Author Topic: EO understanding of Roman Primacy  (Read 1133 times)

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Offline Stavro

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EO understanding of Roman Primacy
« on: April 20, 2005, 01:05:16 AM »
Dear All,
from what I gathered, the EO do not object to the Primacy of Rome. What is the view of the EO church towards the Primacy of Rome and why is it important ?
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Offline Orthodoc

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Re: EO understanding of Roman Primacy
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2005, 02:04:25 AM »
The Orthodox Catholic Church has never denied a 'primacy'  to either Peter or the church of Rome.  The problem occurred when the Pope was no longer was satisfied with 'primacy' and opted for 'supremacy'!

Contrary to claims made by papal Catholics both here and elsewhere that we Orthodox Catholics refuse to answer the Popes question on how we would invision his role in a reintegrated Church, we have been very clear  in our response.  From a book called 'Orthodoxy In Conversation',  here are some of the Orthodox responses regarding 'papal primacy' -

"The  Church is the communion of believers living in Jesus Christ with the Father.  It has its origins and prototype in the Trinity in which there is both distinction of persons and unity based on love, NOT SUBORDINATION."

In summary, Orthodoxy does not reject Roman primacy as such, but simply a particular way of understanding that primacy.  Within a reintegrated Christiandom the bishop of Rome will be considered as primus inter pares serving the unity of the church in love. HE CANNOT BE ACCEPTED AS SET UP OVER THE CHURCH AS A RULER whose diakonia is conceived through legalistic categories of power of jurisdiction.  His authority must be understood , not acccording to standards of  earthly authority and domination, but according to terms of loving ministry and humble service (Matt. 20:25-27).

In a reintegrated Christiandom, when the pope takes his place once more as primus inter pares  within the Orthodox Catholic communion, the bishop of Rome will have the initiative to summon a synod of the whole church.   The bishop of Rome, will of course, preside over such a synod and his office may coordinate the life and the witness of the Orthodox Catholic Church and in times of need be its spokesman.  The role of acting as the voice of the Church is not, however, to be restricted to any hierachal order within the Church, still less to a single see.  In principle, any bishop, priest or layman may be called by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the true faith.


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