Hi all. This thread has been has been inactive for a couple weeks (for obvious reasons) but I thought it might be worth reviving to mention a National Catholic Register article on the subject:East-West Catholic Dialogue in D.C.
“Many Orthodox view all bishops as successors to Peter,” Metropolitan Kallistos Ware of the Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchate said recently, “but most would concede that the bishop of Rome is a successor of Peter in a special way.”
What exactly is that special way? Like others at the Orientale Lumen conference in Washington at which he spoke, Metropolitan Kallistos acknowledged that the papacy is entitled to primacy in some form, but he stopped far short in his willingness to grant it the kind of jurisdictional role the papacy enjoys in the Catholic Church.
And Antioch? The bishop of Rome is no different in succession from St. Peter than the Patriarch of Antioch.
This year’s gathering drew laity and clergy to a retreat house near The Catholic University of America and featured talks and various Eastern liturgies. The theme was “Communion of Churches: Bishop, Patriarch or Pope.”
Hmm. Good summary for the issue. The answer, of course, is bishop, despite what Old Rome, New Rome or the latest in Antioch say.
“The possibility of a legitimate Petrine authority — which I as a Catholic in no way challenge — in no way justified every exercise of that authority,” he said.
Aside from the Orthodox episcopate, there is no such thing as a legitimate Petrine authority. That leaves only illegitimate for anything else.
Although this was addressed on a highly theological level, some participants saw the issue in purely practical terms. Subdeacon Robert Cripps, a Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic from Ohio, whose Church is in full communion with Rome, said he “loves being in communion with the Holy Father.” But he recalled that, in the 1920s, the Holy See issued a decree calling for celibacy among Byzantine clergy. The so-called “celibacy wars” ended with the Byzantine retaining the right to a married clergy, said Cripps, who is married, but the controversy shows why some Orthodox insist that Roman authority be limited if they are to rejoin the Catholic Church.
Ended? They just opened a new front in Italy. And it is not "so-called."
One of the controversial topics that came up at the conference was Pope Benedict XVI’s 2006 decision quietly to drop the papacy’s traditional title “Patriarch of the West.” While some speculated at the time that this was a conciliatory gesture aimed at accommodating Orthodox sensibilities, the move was nevertheless greeted with suspicion by some Orthodox Christians.
“For the Orthodox,” Kallistos explained, “the Church is three tiers — the position of the bishop in his diocese, regional patriarchs, and the universal primacy. Dropping the title ‘Patriarch of the West’ suggested to the Orthodox that regional primacy was no longer important [to Rome].”
One of the novel suggestions put forth at the conference came from Adam DeVille, a Greek Catholic, editor of Logos magazine and author of Orthodoxy and the Roman Papacy: Ut Unum Sint and the Prospects of East-West Unity. DeVille called for the Catholic Church to change her structure, dividing into six continental patriarchies under a “papal presidency.” DeVille, a professor in the philosophy and theology department at the University of St. Francis in Fort Wayne, Ind., said that this would show that the Catholic Church is willing to develop a more dispersed form of authority and could set the stage for reunion.
Msgr. Magee was skeptical.
“More important than the Latin Church’s changing her structure,” he said, “is to realize that the Latin Church is a particular Church in the universal Church.” Msgr. Magee suggested that the Pope would govern the Latin Church in “a more centralized way than he would in relation to the Eastern Churches.”
All this unnecesary adding of antoher layer to the Church's cake.
The sooner the Episcopal Assemblies evolve into Local Holy Synods, the better.