1. The Byzantium of Orthodoxy.
2. I am, but I am unaware of any Orthodox doctrines making it necessary for salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Ecumenical Patriarch. Accepting apostolic Christianity (former Protestant) means accepting The Church, the ark of salvation, submission to my bishop... I know this. I don't even have an issue with the RCC's position expressed today about salvation for those outside the Church. What compelled me to leave the safety of lurkdom is that I don't think its understanding today is necessarily the same as expressed in the already- quoted passages. I'm not saying that it's bad or good, just that I feel that it is, indeed, different.
How much Catholic history have you read? Also how deeply have you read in the saints and doctors of the Church and the spiritual masters both pre and post-schism?
Well, I've read the 7 Ecumenical Councils and the Didache, and am currently working my way through the ante-Nicene Fathers (which is a lot of reading!). I've read numerous books by apologists such as David Currie, Steve Ray, Scott Hahn, Karl Keeting, as well as more historical works such as Rome and the Eastern Churches by Aidan Nichols. I only just started The Orthodox Church by Metropolitan Kallistos Ware (who I am a huge fan of). This is hard to answer, because it's been over a year of study and reading for me at this point... Lots and lots of reading that I've lost track of. Lots of listening too... I really enjoy listening to the podcasts of the Orientale Lumen conferences (which reminds me of Archimandrite Robert Taft, another that I am a fan of).
Anyway, sorry to ramble. I guess in sum, I've read a lot, but not enough. The more I read and study, the more I realize with painful clarity how little I actually know.
I'm always open to recommendations though, if you have any you'd like to suggest.
No recommendations at the moment. But there's not much in your reading stable at the moment that would help you to put the document in question into context: neither political nor spiritual.
The fact of the matter is that there's a very specific political context for that document and the spiritual context, or the writings of the saints and doctors of the Church, would instruct you in much the same language and meaning that you would find today in the Catechism of the Catholic Church with regard to many things including the four last things and salvation.
So I think your estimations are pretty standard for people who are guessing based upon their own logic and not the life of the Church.
With respect to all the world needing to submit to the teachings of the Pope, meaning the teachings of the Catholic Church and the jurisdiction of the Church: that is hardly a reach for people who believe that all who are and will be saved have and will be saved through the Body of Christ.
Orthodoxy may not say it quite so bluntly however the teaching is implicit in all that she does say.
I should mention that it is good to have you back!
I agree that the 'debate' between 'development of doctrine' and the Orthodox 'rejection' of this concept is often overblown and results from - mutual misunderstandings. I also agree that the time, place and manner of statements is relevant to coming to understand their continuing vitality centuries later - or their lack thereof.
I also agree that the need to submit to the teachings of the Church and her jurisdiction is a concept not foreign to Orthodox thinking and that Unam Sanctum
needs to be addressed and studied within the context of the times in which it was promulgated. ( I doubt that any but the most frenzied anti-papists believe that temporal, secular power is the current goal of Pope Benedict!) HOWEVER...Pastor Aeternus
) is far closer to us and to lives actually in being than any of the ancient, patristic or medieval musings on the subject of the Papacy. Written as it were in the 1870 it's language is modern and its meaning is clear and concise - even to the non-theologian or canon lawyer.
At the risk of sounding somewhat 'snarky', if you were Orthodox, you COULD make the argument that while Pastor Aeternus
was indeed agreed upon at what the western Church considers to be an Ecumenical Council it lacks the authority of accepted dogma and doctrine in that the majority of Catholic faithful across the planet fail to accept the concept of infallibility as defined. (The lay rejection of Humanae Vitae
is but one example.) Other examples may be found in the lack of cohesion and adherence to various contemporary practices in the Church, especially post Vatican 2 by clergy and hierarchy alike. (The ordaining and assigning of married clergy in the United States and Canada by Eastern Catholic ordinaries comes to mind - clearly in violation of Ea Semper
and Cum Data Fuerit
- neither of which have ever expressly been countermanded by Rome.)The Vatican's mishandling of the clergy sexual abuse crisis is but another example of the obvious flaws inherent in such a centralized system of administration.
In other words, just as the Orthodox rejected Florence as a false council, you could argue that the promulgations of Vatican 1 regarding the institution and powers of the Papacy have failed to gain the approval of history and the entire corpus of the Church - thereby making them unworthy to be considered either as doctrine or dogma.
Of course Rome could not subscribe to such an analysis leaving us exactly where?