Fr. Deacon Lance,
Thank you for your response to my probing questions. I respect your answers to my questions. At least it lets me know where you are coming from.
I agree with everything you said with one minor adjustment. That is, as you probably guess, in the universal right of action. There certainly is a universal right of action in the Church, as we have seen in the Seven Ecumenical Councils. The pope, in a united Church, has a role, usually a prominent role, in that universal right of action.
But it is this claim of a right of universal action that Rome has allowed to be used by proxy by those far beneath the bishop that has been abused - and abused since the initial claim was made. In other words, the Bishop of Rome was the most respected patriarch in the East until the bishop claimed the right of universal action. At that moment, everything seems to have fallen apart. Why?
For instance, in my own situation, a Roman Catholic priest with very little understanding of Orthodoxy was made the priest of my BC parish. His claim is that he was appointed by the bishop who was appointed by the metropolitan who was appointed by Rome and, essentially, the pope. Does the pope have the authority to do this? Can the pope be right always?
My answer to to these questions was no. The pope does not have the authority as First Among Equals to insert a Latin priest in an Eastern Church and that, whoever he appointed to these positions, was in error.
When there is a serious charge that Rome has abused her power, without the Church as an organic whole as ultimate arbiter, to whom do we appeal, since Rome herself is the one being challenged?
Fr. Deacon, thank you for reading my questions and I hope I have not taken a negative or challenging tone.