All studies done on the history have shown that the Roman church has always held a similar position, evident in the way it described itself. It's not something that suddenly appeared.
This is not true at all.
The picture as presented by mainstream historians emphasizes a gradual historical progression from local Bishop/Elder to Diocesan Bishop to Metropolitan Bishop (over diocesan bishops) to Patriarch (over Metropolitan Bishops; the latter level of Patriarchal Bishop first appearing in 381 AD; a pope *at* (much less *above*) the level of Patriarchal Bishop (or even Metropolitan or Diocesan Bishop) simply did not exist before these types of offices existed
. Here is a condensed outline of the picture as it is told by mainstream historians:
1. Early NT Period: presbyters were at first identical to bishops (ἐπίσκοποι/episkopoi; compare Acts 20:17 and vs. 28; Titus 1:5 and vs. 7; 1 Pet 5:1 and vs. 2 (cf. Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
, 2005, p. 211); compare Jewish synagogues governed by a council of elders (Greek: πρεσβύτεροι presbyteroi).
2. 49 AD: Jerusalem Council (Acts 15); leadership of James at Jerusalem; 62 AD: martyrdom of James; martyrdom of Paul (c. 67 AD); 70 AD: destruction of Jerusalem by then general (later emperor) Titus. The Jerusalem Council was, of course, paradigmatic for later Councils.
3. 57/58: Book of Romans (composed winter AD 56 or 57 from Corinth): no apparent community order with episkopos.
4. Later NT Period: "Early Catholicism," viz. single ruling bishops (Pastoral Epistles/AD 65 and afterward; Timothy and Titus to are told by Paul to ordain presbyters/bishops and e.g. "exhort with all authority" -Titus 2:15) with respect to Ephesus and Crete respectively.
5. Early writings including 1 Clement (c. 90 AD; Clement was directly appointed by the apostles) and the Didache (Teaching of the Twelve, variously dated 60-100AD -cf. subsequent redactions) also speak of two *local* offices (viz. (1) presbyter/bishop and (2) deacon). The Didache speaks of prophets and teachers as celebrants of the Eucharist, and only after them bishops and deacons. Ignatius c. 110 AD did not address a bishop of all or of all Rome any more than Paul did. Only later would the local presbyter -as a distinct category from the bishop- and deacon be understood as local *prests* (not a mis-spelling) and deacons. A monarchical episcopate -only possible when the bishopric and eldership became dstinct entities- can be demonstrated for Rome only from around the middle of the second century; the lack of the same previously -as has already been seen above- is multiply attested in all earlier extant sources.
6. 142 AD: One Diocesan Bishop (proper) over other Bishops. The first single bishop presiding over the diocese of Rome was Pius I (142 - 155). That later official lists of early "popes" (an alternate term for bishop not originally exclusive to the bishop of Rome) actually presided only over a council of elders is the unanimous verdict of all major academic historians (including Roman Catholic historians).
7. 325 AD Metropolitan Bishop over Diocesan Bishops. Metropolitan bishops are first mentioned in the canons of the Council of Nicea. Bishops in the great cities tended to have more education and prestige; country bishops (called chorespicopi) were described as lacking education and more vulnerable to heretical ideas. The colloquial Greek pappa (from which our rendering "pope" derived) was from the beginning of the third century used for Eastern metropolitans, diocesan bishops, regular bishops, abbots, and eventually parish priest. The title of "pope" early on was used by several Metropolitan Bishops at once. Later in the West, after Old Rome had been conquered and ceased to be bilingual, the Greek pappa became more obscure to the Latin speakers in the West and fell into disuse outside of the immediate environment of Old Rome in the West. The term then became increasingly reserved for the bishop of Rome until this was made an official demand by Gregory VII in the later eleventh century. The term papacy (papatus) -designed to sharply demarcate the office of the Roman bishop from all bishops also originated at the end of the eleventh century.
From a mainstream scholarly/historical perspective the "papacy" (itself a later term) was clearly and without controversy not even *at* much less "over" the level of Diocesan, Metropolitan, or Patriarch before those offices even existed historically. Now obviously one can disagree with mainstream historians, but it is intellectually dishonest to claim that mainstream historians would agree that the Roman Church has always held a similar position. Most internet apologetic discussions presuming a univocal concepts of "papacy," "pope," "papal primacy" where later realities are presumed to apply to earlier realities reduce to obscurantist apologetic anachrononisms.
Has the Pope always really been the head of the whole church on earth with immediate jurisdiction everywhere, or is the Pope simply one of several man-made ranks, like other monarchical bishops, diocesan bishops, metropolitan bishops, and patriarchs, in the divinely instituted episcopate, the apostolic ministry? (To hold to the latter is not to hate the papacy or Western Catholicism, believe they’re graceless heretics and so on, which is where I think I and many/most Orthodox sharply part ways.)
How does the modern historical picture relate to Orthodoxy? Just fine. Cf. St. Justin argument that all developments of office beyond the local bishop are not divinely ordained or necessary to the Church although they are justifiably adopted for pragmatic reasons; this is essentially the same thing writers like Fr. Laurent Cleenwercke mean when they distinguish functional from ontological primacy in the Church. Universal primacy/supremacy of the Roman bishop by divine right and/or scriptural mandate is an anachronistic position which no major contemporary historian believes actually existed in the early Church -despite frequent claims of amateur apologists to the contrary.
Orthodox Christians rather than Roman Catholics are therefore more in tune with the picture presented by mainstream historians when they, as Fr. Schmemann observes, reject "...the understanding and practice of primacy as 'supreme power' and, therefore, to a universal bishop as source and foundation of jurisdiction in the whole ecclesiastical structure. The Orthodox Church has condemned this distortion in its pure and explicit Roman Catholic form." (Schmemann, The Primacy of Peter, p. 163)
As witega astutely observed in another thread "true sedevacantists are thoroughly Roman, in that they share the same distorted ecclesiology which is at the root of most of the difference between Orthodoxy and the Papacy--to whit, that the "Patriarchate of the West" (that is any honors or privileges possessed by the Bishop of Rome beyond those of any other diocesan bishop) is a integral part of the Apostolic Deposit rather than a historically contingent development with important practical but no doctrinal implications. The Apostolic portion of Church governance is the bishop ruling his local church, and meeting in council with other bishops to address those issues which affect more than the local church. Everything beyond that is a contingent development that is not necessary to the Faith. Some of those developments are broadly practical: the general organization of those local councils into permanent bodies along geo-political lines and the selection of one see to hold the chairmanship ('presiding') of those bodies. Some simply recognized the contemporary 'facts on the ground' (and then in a conservative organization, those recognitions ossified and remain long after their initial impetus has gone away): Rome, Alexandria and Antioch were the three most important cities in the Roman Empire, with the most people (both Christian and not), and therefore the most resources so they were from early on given greater deference and responsibility; Jerusalem, the city of our Lord's Passion and Ressurection, of the one Church founded by all of the Apostles, of the first martyrs was practically wiped out in 70AD and took a long time to recover, so when it finally did it was slotted in behind the first 3; Constantinople was set up as 'New Rome' so it was given the 'perogatives of honor after Rome'; the Russian Church grew larger than the ancient patriarchates and was backed by an Imperial power, so was made a Patriarchy itself."
The fact that the princip of the Papcy existed is all we need, the form or understanding of it can grow, and this is what matters.
This is Newman's concept of development; development is valid so long as it can be traced to a "seed" (cf. Aristotle, and more especially G. W. F. Hegel's paradigm of development from which Newman drew much of his inspiration). The problem is, as even Roman Catholic Cardinals have admitted, we do not always have even so much as a "seed" to point to.
The notion that the papacy in the form amateur Catholic apologists argue for goes back to the first centuries of Christianity is an anachronistic myth according to all major contemporary church historians. There is no trace of papal infallibility or even the germ of what developed into it according to Roman Catholic Cardinal/historian Yves Congar for over a thousand years. The notion that certain truths of morality may be arrived at by discursive reason apart from Roman Catholic faith, a dogma of the Roman Catholic Church, is not only unknown to the Undivided Church of the first millennium, it is met with almost universal denial of this alleged ability by philosophers who are not Roman Catholics with the paradoxical result that Roman Catholics today are virtually alone in defending it. Aquinas according to Jesuit philosopher Fr. Frederick Copleston was majorly controversial in his own day, but all that changed after a single proclamation after 1869. It has formed the "basis" for Magisterial ethical pronouncements that have been rejected even by the vast majority of practicing Roman Catholics themselves. The notion that we can see the essence of God in Beatific Vision, which no first millennium father ever taught, is Roman Catholic dogma, purgatory, original sin understood in an Augustinian manner and its corollary, an "immaculate conception," and so on.
i didnt talk about a change, only a growing.
Academic historians tend toward the view -echoed also by many Roman Catholic scholars- that there is not so much as a trace of papal infallibility in the entire first millennium of Christianity.
Dominican Cardinal Yyves Congar said there was not even a *germ* of what developed into papal infallibility until the 1200s. The notion seems to have originated first on the lips of "dissident Franciscans" (cf. Tierney, Origins of Papal Infallibility, cited below)
Roman Catholic Fr. Hans Kung (note: dissenting, but from an purely historical perspective on this point) observes:
""[before the Orthodox/Latin Schism]The Eastern patriarchs and metropolitans certainly still regarded the pope as bishop of the old imperial capital and sole patriarch of the West. But as such he was first among equals. And this was not, say because of a special biblical promise or a legal authority. Of course, no one at that time, even in Rome would have thought that the bishops of Rome were infallible...
"Historical research, notably that of Yves Congar, has shown that down to the twelfth century, outside Rome, the significance of the Roman church was not understood as a real teaching authority in the legal sense (magisterium)... No one in the whole of the first millennium regarded decisions of the pope as infallible. But historical research has also shown that the popes, particularly from the fifth century on, decisively extended their power with explicit forgeries. The freely invented legend of the holy Pope Silvester comes from the fifth/sixth centuries. In the eighth century it led to a highly influential forgery, the Donation of Constantine (shown to be a forgery in the fifteenth century), according to which Constantine left Rome and the Western half of the empire to Pope Silvester, allowed him the imperial insignia and garments (purple) and a court to match; and bestowed on him the primacy over all other churches, especially Antioch, Alexandria, Constantinople, and Jerusalem. In fact Constantine had left him only the Lateran palace and the new basilicas of the Lateran and St. Peter's" Fr. Hans Kung, The Catholic Church: A Short History (2001), pp. 60-61.
Brian Tierney, Origins of Papal Infallibility, 1150-1350: A Study on the Concepts of Infallibility, Sovereignty and Tradition in the Middle Ages, affirms "There is no convincing evidence that papal infallibility formed any part of the theological or canonical tradition of the church before the thirteenth century; the doctrine was invented in the first place by a few dissident Franciscans because it suited their convenience to invent it; eventually, but only after much initial reluctance, it was accepted by the papacy because it suited the convenience of the popes to accept it" (p. 281).
cf. also Bernhard Hasler, (Roman Catholic priest) How the Pope Became Infallible: Pius IX and the Politics of Persuasion( (1981).
Vatican I had said it was a part of the faith of the Latin church from the beginning. The adamant denial that this is so by academic historians including Roman Catholic academics is sometimes explained theologically with reference to the paradigm of development defended by Cardinal John Henry Newman (cf. Hegelian dialectic) which became a prominent factor in Vatican II according to Pope John Paul who called it "Newman's Council." Arguments to the contrary notwithstanding it seems reasonable to suggest -if there is no trace of papal infallibility for a thousand years as many scholars argue- that the Latin church is susceptible to the same criticism Cardinal Newman in his Development of Christian Doctrine used to counter Protestantism:
"...this utter incongruity between Protestantism and historical Christianity is a plain fact, whether the latter be regarded in its earlier or in its later centuries. Protestants can as little bear its Ante-nicene as its Post-tridentine period. I have elsewhere observed on this circumstance: "So much must the Protestant grant that, if such a system of doctrine as he would now introduce ever existed in early times, it has been clean swept away as if by a deluge, suddenly, silently, and without memorial; by a deluge coming in a night, and utterly soaking, rotting, heaving up, and hurrying off every vestige of what it found in the Church, before cock-crowing: so that 'when they rose in the morning' her true seed 'were all dead corpses'—Nay dead and buried—and without grave-stone. 'The waters went over them; there was not one of them left; they sunk like lead in the mighty waters.' Strange antitype, indeed, to the early fortunes of Israel!—then the enemy was drowned, and 'Israel saw them dead upon the sea-shore.' But now, it would seem, water proceeded as a flood 'out of the serpent's mouth, and covered all the witnesses, so that not even their dead bodies lay in the streets of the great city.' Let him take which of his doctrines he will,... and let him consider how far Antiquity, as it has come down to us, will countenance him in it. No; he must allow that the alleged deluge has done its work; yes, and has in turn disappeared itself; it has been swallowed up by the earth, mercilessly as itself was merciless."
Catholic simply means universal. The opposite is particularistic theology -faith which is held by some but not universally, like faith in papal infallibility, of which there is not even the germ of what developed into the later idea in the entire first millennium of Christianity according to academic historian and Roman Catholic Cardinal Yves Congar, the general consensus of major academic historians, and the Orthodox Church.
Orthodox Christians affirm the first seven Ecumenical Councils, and so do Roman Catholics, these beliefs are "universal/catholic,"
Roman Catholics have 21 Councils -fourteen beyond our seven. These do not reflect universal or historic Christian belief at many points and therefore are not "catholic" in the original sense of the word "universal" -from our point of view. There are a number of dogmas of Latin Catholicism which are not shared by the Orthodox Church, like propitiation in soteriology, storehouses of merit, sin as demerit which has to be "paid back," purgatory as a paying off of one's sins, indulgences, and so on. These from our perspective are not "universal" beliefs of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church (these are just examples, not meant to be comprehensive, and of course there will be different "slants" on all of these things ad infinitum).
Orthodox Christians affirm one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church" -that Church for us is the Orthodox Church, not the Roman Catholic Church, which is in schism and regards all who affirm papal infallibility is not true or reasonable are excommunicated (from the Roman Catholic side). This type of perspective seems to "offend" some Roman Catholics, but it is not meant to offend anyone but to express Orthodox Christian belief.