painful recollections' (UU 88).  In that same encyclical the pope extended a remarkable invitation to other Church leaders and theologians

    to engage with me in a patient and fraternal dialogue on this subject, a dialogue in which, leaving useless controversies behind, we could listen to one another, keeping before us only the will of Christ for His Church and allowing ourselves to be deeply moved by His plea 'that they may all be one . . . so that the world may believe that you have sent me' (UU 96).

The Pope is certainly correct in his judgment that further ecumenical progress will require honestly addressing the questions regarding papal primacy posed by the Catholic Church's ecumenical conversation partners.  Many of these questions concern the relationship of the bishop of Rome to his brother bishops.  For example, the Orthodox contend that Roman Catholicism's traditional account of papal primacy, with its strong emphasis on the universal jurisdiction of the papacy, violates the Eucharistic foundations of the Church.  Since each Eucharistic community under the leadership of the bishop is wholly the body of Christ, these communities and their bishops are fundamentally equal and may not be subordinated one to another.   Historically, Orthodoxy calls attention to the significant role played by the five ancient patriarchates (Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem) within which, they generally admit, Rome played a preeminent role.  However, they challenge traditional Roman Catholic understandings of the role of the patriarch of Rome.  In the theology of the pentarchy, which developed in the East, the authority of the patriarchs was an expression of synodality and therefore was inextricably bound to the communion of Churches.  Orthodoxy, then, generally has rejected any notion of primacy by which Rome assumes a supra-episcopal authority, and consequently it has rejected any primacy understood as power over other local bishops and their Churches.  On the contrary, 'the first and the essential form of primacy' for Orthodoxy lies in the synod of bishops, as there and only there does one find a primacy rooted in the episcopacy itself. (Richard R. Gaillardetz, Teaching with Authority: a Theology of the Magisterium in the Church, pages 46-48)

The Orthodox position takes proper account of the unity and equality of the episcopal order, while the Roman position asserts a type of universal authority that undermines the real nature of the synodal structure of the Church.
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« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2011, 02:01:00 AM »

The problem is that in the East there were several Apostolic Sees who stood as peers, whereas in the West Rome was the only Apostolic of any stature.  This got exaserbated when Latin Christianity was transplanted from Africa into Rome, and from Rome throughout the West, reinforcing the idea of Rome as sole Apostolic See without reference to the East, and increasing its insularity.

I think the idea of "supremacy" as opposed to "primacy" arose in the West only after the Roman Church moved away from ancient synodal understanding of the Church.  Primacy, properly understood, can only exist within synodality, so when the Roman Church began to accept the notion that the bishop of Rome could issue unilateral decisions on theological and disciplinary questions without the aid of a synod, the concept of primacy within the unity of episcopacy (i.e., within the unity of the episcopal order) was inevitably replaced by a notion of supremacy of power over others, i.e., of the view that the pope was somehow a super-bishop who directly controls each and ever local Church without any reference to the local bishop.

Might we not say that, if this is true, that the East was something of a facilitator of the problem? After all, Eastern Churches/bishops did sometimes appeal to Rome as though it was the final and supreme arbiter, sometimes even making canons on the subject of appealing to Rome (e.g. Canons 3-5 from Sardica, canons later accepted by Canon 2 of the Quinisext Council)? Also, by the mid-5th century, Constantinople was getting in on formalizing the appeals process (4th Ecumenical Council, Canons 9 and 17), but did this hurt or help the case for collegiality?
Yes, there were occasions when an Eastern bishop would appeal to Rome, but even in those cases the two sides (East and West) understood this action differently.  

The canons of Serdica, which were eventually accepted by the East into its own canonical framework, were still read in a synodal fashion, that is, they were seen as allowing an appeal to the bishop of Rome in order to determine whether or not a new synodal trial (i.e., of the individual bishop concerned or of the theological point in dispute) was warranted, but as Hamilton Hess has shown in his book on the Council of Serdica [see Hamiton Hess, The Early Development of Canon Law and the Council of Serdica, pages 179-200], the Serdican Canons do not support the idea that the pope could simply reverse the prior synodical decision on his own authority; instead, he was allowed to judge whether or not a new trial should be held, and in conjunction with that decision (i.e., if he chose to call a new synod), he was allowed to send representatives to sit in the new council, and cast a vote (a single vote) with the other bishops rehearing the case.  Be that as it may, the Serdican Canons do not support the idea that the pope is a super-bishop who on his own authority can issue a new judgment that overturns the prior synodical decision, because the pope's primacy only exists within a synodical framework.  In other words, the pope is not an absolute monarch.

Well it is good to see that you are finally grasping actual Catholic teaching concerning the papacy.

Bravo!!
I agree that it is the historic teaching of the Apostolic Churches, but sadly that teaching was not supported at the First Vatican Council.
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« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2011, 02:05:22 AM »

From an OO and probably from an Assyrian point of view, Petrine Primacy or Pentarchy are not right or wrong answers, but they're not exclusive either.
You are going to get an argument from the Syriac OO and Assyrians on the Petrine primacy.

Well, I know some Syriac OO's professed a version of it, although oddly enough don't confess one Orthodox faith with the Catholics.  And some Syriac OO's deny the beliefs.  It seems it only comes out of a desperate move to legitimize its primacy over India, but many Syriac Orthodox (at least one I know from this forum) have rejected this approach.

Assyrians, from what I understand via Rafa, reject Petrine Primacy.

Also, not quite sure this actually something accepted totally.  Maybe some accepted the councils, but the Far East churches didn't accept them until much later, and take an Apostolic succession straight from St. Thomas.  This means not all churches were homogenized into the imperial Church.
Despite the best efforts of Old and New Rome, they were not homogenized within the empire.
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« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2011, 02:08:40 AM »

I think it is inaccurate to call the primacy of the bishop of Rome "petrine primacy", at least if it is meant in some kind of exclusive fashion; because the pope is not the sole successor of St. Peter, either historically or sacramentally.
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« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2011, 02:32:51 AM »



The Orthodox position takes proper account of the unity and equality of the episcopal order, while the Roman position asserts a type of universal authority that undermines the real nature of the synodal structure of the Church.
So why do you remain in communion if you disagree so much with Rome's position?
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« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2011, 02:35:10 AM »



The Orthodox position takes proper account of the unity and equality of the episcopal order, while the Roman position asserts a type of universal authority that undermines the real nature of the synodal structure of the Church.
So why do you remain in communion if you disagree so much with Rome's position?
Why does the Vatican allow communion of the Orthodox, when we disagree so much with its position?
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« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2011, 02:35:50 AM »



The Orthodox position takes proper account of the unity and equality of the episcopal order, while the Roman position asserts a type of universal authority that undermines the real nature of the synodal structure of the Church.
So why do you remain in communion if you disagree so much with Rome's position?
Why should I leave the Melkite Catholic Church when my views are held to be perfectly acceptable within it?  My patriarch is in communion with Rome, and I see no reason to leave the Melkite Catholic Church just because a few Roman Catholics on the internet have trouble accepting a patristic Eucharistic ecclesiology.
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« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2011, 02:51:39 AM »



The Orthodox position takes proper account of the unity and equality of the episcopal order, while the Roman position asserts a type of universal authority that undermines the real nature of the synodal structure of the Church.
So why do you remain in communion if you disagree so much with Rome's position?
Why should I leave the Melkite Catholic Church when my views are held to be perfectly acceptable within it?  My patriarch is in communion with Rome, and I see no reason to leave the Melkite Catholic Church just because a few Roman Catholics on the internet have trouble accepting a patristic Eucharistic ecclesiology.
I just have trouble understanding your point of view regarding the Papacy and other issues. Judging by your manner of speech, I  never suspected you to be in communion with us. I always thought you were Eastern Orthodox, until one day I read one of your comments stating you were a Melkite.
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« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2011, 04:50:24 PM »



The Orthodox position takes proper account of the unity and equality of the episcopal order, while the Roman position asserts a type of universal authority that undermines the real nature of the synodal structure of the Church.
So why do you remain in communion if you disagree so much with Rome's position?
Why should I leave the Melkite Catholic Church when my views are held to be perfectly acceptable within it?  My patriarch is in communion with Rome, and I see no reason to leave the Melkite Catholic Church just because a few Roman Catholics on the internet have trouble accepting a patristic Eucharistic ecclesiology.

I think we Latins have too many Augean stables to clear on our side to worry too much about how far "East" our Eastern Catholic brethren are going.  Wink
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« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2011, 06:35:27 PM »

The Orthodox position takes proper account of the unity and equality of the episcopal order, while the Roman position asserts a type of universal authority that undermines the real nature of the synodal structure of the Church.
So why do you remain in communion if you disagree so much with Rome's position?
Why should I leave the Melkite Catholic Church when my views are held to be perfectly acceptable within it?  My patriarch is in communion with Rome, and I see no reason to leave the Melkite Catholic Church just because a few Roman Catholics on the internet have trouble accepting a patristic Eucharistic ecclesiology.
I just have trouble understanding your point of view regarding the Papacy and other issues. Judging by your manner of speech, I  never suspected you to be in communion with us. I always thought you were Eastern Orthodox, until one day I read one of your comments stating you were a Melkite.



I tend to agree with what Cardinal Koch, the head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, said in a recent interview with Asia News when he was asked:

Quote
How does the Catholic world view the Orthodox world today?

He responded by saying: 

Quote
I think that when we meet with the Orthodox, we feel at home. This is because the Orthodox have maintained the structures, the mentality and vision of the ancient Church. We Catholics are in danger of forgetting this reality. Although the break with these ancient Orthodox Churches took place more than a millennium ago, I feel at home when I visit them.  With the Protestants, even though we are separated by just 400 years, it is another reality.

The Eastern Orthodox have maintained the structures of the ancient Church, and I believe ecumenism will advance when the West recovers much of what it has lost in that regard.
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« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2011, 07:00:35 PM »

^ Todd, you still have not adequately answered the question. If Rome is wrong, and the EOs are right, it makes the most sense for you to be in communion with EOs and not us Latins. Your position appears dishonest.
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« Reply #27 on: January 09, 2011, 07:45:11 PM »

^ Todd, you still have not adequately answered the question. If Rome is wrong, and the EOs are right, it makes the most sense for you to be in communion with EOs and not us Latins. Your position appears dishonest.

Couldn't he feel Rome is wrong about some things but still believe Rome is the unifying see? As someone once told me when I asked him why he was Catholic and not Orthodox, "Christ called us to be one--not right."
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« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2011, 07:54:28 PM »

^ Todd, you still have not adequately answered the question. If Rome is wrong, and the EOs are right, it makes the most sense for you to be in communion with EOs and not us Latins. Your position appears dishonest.

Couldn't he feel Rome is wrong about some things but still believe Rome is the unifying see? As someone once told me when I asked him why he was Catholic and not Orthodox, "Christ called us to be one--not right."


Interesting thoughts. I've had similar thoughts as expressed by the fellow you mention, but for me it was about the divide between Orthodox traditionalists and world Orthodoxy. It's interesting to think about it from a Catholic perspective. Of course someone (ialmisry, call your office) might say that this is a false dichotomy, that if you are right then you are in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church, and vice versa, and that that Church and rightness is in Orthodoxy... nonetheless, I think there's something interesting to chew over in what you're saying here, and what the fellow you talked to said.
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« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2011, 08:16:36 PM »



The Orthodox position takes proper account of the unity and equality of the episcopal order, while the Roman position asserts a type of universal authority that undermines the real nature of the synodal structure of the Church.
So why do you remain in communion if you disagree so much with Rome's position?
Why does the Vatican allow communion of the Orthodox, when we disagree so much with its position?

I watch many disagreeable people receiving communion weekly.

Perhaps the Church has different tool-kit from the one you strap on here every day.
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« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2011, 10:00:12 PM »

^ Todd, you still have not adequately answered the question. If Rome is wrong, and the EOs are right, it makes the most sense for you to be in communion with EOs and not us Latins. Your position appears dishonest.

It seems that the best resolution may be that the Melchite bishops lead their Church back into Orthodox communion.
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« Reply #31 on: January 09, 2011, 10:04:47 PM »



The Orthodox position takes proper account of the unity and equality of the episcopal order, while the Roman position asserts a type of universal authority that undermines the real nature of the synodal structure of the Church.
So why do you remain in communion if you disagree so much with Rome's position?
Why does the Vatican allow communion of the Orthodox, when we disagree so much with its position?

I watch many disagreeable people receiving communion weekly.

Perhaps the Church has different tool-kit from the one you strap on here every day.

Contracepting divorced and remarried Orthodox denying the authority of the Pope and infallibility are welcome at the Catholic table.  There is no requirement that they hold the Catholic faith.  This position of largesse is not reciprocated by the Orthodox.
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« Reply #32 on: January 10, 2011, 09:48:53 AM »



The Orthodox position takes proper account of the unity and equality of the episcopal order, while the Roman position asserts a type of universal authority that undermines the real nature of the synodal structure of the Church.
So why do you remain in communion if you disagree so much with Rome's position?
Why should I leave the Melkite Catholic Church when my views are held to be perfectly acceptable within it?  My patriarch is in communion with Rome, and I see no reason to leave the Melkite Catholic Church just because a few Roman Catholics on the internet have trouble accepting a patristic Eucharistic ecclesiology.

lol! Wink
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« Reply #33 on: January 10, 2011, 01:10:55 PM »

^ Todd, you still have not adequately answered the question. If Rome is wrong, and the EOs are right, it makes the most sense for you to be in communion with EOs and not us Latins. Your position appears dishonest.

Couldn't he feel Rome is wrong about some things but still believe Rome is the unifying see? As someone once told me when I asked him why he was Catholic and not Orthodox, "Christ called us to be one--not right."

First, he does not believe about Rome. In fact, he has plainly stated, here on this forum, that communion with Rome is not one of the reasons for our unity; rather he agrees with the Eastern Orthodox. Second, even if you were right, that would lead to further problems, as the synods/ecumenical councils of the West anthamatize those who disgree with the very Catholic teachings that Todd rejects.
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« Reply #34 on: January 10, 2011, 02:13:44 PM »

Papist,
Thank you for the clarification.
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« Reply #35 on: January 10, 2011, 08:25:25 PM »



The Orthodox position takes proper account of the unity and equality of the episcopal order, while the Roman position asserts a type of universal authority that undermines the real nature of the synodal structure of the Church.
So why do you remain in communion if you disagree so much with Rome's position?
Why should I leave the Melkite Catholic Church when my views are held to be perfectly acceptable within it?  My patriarch is in communion with Rome, and I see no reason to leave the Melkite Catholic Church just because a few Roman Catholics on the internet have trouble accepting a patristic Eucharistic ecclesiology.

lol! Wink
I guess he's "Orthodox in communion with Rome."  Wink

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« Reply #36 on: January 10, 2011, 08:31:47 PM »



The Orthodox position takes proper account of the unity and equality of the episcopal order, while the Roman position asserts a type of universal authority that undermines the real nature of the synodal structure of the Church.
So why do you remain in communion if you disagree so much with Rome's position?
Why does the Vatican allow communion of the Orthodox, when we disagree so much with its position?

I watch many disagreeable people receiving communion weekly.

Perhaps the Church has different tool-kit from the one you strap on here every day.
A much better question would be: Why are some Orthodox receiving communion in Catholic churches when their leaders prohibit it?
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« Reply #37 on: March 17, 2011, 12:08:41 PM »

Church Authority-overall observations:Two sides-Two paths

The absolute authority within the Orthodox Church is the Seven Ecumenical Councils, the conciliatory nature of the Church, ecclesiology-the assembly of believers in communion of the Eucharist, Christ being the Head BIshop, and being guided by the Holy Spirit. The Church is the Body of Christ, not one bishop. The catholicity of the Church has nothing to do with a universal organization, it has no need of external bonds in order to be one.

The Pope, the Latin Church's sole authority, can make or change dogmas or traditions because this is possible through the "chair of Peter' and Peter's primacy. The Latin Church being essentially monarchial. They understand the catholicity of the Church as a legal cohesion, as an interdependence regulated by some code. Their local churches are not united by the Pope or the Papal hierarchy, but by their common nature.

One side makes the claims that a sole central authority is more efficient and unifying. A universal authority, universal teaching, a universal church, versus a church with many heads and no central unity or authority.

The center of the early Church was in Jerusalem, where all twelve Apostles received the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. Form this center all were to go out and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father ,Son, and Holy Spirit. Did one Apostle have sole authority and leadership at that time?

Prior to the Schism, the Church was one unified Body in Christ, catholic and apostolic. Rome held a "primacy of honor", but this is disputed and lacks any historical evidence. Rome had the teaching authority and the authority concerning the Seven Ecumenical Councils decisions. Other than political conflicts, was there an equality amongst the other Patriarchates?

Both the East and West developed differently, and continue today on different paths. The East has not deviated from the Holy Faith. The West, Rome, has added and changed, and most of all created an infallible universal Pope as leader. Their claims of Peter being sole leader, justifies their position, as related to the entire church. Most individuals overlook the ultramontanism movement, a religious philosophy within the Catholic Church, who became closely associated with the Jesuits, who defended the superiority of Popes over councils and kings. Ultramontanism achieved victory over conciliarism.

The East had its heresies, which were resolved by the Ecumenical Councils. Today, there exists two Orthodox Churches, the Eastern Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodox. The West, devoid of any heresies, now consists of not only the Latin or Roman Catholic Church, but Protestants(via the Protestant Reformation), the Anglican Church(Henry the VIII declaring himself as the head of the church), the Hussites(in Bohemia), and various Old and Traditional Catholic jurisdictions not under the Pope. Were these Western movements the result of Rome's authority and infallibility?

Comments Welcome!




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« Reply #38 on: March 17, 2011, 12:48:07 PM »

Church Authority-overall observations:Two sides-Two paths

The absolute authority within the Orthodox Church is the Seven Ecumenical Councils, the conciliatory nature of the Church, ecclesiology-the assembly of believers in communion of the Eucharist, Christ being the Head BIshop, and being guided by the Holy Spirit. The Church is the Body of Christ, not one bishop. The catholicity of the Church has nothing to do with a universal organization, it has no need of external bonds in order to be one.

The Pope, the Latin Church's sole authority, can make or change dogmas or traditions because this is possible through the "chair of Peter' and Peter's primacy. The Latin Church being essentially monarchial. They understand the catholicity of the Church as a legal cohesion, as an interdependence regulated by some code. Their local churches are not united by the Pope or the Papal hierarchy, but by their common nature.

One side makes the claims that a sole central authority is more efficient and unifying. A universal authority, universal teaching, a universal church, versus a church with many heads and no central unity or authority.

The center of the early Church was in Jerusalem, where all twelve Apostles received the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. Form this center all were to go out and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father ,Son, and Holy Spirit. Did one Apostle have sole authority and leadership at that time?

Prior to the Schism, the Church was one unified Body in Christ, catholic and apostolic. Rome held a "primacy of honor", but this is disputed and lacks any historical evidence. Rome had the teaching authority and the authority concerning the Seven Ecumenical Councils decisions. Other than political conflicts, was there an equality amongst the other Patriarchates?

Both the East and West developed differently, and continue today on different paths. The East has not deviated from the Holy Faith. The West, Rome, has added and changed, and most of all created an infallible universal Pope as leader. Their claims of Peter being sole leader, justifies their position, as related to the entire church. Most individuals overlook the ultramontanism movement, a religious philosophy within the Catholic Church, who became closely associated with the Jesuits, who defended the superiority of Popes over councils and kings. Ultramontanism achieved victory over conciliarism.

The East had its heresies, which were resolved by the Ecumenical Councils. Today, there exists two Orthodox Churches, the Eastern Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodox. The West, devoid of any heresies, now consists of not only the Latin or Roman Catholic Church, but Protestants(via the Protestant Reformation), the Anglican Church(Henry the VIII declaring himself as the head of the church), the Hussites(in Bohemia), and various Old and Traditional Catholic jurisdictions not under the Pope. Were these Western movements the result of Rome's authority and infallibility?

Comments Welcome!
You cannot blame the Church for the movements/heresies outside of Her.
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« Reply #39 on: March 17, 2011, 01:04:19 PM »

Church Authority-overall observations:Two sides-Two paths

The absolute authority within the Orthodox Church is the Seven Ecumenical Councils, the conciliatory nature of the Church, ecclesiology-the assembly of believers in communion of the Eucharist, Christ being the Head BIshop, and being guided by the Holy Spirit. The Church is the Body of Christ, not one bishop. The catholicity of the Church has nothing to do with a universal organization, it has no need of external bonds in order to be one.

The Pope, the Latin Church's sole authority, can make or change dogmas or traditions because this is possible through the "chair of Peter' and Peter's primacy. The Latin Church being essentially monarchial. They understand the catholicity of the Church as a legal cohesion, as an interdependence regulated by some code. Their local churches are not united by the Pope or the Papal hierarchy, but by their common nature.

One side makes the claims that a sole central authority is more efficient and unifying. A universal authority, universal teaching, a universal church, versus a church with many heads and no central unity or authority.

The center of the early Church was in Jerusalem, where all twelve Apostles received the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. Form this center all were to go out and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father ,Son, and Holy Spirit. Did one Apostle have sole authority and leadership at that time?

Prior to the Schism, the Church was one unified Body in Christ, catholic and apostolic. Rome held a "primacy of honor", but this is disputed and lacks any historical evidence. Rome had the teaching authority and the authority concerning the Seven Ecumenical Councils decisions. Other than political conflicts, was there an equality amongst the other Patriarchates?

Both the East and West developed differently, and continue today on different paths. The East has not deviated from the Holy Faith. The West, Rome, has added and changed, and most of all created an infallible universal Pope as leader. Their claims of Peter being sole leader, justifies their position, as related to the entire church. Most individuals overlook the ultramontanism movement, a religious philosophy within the Catholic Church, who became closely associated with the Jesuits, who defended the superiority of Popes over councils and kings. Ultramontanism achieved victory over conciliarism.

The East had its heresies, which were resolved by the Ecumenical Councils. Today, there exists two Orthodox Churches, the Eastern Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodox. The West, devoid of any heresies, now consists of not only the Latin or Roman Catholic Church, but Protestants(via the Protestant Reformation), the Anglican Church(Henry the VIII declaring himself as the head of the church), the Hussites(in Bohemia), and various Old and Traditional Catholic jurisdictions not under the Pope. Were these Western movements the result of Rome's authority and infallibility?

Comments Welcome!
You cannot blame the Church for the movements/heresies outside of Her.
Well, the Vatican claims that the denarius stops there. So that font of unity can take credit for the movements towards heresy that it caused.  The Great Western Schism, for instance, was a trial run for the Reformation.
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« Reply #40 on: March 17, 2011, 01:06:29 PM »

Hi vasily. You say that the pope is "the Latin Church's sole authority". Is this a common opinion among Orthodox? I doubt that it is -- although I note that if it is, that would explain certain things like the fact that many Orthodox want Eastern Catholics excluded from the dialogues.
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« Reply #41 on: March 17, 2011, 01:09:12 PM »

Hi vasily. You say that the pope is "the Latin Church's sole authority". Is this a common opinion among Orthodox? I doubt that it is -- although I note that if it is, that would explain certain things like the fact that many Orthodox want Eastern Catholics excluded from the dialogues.
It's the only opinion that counts, so we'd rather not waste time dealing with others. You can sort that out amongst yourselves.
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« Reply #42 on: March 17, 2011, 01:18:24 PM »

Hi vasily. You say that the pope is "the Latin Church's sole authority". Is this a common opinion among Orthodox? I doubt that it is -- although I note that if it is, that would explain certain things like the fact that many Orthodox want Eastern Catholics excluded from the dialogues.
It's the only opinion that counts, so we'd rather not waste time dealing with others.

My next question would be, Would do any good to point out that we Catholic don't consider the pope to be "the Latin Church's sole authority"? But I guess you've already answered that in the negative.

You can sort that out amongst yourselves.

Thank you.  Smiley
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« Reply #43 on: March 17, 2011, 01:29:18 PM »

Hi vasily. You say that the pope is "the Latin Church's sole authority". Is this a common opinion among Orthodox? I doubt that it is -- although I note that if it is, that would explain certain things like the fact that many Orthodox want Eastern Catholics excluded from the dialogues.
It's the only opinion that counts, so we'd rather not waste time dealing with others.

My next question would be, Would do any good to point out that we Catholic don't consider the pope to be "the Latin Church's sole authority"? But I guess you've already answered that in the negative.
We know that your "magisterium" consumes loads of time reading the tea leaves of "theological certitude" all the while boasting of this "gift of infalliblity" that we don't have that straightens everything out fot you, and while that may sound like fun we'd rather just look at the bottom line.

We are aware of the deep denial that the pope as "the Latin church's sole authority," but since it is spelled out quite frequenty that none of your other "authorities" have any authority without his A-OK (for instance, the Vatican's "ecclesiology" of Ecumenical Councils), you all might as well as admit it.
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« Reply #44 on: March 17, 2011, 03:49:55 PM »

We know that your "magisterium" consumes loads of time reading the tea leaves of "theological certitude" all the while boasting of this "gift of infalliblity" that we don't have that straightens everything out fot you, and while that may sound like fun we'd rather just look at the bottom line.

We are aware of the deep denial that the pope as "the Latin church's sole authority," but since it is spelled out quite frequenty that none of your other "authorities" have any authority without his A-OK (for instance, the Vatican's "ecclesiology" of Ecumenical Councils), you all might as well as admit it.

Ah, I see that you are indeed a worthy opponent.

You refer, I think, to

Quote
The decrees of an Ecumenical Council do not oblige unless they are approved by the Roman Pontiff as well as by the Fathers of the Council, confirmed by the Roman Pontiff and promulgated by his direction.

- From Can. 341

Quote
But the college or body of bishops has no authority unless it is understood together with the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter as its head.

- From Lumen Gentium #22

etc. Right?
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« Reply #45 on: March 17, 2011, 05:04:36 PM »

We know that your "magisterium" consumes loads of time reading the tea leaves of "theological certitude" all the while boasting of this "gift of infalliblity" that we don't have that straightens everything out fot you, and while that may sound like fun we'd rather just look at the bottom line.

We are aware of the deep denial that the pope as "the Latin church's sole authority," but since it is spelled out quite frequenty that none of your other "authorities" have any authority without his A-OK (for instance, the Vatican's "ecclesiology" of Ecumenical Councils), you all might as well as admit it.

Ah, I see that you are indeed a worthy opponent.

You refer, I think, to

Quote
The decrees of an Ecumenical Council do not oblige unless they are approved by the Roman Pontiff as well as by the Fathers of the Council, confirmed by the Roman Pontiff and promulgated by his direction.

- From Can. 341

Quote
But the college or body of bishops has no authority unless it is understood together with the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter as its head.

- From Lumen Gentium #22

etc. Right?
yes indeed.  IIRC, there is also some question/debate/argument about the role of theologians other than those marked with an episcopal character (I think is the phrase).
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« Reply #46 on: March 17, 2011, 09:03:59 PM »

Quote
But the college or body of bishops has no authority unless it is understood together with the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter as its head.

- From Lumen Gentium #22

I don't believe that statement is denying the authority of each Bishop. It is, however, denying that "all the Bishops except the Pope" have some special collective authority. (And I believe it is right to do so -- cf. Apostolic Canon 34.)
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« Reply #47 on: March 17, 2011, 11:32:51 PM »

Quote
But the college or body of bishops has no authority unless it is understood together with the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter as its head.

- From Lumen Gentium #22

I don't believe that statement is denying the authority of each Bishop. It is, however, denying that "all the Bishops except the Pope" have some special collective authority. (And I believe it is right to do so -- cf. Apostolic Canon 34.)
And isn't it true that the canon goes on to say, "But neither let him (who is the first) do anything without the consent of all; for so there will be unanimity"? Smiley It seems to me that many Catholics conveniently leave off that half of the canon.
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« Reply #48 on: March 18, 2011, 12:37:35 AM »

Quote
But the college or body of bishops has no authority unless it is understood together with the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter as its head.

- From Lumen Gentium #22

I don't believe that statement is denying the authority of each Bishop. It is, however, denying that "all the Bishops except the Pope" have some special collective authority. (And I believe it is right to do so -- cf. Apostolic Canon 34.)
And isn't it true that the canon goes on to say, "But neither let him (who is the first) do anything without the consent of all; for so there will be unanimity"? Smiley It seems to me that many Catholics conveniently leave off that half of the canon.
That's the part that Lumen Gentium and Pastor Aeternus skips over. And since they do, we deal only with the pope's opinion (or what he tolerates) when dealing with the Vatican's teachings.
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« Reply #49 on: March 18, 2011, 07:59:42 AM »

Quote
But the college or body of bishops has no authority unless it is understood together with the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter as its head.

- From Lumen Gentium #22

I don't believe that statement is denying the authority of each Bishop. It is, however, denying that "all the Bishops except the Pope" have some special collective authority. (And I believe it is right to do so -- cf. Apostolic Canon 34.)
And isn't it true that the canon goes on to say, "But neither let him (who is the first) do anything without the consent of all; for so there will be unanimity"? Smiley It seems to me that many Catholics conveniently leave off that half of the canon.
That's the part that Lumen Gentium and Pastor Aeternus skips over. And since they do, we deal only with the pope's opinion (or what he tolerates) when dealing with the Vatican's teachings.

I think saying that the Catholic Church skips the second part of Apostolic Canon 34 makes about as much sense as saying that the Orthodox Church skips the first part of it.
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« Reply #50 on: March 18, 2011, 08:49:48 AM »

 I understand from your references ,Canon 341 and Lumen Gentium #22, and what they are stating. Even though there had to be a general consensus of agreement on church matters, with the Pope giving his "ok",at these Ecumenical Councils, then the Orthodox are incorrect in their opinion that there existed a true "equality" amongst all the bishops involved. When the twelve Apostles convened in Jerusalem to discuss church matters, it wasn't Peter who took the lead when disputes arose. Where did this idea of "primacy" originate from?

In my original post, I touched on the subject matter concerning "primacy of honor", with respect to the Pope of Rome. Is there historical evidence of this amongst the other Patriarchates?
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« Reply #51 on: March 18, 2011, 10:17:17 AM »

Quote
But the college or body of bishops has no authority unless it is understood together with the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter as its head.

- From Lumen Gentium #22

I don't believe that statement is denying the authority of each Bishop. It is, however, denying that "all the Bishops except the Pope" have some special collective authority. (And I believe it is right to do so -- cf. Apostolic Canon 34.)
And isn't it true that the canon goes on to say, "But neither let him (who is the first) do anything without the consent of all; for so there will be unanimity"? Smiley It seems to me that many Catholics conveniently leave off that half of the canon.
That's the part that Lumen Gentium and Pastor Aeternus skips over. And since they do, we deal only with the pope's opinion (or what he tolerates) when dealing with the Vatican's teachings.

I think saying that the Catholic Church skips the second part of Apostolic Canon 34 makes about as much sense as saying that the Orthodox Church skips the first part of it.
We don't have the opposites of Unam Sanctam and Pastor Aeternus.  The councils of Constance and Siena and the Protestants in the patriarchate of the West had to come up with that.
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« Reply #52 on: March 18, 2011, 10:25:11 AM »

I understand from your references ,Canon 341 and Lumen Gentium #22, and what they are stating. Even though there had to be a general consensus of agreement on church matters, with the Pope giving his "ok",at these Ecumenical Councils, then the Orthodox are incorrect in their opinion that there existed a true "equality" amongst all the bishops involved. When the twelve Apostles convened in Jerusalem to discuss church matters, it wasn't Peter who took the lead when disputes arose. Where did this idea of "primacy" originate from?

In my original post, I touched on the subject matter concerning "primacy of honor", with respect to the Pope of Rome. Is there historical evidence of this amongst the other Patriarchates?
This?
Prior to the Schism, the Church was one unified Body in Christ, catholic and apostolic. Rome held a "primacy of honor", but this is disputed and lacks any historical evidence. Rome had the teaching authority and the authority concerning the Seven Ecumenical Councils decisions. Other than political conflicts, was there an equality amongst the other Patriarchates?
Rome didn't have the teaching authority and the authority concerning the Seven Ecumenical Councils' decisions: None were held by Rome, none were convoked on Rome's authority (apart from the other patriarchs/the Emperor), none were held in Rome (although Pope St. Leo tried to have Chalcedon held in hte West, for instance) and the Fifth Council was held over Rome's adament objections.

Are you looking for evidence of the primacy of Rome in the other patriarchates, or evidence of the primacy/honor of the other patriarchs?
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« Reply #53 on: March 21, 2011, 09:12:24 AM »

Some deny that this "primacy of honor" did not really exist between the Eastern Patriarchates towards Rome.
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« Reply #54 on: March 21, 2011, 11:26:52 AM »

Some deny that this "primacy of honor" did not really exist between the Eastern Patriarchates towards Rome.
No, it existed. But while the Vatican claims that the pope of Rome was ruling as the monarch by the grace of God, he was presiding as Prime Minister by the confidence of parliament.  In Vatican speak, he was the head of the college of bishops as the Church's minister, not God's vicar.

One of the most obvious differences between the Orthodox papacy and the Vatican's is that the Orthodox pope never "by divine ordinance...possesse[d] a pre-eminence of ordinary power over every other Church, and that this jurisdictional power of the Roman Pontiff [was] both episcopal and immediate."  For instance, the much vaunted right of appeal to Rome (a similar one also accorded to Constantinople by the canons): it had to be appealed to, the pope had no right to interject himself.  And then his power was limited to deciding if another ajdudication in and by the local synod was warrented. He didn't get to issue his binding opinion.
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« Reply #55 on: July 21, 2011, 12:13:14 PM »

 If someone could please give me some basic info on the Apostolic Canons. Was this a council, who attended, and are these canons recognized by both the East and West? Do they hold any authority on a universal level? Are they still valid?

 My issue is canon 34 of the Apostolic Canons, which places Rome as "first amongst equals" or "primacy of honor".  Does the Latin Church recognize this? Were there canons in any of the Seven Ecumenical Councils that dealt with the structure and rankings in the Church?

 
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« Reply #56 on: July 21, 2011, 01:04:41 PM »

If someone could please give me some basic info on the Apostolic Canons. Was this a council, who attended, and are these canons recognized by both the East and West? Do they hold any authority on a universal level? Are they still valid?

 My issue is canon 34 of the Apostolic Canons, which places Rome as "first amongst equals" or "primacy of honor".  Does the Latin Church recognize this? Were there canons in any of the Seven Ecumenical Councils that dealt with the structure and rankings in the Church?

 
I can't speak much to the origin of the Apostolic Canons, but in my experience talking with both Catholics and Orthodox, both churches hold the Apostolic Canons as valid. And Rome would certainly recognize having the primacy of honor, and being the first among equals! Wink

As far as rankings and structure of the Church go, there are numerous canons dealing with this. Canon 3 of Constantinople 1 puts the order of honor of the 5 ancient Patriarchates as going Rome, Contantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem. I would recommend reading through the canons of Nicaea 1 and Constantinople to get many of the fundamental guidelines for the administration of the Church. I have yet to finish reading the canons of all 7 ecumenical councils and the others like Trullo and Sardica, but Sardica sets forth the precedent for appealing to Rome that Ialmisry mentioned, and the description of what the Pope can and can't do in regards to that appeal is spot-on.

You can do your own research and read all of the canons of the Councils, available online for free here. Others will probably be along to list some other canons you can look up.
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« Reply #57 on: July 21, 2011, 01:41:45 PM »

If someone could please give me some basic info on the Apostolic Canons. Was this a council, who attended, and are these canons recognized by both the East and West? Do they hold any authority on a universal level? Are they still valid?

The apostolic canons are valid and were accepted by the 6th Ecumenical Council (Canon 2). They didn't come out of a council, but rather were created anonymously, probably being written sometime between the 3rd and 5th centuries. They have an authoritative status in Orthodoxy, but like all canons it is up to the bishops to decide how they will be applied.

Quote
Were there canons in any of the Seven Ecumenical Councils that dealt with the structure and rankings in the Church?

Second Ecumenical Council (Canon 3)
Fourth Ecumenical Council (Canon 28)
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« Reply #58 on: July 22, 2011, 10:30:37 AM »

 But isn't it true that Rome does not recognize either of these canons ? (Canon 3- of the  Second Council & Canon 28 of the Fourth Council). If the Apostolic Canons have an authoritative status in Orthodoxy, why isn't this true with the Latin Church?
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« Reply #59 on: July 23, 2011, 10:13:51 PM »

But isn't it true that Rome does not recognize either of these canons ? (Canon 3- of the  Second Council & Canon 28 of the Fourth Council). If the Apostolic Canons have an authoritative status in Orthodoxy, why isn't this true with the Latin Church?
IIRC, Canon 3 of Constantinople 1 was accepted eventually, but I believe you are quite right about Canon 28.

Also, we must distinguish between the Apostolic Canons and the Canons of the Ecumenical Councils. The Latin Church accepts all of the former, but only most of the latter.
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« Reply #60 on: July 28, 2011, 09:39:03 PM »

Actually the head Bishop is Peter indeed and he writes from the elect Church in Babylon which is the Assyrian Church of the East (Seleukia-Ctesiphon known to the ancients as "Babylon" which harboured the largest number of Jews outside Jerusalem also).

I believe the first Bishop of Rome was St.Paul not St.Peter based on the way he writes in Hebrews (Peter's congregation) versus the way he writes in Romans (HIS congregation where he gives his name and is expressing his mission clearly).

As for council attendance, the ACOE dikd not attend Chalcedon.
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« Reply #61 on: August 09, 2011, 08:42:18 AM »

 Per further research, the Council of Trullo, or the Quinisext Council, declared the Apostolic Canons to be a part of Orthodox Canon law.  The Ecumenical status of this council was repudiated by the western churches. So, if this is the case, is it only the Orthodox who recognize this "primacy of honor " or "first amongst equals"? (canon 34 Apostolic Canon).


 To clarify a comment concerning the first bishop of Rome. Wasn't Linus the first bishop? According to Scriptural and historical records Sts. Peter and Paul were martyred in Rome, but not bishop of that city.
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« Reply #62 on: August 09, 2011, 03:36:57 PM »

Quote
To clarify a comment concerning the first bishop of Rome. Wasn't Linus the first bishop? According to Scriptural and historical records Sts. Peter and Paul were martyred in Rome, but not bishop of that city.

If I remember correctly, wasnt St. Peter the bishop of Antioch?

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