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Author Topic: Could someone explain  (Read 1958 times) Average Rating: 0
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Dismus
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« on: August 22, 2006, 05:36:51 PM »

Until I got a response on a post in regard to a different matter I was not aware of a Pope in the Orthodox faith. I really don't even know the differences in jurisdiction and all the abbreviations I see here with initials abbreviating some type of reference to jurisdiction. I only know 2. GOCA? and OCA. The rest, I guess but am most likely off base on. I tried checking in the search but got nothing since I am not sure what to imput in the search to get an answer.
I have no intention to spark some kind of argument about a Pope, I only ask since it surprised me. Does not bother me in the least, I just think it is something one should know.

Thank you for any information you may have to point me to.
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2006, 06:26:54 PM »

The word Pope is just a title, one that many priests and bishops in the early Church held. Then it was restricted to the bishops, then to certain bishops, and then in the west it was restricted to only one bishop. Some non-western Churches, such as the Patriarch(s) of Alexandria still use the title "Pope," but this word doesn't mean the same thing to them as it does in normal western practice.
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Dismus
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« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2006, 08:10:03 PM »

Thanks, I thought that might be it, but I don't like to hazzard a guess without confirming it first with an issue this important to understand. makes sense to me, and probobly something that other RC would need explanation of and don't hear about often.
Have a good day!
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Αριστοκλής
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« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2006, 08:28:05 AM »

Greek priest - παπας (papas)
Latin for 'papas' - popa.
English for 'popa' - pope.

So, all Orthodox priests (Byzantine - even the Arabic abba) are called "pope".

And yes, the Patriarch(s) - both Coptic and Greek Orthodox- of Alexandria are titles "Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria".
« Last Edit: August 23, 2006, 08:28:35 AM by ΑριστÎÂà » Logged

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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2006, 11:20:57 AM »

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So, all Orthodox priests (Byzantine - even the Arabic abba) are called "pope".

Um, yeah....... well I'm not going to be the one to go up to a priest (especially in front of a bishop) and say "Good morning, pope John!"  Grin
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« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2006, 03:39:39 PM »

The word Pope is just a title, one that many priests and bishops in the early Church held.
Hm, I had understood that when the "five patriarchates" tradition was coming into play, it was part of that tradition that only the patriarchs of Rome and Alexandria would be known as Pope.

I'll have to check on that, or if you have a reference you can cite I'd be interested.

Edit to add:  It probably goes without saying, too, that the way the title is understood by the Coptic Orthodox Church isn't the same as how it's understood in the Roman church.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2006, 03:51:12 PM by StBrigid » Logged
Justin Kissel
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« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2006, 04:03:52 PM »

Actually, I misspoke and will have to take back what I said. I shouldn't have used the word "title," I should have said that, from what I can remember, it was more like a description used in the early Church. I checked a few Orthodox history books that I have access to online, where I might have read it (Ware, Schmemann), but didn't come up with anything.
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« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2006, 04:11:43 PM »

While we are discussing the Pope, could someone explain the following:

Quote
H.H. Pope Shenouda III was consecrated as Pope of Alexandria and the See of St. Mark after a process in which he was selected by the Holy Spirit, and not by election
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Shenouda_III_of_Alexandria

Just wondering how the Roman Catholic process differs from the Coptic procedure.

Ras Markos Yohannis Binyam
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« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2006, 06:53:15 PM »

Alexandria was a major center early on in Christianity... It's where the first theological school was, some even say it's where Theology was invented under Origin.  In the early Church there weren't Patriarchs, there were just bishops.  Each town had it's own bishop, and while some were more prominant, none were over the others.

Then the Church in Alexandria got so big the bishop start ordaining other bishops under himself to assist him, this is the first time it was done.  Bishops were called father, so the bishop of Alexandria became the father to fathers, or pappa abba, or pope.  At this time the church in Rome was small, and the bishop there had no authority over the neighbouring cities, which had thier own bishops.

Hundreds of yeards later the same hierarchy developped in Rome, later the bishop of Rome decided they should be called Pope when previously only the bishop of Alexandria was called Pope, and later still they decided that only the bishop of Rome should be called Pope... by that time we'd been completely sepereate for a long time, so it in no way affected us.

When the Eastern Orthodox set up a Patriarchate in Alexandria to replace the Oriental Patriarch after the split they assumed the same title.

The Coptic Orthodox Pope carries this title because of the honour of Alexandria in developping this hierarch and having such a prominant role in the early church... but the Pope of Rome is a patriarch, equal to the other patriarchs, without any of the trappings of the roman Catholic papacy...
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« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2006, 07:02:07 PM »

While we are discussing the Pope, could someone explain the following:
 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Shenouda_III_of_Alexandria

Just wondering how the Roman Catholic process differs from the Coptic procedure.

Ras Markos Yohannis Binyam

In the RC Church the Cardinals elect a new Pope.  In the old days of the Coptic Orthodox Church Popes often appointed thier successor.  At some times the Holy Synod of Bishops selected a Pope.  The current practice is for the Synod to narrow it down to three candidates, to place the names of those candidates on the Altar and pray the Liturgy, and then to have a six year old boy who is ordained as a chanter go to the altar and select a name randomly.  The person selected is ordained Pope.  I personally don't think we should say one way is better than the other when comparing the practices of the two churches, especially when we have at times done it the same way.

Unlike in the Catholic Church where a bishop is normally selected, in the Coptic church bishops are not eligable.  This is because of the ancient cannon forbidding a bishop from moving from one see to another in order to prevent ambition.  Once a bishop is ordained to a see they stay there for life, and even if they are removed they cannot be replaced until they die.  The Pope, who is the bishop of Alexandria, is selected from among the monks like all bishops are.  The exception is the general bishops, who are ordained bishops but not given a see.  General bishops can later be given a see, including the see of Alexandria, ie be made Pope.  H.H. Pope Shenouda III, our current patriarch, was previously the general bishop of higher educaiton (ie a general bishop with no see).  Since the practice of ordaining general bishops started in the time of his predecessor, H.H. Pope Kyrollos VI, H.H. Pope Shenouda is the first Patriarch to have been selected after already being a bishop.

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falafel333
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« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2006, 09:06:19 PM »

Actually, the election of the patriarch in the Coptic Church is quite a controversial one. While a process of election has been established, who is eligible for election was heatedly debated prior to the election of Pope Shenouda III and most likely will be debated in the next election of his successor. There are a variety of camps, one that argues that the pope should be strictly selected from amongst the monks (a popular priest by the name of Fr Bishoy Kamel argued strongly for this position), another that argues that the pope may be selected from amongst the general bishops or monks and another which argues that any monk or bishop is eligible, actually the three Coptic popes prior to Pope Kyrillos VI were diocesan bishops, so Pope Shenouda III definitely was not the first.

I think there are some problems with certain systems though. I mean if only general bishops are eligible from amongst the bishops then this would narrow down the process to very few individuals and could exclude certain very capable bishops who are tried and hardened in their profession; it just doesn't seem to make sense to exclude an individual simply over a technicality. Also with the lot, what if a person is highly favoured over the other candidates and it is clear that he is a saintly person and that the hand of God is upon him, would we simply overlook this for the sake of a process. I mean isn't kinda tempting God to say that He is the one that makes the desicion through the lot, what's the purpose of the Holy Spirit then and His guidance if we're gonna start using lots. Actually, after Pentecost and the descent of the Spirit no where throughout scripture or tradition do we see such a process taking place.

Apparently, from what i've read the tradition of the lot was adopted, upon advice from the Caliph, in the 7th century from the Nestorian church in order to quell certain controversies over the election of the Pope.

I think the ballot is universally used for the election of the foremost heirarch, amongst both Catholics and Orthodox, and would be a better method of patriarchal election.
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