ialmisry, Re. Your Reply #112
Are they really debating the no. one position? Is the preconciliar commission openly debating which church should be the first ranked? Would you elaborate about what you may know about this?
That isn't a secret, is it?
Have they come right out and started debating it? No, I don't think so. It isn't debated right now because the Phanar wants this whole thing scripted for rubber stamping, and the rest are playing along for the time being for their own reasons. But everyone knows it's coming. The Serbian delegate, Metropolitan Amphilochios (a disciple of St. Justin, a known opponent of this council. One of the Russian delegatin, Abp. Mark not only is a ROCOR bishop (and hence an afront just by that to the Phanar's 28 canon) but received his theological training with the disciples of St. Justin) shot across the bow, bringing up in his opening statements that the criteria, preconditions and authority of opening this council has not been decided, implying it does not rest with Phanar alone as no. one.
Russia has a valid arguement, and every right to make it, of why it should be first. It probably won't go off script to do that until the council actually is opened and Constantinople will be in no position to put the genie back in the bottle. As long as Russia keeps that card, the Phanar isn't going to call this council.
But the issue of the OCA will be dealt with first, as a trial run for the battle on the top spot. As long as Russia doesn't abandon the OCA (and it really can't, without weakening its position and enhancing and strengthening the Phanar's at the same time), these preconciliar meetings will go on ad infinitum until the Greek Church gives in to reality (and there is PLENTY of historical precedent that that is exactly what will happen), or the other Churches move on. Or Russsia decides to call the bluff.
On the top spot, Constantinople has it by no divine right. As Fr. Jensen says, our problem is that we have tended to practically dogmatize our application of the canons to the exigencies of the times.
Archbishop Gregory (Afonsky): The Canonical Status of the Patriarch of Constantinople in the Orthodox Church http://palamas.blogspot.com/2009_04_23_archive.html